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USA internal spying and other

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The issue of NSA spying on regular citizens of the USA and of the government in general abusing it's power has been a topic seemingly forgotten by mass media, so I think it would be a good thing to discuss here.

 

Anyone have any opinions on it? I do...

 

I feel part of it is a reaction resulting from several unconnected events, and a general feeling of paranoia and xenophobia. A good example of the effect I'm referring to is shown in Star Trek TNG Season 4 Episode 21 "The Drumhead".

 

http://www.cbs.com/shows/star_trek_the_next_generation/video/UA8jPY5VJ_vMN1UqoMQnQid8uUmg_jMt/star-trek-the-next-generation-the-drumhead

 

I've seen a similar effect occurring in our judicial system in recent decades, and in digital media systems... DRM, treating people as criminals without proving guilt, and even sentencing people far past what their crimes deserve are all good examples. Someone who uses marijuana for occasional recreation getting 15 years in federal prison, someone downloading a few scientific articles gets 30-life, and someone tells us that the government is violating the constitution has to go on the run just to keep alive... (not just Snowden, who did resort to treason to get help releasing the information to the public, and to stay out of US government hands)

 

In general I feel the US government has become corrupt, and is using it's power and fear to abuse it's citizens rights, and nobody seems to be taking it seriously.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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While I have faith in the judicial system (for now), these are pretty bad violations of Constitutional rights, that if not resolved in a few years, we may end up like Stalin's Russia, viciously pursuing dissenters and scapegoating problems on minorities (Hispanics, Muslims, and to a lesser extent Asians, come to mind) and people they brand "traitors". We are probably on that road, but we still have a chance to come back (although at the rate we're going, the US will be a shattered nation, especially if your estimates of secessionist movements are true, as well as my estimates of increasing Chinese power). I wonder why the media would ignore such an issue (unless they were accepting bribes or being intimidated)?

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I wonder why the media would ignore such an issue (unless they were accepting bribes or being intimidated)?

Because the media either gains money or power by ignoring it. That, and the intimidation factor... Being imprisoned without trial for as long as the government wants combined with everything in mass media being censored means you aren't going to get any mass-media reporters that will do anything about it.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I wonder why the media would ignore such an issue (unless they were accepting bribes or being intimidated)?

Because the media either gains money or power by ignoring it. That, and the intimidation factor... Being imprisoned without trial for as long as the government wants combined with everything in mass media being censored means you aren't going to get any mass-media reporters that will do anything about it.

 

I think the "bread and circuses" idea fits well here (which, for people who don't know, means that you're well fed and distracted with "circuses" to keep you distracted from real problems)

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It's really disappointing considering both political parties (the major ones, anyhow) are willing to do this (Bush created the PATRIOT Act, and Obama expanded the surveillance programs). I wonder if this would've happened if bin Laden didn't order the 9/11 attacks (however small the chance may be)

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Bush didn't create the PATRIOT Act, the Democrats did, but used the 9/11 attacks to get it pushed through after it had been shot down several times before... Then the Democrats in charge began abusing the power given to them by said Act, and blamed it all on the Bush administration. (the Dems even had enough votes to bypass a veto from the Pres at the time)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Bush didn't create the PATRIOT Act, the Democrats did, but used the 9/11 attacks to get it pushed through after it had been shot down several times before... Then the Democrats in charge began abusing the power given to them by said Act, and blamed it all on the Bush administration. (the Dems even had enough votes to bypass a veto from the Pres at the time)

 

Hm. So, if there was to be one branch of government that tried to take full control over the other two, which would it be?

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Would have to say legislative... They have already overpowered the executive branch, and are trying to intimidate the judicial.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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This is not unique to the US.

 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/09/mi5_boss_net_surveillence_speech/

 

The thing is that the Cold War gave the Western governments a unique PR opportunity to present themselves as fluffy, cuddly, freedom-loving, liberal democracies as opposed to the oppressive, obsessive, authoritarian police states behind the Iron Curtain (not to worry, the same thing was happening on the other side).

 

They then got used to it and took it for granted that this image is safely set in stone. As seems to be the rule, though, they were completely blindsided by the internet and they are no longer able to maintain the illusion (but they still don't realise they have already failed!).

 

So, now they are cross that the truth is coming out and the public begins to understand once again that the governments consider their own people as the main threat.

 

It has always been like that, there's nothing new in it. It's just the honeymoon bliss of the Cold War is wearing off, that's all...

 

Regards

 

P.S. I recommend reading the comments thread to that el Reg article - that's where all the fun usually is on that site.

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Good source, and yes I do believe similar is happening in many other countries.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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