Monday, July 08, 2013

More Like This Please



From Mr. Charles Pierce:
...
If you're not driving drunk, why do you care about roadblocks? If you're not doing drugs, what do you care if they test you? See how it starts? Now we're all the way to, if you're not contacting terrorists, what do you care if the NSA collects your data? And this last part of the slide was undertaken in secret, by a secret court. And this is the Snowden Effect in action. Without the revelations, the president would not have made the preposterous public claim that the rubber-stamp FISA court qualified as "oversight" by any but the most laughable definition. There then would not have been the pushback against that silliness, and then there would not have been the FISA court itself responding that it was not a rubber stamp which, I am sure, is part of what intrigued the Times enough to produce this story which brings us all the way back around to how preposterous the president's original claim was.
Unlike the Supreme Court, the FISA court hears from only one side in the case - the government - and its findings are almost never made public. A Court of Review is empaneled to hear appeals, but that is known to have happened only a handful of times in the court's history, and no case has ever been taken to the Supreme Court. In fact, it is not clear in all circumstances whether Internet and phone companies that are turning over the reams of data even have the right to appear before the FISA court. Created by Congress in 1978 as a check against wiretapping abuses by the government, the court meets in a secure, nondescript room in the federal courthouse in Washington. All of the current 11 judges, who serve seven-year terms, were appointed to the special court by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and 10 of them were nominated to the bench by Republican presidents. Most hail from districts outside the capital and come in rotating shifts to hear surveillance applications; a single judge signs most surveillance orders, which totaled nearly 1,800 last year. None of the requests from the intelligence agencies was denied, according to the court.
Whether he likes it or not, this is the "national conversation" that the president said he wanted. Edward Snowden, world traveler, international man of luggage, made it impossible to avoid.
If we want to have this conversation -- and we should -- then for Chrissake have this conversation.

First,  in your own head, figure out the resolution. Figure out exactly what it is we should be debating.  As an exercise, here are some examples of what high school debate topic looks like:
  • (2013-2014) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.
  • (2012-2013) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.
  • (2011–2012) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.
  • (2010–2011) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.
  • (2009–2010) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.
  • (2008–2009) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.
  • (2007–2008) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • (2006–2007) Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps, Learn and Serve America, and/or the Armed Forces.
  • (2005–2006) Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.
  • (2004–2005) Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
  • (2003–2004) Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish an ocean policy substantially increasing protection of marine natural resources.
  • (2002–2003) Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.
  • (2001–2002) Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy significantly limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction.
  • (2000–2001) Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase protection of privacy in the United States in one or more of the following areas: employment, medical records, consumer information, search and seizure.
Second, having figured out for yourself what the debate topic will be, recognize that in any conversation that is not an amen-chorus, by definition there will be people whose opinion differs somewhat from yours.  Please stop spitting acid into the eyes of people whose opinion differs somewhat from yours.  Here is an example of what spitting acid into the eyes of people whose opinion differs somewhat from yours looks like:
Stop it.

Please just stop it.

On the other hand...

Third, if the principal reporter for this story continues to reserve the right to use his position as the  principal reporter for this story to spit acid into the eyes of people whose opinion differs somewhat from his over and over and over again, then I reserve the right to assume that is the conversation he wants to have.

15 comments:

mahakal said...

The hypocrisy of Driftglass is that he is a very acid writer who condemns acid writing by someone whose opinion differs somewhat from his. In this case the ideological dispute is now clear, it is not really a personal dispute. And unfortunately, Driftglass has taken the side of such ilk as Dick Cheney vis a vis Edward Snowden which makes the acid commentary hit a little close to home.

Good article by Mr Pierce though.

Toine said...

Cool Story mahakal, just wondering how many virgins you get being martyred for the Ron Paul/ Glen Greenwald Jihad?

Anonymous said...

In a previous post I stated that the issue raised by the Snowden disclosures are of a constitutional nature and that the Bill of Rights is in the process of being or already has been eroded by the federal government to the point of meaninglessness.

I also expressed some wonderment that this "real" issue wasn't being discussed. Another commenter suggested that perhaps I was just looking in the wrong places and that the discourse I was yearning to hear was, in fact, taking place.

It seems that Charles Pierce and G.G. himself appear to agree that we are having the right conversation. From a non-tweet by Greenwald:

"... Snowden indicated that his primary motive was to shine light on the ubiquitous global surveillance apparatus being secretly constructed by the US and its allies in order to prompt a meaningful worldwide debate. It's hard to contest that substantial progress has been made in fulfilling this objective."

Perhaps I've been wrong. Given the nature of our current media, this conversation may be the best we can hope for. I'll be glad to see it continue, such as it is.

On a side note, I don't see any need to feed the troll. If Greenwald wants to turn the national debate into a discussion about Greenwald and libertarian purity, Driftglass does not have to take the bait. Yet, Driftglass seems to think he should use his considerable talent as a writer to focus attention on Greenwald's tone and lack of civility.

Of course that's fine. I'll continue to see such focus as a distraction from what's going on inside the big-tent.

mahakal said...

Since I'm not a member of any such jihad, it makes the point that much clearer, Toine. There's no serious conversation to be had when the ideology of Dick Cheney and the National Security State is set against everyone else on the planet. Public ridicule becomes necessary at some point.

Anonymous said...

You know I love you DG, unlike a lot of the putzes around here. And I'll always love you, no matter what. But jeez, really, who the hell cares? I suppose you do, but I cannot figure out why...

marindenver said...

"It seems that Charles Pierce and G.G. himself appear to agree that we are having the right conversation."

"Yet, Driftglass seems to think he should use his considerable talent as a writer to focus attention on Greenwald's tone and lack of civility."

A couple of observations.

Charlie Pierce is having the conversation and he is not deflecting attention from that conversation by hurling insults at anyone who disagrees with him in any way.

Driftglass is pointing out how counter productive to the conversation this habit of gratuitous insult hurling is. But he is not disagreeing with the need to have the conversation.

I know who I'm going to think is conversing in better faith. Hint: not Greenwald.

BTW TBogg made the exact same point as Driftglass in a post yesterday and is still having commenters madly insulting him and never addressing the point he was making. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Driftglass is pointing out that gratuitous insult hurling is counterproductive...

ha

n1ck said...

You're allowed to spit acid at anyone who doesn't share your pure faith.

God...er, Saint Glenneth Greenwaldus says so.

Also:

Droneglass.

marindenver said...

@anomyous: "ha"? SOMEBODY needs to brush up on basic reading skillz.

gratuitous said...

Insist on only gratuitous brand insult hurling. If your grocer tries to sell you on an inferior product (and all non-gratuitous hurled insults are, by definition, inferior), kick him in the nads and run!

Trust your friendly neighborhood gratuitous for the finest in insult hurling.

Anonymous said...

I know...for a fact..that you could render these trolls into quivering globules of stammering pusstulance....with..in most cases less than a 10 word sentence!
Do it! It is it's own reward!
Unsheathe that oratorical sword!
Don't feed the trolls....exsanguinate them....




Anonymous said...

Wow Driftglass you went from being an influence on me to being a petty shill for the Administration because it's trappings and symbolism are more to your liking than those of the previous. The fact that you have subtly, but surely, gone out of your way to apply false equivalency - something you ought to know better on but clearly have not, against Greenwald shows just how far you have fallen.


Even Bush's DoJ and his friends in the CIA and the NSA were doing 10% of what Obama has revealed you be throwing acid in the face of anyone who dared utter a single word in support of those liberty destroying policies.

The fact you also keep trying to tie GG to Ron Paul is also disgusting.

Greenwald only ever defended RP on his correctly held positions on civil liberties, and has also congratulated people like Chris Christie when they behave like Governors and not GOPthugs, but I don't see you digging through GG's birth records to see if he's the secret brother abandoned by the Christe family for hating liberals too much.

You are on the wrogn sige of the Snowden/GG revelations like many were wrong during the Nixon administration.

You owe some apologies, but you should really think first about how you're favoritism for the Democratic party hurts out shared democracy.

driftglass said...

"The fact you also keep trying to tie GG to Ron Paul is also disgusting..."

Where exactly has this happened?

JerryB said...

Every time I see a pic of a C-130 gun ship I'm reminded of the time I was passed by one on a runway at Michael Army Air Field back in '80. Dead of night, pitch black driving down a taxi way. Didn't hear it till it was passing us. Dig that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I misread someone elses post thinking it was yours, but good job side stepping everything else I said. I mean, this from someone who has no problem foaming at the mouth at Brooks, Palin, and everyone who is a journalist who also has a TV show but by God GG exposes the hypocrisy of people

LIKE YOU

You went ballistic at the shit Bush did but now that

YOU GUY is in the white house you couldn't care less.