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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The NSA's warrantless wiretapping is a crime, not a state secret (Page 2)

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Author Topic: The NSA's warrantless wiretapping is a crime, not a state secret
Seriati
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Up to you, but is it really worth alienating people to salve your pride? Gains are won by those who keep their focus on the future.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
They gloss over it because it's pure BS. By "can't" just fish through it you mean "promiss not to".

Controls against that are pretty trivial to establish (And need to mostly be in place anyway to protect it from being hacked by external entities as well. IF they are going to do this, I'd think it perfectly reasonable, though, to say that they have to be subjected to regular audits of their security protocols on it as well as compliance to those policies.

I'd think also that there'd be no risk in publishing a list of all times the data was accessed (just the fact of access, not the details of that access) and linking it to the warrant approving that access (again without needing to show the details of that search)

Far better, though, would be that this finally provides the pressure needed to stop reauthorizing the more noxious elements of the Patriot Act by getting enough people from both ends together to override the middle.

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NobleHunter
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Not to mention the government has recently had a rather unpleasant experience with what happens when massive databases of controlled information are easy to sift through. The only thing worse than this program going public would be the actual database being made public.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
is it really worth alienating people to salve your pride?
I don't know. It might actually do the people in question some good to face up to how wrong they originally were.
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G3
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[Roll Eyes]
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G3
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Who's been following the latest and greatest revelation, PRISM? Almost all your data is getting hoovered up by the NSA. Google it up (ironical) and see which companies are complying (like MS, Apple and Google among others).

The digital panopticon. The only reason big brother is not watching everyone of us now is because the data mining algorithms aren't quite there ... yet.

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D.W.
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If by "following" you mean did I hear about it this morning? Then yes. Though the companies "complying" was a sticking point on what I heard.

The story seemed to say that the government admitted those companies were complying. The official line from those companies was, "No we aren't!"

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
If by "following" you mean did I hear about it this morning? Then yes. Though the companies "complying" was a sticking point on what I heard.

The story seemed to say that the government admitted those companies were complying. The official line from those companies was, "No we aren't!"

I don't blame them for denying but it would be a really strange thing to leak such specifics if not at least partially true.

BTW, who's leaking at the NSA all of a sudden and why? I would bet there's a pretty nasty little manhunt going on right about now.

[ June 07, 2013, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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D.W.
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quote:
BTW, who's leaking at the NSA all of a sudden and why?
quote:
IIRC, we talked about how Obama promised to end it, and then how pissed we were that Obama didn't end it but actually expanded it.
I think Tom’s point sums up why it’s happening “all of a sudden.” I think some of the people who will keep quiet as overreach if not outright abuse is occurring will choose to speak up under the same circumstances with the only changed factor being a perception of hypocrisy on the part of those doing the overreaching / abusing.
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G3
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Reasonable theory, someone is sick up and fed over the abuses and striking back.

Maybe they feel guilty over their role in it and are simply trying to right their own personal wrong.

Or maybe someone is simply trying to hurt the current regime - it's 100% political? Does that make them a "terrorist"?

Maybe someone needed a few bucks and thought this would be easy money?

So when did this information get leaked? Last week? Last month? 5 years ago?

A lot of questions about who, when and why this is leaking.

If I was the leaker, I'd be getting me one of those EPA passports they leave laying around and finding a hole to crawl into.

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D.W.
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quote:
Or maybe someone is simply trying to hurt the current regime - it's 100% political? Does that make them a "terrorist"?

Considering how this very circumstance is a predictable and desirable goal of terrorism your question is quite interesting. Are the leakers terrorists or are they just a predictable pawn of terrorists that are just the next step after the first line of pawns are manipulated into taking the secretive actions?

If you do what the terrorists WANT you to do, are you an accomplice or a victim of violent blackmail?

[ June 07, 2013, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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AI Wessex
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"The only thing worse than this program going public would be the actual database being made public."

Calling Mr. Ellsburg! Mr. Ellsburg to the copy machine!

"I think some of the people who will keep quiet as overreach if not outright abuse is occurring will choose to speak up under the same circumstances with the only changed factor being a perception of hypocrisy on the part of those doing the overreaching / abusing."

I don't think so. Bush was an incredible liar and hypocrite, but the Conservatives on FOX, radio and other media and his party in Congress stayed in lock step with him all the way. This is anger mixed with annoyance on the part of Democrats and liberals who are upset, but for FOX and Company it's just another day in the trenches attacking Obama and the intelligence community for doing exactly what they wanted the Patriot Act to let them do when the GOP was in charge. That's where you'll find your hypocrisy.

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D.W.
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I don't think any of those you listed in lock step are those doing the leaking. I was refering to those supplying the info not those reporting on the leak.
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G3
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So let's look at the flip side of this a little:
quote:
Here is what they don’t tell you. Telephone record information (e.g., the numbers dialed and duration of calls) is not and has never been protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court held as much in its 1979 Smith v. Maryland decision. Understand: the phone record information at issue here is very different from the content of telephone conversations. Because the latter involve higher privacy expectations, they are heavily regulated under not only the Fourth Amendment but both Title III of the federal penal code and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Under these laws, the government is not permitted to access communications content absent court authorization based on probable cause either that a crime has been committed or that the surveillance target is an agent of a foreign power (such as a terrorist organization or a hostile government).
As long as we believe the Obama administration that the content of our calls is not being monitored (and hey, why wouldn't we?!), then at least as far and the deal with Verizon et al there is nothing to see here ... move along. heh, just had to get that in there.

[ June 07, 2013, 02:15 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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KidTokyo
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Why defend Obama? Why single him out? This is beyond any president.

It baffles me that anyone wants to fight about this. Our outrage should be directed at the government -- the whole thing, both parties. Period.

We don't have time anymore for latecomers vs. i-told-you-so.

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AI Wessex
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I'm shaking my head in amazement that anybody is surprised by all this, or that some people keep finding reasons to be surprised by the same information that they've had available to them since the Patriot Act was passed. BTW, some of you think I'm ok with what they're doing because I'm not getting violently upset with these revelations. I was incredibly angry and upset about the Patriot Act and said so loudly when it was discussed and passed and many times after that here on Ornery. You already gave away your privacy, so you shouldn't complain that it's gone when you're reminded of it.
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KidTokyo
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How about we all decide to be friends for once, on the same side, and figure out what we're going to do about this?

While we still have the freedom to do so?

We might reach a day when we regret having indulged our need to argue and debate as much as we have.

Twelve years of arguing hasn't stopped the government.

The government will only listen to us when we start to get on the same page and agree with one another and take action.

How about them apples?

[ June 07, 2013, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Seneca
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You can't stop parts of the government from doing things like this, it's inevitable.

But what you can do is eliminate those parts. Power corrupts... absolute power... yeah.

We just need to eliminate all or most of these agencies. If the white house resists then Congress can simply cut their funding down to nothing and/or shut down the government if Obama keeps vetoing budgets.

Failing Congress working correctly (I don't have much faith after FrankenFeinstein and Graham Cracker went public saying they didn't mind the NSA doing this) then we need to get grass roots constitutional conventions going across the US. There has never been a constitutional convention (after the first one) and people forget its one of the 3 ways to amend the constitution without relying on the federal government.

[ June 07, 2013, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
We just need to eliminate all or most of these agencies.
I have no idea how you would do this via Constitutional Convention. So we should probably stop voting for idiots.
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Pyrtolin
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This is very promising in terms of odds of some degree of reform:
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/06/07/2119351/author-of-patriot-act-says-he-will-try-to-narrow-provisions-to-prevent-government-surveillance/
quote:
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who helped draft the PATRIOT Act, is exploring options to narrow a provision of the law that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to obtain telephonic metadata on nearly all Americans. The comments are the first indication that Congress may act to restrict the government’s ongoing data collection since the Guardian published a secret court order compelling Verizon to turn over its records on a “on an ongoing daily basis” and the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T and Sprint are also sending their records to the government.
“I have a big problem because the business records part of the Patriot Act, which is what was used to justify this, was designed for specific investigations,” Sensenbrenner told Fox News on Friday. “We’re seeing big government in action, just like George Orwell predicted but maybe a few years later,” he added.


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TomDavidson
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Man, Sensenbrenner is such a freakin' hypocrite.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
But what you can do is eliminate those parts. Power corrupts... absolute power... yeah.

We just need to eliminate all or most of these agencies. If the white house resists then Congress can simply cut their funding down to nothing and/or shut down the government if Obama keeps vetoing budgets.

The problem is that this wire tapping is part of the government's attempt to protect our nation, which is probably the biggest, most important reason for the Federal government.

So to eliminate the government agency responsible for this, you have to eliminate the government agency responsible for fighting terrorism. And how are you going to justify that? [Eek!]

Another 9/11, or an A-bomb in a major city, and they'll be right back in business.

Eliminating government agencies won't work in this case. We need them; we just need to keep them in line.

[ June 07, 2013, 06:09 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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KidTokyo
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Keeping them in line...demanding protection for whistleblowers, would be a good start, followed by transparency laws and public oversight.
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seagull
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quote:
demanding protection for whistleblowers, would be a good start, followed by transparency laws and public oversight.
Sounds nice but rather short sighted.
If you allow anyone in the NSA to reveal state secrets, the NSA will become ineffective at fighting terrorists and the RBN. A decade or two after the NSA losses it's teeth, we will not have to worry about the NSA anymore.

At that point KidTokyo's successor will be "demanding protection for whistleblowers, would be a good start, followed by transparency laws and public oversight" from the RBN. Since the RBN as a criminal organization will not do these things voluntarily, we will need to create a monitoring and enforcement agency to satisfy the demand. And we'll be right back where we started.

The bottom line is that you can't trust any of them. If we want privacy we need to make sure all your communications are encrypted. Anyone who does not use encryption when it is so easily available, has no right to complain about violation of privacy.

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AI Wessex
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"You can't stop parts of the government from doing things like this, it's inevitable."

Bear in mind that you can go to several commercial companies today and buy a "fire hose" of everybody's real-time and historical twitter tweets or everyone's posts on many other social media sites. Companies through which you post emails troll them obsessively for clues about you. In other words, your ISV already knows everything about you, including all of your internet history. Why worry about what the government knows when your local grocery store can quite easily buy all of the same information?

The government's business is different from the dozens of other businesses that you have agreed to let profile and track you for years with no protest, but the government is perhaps the only "business" that actually is interested in your welfare.

I recently talked to a prospective customer of our company's product that wants to collect everyone's internet logs, tweets, add to all that your GPS location from your phone in real time, and perhaps even buy your shopping and credit card history so that they can text you "special for you" sales opportunities as you drive down the road. The government got nothing on the business world in their greed for your privates.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
[QUOTE]

Eliminating government agencies won't work in this case. We need them; we just need to keep them in line.

Keeping them "in line" is impossible. Any power they have the resources to use can and will be abused, history has proven this.

Danger is the cost of living in a free society, this is what Patrick Henry and Ben Franklin were talking about.

Besides, there are lots of things we can do to secure the US that don't involve spying on Americans.

Securing the border would have the most immediate affect of saving lives. We can line the entire thing with a giant Israeli-style barrier and kill anyone who tries to cross it, simple. This is an untold, oft-ignored story by most of the MSM:
https://www.youtube.com/v/za_8TOQFA8o
(I thought about posting the link to that video with the url timed to start after La Pierre's intro, but if I did that the people who will respond by saying it taints and invalidates the rest of the video will just say I'm trying to hide it, so screw it. There are real facts, real interviews and real issues in there, you can focus on the first 30 seconds or not, your choice).

The next major thing we can do is stop arming violent Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood or the Syrian opposition. Instead Obama sends Kerry abroad to illegally gift 1.3 billion US dollars to a terrorist organization (the Muslim Brotherhood) against the direct wishes of Congress. That's 1.3 billion where a mere 44 billion in domestic sequester is "forcing" Obama to shut down basic services all over the US. Give me a break.

[ June 08, 2013, 02:51 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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AI Wessex
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"The next major thing we can do is stop arming violent Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood or the Syrian opposition."

Wouldn't LaPierre rather that we made sure that all the non-violent citizens who are loyal to Assad have weapons?

Refresher, May 2006.

[ June 08, 2013, 07:22 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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seagull
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Al, I agree with everything in your next to last post except for the following:
quote:
government is perhaps the only "business" that actually is interested in your welfare
I do not believe that any government is actually interested in my welfare per se (other than maybe breads and circuses and making sure we are productive enough to pay taxes).

I think your statement works very well without introducing that unnecessary assumption.

[ June 08, 2013, 07:22 AM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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AI Wessex
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I meant that the business of government is the welfare of the citizens, whether or not you think they are actually doing their job. Those other companies have no such interest, only profits. Do you think they give a damn about your privacy?
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seagull
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Seneca,
The Israeli wall only works because we know where the (most of the) terrorists attacks used to come from. It does not work against people who get in "legally" and then commit their criminal and/or terrorist acts.

I believe the 9/11 highjackers entered the US with valid passports. A wall would not have stopped them. But if the NSA had been able to recognize their intents they may have been able to stop them. Israeli intelligence official tried to warn the US that something like 9/11 was coming before it happened. They were not sure but their presentations of potential targets highlighted the twin towers as likely targets. The US was not ready to listen to these warnings.

Before [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_reid] became famous, he was stopped by Israeli security boarding an El-Al flight. The El-Al people specifically searched his sheos and then let him board the flight. Naturally, when he did have explosives in his shoes, his operators did not send him to another El-Al flight.

Gathering information about people in order to find the next Richard Reed is necessary for the continuation of the civilization we are a part of.
I do not care if they do it "for my benefit" or for profit (which suffers when airlines explode and travel goes down). It's not that I trust them, it's just that I recognize the necessity and prefer the lesser of two evils.

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seagull
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quote:
I meant that the business of government is the welfare of the citizens, whether or not you think they are actually doing their job
I happen to disagree with your premise.

I am not trying to convince you that I am right. For all I know we might both be wrong. I would like to show you a different perspective and help you make your argument stronger so it includes people like myself that share some but not all of your premises.

I believe that governments have evolved from raiders and highway robbers who figured out that their profits are higher if they protect their victims from the competition.

Raiders who raided farms and did not protect their victims from other raiders had to move on and find new farms to rob because the farmers did not survive long. Protecting the farmers and leaving them just enough to keep farming next year (but no more) was in their own interest. Formalizing it in treaties and agreements made it stable and more productive for both sides so eventually raiders evolved into government and military and taxes are just a polite way to refer to their loot.

Trade routes on which the Highway robbers did not protect their victims were less traveled resulting in lower profits for the robbers. This is how customs evolved.

I know that today, bread and circuses have evolved into a much more elaborate social structure that includes education, roads, medicine and various other services provided by the government. But the nature of government hasn't changed. You can't trust them, but as long as they are the lesser evil, you learn to live with them.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I believe that governments have evolved from raiders and highway robbers who figured out that their profits are higher if they protect their victims from the competition.
Why? I'd be curious to see if any evidence supports this.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by seagull:
Seneca,
The Israeli wall only works because we know where the (most of the) terrorists attacks used to come from. It does not work against people who get in "legally" and then commit their criminal and/or terrorist acts.

I believe the 9/11 highjackers entered the US with valid passports. A wall would not have stopped them. But if the NSA had been able to recognize their intents they may have been able to stop them. Israeli intelligence official tried to warn the US that something like 9/11 was coming before it happened. They were not sure but their presentations of potential targets highlighted the twin towers as likely targets. The US was not ready to listen to these warnings.

Before [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_reid] became famous, he was stopped by Israeli security boarding an El-Al flight. The El-Al people specifically searched his sheos and then let him board the flight. Naturally, when he did have explosives in his shoes, his operators did not send him to another El-Al flight.

Gathering information about people in order to find the next Richard Reed is necessary for the continuation of the civilization we are a part of.
I do not care if they do it "for my benefit" or for profit (which suffers when airlines explode and travel goes down). It's not that I trust them, it's just that I recognize the necessity and prefer the lesser of two evils.

If the goal is protecting American lives an Israeli style barrier would work, the countless US citizens who are victims of cartel incursions into the US would tell you that.
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AI Wessex
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"I believe that governments have evolved from raiders and highway robbers who figured out that their profits are higher if they protect their victims from the competition."

That's about the most pessimistic and negative definition I've ever heard. Given that every society lives by rules and almost every society has people in positions of authority and accountability to its citizenry, do you think that all societies are managed by proxy descendents of highway robbers and raiders?

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D.W.
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Hollywood seems to suggest that this is the default position if society were to fall. It may not be an accurate portrayal of human nature but they got enough psychology behind it to sell it to us convincingly. Maybe it's not too far a stretch. [Smile]
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seagull
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quote:
Why? I'd be curious to see if any evidence supports this.
Well, there is the anecdote that can be read between the lines of the biblical story of David, Nabal and Abigail. The fact that King David is considered to be a paragon of good government not only by Jews but by Christianity (which makes a point of tracing Jesus' lineage to King David) seems to indicate that governments since then are at least metaphorical descendants of king David.

It has been a while since I've read Plato and Machiavelli but I from what I remember, they also provide supporting arguments for my view.

Al may think that my views are "pessimistic and negative" but I do not see it that way. I prefer to be optimistic and believe when citizens read the bible and Machiavelli and do NOT blindly trust their government, the government in turn will try to provide better education, roads and medicine than they would otherwise.

It takes people like the prophet Nathan that speak truth to power, to make the greatness of King David possible. As long as we do not trust our government, there is reason to be optimistic about it being an even lesser evil.

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seagull
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I consider the declaration of independence in the context of King George's taxes and customs to be one of the important steps in the evolution I was talking about. I consider this evolution to be a good step and a reason for optimism as long as we remember that "freedom is not free".
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LetterRip
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AI Wessex,

you should read 'Why Nations Fail' the cynical view matches history extremely well. It suggests that the only reason we aren't living in a political (feudal lords and serfs) and technological world not much different from the middle ages is that the black death wiped out enough people to give serfs labor mobility and limited mobility to become tradesmen, which in turn allowed them to accumulate wealth to force power sharing. Then labor shortages during English settlement of the US and Australia again resulting in reasonably inclusive government and economic institutions.

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AI Wessex
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LR, I'll come back to your post tomorrow. Weather's too nice right now.
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djquag1
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Seneca - I can count pretty high. How many non-involved citizens die due to the cartels? I know there is a horrific problem with the coyotes ; kidnappings and virtual slavery and murders. An actual fifteen or twenty foot tall wall would work pretty well at stopping the problems with coyotes abusing their "customers." But they're not American citizens. That's not to mention the fact that it's a two thousand mile long border, most all of that being uninhabitated desert. What kind of manpower would be needed to patrol such a wall? What happens when coyotes try the novel strategy of digging a tunnel under the wall?
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