You can no longer argue that public disgust never registers.

Late last week, the nation’s angst over having the National Security Agency’s fingers in everything anyone does resulted in an
extremely minor government retreat, with President Obama, D- Schmivacy, announcing “safeguards” on domestic spying.

From this point on, the NSA will ensure that its insatiable urge to hoover up every particle of data in the universe will receive case-by-case prior approval by a lap-dog judge worried about his browsing history.

Baby steps, people.

More cones of silence:

Oddly Enough: Leaders of the NSA hailed Obama’s Friday speech on spying protections as “highly appropriate” in a statement issued early Thursday.

Speaking of Which: One day all you chicken-little privacy advocates will understand that you have nothing to worry about until you do something wrong. Or someone thinks you might.

Blood, Hands, etc.: Skagit County resident and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, appearing on CNN, brushed off the suggestion that the U.S. is responsible for the current state of violent chaos in Iraq, saying America had “basically handed them their future on a silver platter.” We’d hate to see what the bronze package looks like.

High Standards: Having a criminal past is not necessarily a barrier to getting a license to legally sell marijuana, The Spokesman-Review reports. It’s sort of like the rules for being awarded an NBA franchise.

Bright Ideas Dept.:
Just how clueless do you have to be to request, as CenturyLink Field operators did last year, a massive boost in the number of ways to sell hard liquor to often out-of-control Seahawk fans, most of whom will get in a car and drive home after a game?

On the Other Hand: With a paltry 476 existing alcohol taps, you can see the critical need for changes. As the stadium’s general manager, Adam Link, told The Times: “We hear quite often from ticket holders that, ‘We aren’t allowed to have gin and tonics in more than a few areas,’ so that was us trying to add amenities.”

Coming Up Next: Mensa applications for the entire Clink brain trust are in the mail.

Just Wondering: Isn’t the mutual finger pointing, assignment of blame and legal posturing over a project such as the Highway 99 tunnel supposed to commence after it goes completely to hell and doubles in cost?

One Sure Sign You Have Bottomed Out: You tape a “Depend Shields” commercial featuring a team of four dudes turning a restroom into a man cave by adding a new wood toilet seat, wall-mounted moose head and stuffed bass, flat-panel TV, bobblehead figurine, and bowling trophy, while declaring: “I’m Tony Siragusa, and I’m training guys who leak a little to guard their manhood.”

This Space Reserved: For any shred of late-breaking Seahawks’ game hype that has somehow not been beaten to death before kickoff.

And Finally: Thursday was a tough day for fellow members of the 1970s boob-tube generation. Russell Johnson, the beloved “professor” from Gilligan’s Island, and Dave Madden, AKA Reuben Kincaid from the Partridge Family, passing away on the same day? RIP, and someone please check in on Florence Henderson.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.com or 206-464-8280.