“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Monday, June 01, 2015

Rand Paul gets his way, for now

I've always felt the Patriot Act was a little heavy-handed, vague, and went too far in terms of surveillance and granting authority to the feds that they shouldn't have, based on a simple declaration of by the executive branch.

That said, I'm still not sure how much meta data is actually collected by the NSA on their giant servers which are fully capable of listening to and recording all phone calls made into or out of the US. Some "experts" claim that the only information collected is origination/destination information and that the call itself isn't monitored or recorded, but do I trust the malignant federal intelligence bureaucracy to be honest about that? Absolutely not.

So I'm not sure if last night's suspension of that part of the swiftly passed, scantly debated, and highly suspect Patriot Act was a good thing or not. But until we get attacked again and it can be shown that the suspension of the surveillance part of the Patriot Act was the cause, I choose more privacy from the government over less privacy.


Bill said...

Rand (or Ron Jr.) has disqualified himself from the Republican nomination with his latest hijinks - mainly his insane comments about the genesis of ISIS. He seems more at home with the Democrats.

Ed said...

He always teases me with his libertarian slant, but then goes off the deep end and shows me that he's not ready for prime time.

Bill said...

Rand knows that many people who support him believe the NSA listens to all their phone calls. I suppose he also knows very well this isn't true, but thinks the misimpression helps his cause, so he encourages it. Andrew Napolotano on Fox News is much worse, openly saying they "listen to your calls." He also thinks the al Qaeda thugs at Gitmo are having "their rights" violated.

What the NSA does is the equivalent of the Post Office scanning addresses and return addresses and storing the data. One may object to that, but it's not "reading the mail."

It looked like Rand was trying to show he could be trusted with national security, but going to Obama's left isn't the way to do that.

Ed said...

I agree with you on that. But if the NSA doesn't have the ability to listen in to whatever calls they like, then what's the use of having TO and FROM addresses? I would find it difficult to glean any counter-terrorism usefulness from that particular database.

Bill said...

They see that known bad guy X in Islamabad has been on the phone with phone number Z in Minneapolis. They see who else Z has been calling with and find Y in Boston who is also suspicious. They start looking harder at these guys here. If they need to, they get a court ordered wiretap.