Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Dec 2013 23:15 UTC
Legal

A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the US constitution, in the most significant legal setback for the agency since the first disclosures prompted by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Judge Richard Leon declared that the mass collection of metadata probably violates the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and was "almost Orwellian" in its scope. In a judgment replete with literary swipes against the NSA, he said James Madison, the architect of the US constitution, would be "aghast" at the scope of the agency’s collection of Americans' communications data.

It's just a preliminary ruling, and while the judge stated that he would most likely uphold the preliminary ruling after the merits of the case have been handled, there's probably thousands of appeals and stuff like that where this could crumble into dust.

Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it. That's the nature of government - it can only grow.

Order by: Score:
Yup
by WorknMan on Tue 17th Dec 2013 00:03 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it.


So you liberals keep that in mind the next time you insist that the government should do this or that ;)

Reply Score: 8

RE: Yup
by darknexus on Tue 17th Dec 2013 00:34 UTC in reply to "Yup"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it.


So you liberals keep that in mind the next time you insist that the government should do this or that ;)
"

Took the words right out of my mouth. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Yup
by darknexus on Tue 17th Dec 2013 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Yup"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"[q]Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it.


So you liberals keep that in mind the next time you insist that the government should do this or that ;)
"

Took the words right out of my mouth. ;) [/q]
In the interest of fairness though, I have to say the modern Neocons are just as bad as the liberals. Both want increased government power and control, just in different areas.

Reply Score: 11

RE[3]: Yup
by emarkp on Tue 17th Dec 2013 01:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yup"
emarkp Member since:
2005-09-10

1) Please define 'neocon'
2) We can simplify to say: If you slam politician A for doing X, be sure to slam politician B for also doing X (or even something X^2).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Yup
by tupp on Tue 17th Dec 2013 01:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yup"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

It appears that in OP:
:P = /s

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Yup
by WorknMan on Tue 17th Dec 2013 01:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yup"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

In the interest of fairness though, I have to say the modern Neocons are just as bad as the liberals.


Of course, you are right. I just pick on liberals here, because they seem to represent the majority in the tech blogosphere.

Conservatives claim to want 'less government', which we all know is a bunch of happy horseshit. In truth, they just want more government in different places than liberals do. For example, trying to either put restrictions or outright ban online gambling and pornography.

You also notice how these so called 'free market capitalist' corporations go screaming to the government every time they start getting their asses handed to them by the competition. 'Hey, let's sue our competitors over the use of rounded corners...' Bunch of dammed hypocrites, I say.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Yup
by darknexus on Tue 17th Dec 2013 02:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yup"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You also notice how these so called 'free market capitalist' corporations go screaming to the government every time they start getting their asses handed to them by the competition. 'Hey, let's sue our competitors over the use of rounded corners...' Bunch of dammed hypocrites, I say.

No argument from me, but that brings us to the second truth here: If a system exists to abuse, those with power will abuse it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Yup
by WorknMan on Tue 17th Dec 2013 03:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Yup"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If a system exists to abuse, those with power will abuse it.


Slight correction:

If a system exists to abuse, ANYONE will abuse it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Yup
by Soulbender on Tue 17th Dec 2013 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yup"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

As long as they're the underdog all corporations are pro-competition but what they all really want is a monopoly.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Yup
by Soulbender on Tue 17th Dec 2013 10:16 UTC in reply to "Yup"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The government should do this and that. In fact, it should do many things and they should be for the benefit of the citizens. The problem seems to be that that government isn't doing it's job.
If you want a government that does nothing, well, there are plenty of banana republics you could move to and see how well that works out.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Yup
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 17th Dec 2013 19:20 UTC in reply to "Yup"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

This comment doesn't make much sense to me.

The things that a modern liberal/progressive wants government to do. Well, They want the government to do them. I'm not sure there are any cases I can think of where they've changed their minds about the role of government.

It kind of seems like you are admonishing a particular political group with an obvious truism without any particular relevance.

In short, it looks like flamebait.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yup
by bassbeast on Tue 17th Dec 2013 19:34 UTC in reply to "Yup"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

The problem in the USA is either 1.- the government does it or 2.- Supermegacorp gets a monopoly and royally screws everyone. there really isn't a middle ground anymore, not with millions in bribes being handed out.

For examples of what happens when you "leave it to the free market(TM)" see healthcare, where we are #1 in costs but #37 in quality of care, or broadband where nearly 100 million Americans have no access to broadband at all and the top speeds in the megacities trail what most backwater spots in the EU and Asia get. in my area the cable and DSL duopoly hasn't run a single foot of line in a decade, why should they? they have already cherry picked the rich white neighborhoods, the rest can get reamed with cell phone net.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 17th Dec 2013 02:36 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Our government has proven repeatedly that they don't care about abiding by law or adhering to the constitution. When legality gets in the way of what they want to do, they simply disregard it and declare their actions as a "matter of national security" so we literally have no right to know anything about it. Many intelligent people have warned us about going down this path, some of whom lost their lives over their words & speeches. Even if the entire country became unified against what's happening, I'm doubtful anything could be done about it because ultimately people are just too conditioned to be obedient. Just sharing these opinions probably popped some red flag up somewhere.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by nagerst on Tue 17th Dec 2013 03:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
nagerst Member since:
2013-11-07

But by this settlement actually affirm to the constitution. That is why people might be afraid of judges that want to change the laws. The supreme court can make this valid rulings by majority. Social issues should never be handled by any government or majority. Taxation we might dis-or agree upon. Same with what the government should do.

What Obama forgot in his swearing in process though. (he has mentioned several time his made up responsobilities) The oath he took and made public is "To uphold the constitution of these united stated of america" Obama has been pushing both SOPA and PIPA as well as CISPA and so on, thus breaking his oath.

I am sad to say, when the democrats behave this way, they are bound to lose next election if they support the previous presidents policies in any way and i am much more of a democrat than most democrats in congress. And just as Buush policies they will be revoked, these will just stay and grow the government to an even bigger mosnter.


The patent system is the same, only because a few players still wants it to be big or even bigger the government complies due to lobbying.

Sollution: Demand of your congressman to provide transcript on paper to every library in your district for every speech he does in the capitol building so that anyone can read it and thus you can keep him accountable for your vote. Shut down the patent office and let people compete in the free market.
(nothing has proven better for innovation and wealth so far)
The federal government should NOT protect protect IP at all as it is not even mentioned in the US constitution as one of it's duties. And as you know "everything not mentioned" are and shall be with the individual then the state.
Perhaps if you can not make money on crap, you should focus on something else. If your movie flops: Perhaps you did not do enough work to justify the cost or you are not talented enough or were selling it poorly.
If you did code a piece of code and it is decidedly is not worthy of joining the main branch.

Getting pyed for "Percieved effort" hurts my soul if i believed in one.

I hope i did not wall anyone.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Alfman on Tue 17th Dec 2013 04:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

nagerst,

"The federal government should NOT protect protect IP at all as it is not even mentioned in the US constitution as one of it's duties."


Technically speaking it is mentioned in the constitution: "The Congress shall have power ... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;". However it's clearly being abused today, and all the modern legislation around copyrights/patents are motivated by corporations wanting to increase the abuse rather than mitigate it. Applying patents to software is just ridiculous, if only the forefathers could have known...


The forefathers had great intentions, in many ways the constitution was retaliation of the abuses they witnessed within the English system of government. So it's obvious they anticipated abuse and they developed the US government in the best way they could to curb it. Alas, they didn't have a crystal ball to tell them exactly where and how it would be abused, and in some cases overtly ignored. I also think they would be very surprised at how much power has been concentrated into corporate conglomerates with virtually unchecked influence on government policy using their armies of lawyers, lobbyists, and money. The sheer scale of today's monopolies was inconceivable then. They didn't know... at that time all the power was within governments and the church. I think it's likely they would have done more to empower ordinary citizens from sources of enormous power outside of government as well if they had conceived it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 17th Dec 2013 05:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

There should be no question that money controls our government. It controls our laws. It controls our regulations. It controls foreign & domestic policy. It controls everything and politicians appear to be little more than puppets & placeholders today. They rotate in & out with little to no impact on the people behind the curtain -- the small handful of people who own & control practically everything, with their hands wrapped firmly around our civilizations throat.

In a different post you commented, "It's critical we fight for our constitutional rights tooth and nail because it's all we really have in fighting oppressive government tendencies, otherwise it just becomes a glorified piece of paper symbolizing all the rights we've lost". I would submit that the more you peel this onion, the more it looks like we've already reached that point. We're `more free` here to wander than in other places, but we are certainly only doing so within the fence-lines set by our masters/owners. There are several good books written about the illusion of freedom.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by zima on Fri 20th Dec 2013 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

On the topic of illusions - notable would be the "land of opportunity" / "American Dream" ...while the US is at the bottom of developed countries in actual metric of this stuff, social mobility.

Reply Score: 2

Debunked
by nagerst on Tue 17th Dec 2013 02:40 UTC
nagerst
Member since:
2013-11-07

Already debunked by J.C Dvorak (the writer of many IT books) and Adam Curry (previous manager of MTV) on the no agenda show. NSA loses no rights against the populace with this verdict. Nothing changes except that new legislation not covered might be passed.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 17th Dec 2013 02:53 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

It's just a preliminary ruling, and while the judge stated that he would most likely uphold the preliminary ruling after the merits of the case have been handled, there's probably thousands of appeals and stuff like that where this could crumble into dust.


Federal Courts, thankfully, don't offer huge amounts of opportunities to appeal.

Since this is a Federal Circuit court, the appeal would go to the Circuit court of Appeals, where all issues must be appealed at once. From there it goes to the US Court of Appeals, where, again, all issues must be appealed at once. From there, it's the US Supreme Court, but only if the Supreme Court wishes to hear the case, which requires a minimum of 3 Supreme Court Justices to vote in favor of hearing the case.

Granted, each of these appeals can take a significant amount of time - it could be a couple of years before SCOUTS hears it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 17th Dec 2013 05:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

I agree that having the NSA's actions officially reprimanded by a federal court is encouraging. Never the less it seems more of a symbolic victory than anything if the NSA's senior directors are not held accountable for treason against the people and if funding of the nefarious & secretive programs continues unabated.

It's critical we fight for our constitutional rights tooth and nail because it's all we really have in fighting oppressive government tendencies, otherwise it just becomes a glorified piece of paper symbolizing all the rights we've lost.

Reply Score: 5

Let me be liberal
by Gone fishing on Tue 17th Dec 2013 02:56 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

It seems right to me that government elected by the people and accountable to the people should have the right (under scrutiny of the judicatory), to level the playing-field and make it possible for the less powerful to better themselves, so that merit is rewarded rather than simply wealth and power. That the the common man has has both a reasonable life and some control over his destiny.

The problem with many conservatives, is they see making a more meritocratic and fairer society an oppressive unjust use of state power. Whilst they see surveillance, the removal of individual rights by the armed services of the state, censorship, and the restriction of individual freedoms as the proper functions of the state and government.

Yes we have too much government, government that sees its citizens as needing controlling, as wayward children that need discipline and punishment.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Let me be liberal
by darknexus on Tue 17th Dec 2013 03:11 UTC in reply to "Let me be liberal"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It seems right to me that government elected by the people and accountable to the people should have the right (under scrutiny of the judicatory), to level the playing-field and make it possible for the less powerful to better themselves, so that merit is rewarded rather than simply wealth and power. That the the common man has has both a reasonable life and some control over his destiny.

The problem with many conservatives, is they see making a more meritocratic and fairer society an oppressive unjust use of state power. Whilst they see surveillance, the removal of individual rights by the armed services of the state, censorship, and the restriction of individual freedoms as the proper functions of the state and government.

Yes we have too much government, government that sees its citizens as needing controlling, as wayward children that need discipline and punishment.

I can't even tell where you stand with this comment. And, let it be known that by our definition of liberal here in the states (I prefer the term leftist rather than liberal), it is the leftists that have by far done the most to increase control of the state and the scope of so-called "national security." What these people are doing makes Dubyuh look like a libertarian by comparison. At this point though, it doesn't matter whether you're left or right. They're both pretending to fight against each other while gangbanging behind our backs to increase their powers (see so-called government shutdown) and the populous are too glued to the idiot box to realize they're being bent over in preparation for... well, you get the idea.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Let me be liberal
by zima on Fri 20th Dec 2013 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Let me be liberal"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

our definition of liberal here in the states (I prefer the term leftist rather than liberal),

US "leftists" are centre at most ...and really, a bit to the right (check political compass website)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Let me be liberal
by galvanash on Tue 17th Dec 2013 12:33 UTC in reply to "Let me be liberal"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I should probably just stay out of this one, but I can't help myself...

It seems right to me that government elected by the people and accountable to the people should have the right (under scrutiny of the judicatory), to level the playing-field and make it possible for the less powerful to better themselves, so that merit is rewarded rather than simply wealth and power. That the the common man has has both a reasonable life and some control over his destiny.


Why do you conflate "merit" and "reward" with acts of government? Unless you actually work for the government, what business is it of a government to identify merit and reward it? No offense meant, but the government identifying merit and rewarding it is what has made the playing field uneven in the first place. That is the primary reason that the richer keep getting richer - because the government is beholden to them (and visa versa).

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
- Honore de Balzac

A bit cynical but mostly true... Funny how hardly no one seems to go to jail, and even if they do the fortune is somehow preserved... The Kennedy fortune was built on a series of "questionable" endeavors - do you think JFK would have ever been president if his dad was a shoe salesman?

I admit I am reading a bit into what you wrote, but it sounds like you are promoting redistribution of wealth in the form of "rewarding merit". The problem is most politicians idea of merit is wealth... See the problem?

The whole concept of what "leveling the playing field" means has been totally perverted in modern society. The single most effective way for a government to level the playing field is to get off of it...

Really, I'm being quite serious. I'm not saying that the playing field is level - it isn't. I'm saying that the reason it is not level is because of the influence that money has over political policy.

You don't fix this by promoting redistribution of wealth. That isn't fixing anything, it is just a form of reparations.

You fix it by reforming things so that money can no longer buy political favor. You fix it by making the government adhere to its founding principals, not blinding following majority will. You fix it by actually reading the Constitution, identifying where things went off the tracks, and addressing them.

Its not a liberal vs conservative argument - those two terms no longer mean anything in modern politics... None of the major political parties are trying to _fix_ anything - they are trying to appease their base through creative marketing of bad policy. They are selling lemons and calling it lemonade...

The problem is there is no one is selling real lemonade. The policies of modern liberal thinking are just as destructive as the policies of modern conservative thinking.

The problem isn't people picking the wrong ideology, the problem is people picking any ideology... Ideology is the problem - it creates a force field through which reform cannot possible pass...

Have ideas, have ideals, but don't have ideologies.

Edited 2013-12-17 12:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Let me be liberal
by Alfman on Tue 17th Dec 2013 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Let me be liberal"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

galvanash,

The whole concept of what "leveling the playing field" means has been totally perverted in modern society. The single most effective way for a government to level the playing field is to get off of it...

Really, I'm being quite serious. I'm not saying that the playing field is level - it isn't. I'm saying that the reason it is not level is because of the influence that money has over political policy.


In many ways I understand what you are getting at: a corrupt and self-serving government will only amplify problems. However I think there's an underlying assumption that industry could self-regulate without government, but historically that's been flawed. Private monopolies got so big and powerful that competition became non-existent and those corporations were free to exert more and more direct control over people's lives. The most extreme example is probably the company owned towns of Pullman, Carnegie, and others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman,_Chicago

It's conceptually similar to "vendor lock", only applied to employees. At their peak, 3% of the US population was already working, living, shopping on company property. Imagine if the government had never intervened.

Modern examples are harder to come by, but that's likely due to government intervention rather than corporate goodwill.
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2008/09/mexico-supreme-court-...

Government isn't inherently bad, it can definitely be useful to create infrastructures and achieve social goals that would not be possible without them. The problem is when they cease existing for the people and start to take on their own agendas in spite of the people, such as this NSA wiretapping issue. The NSA spying program would have never been possible through democratic means, which is why it's kept a secret from the public. They nevertheless make up a "legal" framework to cover up their operations with no public oversight whatsoever. Yet a government that's willing and able to overstep it's public charter in this way IS inherently bad. Democracy cannot function behind closed doors.

Is a solution even possible? I don't even know anymore... Even with the best intentions, it seems like things will become corrupted by those with the power and motivation to corrupt it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Let me be liberal
by galvanash on Wed 18th Dec 2013 00:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Let me be liberal"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

However I think there's an underlying assumption that industry could self-regulate without government, but historically that's been flawed.


I was specifically talking about "leveling the playing field", i.e. the government instituting monetary/financial/tax/social policies and programs in an attempt to balance or otherwise correct perceived inequalities, redistribute wealth, or create alternate revenue streams.

Everyone has a "the government should do something about that" issue. Fine, I get that. My point really is that people should be really carefully consider how the government does something about it... We have reached a point where policy is so far reaching and convoluted that no one can possibly understand the consequences of their actions anymore. Once that happens any kind of corrective reform becomes impossible - governmental policy has become a giant Jenga game - pull out one piece and the whole thing might come down.

My definition of limited government is to define the purpose of the tools welded by government (taxes, fees, fines, police power, etc.) and to limit their use only to their defined purpose. Taxes are used for funding, fees pay for clerical expenses, fines pay for damages, police power is used to enact justice. Most people think this is the way things are now, which could not be further form the truth...

Its not about limiting the scope of government, it is about limiting how the government is allowed to use the tools they weld...

If you stop using taxes to control behavior , and you stop using fees to fund bureaucracies, and you stop using fines to punish industry, government can still do all the things society wants, they just have to use the right tool for the job.

Eliminate all the inter-dependencies and you eliminate the road blocks to reform - if something isn't working you change it or just stop doing it. No side-effects...

This is common sense in software engineering - side effects are bad. I find it ironic that most modern government policy, if you actually look at it closely, is almost invariably about creating side effects - because that is the mechanism one side uses to keep the other side from changing anything once it becomes law...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Let me be liberal
by Gone fishing on Wed 18th Dec 2013 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Let me be liberal"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

The problem isn't people picking the wrong ideology, the problem is people picking any ideology... Ideology is the problem - it creates a force field through which reform cannot possible pass...

On this we agree ideology is per se harmful even wicked although it s difficult for us to see our own ideology, I always liked the situationalist slogan:

Theory is when you have ideas; ideology is when ideas have you.


I also agree with

You fix it by making the government adhere to its founding principles,


Although if you do not blinding follow the majority will” who do you follow an elite? Shamefully I come from a country without a written constitution; however, I don’t not see government as inherently corrupting. The heroes that drafted the American constitution were not against government , but for - Government of the people, by the people and for the people. They attempted to build in checks and balances, to defend the liberty of the citizen against the tyranny of government that usurped the power of the citizen. If you believe that this has happened it needs fixing. I am reminded of Jefferson’s” The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” I suspect on this we largely agree.

Where we may disagree is on the idea of freedom as appose to liberty. I would argue that freedom is the ability to control ones destiny and life, for the common man this requires collective democratic decision making. Otherwise we are all subject simply atomised individuals at the mercy of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, which without getting its fingers sharply smacked on occasion inevitably favours the wealthy and powerful. Sometimes government has fulfilled this role, levelling the playing field making for example Universal Education for example a reality, and occasionally limiting the power of landlords, corporations and monopolies.

Reply Score: 2

They did once
by M.Onty on Tue 17th Dec 2013 11:51 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it. That's the nature of government - it can only grow.


During the American civil war a huge military-industrial-espionage complex was built up for the Union, largely by Monty Meigs. As soon as the war was won, the whole thing was dismantled by the same West Pointers who'd built it.

Unfortunately when World War II finished, the next war was waiting in the wings. If it hadn't been for the Cold War America would probably have dismantled the machine as it had before. But now its been too long. America has forgotten that it was ever supposed to be temporary.

Hamiltonians dance & sing while good little republicans & Jeffersonians, like Meigs, spin in their graves.

Reply Score: 5

NSA <-> GCHQ
by M.Onty on Tue 17th Dec 2013 12:06 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

We, our governments, our courts, are all capable of asserting that our spooks can't spy on their own citizens. Who knows, it may even happen.

But here is the knotty bit: We can't stop them from spying on foreigners because, well, that is the purpose of espionage. Everyone does it & always will. So if the USA & the UK form a intelligence sharing partnership, we've both just outsourced domestic spying to our partners, which is worse than our own spooks doing it to us.

In other words, for any ruling to work, it'll have to be transatlantic in effect. I can't see that happening any time soon.

Edited 2013-12-17 12:06 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Yeah right
by dennisma on Tue 17th Dec 2013 14:29 UTC
dennisma
Member since:
2013-12-05

Quit yer celebrating this changes nuthin.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by deathshadow
by deathshadow on Tue 17th Dec 2013 14:59 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

"Of all tyrannies, one sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." -- C.S. Lewis

... and that is exactly how fascism in America will get it's foothold. As was once said and oft mis-attributed to many different people "When fascism comes to America it will be waving the American flag, smell like Apple pie, and declare itself in defense of the common man."

Propaganda 101, the best place to put a lie is between two truths. They try to justify illegal, immoral and outright sleazeball behavior by way of "protecting America"... even sadder is the average person is usually not bright enough to even recognize they are being lied to; and, well... not to keep quoting... But our founding fathers had a LOT to say on the subject.

Those who would give up essential liberty for the illusion of safety, deserve neither liberty, nor safety.
-- Ben Franklin

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
-- James Madison

Not that at the time the entire world wasn't thinking along those lines.

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
-- Charles de Montesquieu

People like to act like this is something new, when it's the same wolf, it just happens to be wearing a different sheep's hide. It is nice to see the checks and balances almost working for a change, but it's going to be a major uphill battle given the vast majority of sheep do little more than give an apathetic 'baa'.

But as Rooum illustrated some thirty years ago...
http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/92/77692-050-95BF4605.jp...

Edited 2013-12-17 15:02 UTC

Reply Score: 5