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Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,240

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Actually I'm on that list.

Arguably, the point being made by the OP of that thread was correct. That's why I recommended it. Look at this thread and the posts on it if you want something else to check out. I've been here a long damned time, and I have never seen such a low display of mob mentality on this site. Hopefully this will be a chance for some folks to look in the mirror.

Why Snowden/Greenwald will have essentially no effect.

Very few politicians or leaders of any kind are going to want their fingerprints on policy changes that reduce perceived security. They know that there will be another "terrorist" crime in the future, and they know that people will be looking to nail anyone who did anything to allow it to happen. You only need to look at the Boston Marathon bombing to see why Snowden/Greenwald will have virtually no effect.

If anything, Snowden/Greenwald probably backfired. There will be lots of new "safeguards" trumpeted. There will be lots of "discussion." But in the end, the policies and activities won't change. In fact, the existence of the new safeguards and oversight will probably be used to support an increase in the level of data gathering.

Honestly, I am actually for government maximizing data gathering while minimizing the possibility of abuse. The government isn't completely trustworthy, but it is extremely trustworthy relative to other players in the information security realm. It is democratically elected, so it is backed by that imperfect but maximal legitimacy. It is highly monitored and overseen, both internally and externally. It actually has a legal duty to both protect privacy and maintain security. Try to think of any organization or individual more trustworthy with either. Don't say your Mom or Dad.

What will Snowden say if he sees something terrible in Russia?

Suppose Snowden witnesses or hears about some horrible crime against human rights, freedom, and dignity in Russia. What do you think he'll do? I wonder what Putin thinks Snowden will do. Snowden is going to be a lot more interesting in Russia (they can have him) than he would be here sitting in jail.

Eliminate the Death Tax

Just tax the estates of the wealthy while they are still living. And tax them a lot more than the current death-triggered estate tax. Maybe give them a 20% bonus credit for paying the tax with repatriated funds or funds from the sale of foreign assets. That way no one could argue that the tax encouraged disinvestment in U.S. assets.

This idea would let Dems say we eliminated the Death Tax. Indeed, if a person were taxed at a higher level of net worth than they had at their death, we could refund the overage. It would be a Death Refund.

I also have a Balanced Budget Amendment. Any deficit that Congress fails to cover in a given fiscal year would automatically be paid by an excise tax on the net worth of the wealthy. It would be a win-win. Future generations would not be saddled with debt, and the wealthy would finally have "certainty" about the government's finances. We might even have fewer wars.

Has the NSA metadata program resulted in known harm to anyone?

The Drug War is a vicious mass killer and mass destroyer of lives. Why are people wasting political ammo on NSA programs that haven't been shown to do any harm to anyone? Give us Barabbas?

School me.

Concealed Carry is the root cause, followed by the Drug War.

If Zimmerman had not had a concealed weapon, he wouldn't have dared to confront Martin. On the other hand, if Zimmerman had an unconcealed weapon, the homeowners in his subdivision would have shouted him off of the street (or had the police drag him off). Concealed Carry enables "Stand Your Ground" and turns it into a trap.

What I am wondering is if civil law can be used to put an end to Concealed Carry. We know the Retreat at Twin Lakes paid a large settlement to Martin's family. That means that homeowners or an insurer (or both) were forced to pay for what Zimmerman did. To me, that is the key to getting rid of concealed carry altogether. Someone has to pay for it.

What if every homeowner's association (HOA) simply disallowed Concealed Carry in their by-laws under penalty of expulsion and lawsuit? I believe it would be their right to do so. As a homeowner myself, I know for sure that I don't want my property and retirement savings backing up the actions of a brain dead dirtball like Zimmerman. I also don't feel it is right for residents to have to pay additional liability insurance just because someone else feels they have the right to Concealed Carry. If people want to carry concealed weapons, they apparently have a right to do so, but they don't have the right to make me pay for it. I would love for my HOA to disallow it and quite simply force out (or sue into oblivion) anyone who exercised their Concealed Carry right in my neighborhood.

Then take it a step further. Couldn't/shouldn't businesses refuse to employ people who carry a concealed weapon on- or off-the-clock, on- or off-premises? Maybe every employment application should have a "do you ever carry a concealed firearm?" question. It seems to me that by eliminating these people from employment, a business could both reduce their liability and their exposure to the kinds of people who might carry these weapons. Once again, a citizen would still have the right to carry a concealed weapon. They just wouldn't have the right to be employed while doing so. Indeed, there is no such right.

Behind all of this is the engine of catastrophe known as the Drug War. While all of those burglaries were happening in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, cops were probably out arresting kids for smoking marijuana. Then those kids get a record and can't get jobs. So they commit more burglaries. And the burglaries make idiot dirtballs like Zimmerman want to play cop. People are funny.

Satan Offers Snowden Asylum in Hell

"Satan is bravely confronting authoritarianism with this bold move!" — Glenn Greenwald.

"The Prince of Darkness is a 99-Percenter!" — The Guardian Editors

Reached for comment, Satan (R) reiterated the offer, but said that Snowden "needs to find a way to get here."

Progressives everywhere announced support for the plan.

"If Snowden goes to Hell, I'm fine with that," said one.

"Yes, he'll be free of American hegemony then," said another.

VRA 2.0

The Republicans on the Supreme court managed to kill part of the Voting Rights Act, and that's bad. But I wonder if there isn't a silver lining here. Remember, we have growing Hispanic power in play now and whites are losing their majority status. The Republican Supremes just put voting rights front and center on the radar.

Maybe we can start talking about guaranteeing access to early/weekend voting, getting rid of gerrymandering, outlawing voter ID laws, etc. Hispanics are bound to be interested in preventing clingy, Republican, white minorities from stealing political power. There is an election in 2014, and the 5-4 Republican Supremes may have just handed Dems a great issue. I'm not so sure the Republicans wanted to have this conversation.

I thought Gregory actually got Greenwald

Gregory: "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden — even in his current movements — why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?"

Greenwald: "...The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence — the idea I’ve aided and abetted him in any way..."

Greenwald didn't say he hadn't "aided and abetted" Snowden. He said that such an assumption was "without evidence." Why the evasion? Why not just say "I didn't aide and abet Snowden?" He could have added whatever indignation he wanted to after that.

Simply put, Gregory asked a question a lot of people wanted answered, and Greenwald decided to pound the table and evade rather than answer it. He wanted Gregory shouted down. But folks, Greenwald made himself news and put himself in whatever legal jeopardy he may be in. If he did more for Snowden than use him has a source, Greenwald may be looking at some unpleasantness in his future.

Gregory asked a "newsmaker" a very, very relevant question. It cut to the chase and it scored. Greenwald's thespian skills aside, he didn't answer the question. That's a win for Gregory, well in bounds.

Snowden set back human rights in China and Russia (so far)

By running to Hong Kong and Russia, Snowden is helping these countries politically. He allows their governments to argue a false equivalence with the United States. In general, if a government is a severe abuser of human rights or civil liberties, Snowden has helped to take pressure off of that government. They will now feel free to oppress, torture, and imprison more, knowing they can just say the magic word "Snowden."
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