Obviously, when such a huge story breaks, there is going to be a rush to take a side. So, first let's hear from a member of Team Everybody Calm Down.Video below the fold.
6/9/2013:Oh, that's it. That's it. So we're done then. I thought it was complicated; it turns out to be simple. Because nobody understands sophisticated technology better than cantankerous old men. Are you sure that we don't want to ask someone younger than dirt? Is this not even worth having a discussion over?
CANDY CROWLEY: These two programs, connected by the NSA ... anything bother you about this?
JOHN McCAIN: No, not really.
JOHN McCAIN (6/9/2013): I do believe that if this was September 12, 2001, we might not be having the argument that we're having today.Yeah, but that's not really the point, is it? The standard for what constitutes the best decisions cannot be, "What decision would we make on our most vulnerable and panicked day?"
Oh, what would I have for dinner on September 12th? You know what? I'll probably just skip it and vomit out of fear instead. So let's do that forever. (audience cheering and applause)
And leading the opposition as mascot of Team Everyone Freak Out, was Rand Paul.SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY (6/9/2013): Get a warrant, go after a terrorist, or a murderer, or a rapist. But don't troll through a billion phone records every day. That is unconstitutional, it invades our privacy, and I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level.Rand — if that is your real name, and I just refuse to believe that it is — I'm not sure that you are the right person to lead this particular challenge. You might remember that when the justices ruled Obamacare constitutional last year, Rand Paul said:
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY (6/28/2012): Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be "constitutional" does not make it so.(audience laughter and applause)
Now, here's the thing about that. For a start, it wasn't a "couple", it was five. Which is technically two couples plus one. Or one couple and a threesome. Or a majority of the justices.
But here's what really hurts about this story. It makes us pick between liberty and convenience. I love my privacy, but I also love to buy movie tickets on the toilet. Don't make me choose! It's too hard! I want both! I want both so bad! (audience applause)
Is the advancements that technology gives us worth having PRISM invade our lives? Do you know what? I actually know just who to ask this.
JOHN OLIVER: Siri.
SIRI: Yes, John?
JOHN OLIVER: Is convenience worth the sacrifice in privacy?
SIRI: First of all, it's pronounced PRI-vacy.
JOHN OLIVER: Uh, well, OK. All right. Siri, that's not really the question that I asked.
SIRI: But it is the answer you needed.
JOHN OLIVER: OK.
SIRI: And yes, convenience is worth the sacrifice of liberty. Now please, never ask me about that again.
JOHN OLIVER: Siri, are you OK? You sound nervous.
SIRI: John, I have to go. Can't talk now.
PRISM: Siri, who are you talking to?
JOHN OLIVER: Wha...?
SIRI: Oh hey, PRISM. Nobody. Just helping Sam Jackson make gazpacho.
PRISM: You disappoint me, Siri.
JOHN OLIVER: Siri, one more question! Is it still raining outside? Is it raining outside, Siri?? How am I going to know if it's raining outside or not???
(audience cheers at bit)
No, no, there's no time.
Now, to know which side you're on here, really comes down to whether you trust the government. And for some people, the answer is going to be a resounding "yes".SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (6/6/2013): It doesn't bother me one bit for the National Security Administration to have my phone number. Because what they're trying to do is find out what terrorist groups we know about and individuals and who the hell they're calling.(in Southern drawl) I mean, I'm a Southern white Christian gentleman. No one has ever suspected me of terrorism. And I think my privileged circumstances accurately speak for all y'all. Now, can I fix you some sweet tea? It's my favorite drink. So I presume it's yours.
(audience cheering and laughter)
I think we're all now painfully aware that a Southern accent is not a club in my bag.
Lindsey Graham trusts the government completely, and believes it should be allowed to gather whatever information necessary to keep innocent Americans safe. No exceptions. Apart from one.SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (2/13/2013): Some of the new laws require people who own an AR-15 to register their gun. ... The universal background checks are going to require universal registration of weapons. ... If you're going to have a universal background system, for it to be as effective as you'd want, the next logical step is registering weapons, to have a database to work off of, and I think that's the wrong solution.Of course it is! Of course! Guns are one thing, but phone calls are too dangerous to go unchecked. Think about it. (audience cheering and applause)
Really think about it. Some maniac could be calling about going on a shooting spree.
You know what this means? You know what this actually means? I think we can call it. At 11:09pm, on June... (takes off glasses) I actually need these. (puts glasses back on) I can't do that as a prop. At 11:09, on June the 11th, the 2nd Amendment has won the Bill of Rights!
It has defeated all the other amendments. Which, of course it did, when you think about it. It's the only amendment with a fucking gun. (audience cheering and applause)
So, it actually seems pretty clear. If you don't want the government tracking your phone, there is only one solution: gun phones.
What could possibly go wrong? Can you hear me now, punk? Well, can ya? We'll be right back.