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Robert J. Elisberg

Robert J. Elisberg

Posted: February 14, 2008 01:04 PM

You Can't Hear Me Now


As of today, I am now officially a telephone company.

Welcome to NoTel, a division of ET&T Communications. Where You Come First. (And by "You," I mean me.)

When I read on Wednesday about the United States Senate caving in to the wildly unpopular Bush administration and giving the wildly unpopular president pretty much everything he wants to spy without court warrants, that was one thing. I mean, honestly, destroying Americans' protections to protect America is about a good an example of insanity as you could imagine. But -- but -- when I continued to read that the bill also includes protections against telephone companies being sued for illegal actions, I realized where do I sign up?!!

(When you see a bill that destroys protections of law-abiding Americans, but gives protections to illegal actions by multinational conglomerates, you just have to wrap your loving arms around the Bush Administration and his supporting cast of 48 craven Republicans and admire the utter shamelessness of what they stand for so openly and unabashedly. How could 19 Senate Democrats not want a piece of that?!!)

And I want a piece of that, too. I want to join the gala. I want to be protected from being sued for committing illegal acts. Who wouldn't?!! Now, that's American ingenuity.

If all it takes to get total immunity is saying you're patriotic and acting for the good of America, then I am there! Hey, I love my country. I stand up for the Star Spangled Banner. I believe that everything I do is for the good of America, because I'm an American, and if what I do is good for me, it helps an American. And what helps an American helps America. From sea to shining sea.

If all it takes to avoid prosecution for your illegal acts is to be a telephone company, then I am now a telephone company! If telephone companies don't have to testify about what they did and therefore get off scot free, then neither do I.

Welcome to NoTel.

At NoTel, we believe your privacy is our concern. Which you shouldn't be concerned about. Unless you're concerned about your privacy. But your privacy is our concern.

We will protect all private information of our valued costumers. And when we say valued, we mean it. Selling that private information to others has great value. And you can trust us that we will never, ever give away that private information for free. Never. We will only give it away if it is for patriotic reasons.

That is our Solemn Pledge.

Don't take our word for it. Take the word of the New York Times that explains the government's spying program is very, very limited. It allows the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless spying only -- only! -- on "the international communications of Americans suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda." Period.

Oh, sure, there will be some who say that the Bush administration suspects everyone of having ties to Al Qaeda, which means that everyone is fair game. But this isn't true, and is an unfair charge. The Bush administration only suspects non-Republicans of having ties to Al Qaeda. If you're a Republican, you have nothing to fear. Unless, of course, you've ever disagreed with at least one thing the Bush administration has ever proposed, considered, discussed or thought. Then, okay, you'd be suspect, too, but let's be fair, shouldn't you be?

So, while you might be in trouble, rest assured that your telephone company of choice, NoTel, will be safe. And isn't that who you want to entrust your most private information with? The safety of NoTel -- Where We Won't Tell the Public Anything We Do, Because We Don't Have to. That's a public trust you can trust.

Why choose NoTel, when you have so many other telephone company options? If the government doesn't need court warrants before asking us for your private information, we at NoTel will act more swiftly than anyone else in giving it to them. Why should we be entangled in cumbersome red tape? And if we have streamlined the warrantless wiretapping process, we pass that savings on to you! You can use NoTel with the confidence that your private information is getting straight to your government faster than by anyone, where they can begin protecting you all the more quickly.

No one else can make that promise. Okay, no one else may want to. But don't worry. The government will find out who they are, and you won't have to worry about them anymore.

At NoTel, we believe in being straight with our customers.

Warrantless wiretapping information straight to the government. The government straight to Gitmo detention centers. Gitmo detention centers straight to torture.

Some may call that an American nightmare. But isn't a nightmare just a bad dream? And isn't a bad dream still a dream?

NoTel -- Bringing the American Dream to You. One Shredded Civil Liberty at a Time.