Sunday, March 01, 2009

Meet the new boss...

Remember the Bush administration's grotesque NSA warrantless eavesdropping program? It looks like the Obama administration has decided they're going to keep it.

Seriously, did anyone not see this coming?

Well, I did, back when the Bush people pushed this stuff through. And since I'm apparently psychic, I'm going to guess that all of our 'conservative', 'Republican', and 'libertarian' brothers, who haven't given a shit about civil liberties for the last eight years, will soon begin to; while the 'progressives', 'liberals', and 'Democratic' bretheren, who used to oppose these things, at least verbally, will shut their mouths. Radicals, I assume and hope, will keep bitching.

Seriously, when will freedom ever increase?

4 comments:

The Pagan Temple said...

"Seriously, when will freedom ever increase?"

When political parties are outlawed, or in other words, never. Party politics-oldest shell game on the planet.

Brian Dunbar said...

When political parties are outlawed, or in other words, never.

1. I do not think it is that bad.

But I do think that with this election [1] we've passed a turning point: the next century or two belongs to a stronger, more dynamic culture. One that is willing to take chances, to dream big.

The US is going to be more like the EU: a fading power still big and capable of dreaming big but whose time has passed.

Elon Musk came -here- from South Africa because only America could offer a guy like that the space to operate.

Twenty years from now, guys like that will emigrate elsewhere to chase their dreams.


2. I do not think this is inevitable - and I myself will do what I can to keep this the kind of vibrant alive culture we know and cherish.

But it's not going to be easy, ya'know?


3. What we need is a frontier: Cheap space access can't come soon enough. The sooner we get Mormon settlements on the moon, Israelis at L5, the better.


[1 no matter who won. Electing the other guy would have only slowed the process down. Maybe.

Rufus said...

I don't know, Brian. I agree with your concerns about the future; but the way you talk about it here, it sounds like you only care about the possibility that we'll have to pay more taxes, or that businessmen will have a harder time making a go of it. I share some of those concerns, but I'm also talking about civil liberties.

I mean, we had eight years of secret renditions, illegal wiretaps, torture, "free speech zones", yes- a willingness to spend the country into the grave, and a real push to become a more authoritarian state. Not only that, but we were applying the... you know, winning formula of the war on drugs to a totally idiotic war on Mexican landscapers. And being told that we'd never really have to pay for any of this. Because, as long as they don't raise our taxes, we're still free, right?

All that time, I was saying that this will be a problem and that republicans should be worried too because they wouldn't like it when President Hillary (I guessed wrong there) kept all of those "emergency powers", and there was no way the country could afford any of this without eventually raising taxes. All I heard was that I was nuts. "Bush derangement syndrome".

Now, Obama continues doing exactly what his predecessor did and it's a turning point. Why? Because he has more popular support? Or is it just that "freedom" is shorthand for "not raising my taxes"? Or is it that we all secretly hoped that a Democrat would undo these things?

All of that I understand, but when you talk about a 'dynamic culture' and 'dreaming big', it sounds like what's upsetting to you is basically the tax rates going up. I do agree that this will fail in getting the US out of its slump, and probably prolong it. I also know what you mean about the EU, although I'm pretty sure their rate of growth is higher than you think.

But as someone who is both:
1. frequently broke, and
2. Having to deal with Homeland Security on a weekly basis, the tax codes aren't my biggest concern.

Also, maybe it's just my anarchist streak, but I feel a real terror at the thought that there might be no place on earth that isn't governed by anyone.

Hopefully, you understand that I'm just trying to get you to clarify this, and not trying to argue about it.

Brian Dunbar said...

the way you talk about it here, it sounds like you only care about the possibility that we'll have to pay more taxes, or that businessmen will have a harder time making a go of it.


Taxes and business are on my mind for a lot of reasons that I've redacted: it got long and tedious.

I am concerned about the inevitable loss of our freedoms. Concerned? It bothers me so much that when I write about for my blog, I tear it up before starting. I ramble, I screed and I do not like the authorial voice the topic brings out in me.

This is not the country I grew up in - and it hasn't been for a long time. It really hit home when the FBI raided that Congressman's office a few years ago, looking for corruption: the guy who kept cash in his freezer at home.

And it bothered me because, while I firmly believe the guy was crooked down to his shoes, he was engaged in business in the People's House and his office there should be inviolate. What really bothered me was that no one in the internets, aside from Jerry Pournelle, seemed to really give a damn.

The problems predate Bush, Clinton, Reagan . . . as far as I can tell for my entire life the government has been crooked and ugly and run by people who are out for themselves.


All of that I understand, but when you talk about a 'dynamic culture' and 'dreaming big', it sounds like what's upsetting to you is basically the tax rates going up. I do agree that this will fail in getting the US out of its slump, and probably prolong it. I also know what you mean about the EU, although I'm pretty sure their rate of growth is higher than you think.

Yeah, it's the whole kettle of fish that bugs me: taxes are just my lightening rod.