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    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #1

    Jul 21, 2010, 08:06 AM
    Psssst - small government righty's - whaddya think of this?
    Hello:

    I've been reading on our threads how bummed out our resident righty's are about the growth of government. They tell us they want a SMALL government. But, they DON'T. They want a LARGE government when it comes to your privacy. They WANT government peering into your bedrooms, listening to your phone calls and reading your emails... They think THAT'S just fine...

    I don't. Sounds like the USSR to me. They tortured people too, didn't they?

    The Washington Post discovered a Top Secret America hidden from public view and totally lacking in oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

    The investigation's other findings include:

    * Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

    * An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C. hold top-secret security clearances.

    * In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.

    Yeah, small government indeed! Looking more and more like the USSR!

    excon
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #2

    Jul 21, 2010, 08:44 AM

    Quite frankly Exie, as much as I like you, you seem to have hit the nail on the head this time. The USSR did get rid of communism but it found fertile soil here in the USA and has started to put forth evil fruits. The government of the USA will never be small again unless the country is overthrown by it's populace and restored once again to it's former glory. But that is not going to happen anytime soon. If anything the USA is headed towards Big Brother looking over their shoulder every day in more ways than we can imagine.

    BTW, just which island is that that has all the nekkid wemin on it?? My son wants to know...
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,742, Reputation: 342
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    #3

    Jul 21, 2010, 09:01 AM

    I objected to the creation of DNI .When it was created I thought it represented a Soviet politburo. Quantity equals quality is a lib solution. You know that because the Office of DNI was the brainchild of Dianne Feinstein ,Jay Rockefeller ,and RINO Lindsay Graham . Pretty much the full Congress both houses passed it because of their fidelity to anything the 9-11 commission recommended regardless of it's merit. Remember... they were being graded by the members of the commission.

    Nobody can accuse me of being a cheerleader for the intelligence community ,and the last thing it needed was additional bloating . No one here has been more critical of the inherent inertia ,the group think ,and the mentality that they run the nations foreign policy .

    I'll have to read the article and look into it a little further . The examples you show are indeed examples of a bloated infrastructure... but not of some kind of conspiratorial 'Top Secret America '.
    paraclete's Avatar
    paraclete Posts: 2,706, Reputation: 173
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    #4

    Jul 21, 2010, 06:03 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by excon View Post
    Hello:

    I've been reading on our threads how bummed out our resident righty's are about the growth of government. They tell us they want a SMALL government. But, they DON'T. They want a LARGE government when it comes to your privacy. They WANT government peering into your bedrooms, listening to your phone calls and reading your emails... They think THAT'S just fine...

    I don't. Sounds like the USSR to me. They tortured people too, didn't they?

    The Washington Post discovered a Top Secret America hidden from public view and totally lacking in oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

    The investigation's other findings include:

    * Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

    * An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

    * In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.

    Yeah, small government indeed! Looking more and more like the USSR!!

    excon
    Ex I think you are saying the more intelligence you get the less intelligent you become. All of these people and not a Bin Laden in sight and how many terror plots have you had recently, was that one or two maybe?
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #5

    Jul 22, 2010, 06:44 AM

    I don't believe you've ever heard me clamoring for more bloat in government anywhere.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #6

    Jul 22, 2010, 07:06 AM

    Hello Steve:

    No, probably not... But you just want to sound like me, cause I'm wonderful and I'm right.

    What I want to know, though, is if you don't support the bloat - do you support DISMANTLING it?? Do you feel SAFER because of this stuff? Do you MIND the government reading your emails, and listening to your phone calls?? Are you going to give me the standard right wing clap trap that you don't mind them listening, because you're not doing anything wrong??

    If so, I must say, that's pure bull pucky, and YOU know it. Anybody in their right AMERICAN mind would object to the government listening to their phone calls. Then you say, well they don't actually LISTEN, they just collect the calls, so they're still private, right??

    WRONG!

    Come on Steve. Get OFF the fence.

    excon
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,742, Reputation: 342
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    #7

    Jul 22, 2010, 07:10 AM

    There is a fine line as to what is appropriate . Lean and mean is cool . But gutting intel for the sake of downsizing it was a Clintoon solution and that contributed to the intel failures leading up to 9-11. People forget that George Tenet served as CIA director 1st as a Clintonoid . But he complained bitterly that the cuts made were making his agency ineffective... shutting down key stations around the world (like Hamburg Germany) .
    He said "The fact is that by the mid-to-late 1990s American intelligence was in Chapter 11."
    Exclusive Book Excerpt: 'Sabotage' Part 3 -- CIA operatives stayed safe in Green Zone as violence grew - Examiner.com

    Current Sec Def Gates summed up the situation this way :
    "By the mid-1990s, recruitment of new case officers at CIA had hit a historic low, and the agency's funding was a prime target for budget-cutters," ..."Indeed, within three years of my retirement in 1993, CIA's clandestine service had been cut by 30%—just when Osama bin Laden was gearing up his war on the United States."
    Defense.gov News Transcript: Secretary Gates remarks to the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas, Texas

    While Dana Priest has a point that it is getting top heavy ,she also needs to acknowlege the successes our intel agencies had in the last decade. Actually ,it took D*ck Cheney's prodding to get the Obots to release the number of successes the intel agencies had in preventing terrorist attacks by jihadistan in the US.
    Priest is also a little deceptively dishonest in saying 854,000 people have security clearance as if all of them are spooks . Many people not related to the intel agencies have clearance .

    I am looking forward to Priest's report on the overbloated bureaucracy catering to the nanny-state .
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #8

    Jul 22, 2010, 07:30 AM

    Hello again, tom:

    You, like Steve, are sitting on the fence. I heard criticisms. I heard you attack the writer. I heard you deflect the question to the nanny state. But, I don't hear you decry it. I don't hear you telling me that you feel safer because of it. I don't hear you saying it needs to be dismantled. I don't hear you saying that it needs to be EFFECTIVE. I don't hear you objecting to them reading YOUR emails, or listening to YOUR phone calls...

    It's OK. You don't have to retort with your boiler plate right wing schtick about you NOT MINDING the government SNOOPING in your phone calls, because you're not doing anything wrong.. It just isn't believable... In your right wing HEAD it's believable, but right wingers live in their heads. They don't live in the real world.

    Do this for me. The very next phone call you make, THINK about what you would say DIFFERENTLY if you KNEW somebody was listening. If you say you'd do NOTHING different, I'm not going to believe you. Can you imagine that?? Can you put yourself into that scenario? Does it require empathy that right wingers lack?? Maybe so, because you keep telling me that you would do something that I KNOW you wouldn't do.

    excon
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,742, Reputation: 342
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    #9

    Jul 22, 2010, 07:58 AM

    I don't hear you objecting to them reading YOUR emails, or listening to YOUR phone calls...
    That's because they aren't . They are listening in on the enemy's communications however. If the jihadists are talking to me then perhaps the spooks would be interested in what I have to say.

    So as not to be accused of being a fence sitter ,I consider the upgrade of the NSA one of the best contributions of the Bush Administration.
    (Maybe I should reread the story or the follow-up reports that the Compost printed this week.I don't recall the NSA being the major subject of the essay.)
    Do I think it should be dismantled ? Hell no ! That is exactly the mistake that the Dems made in the 1990s and the 1970s before that. But it should be trimmed and structured where it isn't top heavy with deskjockies thinking they know how to make policy better than the elected officials. More boots on the ground ;fewer butts in a chair.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #10

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:14 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tomder55 View Post
    That's because they aren't . They are listening in on the enemy's communications however.
    Hello:

    You know that, ONLY because the government TOLD you. In other words, you TRUST them. Yet, when the government TELLS you that they'll save money and lives by insuring the health of all our citizens, you DON'T believe it.

    It DOES point out the inherent hypocrisy of the right wing. You BELIEVE government when you WANT to - when believing it suits your political agenda. That's SCARY.

    excon
    spitvenom's Avatar
    spitvenom Posts: 1,266, Reputation: 373
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    #11

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:23 AM

    Sure people say they lock in on target words but If I say my friend is "President" of the "Gun" club wouldn't they key in on that and listen to me for no reason?
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,742, Reputation: 342
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    #12

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:31 AM

    Ex; You on the other hand are perfectly content for the government to take over the operation of a 5th of the economy and incorporate it into a super politburo and only trust them when they collect all the intimate details of your medical records in a government data base. That is more intrusion on my life than your paranoid rants against the people who are trying to keep you and I safe from enemy attacks.

    I'm more worried about 5th column reporters of the 4th estate like Dana Priest exposing the work of our intelligence agencies. People like her get our agents killed.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #13

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:33 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by excon View Post
    Come on Steve. Get OFF the fence.
    What's so wonderful about you is how you manage to take a few words someone said and complicate the heck out of it. I never know from day to day (or post to post) if you want us to compromise or go extreme. National security ain't that easy, it's bloated, it needs trimming but not dismantling.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #14

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:36 AM

    Hello spit:

    They would do MORE than just listen. We just don't know HOW much more. But, with ALL those agencies chomping at the bit, I'll bet it's a LOT more.

    Because you no longer have a Fifth Amendment right to challenge your detention, the government COULD designate you an enemy combatant, sweep you up and take you to Bagram in Afghanistan where they would torture you.

    Or, I guess you could TRUST that the government wouldn't. After all, the LAWS preventing them from doing it have been done away with...

    Yes, I fear terrorism. But, I am MORE fearful of my governments' response to it.

    excon
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #15

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:44 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by speechlesstx View Post
    I never know from day to day (or post to post) if you want us to compromise or go extreme.
    Hello again, Steve:

    Keeps you on your toes, don't it?

    excon
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #16

    Jul 22, 2010, 08:52 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by excon View Post
    Keeps you on your toes, don't it?
    Yeah, good thing I don't base my positions on what you want, huh?
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #17

    Jul 22, 2010, 09:11 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by speechlesstx View Post
    Yeah, good thing I don't base my positions on what you want, huh?
    Hello again, Steve:

    Yup. But, I DO have one teeeny weeeny request to make, though. Don't give me that "small government" crap any more.

    excon
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #18

    Jul 22, 2010, 09:28 AM

    OK, "smaller" government.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,701, Reputation: 1438
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    #19

    Jul 22, 2010, 10:50 AM

    Here is the situation as I see it. Right now we are in a time of change. Technologies are breaking out all over the place. Instead of spy satallites we are now deploying drones. There is so much on the table right now its hard to say what real direction its taking. Before in times of old we had threats. We could point on a map and say where it was. Now the threats can be anywhere and are unknown. There are a lot more bases to cover to get the job done. The problem as it exists is the guidance to know what the boundries are. As new technologies give way to new levels of insecurity. Then there is nowhere to draw any lines until it goes into a court and gets decided. How far can we let it go. I haven't a clue. How far has it gone. Don't know that one either. Most is about offense of public sense. They will keep doing what they are doing until they get caught and reeled in.

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