Thursday, June 06, 2013


If you look up "Ed Morrissey" (of Hot Air) and "surveillance" on Google, here are the first two hits you get. First, from Morrissey today on the NSA/PRISM news:
Contra the training materials, this is very much something to worry about — especially for the Obama administration... 
...This means that the NSA and FBI have access to communications of the legislative and judicial branches — at least those that go through public servers, no? Maybe Congress would like to invite Eric Holder up for another session really soon. They’d better send it by carrier pigeon...
And Morrissey from January 2009:
Hmmm. This should really enrage the Left. The FISA court will make public a ruling that validates George Bush’s warrantless surveillance on international communications, including those with one terminus in the United States... 
In the end, though, the biggest beneficiary should be George Bush. He has been unfairly castigated as some sort of fascist for using the power he already had available to track terrorist communications and keep this nation safe. Plenty of people owe him a big apology — and the New York Times and Eric Lichtblau are first in line.
FISA's word was good enough for Morrissey once upon a time. What turned him around, I wonder?

In another recent item Morrissey puts on the doe-eyes and the peace button and says, "Perhaps this will move this issue out of the partisan sphere and into a common ground in which we can all work to define exactly how far we’re willing to go in trading privacy for security." Pfffft. Morrissey, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Jonah Goldberg, and all those guys who were wondering what our problem was when we complained about this shit years ago will do everything they can for civil liberties now short of calling for the end of any of the legislation that makes this panopticon possible. Laura Ingraham says maybe she was hasty about the Patriot Act -- live and learn, right? -- but I expect she'll get with the Jim Sensenbrenner position, which is that the Act cannot fail, it can only be failed by unscrupulous liberals pretending to be interested in national security.

All honor and credit to Glenn Greenwald for unearthing this outrage, but frankly I assumed they were doing this already. Scott McNealy -- well, I was going to say warned, but actually he was just notifying us years ago, and since then the journalists have just been catching up. I'd like to roll it all back, and in the past I've been guardedly optimistic about left and right coming together on these issues. But since the brethren started really pushing fake scandals, I can't see anything going on in their heads except some animal drive to stir shit sufficiently that when they put another of their mooks up there to say "so much promise, to no great purpose" -- and then tell us how Kathleen Sebelius tried to kill a widdle girl -- people might buy it, and then they can start looting the treasury and taking axes to the safety net. Again.

I despair of fixing some things, but I'd like to keep them from making more of a shithole of the place than it already is.

UPDATE. Here's another good one. The Anchoress, today:
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984 
Just some stuff to think about as we digest all of this breaking news about what the government knows and when it knows it, how it gets it and where it stores it. And how ubiquitous is the case (tracking credit cards, too?).
Also, dark references to The Lives of Others and Teddy Kennedy. Compare and contrast: The Anchoress, August 2006, defending what the Wall Street Journal called "policies many American liberals oppose," including "monitoring some communications outside the context of a law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," torture and ethnic profiling:
Oh, wait…we’re not seeing attacks every 18 months, anymore - are we? In fact…it looks like President Bush’s terrible policies helped foil this latest attempt, despite the best efforts by the NY Times and others to cripple necessary programs... 
I keep remembering Harry Reid crowing, “we killed the Patriot Act.” 
There is a time to be a child, to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. Then there is a time to put childish things away. If you want to disagree with policies meant to keep you safe, do it. If you want to hate a man or even a movement, do it…but do it with something that goes beyond adolescent spouting off, backed up by nothing more than “feelings,” “caring,” and hysterical, dramatic angst. Sometimes I read the drivel some of you folks write me, and I want to take you by the shoulders and shake you and say, “grow up. Grow UP!
Looks like Thee Anch has grown right up to the Obama-is-the-Stasi stage of development. I can probably fill this week's whole column with this shit.

UPDATE 2. Here's a cowboy who thinks "GOP should lead fight against the Patriot Act," and invites us to "Imagine this scenario: three Republicans senators -- obviously, the mostly likely candidates being Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul -- craft a bill that would repeal, or far more likely roll back certain provisions of the Patriot Act..." Sorry, if I'm going to stretch my fantasy muscles that far, I'd rather focus on Dita Von Teese.

UPDATE 3. In comments, mortimer is already doing some research for me. Thanks, citizen journamalist!


  1. I've been guardedly optimistic about left and right coming together on these issues.

    It won't happen. Nor will the teabags ever agree with The Left on cutting down on welfare for banks and other big corporations. Perhaps it is something in their genes.

  2. GregMc11:24 PM

    As far as I can tell, the only good thing to come out of situations like this is the following: the abrupt and enthusiastic shift in positions makes reading 1984 all the more rewarding. Clearly, there are people who are prepared to be for and/or against whatever they need to be at any given point.

    If this had come out during the Romney preznincy, they'd be calling for the Verizon logo to be carved into Mt Rushmore.

  3. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard12:05 AM

    Meanwhile, an even dumber right-winger than Ed Morrissey (the Pope of Dope) had this to say:

    It's an amazing thing to witness how liberals do a complete 180 on their core beliefs when a Democrat president is in office.

    Funny, I wasn't cool with warrantless wiretapping then, and I'm not cool with it now. I wonder why the wingnuts are doing a complete 180 on this.

  4. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard12:29 AM

    The baggers would have had no problem with Mitt pulling this shit. Lindsey Graham came out (heh) in favor of it. After they bitch about Holder and the Kenyan Usurper, they'll hear about some scary m00slim being wiretapped and the cheering will resume.

  5. JennOfArk12:49 AM the past I've been guardedly optimistic about left and right coming together on these issues.
    If the right's hysterics over Benghazi teaches us nothing else, it's that they are completely capable of swallowing the camel while straining at the gnat. To wit: for 10 months both George W Bush and virtually every member of his administration bald-faced lied, repeatedly, about having "no warning" about 9/11. When it was revealed in May of 2002 that Bush had gotten a PDB entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" in August 2001, remember all the calls for his resignation or impeachment on the right?
    Yeah, neither do I.

  6. Provider_UNE2:02 AM

    FISA's word was good enough for Morrissey once upon a time. What turned him around, I wonder?

    I apologize in advance, but I must. The longest shorter answer is rendered thusly:

    Nig, nig,nig,nig, DemonCrat, nig, nig. Nig, nig,nig,nig, DemonCrat, nig, nig. Nig, nig,nig,nig, DemonCrat, nig, nig. Nig, nig,nig,nig, DemonCrat, nig, nig.
    Nig, nig,nig,nig, DemonCrat, nig, nig. Nig, nig,nig,nig, DemonCrat, nig, nig.

    And on and on, ad infinitum.

  7. Provider_UNE2:36 AM

    I wonder why the wingnuts are doing a complete 180 on this.

    B^4 You know that I know this to be a question rhetorical, but I have this ten foot pole, see, and am compelled to occasionally use it to poke at stuff,,,

    I think I answered that question in a prior comment. However, leaving the RINO's skin colour out of the equation one could theoretically image a fevered head ruled primarily by the medulla chanting:

    Demoncrat, demoncrat, Rino's away!

    Demoncrat, demoncrat, Rino's away!

    Try as I may to embrace subtlety, I keep finding a stray cinder block and find the compulsion to heave it towards a plate glass window, beyond my control.

    Throw a nig/evil genius/incompetent buffoon in the mix and after your head has finished spinning you have pretty much entered the realm of conservative/authoritarian cognitive dissonance.

  8. Provider_UNE2:47 AM

    I think that the swallowing of the camel image should include the swallowing of the needle through which eye it walked. I still haven't worked out the detail, but picture in my mind (in Warner Bros fashion) a camel shaped lump somewhere in a neck distended by something resembling (in stature) a redwood freshly harvested.

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  10. Glock H. Palin, Esq.3:25 AM

    I really wish one of the "reporters" would turn to one of the republicans beating their breast and rending their clothes and wailing about the phantoms of lost liberty and say "Okay, so what do you propose to do about it? What legislation are you drafting to reign in executive power?".

  11. Spot on. Remember back when liberals said things like, 'Look, we know you're gung-ho for Bush, but do you really want, say, Hillary Clinton to have this power? A Democrat will be elected president at some point.' This is why we can't have nice things as a country; even when the negative consequences of their stances are explicitly pointed out to conservatives, they ignore them, out of spiteful glee or sheer dumbfuckery.

  12. Well, to be fair, 9/11, like Watergate, and Iran-Contra, was no Benghazi. Or IRS. Or Dijon mustard. Or arugula. Or birth certificate. Or Frost family granite countertops. Or Whitewater. Or Vince Foster murder. Or terror babies. Or "Whitey" tape. Or [every scandal Roy has ever documented]. Or...

  13. Hey, Rand Paul will introduce a law making it illegal to spy on him in his hot tub.

    (Or why not an actual de jure IOKIYAR rule? It would save so much time!)

  14. nanute6:05 AM

    This is going to be fun to watch. We're likely to see some wingnut head explosions once the likes of Issa try to hold hearings on the matter. The AG or any justice department official can just tell them to go pound salt. "It's legal, you morons legislated it; go fuck yourself." Seriously though, what does NSA do with all that metadata? The information apparently has no real time security value. Right?

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  18. Provider_UNE6:20 AM

    I, for one, remember suggesting the Hillary PowerGrabylonion style possibilities on a number of occasions myself but the heathens don't listen to reason.

  19. Gocap6:30 AM

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  20. BigHank537:07 AM

    Traffic analysis is its own special field. As an example, if you had the sales records for all the pizza places in Ft. Meade, Maryland going back a couple years, you'd probably be able to figure out when a lot of people at the NSA were working late. You might not know what they were working on, but the next time there was a big spike of orders on a Tuesday night...

  21. BigHank537:17 AM

    Roy, these people are so fucking lazy they've even outsourced their thinking. If it makes a liberal unhappy, it's all good. They think repealing environmental regulations will give them $2.59 gas again. They think destroying unions will give them $45,000 salaries. They'd drown spotted owls if it made Jane Fonda cry. They've learned their lesson from Clinton's triangulation, and now oppose any idea that Obama endorses, no matter who came up with it.

    They don't care how deep the shit gets as long as it's deeper on your end, because spite is the only emotion they're capable of feeling.

  22. Folks have long argued that organized sports are a metaphor for real life struggles, but in a pathetic reversal Real Life has become a metaphor for sports (in modern America leastways) .

    Yah Yah--our team wins through cunning, skill, and superior planning, while your team wins by cheating. Let's set some cars on fire and run rampant through the streets.

  23. Derelict8:05 AM

    As much as it saddens me to type this, it has been clear for the last three decades that the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights (except the Sacred Second Amendment) have all been rendered meaningless.

    Any citizen can how be scooped up by the authorities, held without charge or trial, without access to a lawyer, without ever being allowed to see the evidence that was obtained in secret. And that citizen can be tortured and summarily executed by the order of the executive.

    I do not understand how anyone calling themself American can support these things.

  24. lawguy8:23 AM

    Well, if I remember correctly and it was so long ago that I probably am confused, wasn't the older marathon bomber on some extremely comprehensive watch list?

    That is the only thing that gives me any hope: That their damned information will choke them.

  25. gocart mozart8:52 AM

    It should also be pointed out that Bush was going behind the back of the FISA Court with illegal warrantless wiretaps. Even though the FISA Court is a rubber stamp court that approves 99.9% of all warrants, Bush thought that was too restrictive. I wonder why.

    This law has been on the books since the late 70's at was meant to be an improvement over the previous "anything goes" regime. The law is at least arguably unconstitutional and I think it should be changed and reigned in but Obama is at least following the law as it currently is.

  26. gocart mozart8:58 AM

    Who is the Pope of Dope? Rush?

  27. gocart mozart9:00 AM

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  31. but Obama is at least following the law as it currently is.

    Yup. Marcy emptywheel Wheeler is predictably (and understandably) furious with the Obama administration, but even she had to take time to point out what a titanic lying shitweasel James Sensenbrenner is. (Summary: "I am stunned that this President is using powers that I personally inserted into the amended FISA, yet have never heard of until today. Here's a doctored quote from an Acting Assistant AG so I can pretend to have never been briefed." Shorter Summary: "Uppity!")

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  38. glennisw10:06 AM

    "Imagine this scenario: three Republicans senators -- obviously, the
    mostly likely candidates being Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul -- craft
    a bill that would repeal, or far more likely roll back certain
    provisions of the Patriot Act..."

    Nope, too far-fetched.

  39. "Imagine this scenario: three Republicans senators -- obviously, the mostly likely candidates being Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul -- craft
    a bill that would repeal, or far more likely roll back certain
    provisions of the Patriot Act..."

    Actually, I could foresee something like this happening, no Dita Von Teese necessary (though obviously welcome). Craft a bill which boils down to "Democratic presidents aren't allowed to do that" (Sensenbrenner is presumably already working on the House version). Get Ted Cruz on board by telling him that it's a way to humiliate that DiFi biddy who dressed him down for being a fucking imbecilic asshole again.

  40. Kurzleg10:18 AM

    Probably the most disappointing thing about these recent revelations is that neither political party walks away from this stuff unscathed. I have to believe that whether or not we admit it we all feel disappointment that our chosen party has allowed all of this to happen. Worse, there sure doesn't seem like any way - let alone an easy one - to roll back what's now in place.

  41. Kurzleg10:22 AM

    I could see it happening too, which is even more depressing. Not that policy has ever been a Republican strong point, but legislation is now used not to address actual problems but to use as a cudgel against your political opponents in the next election. Not that this phenomena hasn't always existed, but the particular issues that the recent revelations raise are fundamental ones that deserve serious treatment. Whatever the Congress comes up with will be anything but serious.

  42. Kurzleg10:26 AM

    Something totally symbolic and wholly ineffectual will be done, and they'll all pat each other on the back at the good work they did. Bank on it.

  43. redoubt10:28 AM

    Flashback to about 2004: Conservative--"If you didn't do anything you have nothing to worry about yadda yadda. . ." Me--"I've got three words--'President Hillary Clinton'".

  44. Kurzleg10:29 AM

    I don't think they really care. Oh, they'll play this up for political advantage and all that, but in the end, a GOPer will win back the presidency soon. These are the folks who like to say that the Constitution isn't a suicide pact. Despite their blabberings about liberty, they don't actually care about it all that much.

  45. Ellis_Weiner10:30 AM

    Oh pish tush. Not just spite. How about resentment? How about indignation? How about self-righteousness disguised as "concern"? How about self-pity that tries to pass a self-respect? They have a rich, full emotional life.

    (Thanks for the Dita von T. ref, Roy. Never heard of her. Google Images did not disappoint.)

  46. =>The new order cites legal language from the 2001 U.S. Patriot Act, passed soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, that allows the FBI to seek an order to obtain “any tangible thing,” including business records, in pursuit of “foreign intelligence information.”<=

    Bush and Cheney got that horrendous p.o.s. passed through Congress in the wake of 9-11.

    Obama insisted that Congress renew it with its worst provisions intact

  47. Kurzleg10:33 AM

    It probably doesn't have real time value, but it may have investigative and prevention value. Finding connections between phone numbers may reveal connections between people up to no good. Having said that, the scope of the data gathering seems to be far more than what you'd need to accomplish what I've described.

  48. Kurzleg10:36 AM

    You have to admire the trust of these supporters, a trust that convinces them that it can't happen to them.

  49. Ellis_Weiner10:40 AM

    Sometimes I read the drivel some of you folks write me, and I want to
    take you by the shoulders and shake you and say, “grow up. Grow UP!“

    Back atcha, cookie. Call me old fashioned, but the last person I want to take lessons from on how to be a grownup is a woman whose public persona involves pretending to be an acolyte of an imaginary Daddy in the sky who will give me the best birthday (i.e., deathday) present EVER if only I Friend him according to the procedures of an ancient cult.

  50. Kurzleg10:40 AM

    I think this fact is going to leave a lot of average folks scratching their heads. A good number of people will be left wondering how on earth things like this could be legal. Personally, the phone metadata gathering didn't bother me that much, but the web surveillance does since - unlike the phone data - it would seem to be more content-intensive. I think this distinction will get the attention of more people given the ubiquity of Facebook, etc., which is why there'll be so much head scratching going on.

  51. Kurzleg10:44 AM

    I'm reminded of this:

  52. sharculese10:45 AM

    Denis the Penis, previous thread. And then I made fun of him and he went through and downvoted every post I made, because I guess that showed me?

  53. mortimer10:46 AM

    USA Today, 5/11/2006
    The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY. The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans...using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity

    The Outrage:
    Confederate Yankee: The NSA is consolidating and analyzing already collected data to try to stop terrorist attacks before they happen. What exactly is the legitimate complaint against this program?

    Stop The ACLU: These are records that the phone companies keep anyway, that are often called upon in court cases. No one has been listening in on domestic phone calls, they are only collecting a database of what numbers called other numbers.

    Newsbusters: I must confess, I’ve been keeping a database of phone numbers also, I call it “the phone book” and “caller ID".

    Mark Levin: I am honestly am appalled at the arguments I hear against our intelligence activities in the face of an enemy who has already infiltrated our country and unleashed attacks from within, killing thousands of our fellow citizens. I get the impression that too many do not take this war seriously.

    PowerLine: NSA Accused of Protecting U.S. From Terrorists.

    Dan Riehl: I heard the libs are upset because of the high numbers of calls to 900 numbers from households self-described as Democrat. Interestingly enough, followed up by high numbers of calls to their Mothers to weepingly apologize for their consistent pattern of self-abuse. Ho hum.

  54. Halloween_Jack10:47 AM

    At one point in the late eighties, having no particular job prospects on the horizon, I was thinking of applying for a file clerk job with the FBI, which I mentioned to a few family members. As I was bemusedly perusing the application (which, among other questions asking me if I was a homosexual or a communist, wanted to know the current whereabouts of everyone that I'd ever lived with, something that, as someone who roomed with numerous people in college that I'd not kept track of, I was in no way able to answer thoroughly), my favorite aunt sent me an article clipped out from the Nation about librarians (I think mostly in the NYC area) who had been approached by the FBI for the circulation records of certain patrons, sans warrant. (Said librarians refused, which impressed me enough to consider becoming a librarian, which I am to this day.) This was before the Patriot Act, before 9/11 or Oklahoma City, even before the first time that the WTC was attacked. These feds may have just been fishing around and thought that the meek little librarians (according to the pernicious stereotype, anyway) would roll over for the steely-eyed G-men, or maybe they were just pushing the envelope a bit, seeing what they could get away with.

    So, this is nothing new, and neither is pushback from the left about these encroachments coming from a Democratic president--there was plenty of hullaballoo regarding Carnivore, back in the day. And, as per usual, it's less about the noise on the right being due to their having discovered their inner civil libertarians as it is wanting to get their hands on these wonderful toys and tools. Just remember who made a big stink about his opponent being "a card-carrying member of the ACLU" during his first presidential campaign. What government agency was he head of previously, again?

  55. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard10:58 AM

    Stephen Patrick Morrissey is the "Pope of Mope", so I figured his dumbass rightwing cousin would be "Pope of Dope".

  56. sharculese11:00 AM

    That makes more sense than my guess and is awesome to boot.

  57. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard11:02 AM

    The best parallel for this wingnut outrage is "Fast and Furious"- "Fast and Furious" was a stupid scandal because it resulted from the beloved wingnut policy of removing all restrictions of firearm sales. Even without a "gun walking" operation, the "no questions asked" arms sales the wingnuts hypocritically whined about would have been legal in Arizona, and even post "scandal", the wingnuts want even fewer restrictions on arms sales.

    Add to that the IRS actions against the NAACP and "liberal" churches during the Bush maladaministration, and we have a bunch of hypocritical whiny babies on the right of the aisle.

  58. BigHank5311:24 AM

    Yay librarians! I don't think it's possible to become a librarian without developing a deep respect for the power of information...and a well-founded mistrust of those who would restrict it.

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  60. DocAmazing11:42 AM

    Back in the early 1990s, I thought I saw in the Militia movement some spark of anti-authoritarianism. They had, after all, borrowed a fair amount of anarchist jargon; they had a magazine called Media Bypass, which looked promising; they saw the potential for oppression posed by the federal government. I went to their meetings, visited gun shows, tried to engage them to see if left and right could come together on these issues.

    Jesus, did I have my head screwed on backwards.

  61. PulletSurprise11:53 AM

    Mark Levin in 2006: "...The NSA intercept program shouldn’t be controversial. The Constitution and precedent make clear that the president, especially during war-time, can intercept enemy communications, including if those communications involve U.S. citizens within the United States. It is absurd to argue otherwise."

    Mark Levin yesterday: "The Department of Homeland Security now is checking laptops and iPhones and other data, making copies of it and keeping it, and now we have this. And some of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, prosecutors, are saying, ‘Look, look, this is permitted. We need to be able to go through and match —’ wait a minute. You don’t throw a whole net on the entire country and everybody’s phone numbers and check the duration and see if you can come up with some overlaps. That’s not law enforcement. That’s not how national security works. I don’t care what the hell the Supreme Court said 30 years ago or what some judge said 15 minutes ago. This is America, and our government is collecting way too damn much data on we the private citizen."

    Apparently he doesn't care what he said seven years ago, either.

  62. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard12:03 PM

    Getting back the the 1984 analogies, they sure do love their memory hole.

  63. montag212:04 PM

    The truly sad things about all this are, first, that the people we elect are never going to admit they were wrong in the first place to pass a wish list written by the right-wing authoritarians in government. The second, of course, is that wholesale smudging of the Bill of Rights was one of the few truly bipartisan things Congress has done in decades (which is why the wingers are tut-tutting now, because they know that bipartisanship as defined by them is not just doing what they want, but also entails rubbing the hippies' noses in shit, too) and third, it isn't going to change a goddamned thing except to make life a much bigger pain in the ass. After McVeigh, Clinton and his friends on the right wrote a terrorism law that, oddly enough, allowed them to expand the definitions of eco-terrorism. After 9/11, we got the Patriot Act and the NDAA, neither of which did much to actually fix the problems and inter-agency squabbles that contributed to the intelligence lapses behind the attacks, but, by God, it gave them all the powers necessary to go after a few amateur anarchists who, at most, were going to break a few windows at political conventions. Now, once again, the Tsarnaev brothers slipped through the net, and the shadow government leaps into action, engorging itself on yet more huge helpings of useless information that it can't really digest. (Imagine the CIA and the FBI and the NSA as triplet Mr. Creosotes, with data standing in for bread puddings.)

    The only thing really missing in intelligence today is intelligence itself. We're literally surrounded, though, by people who believe with all their might that widespread institutional paranoia is a satisfactory substitute for critical thinking. In that environment, there's no such thing as law, either good or bad, or rights. There's only abject fear of being forced to admit incompetence, and mass pants-wetting over the distinct possibility that one's political donors stand to lose a lot of money in government contracts if the public figures out just how badly they're being screwed, and with their own tax dollars.

  64. Halloween_Jack12:35 PM

    You could probably take some of the Manson Family's meanderings, do some find-and-replace substitutions and layer in some God-bothering, and make a nice generic militia/survivalist manifesto.

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  66. Spaghetti Lee12:40 PM

    It surprises me how much more cynical people get (people who were fairly idealist get cynical, people who were already cynical get insufferable) when the issue of phone recording, collecting internet activity, data mining, etc., come up. Apparently, it's something we're all supposed to expect because "that's just the way things are now", etc., it's been going on forever anyway (yeah, those Palmer Raids sure wreaked hell on people's internet privacy), and it's foolish to complain if you've ever used a computer, phone, or credit card. Most people don't use the purity-test argument regularly, but it's apparently hypocritical to get mad about the data-fueled security state if you're not living in the woods drinking your own piss and eating mushrooms.

    Sorry, folks, I'm not buying it. I hated this shit when Bush did it, I hate it now, and I hate it when Facebook and Google do it of their own accord. And I really can't make myself care about who was mad at who when and how that matches up with party affiliation. If people are getting angry at this, good-they should. The problem, of course, is that I'd have to be a complete moron to think that Ed Morrissey, Glenn Reynolds, et al will care about this at all when a Republican gets back in office. They've already objectively proven they don't. It doesn't surprise me that they're completely craven. What does surprise me, still, is how many liberals seem to take this as just a fact of life that only idiots think can be changed.

  67. And lest we forget, the DHS coordinated the spying and shut down of Occupy.

    Hope and/or Change, my friends.

  68. gocart mozart12:53 PM

    I meant reigned in as in "0bama will make himself King!"

  69. zencomix1:09 PM

    Yeah, the election of the former head of the CIA as the President was the beginning of "Not Even Trying To Hide It Anymore"

  70. Bliekker1:16 PM

    I was interested to see what Mark Levine had to say about this, because I knew he'd contradict his previous views on this crap. I wanted to see what kind of BS he came up with to justify being concerned, NOW. Unfortunately, his show got moved from the 6:00-9:00pm time slot to the 9:00-12:00 time slot (KFMB-San Diego). I'd only listen to him prattle on while I was stuck in traffic on the way home. He is a nasty little man.

  71. BigHank531:38 PM

    Oh, I'm pretty sure your head was on the right way. You were thinking it was a political movement, that's all. Whereas every militia-type person I ever met was mostly looking to satisfy two basic needs: (a) their need for Wolverines! fan-fiction in various genres, up to and including The Turner Diaries, and (b) finding a good--or bad, really, they didn't much care--excuse to buy some more guns.

  72. Well, here's an upvote for pissing off Dennis. Always a worthy cause.

  73. I think it's cultural Stockholm Syndrome.

  74. redoubt3:06 PM

    Thirding this, because as Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of conservative Republican politicians."

  75. whetstone4:24 PM

    Yet another reason why shit only gets done when a Democrat is in the White House. Anything anyone might ever want from a Republican administration only gets accomplished by a Democratic president being hectored by both the left and the right and becoming what libertarians/fiscal conservatives claim they want Republican presidents to be.

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  77. satch4:51 PM

    The finest minds of the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation are at this moment working on a way to combine the NDAA and the Paper Bag Test.

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    They couldn't believ a Dem would be president ever again, It was the 4th Reich!

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  82. I'd down vote him, but I suspect it makes him think that it's proof that he's being effective.

  83. KatWillow5:38 PM

    I don't think they have any good way to deal with the info. They couldn't do so before all the massive wiretapping etc. Chances are good each Agency will waste a lot of time spying on other Agencies, and even themselves. Then it'll all be outsourced to a private spying company, sort of an Evil Microsoft (if you can visualize such a thing). Maybe Apple since they're loosing their "cool" these days. Meanwhile, the planet is heating up, we have drought, flooding, destructive storms, massive population migration and all the things that go with it... the info will be useless to them.

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  85. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard6:06 PM

    Meanwhile, they'll be buying stock in the software companies that make the data mining possible.

  86. They have already taken away most of our privacy. Soon we will not be able to take a shit without surveillance on it.

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  87. I'm upvoting YOU just because I was so blind drunk yesterday that I misread your comment and still feel bad about it. Oddly enough I'm even drunker now. I think that's what the weird people call the circle of life. Or alcoholism. Or whatever. Just wanted to say sorry again.

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  93. De nada. I like you HMDK. Also, being all brain-foggy and shit, my posts often miss one or more points these days, making some of my posts as unclear as I am. It's a real exercise for me to a write a post.

  94. Sorry I looked it up. Jeez.

  95. Do you remember when Ed Meese was calling librarians, telling them to take books off shelves that were declassified, that he decided to reclassify, and librarians telling him to go fuck himself? There's a real warm spot in my heart for the old school librarians who took public information and the first amendment very seriously.

  96. Just like each generation is born to a deader planet, each generation is born to lower expectations of privacy. I took a required gym class at Oregon State University--- I was the old one. I was looking for some good instruction on workouts, but most of the class was devoted to the students giving the instructor personal information. Like everything we ate, records of workouts, our dreams of fitness, I don't remember what else. It seemed that about 90% of the class was giving personal information. Being of the generation I am of I found it highly intrusive, and seriously considered turning in the results of my last pap smear in protest--- and asking if they might be interested in the viscosity of my discharge. I'm just an open fucking book.

    It would surprise me if the school was not selling that information.

  97. True! That was the stated goal of Rove and Norquist (a permanent Republican majority and the destruction of the Democratic Party). And hey, back then hippie-punching with rage was all the rage! (Even more so than now.)

  98. Another Kiwi10:33 PM

    I gotta say that at the same time as being shocking this news was sooo unsurprising. As people have pointed out this was brayed about in 2006 like it was the final brick in the defensive wall around Vienna to keep the Turks out. The righties will be aghast due to it's Obama on the computer emailing their dumbest shit around to his friends.

    Read up about Kim Dotcom (of the Schleswig-Holstein Dotcoms) and see if you think that there might be a connection with his court case and this breaking now. Maybe, maybe not. Stranger shit has assuredly happened.

  99. I'm right there with you. The weirdest thing is, I am trying to be an open book to everyone. Open about my crippling depression, my drinking to compensate, my fuckin' ballsack surgery and most of all using my real name online (Fuck Disqus!) But the thing is it's my CHOICE. And it should be a choice everyone makes for themselves. Lack of privacy shouldn't be mandatory. And I hate the "Uh, but if you have nothing to hide" objections. You don't get to poke around in other people's business without either a damn good reason or an invitation.

  100. SqueakyRat4:47 AM

    Orwell was brilliantly aware that the threat of totalitarianism could come from either right or left. That's why it's impossible to attribute any coherent political ideology at all to the regime pictured in "1984."

  101. SqueakyRat4:52 AM

    If the Constitution isn't a suicide pact, why should anyone die to defend it?

  102. More like 4chan needs joke writers if all they got is you.

  103. "Our civil liberties are worthless if we are dead! If you are dead and pushing up daisies, if you're sucking dirt inside a casket, do you know what your civil liberties are worth? Zilch, zero, nada. You aren't even here! Ask the families, ask the people who were in the World Trade Center towers right before they were attacked if they are more concerned with the loss of their civil liberties than the loss of their lives.


    I'm not going to accept the premise that civil liberties have been violated. Somebody tell me what civil liberties have been violated. I want to know, give me one person who is in jail who has been falsely charged because of the Patriot Act. Folks, I'm going to leave myself out of this. Tempting but I'm going to leave myself out of this. Patriot Act hasn't been diddly-squat to me. I'm going to leave myself out of this. I want to know, what civil liberty is being violated? I want the press to answer this question. If we're going to go to war to protect our civil liberties, what the hell civil liberties have been lost? What are we losing? What are the civil liberties that we have lost? The press is disloyal as ever, nobody is stopping their anti-American reporting apart from a prosecutor that they demanded. What's the press been stopped from doing, what civil liberties have anybody been prevented from utilizing? What? Somebody tell me."

    --Rush Limbaugh, 19 Dec. 2005

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  113. Greenwald should be awarded the Freedom Medal for what he has done. It's not Al-queda, or the Russians or China who have destroyed our constitution freedoms, but our own government.

    At least someone is doing something. I just read that there are 2 veterans (Vietnam vet & Gulf War I) who are actually walking across America in support of the U.S. Constitution & carrying the American flag each step.

    What grit to openly defy D.C. & once again they are defending our freedoms. I support them, but Mainstream Media (MSM) will never give them a second of coverage. I hope they are safe in their walk to protest in D.C. when they arrive.

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  122. Magatha2:38 PM

    Here is where I get confused. Leaving aside the most important factor - our Constitutional rights - how does this whole thing work? I assume the government information gathering and analysis services are better funded than the bridge inspection or childhood poverty projects, or even the EPA or FDA or those other boring government entities. But still, money is an issue, isn't it? Do they really have the personnel to coordinate the massive amounts of information? Are they scanning it effectively for the bits that are on-mission? Is all of this information just sitting somewhere on disks and hard-drives?

    Or is the processing of all of this being out-sourced like all the War on Terror stuff? And if it is, are the contractors going to be as effective and efficient at handling the data as they were with re-building Iraq? 'Cause I have nightmares enough already. It's not like I want to see the security state working flawlessly. But I also don't want to see the whole enterprise auctioned off the the highest bidder (and then fucked up).

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    Oh, I think it's not so much auctioned off as on long-term lease to every corporation in the country that can fill out a contract bid request (the basic point of the "Top Secret America" series was that no one knew for certain how many security/surveillance/intelligence/data mining contracts were being let, to whom, or for how much).

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    So, maybe it's an amalgam of your worst fears. It's already thoroughly corrupt, it's already been turned over to every disreputable corporation in the country, and it is already fucked up beyond repair.

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