Gee whiz, is the government bugging you?
by Dick Yarbrough
June 07, 2013 11:38 PM | 1096 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
As we have learned this week, our friends in the federal government are snooping on our cellphone conversations and monitoring our Internet activity. No less a personage than Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) said it was in our best interest for them to do so. Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel better. This is the same Sen. Chambliss who said that sexual assaults on women in the military were in part a result of hormones.

“The young folks that are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22, or 23,” Chambliss told assembled military brass, “Gee whiz, the level — the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.” Gee whiz, that is helpful information. Kind of like having “legitimate rape” explained to us by the goofus who was running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri and who voters mercifully consigned to the political dung heap.

But I digress. This is about me and who I call and what I (pardon me, English teachers of the world) Google on the Internet. If the feds want to know that badly, the least I can do is save them the trouble of prying. I have no secrets, except for that time my high school buddies and I filled all the sugar dispensers at the Red Bird Cafe in East Point with salt and then watched the look on diners’ faces as they sipped their sweet tea. I have had to live with that indiscretion all these years and am not proud of what we did. (But it was pretty funny).

First, spy guys, let me cover my cellphone calls with you. This will be easy. Zero. I have a grandson who excels at talking me into spending money for things I don’t need or want. Thanks to him, I am now the proud owner of a Droid-something II cellphone that allows me to do some amazing things — with the exception of being able to make and receive telephone calls. I accidentally hit an app the other day and downloaded the Greatest Polka Hits of the 20th Century, including “In Heaven There is no Beer” by Frankie Yankovic and “Hey Hey, Farmer Gray” by Walt Solek.

I was very excited at my good fortune but couldn’t tell anyone — even the snoops in Washington — because I am still trying to figure out how to get my Droid-something II to be a pal and let me make a call.

I’m not sure if the spies are checking my emails but they may already know that I get a lot of response to my comments on these pages. One reader is furious because I said recently that God made turtles about 100 million years ago. He is a physicist and wants me to write a retraction. I want him to get a sense of humor. That exchange probably put the feds to sleep. I don’t think they care about turtles, just terrorists.

Another reader — a graduate of You-Know-Who Institute of Technology — took offense at my friend Gene the Gator mentioning how many Rhodes Scholars UGA has had (19) compared to YKW Tech (5). I told Gene what he said. Gene said he will be happy to eat the guy. That is Gene’s solution to everything — eat your critics. I have a lot of work to do on Gene’s social skills.

The government has probably already figured out that I don’t know where to place commas. If they haven’t been made aware of this fact, they will be when they bug the editor’s computer. The editor is always fussing at me about that. I have a great mind to tell Gene. I’ve got a pretty good idea what his answer will be.

As for the Internet, I don’t surf much because most of the stuff on there is about narcissistic movie stars I’ve never heard of as well as too many pop-up ads. I do, however, check the State Ethics Commission website regularly to see if any lizard-loafered lobbyists are wining and dining our intrepid public servants so I can tell my readers and hope the politicians bring them along the next time.

If the security sleuths are interested, maybe I can wrangle them an invitation, too. I’m pretty tight with legislators. Besides, they probably need to get out some. Sitting in a dark room, sipping cold coffee and eating stale donuts while they try to figure out if I got all the commas in the correct spots has to be a thankless job. I applaud their dedication.

To paraphrase our senior senator and hormone expert, Saxby Chambliss: Gee whiz, keep on bugging me, guys. It is the American way. I bug a lot of people, too.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.
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