You say Police State, I say potato. Either way let's discuss surveillance and government overreach.

Bear wrote:

Can it truly be considered a "surveillance state" when a large amount of the surveillance is coming from individuals and businesses?

As long as it's somewhat trivial for the state to acquire such "private" recordings then all you're really seeing is the state offsetting the costs of mass surveillance on to private firms. It suits the control objectives of the state to allow private concerns to foot the bill for the infrastructure and hardware of surveillance, the state afterall wants to pay the least to get the greatest amount of or benefit from surveillance. And the state gets a further distancing benefit whereby it can stand back and say "it's not us collecting data", while having somewhat ready access to the data anyway. It is after all quite within the state's power to ban the mass hoarding and storing of citizen's data by private firms

SixteenBlue wrote:

Eh, if you're not doing anything wrong then there's nothing to worry about isn't a very convincing argument for me.

Bear wrote:

Can it truly be considered a "surveillance state" when a large amount of the surveillance is coming from individuals and businesses?

When you think about the massive amount of time we're on camera, it's places like banks, coffee shops, grocery stores etc and not the government or the police.

If video surveillance ends up anything like internet surveillance, then soon enough all video feeds will be routed straight through government offices. Governments aren't the ones actually storing emails and phone records but that hasn't stopped them from demanding unfiltered access.

I recall hearing about a project called big blue that was recording everything recordable. Hmmm maybe it was called something else. I could be thinking of something else.

So, the problem with "any surveillance degrades freedom" is that it admits of no benefits from *any* surveillance. For example, it's useful against cameras used to protect against shoplifting, which is a priority for shop-owners to prevent financial loss and help them stay in business. That becomes something that is "against freedom", if one is inclined to the absolute. So okay, maybe store cameras are a tolerable evil. But at the same time, the tapes can help prosecute someone who kills the shop-owner; they are accessible to authority. Is that use "against freedom"? It seems to me that we have to be able to deal with the existence of surveillance technology, and discuss the limits of it, without going all the way to "it's never acceptable". Sticking to an absolutist argument just opens the situation up to abuse by the actual authorities, because negotiating limits is viewed as submission to authority.

Is the answer there really to advocate just getting rid of all the cameras? Is that realistic? Can we roll back technology?

It's not the gun that's the source of totalitarian power in African dictatorships. It's the people. They'd do it with spears if that was all they had. Appelbaum made it clear that it's not surveillance equipment per se that's the problem. At least I thought he did.

LarryC wrote:

It's not the gun that's the source of totalitarian power in African dictatorships. It's the people. They'd do it with spears if that was all they had. Appelbaum made it clear that it's not surveillance equipment per se that's the problem. At least I thought he did.

Right. There was plenty of surveillance in the USSR. It was just in the form of people informing the authorities on other people.

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/05/yes_the_president_can_kill_americans_on_u_s_soil/

Good for Rand Paul.

Just so we’re all clear — and mainly just so Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will stand down on his threat to block John Brennan’s confirmation — Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed in writing that the president can kill U.S. citizens in a drone strike on U.S. soil, in “an extraordinary circumstance.”

In a Google+ Hangout last month, President Obama refused to answer whether or not he had the authority to use lethal force on Americans inside the borders. And John Brennan has said that the CIA does not “have any authority” to carry out lethal strikes on U.S. soil. But Paul had threatened to block Brennan’s nomination “until he answers the question of whether or not the President can kill American citizens through the drone strike program on U.S. soil.”

When do we get around to burning the Constitution?

Can the president kill US citizens on US Soil? Yes. In the event of insurrection, rebellion, or treason the president can order the taking of arms against such citizens. It is been that way even before the Bills of Rights, as well as long after.

George Washington sent troops into the frontier, which led to several casualties in the Whiskey Rebellion. The number of American Killed during the Civil War is staggering. Eisenhower sent in the the 101st Airborne in to enforce school segregation.

Where did Rand Paul not learn his history from?

KingGorilla wrote:

Can the president kill US citizens on US Soil? Yes. In the event of insurrection, rebellion, or treason the president can order the taking of arms against such citizens. It is been that way even before the Bills of Rights, as well as long after.

George Washington sent troops into the frontier, which led to several casualties in the Whiskey Rebellion. The number of American Killed during the Civil War is staggering. Eisenhower sent in the the 101st Airborne in to enforce school segregation.

Where did Rand Paul not learn his history from?

I don't....

Why are those good examples? Minus the Civil War those aren't examples of executing US citizens without trial. Furthermore, two wrongs makes a right? Lawbreaking by other presidents sets undeniable legal precedent?

DSGamer wrote:

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/05/yes_the_president_can_kill_americans_on_u_s_soil/

Good for Rand Paul.

Just so we’re all clear — and mainly just so Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will stand down on his threat to block John Brennan’s confirmation — Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed in writing that the president can kill U.S. citizens in a drone strike on U.S. soil, in “an extraordinary circumstance.”

In a Google+ Hangout last month, President Obama refused to answer whether or not he had the authority to use lethal force on Americans inside the borders. And John Brennan has said that the CIA does not “have any authority” to carry out lethal strikes on U.S. soil. But Paul had threatened to block Brennan’s nomination “until he answers the question of whether or not the President can kill American citizens through the drone strike program on U.S. soil.”

DSGamer wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

Can the president kill US citizens on US Soil? Yes. In the event of insurrection, rebellion, or treason the president can order the taking of arms against such citizens. It is been that way even before the Bills of Rights, as well as long after.

George Washington sent troops into the frontier, which led to several casualties in the Whiskey Rebellion. The number of American killed during the Civil War is staggering. Eisenhower sent in the the 101st Airborne in to enforce school segregation.

Where did Rand Paul not learn his history from?

I don't....

Why are those good examples? Minus the Civil War those aren't examples of executing US citizens without trial.

If you can't keep clear the distinction between killings that are executions and killings that are not, you'll never be able to understand where the people you disagree with are coming from.

Furthermore, two wrongs makes a right? Lawbreaking by other presidents sets undeniable legal precedent?

It sure makes it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state.

Those are examples of military force ordered by the president to quell rebellions and insurrections, or to prevent them in the case of Eisenhower's orders; also a great example of Military Peace Keeping I think all presidents could take a lesson from (Ohio's Governor should have at least). Shay's Rebellion is an example of pre-constitutional America where the loosely confederated colonies were nearly powerless to put down insurrection in Massachusetts. Massachusetts could not pay its debts to continental soldiers. The continental congress and president had no power to raise an army, to command the troops, or to even raise funds to pay for an army. Eastern Mass soldiers were raised privately to quell the rebellion. As a consequence, the constitution gave the congress authority to raise, pay, and quarter an army and navy, the president the power to command them. Washington had another rebellion to quell in his first term.

If these are illegal actions, you need to say which laws are violated, and what actions were taken to violate those laws.

I think the argument for illegal action has strong legs when it comes to Kent State, for example or any of the other protest massacres in the late 60's.

But to argue that the president lacks any authority to quell insurrection, to fight open rebellion through use of his power as commander and chief is a tough case to make. If the president lacks this power, what is your personal understanding of that office's authority to command troops?

It sure makes it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state.

History does make it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state. That's kind of the point. We've gone farther in the past and not turned into one; we've shown great progress away from it, and since Bush came in, we've had some setbacks. But yeah, it's very hard to argue we've reached that point.

Robear wrote:
It sure makes it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state.

History does make it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state. That's kind of the point. We've gone farther in the past and not turned into one; we've shown great progress away from it, and since Bush came in, we've had some setbacks. But yeah, it's very hard to argue we've reached that point.

I would argue that that only proves that we're straying further into being a police state. I think we've agreed that "police state" isn't some magical line that you cross to become one. That there are gradations of severity and freedom.

DSGamer wrote:
Robear wrote:
It sure makes it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state.

History does make it a lot harder to argue we've become a police state. That's kind of the point. We've gone farther in the past and not turned into one; we've shown great progress away from it, and since Bush came in, we've had some setbacks. But yeah, it's very hard to argue we've reached that point.

I would argue that that only proves that we're straying further into being a police state. I think we've agreed that "police state" isn't some magical line that you cross to become one. That there are gradations of severity and freedom.

Just because there are gradations and there's no magical line, that doesn't mean every case is a borderline case. Like, it might get murky if you ask me if the Dolphins have a blue jersey or a green jersey, but that doesn't mean I can't tell you that the Giants have a blue jersey and the Jets have a green jersey.

It seems like you're assuming that we're straying further into being a police state without considering the possibility that we're straying further towards being a police state. You can get closer to being something without actually being that thing just yet.

I was reading a fascinating 19th century judicial opinion regarding property rights in the age of the railroad and telegraph. 1852 was the date of the date of the decision, in fact. The Long Island RR Co is no stranger to US court cases oddly enough.

There is a never ending give and take between the past's conceptions of privacy, of quiet enjoyment, and other property rights and the need of the public good to progress technologically. The case was really one of the last nails in the coffin of traditional property rights and the common law view of nuisance laws.

The usefulness of certain technology for the advancement of society, and the establishing of a higher quality of life often trumps older and traditional views of rights. As an example, most metro areas have traffic cameras to track patterns, warn people of accidents and slow downs, you can go to the Michigan DOT website for live updates before a trip. The news has access to broadcast this information to commuters. Every person with a cell phone also has a camera, a voice recorder in their pocket now. This makes taking quick keep sakes easy, recording impromptu business meetings. But it also makes it easier for people with ill will to record private and privileged information. We have GPS in our cars, on our phones that makes getting from point A to point B easier, it will even reroute us around the aforementioned traffic. But it gives police another item to use in tracking citizens in the event of a crime.

160 years ago, as today, people can remove themselves from that technology by moving to a more rural area, you can refuse to get a phone with GPS.

But I would say it still is largely a wash. The train made it much easier to enjoy freedom of mobility, when before we had steamships on major rivers, but still ox carts. The internet has taken speech and expression to new heights.

CheezePavilion wrote:

It seems like you're assuming that we're straying further into being a police state without considering the possibility that we're straying further towards being a police state. You can get closer to being something without actually being that thing just yet.

Quoted because this is a really interesting line of thought.

Worth saying twice.

And I would still argue away from. At the national and state levels, sedition and libel against elected officials was wielded to varying degrees. Adams jailed a good number of critics, newspaper men. The mere speech or printing of anti-slave "propoganda" was strictly enforced from the Colonial era well into the Civil War. The same with the teaching of a slave to read or write.

The argument is that the nation, writ large, is less free now than at points in the past. I do not think you can conceive that as true while Slavery was still law in much of the nation, so it has to be after 1860. I do not think you can compare the US prior to universal woman's suffrage, so your point must be after the 1920. I do not think you can point to any time prior to the passage of the comprehensive Civil Right's Act hammering a nail into the coffin of Jim Crow. So the comparrison must be after the 1960's. So it must be asked at what point(s) in the last 50 years did the US get less free? Maybe make it after the 2000's given the fights for sexual freedom regarding abortion, contraception, cohabitation, interracial marriage, same sex intercourse, and eventually marriage. So the last 10-20 years or so. But then again less than 10 years ago (7 really) GW Bush and the DOJ attempted to suspend Habeas Corpus to Guantanimo prisoners, and the Supreme court Granted such writs, and there are now hearing going on in Gitmo.

No one need mistake me as an optimist. But I see the road of the US writ large as a nation that has continually expanded the freedoms and rights of its peoples.

SallyNasty wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

It seems like you're assuming that we're straying further into being a police state without considering the possibility that we're straying further towards being a police state. You can get closer to being something without actually being that thing just yet.

Quoted because this is a really interesting line of thought.

Police state: are we almost there yet?

SallyNasty wrote:

Quoted because this is a really interesting line of thought.

It's pretty much the line that several of us were taking almost exactly a year ago in this same thread... It's possible to move towards and away from being a police state without actually entering that state. At least we're not getting crucified for it, this time around. :-\

That was also the time we were discussing the overall improvement in rights over time in this country. You know, what 'Rilla brought up above.

Maybe the thread is ready to retire...

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

DSGamer wrote:

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

There are pm's and emails for that. An essentially private thread where one side is prohibited (or discouraged) from participating is isn't really in keeping with GWJ's P&C. Unless it were to be a thread about people's (as in members of this site) personal experiences with police-state-like events, and not just general news updates or discussion about the subject.

Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

There are pm's and emails for that. An essentially private thread where one side is prohibited (or discouraged) from participating is isn't really in keeping with GWJ's P&C. Unless it were to be a thread about people's (as in members of this site) personal experiences with police-state-like events, and not just general news updates or discussion about the subject.

We have Catch-Alls for video games.

DSGamer wrote:
Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

There are pm's and emails for that. An essentially private thread where one side is prohibited (or discouraged) from participating is isn't really in keeping with GWJ's P&C. Unless it were to be a thread about people's (as in members of this site) personal experiences with police-state-like events, and not just general news updates or discussion about the subject.

We have Catch-Alls for video games. :)

A catch-all would be like this thread, where both sides can post. What you're suggesting is a catch-all where only one kind of opinion was allowed to be posted. It doesn't "catch-all" if one side is silenced.

Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

There are pm's and emails for that. An essentially private thread where one side is prohibited (or discouraged) from participating is isn't really in keeping with GWJ's P&C. Unless it were to be a thread about people's (as in members of this site) personal experiences with police-state-like events, and not just general news updates or discussion about the subject.

We have Catch-Alls for video games. :)

A catch-all would be like this thread, where both sides can post. What you're suggesting is a catch-all where only one kind of opinion was allowed to be posted. It doesn't "catch-all" if one side is silenced.

Fair enough. So this is like a console thread where a few people want to talk about something and everyone else is here to say those people are wrong.

I thought this thread was created so the the Prepper Talk could be handled in another thread.

The title here seems to ask a question and instructs us to discuss. Maybe instead of "Discuss" you could have supplied the answer. Then in the top post you could supply the approved talking points and the appropriate position for participants to take.

DSGamer wrote:
Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

There are pm's and emails for that. An essentially private thread where one side is prohibited (or discouraged) from participating is isn't really in keeping with GWJ's P&C. Unless it were to be a thread about people's (as in members of this site) personal experiences with police-state-like events, and not just general news updates or discussion about the subject.

We have Catch-Alls for video games. :)

A catch-all would be like this thread, where both sides can post. What you're suggesting is a catch-all where only one kind of opinion was allowed to be posted. It doesn't "catch-all" if one side is silenced.

Fair enough. So this is like a console thread where a few people want to talk about something and everyone else is here to say those people are wrong.

I'd say it's more like a thread where some people are convinced that PC gaming is in it's death throes and others are pointing out that while it's certainly got some problems, it's not nearly as bad as they think it is.

Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Stengah wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

It was probably ready to retire as soon as it started. Some of us would just like to share news about this stuff. Could there be a thread for that?

There are pm's and emails for that. An essentially private thread where one side is prohibited (or discouraged) from participating is isn't really in keeping with GWJ's P&C. Unless it were to be a thread about people's (as in members of this site) personal experiences with police-state-like events, and not just general news updates or discussion about the subject.

We have Catch-Alls for video games. :)

A catch-all would be like this thread, where both sides can post. What you're suggesting is a catch-all where only one kind of opinion was allowed to be posted. It doesn't "catch-all" if one side is silenced.

Fair enough. So this is like a console thread where a few people want to talk about something and everyone else is here to say those people are wrong.

I'd say it's more like a thread where some people are convinced that PC gaming is in it's death throes and others are pointing out that while it's certainly got some problems, it's not nearly as bad as they think it is.

That seems about right. Either way my point was this. Threads where one side believes something and would like to talk about their concerns and another side just wants to find new and creative ways to tell them they're wrong is really tiring. I'm happy to see this thread locked, honestly. It's run its course and those of us who believe the country is not in great shape should probably just PM each other.

Jayhawker wrote:

I thought this thread was created so the the Prepper Talk could be handled in another thread.

The title here seems to ask a question and instructs us to discuss. Maybe instead of "Discuss" you could have supplied the answer. Then in the top post you could supply the approved talking points and the appropriate position for participants to take.

"Prepper Talk"...

That's a little loaded, don't you think. This thread was originally titled something different. I won't bother going over that again.

DSGamer wrote:

That seems about right. Either way my point was this. Threads where one side believes something and would like to talk about their concerns and another side just wants to find new and creative ways to tell them they're wrong is really tiring. I'm happy to see this thread locked, honestly. It's run its course and those of us who believe the country is not in great shape should probably just PM each other.

Of course, those who see the current situation as far from a police state feel like "the other side" comes up with new and creative ways to define every new event as more proof. I don't think either side has ownership of the truth.

But yeah, I thought it was time to see this thread locked, too. It pops up every time there is a new current event, and then we rehash the same talking points.