Daily Archives: Thursday, 13-Jun-2013

If you are going to lie…..

With the disclosure of the snooping the NSA has been doing on US citizens comes a need for justifying such snooping by the politicians who are suppose to be representing the best interests of the citizens. So out strut Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mike Rogers, chairpeople of their respective bodies oversight committee for intelligence activities to tell us this:

The 2009 arrests of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), wouldn’t have happened without such programs.

via Do the Zazi and Headley Arrests Prove the Power of NSA Total Surveillance? – Reason.com.

That doesn’t really appear to be the case. It appears that both cases were resolved using good old fashioned police work. Tips were received, warrants were signed and evidence was gathered. Yeah, email was involved but the email addresses came from tips and the examination of a computer confiscated from a known terrorist.

Actually, the Zazi case seems to be a vindication of what Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith calls “old-fashioned police work.” That is, the staking-out of specific individuals to whom officials had been directed by specific tips. British and American court documents, writes Smith, show that intelligence officers were monitoring a particular email address that had been linked to “an al Qaeda associate” by British and Pakistani agents.

via Do the Zazi and Headley Arrests Prove the Power of NSA Total Surveillance? – Reason.com.

That’s hardly a justification for the type of snooping that came to light last week.

And what about David Headly? He worked as an informant for the DEA during a time that he also attended several Pakistani terrorist training camps. He’s also a wife beater and a polygamist. After beating one of his wives she ratted him out to the Joint Terrorism Task Force with tapes and other corroborating evidence of her claims. That placed him under much closer scrutiny and surveillance. The NSA’s snooping was not needed for him either.

Both of these cases used to justify the NSA snooping were solved by much simpler means that go nowhere near trampling US citizens’ civil rights so why do we need these warrantless intrusions on the 4th amendment rights all US citizens cherish?

We don’t.

Do Not Confuse Crony Capitalism with Free Market Capitalism

Free market capitalism receives a lot of grief from a lot of people who don’t seem to have a real clear understanding that capitalism comes in a number of flavors.  Free market capitalism depends on there being no regulatory favoritism. In an ideal environment for the advancement of free market capitalism every business would play by the same rules and every business would pay the same taxes. Bidding procedures would be without bias and capital markets would offer the same rules for access to everyone.

Unfortunately our politicians see a need to play favoritism and instead of creating an environment for free market capitalism to flourish they tilt the playing field and alter the flavor of capitalism we live under from free market to crony capitalism. Hopefully some of the favoritism is about to be eliminated.

Bloomberg Shows His Gun Control Campaign is All About Him

Reuters is reporting that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a letter writing campaign to rich New York donors to Democratic candidates requesting that they withhold donations to the re-election campaigns of Senators Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Looking at the four states these Democratic Senators are representing has me wondering how a Democrat is actually holding office in those states in the first place so I have to wonder if the mayor is actually passionate about gun control  or passionate about keeping his name in the news. Surely he doesn’t believe that by getting these senators replaced with Republicans is going to further his cause any.