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NSA Data Collection Program Must End


#1

NSA Data Collection Program Must End

Faiza Patel

The Senate’s Republican leadership has convinced itself that the revelations of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden were just a bad dream. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the chair of that chamber’s powerful intelligence committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), introduced a bill that would extend the NSA’s program to amass a database of Americans’ telephone records for five more years.


#2

As I've related on prior occasions, the modern mass media's pervasive influence over citizens' lives grants a tremendous amount of power to image. Typically, packaging proves more alluring than contents.

I'm prefacing my comment in this manner to point out that a Black Attorney General like Eric Holder stands in mostly as a fig leaf while actual policing methods grow more brutal and at this point in time, aim primarily at communities of color.

Similarly, there will be a lot of noise about Hillary Clinton running as the first female, but when her stances match those of the Dominant Powers within a Dominator paradigm, she brings nothing from the Feminine side of "The Force" into play.

That's why applauding the appointment of Ms. Lynch as the first female & Black Attorney General is superficial--what once was termed "Tokenism" since she's gone on record supporting these NSA protocols. This is what I mean by exalting packaging over contents. Anyone who supports the Draconian state and its usurpations of the citizen's enshrined right to privacy is a compatriot of J. Edgar Hoover; and that is not Progressive and once upon a time it sure as shit wasn't a Democratic stance, either. It's card-carrying Authoritarian at its core.

I've also argued that rather than political labels, candidates' ACTUAL positions on the 20 most vital issues of our times should be collated into a score; and that score should show up on a graph that holds right wing Conservatism at one end, and Progressive Socialism on the other.

Then, if a candidate supported foreign wars of convenience (a/k/a resource acquisition painted as something more noble), or opposed things like oil divestment or raising the minimum wage, it would be their actual stands that defined them... rather than a label that more often than not is being misapplied.

Many of us have taken phone surveys where our "scores" are based on how we answer questions. These are measured from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

A similar scoring should take place for anyone running for office. And since so many of these individuals support corporatism which now has taken it upon itself to SCORE teachers and use those numbers to enforce new accountability measures, let similar protocols apply to them!

Any candidate who wins office and VIOLATES his or her own stances is tossed out. As simple as that! Call it "The Political 3-Strikes" rule.

My view of Feminism is that it's ultimately about humanism and making this planet a more just, humane, and ecologically secure place for ALL persons to live. That's why the frame that turns a war-hawk into a purported Feminist is so abhorrent for me. Females who ACT LIKE men and embrace the make-war state that mars-ruled patriarchy built are not what Feminism is about.

Anyone who says that Obama is a Progressive is out of their minds. He's arguing that this New World Order TPP is "progressive."

Words matter; yet in times run by graft, collusion, coercion, deception, and raw bloody force... words have been robbed of their meanings. Perhaps numerical scores can convey what bastardized language cannot.


#3

I think that is a GREAT idea. It would not be hard to do. I suspect it will happen somehow. The voting records are there. It would be just a matter of collating the data. We (whoever collates) need only go back 5 years initially, then a decade, and then just keep up with the present.

Obviously a left/right indicator number would be useful, but it may take a handful of indicators to capture other useful things. It cannot be 100% objective, so bills that gets voted on must be rated against the opinions of sections of the population.

Wall street uses a number of indicators to classify things and these too are not 100% objective, e.g. all ordinaries, standard and poor ratings etc.

Also, while we mention "standard and poor" ratings, remember also that they were recently manipulated or faked to downgrade Russia's financial stability to make it look as if Russia was nearly backrupt at a time when its foreign USD assets, and GDP were large compared to its debts. What I am saying is that these indexes have to be designed carefully. We (whoever designs them) need to make them as objective as possible and difficult to manipulate.

The first step would be to design them. It could be a great PhD project to design and propose such indexes.

I would not be surprised that a set of such indicators have already been created about citizens by the NSA, CIA, FBI etc.


#4

Thank you for the intelligent feedback. Instead of identifying positions AS Left or Right, as candidates answer (and voters might also fill out similar forms), their responses would ring up a color. Let's say bright red for ultra right, and bright blue for ultra left and purplish hues in the middle.