June 14, 2013

"57% Fear Government Will Use NSA Data to Harass Political Opponents."

According to a new Rasmussen Poll. Only 30% say that's unlikely (while 14% are unsure).
Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly voice this fear. Democrats are more evenly divided with a modest plurality considering such abuse unlikely.
Does it feel "unlikely" when what you really believe is that if it's going to happen, what's likely is that it will help your side, in which case, why worry? Does it feel "likely" when what you really think is that if it does happen, it's your side that will get burned?

The poll also showed that "33% approve of the NSA program to fight terrorism, while 50% are opposed."
A plurality of Democrats support the plan, consistent with a typically higher level of trust in the government. Strong majorities of Republicans and unaffiliated voters are opposed.

Earlier results showed support for the program at just 26%. However, the increase in support is likely the result of question wording. In the earlier data, the program was described as being for “national security.” The new question describes it as being used in the “fight against terrorism.”

However, only 26% now believe it is necessary to collect data on millions of ordinary Americans to fight terrorism. Sixty-four percent (64%) believe it would be better to narrow the program so that it monitors only those with ties to terrorists or suspected terrorists....
Just 24% of voters currently trust the federal government to do the right thing most of the time.  Forty-seven percent (47%) occasionally trust the feds, while 28% rarely or never offer such trust.

95 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's a question of how fast Obama can subvert what is probably an up-and-up agency.

Appointing his own agency heads can go a long way to it, but how fast is the question.

Some of the rank and file will subvert the head in turn, for a while.

Mogget said...

Eh, rather than subverting agency heads just intimidate the IGs. Walpin's example seems to have made the requisite impression on the other appointed watchdogs

gerry said...

Obama may yet have a positive legacy: discrediting the whole crypto-fascist Progressive philosophy.

Sam L. said...

57%? Only 57%? Given the evidence?

Freeman Hunt said...

After the IRS scandal it seems that we should fear this.

Brew Master said...

Apparently 43% of this country appear to be oblivious to human nature.

Rusty said...

HHmmmm. The question, Althouse, isn't whether they will, but whether they have.
Since they seem to have no reservations using the FBI,IRS,EPA,etc,,etc.for their own political purposes, what in the world makes you think they haven't used the NSA already?

Marshal said...

Brew Master said...
Apparently 43% of this country appear to be oblivious to human nature.


I think they're hopeful those charged with national security aren't as focused on politics as Obama staffers and IRS apparatchiks.

Colonel Angus said...

With this administration I have no doubt. When sealed divorce records are leaked to get you propelled into national office, imagine the power of leaking the online porn preferences of a political candidate.

edutcher said...

I'll say what I said last night.

Any sudden 180s on the part of otherwise solid Republicans should be considered in the light of "metadata".

Remember what was done toHenry Hyde?

Helen Chenoweth?

And that was using the FBI files on House Republicans from A to M that had been hidden in Hillary!'s private quarters.

Or was that parts?

Nonapod said...

Regarding the 43%, I'd be curious to find out what at what point they would consider "too much" security. For example: I wonder if they'd approve national ID cards? I wonder if they'd approve a national curfew? Or would they approve RFID chips placed on every citizen? Or regular, random police searches of homes?

Methadras said...

What's funny is I read that to say that the government will use DNA data to harass political opponents. The more I think about it, the more I'm now wondering if that is in the works too.

Calypso Facto said...

I bet General Petraeus is firmly in the 57% camp.

Chip S. said...

The differences b/w Dems and Reps on this question aren't differences in estimated likelihoods, but in the def'n of harassment.

When the local lefties badger me on the street about the cause du jour, I feel harassed and they think they're engaged in social uplift activity.

cubanbob said...

Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly voice this fear. Democrats are more evenly divided with a modest plurality considering such abuse unlikely."

Lets get get a real hard assed republican in 2016 to go after the progs hammer and tong. By 2020 the democrats will be in the same place the republicans and the unaffiliated voters are today.

Jay said...

The poll also showed that "33% approve of the NSA program to fight terrorism, while 50% are opposed.

So, the claim that the middle are gravitating toward Obama was bullshit.

Matthew Sablan said...

Remember when Team Blue was thought McCarthy was a bad guy?

Chip Ahoy said...

Yesterday I was reading through a series of scandals, they were not being sorted or listed just linked to as interesting stories, the nsa data mining being no exaggeration to say 1,000 Xs more vast than previously known and previously barely accepted.

Then Louis Lerner as cockroach and Carter Hull as a different species of cockroach, and where you see one or two cockroaches you are assured of, well, an infestation, let's say. The things that they did knowing them to be illegal but sound given their situation and their station, to act out of place and act illegally to advance the interest of Party against the interests of all the rest of us.

They killed Breitbart.

A random thought disconnected to everything else that felt like a knife stab direct to the brain. I rejected it. Paranoia. Dude, you're officially paranoid. But you should be. You are provided every good reason to be and you'd be stupid not to be paranoid.

edutcher said...

Jay said...

The poll also showed that "33% approve of the NSA program to fight terrorism, while 50% are opposed.

So, the claim that the middle are gravitating toward Obama was bullshit.


Surprise!

traditionalguy said...

Without stooping to the level of of Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy, The Congress does have the duty to bark like a good watcdog barks when Smiling Obama uses every trick in the book to destroy our country.

The Great Nationalized Health care System Destruction Act of 2010 is rolling over our wreckage like a tsunami as scheduled.

And The Great Energy Tax Act of 2013 designed to destroy our remaining cost effective energy system comes next month ( Coal being dead already by EPA lies.)

The the Great devaluation / mega inflation approaches its D Day as our rulers scurry about saving the country from dangerous Christian conservatives.

Oso Negro said...

This is a dishonest discussion if it is not clearly stated that the "Government" in this case is,in fact, nearly all of a single party, the Democrats. Democrats are spying on the people. DEMOCRATS.

Revenant said...

Given that the federal bureaucracy is mostly composed of Democrats, Democrats are probably right to be less worried about the possibility.

edutcher said...

As if to drag home the point, Black Rock says there were multiple beaches of Sharyl Atkisson's computer.

When she was reporting on Benghazi.

Time to start working on your Deutsche blick.

edutcher said...

breaches, not beaches

Tim said...

Freeman Hunt said...

"After the IRS scandal it seems that we should fear this."

And, after CBS News confirms multiple breaches of Sharyl Attkisson’s computer, it no longer "seems" something we should fear, but rather something we ought to fear.

Chip S. said...

it no longer "seems" something we should fear, but rather something we ought to f̶e̶a̶r̶ stop.

Tim said...

The bottom line on this is, our government thinks we're all potential terrorists.

If they didn't, they wouldn't be monitoring all of us.

There is no other explanation.

edutcher said...

For those interested, a nice breakdown by HotAir of the various possible takes on last night's Chip Diller impersonation be the House Intel Committee

I'm going with either 2 or 3.

Probably 3.

edutcher said...

Tim said...

The bottom line on this is, our government thinks we're all potential terrorists.

The same was true in 1775.

Chip S. said...

DOJ has certainly put my fears to rest:

To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers...

traditionalguy said...

I wonder if Althouse and Meade can NSA to run through their Amazon Portal and get a commission everytime the spy boys download our secret secrets.

Tim said...

Chip S. said...

"...it no longer "seems" something we should fear, but rather something we ought to f̶e̶a̶r̶ stop."

Yes, of course. Absolutely.

But with 53% of the nation's electorate certifiably stupid and unwilling to hold the Democrats they elect accountable, I'm not hopeful we can stop this.

I would dearly love to be wrong though.

gerry said...

Without stooping to the level of of Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy, The Congress does have the duty to bark like a good watcdog barks when Smiling Obama uses every trick in the book to destroy our country.

Joe McCarthy was viciously smeared by useful idiots and others. Read up on the Venona Papers and find out how many high-ups in FDR's and Truman's adminstrations (especially FDR's) were taking money and orders from the Comintern.

Chip S. said...

Tim, don't worry.

Once Obama finds out about this, there'll be a thorough investigation.

gerry said...

Once Obama finds out about this, there'll be a thorough investigation.

Yeah, all the registered Dems in my county are wringing their hands: "IF ONLY OBAMA HAD KNOWN!"

elkh1 said...

The IRS was unlikely to leak taxpayers' tax returns to opponent's campaign. They've never done that in its long history, not even in Nixon's time.

But there is always Hope and Change.

gerry said...
"Obama may yet have a positive legacy: discrediting the whole crypto-fascist Progressive philosophy."

Discredit? The crypto-fascist would just turn every governmental agency into a crypto-fascist agency, and every election into a crypto-fascist election in which the "winner" is predetermined. It's awfully easy to do, you know: ignore the vote, write the "winner's" name in file. That's why the crypto-fascist insist on electronic voting. No hanging chads, no trace, no re-counts.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Question:
What's the likelihood that this hasn't been used for some type of firearm registry?

25%?

Revenant said...

Joe McCarthy was viciously smeared by useful idiots and others.

Joe McCarthy WAS a useful idiot -- for the Communists.

By attacking people for political reasons whether there was any rational reason to think they were Communist agents, by being a raging egotistical prick to anybody and everybody, by attacking the innocent along with the guilty, and by repeatedly lying about his "list" of supposed Communist infiltrators, he discredited the very idea that the USSR was infiltrating our government and made it politically impossible for other politicians to push for investigations.

To paraphrase the description of his fictional counterpart in "The Manchurian Candidate": he couldn't have done more harm to the anti-Communist cause if he had been a paid agent of the Soviet Union himself.

Tim said...

Chip S. said...

"Tim, don't worry.

Once Obama finds out about this, there'll be a thorough investigation."


Yes, of course, what was I thinking?

Big Brother, er, Obama will surely protect us from these rogue government programs.

edutcher said...

Revenant said...

Joe McCarthy was viciously smeared by useful idiots and others.

Joe McCarthy WAS a useful idiot -- for the Communists.

By attacking people for political reasons whether there was any rational reason to think they were Communist agents, by being a raging egotistical prick to anybody and everybody, by attacking the innocent along with the guilty, and by repeatedly lying about his "list" of supposed Communist infiltrators, he discredited the very idea that the USSR was infiltrating our government and made it politically impossible for other politicians to push for investigations.


No, Tail Gunner Joe did not adhere to the enemy.

As for attacking "people for political reasons whether there was any rational reason to think they were Communist agents (think racists, homophobes, anti-abortion absolutists, etc., etc., etc.), by being a raging egotistical prick to anybody and everybody, by attacking the innocent along with the guilty", the Lefties can boast plenty far worse than he ever was.

On the list, I agree.

harrogate said...

"They killed Breitbart."

LOL! That's a good one, especially given it's affectation of near-earnestness; but truth be told, the laughter ejected ice water all over the screen.

elkh1 said...

gerry said...
"Joe McCarthy was viciously smeared by useful idiots and others."

Harry Hopkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's chief wartime advisor was a Soviet agent.

Ah, only if PRISM was operative then...

It would be much easier for Harry to do his job.

Crunchy Frog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crunchy Frog said...

They killed Breitbart.

You bastards!

Robert Cook said...

Fuck worrying about ""harassment of political opponents"!

This is a threat to every American citizen and to what remains of our alleged "freedoms."

elkh1 said...

"Tim, don't worry.
Once Obama finds out about this, there'll be a thorough investigation."

Obama: Darn, I missed all the news headlines in the golf links. It's really hard to keep up if you only find things out from watching the news, and no one except Fox not-a-news-organization reports anything. But I don't watch that ring wing propagandist.

gerry said...

Harry Hopkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's chief wartime advisor was a Soviet agent.

There is debate about that. The Venona Papers do not identify Hopkins as one of theirs, although circumstantial references are strong. Of course, the papers are still being decrypted and may confirm Hopkins' association with the Communists.

by being a raging egotistical prick to anybody and everybody, by attacking the innocent along with the guilty

Good Lord, that sounds like Obama and his most rabid supporters.

My point is that the decryptions of a large quantity of intercepts, now declassified, reveals that McCarthy was correct about the infiltration of Communist agents of the USSR (or the same thing, the American Communist Party) into a large number of influential positions in the U.S. federal government.

Tim said...

gerry said...

"Obama may yet have a positive legacy: discrediting the whole crypto-fascist Progressive philosophy."

"Hope and Change" for the dopes and strange.

Chip S. said...

McCarthy was correct about the infiltration of Communist agents of the USSR (or the same thing, the American Communist Party) into a large number of influential positions in the U.S. federal government.

Has anyone cross-checked the Venona info w/ the names of the people McC alleged to be commies?

Tim said...

Robert Cook said...

"Fuck worrying about ""harassment of political opponents"!

This is a threat to every American citizen and to what remains of our alleged "freedoms."


Robert Cook, I agree with you.

Robert Cook said...

And anyone who thinks this is simply the perfidy of the particular factotum for the elites who happens to hold the job now--Barack Obama--is simply too stupid to be a voting citizen.

This has to do with the long-term prerogatives of the elites who run this country for the aggrandizement of their power and wealth. Obama? Bush? Clinton? Whoever comes next? They're just the butlers...serially replaced by a new toady every few years.

Marshal said...

gerry said...
Harry Hopkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's chief wartime advisor was a Soviet agent.

There is debate about that


There is no doubt about Lauchlin Currie, FDR's wartime economic advisor.


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

harrogate said...

Gee, I wonder what the guy standing up in the Rockwell painting, who must by definition be Tea Party, would think?

Chip S. said...

Robert Cook said...
This has to do with the long-term prerogatives of the elites who run this country for the aggrandizement of their power and wealth.

Since we're in agreement on this issue, it seems like a good time to ask you a sincere question:

Why don't you advocate a limited state in all dimensions, and not just this one (and military ops)?

I infer from your history of commenting as I know it that you'd say you're an advocate of a gov that "serves the people instead of the power elite", but why doesn't experience suggest to you that that's naive at best?

gerry said...

This is going mainstream.

Marshal said...

Chip S. said...
Has anyone cross-checked the Venona info w/ the names of the people McC alleged to be commies?


Klehr and Haynes identified as many as agents from Venona as they could. There wasn't much overlap. But keep in mind only a small fraction of Venona was decrypted. The Soviets only re-used the coding books (which allowd decryption) for a relatively short time. Not even all traffic sent during that period could be decrypted.

Plus Venone only captured the Soviets backup communication plan. Reports were primarily hand-carried.

edutcher said...

gerry said...

Harry Hopkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's chief wartime advisor was a Soviet agent.

There is debate about that. The Venona Papers do not identify Hopkins as one of theirs, although circumstantial references are strong. Of course, the papers are still being decrypted and may confirm Hopkins' association with the Communists.


A new book out says otherwise.

harrogate said...

Gee, I wonder what the guy standing up in the Rockwell painting, who must by definition be Tea Party, would think?

I don't trust the guy who calls himself harrogate for a second.

Chip S. said...

Gee, I wonder what the guy standing up in the Rockwell painting, who must by definition be Tea Party, would think?

"I hope I don't get audited for saying this."

traditionalguy said...

Tail Gunner Joe's problem was attacking all of the Democrat leaders in the State Department for being double secret agents of Stalin's USSR.

He must have been right because there were some Soviet Agents everywhere on earth. But he did not know who they were.

So instead Joe attacked the men who had done the Berlin Airlift, the defense of South Korea, and the Marshall Plan.

They were not agents of the Soviets...but he went after them as if having no proof meant they must be in on the conspiracy too.

Losing China was the best issue the McCarthy wing had. But we had abandoned Chang Ki Shek's Army 5 years earlier when the Japanese counter-attacked to shut down our B-29 Airfields in China. We pulled out and went to Tinian in the Marianas and left The Chinese who had helped us to be slaughtered.

Even Dwight D. Eisenhower was trashed by McCarthy as a fellow traveler.

Bender said...

Use NSA Data to Harass Political Opponents

Well, let's see.

Step One -- We have multiple cases of the Obama Administration including pro-life groups and religious conservatives on lists of hate groups and potential home-grown terrorism.

Step Two -- We have Administration officials insisting that, "oh no, we would never snoop on everyday Americans - we would only look into people with ties to terrorist groups."

Step Three - Add Step One to Step Two.

When you have already defined your political enemies as terrorists, then, yes, they will use the data to harass their political opponents.

Dante said...

The assumption is the NSA will have superior information, tools, or techniques valuable to political groups (Democrats, no doubt).

I find that hard to believe. Democrats have already started data mining, and slicing, dicing, and reconstituting your internet world to classify you and target you with appropriate "motivational" information.

Republicans are behind, but will have to do the same thing.

Provided the NSA doesn't (and I do not believe they do) have unfettered access to gmail/hotmail accounts, etc., they are at the same starting point as everyone else, but have a different mission.

Revenant said...

the Lefties can boast plenty far worse than he ever was.

ed, you seem to think that yelling "there are lefties who are worse" somehow makes McCarthy something other than a useless pile of shit.

You are mistaken. Try thinking outside the Team Red v. Team Blue box everyone once in a while. There are useless assholes on both teams, and regardless of their relative numbers McCarthy was indisputably one of the useless assholes of Team Red.

gerry said...

Has anyone cross-checked the Venona info w/ the names of the people McC alleged to be commies?

A complete listing? That I do not know. However, a good source of information about Venona is here.

Robert Cook said...

"...the guy standing up in the Rockwell painting, who must by definition be Tea Party...."

And you engage in such masturbatory assertions...why?

Well...once phrased, the question answers itself!

Nonapod said...

Dante said...

The assumption is the NSA will have superior information, tools, or techniques valuable to political groups (Democrats, no doubt).

I find that hard to believe. Democrats have already started data mining, and slicing, dicing, and reconstituting your internet world to classify you and target you with appropriate "motivational" information.


It's not so much that the NSA has superior tools, it's that they have a far, far more complete universe of data than any political group, private company, or any other organization out there.

harrogate said...

Robert Cook,

While it isn't true I "engaged in" the stupid assertion, it is fair to say I "engaged" the stupid assertion that he is Tea Party.

Which might even be worse, now that I think on it.

Chip S. said...

A little bit of reading about Laughlin Currie turns up some interesting stuff.

In particular, his views on monetary policy make him an intellectual precursor to Milton Friedman.

I suppose he could've been posing as a mainstream economist for the purpose of infiltrating the gov, but that seems like a stretch. I wonder what he thought he was accomplishing.

Robert Cook said...

"I infer from your history of commenting as I know it that you'd say you're an advocate of a gov that "serves the people instead of the power elite", but why doesn't experience suggest to you that that's naive at best?"

How is it any more naive than assuming the possibility of instituting a "limited state in all dimensions"?

As I said in another thread, if we're going to have any sort of government of the united states of America at all, it must be big, by definition, given the geographical vastness and population density of our nation.

One can only assume a "limited state in all dimensions" if one proposes that we dissolve the union entirely and become a continent of separate, independent states.

Of course my vision of a federal government of the united states of America working for and answerable to we, the people, is idealistic, but I think it's the only change we can realistically hope for.

If you or anyone here assumes this to be an impossibility, I can't imagine what positive alternative you think could possibly be instituted.

Of course, I'm not naive, and I have no real hope for any change that will be good for any of us. I think we're facing either eventual (and not so distant) implementation of an overt totalitarian state, (as opposed to the covert, "soft" form of it that exists presently)...or complete collapse...or one followed by the other, in either order, or even occurring and existing simultaneously.

Robert Cook said...

Harrowgate,

I didn't say the assertion was "stupid," I said it was "masturbatory."

Masturbation feels good.

harrogate said...

Yeah but my mistake was to comment on Meade's masturbation.

Such things are better left alone.

Robert Cook said...

Oh...my apologies. I didn't see that the assertion was Meade's.

Chip S. said...

if we're going to have any sort of government of the united states of America at all, it must be big, by definition, given the geographical vastness and population density of our nation.

Federalism. I know you've heard of it.

We have this massive federal government today for many reasons, but one of them is the demand by--dare I say--people like you for "solutions" to all sorts of things that are only problems when your standard of comparison is Edenic.

Obamacare, for example.

If you really want to stave off a surveillance state, you certainly shouldn't want to federalize health care. Implementing Obamacare to address things like denials of insurance based on pre-existing conditions was like treating chicken pox w/ chemotherapy.

Yet, your only criticism of it was that it didn't go far enough to involve the federal government in what should be one of the most private spheres of daily life.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wonder how this survey would have looked in, say, 2007.

SOJO said...

Tell me, what was it that Nixon did that was so wrong? I keep having to remind myself.

Clyde said...

If you had a dog that ran around pissing on people and occasionally biting them, would you give that dog a short leash or would you let it run unfettered? Democrats don't think that the dog will bite them, and what's a little pee among friends? Republicans have already been to the emergency room for stitches, and want that little fucker on the shortest leash possible.

Robert Cook said...

Chip,

Now who's being naive?

"Federalized health care" (which Obamneycare is not)--or any other such federal program--is hardly a precursor of dictatorship and the withholding of federal solutions to pressing problems affecting citizens nationwide will not hold tyranny at bay.

Government of whatever size can either work for the citizenry or for its own aggrandizement, but it's up to the citizens to decide what they want and what they're willing to accept...or endure, as the case may be.

Revenant said...

As I said in another thread, if we're going to have any sort of government of the united states of America at all, it must be big, by definition, given the geographical vastness and population density of our nation

I don't think you quite get what "big government" refers to. Sure, more people = more government. If there were no economies of scale it would presumably take four times as much government to deal with four times as many people.

When people complain about "big government", they are referring to the fact that the size of the federal government relative to the population has increased by a factor of forty since the early 20th century. There is forty times as much Washington ruling you, personally, compared to the Robert Cook of 1900.

Normally, economies of scale work the other way around -- a company with 50 people needs one human resource manager, but a company with 200 employees might only need two. If it ran like the federal government does, a company with 200 employees would need 160 human resource managers. :)

Nonapod said...

Robert Cook said... the withholding of federal solutions to pressing problems affecting citizens nationwide will not hold tyranny at bay.

Why do you have this automatic assumption that "federal solutions" are actually solutions to a give problem?

Revenant said...

Tell me, what was it that Nixon did that was so wrong? I keep having to remind myself.

Personally, I think he should have been impeached just for implementing price controls. :)

Revenant said...

federal solutions to pressing problems affecting citizens nationwide

That statement is based on the incorrect assumption that there is no regional variation in problems.

One of the reasons the federal government is an idiotic choice for solving your problems is that it is not possible for make a one-size-fits-all solution for the problems of 310 million people. The people of rural Kentucky do not have the same problems as the people of urban Los Angeles. Even problems that seem the same at a casual glance, like "I can't find a job", "I need a doctor", or "I need a place to live" can be seen to differ radically once you dig a little deeper. Even if you make the assumption that it is the government's job to solve those problems, the *federal* government is still the worst available government to turn to.

Chip S. said...

Government of whatever size can either work for the citizenry or for its own aggrandizement, but it's up to the citizens to decide what they want...

Unfettered democracy is inconsistent w/ inviolability of individual rights. The idea that there's some monolithic interest represented by the term "the citizens" is a falsehood that's been the source of much horror thru history.

What secures our freedom is effective restraint on the ability of the gov to restrict them. The combination of smaller size of local gov'ts and free mobility from places that pass laws we don't like to places that have laws we do like is the mechanism thru which federalism protects freedom.

A national gov is harder to restrain simply thru migration. That's the reason the Constitution (in principle) restricts the scope of the federal gov.

As for this:

Federalized health care" (which Obamneycare is not)--or any other such federal program--is hardly a precursor of dictatorship

I direct your attention to this:

The House Energy & Commerce committee sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service principal deputy commissioner Danny Werfel demanding information about a class-action lawsuit against the IRS that alleged 15 IRS agents improperly seized more than 60 million medical records from 10 million taxpayers while investigating the former employee of a health-care provider.

I have no idea if this allegation is true. But it's relevant to this discussion for the following reason: Who will even know what gov agencies gain access to their healthcare records when the feds have centralized them all? The absence of complaints then will be held up by the statists as evidence that there are no abuses--just as they do now in defending the NSA. But the absence of evidence of abuse will not be evidence of its absence.

Yet, you don't care about privacy in this case. You only seem to care about it in the NSA case, b/c of your blind faith in "federal solutions to pressing problems".

Jay said...

As I said in another thread, if we're going to have any sort of government of the united states of America at all, it must be big, by definition, given the geographical vastness and population density of our nation

Well, not really.

What you should be saying is effective but since the left has taken over government as a career, after all the Democrats are the party of government, we can't have it be effective.

Take Head Start for example. We've spent more than $40 billion on that program. It doesn't work, everyone knows it doesn't work, yet it keeps getting funded at a higher level every year. Because after all, if you're not for Head Start, you're against "children learning"

Since the government is full of people such as Pelosi and Reid who assure us if you're not for Head Start, you're against "children learning," we can never have an honest conversation about government.

Which is why I'm for burning the whole fucking thing to the ground.

Robert Cook said...

"Why do you have this automatic assumption that 'federal solutions' are actually solutions to a give problem?"

Why do you automatically assume I always believe they are?

Why do you (seemingly) assume they never are?

Robert Cook said...

"That statement is based on the incorrect assumption that there is no regional variation in problems."

No, it assumes that sometimes there are problems affecting sufficient numbers of the populace across the united states such that a federal solution may be the better solution than no solution at all or the haphazardness of state solutions.

Robert Cook said...

"...you don't care about privacy in this case. You only seem to care about it in the NSA case, b/c of your blind faith in 'federal solutions to pressing problems'".

See my previous comments. I don't have "blind faith" in any solution, but I do see the possibility of efficacious federal solutions that--held strictly to their established parameters and stated purposes (overseen by we, the people)--can serve the needs of the people of the nation without becoming a further link in a chain around our neck.

Nonapod said...

Robert Cook said...
Why do you (seemingly) assume they never are?


I'll admit, my default position is to be highly skeptical of any government solution (that said I'm not unwilling to be convinced). This is because I know a small amount about human nature and large systems with lots of moving parts. Specifically I understand that the larger and more complex something gets, the greater chances of inefficiencies there are, and the more points of failure there will be. And when that system is a human organization, there is also a greater chance for cheating (graft & thievery, exploitation, abuse ect.)

So lets just say when it comes to the government, I tend to want to understand what exactly any proposed solution will entail, how much it will cost, and most importantly will it actually solve the problem it's set out to address or will it instead create new problems.

Calypso Facto said...

sometimes there are problems affecting sufficient numbers of the populace across the united states such that a federal solution may be the better solution than no solution at all or the haphazardness of state solutions

Mr. Cook knows what's best for those people in states that have chosen not to implement the programs he favors.

Chip S. said...

Why do you (seemingly) assume they never are?

It's not exactly an assumption. It's more of a null hypothesis.

Bob Ellison said...

Ya think?

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

Government of whatever size can either work for the citizenry or for its own aggrandizement

Oddly enough, every government in history has opted for Door #2.

It is almost as though governments were comprised of people. The same people who can't be trusted to do things without government oversight.

Revenant said...

No, it assumes that sometimes there are problems affecting sufficient numbers of the populace across the united states such that a federal solution may be the better solution than no solution at all or the haphazardness of state solutions.

Like I said, you're assuming there's no regional variation. You're assuming there's no need for different solutions in different states. In reality there is almost always a need for different solutions in different states.

n.n said...

Perhaps that's where the IRS, EPA, etc. received their leads.

I am often surprised when people express fear or apprehension of private monopolies, but the same people will willingly, and even enthusiastically, embrace an authoritarian monopoly in exchange for promises of redistributive change and rationalized abortion of unwanted and inconvenient human lives.

Sex, money, and whatever, I guess.

Rusty said...

Revenant said...
Government of whatever size can either work for the citizenry or for its own aggrandizement

Oddly enough, every government in history has opted for Door #2.

It is almost as though governments were comprised of people. The same people who can't be trusted to do things without government oversight


The funny part is how you believe government is there to help you.

Robert Cook said...

Well, Rusty, if government is not there to help us--that is, if it is not a mechanism by which we, the supposedly self-governing citizenry can envision, effect and manage our own society as we wish it to be, what is it there for? What is government?

A necessary evil, often, an unnecessary evil, also often, but necessary. How do you see a global population of billions--or our national population of hundreds of millions, or even smaller local populations of hundreds of thousands down to mere hundreds--functioning in the absence of government?