Skip to main content

Last night, John Oliver continued the coverage of the NSA surveillance story, looking at who is taking whose side in all this.

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.

CANDY CROWLEY: These two programs, connected by the NSA ... anything bother you about this?

JOHN McCAIN: No, not really.

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?
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.


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.


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?


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.

Video below the fold.

Al Madrigal then look at a different kind of whistleblower, those exposing animal cruelty in slaughterhouses.  As a vegetarian, I find this all highly ironic.
Meanwhile, Stephen also covered the NSA spy story with Jeffrey Rosen.
He then looked at how actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, was stopped by the TSA because of his cane.

Stephen talked with Daniel Bergner on what women really want, and John talked with Veep creator Armando Iannucci, which went long.  Here's the unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2

Originally posted to BruinKid on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site