Freedom in an Age of Terrorism

Spying on AmericansNow that we’ve determined that you’re not (necessarily) paranoid if you don’t trust the federal government, and are (understandably) worried about possible abuses tied to government snooping on your phone and e-mail records (see my most recent column for examples of lies and deception by Obama underlings), let’s move on to whether we’re better off or worse off when a top secret branch of the government keeps tabs on just about all of us.

To those who think that massive National Security Agency surveillance has created a police state here in America, let me respectfully suggest that you get a grip.  We’re not living in a police state.  Not even close.  In a police state, the government listens in on your conversations, reads your e-mails, turns your neighbors into deputy government agents, plants listening devices in your bedroom, and then if they don’t like what they hear, they throw you in jail.  If there’s a trial first, it’s rigged.

The very fact that we’re debating the issue of government surveillance – and openly criticizing the government — pretty much proves that we’re not a police state.

How about the argument that mining data on our phone records and e-mails is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?  No on that one too.

The Fourth Amendment restricts unreasonable searches on individuals.  But the NSA isn’t targeting you or me as individuals.  It’s looking for patterns of behavior that might threaten our security.  Why, for example, did this person call Yemen 17 times last week?  Look at it this way: When we see a police car patrolling our neighborhoods, we don’t think our constitutional rights are being violated.  The cops inside the car aren’t targeting us.  They’re looking for suspicious behavior.  We feel safer. That’s pretty much what the NSA is doing.

Remember, this is about fighting terrorism.  We’re trying to catch people who want to blow us up as we commute to work on a train or as we go about our business in an office building or as we walk down the street chatting with a friend.  President Obama is right:  we can’t have complete privacy and security with no inconvenience.

But, yes, we have reason to be concerned that either a rogue bureaucrat or a much higher-up with bad motives may break the law and use the information the government is collecting for political purposes.  Can you say IRS?  If that happens, throw the book at the abuser.  Put him or her away for a long, long time. But right now I’m more worried about terrorists, and the harm they certainly would do to us — which is significantly different from the harm our government might do to us.

Some of you are worried about the slippery slope.  If the government can keep records on who we call and when and how many times we do it, where can this kind of intrusion lead? Fair enough.  But anti-terror measures, as the legal scholar Phillip Bobbitt has written, need to be “measured not only against the liberties these practices constrict, but also with respect to the liberties they may protect.”

Imagine what might happen if we get hit again.  Let’s say it happens next time in New York.   Will the authorities shut the city down the way they shut Boston down?  Will they tell everyone to stay at home so the police can conduct door-to-door searches?  Will they order all buses and trains to stop running?  That’s also a loss of freedom. That also curtails our liberties. And so I’m willing to let the federal government collect phone numbers to avoid all that.

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  • DesertLady

    1) IRS criminal activity cost us elections from which this country could have been a whole lot better off than it is under the current government.
    2) We missed on Boston. How did that happen? Who’s responsible for missing on Boston despite all the data available? (I haven’t seen anything answering that question, though it may have been.)
    3) In this day and age when we have had 9/11, Benghazi, and Boston, and other plots to maim, kill and destroy that we have not successfully prevented, what foolproof means of doing so is there? Given that there most likely isn’t any such means, _electronically_ skimming phone logs and emails for key words and patterns, it seems, is a reasonable way to monitor for bad guys, but we better ensure those who are interpreting the results know what they are looking for and don’t miss the next Boston!
    4) No, we can’t trust everyone in government, but we can’t trust everyone among any ten people we encounter on the street or our local supermarket either. I agree with profiling to the degree that it is only smart to look where terrorism is most likely to emanate from. National Security and Political Correctness don’t belong in the same sentence.

  • patty

    Much of ‘terrorism’ is beginning to come from Political Correctness. This admin.and its workers/minions are possessing power that is bigoted, regressive, malicious, etc. If you read and connect all those dots out there, we are being caged in like animals and real criminals are being set free to devour and suppress those who are trying to obey the laws. Regulations have become flagrant and harmful to decent people. Yes..DECENT. Laws are established by ACLU and carried out by ACLU judges in your face. Our nation is becoming a terrorist land. This adm. has taken up Fascism: A movement/regime exalting their own brand of gov. centralizing autocratic power…dictatorship sounds apt.

  • http://thosecrazyliberals.com/ ThoseCrazyLiberals

    Respectfully, I disagree with Mr. Goldberg. For the same reason that a police office cannot take my phone and download its phone log, without first having obtained a warrant, the NSA cannot gather private phone logs en masse. The Fourth Amendment is specific in that it requires the specific things to be searched, and the specific things to be seized. What the NSA is doing is not specific at all.
    Now, you can argue that a secret court, FISC, has authorized the program. That’s great! Next up, a federal judge will issue a blanket warrant, allowing police to search any home, for any reason, at any time. No doubt, this too will lead to the discovery of possible criminal patterns, as well as the discovery of all kinds of illegal activity. Just as the Obama administration has been happy to sell the NSA program as highly effective, in that it has thwarted upwards of 50 act of terrorism, this new blanket warrant will be even more effective! All kinds of criminals will be caught!
    Mr. Goldberg, two cops driving around in a neighborhood is not nearly the same thing as the NSA collecting the private phone logs of every American. Respectfully, sir, I disagree.

    • plsilverman

      Bernie is saying that we have a War on Terror and we will be uncomfortable at times. Our smiling neighbor pushing a lawn mower could absolutely be the next BL.

  • Drew Page

    It’s one thing to collect phone records and e-mails of suspected criminals and/or terrorists, but such suspicions should be presented to a judge to determine if there is probable cause to collect such information. All the NSA and FBI surveillance techniques didn’t seem to stop the Boston Marathon bombers, despite the fact that the Russians told our FBI to be on the lookout for these two brothers as the Russians suspected them oft terrorism. Despite the surveillance techniques there was nothing that set off the alarm about the Fort Hood terrorist, except his scream of alahu Akbar, before murdering several service men. And the notorious “Underwear bomber’, what good was all the surveillance in that situation. The point of these examples is not to say there shouldn’t be NSA or FBI surveillance, but rather it should be focused much sharper. Perhaps the failures of NSA/FBI surveillance in the cases cited above would not have been failures if they had spent more time and effort on looking at likely suspects instead of thinking they have ‘probable cause’ to gather information on all American citizens.
    Government surveillance should be limited to cases where there is probable cause to do so, as determined by a judge. What we are seeing here is government overreach and I don’t care what excuse or rationalization they come up with to justify it, it’s just plain wrong. I do not understand how you could think that it’s possible for those in government to use this collected and stored data for political purposes, especially after what we have learned about the IRS doing just that. Two rogue IRS agents in Cincinnati? Gimme a break.

    • Drew Page

      correction — The 3rd sentence in my final paragraph should read “I do not understand how you could think that it’s impossible for those in government to use this collected and stored data for political purposes…”

      • legal eagle

        I don’t know how you can think that the government is not going to poison you,or cause to get cancer because you are a Republican?

        • George Williams

          I don’t know how you can think that when Obama causes the price of fuel and electricity to rise through the roof that our economy can do anything but fall through the floor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001822457037 John Stires

    [There are no winners here.]
    Imagine 5 days after a radiological bomb blast in Houston kills nine hundred and seventy-three outright and irradiates thirty-two thousand six hundred fifty-five others.
    “Why weren’t you watching closer, Messrs. CIA, FBI and NSA? These men and women were obviously communicating on the Internet and with their cell phones.”

    “Because of the outcry in June of 2013 when just enough people thought we were being too intrusive that we scaled back most and even halted our other technological capabilities, Senator. That’s why.”
    [Obviously I hope I'm wrong.]

    • BernieGoldberg

      Precisely, John.

      • KStrett

        They failed to catch the Boston terrorists even though one of them was pinged going to Russia and the Russian government warned them about us ahead of time.

        There were a myriad of warnings about the Fort Hood shooter and they were ignored. The deaths at Foot hood could have been prevented. Political correctness literally killed people. I believe the government wouldn’t acknowledge Fort Hood was a terrorist attack and instead listed as a work place shooting.

        Is the government surveilling radical Mosques? Did they even look at the radical Mosque in Boston? No, the current administration is incapable of even saying the word radical Islam!

        On one hand, they are incapable of seeing the threat posed by radical Islam but they are going to stop a terrorist attack perpetrated by radical Islam?

        The central question is whether or not this is constitutional. Would the founders of this country have believed it was permissible for the government to round up all the mail, copy it with out notifying the parties involved, and put in a vault to be read at a later date after a judge rubber stamps a warrant? No, this is unconstitutional.

        Do we need to stop terrorists? Yes but there are ways to do it with out pretending the constitution doesn’t exist.

        This administration will not acknowledge radical Islam is a threat. The left is concerned about “right wing terrorism.” Remember the left’s narrative in the after math of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting? They were essentially blaming conservative talk radio for the shooting before we knew anything.

        The argument that were aren’t living in a police state because of the fact that we’re debating the issue of government surveillance is a bit of a straw-man.

        Did the Obama administration not just tap a journalists phone lines? Did the IRS not target conservative groups? They Obama administration has also been targeting whistle blowers like no other administration.

        It is not a stretch to postulate that this administration would use this information to blackmail and target their political enemies.

        Often times, the end result of a police state are incremental laws that were passed giving the government more and more power.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        That vigilance is called for is not the issue. And most of us understand that vigilance has a cost. BUT the cost to freedom has been vastly increased by the insatiable need for political correctness. For the most part we know who the threats are. If we use “PROFILING” we would achieve a far higher level of security, with it’s commensurate lower level of restrictions on freedoms and way of life.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Just the very fact that we’re all changing our behavior, and contemplating security measures once thought a grave threat to a republican democracy, proves the terrorists are winning. I mean terror by definition is used primarily as a behavior modifying technique. If your victims don’t respond by changing their behavior, what then is the point? Once we’re willing to trade liberty for security, the terrorist has achieved the hard part. The blood, tears, and treasure we spent on liberty in the wars of the 20th century, pale compared to what we face today. (While I agree not many), there are still some abstractions worth dying for. A concept hard to grasp in our current infantalized society.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      oops, of course I meant to say what we face today, pales in comparison to the sacrifices made for liberty in the 20th century.

    • legal eagle

      Terrorists are winning what? Did the communists win when the USA was peeing in their pants during the 1950′s?

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Actually the conflict you mention in the 50′s is exactly the same conflict of our own day. While the communists you mention didn’t win, neither did they quit. The comintern (communist International) set about to achieve world revolution and their efforts continue apace. Unhappily they’re aided and abetted by American left wing stooges, (most who are too unintelligent (or uninformed) to realize they’re communist patsies). That Russia (led by a former KGB Sr. operator) and communist China still finance (and train) the vast majority of the organizations on terrorist watch lists, is well documented. Yes comrade, you are indeed winning.

        • legal eagle

          Nothing like listening to older folks reminiscing about the past and the good old days of Joe McCarthy and Nixon…Stay in your time warp… It will keep you from having to look to the future….

          • Brian Fr Langley

            As long as we’re reminiscing, how about that Obama and Putin still working on nuke reductions? (just reminiscing) How about that China still asking for Taiwan back? (just reminiscing) Or North Korea still hard at work trying to unite the Korean peninsula? Those commies, how they love their reminiscing. And why besides reminiscing, are Russia, China and North Korea still supplying Iran, and Pakistan with nuclear know how and military technology, knowing they’re targets are Western democracies. No, I’m not an old man reminiscing. I’m an informed man praying, because I’m one who understands the past informs the future. If geo-politics is above you comrade, perhaps you might read a history book or two.

    • legal eagle

      Infantalized society? Spoken like a true grumpy old man……LOL

      • Brian Fr Langley

        trading a true liberty for a false security should make a person of any age grumpy. Like the song says “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” and unhappily, our liberty has been purchased at a terrible cost.

        • legal eagle

          I would ask what liberty you believe you’ve lost but requesting specifics usually doesn’t get a response from people on this site…Liberty is a concept not a policy…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I take it then that you’re entirely unaware that American citizens have been murdered by their own Government in the name of security without being formally charged or tried? (including some very innocent bystanders) Just because they call them drone strikes doesn’t change the nature of the most egregious affront to liberty since King John tried to repudiate the Magna Carta. (For the same reason, he couldn’t kill enemies without due process) I guess I could act like a typical Nazi and say,well since it hasn’t personally affected me yet, I’ll turn a blind eye. (remember how that worked)? When it comes to attacks on liberty, an attack on one is an attack on all.

          • legal eagle

            So you’re upset with Obama’s drone policy? Were you upset with Bush policies? If so which policy?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Liberty, in and of itself, is the highest ideology. If it’s not in the service of freedom, it should be opposed by all free men. That happy egalitarianism you’re seeking comrade, won’t be found in leftist ideology. Liberty is their tool, not their goal.

          • George Williams

            Actually, I’m more afraid of Obama’s other drone policies. You know, the ones that captivated the people of his cult, his sycophants, which at this stage apparently number in millions.

          • legal eagle

            Do you not believe that American citizens have been kicked before by the CIA without trial…stop being so melodramatic..

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I’m not sure one equates being “kicked” with being murdered, any more than one could equate unlawful behaviors by the clandestine services, with those of a U.S. President who swore an oath to protect us from being “kicked” by those aforementioned services. .

          • legal eagle

            should be killed not kicked….LOL

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I like the honest way you state your true intentions. While true, socialist’s may slightly out number free market types in our modern culture, they also tend to be more infantalized than traditionalists. As I mentioned earlier, there are in fact some abstracts worth dying for, and liberty tops the list. On the other hand there’s virtually nothing your typical infantalized socialist would die for (except under extreme coercion). So it it comes to revolution (and I pray to God it won’t) traditionalists will (in the end) prevail.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            opps I forgot to add…. LOL

          • legal eagle

            Most people I know would die for their family….that’s not an abstract….Dying for liberty? I have no idea what that cliché means…Whose freedom? If you’re telling me that you would die for a ideology than you’re either a zealot or in fantasyland…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            1. it’s not a cliche, it founded America. 2. I know you have no idea what it means. 3. Yours is the argument of a grade three school girl making her favorite wish, “I wish for peace”.
            Subjucation, in the most egregious forms, have been humanity’s lot for most of our unhappy history. But once upon a time, some very brave and very wise men, thought liberty might be worth fighting for, and even dying for. They built a bright shing City on a high hill that became the envy of all who saw. So envious were they, that they all began to emulate this bright shining City on a hill. But the despots and their minions would not give up. They want their power and their glory restored. And all that stands between these bringers of shackled servitude and lovers of liberty? Brave, wise men, who realize that there are some things worth fighting for and dying for.

          • legal eagle

            Lovely campaign speech….What office are you running for?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Yep, socialists like their speeches? substance? boo, depth? boo, flowery campaign speeches for President? yay.

          • legal eagle

            What is a socialist? I know you like to throw clichés around but I have no idea what you are referring to?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            come now comrade, and you were doing so well? Now’s not the time to repudiate our glorious agenda? We’ll create the most egalitarian society the world has ever seen! (although smart folks like us will be a little more equal than the rest)

          • legal eagle

            I know many liberals, myself included. They and I like to make money as much as anyone else. Where do you come up with all these clichés? What did you call the hippies of the 1960′s…commies?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Well comrade, based on your comments, I deduced you must either be a true revolutionary, or a dupe?

          • legal eagle

            I have been called a hippie, a Jew, a shyster and a schmuck at points in my like….Socialist is OK if that makes you happy…..LOL

          • legal eagle

            Repudiate what? The fact that America’s largest employer (“WMT”) pays below poverty wages allowing a large percentage of their employees to be on Medicaid? The fact that the family of said employer is the richest family in America? The fact that many states are in bad fiscal shape because they subsidize WMT’s failure to provide healthcare to their employees?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            They’re in bad shape because left wing rules instituted by left wing liberals (like you) have driven the U.S.’s economic base (manufacturing) from the U.S. to China. (or other cheaper to operate over seas jurisdictions) High taxes and high regulations mean adios. I see you don’t fault Wall Mart shoppers, for going where they get the best deal? So why fault business for going where it gets the best deal?

          • legal eagle

            The US manufacturing base has been driven from the US by liberal policies such as minimum wages, OSHA, EEOC etc…terrible to live in a democratic society that is so anti business……LOL

          • Brian Fr Langley

            It may be funny to you, but for the 7.6 percent of Americans who haven’t got a job, it’s no laughing matter. LOL

          • legal eagle

            They can move to Asia and make 1.50 per day…That’s why jobs have gone not government regulation…Manufacturing goes where there is cheap labor….not a novel concept.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Looks like the little teeny light in your brain is finally turning on? Yes businesses tend to go where labor is cheaper. Policies that make our own economies labor more expensive, drive jobs off shore! Now to be fair I’m not against modest regulation. I’m against over regulation. Particularly when it’s extremely costly. Today the Government demands put on business are extra-ordinarily onerous. So business is voting with their feet, by simply taking their jobs else where. This is NOT how you build a strong middle class.

          • legal eagle

            Thank you for the compliment….Perhaps its the Starbucks coffee at $2.50 that makes me aware of why Americans need living wages….LOL

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Well there was a glimmer for a moment??? If the Government should dictate wages, why then should the Government not tell every corporation in America to pay every employee a really fat wage. How about $50. per hr for every one of us? I mean do you really think that could work???

          • legal eagle

            Don’t know how to respond to absurd hypotheticals…This is the traditional argument against all regulation of industry….As hypothetical as the government mandating building code requirements….If the building collapses would you argue assumption of risk? If people die from asbestos….so what, it’s cheaper to build…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            When workers die costs go up, way, way, up. It’s a myth that companies can make more money by killing their workers in a modern republican democracy. Although it’s still totally true in countries, who’ve collectivized based on Marxist socialism.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            and as long as we’re on the topic Mr. Left wing economic genius. How do you explain that after 5 years in power Mr. “I’m going to save the middle class” President Obama, Has actually succeeded at making the top (of the top) even richer than ever? The stock market has nearly doubled since he came in? If you’re a banker your’re even richer now than under the Bush years? If your a worker, you’re still looking for a job? Obama = (Rich to filthy rich + poor to desperately poor). Welcome to 5 years of left wing (hair brained) policies.

          • legal eagle

            He was voted POTUS, not King…The top is richer because assets have reflated and those who own assets have increased wealth…Economics 101…Since when does government create private industry jobs?
            You seem to be talking political rhetoric rather than economic reality …

          • Brian Fr Langley

            so what you’re saying, is that when lefties say they can save the middle class if we elect them, they’re lying?

          • legal eagle

            As opposed to Republican campaign promises which are always fulfilled? You are now reaching the level of Fox News arguments…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            So your OK to live in an America where best liar wins???? That’s not a Fox News argument comrade, that really is your argument. Like most lefties, lying, cheating and stealing, is A ok, as long as in the end, traditional (American) values are replaced, with progressive (Marxist) values. And it appears comrade, (with left wing media assistance) you’re succeeding brilliantly.

          • legal eagle

            I’m not sure what traditional American values you feel have changed but longing for the good old days is simply a sign you’re getting old and cranky…In 1963 Bob Dylan wrote that the times are a changing…50 years later you’re still living in the past…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Yes comrade it’s true. The values of a free democratic republic, trace back to the foundations of Western civilization. While the values that are shifting our modern civilization trace only to the mid 1800′s. The difference? Democratic republican values are tried and true, (and have withstood the test of time), under these values human aspirations have flourished. On the other hand, Marxist socialist values have repeatedly failed at all levels of human aspiration. (except for those of meglomaniacal marxist leaders) Turns out “young” is not always better.

          • legal eagle

            Keep it vague and generic…. Sounds like you long for such great American values as slavery, restrictions of voter rights, the gilded age, denial of civil rights etc., monopolies, price fixing and financial manipulation…Those Were The Good Old Days?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            your real short on your history???? Every one of those idea’s were fought for (and vigorously) by DEMOCRATS. Slavery, voter rights, monopolies, price fixing, and financial manipulation were fought against tooth and nail by REPUBLICANS. Didn’t you even get through grade school??? Read just a little history of America 1820-1970. They didn’t even elect Republicans if southern states until just the last few years.

          • legal eagle

            The subject was American values?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Yes, the values you suggested I might appreciate, like slavery etc.) were and are values supported, maintained, and promulgated by Democrats, not cranky old white Republicans, who historically (and still today) oppose (d) those negative “American” values you listed. Check out the real opposition to slavery in the 1850′s, they were Republicans, opposition to civil rights in the 50′s and 60′s? oops, Democrats. Financial manipulation? (money printing) FDR’s Democrats. Against voter rights from the 1870′s through the 1860′s? Democrats again. Support for (true) laize-faire economics? (which by definition will not allow for monopolies or price fixing) Republicans. Comrade, make an arguement and quit spouting off cod swallop. Suggesting my beliefs are racist and immoral because I support traditional values is the lowest kind of argument.

          • legal eagle

            The subject was traditional values not political values. The political values are regional and have nothing to do with party. I didn’t say your views are racist or immoral…I am saying that you are clinging to the past because you are afraid of change.
            Many older people are afraid of change. Nothing unusual about that. What is strange to me is that you believe that societal change is a function of the political class…I actually believe that you actually are a corporatist that believes that the free market will solve all problems….

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I’m afraid that once the political class destroys traditional values, (the Judeo-Christian ethic) all that will be left, will be a hollow remnant of the greatest aspirational civilization ever to exist. Then replaced by historical norms, which typically means a very, very, tiny, elite, ruling class, which by definition will attempt to subject human aspirations to the dust bin of history.

          • legal eagle

            I will discuss this with my Rabbi….As long as people are permitted to practice their religious values the government need not get any more involved in issues of faith…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I can assure you with historical certainty. The first liberty to fall, will be our religious freedom. From Phaoroh to Islam, to modern marxism, Tyranny always has two goals, first the kingship, then the Prieshood. (Divided loyalties are anthema to tyrants) As for involving Government, liberals are the very, very worst. While the Judeo-Christian ethic calls on us to love our neighbours, that is the point. We are called on to love our neighbours. We are not called on, to call on our Government to do our charity for us.

          • legal eagle

            You can assure me? It would appear you wish to preach your religious values to me….unfortunately, your values are your personal values as are mine. I know little about Christian values but I do know there are significant differences between Judeo values and Christian values
            Your continued criticism of liberals shows how intolerant you really are….The only values you can tolerate are the ones you agree with…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Your response makes no sense??? Religious freedom is religious freedom, whether Christian, Jewish, or even Rastiferian. The point about lovings one neighbour is an ethic fundemental to both Jewish and Christian believers??? (as is personal responsibility for charity) As for my religious values there has not been one iota of my proselytizing in these posts????? And yes I can assure you. There are (and always will be) tyranical forces at work who seek to crush the Judeo-Christian ethic. (Including Marxists, Muslims and more recently “deep ecology”, an environmental ethic that at least is honest in saying specifically “it rejects the Judeo-Christian ethic” Whether you have some religious faith or no religious faith, America (founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic) has become the fount of the highest human aspirational civilization, history has ever seen.

          • legal eagle

            Tell me the last Administration that you agreed with philosophically?

          • legal eagle

            When you’re ready to discuss policy instead of philosophy let me know…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            All policy flows from ideology. The modern policies of liberals, is decidedly Marxist. (whether you know it or not) (because you’re being deceived) These policies include pegging interest rates (not free market) printing money not backed by specie (something real) (also not free market) Condoning and approving sexual promiscuity, abortion and gay marriage. Thus causing a staggering number of children abandoned by their fathers. Further generating a repeating cycle, leading to high incarceration rates and Government dependencies. I could go on and on and on.

          • legal eagle

            Government policy is based upon necessity and crisis….Freedom includes sexual choice…The only people who oppose freedom of choice are right wing old men and southern evangelicals…You want to live in the 1950′s? Go for it…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Seems the only arguement you can actually make is the assumption the only true concerns of those who disagree with you are the perceived loss of some kind of white, male, priviledge??? You seem to think, I have neither morals, nor scuples, just a longing to get back to the good old days when I (and my ilk) had it made in the shade. Your argements are as shallow as the Reed sea. And the freedom you promulgate is shallower. As I said America, (and I’m Canadian by the way) created the truest, highest, human aspirational society the world has ever seen. A society with true freedom, based on true merit, (you could grow up to be anything). Today the liklihood is (because of the sexual freedoms you tout) you’ll grow up without 2 parents, and condemned to living in poverty. (almost 50% of children are currently being raised without Fathers whose family incomes are well below the poverty level) Freedom to get laid for you become the shackles of trials and untold tribulations for the resulting progeny. (and of course I mean you in the sense of folks like you who think it’s ok to spread seed around with out regards to consequences.

          • legal eagle

            Government does not set moral values. This was tried and Prohibition resulted…Government can set the tone but not the rules.
            The gov’t cannot determine, in a democracy, who has children, who acts responsibly or the values to strive for.
            I’m also tired of the “folks like you” references. You don’t know mw, my background, or anything else other than I believe that government’s main role is problem solving and keeping the system as fair as possible.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Government does not set moral values???? What do you think the “LAW” is??? Try stealing something? Or assaulting some one? Or selling marijuana? Every law ever passed, is a community proscription, against an act the community defined as immoral. And America by the way is NOT a democracy. It’s a Republic. (this means minority rights are PROTECTED by LAW). (a good thing I’m sure you’d agree) As for folks like you I mean the ultra liberal ideas espoused here by you in your own words. and law by the way is more than just being sanctioned by your community for breaking their laws. It also meaning being sanctioned for breaking your own laws. Enforceable contracts for example. Marriage for example is (and was) a community enforceable compact where the legally bound parties would consent to lifelong monogamy. (resulting in far less fatherless children) (also a good law)

          • legal eagle

            Interesting philosophical argument . I agree that the social contracts you cite are applicable in the Hassidic, Amish and Mormon communities,,Secularism is prevalent in America whether you believe that is good or bad…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Actually contract law is (and has been) fundamental to American Republican democracy from the beginning to now. Parties enter into contractual relations for everything. (every time you buy something at a store you’ve entered into a contractual obligation, that is enforceable at law) If you buy you’re in a contract, if you rent you’re in a contract, if you sell you’re in a contract. Marriage contracts have been found in ancient Sumeria (circa 3000 BC) The point was (and is) simple. (and not religious) The community (and a couples family) wanted to ensure there would be TWO committed parties responsible for progeny, when folks engaged in a sexual union. Thus ensuring their streets were not filled with starving fatherless children. Thus creating what we know as civilization. Marriage = lawful civilization. Illicit copulating (pro-creating) couples = barbarism Thus it has always been.

          • legal eagle

            Sir, with all due respect…I don’t really care about your ramblings regarding marriage contracts or having children out of wedlock or family values…..I also don’t really care what used to be….If you like the good old days fine….There seems to be a generational gap between us….You care about the past ..I live in the present and embrace the future….

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Thankyou, that really is my point. Liberal thinkers don’t care about the cost (or the loss) of what was humanities highest and best civilzation to date. Your highest philosophy is trying to sound more liberal than your peers. (which in liberal circles is also their highest philosophy) In the end it’s only empty vanity. It would be funny if it didn’t cause so much injury and misery.

          • legal eagle

            I’m saying their trying….As opposed to Republicans who don’t give a damn about anyone but the country club set and the Southern rednecks…

          • legal eagle

            Taiwan’s real average monthly wage for the services and
            industrial companies was equivalent to about $1,500 in 2012, 3.4 percent lower than in 2000, according to the
            Council of Labor Affairs. In China, average wages rose
            to about $577 a month in 2011, more than four times the level in 2000, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics show.

            Guess Taiwan’s lack of regulation plus it’s slave labor wages attracts American business?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I’m not sure what your point is??? Under communism wages rose? while under capitalism they dropped? Gee that looks terrible for the capilatists? exept at the end their still earning 3x the wages of the communists??

          • Brian Fr Langley

            As an aside let me share with you true justice in the market place. Fair pay, non discriminatory treatment and a safe environment? Lets say for starters we do away with minimum wage. How about you, would you hire a worker to mow your lawn or wash your car for (say) 50 cents per hour? In days gone by folks used to use their money to hire folks to better their lives (you know servants) Now they buy stuff. The point is simple reduce minimum wages to zero. The lower the wage the more the jobs. The more the jobs, the more the competition for workers, the more the competition for workers, the HIGHER the pay, the lesser the discrimination, and the safer we’ll all be. With jobs galore it’s the workers who can pick and choose, not the employers. It’s your addled left wing thinking that gives corporations their true power.

          • legal eagle

            Spoken like a true Republican….Screw the workers….They should be thankful they have a job…

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Actually what I said (I what I truly meant) was POWER to the workers. Setting minimum wages actually empowers employers. The less employers there are the more power they have. PS I’m not a Republican.

          • legal eagle

            How do you have a middle class without a minimum wage or without union wages? Isn’t a strong middle class what makes America different from other countries? I know an IT person who moved here from the U.K.. He’s making 40% more than he made in the UK for the same job..

          • George Williams

            When people say that they will die for their country they are saying that they will die for the principles that country was founded upon, i.e. its ideology. I think that we all know that you fall short on principles. You’d make a good slave.

  • KGM

    Did you forget Fast & Furious, Benghazi, taping of Fox news official and AP reporters. Is there a pattern there? The Government has not responded to any of the above. Not concerned you better be. Remember the President suggested that if you see anything that maybe suspicious to report it. No concern.

    • legal eagle

      Taping of Fox News official? Did I miss that or did you just make that one up?

  • http://hemingwayreport.blogspot.com/ MerchantofVenom

    This is the 4th amendment added in 1791. We could hardly expect the founding fathers to envision cell phones and emails. I’m no legal scholar but anyone of reasonable intelligence can ascertain our government is in violation of this amendment. Secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects. Clearly the line has been crossed.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    • legal eagle

      You are no legal scholar and there have been numerous court rulings over the past 100 years placing limits on the Fourth Amendment….Perhaps you should do a little simple research so you can be fully informed…

      • Drew Page

        Unfortunately, even the Supreme Court sometimes gets it wrong. In Plessey v Fergeson the SCOTUS declared “separate but equal” was Constitutional.. Later, the Court corrected that error in Brown v Board of Education. But until Brown v Board of Education, ‘separate but equal’ was the law of the land. The NIneth Circuit Court of Appeals in California has shown that being a judge doesn’t necessarily make you infallible, or even smart, as the Supreme Court has reversed several of their decisions. I suppose there are those judges (including Ruth Bader Ginsberg) that think the U.S. Constitution is second-rate and inferior to the Constitutions of other countries. Even President Obama, the Constitutional law scholar, has said that he thinks the U.S. Constitution is a “list of negative rights” because it limits the power of the government. Gee, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the purpose of our Consitiution was to limit the power of the federal government, and that was a long time before going to law school.

        • legal eagle

          The SCOTUS makes the calls whether right or wrong….Their is no instant replay…The Supreme Court became lost most of it’s credibility in the Bush v. Gore decision…a shameful day for the American legal system…

          • Jeff Webb

            Amazing that people still don’t get it. The legally-mandated date to complete any and all recounts had already gone by when the SCOTUS put an end to it.

            I know you don’t like it, but the decision was 100% correct. There was a law being broken, and the high court’s decision was Constitutional.

          • legal eagle

            The high court’s decision in Gore v. Bush interfered with a state voting issue in which SCOTUS had no standing. The Supreme Court, in their ruling, admitted that they had never taken a case involving the counting of ballots in an electtion in the history of the country.
            Your statement that the SCOTUS decision was constitutional is absurd…They were not deciding a constitutional issue.
            If the ruling was a constitutional issue can you tell me why the ruling cannot be used as precedent? Can you tell me why 5 Republicans voted for Bush and 4 Dems voted for Gore. Can you tell me the last time a candidate for POTUS won by 500,000 votes and lost an election?
            I know you don’t answer questions but read the decision and the dissent before you opine…

          • George Williams

            “The Supreme Court, in their ruling, admitted that they had never taken a case involving the counting of ballots in an electtion in the history of the country.”

            But if a minority group had challenged the count, you liberals would have called it a civil rights issue. When a conservative group challenges the count, it’s illegitimate. I can tell you why the Democrats on the SCOTUS voted for gore. It’s because they typically do not rule on Constitutional merits, but on how they would like the COTUS to be. They legislate because they are acting on an agenda, the leftist agenda. We hear it time and again from so-called liberals, that the COTUS is a living document, giving justification to their propensity to rule without regard to or contrary to original intent. That fact alone would call into question their ability to rule without bias.

          • legal eagle

            Counting of ballots is a state issue….Why is that so difficult to understand? Are you going to tell your age?

          • George Williams

            Nothing’s ever a state issue with the communists, er, Democrats, who would gladly make it a race issue and invite the feds in by invoking the Voting Rights Act. The ACLU, a communist front for the former Soviet Union in the U.S. would jump on this in a heartbeat if the Congressional Black Caucus or Jesse Jackson screamed race.

          • George Williams

            The SCOTUS compounded their crime when they re-wrote Obaminablecare from a fee based to tax based funded system. They once again intruded into the legislative prerogative, violating separation of powers. I believe that is an impeachable offense that could be rectified in the upcoming Republican dominated House and Senate.

          • legal eagle

            I think you should consider therapy… You are delusional…How old are you?

          • George Williams

            “Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.” – Sir Winston Churchill

            Over 30..

          • George Williams

            Actually, there will be an instant replay. If the Republicans gain unassailable majorities in the House and Senate, and Obama cannot veto, Obamanablecare will be gone. There’s one House bill to set to change levies from the tax declared by Roberts, to explicitly call them fees, deliberately making Obamiablecare unconstitutional. Obaminablecare will be castrated. And every time the SCOTUS makes a mistake by legislating where it should not, the people take note and express their contempt for the legal system. States are already challenging SCOTUS and federal authority. 26 states have refused to establish the exchanges necessary to implement Obaminablecare. When the SCOTUS runs roughshod over the 10th Amendment, the States take note. Millions will not cooperate with the IRS and the federal government in refusing to comply with providing the personal data required by the IRS, just as millions failed to cooperate with the federal government’s intrusive questions on the U.S. Census. The federal government does not have enough agents to cope with their end of Obaminablecare. If millions do not cooperate, they won’t be able to do their tax collecting mission and Obaminablecare mission at the same time, effectively becoming hamstrung.

        • Bob Hadley

          1. The SCOTUS’ decisions are the law of the land. The COTUS provides for the SCOTUS to be the final arbiter of constitutionality. Just as legislative law changes from time to time, so does the SCOTUS’ decision. Some SCOTUS decisions are shameful, but most aren’t. NEWS FLASH: The SCOTUS is comprised of fallible human beings. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, our system is the worst system on the face of the earth, except for all the rest of them.
          2. Your statement about President Obama and “negative rights” is garbled. You certainly don’t deny that the rights given in the COTUS, in particular in the Bill of Rights, are rights not to be denied certain freedoms by the feds, do you? That what is meant by “negative rights.”

          • George Williams

            Yes, law of the land, but 26 states refuse to cooperate, and the federal government cannot make them comply, not even the SCOTUS. And the federal government doesn’t have any money to set up federal exchanges to compensate for this non-cooperation. There’s a simple way for the People to scuttle Obaminablecare. That’s for everyone to conspire to refuse to provide the personal information required for the government in their decision making process. I look forward to throwing their questionnaire into the wastebasket, and will encourage others to do so.

            Millions will be financially hurt by Obaminablecare, from those who will have their premiums rise, to those who will lose their jobs or have their hours cut by employers who prudently cut the liabilities that Obaminablecare impose on them. In a few short months, the People will writing their congressmen to repeal it. Democrats will be most egregiously affected, as they will be the least able to afford it, being lower middle class. Unions, Obama’s base of bases will make the biggest noise. They’ve already made demands to that effect. The beauty is that the Democrats are totally responsible for the fiasco, and making their politicians suffer the wrath of their constituency will make great spectator sport for conservative Republicans. Revenge will be taken in the next Congressional elections and the fear of revenge at the ballot box is a politicians greatest motivator.

        • legal eagle

          The Constitution states that all men are created equal under the law…The Supreme Court allowed slavery to stand for almost 100 years. The Supreme Court denied women the right to vote for approximately 140 years…Unfortunately your knowledge about this subject is so limited that you would make an absurd statement about a great legal scholar like Justice Ginsburg…

          • Integrity

            I think you just unwittingly proved his point. I laugh at the superior intellect!

  • Wheels55

    The problem isn’t just a “rogue” person in government abusing power, it’s a White House administration that refuses to get to the bottom of such “rogue” behavior and actually doing something about it.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      Why would anyone expect a White House that knows well that the man in the Oval Office attained that position by usurping it via a corrupt media and a totally corrupt Congress and a corrupt DNC and RNC. They never vetted the man otherwise they would have discovered the fraudulent activity that went on behind the scenes that allowed him to escape discovery. Truth has a way of working its way to the top and the Obama handlers screwed up royally when their hand was forced to produce a birth certificate via Jerome Corsi and Donald Trump. It has been discovered that the April 27th, 2011 birth record is a computer generated FORGERY and that led to the discovery of other fraudulent documents; the fraudulent registration with the Selective Service in 2008 and a SS# that was flagged by the government fraud site E-Verify several times. Thank God for the persistent investigation process of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his lead investigator Lt. Mike Zullo who have now packaged the evidence that they gathered in the past 20 months to take it to the law makers in Washington DC.

      You see “Wheels55″ this is indeed a “rogue” person, its worse, he is a “usurper” and he almost got away with it. Almost, because he is about to be exposed for these crimes. Hopefully he ends up in the same cell that LTC (MD) Terry Lakin had to sit in while at Leavenworth for merely asking for proof that Obama was a legal Commander in Chief.

      • Wheels55

        Yes, he is rogue, but more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing (a very lazy wolf). If the people who truly wanted a better America and voted for Obama could admit buyer’s remorse, the line for the return counter would be miles long.

  • ivannavi

    Bernie, regardless of what this Obama and anyone in his administration says the basic problem is that based upon a consistent series of actions they NO LONGER have any credibility with the American people. And, they have lost their integrity.

    As the old Scottish adage says, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

    When Obama and others stop FOOLING around, which I seriously doubt they could ever do, then and, only then, they might begin to rebuild their credibility and integrity. They’ve got a long road to hoe!

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      When those law enforcement officers drive and fly into Washington DC with a package of evidence that Lt. Mike Zullo and his investigators have gathered over the past 20 months proving that the April 27th, 2011 birth certificate that Obama has been flaunting is a FORGERY it will be all but over for this Chicago mob. Ooops, I know you haven’t heard about this since neither the Conservative and Liberal media has been reporting on this criminal investigation. You are now aware of the fact.

  • Neal from PA

    “Yes, we have reason to be concerned that either a rogue bureaucrat or a much higher-up with bad motives may break the law and use the information the government is collecting for political purposes. Can you say IRS? If that happens, throw the book at the abuser. Put him or her away for a long,
    long time. But right now I’m more worried about terrorists, and the harm they
    certainly would do to us — which is significantly different from the harm our
    government might do to us.”

    This assumes…first…that we trust our government and second…that there is
    accountability in government. Currently, we have neither…virtue and freedom go together; without virtue freedom is only something to be desired. Where do we find accountability; when there are high level career bureaucrats who wield far more pure power than elected officials, including the President. Special
    interests know this, which is why they spend huge sums lobbying high level
    bureaucrats and appointees.

    “We The People” are to blame for this. We keep electing and reelecting these
    people. They keep increasing the size of government, keeping the powerful
    clerks employed. We keep paying taxes for massive waste, malpractice, and
    malfeasance. The only people dumber than our politicians are the voters who
    keep electing them.

    • legal eagle

      More whining….Run for elected office if you think you can do better..

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      You can only blame the people for so much. Our only source of information comes from the media and when they have become so corrupted that the necessary information never reaches us we are toast as nation. Obama was never investigated by the media. Yes, Fox did some investigating but they only skimmed the surface. They did not go where the maggots live, where Obama’s handlers came from. The most important information that was needed was never reported on. Aaron Kline did great work but it never went beyond book shelves. Jerome Corsi went where the maggots dwell and he uncovered the fraud and criminal activity. Sheriff Joe Arpaio (God Bless Him) and his lead investigator went were the maggots dwell and they now have stacks of evidence ready to be delivered to Washington DC.

    • legal eagle

      What law do you suppose this IRS person violated? Do you care or you want to throw the book at them?

      • http://hemingwayreport.blogspot.com/ MerchantofVenom

        Everybody pleads the 5th when no crime as been committed.

        There are three ways IRS employees could have broken the law. They could have violated:

        1) Civil rights laws that protect people from being discriminated against by the government
        2) The Hatch Act, which prevents civil servants from engaging in partisan political activity
        3) Perjury laws, which prevent people from lying to Congress

        All three were broken… the third one in spades.

        • legal eagle

          1) Civil rights laws protect “protected classes” of citizens… Political classes are not protected…
          2) Prosecution under the Hatch Act is an interesting legal theory. Convictions have been far and few between and one would have to prove intent which , in this case, might be problematical…
          3) Convictions for perjury are virtually non existent in Federal court….If they were Karl Rove would have been convicted in the Libby matter as would Dick Cheney…
          Interesting theories…

          • Drew Page

            1) Civil Rights laws protect only “protected classes ” of citizens …” Is that supposed to mean that those who claim a political affiliation have no Civil rights?

            2) Problematical to prove intent? Are you kidding? the IRS admitted wrong doing in targeting conservative groups and individuals and even apologized for it. How much further do you have to go to prove intent?

            3)Convictions for perjury are virtually non-existent. Here I might have to agree with you. It was certainly true that the Senate did not convict the impeached President Clinton for perjury, even though he admitted to lying under oath in the Paula Jones trial. It was interesting to learn that President was found guilty of lying under oath, but not guilty of “perjury”. Perhaps the Federal Code of Laws should be revised to remove “perjury” as a federal crime.

          • legal eagle

            1) Political affiliations do not comprise a protected class…being a Republican allows you to whine not to sue over a civil rights violation…LOL
            2)The IRS is not an individual….
            3) perjury is a federal crime….Proving perjury is almost impossible.. if lying under oath was a crime almost everyone who appears in court would be in prison…

          • Integrity

            Is that how you are successful in court, counselor? How sad.

          • Bob Hadley

            Perjury is a MATERIAL lie. Read Judge Wright’s decision citing Pres. Clinton for civil contempt for willfully obstructing the legal process. Judge Wright had dismissed Jones’ case. Jones settled the case while her appeal was pending, ergo Judge Wright’s dismissal stood. Judge Wright noted that even if her dismissal were reversed and even if the case did not settle, President Clintons deposition lie would be, at most, of marginal significance.

            Interestingly, Judge Wright’s decision cited Pres. Clinton for lying when he said he wasn’t ever alone with Paula Jones. Clinton later admitted during his Grand Jury testimony in relation to Kenneth Starr’s investigation that he was alone with Jones.

            Pres. Clinton’s testimony that he did not engage in sexual contact with Monica could not be proven when you look at the definition of sexual contact that was set forth by Judge Wright in the notorious deposition. She defined sexual contact as touching Monica for the purpose of sexual gratification. Clinton’s lawyer, Robert Bennett, persuaded the judge to delete the definition of Monica touching Clinton for Clinton’s sexual gratification.

            The only evidence that Clinton touched Monica for sexual gratification came from Monica’s testimony. There was NO corroborating evidence of this.

            I’m fairly certain I explained all this to you before. I guess since it doesn’t fit your narrative, you stick with making up your own facts.

  • Mickster

    As I said in an earlier post, there has to be a prism of fairness in this NSA thing, HOWEVER as is usually the case more information has come to light and will come to light and the wildcard in this thing is Snowden. Snowden may have the hard evidence of things that many Americans, liberal or conservative, fat or short will not be able to dispute. Political idealgogues on both sides of the fence and camped out in this blog, may reach a point that they will have to admit that (at least privately) that our government at best overstepped it’s bounds and at worst acted in violation of constitutionally protected rights which prosecutable. in other words they are criminals. Now as this thing unfolds, the party line of the administration that in all of the many scandals here that rogue agents, employees and scalawags independently perpetrated these heinous acts, will disintegrate like ice on an August afternoon. My suspicion is that the evidence will surface but at this point we can at least say this does not pass the smell test. Anybody who wants to parse this and deflect it by blaming it on Bush, Cheney, Fox news or the Genghis Khan need a reality check. When you have Allen Combs, CNN and a bevy of democratic congressman coming out and demanding answers, there might be something going on. Any of you guys out there who have kids ? What kind of feeling would you get if you got answers from your kids when questioning them about something you suspect they did wrong, and you get answers like the one’s offered by Lois Lerner, James Clapper, Eric Holder, IRS Commissioner Shulman, FBI Head Robert Mueller et al. ? Enough said, the moral of the story is absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that goes for any side of the story you wish, Our history is littered with corruption on both sides of the fence, to defend this kind of behavior is like giving a pass to your kids for stealing candy while they wipe the smear of chocolate off their faces.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      It is a rare treat to come across a journalist who can see past his/her nose these days. Diana West has dared to dig deeper than any media journalist thus far and she discovered that there has been document fraud committed by this President and his enablers. A rookie journalist could have done it and I can prove it. When a computer generated document has 9 layers of information and a seal that can be moved any where on the document chance are it is a FORGERY. From there one would ask if there may be other fraudulent documents. Yep, sure enough, they found that there was a fraudulent registration with the Selective Service in 2008, not in 1980. Well, why stop there, damn, the man’s SS# was flagged by the government fraud site E-Verify several times for being FRAUDULENT (Snopes tried to cover for that but failed miserably). Well hell, lets check passport records, ooops, they have been scrubbed. Bernie, we have a Fraud in Chief.

  • Blue Skies

    Bernie, I would agree with you wholeheartedly if it was not for an administration that has demonstrated time after time that it is untrustworthy. I am sorry but to feel good about your well taken position another administration would be in order and that isn’t happening anytime soon.

  • WhiteHunter

    Bernie, you have no more enthusiastic or loyal fan and admirer than me, but for the first time I can’t agree with you. The Obammunist crime syndicate simply can’t be trusted with any information that they could (and have shown, again and again, that they definitely will) use as a weapon against their honest, fully peaceable political critics.

    For that reason the promiscuous datamining of everybody’s records that frightens me.

    Keep in mind: a flight school instructor warned his local FBI office that “something just doesn’t feel right” about the bearded, vaguely threatening, Moslem, Middle Eastern “students” he was teaching to fly, and yet his warning was ignored and not even forwarded to FBI HQ for any further investigation (and that was under Bush!). So we ended up with 4 airliners hijacked and 3,000 dead Americans because…well, “who woulda thunk it?”

    The “underwear bomber’s” own father warned our embassy in Lagos about him…and nothing was done to prevent him from boarding the plane, much less give him the strip-search that 85-year-old grannies from Darien get nowadays. Thank God the passengers took action that the FBI and the TSA didn’t bother to.

    The Russians (the Russians!) warned the FBI about the Boston Marathon bombers…and, again, NOTHING effective done by the FBI, supposedly because the Russians didn’t present the Feds with a fully completed case, ready for trial and conviction, already wrapped and tied with a satin bow.

    What did the G-Men ask him in their “interview”? “Are you a terrorist planning to bomb the Marathon?” “Naw. Who would do something like that?” “Okay, sir, sorry for the inconvenience; just checking, that’s all. You’re free to go.”

    So I don’t know how anyone can expect the Feds to sift through the phone records of more than 100 million ordinary Verizon customers to find a jihadist, when they couldn’t even stop the terrorists whose names, addresses, passport photos, and likely whereabouts and flight numbers were handed to them virtually on a silver platter.

    THAT’S why I don’t accept any innocent explanation for the raid on Verizon’s complete records, or believe that it’s a bona fide anti-terrorist measure even if there is one. “Need to know” is one thing; but that doesn’t seem to apply here. “Should have known, but didn’t bother to,” does.

  • FloridaJim

    I do not trust Obama at all! He has filled his administration with 60′s radicals and their offspring and they are not to be trusted. Look at every one brought before the committees they lie, they say “I did not know” “I wasn’t there” “it was someone below me who did it” these people have never been honorable and never will be to entrust our government to people who despise America simply prolongs the misery until we either oust them of live with their detestable actions.
    Obama, Holder, Napolitano, Carney, Nuland, Rice, Clinton, Lerner, McDonald, et al are untrustworthy and lie unblinkingly.

    • legal eagle

      60′s radicals? Archie Bunker still lives……LOL

  • Chiefmac64

    You forget Bernie that Candidate Obama campaigned against these very programs in 2008. A bigger question for me is the hyprocrisy of his administration when comparing empty campaign rhetoric from 2008 to his actions as POTUS. Some post partisan leadership….not!

  • Kewgah

    The expansion of the Patriot Act under this administration is alarming. Will they be collecting IP addresses and watching our every move if we’re suspect? How much information is TOO much information?

  • Dave M

    It may not be 17 calls to Yemen that triggers further investigation. It might be 10 calls to someone who lives near Spirit Lake, WA, home of some ultra-conservative survivalists, or with the shoe on the other foot, 12 calls to someone in Marin Co., CA. The point is that we can not trust government with our liberties. We are in fact now losing our liberties and freedoms daily…..it is a slow insidious process to citizenry enslavement, and we are well on our way there.

    • plsilverman

      other than the Patriot Act, delivered to us in 2001, what liberties have you been lacking?

  • J.Salazar Sr.

    Folks get a grip. Let’s not compare apples to oranges. Let us all not forget that on 9/11/01 war was declared on America. The wars’ out come will depend on our resolve to prevail against an enemy who will continue the war in perpetuity. To survive, America will need every tool at its disposal. We are far from being a police state. See N.Korea,Iran,China,Syria,Egypt or any other country country which oppress its people. As long as we have the three documents this country was founded on and preserve their integrity we can and will remain a free people.

  • Debdeb

    If the intent behind this data collection is to keep the American people safe, why are we not equally vigilant in securing the borders, tightening immigration or providing the military with budget certainty so they have time to plan and adjust? That would keep us safer. It would also have less secondary risk. Are we in denial?

  • Shane

    The problem is that Obama has used governmental agencies to attack his political enemies, so why should he not use data from the NSA to attack them.

    • plsilverman

      there is ZERO proof that Obama has used the agencies as U say. ZERO proof. :)

      • Stimpy

        That’s right, the agencies all attacked Obama’s enemies without O’Bama’s knowledge. That guy, what’s his name, Shulman, of the IRS — he visited the Whitehouse 157 times. Nothing to see here folks, just move along. See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.

        • plsilverman

          No. No. No. The dude visited ELEVEN times. yes, there was (apparently) 157 “passes” issued. But who knows the timespan. Sorry, Stimp’, no cigar.

          • MarioG

            Nice try, Obama-hack – When Shulman was asked why he had visited the White House 118 times – the number that was known at the time – he did not say anything about 11 times. He said he had been there for an Easter Egg Roll with his kids.

          • legal eagle

            You can’t argue the facts with most of these posters because they get their “misinformation” from Fox News ir talk radio….they could care less about the truth…It would spoil their conspiracy theories…

          • Integrity

            Not when you don’t provide facts. Where is YOUR proof that Fox provides misinformation, counselor? QED

          • Integrity

            Oh the irony of that statement! Over your head!

  • Ted Crawford

    Bernie, your assertion that we don’t live in a Police State is an incomplete statement. You left out a small but very important word; YET ! If we accept your logic , it won’t be long though!

    • plsilverman

      Name one Freedom compromised.

      • Jeff Webb

        For anyone out there who isn’t familiar, when this guy says “name one” of something, he actually means “you’re probably right, but I won’t acknowledge it.”

        • plsilverman

          can you back up that statement? :)

          • Integrity

            Prove he can’t!

        • legal eagle

          Jeff,
          So name one… You generally don’t respond to any factual questions so try this one….Tell us what freedoms you have lost since 2009????

          • Jeff Webb

            “You generally don’t respond to any factual questions…”

            Now you’re just being insulting. Sorry, not going to bite.

          • plsilverman

            can you answer that last question?..it’s a pretty good one.

          • legal eagle

            Nonresponsive as usual….Name one means name one…as a long time litigator it is understood in a court that one doesn’t answer because either they don’t know the answer and are embarrassed to admit it..or the answer doesn’t fit their story…
            What freedom have you lost asks you to specify a generality….bite or don’t bite….who cares?

          • Jeff Webb

            “Nonresponsive as usual”

            LOL, first I generally don’t respond to factual questions, and now this. Son, it’s like you’re not paying attention when you read my comments.

            It’s not necessary to keep citing your career, but I do appreciate your explanation of non-answerers. Maybe Silverman will read it and (God willing) take a look in the mirror.

            I’m responding to you since you asked; unlike Silverman, you don’t make it a habit to pull the “challenge-and-duck” crap.
            In my case, there’s another reason I didn’t “name one”: very incompetent and/or crooked people are secretly doing more than what the PA was set up to do. I believe in the supreme law of our land, which specifically forbids this kind of mass-monitering being done without our knowing.

            I didn’t entirely agree with their argument at the time, but I did find some validity in what liberals griped about when the PA was enacted: they would be spied on by people they didn’t trust. I agreed that there was always the POTENTIAL for that, but the law was supposed to be temporary and it only applied to certain overseas calls. Now that it’s been extended indefintely, and politicians have gone beyond its boundaries, the liberals’ concerns have become reality. More than a couple of times, we’ve been asked why are we outraged now but not when President Bush did it? The real question should be why were liberals angry when Bush had very specific overseas calls monitered, but okay with Obama doing so with ALL calls within the USA?

            I’m actually surprised I’m being asked to “name one.” Just because something hasn’t had a direct effect on me doesn’t mean I shouldn’t point out it’s wrong. If you really thought otherwise, a whole lot of your comments wouldn’t have been posted on this site in the first place.

          • legal eagle

            Jeff,

  • EddieD_Boston

    I agree Bernie. I’d rather we get the bad guys. Some people are getting hysterical over this issue. I favor giving the government all the tools available to keep us safe.

    Remember the bumper-sticker on every Volvo during the 80′s?: One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.wight Ted Wight

    It all depends on a trustworthy president who has hired effective and trustworthy subordinates. That is CLEARLY NOT the case with Obama, who has a low intellect, no experience and a far-left ideology. Yes, I am afraid. I did not really care if my every word and move is monitored by President Bush’s folks because while he clearly was not perfect, he was trustworthy. Now I have for five years said and written things vehemently in opposition to Obama and his “social justice” (sic) philosophy. I see a narcissistic dope in Obama as Hitler was. And there you have it.
    http://www.periodictablet.com

  • MarioG

    What a dope.

    a) The president lies incessantly about everything big and small

    b) The UN Ambassador lied to the nation about Benghazi

    c) The Secretary of State lied to the nation about Benghazi

    d) The corrupt Attorney General is one whistle-blower away from the slammer

    e) The IRS Commissioner lied to Congress

    f) The Director of National Intelligence lied to Congress

    g) The FBI Director doesn’t have a clue what his department is up to

    g) The President’s Press Secretary lies about everything big and small

    And Bernie is good with the surveillance by this nest of vipers?

    • plsilverman

      all the above is SUPPOSITION. name ONE Obama “lie”. and no “Lie” on Benghazi, none. the youtube thing was what was known at the time – they probably knew about the Salman Rushti issue.
      and if I can’t convince you that the above is your personal wishlist: well, for perspective, let’s review the Reagan and Bush II adm. …..”untruths”.

      • Jeff Webb

        “the youtube thing was what was known at the time”

        Then Obama lied in the Crowley debate, when he told Governor Romney he called Benghazi a terrorist attack right after it happened.

        • plsilverman

          what does “right after it happened” mean? not to look for excuses for “my side”…the way the hard right looks for excuses to compile a bizarre wish-list applicable to an Impeachment which won’t happen…but just maybe there are powers-that-be who tell the President/any President to make certain statements at certain times for security. just maybe, eh? :)

          • Jeff Webb

            Dude, I hope you do your stretching exercises before all the contorting and spinning.

            Next time just save yourself some embarrassment and don’t ask.

          • plsilverman

            “Don’t ask” what, Mr. sarcastic? :)

          • MarioG

            Look, your game is up. It is clear you are one of those low information Americans who used affirmative action thinking to become an Obama hack.

          • plsilverman

            love those RNC mantras!!! “low information”!!….wanna go point by point on the issues, pal?
            “used affirmative action thinking”…sounds mildly racist…I worked for the State of NJ as an Employer Advocate and Job Finding Specialist and was involved in Affirm. Ac. All it was/is: an employer must spread out the widest possible job recruitment net. that’s it! the implied part [my interpretation] that gets people all worked up – to the hiring authority – please look at the applications of minorities who (1) can fill the slot (2) may have had marginal grades in school / were past victims of discrimination in the workplace and in education. Now get ready, as I assume you are a GOP kind of guy and liked Nixon (as I still do) – NIXON introduced “quotas” in 1971 because the employers were not enough on board.

          • MarioG

            Why is it “racist” to observe that Obama is a dunce who was elected and re-elected by affirmative action thinking by whites and Jews who were trying to assuage their deep seated guilt over slavery. The non-whites voted for him because he looks non-white.

            This guy has never worked a day in the private sector or even run a lemonade stand. He is the most unqualified, uninformed, unpatriotic, inexperienced, incompetent, irresponsible, dishonest, disingenuous and divisive president in US history.

            Obama is such a dunce that he cannot even afford to let us see his college transcripts. I knew he was like Pinocchio when he told us that Bill Ayers was “just a guy from the neighborhood” and that he had no idea that his beloved Uncle Jeremiah was an anti-American anti-Semite.

            Five years into his administration we have 90 million Americans out of work, millions who have even given up looking for work, 50 million on food stamps, 11 million claiming disability and $17 trillion in national debt with no end in sight like a millstone around the necks of our kids and grand-kids – all all-time records.

          • MarioG

            What about “right after it happened” are you finding so hard to grasp? Read this and get a clue.

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/17/obamas-benghazi-lie/

          • plsilverman

            “right after” means within 36 or 24 or 12 or 6 hours?

          • MarioG

            In this context, all of the above. Wise up – you are embarrassing yourself. The facts are not on your side.

          • plsilverman

            you’ll make a very poor defense attorney. by the way, give us the “facts”. :)

          • MarioG

            As we can plainly see, the last thing an Obama hack like you is interested in are facts. I gave you facts above. We all heard Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lying to the country and to Congress but a propagandist like you could care less. We should call you Benghazi Silverman because of your resemblance to Baghdad Bob :-))

          • plsilverman

            you gave 1000% supposition off your wish-list. there is still zero proof on any “lies”. I don’t know who “Bagdad Bob” is….is that anew mantra from the RNC? I don’t dig your sarcastic, personal attack. Why would you want to sully this vaunted site? :)

          • MarioG

            If anyone is sullying this site it is YOU. Every now and then someone like you shows up and does a Baghdad Bob imitation. Look him up and see how you resemble him after all the proof you have been provided with. BTW, were you doing a Rip Van Winkle imitation when these lies were actually being told on live TV and confirmed by fact-checkers?

          • plsilverman

            no “lies” have been proven at all. I still don’t know who Bagdad Bob is but I resent the association. Should I call all you presumptive Reaganites “Beirut Bob” , re the 241 killed in one compound at one time because of the Gipper’s foreign policy?

          • MarioG

            Yes they have. It started with Susan Rice, and was continued by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, all graduates of the Pinocchio School of Government.

            You really are a dim bulb – look up Baghdad Bob on any search engine. You are exactly like him.

          • plsilverman

            let’s get this straight…you want me to spend time looking for the origin of an insult to me?
            yes they have..”lied”?>>>what proof did you discover? We’d like to know.

          • MarioG

            Any adult who doesn’t know who Baghdad Bob was can be certified as a dim bulb. Then again, you may not be an adult based on you inability to compare what Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said with the evidence provided by the Americans who were in Benghazi.

          • MarioG

            The proof lies in the testimony of the Americans who were in Benghazi which was known to the White House and yet Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied about it.

          • plsilverman

            I’m a “dim bulb”?…something tells me you’d never say that to my face if we accidentally met up at a convenience store. in fact, I can guarantee that.
            you want it to be a “lie” but it was merely reporting a realistic story provided to them – ever hear of Salman Rushti. It’s not a “lie” if Rupert Murdoch wants it to be.

          • MarioG

            It is not what I write, but what YOU write that certifies you as a dim bulb, low-information person. Either that, or you are a modern Baghdad Bob. Everyone who heard Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with their own ears and then compared what they had said with the facts as established by the Americans in Benghazi would know they lied – except the Democrat political hacks and the dim bulbs.

          • plsilverman

            Bagdad Bob, hacks, dim bulbs….a nice little collection of clichés. :)

          • MarioG

            These are not cliches but descriptive colloquialisms which fit you perfectly. Baghdad Bob became an international joke because he had no idea what he was talking about, which everyone but he could tell. So it is with you and the lies told by Rice, Clinton and Obama on Benghazi.

          • plsilverman

            they are most definitely tired clichés. >>>do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are “lies”? :)

          • MarioG

            What you erroneously call cliches fit you perfectly especially the Baghdad Bob comparison.

            Yes, I know they are lies. Why? Because the sworn testimony of career diplomats who were on the scene and have no axe to grind is credible to any honest observer. On the other hand, the conflicting public comments of political hacks trying to cover their previous misguided failure to approve adequate security for the Libyan diplomatic staff, after they knew what the career diplomats had said, are clearly lies.

          • plsilverman

            no. we want 1000% proof that Obama, Hillary did know for a fact that the youtube video was *the* impetus for the attack. re. failure to provide adequate security: that was the GOP led charge to reduce security. yes, the Dems agreed. sorry. no happy ending for your wish-list entry.

          • MarioG

            That’s what YOU are demanding as an American version of Baghdad Bob. We have proof beyond any reasonable doubt because of those who were there. The GOP does not run the State Department and had no role in denying security to anyone. They did not “cut” the budget – they just reduced the growth in the budget over the amount for the prior year. At the same time as Hillary was denying security in war-torn Benghazi she was providing enhanced security in France and buying “green” electric cars and building charging stations for them in Vienna.

          • plsilverman

            no. proof would be that the people you want sent to jail knew that the youtube thing has zero to do with the attack and publicly announced that it did.

          • MarioG

            Dear Benghazi Silverman, successor to Baghdad Bob.

            Susan Rice may not have known and was sent out as a dupe by her friend Barack. It ended her hopes of becoming Secretary of State. With friends like Barack, one doesn’t need enemies – just wait until he uses his friends and then throws them under the bus. If you don’t believe me ask Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, not to mention his own white Grandma.

            However, Hillary Clinton knew because the Deputy Ambassador in Libya told her, and Obama knew because Clinton and others told him. Yet they went out and lied to Congress and the world about the video being responsible.

          • plsilverman

            “his own white grandma”! another racially charged post to be reported!!
            you have absolute zero proof of any “lies” or any “scandal”. all you have is GOP undoing security and mid-level bureaucrats doing what they do. all due respect to the four Americans.

          • MarioG

            If facts seem racial to you, it would prove your own deep-seated racism. You obviously support Obama due to affirmative action thinking because he is provably the most unqualified, uninformed, unpatriotic, inexperienced, incompetent, irresponsible, dishonest, duplicitous and divisive president in recent history.

            Obama owed everything to his white Grandma and yet called her a racist in so many words. She was anything but a racist – she was just afraid of a specific black guy when she was out alone on the street. Jesse Jackson said pretty much the same thing about young black men on the street – he said he would cross the street if he saw them coming in his direction.

            If you were not so much in La La Land like Baghdad Bob you would know from everything in the news that the sworn testimony of the Americans in Benghazi before Congress proves that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were deliberately lying, whereas Susan Rice was being played for a sucker.

          • plsilverman

            even a Foxnews host got disgusted with his Fox and Friends cohorts when they tried to force that “white Grandma” stuff. your “white Grandma” reference was out of context. incompetent” and all that vitriol is purely subjective. Rice as “sucker” is all supposition. she reported what was reported to her and you can be there ae powers that be that guide even the President on how to report what is known at different points.
            I’m getting tired of your Bagdad Bob harrassment. Please cease and desist. I don’t like my patriotism questioned.
            There is still ZERO proof that Obama was remiss in any way re. the Benghazi attack.

          • Jeff Webb

            If you didn’t hit the Washington Times link, hit it now. If you’re still going to pretend nobody has “named one”, then go play dumb someplace else.

            Something you said yesterday bears mentioning: “not to look for excuses for ‘my side’”.
            Mr. Silverman, to say you look for excuses for your side is an understatement.

          • plsilverman

            your excuses for your side are much better, I have to admit that! :)

      • MarioG
      • George Williams

        Where the common man sees a picture, the sycophant sees dots.
        If the name was Bush you’d see the Mona Lisa. I’ll bet that you thought OJ was innocent.

        • plsilverman

          more harassment for the file. why do you continue to initiate posts to me when I asked you not to?

          • George Williams

            Stop replying back. It’s a solution that I’ve used for decades, but one that apparently never came to your mind.

          • plsilverman

            never mid the insult. I am replying to your insulting posts for education purposes for those with an open mind here and not to let you have the last word, esp. if it is pure harassment and usable in legal review. I am not initiating posts with you any more. since it appears impossible to “block” anyone here….please step back and talk with *other* bloggers.

          • George Williams

            Here’s a thoughtful article from the American Thinker, It gives the best answer to “Citizens United” that I’ve ever read.
            http://spectator.org/archives/2013/06/21/speech-laws-and-the-irs/1

          • plsilverman

            Citizens United can work for all parties, yes – but it is clearly a hard right program, instigated by the likes of the Koch Brothers. they have a lot more cash than does Soros.

    • legal eagle

      What does the POTUS lie about incessantly? Do you lie incessantly?

      • MarioG

        He lies about everything when it suits him. It first came to our attention when he said he had no idea that his Uncle Jeremiah Wright was anti-American, anti-Semite even after a close personal relationship over a 20-year period. Then he said that Bill Ayers was just a guy from the neighborhood. He wrote in one of his books that his parents met at Selma, which would be quite a trick since that was 4 years after he was born. He blamed Bush for the economy he inherited when, as a Senator, he knew that was untrue as the book Reckless Endangerment later documented the fact that the financial crisis was created protected and defended by the Democrats starting with Bill Clinton until it collapsed in 2008. He in 2009 that the US was one of the foremost Muslim countries in the world. LOL! He said his socialist-style statism would work when it has never worked anywhere it has been tried. He said the attack in Benghazi was caused by a video no one has seen when it had nothing to do with any video as know from the testimony under oath by Americans who were there.

  • rbblum

    Would it be ‘terrorism’ IF, based on political reasons, martial law was declared in the US ?

    • plsilverman

      never, ever, happen…how would the TAXES be collected? :)

  • Meximom

    NOBODY wants another terror attack. EVERYONE wants the gov’t to catch bad guys. But the point so many (including Bernie) are missing is that massive spying on millions of citizens is UNNECESSARY to achieve that goal

    There are other targeted programs in place to do the job just as well. But they rely on PROFILING to work, and that’s a no-no in this insanely PC world we live in. Like the gun debate, does it make sense to “punish” everyone for the sins of a few? No more than it makes sense to keep the whole class in detention because one kid acted out! Common sense is dead in the USA.

    • Ted Crawford

      The very fact that this system was already in effect before The shoe bomber, and the intellectual giant, Gonad roaster, and the NY, Van bomber , stumbled, bumbled and fried their incompetent way into history, with their failures. That NSA, nor any other invasive system did one thing to prevent
      As well as the fact they were also in effect when the Ft. Hood, and Boston Successful Islamic attacks took place seems to prove; Either they don’t work very well or they are being used for another purpose, like identifying, spying on, and disrupting the opposition!

    • plsilverman

      Bernie is right….in a War on Terror, your neighbor could be “the one”.

      • MarioG

        What “War on Terror”? Obummer’s administration called it “an overseas contingency operation” Recently he said it was over.

        • plsilverman

          “Obummer”! have not heard that one in a while! thanks for taking us down Memory Lane. Usage of that word here suggests you may have a *small* bias towards Barack Obama. Past Presidents have made fair bigger “mistakes” and something tells me you dismiss them 1000%.

  • Norm Robichaud

    ‘Data-Rape’ and why it needs to stop.

    I just wanted to point out some basics regarding the mass data mining perpetrated by the U.S. Govt. For each and every file sent via the Internet by us through emails at Google, video posts to Facebook etc., there is a certain amount of bandwidth taken up to transfer the files from one server to another. We all know that.

    Now that the Obama Admin is data-raping us, that means that each of those files is now being re-copied to the NSA servers. That at least doubles the bandwidth used normally. It’s actually worse, but too technical for this forum.

    That means that our file transfer rate online is directly affected – a lot! That lag you experience at Youtube or when your playing games online – that time you couldn’t connect to the office – likely because of the strain that the NSA has put on the ‘net’. All of the Internet is affected, not just the targeted data sources.

    What they are doing is essentially ‘theft of service’ – kinda like if someone puts their trash into your bins for pickup. You pay your ISP for a certain transfer rate – that transfer rate has been stolen by the NSA.

    Oh, and not just Americans either. All who use the Internet are negatively affected and data-raped by the NSA, because they are affecting ALL of the Internet by just duplicating the files of a few major data sources. That means that Canada is affected, the UK, Germany, India… everywhere there is Internet. Phones too.

    Good news is this: The power button is right there in front of you. Walk away from the glass screens that rule your life and go squeeze some dirt in your hands, smell the roses and talk to God.

    Insane, I know.

  • Nicholas344

    Bernie, you are ignornt of inner terrorism. It is easy to be fearful of external terrorism and also easy to underestimate inner terrorism. You will only appreciate it after it has acquired its goal. Then “freedom” will only be a memory. Cicero understood what you refuse to do.

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague”.”
    ~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

  • mthammer36

    Agree Bernard with your Assumption that we should get a grip on whether we live in a police state or not . that is if you trust the government , which I dont. You might have more knowledge about what goes on , because you have insights from people in government or within the press , I dont , all I have is on the job experience. I dont trust the government , whatever way they want to spin it depends on the press , thats how the majority get their info , CBS,NBC,ABC , also are very competitive with each others shows . There was some friction between Scott Pelleys Producer Pat and the Producers on the morning show about a story that Pelley did the research on. He was fit to be tied , that he couldn’t put it on his nightly News , rather than it being aired on CBS MORNING. Its all the same company , however when you have that much tension and competition on who airs what , thats not integrity. You made some comments about how Diane Sawyer was a great Journalist , however her integrityon what gets put on her show , is not there anymore . The new Beautiful Ginger ZEE the Weather reporter on ABC , has been on the ABC nightly news more than anyother familiar reporter . Why is she on every show , because she is beautiful, not because she is very fluent in the weather being a meteorologist, every show even on the weekend come on now. Its because of her good looks , men especially would ratherwatch her and look forward to her 1 minute or 2 minutes on air , than watch thw whole newscast. The government to get to my other point, is very untrustwortht , because they never answer the questions of reporters, Obama hasn’t had a news conference to address the problems with the IRS .Even the FBI director Mueller, questions given in advance by members of Congresss , couldnot tell a representative from Utah that asked the Director , how many people in the FBI were investigating the IRS Targeting. He couldn’t answer the question , with all the press that was on what the IRS admitted in doing he couldn’t even tell on the second question that was asked ,What Agent is in Charge of the Investigation , he couldn’t answer that either. The Chairman of the committee , even said to Director Mueller , we gave these questions to you 3 days in advance and you dont have an answer, typical Obama Administration Heads of Agency’s answer , I will apologize and get back to you . Thats not going to get it , you Bernie doesnt have doubts about this government. Come on you cant be that blind.
    When I was in the Employment in Government , it was spend , spend and more spending , when in the theater of war , we had more waste by Government Contractors in Iraq, Afraganistan, Vietnam , Bases in Germany, the Far East, Okinawa , Japan and their take on contracts, that they would get was all about Graff. How they were paying people in the military like Officers and Generals to get these money giveaway contarcts and brag about it. I have been involved in breaking some peoples faces, who had these contracts , making them aware, that I was the taxpayer paying for this shotty work and incomplete jobs, got paid for it anyway , with no oversight in Washington. The government is corrupt , from the members in the legislature, Executive Branch , even in the Supreme Court. How can you turn a blind eye , how this government just wastes taxpayers money, Food Stamps 49 million people , 51% pay no taxes, 48%are on Welfare and more that the population of NewYork on Social Security Disability 10 million people. Come on Bernard you should know better , you get a grip , Levin , Savage and Rush say we are a police State, when are you finally going to see the truth.

  • Meximom

    Government (and especially the Obama Admin) has a really bad habit of using tragedies to promote agendas & to justify unconstitutional laws — even when there is no evidence that their “solution” will actually solve the problem!.

    Sandyhook is a good example: a tragedy that Obama and others have used to try disarm law-abiding citizens (we all know that criminals & crazies won’t be affected because they don’t follow the law!)

    Now Obama is using the fear of another major terror attack to snoop on millions of law-abiding citizens! As Huckabee said the other day, if you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, why on earth would you make the haystack a million times bigger?

    • nickshaw

      That’s true, Mom.
      If they weren’t so deathly afraid of “profiling” muslims and the legal entanglements that PC has wrought if being caught doing so, the haystack could be significantly reduced by targeting those with muslim sounding names or list islam as their religion and work out from there to those they have contact with.
      If detecting terrorism were truly their goal.
      The sad thing is, it’s not islamic terrorism they are concentrating on (despite unequivocal proof that’s where the threat is!)
      TEA Partiers and conservatives are the real threat today according to publications and videos produced by DHS, the Army and many in the LSM.
      They openly and without apology call us the American Taliban!
      Has there ever been a precedent for this in America? Where roughly half of the population deserves the scrutiny of their government?
      It’s actually quite shocking.

  • David Caskey

    Perhaps you should read a little about an event called WWII and the holocaust. The liberties that the Germans thought they held dear were not eliminated immediately, it took years. It was all cloaked under the description of security and avoid the communistic threat. Our threat is defined as terrorism, for some reason we can not say that we are at war with Islam. Then the Nazi government begin the move to link the Jews to communism and thus started the death camps. The fact is that a general look at everyone is not productive and thus not something the government should be doing. Do I have things to hide, you bet. I have seen lawyers actually take the fact that I work hard for a living and turn it into a sin, in court. So I don’t want the government knowing anything about me than I can get by with. Now, I have no problem with the government observing Islamic centers, as that is were the terrorists are. I that like concentrating on the Jews? Yes it is, but that is our enemy. Perhaps Hitler may have been right about the Jews trying to undermine his society, as that was the end result. But that is not my thought and only a way of viewing things from a different angle.
    The fact is that our observing the activity of everyone is like a doctor treating a pneumonia but only treating the fever. He is not treating the root cause of the problem. To just center on terrorism and try to prevent something from happening is not going to work. It has not worked to date, as there have been successful results from the terrorist. For certain, they have eliminated or curtailed our freedom. What we have to do is treat the root cause of this problem. We need to either address the problem of Islam and their approval of cruelty or eliminate those population centers from which these people originate. Otherwise, we are doing nothing. But that is not true either. As a result of our government taking our freedom, a new problem is developing and that is that citizens are beginning to organize, not to elect new representatives, but to consider changing the government by any means possible. The idea of secession was one only a handful thought of a few years ago, now it is becoming a reality.
    I have been listening to tapes from The Teaching Company on personal liberty and find that we really have few liberties in this country. The point has been made that we have freedom of speech, but do we? If you can find a voice, you will find that your freedom of speech is restricted. What do I mean? No one is paying a bit of attention to what I am saying. But if I am able to get an audience, then things begin to happen. Suddenly, I might be labeled a traitor. Or I might be found to have committed a crime, even though I did not intend to (remember the surveillance). The fact is that if you agree with the author of this piece, you are a conservative. But you are still a progressive that wants government intrusion in our lives. That is our problem. We do not have another party that is for personal autonomy and freedom. Only different levels and types of government control.

    • legal eagle

      ” Perhaps Hitler may have been right”? Hard to believe you actually wrote something like that…..

      • David Caskey

        Have you ever read anything of the period? Do you really think that a whole country will go nuts and begin exterminating people for no reason? To get background, look at a book called White Smoke. You will quickly find that most leaders (Churchill, FDR) held similar views. I did not say this was my view, but as a predicted, someone would rise to challenge my free speech and thought. And you did. So you confirmed our limited freedom and inability to think outside certain prescribed parameters. Thanks.

        • legal eagle

          As a Jew and a history major I have read numerous books about the period….What’s your point?
          Who is the author of White Smoke?

          • David Caskey

            You limit freedom by trying to make a moral case of anyone questioning the state approved history of the war, even if that person feels that a wrong was committed but is trying to understand why. This does not seem to occur to as great an extent in others countries that I have visited. Now while it is not exactly the government directly involved in this, we get our direction from the government and if I could have a voice, I would be definitely called to task for my statement, just as you did. This even though I am only poising a question. White Smoke is a book of quotations from various leaders starting around the turn of the century and through WWII. Through the words of the time, it clearly shows that Hitler was not alone in his animosity toward specific peoples. But I don’t want to get into a discussion on this subject, it is not worth the effort. Instead, I will say that we are sadly lacking in freedom in this country, yet we pride ourselves on the opposite.

          • legal eagle

            Freedom is a concept. The reality is in the eye of the beholder and is relative….There are degrees of freedom, limits to freedom in a civilized society and freedoms which violate the laws of the particular country etc.
            I feel extremely free even though I’s not a fan of mandatory car seatbelts…Doesn’t mean I’m not free…

        • legal eagle

          I confirmed your limited freedom? I limited your freedom? What are you talking about?

  • John Sloan

    Bernie; Your third and fourth from the last paragraphs sum up the crux of this issue. Combat terrorism and if abused prosecute the abuser to the MAX…My concern is the ideologue who justifies any action as a “National Security” event and persuades a similar leaning member of the judiciary to agree., a la, James Rosen’s case. It all is within the framework of our nation of laws but is morally corrupt. The real issue, as I see it, is a decline in the fabric of ones accountability as a servant of the people. I do agree that the debate must rage on and hopefully we will come to a consensus that all can ascribe to and follow.

    John

    • nickshaw

      Excellent example, John.
      A microcosm of what happens just because someone with the power to do so, exercises it.
      Even the supposed blind judiciary is not immune (though two judges did resist in this case ;-)

    • John Sloan

      My point exactly..Two judges refused because the request didn’t meet the test, yet one who wasn’t quite as strong or had a proven track record that this type of action was justified signed off on the warrant. It’s all legal but it stinks….

  • beniyyar

    Actually Bernie, we are living in a police state, not the kind where the police monitor private citizens, arrest them without cause, or use torture to extract false confessions. No the police state we live in is where you can be pulled over for a minor traffic offense and made to pay an exorbitant fine or if you park even an inch over the line you will get a ticket and made to pay an enormous fine because the city and state you live in is so broke, bankrupt, or just corrupt, that the only way the place can even begin to pay it’s bills is by fines on minor traffic offenders. That Bernie, is the police state we live in and it’s only getting worse!

  • Iklwa

    I believe most Americans concerned about “police states” do not think we are at that stage yet. They are concerned about the steep cliff from where we are now to where we could be if those who know better how to live our lives than we do should get their way.

    As we have seen in the IRS abuses, it only takes a few willing to circumnavigate regulations (or in this case outright break them) for a government agency to wield its power against the citizenry. Then, when the truth does come to light, how many years does it take to head that beast? As far as I know, many, if not all of those implicated in the IRS abuses are still collecting their checks and not one of them is in jail or has had to post bond.

    As for our Mr. Bobbitt’s rationalization: it is impossible to prove a negative (what hasn’t happened yet) and he is guilty of using the same distorted reasoning as those who claim a scalar wave pulse was used to knock down the World Trade towers. i.e. “Prove to me it wasn’t a scalar wave!”

    The other facts remain: By their own admission only two attacks have been thwarted by this program and both were before the massive expansion of these programs under the auspices of the Patriot Act. How many attacks would have been prevented had we not given a specific time line for our departing Iraq and Afghanistan? Over the past month, I have heard reports of Iraqis being killed by the score on a weekly basis.

    That doesn’t sound like we have gotten better control over terrorism.

    PS Boston was shut down by the authorities until they realized the killers had been missed. An unreported fact still lays plainly for all to see: The Boston police and FBI turned an armed Boston population onto the streets to find this perpetrator and he was found within minutes of the citizens beginning their own search.

    Those poor abandoned souls in Iraq have effectively been disarmed, first by Saddam and then by us. Once again all they have to shoot back with are broken bricks and harsh language and the terrorists know it.

    • nickshaw

      “Scalar wave pulse”? That’s a new one for me.
      Darn, those people are nuts! ;-)

      • Iklwa

        I got that one from my own Father…Good Lord!

  • Meximom

    As per the testimony of 2 ex agents, the NSA had a program ready to go in 2001 that would target & catch terrorists, WITHOUT the need for a massive citizen database! The program, called Operation ThinThread, was inexplicably cancelled in Jan 2001, just 8 months before 911.

    For this reason, I strongly suspect the government has a different purpose in mind for all this data, and based on what happened at the IRS, that purpose is NOT honorable.

    Here’s an article about Operation ThinThread http://www.whistleblower.org/program-areas/homeland-security-a-human-rights/surveillance/nsa-whistleblowers-bill-binney-a-j-kirk-wiebeland-security-a-human-rights/surveillance/nsa-whistleblowers-bill-binney-a-j-kirk-wiebe

    • legal eagle

      And the two agents are all over the media because?

      • Meximom

        …Because they know from 65 years of working at NSA that collecting data from 300million+ law abiding citizens is not only UNNECESSARY but actually makes the process less efficient.
        …Because (I assume) they want to set the record straight so people don’t fall for gov’t fear-mongering again.

        • legal eagle

          They have an opinion that may or may not be valid….Based upon the advances in technology I’m not sure how relevant 65 years of working at NSA is relevant….

          • Meximom

            If you read the article you’ll see that these agents helped develop the ThinThread program specifically to deal with the evolution of technology, terrorism and the internet.

          • legal eagle

            I saw their interview…they sound reasonable but they haven’t been working in intelligence since 2001? I’m not saying they are right or wrong…but they are selling something…

          • Meximom

            Maybe, just maybe, they are trying to do the right thing by shining a light on what’s really going on. And maybe they want some well-deserved vindication after being persecuted by the gov’t since blowing the whistle.
            ps – link correction (hope it works this time):
            http://www.whistleblower.org/program-areas/homeland-security-a-human-rights/surveillance/nsa-whistleblowers-bill-binney-a-j-kirk-wiebe

          • legal eagle

            The only thing I heard was the NSA under Bush approved using a more expensive program than theirs.. Perhaps they are right but the devil is in the details….

          • Integrity

            Is that what the DNC told you?

  • William L Smallwood

    I think you are absolutely correct. I’m willing for my phone calls to be logged if it helps stop the bad guys from killing innocents.

    • nickshaw

      ? Really?
      What about guilt by association?

      I’m willing to accept that you have done nothing wrong but, what happens if you log numerous phone calls to someone who has, entirely without your knowledge?
      I don’t think you would be too happy with a SWAT team coming through your door!
      It is not unheard of these days, sometimes with dire consequences.

      • legal eagle

        I believe you have been watching too many movies…your paranoia level seems to be a bit on the high side…

        • nickshaw

          Sure, tell that to the folks at Gibson or Amish milk producers or people selling bunnies in Wisconsin or goat cheese sellers in San Fran.
          Not to mention people who have been SWATted.
          All were confronted by authorities wearing body armor and carrying automatic weapons with little or no reason to do so.
          Never make fun of the paranoid (though I am not). Sometimes they’re right.

          • legal eagle

            Old Wall Street adage…” Even a broken clock is right twice a day”…LOL

          • Integrity

            Sadly, that is two times more than you are!

          • legal eagle

            Cops like to protect themselves….Does that scare you?

        • sheila0405

          Do you realize that the police and/or SWAT have broken into people’s houses because they got the address wrong? Are you further aware that you can’t sue them, and also you are the one who has to pay the price to clean up any mess they leave behind?

    • Tjeffson

      The odds of dying in a terror attack are 1 in 100 million. You have a far better chance of being struck by lightning. These programs don’t stop anything. They are designed to collect data on all Americans for use later on. They collect so much data that finding a terrorist is like finding a flea in a haystack. Not to mention that the actual terrorists have known all along and use other means to communicate. We all knew they were monitoring calls when they passed the Patriot Act..terrorists knew it as well.

      I’ll take freedom and liberty over police surveillance any day. Freedom comes with risks, I’ll take those risks.

      • Kathie Ampela

        I guess I must 1 in 100 million then. Lightening doesn’t strike twice, right (except when it did in 1993 and 2001. I know someone who was sitting in his office across the street from the WTC in 1993 and was lifted 4 feet off his chair by the force of the explosion). If the top floors had collapsed upon impact on 9/11/01 (and it was extraordinarily lucky it didn’t, I’m amazed to this day) I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you now. Love the way everyone seems to have forgotten.

        I understand the concern of power falling into the wrong hands and being used for political reasons, but all it takes it once and it’s lights out for good. Then the cries will be of “why didn’t they connect the dots?”

        Why has no one asked WHY the NSA missed the Boston bombings:

        http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061213-659753-all-intrusive-obama-terror-dragnet-excludes-mosques.htm

        http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/June/Muslim-Brotherhood-Gains-Foothold-in-Boston/
        Any politician now who is using the NSA “snooping scandal” for political gain will be singing a different tune if ever elected POTUS. Obama did, and so will anyone else.

        • Tjeffson

          The odds still haven’t changed. Lots of people know someone that was struck by lightning… it happens vastly more than people dying in terror attacks in America. The thing with terror attacks is they usually have many casualties all at once and thus look much worse than they really are.

          Giving up your privacy, freedom and liberty isn’t going to help any. Americans aren’t terrorists… there’s no reason to be monitoring their calls and data without proof or a warrant.

        • sheila0405

          I made your exact point about the Boston bombers. So, why do we snoop if we still get it wrong?

      • EddieD_Boston

        Lightning is a natural occurrence and it can’t be controlled. Terrorism can be. Your analogy is ridiculous.

        • Tjeffson

          So you can control terrorism? The government would probably like to talk to you about how to do that. They’ve been wasting billions (or trillions) trying so far.

          Pick any odds you like… it’s just math. The odds of a dying in a terror attack are 1 in 100 million. The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are 1 in 175 million. The odds of dying from falling out of bed or a chair are 1 in 423,000. You are FAR more likely to die of many odd things than you are to a terrorist attack. Heck, the odds of dying to overexertion are 1 in 1.4 million. The odds of dying from your pajamas catching fire are 1 in 30.5 million.

          • EddieD_Boston

            Wow. If an act of terrorism is stopped in it’s planning stage the government did what was needed to save lives. I knew two people who were in the planes that struck the towers. The dead Boston Marathon bomber was a student of mine, briefly. Maybe your theoreticals are based on you not having any connection to these killings. I’m behind the government 100%. If you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.
            These animals must be stopped. Desperate times require desperate measures.

          • Tjeffson

            You say that now until the day comes when they sift your data and find things on you they can use against you. When they disappear one of your friends or family, will you still back them 100%?

            The “if you’re not doing anything wrong” argument is a logical fallacy. We have rights, the govt is supposed to protect those rights. What any person does in their private life is no one else’s business. If the govt has reason to believe you did something wrong, they can get a warrant. These programs will not stop terrorism. They can’t find the flea in the haystack.

          • Kathie Ampela

            After 8 years of Obama’s foreign policy we are going to need all the anti-terror tools we can get.

            I am posting these comments using my real name in the light of day. So far, I haven’t been targeted. Today at work I sent out about 20 emails. At home I sent out a few as well. Less say the average person sends out about 20 emails a day, just generally speaking. My math is bad, what is 325 million times 20 EVERY day? I wonder if the government would have the capability to monitor volume like that.

            9/11 was a failure, above all, of imagination. No disrespect to the founder fathers of America, but I doubt they could have dreamed in the wildest nightmares of terrorist acts like that.

            You can hold onto to your high ideals and questionable statistics that support your opinions. But I for one, do not think the U.S. Constitution is a suicide pact (and I doubt if Thomas Jefferson would think so either:)

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjYghdfi0PQ

          • sheila0405

            But don’t you realize that you have already committed privacy suicide–you have killed off your civil liberties. I would rather be blown out of the sky than throw away my rights in the Constitution. And, it isn’t just the national security issue. It’s seeing our government abuse its power with zero accountability. The IRS scandal is the best example of this. The government also uses things like Commerce to enslave us. That was on display during the Supreme Court arguments re: Obamacare. The O Administration was trying to hang its hat on the Commerce Clause. In the end it was taxation that gave the Administration its win. Taxation is the most potent weapon the gov’t can use against us. The Founding Fathers never conceived of an income tax.

          • Kathie Ampela

            Excuse me, but if you would rather be blown out of the sky then lose your precious civil liberties then you are talking to the wrong person. I have a soon to be 7 year old son and HIS safety is the most important thing to me. You, madame, have never witnessed a human being jump to their death, or you would be singing another tune. And if you STILL would rather DIE than take measures to prevent things like this from happening in the future than that that’s even SCARIER than the jihadists who want to kill us. I am no fan of Obama, but I DO NOT want the national security apparatus DISMANTLED because YOU don’t have a problem with being BLOWN OUT OF THE SKY.

          • sheila0405

            Fair enough. But to live without civil liberties is a slow death, at least to me.

          • Kathie Ampela

            I’ll tell you what a slow death is. Extremists on BOTH sides who care more about their political agenda then they do about saving lives or solving problems. There is a time and place to stand on principle and a time for compromise…and having the wisdom to know the difference. I see little difference between the jihadists who want to blow themselves up for their cause and those who would rather be blown out the sky then “commit privacy suicide.”
            By the way, I had the gonads to use my real name in an internet political forum and not hide behind an anonymous comment. I’ll let you know if Obama’s storm troopers come and arrest me.

          • sheila0405

            And just what political agenda do you think I am putting forth? Just because you strongly disagree with me does not mean that I am not standing on principles. I value my civil liberties, and I am standing on the 4th Amendment. I never supported the Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq, or the TSA. If you want my real name, I think you can click on my icon. No matter, though, it’s Sheila Warner. I live in Vineland NJ. There, now someone can arrest me, too, and lock me away with no charges filed. That’s how we do it now, right?

          • sheila0405

            Oh, and remember this nice little saying? Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. I’m with Sen Rand Paul on this all the way…

          • sheila0405

            Love this!

      • sheila0405

        Not to mention that the bombers in Boston were totally missed, even after two contacts from Russia. A misspelled name? Cut me a break. Doesn’t the gov’t look at both the first and last names of those on the watch list? Don’t they feed in possible variations on names? And, as far as mining the internet, the older bomber had radical Islamist material on his computer. So, we throw away our civil liberties, and still get attacked.

  • nickshaw

    But Bernie, the NSA and all the alphabet soup of agencies were doing what we are talking about here and the Boston bombing, with the attendant lock down and house to house searches still happened.
    This with the perpetrators doing everything but wear signs telling of their intentions at the marathon!
    And they still got away with it.
    Though I agree with you that we are far from being a police state and that a certain amount of “freedom” will necessarily be lost for the sake of security we have seen what an overwhelmingly liberal civil service will do when it wants to.
    I’m sure an overwhelmingly conservative civil service might be tempted to do exactly the same, mind you, but that’s not the current situation.
    We are dealing with people and, unfortunately, most of us are craven at heart. The monstrously large civil service we have today only allows anonymity for those who would use the system for their own (or their preferred political party’s!) gain.
    Though the fallout has not settled from these most recent scandals, rest assured, no one will be going to jail, as you suggest. In fact, few will even lose their jobs.

    • sheila0405

      Snowden was not a civil service employee–he was a contractor. You are comparing apples to oranges. If the NSA was truly abusing its power, as Snowden claims, why didn’t he approach Congress as a whistleblower instead of running to Hong Kong and presumably telling the Chinese what the USA has been doing to China by way of hacking? The man is a traitor to this nation.

      • nickshaw

        Sorry, maybe my description was too narrow. Perhaps anyone working for the government should have been the parameter?
        Snowden is nothing more than a loser and a traitor, in that I agree.
        I wouldn’t doubt that he is an Occupy supporter as well.

  • sheila0405

    I was against the Patriot Act when it was enacted, and I still don’t like it today. The one good thing that happened, as I recall, is that the warrantless eavesdropping outcry resulted in the formation of the FISA courts. This notion of the collection of phone numbers was hardly a new revelation. However, I have not seen a vast increase in court cases in which the NSA is accused of abusing its power. So, I have learned to live with constraints on civil liberties, not like those constraints, but also realizing that the men and women who have been in charge of this program are nonpartisans, who thus far have carried out their duties well. The possible collection of emails is more problematic; is the government secretly reading our words? Perhaps that is a matter that can be clarified by the government. I, like Bernie, am a pragmatist. Sometimes you just have to trust those who have committed their lives to protecting us from another 9/11, while at the same time having mechanisms in place to punish abusers. To live otherwise is to spend too much time living in anxiety.

    • chrismalllory

      FISA courts are useless. All courts in the US should be open and public. Everyone who testifies in them should be seen and named.

      • sheila0405

        That’s not always feasible, especially when it comes to grand juries. Anytime an indictment is being sought, law enforcement has to factor in the possibility that the one being investigated will flee the jurisdiction. And there are legitimate reasons for certain people to retain anonymity–drug enforcement personnel, for example.

        • Tjeffson

          Drug enforcement people need no anonymity because the Federal Govt has no business prohibiting drugs to begin with. Thus the DEA shouldn’t even exist.

          There is no need for ANY secret court. Do it out in the open for the public to see or don’t do it at all.

      • nickshaw

        I gotta’ go with Sheila here, Chris.
        There are definitely instances where some court proceedings need to be kept secret though, I might suggest some limits of the time they are kept so, particularly in those instances where the rulings may have unintended consequences.

        • Tjeffson

          Nonsense, the government exists at our behest (or is supposed to) therefore they should have no secrets from the people. If they want a warrant, go see a judge and get it. Otherwise, they’re just as much criminals as the drug dealers and terrorists.

          • legal eagle

            No secrets? You want to know what your congressmen had for lunch? What an absurd statement..

          • Tjeffson

            What they eat for lunch isn’t a secret.. you can simply ask them if you want to know. But there should be no secrets from the people. They serve at the behest of us. Nothing they do should be kept from the people that put them into office.

          • legal eagle

            What law are you referring to? Worry about what your kids are keeping secret from you..

      • legal eagle

        Obviously you know nothing about the court system or intelligence…Simple solutions for simple people..

        • Integrity

          Looking in the mirror and seeing your reflection?

    • nickshaw

      Keep in mind the “F” in FISA used to stand for “Foreign”.
      The White House last week called it “Federal”. It wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was repeated in the transcript handed out by the White House.
      I’m sure it still does stand for foreign and I’m also sure most people would not have a problem with the NSA snooping on foreign correspondence or phone calls.
      But, they have gone well beyond that.
      I’m with you though, the PA is odious in it’s scope and powers. When you give people power, they will use it. Ask the guys at Gibson Guitars. (yes, I know that isn’t related to the PA, it’s just a good example!)

    • Tjeffson

      Complete and utter nonsense. Your odds of dying to a terrorist attack at 1 in 100 million. You have almost the same chance of winning the Powerball. It’s effectively zero. There is no reason to have secret courts. If the Govt wants to investigate someone, they should go before a court and get a warrant (not a secret court).

      The FISA courts fly in the face of the Constitution. You cannot have secret courts that the public knows nothing about and still claim to be a Representative form of government.

      • johnfromil

        If some of you Ron Paul supporting idiots had gotten behind Mitt Romney, you might not have this problem.

        • Meximom

          I think the problem was not Paul supporters so much as:

          1) Evangelical Christians who wouldn’t support a Mormon
          2) Massive voter fraud by Dems

          • nickshaw

            Those two things may have played a part, Mom but, we have to face the fact that there are just as many (if not more!) low information, unmotivated voters on our side as there are on theirs.

          • Meximom

            “ours” often make the mistake of voting (or staying home!) based on social issues rather than the things gov’t is actually supposed to focus on: economy & national security.

            Eg: When the religious right got on their abortion bandwagon again, they set the stage for Sandra Fluke to turn a lot of women, by scaring them into believing Romney would make ANY form of birth control illegal! Good grief. If the results of the election weren’t so tragic, it would almost be funny.

          • nickshaw

            Almost? It is funny in a Monty Python kind of way!
            That Fluke could capture the approving attention of the LSM and a large portions of the American public is worthy of a Monty Python skit!
            Otherwise, single issue voters on our side are no better than the LIVs in general.

          • legal eagle

            Let right wing haters call your daughter a slut….Lets see if your so detached…

          • Integrity

            Is the victim you are referring to a woman in her early thirties attending law school at a prestigious university? I would prefer this to a left wing hater accidentally driving his car off a bridge, saving himself and then leaving the scene of the accident, not reporting the accident within
            nine hours, and leaving some young lady in the car to die. At least he did not get reelected; oops, my bad, I forgot, he had a D by his name, so no harm, no foul. A wealthy 1%er who got away with it because of his wealth, and more importantly, his “correct” ideology. QED Why don’t you prove justice was served? And, by the way, if my daughter was a young and naive intern, I don’t think I would appreciate a dirty politician taking advantage of her. Now, pray tell, who is conducting the war on women? QED again.

          • legal eagle

            What happened 45 years ago is relevant how? Perhaps he got “away with it” because his three older brothers died in service to the country? Good to see you remember the 60′s and you’ve determined that Teddy Kennedy was a “dirty” politician…..

          • Integrity

            No. He got away with it for the reasons I previously provided. I had a feeling that you would make the relevancy argument. You are predictable. It is relevant because it is a classic example of the hypocrisy of the left. When you make your many flailing arguments to defend the current administration, you often point to the bad behavior, or what you perceive to be such, of former presidents. Oddly, none of them ever have a D next to their name. The dirty politician I was referring to was not Teddy, it was a former president. And, his truthfulness matters because he was accused of rape. If he had an R by his name, there is no way he would have survived this or his many sexual harassment scandals. And how is this for irony? The accuser was later audited by the IRS. QED x 3.

          • legal eagle

            I almost forgot for a moment that victimization, continued whining and hate for Obama are required traits for being a Republican…No wonder their only real demographic constituency is white males over 35…

          • Tjeffson

            That’s why Republicans will never win as long as they keep talking about social issues. The Democrats own social issues.. you can’t beat them on it. You must leave them off your platform and not talk about them because they don’t belong in federal politics.

          • legal eagle

            Election results were tragic? For whom? Those who want corporate interests to run the country? Rich, out of touch guys like Romney? Haters like Bachman and Palin? Minorities?

          • Meximom

            The list is too long for this forum so let me sum up by saying “tragic for anyone with a brain”. Do yourself and the world a favor and quit getting your (mis)information from Media Matters & MSNBC.

          • legal eagle

            What misinformation do you claim I have espoused? You obviously have a need to complain about Obama because he has won twice and Hillary will win in 2016….Being bitter and cynical is a difficult long term philosophy…In the words of Don Henley “Get Over It”…LOL

          • Meximom

            WH talking points do not equal “information”. And I don’t care who’s in the WH, as long as it’s not someone whose policies are destroying the country.

          • Integrity

            Do you work for Soros?

          • johnfromil

            And some of those “good people” who would not support Romney were Ron Paul supports like TJ above who attacked Romney every chance he got. You didn’t have to be pro Romney. You just had to be anti-Obama and act on it by supporting his opponent, but too many would not vote for Romney because he’s not the perfect conservative or the perfect Christian.

          • Tjeffson

            First we were a small fringe group, now we’re the cause of Romney’s loss… so which is it? http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/40-points-that-prove-that-barack-obama-and-mitt-romney-are-exactly-the-same that should refute pretty much anything you want to say about being Pro Romney or Anti Obama.

            Where all you Romneybots keep failing is using the word “Conservative” in conjunction with Romney’s name. He wasn’t Conservative, not even 1 iota. He’s always been a far left liberal democrat. Look at his run against Ted Kennedy for Senate once.

            What good does it do to vote for someone that has almost exactly the same policies as the guy you hate? Voting against someone just means you have no principles. And that’s why you keep ending up with idiots in office… Bush41, Clinton, Bush43 and now Obama. Once could also add Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ etc. to the list. Even Reagan moved away from his Libertarian speeches once he got elected.

          • sheila0405

            You hit the nail on the head.

          • David Caskey

            Meximom,
            You clearly don’t know evangelical Christians. The issue had nothing to do with a Mormon. If you would look at the map, you would see that the Bible belt voted for Romney. What was the problem was that Romney was not a conservative and could not even speak the language. He made no effort to attack Obama and put him away. In the end, the election was divided between North and South, almost like the Civil War, except for a few western states. It shows the divided of the country and the fact that we need two countries.

          • Meximom

            I saw lots of posts on conservative blogs about how Romney wasn’t “Conservative enough” and OFTEN, when I drilled down a bit further into those comments & posters, it became clear to me that there are different definitions of “conservative”. For me it means FISCALLY Conservative and a belief in small government, but for many others that definition also includes a religious component and an absolute OBSESSION with social issues like gay marriage and abortion.

            I do agree that Romney’s campaign was wimpy, they missed a lot of opportunities and the MSM did everything in their power to demonize someone who is, by all measures, a very nice, intelligent & honest man … unlike the criminal sitting in the WH now.

          • sheila0405

            The reason why Romney became the nominee in the first place is because the conservative evangelicals did not coalesce around any of the other GOP candidates. The primary season for the GOP was the true tragedy in 2012. Again, IMHO.

        • Tjeffson

          Romney would have had the exact same programs. So stop fooling yourself. Romney was Obama… in every meaningful way but skin color.

          You voted for your liberal from MA… you got the govt you deserve so you can lay in that bed.

          • johnfromil

            BS

          • David Caskey

            Totally agree with Tjeffson.

      • sheila0405

        I don’t like the secrecy of the courts. It’s why I oppose the Patriot Act. My point was that President George W. was forced to bring in the judiciary. I never understood why he wanted warrantless searches. Did he really think he couldn’t find judges who would sign off on any warrant he sought? The Patriot Act needs to be repealed, IMHO. There aren’t too many in any of the three branches of gov’t who want to follow the Constitution. The Bill of Rights seems to have become the Bill of “It Would Be Nice, but…”

  • chrismalllory

    A sane immigration policy and a foreign policy that puts the interests of the United States first would do more to stop terrorism in the US more than all the government spying.

    The government should not be collecting records on American citizens for any reason, PERIOD.
    We don’t have show trials in the US? You need to educate yourself.
    About those cops patrolling our neighborhoods, I can do without them as well.

  • joepotato

    President Obama…? Are you kidding me? When I see bona fide documentation proving who he is (legal name) and verifiable proof of Natural Born Citizen status… At that point I will look at the evidence to determine if the resident in the WH is legitimate to hold that office. Nothing that I have seen so far shows me very much… and AP articles, and his bio as printed by his publisher paints the picture of a foreign born person. Show me the passport records…
    So we’re supposed to trust this govt? Pahleez….

  • W

    Americans have always had a healthy distrust of government. I say keep it that way. The Constitution was written to protect us from government, not the other way around.

  • happel

    I certainly do not believe we are in a police state… yet. What I do fear is how easily we sacrifice the Constitution and then later justify the means to the end. We continue to give our government more power and there is little doubt there will be individuals within that construct that will exploit that power. And they are the ones that are sheltered from the crimes of that abuse; whereas the common man, with no rights, if accused of being a terrorist, even if not proven, can spend an eternity without rights, a trial or defense attorney. There is a skewed system of justice developing that caters to the powerful and exploits those without it.

  • ksp48

    If that happens, throw the book at the abuser. Put him or her away for a long, long time. -

    But that never happens. See IRS, See Fast and Furious. See Benghazi.

  • Ern

    We’re not a police state, yet, but with the pattern of abuses from the Obama administration we cannot allow the intrusion of collecting our phone, and web date. It’s a slippery slope that if we give them (the government) an inch, they’ll eventually take everything.

    • chrismalllory

      The abuses of citizens by the government goes back well before Obama. Obama is just the latest symptom of a diseased government.

  • Mickster

    Mr David Hunter that was a very astute and balanced observation and i wholeheartedly agree with you. Too many times we cherry pick issues because we may not like the guy in charge. But we also have to guard against giving a guy too much slack. If one is a true patriot, you can never root against your president or wish that he fails because ultimately a far bigger thing is at stake, which is our nation. Time to start calling things as they are and be fair or we will diminish as a society just like every empire throughout history. Unfortunately I think we’re well on our way to that end. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t die trying to prevent it. Forums like this are an exercise in putting thought on to a problem that has grave implications, so hopefully our society may realize that the common good of our nation of people is worth reversing course over. We can only pray we do it in time.

    • nickshaw

      Unfortunately, you won’t find much of a reasoned argument such as yours, Mick, on a liberal forum.
      I know, I go to many of them a lot.

  • Rob Bligh

    It is difficult to imagine anyone being able to make more sense on this troublesome topic or to use fewer words in doing so. Thanks.

  • kayakbob

    In the vacuum of an isolated story you make a lot of sense Bernie.

    But taken in totality of everything else we have learned and I suspect we will be learning in the coming months about how this administration (really) operates, this is very worrisome to me.

  • John Davidson

    The real issue is the Democrats used info to restrict conservative voting. Let get that straight. Most bloated government agencies know we want to downsize them. Most are only interested in maintaining their costly status.

  • David W. Hunter

    I think a lot of the outrage has to do with the general state of our country for the last ten (or more) years. There are anti-war liberals who criticized President Bush over his foreign policy, and yet the same liberals are silent when President Obama continues many of the same policies. On the other side are the people today who supported the Patriot Act in the name of security when Bush was in office, but now criticize those same policies now that Obama is in charge. Those that are critical did not or do not like the guy in office, therefore everything the President does MUST be bad.
    That being said, I think Obama’s administration has demonstrated a much higher level of dishonesty and corruption than Bush’s administration ever did. Obama is either corrupt or oblivious, and those are not qualities I’d like in my president.

  • makeupdiva

    You are wrong Bernie – sorry but you are –

    DHS insider: It’s about to get very ugly http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55749

  • John Daly

    It drives my libertarian friends nuts that I don’t get bent out of shape over the NSA stuff. It made sense to me under Bush. It makes sense now… I just trust the guy in charge far less than I used to.

    • Jeff Webb

      I was okay with the Patriot Act as it was advertised (limited to calls made to suspect locations overseas from here, and vice-versa), and mostly because it was explained out in the open. It should be more than a little troubling to find out that there actually isn’t any limit to whose calls get tracked, and that the powers that be kept us in the dark this time!

      The most troubling thing of all: Obama promised us nobody was listening.

      • JDinSTL

        They only don’t listen when you’re in a mosque

        • nickshaw

          But church is fair game apparently.

          • JDinSTL

            Rest easy, they’ve got nursing homes covered.

          • johnfromil

            They’re welcome to listen to the services at my church. They might be converted.

    • happel

      If you’re naive enough to believe that Bush or Obama are the ‘guys in charge’ of this level of surveillance, then you shouldn’t be worried about trusting either of them. They are nowhere near the front line of this technology or information, nor its policy decisions.

      • nickshaw

        True that, Hap.

        The administration is as divorced from the bureaucracy as the brain of a brontosaurus was divorced from it’s tail.

        Mind you, that same bureaucracy takes it’s cues from the administration as to what it thinks it can get away with.