Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another C-SPAN Weekend

As I'm watching a repeat of Tuesday's FBI Senate Oversight Committee hearing, I'm struck by the lack of partisanship that was demonstrated by Senators Spector, Leahey, Hatch and Feinstein as they interrogated FBI Director Mueller about recent instances of the FBI overstepping boundaries of Civil Liberties.

The Senators were all very direct, concise, and professional, leaving very little room for personal opinions and disparaging innuendo of political opponents sitting on the committee. I could say there were no verbal shots fired between any of the committee members and I was very impressed. There were noted disagreements, but they were all within the range of proper debate procedural etiquette.

On the other hand, at the Congressional Oversight hearing of the General Services Administration (GSA), questions were partially directed to the witnesses, but the bulk of the hearing consisted of partisan criticism and insulting innuendo that basically soiled the overall reputation of the House of Representatives.

FBI Director Mueller was shockingly proactive and honest in his responses. Not only did he immediately accept responsibility for the actions of those for whom he is responsible, he noted directly where the missteps took place

Senator Grassley laid all his cards on the table. He brought up the fact that a conversation between a white supremacist group and a middle-eastern terror suspect was illegally recorded, and then later covered up the fact that they recorded it. He also brought up that a special agent blew the whistle on illegal activities in the bureau and was subsequently retaliated against.

In the end, though, Senator Grassley was courteous and respectful toward the Director. Director Mueller in the end said that all the information obtained by the FBI was legal, but that it was just the "vehicle" used to obtain the information that was questionable.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The lonlely hours

Two in the morning is a dark time. I somehow manage to wake up at that time most nights.

Television gives me a terrible headache but I can’t sleep. I don’t want to think about anything, but inevitably I think about losing everything when I lost my job in June of 2001.

People I thought were my friends completely abandoned me. They avoided me like the plague. They’ll do that if they think you need them. If that’s what friends do, then I guess I was terribly misinformed by the Bible.

So anyway, it’s about two hours before the newspaper hits the porch, and another two to three hours after that until sunrise. I turn on the radio and listen to National Public Radio ( (NPR) on our local public broadcasting station.

NPR broadcasts the BBC ( radio overnight and follows with Morning Edition. The news one hears from these sources is often avoided or distorted by other U.S. News outlets, so it’s interesting to listen and then compare with local news to find the dissemblance.

Now I’m going to bed earlier because I finally found legitimacy on the airwaves in the middle of the night. The drone of news from around the world at first put me back to sleep right away, but I began to see local consequences of the global events reported by the BBC.

These late night broadcasts inspired me to start new websites; and, the latter which was registered this morning and is not up yet.

So sometimes I fall asleep right away, and other times I’m enthralled by what I hear. Like this morning for instance, there was a report about American pension plans (they call schemes) that bought too many mortgages from lenders, not realizing that the mortgages were the new precarious flexible rate, interest only mortgages.

Too many blue chip funds on Wall Street are teetering on financial foundations infused by mortgages that were sold to people who can’t afford to make payments; and during a time gas prices are going back up.

But on the local news, we hear that the economy is doing just fine.

I’m glad I have no 401K or investments.