Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on June 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

President Obama said late Friday that the focus on his administration’s massive Internet and phone surveillance programs have no bearing on his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping about reining in cyber-spying.

After hours of discussions with Xi at a California desert retreat, Obama called it important to “distinguish between the deep concerns we have as a government around theft of intellectual property or hacking into systems that might disrupt those systems … versus some of the issues that have been raised around NSA programs.”

***

One of the officials who spoke to me said that because data types are not standardized, the NSA needs several different collection tools, of which PRISM, disclosed today by the Guardian and the Washington Post, is one. PRISM works well because it is able to handle several different types of data streams using different basic encryption methods, the person said. It is a “front end” system, or software, that allows an NSA analyst to search through the data and pull out items of significance, which are then stored in any number of databases. PRISM works with another NSA program to encrypt and remove from the analysts’ screen data that a computer or the analyst deems to be from a U.S. person who is not the subject of the investigation, the person said. A FISA order is required to continue monitoring and analyzing these datasets, although the monitoring can start before an application package is submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

From the different types of data, including their credit card purchases, the locations they sign in to the internet from, and even local police arrest logs, the NSA can track people it considers terrorism or espionage suspects in near-real time. An internet geo-location cell is on constant standby to help analysts determine where a subject logs in from. Most of the collection takes place on subjects outside the U.S, but a large chunk of the world’s relevant communication passes through American companies with servers on American soil. So the NSA taps in locally to get at targets globally…

Armed with what amounts to a rubber stamp court order, however, the NSA can collect and store trillions of bytes of electromagnetic detritus shaken off by American citizens. In the government’s eyes, the data is simply moving from one place to another. It does not become, in the government’s eyes, relevant or protected in any way unless and until it is subject to analysis. Analysis requires that second order.

***

What makes PRISM interesting to us is that it seems to be the ONLY system that the NSA uses to collect/analyze non-telephonic non-analog data stored on American servers but updated and controlled and “owned” by users overseas. It is a domestic collection platform USED for foreign intelligence collection. It is of course hard to view a Facebook account in isolation and not incidentally come into contact with an account that is owned by an American. I assume that a bunch of us have Pakistani Facebook friends. If the NSA is collecting on that account, and I were to initiate a Facebook chat, the NSA would suck up my chat. Supposedly, the PRISM system would flag this as an incidental overcollect and delete it from the analyst’s workspace. Because the internet is a really complicated series of tubes, though, this doesn’t always happen. And so the analyst must sometimes “physically” segregate the U.S. person’s data…

There are many unknowns, of course, and many places where the system could break down. We do not know the minimization rules. They are highly classified. We do not know how long minimized data sits in storage. We don’t know how many NSA analysts are trained to handle U.S. persons’ data, or HOW they are trained. We don’t know the thresholds to determine what the NSA finds to be relevant enough. We don’t know how long the NSA can collect on a target without getting a FISA order, though we do know that they can start collecting without one if the circumstances demand it.

***

Typically, members of Congress “don’t receive this kind of briefing,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told POLITICO Friday. They wouldn’t have known about the programs unless they were on an intelligence committee, attended special sessions last held in 2011 or specifically asked to be briefed – something they would only know to do if they were clued in by an colleague who was already aware…

Congressional leadership and intelligence committees had access to information about the programs, he said — but the “average member” of Congress likely wouldn’t have been aware of the breadth of the telephone and Internet surveillance…

Like other members who said they learned of the data-gathering efforts when they were revealed in the Guardian and the Washington Post, Schock said the administration classified briefings he’s attended have revealed very little information.

“I can assure you the phone number tracking of non-criminal, non-terrorist suspects was not discussed,” he said. “Most members have stopped going to their classified briefings because they rarely tell us anything we don’t already know in the news. It really has become a charade.”

***

Faster than you can say evaporation-condensation-precipitation, I expect this week’s exposés to produce additional investigations that will produce more leaks and further scoops about our digital records. This will now fuel new cycles of reporting, leaks and scoops — and another, and another — as new sources are cultivated and reportorial scraps gathering mold in journalists’ notebooks gain new relevance and help break stories.

Greenwald’s storm will continue to rage because, I suspect, the story won’t be limited to just phone records or Web data. Ultimately, it will be about the government’s pursuit of all the digital breadcrumbs we produce as necessary byproducts of day-to-day life — and phone records and Web data are just a small part.

Bank records, credit history, travel records, credit card records, EZPass data, GPS phone data, license-plate reader databases, Social Security and Internal Revenue Service records, facial-recognition databases at the Department of Motor Vehicles and elsewhere, even 7-Eleven surveillance videos comprise information lodes that are of equal or greater value to the national security establishment than phone and Web files.

***

Thus, the tantalizing prospect of PRISM, and of the whole “finding effort,” is to deny the terrorists the virtual haven that they enjoy throughout the world’s telecommunications spaces — indeed, throughout the whole of the “infosphere,” which includes cyberspace. The piercing of this veil would mark a true turning point in the war on terror, for al Qaeda and other networks simply cannot function with any kind of cohesion, or at any sort of reasonable operational tempo if their communications become insecure. Cells and nodes would be ripped up, operatives killed or captured, and each loss would no doubt yield information that imperiled the network further. Even if al Qaeda resorted to the drastic measure of moving messages, training, and financial information by courier, operations would be so slowed as to cripple the organization. And even couriers can be flagged on “no fly” lists or caught boarding tramp steamers and such.

So for all the furor caused by the PRISM revelations, my simple recommendation is to take a deep breath before crying out in protest. Think first about how the hider/finder dynamic in the war on terror has driven those responsible for our security to bring to bear the big guns of big data on the problem at hand. Think also about whether a willingness to allow some incursions into our privacy might lead to an improved ability to provide for our security, and where that equilibrium point between privacy and security might be. And last, think about the world as it might be without such a sustained effort to find the hidden — to detect, track, and disrupt the terrorists. That would be a world in which they stay on their feet and fighting, and in which they remain secure enough, for long enough, to acquire true weapons of mass destruction. Those of us in the national security business, who know that networks so armed will be far harder to deter than nations ever were, believe that big data approaches like PRISM and its forebears, have been and remain essential elements in the unrelenting and increasingly urgent effort to find the hidden.

***

What do authoritarian surveillance states do? They act as “information gluttons and information misers.” As gluttons, they take in as much information as possible. More is always better, indiscriminate access is better than targeted responses, and there’s a general presumption that they’ll have access to whatever they want, at any time…

What would a democratic surveillance state look like? Balkin argues that these states would be “information gourmets and information philanthropists.” A democratic surveillance state would limit the data it collects to the bare minimum. Meanwhile, maximum transparency and accountability across branches would be emphasized. Congress and the public would need to be far more involved.

A democratic surveillance state would also place an emphasis on destroying the data that the government collects. Amnesia used to be the first line of defense against surveillance. People just forgot things with time, giving citizens a line of defense against intrusion. In the age of digital technology, however, amnesia no longer exists, so it needs to be mandated by law…

Having a “democratic surveillance” state sounds like an oxymoron, like having a cuddly hand grenade. Perhaps it would be better to just dismantle the surveillance state entirely and be done with it. And indeed removing the laws associated with the Global War on Terror would do much to remove the authoritarian elements of this state.

***

This is a “Papa knows best” approach to security policy.

We are told that this has helped to keep us safe, and that any loss of civil liberties and sense of privacy is but collateral damage, inconsequential in the grand sweep of things. Many innocents must be violated so that a few guilty people can be stopped. It’s a digital stop-and-frisk, using data trends and a few successes to do huge damage…

This is not a right-left thing. This is a right-wrong thing. This is not about short-term damage to political prospects but about long-term damage to democratic ideals. This is not about any particular person or president or party but about principles and limits.

**

Obamacare will put into the hands of the IRS medical and health information of an unprecedented level. As bad as leaks as to which websites you visit would be, the threat of leakage of your medical information could be equally devastating to freedom of speech and the political process. It would take a mere nod and a wink to convince someone that participation in the political process was not worth it if the result was the exposure of sensitive medical issues.

You can’t separate the data mining, the culture of intimidation, and criminalization of daily life.

The answer to this problem is not easy, precisely because of the legitimate national security concerns. That where to draw the line may be difficult to ascertain does not mean that a line should not be drawn. The wholesale creation of a national database of everything electronic crosses any reasonable line.

Obama’s response is that we should trust the government.

The Obama scandals tell us otherwise.

***

***


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Extrapolate the god, from his remarks . . . weird, huh? He says salvation. Extrapolate the meaning from the use.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Yep – he’s nuts! :)

No one should ever forget that he’s a product of Islam, not Christianity…

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 9, 2013 at 1:59 AM

That’s really interesting, POP. Whole thing.

Sure, they don’t like to admit their nihilism, but it is a huge part of the Western left.

I wouldn’t actually argue with you about this.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 9, 2013 at 1:35 AM

As I said, the Progressive movement began as the Pietism movement. The Hegelian concept played a very big role in the development of the ‘philosophy’ and on some of its earliest and greatest leaders like Croly, Ely Wilson, Bryan, etc.

Whether Progressives today know about their own history is truly beside the point. Prohibition came out of the Pietist then Progressive movements. William Jennings Bryan, although a pacifist and against WWI, nevertheless thought that the war could be used to impose both prohibition and Christianity on the world. The eradication of alcohol, it was argued, would remove an ‘evil’ from the world and allow humanity to move closer to building God’s Kingdom on Earth.

If you think that I mean that leftists are all familiar with these concepts or have ever even heard of them, then you are mistaken. They don’t have to be. Everything in their world revolved around it. The Absolute Shalls and Do Somethings – also two labels traceable to the earliest stirrings of the American Progressivism Movement – preach it to them all of the time.

You wrote about the Garden of Eden. They want to return to it…but on their terms…which vary over time. They have tried to do this on a smaller scales for more than a century in the US on different scales. In the 19th century, they established ‘utopian’ communities like New Harmony, the Oneida Community, and Brook Farm. In the 1960s and 1970s, they built their communes.

I’m not interested in focusing solely on Barack Obama other than to say that Black Liberation Theology is also related to Pietism. The problem is much bigger than one man.

In the grand scheme of things, Obama is nothing more than a haemorrhoid on the anus that IS Progressivism.

As I have said so many times, whenever men set out to create Heaven on Earth, they invariably end up creating Hell instead.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

Gov’t SOP from Casino: “you think he got the point”

derit on June 9, 2013 at 2:16 AM

Ban test:
C*A*S*I*N*O
http://youtu.be/mbwqeSV8Wc4

derit on June 9, 2013 at 2:17 AM

If you think that I mean that leftists are all familiar with these concepts or have ever even heard of them, then you are mistaken. They don’t have to be. Everything in their world revolved around it.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

^ Might be the missing bridge.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:18 AM

Huh. You can slow a thread being on topic. :)

*makes note*

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:19 AM

“The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

novaculus on June 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

You’re forgetting something very, very important. The Western Left acknowledge no history. They can’t, because they can never point to anything they’ve ever done that has worked. For the Western Left, there is no past and they don’t have any attachment to any thoughts of yesteryear. They have no real heroes from the past because everyone failed in their examination of any historical period through contemporary eyes. Again, this a piece of evidence pointing to the static, stagnant world-view that the Western Left holds. They cannot conceive of a different time and a different context. Western Leftists can only analyze things based on how they feel NOW. Because their world is stagnant.

The drive to centralize power naturally emerges from this static world-view. It makes sense, even. If one thought that the only decisions that a CEO ever makes is how many paper clips should go to desk #23432 then it would certainly be sensible and efficient to centralize the paper clip dispensing decisions. Further, since the job takes no real skill it’s something that anyone could do, if only THE MAN weren’t holding them back from the unskilled position because of the dreaded race/class/gender thing. So affirmative action is a no-brainer in a stagnant world of doing nothing but dispensing paper clips (which don’t really matter in the end, anyway). When the whole world is static and stagnant, then one would naturally push to centralize all the decisions. One would naturally look to grab pieces of the static pie that never changes. One would look to force people into different socio-economic strata because their stagnant world-view sees people never moving anywhere. One would naturally create the simple committees to handle everything that could ever be. One would naturally set about the parameters of existence that are etched in stone. So the left tries to etch these in stone … and then the societies unlucky enough to be burdened with too many of them is forced to stagnate to keep restricted to these rules and procedures. This is why all leftist ideas are smashed to bits by any hint of dynamism or growth in a society.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 9, 2013 at 2:22 AM

At the core of every leftard:

Black Flag – “No Values”

I don’t care what you think
I don’t care what you say
I got nothing to give you
Why don’t you just go away

I got no values
Nothin’ to say
I got no values
Might as well blow you away

You’re just a hole in the corner
Always loaded to the hilt
I could try satisfaction
I can destroy everything you build

I got no values
Nothing to say
I got no values
Might as well blow you away

Don’t you try classification
When you know it won’t work
What if I try some annihilation
Throw your face in the dirt

I got no values
Nothing to say
I got no values
Might as well blow you away

Don’t you try pretendin’
Telling me it’s all right
I might start destroyin’
Everything in my sight!

No values
No no no no no values
No no noooo no values

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 2:24 AM

What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it . . .

― Robert A. Heinlein

novaculus on June 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM

Ayn Rand not amused. :)

And I’m not sure about this either. If “democracy” is loosely defined, and if it means anything like people governing themselves through collective decisions, then people should probably “vote” according to what’s best for themselves, and the aggregation of the votes into one decision would reflect what’s best for the most people. Maybe.

But Heinlein’s expectation for the way it should work is fundamentally socialistic.

. . . not sure . . .

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:27 AM

Leftards’ ultimate wet dream:

Tyrant – “Global Suicide”

\m/

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 2:32 AM

But Heinlein’s expectation for the way it should work is fundamentally socialistic.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:27 AM

Yep.

And Heinlein also makes the mistake of thinking that we are a Democracy, to begin with. The Founders went to great pains to place very serious limits on the whims of the electorate (and restricted that electorate, too) by making us a Constitutional Republic rather than a Democracy.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 9, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Maybe it can’t work without the notion of inherent rights, taking things off the table, setting certain things beyond the reach of collective decisions. Voting your own interests and securing fundamental rights the two things required for self government.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:36 AM

^ Might be the missing bridge.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:18 AM

It is why Progressives understood a century ago that, to succeed, that would have to take over the public schools, the universities, the media, the advertising agencies, the arts, etc. These would be the vehicle to train thought. Thus, it is not necessary for most ‘Progressives’ to understand the slightest bit about Hegel or other philosophers or to understand that Heaven on Earth cannot be created. The language is designed to speak to emotions and feelings rather than logic and reason. Look at the Cult of Gaia. There hasn’t been any warming in 15 years; yet, the end is nigh and we must repent! And, since there are so many ‘sinners,’ who refuse to submit, government must either force or nudge them into compliance.

Whether it is for the children, the planet, the poor, the whatever, the answer is always more obedience to the God of Government. Failure to submit makes one guilty of a cardinal sin. It’s why Al Gore and others sound like religious clergy when they scream, implore, intone that hydrocarbons are ‘evil’ and wind and solar are ‘good.’ Everything begins to take on religious connotations with the Left.

So, children do not have to understand ANYTHING about Hegel. They only know that burning the wrong light bulb is a sin, treating terrorists like terrorists is evil, arguing that one culture is obviously better than one stuck in the 7th century is racist, bigoted and Islamophobic, etc. They get this at school, in the media, from their cartoons, and so forth.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:37 AM

The Western Left acknowledge no history.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 9, 2013 at 2:22 AM

What? . . . What? :)

How can you type this?

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:38 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 9, 2013 at 2:22 AM

You should read Revel’s Last Exit to Utopia. I think that it is one of the better books on explaining how the European Left, anyway, has solved the problem of the failures of the past without having to admit that the philosophy is the failure.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:41 AM

It’s why Al Gore and others sound like religious clergy when they scream, implore, intone that hydrocarbons are ‘evil’ and wind and solar are ‘good.’

lol — well, all right, but in his defense, the man has a terrible time getting his chakras released.

So, children do not have to understand ANYTHING about Hegel. They only know that burning the wrong light bulb is a sin, treating terrorists like terrorists is evil, arguing that one culture is obviously better than one stuck in the 7th century is racist, bigoted and Islamophobic, etc. They get this at school, in the media, from their cartoons, and so forth.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:37 AM

100% :)

Too soon to tell you something fawning?

– I’ll save it, I’ll save it.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:42 AM

They are always tyrants. The fools have no clue that their heads will go first. Their masters really, really, really hate them.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2013 at 1:11 AM

.
Of course he despises those that adore him, they have proved their lack of intellect by how easily they are deceived.

Additionally, like any true Green, the SCOAMF views the teaming masses of people as a plague to be cleansed from Gaia.

But Heinlein’s expectation for the way it should work is fundamentally socialistic.

. . . not sure . . .

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:27 AM

.
With all due respect, Axe …

… if Heinlein were still alive, he’d hunt you down to wallop you upside the head even though he would be 16 soon.

I am pretty sure that novaculus, like myself, has read virtually everything Heinlein ever wrote. There was ZERO socialism in Heinlein’s thinking.

PolAgnostic on June 9, 2013 at 2:45 AM

With all due respect, Axe …

Thank you.

I am pretty sure that novaculus, like myself, has read virtually everything Heinlein ever wrote. There was ZERO socialism in Heinlein’s thinking.

PolAgnostic on June 9, 2013 at 2:45 AM

. . . OK, but that expectation is hazardously collective.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:47 AM

What you must understand is, while we look at, say, the collapse of the Soviet Union as yet another proof that Marxism is failed economic and political philosophy, many on the Left, especially in Europe, do not. Oh sure, they will acknowledge that the Soviet Union collapsed. I mean, how could they not? ‘Of course the Soviet Union collapsed, BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT BECAUSE THAT WASN’T REAL MARXISM! Stalin and his crew ‘perverted’ Marx’s teachings.’

Some Stalinists – like Maoists – will go so far as to say that the massive human toll is a LIE created by detractors.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:47 AM

Additionally, like any true Green, the SCOAMF views the teaming masses of people as a plague to be cleansed from Gaia.

PolAgnostic on June 9, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Ultimately, yep! Look at PETA, or Gosnell…

Leftists are malcontented & nihilistic at their core – they’d rather have everyone be unhappy than have only some be, and they do not believe in self-preservation.

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 2:49 AM

Morning crew isn’t going to know what to do. Nearly an entirely on-topic QOTD.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 2:58 AM

You should read Revel’s Last Exit to Utopia.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:41 AM

$2.50 on Amazon, by the way. My kind of book.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 3:03 AM

One more factoid about leftist psychology: leftards do not see individuals as ends in and of themselves, but rather as means to an end.

Of course, they never stop to ask themselves what kind of end they really have in mind when their means to get it are such cheap & disposable tools. IOW leftardism is ill-thought-out and utterly nonsensical, as anyone who has read Marx understands!

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 3:19 AM

Here’s to 0dumba:

I’m not amused when you come ’round
By things you’ve done, or things you’ve found
Don’t want to hear what you might say
Won’t someone please take me away

“You might be cool some other place, but I Don’t Like Your Face

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 3:29 AM

novaculus on June 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM

I honestly think that as long as people have cable and carry-out they don’t care what happens. And maybe an iphone.

They could live in a sod hut with mud walkways and not care.

flicker on June 9, 2013 at 3:50 AM

That isn’t their point of view. That’s an external assessment. Obama doesn’t believe he’s a “self-hating nihilists who [is] bent on the destruction of all that is familiar.”

He is trying to create a perfect world.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 1:16 AM

I missed this one earlier.

I agree with what you are saying about 0dumba’s self-assessment, but it should be pointed out that is what his (very limited & irrational) conscious mind tells us – subconsciously, he is an insanely jealous nihilist…

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 4:07 AM

an insanely jealous nihilist…

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 4:07 AM

Im not disageeing with you. But I don’t think there’s anything worse than that. Those words can fully describe Satan.

flicker on June 9, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Im not disageeing with you. But I don’t think there’s anything worse than that. Those words can fully describe Satan.

flicker on June 9, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Yep, and that is what/who is at the core of leftards – a miserable, big black hole!

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 4:31 AM

I agree with what you are saying about 0dumba’s self-assessment, but it should be pointed out that is what his (very limited & irrational) conscious mind tells us – subconsciously, he is an insanely jealous nihilist…

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 4:07 AM

I wouldn’t argue with that. People are complicated inside, so I’m slow to try diagramming in any detail, but the general fact that progressives believe they are accomplishing one thing while they are actually accomplishing another is pretty clear. I tried to make that point above somewhere.

Хаос! :)

Also, your pointing to the irrationality of it all is well taken. They are hugging us to death. Even weirder, their answer to that particular cause-effect sequence, the only sequence trying to bring their goals to pass has ever followed, is still the same as it always was: “stop dying.” It never enters their minds to stop hugging.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 4:44 AM

flicker on June 9, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Yep, and that is what/who is at the core of leftards – a miserable, big black hole!

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 4:31 AM

Maybe explicitly setting God to the side is explicitly setting life to the side, life being, maybe, part of the nature of God. Maybe attempting to build a perfect world without God is also choosing oblivion. Maybe that’s why when we look at it all, it looks like a mixture of grand projects, great dreams, insanity, the worship of death, and death.

Maybe trying to accomplish the grand dreams is warring with life, and that’s why it creates so much suffering.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 4:51 AM

I wouldn’t argue with that. People are complicated inside, so I’m slow to try diagramming in any detail, but the general fact that progressives believe they are accomplishing one thing while they are actually accomplishing another is pretty clear. I tried to make that point above somewhere.

I get your point, however I phrase/see it differently…to me, people are not “complicated” inside but rather outside, because inside is where their true values lie, and the more they try to cover them up, the more apparent they become!

Also, your pointing to the irrationality of it all is well taken. They are hugging us to death. Even weirder, their answer to that particular cause-effect sequence, the only sequence trying to bring their goals to pass has ever followed, is still the same as it always was: “stop dying.” It never enters their minds to stop hugging.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 4:44 AM

Yep – not only do they not think to refrain from hugging, they don’t ever start thinking about what they are trying to hug in the first place!

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 5:07 AM

Maybe explicitly setting God to the side is explicitly setting life to the side, life being, maybe, part of the nature of God. Maybe attempting to build a perfect world without God is also choosing oblivion. Maybe that’s why when we look at it all, it looks like a mixture of grand projects, great dreams, insanity, the worship of death, and death.

Maybe trying to accomplish the grand dreams is warring with life, and that’s why it creates so much suffering.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 4:51 AM

Take all of the “maybe”s out, and I agree! :)

Leftards like Marx do not understand the nature of humanity nor of healthy thinking – they try to build their utopias on self-righteous falsehoods, which inevitably are unable to do anything other than fail, miserably

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 5:15 AM

Maybe attempting to build a perfect world without God is also choosing oblivion.

And so the history of mankind.

flicker on June 9, 2013 at 5:31 AM

What you must understand is, while we look at, say, the collapse of the Soviet Union as yet another proof that Marxism is failed economic and political philosophy, many on the Left, especially in Europe, do not. Oh sure, they will acknowledge that the Soviet Union collapsed. I mean, how could they not? ‘Of course the Soviet Union collapsed, BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT BECAUSE THAT WASN’T REAL MARXISM! Stalin and his crew ‘perverted’ Marx’s teachings.’

Some Stalinists – like Maoists – will go so far as to say that the massive human toll is a LIE created by detractors.

Resist We Much on June 9, 2013 at 2:47 AM

I want to thank you so much for posting this comment. I have often wondered why, when debating with those on the dark side, why they are so adamant that Marxism, Stalinism, Communism, Facism, etc., have specific, stringent definitions. Their insistence that there can be no overlap between different philosophies always rears its ugly head and culminates in them telling you that, i.e.: Barack Obama can’t be a Facist and a Communist.

To someone like me, it seems completely natural that there can rarely, if ever, be a textbook case of any of the given philosophies, and that is it also completely natural that at any given time, one who wishes to become all-powerful will find a blend of philosophies that allow him to attain that he desires most.

Your comment allows me to understand that leftards must keep up the pretense that any deviation from say Marxism as originally professed by Marx means that one is not a Marxist. The alternative is too horrible for them to comprehend.

Greyledge Gal on June 9, 2013 at 5:34 AM

Leftards like Marx do not understand the nature of humanity nor of healthy thinking

Anti-Control on June 9, 2013 at 5:15 AM

That’s a fact.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 5:39 AM

And so the history of mankind.

flicker on June 9, 2013 at 5:31 AM

I dug this out of the thread for you; it happened earlier. :)

‘What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven.’

– Friedrich Hoelderlin

Hoelderlin is always great to read.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2013 at 1:27 AM

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 5:40 AM

The difference between the mindset of someone who suspected God didn’t exist, and therefore it was necessary to muddle along with him, and someone who suspected he did, but he was irrelevant and could be safely ignored — would be night and day. The first person would be acting in ignorance, assuming God exists, and the second in pride. The first might have no problem whatever with immutable truths, but the second would have no problem whatever with setting aside anything he or she didn’t like, up to and including the will of the creator.

Too much to say. Stopping there.

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 5:54 AM

All right. Seriously. I’m out of here now. I told Dagny I was going for awhile and that I would be thinking about her, and she finally read her email, so that’s off my mind. So, I’m going. Seriously. I mean it this time.

Watch with what decisive finality I snap this submit button.

No! Avast! Away, philosophy, politics, and religion! Away, lipped-eyeball women and synaptic stimuli!

*sip*

And, good morning, morning crew. :)

Axe on June 9, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Good Morning Axe!:)

Somebody be Lying?!

Zuckerberg, Page: NSA Has No ‘Direct Access’ to Facebook or Google Servers
By Kevin Poulsen06.07.137:40 PM
*******************************

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Larry Page both denied today that they’ve given U.S spies access to their companies’ backend servers, deepening the core mystery around the NSA’s newly-disclosed PRISM program: how exactly is the NSA getting its data?

“Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the U.S. or any other government direct access to our servers” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post this afternoon. “We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk … We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.”

Google CEO Larry Page used similar language in a blog post earlier today.

“First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government — or any other government — direct access to our servers,” read a post on Google’s blog authored by Page and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. “Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a ‘back door’ to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.”

The Washington Post and the Guardian revealed the existence of the top secret program in separate reports yesterday. PRISM allows NSA analysts to pry into private user messages and other data from servers of nine different technology companies, the papers revealed: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. The program was reportedly begun in 2007 with a single company, and has grown steadily ever since. Both of the original news reports said that the NSA has direct access to the companies’ servers, and cast the companies as voluntary participants.

But all nine companies have now denied, to one degree or another, participating in PRISM. The language in their denials seems carefully chosen, and rather similar. Zuckerberg and Page, for example, both say their companies don’t give the government “direct access” to servers. Both note that they hadn’t heard of a program called PRISM before yesterday. That last point isn’t particularly exculpatory — there’s no reason to think the NSA would share the name of its internal tools with corporate outsiders, whatever the relationship. But it seems to be a popular talking point among the nine.

As for the “direct access” line, in an update to its original story, the Washington Post wrote this:

It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” rather than directly to company servers.

So now it’s sounding like there’s a Room 641A at each of the companies’ data centers — but that’s still hard to reconcile with the executives’ statements, unless their words are being carefully parsed indeed. Do contractors maintain cut-out servers between Ft. Meade and the companies’ systems? Does it all depend on what the meaning of “direct” is?

President Obama generally confirmed the PRISM surveillance in a public appearance in California today, emphasizing that the program is subject to court oversight (by a secret, closed-door court), and that Americans are not targeted. “This does not apply to U.S. citizens, and it does not apply to people living in the United States,” Obama said.
===========================

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/prism-google-facebook/

canopfor on June 9, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Armed with what amounts to a rubber stamp court order, however, the NSA can collect and store trillions of bytes of electromagnetic detritus shaken off by American citizens. In the government’s eyes, the data is simply moving from one place to another. It does not become, in the government’s eyes, relevant or protected in any way unless and until it is subject to analysis. Analysis requires that second order.

You are presumed guilty and are only free until some bureaucrat has the time to ‘analyze’ the data.

On any given day you are in violation of myriad federal regulations which makes this even more chilling:

“I can assure you the phone number tracking of non-criminal, non-terrorist suspects was not discussed,” he said. “Most members have stopped going to their classified briefings because they rarely tell us anything we don’t already know in the news. It really has become a charade.”

Well, since the Administration sees everyone else as a criminal, of course they don’t need to discuss the non-criminal citizens as there aren’t any. And do notice how easily it switches from ‘terrorist’ to ‘criminal’, in other words from NSA to FBI? Yes that lovely, massive storehouse of data is just waiting for the right apparatchik and change in meme to target even the true believers, since they are the easiest ones to pick up being so chatty and all.

As for the amnesia bit how about just collecting when you have a suspect and doing the necessary and proper person-to-person network identification as you go through the process known as ‘discovery’ which has served the republic well up until the modern day as a safeguard against an authoritarian State. I mean the idea of ‘discovery’ is a presumption of innocence and then having to prove guilt – not massive data collection to be used at a whim to persecute the innocent.

Just re-iterate the presumption of innocence and ask why is THAT not being enforced? Because its lack is what is driving the entire thing.

ajacksonian on June 9, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Hmmmmmm……

Reuters Top News @Reuters 2h
U.S. surveillance row washes up on Pacific allies’ shores reut.rs/1bjI8mB
===============

Reuters Top News @Reuters 8h
U.S. spy agency seeks criminal probe into leaks reut.rs/100FHpc
View details
============

https://mobile.twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on June 9, 2013 at 7:17 AM

Maybe explicitly setting God to the side is explicitly setting life to the side, life being, maybe, part of the nature of God. Maybe attempting to build a perfect world without God is also choosing oblivion. Maybe that’s why when we look at it all, it looks like a mixture of grand projects, great dreams, insanity, the worship of death, and death. Maybe trying to accomplish the grand dreams is warring with life, and that’s why it creates so much suffering. Axe on June 9, 2013 at 4:51 AM

Profound and eloquent, Sir. You nailed it.

indypat on June 9, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Blessed Sunday Morning, Patriots!

Back on February 6th, 2013, Breitbart.com featured this interesting quote from the absolutely corrupt Liberal House Member Maxine Waters:

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday. “That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said. “That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.” (h/t mark81150)

Bazinga. My take.

kingsjester on June 9, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Good morning, Hot Air.

Good morning, PRISM.

Good morning, Federales.

**waving at Big Brother Government**

Grace_is_sufficient on June 9, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Not to worry, they can’t use what they’ve collected against us in a court of law because they didn’t Mirandize us first. Seriously, Rummy was right about the ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’ thingy. We thought he was talking about enemies of the state not just ordinary citizens. Oh, wait…Since we’ve been playing this game for a few years now, wish we could find out more about the minimalization rules.

Kissmygrits on June 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM

“Everyday I’m Çapuling”

The Turkish word “çapul” has many meanings, including pillage; rage; plunder and booty to spoil; foray; root; and maraud, according to the Tureng online translation service. It’s unclear exactly where the term originated, but it might be a reference to Erdogan’s description of protesters as “looters.” The accompanying “Everyday I’m Çapuling!” video is likely designed to disarm the word by showing protesters engaged in non-looting activities that aim to counter his use of the loaded term….

However it got started, the term is taking off in a major way. Twitter users have spread the phrase via hashtags, including #çapuling, #capuling, #chappuling, #everydayimcapuling, #everydayimçapuling and more, and the video has gotten so many views in such a short time that it has triggered YouTube’s hit-count-stopping feature.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/everyday-im-capuling/

davidk on June 9, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Hmm, QOTD is starting to get interesting again.

Cleombrotus on June 9, 2013 at 8:23 AM

With an administration that is so easily moved to lie, misrepresent and obfuscate, how can Congress be sure that they are getting a complete and real briefing on ANY subject?

gonnjos on June 9, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Heavy page. Need more coffee.

wolly4321 on June 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

On a final note: What remains curious to me, is with all of these scandals busting wide open, we still have not learned where America’s Commander in Chief was the night of September 11, 2012, when those 4 Brave Americans were murdered by Muslim Terrorists at the Embassy Compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Spot on again, KJ! This can’t be allowed to sink in the cesspool that is this administration. Have to keep bringing it to the top of the pile. What these past 2 weeks have shown is that everything we feared is true, and worse. That is only what we know; there’s got to be much more.

indypat on June 9, 2013 at 9:24 AM

That picture of the REB can go in the gay file: Light/Loafers

slickwillie2001 on June 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

indypat on June 9, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Thank you!

kingsjester on June 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Hmm, QOTD is starting to get interesting again.

Cleombrotus on June 9, 2013 at 8:23 AM

…no trolls

KOOLAID2 on June 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

KOOLAID2 on June 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

No, there are seldom any trolls on QOTD. This time the subject was informative and serious. Worthwhile reading.

Cleombrotus on June 9, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Just wanted to memorialize a little more context.

Imagine what damage the power to indiscriminately collect endless amounts of private data on innocent citizens could do in the hands of men and women of ill intent. The world is no stranger to that kind of abuse.

This is not a right-left thing. This is a right-wrong thing. This is not about short-term damage to political prospects but about long-term damage to democratic ideals. This is not about any particular person or president or party but about principles and limits.

This is one of those rare moments where the left edge and the right one can meet: this government overreach is a threat to liberty.

This was a great article, except that Mr. Blow seems oblivious to the fact that the power is already in the hands of serial abusers.

AesopFan on June 9, 2013 at 10:58 PM

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