from the from-the-senate-to-the-schoolyard dept
When Senator Feinstein tried to redefine "surveillance" while chastising the press over its NSA coverage, there was no good way to look at it. Either she was misinformed, lying, or being disingenuous about people's real concerns. Our most insightful comment of the week comes from our own Tim Cushing, making the simple point that the government is trying to eat its cake and deny its deliciousness too:
If metadata was as limited and harmless as Feinstein and others portray it, the NSA and FBI wouldn't be fighting so hard to keep it.
Of course, here at Techdirt, we're no strangers to people trolling the press. In fact, this week's second place spot goes to MrWilson for his response to the age-old tactic of the double standard:
I love the classic responses and hypocritical tactics.
If Mike asserts something, he should prove it. If you assert something, it's just obvious and anyone questioning you is clearly a "Techdirt fanboy." It's impossible to disagree with you without being a dirty pirate criminal because only dirty pirate criminals would disagree with someone who is so clearly right that they shouldn't even be questioned.
Of course we all know you won't actually manage to prove that the harm was irreparable. If high priced lawyers for the entertainment industry can't prove it in court, how will an internet troll whose just looking for attention going to come up with a logical and legally sound argument?
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with another response to Feinstein's statements, this time from an anonymous commenter who pointed out that we'd be happy to call the "surveillance program" what it really is:
Would she prefer "Illegal Spying Program"? I'm sure most of the media would quite obligingly switch to that.
Or how about "Fourth Amendment Violating Program"? I'm sure reporters would cheerfully use that instead as well.
Perhaps "Track everyone you called, when you called them, what locations the two of you were at at the time of the call, and how long you talked with them Program"?
Next, we take a quick break from NSA stuff for another anonymous commenter's thoughts on the students who were suspended for playing with Airsoft guns at home:
They are in fact learning an important life lesson. Government functionaries have a lot of power and wield it capriciously.
Over on the funny side, first place goes to That One Guy for correcting a correction to a mistake in Rep. Mike Rogers' title:
Actually I believe it should be 'Misrepresentative Rogers' to be totally accurate.
(If that joke sounds familiar, it's because the same joke made this list less than two months ago. It's well on its way to an-oldie-but-a-goodie status.)
Second place on the funny side goes to S. T. Stone for stepping in with assistance after the Brazilian president scathingly condemned NSA surveillance:
I believe Obama may need this:
For editor's choice on the funny side, the first spot goes to Michael for admitting that you almost have to admire James Clapper's audacious manipulation of the system:
Credit where credit is due. This guy is amazing! He spies on US citizens, lies to congress about it, lies directly to the American people, ADMITS he has been spying and lying - and ends up with the independent investigators WORKING OUT OF HIS OFFICES!
He is either the king of bulllshitting, or he has some very compromising pictures of both democratic and republican leaders.
I think he should be thrown in prison, but I'm not sure if it is because he is an awful individual or that I am just jealous.
And finally, because we've got a pattern forming, we'll take another break from the NSA to visit another reactionary public school. When a 7-year-old was suspended for bringing a novelty buzzing pen to school, one anonymous commenter offered the only conceivable defense for such lunacy:
The pen is mightier than the sword... maybe they have a case here.
And since we're on the subject of swords in schools, I'll end this post with a relevant screenshot from a recent episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, because if you're like me then that's what you've been thinking of (and giggling about) since reading that comment. See you next week folks!