Steve Benson by Steve Benson

Steve Benson

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  1. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, 11 months ago

    @Omnius

    It does not matter who started an injustice if, once those people are gone, the replacements continue, and even expand, those injustices. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    I read 1984 in the 60’s along with Animal Farm. Mr. Orwell’s fantasy of a farm full of animals seeking the right of self determination showed how good intentions can become corrupted. 1984 showed how once those intentions were fully corrupted, a nation of good people could become subdued and led in ways they would not normally wish to be led.
    For months, I’ve described our gov’t as an oligarchy led by cannibalistic parties who care more about staying in power than in making this nation the “shining city on the hill” it strove to become. Despite all of our warts and scars, the world looked to us and our ability to work together with respect and civility as a path their own nations should take.
    Now they look at us with concern and they wonder if democracy is a workable system.
    The “lamestream” media is a victim of its ownership. Whether Rupert Murdoch, or the tax evading GE, or the entertainment giant Disney, our news is filtered by advertisers and executives with their own agendas. When the news shows light on things we want shown, they are heroes of democracy. When they talk about things with which we disagree, they become propaganda tools of “THEM.”
    Mr. Orwell warned us about wars against pronouns. One day, the war against ‘them’ may turn into a war against ‘us’.
    Respectfully,
    C.

  2. californicated1

    californicated1 GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    Soon enough, it won’t Orwell that writes the playbook for how this situation is going to turn out, it will be Solzhenitsyn, with “The Gulag Archipelago” serving as the blueprint.

  3. Sharuniboy

    Sharuniboy GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    Anybody here ever really read, and studied, the Bush-brat’s
    “Patriot Act”?

  4. An Unscented Flower

    An Unscented Flower GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    They’re listening..


  5. Rad-ish

    Rad-ish GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    New York Times revealed in 2005: that the NSA has engaged in widespread wiretapping of Americans with the consent of firms like AT&T and Verizon. But more interestingly–and more troubling in the eyes of many who value their privacy–it details the Agency’s plans to crack AES encryption, the cryptographic standard certified by the NSA itself in 2009 for military and government use and until now considered uncrackable in any amount of time relevant to mortals.

    Using what will likely be the world’s fastest supercomputer and the world’s largest data storage and analysis facility, the NSA plans to comb unimaginably voluminous troves of messages for patterns they could use to crack AES and weaker encryption schemes, according to Bamford’s story. A few of the facts he’s uncovered:

    The $2 billion data center being built in Utah would have four 25,000 square-foot halls filled with servers, as well as another 900,000 square feet for administration.
    It will use 65 megawatts of electricity a year , with an annual bill of $40 million, and incorporates a $10 million security system.
    Since 2001, the NSA has intercepted and stored between 15 and 20 trillion messages, according to the estimate of ex-NSA scientist Bill Binney. It now aims to store yottabytes of data. A yottabyte is a million billions of gigabytes. According to one storage firm’s estimate in 2009, a yottabyte would cover the entire states of Rhode Island and Delaware with data centers.
    When the Department of Energy began a supercomputing project in 2004 that took the title of the world’s fastest known computer from IBM in 2009 with its “Jaguar” system, it simultaneously created a secret track for the same program focused on cracking codes. The project took place in a $41 million, 214,000 square foot building at Oak Ridge National Lab with 318 scientists and other staff. The supercomputer produced there was faster than the so-called “world’s fastest” Jaguar.
    The NSA project now aims to break the “exaflop barrier” by building a supercomputer a hundred times faster than the fastest existing today, the Japanese “K Computer.” That code-breaking system is projected to use 200 megawatts of power, about as much as would power 200,000 homes.
    .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/03/16/nsas-new-data-center-and-ultra-fast-supercomputer-aim-to-crack-worlds-strongest-crypto/

  6. Tigger

    Tigger GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    @ahab

    Blame Harry Reid as he refuses to allow The Senate to read and vote on the bill

  7. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    ^Tigger has never contacted reality with regard to the fact that Reid has stopped nearly nothing, it is committees, and filibusters under the “new rules” that have blocked legislation, period. Look more to Boehner and McConnell with your finger pointing.

  8. Ajax 4Hire

    Ajax 4Hire said, 11 months ago

    Jay Leno: ‘We Wanted a President That Listens to All Americans – Now We Have One’

    I am now presumed guilty. With the amount of laws today, it is impossible to stay “legal”, therefore my government may surveil me.

    The US Constitution, 4th Amendment (1791)
    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.

  9. ReasonsVentriloquist

    ReasonsVentriloquist said, 10 months ago

    Whom.
    .
    Whom, may I ask, is calling?

  10. ReasonsVentriloquist

    ReasonsVentriloquist said, 10 months ago

    @Richard S. Russell

    “…they already know.”
    .
    Caller ID!
    .
    I have the Vocalocity desktop, I know all kinds of things about you before I even pick up the phone.
    .
    And that’s free with the subscription. Imagine what I could get if I wanted to pay!

  11. Redkaycei Repoc

    Redkaycei Repoc said, 10 months ago

    @Respectful Troll

    Well said Mister C

  12. churchillwasright

    churchillwasright said, 10 months ago

    @ansonia

    ANSONIA (and TROUT): You forgot another very timely Amendment that Reid blocked: amending the Patriot Act.

    From OpenCongress.org, 5/25/11:

    “Now that it’s up for extension again, it’s the Senate Democrats this time who are using special procedural maneuvers to block senators from offering amendments.

    The original PATRIOT Act bill that Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] scheduled for consideration last week is S.1038, an unmodified four-year extension of the government’s expanded surveillance powers. The Senate invoked cloture on proceeding to that bill on Monday afternoon, and several senators introduced reform amendments to it… a rundown:

    -These amendments sought to use the extension to reform the Patriot Act. One, by Senator Paul, would have required the government, when seeking a National Security Letter to perform searches and seizures, to go to a court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and a judge’s certification that probable cause sufficient to gain a warrant has been established. Another of Senator Paul’s amendments would have required a district court to issue the equivalent of a search warrant before the seizure of financial records could take place.

    -Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden of Colorado submitted amendments as well. One amendment would have required that “lone wolf” spying powers, to authorize electronic surveillance without the constitutionally required identification of a particular person or place to be searched, could only target agents of foreign powers. Another of their amendments would have required the government to specify, for roving wiretaps and electronic surveillance, the identity of the target or the location of the target of the surveillance.

    -Senator Bernard Sanders offered an amendment to S. 1038 protecting libraries and bookstores from having their records seized without a search warrant. Senator Patrick Leahy offered an amendment that would have required the government to establish procedures to destroy or return all evidence gathered through the Patriot Act that is determined not to be relevant to the investigation, rather than keeping the evidence and using the information for other purposes.

    Majority Leader Reid, who has voted in favor of extending the PATRIOT Act without modification every time it’s been debated over the years, is blocking all of these amendments from receiving votes by ditching the original bill to which they were submitted, S.1038, making the PATRIOT Act text into a substitute amendment for an unrelated bill, calling up that unrelated bill for consideration, and forcing a vote on his amendment (the PATRIOT Act extension) and no others. The unrelated bill was sent to the Senate via a message from the House, which makes it a privileged that is in order at any time without debate. That automatically rules out any filibusters on proceeding to it. By filing for cloture on agreeing to the House message, which already includes an amendment from the House, with a Senate amendment (the PATRIOT Act extension), no subsequent amendments can be added, as they would technically be considered third-degree amendments, which are not allowed under Senate rules. Pretty crafty stuff.


    ”http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2300-Reid-Protects-PATRIOT-Act-From-Senators-Seeking-Reform">Reid Protects PATRIOT Act From Senators Seeking Reform

    This year-long extension came up for renewal again in early 2011. In this year’s re-authorization battle, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sponsored an amendment that would have increased congressional oversight of these renewed provisions. Yet the Leahy-Paul Amendment was never brought to a full vote. [See Note] Ultimately the Patriot Act was reauthorized without any sort of additional oversight included in the final language. By reauthorizing the Patriot Act, President Obama guaranteed (barring any judicial action) that the law will live on in its current form until June 1, 2015.

    Politifact, 7/21/11

    “When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we would be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country, undetected,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. In unusually personal criticism of a fellow senator, [Huh?] he warned that Paul, by blocking swift passage of the bill, “is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping them.”

    Huffington Post 5/27/11: Patriot Act Extension Signed by Obama

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