Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on June 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

Amazon has recorded a spike in sales of the George Orwell novel, “1984” in the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s data collection programs.

The centennial edition of the book ranked number 4 on the seller’s “movers and shakers list,” as of Tuesday afternoon. Book sales increased by more than 6,000 within the last 24 hours, jumping to the 123rd spot on book sales overall, from it’s spot at 7,636 the previous day…

“Kids will grow up knowing that every damn thing that they do is going to be recorded some place in a file,” [Bernie Sanders] told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Monday. “And I think that will have a very Orwellian and very inhibiting impact on the way we live our lives.”

***

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) dubbed a secret National Security intelligence program as “creepy.”

“It comes across as creepy,” Paul said according to Wisconsin Radio Network. “I understand FISA court orders to go after some known person, and their phone records and whoever they’re communicating with. But to do a blanket dragnet nationwide, that seems to go way beyond the scope of the law that I’m familiar with called the Patriot Act.”

***

Here is I think the essential difference and where it comes back to what I referred to before – a basic difference in one’s idea about the state and the larger political community. If you see the state as essentially malevolent or a bad actor then really anything you can do to put a stick in its spokes is a good thing. Same if you think the conduct of US foreign policy is fundamentally a bad thing. Then opening up its books for the world to see is a good thing simply because it exposes it or damages it. It forces change on any number of levels.

From that perspective, there’s no really no balancing to be done. All disclosure is good. Either from the perspective of transparency in principle or upending something you believe must be radically changed.

On the other hand, if you basically identify with the country and the state, then indiscriminate leaks like this are purely destructive. They’re attacks on something you fundamentally believe in, identify with, think is working on your behalf.

***

But, in fact, there’s a common theme in all of these scandals: Abuse of power. And, what’s more, that abuse-of-power theme is what makes the NSA snooping story bigger than it otherwise would be. It all comes down to trust…

[I]s it plausible to believe that a government that would abuse the powers of the IRS to attack political enemies, go after journalists who publish unflattering material or scapegoat a filmmaker in the hopes of providing political cover to an election-season claim that al-Qaeda was finished would have any qualms about misusing the massive power of government-run snooping and Big Data? What we’ve seen here is a pattern of abuse. There’s little reason to think that pattern will change, absent a change of administration — and, quite possibly, not even then. Sooner or later, power granted tends to become power abused. Then there’s the risk that information gathered might leak, of course, as recent events demonstrate.

Most Americans generally think that politicians are untrustworthy. So why trust them with so much power?

***

In the first flush of stories about how the National Security Agency is surveilling American citizens, one stomach-turning revelation hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves: We get the surveillance state we deserve because rank political partisanship trumps bedrock principle every goddamn time on just about every goddamn issue…

To be fair, sometimes partisans really do have a Damascus Road experience and change their ways of thinkings. By all accounts, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), who grabbed headlines a decade ago by rechristening Congress’s spuds as “Freedom Fries,” really has scrapped his interventionist positions despite a strongly negative effect on his electability. But for the most part, reboots are little more than cynical ploys that are hard to take seriously even when they are as entertaining as post-coital pressers by fallen ministers. That includes the recent and largely unconvincing repudiation of the Patriot Act by its original sponsor, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

More to the point, though, the virtually unyielding preference for partisanship over principle explains why regardless of which party controls the government, the surveillance state continues to grow. It’s totally different, don’t you see, when my guy is running the show!

***

That question has been on many minds in the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance of phone records and Internet data. The ACLU, for one, called these programs “beyond Orwellian” in a statement released last week. The ACLU’s response is characteristically feverish, but in at least one respect, the organization is right: We are indeed approaching an Orwellian world…

The real effect of the NSA stories is to cement a narrative about Obama that will likely become part of his legacy: the liberal senator and constitutional law professor who, like the pigs in “Animal Farm,” metamorphosed into what he had so notoriously opposed. Guantanamo remains open. Drones still rain down on Pakistan, Yemen, and anywhere else the president sees fit. Leaks are prosecuted vigorously and reporters are investigated to uncover their sources. And now, the president is affirming the surveillance practices he once mused could be unconstitutional. In light of these actions alone, it seems that Barack Obama has learned that George W. Bush got a lot of things right.

The point of noting the president’s porcine transformation is not to criticize his current policies, but rather to serve as an instructive example for future White House aspirants: The responsibilities of power are difficult to reconcile with lazy criticism that is so easy to dispense from the sidelines. As long as he fails to recognize the debt that he, and the nation, owe to his predecessor, he will be practicing a vice that Orwell was a master of depicting: hypocrisy.

***

***

Via the Examiner.

***



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

How about you get it through your head that I don’t take orders from the likes of you. Better learn that real quick. And, by the way, this isn’t your personal chat room. Take it to Facebook and don’t clutter the place with your self-indulgent cliquish nonsense.

blueballs on June 12, 2013 at 7:42 AM

…since you’re on drugs…YOU don’t count!…why don’t YOU go twitter…TWIT!

KOOLAID2 on June 12, 2013 at 8:33 AM

bluegill is the one ‘disappointed in’ and ‘embarrassed for’ people who disagree with her.

I’m an intolerant SOB, I admit. But gill is the self-appointed ‘authority’ of morality around here.

Or so the creature thinks.

Liam on June 12, 2013 at 8:26 AM

haha I agree – I was only making fun of what the loudmouthed & self-indulgent bluegshrill had said about you! :)

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 8:36 AM

haha I agree – I was only making fun of what the loudmouthed & self-indulgent bluegshrill had said about you! :)

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Thanks!

Not only do I say the creature is unneeded, it is also unnecessary.

Liam on June 12, 2013 at 8:37 AM

…I think blueball is confused with the term ‘conservative or something…she must think it’s a sexual term!

KOOLAID2 on June 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Thanks!

Y/w.

I don’t like sarc tags for myself, which has sometimes caused me trouble with misinterpretation around here! :)

Not only do I say the creature is unneeded, it is also unnecessary.

Liam on June 12, 2013 at 8:37 AM

haha I know.

I want to like her, I really do – but I can’t, because she & her loudmouth won’t let me! :)

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I want to like her, I really do – but I can’t, because she & her loudmouth won’t let me! :)

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I can relate. But there comes a point when another person pushes us too far, and we have to let go.

Liberals like to think otherwise, but it is THEY who push us past our limits. They’re like a nagging child who keeps going on and on and on — until you have to smack them. Then they get all ‘innocent’ and stuff.

Liam on June 12, 2013 at 8:54 AM

…I think blueball is confused with the term ‘conservative or something…she must think it’s a sexual term!

KOOLAID2 on June 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM

She is sexy when she gets all huffy & bossy, and stomps her little foot! :)~

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I can relate. But there comes a point when another person pushes us too far, and we have to let go.

Liberals like to think otherwise, but it is THEY who push us past our limits. They’re like a nagging child who keeps going on and on and on — until you have to smack them. Then they get all ‘innocent’ and stuff.

Liam on June 12, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I hope you’ve noticed how much I support trollcotting!

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Bluegill – When a Liberal, such as yourself, attempts to represent themself as a Moderate, or as the spokesperson for Conservatism, as you and the before-mentioned Troll have, you should expect to eventually be found out and identified as a Troll.

kingsjester on June 12, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Good Mornin’ Ya’ll…and FU to our kindly NSA overlords.

AM radio and another day of media focusing on the wrong thing…Snowden.

Snowden aint’ the story.

workingclass artist on June 12, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Bluegill – When a Liberal, such as yourself, attempts to represent themself as a Moderate, or as the spokesperson for Conservatism, as you and the before-mentioned Troll have, you should expect to eventually be found out and identified as a Troll.

kingsjester on June 12, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I view her differently – I believe she is a Conservative troll, a narcissist who selfishly loves to instigate, which makes her worse in some ways than leftard trolls. I think she and HondaV65 would make a nice couple! :)

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. – Thomas Jefferson

workingclass artist on June 12, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

You may be right.

kingsjester on June 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM

How about you shut up and go sit in the corner? We friends are talking among ourselves. You aren’t invited among us. WE are friends, and YOU are an interloper. Shut up, brat. We neither need you nor WANT you involved.

Liam on June 12, 2013 at 7:40 AM

Did you mistake HotAir for your personal MySpace page?

Foxhound on June 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Good Morning HA Patriots!

C-span 2 Amnesty coverage started at 9:30AM and I’m sure it’s online also for those that may not have the channel.

I have my Senate list and ready to call.

There are 33 Senators up for election in 2014. R’s-14; D’s-19.

http://www.senate.gov for the list for those that are calling.

I understand we have a tough job ahead to stop this thing, but we won’t even have a chance if we don’t fight.

I’ve read George Washington The Crossing by Jack Levin, Marks’ father. They never gave up! and neither should we.

Later….

bluefox on June 12, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Take it to Facebook and don’t clutter the place with your self-indulgent cliquish nonsense.

bluegill on June 12, 2013 at 7:42 AM

She said, after stating “MJBrutus is my friend and he SHOULD tell on you if you were mean!!!”

MadisonConservative on June 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

bluefox on June 12, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Correction to the above post:

I pulled info from the senate.gov site. However wren, a hotair poster put up a list that is more current and updated. See it here:

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/10/rubio-on-immigration-legalizing-illegals-must-and-will-come-before-border-security/comment-page-3/#comments
wren on June 10, 2013 at 8:41 PM

I’ve updated the senate.gov list per wren’s list.

Sorry for the confusion; I should have checked first.

bluefox on June 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

MadisonConservative on June 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Meant to tell you that I appreciated your comments of common sense regarding Snowden!

Too many irons in the fire:-)

bluefox on June 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

bluegill on June 12, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Now, now…don’t you worry your pretty little head about this “amnesty” thingy. After all, we’ve been assured by our representatives in congress (who are so much wiser than we) that there will be a rigorous oversight system in place to be sure that the “amnesty” is administered fairly, compassionately and with justice for all. And, you can rest assured that the borders – such as they are – will be tightly secured…after legalization.

You just need to have faith in your chosen leaders; and believe that all they do is for your own good…and the good of America. We are, after all, a great, multicultural melting pot, are we not?

The only reason anyone could possibly object to immediate amnesty – with its rigorous oversight safeguards – would be unmitigated racism. You aren’t a racist, are you, bluegill?

And, after all, if you have such complete faith in the “oversight” in place for intel agencies spying on every American citizen, why would you feel any less secure about oversight of the amnesty?

Solaratov on June 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

She is sexy when she gets all huffy & bossy, and stomps her little foot! :)~

Anti-Control on June 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I’ve always pictured her as a real-life Nellie Olsen

…but a little cuter and kinda sexy.

She’s mean as a snake, untrustworthy and will turn on you in a flash…yet one finds one’s self strangely drawn to her.
(Rather like staring too long into a wood chipper.) IYKWIMAITYD

Solaratov on June 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM

FWIW – Obama was never a constitutional law professor. He was a guest lecturer and never an expert on the constitution.

roux on June 13, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5