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“When did the government become a jealous girlfriend?” (for me, January 1979)

“When did the government become a jealous girlfriend?” (for me, January 1979)

When I first traveled the Soviet Union, and two guys we didn’t know got out of a car and escorted me and some American friends past the long line waiting to get into a night club in Tallinn, seated us at a prime location table which magically was open, and proceeded to try to get us to change rubles for dollars, which would have been very illegal but completely commonplace in the then Soviet Union. Which we did not do.

Because even then I was paranoid, and figured we were being set up to be put in a compromising position of having committed a crime, and I didn’t want that government to have one over on me.

Video h/t long-time correspondent, photographer, reporter, bumper sticker aficionado, and music impresario Danelle via Small Dead Animals:

Danelle further writes:

You don’t have to think that Snowden is a hero, but he is most likely a flawed person who is scared of how much power the government has amassed. It might be a public service if Americans wake up and understand the broader implications and potential misuse of all this data.

The moral of the story wasn’t that Snowden had that kind of access, but that there are a large number of people who have that access and would be more than willing to pedal that data to the highest bidder. We’ve already watched a sophisticated data mining operation be used to win an unwinnable election.

The NSA conversation has got to move beyond the Security Issues and put it into context of how this information can be abused and misused by anyone who would like to cause you headaches including identity thieves.

This is the same Obama who tried to pass “Extended Background Checks” without explaining exactly what was “fair game” in your background.

Or other leverage Lois Lerner could have used while at the FEC trying to convince a citizen to foreswear his rights to run for political office for the rest of his life. HHS is in the process of bypassing HIPPA protections in order to use our medical records for their own purposes.

Frankly, the talking points keep mentioning “terrorists”, but we forget that DHS has already identified who they believe are terrorists…. Christians, Conservatives, limited government and States Rights advocates, Pro Life advocates, Veterans…. this is an administration that has alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR.

I actually sat down and thought about “What Would I Prefer” to keep confidential…. well, I love junk fiction -the good, the bad and the horrible – it’s cotton candy for the brain. Occasionally, a book has taken an unpredictable turn into “darker” topics; I don’t care for those subjects, but once you’ve bought the book, it’s on your “permanent record” no matter if you finished reading it or not…. is that something I’d like to see show up in a Background Check for my other job mentoring young people?

[Note — I messed up the year in the original title, it was January 1979 not 1978. Title corrected now.]


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Bingo Danelle: Terrorists want to destroy our freedom, so the gov’t responds by … destroying our freedom. Recall that bin Laden claimed this very strategy as part of his plan. And we fell for it. Now, do we have the resolve to undo the leviathan?

BannedbytheGuardian | June 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I believe I met the owner of this blog . It was a very surreal night around a pool in a tropical place.

In the background a group of Catholic Youth Congress pilgrims had gathered on the beach doing their wild thang.

This rather cheeky thing snatched a pack of cigarettes from someone visiting the ladies & stuck them into the pool. When the owner returned & tried to light up – fzzzzzzzz. I was torn – I don’t usually like practical jokes but it was funny.

Her name was Kate & she said she we should look up her blog.

True story.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | June 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    The moral of the above – we don’t need NSA to gather intelligence on people. I remember the whole conversation that night – not that it was major but it shows how easy it is to get inside someone’s head. If I had reason I could have mined so much .

Here’s the real fly in the ointment as described by Danelle, “We’ve already watched a sophisticated data mining operation be used to win an unwinable election.”

This is a real threat with this administration that has demonstrated a propensity for abuse of the public trust.

I AM in favor of a strong robust intelligence gathering but am not at all trusting of the current regime to do this in an objective manner.

Irregardless, Snowden is a traitorous scowfflaw who needs to face justice. Enough of the leaks already…

In order to qualify for “whistle-blower” protections, you must be exposing something illegal.

If Snowden had believed that was what he was doing, he could have just made a phone call.

Instead, he jumped on a plane to Hong Kong where the PRC runs the show. This makes it more likely he is an enemy agent, and shows a clear consciousness of guilt.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Estragon. | June 11, 2013 at 12:29 am

    ……..or in the course of seeing this thing from the inside, he’s seen things that don’t give him any assurance that there is any place left to hide in America, or more insidiously, has maybe seen people disappear.

    When the government becomes criminal, none of the rules matter any longer.

    Sanddog in reply to Estragon. | June 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I worry more about people who believe it’s legal for the NSA to spy on US citizens and collect data for future use with absolutely no probable cause. When the same government that is tasked with protecting our constitutional rights decides our rights are expendable once they are in conflict with their goals, someone needs to speak out against them.

David R. Graham | June 11, 2013 at 12:44 am

“Frankly, the talking points keep mentioning “terrorists”, but we forget that DHS has already identified who they believe are terrorists…. Christians, Conservatives, limited government and States Rights advocates, Pro Life advocates, Veterans…. this is an administration that has alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR.”

That is the core truth. Add Jews to the List of Terrorists, in this regime’s crib sheet.

Benghazi, which contains the lethal knowledge this regime fears exposed and manufactured a string of “scandals” to hide, is about those alliances with MB, CAIR and some, but not other, AQ+ elements.

Strong concur on JAN79. Recall vividly where I was when I heard the news (Shah out, Khomeini in): thoroughbred birthing/recuperating barn, Walnut Wood Farm, Hemet, CA. From the farm manager, USAF LTC (R), Bob Rowley (had piloted B-47s). Shook my foundations. I knew long trouble was ahead. Still is until the enemy is identified: Mohammedan “clergy.”

I use the word Mohammedan to distinguish between Islam, modernly best represented by Baha’i, and its long-since descent into idolatry of a man and a book: Mohammedanism.

This is not entirely accurate, incidentally. I attended a Papal Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC, in the late 60s. Pope Paul VI. The Recessional Hymn was Ein Feste Burg!” Brother Martin Luther. I was then a BD (now MDiv, regrettably) student at The Union Theological Seminary, NYC.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to David R. Graham. | June 11, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Benghazi = gun running to Al Queda. Al Queda’s flag was the first to fly over Libya.

    Think of it, perhaps Benghazi was an Al Queda hit to protect Obama and Hillary (and Valerie Jarrett and Huma Abedin, of course).

LukeHandCool | June 11, 2013 at 12:57 am

Follow Billy Jacobson on Prism and check the archives for how he and Svetlana escaped serious injury and went on to start their own blogs.

David R. Graham | June 11, 2013 at 1:16 am

“When the government becomes criminal, none of the rules matter any longer.”

Distinguish between mil and civ “government,” i.e., organization/bureaucracy/position. One’s sworn standard – US Constitution – is taken seriously. The other’s – US Constitution – is not.

A nation comes up around its Armed Forces. Absent those, no nation. A Constitution is as strong as the Armed Forces that protect and defend it. A nation is as strong as the Armed Forces that protect and defend its Constitution. Lawyers and politicians are secondary in the order of effective authorities. The Armed Forces are the people’s will, the Politik. Reference von Clausewitz’s “Trinity.”

This regime, allied with, nay emplaced by, Saud/MB/CAIR/AQ+, aims to demoralize, embarrass and humiliate US Armed Forces. Benghazi and the “scandals” engineered by the regime to deflect attention from it have that as their aim.

Benghazi. That’s the “issue.” That highlights the “coup” (Rush) in “nauseating detail” (Moneypenny).

Ignorance of the blizzard of ’78 has revealed your hand, comrade.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Snow-blower!

BannedbytheGuardian | June 11, 2013 at 2:14 am

I am never surprised. When truth is stranger than fiction. Surely everyone knows surveillance is very easy .

This ‘ girlfriend’ has had a blog – about a travelling pole dancer – which is still up . It is basically artsy mumbling s with shots of her in various states of undress & 2 sad vids of amateurish ‘ dancing / celebrity ice dancing moves .

Interestingly she has photos by a third person from inside a house that has never been furnished. She says at one stage E’s parents are coming at the end of May but his parents say they have not seen him for months.

The timeframe I read was about 4 weeks where she had one dance thing that lasted 3 mins & 40 secs plus a dog walked onto the stage.

She was writing as normal as late as June 8 – though it does look like she also went to Hk in the last weeks of may / early June.

Shouldn’t we be focusing as much attention on the FISA Court which is rubberstamping these outrageous warrants?

Here is the Roster of Judges who oversee FISA warrant requests:

FISA Court Members Judicial District Term

Reggie Walton (presiding) District of Columbia May 19, 2007 – May 18, 2014
Rosemary M. Collyer District of Columbia March 8, 2013 – March 7, 2020
Raymond J. Dearie Eastern New York July 2, 2012 – July 1, 2019
Claire Eagan Northern Oklahoma February 13, 2013 – May 18, 2019
Martin L.C. Feldman Eastern Louisiana May 19, 2010 – May 18, 2017
Thomas Hogan District of Columbia May 18, 2009 – May 18, 2016
Mary A. McLaughlin Eastern Pennsylvania May 18, 2008 – May 18, 2015
Michael W. Mosman Oregon May 4, 2013 – May 3, 2020
F. Dennis Saylor IV Massachusetts May 19, 2011- May 18, 2018
Susan Webber Wright Eastern Arkansas May 18, 2009 – May 18, 2016
James Zagel Northern Illinois May 18, 2008 – May 18, 2015

We really need to figure out which one of these Judges has been rubberstamping these warrant requests, and put some civilian pressure on impeachment proceedings, imho.

    Owego in reply to Paul. | June 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Great post. Facts; names, places, dates.

    A problem with the press today is that we don’t know of the Lerners until the damage is done. Now that you’ve done the work, perhaps some enterprising young reporter will follow up and see what else these folks have done and are doing.

Eddie Snowden broke the law, such as it is. I am glad he did.

Big Brother government got a comeuppance.

Now we know they know we know which was the whole point of secret spying on the entire country: Keep it a secret because it’s not the right thing to do.

I assumed long long ago in the early 90s that nothing digitized is, or will remain, private.

Only reason this is now possible is the advances in technology to lower the cost and size of memory and computing power.

Imagine the accuracy of polling data that could be amassed on every subject in anyone’s mind without their knowledge simply by sifting data.

We are like insects in a laboratory being scrutinized, cataloged, labeled, and tracked to the nth degree.

I opposed the Patriot Act when it was passed and I oppose this.

This is the TSA on steroids. Bush created the TSA and I thought that was a bad idea then and an even worse idea now.

I would rather take my chances with a rare possibility of facing hand full of terrorists than the 100% reality of being a digital prisoner of my own govt in my own country 24/7 for life.

SoCA Conservative Mom | June 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Last week I was joking with my husband that our Xbox Kinect was watching us. Now I want to throw a dish towel over it.

average josephine | June 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm

The government keeping all your records so they can go back later and take a look if they develop probable cause in the future,

seems like “presumption of guilt” rather than “presumption of innocence”, and I’d be interested to understand how our legal system differs in this respect from, say, Britain.

It is as though we have changed the rules and we didn’t talk about it this way.

Like others have said, I expect everything digital is eternal. I watch what I say.

I’ve minimized my own children’s exposure so far.

But it is as though we are each building a digital “soul” that can be inspected, and judged, and found to be deserving of damnation or salvation depending on who is in power.

I found myself in Berlin a couple of years after that. Visiting East Berlin there was a long line for a bistro at Alexanderplatz. We (a friend and I) were waived to the front of the line, given a seat, were seated with an East German couple who were seated at our table less than a minute after us. They also tried to get my to exchange dollars or east marks (an East German Mark at that time was going for about 10 to a dollar on the street in West Berlin). Same deal. Went back to the bus as we were getting ready to leave and two men in suits were making the same offer to others getting back on the bus for the trip back to West Berlin.