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  • Originally posted by Towelmaster
    I personally think that this 'Abramoff'-case is much more interesting than who had enough moral values to leak law-breaking to the press...

    If I'm not mistaking, this guy could/will cause one Hell of a lot of trouble for(mainly) a lot of Republicans. And thus cause major problems for all of the republicans. Look at what the Clinton-bashing over WhiteWater did to other democrats...

    I have to hand it to those Washington-vultures : when they play dirty the ReAlLy play dirty. Even if it takes 10 years to get back at someone...

    BTW : If people want to know where I stand - politically and philosophically speaking) : I am not exactly like but very much inclined to agree with these kind of people :


    ANTI-STATE • ANTI-WAR • PRO-MARKET


    Which might surprise forum-colleageas like Zhd. I mean : Fred is NoT really the left-end of the political spectrum, is it? I wouldn't mind having a nice talk with that man over a good drink. There are many many days when I find myself feeling similarly grumpy about the world.
    There are some very well known Democrats that are quite worried, including a Kennedy who is high up on list of Abramoff donors. It may harm Repbulicans more but not by much. IMO corruption is corruption and needs to be stamped out no matter what side of the asile it comes from.

    The thing that really annoyed me about the Abrahamoff case is that he is apparently an Observant Jew and decided to play that part at the arraignment, wearing a balck fedora going to and leaving the court house. It's almost as bad as when Kevin Mitnick asked for Kosher food while he was in prison.
    ---
    Co-host of The Second Time Around podcast
    www.benedictfamily.org/podcast

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Towelmaster
      I personally think that this 'Abramoff'-case is much more interesting than who had enough moral values to leak law-breaking to the press...
      No law-breaking was leaked. A top secret program was. That's illegal and I hope the CIA and NYT get investigated and brought up on charges.

      If I'm not mistaking, this guy could/will cause one Hell of a lot of trouble for(mainly) a lot of Republicans. And thus cause major problems for all of the republicans. Look at what the Clinton-bashing over WhiteWater did to other democrats...
      Republicans already controlled Congress. Bush winning wasn't due to White Water. Republicans will remain in control of Congress this year. What? Corrupt politicians? You don't say...

      People are going to vote the way that they vote. Of course, Howard Dean (who has had as many moronic statements as Pat Robertson has) will play everything up and call the GOP evil.
      Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by thebaron
        There are some very well known Democrats that are quite worried, including a Kennedy who is high up on list of Abramoff donors. It may harm Repbulicans more but not by much. IMO corruption is corruption and needs to be stamped out no matter what side of the asile it comes from.
        Yes, in my book it is too. But I have the feeling that a lot of politicians in the States AND abroad have forgotten that. Power corrupts, absolute power...

        The thing that really annoyed me about the Abrahamoff case is that he is apparently an Observant Jew and decided to play that part at the arraignment, wearing a balck fedora going to and leaving the court house. It's almost as bad as when Kevin Mitnick asked for Kosher food while he was in prison.
        Well look at it from his side : He faces 30 years in prison and he is cooperating with law-enforcement agencies to get a lesser sentence. If he does that, I can fully understand that he is playing his part to the hilt. I mean I DO get a bit of a crawly skin when all of a sudden he asks for forgiveness, and 'may the Lord forgive me' and all that. Reminds me too much of the 'sudden' regrets of Jim Baker...

        But you can't blame him for trying to limit his sentence. After all, it's not like he worked for saints. I suspect...

        I think this is interesting. I really cannot say that I have have a clear idea of what the American public thinks of American politics over the last 25 years. But I do know that on the outside looking in, everybody could have seen this coming and a lot people DID see it coming. Politics is supposed to be a process that helps govern and unite a country. Not divide it. And then this(for instance) : http://www.lewrockwell.com/douglas/douglas10.html does not help, I think.

        And yes, I know there is no such thing as 'an absolute truth' in politics. But the foundation should be something everybody can agree on.

        I also know that links like the one above tend to p*ss off some people(sorry ZhD!) but you tell me : where are the(fundamental) differences between the Soviet State and the current 'measures' the American administration thinks they have to take? What is the difference between Gitmo and the Gulag? And I do not mean practical differences, I do not mean the nitpicking differences(we treat them better, they at least get food from us, etcetera). I am talking about holding people for years (I could understand a few months) without accusing them, without the right to a trial, without the right to appeal to the American Constitution. Well, they do have the right to appeal, if they can get the word out. But as we have seen recently, the administration threw out the Supreme Court's decision by going back to the senate and congress and have them create an exception to the rule.


        You know what ? This posting of mine does sound dangerously left-wing and communist. Thankfully, my opinions are shared quite often with free-thinkers like Fred Reed and the likes. And absolutely no one can be serious when they accuse Fred R. of being left-wing. The guy worked for Soldier of Fortune for years! He has virtually nothing good to say about the Democratic Party.


        As the dutchman on the outside looking in I ask again and again and again : What the H*ll is happening with the beautiful 'house' the Americans built?
        Where is the uproar because Washington restricts air-travel for 12-year olds because they share a name with someone [b]who is suspected of having been to Afghanistan once? Where is the uproad when the government eavesdrops on THOUSANDS of its own citizen while refusing to request a warrant(that they would get withouth objection).
        Where are all those free-spirited Americans? Where are the completely american independents who are prepared to defend their compound in Waco but who do not defend themselves against the most covert and powerful american administration America has ever seen? And why oh why is it now a national(mostly republican) hobby to accuse everyone who does not fully support Bush's war of being 'unpatriotic'? That last one makes the skin of a lot of people over here crawl. It leads to fascism. Nobody can say otherwise. It has been proved over and over again, and not just in Germany 1933. Everywhere expect in the United Stated. The last beacon of hope. Until now.


        You have to keep in mind that as good as no one in Europe gloats over this. Quite the opposite: a lot of people here are very worried. And I say with good reason too. After all, we do have some experience with these situations and so far they have all resulted in chaos.

        And in this frame of mind, I am glad I come across the counter-voices, even if only on the web. Like this one :

        Originally posted by Rockwell
        The Declaration of independence and The Constitution built upon it make it absolutely clear that We the People of America are the only Sovereign Power of America and that any government has authority to make or execute our laws only to the extent that We grant that government our Consent to do so.

        This is quite a contrast with what we are seeing from abroad. And it worries us. I am grateful that the web gives everyone the chance to speak his or her mind. You can stifle the media but you cannot shutdown the web.

        Yet. For as long as it lasts.



        - n.b. and yet another one for my own weblog... -
        "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Towelmaster
          I personally think that this 'Abramoff'-case is much more interesting than who had enough moral values to leak law-breaking to the press...
          There is one major difference: No crime was actually committed in the Abramoff case. Indian tribes are not covered under campaign finance laws.

          And I've never heard treason described as a moral value. The gov't should press charges on the Times in 2007, as they, if one reads the Pentagon Papers decision, CAN be held criminally liable for what they publish.
          If I'm not mistaking, this guy could/will cause one Hell of a lot of trouble for(mainly) a lot of Republicans. And thus cause major problems for all of the republicans. Look at what the Clinton-bashing over WhiteWater did to other democrats...
          Well, A LOT of Dems took money from him. And, unlike GOP, aren't giving it back.

          Clinton took some. Reid took some. Clyburn took some. Kennedy took some. Dorgan took some. Murray took it. Gephardt took it. About 109 Democrats took money from Abramoff directly or from his groups directly. http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_recips.asp?sort=R

          If you wish to believe this a Republican scandal, feel free. Quite a few Republicans associated with a scumbag.

          They were hardly alone in doing so.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
            No law-breaking was leaked. A top secret program was. That's illegal and I hope the CIA and NYT get investigated and brought up on charges.
            Yes, it was soooooooooo top-secret that they thought "let's not ask the Supreme Court"... It's almost like going to mum and asking for sweets which you don't get, and then going to pops because he WILL give them to you. 'But don't tell your mom'. I dunno, is it really the way America works when the government just changes the law if the Supreme Court says they are in violation with it? Convenient, that it is...

            But to get back to your remark : Why the hell should the New York Times be 'brought to justice'? Because they did their job? After waiting for a year before publishing? For publishing news INDEPENDENTLY? Oh my God, they didn't ask the White House for PerMisSioN! Well they did but they got impatient, an unforgivable SIN! After all, the Media are a part of the National Government, no?

            You are right in one respect though : It is indeed time that the American public decides what is more important : Freedom of speech with all the problems that that sometimes brings, or the secret plans of a paranoid government. And with paranoid I am not referring to terrorists because they are quite real. I am referring to the 'If you are not with us you are automatically against us''-drivel that they spout. It is the death knell for any free society to tell her citizens that you cannot have a different opinion about certain state-matters. I'm sure everyone can come up with examples for this statement. Or is it too hard to understand when people say "I support the troops, I do not support the President's decisions on Iraq"? I think it is pretty insulting to the troops in Iraq when - say - Rumsfeld states that 'criticism like that will demoralize the troups'. Last time I checked there were some pretty intelligent people in the American Army.

            Republicans already controlled Congress. Bush winning wasn't due to White Water. Republicans will remain in control of Congress this year. What? Corrupt politicians? You don't say...
            I don't think so ZhD. I have studied the Clinton-administration's history quite well, and Clinton had a Democrat majority in the first years of his presidency. Not much of a majority, I grant you that. But still, a majority. It was in the first midterm-elections that the democrats got their arses kicked.

            But I wasn't really talking about that aspect. I was more pointing out that politicians have the memory of an elephant. They WILL come back to haunt you. That's all.

            People are going to vote the way that they vote. Of course, Howard Dean (who has had as many moronic statements as Pat Robertson has) will play everything up and call the GOP evil.
            [/quote]

            Yeah, well I don't call any party 'evil'. That is generalizing and it is hard enough not to do that already. I prefer to ask people for an account of their actions, not some organisation. Then again: I am quite the libertarian individualist, so I may not express the general response...

            I haven't heard Howard Dean say that 'Sharon is in hospital because it is God's punishment' though. I guess loonies come in all sizes eh?
            "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

            Comment


            • @Der Mike : Yes, I have no doubt in my mind that there are corrupt democrats too. So what are the americans going to do about it? Revolt?

              - That someone is sentenced when he or she leaks from the White House I can understand. You swore an oath. Only when democracy itself is in danger I can understand spilling the beans. But what you are categorically stating is that Nixon Should Not Have Been Forced To Resign. Because it was a newspaper that blew the case open.

              If I following your line of reasoning Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein should be rotting in jail now...
              "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Towelmaster
                @Der Mike : Yes, I have no doubt in my mind that there are corrupt democrats too. So what are the americans going to do about it? Revolt?

                - That someone is sentenced when he or she leaks from the White House I can understand. You swore an oath. Only when democracy itself is in danger I can understand spilling the beans. But what you are categorically stating is that Nixon Should Not Have Been Forced To Resign. Because it was a newspaper that blew the case open.

                If I following your line of reasoning Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein should be rotting in jail now...
                The law in question:
                Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified informationù
                (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
                (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
                (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
                (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processesù
                Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.


                CLEARLY, this makes it a crime to PUBLISH the info the Times printed.

                And who said Nixon should not have resigned? Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and the NYT's commission of treaason here are completely different and seperate events.

                As for what Americans will do --- nothing. When you expect a nanny state, as Canada and Europe have learned, you get some rather uncomfortable closeness between the gov't and business.
                Yes, it was soooooooooo top-secret that they thought "let's not ask the Supreme Court"... It's almost like going to mum and asking for sweets which you don't get, and then going to pops because he WILL give them to you. 'But don't tell your mom'. I dunno, is it really the way America works when the government just changes the law if the Supreme Court says they are in violation with it? Convenient, that it is...
                1) Supreme Court has never ruled on it
                2) According to the War Powers clauses in the Constitution, Bush has the right to do this. Easily. If this was brought to trial, Bush would win rather handidly.

                The courts do not have any say on the prosecution of a war. As long as criminal charges aren't brought against the people being spied on --- which, no, it has not happened --- then the courts have zero say whatsoever.
                But to get back to your remark : Why the hell should the New York Times be 'brought to justice'? Because they did their job? After waiting for a year before publishing? For publishing news INDEPENDENTLY? Oh my God, they didn't ask the White House for PerMisSioN! Well they did but they got impatient, an unforgivable SIN! After all, the Media are a part of the National Government, no?
                They printed secrets they had no legal right to have. According to the law I printed, they are liable.

                And all this to help the writer of the piece sell a book. Truly shameful.

                Hey, the Times can't complain. They STARTED all of this with the Plame kerfuffle. If it was so serious that the revealing of an agent who had not been covert for 5 years and whose identity was compromised years earlier that an investigation had to be launched and people had to be punished --- you can't really argue that it is not required in this instance.
                You are right in one respect though : It is indeed time that the American public decides what is more important : Freedom of speech with all the problems that that sometimes brings, or the secret plans of a paranoid government. And with paranoid I am not referring to terrorists because they are quite real. I am referring to the 'If you are not with us you are automatically against us''-drivel that they spout. It is the death knell for any free society to tell her citizens that you cannot have a different opinion about certain state-matters.
                Ironically enough, nobody has ever said that. I know, the libs love to complain that people notice that their incessant bitching about the troops and their incessant leaking of classified info qualifies as treason --- but it's not from the gov't. Feel free to find a single example of anybody in the administration actually saying that.

                To give you a hint: If your paranoid fantasy about what the gov't believes was true, the NY Times would not have violated federal law printing what they did. It would have been silenced long ago.
                I'm sure everyone can come up with examples for this statement.
                Name once.
                Or is it too hard to understand when people say "I support the troops, I do not support the President's decisions on Iraq"?
                Is it so hard to understand that people who compare the troops to Nazis and Communists might not be viewed as being serious? That a party headed by a guy who said that we cannot win in Iraq doesn't actually "Support" the troops at all? That a party who is championing a guy who advocates total cut and run tactics might not be all that "pro-America". That a party who has the Senate leader of the party speaking at a convention for a blog that portrays the "War on Terror" as being due to "fear" might not be a totally appropriate party to have in charge of national defense or security.

                Or is it the usual left-wing "Freedom of speech for me, not for thee" stuff?
                Yeah, well I don't call any party 'evil'.
                The Head of the Democratic Party does.
                -=Mike

                Comment


                • WOW! Someone else with long posts.

                  Let me add a few comments. I'm sure some of them will be somewhat vague. Sorry, it's the nature of the discussion, very complex.

                  Originally posted by Der Mike
                  The law in question:
                  Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified informationù
                  (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
                  (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
                  (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
                  (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processesù
                  Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.


                  CLEARLY, this makes it a crime to PUBLISH the info the Times printed.
                  So where does this stand with regard to the 'free press'? The notion of a completely free press checking on the government's work is one of the pillars of the American society. Please note : I am not saying that there isn't a law against divulging classified information. I am asking the question 'what do Americans consider more important?" Because if secrecy takes precedence the government can basically hide every dodgy move they make(and they all do...) just by making it classified.

                  So as far as I am concerned(here on the forum) this is not so much a matter of this one example. I start to see a trend here. And for what? Although 9/11 was an atrocity, and the bastards behind it should be shot, I haven't heard about any other successful attacks. And yes: these extreme measures may have helped prevent those attackt but we will never know until the archives open, 50 years from now. I cannot have a discussion if I have to wait that long to speak about current events. And neither can you, I'm sure you will agree.

                  And who said Nixon should not have resigned? Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and the NYT's commission of treaason here are completely different and seperate events.
                  The beginning of the Watergate-scandal - as all stories have it - was the moment when that Washington Post reporter started digging. Also : In those days(you can check the literature and the studies) the Nixon-administration did all it could to bury the story.

                  So if the Washington Post(Katherine Graham) had not followed up on that story it might have been buried in a deep down hole. And I think that Mr. 'Deepthroat' was divulging confidential information(to say the least!) to the press.

                  As for what Americans will do --- nothing. When you expect a nanny state, as Canada and Europe have learned, you get some rather uncomfortable closeness between the gov't and business.
                  So the Americans expect a nanny state? I assure you that these kind of government-actions are not looked upon kindly over here in Europe. The fact that we were in the middle of the biggest war in the 20th century may have something to do with that. We may be more weary of 'Big Government" than the Americans. Really, take it from a European.

                  On the average Europeans draw a line in the sand when it comes to surveillance. They do indeed tend to give the government a wide berth when it comes to social issues, employment, etcetera. But why do you think there is still no European Army? Because people trust each other but not enough to hand over the power.

                  And for one : the separation between business and politics in Europe is very strict in most countries over her. Scandals have broken out, governments have fallen, for only a pleasure-cruise at the expense of the market. Of course it is quite hard to compare say Italy with Sweden, or Poland with the Netherlands.

                  1) Supreme Court has never ruled on it
                  2) According to the War Powers clauses in the Constitution, Bush has the right to do this. Easily. If this was brought to trial, Bush would win rather handidly.
                  O.K. In that case it was another court. I will look it up and I will post the link here soon. After the judge decided that spying on americans in America was unconstitutional, Bush signed an 'Executive Order' which was - obviously - not made public. As you say "Because there is a war going on". Mind you; he was not the only one, the three presidents before him signed a similar order. Including Slick Willie Clinton.

                  The courts do not have any say on the prosecution of a war. As long as criminal charges aren't brought against the people being spied on --- which, no, it has not happened --- then the courts have zero say whatsoever.
                  Be that as it may, that same article forces an administration to present a clear and present danger(to quote a famous line). It also required(!) a term for expiration. However way you look at it, the administration has expanded it's power significantly. That may be what most Americans want, I wouldn't know. But I do believe that the people would like to know that there is a system of checks and balances to keep the Federal Gummint in check.

                  They printed secrets they had no legal right to have. According to the law I printed, they are liable.
                  Exactly, and the moral and ethical arguments get buried. "You are not allowed to do this." does not mix well with "But you are doing things on American soil in secret!". Which gets me back to the political implications in the long run.

                  And all this to help the writer of the piece sell a book. Truly shameful.
                  Oh, I do not feel any pity for the press. Come on! They are playing with fire and every now and then they get burned. You don't want that to happen? Get a job as a janitor or something.

                  Ironically enough, nobody has ever said that. I know, the libs love to complain that people notice that their incessant bitching about the troops and their incessant leaking of classified info qualifies as treason --- but it's not from the gov't. Feel free to find a single example of anybody in the administration actually saying that.
                  Of course the government would be fools if they said things like this out loud. But I do remember some quotes to the same effect. You don't have to be literal to get your point across. And I have never said that this administration lacks intelligence(no pun intended). I'll post some links when I have more time.

                  To give you a hint: If your paranoid fantasy about what the gov't believes was true, the NY Times would not have violated federal law printing what they did. It would have been silenced long ago.
                  Are you talking about state-approved assasination of their own citizens? I do think even George Bush would shy away from that. When it comes to the media that is.

                  Is it so hard to understand that people who compare the troops to Nazis and Communists might not be viewed as being serious? That a party headed by a guy who said that we cannot win in Iraq doesn't actually "Support" the troops at all? That a party who is championing a guy who advocates total cut and run tactics might not be all that "pro-America". That a party who has the Senate leader of the party speaking at a convention for a blog that portrays the "War on Terror" as being due to "fear" might not be a totally appropriate party to have in charge of national defense or security.

                  Or is it the usual left-wing "Freedom of speech for me, not for thee" stuff?

                  The Head of the Democratic Party does.
                  People who make those Nazi-comparisons about the troups are absolute bloody fools. If only because they assume that the Nazi Army consisted of diehard volunteers only. Most of those soldiers were just that; soldiers. "Thataway, or you can visit the firingsquad".

                  I sense a samish tendency as what a lot of the anti-war people have : piling unrelated - or vaguely related - topics on top of each other. Remember please if you will : I am not an American Democrat, I am not an anti-American European. None of these things. The only reason I worry about these matters is that the U.S.A. is still the leading western nation. And as such it influences Europe in a big way. It wouldn' be the first time that Europe adopted American measures. And on top of that Europe WAS forced to implement a lot of laws after 9/11. Or no one gets into America anymore. Little choice, let's face it.

                  If one could put a lable on me it would probably be Libertarian. Just enough rules and no more. And let's make damn sure they are good rules.
                  "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                  Comment


                  • Just some thoughtful observation here...

                    The reason that the "Support the War But Not the Troops" motto doesn't fly with me is this: If the LEADERS are the actual Nazis, then what kind of moral standing do the troops have working for Nazis?
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Towelmaster
                      Yes, in my book it is too. But I have the feeling that a lot of politicians in the States AND abroad have forgotten that. Power corrupts, absolute power...

                      {snip}
                      As the dutchman on the outside looking in I ask again and again and again : What the H*ll is happening with the beautiful 'house' the Americans built?
                      Where is the uproar because Washington restricts air-travel for 12-year olds because they share a name with someone [b]who is suspected of having been to Afghanistan once? Where is the uproad when the government eavesdrops on THOUSANDS of its own citizen while refusing to request a warrant(that they would get withouth objection).
                      Where are all those free-spirited Americans? Where are the completely american independents who are prepared to defend their compound in Waco but who do not defend themselves against the most covert and powerful american administration America has ever seen? And why oh why is it now a national(mostly republican) hobby to accuse everyone who does not fully support Bush's war of being 'unpatriotic'? That last one makes the skin of a lot of people over here crawl. It leads to fascism. Nobody can say otherwise. It has been proved over and over again, and not just in Germany 1933. Everywhere expect in the United Stated. The last beacon of hope. Until now.
                      1. In about 3 years time Bush will be out of office. Does any action need taking place before then?
                      2. Bush can say anything he wants to but just because a professional liar calls someone "unpatriotic" does not mean that the public believes him.
                      3. The above problems were revealed by Americans, the checks and balances appear to be working - although slowly.
                      4. Simply because there are no riots it does not mean that nothing is happening, just that there are no riots. Bureaucratic methods are boring to watch but tend to get there in the end.
                      5. The USA is being infiltrated by Muslim fifth columnists, surveillance is needed - glad to see the government is doing its job.
                      6. Not getting a warrant - that is stupid. Someone may have to be fired or sent to jail but this is not urgent. The normal political and police systems can handle it. (Have fun watching Bush and co undergoing trial by media and Congress.)
                      7. To send people to jail they have to be put on trial. The judges may decide what the member of the public did was not a crime. If the government has gone too far the jury can find the defendant Not Guilty. Juries are made up of members of the public; sometimes you have to take a personal stand.
                      Andrew Swallow

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Towelmaster
                        WOW! Someone else with long posts.
                        So where does this stand with regard to the 'free press'? The notion of a completely free press checking on the government's work is one of the pillars of the American society.
                        "Freedom" is not freedom from CONSEQUENCES.

                        For example, I have freedom of speech. I can call somebody vile, nasty, untrue statements in print.

                        I can ALSO be sued by the person I said it about.

                        Just because I have free speech does not mean I can say whatever I want.

                        The press has freedom from prior restraint, not from criminal liability for their actions.
                        Please note : I am not saying that there isn't a law against divulging classified information. I am asking the question 'what do Americans consider more important?"
                        We cannot really trust the press to make the decision what is needed to be known. That the press actually tried to pretend that what happened to Plame is worse than the NSA leak (and the subsequent leak from the FISA court judges, which should lead to their immediate impeachment from the court --- violation of judicial canons, etc) shows that their opinions are fairly irrelevant.

                        In fact, if you REALLY wish to argue it, you can argue that STATE governments have the power to censor the media.
                        Because if secrecy takes precedence the government can basically hide every dodgy move they make(and they all do...) just by making it classified.
                        The NSA program, bare minimum, prevented the Brooklyn Bridge from being bombed.

                        People seem to have a belief that the lack of terrorist attacks are a coincidence and not due to serious work by the government.

                        And, it ALSO needs to be noted that the people being "monitored" are people with Al Qaeda ties of some sort.
                        So as far as I am concerned(here on the forum) this is not so much a matter of this one example. I start to see a trend here. And for what? Although 9/11 was an atrocity, and the bastards behind it should be shot, I haven't heard about any other successful attacks. And yes: these extreme measures may have helped prevent those attackt but we will never know until the archives open, 50 years from now.
                        And shutting it down now can lead to outcomes we do not wish to fathom.

                        Until somebody can point to what law was violated here, I see nothing, at all, to worry about. The government lacks the means or resources to monitor everybody --- they aren't going to waste their time monitoring calls that are of no use on an intel level.
                        I cannot have a discussion if I have to wait that long to speak about current events. And neither can you, I'm sure you will agree.
                        Again, the President has substantial power in times of war, which we are in, per the Congressional Resolution of 2002. I will more readily trust a President who has to be elected over judges who answer to nobody.
                        The beginning of the Watergate-scandal - as all stories have it - was the moment when that Washington Post reporter started digging. Also : In those days(you can check the literature and the studies) the Nixon-administration did all it could to bury the story.
                        And that is a totally different situation. WaterGate benefitted Nixon PERSONALLY in terms of helping him win an election (one, mind you, he would've won regardless).

                        You cannot name a personal benefit Bush received from this program.
                        So if the Washington Post(Katherine Graham) had not followed up on that story it might have been buried in a deep down hole. And I think that Mr. 'Deepthroat' was divulging confidential information(to say the least!) to the press.
                        Again, there are massive differences here.

                        The information given to the press in that situation were not illegal for the press to broadcast.

                        The info HERE, in this case, IS illegal for them to broadcast.
                        So the Americans expect a nanny state? I assure you that these kind of government-actions are not looked upon kindly over here in Europe. The fact that we were in the middle of the biggest war in the 20th century may have something to do with that. We may be more weary of 'Big Government" than the Americans. Really, take it from a European.
                        Speaking as an American, the amount of inbreeding between the state and private life in Europe is truly baffling and intimidating.
                        On the average Europeans draw a line in the sand when it comes to surveillance. They do indeed tend to give the government a wide berth when it comes to social issues, employment, etcetera. But why do you think there is still no European Army? Because people trust each other but not enough to hand over the power.
                        Every European state has their own surveillance system that the state-owned media has no desire, whatsoever, to report on.
                        O.K. In that case it was another court. I will look it up and I will post the link here soon. After the judge decided that spying on americans in America was unconstitutional, Bush signed an 'Executive Order' which was - obviously - not made public.
                        No judge ruled it illegal because it was not. Bush just found a way around it, as at the very least, FISA was unbelievably slow and inefficient.

                        And, as the judges have definitively proved, incapable of being trusted with secrets.
                        As you say "Because there is a war going on". Mind you; he was not the only one, the three presidents before him signed a similar order. Including Slick Willie Clinton.
                        And it's baffling that Clinton's got no heat, since it was done SPECIFICALLY to American citizens SPECIFICALLY for Clinton's political gain.
                        Be that as it may, that same article forces an administration to present a clear and present danger(to quote a famous line). It also required(!) a term for expiration.
                        The President HAS demonstrated a clear and present danger (9/11 is pretty powerful). And the President HAS informed the necessary people (the head of the FISA court, the head Dems and Repubs on the Intel Committees) of the program and they had no problem expressed at the time.
                        However way you look at it, the administration has expanded it's power significantly. That may be what most Americans want, I wouldn't know. But I do believe that the people would like to know that there is a system of checks and balances to keep the Federal Gummint in check.
                        The press, of all groups, is the least capable of doing so. People trust them even less than they trust the gov't, and for good reason.
                        Exactly, and the moral and ethical arguments get buried. "You are not allowed to do this." does not mix well with "But you are doing things on American soil in secret!". Which gets me back to the political implications in the long run.
                        And who's to determine which deep national secret is worth keeping? Who makes the decision that a secret is immoral and which is necessary?

                        I do not, remotely, trust the press with that one.
                        Of course the government would be fools if they said things like this out loud. But I do remember some quotes to the same effect. You don't have to be literal to get your point across. And I have never said that this administration lacks intelligence(no pun intended). I'll post some links when I have more time.
                        I'll guarantee you that they have not. And their critics, blatantly, have been quite treasonous.
                        Are you talking about state-approved assasination of their own citizens? I do think even George Bush would shy away from that. When it comes to the media that is.
                        If Bush was an intent to ignore rights, the Times would have ceased being published years ago.
                        People who make those Nazi-comparisons about the troups are absolute bloody fools. If only because they assume that the Nazi Army consisted of diehard volunteers only. Most of those soldiers were just that; soldiers. "Thataway, or you can visit the firingsquad".
                        Also because it bastardizes the Holocaust, as nothing we've done approaches that.
                        -=Mike

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                        • Pat Robertson & Sharon...

                          ... while you guys are on the topic of the media...

                          ... I was out of the country for a while and hadn't heard Sharon was ill. I just found out about it this morning. No shock really, if you consider the stress the man must have been under, and look at his somewhat "unfit physique".

                          ... Anyway, I was watching CNN and they spoke of Pat Robertson making ome claim that Sharon's stroke was God's punishment for his doing something or the other with Israel (haven't found the time to look for the precise details as to what the punishment was for).

                          ... So CNN says they're running a poll. "Do you agree with Pat Robertson's statement that Sharon's stroke is God's punishment?" ...

                          ... The state of the media in the US seems quite wretched from where I'm sitting (though I have access to very little US television media - CNN, I would have thought, was something approaching real news...)

                          ... I mean, why not ask in a poll, "Do you think there's life on Pluto?" How very absurd. And I mean no offense to anyone, but it's hardly a question worthy of a poll taken by a serious news media source.

                          ... Oh, yeah, and they wanted callers to include their zip codes. Funny that. So as to draw lines and graphics on a map of the US to show the highest concentration of barbarians.
                          "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

                          Comment


                          • Just an interesting item I found on my surfing the Net a few days ago, but waited a week to post it.

                            Top 12 media myths and falsehoods on the spying scandal
                            RIP Coach Larry Finch
                            Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                            Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

                            Comment


                            • Funny how all 12 "myths" paint Bush in a bad light...
                              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                              Comment


                              • You must have missed the section of that same page asking for donations "Support our fight against conservative misinformation". It's not as if they're hiding their bias.

                                We established long ago here that all publications/sites/sources have a bias. It's up to intelligent citizens to sample different sources and decide what they believe.

                                Jan
                                "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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