The Last Of The Millenniums

Just because it always has been, doesn't mean it always will be

Archive for the day “June 10, 2013”

“Libertarianism’s Achilles’ Heel”: Circular Hypocritical Logic That Avoids The Messy Choices

In politics, we often skip past the simple questions. This is why inquiries about the fundamentals can sometimes catch everyone short.

Michael Lind, the independent-minded scholar, posed one such question last week about libertarianism that I hope will shake up the political world. It’s important because many in the new generation of conservative politicians declare libertarianism as their core political philosophy.

It’s true that since nearly all Americans favor limits on government, most of us have found libertarians to be helpful allies at one point or another. Libertarians have the virtue, in principle at least, of a very clear creed: They believe in the smallest government possible, longing for what the late philosopher Robert Nozick, in his classic book “Anarchy, State, and Utopia,” called “the night-watchman state.” Anything government does beyond protecting people from violence or theft and enforcing contracts is seen as illegitimate.

If you start there…

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Constitutional ‘Right Of Privacy’



The debate we should be having is one of how to have a covert intelligence gathering that can be protected from abuse.

But that’s actually important so let’s go back to ‘Oh they’re listening to my phone calls’ which of course no they are not.

But that headline is for the simpletons so attracts viewers.

The Constitution begins ‘We The People’.

I’ve looked and no where does it state I’ as an individual’.

When our Republic was formed, it was for our protection and growth.

Not mine.

Not yours.


So yes I have the ‘expectation’ of the ‘right of privacy’ but not at the expense of the greater good.

We are a Republic.

Not a Democracy where we all vote on every issue.

Nor are we a isolated island of individual all living ‘free’.

I love Cornell Law as it always does a great job of getting me to question……
‘Right of privacy: an overview’

‘Distinct from the right of publicity protected by state common or statutory law, a broader right of privacy has been inferred in the Constitution. Although not explicity stated in the text of the Constitution, in 1890 then to be Justice Louis Brandeis extolled ‘a right to be left alone.’ This right has developed into a liberty of personal autonomy protected by the 14th amendment. The 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments also provide some protection of privacy, although in all cases the right is narrowly defined. The Constitutional right of privacy has developed alongside a statutory right of privacy which limits access to personal information. The Federal Trade Commission overwhelmingly enforces this statutory right of privacy, and the rise of privacy policies and privacy statements are evidence of its work. In all of its forms, however, the right of privacy must be balanced against the state’s compelling interests. Such compelling interests include the promotion of public morality, protection of the individual’s psychological health, and improving the quality of life’.
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‘Rright of privacy: access to personal information’

‘The right of privacy has evolved to protect the ability of individuals to determine what sort of information about themselves is collected, and how that information is used. Most commercial websites utilize “cookies,” as well as forms, to collect information from visitors such as name, address, email, demographic info, social security number, IP address, and financial information. In many cases, this information is then provided to third parties for marketing purposes. Other entities, such as the federal government and financial institutions, also collect personal information. The threats of fraud and identity theft created by this flow of personal information have been an impetus for right of privacy legislation requiring disclosure of information collection practices, opt-out opportunities, as well as internal protections of collected information. However, such requirements have yet to reach all segments of the marketplace’.

’15 U.S.C. § 45 charges the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with preventing “unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” In matters of privacy, the FTC’s role is one of enforcing privacy promises made in the marketplace. Several additional laws form the foundation on which the FTC carries out this charge: the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6809), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.), and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506)’.

‘The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a) protects personal information held by the federal government by preventing unauthorized disclosures of such information. Individuals also have the right to review such information, request corrections, and be informed of any disclosures. The Freedom of Information Act facilitates these processes’.

‘The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999) establishes guidelines for the protection of personal financial information. Financial institutions are requiredby law (15 U.S.C. § 6803) to provide a privacy policy to customers, which explains what kinds of information are being collected and how that information is used. Such institutions are further required to develop safeguards in order to protect the information they collect from customers’.

‘The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) protects personal financial information collected by consumer reporting agencies. The Act limits those who can access such infomation, and subsequent amendments have simplified the process by which consumers can obtain and correct the information collected about themselves. The FTC also actively enforces prohibitions on fraudulently obtaining personal financial information, a crime known as “pretexting.”

‘The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506) allows parents to control what information is collected about their child (younger than 13 years old) online. Operators of websites that either target children or knowingly collect personal information from children are required to post privacy policies, obtain parental consent before collecting information from children, allow parents to determine how such information is used, and provide the option to parents to opt-out of future collection from their child’.

‘However, despite the rights described above, other participants in the marketplace are not bound by law to develop similar protections and disclosure practices. Rather, in the remainder of the marketplace, the FTC encourages a voluntary regime of protecting consumer privacy. In two reports to Congress (1998, 2000) though, the FTC found that most sites falling outside of the jurisdiction of the established right of privacy laws do not adequately inform consumers about collection practices, nor do the majority of sites adequately protect the privacy of visitors’ personal information. It appears that the voluntary regime is insufficient, and the prospect of further right of privacy legislation in the area of access to personal information is very real’.
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‘Right of privacy: personal autonomy’

‘The right of privacy has evolved to protect the freedom of individuals to choose whether or not to perform certain acts or subject themselves to certain experiences. This personal autonomy has grown into a ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. However, this liberty is narrowly defined and generally only protects privacy of family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing. There have been attempts to further extend the right of privacy under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; however, a general right to personal autonomy has yet to take hold beyond limited circumstances’.

‘The personal autonomy dimension of the right of privacy has been overwhelmingly developed in cases dealing with reproductive rights. The Supreme Court first recognized an independent right of privacy within the ‘penumbra’ (fringe area) of the Bill of Rights in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). In this case, a right of marital privacy was invoked to void a law prohibiting contraception. Later cases expanded upon this fundamental right, and in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the right of privacy was firmly established under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court classified this right as fundamental, thus requiring any governmental infringement to be justified by a compelling state interest. Roe held that the state’s compelling interest in preventing abortion and protecting the life of the mother outweighs a mother’s personal autonomy only after viability. Before viability, it was held, the mother’s liberty of personal privacy limits state interference due to the lack of a compelling state interest’.

‘The personal autonomy aspect of the right of privacy has limits. In 1986, a law criminilizing same sex sodomy was upheld in Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986). The Court held that not all private consensual sexual activity is insulated from the state. At the time, the same sex activities in question were not granted inclusion in the due process protected categories of relationships. However, Bowers was overturned in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), holding that the Bowers court viewed liberty too narrowly and grounding the right with a notion of how personal and intimate nature of the conduct’.

‘As activities become further removed from reproduction and intimacy, the right of privacy weakens and becomes less fundamental. Pornography is an area where the court has been reluctant to completely grant the liberty of personal autonomy, although some privacy has been allowed: see Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557 (1969) and Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49 (1973)’.

‘The 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been utilized to varying degrees of success to protect privacy in these gray areas of activity. The court’s preference for a case-by-case approach to the right of privacy in as much as it protects personal autonomy, combined with ever-changing public opinion on the status of various relationships and activities, makes a succinct statement about the boundaries of the right of privacy nearly impossible’.
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teabagger Alert!! – Rand Paul Tells Fox Viewers To Join Lawsuit Against NSA: ‘I’m Going To Challenge This At The Supreme Court’

rand paul7

If you live in a World where you think it’s easy for law enforcement to spot all the criminals then you’ll love Rand.

But that’s not the real World.

In the real World, terrorists and criminals are using and I know you’ll be shocked but they are also abusing technology. (GASP!)

Take that tool away – technology – from law enforcement and you will live in ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ and so will the criminlas and terrorists except they know that your ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ loving society – can’t and won’t track them.

To quote ‘Dirty Harry’ – ‘Do you feel lucky?’

“I have no problem if you have probable cause and you target people who are terrorists and you go after them and the people they are communicating with…
‘Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said he would examine ways to block the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs before the Supreme Court’.

“I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level,” vowed Paul on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I’m going to be asking all the internet providers and all of the phone companies: Ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit. If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington,” he said.
From :

Blog Running – ‘The Era of Metadata’


Great op-ed by Peggy Noonan.

‘Five blunt thoughts on the growing surveillance state’:

1. ‘The thing political figures fear most is a terror event that will ruin their careers. The biggest thing they fear is that a bomb goes off and it can be traced to something they did or didn’t do, an action they did or didn’t support. They all fear being accused of not doing enough to keep the citizenry safe’.

‘This is true of Republicans and Democrats. Their anxiety has no ideology. They all fear being the incumbent in the election in which the challenger says, in a debate: “That’s all well and fine, Senator, we’re sure you’re upset at what happened. But at the moment it counted, when you could have supported all efforts to keep the people safe and bust the terror network, you weren’t there. You were off giving lectures on what you call civil liberties, and explaining why you were voting ‘no.’ Well, life is a civil liberty—and now a thousand people are dead.”

2. ‘There is no way a government in the age of metadata, with the growing capacity to listen, trace, tap, track and read, will not eventually, and even in time systematically, use that power wrongly, maliciously, illegally and in areas for which the intelligence gathering was never intended. People are right to fear that the government’s surveillance power will be abused. It will be. There are many reasons for this, but the primary one is that humans are and will be in charge of it, and humans have shown throughout history a bit of a tendency to play every trick and bend and break laws. “If men were angels,” as James Madison wrote, limits, checks, balances and specifically protected rights would not be necessary. But they aren’t angels. Add to all this simple human mistakes, innocent and not, and misjudgments. And add to that sheer human craziness, partisan lust, political mischief of all sorts’.

‘So if we have and develop a massive surveillance state, it will be abused. And that abuse will, down the road, do damage not only to individuals but, quite probably, to the nation’s morale, to its very vision of itself’.

‘But it will make us – or allow us to feel — physically safer. And it may help break real terror networks bent on real mayhem’.

3. ‘The president said Friday, in his remarks on the NSA surveillance story: “I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience.”

‘But is that really the trade-off? Will a surveillance state make us 100% safer? It let the Tsarnaevs through. We had the surveillance state when they set off their bombs at the Boston Marathon. We’d even been tipped by the Russians to watch them. The surveillance state didn’t thwart the Fort Hood massacre. Maybe in the end we’ll find the surveillance state is massive, cumbersome, costly, potentially helpful, certainly powerful, menacing and yet not always so effective’.

4. ‘The president said the recently revealed programs are subject to congressional oversight, which will help keep them from getting out of hand. But that sounded more like a Washington inside joke than a comfort. Congressional oversight of executive agencies has been chronically lacking and lackluster for years. If you are a congressman oversight is, generally, an unrewarded time-suck. It’s housekeeping that demands deep bureaucratic, accounting and now technological expertise. (“Thank you for providing the email records, but is there any chance you have secret email accounts that aren’t included here?”) And usually nobody knows about your good work—it yields little in the way of credit’.

‘Oversight is time taken away from fundraising calls, from the four-minute hit on “Hardball” or Fox, from the urgent call with the important constituent, from time in the gym where you hide from your staff. And Congress isn’t even in Washington often enough to establish ready and present oversight—members work from Monday through Thursday, and then go home to meet with people and show they’re normal’.

5. ‘The security age began on Sept. 12, 2001. The enormity of the surveillance state since has grown. Americans, in the shock after 9/11, didn’t mind enhanced security, and in fact were mostly grateful for it and supportive of it. But built into that support, and the acceptance of the surveillance mentality’s intrusions, was I suspect a broadly held assumption that we’ll just do it now, and down the road we can stop it. It’s just an emergency thing. We can make it go away when we no longer want it. But can we? Do government programs tend to remain static, or wither? Or do they tend to grow’?

My note : The question Peggy forgot to ask. Does terrorism stop after just one attack?

Well…..does it Peggy?
From :


A ‘Conservative’ vision for America – ‘Virginia GOP asks for concealed gun permit holders personal information’


So you don’t want the ‘guberment’ spying and getting all your personal information – right?

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, VA (WWBT) – ‘The Republican Party of Virginia has sent letters to circuit courts across the Commonwealth asking for the personal information of concealed weapons permit holders’.

‘The party wants the information in order to send campaign materials to like-minded voters’.

‘What’s more, the request comes less than a month before a Republican-backed bill banning that information from getting out becomes law’.

‘A statement from the party reads in part, “We are working actively to ensure that voters who are concerned about second amendment issues stay informed about Democratic efforts to limit our right to keep and bare arms.”
From :


One Man’s Trash…… – ‘First on CNN: Republican Party to step up outreach to evangelicals’

religioin in politics


one man's trash1

Yes. That’s the Republican Party’s problem.

Not enough religion in it’s politics.

(CNN) – ‘The Republican National Committee has brought on a director of evangelical outreach to massage the party’s complicated relationship with religious conservatives, GOP sources told CNN on Saturday’.

‘The party organization has hired Chad Connelly, a consultant and motivational speaker who, until this weekend, was the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party’.

‘Details of his job will not be announced until next week, and a spokeswoman for the RNC declined to comment on the new hire’.

‘But Connelly, a Baptist, has told multiple South Carolina Republicans that he will be steering the national party’s outreach to faith-based groups. He will be based in South Carolina’.

‘Hiring a full-time faith-based outreach director was one of 14 recommendations outlined by the RNC’s post-election “Growth and Opportunity Project” released earlier this year’.

‘The so-called GOP “autopsy” did little to define the job other than to say the RNC should “focus on engaging faith-based organizations and communities with the Republican Party” – a complicated task as the party tries to woo younger voters whose attitudes on social issues, especially same-sex marriage, are increasingly out of step with the evangelical wing of the conservative movement’.
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Scandal Me This – ‘Republican IRS agent says Cincinnati began ‘Tea Party’ inquiries’

IRS gop scandal

Something else you won’t see on FOX.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – ‘A U.S. Internal Revenue Service manager, who described himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny that has prompted weeks of political controversy’.

‘In an official interview transcript released on Sunday by Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, the manager said he and an underling set aside “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups that had applied for tax-exempt status because the organizations appeared to pose a new precedent that could affect future IRS filings’.
From :,0,5537098.story


“MEET THE NSA LEAKER” (Is Treason Dead?)

It will be alright soon. Rand Paul wants to pass legislation so that all criminals and terrorists wear signs.

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