Confessed Liar To Congress, James Clapper, Gets To Set Up The 'Independent' Review Over NSA Surveillance

from the uh,-that's-not-independent dept

Well, this is rather incredible. Remember on Friday how one of President Obama's efforts to get people to trust the government more concerning the NSA's surveillance efforts was to create an "outside" and "independent" board to review it all? Specifically, he said:
Fourth, we're forming a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies. We need new thinking for a new era. We now have to unravel terrorist plots by finding a needle in the haystack of global telecommunications. And meanwhile, technology has given governments — including our own — unprecedented capability to monitor communications.

So I am tasking this independent group to step back and review our capabilities — particularly our surveillance technologies. And they'll consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used, ask how surveillance impacts our foreign policy — particularly in an age when more and more information is becoming public. And they will provide an interim report in 60 days and a final report by the end of this year, so that we can move forward with a better understanding of how these programs impact our security, our privacy, and our foreign policy.
Okay. Outside, independent. Sure, that might help. Except, that was Friday. Today is Monday. And, on Monday we learn that "outside" and "independent" actually means setup by Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper -- the same guy who has already admitted to lying to Congress about the program, and has received no punishment for doing so. This is independent? From this we're supposed to expect real oversight?!? This is from the letter sent to Clapper:
I believe it is important to take stock of how these technological advances alter the environment in which we conduct our intelligence mission. To this end, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I am directing you to establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (Review Group).

The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust. Within 60 days of its establishment, the Review Group will brief their interim findings to me through the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Review Group will provide a final report and recommendations to me through the DNI no later than December 15, 2013.
In case you didn't catch that, he's asking Clapper to first create and set up this "outside" and "independent" review group... and then to have the group report its findings back to Clapper. The same strong defender of the program who flat out lied to Congress about it. If this was about "restoring the trust" of the American people that the government isn't pulling a fast one over on them, President Obama sure has a funny way of trying to rebuild that trust. This seems a lot more like giving the concerns of the American public a giant middle finger.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Well you wanted Change. You got it.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Fighting within the system

    They're only trying to do it because they don't think they'll be called out on it. If you aren't completely disillusioned with the system, this sounds like a great opportunity for a whitehouse.gov petition.

    I would be interested to see how the administration would tap dance around 100,000 plus citizens demanding to know why a known liar gets this kind of job.

    Who knows, maybe they'd change their tune once they realized that the American people are actually watching.

     

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  3.  
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    sorrykb (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Something's missing

    The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.

    I keep re-reading that last part, looking for the word "privacy". Or "constitutional".

    Instead, all I see is "Trust us" and "DESTROY ALL WHISTLEBLOWERS."

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    Shouldn't he be in jail by now?

     

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  5.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    No no, you misunderstand - Clapper is setting up the least most unindependant review board he is capable of.

    Also, has no one in this administration heard of foxes, henhouses, and at least looking ashamed while pulling feathers out of their teeth?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    James Clapper is not an elected politician, and so eminently suitable as an outside adviser to politicians.Further he has great experience in the area of surveillance, which makes him the ideal candidate.
    /Sarc

     

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  7.  
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    Nick (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    No one cares about technological capability, Obama! We care about the 4th Amendment! This is a freaking side show distraction people. Don't buy it for a second!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    The chicken was under suspicion of being juicy.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Something's missing

    What he's saying is restore the security around keeping what the government does secret and restore the fact that the public believes that it is ok whether it really is or not. Lovely, It's basically a call for a witch hunt and a white wash.

     

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  10.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    We expected any less from the Government who put men who abuse women in charge of investigating rape allegations in the military?

    Oooh look a dog and pony show. I guess we should give up any hope that there would be change in the corrupt system. It is transparent that we the people are the last thing they are concerned with.

    Just admit your not going to stop, that the rights of the people don't matter, and we should all get used to being spied on all the time.

     

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  11.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    True security theater!

    What Bruce Schneier calls "security theater" - this is a prime example of it! Here is an excellent article in The Atlantic that he has just penned: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/08/the-nsa-is-commandeering-the-internet/278572/

     

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  12.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    Re: change

    Yes. This is a prime example of the old saw "The more things change, the more they stay the same...".

     

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  13.  
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    Ben (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:05pm

    Isn't the order wrong?

    [NSA] employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.
    Shouldn't the correct order be "optimally maintaining the public trust," "minimizing the harm of unauthorized disclosures," while "protecting our national security," and "advance our foreign policy"?

    I, personally, don't see how the NSA has the job to "advance our foreign policy," but I'll give it to them if they want it (I thought that was the job of the CIA).

     

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    FM Hilton, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    Next time, be more sincere looking.

    It figures. It didn't take rocket science to figure out how this would run.

    Who else is going to head a review of the NSA? Can't have anyone without an adequate security clearance you know..and so it limits that role to 2 people: Keith Alexander or James Clapper.

    What a bit of make work program this will be.

    I wonder how much it will cost us to tell us "the program works fine, we're good, and everyone's safe. There's nothing to see here, move along..."

    Any ballpark figure? I'd say 10 million to start.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    The term for this is lip service. The people don't just want review. Just looking at a problem does nothing to fix it.

     

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  16.  
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    TasMot (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Could somebody show me ....

    when the definition of security of our nation became "spying on all communications worldwide" to collect a useless database that has not prevent any "actual" terrorist act (FBI setups of innocent people don't count) or that the "security of our nation" depended on secret interpretations by secret courts with justifications that redefine common English words to mean the opposite of what everyone else thinks they mean. And don't forget it also means that the BIGGEST liars get to create independent committees to waste even more of our money to tell us that everything is OK, it is legal, now go away.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    In politics being a liar gets you a promotion.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss! (epic Pete Townshend guitar power chords)

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Something's missing

    I'm pretty sure "risk of unauthorized disclosure" means "and no more Snowdens."

     

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  20.  
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    Alana (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

    Re:

    I don't see what voting has to do with it. Voting is a technicality. Romney would have been much worse than Obama, and it's practically impossible to vote anyone but the "chosen two" candidates in. If I were in america, I'd have still voted for Obama, because of the whole "Lesser of two evils" thing.


    That being said, he is still a pile of horseshit as a president.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    The real trick will be to talk about changing these programs just enough so that the public is no longer certain what the government is and isn't doing. Then they can claim that nothing their doing is public knowledge and everything is classified as secret again.

    That helps the NSA (uninterrupted surveillance programs) and congress (plausible deniability -- especially if everyone would shut up and stop asking incriminating questions -- "I'M LOOKING AT YOU WYDEN!!")

     

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  22.  
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    Paul, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    Start at the top

    Let's start the Impeachment processes on Obama and continue working down the list, quickly. One at a time we need to remove those in power who are trampling our Constitution, our Rights and our Freedoms. We need to return the control of our government to its citizens. Those who have been lying to us need to be held accountable. Our corrupt officials, both elected and appointed, need to be charged as criminals and put in jail. The longer we wait the more difficult this will become. We need something just short of a revolt (since revolts usually include bloodshed). We should not fear our Government, our Government should fear us.......

     

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  23.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Tin foil hats

    "confessed liar"? Now who's being ridiculous? The trick was giving an unclassified answer about classified material. The real story here is that anyone who has a SS#, credit card, place of residence, drivers license, gun permit, fishing permit, an ISP, cell phone or bank account thought they were not being watched by someone somewhere at any given time.

    That being said; terrorists and child abductors/pornographers can't wait to get this privacy issue resolved so they can get back to regularly scheduled lives.

     

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  24.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Start at the top

    The top would be Congress, not Obama. It's Congress who made all this legally possible, and keeps renewing the laws that make it legally possible.

    This is not to say Obama isn't being a bad actor on this as well -- he is -- but that in the end, it's Congress who allows it.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Could somebody show me ....

    The database isn't useless. It may be useless for its STATED PURPOSE but it certainly isn't useless. For example, it appears that the DEA and IRS have found it to be quite useful.

     

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  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Tin foil hats

    He is a confessed liar. Unless you have some interpretation of "least untruthful answer" that doesn't mean "lie".

    The trick was giving an unclassified answer about classified material.


    There's no trick there at all. All he had to say was "I can't answer that because I'd be revealing classified information".

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:03pm

    America's right to defend itself

    "The United States, like all nations, gathers intelligence in order to ... defend itself ... from threats to our security."

    American citizens, it seems, are a threat to the security of the United States. Whose interests, then, does the government serve when it engages in large-scale, indiscriminate, non-stop surveillance of its own citizens?

     

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  28.  
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    Miko, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    This is why I'm not inclined to trust people who are untrustworthy.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    LOL clapper will produce a fully redacted report with only the title mercifully unscathed.

    When asked he will just talk about his authority and how its classified. These guys do not trust the rest of us its that simple. They don't trust their own countrymen unless you have something to lose or security clearance.

    Afraid American is afraid.

     

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  30.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    What a change nearly 15 years makes for a nation. Clinton was impeached, not for having sexual relations with a White House intern, but for lying about it. Where's the charges against Obama? He has certainly lied.

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    Re:

    Clinton was impeached, not for having sexual relations with a White House intern, but for lying about it


    I disagree. yes, technically is was for lying, but really it was for the double-whammy of being a Democrat and having extramarital sex. Nobody in congress actually cared about the lying part.

     

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  32.  
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    masimons, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Re: approved ?

    Wouldn't Clapper have to be interviewed and approved by Congress ? Someone who has lied to them would likely not get the position, but maybe Obama knows that and would then blame Congress for not having a review board.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:35pm

    Unbelievable! Talk about a slap to the face of every American Citizen. Is the EFF and Bruce Schneier are not part of this so called 'Independent' Review' committee, then the entire review process is corrupt and illegitimate.

    Of course, I already assumed as much after the President's speech on Friday.

    All defenders of this unconstitutional domestic spy program have already lied to the American people multiple times over the last few weeks. Including the President of the United States.

    All their credibility is already permanently damaged. The American people will never be able to trust anything being told to them, from these lying individuals, ever again.

    I am simply stunned at what the leadership in this country has come to. A bunch of unconstitutional liars misleading and betraying the American people and violating the Constitution.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    We've never left the lying and misdirections in order to try and make it go away. Putting Clapper in charge is another puppet show in which you already know the outcome of before it starts.

    This is why the American people are upset over this spying. It's not just spying but the transparent attempted coverups to make it all go away so they can get back to business as usual.

    I for one don't want to see anymore business as usual. I'm inclined to agree with #22 Paul,in his answer. Start at the top bouncing politicians till we find one that actually likes his job well enough to do what the people want. That only takes care of 1/2 the problem as it wasn't just the Dems that put this mess into being. The GOP is so busy self destructing that it might not be an issue much longer.

     

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  35.  
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    Mark, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Another useless poll

    here is yet another example of media bias and attempts to influence people... Poll was taken so fucking what... the results do NOT matter and you can NOT say based on yourt limited access poll, what the percentage of americans think about anything... ALL polls are like this unless EVERY american is polled and responds to said poll... basing a coverall statement on what a few hundred to a few thousand people say who actually went to your site for one, decided to take your poll for two, and had their exact choice presented for choosing lastly. Don't buy intyo this drivel.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Start at the top

    Well, yes....except that Congress has been deliberately deceived about what they're authorizing. New members of Congress aren't briefed on the programs. Old members of Congress aren't allowed to talk about the programs with their staffs, or even with their fellow members. Last time FISA was up for review, Wyden even told the Senate that they were being deceived -- but he wasn't able to tell them how they were being deceived. When they held hearings on the programs, Clapper flat-out lied to them. Most of Congress haven't even seen the executive's classified interpretation of the laws they passed.

    Ultimately, most members of Congress probably learned more from the leaked documents than they ever did from working within the system. Congress bears responsibility for passing and renewing those laws, but it's ultimately the executive branch who's using those laws in fashions that Congress never knew or intended.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

    The government knows most Americans are too vapid to bother organizing against this and so barely bother to conceal their contempt for us. Lifting their narcissistic cellphone to call a representative and say "vote against violations to the constitution" is exhausting effort that won't be undertaken by the majority of the public, so the government doesn't need to bother with putting effort into pretending they respect our concerns. It's a good team effort on the part of the public and the government.

    Whats funny is that all this stuff was just written off as tin foil hat conspiracies. Now that it is fact, "meh, whatever." -American Public

     

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  38.  
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    PlayNicely, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re:

    This "lesser of two evils" thinking is what keeps the actual evil that always gets 95% of the vote in power.

    It really is that Kang and Kodos situation. We should use Obama's presidency to bring home the point that no, a Democrat in the White House is not so much different - yes, more acceptable in style, yes a few pet issues here and there, but on the really important issues, the constitutional ones and on the relationship between government and citizen it just doesn't make a difference. If any major party candidate in the past two decades stood for a different approach it was Obama, yet it is still business-as-usual.

    Do not waste your vote on red team or blue team. Use it to make 3rd parties viable. Deprive the lying, gerrymandering and corrupt beast of your vote, otherwise it will not be tamed. Do not feed it just because one of its two schizophrenic personalities disgusts you a little less than the other.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Probably true. Look at Iran-Contra. Reagan got in trouble for violating a Congressional order so that he could sell weapons to anti-American terrorists, and then violate another Congressional order by giving the money to pro-American terrorists. Then he lied to Congress about it. He didn't get impeached, because....I don't know.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The problem with this is that every third party out there seems to be even LESS sane.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:21pm

    Re:

    That nickel you found on the ground doesn't count.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

    I'm to the point where I bet it wouldn't matter if you voted or not. they'd still do it because contrary to what people believe they are not working for the people their working for someone else entirely and they always have been pretty much.

    you could replace each and every person in the whitehouse with a better person you like better and it wouldn't change anything...

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "a few pet issues here and there"

    these are pet issues????
    - war on women
    - school to privatized prison
    - immigration
    - health care
    - minimum wage

    please - you do yourself no favors by making excuses for the total idiocy which has consumed the GOP. I'm not saying their opponents are angels by any means, but ffs - there some things which are simply not trivial "pet" issues

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Start at the top

    Impeachment - lol

     

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  45.  
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    PlayNicely, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is because no competent person would seek a serious political carreer with a party that is so unlikely to have any political influence. Which is where the "making them viable" part comes in. It is not like they are going to win thanks to your vote, but if third parties get growing chunks of the vote more competent people will join, their issues will get more airtime and finally the major party strategists will have to change their policies to win back that part of the vote.

    Maybe even electoral reform towards a proportional system might become a serious possibility once third parties and their voters cannot be dismissed as some fringe loonies anymore.

    It is about showing that your vote is, in principle, available (unlike non-voters which are assumed (not by me) to be either unpolitical or lazy), but that you have a few clear requirements for it. "Slightly less evil than the other team" really doesn't cut it anymore. Government within the confines of the constitution is not too much to ask.

    Voting with the 95% just confirms the status quo, which is, unfortunately, not a steady state, but a slow crawl towards dystopia.

     

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  46.  
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    Jim, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    None of that matters

    If they are violating the constitution nothing matter except terminating that policy/procedure. You cannot violate the constitution. If you do you are a criminal.

     

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  47.  
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    PlayNicely, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, these are in fact pet issues when compared to what is at stake. None of your favorite policies and civil liberties are safe when the very means to keep the government in check are being destroyed.

    It is like accepting a 1000$ in exchange for unlimited access to your bank account.

    Of course the GOP are loonies. I am not saying you should vote for them. Nobody should vote for the party that wants to march towards tyranny 3 steps a month. That doesn't mean the party that wants to march towards tyranny 2 steps a month is a justifiable alternative, though.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    does anyone know what district washington is in? if you don't know the answer to this then take a moment to look it up.

    the answer to that question says it a lot.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    Can we impeach this guy already? Nixon got impeached for a lot less.

     

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  50.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re:

    This isn't even that, it's a giant 'Screw You All!' to every single person who expressed concerns, with no subtly involved.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Your choices tonight are a steaming pile of shit or a turd sandwich on white bread.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Start at the top

    It's too late for rebellion, we need revolution. Change the leaders? Change the system. Of course, there's always the third option: secession. I hear Moscow airport is very welcoming. ;)

     

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  53.  
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    Estefanina, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 7:16pm

    Response to: That Anonymous Coward on Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Never. I have known by intuition (and the ability to think logically about the motives of our leaders) for many years that our executive branch likes to know what we talk about.

    I will never lie to myself and say that my rights don't matter, because they do. Mr. coward, you are wrong to encourage (even sarcastically) the points you present above.


    Change has already begun. You can attempt its arrest, but once the ball of truth starts rolling, it will not stop. Our goal is to make the Golden Rule true again: Treat others as you would have the, treat you.


    We, "The People," hold far more power collectively than the silly wo/men that make our complex governing rules. Simplification is is the key to effective change. If you care enough to identify yourself with the Anon movement, at least have the gumption to be brave.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That which you refer to as "what is at stake" is entirely comprised of "pet issues".

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Another useless poll

    "ALL polls are like this unless EVERY american is polled"

    It is a poll, not an election.

    Never read a book about statistics have you.
    I assume you have never heard of Nate Silver either.


    "Don't buy intyo this drivel."

    And I should listen to you because why?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 7:44pm

    Re:

    "Nixon got impeached for a lot less"

    Technically incorrect.
    Nixon resigned prior to a most certain impeachment and was later pardoned by his successor.

    And whom would you impeach for what?
    I have read about people shouting for impeachment proceedings to begin, but when pressed for details they fall silent. I assume this is due to a lack of facts, evidence or a clear understanding of exactly what they are talking about.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Re:

    Nixon was not impeached. He resigned once it became clear that articles of impeachment were forthcoming from the House of Representatives.

    Only two presidents were ever impeached: A. Johnson and B. Clinton. After trial in the Senate, they were acquitted, lacking the 2/3rd majority for conviction.

     

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  58.  
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    ShellMG, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    I'm surprised there are still people who are surprised at the malfeasance and zealous, unconstitutional policies enacted by the Obama Administration.

     

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  59.  
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    robertsgt40, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 8:02pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    He would if we didn't live in a banana republic

     

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  60.  
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    T, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 8:30pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 12th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Funny thing. I have less change in my pockets than I did 5 years ago...

     

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  61.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    Oh give me a *^#%(@& break. Let's talk about lies. This is congress trying to scapegoat the fall guy and hope everyone forgets that THEY approved the Patriot act (the law the gov'ment used to justify collection of this data), which has been reauthorized and extended since it's enactment 45 days after 9/11. 9/11, you remember that, that was when Saddam Hussein organized a terrorist attack on the USA and later we found satellite pictures of his WMD, so we attacked Iraq. Oh wait, none of that shit was the... how did you put it ... "least untruthful answer". Bay of Pigs anyone? "I am not a crook!" "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" This one was a doozy "In spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did notórepeat, did notótrade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we."

    As for the "syping"; How much intercontinental communication are you doing these days? Are you a multinational corporation (still a person) who's achieved self-awareness who's been unwittingly spied on while being completely innocent? I fail to see why you're diving head first into this red-herring, because nothing is private.

     

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  62.  
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    Woadan (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 9:01pm

    Re:

    Well said lmao!

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re:

    We can't have facts get in the way of a good lynching.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 9:22pm

    Re:

    I'm surprised there are still people who are ignorant of the political environment surrounding them.

     

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  66.  
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    mz83, Aug 12th, 2013 @ 9:48pm

    Re:

    Well, he's making the situation even worse than the last guy, but with better window dressing. I'm sure some PR moron can sell that as "change".

     

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  67.  
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    Rich Fiscus (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I hate white bread.

     

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  68.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Something's missing

    Yeah, no matter how many times I re-read that paragraph, all I see is 'the review group will see if there is any way they can expand surveillance programs, and if not, will make some' followed by '...and will tighten any loopholes and crack down on whistlblowers to make sure the only way the public learns of the programs is via approved PR efforts'.

     

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  69.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Next time, be more sincere looking.

    Well keep in mind a review like this is going to require extensive field research for the good director and more than a few congresscritters/senators, and 'investigations' at harsh locals such as Vegas, the bahamas, and similar locations aren't going to be cheap, so your 10 mill estimate is probably going to be way under.

     

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  70.  
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    Julian Davis (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 10:34pm

    Ignorance

    Unfortunately the majority of the American People do not know about Clapper, are not aware of his lies before Congress, and are not fully informed about the NSA programs recently revealed. This move by Obama will, sadly, probably be enough to placate enough people to stave off real change.

    I don't think we, the technologically literate, will be able to move the needle enough on public outrage to get real change done.

    I'm not sure what to do anymore. I voted for Jill Stein last round, and now vote straight Green Party ticket, I donate to causes like EFF and I talk to my friends and family. It doesn't seem to be enough to counter the billions of dollars working to keep people misinformed, complacent, and docile.

     

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  71.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 11:48pm

    Re: Ignorance

    Any time you start getting depressed, start thinking 'what could we possibly do to counter such massive corporate payouts?', just remember one word: SOPA.

    SOPA was a done deal, something that was going to pass with minimal effort, unopposed by pretty much everyone in congress and the senate, but once the internet got wind of it, it was brought to it's knees, leaving the supporters stumbling about in a daze, desperately trying to pin the blame on a big company like Google to avoid having to face the fact that when the public is motivated enough, they can make their voices heard over the sound of 'campaign contribution' checks being cashed.

    Now it does take a whopping big push to get the internet, and the citizens to pull off something like that off, but it can be done, never forget that.

     

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  72.  
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    Robert, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 1:22am

    Re:

    People wanted change, they didn't want to be short changed. The choice is now down to tweedledum or tweedledee, or no choice at all.
    The mass media build up for the US prostitute ex-secretary of state Clinton, the leading reason seems likely to be the NSA as a tonne of criminal evidence against her guaranteed to keep her in line.
    So the corporate marketing bullshit just keeps flowing out of the US government. Want change than finally start paying attention to the primaries and stop corporations from stacking the elections before they start.
    In the interim, take them down a peg, mock, deride, and abuse them at every opportunity, do everything you can to 'annoy' them and make their life a misery.
    Uncle Tom Obama, the choom gang coward, should be something to haunt him for the rest of his life.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:17am

    nothing is gonna change then! talk about Obama covering his arse! what a piss take of a decision on who to preside over this 'investigation' (and i use the term very liberally!)

     

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  74.  
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    Pragmatic, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re:

    ^^That. Gingrich's extramarital sex was overlooked because he's on the other team.

     

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  75.  
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    Pragmatic, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    Re:

    And ratified by the GOP Congressional Majority.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re:

    Hey, that's not fair at all. The new boss has dozens of additional underbosses.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Gary Johnson and Jill Stein seem less sane to you? Really?

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    War on women is a fair point.

    School to prison is not. There's no appreciable difference between the two parties on this front.

    Immigration is a fair point to an extent by which I mean what have the democrats accomplished in that regard so far? Nothing of which I'm aware

    Health care is a laughable addition to the list as there's significant difference between Romney and Obama over it.

    Minimum wage is a pet issue. It's a meaningless number that's trotted out every once in a while to gin up sympathy from the economic illiterate.

     

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  79.  
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    The Real Michael, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're playing the game they want you to play. All of these *pet issues* are mere distractions from the core issues at stake: our rights, our jobs (besides government of course) and our economy are all under attack. If those are gone, it will affect everybody in a very bad way; whatever 'issues' you hold dear will be insignificant when you've got no job, no income (and no more free handouts), no shelter, no medical coverage, no food ...and no rights.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.

    When did these programs also become about advancing our foreign policy? This "scope creep" is part of the reason the American people are concerned about these programs.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    You're missing the point. At this point, it's beyond the spying, it's about the lying. Most of the scandals you listed have a common thread: the original misdeed was not the critical failure, it was the unabashed denials in the face of indisputable evidence.

     

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  82.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't speak to sanity, but Gary Johnson certainly doesn't seem any more desirable than the candidates the Democrats and Republicans run.

    On the whole, Jill Stein does seem like a better choice than the candidates the Dems & Reps run.

     

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  83.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    You're missing the forest for the tree. The funny (sad?) part is all of this the fake outrage over Clapper (the "liar") getting to set up the ind. review. Gee wiz fellas, it was Congress who approved the law which let the intelligence agencies conduct the data mining, and now conveniently get to investigate how this data mining happend. They have all the "indisputable" evidence about the program. How dare the agencies USE the law that congress approved!

    Wait... lol, you don't truly believe that congress was ignorant of this do you? hahahaha. Well, welcome to the dog and pony (phony) show.

    btw, the outrage IS fake because lying is part of the political game; as a matter of fact, they don't even call it lying anymore it's "spin" and tons of people make a great living as PR folk "spinning" the truth like stats on the back of your baseball cards.

     

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  84.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Start at the top

    Well, yes....except that Congress has been deliberately deceived about what they're authorizing


    That doesn't excuse them. They knew they were being lied to (or, if they didn't know, they're idiots -- which doesn't excuse them either).

    Just because a congressperson failed to do their job does not mean that they aren't the responsible party.

     

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  85.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    This is congress trying to scapegoat the fall guy and hope everyone forgets that THEY approved the Patriot act


    Perhaps so -- but that' doesn't mean that Clapper isn't a liar. There are lots of bad actors in this farce. Clapper is one of them, and it's correct and proper to say so.

    Clapper's lies are fully on par with the others you mentioned (except for Lewinsky -- that was pretty insignificant). He lied to the body that is supposed to be overseeing these actions because he knows full well that the actions are unsupportable.

    How much intercontinental communication are you doing these days?


    Quite a lot, but that has nothing to do with anything. We're all being spied on, whether we engage in any such communications or not, and whether we're US citizens or not.

    because nothing is private


    Because the US government is engaging in wholesale surveillance. That's the problem. It's a little odd to say "why complain about governmental spying, when you know the government is spying on you?"

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    How is the rampant abuse of the Constitution a Change with this administration from the previous one? The sooner we realize it's pointless to argue about which team you're on when they're both playing against us, the sooner we can achieve some real change.

     

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  87.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    Hold on, you think that government is the only entity spying on you?

    We, as a populace, are being data mined constantly when we interact with any place of biz.

    Is it any surprise that the governments would use a known effective method to create a safety program to combat crime using/developing technology that governments can't hope to fully understand?

    As slimy as it feels to know we're being watched by, not just Big Brother, but by Big Sister, Older Cousin, and the pervert with the hidden camera in the public pool bathrooms; it's a necessary slime unless you're going to let technology become a purely criminal domain.

     

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  88.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    Hold on, you think that government is the only entity spying on you?


    Nope, never said that. That others are spying as well isn't very relevant to this issue, though.

    it's a necessary slime unless you're going to let technology become a purely criminal domain.


    You'll have to explain your argument here, because on the face of it, what you're saying makes no sense.

     

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  89.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    *Is it any surprise that the governments would use a known effective method to create a safety program to combat crime using/developing technology that governments can't hope to fully understand?*

    This idea of mine didn't get fully fleshed out.

    My idea is that the government doesn't understand technology (perhaps due to the dinosaurs we keep electing) and crime fighting agencies don't either, which means we're playing catch-up. The worst part is we don't have qualified professionals with a goal or plan of action; we're just contracting companies to do it for us and hoping it works. However, nobody is going to approve ANOTHER tax to pay for the security the public so badly proclaims they need.

    Who knows, maybe we'll decide that safety isn't worth the price in money OR privacy.

     

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  90.  
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    PlayNicely, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The constitution is not a pet issue. It is the one thing every single citizen of a free society can agree on.

     

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  91.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    "You'll have to explain your argument here, because on the face of it, what you're saying makes no sense."

    I went into this a bit already with the other reply; but I will focus on this idea further.

    The growth of technology has created several parallel spaces of existence. This space has to be policed by someone, but just like the Wild West, the criminals find the soft spots first and we have to learn how to tame it so that it can be useful in more and better ways.

    We can't pull the plug on new spaces; and we can't simply choose not to interact with it or these spaces will become, not just unsafe, but a instantaneous conduit for criminals to plan, conduct, manipulate, and destroy as they see fit.

    Call it "spying" if you like, but these spaces must be policed.

    The government didn't collect the data you're so quick to blame the NSA for requesting and backing-up.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm curious what it is about Gary Johnson that would lead you to that conclusion. At a minimum he would have been a far better choice for the privacy vs. spying thing happening now.

     

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  93.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm curious what it is about Gary Johnson that would lead you to that conclusion


    Simply the fact that I disagree with his position on many issues that are important to me. On the whole, he is no better fit for me than any random Republican or Democrat.

    At a minimum he would have been a far better choice for the privacy vs. spying thing happening now.


    Perhaps so, but I'm not going to vote for a candidate on the basis of any single issue.

     

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  94.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    I think that's a false dichotomy. The choice isn't between "pulling the plug" and wholesale surveillance. If someone is suspected of committing a crime, then by all means surveil them. What we shouldn't do is proactively watch everybody on the off-chance that some people are committing crimes. This is the way it is (supposed to be) in real life. There is nothing so magical or unusual about the internet that requires that we give these principle up in that space.

    Call it "spying" if you like, but these spaces must be policed.


    Policing and spying are two different things. I'm talking about spying.

    The government didn't collect the data you're so quick to blame the NSA for requesting and backing-up


    Well, ignoring the fact that the government actually is collecting such data, my response to this is: so? Why is that relevant to what the government does?

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re:

    After extensive grilling by the police, the chicken was indicted on two counts of being in flagrante delicious, a crime punishable by a term of no less than a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.

     

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  96.  
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    Mike Raffety (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Least untruthful?

    Clapper lies, privacy dies.

     

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  97.  
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    Electrogasm (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    "The choice isn't between "pulling the plug" and wholesale surveillance. If someone is suspected of committing a crime, then by all means surveil them. What we shouldn't do is proactively watch everybody on the off-chance that some people are committing crimes. This is the way it is (supposed to be) in real life. There is nothing so magical or unusual about the internet that requires that we give these principle up in that space."

    I agree with you on most of this. We need to find the appropriate and/or acceptable level of surveillance.

    I disagree that the internet isn't different from physical space and that it can somehow be policed in the same ways. The policing tactics will have to be improved because the smartest guys in the IRC are working to destabilize the system in ways our government can't hope to figure out.

    Perhaps if you thought of the internet the same way you do a mini-mart/gas station with it's umpteen video cameras at several angles you could understand my point. If the only way to keep people in line is to watch them, then that's what you must do to stay in business; or the biz can shut down/move on. This is one example of my point was that we are being constantly watched by employers and businesses; the government has simply made it legal to review this previously viewed meta data.

    It is wrong to lie, but criminals rely on the transparency of government as much as it's law-abiding citizens do. I believe you had it right that he should have said he can't answer the question, rather than trying protect, placate, or dissemble. That being said, if he'd chosen not to answer the questions, we'd be in the exact same boat.

     

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  98.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, I'm sure you are correct, as none of these things are addressed in the constitution or the bill of rights and that certainly makes them a pet issue. /s
    - womens rights
    - right to a fair trial
    - rights of citizenship

    Health care and minimum wage are not specifically addressed, however they are addressed within laws passed by the legislative and executive branches whose authority to do so is derived from the constitution, which also makes them pet issues I suppose.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "School to prison is not. There's no appreciable difference between the two parties on this front"
    - There is a lot more support for privatizing prisons from the GOP & friends than their opponents.

    "Immigration is a fair point to an extent by which I mean what have the democrats accomplished in that regard so far? Nothing of which I'm aware"
    - Blaming one party for the obstructionism of the other party is hardly a valid argument.

    "Health care is a laughable addition to the list as there's significant difference between Romney and Obama over it."
    - I thought the OP argument was there is no difference, here you are making my point for me.

    "Minimum wage is a pet issue. It's a meaningless number that's trotted out every once in a while to gin up sympathy from the economic illiterate."
    - It is a well known fact the majority of the economy in this country is driven by consumer spending. Another well known fact is that the majority of consumers are middle class. One does not even need to have taken Econ 101 in order to understand that when the middle class is not spending, the economy is not thriving. Many good paying jobs have been lost and many of the "new" jobs (quantity is much less than that lost) do not pay near as well as before. This is to be expected when the economy is intentionally depressed for political gain. This is simple evidence based theory, I am surprised at the number of people who do not or refuse to understand it.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Point being that the core to which you refer is comprised, entirely, by a multitude of so called pet issues.

    The rest of your post seems to wander about and does not make much sense, perhaps you could elucidate.

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Judging from your diatribe, I suppose you support the American Taliban then.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And the problem of 'school to prison' is not privately run prisons.

    Who said anything about blaming Democrats for immigration? I know it's not his fault nothing has happened but the point being made was that if nothing happens his stance is irrelevant because the results are identical.

    Cute, ignore the point being made, that Obama and Romney have identical platforms on health care, in favor of a snide remark about an obvious omission. You got me, I didn't proof my internet comment and posted something without a negative. What does that accomplish exactly? It certainly doesn't make your point.

    What does any of that have to do with the minimum wage? Not a damn thing. Please stay on topic.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2013 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "What does any of that have to do with the minimum wage? Not a damn thing. Please stay on topic."

    Typically, if one were to give a millionaire++ extra money they would put it in savings, if one were to instead give that money to a middle to lower class person, they would spend it, not because they are frivolous but because they lack common things others take for granted - like food shelter and health care (not insurance - but health care). The above is based upon statistical fact, reported in many studies, reports, etc.

    Minimum wage is not enough today, it was barely enough in the past and has not kept up with inflation. If adjusted for inflation, (assuming the CPI is accurate which is debatable) the minimum wage would be a little more than ten dollars an hour. If it were increased, the economy would improve, more jobs would be created ... profit. Economic strife is not a pet issue when you are suffering because of it and it is especially despicable when its sole purpose is for political gain, revenge, or other sicko mental problem.

    Stay on topic? How is this not on topic. The economy is not a pet issue, it is part of the whole which constitutes the "problem" - which has always been there and is not going away with some magic wave of the hand.

    Everyone has their opinions and many spout them routinely without a hint of rational, data or evidence to back them up. How is the school to prison highway not influenced by for profit prisons? Recently a judge was sentenced to 28 years for taking bribes in return for sentencing juveniles to a private prison. States enter into contracts with private prisons which guarantee a certain level of inmates - backed by the tax payers of course. This is not a good idea for obvious reasons and certainly not within the realm of constitutional.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tin foil hats (because nothing is private)

    Perhaps if you thought of the internet the same way you do a mini-mart/gas station with it's umpteen video cameras at several angles you could understand my point.


    the internet isn't like a single store. The internet is more like an entire city. What's being done is the equivalent of putting GPS transponders on everyone in the city and cameras in every house.

    Should there be some servers (stores) that heavily monitor everyone who uses them? Perhaps. But that surveillance is done voluntarily by the people who are running the stores, and people who don't like the surveillance can avoid entering the stores. That's far less objectionable than what's being done on the internet.

    That being said, if he'd chosen not to answer the questions, we'd be in the exact same boat.


    Except that we'd have some indication that Clapper (and the NSA) was at least capable of honesty. Right now, we know the opposite.

     

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


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