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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:39)


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  • How Unreasonable Searches of Private Documents Caused the American Revolution
    • Professor Cole, thanks again for your site and this useful article. I wonder if people understand the difference between, say, Google knowing the contents of my emails and the government knowing.

      It has to do with the power possessed by the two entities. The worst that could happen if Google's computers looked at my emails and made a mistake is that a partner advertiser might send me some junk mail that I might find embarrassing, or maybe they might show me some ads I'd find questionable, or in poor taste.

      On the other hand, suppose that the goverment collected the entire contents of my emails, texts, phone calls and so forth. Sometimes, government employees make mistakes - call them "false positives" - and my name comes up because it's there. As a result, the government sends men with guns to my house. Sometimes these men make mistakes, and innocent people are killed. Suppose they take people in who then are falsely accused, tried and mistakenly found guilty and then spend a decade in prison. Or worse, they wind up in a legal limbo like Guantanamo.

      Also, I can withdraw my voluntary permission from Google and go elsewhere to obtain services. The worst part about PRISM is that it violated our rights for years in secret, without our permission, and we can't trust our current Executive to be truthful with us.

      The Founders feared unchecked government power, and, reasoning that excesses of power were part of human nature, devised a system of government that would protect ordinary people from its vast power.

      Respect the Constitution and demand that it be adhered to by all in government.

    • There's a 9/11 every month - about 3,000 men, women and children die in traffic accidents every month right here on American soil. Where is the insistance on a memorial to the victims of June, 2013? Republicans insisted on starting two trillion dollar wars over 9/11; where's the war on traffic fatalities?

      Perpetual war = perpetual profits. That's the Republican platform in a nutshell.

  • Psy of "Gangnam Style" attacked Bush's Iraq War, not America
    • Well said. I'd add that Americans are generally forgiving of passionate artists, because their passion suffuses their artistic gifts. People who condemn Psi should consider John Lennon, George Harrison and many others who were virulently ant-war.

  • Walsh (Republican): No Pregnancy Ever threatens a Mother's Life (Young Turks Video)
    • It's not lying. It's part of the Republican party's brand image.

      For example, when selling an SUV, GM shows pictures of how tough and independent and exciting and powerful you will be in your new GM SUV, going offroad, pulling huge yachts up mountains and so on.

      The fact is, 95% of people who buy these SUVs never take them off the road. The truthful picture of their use of an SUV would show them driving over the same stretch of highway thousands of times as they commuted back and forth to work.

      Do SUV ads lie? No, it's just advertising; it's part of GM's brand image.

      Similarly, these fanciful stories about raped women never getting pregnant or never requiring abortions to save their lives are not lies. To Americans, who are completely socialized as consumers, this is branded speech that provides them with comfort regarding their purchase - in this case, their "purchase" is their acceptance of the Republican party. It's no more a lie than saying that if you put your overweight, sedentary, myopic body with lousy hand-eye coordination behind the wheel of a GM SUV, you will instantly become powerful and independent.

  • Obama set precedent with Drone Killings for Romney to become Terminator-in-Chief (Ross)
    • Take a look at 'Kill Decision' by Daniel Suarez. It's a work of fiction that describes a possible near future in which the technology of autonomous, armed drones is widely available.

      I agree with Suarez that all of these drone technologies will come home to America and will be used here by a variety of agencies. We need a lot more than just guidelines for presidents. We should broadly prohibit the use of drones stateside except under very specific circumstances.

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