God, I hate how quickly you can get paranoid these days. A mode of thought I would expect in socialist countries, not the US...
There were a couple of times where I actually called the public contact numbers for NSA & GCHQ regarding particular stories about which I was especially upset, identifying myself by name and politely but firmly expressing my views. NSA told me to go away, but surprisingly the woman at GCHQ heard me out for several minutes and let me finish my rant. That's the British establishment for you I guess - they can be assholes, but polite assholes.
Snowden risked everything to inform us all of the crimes of the FVEY governments and the least we can all do is take inspiration from his actions and stand up and publicly make our views known, whatever they may be. The day people stop being willing to express their political views publicly is the day we lose something very important.
NSA - my name and XKEYSCORE selectors are in my profile. Feel free to add me to whatever lists I'm not already on.
Really, spotting your name on a petition isn't mass surveillance. It's not even a breach of privacy in any sense, because that's exactly what petitions are for.
No. The goal of a petition is to show support for a course of action, and in this context, exercising freedom of speech in a democracy.
Taking the list of people who signed a petition, assigning a "risk score" to them because of their activism, storing it in a database for the future, and using that as a means to make decisions that affect those individuals freedoms is exactly the purpose of mass surveillance. In isolation, for one petition or one activity, it is a sensible thing. As a general practice it promotes the notion of thought-crime or pre-crime in which an individuals freedoms are curtailed because the individuals exercise of their freedoms is unpalatable to either the elected officials, or the entrenched bureaucracy.
On the other hand, if I research someone for a position, I would rather not like to see their name on a petition for certain things. It always was this way. You just had to look harder for this information.
Taking the list, and merging it with the myriad of other sets of metadata, reports, and other resources at the government's disposal is what makes it a contribution to surveillance.
Taking all of those lists and resources, and performing that activity as a blanket activity across an entire population is what makes it mass.
Your argument is entirely unhelpful because you are arguing one specific activity, which on it's own, against a single person or group of people, might be sensible, but across the general population, without any reasonable suspicion of ill intent, leads to exactly the kinds of problems that we all piss and moan about when we get on an airplane (security theatre, screening for brown people, not terrorists, etc, etc, etc).
Also, unless that petition is material to their ability to do their job, what the hell does it matter?
Well, you could say that about the Nazis and Charles Manson, too. Couldn't you basically call anything just a "physical process" and get it over with? The rights of people are being violated by those sworn to protect them, and they feel helpless to change that. That is a problem, to put it mildly.
> On the other hand, if I research someone for a position, I would rather not like to see their name on a petition for certain things. It always was this way.
Yeah, it always was that way with too many people, and left unchecked, it will lead to the destruction of humanity. So I propose a new and much better way: when "researching" people, do not trust anyone who didn't give you positive confirmation of having spine, attention span and responsibility. I'm not saying signing a petition does that, but generally: go the other way. Do not waste your personal and professional time and energy on people who after all may remain on the wrong side of history. If the ground you stand on is not liberated ground at all times, reconsider your life. Don't be that guy obedient to what ultimately amounts to a bunch of deranged folk from a Stephen King novel or something. Realize that it would not be more than that, and that they too shall pass. The only open question is, whether they will take humanity with them, but there is no question in my mind about "their" (our) self-destructiveness. It's just not worth it to give in, in the really long run.
> "Forget the myths the media's created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."
-- from the movie "All the Presidents Men" (1976)
One is personal accountability for the views that you express, where people around you might dislike you for it. That's pretty unavoidable, but you can also choose who you associate with.
The other is the government threatening or implying a threat to its citizens for thinking or believing a certain thing. This is very bad in the long run for minorities in race, opinion, or otherwise. Changing which government you live under is potentially quite difficult, certainly harder than choosing who you hang out with.
There have been cases in the past where American citizens have been refused entry into the US: they've been denied boarding in a foreign airport, leaving them stuck there. I know, it is hard to believe, but it is true.
What recourse one has to proove wrong some top-secret algorithm once said flag has been raised ?
Paranoia is extremely contagious and often countered with more paranoia.
In short, if Snowden gets pardoned, it will encourage further people to leak confidential documents and violate the Espionage act since they will be emboldened by the thought they might get pardoned down the road.
We have demolished the middle class. Our infrastructure is shit. Education is so expensive it often makes economic sense not to get educated. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on "defense" instead of investing it in fixing all of the broken shit we have going on.
Worse, our election system is so broken that we have to pick between two pieces of shit that don't represent anyone's interests. There is no nuance, it's one tantrum after another.
Who do we hate now? Who's personal life do we need to pry onto? Can we talk about how hot Kurdish freedom fighters are? Hillary is not a criminal, she's like grandma. Can you believe Tump has small hands? Look at his skin! Jobs?! You want jobs? Talk to the Mexicans who took your jobs. TPP? What TPP? NAFTA? What is? You want healthcare? Welcome to indentured servitude. National healthcare is for freedom-hating communist muslims. Public education? Too expensive. Of course, we have to spend $1.5 trillion on fighter jets, but that's basic common sense.
I am honestly disgusted by what we've become. We should change our slogan to "fuck the world, kill them all". Then, at least, we'd be honest.
I don't think you have any idea what a police state is.
Spending three years in exile is not great, but it's a far cry from a long prison sentence for leaking classified documents.
Obama may be one things, but lying on a political spectrum neatly is not one of them. In fact, it's pretty damn hard finding a president who HAS been straightforwardly liberal or progressive, much less one that played well with the constitution. I'm not sure why you expect those two things to align.
Sure, you could try to go "underground" but you'd then become a top assassination target for the worlds most powerful security service. No one would ever know of your assassination either - you'd just disappear.
Those potential leakers might be emboldened, but I doubt many would get away with it. There is also a great deal to be said for Snowden being right.
If the President pardoned him while denouncing other named leakers (Manning, et al), and highlighting that Snowden was the only one protecting the constitution. Then perhaps only the leakers strongly backed by the constitution would be emboldened.
Even the Uniform Code of Military Justice makes it clear that soldiers have a duty to not obey an unlawful order. The idea is that we are all answerable to the principles in the constitution (and, if you believe, to a higher power or to the idea that some rights are considered inalienable).
So, no, I don't agree with your implicit assertion that all of this is arbitrary and depends only on the whims of the individual.
If the public interest and the principles of freedom were served by the leak, then that should be treated very different than a purely self-serving (or dangerous) leak.
Snowden didn't just blow the whistle on some shady activities, he dumped hundreds of confidential documents that put at risk the lives of hundreds of operatives working for your freedom and others'.
So: Why did you use the word "dumped" and can you explain explicitly what he did wrong?
So, like Manning, he definitely leaked stuff he didn't need to leak that harmed NSA's foreign operations that Americans were OK with. The kind the NSA was created for. That's not whistleblowing like his domestic stuff that Alexander and Clapper lied about. That makes him a whistleblower on domestic leaks and traitor on most, foreign ones. I put in for pardon given benefit of the whistleblowing but he's certainly guilty of damaging leaks.
I just don't see a reason to charge him if lots of scumbags on top are still walking free despite clear potential for Contempt of Congress or perjury charges. A little unjust, yeah?
If the answer to that is "well, they'll never agree to that", then leaking will happen regardless of whether Snowden is pardoned or not.
What about that kind of problem?
Is it another strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital? How about a school or a wedding?
What about some jarheads in a chopper gunning down unarmed civilians?
The organisation was well respected and had before I got there forced Britain's Security Services to admit and release to holding files on all the workers there - people who later became cabinet ministers under Blair / brown.
I have always assumed I also have a very thin file.
I am not ashamed of having that file or have having taken democratic action to change my society. What I am ashamed of is having done it so badly - the campaign did not really use web or email (This was the when of Internet cafes), I had no suit when I went to the Lords and got flustered on radio interviews.
So in answer to you, sign the petition. Be proud of your dissent and mostly do your best to make an effective protester. there is plenty of time to turn the ship around before western democracies become irredeemable. But we do need to Start. Why not here?
Please consider sharing!
Not that it matters, ostracization means losing a few HN epeen points, so meh :)
(In the interest of keeping topicality, one could argue the above are examples of chilling effects in a community)
people who care to take part and comment here might be more sensitive to social approval than the median - the quest for approval might ba a motive to participate. Therefore the loss of a few points might be more of a loss for them. In the long run that is not so good for the diversity of opinions, but so it goes...
i appreciate the parent's frank concern regarding signing this Petition "God, I hate how quickly you can get paranoid these days. A mode of thought I would expect in socialist countries, not the US..."
your response is the body punch that reminds us who is the person at the heart of this petition and that whatever the risks referred to in the parent, they are minuscule by comparison
as you said "the least we can do"
To be more specific, this (let's say) metaphorical file could have entries in it as a result of you signing a petition to pardon Snowden. While such entries could be myriad and varied in detail, I'll pick two hypothetical variations.
1) "Subject exercised right to free speech online."
2) At 1820Z, Subject did willfully and intentionally announce their position against the protection of national security, the lives of US Armed Forces soldiers, the lives of US Intelligence operatives, and the lawmaking authority of the legislative branch of the US Government by supporting an individual charged with espionage. Furthermore, by doing so, Subject did willfully and intentionally foment rebellion within the US general population by the "social proof" of his anti-authoritarian position.
Not knowing if, or which, entry might be made by the mass surveillance of even public forums, where there is no expectation of privacy, is the concern. Not that the speech is public, but that the speech isn't expected to be used in unknowable ways against the speaker.
The United States government has done an excellent bit of propaganda to convince the bulk of the public that they are the most free people on earth. We salute the flag and sing the national anthem at games. We have the presidents' pictures on the walls of our classrooms. We chant "USA" at political rallies.
But the government of the United States has perpetrated terrible violence and destruction of liberty against its own citizens and many more abroad. Through endless military engagement abroad to harassment, detainment, and imprisonment at home, the government serves its own interests first, and enhancing and preserving your liberty is not among them.
I should be very concerned about coming to the attention of anyone within government -- at any level. Even the local code enforcement board can extract time, energy, and money from you should you come under scrutiny.
But as others have said, you're already on the lists. No need to be paranoid. Go ahead and sign the Snowden petition. It's just one more data point on your dossier. The government already has enough on you to put you away for life if you become inconvenient to the state. Three Felonies a Day and all that.
It works well, and the people of the United States are heavily controlled by the elite, who in this case are the corporations and the media companies they control.
Does he also say that these people may be powerful because they are persuasive?
I was suggesting the other way is true too.
people of the United States are heavily controlled by the elite is too simplistic and some "elites" make the world better.
Thus, if an elite makes the world worse in my opinion by reducing diversity of competing opinions in mass media, they could use that platform to propagandize and publicize any philanthropic efforts they may also involve themselves with, such that your opinion of them is neutral or positive.
Do you derive from first principles what things would make the world better and then check to see who might be doing any of them, or do you hear about what certain people are doing, and then make value judgments on their public activity?
Of course, having the state of affairs as we currently have it, B&MGF's efforts are certainly to be saluted, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't contemplate and work towards a world where you don't need to depend on the good will of a billionaire to have a chance of people not dying of various preventable diseases; Or, indeed, even to recognize that such a state of affairs is unacceptable.
It isn't clear to me that establishing yet another donor-advised trust is making the world a better place, and it seems to me as though the foundation funded by the trust is not taking action on its own initiative, but instead just giving money to those people and organizations who are already actually expending the effort in making the world a better place.
Yes, it is a good thing, but don't go overestimating the wattage of that halo on Bill Gates's head. I give most of the credit to the people who actually uproot their lives, go to Pakistan and similar environments, and try to administer vaccines to people who deeply mistrust their motives.
Who is too blame for advertising to children directly? Is it a few people? Probably not, in fact it brings in a lot of talented people, of whom each may in fact have a negative opinion of advertising to children when asked.
If you are talking about giant corps that can influence rule(s), then ok, but these are not individuals but are the stakeholders and can be large swaths of people.
I completely agree that the debate on income inequality and the resulting
sorting of people is irrelevant. Income inequality itself is irrelevant, it's
just an ideological misdirection. But, since you proclaim to be libertarian, I
suppose you wouldn't agree with me on why it's irrelevant: it's being pushed
to actually preserve overall capitalist relations. Sacrificing low taxes of a
billionaire or two is a small price to pay to help the ruling class keep
ruling. This is practically the central theme of Keynesian economics, and thus
of a great deal of 20th century. The strategy is still extremely effective,
and so in this election cycle we had good old Bernie Sanders act as an
acceptable vent for social and economic discontent of working people by ranting
about “the billionaire class”. To anyone not horribly politically illiterate
(sadly American culture is generally grotesquely politically illiterate) it was
painfully clear from the moment he entered the primaries how his “revolution”
will end. So income inequality discourse not only does not help alleviate the
problem, it maintains it.
Democrat-style liberalism is so effective because it's an ideological Escher
drawing. To even start to explain why it's wrong (or even better: why it's
not even wrong!) and even in many cases harmful, you have to rewind the
arguments aaaall the way to first principles (let's ignore the likely case that
then you end up with the problem of getting people to universally agree on a
coherent set of first principles) while constantly being under the threat of
being, 1930s Pravda style, denounced as pro bigger evil. As a friend of mine
recently semi-jokingly said: “There are no bad guys, just a liberal hell in
which all is mixed, a hell in which evil people do good things and good people
live in a fantasy.”
As for mobility, there really isn't any significant mobility, this is
empirical. Unless you count moving from lower middle to upper middle class
(I'm not sure even that is a significant case, I just assume it is, but even
then it's likely plastered with all kinds of demographic qualifiers). But
still, income inequality in and of itself is not a cause of this, it's one of
the symptoms, and not a particularly onerous one.
It's worthwhile thinking of advertising as a persuasion technology ( because that's what it is by definition ) and adjusting your expectations accordingly. A wise man once told me "If yer at a poker game and you don't know who the sucker is, you're it." Or, if you prefer, "Learn or be sold to."
I was disgusted in the 2000's when being against the Iraq war was not only being flaunted unpatriotic but not supporting our troops. That's BS. I support our troops and would rather not have seen them deployed to conduct Cheney's bidding.
I will sign the petition and if some asshole gives me trouble at the border for it, so what? I'm a US citizen and entitled to re-enter my country. F them.
"If patriotism is 'the last refuge of a scoundrel,' it is not merely because evil deeds may be performed in the name of patriotism, but because patriotic fervor can obliterate moral distinctions altogether”
~ Ralph B. Perry
I posted this reply earlier too, but figured I'd respond here also. The US government has, in the past, refused entry to US citizens. They do this not at the border, but at the foreign airport. Say you fly to Germany, and then try to come back. They'll tell the airline to refuse to board you, and then you're stuck there. Sure, if you managed to somehow reach a US land border, they would have to allow you in (after a lengthy interrogation, I imagine). But that's not very practical or economical.
But the worst cases are those like Long's: when the person is suddenly barred from flying when they are outside of the US, often on the other side of the world. As a practical matter, that government act effectively exiles them from their own country. "Obviously, I can't get to Oklahoma from Qatar if I can't fly," said Long. "Trying to take a boat would take weeks away from work just for the travel alone, and it's not affordable. If I can't fly, then I can't go back home."
I'm not sure though why he couldn't fly to Mexico instead - is DHS no-fly list mandatory for other countries?
The fact that you can do this and face no consequences says something about our freedoms though. At the very least we have a foundation that is worth taking the effort to improve.
they think otherwise. they rightfully own you and can do whatever they please with you. feel free to try to prove me wrong and not to sound like minuteman.
Or as Gene Belcher put it, "Everything is randomness and chaos."
Could you elaborate on what this is?
With human consciousness, this analogy would be applied to a "higher level" of consciousness forming around/on top of the human's interaction with that particular "thing" that allows the thing to take action on given metrics and share it among other consciousnesses which are in communication with it and assist with sustaining it's existence. In a business, for example, the game theory/model would govern the way the business makes money and the processes in which the company provides product or services to a customer which best ensure the future success of the company as an entity.
If the founders/influencers in the company approach building the model with the assumption the customer facing processes are mutable (which itself is dissonant in nature without customer approval), the resulting "consciousness" of the business might focus on building value by marketing means and acquisition (both viral based growth methods). This "intent" is then translated into the day to day processes required for raising additional awareness of the company's product in the market, again at the customer's cost. In extreme examples where such entities can survive long term, such as with the government, these intents may extend well beyond any intent by the individual's involved. I don't think anyone working for the government really wants to violate your privacy, but they are heavily influenced in their need to rationalize it given they wouldn't want the same thing happening to themselves, nor would they want fail at stopping a terrorist blowing up something on American soil. So, they make it "OK" to deal with personally, and the government entity is able to survive symbiotically with the host which is currently being kept in "stable" condition.
Richard Dawkins calls them memes, but they are likely capable of more complexity than we realize, given the somewhat substantiated claims in the video titled This Video Will Make You Angry on YouTube. It would also make a lot of sense if they worked toward escaping attention, given the awareness of them by the host is akin to inoculation.
That does sound very authoritarian, honestly. Maybe that's why there are so many libertarians in the US - it's a reaction to the authoritarianism in American culture.
Nationalism is more insidious than authoritarianism. When you have an authoritarian government, you have an enemy you can clearly identify and the resistance feels morally justified. Resisting nationalism often elicits negative reactions, such as branding you as "unpatriotic" and such.
IMO libertarianism that gives corporation more freedom than people, just make it easier for them to push through any legislation and "cultural propaganda"and they want, not so much solving this problem.
And no, I am not being facetious. People like to think of freedom as a scalar, but it's actually a vector with complex interactions among its various dimensions, one of which is the government.
That said, I am absolutely signing the petition. Ed Snowden put a lot more on the line by blowing the whistle than I am by signing.
And you're wrong about Somalia btw: they do have a government, which collects taxes, introduces regulations and does all good government supposed to do, including corruption. 
> Ed Snowden put a lot more on the line by blowing the whistle than I am by signing.
Well, yeah, by signing you are putting absolutely nothing on the line so that's true :)
In Somalia you do have a lot of government interference - you just have many smaller (wannebe) ones there, fighting against each other for power, vs. one big.
And that is precisely my point: people think of freedom as a scalar, as the absence of constraints on their personal decision-making. But this is wrong. Your decisions are always constrained, if not by "government" (however you choose to define it) then by your fellow humans. And if not by your fellow humans (e.g. if you go live in the middle of Nunavut) then by the laws of physics.
It's an incentive for other actors to try to imitate the role of government through other means.
Actually, not just Somalia - Africa is ripe with examples of these.
Also, I've never met a "true" (in the sense that they tell you about it as soon as you talk to them) libertarian who isn't also a raging asshole.
But there are assholes on all points of the spectrum, so I'm not sure what that proves. :D
I wound up in Norway, and find a certain freedom here. I don't mind the taxes and such, and I rather enjoy the general equality in opportunity sort of thing. I'm no longer worried that blue hair makes me un-hireable (though it might make it harder to find work). But other Americans here simply hate it and can't wait to wind up going back to the states.
The best bet is if you have some choices in the matter - and know it - join some groups with other americans living there and talk to them about their experiences there.
This is also absolutely true in US. Of course, that differs whether you're trying to be a graphic designer or a banker or a trial lawyer. Blue-haired trial lawyer probably would raise more eyebrows.
Don't get me wrong, there are still some quirks with it here, but it isn't the same sort of hindrance as it was in the states.
Homogeny in this case would actually be a bad thing.
Take a look for yourself and see if their rankings make sense.
I'm not: I'm all for government health care, government supported time off work for sickness or children, and other such things. These push up government spending, but yet can mean freedom from financial burden. When I consider what I paid for health care in the US, the tax rate isn't a big deal at all. For my personal economy, i'm actually more free because I don't have to plan for being sick and going broke from it - I gained some economic stability.
Also interesting is the "labor freedom" metric - basically, laws making it more difficult to fire folks and things of that nature. While there are occasionally downsides to this, it also means there is a sense of job security. If your personal beliefs are such that this is a hinderance, it might be a bad thing, but I suspect most folks would find this to mean more actual economic freedom because there aren't so many surprises to plan for.
"The Legatum Prosperity Index" (1), states that:
"Canada is now the freest (sic) country in the world, having risen five places to 1st in the Personal Freedom sub-index." (2)
see this also.
"Freedom in the World 2015" (3)
Hard to move to as a non-native speaker though.
(those are both real examples from the book...whether there was a great deal of intent in the lobster tail case is disputed, but it was a pattern of shipments involving thousands and thousands of pounds of tails)
E.g. evidence rules mean you can be committing a felony just by deleting an email that some prosecutor may consider important - even if you haven't been under investigation at the time. And you can be investigated for things as simple as depositing sums under $10000 in the bank on routing course of business - just because it looks like "structuring". And you can also be prosecuted if you make any false statement to a government employee, no matter if it relates to any crime.
I guess the ethical answer is that, the more people will sign this (think a million?), the less likely it is to be used as some kind of filter. Even though what's one million names in a database? Sigh... Awful.
If you start to do more, however... Consider yourself warned. ^^
In this case, I can reassure you though:
Online petition clicktivism has been shown to be very ineffective, so it's only considered a minor-impact dissident action. You are allowed five of those per week. ;)
The "funny" thing is, our governments are probably doing very similar things (though still to a lesser degree, and secretly). A big difference is that China often doesn't have a sense of tact when it comes to not sounding dystopian, and happiliy uses phrases like "citizen score", "criminal elements" and "reeducation". Also Big-Character posters are still a thing , though slightly modernized.
Although, we are getting there. At O'Hare airport in Chicago I remember seeing a poster urging me to "be vigilant", which has a nice ring to it...
 http://justinmccandless.com/files/beijingSpirit.jpg "The Beijing Spirit: Patriotism Innovation Inclusiveness Virtue"
No, they're provably doing similar things. A "citizen score" only has cosmetic differences to the data crunching done by machine learning predictive policing.
The differences are just as large enough to avoid fitting into any of the identifiers for bad governance that the American collective conscience is already keyed into.
Look at today's Turkey for what it would be if this were true in western democracies (of which Turkey withdrew itself recently).
There are two different aspects.
The difference you're focusing on seems to be setting what positions are acceptable, and what gets done to people who hold them them.
The similarity I was focusing on was that they're being tracked at all. And in the cases that they're not not immediately actionable, I don't draw much distinction between a bureaucrat with actuarial tables and machine learning.
Jailed, no. Fired and ostracized? Certainly, except for narrow definitions of "views" and "dissidence" (largely calibrated by region and type of employment).
I'm unaware of dragnets and massive house to house searches in order to discover and punish people who went out for a brief protest against against a corrupt government office.
They may be doing it to an even higher degree (given they are far more sophisticated than CCP) but the key feature is that they do it like criminals that they are and in "secret".
The Chinese are stuck with the CCP and a techno-Scientific ruling elite unless they manage to have another rovolution. The generation that survived Mao is, imo, probably psychologically shorn of any will to express robust dissent given the state terrorism that they had to endure. The new generation is fed hyper-nationalism and has front row seat on the gloabally televised hypocrisy of American governing elite. (Isn't it so fine that in 21st century USA has become the enabler of autocrats the world over?)
We have a constitution that if ever resurrected would deal with all this. We need to focus on that.
I recall a story recently about ML detecting risk for post-op inpatients. Human nurses know not to send people with Asthma home after an operation due to their high risk profile. Because the ML system was always ignoring Asthma patients as they were never queried, it assumed it was safe to send them home.
I would argue that that racially biased policing in ML is just an extension of racially biased data scientists in Ft Meade, or Silicon Valley or Wall St or where ever.
perhaps in capital driven liberal countries it's called Credit Ratings - rather than your worth being judged through your loyalty, it's judged through your willingness to spend and accrue debt.
not trying to sound bleak and cynical, but just a thought.
i can't get a phone contract, a mortgage is out of the question. i automatically fall to the bottom of the list when trying to rent an apartment. don't know what went on at the places i applied to for employment that requested a credit score waiver, but can't imagine it was to my benefit.
now i can't even get on the credit train and start maintaining a card because i'm apparently such a poor risk.
its clearly not the same set of concerns as a patriotism score. but there's clearly some kind of profiling and clustering going on.
Your credit score will slowly increase. And at no cost to you (other than the time to setup this, which can be minimal if you can get approvals online).
You can (and should) live within your means and that's fine. What creditors want to see is that you have access to credit and you use it responsibly (eg, paying on time). You don't actually need to use any of your available credit.
and yeah, it's fucking awful and i detest the whole thing.
Having a Citizen Score would send me into a fit of rage, but I probably have some kind of other score I don't know about. Or I'm on a List. Those Lists. Must take much money to maintain them.
North Korea actually did it https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songbun
Clintons "basket of deplorables" is a reminder that this sense of tact could change after the election.
Candidate B says that half the supporters of Candidate A are "deplorable".
If anything, Clinton was going out of her way to be excessively tactful.
It's not a binary choice, after all.
Who gives a shit anyway? "Offending" Trump supporters isn't going to change anything. Not like they were on the fence.
I love the double standard being applied here. It's like what Trump says is just "expected", but Clinton says one thing you find offensive (oh no, political correctness!) and you're all up in arms. Woe is the deplorable Trump supporter.
Instead you have to guess "is this going to put me on a list? What does being on the list mean? Does the list exist?" Well, aside from the obvious list of the petition itself. You know what I mean.
I used to travel twice a year to Istanbul. Now I don't see myself landing foot there for a very, very long time.
It's like a broken, rotten implementation of IDemocracy. It satisfies all the API but throws a lot of exceptions, and people in jail. Internals has been spilled all over, and you don't know who has access to what and with what kind of execution level.
Go to Istanbul as a tourist and you will see absolutely no problems whatsoever (Well, a different story if you speak Turkish and can understand people when they're complaining). OTOH, being a citizen who has even once touched the surface of "wrong" politics is a game of waiting in fear.
Would be hilarious to find out, to be honest.
"As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!
The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.
This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.
We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.
We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.
We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met."
The goal is to find events going on in your area and you can join and be a part of the change. Sometimes just being able to find the events going on about certain topics is the hardest part.
We're launching on October 1st, so I'm hoping we can make a small, meaningful impact in fixing this.
And even as a non-U.S. national I worry if it would land me in trouble if I wanted simply to visit the U.S. on holiday again.
US immigrations stands out for the least pleasant experiences I've had on entering a country, and that includes entering places like China, despite most of the time being perfectly fine (I used to fly in/out of SFO every 6-8 weeks for a period of about two years, so I got to compare them a lot).
For business, I will still go if necessary, but I'm finding that I'd take the same precautions for the US as I did for China: Make extra sure to have a full, recent backup, and move "everything" off my laptop onto online storage, just in case they decide to seize it.
Always reminds me of the line in casino "Look... why take a chance? At least, that's the way I feel about it."
It was actually administratively much easier to cross the iron curtain in the form of the berlin wall back then than it is now to get into the US (me being german).
(This is a bit unfair because there were special regulations for germans inside berlin, and US visas weren't that easy back then either.)
(The GP's point can be true in the absence of explicit statements from the USG that it doesn't want Germans.)
you know what's even scarier? I'm scared to to even write about what those situations were for the same reason they arose in the first place. Now some friends tell me there is a threat to the legality of tor in the US, I'm actually starting to become a bit panicked by it.
What is freedom anyway? Any attachment to external systems threatens it in my opinion. You work through the systems you're attached to and they limit you - for example - me posting my thoughts on HN or reddit is nearly pointless yet a lot of us a spend significant amounts of time chatting back and forth, thinking we're accomplishing something significant - so we're content with that and less likely to spread our message in ways that might have more impact.
I start to laugh at myself when I blame big corporations and shady nations for the mess we're in - but this is a system we ALL buy into. Blaming a corporation is like yelling at an inanimate object when you stub your toe on it. I gave up my smartphone - that's a tiny first step towards taking your privacy back - yet who here would actually do that?
just a thought though.
"Pete Seeger on being Black Listed in America, 1965: CBC Archives | CBC"
I find it hard to believe anyone would seriously say that Pete Seeger should be on the list of people that should be feared for their "un-American" leanings today, but in the past apparently several people thought he was worthy of that label.
It's ironic that given all the valid concerns in your post, you also fell for the oldest piece of propaganda in the book by the very government you're concerned about and that you think that socialism has something to do with dictatorships, rather than it being just an idea that itself has nothing to do with dictatorships in itself, but was in the past implemented by dictators, same as capitalism was in Latin America and elsewhere.
Nazi ideology is much more inherently tied to strongmen and dictatorships than socialist ideology is.
You also seem to be talking about communism, rather than socialism as such and fail to see the distinction between these two, or indeed between communism and Stalinism, but that's for a longer discussion...
The latter meaning is mostly used when referring to the former. But this is only kind of interesting if you're not American. :)
The only thing that socialism and naziism had in common was the idea of an economy that will make a group of people better off, (which is pretty much the idea behind every economic model in history), but naziism is based on the idea of a "superior race", which is inherently better than the rest of the population and thus is entitled to the slave labour of the other, lesser races.
Socialism is pretty much the exact opposite, it's about people having equal access to basic set of utilities and services and about large enterprises sharing a proportional amount of its profits with its workers, it has nothing to do with race, in fact it makes things like race, sex etc. not be a factor in entitlement to these things.
Hitler hated the idea of socialism, (as well as communism) and actively prosecuted socialists in Germany, a chunk of which then escaped to Czechoslovakia, which was part of his reason for invading it, same for the Soviet Union.
It's not actually believed, though. It's just an attack point to try and associate "liberals" with Hitler in Internet comments and what not. Pretty standard troll tactic.
Hitler essentially wanted the superior Germans to do nothing and be provided for by lesser races and I presume that's why you think he was a "socialist", but in reality he was much closer to early U.S. history than to socialist ideology.
> Centralized education, centralized health care, strict gun control laws
More like common sense laws than "socialist" ones if you ask me...
This is what upsets me about the right, they're so easily scammed by random screams of "Big government", "centralised health care", "strict gun control", "centralised education" etc. and the counter is simply "FREEDOM, LOW TAXES, PRIVATE HEALTHCARE, "THE BEST PROVIDER WINS" etc. and I get the appeal, these things sound awesome, but the problem is in the details; the "low taxes" are not for you, they're for Apple, Google, Shell etc. "private healthcare" is not excluded under socialism if you want it and can afford it, it's just that it's not the only option and every citizen has some form of healthcare provided, regardless of their socioeconomic status, just by the virtue of the fact that they're...you know...human.
The people who say it's too expensive ignore how much is spent on the military, (i.e. US military has 800+ overseas military bases, do you really think you need (all) of them?), the fact that US already spends more on healthcare than virtually any other modern nation and despite this it still has the worst quality healthcare of all of them.
"Centralised education" means that creationists in Iowa can't not teach evolution, which I would argue it's a good thing, but again, it's a base, so that everybody gets at least "some" consistent quality of education, it doesn't mean it can't be expanded upon...
> strict gun control laws
Again, more like common sense, than ideology driven, look up gun deaths in the US vs Europe.
If you have a gun in the US you don't actually have an advantage, because everybody else is armed as well, i.e. it's basically as if you didn't have one, but with greater risks of getting shot.
It's called branding.
Not "and", but "because". Hitler also talked about peace a lot. Here's a hint: go by what they did. Talk was as cheap back then as it is today.
You worry about the risk of being registered as a Snowden sympathizer if you voice your support and the discomfort that might bring with it.
Democracy and rule of law doesn't come for free.
"They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason."
FBI opened their file on Hemingway in 1942:
Nobody in the US will "die like a dog" for supporting a presidential pardon of Snowden and Hemingway did not suggest that one should stay out of politics.
You could end up in prison. It's not likely, but it's possible. Signing this petition could get your name on a secret list of people who are likely terrorist sympathizers, and that in turn could lead to your arrest on trumped-up charges, or perhaps even non-trumped-up charges based on coincidental circumstances that would never have been noticed had you not signed. There are also a whole host of other less serious possible consequences. You could end up on the no-fly list. You could be denied a government job. Who knows?
And that is exactly why you must sign. Ed Snowden put a lot on the line so that we can know for sure that we are facing risks like this, and possibly even do something about it. The least we can do IMHO is to take a small risk to help him come home. That's why I signed (and made a modest donation).
I'm honestly not the slightest bit afraid of retaliation, and if I was targeted it would be evidence in favor of Snowden's cause.
I don't understand how an American citizen could be afraid of exercising their free speech rights -- if they are violated, then one can vocally draw attention to their situation. I'm really not afraid of repercussions as a random American.
Because some random American has no practical recourse in such an event.
what does socialism have to do with this? maybe you meant to say "a mode of thought I would expect in totalitarian police states..."
it's true that some totalitarian police states have, nominally if not really in practice, also been socialist. however, there have been just as many fascist, capitalist, monarchist, and theocratic totalitarian police states as well.
so I ask again...what does socialism have to do with this?
Otherwise it's hilarious, especially in this context.
Otherwise you are implying that the humor value of a comment is determined not solely by you, but partly from the intentions of the author.
Second, it's entirely possible that your fears will come true - obviously the government will receive your information and they can use it how they see fit. Not only that, but they appear to be running a co-registration campaign with the ACLU, and you don't know exactly who else will get your name, email, and physical address, or who those people will sell it to. I would be also curious to see what kind of remarketing cookies they are using. You can easily be put in the bucket of "HN users that visited the support Snowden page" and be stalked accordingly by advertisers across millions of Adsense-supported sites, Google search, Facebook, and the general web with just two or three remarketing cookies.
The creators of this site undoubtedly know that their stated goal will never be accomplished. So this looks more like an attempt to build a marketing database of people with a specific viewpoint than anything else.
As others have (snarkily) pointed out, this is a pretty mild form of resistance, so I'd imagine the consequences would be pretty mild.
That being said, I could see the government trotting it out if there were ever a separate case against you. "captainmuon is already known to harbor sympathies for known traitor Edward Snowden."
Being in Australia, I'm at best, someone that kowtows to a surveillance superpower. Sucks to be me, I can't even vote to not be surveilled.
It is same as asking, "Will the mafia kill me if I speak the truth about
the murder as an eyewitness?" Government is not supposed to operate like
a mafia. (But sure they can violate Human Rights and the Constitution, and
public will not even care.)
However, I am afraid by asking that very question we are already talking
from within the context of a regime that is "totalitarian". The various
degrees to which an average US citizen believes that they are not in a
totalitarian country unlike those "other" "socialist" or whatever
countries out there, is irrelevant:
Surveillance is Totalitarianism.
It is no surprise for people get paranoid in a country with large-scale
surveillance technology. And that's the point. Because it has never been
merely about the "terrorists" who are "out there"...
For people who are concerned about getting a "high score" in whatever
threat inventory, we are all a threat already. That's the very basic
rationale behind mass-surveillance. For the record, a majority of HN
members would hypothetically get pretty "high scores"...
Back to the topic of the thread, Obama will not pardon Snowden.
If the NSA really does maintain these macabre "lists", it's kind of hard to believe they'd be so unsophisticated as to put you on one for visiting a website called "Hacker News" that has nothing to do with the definition of "hacking" that they care about.
Be thankful that you can exercise your right to sign this petition in the US, and the only thing you might need to worry about is increased scrutiny from the IRS.
(Whether "signing an online petition" is "doing the right thing" is outside the scope of this comment.)
I've had occasion in recent years to speculate how many lists that has put me on. And to explain to a few friends "three degrees of separation" and what that might imply for them, as well.
I don't particularly like being listed. But I really don't like and fear the utter lack of transparency and accountability, and how such information can and apparently is "weaponized" against individuals for personal, political, and financial objectives.
Not only is it scary. It is, ultimately, a wasteful mis-use of resources. All this dirt digging and slinging and lawyering up takes away from more useful activity. Like fixing blight and illness before it engenders disfunction.
Call me an optimist. I believe -- or at least hope -- that we can do better.
I'm tired of living in perpetual fear.
I just signed and donated $50.
I'm not American, but the issue cuts across all countries and Snowden is a representative.
It is really unnerving truth be told.
I would be hugely surprised to learn that anybody would spend any time or attention to whoever votes how on a petition. There are thousands of those and only so many border agents, and making trouble to an US citizen carries a non-zero risk. Your profile is too low for that.
> Or get a higher score in some database, that combined with other things might get me into trouble?
Possible, but other things should be like donating to known ISIS front or frequenting a Hezbollah darksite, or something like that. Otherwise it's just noise.
> Increased scrutiny from the IRS
Unlikely, IRS is interested in money, not online petitions. You'd need to do something more spectacular to deserve special scrutiny, that puts you out of the crowd. Voting on online petition puts you in the crowd.
> but "they" might say hell why not?
Customized treatment on these scales is rather expensive. If voting on online petition had triggered customized treatment, they'd have to do a lot of useless "increased scrutiny". If they did, you won't be different from millions of people, but most probably they don't.
> Inability to get security clearances in future?
Security clearance is one area where such scrutiny could be warranted. But given who gets clearances, at least at low levels (like terror operatives working at airports and security companies, etc.) not likely unless we're talking about very high clearance levels.
> Being targeted for more intense data collection by the NSA?
Unlikely, again, you'd have to get out of the noise level for that and voting on a petition does not do that. If you'd be a close personal friend of Snowden then it'd be a different thing...
If Snowden revealed something is that the NSA and accompanied services are very smart, very powerful and very resourceful in achieving their goals. Nothing suggests they are so stupid as being unable to distinguish between signal and noise. They may be collecting a lot, but it all would be useless if they couldn't distinguish between interesting things and noise. Signing an online petition is noise.
I think it's only right that we all put our neck out for him, the same as he did for us - if only to say thank you for having our backs. I'm signing it.
Edit: I have signed it
> A mode of thought I would expect in socialist countries, not the US...
USA is moving rapidly towards socialism though it is much behind than say UK or France. This sort of government overreach is inevitable.
UK surveillance is part of the permanent state and is imperialist in nature.
In some ways, the UK is less authoritarian than in the past - the Human Rights Act has had a real effect, along with the Good Friday Agreement. There are no longer troops deployed in the streets with live ammunition nor elected MPs who are forbidden to speak on television.
I love Thatcher's description of Attlee:
"He was a serious man and a patriot. Quite contrary to the general tendency of politicians in the 1990s, he was all substance and no show."
The Labour party failed to develop any effective way of saying "no" to naked self-interest in unions (In Place Of Strife passim). Intrinsic problem in 'socialism'? Possibly.
That is a great quote on Attlee.
Surely, right. If history has taught us anything. I mean, we know some of the things the CIA has gotten up in the past.
What is your definition of "socialist" ? A lot of European countries are "socialists" in a way (always a nuance) but they don't have an aggressive kind of local NSA (even if some have a local NSA).
You are now concerned about getting on the no-fly list.
Think about being concerned doing a Google Search, Buying this item, Putting much money into this and this.
I hate this notion. I stay in India -- a socialist nation, which has its own problems but "lack of freedom" compared to any other nation in the world is not one of them.
I remember reading the article via twitter and after a while watching a tweet from the politician in question appear in timeline.
I didn't even recall following her, but at some point in time I did. I froze and panicked, my twitter account is eponymous.
What will happen to me when I cross the US border? Hopefully/Probably nothing, but the thought lies in the back of my mind.
I repeat: you're not going to get dragged off to US prison for following Birgitta Jónsdóttir on Twitter.
I strongly agree that Ed should be pardoned and that the US government has a lot of problems (like any country), but let's not go completely overboard here and write off the entire country as North Korea meets McCarthyism with a heaping side of Turkey. You can't and won't be prosecuted here for having a political opinion or for following people that do on Twitter.
I was referring to a possible detention in the borders, stripping, electronic devices control and so forth.