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Terrorist database victim of "mission creep," stored data on protest groups

Facing increased criticism for "mission creep" and inappropriate data entry, the Threat and Local Observation Notices (TALON) database maintained by the U.S. Department of Defense will be shut down on September 17, 2007.

Created in the aftermath of 9/11, the database was originally created to gather intelligence on possible threats to U.S. defense operations, both stateside and overseas. However, over its lifetime, TALON’s scope expanded considerably, eventually finding use for purposes far beyond its original mission. TALON’s out of control nature was aided by unverified reporting, data which grew to include peaceful domestic protest groups, nosy tourists and "Be on the Look Out" (BOLO) reports used by law enforcement

In a series of Freedom of Information Act requests made in February 2006, the ACLU found that TALON was used by the highly-secretive Counterintelligence Field Activity Agency (CIFA) to accumulate information and surveillance on nearly four dozen peaceful war protests. One February 2005 TALON report, centered on the War Resisters League’s protests near New York City recruiting stations, described the WRL as using "Ghandian nonviolence." In 2006, Newsweekpublished news of a TALON report used to store information on peace activists wearing papier-mâché masks and handing out peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to Halliburton employees as they got off work.

Late last June, the Department of Defense Inspector General issued a damning evaluation (PDF) of TALON in response to audit requests from congress and previous negative press. While data used in TALON was collected legally, the report said, 1,131 of the 13,000 reports were found to be irrelevant to terrorism and subsequently purged. Additionally, it also found that the database did not consistently follow its 90-day retention review policy as set by the U.S. Department of Defense.

According to Pentagon spokesman and Army Colonel Gary Keck, TALON was determined to no longer hold analytical value, as reports coming into to the system had declined significantly.

TALON’s closure does not mark the end of the government’s data collection efforts. The DoD reported that they will retain the database for "intelligence oversight requirements" and that work has begun on a newer, improved system to take TALON’s place. In the interim, all of TALON’s remaining data will be moved to the FBI’s Guardian database, says Keck.

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By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 3:05:09 PM , Rating: 1
I can't believe any well informed, intelligent citizen would support a bill that strips you of almost all of your constitutional rights and freedoms. Whether or not you have anything to hide is not the point. Have you ever heard the saying "give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile"? When the gov't sees that they can pass this off on "unconscious America" with promises of safety, and well being, it's only a matter of time until they take more and more of our rights away in the name of "safety and patriotism". I love my country, but I love it because of the freedom I have. With each bit of that we lose, we lose a piece of the foundation that this country was founded on.


By mdogs444 on 8/23/07, Rating: 0
By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/07, Rating: 0
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 3:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
No, my apologies if you think it was directed at you. I was just venting towards alot of posts in here that are inferring that "this way is the only way" type of attitude.

Just that people rate me way down for my political views that they dont agree with. I dont tell anyone they are wrong, because freedom is being able to have your own mind and own views.

Again, my apologies if it seemed directed at you as it was in no way my intention.

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 3:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks. I appreciate the clarification. Personally, whether I agree or disagree with someone's opinion, I respect the fact that they're willing to speak their mind and argue their point passionately. Otherwise, what fun would this forum be? =)


By TomZ on 8/23/2007 4:13:51 PM , Rating: 5
Sorry to interrupt your love-fest, but we're trying to have a serious discussion here. (clears throat) :o)

By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 4:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
Threes a crowd ;-)

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/07, Rating: 0
By glitchc on 8/23/2007 5:50:52 PM , Rating: 1
Ewww. Please keep such activities restricted to your respective bedrooms, whichever's it happens to be that night. ;)

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/24/07, Rating: 0
By TomZ on 8/24/2007 1:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Actually I think it was those who lack any kind of sense of humor!

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/24/2007 5:28:30 PM , Rating: 3
Wouldn't the right wing homophobes fall into that category? =)


By Ringold on 8/23/2007 4:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
I would counter that you'd be hard pressed to find a President of the United States who didn't have their equivalent of the Patriot Act -- if not significantly worse in many situations, both in their violation of the constitution and the way in which they were implemented. This, at least, has been approved by Congress; that's an improvement from past events.

...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


All of which was both ironic and clairvoyant. Ironic in that as he uttered those words he wielded dictatorial power, and clairvoyant in that he knew that to save the Constitution he must temporarily abandon it -- in full knowledge (or hope) that after the turmoil of the Civil War had passed that his federal powers would be rolled back, unconstitutional laws revoked, and all other damage undone -- which essentially is what happened.

That'll be the real test; after Islamic fascism is thoroughly cleansed, will we then roll back the encroachment of federal authority with the same zeal as occured after the Civil War? If the Cold War is any indication we probably will not.. but regardless, the Patriot Act is far from unprecedented; it'd almost be unusual in American history if we didn't have something along it's lines, given the scope of the conflict being on a similar scale to that of the past few major conflicts which had such violations of their own.

Let's not so easily forget our history, folks. We've been here before; some of the details have changed, but the idea hasn't, and we'll be here again. With troops still abroad and terrorists gaining strength by the day we're no where near the point where we have the leisure to kick back and start getting in the way of the war effort -- especially one so reliant on intelligence.

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 4:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think there is validity to your point. However, I'm not quite sure we could compare the actions of a president of a country torn apart by civil war to the situation with George W. and his crusade in the middle east.

I would counter that you'd be hard pressed to find a President of the United States who didn't have their equivalent of the Patriot Act

I'm not saying you're a liar...but I would like examples to support this opinion. Also, you make it seem as if these equivalents were "secrets" and the Patriot Act is congressionally approved, which makes it better. I pose this question. Doesn't knowing about it and accepting it make it worse?


By Ringold on 8/23/2007 5:15:13 PM , Rating: 5
I'd call knowing about it and accepting it in the short term to be enlightened in that people would understand history and know that complete liberty and security aren't always compatible.

As far as Lincoln goes, I think you underestimate how similar the domestic situation was in the North. Copperheads, or suspected ones, could be actual Southern officers sent to engage in sabotage or merely Republican's who disagreed with Lincoln acting entirely of their own volition. Lincoln suppressed them, and any political opposition that grew too powerful, brutally.

Other examples.

Roosevelt -- a little Google and you'll find a list of transgressions a mile long. I'm aware of little dissent to the idea he was functionally a benevolent dictator.

Woodrow Wilson: Feel free to Google the Espionage Act of 1917, the Sedition Act of 1918, and Palmer Raids. He had little more problem throwing journalists in jail than did Lincoln.

President Truman and Eisenhower both used various means to sidestep Congressional authority, particularly Truman as it relates to Korea and the random seizure of steel mills. It's hard to pin anything too solid on Cold War presidents but some of their dirty work was being done by rabid anti-communist movements outside the Oval Office.

As far as the government misleading people on the status of the war.. I've not actually looked too close at Vietnam, at least from that angle, so can't comment, but it seems the opinion of many that deception did take place, and I know it's the opinion of the military that they lost essentially because they couldn't hide their losses well enough.

It's a little tough to cherry-pick examples before Lincoln as the Civil War represents the countries first existential crisis (asides from, of course, the original one). Laws based on racism and fear of foreigners were passed prior to Lincoln, but I can't pin that on war.

The first Gulf War is a happy exception -- but it also was one of the more honest, straight-forward conflicts that needed no such suppression.

Oh! And the USS Maine struck a mine. Mmmhmmm... But hey, whatever whips the people in to a frenzy so we can get some new real-estate.

If anything else pops in to mind (I just covered WW1, WW2, Korea, the Civil War and Vietnam -- I dont think I'm missing anything significant) I'll post again. I might've drifted off course with the USS Maine as far as the Patriot Act.. but the rest I think were on target. Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt and a whole line of Cold War presidents suffering from lack of honesty seem a pretty solid precedent, though it'd be nice to support my thesis if we'd rolled back federal power after the collapse of the Soviet Union..

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 5:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well thought and well spoken. That said, I still don't support the Patriot Act, or believe that we will see federal power rolled back in the near future. Just my opinion. Let's hope I'm wrong.


By Ringold on 8/23/2007 9:20:31 PM , Rating: 3
I *think* the Patriot Act has a sunset built in to it..

Though, to be fair and honest, the further strengthening of the precedent can be as damaging as the law itself even once the law is gone. We'd of never got the New Deal without the 'Progressive Era' of the early 1900s, which drew it's own credibility from the Civil War Reconstruction period.

I think we generally agree. While I didn't see anything too sinister about it, we're both cynical as to the ultimate outcome. Maybe I'll join the group hug? ;)

By masher2 on 8/23/2007 5:29:16 PM , Rating: 5
> "I can't believe any well informed, intelligent citizen would support a bill that strips you of almost all of your constitutional rights and freedoms"

I don't support the Patriot Act either. However, relatively, it has only a small impact on our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. I find it incredibly sad that those campaigning so loudly against it are prepared to ignore far larger governmental intrusions in the areas of our First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendment rights.

ALL the rights enumerated in the Constitution are important. Why not protect them all, instead of picking and choosing?

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 5:52:45 PM , Rating: 3
I find it incredibly sad that those campaigning so loudly against it are prepared to ignore far larger governmental intrusions in the areas of our First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendment rights.

Who is prepared to ignore far larger intrusions? Just because I'm focusing on the Patriot Act in this comment doesn't mean that I'm blind or ignorant to these issues. It seems like your comment is just trying to be arguementative.


By masher2 on 8/23/2007 6:14:45 PM , Rating: 1
> "It seems like your comment is just trying to be arguementative..."

Well of course I'm trying to be argumentative! But not just argumentative...I'd like you to think about your position on these issues.

For instance, you obviously don't agree that there's any justification for allowing the government to monitor citizens without a warrant. But do you similarly agree there's no justification to limit our ownership of assault rifles and machine guns? You'll find the legal theory that allows both cases is identical....that "reasonable concerns for public safety" override the private right. You don't like the Patriot Act's allowing of unreasonable searches...but what about unreasonable seizure of property, by anything from confiscatory tax rates to EPA use regulations?

What's your opinion on hate crime legislation, that essentially removes your First Amendment rights to free thought? Or "campaign reform" laws which limit your right to free speech? (Unless you're a newspaper editor, of course) What about the thousands of government laws which are expressly barred by the Ninth and Tenth amendments?

I could list quite a few more examples, but this is a good start.

govmint 4 da peeps bye da peeps
By wetwareinterface on 8/23/2007 9:01:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why did I type my subject as such? To make a point in the body about the average U.S. citizen. 10% of the citizenry in the U.S. would find no problem at all with the horrendous spelling and grammatical errors in that subject line. 30% more from there would find fault with some but not all the subject line. 50% would find all the errors, 20% of this group would take it as a personal mission to point them out. The remaining 10% would find it amusing or uninteresting at all.

How do you propose to have a government run by the people for the people when your population has a 10% barely able to read or write base. Another 30% can almost read or write the language they speak daily. How do you propose to have legislation and laws that are against the public interest from being passed when almost 1/2 your population doesn't understand the deatils involved in that legislation. Especially considering the individuals trying to get said legislations passed use every means possible to hide their "rider's" intent thru subcommitee appoinments etc...

A bad law is a bad law, but when your citizenry have to have a law explained to them in the first place they ignore it for the most part until it's too late. Complacency isn't America's #1 problem, idiocy is. We have a culture that accepts being an underacheiver as the norm, and to be dumb is to be expected and in some cases lauded (think rapper videos with "hos" and "pimps" livin "real" or drug slang terms in general being "tha shiznit"). Our country makes being stupid a special thing to be venerated. Eubonics is a prime example. "English grammer is hard so black children shouldn't have to learn it because some of them are poor, we'll make special exceptions for them". What the fuck is that all about anyway? Because parents in a particular area are dumb and don't feel like participating in the society they live in they get to have the right to exclude their children from it by a language barrier that will last well into their adult years. This is legislation passed by your representatives that was applied in school districts in Oakland and Compton and Detroit as well as New York etc...

I find this legislation more troubling than the patriot act. The patriot act was about boosting internal security and being more proactive about terroism and crime in our country. However flawed the implementation and initial legislation was in preserving our rights it at least had a purpose that makes some sense on some level. The eubonics legislations accross the country made no sense and were plain stupid and would only result in more stupidity.

Illegal immigration is simply that illegal. And it should be illegal and stay that way. Yes there are jobs that need to be filled and there is a willing workforce to do them in another country bordering ours. Simple solution; give out more work visas, actually tax those coming to work, enforce minimum wage and offer the same protections to the foreign workers and arrest and put the illegal ones on work details with no pay. This would have several side benefits; domestic workforce wage standards would increase due to no more undercutting of wages from illegals, greatly reduced illegal immigration, more tax dollars generated to cover services the illegal workforce is using anyway such as healthcare and education, and a free labor force to clean highways and maintain certain civic services. Illegal immigration wouldn't go away as no matter how much you boost the work visas there are too many mexicans willing to come and try to work anyway but it would cut way down on the issues caused by illegal immigrants. The mexican American population doesn't want these reforms as currently they can sneak relatives in and hide them long enough for amnesty and it becomes a backdoor to citizenship. Take that backdoor away and prevent citizenship from work visa parents delivering babies inside U.S. borders as well as illegal immigrants doing the same and you cut way down on the incentives to risk illegal immigration. First logical step however is boost legal allowances for foreign workers and change the laws about birth in U.S. from a set of foreign parents granting automatic citizenship.

RE: govmint 4 da peeps bye da peeps
By wetwareinterface on 8/23/2007 9:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
lol modded down in 10 seconds flat

RE: govmint 4 da peeps bye da peeps
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 9:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
It was the title. I almost didn't read it, thought the title might've been 4 realz.. If the username didn't have a geek slant to it, I wouldn't have.

Nice enough post otherwise, lol

You're in the database now, too!!
By rebturtle on 8/23/2007 9:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
You realize that commenting on, and perhaps even reading this article will probably get you added into their database. Big brother is watching...........*shiver*.......... lol

RE: You're in the database now, too!!
By TomZ on 8/25/2007 12:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
You're rrobably right about that. Note to FBI, CIA, etc.: kiss my ass.

Hang on, there's somebody at the door...

By enthusiaster on 8/25/2007 8:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
progress and development are accomplished through thought and action by creative persons initiating change which is then accomplished made by contesting and challenging the status quo. people who work for governments are NOT creative types. they want so much security that they want everything to basically remain unchanged EXCEPT FOR THEIR PERMISSION. this is actually a predicament of "SOCIAL PERSONALITY" which is never discussed but shall be henceforth. there are 4 types.


Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/07, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah right....
By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 9:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
All they are going to do here is pull it out of where its at, take away access to enter new data, and then archive it into the FBI Guardian database. Where it will remain until hell freezes.

In any case, this is little different than the "Bonus Club" programs at most grocery stores... they "track" you as well, OMG BIG BROTHER!

RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 9:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously. I bet theres people out there that know more about my daily activities than i do.

RE: Yeah right....
By therealnickdanger on 8/23/2007 9:54:03 AM , Rating: 4
But do they care? :P

RE: Yeah right....
By chsh1ca on 8/23/2007 9:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's about time people start to realize that privacy in a world as technologically oriented as ours is a sham.

RE: Yeah right....
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 9:52:20 AM , Rating: 5
I don't agree with your technology/fatalist view. Individual citizens must be diligent about pushing back against the government when it seeks to impede our personal liberties. Otherwise, the government naturally becomes too powerful, corrupt, and begins to work against its citizens. We've seen this many times before in past history. We cannot passively allow technology to upset this critical balance.

Also, if data is purged from the database, it means it is no longer accessable to those using the database on a daily basis. If the database is no longer available, it means the same thing. But I agree, of course the database is still available in some form to certain people, but as a matter of course, the data will no longer be available.

RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 9:58:35 AM , Rating: 1
I wasnt trying to start a political debate. But was merely making a point that there is too much technology these days. If its not the govt using satellites to track us, then there is also Google, MS, etc that have them up there. Its possible for any corporation to put them in space granted they have enough money to do so. So now we arent just fightiing govt, we are fighting major corporations around the world. What was the story a while back - google earth took a picture of an asian submarine or something? Just an example of what im referring to.

RE: Yeah right....
By pekingu on 8/23/2007 9:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
im european, ideologically socialist, ecologist in practice, and i find pretty offensive how cheap you sell fundamental rights to feel safer, while those ones were earnt in blood by your ancestors, that i can say for sure now, were way more brave than you.

maybe you should move to north korea they will take away all your rights and protect you as long as you dont blame them for anything.

RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/07, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah right....
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 10:05:44 AM , Rating: 3
Not sure your point, but WWII happened because of an out-of-control government that didn't respect the rights of its citizens. It is exactly the outcome that needs to be prevented from happening again. The main way to do that is to ensure that your government doesn't sieze too many rights from individual citizens.

RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/07, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 10:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
and i would come out to bash

Meant to say: "and i wouldnt come out to bash"

RE: Yeah right....
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 10:16:47 AM , Rating: 2
I understand what you're saying, but if you look back to the history of the U.S. even over the past 100 years, you'll see lots of times where people were questioned, hassled, detained, even jailed for doing things they shouldn't have been. There is nothing that prevents that from happening again in the future, except for our own personal and individual diligence, awareness, and willingness to fight for what is right.

RE: Yeah right....
By smitty3268 on 8/23/2007 10:22:55 AM , Rating: 2
im just saying i dont worry about it because i dont do anything worth worrying about.

The problem comes when someone else decides that the political group you belong to or candidate you support is something worth worrying about. Anyway, I don't think most people are really worried about that now, it's more of a moral issue. Some things are just wrong, even if they don't affect you directly and for a lot of people this issue is one of those things just like others worry about abortion even though no one they know has ever had that done.

RE: Yeah right....
By Rhaido on 8/23/2007 11:31:59 AM , Rating: 5
Long time reader, first time poster. I know this is a tech site but so often the conversation moves into politics etc. Those with more knowledge of history and political science could say this more eloquently but mdogs444 comment stirred me into action.

"Personally, i dont agree with everything our government does...but because of them, i am able to make a nice living, enjoy life,..."

Maybe I am out in left field on this but I would say that the freedoms you enjoy are not because the governement allows you to do those things. People fought and died for the freedoms the US citizens benefit from. From what I remember about the history of the US, power not expressly given to our governement was reserved by the people. People fought and died to be free and they created the government to handle certain jobs such as diplomacy and such things that would make sense due to an analogous economy of scale. Why is it that people in the US now believe the government's job it to give them freedom and take care of them? What happened to the people giving the government its power and individual responsibility and accountability?

RE: Yeah right....
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 4:08:16 PM , Rating: 3
I bet I'll really stir the down-mod fires with this one, but here it goes..

What your post essentially sums up (in a less partisan way) is the point Reagan and Goldwater fans make today; "Ask a liberal what they think makes America great and if they're honest they'll say the Government." You point out that people are the masters -- despite how it appears on CSPAN when Congress asks people to appear before them, and they sit in royal fashion high above the civilians; an odd master-servant arrangement, and a very clear image of how they picture themselves and the power they now yield.

I don't know what it is, government schools, laziness, or something else, but that idea of individualism and personal responsibility has been nearly bred out of American's. We had the New Deal and it's been down hill from there. It's almost as if we've accepted a complete reversal of the social contract as we've grown too lazy to hold up our end of it.

RE: Yeah right....
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 4:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. I think everyone in America should go and read Atlas Shrugged. The sentiments expressed in that book seem just as relevant today as when they were written so many years ago. It seems like we're turning into a nation of children.

RE: Yeah right....
By masher2 on 8/23/2007 5:34:06 PM , Rating: 3
> "when Congress asks people to appear before them..."

Asks? Demands is more like it. Refuse and you'll be slapped with a contempt order fast enough to make your head spin.

For an interesting assignment for the student, peruse the Constitution and try to find where Congress is given the right to conduct investigations and subpeona witnesses.

Hrm...perhaps it was written in invisible ink.

RE: Yeah right....
By Homerboy on 8/23/2007 10:14:55 AM , Rating: 2
What rights of the citizens did the Third Reich not respect?

RE: Yeah right....
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 12:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well, for the Jews, the right to live comes to mind. Sorry, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not.

RE: Yeah right....
By Parhel on 8/23/2007 1:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the Nuremberg laws revoked the citizenship of the entire Jewish population, so perhaps that's what was meant by the comment. I hope it was meant as sarcasm, though.

RE: Yeah right....
By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 10:20:09 AM , Rating: 3
I would like to point out that the Nazi government was a political power that seized control through democratic elections, appointments, and committee's. They were just a political party like Socialist, Republican, Democrat, etc...

Hitler was appointed the head of the party and they stood behind him, he rebuilt their economy from nothing, to a powerhouse in a decade, thats pretty impressive. This gained him enormous popular support. Hitler might have been a dictator, but he was a popular one until the end of the war.

Hard to make that comparison.

RE: Yeah right....
By GoodBytes on 8/24/2007 9:46:23 AM , Rating: 2
We got proper sidewalks, proper sewer system and highways thanks to Germany innovations during that period of time.

RE: Yeah right....
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 3:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
but WWII happened because of an out-of-control government that didn't respect the rights of its citizens.

The WW2 ball started rolling because Germany's European neighbors exacted undue revenge for WW1. Mix in a little depression, and Hitler rose to power fair and square. It got out of control because the last European with a spine was Churchill and he wasn't in a position to do anything until too late; appeasement allowed Hitler to expand until it was too late. Once appeasement was a clear failure, France couldn't help itself but to make a completely useless (but impressively large) defensive fortification -- which the German's neatly walked right around. Typical European history -- diplomatic failure compounded by military failure. Enter the United States, savior of the free world three times over. If Europe had militarially opposed Hitler early on, sacrificing a fraction of the number of people it ultimately would in WW2, it could've been averted. But, oh no, that's pre-emptive war-monger unilateralism these days.

Now, the Holocaust happened because of what you said, but that was a domestic issue.. sort of..

RE: Yeah right....
By Kaleid on 8/23/2007 4:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
Those who claim to come to save the world often have wishes to rule it. The neoconservatives and many hawkish democrats have that exact ideology. Anyone can understand this quickly by reading for instance what PNAC stands for. There's no real effort to promote freedom, since occupations are not liberations and you can also see that USA and many European contries suppport non-democracies.
Orwell rolls in his grave..

RE: Yeah right....
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 4:46:01 PM , Rating: 2

Yep. Chancellor Merkel, she just eats right out of our hands, like a dog and it's master. The Japanese, too; we say jump, they jump! And Sarkozy! That wasn't cool distance we saw when he visited Bush; that was just a cover for him begging in private make sure the Arab's don't invade a second time.

And PNAC? Project for the New American Century. Heaven forbid patriots desire to see two centuries go down in the book as being marked by American greatness rather than follow the path of Europe down the road of irrelevance. Nationalism is immoral now I suppose; I guess that makes "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong" the heigth of evil right-wing conspiracy then, eh?

Decatur rolls in his grave.. :P

As for supporting dictatorships, well, what the hell. Knock us for liberating Iraq from one, but if we support others, we get knocked too. Which is why I, for one, don't particularly give a damn about foreigners suffering any more, lest it endanger our own strategic interests.

RE: Yeah right....
By Kaleid on 8/24/2007 12:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's hardly a liberation when it's a permanent occupation. And US and British decisions certainly have made sure the population of Iraq were captive with Saddam for a long time. "Our butcher" as it was said.
David Armstrong notes in Harper’s magazine: "[In 1992] the goal was global dominance, and it met with bad reviews. Now it is the answer to terrorism. The emphasis is on preemption, and the reviews are generally enthusiastic. Through all of this, the dominance motif remains, though largely undetected."
The war on terrorism appears total bogus...

RE: Yeah right....
By Ringold on 8/24/2007 6:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
You're badly mistaken. Iraqi's were quite happy to be rid of the dog; but understandably pissed off at the current state of events.

And that current state of events is largely, if not almost entirely, due to outside influence; money, men, weapons, and pressure.

So you really think war on "terrorism", or more accuaretly islamic fascist's attempt to create a global caliphate, is bogus? What's all the suicide bombings the world over about then, eh, genius?

RE: Yeah right....
By smitty3268 on 8/23/2007 10:17:00 AM , Rating: 4
For all you know, he is German. ;)

RE: Yeah right....
By Martimus on 8/23/2007 10:57:51 AM , Rating: 3
I didn't want to get involved, but he sure didn't seem to be bashing a country, just you. I don't agree with the way he did it (bashing people is never a good idea), but I agree that we should be careful about giving away the rights that were so vehemently fought for by our ancestors. Let's face it, that is what happened in most dictatorships that didn't come about by civil war. The people gave away their rights to their leaders for some security, safety, or economic gains, and the leaders used that to control their populace.

RE: Yeah right....
By FITCamaro on 8/23/2007 4:17:28 PM , Rating: 1
Yet European governments "spy" on their citizens as much or more than the US government does on its own. Don't see you bitching about it.

I'm with him. I have no problem with the government monitoring email, tapping phones, etc of those who are legitimate threats. If they are doing it to you and discover you are not a threat, they move on. Our government doesn't have the manpower to monitor every citizen.

Yes we have systems in place that flag certain things. Same as every other modern nation. But that doesn't mean they're reading your email to your girlfriend about how much you enjoyed the blowjob she gave you. Unless your "girlfriend" is a 15 year old girl of course.

I've had a gun pointed at me and handcuffs put on my wrists as a result of "Big Brother". Still support it as much today as I do then. They responded to what they thought was a problem. It turned out it wasn't. Did anything happen to me? No. Did anything happen to who (my roommate at the time) they were there for? Also no since they determined there was no real cause to pursue legal action.

Did I enjoy it? No. Would I prefer it not happen and allow those actually doing what they came to investigate to get away with doing it since god forbid the government try to catch criminals by scanning the internet for illegal behavior? No. I'll let them keep doing their job and put the bad guys behind bars or in a box where they belong.

I personally think liberal ideas threaten my freedoms far more than the government does. Such as the idea that no one should be offended by anything. So lets take "In God We Trust" off the money so we don't offend the Jews, Muslims, etc. Or punishing kids for being kids and making fun of each other. Let's punish people who stay in shape by making them have to be squeezed into a seat next to a 400 pound fat ass because we're too afraid to call them fat. Let's ignore our immigration laws because "It sucks in Mexico so let them all come here and leach off us. They're just trying to make a better life for themselves. And don't make them learn English because then we're ignoring their culture (its ok for them to ignore ours)."

No my friend. To me liberal ideas threaten my freedoms far more than anything the government has come up with so far. I want the right to have my country remain the way it was when said patriots fought for it. I have no interest in becoming anything like the European Union.

RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 4:25:06 PM , Rating: 2
Here here. I agree 100%.

I especially loved this part:
"It sucks in Mexico so let them all come here and leach off us. They're just trying to make a better life for themselves. And don't make them learn English because then we're ignoring their culture (its ok for them to ignore ours)."

Let them go have their parades in downtown metropolitan cities, ranting and protesting that our government is violating their rights. Let them waive a mexican flag proudly in the streets of america - when they dont want to live in mexico, quite ironic isnt it?

Whats even more ironic...they do not have any rights. They do not have american freedoms, because they are not american citizens. They dont pay taxes, but they do want our freedoms? They want to take the money they make in the US, then send it back to Mexico for their family live off and not put it back into the US economy....but they want us to learn spanish?

Pfft. Please.

RE: Yeah right....
By glitchc on 8/23/2007 6:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
I just want to see via a show of hands how many people on this forum are interested in taking over the jobs currently performed by said Mexicans for their daily wages. How many Americans want to be: Gas station attendants, personal maids, fast-food cooks, shipping/receiving, general warehouse labourers, garbage collectors... To how many people is this a dream job?

Anyone wanna give up their nice cushy office chair for one of those jobs? Anyone??

While it's true that these people are not restricted to performing those jobs, and of course they can obtain higher education and consequently the same jobs other (relatively) upper-class Americans perform, the sad fact of the matter is that someone is required to work those jobs. And, ethnicity, race, community aside, it is always the most disadvantaged (for whatever reason) people who end up with the least desirable jobs.

Please think objectively before unnecessarily bashing an entire section of the American society. A little bit of tolerance and empathy goes a long way.

RE: Yeah right....
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 6:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
Whether Americans "want" these jobs is irrelevant. The point is that we are a country of laws, and we want our immigration laws enforced. Most of us have no problem with immigration, just illegal immigration.

And don't even get me started on "amnesty"!

RE: Yeah right....
By FITCamaro on 8/24/2007 8:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
You're right. We don't want them at the wage the illegal aliens will do them for. Why? Because we pay taxes. We want to have a standard of living above that of a 3rd world country.

Illegal aliens typically live in crowded apartments or trailers packing in 4,5,6,7, even 8 people. Or in the back of a van.

American's will do the job. They DO the jobs already. But no they won't do them for $10 a day.

And by the way, garbage men in some areas make EXTREMELY good money. In New York City in some of the worst areas of town, I've heard they get quite high wages. Like $70-80,000 a year. And I don't know about you, but where I'm at, garbage men are city employees. And other than in Commifornia, I don't see many cities breaking the law to higher illegal aliens to pick up trash. At least I haven't seen it in the areas I've lived in. I have seen them at NASA though as grounds keepers hired by civilian contractors who lie about their immigration status....

RE: Yeah right....
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 5:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
I have no interest in becoming anything like the European Union.

At least here we vote on changes to our Constitution, unlike the EU and it's recent shameful plan to bypass the people for fear the people would reject transfering more sovereign powers to Brussels or may be put off by a Constitution a mile long written for the express purpose of being so complicated that most of Europe wouldn't be able to understand and therefore see any peril in it.

Just a random expression of disappointment aimed across the pond. Sorry. Carry on, gentleman.

RE: Yeah right....
By A5un on 8/23/2007 10:46:13 AM , Rating: 2
Whether its the US govt or a foreign govt watching/listening to you....its bound to happen.

Whether you're dying one day from now or 70 years from're bound to be dead.

Same logic, go kill yourself then eh?

RE: Yeah right....
By Christopher1 on 8/23/2007 3:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Some people actually adhere to that logic, and they are the ones that I fear.

We should always take our government to task when they start spying on non-violent protest groups and other people who have 'the audacity' to say that the United States government is doing things wrong.
Even when a person is advocating the overthrow of our government, as long as they are saying that it should be done in a non-violent way, the government should butt out (and personally, I think that myself).

RE: Yeah right....
By Kenenniah on 8/24/2007 1:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
By defenition, a protest group WANTS the government to pay attention to them. If no one is watching what the protest group is doing, what's the point of protesting? There's a giant difference between watching what a group is doing, and stepping in and telling them they can't do it.

RE: Yeah right....
By zornundo on 8/23/2007 11:03:58 AM , Rating: 2
"I am a conservative, and I do not have a problem with the patriot act, wire tapping, etc - perhaps because I do not do anything illegal so I do not worry about it when it pertains to me."

That's the problem!! By the time it does pertain to you, you won't have any rights left to spit about.

RE: Yeah right....
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 11:10:14 AM , Rating: 1
No one ever said Freedom was free. I never said that it wasn't a problem, just that im not concerned with it. There are bigger, close to home issues that I am more concerned with than my privacy. I work for a non profit childrens hospital system devoting much of my time to families and childrens without insurance, premature babies left on the streets, as well as helping out childrens from 3rd world countries because we pay to bring them here and help them.

So hate me all you want, but the fact that you feel your freedoms are being ripped apart because someone is monitoring your 1-900 calls or your porn/music downloads, I just dont see it as that big of a deal.

RE: Yeah right....
By sh3rules on 8/23/2007 2:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
I am a conservative, and I do not have a problem with the patriot act, wire tapping, etc - perhaps because I do not do anything illegal so I do not worry about it when it pertains to me.

Sounds a lot like conformism to me. I wouldn't like to live in the world of "1984". If we're going to be surrounded by cameras and spy drones (a likely scenario) at least give everyone access to them, instead of only to a powerful elite (sort of an expanded version of Google Maps where everyone could access satellite and street cameras). I'd rather have everyone and his grandmother watching, instead of only Big Bother.

RE: Yeah right....
By sh3rules on 8/23/2007 2:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I meant "Big Brother".

RE: Yeah right....
By JB1592 on 8/24/07, Rating: 0
RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By DeepThought86 on 8/23/07, Rating: -1
RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 11:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
i think that most of the users on DT and writers are probably more left wing than right wing.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomCorelis on 8/23/2007 11:38:45 AM , Rating: 2
For the record, I am politically independent.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 12:37:19 PM , Rating: 3
The left and right are both wrong; the truth is somewhere in between. This is my view, which is why I would react negatively to both far-right and far-left views.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 12:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
There is popular support in favor of the right-wing on some of these issues, but you need to remember that just because a particular issue shows heavy support for one side there might be solid reasoning behind it. I may be conservative but I agree with abortion and women's right to choose.

Cut and dry, it depends on the subject at hand, there is no slant.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 1:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, there might be, but I have a hard time thinking of an example. Most of the contemporary cases that come to mind are justified more by "that's how I was raised" or "my pastor said that's what the Bible says."

If you go back to the ideals that Reagan held, probably there is some good logic there, but sometimes I am pessimistic and feel that all such sensibility has gone out the window.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By FITCamaro on 8/23/2007 4:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
I may be conservative but I agree with abortion and women's right to choose.

No offense but what about the baby's right to live? Just because it hasn't been born yet, does it not enjoy the same freedoms as a full grown adult?

Yes I agree that if the choice is between the mother and the unborn child, I think the mother's life should take precedence (others disagree but I'd prefer my wife to live).

I'm not trying to get in a political debate with you over abortion, but thats how I look at it. Yes women have the right to make choices. But they had the choice not to have sex and they didn't take it. So now an unborn child should not pay for her lapse in judgment. The only exceptions to me are rape cases. To me abortions are nothing more than a woman trying to escape responsibility for her actions. And it results in the death of another living thing.

By Vanilla Thunder on 8/23/2007 4:33:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not trying to get in a political debate with you over abortion

Then you should've skipped touching on this subject at all...


RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 4:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
People who don't consider abortion immoral obviously have a different definition of when it becomes a "baby."

If your wife or girlfriend ever had a miscarriage, it would cause you to think very deeply about when you honesly and truly believe that a fertilized egg actually becomes a baby.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By masher2 on 8/23/2007 5:49:09 PM , Rating: 4
> "So now an unborn child should not pay for her lapse in judgment. The only exceptions to me are rape cases"

If a two-month fetus has human rights, then why does it lose them because someone else committed a crime? Isn't that a serious flaw in your reasoning?

In my opinion, the issue is very simple. A fetus becomes an independent life, with its own legal rights, when it becomes independent. In other words, potentially viable outside the womb. With current medical science, that occurs after about 21 weeks.

Until then, that fetus is just a parasite inside the body, legally no different than a tapeworm, and abortion isn't destroying a life, its removing the possibility for something to become human.

By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 8:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
I have to side with Masher on this one. He has laid out my argument better than I could have.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By FITCamaro on 8/24/2007 8:34:12 AM , Rating: 2
You have your opinion, I have mine. I doubt you would want to have had your mother view you as a parasite though for the first 21 weeks after you were conceived.

I view people who leech off our welfare system as no better than parasites, that doesn't give me the right to kill them all. Just because you view an unborn fetus as a parasite, doesn't give you the right to kill it either.

To me if a woman doesn't want the baby, have it and put it up for adoption. That includes rape cases. But rape cases are the only time I can see abortion as ok. There are always exceptions. She didn't choose to have sex and risk getting pregnant so she should be able to choose whether or not to be pregnant. A woman who consensually had sex accepted that risk whether she planned it or not. She made the choice, she has to live with it until the baby is born.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Christopher1 on 8/24/2007 10:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly right, though I don't support abortion even in cases of rape. Why? Because the baby didn't ask to be conceived in a rape, so it is wrong to simply kill it like it doesn't even matter just because the woman in question was 'raped' (and if we allow abortion in cases of rape, we will have a LOT more women who weren't raped complaining that they were in order to abort their children).

Secondly, no one 'leeches' off our welfare system. Most women and men who are in our welfare system are in there for quite good reason, not just because they got pregnant outside of wedlock.
You also have to realize that 99% of the people on welfare WOULD STILL be on it if they didn't have children! A good 80% of the people who I saw at a social services office when I was working there part time...... didn't have any children and were on welfare because they had no marketable skills (not as if they hadn't tried to get them) or they got pregnant in high school and were allowed to drop out (which no one should be allowed to drop out, period and done with).
That last situation could be solved by putting every female on birth control starting at the age of 6-7 years, which is the earliest that any female has EVER gotten pregnant, excepting the one girl who got pregnant at 5 down in Peru.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/24/2007 11:42:42 PM , Rating: 3
Your posts always, somehow, inevitably, have some reference to children and sex together, in this case, talking about 5, 6, and 7-year olds getting pregnant. Sick.


RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/24/2007 11:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
FIT, I respect your views, however, you didn't really address masher's challenge, which is why you feel adoption is wrong except in the case of rape? I mean, either you believe that a young fetus is a person or it isn't - if you believe it is, then how can you find it acceptable to terminate it when the child was conceived through rape?

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Lambsbreath on 8/24/2007 9:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
n my opinion, the issue is very simple. A fetus becomes an independent life, with its own legal rights, when it becomes independent. In other words, potentially viable outside the womb. With current medical science, that occurs after about 21 weeks.

Jeremiah 1:5
5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

God thinks about you b4 21 weeks.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/24/2007 11:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you try lay out your views in terms of ethics, logic, etc., instead of quoting somebody else's words? Show us that you can think for yourself.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Lambsbreath on 8/25/2007 5:33:01 PM , Rating: 2
I must bow down to the words of the creator. Don't you know that man's wisdom is foolishness to God. The Bible is the word of God and if you want to go against it, that's your choice, but remember who you are going against.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/25/2007 9:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, of course, but it is sure easier having someone else tell you what to think I guess. That's just not for me.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Lambsbreath on 8/25/2007 11:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter what I think or you think or anyone else thinks. It doesn't change the fact. If God says it, then what kind of fool would I be to try and come up with reasoning of my own against the one who created it all? I'm sorry that you feel it's not for you. We have limited knowledge, but luckily God gave us his word so we don't have to speculate on things that we can't know.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By mdogs444 on 8/23/2007 12:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
The left view and the right views are not anymore wrong, than your middle road views are right.

The point is that everyone has different outlooks and opinions, different priorities and values, different morals and interests.

The middle road, common ground is not always the right answer - but it is sometimes the easiest.

Its hard to argue than any political view is right or wrong - unless after an event has already happened. Sure the republicans can blame the 9/11 attacks on the democrats for not looking into it when it was heard of, and sure the democrats can blame the replublicans for letting it happens - this was just an example.

Its always easier to call out fault after the fact - but its the people who can learn to compromise and do whats in the best interest of the country as a WHOLE that make the most difference.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By TomZ on 8/23/2007 1:07:36 PM , Rating: 1
The key word in your statement is "compromise," and that is why moderate views make sense. The left and the right both espouse very extreme views that are not compatible with reality. The world is not black-and-white, and simple right-wing view like "abortion is always wrong" aren't inherently compatible with reality.

The moderate view recognizes that there are good points on both sides, and by approaching the subject at hand with thoughtful consideration (instead of dogma), we can arrive at a more reasonable decision.

For example, the war in Iraq. Bush's right-wing extreme view is to stay the course, regardless of the duration, likely outcome, or cost in terms of human life and dollars. The other extreme left-wing view is the so-called "cut and run," i.e., get out now! Clearly both approaches are fundamentally flawed, and the best solution is probably some compromise between the two. Maybe this isn't the ideal example, but it is timely and it illustrates what I see is the folly in adopting extreme views.

By Master Kenobi on 8/23/2007 2:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, not the best example. Reality is in this case a blur of the middle and right side of the argument. It's unlikely all U.S. troops will ever be recalled in our lifetimes. Much like WW2 and the Cold War, we still keep troops in bases in those theatres. The best you can hope for is a draw down, but no sane military commander would bring home every last U.S. Soldier anytime in the next 50-60 years.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 3:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
The particularly sad thing is that both parties take their moderates out behind the shed and try to put them out of their misery. The most spectacular example was the blatant attempt at politically assasinating Lieberman; usually they get primaried more quietly or simply kicked out of office by voters.

Remember McCain's group that avoided the fillibuster war a couple years back? Yeah. Check how many are left in office.

Very reminiscent of the antebellum years.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Kaleid on 8/23/2007 4:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
Lieberman is hardly a moderate, atleast not when it comes to foreign policy.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By JB1592 on 8/24/2007 10:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
Lieberman is hardly a moderate when it comes to anything.

Moreover, his weird pandering to the conservative base just... doesn't sit right with me. He attends Christian prayer breakfasts and other such events... but he's Jewish? o.O Huh? It's just too obvious a suck up political move. He knows where his base is, and he does what he can to suck up to them.

The Democrats didn't try to do anything to him. He lost the primary because he's more popular amongst Republicans here in CT than he is amongst Democrats. In the November election he won 70% of the Republican vote and only 33% of the Democratic vote. 70% of Republicans voted for him, rather than their own candidate.

Of course, while I'm not a particularly big fan of Lieberman, all of this does do a good job of illustrating the problems with intra-party primaries and the whole two party system in general, as well as the deficiencies in our whole political system:

1) No, the world isn't black and white. But our candidates generally are. We generally only get two to choose from, so it's pick one side or the other.

2) The primary system itself is what destroys moderates. Moderates generally don't tend to join a party (or be as outspoken about their beliefs) and thus the parties are ruled by the more extreme factions of their base, and since only members of the party vote in the primary...

3) Media. There is no good solution to the problem of the media. The idea that it should be government run is just frightening, yet the idea that it should be run by corporations driven by profit is nearly equally disturbing. The quest for ratings causes the vast majority of our political coverage, and indeed much of our politics altogether, to center on hot button issues that generate strong feelings and plenty of frenzy on both sides of those issues despite the actual insignificance in the daily life of our citizens. Much of our politics over the last couple years has centered on gay marriage. I don't think I could possibly imagine a topic that is less important as a whole. There are SERIOUS social issues going on, there are SERIOUS foreign issues, and there are SERIOUS economic issues facing us. Is it really that important if Jeff and Gary are allowed to check that, "married," box on their tax return? o.O

Bleh, it's all a mess.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By Ringold on 8/23/2007 3:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
If you're refering to a right-wing tilt in their news articles.. you'll have to point it out to me. I just don't see it.

Unless anything not dripping of NYT-style liberalism is inherently right-wing by your standards. ;)

Article basically says the following
1) TALON got bad press
2) TALON became less useful
3) TALON is being replaced

No calls for a Crusade there.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By werepossum on 8/23/2007 6:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
Anything right of the Daily Kos is by definition right wing. Even CBS, attacking Bush with obviously fake documents, is regularly attacked for being right wing. Picture a cartoon bird with a tiny left wing (maybe three flight feathers), a stripe for a body, and a huge right wing the size of Texas and you'll get the picture.

How many Americans want to be: Gas station attendants, personal maids, fast-food cooks, shipping/receiving, general warehouse labourers, garbage collectors... To how many people is this a dream job?

I'd be willing to bet someone on this forum has held each of these jobs. I personally have worked picking tomatoes and other crops, cleared land, strung fence, picked up rocks, and mucked out barnyards. These jobs existed before the Mexican invasion; all that has done is lower the already-low wages for these jobs. The results of this invasion include a drop in low-end wages, drops in construction wages and other unskilled but hard work, and huge disruptions in social services.

And for those proudly proclaiming to be neither left nor right, please remember: Ain't nothing in the middle of the road 'cept yellow stripes and dead skunks. ;)

And yes, I'm a libertarian, hawkish, nationalistic, anti-illegal immigration, far-right populist loon who doesn't give a damn about abortion until the baby's viable outside the womb. (Still wincing about the parasite crack though, Asher!) But I'm not moderate - I'm just all over the freakin' map. Since there is not a libertarian hawkish nationalistic anti-illegal immigration far-right populist party, I vote for whichever side I fear and hate the least at the moment.

RE: RIght-wing BS on Dailytech
By masher2 on 8/23/2007 8:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
> "Still wincing about the parasite crack though, Asher!"

I freely admit to using a loaded word for emotional impact :)

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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