Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Invisusira's playground

Moderators: Aergis, Invisusira

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:10 am

Congressional oversight does work. You don't have to look very far past the Walter Reed debacle from a few years ago. The thing is, most people don't realize what congressional oversight committees actually do because they don't publicize closed door meetings. Anything touching on national security or state secrets is also handled behind closed doors. It may take some time, but things do get done.

If Snowden had gone to the proper authorities, we wouldn't have had a scandal. Someone would have been publicly axed or announced an early retirement due to "health concerns" or "wanting to spend more time with family", and there would be a footnote somewhere buried in a heap of budget documents about programs getting defunded without mentioning what those programs actually did. There are a bunch of declassified documents that list exactly that, if you care to look for them just go back through declassified budgets from decades past.

Again, I have to stress here that nothing Snowden leaked was anything but common knowledge. People have been nattering on and on about warrantless wiretapping since the patriot act was passed. Google has always been pretty up front that they collect aggregate data from search requests and the internet (especially advertising) at large is fueled by cookies. Every single country in the world knows that every other country in the world spies on them. The problem is that Snowden "generated public outcry" which led to major issues in diplomatic relations with other countries.

So how exactly does causing major diplomatic crises that have the potential to shatter alliances and create ill-will merit a Nobel Peace Prize? Or even a nomination for one? Snowden was just an anonymous deskrat that wanted his 15 minutes of fame without considering the consequences of his actions.

As far as how a single piece of data gathered by intelligence agencies can stop attacks, well, that's just pure fiction. Any intelligence analyst can and will tell you - at great length - that 99.999999% of the shit they have to wade through is just that: shit. Intelligence gathering isn't targeted at single individuals or organizations, that's a myth. It's more like going through every single post on Facebook and Twitter every day and figuring out which of those posts applies to any given situation. So yeah, corporations get caught up in the massive net cast by intelligence gathering. Then an analyst sees the data and discards it as irrelevant, because it is. The outcry that Snowden is responsible for can essentially be boiled down to "the CIA and NSA are doing their fucking jobs."
- I'm not Jesus, but I can turn water into Kool-Aid.
- A Sergeant in motion outranks an officer who doesn't know what the hell is going on.
- A demolitions specialist at a flat run outranks everybody.
User avatar
Fivelives
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:55 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:26 pm

Fivelives wrote:Congressional oversight does work. You don't have to look very far past the Walter Reed debacle from a few years ago. The thing is, most people don't realize what congressional oversight committees actually do because they don't publicize closed door meetings. Anything touching on national security or state secrets is also handled behind closed doors. It may take some time, but things do get done.


I don't doubt that in the case of actual over-stepping of boundaries that this is true. If the NSA had really acted under the radar from congress/senate/whitehouse/supreme court then yes, you're absolutely right. A commitee would've stepped in and axed it, people would lose jobs etc.

My issue with your post stems from this fact. The whole government, every country in the world is spying on each other. I feel like you're talking about this like it's a good thing? Known or not, it's not what the people want, and it's not what we deserve.

Yes, I knew it was probably pretty damn easy for the NSA/CIA to spy on me. Was I comfortable with it? No. Were they violating my constitutional rights to privacy, along with millions of others? Pretty damn sure they were.

If snowden had gone through the proper channels, short of the media anonymously. I GUARANTEE you it would've gotten swept under the rug with no changes. I also guarantee you 90% of the politicians in our government were 100% okay with it. Hell, even 95% maybe.

The only way we were going to get an actual change, the only way the NSA was going to be reigned in, was public outcry. Force the politicians hands, make them do what THE PUBLIC wants. And the only way for snowden to do that was either anonymously through the media, which might have been a better choice. Or to do what he did.

Did he famewhore a little? Sure. Did he make a bigger deal out of himself than he should have? Yeah. But the bottom line is, the american public's fears got confirmed. We learned the truth, and now our government is forced to act on our voice, because if they don't there's a large chance they'll lose their position.
Image
- Awbade Level 85 Human Paladin - <Tsunami> Frostmourne - Retired.
Deliriously wrote:I prefer the, "Lonely Hand Approach" (trademark pending)
User avatar
Aubade
Moderator
 
Posts: 4877
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:51 am
Location: Tacoma, WA

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:50 pm

What Snowden did different than, say, Shia Lebouf on Conan in 2008, is he provided evidence. Before the leak, the conversation was called conspiratorial by Washington and the mainstream media and dismissed. Now they have to face our shared knowledge.
"There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe."
- Robert A. Heinlein
User avatar
Kal
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:52 pm

And the interesting thing is, my prediction is that we'll still have a 90% reelection rate in congress even though absolutely nothing is going to change.

The NSA wasn't overstepping its boundaries at all, but it also most likely wasn't common knowledge what they were doing in congress. Congress knows very little of what goes on, unless its brought to their attention. Being realistic for a minute here, do you honestly think there are enough hours in the day for congress to monitor every single government activity that goes on? Odds are they don't even pay attention to briefings before they vote on issues, because they're too busy with Shenanigans(tm) to actually do their jobs. But once something is brought to their attention, it does get fixed. The problem is bringing it to their attention.

Snowden did that. Snowden definitely did that. But he did it in the wrong way.

Let's say I'm working at a pizza place. I find out that instead of using pork products in their italian sausage, they use dog and cat meat. I bring this to my supervisor, who blows me off - what then is my next step? Let's assume for a moment that I know that I should go to the USDA and report the violation (every intelligence analyst knows the proper chain of command and how to go about reporting things up the chain). Instead, I report it to the media, along with all the evidence I've found and I cause a widespread panic among the population. Did I do the right thing in that situation?

No.

Instead of going through established channels - channels that, might I add, actually do work, I created a public outcry in order to get 15 minutes of fame. The pizza place I was working for probably ends up going under, even though very few of the employees actually knew that they were using house pet meat instead of farmed pork, and the distributor of the "italian sausage" goes right on distributing Rover and Mrs. Twinklekitty parts labeled as "italian sausage".

Because, let's be honest here. That's exactly what's going to happen now. Sure, they'll make a big stink about retiring PRISM, someone at the NSA is going to lose their job (probably a lot of someones), and our economy is going to take a massive hit from international trade, our diplomatic relations are going to take a nosedive, and our entire country is going to lose credibility on the global stage - but as soon as they retire PRISM there'll be another nifty acronym program in the classified budget that is going to do the same exact thing, and we're still going to spy on our allies, and our allies are still going to spy on us. Nothing is going to change, except congress is going to exempt themselves from the data gathering.

Why? Because of the way things were handled. You don't enact change by being a whistleblower - not in the government. But that will only be seen in the midterm elections this year. I bet we won't even hear anything during the congressional races about the NSA. Why? Because Americans are, by and large, purposefully and willfully ignorant about how our government works, and the presidential race is when this issue is going to come up. Congresscritters are wily beasts, and they know that thanks to the willful ignorance of the electorate, they're going to be reelected anyway. In fact, I'm going to come out and make my predictions right now - we're going to see another election with around 90% incumbent reelection rates.

So much for "the voice of The People" then. I have less faith in the electorate than I have in the government (which I still pretty well believe in. The mere fact that the tea party and other extremists of every stripe are alive and well is a point in favor of our government), and that's been proven out through history. Despite our supposed lack of faith in the government, 93%-98% of them get reelected no matter what.

TL;DR: absolutely nothing is going to change but the nifty acronym they use for the program that gathers the data. Congresscritters aren't worried about their jobs at all, because they have that shit locked down tight thanks to gerrymandering and the purposeful ignorance of the American electorate. Presidential elections and primaries circa 2015-2016 are going to have a field day with the NSA. Snowden is a celebrity because he committed treason.
- I'm not Jesus, but I can turn water into Kool-Aid.
- A Sergeant in motion outranks an officer who doesn't know what the hell is going on.
- A demolitions specialist at a flat run outranks everybody.
User avatar
Fivelives
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:55 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:01 pm

I'll write a big reply to this when I have time.

A few quick thoughts though:

1) The Nobel Peace Prize is a joke anyway.

2) Regardless of whether you approve of him or not, on a very fundamental level Snowden's actions surely did NOT make the world more peaceful. They were destabilizing at best. If you think that's outweighed by the good that came out of it, fine, but giving him an award for promoting "peace" makes no sense. Give him some other award.
Theckhd wrote:big numbers are the in-game way of expressing that Brekkie's penis is huge.
Brekkie
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:45 am

Fivelives wrote:Let's say I'm working at a pizza place. I find out that instead of using pork products in their italian sausage, they use dog and cat meat. I bring this to my supervisor, who blows me off - what then is my next step? Let's assume for a moment that I know that I should go to the USDA and report the violation (every intelligence analyst knows the proper chain of command and how to go about reporting things up the chain). Instead, I report it to the media, along with all the evidence I've found and I cause a widespread panic among the population. Did I do the right thing in that situation?

And let's say that instead of your supervisor blowing you off, you have the sneaking suspicion that if you go to him, or if he discovers you're going to the USDA, you'll find yourself topping tomorrow's pizza instead of Rover and Twinklekitty. Do you still go through proper channels? Or do you go public so that if you disappear people will look for you?
Retired. Koatanga, Shapely, Sultry, Doominatrix of Greenstone - Dath'Remar
Koatanga
 
Posts: 2025
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:46 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:48 am

And you knew that what the meat supplier was doing, while illegal, had the explicit backing of the USDA...
Temporarily playing WoW again.
Donnan - Nangun - Kysen - Kysen - Mardun - Timkins

Mostly-Book Blog.
KysenMurrin
 
Posts: 7099
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:37 am
Location: UK

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:48 am

That doesn't happen outside of spy novels.
- I'm not Jesus, but I can turn water into Kool-Aid.
- A Sergeant in motion outranks an officer who doesn't know what the hell is going on.
- A demolitions specialist at a flat run outranks everybody.
User avatar
Fivelives
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:55 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:12 pm

Kysen has the right idea. The notion that he could have reported this up his chain of command is just not realistic and an analogy to something that was illegal is fundamentally flawed. I mean, Snowden would have said, "hey we are spying on are own people in a way that may violate the constitution and also spying on all sorts on foreign interests in ways that may violate international law and undermine our credibility" and their response would have been "no shit sherlock, we are doing exactly what we are authorized and mandated to do, and our actions are taking place under the oversight of both the congressional and executive branch, so what we are doing is exactly what we are supposed to be doing. Further, if we get caught the justice dept will defend our actions (which they did) through the courts, effectively getting consent from all 3 branches of our gov't (they did that too)."

A better analogy would have been something like a member of the Marines on the ground in Iraq, who believed that the Iraq war was illegal, reporting to his chain of command that they were at war with Iraq...I'm just guessing that they might have already known that. This wasn't some rogue department operating outside of the bounds of the NSA. Everyone in his chain of command knew what was going on, and that they had the authority to do exactly what they were doing, so how would telling them what they already know make any difference?

I agree with Brekkie's 2 points as well.
Fridmarr
Global Mod
 
Posts: 9671
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:03 am

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:51 pm

The Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate went great! I highly suggest watching it (youtube link, starts at 13:14), and I'm watching it again.

I've been thinking of a drinking game for it. So far I've come up with this:

1 drink:
When Bill Nye cracks a joke and no one laughs.
When Bill Nye alludes to "Outside" science, i.e. science.
When Bill Nye says "Billions" or "Millions" or "Six hundred and eighty thousand".
When Ken Ham conflates evolution and abiogenesis, e.g. "Molecules to Man".
When Ken Ham reasserts "Historical" vs. "Observational" science. Like it's a thing.
When Ken Ham or his video guests say "Six thousand" or "Six days".

*Edit*
1 shot:
"Traditional fish sex"
"Thank you Mr. Ham, but I'm completely unsatisfied."
"There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe."
- Robert A. Heinlein
User avatar
Kal
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:58 pm

Youtube's dead in the water at my job.
Any way to find a transcript?
When that day comes, seek all the light and wonder of this world, and fight.

Worldie wrote:I used to like it [mean] back on Sylvanas.

Queldan - EU Stormrage (H) - Good night, sweet prince.
User avatar
Sagara
 
Posts: 3453
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:04 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:59 am

If you are not the flame, you're the fuel.
User avatar
Passionario
 
Posts: 3389
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:52 am

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:11 am



I remember reading about a contractor that outright fled Russia, because he was told by government people to inflate his budget and give these people the money back in the form of kickbacks and he was like "Nah, I'll just GTFO" instead.
The Element of Forum Hyperbole
Image
---
Flüttershy - Draenei Protection Paladin, Aerie Peak
Klaudandus - BE Protection Paladin, Feathermoon (Semi-retired)
User avatar
Klaudandus
 
Posts: 11259
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:08 am
Location: Texas' Armpit

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:11 am



I remember reading about a contractor that outright fled Russia, because he was told by government people to inflate his budget and give these people the money back in the form of kickbacks and he was like "Nah, I'll just GTFO" instead.
The Element of Forum Hyperbole
Image
---
Flüttershy - Draenei Protection Paladin, Aerie Peak
Klaudandus - BE Protection Paladin, Feathermoon (Semi-retired)
User avatar
Klaudandus
 
Posts: 11259
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:08 am
Location: Texas' Armpit

Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:25 am



I'm very curious to see Passionario's PoV the next few weeks.
Image
User avatar
fuzzygeek
Maintankadonor
 
Posts: 5130
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Arkham Asylum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 380 on Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:28 pm

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest