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  (Source: AP)
Majority approves of government tracking phone records (and by proxy location)

new study by the non-partisan Pew Research Center suggests that for all the attention paid by the media, social libertarians, and civil rights advocates regarding government spying, the majority of Americans are okay with their federal government spying on them to an extent.

The survey reports that 56 percent of Americans think its fine for the government to seize daily phone records of millions of Americans, most of whom have never committed a crime.  These records can be used to track a person's position over time. Only 41 percent of respondents opposed the seizures.

Further, nearly half of Americans (45 percent) want the government to monitor everyone's email to fight terrorism, while only a little more than half (52 percent) want to keep their email private.  This is nearly identical to 2002, when 45 percent of people supported email monitoring and 52 percent opposed it.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, partisan politics continue to be a route both of America's ruling parties use to convince people to embrace their bipartisan monitoring efforts.  In Jan. 2006, 61 percent of self-identified Democrats opposed monitoring, versus only 23 percent of Republicans.  At the time 75 percent of Republicans supported surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Gmail 
Nearly one out of every two Americans is fine with the government tracking them and reading their email.  [Image Source: CNN]

Today, nearly twice as many Republicans (47 percent) oppose monitoring, while only about half as many (34 percent) Democrats oppose it.  It appears that for many Americans they only oppose the government spying on them if it’s the political party they don't like.  Similar trends are observed on the topic of email monitoring.

Also perhaps predictable is the fact that support of a police state and 24-7 surveillance increases with age.  Among people age 18-29, 45 percent think the government should prioritize privacy over security, while for individuals age 65+ only 25 percent feel privacy is most important.

Also interesting is the fact that only a fourth of Americans are monitoring the NSA news story closely -- less Americans than the NSA is authorized to monitor, ironically.  While older people tend to have the least opposition to government monitoring, counter intuitively they're following the news about the NSA leaks the closest.

The survey of 1,004 individuals was conducted by Princeton Data Source.  The results were weighted based on the demographics of the individual and census statistics.

Source: Pew Research Center



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Defnition
By Motoman on 6/11/2013 10:39:50 AM , Rating: 5
Democracy: a system by which the people are guaranteed a government no better than they deserve.

The problem with democracies and/or republics is that if you have stupid/ignorant/gullible/etc. voters, you get a bad government. And we are freaking stupid.

This is why the founding fathers wanted to strictly limit who could vote. To keep the morons from screwing everything up. Well...guess what?




RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 11:21:00 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Democracy: a system by which the people are guaranteed a government no better than they deserve.
The people are guaranteed a government no better than the majority deserves. The minority's just along for the ride.


RE: Defnition
By toffty on 6/11/2013 11:32:09 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The people are guaranteed a government no better than the majority deserves. The minority's just along for the ride.


Really only true in a two party political system like the US. It’s why the founding fathers wanted to ban parties all together. Sadly they couldn't, because that would infringe on the 1st amendment.

What the US really desperately needs is 4 or 5 parties. There are extremes in which 1 party might be > 50% but the chances are much smaller than a 2 party system and companies is a must.

Compromise is the only way a democracy/republic can correctly function.


RE: Defnition
By toffty on 6/11/2013 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
lol spelling is fun

... and compromise is a must.


RE: Defnition
By Motoman on 6/11/2013 11:51:12 AM , Rating: 3
A compromise amongst idiots is still an act of stupidity.

The founding fathers were right - political parties do nothing but ultimately corrupt a government. Banning them wouldn't infringe the 1st amendment. People could still assemble and talk and discuss and whatever...that's not limited. But there would be no (D) or (R) on the sheets at the polls, no Majority this or Minority that in Washington, so on and so forth. Everybody can say and do whatever they want...but these NGOs that actually run everything will go bye-bye, and voters will actually have to *engage* in the process if they want to vote, rather than just cataleptically poke everything on the sheet that says either D or R next to it.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 12:29:50 PM , Rating: 3
This is why I think the whole privacy rage recently is retarded. These things have been going on since before most of us here are even born. People just like to enrage and then listen to the next sweet nothings politicians throw out to calm their fears. They're sick of government but then listen to whatever their political party says lol.

Same stupid thing with this Snowden guy. Says he believes in Privacy Rights and willing to throw his life away to stand for it. Then runs to one of the top anti-privacy country in the world where everything is monitored and the internet has built in restrictions lol.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 12:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 12:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
What does that got anything to do with this guy leaking NSA TS files and ran there? He is not a citizen there. Your link clearly states there is monitoring of the internet and emails. Their government also "generally" respect privacy like ours.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 12:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
Your claim:
quote:
Then runs to [Hong Kong, where] the internet has built in restrictions lol.

The link in my response:
quote:
No websites, regardless of their political views, are blocked and government licenses are not required to operate a website.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 12:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
so you must have conveniently skipped this in your link too
quote:
There is some monitoring of the Internet


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 12:59:07 PM , Rating: 3
Monitoring (watching) and restrictions (filtering) are two completely different things. To imply they are the same is disingenuous.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 1:09:36 PM , Rating: 1
Pursuant to the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (Cap 390), it is an offense to publish an obscene article


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 1:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
Again, criminal statutes are completely different from your claim of "built in restrictions". Are you trying to be confrontational, or do you honestly not see the difference?


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 1:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
Criminal statutes are restrictions.

Ok, I admit I made the mistake of writing "built in" because I was thinking of China since HK is part of China now. That is something you've just brought up in this reply.

Your original reply just said restriction and you defined it as filtering. There's more ways to restrict than filtering.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 4:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
"built in" was exactly my beef. You were implying that he went to a place that has less personal privacy and more restrictive internet access than the US. And you were laughing at him for it. I wanted to point out that you were wrong, and it was you who looked the fool. It's refreshing to see you admit it.


RE: Defnition
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 10:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
He likes to comment on things he knows nothing about as if actually thinks he knows.


RE: Defnition
By nafhan on 6/11/2013 2:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
These discussions have almost certainly been going since government existed! The thing is governments in ancient times up to about 50 years ago always had trouble answering the question: "Who watches the watchers?", as the bureaucracy for maintaining a human network that keeps tabs on everyone was untenable. NOW, computers are the watchers and a relatively small group of people can keep tabs on "the watchers" while gathering increasingly meaningful information from these systems.

In short, we are coming to a point human society has never been at before: the point where a surveillance society is a real possibility. Pretending it's not a problem is asking for something bad to happen.


RE: Defnition
By ScotterQX6700 on 6/11/2013 5:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hong Kong is one of the most free speech and free trade adherent areas in the world. Do not confuse Hong Kong with China.


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 6:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hong Kong is one of the most free speech and free trade adherent areas in the world. Do not confuse Hong Kong with China.

Categorically false.

Hong Kong was never the same after the handover. Chinese political leaders have a favorite phrase regarding the former British colony: "no change for fifty years". Oh really? Major changes were already afoot even before the handover officially began.

Here are a few clues:

1. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is not elected by the people, but by Beijing. This immediately means the head honcho must garner official party support in China to have a shot at office.

2. Members of the Democratic Party, due to its views and policies often at odds with the mainland Chinese government's, are disallowed from holding senior positions in the HKSAR government.

3. Since the Tienanmen Square Massacre of 1989, pro-democracy activists held candlelight vigils at the grounds of Victoria Park on June 4 every year, as well as peaceful demonstrations on the streets. Since the handover, these activities have been severely curtailed and restricted.

4. Senior HKSAR officials are routinely and indirectly implicated in censorship scandals involving mass media in Hong Kong and free speech. In fact, the latest furor happened mere weeks ago.

5. The Hong Kong that I knew in January 1994 was very different than the Hong Kong I saw in October 2005. Today's Hong Kong isn't very far removed from other cities in mainland China. There is really no confusion politically.


RE: Defnition
By 91TTZ on 6/11/2013 6:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is why I think the whole privacy rage recently is retarded. These things have been going on since before most of us here are even born.


It's invalid reasoning to suggest that an illegal act is ok just because it's been happening longer than they were willing to admit.

I remember just a few years ago people were denying that this widescale eavesdropping was taking place. Now that they've been exposed they're saying that it's been happening for many years.

The fact is that the government tends to want to do things that it's not allowed to do. That's why they attempt to operate in secrecy. Once they're exposed they're liable to be sued and win.


RE: Defnition
By Mint on 6/12/2013 12:24:44 AM , Rating: 2
It hasn't been illegal since the the Patriot Act was passed.

That vastly expanded gov't powers for surveillance, and in the grand scheme of things there was barely a whimper about it.

The US has been manipulated to become scared sh**less about terrorism. There's no doubt that the CIA & NSA can get useful information from this spying and thwart some terrorist attacks, but why is it so important to stop this miniscule percentage of US homicide that privacy can be sacrificed? It's time to grow some balls.

Unfortunately, nothing is going to change on this front.

Obama never promised to appeal or vastly overhaul the Patriot Act, because it would have been political suicide. He paid lip service to improving oversight, implement some minor half-hearted changes, and that's it.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 3:08:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What the US really desperately needs is 4 or 5 parties. There are extremes in which 1 party might be > 50% but the chances are much smaller than a 2 party system and companies is a must.


They had a 3 party systems for a while. It didn't work either.

2 parties = 2 sides
more parties does not work better

I just don't understand why people accept the party concept. Your senators and representatives are supposed to represent their people. Instead, they ban together and form a party voting for the same thing.

There shouldn't even be one party.

If every politician actually represent their people, then laws/regulations would actually bring contentment to the majority of people. Instead we get confusion and chaos these days and everyone points the finger at each other.

We're trying to fix corruption yet we voted for it every time a person walks in a booth and vote all blue or red.


RE: Defnition
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 3:14:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Really only true in a two party political system like the US.


Yeah because you have oh no many more rights and freedoms in countries with more diverse party systems? Or monarchies?

Parties aren't our problem, at least not our main one. It's the Federal Government. And no matter who you hand the keys to, the fact is this machine now has about 10,000 more horsepower and 200 more cylinders than it was designed to have. It's not a question of if the power will be abused, it's simply when.


RE: Defnition
By Mint on 6/12/2013 12:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
This is not abuse of power. The US public gave the gov't this power, renewed it, and continue to approve its use.

It's sad and pathetic, but true.


RE: Defnition
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 9:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
How did the US public give the government this power? I don't recall a public vote on it. It was passed by Congress and backed by President GWB. No one gave a rat’s ass about asking the Public. Of course it was also done right after 9/11 attacks which probably limited the backlash, at the time. Hopeful people are starting to wake up and figure out the Patriot act is anything but.


RE: Defnition
By theapparition on 6/11/2013 11:47:04 AM , Rating: 5
My fellow Americans,
Your giving up your freedoms, and are happy about it.

First you let tragic incidents help erode our 2nd amendment rights. The tenth amendment has been basically trashed already with federal overreach. You let the government then strip away our 4th amendment rights without warrants. Sixth and Eighth amendments are gone with illegal drone strikes. And our 1st amendment is dangerously infringed, and once we give up the 2nd amendment, how can we protect the rest.

The willful handover of our way of life. Makes me ashamed to be an American.


RE: Defnition
By toffty on 6/11/2013 11:53:13 AM , Rating: 3
Thomas Jefferson:
quote:
A society that will trade a little liberty [freedom] for a little order [security] will lose both, and deserve neither.


So sad that the American people do not remember this quote.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 12:33:51 PM , Rating: 1
Except that quote contradicts Jefferson himself. He is a politician, government leader and President. Any form of government introduces order. You will lose some liberty for more protection because governments make laws. You are forced to pay taxes and abide by laws made by government for everyone. If you live in any land with a government then you have just traded liberty for order(security).

Let's not forget the vast scandals of him and his slaves.


RE: Defnition
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/11/2013 1:22:37 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Except that quote contradicts Jefferson himself. He is a politician, government leader and President. Any form of government introduces order. You will lose some liberty for more protection because governments make laws.
Okay you've reached a new level of stupidity and arrogance dismissing the political wisdom of one of the most brilliant Founding Fathers.

Did Jefferson own slaves? Sure. Every rich white male did at the time, for the most part. Does that make his political opinions invalid? No.

Further your comment fails to recognize that order and freedom are not mutually exclusive. You don't have to sacrifice freedom for order/security. That's the WHOLE POINT of Jefferson's quote.

Your comment shows that you don't get his statement at all.

He's absolutely NOT suggesting you have to pick between order and freedom. He's saying a responsible/educated society, and a small, responsible federal government can accomplish both.

http://i.qkme.me/3ojtj2.jpg


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 1:37:20 PM , Rating: 1
I did not take away anything from Jefferson. Jefferson has a point but it is not real in practice. There has not been one instance where you can gain order without sacrificing at least some liberty. It's always a trade-off and it changes with time and situation. As an educated and responsible society, you must decide when it is appropriate.

Let's be honest. Jefferson overall was a great man and did more good for this country than almost everyone that ever lived in the US. History books don't normally like to write about the bad things regarding our most influential historical leaders. Even with that, these things were mention here and there. Which means it was probably a big deal back then. What he did was perfectly legal back then. I'm just pointing out that he was another great man but still a human. People like to say "founding fathers...." like they were perfect. They were not perfect because they were humans. They were not 100% right like you want to believe. Their wisdoms back then worked out for the US tremendously in their times. We have many great Presidents since then that did great things and approached it completely different. You can't take anything away from them either.

This is another time in another situation with a whole new set of problems. Quoting historical famous lines does not help or even relevant to our current situation.


RE: Defnition
By ClownPuncher on 6/11/2013 2:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
True, freedom and liberty are somehow outdated because we have cellphones.

Am I doing this right, you statist crony?


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 6:42:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There has not been one instance where you can gain order without sacrificing at least some liberty.

Oh really?

How many freedoms did we lose since September 11, 2001?
How safe were we, after losing all those freedoms?

I would rather die and be free, than live under the supervision - natch, overzealous eyes - of Big Brother. My freedoms are not available for trade, negotiation and bargaining, period. If you forcibly take such freedoms away from me under the convenient excuse of "security", I am not afraid to exercise those freedoms - up to and including killing you and paying the price of death to preserve them.

Man up, or live inside a prison for life. Your pick.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 9:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would rather die and be free, than live under the supervision - natch, overzealous eyes


Lol I love it when people say this because nobody have the balls to actually do this. If you think you have the balls then go to Afghan or places in south america where the government has no supervision.

Until then STFU


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 9:49:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Lol I love it when people say this because nobody have the balls to actually do this. If you think you have the balls then go to Afghan or places in south america where the government has no supervision.

Until then STFU

Lol, from an internet tough guy and armchair quarterback who refuses to walk his talk, and pot calling the kettle black.

You don't have the balls to stand up to your own values and beliefs, while attacking everyone else for being shills.

How's the warrantless surveillance over your intimate personal life going, Dianne Feinstein?


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 10:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lol, from an internet tough guy and armchair quarterback who refuses to walk his talk, and pot calling the kettle black.
You don't have the balls to stand up to your own values and beliefs, while attacking everyone else for being shills.


lol you should look over the comments again and see who is calling people shill. I'm also not the tough guy saying I would rather die than be supervised. You are hilarious

quote:
How's the warrantless surveillance over your intimate personal life going, Dianne Feinstein?

Wow lol I suppose my intimate life is all in emails and phone calls like yours. Sorry, I got home to a real woman and not one over a web cam like yours.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 10:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm also not the tough guy saying I would rather die than be supervised.
Free people are not "supervised". Slaves are.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 11:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Free people are supervised every day. It's called a job and they get paid for it.

Slaves don't get jobs, they work involuntarily.

I suggest you leave this country if you hate being monitored so much. We have the tech and we have the power to do it. There's absolutely nothing stopping it at this moment or in the future. You can do whatever you want and take it all the way to the Supreme Court, it won't stop it.

It's not that I don't think it can't be stopped. I know the only people that hates it so much are people like you or reclaimer77 who screams and shouts but never got off their ass to accomplish anything. Ron Paul is your speaker and he looks like he's going to drop dead half way through his speech.


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 11:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Free people are supervised every day. It's called a job and they get paid for it.

Slaves don't get jobs, they work involuntarily.

The punishment for not doing their jobs is harsher for slaves than it would be for free people.

Why can we not have a safe society while also preserving the precious liberties our forefathers granted to us with their lives? Look at Israel. It's a relatively democratic state in the midst of a very hostile, autocratic region, with enemies camped out along its national borders. Its citizens enjoy great freedom, yet at the same time they are highly protected from danger.

Now look at America. We gave up a lot of our liberties, yet the country is increasingly more dangerous, not safer, ever since the Twin Towers fell. Best of all, we have a government whose various departments, agencies and repressive regimes are actively plotting against us, under the disguise of "national security".

Under the new "regime", you can be punished regardless of your nationality and residing country, simply because you ticked off a few American government officials abroad. Does this make your life safer?

You're a worthless pro-government shill. You tell us to shut our mouths, because you clearly believe your own backstabbing government can never ever do any wrong. Yep, you have gone full speed delusional retardation.

"If you see an official claiming 'Everything is going to be just fine.', it's time to RUN."
-- 2012 (the movie)


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 12:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why can we not have a safe society while also preserving the precious liberties our forefathers granted to us with their lives? Look at Israel. It's a relatively democratic state in the midst of a very hostile, autocratic region, with enemies camped out along its national borders. Its citizens enjoy great freedom, yet at the same time they are highly protected from danger.

WTF You must not be thinking about the same Israel. This must be in a dream.

quote:
Now look at America. We gave up a lot of our liberties, yet the country is increasingly more dangerous, not safer, ever since the Twin Towers fell. Best of all, we have a government whose various departments, agencies and repressive regimes are actively plotting against us, under the disguise of "national security".

What country are you comparing the US to? We actually have much more freedom than almost all 1st world countries and amongst the safest also.

quote:
You're a worthless pro-government shill. You tell us to shut our mouths, because you clearly believe your own backstabbing government can never ever do any wrong. Yep, you have gone full speed delusional retardation.

Coming from the guy that thinks Israel is a utopia of some sorts lol


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/12/2013 12:19:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What country are you comparing the US to? We actually have much more freedom than almost all 1st world countries and amongst the safest also.

For a country whose mainstream media has admitted to self-censorship over black-on-white racial violence because it would be politically incorrect to report straight facts to the people.

Safest? You're just pulling a clump of poop out of your ass and calling it a brick of 99.99% pure gold.

More freedom? Not by most accounts. Oh yeah, the guy who accused me of dreaming is himself living in a dream.

Pot, kettle, black.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/12/2013 12:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Free people are supervised every day. It's called a job and they get paid for it.
Are you serious? You're comparing supervision by an employer to supervision by a government? Those aren't even remotely close to equivalent and you know it.

Man, you are just a hack.


RE: Defnition
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 10:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your mother doesn't count....


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 10:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lol I love it when people say this because nobody have the balls to actually do this.

Wait until the President suspends the Constitution. Oh wait... by the time that day comes, it's already too late to rebel against a corrupt regime!

The number of people who have the balls to actually do this is far, far greater than "nobody". You are incorrectly assuming we'll all take in what the "friendly" government official says, that everything is going to be just fiiiiiiiiiiiiine...

Troll harder, kid.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 7:48:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wait until the President suspends the Constitution. Oh wait... by the time that day comes, it's already too late to rebel against a corrupt regime!

lol this guy


RE: Defnition
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Okay you've reached a new level of stupidity and arrogance


I find that every day he reaches that new level lol. No matter the topic. But yeah, his Government shill attitude is the most offensive.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 3:15:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But yeah, his Government shill attitude is the most offensive.


You mean the same government that allows you to this? Man you must have it hard in this country.


RE: Defnition
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 3:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
That statement right there proves you absolutely fail as an American.

Read the Bill of Rights and Constitution again.

The Government doesn't "allow" me to do this. I have rights and freedoms that are inalienable to my person. The job of the Government isn't to grant these, but to PROTECT them! And the Government was designed to protect my rights FROM Government infringement above all things.

In fact if you actually read these documents, you would see the Founders were far more distrustful of the Government than any outside force or conqueror.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
they are protecting you right now.

maybe if people like you would do the proper research and vote for the right leaders.
maybe if you stop complaining and do something about it
maybe if you actually try to run for office
maybe there's a ton of things you could do

but instead, like a bunch of other people here, you decide to complain. Guess what, you lost your rights because you only whined.

If your rights were robbed by a bunch of people that got off their chairs, then it's your fault.


RE: Defnition
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Defnition
By Ushio01 on 6/11/2013 5:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8_fkPxdIE8

yeah the government does allow you to do this because if there was no government you wouldn't be doing anything but hiding from being murdered.


RE: Defnition
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:00:50 AM , Rating: 2
So unless you live in the woods alone like a caveman you've given up freedom? OK


RE: Defnition
By AntiM on 6/11/2013 1:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Most forms of government look good on paper...Democracy, Communism, Socialism. They all have their good points and bad points. The problem is that eventually, they ALL fall victim to greed and corruption. You think you can change this government merely by voting? Not a chance. Our elected officials are not the ones running this country.

The Native Americans had the best form of government, which was basically no centralized government. They probably didn't even have a word for it. Early settlers considered them savages, but they were actually quite peaceful and lived in harmony with the environment. It's the white settlers that were the murdering savages.


RE: Defnition
By theapparition on 6/11/2013 2:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Early settlers considered them savages, but they were actually quite peaceful and lived in harmony with the environment. It's the white settlers that were the murdering savages.

Wow, just wow. Amazing the level of stupidity in this world.

The different tribes didn't live harmoniously, and killed each other at the slightest dispute. And they did so with brutality that would turn your stomach.

Do they even teach history anymore?


RE: Defnition
By AntiM on 6/11/2013 5:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wow, just wow. Amazing the level of stupidity in this world.


You're the one that needs a history lesson.


RE: Defnition
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 9:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you know what you're really saying.

Sure, they lived harmoniously... when their claimed territories DID NOT OVERLAP. When they did, however, they fought each other in ways no less bloody than whites versus natives.

Pot, kettle, black.


RE: Defnition
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
That's mankind for you. We seem to be a race that loves to be right or else you die. Just look at this tread, instead of trying to figure out what to do we have one side calling the other stupid and vise versa. Instead of fighting each other shouldn't you be trying to gain support to fight the real enemy?

Divided we fall and right now we are falling fast and hard and that's just what "they" want. If we can't come togeather to fight them how will anything change?


RE: Defnition
By nafhan on 6/11/2013 2:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer: Democracy: it sucks, but it's better than the alternatives!


RE: Defnition
By Schadenfroh on 6/11/2013 2:50:14 PM , Rating: 1
Weight votes by the percentage of income tax one pays and the problem of electing politicians on the basis of how many handouts they offer goes away.

It is the modern equivalent of only letting property owners vote.


RE: Defnition
By Motoman on 6/11/2013 3:05:47 PM , Rating: 3
There's no causal relationship between the tax rate you pay at and your own intelligence.

Originally it was set at land owners because it was assumed they'd be the ones most likely to have an advanced education...these days, "advanced education" is pretty common and frankly doesn't mean much anyway. There are probably people with PhDs that think vaccines cause autism.

In a perfect world, there'd be some way to test people for whether or not they are good critical thinkers...and then only they would be allowed to vote. But, there isn't necessarily any such test...and in any event, the people who were tested and found to be irrational would probably rise up and start a civil war - and then form a new idiocracy.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 4:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with many of the points you make, and since we accept that for all intents and purposes we can't get rid of stupid (non-critical thinking) people, I argue our only real defense is to severely limit the power we're willing to give our government.

Even if 300M people vote for Bob ImAnIdiot, it wouldn't matter to you and I. The extent of Bob's potential damage would be mere embarrassment. As it stands today, however, Sen. ImAnIdiot can do essentially whatever he and half of his 535 other colleagues want.


RE: Defnition
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 5:00:31 PM , Rating: 3
And before anyone claims I'm talking in the abstract, here are a few concrete things we could do:

* Impose term limits on all elected officials (and arguably, government employees)
* mandate a balanced budget
* simplify the tax code. flat rate income tax, FairTax consumption tax.
* require all bills to be less than X pages in length, and contain only directly related issues/topics/regulations.
* require a 2/3 or 3/4 majority before any taxes can be raised or new programs enacted. (or this provision removed)

Some of those could be done legislatively. Some would require amendments. But they're all doable.


RE: Defnition
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 9:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
* Impose term limits on all elected officials (and arguably, government employees)

You don't need the term limits because people are directly voting for them. Unless you tell me the federal government has to put in another layer of protection for the stupid?
This won't even be passed anyways because the people that has to vote for this are the same people you're trying to limit.

Federal employees are like any other employees regardless of which industry they're in. They're there to provide whatever service and follow the laws and regulations passed by your elected state officials.

quote:
* mandate a balanced budget

Not possible unless the government can mandate the economy, banking system, break guaranteed benefits and contracts at will(eg. cut social security, void defense contracts, etc...)
Suggesting to mandate a balanced budget is either a dream or completely disregarding how macroeconomics work. The modern global economy needs government debt to function properly. The challenge is to keep it sustainable.

quote:
* simplify the tax code. flat rate income tax, FairTax consumption tax.

The point of progressive tax system is for the rich to pay more and poor to pay less. It works for the most part. That way the poor has a little more to pay for necessities and they rich lose a bit more disposable income.

quote:
* require all bills to be less than X pages in length, and contain only directly related issues/topics/regulations.

The law is not ethics. It has to be black and white and that is why it is so long. They pretty much have to state every possible case they can think of for it. Shortening it is allowing for more loopholes.

quote:
* require a 2/3 or 3/4 majority before any taxes can be raised or new programs enacted. (or this provision removed)

Every tax, raises, programs, etc... are all voted in Congress. It already required 2/3 votes. Bumping it to 3/4 will make everything extremely difficult to pass. We are a democratic society, 2/3 isn't enough for you?

Everything here is doable but makes little sense.


RE: Defnition
By rountad on 6/11/2013 5:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
I may be putting words in his mouth, but, if I were making his point, it would be finance, not intelligence.

That is to say that people who finance the government's operations should have more say than people who consume its largesse.


RE: Defnition
By Motoman on 6/11/2013 9:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
Then the people who have money would simply abuse people who don't.

That's why you'd want *rational* people in charge - not rich people.


RE: Defnition
By rountad on 6/12/2013 11:17:36 AM , Rating: 2
I am stating that people are more responsible with their own money.

I would rather have the affluent having more influence than the bread and circuses crowd.

Why would people who don't pay net tax ever vote for smaller government? We are already getting to the point where half of the populace pays no net income tax.

The spending, debt, wealth redistribution, etc... that is going on is not only growing, but doing so at an accelerating pace, and is not sustainable.


RE: Defnition
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:35:12 AM , Rating: 2
So only the rich should have a say? You really think that would work out? Go read some history books and see what that leads to.


RE: Defnition
By KFZ on 6/11/2013 5:19:45 PM , Rating: 3
You leave out the war mentality: with us or against us. Blood in, blood out. Campaign is another word for recruit, and just like a gang there is safety in numbers. Independent? You're on your own. Vote third-party? You're helping "the other guy" win.

It's power, it's money and respect-- and many look around and want it -- want to belong to something.

It's gangland in politics. They take you in, claim to take care of you and your family but then take advantage of you. A few good soldiers rise in the ranks but most are expendable.

There's even a patch for those who make it to Washington: "Filthy Few"


RE: Defnition
By Director12 on 6/11/2013 5:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
And in another poll it was revealed that most Americans thought that 'Idiocracy' was a documentary.

Lambs to the slaughter.


RE: Defnition
By robertisaar on 6/11/2013 5:50:31 PM , Rating: 3
It was a documentary.

Mike Judge is a time traveller sent back from the future(turns out if you ride the Time Masheen enough times, it works) to warn us.


Media coun't help themselves
By bobcpg on 6/11/2013 11:14:32 AM , Rating: 5
Media feels bad about bad mouthing Obama. So they come up with this study.

Weak-sauce.




RE: Media coun't help themselves
By superflex on 6/11/2013 1:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
I laughed when I saw "non partisan" and "Pew" in the same sentence.


RE: Media coun't help themselves
By superflex on 6/12/2013 1:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
Meh
By Mitch101 on 6/11/2013 11:18:34 AM , Rating: 1
I already assumed they were doing this and I am sure there are a billion more people more interesting than me for them to look into.




RE: Meh
By ebakke on 6/11/2013 11:26:10 AM , Rating: 5
Today, sure. Maybe tomorrow you do something questionable. Maybe you're impeding a Congressman's rise to the Presidency. Maybe you learn about something horrific at work, choose to be a whistle blower, and you're discredited/smeared. Maybe your lifestyle matches some key heuristics from known criminals.

The problem isn't that the government is attacking everyone today. The problem is that the government is recording everything, and has essentially unlimited potential to use that against us in the future. And they're doing it in the shadows. All of those involved are barred from talking about it, by threat of imprisonment.


RE: Meh
By xti on 6/11/2013 12:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
this x10000...look at my gmail all day, I dont have anything to hide.

pat me down at the airport too, its not a big deal. I feel bad for TSA dude having to feel up 300lb Betsy.


But where to go?
By Dorkyman on 6/11/2013 2:13:20 PM , Rating: 3
Many of us have already seen the handwriting on the wall. The US is beyond the tipping point, and it will not right itself.

So the "old" United States is no more. Fine. The pragmatist in me says okay, so find another country that is not rotting away and whose ideals are more in line with mine. But where? Seriously? Any suggestions?




RE: But where to go?
By TSS on 6/12/2013 4:55:22 AM , Rating: 2
My pick would be Norway. Tough place to live, tough place to get into (you need to prove you will contribute to norwegian society), but otherwise a friendly people that'll leave you the F alone. Socialist, sure, but in a good way as they actually make it work, because they're a sober people. And, Neutral, they're not part of the euro zone or anything. Go watch Nokas (2010) if you want a sense of the culture there. The way people react in that movie (no screams, no drama) is completly realistic - norwegians actually are like that.

Something closer to home would be Canada. With the whole prism thing i went to look for alternatives for mail, chat etc. Stuff i came across all was located in canada. My dad has a server in canada as well, all because internet privacy is heavily regulated there (in the good way). They also didn't appear in any of the prism documents. But considering it's southern neighbour, to actually live somewhere i'd prefer norway.

Switserland always a good choice. Not specifically because of freedoms or secrecies but because the location. not a chance of invasion and if you go live up in the mountains somewhere not a person who'll find you for the rest of your days.

Personally i live in holland, which'll be a good place to go to in a decade or 2. Now there's just too much money floating around still so we've got just as incompetent a politicians, a crumbling education system and an increasingly repressive government. Once the upcoming crisis really starts costing us money though i'm betting on the dutch financial sense kicking in and some decisions finally being made. For now we'll just buy the JSF to run along side our 2 multi-billion railroads nobody uses.

Honestly though if you really want freedom just go to Russia. Yes, russia. As long as you don't go against Putin, the internet has clearly shown nobody gives a flying frack about anything in russia. You could have a pet bear addicted to jet fuel!

... Just move somewhere cold. It should be pretty obvious by now the colder it gets the less people care about controlling one another and the more they care about staying warm.


RE: But where to go?
By Dorkyman on 6/13/2013 10:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting thoughts. Thanks.


Safety
By roykahn on 6/11/2013 5:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
I won't feel safe until all my actions are monitored by cameras inside every room of my house. Everything I type on any electronic device must be monitored. That should help tp prevent me from becoming a terrorist, or even worse, a whistle-blower. George Orwell's 1984 seemed like a safe place to live. I also like sarcasm.




RE: Safety
By StoveMeister on 6/12/2013 2:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
1984?
I'd be more worried about Heinlein's "Future History" stories which had the USA as a closed-border religious dictatorship. Not looking too far-fetched right now. . . .


RE: Safety
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:45:02 AM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of an old TV show called "The Prisoner"


The Media Has Done It's Job
By Arsynic on 6/11/2013 3:00:43 PM , Rating: 3
Everything Obama does is for a benevolent purpose. He is the Messiah, the Chosen One.




RE: The Media Has Done It's Job
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:46:44 AM , Rating: 2
And you're a dumbass what's your point?


Freedom
By mgilbert on 6/11/2013 11:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
"He who gives up freedom in the name of security winds up with neither"...

Anyone who supports the idea of allowing the government to monitor anything without a warrant needs to read "1984". Our government is already way out of control!




RE: Freedom
By Wolfpup on 6/11/2013 11:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this is all quite terrifying.


By omgwtf8888 on 6/11/2013 3:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
If the government wants to take all of this data and put in a big box with a small number of people granted access to mine the data for terrorists, with some stipulations I could see that. First the penalties (jail time) have to be very severe for any misuse of this data (regardless of who the violator is). Access to the data should be limited to gathering relational points of contact for a phone/address of a known terrorist. Terrorist "A" has a cell phone with number xxx-xxx-xxxx so the query returns all phones, people, addresses related to that number. No fishing expeditions allowed! Unfortunately, the real terrorists seem to be our Congress and President, and they will most certainly use this data for nefarious purposes. Once again we have the possibility of building something that can do good, but the Politicians will ruin it. WE NEED TERM LIMITS!




By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
" (jail time) have to be very severe for any misuse of this data (regardless of who the violator is). "

But it's secret so how will you know if its misused?


Misleading Questions in Poll
By superflex on 6/12/2013 1:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
* 62% say the government should investigate terrorist threats regardless of privacy intrusion (the other option is no privacy intrusion no matter what)

* 56% say that tracking millions of call records is acceptable in the effort to investigate terrorism (the other option is that tracking millions of call records no matter what is unacceptable)

* 45% say the government should be able to monitor email and online activities to prevent future terror attacks (the other option is that it is unacceptable)

These questions are a little misleading, the respondent is being forced to choose between a false dichotomy in each one. The situation we have on our hands isn't simply the choice between MONITOR EVERYBODY and MONITOR NOBODY. We can certainly monitor people who are suspicious. Why force people to choose between pure safety and pure privacy?

By offering more granular (and realistic) options, respondents aren't force to choose one at the exclusion of the other.




By JoanTheSpark on 6/13/2013 7:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
what do they say about statistics again..?


I call BS
By seraphim1982 on 6/13/2013 11:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, this happened only maybe 1.5 weeks ago and they EXPECT to have a realistic poll on this subject. I bet half the people they talked to had no f'in clue about what they were saying. Total media bs coverage.

Let more facts come out and then do a poll.
OR have a poll on whether you want all your private data being examined by a private company, which isn't the government.




RE: I call BS
By Piiman on 6/15/2013 10:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
Thats already being done. Google anyone? Heck Google probably knows more about you than the NSA but then again whats stopping the NSA from doing what Google does?


Nazi ranks are swelling
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/11/2013 10:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
That's half the country that is ready for a fascist regime to escalate into nazi hell. These same people who would go along with this would also go along with anything Hitler did. They of course would deny this. But they cannot see history in the present context.




By Lord 666 on 6/11/2013 10:48:37 AM , Rating: 2
Question the timing of that study.




Big Duh!
By Ammohunt on 6/11/2013 12:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It appears that for many Americans they only oppose the government spying on them if it’s the political party they don't like.


Basic ideological trust issues; the country is divided by ideology not by political party. The sooner you come to realize that the sooner you will abandoned your inane two party system rants and Libertarian/Anarchist platform propaganda push.




The day is coming...
By klstay on 6/11/2013 12:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
...when the butcher's bill will come due and I hope I am in the grave by then because the tree of liberty has gotten VERY thirsty.




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