I still get notifications from here from time to time, and as I was cleaning out the Far Right crap from my Rational Conservatives community, I came across this post. I do believe his points are worth considering...
Hazel Blears is my MP and I wrote to her to complain about the surveillance, etc. This is her response.
Now imagine a similar case where we live. Is that okay?
I've deleted a post from a right-winger who seems to have missed the point that the recent Australian outrage was not the result of every Aussie failing to stomp around, Mad Max style, ready to wreak bloody vengeance at a moment's notice with a variety of deadly weapons (and possibly a tank). No, it was a failure to properly process intelligence, possibly due to the fact that instead of keeping an eye on weirdos who might turn murderous at some point, the security services are hoovering up "all the things." Result: too many haystacks, multiple false positives, and sod all needles.
Well personally I'd prefer a targeted approach in which probable cause and warrants featured heavily so that the actual bad guys were caught and put away and a lot of this crap got stopped before it could start.
It's pretty damn convenient that at a time when we're pushing back against mass surveillance, a terrorist is permitted (yes, I said "permitted") to attack the public in the hope that we'll pretty much beg them to increase their activities.
However, as I've pointed out, this can be counter-productive. How do you even begin to sift through mountains of cat and dinner pics to get to the nasty stuff and stop the bad guys? They're not all as thick as Man Haron Monis; they tend to use coded words and phrases to get around surveillance, and often avoid the internet altogether. It's the stupid attention-seeking types like Monis who are likely to be caught, the really dangerous ones will slip through the net.
So... does mass surveillance have any real value besides lining security companies' wallets?
As an Irishwoman, I'm painfully aware of the efficacy of the Divide & Conquer strategy - it's what handed my country to the British on a silver platter. The effects are still with us.
When I stopped posting here about six months ago due to having little time to be here, I had noticed the sharpness of the divide between people who were nominally liberal and nominally conservative, whose affiliations were based on whether or not they supported a particular party.
Now I'm back, just for today, and I'm seeing the divisions are deeper than ever before, with the Right portraying anyone deemed to be on the left/liberal side as a threat to the nation, while the left/liberals cling to their talking points as if Snowden didn't happen.
The actual bad guys
The real problem is not that there's a left/liberal or a right, but that people believe these tropes are "a thing" and that they are a threat to Our Way Of Life. Karl Rove's characterization of Democrats as appeasers opposed to heartland morality has been so successful that the Democrat party has moved to the right to prove their loyalty to the nation. The results can be hilarious at times, as commentators on the right turn intellectual somersaults trying to frame the Obama administration as "socialist" every time it adopts a right wing policy. The actual bad guys are the corporate donors who have bought the politicians and persuade them to make laws to benefit them.
Obama - all about the Establishment
When I joined in the efforts to promote President Barack Obama in the last election, it was as the best of the worst, not as the right man for the job. As time has passed I've been keeping up with the news and found that he's been persecuting whistleblowers, pushing FTAs that could damage the economies of the nations involved, and going along with the surveillance state instead of shutting it down. He's all about the Establishment, and Hillary is no better. I'm disappointed, to say the least, but not all that surprised, the indications were there.
So what are you cheerleading, Dems?
I see many posts from Progressives cheerleading a president who has thrown a little red meat to the base but done little to stop the wasteful wars on drugs and on terror, and who has been reluctant to rein in the NSA and other bad actors. If he's not progressive, why support him? He can't serve a third term, it's unconstitutional. What he's doing is not okay. You need to call him out.
The "right" Right
Those of you who subscribe to Republican principles should remember it's the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower. It was always about freedom and justice for all. Unfortunately, you've got few representatives who are worth promoting. I liked Chris Christie for a little while, but then he blotted his copybook, as we say over here. Why aren't you pushing for candidates who are worth voting for?
A viable alternative
Let's be promoting the other political parties that are around, and talking about them and their policies until one of them stands out enough to be worth plumping for in the next election. The current positions of both main parties aren't really working for the rest of us. To be honest, a more nuanced approach, where people are empowered to think (and provide) for themselves, is the way forward. Those people you disagree with aren't necessarily the enemy — you'd be surprised at the amount of common ground you have with them. I've found that if you make a good enough case for your position, you can actually win them over. Don't let the Establishment divide us by pitting us against each other, let's work together and find candidates to represent us outside of the choices they give us. That way, we can have a government that is truly by the people, for the people.
Or you can keep recycling the same political cartoons and tropes, and continue to perpetuate the same old stereotypes. You decide.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is one of the most important developments in EU-US relations since WWII. Those in favour claim it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost GDP on both sides of the Atlantic. But is this true? And what are the hidden risks for European citizens?
If you live in an EU country, you have an opportunity to affect the laws passed by the EU Parliament. Remember when we flattened ACTA by asking people to contact their MEPs? This is a golden opportunity to taste sweet, sweet victory again.
Use Glyn's template or put your own message in, but don't let them vote our rights away on Wednesday.
My skills are web and computer based. I love the internet and spend so much time either using it or writing about it that I've learned a lot about how it works and how it can work for you. I occasionally take on graphic design or web design work as a favour for friends. I used to do it for a living.
My current online home is a blog called On t'Internet, where I write about whatever catches my attention online. I'm a bit of a contrarian and don't suffer fools gladly. At the moment I'm involved in online activism for the Pirate Party and those others that I find myself agreeing with.
I occasionally guest post on Techdirt and Digital Business and will gladly consider any requests to post for other blogs and websites.
My creative writing projects Canterville's Quest and The Marconi Men are available on Smashwords. I made the cover art myself.
Recent experiences have convinced me to become a political activist. Allegiances include the Pirate Party, digital rights, environmental, and human rights groups. Recent successes include SOPA/PIPA, CISPA, and ACTA being pulled down or rendered harmless. This was in association with a coalition of partner activist groups that include the Internet Freedom Movement, where I am one of the admins.
Philosophy, religion and politics
I'm a right-of-centre Pirate/Green Party supporter who believes in personal responsibility and a strong work ethic while recognising that universal healthcare and fully subsidized education are the keys to economic success on a personal and national level. My approach to these is informed by pragmatic rationalism and traditional Judeo-Christian ethics. This means I'm a painfully honest problem-solver unafraid of admitting when I'm wrong and willing to dump anything that doesn't work. And I'll help you if you ask me — but don't be surprised if I check you out to make sure you're on the level.
- Interserve FSHelpdesk administrator, 2012 - presentMy duties include managing the reactive jobs on four major contracts. This means taking calls from the clients, logging them, assigning an engineer or arranging a subcontractor, requesting quotes from suppliers, processing order requisitions, raising purchase orders, and preparing and presenting reports.
- Wendy Cockcroft Web DesignWeb designer, 2011 - 2012Building websites from scratch is my main speciality, but I work with WordPress and Joomla too. I build on the 960 Grid system using HTML and CSS using open source programs and hand coding. If you have a forum, blog, gallery, or other PHP-based program you need to have the theme matched to a static website, that's my particular skill. I design logos, banners, and artwork for the websites I build. If you want to jazz up your social media accounts I can provide templates, banners, and other graphics, and advise on making the most of them. I can also write the content and manage your website and social media accounts.
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