42 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-30-12

  1. More importantly the SEC championship game is tomorrow. For the last 6 years this is the game that has determined the National Champion. Roll Tide!!!

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  2. I agree Kbells Roll tide Roll right on in to the BCS championship!

    More seriously:

    I’ve a poser for you guys. Yesterday I linked to a Washington Post editorial piece that supported an amendment offered by Sen Leahy of Vermont. this amendment would begin to address e-mail privacy issues (an area in which legislation lags far behind the technology — what you get in your snail mail box, sacrosanct, what you get in your e-mail completely open to warrantless searches). At least two of you dismissed the amendment out of hand because of its author and had no comment on the substance of the amendment. How many others would agree that the amendment is poor/unwise/suspect etc because of the author? How many would support the amendment despite the author?

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  3. CB, I don’t know the details of Sen. Leahy’s amendment. I would support it providing that authorities have leeway to search suspected Islamic jihadi’s eMails without a search warrant.

    Opposing Leahy due to his coming from Vermont is absurd. This whole Texas secession movement, while rather amusing, is equally absurd.

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  4. CB, after expressing doubt about Leahy and Vermont, I did say we need to do something about cyber security. But everyone should know that when something goes out there, it’s public information . Kinda like the Patriot Act. I knew we needed something like that for security, but I fear it in the wrong hands. And wrong hands always appear.
    Petraeus’ girl friends should have known that.
    Everyone needs to be careful.

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  5. Chas

    I agree that folks need to be careful. And I think that if I send an e-mail to a close friend using my private passworded acct that I have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    Sails,

    I don’t think I agree. Law enforecement should still have to get a warrant, although with a fisa court and in the case of terrorism with a more relaxed standard. I just think there needs to be a check on the govts surviellance power.

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  6. CB, yes, law enforcement requires a warrant. However, the War against Terror, which has a perfectly legal basis, ought to allow authorities to search eMails of suspected enemy combatants even if they are American citizens. My guess is that Leahy, being a man of the Left, Is confused on this issue.

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  7. Drivesguy, while sometimes paranoids have real enemies, apart from a foolish temporarybailout of GM and Chrysler , even Pres. Obama has not involved the nation in any nationalizing of business.

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  8. Go Bruins is right, but they’re going to be awfully soggy on the Farm tonight–maybe up to 6 inches of rain here before the day is done. School may be cancelled! It’s coming down so hard right now, I may skip Zumba. Just listening to it feels like a workout!

    I agree, you SHOULD have privacy in cyberspace, but I’m really not sure how. Technology carries two sides to its sword.

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  9. Sails

    I think there can be balance with respect to cyberspace and the gwot – the Patriot act is imbalanced; imo.

    Roy

    Perhaps your title om the DOMA hearings could also be entitled: will the supremes respect federalism?

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  10. The argument that the, quote War on Terror unquote, is justification for warrantless searches of citizens is objectionable for a number of reasons, the most prominenent one being that it’s baloney.

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  11. Solarpancake, the very real and legally declared war against Islamic jihadis including not a few of whom are American citizens fully justifies warrantless searches, notwithstanding the rather deluded heartland isolationists. Interesting alliance that between the isolationists and leftists on this issue.

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  12. CB, what precisely is imbalanced about the Patriot Ac?. This act was a necessary response to a serious threat against vital American security interests.

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  13. Behold the modern American “conservative” (who has typically forgotten, or is unaware of, his libertarian forebears). Warrantless searches on American citizens. Nice one. Don’t be surprised when such laws “mysteriously” are turned against you.

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  14. I think the whole idea of privacy is just about gone in America. (Although it’s still the weird “reason” behind Roe v Wade!) When some police have equipment that can see through walls into houses, when one cannot fly on an airplane without invasive procedures, when medical records are readily available to the government but not to a surviving spouse, we basically have no privacy left. It’s disgusting, but I don’t know that we have any power to change it.

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  15. For the record, I don’t think the end user’s rights are really threatened here as much as the ISPs or other cyber-providers. It should be up to those providers to write language in their service contracts either promising, or not promising, users they won’t disclose information to the government without warrants.

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  16. Solarpancake, law abiding people need not fret about authorities investigating either criminal or radical Islamic activities. My forebears were interested in true liberty that needs serious protection from lawless thugs, not simple minded heartland Paulist libertarians.

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  17. You have a thing with name-calling, Sails. It diminishes your arguments, even though the “law abiding people need not worry” mantra is the same one used to justify all manner of draconian law, and should be dismissed as short-sighted.

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  18. Sails, my husband and I are very law-abiding. Between us, we have lived for 96 years, 60 years of driving, with one speeding ticket (mine). But we can’t go anywhere in the country we can’t drive to, because flying subjects us to the sort of invasion the government has no right to do.

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  19. Cheryl, just how are you and your husband prevented from flying? My wife and I have been flying to points all around the world in recent years for business and pleasure with little difficulty. We find the security checks to be merely an irksome necessity caused by the reality of terrorist thugs with a propensity for blowing up airplanes.

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  20. Pastor Roy, I don’t know if you read “Our Daily Thread”, but I wanted to alert you to something I posted on there regarding a series of online interviews helpful to parents of children with special needs. I’ll paste the information here, in case you are interested.

    Several of you, as I recall, have mentioned that you have children with autism, Asperger’s, or other special needs. I want to alert you to an online interview series that starts next week, called the Pro-Active Development Interview Series. The series is sponsored by The Alliance for Education, Development and Empowerment, with a goal of “empowering parents and professionals with new understandings of noninvasive therapy options for children with challenges”.

    Speakers include a variety of professionals working with special needs children, for example RDI consultants (who work with children on the autism spectrum), speech-language pathologists, an occupational therapist, a chiropractor, and other professionals. There are also two speakers who are the parents of autistic children, one of the parents being a 17-year homeschooling veteran with a 23-year old autistic daughter.

    More information and a registration form are available here for those who are interested:

    http://www.pro-activedevelopment.com/

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  21. Sails, the invasive searches won’t increase security at all for anyone dedicated to bringing down a plane, and they are a serious invasion of privacy. No, we are not physically prevented from flying, as in someone tying us up and not letting us board the plane, but we’re not willing to let strangers invade our privacy to that degree in order to fly. So we won’t. I wouldn’t consent to a strip search before (or after) shopping at Wal-Mart, either. Some losses of privacy are not only unmerited but too serious to be ignored.

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  22. Cheryl, my husband flies a lot; sometimes two or three times a month. Therefore he is more at risk of being a victim of airline terrorism than the average American and he is mostly for the most of the new security measures. He says that of all the Airline personal he encounters the TSA are the most polite, considerate and professional, though looking at some of the others that’s not saying a lot.

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  23. Some terrorist thugs, and even some non-terrorist (?) thugs, have targeted malls and parks, which seems reasonable to me if you’re going for kill ratio. Anyone up for body scans every time you want to go to one of those places?

    Airlines should decide how much security they want to enforce. Let the lax airlines lease Concourse A, and the uptight ones Concourse B (and let them charge travellers accordingly for whatever costs are involved–the September 11 fee can really add up for us on a budget). I probably wouldn’t fly an airline that enforced NO security, but I’d be willing to pay less for a ticket and fly an airline that just used metal detectors or something. Oh, and I wouldn’t want to have to take off my shoes or expose my toiletries. That’s just a hassle. If it saved me $10 per ticket to not have to do that, that would be a bonus.

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  24. Sails,

    Really? Yoou think federal law enforcement with the ability to indefinitely detain an American without access to an attorney is an appropriate measure in a democratic country? I agreed with Bob Barr when that law was passed – one of the few in Congress with the courage to oppose it. You need not be simple minded or to the left to understand that it is only a matter of time before such a broad writ of authority is abused. Used to be you could trust conservatives to be skeptical of the govt possessing such power.

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  25. In India, shopping malls include metal detectors and x-ray machines. My husband’s hosts were shocked he would consider shopping without them. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

    But then, they actually are at war with Pakistan.

    In other news, I read the other day on Business Insider that the most dangerous college campus is UCLA–which was curious. 12 rapes a year? Horrifying.

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  26. Cheryl, I quite agree with your husband that most TSA workers are polite and that their procedures are reasonable.. Further, with the latest scanners it is rare for anyone to be stripped searched or even patted down.. My wife, who used to due to a hip replacement be patted down, is delighted with the new full-body scanners.

    CB, the only Americans detained without a warrant are those who for good reason are suspected to be radical Islamists. The fact is we are involved in a real war with Islamic militants who are in legal terms enemy combatants with no right to a search warrant. Again, law abiding Americans have no need to be concerned with the legal measures carefully crafted to deal only with enemy combatants.

    The propensity of many Americans to be paranoid about rather reasonable measures dealing with potential terrorism is remarkable.

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  27. Sails,

    The mind boggles. So it is inconceivable to you that the govt would abuse the authority to arrest and dtain anyone in an incommunicado state on the mere suspicion of terrorism with your logic being that only the bad guys need fear. Our system of checks and balances was designed to prevent just this kind of thing. Ben Franklin was right.

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  28. CB, the framers gave the president extraordinary powers during wartime, though in the case of the Patriot Act the Congress, also, joined in to allow the government to detain unlawful enemy combatants in this war against terrorists to be detained without a warrant. This Act was deliberated by Congress and does contain checks and balances..

    I find it rather amusing that your mind is boggled along with those of the libertarians, though this is likely explained by the alliance of the hard left and parts of the right when it comes to fiery rhetoric concerning security measures necessarily taken during wartime.

    An excellent book on this hard subject is John Yoo’s Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush.

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  29. Sails

    It is true that the framers conceived of extraordinary powers during war. It is also true that the GWOT is a war without end. In that sense the Patriot act established a kind of a new normal. When can it be repealed? When there are no more terrorists, when is that? Who knows?

    John Yoo, the Department of Justice lawyer who made torture defensible in this country — yes he’s a clever, smart one. If it makes me hard left or libertarian or whatever to stand up as an American and voice opposition to these kinds of measures, the I’m proud to voice my patriotic dissent.

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  30. CB, the war against Islamic jihadis will, as Pres. Bush, averred, be a twilight one that will likely last a long time. Pres. Obama continues to fight it using for the most part the same war powers as Pres. Bush. In fact Pres. Obama is involved with a much harder use of drones to hill enemy combatants, one of whom was the American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki.

    I’ll grant that Constitutional war powers are hard, though, again, no law abiding citizen need be seriously concerned. While any government power may be abused, so far our government has been reasonable and restrained in its use of war powers.

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  31. Sails speaks strait from the tyrant’s How-to Manual. There have been numerous abuses of the Patriot Act. The passage of the Act, itself, is an abuse. CB alluded to this earlier, but it’s strange to see the same people on these boards, who claim the name of “Conservative,” and who decry governmental overreach and corruption at every turn (and so far I agree with that assessment), also line up like sheep for insidious intrusions like the PA and other “war power” power grabs by that same government. Truly amusing, and weird.

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