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Scroll down to read Pat's article suggesting a way of saving
$5 million from the budget request by the US Government intelligence agenies.


(Editor's note. Standing Pat is the pen name for selected contributors to URLy Sylke Productions. Disclaimer: URLy Sylke, Inc. makes no warranty whatsoever regarding the veracity of this article.)

"Is Anyone Listening?"
by Standing Pat

Dateline Washington, D. C. Intelligence agencies are anxious to obtain $500 million from Congress to listen in on U. S. citizens' phone conversations. Advocates claim it will extend the old wire tap laws enacted to catch criminals in the act of planning a crime. Is this phony or what?

For the sake of argument, assume that listening in on phone calls made by citizens is in the public interest. I offer the following proposal for raising the needed funds by an alternative means. This idea might be so hot it would justify this "phone-y" program.

Consider the big action in American business today--downsizing. Firms are looking for ways to reduce overhead. Consider also the huge cost of this "phony" program, not to mention the boredom of the work. Imagine listening to all those dull conversations!

My proposal is elegant in its simplicity. The Federal Government, in the spirit of enterprise, will offer to pay its citizens to record a sampling of their own phone calls and send in the tapes to the appropriate place for recompense and logging. Extra payment would be made in the event anything, er, shall we say, "interesting," is found on a tape. This will be an added incentive for citizens not to hold back, as it were.

Of course the Intelligence agencies will still have to listen to tapes, but the collection expense will be substantially reduced and the listening made considerably more amusing. Opponents of my proposal will cry that citizens will send only the tapes that reflect good behavior. This argument can easily be put down with the philosophical truth that nobody is all "good." When citizens send only pleasant conversations, a computer tally will discover this trend and the particular citizen can be notified to cough up some offending conversations or face prosecution straight-a-way.

My no-nonsense proposal cuts right to the heart of the matter. It's been suggested that some of us are bad some of the time and some of us are bad all of the time but none of us is good all of the time. This program will work.

Support my proposal. Write to the Congress of the United States of America and tell your representative that you know where the truth is on this issue and you support Standing Pat's proposal for a Citizen's Initiative to take the phony program away from the Intelligence Agencies and give it back to the citizens of this great country. On this issue, I'm

___ Standing Pat


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