back to article How bad can the new spying legislation be? Exhibit 1: it's called the USA Liberty Act

The US Senate Judiciary Committee has unveiled its answer to a controversial spying program run by the NSA and used by the FBI to fish for crime leads. Unsurprisingly, the proposed legislation [PDF] reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – which allows American snoops to scour …

  1. GrumpyOldBloke

    USA Liberty Act

    The USA is at Liberty to Act - seems clear.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: USA Liberty Act

      I am sure that to give it it's full title it is something like "USA Liberty from all Muslims, Yurrupeans and any other foreigners that we don't like Act".

      If they can do this to their own people, God help the rest of us then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USA Liberty Act

      Yes, liberty act means that we have no liberty at all. Just like the patriot act means no freedom for the people.

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: USA Liberty Act

        Truth is fake-news, freedom is slavery, control is liberty.

  2. Oh Homer
    Mushroom

    Definition of "liberty"

    In this case the thing they're "liberating" is your personal data.

    In fact this is what American politicians really mean when they talk about "freedom" in general: the freedom to exploit other people with complete impunity. That includes various foreign, resource-rich countries, as well as their own citizens. Anyone and anything, really, to serve the (mainly economic) interests of those in power.

    This is why I refer to it as Freedumb®, because you'd have to be an idiot to believe it.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Definition of "liberty"

      "This is why I refer to it as Freedumb®, because you'd have to be an idiot to believe it".

      I appreciate the George Carlin reference. May he rest in peace (although slightly doped from time to time).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

    Come again?

    You heard me son, Santa Claus is a person in interest and terrorist. Every year he violates US airspace, causes financial mayhem to our economy, drops packages containing god only knows what and..

    yes?

    He's got a list... we want it

    1. MonkeyBob
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

      You heard me son, Santa Claus is a person in interest and terrorist.

      And anyone who mentions him is on the list too, that should just about cover the whole population.

    2. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

      Santa's OK, he's white. He just is white, according to Megyn Kelly anyway.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNKRfY6CtMI

      No doubt our lot will be carefully looking at this for the next RIPA turd-polishing session.

      1. An nonymous Cowerd

        Re: Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

        Er, well "Santa Claus" was (fairly) white until recently, but now . . ."Aziz Nikolas'un"?

        https://gizmodo.com/turkish-archeologists-think-they-may-have-discovered-th-1819136539

        http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/noel-babanin-mezari-jeoradarla-araniyor-40565417

        deffo NoFlyList + extra visa screening; potential furriner incoming in just 79 days

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

      You heard me son, Santa Claus is a person in interest and terrorist. Every year he violates US airspace, causes financial mayhem to our economy, drops packages containing god only knows what and..

      Don't worry North American Aerospace Defense Command (aka NORAD) keep a close eye on him.

    4. Robert Moore
      Coat

      Re: Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

      He's got a list... we want it

      Can I get a list of all the women over 40 on the naughty list?

      It's for research purposes. Really. No, really.

    5. sprograms

      Re: Meanwhile in a crack den beneath NSA headquarters...

      Santa Claus is a .... Let's straighten this out right now: The sleigh's ownership is deniable, and it only flies in the dark. It's so stealthy it ranges the world at low-level, yet has never been busted. The bags? Rendition satchels. Toys? Ha!

      And just to clarify who Santa works for, (courtesy of a past DNI Christmas party unmasking exercise, to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town (and, I hope, unclassified);

      You’d better watch out,

      You’d better not cry,

      You’d better not pout;

      I’m telling you why.

      Santa Claus is tapping Your (IP) phone.

      He’s bugging your room,

      He’s reading your mail,

      He’s keeping a file

      And running a tail.

      Santa Claus is tapping Your phone.

      He hears you in the bedroom,

      Surveils you out of doors,

      And if that doesn’t get the goods,

      Then he’ll use provocateurs.

      So — you mustn’t assume

      That you are secure.

      On Christmas Eve

      He’ll kick in your door.

      Santa Claus is tapping Your phone.

  4. Lysenko

    Do they seriously think that giving these Constitutional Abridgement Acts newspeak names fools anyone? What am I saying? Of course they do ... and they're right. The Departments of Love and Peace managed finagle an act called PATRIOT (the first time I heard of it I assumed it was The Onion).

    They can even get away with the obvious doublethink implicit in contending that metadata is simultaneously innocuous and an essential investigative resource. It cannot be both! If it were truly innocuous it would, by definition, be utterly useless and there would be no point in collecting it. How in the name of Zeus can the voters be so sanguine about evisceration of the 4th Amendment and yet get so agitated when it is pointed out that the Militia clause means the 2nd only provides for the National Guard to possess firearms? Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee of liberty than shredding this sort of Orwellian legislation?! What am I saying? Of course they do...

    1. Malik01

      Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee

      A single Glock, no. 10 Glocks, absolutely yes.

      1. mako23

        Re: Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee

        I hate guns and I don't like American love of guns, but you might have a point

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee

          you might have a point

          Now I know why Americans like Powerpoint: bullet points..

        2. TimeMaster T
          Alert

          Re: Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee

          I can understand your viewpoint but remember that whatever freedoms you have now where more than likely secured for you by the use, of or threat of, a weapon at some point in the past.

          That said the American obsession with guns is a bit disturbing, but it is not the guns at fault. One of the core issues is the culture that glorifies and promotes violence as an acceptable first response to any disagreement.

      2. TimeMaster T

        Re: Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee

        "A single Glock, no. 10 Glocks, absolutely yes."

        The only problem with that is you can only use a max of two of them at once.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do they seriously think that owning a Glock is a greater guarantee

        When people hear that I own 10 cats, they call me a crazy cat lady - but when I tell them I own 10 AR-15's, they run away.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re fools anyone

      I don't think it fools anyone, and I don't think it's meant to. It's the old dance, only that both the dancers, and those being danced on, no longer bother to pretend it's fine and subtle and the tune ain't bad. If it's window dressing, it's of the tackiest kind, but no-one bothers to even pretend it's meant to be pretty. We know we can fuck you, and you know we can do nothing about being fucked, so yeah, fuck you (citizen), with liberty.

      ...

      but then, the resentment builds up, even if slowly, and leads to revolution / mob rule, where even worse scum comes up to rule. Unless the minor issue of revolution has already been taken care of? I might live to find out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re fools anyone

        "but then, the resentment builds up, even if slowly, and leads to revolution / mob rule, where even worse scum comes up to rule. Unless the minor issue of revolution has already been taken care of? I might live to find out."

        Are you referring to November 2016?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re fools anyone

          I'm not referring to any particular event recently, other than the general belief (of mine), that slow-boiling a frog generally works (we're talking about humans) - until a certain point. And, every now and then, in the course of history, the frogs make a leap for it, and bite madly around. But then, maybe we've been already made toothless (by technology?), and we're not frogs but just sheep, to be fed, regularly shorn (always for their own good!) - as long as they stay within prescribed area of sheep behaviour (chew, shit, get shorn, repeat).

          Not that I endorse froggy violence (disclaimer from under a tin-foil hat duly noted, I hope), because violence is generally blind and instead of correcting the wrong, it just hurts innocents.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Mushroom

      10 Glocks won't help you if Uncle Sam decides to drone you. Or even if Uncle Sam is actually trying to drone someone else who just happens to live near you, or maybe you're going to a wedding and they decide to drone someone who might be there (it's always one of the in-laws that ends up causing trouble right?), or perhaps your name just sounds a bit like some guy that Uncle Sam thinks is Bad mmkay and yup, droney for you!

      1. Lysenko

        10 Glocks won't help you if Uncle Sam decides to drone you.

        Drones and missiles are expensive. Much cheaper to park a Vietnam era APC on the lawn. No American (legally) owns a weapon capable of defeating that so no American owns a weapon even slightly useful for "defending Liberty". Perfectly adequate for murdering police and civilians though, or (preferably) suicide.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Especially since police was allowed to get surplus military weapons and vehicles.... so you have a good chance of being heavily outgunned - and you can't anyway fire more than two handguns at a time (and despite movies, you would probably just waste ammunition).

          Anyway, I don't know where Americans got this hamster idea that piling up guns in their den will make them safer against the evil government. Do they believe they will still have to face the same troops of a quarter of millennium ago??

          1. Lysenko

            Yes, yes, but you would go down wrapped in your Gadsen flag muttering imprecations about "cold, dead hands" and they would rename Hayseed, Nebraska as "Thermopylae" in your honour and your name would live on through eternity as you whisper from the ageless stones and .... damn, sorry, I seem to have been mugged by a comic book...

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Actually Spartans at Thermopylae were more heavily armed than Persians, and also highly trained and skilled. They were the real elite soldiers of the time. One of the reasons they could resist so long was the Persian soldiers used light armors and less effective weapons against the heavy Greek armor, while being not protected so well from the Spartans' weapons.

          2. sprograms

            Clearly many people misunderstand the point of owning guns and ammunition. Put aside the madmen who lose the thread, suffer a breakdown, and go postal. The point of the guns is to ward of the "hot burglars," the home invaders, the small crowd with torches and pitchforks....long enough to protect my pile of 1 oz gold coins. These are invaluable: Once the gov decides to turn off my electric money and internet service, only the gold coins will allow me to deliver to my political representatives a convincing argument for saving my a@s.

            I note, further, that the Taliban are about to get their government back. Why, even the New York Times found that a pair of gatling guns effectively protected their offices from a murderous hoard of thieving peasants in 1863. I close my case by recalling that all the SWAT teams with APCs, and many regular infantry, simply aren't willing to move aggressively, so there's a real chance I can deliver the gold coins.

          3. Random Q Hacker

            Afghanistan seems to be able to resist our occupation fairly well with half-century old technology. In fact, name a war the US has truly "won" since WWII. Oh sure we may defeat a standing army, but quelling an armed population seems to be near impossible for us.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        "10 Glocks won't help you if Uncle Sam decides to drone you".

        Funds permitting:

        S-400

        S-300

        Pantsir

        More and more countries are getting the message.

    4. pcgeorge45

      2nd Amendment

      "2nd only provides for the National Guard to possess firearms".

      That is subject to some significant debate. Further, the Supreme Court deemed it a private right to ownership. The NG isn't really a militia, it is a standing army of the State. Also, at the time the term 'well regulated' meant working, properly configured, or well designed. It did not mean subject to a high degree of government regulation. Also, a militia often meant all free males between 6 & 60 in the county or town. Personal arms were indeed kept in the home to allow for quick mustering and prevent there being seized by an invader. Some jurisdictions required eligible persons to purchase a weapon & ammunition.

    5. Random Q Hacker

      Please don't conflate gun and privacy rights like that. Some of us support both. The real problem is the oligarchy, which controls which candidates are presented to us, and what propoganda we are presented with as news. We really have no say in our government anymore.

  5. -tim
    Big Brother

    Some WWII refugees welcome

    It wasn't just the rocket and nuclear scientists that the US government worked very hard at importing during and after the war. The FBI had an entire group of people who had been involved with the collection and correlation of information on people from European countries. The OSS and DIA were formed with a number of people who had worked for other countries gathering intelligence on their citizens.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Some WWII refugees welcome

      A lot of the Japanese "doctors" and scientists were rehomed, even after the vile shit they did to the Chinese.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some WWII refugees welcome

        "..the vile shit they did to the Chinese."

        and just about anyone else unlucky enough to get captured.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

  6. mighybaz

    Seems familiar

    “War is peace.

    Freedom is slavery.

    Ignorance is strength.”

    ― George Orwell, 1984

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Seems familiar

      Anyone here see a documentary called "A good American"?

      See here:

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4065414/

      You can (still) see it on-line.

      The whole explanation is there.

      Cheers.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Seems familiar

        'Anyone here see a documentary called "A good American"?'

        Is that a dead American?

        Just asking.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge
          Mushroom

          good?

          Not quite-- the only happy American is a dead American.

          "But happier than both is he who has never been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun."

          --The Teacher

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems familiar

        Interesting documentary. I'm pretty sure the UK is already running our version of thin thread, unless of course idiots are in charge there as well.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Tac Eht Xilef

    "Freedom doesn't mean what you think it does"

    Isn't it just another word for "nothing left to lose"?

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: "Freedom doesn't mean what you think it does"

      Actually, it's "slavery" that means "nothing left to lose".

  9. DeKrow
    Big Brother

    The meaning of words

    The USA Liberty Act is to liberty as the Australian Liberal Party is to liberalism.

    The US takes another step towards (or further into - fuhrer into?) totalitarianism.

    1. Joe Werner Silver badge

      Re: The meaning of words

      A bit like a republic vs. a people's republic. Like jacket and straitjacket...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The meaning of words

        and, as we used to say, in the good old commie East: like a chair, and electric chair.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: The meaning of words

          All you really need to know about the USA:

          * Its constitution forbids "cruel or unusual punishment";

          * It executes people with the electric chair, gassing, or injection of drugs - all of which cause dreadful pain, often for a long time, before death. (When there are perfectly simple ways to knock someone out instantly so they never know what hit them).

    2. Geriant

      Re: The meaning of words

      "The USA Liberty Act is to liberty as the Australian Liberal Party is to liberalism."

      ... or, for that matter, as the Australian Labor Party is to labour / socialism.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: The meaning of words

      Very similar to the CAN-SPAM act which pretty much allowed exactly what it says in the title.

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: The meaning of words

      Anyone who uses the word "liberty", in English at least, deserves extreme suspicion.

      "Liberty" is to "freedom" as a Big Mac is to food.

  10. Captain DaFt

    -That is very, very far from what FISA was intended to do: the clue being in the "F" for "Foreign" in FISA.-

    Well, if your net worth is less than a billion, or hold an office to induce the billionaires to 'donate' 'campaign funding' for favors, you're in a whole 'nother country as far as they're concerned.

    1. veti Silver badge
      Flame

      Which part of "the equal protection of the laws" do people not understand?

      If there is a law that says "US citizens enjoy these protections, and foreigners in the same situation don't" - that law is already unconstitutional. The lawmakers who voted for it, and the president who signed it, all deserve impeachment on those grounds alone.

      If the 4th amendment collides with the 14th, something's gotta give. And that "something" will be determined by whoever is making the judgment call that day. Guess how that's going to go?

  11. Bob Dole (tm)
    Coffee/keyboard

    Unsurprised

    I’m not sure there’s anything this government can do at this point that would surprise me.

    It doesn’t matter which of the two parties gain power - they are both evil.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Unsurprised

      So get off your ass and start campaigning for a third Party.

      If you just decide to continue to vote the same way or worse decide not to vote, you're just backing the Status quo and you get what you deserve.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Unsurprised

        You can campaign for a third party until you're black in the face. It won't happen. If voting changed anything, it would be illegal. And if campaigning for a third party changed anything...

        Look at what happened when Ross Perot and Ralph Nader tried to run as independents. They were both far better men and candidates than the party candidates, but they got buried. The story is always that a vote for anyone other than the good ol' Republican or Democrat is a vote wasted.

    2. Tomato42 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Unsurprised

      @Bob Dole (tm) "they are both evil"

      no, they both are not equally evil, this kind of bullshit thinking is why Trump is in power

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: so Desperation

    If Congress requests the number of American citizens in their database, and the NSA gives them the runaround, then Congress needs to shut down the NSA and/or cut off all their funding. The NSA needs to know who their bosses are. Why is that so hard for Congress to understand?

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: so Desperation

      And lose the next election as their opponents paints them as exposing Americans to danger and personally responsible for the next terrorist attack?

      The people are afraid. They demand that something highly visible be done to reassure them that they are safe. Not easy to do, when the media are constantly pushing people into a ratings-raising panic.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Terorrist Act

    FISTA

    Have you been FISTAd lately?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PCLOBotomy

    perhaps ?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next week the NSA will argue that all Americans are foreign due to their ancestry therefore they are only collecting data on foreigners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ̶Ne̶x̶t̶ ̶w̶e̶e̶k̶ Last century the NSA argued that all Americans are foreign due to their ancestry therefore they were only collecting data on foreigners.

      TFTFY

  16. DougS Silver badge

    With crap like this

    Does anyone wonder why Apple goes as far as they do to encrypt things in a way that even they can't access it? Not only on the iPhone itself, but also with parts of (eventually working towards all of) your iCloud data using Hardware Security Modules that after they program they shred the keycards for so that even they don't have access to the encryption keys they hold.

    They know the only way to protect people's privacy is not only to make it so the government can't access your data, but also so that THEY can't access it. Laws like these show the government's true intent is to have access to everything and they'll stop at nothing to get it - even trying to force cooperation from US corporations. The "protections" here are just window dressing to fool the gullible and give congresscritters who vote for it cover, so they can claim "there is citizen oversight".

  17. mako23

    I fear the government more than ISIl at the moment. The chances of me being killed by ISIL are very very small, chances of the govt spying me ....next to a certainty. I have nothing to hide, I just hate the intrusion

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have nothing to hide

      I've got loads of things to hide. It's not that these things are illegal, particularly embarrassing, or anything like that. It's just not any of your business.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: I have nothing to hide

        "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"

        If you can't hide anything at all, no matter what, you aren't free. People have tried to turn this one back on the Gov. to see how they like - they just clam up and start re-defining terrorist.

        We've been in an invisible cage for a while now, most people aren't aware of it at all. The only way you could tell in the past was when you accidentally hit the walls without realising it. Now the walls are closing in a more people are bumping into them, but too many people still don't see it.

        As the great prophet once said: "We be fucked!"

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      "I fear the government more than ISIl at the moment".

      Very reasonable, given that ISIL is just a smallish bunch of government contractors working for Washington.

  18. Archtech Silver badge

    Discussion is nugatory

    All discussion of such topics is really a waste of breath. The only practical rule you need to know, and keep in mind, is that government is always right, and has the right to do absolutely anything (that it has the physical power to do).

    Admittedly there are layers and layers of impressive-looking laws, treaties, constitutions and precedents forbidding governments to be naughty. But those are never enforced - they are purely ornamental.

    If you should be in doubt, pick a law, treaty, constitution or precedent and just try getting it enforced against a government that is cheerfully ignoring it.

    "[Y]ou know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”...

  19. LDS Silver badge

    Hope this helps to strike down Privati Shield as well...

    Go Schrems!!!

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Hope this helps to strike down Privati Shield as well...

      Not that I don't approve of the sentiment, but you are aware that unless you plan to visit the US of A (or do something sufficiently naughty to get them to want to extradite you) you should have much more reason to fear your own GCHQ [or insert alternate domestic Big Brother as appropriate] than the NSA, right? Keeping your data this side of the pond will do nothing to protect you from your very own gubmint...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Hope this helps to strike down Privati Shield as well...

        I have a little more control on my own government, and also I can sue it locally. Also, privacy laws here are quite stronger than in the "land of freedom".

        That's why I'd like foreign companies in a state with a government which looks in full McCarthy mode, not to have my data. Also, I hope the same companies will think about lost business when they're going to spend money lobbying in the US....

  20. silverfern

    Like everybody else in this world I have only one thing to hide: my privacy.

  21. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Getting rid of the difficult bit in the title

    Remember, folks, Yes Minister is your guide to administrations everywhere.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Getting rid of the difficult bit in the title

      Except that the real ones are neither sympathetic nor funny.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Getting rid of the difficult bit in the title

        "Except that the real ones are neither sympathetic nor funny."

        Of course not. But in the midst of the humour of YM there is solid guidance to help understand what you're up against. It should be part of the National Curriculum.

  22. Snowy Silver badge
    Holmes

    Something with Liberty in the name.

    Is in the same vein has a country with democratic in its name. For example Democratic North Korea.

    1. Bucky 2

      Re: Something with Liberty in the name.

      I was thinking DDR, but yours is better.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Something with Liberty in the name.

      Democratic People's Republic of North America - has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

  23. Harry Stottle

    Obligatory ref to Accountability Theatre

    Accountability Theatre

    I'm restraining myself. Haven't mentioned it for weeks, but this example is about as egregious as they come...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Article links don't work

    The "laughable" excuse links to a 404. Fix that please?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would anyone in the U.S. be associated with terrorist?

    I can't imagine why anyone in the U.S. should be investigated for Foreign terrorist activities. The bad guys and gals are only in other countries, right?

    For those who don't get it you have the manipulative media leading the gullible when it comes to attacking legitimate use of security data acquisition and analysis. Those so technically challenged as to not understand the legitimate reasons for authorities to examine all electronic communications data are doomed to be led like sheeple to an incorrect assessment of civil rights and national security.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would anyone in the U.S. be associated with terrorist?

      I've heard the EU is planning a travel ban to stop terrorists entering the EU.

      Using Trumps methology for inspiration, all white men from America will be banned.

    2. Tomato42 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Why would anyone in the U.S. be associated with terrorist?

      Right-wing "Christian" terrorists in the US are far bigger threat than "Muslim radical terrorists".

      https://www.adl.org/education/resources/reports/dark-constant-rage-25-years-of-right-wing-terrorism-in-united-states

  26. Florida1920
    Facepalm

    And they don't even realize it

    The American Right is becoming the very thing they warned us against.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This sums it up:

    “We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal.

    We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

    George Orwell, 1984

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Reform?

    When they tack "reform" on the name of a bill, as they like to do, you know it's an income redistribution bill. In much the same way as Willy Sutton - or Dick Turpin in Old Blighty - redistributed income. God, I'm becoming a bitter, cynical, old fart.

  29. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    NSA "FISA Court" Liberty Act.

    it is all(ways) an act.

    If one really wants to review the issue, lets start with weapons. Any weapon. And say, where was it made, where was it sold, and who used it last. I think it would astonish most folks to learn that weapons, parts of weapons, transport of weapons, sales of weapons marketing of weapons has been so utterly integral to the evolution of the US of A for the last ..... ooo ... 120 years or so .... perhaps -- much longer. Weapons, production, transport, sales, training, advise on deployment and use of are very valuable.

    And strangely -- there are rather a lot of weapons manufacturers in the USA.

    And strangely, if there are foreign rebels that needs supporting against a vile dictatorship there are weapons. To be sold, transported, sold on again, traded for, deployed and used.

    Mind you sometime those rebels, well they manage to cook up ugly ugly ugly "democratic" republics, and that regime just might need changing while we're at it. And this requires weapons. And intelligence, and transport, and ammunition.

    Yes, yes, yes, LIBERTY!!! we'll enact LIBERTY!!! for the FOX news listeners.

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