Author Topic: Politics, Religion, etc.  (Read 37040 times)

FDISK

  • Guest
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2013, 04:15:17 pm »
Snowden didn't sit in the front of the bus. He is a thief and a profiteer who has put innocent people's lives at risk. He has harmed his country. I'm not arguing what he did was illegal. Everyone knows it was illegal. I'm arguing it was immoral.

Snowden feels it's wrong for a free nation to spy on their own people. So...as a remedy...he hides out in Russia...a place where they have never dreamed of spying on their own people.

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2013, 05:14:47 pm »
Snowden feels it's wrong for a free nation to spy on their own people. So...as a remedy...he hides out in Russia...a place where they have never dreamed of spying on their own people.

You really think Snowden went to Russia as a remedy for this country spying on its own people?

Really?

FDISK

  • Guest
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2013, 09:09:42 pm »
Sure, what choice did he have. It was there or Ecuador. Patriot/Hero/Martyrs must suffer a little. I'm sure the Russians can afford to pay a little better.

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2013, 10:19:10 pm »
So you are backing away from your earlier suggestion that he is hiding in Russia as a "remedy" and are simply retreating to the land of smart-as$ed remarks.

Not surprising.

ticohans

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3238
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2013, 10:40:37 pm »
The only thing I'll add to this discussion is that we're treading ground where a federal republic can begin to trip itself up: when it decides to take action upon the population without telling the population. When that happens we don't know what we're voting for. We cannot trust lawmakers because we don't know what they're doing behind closed doors. I understand that certain things need to be classified. I'm not so na´ve as to suggest  there should be no government secrets. But there is a line that is crossed when certain basic liberties the general population believes it enjoys are infringed upon without their knowledge or consent. Many here are much more knowledgeable than me on this topic, but from what I've come to understand, not only has the NSA (along with other government agencies) collected data that most people would assume is off limits, some within the NSA have also taken it upon themselves to go above and beyond what is permitted to them by the FISA courts, etc. When secretive actions surpass their secretive systems of checks and balances, I think that is cause for concern. I am not justifying Snowden's actions, but in a topic so polarizing, it's easy to miss the other side of the argument.

I think Snowden has crossed the line, especially with some of his more recent leaks. If he had left it to simply showing the American population that they're surveilled quite a bit in ways that might surprise them, in ways that seem to bypass basic protections afforded by the Constitution, I think I'd be closer to jes' side of the argument. What continues to leak out though is increasingly damaging, and it's incredibly unfortunate that Snowden has decided to take it this far.

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2013, 11:11:08 pm »
tico, one of the problems of "simply showing the American population that they're surveilled quite a bit in ways that might surprise them," is that the government continued to lie and deny, and no pressure would have developed to do anything at all.  The thing that is incredibly unfortunate is that so many secrets exist in the first place and that the government was doing so much $hit it was lying to us about, and would STILL be lying to us about if not for Snowden.

In 1775, the terrorists were the Founding Fathers.

The real concern of the federal government is not so much foreign invasion, or even another idiot underwear bomber.

The real concern is that enough people become sick of what the federal government is doing that they internally, domestically, organize another revolution and truly throw the bums out.... and Big Brother is determined not to allow that possibility.

davep

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12414
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2013, 10:41:00 am »
If we are at war, which we are not, and if the secrets involve the time and manner and scope and targets of a military attack, I have no problem with classifying that information or criminally punishing someone who deliberately provided that information to the enemy for the purpose of allowing the enemy to use it against us in a pre-emptive or defensive manner.

None of that describes what Snowden did, though some of it does describe what Obama and Kerry are doing.

In a democratic society very little information about government actions, plans or expenditures, should be kept secret.

If you do not want a democratic society, then it is easy to justify keeping secret anything those running the show want to keep secret.

So if we are NOT at war, there should be no Security Secrets?

By the way, you didn't answer my questions.  Since you agree that there should be SOME security secrets, do by believe that anyone with knowledge of them should have the legal right to publish them if he doesn't agree with keeping them secret?

davep

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12414
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2013, 10:48:36 am »
If we are at war, which we are not, and if the secrets involve the time and manner and scope and targets of a military attack, I have no problem with classifying that information or criminally punishing someone who deliberately provided that information to the enemy for the purpose of allowing the enemy to use it against us in a pre-emptive or defensive manner.

None of that describes what Snowden did, though some of it does describe what Obama and Kerry are doing.

In a democratic society very little information about government actions, plans or expenditures, should be kept secret.

If you do not want a democratic society, then it is easy to justify keeping secret anything those running the show want to keep secret.

In the past, you have condescendingly reminding me that we do NOT live in a democracy - we live in a representative republic.  In a representative republic, we elect representatives who decide for us, among other things, what things are Governmental Secrets and what things should be made public.

Do you think Julius Rosenberg was justified in passing our atomic secrets to Russia, at a time when we were not at war with Russia?

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2013, 12:20:07 pm »
So if we are NOT at war, there should be no Security Secrets?

I can't think of any, but the question is not really relevant to the question at hand.  The question in classifying any document should not be determined based on whether there might be some situation in which a democratic government should keep something should be secret from the people who vote into and out of office those running the government, but instead whether the specific document at issue should be secret.

What we have seen time after time is that information is classified far, far to aggressively than can possibly be rationally defended.... and yet which you appear willing to defend.

By the way, you didn't answer my questions. 

If I didn't, perhaps you didn't ask them well, or they appeared too foolish to bother with, or I missed them, but arguing over whether you did or didn't ask them is counter-productive, so....

Since you agree that there should be SOME security secrets, do by believe that anyone with knowledge of them should have the legal right to publish them if he doesn't agree with keeping them secret?

Just so we keep the conversation clear, could you read that question aloud to yourself and then perhaps re-write it?  I think there may be a typo or some other error in it, and I don't want to assume what you meant, but instead to respond to a clear question.

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2013, 12:34:05 pm »
In the past, you have condescendingly reminding me that we do NOT live in a democracy - we live in a representative republic.  In a representative republic, we elect representatives who decide for us, among other things, what things are Governmental Secrets and what things should be made public.

There is a world of difference between accepting the concept of a representative republic making laws on general matters and deferring to those who are elected to determine what information the public will or will not have available in determining whether to leave them in office.

Do you think Julius Rosenberg was justified in passing our atomic secrets to Russia, at a time when we were not at war with Russia?

I never really thought about it before yesterday, but the question, as you have posed it, is whether he "was justified."  Without knowing everything that he knew, I won't try to second guess his justifications.  Clearly it was illegal.  It is not at all so clear as to whether the world was better or worse off as a result of his actions.  (Which amounted to sharing scientific information.... think about that for a moment.  What the nation had criminalized was the sharing of scientific information.)  The nation at the time had a number of folks with the mindset of Patton, Nixon or Joe McCarthy, and if not for Rosenberg allowing the Soviet Union to develop comparable weaponry, it is not at all hard to see the United States in the 1950's to have openly used nuclear weapons in "diplomacy" around the world, and to have vaporized at least a few more cities the way it did Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to coerce nations into compliance.

I think you may be intending to ask whether it SHOULD have been illegal for Rosenberg to have given that information to the Soviet Union.  To that I would answer no.  It should not have been.

davep

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12414
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2013, 02:55:06 pm »
And that explains why libertarians so seldom (fortunately) achieve national office.

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2013, 04:38:34 pm »
davep, had it not been for Rosenberg, the Soviet Union still would have been able to develop nuclear weapons, and presumably would have done so... unless good war hawks like yourself had nuked them first, totally destroying their capability of doing so.  You might want to live in a world in which the United States completely dominated the globe and from time to time nuked those who offended us.  I wouldn't, and I am happy that I don't.

davep

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12414
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2013, 08:54:54 pm »
It is easy to win an argument (at least in your own mind) when you ascribe actions and wishes to the other side.

When have I ever said that we should nuke someone that is on the verge of developing their own nuclear weapons.  Even you must realizing that giving away our secrets is not quite identical to nuking other nations when we are not at war.

Jes Beard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15581
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2013, 11:42:12 pm »
It is easy to win an argument (at least in your own mind) when you ascribe actions and wishes to the other side.

When have I ever said that we should nuke someone that is on the verge of developing their own nuclear weapons.  Even you must realizing that giving away our secrets is not quite identical to nuking other nations when we are not at war.

Talk about projection.

When did I say you felt "we should nuke someone that is on the verge of developing their own nuclear weapons"?

davep

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12414
Re: Politics, Religion, etc.
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2013, 10:20:41 am »
unless good war hawks like yourself had nuked them first, totally destroying their capability of doing so

If I have to read you posts, the least you could do is read them yourself.