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View Diary: It's time we stopped mincing words... (Updated) (269 comments)

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  •  There is no doubt that our democracy is dead. (40+ / 0-)

    They don't even try to hide that fact anymore.    Apparently the only thing we're constitutionally entitled to, is to own a gun that nobody knows we own and can't prove that we ever owned.  

    The really, really scary part is there's no place to run and no place to hide from them.   We all know what that leaves.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Elizabeth Warren 2016

    by dkmich on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:18:30 PM PDT

    •  Paraphrasing Monty Python: "We're not dead yet" nt (26+ / 0-)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:30:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unless you are paying cash at a gun show (14+ / 0-)

      and never called anyone related it to it, they'll be able to run a script that tells them when and where you bought guns and ammunition and who you bought them from.  They'll find out if you ever paid to visit a target range, bought a hunting license, etc.  They'll look at your friends and figure out if they own guns and predict that you do as well.

      In some respects, I'm not so sure the gun nuts are so far off base.  Background checks?  Who knows what they'd do with those or what they'd include in the check once they got going.  For that matter, they're going to have done a background check on each and every one of us before long legally or not.  

      We have no clue what they're going to do with all the information they are collecting and about the only thing we know for sure is that they are lying about it.

      •  The NRA already does something similar, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dkmich, deep info, Words In Action

        without subpoena power.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:06:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The NRA doesn't have the legal right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          to arrest, imprison, or kill you.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:30:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  only in florida (0+ / 0-)

            and the executive branch doesn't have that right either, at least not within the U.S.

            what's the marginal effect of this program relative to all of the electronic trail that already exists, is the question.  maybe that's the thinnest reed between freedom and tyranny, but i doubt it.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:39:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good lord, you are an apologist par excellence (5+ / 0-)

              Yes, the executive most certainly has the right to arrest, imprison and kill you as evidenced by the fact that they do exactly that. What's it, four American citizens that have been killed so far by drones? And what, the FBI doesn't arrest people now? And who exactly executes federal prisoners? Is that some new branch of government I haven't heard of?

              what's the marginal effect of this program relative to all of the electronic trail that already exists, is the question.  maybe that's the thinnest reed between freedom and tyranny, but i doubt it.
              Ah yes, the classic of "don't worry, this isn't a slippery slope. I promise." Except we keep seeing our right to privacy being whittled away more and more as time goes on. And it sounds like maybe we need to talk about not letting them have access to any of that information that you coyly hint at being slightly bad for them to have. Because this one exact program might not be the tipping point, but it moves us closer to it, or further past it.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:47:17 PM PDT

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              •  i try to achieve excellence in everything i do (0+ / 0-)

                federal prisoners tend to be executed after trials in article III courts, and drones are the least bad of several bad options in my view.  Of course saying something isn't a slippery slope isn't sufficient, but here there are reasons why that's the case -- it's a combination of the diminishing marginal intrusion and the effect of statutory authorization, congressional oversight, and the 4th amendment protecting what it in fact protects (not metadata).  A bright line rule can beat a balancing test, but if drawn in the wrong place gives clumsy results.  If you want to generalize about overall trends, that's fine, but it doesn't yield concrete action items and doesn't tell much in the way of specific reforms, as are probably needed.  But to say there's a straight line from government can collect publicly available information to the government can kill you on a whim overlooks quite a lot.  Obviously any government information gathering is going to draw objections of exactly that type, but done right, there could be less arbitrariness, bias, and path dependence in data analysis than in conventional police work, and I sense a lot of objections are less about privacy as an end in itself than as a protection against arbitrary law enforcement or retaliations for the wrong reasons.  I think there could also be a lot of good done if the government invested in various google ad word buys - huge potential public health benefits in tracking disease progressions and the ability to get specific information in the hands of people where it would do the most good.  Most recently, I used that same type of data to help people vote (but of course I only had an educated guess how they would -- the actual privacy of the booth was and must be sacrosanct.)  Acting like it's all or nothing misses an opportunity to develop clear, refined rules and controls.  So, basically, yeah, I see the issues associated with these programs less as pawns in an epic battle between liberty and security where there can only be one winner, than as presenting specific risks, challenges, and opportunities, and as discrete problems to be solved -- marginal risks to privacy values versus marginal benefits.  The same is true of the 5th amendment issues with terrorists not otherwise capturable.  Otherwise, how is the criticism constructive to anyone making decisions?  

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:52:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course there aren't "concrete action items" (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CenPhx, Words In Action

                  We've got a bunch of asses going around saying nothing is wrong and throwing up word salads like this. You have literally said nothing more here. You could have simply said "I just want to talk about specifics and their effectiveness." Or you could actually talk about the specifics. I mean, instead of going on and on about how we need to have a conversation and such maybe, and I know this is crazy but bear with me, maybe all these people saying we need a conversation about this should start a fucking conversation and talk about what they think might be done.

                  and please, paragraph breaks.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:27:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'll take the note about paragraph breaks, (0+ / 0-)

                    But "nothing's wrong everything's fine" is too glib, and "I just want to talk about specifics" is also not right either - not to the extent it implies indifference to other implications (or agreement with your take on them).  While my thoughts are admittedly tentative he I can't get too much into specs, the "word salad" was my attempt to "have that fucking conversation."

                     I'm also pretty sure I didn't say anything that would suggest personal attack, quite the opposite. If we're telling people what their arguments should have been by their own lights, "the slippery slope risk is still there, because if you can justify this on security grounds you can justify anything" would be quite sufficient. In fact, feel free to use it with the next "ass" you run into.  

                     It's not at all clear from that what you want or expect to happen if, as surely will be the case, it's not overturned by Congress or unilaterally abandoned.  I think one possibility is to develop stricter oversight and again reaffirm what other checks are there, and another might be to work towards a theory of how "big data" can or should be used in contexts other than anti-terror stuff.  I had some tentative thoughts on each, but of course, you engaged me, as I responded to a specific point about gun background checks.

                    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                    by Loge on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:29:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  They stopped counting the actual votes (14+ / 0-)

      in 2000.  Anything after that was just an illusion.


      Regarding guns:  Why isn't the NRA upset about this NSA data scheme?  It is a push-of-the-button de facto gun list.  

      Since it monitors everything, all the time, it will know who the NRA mails to, emails, receives donations from. It will know who talks about their gun and buying more ammo. It will know who has how many weapons and where they keep them.

      Is the NRA actually OK with that?  Do they think only people friendly to the NRA will ever be in charge of this data scheme?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:29:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They'll be fine with it just so long as: (5+ / 0-)

        a) No one tells their customers that the guns won't stop the really threatening cyber home invasions; and...

        b) The government doesn't use it against their customers - which for the moment likely won't happen because if they can invade virtually and ruin people's lives from the shadows, why risk going and trying to confiscate weapons?

      •  The NRA is a front for gun manufacturers. (4+ / 0-)

        The sole goal of its management is to sell more guns and ammo, they don't give a damn about the 2nd amendment.

        Eventually all the "gun rights" people are going to wise up to this and join other organizations.  There already are other "2nd amendment" organizations.  They are in some sense more legitimate (in the sense of being more authentic) than the NRA, although you may also consider them a lot scarier.

        It's taking a very long time for "gun rights" people to wise up to the fact that the NRA doesn't give a damn about their rights, they just want the moolah.  I've wondered why gun owners, on average, are such suckers, and my best guess was lead poisoning.

    •  Of course, if you own a gun, you've (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Words In Action, lotlizard

      likely mentioned it to someone, used a check or credit card, had your gps-equipped vehicle parked in front of "Bloodbath and Beyond Gunstop" or walked into the place with your cellphone...

      An almost complete list of gun owners could be generated pretty quickly, I'd imagine.

      Ironic, that for all these guns in so many hands that nothing of the Constitution has been saved.

      Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

      by Jim P on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:31:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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