Ted Rall by Ted Rall

Ted Rall

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  1. MiepR

    MiepR said, about 1 year ago

    What’s interesting to me about this is that we spend so much money on NSA, but there are so few terrorists, and their search algorithms can’t possibly approach 99.9999% accuracy. So the point seems to be about enabling casual harassment, or to provide a blind for not-so-casual harassment.

    Also it’s worth noting that many people in this world live in circumstances where Internet privacy is far from the top of their list of things to be concerned about. This all is in some ways an elitist concern.

    Not to say I’m okay with fourth amendment violations. I’m most certainly not. I’m even more not okay with ones that are so blatantly falsely being sold as necessary, though.

  2. jeffc42

    jeffc42 GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    You cannot seriously equate the Holocaust with what the NSA is doing. I don’t like it, but this is a totally ridiculous comparison. It isn’t a slippery slope. It isn’t even in the same effin’ ballpark as Jules would say.

  3. mikefive

    mikefive said, about 1 year ago

    Ted, It started under Carter-FISA.

  4. Michael wme

    Michael wme said, about 1 year ago

    @jeffc42

    You’re absolutely right. American Jews had the vote, and by hanging Nazis, Truman won the ’48 election.


    And, just like hanging Nazis for following what was the Law in Germany until ’45, droning terrorists (98% of whom the Guardian says were innocent) wins votes, and so is like hanging Nazis and putting Japanese in concentration camps, not like killing Jews.


    The US Presidents are always fighting for Good against Evil. All those killed under orders of the US President are heinous criminals who deserved to die, just because it was the US President who ordered their deaths.


    And both of the last two presidents have done heroic work killing lots of evil men, women, and babies.


    And Prism will help them keep tabs on those terrorists who might try to overthrow the elected officials of the current US government by voting against them in the next election, thereby keeping all Americans safe from those most threatening of terrorists.

  5. Craig Linder

    Craig Linder GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    @MiepR

    Post 9/11, we have become cowards. Ruled by our fears instead of reason. If we’d calmed down after the attack and considered the true scope and magnitude of the problem, we would not have surrendered our civil liberties and would have acted much more in line with what others suggested, i.e., deal with terrorism as a law enforcement issue.

    There was also a strong element of xenophoia in our reaction. We’ve had some pretty awful acts of domestic terrorism (e.g., the Oklahoma City bombing), but no one called for a police state then.

  6. Craig Linder

    Craig Linder GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    One other thing. For those of us old enough to remember when airplane hijackings were commonplace, we didn’t overreact and establish a police state then.

  7. Darsan54

    Darsan54 GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    @Craig Linder

    You’re absolutely right. But those “elected” at the time found it a convenient way to manipulate the public by whipping them into hysteria.

  8. Darsan54

    Darsan54 GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    Public resignation and apathy in face of the NSA spying revelations is more about Congressional leaders acting on their own over the wishes of the public. Note, huge majorities of voters want some as reasonable as universal background checks. However, Congressional reps and Senators who live in safe districts can completely bollocks the process and negate the majority’s wishes. We just feel powerless in the face of too much money and arrogant petty politicians.

  9. Craig Linder

    Craig Linder GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    @Darsan54

    " But those “elected” at the time found it a convenient way to manipulate the public by whipping them into hysteria."

    I agree with you completely. Fear too often overrides reason, which is why I think we have become cowards. Too many of us were so afraid that it was possible for the folks in the Bush administration to play on those fears.

    By this point we should be well past those more immediate, visceral reactions, but I think a kind of fatigue and apathy has set in.

  10. jrmerm

    jrmerm said, about 1 year ago

    @jeffc42

    jc: Rall is addressing the reaction and response people have to a govt outrage, not so much the act itself. Rall has made an excellent point by using the passive acceptance of the Holocaust by the German public as an analogy. Spookily similar.

  11. Rx71Wm29

    Rx71Wm29 GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    Ted is really on his game today. It appears that he’s trying to show us ourselves and the lengths that a dominant group of humans will go to, using other, less socially acceptable groups of humans, as “necessary sacrifices”, to maintain a false sense of security. Bravo Ted!

  12. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, about 1 year ago

    “By this point we should be well past those more immediate, visceral reactions, but I think a kind of fatigue and apathy has set in.”

    I think it’s more the Boy who Cried Wolf. We’ve been through all kinds of manufactured crises: he’s a Kenyan, he’s a Muslim, he’s a Socialist, he’s a Communist, he’s a White Supremacist, he tried to join Girl Scouts, he rips fetuses from women’s wombs and eats them in front of them……

    When a real, legitimate issue comes up, we ain’t listening to those people anymore.

    “A liar is not to be believed even when he tells the truth.”

    It really IS true: everything you need to know you learn in kindergarten…..

  13. edclectic

    edclectic said, about 1 year ago

    @Craig Linder

    Well said.

  14. edclectic

    edclectic said, about 1 year ago

    @jrmerm

    Isn’t it, though?

  15. ReasonsVentriloquist

    ReasonsVentriloquist said, about 1 year ago

    Godwin’s Law, Ted.
    .
    It’s effective, it’s affective and completely bullshiattical.
    .
    Just like the whizbings that try to equate 9/11 to Benghazi, this false equalization of collecting metadata to the megadeath reality of the Holocaust reduces the relative importance of the lessons learned.
    .
    Is it bad (what the NSA is doing)? Yes and no. NSA is more of an “Intelligence” agency whereas both the FBI and the CIA are more “police” agencies.The data is. It exists. It takes as much effort to ignore it as it does to gather it. Look at the effort required to deny global warming. It would be the same basic thing. The data is there. It ought to be collected and analysed such that there is a better understanding of what events are likely to come.
    .
    The NYT used to run those graphics about how often a given word showed up in the “Blogosphere” and the “Twitterverse” as predictors of the mood of the nation as regarded political discussion. (Haven’t seen one of those in a while) Why wouldn’t the government do the same? Why should we want our government to be willingly blind to the wants and needs of the people?
    .
    Used “for the forces of good” this is Democracy on steroids. If you want these tools to be used for the power of the people, then you have to work towards getting the candidates that represent the people elected in place of the people that represent the interests of “Big Business” .
    .
    Use your power, correctly.

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