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  •  Thats pretty offensive (5+ / 1-)
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    Kickemout, Boston Beans, FG, phatcat cane, alain2112
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    Empty Vessel

    to ANYONE that lived under the USSR.  And I mean the REAL USSR not the insipid metaphorical construct you limply prop up in your wanting thought-experiment.

    My father's family fled to this country from Lithuania to escape the USSR.  I have blood relatives that never made it and are fucking BURIED in the former USSR, in Lithuania, in Latvia, in former Yugoslavia where they were trying to get out and in ugly bullshit little graveyards outside former Soviet prisons.

    I have family that lived in Budapest through the whole occupation... entire generations that lived in virtual SQUALOR and FEAR and BARELY FUCKING SUSTAINABLE LIVES WHILE THEY WATCHED THEIR CHILDREN SUFFER BECAUSE OF THE REAL USSR.

    Fuck you.  RIGHT IN THE FUCKING EYE you casually equivocating arrogant prick.  You sit there typing on a computer about how bad your government is in a country THAT ALLOWS YOU DO THAT AS MUCH AS YOU FUCKING WANT and then want to compare your imagined aggrandized slight to what people went through under a REAL non-Hollywoodized non-imaginary dictatorship.

    You want to complain about the US government, fine... go ahead.  Hell, I'll join you.  That's what we do as Americans; its what we should do.  But don't for a fucking second try and act like ANYTHING going on here is re-fucking-mote-fucking-ly like living under an actual oppressive dictatorship.  

    Is it like the Nazi's too?  Is it like Pinochet?  Is it like Tito?  Is it like Ceaușescu?  For fuck's sake, I hope someone from Armenia reads this shitwipe.  I bet they will fall over themselves trying to tip and rec this offal that equates 21-century America to living under Stalin.

    So disgustingly revolting to see other people's VERY REAL suffering...actual physical, life-altering, child-burying, long-lasting, stifling painful senseless cruel S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G so offhandedly dismissed as being just like having your internet records and phone calls monitored by a software program when you didn't know it was being done.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 11:56:42 AM PDT

    •  Why'd you have to add the fuck you in the eye (0+ / 0-)

      To an otherwise critical but OK comment.  So this will now get hidden, and the shit will continue.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:03:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  most of my relatives died in Siberia (0+ / 0-)

      so don't go spewing about crap you don't know, but assume to.

      Why is it that the majority in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would favor some return of many of the soviet policies? Why is it that the elderly, the sick, the needy are doing far worse now than before? I was there in 1976, spent the entire summer there, returned in 84, and again in 1986. I taught there in 1991, and spent a great deal of time, effort, money, and sweat to work with the legal system in Lithuania. I was there when they opened up the KGB garage in Vilnius, and saw different ages of concrete. When they dug the up, the corpses were all found to be murder victims. Mostly men, but women and a few kids, too.  State murder victims.

      I understand full well what happened to that country because of the USSR.

      Stalin turned that country into a hellhole. My point, which you are too blind or stupid to get, is that people could have stopped Stalin. They could have stopped Hitler. And we NEED to stop Prism and other programs that destroy our constitutional rights, or we will never get them back.

      There are a variety of chains out there, and unlike the AK-47s I saw on the streets of Leningrad, Moscow, Kaunas, and Vilnius, many exist here. They may be corporate or financial chains, but they are as effective as troops on the street. Open your eyes, wisper, and think once before you write. Twice would be asking too much of your capabilities.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thats worse then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, FG

        Whatever... you think you have an argument to make to compare this current shit to the USSR?  You're going to sit there and list this shit out and then act like PRISM... FUCKING PRISM is the same as digging children's bones out of the basement of Vilnius?  ...and I need to think about what I write?!?

        Okay...blather on then.  Act like what could have/should have/might have happened after tanks rolled across Erzsébet bridge or after Kristallnacht or after Khoren was killed is the same as challenging the US Government in the wake of an NSA tapping scandal.

        That's sick man.  How do you actually do that?  yeah.... imagining that a FISA court may have inadequately overseen a telecom program is the same as genocide and work camps and death squads and forced labor and the KGB and living in fear and ... fuck it.

        It makes me angry just to type.  If its all the same in your mind then have fun... cry havoc then and hyperventilate over phone record datamining programs that are JUST LIKE... I mean EXACTLY the same as Gulags... or whatthefuckever...


        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:34:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you have several problems (0+ / 0-)

          and hopefully, your meds can control most of them.

          my point, to those who don't skip every third and fourth word when they read (although I can understand that lips do tire out after a while) remains, we face a crisis here. Either we stop this surveillance, or we risk something far worse in the future.
          Every example you mention actually supports my position. If you would allow yourself to see it. If you don't stop tyranny early, it grows.

          In China, one man effectively stopped a potential disaster by standing in front of a tank. Who could imagine what might have been if he did not act as he did?

          In Lietuva, a group of resistors stopped the soviets, and shamed them from further bloodshed and violence. They lost their lives. But they succeeded.

          There are countless acts that prevent truly bad things from happening, and mostly, they are ignored by history, because the really juicy bloody stuff makes for better reading. Or increased sales, at least. I experienced the soviet surveillance system, despite your inability to read that in my post. It was intrusive, it was scary, it was evil. As any widespread governmental system is. As our system is.  Unless we stand in front of the tank, unless we stop the soviet tanks on the hill, unless we nip this surveillance idiocy now, it will get worse.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:47:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Nazis thought it was outrageous to compare (1+ / 0-)
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          what they were doing to the murderous policies of the Bolsheviks.  And for a long time the Bolsheviks'  policies were a lot worse.  Through the 1930's, up to the outbreak of war in 1939, the number of people the Nazis had killed was probably still in the four figures, certainly no higher than in the five figures, at a time when the Bolsheviks had already killed millions.  Most Germans felt prosperous.  They thought their national honor had been restored.  They even thought they were free.

          But the Nazis were just taking their time revealing their true colors.  Once war broke out, it quickly became clear what the ultimate implications of their early policies were.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 02:53:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  One thing progressive critics (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, Wisper, gramofsam1, FG

        who think programs like this will lead to some Orwellian nightmare have to answer for is this. If I have so little faith in my government on issues of national security, if I think they will use info garnered to hurt me why would I trust the Feds in any other aspect in my life? Why would I trust them to deliver health care or educate my kids, or to register my gun? Why would I even trust them to deliver my mail?

        We need to get less hyperbole and more nuance from the left because this paranoid overreaction to this program does progressive causes and those that think the federal goverment can play a beneficial role in people's lives absolutely no favors. Hyperbole and cynicism towards government and those that represent us is the left's enemy not friend.

        In fact I could argue this overreaction gives comfort to libertarians and conservatives who think goverment is inherently malevolent and want to tear the whole thing down.

        •  It is not an overreaction to (0+ / 0-)

          use the same tools that got us here in the first place.

          Boy W and his puppetmaster Cheney, used fear beautifully. They turned us into a mall-loving, duct-tape wielding group of scared sheep. They raised the level of alarm every time we began to ask questions. They attacked anyone who dared question their approach. (recall the attacks on Dick Durbin, for comparing torture in Abu Graib with . . . what was it? . . .  TORTURE?)

          I want to scare people into understanding that their rights are at serious risk. If we do not stand up now, it may be too late.

          Lindsey Graham wants to expand the police state. He wants to open private mails. without warrants. without courts. without the right to confront your accuser (if any).

          Now is the time for grabbing the attention of everyone, to educate, to scare, if necessary, and to make people understand the risks we face. Are we the USSR at its worst under Stalin? Of course not, and no where do I argue that. I simply compared the widespread surveillance by the state then, and how ours approaches it here. It is more dangerous, in many ways, because it is so below the surface, so unnoticed, so much hidden in the background. The tools are so much more powerful that they can do a lot more with a lot less. We don't have secretive people following us into alleys, because the surveillance cameras in big cities do it already. We don't listen for clicks on the phone, because EVERY call is already tracked.

          Inertia at this moment in time would be a horrific mistake.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 01:01:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You point to real horror of real dictatorship I (0+ / 0-)

      would say the diarist is not wanting us to ever go where you have illuminated concerning dictatorship.  If we do not oppose the government universal surveilence now, will we wake up to see terrible excesses someday?  I am sorry for the terrible losses you have suffered and I commend you for your first hand sharing of a passionate comment that is filled with reality.  I just wonder how unnerving this is to note that the government has slipped in so much surveilence, you did say you would also oppose the government what does that mean.

      •  I do not believe that I discounted that horror (0+ / 0-)

        To the contrary, I referred to it more than once. My fear is precisely that we are on a sliding slope, and there is no ladder present to clamber back up.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:29:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  surveilance is not the same as dictatorship (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, gramofsam1

        at all.  Yes dictators used surveillance but its not equivalent.  

        Make all the Nixonian analogies or Red Scare comparisons or whatever.  Its government intrusion.. its overreached powers... its a major lack of transparency... sure... who could possibly argue with that?  It needs to reigned in, eliminated, prohibited by statute... whatever... ok... this site will rally around that.  

        But the weak-minded bullshit of PRISM=Bad, USSR=Bad, Prism=USSR crap is sick.  

        Ask people who lived under an active in-power dictatorship how many nanoseconds they would need to decide if they'd rather see their children grow up in the US of 2013 or their country back when they lived there.  And after they make it clear that they'd choose America, dutifully ask "But what about all this NSA stuff and invasions of your privacy?" and look, really look at the "What the fuck are you talking about?!" expression on their face.

        These people have seen HORROR of the kind that few Americans can imagine unless it gets flashed up on one of their local cineplex screens with dramatic Hans Zimmer music playing in the background.

        The USSR is not some funny prop to use as a counter-weight to the political argument du jour.  It was fucking awful.  It was carnage.  It was inhuman.  It impacted MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of people.  REAL PEOPLE and their loved ones and their children and their mothers and their husbands.

        My grandmother had a close friend that died in Baltimore a back in the early 90's.  Even in her nineties she still barely spoke English (and yet still wore high heels every day to church at St Alphonsus!).  She could tell stories about family gatherings back in Lithuania when she was younger.  She had a huge family.  She was one of like eight or nine children.  He parents had many siblings.  There were so many children when they all got together.  Someone was always getting married or having a baby or whatever.  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, in-laws, she still knew all their names.  When the soviets came, they were all trying to get out.

        You know who made it?  Her.  She was the only one.  Years... decades... she lived in downtown Baltimore, just off Hollins Street, while the rest of her beautiful family DIED in the USSR.  For years she couldn't even talk to them.  for decades she never saw them.  Many plans came and went about this person or that person coming to America and everytime it fell through.  90 some years old and she died alone in Baltimore and STILL considered herself the luckiest person of her family because she was the one that made it out.  And she felt SO guilty about it.  She knew what they had gone through.  She knew how their life compared to hers.

        If she was alive today I would LOVE to ask her after she read the paper about PRISM if she thought that was just like living in the USSR.  ....pfft... and you think MY response was angry?

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:54:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, I think your response was foolish, inane, (0+ / 0-)

          misdirected, and based on a cursory scan of my post, instead of an actual read.  I think you over-reacted, allowed emotions to take over, when a more studied, cooler, and level-headed approach would see that this is a warning, that this is something to avoid. It was not a direct comparison to the horrors that stalinism created. Because you struck out emotionally, without rational thought, and allowed the suffering that your relatives and mine admittedly suffered to replace any reasonable analysis, your post lost all impact and depth. It was like a child crying when a favorite toy was removed.

          All four grandparents and my parents managed to escape the nazis on one side, the the soviets on the other. While getting strafed by the US and brits just for more excitement. I learned at their knees about the truth behind the Iron Curtain. (interestingly, my grandma who died at 105, would make jokes about stalin, although they were not very polite or nice ones.)

          I learned about the soviet impact from early in my yute, I observed it first hand (if three months is enough to make an impact) and saw the signs praising lenin on multiple buildings. Yet, you blithely and wrongly claim I was running a thought experiment, that I had no experience, and none of your brilliant insight into the reality that was the USSR. And you are clearly, and seriously wrong. As for thought experiments, if I had tried one?  Obviously, it did not work, since you put NO THOUGHT into your post. Almost like running a taste test simply from a picture of a plate.  

          My point was, is, and continues to be, we do not want to go there. Widespread surveillance is the first step in government control so powerful, so thorough, that we have to stop it now, or else. If my subtle approach was too deep for you to grasp, well, try reading instead of scanning and over-reacting.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 01:52:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sure our opinons of each other (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            carry equal weight; which it say none. At all.

            I'll take "foolish" "inane" and "misdirected" gladly, as a tattoo across my face, before I'd put my name beneath your diary or your follow-up efforts to double-down on it.

            This is tea party clown shit in reverse.  You want to chime in with things like "tyranny" and make comparisons to Hitler and the USSR?  Call for true patriots to speak up against the evils of faux-oppression?  Well then you are in good company.

            Because thats what they do.  Obama proposes a 2% tax increase, they run their small-minded scare-mongering mouths off about tyranny.  Obama suggests the need for background checks for firearm purchases, they blow harder about comparisons to juntas and the oppression the founding fathers faced from the Evil British Empire.  They make comparisons to Hitler, Stalin and Mao on an hour by hour basis.  

            So be proud. They are clowns.  Uninformed, hyperbolic, offensive, loud-mouthed, small-minded, single-issue drum-beaters looking to foment nothing but anger, fear and offense.  Clowns.  Superfluous.   Distractions.  

            Like this.  Like you.

            Oh I read your missive; every word.  I read you loud and clear.  You think you have a salient point and some kind of proportional and profoundly apt comparison about aggregate phone data collecting and some of the worst dictatorships in the history of Western Civilization.  

            Your title is "USA becomes USSR" which I assume was chosen specifically for shock factor.  Just like a right wing blow-hard clown would do.

            We understand each other well.

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:06:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do we agree that all this surveillance is not good (0+ / 0-)

              and we need to deal with limits on it or what?

              •  I'm all for limits and transparency (0+ / 0-)

                I do not think it was illegal.  I think its a bad law being executed out of sight of the American Public.

                I think it is another example of security overreach in a long line of over-reach going back to September 12th, 2001.

                I do think the proper "theater of combat" against legitimate terrorists is in the IT World and not on the ground with soldiers or in the skies with Drones.

                Intelligence is the key to fighting these threats and US technology is our greatest advantage.  There is much the NSA can and should do be doing on this front.... but there needs to be REAL limits and oversight about how this operates.

                The totalitarian comparisons are hyperbole and the claims of illegality are equally silly.  Look at what Snowden leaked... it was a COURT ORDER.  An executive branch program, briefed repeatedly to Congress and done under the authority of Court Orders.  That is all three branches of government acting in unison on this.  This isn't a rogue agency run amok or a tyrannical dictator flexing his might.  

                None of this will be found to be criminal (except Snowden's actions).  No one will be arrested (except Snowden).  If we want to reform this, we need to do it legislatively.

                So, if that's what you mean, then yes, we completely agree.  If you are referencing the "sky is falling" mentality around here or the "We've become the USSR" memes, well, I think I've said enough on that already.

                Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                by Wisper on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:49:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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