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302 comments

LOL, you got GWB again! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186304)

LOL, all of your presidents and their administrations are the same.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186328)

now now, this is most certainly change from the GWB "freedom? lol what freedom? regime.

yep, this is worse.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186434)

Well no, that's where the "hope" part comes in. You have to "hope" that there will be "change". Americans refuse to come to terms with the fact that their country was bought and sold years ago, in fact not long after it was founded.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186666)

The whole world refuses to come to terms with the idea their countries were bought and sold for.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (4, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186344)

Those of us who aren't so partisan realized this a long time ago.

Each side has a few variations, but getting more power & money is the focus of both the Dems and the Reps.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186526)

Those of us who aren't so anti-government realized this even earlier.

Each side tries to do what they think is best for America, whether that's promoting human rights, economic security, or international stability. Each administration tries to make decisions based on what they believe to be right. For advice in that regard, they turn to expert advisors (usually chosen for their general views, rather than opinions on specific issues) and the public. Of course, when only a tiny fraction of the public actually cares enough to state their opinion, the administration's ability to make an informed decision is severely crippled.

When was the last time you complained to your representatives about defense spending? Or the education budget? Or the overreaching power of the FBI? This is your government. Participate in it.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186584)

Sorry, but i just get form letters back telling me in flowery language to fcuk off. It will take mass outrage to enact meaningful change. Hopefully the Tea Party (the real one, not the Koch/Palin/Armey astroturf) keeps at it and picks up some more lefties. The number one problem in our government is the destruction of checks and balances and centralization of power in the executive branch that has transpired in the last 20-30 years since the last time the people cleaned house.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186602)

Electing Reagan wasn't "cleaning house". In fact, his administration opened the door to a lot of the crap we see today. But that's what happens when you elect an actor to be your "leader". As an actor, his main talent was bullshitting people into believing a fake reality. As a president, it was much the same.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35187030)

actually i was referring to e.g. the Church commission and the social upheaval that lead to it. would your highness care to come down off your high horse? And both Carter and Regan would have been much worse if not for the watchdog provisions freshly minted in response to prior CIA, FBI, and McCarthyite abuses of power.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (2)

whitehaint (1883260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186782)

I sent a rep a flowery letter telling them to f off and I got back a letter thanking me for my support!

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186638)

Is not that easy. How you discern someone that say something that you don't think is reasonable or popular enough from the words of a crazy maniac? Once you define "reasonable" you only have one agenda. Suppose that a lot think that they prefer freedom over all the "security screening" that is all around. Would be that considered crazy or the opinion of the majority of the people? And if your perception is "close" to 50-50, you will take the route that have more incentives (aka lobbying) to follow. US government won't change unless they get Egypt's scale protests.

Your stats about what people think are rigged, and a good part of that are things outside normal citizens opinions. And if that is not enough, you force the way to think to enough people to ensure that you are right

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35187026)

Politicians can discern reason from insanity by examining the arguments presented. If you write a clear letter stating your exact opinion, with facts and figures as available, full citations, and a well-phrased persuasive argument, you're much better off than simply writing "I want this". I exaggerate, of course, but erudite writing is vital.

No matter what decisions are made, someone always benefits. To use an old phrase, it takes two to tango. There are multiple sides to any debate, and yes, sometimes an opinion in a slight minority will still get their way. It's not an issue of forcing people to think a certain way. It's an issue of making tough decisions with very little information representing less than 1/20th of the US population, amidst constant propaganda campaigns from all sides, and political opponents ready to criticize every decision, regardless of its justification.

Running a nation is hard, and it's made more difficult by an overwhelmingly apathetic population. Changing which party sits in what chair won't change anything significant. The United States was founded as a government of the people, and that's the only way it works.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (4, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186674)

Some years ago I complained to my Representative about H1B visas.

He actually wrote back! But he twisted my complaint. Bragged how he was doing all he could to stop the evil Latinos from illegally swarming across our southern border. The government was building a fence! Great-- they were going to waste more of our money finding out that fences don't work well enough to be worth the trouble. Certainly I don't want totally uncontrolled borders, but that wasn't what I was complaining about.

"Suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself." Mark Twain

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (4, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186722)

When was the last time you complained to your representatives about defense spending?

Yesterday.

Kind regards,
The people of Egypt.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (0)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186790)

Oh good, use a bunch of people who are trading an their dictator for likely a theocratic government for an example. No thanks.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (2)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186976)

Actually they traded it for a military dictatorship which may or may not release that power in the next few years.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186824)

Or the overreaching power of the FBI? This is your government. Participate in it.

And be overreached around by the FBI? Seems bitching on Slashdot is a bit safer.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35187066)

If I ever find a politician that reads Slashdot, I'll point him your way.

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (1)

ticketswapz (1974628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186426)

He's a tanned GWB

Re:LOL, you got GWB again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186476)

Yep, moderates in this country have known that for a long time. In practice there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. However, if you think the elected leaders of any other country are different, you are deluding yourself.

meet the new boss (2, Insightful)

lophophore (4087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186310)

same as the old boss

Re:meet the new boss (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186346)

The Supreme Court has long held (since the 1800s) that searches at international borders don't require a warrant.

This is nothing new.

Re:meet the new boss (5, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186658)

the same era's supreme court also upheld slavery and later provided us with Dredd Scott. So tradition is no defense against a facial violation of the Constitution. If we want unwarranted searches in certain conditions, we ought to do this thing called "amend" the constitution to allow it and enact laws in accordance with those amendments. that is what we call the "rule of law". We certainly shouldn't want to drift further away from being a nation of laws. Look at Zimbabwe for an example of our eventual destiny should we continue down the cult of personality road.

Moreover, while the old precedent was bad, it is notably made worse by other, more recent encroachments that the supreme court is trying desperately not to hear because they clearly like having a king-like president but don't want to admit it.

We used to, as a society, value the idea of improving our country and its governance to more closely resemble our ideals. Sure there were setbacks, but Americans in 1990 were notably more free than in 1950. 1950s Americans were notably freer than 1900s Americans. 1900s Americans were notably freer than 1850s ones. I think it's pretty obvious that 2010s Americans are notably less free than we were in 1990. I want us to return to the positive trend. I don't want a president encouraging dictators (*cough* Egypt *cough*) because they're our toadies and are more predictable and require less work and upkeep. I want freedom and self determination for all.

Re:meet the new boss (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186698)

But is it the same? If I place an international call, my end of the call takes place entirely within U.S. borders.

Re:meet the new boss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186442)

Indeed, I've been chronicling this periodically up at http://obamaisthenewbush.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com]

This administration -- and the Justice Department in particular -- has been absolutely terrible on the right to privacy.

So much for HOPE, CHANGE, and PROGRESS.

Re:meet the new boss (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186464)

Re:meet the new boss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186510)

When I hit that page, the first blurb that comes up is:

"Argued that the widespread use of Predator drones is a justifiable form of self-defense"
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/03/drone-attacks-legit-self-defense-says-administration-lawyer/ [wired.com]

Thanks! I will add that to my list.

Re:meet the new boss (1)

Angeret (1134311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186670)

Having clicked my way through a lot of what's on that site and reading a few linked articles, I can only imagine that Mr Nobel has stopped spinning in his grave and has probably now exploded. Obama gets a Peace Prize when entering office - before he gets anything achieved - and then does or is party to all that (and perhaps a lot more as yet undocumented) and at the end of his term... what? World presidency as a leaving present for having made Amerika such a great place, a nation to be proud of? Africa is currently off the charts in the "throw out the scumbag leaderership" ratings and in the USA and here in the UK... fuck all.

Re:meet the new boss (2, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186478)

It's a legitimate complaint that Obama's administration certainly haven't lived up to their promises on stuff like this - domestic information gathering and other powers. But I think we must also realize there are legitimate real-world problems that they have to contend with - for example, terrorism threats. It's always hard to give up powers and tools that may potentially make it easier to track and thwart terrorist attacks. This isn't a failure of idealism - this is pragmatism (albeit in an undesirable form).

Frankly, I think the current president realizes he's especially vulnerable to any potential terrorist attacks that may happen. When attacks on the US like The September 11 attacks and the thwarted Shoe Bomber attack during President Bush's administration, he got emergency legislation to institute all these domestic spying powers in place. When thwarted attacks like the Underwear bomber (Northwest Flight 253 incident) occurred or the Major Nadal Hassan shootings occured, the current president got blamed for failing to keep America safe. There is a lot of political pressure on the President to prevent any terrorist attacks on the US because he'll get more blame for it than for other presidents who had similar attacks.

Re:meet the new boss (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186610)

Terrorism threats are statistically negligible, and much less dangerous for the average citizen than traffic accidents or choking while eating. When will we start to install special agents in every kitchen throughout the country to check food for fishbones and gristles so hazardous to our lives?

Re:meet the new boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186728)

Try telling that to your average soccer mom, the same one who does complain to her Rep. in a badly mistyped email or letter when shit hits the fan.

Things would be much better off if normal people couldn't vote. Which includes you, me, and most /.'ers.

Re:meet the new boss (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186798)

so you advocate monarchy? i think we're almost there.

Re:meet the new boss (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186678)

But I think we must also realize there are legitimate real-world problems that they have to contend with - for example, terrorism threats

Yeah, it worked. You are afraid. Step one of becoming a model citizen is done.
Being afraid is good. Sorry that we had to focus from communism to drugs to terrorism. Uh, I mean, we have always been at war with terrorism.

Title goes here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186314)

Well now I have a good reason not to take calls from the USA.

PGP (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186586)

PGP Phone [pgpi.org] .

The only thing this is going to do is catch a few minor criminals that may call Mexico/Canada for their weed.

Any real terrorist is going to encrypt what they're doing.

Hell, thinking about it right now, if I was a terrorist and I wanted to start sending coded messages, I'd start with craigslist. Put some 'orders'/messages in an image with steganography (encrypted of course), and just let it go by word of mouth that orders for the attack should be looking for a 1974 Blue Camero. They decrypt the orders and carry on.

Go America! (1, Flamebait)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186320)

Egypt puts you to shame.

Free World my ass.

Re:Go America! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186542)

Well, maybe good there for heterosexual Egyptian Muslim males, anyway.

Re:Go America! (0)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186816)

at least it's better than it was... as opposed to our general backsliding and increased risk of police state. Who knows, maybe Mubarak will get the constitution amended so he can be our president. nah, he'll just run and win. the constitution doesn't matter any more.

Hope and change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186336)

What a load of bull.

The lefties were right, yet again! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186340)

They told me if I voted for McCain the president would want "illegal" wiretapping privileges! And they were right!

Re:The lefties were right, yet again! (1, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186444)

Oh please. Just the fact that McCain chose Palin as a running mate shows how seriously devoid of logic and rational thought he is. Not that the other guy is any better - which is always the problem with so called "democracy". Choose between the idiot on the left or the idiot on the right of the ballot.

Re:The lefties were right, yet again! (0)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186544)

... which is always the problem with so called "democracy". Choose between the idiot on the left or the idiot on the right of the ballot.

The problem is our particular form of democracy, which encourages a two party system. Democracy, in general, is a wonderful thing.

Re:The lefties were right, yet again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186794)

Yeah, it's fantastic when the majority takes away the rights of the gays, or the smokers, or the tokers, or the criminals, or the terrorists, or the raped, or the hackers, or the infringers. And so forth.

Democracy is only good for establishing a set of common ideals; and not necessarily good ones.

Re:The lefties were right, yet again! (1)

anwaya (574190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186830)

Choose between the idiot on the left or the idiot on the right of the ballot.

That hasn't been the choice for a long time, not, perhaps, since 1988, when the candidates were George Bush Sr and Michael Dukakis, who Bush successfully tarred as "liberal". Since then, because of that use of "liberal", the options have been Right and Center-Right, with the Right-wing candidates becoming more extreme with each election.

On the left, Progressives view Obama as being to the right of Reagan.

How's that Hopey mcChangey stuff working out... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186348)

... for you Yanks?

Change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186358)

Yeah, so much for the fierce moral urgency of change. Having buyer's remorse yet?

Pen register Act ? (2)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186370)

By what legal sophistry is this allowed under the Pen Registry Act [cornell.edu] ? These blatant end-runs around existing law are obnoxious and insulting. If they feel the law is too restrictive, I have no doubts that the Congress would be all too willing to oblige them, but I wish they would stop this BS.

Not really news (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186372)

It's been a pretty publicly known for many, many years now that the US has tapped international telephone cables. Histories of submarine espionage like Blind Man's Bluff [amazon.com] go into some detail. There was no uproar then about listening in on people's private calls -- and some of these lines had US traffic going through them. The American public is pretty forgiving as long as the administration claims that it's happening off of US soil and is for a good cause.

Re:Not really news (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186496)

None of this doesn't make it right.

Don't mix up forgiveness with apathy.

Re:Not really news (0)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186516)

Well, when you ask average Americans about this and they respond that it's OK because we're going after Reds or terrorists, than to me that crosses the line between apathy and forgiveness.

Re:Not really news (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186694)

this is not the same thing as tapping a cable in international waters. This is asking for records of the calls originated in the US and provided by 'any of three telecommunications companies.'

Re:Not really news (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186786)

how long before we're far enough down the slippery slope that all these powers are used to stifle domestic political dissent on a large scale? I don't want to live in Hosni Mubarak's America.

not long given that they're already used to stifle domestic political dissent on a small scale by claiming that e.g. anti-IMF protesters are "terrorists" and spying on / imprisoning them.

www.class.uidaho.edu/gillham/research/MTAM%20COPY%20EDIT.doc

hey, the contractors that perform some of these tasks are already trying to freelance outside direct government authority.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/02/11/campaigns/index.html [salon.com]
http://www.salon.com/about/inside_salon/2011/02/11/threats_against_glenn_greenwald_wikileaks/index.html [salon.com]

Gods good work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186376)

You have to realize that obeying laws can be uncomfortable or even get in the way if you're doing Gods own work in the government. While we can always create laws that exempt us specifically, it's hard and cumbersome and sometimes takes valuable time. Therefore, it is in everybody's interest if we do away with this complication and have laws apply to ordinary citizens only in the future. There are way too many of them and they are way too complicated already.

I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186378)

Honestly, unless there is something huge that I don't know about, I just don't get how the information gained this way could be worth the cost of our freedom. This is just so sad!

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186440)

I don't think I'll be making the same mistake twice and vote Green or something next time around. He's had his chance and at this point I'm disappointed to the point of really not caring which party gets their criminal elected next.

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (1)

cdp0 (1979036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186462)

I just don't get how the information gained this way could be worth the cost of our freedom.

Let me explain it to you then: the value of your freedom, to them, is zero in the best case, but realistically it's probably negative. If the value of the information gained this way is anything bigger than the value of your freedom, which is not hard to imagine, it's worth more to them. See, simple math!

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186494)

Well since you have no freedom to begin with (unless of course you are a billionaire), it actually costs very little. All that's happening is the veil is slowly falling. But never kid yourself that the government has not always had the power to break you. That's what government IS.

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (1)

thomst (1640045) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186594)

Honestly, unless there is something huge that I don't know about, I just don't get how the information gained this way could be worth the cost of our freedom.

I suspect that the NSA and/or the CIA is responsible for Obama's acquiescence to this legal travesty. We ordinary citizens have no way of knowing what "facts" their most-highly-classified presidential briefings present, nor what scenarios they spin for our Chief Executive. It is entirely thinkable that their presentations to the President are loaded with convincing evidence that such blatantly unconstitutional activities are absolutely essential for our national security.

And, of course, it's also entirely possible that their supposed evidence is wholly fabricated, and that they're leading Obama around by the nose. (Can you say "Gulf of Tonkin incident"?)

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186846)

I agree with your assessment. I believe Obama is trying to do the right thing and is just a victim of the establishment in Washington. He was obviously a victim of the Congress drafting the horrible health care legislation which now bears his name but which his administration had little to no hand in drafting. His position is salesperson in chief for this horrible legislation and he does a good job, especially since he does not believe in it himself. It is not his fault that he has such horrible products to sell.

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186650)

Such a naive comment...
All the signs were there while he campaigned for president.
Obama is a nobody who came from nowhere. No real experience running a large organization. Yes, he was a community organizer. How effective was he at that? Did he follow policy or make policy? How many of his community projects are still viable? if yes, is it because of his influence or others who came later?

Compare to a real leader..., say FDR -- he led instead of letting his cabinet or wife make policy.
People will come to respect a real leader, even if they disagree with him/her. They quickly gave Obama a Nobel prize, but how quickly do they lose respect? (Even Indonesians want to remove his statue.) In contrast, FDR earned the respect of his opposition.
A real leader can motivate others to do what is right, even if it is unpopular. A real leader shows an ability to think under pressure and communicate effectively. (My high school speech teacher marked us down for saying, "Ummm, Uh, um, ah...") Reading prepared speeches is not a sign of leadership -- that's following someone else's ideas.
A real leader can say, "No" to peer pressure.

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (0)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186760)

I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama!

Honestly, unless there is something huge that I don't know about, I just don't get how the information gained this way could be worth the cost of our freedom. This is just so sad!

The promise of "Hope" and "Change" is not a very good reason to vote for somebody. How could you not see through that fucking facade?

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (2)

clintp (5169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186780)

In 2008, they said if I voted for John McCain my civil liberties would be further eroded for sake of the safety of the State. My freedoms would be restricted without legislation with the complicity of the courts....

And they were right!

Re:I wish I knew this before I voted for Obama! (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186802)

In 2008, they said if I voted for John McCain my civil liberties would be further eroded for sake of the safety of the State. My freedoms would be restricted without legislation with the complicity of the courts....

And they were right!

That's amazing. I will be borrowing that in the future.

Change We Can Believe in? (1)

ticketswapz (1974628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186382)

Is it "Barack Bush" or "George Obama"? I get confused sometimes. Democrat and Republican are two, by appearance, differences on the same corrupt coin. Flip it and whatever side it may land on seems like a choice but it's still a coin of corruption. For anyone who is about to say that third parties are ineffective and unimportant does not understand US History. Remember when our choices were the Democrat and Whig Party? Yes, the Republican Party was the most successful third party in US History which means we can easily make an effective, important third party if we put our minds to it.

power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely (2)

craftycoder (1851452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186394)

When I was campaigning for this man, who is now the president, I had hoped he would turn back the clock and fix the over reaching of his predecessors. So naive! I'm ashamed of myself for HOPING. I should have know it would just be the same shit, different day.

Re:power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolut (2)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186480)

you could have voted for Kucinich, Gravel, or Paul and gotten genuine and positive change in these areas. Oh, but today's Tammany Hall said those choices weren't "serious" and that they "couldn't win".

it's time to form a new center that actually gives a damn out of the far right and far left.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/02/09/tea_party/index.html [salon.com]

Re:power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolut (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186502)

I guess you can take consolation in the fact that the end result would be the same regardless of who you campaigned for. Just like a football game, it doesn't matter which team you prefer, at the end of the day the players are still going to go home with a lot more money than you are.

Re:power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolut (3, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186562)

So now what? You give up?

What you should have learned is that you can't pin your hopes on a superstar to fix a systemic problem.

TFA is useless (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186404)

So according to TFA, the FBI is claiming "a section of a 1978 federal wiretapping law" gives them the power to ask about phone records. TFA does not actually say what section that might be. TFA then goes on to speculate on the (il)legality of phone companies handing over records, again without any further information or even consideration for any revisions since 1978. Apparently, "experts" say that these laws are being misinterpreted by the FBI. There's no mention of a lawsuit, no mention of anything more than speculation.

That's great, guys. Please keep up the good work, fight the good fight, et cetera, but wait until you have something concrete and informative before you publish.

Re:TFA is useless (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186566)

Also mentioned in the TFA is that the phone companies can voluntarily comply with the request, but it still takes a court order if they chose not to. That has always been the case.

Campaign Promise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186410)

Maybe this is what was really meant by "Yes We Can!"

You wanted "change"? (3, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186414)

You got it!

Re:You wanted "change"? (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35187000)

Can I get a receipt for that change?

*sigh* (3, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186416)

Can we now dispense with the myth of the 2-party system?

There is one party -- the party of you're going to get fucked and you're going to like it.

The two faces of this party manufacture differences to keep Americans at each other's throats. There probably are ideological differences somewhere buried, and they certainly talk differently during campaign time.

But they are remarkably similar in how they actually behave: scratch the backs that scratched them, put the screws to the companies that don't play ball, put the screws to the vanishingly small subset of "normal Americans", who don't have some other group-identifying prefix or suffix.

Add to that, cooperate with or live in ignorance of the fact that the money printers and bankers really run the show, and don't forget: expand federal government power and run ripshod over the core principles and civil liberties that set this nation apart at its founding (who reads history, anyway?) , and finally, almost all politicians of any flavor agree that the answer to every problem is to say YES to EVERYBODY, thereby having the best shot of re-election.

I didn't and don't like Obama's professed worldview: I think he's much too redistributionist for my tastes, but then, I'm more individualist than Ayn Rand. But enough about me.

Obama was supposed to FIX at least _some_ of the shit that GWB did badly. He was supposed to draw down troop deployments, he was supposed to get rid of our "parallel" justice system where torture and kidnapping and indefinite incarceration and no trials are all fine and dandy. He was supposed to give back some of the 4th amendment.

He has done none of those things, and infact, on all fronts, has made them worse.

Nearly everything that GWB was doign wrong, Obama has continued or made worse.

I hope the Obama administration thus far has been a wake-up call for people who were looking for 180 degree turn.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186616)

That's because even with a two party system, the US government has checks and balances. So even if the president wants to do something or wants to change something, congress has to, also. The executive branch cannot effect significant change without congress and vice-versa. The president can issue executive orders, but those do not hold the same power as legislation.

So, if you are correct and the people vote him out of office in two years, it will still be the same thing as before. Obama was definitely a 180 degree turn from Bush and yet things remain the same. The next candidate will be 180 degree turn from Obama and things will be the same. The real problem, is that congress is not interested in what is best for the country as a whole (all of its citizens) but only the special interest groups that got them elected in the first place.

When congress (and the president) start doing what is best for the country instead of what is most likely to get them re-elected. Then we will have real change. Until then, it will be the same old thing, regardless of who is in the oval office.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186778)

The job of the president is to veto laws that he doe not agree with.

Re:*sigh* (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186942)

That's because even with a two party system, the US government has checks and balances. So even if the president wants to do something or wants to change something, congress has to, also. The executive branch cannot effect significant change without congress and vice-versa. The president can issue executive orders, but those do not hold the same power as legislation.

You have this so wrong it's not even wrong. When people refer to a "two party system." they're talking about the politcal dominance of two groups of people (who identify themselves as Democrats and Republicans at the moment). These are groups of people who are using their First Amendment rights to speak and assemble. There is no constitutional guidance, nor should there be, regarding the forming of political parties. You could ban them outright, but what would stop two (or two hundred) like-minded congressional representatives from forming another caucus and voting together? That's all a politcal party is, when it comes right down to it. It's not a "system," it's a natural byproduct of people gathering together in order to have strength of numbers on issues that are important to them. If an important enough issue wasn't embraced by either of the two big parties, a third would step right up. The Tea Party types, fed up with suicidal deficit spending, are an example. The Republicans realize that those people are closer (on most issues) to them than to the Dems, so they've largely embraced that core message.

The checks and balances you're talking about are a result of the THREE part government established by the founders and defined in the constitution. There's the legislative branch - congress - (which is broken up in the House Of Representatives and the Senate), there's the judiciary (with the Supreme Court at the top), and the executive (the president and all of the people that he appoints to his cabinet and the various agencies they control). It's the intentional tension between these three branches that provide the opportunity for checks and balances.

As for doing things that will get them re-elected ... if YOU were in congress and thought it was important that you were there in order to vote as you think best serves your conscience, your constituents, and your nation - wouldn't you take steps to get re-elected, too? So that you could continue to do what you think is important? Should a president in his first term sit idly by and not worry about being re-elected for a second term if he thinks that it's important to continue what he's doing with his presidency? Do you think that "real change" will happen only during one term? And, what "real change" did you actually have in mind? Are you talking about structural changes to the constitution?

Re:*sigh* *sigh* (2 heads are better than one) (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186978)

I agree. The president is simply the head of the Armed forces. I never expect him/her to do any sort of ( IP | legal | health care | human rights ) reform -- The president of the USA, much like President Zaphod Beeblebrox, is simply a distraction to keep us from concentrating our attention on where we can actually make such changes (i.e. every other position of government, EXCEPT the presidency).

Re:*sigh* (1)

ProfM (91314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186902)

Nearly everything that GWB was doign wrong, Obama has continued or made worse.

So what you're saying is ... voting for Republicans is bad for you, like smoking. However, voting for Democrats is very bad, like drunk driving.

Re:*sigh* (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35187004)

There are only two parties, the sold and the for sale.

Soviet Russia (3, Insightful)

xPhoenix (531848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186500)

I think it's time to retire the "In Soviet Russia..." comments and replace them with "In Democratic America..." No, really...

Re:Soviet Russia (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186996)

In Democratic America, Democracy means Republic!

(the USA is actually a republic)

The government (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186512)

Is much larger than *any* one person. This just goes to show that once you get to Washington you are just swept away by the beast.

Summary left out one detail... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186550)

It seems that the summary omitted once crucial detail -- The FBI may request the information and it may voluntarily be given. However, to demand it still requires an intervention from the courts.

There is nothing new here. If your phone company chooses to give information about you to the FBI or some other government agency, you may have a gripe with the phone company, but the government can't just come in a compel the phone company to give up that information without a court order.

Re:Summary left out one detail... (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186660)

In countries where privacy is valued, the phone company has no right to voluntarily give out your information.

Re:Summary left out one detail... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186744)

In countries where privacy is valued, the phone company has no right to voluntarily give out your information.

I agree the phone company has no right to give you your information. However, they are not in fact doing that. They are giving out "their" information regarding their billing charges, which by it's very nature includes usage data. I don't agree with it, but that is in fact what occurs.

There is nothing to stop companies from giving out any information about you that isn't protected by law (such as medical information). How many bad checks have you seen taped to a cash register with a note to not accept checks from such and such individual. That is financial information about you. How much spam and junk mail do you get because somebody you do business with sold your email or street address? Just as it is not illegal for this to occur, it is not illegal for the phone company to sell your information or to give it to the authorities.

What is in question is whether they have to surrender the information if the authorities demand it and the answer is "no." At least until a judge issues an order saying they must do so. In theory, that only occurs if there is just cause. Real life, however, is much different than theory.

So, in short, the phone company has every right to voluntarily give out your information. They also have a right to voluntarily withhold that information.

Re:Summary left out one detail... (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186956)

This was actually the crux of several of the EFF supported lawsuits that got consolidated into Hepting v. ATT. Several state communication commissions were trying to investigate and enforce state laws against the phone company voluntarily giving records or phone data to *any* entity. It just happened that the entity in question was the federal government. It's one of the few times that Missouri has been on the forefront of advocating civil liberties. And they got no credit. And of course, the FCC was of no help due to their boss. Again, too much power concentrated in one place. We need more checks and balances.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4181/is_20060731/ai_n16652712/ [findarticles.com]

The Obama administration IS a terrorist group (0)

redkcir (1431605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186614)

The Obama administration is comprised of far left group members that harbors and caters to terrorist groups. Is it any surprise that it would want to have unfettered access to the phone and any other information of it's enemies? Are they any different than the far right in wanting the same intelligence? That's what happens when you have a government that is for the governments interest ahead of the people it is supposed to represent. Any politician that serves one party isn't serving you.

in practice (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186634)

Is it really that different? Any data as to how many times the FBI (or similar) is denied a 4th (or Nth) amendment-breaching request?

In practice, and given the "parallel" justice system that is being employed and growing in the USA, it seems like it is very simple to circumvent authority by invoking "enemy of the state" or "national security" arbitrarily. So why should it matter anyway?

Remember the good old days (2)

BlurryEyed (134070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186648)

Remember the good old days when we could hate Bush for this pine for the days when a Democrat in office would save us?

(sigh, good times... good times...)

 

Blame Bush (1)

enormouspenis (741718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186662)

but the fact is he actually required a FISA sign off to do this. At some point the Obamabots are going to wise up: The Nazis were a Left wing Socialist organization who hated non-State capitalists, gun rights, smoking, Christians and anyone not like them.

Do Not Want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186664)

Do Not Want.

So they're taping my mom's calls? (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186684)

When she calls me in Europe from the US?

Mom: "Are you getting enough to eat?"

Me: "Yes, mom, I live Western Europe, not the Western Sahara."

Mom: "How's the weather over there?"

Me: "It's fine, mom."

Mom: "Are you getting enough to eat?"

Me: "You already asked me that, mom."

The scene switches to the NSA headquarters, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

NSA Chief Analyst: "There must be some kind of code there. She keeps asking him, "Are you getting enough to eat?" What does that mean? Assign a team to crack this code. And the reference to the Western Sahara? Call the CIA and get their agents in the Western Sahara to snoop around, there must be something going on there . . .

First calls, then...? (1)

wall0645 (1665631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186716)

How long until internet traffic to foreign websites becomes constantly monitored by the FBI, using this same justification? And after that, how long until all internet traffic becomes constantly monitored? Lovely.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186776)

The Obama administration has continued the Bush administration's trashing of your liberties. Does anyone still think this is change you can believe in?

I guess it is if you're a leftist who wants to live under a dictatorship.

every white house wants access to everything (1)

a2wflc (705508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186814)

that's one reason why I prefer a congress from the other party. it would be great if citizens cared enough to tell the white house no, but we don't so I'll settle for the other party doing it just for spite (they'd agree too often if the president is their party)

Liberty Needs a Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186844)

The ONLY way to have social liberty is to have fiscal liberty also. The only way for a society to be free is through Libertarianism. Social do-gooders who want to mandate this and mandate that to help people or cry for social justice just end up enslaving us all. We need some unity behind good old fashioned liberty. When everyone is free THEN you can become advocates for charity instead of advocates for slavery.

No News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35186888)

On par for Barak-O vision.

Who need a terrorist when we have a Terrorist-n-Cheif.

Next up, Barak-O will require Janet-Planet DHS patented toilet-cams to make sure those pesky illegal Mexicans aren't getting in through an unattended secret tunnel.

[bad Cheech Martin accent] Hey Barak-O vision, looks like Machette is com'n up you back orafice and he's real pissed man.

TeeHeeHee

-308

Didn't they already have this? (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35187032)

When will they just discard with the formalities and just say that every goverment agency can do anything whatsoever with no warrants and paperwork required. It would simplify the law too, they could sum it up in one sentence: "Everything is illegal".
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