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Jan 25 2014

The government is asking outsiders to explain to them what they are doing

We are so screwed. Congress had to ask Bruce Schneier to come by and explain what the NSA is doing, because the NSA won’t tell Congress.

This morning, I spent an hour in a closed room with six members of Congress: Rep. Lofgren, Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Scott, Rep. Goodlatte, Rep Thompson, and Rep. Amash. No staffers, no public: just them. Lofgren had asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn’t forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me — as someone with access to the Snowden documents — to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course, I’m not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it’s extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.

Will everyone sleep well tonight? You’ve always wondered what it’s like to live in a police state, we may be finding out.

123 comments

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  1. 1
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Well, that isn’t discomforting at all.

  2. 2
    ChasCPeterson

    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
    more like at, versus, and against. Thanks, “Party of Lincoln” and “democrats”.

  3. 3
    ChasCPeterson

    note to self: preview it, dumbfuck
    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
    more like at, versus, and against. Thanks, “Party of Lincoln” and “democrats”.

  4. 4
    twas brillig (stevem)
    And that it’s extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me.

    Congress just wants an “impartial, outside observer” (you) to tell them what the NSA will tell a third party. So as to “spy” on the spies. ;-/ (They just expect the NSA to lie to their overseers, maybe they’ll tell the truth to an outsider.)
    >>>>>>> NSA, look over there, Squirrel! >>>>>

  5. 5
    David Gerard

    Typo: Schneier.

  6. 6
    Lynna, OM

    You think that’s scary, watch this:

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/us-nuclear-facility-failings-raise-alarm-126203971984

    Yes, our government and our military are totally fucking up when it comes to keeping our nuclear facilities safe, let alone operational. Mind boggling.

    Dangerous and obsolete facilities run by incompetent personnel.

  7. 7
    David Marjanović

    Schneier is “the one who snows”, providing a connection to Snowden. ^_^

    (Disclaimer: it’s… unlikely that that’s etymologically correct; but it’s the plain meaning of the word as taken literally in modern German.)

  8. 8
    sadunlap

    Surreal and absurdist farce. Yes, that is what a police state looks like, more like Brazil (the movie, not the country) rather than fantasies about plucky freedom fighters using their guns to overthrow the tyranny.

  9. 9
    David Wilford

    I’m thinking that the Representatives wanted to meet with Schneier because they knew he wouldn’t bullshit them and would be able to give them the big picture of the scope of the NSA’s covert surveillance activities, which they need to better inform their own response to them.

  10. 10
    sadunlap

    I remembered another absurdist story about world-gone-crazy secrecy. I read back at the time that a member of the U.S. negotiating team at the early START talks with the Soviet Union in the 70s reported that the Soviet military officers drew the U.S. delegation aside during a break and asked them not to mention top secret details about Soviet capabilities (which our satellite surveillance uncovered) in front of the civilian Soviet negotiators. They accepted as unavoidable that the U.S. State Dept. personnel, briefed by the CIA, would have this information. It was OK for Americans to know what they did not want their civilian officials to know.

    In a national security state, the Dada just keeps on coming.

  11. 11
    ryancunningham

    Our nation’s leaders lack the competence to understand, let alone regulate, a global surveillance program. Further,this program isn’t run by a law enforcement agency. The world’s largest military is spying on its own citizens, yet this extraordinary fact seems to be completely ignored by the press. A truly terrifying prospect. Anyone know what Justin Bieber’s up to?

  12. 12
    chigau (違う)

    Justin Bieber is in on it.

  13. 13
    schism

    So, a government agency is no longer answering to said government? You’d think the FBI or National Guard would object to that.

    Oh, wait, it’s just the checks and balances system they’re ignoring. Situation normal.

  14. 14
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    sadunlap, that was almost certainly because (whether the military negotiators said it or not) most of the “civilian” negotiators were in fact KGB, and with the competition between the two for information and resources being fearsome, and occasionally lethal, that level of secrecy was crucial to the military – thus they didn’t want ‘civilians’ in on the secrets.

  15. 15
    Usernames are smart

    Note to Congress:

    I know that “governing” (or whatever the fuck you think you’re doing) is hard, but the US Constitution—the old document you trot out all the time you want to appeal to the rubes—actually does have a remedy when a part of the government doesn’t give you what you need:

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, … to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States …

    — Article I § 8

    Yes, that’s right: DEFUND THE NSA. Turn the spigot off; dry up the trough; close the coin purse; etc.

    I know it will be scary. Idiots at Fox “News”/Drudge/AM Radio will accuse you of helping the terrorists, etc., but you must remember the NSA _ARE_ the terrorists at this point. When an animal is rabid, you kill it. You can shed a tear, but you really have no choice.

    What are you going to do?

    What. Are. You. Going. To. Do.

  16. 16
    theDukedog7 .

    Hope n’ Change, eh asshats?

  17. 17
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Introducing the NSA employee of the month:

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyj1c0yNjM1qktlt9o1_r2_250.gif

  18. 18
    David Marjanović

    Pelamun can’t currently post this Google Books link on the etymology of Schneier, so he asked me to do it.

  19. 19
    george gonzalez

    Time to watch Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil again. It’s almost 30 years old now but the parallels are astounding.

  20. 20
    Marcus Ranum

    Congress is supposed to be providing oversight; after all, they probably could “whistle blow” and get away with it. Instead, they have allowed themselves to be so suborned by the police state that they are feigning ignorance.

    Here’s the simple way of looking at it: they bent over backwards to hide what they were doing because they knew it was wrong and illegal. They wouldn’t have to keep it secret if they weren’t doing anything wrong. They wanted to keep it secret because what they were doing was criminal.

    Bruce is fairly measured and reasonable; I’m afraid that they’re using him to manipulate the overton window. I can just see him saying something like “It could have been worse…” and them going, “Right, OK, thank you then.”

  21. 21
    Marcus Ranum

    Hope n’ Change, eh asshats?

    It’s a program that started under Bush. So, it’s certainly not “change” other than a bit for the worse.

    I do not at all approve of the Obama administration’s war crimes, violations of the constitution, and the trust the people placed in them. Not at all. But it doesn’t represent the change we hoped for from Bush – it’s an expansion of the Bush regime.

    So, yeah, Hope ‘n Change would have been nice. Can’t blame those of us who tried for getting ripped off. The blame is squarely on the person perpetrating the ripoff.

  22. 22
    theDukedog7 .

    Marcus:

    It’s Buuuush’s fault!

    The NSA transgressions probably go back a long way, but under Obama they’re exploding. And of course I do blame those of you who “tried”. You morons supported a statist thug– what a surprise, electing a far-left Chicago machine Alinskite who sat through 20 years of Jeremiah Wright’s lunatic sermons and parties with serial bomber Bill Ayers. And now that you’ve handed him the reins of power, you are shocked–SHOCKED that he acts like a… statist thug. He’s using the IRS and a corrupt Justice Department to go after his political enemies, and the NSA is simply being transformed into a domestic spy agency.

    Thanks for giving us Obama, asshat.

  23. 23
    Allan Frost

    PZ, can you implement a filter that automatically bans anyone with “Duke” in their name?

    theDukedog7,

    Would anything be different under Rmoney?

  24. 24
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Obama is far-left?

    I’m off to Highgate to attach a dynamo to Karl Marx’s coffin…

  25. 25
    theDukedog7 .

    jagwired:

    Yea, probably things would be different under Romney. None of these guys is very good, but in Obama you picked a real bastard. What the hell were you thinking? The O is a hard left Chicago machine pol. He cut his teeth with the nastiest crooks in the business. You thought he was The One, that he was going to bring Hope and Change, that he was going to bring the Most Transparent Government Ever.

    Didn’t you ask: WTF was he doing sitting in Rev. Wright’s church listening to hateful loon spew for 20 frackin’ years– never once objecting, walking out, nothin.

    You thought he was gonna be a transformative leader? Did you ever ask yourself once just exactly what he did in Chicago politics to transform it? He was one of the guys, one of the crooks and thugs, never complained, never did nothin but go along to get along.

    You O voters are morons of the highest order. It is you dolts I blame for what’s happening now to our freedoms. And what is happening is very bad.

  26. 26
    Ryan Cunningham

    Like the 9/11 conspiracy theorists during the Bush administration, theDukeDog is letting wild conspiracy theories combine with petty political prejudices to distract from and undermine legitimate criticism of government policies. When The Patriot Act started all this, the Truthers were distracting us from that debate. Now that we the public knows about the details of the program, these low information right wing wackos are distracting us from the important issues at hand.

    He’s gravely mistaken about whose fault all this is. It’s uninformed saps like himself with no critical thinking skills who keep the status quo in power by dumbing down our national dialogue and wasting our time with their snipe hunts. It’s people like him that keep the universally incorrect pundits employed and clogging our airwaves.

    Shut up and go away, you loud, lazy jackass. This is your fault. Own it.

  27. 27
    theDukedog7 .

    Ryan,

    The Patriot Act was in many ways a bad idea, and I supported it at the time (I was wrong). Conservatives certainly bear some responsibility for it. But it was supported just about as strongly by liberals and Democrats as it was by conservatives and Republicans.

    The only folks who consistently opposed it were Libertarians, who obviously have turned out to be mostly right. Curtailment of liberty is a very serious threat when a nation is at war and feeling threatened. We have to be very careful.

    But you need to face up to the fact that Obama is the problem, not the solution. He has been conducting an all-out assault on our liberties, and he lies about it regularly. He uses government agencies to suppress his political foes, just like in the old Eastern Bloc or some banana republic.

    But at least his pants are creased nice and he reads well from a teleprompter. Oh, and he’s post-racial, so he’s bringing racial harmony. Didn’t you notice?

  28. 28
    Alteredstory

    Right, because a community organizer and a senator is a MUCH more cutthroat and crooked that a guy who spent his career dodging taxes, and bleed companies dry, and who thinks that half the country “won’t take any responsibility for themselves” because they don’t pay income taxes…

  29. 29
    theDukedog7 .

    Alteredtruth:

    Obama is a thug. You believe that Romney would have been worse, but your belief and 50 cents will buy a cup of coffee.

    The evidence we have is that Obama is a disaster and a serious threat to our liberties. Face reality.

  30. 30
    Stacy

    But you need to face up to the fact that Obama is the problem, not the solution.

    Nobody here thinks he’s “the solution.” He’s not actually “the problem” either–he’s just one more manifestation of the problem. If you think some Republican would have been better, you’ve got soap scum for brains.

  31. 31
    theDukedog7 .

    Stacy:

    Obviously Obama is a huge part of the Problem. He’s the frackin’ President you elected, moron.

    The ultimate Problem is Government that is too big and too powerful. It ain’t rocket science.

    Ronald Reagan– that guy you hate– said it best– “Government that is big enough to give everything you need and want is also strong enough to take it away.”

    You want Big Government? You voted for a far left gangster who is givin’ you Big Government. Only it’s a big NSA, not a robust economy.

    You and your fellow O lovin’ libs are morons.

  32. 32
    chigau (違う)

    theDukedog7 .
    What do you think about the moon landing?

  33. 33
    Lofty

    Dukedog, the correct spelling for rightwingers to use is “morans”. Stick to your script please.

  34. 34
    theDukedog7 .

    Chigau:

    [What do you think about the moon landing?]

    Loved it.

    Obama’s taken an axe to the space program by the way.

    Government has its roles. Obama isn’t doing those appropriate things particularly well, unless you think the Ocare roll-out was a rousing success.

    During the Apollo program, government was a tiny fraction of its current size. Government is out of control, and our Democracy is stuck with idiot groupies like you who vote for charismatic Chicago pols instead of supporting folks who, however flawed, at least might try to rein it in.

  35. 35
    theDukedog7 .

    I’m sure you same drooling pinheads who are lamenting our out-of-control government and admitting that Obama is a disaster are swooning over Hillary for 2016. Finally Hope and Change!

  36. 36
    Alteredstory

    He’s been a threat to our civil liberties, though not to the degree generally ranted about on the Right. He’s been terrible on things like the drone program, and neglectful at best on climate change.

    I still think that, given that the alternative was McCain and then Romney, he was the best choice. McCain has supported war in every situation where the possibility has come up since 2008. Romney represents a group of people who specialize in using the U.S. government for personal profit, and I’ve seen no evidence that EITHER of them would have lifted a finger over the activities of the NSA.

    That doesn’t excuse the inaction of the Obama administration, just illustrates a bit of why I prefer him to the alternatives presented.

    Beyond that, Congress has the authority to take the NSA in hand. Why aren’t they?

  37. 37
    Alteredstory

    And the problem is NOT the size of the government, it’s who those in the government actually work for, and that hasn’t been the American voters for some time. We are the product in a great racket that lets corporations use politicians to get government favors. The politicians run elections to get power and authority, get richly rewarded for it, and then most of them end up selling us out to folks trying to turn a profit at our expense.

    Not ALL politicians do it – it might not even be a large majority – but as long as it’s a few more than 50%, we keep getting sold out because WE are what they’re peddling.

  38. 38
    Alteredstory

    Personally, I’d like to see an actual climate hawk in the running for 2016, but I’m not going to get my hopes up…

  39. 39
    theDukedog7 .

    I don’t care for McCain: he’s far too willing to go to war and while I don’t think he is in the same bottom-feeding class as Obama, he’s pretty bad. I have no particular love for Romney either, although I think he is orders of magnitude better than The One.

    You don’t seem to understand exactly who you elected in 2012 and 2016. You may be getting an inkling now, and you will learn a lot more as our freedoms go down the toilet.

    Who would ever have thought that Bill Ayers’ best friend and Tony Rezko’s partner and Saul Alinsky’s devoted student and Jeremiah Wright’s favorite parishioner and the Chicago Democrat Machine’s favorite son would turn out to be a mortal threat to our freedom?

    Maybe We Weren’t the Change We Have Been Waitin’ For!

  40. 40
    chigau (違う)

    theDukedog7 . #34

    …idiot groupies like you who vote for charismatic Chicago pols…

    Nope. Last election I voted NDP.
    —-
    Are American private for-profit prisons part of Big Government?

  41. 41
    Allan Frost

    I coulda swore the self-professed troll that was spewing libertarian bullshit a couple weeks ago had “duke” in his nym. I might be wrong.

  42. 42
    theDukedog7 .

    [Personally, I’d like to see an actual climate hawk in the running for 2016, but I’m not going to get my hopes up…]

    Oh great. Government is out of control, and just what we need now is an even more massive bureaucracy legislating junk science to regulate every aspect of our lives including the air we exhale.

    And heck the green movement isn’t just a bunch of crooks, right? Ask Al “green billionarie” Gore.

  43. 43
    xavierninnis4191

    #16
    Indeed. LOTE my ass.
    Had tweedledum been elected at least there’d have been a hell of a lot more noise raised by the Dems in congress. Also, rather than the existing split between those Democrats who genuinely support civil liberties on principle, and the “party faithful” who continue to defend the Administration, there instead would be near unanimous opposition from the, ahem, “left”.
    (From frequent visits to sites such as Democratic Underground, Daily Kos etc, my seat of the pants guess would be that, among dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, 40% remain hard core supporters of President Obama.)

  44. 44
    Rey Fox

    Bringing up Ayers and Wright? Wingnut. Ignore.

  45. 45
    Rey Fox

    And a global warming denialiat to boot? Double ignore.

  46. 46
    Alteredstory

    Science denier. What a surprise.

  47. 47
    Ishikiri

    @15 Usernames Are Smart:

    As I understand it, funding for organizations like the NSA is decided in relevant subcommittees and included in the budget as ‘black,’ with the rest of Congress not knowing what they’re voting on.

    This story struck me as a problem with Congress’ internal communication, that individual members weren’t able to get the info out of each other. I noted that none of the people Schneier talked to are on the Armed Forces Committee (which presumably the NSA would be overseen by, as part of the DoD) or the Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense or Homeland Security. Although Rep. Mike Thompson IS the Ranking Member of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Human Analysis and Counterintelligence. You would think at least HE would know something.

  48. 48
    sadunlap

    Sadly in Obama I had hoped for a centrist technocrat. I realized he talked the lefty/liberal talk and I realized he would very likely not enact anything left of center. Even with lower expectations than most I found myself appalled by what he did do, starting with a drone attack in Pakistan a week and a half after his first inauguration. Following this up with attacks on civil liberties, expanding the NSA, appointing a Social Security looter to the commission to study the budget, and telling Wall Street his “administration is all that stands between you and the pitchforks,” places him somewhere in the land beyond disappointment.

    The bizarre insistence by those on the right to call him a “leftist” (and some even call him socialist and communist) puzzles me. To quote from The Princess Bride “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” He is not a leftist and what he has actually done is certainly not something actual lefty types ever wanted. Do not mistake the fools at MoveOn for leftists.

    If you want to engage with lefty-liberal types in a constructive manner it would help to read up a bit on the various political and economic philosophies of the last 200 years or so. And I don’t mean wikipedia.

  49. 49
    schweinhundt

    While there are reasonable concerns/questions about NSA programs, Mr. Schneier’s post seems to be self-aggrandizing B.S.

    He didn’t “brief Congress.” He met with six (out of 400+) representatives in the US House. None of whom (as far as I can tell) are on committees with oversight on the NSA. Just because these particular reps. are in the dark doesn’t mean the NSA is withholding information from the House.

    Also, I’d like to know how Mr. Schneier effectively and thoroughly condensed his understanding of over one million files from Snowden (assuming he has access to them all) into a one hour talk. That would be a singularly impressive display of communication skills.

  50. 50
    schweinhundt

    @47 Andrew:

    The lack of first names in the post leave uncertainty about whom he spoke with and, therefore, what committees they are on.

  51. 51
    Muz

    It’s not directly analogous but every time I think of this stuff I can’t help but note that England once had a secret court that did the bidding of a government mad on military spending and defense. It used to bundle people off to legally obscure jails and have them tortured and things.

    Ended up in revolution and a lot of people moving to a place called New England.

    (yeah, no royal prerogative or dissolving the house by force this time around. I know.)

  52. 52
    Ishikiri

    @47 schweinhundt:

    Schneier mentions in a comment below the article that it was Bobby Scott and Mike Thompson whom he talked to.

  53. 53
    Ryan Cunningham

    “The Patriot Act was in many ways a bad idea, and I supported it at the time (I was wrong).”

    Then how about you shut the fuck up about Obama for a while and start undoing the damage people like YOU caused?! Or at least just show a little more humility? Christ almighty. You’re concerned about an administration abusing the very laws you personally advocated? But now they’re suddenly bad because a different administration is in power? Obama didn’t take away your rights. You took them away from yourself!

    Turn off the pundits that tell you what you want to hear and start thinking for yourself.

  54. 54
    theDukedog7 .

    Sadunlap:

    Obama is the most leftist president we’ve ever had. His roots in Chicago are hard left. And what on earth makes you think that an even more leftist president would be a good thing? Maybe if we had some of them harder core leftists– Castro, Ceausescu, Honneker, Pol Pot– then things would be great! A third of the world has been infested with leftism of a very pure variety. The experiment’s been run, moron. Leftist government is totalitarian in its ordinary instantiation (what a surprise Obama is using the NSA to spy on citizens and using the IRS and Justice Department to punish enemies), and even in it’s milder instantiation– the socialist basketcases of Europe– it causes economic ruin.

    Ryan:

    I learned from my mistakes. You elect your mistakes.

  55. 55
    Al Dente

    Obama is the most leftist president we’ve ever had. His roots in Chicago are hard left.

    Both Roosevelts, Truman and even Nixon were further to the left than center-right Obama. Learn some history.

  56. 56
    Drolfe

    Thug? Rev. Wright? “Post-racial”?

    Why are conservatives always so racist?

    And that’s not undermine our latest guest or to say that Pres. Obama hasn’t failed in some respects. It just often seems like they can’t help themselves. However, without election reform, choosing the lesser of two evils is still the most rational, risk averse strategy. Permitting Republicans near the presidency is not worth the risk.

  57. 57
    Drolfe

    OSHA, the EPA, federalizing CHIP, etc and so on. The Republicans of yesteryear, folks.

  58. 58
    theDukedog7 .

    Al:

    So you’d vote for Nixon over Obama?

  59. 59
    Barkeron

    @theDukedog7:

    Hey gang, what’s the easiest way to recognize a wingnut?

    Right, he uses “statist” as an insult!

    Listen up, at least we “morons” and “asshats” are smart enough to realize industrialized human society isn’t possible without instituting states on which to build them, no matter how much “rugged individualism” you dream you possess (my guess is potty-mouthed lolbertarians like you wouldn’t pass Boy Scouts survival training).

    A government that is small enough to be drowned in a bathtub drowns its entire country too, as rent-seeking elitist onepercenters swoop in to install a kleptocracy and bleed the lands dry.

  60. 60
    Drolfe

    I was reading a thing the other day that exposed me to the idea that neoliberalism (that’s all the rage these last few decades with conservatives) necessitates individuation contra collectivism — even though collectivism is pretty much necessary for all human social units from families to societies.

    So you know, unless we get a handle on these dipshits — Trickle down! Dog eat dog! — were all doomed. Not that we aren’t long-run or anything, but you know what I mean.

  61. 61
    Al Dente

    So you’d vote for Nixon over Obama?

    I wouldn’t vote for Nixon because he was more dishonest than Obama. However Nixon got the EPA established and recognized the PRC as the legitimate Chinese government, which tells me he was more progressive than NSA-loving Obama.

  62. 62
    theDukedog7 .

    Bark-boy:

    Thanks for enlightening me that some government is necessary. I didn’t realize that.

    As for my “Boy Scout survival training”, I am an Army veteran. Your military experience?

    Regarding the very real perils of Big Government, a simple correlation between the 20th century size and power of individual governments (Soviet, Nazi, American, British, etc) correlates quite nicely with lack of freedom.

    “Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” was the defining motto of fascism.”

    The State is always a threat to liberty. We need to rein it in, make it smaller and define precisely what it can do to us and what it cannot do to us.

    You want freebies, asshat? Free Obamaphones, free contraception, big fat checks from Washington in your mailbox? They’ll be happy to oblige, and you’ll get a big NSA and IRS and politically-motivated Justice Department along with it.

    You State-lovin’ leftists are a big part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

  63. 63
    kingeofdremes

    I’m curious… in Right Wing America, is the most convincing argument the one most liberally peppered with insults, straw men and ad hominem attacks? Or am I missing something? Is that how they convince each other, I wonder?

    A: “Either we agree that X is true, or you’re a moron.”
    B: “No, you must accept that not X is true, or you’re a bigger moron.”
    A: “All right, you win.”

  64. 64
    theDukedog7 .

    King:

    [I’m curious… in Right Wing America, is the most convincing argument the one most liberally peppered with insults, straw men and ad hominem attacks?]

    Yea. We racist homophobic tea-baggers are so prone to using insults…

  65. 65
    Al Dente

    We racist homophobic tea-baggers are so prone to using insults…

    See, even a teabagger is capable of stumbling over the truth at times. But I’m sure theDukedog7 will pick themself up and wander away, completely unaware of what’s they actually said.

    As for my “Boy Scout survival training”, I am an Army veteran. Your military experience?

    I’m a retired Navy E8.

    Regarding the very real perils of Big Government, a simple correlation between the 20th century size and power of individual governments (Soviet, Nazi, American, British, etc) correlates quite nicely with lack of freedom.

    So you’re not actually a teabagger, you’re a libertarian. No wonder you think Obama is far left, you’re so far right you think anyone to the left of Ron Paul is a Communist.

  66. 66
    Nick Gotts

    legislating junk science to regulate every aspect of our lives including the air we exhale.

    And heck the green movement isn’t just a bunch of crooks, right? Ask Al “green billionarie” Gore.

    Thanks for sticking so closely to the glibertarian script – it saves time for the rest of us to know you really are a complete fuckwit. Climate science is not the product of big government, the “green movement”, or Al Gore, but of – guess what – climate scientists. People who have studied the climate for decades, and who are practically unanimous that anthropogenic climate change is real, and a problem that demands urgent action, but are slandered by invincibly ignorant drivelling numpties like you, Christopher Monckton and Senator Infohe, useful idiots for the fossil fuel industry, because the science conflicts with your juvenile ideological fixations.

    Duting the Apollo years, by the way, the top rate of federal income tax was 70% – nearly twice what it is today – and US government was also spending more on infrastructure and investment as a proportion of GDP than it is now, forcing desegregation on the south, and running the Vietnam war – that was your “small government”. As anyone but a fuckwitted glibertarian recognises, governments, whatever their size, can do both good and bad, and can both enhance and destroy liberty.

  67. 67
    Piotr Gąsiorowski

    David Marjanowić: Disclaimer: it’s… unlikely that that’s etymologically correct.

    The Ashkenazic name Schneier is pretty old. It comes ultimately from the Judeo-Romance equivalent of Old French or Provençal se(i)gnor ‘lord’. The Yiddish form has been slightly affected by folk-etymological attempts to make sense of it in Hebrew terms.

    There’s also a practically identical German surname (Schneyer, Schneier) derived from the placename Schney (now part of Lichtenfels, Upper Franconia).

  68. 68
    Menyambal

    “Obamaphones”? Yeah , right. Ronny Reagan started that program with landlines, George W built it up further. A phone is a necessity these days, especially while looking for work. Getting a job requires a phone.

    Recipients have to qualify, of course, they aren’t just squirted out of a government teat. And they don’t cost much, if you stop and think.

    TheDukedog7 isn’t stopping to think, obviously, just frothing out whatever factoids it has been fed.

  69. 69
    David Marjanović

    The NSA transgressions probably go back a long way, but under Obama they’re exploding.

    How can you tell? How can anyone tell whether the NSA hasn’t always done everything that was technologically possible?

    far-left

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Obama, like Kerry and both Clintons, would fit pretty comfortably into the conservative parties of most European countries!

    Chicago machine Alinskite who sat through 20 years of Jeremiah Wright’s lunatic sermons and parties with serial bomber Bill Ayers.

    I thought Wright’s sermons became “lunatic” some 20 years after Obama had left?

    He’s using the IRS and a corrupt Justice Department to go after his political enemies,

    Examples, please.

    and the NSA is simply being transformed into a domestic spy agency.

    o_O

    Domestic? It spies on the whole world.

    The ultimate Problem is Government that is too big and too powerful. It ain’t rocket science.

    Congress is not powerful enough to get information out of the NSA, and you say big-G Government is too powerful!?!

    Jesus Haploid Christ.

    Oh great. Government is out of control, and just what we need now is an even more massive bureaucracy legislating junk science to regulate every aspect of our lives including the air we exhale.

    :-D Junk science? Do tell!

    However Nixon got the EPA established and recognized the PRC as the legitimate Chinese government, which tells me he was more progressive than NSA-loving Obama.

    Uh, recognizing the PRC was just pragmatism: the PRC had long been too big and powerful to ignore. Keep in mind that, while the PRC was and still is a one-party dictatorship, so was the ROC at the time!

  70. 70
    David Marjanović

    Marjanowić

    Hee. :-) I’m immediately reminded of going here and mousing over the link to the supplementary file. :-)

    from the Judeo-Romance equivalent of Old French or Provençal se(i)gnor ‘lord’

    Ah, that makes more sense than straight from Classical Latin senior “older/elder”!

    There’s also a practically identical German surname (Schneyer, Schneier) derived from the placename Schney (now part of Lichtenfels, Upper Franconia).

    Interesting.

  71. 71
    David Wilford

    This recent essay by Schneier in The Atlantic makes clear the difference between surveillance and security, and why it matters:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/how-the-nsa-threatens-national-security/282822/

    Enjoy!

  72. 72
    Marcus Ranum

    I always get a chuckle when some ignart uses “alinskyite” as a negative label. Because I’m a lifelong fan of Alinsky and have read and reread “rules for radicals” and “reville for radicals”… Not to brag too much, I’ve even got an autographed first edition sitting on my bookshelf in a place of honor next to my 2nd printing of Paine’s “rights…” and my pre-pub review copy of 1984. But I digress: someone who uses “alinksyite” as a label has almost certainly never read a thing he wrote. If my comment here encourages someone to read Alinsky, so much the better for us all.

    What does Alinsky actually have to say? He’s not quite an anarchist, since he’s concerned with the question of how to work within society effectively, without requiring its complete reform or destruction. I find that a refreshing view (having grown up on Paul Wolff) since it points toward a working society in which the needs of the weak are balanced against the desires of the strong, by virtue of organization to bring about peaceful social change. Alinsky’s “Rules…” has no ideological slant at all other than that it deals with the weak’s opportunities and challenges – it reads as true whether you’re a libertarian who sees big government as the overreaching power that must be opposed, or whether it’s big business, big pharma, or – well, whatever opposes you. In other words it’s the kind of book an educated teabagger would read, if there were such a thing. Alinsky constantly favors community-oriented problem solving over any other kind: groups of like-minded people who are being negatively impacted by overreaching economic or political forces should engage at a grassroots level and create an attritional situation in which the goals of the overreaching forces are defeated strategically by raising their cost of doing business. It’s a strategy that Mao would approve of no more than Jamie Dimon would, if they ever found themselves on the short end of the stick. In other words, Alinsky writes for the abstract underdog – someone who attempts to dismiss Alinsky as somehow being wrong would appear to be under the impression that in history there are no winners and losers and that they personally will never be on the receiving end of force.

    In their tactics, the tea party are more “alinskyite” than the anti-global protesters are, but they are both using similar strategies to the same ends. And they use them because the strategies work – they shift the overton window and they raise the cost of oppression to the point where negotiation and rebalance becomes an attractive alternative. Anyone who has ever been concerned with organizing to achieve or maintain social equality using grass-roots campaigns ought to read Alinsky. If only because it will help you understand what is going on around you.

    It’s tempting to quote practically the whole book at you, but I think the opening paragraph is enough:

    WHAT FOLLOWS IS for those who want to change the
    world from what it is to what they believe it should be.
    The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on
    how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the
    Have-Nots on how to take it away.

    What libertarian or tea partier’s heart is not uplifted by those words? Only the abject bootlicker who seeks the firm guiding hand of a master, or the ignorant jackass who talks about “alinskyites” without knowing of what they speak!

    Signed, “proudly Alisnkyite”

  73. 73
    Marcus Ranum

    The ultimate Problem is Government that is too big and too powerful. It ain’t rocket science.

    I greet you, fellow alinskyite!! ;)

  74. 74
    Piotr Gąsiorowski

    Oops, David, sorry for the w. You certainly realise there are lots of Poles called Marianowicz.

  75. 75
    theDukedog7 .

    Marcus:

    Alinsky was a genius. His tactical vision was remarkable– his Rules For Radicals (which I’ve read and admire) is perhaps the seminal text on organizing and advocacy in a democracy.

    His ideology was very difficult to pin down, although he certainly came at things from a socialist perspective. It was power he craved, which is inherently socialist, but he was generally vague about a specific political ideology.

    And therein lies his evil, which was deep. His methods are a textbook for the acquisition of mass power. They can be used for good purposes against bad guys, of course, and sometimes have been (Alinsky is studied by the Tea Party), but they can be used quite effectively by bad guys, which has been their primary application. The left (ie bad guys) have made Allinsky a secular saint, and skillfully employ his methods to expand government power by mobilizing mass dependence on the government, which is the greatest aphrodisiac for government power.

    It is not Allinsky’s tactical vision that is the problem (although some of his ideas skirt ethical boundaries). It is the strategic purpose to which his tactical vision has been applied. In this way he is Napoleonic in a sense– a genius who empowers the masses but who ultimately fosters chaos and repression.

  76. 76
    millssg99

    The reason congress doesn’t reign in the NSA is because once we do something for “security” then if you roll it back and something happens the nuts will blame you and the American people will fall for it. It’s why once you start ridiculous TSA policies you can never relax them. Politicians are afraid to act no matter what they might personally think.

    Speaking of a police state, last year I saw on the local news that police had put a whole neighborhood “on lockdown”. I’m thinking WTF? How can you put a bunch of private homes on “lockdown”? Apparently the militarized swat teams had seen some guy they were chasing run into the area. They interviewed some guy who said his children were alone in the house and if there really was a danger in the neighborhood he wanted to get home, but the police wouldn’t let him. I’m thinking what law exists that allow the police to prevent everyone from going into their own neighborhood because some idiot may be running around in there. What law would a homeowner be breaking if he walked down the street to his house? On what grounds would he be arrested?

    The police have everyone intimidated. They have the populace believing they are some kind of dictators that can make up whatever rules they want whenever they want and people fall for it. We live in a scare state and no politician nor most citizens has the balls to take a real stand. And once you get to the level of POTUS virtually none of them will give up their power. Congressional oversight has become a joke.

    The dukydog is completely delusional about the Republicans but he is right about Obama. He is a power-grabbing narcissistic politician at his core. He thinks he was elected Dictator of the United States.

  77. 77
    theDukedog7 .

    Al:

    [I’m a retired Navy E8.]

    Regular Army E5 1973-76, 82nd Airborne. Reserve Army Captain 1987-92.

  78. 78
    SallyStrange

    Oh dear. I’m a bad guy. How distressing.

    Oh wait, this is the same guy who thinks that climate change isn’t happening saying this.

    Phew!

  79. 79
    Marcus Ranum

    His ideology was very difficult to pin down, although he certainly came at things from a socialist perspective. It was power he craved, which is inherently socialist, but he was generally vague about a specific political ideology.

    Sorry; but I think you’re wrong about that – entirely wrong. Alinsky certainly was aligned with socialists because at that time the “Haves” are capital and the “Have-Nots” are labor. If the current of history were running the opposite direction, and labor was oppressing capital, I doubt very much that Alinsky would have still been championing the cause of labor.

    He was vague about specific ideology because he doesn’t offer one – other than what I quoted in the first paragraph of his book: he’s against concentration of power, which you oddly morph into him craving power. That view is further refuted by observing Alinsky’s personal actions in life; he went from place to place helping bootstrap grass-roots organization against concentrated power, then left and went elsewhere. If he loved power so much, he’d have maybe stuck around a bit to enjoy the fruits of his efforts – or, in modern terms, he’d have gotten a job as a commentator on FOX news and cashed out in a haze of alcohol and pills. That’s what the power-loving do once they realize they’ll never break into the elite class and will always just be water-carriers for those who really control society. If, in your world, being against something represents a craving for it, are tea partiers actually craving big government (because if there were bigger government there’d be more for tea partiers to complain about?) You appear to be engaging in minimal thinking about this topic.

    And therein lies his evil, which was deep. His methods are a textbook for the acquisition of mass power.

    Wow, have you got that wrong. You appear to be assuming that the mechanisms of power are the same regardless of where you are on the power curve. Alinsky, unlike you, understood that they are not – the powerful can control elections, deploy force, purchase loyalty, etc – those are things the “Have-Not”s cannot do and once you transition from being a “Have-Not” to a “Have” there is no need to use the methods of the “Have-Nots” any more. That’s why nobody with a strong military has ever adopted passive resistance as a strategy.

    His methods are a textbook for how to irritate and possibly disempower (or at least get a better deal out of…) those who are in power. That does not automatically translate into a roadmap for wielding power once you’ve concentrated it; as Alinski himself says he leaves that bit of work to Machiavelli. Yes, one who is in power would do well to understand Alinski’s strategies and attempt to sidestep them (which is hard) – indeed, we’ve seen some examples of exactly that kind of thing happen lately, in which a “grass roots” organization that was a sort of anti-government liberalism got suborned by powerful monied interests into a conservative travesty. I’m referring, of course, to the tea party – a group that serve the role of “useful idiots” by helping bleed away any real interest in conservative reform. How… Machiavellian. Not “Alinskyite” – “Machiavellian”…

    Further, let me observe that anyone who brags about serving in the US military during the Vietnam War probably has no basis to go around calling anyone’s ideas “Evil.” MMmkay?

    Ultimately a book of strategy is neither good nor evil; it’s methods awaiting an end. The ends are either good or evil – the methods are abstract. Saying Alinsky is “Evil” for writing about political strategies for empowerment is like blaming Sun Tzu for the Vietnam War: absurd.

    they can be used quite effectively by bad guys, which has been their primary application

    I don’t believe you’ve actually read it. Or, you’ve certainly failed to comprehend it. Ar you sure you didn’t just read the wikipedia page on it, and try to hammer a summary into a few talking-points that fit your established ideology?

  80. 80
    Alteredstory

    The problem is not the size and power of the government. The problem is who the government answers to, and that will CONTINUE to be a problem no matter how big the government is.

    A huge amount of the government’s money and power currently goes to benefit assorted private corporations, who turn around and use their political influence to further benefit themselves, often at our expense.

    That’s why we can have a massive military industrial complex, and no water for West Virginians. You people say the government is “too big and too powerful”, and yet it manifestly isn’t capable of even protecting our water. It’s not the size and power, it’s WHERE it’s big, and where the power is directed, and THAT is determined by who is elected. None of the so-called “small government” people have done anything to make the government serve the people more than the plutocrats, and so electing them does nothing to benefit the people who claim to want “smaller government”.

  81. 81
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    SallyStrange:
    You’re a bad person?
    Oh in the land of the wingnuts where theDukedog7 lives. That doesnt count. Disconnected from reality that one is. In addition to denying climate change xe thinks the republican party is the party of pro equality and civil rights.

  82. 82
    Marcus Ranum

    The problem is not the size and power of the government. The problem is who the government answers to, and that will CONTINUE to be a problem no matter how big the government is.

    It’s a bit more complicated than that. There’s also questions of government’s efficiency and competence – I think we can agree that size is not the right metric on which to assess government. It might be that an efficient government that does a great job providing services might be HUGE and nobody’d mind at all (I’m imagining if, for example, we had 20x as many teachers, food safety inspectors, highway safety inspectors, road crews, etc, instead of the Joint Strike Fighter or The Pentagon’s new “renew” on the nuclear arsenal which will cost $1t…) When the tea partiers talk about “size” they appear to be conflating that with “cost” but that’s not a correct measure – especially since they appear to be concerned with headcount but not with The Pentagon’s ballooned budget. That tells me either that they’re extremely naive or they’re not being honest. In either case, their reasoning sucks.

  83. 83
    Muz

    Aaaanyway, someone was saying that “Schneier briefing congress” wasn’t true and bit blow-hard of him to say. None of it suggests the NSA aren’t be frank and forthcoming with Congress.

    Well the NSA are on record as being very evasive publicly and if not outright lying to the house then lying by omission every chance they get. Some would see it as clever lawyering that takes advantage of the general technical ignorance of the reps I suppose.

    In any case Schneier talking to as many members as possible is a step towards getting them to ask the right questions.

  84. 84
    David Marjanović

    You certainly realise there are lots of Poles called Marianowicz.

    I didn’t know that, but I’m not surprised!

    …Incidentally, do you know where the ć comes from? By comparison to Polish and Russian, I’d expect č…?

    It was power he craved, which is inherently socialist

    lolwut

  85. 85
    PZ Myers

    theDukedog7 .:

    Would you mind telling everyone who you are, so we can all appreciate the magnitude of your idiocy? Not only a far right wing ass, but an ignorant proponent of creationism.

    And then once you’ve done that, how about fucking off? You add nothing but noise and stupidity to any conversation.

  86. 86
    SallyStrange

    Oooh, a CREATIONIST, climate change denialist, libertarian, rightwingnut thinks I’m a bad person?? I must be doing something right.

  87. 87
    theDukedog7 .

    PZ:

    I understand why you would rather I “fuck off”. If I were you, I’d want that too. But sometimes it’s fun to come to the monkey house and scrape a pipe along the cages.

    I have logged on with this moniker because for some reason my original name keeps getting denied when I try to log in. Maybe you would know something about that.

    I really don’t like censors. They’re such cowards.

    Mike Egnor

  88. 88
    Al Dente

    Mike Egnor

    I know you. You’re the wackaloon creationist neurologist with your head firmly up your ass. While I knew you denied scientific reality, I didn’t know you denied economic, political and social reality.

    I have to ask you a question. What is it about the real world that you hate so much? Why are religious and libertarian fantasies so much more satisfying than reality?

  89. 89
    theDukedog7 .

    Al Dente:

    [What is it about the real world that you hate so much?]

    I hate lies.

  90. 90
    Al Dente

    Then why are you a creationist?

    I was being very serious when I asked why do you hate reality? There’s no way a 2500 year old myth some Hebrew priests stole from the Babylonians could possibly be true. Yet you pretend it is and consciously reject reality. I cannot understand why anyone would do that. Are you afraid your god will spank your bottom for eternity if you don’t reject reality?

  91. 91
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    If that really is Egnor, or even if it is not, this is worth a read.

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/03/egnorance-combo-arrogance.html

  92. 92
  93. 93
  94. 94
    theDukedog7 .

    Al:

    Then why are you an atheist?

    I was being very serious when I asked why do you hate reality? There’s no way a 2500 year old myth some Epicureans stole from Democritus could possibly be true. Yet you pretend it is and consciously reject reality. I cannot understand why anyone would do that. Are you afraid God will spank your bottom for eternity if He exists?

  95. 95
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    And one from PZ.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/02/18/dr-michael-egnor-challenges-ev/

    See a pattern here?

    Typical creationist behavior despite any credentials.

  96. 96
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Are you afraid God will spank your bottom for eternity if He exists?

    Since there is no conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, it remains imaginary, existing only in your feeble mind. That is reality. Your delusions are your delusions. Keep them to yourself.

  97. 97
    Marcus Ranum

    Typical creationist behavior despite any credentials.

    And now we can see that his political sophistication is comparable to his understanding of basic science. It does explain a bit about how someone can mistake Alinsky’s anti-authoritarian writings for a handbook for tea partiers and would-be dictators. (eyeroll) That’s the degree of “out of touch” it takes to mistake a 2000 year-old bunch of goatherder’s tall tales for reality. (I wonder if the Romans would have considered jesus to be an “alinskyite”? Probably; he was opposing the establishment, after all…)

  98. 98
    Ingdigo Jump

    here’s no way a 2500 year old myth some Epicureans stole from Democritus could possibly be true. Yet you pretend it is and consciously reject reality.

    Wut?

  99. 99
    theDukedog7 .

    [Since there is no conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, it remains imaginary, existing only in your feeble mind. That is reality. Your delusions are your delusions. Keep them to yourself.]

    If there were conclusive physical evidence for god, it wouldn’t be evidence for God. God is transcendent. He is not a thing in nature. He is the Ground of Existence. His existence can be demonstrated logically (Aquinas’ Five Ways, Ontological Argument, Argument from Categorical Imperative/Morality, etc), but he is not a bit of datum that can be pinned on a cork board.

    I should point out that the Catholic Church demolished the kind of god you are talking about– pagan deities living on Mt. Olympus– 2000 years before you figured it out. We’re always ahead of you atheists.

  100. 100
    Lofty

    Good grief. Dukedogs indoctrination into the goatherders cult has totally killed his rational thinking ability.
    You poor sap, reality isn’t confined to a scarce few thousands of years of Earth history. Shed the shackles of your delusion and let some light in.

  101. 101
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    theDukedog7

    When quoting someone:

    <blockquote>Quoted text goes here</blockquote>

    Produces

    Quoted text goes here

    As for this…

    He is not a thing in nature.

    Please define “outside nature,” in meaningful terms.

  102. 102
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    God is transcendent. He is not a thing in nature. He is the Ground of Existence. His existence can be demonstrated logically (Aquinas’ Five Ways, Ontological Argument, Argument from Categorical Imperative/Morality, etc), but he is not a bit of datum that can be pinned on a cork board.

    No fuckwit, as presuppositional argument, which the best Aquainas could do to prover your imaginary deity, is a logical fallacy, just like your word salad, full of bullshit meaning nothing.
    The physical evidence claim is just your way of acknowledging you have nothing but your inane delusions, otherwise you would show the following: physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Something equivalent to an eternally burning bush.
    Simple, put up the evidence or shut the fuck up. But no excuses and evasions, philosophy, theology. Solid physical evidence.

  103. 103
    Ryan Cunningham

    “The ultimate Problem is Government that is too big and too powerful. It ain’t rocket science.”

    Says the guy who supported the Patriot Act. How about the Iraq war? Was that also a part of your small government philosophy?

  104. 104
    Al Dente

    theDukedog7 @94

    Then why are you an atheist?

    Because I see no convincing evidence for gods. Note the plural. That’s all gods, not just your favorite deities.

    I was being very serious when I asked why do you hate reality?

    Unlike you, I like reality, I respect reality, and I know that reality exists. I don’t know that gods exist but the probability of them existing is so low as to be meaningless. The probability that Dad, JC and the Spook exist is so small as to be non-existent.

    There’s no way a 2500 year old myth some Epicureans stole from Democritus could possibly be true. Yet you pretend it is and consciously reject reality.

    You’re absolutely right. The atom that Democritus postulated doesn’t exist. The only similarity between a Democritian atom and a modern scientific atom is the name. So what’s your point?

    Are you afraid God will spank your bottom for eternity if He exists?

    Since gods don’t exist I’m hardly worried about what they might do. Again, what’s your point?

    I give you a friendly word of advice: You’re not particularly good at snark. Don’t try it because you’re only making yourself look even more foolish than you already are.

  105. 105
    Al Dente

    If there were conclusive physical evidence for god, it wouldn’t be evidence for God. God is transcendent. He is not a thing in nature.

    In other words, he’s a figment of the imagination. We knew that already.

    His existence can be demonstrated logically (Aquinas’ Five Ways, Ontological Argument, Argument from Categorical Imperative/Morality, etc)

    These are all presuppositional arguments. Aquinas et al are treating the existence of gods as axiomatic. They’re assuming their conclusion, which makes it easy to “prove” that conclusion.

    but he is not a bit of datum that can be pinned on a cork board.

    So you agree there’s not a speck of evidence to show the existence of any gods. All you’ve got is logical fallacies to “prove” gods’ existence.

    I should point out that the Catholic Church demolished the kind of god you are talking about– pagan deities living on Mt. Olympus– 2000 years before you figured it out.

    We don’t believe in Olympian gods either, so this is just a non sequitur.

  106. 106
    Marcus Ranum

    He is the Ground of Existence.

    That would be physical evidence, if you could show that there’s a causal relationship, except…

    If there were conclusive physical evidence for god, it wouldn’t be evidence for God.

    Ooops, own-goal.

    God is transcendent

    Well, that makes it impossible for you to have any knowledge about it.

    Earlier you sniffed about censors being cowards, when PZ posted suggesting you share your identity. Consider that PZ was not censoring you – he was sparing you the embarrassment of putting on your display of superstitious fideism. Making a fool of yourself in public does not have to be the counterpoint to being silent. It really is better to be silent and have people wonder if you’re ignorant, than to prove it, with foot firmly in mouth.

  107. 107
    chigau (違う)

    ‘Ow’, ‘Ownge’, ‘Round’, ‘Ground’! That’s it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it’ll be friends with me? Hello, Ground!

  108. 108
    Piotr Gąsiorowski

    David Marjanović: …Incidentally, do you know where the ć comes from? By comparison to Polish and Russian, I’d expect č…?

    From Proto-Slavic *-tj- (not from palatalised *k, if that is what you were thinking of). It yields (among other reflexes) East Slavic č, West Slavic c, and Serbo-Croatian ć, as in *světja ‘candle’ > Russ. svečá, Pol. świeca, Cr. svijèća, etc. The Modern Polish shape of the (originally patronymic) surname-forming suffix, -icz, is misleading. The older Polish form was -ic, but it’s been outcompeted by the East Slavic (“Ruthenian”) allele -icz (= -ič), mass-imported from the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

  109. 109
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    So, theDukedog7 is a creationist too? Wow. Is there no end to hir idiocy?

    So, reality denying, presuppositional nitwit, where’s your evidence for god?
    How do you know your god exists and the thousands of others created by humanity are not real?
    If you have no evidence, why do you believe in things that lack evidence for their existence?
    What other unevidenced entities do you believe in- Thor? Dionysus? Demeter? Do you believe in rainbow shitting unicorns? Each of them has the same amount of evidence to support their existence.

  110. 110
    A. Noyd

    @Tony (#109)
    Before you waste your time, you should go read the links Rev. BDC supplied in #91-93 & 95. Know the level of stupidity and dishonesty you’re getting into.

  111. 111
    Rob Grigjanis

    David @84: I lack Piotr’s linguistic erudition, but in Croatian at least, there is a subtle difference between č and ć. As in the surname Kovačević. I can’t tell the difference. But then a Czech acquaintance once berated me for being unable to pronounce the name Jiří. Sounded like ‘YIR-zhee’ to me, but some subtlety eluded me.

  112. 112
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    A. Noyd:
    Thanks for the heads up.

  113. 113
    omnicrom

    Man how long has it been since we’ve been graced by a genuine full-bore creationist? For a while now we’ve only gotten Gun Nuts, trolls Very Concerned about the problems of being Pro-Choice, fans of Fantasy Francis, Libertarians, and science deniers.

    Hmm.

    Hey theDukedog7, how do you feel about Guns, Abortion rights, and the Pope? Have we got ourselves a bingo here?

  114. 114
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Omnicrom:
    I do not think this chew toy will hold up long so you may not want to pull out the fangs.

  115. 115
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    SLAVICA!

    *swoons*

  116. 116
    Anri

    theDukedog7:

    Interesting.
    May I ask what structures in your brain you believe interact with your soul?

    (I ask, since you presumably believe your mind is separate from your brain rather than being created by it, yes? Since you also, presumably, believe your mind will survive beyond the destruction of your brain, yes?)

    Or have you actually bothered to think through it that far?
    If not, now might be a good time.

  117. 117
    rnilsson

    @

    101
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    26 January 2014 at 4:04 pm (UTC -6)

    theDukedog7

    When quoting someone:

    I suspect you are too late to teach this dog any new tricks. At least 7 iterations too late ;-)

  118. 118
    Donnie

    @Marcus Ranum: Per your recommendation, I will add his book to my reading list.

    WHAT FOLLOWS IS for those who want to change the
    world from what it is to what they believe it should be.
    The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on
    how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the
    Have-Nots on how to take it away.

    I read “The Prince” after my roommate in DC suggested it. He was a conservative republican who loved his Jack Kemp (mostly because they both were from Buffalo). My roommate would most definitely fit in line with today’s social conservatives. He lived the life of Machiavelli. Hit someone back harder than they hit you. I am sure that the roommate would be a big fan of preemptive strikes – he loved attacking people. Yes, he was an asshole.

    I am interested in contrasting the “Rules for Radicals” against “The Prince”.

  119. 119
    Nick Gotts

    His existence can be demonstrated logically (Aquinas’ Five Ways, Ontological Argument, Argument from Categorical Imperative/Morality, etc) – theDukedog7

    No, it can’t. All the supposed logical proofs of God have gaping flaws. If you dispute this, link to a specific formulation of any one of them that you consider to be sound (not simply someone else claiming they are sound), and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. Their very number indicates how worthless they are: if there were a single sound proof, that would suffice, and all believers would rally round it. Incidentally, the “Categorical Imperative” is intended to demonstrate the existence of objective morality without bringing any God into the argument*, so by listing it as a proof of God, you’re demonstrating that in fact you know nothing about the philosophy of religion and are simply parroting what you’ve been told.

    *It was formulated by Immanuel Kant, who may have been an atheist. He certainly rejected all the supposed proofs of God’s existence.

  120. 120
    Nick Gotts

    There’s no way a 2500 year old myth some Epicureans stole from Democritus could possibly be true. Yet you pretend it is – theDukedog7

    What a pathetic attempt at a tu quoque! No part of modern science is in any way dependent on anything Democritus or any Epicurean said; while you, ignorant fuckwit that you are, proudly proclaim your adherence to the myths of the ancient Hebrews, and deny the copious evidence that they do not represent reality.

  121. 121
    Nick Gotts

    The left (ie bad guys) have made Allinsky a secular saint – theDukedog7@75

    Like most leftists, I suspect, I’d never heard of the guy until the rabid right began frothing at the mouth about how eeeevvilll he was. I must get round to reading him sometime.

  122. 122
    Anri

    With GAWD on his side, his mighty arguments shall demolish us all!

    Soon!

    .
    .
    Yes, soon!
    Very soon!

    …aaaany minute now.
    Really!

  123. 123
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Anri:
    do you doubt the power of theDukedog7′s arguments?
    I have it on divine authority that every one of hir arguments will be proven true…right after Jesus returns.

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