Senate Sells Out The Country: Approves Telco Immunity

from the sickening dept

Well so much for the attempts to filibuster and block telco immunity from being approved. The Senate has granted the telcos immunity with a 69 to 28 vote, effectively handing the President a "get out of jail free" card to not just protect the telcos, but to hide any evidence that the administration's warrantless wiretapping program may have been illegal. This is a total capitulation, and goes against every concept of checks and balances our government was established under. The link above quotes Senator Orrin Hatch saying:
"Congress should not condone oversight through litigation."
That is, perhaps, one of the most ridiculous statements to come from a politician, and should destroy what little credibility Sen. Hatch may have. The Founding Fathers established three branches of government for exactly that reason: so that there was oversight. What Hatch is saying is that the judicial branch no longer should have any oversight. The idea that Congress should not condone the very basic purpose of the judicial branch of government suggests that Senator Hatch needs a civics lesson in the principles that this country was founded under.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 3:37pm

    Time to start burning down government buildings....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    R.I.P. Fourth Amendment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    You're a fool if you thought your representatives would represent anyone besides wealthy business interests. There are 2 things that rule this country, money and power, and you need to have one to get more of the other. The millionaires who run the executive and legislative branches of this country don't give a damn about anyone who can't help them gain more of either of those 2 things and will do anything to keep the system this way. There is no way to stop this, you're only given 2 types of people to vote for and they're both millionaires looking for more money and power. Today we just saw an obvious example of this but it's how this country will always work. And Senator Hatch can get away with saying whatever he wants as most people are going to be more interesting in what Kim Kardashian's ass was doing today and what Nicole Kidman named her child anyways.

    /rant

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    OK, now that that is done, how do we get this to be tested from a constitution perspective in court? In 50 years he'll be remembered as "The Man who thought every American was a Terrorist".

    Hey, where's Osama? Can't he be found? He's on a dilator. Aaagh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    Silly Comrade...

    ...they aren't done yet.

    This next 6 months.. They are going to do everything to get as close to putting a VeriChip in your arm and creating the North American Union. Amero here we come!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    M Slade, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:22pm

    The sad part is...

    We are all just as much to blame. This country's running out of politically active citizens. Of the rest like you and I, activism has become nothing more than standing around with friends or colleagues and shaking our heads at how ridiculous things are: at dinner, at the water cooler, in classrooms or on the internet. Voter apathy has transcended into a much grander problem: citizen apathy.

    I see the outrage, but where is our reaction? A nation runs on its citizens so anyone who says that there's nothing you and I can do is naive, and misplacing blame. As citizens of this country we have a heavy burden on our shoulders, the duty to keep this country great and to keep those running it in line. We've failed miserably with the current administration and this is just a tragic example. I hold myself as accountable as everyone else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    exDemocrat, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    Save these moonbat topics for DummyUnderground

    This is a tech site. Save these moonbat troofer BushChimpHitler topics for the anti-American freaks over on DailyKos.

    Sheesh. Wankers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Surprisingly from FOX news!, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    No Shame on the Hill

    There seems to be no shame at all on the Hill, no embarrassment or worry about the fact that the American people consider them complete and utter failures. There is no talk of resignation and slinking away. Instead, these same self-obsessed, do-nothing politicians go about their business, bemused by the disgust the great, unwashed, Not-Of-Their-Class masses feel for them.

    According to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, Congress has actually finally accomplished something–they’ve achieved the lowest approval rating in the history of the poll. Just 9 percent of the American people approve of the job Congress is doing. — That same 9 percent are also still waiting for the nurse to bring them their medication in their lovely padded rooms.

    http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_performa nce/congressional_performance

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Snah, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    It's a terrible shame

    Really, it's awful, but who didn't see this coming. There wasn't a chance in hell of this being defeated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    cvpunk, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    hahaha

    ....and just last weekend my dad was saying how "1984" was not a great book because the predictions never came true (even though it was fiction), but it seems to me we are headed down the right path. Just a few years behind is all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    jbj (profile), Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Re: The sad part is...

    unfortunately, with the way the current system is, activism will be tried, convicted, as if it was terrorism. You can't have activism when the current regime is going to bend the flimsy constitution into saying you are a terrorist, therefore committing treason, meaning you can be shot on sight, without warrant, without anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Steven S., Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:34pm

    I can't believe an elected represenative said...

    "Congress should not condone oversight through litigation." WHAT? Are you kidding me?

    Orrin Hatch needs to retire effective immediately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    cvpunk, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Save these moonbat topics for DummyUnderground

    yes, and this topic is talking about Telco's. So what wasn't tech neo-con?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:36pm

    Participate!

    Comment #6 is right.

    If you haven't sent your representatives a letter, or made a phone call, or done some REAL citizen interaction with your government on some issue or topic at least every year...are you really involved?

    We each should send them our opinions on our hot-button issues. How else do you let them know what you want? Certainly voting doesn't allow for nuance or detail.

    YOU should do more.

    We get the government we deserve...well, maybe we don't deserve things to be this bad, but the citizenry is not without blame.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    cvpunk, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    Re: No Shame on the Hill

    while I agree that congress isn't doing much but paying lip service to the people... I am not so sure that it is "Surprisingly from Fixed News". Aren't both houses majority dems now? Which would make it business as usual for Fixed News. Attacking congress and leaving the president and the other neo-cons out of the equation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: No Shame on the Hill

    Yeah, your right. But it was Congress that failed to kill the bill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    cvpunk, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: No Shame on the Hill

    true

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Bobbknight, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:48pm

    Back To The Two Laws

    This was good for business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Old_Bones, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:53pm

    And I was under the impression that techies where intelligent people. I guess not. THIS IS A GOOD THING, MORONS! One of the few votes the congress actually got correct.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Freedom, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:53pm

    I'll never forget...

    Some say they'll never forget 9/11.

    I know for sure that I will never forget today. This is the day that I finally see the true colors of those that represent me.

    I should have known better, but I'm finally done passing "the crack pipe" and I'm getting off this ride. No longer will I believe the BS, no longer will I compromise and vote for someone that doesn't understand or uphold the truly great concepts our country was founded upon.

    No, I won't forget July 9th for it was the day I lost my innocence. The day I finally realized that those that run the country are not true leaders. The day I realized that my rights which those before me fought and died for are now for sale.

    No, I will not forget July 9th - the day when terrorists quietly won.

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    cvpunk, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 4:56pm

    Re:

    care to back that up with some facts? or do you just blindly follow like the rest of the sheep in this country?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    farmboy, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:00pm

    Roll Call

    Does anybody have a roll call on this... I need to know who to vote for this fall..

    Corey

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Alphabetical by Senator Name
    Akaka (D-HI), Nay
    Alexander (R-TN), Yea
    Allard (R-CO), Yea
    Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
    Baucus (D-MT), Yea
    Bayh (D-IN), Yea
    Bennett (R-UT), Yea
    Biden (D-DE), Nay
    Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
    Bond (R-MO), Yea
    Boxer (D-CA), Nay
    Brown (D-OH), Nay
    Brownback (R-KS), Yea
    Bunning (R-KY), Yea
    Burr (R-NC), Yea
    Byrd (D-WV), Nay
    Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
    Cardin (D-MD), Nay
    Carper (D-DE), Yea
    Casey (D-PA), Yea
    Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
    Clinton (D-NY), Nay
    Coburn (R-OK), Yea
    Cochran (R-MS), Yea
    Coleman (R-MN), Yea
    Collins (R-ME), Yea
    Conrad (D-ND), Yea
    Corker (R-TN), Yea
    Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
    Craig (R-ID), Yea
    Crapo (R-ID), Yea
    DeMint (R-SC), Yea
    Dodd (D-CT), Nay
    Dole (R-NC), Yea
    Domenici (R-NM), Yea
    Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
    Durbin (D-IL), Nay
    Ensign (R-NV), Yea
    Enzi (R-WY), Yea
    Feingold (D-WI), Nay
    Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
    Graham (R-SC), Yea
    Grassley (R-IA), Yea
    Gregg (R-NH), Yea
    Hagel (R-NE), Yea
    Harkin (D-IA), Nay
    Hatch (R-UT), Yea
    Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
    Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
    Inouye (D-HI), Yea
    Isakson (R-GA), Yea
    Johnson (D-SD), Yea
    Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
    Kerry (D-MA), Nay
    Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
    Kohl (D-WI), Yea
    Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
    Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
    Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
    Leahy (D-VT), Nay
    Levin (D-MI), Nay
    Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
    Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
    Lugar (R-IN), Yea
    Martinez (R-FL), Yea
    McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
    McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
    McConnell (R-KY), Yea
    Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
    Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
    Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
    Murray (D-WA), Nay
    Nelson (D-FL), Yea
    Nelson (D-NE), Yea
    Obama (D-IL), Yea
    Pryor (D-AR), Yea
    Reed (D-RI), Nay
    Reid (D-NV), Nay
    Roberts (R-KS), Yea
    Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
    Salazar (D-CO), Yea
    Sanders (I-VT), Nay
    Schumer (D-NY), Nay
    Sessions (R-AL), Not Voting
    Shelby (R-AL), Yea
    Smith (R-OR), Yea
    Snowe (R-ME), Yea
    Specter (R-PA), Yea
    Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
    Stevens (R-AK), Yea
    Sununu (R-NH), Yea
    Tester (D-MT), Nay
    Thune (R-SD), Yea
    Vitter (R-LA), Yea
    Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
    Warner (R-VA), Yea
    Webb (D-VA), Yea
    Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
    Wicker (R-MS), Yea
    Wyden (D-OR), Nay

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Alias, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    Well, why don't you explain how THIS IS A GOOD THING to us MORONS then, TROLL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    Clinton voted nah so I guess America voted the in the wrong presidential candidate.

    Clinton (D-NY), Nay
    Obama (D-IL), Yea

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    LHC, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:16pm

    Ugghhhhh

    "Clinton voted nah so I guess America voted the in the wrong presidential candidate.

    Clinton (D-NY), Nay
    Obama (D-IL), Yea"

    I'm a conservative libertarian, but I had this exact same thought as soon as I read the votes. This disgusts me to no end.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:21pm

    Re:

    At least WA State has good representation. Maybe the rain allows people to really focus and THINK clearly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Steven S., Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:29pm

    Surprises and then sone...

    Ted Stevens Voted Yea?

    Why the hell am I not surprised that blabbering idiot who has a personal need to build a bridge to nowhere and support net neutrality for AT&T.

    No Vote from McCain? Someone must have let him know it was a trap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:31pm

    So what's the horrible part?

    So, Telcos can't be sued in order to protect them from complying with a request from the government for information. And...? Would it be more fair to have them dragged into court at a potentially enormous cost for doing so? If you believe the government overstepped its bounds, then the fault lies with the government, not the telcos. So, is it ridiculous for the government to protect the companies that it got into trouble in the first place?

    And this is exactly what Orrin Hatch means by "oversight through litigation." He doesn't mean that the judicial branch shouldn't have any oversight over what the executive does. He means that civil litigation between consumers and businesses should not be the arena for conducting oversight of intelligence activities. That seems pretty sensible.

    I'm tired of all this "gotcha politics" nonsense. Yeah, Orrin Hatch has destroyed his little remaining credibility and should "retire effective immediately." Seriously, people. Take a few deep breaths and think a little.

    And the 4th Amendment protects citizens of this country from unreasonable search. So does that mean as soon as a foreign enemy of the United States starts talking to a US citizen, surveillance of that person has to stop? Of course not. Gathering intelligence by monitoring communications to or from areas in which our enemies are believed to be seems like a reasonable practice -- does it become unreasonable when the other end of the line is inside the US? If the US government turns around and uses information gleaned from such intelligence gathering to prosecute the US citizen on the domestic end of the call, then you have a clear violation. Otherwise, it's not so clear. So calm yourselves down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    His Shadow, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:32pm

    USA! USA! USA!

    Your subjugation is essentially complete. You have no one to blame but yourselves. Based on your divisive, schizophrenic two party system, you essentially have no choice but to keep electing cowards and charlatans. One of the worst Presidents you have ever had to suffer under got to call on the shots based on fear, and the opposition party that is supposed to play Devil's advocate and at least act as if it cares went along for the ride, even adopting the policies and talking points of what your press portrays as it's polar opposite.

    It's a sad, sad day for democracy and freedom. From the country that imagines itself to be the defender thereof..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Concerned, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:52pm

    It appears these political entities are working for themselves and not the country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:52pm

    Re: So what's the horrible part?

    So, Telcos can't be sued in order to protect them from complying with a request from the government for information. And...?

    There is an existing law, that is quite clear. For telcos to hand over a wiretap, it requires a warrant. The telcos chose not to ignore that.

    That is illegal, and therefore the courts should be involved.

    Would it be more fair to have them dragged into court at a potentially enormous cost for doing so?

    Yes, they broke the law.

    If you believe the government overstepped its bounds, then the fault lies with the government, not the telcos. So, is it ridiculous for the government to protect the companies that it got into trouble in the first place?

    The telcos could have required the warrant, as per the law. Qwest did exactly that.

    And the 4th Amendment protects citizens of this country from unreasonable search. So does that mean as soon as a foreign enemy of the United States starts talking to a US citizen, surveillance of that person has to stop? Of course not.

    No, of course not. But it does require a warrant. And the FISA process is quite clear in how that works -- even allowing the gov't to wiretap for a few days before getting the warrant if it needs to do so immediately.

    Your point here is a red herring. No one is saying that surveillance cannot be done. Just that there needs to be oversight of that surveillance.

    Gathering intelligence by monitoring communications to or from areas in which our enemies are believed to be seems like a reasonable practice

    With oversight to show probably cause.

    -- does it become unreasonable when the other end of the line is inside the US?

    If there's no oversight to show probably cause, then yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    World Police, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:00pm

    Team America

    **** Yeah !

    I would be happy to see all incumbents voted out this fall,
    but would that do any good ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:26pm

    Votes

    But, but, but...the Messiah voted for it! That makes it OK for the TechDirters, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Silver, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:27pm

    New World Order

    If things like this continue, we'll be under Nazi 2.0. Only this time, it'll be Nazi America..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    golly gee batman, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:28pm

    Re:

    No wonder congress has a 9% yes a 9% approval rating out of 100!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Michael G., Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:28pm

    Wow

    And the Chrysler Building was just bought by a foreigner today. There is no more America anymore and it was all given away by Congress. About His Shadow comments: He's not 'one of the worst presidents we ever had', he 'is the worst president we've ever had!'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Michael G., Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Good Job!

    Thanks...was wondering.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: So what's the horrible part?

    I take your point about the telcos ignoring the law by not requiring the warrant. However, since monitoring of foreign communications can be seen as a legitimate intelligence gathering activity, can you not allow that the telcos might have found themselves in a gray area here?

    And no, intelligence gathering generally does not require a warrant or probable cause. FISA says that a warrant is required when one of the parties is inside the US. I believe that's what you meant to say as well. My point is most certainly not a red herring. If the military/intel agencies can eavesdrop on suspected enemies without a warrant or oversight (and of course they can), then when the communications they're monitoring take place between the suspected enemies and the United States, should they be treated differently? You and FISA say that it can no longer be treated as standard intelligence gathering. OK, I get that. However, the executive has the power to wage (I'm not saying declare) war -- which some, including myself, say includes conducting surveillance to root out the enemy. In FISA situations, this power conflicts with its responsibility to the 4th Amendment's unreasonable search prohibition. FISA is an attempt to sort this out. But in some ways, it is inadequate. My point here is that it is not a simple, cut and dried, question of violating the 4th Amendment -- in response to those claiming the 4th Amendment is dead.

    Think of it this way: If we were at war with Germany and were monitoring all communications in and out of that country, scanning for something to clue us in to what they were planning, would you expect the military or the government to treat calls that happen to have an endpoint in the US differently than all the other communications being scanned? Seems like it could be a potentially large and useless undertaking to then refer all of those cases to a court. Due to the nature of the current conflict, there is no country to target, so some other criteria is being used. But the idea is the same. From what I understand, this is what was being done. Communications were being scanned in order to gather intelligence. I don't believe calls were chosen on a case-by-case basis. So how do you get a warrant with cause for that?

    Again, my point is that it's not the death of the 4th Amendment or a big screw you to the American people. This is a complex situation which has required a lot of judgment calls to be made. And obviously, when given time to think about it, and knowing they had to commit themselves to a position, the large majority of the people's representatives in Congress chose to accept the decisions made in the past, while attempting to clarify the guidelines for making such decisions in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Where have the leaders gone?, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: So what's the horrible part?

    What are you talking about? This practically removes all oversight from the process and allows the surveillance system to be easily tailored to pick on purely domestic issues, ranging from illegal online gambling to P2P file sharing, or under the guise of "Protecting the children".

    All the Attorney General and the DNI have to do now is say, "Hey, the President authorized this. Here's his signature," and the FISA judge has to essentially sign off on a rubber-stamp for surveillance of potentially dozens--hundreds--of people, all without individual warrants.

    Because, of course, no sitting President or Attorney General would ever abuse such a system for their own ends, no sir!

    This decision has made clear that their interests are no longer our interests. They believe the Constitution just doesn't matter enough anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Wow

    And the Chrysler Building was just bought by a foreigner today. There is no more America anymore and it was all given away by Congress.

    That's what happens when you transfer all your working domain knowledge across borders. As an unintended consequence, exports to that country need to be increased to offset the temporary gain in low labor costs. If it isn't, the valuation of the dollar declines. Additionally, as the quality of life improves in that area, the company is forced to choose to pay additional for labor or find another country to move to. Instead of competing on quality, many car manufacturers decided to compete on price, and relocate assembly lines across borders.

    Today, manufacturing and assembly processes are executed almost entirely in other countries. Because nothing is manufactured in the US, it's not surprising that the dollar has declined so much-- there's fewer products to sell, leading to less trade occurring.

    10 years ago, WalMart was all about "Made in America" Products, but the unrelenting desire to lower costs, eventually forced suppliers to relocate or consider offshore alternatives. Less than a decade after Sam Walton's death, many products now bear the "Made in China" or similar markings at WalMart. Even food! For every dollar that goes over our borders, it will come back in some form or another. My guess- They will buy our buildings and our land as the example of the Chrysler Building. Which is odd- because then all that lease money goes overseas, further spiraling out of control.

    We're essentially teaching 3rd world countries how to make our product instead of hiring Americans. The corporate entities slowly, yet surely, are buying our congressional leadership.

    Congratulations. You are now playing the game (if you weren't already).

    The Game is very simple:
    - You are always playing the game.
    - You cannot win. You can only lose.
    - You lose whenever you remember your playing.
    - Whenever you remember the game, you have to announce out loud "I loose!"
    - After you lose, you have 30 days during which you can find a cheaper way without "Bankruptcy".
    - As soon as you describe the game to anyone they begin playing as well.
    - The goal of the game is to have everyone on Earth playing.

    Good Luck!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 8:07pm

    Re: So what's the horrible part?

    Yeah, Orrin Hatch has destroyed his little remaining credibility and should "retire effective immediately." Seriously, people. Take a few deep breaths and think a little.


    Please take 5 minutes and read about Senate hearing on Web Privacy Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), remarked wryly that because of all the talk about "cookies" and other Web terms, he was going to have to "update my dictionary."

    These are the people who are making our laws. Yikes!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/09/AR2008070902079.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Ben, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 8:11pm

    "...let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
    • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
      • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury
      • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
      • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
      • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments"

    - Excerpt charges against King George from the Declaration of Independence

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Larry Craig, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 8:16pm

    Re: No Shame on the Hill

    Hey,

    If you want to understand how apathetic people are you should just go to see that Larry Craig is still serving out his senate term and no news agency is even talking about it at all.

    This country is fubar and I say we deserve to take the ride on the shit slide to china town that we are all on. Good luck to us in the next 20 years, we made our bed and now we are going to rot in this stinking pile of crap we call America. Ya, America WAS great at a time, but I think think we as a country are all washed up as a country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Montana man, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 8:23pm

    Stock up

    Buy your firearms while you can, people. Sooner or later we are going to have to spill some politician blood to make this country free again.
    This makes me glad I live in a place where the average household owns 7 guns. The corporate bastards may own the federal government now, but when the time comes, we'll be ready to take it back.
    This kind of crap is why the second amendment was written.
    I say live free… or kill the SOBs who try to stop you.
    Our founding fathers would choke on their own vomit if they knew about this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    AlphaCorps, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 9:19pm

    I am beginning to think that people are beginning to catch on. The country is like a huge ship on a wild sea. if the people don't grab the rudder the damn thing is going to end up hitting an iceberg. We own this huge oversight and until the people realize that we are the great experiment will fail. If we don't like whats going on get rid of the people who are making the problem at the next election. Politicians are like animals. If you show fear they will maul you. you need to grab that Political Kitty by the scruff of its neck and force it into the collar that was made for it by our founding fathers. And remember... there is a direct link between you not voting and crappy legislation. Fellow Geeks Nerds and every one tech savvy unite!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    AlphaCorps, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 9:19pm

    I am beginning to think that people are beginning to catch on. The country is like a huge ship on a wild sea. if the people don't grab the rudder the damn thing is going to end up hitting an iceberg. We own this huge oversight and until the people realize that we are the great experiment will fail. If we don't like whats going on get rid of the people who are making the problem at the next election. Politicians are like animals. If you show fear they will maul you. you need to grab that Political Kitty by the scruff of its neck and force it into the collar that was made for it by our founding fathers. And remember... there is a direct link between you not voting and crappy legislation. Fellow Geeks Nerds and every one tech savvy unite!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Montana man, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 9:34pm

    voting doesn't work

    Choosing one overly greedy A**HOLE over another has no effect. It doesn't matter who we choose, they are all owned by one special interest group or another. By the time they make it on the ballot, they have been already been bought and paid for. What difference does it make? Either way, they no longer work for us. Politicians know that the only way to all of the power and money they so desprately crave is to become some corporate or special interest group's lapdog. It is the ONLY way to get your name on a ballot in this country.
    Taking the money out of politics would go a long way towards fixing the problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Cara, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 9:43pm

    Get out and vote the F*ers out

    Hard to believe my great-grandparents gave up everything to get on a boat to come here. They would be so angry at the levels of apathy.

    DONT FORGET HOW THEY TURNED THEIR BACK ON US THIS NOVEMBER!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Allen (profile), Jul 9th, 2008 @ 10:44pm

    The land of the free and the home of the brave?

    I don't particularly like the precedent set here: persons or organisations can allegedly break the law, but because the President says it's OK, it is OK.

    But I like even less that judicial oversight has been weakened by the other elements of the bill. If the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, what does that mean when vigilance is relaxed?

    If bravery is standing fast despite your fears then what does it mean that people have been running sacred, so afraid of the terrorist threat that many are willing to throw away freedoms for the illusion of safety?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Paul, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 11:13pm

    What to Do?

    @6, 14 and 32 - totally agreed.

    So, what to do? I don't agree that politicians or gov't buildings should be harmed. We need more voters to smarten up. Perhaps a reward for leaked info about how these unconstitutional powers are being used (does anyone believe the abuses are rare?), a new Pentagon Papers.

    Perhaps tempting the Feds with ambiguous email and calls, until they pounce.

    Marching won't do it. There's nobody credible to vote for this election. What do we do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re: Re: So what's the horrible part?

    However, since monitoring of foreign communications can be seen as a legitimate intelligence gathering activity, can you not allow that the telcos might have found themselves in a gray area here?

    This statement points at the fact that you have not read the laws. It was not a gray area by any means. Warrant is required for wiretapping, simple as that, purpose is irrelevant, since that can always be fudged. Warrant is the oversight necessary to make sure that the purpose is legitimate. As Mike pointed out, there were still ways to do short term wiretapping before getting a warrant.

    Do not go back and revise how telcos "felt" it was a gray area. Law was cut and dry, Qwest was a strong example of that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 1:32am

    I feel for u guys. Saying that it was our choice with respect to who we vote for is completely wrong. They would have pushed this through no matter. Look at Sweden's latest law.

    The UK is no better on this front. We want Brown out but he wont go. Things are no better this side of the pond.

    I was plumbing for Obama until i saw his vote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 1:40am

    Re: What to Do?

    start your own political party ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Bronson, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 1:47am

    Re: Save these moonbat topics for DummyUnderground

    "This is a tech site. Save these moonbat troofer BushChimpHitler topics"

    So... you would prefer to limit comments to relative efficencies of technological applications associated with torture techniques, gas chambers, illegal electronic intrusions, deceptions, etc., rather than any consideration regarding morality and preferences of concerned citizens vis-a-vis their civilized preferences, as if they are not related?

    Wanker indeed! (Wankers away.)

    Since your "high standards" are not being met, why do you abuse yourself by reading these posts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Twinrova, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:07am

    Let's see....

    Gas is still $4/gallon.
    The FDA included more items in food scare.
    Kids are bullies online.
    Mother murders infant in angry rage.
    House burns down killing everyone inside.

    I don't see a damn thing where the American people are going to give a crap about telcos.

    Irony: posting this blog while posting another about telcos pumping up prices for the iphone.

    This law being passed by the senate should be no surprise to anyone.

    Thank you, voters. Without your support, this law wouldn't be possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:51am

    So, Telcos can't be sued in order to protect them from complying with a request from the government for information. And...? Would it be more fair to have them dragged into court at a potentially enormous cost for doing so? If you believe the government overstepped its bounds, then the fault lies with the government, not the telcos. So, is it ridiculous for the government to protect the companies that it got into trouble in the first place?

    If a cop walked into your bank and told the owner to empty out your accounts and give the money to him, would you forgive the bank because they were just following the orders of an authority figure, or would you want them held accountable for illegally giving away your money?

    Why should the telcos be sued? Because they broke the law. They know it and even our idiot "president" knows it. The only reason to grant them immunity is to cover up the fact that the wiretapping was illegal. Now that the immunity has been granted, do you really think there's a hope in hell that any court, even the secret FISA court will actually investigate the legality of what went on? Not a chance! The whole thing will be swept under the rug.

    This makes me glad I live in a place where the average household owns 7 guns. The corporate bastards may own the federal government now, but when the time comes, we'll be ready to take it back.

    This household is a little behind, it only has 6. Of course one of them is an assault rifle (fully legal, bought back before the assault weapons ban), so that kind of evens things out. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Ferin, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    What a fucking travesty.

    Pardon my french. Words just fail me at the cowardly and pathetic cave in on this issue. Out of curiosity, could lawsuits still go forawrd over the issue, challenging the constitutionality of the law itself?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    What do you expect?

    All I can say is, what did you expect? When you create an unconstitutional/artificial rule of "separation of church and state" and take religion out of it, do you really expect our politicians to have any moral ethics or do anything right? Kind of a far distance from the days of our countries founding when the state leaders were required to be church going Christians in order to hold office. We asked for it, and it will continue to bite us in the arse!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:10am

    Re: Save these moonbat topics for DummyUnderground

    Do you read this blog? Or did you just stumble here right now for the first time to leave that stupid comment?
    Since your not aware, this blog regularly addresses not just plain technological change/advancement, it also addresses the moral and social questions surrounding the application of such.
    If this is too complicated and patriotic for you, then get lost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Forrest, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    (googlepause) Well, Jeff, it seems there's exactly one known atheist in congress, and he opposed telecom immunity. So much for that idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Re:

    Apparently I need to send my representative some hate mail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:19am

    > The idea that Congress should not condone
    > the very basic purpose of the judicial branch
    > of government suggests that Senator Hatch needs
    > a civics lesson in the principles that this
    > country was founded under.

    I wholeheartedly agree. Politicians often say things that make me wonder if they even have the vaguest notion of how the government is supposed to work.

    Oh, and you shouldn't end sentences with prepositions. Your last sentence should read: "Senator Hatch needs a civics lesson in the principles under which this country was founded."

    It's a personal peeve of mine. And yes, I know grammar comments are lame.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Guy Fawkes, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Remember remember the fifth of November
    Gunpowder, treason and plot.
    I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
    Should ever be forgot...

    People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    Re: What do you expect?

    What are you talking about?
    Those are a bunch of alleged Christians in office that just voted that in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    iSaac, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 7:36am

    alleged christians indeed

    Thats the real heart breaker right there.
    It's enough to make a grown man sit and weep
    for what this government has come to. It's in
    the open air. It's blatant. Yet still, people
    will be distracted by "the war" and other
    petty issues while thier very liberties are
    being signed away...by alleged christians....
    alimas hit it on the head
    PEACE
    ISAAC

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    Re: What do you expect?

    When you create an unconstitutional/artificial rule of "separation of church and state" and take religion out of it, do you really expect our politicians to have any moral ethics or do anything right?

    You seem to be operating under the false assumption that morality and ethics are solely derived from religion. Additionally, separation of church and state is hardly unconstitutional, being based on the First Amendment's establishment and free exercise clauses.

    Kind of a far distance from the days of our countries founding when the state leaders were required to be church going Christians in order to hold office.

    Which actually is unconstitutional via Article 6, which states that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust".

    This little rant of yours simply demonstrates that you don't know what you're talking about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Abdul, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: What do you expect?

    I'm really surprised that people were expecting a congress that has got the lowest approval rating to do otherwise. This congress has never show the muscle to stand against the president and has been bullied on all fronts. Warrantless surveillance will continue and it can only get worse: Warrantless Surveillance: The Worst Is Yet to Come(http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=494&doc_id=143396&F_src=flftwo)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    "The traditional caveat...against ending sentences with prepositions is...an unnecessary and pedantic restriction. The 'rule' prohibitng terminal prepostions was an ill-founded superstition."
    - The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition

    Sorry, but you are going to have to let go of your pet peeve. That rule is on its way out(sic).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Fungo Knubb, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 11:05am

    #3 Chris

    "There is no way to stop this,....."

    That's where you're wrong, Chris, although I agree with your thesis in general. Our forefathers did stop what was going on, in the 1770's, and it's called a violent revolution which sparked the birth of this nation. That is still a possibility even today, and should always be one of the options on the table. That's the basic reason behind the 2nd Amendment.

    Semper Fi.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: What do you expect?

    Far from being required for moral action, religion is in fact a moral hazard.

    http://www.paulgraham.com/perils.html

    To avoid the danger that demonstrably arises when people abdicate their moral responsibility to any external authority, one could argue that temptation should be removed from their path.

    One quite-common temptation to abdicate one's individual moral responsibility is, clearly, any book full of moral prescriptions, particularly one surrounded by an active and vocal priesthood of any sort.

    Personally, though, I favor educating the populace. Milgram's experiment should probably be core curriculum at school. And by that, I don't mean reading about it; I mean participating in a recreation, without being told beforehand what it's really about of course, with a teacher threatening to flunk you if you don't zap some poor guy.

    If the school system ever institutes such a thing (which occurrence would probably qualify as a miracle, politics being as it is), then the result might actually be a civilization worthy of the name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    hegemon, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: What do you expect?

    There are both religious and atheist people on both sides of morality. Religion is not a moral hazard, but you are right that abdicating responsibility is. Some denominations of some religions abdicate responsibility to a higher source. Some, however, believe that a higher authority demands that very claim of responsibility for morals. To make a blanket statement that religion is a moral hazard is no different/better/worse than those who say the same of atheism.

    Don't paint all who disagree with you in some way as being the same. This nation is in a heap of trouble because of the attitude.

    For the record, I think that saying separation of church and state is unconstitutional is outrageous. I am a Christian, and I absolutely don't want prayer in school or mandated religions. That is not the government's role, nor would I want it to be. As soon as the government endorses a religion, they define it's teachings, and then the teachings quickly become warped to serve the government. People make the claim that more people have died in wars over religion than over any other cause. I don't know if that is actually true, because I have never seen sources for the claim. However, what is certainly true is that, historically, it is religion + authoritative government power that leads to the warped beliefs that lead to violence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Expect the NSA to read this, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    They'll be at my door soon.

    The problem is, I keep trying to convince _other_ people to do it. Rioting seems like a good idea, but I'm so darn comfortable with my middle class lifestyle.

    Would it help if I dared you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    daretoeatapeach, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately, we can't even get people to stop using AT&T. People should be burning their Iphones but instead they are upranking articles on "10 Coolest Free Aps for Your Iphone!". I never would have thought such a headline would feel me with rage against the ignorant masses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    daretoeatapeach, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: The sad part is...

    Not to be bitchy, but this is a cop-out. There is still much one can do. People aren't inactive because they are scared. Most are actually totally ignorant of the issue. Those who aren't don't know what to do. And those who are outraged and ready to act are so in the minority that any action seems useless. But there _is_ still a window of time before we slip into fascism. If you hand out flyers, organize protests, give money to EFF---you aren't going to get sent to Gauntanamo Bay just yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    daretoeatapeach, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Save these moonbat topics for DummyUnderground

    This attitude is part of the problem. It comes from a way of thinking that politics is for the politicians, tech is for the engineers, acting is for the actors. But politics is for the citizens. Who's country is this, anyway? Our country? Including the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. Everyone should have an opinion and not be shy to voice it. Like Howard Zinn says, "You can't be neutral on a moving train."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    daretoeatapeach, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Re: hahaha

    FYI: 1984 wasn't a prediction for the year 1984. It was a deliberate reversal of the year the book was written, 1948.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    daretoeatapeach, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 5:59pm

    Re: So what's the horrible part?

    First, no one put a gun to their heads. But more importantly, this way of thinking---"Don't blame ATT, we were only following orders"---is exactly the psychology that led to the Holocaust. You are essentially saying "they shouldn't be punished because they were doing what the government told them to do, and we should always do what our government tells us to do." Would you agree with that sentiment? Because I believe a mature ethical system doesn't just go along, but tries to do what is right or at the very least legal, no matter what Daddy/Big Bro' says.

    Moreover, even if you are right, than that is the sort of thing that should be settled in a court of law. It is not the job of Congress to tell the judiciary what to do. Can't you see how that is a clear impediment to checks and balances? Judges don't tell Senators how to vote, or, as in this case, that they are not allowed to vote on an issue at all.

    I also don't think you really understand what AT&T is being charged with. They sent the entire pipe---every email and phone exchange---into a secret room run by the NSA. Now are you arguing that we should just "trust the government", that they will only use this information on the bad guys and not to make no-fly lists of PETA members and jerk off to someone's private phone calls? Because there is no indication that they did any screening whatsoever. And if they did, well, that is another good thing that would (have) come out in a lawsuit. And if you do think we should just trust the government, why have a democracy at all? Why not set up the government that Dubya would prefer, when he said, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    daretoeatapeach, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:19pm

    Re: What to Do?

    Starting a political party won't help. This is a two-party system so long as we don't have Parliamentary representation. There are probably as many who would identify as Green or Libertarian than either of the main parties, but we feel (are) resigned to the latter.

    Personally, one thing I plan to do is to politely confront people with AT&T, especially those with Iphones. Sigh. But then, there's the rub---we shouldn't have to individually tell people what's going on. The media should be doing that for us. So I kind of think that the problems with the corporate ownership of the news needs to be fixed before we can progress...I don't know. These are troubling times we live in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: What to Do?

    The problems with the corporate ownership of the news ARE being fixed -- by blogs like this one. But it may be too little, too late...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What do you expect?

    Hegemon is right about some things, but wrong about others. Most organized religious denominations explicitly dictate many aspects of morality. They send messages like "sex = evil", or even eating certain foods. Abortion is NEVER right. In some, dancing is a sin. Nowhere is there room for judgment calls, case-by-case bases, or individual responsibility; if the priest says it's wrong, you do not question it.

    That, my friend, is an abdication-based moral hazard.

    Spiritual beliefs need not pose such a hazard. It's religion, the conversion of same into a standardized orthodoxy and attempt to push it forward as a one-size-fits-all rule-book for living, that creates the hazard. Note the distinction. I don't notice Wiccans being prone to abdicate moral authority to priest-type figures any more than atheists are. Nor a variety of non-denominational Christians, most of whom practise something much closer to Christ's purported original message than any organized Church denomination out there.

    (That original message says little about organization, it should be noted, and a lot about making one's own decisions. And it says nothing explicitly about God! Read the New Testament sometime -- there's mention of "my Father" and "my Lord" by Christ, but not of God by that name. The assumption that he was referring to God is apparently exactly that -- an assumption made after the fact. The assumption that he was referring to the Old Testament God specifically is even more dubious. Some passages can even be interpreted to imply that Christ's Lord is actually the Old Testament Satan, and vica versa. If so, then to Christians the Old Testament should be treated as a Satanic text! Using the two together as gospel is arguably what's made most of the denominations' teachings so schizophrenic -- they may be quite literally so.)

    Atheists are indeed not immune to abdicating personal responsibility, though. They just abdicate to some non-priestly authority when they do, e.g. government or military leaders.

    Formerly, successful societies have tended to have multiple authorities not in bed with one another, e.g. separated Church and State each with their own authorities and sometimes locking horns; most people got torn between two or more, reducing the ability of any one to get too powerful.

    But getting everyone to learn at an early age, viscerally, the hazard in abdicating any of one's own moral authority at all might be an even better way, especially in a secular age when most religious authorities are losing their influence in the developed world, leaving only the State as a strong influence.

    A country of individual moral actors will be much stabler and better-off than one where most people are in a tug of war among a mere handful of authority figures (which may sometimes all agree, and sometimes all agree and be wrong) or, worse, where there's only one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:06pm

    Re: What do you expect?

    When you create an unconstitutional/artificial rule of "separation of church and state" and take religion out of it, do you really expect our politicians to have any moral ethics or do anything right?
    Oh yeah, the inquisitions were really morally righteous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:10pm

    Re: What do you expect?

    I've read that Osama Bin Laden is very religious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Re: The sad part is...

    I disagree. I think the problem is that the people who would ordinarily be dead at this juncture are living longer, healthier lives in which they are able to vote.

    Fifty years ago, people were in thier prime at X time and died at Y time. Now the X's are in thier prime and ready to take over, but the Y's are still alive and voting like the world is still as it was when they were X's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: No Shame on the Hill

    I'm sorry, what did sex have to do with Sen. Craig's work ethic?

    Personally, my job has nothing to do with whom or what I happened to be fucking the evening before.

    The fact that he is still employed after his sexual persecution is just fine by me.

    And, Clinton, kudos on the Oval Ofice sex. I would so have sex in the Oval Office. But, as President, you should have chosen someone better-looking. You were representing our country, ya know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 12:42pm

    Re: So what's the horrible part?

    If you believe the government overstepped its bounds...


    I believe that Bush overstepped the bounds when he asked for information he wasn't allowed to have, just as Mrs. X who wants her husband killed would be overstepping bounds in asking Mr. Z to do the killing.

    I believe that the telcos overstepped the bounds by giving away information that they weren't allowed to give away, just as Mr. Z would be out of bounds in murdering someone.

    If I were a prosecutor, would you want me to prosecute the woman who hired a killer, the killer, or both?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    Re: What do you expect?

    To paraphrase Mark Twain... Hell is a Christian nation, also.

    In addition, slight over one hundred years ago, some politicians tried to take 'In God We Trust' off of American currency because they believed the gov't was putting religion into places it didn't belong.

    How is the church vs. state issues new?

    And how is going to church and paying lip service to a religion headed by a guy who ordered bears to rend a group of children to bits for mocking His prophet going to help things?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Phil Z, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 2:19pm

    Encrypt or Die MF

    Ok then you bastards choke my encryption....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Participate!

    If you haven't sent your representatives a letter...
    You better send a great, big, fat check along with it if you want them to care.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Nasch, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 11:31pm

    Re: No Shame on the Hill

    Instead, these same self-obsessed, do-nothing politicians go about their business, bemused by the disgust the great, unwashed, Not-Of-Their-Class masses feel for them.

    Do-nothing? Hah! That would be a big improvement! I dream of having a do-nothing Congress after this. If they just completely refused to vote on any bill, ever, I really think we might be better off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jul 14th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What do you expect?

    I would agree with most of your points, except for your insistence that "most" religions abdicate morality. Yes, there are definately some. The Catholic church is a good example.

    You are also arguing against your original post, in which you stated that religion is a moral hazard. That is a blanket statement, meaning "all," not "most."

    Individual moral actors can also create problems. An individual may decide that murder is justified against anyone who has offended him. With no consensus of society, who is to say that his morality is less valid?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Jul 14th, 2008 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What do you expect?

    Every religion whose practise involves priests interpreting a book that contains prescriptions for moral living encourages the abdication of personal moral responsibility.

    The only *theoretically* possible exception is if the priests clearly communicate that the stories in the book are parables and fables and provide advice and guidance, but are not an absolute, handed-down-by-God-or-whomever code of conduct with an implicit Or Else, let alone an explicit, fire-and-brimstone Or Else, attached.

    So far, I'm not aware of such. Even the far eastern religions and Christianity, which started out something like described, have devolved into prescriptionism in all organized denominations.

    As for whether I'm contradicting myself, I'd argue no. I distinguish between "religion" and "spirituality". The latter would involve beliefs, organized or dis-, in non-evident, empirically unvalidated entities or similarly. The former means an institutionalized belief system with a notion of orthodoxy (and thus of heresy) -- the original meaning of the word basically being "rule-book" after all. As such, it's possible to even have atheistic religions -- the Leninism and Lysenkoism of the former Soviet Union would seem to have been examples of such.

    Religion, by that definition, is actually mostly orthogonal to spirituality (though in the majority of observed cases, religions include prescribed spiritual beliefs, usually positive but occasionally negative), and invariably involves some sort of prescribed beliefs.

    In practise they all seem to include prescribed *moral* beliefs (x is wrong, y is obligatory) and prescribed *spiritual* beliefs (either a particular system of one or more gods and lesser supernatural beings, plus possibly devils, or else prescribed atheism as in the case of Soviet indoctrination).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This