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Author Topic:   Senator Al Franken?
Rahvin
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Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


(2)
Message 83 of 300 (703790)
07-29-2013 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by dronestar
07-29-2013 1:49 PM


Re: Michele Bachmann considering challenging Al Franken for his senate seat
You cannot destroy your home while simultaneously maintaining it.
It is entirely possible to support the Constitution as a symbol of the rule of law and many of the principles it attempts to legislate, while simultaneously attacking provisions that are seen as unjust.
For example, it would have been entirely possible in 1800 to vehemently attack the 3/5s rule while still supporting the Constitution as a whole. Or to argue against the exclusion of women from voting as a contradiction with the guarantee of equal protection under the law.
After all, the Constitution is intended to be a living document, being amended as needed by future generations. That's why we no longer have slaves. That's why it was legal to buy alcohol, then illegal, then legal again. That's why women can vote. I imagine we'll amend that document more before we're done with it. The amendment process will require "attacks" from people who still support the Constitution as a whole, and who still support the rule of law.
The most frightening problems today are not about threats to change the Constitution, or attacks against it. Rather, the most frightening precedents are those cases in which the Constitution is simply ignored, rather than attacked or changed.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by dronestar, posted 07-29-2013 1:49 PM dronestar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by dronestar, posted 07-29-2013 3:09 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 88 of 300 (703806)
07-29-2013 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by dronestar
07-29-2013 3:09 PM


Re: Michele Bachmann considering challenging Al Franken for his senate seat
The OP is about Franken. I have brought up his recent vote to attack the 4th amendment. Franken voted AGAINST the Amash NSA Amendment (ends the indiscriminate collection of phone and email records) last Wednesday.
Are you arguing this recent specific vote is against a provision of the constitution which is unfair?
Not at all. In fact I wrote a lengthy appeal to my own congresswoman in favor of the amendment to de-fund the program. Incidentally, she did in fact vote for the amendment.
I'm simply pointing out that your absolutist argument that it is impossible to simultaneously support and attack the Constitution is invalid. Nothing more.
As is often the case, you and I agree on the larger issue and might disagree on specific arguments to arrive at similar conclusions.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by dronestar, posted 07-29-2013 3:09 PM dronestar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by dronestar, posted 07-29-2013 4:39 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 101 of 300 (703965)
07-31-2013 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by ringo
07-31-2013 1:42 PM


And as I mentioned, only acts of legislation can violate the Constitution, not acts of individuals or acts ofinstitutions.
That's not entirely true. An individual police officer can perform actions that violate the Constitutional rights of citizens. A cop who illegally enters a home and retrieves evidence without a warrant has violated the Constitution as an individual. A police department that does this as a matter of policy has violated the Constitution as an institution.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by ringo, posted 07-31-2013 1:42 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by ringo, posted 07-31-2013 1:57 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 103 of 300 (703968)
07-31-2013 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by ringo
07-31-2013 1:57 PM


I understand that that is the colloquial use of the term "unconstitutional" in the U.S. but I think the distinction is important. Violating the Constitutional rights of citizens is not "violating the Constitution" per se. A law which permitted the violation of those rights would violate the Constitution. Individual police officers who violate citizens' rights are violating a law (which may be unwritten), not the Constitution itself.
The Amendments of the Constitution are themselves laws. They're referred to as "the highest law of the land." They're laws just like any others, except that they supersede any other laws in the case of a conflict.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by ringo, posted 07-31-2013 1:57 PM ringo has seen this message but not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 107 of 300 (703979)
07-31-2013 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by ringo
07-31-2013 5:08 PM


Yes, it's a quirk of American terminology. "Unconstitutionality" has become the only sin.
Sort of. When the Constitution says the right things. The same people who scream the loudest about the Constitution tend to be the people who call the Supreme Court "activist judges" for striking down as unconstitutional a law or practice they had supported.
America is a strange place, where the Constitution is enshrined as somehow sacred and unchangeable (while its authors plainly laid out for the methods by which it may and should be changed, and in fact its most "sacred" tenets are themselves amendments), while those who authoritatively interpret the Constitution as it is written are vilified when things go the wrong way from a given point of view.
We idolize our glorious Founding Fathers and their documents (but only the right ones!) on a level that is frankly baffling.
But I had hoped that semantics wouldn't take over the issue.
Apologies, as my nitpick has helped in this.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by ringo, posted 07-31-2013 5:08 PM ringo has seen this message but not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


(2)
Message 118 of 300 (704057)
08-02-2013 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Tempe 12ft Chicken
08-02-2013 5:02 PM


Re: Amash NSA Amendment
Well, from I what I have read the program has thwarted 50+ terrorist attacks, which I consider a good thing.
I've read that claim. I've also read that the number is grossly exaggerated - they included every incident where the program was used, not those that were actually prevented primarily by the program and would not have been prevented without it.
We need a comparison of what we'd see if the program didn't exist. Right now, we can't even get a straight answer on...well, anything.
The other question I would ask is what evidence exists that the information gathered from Americans has been used against them by the Government at this time? I simply mean, have there been any instances where the NSA has gathered information not pertaining to terrorist activities and then proceeded to charge a U.S. National with a crime based upon that information?
1) How would you know, if the proceedings are all secret?
2) This is a dangerous line of thinking. If the infrastructure for unchecked abuse exists, it's not okay simply because nobody has abused it yet. What about the next administration? Or thirty years from now?
From what I can find, this information has not been used in this manner to date. Perhaps you could direct me to some actual examples of the NSA spying actually being used against Americans, rather than just a blanket sweep using an algorithm to find possible terrorist links and then having a human operator determine the extent of the connection to terrorist activity.
We would have no way of obtaining this information whether it actually exists or not. That's part of the problem - we have no way of knowing whether abuses have occurred, or what "checks and balances" are really in place because it's all secret, right down to the rulings of the court. I can understand wanting to keep the specific methods secret, but the legal interpretations? That's one hell of a red flag.
Personally, I knew they were gathering this data from the moment the Patriot Act was signed and I have yet to change any of my text messaging, e-mailing, or any other habits. Why? Well, because I am not the type of individual they are looking for. Oh, the DEA might be, but they have yet to come banging down my door over the hundreds of texts I have sent that would have given them the information they would need to file charges.
The "I have nothing to hide" argument is a rather poor one. Virtually everyone is guilty of some crime or another. What happens if, a few Presidents from now, a corrupt administration dislikes something you say on a message board, and uses the NSA information-sweeps to try to track down every incidental law you've broken?
THis has happened in other countries. It's foolish to think that just because it hasn't happened in America that it can't happen. Especially when we see the infrastructure set up for such abuse.
Look, I get that you feel the fourth amendment is important, and so do I.
Except that your standard for "reasonable search and seizure" is apparently "whatever the Administration thinks is appropriate, as long as I don;t see any evidence of abuse, and I'm not going to actually look anyway. I have nothing to hide, so let them search."
However, completely dismantling the NSA data gathering project would be detrimental and would actually cause deaths, while you have a highly speculative, paranoid outlook on its eventual outcome.
This is an ironic statement, because the claim that dismantling the NSA datamining would "Actually cause deaths" is itself highly speculative.
Why do you chant for the complete dismantling instead of making it more transparent, bringing the court into the public eye, and showing Americans that their data is not being misused? Personally, if a system can save lives we should use it. We should just inform every American of it and exactly how it works.
Why do you think it's hidden? If the American public would approve, why bother making the whole thing secret? After all, you and I both knew that the legal framework was there in the PATRIOT Act; all that was secret were the specifics. What emails are searched; how long data is retained; how many layers of connections to a suspect are tracked; what form of oversight is present.
If Snowden's data is to be believed, the only "justification" needed for an agent with access is to fill out a justification text box that doesn't go to a judge before the query is executed. And the 51% confidence standard for determining "foreignness" is just this side of flipping a coin, which tells me it's not actually a consideration at all.
Also, to think that the fourth amendment would remain as envisioned when it was written in this age of worldwide instant communication is sort of pipe dream and I don't know how you can reconcile it with reality in the technological age. Every country in the world is doing what it can to spy on and gather electronic data. Personally, I am glad my country is doing so as well, at least with the idea of keeping us safe....unless you have that information of it being misused to try a civilian?
So everybody else is doing it, so it's okay? Welcome Big Brother, because anyone who thinks we can have privacy must be some anti-progress Luddite?
I'm looking into improving my cryptography, personally. And I no longer trust SSL, since the NSA has been pressuring various and sundry sites to hand over the private keys rendering it all moot. I don't knowingly break laws, but I don't like the idea of my every digital act being recorded in perpetuity for the government to scrutinize later.
If you value privacy at all then, as our lives move more and more online, you must also support online privacy. If I can have a private face-to-face conversation with my friend, why does the NSA get the right to watch my Skype conversations? If I can speak to as many people as I want untracked in person, then why can the NSA watch who I talk to, and for how long, and at what times, just because I used a telephone or a computer?
And if I disagree with the secret legal interpretations of the FISA courts...how would I ever even know so that I could file a lawsuit, or ever prove that I have standing to sue to change the policy?

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings
Nihil supernum

This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Tempe 12ft Chicken, posted 08-02-2013 5:02 PM Tempe 12ft Chicken has not replied

  
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