Irony Alert: Obama Opposes Amash Amendment Because It's A 'Blunt Approach' And Not A Product Of 'Open' Process

from the now-they're-just-fucking-with-us,-right? dept

Okay, someone in the White House just feels like giving people who believe in protecting civil liberties a giant middle finger today. As a quick review, the President and the administration have been hiding behind secret court orders with secret interpretations of the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act to use a very blunt instrument: collecting pretty much all digital data around, and keeping the whole thing totally quiet for years. In response, Rep. Justin Amash is seeking to pull funding from one of the key NSA programs -- the one that involved a secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act by a secret court to pretend that language that clearly applied to only limited data now meant the NSA could order AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and others to hand over every call record on every phone call. And, this is a program that no one knew about until Ed Snowden leaked it to the Guardian and the Washington Post.

Okay, having reinforced those basic points, check out the giant "screw you guys" the White House just pushed out in the form of a "statement" in response to the Amash Amendment. I'll bold the key guffaw-inducing lines:
In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens. The Administration has taken various proactive steps to advance this debate including the President’s meeting with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, his public statements on the disclosed programs, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s release of its own public statements, ODNI General Counsel Bob Litt’s speech at Brookings, and ODNI’s decision to declassify and disclose publicly that the Administration filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. We look forward to continuing to discuss these critical issues with the American people and the Congress.

However, we oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools. This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process. We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment, and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation.
Let me repeat that again: This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process. As opposed to the blunt process of collecting all data on everyone which was arrived at via an "informed, open and deliberative process -- known as totally secretly interpreting the plain language of a law in a secret ruling from a secret court to mean something almost entirely different than what the language itself said?

This is a joke, right?

Only someone who really has a sick sense of humor would try to argue that a bill looking to slow down the rampant spying on pretty much all Americans comes from a lack of an "informed, open, or deliberative process" when the process to create that massive surveillance infrastructure was all done in complete darkness.


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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:08pm

    "This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process"

    Well, of course it isn't informed: we don't know EVERYTHING about how they're spying on us yet, so until we know everything about it, we can't make an informed decision. Of course, all of those methods are classified, so we can't tell you about them, but just as soon as you know all about those methods, we can talk about them. It all makes PERFECT sense.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:09pm

    Asshole alert

    You know, upon reflection, you'd think it couldn't get more disgusting and duplicitous than Bill Clinton's term, or as misguided and mistrusting as Bush's, but here's Obama to beat both of them in both areas.

    And to think, I used to like this jackass....

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:12pm

    Is this response unexpected?

    Sounds sensible and yet is completely hollow. Yep. Sounds like the Obama White House to me.

    (The Bush White House would make a reply that sounded hollow but was a fairly explicit fuck-you. So this isn't necessarily better or worse.)

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:19pm

    You get back what you give out

    If the administration is going to have zero real debate, secret interpretations of the law, and classify any information that may be 'incompatible' with the lies they try to pass off as truth, it's only fair that they get the same in return.

    The funny part though is that the Amash Amendment is far more a product of 'Open, informed processes', as it's out there for everyone to read, is based on verifiable information, and has no 'secret interpretation'(at least not yet anyway, I'd imagine more than a few will crop up if it gets passed) angle to it.

     

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    Paul, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:22pm

    Let me be the first one to say it clearly: "FUCK YOU OBAMA". You didn't get my vote either time. I didn't trust you then and I never will now. Liars & Thieves can never be trusted!

    I want my Constitution Back, I want my privacy back and I'd like to see you & all your cohorts in "CRIME" put behind bars and the keys thrown away

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:22pm

    Almost right...

    'Of course, all of those methods are classified, so we can't tell you about them, but just as soon as you know all about those methods, we'll claim they are still classified regardless and forbid everyone we can from discussing or sharing them.'

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    Quote:
    "This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process. "


    You put a lawyer ina position of power to make laws and he will defend it like it was his guilty client no matter what others say.

     

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    arcan, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:44pm

    i wouldn't take anything obama says seriously at this point even if morgan freeman read his speeches...

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 6:46pm

    I always doubted Obama. However, my doubts have evolved from "he can't fix everything" to "he's just making everything even worse on purpose."

    Forget comparisons to Bush, comparing him to Mao or Stalin is hardly a stretch anymore. The only differences between him and them are fewer (and smaller) gulags, a body count that's not even close to the millions, and a personality cult that's nowhere near as heavily enforced; I have a feeling that all of the above is about to change with the way things are going...

     

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    shutslar (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:07pm

    "We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment, and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation."

    I've said it once and I'll say it again. We need to stop trying to secure and protect the nation and focus on protecting the constitution. The government cannot protect a nation, only the citizens can protect a nation.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Asshole alert

    and if he is such a champion of openness what about SOPA. Oh, I see, by openness he means open to a select few not the public.

     

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  12.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:19pm

    Re:

    Forget that. I don't want him punished. I want total and complete reparations for the damage that our government and their corporate paymasters have done to this nation.

    I demand the 16th amendment repealed.

    I demand the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the Bank that it created DEMOLISHED.

    I demand the government to be the sole agency permitted to create and issue currency. No fractional reserve.

    I demand the Patriot Act be repealed and then made illegal by constitutional amendment.

    I demand campaign contributions and corporate involvement in government be banned.

    I demand all for-profit private banks to be closed and be replaced with non-profit state banks. Our money is not a commodity for rich people to leverage.

    I demand corporate charters stripped back to their finite life spans (10 to 30 years) and restore their obligation to the stakeholders as a priority above the shareholder.

    I demand government agencies to ban any private sector employee from taking office that regulates an industry they previously worked in (i.e. no revolving door for industry regulators and corporations).

    I demand a single-payer health care system and an emphasis on preventative medicine so that the health care system isn't overburdened with cases that could have been prevented.

    I demand the war on every ephemeral "enemy" of the people be yielded and refocus those resources into expanding lagging infrastructure (e.g. sustainable energy, internet, transportation, pollution control, housing, education)

    I demand the complete and total repeal of the copyright act in whole. The internet does a far better job of promoting the progress than what copyright continually fails at doing.

    Most of all, I demand the bill of rights be restored as the most sacred rights in this nation. The 1st, 4th, and 8th amendment especially. It should be the highest priority to prevent the conviction of innocent citizens. Convicting an innocent citizen is a higher crime than letting a guilty one go free. Capitol punishment should be deemed illegal by the 8th amendment for reason previously stated. Innocent would be at risk of being executed.

    This is want I expect the government to do to atone for the damage they've done. Then, they can all hit the unemployment line so we can elect (by popular vote, no fucking electoral college) new government officers to actually represent us. They will maintain a constant dialog with their constituents by social networks set up by the government. Any citizen should be able to offer comment to their representative at any time and have it discussed by other constituents and reviewed by the representative. Accountability will be ensured by constant contact with the citizenry. No gate keepers at the phone, just open forum discussion.

    Then, I might start feeling better about this nation and its government. I'd feel even better if "I" became "we the people."

     

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    yaga (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:22pm

    Just when you think the President can't make himself seem any worse, he does. People can truly boggle the mind sometimes.

     

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    Bengie, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    They got it wrong

    They are the terrorist, now get out of office.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re:

    How's that desolate cabin life working out for ya?

     

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    artp (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:41pm

    Or...

    Or we could just start following the [public] law, not the private ones, and then have the dialogue after.

    We'd still have the dialogue.

     

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  17.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    I'll g e them a solution!! or " I'll take the Obsma administration's solution and cram it up their asses!"

     

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  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    If white people had picked their own cotton we wouldn't be having this problem or a lot of others.

     

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  19.  
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    Digdug (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re:

    That would be nice, wouldn't it? Although I'd nitpick on one or two points but other than that quite a solid set of demands there.

     

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  20.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    Re: I'll g e them a solution!! or " I'll take the Obsma administration's solution and cram it up their asses!"

    Ok just discovered a glitch for the web designers to fix...until we make a comment in the comment text box...we should not be able to hit the "Submit" button.


    Ok problems aside. The Obama Administration can take their tripe and cram it up their own asses.

    Here's the solution...if you are here visiting on temporary visa or green card, and if we get a warning from your government to our immigration office about you...you will be spied on as a foreigner. No if's, and's, or buts. That would have saved the US government a ton of money in the long run.

    It should be noted that Obama was quite keen on "debating" the issue with SOPA until the Internet blackout and Hillary Clinton had to explain it to him. I find it extremely disturbing that Obama is, once again, allowing for an "open" (and by that i meant to say "one-sided") and transparent debate. I mean doesn't he even know how the ENTIRE WORLD is against the unwarranted spying?

     

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  21.  
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    Disgusted, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    A pile of crap, by any other name, still stinks!

     

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  22.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    Re:

    Race baiting is not welcomed...I hit the report button on you...good day.

     

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  23.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:11pm

    Re:

    ...but it sure smells like roses to Obama's advisors :-3

     

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  24.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    Well, shit. I guess we just pack it in until the next election. This dialogue isn't going any further with this administration, which has managed to generate its own definition of the phrase/ideal "the buck stops here" -- one that no longer contains an ounce of accountability.

     

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  25.  
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    Disgusted, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    Greevar:

    "I demand the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the Bank that it created DEMOLISHED."

    and all of the gold they have stolen returned to Ft Knox.

    "I demand the government to be the sole agency permitted to create and issue currency. No fractional reserve."

    and based on hard currency, such as gold or platinum or palladium. No more imaginary money.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    Fuck Obama!

     

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  27.  
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    Lurker Keith, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:26pm

    Good News Everybody!

    Obama came out against the Amash Amendment!

    Doesn't that give the Republicans the go ahead to support it?

     

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  28.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:28pm

    Re:

    Uh...

    Gold is a VERY bad thing to base currency on.

    By definition, it's a very rare and valuable metal, thus only the rich have access to large quantities of it.

    It's better to have the government regulate the money through cheap metals, not precious metals.

    After all, Great Britain, for a long time, used wooden sticks, well before their Empire started to fall apart. When they shifted back to gold, their economy, back then, started to tank.

    Even Rome had similar things. When they used cheap metals for coins, the economy flourished and people were happy. Once they shifted to gold, well, that was the start of the decline, as fewer people had money, thus the Empire took in less revenues from taxes.

    Why do you think they went to salt?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:29pm

    This administration has totally screwed the voters of this nation. It has claimed to be for one thing and done something else entirely.

    Obama and the security agencies no longer have any creditability to even discuss, much less address the issues they have continually lied and mislead the public over.

    It is time to wipe the slate clean because you can't get straight info and it be honestly the truth. As such it needs removed because those representing the security side can't be believed. Without honest data there is no discussion. Obama tends to use his bully pulpit to again misstate the facts in an attempt to make it look better. I wonder if he has taken a look lately at what the public now thinks of his job performance?

     

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  30.  
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    Paul, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Well said, well thought out and reasonable as hell to me.....

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 8:47pm

    If we didn't have government, we wouldn't be having this problem or a lot of others.

    FTFY

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 9:07pm

    Re:

    I sense a disturbance...as if millions of conservatives suddenly screamed out in pain "We told you so!!!", and then dead silence.

     

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  33.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Gold value didn't cause the sock market crash of 1929, it was banks selling and buying shares on customers' credit.

     

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  34.  
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    Salty, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re:

    More to the point, there's no place in this world for anything but fiat currencies anymore.

    Not that gold or silver-backed currencies were ever anything but fiat currencies anyways. Gold isn't actually all that valuable.

     

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  35.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Asshole alert

    He's beaten every US presidential scandal combined.


    Bill Clinton was a good president with a tarnished reputation. He wrote and pushed two workers' rights bills that are VERY important today. The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, and after a worker at the Groom Lake, Nevada Nuclear Disposal Test Facility (aka Area 51) was denied workman's comp after being injured on the job because his job description was "classified"...FOIA.

    Bush Jr. was shady at times but you could tell he usually had the best of intentions at heart. He was a former alcoholic and his first presidential campaign was his rehab.

     

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  36.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 9:33pm

    Re: You get back what you give out

    The only thing I would want to take away from that Amendment is the part that strips the NSA of funding...I'd rather would prefer to see it shaved and filed down than stripped. We don't want to end up like Detroit do we?

     

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  37.  
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    Никто, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, the coward's response: hiding behind the ad hominem-cum-strawman of implying that only crazy losers in cabins want some actual change in this society--and by extension implying that the demands were unreasonable to begin with.

    Are you a member of the Obama administration, by any chance?

     

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  38.  
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    Никто, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 10:23pm

    Re:

    We would also not be in this specific pickle if we hadn't repealed the Jim Crow laws, or passed the Emancipation Proclamation.

    What's your point?

     

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  39.  
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    George Benedict Mugabe, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 10:23pm

    Irony Alert: Obama Opposes Amash

    Go Team Analogue. Ain't no digital C4. Take it back to the bedrock and start over. Dammit. I hoped for better.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Seriously? You are angry that the government screwed up and screwed you over so you want to the government to take sole responsibility for money creation, banks, healthcare...

    That can only end well, then.

     

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  41.  
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    James Burkhardt (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:Fiat Currency

    A point made most spectacularly in, of all things, a Discworld novel, Making Money. Gold is a rare and fairly useless metal, except that it looks pretty. Given that, Why is it valuable? because people want it. If it weren't for the obsession with how gold looks, It would be like basing an economy on Atari ET cartridges. Overall, Gold was as effective as anything else at basing a currency on. But once you're no longer trading the gold itself, there is no reason you need 'gold' to back your currency.

     

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  42.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 11:30pm

    And, this is a program that no one knew about until Ed Snowden leaked it to the Guardian and the Washington Post.

    Mike, why are all the talking points ignoring what we knew before the Snowden leaks were published? We talk of metadata as if they don't have access to more. Here it is almost suggested we didn't know anything before Snowden. Maybe we didn't know the name PRISM but we did know they had capabilities surpassing metadata.

    Why has everyone forgotten we learned about the ability to access actual content of phone conversations two weeks prior to Snowden? http://bit.ly/109wy7i [Guardian] http://bit.ly/11gawY1 [TechDirt]

    CLEMENTE: "We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation."

    Or is it just ignored as alleged because it wasn't an "offical" leak? Whatever that means. I just get sick of all the talk of only Snowden and metadata, when prior reports indicated full content.

     

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  43.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 11:51pm

    Re:

    Mike, why are all the talking points ignoring what we knew before the Snowden leaks were published? We talk of metadata as if they don't have access to more. Here it is almost suggested we didn't know anything before Snowden. Maybe we didn't know the name PRISM but we did know they had capabilities surpassing metadata.

    There is a big difference. The fact that they can collect beyond metadata isn't new. The fact that they can collect metadata isn't new. What's new is the SCALE of it, and the confirmation of how they were interpreting the specific clauses in the law.

    Why has everyone forgotten we learned about the ability to access actual content of phone conversations two weeks prior to Snowden? http://bit.ly/109wy7i [Guardian] http://bit.ly/11gawY1 [TechDirt]

    Because I still think that was bullshit. Event today there is no evidence that they have every call recorded. It's possible, but if that was the case, an FBI agent wouldn't let that info slip like that.

    Or is it just ignored as alleged because it wasn't an "offical" leak? Whatever that means. I just get sick of all the talk of only Snowden and metadata, when prior reports indicated full content.

    It's not that it wasn't "official." It wasn't credible.

     

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  44.  
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    Beech, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 1:09am

    Open Debate

    " The Administration has taken various proactive steps to advance this debate including the Presidentís meeting with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, his public statements on the disclosed programs, the Office of the Director of National Intelligenceís release of its own public statements, ODNI General Counsel Bob Littís speech at Brookings, and ODNIís decision to declassify and disclose publicly that the Administration filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. We look forward to continuing to discuss these critical issues with the American people and the Congress. "

    Oh, look at all the "open debate" Obama is willing to have!!
    He met with a shadow board of yes-men AFTER we were all pissed at him. He SAID THINGS (wooooah!), other pawns in the administration have GIVEN SPEECHES, and even been forced to disclose ONE WHOLE FILING to the SECRECT court! Obama's problem seems to be he doesn't realize that "debate" isn't just telling us things, it means we actually get to say things back and he's supposed to listen.

    It really is a scumbag move. "This bill was written without knowing all the details, but the details are classified so shut up and let me keep doing what i want, then listen to the blatantly bullshit propaganda from me and my minions because I call that 'open debate.'"

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    Just me?

    Obama Opposes Amash Amendment Because It's A 'Blunt Approach' And Not A Product Of 'Open' Process
    Is it just me that read that as;
    "Obama opposes Amash Amendment because it's simple and will do what it's supposed to instead of complex and easy to weasel out of"
    ... sounds more like a reason for than against to me...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re:

    Amen.

     

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  47.  
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    Niall (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:14am

    Re: Re: Asshole alert

    Too bad he went on a mad alcoholic rampage across the Middle East and Asia. But that's ok, as long as his many personal failures are 'rehabilitated'.

    What was it said about getting involved in land wars in Asia? How's that working out for you (again)?

     

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  48.  
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    Niall (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:22am

    Re:

    Comparisons to Mao or Stalin are still many light years away and totally unfair to Obama. No-one in America is even remotely comparable - except maybe the Westboro Baptist Church. However, I do agree with your first line.

     

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  49.  
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    Niall (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:24am

    Re: Re:

    What, the conservatives who passed all these laws in the first place?

     

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    tracker1 (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:33am

    Hmmm...

    Though I agree with many of your sentiments.. not having government employees regulate industries they worked in would be difficult... You don't ever want a doctor as head of the FDA? Though, there is a lot of cronyism, I think what you propose would have a lot of unintended consequences.

    Regarding banking, there are a lot of efforts to restore post great depression banking legislation that worked pretty well for over 40 years, until deregulation started in the late 70's and early 80's.

    I'd like to see huge swaths of the central government cut myself. As to any amendments to the constitution, it would be nearly impossible these days... Far easier to pass dismissive legislation and have the courts uphold it.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:43am

    Re:

    I'd go a step further, and argue that no-one should take those words seriously, even if Mr. Rogers were to speak them.

    THAT should tell you how little I regard him now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:50am

    Re: Just me?

    Yes, but you don't have paradox crumple-zones.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 3:07am

    sorry Mr President, but are you for real? this isn't some wind-up statement is it? it's what i would have expected from one of the ridiculous people in Congress using as an even more ridiculous excuse! i would suggest that you re-read it and put it in comparison with what your own security agencies have been doing, for years, behind the backs of every American citizen and the majority of the rest of the World!!

     

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    Pragmatic, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 3:26am

    Re:

    ...from the "Sad-but-true" dept.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    allen, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:00am

    stop

    There should be no debate. This kind of thing needs to be stopped immediately. Our constitution already speaks against this kind of thing. No compromise, no dragging this kind of thing along any further. Stop it.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:32am

    "This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process."

    Sucks when Congress doesn't listen to you huh Mr. President? Welcome to the world anyone but big media/business lives in.

    Oh and technically, since it takes (some level of) bipartisanship to pass a bill/amendment, you really can't complain. Sell you can, but you look foolish for an ex-constitutional law professor...

    All and all, sorry you didn't get your way (not really), but if Congress (who can't even agree on a budget) can agree you're wrong, that means your really wrong...

     

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  57.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:37am

    Re: Hmmm...

    You don't ever want a doctor as head of the FDA?
    I think the major part of the problem is the other way round - not a professional becoming a head of a governmental body, but a senior employee of a government body suddenly getting a 400%+ pay raise walking straight in to a cushy job with an organisation he was in charge of regulating the previous month (and who, coincidentally, have just had a really advantageous piece of legislation they wanted passed).

    Me, I think the government ought to be made up only of professionals who take a sabbatical from their profession to serve the public good - a one-time, limited term thing. There should be no such thing as a career politician.

    On the other hand I'd also like the jetpack I was promised, so I'm not going to hold my breath...

     

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  58.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Fiat Currency

    Gold is a rare and fairly useless metal, except that it looks pretty.

    Gold is an entirely useful metal, just not as a currency. It is highly resistant to corrosion, and it is a strong conductor. It resists acids far better than other metals. Its anti-corrosive/anti-acid capabilities make it highly valued in dentistry. And it is fairly soft, which makes it useful for applications where other metals are just too hard or brittle. It is also highly useful in shielding, as it reflects infrared radiation, which is why gold shielding is used on satellites.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Guardian, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:49am

    remember whom votes against it

    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it
    remember whom votes against it

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:57am

    Re: Re:

    Don't forget Scientology.

     

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  61.  
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    The Real Michael, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Democrat, Republican... two sides of the same coin.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re:

    Good post. It's disgusts me what goes on in D.C. these days.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Fiat Currency

    The irony is later that gold gained actual practical usages. While before it was "corrosive resistant but too weak and expensive to actually use" now it is useful industrially, which accounts for ten percent of its use.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Which Political party is Obama...the person that signed things in?
    Which political party held majority in both house and senate during the Bush Jr. Administration again?

    DNC dude.....

    Obama's Administration took things way above and beyond what any other president has done.

     

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  65.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Asshole alert

    Bush never got involved with a land war in Asia during his presidency....and a lot of his antics were due to the extreme pressure from liberal media outlets who seemingly went out of their way to report every gaffe he had. Bush Sr vomited on the lap of the Emperor of Japan, and it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that got involved with China and Japan posturing over land in the Asiatic Pacific.

    Learn your history, don't reinvent it to fit your political bias.

     

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  66.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 6:07am

    Re: remember whom votes against it

    Or better yet..

    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.
    Remember who vetoes against it.

     

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  67.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Re: Hmmm...

    "...not having government employees regulate industries they worked in would be difficult"

    It might be difficult, but the alternative is a revolving door of corporate agents using regulatory capture to benefit their bosses for a cushy position and a huge pay raise after their term is up.

    "Regarding banking, there are a lot of efforts to restore post great depression banking legislation that worked pretty well for over 40 years, until deregulation started in the late 70's and early 80's."

    None of which dealt with the core problem: Fractional reserve and interest. That's the real problem. They can't cut labor wages directly to maintain profit because people would be upset. However, if you institutionalize the constant devaluation of their wages through inflation, it ensures that capitalists can continue to profit because it takes more wages to pay for fewer goods. In essence, inflation gives capitalists the ability to take a portion of the value labor creates and keep it as profit.

    This comic strip says it all:

    https://gs1.wac.edgecastcdn.net/8019B6/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lteibwweWC1qdc32wo1_500.png

    "I'd like to see huge swaths of the central government cut myself. As to any amendments to the constitution, it would be nearly impossible these days..."

    Yes, it would be hard. But anything that should be done can't be deterred because it's hard. Revolting against England was hard, but it had to be done. If we had rolled over because it was hard, then we'd all be citizens of the United Kingdom.

     

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  68.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    If we had rolled over because it was hard, then we'd all be citizens of the United Kingdom.
    Given the total balls-up the US has made of the world since, there has to be at least a moment to wonder if that would have been better or worse by now...

     

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  69.  
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    FM Hilton, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Boy, am I sorry

    To have ever trusted or voted for this guy-I mean, he's the complete antithesis of a "Democrat" and more like a republican in drag..and that's being polite.

    He's either been bought out by corporate interests or someone who has something on him-or else he was playing one hell of a con on us, because he got elected twice in the popular vote.

    He's got to be the most secretive, agenda-driven President I've seen in quite some time; his agenda consists of lying and then smiling when people ask him if he's kidding.

    Nixon would be so proud of him-taken a page right out of Watergate and wrote it good this time.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Boy, am I sorry

    The NSA! How could we not have seen this? Who else would have enough on him to blackmail him into doing something this far from what he said?
    Either that or he's just a massive hypocrite, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    To me, that comic strip says, "I am completely and utterly ignorant about business and industry".

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:Fiat Currency

    It's also a good electrical conductor.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    TaCktiX (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: You get back what you give out

    The amendment doesn't strip the NSA of all funding, it merely strips all funding from the call metadata program.

     

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  74.  
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    TaCktiX (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Scientology doesn't advocate/assist the wholesale slaughter of political dissidents and minorities.

     

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  75.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    Same flag or not I'm sure the problems would have been the same or worse, given the root causes(greed and corruption) aren't exactly US specific.

     

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  76.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    'Wholesale' maybe not so much, but they are completely insane and merciless when it comes to silencing critics.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Asshole alert

    Excuse me what?

    Are you seriously pissing on my face and calling it rain?

    Are you saying Bush Jr and the Bush Jr administration didn't go balls out insane and attack Iraq due to "weapons of mass destruction" that were never there? That some other administration did that? Or are you saying that never happened because that's what your crack addict mom told you?

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    Re: Boy, am I sorry

    "Nixon would be so proud of him-taken a page right out of Watergate and wrote it good this time."

    Nixon had charisma. He got elected on it and played dirty and even had his live broadcast speeches time delay edited to hide his gaffes.


    Fastforward to Obama....and guess what...charisma...time delay edited speeches.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:33am

    In the end after all the bad candidates and all the stuff we just have to realize democrats and republicans are just one in the same.

    They aren't people, they are corrupt disconnected mounds of greedy flesh. Doesn't matter the color of the wrapping, doesn't matter if they have a 'D' or 'R' next to their name. They are all immoral selfish pricks in positions of power that are assumed to be held by people that have the greater good in mind or the whole system falls apart.

    If anything it's good Obama was voted in so we could see that there's no politician we can trust. If anything the people should rally together and vote in people who aren't lawyers, CEOs or someone else who never had to spend a day wondering "How will I provide for my family?" or something along those lines.

     

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  80.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Asshole alert

    I never thought of Obama as anything but a corporatist, and never expected him to be a great president. I just expected him to be not as bad as the rest of the candidates.

    But Obama has disappointed me in even my extremely modest expectations.

    Bush Jr. was shady at times but you could tell he usually had the best of intentions at heart.


    I never once got the impression he had the best of intentions at heart.

     

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  81.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Is this response unexpected?

    I thought this response was a pretty explicit "fuck you", so I agree... it's neither better nor worse than Bush's responses. It's exactly the same, except with more flowery language.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Obama's Administration took things way above and beyond what any other president has done.


    Not even close!

     

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  83.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re:

    Why do you think they went to salt?


    Salt was used as currency because it was rare and precious, just like gold, except that people absolutely need salt.

    What you're arguing for is fiat currency -- exactly the system we have now. We pretty much have two alternatives for money: imaginary money, like we have now, or money that has value because of what it is inherently worth, not what people declare it to be worth (gold, silver, jewels, etc.)

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Choose your poison.

     

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  84.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    No it doesn't. It makes perfect sense. It says that the wealth of capitalists is derived by skimming from the value generated by the laborers. No matter how far back you go, the wealthy became so because they exploited the labor.

    So the capitalists own the the machines? They paid for it with the value generated by the laborers, not profit. Profit is a fiction.

    Go back further. Where did they get the money to pay for the initial costs to start a business? Either they come from a family with money (i.e. They've been leveraging the lower class for generations) or they seek out a loan/investors (which is financed by the same people). Either way, the money that funds a business came from skimming from the value of labor.

    To put it bluntly, everything that the capitalists own came from the labor of others. The capitalist is just another middleman skimming value by controlling the flow of goods between the workers and the consumers. They're not rich because they "earned" it. They're rich because they leveraged resources that were transformed into commodities by other people.

    Without the labor, the capitalists would have nothing. Their contribution to the economy is private property ownership. They have influence on the economy because they own resources the rest of us need. They didn't create the resources, they already existed, but they control them. Since they control them, they can exploit people that need those resources.

    Capitalists don't create economic wealth (i.e. all the resources and labor that possess economic utility), they make money. In short, a capitalist is nothing more than a resource exploiter. They simply exist to exploit that which they own.

     

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  85.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re:

    there is no evidence that they have every call recorded.


    Actually, there is a fair bit of evidence that they have almost all calls recorded, from various unconnected people saying so, to equipment installations, to implications that have accidentally come out in some court cases.

    But this is a different program from the two that we've been talking about so far. Also, unlike the two in the news, there has been no official confirmation that there is such a program.

     

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  86.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    given the root causes(greed and corruption) aren't exactly US specific
    True enough, along with general two-facedness but the seeming total inability to learn from their own mistakes is something the US seems to have taken to extremes as well as a fairly unique ability to cock-up any other country they touch...

     

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  87.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re: Boy, am I sorry

    because he got elected twice in the popular vote.
    Yeah, him and Bush Jr.... I've been trying to decide ever since if americans are really that dumb or if the US election system is even more corrupt than it appears to be.

    As part of nation dumb enough to elect the used car salesman Tony Blair 3 times... yeah it's not like we don't have the same problems if not the same scale...

     

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  88.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    The British Empire wasn't any better.

     

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  89.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Boy, am I sorry

    Bush Jr. was not elected twice in the popular vote.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Boy, am I sorry

    Bush Jr. was not elected twice in the popular vote.Hey, arguably he wasn't elected twice in any vote, but still a guy that's a bigger buffoon than Boris Johnson (no mean feat) and less than 1/2 as smart became president of the United States... twice

     

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  91.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As evidence, check out the following two ops they've pulled:

    Operation Snow White:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_SnowWhite

    Operation Freakout:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Freakout

     

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  92.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Scientology doesn't advocate/assist the wholesale slaughter of political dissidents and minorities


    True. They only advocate/assist the slaughter of dissidents one individual at a time.

     

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  93.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Boy, am I sorry

    True enough, but that's because it's possible to game presidential elections. That's hardly the first time it's happened, too.

     

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  94.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    The British Empire wasn't any better.
    Indeed, but aren't we supposed to have moved on from then? Should a nation still be the big bully in the playground just because they can?

     

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  95.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    Who's saying that they should? I'm not. I'm just pointing out that the US isn't unique in their behavior. It's a cycle of empires that come and go. They rise up, earn the admiration of the rest of the world and then rots from the inside out. It's truly sad how we fail to learn from history and just repeat its mistakes.

     

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  96.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Asshole alert

    Ever see Iraqi state controlled television before that invasion? That's the real reason we went in. Some of the images I saw watching it made me cringe.

     

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  97.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Asshole alert

    "Bush never got involved with a land war in Asia during his presidency."

    Bwah!?!? In what way is Afghanistan not in Asia?

    "and a lot of his antics were due to the extreme pressure from liberal media outlets who seemingly went out of their way to report every gaffe he had."

    They certainly reported all his gaffes, but not because the media is liberal, they're just sensationalist assholes. Or have you missed all the fun Joe Biden has provided us?

    "Learn your history, don't reinvent it to fit your political bias."

    This from someone who previously said Clinton was a good President and Bush had his heart in the right place. Bullshit. Clinton was a narcissistic liar, money-corrupt to the bone, ran his White House the way he ran Arkansas (open to the highest bidder). Oh, and he committed sexual assault and/or rape in Arkansas on top of it. That the economy happened to do well during his Presidency due to an exploding internet market and good fiscal policy from Congress is his only real claim for strong governance. And it's a shitty claim.

    As for Bush, I'll never forgive him for taking a perfectly necessary war that could have been honestly sold to the public, if not the world, and fucking it all up with talk about WMDs. True, Iraq had used them before and wanted to use them again, but that wasn't the only or even primary reason to oust him. That, coupled with Bush's insane love for Reaganomics puts him squarely in jackass territory. Granted he didn't rape anyone, other than the economy.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    There's a couple great ideas mixed in with a couple of real head-scratchers here:

    You demand banks be exclusively state run? So in essence you demand that every person's day to day finances be available to the government at all times and in perfect detail. You demand they know who has how much money, who pays them, who they pay with it, and when?

    You demand there be no income tax (with you on that point) but you also demand a state run health care program? How were you imagining this would be funded? Magic? Are we going to replace the income tax with a flat tax or a sales tax to fund it?

    You demand campaign contributions be banned? Isn't that basically a ban on political speech, a cornerstone piece of the 1st amendment? Can you explain how a ban on campaign contributions and corporate involvement would avoid banning legitimate political speech at the same time? Do I suddenly lose my right to petition my government for a redress of grievances if I'm a small business owner that incorporated for legal reasons or do I simply lose that right if the grievance has something to do with my business? Let's say the local government wants to rezone the land my business is currently operating on. Why shouldn't I be allowed to campaign against that with, say, a print ad in a local paper or a TV spot during the local news?

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You do realize you closed with an ad hom right?

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a common problem not just here but everywhere that no matter how badly central planning works people inexplicably believe it can work if only we get the right people to do it. Which frankly is the kind of thinking that lead the US to elect Obama in the first place...

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    It makes no sense at all actually because it's so ludicrously one-sided. Imagine the same cartoon only the conversation is with the laborer:

    What did that man tell you just now?

    He told me to work faster.

    How much does he pay you?

    $25 a day.

    Where does he get the money to pay you?

    From the products I make.

    How many products do you make in a day?

    $100 worth but he takes $75 of the value I create just because he owns the machines!

    How many products could you make a day without the machines?

    $15 worth.

    So he's really paying you $10 a day to let you use his machine.


    You've created this elaborate narrative where 'capitalists' are on one side and 'labor' is on another and one is good and the other is bad and you're now pointing to that narrative to explain why the cartoon doesn't just completely ignore reality but the thing is your bullshit narrative isn't reality either. You're just spinning in circles using one made up narrative to justify another without ever actually basing anything on a real argument about the real world.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    The modern currency float has its problems. There is no magical monetary cure, monetary policy is a policy area almost uniquely crowded with trade-offs and lesser evils.

    If you want a classical gold standard, you get chronic deflation punctuated by depressions, as the U.S. did between 1873 and 1934.

    If you want a regime of managed currencies tethered to gold, you get regulations and controls, as the U.S. got from 1934 through 1971.

    If you let the currency float, you get chronic inflation punctuated by bubbles, the American lot since 1971.

    System 1 is incompatible with democracy, because voters wonít accept the pain inherent in a gold standard.

    System 2 is incompatible with the free market economics I favor.
    That leaves me with System 3 as the worst option except for all the others.

    - David Frum

     

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  103.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    You're making the same bullshit argument the capitalist is making in the cartoon! He may own the machines, but the laborers made the products he sold so he could buy those machines.

    So without the machines, the worker can only make a hypothetical $15 worth of products. However, there was a point where they didn't have those machines and the laborers made products without them. The capitalist used the money from those products to buy the machines, yet the labor made the products that made the money to pay for the machines. No matter how you try to twist it, the laborers are the ones that earned the money used to buy the machines. You're the one that isn't basing anything on reality.

    The bottom line is, the capitalist paid for the machines with the labor value that his workers created, so the laborers are the ones that really paid for them. The capitalist didn't create any of the value, the workers did and he kept a big chunk for himself. Then, he used it to buy machines that increased the volume of products he could sell. So the capitalist made $15 on every product, paid a portion of that to the laborer, and kept the rest for profit and resources. Which he used to buy machines so that the laborer could produce $100 worth of product and pay him $25.

    My narrative is correct, yours is not.

     

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  104.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Banks:

    You would prefer that private banks pull money, that doesn't exist and backed by nothing, out of the ether and require you to pay it back and with interest that is also backed by nothing? Do you want your income constantly devalued in this way? The reason being that this is how they hide the reduction of your income without seeing any cuts on your paycheck. That's your alternative if you refuse a state bank. I don't know of any other non-profit, usury-free bank systems. If my other demands are met (i.e. upholding the 4th amendment), then what do you have to worry about in a state bank?

    Income tax and health care:

    Yes and no. State Funded, not state administered. It should be administered by a board of doctors. You forget that without the banks making money out of thin-air for profit, the government can create money out of thin-air for the public good. They have the exclusive power to create currency. If they create the money by using it to pay for essential infrastructure, in supplement to sales tax, they can expand the money supply when needed and pay for health care at the same time.

    Campaign contributions:

    Money is not speech no matter what the damn courts say, because those with more money would have more power of speech and in this country all citizens are to be given equal rights. Giving the rich the power to use money in order to expand their speech is a violation of equal rights. So no, contributions should be banned. You can still have a campaign with out monetary contributions from others. It's called "volunteer workers". You win your election by commanding the support of the people, not by the size of your wallet.

    However, there are some monetary requirements that are beyond a single person's financial capacity, so all campaigns would require some kind of state stipend that is the same for every candidate and every penny must be accounted for to the distributing agency. Any negligent waste or abuse of funds will be met with an order to repay all issued funds effective upon notice and all authorized uses will be clearly explained to the candidate.

    If you want to petition the government to not rezone the land your business is on, then I suggest you go door to door and ask your community to sign a petition if they feel they need your business to stay where it is. If you have established yourself as an essential member of your community, they should support you and going against the will of the community will not go well for the city council's re-election. You know, "grass-roots" politics? That's how it should be done. That's how the rest of us without gobs of cash on hand do it. Get it? Have the community tell them that they want you there and not the other thing. If they refuse to sign, then you're in no less trouble than those that lose their homes to eminent domain.

    You have not lost any free speech by not being able to leverage money to further your political ideals. By removing money from politics, we've actually leveled the field for those that don't have the monetary power of a corporation so that the people's voice is superior to the corporations. The government serves the people, not fictional legal constructs. If a corporation can compel the community to support their petitions to the government, then so be it. But it's only by the will of the people that a corporation shall be granted the government's ear.

     

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

  105.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    earn the admiration of the rest of the world
    I must have been asleep for that bit :-)

     

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

  106.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re:

    "Event today there is no evidence that they have every call recorded."

    Bell Canada has been doing so for 40 years that I know of. The only thing to dispute is length of time they retained it.

    40 years ago a top Bell executives office looked like something out of James Bond. Buttons and dials, in a desk drawer, opening hidden panels to access the wet-bar, lowering movie screens, etc...

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 1:48pm

    I would say the the Amash Amendment is the least occult thing that has happened in this government since January 2009.

     

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

  108.  
    icon
    Richard_A_GA (profile), Jul 27th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    @shutslar - Very well put. This is a statement every citizen should ascribe to.

     

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


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