Friday, October 12, 2007

Qwest, Bush, Revenge, Immunity

Ex-Ceo of Qwest, Joe Nacchio on trial in Denver for insider trading attempted to present evidence showing that BushCo retaliated against Qwest in awarding contracts for Qwest's refusal to turn over to the NSA its customer's logs. The reason that would be important to Nacchio is that he had reason to believe Qwest had the inside track on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of secret network building contracts while staff was warning him Qwest might not make its numbers.

Partially redacted documents indicate that Federal Judge Edward Nottingham refused to allow a defense argument about retaliation, documents show that he had a Feb 27, 2001 meeting to discuss the $100 million contract and another topic, a request which he repeatedly refused as illegal and inappropriate. In May 2006 USA Today revealed that Qwest, unlike ATT and Verizon had balked at providing the NSA with its customer calling patterns. Rocky Mountain News has this story with more details.

The odd part, unless you find the idea of BushCo exacting revenge odd, is that today George II threatened to veto a House wire tap authorization bill unless it contained retroactive immunity from civil action for telecoms involved in NSA wiretaps. Nacchio was convicted of 19 counts of insider trading for $52 million worth of stock sales last spring, this fall ATT and Verizon have the President of the US going to bat for them while they face a whole raft of law suits, for illegally disclosing private customer data. If it's any consolation to Qwest, I dumped ATT for this crap and went back to Qwest and upgraded my account - a lot. Small change in that world, but it was an action I could take.

Much of what we can do in response to events is small change, but in aggregation it could amount to something, but it is, at least, taking action, a positive force. This blog is small change, my readership numbers amount to a neighborhood, not an end of town, just a neighborhood, but it is an action taken. My readers take that much action, the reading, and that is something. Some take very active parts in issues, some write their own blogs, just the action of reading this stuff is engagement and a willingness to think for one's own self.

I refuse to knuckle under to BushCo's terrorism tactics, I am neither afraid of their 'enemies' nor of them. What they can take away from me I can afford to lose, what they cannot ever get is what is important to me. Sure, giving my business to Qwest is a small act of defiance, this blog isn't much more, but what I actually do to them isn't what's important, it is important - to me - that I remain self actualized and defiant. I will define my relationship to the world, not them.

And, thanks for sharing in my defiance, for being one of those people.


Steve Culley said...

I put my stuff in the local weekly that is just now starting to post on the net. Dailies seem to be a waste of time, word limits, once a month and all that. Issues go by while they are covering fluff but what the hell. I run into to a people on the street that have read what I put out and comment. Let's you know that you aren't just talking to yourself. There is a 1 percent out there.

KISS said...

We buy only the necessities and don't use any of the big ISP's, Cell phones Cable co.s etc. etc. We live a pretty dull simple life. Car if 12 years old and unlikely a new one will ever go in my garage. We shop at Freddy's the only game in town. Produce from a local [ owned by a Mexican] Once a Year we buy from Wal-Mart and not much at that.

Chuck Butcher said...

Some things like cell phones are a price of my line of work. Some things like wireless DSL make something like this and political activity much more comfortable. We shop Walmart if there is no alternative and that is seldom.

I'm not sure I'd qualify our life as simple, in most areas we are pretty frugal. But what can be taken from me are things.

I provide a forum for KISS and Steve and others to have their say, granted - after I've had mine. I don't set much in the line of 'restrictions' on that, the purpose is that it is public statement.