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20score

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Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Journal Archives

We Need New Democratic Leadership in the House. Pelosi Should Go.

Her vote against the Iraq War in 2002 was courageous and admirable. But, as the new Speaker when she said about Bush, “I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table,” it was terrible news for those who wanted justice for the administration’s numerous crimes. (And also wanted the accountability that would have reined in future administrations.) Now Nancy Pelosi has voted to let the NSA continue the massive spying, completely unrestrained. That is antithesis of what a free country does. And it is inexcusable.

What that vote guarantees: Total, massive surveillance of all citizens. More mixing of Corporations and State. A preemptive squashing of any Occupy-type movements in the future. The likelihood of serious labor movements being watched and suppressed. And on and on.

There has been a definite downward trend in her voting pattern over the last decade. We need Democrats that stand up for democratic principles. With Harry Reid folding on every issue that comes up in the Senate, we need other leaders that lead in the right direction.

http://americablog.com/2013/07/amash-conyers-anti-nsa-amendment-lost-by-12-votes-205-217.html

And for where this is spying is headed. A judge says Big Energy should have your metadata, too:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130722/16172623890/court-give-chevron-access-to-nine-years-americans-email-metadata.shtml

Defend that, please.

Greedy Mother-Fuckers, Leading the Quasi-Fascists, Followed by Morons Who Believe Everything

they are told.

Sound harsh? Tough shit. It’s nothing compared to the country these people are creating for the rest of us. I’m talking about those who ship American factories overseas by the tens of thousands to exploit cheep labor in the third world and shrink the middle class in their own country. They should be in prison for the horrible conditions they force upon those working in places like Columbia and Bangladesh, all while rationalizing their criminal greed. They should be tried and imprisoned for what they’ve done to our working and middle classes. And they should have to forfeit their profits to feed and house those they have stolen from.

They are willing to start wars based on lies for bigger profits.They buy our politicians like others buy appliances. The massive spying is not about terrorists, it’s about money. With Iraq and Afghanistan wars ending the military-industrial complex needs to be fed. We’re talking hundreds of billions a year, spread out between the federal, states and local governments. Drones to spy on us, from the type that can stay in the air for months spying on entire cities, to the insect size drones that that can entire our houses undetected. From the license plate readers on cop cars that track drivers’ movements and store the data forever; to the massive collection of all our electronic communications. Big Brother really is here and it’s going to get progressively worse every year until we rein this in. The technology will come and can’t be stopped, the only thing that can stop this is for the citizens to say, ‘enough!’ and demand the laws change.

They’ve bought our democracy/republic and no one should be okay with that. We need a government that actually works for us and not just those with deep pockets. It’s time for public funding of campaigns, before it’s too late.

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

John Kenneth Galbraith

Of Labels, Libtards, Libertarians and Paulbots.

Always battled with myself on whether I was more angry about the Iraq War, or the insulting lies that got us there. Same with destroying the environment. Is it worse to wipe out other species and set our own species on a course for extinction, or is the greater crime the fact that so many are too dumb or too weak to see/admit what’s happening?

Okay, it’s not really a battle - but the dumb and childish still irritate the hell out of me. Adults, at least a many of them, handle any reality they don’t care for, in a far worse manner than any eight year old that finds out there is no Santa Claus. And it’s not just the religious fanatics either; although they are the worst. Those who look down people who believe in the science of global warming, come to mind. Those who believe strongly their race or culture is superior to all others. Authoritarians and a good portion of those who fall for propaganda are some of the most resistant to facts and have the most infantile reactions when facing unpleasant truths.

What’s ironic, and also obvious, is that those who hold strong opinions that are contrary to the facts, are also unlikely to be able to defend those opinions in an honest debate. They don’t know enough. So they label people, name call and insult. “It’s like 10 degrees outside, libtard! So much for global warming!”

During the nation’s year long debate about health care in 2009, those who wanted to keep the status quo labeled those who were for a public option as communists, socialists and Nazis. Not knowing the definition to any of those terms, proven by the fact they were used interchangeably. They got angry, labeled people and insulted. This pattern returns again and again throughout history. Whenever their beliefs, religion, party, king, or morals are challenged, those resistant to reality have reacted badly.

The same thing is now happening with some on the left, and it’s hard to deny. If someone believes that a big-brother type government is really the best thing for the country and believes we should make sure the monitoring of everything we do continues forever… then convince us. Tell us all, calmly, that just being alive makes us a suspect. Prove to us that privacy has no place in a free country. Persuade us that the threat of terrorism - even though statistically dying from lightning is more likely – is a good enough reason to rid ourselves of the most basic rights we have.

Truth is, they can’t. If the people that are trashing Snowden and Greenwald had any case at all, they would bring it to the forefront. They have nothing, and I suspect on some level they realize that fact. That’s why the labels of libertarian and Paulbot are thrown around with no honest debate even attempted.

It’s either dishonesty, slow wits, or a childish aversion to facts.

If Only Our Glorious Leaders Put as Much Effort into Making People’s Lives Better

as they did into tracking us and covering their own asses….

If the number of people, the amount of money, and the all the work that was put into the NSA spying programs had instead been funneled into single-payer healthcare, or alternative energy programs, our country would be in far, far better shape than it is now.

If all the effort that has been used to catch, demonize and punish whistleblowers - from Manning and Kiriakou to Assange and Snowden – had been put toward a campaign to bring back good paying jobs and quality education….

Really, what kind of country do we want to be?

Trust US! When the Last Terrorist is Dead, You can have Your Freedom Back!



The only reason we, (we who are in power, and a few defense/security companies) are watching everything you do, everywhere you go, everything you read, say, buy, type, watch and all the people you contact, is to catch the terrorists. Once that job is done, you can trust that we will give you back your freedom, your Constitution and your privacy... Should be any day now.

Some people point out that one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist within the last ten years. (True.) And that our country has faced far more dangerous threats in the past without tapping everybody’s phones and opening everyone’s mail.

Well, maybe they didn’t think of doing those things.

The point is to talk about something else, anything else, so we can go back to catching those last few terrorists. Thanks for your patriotic support!

(And Thom Rumpus from Akron, you’re watching too much porn!)

They Really, Really Care!


It’s a new dawn. Our government has struck the perfect balance between freedom and security. This may have been twelve or more years in the making, but now we know the government cares enough to let us make our own mistakes, while still watching every move we make. You know it’s the right thing to do; because what could be more American than all three branches of government united against privacy? Well, in the New America, anyway. They worry about us. So, like a concerned parent, they check all our web searches, track our movements, store our emails, monitor our phone records, keep track of what we read, buy, who we know, where we go and what we watch. Forever. But yet they don’t go sticking their noses in where they don’t belong… Like Credit Default Swaps. Now that’s caring.

Sometimes people are just don’t know what’s good for them. That’s why state and local governments are joining the federal government in tracking where we go and when we go there. License plate readers are on the tops of many police cars, taking pictures of all the cars they encounter, where and when they were there - and they are coming to your neighborhood soon. It’s all stored in central data bases to be accessed by dozens of government agencies, for any purpose. Congress and the Bush Administration got one thing right. They knew George Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t a warning, it was a blueprint. With the added, and not inconsequential benefit of being a great big money-maker for the right companies. We can be thankful that some on the left have finally caught on!

Total Information Awareness was very unpopular when it was introduced ten years ago. But, people much more powerful and richer than the average person knew it was the right thing to do. There is a time to treat the average person like an adult and let them learn from their own mistakes. Such as when they are signing mortgage papers. But they can’t be trusted to spy on themselves - even though they may do a decent job on FaceBook. So, Total Information Awareness is here under different names. And it’s important to denigrate those who would challenge these programs, or even make us aware of them. (It’s possible they make not like what’s being done, even when it’s for their own good.)

As most will know, when the power of the state is challenged by trouble-makers – they call themselves whistle-blowers, people of conscience and journalists – those trouble-makers need to be silenced. A tried and true method is the ad hominem. Take the ‘journalist’ causing problems right now for the administration. Even though many of the things being said about Glenn Greenwald aren’t true, the important thing is that someone said them. Just as the main stream media knows, when one person says, ‘these are the facts’ and another person says, ‘no, these are’ it is vital not to fact check the information, the key is to allow people to repeat what they’ve heard. It’s the patriotic way to run a news outfit. And our news outfits have been patriotic for years. (Bush didn’t bring us the Iraq War by himself, you know.)

A very important aspect to all the cameras, facial recognition software, storing of all our data, predictive software for future crimes, and total observation – which gets better every year – is not just so people will censor themselves and watch what they say and do (and to know if someone is protesting the corporations or the government). Or even for possible control in the years to come. It’s freedom. People still need to be free. And our government knows no one is actually free unless money can be made. That’s where real freedom comes in. All three branches of government are united on this front, too.

Nothing essential to freedom will change. If you are paying big bucks to a congressman or senator, you know your phone call will be returned every time. And you know that in America, a legislator or regulator will earn their money. They know they don’t work for some tree-hugging, wacko that whines every time someone’s water is set on fire. No, they work for you! If you offer a seven figure job to someone once they’re out of public service, then it’s understood that money comes after a job well done while they’re in public service. See, it’s all good.

Now we need to come together as good citizens and attack those who embarrassed our leaders.

(Even though we already knew about it… But it was bad to bring it up… And the people who told us about it are traitors… And we need to have this conversation… But those who told us about this are more important than the programs… And it kept us safe… And it’s legal anyway… But hurt national security… Did I say this is nothing new?)

Squirrel!

When Leaders Go Wrong.

It divides us. This holds true for small and large groups, parties and countries. Some stay loyal to the leader or leaders, and others to their own ethics. Of course the reasons for a person taking one position over another are varied. Some positions are better thought out than others, some see a greater good in following the leader, even when a deeply held belief is tossed aside. And others just follow the tide. But what holds true in most cases, is that division happens when a president or leader does the wrong thing, and that person is most culpable for any fallout - even though his or her followers are responsible for their own misguided words and actions.

This is addressing topics that go against values and principles that a particular group espouses, not the everyday give and take of normal politics. When people caught on to the lies behind the Vietnam War, the country was separated into those who supported and those who opposed the war. When the Bush Administration started a war on false pretenses, the country was divided. People switched parties when the Republicans embraced discrimination in the 1960s. And now the left is fighting over wholesale spying. It’s not to excuse in any way those who would sellout values supposedly held by most Americans, but Obama set the ball rolling when he sold out the values he said he possessed.

It should be a given that the degrees of wrongdoing in the examples given are vastly different. But the basic form is the same and the damage done will be long term – much longer than the term of a U.S. president.

I see no caveats in the 4th Amendment that allows blanket spying on all Americans, all the time:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

How can any person pretend that there is probable cause to spy on all of us? It’s indefensible.

“This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.
That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are.”

Candidate Obama, August 2007.

Have to call bullshit on Schieffer and the post. Very Rovian.

1. MLK and Rosa Parks were not whistle-blowers, they were civil rights leaders. Big difference.

2. Schieffer has never done anything that can come close to the type of bravery that Snowden has shown. Until he does, then this is a childish attack. No one has a right to push someone else into position they would never occupy themselves.

3. More Rovian attacks. I am ashamed at some on the left. Snowden is not the issue, government spying and the loss of privacy is.

4. Unless people supported Big Brother under Bush and Obama, their opinion is useless.

"A Massive Surveillance State": Glenn Greenwald Exposes Covert NSA. Democracy Now!

To those who supported this type of government spying during the Bush administration and have turned against it under Obama, you are right for the wrong reasons, and owe the country an apology for allowing this to get worse for years. To those who challenged government spying under Bush and now support it, you are wrong for the wrong reasons and need to re-awaken your ideals. You’re hurting the country and ironically hurting the party you are trying to help. The hypocrisy is extremely obvious to everyone but you, and it will be used as a political weapon against the left… for many years to come.

And thanks to all those involved in bringing this to light, both in the media and to the whistle-blowers. (Although this shouldn't surprise anyone, it's finally getting coverage.)








Rep. Stephen Fincher: “If the Poor Want Their Children to Eat… Sell them as Slaves.”

Appearing on Fox News, Tennessee Representative Stephen Fincher addressed the charges of hypocrisy and callousness leveled at him by Democrats, again quoting the Bible to justify his positions. “Leviticus 25-45, ‘the children of the strangers that do live among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land and they shall be your possession.’ And what’s stranger than poor people? Am I right? Right?” He said grinning and raising his hand for a high-five, which was answered quickly by a smiling Eric Bolling.

The controversy started two weeks ago while a debate was taking place in the House Agriculture Committee over $4.1 billion in cuts to the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Stephen Fincher made his position clear that the government should not be in the business of feeding children or helping the poor, quoting the Bible for added emphasis. “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” (The quote is actually about warning people against waiting for the second-coming, not as a justification to deny food to those in need.) The callousness is evident to anyone; the hypocrisy became obvious when it was found out that Mr. Fincher has taken millions from the government personally. The $3.5 million he has collected for his farm in subsidies, is from programs that he supports and has voted to increase funding for.

“Look, I’m a Christian and I’m far better than those atheists on the other side of the aisle who want to use the government to feed the poor,” Stephen Fincher said to the Fox panel. “That’s how Hitler and Stalin started out - feeding the poor. But I’m not heartless at all; it’s all about tough-love. And it’s also a win-win situation. We all know God wants to help the rich and powerful, or they wouldn’t be rich and powerful,” he said to the beaming and nodding hosts on The Five. “That’s why the government should give more money to people like me who know how to spend it. We could buy the poor people and then we would be obligated to feed them… if they work hard enough.” After a thoughtful pause. “I’ll say it again, this is other people’s money that Washington is appropriating and spending. It should go to me.”

“I have to say thank you on so many levels Steve,” said Greg Gutfeld. “Not only for figuring out how to feed those douche-bags, and for trying to bring back slavery, but as a comedian too. I have so many hungry children and slavery jokes I’m dying to tell… See, that’s why right-wing humor works, it’s… it’s gettable!”

“Tell your big news,” Andrea K. Tantaros said. “We’re all just dancing around it.”

“Okay, here’s my plan. I’m going to introduce a bill next week. It will eliminate food stamps and give that money to well-off white Christian males, and legalize the buying and selling of those who can’t feed themselves. It’s called, The American Patriot’s Love of God and Country, bill.”

“I’m a Democrat and I love this bill!” Bob Beckel announced. “What could be better than helping the wealthy and the poor at the same time?”

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