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Friday, May. 12, 2006 - 8:20 p.m.

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Qwest Calls Out the Govt.

Second entry today. Go back one to read the previous entry.

I got this in my inbox today and wanted to pass it on. I liked it. Be nice to Qwest people, and perhaps send a copy of this to YOUR telephone company if they are one of the ones handing over your private info.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

What You CAN Do

By Bruce Taylor

If you've been watching the news, you know about the National Security Agency's domestic spying program which has been helped by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth turning over phone records of some 200 million Americans to the NSA. It would be14 million more if Qwest would have turned over their records as well. But they did not. Why not?

"Qwest was the only major phone company to decline to turn over records
to the NSA. Its lawyers asked the NSA to take its proposal to the
FISA (Foriegn Intelligence Surveillance Act) court. The agency declined; USA
Today reported Thursday that two sources said it was because the NSA thought
the court would not agree.("Is collecting numbers illegal yet constitutional?" The
Seattle Times, May 12, 2006, p. A17,

Oh? The NSA thought the FISA court would not agree with their request? But haven't we been told that all of this domestic spying was really quite legal? So if that's the case, why on earth would the NSA think that the FISA court wouldn't go along with their request? Why didn't AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth also ask that
the NSA take their request to the FISA court as well?
But they didn't. Qwest did. And the NSA backed down. And some 14 million Americans still have their phone numbers not in the NSA data base and still have some semblance of privacy. For now.
And, for now, a few good men (and women) in a company by the name of Qwest, did something to help slow the the steady and evil erosion of our civil liberties: they stood up, stood firm and so doing, protected of our privacy. You better believe they have probably gotten a lot of heat for this decision and they could have just as easily gone the way of the other three companies--but they did not. I am awed. I am amazed. I am grateful. That given this political climate, people in this company called Qwest--asked a govenmental agency to simply--get this--get _this_ obey the law.
And the NSA backed down because they apparetly thought the FISA court wouldn't agree with their request.
Today, with my payment of my phone bill, I am sending a Starbucks coffee drink card so that the person opening the mail, plus their supervisor and the supervisor's supervisor can have a latte--as a token of my appreciation to Qwest for, let's face it, having the guts to do what is legally and morally correct, decent, and right. I urge everyone reading this to do the same--send these folks a gift of your appreciaton, call up the operator and thank them; take a Qwest driver out for coffee or just stop and thank him or her for working for Qwest. These are the type of people who are the best example of patriotism that I've seen in a long, long time. And the folks at Qwest need to know just how much they are supported and appreciated in what had to be. given the present poltics, a tremendously difficult, but ultimately right, decison
Indeed, Thomas Jefferson (remember him?) was right: "Dissent IS the highest form of patriotism.".

(This editorial will appear in the next on-line newsletter of the Friends of Kafka's Uncle Society (FOKUS) Newsletter, editor Bob Olson. FOKUS is an artists support group founded by Bruce Taylor in l995 and is based on the book, THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron. More information can be found at )

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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