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Last night we had lots of company - as we usually do this time of year on the ol' homestead - and of course the late night conversation out on the back deck veered into NSA/Spy-State and what in the world the government would be so concerned about in our mundane daily lives that they'd try to justify an overwhelming (of OUR rights) 'need' to monitor and record our entire analog / digital existence. On its face it should outrage EVERY citizen of this nation, after years of enforced economic recession, massive unemployment, millions of families losing their homes and lands, retirements looted, etc., etc., etc., to find out the government's spending God Only Knows how much on this sort of pointless crap.

There is something of vital importance on the line at this point, that we all need to understand clearly. Do we surrender without a fight our nation, our way of life, our childrens' and descendants' entire future, just because we're too damned lazy, apathetic, or thoroughly hypnotized to exercise our power? Our guests and household members all seem to understand what's at stake. We differ slightly on how we might deal with it politically, but the most interesting positions (to me) have to do with the rationalizations we've heard and possibly rejected. WHY are they doing this, WHAT is its purpose, and WHO exactly is doing it.

When my turn to opine came, my position as Matriarch and oldest living member of the tribe allows me quite a bit of leeway as well as more than polite attention. So I used the opportunity to talk about my experience growing up and becoming politically aware. Hub and I are certified 1951 Boomers. We grew up in the first generation post-WW2... or, post-nuclear WMDs if you prefer. ALL of our childhood years were spent living under the constant overt 'threat' of Instant Human Annihilation. If we didn't toe the line, 'they' would make humanity extinct. Just because they could.

Duck and Cover drills, endlessly. Back yard fallout shelters stocked with months' worth of water and provisions. The basement level of just about every solidly-built commercial building in town had its government-provided provisions, we had CD personnel in the police and fire departments, we were all totally familiar with the signs and instructions for when we'd need to seek shelter and obey our designated CD caretakers unquestionably...

I'd always had a bad attitude. Comes no doubt from being born to the U.S. Navy. Dad was Planning Officer at Subic during the Korean 'conflict' when I was born. That's why I am currently non-existent according to the federal imposed-to-state level, but that's another story altogether. Anyway, having an extensive experience with the military's take on such things, by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Dad's first MIC corporate job after the Navy, I didn't spend any time being afraid of the public rhetoric. Dad taught physics and electrical engineering for awhile at The Citadel too, had been attached to the Pentagon when next younger sister was born, before he went through the revolving door to the contractor end where he eventually helped develop the ceramic heat tiles and computers for the Apollo missions. The nation's economy was booming, veterans from all backgrounds were quickly creating the greatest Middle Class the world had ever known, despite the underlying undercurrent of MAD. People generally didn't take it all THAT seriously. Until those six days in October...

I was in the sixth grade when it happened. First post-Navy 'new school', in a long line of new schools thus far. I was quite used to it. As the crisis developed, we got a new student in our class, a red-headed boy named Ira who had come with his mother to his grandparents house in our tiny town because they'd been evacuated from Gitmo Bay, where his father was stationed [Marines]. He and I became immediate friends, the only people in our western New York state class who sort of knew things about the game being played. We talked about it quite a lot, and made a pact not to be afraid.

It steadily got worse, day to day. The very first time a television tuned to the regular national broadcast news ever showed up in a classroom of mine, the teachers from 6th grade through high school (attached) let us just sit and watch all day long. The news was dire, the End Of The World was at hand, and all the adults in our lives became steadily more and more terrified. To which Ira and I reacted as we'd agreed to do - We Are Not Afraid.

We reasoned that there was nothing at all to be gained by making humanity extinct, since those making the decisions were also human. Still, they blustered and bloviated and acted all terrified. SuperCereal [ht: South Park] newscasters grimly reported every detail as it came in. It seemed like everyone was convinced we were ALL about to die. Ira and I didn't believe it for a moment.

That last long day I shook my fist at the sky during after-lunch on the playground - "Drop it or shut up about it!" Like a personal dare to those threatening everyone's life.

Sure enough, they didn't kill us all. Probably not because of my measly shaken fist. And at no point from there all the way through the ignoble end of the ignoble Cold War, they never again ventured that close to the edge. Even as the stockpiles and the yields kept going higher and higher, at more and more expense (conveniently covered by We The People). Fallout shelters fell out of favor outside Tornado Alley. Provisions in commercial basements rotted. Nobody gave a shit anymore, the threat had lost its existential punch.

Fast forward. Now they want me to be terrified of assorted unknown stateless actors somewhere, sometime. That's why they call 'em "terrorists." Yet it's a very simple google search to discover that I'm in more danger of being killed in any given year by lightning than faceless terrorists. And that doesn't even begin to compare to home accidents, auto mishaps, plain old murder, heart disease, cancer, or any other prominent cause of death in the world today.

I am not afraid.

I haven't been really afraid of teh gub'mint since. They do still piss me off fairly regularly.  I wasn't afraid on 9-11. I'm not shaking in my boots now. Terrorists present little to no threat to me and mine. The government's paranoia, on the other hand, is definitely an issue. Because it has abrogated my rights. This is not okay with me.

There seems to be a rather large disconnect between some Kossacks and reality. It can't be simple blindness, because it's responsible for much of the pie-throwing over the past couple of weeks. I'm beginning to learn that this is some sort of "Third Way" thing, but I'd have to go looking to find out what that viewpoint dictates when teh gub'mint sends things FUBAR. Makes no obvious sense from here. Perhaps because...

I am not afraid.

What is at stake right now is the very same thing that was at stake in the bad old Cold War. If that was never really about human extinction, then today's overt goal(s) aren't about any big deal threat from random/anonymous 'terrorists'. It's about US, because we are the only ones with the real power to call an abrupt halt to it.

The existential 'threat' in my day was global nuclear war. That's a whole helluva lot more scary than assorted cave dwellers, desert nomads, possibly smart 'visitors' taking flying lessons, or even hard core domestic assholes like Tim McVeigh. Why on earth would anyone expect me to surrender now, if I haven't surrendered at any point between then and now? Again, absurd.

I am not afraid.

It's about controlling us, not about killing us, or disappearing or torturing us, or any other awful consequence of the new "National Security State." It's about controlling us through fear. That is what it's always been about.

I am not afraid.

Originally posted to Joieau on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by The First and The Fourth and Extraterrestrial Anthropologists.

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  •  Tip Jar (212+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, blueoasis, Jaime Frontero, SherwoodB, xxdr zombiexx, Hammerhand, martini, WheninRome, freerad, CroneWit, Avila, Claudius Bombarnac, detroitmechworks, taonow, gooderservice, Armando, palantir, ferment, newpioneer, One Pissed Off Liberal, OLinda, Shockwave, wilderness voice, suejazz, kevinpdx, dance you monster, SteelerGrrl, cosmic debris, Stentorian Tone, TarheelDem, ctsteve, eru, RWood, elwior, twigg, DRo, wenchacha, OldDragon, dkmich, asterkitty, xynz, Protesterester, CTDemoFarmer, erratic, david78209, Regina in a Sears Kit House, 4CasandChlo, Rhysling, KrazyKitten, native, RFK Lives, old wobbly, Lady Libertine, Lepanto, gulfgal98, bobswern, PrometheusUnbound, jamesia, ScienceMom, psnyder, zerelda, clarknyc, Mlle L, Zinman, ItsaMathJoke, flowerfarmer, Steveningen, smiley7, chmood, Richard Cranium, JDWolverton, sunny skies, chakadog, terabytes, karmsy, annan, snoopydawg, Dallasdoc, Kentucky Kid, DebtorsPrison, SouthernLiberalinMD, Square Knot, R rugosa alba, Only Needs a Beat, Publius2008, Foothills of Oblivion, Eric Nelson, TracieLynn, Ozymandius, jadt65, 4kedtongue, shopkeeper, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Josiah Bartlett, dotsright, congenitalefty, beverlywoods, eltee, mattc129, Wolf10, TealTerror, mzinformed, OleHippieChick, emal, quagmiremonkey, Medium Head Boy, JeffinQC, ArthurPoet, humanunit, catilinus, zootwoman, Take a Hard Left, Thunder, albrt, Pluto, shortgirl, cosette, kurious, Cassiodorus, KJG52, muddy boots, FrankSpoke, madgranny, Aaa T Tudeattack, AlwaysDemocrat, CA Nana, quill, Simplify, Einsteinia, PeterHug, greengemini, YucatanMan, peachcreek, dradams, kbman, pdxteacher, Dave in Northridge, Thinking Fella, buddabelly, wader, boophus, Rosaura, Jim P, Bluehawk, RageKage, bbctooman, jamess, yoduuuh do or do not, ColoTim, pixxer, fToRrEeEsSt, OllieGarkey, helpImdrowning, Willa Rogers, bluicebank, Bluesee, bula, magnuskn, Youffraita, Nebraskablue, flitedocnm, Lupin, ovals49, radarlady, HCKAD, kharma, Dumbo, Dianna, eeff, hoplite9, run around, The Dead Man, Mosquito Pilot, ask, translatorpro, triv33, GwenM, Emerson, kamarvt, Creosote, jcrit, devis1, hazzcon, Chi, Assaf, allenjo, glitterscale, johanus, J M F, pipercity1, berko, Rachael7, simple serf, anodnhajo, Buckeye Nut Schell, greenbastard, Temmoku, Alexandra Lynch, Oldowan, LilithGardener, cotterperson, IrishGreg, Dburn, 3rdOption, Liberal Thinking, tom 47, poligirl, Deep Harm, jayden, Kombema, Oh Mary Oh, Enzo Valenzetti
  •  I'm a life long New Yorker and (60+ / 0-)

    worked for NYC Transit during 9/11. I WAS scared that day, no question as for a few hours it seemed almost anything could have happened. But we had work to do: keep things moving and get people home safely. I have always been proud of my co-workers that day and my small contributions.

    In the following months MANY people I knew my whole life packed up and left the area out of fear. People from the outer boroughs like myself.

    I couldn't believe it. For me (and thankfully many others here), NOT being afraid and getting on with our lives was the best "fuck you" we could give to the terrorists.

    I'm a 1955-er and remember duck and cover and vividly recall the Cuban Missile Crisis, where it appeared we really WERE that close to the end.

    We got that close to the abyss when I was 7 and you can't scare me again after that.

    Thanks for the diary.

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:43:53 PM PDT

  •  I remember the last time I was TRULY afraid... (51+ / 0-)

    First night in Iraq.

    Standing watch on the top of a M-109A6 in Diyala Province.

    My kids were in Foster Care, My wife had left me, and I was the lowest point in my life.

    I was truly afraid.  To this day, when my PTSD hits, that's one of the major points that I flash back to.  (Well, that and a few explosions, but it's amazing how fast that flashes to that same feeling I had that night.)

    After that, the government has lost its ability to make me afraid.  It does possess an infinite ability to piss me off, however.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:54:44 PM PDT

  •  I was born in 1960, frst awareness (16+ / 0-)

    was probably age 4 on an AFB in Bitburg Germany, 1964, 19 years after WWII.

    I remember plenty of destroyed building, walls pockmarked with light and heavy arms fire.

    We returned to America in 1968 and lived near a tactical AFB in northern Indiana, rumored to be replete with missile silos.

    By the time I got to college we were still deep in th cold war and I began being more aware of what was going on, bumping into people far more politically aware than I was.

    Lots of fear about nuclear exchanges.

    Then Reagan came into office.

  •  Not all the provisions in (16+ / 0-)

    those shelters rotted.  I remember 25 lb. tins of survival cookies liberated from the CD shelter on campus freshman year 1963.  They were like dehydrated graham crackers.  One on the desk with 8 oz. of water would swell to the size of a softball.  They provided nourishment and a feeling of fullness.

    Recently a contractor I know tore down an elementary school in TX and recovered the stores from a CD shelter.  Beans, rice, survival cookies in 25 lb. qtys. and 20 gal. tins of water.  I didn't try the water but everthing else was still good.  

    •  Well, you should be afraid... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aaa T Tudeattack, Chi

      I really, really, hate to be the one to point it out, but this diary makes no sense.

      The diarist, in the title, portends to tell us what the PRISM program and, presumably, the mass surveillance state in general, is really all about. Later, we read that what it's all about is making us afraid. I'm sorry, but she appears to have her departments mixed up.

      The Department of Fear is the one all about making us afraid. PRISM is part of the Department of Control and Contain.

      It sounds good to say "I'm not afraid." And when it's referred to the bogus terrorism threat, I fully agree.

      But this diary was supposed to be about the mass surveillance state. And for that, you should be very afraid.

      To explain why, I will answer the diarist's questions

      WHY they are doing this, and WHAT is its purpose,  are actually the same question. And the answer is containment. The attack on America we are experiencing now, which includes  stealing our natural resources, poisoning our water air and land, selling off the commonwealth, forcing us to work harder for less money, and generally looting the people's real wealth, has been going on in other countries for decades.

      Back then, they called it structural adjustments. And what the Plutocrat banksters (which answers the who question), have figured out that when you loot a country, you can expect its people to revolt.

      That's what the mass surveillance state is about. Arresting revolt before it can take place. In order for the people to resist, they must be able to organize, plan, and communicate without surveillance.

      The power of the internet that gave rise to the netroots, the almost rise of Howard Dean, and the idea of people power, is a threat to the Great Looting. It allows us to join together.

      Containment is the prevention of that joining together.

      I like to say I hope the FBI/NSA/ whoever is listening to personal phone calls. I frequently rant about politics on the phone (and never plan or organize) and nothing would please me more than making a bunch of government stooges have to listen to me rant about the constitution and shit on the phone for 2 hours.

      But I care, and am very afraid of the possibility of said stooges listening to the calls of, say, Alan Grayson, or progressive organizers, environmental activists, etc.

      That is what the Founders where afraid of too. They understood that the ability to know the private communications of elected representatives, or political operatives, or anyone participating in the governance of our country, is nothing less than totalitarian power.

      And for that you should be very, very afraid.

      •  Did you not read to the end (8+ / 0-)

        of the diary? In case your hanging participles here indicate not so, let me help you out...

        It's about controlling us, not about killing us, or disappearing or torturing us, or any other awful consequence of the new "National Security State." It's about controlling us through fear. That is what it's always been about.
        •  Yes, I read it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          And my critique stands. You appear to be conflating the PRISM program with the "war on terror's" Be Very Afraid program.

          The PRISM/surveillance program isn't about fear. It's about identifying dissidents, progressives, and other activists, not to mention politicians, who are a threat to the status quo.

          I think it's important to draw a clear distinction between these different components of the attack on America.

          Some have argued that Snowden is a PR Op designed to make us afraid to communicate. Naomi Wolf, specifically, has floated that allegation - that Snowden is a plant, and that the purpose of his revelations is to make activists and dissenter types paranoid thereby chilling their planning and organizing protests and such.

          Is that what you're alleging here? That leaking the PRISM files is meant as a warning/fear tactic?

          I would hope not.

          So it's important to be clear about what we're talking about. The anatomy of the campaign to transform the US into a neoliberal, banana republic needs to be precise for there to be any meaningful opposition.

          And for the record, I am an admirer of your writing. Especially on the Nuke issue. I see you as a good ally. I just don't agree with your analysis here.

          •  I am not seeing where (0+ / 0-)

            your disagreement lies. This diary is about what I see as the purposes of the PRISM +whatever(s) spying programs, and that is...

            about identifying dissidents, progressives, and other activists, not to mention politicians, who are a threat to the status quo.
            Yes, it's aimed at us because the plutarchs are afraid of us. All the fear-mongering is pretty standard bluster from insecure bullies. I don't see it as effective, because I am not afraid.

            As for Snowden, I wouldn't hazard a guess one way or the other how twisted the plot may be. In my experience spooks like to think they're all Mission Impossible Ludlumesque devious doers, but in reality they're not very deep at all, practically incapable of the kind of evil genius abilities that would amount to a decent conspiracy theory. Especially not on the cubicle flunky end, and NSA is the cubicle flunky end.

            I'm delighted the program(s) are going public. Now maybe so many people won't so easily be able to ignore what's happened to this country. I wouldn't have called our future a "neoliberal banana republic," though. I'd go ahead and cite the political philosophy underpinning both neoliberalism and neoconservativism - "fascist banana republic."

            I am not very expectant that this can actually be turned around. Hell, I'll be surprised if there's hearings in Congress at all, even of the flimsiest of tissue paper variety. This isn't Richard Nixon's (or Ronald Reagan's) America anymore.

  •  The only thing I'm afraid of is... (23+ / 0-)

    ...people who because they are afraid will tolerate and encourage unnecessary security measures.

    And of politicians who exploit their fear to achieve increasingly totalitarian trends for power.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:07:44 PM PDT

  •  There's something I don't believe you get (16+ / 0-)

    I'm not scared of being attacked by a terrorist at all.  I would have been willing to jump into an airplane and travel the day after 9/11.  I knew the odds of any specific individual being targeted were so phenomenally low and we all understood after that day that people with box cutters or whatever would never again be allowed to take over an airplane.

    But I do fear something worse right now after having lived through the ever increasing madness of Republican administrations.  I fear the political insanity of giving them back power again without fully recovering from the shit storm they already bestowed upon us.   What's changed today from those Cold War days is this media from hell and a horrific propaganda engine that unfortunately is working well.  

    I don't look at political issues through the eyes of DKos members.  I look at them through the lens of the average American voter, the most scared and reactionary electorate in the world and now, because of this media, the most uneducated.  

    While we truly have little to fear from these very real international terrorists, freedom fighters, whatever the hell you want to call them individually, that propaganda engine is lying in wait for the next time the wackos get through in some spectacular 9/11 style.  I can assure you the talking points and press releases are already written to turn all the spotlights onto the current President and blame him not doing everything in his power to protect us and you know what?  You and I won't fall for it but the average American will.  Fear will once again hit, the media will blast the images of death and destruction, the right will make promises of war and revenge and the Republicans will waltz right back into power.  

    I wish this time frame was all about logic and law and ethics, one in which we could just turn off all the crap Bush turned on and face these threats with courage, intelligence, and grit but we're still in the grip of raw emotion brought on by crisis after crisis bolstered by a news media backed by the military industrial complex.  

    It's much like the fact that one cannot successfully play the stock market these days by simple and direct corporate research and analysis.  The human emotional factor of local and world events must be factored in or waves of panic and greed will bankrupt you.  

    So Barack Obama to me is holding on to this security state now for one reason - survival of the Democratic party.  While we feel we're on an upswing in voter sentiment, it feels to me fickle.  Another 9/11, a major stock market correction, too many devastating weather catastrophes in a row, an oil embargo, you name it and in one election cycle we're gone and the climb back up to what we've achieved recently will be forever out of reach.  

    I think a President can weather being branded a wuss during relatively prosperous times should an attack hit but we've seen the measures the right will take and the power they have in the media during this very unsteady period.  They have been willing to default on debt to the world and the American public, knowing this, have not thrown them all out on their asses.  

    The ones of us still supporting Obama during all of this are not afraid of terrorist attacks because we fear for our safety or that of our children and loved ones from the actual attacks.  We fear the political damage that will come from demanding overnight change will be our undoing.  The Republican Party poses a much greater threat than 1,000 Bin Ladens.

    •  That is a reasonable, well-justified fear... (6+ / 0-)

      and an all-too-plausible scenario.

    •  First of all, thanks a lot (6+ / 0-)

      for providing an honest, well-reasoned 'defense' of Obama. Your argument is, in my opinion, very good.

      However, I do strongly disagree. There are two major reasons why; I'll cover them in order.

      1) No one can beat me for contempt of the media and hatred of the right's propaganda engine. But the Democratic Party, not just Barack Obama but most of the Congressional leadership as well as its major pundits (there are exceptions but not many), is doing a really bad job fighting them. For the most part, they accept the right's core assumptions--the deficit is a major issue, military spending is sacrosanct, "shared sacrifice," etc.--which, while perhaps politically expedient in the short term, long-term gives the right even more rhetorical power.

      To make use of the issue in question, nobody with any power in the Democratic Party questions the "scariness" of terrorists and the need to Do Whatever It Takes to stop them. That is the very attitude that will make the next Republican Presidency (likely) as disastrous as the one previous, and the current Administration hasn't reduced it at all; if anything, they've advanced it.

      2) You seem to be hinging your bets on the Democrats retaining (at least some) power until, to paraphrase, we fully recover from our current shit-storm. I have my doubts. The economy is getting better, but slowly. Our illogical reaction to terrorism, as I argued previously, is as strong as ever. Civil liberties violations are continuing. Just how long will it take us, on our current course, to fully recover? A decade? Two decades? More? The Republican Party has shown a remarkable ability to recover from defeats. They will regain power again, and there's a very good chance it'll be sooner rather than later.

      If we're going to stop the Republicans from repeating the Dubya Years, I just don't think we can afford to throw our entire lot in with the Democratic Party.

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope my comment came across in the "respectful, reasoned debate" tone I intended it to.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:24:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Short term thinking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, Joieau

      How can you see the road ahead if you're only looking at your feet?

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:13:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i'm not afraid (9+ / 0-)

    because i completely and totally trust the administration and the nsa to protect us from the evil people who would kill us all if we all didn't completely and totally trust the administration and the nsa do whatever they say they need to do to protect us from the evil people.

    hi guys!

    waves

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:29:21 PM PDT

  •  For the indefinite duration of The Emergency... (18+ / 0-)

    .....we must deny ourselves our fundamental rights. Otherwise, our adversaries will deny us our fundamental rights.

    In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

    by xynz on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:30:31 PM PDT

  •  even older here (14+ / 0-)

    afraid? not at all
    pissed off? absolutely!

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:44:21 PM PDT

  •  Terrific diary, Joieau! (12+ / 0-)

    You touched upon so many things I have been feeling.  

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:45:29 PM PDT

  •  Here, here! (11+ / 0-)

    Great read.

    I especially like how you've highlighted that we'd more likely die from lightning (of all things!) before dying by terrorist attack. Where are the trillion dollars spent on stopping lightning attacks? And don't get me started on car accidents ... we can't even muster the money to repair bridges

    •  More Americans die from falling furniture (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, Joieau

      in the US than from terrorism.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/...

      According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year.

      Clearly we need government agents, or preferably private contractors, visiting our homes to make sure our furniture is secure, and generally below us.


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

      by Jim P on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:40:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kind of a Catch-22 there. (0+ / 0-)

        If we had tons of people dying from terrorist attacks you would then argue the NSA and the PRISM program don't work.

        Please proceed, Governor.

        by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:09:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  luckily, I can STILL (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          argue they don't work.

        •  That would be our fault, going (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          thousands of miles away to create hundreds of millions of people who hate our guts because we're killing innocents.

          Look at Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan... in all these nations people would, some places by large majorities, approve of the US, not ten years ago.

          The entire "war formerly known as on terror" combined with propping up the dictatorships of the Middle East and Central Asia, is the reason anyone would even think we need the NSA and PRISM in the first place.

          There's your Catch-22. We cause the enemies we then have to "defend" against. (We all know PRISM etc is, ultimately, about establishing complete control over US citizens much much much more than about catching terrorists.)

          I say it's even money that al qaeda has its agents making both US military and intelligence policy.


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

          by Jim P on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:46:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Catch-22 (0+ / 0-)

          is that government won't allow anyone knowledge about whether or not your hypothesis is true or false.

          So you're effectively hypothesizing about a hypothesis.

      •  I like that example - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        It's much more accessible than the abstract - killed by lightning.

        And it's so mundane - almost everyone moves furniture from time to time.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:02:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  real fear (7+ / 0-)

    The things I am most fearful about are the things TPTB are trying to distract us from rather than draw our attention to. Their hellbent path to offing the planet (while incidentally eradicating human beings as a species) for one. Id rather we focus more on the being part... which takes considerable courage, in these times.

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:03:30 PM PDT

    •  I taught my baby sister long years ago (10+ / 0-)

      how to find mushrooms in the forest foraging mission. She kept complaining and complaining that she didn't see any, while I was packing my bag with scrumptious morels and boletes and puffballs as fast as I could.

      I told her the 'trick' is to look into the shadows, not into the sunlit patches. Because the 'shrooms grow in the shadow. As soon as she switched her attention to the shadows, she suddenly saw an abundance of tasty mushrooms everywhere.

      It's all a trick of the light. And your basic sleight-of-mind distrations. Watch the shadows. That's where the dark things grow.

  •  You are not afraid because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emelyn

    there is nothing to fear.

    "OMG the government can get my email and phone records if I'm ever investigated!"

    Everyone here will continue going about their daily lives, making diary after diary, post after post, exercising their speech by offering up harsh criticism of the "police state" in which they can say such things with zero fear of repercussions.

    Your "I am not afraid!" implies there is actually something to be afraid of.

    Please proceed, Governor.

    by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:08:14 PM PDT

    •  There's been something (9+ / 0-)

      to be afraid of for quite awhile now, actually. Easy to ignore, but happening nonetheless. Now it's full blown, people are pretending they're just now finding out about it. That's okay with me. Once everybody is forced to notice, there's an avenue for redress.

      So please ignore away. For everyone ignoring (as if our loss of constitutional and human rights means nothing), ten more are looking right at it and don't much like what they see.

      •  Is that so? (0+ / 0-)

        What is there to be afraid of? I will continue do what I want (so long as I'm not breaking the law) and say what I want and living a perfectly normal life.

        How much you want to bet for the next 20 years and beyond it will continue as such?

        Please proceed, Governor.

        by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:27:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My last 34 years (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, YucatanMan, ask, LilithGardener

          haven't been all that Cracker Jack, since you mention it. But you'd have to know who I am in order to understand where that's coming from. We got used to watchers a long, long time ago. There have even been times (of dodging bullets) when the watchers seemed to be our only friends.

          Many here do know who I am. I surely recognize that many don't, but if you really want to score Brownie points on these particular issues, you should probably avoid me. FYI.

        •  it's not about you (6+ / 0-)

          It's about the possibility to abuse the technology to surveil protesters, journalists, politicians, etc. Less technological means were used in the past; new tech makes it easier.

          It's also about the principle.

          It's about what the diarist writes about, keeping people afraid and obedient. It works on a lot of people, which makes everything harder.

          Getting people to stand up, getting people to see through the propaganda, is hard enough.

        •  one thing that scares me (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, LilithGardener, Joieau

          is the abundance of expensive equipment our cops have for defending corporate property, and the paucity of funding they have for stuff like processing rape kits. That whole "to serve and protect" doesn't pertain to individual citizens, unless they also happen to be corporations. Lots of folks get away with murder.

          •  ^^^ THIS^^^ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lisa, Joieau

            And the various ways they discourage reporting, and then don't bother investigating even when someone does report all leads to "violent crime in our city is going down," which then is used to justify the current draconian policing measures, the extra-jurisdictional spying, and the extra-judicial killings.

            When police are called by a neighbor reporting "a man on the porch with a gun" and the police open fire without bothering to announce themselves or ask the man what he holding, or tell the man to drop what he is holding... it's a sad day for all of us.

            When the police can open fire on a man holding a hose, who is watering the lawn... we see how the "serve and protect" mission has been replaced with "neutralize any possible threat."

            They face little or no repercussions, and years later the city PD has to settle a claim for wrongful death, which, of course if paid for by the tax payers, at the expense of simple investigation, such as actually testing all the back logged rape kits.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:14:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ahhhh, the easy dismissal of someone who (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          can take "equal protection under the law" for granted.

          Your comment says it all. You can afford to be dismissive; you have not yet be subjected to the Shock Doctrine.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:06:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not that it wasn't difficult (5+ / 0-)

      But if ES could access the data, how can we be sure it hasn't been accessed by others with ill intent?

      How can we be sure our congress critters are only being bribed by unlimited donations and not also by someone accessing their every digital record?

      There was a reason for the Fourth Amendment to be included in our constitution and it wasn't just because "nobodies" like us don't like our stuff riffled through.

      Sorry, your "assurances" are like condescending little pats on our heads.

      •  You can't. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban
        But if ES could access the data, how can we be sure it hasn't been accessed by others with ill intent?
        You can't anymore than you can be sure a police officer isn't going to use a warrant to plant evidence. So should we get rid of search warrants?

        If you need to be sure something will never be abused, we might as well not have any form of law enforcement or national security agency. It's literally impossible for any method or form of investigation to never be abused.

        How can we be sure our congress critters are only being bribed by unlimited donations and not also by someone accessing their every digital record?
        Who's that someone? I suppose it's also theoretically possible for a private company, say, Yahoo to go through a Congressman's personal email and use it to blackmail him. Highly improbable, though in any case.
        There was a reason for the Fourth Amendment to be included in our constitution and it wasn't just because "nobodies" like us don't like our stuff riffled through.
        Your phone records and digital information you willingly send through your providers are not your personal property, so the 4th amendment doesn't apply. Also, even if it did, it goes through a FISA court anyway.

        Please proceed, Governor.

        by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:25:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Total bs response (6+ / 0-)

          In all your attempts at minimizing and creating false equivalencies, you forgot a few things.

          Things that are not secret can be redressed in a court of law. Including things like planting evidence while carrying out a warrant.

          If a private entity misuses its private data it can be held accountable. In a court of law. Without being able to hide behind "national security."

          If something is theoretically possible and there is money to be made then I guarantee someone (or many someone's) are doing it. What would stop them? Highly improbable my ass.

          •  OK so.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban
            Things that are not secret can be redressed in a court of law. Including things like planting evidence while carrying out a warrant.
            So if someone wrongfully reads your email about what you had for dinner, it can't be redressed in a court of law?

            You know the police can, with a warrant, get your telephone and email records without telling you, right? This has been true since long before Prism. And for your telephone records, long before the internet. Hell, they can secretly listening on your phone calls with a warrant.

            Please proceed, Governor.

            by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:51:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  still with the bs responses (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau, YucatanMan, Lisa, ask, LilithGardener
              So if someone wrongfully reads your email about what you had for dinner, it can't be redressed in a court of law?
              If some hacker gets into my gmail account I can file charges against them. Not so if someone like ES taps into Prism to get at my email.
              You know the police can, with a warrant, get your telephone and email records without telling you, right? This has been true since long before Prism. And for your telephone records, long before the internet. Hell, they can secretly listening on your phone calls with a warrant.
              How do you get such a warrant? Probable cause. From a judge whose name and whose court is public. But then you already knew that. And that is NOT what is going on with the "streamlining" they are doing the case of Prism.
              •  Here's the thing. (0+ / 0-)
                How do you get such a warrant? Probable cause. From a judge whose name and whose court is public. But then you already knew that. And that is NOT what is going on with the "streamlining" they are doing the case of Prism.

                OK, to start do you agree that at least some investigations need to remain secret from the public?

                Please proceed, Governor.

                by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:09:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did I ever say that? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pluto, Joieau, Lisa

                  And why is that even a question? No one questions the need for security investigations.

                  We are questioning why the NSA needs to capture and retain everyone's digital data without specific warrants. And also that they don't seem to care enough to protect it from anyone that wants to get at it. There are lots of folks out there motivated by money and power...lots more than are motivated by conscience. What is keeping them from misusing this huge motherlode the NSA is building on us all?

                  Seriously, you act as if these intelligence agencies would never do anything bad with the tools they're given when history proves that a big old fat lie. You also seem to think that their security measures on their own frakin data is just peachy when duh....not so much!

                  •  I didn't say you did. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    duhban

                    It wasn't a rhetorical question.

                    The date is already being captured by private companies, to the point that email addresses and even cell phone numbers are bought and sold. In North Carolina if you get a traffic ticket you end up getting 15 letters in the mail from Lawyers soliciting their services. Ever buy a house? Telemarketing phone calls abounds after that. How the hell did they know I just bought a house?

                    We are in the information age and the NSA is in the information business, so to speak.

                    Frankly I would much rather the NSA have access to my info (with a warrant) than email spammers and telemarketers.

                    Please proceed, Governor.

                    by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:17:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Totally false equivalencies (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau

                      When you get a ticket or buy a house that creates a public record. Public records are, well, public.

                      P.S. Buying a house creates a DEED that is registered with some local government that takes care of land.

                      P.P.S. Getting a ticket won't generate 15 letters from lawyers but getting arrested will.

                      So basically your real problem is that you don't understand the difference between public and private.

                      Here's some types of private data that the NSA has no business saving or viewing (without a specific warrant):
                      1. The breakup conversation you had with your girlfriend where you cried like a baby.
                      2. Your emailed confirmation from Walgreens telling you your prescription for Lithium is ready to be picked up.
                      3. The texts between you and that hot chick down the hall at work.

                      And the problem is that the NSA has ALL of that now, whether you like it or not. No warrant needed, or so they tell us, because some secret law was made by a secret judge who said it okay.

                      What could go wrong?

                      •  Just a couple corrections. (0+ / 0-)
                        P.P.S. Getting a ticket won't generate 15 letters from lawyers but getting arrested will.
                        In North Carolina, YES it WILL. Yes, it does.
                        1. The breakup conversation you had with your girlfriend where you cried like a baby.
                        The NSA isn't tapping your phone line without a warrant.
                        And the problem is that the NSA has ALL of that now, whether you like it or not. No warrant needed, or so they tell us, because some secret law was made by a secret judge who said it okay.
                        No, not all and none of it can be accessed without a warrant. Before PRISM I had already knew that if I'm suspected of committing a crime, even local law enforcement could access ALL that information anyway. All they need is a warrant. I don't see a big change here.

                        Please proceed, Governor.

                        by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:09:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you understand that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Joieau

                          many of our complaints are about the "warrantless" nature of much of this info gathering, right?

                          I wish I could share your belief in an upright government who ever and only goes after "bad guys" as the majority would define them. But that's not true, at all.

  •  This is an outstanding diary, (8+ / 0-)

    about refusal to accept the official framing of "threat," which benefits somebody, and it ain't you! Your message couldn't be more powerful, or more timely today.

    I'm old enough to remember the Cold War, too. I came up a bit later than the Duck and Cover drills in school, but I heard plenty about the  Communist Menace at the dinner table, for sure. And to think, all those kids behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s were being lectured in Ukrainian and Romanian about "those stupid, aggressive Americans, who worship individualism and capitalism, and who will push the nuclear button like it's nothing. They don't care about little kids. They don't care about grandma and grandpa..."

    Tipped and rec'd.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:10:29 PM PDT

  •  What good are we if we can't be used as in.. (10+ / 0-)

    ..an "excess labor pool" to keep wages low "competitive", or if we do have employment, our wages can't be skimmed

    NSA/Prism may be of our public-government, but it's the private sector that is doing what republicns  always do strive for control of it.

    Exactly like the MIC is all about private-corporate profit

    Yes:

    It's about controlling us, not about killing us
    It's the private sector surveillance industry and that includes the billions spent by corporations that rely on information for advertizing convincing the public they need junk we don't.

    To fight wars we don't want.

    To vote for laws that hurt us

    I swear after listening to Chris Hayes piece on the private corporate banking industry and their payroll debit card gouging, taken with the decades old call to shrink the government to the size that can be drowned in a bathtub..

    It seems to me that corporations that fight for tax exemptions yet charge workers fees/taxes at every angle possible - keeping tabs on us and our spending, savings, and other habits or whatever - is all part of the private-corporate sector entities long term goal  to usurp the public-govermnet's power to levy taxes.

    And to take the power of public-government to enact laws and place that power into corporate-private ownership

    Why have government when the "private sector - free markets" etc. can do it all? - that's the republican/corporate ownership meme

    That is what I fear; a completely corporate government NOT of the people but as Mitt Romney stated; "corporations are people my friend" in charge of making the laws that governing this land.

    So when the NSA/Prism farms out surveillance contracts to these digital mercenaries for "information all awareness" it's about replacing our government of the people.

    Ownership by the 1%ers - they want it all - corporate owned NSA is just a tool

    Yes it's about control of us, our labor and our tax dollars - every resource - It's about ownership imo too

    I'm kind of far afield on this (OT), but that's what is gradually happening it seems to me

    Thx Joieau

  •  This is most distressing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, Joieau

    I'm writing my congresspeople right away.

  •  Big Data (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Joieau, Lisa

    Unless you are willing to live without a smart phone, Google, Amazon, an ATM card, cable T.V., and a whole lot of other stuff, your data is going to be collected.

    The government is not collecting the data, private companies are. And you are given them that data willingly. The government is just asking them to tell them what you willingly handed over.

    I am not sure people appreciate this. The problem is much bigger than the NSA. The NSA is not the one collecting the data. Sprint is. And Comcast. And your grocery store. And Daily Kos. (Tell me powers that be at Daily Kos, if the Justice Department handed you a court order, would you hand over information?)

    There is an amazing amount of data that is being collected from you. Every cell tower you pass, every click of your T.V. remote, every purchase you make with your ATM is being track.

    What we are facing is HUGE. What do we want to be as a society? The Big Data is already out there, and it means big money to the people who hold it and can analysis it. It is the economy of the 21st century.

    Are you willing to give up your ATM card and your smart phone? Are you willing to give up your e-ticket you printed before boarding a plane? Are you alright with your medical history being available to the ER you visit while on vacation? "Oh sorry, we did not know you were allergic to that drug. Oops."

    We seem to be willing for some of our data to be shared with third parties. What we as a society have to decide is how that data is used. it is not as easy a question as you think.

    This Big Data stuff is a whole new paradigm and we need to think long and hard about how we are going to go forward.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:31:43 PM PDT

    •  I don't have (6+ / 0-)

      a smart phone, an ATM card, cable TV, or a whole lot of other stuff. Hell, we gave up TV back in 1976, before there ever was cable.

      I can't drive, I can't fly, I can't leave the country. I can't have a bank account, I can't get a state ID, can't work outside the home, and as of next election I won't even be able to vote. Because the PATRIOT Act of 2006 has made me officially "nonexistent." THAT pisses me right off too.

      Because I was born abroad of American parents [FS-240] when Dad was in the Navy (just like John McCain), and when I got enrolled in school I answered only to my 'pet' name, given to me by my Filipino amah. All the names are mine, but the Act no longer recognizes school records as ID, though they did back in 1966 when I got my SS card. They will take a baptismal certificate or family Bible, though. Too bad I was never baptised and my family had no big derned Bible.

      It's cost me more than a thousand dollars so far, and I still have no name ("do not exist," which are the exact words they have used, repeatedly). Turned 62 last month, filed for my SS because it doesn't look like I'm going to be working any time soon. They denied my filing, because I "do not exist" and now must file suit to prove I do. God knows they've never refused my annual taxes, no matter what name is attached - it's the NUMBER that counts. I've lots of proof that all my names belong to me. The law just no longer allows me to be who I am.

      THAT is a fucking pain in the ass, let me tell you. I am now considering getting the ACLU involved, and challenging the entirety of the PATRIOT Act. I sure as hell have standing...

      You go ahead and do your thinking on your own time, decide for yourself which of your human and citizenship rights you're willing to surrender without a fight just for expedience. You have no right to surrender mine, and I'm right here to fight for them in spite of people who won't fight.

      •  How do we go forward into the 21st century? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, LilithGardener

        Phones where first tapped in 1890 and it was not until 1928 that the Supreme Court out law it. Olmstead v. United States

        Technology is changing. I said that we have to think long and hard about what we want to be as a society.

        “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

        by se portland on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:37:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the thing about daa collection is not that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, YucatanMan

        they collect the data, Its what they do with it after and they can change your history and they can make it so that you do not exist. It's those last two things that scare me. They can go into that data and just change who you are, where you've been, who you know and then how do you prove other wise?

      •  I have a friend who has a problem very similar to (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, Bluehawk, buddabelly, Eric Nelson

        yours so I know just how absolutely aggravating it can be.  And I know it is real.   Without identifying too closely who this is, here are the general issues:

        My friend's family is Latino.  He's originally from "the valley."  That's the area along the Rio Grande on the US side where there are many "colonias" way down at the bottom of the point of Texas. These areas are desperately poor and frequently without running water or other modern niceties even today.  He was born at home, his mother aided by a mid-wife.  The mid-wife wrote out a birth certificate which was registered about a week later by his family at the county court house.  That's how things were done then.

        He has a Social Security number.  Was born in the USA.  Lived in the USA all his life. Went to college, did very well and became a professional where he has a great reputation.

        He cannot leave the USA.  Why not?  The USA refuses to issue him a passport.  They say the county records from that era, consisting of recorded midwife births, are not acceptable to the US government.  Texas says his birth certificate is valid, but not the US government.

        He's in limbo.  The government won't budge.  The lawyers say they don't know what more can be done. It is utterly appalling.

        Sounds like your situation is worse, but a couple decades down the road, I worry about him collecting Social Security too. It's a hell of a thing to be treated as persona non grata by your own government.

        "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 Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:14:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's just so damned insulting. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, LilithGardener

          I was BORN Navy. My father was nothing if he wasn't the greatest patiot I ever knew. During Vietnam my hub joined the Navy, because his draft number 'won' the Christmas lottery and it was either go to 'Nam and be cannon fodder (right out of college) or join another service and take what they had to offer. We went nuclear, because we're patriots and chose not to go to Canada. Which was offering political asylum back then. Available. But then we never would have come back, and weren't willing to sacrifice our families.

          They're mostly dead now. Back then it was a deal. I don't have too much trouble identifying with people like your friend because I'm a "state-less non-person" too. Total bullshit, it's all right there in black and white.

          But everybody in the bureaucracy I've tried to work with locally, on the state level and federal level are all terrified of the PATRIOT Act. A misnomer if ever there was one. I am not afraid, I'm pissed off. Paid my citizenship dues and absolutely don't deserve this kind of shit.

          Affects 'them' not the least. Well, fine. I'll fight it out in open court if they really want to go there. Fuck 'em...

          •  I hear you. My birthday came up #3 in the lottery (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            the same year that Nixon stopped calling up for the draft.

            I was just about to enlist in the Navy to avoid the Army, with that #3 looming over me. My uncle - my dad's youngest brother - had served two tours, grievously wounded both times, malaria, the whole bit.  My other uncle served in the Air Force, shipping back full caskets, from an airbase in Nam.

            And then Nixon stopped calling up for the draft.  Of course, if he hadn't interrupted the Paris Peace talks in 1968, the war might not have gone on another 5 years and tens of thousands of Americans would not have died.  And the Laotians, Cambodians, and Vietnamese killed from his illegal bombing wouldn't have died either.  I was glad Nixon finally ended the war, but he was no hero to me for doing so.

            His pardon set the precedent for "not looking back" and that infects the body politic to this day.

            "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 Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:28:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      I keep getting emails for penis enlargement pills from private "companies" (in quotes because scam spammers don't deserve to be called companies).

      So if even a private money making enterprise can find out via the web that I have a small penis and email me spam, is anyone really surprised the NSA can access your emails and such if you get investigated?

      Please proceed, Governor.

      by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:33:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds to me like you opted in: (0+ / 0-)
        I keep getting emails for penis enlargement pills...
        You're the one who is all over this blog obsessively wagging your wee-wee at serious Americans trying to have an intelligent discussion.

        Take the pills, big boy.

        You need them.



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:04:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right, Pluto. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          se portland

          I should follow your fine example of elevating the discourse.

          Apparently nuance is lost upon you. While I made my point in the form of a joke about penis pills, the point still stands that a lot of your personal information like your email address, cell phone number, and even your internet activity is routinely bought and sold by private companies.

          I was agreeing with the last poster.

          But do, continue with your substantive discussion.

          Please proceed, Governor.

          by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:14:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That is not what he is saying, and I hope (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          USArmyParatrooper, Joieau, buddabelly

          you know that. That comment seem a bit too personal. Are you implying that USArmyParatrooper is not a serious American? That is pretty close Pluto...

          On the front page of Daily Kos right now is an ad for Globster. I have been planning a vacation. I did not 'opt in' to anything. I did internet searches. You would almost think that ads that Daily Kos allows on the Front Page are tracking by web habits. :0

          “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

          by se portland on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:39:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, they are. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto, buddabelly

            I was gifted with a subscription a couple of years ago, don't get ads. That's really great, because I pay no attention to ads even if I can see 'em. I've got no money to spend on things I don't need, so I don't.

            That is sort of weird I know, but I've been doing intertoobs for a long time. If the NSA's SooperSnoop thing was really all that good, they'd already know I'm immune from advertising. Their SooperSnooper thing is ill-conceived and not even worth what they're paying their corporate "partners."

            It's not like I'm afraid this kind of crap will be effective for what they've designed it to be. I have no expectation of that much competence. I know these folks, have met them before. It's quite a lot like Keystone Kops.

            Unfortunately, they take themselves seriously. Go figure.

            •  I've a subscription and don't see ads, the tracker (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau

              scripts run merrily along anyway....at least according to a couple of blockers I use....

              It makes my internet less than seamless, I often have to decide if I want to allow something or not but I do not get spam, I don't get targeted ads and if they are they are way off target.  Security is a pain and the more secure you want to be the worse of a pita it is.

              Hell using encription automatically gets your emails flagged and saved in the "special" area.  Just using encription, something everyone should do routinely if we do want privacy in our emails and such....

              And they would still get their metadata that they claim is all they want and need as that goes in cleartext, it has to to function.   Only the contents are encrypted so why should that "flag" you without the "metadata" showing a pattern that would allow a Judge to in good faith issue a warrant.....

              Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
              I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
              Emiliano Zapata

              by buddabelly on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:22:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  You make a good point (4+ / 0-)
      We seem to be willing for some of our data to be shared with third parties. What we as a society have to decide is how that data is used. it is not as easy a question as you think.
      But as a matter of fact, plenty of people are thinking about this. I will quote an excellent comment by bruh1:
      The laws in the US are weak because they only cover certain industries (eg health care or financial data). This differs from Europe where the laws cover all private data. The European laws are actually considered the bench mark for how one should do privacy law if one wants to truly control what private sector companies are doing. In fact, all the issues you are mentioning, the Europeans were actively and continue to be actively trying to reform their regulations to address them.

      . . . .

      Here's the difference with these laws: where they apply (and through the FTC they can be broader in scope than just specific industries), they will limit the use of data collected, require disclosure about uses, give you certain rights about the data, and in some state cases allow for a private right of action

      compare this to NSA and PRISM where not only do we not know whats being collected, we don't how its being used and we lack any rights related to it to say no.

      The US's laws in this area could certainly be made a lot better. That doesn't make what the NSA is doing harmless, or even "not as bad" as what private companies are doing. As bruh1 goes on to say:
      What's at stake is that PRISM opens the door for more private sector sheenigans because the government sees itself as patners with the private sector, and vice versa.
      This is all one issue.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:43:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  property rights should be extended 2 personal data (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      which could be the best "bipartisan" solution to Big Data I've seen.

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:17:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The government doesn't scare me. (6+ / 0-)

    What does unnerve me is the observation that people, in their mad rush to escape/defend against What Scares Them Most, actually themselves flesh out that chimera.  In rushing to defend themselves against the feared "terrorists" in their midst, otherwise sane Americans started causing their own terror and violence against fellow citizens.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly - if the threat does not exist except in our reaction to fear, then the only way to keep us from creating the (true) threats is to stop being afraid.  This stretches so far beyond "terrorism"...people are so easily divided, so easily convinced that our neighbors are people to fear, that differences are scary instead of treasure troves of potential and opportunity.

    •  Your comment contains the crux (4+ / 0-)

      of the problem, right there in your subject line. Why on earth should we be afraid of our government? Juxtaposed against the fact that our government is spending multi-billions to ensure that we're afraid of them and their power.

      Something's wrong here. We don't have to be geniuses to see that, it's all around us all the time. We do have to identify the threat and act accordingly.

      •  I keep thinking of de Toqueville. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        He wrote in awe of the tremendous potential power of the majority in America.  He also wrote about the great lengths that the various minorities in power (what we would now call the 1%, or those with privilege) take in order to ensure that the majority is fragmented, divided against itself, and distracted.

        Those clinging to power - not just the politicians - know that in a true democracy, they would no longer have power.  So they do everything they can to retain it.  Fear is a powerful means to that end - until we reject being afraid.

  •  Amen. Fear is the mind killer. (6+ / 0-)

    First, the communists were coming to get us. Communism has gone out of fashion. Now terrorism has taken its place.

    "These people are trying to kill us!" one older baby boomer friend told me shortly after 9-11. "They have always been trying to kill us," I responded. The entire universe is trying to kill us. Every single one of us.

    But to surrender everything to fear...

    The application of Occam's razor to the fevered excuses spouted forth from those who rationalize secretly sanctioned confiscation of personal information and erasure of our rights to be left alone reveals fear at the center of it all.

    Fear will do more harm than any one bogeyman will ever do.

  •  Agreed. I'm more afraid that the Manhattan Bridge (5+ / 0-)

    will fall down when I'm on the train going over it then some terrorists blowing it up. We really need to get our priorities straight and focus on infrastructure investment rather than continuing to look over our shoulders.

  •  First time I felt real non-personal fear (6+ / 0-)

    was on 9/11, when I was living in Manhattan just miles from GZ, a place where I'd worked in several jobs, including one that ended barely a year prior. Before that, all the bad things I'd heard and known about were happening to others, elsewhere, far away, and not likely to happen to me.

    Partly it was denial, of course, as people were going through horrific situations right here in NYC, e.g. murders, rapes, abuse, car accidents, cancer, etc., as well as in other parts of the world, on a much larger scale, e.g. war, genocide, famine, abject poverty, repression, terrorism. It's not that I wasn't aware of these things. I'm not an idiot or delusional (at least in that way). It's just that I didn't FEEL them, and when you don't feel something, it's not fully real, to you.

    Partly it was also a sense that while these things could happen to me and the people I knew, statistically, it wasn't likely (well, most of these things at least).

    And, partly, it was a combination of having grown up in NYC, where you're expected to be tough or at least act the part, and being originally from Israel and having visited it many times growing up, where I never felt even remotely unsafe despite all that was going on there and in the surrounding area.

    And then the planes hit, the towers fell and thousands died, and I thought "Shit, this can happen here! This is what it's like! This stuff is REAL!". And I felt a kind of fear I'd never felt before. It actually contributed (among other factors) to my deciding to move cross-country six months later. I just wanted to get the hell out, to a place where I wouldn't (and didn't) feel the way I did.

    Now I'm back, no longer feeling that fear. Or, I should say, THAT fear. Now I feel a different fear, that my government, which is supposed to keep me safe, is likely spying on me and everyone else, in ways that make no sense and are rather creepy, that I don't believe are making us safe. Between that and the nascent police state that it enables (which I agree we do not yet live in, for the most part, unless you're young and black or brown, or a left-wing protester, or a woman or poor person in the south and midwest, but I digress), poverty and rising income inequality, global warming, our crumbling infrastructure, schools and health care systems, the fact that most of the world despises us, Sarah Palin, and all these freaking "reality" shows, I just don't know.

    Sorry, I AM afraid. Not hopeless. Just afraid.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:58:56 PM PDT

    •  kovie - follow up on your comments on Obama (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Joieau, greengemini

      on another thread

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      I am afraid that we might never regain our republic and democracy.

      When those in leadership positions flat out lie, and when they don't allow voice from people's experience, and when factions won't deal with the real issues because they stand their ground, I don't see that we will be able to make the necessary changes to return to the country that I grew up in.

      I was born in 1943.

      •  A tough call (3+ / 0-)

        I think that if we do never recover, it'll be because we've lost the ability and willingness to be citizens. We either don't know what it means, or don't care, or can't be bothered, or think it's pointless, or prefer to do other things, or expect someone else to fix it all, and so on. We've become alternately spoiled, indifferent, clueless, selfish, infantile, overwhelmed and hopeless.

        No wonder so many people got so excited by Obama. He was the guy who'd make it all better without their having to lift a finger to help him. He was, in a sense, the political Jesus, just without the literal crucifixion. It's why we're so obsessed with fashion, brands, devices, entertainment, celebrities, etc. We look outside ourselves for satisfaction and redemption. Why not in politics too?

        Religion isn't the opiate of the masses (although it is arguably one of them). Detachment from reality is (which, of course, is at the heart of religion). With a citizenry so detached from citizenship, what hope do we have?

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:49:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Any fear I've felt pertaining to 9/11 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Joieau, Lisa

      ...is the awareness that the indcident is the direct result of US foreign policy.

      9/11 is a perfectly expected and natural result of neocon-inspired US international atrocities.

      As long as the foreign policy atrocities continue -- like Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Africa -- then there is every reason to expect decades of revenge directed at the United States.

      It is only normal and natural.

      Fear is optional, but the revenge against the United States is inevitable and never-ending.

      That's reality. And if the tables were turned (and they were at Pearl Harbor) we would do the exact same thing.

      The US will be on lockdown until its foreign policy changes and the US stops being the world greatest terrorist nation.

      Another thing that is optional is remaining in the US to suck up all the punishment from inside and outside.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:03:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Officially, it is the blowback from "US" policy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, Joieau

        and actions. But in reality, these policies and actions are the doings of a fairly small group of people who whether for ideological reasons or simply personal gain have conspired to basically exploit both Americans and people abroad, enabled by the tacit approval of a majority of Americans, whether witting or not, be it because they vote for these people or fail to vote for better people, or because they buy their products unthinkingly, or simply fail to speak out and do something to oppose these policies and actions.

        Not to go all Godwin, but it's a "Hitler's Willing Executioners" sort of thing.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:14:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not to go political (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          ...but Hillary is one of them.



          Denial is a drug.

          by Pluto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:17:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't say that she's deliberately (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            sought to prosper from the exploitation of others, but prosper from it she has, politically if not materially. And she certainly didn't stand in the way when others were clearly seeking to prosper from such things.

            I think she's among the better of a bad lot, like Obama. But damn, we can and must do better, or else we're screwed.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:21:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama is better than that Hillary (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau

              ...and Biden is better than both of them.

              Hillary is behind the atrocity of Nato's holy war on Libya. And the blowback from that clusterfuck is just beginning.



              Denial is a drug.

              by Pluto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:25:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The standard is less being better (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto, Joieau

                than not being quite as bad, both morally and in terms of competence. We have so few leaders who are genuinely better on both counts, like Liz Warren and Barbara Lee. I know so few people who are. It's a modern disease.

                I.e. my sig line.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:30:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Presidents are groomed and vetted (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kovie, Joieau

                  ...for many years. They start going to church, are introduced to the financiers, they are made flexible ie. compromised. Approved selections are made for you -- which is why both sides are grumpy about their lack of options.

                  But, one must be completely cognizant about what a President is for. It is a relatively powerless position. The President, too, is presented with pre-vetted choices, after all.

                  OPOL said it best today:

                  "The presidency is both a shiny object and a heat sink. It distracts us from what's being done to us, and to others in our names, while taking the heat off of those doing it." -- One Pissed Off Liberal, 2013
                  When you accept this reality, then your choices will suddenly expand.

                  You'll see.



                  Denial is a drug.

                  by Pluto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:43:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And yet, we had Lincoln, TR, FDR & LBJ (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pluto, Joieau

                    who were their own men, if not right away, then eventually. What's changed?

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:54:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Technology. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau



                      Denial is a drug.

                      by Pluto on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:56:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes and no (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pluto, Joieau

                        There was a similar "End of History" outlook at the turn of the 19th century, only in a much more positive way, as opposed to this fatalistic way. It, like the other one, will, I believe, prove to be simplistic and unfounded.

                        Among other reasons,because technology can work both ways, and because of its relative low cost, can be powerful in enough of the right hands. E.g. the "Twitter Revolution". Also, one can't discount the impact of unforeseen and unforeseeable disruptive factors, like social media or climate change (in terms of their future specific consequences). I.e. stuff happens, both good and bad.

                        I think we're currently in a "rejiggering" phase and no one can know how it'll play out. The elite think they have it all figured out this time, but they always think that. And they're always wrong. They can no more control the future than could those 19th century technocratic progressives.

                        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                        by kovie on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:05:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't believe the government (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Joieau

      is devoted to keeping citizens safe. The security theatre of the TSA does not keep us safe and everyone knows it. The huge armaments owned by even the smaller police departments are not deployed for our safety, but rather to shut us up.

      There's a vast wealth transfer occurring (part of it involves the TSA, just as part of the Homeland Security / MIC). Government agencies that are ostensibly concerned with our safety, such as the FDA, EPA, CDC, etc., have been co-opted by corporate-owned legislators who incent them to work against our safety. We work for artificially low wages, and we pay from our wages to enable a government that serves corporations but not individuals.

      If we had a government that actually cared about our well-being, it'd make sure the trillion dollars of untaxed revenue idling offshore was repatriated so we could feed, clothe, shelter, and educate the populace. It would not allow states to contravene Roe v Wade by adopting b.s. "safety of the woman" bills. It would energetically use the tax code to ensure that a 273:1 ratio of CEO:worker earnings was ratcheted back to a more sustainable 20:1. It would increase the minimum wage so taxpayers aren't underwriting corporations indirectly through food stamps, medicare, etc., for full-time workers who don't earn enough to live on. Etc, etc, etc.

    •  Remarkable video (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, YucatanMan, Don midwest

      Thanks a lot for sharing it. :)

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:49:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amazing really. Ever seen US kids with that (4+ / 0-)

      kind of grasp on political issues?  

      Heck, I have adult co-workers who think a candidate's bumpersticker on a car is being "very political."  As in, "I didn't realize she was so political."  For a bumpersticker.

      The USA has almost a proud attitude of being ignorant of political affairs.  At least far too many do.  And those who get involved often do so to simply repeat what they've seen on TV or heard on the radio, rather than think through problems and discuss them in ways relevant to themselves and their neighbors.

      "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 Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:22:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  His succinct description of fascist theocracy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      is what we already have in Texas, and other states.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:43:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed. eom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, YucatanMan

    * Move Sooner ~ Not Faster *

    by ArthurPoet on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:23:32 PM PDT

  •  you are welcome to demand (0+ / 0-)

    that metadata be encased in metaphorical triple layered titanium with a gaggle of locks......have fun using the internet or your phone though.

    I also think to make this only about fear really missed the point as to why some here are either not surprised about what the NSA is doing or are not really that outraged (or really both).

    For example to me it's hard to be outraged when people so clueless hand over just about their whole lives to corporation data mining and then get all bent out of shape when they found out they did.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:50:22 PM PDT

    •  I don't mind at all (4+ / 0-)

      that my local chain grocers print out coupons based on what I buy. If I can get two bucks off dog food next time I need it, I'm glad to. I don't mind that I get an email notice from my pharmacy that this or that is on sale, or they've a new dollars-off on OTCs I buy regularly. That's targeting me for things I actually consume, and I've no problem letting them know what I consume so they can do that.

      Neither of my local chain grocers nor my favorite pharmacy for which I have that discount recording card have the power to show up at my house armed to the teeth and search my home and property, steal it all out from under me if they find something they can charge me with. They have no power to throw me in jail on trumped-up charges just because I'm loud and In Their Way.

      The gub'mint has that power. They can stay the fuck inside their pen, thank you very much. That fence was put right where it is for very good reasons.

      •  you realize that by doing that (0+ / 0-)

        you are still giving out information about yourself?

        See this is what gets me, the complete hypocrisy of saying how dare our government in a regulated fashion look at what is essentially the street signs of the internet while those same people saturate the web with their personal infromation.

        And no I'm saying that precisely applies to you but the fact you can be so outraged and then blase suggests that you are.

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:34:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have nothing to hide, duhban. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, LilithGardener

          My life is (literally) an open book. But that makes me not a bit happier that the government has surrupticiously stolen my digital self as if it counted for something real. The state has much more power than I do. The grocery store and pharmacy don't.

          You can sign off on any governmental overreach you like. Volunteer for it! You have no reason or right to surrender any of my privacy - or who I care not to be private to for commercial reasons - just because you don't care. My rights are not yours to surrender. Never were, never will be.

          •  stolen? (0+ / 0-)

            what the government is looking at is 'public' and has no expectation of privacy attached to it.

            When they start hacking email and so on without a warrant you'll have a point.

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:25:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  right now, if you use encrypted email you are (4+ / 0-)

              flagged and they are saved for future cracking....

              If all they are interested in is the metadata than why the hell are they saving encrypted email's contents when the metadata is in plain text and visible....

              That is what you say they are doing and only that without a warrant correct?  What is their reasonable articulable suspicion that allows them to archive the contents of my emails when my metadata shows no suspicious patterns?

              Why do they give a damn about the contents of my email anyway considering I show no suspicious patterns? Why am I suddenly lumped with terrorist sympathizers and other unsavory characters....meek little me who just actually gives a damn that what I write to someone isn't read by any bozo that feels like it

              There are many different completely legal and logical reasons to use encrypted email including privacy concerns.  Why is that right of mine being abridged...When did it become illegal to write in code to your friends?

              Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
              I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
              Emiliano Zapata

              by buddabelly on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:20:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  is that really a surprise? (0+ / 0-)

                the vast majority of email isn't encrypted so of course they are going to want to know what it is.

                And no I am not saying that that should mean they can. But then again a rational adult conversation on the matter seems to have be voided in favor of paranoid libertarian fantasies.

                As for what they are doing, they are saving as much as they can and using the metadata as a fliter.

                In the time that I have been given,
                I am what I am

                by duhban on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:35:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  they admitted they were separating out and saving (4+ / 0-)

                  the content of all encrypted emails whether or not there were suspicious patterns and they went to the same category as known terrorist sympathizers!

                  Don't you find that to be an outrageous violation of the right to privacy and search and seizure?....Remember we aren't talking metadata and we aren't talking supposition or conspiracy theory, they admitted this openly and proudly.

                  This alone imo is reason for investigation,and if it isn't prosecutable then we need to get on that PATRIOT act repeal and add some serious privacy protections to boot......

                  Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                  I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                  Emiliano Zapata

                  by buddabelly on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:49:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yes because as of right now there is (0+ / 0-)

                    no legal reason they can not.

                    If you would like to change that then let's get on it but your rights, my rights, anyone rights' in the digital age have never been well defined.

                    It's why I support a consitutional convention to define them.

                    In the time that I have been given,
                    I am what I am

                    by duhban on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:57:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  To use the mail analogy (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    buddabelly, Joieau

                    - that would be like an assumption that anyone who has a locked mailbox, must be receiving mail worth cataloging, and the government has a right to create and store a full duplicate of your mail, just in case they ever have a reason to open it.

                    Yes, a lot of people still have unlocked mailboxes at the end of the driveway, and the public nature of you postal address doesn't give anyone the right to follow the postman and look through your mail.

                    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                    by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:07:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yup, there really is no justification under our (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LilithGardener, Joieau

                      Constitutional framework for this action...It assumes guilt simply because a person wants some privacy....

                      I would love to see everyone and i mean everyone start using at least PGP while using trucrypt on their drives...Lock that shit down and force them to either crack it or give up...

                      I was reading a security site the other day and supposedly to brute force a 256bit PGP private key would take all the energy the universe produces in a minute or something equally ridiculous.......and a lot of time, their most precious resource.

                      I would love something like a thumbdrive with something like Puppy linux, Tor, a tor browser and PGP for dummies that could just be plugged in and automatically encrypt everything encryptable....

                      Lets give em a real big file if they want to start a file.....

                      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                      Emiliano Zapata

                      by buddabelly on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:54:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Exactly - lets start sending each other (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Joieau, buddabelly

                        articles from the New York times, encrypted, with cryptic subject lines. Just a dozen or so articles per day. And forward encrypted articles to our think tanks. And forward encrypted images to Congress Critters.

                        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                        by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:15:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  why, why, why? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau

                That is the burning question!

                Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

                by totallynext on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:32:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Wow - someone has really drunk the koolaid (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau
              and has no expectation of privacy attached to it.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:45:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  some one is clueless how the internet works (0+ / 0-)

                for metadata to even function it HAS to be public.  Otherwise it's like demanding mail be delivered without knowing the state, zip code, city or even address (depending on how restrictive you want to go)

                Get a clue

                In the time that I have been given,
                I am what I am

                by duhban on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:32:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This reliance on "expectation of privacy" is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau

                  being distorted by black and white thinking.

                  Expectations of privacy are not all or none. Europeans get this, latin and south americans get this too. There is such a thing as semi-public space, and partial expectation of privacy.

                  To use your choice - the mail.

                  Yes the government needs to know your address for a number of functional reasons.  Yes, organizations to which you give your address have a right to store your address for the functional purpose of delivering the mail.

                  A long time ago corporations decided on their own to sell name and your address, to data collectors - we all know that horse left the barn a long time ago.

                  Yes, definitely the the US Postal Service needs to know your address for the explicit purpose of being able to deliver mail to you.

                  I don't have a problem with the USPS imaging all the mail - because of the enormously disruptive crimes that can be perpetrated through the mail.

                  But no one has a right to drive along behind the postal delivery truck and sift through your mailbox to see what was delivered that day, even if your mailbox sits unlocked at the end of your long driveway.

                  In your black and white world, if private mailboxes have no expectation of privacy then anyone, e.g. as that RW org in NC has every right to go and look at your mail every day before you pick it up.

                  There is more nuance to the issue - and I'm sure you know that.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:54:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  see this is how I know you don't know what (0+ / 0-)

                    you are talking about.

                    Because it is a black and white thing. Either metadata is public or it isn't.

                    And what you don't seem to understand is metadata is not the actual information. It's a mailing address and PRISM is really no different then that postal program.

                    In the time that I have been given,
                    I am what I am

                    by duhban on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:38:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is no point to your attack other than to (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      duhban, Joieau

                      simply attack. I'll look forward to your next post on stoichiometry, but in diaries about PRISM and Snowden, I'll pass yours by - because I have nothing to prove to you.

                      FWIW, I commented for the benefit of others who haven't stumbled into black and white thinking about internet and privacy.

                      A reasonable expectation of privacy is a legal test, a kind of standard by which to conduct a legal inquiry, in cases where explicit legal definition of privacy has not yet been defined under the law. It's a useful test, but not a bright line test. There are shades of gray and we clearly need legal definitions about what public information may be collected, for how long it may be kept, and especially for what purposes the information may be used.

                      E.g. Your vehicle license plate is in some ways similar to metadata. It is a requirement for using a vehicle on public roads. Your license plate is on display for anyone and any camera to record anywhere you go in public. In jurisdictions that have license plate readers installed on police cars your license plate can be photographed dozens of times a week, including in your own driveway, where it snaps a picture of you and your kids getting out of the car.

                      We get into the gray zone when someone - without public over site - decides that all those public images are to be deposited in a regional database that can be accessed by any PD or LE entity without a warrent. A lack of "reasonable expectation of privacy" is not a bright line that makes such public data automatically open to anyone who wants to collect it.

                      Voter registration is public data. No reasonable expectation of privacy right? Yet the NYPD was prohibited from asking questions about political affiliation when protestors were arrested. The NYPD was compelled to erase the database that had assembled of public protests and political affiliation of those arrested.

                      We should all become more familiar with what a reasonable expectation of privacy means and how it has already been denied as a basis for UNREASONABLE collection and storage by law enforcement.

                      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                      by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:04:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  My mail is not 'public'. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              Nor is my email, my telephone conversations, etc. If you believe the government has a right/reason to open your mail (snail or email) and listen in on your phone conversations without even the slightest nod to probable cause and duly sworn legal warrant, you'll have to provide me with a list of specific, NOT-secret legislation and policy before I'll buy it. Law and policy which has existed since well before the goddamned PATRIOT Act while you're at it, because the PATRIOT Act is blatantly unconstitutional, will be effectively challenged, and is very likely to be struck down.

              •  um the metadata is (0+ / 0-)

                because that's how the internet functions

                At some point to send data you have to give it instructions. Please let me know when you understand the difference between metadata and the contents because till then you do not have the knowledge to have this conversation.

                In the time that I have been given,
                I am what I am

                by duhban on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:21:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Most people discussing PRISM, etc. already know (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau

                  what meta data is. People who don't already know what meta data is are people who do not care to know much about the Patriot Act or civil liberties.

                  Please stop pretending otherwise.

                  You're spamming this kindergarten IP lesson in lieu of making any point or contribution to the discussion.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:13:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  A reasonable expectation of privacy - we (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            should all become more familiar with how the test has been applied and how it is NOT a blanket permission for anyone to collect and store public information for any future purpose they may so choose.

            Reposting from my comment below:

            A reasonable expectation of privacy is a legal test, a kind of standard by which to conduct a legal inquiry, in cases where explicit legal definition of privacy has not yet been defined under the law. It's a useful test, but not a bright line test. There are shades of gray and we clearly need legal definitions about what public information may be collected, for how long it may be kept, and especially for what purposes the information may be used.

            E.g. Your vehicle license plate is in some ways similar to metadata. It is a requirement for using a vehicle on public roads. Your license plate is on display for anyone and any camera to record anywhere you go in public. In jurisdictions that have license plate readers installed on police cars your license plate can be photographed dozens of times a week, including in your own driveway, where it snaps a picture of you and your kids getting out of the car.

            We get into the gray zone when someone - without public over site - decides that all those public images are to be deposited in a regional database that can be accessed by any PD or LE entity without a warrent. A lack of "reasonable expectation of privacy" is not a bright line that makes such public data automatically open to anyone who wants to collect it.

            Voter registration is public data. No reasonable expectation of privacy right? Yet the NYPD was prohibited from asking questions about political affiliation when protestors were arrested. The NYPD was compelled to erase the database that had assembled of public protests and political affiliation of those arrested.

            We should all become more familiar with what a reasonable expectation of privacy means and how it has already been denied as a basis for UNREASONABLE collection and storage by law enforcement.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:38:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I bet.. (6+ / 0-)

    under-inflated tires pose a greater danger to people living in USA than terrorism, at least in raw numbers.

    The MIC/SIC needs our fear or silence to profiteer and infringe. We need to drag our collective asses off the faintin' couch and stop assisting them!

  •  Thanks, fellow Boomer. Gotcha beat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    by 4 years, so I remember these events from a slightly older viewpoint. I love your pact with Ira, and hope I may join you in it. I remember after 9/11 that my basic assumption was that the US was about to become Tel Aviv, and no place people gathered was safe from potential attack of the 'bombed restaurant" type. Living in a major - even iconic - metropolitan area, we sort of felt it was an obligation to go on living normally, and basically ignore any possible threat. It turned out that the attacks I expected somewhere in the US did not materialize, whether b/c they were stopped or b/c all the eggs were in the basket already shown off in September. However, the attitude remains.

    Regarding the actions of our own government: What is it we're defending, if we are trampling our own Constitution in the process?

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:10:24 PM PDT

  •  You are one of my new heroes. This is exactly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Joieau

    how I feel, and what I believe. I can not understand being afraid of something that might happen, somewhere, someday, by we're not sure who, or, wait for it, wait for it, maybe not. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, life is too short, and I want to enjoy life as best I can. Being afraid of "maybe's" is a ludicrous waste of time and energy and definitely not my cup of tea. I say the government, nor anyone else for that matter, has any business listening in on my phone calls, or reading my emails, or tracking my internet usage. Period. No excuse, or so-called "danger" out there is going to change my mind on this. If the government is keeping track of all our personal electronic data, no good will come of it, and you can bet on that. If I'm not doing anything wrong, the government has no need to pay me any attention whatsoever, my private life should be private and none of their business.

    You totally rock for saying it so well. Wish I could rec a gazillion times. Best wishes to you.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

    by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:52:39 PM PDT

  •  I was about two or three miles north (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, Don midwest, Joieau

    of the World Trade Centers on 9/11, and for about three days afterward, the sound of sirens put me on edge.

    But no: after the first few days, not truly afraid. Annoyed that Chinatown was blocked off, and that concrete barriers were going up everywhere: but that was kind of understandable, b/c we didn't know whether there would be future attacks.

    I never left NYC b/c of 9/11. I left, two years later, b/c my elderly father was afraid of dying alone -- and b/c I needed a job, and NYC's economy still hadn't recovered.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:05:29 AM PDT

  •  I understand and applaud you, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Joieau

    but i'd find this diary more personally meaningful to me if I actually could believe that any of this was even REMOTELY connected to protecting us from terrorism, even in the minds of the people inflicting on us.

    I don't.  No criticism of you, really, or your sentiments about it, but just a statement about where I come from on this.  I actually am afraid, but because of recent events with domestic spying and American state-sanctioned torture, I'm afraid of what our government is up to.  

    •  We should all be very concerned (0+ / 0-)

      about what the gub'mint is up to. We know the kind of murderous evil they've perpetuated for far too long around the world (particularly notable in Central America), and should be taking concrete steps to prevent descent into death squads, disappearing people, grotesque death-by-tortures and such as is so proudly taught by the U.S. Army at Ft. Benning to all wannabe tyrannical madmen and their henchmen. Because that's precisely where this is headed.

      But I'm not afraid of that either because it's not gone that far yet. Nor will it ever go that far so long as a good portion of the American people are not afraid to stand up for our rights. We have the power to shut this whole circus down if we really want to do so, and it doesn't have to involve facing death-dealing domestic armies in the streets. But if we don't get together somehow and do what needs doing, facing the death-dealers in the streets will be all we've got left.

  •  Thank you. As someone coming from Israel... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Joieau

    ...I must admit you've nailed it. Fear is the strongest control mechanism.

    Over there, the government and powers-that-be have tuned it to perfection, to the point that they are using the traumas their own policies have caused, to justify the continuation of the very same policies.

    And people's eyes are shut tight, deliberately, out of mortal fear.

    Coming here a year after 9/11 (I'd been here before), and seeing that the same mindset has been instilled in Americans, was disheartening.

  •  I am not afraid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Joieau

    I remember duck and cover, and thought it was all foolishness.    Somehow, as a child, putting our hands over our heads didn't seem like it was going to be enough if something tore the roof off of our concrete block building.   And, you know, as an adult, I feel exactly the same way.

    I rode an airplane just a few days after 911.   It was the best airplane ride I've ever been on.  We had the plane almost all to ourselves.   Other people's fear is my gain.

    I am an atheist.  So, you can tell me I'm going to hell all day long, and I will laugh in your face.

    I am not afraid... of so many things.  

    My daughter recently told me that, as a child, she was afraid, until the day came that I explained my beliefs to her.  She said that she remembered what a relief it was to her, to realize that she did not have to be afraid.

    Why are so many people so afraid?  

    It's not terrorists that are going to get you.  It's a car accident or a heart attack.    We live, and we die.  It's a natural process.  

    Being afraid simply makes you die a little faster -- from the adverse effects of stress on the body.  

     

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