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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Politics & Religion » Edward Snowden and you: liberty or blissful ignorance?

View Poll Results - What do you think about Snowden's actions?

It needed to be done - the government is overstepping its bounds. 25 92.59%
His actions were illegal -the programs are in place to combat crime and we don't need to fear them. 2 7.41%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

Default Edward Snowden and you: liberty or blissful ignorance?

July 7th, 2013, 02:46
Out Secret Service wasen't able to catch three inbred nazi-murder-hobos in our small country, I doubt they could spy on the US…

The Germans are a cruel race. Their operas last for six hours and they have no word for "fluffy".

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July 7th, 2013, 12:06
Originally Posted by GuybrushWilco View Post
So nothing new there . The reason that these European governments are not helping Snowden, is because they are doing the same kinds of things that the NSA are doing. They only act shocked and morally outraged in public to look good to voters. Imagine if they go out of their way to help Snowden, and then a leaker comes forward about one of their spy programs? They would look like total buffoons.
I have a slightly different view on that.

I tend to believe that those countries which didn't allow the President of Bolivia to use their air space
might actually be the same countries that supported George W. Bush in his Iraq War.

Which would mean that they still are or feel kind of "bound" to the "big and mighty partner".

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 7th, 2013, 12:18
The French government certainly did not support the US in the Iraq War, but they do seem to support spying on their own citizens .

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July 7th, 2013, 15:21
Ironic that the folks that are totally stunned by this government overreach are the same folks that make fun of people worried about government overreach.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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July 7th, 2013, 16:02
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
ironic that the folks that are totally stunned by this government overreach are the same folks that make fun of people worried about government overreach.
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July 8th, 2013, 18:40
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Ironic that the folks that are totally stunned by this government overreach are the same folks that make fun of people worried about government overreach.
In Germany, people still remember the negative consequences of the state spying on it's people, first through the Gestapo and then, in the East, the Stasi. No sane person would support an armed uprising here, though. I guess Vladimir Lenin put it nicely: "Revolution in Germany will never work! If they wanted to storm a train station, they would buy tickets for the platform first." On the other hand, people are afraid of both petty criminals and any radical groups having easy access to firearms, and therefore strongly support gun control. I guess in this respect, I am for once typically German.

You are right, though: irony or not, for once I am with the conspiracy theorists*!

*Just joking. I do believe many libertarian positions are quite logical.
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July 8th, 2013, 19:32
Also ironic that the people who cry about government instrusions, don't mind the government spying on them or telling them what to do with their vaginas…
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July 8th, 2013, 23:06
As Thrasher said!

That apparently most self-confessed libertarians in the US flock to the Republican party is stupefying. Not to say that Obama's Democrats are much better, with eight people now charged under the Espionage Act for revealing information that is embarrassing but certainly (would require another debate to show, I guess) not a critical threat to the US, and with surveillance flourishing as ever.
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July 9th, 2013, 00:38
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Also ironic that the people who cry about government instrusions, don't mind the government spying on them or telling them what to do with their vaginas…
There's a fairly significant difference between not having anything to hide and not minding government spying. You're demonstrating that there's a disjoint between what is actually said and what you're hearing.

As for the second point, you're (as usual) broad-brushing over the differences between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. It's lazy thinking, similar to if I categorized all democrats as eco-terrorists just because the folks even crazier than Greenpeace vote democrat.

I fully agree, though, that the social conservatives have some dissonance between their agenda and a "small government" mentality. That said, from their perspective (which I don't personally endorse, but have at least taken some time to consider) they aren't actually changing the role of government in the slightest but rather changing/clarifying the scope of existing homicide laws.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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July 9th, 2013, 00:51
Not minding spying is not minding government intrusion. God forbid the IRS investigates you, but if dubya's homeland security wiretaps you its OK, because he was so smaert.

Telling a woman how she can live her life is also perfect for government. As are all laws that repress minorities and any voting block that consistently votes democratic.

Welcome to the facist right…

WOW, this shows you how fucked up "conservative beliefs" are.
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July 9th, 2013, 02:06
Interesting. I was too lazy to read the whole discussion before and just assumed that the more right wing forum members here are taking the libertarian position and are not OK with the government recording every persons internet and telephone communication (meta-)data indiscriminately. Guess I was wrong.

Yay to small government! Yay to big brother!

Dissonance is a polite way to describe this. The same people who are adamantly against any ban on firearms and argue that an armed populace can always rise up against tyranny are placid when an exhaustive program to spy on everyone, constantly, as long as they use modern technology, is revealed. Shows the hypocrisy of their arguments.
Last edited by coyote; July 9th, 2013 at 02:19.
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July 9th, 2013, 14:13
Reading fail yet again. There is a difference between not being afraid of government snooping and endorsing it. I realize it's far easier to reinforce your manufactured scorn by not paying attention, but it's just plain lazy and wrong.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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July 9th, 2013, 15:41
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Not minding spying is not minding government intrusion. God forbid the IRS investigates you, but if dubya's homeland security wiretaps you its OK, because he was so smaert.

Telling a woman how she can live her life is also perfect for government. As are all laws that repress minorities and any voting block that consistently votes democratic.

Welcome to the facist right…

WOW, this shows you how fucked up "conservative beliefs" are.
The problem with abortion as a privacy issue is that it involves by definition more than one life. If it didn't, there would be no debate on it being fully the decision of the woman alone.

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July 9th, 2013, 17:10
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Reading fail yet again. There is a difference between not being afraid of government snooping and endorsing it. I realize it's far easier to reinforce your manufactured scorn by not paying attention, but it's just plain lazy and wrong.
Not to mince words too much, but I just reread both Thrasher's and my own comment, and neither stated that you or txa "endorse" what the NSA is doing: Trasher wrote you do not mind it and I wrote you are placid in regard to it. So: right back atcha.

As to not being afraid of the government snooping: it is possible to speculate what will happen when everyone is placid and government surveillance is primarily going to be limited by technology.

First, it will be much easier to harm the credibility and public image of politicians who are against the surveillance. Because citizens cannot decide about something they do not know and politicians will tend to be in favour of knowing more about what is happening, eventually the state will have a complete history of telecommunications and an online history perhaps even including the data transmitted for everyone for all time (e.g. text is easy to compress and store forever). Consequently, each citizen will be transparent to the state, especially when the importance of the internet in our daily lives continuously increases with time*. The patterns used to detect suspicious behaviour will never be known publicly, obviously, and probably be opaque even to those applying them when they are technological black boxes, e.g. if implemented as neural networks. To avoid ending up in a suspicious pattern which will make it more difficult e.g. to get a Visa or a job offer, this uncertainty will lead to people censoring themselves, first in what they say and, in time, in what they think. Public opinion will be largely synchronised with few exceptions that will stand out and be marginalised. Social innovation and opposition to the position of the state will be minimised eventually and a point of no return towards a big brother state be reached and passed. Welcome to Orwell's dark vision.

Of course the above extrapolation assumes that there is no successful public opposition and meaningful limitations to increased surveillance in the future, when it might still happen**.

On the economic side, big business will, legally and illegally, siphon data from the surveillance agencies tempted by the large economical advantage. Small businesses dependent on their know-how will not be able to protect themselves from the industrial espionage and fail, which will lead to further monopolization. Without meaningful competition, technological innovation will suffer as well.

*Edit: devices like the X-Box One Kinect and also smartphones bring microphones and cameras readily connected to the internet into every household even today, so the technological barrier to total surveillance is already gone.

**Edit 2: for public opposition to occur, and also to give critical politicians a reason to act, whistleblowers revealing formerly secret surveillance practises are essential. The whole scenario is obviously not the best case possible, and perhaps not the most likely, but unfortunately it is not an unlikely case, either. Totalitarian regimes based on propaganda and public surveillance have existed in the past, exist today, and will be even easier to create and maintain with future advances in communication technology.
Last edited by coyote; July 9th, 2013 at 22:25.
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July 9th, 2013, 19:16
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
The problem with abortion as a privacy issue is that it involves by definition more than one life. If it didn't, there would be no debate on it being fully the decision of the woman alone.
It's not a privacy issue. It's the right to live one's life unfettered by government regulations. There is no clear definition of when a new life begins, but I think the crazies that fantasize that a soul is "created" or brought from somewhere at the moment of gestation have no place in writing (or even voting for) laws that affect a woman's right to choose. It's like letting the inmates of an insane asylum run the asylum.
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July 9th, 2013, 22:20
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
It's not a privacy issue. It's the right to live one's life unfettered by government regulations. There is no clear definition of when a new life begins, but I think the crazies that fantasize that a soul is "created" or brought from somewhere at the moment of gestation have no place in writing (or even voting for) laws that affect a woman's right to choose. It's like letting the inmates of an insane asylum run the asylum.
I agree that the problem is there is no clear definition of when a new life begins. I don't think it is just the 'crazies' that aren anti-abortion. Myself, while a believer, I simply see it as another life, and I see no difference between its right to exist whether it is in the womb or outside it.

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July 9th, 2013, 22:34
There's a difference between being totally anti-choice and post 3 month anti-abortion. But irrational unsupportable beliefs are a waste of time to argue.
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July 10th, 2013, 01:04
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
There's a difference between being totally anti-choice and post 3 month anti-abortion.
I think that is a fair point. For me, since we don't have a definitive answer to when it goes from being merely a fertilized embryo to a life, I think its wiser to err on the side of caution.

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July 10th, 2013, 01:52
It's not cautious to ruin countless women's lives because of a supernatural irrational belief. It's crazy, and oppressive. Don't force your own religious and supernatural beliefs on others. In the Constitution, "freedom of religion" also means freedom from other's religious beliefs.
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July 10th, 2013, 13:50
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
It's not cautious to ruin countless women's lives because of a supernatural irrational belief. It's crazy, and oppressive. Don't force your own religious and supernatural beliefs on others. In the Constitution, "freedom of religion" also means freedom from other's religious beliefs.
I said nothing about a supernatural belief, merely the beginning of life, a biological point. As for ruining a woman's life, if she aborts the child, then she's really ruining it's life.

In this day and age, there really is no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy. The pill has been around for 50 years, condoms are available at every corner dug store.

I am willing to concede the need for abortion choice in situations such as rape or when the mother's life is danger, but women and men both have plenty of easy options for avoiding pregnancy.

I do also believe that men should be held far more accountable than they are by the law currently.just writing a check is not enough

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