The Snooper-duper Spying Machine

Here it comes -- another Gooberhead Award, presented to those in the news whose tongues are going 100 miles an hour ... but who forgot to put their brains in gear.

Today I've got a Double Goober for you! Both our winners are excited about a Big, New, Whiz-bang Technological advance they call "Total Information Awareness." The T.I.A. is another fine product brought to us by those fun-loving techno-wizards at the Pentagon, and you should become totally aware of their latest gizmo, because they definitely plan to include you in their fun.

T.I.A. is a super-sophisticated, super-fast computer system that is designed to scoop-up every last detail of every transaction that you and I and everyone else makes. Your bank withdrawals, prescriptions you buy, books you check out, trips you make, documents you file, websites you visit, emails you send, your job records, complaints you make to authorities, complaints made against you -- all of it is to be dumped into what T.I.A. enthusiasts call "a virtual, centralized grand database," which will be available to various local, state, federal, and international agencies.

Sound like fun? Surely they're kidding, right? Nope. It's all part of Bush's Homeland Security Act, just passed by Congress.

And guess who's in charge of this new snooper-duper scheme? John Poindexter. Yes, the disgraced former-Reagan official and Iran-Contra sleaze who was convicted on five felony counts of lying to Congress! He's our Goober Number One for breezily asserting that everyone's "transaction space" must be monitored in order to ferret out terrorists.

Goober Number Two is Don Rumsfeld, Bush's Pentagon chief who arrogantly declared that critics who express alarm about this T.I.A. intrusion into our lives are doing a "disservice to the country."

To battle these Gooberheads, call the Electronic Privacy Information Center: 202-483-1140.

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Happy Holidays!