Trading Lives For Freedom Is The American Way

from the the-balance-sheet dept

As the national discussion about the NSA's secret domestic spying program rolls along, revelation has given way to a vast splintering of argument. By that I mean, the shock of the discovery has since devolved into various discussions about whether the program was needed, what checks and balances oversee it, and how effective it has been. Case in point, the NSA sent Keith Alexander to the Hill with claims that fifty terrorist plots have been thwarted by the program, arguing that keeping Americans safe and alive is all the justification needed for such an endeavor. As some have noted, this is a clear attempt to shift the argument from one of principal to an actuarial one.

Alexander and other witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee made sure to highlight key details of these foiled attacks. Understandably so: The more we focus on the program's successes, the less harshly we might be inclined to judge its alleged excesses. But what exactly is the tradeoff being made here, and how do these revelations address concerns about the potential for NSA over-spying?
That is indeed the question, is it not? Particularly in light of President Obama's assertion that any over-spying in question would be deemed illegal by the government. The same government, mind you, that is committing the illegal acts themselves under the purview of a secretive agency, discussed in secretive committees, and codified by a secretive court. That's the kind of oversight one might call Stalin-esque. As the National Journal rightly continues:
That any abuse of the system would be treated after the fact as a crime doesn't do anything to assuage Americans worrying that the crime is possible in the first place. It's also not outrageous to say, as my colleague Conor Friedersdorf does, that the tradeoff we've made between liberty and security is out of balance, and that maybe we've let our fear of terrorism get the better of us.
Except that statement is lacking. We're still functioning on a balance sheet, where the concern is how much freedom we're abdicating for security, rather than if we're abdicating any at all. It's a losing argument that leaves the tyrannical door open to feature creep, secrecy without oversight, and a patient stalking of public apathy. The fact of the matter is that the basic concepts of freedom cannot be done half way. This isn't a call for anarchy. We do have certain fundamental rights codified by one of the most ingenious documents ever devised and any creep against them is an afront to what generations long past did for us today.

I would argue that what's needed, instead of the wishy washy arguments for the balance sheet, is for a more frank, stark, and even frightening position to be taken. One of the most under-quoted lines from Thomas Jefferson is:
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
Were there a more apt counter-example of Jefferson's concept of liberty than the NSA's domestic spying program, it would involve actual weaponry. His words come from a time when our leaders were brave. They say, essentially, that no quarter will be given to the shaving of liberty under guise of legal justification. I would add to Jefferson's quotation only that the limits of justification should also be ignored.

So, with that, I would suggest the more extreme position we should all be taking is simply that we're willing to accept fear, injury, and even death at the hands of enemies in exchange for the return of our freedom. While I happen to think the threat of international terrorism is real but overblown, I would be willing to accept that same trade were it not overblown. I'm willing to state for the record that it is not only my life I'm willing to trade for freedom from intrusive government, but on principal I would have to accept the loss of safety to my family's lives, my friend's lives, and all of yours as well. "Give me liberty of give me death", as Patrick Henry famously said, but it apparently needs to be repeated. This isn't some silly call to armed revolution, of course, only a willingness, nay, an eagerness to prefer dangerous liberty over safety in the arms of government intrusion.



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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    F***ing-A! Thank you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    Bravo, Sir!

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    "They who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security"

    Can we get an auto fill for this quote as I can see it being used a lot before this is all said and done?

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    As all things have a price so does Liberty

    The problem is that people fail to see the cost of giving up that Liberty for an unaccountable, indeterminable, and vaguely defined Safety.

    The government does a great job of creating new and better reasons for what they do to protect us but never really define or state what we lose in return. And people accept that.

    You would never go to the store and them say give me $25 for this product you need to help you keep your family safe and then not know what the product is or does. So the converse should not be acceptable either. You should not have to give up an undetermined amount of liberty or freedom to get an undetermined amount of safety.

    Paying for safety with the currency of your freedom and liberty means at the very least you should be able to determine what you are getting for what you give it up.

    But as Timothy said there is no way to determine that and so in the end we can only protect our Liberty by not allowing vague reasons like safety to take some it from us.

     

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    Brett, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Well said. +1

     

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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    What about, "Give me liberty or give me death"? That seems to have been totally forgotten, and certainly foregoes the balance sheet.

    They said it all the time when I was a kid growing up in the '70s, and even paraphrased it in Scooby Doo, with Shaggy stating, "Give me liberty or give me pizza-pie!".

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Whew. I was starting to feel very, very alone.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    "This isn't some silly call to armed revolution, of course, only a willingness, nay, an eagerness to prefer dangerous liberty over safety in the arms of government intrusion. "

    Except you're not safe then. Sure, let's give them the benefit of the argument, you're safe from mad Al'Qaeda terrorists who want to explode bombs in the middle of a shopping mall.
    But that's not the only threat. What about the threat from the US government itself? What stops it from harvesting all info everywhere? Since as we've seen there is basically no oversight, what with the head of the NSA lying to the guys he's supposed to report to, what's stopping an NSA agent from looking up the phone number of that neighbour he hates from next door, finding out he makes a lot of phone sex chat line calls and using that information to make the neighbour's life miserable? Or even worse, the NSA agent just looks up the information on a politician's phones, sees that they were used to call questionable numbers. What's protecting the foreigners who use mainly US based internet services (like Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, Skype etc, all of which are based in the US). Where's our protections? Where's our rights? What if I, an Irishman with no rights under the US Constitution, send an email through hotmail, it gets flagged and suddenly I find myself on a no-fly list and I can't enter the US on holiday?

    No, protecting us from "terrorists" is not enough. There's more to terrorists than just the guys who like to blow up things. There's the terrorists who want people to live in such fear every day that they censor themselves, double check before opening their mouths whether what they or who they talk to might get them in trouble. That is the terrorist I am more concerned of, and that I want to be protected from.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    think about what is needed before anything else, before any action is taken and that is who is behind this global fear? it seems that every country that is ranked as an ally of the USA is going down the same road, putting into practice the same rules and taking away the same rights from everyone. that cannot be a coincidence. someone has to be at the head of the table, ladling out the 'we must stop terrorism at all costs' soup! and whoever it is has managed to infect leaders everywhere with the same feeling and the same thoughts! if we are not very careful, we are going to be in a situation that has been avoided for many years, a situation that if it manifests, is going to do so much damage, looking to find other civilisations, other planets to inhabit, not to share knowledge but to be able to carry on our species.
    sounds ridiculous eh? even Russia are going down the same road now, as, i am sure will Iran, now there is a more 'moderate' guy in control. from what i have read in the history books, what is going on today is very similar to what happened in Germany in the1930s'. we all know how that ended. i hope this is ended before it gets that far. and an even bigger laugh, think back to what started all this and it wasn't 9/11 either!!

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    The same philosophy applies very much to domestic law enforcement too. A society built on liberty can never be a society where crime is impossible -- it has to aim for the much more difficult, and ultimately much more rewarding, ideal of a society where crime is possible, even easy, but still rare. Moreover, while the core punishment in a free society can be a loss of your freedom, that should be extended only as far as is just, not used as a bludgeon and a threat with zero tolerance policies and three strikes programs to the point that even minor crimes can mean a near-total sacrifice of citizenship.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re:

    Give me liberty or give me a sponge bath.

    That's enough to scare any politician into giving me liberty.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Land of the Safe, and Home of the Terribly Cautious.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    Indeed! Very well stated.

     

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    rw (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    Here! Here!

    I don't think anyone could have said it any better. Our government is becoming worse than anything it is supposedly fighting.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Reversal

    Of course - whilst trading real freedom for spurious safety at home they were happy to give up safety for the citizens of Iraq in the cause of a "liberty" that has yet to be achieved. The same is true to a greater or lesser extent in many other countries of the world.

    The reality is that this is actually driven by the need politicians feel to be seen to be doing something.

    At home they achieve it by sacrificing freedom in the cause of marginal improvements in safety.

    Overseas the need to be seen to be acting decisively takes the forms of military expeditions that cost many lives in the hope of achieving "liberty" which never really seems to be realised.

    What we need is a government that is biased towards inaction!

     

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    Nick (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Now, I've always been willing to claim I'd rather have more "terrorism" a we've had in the past than all of the surveillance, protection, security, and safety we've gained since 9/11. And to find out that we've had even less freedom than I thought we did in the discovery of these secret programs just tells me we're even further over my limit.

    But I always have to take a step back and wonder if I am so willing to ask his because it would never happen. Utah is not exactly a major target, aside from a fairly major military base or two, but those are miles away, so only extremely major attacks would affect me.

    I an be generous all I want if it won't happen, I suppose. Won't make it any braver.

     

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    cyc10p5 (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Fail....

    Osama bin Laden might be dead but he still won the war...

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Debbie Downer

    What about, "Give me liberty or give me death"? That seems to have been totally forgotten, and certainly foregoes the balance sheet.

    There's a reason why... No matter how much we look to the Founding Fathers for guidance in these matters, no matter how much they fought for their own freedoms from British imperialism, you have to remember that they were flawed.

    Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were indeed the worst.

    I used to like TJ a lot so I'll start with him. The fact is that if you ever read about Thomas Jefferson, you remember that he wrote in the Declaration that "All men are created equal".

    He didn't care much for his slaves, where he had a total of 140 of them to take care of him after his presidency. He had a chance to free his slaves and he balked. Sure, he used pseudo-science for his bigotry, but it didn't stop him from figuring out that for each slave he had, his earnings accrued 4% interest every year. All men were created equal until it came to the ones working for him.

    And then you have Patrick Henry. I would spit on his grave. He was a Framer of the Constitution that specifically asked James Madison to change the Second Amendment so that they could keep the business model of slavery. He fought hard with Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear to ensure that the people that made the least amount of money in the country were kept as the most destitute, which affected our history for generations. Patrick Henry was the libertarian of his day and he absolutely pushed for the 3/5th Compromise in the Constitution and an Electoral College along with a bicameral court that allows for political inequality in our legislative branch. From those inequalities, we've lost our economic equality. The public has little access to the Courts, the president, or their own legislators. And I blame people like Patrick Henry, who argued (beautifully) that they needed guns to force "their property" to behave.

    If I talk about Founders or Framers, I'd rather talk about George Washington who wanted nothing more than to see America succeed. I liked James Madison who figured out the problems of our inherently bad voting system and hoped that we wouldn't form factions (although later on he would be more supportive of democratic institutions).

    But Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry shouldn't be studied (imo) unless you want to see the duplicity of actions that comes from people that believe in civil rights for themselves but not for others based on their skin and how much money they make off a business model.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    school's out for summer ! ! !

    i prefer having principles to having principals...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Debbie Downer

    @But Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry shouldn't be studied (imo) unless you want to see the duplicity of actions that comes from people that believe in civil rights for themselves but not for others based on their skin and how much money they make off a business model.

    Is there something about their beliefs that make those beliefs apply only in the slavery context? Or are you just hating people who were successful (I guess...?) slave owners for something entirely disconnected from slavery?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Debbie Downer

    "I used to like TJ a lot so I'll start with him. The fact is that if you ever read about Thomas Jefferson, you remember that he wrote in the Declaration that "All men are created equal"."

    Yes, you cannot deal with Jefferson without dealing with his hypocrisy concerning slavery. That he actually was in favor of abolishing slavery in the Constitution doesn't absolve him of owning slaves himself. With that said, writing off the rest of his accomplishments is a stunning act of stupidity. The man was a brilliant lawyer, doubled the land area of the United States in the space of one day, was a botanist, politician, laid siege to Tripoli, and most importantly was the co-author of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, the very basis for the 1st Amendment. It's the very basis for the most important freedoms this country affords.

    As for Patrick Henry, his quote seemed apt regardless of his more checkered backstory....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 3:03pm

    Your sons and daughters will pay in blood, for the mistake of giving up freedom for security.

    America fought bloody wars for freedom, the price was always high and the objective was always the same, freedom, it was worth it for our elders to give their life for that single idea, it underpins everything we are today and there was a reason.

    I would die for freedom, I will defend it with my life and if a thousand standing side by side with me need to die so the others can have it, it would still be worth it.

    Terrorists can't take that away, only a man who has given up on it can.

    Soon this protection apparatus will become a tool for oppression, it happened every single time, that power is to great to be given to anyone let alone a government that repeatedly has proved that it will abuse it.

    In extraordinary times that may have been acceptable for a short period of time, not as the new normal, it will get abused, you all know that right? right?

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    With that said, writing off the rest of his accomplishments is a stunning act of stupidity.

    I'm not. Really, it's not like I'm just saying he isn't above criticism but this:

    The man was a brilliant lawyer, doubled the land area of the United States in the space of one day, was a botanist, politician, laid siege to Tripoli, and most importantly was the co-author of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, the very basis for the 1st Amendment.

    ... Should be considered in the context of the irony of him buying all the land. He didn't. It fell in his lap because he didn't want to help out Haiti.

    In 1801, Jefferson became the third President of the United States – and his interests at least temporarily aligned with Napoleon’s. The French dictator wanted to restore French control of St. Domingue and Jefferson wanted to see the slave rebellion crushed. President Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison collaborated with Napoleon through secret diplomatic channels. Napoleon asked Jefferson if the United States would help a French army traveling by sea to St. Domingue. Jefferson replied that “nothing will be easier than to furnish your army and fleet with everything and reduce Toussaint [L’Ouverture] to starvation.”

    But Napoleon had a secret second phase of his plan that he didn’t share with Jefferson. Once the French army had subdued L’Ouverture and his rebel force, Napoleon intended to advance to the North American mainland, basing a new French empire in New Orleans and settling the vast territory west of the Mississippi River.


    ...

    By 1803, a frustrated Napoleon – denied his foothold in the New World – agreed to sell New Orleans and the Louisiana territories to Jefferson, a negotiation handled by Madison that ironically required just the sort of expansive interpretation of federal powers that the Jeffersonians ordinarily disdained. However, a greater irony was that the Louisiana Purchase, which opened the heart of the present United States to American settlement and is regarded as possibly Jefferson’s greatest achievement as president, had been made possible despite Jefferson’s misguided – and racist – collaboration with Napoleon.

    In short, I don't discredit Jefferson or his accomplishments. I just want it to be understood that he was indeed flawed and I'd argue that Madison is a better person to study based on how he actually wanted a better democratic republic.

    Hell, I still acknowledge Alexander Hamilton for his 11 point plan which George Washington implemented. I don't agree with everything he did (calling Aaron Burr names was a bad idea...) but they did a lot to get the first democratic experiment working.

    They've done a lot but they had their own issues that have had consequences which is what I want to point out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    But what exactly is the tradeoff being made here, and how do these revelations address concerns about the potential for NSA over-spying?

    The simple fact is that the people who founded this country in 1776 considered this sort of trade-off simply unacceptable, otherwise we would still be part of England. Therefore it is my firm opinion that anyone who thinks this sort of behavior IS acceptable should therefore immediately renounce their American citizenship and go become a British citizen (or whatever other nationality they might prefer).

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    Is there something about their beliefs that make those beliefs apply only in the slavery context?

    Slavery was the civil rights issue of the day and it has been handled pretty badly for the past 300 years. I feel that people have to recognize that both of these Founders (or in Henry's context a Framer) weren't very good on the civil rights issues of their day. They failed based on their own personal beliefs. I know that both have people that idolize them but the thing is... Their choices in who could appeal to the government had consequences that we're still facing to this day.

    I appreciate TJ for what he's done for copyrights and patents. But having to study what he's done, it hurts sometimes when I have to look at his dark side and recognize that this was the same person.

    This is the same man that felt that the Alien Sedition Acts were not fit for the public (it was the Patriot Act of the day) and helped the country to flourish. But every time it came to the civil rights of the weakest and most vulnerable people, he balked.

    When his friend died, giving him a chance to free his slaves and mistress, he didn't. In April of 1820, he wrote a letter to John Holmes of Massachusetts predicting the Civil War. He had a LONG time to reflect on this. One of his black slaves had tried to run away three times. His mistress was under his care until he died. He'd been a king in America while alive.

    But his actions had consequences. The slaves were separated upon his death. Before the 1800s, he fought for slaves, then he did little for them. His silence on the Declaration that "All men are equal" has little meaning with those who were born with darker skin.

    That's the dark side we have to understand in order that we don't repeat the same mistakes in the future.

     

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    mikemcginn (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    Trading Lives For Freedom Is The American Way

    My brother was one of the firefighters killed on 9/11, his birthday was on 6/18. Because of that people assume that I am in favor of this kind of NSA spying crap. I am not.

    My brother was a brave man. I will put his bravery up against cowards like Bush, Cheney or Obama any day. Blanket warrants are supposed to be forbidden by the Fourth Amendment. Period. This is illegal no matter what they say - even if they have the "warrant". I warrant to collect all metadata and all internet traffic is like a warrant to search every home in Brooklyn because a candy bar is missing.

    Mike McGinn
    Monroe,, New York.
    F**K the NSA pussies!

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    Everyone has flaws. Granted owning slaves is a pretty big one, but in the context of the times they lived in, it's hardly a mortal sin.

    Someday history may judge Lincoln, FDR, Reagan, and whoever else you want to throw in there, harshly if it comes out that they were "homophobes." (I hate that word. It'd be like calling racists "xenophobes." While the two aren't mutually exclusive, they aren't the same thing. /digression) That shouldn't take away from their accomplishments. Do you want to bring up Kennedy's infidelity every time someone mentions something good he did?

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Re:

    Ditto. Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Unfortunatly we do seem to be the vast minority though.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    "People should not fear their government. Government should fear the people."
    ~V

     

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    McCrea (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    antiquated morals

    Yea, well no one's going to jump on the "give me death" bandwagon. They'd have to skip Zumba.

     

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    Dementia (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 5:43pm

    Re: antiquated morals

    You might be surprised.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    Do you want to bring up Kennedy's infidelity every time someone mentions something good he did?

    No offense, but that's what essentially brought down Clinton even though his accusers were doing the same thing.

    We've lost a lot of progress based on morality points...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 7:37pm

    I'm laughing at all of you douches as I recall all of your cries of "Information wants to be free". At least the Bush and Obama administrations agreed with you. You ridicule laws designed to protect intellectual property and routinely violate them- while somehow thinking that laws will contain the gathering and aggregation of your data should be enforced, if not be sacrosanct. What a bunch of hypocritical losers.

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    You ridicule laws designed to protect intellectual property and routinely violate them- while somehow thinking that laws will contain the gathering and aggregation of your data should be enforced, if not be sacrosanct.

    I think I would be less afraid if all the data gathered by the NSA were to get publicized than were it stowed in the hands of an agency that regards us as the enemy.

    Not the preferred position, but if we were all naked and outed, that would be tolerable than just those who are culled out by a secret police.

    So it is with the surveillance that we are under these days: street-corner cameras should be public access, and if that causes problems, maybe we should have that street-corner camera.

     

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    ScytheNoire, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 10:24pm

    The terrorists (if you believe in them, I don't) won because America gave up freedom for imaginary security.

    The only real terrorists though are the governments that are out of control and attacking their own people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 10:57pm

    Meh...

    Now that I face the choice myself...

    Screw it...

    Give me a family, a job, a hot wife, and a long boring life.

    Get the horrible shit off the internet and exchange liberty for tolerance.

    Doesn't matter for me of course. They are already going to kill me. Tolerance for your fellow man is more important than temporary liberty.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2013 @ 3:23am

    This article pretty much sums up how I feel too. I'd rather have my freedom than live safely in oppression.

     

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    rawcookie (profile), Jun 22nd, 2013 @ 10:12am

    It looks like we are becoming the land of the fee and the home of the slave.

     

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    Anonymous, Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    Kinda like that T-shirt that says, "What about all the GOOD things Hitler did?".

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 11:19am

    As all things have a price so does Liberty

    The problem is that people fail to see the cost of giving up that Liberty for an unaccountable, indeterminable, and vaguely defined Safety.

    Those friends of mine who don't keep up on this don't recognize the problem, and I think they just won't until people they know start disappearing or getting arrested.

    It's like gay equality, it doesn't matter to most until they realize how many gay friends they actually have.

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Home of the slave.

    We've always had a system that exploited cheap labor, whether the slaves we bought from Africa, fresh immigrants, child workers, illegal (undocumented) immigrants, and now we just export our work abroad to be done there.

    America has always been carried on the backs of those too weak to fight for their own equality, and when they finally establish their place and muster the leverage to fight back, we move on to find another labor source.

    The amusing thing is that every time we've had a labor source fall out from under us, we'd have a revolution of industrial inventions to automate some of the crapwork, so our dependence on slaves is just slowing the robotic revolution.

    And I suppose, the resulting cybernetic revolt.

     

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

  42.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 24th, 2013 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    Oh yes, remind me how Clinton was 'brought down' out of office before his time, or how despite huge amounts of muckracking by desperate Republican opponents (such as the uber-hypocrite Newt) that was the worst they could hold against him, or how unpopular Clinton isn't right now...

     

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

  43.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 24th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Debbie Downer

    That's rather unfair. Hitler did particularly monstrous things that were on a scale unheard of before (since the Middle Ages, anyway). Jefferson was mainly (and definitely) guilty of being like most other landowners of his time, in many countries and therefore somewhat hypocritical. Now, if Jefferson had mass-murdered slaves, you might have a point.

     

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

  44.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 24th, 2013 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    I have lived with the actual risk of terrorism (IRA-based, as sponsored by the US), and no, it's not worth giving up liberties for. Even the UK police did not start arming up masively in public places until after 9/11, even after numerous atrocities on mainland Britain, including bombing a hotel and mortaring Downing Street.

     

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


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