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Week In The News: DNA Evidence, Turkey, Susan Rice

The Feds and our phone records, the high court and our DNA, hot Turkey, Susan Rice. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. (AP)

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. (AP)

Big Brother is listening, it turns out, all over the world.  On Google, on Facebook, on Skype – on just about everything.  This week, we know.  They know.  What next?

We’ve got Susan Rice back in the news, and back in the White House as National Security Adviser.  Bradley Manning on trial.  The Supreme Court signing off on police rights to take your DNA.  On Capitol Hill, a big line-up of military brass, but no breakthrough on sexual assault.

Turkey in turmoil.  Syria bleeds. China’s leader comes to the USA.

This hour, On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times. (@sangernyt)

Nancy Cordes, congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg: Routine DNA Testing After Arrest Upheld by Top U.S. Court  – “States can routinely collect DNA samples from people arrested for a serious crime, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled, limiting privacy rights and giving police a powerful investigative tool for solving old crimes. The justices, voting 5-4, reinstated Alonzo Jay King Jr.’s conviction for a 2003 Maryland rape, a crime police solved only by matching DNA collected from King when he was arrested on an unrelated assault charge six years later.”

CNN: After a week of fury in Turkey — calm — “The Turkish government’s apology for excessive use of police force and its meetings with opposition leaders and representatives of protesters camped out in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square appeared to have cooled tensions in the commercial capital. But a demonstration nearly 1,000 kilometers southeast, in the city of Adana, resulted in the first reported death of a police officer since the protests erupted.”

Politico: Why President Obama picked Susan Rice — “Since Rahm Emanuel packed his bags, President Barack Obama has recruited senior staffers who mirror his regimented, stay-in-your-lane style — but his choice of Susan Rice as National Security Adviser represents a shift back to the days when the West Wing brimmed with big ideas and even bigger egos.”

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  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Oh boy.

    ’1984′ was published 64 years ago.

    • SteveTheTeacher

      Thanks to Glen Greenwald and the other investigative journalists who brought the US government’s surveillance programs to light despite the Obama administration’s tactics of intimidation and repression.  (Contrast  the government’s harsh treatment of Bradley Manning for blowing the whistle on government war crimes to the leniency and empathy given to Robert Bales who massacred 9 children and 7 adults in Afghanistan.)

      I would like to hear Tom Ashbrook and the On Point guests reflect on the phone and internet (PRISM) surveillance programs. 

      What does it say that the Obama administration still refuses to fully disclose the details of these domestic surveillance programs?

      Why aren’t these programs being put on hold pending public review?

      Much has been made of James Comey’s intervention in the Bush administration’s surveillance program.  However the fact that he agreed with the continuation of the program under modified rules often receives less coverage.  How can the nomination of James Comey proceed in the light of the fact that he supported domestic surveillance programs, torture of prisoners such as Jose Padilla, and the targeting of social justice activists?

      The domestic phone and internet surveillance programs are further indications of the degree to which both the Democratic and Republican parties fail to act in the best interests of the overall population.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        You are correct to be concerned about the lack of full disclosure about these surveillance programs. They should be as transparent and verifiable as possible, if and only if the people of this country agree to them. I do not think these programs are, in principle, correct. The number of possible abuses that are possible under such a program are almost beyond comprehension !

      • Jasoturner

        Realpolitik trumps morality, it seems.  Those who viewed Obama as a breath of fresh air have been severely disappointed.  If Obama can look himself in the mirror after ordering drone strikes that kill innocents as collateral damage, who exactly *is* going to bring moral authority back to the white house?  I don’t see anyone in modern American political life filling those shoes.

        • jimino

          I agree with you, and have repeated posited that Obama is primarily a right wing president.  But his constituents overwhelmingly support the use of drones, and I expect there is a similar level of support for giving up their privacy to achieve protection from the amorphous enemies we are now “at war” with.

          As far as others “in modern political life”, there are woefully few who would take any action based on any principle other than their own election and the enrichment of their connected cronies. 

          • Jasoturner

            I guess part of our problem is that our national insistence on defining someone as either liberal or conservative means that those who blur the lines (like Obama) get a free pass from whatever “team” they purportedly belong to.  I mean, I’ll take Obama over Bush, but I can see why he drives republicans crazy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i used to think bush was the worst possible president. sadly i was wrong

          • Don_B1

            George W. Bush will go down as the worst President so far.

            President Obama was never, ever, the “liberal” that many thought he was, not to mention a socialist or Marxist.

            That has to be frustrating to the right wing that have built their whole case on making President Obama a wild leftist.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            personally i think he is a neocon

          • nj_v2

            I’ve been saying the same thing. Saw this coming when Obummer was campaigning back in ’08. Now even the conservobots have something explicitly legitimate to criticize him about.

            One would thing that this would provide some common ground—between what would seem to be opposing political factions—but the right would someone even worse in power if they could.

        • J__o__h__n

          I’m disappointed by Obama, but all the Congressmen who voted for the Patriot Act and are now claiming to be outraged are hypocrites. 

          • DrewInGeorgia

            The sky fell and they kept their mouths shut because they were busy counting their eggs. Who knew an out of check Surveillance State is what would hatch? Anyone paying attention, that’s who.

          • Don_B1

            They were “covering their behinds” because the voters could easily, unfortunately, be convinced to vote them out of office for “weakness on defense,” and so, while not excusing them (consider the willingness of Robert Kennedy to confront voters on their false memes) the ultimate responsibility falls on the voters themselves.

            It just reinforces the need for an educated electorate. Maybe (but not!) Harvey Mansfield (celebrating his 80th birthday and 50th year at Harvard), ultra conservative who hints that the mass of voters are not qualified to select the people who run the government and that the government should be run by an “elite” as Plato proposed. It all comes down to why Americans have a longheld dislike of “elites’ but not enough education, at least initially, on issues to select the people who can carry out the best policy.

            But as many have said, the American people like to try everything before settling on what is “best.” Let us all hope there is time to recover from the damage done by all the wrong turns.

          • Matthew J Hall

            Proud to be a Vermonter where we have a level headed congressional rep that consistently voted against the Patriot Act – http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-blames-congressional-support-patriot-act-verizonnsa-snooping.html

    • Jasoturner

      Orwell was prescient, for sure.

    • Eric_Duncan

      The concept of the Panopticon is older than Orwell. And very much what London and the US are stating to resemble

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        starting to?

    • alsordi

      Troubling but not surprising, Dianne Feinstein has her hand prints all over this secret program.  Aside from disarming all americans,  she is pointman for creating a virtual police state in the USA.

      And even worse, her pals in the Mossad, have likely tapped into the program and are scooping up defense secrets, business and banking information, and making a hit-list of all the pro-palestinian advocates in the world.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        she does not want to disarm all americans, i am sure she will still have her carry license

    • John_in_Amherst

      It is worth noting that this NSA overreach hit high gear during the Bush II years, when people fairly clamored for their privacy rights be abrogated in the name of the “War on Terror”. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        and we got naked scanners and drone strikes on americans under oboma and the nsa is right now building a huge facility to spy on us even more than they are now. not to mention gitmo is still open. bush and oboma are two peas in a freedom killing pod

        • John_in_Amherst

           The drone issue is more complex than you imply.  Is a guy like Awlacki (sp?), spewing invective to incite terrorists and planning killings here in the US while holed up in Yemen someone you want to go to bat for? 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i will “go to bat” against extrajudicial murder of any american citizen by the govt. we have rights that thousands have died to protect and you would toss them out? i hope oboma does not decide you are an enemy combatant and murder you.

          • John_in_Amherst

             If a murderer, self-confessed and unrepentant, goes on the lamb, does he still have full rights? 
            If I haul off to Yemen, convert to an ideology that advocates killing Americans, & start working toward that as a goal, then go into hiding so that I avoid any sort of judicial chance to air my opinions & reckoning to prove my innocence, I will have abdicated my “rights”, just as Awlacki did. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            1. yes, clearly
            2. nope

          • John_in_Amherst

             If someone holds a gun on me and I can shoot him before he shoots me, I will, and then be glad to let a court decide if I was justified.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            yes that is your individual right. ( thought you were on the anti gun side) when the govt wants to kill someone it must have a trial including a jury of ones peers. that is a good thing and should not be changed

          • John_in_Amherst

             I am not “anti gun”, or “pro gun”.  I am “responsible gun”, which to me includes universal back ground checking, requiring a license for all sales of guns & ammo, and eliminating military grade weapons in civilian hands.  I also consider myself a realist in that I believe that the world is a messy place in which self defense can come into conflict with the niceties of arrest and trial for every dangerous perp.  Mistakes will be made. and when they are, those who call the shot must pay.  Killing Awlacki was not a mistake.  He was not just offering a contrary or inconvenient opinion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            oh so the background checks will be “universal” so then gangbangers will be subject to them? “universal” background checks are a pipedream that sound good but are quite impossible to achieve and a realist i would think you would see that
            “military grade” weapons are fully automatic and fully automatic weapons are only available to the wealthy or connected under current law. maybe you have a different defintion of “military grade weapons”
            john how do you know the things about awlacki? how can we know what he did if no evidence has been presented to a jury of his peers? or do you just trust this govt which spys and lies implicitly?

          • John_in_Amherst

             look at and listen to Alawki on youtube.
            yes, criminals will skirt the laws.  So we should eliminate laws? 
            Military weapons (as opposed to household defense or hunting) are those designed to kill humans as fast as possible, and involve features like easy break-down for concealment, laser sights, high capacity magazines, rounds that are designed to shatter on impact or pierce body armor, full or semi-auto action, etc., and much of this stuff is common currency at gun shows.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            don’t want to be on that list for sure. i dont care about any youtube videos if the government wants to kill someone they need to convict them of a crime in a court.
            as a realist we should make realistic laws. universal background checks are clearly not realistic.
            easy break down for concealment? rifles that breakdown are for hiking and backpacking like this one:
            http://www.ruger.com/products/1022Takedown/models.html
            are you saying we should ban that gun?
            what military weapon has that feature?
            laser sights are available for every self defense pistol and i don’t think the military uses them at all. it would be foolish to have a visable laser sight in a military use because it would give away your position. you do not want “civilains”( i like to refer to the people of the USA as “citizens”) to be able to hit what they are shooting at?
            are you for banning laser sights then?
            so the standard capacity 30 round magizines are cool then? high capicity magizines like drum magazines are prone to jamming and almost never used in crimes so why should we ban them?
            as far as i know the teflon coated bullets are already banned.
            so you are in favor of banning all semi automatic guns? even revolvers? i guess you do want to ban that 10/22 up there. whats left after you ban all that stuff? sounds like you want to ban all my guns while the gangbangers have access to anything they please. how should my wife defend herself from those gangbangers?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            not to mention we have a right in america to spew whatever we like. as a person who likes to exercise my right to spew i most certianly will defend that right

          • John_in_Amherst

             I am obviously all for the right to spew.  But with rights come responsibilities.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            we also have a right not to be killed by the govt without a trial if we use our other rights irresponsibly

          • John_in_Amherst

            We have the right to engage in political discourse.  We do not have a right to incite violence or plot murder.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            let me know when he gets convicted of either of those accusations in a court with a jury of his peers

          • John_in_Amherst

             suggest you check some of the numerous Alawki videos on Youtube

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            yeah, like i want to be on that list. if there is a such a strong case let the govt make it, in a court of law. is a scumbag alleged terrorist worth scrapping our civil rights?

          • John_in_Amherst

             Oh, I’m sure Alawki would have been glad to appear in court after being served a summons…  I’m all for due process and rule of law.  I’m also realistic about how the world works, and it is often not well-ordered or pretty.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            do you get that we must protect our rights even when we do not like the people whose rights are being violated? if they can find him to murder him with a drone they can find him to arrest him and make him stand trial. if he is guilty he should be easy to convict in a court of law

          • John_in_Amherst

             Right.  Extracting Awlaki from a Qaeda stronghold in Yemen would have been a real cake-walk…. I’m all for the Patrick Henry notion of defending to the death the right of people to say stuff I wholeheartedly oppose.  And if what they are saying is “kill the infidel Americans where ever they can be found”, I’m all for shooting first and asking questions later

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            to your first point i would think extracting some smuck who most people there have never heard of from yemen would be a heck of a lot easier than extracting saddam hussain from iraq, yet we did that fairly easily without even being justified in doing so.
             you are a hipocrite. you either believe in the american way or you don’t. you are like the person who asks of defense lawyers “how can you defend that guy?” they defend them because thats the american way and its the right thing to do.
            you may not like it but you just said the same thing he said, and the govt just read you said it, dont try to deny you said it we all saw it on the internet that you said it, i hope when they drone you i am not next door as these drone strikes kill a lot of neighbors, wives and children also but i guess we can all question that later if there is anyone alive who is not afraid to question.

          • John_in_Amherst

             “extracting” Sadam resulted in 4000+ Americans dead, and countless more Iraqis.  Had we had a drone capable of taking him out, I’d would have thought that was a good deal, even if he wouldn’t have stood trial.
            The American way?  It is to profess a bunch of ideals, try to live by them as much as possible, and recognize that sometimes we can’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            yeah but thank god we prevented him from unleashing youtube videos. you say this guy made some offensive youtube videos,  are you suggesting that the right thing to do is for the government to murder people without trials for making videos?
            we have a bill of rights, the right thing to do is to follow it.
            there is never any reason for us not to because doing so even a little invalidates the whole thing. we either have rights or we dont, we dont just have them when its convienient.
            frankly with all your anitamerican speech lately i am surprised you have not been vaporised by a drone yet

        • John_in_Amherst

           Also worth mentioning that when Obama tried to close Gitmo, he was specifically prevented from doing it by the GOP passing laws to prevent incarcerating & trying those “enemy combatants” in the US, and no other country has been willing to harbor many of the prisoners who remain there. 
          Also, The “naked scanners” were installed under Bush II , and are now being taken out of service.
          The mantle of saint slipped from Obama’s shoulders long ago.  He cautioned voters before he was elected that he was not as liberal as many of his most ardent supporters hoped.   That said, I, too, am disappointed that change has been so difficult.  Why do we have to elect mere mortals?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            if oboma made as big a deal about gitmo as he did healthcare he could have got it done in his first term when he had majorities in both houses.
            a few were installed in 2008, the rest since, they are not getting rid of them just changing the image they display. they have not even considered changes to the nut touching program. BTW McGovern supports the TSA nut touching and porno schemes
            i am pretty disappointed in oboma too

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-MC/69207889 Matt MC

    I used this topic for one of my critical thinking courses, and I found that most of my students were non-nonplussed about the whole affair. There were a few staunch supporters of privacy, but most said, “I don’t do anything wrong, so I don’t care,” or, “The government is just going to do what it wants, so why should I care?” I sincerely hope this is an anomaly. When did we become so nonchalant about losing our freedoms? 

    • Jasoturner

      Why would you view this as an anomaly?  It seems clear that Americans have willingly sacrificed their privacy rights out of fear and/or ignorance.  I suspect you are going to see a trend where individuals who are appalled by the growing American monitoring state begin to distance themselves from electronic communications and transactions to any extent practical.

      Of course, those who attempt to opt out of the system will become suspect for precisely this reason.

    • J__o__h__n

      Americans in general trade their privacy for security.  People under 25, value their privacy even less.  They voluntarily disclose their current location via facebook aps constantly.  Some fools even post videos of themselves engaged in criminal acts. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        the illusion of security

        • J__o__h__n

          good point

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      sometime around the time they started touching our junk.

  • Ed75

    This week a young girl needed a lung transplant to survive. Secretary Sibelius denied putting the girl on the adult lung transplant list. There were a lot of reasons to deny the request, but it was still inhuman. (A judge allowed it.) And she, a proponent of abortion, late-term abortion, and even not helping infants born alive, will be in charge of deciding who gets what care under Obamacoverage. Good luck!

    About Susan Rice, wow, talk about sticking one’s finger in someone’s eye!

    • 1Brett1

      Ed, that really puts an inaccurate spin on the story. It also takes a complex issue and reduces it to it’s most simplistic form, and also demonizes a person in the process, all so you can further espousing your ideology/religiosity? Seems sort of a most despicable form of judgment. 

      Will you later condemn the judge should our donor system become corrupted as a result of this precedent? There is a distinct possibility that this sort of thing could establish a precedent that unravels protocol and suitability hierarchy in our organ donor system. If someone else gets booted out of line because of this who is also deserving, is that fair? The whole system is designed to follow a dispassionate, unemotional protocol of waiting, as it should be. The whole idea of winners and losers, as far as organ donations goes, is unfair on a certain level; developing rules, protocols and waiting lists based on dispassionate criteria is the only way the system can function with some semblance of fairness. If people can just take matters to court and win based on how cute the patient is, some ugly adult who needs a transplant is at a distinct disadvantage.   

      It makes one feel good to see a cute little girl get moved to the top of the organ donor list because we love our children and they are truly innocent. She is in the end stages of cystic fibrosis…her prognosis isn’t very good even with a lung transplant. While we as human beings are inclined toward hope, and we value the quality of having hope, someone else has potentially been denied his/her hope by this judges order.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        At some point isn’t asking a person with Ed’s um, “peculiar outlook” re reproductive health, fetal vitality, et a whole bunch of other als, about who should and should not get a transplant simply giving him enough room to show off his shortcomings?

      • Ed75

        Well, those are reasons.

        But the point is that Kathleen Sebelius is a monster. She was asked by her bishop (Catholic) in Kansas not to receive Communion because of her pro-abortion politics. When she kept presenting herself for Communion, her bishop ex-communicated her.

        So she is a radical pro-abortion person who is going to be making decisions on what health care we can get under Obamacoverage. Not good.

        • 1Brett1

          All you’ve described is how much the Catholic Church acts like a group of bullies

    • J__o__h__n

      Why did god give her lungs that didn’t work? 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        why do you think?

      • 1Brett1

        Gays in San Francisco? 

      • Ed75

        Illnesses are one of the effects of Original Sin. All of creation was damaged. We do the best to correct what we can. Also, as Jesus said when asked why a man was born blind, he said ‘It is to show the glory of God’.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Please read what this man has said.

    Lindsey Graham is an elected official that has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which includes, of course, our Bill of Rights. This man needs to resign, immediately ! It appears that these politician are too busy fighting partisan politics to uphold our Constitutional Rights. These politicians are taking McCarthyism to new levels. Instead of trying to single out “subversives” they are accusing all Americans of being subversive candidates. In reality they, themselves, have become the subversives by choosing to ignore our obvious Constitutional Rights. They are colluding with corporations that have been granted the moniker, “people” by the Supreme Court. These “people” must also be held to account for “High Crimes” against our country.

    http://barticles.blogs.timesdispatch.com/2013/06/06/lindsey-grahams-latest-loopiness/

    ————-

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/graham-nrc-phone-records/2013/06/06/id/508494

     
     

    • John_in_Amherst

       I agree totally with you that the pols in DC are too consumed with partisan bickering and jockeying for position to govern effectively.  It is the essence of a politician’s job to seek compromises, and there are precious few in Washington who are doing their job.
       
      I share little common ground with Senator Graham politically, but I agree with him, at least in part on the NSA flap.  Like him, I do not care if “traffic patterns” on the web are monitored, IF that is all that the NSA is doing.  But that is a big if.  It strains credulity to think the actual content of web traffic is not also at least being “sampled”.

      If we want to be truly free in regard to our web usage, we must be willing to accept a level of risk (that terrorists & others are using the web for nefarious purposes).  I fear that most Americans are more than willing to trade freedom for security, and as Franklin pointed out, this results in our having neither.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I would like the listeners of the program to define the word, “terrorist”. Sure we all know what a “terrorist” is when a soldier is beheaded or a bomb goes off but I ask you to pause, I mean really pause and reflect. Does one become a terrorist when they choose to believe differently from yourself, or are you a “terrorist” when you march on Washington ? Are you a “terrorist” if you open an overseas tax avoidance account ? Are you a “ terrorist” if you take your company’s American production off shore ? Further, if you are abusing these overseas workers are you now a “terrorist” on this foreign soil ? If you are an American company doing business overseas are you a “terrorist” if you are moving your money in and out of foreign currencies and thereby indirectly affecting the value of the currency that is US Treasury issued ? If you are a company doing business in the US and you have offered a 401K to your employees whose money is invested in other companies that are working to eliminate, by various means, the very jobs of the employees investing in these 401K’s, are you a terrorist ? Are you a terrorist if you file for bankruptcy protection but leave your employee pension plans in the red, while allowing others in management to walk away with millions ? I could go on but I think this is enough to keep you busy for awhile.
    Really ! I need an actual, well defined definition.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      if the president blows you up with a drone you must have been a terrorist

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Let’s assume for a moment that secret surveillance has, as been asserted, averted possible “terrorists” attacks and that this method of surveying, that is, analyzing all phone and internet traffic, is effective in preventing a terrorist act. Then we are now compelled to ask how the Chinese were able to hack into our defense networks and defense contractors and STEAL defense secrets ! Supporters of this system claim that “it” is the answer to avert attacks on our soil. After all, we now know where the calls came from and to whom they were sent, right? Then why have we not declared war on the Chinese ? Do we not have accurate intel as where the stolen information went ?
    Let me rephrase, please. A major military threat, has stolen military secrets as well as large amounts of trade and patent secrets that could be used to destroy the vast majority of the US population and the contents of all contained within its’ borders and we have done nothing but continue to focus on rogue Islamic threats ? Is this a rehash of the 911 playbook?
    Focus attention on another country, Iraq, even though, all members on the planes that attacked were Saudi ? Slight of hand ? Redirection ?
    Of course, we also have to ask about drug trafficking, don’t we ? I mean if ALL phone calls are being tracked, where why aren’t drug king pins falling like rain during a hurricane ? Don’t they finance terrorist ?
    Oh, wait, wait, I see. We just choose the saleable bogyman. So sorry to question the motives of our leaders. I know now that “they” know best and are only concerned about my welfare. Can you forgive me ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they only arrest the kingpins if they are not working with the CIA

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    I wish to warmly welcome all the new Tea Party members.  What ever you did before will be forgotten Past insults are forgiven.  You have demonstrated great character in shaking yourselves free from previous positions that you now realize are mistaken.  Now we must redouble our effort to build the America that is worthy of the sacrifices of those that struggled before us.  We work to give the coming generations an America that more perfectly embodies our pledge:

    With Liberty and Justice for ALL!

    Now get busy, there is much to do.    

    • J__o__h__n

      What does this have to do with this week’s news?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        After reading comments about how disappointed some are in our president, and how little faith they have in the character of those in elected office, and how troubled they are by these unconstitutional actions by the Federal government, I was moved.  In my role as Chief Evangelist of the Worcester Tea Party it seemed the appropriate response.  

        • jefe68

          I’m disappointed with entire government.
          I loath the tea party more however. You hide behind the flag and make a lot of noise about taking your country back. 
          As if it was yours to take back. 

          • Acnestes

             Amen!

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            IF you can keep your head when all about you
            Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
            If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
            But make allowance for their doubting too;
            If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
            Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
            Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
            And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

            I accept your loathing, I refuse to reciprocate it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          worcester, it figures

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            How so?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i am from worcester, just busting your balls. you are not that guy who goes to all the cannabis hearings on beacon hill are you?
            i am starting to think we should split Ma in to two states and worcester can be the capital of western ma

      • jefe68

        Free advertising? Mr. Tea Party is feeling so, so entitled these days. 

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Not just these days…

    • John_in_Amherst

       How about giving the following generations an environment that is not overheated, depleted of species, and awash with pollution?  Oh, wait, that might mean curtailing corporate profits and restricting individual freedoms to do as one pleases… 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        which of my individual freedoms need to be restricted for envirionmental reasons?  i really do not want my kids to live in a world where they are not free.

        • John_in_Amherst

           Some choices preclude other choices.  Example:  A (small) partial solution to reducing energy consumption (and the pollution that goes with it) means switching from the incandescent light bulb to more efficient LEDs or CF bulbs, but the teaparty, under the leadership of Michele Bachmann, saw mandating this switch as an infringement of personal choice, and tried to pass a bill to prevent mandating a switch.  Less banal examples abound, like CAFE standards, regulating fracking, etc.  The old ways of doing business, environmentally speaking, are not appropriate, and laws that drag everyone along toward a more sustainable future WILL restrict freedoms.  Just like you are no longer free to use leaded gas or discharge your sewerage into waterways.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            if i want to pay to light my house with 100w bulbs i should be able to.( if you use solar power who would care if you used 1000w bulbs?) i bought a bunch because thats the best thing for the bathroom. plus they dont have all that mercury. i dont know that sewage disposal in public waterways is an individual liberty. fracking is also not an individual liberty issue. you are free to use leaded gas, the car makers are not free to produce cars that use leaded gas, thats fine.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Your energy consumption decisions DO involve things like the public atmosphere and drinking water, and I’m all for legislative curbs on profligate use that endangers me and the rest of the environment.  The “free market price” of using a 100 watt bulb is not accurately reflected in your electric bill, just as fossil fuel use generally doe not reflect the costs its use imposes on the environment – costs that will be paid by future generations.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            unless i have a solar panal or a windmill or buy my power from a nuclear or biomass plant. do you leave your bathroom light on all the time?

          • John_in_Amherst

            Using nuclear power as an example here is pretty silly.  The cost of cleaning up the nuclear accidents &  waste that has piled up without a proper storage facility since the 1940′s will prove to be astronomical, and NEVER figures in the discussion of the cost of nuclear power.  Can you say “Hanford”? “Chernobyl”? “Fukashima”?  And these are just the headliners.  Every nuke produces wastes that will eventually need to be dealt with and paid for. The jury is still out on biomass – the current scheme of burning anything to produce electricity has the same fundamental problem – CO2 production. 

          • John_in_Amherst

            Using nuclear power as an example here is pretty silly.  The cost of cleaning up the nuclear accidents &  waste that has piled up without a proper storage facility since the 1940′s will prove to be astronomical, and NEVER figures in the discussion of the cost of nuclear power.  Can you say “Hanford”? “Chernobyl”? “Fukashima”?  And these are just the headliners.  Every nuke produces wastes that will eventually need to be dealt with and paid for. The jury is still out on biomass – the current scheme of burning anything to produce electricity has the same fundamental problem – CO2 production. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            those are all old reactors, the new reactors are very safe and  process their own waste and our current supply of nuclear fuel comes from russian nukes so i would rather get energy from them than leave them in russia leaking or being sold on the black market. eventually we will be able to use all of the “waste” and it will be valuable fuel just like gasoline. originally gasoline was a waste product.

            biomass is a closed loop as long as its organic and produces no net CO2
            so do you leave your bathroom lights on all the time?

          • John_in_Amherst

            Ya, ya, ya.  Nuke power too cheap to meter… Where have I heard that one… nuke waste includes not just spent fuel, but the material byproducts of fuel production and the nuke itself, after it is closed.  And the radioactivity already out there is not a local phenomenon.  Hanford nuclides are threatening the Columbia River aquifer, Fukushima cesium is already being detected in the fish & waters off the US, radioactive dust from uranium mine tailings is still blowing around the US southwest.
            “Safe nukes”, CO2 capture and “closed loop biomass” are still science fantasy. 
            No I don’t leave the bathroom light on.  Every bit of conservation is helpful.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i keep my bathroom lights off most of the time so there would be almost no difference if i switched to a more efficient bulb. i like bright incandescent light in there. its not like i am charging a hybrid car, that takes a lot of juice. thats why we should be able to choose what works best for us.
            yup those old plants were flawed. uranium is a naturally occuring mineral in the southwest so it is going to blow around out there to some degree.
            organic biomass is 100% closed loop. grow a plant it absorbs CO2, burn it and it releases the same amount. closed loop, simple. whats fantastical about that?
            now can you explain why i cant use as much solar or wind power as i like?

          • John_in_Amherst

             Did you make those old nukes disappear by magic?  There is a lot more uranium blowing around the Southwest (especially on Navajo land) thanks to our mining it irresponsibly.  Wind & solar?  Go for it!

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            sort of, they use the warheads to make fuel rods. my brother woked for the epa for a while and had to visit the radioactive navajos, it was quite interesting. there are a lot of different ways to do things we need to be free to choose what we think it best

          • John_in_Amherst

             As for containing nuke wastes:  The half life of plutonium is 24,000yrs.  The target for “safe containment” (including the residuals left in old nukes) is considered to be 10 half-lives’ worth, or 240,000 yrs.  10 half lives means the amount of plutonium remaining is “only” 1 – 1024th of what was initially present.  So in a nuke where there may be TONS of plutonium involved, after 10 half lives there will still be scores, or even hundreds of pounds of plutonium still remaining, albeit diluted somewhat by its decay products.  That is still enough to poison the entire planet.  Now consider cycles of glaciation.  The northern hemisphere has seen several periods of glaciation in 240,000 years.  And no matter how we reinforce the containment buildings for nukes, they would be no match for the force of glaciation even now, let alone after 240,000 years or aging.  So we are setting the stage for massive plutonium releases in the distant but foreseeable future.  But then why worry? eh?  Humans will no doubt be out of the picture by then… A couple European countries are taking steps to contain radioactive waste in glass, then bury it deep underground.  Every other country, including the US is basically taking the “screw the future” approach.  Our generation will be the subject of future myths, memorialized for our selfishness and stupidity.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy
      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Chicken little environmentalism and corporate boogeymen, is that what you think the Tea Party movement is about? You left out the racism and John Waters references. Do what you feel you must to save the future and I will do what I must.

        http://youtu.be/mkz9AQhQFNY

        • John_in_Amherst

           I wish it was ONLY about those things.  Throw in regressive social policy, maintaining the entitlements of middleclass white men, gun right nuttiness, etc. and you start approaching what I think is wrong- headed with the teapartiers.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Funny how almost all the bi-curious sorts got away from the Tea Party some four years ago.

            It seemed like a decent idea, then a black Democrat was elected to the White House, and almost everyone who isn’t the cliche (you forgot Christian fundies, by the way) got while the getting was good.

          • nj_v2

            And you’ll note that one has look long and hard to find any “serious” TPer like RWB to disavow or repudiate any of those positions.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    RS managers apologized Thursday for the lavish spending that included tens of thousands of dollars for a “Star Trek” parody training video and an artist who painted portraits of Michael Jordan and Albert Einstein. But they defended the extravagant conferences, including the 2010 event in Anaheim, Calif., saying they didn’t violate IRS rules at the time.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/irs-apologizes-for-lavish-conference-spending-plastic-fish/article/2531349

  • John_in_Amherst

    Let me get this straight…. The NSA can eavesdrop on everyone in the world who is using the web, but it can’t foil Chinese hackers who are stealing our most important military secrets?  This isn’t adding up…
     

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It does seem curious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      its all about priorities

      • John_in_Amherst

         Or there is more to this story.  If this reflects our priorities, they are FUBAR.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i have not been able to recognize them for a while. they  do make sense when you consider that the govt works for internaional corporations and billionaires

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    In 2011, Acting Assistant Attorney General Todd Hinnen relied on the same misleading numbers when he told the House Judiciary Committee that “on average, we seek and obtain section 215 orders less than 40 times per year.” Congressman James Sensenbrenner rightly took Hinnen to task today for juking the stats. “The Department’s testimony left the Committee with the impression that the Administration was using the business records provision sparingly and for specific materials,” Sensenbrenner writes. “The recently released FISA order, however, could not have been drafted more broadly.”

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/nsa-numbers/

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    When the G8 world leaders fly into Northern Ireland for their major summit there on June 17, they will see a vista of progress that has been created to deceive them.
    According to Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, local councils have hired workers to paint fake shop fronts stocked with attractive but illusory produce.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Fake-villages-will-greet-President-Obama-and-other-G8-world-leaders-in-Fermanagh-210211231.html#ixzz2VXEuBnqE 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      ireland is doing great they are the tax shelter for manufacturing for many big corporations

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Fact: Over the past few weeks, four major scandals have broken over the Obama administration, and it is a very sad (and frightening) truth that our pathetic, American, lapdog mainstream media are not responsible for breaking even a single one.
    Verizon?  Nope, not our guys. That was the Brits over at The Guardian.
    IRS? Nope, not our guys. The IRS broke their own scandal with a planted question.
    The Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records? Nope, not our guys. Believe it or not, the Associated Press didn’t even break that story. Like the IRS, we only found out because the Justice Department outteds itself in a letter notifying the AP of what it had done.
    Benghazi? Are you kidding. With a couple of rare exceptions (Jake Tapper, Sharyl Attkisson) the media have spent the last eight months attacking those seeking the truth (Congress, Fox News)–not seeking the truth. It was the GOP congress that demanded the email exchanges concerning the shaping of the talking points, not the media.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/06/06/Mainstream-Media-Did-Not-break-Even-One-of-Four-Obama-Scandals

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Start with “fact”, end with…Breitbart?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I think we have covered this before, You don’t like Breitbart.  OK I’ll file that one. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I don’t like Breitbart?

          Yeah, me and anyone who cares about real journalism.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You and your “real” friends. Gotcha, Thanks for the insight.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hey, you keep posting from that cow-turd’s site, I’ll keep calling you on it.

            If you don’t like it, find sources that don’t stink.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I like it just fine.  If you don’t like my sources it convinces me that they have merit.  I was concerned that you were in getting into a rut.  

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hahaha.

            Breitbart.

      • hennorama

        Good ol’ DullLisa.

  • Coastghost

    Following a report from WSJ, intrepid NPR reporters might want to track down Carter Hull, a DC-based IRS attorney who seems to’ve helped direct the Cincinnati office in its harassment of tea-party groups. Mr Hull seems to have drafted letters and suggested the kinds of probing questions that even the Cincinnati IRS staff found unsettling. Again: Mr Hull is based in the District of Columbia, not in Cincinnati, which shows plainly the harassment policy was not formulated in the Cincinnati office. (Mr Hull was not available to WSJ reporters for comment, but surely caring and sympathetic NPR reporters could get him to be forthcoming, since it’s clear now NPR has cultivated a close relationship with THE GUARDIAN, and we know how concerned THE GUARDIAN is with government transparency.)
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324069104578527713122409302.html

    • toc1234

      the media are a bunch of Obama lap-dogs.  Loius Lerner takes the 5th, Hull won’t surface to comment and the WH won’t turn over the details of why IRS head Schuler visited (or was scheduled to visit) the WH 157 times.  And no one except WSJ and Fox seems to care.  Contrast the coverage w the Libby/Plame affair…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Obama lap dogs? Hahahaha.

        Not surprising you are trying to gloss over “IRS Head Schuler visited—I mean was cleared to visit”.

        Bill O’Reilly repeated that crap talking point (157 visits!!!1!!one!) du jour and got his ass handed to him by…Diane Sawyer? Lester Holt?

        Oh, that’s right: Nobody.

        You’ve lain down with dogs, and we can see you scratching the fleas. WSJ and Fox are the only two people crying wolf, I’ll take my chances with whatever animals are out there.

      • northeaster17
    • TomK_in_Boston

      Oh, the poor tea party geezers. What a non event.

      I constantly hear from the right that all the terrorists are muslims, so it’s only “political correctness” that keeps us from targeting them at airports etc.

      Now we have a situation where there was an overwhelming volume of TeaOP political groups lying about being “social welfare” organizations, and we’re told how horrible it is that they were targeted. LOL, has the right adopted liberal “political correctness”?

      If 90% of the fraudulent claims come from groups with “tea” in the name, the only reason not to use “tea” in a keyword search is “political correctness”. Right, righties? Remember your TP about muslims.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        TomK you seem so agitated today, take another sip of the Koolaid and you will feel better.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          The internet is a good place for the long-term unemployed to kill some time, eh?

          The RWB doll: You wind it up once, and it pees on itself all day.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Why do you think I don’t have a job?  And what is your fascination with bodily functions?

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit.
    EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse — used for inventory storage — is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year.

    http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2013/06/secret-man-caves-found-epa-warehouse/64202/?oref=govexec_today_nl

    • jefe68

      I notice that it was contrators, who are not government employees.

  • MrNutso

    Since 9/11, I have assumed that the government is listening to my phone conversations, reading my email and my DISQUS posts at On Point.  If you read Tim Weiner’s excellent books on the FBI and the CIA, you’ll see that this has been going on for decades.

    • Ray in VT

      Based upon some of the work that my company requires me to do, it has sort of been an assumption of mine that those activities have brought me to the attention of some program in the government.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        how do you feel about that?

        • Ray in VT

          It doesn’t bother me in the sense that I’m not breaking any laws or up to anything nefarious, although I don’t really like that sort of “well, I’ve got nothing to hide” approach.  I can see how people engaging in the sorts of activities that my company’s customers want to research could be up to something, so there could be a legitimate security justification to watch members associated with such groups.  I think that the government should be searching for information about potentially dangerous individuals or groups, but I guess that the question is how to best go about that without intruding upon the lives of those who not engaging in criminal or terrorist activities.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i think that becomming a free and open society is the best way in the long run to have security and liberty

          • Ray in VT

            True, but we cannot ignore that the are actors, both foreign and domestic, who can and have sought to carry out substantial attacks upon our civilian populations.  We ignore such threats at our own peril.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i will worry about realistic threats, like sharks and lightning

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    the nsa is spying on all of us? who knew?

    • John_in_Amherst

      Shortly after 9/11, the framework for the NSA interception of web traffic was common knowledge.  Funny how it is just now heating up to “scandal”…  No politics here, no!

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i think most people are in denial. i have been called all sorts of things when i pointed out that the govt is spying on all of us all the time. maybe now they will get past the dissonance but i doubt it

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    The “Mainstream Media” is but a shell of its former self. There’s no such thing as Investigative Reporting and it’s not uncommon to see the exact same stories appear in different publications, word for word. Facts, opinions, supposition, innuendos, rumors, all become blended into our newscasts making it impossible for anyone to learn the truth. And from this we decide who we elect to lead us? No wonder Congress is so dysfunctional. Truth has gone from objective to subjective and is a matter of “opinion” rather than fact.

  • brettearle

    Why can’t the ACLU challenge the wide-spread NSA monitoring in Court–as a kind of Citizens’ Class Action suit?

    While that would likely not be the appropriate initiative, exactly, I am surprised that the ACLU is not on this, with legal action.

    • Ray in VT

      The class action approach would be interesting, and it would theoretically get around proving standing, but I don’t know if such a thing would fly in court.

      • brettearle

        Right.

        But at least a formal gesture would send a significant message.

    • MrNutso

      The biggest problem with challenging monitoring and laws is standing.  You have to prove that you have been harmed.  Since, you can’t really proved you’re being spied on without the spying agency confirming it, which they won’t, you have no standing.

      • brettearle

        I don’t know the legal subtleties, to judge your comment.

        Are you saying that a statute cannot be challenged on Constitutional Grounds–unless an aggrieved party has been so violated, as, say, Dredd Scott?

        `No-Standing’ litigation is NEVER initiated? 

        Why can’t the NSA be compelled, theoretically, to reveal records that pertain to innocents (those who aren’t charged or who likely never will be charged)?

      • hennorama

        It’s the perfect circular logic – one cannot access the secret info to prove one is being harmed by the collection of the secret info.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          arent secret courts and laws grand??

        • brettearle

          henn–

          So often, there are potential workarounds, loopholes, and technicalities, in Law, in Legal Procedure, and with Legal interpretations.

          [One obvious example, of so many, is the improper procurement of incriminating evidence, without probable cause....]

          In a faintly similar way, the ACLU, making an `Attempt’ at jurisprudence, might go a long way in fomenting political influence against this sort of blanket policy by any Administration…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they are all over it. join up and send them some money, they need it there are alot if assaults to our civil liberties these days.
      then go and sign this
      https://www.aclu.org/secure/stop-massive-spying-program

  • John_in_Amherst

    Shortly after 9/11, the framework for the NSA interception of web
    traffic was common knowledge.  Funny how it is just now heating up to
    “scandal”…  No politics here, no!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    WHY is this  NSA work a huge surprise? GWB started it. It has been ongoing ever since.

    The difference is Obama is sending requests to look at the data to the courts as was presumably required but skipped over by GWB.

    • jefe68

      Sorry, but the NSA is not legally allowed to look at domestic phone, internet or any other records for that matter. And it was a secret court, not quite transparent.

      President Obama and his administration is fast losing any credibility, and some say (NY Time Editorial board) that he has lost it.

      • la bibliotequetress

        Actually, the NSA charter(s) as updated since 1971 does not restrict the NSA from looking at domestic communications records, only from eavesdropping/surveilling. They can look at who you called, but they cannot listen extensively to that conversation without either a FISA warrant or getting the FBI involved.

        Unfortunately for internet privacy, in Rehberg v. Paulk the court determined that even emails lose most privacy protections once made privy to a third party.  This leads to the wisdom behind “don’t drunk email your ex.” And in US v. Warshak, the court determined that while you do have a right to privacy, a warrant can be granted to search your emails. This would necessarily include a FISA warrant.

        In decision after decision, internet privacy decisions have come down more on the side of lack of protection rather than for protection. The protections are very specific, not general. 

        I am not endorsing the NSA’s actions, just pointing out that so far as I have read, no one has provided evidence yet that the NSA has done anything illegal.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          How can we provide evidence, if everything is secret ?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i think you might be starting to turn the corner

  • Omaha Guy

    This is pure revenge by Mr. Rupert Murdoch and his handlers.

    When Newscorp entities in the UK were caught snooping they were deeply embarrassed by the rest of the press, and government prosecution.

    Now, a Murdoch property has revealed the inner workings of surveillance by the US govt.

    This is a huge problem because Mr. Murdoch has to keep his handlers in Beijing happy in order to stay a player in the world’s largest media market.

    • Coastghost

      Misinformation or disinformation? THE GUARDIAN is NOT a Murdoch property, never has been. Guardian Media Group is its owner.

      • StilllHere

        Don’t interrupt this guy’s alternate reality with facts.

      • Omaha Guy

        Hi, this is embarrassing.   In my suspicion of all things Murdoch, I slandered the Guardian. 

        I apologize.

  • alsordi

    Rule of thumb regarding the many many top secret agencies of the USA. 
    ” If it is physically possible for them to anything in their power… they are already doing it. “

  • Ellen Dibble

    Do I feel worse about Verizon harvesting all my info, or about the government?  I assume the assembling of what I do online creates the time-saving prompts that make online life easier.  I suppose it also saves the FBI and CIA a huge amount of hassle from people like me who might see something a little suspicious and have to evaluate for ourselves, decide where to direct that, and then they can evaluate and integrate it all.  I think it’s faster to have the information at the top, with the rules for the FISA board to decide when to go beyond statistics.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope someone can explain why three women on the Supreme Court sided against collecting DNA evidence.  To me, if a woman is raped, she wants a database to immediately reveal the name of the perpetrator, if at all possible, so the deeper the database the better.   Knee-jerk of me, I know, but there it is.

    • J__o__h__n

      Because they value privacy rights.  Citizens who are not convicted of crimes should not be part of a DNA database. 

      • Ellen Dibble

        But the government already knows my name, date of birth, how much I earn, where I live, on and on and on.  With my passport they even have a photo. If they had my DNA too, maybe someday when some plague is ravaging around the world, they can say people with factor X in their DNA need Y sort of vaccination or medicine, a sort of “recall” notice based on DNA profiling. Maybe?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          or the next time they want to round up and imprison a certian nationality or an ethinc group they will be able to make a handy list of such people. i say the next time because our govt has done this before

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            I had an uncle, a Pole, that was taken as a boy by the Nazis. He was forced to work for them. He was one of the lucky ones. His crime; Polish and Catholic.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i am very interested in things that tell about what it was like in germany before and during the war for the citizens there. from what i have seen there are many parallels to here and now. one interesting  one i saw was that they were feeding the people more and more synthetic things as the war went on like sawdust and such in the sausages. take a look around the supermarket shelves here and we are being fed all sorts of junk as well.

  • brettearle

    Senator Sanders could write my position papers on the NSA matter.

  • nj_v2

    Weekly jackassery sampling; delusional, sexist, Rethuglicon/right-wing edition:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/defund-acorn_n_3384060.html

    House Republicans To Defund ACORN Again, Even Though It Still Does Not Exist

    WASHINGTON — House Republicans are scheduled to vote on two separate budget bills this week, each of which would reject funding for the poverty activism group ACORN, despite the fact that ACORN disbanded three years ago.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/06/04/mississippi-governor-educational-troubles-began-when-mom-got-in-the-workplace/

    Mississippi governor: Educational troubles began when ‘mom is in the workplace’ — VIDEO

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said Tuesday that America’s educational troubles began when women began working outside the home in large numbers.

    Bryant was participating in a Washington Post Live event focused on the importance of ensuring that children read well by the end of third grade. In response to a question about how America became “so mediocre” in regard to educational outcomes, he said:

    I think both parents started working. And the mom is in the work place.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/05/30/four_out_of_ten_households_have_female_breadwinners_fox_news_responds_with.html

    Watch the Men of Fox News Freak Out Over Female Breadwinners

    Most of the time, conservatives pooh-pooh the pay gap as a result of women’s “choice” to work less and attend to the home more. They’re not against equality, they assure us, but equality just naturally fails on its own because women make it so! That ruse lasted right up until the announcement that four out of ten households with children now have a female breadwinner. So how did Fox News respond?  By gathering a panel of all male pundits to explain that, under no uncertain terms, the disappearance of male economic dominance signals the end of life as we know it.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/06/03-6

    Death By Bicycle and Other Totalitarian Schemes

    OMG. New York City is going down, helplessly destroyed by “the driven, ideological passions of its leader” and “the totalitarians running this city” and the “all-powerful enterprise” of the bike lobby and “the best neighborhoods being begrimed by these blazing blue bikes” and “shocking” and “autocratic” and “dangers” and OMG other feverish ballistic stuff too. The Wall Street Journal posted this insane rant on the city’s new bike-share program by editorial board member and venerable old wacko lady Dorothy Rabinowitz, who purports to speak “for the majority” – of what, she doesn’t specify – which is really all you need to know about where the Wall Street Journal is at these days. Gotta watch the video.

    • Ray in VT

      How about this one:

      Atheist Chaplains Would Call Fallen Soldiers ‘Worm Food,’ GOP Congressman Says (VIDEO)

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/atheist-chaplains-worm-food_n_3393122.html

      “They don’t believe anything,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) “I can’t imagine an atheist accompanying a notification team as they go into some family’s home to let them have the worst news if their life and this guy says, ‘You know, that’s it — your son’s just worms, I mean, worm food.’”

      “This I think would make a mockery of the haplaincy,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). “The last thing in the world we would want to see was a young soldier who may be dying and they’re at a field hospital and the chaplain is standing over that person saying to them, ‘If you die here, there is no hope for you in the future.’”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      TN GOP Congresscritter quotes Bible to cut SNAP funding while getting $3.5M in farm subsidies over 15 years.

      Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN) justifies SNAP cuts by quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.”

      This would be just another amusing/depressing example of an elected official ignoring a huge part of his constituency (about one in seven Americans rely on food stamps, though it’s one in five in Tennessee, the second highest rate in the South), were not Fincher himself a hypocrite.

      For the God-fearing Fincher is one of the largest recipients of USDA farm subsidies in Tennessee history; he raked in $3.48 million in taxpayer cash from 1999 to 2012, $70,574 last year alone.

      The average SNAP recipient in Tennessee gets $132.20 in food aid a month; Fincher received $193 a day.

      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/welfare-for-the-wealthy/

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      we have been hearing about a lot of, and excuse me because i am not sure what the correct term is, “bike violence” or “bike deaths” lately. bikes kill thats the bottom line and we have to do something!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You gotta check your media sources. Your “we have been hearing about a lot” and “it’s happened a lot” are two entirely different things.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          there have been two reports just about bike violence in boston on wbur alone. when you want to ban things the less you know the better. you need to think of the children. even if it would save only one life we must do it. why do you want children to die?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Gawd, your numbers are pathetic. How many people hit by cars today?

            Actually, don’t bother answering me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            no no you are losing focus its irrelevent the relative danger of things. facts dont matter either when you are thinking of children. bikes kill people and we have to do something!!

  • Ellen Dibble

    According to Wikipedia, Susan Rice plays basketball, by the way.  “She played point guard in basketball and directed the offense, acquiring the nickname Spo, short for “Sportin’.”   Never say she isn’t tall enough.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Ashbrook: are you characterizing the Supremes’ DNA decision correctly? Accord. to what I read, the OK to swab for DNA follows a citizen’s being charged with a “serious” crime (I didn’t read the decision itself: does that mean “felony”?) SCOTUS did not give police permission to collect DNA samples on everyone’s doorstep.

    • StilllHere

      Don’t hold your breath for a clarification.

  • brettearle

    If they’re going to insist on passing the DNA law, at LEAST they could put in a stipulation, whereby when someone is falsely accused of a serious crime, then his, or her, DNA fingerprints would be expunged.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      but that would be the right thing to do

  • nj_v2

    Obummer (et al.) then and now…

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/303941-obama-sponsored-bill-that-would-have-banned-verizon-snooping

    Obama sponsored bill that would have made Verizon order illegal

    President Obama co-sponsored legislation when he was a member of the Senate that would have banned the mass collection of phone records that his administration is now engaged in.
     
    The SAFE Act, introduced by former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), would have amended the Patriot Act to require that the government have “specific and articulable facts” to show that a person is an “agent of a foreign power” before seizing their phone records.
     
    The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee in 2005, but never received a vote. It had 15 co-sponsors in all, including then-Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who are now members of Obama’s Cabinet.Experts said the bill that Obama supported in the Senate would have prohibited the sweeping surveillance that has come to light at the National Security Agency (NSA).…

    (snipped)

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i wish he had made that a big deal instead of healthcare or guns. people might actually like him now

  • MacMillin

    Consumers should be allowed to break wireless contracts due to the lack of disclosure in agreements. 
    I doubt most would sign on to a service that stated we may allow the federal government to access you personal phone log without notification at any given time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      and thats why trac phones are so popular

      • MacMillin

        How do they work?

        • BHA_in_Vermont

           Presuming he means TracFone, no contract phone. You buy the phone (usually cheap and nothing near a smart phone) and buy minutes.

          There are no bills. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have no call logs. I would be surprised if they did not. I expect they analyze their customers’ usage patterns to set prices/ services, etc.

          • MacMillin

            thanks for the explanation! The new norm pretty much sucks although I am sure this has been the norm for quite sometime within the intelligence agencies.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            he left out that you can buy them with cash and then your name is not attached to it and the govt is in theory not allowed to trac the tracfones and then if you are really paranoid you can toss them out and get new ones frequently

  • ProfessorCook

    The terrorists have won!
    1.  We’re afraid to try them on US soil under our constitutional system.
    2.  We allow the government to spy on our own citizens without cause.
    3.  We incarcerate people and torture them without charging them with a crime or giving them any way at all to dispute those charges.
    4.  There are cameras everywhere and we can be tracked easily.

    When I was a boy, the USSR were the “bad guys” because they did this sort of thing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      when i was younger i learned how the stazi actually had vaults full of little pieces of fabric that they had collected individuals scents on so they could track them with dogs. that seemed like the height of an opressive police state. we have eclipsed that a hundred times over at theis point

    • nj_v2

      And what fuels all this? U.S. interventionist foreign policy which makes the world safe for corporate racketeering, thus benefiting the rich and powerful who pay for their political puppets. Round it goes…

      The “terrorists” regularly make it clear why they do what they do—U.S. occupation and intervention in, primarily, Middle Eastern countries; unconditional support of Israeli policies no matter how repressive; drone strikes killing innocent people; etc.; yet the corporate-whores keep telling us utter nonsense like, “They hate us for our freedoms.”

      Soon, even this will grow increasingly transparent as those imagined freedoms are increasingly eroded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    j edgar would be so proud

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    The last caller is indicative of what is wrong with America.  The I have nothing to hide excuse means those other people are bad.  Try being a black man so who it works then.

  • la bibliotequetress

    I never expected real privacy on line. Not that I’m jumping for joy that the NSA culls information from social media, but I never expected the privacy online that I expect in my bedroom or on my telephone calls.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they are listening to those calls

  • Yar

    A copy of your phone bill is your “papers” protected by the forth amendment.  The courts have it wrong.  Not only does the NSA looking at our bills they most likely have our location data.  That is much more invasive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they have all of that its defacto tracking of everyone. the court did rule that they cannot attach a gps to your car but now it seems like they can just track your phone so i dont know where it ends

  • nj_v2

    Holy cow! I agree with Antonin Scalia on something.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I appreciate Cordes’ point about polling wording affecting the numbers of a poll. This is especially important when polls are “headlined” into two or three meaningless words and one number I can see on a muted TV in the airport bar*.

    But have we been taking these polls since 9/11? And what do they trend over time?

  • Shag_Wevera

    Why not just collect our DNA at birth, and get it over with?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they have now changed it so that they will take peoples DNA when they are arrested not even convicted

    • jimino

       Maybe insert a GPS chip while we’re at it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        some people have a plan for that too but its an rfid chip

    • John_in_Amherst

       just wait…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joanie-Gentian/610374005 Joanie Gentian

    Um, growing up in the 50s and 60s here in small town New England with party lines and mothers who were the local “number please” telephone operators never hesitating to butt in on a private conversation………I have *never* felt that phone conversations were private and am totally unsurprised that the government is collecting this data.  Just sayin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      were those women federal agents?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Sorry David Sanger — Bush is neither a conservative or a ‘small’ government President.   Look at the record.

    • jefe68

      I’m sure he would disagree with you on the conservative meme.

    • J__o__h__n

      He asn’t an Edmund Burke conservative but he was certainly a conservative by contemporary Republican party standards. 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I think there is confusion because Bush is clearly a ‘social conservative’.  But he is also clearly a big government statist.  He showed little interest in balancing the budget or scaling back the massive expansion in government.  In fact, he did expand government. Exhibit A is the unfunded prescription drug program.

        • J__o__h__n

          None of them really care about balancing the budget.  They want to cut government to cut taxes and reduce regulatory oversight.  Other than the drugs and No Child Left Behind, everything he did was a Republican dream.  And the Republican House and Senate went along with it. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Don’t bother telling Sanger.

      Tell all your fellow conservatives who feted him at CPAC, the right-wing advocacy media who fluffed him, and all those hardcore militarists and “national security is the right’s winning issue” assumists, who enabled the stuff you decry.

      The right/conservatives/Republicans ignored history. They’ll repeat it. With a healthy dose of help from our mainstream press.

      You don’t get to pretend that about Shrub, now.

    • Ray in VT

      Considering that during the Reagan administration government spending and employment both increased substantially do you consider Reagan to be a conservative?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Reagan had one problem — a Democrat congress.

        • Ray in VT

          So it was someone else’s fault?  He signed the spending bills, didn’t he?

          • brettearle

            But Ray….you have to admit, he has a point about Bush II.

            I think that such a claim, about Bush II and Big Government, can be demonstrated.

            Shows ya how very well-respected journalists (I like Sanger a lot) can fall into the trappings of knee-jerk political assumptions, when waxing on, extemporaneously. 

          • Ray in VT

            Yup.  George W. Bush, I think, was a social but not a small government or fiscal conservative.  I’ve often wondered how those two groups of conservatives can get along, and, of course, sometimes they can’t.

          • brettearle

            They can get along, famously, when they are opposing the Schumers of the World.

          • Ray in VT

            Having someone else that one dislikes more often does help two (or more) people ignore whatever issues they might otherwise have.

          • brettearle

            The Enemy
              Of 
              My
            Enemy
              Is…..

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I remember a stronger, manlier, leadershiply Reagan. Apparently I remember wrong.

          • Ray in VT

            Do you remember the Reagan that raised taxes 11 times and exploded the debt and deficit?

        • jimino

          So Democrats were responsible for economic growth during that period, right?  Or does St. Ronnie get credit for all the good and Congress all the blame for anything bad?  I get confused about this sort of stuff so help me understand.

          • brettearle

            Notice how he makes his blanket, biased comment and then runs away?

            Not a peep out of him yet–since receiving all the substantive, and opposing, points of view…..yours and others.

            Awwww…is the kitchen just a little too hot for the poor little thin GOP propagandist?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            RR wrote in his memoirs that one of his great failures was President was to trust the Dems on future budget cuts that he had negotiated.

            RR was a big boy and could admit his mistakes.

            Let’s have a little perspective.  The deficits under Reagan are small compared to what we’ve experienced over the last 4 years.

          • Ray in VT

            So he admitted his mistakes and blamed the Democrats? 

            During those years the Senate and the White House were controlled by the Republicans, so why were they not able to control spending?  Spending bills would have had to go through both of those, yet spending as a share of GDP was largely higher than it was under Carter, while revenues as a share were mostly lower.

            We should have some perspective regarding the deficit.  As a share of GDP it nearly doubled under Reagan (it averaged about 2.5% of GDP in the late 1970s and was at least 4.5 through the mid-1980s), while the number under Obama, although still far too high, has come down from 10.1% for FY 2009 (beginning October of 2008) to 7.0% for FY 2012.  Reagan inherited an economy in much better shape than Obama.  That is just a fact, and both of the situations coming in affected how those budget numbers played out.  If Obama had had tax collection rates comparable to those during Reagan’s years, then we would have seen much lower deficits (about $1.2 trillion over 4 years).

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             “Reagan inherited an economy in much better shape than Obama.”
            No that is not a ‘fact’.  That is an opinion.  Do you remember stagflation?

            If Obama had not extended the Bush tax cuts then the economic growth would likely have been less than the meager growth we experienced.  Obama’s mistake was not to institute systemic pro-growth regulatory and tax reforms.  Instead he committed himself to a flawed system.  We won’t even get into the drag that Obamacare and Dodd-Frank (Obama’s greatest achievements?) have had.

            http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-made-it-worse-reagan-started-with-worse

          • Ray in VT

            I do not remember stagflation, but I do know that the economy, while it did have issues, was growing when Reagan took office.  GDP had declined and job losses had occurred during the middle of 1980, but they headed into positive territory late in that year, versus what was happening in late 2008.  For instance, in the second half of 1980 the U.S. economy added 841,000 jobs, while in the second half of 2008 the U.S. economy lost 2,897,000 jobs.  Those are facts.  That is not an opinion.  If you want to argue that the situation is late 1980-early 1981 was worse than it was in late 2008-early 2009, then you are free to do so, but I do not think that it is a winning argument.

            I also don’t buy the whole “Obama made it worse” line.  I think that the scale and scope of this most recent economic collapse makes it much more comparable to the Great Depression than to other post-WWII recessions.  Stock market collapse, housing crash, massive layoffs and a public that was saddled with much more public and private debt following years of putting everything on the credit card, not to mention the differing global economic situations, I think contributed to a much more dire situation.

          • brettearle

            Are you nuts?

            2 wars on a credit card, and the 2007 economic collapse, had clearly made the US so solvent, that the average US citizen’s living standard– before Obama took the oath of office–had become the screaming Envy of all Emirs from the United Arab Emirates.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Ronald Reagan didn’t commit us to two wars and wasn’t President in 2007.  So, are you nuts?

          • brettearle

            Wrong, but WRONG again.

            The last 4 years suffered, critically, from the 2 wars and from the 2007 economic collapse.

            THAT was my
            obvious point.

            So…..are you even more nuts than I thought?

  • Michael J. Olson, EdD

    What is the substantive privacy difference between Prism and older NSA programs such as Carnivore and Eschelon, other than the degree to which we had key allies participating.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    ‘After the fact’ data collection is practically WORTHLESS. The only data of value is that which can be analyzed to connect criminals to their network and the ‘path’ they took.

    Consider: How useful would the Boston Marathon camera pictures have been to identify the bombers if they were turned on 5 minutes after the blasts? Phone records of the perps AFTER the bombs went off? They wouldn’t even have had suspects.

    I’m willing to trade this “invasion” for the ability to reduce the power of criminals and terrorists. As the caller said, if the government wants to know where I was on any given day, fine by me I have nothing to hide. There is SO much data, no one is going to look at anything other than computer calculated patterns and call quantity to MAYBE pick up subversive activity.

    • MacMillin

      All good and well if you feel that way but I voted in an administration that campaigned on restoring the civil liberties that were taken away in the name of “terrorism”.
      I also do not see how such behavior falls into the narrative of the increased transparency message during the campaign for presidency.

      • StilllHere

        Come on, you bought those lies twice, shame on you.

    • OnPointComments

      Can the government be trusted to use the data only as it says it will be used?  Maybe the NSA is more noble than the IRS, maybe, but we’ve certainly found out that the IRS is perfectly willing to use private and confidential information to further a political agenda.

    • OnPointComments

      Can the government be trusted to use the data only as it says it will be used?  Maybe the NSA is more noble than the IRS, maybe, but we’ve certainly found out that the IRS is perfectly willing to use private and confidential information to further a political agenda.

    • William

       What if someone in government considers your behavior subversive?

  • Coastghost

    Well, Jack Beatty, the IRS “stole” millions from deserving US children to mount their silly “team-building” exercises, produce their egregious entertainment videos, and underwrite their generous conferences. Millions, Jack. And all on Obama’s watch.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Nice to hear from another righty who wants to underfund the government’s accounts receivable department and make sure its workers are miserable.

      Because governemnt should be run LikeABidness yet its workers should be as demotivated and miserable as possible. That’s the way to get the best out of them. That’s what motivates people being paid by MahTaxDollerz!!!1!

      • Coastghost

        The IRS wasn’t spending these spare millions because it was “underfunded”: it was spending these tax dollars frivolously in the middle of “the greatest recession since the Great Depression”.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You prove it was “frivolously”. Give me charts and percentages, not just pearl-clutching and couch-fainting Foxholers.

          • Coastghost

            You think the “Star Trek” video was not frivolous? You think the Anaheim dance competition was not frivolous? And what kind of “motivation” did all these expenses result in: “oh, let’s target some Ohioans for harassment”??

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Your conflating of checking a flood of new applications for tax-exempt status with “harrassment” and “targeting” is telling, and not flattering.

            Every team-building exercise I’ve heard of seems like every private company one I’ve been part of.

          • Coastghost

            Every team-building exercise I’ve heard of or had to participate in seemed like a total waste of time and resources, with all the appeal of crypto-socialist bonhomie and HR cheerleading.

          • J__o__h__n

            Run government like a business.  Even stupid team building foolishness. 

          • OnPointComments

            You can go on C-Span and watch yesterday’s hearing, and see the IRS admitting that the spending was wasteful and frivolous.

          • StilllHere

            He loves wasting of your tax dollars.

        • StilllHere

          You’re going to have to use smaller words to get through to this guy.  Not too bright.

          • nj_v2

            ^StillATroll

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

             ^ Useless troll.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        they should be just as miserable as those in the private sector. let the IRS workers strike for better conditions

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Sounds like you’re jealous that someone has a better job than you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            lol i would not work for the irs for a million a year

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            And I don’t want people working in government who don’t, yknow, give a damn about governance.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            governance!governance!

      • OnPointComments

        Only a committed left-wing ideologue who always thinks bigger government is better government could believe that the solution for a department’s wasteful spending is to increase the department’s budget.

    • StilllHere

      I concur, think of the children.

    • jimino

      That’s what you get when you ridiculously and ignorantly demand that government be “run like a business.”  These exercises and conference goings-on are pulled directly from the standard operating manual for the modern  corporation.

    • StilllHere

      This is what you get when you don’t have to be accountable for your budget!

  • OnPointComments

    I don’t understand all the foofaraw about sexual assault in the military.  No one forced these women to enlist; if these women had not asked to be a part of the armed services, there never would have been a complaint.  The military men who have been subjected to the unwanted advances of women aren’t whining to Congress.  We have had sexual assault hearings in Congress and bills proposed, yet no one has questioned whether these women did anything to cause the unwanted attention.
     
    Oops.  I mixed up my comment on sexual assault in the military with quotes from Rep. Jim McDermott rationalizing the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.  Why is it that every time liberal politicians say anything about the targeting done by the IRS, there is invariably a “but” or “however” in their statements; I suspect it is because the IRS was doing exactly what the liberal politicians wanted the IRS to do.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      So, getting scrutinized instead of rubber-stamped as tax exempt is the same as getting raped?

      You haven’t mentioned, but I’m gonna just check off the boxes that say “white” “male” for you.

      • OnPointComments

        Both are wrong.  Neither should get a free pass.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You’re equivocating the experience of one with the other, unless you’ve expressed yourself wrong.

          • OnPointComments

            You’re equivocating.  You’re saying that as long as you can find something worse than the IRS’s admitted targeting of groups based on their beliefs, then the IRS should be allowed to continue the practice.  The IRS had admitted it was at fault, the President has condemned the practice, and you should too.  Both are wrong.  Neither should get a free pass.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The talking point of the day, from someone who conflates “examining tax free status” with “auditing”.

            Ask Greenpeace, or the Pasadena Episcopal Church, what the difference is.

    • nj_v2

      Hey, there’s a Fox So-called News panel that could use you.

    • brettearle

      Please show us–CLEARLY AND SPECIFICALLY–which Liberal Politicians were forcing the IRS to follow their lead.

      List them.  Cite them with credible sources–EVEN if your source is NewsMax.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      “No one forced these women to enlist; if these women had not asked to be a part of the armed services, there never would have been a complaint.” 

      Hogwash. This is victim blaming, plain & simple. Men in the military also sexually abuse other men in uniform.  You’d probably blame the young guys who are violently sodomized by fellow sailors/soldiers just for being there in the first place, too. Or, is it a “gender thing” to you?
       

      • OnPointComments

        Thank you for making my point.  Everything in the first paragraph of my comment was an unreasonable rationalization about sexual assault in the military; it was also unreasonable when Rep. Jim McDermott used those same reasons to justify the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          More convoluted B.S. May I say that I don’t like your thinking & would prefer that you did not use my words to support your narrow, pet causes? Nicely, of course.

    • jimino

      When you are an obvious and overtly political organization whose blessing is sought in every election by every candidate of one of the two major parties, have you committed a crime when you apply for tax exempt status clearly not designed for a political entity such as yours?  Why shouldn’t such people be prosecuted for making a false statement to obtain a government benefit?  And isn’t trying to do what is needed to prevent such fraud exactly what we want our government officials to do?

      • OnPointComments

        We want our government officials to apply the laws evenly and fairly, without regard to an organization’s beliefs.  The IRS has admitted that it targeted conservative groups.

        • jimino

          I don’t consider focusing on those who are so obviously flaunting the law to be unfair “targeting”.  It’s just an efficient use of resources.

          • OnPointComments

            You are entitled to your opinion on targeting, that is, until the IRS decides that you deserve abusive scrutiny for having the opinion.  Regardless, the debate on IRS targeting is over; the IRS had admitted it was at fault, the President has condemned the practice, and you should too.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The talking point of the day, from someone who doesn’t know the difference between “IRS audit” during Bush II and “examining applications” during Obama.

            (Ready for the BushWasn’tAConservativeWaaahbulance.)

    • John_in_Amherst

       The fact that conservative 501c3′s outspent liberal ones by a margin of 34 to 1 might lead one to believe there was reason to target them….

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’d like to caveat against the use of words like “target” when it comes to this situation. “Examine” is more apt.

        Actually, there should be some journalist making up a style book for Fox News-pushed verbs which have, for that reason, lost all descriptive meaning.

        We’re still dealing with a right-wing advocacy media andthereforemainstreampress who have disappeared the actual politically motivated audits of the NAACP and Greenpeace during the previous admin, but are opening up the butthurt for this.

        • John_in_Amherst

          point taken on “target”.  I am not advocating a drone strike on Rove or CrossRoads GPS.  Hmm… But, now that I think about it…

    • Steve__T

      ” I don’t understand all the foofaraw about sexual assault in the military.  No one forced these women to enlist; if these women had not asked to be a part of the armed services, there never would have been a complaint. ”

      I don’t know if you have any females in your life but it seems you have no respect for them. I now have a lot less for you.
      That is the stupidest, most sexist statement I have heard from any one calling themselves intelligent. Oops I mixed up my comment won’t cut it.

      http://www.army.mil/women/history.html

      • OnPointComments

        Irony must not be your forte.  My point is that all of the rationalizations and justifications in the first paragraph of my comment are ridiculous, and would never be uttered or accepted by any reasonable person when applied to sexual assault.  Yet Representative Jim McDermott felt free to direct these same same rationalizations to people testifying before Congress about being targeted and harrassed by the IRS, saying that if they didn’t want to be abused by the IRS, then they never should have applied for tax-exempt status or decided to be a nonprofit; he believes that the fault lies with the abused, not the abuser.

        • Steve__T

           No Irony is not lost on me.

          I know that I really don’t deserve a tax-exempt status but I’m gonna try and slip one by IRS, cheeating on taxes is an American past time. Dam I got caught! Hey you can’t abuse me like that I pay your salary. Waite till I call that congressman I bought, er contributed to. He’ll get me my exemption. And make you all look like a bunch of fools.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Our memories are obviously just too short, or historical ignorance too pervasive.  It’s disturbing how people jettison our Constitutional principles, as if they are just quaint, romantic words, and seem to embrace the naive and shortsighted, and frankly lazy and cowardly notion that tyranny or the abuse of concentrated power is something we have somehow overcome as a civilization.

    It’s popular to reject “principles” and think we can master the art of discretion and fly by the seat of our pants into the future, trusting the powers to be to do the right thing.

    The corrupt Financial/Washington forces delivered us the financial scam/crash, and it is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Road to Serfdom indeed.

  • nj_v2

    These “I-don’t-care, I’m-not-doing-anything-wrong” types might want to rethink their position.

    Knock-knock. 

    “Yes?”

    “We’re from the Anything-Illegal Inspectional Services. May we do a quick check of your house.”

    “Sure, we have nothing to hide. Come in and look around.”

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      It’s astounding that folks are swallowing that “if your not doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry” idea.  It completely discards the whole notion of the Bill of Rights and Constitutional protections, particularly illegal search and seizure. That people apparently don’t appreciate the value of these protections is disturbing.

    • brettearle

      It tells us that more recent generations of citizens are, unfortunately, growing up with destructive assumptions about Civil Liberties–that are, at once, deplorable and frightening.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It seems to me that there are at least sides to every story, and very seemingly insignificant things end up in courts that take up thousands of dollars worth of court staff time, lawyer time, judge time, corrections time, police time, witness time.  And then the jury realizes that everyone could have been on the hot seat, and prosecutors do their picking and choosing.  It just makes me think, who the heck has the time?  There are hundreds of millions of us, and it seems to me there should be definite laws for stalking or something like that if one of the bureaucrats decides to spend their time doing the equivalent of chasing down pornography or other sleaze from among their infinity of data.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Lawyers start out with motions to suppress, using the idea of illegal search and seizure, and I think it would take about two cases to slam-dunk anything unearthed through the kind of global data grabs, without proper FISA-approved legitimization.  If the public defenders down the street couldn’t execute that slam-dunk in about an hour, you could call in some of the heavy hitters from the ACLU.  They would make the Supreme Court draw the red line very clearly, if it hadn’t been already.

  • WonderAboutThat

    Why dont you call Valerie Plame and ask her if the government would use private information to distroy or discredit people who disagree with their agenda

  • eropinion

    Those who have no problem with government spaying on its citizens assume that those in power are always on the side of justice. The base of democracy is its mistrust of the class on power so it only thrives when the government has his powers limited and operate on the open. The dynamics of what is happening is the same as in any other authoritarian systems. With the open trade whit China we knew that that country will become more like us, but not that we also where going to become more like them. People are always deceived by making them believe that and authoritarian practice is for their own good. 

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Well said, and horrifyingly depressing that people do not appreciate this anymore.

      But the Dow is up, and Government promises total security. All is good.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      and in our own country people are calling for the repeal of the only right that we have that the chinese do not also have on paper

  • Arlene Dunkelbarger

    cant believe most comments on nsa mining electronic communications is ok if you have nothing to hide says ohio.
    would your  us postal mail being opened and copied, or your being followed to meetings of any sort be tolerated?  where are the questions let alone the outrage

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Our instant gratification consumerism and tech gadget obsessions, let alone financial scam fallout distractions, have the vast majority in Zombie state.

      Road to Serfdom pretty much paved.

      • J__o__h__n

        Do you have a problem with private companies collecting, using, and selling this data or just when the government does? 

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Of course. Why would I support corporate tyranny any more than government?

          If corporations want you to enter into some kind of contract with them, that includes those things, that is transparently known, giving you the choice to  go with them or not, that’s fine.

          When the gov does it, with no “opt out” opportunity, that’s coercion.

          Thank Hillary Clinton and the other Big finance Dems, let alone traditional Repubs, for handing the financial industry so much power and unaccountability over us.

          • J__o__h__n

            There isn’t an opt out when the corporations are too large. 

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            There is if your representatives aren’t corrupt and selling out your Constitutional rights.

            The Constitution is there to prevent this stuff, that’s the point. 

            To blame the Constitution, or Constitutionalists, Libertarians etc. for Discretion-loving social planners and technocrats trying to discard the Constitution for their well-intentioned,  Central Planning schemes, is non-sensical.

            This is what is so depressing. We are reaping what we’ve sown from a Rule of Law, Constitutional, Competitive real Free Markets perspective.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Who created Too big to Fail?

            Who warned against them?

            Who likes collusion between the Fed, Wall St. and Washington, in the name of well-intentioned technocratic management of our economy?

            Who warns against that?

            Power corrupts, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Granny had it right all along, but we were just to cool for that kind of…. 1800′s kitchen table wisdom.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            was ron paul the answer to two of those questions?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            he certainly fits the bill. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            you dont have to have an iphone

          • bikengr

             Right. But govts are more active than corporations in persecuting, sequestering, ruining or terminating people. So freedom from govt overreach is actually more important.

        • Government_Banking_Serf
    • la bibliotequetress

      You hit the very issue. Your snail mail is legally  protected. Your email, not as much. For 13 years now, many groups, including the EFF, ALA, and ACLU have been trying to get the provisions of the PATRIOT Act and other laws repealed or revised to protect more electronic a and telecomm records. However, as it stands, appalling though this might be, it appears to be perfectly legal so far.

      Right now, do not assume you have a legal privacy protections for your online activities. There are a few very limited exceptions (ie medical records, under certain employment situations) but you are safer assuming that you do not have any legal protections. We can hope that might change, but despite the best efforts of a lot of determined people, it hasn’t so far.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        the irs now has your medical records, thanks obomacare

    • brettearle

       Are you any relation to the Beverly politician?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i just hear most people saying “baaa baaa i want to be “safe” baaa”

  • nj_v2

    Ah, the irony…

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/obamas-political-appointees-using-secret-email-accounts.php?ref=fpb

    Obama’s Political Appointees Using Secret Email Accounts

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the secretary for Health and Human Services, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.

    The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees’ email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.

    The AP asked for the addresses following last year’s disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged — but often happens anyway — due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.…

    (snipped)

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Apparently Rubio is practicing his Etch-a-sketch skills early.

    • brettearle

      Good one.

      Straight from the Romney School of Politics.

  • Wahoo_wa

    The Governor Christie comments are pure hypocrisy.  Obama’s opinions continually “evolve” and there is no derision of his pandering.  Typical.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Lets just have our webcams on us 24/7 linked to the NSA and not do anything wrong.

    Be good bees.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I love the liberal spin on Rubio’s concern with the immigration bill.

    Maybe there are real problems with the bill.

    These large 1000 page bills are never a good idea.  Also, I wouldn’t trust Chuck Schumer on anything and his hands are all over this monstrosity.

    We can solve the immigration with a set of simple, discrete reforms.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Austerity: It’s like balancing your humours, because it will be a success while you die.

    http://m.guardiannews.com/business/2013/jun/05/imf-admit-mistakes-greek-crisis-austerity

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Austerity is a myth.
      Hasn’t happened in Europe.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2013/05/26/austerity-to-blame-but-wheres-the-austerity/

      Hasn’t happened here. 

      http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/013113-642705-federal-fiscal-austerity-is-a-myth.htm

      … the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        IBD Editorials–the shvitz that keeps on giving.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          IBD has just move up the list.

          • StilllHere

            His talking point bot is stuck on dissing your source.  Give it a kick and it’ll be back to ad hominems.

            He’s got the opposite problem of the guy below.

          • jefe68

            Your such a spiteful little man.

        • pete18

          Here’s the question that will once again be guaranteed to bring cricket sounds from TF’s key pad (because to answer it will deprive him of his one pleasure on this forum, attacking other people’s sources rather than engaging in a discussion of content, facts or ideas): What are the reliable sources that you use to give you trustworthy facts and commentary?

      • jefe68

        Well I guess you should trot over to Great Britain,  Greece, Portugal and Spain and let all those people suffering know that you, investors.com and Forbes think that austerity is a myth. 
        Somehow I doubt you would survive very long without getting a good Glasgow kiss.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          The first man to raise a fist is the one who has run out of ideas.

  • StilllHere

    Look to Illinois to see the clearest example of what you get when the Democrat Party controls both legislative branches and the executive.  You get $100B in underfunding growing $17M daily.  All so public employee union members, who fund these losers campaigns, can double dip on pension benefits and get their Viagra and Botox for free.  Makes Cali look like a piker.

    • Coastghost

      Democrats have been running Chicago and the County of Cook for decades, too: last I heard, the operating deficit of Chicago’s public schools stood at around $800 million (the operating deficit was a scant $250 million twenty years ago). Our US Secretary of Education once managed the Chicago public schools, I think I heard, just as I seem to recall his having earned an intellectually rigorous sociology degree from Harvard (NOT Princeton).

    • OnPointComments

      My prediction on the fate of disgraced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., convicted of scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items:  he is sentenced to 4 years in prison, is paroled in less than 2 years, runs again for elected office and wins easily.  Chicago politics doesn’t learn from its past mistakes.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    The IRS listed 176 organizations that got tax-exempt status  since 2010, and it breaks down as follows

    122 conservative
    48 liberal / nonconservative
    6 unknown

    If the set of applicants resembles the approvals (a big “if”), given the boom in Tea Partydom at the time, it means something strange which the press corps doesn’t seem to be headlining:

    It’s an odd “partisan which hunt” when two-thirds of the groups who were approved for tax-exempt status are conservative.

    http://www.taxanalysts.com/www/features.nsf/Articles/D2A6C735EAFA7A9085257B7B004C0D90

    • OnPointComments

      The debate on IRS targeting is over; the IRS had admitted it was at fault, the President has condemned the practice, and you should too.

      • StilllHere

        He’s gonna be a good little soldier to the very end.

        • jefe68

          As are you.

      • brettearle

        You are completely–BUT COMPLETELY–missing TF’s point.

        And you will likely refuse to answer, specifically, to the numbers, above.

        • TyroneJ

          As TF himself points out, those statistics are meaningless without knowing the applicant stats. For all we know 50 liberal / nonconservative groups applied, but 1,000 conservative. Output data without knowing the input data is meaningless. And supposing “the set of applicants resembles the approvals” is just assuming the answer.

          • brettearle

            Citizens United brought on many more Tax-Exempt applications from the Right, than from the Left.

            I am not denying possible Impropriety.

            I am, instead, suggesting that the abuse may not be as wide-spread as is being alleged.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            People on the right went batshit and got their hair-on-fire narratives locked down before this output data saw the light of day.

            I suggest that the input data is forthcoming; it’s not a radical idea that it is, is it?

        • OnPointComments

          The IRS routinely reviews applications for tax-exempt status.  The key word is “routinely.”  In addition to those routine reviews and inquiries, the IRS decided to use “inapproprate criteria” — the words “Tea Party,” “patriots,” “9-12 project,” other policy positions that would be associated with conservative causes — to identify organizations that it would subject to an extensive, unreasonable, extended, and abusive review.  As of today, no one has been able to identify any non-conservative groups that were subjected to the abusive scrutiny admitted to by the IRS. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        At fault for what?

        I’m condemning the practice of conflating “examination” and “persecution”. All the right-wing hacks in here and the regular media really are doing whatever they can to conflate these separate terms. And you’re one of them.

        • OnPointComments

          “I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered was inexcusable.  It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it.  I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again, by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards, and, going forward, my making sure the law is applied as it should be — in a fair and impartial way.”  –President Obama, May 2013
           
          Maybe you should read the IG’s report too.

          • bikengr

             Maybe we should focus on what is true and significant, not political pandering in the face of a witch hunt

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You are the master of conflation.  You are also skilled at ad hominem attacks.   

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      FTA:
      After the Supreme Court’s decision labeling Obamacare’s mandate a tax, the IRS has become the crucial centerpiece of President Obama’s health care rollout. But with the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profits, Republicans are calling into question the agency’s involvement in the application of Obamacare.

      http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/07/HOLD-Republicans-IRS-Obamacare

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Banking, Wiretapping, Wars…..

    Trust us!

  • keltcrusader

    I used to have a PAYGO phone and you could get your call logs on-line for every incoming & outgoing call or any other activity made from that line.

  • eropinion

    The problem is that those who are spying are the same that define if somebody is doing something wrong and have the power to punish. 

    • brettearle

      Fox guarding the Hen House?

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    i have not heard any of them say that we will be stopping any of these programs

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Or calling for the arrest of all involved !

  • hennorama

    Now that the collection of telephonic metadata has been made public, no one can claim any “reasonable expectation of privacy” related to one’s telephone usage.

    Of course one could always have argued that you shouldn’t have any expectation of privacy related to the records of your calls, as they do not belong to you. They are in fact the property of the telecom companies, meaning that you have no right of privacy related to ownership of these records.

    This is merely a wake-up slap in the face to the reality that this data can and will be collected and analyzed.

    Did anyone really think it was otherwise?

    • OnPointComments

      If it were only metadata…
       
      “U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program”
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_print.html 
       
      Excerpt:
      The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

      • hennorama

        OPC – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

        My point is that especially in a post-9/11 and nearly all-digital world, there is really no longer ANY reasonable expectation of privacy for anything that is outside the confines of one’s skull.

        Public disclosures of these various programs, that have been extant for years, are merely acknowledgments of that simple fact.

        • Steve__T

           I just wish you were wrong.

          • hennorama

            Ditto. But reality is reality even when it’s virtual.

    • brettearle

      Just think….

      Your comment, just above, is, as we speak (or write), being collected, and stored, by some low-level legal Bradley Manning at the NSA.

      And it will rest there–just WAITING to be evaluated for Sedition.

      Repeat after me,

      “I am not now, nor have I ever been….” 

  • OnPointComments

    “…If someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document – through library books they’ve read and phone calls they’ve made – this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a search in a court of law. No judge will hear their plea, no jury will hear their case. This is just plain wrong.  Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing – and it’s the right thing – but doing it without any real oversight seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals America stands for.”  –Senator Barack Obama commenting on The Patriot Act, 12/15/2005
     
    Eight years later:

    “You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.  We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”  –President Barack Obama commenting on the government secret surveillance program, 06/07/2013
     
    237 years ago:

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  –Benjamin Franklin

    • jefe68

      I agree with Ben Franklin on this one. 

      • Steve__T

         Here here!

    • trutallytoe

      Amazing how viewpoints change as the power accompanying the seat changes……

      • John_in_Amherst

         makes one wonder what one can see perched in the highest office – and whether we can say for certain what we would do….
        But I’m Inclined to go with Franklin.

        • trutallytoe

          Agreed Franklin makes sense…sadly though, all the ‘people’ aren’t the ones making these ‘choices’ President Obama refers to..he and his hired help are… and we have no influence at all on these decisions unless you are lobbying with a lot of dollars to back up your preferences.

          • John_in_Amherst

             If all the “people” were studious where news was concerned, demanded and got real news instead of the opinion-as-fact and the sound bites we are served, diligent in contacting their elected representatives, and conscientious in voting, lobbyists would hold less sway.  Instead we have a huge percentage of people paying more attention to sports, celebrities, shopping and fashion than the issues that shape our lives and futures.  Most people are getting the government they deserve.

            I seriously doubt that most people could handle the gravity and complexity of life in the oval office.  The great “catch 22″ of american politics: if a person is crazy enough to want the presidency, they should be considered to crazy to have it.

      • Steve__T

        Amazing how viewpoints change. So true, we jailed Bradly Manning for spilling the beans, but if he knew the truth about Benghazi, and told that, there are some who think his deed traitorous now, would then pin a medal on him.

        Edit: That is if what he says fits in with what they want to hear.

        • pete18

           Was there something classified about the truth of Benghazi?

  • Trond33

    I can’t help myself but to comment on the NSA phone snooping…

    Transport yourself back to the Administration of President Jefferson.  A government agency comes along with a system whereby they propose to track everyone’s movement and who they communicate with.  You ride your mule two miles to a neighbor, another neighbor jots it down and that morsel of information finds its way to the government bureaucrats.  Or you send a letter to an old friend, that is opened and copied en-route.  I know President Jefferson would right away object, pointing out that such a level of spying on The People goes against what him and others wrote the Constitution to mean.  

    Fast forward till today, what is different?  The method of communication has changed, but the intent and spirit of the Constitution has not changed.  What has changed is government itself, mostly the special interests that controls government.  The NSA snooping has more in common with the East German Stasi or oversight that is ongoing in North Korea, than in relation to the U.S. Constitution.  Lets be mindful, the U.S.A. and Nazi Germany are the only two countries to have a Department of Homeland Security.

    This is all special interests that are fear mongering in D.C. and across the country.  Snooping done in the name of “safety.”  Lets look at that safety – you are more likely to slip on a banana peal and break a leg than you are of being the victim of a terrorist attack.  Think of the U.S. as a giant ant hill in the forest.  95% of the population lives sheltered within the ant hill.  The greatest risk comes to those on the front lines.  

    No, NSA snooping is overreach driven by an artificial fear environment.  A number of different actors, lead by the military industrial complex, all making major money off the fear environment.  Transforming a nation that had once been a beacon of democracy, into a second world country of individuals either fearful or ignorant to stand up for their rights.  

    Just as the War on Drugs has been a complete failure, so has the War on Terror.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      well said

    • John_in_Amherst

      Totally agree with your assessment of the fear factor, and its being used to drive gov’t policy and make money for the MIC. 
      Our opinions diverge on the applicability of the Constitution to today’s problems.  The Constitution was designed to be a living document, amendable as necessary.  It was never envisioned as set in stone, able to address all problems and circumstances facing the country.  Like all living things, it needs evolve to meet new challenges, Justice Scalia or no.  The framers never envisioned a world where guns could be purchased for a relative pittance, shoot dozens of rounds per minute, and be as numerous as the population, so does the “wisdom of the second amendment” still make sense?  “Freedom of the press” was sanctified for a world where there WAS a real printing press to foster the spread of handbills, and newspapers were not the main source of news, they were the ONLY source of news, and that source could be snuffed out with relative ease.  I’m not saying throw the first amendment out, just acknowledge that circumstances have radically changed where communications are concerned.
      As for your comment about our population becoming transformed, you are spot on.  But the agent of change has been a proliferating mess of media outlets that mistake entertainment for news, and a lazy public that has become so insouciant and self absorbed it prefers ignorance to uncomfortable truths.

  • Trond33

    The reality is that “terrorists” know how to circumvent blanket government espionage.  Look at bin Laden who allowed no electronic communication.  It is a fallacy that government espionage on The People somehow makes society safer.  

    I really like the retort to this – “it has proved critical in the past in blocking terrorist attacks!”  — oh, by the way, those attacks and everything related are a matter of National Security and classified, so we can not comment on that.  Just trust us…

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    But “Probable Cause” is so…… 1800′s!

  • trutallytoe

    I am shocked that people think government has the right to
    look into any and all aspects of our lives. Our country was created to protect citizen’s rights, not hand them over to those in power.  Saying ‘I have nothing to hide so go look’ is a foolish and dangerous invitation as you have no guarantee our government, run by just people, is committed to truth, justice and doing the right thing. 
     
    In fact, President Obama and his employees (and they do work
    for him whether or not he is doing his job and paying attention to what they do) repeatedly show us they cannot be trusted to do what is right, but instead will do what is politically beneficial to those sitting in the seats of power.   

    The disdain exhibited by our leaders towards those who work
    hard and foot the bill for the rampant waste and abuse in government is criminal.  Granting them the right to invade our privacy though phone calls and emails, etc. and trusting them to not use them against us, if they decide it suits their agenda, should concern every one of us.   Recent evidence the IRS is being used as a deterrent for non-profit groups that might not agree with the present administrations’ policies should be a wake up call for every American.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
    temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” 
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The Obtuse Attack on Liberty and Libertarianism. Very common around here……

    http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/07/michael-linds-obtuse-attack-on-liberty-a

    • jefe68

      Can you name one country that is Libertarian?

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Liberia?

        • Steve__T

           I started to type that in. LOL

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I can name too many totalitarian countries, they all promise heaven on earth and deliver hell. 

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Please tell me that’s an ironic comment….

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Nice development this week in MA senate race was Gomez self destructing in the debate. He accuses Markey of having produced no legislation, Markey lists 3 bills, and instead of trying to run from his error after a while he again makes the same accusation and Markey gets to list 2 more bills. How dumb can you get? I guess these guys are programmed with their TP and they cant stop reciting them regardless o fthe situation. Thank God, no more Scott “Nasty Ken Doll” Brown clones for MA.

    If I were Markey I’d be going after how Gomez’ “private equity” firm prided itself on offshoring jobs. To hell with these people. From Blue MA Group:

    “Looking closely at Gabriel Gomez’s web site—an endeavor which takes all of about three minutes and which provides exactly zero calories –I was intrigued by the reference to the only company he cites as a personal success story during his years with Advent International:

    He also helped grow smaller, regional businesses into national, household names – like apparel company Lululemon. He experienced how onerous taxes and excessive regulation are barriers to job creation. He also learned what it takes to help businesses and employees prosper and thrive.

    Sounds good to me. Gabe helped take a small American mom-and-pop shop national, ensuring that its employees get something approximating a living wage, and otherwise helping them to “prosper and thrive.”

    Except that that isn’t the story. According to the Wikipedia entry, “Lululemon has its main factory in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In 2004, production expanded outside Canada and currently takes place in factories in the United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Peru, and Indonesia.” In fact, while “until recently, Lululemon produced most of its clothing in a non-union shop in East Vancouver,” now, “in response to … its growing market, Lululemon hopes to produce half its merchandise in China by the end of the year.” Or, as the Lululemon web site has it, “Global economic forces … have shifted manufacturing to more cost-attractive locations and resulted in closures of some domestic factories.” Oh. The Advent web site explains it this way: “Advent International’s partnership with the company is a classic example of how we can support management in achieving their goals of international expansion and product growth.”

    • JONBOSTON

      Ed Markey has served 37 years in office and represents everything wrong with politics in washington. He’s nothing more than a Democratic political hack who has probably done more to cause American business to off-shore jobs than private equity ever will. By the way , does he even live in Massachusetts? Or does he still use his mother’s Malden home as his “Massachusetts residence”. What a farce.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Markey lives in a gated community in Chevy Chase, MD.  He raised more money from Chevy Chase than from his MA ‘home’ town, Malden, even though Chevy Chase only has 20% of the population of Malden.

        Next time you pay your escalating cable bill you can thank Mr. Markey.  Notice how he doesn’t go around with that remote control any more.  Thanks Ed.

        And if he had his way, he would double the price you pay for gasoline.

        As he ever stood up to Nancy Pelosi?  No.  He is a hack.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If you looked up oligarch in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Rep. Ed Markey (Pond Scum-MA)

  • zzowee

    There’s no audio for this show as of 3:15pm on Friday June 7, 2013.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Yea, what gives ? They are always slow to post the audio link.

  • jimino

    Anyone who is surprised by the revelation of our government spying on us probably didn’t see this Frontline documentary made in 2007:

     http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    NPR,
    Please limit the number of responses to other responses, to other responses, etc.. These small and single letter strings are very annoying and waste time when scrolling though the pages of this thread. Little is gained by anyone when an argument is allowed to go on and on. If a poster wishes to elaborate a concept, make them do more work, and reboot via by forming a longer more coherent paragraph of a new comment.

    • Trond33

      It is always a problem on forums like this.  A lot of times those short comments come from Trolls who’s only intent is to inflame others.  I just scroll by, head for the longer comments that normally are vastly more interesting. 

    • nj_v2

      All OnPoint has to do is choose a better platform than Disqrusty. There are a number of ways the problem can be easily avoided.

  • Coastghost

    I still cannot understand how Glenn Greenwald could possibly know with the absolute certainty he claimed in his interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, that his revelation of NSA datamining CANNOT pose any threat to any American from any terrorist or terror organization. I do understand that Greenwald has a law degree, so he may know the answer already, but the question I pose here is:
    in the event that a terror attack resulting in fatalities occurs that can be traced directly to any compromise of intelligence collection that his GUARDIAN scoop permitted, could Greenwald himself be charged with a capital offense?
    Allied query: while AG Holder has promised not to prosecute any journalist for doing his job, what penalty/-ies will the leaker face in this instance?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    After thinking about this terrorist/spy thing all day. I can’t help but paraphrase Tony Montana, of “Scarface” fame,
    ‘you need me, I make you look good ‘.

    Tony:

    “ “What you lookin’ at? You all a bunch of f*ckin’ a&*holes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your f*ckin’ fingers and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.’ So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie ….”

  • OnPointComments

    I wondered whether the statement that President Obama made in a news conference today was correct, i.e., that every member of Congress had been briefed on the NSA’s surveillance program.
     
    “Dem. Senator disputes Obama’s claim that Congress was briefed”
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/304189-dem-senator-disputes-obamas-claim-that-congress-was-briefed-on-nsa-program 

    Excerpt:
    “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Friday disputed a claim President Obama made at a press conference only moments earlier, when the president said that every member of Congress had been briefed on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) domestic phone surveillance program.

    “Merkley said only select members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had been briefed on the program, and that he was only aware of it because he obtained “special permission” to review the pertinent documents after hearing about it second-hand.

    “It’s not something that’s briefed outside the Intelligence Committee.”

    But, in President Obama’s defense, his teleprompter was broken and he may have been winging it.

  • HonestDebate1

    I decided to stop using my real name a couple of weeks ago. It doesn’t mean much. Until recently I’ve always been proud to put my name on my views. I feel comfortable enough in their loving arms. It’s not like I decide things based on the color of skin or party, that’s for losers. Nope, truth and honest debate are where it’s at. I find that lacking in this forum. However, I think it was a good move for the right reasons, given the headlines.

    I’m sick of the details, we’re past that. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the severity of our figurative fork in the road is not worth engaging.

    Our founding documents are profound and unique to humanity. You whiney assed-sumnabitches (sorry, it’s bigger than me sometimes) that don’t understand the significance of “our creator” given rights as compared to the notion our rights coming from government, as is the norm throughout history, are dissing those who fought and died to preserve your right to be such a …. caught myself.

    So it occurred to me: Some people are happy to have the government bestow their rights. It’s the liberal mindset, don’t let your merits, abilities and ethics define you, join a union and become a number. If your’e black, let the government assume you are inferior and lower expectations; you can’t get an ID; you aren’t capable without our help. If a nut case shoots people then by all means, restrict the 2nd amendment. Do we even have a 4th amendment after all this? 

    Who cares? That’s the real question, I’m not sure I want the answer.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      You righties have no understanding of our “founding documents”, you just cherrypick the snippets that support your ideology. Most of you don’t even realize that the Constitution was written to set up a STRONG federal government, after the disastrous experiment with state’s rights in the Articles of Confederation.

      RE “Government bestow their rights” being the “liberal mindset”, I suggest you read the Declaration of Independence:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

      See? The FF said we institute Governments to secure our rights. Not the libs, the FF. They knew that without Government, it’s just a Lord of the Flies free for all with no rights for anyone but a few aristocrats. Too bad more righties don’t read all of our “founding documents”.

      • HonestDebate1

        There is a world of difference between securing rights and granting them. And keep in mind the government secures the rights by what it restricts itself from doing.  They can “make no law” or they shall not infringe. It really is the profoundly missed profound distinction.

        • 1Brett1

          Can you prove that “our creator” granted rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution?

          Simply because you label something as having a “profound distinction” or that those who do not share your views have “profoundly missed” a “profound distinction” doesn’t make it so. 

          You have yet to offer any credible proof of a “profound distinction” between “unalienable” and “inalienable.” As far as rights granted by a “creator” and rights “secured” by our government…you are espousing your beliefs, which is fine, but you are presenting them as absolute truths/facts. You can think that your beliefs are supreme (it is the very definition of bigotry, from which I believe you suffer), but you are wrong in believing your views are absolutely essential truths. 

          • HonestDebate1

            I can prove our government was founded on the premise that we are born with certain rights. I can prove our government does not grant us our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

            I still don’t get the in/unalienable thing. Who said there was a profound distinction? There isn’t, they mean virtually the same thing. The founders tossed it back and forth and in the end went with unalienable because it made the point even better that the rights could not be alienated. If they had used inalienable, it would not have meant our rights come from government.

            My beliefs are irrelevant. For all I know our rights evolved from lizards  on Pluto. I am not talking about beliefs. I am talking about the system of government the founders put in place. It is profoundly unique.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            These arrogant narcissistic technocrat-lovers know better. The masses are too dumb to handle un/inalienable rights. We can’t be governed by the gestalt sum of free people’s decisions, we must have the elite technocrats dole out our rights and options. 

            Alot of these guys do understand the nature of our nations founding, they just disagree with it, and believe we should or must live in a more technocratic, elite-driven society.

            Yes, when it comes down to it, they believe in Benevolent Dictatorship more than Representative Self-government and Rule of Law. (I still don’t think many understand Rule of Law though)

          • 1Brett1

            Those narcissistic, elite, technocratic, rule-of-law hating, representative-self-government thwarting, no-good, good-for-nothing, dirty rotten, two-timing, double crossing, low down dictators!  

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            A bit more hyperbolic than me, but well said! That said, I offered the adjectives as honest descriptors, not personal attacks.

          • 1Brett1

            I figured you had cornered the truth market…I’d hate to hear you when you are on the attack!

          • 1Brett1

            “I can prove our government was founded on the premise that we are born with certain rights. I can prove our government does not grant us our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

            I wasn’t arguing the first sentence. I was challenging the statements you’ve made in your comments, not what you think you are expressing you mean; I can’t say what that is, and you get mad when I try, so I can only respond to the things you say. I am challenging what YOU express as your opinions. But, blah, blah, blah, you are trying to “win” something and are being a little deceptive in the process (I guess you feel you can only “win” something by being evasive and changing the meaning of the things you’ve said in previous comments?). Last week, you tried so desperately to say our founders made a clear distinction between “unalienable” and “inalienable” and the former comes from the concept of that which is granted by a “creator,” the latter from men. That there was historical evidence of this distinction, that the former could not be taken away, the latter could, and so on, which was nonsense, and you could not provide anything to support your claim. Now you are saying you never said anything like that…whatever, dude; I’m not going to spend the day arguing with you about what you think you said and how you think I interpreted what you think I said you thought (parody of one of your tactics intentional). Your utter childishness in these kinds of tactics is tiresome. 

            As far as the second sentence in your statement I quote above, you can not prove those rights come from somewhere else other than our government and that they can not be revoked, no matter how much you believe you think you can. 

            There are many governments around the world that restrict such rights; if those rights came from a “creator” and are “unalienable” than those governments wouldn’t be able to restrict those rights/freedoms.

            Interesting how you get upset when you perceive someone has told you what you think, yet you tell liberals what they think all the time; actually, you tell anyone who disagrees with you what they think all the time. Your initial comment above is replete with all sorts of implications about what others who don’t agree with you think.

            I can say what seems clear that you do think about a “creator.” While you aren’t absolutely sure, you think there probably is a creator or some creative spiritual entity that made the world and all plants, animals, and humans in the world. You wouldn’t believe that a “creator” granted rights to anybody of you believed there probably isn’t a “creator.” 

            Your saying it is not about your beliefs is either your lack of self-awareness, ignorance or disingenuousness. One wouldn’t fight so hard to defend his opinions by using every sleazy debate tactic there is if one wasn’t committed to defending his opinions. The fact that you see your opinions as facts further indicates your arrogance and self-righteousness.  

          • 1Brett1

            And, as far as “profoundly” unigue goes, what does that mean? Unique, yes. “Profoundly” unique? How so? You also seem to be refusing to look at how philosophical ideas from the Age of Enlightenment, as well as earlier documents from Europe, as influencing our founders; they didn’t pull their ideas out of a hat, and those ideas weren’t unique to their thoughts.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not aware of any founding documents that enunciate the fact that certain rights come from our creator except for Theocracies which are not really analogous for other reasons. I am not aware of any other founding documents that tell government what it cannot do, they all tell government what it must do for the people. It’s a completely different philosophy that we have. It’s profoundly unique.

          • 1Brett1

            I was speaking about ideas from which our founders borrowedmuch, but keep on with your blather and NOT providingany evidence of your original claim.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • HonestDebate1

            No you missed the whole point. I didn’t say unalienable meant rights came from God and inalienable meant they came from man. Ray even got the OED out, they both mean the same thing today. John Adams was going by Blackstones definition that said inalienable implied the rights could be revoked by man. It wasn’t about their being granted. That was the point, the framers wanted the notion of our creator bestowed rights to be crystal clear.

            And what’s with the win thing? I don’t give a wit about some perceived victory or not on she stupid blog. I don’t decide even of I did. All I do is make my case. My thread was making the observation that explains the lack of outrage at our rights being trampled on by government. I believe it’s because many people do believe their rights come from government so it makes sense that they can take them away. That’s not America. 

          • 1Brett1

            Blackstone’s ideas had to do with an “unalienable right” to property, that god-given rights to life and property were one and the same; this was the centerpiece of his philosophy…you still have not provided any evidence to support your claims, just vague references about which you clearly know nothing. 

          • 1Brett1

            “I still don’t get the in/unalienable thing. Who said there was a profound distinction? There isn’t, they mean virtually the same thing. The founders tossed it back and forth and in the end went with unalienable because it made the point even better that the rights could not be alienated. If they had used inalienable, it would not have meant our rights come from government.”

            Talk about contradicting your self in the same paragraph. Besides, “profound distinction” is your phrase. Are you high?

          • HonestDebate1

            Am I not clear?  Both words mean virtually the same thing. Back in the day “in” offered a teeny weeny bit more wiggle room so they went with “un”. I never ever ever said, wrote or implied in any way there was a profound distinction between the two words. Where do you get this stuff? The profound distinction that sets our system apart from the rest is the enunciation of where our rights come from, government or our creator. 

            I have no idea what you read sometimes but it’s not what I write. 

          • 1Brett1

            1) Again, now listen up, according to you (with regard to founding documents/what was meant over a couple hundred years ago within the context of rights) “un”as a prefix to “alienable”=from a creator; “in”=from a government. You (hear this loud and clear) have NO PROOF this is true. NO PROOF! 

            2) YOU came up with the phrase “profound distinction.” (SEE NUMBER 1 for what you say that “profound distinction” is.

            You seem to be saying both words mean the same thing just originating from different sources (a “creator” or god vs. men)…AGAIN, that is nonsense. 

          • HonestDebate1

            You are not even close. Just forget it. I actually gave a link a while back that explained it well with many references. Those references have wiki pages too. It was all there but you didn’t like the font.
             
            Just let it go. You are missing it so bizarrely you might hurt yourself.

          • 1Brett1

            Liar! That did not provide evidenceour founders saw any difference  between the two wordsat all. You lie!

          • HonestDebate1
          • 1Brett1

            No, you are being obtuse. But I digress…you still have not provided any proof that our founders meant to use “unalienable” instead of “inalienable” because “unalienable” meant something endowed by a “creator” and “inalienable” didn’t. Why have you not provided any proof? MOst likely because there is no proof/you get this idea from some stupid-ass Tea Party website or other, and you know you’ll look really foolish.

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, yeah, the Baby Jesus gave us “certain” rights. Sure, whatever…Always prattling on about your love for Jesus…jeesh.

            Be careful about that “lizards on Pluto stuff,” however, you don’t know, you might be smote for that…don’t even joke about it!

          • Steve__T

            “The founders tossed it back and forth and in the end went with unalienable because it made the point even better that the rights could not be alienated. If they had used inalienable, it would not have meant our rights come from government.”

            Oh, I see, from your comment you were actually there. that explains a lot.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Jefferson said we secure our rights by instituting Governments. Try to deal with it without spinning yourself crazier as it reacts with your anti-gvt ideology.

          • 1Brett1

            Now you’ve done it, Tom! HornyForDebate1 will now spend the next couple of days talking about how the Baby Jesus “grants” you the right to life, and that the word “grant” comes down from the heavens, but the word “secured” is a pedestrian, earthly word, made up by men for men to describe a wholly  inferior act by mortals. Oh, and don’t argue with him: he’s a got a 20 volume edition of the OED!!! …Yeah, that’s right, you’d better be impressed! 

            I used to think the HonedMasterdebater1 was a  simpleton, but when he pulled out the “I have a 20 volume set of the OED” trump card I just completely conceded his superiority, as should you!

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m selling them on Ebay. They were my late uncle’s but I don’t like them because there are no pictures.

          • 1Brett1

            I thought you said you were selling them because you didn’t like the fact they didn’t support your claim that once upon a time “unalienable” and “inalienable meant two different things. Or, I mean the same thing, or, I mean that they meant the same thing, I mean that they meant the same thing except when the founders used the term, I mean…

          • HonestDebate1

            No pictures; deal breaker.

          • hennorama

            Coming from Gregg Smith, any reference to owning, much less USING, a dictionary is nearly beyond the pale.

            After all, Smith has written such pro-dictionary musings as “I don’t care what the dictionary says”, “I don’t know what the dictionary says”, and “Dictionary definitions will fail you without context.”

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I am cheered that you have a passing familiarity with our Declaration of Independence.  Perhaps a more full comprehension will change your anti-constitutional beliefs.  But it is troubling that you are arguing that rights come from the government.  It is an epic misunderstanding.

        http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/pre-existing-rights/

        • jimino

           “it is troubling that you are arguing that rights come from the government”

          You obviously can’t even comprehend plain written English if that is how you read the comment you are replying to.  Try re-reading and pretend you have an open mind on what the man has to say.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am sorry that you believe that rights are granted or rescinded at the whim of the government.  Do you also believe that all power flows from the barrel of a gun.  

          • jimino

            Of course I didn’t say that and neither did the person to whom your original comment was directed.  Yet your reading somehow led you to that perception.

            I see no point in engaging in written communication with someone like you who, for a reason I can not fathom, is incapable of understanding written words.

          • 1Brett1

            It seems to be an affliction of which many neocons, er, excuse me, Tea Partiers, suffer.

          • 1Brett1

            Go commit a felony and see how quickly your right to vote  or to legally own a gun get rescinded…So, if one actually   lives in a country where those rights are restricted, is it because a “creator” forsakes that country? 

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I am not surprised that you do not.

          “…to secure those rights, Governments are established”—T. Jefferson

      • Trond33

        You are right about commenters cherry-picking sections out of the Constitution.  Funny thing, this is the same thing Islamic extremists do to the Koran – they only pull out sections that fit their views, ignoring the overall context. 

        Both prove one point, that extremism is the same, no matter what the flavor.  Extreme conservative Christians have more in common with extreme conservative Islamist, than they have in common with the population at large.  A fact they are not eager to admit to. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i think  his point was that the rights come from god not from the govt.

        • HonestDebate1

          Thanks Futo, you’re right but it goes deeper. My bigger point is that the self-evident documented truth is offensive to liberals. And I’m not talking about the truth of our existence, I’m talking about the truth of the premise of our founding. Even the atheist founders bought into the concept. 

          It’s not only offensive to them, it makes their head explode.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            oh like how people are responsible for killing others and not guns?

    • jimino

      God did a piss-poor job of assuring people actually had and exercised the rights for which you so faithfully give God credit until humans came up with an idea of governing that did the (admittedly imperfect but a hell of a lot better than God) job. 

      But to the irrational right wingers, the big bad government is the problem.  That is a fatal internal inconsistency to your entire viewpoint, and the antitheses of the principles upon which our country was founded.

      How hard is that to understand and accept?

      • HonestDebate1

        Not sure what to make of your comment. The founders did not say God but we ALL are born with certain rights, they were not granted. You threw in the word “exercised”. Does government demand you exercise your rights?

        No one says government is not needed or that it’s all bad. No one. And yes, the principals on which our country was founded are limited government and an empowered people.

        • jimino

          You may be satisfied having inalienable rights that you can not exercise, but I am not.

          Why is it so hard for you to say that our government, in what it does and what it does not do, is the only realistic device for widespread protection of your rights, and that this principle is the foundation of our country?

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no problem saying the government is the only realistic device for widespread protection of my rights. Why would I? But our foundation is on the idea that government should not interfere with those rights. It is not that they should guarantee them.

        • 1Brett1

          “The founders did…say…we ALL are born with certain rights, they are not granted…”

          Yeah, well, um, [cough] except (at the time) for slaves, women, blacks in general, children…

          • HonestDebate1

            They were all born with those rights, every human on the planet is. The founders put the system in place that gave us the freedom to fix it. And we did. Do you have a point?

          • 1Brett1

            So, our founders didn’t grant equal rights to slaves, blacks, or women, but they made sure their system was set up to one day change all that? Or some such crap? …I see, still nothing to support your nonsense. Okay, keep dancing, boy; you still aren’t playing the tune, but keep dancing.

          • HonestDebate1

            OUR FOUNDERS DIDN’T GRANT RIGHTS TO ANYBODY!!!!!!!

            Geez.

          • 1Brett1

            Okay, our “creator” didn’t grant rights to slaves, blacks, women, but our founders set up a system that they knew would later make our “creator” allow man to secure their rights?  That sounds even more stupid. The fact is slaves, women blacks in general, and children didn’t have those “unalienable rights” and a creator did not grant those rights to them during the time when the Constitution was signed. Only later, and by men were those rights secured. You just like to argue, no matter how ridiculous your argument, but you still have provided no proof. None of the links you’ve provided actually say our founders saw a difference in the word “unalienable” from the word “inalienable,” so you still have nothing but subterfuge and obfuscation.

          • HonestDebate1

            OUR CREATOR GAVE THOSE UNALIENABLE RIGHTS TO ALL!!!!

            Geez.

          • 1Brett1

            But, slaves, blacks, women, children were denied those rights by our founders? …That doesn’t sound very “unalienable” to me. If slaves were only born with 3/5s of those “unalienable” rights, for example, did God consider them lesser beings? 

            You still will not say anything about our founders using the idea that OUR CREATOR gave men the right to own property and that was really part of the legal intent at the time to use “unalienable” and to differentiate “unalienable” from “inalienable.” 

    • hennorama

      Gregg Smith (aka HeDebatesNot) – the irony of your new moniker is no doubt lost to your small mind.

      You are not only dishonest, you merely pontificate. You dismiss others as “losers” and “whiney assed-sumnabitches” and those who may disagree with you as “not worth engaging.”

      So much for “debate”.

      Your true colors show through in your diatribe, first mentioning “the color of skin” as if it matters to others. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” especially in light of your words that “If your’e [sic] black, let the government assume you are inferior and lower expectations; you can’t get an ID; you aren’t capable without our help.”

      Go shovel your equine excrement elsewhere, as that is the single area in which you are truly expert.

      • 1Brett1

        HornyForDebate1 seems to have a penchant for saying racist things while trying to make some other point. 

        …I particularly like the preface, “So it occurred to me…” as if the straw man he was about to build came upon him in some inexplicable, Divine thought that had no deliberate intent…You have to admit, henn, he provides us with a lot of entertainment, in addition to some insight into how arrogant and self-righteous a neocon can be. 

        • HonestDebate1

          It occurred to me, that’s all. You missed it anyway.

          Racist? Really, is that what you meant?

          • 1Brett1

            You say racist things all the time. 

          • HonestDebate1

            Never! That’s sick.

          • 1Brett1

            I just back from a gig…but yeah, you say racist things! “If your’e black, let the government assume you are inferior and lower expectations.” That’s racist, dude.  

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it’s honest. That’s exactly what  affirmative action is.

          • jefe68

            No, it’s racist. That you think it’s honest reinforces racist intent.

          • HonestDebate1

            that’s sick.

          • jefe68

            sick?
            Well you seem to be.

          • 1Brett1

            Your wording was weird. Within the context of your comment, it’s as if African-Americans should let the government assume they are inferior and both they and the government should have low expectations of them, that they should intentionally capitalize on that., that they are happy to have the government view them in such a way. Go back and read your comment, dude, it’s racist. But, anyway, I suppose you’d say the same thing about the Civil Rights Act. About the nicest thing anyone could say about your opinions is that you lack self-awareness and your opinions seem bigoted, in that you are blindly convinced of the superiority of your views. 

          • jefe68

            He’s unaware of how racist he really is. Sad and pathetic.

      • 1Brett1

        Who? …I mean it’s been so long, I can’t quite remember, but I thought “Gregg Smith” and “HonesDebate1″ were two different people. I thought Gregg Smith was banned a while back? I could be wrong…I mean who knows? People like that Smith guy will often eventually either get banned or lose all hope of any credibility…

        I can say this character “HD1″ seems to prattle on about all of the losers and whiners who aren’t worth his time to engage with, then he spends his time engaging with those same people he says he won’t; I have not seen anyone so conflicted and self-contradictory…it’s sad, really.

        • HonestDebate1

          If I do say so myself, my comment that started this thread made a good point and gave an honest opinion. It is was it is. But look at the numerous replies, there are something like 25 without counting mine. With the exception of GovernmentBanking Serf’s and RWB’s most excellent additions, no liberal wanted to go there. No one denied my accusation. I think it’s a crying shame so many people think their rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness comes from government. But these are the same people who believe letting people keep more of what is theirs (tax cut) is equivalent to giving them money. Same thing. 

          • 1Brett1

            What nonsense are you prattling on about now? …Anyway, still nothing to support your original claims of some historical fact that does not exist…okay.

          • HonestDebate1

            What nonsense are you prattling on about now?

            That was beautiful, thanks.

          • 1Brett1

            Still no evidence to support your claim (by the way, those websites actually DON’T support your claim that our founders saw “unalienable” differently than “inalienable”). But, keep on pattling your nonsense.

        • jefe68

          It’s pathetic.

      • HonestDebate1

        Nope, I have no problem with disagreement. I have a problem with those too willfully blind to recognize history and acknowledge the turning point we are facing. It ticks me off when people don’t realizes how blessed they are and the price that was paid for those blessing. It pisses me off that so man are so willing to give away their freedoms and mine along with them. I have no interest in debating those type. I want them to fail.

        I am flagging your comment because I do not wish to be identified and you know that. You are being belligerent. I doubt any action will be taken and I hate to do it but you leave me no choice.

        • jefe68

          No she has you pegged alright.
          No one cares about your diatribes except your cadre from the right. 

          You seem to confuse belligerence for debate. There is no debate when one has made up ones mind. You’re a right wing white man who seems fit to dictate the terms of what you think is a debate.

          You really are sad and pathetic.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you believe you were born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

            Do you think Henny addressed my point in any way whatsoever?

            Do you think mindless vitriol is honest debate?

          • 1Brett1

            You didn’t have a point; if you did, it was so wrapped up in some rant about what you think others think/are about, it obscured whatever point you thought you were trying to make. Your comment appeared to be some diatribe about how liberals/those with whom you have ideological differences are losers. hennorama was just pointing out that you are not invested in debate but pontification and name calling; I’d say that is a fair characterization of your comment. 

            Your last sentence especially makes no sense; if twenty people engaged in “mindless vitriol,” by virtue of that would it make your mindless, partisan “debate” more honest?

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe if you go back and reread my comment you will get the point that your last  15 or 20 replies missed completely. I’m sure to you it seems crazy but that’s only because you don’t get it at all.

            I don’t think those who disagree with me are losers at all. And Henny is just dumbfounded at the notion I don’t care what she thinks and do not take her seriously in the least. She has no interest in honest debate.

            Neil Cavuto handled a similar situation just the way I have. He refused to debate BS, that some consider that as not honest is weird.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzBAuhX39Bs&feature=player_embedded

          • 1Brett1

            Neil Cavuto? Seriously? …You know, one of your many tactics is to say that someone just needs to reread all of your comments to understand how he/she somehow has been wrong in challenging you. Just because you say so, doesn’t mean it is so.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, if by now you don’t see a government completely out of control on several fronts then you’re either hopelessly brainwashed, blindly ideological or stupid as hell. 

          • 1Brett1

            Changethe subject when you losea debate much?Hahaha, lol

          • jefe68

            Is it me, or does it seem like this guys losing it.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – your example of Cavuto cutting off Epstein’s mic, and raising his voice and getting angry because Epstein disagreed with Cavuto’s premise is hilariously rich coming from you.

            Epstein essentially said “Cavuto [Your premise is whacked]”.

            Hmmm … this sounds so familiar … now where have we heard this before? Oh yeah, it’s from the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic.

            Cavuto then went nuts when Epstein wouldn’t respond to the premise of Cavuto’s
            statement/conclusion/question. Cavuto said “…it all comes back to one basic issue – privacy is invaded or potentially invaded,
            institutions of all sorts doing pretty much the same thing, there
            really is a pattern” which conflated all the so-called “scandals”
            de la semaine.

            When Epstein disagreed with this conflation premise Cavuto lost it, calling Epstein’s words “…the same damn game dismissing one … cut his mic, cut his mic, he’s going nowhere … cut his damn mic”.

            So in your wonderful example, someone disagrees, then their right to free speech is infringed. So much for “debate”.

            This seems familiar too, for some reason.

          • 1Brett1

            Still no evidence to support your claim that our founders chose “unalienable” instead of “inalienable” because the former comes from a “creator” and the latter comes from men? I thought not. Still no reply to the fact that men in late 18th century America wished to believe a god of some sort granted men the right to property, including slaves? I thought not. Still trying to peddle websites that don’t really prove your opinion? Still acting like a Tea Partier but being too wimpy to admit it? 

          • HonestDebate1

            Still no evidence to support your claim that our founders chose “unalienable” instead of “inalienable” because the former comes from a “creator” and the latter comes from men?

            I never said that. Neither inalienable nor unalienable rights come from man and that accepts your bizarre wording. The rights we are born with come from our creator, and cannot be alienated. I explained it already. You don’t get it. And I did provide proof of different drafts with the word “inalienable” that did not make the cut.

            And the slave thing is stupid. 

            The DOI says:
            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

            That’s what it says. That’s all I’ve claimed. It is self-evident to most. Sorry you and others find this profoundly unique approach to government so offensive.

          • 1Brett1

            Why do you claim the founders used the word “unalienable” instead of “inalienable” and the reason was because of some “fact” that rights come from a “creator”? Why do you say you’ve proven something by saying, “I did provide proof of different drafts with the word “inalienable” that did not make the cut.” if you are trying to say you didn’t say there was a distinction? Why do you even contradict yourself? If you can’t argue your point with someone else, do you just deny your point so you can argue with yourself? …You are seriously disturbed. 

          • HonestDebate1

            SeriouslyBrett, you missed it then and you still don’t get it. You immediately went off to the weeds and are still there. I can’t even answer your questions, they are so bizarrely premised. But I will try once more. First this thread has nothing to do with the words. I did not bring them up before either, I just replied. Ray said there was no difference and I said there was. I didn’t say they were very different or not the same today. All I was pointing out was they chose un over in so they considered every word which is obvious. They were making crystal clear we are endowed with certain rights at birth and our government does not be tow them. They secure them. The word didn’t matter much.

            Your questions: 
            #1 is two part; because they did;
            The reason was because inalienable (at the time) meant you could not transfer lawfully whatever it was attached to (rights, property). Un alienable meant incapable of being transferred. NEITHER is about God. In the Context of the DOI NEITHER question where the rights come from. It wasn’t a “Fact” as you quoted someone as saying, that our rights came from our creator. It was a fact that our founding documents based our government on that assumption. I suspect lizard on Pluto. If you still don’t get it just quit reading.

            #2 I only prove what I claim. I claimed “fretted over every word”, it was you and others that assigned all the other BS to me. And I never claimed to prove anything just because you demand it. If you don’t acknowledge the used both and chose one then fine. I call that fretting over every word, and I’m speaking figuratively lest you miss that too.

            #3 There is a distinction just not what you say the distinction is or what you think I think the distinction is despite my telling you.

            #4 No contradiction, You inferred all the wrong things.

            #5 just bizarre. Apologies  for confusing you but you have the nuance of a jackhammer.

          • 1Brett1

            You don’tget it;it’s overyourhead…Anyway, your: “The reason was because inalienable (at the time) meant you could not transfer lawfully whatever it was attached to (rights, property). Un alienable meant incapable of being transferred.”Can not beprovenasa distinction.

          • 1Brett1

            You don’tget it; it’s over your head…Anyway, your statment below (I ran out of space): “The reason was because inalienable (at the time) meant you could not transfer lawfully whatever it was attached to (rights, property). Un alienable meant incapable of being transferred” offers no evidence, once again, that there is this distinction between the two words.

            But keep trying to weasel out of your blunder; it makes you look foolish and is quite transparent.

          • HonestDebate1

            Will you read it this time?

            http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/inalienable

          • 1Brett1

            Wiktionary is not knowledge!!

            Blackstone was making a distinction based on property rights. A distinction that would have also been on founders minds; why not hedge bets on some legal interpretation of owning property of one is a large landowner (as most of the founders were)? It is actually Blackstone’s interpretation that negates the idea that “unalienable” indicates something that is granted by a supreme being, unless one thinks of a supreme being as only granting something to a white man who owns property.  

          • jefe68

            You engage in mindless vitriol all the time and somehow you are under some illusion that you are debating.

            Anyway what happened to your idea of not engaging people like me?

          • HonestDebate1

            Mindless vitriol:

            No, it’s racist. That you think it’s honest reinforces racist intent.

            He’s unaware of how racist he really is. Sad and pathetic.

            It’s pathetic.

            What is it with you self-righteous right wing white guys?

            What’s that smell? Why it’s the smell of mendacity.

            Your such a spiteful little man.

          • 1Brett1

            Mindless vitriol:

            “Your [you're] such a spiteful little man.” 

            “It pisses me off that so many are so willing to give away their freedoms and mine along with them. I have no interest in debating those type. I want them to fail.”

            Just to name two of yours (without having to even scroll anywhere, they appear on this same page within inches of each other).

          • HonestDebate1

            Well, the second one is my hosest opinion, I don’t see it as spiteful but whatever.

            The first one is Jeffe’s, thanks for buttressing my point. Dolt.

          • 1Brett1

            I don’tknow if it is your”hosest opinion” but it is hosed, for sure.

          • 1Brett1

            MIndless vitriol: “dolt.”

            Gotcha

          • jefe68

            Keep digging that hole.

          • jefe68

            You are a spiteful little man and you prove it all the time with your diatribes.
            No vitriol there.
            Mendacity is a word that describes you to a tee. No vitriol there.

            As to sad and pathetic, well you keep reenforcing my view of you. No vitriol there, just my impression of you.

            You have no idea that you use racist subtexts in your comments, that’s also pathetic. 

              

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, I am all that. But look at my profile and you will not see the gratuitous, meaningless BS that one sees looking at yours although it doesn’t matter. One idiot even blamed me for something you wrote.

          • 1Brett1

            ” One idiot…” more mindless vitriol. G0tchaagain. You didn’tevenrecognize the setup.

          • HonestDebate1
        • hennorama

          Gregg Smith (aka He Bends To Tea) – What a load of cavalry crapola.

          Your lack of internal logic is breathtaking.

          You wrote both “Nope, I have no problem with disagreement” and “Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the severity of our figurative fork in the road is not worth engaging.”

          So if someone disagrees with your apocalyptic world view, you “have no problem with [their] disagreement”, but they are “not worth engaging.” Sure, sure, whatever you say. That makes perfect sense.

          Now one discovers from your further comments in this thread that your original point (apparently) was “you were born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

          Really? How could anyone have missed THAT? I mean, besides the simple fact that you never wrote any such thing, of course.

          This is a summary of your original post, with a few of your own maxims thrown in:

          #1 Gregg Smith’s maxim [It's not about me]:

          Look at me, Gregg Smith – I’m so prescient – “I decided to stop using my real name a couple of weeks ago. … I think it was a good move … given the headlines.”

          The fact that you, Gregg Smith, naively think that if you “stop using [your] real name” you are LESS visible is hilarious. In fact, this abrupt attempt to disguise yourself is itself a red flag. (One makes no comment about paranoia here, of course, despite the fact that the privacy ship sailed long ago. See: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act), etc.).

          #2 Gregg Smith’s maxim [That's sick]:

          Look at me, Gregg Smith – I’m not biased – “It’s not like I decide things based on the color of skin … If your’e [sic] black, let the government assume you are inferior and lower expectations; you can’t get an ID; you aren’t capable without our help.”

          The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

          One question for you, Mr. Smith – just exactly who are the “we” who are giving “our help” to the “black” entity you refer to here? (Again, your true colors show through from beneath your too-loud protest.)

          #3 The sky is falling – there’s some unnamed and undefined “[severe] figurative fork in the road”.

          #4 If you don’t think the sky is falling the way I, Gregg Smith, do, you are “losers” or “not worth engaging” or “whiney assed-sumnabitches”.

          #5 The USA is great because of our “profound and unique” “founding documents”. The USA is the best thing ever.

          #6 Again, anyone who disagrees with me, Gregg Smith, is “whiney” [sic], especially if they “don’t understand the significance of “our creator” given rights” and “are dissing those who fought and died to preserve your right…”

          #7 If you disagree with me, Gregg Smith, and have “the liberal mindset” you “are happy to have the government bestow [your] rights”. Apparently a desire to craft laws to protect people from “nut cases” means you are somehow deficient, in the Gregg Smith world view.

          #8 Who cares that the sky is falling? This is “the real question”.

          Presumably, if one does not address “the real question” their views are unworthy.

          =====================
          As to your reply to [hennorama] (and your various references to “Henny”):

          You, Gregg Smith, feel that [hennorama], is “belligerent” and you therefore have “no choice” except to bravely flag a comment. The irony of someone who seems to think he is defending the Declaration Of Independence and the Bill Of Rights, yet is at the same time trying to restrict someone’s freedom of speech is no doubt lost here.

          You indicate that the sky is falling, again, by writing about “those too willfully blind to recognize history and acknowledge the turning point we are facing.” Of course, this “turning point” is again unnamed and undefined, just like your imaginary “[severe] figurative fork in the road” above.

          =====================
          You again indicate that “Henny is just dumbfounded at the notion I don’t care what she thinks and do not take her seriously in the least”. Yet you not only read [hennorama]‘s posts, you reply to them directly, and repeatedly refer to [hennorama] (aka “Henny”) in replies to others.

          What bizarre “logic”. Unsurprising, of course.

          (One declines to comment on your use of the words “she” and “her” in reference to [hennorama] as time and space are limited.)

          In sum:

          What a load of cavalry crapola.

          • 1Brett1

            And, of course, the best way to protect one’s privacy and become just another anonymous commenter (and thus fooling the government into thinking you are someone different than you say you are!) is to announce on a few occasions that you have changed your profile name and to keep espousing and expressing the very same opinions you say could potentially get you into trouble…yeah that’s logical. I particularly liked it when he said a couple of weeks ago that he was going up and down his road to steal a wifi connection from his neighbors so his location could not be detected. Just the image of a guy riding around his neighborhood to get an internet connection because he’s afraid the government can’t be trusted is hysterical (both in the delusional sense AND in the “riotous laughter” sense).   

            My guess is that ego will not allow him to maintain his “anonymity.” 

            It’s possible he thought if he changed his profile name people would start fresh with him and he could spend a few months spreading the same crap he has always spread without being associated with the same old crap. AFTER he was outed he claimed he did NOT do it to escape into a different persona but to hide from the government, but that could just be his usual tactic of saying something is so then claiming it must be so. 

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – TY for your response.

            One must of course always be cautious when using the word “logical” (sans the “il”) in reference to any of Gregg Smith’s Bizarro World Views (and actions), regardless of the topic.

            It’s free entertainment and worth every penny.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – it’s also hysterical (in both senses you described) that Smith thinks his prior comments have been, in his words “anonymized”. (“I no longer am certain it is safe to speak out against my government so I anonymized all my previous comments and changed my moniker.” – Gregg Smith May 24, 2013)

            They haven’t. See:
            http://disqus.com/google-327b60c55221432e499267aebfb70c09/

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, I thought that was an odd verb; I didn’t quite understand what he meant…When he first did that, I tried to reasonably understand; I tried to fit it into a context of not wanting someone who saw his comments on this forum to come harass him at one of his gigs. Then he went into how he did all of this because he doesn’t trust the government…it’s just weird.

          • 1Brett1

            Oh no! The government has probably unscrambled his anonymatization! Damn that Obama! And here he hadn’t gotten his assault rifle yet! Will there be no end to his persecution?!?!?!

          • jefe68

            Did he really say that?
            I missed it. What a hilarious image, this middle aged white guy driving around trying to find a WIFI connection that’s not password protected.

            What a freeloader. Seems like he might be a tad unhinged. Who does that except someone who is paranoid and delusional. 

          • 1Brett1

            I know, talk about weird, especially considering how much he has a need to sound off about things. I got this image of him sitting at home, seeing a liberal comment he didn’t like, then getting into his car and riding around, finding a signal, replying, returning home, seeing another liberal comment he didn’t like, getting back into his car…and so on. He was either making that up to “throw off the government agent out to catch him” or he was really doing it. Either way, it shows he is very unstable. It’s sick, really.

          • jefe68

            It does seem as if the guy is going off the rails. 

          • Steve__T

            Gone.

          • HonestDebate1

            Get a sense of humor.

          • jefe68

            So you don’t think the image of you driving around looking for free wifi is hilarious?

            Talk about needing a sense of humor.

            You’re the one posting paranoid comments.
            Not me.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s just funny because you think it’s true. It was a joke. I don’t really drive around the neighborhood. When I wrote it I even interrupted myself and wrote, oops gotta go, as if someone were on to me. And you swallowed it whole.

    • 1Brett1

      ” Until recently I’ve always been proud to put my name on my views.”

      I don’t blame you, if one expressed your views it would stand to reason one would be ashamed to attach his name to them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I often don’t care for your line of ideas, and think your fear is just unfounded. But I respect your wishes to not use your name.

      I don’t use my name because I don’t want to be pre-scrubbed when applying for jobs by employers who don’t care for my anti-corporate line of thinking.

      • HonestDebate1

        I appreciate that. 

    • jefe68

      What is it with you self-righteous right wing white guys?

    • HonestDebate1

      Man, am I in these guys heads or what. Just look at all the commentary psychoanalyzing me. This thread is humongous. On and on they amuse themselves in lieu of honest debate. It’s silly and irrelevant, albeit flattering. 

      • jefe68

        Yes it’s hilarious, except you’re the joke pal. 

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s all right here. It’s undeniable.

      • hennorama

        Gregg Smith – talking to yourself, again?

        That is a worrisome habit, according to some.  Of course, I couldn’t possibly comment, as I am not a health care professional.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    News of the week: China makes world’s fastest computer:

    http://rt.com/news/china-fastest-supercomputer-milkyway2-379/

    Good for R&D and cyberwarfare, too. No doubt the Chinese computer scientists weren’t dealing with any sequestered funding agencies. 

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Thanks for bringing this up. Remember, at about 100 petaflops you will be able to simulate a human brain. Once such machines are coordinated with other disciplines major gains in knowledge will be possible. The human race will be transformed, forever. Power consumption is still a major roadblock, though. Stay tuned.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Christ, these guys are happy to turn over our lives to smarter robots. No wonder wiretapping the nation isn’t a problem for so many.

        I WISH smart robots could make all our human problems go away. I WISH smart technocrats would make all our human problems go away. I WISH these things so much, I’m willing to hand over personal and national sovereignty the “good” people and believe they will make it all better.

        The Utopians always lead us to dictatorship in one form or another.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      TomK,
      It will be interesting to see the reaction of humans when super intelligent machines begin to solve problems that are intractable to humans, including political quandaries. Imagine a machine, (as a simple example, so called ) that could compute more states of a question than there are atoms in the entire universe. Would we still want to argue our own myopic views? Profound, indeed !

      • John Cedar

        GIGO
        But providence bestows intrinsic to the conservative brain, the divine intuitive recipes that have yet to be codified for directing supercomputers.

        I want to see those GDP spending charts for China vs US austere spending sequestered Koch brothers vulture capitalism b…b…b…but Bush.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        they already have computers doing such things. at this point i cant think of anything a human can do that a computer cant

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Not true. If it were true, we would have solved all that can be solved. However, there are projects underway that are bringing us closer. We have a way to go yet. It will come, “like a thief in the night”.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            having the solution to problems and solving them are two different things as long as humans are involved

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Yes. The singularity is coming and the effects will be magnified because we will plug our brains directly into the network.

        R&D was funded during the cold war because we had to stay ahead of the soviets, maybe we can scare the pols with falling behind the chinese in the cyber war :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      thats ok we have the worlds largest hard drive
      http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/06/07/how-much-zettabyte-nsa-utah-facility-can-hold-immense-amount-data
      i am sure they will love going through our giant harddrive with their fast computer

    • JONBOSTON

      Maybe these Chinese supercomputers can help Americans understand how a slight cut in the increased growth of federal spending (a) is considered a ” cut in spending” (b) can have any impact on the economy other than a positive one (c)  would be deemed by taxpayers (as opposed to parasites) as anything but positive.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        If you think our technological leadership which came from an amazing government/university/private partnership should be thrown away to appease the imaginary deficit gods, I pity you.

        • JONBOSTON

          You’ve made a straw man argument.  I have no problem with government support of pure R&D. But I do have a problem with Obama spending hundreds of millions if not billions in loans , guaranties and outright grants to support his failed green energy program (so-called crony capitalism) when that money should have been spent at NIH , university research and for those truly in need. For all your criticism of investment banking and private equity, it is private money that should be the risk capital for  for business, not taxpayer money. And I do have a problem when virtually every government agency (like GSA and now the IRS) spends lavishly on conferences and trips to popular vacation spots , spends millions on “diversity” consultants ( what a joke) and other feel good consultants, etc. There is just no accountability with public sector spending and  absolutely no prioritizing of needs.  Everything must be funded at ever increasing levels or alarm bells go off. And government spending creates dependency and a special interest group that demands more and more be spent, taxpayers be damned. 

          The sequester represented nothing more than slowing the growth in federal spending  and not an actual cut in spending. It was not armageddon as Obama hoped/hyped. Rather it was applying the slightest bit of adult supervision and fiscal discipline to Washington.

          • pete18

             Slight a bit, but hardly enough.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri
  • bikengr

     Right, judges are pretty mindful of citizen rights, NOT

  • bikengr

     Right, judges nowadays are independent and mindful of citizen rights, NOT!

  • bikengr

     A little weak in the logic department. Just ‘coz you say it doesn’t make it so.

  • bikengr

     How many millions, er, billions, er, trillions were stolen by going to war in Iraq for false reasons? And all NOT on Obama’s watch. Or are you focused on playing an illogical blame game?

    • Trond33

      yep, follow the money and you will get to the real crooks… or in this case, the real threat to the U.S.A.

  • Coastghost
  • Steve__T

    Disqus

  • Coastghost

    Can the NSA’s caches of metadata reveal the identity of Greenwald’s source?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      why not?

      • Coastghost

        Well, I guess they COULD have met face-to-face away from all the cameras for delivery of any documentation, but hard to believe there’d’ve been no prior telephone or internet contact. We’ll learn soon enough. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          did you read the recent article about how to leak things to the media?

  • pete18
  • LianeSperoni

    find somebody else

  • pete18

    What took him so long? 

    “I am sorry that, as a United States senator and presidential candidate, I
    was critical of you about so many things I now, myself, am doing. I am sorry about saying Guantanamo would be closed immediately and it
    was a blight on America. It is still wide open for business. I am sorry for criticizing you and your administration for intrusions on
    American’s privacy and invasions into personal liberties. My NSA took
    what you did and put it on steroids.

    I am sorry for criticizing the way you waged the war on terror. I have
    personally approved a number of drone strikes and actually have said it
    is OK to kill an American on foreign soil without due process. I know
    you are probably saying, “Aren’t you the expert on the Constitution?”
    but, as you know, being president is hard work.

    And, by the way, between you and me, I know your vice president was
    probably upset my administration got Osama Bin Laden (I get the sense he
    might have some anger issues and I sure wish he would have kept quiet
    like you have), but it was really thanks to you and my continuation of
    your national security policies.

    I am sorry for all my overheated rhetoric about your administration not
    being transparent and saying my administration would be the most
    transparent in history and most open to the media. Boy, was I off on
    that one, and certain reporters at the Associated Press and Fox News
    don’t seem to understand why we might put them under secret scrutiny.

    Well, George, that is probably all you have time for, and I hope you
    accept my apology. You can take heart that, even though I am a
    Democrat, I decided to keep going nearly all your vision and plans on
    national security and even take it to all-new levels.”

     
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/imagined-letter-president-obama-president-bush/story?id=19350973#.UbPb5YV5m5d

    • HonestDebate1

      Wouldn’t it be nice? That was great, thanks.

  • davecm

    As Obama stated, I will fundamentally change America.
    As Onpoint is starting to state more and more, “the new America”.
    More shows of Socialistic hinting.
    Pushing more class warfare, like “Snob Zones” inequality!
    Heard a caller state Obama was a student of Saul Alinsky!
    This show bashed Bush for using wire taps on suspected terrorist, YET! this show and many of you do not mind that Obama is tapping into EVERYTHING ON EVERYBODY!
    WOW! What a difference a President makes!
    As in Germany back in WWII, How do you kill 11 Million people, you lie and sadly the world believed Hitler’s lies! 

    People, you are being herded into political pens of bondage!
    History will repeat itself once again. America will make the same old “unlearned” mistakes of past great nations!

    Wake UP!!! America!!! This is not a contest to see whose side or person wins the oval office! This is for the survival of our country, our way of life!
     

    • HonestDebate1

      I’m with you and you only scratched the surface. This is awful.

      • jefe68

        That’s sick…

    • jefe68

      What’s that smell? Why it’s the smell of mendacity.

    • hennorama

      davecm – only seventeen exclamation points?

      Why so calm?

      • 1Brett1

        Well! Who can wake! Americans! UP! With a mere PERIOD!!! At the end of a sentence?!?!?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy
  • LianeSperoni

    find somebody else

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Futo,

    You may be interested in learning or participating in a project called “ Read the Web” . It is a MINOR attempt at artificial intelligence.

    http://rtw.ml.cmu.edu/rtw/

    If computers were fast enough, (they are not) and if this program was better integrated to human interface for learning purposes ( it is not ) and if the NSA project was sanctioned by “We the People“,. ( it is not), then the Carnegie Mellon project just might be able to produce THE BEGINNING of an intelligence that would be able to solve all human problems. Of course the most significant roadblock to such a project is the problem of MOTIVE. Why would any politician want to create such a project. We all know the answer to that, don’t we ! Therefore, we must recognize that an “elect” group of people must intercede to provide the evolving machine intelligence the correct motive(s) ! Surprise ! Surprise ! What is about to open up your eyes !

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they are working full steam on AI they have computers writing music and poetry and designing novel consumer good s and weapons. all thats left is to create decent sex robots and a program to spew partisan nonsense on the internet and humans are completly obsolete. after they have all that stuff why bother keeping us around?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Turing the Lemons of NSA project into the sweet Lemonade of progress.

    Sample 1:
    The interconnectivity can be used to demonstrate with extreme amounts of data the actual number of “degrees of separation” between one human and any other human.
    Sample 2:
    The interconnectivity can be used to demonstrate with extreme amounts of data the relationship to poverty and the number of “connections” , you don’t have.
    (continuing to )
    Sample number infinity:
    The interconnectivity can be used to demonstrate with extreme amounts of data the ….

    If you were to take the rest of you life to finish all the statements possible to this last statement you would not come close to the knowledge that will be gained when the singularity does finally come. Woe to those that have hurt so many !

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      sounds like the tower of babel to me

    • hennorama

      Wm_James_from_Missouri – I had a similar “degrees of separation” (DOS) thought when the telephonic metadata issue arose again in the media, but on a
      more personal level.

      I travel extensively and have friends, acquaintances and associates worldwide, including in multiple countries in and around South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. Given these facts, I wonder how many DOS are between myself and some very unsavory characters.

      I don’t worry about it, though. It’s a small world, and getting smaller every day. This is a good thing.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Well we now know this. There zero degrees of separation between you and any “unsavory character” if you define separation as a particular location. We are all contained at Bluffdale !

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Do you know what a “ one time pad” is ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    “Associated Press writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/wait-theres-more-domestic-spying-q-201648278.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    discus

  • LianeSperoni

    I am going to walk to New Hampshire. I am not going to accept any help from anyone until you stop playing a joke on me
    I don’t love you

    • HonestDebate1

      But we love you. Wear sensible shoes, that’s not a joke.

      • LianeSperoni

        No seriously, the whole city of Worcester is playing a practical joke on me.

        What would you do? call 508-846-4992

        • HonestDebate1

          I’m glad you took your number down. Just be careful. Good Luck.

  • LianeSperoni

    Hey does anyone know if the Cambridge District Court in Medford is a real courthouse?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    The wired home, the wired office, wired gadgets, wired medical equipment, the cloud; prediction : soon your proctologist will be able to photograph a rectal exam, send it via the cloud directly to the mirrors in the bathrooms of the Congress and the White House.
    Here’s looking at you, kid !
    … and will have fun, fun, fun, fun, fun ‘til daddy takes the “T-Bird” away :)

    • brettearle

      Thank you so much for that picture.

      In the coming days, it will be a true challenge to eradicate the literal image that is currently etched in my mind’s eye, as the result of your satire.

      We ought to sue you for Invasion of Privacy–in the real- true-literal-classic sense of the phrase.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Hey, blame the school system.
        “When I think back to all the crap I learned in High School, It’s a wonder I can think at all “

        • brettearle

          People, whom they put away, always blame somebody else or something else.

          I’m sure you wouldn’t want to fall into that perceived category–by remaining vulnerable to that sort of comparison….

          An opportunity for Retraction is one of God’s greatest gifts to any visionary who may have strayed from the flock.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            It’s a joke. Comedy !

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i think you mean the IRS they are the ones who now have access to your medical records

  • Coastghost

    First Bradley Manning, now Edward Snowden: can’t trust anyone under 30 anymore, can we?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Monday’s to do list:

    1. Contact President Putin to see if our current NSA spy center infringes on any old KGB spy patents.

    2, Contact Communist China to see if President Obama or any members of Congress helped to pass military secrets, via clandestine methods, as our current spy apparatus was not able to turn up any phone numbers that led to the culprits that used the phone lines to hack into defense contractors and the Pentagon.

    3. Contact all known drug lords and know criminals that are still at large to reassure them that the NSA is not interested in them, just everyday Americans.

    4. Contact the NSA and see if they know how to send live and intercepted videos of Pussy Riot and all of those Russian topless protesters directly to my PC, as Microsoft has not provided the type of wallpaper that is of my liking. If the NSA is not up to snuff on this one ask the Pavarotti to upload the latest on Jennifer Aniston to the NSA, for redistribution. After all, it’s my tax dollars at work.

    5. Contact local private investigators and lawyers to check on The Freedom of Information guidelines for using information acquired on Americans via NSA phone and conversation logs, that may be used as evidence in divorce cases.

    6. Contact lobbyists to encourage them to push for privatization of the NSA program. Tell them to bamboozle Americans again by “showing them all the dollars that could be saved” , of course I will remind them how easy it will be to acquire any and all information on American companies, as this will make a very lucrative currency for internationalist seeking to overthrow America.

    7. Contact the US Treasury. Suggest a change in the look of the Dollar. Replace the “Divide Providence, eye above the pyramid”, with the Bluffdale Utah spy center. It should be easy to get Utah’s two Republican Senators to go along. Lindsey Graham is a shoe-in also. Donald Trump might make a fuss though. He was hoping for a picture of Kenya. Oh well, if he complains too much I’ll just tell him, “Your Fired”.

    8. Be sure to send the President and the members of Congress some fire hydrants, they have to go !

     

  • Ray in VT

    Man, this place really cracks me up sometimes.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      At least someone has a sense of humor !

ONPOINT
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Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

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