October 24, 2007

"Contrast Dodd's leadership and conviction on this matter with the complete passivity and invisibility of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama."

Okay. Then contrast Dodd to Clinton and Obama on this new LA Times/Bloomberg poll (PDF), asking Democrats who are registered and plan to vote in the primary how they'd vote if the primary were held today:
Hillary Clinton 48%
Barack Obama 17
John Edwards 13
Bill Richardson 2
Joe Biden 2
Dennis Kucinich 1
Someone else 2
Don’t know 15

- Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel each got less than 0.5%.

114 comments:

Trooper York said...

My daughter, Molly Dodd, writes tortured, gut-wrenching poetry that's generally putrid. I'd never tell her that, because I feel children should be encouraged to express themselves. Not that Molly's a child, per se, but she'll always be my child, to me.

She's been submitting poems to magazines for years, and the rejections ought to tell her someting, but still she keeps banging her head against the wall. That's the thing about her, she doesn't give up!

I'm not positive, but I think there's a whole lot of sexual innuendo in her poetry that, personally, makes me very uncomfortable. Not that I'm a prude, mind you! Here's an excerpt I found in her drawer. This is the non-sexual part. I quote ..

Love's fangs pierced my neck;
My blood spurted and wrote your name.
Serpents in scarlet letters winding around my sleeping shape,
Twisting and squeezing,
And the hot wind licks the lace curtains.

[Florence concludes her recitation with: "Excuse me, I have to sit down now."]
(The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd 1986)

Roger said...

Dodd, Biden, Gravel and the other idiot senators who somehow believe that they are presidential timber..God save us from Senators.
The fact that these fools even run does help redistribute income in the advertising sector, but mostly speaks to their own bloated egos. What a bunch of clowns.

Doyle said...

Is your point here honestly "Oh yeah, well if he's so brave why is he getting crushed in the polls?"

Or is there something else, something perhaps less stupid, you're trying to say?

Fred Soto said...

The FISA controversy is one issue that would make it impossible for me to ever support the GOP or DNC exclusively. I am disgusted with both parties for being so quick to disregard American privacy rights and liberty. We talk so much about being a free nation, the greatest democratic free society in the world, yet when I hear Congress discussing the issue.. and some Republicans in particular, I want to throw up. The America that these men want to thrust on us is not a FREE society. I believe Democracy dies the day we allow the government and agencies all of the authority and immunity from accountability to the people, that it seeks.

On an issue that threatens to shake up the way America functions, we should err on the side of freedom and not bend to the will of fear.

Balfegor said...

Dodd, Biden, Gravel and the other idiot senators who somehow believe that they are presidential timber..God save us from Senators.
The fact that these fools even run does help redistribute income in the advertising sector, but mostly speaks to their own bloated egos. What a bunch of clowns.


I don't think Biden really deserves to be lumped in with the others there. He's not stupid. He's actually, in many cases, pragmatic and sensible, even though I think he's almost always wrong. His biggest problem, politically, is that he has never learned to shut up. Most recently, if I recall correctly, it was the gaffe where he made fun of Indian-Americans. And that other one where he implied that African Americans are inarticulate and dirty. Were the Democrats to choose him as their nominee, they'd get someone with long experience in the Senate -- as a leader in the Senate, even (unlike Kerry) -- and someone with a serious interest in foreign policy. They'd just get someone who is also prone to embarassing verbal gaffes.

LawGiver said...

He then proceeded to explain why he believes that restoration of our constitutional framework and the rule of law is the matter of the greatest urgency, and recounted why those values are inculcated in him, as they are in many -- I'd say most -- Americans.

I think our constitutional framework and the rule of law are working just fine so I don't think any "restoration" is necessary.

On the other hand I would love to see the democrats kick this around the senate floor for a few months.

Doyle said...

I think our constitutional framework and the rule of law are working just fine

Then you either don't read the newspaper or don't know what the rule of law is.

Trooper York said...

Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.
(H.P. Lovecraft- The Tomb" - Written Jun 1917; first published in The Vagrant, No. 14 March 1922)

Roger said...

Balfegor: point taken about Biden--and in fairness I dont think of those turkeys are stupid--merely to narcissistic and talkative. Biden is the only guy who can use up all his time in confirmation hearings asking a question and still get cut off.

Doyle said...

How very Straussian!

Trooper York said...

Away with the music of broadway
Be off with your irving berlin
Oh i give no quarter to kern or cole porter
And gershwin keeps pounding on tin

How can i be civil when hearing this drivel
It's only for nightclubbin' souses
Oh give me the free 'n' easy waltz that is vienneasy and
Go tell the band if they want a hand
The waltz must be strauss's

Ya, ya ya, give me oom-pa-pah
When i want a melody
Lilting through the house
Then i want a melody
By strauss
It laughs, it sings, the world is in rhyme
Swinging to three-quarter time

Let the danube flow along
And the fledermauss
Keep the wine and give me song
By strauss

By jove, by jing, by strauss is the thing
So i say to ha-cha-cha, heraus!
Just give me your oom-pa-pah, by strauss!

(bridge)

Let the danube flow along
And the fledermauss
Keep the wine and give me song
By strauss

By jove, by jing, by strauss is the thing
So i say to ha-cha-cha, heraus!
Just give me your oom-pa-pah,
By strauss!"
(Ella Fitzgerald, By Strauss)

Roger said...

Doyle: you are right about not reading the newspapers. They contain not a smidgen of truth. On the other hand, I do know what the rule of law is, that there is a democratic controlled congress, the supreme court still exists and tanks are not in the streets. The fact that you can still write your opinions suggests to me that the state gestapo about which you are wetting your pants is totally incompetent or there really isnt one--in either case, call me when the black helicopters come for you. Email me for my cell.

Trooper York said...

I want to be vienneasy! I bet that involves pastry!

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle said..."Is your point here honestly "Oh yeah, well if he's so brave why is he getting crushed in the polls?""

No, you have the causation reversed. Because he's getting crushed in the polls he has the freedom to experiment with strong positions that the candidates with a shot know Americans don't want.

Ann Althouse said...

In other words, he's not brave, he's just got nothing to lose. And the upside is, he gets people like Glenn Greenwald to fawn over him. It just shows you how out of the mainstream the lefty bloggers are.

Doyle said...

Then why are Clinton and Obama expressing willingness to block the (utterly corrupt) legislation?

Trooper York said...

Dolye is the best set up man in the
business. He is the Arthur Rhodes of the internet. God Bless.

Doyle said...

Not all Americans take as servile a position as you and your wingnut friends when it comes to tapping our phones without a warrant.

Luckyoldson said...

What difference does a Presidential candidate saying what he or she would do if President...when we ALL know it's purely hypothetical at best?

If Dodd or anybody says they'll do this or that, we ALL also know it would depend upon the situation at the time of the decision.

99% of this is pure political posturing and doesn't mean squat in the long run.

Hillary will be the candidate and she'll beat anybody she runs against.

Why?

Eight long years of George W. Bush.

Trooper York said...

No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
No phone no phone
Ringing stinging
Jerking like a nervous bird
Rattling up against his cage
Calls to me thoughout the day
See the feathers fly
No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
No phone No phone
No phone no phone I just want to be alone today
Rhyming chiming got me working all the time
Gives me such a worried mind
Now I don't want to seem unkind
But god (it's such a crime)
No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
No phone no phone
No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
No phone no phone
Shaking quaking
Waking me when I'm asleep
Never lets me go too deep
Summons me with just one beep
The price we pay is steep
I've been on fire
And yet I've still stayed frozen
So deep in the night
My smooth contemplations will always be broken
My deepest concerns will stay buried and unspoken
No I don't have any change but here's a few subway tokens
No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
No phone No phone
No phone no phone I just want to be alone today
No phone no phone
No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
No phone No phone
(Cake)

christopher said...

Ann Althouse said...
In other words, he's not brave, he's just got nothing to lose. And the upside is, he gets people like Glenn Greenwald to fawn over him. It just shows you how out of the mainstream the lefty bloggers are.

Wow. I don't know what's worse about that statement -- the cheap sneering cynicism or the rank stupidity.

Either way, it's loathsome.

Doyle said...

That was the best song on that album.

"Prolonging the Magic" was their best effort, though.

Trooper York said...

Doyle, on that we agree.

Luckyoldson said...

Here's an example of why Americans are sick and tired of our current state of affairs. (No pun intended)

From Tom Paine Common Sense:

The State Children's Health Insurance Program bill is not going away. House leaders announced that they are bringing another SCHIP bill to the floor this week, with minor changes but still expanding the program to cover a total of 10 million kids.

The White House responded by whipping out a fresh "fact" sheet. The headline?

"Just the Facts: 'Over Half the Families in America Are Not Poor.'"

And your point is?

Apparently, this is their point: "Congress' bill would result in 57 percent of children in America and about 53 percent of families with children being potentially eligible for public assistance. The President has said poor children should come first. Over half the families in America are not poor."

Of course, there is no way 57% percent of America's kids would be in SCHIP. America has 74 million kids, and there's only enough funding in the bill to cover 10 million.

More importantly, as far as SCHIP goes, it doesn't matter that the number of those in poverty has risen to "only" 36.5 million people and 12.8 million kids in the Bush Era.

SCHIP has never been about providing health coverage to kids in poverty. That's the purpose of Medicaid. SCHIP is about providing health coverage to kids who are not in poverty, but whose parents still can't afford insurance.

During the SCHIP debate, the White House and its conservative allies have already managed to advertise their complete callousness to the struggles of working families.

Now they are advertising their failures to reduce poverty.

Once again, Mission Accomplished.

Doyle said...

To Ann, "people like Glenn Greenwald" is an insult, because it refers to people who don't appreciate the Bush administration's rampant criminality.

Luckyoldson said...

"It just shows you how out of the mainstream the lefty bloggers are."

Based on what?

This article?

Greenwald?

Trooper York said...

Maar waar het schip strandt, is waar het schip strandt
en tot die tijd is er niks aan de hand.
Ja waar het schip strandt, is waar het schip strandt
en tot die tijd is er niks aan de hand.

[Brutus]
een last-minute ticket naar een wit strand.

[Brutus]
Ik zit onder palmbomen, lekker te dagdromen,
IPod op me kop en volume op z'n hardst open.
De mooiste dromen zijn nooit echt
en als je wakker wordt dan is het ook zo weg.
Dus ik maak muziek om me goed voelen.
Dus als ik stoer doe is het goed bedoeld
en ik moet het doen, nu zit ik lekker in me vel,
ik heb veels te veel vlees maar toch red ik me wel.
Maar in het echte spel gaan er ook dingen mis,
ik heb er nooit wat mee te maken toch zit ik er middenin.
Vertrouw blind op me instinct,
want me gevoel is de koers op het roer naar de goede richting.
Ik vind dit nog steeds heel komisch,
sinds dag 1 met m'n 2 homies.
Een top-combo alsof je één flow ziet,
emotie op de melodie.

Maar waar het schip strandt, is waar het schip strandt
en tot die tijd is er niks aan de hand.
Ja waar het schip strandt, is waar het schip strandt
en tot die tijd is er niks aan de hand.
(LANGE FRANS & BAAS B Song: WAAR HET SCHIP STRANDT Album: HET LAND VAN 2005)

Roger said...

Doyle: "the Bush administration's rampant criminality...." To make such a prepostreous statement you have to assume BUSHCO, BFEE and the hallilburtonmccheney empire have congress and the SCOTUS completely in their control. Those kind of genuinely stupid assertions completely undermine any real concerns a citizen might have, and marginalize you as a out of touch nut. Just saying

Doyle said...

Conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. persons without a warrant is illegal.

Torture is also illegal.

Luckyoldson said...

Roger said..."To make such a prepostreous statement you have to assume BUSHCO, BFEE and the hallilburtonmccheney empire have congress and the SCOTUS completely in their control."

Why would Bush and Company have to have controls over Congress and SCOTUS to have committed criminal acts?

Just because they aren't prosecuted or even charged certainly doesn't mean they haven't been responsible for acts that most would consider "criminal."

Your comments are nothing more than the standard right wing talking points, denials and defense of the current administration.

*By the way, speaking of Halliburton; their profits were UP 19% this quarter...and that follows an increase in every quarter over the past 4 years...and their stock has gone from about $8 to $40.

Some might consider that a form of...war profiteering?

Doyle said...

Also illegal:

- Lying to Congress (see Gonzalez, A.)

- Contempt of Congress (Miers, Rove).

- Imprisoning US citizens without trial or access to counsel (Padilla).

That's the short list, I guess.

Luckyoldson said...

Doyle,
John and the rest of the wing nuts here could give a flying fuck.

That is...unless they're hauled in...then the real whining begins.

Doyle said...

Yeah I know. I've been told "It's never the federal government at my door." and "They can listen to my calls for all I care."

It's been a long, surprisingly rapid fall from "Live Free or Die."

Trooper York said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jill Johnson: [phone rings]
[answers]
Jill Johnson: Stop calling me you sick...
Officer Burroughs: Jill, Jill. We traced the call! It's coming from inside the house! Do you hear me? It's coming from inside the house! You need to get out! Jill?
[power goes out]
(When a Stranger Calls 2006)

SteveR said...

Christopher Wow. I don't know what's worse about that statement -- the cheap sneering cynicism or the rank stupidity.

Either way, it's loathsome.


Wow. I don't know what's worse about that statement -- the cheap sneering cynicism or the rank stupidity.

The Drill SGT said...

Doyle said...
Not all Americans take as servile a position as you and your wingnut friends when it comes to tapping our phones without a warrant.


Doyle, stop for a second and consider your response and give me your opinion on whether these things are Illegal:

1. OBL, on a phone we know he uses (but for which we don't yet have a warrant) calls sombody in Iraq. Now if the call gets routed through Karachi, to Bagdad, it's a no brainer to tap and trace him. However, this call gets routed through the switch at AT&T in San Fran. (this was the essence of one of the suits). Doyle, would you tap the call? Apparently earlier this year when 3 US soldiers were captured, we were not able to tap phones in Nagdad, because outbound calls were getting routed through SF.

2. OBL calls a number in the US, can we tap it if we don't already know that it is being received by a "US Person", or are all international calls into the US assumed to be received by legal residents, not terrorists?

3. currently the SCOTUS has declared that there is no expectation of privacy for addresses outside of envelopes going to "people of interest", nor on phone billing records (unlike the contents of the calls), do you think that phone companies should be sued for turning over billing records?

4. same topic as 3 above, should Telco's get sued for providing receiving email addresses to which OBL sends an email to, from his Cave?

5. Can a US citizen (like Adam Gadahn (the American Taliban)) be tapped overseas talking with OBL without a US warrant?

6. Can we tap a US registered phone overseas without a warrant, if we cant tell whether the phone is in OBL's hands or John Smith?

Luckyoldson said...

drill sgt,
Nobody gives a fuck about tapping Bin Laden's telephone. Most Americans would like to light the man on fire and throw him off a tall building.

It's Americans who have nothing to do with terrorism that are concerned about their constitutionally guaranteed privacy. (The 4th Amendment...familiar with it?)

Do YOU actually believe the ONLY calls that are being tapped...are directly linked to OBL??

This is the same crap Sean Hannity, Rish Limbaugh and Ann Coulter regurgitate every day of the week.

Get some new material.

Doyle said...

Drill Sgt. -

If the Bush administration believed FISA was overly and unreasonably constrictive of its ability to catch OBL and Al Qaeda, it should have said so. I have no problem with amending a law to account for the fact that two foreigners can be talking and it's routed over US soil.

But they didn't do that. Bush said explicitly that he had all the tools he needed, and that wiretapping (of Americans) was only happening where they had gotten a warrant.

As it happened they just violated the law in secret, for which they, and the telcos who abetted them (in exchange for taxpayer $$) should be held accountable.

And don't tell me AT&T didn't know what the law was. They have lawyers.

Doyle said...

Also, FISA isn't constrictive of their ability to catch OBL. Bush doesn't even think about him that much anymore, remember? He's too handy in scaring up the Althouse vote.

ricpic said...

Can't get past the waitress sandwich when it comes to evaluating Senator Concerned Patrician Dodd.

The Drill SGT said...

Thanks Doyle,

OK pose me an example of what you think is illegal activity by a Telco?

Doyle said...

I'd rather find out what the telcos were doing first.

Trooper York said...

I thought Telco made the Popiels Pocket Fisherman.

Doyle said...

I'm only now coming to grips with the shallowness and stupidity of Ann's take here.

She's saying the only reason Sen. Dodd is against this (the "Let Bygones Be Bygones" bill) is because he's nowhere in the polls.

There's no way a liberal democrat could actually object to retroactive immunity (or "basket" wiretaps for that matter) on the merits. Those things are so good, every red-blooded American is in favor of them, right Ann? Except for the overly wordy leftists like Glenn Greenwald?

Luckyoldson said...

The Drill SGT said..."...pose me an example of what you think is illegal activity by a Telco?"

Well, according to the CEO of Quest, the administration asked for specific call information on Americans months BEFORE the 9/11 attack.

Would YOU consider that to be illegal?

Justin said...

I think everyone's missing the big point here. Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel combined have less support than Dennis Kucinich!

Doyle said...

Lucky -

One thing to keep in mind: Joe Nacchio was right to deny the gov't request but was also convicted of insider trading, so beginning sentences "According to the Qwest CEO" is asking for trouble!

christopher said...

Doyle said...

I'm only now coming to grips with the shallowness and stupidity of Ann's take here.


Her smug dismissal of the idea that anybody could even think about doing something because they thought it was the right thing to do is classic wingnut loathsomeness.

Very telling...

The Drill SGT said...

Well, according to the CEO of Quest, the administration asked for specific call information on Americans months BEFORE the 9/11 attack.

Would YOU consider that to be illegal?


depends on what the rest of the facts are:

The courts have determined that there is no expection of privacy regarding numbers called. Local Usage Details (LUDs) may be legally used by the police without first obtaining a warrant, as determined by Smith v. Maryland (1979). Now we here all know that something that is allowed warrantless in a criminal proceeding is definitly allowed in an espionage or national security investigation.

so if "call information" = LUDS, then sure. it's legal. no brainer. Just as there is no expectation on the privacy of addresses on envelopes arriving by mail, there is NONE on inbound and outbound phone numbers, or email addresses.

next question?

LawGiver said...

LOS says,

This is the same crap Sean Hannity, Rish Limbaugh and Ann Coulter regurgitate every day of the week.

How do you have time to listen to all that crap every day?

Jeremy said...

Her smug dismissal of the idea that anybody could even think about doing something because they thought it was the right thing to do is classic wingnut loathsomeness.

christopher, that's fair. But your words are something to keep in mind the next time your hear folks dismiss the war as "blood for oil." Or dismiss Patreaus as Bush's gunsel. Or, well, there're a lot of examples I could think of.

Fred Soto said...

If you had any idea the extent to which our government has involved itself in wiretapping and eavesdropping on American citizens, perhaps your tune would change.

NSA's division within AT&T is there for a reason, it's not for the occasional 'imminent threat'. Google's major data mining operation was in the hands of the feds and there is a chance they may change their process now that the corruption is being revealed. Verizon turned over tens of thousands of phone records in their entirety in the name of national security. The secret service visits hospitals and other facilities to review records of "potential terrorists" many of whom have nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden Liberal protesters and activists have found themselves on numerous terrorist watch lists for the crime of participating in an anti-War rally.

Finally telecommunications companies are standing up for the rights of their consumers. Finally, lawyers are advising them of the consequences of complicity in providing information to various agencies who declare everything potential terrorist activity. Maybe you aren't aware that our government and federal agencies have retaliated against companies and CEOs refusing to participate in turning over sensitive data in such a frivolous nature.

Now, the President would like to obtain immunity for telecoms that participated in illegal spy programs which he refuses to share with Congress! He would like to deny American citizens a right of recourse on matters that actually interfered in their daily lives.

A number of otherwise constitutional violations are excused by "exigent circumstances" under the patriot act and it isn't happening in small numbers. It isn't that 'rare occasion' with the ticking time bomb scenario that would be excused by all Americans.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, do some research, google the issue of FISA, the secret courts, the NSA, surveillance and Americans, because it is an important issue and a lot of people who know jack shit about technology are clueless about what is going on. I watch Congressmen talk about this stuff daily and a lot of them have no freaking idea what is going on because their understanding of the technical side of the issue is non-existent. They also happen to be immune to the potential violations of their personal space, so why should they care?

YOU should care because it affects Americans, and you should care because Hillary "the communist" Clinton is going to be your next President and "things will change" no matter how much you deny it while you are safely covered under President Bush's right wing.

Balfegor said...

Re: Soto:

If you had any idea the extent to which our government has involved itself in wiretapping and eavesdropping on American citizens, perhaps your tune would change.

I think we have a pretty good idea. After all, Echelon was made public in the 90s:

According to the report, Echelon is just one of the many code names for the monitoring system, which consists of satellite interception stations in participating countries. The stations collectively monitor millions of voice and data messages each day. These messages are then scanned and checked against certain key criteria held in a computer system called the "Dictionary." In the case of voice communications, the criteria could include a suspected criminal's telephone number; with respect to data communications, the messages might be scanned for certain keywords, like "bomb" or "drugs." The report also alleges that Echelon is capable of monitoring terrestrial Internet traffic through interception nodes placed on deep-sea communications cables.

Concerns that innocent people might be caught up in Echelon's surveillance network were duly noted:

As an example of those innocent people, Frost cites a woman whose name and telephone number went into the Echelon database as a possible terrorist because she told a friend on the phone that her son had "bombed" in a school play.

And of course, the fact that the system was used to conduct domestic surveillance was also well known:

Democracies usually have laws against spying on citizens. But Frost says Echelon members could ask another member to spy for them in an end run around those laws.

For example, Frost tells Kroft that his Canadian intelligence boss spied on British government officials for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. "(Thatcher) had two ministers that she said, quote, 'they weren't on side,' unquote...So my boss...went to McDonald House in London and did intercept traffic from these two ministers," claims Frost. "The British Parliament now have total deniability. They didn't do anything. We did it for them."

America politicians may also have been eavesdropped on, says Margaret Newsham, a woman who worked at Menwith Hill in England, the NSA's largest spy station. She says she was shocked to hear the voice of U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R.-S.C.) on a surveillance headset about 20 years ago. "To my knowledge, all (the intercepted voices)...would be...Russian, Chinese... foreign," she tells Kroft.


This didn't start with the Patriot Act. Anyone who thinks it did just hasn't been paying attention.

Cedarford said...

Fred Soto - The FISA controversy is one issue that would make it impossible for me to ever support the GOP or DNC exclusively. I am disgusted with both parties for being so quick to disregard American privacy rights and liberty.

I am continually amazed that after the 9/11 Commission identified FISA as one of the main reasons that 2900 Americans lost all their civil liberies to unlawful foreign enemy combatants, that Lefties have embraced this mostly bad McGovernite law as their favorite legislation of all time - and tried to explain it should be enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

It was meant to stop the JFK, LBJ, Nixon eavesdropping on domestic political opponents - NOT drafted as the domestic/alien Terrorist/Soviet Agent Protection Act.

The 4th, remember, does not bar reasonable searches conducted without warrant. Anything crossing our Borders, for example. Overseas SIGINT, until recently when a few crazy lawyers dressed in robes decided they would meddle. Bush and his advisors did not change or request FISA portions that helped kill Americans on 9/11 and continue to endanger us be changed (a mistake) because his legal advice was that his actions were covered by Article II powers and existing law on overseas SIGINT and Customs searches. Single lawyers in robes, then in close votes, panels of lawyers in robes have disagreed - depending on which Party appointed them - but Bush and his advisors appear to have thought the Carter-era FISA did not have to be changed in good faith.

Fred SotoThe America that these men want to thrust on us is not a FREE society.

The object, the goals of the Constitution are laid out in the Preamble...and FREEDOM and absolute liberty do not exist there as a goal. There are several goals meant to operate in synergy - none can be treated as absolute without harming the other goals and objectives spelled out in the Preamble.
Common Defense, Domestic Tranquility, A more Perfect Union, establish justice, promote the common welfare, secure the Blessings of liberty.

Burning buildings and thousands dying within an hour and our economy taking a trillion in damage is not what the Preamble had in mind - when it talked about secure Blessings of liberty, in favor of absolute "rights" for application to domestic and foreign enemy.

Balfegor said...

Re: Cedarford:

It was meant to stop the JFK, LBJ, Nixon eavesdropping on domestic political opponents - NOT drafted as the domestic/alien Terrorist/Soviet Agent Protection Act.

Ah, yes. Kennedy's domestic political opponents. Like Martin Luther King Jr. (You can cheat The Atlantic's subscription firewall using Google cache.)

Luckyoldson said...

the drill sgt says: "The courts have determined that there is no expection of privacy regarding numbers called."

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of:
Communications Assistance for Law
RM-10865
Enforcement Act
Joint Petition for Expedited Rulemaking, filed by United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration

“a person in a telephone booth may rely upon the protection of the Fourth Amendment. One who occupies it, shuts the door behind him, and pays the toll that permits him to place a call is surely entitled to assume that the words he utters into the mouthpiece will not be broadcast to the world.

To read the Constitution more narrowly is to ignore the vital role that the public telephone has come to play in private communication.”

Luckyoldson said...

Balfegor,
JFK, Johnson, Nixon and others have done all kinds of bad an probably criminal things...but that doesn't mean Bush should be able to do so.

Reagan traded arms for hostages we never got; should Bush do it, too?

What other Presidents or administrations did previously makes for interesting reading, but it doesn't justify or condone what's being done right now.

Balfegor said...

And speaking of Echelon, it looks like Clinton I's administration refused to hand over documents explaining the operation of the Echelon surveillance system to Congress. Citing attorney-client privilege. Everything old is new again!

Nevertheless, the NSA's GC at the time claimed that:

"NSA operates under the eyes of Congress, the executive branch and the judiciary, and an extensive oversight system regulates and limits its activities."

I'm . . . not sure how believable I find that.

As a side note, the technical limitation noted in the Wired article does provide a pretty good explanation why the government under Bush II wasn't able to continue to rely on Echelon for all its surveillance needs. Since the year 2000, fiber optic has really become dominant for long distance communications. I think it covers 80%+ of the long distance communications network. The old satellite intercepts aren't quite as effective as they used to be.

Luckyoldson said...

and

Luckyoldson said...

Rudy...

Norman Podhoretz believes that America needs to go to war soon with Iran. As far as he knows, Rudy Giuliani thinks the same thing.

“I was asked to come in and give him a briefing on the war, World War IV,” said Mr. Podhoretz, a founding father of neoconservatism and leading foreign policy adviser to Mr. Giuliani.

“As far as I can tell there is very little difference in how he sees the war and how I see it.”

Balfegor said...

What other Presidents or administrations did previously makes for interesting reading, but it doesn't justify or condone what's being done right now.

The point I'm making, by posting both on Kennedy's wiretapping and on the Echelon system in place through the Clinton I years (and probably still in place, though mostly useless, today), is making clear that Bush II's activities are in not in any way a departure from the practice of every modern presidency that preceded him.

You can argue, if you like, that the government should not have those powers. And that's a respectable argument, whether I agree with it or not. But the attitude Soto takes above -- blaming this on the Patriot Act -- is ahistorical, and that needs to be pointed out.

Alarmism about Clinton II taking power and turning domestic surveillance onto Republicans rings a bit hollow when one realises that in fact, Clinton I had the same kinds of powers that Bush II has, and that neither Clinton I nor Bush II has turned those powers against their political enemies. Clinton II, if/when she accedes to the Presidency, is not going to be acceding to the Presidency in brave new world of fantastic new surveillance powers. She is, instead, going to be taking power with more or less the same surveillance powers her husband enjoyed, or the current president's father enjoyed, and indeed, that every president has enjoyed, going back to the initial enactment of FISA (before FISA, of course, they enjoyed rather a lot more power). The historical context here is important.

Luckyoldson said...

Or...Bush...

In late spring, Podhoretz met with President Bush at the Waldorf Astoria to share his views about what to do with Iran. As Karl Rove took notes, Mr. Podhoretz stressed that anything short of military action to prevent Iran from getting nuclear capabilities would fail, and that American needs to strike to prevent another Holocaust.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Rove, Mr. Podhoretz recalled, laughed when he indirectly referred to the futility of the current American policy of pressuring Iran with sanctions and diplomatic isolation.

“I thought if they had believed in what they were doing there, they would get their backs up and say, ‘No, it’s not futile,’” Mr. Podhoretz said.

Other than that, the president didn’t tip his hand. But, turning the conversation back to the former mayor, Mr. Podhoretz said, “Rudy is another matter.”

Balfegor said...

I said:

neither Clinton I nor Bush II has turned those powers against their political enemies.

That deserves some clarification. I should have said, rather, that while many people claim to have been spied on by Clinton I and many people claim to have been spied on by Bush II, these people all seem to be cranks.

Luckyoldson said...

Balfegor said..."The point I'm making, by posting both on Kennedy's wiretapping and on the Echelon system in place through the Clinton I years (and probably still in place, though mostly useless, today), is making clear that Bush II's activities are in not in any way a departure from the practice of every modern presidency that preceded him.

Sure, but it makes me wonder how much Reagan, Clinton or Bush Sr. actually used it. (And of course I'll get the standard..."well, if had..." routine, but we do have a Constitution after all.)

I realize we've experienced 9/11 but at this point, no matter what Bush says he needs to fight terrorism...he implements...whether anybody knows about it or approves of it...or not.

Kings and dictators do things like that...not Presidents of the United States.

At least until now.

Fred Soto said...

No. B: the patriot act is not THE problem, but it sure doesn't already help an already bad situation. What the Patriot Act does, in my view, is legitimizes some activity that would be considered criminal or illegal if it were out in the open. As you say, this surveillance isn't a new thing, but the extent to which it is being used and abused, IS. I don't care if the government spies on people via federal agencies, after all the CIA and NSA are in a sense 'rogue' operatives in that sense. That said, it is wrong to legitimize the actions of government in such a way that has "the people" by the balls, and justice completely overlooked "for the greater good".

I fear President Bush, the Patriot Act, the NSA and CIA a hell of a lot more than I do Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden and all of the stories used to frighten Americans into submission. You can call me crazy, or selfish, but I believe that Freedom should be protected at home before we attempt to protect it abroad. I am not kidding, I really do feel afraid of my government and I've never felt this kind of fear before. What makes it OK to feel this kind of fear? Here, I'll answer it for you: "9/11 changed everything!" Everything, indeed.

Balfegor said...

Sure, but it makes me wonder how much Reagan, Clinton or Bush Sr. actually used it. (And of course I'll get the standard..."well, if had..." routine, but we do have a Constitution after all.)

The implication of most of the coverage in the late 90s, when Echelon came out, was that all of them used it regularly (or rather, that the NSA and other agencies under them used it regularly -- I kind of doubt that they themselves were out there picking surveillance targets and running queries, although one can imagine that of characters like Nixon, Kennedy, and LBJ). I don't recall anything ever coming out that would cast doubt on that. Other than somewhat laughable denials, like the one I quote above, from the NSA's GC under Clinton (claiming that they operate under congressional oversight even as they refuse to turn over documents to Congress, so Congress can oversee them).

Like the systems in place under Bush II, however, they seem to have been used pretty much for the purposes you'd expect them to be used for. To spy on potential terrorists and so on. Some of those terrorists may have been domestic. I'd expect that to be so particularly in the wake of the Oklahoma city bombing (which Clinton blamed on his political opponents and "Hate Radio"). And some people whose communications were captured were probably perfectly innocent people, like the woman noted in one of the articles I excerpted above. And the design of Echelon, as it was presented to the public at the time, made it clear that there would, in any event, be huge numbers of innocent communications captured by Echelon, not through any kind of malevolence, but simply because the system seems to have involved some kind of passive surveillance (articles refer to the system scanning for terms like "bomb," for example). Most of the intercepts were probably foreign. Still probably mostly innocent. But a few may have not have been. And that's the point, no?

Re: Soto:

As you say, this surveillance isn't a new thing, but the extent to which it is being used and abused, IS.

And see, I just don't see any evidence that the extent to which it is being used is new, and have not seen any evidence that it is being abused. Of course, as with Echelon, there's no sure way for us to tell, from the outside, whether it is being abused or on what scale (although in the case of Echelon, enough ex-agents did come forward to say that yes, it was used to spy on domestic political opponents from time to time, to make one suspect that there may have been a bit of abuse there). So it's a possibility. But critics have at most identified the potential for abuse. And that potential isn't any different from the previous surveillance systems the government had.

Revenant said...

What the Patriot Act does, in my view, is legitimizes some activity that would be considered criminal or illegal if it were out in the open.

Could you give an example of such activity, and explain which part of the Patriot Act authorizes it?

Balfegor said...

Re: Soto:

I really do feel afraid of my government and I've never felt this kind of fear before.

I guess my question to you, then, would be why didn't you feel this fear in 1999 and 2000, as the public at last learned that the conspiracy freaks who had been going on about Echelon since the 80s were right? I mean, you had agents coming right out and confessing that within the scope of the partnership, they had used the system to spy on domestic political opponents. It doesn't seem to have been a big thing. But it happened. People were quite open that it had happened. And the NSA stonewalled on permitting Congress access to the kinds of documents that would have allowed Congress assess how Echelon was actually used.

Why didn't that scare you?

Around the same time, it was discovered that the FBI had created spyware and packet sniffers like Carnivore -- an entire suite of domestic surveillance tools, in fact.

Why didn't that scare you?

Fred Soto said...

Cedarford:

We didn't lose 2900 Americans to policy. Some might argue incompetence, pride and partisan politics played a role in the September 11th problem. The same problems have reared their heads since then and yielded results such as not hunting down Osama Bin Laden immediately after he was declared responsible.

Some Republicans will claim that if Clinton had gone after Osama.. I'll stop you there, because Clinton tried and was accused of abusing American tax payer dollars to go on this witch hunt. He was accused of using this chase of Bin Laden and Al Qaida as an excuse to get out of his accountability for receiving a blowjob by a woman, not his wife. President Clinton and the CIA had the information they needed to go after this guy and politics stopped the hunt.

For 9 months, the U.S. government had information that Osama Bin Laden / Al Qaida were planning something big. The fact that we had never experienced 9/11 made the issue not as high priority as it should be. Secretary Rice received 3 warnings of Osama Bin Laden's impending plans prior to 9/11, yet she did nothing. Maybe there was nothing she COULD do, and it wouldn't be as easy as turning to a spy database and churning up hundreds of millions of records and cross checking them with whatever intelligence they had at the time.

You bring up 9/11 to justify anything the government does that is out of the ordinary, but that is just fear talking. It isn't just that you are trying to scare me into agreeing, I think it is that you are afraid. What Al Qaida has done, what Osama Bin Laden has done is they've scared America into becoming something it is not.

Say what you will, but terrorism has succeeded. It has managed to change the way we live, it changed American domestic and foreign policy, terrorism has affected the way we live. You might argue that "it didn't change policy in the way they wanted.." and I'd ask you to consider that MAYBE it did. Maybe they wanted to divide our nation, maybe they wanted to break the bank (this has been all but admitted), maybe Al Qaida just wanted to kick us where it hurt, and I believe they have.

Al Qaida and Osama Bin Laden didn't just kill Americans, they killed our freedom, they killed our Constitution, they killed any hope of Democrats and Republicans working together to get things done for America. The rhetoric that conservatives and liberals serve up in this stupid game of "my version of America" is better than yours is only helping the cause of the enemy and the question becomes: HOW do we fix that if we can't agree on what it means to be "Free" and what it means to be an "American"?

One last thing: despite 7 years of having access to information beyond the NSA's dreams, they haven't turned up Osama Bin Laden. We're barely even looking in Osama's direction because it isn't about Bin Laden, it's about Iraq, religion, territory, oil, and to a smaller extent: pride.

Fred Soto said...

balfegor:

That does bother me, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now. Also, in 1999, as far as I know, being liberal or anti-War weren't reasons to spy on American citizens.

I'll share one personal reason with you: I've already been a victim of government attempts at compromising my servers and personal computers. It was only by chance that I discovered the issue, because of an obsession I developed when I started blogging and receiving fair amounts of traffic to my sites. I started checking my logs, looking up people who were visiting my website and I also checked some of the visitors against personal and server firewalls. To my surprise, a number of private organizations and corporations that do contract work for the Department of Defense were among those trying to invade my privacy.

I don't appreciate it, I am not a terrorist, I've given no reason for anyone to believe I am. The only thing I have in common with this group of people that deserve to be spied on are 1) skin color, 2) I'm not a fan of the President's policies.

I'm all but certain that my cell phone is tapped, and it irritates the hell out of me. I am familiar with the signs of surveillance, particularly when it comes to tapping phones.. the signs are there. I haven't bothered looking for a lawyer, and I haven't bothered scanning around for evidence of other intrusions because what the government has or will find is that I am not a fucking terrorist!

Nevertheless, it still bothers the hell out of me because this activity is a lot easier for the feds to get away with and I suspect that my views on freedom and politics are reasons I'm tapped.

How is that for a reason to despise the Patriot Act and the direction of our country on the Constitutional front?

Revenant said...

That does bother me, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now.

How is it worse now than it was then?

Also, in 1999, as far as I know, being liberal or anti-War weren't reasons to spy on American citizens.

So your objection is that the government is now spying on people who are liberal or anti-war, rather than just spying on people who are conservative and anti-big-government like they did back in the 90s? I guess that's pragmatic, but doesn't it just boil down to "it bothers me because this time it isn't my political opponents who are at risk -- it is me"?

Revenant said...

I'm all but certain that my cell phone is tapped, and it irritates the hell out of me. I am familiar with the signs of surveillance, particularly when it comes to tapping phones.. the signs are there.

And these signs are...?

Balfegor said...

Re: Soto:

That does bother me, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now. Also, in 1999, as far as I know, being liberal or anti-War weren't reasons to spy on American citizens.

Ah, yes. Whereas back in the 90s, being a conservative or a talk radio fan were reasons to spy on American citizens. Clinton did blame Oklahoma city on Rush Limbaugh, after all, so it stands to reason.

Okay, I can see why you might be more bothered now, the way some extreme right libertarians were bothered then. If the gun is on anyone, you reason, it's on you this time, rather than your political opponents, the way it was last time, and that makes it so much worse. But for me, as I step back and try to adopt a more neutral pose, what's the difference?

Balfegor said...

Ah, Revenant beat me to the blinding obvious point.

Paco Wové said...

"...a number of private organizations and corporations that do contract work for the Department of Defense were among those trying to invade my privacy."

And you know they were trying to invade your privacy because....?

Revenant said...

And you know they were trying to invade your privacy because....?

An even better question is "how does he know THEY were the ones doing it"? Just because an attack comes from a machine doesn't mean that the owners of that machine knew anything about it. Virtually all attacks come from machines that have already been compromised by attacks themselves. On top of that, it is possible to fake where an attack is coming from well enough to fool a firewall -- and on top of THAT, only a complete idiot initiates an attack from a machine that can be traced to him.

If you see that you're being hacked from, say, navy.mil, chances that the Navy is actually trying to hack you are basically nil. The two likely explanations are (a) someone at the Navy forgot to patch a Windows box and it got hacked or (b) a hacker is spoofing you.

Cedarford said...

Balfegor in keeping with your posts on history of FISA, from the WSJ:

From the earliest days of our history until FISA was enacted, it was understood by all three branches that the Constitution had left the president (to quote Federalist No. 64) "able to manage the business of intelligence as prudence might suggest."

When Congress passed the first wiretap statute in 1968, it expressly declared that nothing in it would limit "the Constitutional power of the President" to collect foreign-intelligence information. Every administration from FDR to (and including) Jimmy Carter engaged in warrantless foreign-intelligence wiretapping in the belief that this was one of the "exceptions" to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. Others include border searches and searches of commercial airline passengers and their luggage (not to mention the requirement, imposed by Congress, that citizens entering a congressional office building to exercise their constitutional right to petition their government for redress of grievances must submit to a warrantless search absent the slightest probable cause).

In 1978, Carter administration Attorney General Griffin Bell told the Senate that FISA "does not take away the power of the President under the Constitution"; but he explained that the statute could nevertheless work because President Carter was "agreeing to follow the statutory procedure." That was Mr. Carter's prerogative as it is President Bush's--but neither they nor Congress may take away the constitutional power of future presidents.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (composed of federal appeals court judges) noted, in a unanimous 2002 opinion, that every federal court to decide the issue held the president has constitutional power to authorize warrantless foreign-intelligence electronic surveillance. The opinion added: "FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."

The Supreme Court has had at least six opportunities to limit presidential power in this area. In the 1967 Katz case that first required a warrant for wiretaps, the Court expressly exempted "national security" wiretaps from its holding. When it required a warrant for national security wiretaps of purely domestic targets in 1972, it exempted electronic surveillance of the "activities of foreign powers and their agents" in this country. On four other occasions it declined to hear cases on appeal where it had the opportunity to impose a warrant requirement on foreign-intelligence electronic surveillance.
Much contemporary debate over presidential claims of power to ignore "laws" fails to appreciate the modern congressional practice of enacting flagrantly unconstitutional statutes. This helps explain the increased use of presidential "signing statements" in recent decades. On June 11, 1976, Sen. Robert P. Griffin (R., Mich.) inserted a lengthy statement I'd drafted into the Congressional Record explaining why "legislative vetoes" of executive agency actions were unconstitutional. Seven years later, the Supreme Court echoed those arguments in reaching the same conclusion in the Chadha case. The congressional response? It has since enacted more than 500 new unconstitutional legislative vetoes.

Mr. Mukasey rightly promised to resign rather than violate his oath of office if the "president proposed to undertake a course of conduct that was in violation of the Constitution" and could not be dissuaded. For precisely the same reason, he was also right to refuse to be bound by unconstitutional acts of Congress like FISA that usurp presidential power. Any senator who elects to vote against him because of this issue has a duty to explain to the American people by what theory an unconstitutional statute has suddenly taken on a superior position to the Constitution itself.


Mr. Turner holds both professional and academic doctorates from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he cofounded the Center for National Security Law in 1981. He is a former three-term chairman of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

The history is also of the American People, in moments of great national trauma - demanding - better performance from the Executive in getting intelligence on foreign powers AND their agents here in the USA.

Pearl Harbor, the failure in the War of 1812 to understand the strength and dispersement of British forces in Canada, the Rosenberg spy ring, Tet Offensive, the Walker spy ring, 9/11, failure to anticipate China rushing into N Korea, failure to anticipate the Pakistani bomb, failure to listen more closely to conversations of Saddams inner ring passing through USA fiber optic networks?

All events the President at the time caught living hell from the public and Congress for failure to do his Article II job as Commander in Chief on guard for all enemies and their agents - foreign and domestic.

Fred Soto said...

Where are you getting that I believe it is ok for the NSA to spy on conservatives but not liberals? I bring up liberal / anti-War types, because that is what has been happening in numbers not seen before.

The "War on Terror" (tm) has given way for our government resources to be exploited against partisan foes. Maybe you don't feel the heat right now, but there IS a lot of pressure against Bush dissenters to keep their mouths shut, and it isn't just from the "Patriots".

rev, to answer your question:

There is often an echoing in the background on cell phones, even when you have 5 bars of reception, Internet activity happens that drains your battery more quickly, humming and clicking occurs sometimes when you are on a call or checking voicemail, static in areas that do not have any other means of interference or obstruction or never did before. I have the luxury of living with friends that have the same phone service and one has the same phone, they aren't experiencing any of the issues I have.

Other suspicious activity: Phones are in use even when inactive, phone calls from strange people saying durka durka when the previous owner was a Mexican named shorty. A lot of call and hangups and phone numbers appear that can't be traced. In addition to that there are a lot of "unknown" calls and hangups. Very few people have -my- phone number and it didn't happen for at least six months or more when I first got the phone.

Finally, if a family member or friend calls you to say that they heard a conversation or your voice when you weren't using the phone... I'd worry. That last one was the most suspicious..

There is more, but if I go into the details of what I've witnessed, I'd be tossed into the tinfoil hat crowd.

Fred Soto said...

paco, rev:

I live in Silicon Valley, I'm a computer geek, I have firewalls and it isn't hard to pinpoint IP addresses. In our home we have a dozen computers, 3-5 are on 24/7 and the rest are on daily for hours at a time. Someone decided to go on a fishing expedition so I decided to try and track them down.

Aside from the feds, I don't think there are enough hackers interested in spoofing a military or defense contractor's address to scare little old me. Many of the visitors came from Virginia, the one I brought up earlier led me directly to Northrop Grumman and belonged to a former professor at MIT.

The first time I discovered the strange activity he was at MIT... the more recent time, he was scanning ports on our servers and also attempting to hack into my 2nd BSD machine and windows laptop.

You don't have to believe me, I'm just telling you what I've experienced. I don't like it and I won't keep my mouth shut about it even if it does bother or frighten me to an extent.

Luckyoldson said...

Testimony...Bush STYLE:

White House edited testimony, CDC
October 24, 2007

WASHINGTON -- The White House heavily edited congressional testimony given Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the impact of climate change on health, removing specific scientific references to potential health risks, according to two officials familiar with the documents.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director, told a Senate hearing that climate change "is anticipated to have a broad range of impacts on the health of Americans."

But her testimony was devoted almost entirely to the CDC's preparation, with few details on the effects of climate change on the spread of disease. Only during questioning did she describe specific diseases that would probably be affected, again without elaboration.

Her testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had much less information on health risks than a much longer draft version Gerberding submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review in advance of her appearance.

"It was eviscerated," said a CDC official, familiar with both versions, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the review process.

The official said that while it is customary for testimony to be changed in a White House review, these changes were particularly "heavy-handed."

The White House office had no comment on Gerberding's testimony. Gerberding could not be reached late Tuesday for comment.

The deletions directed by the White House included details on how many people might be adversely affected because of increased warming and the scientific basis for some of the CDC's analysis on what kinds of diseases might be spread in a warmer climate and rising sea levels, according to another official who had seen the original version.

Luckyoldson said...

balfegor says: "And see, I just don't see any evidence that the extent to which it is being used is new, and have not seen any evidence that it is being abused."

Well, hell...if YOU don't "see any evidence that the extent to which it is being used is new" and have not seen any evidence that it is being abused"...than it must not be he case.

The government would let YOU know...and the rest of US know...if they were doing anything of the sort...??

Good Lord...do you really believe this???

And if so...why??

Fred Soto said...

Found this article:
Fear, Inc.
It's about the NSA's contract with Northrop Grumman and others for hundreds of millions of dollars for a single project. NG is a 30 billion dollar global defense co. as per their page.

I have an idea that I am hoping to patent that these bastards are going to want a piece of. I don't want to share, though, because it could result in a major data mining operation for the spooks in the future and privacy as we know it could become extinct.

Balfegor said...

The government would let YOU know...and the rest of US know...if they were doing anything of the sort...??

Good Lord...do you really believe this???

And if so...why??


The problem we run into with every one of these is, well, what about in the 90s? Because the anecdotal evidence that comes out nowadays sounds more or less like the anecdotal evidence that came out (from the other side) back then, and I'm just not seeing it as credible. Sure, it could be real. All those militia men and survivalist cranks and wingnuts might well have been under government surveillance for committing lese majeste against Clinton I. And tinfoil really may protect you from the government's mind control rays. But it doesn't sound any more credible now than it did then. If we should be suspicious of Bush II now, we should have been suspicious of Clinton then (and even more suspicious of what Clinton may have done pre-1999, before ordinary people knew the government was watching.) Is there the potential for abuse? Sure. And with Echelon, we know there was, in fact, abuse, because people who were involved came out and said so. And maybe there was a lot of abuse, and it's just being covered up (Clinton's NSA stonewalling Congressional investigations and all that). But "abuse" is not going to be the first option I jump to.

There's a bias in all these anecdotal reports towards putting the most sinister complexion on every fact. To take one example, Soto says he's getting probes on his system from .mil sites. I'm sure that's true. But people notice that kind of thing all the time. Does it add up to a malevolent plot to spy on opponents of the regime? Well, maybe. Or it could be that the government's IT staff don't know what they're doing and a bunch of computers hooked into some sub-network have all been infected by bots spamming the internet.

When one's contacts with the federal government typically leave one with the impression that government agencies spend most of their time understaffed and overstretched, and when one knows people who are brought in to update the antiquated IT systems that most of the government runs on, it's hard to believe that the government has the manpower -- or even the material resources -- to actively probe every dinky opponent of the man in power at the moment. That's the James Bond fantasy, the 24 fantasy. And perhaps, for a small number of people out of the teeming millions that toil in our vast bureaucracies, that is the reality. But if it's the reality for anyone at all, it's the reality for only a tiny set of people.

A huge, automated surveillance system with datamining? I can believe that. It's just Google's spiders on steroids, albeit probably less efficient (it's the government after all). But something that requires legions of human hands hacking away? That, I have trouble believing.

Fred Soto said...

Well, that assumes that I am one of millions of people that are under the microscope. I doubt that's the case.. I believe I'm one of thousands under a special kind of surveillance and that would fit in with your hacker idea. I don't think I'm a victim of bots and spiders, I know the behavior of those scripts and I also know that high level threats have been denied from various IP addy's. You say .mil, but I never once mentioned that it was a .mil attempt on my machines,.. :P

Who knows, maybe he is a rogue contractor who loves what I have to say on freedom and privacy and couldn't help but try getting into my personal windows, bsd and probably even the gentoo servers. :P My point is they can do just about anything and complete government authority and giving companies immunity to be schmucks is not something I support.

Cedarford said...

Cedarford:
We didn't lose 2900 Americans to policy. Some might argue incompetence, pride and partisan politics played a role in the September 11th problem.


I disagree. The radical Muslims caught the US with it's pants down. Unlike Lefties that wish to blind our intelligence agencies, end interrogations of enemy combatants, and sue any person or company from Flight Schools to Telecomms that cooperate with the US when told it is a matter of life or death for US citizens - I do not believe intelligence ever can be perfect.
The Soviet, now Islamist enemy - with Chicoms and nutty NORKs in the wings - is a thinking, adapting foe that will keep some great secrets even if we shed absurd FISA and judicial restraints and focus optimum resources into trying to find out what they are doing, and who is doing it.

The Russians managed the great deception of their robust biowar program VEKTOR. We are still looking for war criminals from the Uganda butchery of the late 70s..

One last thing: despite 7 years of having access to information beyond the NSA's dreams, they haven't turned up Osama Bin Laden.

With names and high priority warrants - we have been unable to find thousands of murderers, bank robbers, serial rapists, counterfeiters residing in OUR OWN country - in some cases for several decades, let alone "get" some Islamoid asshole squirreled away, up in a rathole Fundie Muslim tribal area where the fugitive is protected by Islamic and tribal honor codes.

Besides, it is stupid and inaccurate to personalize the global radical Islamic movement as the fault of, or controlled by one zealot.

And amusing that Lefties do not want the 9/11 Mastermind himself tried - until all the "legal rights and precious liberties of KSM" can be worked out by lawyers dressed in robes..or 4 other living people deeply in the plot. Virtual silence from the Left on the urgency of them or Ayman al-Zawahiri facing "our magnificent legal system". No, they want their Moby Dick caught and given ACLU lawyers...

Revenant said...

I bring up liberal / anti-War types, because that is what has been happening in numbers not seen before.

Is there some reason we should take that claim seriously? You're suggesting not only that liberals and "anti-war" types are being spied upon en masse, but that it is being done in a way that exceeds what the FBI did during the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s -- and you're not offering a bit of supporting evidence for it. I'll also note that you never did answer my question about which portions of the patriot act authorized the particular violations you're complaining about.

There is often an echoing in the background on cell phones, even when you have 5 bars of reception. Internet activity happens that drains your battery more quickly, humming and clicking occurs sometimes when you are on a call or checking voicemail, static in areas that do not have any other means of interference or obstruction or never did before.

Heh! None of that's got anything to do with wiretapping.

First of all, the bar count just indicates signal strength between you and the tower. It doesn't prevent there from being bad connections along the way between you and whomever you are calling. You can have 5 bars and still get plenty of static on the line; there's nothing the slightest bit unusual about it.

Secondly, modern cellular phone networks are digital. Without getting too technical, this means that if the government wishes to wiretap cellular phones it can do so without disturbing the signal in any way -- no funny noises, no nothing.

Thirdly, I (and, I'm guessing, pretty much everyone else here) experiences all of the things you've listed when using cellular phones, and have since long before Bush entered office.

Other suspicious activity: Phones are in use even when inactive, phone calls from strange people saying durka durka when the previous owner was a Mexican named shorty. A lot of call and hangups and phone numbers appear that can't be traced. In addition to that there are a lot of "unknown" calls and hangups. Very few people have -my- phone number and it didn't happen for at least six months or more when I first got the phone.

A cellular phone is "active" so long as it is turned on. It continuously communicates with the towers in the area -- that's how the system knows which tower to use to contact you when someone tries to call you. The rest of the "suspicious activity" is identical to what you'd experience if you were put on a telemarketer list.

Finally, if a family member or friend calls you to say that they heard a conversation or your voice when you weren't using the phone... I'd worry.

So we have two possibilities:
(1): You accidentally dialed your phone without realizing it, like numerous celphone owners have done now and then, or
(2): The government is recording you through your cellular phone, then calling your relatives and playing the recording to them.

And option (2) struck you as the likely explanation, did it?

In all seriousness, Fred, it sounds like you need psychological help. You're seeing a wide-ranging conspiracy against you in the ordinary inconveniences of modern life. That's not sane. Talk to a doctor before you hurt yourself or someone else.

There is more, but if I go into the details of what I've witnessed, I'd be tossed into the tinfoil hat crowd.

Too late. You might as well share.

Fred Soto said...

rev: WHERE did I say en masse? Those were not my words. Those were B's words.

If you are referring to the data mining.. that is happening to -everyone- not just liberals. I raised the issue of partisanship because B above suggested that I only care that it happens to dems and not republicans. He brought up issues of the 90s and asked where people like me were when the discoveries of spying were made.

It isn't some grand conspiracy against liberals, or anti-War people.. it is a problem (American surveillance) against the people. EVERYONE -- and computers don't discriminate on partisan issues. In my case, there may be reason for my personal views to be used to do a background check or something.. but a lot more is happening than just some "check".

c: Besides, it is stupid and inaccurate to personalize the global radical Islamic movement as the fault of, or controlled by one zealot.

That is exactly my point, and yet Republicans in Congress, every single day bring up Osama Bin Laden, and the "If Osama Bin Laden were talking to some American.. liberals wouldn't want us to wiretap him" bullshit scenario. It is exactly my point that we use scare tactics to create policy that we agree with and I am sick of it. I'd gladly stick a knife across Osama Bin Laden's throat without a trial so that you and your fearful rhetoric can stop the bullshit. And even if it is found 10 years down the line that Osama was not the perpetrator behind 9/11 at least we'd have 10 years of Americans free of the Osama Bin Laden manipulation.

I brought HIM up specifically, because that is the example that I constantly hear as a reason for upholding warrantless surveillance and massive data mining operations.

I don't expect you to read every comment in this thread, but there is context for many things I said and to suggest that I or "the liberal left" are less interested in the safety, security, and freedom that Americans enjoy is just flat wrong. It is propaganda and it bothers me that you can't see how detrimental to the conversation that kind of rhetoric is.

Agree with me or you are a terrorist-loving liberal softy who loves Osama Bin Laden's freedom more than American's freedom... a radical hippie who supports giving Osama more rights than every American. Get a grip, it isn't like that at all. I don't advocate against the CIA / NSA organizations, I think they are necessary. I also believe that spying and assassinating certain political players is essential, and I understand when decisions are made to carry out such Ops. There are circumstances that call for certain measures, but at some point you must draw the line. What I am saying is that it is wrong to make it OK to spy on the masses and create databases of individuals who have done no wrong.

You say that liberals and anti-War types refuse to give immunity to companies that were told to help sniff out the enemy.. Well the fact is, the major spying that is in question was prepared to go into motion under Clinton and it went into action the moment Bush was inaugurated and it didn't stop there. The development continued, the scope expanded, and now we have these debates over who loves America more.. but it isn't about that, it isn't about me and/or my experience, it isn't about Osama Bin Laden, it is about a fundamental right to freedom. Moreover, this is about how much the American people are willing to give in order for the government to "do its job".

Fred Soto said...

rev: that is one reason I hated sharing my story. You and any idiot could come up with myriad reasons to excuse the 'coincidences' and call me crazy. Great, so now I've been pulled out of the conversation, enjoy arguing against yourself.

That doesn't explain people at Norhtrop Grumman having any business attempting to access our network and various machines.

Rev: for a moment, I thought I was having a conversation with people willing to listen to another person's concerns. I really am offended by your comment, so I'm going to step away for now.

Good night.

Revenant said...

WHERE did I say en masse? Those were not my words. Those were B's words.

You said the US government was spying on liberals and "anti-war types" in "numbers not seen before". Since the government spied left-wing groups and "anti-war types" en masse during the period from the 1930s through the 1970s, it follows that you think the government is spying on them en masse today. Of course, I guess we can't rule out the possibility that you're simply ignorant of history and spouting off the view that the current wiretapping is "unprecedented" because that's what you've been told to think.

If you are referring to the data mining.. that is happening to -everyone- not just liberals.

I'm just responding to you. Were *you* walking about the data mining program?

every single day bring up Osama Bin Laden, and the "If Osama Bin Laden were talking to some American.. liberals wouldn't want us to wiretap him" bullshit scenario.

Oh good grief. Using a well-known member of a group as an example of that group is a standard rhetorical device, moron. They're not REALLY saying that the primary purpose of wiretaps is to catch Osama bin Laden making a phone call!

Agree with me or you are a terrorist-loving liberal softy who loves Osama Bin Laden's freedom more than American's freedom...

Yawn. Save the straw men for the kiddies at DailyKos, they eat that stuff up.

Well the fact is, the major spying that is in question was prepared to go into motion under Clinton and it went into action the moment Bush was inaugurated and it didn't stop there.

Gee, its almost as if the NSA suspected it would need the ability to monitor world-wide networks of terrorists and criminals. But that can't possibly be the explanation, because we all know that terrorism didn't even exist before September 11th, 2001. So obviously the NSA must have had some more sinister goal in mind, and is just using this brand-new phenomenon called "international Islamic terrorism" as its latest justification.

Don't get me wrong, Fred. I used to think the US government was the biggest threat I faced, too. Then I grew up.

Gedaliya said...

Fred Soto:

Google's major data mining operation was in the hands of the feds...

Source please?

I fear President Bush, the Patriot Act, the NSA and CIA a hell of a lot more than I do Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden and all of the stories used to frighten Americans into submission.

You are type of fellow our mortal enemies are counting on in their relentless efforts to destroy our nation and culture. Thank God that for the most part, those who think like you comprise only a fringe group of deluded fanatics that few in our national leadership take seriously. Most people understand that it isn't the Constitution that ultimately protects your civil rights, your affluence and your sense of security and well-being, it is the United States armed forces and the military might they bring to bear on our enemies.

Say what you will, but terrorism has succeeded. It has managed to change the way we live, it changed American domestic and foreign policy, terrorism has affected the way we live.

If terrorism had succeeded you'd be dead. Useful idiots are the first ones against the wall after the revolution. Read a little Trotsky or Lenin sometime. You might find some useful facts therein.

I started checking my logs, looking up people who were visiting my website and I also checked some of the visitors against personal and server firewalls. To my surprise, a number of private organizations and corporations that do contract work for the Department of Defense were among those trying to invade my privacy.

Give is a few examples please.

I've worked on software systems for thirty years. A few years ago I was given a tour of the Caterpillar Corporation's data center, and one of the tech guys showed me, in real time, how often attempts were being made to penetrate their networks. It was happening hundreds of times an hour from all over the world. It doesn't surprise me that in this day and age that hackers, thieves or simple pranksters are trying their best, using random searching algorithms, to penetrate some fool's systems who fails to firewall or otherwise protect himself. The fact that you immediately assume this is due to some nefarious government plot is not only laughably fatuous...it is downright stupid.

Aside from the feds, I don't think there are enough hackers interested in spoofing a military or defense contractor's address to scare little old me.

Oh come on. If you are as much of a "computer geek" as you say you are, you must be a pretty inexperienced one if you don't know what is happening out there in the World Wide Web.

There is more, but if I go into the details of what I've witnessed, I'd be tossed into the tinfoil hat crowd.

You're already there chum. The next think you'll be telling us is that you're getting signals through the fillings in your teeth just prior to hearing the thump-thump-thump of the black helicopters as they hover over your bunker.

Luckyoldson said...

cedarford says: "Unlike Lefties that wish to blind our intelligence agencies, end interrogations of enemy combatants, and sue any person or company from Flight Schools to Telecomms that cooperate with the US when told it is a matter of life or death for US citizens - I do not believe intelligence ever can be perfect."

Well, I'd consider that a "perfect" example of your standard right wing attack on anybody who disagrees with your position.

This "Lefties" are all un-American, unpatriotic and gutless argument is rather disingenuous considering where the "ballsy" neocon group via the Bush administration has gotten us over the past seven years.

I've know of no liberal, lefty, etc. that is against credible and legal intelligence gathering, interrogation and even war if necessary...and...this idiotic statement is just that; idiotic:

"And amusing that Lefties do not want the 9/11 Mastermind himself tried - until all the "legal rights and precious liberties of KSM" can be worked out by lawyers dressed in robes..or 4 other living people deeply in the plot."

What is your suggestion?

Prove to the world that we're no different than the assholes we're fighting? Forget any form of jurisprudence? Drag him through town behind a pick-up truck?

And you wonder why the Republicans are scared to death of what's going to happen in 2008?

People like YOU...that's why.

Gedaliya said...

And you wonder why the Republicans are scared to death of what's going to happen in 2008?

My guess is that Republicans are a lot less scared about 2008 then you are Lucky.

Any chance you'll take a bet on who wins the presidency?

Luckyoldson said...

genitalia: You're betting on the Republicans?

Based on what?

What we've seen over the past 7 years?

Duh.

Gedaliya said...

What do you care?

I'm willing to bet $100. We can each send the money to a willing commentator on this blog. Winner takes all.

Put up or shut up Licky.

Fred said...

Al Qaida can't hurt us, only we can do that. They are a bunch of third world, third rate fools who strap bombs around their wastes and kill themselves to manipulate policy and kill "infidels".

G: You insinuate I am either lying or crazy, why the hell should I spend time proving anything to you? You are going to defend the practices of the federal government and agencies as long as they are under Republican control. We'll see if your tune is the same when Hillary Clinton and her Democratic majority in the House and Senate start implementing all of these anti-American policies.

I'm not against killing or fighting terrorists anywhere in the world. I believe we should be hunting Osama Bin laden, not ignoring him. We should be turning over Afghanistan and Pakistan until he is found. In fact, it should have been our first target before the Saddam Hussein ousting.

If we had done it that way, we know it would have been harder to sell to the American public and U.N., so we had to hit Iraq first.

Now, we have a clusterfuck of an operation in Iraq, preparing to move on to Iran and maybe the forces we've installed in Afghanistan can sniff him out.

In the end this is all partisan bullshit. I can make every single argument you are going to make and you can probably predict every argument I'm going to make and this conversation goes nowhere. It'll land in the "You're crazy, You're an asshole" bin and frankly, I don't want to waste your time or mine, going there.

Have a good day.

Gedaliya said...

Al Qaida can't hurt us, only we can do that.

Hmmm. I would love to hear you say this to any one of the tens of thousands of the relatives of the 3000 souls who were immolated in New York six years ago. Their loss notwithstanding, al Qaeda also inflicted a trillion dollar hit on our economy. It would appear that these inconvenient truths have conveniently escaped from your consciousness. Are you truly so foolish to assume that the attack on our homeland was the last statement of its kind that al Qaeda intends to make?

I'm not against killing or fighting terrorists anywhere in the world.

Except in Iraq, right?

In fact, it should have been our first target before the Saddam Hussein ousting.

He was. Or are you conveniently forgetting the war in Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban regime and is still being carried out today?

f we had done it that way, we know it would have been harder to sell to the American public and U.N., so we had to hit Iraq first.

Um...This is a nonsensical comment.

Now, we have a clusterfuck of an operation in Iraq...

I wonder what you'll say six months from now when our victory in Iraq will be so evident that no one in the nation, not even the rabid left, will be able to ignore it.

In the end this is all partisan bullshit.

Oh please. Stop whining. If you can't defend your position go hang out in a knitting forum.

Fred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...

What is the fucking point? You cherry pick, I cherry pick it goes nowhere. I can tell by reading your arguments that you are as stubborn an ass as I am and the conversation will just get ugly and I don't want that.

Don't assume that people advocating against Bush's policy aren't struggling with painful memories of 9/11 and relatives overseas.. wounded, dead or serving.

I wish everything were as black and white as you say it is.

Finprof said...

"less than 0.5%", in a sample of 469 Democratic primary voters, leaves two possibilities: either one person in the sample, or zero. ouch.

Luckyoldson said...

Fred,
You're wasting your time with Genitalia.

He still thinks Bush is doing a terrific job, there are WMD in Iraq, Saddam had something to do with 9/11 and that the Republicans are in fine shape leading up to the 2008 elections.

Right wing drivel, and there's no end in sight.

Luckyoldson said...

Genitalia says...and with a straight face: "I wonder what you'll say six months from now when our victory in Iraq will be so evident that no one in the nation, not even the rabid left, will be able to ignore it."

SIX MONTHS from now..."our victory in Iraq will be so evident..."

We've got people on both sides of the political aisle saying we may have to be there for up to 15 years and ths yahoo says we'll be victorious in about SIX MONTHS.

And you wonder why I think you're a frigging moron???

Just read your own comments...

Revenant said...

Al Qaida can't hurt us, only we can do that. They are a bunch of third world, third rate fools who strap bombs around their wastes and kill themselves to manipulate policy and kill "infidels".

I'm certainly not going to waste my time discussing the war on terrorism with anyone idiotic enough to make the above remark.

Fred said...

Rev:

What is wrong with you? A lot of the messages on this board, including the one you just quoted are obviously an attempt to persuade or argue. Yet you pull them out constantly every time you post and use them as ammunition to destroy a person making the comment. You don't just argue the politics, you constantly use words like idiot, moron, asshole, and expect a pleasant response?

The topics get out of control because people like you troll the issues. It's like Ann Coulter has given rise to a breed of new Internet trolls and it's pretty annoying.

If you'd like an explanation, I feel that a lot of the arguments some people put forward are driven by fear, deception and are dishonest. Osama Bin Laden discussed above is a good example. Some argue (as you say.. a common tactic) by constantly using his name to diminish the arguments of their adversaries. Well, when you use the same line over and over again, it loses meaning.

I have no doubt that these people are dangerous, I have absolutely no doubt that they hate us and want to kill us. What I doubt is our ability to destroy this network in Iraq, alone. What I doubt is our nation's ability to stand strong using ground forces without the aid of our allies. You can sit around and be rude or mean, but what does it get you?

You sound very angry and hateful, and you wonder why people aren't interested in debating issues or talking with you about the problems. Now, it could very well be that, like Ann Coulter, you make a living off of being mean and unhelpful to the conversation. If that is the case, more power to you... but if not, all you are doing is hurting the cause of people who legitimately have concerns about terrorism and are troubled by the way we might go about dispatching them under Democratic control.

Revenant said...

You don't just argue the politics, you constantly use words like idiot, moron, asshole, and expect a pleasant response?

Apparently there was some part of my statement that "I'm certainly not going to waste my time discussing the war on terrorism [with you]" that confused you. My only expectation as to your response was that it would continue to be out of touch with reality.

But as I'm not going to waste my time reading it, I guess I'll never know.

Gedaliya said...

You sound very angry and hateful...

This fellow is funny, a true representative - even a caricature of - the weenie sandle-wearing kumbaya liberal, just the kind of useful idiot Osama and his pals would love to bugger all night after they take power.

I can only shake my head in abject stupefaction...

Fred said...

g:
"kumbaya liberal"
"useful idiot"


G: You have no clue. I listen to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and read Ann Coulter's column regularly. I hear the same rhetoric you just spouted and I see the repetitive headlines in e-mails. The difference between you and I, is I don't allow my mind to be captured by the noise. I listen, agree or disagree and move on. My guess is you wouldn't sit around to listen to so much as the Daily Show before destroying your television in utter disgust over the 'liberal agenda'.

rev paraphrase: ... I'll just ignore you because you're a tool / pawn of the left wing machine

It's easier to ignore people that don't agree with you, than to listen and try to understand where others are coming from. Here, I'll save you the time of responding:

"Moron, this is why Al Qaida loves the left... because they will sit around and defend them until the sun goes down. Screw you guys, I'm going home..."

On a previous article you said to me... "I used to think the government was bad and against us too... and then I grew up."

Nothing in the messages that you have posted are indicative of your "mature" status. In fact, if I had to guess, you sound like a 20 year old just out of college. I'll go ahead and end with an attack on myself, on your behalf.

Rev:
"You are an idiot, stop addressing me I am not going to respond to non-nonsensical rantings of a lunatic."

Have a wonderful day.

Gedaliya said...

The difference between you and I, is I don't allow my mind to be captured by the noise.

Oh come on. You've got paranoid delusions that the government is after you; you've adopted the simple-minded and dangerous idea that al Qaeda is no threat to our nation and culture; and you've convinced yourself - don't ask me how - that you're standing above the political fray as an objective observer who has unqualified possession of the facts.

Even worse, you come into this forum and post extremely provocative remarks, and then get all wussy and limp-wristed when you're challenged about them. Once this occurs you then make truly embarrassing remarks, like "you sound very hateful and angry." And to top it all off - I am shaking my head here - you defend yourself by telling us you listen to Rush Limbaugh and read Ann Coulter, as if doing so somehow obviates the otherwise strong evidence of your weenie liberal nature.

Don't you have even the slightest clue how ridiculous you sound?

Fred said...

"Don't you have even the slightest clue how ridiculous you sound."

Let me make a clarification: on the 'government out to get you' issue. There is a reason (innocent) that the government or its contractors has or had me on a watch list. My issue with this happening, is the 'how it came about'. I am not simply sharing an opinion in line with "the truthers," but it probably makes it easier for you to dispatch my arguments and posts if you can categorize me as such. That seems like the cowardly way out of an argument, if you ask me.

Second, I believe Al Qaida is a threat, a serious threat, but I also don't give them the credibility you do. Having a war with criminals who engage in taboo war tactics isn't the same as engaging a nation in war. Al Qaida isn't the former Soviet Union, yet you seem to argue as if they were.

There is a strong possibility that we went into war with Iraq under false pretenses. In my opinion, there is a fair chance that we've violated a number of international treaties and laws.

The reason I try to diminish the Al Qaida name is because you argue that Al Qaida's threat is so great that not combating this enemy would result in our loss of sovereignty. That somehow, these third world crazies with weapons could take over our Democracy. Maybe I'm being naive, but when I see that kind of language.. it makes it difficult to take your arguments seriously.

They can threaten our borders, our buildings, they can even engage in gruesome and immoral acts of terror against our people, but do you seriously believe that these people can destroy our government and liberty? I don't, and as such, I don't feel bad about calling them third world loons with weapons.

For the record: I've never once advocated a position that says they are no threat to our citizens, and/or culture. I'll restate: they -are- dangerous, they DO want to kill us, they will continue to commit acts of violence against American citizens. It's the IRAQ question that trips ME up, it is the projected 2.4 trillion dollar war deficit, the high interest rates, and the skeptical eye that our allies peer at us with. It is in my view, a failure of leadership, a failure of government, and to a certain extent, a failure of democracy that has us in deep shit in the middle east.

If we could turn back time, we'd probably all like a mulligan on this one... at least with regard to our approach in Iraq. Since we can't do that, we're left with having to argue the merits of staying in full force, cutting the force in half, or at least reducing the troop count so that less American families will be affected by this heavy drain on our resources, moral, and soldiers' lives.

Fred said...

*morale

Also, on the question of whether I'm an objective observer and how I've presented myself. I like to listen to all sides of the arguments, even yours... You are right, I did come in and I have occasionally made provocative statements and deserve the counter-arguments. What I didn't expect was the name-calling and attempts to discredit me by attacking my 'sanity'.

I guess -that- caught me off guard, and if I'd known the discourse would turn into an 'attack the messenger' love fest, I would have refrained from engaging the community on the politics.

That said, if there is something about my statements that has offended you or anyone, it was not my intention. I am as argumentative as the next commenter / blogger, but I am not looking to pick 'that kind of fight'. If you're right.. that it is -my- doing that earned this barrage of attacks, then I apologize for it. Since Rev is angry at me and likely ignoring my comments, you can tell him I apologize to him as well.

I'm sincerely interested in discussing the policy issues without having to resort to the negativity / attacks / name-calling. I'll get my act together on the counters, but I am not interested in talking politics if that involves routine attacks on my character.

Revenant said...

Don't you have even the slightest clue how ridiculous you sound?

You're asking that of a man who believes the government is tapping his cell phone and hacking his home network to get at an idea he's "hoping to patent" that would, if the government got hold of it, cause "privacy as we know it [to] become extinct".

So no, I don't think he realizes he sounds ridiculous. He's got some issues that a psychiatrist should take a look at.

Fred said...

*pats Rev on the head*
Good little troll, go away and suck your thumb, it might help you get over this obsession you've developed.

Seriously, rev: you act like a kid who got knocked out of his sandbox and wants to reclaim his territory.

I'll see a doc about my fear of government if you promise to see a doc about your anger issues. You sound like you could benefit from a little prozac, my friend, it might help you calm down.

Revenant said...

Cute, Fred.

But you see, anger -- were I feeling it towards you, which I'm not -- is normal. Contempt, which I *am* feeling for you, is also normal.

The belief that you possess a vital secret that the government is out to get is not normal. That's a sign of mental illness.

The belief that the normal everyday inconveniences of phone and internet use are signs of a massive wiretapping conspiracy aimed at you and a few thousand other super-important people is also not normal. That, too, is a sign of mental illness.

If you want to call me a troll, hey, go right ahead and call me a troll. But when you're done doing that, please go see a psychiatrist. You're going to hurt yourself or someone else if you don't. You're suffering from paranoid delusions, and there's no happy ending to that sort of thing if it is left untreated.

Fred said...

Thanks for your concern, Rev. I'll fill you in on the details if I ever manage to get over my grudge. ;)

Fred said...
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