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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,652

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Troubles In The Data Mine

Hillary Clinton’s brilliant new Twitter profile


The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror

The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror

Of course we should dedicate significant resources and effort to stopping terrorism.
But consider some hard facts. In 2001, the year when America suffered an unprecedented terrorist attack -- by far the biggest in its history -- roughly 3,000 people died from terrorism in the U.S.
Let's put that in context. That same year in the United States:

71,372 died of diabetes
29,573 were killed by guns
13,290 were killed in drunk driving accidents

That's what things looked like at the all time peak for deaths by terrorism. Now let's take a longer view. We'll choose an interval that still includes the biggest terrorist attack in American history: 1999 to 2010.

Again, terrorists killed roughly 3,000 people in the United States. And in that interval,
Roughly 360,000 were killed by guns (Actually, the figure the CDC gives is 364,483 -- in other words, by rounding, I just elided more gun deaths than there were total terrorism deaths).

Roughly 150,000 were killed in drunk driving accidents.


NSA surveillance as told through classic children's books

NSA surveillance as told through classic children's books
As news of the NSA's secret surveillance programs spread this weekend, Twitter did what it does best: mockery. User Darth asked followers to contribute titles for #NSAKidsBooks, which were then turned into beautifully hilarious works of art. Darth has kindly allowed us to share the


Ed Snowden Broke The Law

mho, A secret court is not a court. A secret legal opinion is not a welcome concept, and our government is complicit

SUN JUN 09, 2013 AT 09:58 PM PDT
Ed Snowden Broke The Law


Ask yourself this: When Congress was considering the Patriot Act, if Section 215 said "The FBI shall have the right to obtain all information pertaining to all phone calls, locations and internet use by all Americans, regardless of whether or not those Americans are suspected of any wrongdoing," do you think people would have supported it? Would you have supported it? That's the result we got, regardless of the otherwise mundane way the law was written.

I normally would say that I hoped the law would be challenged at the Supreme Court. The law as written seems ok, but the law as applied seems unconstitutional to me. However, with a secret law (i.e., the law as applied here) that's not possible. You can't appeal a law you don't know about. Same thing with appealing a court decision. The FISA court issued its authorization for these seizures. Normally the losing side in a court battle can appeal to a higher court, all the way to a state supreme court or the federal Supreme Court. The "other side" in the FISA court battle was us. But we didn't know we'd lost.

So to those people who say Snowden revealed conduct that was perfectly legal and thus cannot be a whistleblower, I say Snowden revealed the problem of secret laws. Laws that evolve outside of the public view. Outside of the view of the people from whom the Constitution and all other laws in our country derive. The people who have the direct and indirect power to change laws they perceive as improper or unfair.

Now many of those people see what has happened to this specific law - the monster it has become - and they're angry. Hopefully they will demand that their representatives take action to re-insert the concept of personal privacy into the important framework of counterterrorism.

MORE: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/10/1214996/-Ed-Snowden-Broke-The-Law

Obama NOT The Villain-Look in the Mirror-Its The Pant's Wetting Populace of the USA Who Votes for...

I Am So Fucking Over This Already
Posted by John Cole at 8:33 pm




…For the record, Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed, and it looks like they did everything correctly and followed the letter of the law. If he hadn’t done everything to the extent of the law to implement the patriot act and something happened, they same jackasses now feigning outrage on the right would be flaming him for being soft on terror. Snowden is not the villain here, he just felt this needed to be out there, and if one more jackass all-in Obama supporter tells me he endangered national security, I swear to ALLAH I will start punching babies. The only thing he endangered were the talking points for the permanent security state. The NSA is not the villain here- they are just doing what we allowed them to do. Glenn Greenwald is not the villain here, he’s a civil libertarian who has warned about this and is now reporting the excesses of the program.

No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror. It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis, because we have to do something and because Americans, unlike every other nation in the world, have a god given right to be safe at all times from all things.


ASSANGE: "imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces — forever."

From the article he penned some days ago, published in the NYT. It's brilliant and addresses Google quite directly. Love Assange or hate him, it's pretty stunning when he writes:


The advance of information technology epitomized by Google heralds the death of privacy for most people and shifts the world toward authoritarianism.


If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces — forever. Zealots of the cult of consumer technology will find little to inspire them here, not that they ever seem to need it. But this is essential reading for anyone caught up in the struggle for the future, in view of one simple imperative: Know your enemy.


I keep having to remind myself, we have a Constitution

Sh*t just got real for Edward Snowden -the US and Hong Kong have a bilateral extradition treaty

The U.S. and Hong Kong have an extradition treaty together.

Sh*t just got real for Edward Snowden RT @ZekeJMiller: FWIW, the US and Hong Kong have a bilateral extradition treaty http://www.state.gov/...


Ellsberg: "I've been waiting for him (Edward Snowden) for 40 years"

Trevor Timm (@trevortimm)
6/9/13 1:02 PM
I was just with Dan Ellsberg as he learned out about Edward Snowden. He called Snowden a hero, said he's been waiting for him for 40 years.

as for me,

Charles Blow column more or less expresses about where I’m at. I believe the surveillance is both:
1) utterly unsurprising and
2) “one of those rare moments where the left edge and the right one can meet”
(I’d alter that to “should be able to meet”).
It certainly appears to be “government overreach” and “a threat to liberty.”
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