Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the government-versus-the-governed dept
It's been another week full of much-deserved rebukes of the government, and that's hardly a surprise given some of the things politicians and officials have been saying. First place on the insightful side goes to silverscarcat, who responded to Obama's claim that there's no domestic spying program with an agreement of sorts:
We don't have a domestic spy program.
It's a GLOBAL spy program!
In second place, we've got DCX2 responding to Senator Feinstein's comments in a debate about a journalist shield law, which attempted to narrowly define "real" journalists as only those with salaries:
A little history lesson...
There was once a man, several hundred years ago. He drew his salary not through journalism, but as a customs agent (and occasionally he would help help design bridges, candles).
Then one day, he wrote a leaflet, and signed it anonymously. This leaflet was distributed widely.
According to Sen. Feinstein, this man, who did not draw a salary from journalism, did not deserve First Amendment protections for publishing his leaflet.
The man is Mr. Thomas Paine. The time was January, 1776. The leaflet was Common Sense.
And fortunately for us, Supreme Court precedent is on our side. From Lovell v. Griffin, (1938) Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote in the majority's unanimous opinion,
“The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our own history abundantly attest.”
For editor's choice, we've got another response to a comment from the President. This time it's an anonymous commenter taking on Obama's plan to improve "public confidence" in the FISA court:
Here's a thought
You could improve "public confidence" in your secret court that handles secret laws for your secret police force
by not having a secret court that rules on secret laws for your secret police force
what an idea
And, last up on the insightful side, we've got another anonymous commenter pointing out that nefarious edits to Ed Snowden's Wikipedia page made from a Senate IP address just highlight the wisdom of his decision to flee:
If this is true, it certainly cements the type of "fair trial" he'd be getting, if he had turned himself in.
Thanks again Congress for proving what most of us already knew!
Your incompetence is only shadowed by your arrogance.
Over on the funny side, first place goes to one of the shortest winners ever. When we discussed the fact that the government's war on hackers is backfiring by making hackers not want to work for them, S. T. Stone offered a joke that, presumably, nobody working for the government understands:
In second place, we've got a pretty excellent comeback from an anonymous commenter, responding to Michael Hayden's insulting claim that transparency activists are "twentysomethings who haven't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years":
Bold words from a man who hasn't had an erection in decades.
For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from Skeptical Cynic, responding to the House Intelligence Committee's threats to Rep. Grayson for informing other reps about leaked NSA docs:
In other headlines...
House Intelligence Committee threatens member with sanctions for providing intelligence to the House Committee that oversees Intelligence.
House Intelligence Committee denies having any intelligence on recently reported stories about the recent lack of oversight on Intelligence.
And, finally, we'll bring in one comment that isn't a response to government shenanigans. As a huge fan of animation myself, when the PTC complained about the new late-night cartoon ADHD, I had the very same thought as Michael did, and gave thanks to the busybodies:
Thank goodness the PTC is complaining about this.
If they hadn't, I may not have ever heard about it. Setting my DVR now...
(So far, I'm hearing mixed reviews.)
That's all for this week folks!