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gulliver

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Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,236

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Police confiscate puppy of 104-year-old veteran.

Newark-

Police wearing full riot gear stormed the home of 104-year-old Wilhelmena Narblaskonsonwitz and seized her two-month old rescue puppy. Narblaskonsonwitz was reported dazed but uninjured. She was freed on $100,000 bond after being booked on unspecified charges under the Patriot Act. The puppy is currently being held by police, but is reportedly not being petted or offered snacks.

"I can't believe they took Ferdston McBeagle from me," said Narblaskonsonwitz. "He was my everything. His big, beautiful, sad beagle eyes greeted me every morning. His tail wagged and wagged. I had just gotten him a new chew toy. Why, oh why would the police do this to me, a veteran?"

Reached for comment at the Donut Duke on West Shane, Sgt. Jack Obermensch addressed reporters to explain the raid. "On Wednesday, Nov. 11th, 2013, our officers entered the home of the suspect, pursuant to a FISA court warrant. One of our officers sustained an injury when he slipped on a rubber "star-ball" apparently owned by the suspect's canine. The officer was treated and released."

"I only hope this goes to show the public the sacrifices made and courage shown by our police force each and every day," said Obermensch. "We are that thin blue line."

Asked about the puppy, Obermensch said, "The animal's case will be reviewed, and if it is shown that the star ball was not being left where someone could trip over it, the animal will be returned to the suspect."

Single payer rises and falls with the ACA.

If the ACA succeeds, then single payer is inevitable. It positions the Democrats as successes, and their next ideas will carry more weight. People will want to take the next steps to listen.

If the ACA fails, the failure will crush single payer. Republicans certainly won't propose single payer, and the left will have lost all credibility. It will be like the Republicans on national security or on the economy after their boy George W. Bush. Disgraced and ignored.

If you are not committed to ACA success, you are not committed to single payer. This plane is going over the mountain or into it.

If the ACA fails, we will finally get single payer on the table.

I was talking to my astrologer, and he told me it's a sure thing. GREAT NEWS!!!

So stand firm ACA critics! Rock this boat and help the Republicans sink it! A new boat is gonna float up under our feet. Don't believe the naysayers. If the ACA goes, politicians of all political stripes will stampede to propose Medicare for all. IT....IS...IN...THE...STARS!!!

Is Snowden buying asylum by fanning the flames of anti-Americanism?

Didn't this Snowden/Greenwald thing start out being about the NSA spying on American citizens? How did it morph into being about America spying on foreign countries? Why would it?

One possible reason is simple. Snowden's Russian asylum runs out in July 2014. He needs to start finding somewhere else to go. And that raises a huge conflict of interest. It is now good for Snowden to try to portray the United States as some kind of "Great Spying Satan" to anyone and everyone who will listen. By fanning the flames of anti-Americanism abroad, Snowden increases the likelihood of future grants of asylum. If he enrages the populace of foreign countries against the United States, that populace might force or allow its leadership to harbor Snowden after his Russian asylum runs out. It's terrible for America but good for Snowden.

I'm not sure his American fan club noticed the change in message emphasis by Snowden, so I thought I would call it out. What if Snowden had led with revelations that the NSA was spying on Brazil and Germany? Would he have gotten his U.S. fans on board with that? I doubt it. Now that it looks like Snowden is arguably playing some seriously dirty pool, will they stay with him?

I think Snowden is more of a well-intentioned, juvenile fuck-up than anything else.

I don't think his intentions were to betray his country. You can damage your country and society terribly without the necessary mental intentions for betrayal. That's what Snowden did. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are arguably similar.

I think there is an emotional hang-up that causes people to mis-categorize Snowden as either hero or traitor. He thought he was being a hero, and he wasn't. He didn't think he was damaging his country and society like a traitor would, but he did.

Put aside the terms traitor and hero, and all you really have is "well intentioned fuck-up" or "well-intentioned doer of good." To decide between those two, you have to be objective and ask if anyone benefited from what he did. I would argue that there hasn't been a single known objective, tangible benefit from what Snowden did. Moreover, there has also been no harm shown to have been caused by the activities he exposed.

On the other hand, the United States has suffered a great deal politically and diplomatically. The company Snowden worked for and the people he worked with suffered. He reduced net trust throughout the world. He cost a lot of people jobs and ruined careers. Also, by exposing what he exposed, by keeping people in a constant state of suspense about what he might expose next, and by fleeing to American adversaries, Snowden did heavy damage to the world's safety and security from violence and oppression.

Just a fuck-up. No more a legitimate moral agent than the flu.

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.
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