Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pissed yet?

You should be, especially if you've read the latest item about our government's latest attempt to "protect" the masses by snooping on us.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Inc, newly unsealed court records show.

The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a First Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government.

Seattle-based Amazon said in court documents it hopes Judge Stephen Crocker's decision will make it more difficult for prosecutors to obtain records involving book purchases. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said Tuesday he doubted the ruling would hamper legitimate investigations.

Crocker - who unsealed documents detailing the showdown against prosecutors' wishes - said he believed prosecutors were seeking the information for a legitimate purpose. But he said First Amendment concerns were justified and outweighed the subpoena's law enforcement purpose.

"The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission," Crocker wrote. "It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else.

Please don't be lulled into any false sense of security because this latest little federal spy expedition was thwarted. A government that wants this kind of power over its citizen isn't going to let some little pesky court order stop it.

I'm a compulsive book buyer, and have purchased and sold books on for years. This afternoon I went through a list of what I've bought or put on my wish list, and what kind of profile I'd fit based on my book purchases. It isn't pretty, so if you are one of the few people who have a pleasant image of me, please turn back now.

Over the last year, I bought at least a dozen books on ritual magick, several books of an sex or erotic literature, two wilderness survival guides (you know it's a genuine survival guide when the first page contains a warning that due to disease, the reader should only eat rats as a last resort), two books on archery, about ten adult and children's novels, including The Golden Compass, six books on sewing and handcrafts, five books on gardening, two book on Latin and three books catering to my inner anarchist, including the The Book of Lies and the Anarchist's Cookbook.

So I suppose to a literary profiler, this would make me a sex-crazed witch with anti-government tendencies, armed with survival and crafting abilities to be used in my impending war against the local law enforcement agencies, who will need backup once I start shooting hexes and arrows at them from behind the tomato plants. And that children's literature I bought? Pfft. That's just a cover that allows me to walk the streets undetected for What I Am - a pagan anarchist with mad sewing skills, a walking, talking threat to the Establishment if there ever was one. A threat that will only be realized when it's too late..

Now, I don't know what your reading profile would say about you, but you might want to take a look and remove that Bushisms calendar you put on your wish list. Or at least balance it with some writings by Ann Coulter or some other author in the GOP Circle Jerk. After all, it's what all the Good Little Soldiers are reading.

Besides, unless you're reading something wrong, you don't have anything to worry about? Right?....Right?...


Andrea said...

Oh, I bet we're on some lists, alright. We read a lot of anti-corporate, anti-religion, and anti-imperialism books so doubtless we've been pegged as godless commies. Free speech be damned, huh?

This is really fucking egregious though. I'll show this link to Chris to see his completely unsurprised reaction.

Morgan said...

I've been to your blog and see how you flaunt your current reads, Andrea. It's like you're just begging for an investigation. ;-)
Really, though, I got sooo pissed when I read this. When in the hell are we going to stop being afraid of our government and start making it afraid of US?

Andrea said...

forgot: how was The Golden Compass? I have His Dark Materials on my wishlist and I'm really looking forward to reading it sometime soon.

Andrea said...

just trying to share some great book suggestions, but yeah i suppose those swift government minds might get a wild hair up their butt about it...not that i give a shit

Andrea said...

and i visit your blog for all this sex-crazed witchy goodness :D

Morgan said...

We're actually reading the Golden Compass now. It's very, very good. It was actually one of the few fantasy classics I didn't read growing up, so it's a real treat for me.

And listen to you, practically challenging the government now with your bad self!

Thanks for the compliment. I will strive to continue to provide even more sex-crazed witchy goodness. Or badness, as I see fit. ;-)

JohnR said...

"So I suppose to a literary profiler, this would make me a sex-crazed witch with anti-government tendencies, armed with survival and crafting abilities to be used in my impending war against the local law enforcement agencies, who will need backup once I start shooting hexes and arrows at them from behind the tomato plants."

Too bad we're both married.

I could really go for a chick like you especially the sex-crazed part.

Morgan said...

Funny, johnr. Years back when I listed sex-crazed, anarchist witch in my personal ad the only responses I got were from horny federal agents. :-)

laughingwolf said...

i agree, toally... but being canuck, i'm immune from the crap my american brothers and sister are subject to, right? RIGHT? sure!

as one who questions damn near everything purported as 'good for me' by various levels of government, count me in with you and andrea

i did meet her when i mistook her for your sister, morg ;) lol

'conspiracy theories' and more, i devour daily...

as for 'sex', what's that? :P

Morgan said...

Lucky you, Wuff. Were it not for extensive family ties, I'd leave this country.
No, Andrea of Andrea After Hours is a different person from my sister Andrea, who doesn't blog but should given that she'd got an opinion on everything!
And the definition of "sex" is that thing we think about when we're not doing it. ;-)

laughingwolf said...

damn! glad ye clued me in, on the sex bit... i get sooo confused! :P lol

yes, your sis SHOULD be blogging, mayhap get her to post here, til she gets the feel for it... like, after her first post? ;)

Morgan said...

Oh, Andrea makes her opinion known, but in private emails. She's got a regular job, so unlike her Writer Sister she doesn't have time to create the extra distraction of a blog. I don't think she even reads the comments; she just reads the posts and emails me a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."

Jana said...

The childrens literature is a way for you to lure children into your lair... of course!! Every red-blooded A-mercn with a flag on the wall of his garage over the Dodge pick'm'up truck knows that sex crazed pagan survorists are always looking for children to lure.

Christopher said...

Okay, sorry for coming to this ridiculously late, but I was just, well, browsing through and had to add a comment, 'cuz, well, this one hit a real nerve. After all, I work in a library, and just happen to think the provisions in the so-called Patriot Act that give the government the power to snoop around in people's library records isn't just a violation of our rights, it's a waste of time. So, yeah, I'm pissed about this, and pissed that I missed the story at the time, even though I'd already talked about it previously:
(And apologies for my incompetence with HTML.)