Friday, May 12, 2006

NSA

Before you tell me that the NSA domestic spying scandal is not a big deal, please answer this hypothetical. Would you support the Bush Administration if we learned that it has engaged in warrantless searches of American citizens' homes, if it did so in an attempt to capture terrorists, even if the people searched were not involved with terrorism?

23 Comments:

Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

It IS a big deal!

Just another case of Bush thinking 9/11 annointed him King and he can do whatever the fuck he wants. No warrants. No oversight. Just Supreme Power granted to a complete idiot.

He WILL be impeached. He WILL be charged with war crimes. He will drag the United States down with him. We will have a much deeper hole to dig ourselves out from before this imbecile is through.

They say in a Democracy you get the government you deserve.

I hope the fundamentalist, right wing, NASCAR loving, mullet wearing, FOX watching, Confederate flag waving, big dog owning, illiterate, toothless, truck driving, tobacco chewing, deer hunting, gun owning, Pro Life, fat wife havin' chuckleheads who voted for this guy (twice) are happy with his 29% approval rating.

You should be proud. You have dragged a once great nation down to your own trailer-trash level.

Well done!

5/12/2006 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO I hope the hell big brother listened in on your conversations and found out just where you live, what you eat, whether you wear boxers or tighty whities, learned who all your creditors are and who you haven't paid; in short, learned every sordid and meaningless detail of your life, and laughed out loud.

5/12/2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Anonymous - Do you really think you are "anonymous"? That's funny! That's fucking hysterical!

Not under this administration. Just how stupid are you?

You do know about the whole "IP Address" thing. Right?

You may as well post your full name, home address, employer, criminal record, last year's tax return, any and all divorce filings, this month's utility bill and lifetime web browsing history.

Your life is an open book.

You OK with that?

And in answer to your blatantly homo curiosity: I live in Liberty, eat mostly "meat and potatoes" (but getting ready to order in Chinese), I wear boxers, I declared bankruptcy after a nasty divorce but BEFORE this administrations new draconion bankruptcy laws, so I don't have any creditors.

Anything else you want to know? Go visit my blog.

5/12/2006 6:31 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I rest my case. You've made it.

It doesn't take big brother to know who we are..it's out there..the IP address, the bank records, if somebody wants it, it's there.

I live in Kansas...the dreaded Johnson County no less..but then you already know that :-)

I'm not anonymous..I simply forgot to sign my name to the above post...the other blog I visit posts it automatically..Dan can't you do that in the identity section?

5/12/2006 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...

I guess what it comes down to is this:

Is tracking international calls (but not eavesdropping on them) more like searching a house or watching who enters and exists a certain address -- or even like recording who enters and exists through Customs?

I'd argue that it is more like the latter two -- either one of which would be difficult to call a violation of the Constitution.

But even making that judgement, I'm not sure that I am comfortable with that answer -- and am therefore open to persuasion. That is a major part of why I've not written on the issue over at my site -- I am still grappling with it, despite my preliminary judgement.

5/13/2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger antimedia said...

XO, who is obviously feeling superior, writes, "I hope the fundamentalist, right wing, NASCAR loving, mullet wearing, FOX watching, Confederate flag waving, big dog owning, illiterate, toothless, truck driving, tobacco chewing, deer hunting, gun owning, Pro Life, fat wife havin' chuckleheads who voted for this guy (twice) are happy with his 29% approval rating.

You should be proud. You have dragged a once great nation down to your own trailer-trash level."

Let's see. I'm not a fundamentalist. I'm not right wing - I'm libertarian. I do love NASCAR - go Jeff. I don't wear a mullet - I'm bald. I don't watch FOX - or any other tv news for that matter. I don't even own a Confederate flag, nor was I born in the south. I don't own any big dogs. I have a college education. I'm not missing any teeth. I don't drive a truck. I don't chew tobacco. I don't hunt. I do own a gun. I'm not pro-life. Leave my wife out of this. I'm not trailer trash - I'm a middle-class American professional.

Yet I voted for Bush - twice - and so did a LOT of other Americans. And I still believe he's right.

And I could care less if the government is looking at my calling records. I have nothing to hide. Besides, I'm much more irritated at the telemarketing jerks who have my number and call me at all hours of the day and night.

I do suggest you get help, however, because your hatred appears to be consuming you.

5/13/2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Travelingal - I am skating near the edge of my technical competence when I hook into a wireless network. Your request is far over my head (though I'll ask my computer-savvy son now that he's home from college).

Antimedia - XO is superior to the people he describes. Vastly. The fact that he didn't describe you is to your credit. He didn't say ALL Bush supporters fit his description. There ae other sorts, as well.

5/14/2006 10:32 AM  
Anonymous dolphin said...

It doesn't take big brother to know who we are..it's out there..the IP address, the bank records, if somebody wants it, it's there.

It's not a question of whether or not the information is out there. If the information wasn't out there to get, not even the government could get it, could they?

The question is whether the government SHOULD be collecting this information about it's citizens. If a private citizen collected SOME of this information they could be arrested and thrown in jail, but you're willing to let the government have a free pass? Everyone knows the information is out there, the only question is how much tust you're willing to put in the government over collecting and using this information without the supervision of it's citizens.

5/14/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahem . . .

Folks. I have to break this to you, all, but if the NSA acts are as described, it's not unconstitutional, it's not illegal, it's not a search.

Who says so? The US Supreme Court. Many moons ago. The "pen register" is simply not a search. Look it up for yourself.

SMITH v. MARYLAND, 442 U.S. 735 (1979)

Don't need a warrant, don't need court permission. Not a search.

Sorry to interrupt; you can go on ranting now, XO.



BTW - Dan: I quote: "XO is superior to the people he describes. Vastly."

Really? Is he so by virtue of holding an opinion you agree with? Do you value only those with whom you agree? Frankly, XO strikes me as a wanna-be liberal who has serious anger issues and delusions of his own importance. He apparantly believes that no thinking person could possibly disagree with him; if they do, they obviously are not a thinking person, and must be "trailer-trash" - his term for those who dare to disagree with him. Throw a few f-bombs in there to show you're really, really, serious, and man, now you're really somebody.

And you hold XO up as "superior?" I had high hopes for you, Dan. Guess not. I know you're not responsible for your posters. But you need not endorse such a "chucklehead" as "superior."

XO - Bring some civility to the conversation. Recognize that thinking persons may well disagree with you, and still be thinking persons. Earn respect. Throwing obscenities in gratuitously doesn't accomplish that. Labeling and marginalizing those who may disagree with you in what you percieve as the worst light doesn't accomplish that.
What you write only exposes you for the tired, angry little man you appear to be in your writing.

5/15/2006 10:45 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Think about who he describes, Anonymous, and I think you'd be hard pressed to disagree that he is superior - at the very least for being literate!

He may be a tired, angry little man (I don't know, as I've never met him, but I definitely have "Buy XO a beer" on my to-do list), but he sure knows how to push your buttons!!

5/15/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Oh, and to get to the substance of the post - ECPA. It's more than just the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. http://www.cybertelecom.org/security/ecpatrapandtrace.htm

5/15/2006 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

Dan, Dan, Dan: Yea, it's me again.

You presume that those who fit that profile (a created stereotype done in the most pejorative terms, of course) are "illiterate," are just ignorant rednecks, etc., etc.

You then assume, it appears, much as XO does: if people disagree with you, they are per se not reasonable people, and so can be marginalized in the way XO attempts to do. They can be rejected out of hand.

You should know better than that. It is not enough to simply attach a label to those who disagree with you and dismiss their point of view as irrelevent. It's at best intellectually lazy, at worst, the same kind of bigotry you so often decry.

5/15/2006 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

Dan:

I am no expert on federal statutes. However, I tracked down the link you provided, and given what I understand is the extent and working nature of the NSA program (only what I read in the papers), it doesn't appear to violate the statute.

And frankly, I'd be shocked if the NSA WASN'T doing this. The last time, the gov't was faulted for not connecting the dots. The next time (and there will be a next time, sooner or later), the gov't hopes to connect the dots before Americans are killed.

We all have that kind of information out there, and it is easily accessed by those with the desire to know it. Corporations use it to market to us. The only way to avoid it is to move to Montana in a compound and cut yourself off. You'd have privacy, alright, but most of us don't want to live that way. Personally, I need more guns before I do so!!! (Just kidding, I think).

And in case it wasn't clear, I would make no such agreement as to XO. His worldview appears to be as closed as those he berates.

5/15/2006 1:18 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous Me - No, he specified that the people he was addressing are illiterate. That's not my presumption, that's expressly in his description.

Sometimes when your buttons are pushed it's hard to read clearly.

As for the database, no, that information is not freely available, and should not be. A few months ago, a company got caught selling some similar information, and got shut down.

5/15/2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

XO actually makes a good point, and I'm glad to see the fundamentalist, right wing, NASCAR loving, mullet wearing, FOX watching, Confederate flag waving, big dog owning, illiterate, toothless, truck driving, tobacco chewing, deer hunting, gun owning, Pro Life, fat wife havin' chuckleheads who voted for Kerry are having a fun time with the president's 29% approval rating.

5/15/2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger les said...

Two reactions:

"I have nothing to hide:" as sorry, lame and lazy a response as an American could possibly give for the loss of protected rights and liberties. Let's just have a police state, then, 'cause you'll never suffer from it--right?

"None of it was illegal:" until it's openly reviewed by competent authority, you have no f'in idea. When constitutional and legal scholars don't agree, and the full scope and activities of the program are jealously guarded by Big Brother, that statement is ignorant twaddle.

5/15/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

My goodness.

I certainly don't think that everyone who disagrees with me falls into the category I described. I have many friends with whom I disagree strongly. But we do so in a civil fashion. We agree to disagree and remain friends. A characteristic missing in Congress.

As far as the Anonymous assertion that "XO strikes me as a wanna-be liberal who has serious anger issues and delusions of his own importance" I would remind you of a couple of things:

1: Xavier Onassis (pronounced Save Your Own Asses) is not my real name. It is a persona that allows me the freedom to say whatever the hell I want. Whether I truly believe it or not.

2: I try not to let questions of "civility" or "rationality" interfere with a good rant. The broadcasters on Fox aren't constrained by those virtues; why should I be?

3: "Wanna-be liberal"? Don't think so, my friend. I'm old enough to have had a personal stake in the draft during Vietnam and have been a True Liberal for many decades. All I "wanna-be" is left alone by the ever more intrusive Federal Government. Something that used to be a Conservative aspiration.

I think that I, as an American Citizen, have a reasonable right to privacy when I pick up my phone and call a friend. It doesn't matter whether they listen to the content (which they do...despite their denials). Just knowing what number calls another number is none of their business unless they have "reasonable cause" to think that one of the parties is engaged in illegal activity AND they have a warrant stating such.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”.

That's what we are really talking about here.

Post 9/11, the American public seem to be not just willing, but EAGER to give up everything that makes us Americans in order to safeguard them from a threat that (while real), has a probability of occurence somewhere in the "$300 Million PowerBall Winner" arena.

So yes, that makes me seriously doubt the mental capacity of those who say "You do what you gotta do Mr. President! I'm behind you 100%!! I ain't got me nuthin to hide! Fuck The Constitution! Ancient, liberal, faded, parchment piece of crap!"

Aw shucks. I almost made it through this without any obscenities.

Sorry! My bad!

P.S. - Dan, make that a double bourbon instead of a beer and I'm there. Thanks for having my back.

5/15/2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

“Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”. Your words, not Franklin's.

Although widely attributed to Franklin, he denied the saying, and it almost certainly was not originally his. And it's routinely misquoted and misapplied, as here.

5/16/2006 8:19 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

In the interest of "fair and accurate" reporting, I give you the exact quote from Batleby's with the source citation:

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1056

AUTHOR: Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)

QUOTATION: Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

ATTRIBUTION: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, November 11, 1755.—The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, vol. 6, p. 242 (1963).

This quotation, slightly altered, is inscribed on a plaque in the stairwell of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

SUBJECTS: Liberty

BIOGRAPHY: Columbia Encyclopedia

WORKS: Benjamin Franklin Collection

I stipulate that the presumption of privacy is, in fact, an "essential liberty" for every American. The government (federal, state, county or city) has no compelling need to know how individual Americans go about their daily business.

If the government can provide a compelling case to a court of law that it has reasonable cause to believe that an individual citizen is violating the law, then they can obtain a lawful warrant granting them the authority to impinge upon that citizen's right to privacy.

But to go on a wholesale fishing expidition among the records of millions of law abiding, innocent American Citizens hoping to find someone doing something suspicious (not wrong, or illegal...just suspicious) is a violation of just about every principal on which this country was founded.

If the Founding Fathers could see what was going on today, I have no doubt that they would say "No, no no! You've completely fucked this up! We gave you a Constitution and a Bill of Rights...did you read them?? What part of 'Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' do you not understand??"

The one thing that they would absolutely understand and condemn, is King George.

BTW, Anonymous Me...you're turn.

Where can you cite a credible source that Benjamin Franklin "denied the saying"?

5/16/2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

That should be "Bartleby's.

As in "http://www.bartleby.com/"

5/16/2006 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is getting scary - I'm agreeing with XO. Anonymous me - let's assume for a minute that Franklin didn't make that quote. Do you have a problem with the sentiment? Have you studied any history? It seems there is a pattern throughout world history that when citizens allow their liberty to be taken in order to secure their safety that the result is almost always disasterous. I say "almost always" because I don't want to exaggerate - but honestly, I can't think of a single historical example of a people sacrificing liberty for safety and anything good resulting from the trade. If you have an example, I'd love to see it.

5/17/2006 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

XO:

I need say nothing more, I think you've made my position for me. I rest. The veil of anonymity need not be an excuse for ignoring being a decent human being.

As to Franklin, while I agree with the sentiment, in general, one of my pet annoyances are things that are generally "known" that are not in fact necessarily true. Thus the Franklin "quote."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

There you go.

5/18/2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Well, first of all I trust Bartleby's more than I trust Wikpedia.

But I'll play along, just for fun.

Did you read the whole thing? I quote (from Wikpedia):

"With the information thus far available the issue of authorship of the statement is not yet definitely resolved, but the evidence indicates it was very likely Franklin, who in the Poor Richard's Almanack of 1738 is known to have written a similar proverb: "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." "

Lastly, I am under no obligation to live up to your definition of a "decent human being".

If I want to rant, fume, steam, goad, vent and generally rage about the short-sighted, narrow minded idiots who have done everything they could possibly do to alienate the entire world and INCREASE hostility towards the country that I love and the people who live here, that's my right as an American.

And I have a very personal reason for doing so. My 12 year old daughter is embarking on 3 weeks of international travel in July as part of a Student Ambassador program.

How do you think I feel about her safety knowing that our own president seems to be on a personal crusade to ensure that we have absolutely ZERO friends left on this planet?

A True Leader builds bridges, alliances and interdependencies. That is how you make the world a better place.

Invading other countries just because you don't like them and you can, based on blatant lies, and then telling the rest of the world "if they don't like it they can just go fuck themselves" is not exactly the hallmark of a great leader. Not unless you consider Adolf Hitler to be a great leader.

5/18/2006 6:40 PM  

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