This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: That’s Why There are Traffic Laws

This is the tenth show of the year. Woo! We haven’t done all too bad with this so far. And judging by the history of the first nine weeks, we’ve been averaging about 7 listeners a week. Well, downloads actually… so some of those folks may not actually be listening, but at least they are downloading it.

OK, seven isn’t a huge number. But it is more than I expected when I started to be honest. So, thank you to all of our many listeners. If you are enjoying it, please feel free to tell your friends about it. And we do like comments and feedback, so comment here or send me email if you have anything to say!

Anyway, this week Ivan and I talk about:

  • Number Ten
  • Revision to FISA law
  • Congressional Breaks
  • Self Inflicted Damage
  • Israeli Airline Security
  • Bad Risk Estimation
  • Last Week’s Stock Market
  • Mortgage and Real Estate Markets
  • Trivia Question

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Wrong Direction

House Passes Changes in Eavesdropping Program
(Carl Hulse and Edmund L. Andrews, New York Times)

Under pressure from President Bush, the House gave final approval Saturday to changes in a terrorism surveillance program, despite serious objections from many Democrats about the scope of the executive branch’s new eavesdropping power.

Racing to complete a final rush of legislation before a scheduled monthlong break, the House voted 227 to 183 to endorse a measure the Bush administration said was needed to keep pace with communications technology in the effort to track terrorists overseas.

(via Talking Points Memo)

We should be strengthening and increasing restrictions on what can be done without judicial review, not opening more ways in which intelligence can be gathered without strict procedures and due process. This is shameful.

Yes, there is a threat. But we are doing more damage to ourselves because of our paranoia and fear than anything actual terrorists could even imagine in their wildest dreams.

Sigh.