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View Diary: Alan Grayson: " The Big Brother is Not Watching You Act, HR 3883" (26 comments)

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  •  Sadly, President Obama's "reforms" are (14+ / 0-)

    mostly cosmetic. He views "the problem" as being that US citizens don't trust the NSA enough and we'd all be better off if we just let our betters follow what's going on in our lives.

    That speech was far from an endorsement of true privacy rights. I hope Congress - left and right (wacko as it is) will work together to craft some true limits on NSA/FBI/CIA power and spying.  

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and anti-government 'libertarians' have a point when they, too, are just as opposed to government spying as progressive believers in true civil liberties.  Maybe the two fringes (as determined by numbers of membership) can overcome the corporate 'middle' and pass some true reforms.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:32:20 AM PST

    •  YucatanMan thanks for the thoughtful and (9+ / 0-)

      incisive comment.  Would feel powerless to change this but the ACLU keeps working to and folks like Grayson do as well so must never give up?

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:41:41 AM PST

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    •  Pierce had a great one-liner about the speech (14+ / 0-)

      here:

      The president's big speech on the NSA today was an extended exercise in running in place. The one thing it was not was an attempt to strike a "balance" between the current surveillance state and civil liberties "concerns." (You will note that the Bill of Rights is now apparently a Bill of Concerns.) There is very little question that the former is being asked to give up very little of its power -- I decline to feel comforted by the fact that intelligence agencies have to submit requests to a secret court -- while the latter are being asked to adjust their expectations to the reality of new and gathering threats.
      Basic principles enshrined in the 1st and the 4th Amendments over 225 years ago are now mere "concerns."  I'd be curious to read a syllabus from one of the Con Law classes our president once taught.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:59:19 AM PST

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      •  Great comment, beats me that he has (5+ / 0-)

        such a conservative bent.

        Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

        by divineorder on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:37:29 AM PST

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      •  so noted (7+ / 0-)
        You will note that the Bill of Rights is now apparently a Bill of Concerns.

        For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan to Dover AF mortuary, "God bless the cause of "The Good War" for which they died" - As if any war can be called Good in its 13th year, America's longest war.

        by allenjo on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:04:52 AM PST

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      •  That really is a great quote. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, RFK Lives

        "Civil liberties concerns" indeed.  

        Early on in the Obama presidency, I read an article about "Constitutional scholars."  The gist was along these lines:  some see the document as "the rules" -- our defining principles and ideals -- to be followed, a blueprint for government operations, powers, restrictions, and civil rights of our citizens.  That view is pretty much what our citizens might agree upon as a description.  

        Others see the document as a piece of legalese.  That is, the contents are not sacred rights, but simply legal language which sets markers around which legal games are played, maneuvering this way and that, and finding a way to achieve your goals by following, or getting around, these markers as necessary.

        The article contended that Obama's law professor advocacy had been seen by many as being in the latter category. That, supposedly, he didn't see the Constitution at all as being set ideals and rights, but as a paper which provided the rules to the game around which maneuvering takes place to reach whatever - whatever - goal you seek to reach.

        I think I've described the article fairly accurately. Since it was years ago, I don't have a link. But it was an eye-opener to me. Obama is not defending our rights. And it doesn't appear he's ever been concerned about them, if you review his actions.

        He's playing a legal game to further his own goals.

        If anyone knows the source, I'd love to read this again at this point, because it seems to fit his NSA kabuki-show perfectly. (as it fit his "gay rights evolution," etc, etc...)

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:30:57 PM PST

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      •  Wonderful! (0+ / 0-)

        Any democracy we get we will need to make ourselves.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:22:57 PM PST

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    •  Unlike the President, Grayson still views (6+ / 0-)

      the 4th Amendment as an inviolable right, not a "suggestion" to be balanced against "safety."

      How quaint; no wonder so many users on this site can't stand him.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:38:51 PM PST

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