US fight over gunman’s locked iPhone could have big impact

Feb 19, 2016

Photo credit: AP Photo/Luca Bruno

By Eric Tucker And Tami Abdollah

A U.S. magistrate’s order for Apple Inc. to help the FBI hack into an iPhone used by the gunman in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, sets up an extraordinary legal fight with implications for ordinary consumers and digital privacy.

The clash brings to a head a long-simmering debate between technology companies insistent on protecting digital privacy and law enforcement agencies concerned about becoming unable to recover evidence or eavesdrop on the communications of terrorists or criminals.

On Wednesday, the White House began disputing the contention by Apple’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, that the Obama administration is seeking to force the software company to build a “backdoor” to bypass digital locks protecting consumer information on Apple’s popular iPhones. The early arguments set the stage for what will likely be a protracted policy and public relations fight in the courts, on Capitol Hill, on the Internet and elsewhere.

“They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “They’re simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device.”

Within hours of the judge’s order on Tuesday telling Apple to aid the FBI with special software in the case, Cook promised a court challenge. He said the software the FBI would need to unlock the gunman’s work-issued iPhone 5C would be “too dangerous to create” and called it “undeniably” a backdoor.


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235 comments on “US fight over gunman’s locked iPhone could have big impact

  • 1
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    I support and applaud Tim Cook for having the courage to stand up to the FBI and do the right thing. Mr. Cook is also to be commended for his wisdom and forethought on this issue. He is a smart guy and knows what kind of dangerous precedent this would set if the US government were given the capability to hack into anybody’s smart phone anytime they want. They have taken away enough of our privacy and this must end.



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  • @OP – On Wednesday, the White House began disputing the contention by Apple’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, that the Obama administration is seeking to force the software company to build a “backdoor” to bypass digital locks protecting consumer information on Apple’s popular iPhones.

    Ah! The rights of the citizen and “Big Brother”!

    http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/orwells-dilemma-more-reflections-on-intelligence-oversight/
    Today Orwell’s work has suddenly become sought after again. Edward Snowden’s revelations of the extent of state surveillance have made Orwell fashionable again. Sales of his dystopian novel 1984, soared by 6,021% in a single day.



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  • 3
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @nearlynakedape
    I support and applaud Tim Cook for having the courage to stand up to the FBI and do the right thing. … if the US government were given the capability to hack into anybody’s smart phone anytime they want.

    The government has always had the ability to search documents, files, and records of all sorts once they obtain a warrant.

    They have taken away enough of our privacy and this must end.

    Keeping a phone locked is what is new. Old paper files, paper pictures, telephone number activity records have all been traditionally available to the government for our protection, and a very good thing too. I am 100% in favor of the government searching the records of a criminal in order to prosecute the criminal and identify accomplices to prevent further crimes.

    In court that evidence is presented for “the people”, by the district attorney, the government employed attorney who prosecutes dangerous criminals and puts them away for the benefit of all the rest of us.

    What is new is technology that allows criminals to hide their criminal activity. I support the ability of law enforcement to defeat these attempts at concealment of crime.

    Law enforcement has always had the ability to eavesdrop on phone conversations, listen to taped answering machine messages, and gather much information after obtaining a warrant. I absolutely do not want to tie the hands of law enforcement.

    Law enforcement has always had the capability to listen to my phone calls and I would not be surprised if the NSA has listened in on my conversations. It really does not bother me. I have not had any jack booted government thugs kicking down my door to haul me in for interrogation on the way to the gulag.

    It really does not worry me. I am much more concerned with the proven threat of ongoing crime and terrorist attacks, as opposed the the fear of government that sometimes finds voice in the paranoid rhetoric of folks like Alex Jones and Glen Beck.

    So yes, I think Apple should be compelled to assist in unlocking this particular source of extremely valuable anti-terrorist intelligence within the scope of a duly obtained warrant or official crime investigation.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #3
    Feb 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    So yes, I think Apple should be compelled to assist in unlocking this particular source of extremely valuable anti-terrorist intelligence within the scope of a duly obtained warrant or official crime investigation.

    I don’t see why Apple can’t decrypt that particular message on that particular phone and pass on the information, without compromising the integrity of the whole encryption system.



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  • @Stardusty Psyche #3
    Feb 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    It really does not worry me. I am much more concerned with the proven threat of ongoing crime and terrorist attacks, as opposed the the fear of government that sometimes finds voice in the paranoid rhetoric of folks like Alex Jones and Glen Beck.

    Curious. You seem fine with guns which kill 30,000 Americans a year and produce a school massacre every few weeks, you’ve extolled the virtues of America’s “liberation” of numerous countries (or unwarranted and illegal invasions as we might call it) but you’re afraid of terrorists, muslim ones mainly no doubt, despite them having had a vanishingly small impact on the USA apart from 9/11 and very little possibility of that ever changing.



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  • Hi Alan [#4],

    I don’t see why Apple can’t decrypt that particular message on that particular phone and pass on the information, without compromising the integrity of the whole encryption system

    Apple are saying (details in the full story at Phys.org) that if they create the tech to break into one ‘phone then they cannot be held responsible for the fact that the tech cannot be kept secret. Because that’s what happens to secret tech. Thus, breaking one ‘phone will eventually break billions of other people’s privacy.

    Apple are coming to this 25 years late. We should have been having this political debate when governments asked the 2G standards group to keep security weak to the extent that mobile networks had almost no security.

    As anyone who has even been just … awake … since Snowden made his first revelations, governments – particularly those of supposedly ‘free’ countries – have systematically undermined electronic security to the extent that they have enabled cyber crime, cyber war and cyber terrorism.

    Part of the problem has been a distinct propaganda thread in the old media – frightened by the power of the new media they constantly chip away with scare stories and opinions to undermine the utility of the Net. Chief among these is the ridiculous fallacy of “if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear”. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

    I am mildly encouraged by Tim Cook’s stance, but I think the bottom line is that the law is the law and Apple and the rest of Silicon Valley have been too slow on the uptake. Also, it’s difficult not to look at the tech companies without seeing them as two-faced as most modern tech companies have business models based on the (mis)use of personal data. Personally I actively avoid using Google, Facebook and Twitter – they’re evil.

    It will take something far more substantial to convince me that Apple are doing anything more than PR.

    We can win back our human right to privacy, but it’s going to take a very significant political effort, not grandstanding in a single court case.

    Peace.



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  • 8
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @arkrid-sandwich
    Curious. You seem fine with guns which kill 30,000 Americans a year and produce a school massacre every few weeks, you’ve extolled the virtues of America’s “liberation” of numerous countries (or unwarranted and illegal invasions as we might call it) but you’re afraid of terrorists, muslim ones mainly no doubt, despite them having had a vanishingly small impact on the USA apart from 9/11 and very little possibility of that ever changing.

    I don’t mind at all that you are bringing up points I have made in various other threads as evidence of my alleged inconsistencies. After all, I claim to have rational reasons for my positions, so I ought to be able to be broadly consistent at the very least. Fair enough.

    AS – “You seem fine with guns which kill 30,000 Americans a year”
    Besides being against the repeal of the 2nd amendment to our constitution I am also against banning automobiles, fatty foods, tobacco, and alcohol. Like most Americans, I choose freedom first.

    AS – “you’ve extolled the virtues of America’s “liberation” of numerous countries (or unwarranted and illegal invasions as we might call it) but you’re afraid of terrorists,”
    As a broad generalization the primary reason or motivation for the use of military force by the US has seldom been the liberation of those we invade, but liberation is typically an intended end result.

    As one particularly clear example we were not primarily interested in making free the Japanese people, rather, we were primarily interested in counter attacking their assaults and achieving a total military victory with our response so they could never attack us again.

    Having achieved the primary goal of defeating an enemy that attacked us we then turned to the secondary but inevitably natural goal of liberating the Japanese people and assisting them in the establishment of a peaceful democratic system. That too is not for entirely altruistic reasons, although a sort of starry eyed hope for freedom for all mankind is a strong motivating factor for the average American citizen. Still, it is of practical benefit to us that a conquered nation become free. It’s just a whole lot easier for us to have free nations as friends as opposed to militaristic dictatorships as enemies.

    AS – “you’re afraid of terrorists, muslim ones mainly no doubt,”
    We do occasionally have other groups and individuals that engage in sporadic attacks, so I support law enforcement in their efforts to infiltrate and defeat the KKK, the militia movement, and violent anti abortionists as well.

    But those organizations pale in comparison to the suicidal jihad for establishment of global caliphate ideology of fundamentalist Islam, for which we Americans are public enemy number one.

    The Jews have learned an important lesson, openly expressed by Israeli leaders today, if somebody says they want to kill you, believe them. I do.

    “Death to America” is no mere idle threat. It is chanted in deep anger, commitment, and willingness to die in the service of Allah.

    The corpses of foreign Muslims who come to the IS to fight and die are a recruitment tool for the IS. Incredible and abhorrent as it may be to we Westerners the IS regularly publishes glossy photos of men killed in battle for Allah as a recruitment incentive. You can go the the Clarion Project or other site to read Dabiq and see for yourself.

    When they obtain WMD they will use them, in a heartbeat, with relish, with joy in doing the work of Allah who will surely grant them entry to paradise in return. A dirty bomb, a biological agent, and Allah willing, a nuclear bomb. Whatever they can acquire, they will use it, and I, as an American citizen, am target number one.

    AS – “despite them having had a vanishingly small impact on the USA apart from 9/11 and very little possibility of that ever changing.”

    Thanks to our fine security forces, thus far, in the last 15 years, large numbers of attempts have been foiled. Hence my strong support for the efforts of law enforcement.

    You are wrong about the “little possibility of that ever changing” part. It is true that our commander in chief is doing a fine job containing the threats abroad, and our domestic security forces are doing a fine job foiling attempt after attempt after attempt. But they do not foil them all.

    One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

    Overwrought paranoia? I don’t think so. I grew up under MAD. I drilled for civil defense in case of nuclear war. I lived through the Cuban missile crisis. But at least then we were dealing with actors sufficiently rational to refrain in the face of a credible MAD.

    Not so with this lot, these suicidal Muhammadans. But we have some experience with this mentality from 70 years ago in places like Okinawa. It is very difficult to stop an enemy willing to die, even harder if he is seeking to die. Total defeat of the enemy at a distance becomes the the only means to avoid damage to ourselves.

    So far, our fine security forces have been mostly successful, but do not confuse their fine successes for absence of great mortal threat.

    If we let up for a moment they will come to kill us in numbers as great as they can, they have said so innumerable times, they have attempted to do so more times than I can easily count, so I believe them.



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  • It looks like there is a next one in the queue in this gun culture!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35624558
    At least six people have been killed in the US in a series of apparently random shootings in the Michigan city of Kalamazoo, police said.

    Four people were killed at a restaurant and two at a car dealership. A 14-year-old girl was also “gravely injured”.

    The attacks are being linked to an earlier shooting at a car park, which left one woman seriously injured.

    A manhunt was launched, which ended with 45-year-old local man Jason Dalton being taken into custody.

    The suspect did not resist when approached by officers, and weapons were found in his car, police said.

    “These are random murders,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said, describing the spree as his “worst nightmare”.

    Police earlier said seven people died but the county prosecutor Jeff Getting has since said the 14-year-old girl injured at the restaurant was still alive.



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  • 10
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    I think the real question here is: is it technically feasible to create a way by which the data in a particular phone could be accessed by a third party (police with a warrant) without making all the other phones vulnerable to hacking? And Tim Cook seems to think that the answer is no and based on what I know about engineering, I tend to share that opinion.

    One of the major obstacles is that there are stories of police and govenment abuse coming out on an almost daily basis. That has significantly eroded the trust of the public in the police and government to a point where I believe that the harm done is nearly irreparable at this stage unless State and Federal authorities start taking the issue seriously and act accordingly…. but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. The system is rigged and people are becoming more and more aware of it.

    The other problem is common hackers. If a software is created that opens a back-door (which is jargon for a security hole) in the OS, then it’s only a matter of time before hackers get their hands on it. And then, instead of having made the world more secure, you’ve just made it infinitely less secure.



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  • Hi NearlyNakedApe,

    I think the real question here is: is it technically feasible to create a way by which the data in a particular phone could be accessed by a third party (police with a warrant) without making all the other phones vulnerable to hacking? And Tim Cook seems to think that the answer is no and based on what I know about engineering, I tend to share that opinion.

    I’m in the same boat as you. As someone who has previously worked on encryption, and with people at the cutting edge of the telecommunications industry, Tim Cook’s words ring true for me too.

    Peace.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #11
    Feb 21, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I’m in the same boat as you. As someone who has previously worked on encryption, and with people at the cutting edge of the telecommunications industry, Tim Cook’s words ring true for me too.

    As Edward Snowden demonstrated; – If information exists, it can leak!



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  • 13
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @nearlynakedapeeb
    I think the real question here is: is it technically feasible to create a way by which the data in a particular phone could be accessed by a third party (police with a warrant) without making all the other phones vulnerable to hacking? And Tim Cook seems to think that the answer is no and based on what I know about engineering, I tend to share that opinion.

    That is indeed an excellent question, and since the government is attempting to compel Apple to hack into an existing phone with existing data then I think the answer is yes.

    In this particular case the government is not seeking a design change to future products, rather, technical consultation to access existing data in an existing design.

    Apple is very tight about its designs, both hardware and software, they always have been. IBM took a somewhat open source approach to their hardware that allowed cloning and a multitude of operating systems to be developed. Apple took the opposite approach, keeping all hardware and OS software in house and protected. Even apps are carefully vetted and always run on an Apple corporation proprietary operating system.

    To fully understand the hardware design and software design government security engineers need detailed schematics, source code, and code for any programmable logic devices that might be in the design. Because Apple is so tight on these design details the government must go directly to Apple to get the information they need to hack into this existing design to access this existing data.

    In ordinary business transactions this is handled with a simple NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), but I am sure Apple is not going to simply hand over the whole design to the government in exchange for a piece of paper with some signatures on it, since the stakes are so high in this case.

    I am sure Apple has engineers and programmers who possess security clearances. They can work directly with government security personnel in a locked and secure secret facility to exploit the design and gain access to the existing information without publicly disclosing the design or the data recovered or the exploitation methodology.

    I realize that all sounds like an extraordinary effort but this is the San Bernardino shooting we are talking about. This is a top priority investigation of a fundamentalist Islamist attack successfully carried out on US soil.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    … the government is not seeking a design change to future products …

    True. Police are requesting that an existing product be broken. An existing product purchased by billions with the promise that it was secure.

    … the government is … seeking … access [to] existing data in an existing design.

    True.

    Apple is very tight about its designs …

    True, and irrelevant. All ICT manufacturers have trade secrets.

    IBM took a somewhat open source approach to their hardware that allowed cloning and a multitude of operating systems to be developed

    False, and irrelevant.

    Apple took the opposite approach, keeping all hardware and OS software in house and protected.

    False. Apple have experimented with open standards but found that this didn’t work well when they were a niche market provider. Apple phones must follow the open standards used by all handset makers.

    To fully understand the hardware design [etc.] government security engineers need detail[s of] the design.

    False. Apple have been ordered by a court to break their own security system. The Police do not have the expertise and need Apple to break it then explain how they did it so that they can show full provenance for any evidence (assuming evidence is revealed, which is highly speculative). This is how the billions of other phones will be broken.

    It is not within the Court’s power to keep Apple’s testimony secret, because of the need to show due process. Even if the Courts find some way to redact some information, it’s certain that Apple’s testimony will give enough information for hundreds of free agents to work out the solution. In fact many of them will treat this as a challenge, a game, even a race.

    In ordinary business transactions …

    This is not an ordinary business transaction, this is a court case.

    I am sure Apple is not going to simply hand over the whole design to the government …

    Irrelevant.

    I am sure Apple has engineers and programmers who possess security clearances

    Irrelevant.

    They can work directly with government security personnel in a locked and secure secret facility to exploit the design and gain access to the existing information without publicly disclosing the design or the data recovered or the exploitation methodology.

    No they can’t. Due process is necessary for any recovered data to have any validity in a court of law.

    The Police (The FBI is a police force), might be able to do as you suggest and only use any recovered data – if any useful data is recovered – as criminal intelligence data. But that would be very unusual for a police force. They can’t go to a judge and ask for an arrest or search warrant based on secret evidence because, if they could, then they could just make sh-stuff up and they wouldn’t need to break the security system.

    Even then, the security technology would be broken. A dozen people at least would know and, as Alan4discussion notes [comment #12], there is no such thing as a secret forever.

    I realize that all sounds like an extraordinary effort …

    Not really, it sounds more like fantasy.

    … this is the San Bernardino shooting we are talking about

    And your point would be? People are shot every week in the US.

    Why is that important? Criminals get away every day – ask any cop. Besides, aren’t the perpetrators already dead?

    This is a top priority investigation of a fundamentalist Islamist attack successfully carried out on US soil

    I appreciate that many people are coming to terms with the reality of terrorism on Main Street. My heart goes out to people who have lost much loved family members.

    This leaves those of us without loss with a special burden; we must exercise cool, level-headed, judgement.

    We cannot win against terrorists unless we directly address our differences. As a lover of Liberty, I’ve had enough of giving in to terrorists who have made it abundantly clear that they view enslavement as preferable.

    Apple are quite right on this point: Breaking the technology that extends our natural and inalienable rights to the online world is giving in far too much. At some point we have to stop running and take a stand.

    Peace.



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  • SoW #14

    People are shot every week in the US.

    No biggie by SP’s accounts…yet still a huge enough catastrophe to warrant the ceding of personal rights and protections.

    Having the terrorists win by our own hand would be doubly galling.



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  • 16
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @Stephen-of-Wimbledon
    Irrelevant
    Irrelevant
    Irrelevant
    Irrelevant

    My, my, my, I had no notion my words were such a conglomeration of immaterial, unconnected, unrelated, peripheral, extraneous, inapplicable and , well, irrelevant statements relative to whatever you happened to have on your mind at that time. Silly me, writing sentences that directly support my own assertions.

    SP – ” They can work directly with government security personnel in a locked and secure secret facility to exploit the design and gain access to the existing information without publicly disclosing the design or the data recovered or the exploitation methodology. ”

    No they can’t. Due process is necessary for any recovered data to have any validity in a court of law.

    Sorry Stephen, but you clearly do not understand much about how our security forces gather, handle, and use critical national security and classified information.

    There is a court order in force from a US magistrate. That is due process. The FBI are not a bunch of thugs who broke down a door to railroad some poor stooge here. The information will we duly collected, classified, and handled according to official procedures by professionals who are sworn to uphold the law. That is due process.

    The Police (The FBI is a police force), might be able to do as you suggest and only use any recovered data – if any useful data is recovered – as criminal intelligence data. But that would be very unusual for a police force. They can’t go to a judge and ask for an arrest or search warrant based on secret evidence because, if they could, then they could just make sh-stuff up and they wouldn’t need to break the security system.

    Ok, Stephen, yes they can. Once national security information is gathered by our security forces they can and do put it to very good use. That is an important part of how our fine law enforcement officials foil so many plots.

    We have judges with security clearances who provide due process for handling secret information. If at a later date information is to be put in the open it can be redacted as necessary to de-classify the information and presented as evidence.

    Our security officers cannot just make things up without themselves breaking the law. These are not a bunch of tobacco spitting sheriffs out to hang the nearest black man at the next Klan party. You might not have much respect for the professionalism and integrity of our FBI agents but I do.

    SP – ” … this is the San Bernardino shooting we are talking about ”

    And your point would be? People are shot every week in the US.
    Why is that important? Criminals get away every day – ask any cop. Besides, aren’t the perpetrators already dead?

    We are at war with fundamentalist Islam, it is a global war, and a couple of operatives managed to pull off an attack on our soil. These are not just a couple street thugs or a crazy guy who goes on a rampage. This is connected to a sinister and extremely dangerous global military threat.

    They might have been acting independently based on inspiration provided by other jihadists, or they might have been connected to other other jihadists here or abroad. Those are the kinds of questions we need answered to the best of our ability, which makes hacking that phone a critical national security need.

    If you don’t understand the difference between a critical national security need in connection to a global and very deadly war, as compared to a couple of common criminals all I can suggest is that you go to the Clarion Project and read Dabiq, and go to heavy to watch No Respite.

    Apple are quite right on this point: Breaking the technology that extends our natural and inalienable rights to the online world is giving in far too much. At some point we have to stop running and take a stand.

    There is a standing federal court order that Apple has yet to comply with. They have every right to seek to block that order in the courts, but time is of the essence.

    If Apple does not comply very quickly the US Attorney General should aggressively pursue felony obstruction of justice, contempt of court, or other criminal charges personally against top Apple executives.



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  • Before evidence can go before a jury, the prosecution have to prove that the evidence they propose to table has a proven pedigree. A chain of possession from discovery to before the jury. That was Stephen’s point. Sure you can crack the phone and obtain the intelligence, but before a judge can permit that evidence to go before a jury, the defence counsel are entitle to cross examine the source. The prosecution therefore will be required to produce Apple Technical witnesses to the court, who did the crack, who will be required to outline the technique, produce all notes and logs created in the process, and they will be subject to cross examination in a public court on every aspect of their activity. If the prosecution don’t do this, the evidence cannot be admitted or put to a jury.

    It will become public. Apple will have to reveal the technique and the detail on how they cracked the phone. If the FBI just want the electronic intelligence and don’t want to use it in court, it may be possible for Apple to crack the phone without revealling the technical details. Is there a court case or is it just an intelligence gathering exercise.

    Our security officers cannot just make things up without themselves breaking the law.

    Are these the guys Manning and Snowden revealed where committing war crimes and breaking US law?



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  • 18
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @phil-rimmer
    SoW – People are shot every week in the US.

    Phil – No biggie by SP’s accounts…

    Tut, tut, Phil, yer hurtin my heart here !-)

    yet still a huge enough catastrophe to warrant the ceding of personal rights and protections.

    Ok, I really am not familiar with the status of privacy rights in the nations of my friends across the waters, so I will not presume to comment on such. But I do know that we in the states have a 4th amendment. Our right to privacy ends where “reasonable search” begins.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”

    The right to privacy, like all other rights, is not absolute. We the people empower our representatives, our law enforcement officials, to conduct “reasonable” searches.

    What is “reasonable”? Obviously, the word “reasonable” is highly subjective. Yet, over the centuries, here in the states, law enforcement has been constrained by rulings that generally put a high burden on the government to demonstrate necessity of its desire to impinge on a citizen’s privacy.

    So, let’s consider the cell phone of a mass murderer and jihadist warrior. Is it “reasonable” to search that phone?

    Isn’t the answer to that question bloody obvious? (thank you to my Britt friends for that mild expletive, I grow fonder of it every time I hear it)

    Having the terrorists win by our own hand would be doubly galling.

    The terrorists win a battle every time they pull off an attack on Western soil.
    Here is what the fundamentalist Islamists have in mind
    http://heavy.com/news/2015/11/new-isis-islamic-state-news-pictures-videos-no-respite-english-language-propaganda-full-uncensored-youtube-daesh/

    Here is where you can read all about the wonderful vision of the fundamentalist Islamists
    http://www.clarionproject.org/news/islamic-state-isis-isil-propaganda-magazine-dabiq

    I really do urge you to read Dabiq, if you have not yet done so, this from page 3 of issue 13 (their latest)

    Such was the case on the
    20th of Safar when Syed Rizwan Farook
    and his wife Tashfeen Malik carried
    out an attack on the kuffār in San
    Bernardino, California
    and succeeded
    in killing 14 of them and wounding
    22 more
    . As the operation took place,
    Tashfeen Malik made a post online
    reaffirming their bay’ah to Amīrul-
    Mu’minīn, Shaykh Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī
    (hafidhahullāh). She and her husband
    then engaged in a shootout with
    security forces and were killed, thereby
    attaining shahādah in the path of Allah.
    We consider them so, and Allah
    is their judge. Thus, the Khilāfah’s call
    for the Muslims to strike the crusaders
    in their own lands was answered
    once more, but on this particular occasion
    the attack was unique. The
    mujāhid involved did not suffice with
    embarking upon the noble path of jihād
    alone. Rather, he conducted the
    operation together with his wife, with
    the two thereby aiding one another in
    righteousness and taqwā.

    So, Phil, I appreciate and share your desire to maintain privacy rights, hence my stance that all hacking be done in the context of a due process investigation by sworn law enforcement officials who are trained to keep their exploitation techniques classified secret.



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  • 19
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    David R Allen – Sure you can crack the phone and obtain the intelligence

    Ok, at last we agree 🙂

    It will become public

    Not if it is classified secret and sufficiently sequestered. Criminal court judges do not have the authority to compel the public disclosure of information classified secret.

    Are these the guys Manning and Snowden revealed where committing war crimes and breaking US law?

    No. Manning and Snowden are criminals against the American people who violated their positions to illegally distribute information classified secret. The existence of criminals such as Manning and Snowden is actually a fair argument in Apple’s favor. Apple deserves and all Americans deserve to have our information classified secret kept out of the hands of criminals like Manning and Snowden.

    Fortunately, they are the rare exception. I think it is incumbent on the representatives of the people, the administration, to require the assistance Apple provides is very tightly sequestered so criminals like Manning and Snowden are not able to illegally distribute it.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    Thank you for making my points for me:

    There is a court order in force from a US magistrate … The information will we duly collected, classified, and handled according to official procedures by professionals who are sworn to uphold the law. That is due process.

    Exactly as I also posted.

    We have judges with security clearances who provide due process for handling secret information. If at a later date information is to be put in the open it can be redacted as necessary to de-classify the information and presented as evidence.

    I covered exactly this point. The secret will be out. End of security on billions of phones QED.

    Peace.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    We are at war with fundamentalist Islam, it is a global war and a couple of operatives managed to pull off an attack on our soil. These are not just a couple street thugs or a crazy guy who goes on a rampage. This is connected to a sinister and extremely dangerous global military threat.

    Running scared is not a solution.

    You have made no case here for me to be like the terrorists, why do I have to give up my rights and freedoms, why do I have to become a fundamentalist terrorist perusing others by suspending human rights?

    Peace.



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  • Hi Stardust Psyche,

    … you don’t understand the difference between a critical national security need in connection to a global and very deadly war, as compared to a couple of common criminals …

    No, Stardusty Psyche you don’t understand the difference.

    In a war based on principles, when you give up your principles you lose.

    Peace.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #19
    Feb 21, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    No. Manning and Snowden are criminals against the American people who violated their positions to illegally distribute information classified secret. The existence of criminals such as Manning and Snowden is actually a fair argument in Apple’s favor.

    .. . . And you don’t think the criminal activities, of the secret dirty-tricks departments of various countries, which they exposed – such as illegally tapping phones of leaders of governments or businesses, might also suggest that such agencies, are not to be trusted with access to everyone’s confidential information!

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cover-story-how-nsa-spied-on-merkel-cell-phone-from-berlin-embassy-a-930205.html

    According to SPIEGEL research, United States intelligence agencies have not only targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, but they have also used the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station. The revelations now pose a serious threat to German-American relations.

    There are probably vast numbers of phones which have been used by rebels and terrorists all over the world!
    Do you really think that a few Americans are the only victims of attacks in their own countries?



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  • @stardustypsyche

    Manning and Snowden are criminals against the American people who violated their positions to illegally distribute information classified secret.

    You may need to sit down before you read this, because the rest of the world considers Manning, Snowden and Assange as heroes. And we’re not talking third world countries or Russia. How about Germany, one of the major NATO partners of the US. Here is what Germany thinks or your criminals.

    https://www.popularresistance.org/snowden-manning-assange-statues-unveiled-in-germany/

    Did you note the empty fourth chair and can you guess the symbolism behind it.

    It’s interesting to note that both Manning and Snowden produced evidence sufficient for criminal charges for War Crimes and breaches of American domestic law to succeed. Can you tell me if anyone in the US has been prosecuted for a mass shooting of civilians. You know. Same as Mai Lai. Or has anyone been prosecuted for breaching,…. How do you put it.

    Ok, I really am not familiar with the status of privacy rights in the nations of my friends across the waters, so I will not presume to comment on such. But I do know that we in the states have a 4th amendment. Our right to privacy ends where “reasonable search” begins.

    Now for the Law of Evidence 101

    Not if it is classified secret and sufficiently sequestered. Criminal court judges do not have the authority to compel the public disclosure of information classified secret.

    As one involved in the prosecution of criminal law for 31 years, I can say with certainty that you do not understand The Law of Evidence. There is a legal distinction between Intelligence, and Evidence. If you want to use the material from the phone for a prosecution of anyone, it will be made public. If you want to use it just for Intelligence purposes, you can try to keep it secret, but given this is the USA, I’d give it 6 months before the technique is leaked and the subject of Youtube How To’s.



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  • 26
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    SP – “We have judges with security clearances who provide due process for handling secret information. If at a later date information is to be put in the open it can be redacted as necessary to de-classify the information and presented as evidence. ”

    SoW – I covered exactly this point. The secret will be out. End of security on billions of phones QED.

    Uhm, Stephen, “redacted”.
    Sorry Stephen, you really just do not seem to understand how secrets are kept out of court. Stamping your non-argument with a bit of Latin does nothing for it.

    No, secret exploitation techniques are not published in court as part the presentation of redacted (previously classified but sanitized for declassification) evidence. What gets on the news is a document with a bunch of heavy black lines covering sensitive information, not the exact method the document was obtained.

    The NSA and FBI are expert in a wide variety of hacking techniques. They do not publish the specifics of those techniques.

    Here’s a guy who claims he can hack the phone already!
    “John McAfee: FBI should let me hack iPhone”
    “McAfee will break iPhone crypto for FBI in 3 weeks or eat shoe”
    Sorry guys, if you think your phone is immune to attack I suggest you talk to John McAfee!

    He proposes what is called an invasive attack. That is likely to be effective but it is risky and time consuming. The NSA and the FBI have experts and laboratories to perform invasive attacks. I doubt very much John McAfee has any special insights or equipment or analytical techniques our federal agencies lack, but if it comes to that he or somebody like him might be brought in as a consultant.

    The FBI is already well aware that if they take the phone apart they can likely hack into it and retrieve data, but that can be destructive.



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  • 27
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion

    “Spying between friends, that’s just not done,” said Merkel on Thursday

    Oh please, Angela, you are probably doing the very same thing! Just not done? Nonsense. Like this is the first time one Western nation has eavesdropped on another Western nation. Does anybody actually believe that for a second?

    A4d – such as illegally tapping phones of leaders of governments or businesses, might also suggest that such agencies, are not to be trusted with access to everyone’s confidential information!

    The NSA probably already has my personal information. I have not had any jack booted thugs breaking down my door to haul me off to gitmo.

    There are probably vast numbers of phones which have been used by rebels and terrorists all over the world!
    Do you really think that a few Americans are the only victims of attacks in their own countries?

    Sorry Alan, I am not quiet sure where you are going with that. But, no, Americans are not the only victims. The IS is also targeting the “filthy French”, and lots of other folks.

    Yes, there are lots of phones used all over the world by terrorists. I wish the NSA and CIA all the best of success hacking into them.



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  • 28
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    DRA – You may need to sit down before you read this, because the rest of the world considers Manning, Snowden and Assange as heroes

    I am well aware of their popularity here and abroad.

    They are factually criminals. Disclosing classified secret information is a very serious crime. Anybody who does it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    … you really just do not seem to understand how secrets are kept out of court

    As someone who formerly worked in secure environments I don’t merely understand, I know, how governments attempt to keep secrets.

    I hope you’ll forgive me for spelling this out Stardusty Psyche, but you’ve left me no other option: The real problem appears to me to be that you do not want to confront the truth.

    Which part of the above thread on Manning and Snowden (and these are not isolate incidents) did you not understand?

    To summarize that thread, the known fact is: There are no secrets forever.

    Peace.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    Here’s a guy who claims he can hack the phone already!

    Why would I be interested in an announcement from a criminal that he can use criminal techniques to assist the police to undermine my natural and inalienable rights?

    My argument all along has been that this case is about principles, not mere practicalities.

    Why should I support the police and judiciary in their efforts to force me to give up my rights and freedoms? They have this power and they’re still losing the war – people are being shot on Main Street for crying out loud!

    I repeat: In a war based on principles, when you give up your principles you lose, and I mean in every possible way.

    Peace.



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  • 31
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Stephen of Wimbledon

    SP – “Here’s a guy who claims he can hack the phone already! ”

    Why would I be interested in an announcement from a criminal that he can use criminal techniques to assist the police to undermine my natural and inalienable rights?

    We do not have a natural right against search of our records by due process.

    A court order is due process.

    They have this power and they’re still losing the war – people are being shot on Main Street for crying out loud!

    True, even with certain powers we are not able to foil every plot. That’s why we all need to cooperate with law enforcement so they can be as effective as humanly possible within due process, which a court order is.

    I repeat: In a war based on principles, when you give up your principles you lose, and I mean in every possible way.

    One plain speaking Texan, in response to claims he was being Islamophobic, replied “I got a blowedupphobia”

    I have a principle, don’t get shot, blown up, or hacked to death by a fundamentalist Muslim. I have no intention of giving up that principle.

    Watch the deep satisfaction with which they cause blood to come spurting from the neck, and the exit wound, and the explosion triggered by the child.
    https://halummu.wordpress.com/category/major-releases/

    Please refer to the text in #18 above. The San Bernardino shooters swore their allegiance to the leader of this movement. Watch the IS videos, read Dabiq, if you have not already. Undoubtedly, the husband and wife team did, liked what they saw, and took action on their principles.

    Defeat fundamentalist Islam is a principle I have no intention of giving up.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #27
    Feb 22, 2016 at 8:49 am

    A4d – such as illegally tapping phones of leaders of governments or businesses, might also suggest that such agencies, are not to be trusted with access to everyone’s confidential information!

    Yes, there are lots of phones used all over the world by terrorists. I wish the NSA and CIA all the best of success hacking into them.

    . . . and when the hacking techniques leak, so the scamsters and terrorists can hack into your or company bank accounts, to fund their activities????

    Jihadist hackers targeting celebrity and business bank accounts to fund Islamic State terror campaign http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jihadist-hackers-targeting-celebrity-business-4057294



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  • Stardusty Psyche #28
    Feb 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

    DRA – You may need to sit down before you read this, because the rest of the world considers Manning, Snowden and Assange as heroes

    They are factually criminals. Disclosing classified secret information is a very serious crime. Anybody who does it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Does that include CIA and NSA operatives disclosing hacked and tapped information classified by other countries/jurisdictions, or is this just “No True Scotsman” criminality, which exempts Americans.

    These agencies are hopping mad, BECAUSE of the extent of THEIR criminal activities, which were disclosed and exposed!

    BTW: I have a son who knows a great deal about hacking – being head of security at an IT company!



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    We do not have a natural right against search of our records by due process. A court order is due process.

    You’re putting words into my mouth, I never said that and that comment is a gross misinterpretation of my position, as I trust any neutral reading of my posts will confirm. You owe me an apology.

    I’m concerned about our, individual, natural, right to privacy. You know, privacy, related to free speech rights, the right of free assembly and the human right to a private life.

    I’m also concerned that government cracking is sponsoring terrorism.

    … even with certain powers we are not able to foil every plot

    We agree on something.

    That’s why we all need to co-operate with law enforcement so they can be as effective as humanly possible within due process, which a court order is.

    Again, your making a gross misinterpretation of my position, as I trust any neutral reading of my posts will confirm. You owe me another apology.

    I said [Comment #7]: “I am mildly encouraged by Tim Cook’s stance, but I think the bottom line is that the law is the law … ”

    I have a principle, don’t get shot, blown up, or hacked to death by a fundamentalist …

    That’s not a principle, that’s a wish.

    Principle: A fundamental proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning

    Watch the deep satisfaction with which they … [ + link to gratuitous bloody pornography]

    What can I say, except that – and this is becoming a pattern with your posts Stardusty Psyche – I’ve already covered this:

    SW: I appreciate that many people are coming to terms with the reality of terrorism on Main Street. My heart goes out to people who have lost much loved family members.
    This leaves those of us without loss with a special burden; we must exercise cool, level-headed, judgement.

    I appreciate that cool, level-headed, judgement may not be your thing Stardusty Psyche but personally, when it comes to politics, I prefer to live in a World that focuses on principles and treats emotional responses to childish, outlandish provocation – regardless of how gory – with the contempt it deserves.

    The San Bernardino shooters swore their allegiance … Undoubtedly, the husband and wife team … liked what they saw, and took action on their principles.

    I must thank you again for making my point for me Stardusty Psyche. This is a war being fought on principles (well, it is by the other side, your posts make me a lot less sure about our side).

    Defeat fundamentalist Islam is a principle I have no intention of giving up

    Again, this is not a principle. On the other hand, I share your wish.

    My goal is, however, vitally different to yours. I want to win and to spread our shared principles of freedom at the expense of the opposition, because that’s where real individual human flourishing will come from.

    What, no principles, no new arguments?

    You’re still losing Stardusty Psyche.

    Peace.



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  • @StardustyPsyche #31
    Feb 22, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I have a principle, don’t get shot, blown up, or hacked to death by a fundamentalist Muslim. I have no intention of giving up that principle.

    Then don’t go to the middle east because other than that you have a miniscule chance of ever encountering a muslim who wants to do anything to you at all.

    Since 9/11 nearly half a million Americans have been killed by their own guns but most of the country refuse to do anything about this and treat it as “business as usual” but the remote chance of encountering a muslim with bad intentions generates unlimited paranoia and almost unlimited spend to combat it.

    I’m no fan of quoting the bible but it has something apposite to say about the futility of complaining about the mote in the other person’s eye when you ignore the plank in your own.

    At the root of this is jingoism. Getting killed by another gun toting American is apparently just part of normal life but woe betide any foreigner who doesn’t like the USA because they’re not members of “our” dog pack so we’ll just bomb them back to the stone age.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    No, secret exploitation techniques are not published in court as part the presentation of redacted (previously classified but sanitized for declassification) evidence. What gets on the news is a document with a bunch of heavy black lines covering sensitive information, not the exact method the document was obtained.

    You’ve just repeated a falsehood you repeated above, and above and above. What you are writing here is not true. I have explained it to you here.

    .David R Allen #25Feb 22, 2016 at 6:08 am

    I will repeat the Law of Evidence and why you are wrong. What you are describing above is the release of government intelligence documents, which are redacted with blacked out sections. That is not a criminal prosecution before a judge and jury. You want to use this evidence in court to prosecute people. To do that, you need to prove that the evidence you are putting before the jury has pedigree. That is, you need to submit a “Chain of Evidence” (Legal Term) which is supported by witness statements and documents from every person who contributed to the hacking of the Apple phone. These witnesses, the Apple techs, have to satisfy the jury under oath, and subject to vigorous defence cross examination, that what they are saying is true and credible. They can’t do that unless they reveal their methodology. A refusal to reveal methodology would mean the defence would put a submission to the judge that the hacked material cannot be proven and thus should not be put before the jury. And that would succeed. Legal principle. The methodology would be public.

    I doubt this will make any difference to you. Given you’ve have never been wrong in your life.

    I am also impressed by your morality. Americans are exposed for war crimes and breaches of your very own precious Rights, and you defend them. In the next breath your frothing at the mouth at the abuse of citizens rights by every other country in the world, unlike your perfect America. Your debating position has been reduced to the Ridiculous, and thus ridicule, is an appropriate response.



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  • 37
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    Well, if argumentum ad populum concerned me I would be terribly shaken by the responses here.

    SP – “Yes, there are lots of phones used all over the world by terrorists. I wish the NSA and CIA all the best of success hacking into them. ”

    . . . and when the hacking techniques leak, so the scamsters and terrorists can hack into your or company bank accounts, to fund their activities????

    Ok so, you seem to be asserting we ought not hack into phones, emails, computers, or WiFi of terrorists because those hacking techniques might at some future date be leaked and then the terrorists will get rich using them to hack into bank accounts?

    Seriously? That is your argument?

    No, Alan, I am not worried that NSA hacking of terrorists will lead to the collapse of our banking system. I mean, not only terrorists but pretty much everybody will be hacking everybody else and draining bank accounts all over the world because the NSA hacked terrorists’ communications devices. Please.

    SP – “Anybody who does it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. ”

    A4d – “Does that include CIA and NSA operatives disclosing hacked and tapped information classified by other countries/jurisdictions, or is this just “No True Scotsman” criminality, which exempts Americans”

    If a US law enforcement officer breaks US law he or she should be prosecuted, yes.



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  • If a US law enforcement officer breaks US law he or she should be prosecuted, yes.

    So you agree with me that the Americans exposed by Manning and Snowden, breaking international and US law are criminals and should be prosecuted. Australia has statutes that protect Whistle Blowers like Manning and Snowden who expose wrong doing by government. So does the rest of the civilized world. Given that most of Americans think their government are out to take them over and send them to gulags, you’d think Americans would welcome as national heroes people who expose criminality in government. Funny place America.



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  • 39
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    SoW – I’m concerned about our, individual, natural, right to privacy. You know, privacy, related to free speech rights, the right of free assembly and the human right to a private life.

    Ok, what does a court order to compel Apple to assist in retrieving information from an IS loyal fundamentalist Islamist mass murder have to do with somehow impinging on your right to free assembly? I did not make that connection because there isn’t one.

    I have “grossly misrepresented” nothing about your words. I took them in the context of this thread. That is a reasonable thing to do.

    SP – ” I have a principle, don’t get shot, blown up, or hacked to death by a fundamentalist … ”

    That’s not a principle, that’s a wish.
    Principle: A fundamental proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning

    Yes, my principle of not getting attacked by a fundamentalist Muslim is a foundation for behavior of mine and a chain of reasoning of mine, hence, it is a principle by your own definition.

    SP – “Watch the deep satisfaction with which they”

    … [ + link to gratuitous bloody pornography]

    The link is to a set of inspirational videos and texts, deeply religious, and deeply indicative of the nature of the threat we face. Think, photos of the Rape of Nanking and Death Camps.

    These links I have been sharing are not for mental masturbation. They go to the core of who our enemy is, what they believe, how they are acting, and how they seek to act upon us.



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  • 40
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @arkrid-sandwich
    SP – “I have a principle, don’t get shot, blown up, or hacked to death by a fundamentalist Muslim. I have no intention of giving up that principle. ”

    Then don’t go to the middle east because other than that you have a miniscule chance of ever encountering a muslim who wants to do anything to you at all.

    Thanks to the great achievements of our fine security forces in foiling plot after plot after plot we have avoided any large numbers of attacks on our own soil in the last 15 years.

    I intend to fully support law enforcement and our military and our intelligence services in their continued vigorous efforts to keep it that way.

    Our forces are great and powerful and usually successful, but that does not lull me into complacency.

    3 cheers for the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the administration, our great military, the TSA, local law enforcement and all the fine professionals working so diligently to protect the United States of America and our allies.

    None of that makes me complacent.

    Getting killed by another gun toting American is apparently just part of normal life but woe betide any foreigner who doesn’t like the USA because they’re not members of “our” dog pack so we’ll just bomb them back to the stone age.

    And just who are we supposedly “bombing back to the stone age”? We haven’t used massive unguided bombing against cities since Vietnam.



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  • 41
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen – These witnesses, the Apple techs, have to satisfy the jury under oath,

    Please cite for me this terribly long list of cases wherein secret NSA and FBI exploitation techniques were compelled to be divulged and then were gobbled up by hackers worldwide who wreaked havoc on our banking, business, and personal information systems.

    This is all just a fantasy. I don’t know where all my friends here are getting this from but it is disconnected from reality.

    The NSA and the CIA and the FBI do not just reveal all their classified secrets in open court. If they did, there would be no such thing as secret classified information.

    You folks are just making this up out of your imaginations.



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  • 42
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    David R Allen

    SP – “If a US law enforcement officer breaks US law he or she should be prosecuted, yes. ”

    So you agree with me that the Americans exposed by Manning and Snowden, breaking international and US law are criminals and should be prosecuted.

    No and yes.

    There is no law between nations in the sense of the US recognizing the international criminal court. The US does not relinquish its sovereignty, so “no” to your first point about so called international law.

    Yes, to the second point. If US citizens breaks US law they should be prosecuted in US courts, government officials should have no special exemption in my view.

    Australia has statutes that protect Whistle Blowers like Manning and Snowden who expose wrong doing by government.

    If all the information disclosed led to or ought to lead to criminal prosecutions you would have the beginnings of a valid point.

    Given that most of Americans think their government are out to take them over and send them to gulags, you’d think Americans would welcome as national heroes people who expose criminality in government. Funny place America.

    You obviously have no clue about what it is like to live in the United States of America. I have had the incredible luck, through no great works of my own whatsoever, to be born into this magnificent bastion of freedom.

    American government gulag? Where in the world do my friends from down under get this stuff? Some kind of paranoid Branch Davidian propaganda? An old Jim Jones tape? I mean, what?



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  • The NSA and the CIA and the FBI do not just reveal all their classified secrets in open court.

    Can you explain to me the difference between a criminal prosecution and the activities of an Intelligence Agency.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #37
    Feb 23, 2016 at 12:13 am

    @alan4discussion
    Well, if argumentum ad populum concerned me I would be terribly shaken by the responses here.

    You seem to be confusing “argumentum ad populum” with the issue of the scale and extent of the problem globally, due to a tunnel-vision focus on one small US case!

    SP – “Yes, there are lots of phones used all over the world by terrorists. I wish the NSA and CIA all the best of success hacking into them. ”

    *. . . and when the hacking techniques leak, so the scamsters and terrorists can hack into your or company bank accounts, to fund their activities????*

    Ok so, you seem to be asserting we ought not hack into phones, emails, computers, or WiFi of terrorists because those hacking techniques might at some future date be leaked and then the terrorists will get rich using them to hack into bank accounts?

    Yes! that is already providing funding, weapons, and explosives, for numerous Islamist militant attacks in many countries.

    Seriously? That is your argument?

    Yes a global breach of security leading to potentials for global fraud and blackmail by terrorists, is actually a serious issue, which is proportionately massive in comparison to one parochial terrorist incident in the IS.

    No, Alan, I am not worried that NSA hacking of terrorists will lead to the collapse of our banking system. I mean, not only terrorists but pretty much everybody will be hacking everybody else and draining bank accounts all over the world because the NSA hacked terrorists’ communications devices. Please.

    You may be blasé about global commercial encryption systems being revealed to the agencies, who brought us the Iran-Contra scandal, the weapons of mass destruction myths, who feed slush funds to numerous corrupt governments and shady reactionary rebel groups, who contracted out data management to contractors where Edward Snowden leaked it, but others take a more responsible approach to data security and crime prevention!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hacking-indictment-idUSKCN0SZ1VM20151110

    U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled criminal charges against three men accused of running a sprawling computer hacking and fraud scheme that included a huge attack against JPMorgan Chase & Co and generated hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal profit.

    The charges are also the first tied to the JPMorgan attack, which prosecutors said involved the stealing of records belonging to more than 83 million customers, the largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution.

    Authorities said Shalon and Aaron executed that hacking, using a computer server in Egypt that they had rented under an alias that Shalon often used.

    “Crime happens, so lets not bother about sloppy security”, is not a rational argument!



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    … what does a court order to compel Apple to assist in retrieving information … have to do with somehow impinging on your right to free assembly?

    If I want to meet people, online, and have a private conversation about my (and perhaps their) sexual orientation, divorce, employer, local politician, political opinion, medical problem, etc., etc. etc. I have the right to meet them in private. Indeed preventing people from meeting is the essence of totalitarianism (i.e. by removing their ability to meet in private you remove, in their eyes, their ability to meet at all).

    I have “grossly misrepresented” nothing about your words. I took them in the context of this thread. That is a reasonable thing to do.

    I will leave it to others to judge.

    … my principle of not getting attacked by a fundamentalist Muslim is a foundation for behavior of mine and a chain of reasoning of mine, hence, it is a principle by your own definition

    Fair enough; you’re saying you must be defended against the miniscule chance that you will die at the hands of an Islamist Terrorist, and that your courageous position trumps the natural and inalienable rights of billions.

    Really Stardusty Psyche – I have to ask you how you can possibly consider your position ethically and morally defensible. No thinking, moral, person could possibly accept your so-called ’principle’ as justified in any way. This is utter, infantile, nonsense.

    The link is to a set of inspirational videos and texts, deeply religious, and deeply indicative of the nature of the threat we face

    Again, I will leave others to judge. I am confident that the vast majority of people will see what I saw:

    … [gory] childish, outlandish provocation …

    I remain equally confident that the vast majority will also recognize:

    … [unprincipled] emotional responses …

    … to that provocation when they see it, and will treat it with the contempt it deserves.

    How sad that we have to have a political conversation so lacking in consideration and constructive ideas. How are we ever going to defeat these terrorists if all we can do, as you continue to suggest, is run away and be so frightened that we hand governments all our rights.

    What a truly pathetic set of ideas for winning a war based on, as we have agreed, principles.

    These links I have been sharing are not for mental masturbation

    Well you certainly have me fooled Stardusty Psyche.

    They go to the core of who our enemy is, what they believe, how they are acting, and how they seek to act upon us

    I admire your ability to completely miss the point – as I have now detailed twice.

    Simply repeating yourself doesn’t make it true, Stardusty Psyche.

    I wish we could meet. I would love to know how you come to your conclusions, why you’re so afraid and what really drives you – because I’ve never met anyone before who is so obviously and thoroughly scared of a mere threat, and an insignificant threat at that (as per the link above).

    I feel I have to ask: Are you just trolling?

    From your other posts at this Site you clearly take personal freedoms and rights seriously, and I’ve learned from you – particularly about the US Constitution. Yet on the subject of terrorism you seem prepared to set all that at zero. You say you’re a person of principle, but how do we square that with this thread and your freely expressed opinion that terrorism allows all your natural and inalienable rights to be taken away by governments?

    Peace.



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  • 46
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Thanks to all for the above comments, I’m in a bit of a rush at the moment give them their due responses, but in particular,

    no I am not trolling,

    but I do prefer to test my ideas in the public square amongst those who disagree with me since I find that more beneficial to my personal growth than being one more “me too”.

    Bill Gates Backs FBI Over Apple in San Bernardino iPhone Battle

    by Reuters
    “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case,” he said.

    San Bernardino victims to oppose Apple on iPhone encryption

    Some victims of the San Bernardino attack will file a legal brief in support of the U.S. government’s attempt to force Apple Inc to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the shooters, a lawyer representing the victims said on Sunday.
    Stephen Larson, a former federal judge who is now in private practice, told Reuters that the victims he represents have an interest in the information which goes beyond the Justice Department’s criminal investigation.
    “They were targeted by terrorists, and they need to know why, how this could happen,” Larson said.

    FBI Fires Back at Apple: ‘We Don’t Want To Break Anyone’s Encryption’

    NBC
    “We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land,” Comey said in a statement Sunday night, insisting that vital decisions involving safety from terrorists shouldn’t be left in the hands of “corporations that sell stuff for a living.”

    All my friends here are certainly entitled to their opinions but the number of Americans fed up with Apple and all their excuses is growing.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    I’m in a bit of a rush at the moment give them their due responses …

    No worries.

    My questions were posed with the specific goal of getting detailed replies, because I’m genuinely interested and confused.

    I’ll wait.

    Peace.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    I wish we could meet. I would love to know how you come to your conclusions, why you’re so afraid and what really drives you

    Fascinating psyche profile. Blind terror at a minuscule threat from terrorism on US soil. Willful blindness to clear and present home grown threats. A propaganda level patriotism for a country that brought you Weapons of Mass Destruction. A solo actor in this forum with no support for the views expressed. A posting style more fitting to the arrogance of Twitter or Facebook than a site devoted to Reason and Science.

    I’d like to sit in with Stephen of W because in that way, I could put a series of questions to you in real time. I need to understand how you rationalize your position, in the absence of any support from your fellow Reason and Science posters.

    This is the type of question I would ask.

    Can you explain to me the difference between a criminal prosecution and the activities of an Intelligence Agency.



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  • David R Allen #48
    Feb 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Can you explain to me the difference between a criminal prosecution and the activities of an Intelligence Agency.

    The problem as I see it, is that those who actually know the answer to that question, won’t give you an answer, whereas those with no idea, are full of confident answers!

    As my brother-in-law, – a “scientific civil servant”, who used to work as an electronics specialist for GCHQ put it: “We don’t talk about work”!



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  • The problem as I see it, is that those who actually know the answer to
    that question, won’t give you an answer, whereas those with no idea,
    are full of confident answers!

    After my early participation I’ve been following this thread with interest in the hopes that the prominent non American posters would present their side of things. To that end I have not been disappointed. I think the greatest thing a patriot can do is to be critical of (in this context) their country as a measure aimed toward improvement. There are times to wave the flag if that’s your thing (Independence Day, Memorial Day, etc) but I’ve never understood the incessant flag waving. It smacks of the tribalism mentioned here repeatedly. And in my opinion it diminishes the effect it has when it’s done for those occasions that merit it.

    Anyway, for some reason A4D’s comment in #49 (if not this entire thread) reminded me of this old chestnut from Bertrand Russell (not to be misinterpreted as condescension towards anyone in this thread, none of whom could be called stupid):

    “The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”



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  • “The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is
    that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

    How sure was he when he said that? 😉



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  • Steven007 #50
    Feb 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm + Olgun

    “The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

    Historical antecedents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect#Historical_antecedents

    Although the Dunning–Kruger effect was formulated in 1999, Dunning and Kruger have noted earlier observations along similar lines by philosophers and scientists, including Confucius (“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”),[2] Bertrand Russell (“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”),[10] and Charles Darwin, whom they quoted in their original paper (“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”).

    Geraint Fuller, commenting on the paper, noted that Shakespeare expressed a similar observation in As You Like It (“The Foole doth thinke he is wise, but the wiseman knowes himselfe to be a Foole” (V.i)).



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  • 53
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    David R Allen

    SP – “The NSA and the CIA and the FBI do not just reveal all their classified secrets in open court.”

    Can you explain to me the difference between a criminal prosecution and the activities of an Intelligence Agency.

    That would take volumes.

    But, with respect to this thread let me consider:
    NSA uses top secret exploitation method X.
    Top secret exploitation method X leads to the arrest and trial of criminal Z.
    Defense for criminal Z subpoenas top secret exploitation X and it is published in the public record.

    Doesn’t happen.

    Here is one thing that can happen.
    Top secret exploitation method X is used to get a FISA warrant.
    Evidence obtained legally is used to convict criminal Z.
    The nature of the top secret exploitation method that was the basis for the FISA warrant is never revealed because the FISA judge has a top secret clearance and FISA proceedings are themselves classified secret.

    Result
    Top secret exploitation method X remains top secret and criminal Z is in maximum security lockup.

    Case closed.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    That would take volumes.

    Actually only 12 lines, and you still got it wrong. In this particular case, which involves Apple, not the NSA, because they don’t know how to do this, and the FBI think Apple might be able to help, what are you going to do with the information?



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  • 55
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    David R Allen
    I wish we could meet. I would love to know how you come to your conclusions,

    Rational analysis applied to observation is my preferred method. Though I consider the entirety of the workings of my brain as important parts of my intelligence in my daily life, my specific positions on subjects are heavily weighted to conscious application of reason, free of logical fallacies to the best of my ability to avoid them.

    why you’re so afraid

    I’m not. I do have some concerns in my life, yes, I suppose we all do. In general, I am known amongst my peers as particularly serene and upbeat in the face of stresses and problems.

    and what really drives you

    Life, I revel in its incredible depth and breadth.

    Fascinating psyche profile. Blind terror at a minuscule threat from terrorism on US soil.

    I guess that is some kind of stereotype common amongst my friends across the waters, the frightened American or something, I don’t know, it all seems so made up to me, surrounded by my fellow Americans going about our lives in normality.

    But why our concern over just so few deaths? Because they are military attacks by a foreign power or their devotees, a fascist, suicidal foreign power sworn to our deaths with a potential to do great harm to us.

    We are at war, that is why.

    In WWII we lost almost zero civilians in the 48 states, so why all the fuss? Because our nation has been attacked in acts of war. We will not rest until the enemy has been defeated.

    Willful blindness to clear and present home grown threats.

    We have a large enough FBI for them all. In terms of law enforcement and military forces we are great multitaskers. It is not an issue of one or the other for we Americans. We can and do fight on all fronts simultaneously.

    A propaganda level patriotism for a country that brought you Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Not sure what you mean by that. Are you talking about the A-bomb and WWII? Everybody knew about that, we were just the first to succeed at the technology, like so many other American technological firsts. Am I supposed to somehow blame my government for that? No, I am not angry about the Manhattan project if that is what you are driving at.

    A solo actor in this forum with no support for the views expressed.

    Actually, some 51% versus 34% of Americans agree versus disagree with me, not that a statistic demonstrates sound rational reasoning, and you did say “in this forum”, but still, I represent a majority American opinion on this subject so I don’t have the sense of being a solo actor in general.

    I don’t need the support of those so gravely mistaken as my detractors so apparently are 🙂

    A posting style more fitting to the arrogance of Twitter or Facebook than a site devoted to Reason and Science.

    Oh, please, there has been no shortage of derogatory adjectives rolled my way here…I am not all butt hurt about it, I mean, whatever dude and have a nice day.

    I need to understand how you rationalize your position, in the absence of any support from your fellow Reason and Science posters.

    My rationality and reason stands on the merits and requires no support from those who so erroneously attack it 🙂

    But seriously folks, I appreciate all the criticisms, since it helps me keep my mind a bit sharper than it would otherwise be.



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  • 56
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    David R Allen… and you still got it wrong. In this particular case, which involves Apple, not the NSA, because they don’t know how to do this, and the FBI think Apple might be able to help, what are you going to do with the information?

    Ok, you are not an American citizen so I guess you are not aware that both the NSA and the FBI go to the FISA court, and that they share a great deal of classified information with each other.

    Asked and answered, Catch and convict criminals.

    Foil terrorists plots.

    We have legal methods for doing that without revealing the secret exploitation methods employed. Maybe our friends down under lack such a process, I don’t know, I am not knowledgeable on Australian jurisprudence. If your country lacks such legal methods I am sorry, maybe you can send a team here to learn how to do it and become more effective at law enforcement thereby.



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  • 57
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    SoW Fair enough; you’re saying you must be defended against the miniscule chance that you will die at the hands of an Islamist Terrorist, and that your courageous position trumps the natural and inalienable rights of billions.
    Really Stardusty Psyche – I have to ask you how you can possibly consider your position ethically and morally defensible. No thinking, moral, person could possibly accept your so-called ’principle’ as justified in any way. This is utter, infantile, nonsense.

    No, I am saying we are at war.

    Immediate civilian casualties on our home soil might be very low compared to avoidable deaths by ordinary means. But, when a nation is attacked in an act of war that can and often does lead to a massive military response.

    War has been declared against us. Military strikes have been carried out on our home soil against us. The enemy continually calls for more such strikes and is sworn to fight to the death against us.

    Thus, we are at war and we will remain at war until the enemy is defeated, which is likely to be a very long time.

    SP – “these links I have been sharing are not for mental masturbation ”

    Well you certainly have me fooled Stardusty Psyche.

    Yes, I realize that.

    “No Respite” clearly lays out the military objectives of the enemy against us, as well as their apocalyptic vision at Dabiq.

    The magazine of that same name, “Dabiq”, clearly and explicitly draws the link between the San Bernardino shooters, the military goals of our enemy, and the suicidal path to paradise the enemy so very much yearns for.

    The bloody videos I have linked clearly shows that in the minds of the enemy these incredibly violent religious fantasies are very very real. They have resurrected the words of Muhammad and are reenacting his bloody conquests in this very time.

    I am aware that the seriousness of this threat has not yet become part of your awareness, and in that sense you are indeed fooled.



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  • 58
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Steven007 …this old chestnut from Bertrand Russell
    “The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

    Yes, that does seem to often ring true, yet Russell is arguing against himself in his own case since he displayed a great deal of confidence in his own arguments.

    Perhaps the most concerning version of his last clause is the extent to which moral relativism of the false equivalence variety has led so many intelligent people to doubt the superiority of modern liberal values to the most illiberal major movement today, fundamentalist Islam.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    I love this guy. Better than reruns of Zoolander.

    We have the same legal system. I worked in it for 31 years. I did this for a daily living. If you are intending to use the Apple data for a criminal prosecution, it will be made public. That’s the law. If you are advocating secret criminal courts where your citizens are tried, convicted and sentenced in the absence of any public scrutiny, then you lied about how much you like the rights afforded you under the constitution. Can you think of a country that has secret criminal courts? You can phone a friend. Criminal courts are not intelligence operations.

    This is really simple. Prosecute someone based on the data from that phone, and everything the Apple tech did to retrieve the data becomes public. Its called evidence. That is the law of your land. You are confusing intelligence operations, which can and are subject of suppression and secret judicial authorizations. But you cannot use “Intelligence” to convict someone. You must use evidence that is admissible in a court of law. Intelligence is not. That you know so little about your own legal system, and yet you are so bold to declare VICTORY over all comers in this forum adds to the conclusions about as to what a PScan test would reveal.

    I can’t wait for the next installment.

    We have news reports today that the FBI has 12 similar Iphone requests going through legal process to serve on Apple, demanding they crack their own security. Still going to remain secret? The inverse square law applies to secrets. Double the number of people who know, and you quadruple the chance of the secret being revealed.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #55
    Feb 23, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Rational analysis applied to observation is my preferred method. Though I consider the entirety of the workings of my brain as important parts of my intelligence in my daily life, my specific positions on subjects are heavily weighted to conscious application of reason, free of logical fallacies to the best of my ability to avoid them.

    You have absolutely no idea how arrogant, paranoid, jingoistic and irrational some of your comments come across as. The Dunning Kruger effect has been mentioned. It’s one of my favourite psychological effects and I’ve made reference to it from time to time for many years. However it’s just a subset of the phenomenon that we all evaluate ourselves through the warped lense of the mental state that makes us think as we do in the first place. In other words no matter how rational we think we are it’s almost impossible for us to judge ourselves honestly. The worst artist in the world looks at his paintings and thinks they’re great because he’s still seeing them through the same flawed eyes that painted them.

    Despite the fact that no one in here agrees with much of what you say you’re just going to tough it out against all comers aren’t you big guy because you can’t ever admit you’re wrong, you think you’re being logical and rational but not by any of our benchmarks apparently and you constantly display the very paranoia that so many of us looking in from the outside can see in the American psyche that means any tiny slight or attack against god’s own country America leads to massive over reaction, unlimited military spend and hyper vigilance.

    There always has to be a bogey man hiding under the bed for Americans who’s gonna get you if you ever close your eyes. This ingrained notion that America is exceptional, the greatest country in the world, that anyone who attacks it or even disagrees with it is evil and maybe even barely human is at the root of so much that is wrong over there.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #55
    Feb 23, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    But why our concern over just so few deaths? Because they are military attacks by a foreign power or their devotees, a fascist, suicidal foreign power sworn to our deaths with a potential to do great harm to us.
    We are at war, that is why.

    No you aren’t except in your own minds. If you stayed out of other people’s business they wouldn’t hate you so but even with that hate they have little ability to do a fraction of much hurt against you as your own people do to each other with guns every year.

    You invaded Iraq, illegally, brutally, and irrationally, against the wishes of almost the entire population of the planet, despite the biggest anti war protests ever seen and fueled by outright lies about WMDs and paranoid rhetoric from the mad dictator Bush such as “you’re either with us or against us” and “we’re gonna attack them over there before they attack us over here.”

    You ridiculed and derided the French because they wouldn’t go for Bush’s lies and nonsense with the whole childish Freedom Fries thing like a bunch of petulant little kids. You alienated not just your enemies but your traditional allies but learned nothing from that. You introduced torture and extraordinary rendition, destabilised the whole middle east, were responsible for the creation of ISIS from the ashes of Iraq and now you’re whining because they don’t like you over there. Well no shit Sherlock!!!

    America is single handedly responsible for a very large part of what is wrong with the world today. Here’s a novel approach you could try. Stay the fuck out of everyone else’s business because everything you try to do outside your own borders invariably turns to shit and ends up biting not just you but all the rest of us in the ass. If there’s a single lesson that America needs to learn sometime it’s humility. You’re not exceptional. You’re meddling, paranoid, arrogant fuckwits with more money than sense.



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  • 63
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Arkrid Sandwich

    Alrighty then…lessee, we got:

    arrogant
    paranoid
    jingoistic
    irrational
    no shit Sherlock!!!
    Stay the fuck out
    invariably turns to shit
    meddling
    paranoid
    arrogant
    fuckwits

    Daaannngggg, if I wasn’t so stricken with Dunning Kruger I would be really impressed to change my opinions in the face of such well reasoned rational arguments!!!

    But, I appreciate you bringing up a few points so I will give it a go.

    you can’t ever admit you’re wrong

    Sorry folks, being labeled “fucktwit” simply is not a convincing rational argument in my view. If somebody can provide rational arguments against my positions, fine, I am open to learning.

    any tiny slight or attack against god’s own country America leads to massive over reaction

    In war proportionality is often not much of a deterrent or a realistic means to eliminate the threat of a repeat attack. Our enemies are, quite often, very willing to absorb a proportional retaliation, since it is not the leaders and commanders who suffer under a proportional response, rather, their subjugated populations are the ones who suffer while the perpetrators of the original attack remain indifferent to the sufferings of those they rule.

    To deter a fascist dictatorial power one must present the credible threat of regime change in response to even a small attack. If that threat is not sufficient and the fascist regime carries out its attack then a factual regime change is called for.

    You don’t like that calculus? I have a suggestion for you. Do not bomb New York City and Virginia, destroying our World Trade Center and hitting our seat of military power. Don’t do that, my friend, or you will find yourself in a very difficult position indeed.

    hyper vigilance

    …as though that were a bad thing. One of the things about being number one is that also makes you target number one. It is great to be the biggest, the richest, the most powerful. One downside is that inevitably makes you the biggest target.

    America… anyone who attacks it or even disagrees with it is evil and maybe even barely human

    Strawman. When you can make some kind of factually based rational argument please let me know.

    nonsense with the whole childish Freedom Fries thing like a bunch of petulant little kids.

    Gotta give you that one! Yes, I thought the same thing at the time, how silly. It never really caught on, most Americans did not connect with that kind of shallow nonsense. It’s French Fries like always, gotta love ’em!

    You introduced torture

    Ok, you might want to do a bit of fact checking on that assertion…

    were responsible for the creation of ISIS

    Nonsense, and one of the most pervasive bits pf self flagellating ignorance “out there”. We Western powers handed the Iraqi people a chance at freedom on a silver platter. The Kurds made good use of that chance. The Iraqi government asked us to leave and we did, not stealing the oil, not keeping Iraq as a colony, we left as requested.

    Fundamentalist Islam created ISIS, that’s what the IS is, a fundamentalist Islamic dream come true.

    I see my friend from down under has chimed in with agreement. I suspect others are wincing at the nature of your words while at the same time harboring many of your general opinions albeit in more balanced and thoughtful terms.

    If anybody has more reasonable words at their command I am always open to hear such.



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  • 65
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    David R Allen
    @stardustypsyche
    IGNORE BUTTON PRESSED

    Oh darn, just when I was starting to reap the benefits of being educated on subjects I know so little about!

    The phone data can be brought to trial and used as evidence without revealing the exploitation method.

    It is very simple. Just make a document containing all the phone numbers, pictures, text messages, and data in the phone.

    Then, redact that data to eliminate any classified secret information.

    Submit the redacted data as evidence.

    The technicians who are called to the stand can testify that the data in evidence is in fact data from that phone.

    If asked how that data was obtained the answer is that a technological means was used to determine the password. Once the phone was accessed then the data was simply copied out of the phone.

    Question – “Describe the details of that technological means”

    Answer – “No, that information is classified secret and it would be a federal crime for me to divulge it”.

    The judge cannot compel the witness to commit the crime of divulging classified secret information.

    The jury can then decide if the witness is credible.

    This will most likely result in a conviction.

    Case closed.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #61
    Feb 24, 2016 at 4:02 am

    America is single handedly responsible for a very large part of what is wrong with the world today.
    Here’s a novel approach you could try. Stay the fuck out of everyone else’s business

    There is another example here!

    Yemen conflict: MEPs call for arms embargo on Saudi Arabia
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35662823

    “But our duty is to the civilians in Yemen, and given widespread and very valid concerns over the conduct of the war by Saudi forces, our call for an EU-wide arms embargo is proportionate and necessary.”

    Nearly 6,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in March 2015, almost half of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

    That looks like a few more than 14 killed by some home grown radicalised gun-nuts!

    The US is the largest international supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia. The UK and France are the main European suppliers, while Germany has also licensed arms exports to the kingdom.



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  • Olgun, thanks.

    Is the problem with the Democrats that they get their liberal feelgood by living in a fantasy Aaron Sorkin land? The brilliant speechifying is more gratifying in The Newsroom and The West Wing than in real life, more nuanced more intelligent and braver. The crass and the credulous are shut up for those two vital minutes.

    “We didn’t scare so easy…”

    We’ve seen here how folk are made to jump by a threat only yea big, whilst bigger and much bigger remain nearer to home.

    The new wave of mediacrats have the bulk of the IQ bell curve dancing to their tune.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #65
    Feb 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    It is very simple. Just make a document containing all the phone numbers, pictures, text messages, and data in the phone.

    Apparently the FBI director does not think this is a straightforward question with a simple answer!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35658764

    The FBI director has said the row over access to a dead murderer’s iPhone was the “hardest question” he had tackled in his job.

    James Comey spoke to US politicians as the war of words between the FBI and Apple intensified.

    The FBI has asked Apple to unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook who killed 14 people in December 2015.

    Apple has refused, saying the protection of personal data was “incredibly important”.

    “This is the hardest question I have seen in government and it’s going to require negotiation and conversation,” Mr Comey told the House Intelligence Committee.

    “I love encryption, I love privacy, and when I hear corporations saying we’re going to take you to a world where no one can look at your stuff, part of me thinks that’s great,” he said.

    However, he added, law enforcement saved lives, rescued children and prevented terror attacks using search warrants that gave it access to information on mobile phones.



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  • @olli

    I think you asked for a little humility David…….. ?

    Thank you for that Olgun. I needed that. The fire brigade has just left and they say your video helped put out the fire that was causing so much smoke to be coming out of my ears.



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  • 73
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @Alan4discussion

    SP – “It is very simple. Just make a document containing all the phone numbers, pictures, text messages, and data in the phone. ”

    Apparently the FBI director does not think this is a straightforward question with a simple answer!

    You completely misread the article you cite. The difficulty is not in protecting the exploitation method, the difficulty is dealing with publicly available strong encryption as it broadly allows criminals to thwart law enforcement and thereby put the public at risk.

    “We are going to move to a world where that is not possible anymore,” he said. “The world will not end but it will be a different world than where we are today and where we were in 2014.”
    People needed to understand “the costs associated with moving to a world of universal strong encryption”, he added.”

    We have a way to deal with the San Bernardino phone situation already in place in our legal system. If my friends elsewhere do not have the legal framework in place I suggest they urge their lawmakers to study

    Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA)



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  • 74
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen
    I think you asked for a little humility David…….. ?
    Thank you for that Olgun. I needed that. The fire brigade has just left and they say your video helped put out the fire that was causing so much smoke to be coming out of my ears.

    Sorry David, but you got me going on this trial evidence thing. Maybe Olgun can post some more self flagellating cinematic nonsense to put out the smoldering between your ears…

    “The procedural protections of CIPA protect unnecessary disclosure of classified information.”

    “As the Second Circuit has noted, CIPA “presupposes a governmental privilege against disclosing
    classified information” in criminal matters”

    ” Under CIPA, if the government objects to disclosure of classified information that is material to the defense, the court is required to accept that assertion without scrutiny, and impose nondisclosure orders upon the defendant.”

    “CIPA authorizes the court to permit the government to propose redactions to classified information provided to the defendant as part of discovery. Alternatively, the court may permit the government to summarize the classified information, or to admit relevant facts in lieu of
    providing discovery.”

    And yes, there is some possibility that in certain cases the government might have to choose between prosecution that involves disclosure or not including that particular evidence in the case for the people.

    You seem to think, however, that use of the San Bernardino phone contents as evidence at trial would necessarily require the disclosure of the technical details of the exploitation technique.

    Just the opposite is the case.

    Before you concur with somebody who claims Americans have more money than sense you really ought to do a little homework. I could give you an extremely long list of counter examples to that assertion but I will leave that for another post.

    In the mean time, to refocus on San Bernardino and Apple, we already have the legal process in place to exploit the phone, classify the data and the method, use the data for intelligence, use the data for criminal convictions, and keep the method secret and undisclosed.

    If my friends elsewhere lack the ability to do all this within their respective legal systems I invite you all to come to the USA and learn how.



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  • 75
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @Olgun #68
    I think you asked for a little humility David…….. ?

    Sorry Olgun, I think you have mixed up script writing nonsense for any kind of fact based or reality based humility.

    “There is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world”
    (Listing of statistics that show the US is not at the top in a large number of important social measures)

    The absurdity of this “reasoning” is what is astonishing. The actor, or scriptwriter, or character in this fictional diatribe fails to establish that there is any nation that is number one in all of these things, or that these measures are an exhaustive list of what constitutes greatness. A most glaring failure of this silly bit of play-acting is the failure to name which other nation is “the greatest nation on Earth”

    For myself, it doesn’t matter much. That title of “the greatest” is highly subjective and depends on individual priorities and preferences.

    If population alone is the measure of greatness then China is the greatest.

    If total quantity of Nobel prizes it the measure then the USA is the greatest.

    If per capita incidence of attractive young females practicing public nudity is the measure of greatness then perhaps some Polynesian island nation is the greatest. I could make a good case for this particular measure, but I will spare my friends here those particular arguments.

    If longevity of representative government, worldwide defense of freedom, scientific advancements, technological innovations, attraction of immigrants, and influence on global popular culture are to be the preferred measures then the USA is by far the greatest.

    These examples alone disprove the nonsense the actor is spewing.

    “You are the member of the worst generation ever” (spoken to a 20 something female).
    Here the script really hits rock bottom. There are not enough words in my language for me to describe how highly I regard the young people of today. How stupid I consider all the so-called mature adults for engaging in youth bashing.

    No, I do not consider the gay bashing, racist, sexist, theistic older generation to be the “greatest generation”

    “I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about” At last the character says something clearly true. This guy does not have a clue.

    “Sure used to be” Oh boo hoo, the good old days are gone. How pathetic. We went to the moon and it has been all down hill since then. Cry me a river.

    “We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons” Uhm, gay marriage, supreme court, did you hear the news? Oh, but it’s all in the past for this fictional imbecile.

    “We never beat our chests” That’s rich. Sure, if there is one thing the USA of yesteryear is known for it is a total lack of braggadocio!!!

    “Built great big things, made ungodly technological advances” I guess this guy never heard of the iPhone or Google or the James Webb telescope or the Human Genome Project or the never ending stream of great science and technology coming out of the USA. What a total idiot the scriptwriters have created here.

    “We aspired to intelligentce” Uhm, president of the Harvard Law Review, Law professor, now President of the United States of America, a black man in a country that not all that long ago had separate and unequal places for blacks.

    “According to the Journal Citation Reports, the Harvard Law Review’s 2015 impact factor of 4.979 placed the journal first out of 143 journals in the category “Law””

    This is today, right now, 2016, our president of the United States also served as president of the most cited such journal. Do the writers of this pathetic script have any clue what kind of mind is required to accomplish this great work?

    “we were informed” How stupid is this character? No generation is more informed than this generation. This generation has vast access to information because this generation is leading in information technologies, and the leaders in information technologies are citizens of the United States of America.

    “America is not the greatest country in the world any more” So, this fictional moron thinks we used to be the greatest country but not any more.

    The truth is we have always been and continue to be a very great nation indeed, by many measures the greatest, by other measures not so much. The title of “the greatest” does not matter much to me since it is so subjective and multidimensional as to defy a definitive proof in either direction.

    The self flagellating bullocks of this fictional character, however, falls flat on its face.



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  • Clearly no amount of school shootings or terrorist attacks are going to create any common sense about guns in the USA. Iowa has just passed a resolution to allow children of all ages to fire handguns, striking down the heinous restriction that only 14 year olds and above could do this.

    http://us.cnn.com/2016/02/25/politics/iowa-handgun-children-under-14-proposal/index.html

    This is clearly good for free market enterprise as gun manufacturers will be able to introduce a whole new range of toddler friendly weapons. “Is daddy’s gun too heavy? Too big for your hand? Try the new Baby Magnum. Just like daddy’s gun but smaller. Special ultralight trigger pull for those tiny fingers. Next door neighbour’s kid won’t let you play with her puppy? Now you don’t need daddy’s shotgun to make her change her mind when you’ve got Baby Magnum strapped to your thigh. Don’t leave home without it.”



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  • @arkrid-sandwich

    What’s the point. I suspect there is a motivation for personal gratification, lighting people up. I think he gets off on it. Possibly goes with the psyche profile.

    I haven’t bother to research CIPA and I won’t. It’s pointless to engage with him. Like you say, it’s like dealing with a religious zealot.

    It seems that in the land of the free, that values personal rights over all else, that sleep with a constitution under their pillow and who armed to the teeth to protect themselves from the infringement by their very own government of their personal rights, that the Democrats and the Republicans can pass a law denying an American citizen of a fair trial. Reinforces my point. “Only in America”. This country has lost its way. A person who is innocent before the law, is denied the right for his defense counsel to test the prosecution case put before the jury. “Here Jury. Here’s some evidence, but we can’t tell you how we got it.” The very cornerstone of Magna Carta. The inviolable right of every free citizen in countries that have the British system of justice, except in America. And he wants Australia to adopt it. Any politician who tried this nonsense in Australia would not get reelected and the streets would be flooded in every city with protests. Two faced and double standards personified.



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  • ““There is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world”
    (Listing of statistics that show the US is not at the top in a large number of important social measures)

    The absurdity of this “reasoning” is what is astonishing. The actor, or scriptwriter, or character in this fictional diatribe fails to establish that there is any nation that is number one in all of these things, or that these measures are an exhaustive list of what constitutes greatness. A most glaring failure of this silly bit of play-acting is the failure to name which other nation is “the greatest nation on Earth”

    Your reasoning seems a bit crook too. Whatever country is #1 (or countries) based on the shopping basket of criteria that McAvoy laid out in his speech, it clearly isn’t the USA. What’s surprising even disturbing to non-Americans, is that a “typical” American – not necessarily your good self – can claim USA to be #1, be presented with facts showing how positively 3rd world it is in many respects, and it makes not a dent in the conviction that the USA is #1. It’s faith, pure and simple. It’s something they’ve been told is true since they were a child with no critical faculties, and now as an adult it’s immune to assault from facts or logical reasoning. This is the “cognitive dissonance” that the scriptwriter was trying to generate.

    “If longevity of representative government, worldwide defense of freedom, scientific advancements, technological innovations, attraction of immigrants, and influence on global popular culture are to be the preferred measures then the USA is by far the greatest.”

    the USA is not the first to have a representative government, nor the longest lived (even allowing the Bush 2000 election to be called a representative government when it would have been labelled a bloodless coup by the Americans had the exact same thing happened in India or Uganda)
    also debatable, few if any of the numerous post-WWII invasions the USA has conducted, or insurgencies it has backed, have been in the defence of freedom; in fact it would be just as easy to portray the USA as an enemy of democracy and populist movements in other countries
    scientific advancements / technological innovations, not sure how to measure this, but your position on this one is at least defensible; however, education has been going backwards – mass education at least – which means future scientific / technological breakthroughs are endangered
    attraction of immigrants? funny I thought you guys were contemplating building a wall to keep them out; this may have been a strong point of the USA in the “days of glory” Will McAvoy’s speech alluded to, but no longer
    influence on global popular culture, I’m with you there up to a point, I love (some) Hollywood movies and the best of the best US TV – but other Anglophone countries also make quality films and TV too (Brit police procedurals are generally superior to US equivalents IMHO, but I’m biased there), not to mention non-Anglophone countries, but it has to be said the US produces the most high-quality content (as well as the most crap). if not always the very best of the best. Outside of film/TV, I’m not entirely sure that the USA has a clear lead anywhere culturally – for example I eat Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Thai, French, Italian, even German, and the odd English roast, but I’ve never been to an “American restaurant” or eaten “American food”.

    “This is today, right now, 2016, our president of the United States also served as president of the most cited such journal. Do the writers of this pathetic script have any clue what kind of mind is required to accomplish this great work?”

    Good timing, mate. I have to agree that the current president is no fool (and that goes for Slick Willy too). I find much to admire in him – getting Obamacare through trenchant opposition – and much to dislike too. However, your last president was a C-grade student and recovering alcoholic who made Reagan look like a genius. And your next one could be a demagogue reality TV star.

    “we were informed” How stupid is this character? No generation is more informed than this generation. This generation has vast access to information because this generation is leading in information technologies, and the leaders in information technologies are citizens of the United States of America.

    This generation might have access to more information at their fingertips than ever before, but what do they do with it? Deny climate change, deny evolution, eschew vaccinations, buy into alternative medicines and all kinds of woo-woo, nominate Trump, indulge in tinfoil hat conspiracy theories, and generate endless chatter about what they had for breakfast or what their favourite celebrity is wearing.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #73
    Feb 25, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    @Alan4discussion

    SP – “It is very simple. Just make a document containing all the phone numbers, pictures, text messages, and data in the phone. ”

    Apparently the FBI director does not think this is a straightforward question with a simple answer!

    You completely misread the article you cite. The difficulty is not in protecting the exploitation method, the difficulty is dealing with publicly available strong encryption as it broadly allows criminals to thwart law enforcement and thereby put the public at risk.

    Err no! You are indulging in psychological projection here! The article is showing the need to look at positives and contra-indications from disclosure and non-disclosure.

    We are going to move to a world where that is not possible anymore,” he said. “The world will not end but it will be a different world than where we are today and where we were in 2014.
    People needed to understand “the costs associated with moving to a world of universal strong encryption”, he added.

    Which is precisely the point he is making about evaluating the merits of disclosure and non-disclosure!

    We have a way to deal with the San Bernardino phone situation already in place in our legal system.

    and like many American systems it is parochial, short-termist, and does not give a damn about the massive implications throughout the rest of the world! The San Bernardino argument, is about possible information about a deluded killer of a small group of people (common in the USA) who is already dead, V the opening up of opportunities for cyber criminals and terrorists world wide.

    If my friends elsewhere do not have the legal framework in place I suggest they urge their lawmakers to study.

    Perhaps they are not wearing the blinkers of ideology, which blank out the big issues, which require the deep thought the FBI director highlighted!



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #76
    Feb 26, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Clearly no amount of school shootings or terrorist attacks are going to create any common sense about guns in the USA. Iowa has just passed a resolution to allow children of all ages to fire handguns, striking down the heinous restriction that only 14 year olds and above could do this.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35666108

    A gunman killed three people and wounded 14 more before being shot dead in the US state of Kansas, police say.

    Ten of the wounded were critically injured in the shootings at a lawnmower factory in Hesston and nearby.

    The gunman was an employee at the factory, police said, and terrorism is not suspected.

    The attack comes less than a week after a man was charged with killing six people and wounding two others during a shooting rampage in Michigan.

    A number of mass shootings in the United States have elevated gun control as a campaign issue in this year’s presidential election.

    Ah but some of these are Islamic gun-nuts rather than the regular all-American Christian gun nuts – so special investigations are required (allegedly)!



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  • @ #69
    – Mediacrats

    I’m as mad a hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore“, relevant still.

    @ #76 – children/handguns

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch: http://www.kctv5.com/story/31294730/local-gun-ranges-offer-shooting-classes-specifically-for-kids. For those opposed, is it fair to compare this to anti-birth control (i.e.) “if they have it, our kids will feel free to engage in potentially hurtful situations”.

    The article mentions purchases of guns by women; at least two gun companies offer ‘my first gun’ in pink, for girls.



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  • Alan4discussion #82
    Feb 26, 2016 at 6:09 am
    A number of mass shootings in the United States have elevated gun control as a campaign issue in this year’s presidential election.

    I don’t think any number of mass shootings will actually elevate the topic to the point where anything gets done. It’s fascinating watching the stock excuses of the pro gun lobby each time something occurs. The first ploy is to complain it’s too soon to talk about it and blame others for politicising the issue. The “Let the parents grieve” ploy.

    Then after a while it’s old news so what’s the point in focusing on the past? At no time does it ever become the appropriate point to talk about either a specific event or any sort of gun control.



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  • @SP

    The actor, or scriptwriter, or character in this fictional diatribe
    fails to establish that there is any nation that is number one in all
    of these things, or that these measures are an exhaustive list of what
    constitutes greatness.

    The parameters were set with his list and you have gone into comparing apples with oranges. Regardless, there are indeed many areas to claim greatness but as an average your failures bring you down the list. What you are doing with the proceeds of your successes is the problem.



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  • David R Allen #79
    Feb 26, 2016 at 4:23 am

    “Here Jury. Here’s some evidence, but we can’t tell you how we got it.”

    Sounds a bit like:- “Let’s start a war – We have evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but we won’t say where or how we got it. Meanwhile we will root around trying to find some evidence while continuing to assert it is there as bombs rain down”!



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  • @alan4discussion

    Sounds a bit like:- “Let’s start a war..

    Maybe its a cultural meme that has infected the US. So much contradictory and hypocritical Left Hand / Right Hand talking, and all from the same country or person. I love to tour America, but I will never be able to understand how it has got to where it is today.



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  • What’s happened?

    I wanted to respond to a comment of his which said he was old enough to have watched men first (?) walking on the moon. (I was going to talk about the changes the changes in American political life since then, the degradation of a once moral Republicanism and the sky rocketing increase in the selfish mode of society, presuming a rational omni-competence of all citizens. etc. etc. to enhance their culpability for their own state. Not only is government made small, but so too its responsibilities.)

    But the comment has gone. Clicking on his name returned a 402.

    Now I see an account re-instated with all earlier posts stripped, except for a single latest comment.



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  • 93
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @phi-rimmer I was going to talk about the changes the changes in American political life since then, the degradation of a once moral Republicanism

    Yes, as another hint is I am too young to remember Eisenhower (I don’t mean to be silly about this age thing but I just don’t care to get into my personal information, I think you understand based on your original use of “ish”)

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies,
    in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
    This world in arms is not spending money alone.
    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
    This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

    Of course, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, at a time when the Democrats were the party of slavery. We Americans change, in my view generally for the better, but in the case of the Republicans and their staunch supporters a segment of our population is marching full speed into a regressive morass.

    and the sky rocketing increase in the selfish mode of society, presuming a rational omni-competence of all citizens. etc. etc. to enhance their culpability for their own state. Not only is government made small, but so too its responsibilities.)

    Their has always been that spirit of American independence and self reliance, but with Republicans it has indeed taken on a rhetoric wherein we are all supposed to be some kind of superhuman know it alls who can do everything for ourselves.

    These folks confuse having the money to hire domestic help, lawyers, financial consultants, accountants, and private physicians with doing things for themselves. Most of us cannot afford to deal with the complexities of modern society by hiring help, and it is just unrealistic to think that average citizens can do it all for themselves.

    It particularly annoys me when Republicans seem to think every government function is a handout. I pay for this, it isn’t free. A significant fraction of my income goes to government coffers. I do not feel like a freeloader in demanding some services, insurances, and assurances in return.



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  • 94
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen #79
    Feb 26, 2016 at 4:23 am
    @arkrid-sandwich
    I suspect there is a motivation for personal gratification, lighting people up. I think he gets off on it. Possibly goes with the psyche profile.

    Serenity and anger both come from within.

    Any objective tally of expletives and ad hominems on this thread will show it is others hurling them. Ho hum.

    Sticks and stones, my friend.

    I haven’t bother to research CIPA and I won’t. It’s pointless to engage with him. Like you say, it’s like dealing with a religious zealot.

    31 years in Austrailian law enforcement is relevant to Australian jurisprudence, but San Bernardino is the USA. Refusing to research the law critical to this issue is the zealotry.

    the Democrats and the Republicans can pass a law denying an American citizen of a fair trial.

    The law is intricately fair.

    A person who is innocent before the law, is denied the right for his defense counsel to test the prosecution case put before the jury.

    Actually there are cases where the defense counsel obtained a clearance and viewed the secret information on behalf of the client, who is typically ineligible for the clearance.

    Or did you think we are just a bunch of tobacco spitting yahoos? Turns out we Americans are very good at solving intricately difficult problems.

    And he wants Australia to adopt it. Any politician who tried this nonsense in Australia would not get reelected and the streets would be flooded in every city with protests.

    Up to the good people of Australia, but if you folks ever want to be able to protect the rights of the accused, get fair convictions, and also protect the classified secret information you can visit the USA and learn how it can be done.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #94
    Feb 27, 2016 at 6:59 am

    A person who is innocent before the law, is denied the right for his defence counsel to test the prosecution case put before the jury.

    Actually there are cases where the defense counsel obtained a clearance and viewed the secret information on behalf of the client, who is typically ineligible for the clearance

    and no technician or defence council has ever leaked information???
    Wasn’t that the issue raised about risks to $multi-billion global security?

    Or did you think we are just a bunch of tobacco spitting yahoos? Turns out we Americans are very good at solving intricately difficult problems.

    Or at least pretty good at self deception in guessing about the working of such solutions, in the face of informed advice!



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  • 96
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @madenglishman #80
    Feb 26, 2016 at 5:00 am
    Your reasoning seems a bit crook too.

    I think I will have to add “crook reasoning” to “bloody” as my favorite British terms 🙂

    a “typical” American – not necessarily your good self – can claim USA to be #1, be presented with facts showing how positively 3rd world it is in many respects, and it makes not a dent in the conviction that the USA is #1. It’s faith, pure and simple.

    Not so simple. Everybody has their shortcomings, even the very greatest man does. Nations, even more so than individuals, are complex. Even the greatest nation on Earth is bound to be deeply flawed in many respects.

    the USA is not the first to have a representative government,

    Hence my use of the word “longevity”. The ancient Greeks, of course, come to mind.

    nor the longest lived (even allowing the Bush 2000 election to be called a representative government when it would have been labelled a bloodless coup by the Americans had the exact same thing happened in India or Uganda) also debatable,

    By 1791 we had declared independence, fought our revolution, enacted the first 7 articles of our constitution, and enacted the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights. All some 225 years ago at a time when virtually the whole world was ruled by kings and emperors and warlords.

    You did not mention a counterexample, so I do not consider your disclaim to be convincing, although there might be some relatively isolated or small example, perhaps an island people I am not aware of.

    As for Bush vs Gore, we live in a democratic republic, not a democracy, which is why I used the word “representative”. We elect representatives who in turn make laws, and in the case of presidential elections, cast the actual votes for the President. This system is intentionally weighted toward the small states. Residents of small states have much more voting power per capita. This is by design.

    This design fit the needs of a nation composed of states that considered themselves somewhat as each an independent nation. The small states would not join without certain protections against unfair domination and exploitation from the large states.

    So, from time to time in a very close election, when a candidate wins many small states he wins the presidency, even though he has fewer total popular votes.

    “Gore said he supported the Electoral College even after the 2000 election, in which he won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote by 271-266 to George W. Bush. He has since had a change of heart.” It has been debated many times, but such a change has never gained a consensus support. Not surprisingly, the Republicans oppose this change, since they have a base in the small states; they want to keep open the possibility of another such victory. An interesting alternative to a constitutional amendment is for individual states to allocate all their electors to the winner of the national popular vote, which would have the effect of functionally bypassing the Electoral College.

    few if any of the numerous post-WWII invasions the USA has conducted, or insurgencies it has backed, have been in the defence of freedom;

    We go to war for self interest and leave behind as much freedom and democracy as is practical given local cultures and conditions.

    Korea is a stark example. Our primary goal was geopolitical combat against communism of Russia and China. But our exit process is to establish freedom and prosperity. Just contrast North and South to judge our greatness in that action.

    in fact it would be just as easy to portray the USA as an enemy of democracy and populist movements in other countries

    Noam Chomsky does that all the time. Lots of material there. He doesn’t talk much about the elections we have established in countries that had none, how bad things are where we did not prevail, and how much better things are where we did prevail.

    Life is complex. Success is relative and comes at the cost of some failures. We are not stuck in the past, rather, always seeking to learn from it and do even better in the future.

    attraction of immigrants? funny I thought you guys were contemplating building a wall to keep them out; this may have been a strong point of the USA in the “days of glory”

    You commit the most common error of all on this subject, that of omission, of a single crucial word, a word of negation that turns your meaning upside down.

    “Illegal”

    The USA always has been and continues to be the world’s most powerful magnet for Legal immigration.

    The wall is to fight Illegal immigration. The contrast is like day and night.

    I’ve never been to an “American restaurant” or eaten “American food”.

    If you prefer to avoid arteries clogged with hardened fat deposits you have made a wise choice.

    Good timing, mate. I have to agree that the current president is no fool (and that goes for Slick Willy too). I find much to admire in him – getting Obamacare through trenchant opposition – and much to dislike too. However, your last president was a C-grade student and recovering alcoholic who made Reagan look like a genius. And your next one could be a demagogue reality TV star.

    I must confess to a bit of cherry picking on this point.
    Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton
    Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Donald Trump

    Stark contrasts in intelligence and knowledge and critical thinking skills, indeed.

    But, actually I was giving a timely counter example to “We aspired to intelligence” as was asserted in the script, as though it was in the past tense. It will be less obvious if Trump makes it all the way, but overall the assertion that Americans generally no longer aspire to intelligence is simply false, and I could provide an endless stream of counter examples to that assertion.

    This generation might have access to more information at their fingertips than ever before, but what do they do with it?

    A very great deal more than any previous generation ever has.

    Deny climate change, deny evolution, eschew vaccinations, buy into alternative medicines and all kinds of woo-woo,

    That sort of general ignorance has been around a long time and in fact religiosity is sharply down, and environmentalism is sharply up relative to past generations, largely because we are so much better informed than in past generations.

    Overall, the video was very poorly written, full of flat out falsehoods, and very worst of all, in my view, is guilty of shameful youth bashing.

    Maybe it is my paternalistic nature but youth bashing is a particularly egregious flaw of this video.

    So, while the makers of that video are lamenting the supposed demise of America’s greatness, I must strongly disagree, and as just one small example I point to our ability to legally employ secret technological exploitation means to gain access to the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, extract pictures, texts, and contact information, use that information for vital intelligence gathering against potentially serious national security threats, use the information as evidence at trial, and keep the details of the hacking technique classified secret and undisclosed.

    I consider those combined American capabilities great indeed.



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  • Meanwhile on the subject of US cyber security:-

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/02/26/cyber-hack-gained-access-more-than-700000-irs-accounts/80992822/
    Cyber hack got access to over 700,000 IRS accounts
    The information potentially stolen includes Social Security numbers, birth dates and other data that cyber thieves could use to impersonate a real taxpayer, file a false federal tax return and collect a refund.

    The unidentified electronic attackers got in, giving the IRS an embarrassing black eye, by taking taxpayer information they acquired elsewhere and using it to correctly answer personal identity-verification questions in the “Get Transcript” application on the agency’s website.



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  • Stardusty Psyche

    But our exit process is to establish freedom and prosperity. Just contrast North and South [Korea] to judge our greatness in that action.

    Olgun #98 -Feb 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commitment_to_Development_Index

    The Commitment to Development Index (CDI), published annually by the Center for Global Development, ranks the world’s richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations.

    The CDI assesses national effort in seven policy areas: aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology.[1] It is considered to be a numerical targeting indicator for Goal 8 of the Millennium Development Goals.[2] It shows that aid is about more than quantity – quality also matters – and that development policy is about more than aid. The Index penalizes countries that give with one hand, for instance through aid or investment, but take away with the other, through trade barriers or pollution.

    In 2012, the CDI ranked Denmark number one in the world, followed by Norway, Sweden, and the Luxembourg. The United Kingdom is the only member of the Group of 7 richest countries in the world to make the index’s top 10. Japan and South Korea finished at the bottom, partly because of high trade barriers and low levels of foreign aid.

    US business cultural influence on their post war development??



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  • 100
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion #97

    SP – “Actually there are cases where the defense counsel obtained a clearance and viewed the secret information on behalf of the client, who is typically ineligible for the clearance “

    and no technician or defence council has ever leaked information???
    Wasn’t that the issue raised about risks to $multi-billion global security?

    Yes, and that is actually a valid concern. Although, I am not aware of such a leak of any classified secret or top secret surveillance or encryption hacking technologies.

    David was making a broad assertion as to the impossibility of using classified secret information at trial without immediately placing it in the public record. That does indeed seem to the be the case in Australia, per David, I don’t know, I have not researched Australian law and it does not matter really with respect to the San Bernardino iPhone and Apple.

    I was simply pointing out to David that the US government has many options for use of that data and that our procedures are fair under the law.

    I would indeed have a hard time trusting even a cleared defense consul with the algorithm details of this exploitation technique, but it would be unnecessary and in no case could a judge compel its disclosure.

    Here is what could be exposed:
    Phone numbers
    Gps movements
    Websites visited
    Emails
    Texts
    Social media content
    Pictures
    Voicemail
    The password to the iPhone
    The details of the algorithm used to obtain the password

    The first step is to classify the entire set secret with caveats or top secret. One of our problems has been that once cleared relatively low-level personnel like Manning had access to vast amounts of data without a genuine need to know.

    However, Manning did not have access to top-secret data, and our security system has methods for sequestering classified secret information as well. In the post Manning, Snowden, WikiLeaks era access has been tightened.

    “Steps have been taken to come up with a more sensible information flow. State is scrubbing cables more carefully before sending them to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon is tightening access. As part of a discussion of the Snowden case at the Aspen Security Forum in July, National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander said”

    All of the information I listed can be used for intelligence without presenting it to any such weak links like Manning or some cleared defense counsel. In particular the data recovered is entirely separate from the technology used to recover it.

    The NSA has a great deal of such technology already, and chances are they could hack the phone without Apple, and they will if they have to, probably using an invasive attack technique. But it would be of less risk to the data and faster if they got technical consultation from the manufacturer.

    The exploitation method will be heavily sequestered. That is not something that is going to be placed on a database of State Department cables for use by low level military security officers.

    The primary use for the data is intelligence and investigation, which does not even come close to a public court. There is some chance some of the data might be incriminating to a living person. As for the shooters, quite obviously, they are already dead. As for any potential targets of investigation chances are once identified and confronted there will be so much about them to convict them that the San Bernardino iPhone data will be insignificant, if we even take them alive.

    On the remote chance the data collected actually leads to a public trial all the government has to do is submit a redacted version absent the exploitation method and most of the other data recovered. Chances are that will be allowed and even if it isn’t the judge cannot compel the government to disclose any of it. At worst that particular evidence would be disallowed which is unlikely to prevent conviction, but that is a maybe times a maybe times a maybe, a very far fetched consideration and absolutely no justification for failing to exploit that iPhone.



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  • 101
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion #101

    SP “ But our exit process is to establish freedom and prosperity. Just contrast North and South [Korea] to judge our greatness in that action. “

    @olgun #98
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commitment_to_Development_Index

    “In 2012, the CDI ranked Denmark number one in the world, followed by Norway, Sweden, and the Luxembourg. The United Kingdom is the only member of the Group of 7 richest countries in the world to make the index’s top 10. Japan and South Korea finished at the bottom, partly because of high trade barriers and low levels of foreign aid.”

    US business cultural influence on their post war development??

    Indeed, US business and culture have been strong influences on Japan and South Korea. Just contrast Imperial Japan with Japan today. Contrast North Korea with South Korea.

    Isn’t the United States of America just the greatest country? 🙂

    Of course, that alone would not qualify us for the elusive title of “the greatest” and in truth I don’t think such a subjective measure could be definitively arrived at one way or the other.

    But what does the USA do with those we defeat and those we occupy in alliance? Just look at Japan and South Korea today as opposed to their counterparts.

    Actually, by the time we got to the 1980s, the influence on business culture had largely reversed with respect to Japan. Japan started to clean our clock in auto manufacturing, machine tools, and other manufacturing sectors. US companies began to look to Japan to learn about quality control, factory teamwork esprit de corps, just in time manufacturing, and designing for consumer satisfaction.

    So, not only did we give Japan the basis to rebuild their economy but then we set them free to compete against us to the loss of many American jobs and then we turned around and learned from our former enemy to improve our own industries, all while spending billions to protect our former enemy thereby saving them that expense.

    Isn’t the United States of America just the greatest country? 🙂

    About that list, notice the strong correlation to NATO members:
    Albania Belgium Bulgaria Canada Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Turkey United Kingdom United States

    Who foots the bill for this protection? Yours truly, the American taxpayer. No wonder they can afford to give so much away with me paying for their defense!

    South Korea? I think they have a few things to worry about besides giving their hard earned money away. With artillery pointed at Seoul, and perhaps the most bizarre personality cult in the world blowing off nuclear tests while in a formal state of war with South Korea and continually calling for reunification under the rule of the North. I think they are well within their rights to stay focused on their own problems. Yet again, the good old US of A is right there spending billions to maintain a heavy defensive force on land, sea, and air, keeping yet another whole people free at my personal expense.



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  • It’s just a flesh wound

    I revel in being wrong. If you have been found to be wrong, it means you’ve learned something. It means that post being wrong, you are now a more informed person and so, your opinion carries more weight. It is the gold standard cornerstone of science. Proving something is wrong, or even more honourably, proving yourself wrong is the aspiration of all people associated with Reason and Science. The foundation of all rational people is to keep that mind open, to absorb incoming information and like the true meaning of the word skeptic, to be able change ones mind as the evidence changes. The modest and public changing of a mind is a badge of honour. The moment you close your mind, you can no longer carry the badge of Reason and Science. This is the foundation philosophy of this web page and it is why it attracts skeptics, who can debate a position, but will be swayed by evidence, properly assessed and absorbed.

    To hold a position in the face of overwhelming evidence is the privilege of an extremist or the religious.

    The primary use for the data is intelligence and investigation, which does not even come close to a public court.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    Your crude attempts at obfuscation have been challenged by others so I’ll save my breath.

    Well, I waited patiently for you to answer my questions.

    I’m sorry you found yourself unable to give me a straight answer.

    Peace.



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  • @Stardusty #96

    FYI- I was using an Australian vernacular. In Brit English, “crook” is a criminal (or a shepherd’s stick), but in Aussie English it means “sick” or “unwell” or (by extension as I used it) “below par”. If you call in sick at the office, your colleagues will pass the word that you’re “crook” today.

    I found a nice quote on the web which sums up my feelings and may delineate the course of any discussion on the topic-

    “America frequently claims to be [the longest lived democracy] because they define democracy so narrowly and in their own image such that on their criteria they’re the worlds only democracy and on any other criteria they still aren’t and never have been.”

    America’s democracy at the beginning was confined to (propertied?) white men. So is that a true democracy?
    I think not. (Ancient Greeks neither.)

    If a true democracy starts when you have universal adult suffrage regardless of race, gender or wealth, then New Zealand beats out the USA (though there may be others even older) – universal adult suffrage since 1893, though it may have been later before they had women candidates as well as women voters.

    But let’s suppose we don’t need universal suffrage just for the sake of argument, and we’ll overlook slavery and civil wars and so forth, in which case I say we should also overlook non-elected figureheads that don’t actually doing any governing and label a nation a democracy if those who actually do the governing are freely elected.

    (The American president – though only in power for 4-8 years – acts more like a traditional king than any recent British monarch, especially since Reagan. British monarchs haven’t invaded other countries for quite some time, and their diplomacy is limited to turning up at events and speechifying and cutting ribbons – which used to be the US president’s role before Teddy Roosevelt decided that was too boring.)

    That puts the UK in the running (and predating the USA), along with numerous other Euro nations.
    Switzerland, Iceland are very good candidates. Little San Marino, since 1739.
    Isle of Man (though there’s some debate over whether it’s a sovereign nation for these purposes)
    (Various non-sovereign entities go way back: the Iroquois nation, Faeroe Islands.)

    … and my concern with Bush 2000 was of course not the workings and weightings of the electoral college, but that the election was ultimately decided 5 votes to 4; stopping a recount for no other reason than that your fellow might lose the recount is not SCOTUS’s finest hour



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  • 107
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @stephen-of-wimbledon #106
    Your crude attempts at obfuscation have been challenged by others so I’ll save my breath.
    Well, I waited patiently for you to answer my questions.

    Hmm, I must confess to being surprised by this post. What question did you ask that I supposedly answered only with obfuscation?

    Whatever my friends here might say about me, an unwillingness to elaborate on the specifics of a point is not a shortcoming of mine generally in evidence!

    I mean this purely in the literal sense that I truly do not know what your are referring to. I went back to your previous words and you attempted to make a link between denial of freedom of assembly and the extraction of information from the phone of a fundamentalist Islamist mass murderer.

    I will not even say there is a tenuous such link. In my view there is no such link at all. Rather than an obfuscation, that is quite clear.



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  • 108
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @madenglishman
    America’s democracy at the beginning was confined to (propertied?) white men. So is that a true democracy?
    I think not. (Ancient Greeks neither.)

    The United States of America is not now nor has it ever been a democracy in the strictest sense of that term. Nor have I referred to my nation of birth as a democracy in that strictly defined sense.

    We have a democratic republic. We have a representative form of government. Also known as a constitutional democratic republic.

    Democracy killed Socrates.

    Beware the tyranny of the majority.

    I reject argumentum ad populum as the sole determinant of law.

    I do not wish to live by plebiscite or mob rule or by enacting of the latest poll into law. In general, over time, the will of the majority prevails. But we have a system of checks and balances, a constitution that is not quickly or easily changed, to protect us against the emotions of the moment, to steady our course toward change.

    In 1776 we declared our independence from the king. In 1789 we enacted the 7 articles of our constitution that defined the structure of our government. In 1791 we enacted the first 10 amendments to our constitution known as the bill of rights.

    If you do not see these facts as a radical shift, a great experiment, a sea change, a new paradigm of self governance among human kind, then you sir simply do not know your facts of history.

    In truth, “we’re number one” and all its variants in terms of “America is the greatest” or “America is the longest lived representative government” are of tertiary importance to me. I will contest those who seek to deny the facts of our history, but being number one in some sense is of little importance to me.

    It is the principles of freedom and all the rest that really matter to me.

    Being the oldest does not necessarily make one the best. In fact, it is often those who come after, those who can see the successes and failures of others that fashion an even better way.

    Nor is the American way the best way for everybody. We have our culture and our way for us. Others have their cultures and their ways for them. For myself, I have no desire to remake the world in my image. But I do feel very strongly that some form of representative government with liberal values of freedom, equality, and human empathy is demonstrably superior to any form of theocracy, dictatorship, or one party rule.

    (The American president – though only in power for 4-8 years – acts more like a traditional king than any recent British monarch,

    But not the British monarch we declared independence from. Our president is strong compared to some other national leaders, but he attained office by election, and must stand for reelection after 4 years and after that he must step down, while a monarch attains power by birthright until death, a stark and crucial difference, which if you fail to understand then you lack insight altogether.



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  • 109
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen #107
    @alan4discussion
    Although supremely skilled in swordplay, the Black Knight suffers from unchecked overconfidence and a staunch refusal ever to give up.

    First he lost his left arm, then his right arm, then his right leg, then his left leg.

    Within minutes he had been rendered a quadriplegic, hardly “supremely skilled in swordplay”!!!

    I suppose there is some kind of metaphor in all this directed toward me, yet I feel all my limbs intact 🙂



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  • It’s all a matter of degree, but give me a constitutional monarchy with universal suffrage over a slave-owning patriarchal oligarchy that calls itself a constitutional democratic republic any day.

    The British monarch that the US declared independence from (with the aid of France and other world powers, and some revolutionary tactics that in today’s terminology would be described as “terrorist”!) was not a bad sort, for his day. Certainly not a tyrant in any meaningful sense (for example, though he may have invaded a few countries on slim pretexts, as is common amongst monarchs everywhere, he didn’t oversee any extraordinary renditions so far as I know).

    Nor was the taxation oppressive, quite the opposite in fact. Taxation without representation was the problem, but it wasn’t (or shouldn’t have been) a big deal for the common folk, only for the elite (i.e. business). But the elite has always been good, in every country and every time, into talking the common man into a fight which benefits no one but the elite.

    Back to the main thread, although it’s done in pro forma fashion (paying lip services to courts and processes), the US government is in fact acting in more tyrannical fashion than George III ever did. (The secret courts are reminiscent of the Star Chamber, disbanded by George’s time.) Sadly other nations are following.

    It’s not done in the name of freedom.
    US freedom isn’t threatened by a bunch of amateur terrorists. US freedom is threatened by the US government’s responses to the actions of criminals and lunatics.

    It’s hard for me (and non-US citizens) to see how the term “freedom” covers the right to own guns – big guns – but doesn’t cover the freedom to be left alone to run your business without being told what to do by the government. Or the freedom to not be spied upon by your government.



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  • MadEnglishman #106
    Feb 27, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    “America frequently claims to be [the longest lived democracy] because they define democracy so narrowly and in their own image such that on their criteria they’re the worlds only democracy and on any other criteria they still aren’t and never have been.”

    America’s democracy at the beginning was confined to (propertied?) white men. So is that a true democracy?
    I think not. (Ancient Greeks neither.)

    Democracy – especially “true democracy”, is one of those bendy terms which politicians use as a prop for their ideologies!

    Lenin. Stalin, and Mao, also had their own versions of “true democracy”!-
    A bit like various sects have their own versions of “true religion”!



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  • Meanwhile – the gun culture goes on!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35681240
    A US police officer has been shot and killed on her first day at work, the day after she was sworn in.

    Ashley Guindon had been responding to a domestic dispute in Woodbridge, Virginia, about 32 km (20 miles) south of Washington, DC.

    Two of her colleagues were also injured in the shooting and are in hospital, but no details have been released about their condition.

    The suspect, a military serviceman, was unharmed and is now in police custody.

    The suspect had murdered his wife then opened fire on officers as they approached, a police official told the AP news agency.

    There was also a child in the house at the time of the incident, he said.



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  • I have been involved in the politics of UK and Cyprus for 13 or so years now. After a few years we got to see heads of desks rather than secretaries or juniors. About that time, the tax office decided to do a audit on me that three accountants said were over and beyond, by a long way, what is normal. The first rule for tax collectors is, never chase money that is less than the cost. The time it took and the ‘personal’ service I got was way over what they might have collected but still it went on. It finally cost me £3400. £3000 in accountants bills and £400 for the tax man which I could have contested but paid to put an end to the persecution. The final letter from the taxman still said, regardless of the many times calculated, I could not possibly have the lifestyle I have with the money I earn. Our goal was to educate our children so we hardly ever went out as a couple. We both drink very little and don’t smoke. I put hobbies aside so that the boys could go to school and participate in all aspects like outings etc…..my wife would not buy anything, including clothing, that she did not need. I am useless with money (no interest) but my wife kept everything to the penny and we worked bloody hard. All my jobs were paid by cheque so I was confident that the taxman would find nothing but was worried about how this all came about, the reason behind it and what might happen next that was out of the ordinary.

    I was just another number until I stuck a tuft of hair out and tried to use my rights to lobby the UK government. If I had gone down, I would have gone down spectacularly. I would be homeless and pennyless.

    I do not want any government to have the power to bully people. I am small fry so I can only imagine what goes on with other bigger players.

    This phone move will leave us all open and ‘I’ve got nothing to hide’ is fine for people who stick with their approved government group but once out, you are vulnerable. I am sure tha SP will now come back and say it is for state security but BS. Screaming Yehaw! Whilst murdering a possible 160,000 Iraqis in one night is not a type of democracy and freedom I want. Perhaps SP will say it’s only a flesh wound.



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  • 115
    bonnie says:

    @ #111 – americabutbetter.com

    Bu-bu-but, everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it, except the Alberta tar sands.

    Purportedly, production may stall due to crude oil barrel prices tanking. Interesting aspect, the machinations were supposedly designed for optimal output, sans a way to slow down. Left abandoned, would it scar or heal.



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  • @olli

    This phone move will leave us all open and ‘I’ve got nothing to hide’ is fine for people who stick with their approved government group but once out, you are vulnerable.

    A beautifully crafted and powerful post. Well said.



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  • 117
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @olli This phone move will leave us all open and ‘I’ve got nothing to hide’ is fine for people who stick with their approved government group but once out, you are vulnerable. I am sure tha SP will now come back and say it is for state security but BS. Screaming Yehaw! Whilst murdering a possible 160,000 Iraqis in one night is not a type of democracy and freedom I want. Perhaps SP will say it’s only a flesh wound.

    Sorry about your tax situation triggered by UK and Cyprus political persecution but that really is not directly related to the San Bernardino iPhone issue.

    The government has had the ability to tap a phone, or read through documents under warrant for a very long time. This has not led to the dire consequences so many people seem to think are inevitable. There has always been some segment of our society that has paranoid delusions the government is listening in on them and government thugs are about to nab them and persecute them with all their ill gotten phone taps and intercepted messages.

    The government uses wiretaps, secret recordings, searches of papers, and access to bank account information under warrant to catch criminals, convict criminals, and prevent crime. It has been that way for a very long time and neither I nor anybody I know has ever been the victim of government thugs armed with all these imagined nefarious invasions of privacy. It just is not any kind of pervasive or substantial or even significant problem.

    There is no right to privacy against a warranted search, there never has been. We should not invent a right for a criminal and national security threat to block a warranted search. That makes no sense. I absolutely want law enforcement to have the capability to defeat such attempts at blocking a warranted search.

    Screaming Yehaw! Whilst murdering a possible 160,000 Iraqis in one night is not a type of democracy and freedom I want.

    At some point I hope my friends across the waters will gain the insight to free themselves of these kinds of stereotypes, which are analogous to an old cartoon with caricatures of racial minorities. This is 2016 folks, time for you to grow beyond your caricatures and stereotypes.

    Our current president voted against the Iraq war while he was a senator. Certainly the WMD story was false. Nevertheless, the people of Iraq were already suffering terribly under Saddam and we did in fact liberate Iraq.

    By “we” I mean the United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland. I’m not quite sure what the folks from the UK and Australia are talking about here but like it or not the fact is you participated militarily in the invasion.

    Furthermore, a whole lot of nations (some 38 nations plus NATO) contributed at least a small number of troops for the ensuing peacekeeping and nation building effort

    Together we, and by “we” I mean primarily the US but with the participation of a very broad range of countries, did all we could to establish a representative form of government.

    We succeeded. Iraqis who had never voted in their lives were able to. Iraq has a representative government. The Kurds in particular benefited greatly from our efforts.

    After our success, after we left, after we did not steal the oil, religious and tribal fighting has gotten a whole lot worse. It would be patronizing to suggest the Iraqi people are so primitive and warlike that they need a brutal dictator like Saddam just to keep them from chopping each other to pieces but I confess to occasionally giving that notion some consideration.

    I don’t know where you get the 160,000 “murdered” in 1 night nonsense from. Here is what Wikipedia estimates:
    Estimated Iraqi civilian fatalities:
    7,269 (Iraq Body Count)[19]
    3,200–4,300 (Project on Defense Alternatives study)[16]

    So, indeed, what does this tell us about the government that seeks to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino mass murders to prevent further attacks?

    It tells me this is a government that joined with the UK and Austrailia and ultimately a large number of other countries and freed an enslaved people. A government that possesses B-52, B-1, and B-2 heavy bombers capable of leveling whole cities, yet refrained from using them to do so, rather, was able to invade and conquer a powerful military dictatorship at the loss of fewer than 10,000 civilians, obviously a government that places a high value on innocent human life. How many civilians did Saddam and his gruesome sons kill each year? Ask the gassed Kurds for starters. How many Iraqis have died at the hands of other Iraqis?

    Yes, I think such a government that does so much to free so many is very likely to make good use of the San Bernardino iPhone data for the safety and protection of us all.



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  • @David

    Thank you David.

    @SP

    They can snoop away all they like, that is not the problem. Making it accessible to courts leaves a gaping hole for it to be used against citizens. It does not have to be men in black direct from the government. It only has to be left open for the system to be abused. No conspiracy but a back door left open for a virus in a computer system. The system that Apple are trying to keep intact is the same safe guard.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #117
    Feb 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    The government uses wiretaps, secret recordings, searches of papers, and access to bank account information under warrant to catch criminals, convict criminals, and prevent crime. It has been that way for a very long time and neither I nor anybody I know has ever been the victim of government thugs armed with all these imagined nefarious invasions of privacy. It just is not any kind of pervasive or substantial or even significant problem.

    You don’t think that there are abuses of power under cover of secrecy or that people in high positions have little regard for the law or rights of others?

    http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/impeachments/nixon.htm
    A break-in occurred on the night of June 17, 1972, as five burglars entered the Democratic National Committee offices inside the Watergate office complex in Washington. Discovered by 24-year-old night watchman Frank Wills, they were arrested at the scene by police at 2:30 a.m.

    Investigations soon revealed the Watergate burglars were employed by the Committee to Re-elect President Nixon. However, a White House spokesman dismissed the incident as a “third-rate burglary attempt.”

    In August of 1972, President Nixon told reporters, “no one in the White House staff, no one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.”

    The arrest of the Watergate burglars marked the beginning of a long chain of events in which President Nixon and his top aides became deeply involved in an extensive coverup of the break-in and other White House sanctioned illegal activities.

    Those are just the amateurish ones who got caught!



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  • 120
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @madenglishman It’s all a matter of degree, but give me a constitutional monarchy with universal suffrage over a slave-owning patriarchal oligarchy that calls itself a constitutional democratic republic any day.

    In the years 1776 to 1791 that was not a true comparison. The UK did not eliminate slavery in its empire until 1843. Women did not vote in the UK until 1928.

    The fact is that virtually the whole world was under the rule of kings and warlords and the ruling classes were men of the same race as the king or warlord, and slavery was largely the norm.

    The great American revolution did not change all of that all at once, but it did make a very major and at the time unique advancement, that of rejecting the rule by a king and instead instituting a constitutional democratic republic that would expand its enfranchised classes at about the same rate as the UK, but with the crucial difference that every president and every congressman was to be either directly elected by the people or elected by those who were.

    US freedom isn’t threatened by a bunch of amateur terrorists. US freedom is threatened by the US government’s responses to the actions of criminals and lunatics.

    If somebody says the want to kill you, believe them, the Jews have learned.

    In #18 above I clearly established the link between the IS and the San Bernardino shooters. Even the IS by itself, at this time, is no match for the US military. We have shown great restraint, thanks to our fine commander in chief, in not being more aggressive to crush the IS, because it is much better in the long run to simply contain them and support their local enemies as they chip away at the IS.

    The greatest threat is the shear size of the fundamentalist Islamic population and the prospect that their military movement will grow to be able to acquire WMD. We also have to be prepared to fight this war continuously with no end in sight.

    A couple of San Bernardino religious fundamentalists with a few rifles and handguns are not an existential threat to the USA. Unfortunately, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

    What is a very serious threat is the growth of a fundamentalist ideology bent on our destruction and supported by hundreds of millions, many of whom consider it a sure path to paradise to die in battle against us, and who will almost certainly use WMD if they can acquire them,

    It is a vital national security need to hack that phone as it might well lead us to foiling other plots



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  • The government has had the ability to tap a phone, or read through documents under warrant for a very long time. This has not led to the dire consequences so many people seem to think are inevitable

    It did for Olgun

    The government uses wiretaps, secret recordings, searches of papers, and access to bank account information under warrant to catch criminals, convict criminals, and prevent crime. It has been that way for a very long time and neither I nor anybody I know has ever been the victim of government thugs armed with all these imagined nefarious invasions of privacy. It just is not any kind of pervasive or substantial or even significant problem

    It was for Olgun

    We should not invent a right for a criminal and national security threat to block a warranted search

    That’s right Patriots. Lets get this criminal Olgun

    According to your world view, the attack on Olgun had nothing to do with his political activities and the political situation in Cyprus or the UK. Couldn’t happen. Never happens. He was just selected by the government for a random audit.

    Yes, I think such a government that does so much to free so many is very likely to make good use of the San Bernardino iPhone data for the safety and protection of us all

    Beat a C Grade army. Beat your chests. Left a vacuum, filled by…

    David Kilcullen

    From 2005 to 2006, he was Chief Strategist in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department.[3] Kilcullen was a senior counter-insurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in 2007 and 2008, where he helped design and monitor the Iraq War troop surge.[4] He was then a special advisor for counter-insurgency to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[5] Kilcullen has been a Senior Fellow of the Center for a New American Security[6] and an Adjunct Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University

    There would be no ISIS if we hadn’t invaded Iraq in the first place. There would also be no ISIS if Maliki hadn’t applied incredibly sectarian, Shia authoritarian policies after we spent many lives and much treasure to stabilize the country for him. There also would not be an ISIS if we hadn’t withdrawn from Iraq and just left the environment to hang for a few years. So I think you can blame President Obama, you can blame President Bush; you can certainly blame Prime Minister Maliki.

    The Black Knight still believes he has arms and legs.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #120
    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    If somebody says the want to kill you, believe them, the Jews have learned.

    Actually the Zionists merely learned from the NAZIs, how to use strong arm terror tactics to take over a government, and how to seize property and treat sections of the population as second-class citizens once they had achieved power! – Hence Zionists have earned the hatred of the Palestinians, in a manner similar to that by which the NAZIs earned the hatred of the Jews!
    The leaders of Zionist terrorists who assassinated peace-keeping troops and the UN mediator , later became prominent members of the Israeli government! http://www.wrmea.org/1995-september/jewish-terrorists-assassinate-u.n.-peacekeeper-count-folke-bernadotte.html
    The assassins were members of Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel—Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), better known as the Stern Gang. Its three leaders had decided a week earlier to have Bernadotte killed because they believed he was partial to the Arabs. One of those leaders was Yitzhak Shamir, who in 1983 would become prime minister of Israel.

    The U.N. partition plan had declared Jerusalem an international city that was to be ruled by neither Arab nor Jew. But the Jewish terrorists, including Shamir and Menachem Begin, the leader of the largest terrorist group, Irgun Zvai Leumi—National Military Organization, also known by the Hebrew acronym “Etzel”—had rejected partition and claimed all of Palestine and Jordan for the Jewish state. These Jewish extremists were horrified at Bernadotte’s suggestion.



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  • From the article:

    The Justice Department said it was asking Apple to help unlock only the iPhone used by Farook and owned by the county government where Farook worked as an environmental inspector. The judge said the software should include a “unique identifier” so that it can’t be used to unlock other iPhones. But it was unclear how readily the software could be modified to work against other iPhones, or how quickly Apple might update its own software to render the new bypass ineffective.

    Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for Apple if it was discovered that such an exploit already exists. And why would Apple delay updating it’s software to render the exploit ineffective? Apple have been caught placing content on iPhones that customers had not strictly asked for:
    Why is U2’s latest album on your iPhone?



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  • @marktony

    Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for Apple if it was discovered that such an exploit already exists.

    I was wondering about this myself. Having done a little coding, one of the things I was taught was that it is good practice to insert little pieces of code that allow you to go directly to areas of interest or to override security protocols so you could quickly edit the code, without having to insert long decryption numbers. In computer games, it was standard practice to insert these codes, and leave them intact. When a gamer discovered one, it game him access to a “cheat”

    I would be surprised if Apple coders didn’t do the same thing.

    I also ponder the Motives in this story. The encryption is long (128 bit??) which means it is out of the reach of most people and computers to crack. But people with super computers, like the NSA FBI, could crack the phone, and probably do, frequently, only we just don’t hear about it. Cracking Apple encryption is just Time X Computer Power. So why is the FBI doing this.

    I suspect the collective intelligence agencies want to set a legal precedent. They are using this highly emotive case, to gather popular support to pressure Apple to crack its proprietary encryption. I have no doubt that Apple could crack it in seconds with a “Backdoor” universal key. I suspect the collective agencies know this. I note that the FBI has around another 12 phones waiting for court orders. A bit conspiracy theor’ish, but we are talking about America.

    The politics is, “No one is above the government.”

    I’ve been through similar legal battles in my own jurisdiction. Access to mobile phone metadata. The intelligence case was put to the government. The laws were amended with copious caveats and spin that this would only be used in the direst of circumstances. Challenged by the Telco’s in the courts and lost. By the time I retired, you just filled out an online form for as many phones as you wanted, and ticked one of a few boxes, like, “Required for organized crime investigation”. A very valuable investigative tool I might add. It’s like Mission Creep that always happens to the US’s little military incursions. At the start, getting Metadata was national security only. It gets watered down overtime to “Every Man and his Dog” as Olgun experienced.

    The FBI will win this case. The flood gates will open just a crack, but the crack will widen over time. Apple encryption will become pointless. It will be replaced by encryption Apps coded in XXX trustworthy country.



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  • 125
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @olli They can snoop away all they like, that is not the problem. Making it accessible to courts leaves a gaping hole for it to be used against citizens.

    Well, that is how it has always been, at least as long as there have been telephones and searches of papers.

    We do not suddenly now have some new need to protect privacy by blocking a warranted search of the records of a mass murderer who is aligned with an international organization sworn to our destruction.

    @david-r-allen
    It was for Olgun
    We should not invent a right for a criminal and national security threat to block a warranted search
    That’s right Patriots. Lets get this criminal Olgun

    No David, Olgun got audited. That has been around for a very long time. Now please don’t get me wrong, getting audited is not a minor event, or at least I know it would be very stressful for me and I am sure it was quite a burden for Olgun, and understandably so.

    But that has nothing to do with defeating this block to a warranted search of a criminal’s phone. Governments will continue to audit irrespective of this San Bernardino issue. You simply have not make a case for any linkage here.

    There would be no ISIS if we hadn’t invaded Iraq in the first place.

    One “benefit” of a dictatorship is the crushing of all forms of insurgency. In the long run, once Iraq clears out ISIS, they can make good use of the freedom we have worked so hard to assist them with.

    There would also be no ISIS if Maliki hadn’t applied incredibly sectarian, Shia authoritarian policies after we spent many lives and much treasure to stabilize the country for him.

    Ok, true, we spent a lot to help Iraqi become a stable country and religious divides have been a big factor in creating warfare there.

    There also would not be an ISIS if we hadn’t withdrawn from Iraq and just left the environment to hang for a few years.

    True, but our mandate was at an end. We had done our part and the elected government of Iraq asked us to leave, so we did. How is that our fault?

    So I think you can blame President Obama, you can blame President Bush; you can certainly blame Prime Minister Maliki.

    That is so typical, blame everybody but the true culprits, the fundamentalist Islamists themselves.

    My limbs remain intact because your sword is made of paper mache and merely crumbles when I put up my hand to block it 🙂



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  • 127
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion #122

    SP – “If somebody says the want to kill you, believe them, the Jews have learned. “

    Actually the Zionists merely learned from the NAZIs, how to use strong arm terror tactics to take over a government, and how to seize property and treat sections of the population as second-class citizens once they had achieved power!

    Ok, there is so much wrong with that on so many levels, but I will try to focus on the topic of the thread as much as possible.

    Zionists learned from Moses that they have the god given right to seize all the land from the Jordan to the Sea and the god given directive to use genocide to do so. But, for practical reasons, Likud is only using as much deadly force as necessary to seize the land, while operating a pluralistic Western style free society within the borders of Israel.

    Hamas has the same territorial ambitions and also has a god given mandate, which includes killing every single Jew in the process and establishing a theocratic Islamic state on the land seized.

    Both have at their core an imagined divine mandate, and are diametrically opposed, which is why the issue of the territory of Israel will be settled by force, not by any so-called peace process.

    Actually the Zionists merely learned from the NAZIs

    Along with the above, Jews have learned from the Nazis to take people seriously when they say they want to kill you. Do not ignore an organization that swears it wants you dead.

    We need to learn that same lesson and apply it to the San Bernardino iPhone data of the shooters. In #18 above I clearly established the link between the shooters and a major movement sworn to our violent demise, the IS.

    If it involved just a couple shooters it would not be an issue of national security, but the San Bernardino shooting was in fact part of a global movement that explicitly states it wants us dead. That connection makes hacking the iPhone a national security need.

    Hence Zionists have earned the hatred of the Palestinians, in a manner similar to that by which the NAZIs earned the hatred of the Jews!

    There is a UN mandate for the creation of the modern state of Israel, which in and of itself immediately led to war, since no Arab Muslim nation accepted that resolution. Only 2 Arab Muslim nations recognize Israel to this day.

    But you and I are not going to solve the problem of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Golan, and Jerusalem, because there is no peaceful solution. There is a peaceful solution to the international relations between Isarael and its neighbors, which Egypt and Jordan have taken.

    But from the Sea to the Jordan there will be no peace until one side or the other achieves a total military victory because both sides lay claim to the same land by divine right.

    Fortunately for the rest of the world the land claim of the fundamentalist Jews is limited to the lands of Israel as Moses instructed Joshua to conquer by genocidal invasion.

    Unfortunately for the rest of us there is a fundamentalist Islamic mandate for the establishment of a global caliphate. The San Bernardino shooters were devote members of that movement, so convinced of their divine mandate they gave their own lives in order to kill many more of us, confident, as the IS says in #18 above, that in so doing they put themselves on a path to favor before Allah and therefore eternal paradise.

    I intend to resist this debauched fantasy of global conquest, which is why I support the FBI in their efforts to get as much information as possible about the San Bernardino shooters and use it against this ghastly global movement.



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  • 128
    bonnie says:

    @ #127 -‘San Bernardino shooters’

    Just curious, any thoughts about the Colleen Hufford incident?

    @ A4d – ‘gun culture’

    Over the weekend, two small-town southern Illinois young men aimed a cross-bow to rob local QuickyMart, weird.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #127
    Feb 29, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Actually the Zionists merely learned from the NAZIs, how to use strong arm terror tactics to take over a government, and how to seize property and treat sections of the population as second-class citizens once they had achieved power!

    Ok, there is so much wrong with that on so many levels, but I will try to focus on the topic of the thread as much as possible.

    Actually it is a matter of historical record, but perhaps you studied the fanciful Faux-News versions of history!

    Zionists learned from Moses that they have the god given right to seize all the land from the Jordan to the Sea and the god given directive to use genocide to do so. But, for practical reasons, Likud is only using as much deadly force as necessary to seize the land, while operating a pluralistic Western style free society within the borders of Israel.

    So- Totally delusional claims based on a book of fairy stories!

    Likud is only using as much deadly force as necessary to seize the land, while operating a pluralistic Western style free society within the borders of Israel.

    Perhaps you should try this fantasy claim for credibility with the walled in and fenced out, Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza? The Stern Gang (before their leaders became government figures), assassinated the UN mediator BECAUSE he proposed a pluralistic society which included the Arabs.

    Hamas has the same territorial ambitions and also has a god given mandate, which includes killing every single Jew in the process and establishing a theocratic Islamic state on the land seized.

    The Palestinian farmers had territorial rights and legal rights to their land – some of them for generations and centuries, before they were dispossessed by armed Zionist squatters who are protected by the Israeli army!

    Both have at their core an imagined divine mandate, and are diametrically opposed,

    That is a false dichotomy! Palestinian Arabs and indigenous Jews had legal rights to property and land, BEFORE the Zionists took over on the basis of their religious delusions!

    which is why the issue of the territory of Israel will be settled by force, not by any so-called peace process.

    From the beginning in the 1940s, the Zionist fanatics were never interested in equal rights or a “peace process”! They seized the land by force or arms – with superior weapons, funded and provided from abroad!
    They now shout martyrdom, and play the victim, when those, who seized lands from the previous owners by the power of the gun, (with de-facto legal immunity, provided by the present government), are subjected to revenge attacks by the dispossessed.

    It is very much a refection of the US gun culture where bigoted (god-deluded??) individuals, think big guns add credibility to weak arguments.

    Along with the above, Jews have learned from the Nazis to take people seriously when they say they want to kill you. Do not ignore an organization that swears it wants you dead.

    The Palestinians also learned that lesson, which is why the killings have persisted for so many decades!

    Perhaps the lesson which should have been learned, is that human morals and mutual respect, are not determined by bronze-age tribalist delusional thinking or the establishment of a Zionist apartheid regime!
    People really DO want to kill you, if you provoke them by giving them good cause! – (Such as stealing their land or killing their relatives.)

    Those who live by the sword/gun, die by the sword/gun!



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  • A news story breaking on my feed indicates a New York Magistrate has ruled that Apple cannot be ordered to help the FBI crack an IPhone.

    A New York judge says the U.S. Justice Department cannot force Apple to provide the FBI with access to locked iPhone data in a routine Brooklyn drug case. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled Monday.

    “How best to balance those interests is a matter of critical importance to our society, and the need for an answer becomes more pressing daily, as the tide of technological advance flows ever farther past the boundaries of what seemed possible even a few decades ago,” Orenstein wrote.

    “But that debate must happen today, and it must take place among legislators who are equipped to consider the technological and cultural realities of a world their predecessors could not begin to conceive.”

    I think the Magistrate has distilled the issue precisely. The Government is trying to use the All Writs Act drafted in 1789 to order Apple, to act on technology that only existed since roughly 2000. The Magistrate has correctly attributed responsibility for this action to the Legislators. In 2016, the technological age, there is an expectation of the members of the House and the Senate to consider the legal issues associated with this matter and come to a democratic solution, guided by the voice of the people and the advise of technical and intelligence experts.

    It is lazy law enforcement to use the All Writs Act, drafted in the year George Washington was elected president, to force a 21st century technological issue before the court.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/apple-iphone-data-judge-drug-case-1.3469938



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  • 131
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @bonnie #128
    Just curious, any thoughts about the Colleen Hufford incident?

    Fortunately, an American man with a gun was on the scene.

    I was not aware of this murder, thanks bonnie for bringing it to my attention.

    “Other coworkers tried to stop him during the assault by kicking him and throwing chairs at him. Then, he slashed the throat and face of another female employee, intending to behead her as well, before being shot and wounded in the arm and abdomen by Vaughn Foods Chief Operating Officer Mark Vaughan, who was also an Oklahoma County reserve deputy,”

    I support my fellow Americans who use deadly force in defense of innocent life. I support the Federal Bureau of Investigation in their efforts to defend us all by obtaining potentially vital national security information from the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

    “According to police, he “openly admitted” to killing Hufford and injuring Johnson during the attack.[9] Prosecutors are expected to pursue the death penalty in the case”

    Obviously, the only appropriate sentence for this murderer, as it would have been for the San Bernardino killers if they had been taken alive.



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  • 132
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    So- Totally delusional claims based on a book of fairy stories!

    Yes, the fairy stories attributed to Moses predate Hitler by about 3400 years.

    SP ” Likud is only using as much deadly force as necessary to seize the land, while operating a pluralistic Western style free society within the borders of Israel. ”

    Perhaps you should try this fantasy claim for credibility with the walled in and fenced out, Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza?

    Conflation. Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza are not within the borders of Israel. You have committed one of the most common errors, so I suppose the glaring nature of it might at least be somewhat softened by the fact such vast numbers commit this same error.

    SP “Hamas has the same territorial ambitions and also has a god given mandate, which includes killing every single Jew in the process and establishing a theocratic Islamic state on the land seized. ”

    The Palestinian farmers had territorial rights and legal rights to their land – some of them for generations and centuries, before they were dispossessed by armed Zionist squatters who are protected by the Israeli army!

    Conflation, again. Hamas lays claim to all the land from the sea to the Jordon river. So does Likud. It is in both their charters. Have you read them?

    Zionist fanatics were never interested in equal rights or a “peace process”! They seized the land by force or arms

    Just like Moses is recorded to have told Joshua to do some 3400 years ago. Just like Hamas seeks to do per their charter. They both lay claim to all the land from the sea to the Jordan river and they both say god is on their side and they are both sworn to never give up and never accept the other.

    Thus, the so-called peace process between the sea and the Jordan river is a sham. Neither side has any desire to make a peaceful accommodation with the other.

    The only peace process with any meaning is the process of Israel making peace with its neighboring nations, which in the case of two bordering states it has, and the rest have been relegated by to a lesser importance due to Israeli military strength that includes as seaborne nuclear retaliatory strike capability (Operation Samson, or the Samson Option).

    People really DO want to kill you, if you provoke them by giving them good cause!

    Unfortunately both Hamas and Likud do not require provocation. They both have their religiously justified territorial claims irrespective of any provocations.

    Sorry Alan, it seems you have not read the charters of Likud and Hamas. Both sides intend to push the other out entirely. Likud is content to limit their killing to the minimum needed to seize the land. Hamas wishes to kill all the Jews in the process of seizing all that land, so there is that difference.

    There are only 2 possible ways to arrive at peace between the sea and the Jordan river that I am aware of.
    1. The Palestinians vote out Hamas and anything like it, while the Israelis vote out Likud and anything like it, and both sides replace their respective representatives with people truly interested in making a mutual accommodation.
    2. One side or the other achieves total military victory.

    As things stand choice 2 is by far the most likely outcome, with Israel the clear military superior.

    So what does all this have to do with the San Bernardino shooters? Not much really, I only brought up the Jews to point out that besides all these issues Jews in general have the strong inclination to take seriously threats of death, and so should we.

    Vast numbers of Muslims want we Americans dead, they say so again and again and again, they launch attacks as part of a global effort against us, and as San Bernardino shows, sometimes they get through our defenses, all the more reason to not dismiss them as relatively insignificant.



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  • 133
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    A New York judge says the U.S. Justice Department cannot force Apple to provide the FBI with access to locked iPhone data in a routine Brooklyn drug case. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled Monday.

    Bad news for the national security of the United States of America if this case is extended to the national security need of obtaining the information from the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

    Here’s hoping the people as represented by the administration counsel for the FBI will prevail in further legal action, or our security experts will succeed in hacking that San Bernardino iPhone without any help from Apple.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #132
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Yes, the fairy stories attributed to Moses predate Hitler by about 3400 years.

    I see you are still churning out irrelevant side-tracks in place of addressing issue of the fairy-tale based claims!

    Previously – SP ” Likud is only using as much deadly force as necessary to seize the land, while operating a pluralistic Western style free society within the borders of Israel. ”

    Perhaps you should try this fantasy claim for credibility with the walled in and fenced out, Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza?

    Conflation. Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza are not within the borders of Israel.

    There’s a surprise! .. and US Red Indian Reservations were not the original tribal lands! So that justifies flag-waving armed dispossession in your confused thinking!

    You have committed one of the most common errors, so I suppose the glaring nature of it might at least be somewhat softened by the fact such vast numbers commit this same error.

    You really should brush up on the basics of logical reasoning, rather than making a fool of yourself ineptly challenging others!

    Previously – SP “Hamas has the same territorial ambitions and also has a god given mandate, which includes killing every single Jew in the process and establishing a theocratic Islamic state on the land seized. ”

    The Palestinian farmers had territorial rights and legal rights to their land – some of them for generations and centuries, before they were dispossessed by armed Zionist squatters who are protected by the Israeli army!

    Conflation, again.

    The conflation is all yours! The modern situation arose from the historical one, not vice-versa!

    Hamas lays claim to all the land from the sea to the Jordon river. So does Likud. It is in both their charters. Have you read them?

    Hamas did not exist when the Stern Gang blew up the King David Hotel, assassinated the UN mediator who took a balanced view, and high-jacked the the country as a Zionist theocracy. Prior to the aggressive colonisation of Palestine by Zionist immigrants, Endemic Jews, Arabs and Christians lived together in relative peace.

    Conflation, again. Hamas lays claim to all the land from the sea to the Jordon river. So does Likud. It is in both their charters. Have you read them?

    It is your conflation of modern times, with the historical causes you are dodging with diversionary bluster!
    The Hamas charter dates to 1988, The Stern Gang/Likud terrorism and Zionist fundamentalist state to 1948! 40 years earlier, and 40 years of provocation by Zionist apartheid and military repression!

    So what does all this have to do with the San Bernardino shooters? Not much really, I only brought up the Jews to point out that besides all these issues Jews in general have the strong inclination to take seriously threats of death, and so should we.

    You pointed out using the term “Jews” when you talked about Zionists” that fundamentalists steal other peoples property and trample on their legal and moral rights, kill those who resist the robbery, attempt to repossess their farms, or attack the thieves, and then play the martyr full of self righteousness, and then suggest that they are entitled to shoot first at the people they have grievously provoked with earlier armed attacks!

    This is a formula for perpetuating wars and armed resistance!



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  • David R Allen #130
    Feb 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    A news story breaking on my feed indicates a New York Magistrate has ruled that Apple cannot be ordered to help the FBI crack an IPhone.

    The BBC has run a similar report on this story here:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35692931

    A judge in the United States has ruled that Apple cannot be forced to give the FBI access to a locked iPhone in a case that echoes an ongoing legal battle.

    The judge in Brooklyn denied a motion by the US Justice Department to get Apple to unlock a phone in a drug case.

    Most promising for Apple is the reason for which Judge Orenstein threw out the New York case.

    He said he was not at all convinced the All Writs Act, a law more than two centuries old, could be used to force Apple to comply. The same law is being used in San Bernardino.

    The All Writs Act is designed to give law enforcement powers not specifically addressed in other laws – but using it requires meeting certain strict criteria, too burdensome to detail here.

    No legal precedent has been set here – but as the magistrate in San Bernardino considers her ruling, momentum certainly appears to be with the computing giant.



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  • 136
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion … your conflation of modern times, with the historical causes you are dodging with diversionary bluster!
    The Hamas charter dates to 1988, The Stern Gang/Likud terrorism and Zionist fundamentalist state to 1948! 40 years earlier, and 40 years of provocation by Zionist apartheid and military repression!

    Right, it is the creation of the state of Israel itself that is, in the minds of Hamas, the original provocation. To “fix” that they intend to eliminate the state of Israel. Hamas also seeks to kill as many Jews as possible in the process of eliminating the state of Israel and creating an Islamic state in its place. Hamas has no interest in a 2 state solution or any peaceful accommodation with any state of Israel. Their goal is the total annihilation of Israel and all the Jews in it.

    Likud seeks to take all the same land, with the goal of pushing all the Arab Muslims out of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem, Their justification for this dates back to the books attributed to Moses. In their minds that land belongs to them by divine right. God gave it to his chosen people and they are morally justified in taking it back by any means, since the original method was genocide.

    These are just the facts. If you don’t understand these facts then you just don’t see the whole picture.

    When I said Jews generally that is what I meant. The notion of taking seriously those who threaten to kill you is more than just a Zionist idea, it is a cultural reaction to the Nazi Holocaust. We Americans would do well to learn that lesson as well. When a large group of people say they want to kill you, and they continually act upon those declarations, believe them.

    The San Bernardino shooters were a part of that global deadly effort against us which makes hacking that iPhone a national security need and why I strongly support the FBI in their efforts.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #136
    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hamas also seeks to kill as many Jews as possible in the process of eliminating the state of Israel and creating an Islamic state in its place.

    The differences in our views, is not in recognising the present position, but in your refusal to recognise the historical legitimate grievances of Palestinian Muslims which have led to this position.

    Hamas has no interest in a 2 state solution or any peaceful accommodation with any state of Israel. Their goal is the total annihilation of Israel and all the Jews in it.

    It should be clear that the persistent refusal of Zionists and the Israeli governments to seek either equality for all citizens before the law, or for a two state solution since 1948 has led Hamas to recognise that no equitable solution will be agreed by Zionists.

    Likud seeks to take all the same land, with the goal of pushing all the Arab Muslims out of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem,

    A position they have maintained since the 1940s, despite foreign and UN criticism!

    Their justification for this dates back to the books attributed to Moses. In their minds that land belongs to them by divine right. God gave it to his chosen people and they are morally justified in taking it back by any means, since the original method was genocide.

    Mythology is not an acceptable basis for a claim to land or sovereignty in the 20th or 21st century!

    If Scandinavian descendants of Vikings, or the mayor of Rome turned up in England with charters from Viking kings or Roman Emperors giving them title to the land and to rule, they would be rapidly incarcerated in mental institutions or repatriated. Of course by your thinking they could turn up with guns and a shoot-first policy, to avoid being “attacked”, thrown off any land they had misappropriated, and kicked out!

    These are just the facts. If you don’t understand these facts then you just don’t see the whole picture.

    Ah! The whole picture of “the facts” which fail to connect with the media deluded American public! (You really should do some research, and work at avoiding this sort of psychological projection!)
    Anyway, I have done the research for you, as you have expressed interest in “facts”!

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/deaths.html

    At least 1,217 Israelis and 9,271 Palestinians
    have been killed since September 29, 2000.

    American news reports repeatedly describe Israeli military attacks against the Palestinian population as “retaliation.” However, when one looks into the chronology of death in this conflict, the reality turns out to be quite different.

    Source: B’Tselem, The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. (Visit their statistics page, last updated September 30, 2015.) IMEMC for deaths that have noted yet been recorded by B’Tselem. See also the Palestinian Center for Human Rights’ table that records the 2,191 victims (76% of them civilians) of Israel’s recent massacre in Gaza that began on July 8th that are not yet included in B’Tselem’s charts. 71 Israelis were killed during the same period (9% of them civilians).



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  • As I speculated at comment #124, Apple IPhone does have a built in golden key that gives access to the phone. It appears most software has a back door golden key that allows the creator to access the code.

    So when Apple says the FBI is trying to “force us to build a backdoor into our products,” what they are really saying is that the FBI is trying to force them to use a backdoor which already exists in their products.

    An excellent technical explanation by a person “In the Know” can be read at this link. The fears expressed by almost all posters here was that the golden key technique could become public knowledge and become a clear and present danger as a result of this legal action.

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/02/most-software-already-has-a-golden-key-backdoor-its-called-auto-update/

    From the author of the article in conclusion.

    Apple might prevail in their current conflict with the FBI, but the fact that they could also lose means they may have already lost to someone else. Imagine if some other murderous criminal organization wanted to access data on a PIN-encrypted iPhone. What if they, like the FBI has now done, found some people who understand how the technology works and figured out who needs to be coerced to make it possible? Having access to a “secure golden key” could be quite dangerous if sufficiently motivated people decide that they want access to it.



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  • 139
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    It should be clear that the persistent refusal of Zionists and the Israeli governments to seek either equality for all citizens before the law, or for a two state solution since 1948 has led Hamas to recognise that no equitable solution will be agreed by Zionists.

    Nonsense. It is the establishment of the state of Israel itself that led to a state of war between it and every Arab Muslim nation. Recently Kuwait refused to allow Israeli citizens aboard their aircraft and shut down a busy route rather than change. The reason they gave is that a formal state of war exists between Kuwait and Israel and thus an Israeli passport is not an acceptable identification to board a Kuwaiti aircraft.

    Hamas has no interest in a 2 state solution at the 1967 borders, the original borders of the UN mandate, or any other solution where any sort of Israel exists. The fact Israel used terrorist tactics and operates an apartheid state with freedom inside but subjugation and displacement outside the borders of Israel has nothing to do with Hamas wanting every Jew dead and the state of Israel eliminated.

    Every Arab Muslim nation wanted to wipe Israel off the map from the day the UN created it.

    Ah! The whole picture of “the facts” which fail to connect with the media deluded American public!

    So? Since when has American public opinion been the decider of truth? I am telling you the facts. The further fact that most of my fellow Americans are ignorant of the facts I am telling you is irrelevant to the truthfulness of what I have told you.

    Argumentum ad populum is a fallacy.

    American news reports repeatedly describe Israeli military attacks against the Palestinian population as “retaliation.”

    So what with respect to the truthfulness of the facts I have presented? Focus Alan, you are all over the map on this one.

    Here, I will make it real simple for you
    The modern state of Israel was created by the UN. All Arab Muslim nations immediately set about to annihilate Israel.

    Zionists used terrorism to chase out large numbers of Palestinians and then refused them reentry. They stole their property and either turned it over to Zionists, or used it for government offices, or bulldozed it. Israel won every war they fought and instead of annihilating Israel in fact Israel used the wars to expand its borders. Israel now has a pluralistic western style government for all its citizens presently within its borders and operates oppressive apartheid bantustans outside its borders. The ultimate goal of Likud is to push the Arab Muslims out of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. Likud has no interest in a 2 state solution or a 1 state solution with the present residents of the occupied territories. Likud feels justified to use terrorism and deadly force by reference to their ancient holy books which give them clear license to do so.

    Hamas is dedicated to the total destruction of the state of Israel in any form. They also want another Holocaust. Their motivation goes all the way back to the creation of the modern state of Israel which they consider inherently abhorrent. They intend to use suicidal terrorism because it is a sure path to favor with Allah, in their minds, and thus paradise. Hamas, like Likud, has no interest in a 2 state solution or a 1 state solution that would be a mixed society of Jews and Muslims. Only the total elimination of any state of Israel is acceptable and in the process all the Jews in Israel are to be killed.

    What are you even arguing against? I mean, these facts are so obvious. You seem to have some notion that Hamas would not have these positions if only Israel were not the big meanies they are.

    I find that to be highly naive at best. No, Alan, both sides are deeply wrong. They are both wrong to their religious fundamentalist cores. Hamas is not to blame for Likud, and Likud is not to blame for Hamas. They are each to blame for themselves.

    There are some differences, however. Not everything is identical between Hamas and Likud. Hamas is bent on genocide whereas e Likud is content to kill and terrorize the minimum needed to seize the land.

    Further, Israel has demonstrated conclusively that it will have a free western style society within its borders, whereas Hamas will implement Sharia with its theocratic and barbaric horrors. If I must choose between these evils Israel under Likud is by far the lesser evil.

    We should believe those who say they want to kill us, as the San Bernardino shooters and their allies in the IS did and do. That is why hacking that phone is a national security need and I strongly support the FBI in this matter.



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  • That is why hacking that phone is a national security need and I strongly support the FBI in this matter.

    Okay, we get it. You can stop saying that now. It’s making me feel like the feds are listening; are they right behind me? 🙂

    –//–

    –interesting discussion

    Do you think you may be exaggerating the value of any data that may be on that phone? Does it matter if it’s worthless?



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  • 141
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen
    As I speculated at comment #124, Apple IPhone does have a built in golden key that gives access to the phone.

    Uhm, no, the author is just another hacker speculating.

    I am not claiming either you or the author are wrong, only that no firm evidence has been presented to demonstrate that assertion.

    Irrespective of the exploitation methods at their disposal, I strongly support the FBI in their efforts to hack the San Bernardino shooter’s phone.

    The FBI might call in consultants at the NSA or elsewhere to perform an invasive attack. Or they might write code for a non-invasive attack. If Apple has a secret backdoor so much the better, as it would be the surest way to gather the most information at the lowest risk of damaging the contents of the phone.

    Irrespective of the technique employed the assistance of the manufacturer will be very helpful, so I am hopeful that Apple will be compelled to comply with government requests and provide as much assistance as they are technically capable of.



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  • 142
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Sean_W #140

    SP ” That is why hacking that phone is a national security need and I strongly support the FBI in this matter. ”

    Okay, we get it. You can stop saying that now. It’s making me feel like the feds are listening; are they right behind me? 🙂

    Oops, I said it again!

    Do you think you may be exaggerating the value of any data that may be on that phone?

    It may turn out to be noting at all, or it might contain very important information. If they were acting in isolation we might get nothing substantial. If they had contacts with others of like mind we might foil some very real deadly plots.

    Does it matter if it’s worthless?

    We need to very thoroughly investigate every case like this. If this particular data turns out to be worthless we still need to investigate every such case, which is why I strongly support the FBI in their efforts 🙂

    Sorry Sean, couldn’t resist! Yes, I know, I sound like a broken record (if you are old enough to know what a record is and what it sounds like if played while broken), but somehow it has become controversial or at least unfashionable in some circles to express support for law enforcement. I am just doing my very small bit to counter that trend.



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  • @sean_w

    Okay, we get it. You can stop saying that now. It’s making me feel like the feds are listening; are they right behind me?

    None shall pass

    Quote

    Q: What does almost every piece of software with an update mechanism, including every popular operating system, have in common?

    A: Secure golden keys, cryptographic single-points-of-failure which can be used to enable total system

    compromise via targeted malicious software updates.

    Given the author does this for a “Living”, I’d speculate that he would be considered, reaching back to my days in law enforcement intelligence for the correct terminology, “A Reliable Source”. This is not confirmation from Apple. They would be stupid to publicly admit of such a golden key. But it is standard practice in the IT industry. Even our extremely secure law enforcement data base had a back door, available to one person, should the need arise.

    I too support law enforcement. But I have seen enough abuse of power by law enforcement officers, that I support the rule of law, over the officers. No one is above the law. The state sets the rules. Law enforcement follow the rules. Sound democracy.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #139
    Mar 2, 2016 at 12:48 am

    All you are producing in response to my linked evidence of dates and statistics, is gratuitous contradictions and unsupported asserted very confused personal opinions!



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  • 145
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen
    Given the author does this for a “Living”, I’d speculate that he would be considered, reaching back to my days in law enforcement intelligence for the correct terminology, “A Reliable Source”.

    In journalism a reliable source is somebody who has specific knowledge in the specific instance. I think the article you quote is more along the lines of an expert commentator than a reliable source.

    I too support law enforcement. But I have seen enough abuse of power by law enforcement officers, that I support the rule of law, over the officers. No one is above the law. The state sets the rules. Law enforcement follow the rules. Sound democracy.

    Ok then, there is a standing court order against Apple in this particular case. That is the rule of law. Law enforcement (the FBI) is following the rules of the state (the courts who in turn follow statutes and higher court precedents in the law). Apple, for its part, is seeking redress through legal means as well, for which it has extremely deep pockets to employ the very best counsel, which it has every legal right to do.

    We Americans also have an intricate set of laws for obtaining, sequestering, and using classified secret information.

    I realize that to a lot of people in this world America sometimes appears to be a bunch of cowboys yelling Yeeha as they go gallivanting about shooting up the place. If you recall from “Dr. Strangelove” the pilot rode the H-bomb like a cowboy.

    I would hope my friends around the world would realize that is just a fictional Hollywood depiction, and our pilots are actually highly skilled and professional aviators,

    One of the reasons we have so much crime in the USA is our great freedom and the difficulty law enforcement has in catching criminals and proving the case. Criminal gangs in particular operate largely with impunity because we can’t just round them up and send them off to prison just because we “know” they are guilty gangsters. The criminals have all the same rights we all do and they use them to block law enforcement.

    That is why I want the highly skilled and professional law enforcement agents at the FBI to have the ability to defeat the efforts of criminals to hide the evidence of their crimes and their accomplices.



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  • I realize that to a lot of people in this world America sometimes
    appears to be a bunch of cowboys yelling Yeeha

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/apr/05/wikileaks-us-army-iraq-attack

    Just one example. The night of the “Highway Of Death” (Full video I posted when I first joined this forum has disappeared off Youtube. Wonder why?) where the American army was quoted as saying there were only 400 dead was reported on BBC (Once only and that disappeared too???) as over a hundred thousand people with civilians and army combined. You are in a bubble SP. Your reality is not the rest of the worlds.



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  • What the FBI is asking for is for Apple to create a program that allows them to try millions of combinations on the four digit locking system instead of the ten allowed after which the phone wipes itself clean. This will destroy all that Apple is built on which is security. Windows based machines do not hold a candle to Apples security as having had Windows OS, I spent more time trying avoid, delete, repair and eventually complete wipe and restore than I did using my computer for what is meant for.

    My recently moved out neighbour is in the police force and I was surprised to hear that there are very few police left on the beat and all investigations are being done on computers and intelligence. He was complaining about the effect it was having on his eyes. If the whole force, that seems to be mimicking the US, are now top heavy with these types of investigations then I can see why they are so interested in making it easy for that to carry on. That then also means that it is cost cutting for a purpose I admit but that also means it is a compromise at the risk of the public. There is no need for extra powers when it comes to dealing with terrorists. The gloves are already off.



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  • BTW SP

    The night of the “Highway of Death”, was the night all the yee-hawing and references to a “Turkey Shoot” was made clearly on the video. I saw and heard it although if America has its way, history will support your twisted version. 🙂



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  • Stardusty Psyche #145
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

    In journalism a reliable source is somebody who has specific knowledge in the specific instance. I think the article you quote is more along the lines of an expert commentator than a reliable source.

    That is your problem, of using journalists as sources, rather than researched historical studies or referenced independent witnesses.
    Those with “specific knowledge” are frequently marketing the spin of fronting a particular agenda, where as “expert commentators” are expert, because they properly investigate evidence acquiring a depth of understanding of the subject!

    Given all the PR, political propaganda, commercial advertising, scientific illiteracy, fantasy history, and bigoted opinion, which is marketed as “news” – particularly in the US, it is no wonder, that much of the population is confused about military adventures, global warming, religions, creationism, history in general, and much that goes on in the world.



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  • 150
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @olgun

    Just one example.

    Exactly, you go back some 25 years to dig up one example. Precisely the kind of tunnel vision stereotyping so typical of so many.

    And an illegitimate example at that.

    Men yell when they go into battle, they always have. They commonly express exuberance, satisfaction, and even laughter at their kills. Those kinds of displays of behavior seem abhorrent to us as we sit in the comfort and safety of our homes with the luxury of starting and stopping the recording at will. Real men in real combat don’t have those luxuries.

    What you did not show was the millions of fine American law enforcement officers, American legal professionals, and American military professionals who work to protect us from criminals and keep us free from our enemies, like for example the fine professional law enforcement officers of the FBI who are diligently working to obtain important national security information from the San Bernardino iPhone.

    I will not be joining you in you flippant condemnation of these fine people, a condemnation that has grown to be quite fashionable in certain circles.

    What in the world is your objection to this video? I see a very highly disciplined and coordinated force in continual contact with commanders, reporting weapons sighted, and holding their fire again and again until authorization is received from their commander! What is your problem with all this?

    The guys in the van brought 2 children with them directly into the firing line. That is their fault! How can anybody be so stupid as to pack up a couple kids in a van to go directly into an aerial attack zone to pick up people who just got machine gunned from an aerial gunship?

    The kids were wounded, in other words they were not targeted. Our fine aviators once again doing a fine job.

    The night of the “Highway Of Death” (Full video I posted when I first joined this forum has disappeared off Youtube. Wonder why?)

    Who knows? Lots of videos get taken down. That is from 25 years ago. The invading marauding murdering raping thieving agents of a vicious dictator tried to make a dash North with their nefariously gotten gains and got what they deserved, and good riddance.

    I don’t hear a lot of Kuwaitis complaining about America pulverizing their attackers. “I really wish the American military had not been so harsh toward the Iraqi army” is not a refrain I have heard from any Kuwaitis.



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  • What you did not show was the millions of fine American law enforcement officers, American legal professionals, and American military professionals who work to protect us from criminals and keep us free from our enemies

    Your skewed cultural norms create a massive criminal class, then you get upset and cry in the sandpit when they commit crime. Poor didums.. 100 years of the American dream coming home to roost. And even with your “Fine American Law Enforcement Officers” (A number of whom I have worked with) and the second highest incarceration rate in the world (doesn’t include juveniles which makes you number 1), your crime epidemic continues to increase. Your solution. More of the same. Your problems are self inflicted. Your solution is in the mirror.

    You solve crime in the high chair, not the electric chair.

    http://www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison_population_rate?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All

    Scroll down to see where all similar countries rate. Canada = 141. Australia = 98 UK =103 Germany = 166
    The Black Knight thought he was still a threat, even though he had no arms or legs.



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  • 153
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @blue-bird-2 #152
    FBI
    The F.B.I. tv show, speculation on series end 1974 > Nixon, Watergate, Viet Nam, JE Hoover death.
    One two three, what are we fighting for

    Indeed, Hoover spied on Martin Luther King Jr. since he was thought to be a threat. Now there is Federal holiday for him, with all the costs of a day off for so many that entails, and all the honors and tributes paid to him every year.

    Times change. Since you know the words to a Country Joe and the Fish song I would not be surprised to learn you lived through the era. That was a time of enormous change.

    Change. America, once a nation of slavery, then with legal discrimination, makes a national holiday for a man the FBI once spied on, a man jailed for the crime of violating legal discrimination. We give a factual criminal a national holiday for his resistance to injustice.

    Isn’t America just the greatest country 🙂

    Hoover is long gone, bonnie. Don’t stay stuck in the past. The FBI is run by an Obama appointee now.

    “In a November 2014 New York Times Magazine article, historian Beverly Gage reported that Comey keeps on his desk a copy of the FBI request to wiretap Martin Luther King, Jr., “as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong.””



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  • Stardusty Psyche #145
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

    One of the reasons we have so much crime in the USA is our great freedom and the difficulty law enforcement has in catching criminals and proving the case. Criminal gangs in particular operate largely with impunity because we can’t just round them up and send them off to prison just because we “know” they are guilty gangsters. The criminals have all the same rights we all do and they use them to block law enforcement.

    What “great freedom”? Do you seriously think America or its legal system has some magic quality that makes it hard to convict criminals compared to the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada? You continue to display the same behaviour as fundamentalist Xtians. A pre programmed set of beliefs, a faith, that is immune to logic or evidence or reason, based on this pervasive doctrine that America is the greatest country in the world that you seem to have been brainwashed with and which colours everything you think and say.

    America has a massive criminal problem because of its wealth inequality, poverty and lack of hope for so many of its population, its endemic racism, gang culture, drug problem, crap education system, a health care system which bankrupts many and leaves others without cover, its aversion to decent humane social safety nets for the poor and old because socialism is next to communism and that’s bad n’kay. In short because in so many ways it’s the shittest western country in the world by so many metrics.

    Yet you try to claim it’s got the world’s biggest criminal population because it’s so great in some respect. Well just keep drinking the Kool Aid.



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  • Indeed, Hoover spied on Martin Luther King Jr. since he was thought to be a threat. Now there is Federal holiday for him, with all the costs of a day off for so many that entails, and all the honors and tributes paid to him every year.

    and

    America, once a nation of slavery, then with legal discrimination, makes a national holiday for a man the FBI once spied on, a man jailed for the crime of violating legal discrimination. We give a factual criminal a national holiday for his resistance to injustice.

    Revealing…



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  • 156
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @arkrid-sandwich
    What “great freedom”? Do you seriously think America or its legal system has some magic quality that makes it hard to convict criminals compared to the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada?

    Straw man, not my statement or my assertion or my comparison. Other countries can have freedom too.
    The tremendous freedoms we have are in fact used by criminals to block law enforcement. If you don’t understand this simple fact, well, I suggest you consider it again.

    immune to logic or evidence or reason

    Sorry, I haven’t heard any compelling rational arguments from you against my positions.

    :pervasive doctrine that America is the greatest country in the world that you seem to have been brainwashed with and which colours everything you think and say.

    Oh, indeed, we Americans are little more than brainwashed. I mean, really? Is this what passes for intellectual insight with my friends across the waters?

    Yet you try to claim it’s got the world’s biggest criminal population because it’s so great in some respect

    Uhm, please quote where I said that. I do indeed have an immunity…to your strawmen.

    Ok, this really is not that complicated. The rights we have that are intended to protect the innocent are used by the guilty to protect themselves from the arrest and sentences they deserve.

    The right to remain silent. The right against self incrimination. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The right to a jury trial. The right to an attorney. The right against unreasonable search and seizure.

    You do realize these are great freedoms we American possess and that they also are used by criminals to block law enforcement, right? I mean, this is pretty pedestrian stuff, but if there is something about this you just don’t get feel free to tell me and I will explain it to you in more detail.



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  • The right to remain silent. The right against self incrimination. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The right to a jury trial. The right to an attorney. The right against unreasonable search and seizure. You do realize these are great freedoms we American possess and that they also are used by criminals to block law enforcement, right?

    O’Brien is slowly starting to emerge.



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  • @Stardusty
    This is purely my perception, but what was once Hoover’s FBI has indeed become more “politically correct” and far less prone to overstep the mark. This may be active reform, or simply the natural outcome of a growing bureaucracy (to become more process-oriented and less results-oriented).

    I would (perhaps cynically) observe that that is the reason why the DHS was formed, to occupy the space where the FBI once operated.

    From 9/11 to JFK, it’s usually the case that the “authorities” had access to appropriate intelligence but failed to act on it. The problem is generally not a lack of intelligence but too much of it and insufficient resources to filter out the corn from the chaff. The case for gathering even more intelligence (and encroaching on civil liberties in the process) is weakened, when demonstrably not enough use is made of existing resources.



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  • I see those who have the technical expertise to see the big picture are backing Apple.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35722996
    More of the biggest names in tech – including eBay, Google and Amazon have joined Twitter and AirBnB in backing Apple in its court battle with the FBI.

    Two groups of tech giants have now filed an amicus brief, which allows parties not directly involved in a court case, but who feel they are affected by it, to give their view.

    Apple has appealed against the court order, arguing that it should not be forced to weaken the security of its own products.

    Since a software update released in September 2014, data on Apple devices – such as text messages and photographs – has been encrypted by default.

    This prevents anyone without the owner’s four-digit passcode from accessing the handset’s data. If 10 incorrect attempts at the code are made, the device will automatically erase all of its data.

    No-one, not even Apple, is able to access the data. But the FBI has asked the tech company to help it circumvent the security by altering Farook’s iPhone.

    The agency wants it to do two things: first change the settings so unlimited attempts can be made at the passcode without erasing the data; and second help implement a way to rapidly try different combinations to save tapping in each one manually.

    Twitter, AirBnB, Ebay, LinkedIn and Reddit are among a group of 17 major online companies to have formally backed Apple in its court dispute with the FBI.

    Another group have filed a separate joint amicus brief. These include Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo.

    Intel and AT&T have also filed separate briefs.

    Today, on Apple’s website, it is compiling a list of all those who support the company – quicker than we can get it from the court.

    Every time I refresh there’s more: 32 law professors, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union.



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  • @madenglishman

    it’s usually the case that the “authorities” had access to appropriate intelligence but failed to act on it.

    Correct with 9/11. They had all of the dots,… held by different agencies and through petty patch protection, no one was sharing. No one was joining the dots. There was one FBI guy, John P O’Neill, who knew something was up, but for a long story short version, was forced out of the FBI for political reasons. He was joining the dots. He knew there was a terrorist plot afoot in the US. He then took up a job as the security boss of the World Trade Towers and died in the 9/11attack at the very hands of the people he had identified..

    There are a number of books about O’Neill. Worth a read.

    As a consequence of the 9/11 attack enquiries (myriad), Home Land Security was created. All of the myriad of law enforcement agencies were ordered to share all their intelligence. They had everything they needed to catch the 9/11 plot prior to, but didn’t share. They threw out the “Need to Know” principal, the cornerstone of intelligence agencies since since Lord Walsingham invented espionage for Elizabeth the 1st.. Next thing, Bradley Manning in Iraq has got access to everything the Americans have got on nearly everything, even though he didn’t “Need to Know” what cables between the American Embassy in Australia and the Secretary of State said, but he had access, because of 9/11. He had the lot. All he should have had access to was what he “Needed to Know” to do his job in Baghdad. The rest you know.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._O'Neill



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  • The issue is between the criminal and the law enforcement agency. The Spear and Jackson #9 shovel is one of the best in the world according to Eric Olthwaite. If the shovel is used in a crime, does any liability attach to Spear and Jackson. The maker of the object used in a crime is not liable for the actions of owners of that object. If this was so, Smith & Wesson would be bankrupt and in jail.

    In circumstances like this, I would suggest that it is up to the legislators of the country to create an offence requiring a criminal to supply the PIN number. Failure to supply carries the same penalty as the crime under investigation. It will be a very easy crime to prove. “Give me the PIN.” “No.” Guilty. Go to jail.

    The precedent that is sought, if the FBI are successful, will flow on to all similar cases. The other 12 FBI phones are waiting on this judgement, for drug cases, domestic violence, Sexting etc. General Motors must hack the GPS in their cars. Internet Service Providers must supply log on details to customer accounts. Wedding photographers must supply all images taken. I know O’Brien would like this, but I think this one is a bridge too far for a civilized democratic society.

    The FBI are running this case, because it is so emotive in the minds of Americans, as you can witness from posts above. But emotions should not rule the law. Emotions result in mob violence.

    This is a matter for Congress and the Senate, not a piece of law enacted in the year George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the USA.



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  • 162
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen
    The precedent that is sought, if the FBI are successful, will flow on to all similar cases. The other 12 FBI phones are waiting on this judgment,

    Maybe, depending on the scope of any further rulings. If there are 12 more phones with a high likelihood of yielding actionable national security information to protect us against a massive international movement sworn to our destruction and actively acting on that goal, good, I wish our intelligence our security services all the best in their efforts.

    for drug cases,

    Not according to the case Apple recently won

    domestic violence, Sexting etc.

    Riggght, because government intrusion into sexting is just such a big problem!!! Uhm David, maybe you should add jaywalking to your list 🙂

    General Motors must hack the GPS in their cars. Internet Service Providers must supply log on details to customer accounts. Wedding photographers must supply all images taken.

    In general logs and pictures are already subject to a warranted search. You are really going out on a limb here David.

    I know O’Brien would like this, but I think this one is a bridge too far for a civilized democratic society.

    You mean Conan? Sorry, that was the top google hit for O’Brien!

    The FBI are running this case, because it is so emotive in the minds of Americans, as you can witness from posts above. But emotions should not rule the law. Emotions result in mob violence.

    Ok, then calm down guys, hacking a phone is not the downfall of our civilized democratic society..

    This is a matter for Congress and the Senate, not a piece of law enacted in the year George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the USA.

    Some very great laws came out of that era, laws that have stood the test of time. Others, not so much. But here in the USA we have a mix of actions taken by the 3 branches of government. Often, the courts have acted when the legislators remain mired, for example desegregation, abortion rights, gay marriage…

    Divided government has the advantage of not swinging too far in any extreme direction, but the disadvantage of sometimes failing to take needed actions. From time to time the courts break a legislative deadlock. You can argue the relative merits of executive orders, legislation, and court rulings for the USA and any other nation and that’s fine,

    But in this case the FBI has in fact obtained a court order to compel Apple to assist in hacking that iPhone, so I hope the FBI is able to counter the appeal process quickly and move forward with obtaining the information from the phone.



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  • 163
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @MadEnglishman #158
    From 9/11 to JFK, it’s usually the case that the “authorities” had access to appropriate intelligence but failed to act on it. The problem is generally not a lack of intelligence but too much of it and insufficient resources to filter out the corn from the chaff. The case for gathering even more intelligence (and encroaching on civil liberties in the process) is weakened, when demonstrably not enough use is made of existing resources.

    That used to be the case, as David describes in #160, although his contention that “They threw out the “Need to Know” principal” is not true, it is true that in some cases there was too much sharing that did indeed lead to weak link traitors like Manning committing the despicable crimes he did commit.

    America changes. The rapidity of our changes is sometimes not appreciated. We went from sharing too little, to sharing too much, and now the porridge is close to just right.

    The fact is our fine security services have foiled plot after plot after plot. In today’s climate I do not think we will have a problem with foreign men coming to the US to learn how to fly but not land. But we have other threats. The enemy changes and adapts too. These people are deluded but not stupid.

    I am highly confident that any national security information obtained from the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone will be put to very good use and applied thoroughly and appropriately for maximum benefit to our anti jihad efforts here and abroad.



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  • [# 156] The right to remain silent. The right against self incrimination. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The right to a jury trial. The right to an attorney. The right against unreasonable search and seizure.
    .
    You do realize these are great freedoms we American possess and that they also are used by criminals to block law enforcement, right?

    I see non-sequitur week has gone unannounced again this year.

    Peace.



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  • 165
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @stephen-of-wimbledon
    I see non-sequitur week has gone unannounced again this year.

    On the contrary, I have demonstrated clearly that the conclusions of my detractors do not follow from their premises 🙂

    For example it is true that nations with some freedoms similar to those enjoyed by Americans also have lower crime rates than America has, but it does not follow therefore that the legal freedoms we Americans have are not used by criminals to avoid arrest and conviction.

    Clearly, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to be informed of one’s rights, the right against self incrimination, the right to being considered innocent until proven guilty, and the right against unreasonable search are all great advantages to criminals in avoiding detection, arrest, and conviction.

    If this most obvious fact set is somehow controversial to my friends here, well…it is difficult for me to assist those who lack such rudimentary understanding of reality, Nevertheless, I will continue to announce such errors in hopes some glimmer shines through!



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  • @stardustypsyche

    Clearly, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to be informed of one’s rights, the right against self incrimination, the right to being considered innocent until proven guilty, and the right against unreasonable search are all great advantages to criminals in avoiding detection, arrest, and conviction.

    If you were the Attorney General, how would you change these.



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  • 167
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen

    SP – “Clearly, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to be informed of one’s rights, the right against self incrimination, the right to being considered innocent until proven guilty, and the right against unreasonable search are all great advantages to criminals in avoiding detection, arrest, and conviction. ”

    If you were the Attorney General, how would you change these.

    I wouldn’t. The laws that protect the innocent inherently also protect the guilty.

    I think the search of the San Bernardino iPhone is reasonable, and so did the federal judge who issued the court order to Apple. In my view, if properly done, this search will not subject the rest of us to future unreasonable searches.



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  • A little digression:-
    In the last decade, the decade of Abu Ghraib, Kiefer Sutherland was active as Jack Bauer, popularising torture in a good cause, in 24. We the viewer knew beyond certainty they were terrorists, and we knew beyond certainty that Jack Bauer was a straight-arrow good guy. It was all black and white, no room for doubt.

    This extreme case – a straight arrow hero faced with first-hand evidence of the bad guy’s involvement in a nuclear attack on home soil – must surely be what is going through people’s heads when people support the use of torture.

    When in fact, I fear it’s going to be used on someone that third-hand evidence suggests might be involved in some unspecified threat. Used by someone who may have been assigned to do the job, just following orders on a need-to-know-basis.

    In this decade, even on “light” police procedurals such as NCIS and Major Crimes, we see the “good guys” circumvent the right to an attorney etc. by threatening the criminal of the week with the “terrorist” treatment (off to Gitmo). Here again, we the omniscient viewers know they are guilty, and we know our heroes are honestly trying to save lives etc., BUT we also absolutely know that these are just ordinary criminals and not by any stretch of the imagination terrorists.

    As time goes by, will quite ordinary suspected criminals have their rights routinely ignored because some cop or agent thinks things will go faster if they can find some tenuous link to terrorism? Is it happening (routinely) already?



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  • 170
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @stephen-of-wimbledon

    No, you haven’t demonstrated anything.

    You have demonstrated that you either do not know the meaning of a non-sequitur or you are not able to grasp some rather apparent facts of how criminals avoid detection, arrest, and conviction.

    SP – “The right to remain silent. The right against self incrimination. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The right to a jury trial. The right to an attorney. The right against unreasonable search and seizure.
    .
    You do realize these are great freedoms we American possess and that they also are used by criminals to block law enforcement, right? ”

    I see non-sequitur week has gone unannounced again this year.

    If a person is factually guilty of a crime having a right to an attorney is a great benefit to avoiding conviction. I would have thought that was entirely obvious to all. Yet, this simple statement of fact seems to be somehow controversial here.

    An attorney is capable of detecting flaws in the case brought by the prosecution and may very well be able to get the charges dismissed thereby. That is an advantage to criminals they would not have in many instances if they did not have a right to an attorney. I really must ask, what part of that do you find difficult to understand?

    It is a great advantage to the factually guilty to have the right to remain silent and to not incriminate themselves. Else they could be compelled to admit their guilt, and failure to do so would lead to the crime of false or incomplete testimony. You do see this benefit for the factually guilty, don’t you?

    It is a great advantage to the factually guilty to be considered innocent until proven guilty. If the reverse were the case, if there was a presumption of guilt (as there is for foreign nationals seeking entry, residency, and citizenship) in criminal law the factually guilty would have to prove their innocence, which would be very difficult as compared to casting reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s attempts to prove guilt, and would undoubtedly lead to far more convictions. Again, I really must ask what part of that is not glaringly apparent to you?

    If a person is factually guilty it would be a great disadvantage if law enforcement could simply search that individual and his or her effects at any time desired without a warrant or probable cause and have the evidence of guilt be admissible in court. Need I point out the great protection criminals have from arrest, prosecution, and conviction by the right to privacy?

    I must say I did not expect this reaction here. I made what I thought was a completely non-controversial set of statements about the advantages to criminals our great freedoms provide, and how our freedoms are one of the reasons for our high crime rate. For some reason quite baffling to me this most obvious fact is taken as somehow controversial.

    Clearly, one of the reasons we have so much crime is the freedoms that criminals abuse to protect themselves from detection, arrest, and conviction.

    However, the right to privacy ends with a warrant or a court order to produce evidence or a court order authorizing surveillance or hacking a secured storage of information. The FBI is following due process, they got such a court order, and I wish them all the best in their efforts to compel Apple to comply.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    Thank you for demonstrating my point … again.

    I made what I thought was a completely non-controversial set of statements …

    We all make mistakes.

    … about the advantages to criminals our great freedoms provide …

    Seriously. What country would set up a system specifically to protect criminals?

    Freedoms protect the innocent. In particular they protect us from the powerful – the rich, the government, the media, etc. – and privacy helps to protect us from the criminals, including the powerful criminals.

    We have those freedoms to the extent that a lack of evidence precludes action by the powerful against us.

    But, once evidence of possible law-breaking is presented to a public tribunal, our rights are progressively rolled back. The greater the evidence against a potential criminal the greater the potential loss of freedom, to the extent that severe cases lead to a loss of liberty before a full trial – including remand in custody without bail (little different to being assumed guilty until proven innocent).

    Clearly, one of the reasons we have so much crime is the freedoms that criminals abuse to protect themselves from detection, arrest, and conviction.

    That is a bland assertion. Evidence please.

    … the right to privacy ends with a warrant or a court order to produce evidence …

    No, that is exactly wrong: The right to privacy ends with evidence, not a warrant or court order. That evidence is then presented to the court to produce a warrant or other court order – but only if that evidence gives an indication that further evidence of misdeeds might be obtained, or that an arrest or seizure is fully justified by the evidence.

    The FBI is following due process …

    The FBI – working for the powerful – gives every appearance of abusing the law because they’re incompetent to investigate the case in hand by any other means. Their application to the Court undermines the rights of billions of innocent people.

    On this evidence: The FBI exists only to serve the powerful, at the expense of the protection the rest of us receive from our natural and inalienable rights.

    Peace.



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  • @stephen-of-wimbledon

    No, that is exactly wrong: The right to privacy ends with evidence, not a warrant or court order. That evidence is then presented to the court to produce a warrant or other court order – but only if that evidence gives an indication that further evidence of misdeeds might be obtained, or that an arrest or seizure is fully justified by the evidence.

    Excellent legal summary.

    Australia has the same evidentiary requirements as America, UK, NZ



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  • @stephen-of-wimbledon

    (Posted above before I had finished.)

    And Canada.

    I’ve been before Judges many a time to apply for warrants for search, arrest, asset seizure, listening devices and electronic intercepts. I have to have had “Reasonable Cause to Suspect” a thing before I could apply for a warrant. I had to through submission of an affidavit, transfer that suspicion to the Judge before they would issue the warrant. In Australia, the issue of a court warrant for police action is taken seriously, and they are not issued on flimsy or flights of fanciful evidence. The Judge would cross examine me, and require me to submit supporting documents, forensics, images and anything else they may desire. At the completion of that process, if the Judge now had “Reasonable Cause to Suspect”, they would issue the warrant. I was liable to criminal prosecution if I had falsified or omitted any relevant evidence or piece of information, both for and against my case.

    This is the definition of “Reasonable Cause to Suspect” from my State Act.

    The requirement there is “reasonable cause to suspect” precedes the use of many police powers and provides validity to subsequent police action. When legislation requires “reasonable grounds” as a state of mind (including suspicion and belief), it requires facts ‘ sufficient to induce that state of mind in a reasonable person ’. In relation to a suspicion, ‘[t]he facts which can reasonably ground a suspicion may be quite insufficient reasonably to ground a belief, yet some factual basis for the suspicion must be shown’ [see George v Rockett [1990] 170 CLR 104at 112 and 115; [1990] HCA 26]. Suspicion is a state of mind which ‘ falls short of belief ’ [see Homes v Thorpe [1925] SASR 286 at 291] and ‘ is more than mere idle wondering whether [the situation]… exists or not ’ [see Queensland Bacon Pty v Rees [1966] 115 CLR 266 at 303; [1966] HCA 21]. This principle requires some substance to the suspicion (beyond a hunch) for the establishment of “reasonable cause”.

    Even with the issue of a warrant, the Right to Privacy is never extinguished.; The invasion of privacy is limited to that level authorized by the warrant, and no more. (That’s so the UN World Conspiracy can’t take over Australia… TIC)

    I note the House Judicial Committee is taking submissions from Apple and the FBI. This appears to be the tenor of the response by the Committee. Seems the FBI is trying to circumvent congress and set a precedent, because America’s elected representatives have legal and privacy concerns.

    The strongest criticism of that case came from Representative John Conyers (D-MI), who portrayed the FBI’s San Bernardino arguments as a circumvention of congressional power. “What concerns me, Mr. Chairman, is that in the middle of an ongoing debate on this subject, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would ask a federal magistrate to give them the special access to secure products that this committee, this Congress, and this administration have so far refused to provide,” Conyers said. “I would be deeply disappointed if it turns out that the government is found to be exploiting a national tragedy to pursue a change the law.”



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  • Coming back to this, it remains rather a shock to note Stardusty’s agenda so set by manipulative others, and so big and abusable a hammer called for to crack such a modest nut.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/02/us/oregon-shooting-terrorism-gun-violence/

    These tiny mitigations distract from solving the core problem of terrorism’s roots and open the doors to mission creep when those in public office mistakenly think they are in power.

    The use of modestly bad news and hyping it for co-option of the (mostly) fearful right is one of the USA’s most disgraceful societal failures.

    “I would be deeply disappointed if it turns out that the government is found to be exploiting a national tragedy to pursue a change the law.”

    Not half.



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  • Hi David, Hi Phil,

    “I would be deeply disappointed if it turns out that the government is found to be exploiting a national tragedy to pursue a change [in] the law.” Rep. John Conyers

    We would be being naïve if we thought the FBI was working in isolation. The US polity includes large numbers of political appointees and that must mean the FBI has pursued this line with at least a tacit understanding between itself and some political allies – at least, at the highest levels.

    It would also, in my view, be naïve to assume the Mr. Conyer’s statement is based on a comprehensive, fully conversant and coherent understanding of the political strategies in play.

    While it is tempting to say that Rep. Conyers should prepare himself for a very large dose of disappointment I believe that would be too hard on him.

    It is more likely that the political strategies in play have built-in flexibilities to manage scenarios and, therefore, Mr. Conyers is playing a part and that other actors will also dictate the direction of this political dialogue. This is not to say that I take a negative view of Conyer’s statement – it is very much to the point, and I’m pleased he said it.

    Still, I’m not sanguine. As has been demonstrated here, and in the rhetoric in the 2016 primaries, authoritarianism based on fear and loathing is becoming a major force in US politics. I only note that this is a pattern seen in Australia and Britain in recent decades.

    Our rights in Britain have been severely curtailed by this political trend.

    Authoritarianism seems to me to be a political trend that runs entirely counter to the use of critical thinking by the electorate and, therefore, and entirely appropriate focus for the RDFRS – but it isn’t my Foundation.

    As Phil notes:

    The use of modestly bad news and hyping it for co-option of the … fearful … is one of the [Free World’s] most disgraceful [social] failures.

    Unless I miss my guess: The only real counter to this – both sort and long term – is to promote critical thinking.

    As has been fully demonstrated on this thread; the blanket coverage given to fear mongering, and the promotion of authoritarianism as a political solution, come together as a belief system. Presenting facts only makes those most affected double-down. Here is the source of my pessimism.

    Peace.



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  • 177
    Olgun says:

    @ David

    I have spoken to spoken to people on the phone that I do not know only because we seem to be part of the same cause. If one of them were ‘dodgy’ how much easier would it make it to harass and bully me by giving you the right to legally link illegal spying once my phone has been unlocked. One wrong contact and I’m doomed?



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  • 178
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @stephen-of-wimbledon

    SP ” … about the advantages to criminals our great freedoms provide … ”

    Seriously. What country would set up a system specifically to protect criminals?

    Not the United States of America, most certainly. Our rights are intended to protect the innocent. Those same rights have the inevitable side effect of protecting the guilty from detection, arrest, and conviction. I really must ask again, what part of that, precisely, is somehow controversial in your view?

    SP “Clearly, one of the reasons we have so much crime is the freedoms that criminals abuse to protect themselves from detection, arrest, and conviction. ”

    That is a bland assertion. Evidence please.

    Asked and answered again and again and again. I am truly amazed that this most obvious of facts is somehow denied by you. Go to #170 if you actually require elaboration on this simple truth you somehow find unbelievable.

    SP “… the right to privacy ends with a warrant or a court order to produce evidence …”

    No, that is exactly wrong: The right to privacy ends with evidence, not a warrant or court order. That evidence is then presented to the court to produce a warrant or other court order – but only if that evidence gives an indication that further evidence of misdeeds might be obtained, or that an arrest or seizure is fully justified by the evidence.

    Distinction without a difference. All you did is reword and repeat my statement, then disagree with my statement. Word salad.

    The point is that once a warrant or court order is obtained an individual no longer has a right to privacy with respect to that warrant or order. Somehow you were able to disagree with another obvious statement of fact.

    The FBI – working for the powerful – gives every appearance of abusing the law because they’re incompetent to investigate the case in hand by any other means.

    The shooters are dead, so there isn’t any investigation to be made with the intent of prosecuting them. The investigation to be made is who their associates might be and therefore what further plots might be in the works that we all wish very much to foil.

    I am confident the FBI is following whatever leads they can, including any papers, computer records, social media, or any other sources of information. The national security need exploit the phone of a shooter directly connected to the IS should be obvious to all, but as evidenced herein, even the most obvious of facts can become somehow controversial for you.



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  • 179
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen

    …, transfer that suspicion to the Judge before they would issue the warrant

    At which time the right to privacy ends with respect to that warrant. That’s what I said. When the warrant is issued the subject of that warrant no longer has a right to privacy with respect to that warrant.

    How is this somehow controversial?

    “What concerns me, Mr. Chairman, is that in the middle of an ongoing debate on this subject, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would ask a federal magistrate to give them the special access to secure products that this committee, this Congress, and this administration have so far refused to provide,”

    In other words, congress is yet again an impediment to progress and wants the rest of us to just wait around until they finally manage to act. One of the functions our courts have a history of providing is to break the deadlock of the legislative branch, such as Brown v. the Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

    We have a divided government with an intricate system of checks and balances. If Representative John Conyers doesn’t like the FBI going to court for relief of his inaction too bad for Conyers.



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  • Hi Stardusty Psyche,

    SoW: What country would set up a system specifically to protect criminals?

    SP: Not the United States of America, most certainly

    Not any country – it was a rhetorical question designed to highlight the inadequacy and irrationality of the position you presented. Agreement from you = job done.

    Our rights are intended to protect the innocent …

    Once again you make my point for me Stardusty Psyche.

    Those same rights have the inevitable side effect of protecting the guilty from detection, arrest, and conviction …

    Who are you to say they are guilty before the evidence is tested? Who are you to say that we should all just give up on our natural and inalienable rights just because your suspicious?

    Thank you for ignoring my response on the powerful. Surely this is just trolling? You must have understood my reply on this point, it isn’t complicated.

    SP: I really must ask again, what part of that, precisely, is somehow controversial in your view?

    I have already responded on this point in simple language. Again, this looks like trolling, I find it very hard to believe, Stardusty Psyche, that you didn’t understand my response – you seem intelligent.

    SP: Clearly, one of the reasons we have so much crime is the freedoms that criminals abuse to protect themselves from detection, arrest, and conviction. ”

    SoW: That is a bland assertion. Evidence please.

    SP: Asked and answered again and again and again.

    Given that I’ve only just asked the question I don’t understand that response. If you meant that other people have asked that question in this thread please provide comment references, I can’t be expected to read 180 comments.

    SP: Go to #170 if you actually require elaboration on this simple truth you somehow find unbelievable.

    Comment #170 only contains your opinion, not the evidence I requested.

    SP: [Regarding limits to privacy in criminal investigations] Distinction without a difference …

    Not according to our resident lawyer Mr. Allen. Burying your head in the sand is not a good look Stardusty Psyche.

    The shooters are dead, so there isn’t any investigation to be made with the intent of prosecuting …

    Once again, thank you for making my point for me Stadusty Psyche.

    You’re still losing Stardusty Psyche – and you’re still losing in every possible way. Give it up Stardusty Psyche. I’m right and you’re wrong.

    Peace.



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  • 181
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @phil-rimmer #175

    Coming back to this, it remains rather a shock to note Stardusty’s agenda so set by manipulative others, and so big and abusable a hammer called for to crack such a modest nut.

    Are you familiar with the American idiom about walking and chewing bubblegum?

    You set up a false dichotomy between domestic gun deaths and combating fundamentalist Islam. Then you apparently fall prey to the rather uninformed stereotype that we Americans are somehow a bunch of mindless dupes who have been manipulated into acceptance of your false dichotomy and are worrying about what you assert to be the relatively minor yet sensational problem of terrorism, thereby allowing the evil powers that be to perpetrate their harms unnoticed by the American zombies mindlessly fixated on this diversionary attraction.

    Sorry to disabuse you of your simplistic analysis, Phil, but gun deaths are way down the list of avoidable deaths in the USA. We have all manner of advocacy groups and government programs combating every one of them.

    At the same time we Americans intend to meet the acts of war perpetrated against us on our home soil and abroad.

    You see, Phil, we Americans are fully capable of walking and chewing bubblegum simultaneously.

    The use of modestly bad news and hyping it for co-option of the (mostly) fearful right is one of the USA’s most disgraceful societal failures.

    When attacked we fight back to the defeat of the enemy. If you find that disgraceful, well, whatever dude and have a nice day.



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  • 182
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @stephen-of-wimbledon

    SP “Those same rights have the inevitable side effect of protecting the guilty from detection, arrest, and conviction … ”

    Who are you to say they are guilty before the evidence is tested?

    I never suggested any such thing. You are making this up out of whole cloth.

    Who are you to say that we should all just give up on our natural and inalienable rights just because your suspicious?

    I never suggested any such thing. Again, you are making this up out of whole cloth.

    Again, this looks like trolling,

    That’s quite amusing coming from a guy who is attributing to me things I neither expressed or implied.

    Are you seriously denying that our great freedoms also have the undesirable side effect of facilitating the guilty to avoid detection, arrest, and conviction? I mean, all kidding aside, you are not actually taking that specific position, are you?

    You are seriously asserting that our legal freedoms do not facilitate the factually guilty in avoidance of legal consequences for their crimes?



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  • SP #181

    I said-

    The use of modestly bad news and hyping it for co-option of the (mostly) fearful right is one of the USA’s most disgraceful societal failures.

    This is a comment on the failure of your particular fourth estate to be accountable for matters of truth and to seemingly work cheek by jowl with politicians in manipulating fears. (The problem is indeed shared with other OECD countries. but the US with poorer controls of 4th estate honesty lead the western pack). The rest of my comments were not denigrating the American populace but was expressing shock about you personally failing to give account for the two orders of magnitude difference of harms compared with (fr’instance) gun mortalities and using so grand a process as government, assured-access to private, personal materials to engage the issue of terrorism on US soil so with such differential fervour.

    This is simply deflection. You must account for why the big hammer for such a small nut.



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  • What is the difference between these two statements.

    However, the right to privacy ends with a warrant or a court order to produce evidence or a court order authorizing surveillance or hacking a secured storage of information.

    AND

    At which time the right to privacy ends with respect to that warrant. That’s what I said. When the warrant is issued the subject of that warrant no longer has a right to privacy with respect to that warrant.

    One has no limit. The other is conditional. To claim they both mean the same thing in a forum like this, which is not Facebook, lowers the respect of other contributing members for the poster.



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  • 185
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @phil-rimmer
    but (I) was expressing shock about you personally failing to give account for the two orders of magnitude difference of harms compared with (fr’instance) gun mortalities and using so grand a process as government, assured-access to private, personal materials to engage the issue of terrorism on US soil so with such differential fervour.

    The Japanese killed less than 3000 people at Pearl Harbor 7 Dec 1941. So why all the fuss? I mean, there are many causes of death that far surpass a mere 3000. Why such an extreme response?

    Because it was and act of war.

    None shall attack the United States of America in an act of war without facing total military defeat.

    I have made this point previously, perhaps you missed it, fine, this thread is long and you are under no obligation to study it in detail.

    The Islamic State is just what it says it is, irrespective of the public denials of Obama. It is Islamic. It is a state.

    In #18 above I clearly established the link between the San Bernardino shooters and the IS. In related posts I provided links to videos that clearly demonstrate the IS has declared war on the USA.

    The agents of a state that has declared war on the USA have attacked and killed our citizens on our soil. Clearly, this is an act of war.

    You can talk about second hand smoke, traffic deaths, HIV, gun deaths, or any other kind of avoidable deaths. They are all lamentable and they are all being addressed with a plethora of private and public programs. Fine. They are not acts of war.

    This is simply deflection. You must account for why the big hammer for such a small nut.

    War.

    That is the account. The United States of America will not tolerate in any degree an act of war perpetrated against us, most especially on our home soil.

    Yes, many Americans die for potentially avoidable reasons. I happen to think our health care system is crazy compared to others and I greatly applaud Clinton and Obama for fighting against this madness and getting more Americans access to basic healthcare needs.

    Tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, STDs, traffic accidents, and on and on. Yes, I see the numbers and despite what my friends across the waters might think we Americans are keenly aware of all this.

    An act of war by a foreign state is in a catagory of its own.

    This is not an issue of present body count. We will meet an act of war by a foreign actor with the full force of our law enforcement, intelligence, and military agencies.



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  • My youngest son came home last night and showed me a way to unlock any iPhone as long as Siri is turned on. I did a quick search and found this from 2014. I don’t have Siri turned on so he could not unlock mine.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    The agents of a state that has declared war on the USA have attacked and killed our citizens on our soil. Clearly, this is an act of war.

    You create an enemy that didn’t exist then you scream aggression when they attack you. Such a hypocrite. Self inflicted.



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  • Stardusty P:

    our home soil

    Aye therein lies the rub. Who does the “soil” belong to ? Stardusty might own a postage stamp along with his Magnum 45, but it’s pissquick stuff as to who the real owners of “our soil” are. Stardusty, didn’t you realise that the capitalists are the most unpatriotic people, indeed the most international of all ? *Sod the American workers, we’re off to China and elsewhere, wherever labour is cheapest. *

    Perhaps the fact that some 62 individuals own more wealth than half the world’s population might put Stardusty and his Magnum into some sort of perspective ? Meanwhile thousands die every day of poverty related issues. Oh Stardusty, watch out for tham thar Chinese billionaires about to to take over “your” soil.



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  • Mr DArcy

    Oh Stardusty, watch out for tham thar Chinese billionaires about to to take over “your” soil.

    And if the US and South Koreans keep making threatening military manoeuvrers along their borders, and pursuing economic warfare, those North Koreans, looking at what has happened to other counties on Bush’s “axis of evil list”, – they might just take on that US philosophy of the “first strike defence”, once they get their nuclear weapons and rocket systems together!

    It’s not hard to work out, that those threatened, arm and prepare to defend themselves, while those actually attacked seek reprisals – with counter reprisals and escalating vendettas following!



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  • I was of course referring to economic rivalry and the rat race for dominance among the capitalists of whatever country. First the threat of warfare, and then warfare comes later. War is expensive and not to be undertaken lightly. My point was that capitalists are the most unpatriotic, and that, as Marx put it, workers have no country.



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  • @alan4discussion

    It’s not hard to work out, that those threatened, arm and prepare to defend themselves, while those actually attacked seek reprisals – with counter reprisals and escalating vendettas following!

    Your piece provoked this thought. I wonder over history, how many aggression’s actually result in a better final result. World War II? I wonder if sabre rattling and use of force, actually quell anyone or do they just seethe until they can strike back. As you point out, if one country slaps another, there will be reprisals. If one country sends another broke with sanctions, there will be reprisals.

    The classic case is the Iraq war, 1 and 2, that kicked off a cascade of reprisal dominoes all over the Middle East and North Africa, finally resulting in ISIS and the San Bernardino shootings. A self inflicted US would. I know there are some who lack to ability to join the dots, but there is a direct trail from Bush 1 & 2 to the San Bernardino shooters.

    I also know that stone age men chesting up against other stone age men is the albatross our species wears, but you’d reckon by 2016 that someone would have worked at that Crusades are not productive. I suppose Exhibit A, Stardusty, is an example of that stone age thinking in progress. My unobtainable Utopian dream is that we all play nicely in the sand pit. Impossible while there are people like Stardusty who see retaliation as the “First” act of a new war.



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  • 193
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @phil-rimmer #186
    SP #185
    Good luck with nailing those foreign bastards that keep you awake at night…
    Stop being a ‘fraidy dog.

    Quite apparently you are confusing my confident resolve with fearful sleeplessness.

    I live a peaceful life precisely because our fine security forces bring a sledge hammer down on even the smallest jihadist nut. Our admirable security forces have my great respect and strong support therefore.



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  • 194
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen #188
    You create an enemy that didn’t exist then you scream aggression when they attack you. Such a hypocrite. Self inflicted.

    I will remind you, my ally from down under, that your fine country sent forces to invade Iraq.

    Sorry David, I do not have sufficient self hating self flagellating liberal guilt to blame myself for the horrors of fundamentalist Islam.

    Religion has been a pestilence upon humanity for thousands of years. One bizarre and vicious charlatan after another has invented all manner of grotesque superstitions to feed their own selfish perversions, leaving a monstrous wake of human misery that endures for millennia beyond their passing.

    Muhammad and his vile teachings are the core basis for fundamentalist Islamic violence.

    How I tire of these absurd assertions we in the US, UK, and Australia somehow created the IS or any other of the islamofascist diseases presently infecting humanity.



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  • 195
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    And if the US and South Koreans keep making threatening military manoeuvrers along their borders, and pursuing economic warfare, those North Koreans, looking at what has happened to other counties on Bush’s “axis of evil list”, – they might just take on that US philosophy of the “first strike defence”, once they get their nuclear weapons and rocket systems together!

    Quite apparently there is no upper bound to self flagellation on this thread. I shall not be joining in this masochistic desire to bloody one’s own back.

    Now it is North Korea that is the party so very wrongly put upon by the deplorable maneuvers of the South Koreans and their war mongering overlords the evil United States of America.

    In just a few short column inches I have witnessed excuse making for the IS and North Korea.

    Dare I ask what fascistic monstrosity will next be blamed upon the West, and most especially, of course, the United States of America?



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  • @stardustypsyche

    How I tire of these absurd assertions we in the US, UK, and Australia somehow created the IS or any other of the islamofascist diseases presently infecting humanity.

    You may well tire of these absurd assertions, but given they are the accepted intelligence analysis of the collateral damage caused by Bush 2 vs Iraq, you can tire on your pat malone. And now, you’ve just discovered them, and declared war,…. again. A bit late there O’l son.

    Are you sure you’re not Donald Trump, or maybe Donald’s debating coach.



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  • 197
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen
    finally resulting in ISIS and the San Bernardino shootings….. Impossible while there are people like Stardusty who see retaliation as the “First” act of a new war

    Now the IS and San Bernardino are “retaliation”. Well, yes, just as 9/11 was “retaliation” for the “crime” of “defiling the holy lands” of Arabia with the presence of infidel troops liberating Kuwait.

    Oh, those poor put upon fundamentalist Islamists.

    Like I said, no upper bound on self blame amongst my friends across the waters.



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  • 198
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    the accepted intelligence analysis

    Accepted? Sorry, I accept no such “analysis”.

    No, the US led coalition did not create the IS. There is no “intelligence analysis” worthy of that moniker that leads to such a grossly false conclusion.

    If, however, I were one to quickly buy in to popular misconceptions then I would agree with you.



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  • Background, I’ve been soaking up easy to digest history of the First World War from a BBC documentary series based on the book by Hew Strachan. Among other gems I discovered that at the outset the main protagonists all thought they had been forced into war by others, and only sought to defend themselves. Apart from Austria-Hungary, who invaded Serbia as punishment for that infamous assassination. And that the Islamic Card was cynically played, stirring up Jihad as a way to damage the other side. Along with cynically promoting Arab aspirations to independence.

    Overreacting to a small scale shooting spree by some murderers with idealogical convictions or pretensions, is not going to go well.

    Stardusty’s preference for overreaction “because it’s War” may be a widely shared sentiment in the US. Hurt some of our innocents, and we’ll hunt down all the guilty and call the innocents we kill along the way “collateral damage”, and not feel that their deaths justify any retaliation against us. That’s how a bully behaves. Hit me, I’ll hit you harder. And if I hit your wife and kids and neighbours and people of the same race/colour/creed as you too, well, that’s not my fault, you started it. Or, SD, did I misread what you wrote?



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  • @stardustypsyche

    CONT. (Where has the 10 minute edit function gone. I hit the Post Comment Button by mistake… Often.)

    There is no “intelligence analysis” worthy of that moniker that leads to such a grossly false conclusion.

    What do you think Stardusty would consider a reliable source…. Hey. I know. What about US Intelligence. This is a secret Intelligence cable from RHHFISS/CDR USTRANCOM SCOTT AFB IL to RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC subsequently made public.

    C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST (ISIS) PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION (USA) WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN)



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  • Stardusty Psyche #195
    Mar 8, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Alan4discussion And if the US and South Koreans keep making threatening military manoeuvrers along their borders, and pursuing economic warfare, those North Koreans, looking at what has happened to other counties on Bush’s “axis of evil list”, – they might just take on that US philosophy of the “first strike defence”, once they get their nuclear weapons and rocket systems together!

    Now it is North Korea that is the party so very wrongly put upon by the deplorable maneuvers of the South Koreans and their war mongering overlords the evil United States of America.

    Some of us have studied history at greater depth than listening to Faux News!
    The problem arose from invasions and carve-ups by foreign powers playing power politics! – A bit like Palestine Libya and Syria!

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War
    In 1910, Japan put Korea under Japanese rule and was still ruling Korea when World War Two ended. When Japan surrendered, the United States and the USSR agreed to split Korea into two temporary occupation zones with USSR occupying the North and USA occupying the South. This was, at first, to be for a short time.

    At the Moscow Conference of the Council of Foreign Ministers in December 1945, the United States and USSR agreed on Korea having a provisional government (a temporary government set up quickly before a real government is ready). This became difficult because of the growing Cold War (see next cause).[3]

    The Cold War was an important cause in the Korean War. Relations between the two occupying powers were bad and when China became Communist in October 1949, the President of the USA, Harry Truman, was very worried that other countries around China may also become Communist, such as Japan. The American Army was about one twelfth the size of five years earlier[4] and Joseph Stalin had recently lost a Cold War dispute over the Berlin Blockade and subsequent airlift.

    A peaceful unified Korea was not set up because of cold-war power politics.

    It seems that the same lessons have not been learned in The Mid-East and Africa today so hundreds of thousands of manipulated pawns have to die, while arms manufactures become rich!



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  • 205
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen
    This is a secret Intelligence cable

    Ok, what’s your point? How is this somehow a credible analysis that supposedly shows the US created the IS?

    The US created an opportunity for Iraqis to create for themselves a freely elected and fully inclusive government to build a free and pluralistic society for all Iraqis.

    Iraqis failed.

    When we left at the request of the freely elected Iraqi government the US fought, paid, and bled for, IS did not occupy large parts or Syria and Iraq. Instead of coming together as a nation the Iraqi people, in large part, chose to divide along religious lines and fight each other.

    But we Americans love freedom and want to defeat our enemies so we are back in Iraq on the ground and in the air once again working hard to kill the islamofascists, give the Iraqi people another chance at freedom, and protect ourselves from a suicidal homicidal enemy.

    One little supposed cable that tangentially refers to some opinion about what the US supposedly wants is insignificant to these issues of tremendous gravity.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    How is this somehow a credible analysis that supposedly shows the US created the IS?

    How?? Because it was done by your champions. The CIA. This is your intelligence service, telling you that they supported the creation of an area of Syria, controlled by the Salafists (ISIS) and Al Qaeda. Your constant rant across RDFRS is that America can do no wrong. You even said…

    There is no “intelligence analysis” worthy of that moniker that leads to such a grossly false conclusion.

    I’ve just shown you that you are wrong. A normal person would apologize about now, but the operative world is “normal”. Lets see what you’re made of.

    There is more to the declassified CIA Cable but you can research that for yourself.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    Australia and America are linked militarily by the ANZUS Treaty. By far Australia’s largest trading partner is China. The Northern Territory (A state in Australia) leased off the government OWNED wharves and docks to the highest bidder, a state own Chinese company. America made it clear it was not happy, and suggested it was a security threat, given warships of both nations frequent that port, and American Marines rotate through the Northern Territory.

    America has just announce it will be stationing B1 and B2 bombers in the Northern Territory. They announced this preemptively, before the Australian government had told the Australian people. But what has really upset Australians, is that the US State Department has been caught funding a secret political poll, that sought the opinions of Australians on the Chinese port lease, and the bomber relocations.

    Remember, we’re allies of the US under the terms of the ANZUS Treaty.

    Do understand now, why some of America’s friends are very cranky at the way the US behaves on the world stage.



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  • 208
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @ohooligan #199
    Overreacting to a small scale shooting spree by some murderers with idealogical convictions or pretensions, is not going to go well.

    How so? What exactly changed and constitutes a supposed “overreaction” that you claim is “not going well”? We are reacting to the the San Bernardino shooting by investigating it and continuing our fight against fundamentalist Islam. How is conducting a vigorous investigation of a serious crime with potential national security importance somehow an “overreaction”?

    Stardusty’s preference for overreaction “because it’s War” may be a widely shared sentiment in the US. Hurt some of our innocents, and we’ll hunt down all the guilty and call the innocents we kill along the way “collateral damage”, and not feel that their deaths justify any retaliation against us.

    In war, very unfortunately, innocent people die. This is no small matter. Considering the force we have brought to bear against our enemies, and the vastly greater force we hold in ready reserve, the numbers of innocent lives taken in our war against fundamentalist Islamists has resulted in a relatively very few civilian casualties, call these casualties what you will.

    In response to Paris and San Bernardino and the too slow progress of the Iraqi army Obama resisted reactionary calls for carpet bombing Raqqa or any such thing. What he did do was step up attacks against IS oil. In one notable event an oil truck assembly point was destroyed, but prior to that destruction the area was leafleted to warn of the attack!

    Our rules of engagement go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties, and in fact the majority of ordinance that goes out on an aircraft mission comes back again without being used. Our fine aviators under the leadership of our great commander in chief are not just dropping bombs all over the place and letting Allah sort them out.

    San Bernardino did not result in any mad wave of bombing or anything of the sort.

    That’s how a bully behaves. Hit me, I’ll hit you harder. And if I hit your wife and kids and neighbours and people of the same race/colour/creed as you too, well, that’s not my fault, you started it. Or, SD, did I misread what you wrote?

    Since you did not quote any of my words in support of your strawmen palpably you did.



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  • 209
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen #206
    SP “How is this somehow a credible analysis that supposedly shows the US created the IS? ”

    How?? Because it was done by your champions. The CIA. This is your intelligence service, telling you that they supported the creation of an area of Syria, controlled by the Salafists (ISIS) and Al Qaeda.

    No, this is one short cable offering no evidence that the US “created” the IS. In fact, the cable itself refereed to something “unraveling”, which could mean just about anything but generally refers to plans gone wrong, not plans gone right.

    And who cares what some guy from transportation command on some Midwest Air Force base says? Is he the new spokesman for the United States of America?

    Your constant rant across RDFRS is that America can do no wrong.

    Ok, David, there is being passionate and then there is just throwing out pointless strawmen.

    You even said…
    r constant rant across RDFRS is that America can do no wrong. You even said…

    SP There is no “intelligence analysis” worthy of that moniker that leads to such a grossly false conclusion.

    I’ve just shown you that you are wrong.

    Nope, you gave us some leaked cable from a guy in transportation command on an AFB in the state of Illinois that talked about some hypothetical “unraveling” and the effect that might have in Syria and whether that effect would be considered, in his opinion, to be beneficial to US strategy in Syria.

    No context. No assertion the the US created IS. No intelligence analysis worthy of being called so to support the groundless assertion that the US somehow created the IS.

    A normal person would apologize about now, but the operative world is “normal”. Lets see what you’re made of.

    If by “normal” you mean “ordinary” or “common” or “typical”, then indeed, I am not that sort of “normal person”.

    The typical person “out there” believes all manner of falsehoods, religion being a prime example. It seems fairly normal for liberal atheists to engage in self flagellation, or for my friends across the waters, flagellation of the USA, which I suppose is even easier in some sense. In that sense I am not a “normal” liberal either.

    Think Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Christopher Hitchens if you want to get closer to my lines of thinking. Do not hold your breath waiting for us to apologize for our positions.



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  • Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury, the prosecution rests.

    When you can say that a cable addressed to the CIA is irrelevant, then do a Donald Trump and spin doctor it… Your ego and arrogance know no bounds.



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  • David R Allen #210
    Mar 9, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury, the prosecution rests.

    When you can say that a cable addressed to the CIA is irrelevant,

    ..

    Arkrid Sandwich #212
    Mar 9, 2016 at 6:28 am
    >

    For some time now I have no longer seen a debate taking place. All I see is an entrenched position immune to evidence or contrary opinion

    I was reaching similar conclusions on other threads! – particularly in relation to wishy-washy claims disputing the accuracy of scientific laws and scientific theories!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/03/no-big-bang-quantum-equation-predicts-universe-has-no-beginning/#li-comment-199451

    SP – There are no scientific authorities, never have been.

    Alan – I think this illustrates your problem in recognising expert opinion and solid evidence!

    SP @83 – When will the Universe end thread – I don’t care all that much about what the Oxford dictionary says. Even though it is my favorite dictionary, it is not the ultimate authority on English. There is no such authority.



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  • Meanwhile – back in the US of A, they are still loaded with guns and shooting each other!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35767484

    A four-year old boy accidentally shot and injured his mother in their car in northern Florida, US media report.

    The woman told police the incident happened while the boy was sitting in the back seat.

    A local police spokesman said that the round went through her back after she was shot through the seat.

    The boy was unharmed and his mother – named as Jamie Gilt, 31 – is said to be in a stable condition after being taken to hospital.

    Police said a .45 calibre handgun was on the floor of the truck, the Florida Times-Union reported.

    A public Facebook account for a woman named Jamie Gilt who lives in Jacksonville features pro-gun messages and has another page called “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense.”

    The paper said it was not clear if the Facebook account belonged to the woman who was shot on Tuesday or if the four-year-old referred to in a post about target shooting is her son.



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  • Pretty hilarious all round the Jamie Gilt story. According to Sky News one of her comments on her page, Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense, which has now been taken down was “My right to protect my child with my gun trumps your fear of my gun.” I wonder how much fear she has of her gun now? or her child? Very fortunate to get shot at point blank range with a .45 and not get killed though. Those things make quite a hole I’m told.



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  • Support of Apple is mounting worldwide. Almost all of the significant tech companies are in support. Your phone is now the secure location of most of your sensitive data. What have hackers done to Windows systems worldwide. Imagine a world where there is no safe location for digital data. You are naked to the world. Anyone who wants to look.

    This from the UN on the Apple / FBI issue.

    The top human rights authority at the United Nations warned Friday that if the FBI succeeds in forcing Apple to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, it could have “tremendous ramifications” around the world and “potentially [be] a gift to authoritarian regimes, as well as to criminal hackers.”

    The statement came a day after a deluge of technology companies and other groups publicly backed Apple in the fight, and it echoed what many of these firms and groups said in arguing that the FBI’s demands could have a devastating impact on digital privacy going forward.

    “In order to address a security-related issue related to encryption in one case, the authorities risk unlocking a Pandora’s Box that could have extremely damaging implications for the human rights of many millions of people, including their physical and financial security,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement Friday.

    If the FBI prevails, Hussein argued, it would set a precedent that could make it impossible to fully protect privacy worldwide.



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  • @stardustypsyche

    Our rules of engagement go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties

    How I wish I could believe this. Growing up, the Americans were always the Good Guys, the Cavalry to ride to the rescue in the nick of time. And they even went to the Moon, how amazing was that? I loved America, and all things American (that I knew of), the music, the movies, the science, the brilliance. The James Bond and Jacky Chan movies, where the CIA updated the Cavalry role, and came to the rescue in the final reel.

    I’m not sure whether to admire your simple faith in the exceptional virtue of your leadership and the entire chain of command, or to despair.

    But I have seen the “collateral murder” video – leaked by the “convicted traitor” Manning to wikileaks, as I recall.

    And the most horrific thing was the business-as-usual nature of the long-range killing. Somebody without too much thought mis-identified a camera as a weapon, and after that point nobody raised a flicker of doubt. The trial and sentencing was over in a blink, no defence case considered, and an immediate rush to execution. Rules of Engagement?

    These were Terrorists, to be annihilated. And anyone who stopped to help, the same. The personnel doing the killing were safely inside their comfort zone, doing what they must have been doing quite a lot, the way they casually aimed and fired. And from the flight time of the munitions, they must have looked like little more than a spec in the sky, from the ground at the killing zone. Who knew where the hail of death was coming from?

    And that’s just one incident. Others, roadblocks where if-in-doubt, the response was “light em up”. Rules of Engagement, it all sounds very proper, considered, decent. I’m sure there were Rules of Engagement at Mai Lai too.

    So, SD, I’d like to believe like you do, that the Good Guys are really in charge, that they do all they can to protect the innocent, while dealing appropriately with those who mean you harm. I used to believe in Santa Claus too. And God, now I come to think of it. But evidence disrupted my beliefs, evidence I could not deny.

    I don’t think the other posters here are being Anti-American, as you seem to think. More anti-wishful thinking.

    And back to the original topic, what could be more convenient to a government undeniably bent on spying on everyone than an incident where a clearly identified enemy, a terrorist, has left behind a phone that might contain data vital to National Security. Every true patriot will, of course, insist that the tech company that can unlock this data should do so. Regardless of the Consequences. I don’t think they are Unintended Consequences. I’m too cynical. I don’t think the whole incident was manufactured, but I do think it is being exploited for all it’s worth. The phone, well, that may be real. The contents, nobody knows what they are. They might hasten the roundup of some of the terrorists associates, or not. But the price of this data, this is surrendering freedom for security. Doing that, you deserve neither. Who said that?



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  • @ohooligan

    Missed this one. You probably heard my jaw drop all the way from Australia. You’ve got to be kidding.

    What is the madness that infects America. It’s not just guns, but a myriad irrational ideas and conspiracies. Maybe the CIA do put something in the jet trails, but it’s not working. It doesn’t control them, it makes them bat fink crazy.

    I once heard a spokesperson for NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association crafting an argument that men just love boys and there is no harm in it. (that this association exists is yet further evidence of the madness that affects America.) But when I listen to a gun advocate make their argument, I always get flash backs to the NAMBLA spokesman (Of course it was a man) Articulate. Well constructed argument. If you were an alien, you’d say. “Yep. That sounds reasonable.” And there are aliens who walk amongst us who believe these arguments. But the arguments are bat fink crazy. And people believe them, and state them earnestly. If the second coming happens, and Jesus uses his Jedi mind powers, flicks his fingers and removes all guns from America, they would think they’d gone to paradise.

    And this craziness is only in America. Those nutters who took over the national park in Oregon. No where else in the world do you get nutters like this. I’ve asked myself and pondered this long and hard. I can find no explanation for why America is so out of touch with a rational world. Exhibit A. The Black Knight.



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  • 220
    bonnie says:

    nutters who took over the national park in Oregon

    Happy campers in select National Parks are now allowed to pack heat (w/ caveats). Oregon dudes were at a National Wildlife Refuge; only wildlife I want to see are the non homo sapien types.

    A family friend once took his handgun for protection in a secluded campground – “sounds reasonable“?



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  • When did SP leave us?

    Pity, I wanted him to comment on the leader-less Bathists becoming an essential guiding force behind IS.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-hidden-hand-behind-the-islamic-state-militants-saddam-husseins/2015/04/04/aa97676c-cc32-11e4-8730-4f473416e759_story.html

    There was a later article I wanted to post, but I can’t find it now.

    If we can’t Gilt trip Americans on their gun folly maybe we can ensure (as one excellent comment had it) that, at least, all good toddlers in future are armed to be ready to take out that armed bad toddler.



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  • @ Phi l#221

    I got an email saying SP had replied to my post with the Clinton video. I already had the page open so refreshed to see no post from him. I have found that the email seems to get to you before the post appears on the site. I refreshed a couple times more but the Mods had got there before me and deleted his post. He then went AWOL???

    The email gives one line of the post which I have…..

    “Clinton said nothing about the IS, she recounted our actions in Afghanistan. She did not say we have only ourselves to blame for 9/11, or that we have […]””



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  • Ripping USA is de rigueur on RDFRS blog.

    But the point is the USA truly is some kind of outlier amongst OECD countries that back in the sixties and seventies it was not. I’m very happy (well sad) to admit the UK is too close for comfort on many matters. Australia and Canada have recently had truly terrible leaders and were ripped equally.

    Cultural indoctrination resets what is normal for every child. Its tough to see through another’s eyes. US culture is a leviathan and more than a little isolated by its bulk and remote borders.



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  • Stardusty was indeed representative of a huge number of Americans in his thinking. His pugnacious patriotism on full display is now ubiquitous here in the States and causing the liberals amongst us to wonder where this is coming from. Is this a new reaction or was it there all along but existed in rural isolated pockets where it never saw the light of day? I think it is the latter. With certain personalities monopolizing the 24 hour news cycle and FUX News and its 24/7 in-your-face indoctrination tactics, our jingoists have been assured that everyone hates Obama, loves guns, hates Obamacare (although they present no viable alternative to it.) and that if you’re not making heaps of almighty American dollars then it’s your own damn fault for being lazy.

    As Phil says, we are isolated geographically and many Americans never interact with a furriner ever in their whole lives. There isn’t much we can do about the geographical isolation but what is unforgivable is the intellectual isolation that is throwing gasoline on the flames of ignorance here. One must make substantial effort to discover what is happening in other countries besides our own. The average American doesn’t realize that this is even necessary. They live in such a bubble that when someone like SP hears a nearly neutral criticism such as – You know, I have several European friends who are very happy with their universal health care in that place and they consider the US to be barbaric in their lack of the same program, they cannot take this statement in and integrate it into their previously installed opinion on the matter. The reaction, as we witnessed here is a defensive, paranoid attack with accusations of treachery, immorality and high treason.

    I have an ominous feeling of the country creeping steadily into a visible divide with the abyss widening daily. I am reminded of a painting that I’ve stood in front of many times at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts by an artist named Martin Johnson Heade titled Approaching Storm: Beach Near Newport This was painted just as the American civil war was bearing down on them.

    http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/approaching-storm-beach-near-newport-32947

    Museum description:
    The three boats at full sail seem caught in imminent danger and unlikely to find a safe passage to shore. For a nation amidst the upheaval of civil war, the darkened appearance of the stormy sky also brought to mind the familiar black, sulphur-laden canopy that rose above the beleaguered nation’s battlefields.

    Heade captured the feeling accurately. It’s what I feel as well.



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  • LaurieB #225
    Mar 14, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Stardusty was indeed representative of a huge number of Americans in his thinking. His pugnacious patriotism on full display is now ubiquitous here in the States and causing the liberals amongst us to wonder where this is coming from. Is this a new reaction or was it there all along but existed in rural isolated pockets where it never saw the light of day?

    Bill Maher had some very interesting things to say about this on Real Time this weekend. He spent most of the New Rules segment at the end on Trump and the delusion of American exceptionalism.

    Trump is a complete mystery to us Brits and no doubt the inhabitants of most western countries. His arrogance, boastfulness, empty rhetoric would make him a laughing stock over here yet he is winning the American republican nomination by a considerable margin. What on earth do Americans see in this windbag? Maher had some light to shed on it.

    American school students perform worse on maths, reading and science tests than equivalent students from most developed countries. Yet those same students when asked to grade their own performance score themselves higher than anyone else. They believe themselves to be exceptional despite their lack of ability because American exceptionalism is brainwashed into them from birth. So Trump’s boastfulness is not the anathema to them that it is to the rest of the world. Trumpeting ones imaginary abilities is just par for the course to people who believe that Americans are the bestest people in the whole wide world so why not say it?

    Until America as a whole gets a severe reality check and beings to realise it isn’t exceptional, and at best average or below average in most metrics, they will continue to think that an empty windbag like Trump is presidential material. This inability to recognise one’s own shortcomings extends to many areas. The military, who of course Americans are forbidden to criticize, have failed miserably in most of the conflicts they have ventured into for decades despite the generals and politicians always saying it will be a quick and victorious war, they’ll be welcomed like liberators, before getting sucked into a never ending quagmire and an eventual ignominious departure. But they never learn.

    No lessons are ever learned from the gun culture, the gang culture, the racist and unfair criminal justice system, the republican credo that lowering tax rates will increase tax revenue and create jobs. It seems to be the Dunning-Kruger effect on steroids. No matter how poor the performance they always rate themselves highly and believe they can never fail, even when repeating the same failed policies for year after year.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #229
    Mar 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Until America as a whole gets a severe reality check and beings to realise it isn’t exceptional, and at best average or below average in most metrics, they will continue to think that an empty windbag like Trump is presidential material.

    The Scottish government, the Scottish courts, and the UK Supreme Court, were singularly unimpressed by Trump!!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-35106581

    Donald Trump’s legal challenge to a planned offshore wind farm has been rejected by the UK’s Supreme Court.

    Developers hope to site 11 turbines off Aberdeen, close to Mr Trump’s golfing development on the Aberdeenshire coast.

    The US businessman and presidential hopeful was taking on the Scottish government, which approved the plan.

    The Trump Organisation said it was an “extremely unfortunate” ruling and it would “continue to fight” the wind farm proposal.

    .Former First Minister Alex Salmond said the latest court verdict left Mr Trump a “three-time loser.

    The Trump Organisation responded: “Does anyone care what this man thinks? He’s a has-been and totally irrelevant.

    Mr Trump began his challenge to the decision to grant planning permission more than two years ago.

    He was furious when the Scottish government approved plans for the renewable energy development within sight of his multi-million pound golf development on the Menie estate, north of Aberdeen.

    He said the turbines would spoil the view.

    Mr Trump made a series of legal challenges in the Scottish courts and then took the fight to the UK’s Supreme Court in London.

    He argued that planning consent for the wind farm was so imprecise as to make it legally invalid.

    The Supreme Court judges delivered a unanimous ruling.

    This inability to recognise one’s own shortcomings extends to many areas.

    No evidence of any learning or understanding taking place in Trump’s thinking!



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #229
    Mar 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Bill Maher had some very interesting things to say about this on Real Time this weekend.

    Yes, I watch his show every Friday night. He is an important reality check here.

    The military, who of course Americans are forbidden to criticize,

    This made me laugh. When the American military was pounding the shit out of Iraq every night on the news, I’d be shopping or socializing or whatever and sure enough, someone would say, “You support our troops though, right?” This really pissed me off. They’re trying to see if I’m some sort of traitor or something. What should I say? – yes but they’re carpet bombing innocent Iraqis…yes because they were ordered to go murder thousands of people by our lunatic President…yes because we have to support the military industrial complex or people will lose their jobs…But I can’t say yes and nothing I say will please them anyway. So I say the truth. On the eve of that stupid military action I was on the Mall in Washington D.C. ranting and raving and waving picket signs in front of the White House and the Capitol building (My Constitutional right). I knew it was a mistake before it even happened – Not because I’m some kind of genius because I’m not one. I knew it from having a basic knowledge of how the tribal societies operate in the Middle East and because it was obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with the hit we took in NYC. So no, I do not support the troops nor the President (Bush) and his collection of sleazy snakes who advise him. I consider them to be war criminals who because of their privilege have gotten away with mass murder.

    “But you support the troops, right?”

    Jesus H KeeeeRIST!!!!

    Dunning-Kruger effect on steroids. No matter how poor the performance they always rate themselves highly and believe they can never fail, even when repeating the same failed policies for year after year.

    I’m watching the FUX newsers dealing with this bizarre mind conflict. They don’t see it for themselves and this comes off as a disturbing display. Watch for this weird state of affairs in action. First they announce that Trump (the psychopath) will restore the US of A to it’s former glorious position in the world. This involves some sort of domestic correction as to the status of the old white WASPs and putting women back in their place and all other minorities including latinos, religions other than their own, gays and all non hetero missionary position only types and all undesirables of any stripe. All of these need to be crushed back into their former servile places.

    After that whole bigot-rant, they then announce that this is the best country in the world. Everyone wants to come here! We’re the BEST! When other countries piss us off we kick their asses!! USA! USA!

    Well, are we the best or not? The best at everything? If we’ve declined so much because of all those undesirables taking over then how can we be the best? Make up your mind!!

    Did I mention that I’m the liberal atheist black sheep of the family? You may now express your pity. Thank you very much.



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  • As Apple are so concerned about privacy I am sure they are now zapping every bit of data they have hoovered up from their devices, that they are no longer tracking or keeping records of incomings and outgoings, and are zealously stopping all Apps from extracting any data from their devices.

    And what has life come to when I don’t know where I am but my phone and seemingly everybody else does.



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  • And why does everyone think it all about privacy?

    For Apple it is all about profit, they were quite willing to do it previously, it is only now that lockable phones are a selling point that they are involved, plus it bigs them up as anti-government warriors which also appears to be profitable in America these days.

    For law enforcement it is a matter of evidence gathering not privacy, and is just the same as the execution of any search warrant, and nobody appears to be bleating about those searches.

    If the Iphone ” private” material was in paper or memory stick format in someone’s home would you still be raising the same concerns? If so you should be arguing against ALL search warrants . What makes the Iphone a special case?

    For potential hacking it is also not a matter of privacy, it is a matter of security which is different from privacy. And if you are that concerned about security, not privacy, then surely you should be living in concrete bunkers to which only you have the key so criminals and terrorists cannot get access.

    So can someone tell me why all the rhetoric about something called privacy?



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  • LaurieB #231
    Mar 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Bill Maher had some very interesting things to say about this on Real Time this weekend.

    Yes, I watch his show every Friday night. He is an important reality check here.

    I do loves me my Bill Maher at the weekends. It’s the first torrent I download on a Saturday morning. I watched every episode of the Daily Show too since the early 2000s and was heartbroken when Jon left. I think he was the smartest, funniest, most incisive political commentator on tv and his departure was a tragedy. I can’t get on with the new guy and haven’t watched since. I wanted John Oliver to take over after the brilliant job he did standing in for Jon for several weeks when he was away making Rosewater.

    100% with you on everything you say about the war criminal Bush and his cronies. I used to be addicted to Coca Cola. I drank a 2 litre bottle every day and bought it by the car load when I went to the supermarket. The day Bush invaded Iraq I stopped drinking it or buying anything else American and haven’t touched the stuff since. I couldn’t bring myself to support his vile regime with a single penny that might find its way into his coffers.

    The absurdity of American jingoism baffles me. The obsession with the flag, and even more so those idiotic lapel flag pins. Like when Obama didn’t wear one to start with then he couldn’t be an actual patriot despite devoting his life to politics and his country? That’s the thing that made him a “proper” American – a fucking stupid flag pin??

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Union Jack flying outside anyone’s private house over here but it appears to be de rigeur over there. Every government official has to have a massive Stars and Stripes flag draped over the back wall of their office to prove they aren’t really a commie subversive. Then, so I’m told as I’ve not yet visited, you get these ridiculous questions to answer if you try to enter America. “Do you intend to try and overthrow the government?” Ummm, how do you do that? Even if you somehow managed to kill every elected official from the President down they’d just elect new ones. You can’t overthrow an idea, a concept. So why do they ask? How paranoid do you have to be to ask people a question that they couldn’t possibly achieve?



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  • It seems the FBI has relented in its court case with Apple over the Iphone.

    FBI-Apple case: Investigators break into dead San Bernardino gunman’s iPhone

    I suspect that the FBI always had the ability to hack the phone, but used this highly politically charged case to try to set a precedent, opening an avenue for many future court orders on matters much more mundane, like drug cases.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35914195



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