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It's not a secret that ideology divides much of Daily Kos these days.

This division results in two sides, factions or tribes. The easiest way to tell them apart is probably their respective view of the President of the United States. Convenience, laziness or utter disgusted frustration, take your pick, calls them – us – Roxers and Suxers. We are proud peoples, locked in battle.

Well, at least my tribe is proud. The other side, probably because they live in holes down by the river and subsist mainly on snails, is angry and bitter, not worth listening to. They are also wrong, on everything, always, a Platonic Ideal of Wrong. Which is why we, the good, smart, not-wrong people, fight them. Rumor has it they feel the same way about us, not that we care what the snail-gobblers think. Like I said, they are always wrong. Wretched hole dwellers.

Forgive the sarcasm, please. I'm not actually writing this with the intent of attacking anyone or wasting your time. Nor is there a mantle of sainthood I could credibly claim in talking about this fight. What I have learned is that some enemies aren't, that we have common ground, and now is the time to seek it. A time to stop fucking around and get serious.

Say, about the NSA spying scandal.

Per whistle-blower Ed Snowden, the NSA, an agency within the Executive Branch of the United States government, is developing and exercising the capability to look at the electronic data of every American and indeed, the rest of the world. This agency is creating a tool, in secret, that could fundamentally transform this country; Daniel Ellsberg speaks of a turn-key police state. This tool is already in use, facts about it knowingly misrepresented to Congress, something I seem to recall used to be called perjury. NSA's activities could well be in violation of the Fourth Amendment. I wasn't aware 'Amendment" meant 'Suggestion' back in the day.

The international standing and alliances of the United States have been damaged by this leak, and it is entirely likely that U.S. business interests abroad have been and will continue to be damaged as well. Trust in government in this country is already at historic lows, at the very least, these revelations will not improve it.

It's that bad.

As problems go, I'd say we're somewhere in the You-Have-Got-To-Be-Fucking-Kidding-Me class of problems. To be clear: there is no question in my mind that the President, to be blunt, fucked up. As did his administration. Arguing about the definition of whistleblower or ripping a journalist in Brazil doesn't void the fuckup.

I cannot, and will not, defend or excuse it. Anyone looking for an apologia, sorry to disappoint. I may change my mind, but let me finish the howling in rage thing I'm doing before I get back to you.

That does not change the mistake it is to make this a debate about the merits of the personalities involved. Barack Obama could just be here on loan from his angel duties in heaven for all I care, Edward Snowden fuck goats and various other livestock companions in the middle of Red Square in broad daylight, neither would matter.

The capability of our government to spy on its people, that's what matters. Lying to Congress because terror sets a reckless precedent I don't even have the language for.

Rox vs. Sux is great for flamewars. Not for analysis.

Policy does trump personality.

Which is why this card-carrying fanboy left the comfort zone of friendly opinion and crossed enemy lines. Not an easy journey, or for that matter, initially well received. There is too much poison in the air between us, poison I've added to myself, to expect otherwise. Obama critics are free to doubt my sincerity in this writing, by the way. Suspect timing at the least. A hoax, perhaps, another distraction in the ongoing meta-war.

There is no hoax. The story begins right here. It's what Dallasdoc was talking about here.

He was kind enough to send me this as well:

An appeal to my fellow administration critics:

NSA domestic surveillance programs have become the latest political chew toy being fought over in our never-ending pie wars.  This issue is too important for that.  It is imperative that every member of this community -- and every citizen of this country -- joins together in unison to deliver the message to our government that the programs recently revealed are unacceptable and go beyond the limit of what the Constitution permits.  In order to give this message the power it must have, we must put aside our squabbles and find a way to come together in a common purpose.  

MBNYC is reaching out to the administration's friends here, hoping to allow them to have a dialogue out of which we may find a common language with which to speak to our leaders, clearly and unmistakeably.  Please, PLEASE allow the administration's friends to have this conversation.  Avoid the temptation to squabble over personalities.  Do not bring past grudges in here.  There are plenty of other opportunities to do that.  Engage helpfully, constructively and with open heart, or sit back and let them work it out for themselves.  Time is growing short for us to influence change on this vitally important issue, and we must seize our opportunity.  United we can be powerful; divided we will be irrelevant.

Dallasdoc

I'll say this as a Roxer with impeccable credentials: I'm willing, we should all be, to find that common language and purpose. Our government is spying on us. Building the capacity to do so more rigorously. We can honorably disagree on the merits of this President. We cannot tolerate our rights being infringed. If that's not reason to seek common ground, what is?

And if someone of Dallasdoc's obvious integrity and insight is foe not friend, whatever the pretext, something is wrong. Too wrong to be justified, only regretted. Like I said: we all lose.

The President is asking for trust on the issue of domestic surveillance. Why don't we ask him instead to prove that we're still a nation of laws, not of men? A new web site for the NSA is a great idea; as an official response to what we now know about the agency's activities and abilities, it is laughably insufficient bordering on offensive.

Espionage is and always has been a tool of statecraft; Julius Caesar had spies. I have no issue with espionage as a concept or knowing that this country engages in it, as other nations do as well. I do expect, we all should, that it not explode into a global PR debacle. Reminder: the idea of spying is to benefit the nation, not turn it into the laughingstock of the entire planet. Kind of like it just did.

We have a new consumer watchdog at the Federal level, the CFPB. Why not a privacy watchdog? It might be helpful to create an Information Commissioners Office modeled on that in the United Kingdom. ICO is part of the Ministry of Justice and tasked with securing Britons’ privacy and, neat bonus, promote government transparency. The president has called for greater oversight and transparency. Wonderful. Make it happen, sir.

If only for the surely spectacular tea party explosion of crazy a Privacy Office would cause. Now that would be epic entertainment.

Congress makes paralytic stupor look like an Ibiza nightclub with free cocaine, but here’s a crazy theory: nobody actually wants to get wiretapped. This is one of those really basic assumptions I’d guess aren’t even polled, comparable to “Do you like food?”. The recent close defeat of Conyers-Amash indicates that the House could pass a bill to protect privacy with some prodding and if the White House gets out of the way. We as citizens would even get the added benefit of seeing those lobbyists-in-waiting do some work for their paychecks.

The FISA Court? John Roberts is packing it with right-wing judges. Simple fix: If this court has indeed evolved into a second Supreme Court, as if one weren’t bad enough, then use the same process to seat judges on both courts. Still no guarantee of better outcomes, but again personally, if I'm going to get screwed, I prefer to know who's doing it, not to get fucked in the dark.

Just some ideas for the here and now. But what really terrifies me, and should terrify you as well, all of us really, is what the future may hold if we do not act. Forget this President and think maybe two or three down the line. Love him or hate him, President Obama will leave office. And then what?

Modern U.S. history has patterns. One of them is a steady waxing of Presidential power. Arthur Schlesinger coined the term Imperial Presidency in 1973, for something that has existed in embryonic form since at least Theodore Roosevelt, became manifest in the FDR/Truman administrations, and has only grown stronger since. The Executive Branch, regardless of who happens to head it, accrues power steadily, relinquishes it seldom if at all. This process has been going on for generations, drip by steady drip, largely unnoticed and I’d guess, unlikely to stop anytime soon.

Obama's successors, whoever they will be, will inherit the infrastructure and regulatory environment being built right now around the NSA. It is critical, no, of absolutely historic importance, that we get this framework right. The NSA will not be abolished, if anything, it will grow. So will its capabilities assuming just the normal operation of Moore's Law.

We’ve had 44 presidents, will have many more, and have mostly been lucky in our choices. But there is no historical rule that a Nixon or a Bush represent a floor in terms of executive depravity.

We could see worse. Let's limit the tools they could use against our kids.

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  •  Tip Jar (261+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Free Jazz at High Noon, fou, Vetwife, Hammerhand, Dallasdoc, jiffypop, ek hornbeck, Garrett, Catte Nappe, joedemocrat, civil wingnut, coquiero, leeleedee, gulfgal98, quill, joanneleon, LtdEdishn, Sylv, Arilca Mockingbird, Richard Lyon, Lady Libertine, bobswern, pat of butter in a sea of grits, bula, dclawyer06, Jim P, punkRockLiberal, bakeneko, Mets102, newpioneer, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, GoGoGoEverton, tardis10, commonmass, raptavio, sceptical observer, Empty Vessel, Pithy Cherub, JekyllnHyde, Timaeus, pfiore8, 3goldens, Joy of Fishes, Onomastic, kat68, emal, WisePiper, dpinzow, Pandora, Thinking Fella, psnyder, high uintas, Jarrayy, blueyedace2, WheninRome, kj in missouri, Chrislove, Burned, Siri, lunacat, Shockwave, binkycat, Lost Left Coaster, MtnCerridwen, willyr, cosmic debris, CenPhx, expatjourno, TomP, Drewid, ferment, Alfred E Newman, blue jersey mom, divineorder, onionjim, FG, Ian Reifowitz, SottoVoce, JosephK74, mookins, Dave in Northridge, Sucker Politics, Medium Head Boy, Random Brainwaves, psychodrew, buddabelly, basquebob, NearlyNormal, Hey338Too, blueoasis, CroneWit, carpunder, peachcreek, brainwave, Meteor Blades, erratic, smileycreek, PsychoSavannah, PhilJD, Dartagnan, joanbrooker, greenbastard, annieli, citisven, orestes1963, copymark, sidnora, kerflooey, CA Nana, Eddie C, Haningchadus14, cpresley, wayoutinthestix, shopkeeper, k9disc, bronte17, Lawrence, Nada Lemming, TracieLynn, StellaRay, hooper, TheMomCat, Glen The Plumber, River Rover, Mnemosyne, Thomasina, Yasuragi, triv33, congenitalefty, Dumbo, Jackson L Haveck, Demeter Rising, HCKAD, RuralLiberal, kyril, phillies, CS in AZ, keirdubois, ricklewsive, northerntier, clarknyc, LaughingPlanet, ruscle, schemp, genethefiend, DeadHead, Flyswatterbanjo, Sara R, Jason Hackman, vcmvo2, darkmatter, Miggles, Militarytracy, kurious, AaronInSanDiego, catilinus, Kombema, begone, prfb, CanyonWren, OllieGarkey, cosette, Jazzenterprises, Captain C, YucatanMan, gloriana, rsmpdx, middleagedhousewife, RageKage, kalmoth, clubbing guy, dull knife, HudsonValleyMark, Brecht, MJ via Chicago, poopdogcomedy, Faroutman, Bluehawk, 2laneIA, josephk, mmontanaman, tegrat, sawgrass727, itsbenj, hulagirl, ask, Ebby, serendipityisabitch, leftynyc, eeff, furrfu, dicentra, Indiana Bob, kharma, agincour, Bridge Master, kurt, Yoshimi, qm1pooh, bluedust, profh, dance you monster, rapala, Cedwyn, TooFolkGR, Inflatable Yak, LiberalCanuck, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, RennieMac, PhilK, 420 forever, fluffy, Geenius at Wrok, Smoh, Armando, DRo, jbob, science nerd, Independent Musings, Tool, Kevskos, StrayCat, JVolvo, marathon, bluesheep, rmonroe, Freelance Escapologist, Pale Jenova, Oh Mary Oh, AgavePup, cardinal, conniptionfit, angry marmot, poligirl, J M F, guyeda, CT Hank, mallyroyal, zerelda, Odysseus, Robynhood too, ozsea1, jrooth, Joieau, NoMoJoe, jfromga, Whatithink, Kentucky Kid, CorinaR, BachFan, petulans, MKinTN, 3rock, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, pixxer, WB Reeves, Funkygal, deviant24x, MrAnon, mahakali overdrive

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:05:52 PM PDT

  •  Is common ground to be found? (138+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, ek hornbeck, civil wingnut, DiesIrae, gulfgal98, quill, Catte Nappe, joanneleon, joedemocrat, Sylv, DeadHead, Lady Libertine, bula, dclawyer06, newpioneer, Arilca Mockingbird, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Lost and Found, GoGoGoEverton, raptavio, msl, Pithy Cherub, JekyllnHyde, Laconic Lib, BFSkinner, Timaeus, 3goldens, Joy of Fishes, emal, WisePiper, psnyder, high uintas, blueyedace2, WheninRome, Choco8, lunacat, Shockwave, Free Jazz at High Noon, cosmic debris, CenPhx, expatjourno, ferment, Alfred E Newman, divineorder, Ian Reifowitz, Siri, JosephK74, Medium Head Boy, psychodrew, tardis10, basquebob, NearlyNormal, blueoasis, CroneWit, Meteor Blades, PhilJD, nailbender, Dartagnan, orestes1963, BigAlinWashSt, sidnora, CA Nana, cpresley, wayoutinthestix, k9disc, KJG52, bronte17, Nada Lemming, TheMomCat, TracieLynn, triv33, Demeter Rising, Thomasina, HCKAD, congenitalefty, RuralLiberal, kyril, keirdubois, Betty Pinson, northerntier, ruscle, schemp, Jason Hackman, Miggles, kurious, Militarytracy, catilinus, lenzy1000, Kombema, Cassiodorus, CanyonWren, cosette, elwior, YucatanMan, gloriana, RageKage, MJ via Chicago, Brecht, Faroutman, mmontanaman, Drewid, ask, Ebby, serendipityisabitch, Rick Aucoin, Burned, dicentra, kharma, kurt, bluedust, profh, dance you monster, Inflatable Yak, RennieMac, susakinovember, Geenius at Wrok, science nerd, lunachickie, Tool, Kevskos, StrayCat, JVolvo, marathon, bluesheep, Oh Mary Oh, conniptionfit, J M F, poligirl, Odysseus, mallyroyal, jrooth, Bridge Master, Chi, Joieau, Kentucky Kid, CorinaR, MKinTN, Anthony Page aka SecondComing

    We know we can fight.  Can we meet together on the most important issues of the day, as Democrats with a shared set of values, and stand up to our own party when it's necessary?

    Let's see.

    I hope administration supporters use this opportunity to work through their feelings about this story.  And I hope critics give them the space to do that, without deflection into more flame wars.  I'll be reading with interest.

    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

    by Dallasdoc on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:19:22 PM PDT

    •  The problem is that you think you're (31+ / 0-)

      right, and that "administration friends" need enlightenment. I guess it's nice that you're not calling people unprincipled hacks or claiming that the Washington Post changed its PRISM story in response to government pressure, but please.

      I'm not going to get on that paranoid bandwagon.

      •  Yep. That's the problem, right there. (23+ / 0-)

        I'm perfectly willing to let anyone else work through their issues as long as they come around to the correct--aka 'my'--side of things in the end.

        There is a partial solution, which is encouraging the use of 'Caucus Project' diaries. So if certain wrongheaded people want to do X, they can gather with their Idiot Minions and do it without my interference, whereas if other bonebrained morons want to do Y, they can make that particular mistake without having to listen to my opaque snark.

        This is a Caucus diary, a community diary created by The Caucus Project group at DailyKos.

        The goal of this diary is not to debate the policy position of the diarist; it is for people who support the position statement to discuss and debate proposed ideas for action, and to organize.  The diarist will post a position statement, which will include a solicitation for possible courses of action or a proposal for action, tactics and strategy.

        Comments that attempt to derail the discussion will be moderated by the diarist and members of the Caucus group.

        Please read this diary, "The Caucus Project at Daily Kos", before commenting here if you are not already familiar with the new Caucus community diaries.

        That way, one can at least politely request not to be bothered by soxxors or puppeks or whatever the fuck we're calling people who disagree with us this week.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:44:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Stop arguing, LOL ! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Thomasina, Kombema, CroneWit

        You guys are like a bickering old married couple.

        I guess this is some sort of expression of love, but it's hurting my eyes so please stop picking at each other.

        400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:42:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (13+ / 0-)

        Frankly, I find this attitude that the "administration supporters," which  itself a false and facile label of many of us, and which AGAIN acknowledges no shades of gray, to not bode well for this experiment. In fact, I find it very condescending and off putting.

        Frankly, while I hope for the best, and appreciate the effort, INCLUDING, the effort put into this diary, I don't see this resolving itself in this way. I hope I am pleasantly surprised, and would love to be wrong.

        But imo, progressives are as the saying goes, very hard to herd. That is our best characteristic, and our worst. The GOP does much better at this because we are, imo, talking about entirely different personality types, and that has been shown to be true in studies.

        For me, I wait to see what this site is about when the mid terms are really an issue. I don't expect us all to agree on much till then, positions here are too deeply dug in, for now.

        But if we can't agree that keeping the senate Democratic, and trying to turn the house is the priority, then nothing about the stated goal of this site remains relevant.

        Which is certainly not to say that there aren't many other priorities, as each person feels them, and that can't be helped and aided here, and have been. This is a good forum to get it all out, and sometimes that works to actually help move change along, and sometimes it doesn't.

        But if you want to talk about where we, imo, have our most power, it will be when it comes to elections, all kinds of elections, but the mid terms certainly loom large.  

        Because if we don't do that, nothing else is much going to matter for a longer time to come.  And anyone can argue with me on this, and I'm sure they will. But after seeing the results of the 2010 mid terms, which were IMO, catastrophic for not only the Democratic party, but for anyone looking to move this thing forward, beyond the Democratic Party, I for one cannot say that elections don't matter. I think they matter, a lot.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:12:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find it really patronizing and off putting. (6+ / 0-)

          I'm not going to join forces with someone who was calling me a "good German" hardly two weeks ago, and who's decided now that he's big enough to wait for me to see the light.

          They can just get bent with that bullshit.

          •  I must point out (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VickiL, Smoh

            that one commenter is not a "they," although this commenter is a major spokesperson for a POV here, and thusly imo, could have done a lot better in his first comment on this particular diary. He was right out of the gate with labels, and that's not going to hunt here when it comes to bringing us together.

            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

            by StellaRay on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:14:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unless and until there's a genuine apology (5+ / 0-)

              for calling people Nazis and Stasi, I won't believe this is a gesture of good faith. I think it's a missionary crusade, and I won't have any of it.

              I'm willing to find common cause with people who don't believe my opinions are controlled by the government or an artifact of "Obama worship." I won't have anything to do with people who don't believe I'm even capable of having my own opinions if they're not aligned with theirs. I'm way less creeped out by the NSA than I am by that bullshit.

              •  I understand how you feel. (7+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CS in AZ, fou, Smoh, Kevskos, TomP, jrooth, MBNYC

                But I don't need an apology from anyone here to move forward. I have had my say on this particular comment, and that's all you can expect on the internet, imo.

                If the behavior you reference continues, as well as some pretty shabby pot shots from "the other side," well then it does, and the consequences of that will continue.

                I don't consider it my responsibility or onus to make this site work, although I try to do the best I can, within the parameters of my own beliefs, to add in to trying to make it so. But it will be what it will be. I have found that acceptance of that is central to my continuing to be here, and still hoping for the best we can be when push comes to shove.

                And I must say, that days spent on the Wisconsin threads here before, during and after the recall have been a very good experience for me. Same goes for the NC diaries, the Michigan diaries, etc. The gay rights threads here inspire and encourage me. But then these are places where common ground seems easier to come by.

                So I just try to balance it all out, and we all have to do that in our own ways.

                 

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:43:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, I don't care whether or not there is (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  StellaRay, mallyroyal

                  an apology. I doubt there will be. I'm just stating for the record what I think.

                  •  When is a "personal apology" is more important (8+ / 0-)

                    than mega Constitutional issues like the NSA spying on American citizens without warrants???

                    Or our government summarily executing people without trials?

                    Or holding people in prison indefinitely without charges?

                    Or...  well, the point is made.

                    The only logical explanation seems to be the "reason" that separates the two sides on dkos on issues like this.

                    Personality vs. Principle.

                    The Roxers vs. Suxers.

                    When people make individuals (or their own egos) the most important part of a political story, I would humbly suggest that they may be missing a larger picture.  

                    I think that is the simple, and deadly important, truth of this diary.

                    •  I totally and emphatically (9+ / 0-)

                      resist your assumption that this is about "Personalty vs. Principle." And there is absolutely NOTHING "humble" about your assertion that this is so.

                      On the contrary, I find your assertion that it's all about your binary world to be incredibly arrogant. I find your idea that those of us who don't see ourselves as suxers or roxers, but find ourselves in the gray in-between are unprincipled and lacking your fine moral compass to be insulting. Not a good start for bringing anyone together. Don't talk to me about ego, you've got your own.

                      Which is why I stated from the get go on this thread, I'm not too optimistic about this experiment. People are too deeply dug in here to understand each other, as far as I can see.

                      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                      by StellaRay on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 11:40:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You seem rather 'dug in' yourself (8+ / 0-)

                        And your reading of the above comment/commenter seems a bit harsh, unless there's some back story of which I'm unaware.




                        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                        by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:04:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no backstory required (9+ / 0-)

                          for dreck like this to try one's last nerve, especially given the broader context:

                          When is a "personal apology" is more important than mega Constitutional issues like the NSA spying on American citizens without warrants???

                          Or our government summarily executing people without trials?

                          Or holding people in prison indefinitely without charges?

                          Or...  well, the point is made.

                          The only logical explanation seems to be the "reason" that separates the two sides on dkos on issues like this.

                          Personality vs. Principle.

                          The Roxers vs. Suxers.

                          When people make individuals (or their own egos) the most important part of a political story, I would humbly suggest that they may be missing a larger picture.  

                          the truth in that last sentence goes both ways, hey?  when it's all the fuck about obama -- good or bad -- we're doing it wrong.

                          and the larger, much more important, point is that life in this crazy world rarely, rarely presents with truly binary situations.  most issues require a great deal of nuance to manage; there are shades of gray in everything.

                          so to pretend that what separates us here reduces to personality v principle and rox v sux is the real missing the larger picture at hand.  

                          and i just love (NOT) how -- according to team suxxor -- it's always those who tend to fall along the "rox" lines that are the ones putting personality above principle, as if anything is ever that simplistic.  it's insulting as all get out, as one could just as easily attribute your beliefs to something equally facile.

                          maybe if we quit trying to label and categorize each other and instead, like, you know, focused on action diaries and doing shit, we might actually get things done.  but no...meta, meta, meta while action diaries languish.  

                          like MB's sig says, show me what you do; do you rec action items and work for change, or what?

                          i don't mean you specifically per se, just the general "you" of an audience.

                          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                          by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:24:34 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  clarification (6+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves, Smoh, Gurnt, Odysseus, Moravan, StellaRay

                            i do believe that it can occasionally be all about obama/personality:  he is our first black president.  like it or not, that is meaningful as hell.  because you bet your ass a not-insignificant part of the opposition he's faced is racism, plain and simple.

                            speaking of race, no other president could have credibly delivered the speech he gave after the trayvon case verdict.  and that speech was in no way an obligatory part of being president.

                            and so sometimes, yes; we have no choice but to consider the man.  

                            but that is not 99% of the time, for pete's sake.  and i, for one, am bloody well sick and tired of hearing about how this one man isn't doing everything just perfectly and therefore, something nefarious simply must lie in his heart of hearts.

                            wanna put a stake through the rox/sux wars tout de suite?  mindreading comments need to be HRable; don't ascribe base motivations to others...that kind of common sense.  nobody knows what you, I,  that kossack, the other kossack, obama, reid, pelosi, et al really truly feel/think/believe/desire, etc. about a fucking thing.  yannow?

                            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                            by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:40:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Mindreading comments HRable? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kharma, Kevskos, CroneWit

                            No, thank you.

                            Not ascribing motives to others, I agree with, though.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:56:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait. Can you read the title of the diary again? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kharma, lunachickie, CroneWit

                            It kind of mentions rox vs. sux, too. And the first half doesn't exactly set a good example for moving away from categorization, it seems to me. But perhaps I didn't read it as closely as I should have.

                            And I think you missed the point of the comment you blockquoted.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:53:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're not the only one (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Smoh, CroneWit, Dallasdoc, DeadHead

                            who thinks this:

                            And the first half doesn't exactly set a good example for moving away from categorization
                            Just in case any of us have forgotten already what would prompt such a remark...
                            Well, at least my tribe is proud. The other side, probably because they live in holes down by the river and subsist mainly on snails, is angry and bitter, not worth listening to.
                            Oh, the humanity! Feelings Hurted by The Non-Productive!

                            Who are they?

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:13:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  While I agree with you in principle, (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, StellaRay, Cedwyn, MBNYC

                            I read it as both sides are saying this same thing. Unfortunately.

                            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

                            by Smoh on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:17:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But they're not, (5+ / 0-)

                            judging by some of the first comments in. We see things here like people demanding personal apologies.  

                            If there's anything rendering this site as "losing", it's this entire, navel-gazing "meta diary" concept.

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:41:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  luna, please step back and let "the other side" (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, CroneWit, MBNYC, DeadHead

                            process this without our interjections.  In this moment, in this post, we are not part of the solution.

                            Let MBNYC's post play out.  Please  :o)

                            The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                            by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:55:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why would I be so presumptuous (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dallasdoc

                            as to think my comments would resolve anything, here or in any other meta post? All I commented on was something that others besides myself have noted.

                            What's to "play out", anyway? Does the navel-gazing stop at some point? Because you know, if it doesn't, we continue to lose.

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:41:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Carry on... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                            by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 08:26:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You do the same... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JVolvo

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:44:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  kmail (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                            by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:16:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh good gravy (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MBNYC
                            Well, at least my tribe is proud. The other side, probably because they live in holes down by the river and subsist mainly on snails, is angry and bitter, not worth listening to.
                            does the word "snark" mean anything to you?

                            LOL

                            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                            by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 08:30:09 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  DeadHead PLEASE step back and let folks process (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Yoshimi, CroneWit, MBNYC, DeadHead

                          MBNYC's post.

                          Be like an ice cube and chill.
                          Be like Fonzie and be cool.

                          Be like a Beatle and Let It Be

                          http://

                          The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                          by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:52:07 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Here's what I'm dug in on. (0+ / 0-)

                          That there is no efficacy in telling people how to think, how they do think, or what motivates them. And certainly not when you're suggesting you're the "principled" one and the other party is an air head personality worshipper. This is just piss poor communicaton if you're looking to find common ground.

                          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                          by StellaRay on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:05:18 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Did I say it was more important? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Cedwyn, Smoh, Gurnt

                      No.

                      But don't let that stop your conversation with someone you imagine to have said it was ...

                      •  No, but (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kharma, 3goldens, CroneWit

                        you implied it was of less or no importance to you, and that it was a prerequisite for believing it's a "good faith gesture," when you said "unless and until," so I can see why the commenter framed his/her comment/question that way.




                        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                        by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 03:11:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You know, you and fou could (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MBNYC, Catte Nappe, JVolvo, Dallasdoc

                          take this elsewhere. It's a disappointment I'm pretty sure to the diarist that the first thread ended up all the way to the right margin. It looks like fou isn't going to join the effort suggested by the diarist. Looks like some suxxors won't be meaningully participating either. So long as some take the whole thing personally, we'll have this.

                          There are enough people willing (hopefully) to put aside previous positions on an issue now recognized to be honestly important, which needs serious and timely action. Given the nature of the issue, it is likely impossible not to include the personalities/powers of the players in discussions about what action needs taking. Even if Clapper, Alexander and Obama all went away tomorrow and other, less-known actors took their place, the issue would remain the same and still be in need of action.

                          Let these people work it out (or not) amongst themselves if they can, find out who's willing and who's not. That won't hurt any of us.

                          •  That would be correct. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Catte Nappe, JVolvo, Joieau, Dallasdoc
                            It's a disappointment I'm pretty sure to the diarist that the first thread ended up all the way to the right margin.
                            It is, and in some ways, not unexpected. But we're seeing some real progress, I think, it not being universal doesn't obscure that it's there.

                            Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

                            by MBNYC on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It could have been worse :o) Thank you, (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MBNYC, Joieau, Dallasdoc

                            MBNYC for this effort and your discussions w/ Dallasdoc. A bridge over troubled waters is needed.

                            I guess I expected some pie and also some "No thanks" from a fou folks.  

                            I am bummed that there was much less actual discussion and recs for this than a "top-tier" flamebomb.  

                            We'll see what happens next.

                            The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                            by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:59:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, there really is much for me to (0+ / 0-)

                            "take elsewhere" with fou, considering I posted one comment to her directly about this, but I guess I can see what she says.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:07:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Very good then. The record of your position (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CroneWit, Joieau, Dallasdoc

                    has been well established, here and elsewhere. Kindly then please exit the diary to allow those who would discuss this issue in the manor thoughtfully requested by both the diarist and his partner in this experiment, DallasDoc.

                    I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                    by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:24:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  What label, "administration supporters" or (16+ / 0-)

              "Democrats"? I found DallasDoc's initial comment to be based in logic. Can we all find common ground to say "enough with the bullshit syping on innocent Americans"? Or shall we hurl insults like "paranoia" onto those who are concerned, as fou did above.  This is an issue that is so important that it requires cohesiveness, and there are elements within our own government who thrive on division.

              "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

              by CanyonWren on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:29:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course we can all agree that (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Boston to Salem, Cedwyn, Smoh, Gurnt

                we abhor the idea of spying on innocent Americans. And from what I've seen here, with the exception of a very few, the  great majority on this site are extremely concerned about this issue.

                But one of the problems here, imo, has been the idea that it can all be boiled down to one big amoeba of consensus. And it just can't be, obviously. But if we want to effect change here, EVERYONE, has to give some, in terms of agreeing to disagree where we do, and move on to our larger agreements. Which is what this diary is all about.  

                And the fact is that the NSA issue is only the latest in a divide that started here years ago---as far as I can tell, about the time this president put his hand on the bible and was sworn in for the first time. This way or that way, and you can't have it both ways. That's often the message here.

                But truth is, people are more complex than that, and folks evaluate this president differently, and on many different levels according to their own agendas and priorities.

                You know, I was listening to Thomm Hartmann the other day, who I greatly admire, and he was saying that one of the problems w/democrats is that they tend to focus on the shiny object---the presidency. While they don't do as well as the republicans in building a farm team that can be brought to fruition. This is hard work, and it isn't as sexy as arguing a monolithic point about spying on Americans.

                 

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:09:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hartmann misses the point, imho. (9+ / 0-)

                  Sure, there are myriad interests, motivations, etc. in evaluating Obama, but here is this central shiny object--spying on innocent Americans--that people here and elsewhere continually take their eye off of because, well, it's "paranoid" to keep staring at it. Nevermind it's the central issue of this presidency, not to mention of the past 15 years...it's just such a non-issue that many here can't be bothered to get worked up about it. And others "shouldn't either."

                  To me, that's a problem.  

                  This issue is one all here can, and should in my opinion as an attorney, come together on. Stop the bullshit personality worshipping and actually re-read the document we all live under--then decide to support it.

                  "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

                  by CanyonWren on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:32:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And I and many others (8+ / 0-)

                    here resent the facile "bullshit personality worshipping" arguments for any shades of gray we see. If you don't understand how condescending that is to those of us who consider ourselves every bit as moral and concerned as you are, then there's nothing I'm going to be able to say to change your mind.

                    And as far as issues are concerned, NSA issues are very important on my list, but there are others just as important to me, and I understand that's hard for you to conceive of. To me the one thing we're not in danger of running out of is important issues. But the fact is all these things have to be reconciled in the highly imperfect arena of politics.

                    Good for you that it's as simple as all that. It is not to me.

                    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                    by StellaRay on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:45:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Seems an easy rule of thumb on this issue would (15+ / 0-)

        be.......

        Would you be happy with the current state of affairs and actions of the President if that President were George Bush. If the answer to that question is YES! Then clearly you don't mind the NSA spying, and think it's the best thing for the country for whatever reasons.

        However, if the idea of the George Bush, or Mitt Romney Administrations engaging in the same level of data gathering, and spying that the Obama Admin is engaged in, then it doesn't seem to make sense to support Obama on this NSA situation.

        You either like a policy or you don't. Shouldn't matter which Party is engaging in it.

        Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

        by Lucy2009 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 11:34:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or Issa is appointed head of Citizen Observation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, Lucy2009

          Program for Repub President X (say shithead power-and-rights-abusing Scott Walker).

          Now is the time to push back and re-balance the surveillance activities/capabilities of our govt. Not then.

           

          The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

          by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:42:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well put, fou! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn, mikidee, Gurnt, Moravan, phenry

        I appreciate that someone who I've never met, and who goes by an anonymous moniker on the internet has gently asked me to surrender, but why? Can you make a better argument than some supposed dystopian and Orwellian future based on an imagined Hollywood script?

        I would like to hear the diarist's credentials vis-à-vis signal intelligence, the current state of global terrorism, the efficacy of this particular NSA program, a complete description of the privacy protections afforded in the regulations, the layers of checks and balances provided by the three branches of the Government, as well as forecasts dealing with the future of terrorism.

        What, exactly, am I surrendering?  

        I think that the NSA program is pretty ingenious, and if it is run with enough safeguards in place, it would likely make an excellent weapon in fighting terrorism (or at least keeping terrorists from communicating efficiently with each other). Moreover, the safeguards, as written, seem to afford a smart balance between privacy rights and not getting blowed up.

        What diaries like this do is forget that we have checks and balances, that there are regulations in place to keep people from snooping, that folks lose their jobs for that kind of thing and go to prison, that three branches of government are involved in the oversight of this program, and that, although you might not want to admit it, there is a robust and even record-settingly effective whistleblower program in place.    

        I'd be less inclined to get my history from Hollywood and, instead, concentrate my concern about invaders and our armed forces because, historically, that's how civilizations have been changed. Finally, although I agree you obviously have the right to state your case, I didn't vote for you, and I didn't vote for Snowden. Yet, both of you want to take policy matters into your own hands about things that, correct me if I'm wrong, you know very little about.

        I'm not saying that I know more, but at least you should afford me the courtesy of knowing what it is that I'm supposed to be surrendering.

        Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

        by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:15:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  whistleblower protection act (9+ / 0-)
          there is a robust and even record-settingly effective whistleblower program in place.  
          does not apply to the intelligence agencies.

          To the NSA douchebag who is reading this: "Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

          by Indiana Bob on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 03:25:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Does ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gurnt

            ... too.

            Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

            by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:11:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  a couple things... (0+ / 0-)

              doesn't seem to here: Title 5 Sec 2302 or here: WPEA

              i heard there was a presidential directive that it would not be used that way, but those directives change with each president, so that worries me.

              another thing that worries me is that the language used both in Title 5 and the WPEA is "employee or applicant". that seems to leave a huge whole in the protections, cuz guys like Snowden were not federal employees; they were contractors. Snowden worked for Booz Hamilton, so he would not appear to be covered under any of it.

              just some stuff that worries me...

              "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

              by poligirl on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:51:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's the ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe

                ... provision dealing with all federal contractors. I've also done a screengrab of part of a chart that specifically covers DoD contractor employees since 2008 (in pink):

                nsa5


                As you probably guessed, the person to report to is a little different if you are a DoD contractor handling sensitive information. The link to the full chart is here, but it is a pdf file that will only download onto your computer. Since it was a ".gov" file, I thought it was safe, and my computer hasn't exploded ... yet!

                Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:00:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  ok - but that doesn't deal with the exception (0+ / 0-)

                  of the security/intel agencies; it just says the generic "contractor".

                  and i understand there was some kind of presidential directive stating that the intel agencies will be covered too, but my concern is that that directive can be changed upon whim of whomever the executive is, seeing that the law purposely excludes them.

                  and yeah - that little warning on that download - glad you told me your puter was safe cuz i prob would've not downloaded.

                  "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

                  by poligirl on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:15:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  If if if if if. (5+ / 0-)
          if it is run with enough safeguards in place
          The Atlantic: The Surveillance Speech: A Low Point in Barack Obama's Presidency
             PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think it's important to say, Carol, first of all, I haven't evolved in my assessment of the actual programs. I consistently have said that when I came into office I evaluated them. Some of these programs I had been critical of when I was in the Senate.

          This is jaw-dropping.

          Let's look more closely at what Carol calls Obama's "evolution." As a U.S. senator, Obama "co-sponsored a 2007 bill, introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) that would have required the government to demonstrate, with 'specific and articulable facts,' that it wanted records related to 'a suspected agent of a foreign power' or the records of people with one degree of separation from a suspect," Karen Brandeisky notes at Pacific Standard.

          In addition:

              In February 2008, Obama co-sponsored an amendment... which would have further limited the ability of the government to collect any communications to or from people residing in the U.S. The measure would have also required government analysts to segregate all incidentally collected American communications. If analysts wanted to access those communications, they would have needed to apply for individualized surveillance court approval. The amendment failed 35-63. Obama later reversed his position and supported what became the law now known to authorize the Prism program.

          What we have now is far beyond the pale.

          Your ifs will not happen without recalls of the officials who voted against the Amash Amendment, and officials like Senator Feinstein.

          When do you plan to start?

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:40:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, Odysseus, my "ifs" are ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... happening right now. Please show me one person who has been spied on using this NSA program--other than the woman in Long Island, who wasn't actually spied on using this NSA program.

            The reason that it hasn't happened yet, isn't happening now, and won't happen in the future is the same reason that postal employees don't open your letters and privates in the Marine Corps don't point their weapons at you. We have laws, regulations, three branches of Government that check each other, whistleblowers, a vibrant whistleblowing system, keyboard audits, Civil Liberties Protection Officers, and on and on.

            Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

            by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:18:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'd suggest that a good start (4+ / 0-)

            would be to remove any cross-over jurisdiction minor provisions and amendments to laws authorizing both FISC and the NSA, to EXCLUDE survillance, 'seizure' and search, and analysis of communications between Americans - a domestic exclusion across the board.

            Now, if a person in the U.S. is in direct communication with identified terrorist groups outside the country, (American/U.S. person is in the first or second circle), that information must be turned over to the FBI for immediate domestic action (surveillance and such). Do NOT allow NSA/CIA/MI/etc. involvement in that.

            The name of the secret judicial authority is "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court," not "Universal And In-House Criminal Surveillance Court." We have a decently effective judicial system in this country and a huge body of criminal laws as well as specific agencies tasked to investigate, build cases, and then try them in court. FISA shouldn't even apply, AT ALL.

            •  I have come up with a number ... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe, Joieau, Odysseus

              ... of changes that I'd like to see happen, but I haven't thought of these. They are good. My only question deals with the third of your suggestions. We aren't going to hear about these cases or requests for wiretaps anyway, as they'll be in the judge's chambers, with the records sealed, and if we go back to the traditional way of handling these things, there seems to me a greater potential for security leaks, so I don't know if it wouldn't be better to put band-aids on the FISA court (i.e. requiring that the judges be appointed evenly by the Senate Minority and Majority Leaders, mandate the presence of the Civil Liberties Protection Officer at each hearing, etc.).

              It's no biggie to me because, as you noted, we did it the old way for years and can do it the old way again. Good ideas. Lot to think about there, Joieau.  

              Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

              by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:49:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, you could try it (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Odysseus, Dallasdoc

                that way, but would have absolutely no confidence that the very same abuses wouldn't keep right on going. I am frankly offended by the entire idea of secret laws, secret courts and secret interpretations of secret laws for secret skullduggery. As an American Citizen in Good Standing and an actual patriot who has paid more than my damned share of dues.

                If you want a secret court to have warrant jurisdiction domestically, you're going to have to create a secret court with warrant jurisdiction domestically. We do not in fact have that now, which is why the FISA court itself says domestic law enforcement surveillance through NSA/CIA/MI, etc. is probably unconstitutional.

                "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance" is not the same thing as domestic law enforcement surveillance. I don't think these need to be confused at all, as we've thousands of well-paid law enforcement officers and entities in this country already tasked with the jobs. Our regular courts can handle it, as they've been handling it for centuries now. I see no reason to change that just because some of the criminals among us don't speak English and/or worship Allah.

    •  I endorse this (70+ / 0-)

      and am ready to find common ground.  

      We can disagree on a lot of other things. We can hate each other's guts. But we can come together on specific issues for activism and pressure on the powers that be.  We've already seen how pressure from across the political spectrum moves politicians.

      Thanks for stepping up, MBNYC.  I can't promise not to battle with you on other things but on this, I'm with you.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:34:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a supporter, I want some space (54+ / 0-)

      to explain my thoughts. So thank you for trying to create a safe space.

      Let me start by saying that no doubt, the NSA and the FISA court represent a serious problem and major reform is needed. I don't really think anyone here disagrees with that.

      My biggest concern with the site's response is that the towering storm of outrage gets in the way of constructive progress. It's all well and good to rant at the Administration, but my opinion that ultimately accomplishes nothing. In fact, I fear that unleashing cynicism and anti-government anger may backfire - these are emotions the Right has been stoking for years, and if that's all we have we're playing right into their hands.

      I would like to see two things. First is some channel for the outrage. I've repeatedly said I think we ought to be finding particular legislation we support and then backing it by pressuring particular swing Congress members. I welcome any other constructive suggestions - perhaps someone from the "Sux" camp would like to respond?

      Second is an awareness that there is more than one issue out there. The most important issue to my mind this summer is the Virginia governor's race. Ken Cuccinelli is crazy. Now, Terry McAuliffe is not the world's most inspiring candidate, or the most liberal, but he's all we've got. This site could be a tool for activism to help stop Cuccinelli (and lowkell and others have been valiantly plugging away). Instead we're consumed with shouting at each other. We can do better.

      •  It may not be immediately obvious (55+ / 0-)

        from the text, but I'm a very strong supporter of this President. That hasn't changed. But support sometimes requires telling hard truths, which we tend to leave solely to critics.

        I'm not sure doing so is entirely intellectually honest, so I gave it a go.

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:47:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is an excellent point. (32+ / 0-)
        My biggest concern with the site's response is that the towering storm of outrage gets in the way of constructive progress. It's all well and good to rant at the Administration, but my opinion that ultimately accomplishes nothing. In fact, I fear that unleashing cynicism and anti-government anger may backfire - these are emotions the Right has been stoking for years, and if that's all we have we're playing right into their hands.
        Agreed. I say this to administration critics all the time. Fire away, but do it cleanly. If critics don't challenge people who are expressing hatred in their diary threads, not only do they promote a toxic environment, but they defeat their goal of greater transparency by justifying the public interest in security against threats to rise up against the government, for example.
        •  There are Left/Right & Dem/Rep intersections... (4+ / 0-)

          ...regarding gov't over reach on surveillance and privacy, natural points of cohesion, no doubt about that.  

        •  I am become cynicism (8+ / 0-)

          The whole Rox/Sux TV show was getting stale and repetitive in 2010. It should have been canceled years ago. I've been about ready to peel of my Obama bumper sticker for any number of less important reasons—but I admit I'm petty and superficial enough to keep it on there every time I see some awful Republican/Tea Party/dumb sticker on someone else's car. It's childish, but I've come to accept that about myself as I age.

        •  That is exactly my concern also (26+ / 0-)

          The general anti-government tone here lately is strange. It seems to have gone beyond President Obama now, and it's just a generalized fear -- no, terror -- of Big Brother coming after all of us.

          I will say that this diary has done a better job than most of making the case for why we should be concerned. The lack of name-calling was refreshing, for sure. I have to agree that I find the tone of DallasDocs's comments rather condescending. I say that with the hope that he is indeed sincere in his goals, and might consider a bit more respect than "give them space to think it through and realize we are right" without even the slightest hint that anyone on the "other side" might have any valid thoughts on the topic.

          I'm not a roxxer or a suxxer. I am a "got pretty much what i expected" as I feel the president is very good on some issues, bad on others, slow on some, and way off base on a few. His response to this NSA blowup and the flailing announcement about an "independent external review" that will be run by the NSA is one where he is just really not making any sense. I'm still thinking about it and how I feel about it, but I'm certainly not defending it.

          However I do agree with the concerns about the generalized terror of the Evil Government, which has started echoing the tea party a bit too much.

          •  I don't think many of the administration critics (31+ / 0-)

            are anti-government overall. Certainly not me or those I frequently read, which happens to include MBNYC (who I realize is not a supporter).

            But I think it is fair for people to be outraged over this government over-reach.  It began under Bush.  Ok, there's a clue it might be bad.  It continues, not because Obama is a bad human being, but because he appears to put confidence in "professional" employees of these government agencies. At least those are his words.

            Outrage over overreach should not be confused with the concept that government is bad overall.  Frankly, the failure of our current govt/economic system is making me more of a leftist than I ever was to the point I describe myself to friends as a socialist.

            Socialists are all about government and government services. Particularly social safety nets.

            So, anyway, I just wanted to share some perspective from my point of view regarding being a critic of THESE programs and not being "anti-government" at all. In fact, I'm the opposite.

            As another example, I think all the employees of the NSA should be government, not contractors. I think the US Army Corps of Engineers should build combat housing, not Halliburton or KBR.  I do believe in government, but not these programs.

            I do think we need a restoration of The Bill of Rights - all of them - in this nation.

            o> Free Speech "zones" need to end. Free Speech should exist in all public spaces. The Right to Assemble should be guaranteed in all public spaces.

            o> The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect us from government poking into our lives without specific reasons based upon probable cause.

            and on down the line: All the Amendments need to return to the forefront and government/contractor surveillance needs to be sharply curtailed.

            "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 Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:59:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for the response YucatanMan (25+ / 0-)

              I appreciate it, and it is good to hear that some of the NSA critics (I don't think it's about "administration" critics, as I have been that myself on more than one issue) are not entirely anti-government.

              My point is that the overall tone and approach to NSA criticism has taken on a generalized, extreme in some cases, anti-government feel to it. The message I pick up in most of those diaries is that the US Government (sometimes actually called The Empire) is Evil and Bad, run by power-mad dictators who will come after you.

              In some of the comments you could cross out Fourth amendment and put Second, and change "phone call data" to "guns" and the argument becomes indistinguishable from something the NRA would put out to oppose gun control laws.

              I have wondered how people who support single-payer medicine are OK with the idea of the Empire having control and a database of every aspect of everyone's medical records? Isn't that also an area with huge potential for abuse? it's just hard in my mind to simultaneously advocate for the US Government to have such power and total control in one area, but be totally against it in another area, as if it's two totally separate entities. There is a disconnect, to me.

              I do want single payer medicine. I do not worry like the Tea Parties do that the Government running health care for all is terrifying. But THEY believe that, with all their hearts. They really do fear it just as some here fear the NSA. Their fears don't convince me, and the words used about the NSA are so similar, I wonder if critics realize how alike they sound. This is a problem to me in trying to sell people on single payer. Yes, here please sign my petition for the Evil Empire to run health care for everyone, just doesn't fly.

              It seems contradictory to support expanded government power in one area, and more taxes to pay for it, and more regulators to watch over it all, and at the same time beat the drums continually about how terrifying the government is.

              I also don't think this just started under Bush. It's been going on for far longer than that. But something that really got going full steam under Bush was the public demanding that the government "keep them safe" from terrorist attacks. I honestly believe that as long as that is the expectation of the average voter (and it is!) then we will have the government using their power to its fullest, including technology, to search out plots and try to prevent them. I think it will be a major heavy lift to convince the voting public that it's not a good idea to look for bombing plots before they happen. I've seen Minority Report, I know what the ultimate fear is. I just don't know what can be done about it.

              Anyway, I it good to be able to actually discuss some of my thoughts and hear yours as well. Thanks again.

              •  Excellent comment, CS in AZ! (8+ / 0-)

                I am also startled by the anti-Government sentiment I've seen on daily kos, as it is completely anathema to most of the goals of Democrats (and especially those of Socialists). You can only run a political party on fear for so long--as demonstrated by the Tea Party GOP and Fox News--before you have to up the ante so high the average voter will no longer play.

                Where we do better than the GOP is that we have the capacity to understand that virtually nothing but the colors themselves are simply black and white, that there are many shades of gray, and that the best answer usually involves a balance of competing interests.  

                Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:49:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Since I'm one of them (10+ / 0-)

                  I can say with complete clarity that there is nothing anti-government about it. What you may be misreading, in my opinion, is a growing sense of almost panic that the government has become too authoritarian and way too dismissive of actual people.

                  For me, the first obvious indication was my shock at the collusion of the State with the banks in the OWS stuff, and the open, blatant harshness of the police. Following this, again at least for me, I've watched an increasingly militarized local law enforcement with terrifying tendency to use deadly force first.

                  So with all that, joined in context with the NSA revelations, all the drone stuff, forced feeding of Gitmo prisoners, trying to get reporters labeled by the courts as co-conspirators...

                  ...Well, for some of us, certainly me, that's really frightening and has nothing to do with "anti-government." I am all for a vigorous federal government, single payer, etc. I just want one that sees me as its master, not the other way around.

                  I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                  by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:54:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So you're for government, but not this government (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Christin, Gurnt, YucatanMan, Tortmaster

                    is what that sounds like. I can certainly agree with that, but to paraphrase Rummy, we go to the voting booth with the government we have, not the one we wish we had.

                    Here's the problem. The United States has the government it has. We have the current senate, house of representatives, president, executive branch, and court system. We have a SCOTUS that stopped an election in progress and installed their favored candidate in the office of the presidency. We have Citizens United, and a corporate power structure that is running most of Washington DC. That IS the current US government, and if we want single-payer, that is the government that would have to pass it and implement it and run it, and maintain and control a massive database that contains each and every person's medical records, and soon their individual DNA and genetic information, from birth to death.

                    The fear -- "almost panic" as you put it, and yes that is what I see clearly going on, and for many comments and diaries you can delete "almost" -- is exactly the problem I'm talking about. Yes you list all good reasons to fear the current US government. Nothing new there. You sound pretty "anti" those things. Understandably.

                    So please tell me how to explain to a Tea Party person, who says EXACTLY the same things about government control of their health care and medical information, why they should not be afraid; why they should trust the government to do this safely and in our best interests, and don't worry about your HIV test results, or your blood and bodily fluids being on file -- they will keep your private information safe and never misuse it in any way. Why they should want this, and actively pressure congress to pass single payer, and put the government -- the United States Government -- in charge of our health care, as soon as possible.

                    I don't have a good answer. I'm asking because I'm having these conversations with real people and I don't have an answer anymore.

                    •  You don't have an answer because they are not (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau, YucatanMan

                      all wrong.  Single-payer wouldn't turn the US into Canada.  We still keep the SMIC and the union of the SMIC with oceans of new personal data is something to be concerned about.  

                      Unfortunately, we don't seem to have an administration that gives a damn about these concerns.  I'm not even sure we have an administration that gives a damn about Obamacare.

                    •  I've had that very conversation (4+ / 0-)

                      My wife is in healthcare, so I've some decent anecdotal understanding. Also, having been declared terminal (mistakenly thank the stars) and undergone gobs of treatment at assorted facilities in multiple states whereby dating sharing was essential, I think I have a qualified answer for that Tea Partier.

                      First, I try to appeal to pragmatism. The data seems pretty clear we pay horrendously more per capita for a worse outcome than our fellow humans in many countries of the world, including some "third world" nations. In other words, NOT having single payer costs us all more, indirectly and directly. There's scarcely a person alive under 65 who has not experienced premium increases and higher deductibles. Many have "junk" insurance.

                      I have learned that the insurance regime forces about a 30% cost premium because of the myriad of different forms and procedures between insurers. Talk to any person in the unenviable role at a hospital of trying to reconcile insurance payments and clawbacks. In plan, out of plan, that's all a convoluted mess too. It is horrendous how much waste there is just in dealing with the transactional crap. It is a huge source of stress for humans who are otherwise dealing with the stress of medical challenges.

                      The Death Panel garbage comes up a lot talking to the loons on the right. The fear of rationed care. But the evidence is that any existence of such, in the practical sense, occurs daily because of the bean counters in the insurance companies whose sole job is LITERALLY looking for "reasons" not to pay for care your doctor has proscribed.

                      I try to appeal to a sense of human decency, a tactic that does not work much, I admit, unless the person has seen the inhumanity of the insurers up close and person. But, I distill down that argument by saying, "Do you realize, that in America, our healthcare system is literally structurally set up to view a dying child as a profit opportunity. Put that bluntly, it does give some folks pause. If they respond, what's wrong with profit? I answer, "Nothing, at least with elective procedures like liposuction, etc. but it simply is not morally justifiable to impose a major financial penalty on a person or family for an accident.

                      I remember recently reading how Bush I shaved his head in solidarity for one of his agents, whose child has cancer and that a fund has been set up to help pay for care. I read that with amazement that none in the press addressed the hideous irony of even an ex-president's security officer forced to essentially beg his mates to help pay the tab.

                      I try to use the argument that law enforcement, fire departments, etc. are, in their definition, "socialist." Then I ask them if they had a choice, would they rather pay a private company a small monthly fee for fire protection and have the government instead pay for healthcare. Which are you most likely to need in your lifetime? That promotes some thought -- at least among those willing to honestly discuss the issues.

                      In terms of the government holding onto medical data on us, that's not so hard to address. I'd ask, "Is your Mom on Medicare?" "Do you know ANYONE on Medicare whose health privacy has been compromised?" Then I turn it around, "Can you say the same re private insurers?" Private insurers share info with collections companies, companies that would not exist in a single payer environment. In a single payer environment, your data would stay within a single bureaucracy comprising only healthcare professionals. There is no need for the data to go outside. And, we already have strict laws like HIPAA, which provides for real penalties and proofs exist the law is used to punish abusers.

                      The conversation can also be had about why insurers are some sacred cow. In a practical sense, what value do they add? Even Tea Partiers shop factory direct sources and try to eliminate the middle man where possible. What's so vital about them that we must assign them the right to render medical judgment, to give them a 30% share of medical spending?

                      There is always the "freedom" angle, where I can talk about people being stuck in deadend jobs for fear of losing coverage. Reports are out there somewhere detailing how being bound to an employer for insurance reasons actually is a deterrent for people to engage in entrepreneurial activity. I try to appeal to their pro-business bent by asking them why in the heck are our employers somehow responsible for providing health coverage for us, save for worker's comp issues? The expense of dealing with insurance stuff is a serious net negative expense for businesses. In a single payer world, that burden goes away.

                      I am not saying you can convince an irrational person, but there is ample ammunition to convince an open-minded person.

                      I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                      by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:25:33 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What a comprehensive and thoughtful (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CS in AZ, pajoly

                        answer. Thank you for all that. I'm going to copy it off so I can come back to it and read it a couple more times.

                        Good job!

                        "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 Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:50:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thanks, reading it back (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          YucatanMan

                          it was a bit rambling. Sorry for that.

                          I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                          by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:57:50 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No, it's good stuff, and I agree with all of it (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pajoly, YucatanMan

                            I've had similar conversations myself, and I too appreciate this comprehensive reply which I will keep for reference with the more open minded and rational. But it is actually the irrational, the paranoid, "the guvmint is comin after us and cannot be trusted" contingency that is the problem.

                            Your answer to the personal medical data problem is the only one I find unconvincing, sad to say. It still involves, in essence, simply trusting the government to handle it right. Too many people unfortunately do have horror stories about Medicare, and also the VA, being horribly inefficient, unfair, and difficult to navigate and deal with. At best. Of course the horror stories of private insurance are worse. But it's the deep-seated, emotional fear of government control and oppression, that many people cannot get beyond to see the value.

                            Implementing even the ACA, never mind single payer, involves a significant new level of government involvement in our health care information, and we see how well that's going so far. I don't find that people who hold a fundamental fear and distrust of the government are convinced by "don't worry, it will all be contained in one area and only used appropriately, and there are laws in place to protect it" any more than NSA opponents are comforted by such reassurances.

                            This gets to the heart, for me, of why I have been troubled by the anti-government (the actual US government, not theoretical "good government") sentiments that recently have come to a full boil over the NSA. Once it has gone past reasoned criticism and blow up into full-bore panic, it sows and spreads that lack of trust, and panic -- which undermines efforts to increase support for and acceptance of the efforts that are being made to provide, can we say, slightly better government, in the area of health care especially.

                  •  I don't know who you are ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Gurnt, Joieau

                    ... or what diaries you're talking about, but since you've responded to my comment, let me ask you this: As "master" of the Government, tell me how you would ...

                    1.  Balance your duty to protect the United States from Terrorism threats versus the public's right to privacy, explaining in detail how the current NSA programs violate any right to privacy, and explaining how the NSA under your control would adequately protect Americans. Also, please, describe what actions you would take, if any, regarding surveillance of White Supremacist groups inside the American borders;

                    2.  Balance your duty to protect law enforcement officers--your employees--from the threat of criminals with much greater firepower, (Rachel Maddow did a bit the other day showing a 50 caliber projectile that some want legal everywhere. It can take down airplanes), with your concern that law enforcement has become too "militarized."

                    3.  Balance your duty to protect your soldiers, Americans, and international civilians with drone strikes versus whatever you mean by "all the drone stuff." In this response, please detail whether you would ignore terrorist activity and hope it went away, or whether you would opt for conventional air strikes or massively complicated covert Delta Force operations.

                    4.  Balance your duty to protect the life of prisoners in Gitmo or let them die of starvation. As part of your response to this, if your answer would be a simple, "close Gitmo," please explain how you'd get the House of Representatives to fund any solution other than Gitmo.      

                    Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                    by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:55:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My answers (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      congenitalefty, Joieau, Nada Lemming

                      1 - Get rid of the NSA.  It's a greater threat than terrorism.
                      2 - The biggest crime we have around me is the occasional bike theft and even then sometimes the neighbors chase down the thief.  Yet, the local police got some monster tank like vehicle which they will probably NEVER use with Homeland Security money.  Few areas need the kind of gear that's being deployed.  
                      3 - Bring home the troops and we won't have to drone every country on the planet to keep them safe where they don't belong in the first place.
                      4 - Close Gitmo.  We already have federal prisons.

                      •  Your answers indicate ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... exactly how much thought went into your deliberations.

                        Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                        by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:02:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  By the way, the NSA ... (0+ / 0-)

                          ... provides all the signal intelligence for every corner of the globe, including China and Russia and Iran and North Korea, and it also encrypts all the codes used to send messages from the United States to Americans abroad. But, hell, shut'er all down!

                          Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                          by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:07:17 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Tortmaster, respectfully I'll offer this (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tortmaster, Dallasdoc

                      I am not a lawyer. You are. You are brilliant rhetorically, and I say that genuinely. Would I have need of counsel in your field, I'd be messaging you (but likely could not afford you). You know you place every non-lawyer at a disadvantage when you demand from the lawyerly responses. For example,

                      explaining in detail how the current NSA programs violate any right to privacy
                      That is a trap you set as a lawyer and I won't fall into it. It is disingenuous because you KNOW only a lawyer is truly qualified to answer that to your satisfaction.

                      I am not an expert. I'm just Joe Citizen and a veteran with concerns. My lack of exacting expertise does not disqualify my opinion.

                      1. We have laws re hate speech. White Supremacists likely often give law enforcement the probable cause needed to keep a specific watch on them. The rest of us, not so much.

                      2. Re law enforcement militarization. It is a spiral. There is little practical boundary between a military unit and a SWAT team in terms of tactics and weapons. I am not opposed to states and the feds maintain such teams to address true crisis, that can be dispatched when necessary. We are grossly out of proportion, locally, in terms of law enforcement response balanced against the public threat posed by law violators. When SWAT teams are dispatched to chase down a student who has defaulted on loans, we are out of whack. When SWAT teams are dispatched to bust up a raw milk operation, we have an imbalance. When police fire bean bag rounds at a 95 year old sitting in a chair, just maybe we can agree that's excessive force. When the police response becomes a greater public safety threat than the offense being responded too, there's room to step back. You are the lawyer, we need help from your profession to apply fixes; your asking Joe Citizen for the answer is silly, unless you are advocating your skills are not needed since you expect lay people to have the answers.

                      3. Drones. That's much more black and white to me, but maybe I'm a simpleton. No one of goodwill and intellectual honesty can plausibly debate that all the drone killings solve anything. In fact, the ONLY reality-based argument is that such policy CREATES both terror upon the citizens under whom the drones fly, and CREATES new "terrorists" for each Hellfire loosed upon the population that kills innocents, you know, "collateral damage," otherwise known as human beings just living their lives.

                      4. Gitmo? I blame Congress certainly. We disagree that force feeding is "protecting" lives. Apparently the people who comprise those lives themselves disagree with you. Hunger strike is legal and recognized form of protest. Were I one of them and had no confidence I might ever be released or charged, I'd be among them. I think such people should be afforded the human dignity to end their lives by starvation if that's their choice. Our government is only force feeding them to protect ITSELF from further international scorn. I think it sick the government tells us Gitmo prisoners are not subject to the protections of American law because it is not American soil. Really? That's cynical legal garbage. Were it not, than our government would accept that personnel at American consulates, embassies or American military bases are thus also not protected.

                      Have at it with you citations of legal precedent, etc. to dismantle my arguments consular.

                      I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                      by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:56:18 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Appreciate the response, pajoly. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        pajoly

                        1.  I would note that there are plenty of lawyers on this site, and many of them are a lot smarter than me. They haven't tried to prove that the NSA program is unconstitutional. In fact, I have not seen any lawyer in the media attempt it either. As for what I would do if I was the "master" of Government, I would use the NSA program with all appropriate civil liberties safeguards in place because I would feel it was my duty to protect Americans from harm if I could do so without violating their protected right to privacy. And, yes, if a White Supremacist group came up on the radar for guns or attempted murder, they'd be bugged and wiretapped to the maximum allowable by the 4th Amendment.

                        2.  As "master" of the Government, I would require all handguns be kept at a range and only shotguns and hunting rifles, in limited numbers, and secured and locked, allowable at home. This would be done through the "well-regulated" portion of the 2nd Amendment and, of course, the Justices I would have already appointed to the Supreme Court. That would deal a fatal blow to the "arms race" that you describe. (By the way, I've been in court playing a video of my client being beaten to a pulp by police officers until the judge told me to stop playing the tape. I played it again. Local law enforcement have to use common sense. We can all agree to that.)    

                        3.  You didn't indicate whether you would ignore terrorist threats or use other means, but I'll still respond to what you did write. I have seen one news report claim that drones created terrorists, and that news report was based on an interview with a friend, or at least a sympathizer, of the terrorists. He was almost the most self-interested person you could find to testify about that. Of course he's gonna say that the strikes are creating more terrorists because he doesn't want the strikes to continue.

                        4.  As a non-lawyer, you certainly have the ability (and the established willingness) to proclaim what you believe is or isn't "cynical legal garbage." Of course, you could look up the laws to find out what they mean and why they are written the way they're written, but that takes time, I know. As for force-feeding, we'll have to agree to disagree. I believe that a "hunger strike" for a certain amount of time should be protected, but when death is imminent, I don't know why it should be protected at that time. A jailer owes a duty to protect the life of the prisoner.    

                        Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                        by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:38:07 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Appreciate your respectful reply Tortmaster (0+ / 0-)

                          We all want to believe the checks and balances (oversight, etc.) are in place and vigorous. Our Republic depends upon it.

                          What media does report on the oversight, it seems it is wanting at best re the NSA. To this layman, it seems our government is too reflexive and disingenuous in its application of what is deemed to be classified. I fear too much is assigned that shroud to avoid embarrassment and to hogtie those to whom oversight is given.

                          I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                          by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:13:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Tortmaster, my response (0+ / 0-)

                      to your four questions will be a bit different than Greenbell's. They arise from my own 60+ years of experience with Life on Planet Earth in the U.S. of A. We each have different experiences of life and dealings with government. Hopefully those can be respected in a forum ostensibly for 'Democrats' of wide democratic persuasion.

                      1. Truth as I see it, is that the U.S. government has no real "duty" to protect the United States from terrorism threats. At least, not moreso than government's duty to have laws defining criminal actions, an executive branch for enforcement and prosecution of those laws, and a judicial branch to ensure all the proper i's are dotted and t's crossed.

                      IOW, terrorism is a crime, against people and corporate entities. We have an extensive law enforcement system in this nation already, thanks. The crime of terrorism is a law enforcement matter, not a matter for intense involvement of our military might and/or intelligence capabilities. Beyond specified strategic and tactical stuff related to actual military/diplomatic engagements outside of our borders. There can be no legitimate national or international "War On Terror[ists]" because this wrongly shifts the "National Security" apparatus of military/intelligence from its primary purposes.

                      Declaring a "War On Terror[ists]" inevitably worked to make military/intelligence enemies of all of us. Men, women and children, basically every individual human on the planet. That is overreach so gross that it can't even be hoped effective. Whether that was inadvertent or deliberate is immaterial. We have to deal with what we know now.

                      2. Dealing with basic crime and gun violence inside our society isn't a matter of Military/Intelligence concern either. These are also law enforcement issues, to be dealt with primarily in states and localities where the problems exist. IOW, an entirely different issue than Military/Intelligence spying on American citizens across the board.

                      Let the FBI and state BIs/LE do their damned jobs. If they don't do their jobs well enough to be adequately effective, re-make them into something that might work better. And arm them with laws enough to help.

                      3. Attempting to protect Americans overseas from terrorists involves both the military (for troops/support) for war zones, and State for everybody else. It is the responsibility of the governments (and their law enforcement apparatuses) to deal with terrorists on their territory. State can pressure them, but if they won't do the job State can warn tourists from America that the situation is 'bad' and they're on their own. Then let people take their own chances as they see fit.

                      Stateside, we do have a pretty good idea of where dangerous terrorists are coming from. Instead of probing, patting and X-raying average Americans every time they fly from New York to Dallas, why not tighten the system for foreigners coming into the country? Especially from suspect regions. No drones necessary - we should not be waging war against civilians in nations we are not at war with. And that has nothing to do with spying on Americans in any case.

                      4. We have ample federal prison space in this country, subject to legislation that mandates the treatment of prisoners. All the criminals in gitmo could be prisoners here if that is warranted. We don't need our own damned "Secret Prison" torture facilities.

                      If they're just prisoners of war, they need to be repatriated the moment our part in the hostilities ceases. If they're criminal terrorists, try them and imprison them. We have that capability.

                •  Accountability is the issue (5+ / 0-)

                  It's not about being "anti-government." The issue is that there has to be true accountability so that when government officials abuse their powers, they face investigation and prosecution. If government officials who abuse their power and violate peoples' rights don't fear possible accountability, then they can act with impunity. And if they feel empowered to act with impunity, then the potential for abuse is heightened.

                  It's for this reason, that my anger at the NSA revelations is colored in part by the failure to investigate and prosecute the torture crimes of the Bush administration. Folks here may pooh-pooh the NSA revelations but the fact that high officials in the Bush administration violated the UN Convention Against Torture is beyond contention. Hell, they practically brag about it in books and on TV.

                  And they got away with it.

                  So why should those of us who are concerned about the NSA revelations take seriously government officials' protestations that there are safeguards in place? One could even assert that the failure to discipline James Clapper for lying to Congress shows how toothless any such safeguards are likely to be. Who at the NSA is really likely to fear that they would be held legally accountable--i.e., face prison--for breaking the law?

                  And for that matter, since the telecoms got immunity for their FISA lawbreaking back in 2008, what contractor needs to fear accountability if they collude in government lawbreaking and violation of peoples' rights?

                  All assurance about the NSA and "safeguards" are meaningless without seeing the willingness and the will of the government to investigate and prosecute those who violate the law and abuse their powers. Without demonstrable accountability, all talk of "safeguards" is nothing more than words.

                  That's why so many of us are so vociferous in our defense of whistleblowers. Without accountability, exposure is the only weapon left to try to stem the abuses.

                  •  Here's a thought experiment for you ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe

                    ... CT Hank:

                    You, CT Hank, are the head of the NSA. A Senate Committee has asked you to testify. During the questioning, you face a Catch-22 situation because of a question, do you reveal classified information in public or do you try your best not to lie?

                    In this particular situation, if Clapper said, "I can't testify to that because it is classified," he's basically giving up classified information because of the form of the question. It is kind of the spy version of, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

                    On another note, all Snowden and Manning had to do to become actual whistleblowers was to put whatever document or slideshow or video that showed Government illegality into an email to the Office of Special Counsel or their own agency's/department's Inspector General. They didn't do that. They're not whistleblowers.

                    I do appreciate your civilized commentary and understand where you're coming from. The way you state it is always fine by me, as a lot of this, at least for me, has to do with tone, and not just content, although I would like to see more options and true Monday morning quarterbacking on this site instead of only the gnashing of teeth. Even the basic Monday morning quarterback will say, "Why didn't the coach do this or that," instead of just "&%$#@^"

                    Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                    by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:08:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "I can neither confirm nor deny" - (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      CT Hank, Catte Nappe

                      an old chestnut of testimony for the masses.

                      A lie is still a lie. But a refusal to answer is nothing.

                      Q: "Do we vacuum up data on all Americans communications and Internet usage all the time?"

                      A1:  "No."

                      A2:  "I can neither confirm nor deny the activities of NSA programs. Senator, as you know, these programs are classified."

                      Do we prefer the lie or at least being told an answer is not being provided?

                      Lying to Congress should be prosecuted. Just my opinion.

                      Regarding Special Counsel and Inspector General communications, I believe there are some other whistleblowers who tried that route and it didn't work out well for them. In fact, one was the subject of a heavily armed raid on his home and he was held at gunpoint in the shower, then a gun trained on his head as his home shuffled through. And then accused of leaking secrets and threatened with trial and imprisonment.

                      "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 Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:25:51 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Have you seen the complete ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... question Senator Wyden asked of Clapper? The rambling first part, which is not mentioned by every commentator or pundit that I've seen, was asking about "dossiers" on "hundreds of millions of Americans." Now Wyden did narrow his question down when he finally got to the end of it, so that's not a strong defense for Clapper, but it did cause some confusion.

                        Also, the old chestnut, "I can neither confirm nor deny" would have been an admission of the program, and, therefore, his act of divulging classified information. It was a perfect Catch-22. He was forced to divulge a secret or lie. (I have no idea which law trumps which).

                        As for the other whistleblowers you mention, I know that two of them pleaded guilty to crimes. Moreover, I think both were ensnared before President Obama even took office. At least one of them had his hearings after President Obama took office, but he was the one the Government allowed to plead to a misdemeanor. I think the lesson from that case was: Don't take shit home from the NSA!  

                        Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

                        by Tortmaster on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:56:10 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  thought experiment & whistleblowers (0+ / 0-)

                      I think YucatanMan provided a reasonable response in that situation. But I would add that, for me, I don't feel the need to put myself in the NSA Director's shoes because I think the more important shoes are those of the citizenry who have a right not to have secret spying regimes imposed on them through secret laws. When even alarmed Senators like Ron Wyden and Mark Udall can't express themselves, it seems there is a problem in democratic governance.

                      As to why didn't the whistleblowers go through channels, I think those whistleblowers who tried that route found it singularly inadequate. Binney, Drake, Tice--I don't know of a one who has said there are real protecions for whistleblowers in these bureaucracies nor is going through channels an efficacious way to get results. More like an efficacious way to get yourself prosecuted.

                      Beyond that, I believe that over the past half-century the national security/surveillance state has been metastasizing like a cancer.  Until I see officials who have abused their powers--or corporations that have colluded in that abuse--prosecuted with the same vigor as Manning, etc., then I have zero confidence in their statements about safeguards.

              •  Potential isn't actual. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YucatanMan, Joieau

                The NSA spying is actual abuse.

                I have wondered how people who support single-payer medicine are OK with the idea of the Empire having control and a database of every aspect of everyone's medical records? Isn't that also an area with huge potential for abuse?
                The IRS and the Social Security Administration both have significant personal information, there is very little evidence that they regularly use that information to witch hunt for "enemies of the government".  Proven professionalism matters.

                There is no question that significant and useful criminal information could be gained from a widespread data analysis of IRS records.

                -7.75 -4.67

                "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

                There are no Christians in foxholes.

                by Odysseus on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:49:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  This comment clears up a fuzzy dichotomy for me (4+ / 0-)

              Thanks to you... its a matter of conceptual-linguistic framing, if you don't mind my seat-of-my-pants exploration of an epiphany.

              The dichotomy I've had trouble recognizing on this issue in particular, in the context of my socialist tendencies, is this:

              Civil government vs the security state.

              It is entirely possible to support a liberal and socialist civil government, which provides domestic protection and support to the governed, while being opposed (or at least critical) of the security state which is mostly concerned with external or existential threats against the government itself, or of the people.

              One is ideally supportive of an enhancement of the status quo, while the other is ostensibly or inherently defensive of it.

              What we want and need I think as a people is to have a security state that is effective in protecting us from external threats while still leaving us with the absolute freedom from oppression. That is the balance the constitution attempted to provide, but throughout our history it has not always been entirely effective in doing so.

              It is possible to be opposed to an overly powerful security state while still being entirely supportive of a strong civil government. There is a continued necessity for both, and the balancing act between civil liberties and the security state will never reach perfect equilibrium. The security state is by necessity authoritarian in nature, and authoritarian government is in direct opposition to civil libertarianism.

              So we're not talking pro-government versus limited-government as the right would frame it, but the left would ideally frame it as strongly pro-civil government, with a limited, restrained security state.

              I think its important to recognize those goals are not at odds at all, but mutually supporting of a greater ideal of promoting the general welfare of the people.

              To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

              by RadicalParrot on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:49:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A very good comment. Yes, I would agree with (0+ / 0-)

                that, with an emphasis that "security" should be the security of the people to be free, to assemble, to speak out, to be free from government meddling in their communications and lives, but to provide services as necessary to support a strong civil society.

                "Security" should not be an excuse to prevent people from assembling, on any public property, or of corralling speech into "zones."

                Security should be the safety of the population from overt criminal acts and apprehension of those who commit such acts.  When Security strays too far into prevention, it becomes "monitor and control" which is too far for a free state, if that makes sense.

                "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 Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:03:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Indeed that is where I was going (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  YucatanMan

                  that the "security state" is wedded to the status quo and thus more concerned with the government, as opposed to the governed. It isn't about us, and our oppression is irrelevant. The security state wants to protect the nation. The people of that nation in a free society may oppose the agenda of the nation and thus may be considered a threat to the nation itself.

                  Liberal thought may oppose the government as-is, in the interest of making it better rather than destroying it... but the authoritarian nature of the security state views that change as de facto destruction.

                  The main point I want to make is that security, as a legitimate role of government, is of an entirely different nature and purpose than governance. We can have effective governance, but the role of government in security is not ambivalent nor benevolent, and of that role we must be wary.

                  To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

                  by RadicalParrot on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:22:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Just a note to add: (0+ / 0-)

                What makes the "security side" acceptable is

                1) Accountability for actions
                2) Clear laws / rights creating bright lines not to be crossed
                3) Clearly operating under accountable civilian control
                4) Transparent operation from enforcement through courts through corrections.

                Unfortunately, we have little of this today which is our problem.

                Police shootings in some cities are rampant and frequently unjustified. Children who look at the police wrong are tasered and roughed up. NSA is vacuuming our data. There are real questions as to who has NSA or the military or the police /enforcement agencies under control. There is secrecy throughout the system, topped off by brutal and torturous imprisonment regimes. Solitary. Isolation. Brutality from guards and out-of-control prisoners.

                "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 Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:18:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not seeing it as anti-government (10+ / 0-)

            ...but a genuine fear of where the agencies that carry out this surveillance are going, and where they've already gone under the secrecy and lies.

            We are government of the people, for the people, by the people.  To disagree or get downright angry at what those in office are doing in our name is not anti-government.

            I like this diary, though, because I think anger is best channeled in a positive direction, to correct and make change for the better.

      •  here you go (9+ / 0-)

        There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:28:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If only. (25+ / 0-)
        Let me start by saying that no doubt, the NSA and the FISA court represent a serious problem and major reform is needed. I don't really think anyone here disagrees with that.
        I wish that were true.  From what I've seen, we've got quite a few posters who feel (or at least write) as if the entire thing is largely unimportant, and that we shouldn't care that the government spies upon us, because 'it keeps us safe'.  Those are the posts that really make me cringe.
        •  including at last count (6+ / 0-)

          this site's founder if I recall correctly.

          There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

          by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:46:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't recall, was his comment (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kharma, Kevskos, Odysseus, CroneWit, Joieau

            actually along the 'it keeps us safe' lines, or was he simply in the cynical 'well duh, of course they spy on us' crowd?

            I admit to being that cynical as well, I just think we need to fight against it, rather than ignore it.

            •  It was pretty much "I don't give a fuck (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Indiana Bob, kharma, CroneWit

              because Greenwald and Snowden are white guys" from what I recall.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:58:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Worrying about the NSA is "white priviledge" (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kharma, CroneWit, TheMomCat

                But if they're sharing their information with the DEA, you can be damn sure they're using it to go after minorities more than whites.

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

                by The Dead Man on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 03:51:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  NO; that is not what he said (10+ / 0-)

                  he said that "acting like" the NSA thing was the worst possible thing the government could do to its citizens was born of white privilege.  world of difference, and if we were really interested in changing things around here, comments that misrepresent reality should be roundly HR'd.

                  Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                  by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:52:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So start HRing them, then (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kevskos, CroneWit, congenitalefty

                    Since you have the rulebook that lays out the guidelines for what constitutes "misrepresentation of reality," that should go over quite well.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:03:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  and here we go. (5+ / 0-)

                      Again.
                       Sigh.

                      "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

                      by Christin on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:48:05 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  see, that's the thing (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gurnt, Catte Nappe

                      reality is objective.  there is no arbiter of what it is.  people either said and/or did the things attributed to them or they didn't.  

                      words !@#$%& mean things, and there is all the difference in the world between these two statements:

                      Worrying about the NSA is "white priviledge"
                      to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue.
                      please tell me you see the difference.  and yes, that is the verbatim quote from markos.

                      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                      by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 08:05:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't want to nitpick this with you (0+ / 0-)

                        I didn't tip this person's original comment in this thread.

                        I was present in the original thread where Markos made his comment. I also saw his follow-up comments in that thread.

                        The comment you now take issue with is a paraphrase, and a sloppy one at that, I'll agree.

                        However, many people went away with similar impressions of Markos's comment, because he chose to let it stand, pretty much as is, declining, so far as I know, to more fully elaborate and/or revise his position on this issue since that thread.

                        If he wants to better define his position, I'm sure he will. In the meantime, and in the absence of that clarification, people will unfortunately be left with uncertainty about it.




                        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                        by DeadHead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:41:42 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  except said uncertainty (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kj in missouri

                          is not introduced by markos' statement.  it's really not ambiguous.  he thinks the spying is bad.  he thinks a lot of things are bad.  he also happens to think that to many, many people, e.g. immigrants, the NSA business is hardly the height of government abuse.

                          it is entirely inaccurate to present what he said as "concern over the NSA spying is a white privilege perspective."  that is NOT what the words he said mean, not even close.

                          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                          by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:19:31 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, there's work to be done, then, (0+ / 0-)

                            as there's a good number of people who remain skeptical.

                            Not that it matters, I suppose. Either way.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 02:43:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  kos' original statement (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead
                            I don't give a shit

                            Seriously, I just don't care.

                            NSA spying is bad! So is stop and frisk. So is splitting up families by deporting children to countries they've never been to and don't speak the language. So is harassing American muslims.

                            Government overreach is bad. But to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue.

                            But as for Greenwald and Snowden? Seriously, I don't give two shits.

                            by kos on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 03:40:39 PM EDT

                            (Emphasis mine.)

                            He was way off base with that comment, totally missing the impact on minorities.


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 03:02:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  pee ess: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gurnt

                      it's already policy

                      There are a number of things which very clearly constitute "trolling", and which should be troll rated (and therefore deleted from the conversation) quite legitimately.

                          "Democrates suk" or any of the other derivations of true trolling by those of enfeebled brain. Don't argue, just zap them. More on this in a bit.

                          Advertisements or other thread spamming. Zero them out. Especially if a user is posting the same comment to multiple threads. The cause may be just; the behavior isn't.

                          Off-topic posts. There's entire threads devoted to being off-topic: the Open Threads. In other conversations, it is rude to interrupt a diary or story conversation with your own unrelated "threadjacking".

                          Proven-false information, conspiracy theories, or debunked talking points.

                          Personal attacks on other site users, including following them from thread to thread.

                          Attempting to "out" the personal information of other site users. This isn't just trolling, but is expressly forbidden and will almost certainly result in immediate banning.

                      i'm just exhorting us to get serious about it.

                      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                      by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 08:08:33 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  thank you cedwyn (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cedwyn, Gurnt

                    For clearing that up.

                    "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

                    by Christin on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:52:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  It was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cosette

              Yeah it's bad but being all worked up about it is being privileged because a lot of other issues are more important

              There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

              by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:41:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that is NOT what he said (0+ / 0-)

                please stop misrepresenting his position.

                Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:53:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here is Kos' quote and the link (7+ / 0-)

                  I don't give a shit (183+ / 0-)
                  Seriously, I just don't care.

                  NSA spying is bad! So is stop and frisk. So is splitting up families by deporting children to countries they've never been to and don't speak the language. So is harassing American muslims.

                  Government overreach is bad. But to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue.

                  But as for Greenwald and Snowden? Seriously, I don't give two shits.

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

                  Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                  by greenbastard on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:50:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and the question that prompted his response (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TomP, Odysseus, Cedwyn, Mindful Nature, JVolvo

                    I’m quite curious as to (60+ / 0-)
                    what your opinion is of the NSA leaks, Snowden and Glenn Greenwald.
                    I can’t seem to find anything from you about this and it is causing a lot of friction on this site.
                    Ron Reagan: “Sarah Palin’s constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes.”
                    by AnnetteK on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 12:31:51 PM PDT

                    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                    by greenbastard on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:51:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Seems that it is (0+ / 0-)

                  What he said

                  There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

                  by Mindful Nature on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:39:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think Kos actually said that. (13+ / 0-)

            What he said was "NSA spying is bad! So is...." and then proceeded to list several other issues. I can't read his mind, but I suspect he sees it as a problem - just not one which is more important than anything else.

            (On the other hand, perhaps I'm biased, since the viewpoint I'm attributing to Kos happens to be close to my own. I guess we have Kos' comments as Rorschach test...!)

      •  Outrage is not only on the right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        congenitalefty

        Nothing about the current outrage is at all new.  My political coming of age was steeped in outrage at the establishment party clear back in 1968.  Really nothing has changed other than we've moved 45 years further right.  The issues are all pretty much the same except that the corporate wing is now not even very sure it fully supports Social Security and Medicare.  

        Democrats paper over the differences but they sure the heck are of more weight than one election in Virginia.   Where we do have success in states like Minnesota it is IN SPITE of the national party and when we elect centrists it is usually because the national party is meddling and trying to turn Minnesota into Virginia.

        It's a miracle the party stays together at all.  That it does owes more to the fact that for the most part the left has been beaten into submission except for a few futile diaries of outrage but that doesn't mean the outrage ever went away or that it's not waiting to make itself felt in a political movement if the right situation arises.  We need leadership.  We don't have it.   The more and better thing seems to be creating very little of it.  People may respond with a few examples, but they are few and they are not enough to carry the outrage that simmers.  

    •  I think there can be. I hope it's not over (11+ / 0-)

      the current issue, the surveillance panel. Still, in my diary which was woefully misrepresented by the Richard Lyon diary currently on the reclist, I thought we had a very productive and polite discussion across our 'lines', despite the attempts of a just a few trolls.

    •  How about we pay attention to the goddamn bills (23+ / 0-)

      that have been proposed?  How about that instead of more fucking outrage of the day bullshit?  Or squabbling amongst ourselves about who is a shill/apologist/authoritarian, etc?  THAT might be a great place to start.

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:12:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope so. (17+ / 0-)

      It should be possible to support a politician without supporting every one of his or her policies. This diary is an excellent example of that.

      Thanks to everyone, whether they agree with me or not, for making this such an outstanding community. I know we usually want to see the same things for the country even when we disagree over individual politicians.

      by expatjourno on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:24:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Take a look at the threads of Vyan's diaries. (45+ / 0-)

      When the conversation actually becomes about what to do, you can't even tell who the Roxers and Suxxors are.

      As far as I can tell, we're all NSA critics here. It's only when the issue gets framed as a referendum on Obama, or worse, a referendum on old pie fights, that the trench warfare begins.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:28:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are many people I despise, but also (13+ / 0-)

      trust to be forthright.  I've worked with crazed concealed carry advocates on conservation projects, and I've worked with bat-shit right to lifers doing outreach to homeless teens.

      But they were upfront folks, however much I found parts of them odious, who were trustworthy.

      There are also many people I despise who have repeatedly bragged about being good at manipulating and deceiving others.

      There is no way to work with the second group.

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:29:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Put me in the cynic camp (8+ / 0-)

      I think the partisanship is so strong that in fact a large number of people here do NOT believe there is any problem whatsoever because, in a word, they don't believe anything that has been reported is real.  

      Thus, I don't think much progress is possible.  

      I am also somewhat certain that you and MBNYC will prove me wrong and I will, yet again, sing your praises.

      There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

      by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:30:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey! Remember Me? (10+ / 0-)

        We did some good work together on the statistical analysis in the paper on pigs fed GMO corn.

        That was a few months ago.  More recently I have been denounced as a GOP infiltrator, an authoritarian, a paid NSA disruptor agent, and the holder of anti-american opinions who deserves to be banned from the site.

        All this despite the fact that my position is and has always been that spying is bad, that we should avoid getting overly excited because that leads to problems, that we should be cautious about forming opinions before the data is in, and that we really need to coordinate our activities in order to maximise our impact on the policy makers.

        None of which strikes me as controversial in the least, but somehow that got lost in the shouting and the troll hunting. My hope is that this will turn out to be a general phenomenon, that other people's opinions no longer seen so objectionable once the fighting dies down.

        So I hope that you can join me in joining MBNYC and Dallasdoc in moving forward to stop this nonsense in Washington.

        Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx (-8.75,-8.36)

        by alain2112 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:52:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  only if it's rux / sox: insist on the rule of law (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nada Lemming, kharma, Cedwyn

      and let policy change and activism occur separate from the prosecution of all corporate/governmental/citizen criminal acts

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

      by annieli on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:13:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No compromise. (9+ / 0-)

      End the War OF Terror.  
      There are differences.  Compromise just isn't going to happen on some issues for some of us.  And that affects the whole thing.
      Does that mean I can't be a Democrat?

      "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:17:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  prolly (0+ / 0-)

        yep

        There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:47:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  well, bully for you (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi, MBNYC, Gurnt, AgavePup, Yoshimi, emelyn
        Compromise just isn't going to happen on some issues for some of us.  And that affects the whole thing.
        that and $1.50 might get you a cup of coffee.  meanwhile, in D.C., we have an extraordinarily divided government.  so that nasty 4-letter word is somewhat inevitable.  until we have a bernie sanders in every district, we won't be happy with a lot that comes down the pike.

        the ACA was just such an issue; it was compromise or have nothing.  no, the ACA isn't perfect.  yes; we needed single payer decades ago, roughly around the same time we mandated it for our defeated enemies via the marshall act. but i digress:  the point here is that the compromise that is the ACA was a goddamn sight better than doing nothing.  

        and i'm sorry, but anyone who argues otherwise is, imHo, worse-than-useless. i'm not saying that because of disagreement, either:  i sincerely believe that such myopic perspectives are damaging to our long-term goals and needs.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:12:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is the Sequester better than doing nothing? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, Kombema, priceman, Dallasdoc

          Because that's what his constant compromising brought us. You can keep making the "better than nothing" argument, but than you need to ask yourself what it is this president won't compromise on. If you're willing to compromise on everything, than you really don't believe in anything other than your own ambition.

          I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

          by jhecht on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:04:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes and no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emelyn

            obviously, it's asinine policy and not at all what should have happened.

            in a way, though, it's a very good thing because it spectacularly highlights how fucking stupid and unthinking the GOP policy towards debt is; if they weren't so obsessed with it or if they were, you know, sane, we'd never have heard of the sequester.

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:59:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well screw you then. And would you like to meet (0+ / 0-)

          for coffee, I'm right here in Orchards.

          "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:39:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And my point was I'm not compromising. (0+ / 0-)

            End the wars, feed the poor, til there are no poor no more.  
            Obama already proved what he's worth.

            "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:43:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  life is funny (0+ / 0-)

              skies are sunny
              bees make honey

              okay, you were talking about yourself regarding compromise.  like i said, that's great.  but it hardly applies to national governance.  compromise is, in fact, largely the basis for our government's structure.

              sure, come on down for coffee!  i'm in portland and have no car.  hahaha

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:25:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  as long as the loudest of the 'soxors' (8+ / 0-)

      (to use the language of the diarist) make this a 'crusade' where in anyone that disagrees with them is a fool, troll, shill, etc etc and needs to be 'enlightened' we're not going to go far.

      There's 2 sides here and while I appreciate yours and MBNYC's efforts to find some common ground there's more here that needs to happen then  "the adminstration supporters using this opportunity to work their feelings"

      In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
      Shop Kos Katalogue
      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  likewise. (6+ / 0-)

      While we fight, who's asking questions at townhalls?

      This space for lease

      by Drewid on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:43:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Show some good faith, please. (0+ / 0-)

      If the suxxors would like to take this opportunity to examine their willingness to embrace any conspiracy theory, however deranged, that supports the proposition that the US is the most evil country in the world, I promise to give them the space to do that.

    •  No. (0+ / 0-)

      Some people don't care if they're wiretapped.

  •  Well, I welcome your support. (26+ / 0-)

    UnConstitutional and Wrong is UnConstitutional and Wrong.

    You can not possibly be in denial of facts the Administration has already admitted to in public on videotape.

  •  Forgive me, but I don't understand why this (24+ / 0-)

    is such a pressing issue. I understand and respect that you believe the capabilities Snowden disclosed can be used for ill, because indeed they can be; but that alone is not reason enough not to have them.

    I really don't believe, as you do, that these capabilities are unconstitutional. I think that people wrongly conflate the collection of data with the placing of people under suspicion. The government has lots of my information already. That doesn't mean I'm a terror suspect.

    I'm sorry, but I think this is one big non-troversy. With all these yahoos running around asking for guns with no background checks, we'd foolish to give up or curtail this capability.

    The way I see it, libertarians like Amash don't want to give up this capability either. They just want it used on suspected persons (or groups). If you ask me, I think we should have indiscriminate bulk surveillance or none at all. This in-between solution is a non-starter.

  •  I think the question to ask is (26+ / 0-)

    what are the best strategies for getting these changes made?

    My personal opinion is that we would be best-served as a community by identifying legislation that we support and then putting pressure on key Congresscritters. Haven't Udall, Wyden, and several others been working on a bill?

    •  Not sure. (17+ / 0-)

      I do believe that the first step is to establish some trust. Leave your comfort zone. That's what I did, and it felt good.

      Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

      by MBNYC on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:44:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The First Step (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, poligirl

        should be an objective (non-partisan) effort to put together all we know about what is really going on. Before we can praise, criticize, or reform a system, we should start with a firm understanding of what exactly it is we are talking about. From reading the diaries here, I cannot help but feel that, so often, we (collectively) are flailing with only vague impressions of NSA systems and programs. So let me propose the following questions for us to figure out:

        1) What are the NSA programs that we know about?

        2) For each of these NSA programs, what is it that the program does?
        2A1) What is the data that gets collected?
        2A2) What is the data that gets processed? (The answer may or may not be the same as that for 2A1.)
        2B) What is the output from the data processing?
        2C) What is done with the output?

        3) For each of these NSA programs, what is the potential abuse? Has there, in fact, been abuse?

        4) For each of these NSA programs, what are the legal safeguards that exist?

        5) For each of these NSA programs, are the legal safeguards sufficient? Do the legal safeguards prevent the program from constituting violations of the law and of the Constitution?

        All of these should be resolved step-by-step. Once we have come to consensus, we can then debate whether we are fine with the status quo or what we want to do about the situation.

        •  'If Law is sufficient, do policies/procedures (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud, Garrett

          comply with the Law?'  I'd add this to your list, sesquioxide.

          I like your list, and I like, even more, the fact that you have spelled out the fact that we need MUCH MORE information on a variety of inter-related subjects, while knowing that the power structure supporting the Surveillance State will lie and obfuscate.

          So imo, even before we can realistically get behind and proposed laws, we need to be FULLY INFORMED -- which means we have to find a way to force information out of the scerecy/disinformation matrix.  (Please not I am not saying, 'don't study the proposed bills'; I'm saying that in order to know if a bill makes genuine, enforceable changes or is just a cosmetic change, we need more information.)

          There are many who oppose the Patriot Act in its entirety, and who wound not consider Section 215 as written to be an appropriate law.  What patriot Act author Rep Sensenbrenner was incensed about during Amash/Conyers  was the fact that the implementation of Section 215 -- the policies and procedures -- far exceeded (and distorted) Section 215 as written, and he voted to de-fund the NSA activities that exceeded Section 215.

          In two instances of having to fight for my civil rights as a disabled person under the Fair Housing Act, I found that there are three levels of 'law':  (1) The law as written (USC); (2) the written regulations and policies (CFR), which echo the USC often word-for-word; and (3) the actual practices (unwritten policies) of the agency charged with implementing/enforcing the USC and CFR.  This third level of 'unwritten policies/actual practices' that controls what happens in the real world, no matter what the Law as written prescribe.

          So, imo, 'passing good-enough laws' is a necessary, but not a sufficient, action to bring the Surveillance State into compliance with the Fourth Amendment.

    •  Honestly, I favor a Shit Storm (12+ / 0-)

      Cranking up the level of outrage, so that congresspersons are repeatedly being forced to respond. And, yes, even drowning out other issues for a while. Is probably our only hope of getting this addresses. I'm making this my single issue for now.

      But I don't mean to be an ass, and I recognize the sincerity of those who's tactics and priorities differ.

  •  What would help (34+ / 0-)

    Focus on policy, not personality.  It is entirely possible to fully discuss this issue without ever once using the words Obama, President, or even administrtion, let alone without ever attaching adjectives or adverbs connotative opinion.

    Despite the bickering I think I am seeing some strong common threads about this. One is, this is not a good place to be. The NSA and adjuncts have gotten out of control. Another is that the Patriot Act, at least partially driven by the events of 9/11, has largely allowed this to happen. So what actions can be taken to turn that particular elephant in the swamp? Supporting Amash would seem to be one direction. Udall and Wyden would seem to an avenue of recourse - what are they doing and how can we amplify or support that?

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:29:17 PM PDT

    •  It's not possible (36+ / 0-)

      to have full debates on this very broad subject with a growing body of information, documents, responses to it, without ever mentioning Obama, Snowden, Greenwald, administration officials, etc.

      But it is possible to minimize the inclusion of personalities when we're specifically working together on an issue, on specific activism.

      We can't censor the mention of those names.  It's just not practical and not fair either. But we can be more aware when we're doing action diaries, for example, where we're working with a Rox-Sux coalition.  

      However, in diaries where we're just hashing out information and opinions about it, it's not practical to ask people to censor.  Suppose we use action diaries and caucus diaries to work with this coalition though? That could work.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:40:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As i made that comment (8+ / 0-)

        I was reminded of another recent comment I've made that I felt covered that issue to a degree. I've now posted it in this thread, but for quick access....
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:43:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read that comments (20+ / 0-)

          a few minutes ago. It's not that I can't relate to it. But the problem, from my perspective, is that you're still trying to control other people's speech and behavior, or that's how it appears to me.  

          If we come together to work together on specific things, we should be able to set aside the things that perturb us, to a large extent, in that specific space.  In this forum, if we use specific vehicles, like action diaries or strategy discussion diaries, I think the bickering will naturally be lessened.

          I'm not sure if you're calling for an overall rule of some sort, not to mention any names when discussing the huge topic of domestic surveillance in order to make you feel more comfortable.  It sounds like that to me. I don't think that's reasonable at all.  On blogs and in certain diaries where new revelations are discussed, rants are to be expected. Defensiveness is to be expected.  


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:01:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

            grammar and typos aren't my best suit lately.  Would help if I'd proofread them.

            "I read that comment"


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:37:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not an overall rule by any means (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic, MBNYC

            Just a suggestion that if the focus of comment or diary is to bash the Dems, or Obama, as opposed to the policy - don't be surprised if there's resistance.

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:46:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  On that we agree (6+ / 0-)
              Just a suggestion that if the focus of comment or diary is to bash the Dems, or Obama, as opposed to the policy - don't be surprised if there's resistance.
              If the focus was entirely motivated by a desire to bash the Dems or Obama, I'd expect resistance.  I'd expect defensiveness. Everybody is in their own stage of acceptance about what's going on.

              Where I have a problem is when people don't just offer resistance, they try to wreck the whole comment section of a diary, or shut the critics down.

              But again, I keep trying to bring the focus back to making specific spaces where the goal is to do something, together, things we can all be comfortable with, in order to try to effect change. And I'm not saying that every effort will be like that.  I believe in some methods that super partisans don't like and that's pressure on the people we elected to represent us.  It's not motivated by a desire to bash, it's motivated by, and this sounds corny but it really is how I feel, the belief that it's my civic duty to do that.  Party doesn't come first, for me.  I don't put it above all else.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:55:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Catte Nappe, here's the thing (from my (21+ / 0-)

          perspective anyway): Bad policy really can't be meaningfully divorced from those who are responsible for voting for it, implementing it, defending it, etc. Policy does not exist in a vacuum. Our elected officials are responsible for its existence, and it is THEY who are empowered, through the Constitution, to either retain it or change it.

          So, if there is a consensus here that the NSA has engaged in overreach and that the structure that has been put in place is anathema to our current and/or future civil liberties, what kind of pressure can be brought to bear to change it without targeting the individuals empowered to make that change?

          It's not sufficient to say, "This shouldn't exist." We must say, "You, who have the power to change it, must do so." (Whether that "you" is the President or the Congress is open to debate, but pressure demands an object, otherwise we're just fruitlessly ringing our hands.)

          Let the 28th Amendment be one to amend the amendment process itself. Then, perhaps, we can transform our Constitution into a living document. (Who CARES what the Founders thought of digital data gathering?)

          by WisePiper on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:37:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the difference as I perceive it: (6+ / 0-)
            "You, who have the power to change it, must do so."
            Obama has finally and definitively proven that he's a wolf in sheeps clothing - he talked a good story but he's still supporting this invasion of citizen's privacy.

            The Dems are no different from the Reps - they are all puppets of the MIC.

            vs.

            Sign this linked petition to the WH, demanding that someone more neutral than Clapper be assigned to evaluate the NSA programs.

            Sen Smith says xyz, but Sen Jones is speaking out on that plus pdq. Get Jones' testimony out there.

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:58:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hear you, and I agree that hyperbole (12+ / 0-)

              can put people on the defensive and cause them to dig in and resist, but

              When it comes to putting pressure on our elected representatives, we must always bear in mind what pressure means in our system.

              In a dictatorship or a pure monarchy, pressure is the threat that the subjects may either refuse to work or actually rise up in revolt.

              In a representative democracy, pressure is making it clear to current and would-be representatives that your electoral support of them hinges on correct decisions. Polite requests only go so far. Ultimately, the success of pressure is revealed when the object of your pressure realizes s/he or their party are risking electoral defeat by their refusal to yield.

              Obviously, I don't want to go too far along this path in THIS diary, one that seeks to find common ground between the administration's strongest supporters and its harshest critics, but I do think we always need to keep in mind the nature of pressure itself. If our elected representatives fear no consequences for failure to respond, than we all might as well just go home and take whatever the government chooses to dish out.

              Let the 28th Amendment be one to amend the amendment process itself. Then, perhaps, we can transform our Constitution into a living document. (Who CARES what the Founders thought of digital data gathering?)

              by WisePiper on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:11:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think the proposed reforms will worsen (19+ / 0-)

      the problems that everyone has.

      Here's my issue. Amash and others who want to do away with bulk surveillance are not really doing away with it. What they're doing is saying that only people under suspicion should be targets of this surveillance. Well, that sounds good at first, but really what they're doing codifying the idea that we can and should distinguish people and groups for targeting.

      Indeed, Rand Paul has said that he believes Muslim students here on visas can and should be targeted. He just doesn't want law abiding citizens in Peoria to have their data collected, because it makes them feel like targets.

      No one in Congress has proposed doing away with surveillance altogether. What Amash and Paul are trying to do is essentially mandate profiling.

      Well, I'm against that. I'm against discriminatory surveillance. Anyone who thinks the requirement that people be first placed under suspicion will make surveillance less intrusive is kidding themselves.

      In my opinion, we should either have bulk, indiscriminate data collection (which we'd have in either case, trust me) or none at all. I don't agree with the extreme libertarian position that any surveillance is intrusive, but I think it's a credible position insofar as it protects everyone's privacy. We have every right to say that we think the death and economic calamity that would result form blown up towers or blown up nuclear power plants is the price of freedom. I just don't think we should be half-assed about it, because targeted surveillance is just cyber stop-and-frisk masquerading as liberty.

      •  Well (16+ / 0-)

        I see your point, but collecting data on everyone doesn't mean they will then treat everyone's data equally. All it does is provide readier access to the data of anyone they want to follow.

        •  This is true, and a great point. (7+ / 0-)

          But not collecting the data deprives us of the benefits of doing so.

          All it does is provide readier access to the data of anyone they want to follow.
          That is one thing it does, but it's not all it does. The algorithms that analyze this data do a number of things, and one of them is to determine the "connectedness" of pairs and groups of people. They do that to rule out innocent people as much as rule in suspicious people.

          If you don't have a complete corpus of data to input into these algorithms, they can't determine connectedness with any meaningful statistical accuracy. So they can't meaningfully rule out people who shouldn't be looked at or rule in those that should be. They're essentially useless then.

          It doesn't make any sense to me to effectively break the machine and provide a greater incentive for the executive branch to place people under suspicion to access their data. I'm just categorically against that.

          IMO, either we have the system we have now with greater protections for privacy, and reforms to make the FISA court more transparent, or we don't collect people's phone numbers at all.

      •  No, Fou. We're saying that warrants shall issue (23+ / 0-)

        only with probable cause.

        Rand Paul is a racist shit bag.  He doesn't speak for people who are opposed to wholesale eavesdropping here, and he certainly doesn't speak for the majority of House Democrats (a huge majority of the Progressive Caucus).

        I do not think we should let the cops roam through anyone house as they wish in order to avoid discrimination in household searches.

        I believe we should only allow the cops to search someones house when there is probable cause to issue a warrant to allow them to search for evidence of a specific crime.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:49:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's crazy. Blanket surveillance... (8+ / 0-)

        on Muslim students is just as bad as blanket surveillance on occupy protesters, or blanket surveillance on all Americans. I'm pretty sure that's what the 4th is all about, actually.

        •  Well, if you think blanket surveillance (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Medium Head Boy, Nada Lemming, Gurnt

          on anyone is bad, then let's just get rid of it altogether.

          If we decide that we shouldn't use state of the art technology to protect lives and 21st century infrastructure against a calamitous terrorist attack, that's fair. I just don't want to hear anyone complaining that the government should have done something to protect us when we get rid of the kind of surveillance that can.

          The next time a politician says we're at war with Islam, tell him or her to fuck off because 9/11 is the price of freedom.

          Seriously. I want to see these paranoid, NSA hating right-wingers actually live by their libertarian convictions. I'm sick of them freaking out that Obama's going to steal their guns or spy on them with drones and the NSA, then turning around with a handout when the tornado rips their house out of the ground.

          The next time someone blows up a Federal Building in OK, I don't want to hear them cry about it.

          •  I think there is both a reasonable... (6+ / 0-)

            and a manufactured amount of fear of a calamitous terrorist attack. But it's low on my personal agenda, and i'm willing to forgo some safety here.

          •  There is no such thing as 100% safety, (10+ / 0-)

            so demanding the use of "state of the art technology to protect lives and 21st century infrastructure against a calamitous terrorist attack" is a pathetic delusion.

            9/11 happened because the US government fucked up. Because the various agencies weren't talking to each other, and because the guys at the very top played Ostrich - didn't want to hear, didn't want to know. NO amount of increased surveillance would have helped.

            OKC was homegrown lunatics that no one was expecting or looking for.

            The recent Marathon bombing was a couple of malcontents who were hiding in plain sight and completely overlooked - and the overkill (both literally and figuratively) to apprehend them was a frightening indication of just how obsessively frightened this country has become.

            Instead of piling on more and more and more intrusive security theater, why don't we learn to use what we've already got?

            Why don't we analyze what has worked and what hasn't - and get rid of or fix what hasn't?

            We already accept a bit of necessary risk in everyday life - every time any of us gets behind the wheel of a car, there's a negligible but real chance of getting killed or maimed in an accident. Likewise (though more negligible) for any other form of travel, including just walking. But we don't cower at home because of that negligible risk.

            THAT negligible risk is FAR likelier than a terrorist attack.

            So let's get real.

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:22:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't say there was any such thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gurnt

              as 100% safety. But that doesn't mean that we then throw out a program that can significantly (in the statistical sense) reduce the probability of a terrorist attack.

              •  Please provide documentation for this claim (0+ / 0-)

                that the current NSA systems comprise --

                a program that can significantly (in the statistical sense) reduce the probability of a terrorist attack.
                This issue has been covered pretty thoroughly in both the Senate and House hearings recently.  The highest number of claimed cases of attack-prevention was 54 (iirc); that was narrowed to 2-3 cases in which NSA systems provided some information that supported cases that had already been well-developed through other, more traditional sources, such as ordinary police work.  Eventually, the only successful use of the NSA system came down to one case, in which an man sent around $8500 to an organization in his home village, and that organization was on the list of 'terrorist organizations'.  (The man's attorney only learned of the NSA's tracking of this man after taking his  case through several levels of courts; therefore the attorney, lacking crucial evidence, could not mount a complete case, and the courts were deprived of complete evidence.)
          •  Now (12+ / 0-)

            We're getting somewhere.  

            This is not about protecting us, it never was.  It's about going back into the data that collected already in order to prove you did something.  Of course, that collection wasn't subject to any oversight, so what's to stop some asshole from planting evidence against you?  

            This is why the time honored order is 1) crime happens
            2) collect evidence
            3) target suspect that evidence points to

            works as well as it does.  It's not near perfect, but turning the country into the Minority a report is an invitation to tyranny.  

            Bad things aren't bad! And anyway, there's mitigation!

            by Nada Lemming on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:39:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am even more cynical than this (0+ / 0-)

              I believe all the NSA stuff is mostly just an excuse by the MIIC to extract as much taxpayer money as possible. If the MIIC braintrust found a way to siphon MORE money from the public coffers by NOT spying, they'd do that.

              So if in doing all this the MIIC can find a way to funnel more of the population into private prisons or to sell the latest and greatest drone or spy blimp, it's gonna do that.

              I'd like to see some bill introduced that forbade government from outsourcing national "intelligence," prisons, etc.

              Kill the profit motive and you may go a long way towards slaying the beast.

              I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

              by pajoly on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 08:25:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  personally I'm skeptical (8+ / 0-)

        that the GOP wants to do anything more then humiliate Obama and take away one of his 'toys' only to vote it back when they have the Presidency.

        I argued as much when the Amash amendment was proposed and was told I was an apologist/troll/shill/naive authoritarian.

        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
        Shop Kos Katalogue
        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:20:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ok (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fou, MBNYC, TomP

        I finally get your concern and it has merit.

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

        by ricklewsive on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:29:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Brilliant (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fou, MBNYC, Gurnt
        In my opinion, we should either have bulk, indiscriminate data collection (which we'd have in either case, trust me) or none at all. I don't agree with the extreme libertarian position that any surveillance is intrusive, but I think it's a credible position insofar as it protects everyone's privacy. We have every right to say that we think the death and economic calamity that would result form blown up towers or blown up nuclear power plants is the price of freedom. I just don't think we should be half-assed about it, because targeted surveillance is just cyber stop-and-frisk masquerading as liberty.
        I emphatically agree, very well said.
    •  If Wyden would actually propose a bill (8+ / 0-)

      with his desired reforms, then maybe we could rally around it.  I've not seen much in the way of actual legislation from him.

      •  Some other senators (13+ / 0-)

        jumped out ahead of him on that, including a senator with a higher ranking -- Durbin.  I'd be surprised if he didn't propose some. He and Udall have done so several times over the past couple years.

        One thing that nobody seems to be taking into consideration is that every day or week we're still getting more information. We're still figuring out the scope and specifics of the problem.  We're still trying to get documents and court decisions and legal justifications, etc. It's evolving rapidly.

        Wyden has some specific questions and some specific requests, particularly the desire for the secret interpretations of certain statutes to be declassified.  There was some progress on that last week. He wants all of the Congress who votes on these things to be given enough information to make an informed vote. To date, they have not gotten that.  


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:08:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure about that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, Catte Nappe, CroneWit

      I'm no Obama fan (though i am a voter and contributor), but I still think we can appeal to his sense of decency. But pretty much only if we make it about him and his responsibilities.

      I think it's vaguely possible he will take action if he sees tremendous push back. Legacy-threatening push back.

    •  Yup. It is entirely possible. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gurnt, Odysseus, Catte Nappe

      In fact, your comment inspired me to try to write comments only about the policy and not about the administration and so forth. It was a really good exercise, I have to say.

  •  I'm almost always willing to try and build bridges (57+ / 0-)

    on Daily Kos. In fact, I get annoyed at and try to stay away from "us vs them" thinking around here and people just criticizing.  

    I'm historically more on the Rox side but got disillusioned with "us vs them" etc. I tend to stay away from it now.

    With regard to NSA, I agree with you. I don't like it. I want it pared back.

    With regard to President Obama, I've said this. There is a place for people who promote what policies SHOULD pass vs what CAN pass. If nobody promotes what should pass, we don't educate the public, we don't move public opinion left, and SHOULD is far less likely to become CAN...

    That said, today's Democratic Party for all its faults is what we have to build on and I strongly believe there is difference between the two parties. I am a Democrat. I vote Democrat. I support Democrats.

    I need to have another read at the diary...

  •  Thank you for this well thought out diary (30+ / 0-)

    For me, it was never about anything other than our constitutional rights.  Here is what I posted recently on another diary.  It is consistent with my stand on this issue which is way beyond individuals but is all about policy.

    While some people may not agree with my last sentence, I can accept that.

    The wholesale collection and storage of this data is my greatest concern. I regard this a real threat to our constitutional rights under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments.

    The collection was taking place outside the public's knowledge and will be stored ad infinitum.  To me, this is a dangerous and serious threat to every person in this country.  The fact that it may or may not be used today does not preclude its use in the future.  

    I do not want reassurance from politicians and those in charge of the system.  I have very little faith in a system in which everything is being done in secret and we have people at the top asking us to trust them when they have already lied to us.  I want the system stopped, shut down, and the current data base destroyed.

    Thank you again MBNYC for this diary and for reaching out to try to find common ground.  I truly respect you for that and thank you for doing it.  

    "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 Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:34:34 PM PDT

    •  I agree with gulfgal98's position. My position: (16+ / 0-)

      For me, it's all fundamentally about the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and about the secret government that has grown up in support of the surveillance State.  For me, these issues go well beyond mere politics to the very concept of governance and of what kind of nation America will be.

      I feel I need to state that I have never been either a roxxer or a suxxer.  Until very recently, I have always been proud of him and glad to have him as 'my President'.  Even throughout the disappointments over the years, I could (almost) always see (as a pragmatic person myself) that there were real, practical reasons for his choices.  Frankly, I saw the hard-core roxxers and suxxers, and their piefights, as kind of silly.

      But the moment the NSA Disclosures began, it was evident to me that the President would have to choose one of two paths:  to support the current Surveillance State or to support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  This President, and the leadership of both parties, have chosen the first path, not the right path.  This means, to me, that fighting for the Constitution will mean fighting this President and the Democratic Party leadership.  I do not 'hate' Obama, although I am gravely disappointed in him and often very angry with him.  But I can no longer trust him to do the right thing for this country on this issue.

      That's all I'll say for now on my position regarding both Obama and the NSA issues.  But there is one more point I want to make here.

      There is a false dichotomy embedded in the NSA discussions:  That the situation is bi-polar, and we can either have the the current NSA collect-it-all 'haystack' system or nothing.  This does not appear to me to be true.  In 2000-2001, two model surveillance systems were developed.  One was similar to the current 'haystack' model.  The other, ThinThread (which Binney worked on), worked (actively found potential terrorists) by tracking patterns of activity rather than  content.  And because ThinThread anonymized the signals before they were analyzed, there was no Fourth Amendment violation involved.  The anonymized data was analyzed, and patterns were found; only after the patterns were found was the data de-anonymized so that identifiable persons could be tracked.  Hayden chose the 'haystack' system, with its Fourth Amendment issues and its far greater costs.  (Binney and Drake, and two others, went through channels to blow the whistle on this, and were punished for it.)

      The history of ThinThread demonstrates that effective anti-terrorist surveillance that does not violate the Fourth Amendment is possible. This is an important thing to know.

      It will be difficult to craft legislation that will prevent Fourth Amendment violations while using a hardware/software infrastructure that has those violations built into its design.  But the history of ThinThread teaches us that 'it's either the haystack or no protection' is a false dichotomy.

      Thanks again to the author(s) of this diary for creating a safe space for discussion.

  •  Let's stop fussing and fightin! (16+ / 0-)

    ♫♪♫♪And hug it out♪♫♪♫

  •  I've said this before (17+ / 0-)

    I think a recent comment addresses much of this contention from my perspective, so I'm going to repeat it in full.

    In much of the pie and flame flinging that happens here I continually find myself perturbed by the focus on personality vs policy. We wouldn't have nearly the number of contentious exchanges if the discussion was simply on the policy. As an example we can all probably talk about NSA and excessive surveillance with some reasonable comity, but then somebody has to throw out some Obama sux comment, and then somebody has to point out how Obama's hands are tied, and then we have the "apologist" comments - with both the writer and the reader assuming a derogatory meaning regardless of what the dictionary says - and then there's "so you hate the Constitution", and the whole discussion has gone south.

    After pondering this problem I have come to a conclusion. Yes, I am an Obama apologist, and a Dem apologist. I was not a Bush supporter, or a Republican. Ever. So here's why I criticize one adminstration differently than the other:
    NSA and the surveillance system has gotten out of bounds and out of control. The Patriot Act needs to go. There is no difference in my position on those polices, regardless of who is in office. However, when Bush was in office I was quite happy to use those policies as a cudgel against him and his Presidency and his party. I am not going to use it as a cudgel against my party and the President of my party. It doesn't mean I'm any happier with the policy, but I'm going to stick to complaining about the policy, not the person. Under other circumstances (Republican adminsitration), yes, I would complain bitterly about both.

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

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:38:32 PM PDT

  •  Five corporate gangs run this country... (25+ / 0-)

    ...and just about everything that matters that's in it; and, wherever they can achieve the power to do the same around the globe, as well.

    These people are constantly striving to obtain greater power and control of our society. These are basic facts.

    And, those basic facts tell us they control both major political parties in this country, as well.

    And, by the way, one of those two major political parties pretty much owns this place where we're blogging, whether many here (and those reading this) want to acknowledge that greater truth, or not.

    So what does that tell us?

    The very core of "the system" is fucked. Corrupt beyond what's even close to being properly acknowledged in this community.

    Taking the money out of politics is a great place to start when it comes to restoring the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans.

    Pretty much everything else is just kabuki: addressing symptoms as opposed to the disease, as it were.


    #            #            #

    One side note, IMHO: Even the very use of the term, "Rox/Sux," does little more than dumb down the debate. It's really a basic reminder of how incredibly captured and shallow the entire, so-called "dialogue" is in this community gets at moments like this.


    #            #            #

    In concept, appointing a CFPB-type entity to oversee the protection of basic Fourth Amendment rights, on paper, is a great idea. Unfortunately, in real life, it's only going to be as good/effective as those in power allow it.

    Again, like so many other problems in our society, once the money's taken out of politics, everything pretty much fixes itself. Until that happens, much of the discussion is little more than mental masturbation.

    I know, I'm being blunt here. But, the truth hurts.

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

    by bobswern on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:41:35 PM PDT

    •  saying that 'basic facts' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, emelyn

      are things like a secret oligarchy that you can't prove exists really does and really runs everything isn't really going to go anywhere.

      You can be blunt all you want it's always how I prefer people to be but then again to be blunt you're pushing close to conspiracy theorist with your 'basic facts'.

      In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
      Shop Kos Katalogue
      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:26:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Search this: Media controlled by corporations (2+ / 0-)

        Do you not know that GE, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS control 90% of our media (therefore the message)?

        Here

        Rich people nearly always want more $$ and power, not less.

        Can you agree with that statement?  Or is that conspiracy talk?  Really?

        The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

        by JVolvo on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 07:54:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh I know that way too few corporations (0+ / 0-)

          control way too much of the media. That's on my list of things I want changed (think it's like number 30 of 100) that's still not even in the same zip code of 'massive media conspiracy'.

          I would also say that yes there's always people that can never have enough money but that doesn't mean they all banded together as the Illuminati or whatever. Still again not even in the same zip code as what was being talked about.

          In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
          Shop Kos Katalogue
          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:42:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  bobswern, while I agree that money in (10+ / 0-)

      politics is literally the root of virtually every evil in government, that money will never be legislatively removed, simply because those who'd have to vote it out depend upon it to keep their seats. Even pre-Citizens United, campaign finance limitations and issue advocacy funding restrictions were woefully tepid.

      So, in the absence of a realistic short term ability to remove money from politics, the fall back position, in my view, is to scare the shit out of current and would-be representatives that their electoral fortunes hinge upon supporting the interests of Main Street. (Money ALONE can't get you elected. You still need the votes.) This has been the great failure of Democratic voters in general, and this site in particular - the unwillingness to issue credible ultimatums. We have taught our reps well - do as you please; our votes are guaranteed.

      In the long term, I fear the only strategy for removing money from politics will be massive, rolling general strikes, with all their inherent pain and disruption. We're not there yet. It would be nice to think it will never be necessary.

      Of course, your comment and my response to you are a meta-discussion best fleshed out in another time and thread. For the purposes of doing whatever's realistically possible, right now, to rein in the NSA, I support this diary's exploration of what pressure CAN be brought to bear, within the limitations of what risks Democratic voters are willing to take at this point in time.

      Let the 28th Amendment be one to amend the amendment process itself. Then, perhaps, we can transform our Constitution into a living document. (Who CARES what the Founders thought of digital data gathering?)

      by WisePiper on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:29:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if everyone (23+ / 0-)

    focused on issues, regardless of personalities, and took firm stands on issues before personalities did, and remained consistent on their stands on the issues regardless of personalities, there would be no rox/sux battles.

    politicians are public employees. they do the job well or they don't.

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:44:30 PM PDT

    •  I think part of the problem is that there is so (14+ / 0-)

      much focus here, and in other liberal media like MSNBC, on Republican personalities. All the time. The front page is constantly  awash in stories about how crazy some particular Republican politician is. These are quick and easy ways to score points against a lot of people who are, in the aggregate, pretty damn awful and deserving of this criticism.

      Nevertheless, I do find this focus, even on Republican personalities, to drown out discussions of policy. I would agree with you, that we should always focus closely on policy, and would emphasize that this means perhaps we can focus less on Republicans, and all the wild and offensive things that they say. When they propose bad policies, we critique the policies. I have little interest in what stupid thing Louie Gohmert, a back-bencher with little in the way of legislative accomplishments, has said this week.

      Of course, on the other hand, Daily Kos has a great emphasis on electoral politics, and it is hard to separate personalities out of that. But I think that contributes to an atmosphere where people felt very drawn to, say, President Obama as a person, and thus feel "betrayed" when an issue like NSA comes along and he is perceived to be on the wrong side of the issue.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:27:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the People Magazine school of journalism. (5+ / 0-)

        The shocking thing an idiot said!!!

        Which asshole is cheating on his wife!?!?!

        You'll never believe who stepped in it now!

        Along with the flip side -

        Guess who gave 100,000 to charity?

        Which Celebrity cares about literacy!?!

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:21:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That stuff has its uses (4+ / 0-)

          But when our party holds the White House and we have NSA vs. constitutionality issues it feels like a distraction.  During campaign cycles though, I am all about what the tea party said today and how that plays against the Democratic platform.

          Our basic bipartisan government infrastructure must allow for healthy constitutional society whoever our President is though, so the NSA issues supersede what the idiot Republicans did today for many critical thinkers.

          •  It's always a distraction. Seizing the (8+ / 0-)

            low ground is never a good idea.

            During campaign cycles is precisely when we've got the leverage to move our own party.

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:01:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And I can agree with too (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, kharma, JVolvo, CroneWit, Joieau

              When Republicans were saner.  Something is deeply flawed within our culture though at the moment.  When politicians can suggest that people need to suffer and starve and die and half of us are willing to entertain the ideas, even argue for such policies, there seems to be time that must be dedicated to repeatedly pointing at the insanity simply so we don't end up over the cliff.

              I live in Southern AL though, I view politics through that prism and I am hip deep in impoverished people literally arguing for a culling, and they don't even realize they will be the first to go if their chosen leaders implement most of the policies they are trotting out.  It's a savage daily business around here.

              •  Using Republican insanity as an excuse means (0+ / 0-)

                giving up on improving the situation.

                They're not going to get saner.  Ever.  Won't happen.

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:56:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wow do I ever disagree (0+ / 0-)

                  Never have rich Republicans been this organized and this able to persuade others to acts of blind insanity.

                  Much of this is due to the ability to poll, focus group, and use Frank Luntz style neuro linguistics.

                  I couldn't disagree more.  Up against new information on how to bypass sanity being used against the masses, simply taking the moral high ground will fail horribly before it has any hope of succeeding.  People will burn before being helped.

    •  I question the idea that everyone should just (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, Onomastic, Lying eyes, duhban

      take a position on a given policy and then just ignore what anyone else says just so they can stand firm in their position.  Not everyone is an expert on everything such he/she should ignore whatever anyone else has to say on the matter or is impervious to being swayed by what others say on a matter.

      If I take a stand on an economic policy, and I'm no expert on economics, then I read that Krugman took the opposite stance, I should just ignore him?  Just to maintain my consistency or integrity?  I should be inflexible in possibly being swayed by his argument?  I don't think so.

      Indeed, what is the purpose of opinion writers like Eugene Robinson (who wrote a very good "Obama sucks on NSA" editorial today) if everyone is going to just stand on their positions without even a possibility of being swayed or moved on an issue?  I guess the only purpose of opinion writers is to just preach to the choir, since it's bad for anyone to be swayed by an opposing argument?

  •  I certainly applaud this effort. (26+ / 0-)

    A major issue problem/issue that I see is how we approach President Obama. THere are fights about other things but he is the focus of the passion. It is not really unusual to focus on the person in authority.

    We can't talk about major issues of government policy without talking about Obama. He is POTUS, the person in charge and ultimately accountable to the voters for the way that the government is being conducted. We can't pretend that he's not.

    In my mind there is a reasonably clear line between criticizing his executive actions and going after him and his family is a personally abusive way. I try to stay on the right side of that line. Obviously my sense of where it is is not the same as that of some other people.  

    •  Obama is President....and a public figure. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, kharma, britzklieg

      I agree that the job he does and the motivation he employs as president are fair game and that his family most certainly is not.  I also agree that Obama is usually the fuse.  
      Somehow it is not ok to disrespect or get hyperbolic about Obama, Democrats,  or a few other subjects, but it is perfectly ok to disrespect and get hyperbolic with each other.  

      Some people here believe they have the right to tell others what they can and cannot think and say.   The people being directed about don't agree and don't like it at all.   Question is, who gets to control whose speech?    

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

      by dkmich on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:51:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It should be very easy to avoid (0+ / 0-)

      going after his family--and not so hard to avoid going after him personally. Complain all you want about his official actions--that's all there is to it.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:36:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Sux/Rox will continue with the next POTUS. (19+ / 0-)

    I can guarantee you that. The problem is that governing is very difficult and requires compromise and choices. This means more strife to come for those who hate compromise and a pragmatic and moderate approach to governing.

    A few names might change, but some folks have demands that will never be met in our present form of government.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:49:38 PM PDT

  •  I'm glad that we can finally try and have... (13+ / 0-)

    a rational, levelheaded, discussion on this issue.

    I know that I am to the right of many here because I ask what is the purpose behind it.  I consider that important because of what the Fourth Amendment (and the Fifth and Sixth, for that matter) is largely about.  It's about criminal procedure and I do seriously wonder about the applicability of Fourth Amendment where there is no intention of bringing a criminal case or where any criminal case is purely incidental.  Even in the latter instance, I would likely find myself satisfied with the use of the Exclusionary Rule to keep out evidence that would not have otherwise come in but for the tangential infringement.

    All this said, I do believe there is a right to privacy that emanates from the various amendments of the Bill of Rights.  I also believe that there is need for significantly greater oversight.  I like the idea of an independent watchdog, but I also believe that Congress must exercise greater oversight.

    I should additionally point out that for all the accretion of power to the executive branch there is one way for Congress to very firmly reestablish its credentials as a co-equal:  Use the power of the purse and simply deny funding until the executive branch acquiesces or a compromise is reached that respects the rights of both elected branches as the elected representatives of the people.

    Finally, as you point out, spying is part of statecraft and will always be so.  Certain items do need to be kept secret and those that disclose sensitive national security information that is rightly classified must be ready and willing to face the consequences.  The government has a duty to protect our fellow citizens and a right to protect American interests, both at home and abroad.

    Enacting our agenda requires winning elections. Oh, and me on Facebook and Twitter.

    by Mets102 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:51:56 PM PDT

    •  Why do you say: (5+ / 0-)
      ...what the Fourth Amendment (and the Fifth and Sixth, for that matter) is largely about.  It's about criminal procedure...
      I don't see that wording in the text, and I'm not aware of any 'original intent' that support this. I suspect King George was busting down political dissident's doors, and the founders were pissed. I'm no scholar, though, so feel free to correct my understanding.

      From Wikipedia:

      The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) is an amendment to the United States Constitution and part of the Bill of Rights. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted in response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, a type of general search warrant...
      Emphasis mine
      •  You suspect correctly. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, kharma, JVolvo, britzklieg, CroneWit

        The worst of the abuses were going on in Boston and the immediate environs, but the other 12 Colonies knew "it could happen here", even if it hadn't...yet.

        So, when it came time to re-draw guidelines for their own government (their first attempt, the Articles of Confederation, had been too much weak tea), they decided they did not want any repetitions of that. Ever.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:28:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  FISA Court order = Writ of Assistance (0+ / 0-)

        One of the Reps in the Amash/Conyers debate (Sensenbrenner?) made the same point.

        And I think you comment allows us to clarify the definition of some terms that have been a source of strife in the NSA diaries: the use and meaning(s) of the word 'warrant'.

        The NSA and its supporters in government and the media use a talking point to the effect of 'NSA can't collect your data/listen to your calls without a warrant'.

        The generally-understood meaning of the word 'warrant' is a  document that meets well-established standards for specific things.  The FISA Court orders are blanket requests that do not meet Fourth Amendment requirements for a 'warrant'.  The FISA court orders are so broad and un-specific that they are, in fact, 'general search warrants', equivalent to 'writs of assistance'.

        When people on this site say 'NSA can't get [fill in the blank] without a warrant' they are, perhaps unknowingly, parroting the NSA definition of 'warrant',  and perhaps they are assuming that the protections of an actual warrant are contained in the FISA Court's writs of assistance.  Using the NSa's definition of the word 'warrant' results in their being called 'apologists', and to threadjacking arguments about the definition of the term.

        I suggest that, since the term 'FISA Court warrant' is another example of the NSA's misappropriation of commons words ('collect' is another), and since the use of the NSA definition has become toxic in discussions here, that we agree to use the term 'FISA Court Writs of Assistance' whenever this subject is dicsussed.

        Confucius wrote that when the State has become disordered, the first step in correcting that disorder is the Rectification of Terms.  The Surveillance State, as part of its campaign of secrecy and disinformation, has distorted language to its own ends.  Clear discussion of these issues demands a Rectification of Terms.

    •  I hate to say this (0+ / 0-)

      but spying is a part of human nature that will never be expunged out of our DNA, no matter how much we hate it. People have spied on each other since our ancestors lived in caves and will do so far in the future when we are all gone.

      The only profession that is older than spying is prostitution

      •  Wow. That's kind of a weird (0+ / 0-)

        thing to assert. I don't recall ever in my life a desire to spend my time and energy "spying," or even caring what my neighbors, friends and/or family members were doing with their time and energy.

        Sure, I know some who are willing to waste time and energy in such pointless pursuits, which is why I took to writing my diaries backwards when I shared a bedroom with one older and two younger sisters. That doesn't suggest that spying is part of basic human nature, though.

        I've always figured my own time and energy was best spent living my own life. I don't believe I'm alone in that.

  •  Sure keeps down the readership... (7+ / 0-)

    ...in my diaries.  Makes me wonder why I bother.

  •  Du bist ein eher und intelligenter Mensch. (17+ / 0-)

    Well said, my brother.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:54:12 PM PDT

    •  You realize, of course, posting in that (5+ / 0-)

      foreign tongue just put you on a watch list?

      Seriously, though. (No, really, seriously.) My son spent a couple months in Israel last year as part of a one year journey through Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa.

      While in Israel, he became friends with a young Palestinian male. Now that my son's returned home, they still communicate by email. The Palestinian's command of English is negligible (and my son's understanding of his friend's language is non-existent). Consequently, they both rely upon Google Translate, often to hilarious effect.

      Here's the thing: There is no doubt, given what the NSA has been willing to cop to, my son's every digital communication is now likely flagged for special scrutiny. And so may be the communications of all my son's friends and associates within another two hops.

      There are so many disturbing elements to this whole NSA story. Sunlight is vital. We MUST know what all is being done in our names, and we must INSIST upon transparency in the judicial rulings which authorize their activities.

      Let the 28th Amendment be one to amend the amendment process itself. Then, perhaps, we can transform our Constitution into a living document. (Who CARES what the Founders thought of digital data gathering?)

      by WisePiper on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 09:53:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary works for me, MBNYC. (27+ / 0-)

    The drum I've been beating on this is -- stop fucking around with screaming about how evil the President is and let's get behind a plan to put a stop to this.

    Because there's one and only one way this will be stopped, and that is in the legislature.

    Now, the President, to his credit, has done something that is very, very rare for Presidents to do, which is to voluntarily cede a measure of his authority over the NSA program. The measure may be small and insufficient, but given that the polls show a majority of Americans support the program, he's not under very critical pressure to budge, so that's pretty noteworthy.

    But it also gives us an opening to pour pressure on Congress to do something about the program and get rid of/provide real oversight for/severely curtail it. Because holding Obama's feet to the fire ain't gonna do much as long as the NEXT President is under no legal restraint preventing him from doing the same.

    Making the fight about Obama is missing the point.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:59:37 PM PDT

    •  Disagreed. Only snowden's info, and outrage (0+ / 0-)

      directed at individuals (esp. Obama) has created any action here. IMO. But I liked your post and it made me think.

    •  I disagree, raptavio, on what Prez' actions show (0+ / 0-)

      I cannot agree with this --

      the President, to his credit, has done something that is very, very rare for Presidents to do, which is to voluntarily cede a measure of his authority over the NSA program.
      The President has not ceded any authority over the NSA program, not has he done anything which shows a willingness (much less a will) to rein in or alter NSA practices in any way.

      What he has done, imo, is engage in political theater in order to placate the people so they will 'feel comfortable' with the NSA practices as they stand today.  From his announcement of his planned 'fix' to the FISA Court to last Friday's press conference, he has exerted all his power to keep the NSA untouched while attempting to convince us that he is being 'responsive'.

      I was old enough to understand the manipulations involved in both Watergate and Iran-Contra, as well as many lesser issues.  To my deep regret, I see this President choosing to re-frame those manipulations in his own style in this current circumstance.

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        you're entitled to your interpretation of events.

        It's ultimately irrelevant, however, to the goal -- which is making a legislative, rather than executive, change, to the limits on the NSA.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:22:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Executive change on NSA is as important (0+ / 0-)

          as legislative change.

          I wrote elsewhere in this thread about the difference between the law as written and the policies/procedures that implement them in actual practice.  NSA is in the Executive Branch, and Patriot Act author Rep Sensenbrenner declared that NSA is exceeding and distorting Section 215 so that actual practice does not comply with the law.

          So even perfectly-written law depends on the Chief Executive's insistence that the Executive Branch conform their actual practices to the law.  That is not happening now, and thus the NSA issue is an Executive, as well as a Legislative, problem.

          •  Yet (0+ / 0-)

            if the NSA were exceeding its legislative mandate, the judiciary could be brought to bear to stop them -- and it isn't.

            See the problem?

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:14:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  (Sigh) The Judiciary hasn't been brought to bear (0+ / 0-)

              because the NSA built so many levels of secrecy into its procedures that cases could not be effectively brought.  Cases were attempted, but they were blocked because the Executive Branch declared that they involved 'state secrets', making it impossible for attorneys to get evidence (that would otherwise be available through ordinary Discovery), and the cases were thrown out.

              This is why one of the first things that happened when the NSA Disclosures began was that ACLU, EFF, and EPIC initiated lawsuits so the Judiciary could finally begin to review the NSA's practices.  One case (ACLU, iirc) that had been kicked out due to the 'state secrets' claim was re-submitted.  Because the NSA Disclosures had made some relevant (and previously secret) information public -- to the extent that is had been published, then commented on by members of Congress and the Administration -- the judge decided that the 'state secrets' restriction no longer applied and is allowing the case to move forward.

              So, the Judiciary could not evaluate whether or not NSA was exceeding its legislative mandate UNTIL THE NSA DISCLOSURES BEGAN because of secrecy rules instituted by the Executive Branch (NSA, DOJ) prevented Judiciary evaluation.

              The (sigh) is because it's very, very tiring to have to keep explaining the same established facts over and over again to people who do not appear to informed themselves sufficiently about issues and developments.  This need to continually repeat explanations of issues/developments that even the Admistration's lapdog site in the MSM understand is interferes with intelligent discussion of a rapidly-unfolding and complex issue.

              •  If the secrecy's in place (0+ / 0-)

                then you wouldn't know that the mandate's been exceeded. But you do, so you say -- therefore the judiciary CAN be brought to bear. And, so far, has not

                You also forget that the judiciary HAS been involved since Obama came to office. Bush pushed these things without going through the FISA court. Obama has reintroduced that court. So while the secrecy -- yes -- makes the wheels of checks and balances grind more slowly, they still move.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:06:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are incorrect re: FISA Court (0+ / 0-)

                  It's still secret.  And it has a very narrow function -- of approving NSA requests to gather data information from IPs about user's data and providing court orders to authorize those collections.  And the current practices of the FISA court were set up under Bush/Gonzales at the same time that they retroactively decriminalized their Warrantless Wiretapping.  This has led to a situation in which the FISA Court has been functioning as almost a 'secret Sureme Court' in regard to surveillance issues.  Per NYT and WSJ reporting, it has been establishing a set of 'secret laws' that can't be reviewed by anyone.

                  This is why Obama set up the Civil Liberties Board a few weeks ago (I can't remember its complete name), and why, in the recent Senate hearing, Sen Blumenthal suggested adding an 'adversarial' component so the Court will hear from someone other than the NSA when they bring their requests.  The 'advocate' would (theoretically) argue for citizen's rights and the Constitution.

                  You are correct in this:

                  If the secrecy's in place then you wouldn't know that the mandate's been exceeded.
                  Which is why the NSA Disclosures are so important.  The Disclosures forced government officials to speak on-the-record about their existence and their functions.  This is what made it possible for the Judiciary to begin to review the NSA's practices.  Earlier attempts to bring Judiciary review to NSA practices were blocked by secrecy, as I explained above.

                  Here's a genuine question, and I would appreciate a thorough response:  Where do you get your information from?  You seem unaware of, or misinformed about many issues that have been accurately reported by many sources.  Yet you write as though you are relying on sources you consider authoritative.  Please list your the 10-12 sources you use to inform yourself about these issues and developments.  I would like to read them for comparison to my sources.

                  •  Ye gods. (0+ / 0-)

                    No. I'm sorry, I'm not going to take a little condescension from you and then respond with an exhaustive list of sources. Homey don't play that.

                    I mean, I get that you don't cotton much to my point of view and that's fine, but I'm not going to be your monkey.

                    I didn't say the FISA court wasn't secret; I said it was the inclusion of the judiciary in the program. The warrantless wiretapping program (which bypassed FISA altogether, you recall?) ended in 2007, and court rulings in 2010 established the government was liable for violating the civil liberties of citizens it had wiretapped without a warrant (the Al-Haramin Islamic Foundation, yes?) so these programs all have the courts involved. Now obviously the FISA court has ben derided by some as a rubber stamp (given that there's been only one such wiretap request by the Obama administration denied, and six by Bush's (plus four more which were later partially or fully approved by later review). But decisions like Al-Haramin have helped those wheels get turning, and they can and will be further facilitated by proper legislation that ensures strong oversight and establishes consequences for breaking the rules.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 02:53:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Condecension"? "be your monkey'? (0+ / 0-)

                      Goodness me.  

                      I ask for a list of your new sources, so I can read them, and you consider that 'condescension'?

                      And I have no idea what 'be your monkey' even  means, but it feels like some kind of insult or attack -- because I asked you where you read?

                      Is '10-12 sources' what you consider 'exhaustive', and too much trouble to write out?  Well, make it 6-8 then, or 4-5 sources.  I'd just like to see where your arguments are still being made.

                      I really don't understand the umbrage you've taken.  But I can say that this kind of hair-trigger umbrage-taking is one style of behavior that makes attempting a civilized discussion of NSA issues a mine-field, and is one of the behaviors that leads to lengthy threadjacks.

                      I won't be responding to you any more.

  •  I'm still trying (9+ / 0-)

    To find evidence of someone here who thinks Obama is beyond approach.  I don't like the calls for impeachment and all, but I understand the disappointment.  Almost from the first comment I made on this issue, though, I kept getting the whole 'apologist Obamabot' jazz - but I hadn't mentioned him at all.

    I posted something critical of Obama today and got jeered.  I guess there's no winning with some folks.

    Ironically I wrote a diary that got reccd like crazy, about how people critical of the President (which included me) should not be called 'haters' .

    Now I'm here being falsely bundled with from what I can tell is a non- existent group of people who wont broach ANY criticism of Obama .

    Shrug

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:01:09 PM PDT

    •  Beyond reproach, you mean? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, high uintas, duhban

      Isn't that the expression?

    •  I think your anger the other day was useful (10+ / 0-)

      it was out of line, of course, and I disagreed with you, but it made me see other stuff you've written. I mean, we disagree on a lot but we're united against the rightwingers, we just have different ways of beating them, I think.

      Anyway, I find that there are different kinds of disagreement. There are some where I'm never going to see eye to eye with someone else, either because they won't admit to something obvious or because they're too obnoxious, and then there are times when honesty wins out on both sides, them and me, and we begin to see why we approach it differently.

      Dear NSA: I am only joking.

      by Shahryar on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:18:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's (5+ / 0-)

        what I've wanted.

        I've been bewildered for weeks why I couldn't make any headway in getting a better understanding of the issues, and why it was so odious for me to hang back a bit instead of jumping in at full volume.

        I don't think we disagree on a lot.

        We agree on most.  Where I veer off is only in minor degree.  

        Now that the information is out,  Snowden and Greenwald aren't relevant when it comes to dealing with this issue.  I don't worry about the UPS guy once he's done delivering the package.

        I am not panicking that the 4th Amendment is on life support, but it has been under attack, chipped away by a thousand small cuts.  

        I'm more concerned about focusing efforts on moving forward to fix this than how much to like or dislike Obama.  Maybe I'm just not as angry.  Maybe I'm more hopeful he'll do something.  Maybe I have rose-colored glasses and others have 20-20, or vice versa.

        I just don't know that it's relevant how I feel about Obama.  I do find it jarring to hear "worse than bush", "stasi", "impeach", "fucking liar!" about the President, as if he's never done anything good.  

        That diary I wrote a couple of years ago was a result of a bunch of us venting frustration over Obama's insistence on negotiating in good faith, which in his mind seemed to mean "give away the store", with the gop (who wouldn't know "good faith" if it hit them).

        We were called "haters".  

        Yeah, Delphine defended our right to criticize Barack Obama.  

        I think the feelings about the president are markedly worse than ours were back then.  

        But certainly he shouldn't be shielded from criticism.  It's our job as citizens to criticize him.  

        I don't know how I got labeled lately as an "apologist".  The past demonstrates that's not true.  

        So I would suggest we aren't all that far apart on this issue.

        That's been really frustrating.

        Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

        by delphine on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:50:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I try to imagine: what if it were Bush? (14+ / 0-)

    or the next Republican President? There are some things we can trust President Obama to do or not do, but what if a Republican had this power? How did we feel when it was Bush? How will we feel when it's (ugh...) Rand Paul or Chris Christie or Jeb Bush?

    That's how I try to get around the problem of being critical of the man, Barack Obama, and focus on the policies.

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:04:16 PM PDT

  •  No cagematch: It's all pro-Snowden all the time (0+ / 0-)

    All day. Every day. Day after day.

    And pro-Snowden people are abusing the new bot system, which is itself a joke.

  •  From the outside the rox/sux factions (16+ / 0-)

    look every bit like Tweedledum and Tweedledee to me.  Both sides have overreached on claims.  Both sides have grossly distorted facts.

    I think both sides have developed an emotional co-dependence on each other.

    I'm not ready yet to rely on anything I read at DK about the topic.

    Good luck.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:04:55 PM PDT

    •  I tend to agree with this. (10+ / 0-)

      Because of all the hyperbole and dogmatism on display, I'm having a hard time giving credibility to a lot of the stuff that has been written about it here.

      I find those people who seem to think that it is all no big deal to be naive in approaching this issue.

      And I also find those who seem to think that our security agencies should be tossed out with the bathwater to be naive in approaching this issue.

      There are real threats to the U.S. and the security agencies need to try and prevent them.  There are, however, also real threats to our individual and collective freedoms when our security agencies grow too powerful and overreaching.

      How does one find the right balance in protecting both our lives and our livelihoods in the best possible manner?  I see no easy answers here, especially since I always have this feeling nagging at me that I just don't know enough about it yet to make a sound judgement.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:09:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You nailed it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, MBNYC, Gurnt

      The overreach.
      The co-dependence.

      Spot on.

  •  Self destructive fools (6+ / 0-)

    THat's really what it's about.

    I haven't read much lately.  I haven't participated much lately  

    This has made me into an informed outsider.  I've been here a long time, but I don't really feel part of it at the moment.

    Let me just say, I crack up every time I read just how stupidly people behave around here right now.

    Everyone just seems to think they are going to win something.  

    Sockpuppets?  Sure.  They are here.  We know that.  That's why people are so stupid to take the bait.  

    Idiots like to do stupid ass stuff on the internet.  

    Go figure.  

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:10:20 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, MBNYC, and DallasDoc (19+ / 0-)

    for enabling this search for common ground on the issue of NSA spying.  MBNYC, you nailed it as to why we need to unite together---all of us---on the fact that our government is spying on us and its capacity to do so will only grow and multiply over time.  As you said, the NSA is not going to go away.  You made a lot of really important points here.  Two in particular I'd like to highlight because I agree with you so strongly on them:

    The capability of our government to spy on its people, that's what matters. Lying to Congress because terror sets a reckless precedent I don't even have the language for.
    ~ and ~
    Obama's successors, whoever they will be, will inherit the infrastructure and regulatory environment being built right now around the NSA. It is critical, no, of absolutely historic importance, that we get this framework right. The NSA will not be abolished, if anything, it will grow. So will its capabilities assuming just the normal operation of Moore's Law.
    Well done and I'm looking forward to being a part of putting together the strategies for how we can convey our ideas to this administration and influence the protection of our Fourth Amendment.  

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:10:37 PM PDT

  •  I think we can all agree (12+ / 0-)

    that Snowden probably does not have sex with goats. We'll always have that.

    A starting point is a starting point. We need some common ground.

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

    by kovie on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:10:50 PM PDT

  •  What a pile of crap. (10+ / 0-)
    The easiest way to tell them apart is probably their respective view of the President of the United States.
    On this topic I think President Obama is completely and irredeemably wrong.  

    On some other topic, I may have a different opinion, based on the specific merits of that issue.

     I don't approve of everything he does just because he's the one who did it.. nor do I disapprove of everything he does for that same reason.  Is that so hard for some people to understand?

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:10:53 PM PDT

    •  That was the line I stumbeld over as well. (6+ / 0-)

      But despite that bias, I think he does hit the true important point later on in the diary - policy over personality.

      From my viewpoint, that's actually always been the easy way to tell them apart.  There are people who simply can't not make everything revolve around the personality du jour.  Now most of the time, the default is the President, but occasionally it's Snowden, Greenwald, or whatever other person is attached to a given story.

      So my 'site fault lines' aren't quite the same as 'rox/sux', because there are people fixated on every criticism being tied to the President personally on both 'sides'.  People who simply can't bear not to immediately take any criticism as not being an attack on Barack Obama, people who feel compelled to always talk about him personally when they're critical.  Whichever 'side' of the rox/sux split they're on is irrelevant.  They're both derailing any potentially useful conversation.

  •  I'm more concerned about the NSA (6+ / 0-)

    and its potential for serious abuse in the future if a GOP President follows Obama (in the GOP's current state). I don't trust any of their candidates to curtail the agency's power, even those who claim to be libertarian.

    On the Obama appoints Clapper diary that hit the rec list, I pointed out that Obama screwed up because Clapper had zero credibility...in essence Obama created a "fox guarding the henhouse situation"

    I still can't absolve Snowden of wrongdoing because the information he took overseas is in Russian and Chinese hands and can be used by those governments to further curtail the civil liberties of their citizens (whether he meant it or not)

  •  Thank-you (17+ / 0-)

    I have found myself opposing your style and at least some of your associates here long before there was a President Obama, or even Senator Obama, but on this issue I extend a hand and say bygones, screw that stuff and yes, let's see what we can accomplish.  It matters too much and the window of opportunity for our potential impact is probably way too small.

    So, who wants to contact McJoan and Chris Bowers and amplify our goals outside the diary side of this website?

    Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

    by cosmic debris on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:18:45 PM PDT

  •  and this has what to do with electing democrats? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, Lying eyes
    •  We should all be thinking up talking points (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, Dallasdoc, Choco8, britzklieg

      to generate more common acceptance of domestic spying, etc.  That way if any more leaks occur, the people will not take them seriously over our propaganda.

      Winning is everything.

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

      by The Dead Man on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:46:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to win once in a while. (8+ / 0-)

        Me personally, not just whatever political team is pretending they care about me to get elected.

        There are some few people I feel are looking out for me - Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, probably a few others whose names aren't on the tip of my tongue.

        But I don't really give a damn about 'electing democrats' just because they're 'democrats'.  I just want to elect people who are actually going to look out for me.  And yes, most people like that will end up running as Democrats.  But the reverse isn't true.  Not all people running as Democrats can be trusted to look out for me.

        (And I'm guessing you were snarking some there, but I just thought I'd add my non-snark 2 cents to what you replied.)

        •  I do. I give a damn about electing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VelvetElvis, MBNYC

          Democrats.  I'm not looking for somebody to look out for me, I'm looking for numbers to support a Democratic President's Supreme Court appointments to look out for the future of my grandchildren.  Nothing is more important to me than keeping the White House and electing majorities in both houses of Congress with a "D" after their names because the alternative is unthinkable.  

          "Anyone who thinks Obama is like Nixon is a moron. More than that, a F###ING moron". Kos, 5-24-13

          by Lying eyes on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:40:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It could help set our platform (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah
    •  Making them better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, Dallasdoc

      So we can elect more and better Democrats.

      "Yes We Can!" -- Barack Obama

      by Sucker Politics on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:06:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Making them better Democrats is the *best* (6+ / 0-)

        way to get more of them elected.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:24:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In some places, sure. (0+ / 0-)

          In West Virginia or Arkansas? I doubt it.

          •  You know what gets Democrats elected (0+ / 0-)

            in West Virginia and Arkansas?

            Raising minimum wage.  Increasing food stamp access.  Building roads and bridges.  Fully funding Head Start.  Expanding Medicaid.  Improving Medicare.  

            Protecting Social Security.

            Go to Arkansas.  Go to West Virginia.  Belly up the counter in a dinner or a barbeque shack and listen to what people have to say about politicians and about their lives.

            Most of them don't agree with us on the "Social Issues" - but if they're going to vote based on those issues they'll elect a real Republican every time.

            They do agree with us on all of the economic issues, the issues that kept those states democratic strongholds for 60 years.

            When we cede the half of the argument on which they agree with us, and adopt a Neoliberal "Free Trade at any cost" ideology, we can't be surprised when they refuse to vote for us.

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 02:04:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  What is "the new bot system" people have been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    civil wingnut, CroneWit

    talking about? I thought it was a joke at first - clearly not.

    Help?

  •  By all means rake the POTUS over coals (23+ / 0-)

    he's not immune to criticism and there's plenty of reason to be wary. However...

    Where I part company with his esteemed critics is when I am asked to consider that we live in a police state, where the Fourth Amendment has been rendered obsolete. That Obama is a catastrophe for progressivism. That he's more Cheney than Cheney (this was put forward on more than one occasion).

    Since Ellsberg is referenced above I don't mind mentioning that this presses a major button for me. I welcome Ellsberg's lionization and continued relevance. But the Pentagon Paper revelations and those of Snowden are not comparable in my mind. Ellsberg uncovered indisputable evidence of a secret bombing campaign undertaken without Congressional approval with the full knowledge of the President. More than any single individual, Ellsberg's actions probably did more to end the war than anyone. Snowden's discoveries are of an order of magnitude less important. The seminal documents he shared, which many take to indicate a Wild West attitude toward broad surveillance of US citizens, were in fact court documents wherein permission was being granted to extend for a limited duration Congressionally approved activities.

    There's a legitimate debate to be had over whether the Patriot Act in it's entirety, like Prohibition before it, should be found wholly unconstitutional and will one day represent a similar blight on the story of Democracy. Snowden's revelations are perhaps a tiny piece of the wedge that might lead to changes. But for myself I can only conclude that it's too soon to call him a hero.

    It would be nice to think of this debate engaged without rancor or hyperbole. But my suspicion is that we are headed early into Hillary Wars Part Deux and PART of the NSA outrage on the part of SOME people may be an attempt to carve out an opposition stronghold against Hillary come 2015, by branding her as complicit, illicit and dare I invoke the word...treasonous. Looking forward to it...

  •  Good post MBNYC. (19+ / 0-)

    Common ground can be possible while agreeing to disagreee on other things.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:21:47 PM PDT

  •  I'd like to offer a practical suggestion. (20+ / 0-)

    This diary sets a good example of two people from different "sides" coming together to work on constructive solutions. It is of necessity very general. As a next step we could try to focus on some more specific issues and provide an example of an attempt for two or maybe four people from opposing positions conducting a discussion in the body of the diary that deals with the issues and not with the personalities.

  •  This (8+ / 0-)
    It might be helpful to create an Information Commissioners Office modeled on that in the United Kingdom.
    hasn't worked so well for Britons, who are being spied on by an NSA that is sharing all of the data it gains freely with the British government.
    .

    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

    by JesseCW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:25:46 PM PDT

  •  Obama isn't an angel or saint...where was all (15+ / 0-)

    the outrage when this started under Bush post 9/11?

    No president, or anyone else, will ever give up power given to them. Obama got all this authority and is using it. Bush created it. Well actually it goes waaaay back to J Edgar Hoover and the FBI, and OSS.

    Too many other issues are critical, like losing voting rights. Longer term we need to take back the House, keep the Senate, and the WH. You're wrapped up in Rox/Sux fights and all I can say is President McCain or President Romney. Yeah it sucks these days, but the alternative is far, far worse.

    Do something about voting and candidates. Enough whining and pie fights.

    The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love. Chief Sitting Bull

    by MtnCerridwen on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:26:25 PM PDT

  •  Really well done! (11+ / 0-)

    I hope everyone can skip the personal attacks on each other and the overall attacks on/defenses of this administration and stay focused on the extent to which the NSA is threatening freedom.

    Thanks to everyone, whether they agree with me or not, for making this such an outstanding community. I know we usually want to see the same things for the country even when we disagree over individual politicians.

    by expatjourno on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:27:52 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for doing this MBNYC (16+ / 0-)

    I truly hope it helps move us forward working together into proactive action.

    There has been so much to learn, to understand. So many pieces of the puzzle to attempt to fit together.

    - Corporate ownership of our "data."

    - The pervasiveness of tech in our lives and, as Justice Sotomajor wrote, our laws having not caught up to that reality.

    And that's the big one for me. How do we protect our privacy in this high tech age when our laws have not begun to address the intersection of privacy and high tech?

    And that does not begin to address real security concerns.

    Its been very frustrating and confusing to get a handle on it all. And that has not been helped by the all too instant decent into insults and arrogant self righteousness that have been occurring.

    Especially when I've read conflicting statements here on just what is or is not "open access", what is or is not covered by the 4th amendment, etc, etc, etc.

    I don't depend on one source for information, especially on such a crucial issue. And frankly, the way things were going, except for rare exceptions, the site became the last place I'd look for thoughtful analysis.

    And that does not bode well. If we can't reach out to one another, share information and insights, ask questions, problem solve and hopefully come up with some answers, why on earth would anyone else pay attention to us? How would we influence anything? How can we assume to inform and influence anyone or anything when we behave so poorly towards one another?

    Sorry. I'm tired and rambling. A busy week with the grand boys.

    I hope this works. I truly do.

  •  This diary sums it up beautifully: content & meta (15+ / 0-)

    We need to be on the same page as one another, broadly speaking. We are not enemies, nor are we carbon copies of one another. We are members of a coalition that agrees most of the time, but not all the time. Politics is about choices and preferences, better vs. worse, not perfect.

  •  Thank you (13+ / 0-)

    This is exactly what we need. I commented earlier today saying much the same thing. We need to look at this in the long term view. This surveillance infrastructure will be in place long after President Obama leaves office. This is too much power for the executive branch full stop.

    We owe it to future generations to ensure they will be free to dissent without fear of having their every communication available for use against them. Whatever they say about their protocols for accessing it today is irrelevant. They should not have it. There should not be an infrastructure inplace that collects it. Not on everyone in the country. This is the time to say no.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:33:11 PM PDT

    •  Defund it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, Dallasdoc, kharma

      Its a structure that begs to be abused. It needs and wants to be abused. Nobody can resist the power of this tool. Defund it, kill it, and publish the insane "legal" opinion that they used to justify it.

      When something's morally wrong, its wrong. "Oversight" is really not the issue. The NSA can't exist in America, because with Total Information Awareness, its not America anymore.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:52:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MBNYC, thanks for the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, Free Jazz at High Noon

    Agreed on every single point

  •  It would be great (7+ / 0-)

    to look at it broadly, including both governmental and private use of data. I think the two are fairly inextricably linked since it is private entities who have provided a lot of it in the first place - Google, Facebook, etc.

    I also feel like while the constitutionality of the program is critical, it's bigger than that, in the sense that even if it passes a Supreme Court vote, we should still be able to limit it. So the focus might be again broader than just what strictly fits the 4th Amendment.

  •  Not to go off-topic here (12+ / 0-)

    But the UK Information Commissioners Office is a weak tea bureaucratic office in a country that has, actually, weaker regulation of its spy agencies and some of the most densely deployed domestic surveillance systems in the world. It also works hand in glove with the NSA as a primary client and server (forgive the pun), so you might want to reconsider holding it up as a model for reform. Suggest researching the development of EU law in this area instead.

    As for the Rox/Sux flame wars and cavalcade of meta diaries, I suggest people simply focus on the issues and avoid navel gazing to the extent that is possible on a political blog because plenty of us do stick to the issues in our comments and diaries so the information and debate is out there if you really look.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:39:03 PM PDT

  •  could Rand Paul win the next election? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, NearlyNormal, kharma

    it would not shock me.  I hope there will be another candidate that will pledge a pull back on the illegal NSA, patriot act, but it will not be the democrat.

      Obama needs to get the right perspective on this.  Just listen to the Nixon tapes.  Not long ago the FBI was this presidents personal private investigator for such agitators as MLK and John Lennon.

    •  I actually think Rand Paul as President (6+ / 0-)

      would expand the NSA even more than any of the others. I think the libertarian bit is all for show...once he gets some real executive power he'll abuse it like crazy

    •  Rand Paul has proposed limiting NSA's scope (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Lying eyes

      to just focus on Muslims.  Yeah, Stand With Rand!!

      If Rand becomes president based on support from the far left, that would be like the dumbest thing the far left ever did.  They should read his entire platform (privatizing SS, eliminating environmental protection, non-enforcement of Civil Rights Act, and on and on and on).  I realize there are those on the far left for whom NSA trumps every other issue combined, and they might very well vote for Rand Paul based on that one issue, even though they oppose him on nearly every other issue.  But hopefully that segment of the far left is very small.  We shall see.

      •  Feh - he's a cuckoo clock. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma

        But he's still, VERY occasionally, right - usually for completely wrong and sometimes loony reasons.

        Not often enough, IMHO, to justify voting for him as an animal control officer, let alone any higher office. But writing him off as "100% wrong all the time" is simply not accurate.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:45:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, 3goldens, TomP, Thomasina, kharma

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:49:12 PM PDT

  •  my gripe is that you treat the NSA as if it were a (7+ / 0-)

    legitimate functioning arm of the government rather than a force headed by Known Shredders of the Constitution who are dead set on permanently undermining 223 years of privacy protections for John Q. Sixpack under the Bill of Rights.

    •  That is a major gripe (5+ / 0-)

      Your comment might get you banned. How could you speak so poorly of the honorable NSA and its creators?

      Yes its illegal, a bunch of thugs, liars, and greedy contractors. Yeah, try to regulate that slime, you won't get far. End the surveillance.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:00:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant no disrespect- the NSA is in a league (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma, britzklieg

        of it's own.

        The East German Stasi pales in comparison to the effectiveness of the NSA.

        And consider the Spanish Inquisitors.

        I know you'll agree with me that less witches would have escaped the purifying flames of justice if the NSA had been there to shine the light of justice into the horrifying fog of privacy during the Spanish Inquisition.

        •  There we may disagree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kharma, CroneWit

          It seems to me like the NSA is a very expensive fancy wahozamawazit but not a highly efficient spy system. Its a preposterous haystack. You could find a million of anything you search for.

          When you have a huge secret structure, it can provide a place for money laundering, and other such stuff.

          A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

          by onionjim on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:30:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  and you can prove that right? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dpinzow, MBNYC, Gurnt

          See over the top statements like this are one of my biggest problems.

          Do you even have half a clue what the Stasi could do?

          I mean bloody hell if this was 'worse then the Stasi' you would right now be on your way to a 'conversation' where in you could look forward to being beaten, interrogated and  probably put in a political prison.

          Seen any of that happen lately?

          In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
          Shop Kos Katalogue
          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:35:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  time, my friend (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban, kharma, britzklieg, CroneWit

            time will tell how all this unfolds.

            I would love nothing more than to be shown to have been the little tear-streaked boy yelling, "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!" in due time.

            •  I'd agree with you (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tony Situ, DiesIrae, MBNYC, Gurnt

              if people were saying things like 'the police state elements in this concern me' but such nuance is completely not there.

              There's no wiggle room in that statement and we both know it's hardly an isolated incident. And such statements frankly are factually unsupportable (with that being the nicest way I could even begin to say that).

              I agree with this diary and I hope everyone can talk and discussion on common ground but I will not pretend that 'we are worse then the Stasi' is anything but wrong.

              In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
              Shop Kos Katalogue
              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:49:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  do you think I've been too harsh on Clapper? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                duhban, Dallasdoc, britzklieg, CroneWit

                obviously the guy is caught in a web of forces pulling him in conflicting directions.

                He lied under oath...and later had the decency to admit it.

                I think he's tip toeing around a minefield without a map.

                I don't think I would do better in his position.

                Nonetheless, he is in power and I am not in power.

                I am being harsh on him not as an individual but as the designated person wearing the leadership hat. He has sacred obligations that go with the power he is temporarily being given.

  •  And thank you to Dallasdoc, too. (11+ / 0-)

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:51:46 PM PDT

  •  My whole thing has been about perspective. (7+ / 0-)

    What we have been shown are capabilities and potentials.  Which in and of itself warrants action.  

    And we also need to take into account biases of those who have been reporting this.  Biases, and word and language choice.  

    Technical language doesn't get clicks.

    "ZOMG!" gets clicks.

    So let's take into account the diaries on both sides which present clips of articles and more "technical" information.  They are usually interspersed with language designed to inflame passions.  I'll give you an example:  The Reggid diaries purporting to "debunk" or to "de-sensationalize" what is written in The Guardian.

    So, after this long ramble, let's not get caught in the Cult of Personality, and let's not Chicken Little.  

    But let's not do nothing either.  I mean, we are already starting as a complete Kos Community to come to some sort of consensus on some basic policy changes that all sides are cool with:

    Like transparency issues.  An adversarial FISC. A more open FISC. Possibly rewriting the FISA Act itself, as well as definitely rewriting (or sunsetting) the PATRIOT Act.

    Because it's these things that are important, not whether or not this or that person is one thing or another.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:53:09 PM PDT

  •  Would you reconsider (6+ / 0-)

    putting down the pie if I told you how good you looked with a fruit pie smashed in your face?

    Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

    by psychodrew on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:55:17 PM PDT

  •  No time to join in discussion (8+ / 0-)

    but I want to say I agree completely, and I am very glad that you and dallasdoc are seeking common ground.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:56:49 PM PDT

  •  Reading the comments here (13+ / 0-)

    reveal a lot more unanimity between "factions" than i would have suspected wrt the NSA overall, I must admit. Very heartening to see today.

  •  Would you be outraged if it was Bush/Cheney doing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomasina, kharma

    it?

    It's a question to ask youself.

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

    by The Dead Man on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:58:30 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, if one is going to support one of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomasina, kharma, britzklieg, CroneWit

    the two major parties as opposed to a third party, then anyone to the left of Obama has no choice, it's the democratic party.   And that party is huge.  The ideological spectrum is very big.   Everyone wants the democratic party to do or fight for certain things but there is huge disagreement on some issues.  With many people and some issues there is no room for compromise anymore.  In some ways there's a fight for the direction of the party going on and it's not going to be pretty, just as the fight for justice and equality in this country isn't going to be.  So I don't necessarily agree we're all working for the same things here.   And I don't think there will be compromises on some of the big issues.  But that doesn't mean side has any more claim to being a democrat as the other side. So without compromise, where does that lead?  

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:15:55 PM PDT

  •  One more thing-- (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Thomasina, duhban, alain2112, raptavio, MBNYC

    It is SO easy to get caught up in long threads of argument--I've been in a few 900 comment Facebook threads--and passions can run high.  Let's remember that we are ALL capable of succumbing  to the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:16:27 PM PDT

  •  thanks for the diary, and the reach for peace (7+ / 0-)

    Eitherway, pie fights are not, I still think this is a good place to come to find info, give info, find like-minded people, and to get your views challenged as well.

    this diary is part of the best of this place.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:19:31 PM PDT

  •  Thanks MBNYC and Dallasdoc (14+ / 0-)

    As one who falls loosely in the Roxer camp, I, too am very distressed by not only the revelations about the NSA, but also the President's seeming obliviousness to how strongly people feel about this issue.  I've mostly kept on the sidelines in the diaries about the issue because they are so overwrought, and the personal insults flying back and forth have tended to diminish the usefulness of the commentary.  Besides, I tend to be gun shy, having been the target of quite a bit of venom, which always takes me by surprise in its ferocity.  This diary is very welcome, and if it can help us come together in strength on potential legislation or policy suggestions, it will be important as well.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:21:04 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychodrew, MBNYC, Dallasdoc, kharma, JVolvo


    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

    by TheMomCat on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:53:33 PM PDT

  •  You know, if you are not careful, (11+ / 0-)

    peace might just break out here.

    What a wonderful breath of fresh air this diary is. Thank-you MBNYC and Dallasdoc for getting it started. Now it is up to the rest of us to keep it going.

    I for one, am sick and tired of reading insults and entrenched positions while the Republicans are still out there trying to destroy the place. I would LOVE it if you all could bury the hatchet and use the energy, passion and knowledge that exists here to bring about change. Start with NSA if you wish. Then move on to another cause. Step by step.

    And please, please dial back the anger, the venom and the insults. As an outsider, ( Canadian ) it scares me to see the good guys beating up on each other.

    Let's all pledge to try to keep what has been started here tonight going.

    You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

    by Thomasina on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:59:56 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure how much common ground is actually (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, AaronInSanDiego, raptavio

    possible.

    And really I think trying to force this into 2 'boxes' really ignores the complexity of the views here. For example me and you mostly agree on a lot of issues but I do not think as of yet it's been shown the President has fucked up.

    I do think it is important to be clear what a whistle blower is and isn't because that's the word Snowden, GG and their defenders hold up like a shield to justify their actions.

    That said one thing we do agree on is that I really do think there can and even be should be some common ground. I remain doubtful though that people can do anything but make this personal and personality driven. I just see no evidence again to support that. And that's really what I am about as a scientist, I'm driven by evidence. Like you I'm trying to move past the issues where disagreement occurs but that requires a group effort.

    In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
    Shop Kos Katalogue
    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:01:50 PM PDT

  •  This is beyond Obama, (4+ / 0-)

    He didn't start this outrageous program, and he won't end it.  Because of his refusal to address it his presidency is a failure.  An old line comes back to me; "Of all sad words of of tongue and pen, the saddest these - He might have been". But he is not and there is no use in pretending anymore.
       Obama is not the issue. This is about the Constitution and it is the central issue of our time. If we don't fix this nothing else matters.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles
  •  I'm very rarely about individuals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, CroneWit

    and even then, only in a limited way.  I view things like institutions, movements, classes and social structures as being the essence of political life.  We're seeing the imposition of a new order of social structure upon us, total government access to and surveillance of our personal communications.  I see NO net positives that come out of that, and in a society that's already manifesting an increasingly authoritarian bent across the entire mainstream, all I see is danger to basic essential liberty that emanates from that national surveillance state.  That social structure is not, to paraphrase the old man in the library, about to "wither away" on its own in any upcoming century.  You stop it now or never.  What I cannot for the life of me understand is how there can be so many people that think total government access to and surveillance of our personal communications "r0x".  Someone of the r0xx0rz please explain what makes that the best thing since sliced bread, and a necessary permanent fixture in the life of every American from this time forward.

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:07:13 PM PDT

    •  Well, there we go. (0+ / 0-)

      13 hours later.  In no great surprise to me, the r0xx0rz can make no positive affirmative argument for the desirability of a permanent national surveillance state in the US, regardless of how hard they denounce and brand the likes of me because I oppose 24-7-365 NSA electronic intercept of every communication of every human being who uses the US telecommunications system whether knowingly or not.  If I'm so evil, then  the National Security State must be the construct of saints and angels; so why are the r0xx0rz failing to make the saintly/angelic affirmative case for the undeniable desirability of constant NSA surveillance of everything we do?

      An even simpler question:  do people here really think I wouldn't oppose these policies with equal vigor if a white president enacted them?  You REALLY think that's anything remotely resembling a fair criticism?  

      Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

      by ActivistGuy on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:04:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are no r0xx0rz who meet your definition? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC

        Your question may be seeking a mythical beast. Like unicorns, there may be no posters here who think total government surveillance is the bet thing since sliced bread.

        how there can be so many people that think total government access to and surveillance of our personal communications "r0x".  Someone of the r0xx0rz please explain what makes that the best thing since sliced bread,

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:07:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You so completely miss the point (0+ / 0-)

        that I'm not even sure you read a single word I wrote.

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 03:17:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is almost irrelevant to all of this. (16+ / 0-)

    He only has three years more in office, and then he's gone.  The debates will begin well before that, and the Iowa campaigning well before that, too.  So he has more like one and a half years of topical relevancy before we become more interested in the views of the future President #45.

    I'm clearly in the SUX camp.  I don't think that matters much anymore, and I'm willing to try to zip my lips on that, at least a little bit.

    The problem is not Obama.  IT IS THE NSA.  It is the people who are running the NSA, who were there before Obama, before Bush, who will be there after president #45.  Secret organizations inevitably form their own cultures with their own belief sets.  When they become insulated enough to set their own agenda and lie to the people who hire them, AND SPY on the people who hire them and pay them, when they cease being accountable to the public, then they are a danger to democracy.

    Even as a Suxxer, I can tell you that I don't think Obama knows everything those guys are doing.  I think that because of the few relevant examples from our own American history to compare this too, and that's the Church Committee Report of 1975.  The CIA and NSA and FBI compartmentalized their operations in such a way that they could operate independently and provide "plausible deniability" to their bosses, should something go wrong.  The NSA is in a perfectly good position to abuse their powers if they want to and then just evade telling the truth to people up the chain, just as they lied to Congress.

    So, there's your olive branch:  The NSA can be evil and Obama can still be good and decent.  Just deceived.  I don't know if that's what is happening, but since that's a possibility, it is now POSSIBLE to both be concerned about the NSA and to be a die-hard Obama supporter.

    See?  We can find common ground on this.

    •  Hehe, interesting approach. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, kharma, raptavio

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:39:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And a sincere approach, as well. (5+ / 0-)

        I would be very, very surprised to find out he really does know all the shit they're up to.

        Weird things are going on.  The downing of Morales's plane should have told us that.  Somebody made the call to do that, and I doubt it was the cooler heads at State Department that were rational enough to consider the consequences.  I mean, hell, they were lucky he WASN'T on that plane!  That would have been an apocalyptic disaster if the NSA jocks got their man but US became indisputably world-recognized as the new Pinochet regime.

        So I don't like Obama, but I'm pretty sure some bad decisions are being made that he's not aware of until after the fact.  Either that or he's dumber than rocks.

    •  don't ascribe to evil the result of expediency (0+ / 0-)
  •  Occam's razor and parsimony (5+ / 0-)

    The simplest explanation---NSA and its spying is unconstitutional----abolish it.

  •  Put the "Cage matches" in a differnt "Department/ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kharma, CroneWit

    Subsidiary".

    When we want Cage Matches we go where those rules prevail. And I would love to see them be very robust. Personally, I got a ton of things I would love to say if I knew that everyone involved was completely into the rough and tumble of wide open discourse. "No restrictions, no hard feelings". (And none of this "Hiding" and other crybaby bullshit.)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:30:06 PM PDT

  •  Thanks MBNYC and DallasDoc for working (12+ / 0-)

    together to create this "quiet" space to comment, read comments, and discuss without all the screaming.

    I hope that this continues, both here, and in other diaries, as this is an issue that I am still evaluating and struggling with, and I need good, solid info and constructive thought to help me with figuring it out.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:35:05 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't agree more. (4+ / 0-)

    If the NSA is allowed to continue, in its present state, it this will be the time that history will mark as the beginning of the end. The end of democracy, the end of the Constitution, the end of freedom and the end of America.

  •  Just a quick comment (10+ / 0-)

    Great diary and I'm all on board with focusing on the issues vs personalities.  I also feel its important to give the ardent Obama supporters some time and space to process everything that's going on regarding the NSA domestic spying issues.

    Thanks to both you and Dallasdoc for leading the way.

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:52:55 PM PDT

    •  Yah, this is where I have problems with this diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qm1pooh, DiesIrae, mallyroyal

      Sorry, I know that this is supposed to be a kumbaya diary and there are lots of comments congratulating the diarist and DD, but after reading DD's "once they work out their issues they'll see the light and agree with me" comment, your parroting that line compelled me to respond.

      It's presumed that the "common ground" that will be arrived at is the "sux" 100% in the right, and the "rox" will arrive to that common ground once they "work out their issues" and the "sux" won't have to budge at all.  I find it disingenuous and condescending.  It reminds me of Republicans that equate "bipartisan" with agreeing with them 100%.

      When one of the "sux" crowd moves even an inch*, then I'll believe they really want to look for common ground.  But this diary's framing of the issue coupled with DD's remarks "just give the 'rox' time and space to process information and they'll eventually see the light" indicate that the movement towards common ground is expected to be all from one side.

      * By "move an inch" I mean propose actual reforms other than "defund/abolish NSA".  Or, barring that, advocate defunding NSA but also have the intellectual honesty to admit that it might increase the chance of attack.  I know, "those that would trade any liberty for more security deserve neither".  Fine, but at least acknowledge that there's a greater chance of attack without NSA, and then acknowledge that if NSA is defunded and THEN an attack occurs, then NSA will be re-instated with far more power than it has today.  

      I don't think I've ever seen the "sux" crowd acknowledge any of the possible negative ramifications of shutting down NSA.  Two possible negative ramifications I can think of:
      1. If Congress totally repealed the Patriot Act and/or defunded NSA, and THEN an attack occurred, Congress would pass Patriot Act II that would make Patriot Act I look like the Bill of Rights by comparison, and NSA would be given powers an order of magnitude greater than it had before the defunding.

      2. If Congress left current Patriot Act and FISA law in place, and the executive branch voluntarly refrained from using the full powers of those laws out of the president's own sense of morality (rather than out of any legal obligation), and then an attack occurred, and it was determined that the attack could have been thwarted had the executive branch not refrained from using the full powers of FISA law, then impeachment would be on the table.  And arguably rightly so.  And regardless of the outcome of the impeachment, the president would live the rest of his/her life with the guilt "If not for my own self righteousness, thousands of Americans would still be alive today".

      (Note that I refrained from listing simply "an attack" as a possible negative ramification, since that ramification is routinely dismissed around here, that's why I focused on the national RESPONSE to an attack in a post-NSA world, the response being a far more draconian Patriot Act and far more powerful NSA.  That is something that might give 'sux' pause, even if the possibility of an attack itself does not.)

      I've yet to see the 'sux' crowd admit even the possibility of any negative ramifications of shutting down NSA.  In other words, I've yet to see the 'sux' crowd "fully process all the issues regarding NSA", even as they deign to give 'rox' "time and space" to do so.

      It seems to me that the common ground is expected to be "abolish NSA and don't worry, we won't get attacked because NSA has had no effect in thwarting attacks".  (Some even go further and say, "NSA's real purpose isn't thwarting attacks anyway, its real purpose if spying on Americas at the behest of the 1%, the plutocracy, the oligarchy, or 'the banker state'", but I hope even the most extreme of the 'sux' don't expect THAT to be included as part of the 'common ground'.)

      A more credible common ground would be "defund NSA, and if we get attacked, so be it, for that's the price we're willing to pay for freedom."  I could at least respect that as a more honest common ground even if I didn't agree that that should be the ultimately reached policy.

      Perhaps I paint with too broad a brush.  Richard Lyon, for example, is definitely anti-NSA (I don't know if he thinks Obama 'sux' or not, so I don't know if he's actually in the 'sux' crowd like DD and you seem to be) and he's written valuable, reasoned commentary on it with actual proposals for reforms or citing other reforms that have been proposed, without using lots of vitriol.  If people like him are among those that will lead the movement to common ground, then maybe it will be achieved.

      •  I'm not sure shutting down NSA is a solution (0+ / 0-)

        but there has to be a way to have transparency and accountability on their  activities and better representation on the FISA court, among other things.  Solutions have to be real, not just a new marketing campaign.

        I also think the Patriot Act needs to be repealed. Completely.  It should never have been enacted.

        So don't assume you already know the opinions of others. That's been part of the problem - too little discussion of the issues at hand.

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:25:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry to be so brief last night (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit, Dallasdoc

      I was trying to finish up a home improvement project (now trying to figure out how to get caulk out of my wedding ring).  

      Just wanted to say again I hope this progresses to a resolution for both sides.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:28:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been irrated by the Rox/Sux debate even (10+ / 0-)

    though I tend to agree with the criticisms that come from the Sux crowd.

    We need nuance.

    Barack Obama is a complicated president. He's done some wonderful things, and where I agree with him my only concern is that he hasn't taken us quite far enough.

    I'm sensitive to the fact that he's dealt with blue dogs and tea partiers and still has been able to get some achievements through and defend those achievements when they come under attack.

    But I have serious disagreements with many of his policies. Barack Obama has done some great things, inching a country forward when the common wisdom was pushing for austerity. Despite having no choice but to satisfy the austerity forces that I think he at times agrees with, he still managed to help push forward the greatest expansion of healthcare coverage we've seen in a generation.

    Where I agree with him, I see his policies as a good start that need significant expansion.

    I love that Spacex was created. I love that Nasa is being tasked with expanding our space technology rather than continuing to re-invent the wheel again and again and again. I like that we're expanding our green sector. I love that he saved Detroit and fought off a depression.

    But on whistleblowers, on the NSA, on various economic policies I have serious disagreements with him.

    I think we could have gotten single payer if we'd fought for it hard enough.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    <