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View Diary: "Government Lies About Spying Again and Again...Here's What's REALLY Going On" (111 comments)

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  •  The problem is that the show-offs among us (7+ / 0-)

    LIKE being watched and modest people don't care. That said, "look, but don't touch," has always been standard advice and, in fact, the amendments to the Constitution do not prohibit looking at information or even collecting it, as long as they don't do anything with it.

    As a person who grew up in a place where bombs rained down and left behind mountains of rubble, being bombarded with adds is not nearly so bad and being watched doesn't compare to being incarcerated and/or starved.

    Think of the people of Iraq. Most of them would have been content if, instead of reducing the cradle of civilization to rubble, the U.S. had just sent drones over to watch everyone going about their business.
    Even having a Congress that acts like grade-school boys without having much effect on the ground is an unimaginable luxury and sure to cause envy in people whose neighbors are likely to come after them with machetes if they say something someone doesn't like.

    Some people object to my referring to dollars as figments of the imagination. But, fighting with dollars is much better than the alternative, if only because the bloodshed is less.
    Would Iran prefer to be bombed to having the value of their currency depressed?
    The use of money is a net positive. Congress' use of money to extort votes is a negative that we can and will reverse.

    •  What the hell? Quite confusing (14+ / 0-)

      The government spies on its own and bombs foreign countries.  Are you suggesting we choose which we would prefer?  Okay, I would rather avoid both.

      As to this,

      LIKE being watched and modest people don't care. That said, "look, but don't touch," has always been standard advice and, in fact, the amendments to the Constitution do not prohibit looking at information or even collecting it, as long as they don't do anything with it.
      Apart from needing more precision even to be argued as to exactly how "showoffs" want to be watched and whether there is data that "modest" people, however that is defined, "don't care", it is absurd to argue that the constitution does not inhibit the collection of information.  Finally, the issue is not one of whether most people know or care what is happening, unless we have moved into the realm of Chinese philosophy.  Okay, people get the government they deserve; that is no argument against informing people and encouraging them to deserve better.

      Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

      by geomoo on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:05:44 AM PDT

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      •  For the most part, the Constitution prescribes (3+ / 0-)

        behavior -- what agents of government may and must do. The amendments are anomalous because they reverse the paradigm and enumerate prohibitions. This has led to agents of government arguing that what is not specifically prohibited is permitted. I don't agree with that argument, but, so far, the courts have bought it.
        The Cons have great affection for "limited government" because, on the one hand, they believe that the purpose of government is to tell the civilian population what to do and, on the other hand, they don't want to be ordered around. That the government is actually organized to manage resources and provide for the general welfare and that "must and may" are self-limiting obligations doesn't register with the Cons because they are convinced that to govern = to rule and self-government is an unknown concept.
        The amendments guarantee nothing because there is no enforcement mechanism.
        When we are dealing with prescribed duties and they are not carried out, the proper response is easy. The laggards are fired and we hire new.

        •  I can't tell if you're arguing law or reality (9+ / 0-)

          The law most decidedly does provide for limitations on the collection of information, from requiring demonstration of just cause before searching one's vehicle to prohibition against tracking associations.  One current lawsuit against the USG invokes NAACP v Alabama, in which the court decided unanimously that

          compelled disclosure of the NAACP's membership lists would have the effect of suppressing legal association among the group's members.
          Now, if you're arguing that they are getting away with murder, no argument here, but despite arguments to the contrary, their word twisting and lies have not given them the cover of the law.  The legal opinions purporting to justify torture, for example, were themselves illegal and the lawyers who made them are subject to prosecution.  They have gathered the power, apparently, to do whatever they hell they want.  But the corruption and co-opting of enforcement mechanisms does not mean that what they are doing is constitutional.

          Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

          by geomoo on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 07:44:05 AM PDT

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        •  Even the government is not arguing . . . (11+ / 0-)

          . . . that it is legal for them to gather this information; rather, they are hiding behind the ridiculous claim that the information they store has not really been collected unless and until it is used by them in some way.  They are also protecting themselves from lawsuit by claiming that those suing have no standing because they cannot prove they have been harmed because the proof they need is kept secret by the government.  Iow, Catch 22.  These are transparent perversions of the law.

          Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

          by geomoo on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:00:02 AM PDT

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          •  Actually, the ACLU, EFF and EPIC.org... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, maryabein, geomoo, priceman, triv33

            all now believe that the Snowden disclosures facilitated 'standing'. Thus, reinvigorating their efforts in the courts.

            They are also protecting themselves from lawsuit by claiming that those suing have no standing because they cannot prove they have been harmed because the proof they need is kept secret by the government.
            The government's defense is ludicrous.

            They know it.

            And so does everyone else.

            'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

            by markthshark on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 10:54:26 AM PDT

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    •  The 4th prohibits seizure, which is a necessary (6+ / 0-)

      Precondition to seeing.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:58:20 AM PDT

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