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Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:18 AM

Germans illuminate message on US embassy





The words “United Stasi of America” were projected onto the US embassy in Berlin on Sunday – a comparison made by an artist to draw attention to the extensive spy tactics practiced by the US government.

A light project by German artist Oliver Bienkowski and online activist Kim Dotcom beamed onto the building of the US mission in Germany from Sunday night into Monday. Using a powerful projector, the words lit up the embassy’s walls, making the comparison visible to all in the vicinity.

“I defaced the US embassy in Berlin with a truth-projection last night. 0wned!” Dotcom, whose file-sharing website Megaupload was shut down by US authorities, wrote in a tweet.



http://rt.com/usa/united-stasi-america-dotcom-850/




In the wee hours of Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin became the unwitting host of a light show expressing opposition the U.S. surveillance programs.

"The United Stasi of America," was splashed on a wall at the embassy around 1 a.m., the work of German guerrilla artists.

The Europeans in general have been extremely critical of the surveillance programs. And the Germans have been particularly vocal given the history of the Nazis and the Stasi, the secret police during the communist era in East Germany.

The light projection also included the likeness of Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, the Internet entrepreneur who founded Megaupload and its successor, Mega.

However, the actual projection was carried out by Oliver Bienkowski

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/07/09/200376569/in-protest-german-activists-light-up-u-s-embassy

116 replies, 20107 views

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Reply Germans illuminate message on US embassy (Original post)
Ichingcarpenter Jul 2013 OP
Cali_Democrat Jul 2013 #1
HereSince1628 Jul 2013 #69
sabrina 1 Jul 2013 #74
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #2
MADem Jul 2013 #10
Le Taz Hot Jul 2013 #14
MADem Jul 2013 #18
Le Taz Hot Jul 2013 #25
MADem Jul 2013 #28
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #20
MADem Jul 2013 #29
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #30
MADem Jul 2013 #33
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #37
MADem Jul 2013 #40
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #43
MADem Jul 2013 #46
leeroysphitz Jul 2013 #90
MADem Jul 2013 #91
galileoreloaded Jul 2013 #96
MADem Jul 2013 #3
Ichingcarpenter Jul 2013 #4
MADem Jul 2013 #6
Ichingcarpenter Jul 2013 #8
MADem Jul 2013 #12
markiv Jul 2013 #5
MADem Jul 2013 #7
markiv Jul 2013 #15
Solly Mack Jul 2013 #75
MADem Jul 2013 #80
Gravitycollapse Jul 2013 #11
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2013 #17
galileoreloaded Jul 2013 #97
Californeeway Jul 2013 #9
MADem Jul 2013 #13
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #22
Californeeway Jul 2013 #36
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #38
Californeeway Jul 2013 #47
Scootaloo Jul 2013 #57
Divernan Jul 2013 #61
Californeeway Jul 2013 #68
Scootaloo Jul 2013 #70
byeya Jul 2013 #72
woo me with science Jul 2013 #79
Divernan Jul 2013 #62
Californeeway Jul 2013 #64
PATRICK Jul 2013 #73
Progressive dog Jul 2013 #116
temmer Jul 2013 #32
Californeeway Jul 2013 #39
Pholus Jul 2013 #59
Fumesucker Jul 2013 #67
Posteritatis Jul 2013 #87
Ichingcarpenter Jul 2013 #16
MADem Jul 2013 #19
Gravitycollapse Jul 2013 #21
MADem Jul 2013 #24
Gravitycollapse Jul 2013 #26
MADem Jul 2013 #27
Scootaloo Jul 2013 #52
MADem Jul 2013 #56
Scootaloo Jul 2013 #66
MADem Jul 2013 #81
temmer Jul 2013 #34
MADem Jul 2013 #48
Catherina Jul 2013 #23
sibelian Jul 2013 #31
Catherina Jul 2013 #42
Divernan Jul 2013 #44
Ichingcarpenter Jul 2013 #45
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #50
woo me with science Jul 2013 #53
woo me with science Jul 2013 #54
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #71
woo me with science Jul 2013 #77
Californeeway Jul 2013 #63
Divernan Jul 2013 #65
temmer Jul 2013 #78
Catherina Jul 2013 #111
woo me with science Jul 2013 #49
idwiyo Jul 2013 #60
Posteritatis Jul 2013 #88
Catherina Jul 2013 #113
Cha Jul 2013 #35
woo me with science Jul 2013 #51
Divernan Jul 2013 #55
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #82
Divernan Jul 2013 #84
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #85
Divernan Jul 2013 #92
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #93
Divernan Jul 2013 #94
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #95
Divernan Jul 2013 #98
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #101
Divernan Jul 2013 #106
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #107
Divernan Jul 2013 #108
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #109
Divernan Jul 2013 #112
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #115
malaise Jul 2013 #41
Cha Jul 2013 #100
malaise Jul 2013 #103
Cha Jul 2013 #105
malaise Jul 2013 #110
Cha Jul 2013 #114
DontTreadOnMe Jul 2013 #58
Democracyinkind Jul 2013 #76
geek tragedy Jul 2013 #83
Cha Jul 2013 #104
Rex Jul 2013 #86
Blackford Jul 2013 #89
Shankapotomus Jul 2013 #99
BainsBane Jul 2013 #102

Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:21 AM

1. Merkel rejects Stasi comparisons and defends data interception

 

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:40 AM

69. Yah, but...Merkel is a good German.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 10:39 AM

74. Of course she would, there have been some questions about her own background

in East Germany as she bullies other European Countries throughout the Austerity 'programs' being forced on them by the thieves on Wall St.

There are countries ruined by Austerity and Wall St to which she cannot safely go anymore.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:23 AM

2. Good one!



Note to NSA... don't want to be called Stasi, don't effing act like it.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:57 AM

10. You do know who that slob pictured on the slide is?

He's one of the biggest intellectual property thieves in the world! Of course he hates USA--he steals HBO and Showtime and all sorts of proprietary media from USA and sells it to the rest of the world...he's a bootlegger, basically.

And he's trying to hop on the bandwagon with Assange, et. al.

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Response to MADem (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:14 AM

14. Oh, because that's what's important in this story

is the integrity of the person's image. Try, just once, to grasp the issue. You'll be a better person for it. Trust me.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:26 AM

18. You are showing your complete lack of knowledge with your response to me.

That's Kim Dotcom, who objects to the fact that the US and other nations OBJECT to his theft of intellectual property. He thinks they are STASI because they have a problem with him stealing movies and television and reselling it over a torrent feed on the internet.

That guy could give a flying fuck about Snowden--he cares about stealing movies and television and reselling the product without paying any royalties to the creators, producers and artists.

He's all about the money. Trust ME. Or don't--do some homework before you snark off.

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Response to MADem (Reply #18)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:45 AM

25. Thanks for proving my point

but once was enough.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #25)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:52 AM

28. I didn't prove your point. You didn't understand the issue. nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:31 AM

20. Cloud storage is not theft of intellectual property.

But that isn't the point, the statement he made in the photographed light show is valid.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:56 AM

29. Please--when what's in the "cloud" are movies that haven't been released to DVD yet,

premium tv content, and new music, that is available for download for those who pay money to Kim Dotcom, that IS theft of intellectual property.

And Kim Dotcom wants to keep ripping off people who work in Hollywood. Bollywood, and the music industries, most of whom are not millionaires, but just regular middle class people with mortgages and families.

The man is a fence of stolen goods, and the people who use and pay for his "service" are receiving stolen goods.

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Response to MADem (Reply #29)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:03 AM

30. You'd find the same on YouTube, for instance.

There's no way to check that much volume. If he did something more than that, I'm not here to validate him, but to comment on the light picture that incidentally happened to use his face. I think you've more than made your point in this thread, in fact, you've hijacked it.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #30)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:08 AM

33. It did not "incidentally happen to use his face." He was IN ON IT.

Didn't you read the story? Good grief. Pay particular attention to THIS sentence:

“I defaced the US embassy in Berlin with a truth-projection last night. 0wned!” Dotcom, whose file-sharing website Megaupload was shut down by US authorities, wrote in a tweet.


This is about Dotcom's theft of intellectual property and his anger at the US for calling him on it.

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Response to MADem (Reply #33)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:12 AM

37. See it your own way.

I don't do 900 responses to the same point.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #37)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:21 AM

40. I'll "see it" based on the picture of the bootlegger projected on the building.

The one who is mad at the US for stepping on his illegal business.

Did you bother to even check the link to the tweet?

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Response to MADem (Reply #40)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:31 AM

43. I did better than that MADem, I went to his Twitter page

Last edited Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:33 AM - Edit history (1)

and looked at the original. I also read the entire wiki page that was linked somewhere downthread. I saw there something different about his offenses than what you are claiming; I also saw a whole lot of reason to be mad at the US.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #43)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:02 AM

46. Really? What did you see that was "different?" You're saying he didn't steal intellectual property?

Some reading:

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/kim-dotcoms-new-venture-sounds-too-good-to-be-true

In one regard, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Mega as a concept. Feature-wise it's roughly identical to other cloud-based storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, only it offers a lot more storage for a lot less money. (Dropbox gives you two gigabytes of free storage, and Google Drive gives you five.) As the Megaupload case makes clear, though, lots of people user free data-storage sites to pirate movies, music and other copyrighted materials. The case against Dotcom alleges the walking cartoon character of an entrepreneur of knowingly enabling half a billion dollars worth of intellectual property theft. Said the Motion Picture Association of America of the new service's launch, "We are still reviewing how this new project will operate, but we do know that Kim Dotcom has built his career and his fortune on stealing creative works." In other words, this Dotcom character is shady so this new Dotcom product must be shady, too.

But there's also something that's obviously wrong with Mega. Dotcom promised when seeking bail after last year's raid that he would not start any Megaupload-type businesses until his criminal case was resolved. Now that his legal team has proved successful at delaying the indictment hearing until August and perhaps indefinitely, it would appear that Dotcom just got impatient and forgetful about making those promises. More likely is the fact that Dotcom truly doesn't believe that he's in any legal trouble. "They can't blame me for the actions of third parties. Megaupload was a dual-use technology," Dotcom told The Guardian ahead of the Mega launch. "You can use it for good things, and you can use it for bad things. If someone sends something illegal in an envelope through your postal service, you don't shut down the post office."

That argument makes some sense, and it would be wonderful for Dotcom and all the other free culture advocates of the world if it were actually true. But ask the founders of Napster, KaZaa and The Pirate Bay if being the Internet's post office means you're not responsible for what your customers are shipping. For better or worse, the entertainment industry lobby has proved very effective at policing the web for would-be criminals that are violating laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) and targeting the sites that enable piracy in the process. It is helpful that Mega's new super-encryption software makes it very difficult for authorities to figure out what people are sharing. That's similar to what people said about The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites that aren't even hosting any pirate material, and its founders have been in and out of jail for years.

It all sounds a little bit too good to be true. The site offers ten times as much storage as its next competitor without collecting a penny from users. It's evidently impenetrable and as private as you can get online. And for Dotcom himself, it was a smashing success almost immediately, despite the fact that it's probably illegal in one way or another. For a guy who has lifesized sculptures of a giraffe and a rhino in his front yard, it's probably safe to say that Kim Dotcom lives in a fantasy world sometimes. At least it's fun to spectate.





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Response to MADem (Reply #29)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:23 PM

90. Um... Who gives a shit about downloaded movies?

 

2001 called and they want their pointless debate back.

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #90)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:24 PM

91. 1992 called and wants their "Blah blah called and wants blah blah back" line back...

So non-responsive to the issue and the facts at hand, and so proud of it, too!

Um, indeed!

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #90)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:38 PM

96. you can haz all my copyritz? lol.. nt

 

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:34 AM

3. What, no Nazi references? Those would get that assclown arrested!

And if that's his idea of "defacing" he hasn't met any urban taggers...

And of COURSE--surprise, surprise!!!---the source of this story is Putin's own Russia Today!

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Response to MADem (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:42 AM

4. NPR too which I added for your acceptance

Both tell the same story.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:52 AM

6. I've no doubt NPR copied it from RT...

It's not a lie, certainly-- it's just ... convenient! Like so many things Pootie Poot does!

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Response to MADem (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:54 AM

8. Are you being sarcastic?

Or just dense?

NPR is now suspect of toeing the line for Russia ?

Good Grief

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:11 AM

12. That's not what I said--but good "dense" (your word, own it) interpretation.

Are you without nuance?

Did you not read that I said it wasn't a lie? They aren't "toeing the line" for Russia, but they are being lazy stenographers--and that's just dandy. Why not? It's news, in its own way--maybe not quite entirely "Snowden" and more about "Copying shit off HBO and Showtime."

And do you have any clue how "Kim Dotcom" makes his living?

He's calling the US "STASI" because they object to his theft of intellectual property, which he sells to the rest of the world via his MEGAUPLOAD (now MEGA) business. He could give a shit about anyone save his well-fed self. If your "intellectual property" had any value, he would steal it from you and sell it around the world as well. He would, of course, "give you the opportunity to demand it be taken down" and just as quick it would be reloaded in another file. He is a thief.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Dotcom

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:45 AM

5. he's protected by Godwin's Law

 

anyone who brings up the Nazis loses the arguement

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Response to markiv (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:54 AM

7. You can't say that "N" word in Germany--they'll arrest you in "Stasi-like" fashion.

They have very specific laws about veneration or glorification of Nazis and they take them quite seriously. You can't even name a cat with a black spot under the nose "Hitler."

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Response to MADem (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:21 AM

15. they try to stamp out nazi-dom, with a nazi jack boot

 

've hah vays, off making you stop talking nazi'

a leopard cant change it's spots

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Response to MADem (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 10:45 AM

75. It isn't illegal to say the word Nazi in Germany. It's illegal to be a Nazi

making it a crime to falsely accuse someone of being a Nazi. It's not a word one just throws around there, however.

That said, there are fascists in Germany who still identify as, and sympathize with, Nazis though they call themselves anything but. (since it is illegal to be one)

But you can say the word all you want. Hard to avoid saying it in some cases - a lot of people visit the former camps and buildings/museums.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #75)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 02:14 PM

80. I think they use that "Stasi" word as a sneaky substitute, for the purposes of insulting people...

Of course they can say it when talking about history, but they can't say it as an insult, or praise Nazis.

IN that context, it's a naughty/jail offense word...

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Response to markiv (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:58 AM

11. Jesus Christ, that is not Godwin's Law. How many times must I explain this?

Godwin's Law is merely an observation of probability.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:26 AM

17. And it's not a law, but that doesn't matter when you're tasked with trying to defend

 

extreme right-wing tactics and policies while maintaining an illusion of moderation and Democratic principles. Defending the indefensible is never easy, and it's even harder when you're trying to defend it to an audience of fairly educated, literate people.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:40 PM

97. actually its an internet meme that needs pictures

 



lets not quote internet memes please? makes the quoter seem.....less than.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 03:55 AM

9. As Germans they should have more respect for the people who suffered under the Stasi

It's the same reason why comparisons to Hitler and the Nazis are so stupid.
If you didn't murder millions of innocent people, you haven't earned a Nazi comparison.

I think to compare current US spying with what the Stasi did is to lessen and cheapen what actually happened in East Germany.

also, baseless hyperbole only undermines your argument.

If young Liberals would spend two minute reading up on the Stasi:

[link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi|

They'd realize how inappropriate the comparison is.

"The Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment of perceived enemies known as Zersetzung – a term borrowed from chemistry which literally means "corrosion" or "undermining".

"By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that methods of overt persecution which had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. It was realised that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognised for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature. Zersetzung was designed to side-track and "switch off" perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any "inappropriate" activities.

"Tactics employed under Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of the victim’s private or family life. This often included breaking into homes and messing with the contents – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another. Other practices included smear campaigns, denunciation, provocation, psychological warfare, psychological subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a vibrator to a target's wife. Usually victims had no idea the Stasi were responsible. Many thought they were losing their minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide could result.

does that sound like anything going on in this country? Did Obama break into your place with his Stasi hoard and move your furniture around? Jesus.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:13 AM

13. That sloppy guy on the slide is mad because the "STASI" don't want him stealing

US TV, movies, premium channels, and music and uploading it for people to buy from HIM.

If he could make money selling Snowden to the highest bidder, he'd do it. He is a creepy guy.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:37 AM

22. Well let's see... there's MKultra, Cointelpro, and this guy from my neighborhood

Frank Olsen

http://www.frankolsonproject.org/Introduction/TheColdWar%27sDarkest.html

And so much more.

Sure but I see your point, likening all that to the Stasi is an exaggeration.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:11 AM

36. the comparison is still hyperbole

I even pasted a few paragraphs describing Stasi tactics to illustrate just how far off the mark the comparison is.

I am familiar with MKultra and Cointelpro. But a handful of creepy government programs does not equal a whole nation living in oppression.

As bad as the spying is in America, we are not in a full blown police state and most people can tell that because they aren't being thrown in federal prisons for criticizing the government.

But when you claim that we are in a police state and it's obvious that we are not, people start to tune you out and assume you are full of shit.

It's the same arguments I would have at Occupy. If you are trying to build a movement you have to seduce less politically motivated people to your side. Reckless hyperbole drives people away. Why is that so hard for Liberals to understand?

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #36)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:19 AM

38. "But when you claim that we are in a police state" Really? Where did I say that?

And yes, I already tuned you out and assume you are full of shit -- to use your wording. You can nitpick with yourself, I have no interest in it.

Oh and, don't lecture me about politics, and what drives people away (you should check out your own post on that point). There aren't many on this board who have been at it much longer than me.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #38)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:04 AM

47. This whole "I didn't say that" is typical hackneyed debate tactic BS

that get's used way too often around here.

If you really believe what you believe you can argue it, debate it, discuss it with people who disagree without cheesy tactics like that.

When you equate the United States with the Stasi, you are indirectly calling the U.S. a police state because that's what East Germany was and the Stasi was the enforcement arm of that police state.

you can say you didn't say that, but is basically the point you are making -that the US should be compared to the Stasi. Have some fucking courage and defend your point.

I'll let the whole "I'm tuning you out" bullshit speak for itself and it speaks volumes. I don't know how to be that rigid and close-minded towards others, thank god.

and yes, people tune out political hyperbole because it's insulting to their intelligence. Just make an honest argument, it doesn't need any augmentation, it's bad enough without the exaggerations.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #47)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:45 AM

57. I'll say it

 

The United States is a police state - or, at best, is rapidly decaying into one as we hither and dither. All that's really missing from the comparison is a solid linking of the information and the execution. That is to say, we've got the sweeping spy network in place and focused on the citizenry, and we've got the above-the-law militarized police forces, but the two haven't let locked arms to stomp the shit out of us... in a wholesale fashion at least, if you engage in frequent protest you probably have a different experience on this particular matter.

I'll also say that it's very odd that someone posting under an image of Smedley Butler is so complacent about this divestment of power and independence from the people of this country. That you're going to shake your finger at people for not using the proper "tone" rather than voicing even the slightest amount of concern about the reality of the situation.

And yes, people engage in hyperbole, because it's better than ostritching when addressing a problem. better to overstate than understate when there's a problem at hand - better to be chicken little than a frog in a pot, to mix and mangle metaphors.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #57)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:51 AM

61. And you said it very eloquently, indeed!

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #57)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:35 AM

68. I can appreciate and respect your ability to say it and stand by it.

I could readily agree that this country is rapidly decaying into a police state. I think your break down of the spy network needing only to lock arms with the militarized police forces. I don't think it's all the way there yet, but it doesn't need to be for people to take it seriously and care.

I am looking at the world outside our little DU bubble and people are already tuning out and moving on. They feel helpless so they put their head down and move on. I think sometimes we talk up the police state so much that people feel like it can't be defeated, but I think it can and it's a mistake to make it sound so unstoppable, that just kills hope that it can be defeated.

I think the main thing is getting more and more people to think about this until there is enough to create real political pressure. This will require talking to politically unmotivated people with a poor understanding of how our government works and convincing them to engage. It's my honest opinion that using hyperbole that can be quickly shown to be false or exaggeration ultimately destroy an argument and I think things are bad enough now that we don't need to exaggerate. I get the frog in the pot thing. Really I do.

I've been turning the police state thing over in my mind long before Obama became president, I'm long past the upset and passionate phase. I'm now in the cynical long drawn out campaign mode. People laughed at me 6 years or so ago talking about the surveillance state building up in secret. Now it's obvious that it's here and simply electing a Democratic president doesn't change it. But I think our last best chance to get rid of it is Obama. Whether people like that or not. That's the hand we are dealt.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #68)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:17 AM

70. Regarding the president...

 

I feel where you're coming from. It doesn't matter who or what the president is. If 2016 ends up with us electing a lesbian Inuit from the Green party it still won't make a difference. The problem is policy, not personality, and history shows any policy with a tag saying "defense" on it is damn near impossible to end. Obama continues Bush's policies - but then Bush continued Clinton's policies... many of which were Poppy's policies... and so on down the line to Truman.


I think the main thing is getting more and more people to think about this until there is enough to create real political pressure. This will require talking to politically unmotivated people with a poor understanding of how our government works and convincing them to engage. It's my honest opinion that using hyperbole that can be quickly shown to be false or exaggeration ultimately destroy an argument and I think things are bad enough now that we don't need to exaggerate.




With the help of Aaron McGruder, there's my problem with the "we need to be precisely factual at all times!" argument. You can provide all the facts you have, but unless you can make people care, it's all wasted effort on your part. And the fact that things are as bad as htey are now and people are still apathetic about it shows me that presenting "just the facts, ma'am" isn't going to be productive.

Liberal politics in this country is amazingly bad at propaganda, to the point where a lot of liberals and progressives see it as an inherently bad, nasty thing. It's not. Propaganda is just the art of getting your audience to invest their interest in your position. And while it does not inherently involve lying, it does have an element of "not precisely the entire cold truth" to it - the goal is to make your audience care, not to educate them about every niggling detail.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #57)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:51 AM

72. + +

 

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #57)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:31 PM

79. Excellent post.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #47)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:02 AM

62. Who are you to say "what gets used way too often around here"?

This is based on being a member for one day? Don't be so quick to judge. You accuse others of being rigid and close-minded towards others. Jumping to conclusions based on one thread and one day is a bit close-minded, wouldn't you agree?

By the way, welcome to DU. In an effort to keep the level of discourse civilized, I respectfully request that you please cut back on the use of the words "fucking" and "bullshit", if you can express your thoughts, values and beliefs without those terms. And you will be taken seriously if you would please provide cites/links to factual claims which you rely upon.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #62)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:21 AM

64. more or less the assumptions you make about me are way off

I've been lurking at DU since 2005. I read a lot, rarely feel compelled to speak, but I wanted to speak when I started to get the strong feeling that a lot of what I was reading on DU was just crazy wrong-headed.

you may think I'm wrong but that's fine. I didn't come here for approval.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #36)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 09:26 AM

73. The post is about pertinent hyperbole

and the form of protest is about the underlying truth of the matter. Halliburton expanded and set up the Guantanamo prison well before 9/11
You may not be really protecting the American people(which the Virtual Stasi database does little of) but somethings you do prepare for while pretending surprise at others.

I am sure Hoover did not destroy everyone in his secret files(lifetime job security files) but these things move apace. In a time of crisis or war more people like J. Edgar get entrenched and so does the abuse. Progress was made in getting rid of the abuses, then not completely, then reversed, and now presumed not only innocent but secretly privileged truly insanely but it implies itself beyond all law anyway. It would almost be impossible for this to sustain itself as governance at all if all the abuses were universally present, yet they will increase, as they must on this trajectory.

According to the whim of the gods. The suffering and brutality of the people will enfold as unrelated dramas.

The light was a symbolic taunt. The studied comment by the Stasi officer was more to the point. If they had this capability they would not have needed all the really inefficient boots on the face brutality that ONLY served the goal of generally terrorizing the populace. Our more humane system would also have eliminated a lot(but not all) goon jobs. The problem of course that the intimidation effect might be too diluted and certainly not get at the "problem" people. So what happens next is a big component of this overall program which seems all potential and nearly zero delivery.

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Response to PATRICK (Reply #73)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 11:29 PM

116. 9/11/2001 Guantanamo detention camp 2002

So your claim is not true.
Halliburton expanded and set up the Guantanamo prison well before 9/11

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:06 AM

32. you're correct in part

 


insofar as the density of spies who have infiltrated the common population was certainly much higher in East Germany than in the US.

However, the Stasi warning is justified as a preventive action IMO, the situation is not hopeless at the moment, but it might come so if the world doesn't react. I don't think Obama and Merkel enjoy the ado of their intelligence services, however who knows who's in the government tomorrow?

And there is an big difference which makes the NSA definitely more scary than the old Stasi: this is the technical development within the last twenty years. Stasi dreamt of these possibilities. When President Gauck worked as commissioner for the Stasi archives, he was the lord of 175 km of filing folders - in paper. I read somewhere that if you print out everything what NSA and GCHQ have stored during the last years, the line of filing folders would be able to encompass the equator three times.

This is the scary thing. Time to do something about it. The Germans will do something about it. You bet on it.

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Response to temmer (Reply #32)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:20 AM

39. the data collection has scared the shit out of me since I heard about it

quite a while ago and no one would believe because my sources weren't from mainstream "news". I think some of it is an inevitable development caused by the advance of technology. We probably wont be able to get rid of it completely, but we can reduce it's scope and limit it with more layers of checks and balances. I just assume that if I am using a digital communication product I have no privacy, whether from the government or private corporations. I have been having all of my most subversive conversations in person. It's a lost art but people should start practicing it.

I think it's important to raise the alarm to people that we are slipping ever closer to a police state literally one shitty stolen election away. It may be a whole generation away yet, but we all feel it getting closer.

I just think making dramatic comparisons that don't really stand up to inspection hurts our objective of building public support to change it. If we make dishonest arguments we lose trust and fail.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:48 AM

59. My sig is a quote from a former Stasi colonel.

He gets it better than you do.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:32 AM

67. Hey, the Stasi wasn't intercepting my phone calls here in the USA back in the day

Look at it from *their* perspective rather than your own.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:20 PM

87. Ahh, pious lectures to foreigners that they're not using their own history in a way you like... (nt)

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:24 AM

16. It came out of artist own pocket

Oliver Bienkowski, a light artist from Düsseldorf, staged the exploit. He said police approached his vehicle immediately, but were polite about asking him to move along. "I just want to do things that people will see and try to get them to think," he told SPIEGEL ONLINE.






Dotcom gave Bienkowski permission to use his picture for the projection. Bienkowski, who paid € 5,000 out of his own pocket to finance the coup, said he projected the message from the back side of the embassy to evade the more intense security on the other side of the building, where the French Embassy and Brandenburg Gate also stand

http://www.spiegel.de/international/a-910064.html

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:28 AM

19. Kim Dotcom, defender of freedom....NOT.

That guy is a thief and a pig. He has no respect for anyone's hard work. He is a user.

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Response to MADem (Reply #19)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:36 AM

21. Not a fan of piracy I see.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #21)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:41 AM

24. If I were an actor, producer, director, key grip, makeup artist, best boy, craft services provider,

cameraman or a stunt person for a film, I'd be especially bullshit.

He's taking the bread from THEIR table when he steals shit. He's also making the price of movie tickets go up faster than they otherwise would. He's a scumbag; he makes nothing. He steals the talents of others and re-sells them. He's a middleman-thief.

I have a few friends and family in the industry. They aren't millionaires, they make middle class money--this shit affects them. It's not funny.

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Response to MADem (Reply #24)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:45 AM

26. People who pirate are generally those who could not afford it anyway.

So they are not a loss to the industries.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #26)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:51 AM

27. Naaaah--because this guy charges a fee.

What they are, is CHEAP. It's not a question of not "affording," it's wanting to keep more of their money. They'll pay this slob five bucks for ten or twenty bucks worth of "product."

They like stuff that fell off the truck--they're thieves, too.

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Response to MADem (Reply #24)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:26 AM

52. Your post reminds me of something...

 

Up in Canada, in the Maritime provinces, a lot of people made their living by fishing - cod, mostly. And it was profitable businesses, subsidied by the government , and with a seeming never-ending demand. More people fished, took bigger catches, more frequently. In 1970, the take was eight hundred thousand tons of north atlantic cod. If you're unfamiliar with cod, they're a large coldwater predator fish - they're slow-growing, live to be thirteen years old, and in warmer waters (relatively speaking) reach sexual maturity at four years.

What happens when you're sucking eight hundred thousand tons of a slow-growing, late-maturing fish out of the water annually?

By 1992, the biomass of cod in the Atlantic Northwest had crashed to less than 1% of its previous levels. The Canadian government declared a moratorium on cod fishing until the fisheries could rejuvenate. It was supposed to last only two years. Now, twenty years later... the fishery is still collapsed. And you know who or what gets the blame?

Seals. That's right, the governments of Labrador and Newfoundland both opened up seal hunting with the claim that it was necessary to prevent the seals from eating all those damned cod and crashing the fisheries again. That's right, it was those fucking seals that caused the problem. Of course there were dissident voices, blaming everything from disease to global warming to some sort of cod migration... but there was never an official voice pointing out that the fishing industry of Canada had demolished its own stock, and that Canadian subsidization of the industry had helped lead to that result. Blame the seals, blame the warmer water, blame mystery causes, blame UFO's if you have to, just don't blame the fact that we were trawling in a third of the species' biomass in the North Atlantic every two years.

Now, what the fuck does a codfish have to do with the film industry? Well, for one I'm pretty sure that a codfish would be a better comedy lead than Vince Vaughn. But that's not my point.

The point is that the film industry is currently destroying itself, and blaming some meager pissant outside force with next to no practical impact for all its woes. Am I going to watch a pirated copy of "The Internship?" Fuck no. Am I going to watch a pirated copy of "After earth?" Fuck no. Am I going to watch a pirated copy of "The Lone Ranger?" Fuck no. And it's not that I have some ethical qualm against it, I'm looking at a site right now where I could click a link and watch any of these filmed for my convenience from within a theater, as I type.

I'm not going to watch pirated copies of these films because I already know they are shit. And if I won't watch them for free, what force on earth is going to get me to plunk down money - and lots of money, at that - to watch them once in a theater full of assholes who can't shut the fuck up? Am I going to fork over the dough to watch another installment of licensing hackery trying to remind me that I was born in the 80's? Or to watch another sad, sad attempt at an "epic" film, like the travesty that was Clash of the Titans? (though that one did bring us "Release the kraken!" which was good for a lol or two...) I admit i did get suckered into a theater showing of World War Z... but only because I wanted to know exactly how fucking abysmal it really was (as it turns out? Very. )

Hollywood is churning out formulaic drek with every turn of the reel. It imagines that the market is wowed by star power - that putting Brad Pitt or Will Smith on the poster will make us forgive that we're watching a celluloid version of amoebic dysentery. It imagines that we're frightened and unsure of original ideas - that we're uncomfortable with something hat isn't exactly like the last film we watched. The industry keeps selling us different-colored version of That Movie You Love - and doesn't notice we caught on to that trick back in the 90's and haven't been falling for it very often since.

Essentially, the market is responding to a low-quality product at a high price by not purchasing. That's what's giving the pinch to the industry - It's not those dastardly priates, it's not video rental businesses, and it's not the VCR. It's the industry's own inability to respond to the market.

Take for instance, "Avatar." Avatar, though it had a trite story, was still a good movie. It was well-sculpted, explored several concepts that, while not especially unique (it's sci-fi Pocahontas, or an environmentalist version of The Matrix, take your pick) happened to hit the right buttons, at the right time, and through use of a largely-unexplored medium. That is, while it didn't invent, it did innovate, and it managed to mesh with the audience's own desires and immerse them.. As a result, it's the highest-grossing film of all time. How did the industry respond?

By re-releasing movies that had been dolled up for 3-D glasses, and funding sweeping CGI "epics" one after the other, in such profusion that 2010 kind of felt like a year without actors. That is, Hollywood missed the whole fucking point of what made Avatar work, and simply took bits and pieces and glued them on to other scripts in the hope that it would "catch."

it didn't work. It hasn't worked since, and I'll bet you that it won't work in the future. And the self-inflicted blindness isn't helping any. By flailing around like a one-eyed goatherd after meeting Odysseus, blaming absolutely everyone except itself for its shitty sales, Hollywood is just further alienating the customer base. Most people would be perfectly happy to pay some money for a theater entry, or for a DVD, if we felt we were getting our money's worth - and given the current state of the economy, we value the money we have more than we used to. People who won't watch a shitty product on the silver screen probably aren't going to watch a shitty product that looks like it was filmed by a potato, even if it's offered for free.

If your friends and family are feeling the pinch, I assure you it's more due to the problems of the industry itself, than the seals nibbling around the net's fringes.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #52)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:43 AM

56. I don't disagree that much of what Hollywood churns out is dreck, but I'll also bet that

Kim Dotcom's site had copies of AVATAR available to swipe. And it's not just Hollywood--it's Bollywood, it's the British Film Institute, the French, the Italians, the Spanish...

And the problem isn't that there aren't plenty of people watching the shit--there are. And the problem isn't paying customers either, there are a lot of 'em. But the laborer is worthy of his hire. Kim Dotcom is the fence who receives the stolen goods and passes them on for a fee.

There's just no justification for it. It's not just movies, it's television--everything on the premium channels as well as the sitcoms, etc. It's music, too. You don't think that studio musician deserves his royalty?

Justifying piracy is justifying theft. People who pay Kim Dotcom a fee to trade stolen goods are not "seals." That's just a lousy analogy, sorry.

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Response to MADem (Reply #56)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:27 AM

66. You fail to grasp the point of the analogy

 

Do you really, truly think that internet piracy is the primary - or even a major - cause of loss of money for the entertainment industries? If tomorrow every torrent site, every linkshare, all of it were shut down, suddenly millions of customers would reappear and throw their money at Hollywood? At the record industry? I find it a dubious proposition.

The point of my analogy is this - the financial woes of the entertainment industry are self-created problems, but rather than deal with them the industry blames a piddly form of competition that has comparatively little impact - seals do eat fish, and pirates do lift profits. But neither is enough of a hit to the industry to cause the dire problems described!

This isn't justification nor is it me saying the people involved don't deserve their checks - save those accusations for someone who actually says that stuff. It's simply pointing out that piracy does not have sufficient impact to matter, especially not when held up against the flaws and failings of the industry itself and the losses those incur.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #66)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 02:32 PM

81. Of course it's not the "primary" loss leader, but it is one--and for you to compare it to a seal is

just not an apt analogy. The "primary" reasons for loss are everything from actors who are shitty insurance risks to lousy scripts to incompetent producer/directors to sheer waste.

If access to "pirated" (and that word, itself, is bullshit--the correct word is STOLEN--it's not Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum) materials were cut off, people would find their entertainment elsewhere. They might not go to the movies, they might go to the local theater, or out to a bar to listen to live music, or to the Redbox for a dollar movie that isn't brand new. They wouldn't sit at home on their thumbs.

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Response to MADem (Reply #19)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:10 AM

34. yeah...let's attack the messenger ***yawn***

 


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Response to temmer (Reply #34)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:14 AM

48. Yes, because the messenger has been indicted for intellectual property theft. YAWN... nt

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 04:38 AM

23. I can hear the Church Choir already. Outraged lectures to the Germans coming in 4,3,2,1...

If you don't want to be compared to the Stasi, quit acting like it.

The NSA whistleblowers can tell you all about the Stasi techniques they were subjected to in retaliation for their honesty.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:03 AM

31. "I have a relative from East Germany and HE says...."


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Response to sibelian (Reply #31)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:28 AM

42. The NSA has gathered more information, renditioned more people, than the Stasi ever did

Yeah yeah, in 2 minutes someone will come along to say the NSA doesn't rendition people. It's the same fucking machine, and the heart of the monster so yeah it does. Technicalities are bullshit at this point.

WMDs! Yellowcake! Sarin Gas! Snowden's on that plane!

I think Merkel is finished. Her complicity, ad the reasons for it, aren't going over too well.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:39 AM

44. A stasi comparison is quite valid, according to a loyalist's own post

Poster Californee above provides an undocumented, unlinked, unsourced quote describing the Stasi, ending with the challenging question, "does that sound like anything going on in this country?" As long as she is happy to skip any citations, let's just give her the benefit of the doubt and hoist her on her own undocumented petard.
My reply, "it absolutely does!" and I highlight portions of her own "defense" to prove my point.

"The Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment of perceived enemies known as Zersetzung – a term borrowed from chemistry which literally means "corrosion" or "undermining".

"By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that methods of overt persecution which had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. It was realised that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognised for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature. Zersetzung was designed to side-track and "switch off" perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any "inappropriate" activities.

"Tactics employed under Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of the victim’s private or family life. This often included breaking into homes and messing with the contents – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another. Other practices included smear campaigns, denunciation, provocation, psychological warfare, psychological subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a vibrator to a target's wife. Usually victims had no idea the Stasi were responsible. Many thought they were losing their minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide could result.

(D)oes that sound like anything going on in this country?


Absolutely! Specifically, what we see ad nauseum by the administration & its enablers are: side-tracking, smear campaigns, denunciation, provocation, and by NSA, wiretapping and bugging.

And a perfect example of stasi like behavior is seen right in this thread where the OP is attacked for posting a story which originated with a Russian news source, but also broadcast on NPR. The attackers cannot deny that this incident actually occurred, so they try their classic defense strategy of side-tracking & denunciation of the messenger. I have several friends (2 of whom just won SDX awards for investigative journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists at the National Press Club last month) who report for NPR, and believe me, they meticulously verify via multiple sources before broadcasting news stories. How conservative must you be to attack NPR as too liberal to be trustworthy?

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Response to Divernan (Reply #44)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:51 AM

45. Thank you

I thought it was an amusing story but then nothing is these days.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #44)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:20 AM

50. Exactly.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #50)


Response to Divernan (Reply #44)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:30 AM

54. Hoisted, indeed. Thank you.


This is *not* the first Stasi comparison we have heard FROM GERMANS.

Ex-Stasi Boss Green With Envy Over NSA's Domestic Spy Powers
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023143617

Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics before Obama visit
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022999007

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #54)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:38 AM

71. Another one today

Germans Hail Snowden as NSA Evokes Stasi Seizing Lives of Others
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023223124

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #71)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:16 PM

77. Thank you for posting this. nt

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Response to Divernan (Reply #44)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:13 AM

63. You can't even debate me directly, perhaps to escape rebuttal?

You not only got my screen name wrong, but you assumed I am a woman when I am a man.

You're good at making baseless assumptions.

you think that the Obama government is psychologically harassing their political opponents?

you think they have been breaking into political rivals houses and ransacking their things?

you think the Obama Administration is organizing smear campaigns?

denunciation? Anyone hear Obama denounce anyone lately?

provocation?

psychological warfare? really? really?

do you think Obama is bugging his enemies and mailing vibrators to his political opponent's wives?

you think Obama is disappearing political dissidents and torturing them?

these are paranoid fantasies. And people disagreeing with your paranoid fantasies on a discussion board does not equate a smear campaign or psychological warfare. I know you want to invalidate their opinions as inauthentic, because they aren't jumping off the cliff with you, but they really think those things, they aren't robot sock puppets being run by the CIA.

Going full bore for this "Obama is a fascist, we're already in a police state" thing just isn't supported by the facts and it makes all of us Liberals look dumb and undercuts any arguments we may make on any host of issues. That's my main problem with all of this.

I'm just waiting for the Obama=Hitler post. It can't be far away.

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Response to Californeeway (Reply #63)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:24 AM

65. Hit a nerve, didn't I?

I carefully highlighted the parts of your uncited post to which I was referring, didn't I? Try to calm down and read actual replies to your posts. Interesting that you keep going back to mailing vibrators bit - Wow! What's that about? Whatever floats your boat, kiddo! Also interesting that you were so upset to be thought to be a woman. So sorry! What an outrage!

And a little reminder. The buck stops in the oval office. So the actions of a president's various administrative agencies are bottom line attributable to said president.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #44)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 12:31 PM

78. The Stasi comparison is appropriate

 

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Response to Divernan (Reply #44)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:48 PM

111. "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser"

"When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." - Socrates

I don't know if there's enough room under the bus for NPR. I wasn't expecting them this soon lol

Of course it's like the Stasi. Why do people think the world is SO upset right now?

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Response to Catherina (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:20 AM

49. +100000 "If you don't want to be compared to the Stasi, quit acting like it."


"If you don't want to be compared to the Stasi, quit acting like it."



Ex-Stasi Boss Green With Envy Over NSA's Domestic Spy Powers
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023143617

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Response to Catherina (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:51 AM

60. My personal favourite Choir Hymn "it's disrespectful to REAL victims of ....". One word - Hypocrites

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Response to idwiyo (Reply #60)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:21 PM

88. Yep. "How dare they invoke their experiences in a way that makes us uncomfortable?!" (nt)

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Response to idwiyo (Reply #60)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:51 PM

113. If they're that worried about disprespecting REAL victims, they can address Guantanamo

until then, STFU.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:10 AM

35. That's a stupid fucking insult to those who suffered

Last edited Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:39 AM - Edit history (1)

under the German Stasi.

Do Proceed yuking it up though with this ignorant mentality.

Edit: spelling

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Response to Cha (Reply #35)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:24 AM

51. Ahem.

GERMANS put the message up. Go ahead and tell them they don't know anything about signs of a dangerous government.

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Response to Cha (Reply #35)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:30 AM

55. I've visited a Stasi (not staTsi) prison camp

Berlin is my favorite EU city, so I've spent quality time there. I also took a day trip to a nearby former Stasi prison and received an in-depth tour of that facility. It started out as Sachsenhausen concentration camp - Hitler's first, prototype camp. Since it was in East Germany, after WW Two, the soviets kept the camp operating as a prison for former Nazis, political dissidents and any Germans who attempted to escape to the West, or were even suspected of wanting to escape to the West. It operated as a prison (Soviet Special Camp Number Seven) until 1950.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_special_camp_Nr._7

Since you can't even spell "stasi", I challenge your qualifications to pontificate on what was suffered under the stasi. I'll tell you this, though. German citizens who were "disappeared" to Sachsenhausen, and later to Soviet Special Camp Number Seven, were snatched off the streets, from their homes, or from their places of employment, never to be heard from again. Because they didn't have habeas corpus, or the right to be publicly accused, or have lawyers defend them, or to have public trials. When my American tour leader (married to a Berliner, and living in Berlin) described this to us, I commented, sounds just like the Patriot Act, to which she sadly agreed.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #55)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 02:37 PM

82. Except that the Patriot Act didn't disturb habeas corpus, the right to be publicly accused,

 

or the right to counsel, or public trial.

Brilliant point otherwise. I did like it better when the anti-government rhetoric was "jack-booted thugs"--perhaps progressives could learn something in messaging from the NRA/militia movement of the 1990's.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #82)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:16 PM

84. Patriot Act, expanded byMilitary Commissions Act,National Defense Authorization Act & SCOTUS

decisions pretty much leave habeas corpus in tatters. And I don't think trial before a military tribunal equates with public trial - you know, like with rules of evidence approved by Congress or a state legislature, or a jury of your peers.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 9: “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

The Patriot Act, which became effective on the 26th October 2001, already authorised indefinite detention without indictment for foreigners suspected of having links to terrorist organisations.
In order to finally bring these prisoners to justice, special tribunals and military commissions were created by Presidential decree, the Military Order of 13th November 2001 [1]. This executive act enables the trial, by these military tribunals, of foreigners suspected of being in contact with Al Qaeda, or having “committed, prepared or helped to devise acts of international terrorism against the USA”.
In these exceptional courts, defendants do not have the right to choose their own lawyer – instead (HEADS UP, HERE, FOLKS: NO RIGHT TO COUNSEL), the defense lawyer will be a military person designated by the President, who also designates the military judges and determines the degree of “physical coercion” HEADS UP AGAIN, FOLKS - AUTHORIZES TORTURE) that can be applied to the prisoner. The lawyer also has no access to evidentiary elements of the case which may be classified as “secret”.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-suspension-of-habeas-corpus-in-america/5311701



Back in 2006, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, which abolished habeas corpus rights for noncitizens, among other things. This part of the law was overturned in 2008 by the Supreme Court in Boumedine vs. Bush as unconstitutional. Today, it looks like the Supreme Court gave up on that line of reasoning. Marcy Wheeler reports:

SCOTUS Kills Habeas Corpus
Posted on June 11, 2012 by emptywheel

SCOTUS has just declined to take all seven of the pending Gitmo habeas corpus petitions, including Latif and Uthman. This effectively kills habeas corpus.

Consider what SCOTUS just blessed:
Holding a person indefinitely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time–including a school, a road, and a guest house–where suspect people are.
Holding a person indefinitely based on an admittedly error-ridden report the government wrote up itself.
Holding a person indefinitely based on pattern analysis.
Completely upending the role of District Court judges in the fact-finding process.


- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/11/scotus-kills-habeas-corpus/#sthash.4Ikh6w2Z.dpuf


We also have the end of Habeas Corpus for US citizens.

The National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama on the 31st December 2011 authorises the indefinite detention, without trial or indictment, of any US citizens designated as enemies by the executive. The individuals concerned are not only those who have been captured on the field of battle, but also those who have never left the United States or participated in any military action. The law concerns any person designated by the administration as “a member of Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and who takes part in hostile action against the United States”, but also anyone who “substantially supports these organisations”. This formula enables an extensive and flexible use of the law. For example, it would enable the government to lash out at any civil defence organisations who seek to protect the constitutional rights of US citizens who have been designated by the executive as enemies of the USA.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-suspension-of-habeas-corpus-in-america/5311701

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Response to Divernan (Reply #84)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:18 PM

85. Derp Someone didn't read Hamdan vs Rumsfeld.

 

The NDAA explicitly states it doesn't change the law in any way. Since the right to habeas corpus was firmly established by SCOTUS cases, nope it lives.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #85)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:25 PM

92. That was 2006 - try to keep up.

SCOTUS Kills Habeas Corpus

SCOTUS has just declined to take all seven of the pending Gitmo habeas corpus petitions, including Latif and Uthman. This effectively kills habeas corpus.

Consider what SCOTUS just blessed:
Holding a person indefinitely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time–including a school, a road, and a guest house–where suspect people are.
Holding a person indefinitely based on an admittedly error-ridden report the government wrote up itself.
Holding a person indefinitely based on pattern analysis.
Completely upending the role of District Court judges in the fact-finding process.


- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/11/scotus-kills-habeas-corpus/#sthash.4Ikh6w2Z.dpuf

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Response to Divernan (Reply #92)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:26 PM

93. Yes, and the NDAA explicitly states that it doesn't change the law regarding detainee

 

rights.

So, if the NDAA explicitly says it doesn't affect Hamdan v Rumsfeld, how could it overrule Hamdan V Rumsfeld?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #93)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:28 PM

94. YOU brought up Hamden v. Rumsfeld; I don't rely on it.

Address the content of my post if you wish to argue with me.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #94)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:28 PM

95. I'm saying Hamdan v Rumsfeld disproves your entire argument. nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #95)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:56 PM

98. The law doesn't work the way you think it does.

First of all you don't provide the language of NDAA upon which you rely. All sections of an Act must be interpreted in para materia.
Seconldy, a ruling in a 2006 case can be nullified by subsequent legislation and/or case law.
So if an Act says it doesn't "change the law" (and I highly doubt the Act uses such simplistic, unqualified language) it's referring to the law as it exists at the time the Act is enacted, and the "law" can always be changed subsequently by either statute (legislature) or case law(court).

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Response to Divernan (Reply #98)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:02 PM

101. You're aware that Congress can't overrule a constitutional ruling by the SCOTUS, right?

 

NDAA Section 1021 (the part applying to citizens) includes this language:



(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.



You were saying . . .

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #101)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:21 PM

106. I'm the retired law professor & you're not

I cannot provide a legal education to you. To put it in simplest terms you simply cannot justify your personal interpretation. Good grief! Laws are constantly being changed, amended, expanded, or nullified by both legislative action and court opinion. Court opinions, including what is or is not "constitutional" can change from session to session, and particularly when one throws a new Justice into the mix. The section you quote does not refer to any particular Supreme Court case. And you never addressed the language which I highlighted which clearly shows habeas corpus, right to counsel and right to present evidence is out the window.

As to the division of powers within our government, Congress doesn't "overrule" SCOTUS decisions. The fact that you would even use the phrase "overrule" as you did, tells me you really don't understand the legal system. If Congress disagrees with a SCOTUS interpretation of a law, Congress may (as I said already) chose to change the law.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #106)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:32 PM

107. A retired law professor who can't read a statute.

 

The section you quote does not refer to any particular Supreme Court case


It doesn't need to.

(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.


Not only Hamdan, but Boumediene would be undisturbed by this statute.

Unless you're going to argue that it's unclear whether "existing law or authorities" includes the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Lordy. You're arguing that Boumediene has effectively been overruled based on absolutely nothing but your own hot air.

Pretend for a moment that you're representing a detainee and the government tries to deny habeas. Would you really sit there and shrug your shoulders and say "the NDAA overruled Boumediene. You're screwed?"

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #107)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:35 PM

108. You get A for persistence; F for legal knowledge/reasoning

Buh-bye!

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Response to Divernan (Reply #108)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:37 PM

109. Nope, I just had much better professors than you when I attended law school.

 

Here's the link to Boumediene's wikipedia page, since you've forgotten about it apparently:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boumediene_v._Bush

Note in particular:

On June 12, 2008, Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority, holding that the prisoners had a right to the habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was an unconstitutional suspension of that right. The Court applied the Insular Cases, by the fact that the United States, by virtue of its complete jurisdiction and control, maintains "de facto" sovereignty over this territory, while Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory, to hold that the aliens detained as enemy combatants on that territory were entitled to the writ of habeas corpus protected in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. The lower court had expressly indicated that no constitutional rights (not merely the right to habeas) extend to the Guantanamo detainees, rejecting petitioners' arguments, but the Supreme Court held that fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution extend to the Guantanamo detainees as well.[6][7]

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #109)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:50 PM

112. Well you better tell Obama, cause that's not the way he sees it.

Far from having broken with his Republican predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama has now reinforced the law of exception that he criticised when he was a senator. It is now possible to deprive United States citizens of their fundamental rights because they have taken part in armed action against their own country, but also when they take a political position favourable to those who use military action to resist the Empire. Worse – Barack Obama has added to the law John Yoo’s “Unitary Executive theory,” which puts an end to the principles of the separation of powers as defined by Montesquieu. The security policy of the United States President now escapes all control.

The possibility of treating US citizens as foreign ’terrorists’ has been a constant objective of the government executive since the attacks of 9/11. By the new prerogative which has been awarded him by the National Defense Authorization Act – that of being able to nullify Habeas Corpus for US citizens and not just for foreign nationals – the Obama administration has achieved what the previous government had only planned but never instituted.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-suspension-of-habeas-corpus-in-america/5311701

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Response to Divernan (Reply #112)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:53 PM

115. Too much misinformation to debunk from

 

my phone, but I'll start with the nonsense that Obama=Yoo.

No, because Yoo's big thing was the 'inherent authority' of the President, whereas Obama has pointedly relied upon Congressional authorization for anti-terror powers.

The rest is the standard unsubstantiated conclusions and allegations associated with echo chamber rants.

Also, from a crap website.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:21 AM

41. Oh the irony - that should leave a mark

Rec

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Response to malaise (Reply #41)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:01 PM

100. It's a stupid insult to those who did suffer under the German

Stasi.

We are not suffering in our Country, malaise, because we have President Obama for one very important reason.

And, it doesn't leave a mark to those who know how stupid it is.

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Response to Cha (Reply #100)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:14 PM

103. I'm an Obama fan but I don't support

the violation of privacy. Secret government is Nazi business.
We either have rule by constitution - i.e. rule of law or we have secret governments and no rights.

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Response to malaise (Reply #103)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:20 PM

105. Yes, I know, malaise.. the real German Stasi..

Snip***

Infiltration[edit]Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extensiveness of any surveillance largely depended on how valuable a product was to the economy)[13] and one tenant in every apartment building was designated as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei (Vopo).[17] Spies reported every relative or friend who stayed the night at another's apartment.[17] Tiny holes were drilled in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras.[17] Schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.


"The Stasi had formal categorizations of each type of informant, and had official guidelines on how to extract information from, and control, those who they came into contact with.[18] The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the armed services) to those in the dissident movements (such as in the arts and the Protestant Church).[19] Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members.[20] Informants were made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only around 7.7%, according to official figures, were coerced into cooperating. A significant proportion of those informing were members of the SED; to employ some form of blackmail, however, was not uncommon.[19] A large number of Stasi informants were trolley conductors, janitors, doctors, nurses and teachers; Mielke believed the best informants were those whose jobs entailed frequent contact with the public."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

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Response to Cha (Reply #105)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:43 PM

110. Well your Fundie neighbors are watching you now

One of the problems I always have re the Nazis is that everyone forgets the ideology was fascism.
Whether it's the Italian corporatism or German fascism it's still rule by the 1%.
That's what really frightens me and not for me either - for the young ones and those to come.
Obama didn't start any of this but he needs to stop it.

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Response to malaise (Reply #110)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:52 PM

114. Don't have any fundy neighbors thank Goodness.. but, I see your

point.

President Obama has welcomed this discussion.. we'll see what happens.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:47 AM

58. Hilter, Stasi and Stalin -- the Hair of Fire Trifecta

 

The "yes we fell for the Republican trap again" are drooling over this story...

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 11:10 AM

76. These germans... Accusing the NSA of Stasi tactics without asking our permission first!

Don't they know that random american internet posters are the arbiters of all comparisons made to previous german governments?

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #76)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 02:38 PM

83. Germans have every right to make idiotic comparisons to their own past. nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #83)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:18 PM

104. Evidently, they can insult those who did suffer under the German Stasi and

ignorant Americans will think they're suffering the same.

Snip***

Infiltration[edit]Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extensiveness of any surveillance largely depended on how valuable a product was to the economy)[13] and one tenant in every apartment building was designated as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei (Vopo).[17] Spies reported every relative or friend who stayed the night at another's apartment.[17] Tiny holes were drilled in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras.[17] Schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.


"The Stasi had formal categorizations of each type of informant, and had official guidelines on how to extract information from, and control, those who they came into contact with.[18] The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the armed services) to those in the dissident movements (such as in the arts and the Protestant Church).[19] Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members.[20] Informants were made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only around 7.7%, according to official figures, were coerced into cooperating. A significant proportion of those informing were members of the SED; to employ some form of blackmail, however, was not uncommon.[19] A large number of Stasi informants were trolley conductors, janitors, doctors, nurses and teachers; Mielke believed the best informants were those whose jobs entailed frequent contact with the public."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:19 PM

86. Oh dear!

 

nt.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:22 PM

89. Absurd. n/t

 

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:00 PM

99. That looks like a really

effective protest tactic. We should adopt it.



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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 07:02 PM

102. How idiotic

particularly for Germans who one would think actually know something about the Stasi.

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