CommunityThe Dissenter

New York Times Pushes False Notion Both Sides of Patriot Act Debate Are Wrong

An analysis published in the New York Times falsely equates arguments for and against extending provisions of the PATRIOT Act, making it seem as if those against extension are just as wrong as those pushing to preserve government spying powers.

“There is little evidence in the history of the expiring Patriot Act powers to bolster the arguments that either supporters or opponents are making,” according to a description of the analysis written by Charlie Savage.

With the headline, “Reality Checks in Debate Over Surveillance Laws,” it appropriately calls out Republican senators like Tom Cotton, who have claimed a lapse in “this critical tool would lead to attacks.” Savage notes that studies and testimony have both shown that in the program’s existence zero terrorist attacks have been thwarted.

However, in the next paragraphs, Savage casts opponents of extending the provisions as individuals who are comparably wrong:

At the same time, proponents of ending the program say it poses risks to Americans’ private lives, by permitting the government to know who has been calling psychiatrists or political groups, for example. But despite the discovery of technical violations of the rules several years ago, no evidence has emerged that the program has been misused for political or personal gain. As a result, the privacy-minded critics have had to couch their warnings in hypothetical terms.

“Even if we stipulate for purposes of this discussion that no one within the N.S.A. is currently abusing this program for nefarious political purposes,” Senator Rand Paul, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, said in a filibuster-style floor speech last week, “can we say we are certain that will always be the case? Who is to say what might happen one year from now, two years from now, five years, 10 years or 15 years from now?”

While Savage may consider this to be equal to fear mongering about what will happen if spying powers are curtailed, “privacy-minded” opponents of the PATRIOT Act are not relying on the same hyperbole.

The only example Savage cites is very restrained and calculated. It is based on a concern that history could repeat itself because the country once experienced what it was like to have a domestic security state turned against citizens decades ago when J. Edgar Hoover was FBI director. And, in the example, Paul is making no claims about abuse for personal or political gain that cannot be backed up.

On the contrary, none of the supporters of the Patriot Act spying powers are as measured in their arguments. Not even officials from President Barack Obama’s administration are as level-headed in their rhetoric.

Administration officials have had a reporter from the Times print anonymous statements from them, one which suggests critics are playing “national security Russian roulette.” The administration maintains opponents are being “grossly irresponsible” because they want to have a debate and reform spying powers in a manner that much of the country actually supports.

Furthermore, it is inaccurate—and, at best, misleading—to write in any analysis that there is “no evidence” that “the program has been misused for political or personal gain.”

When Obama made a similar suggestion in a speech in January 2014, journalist Marcy Wheeler outlined key examples of abuse that were known to have taken place.

“The NSA spied on the porn and phone sex habits of ideological opponents, including those with no significant ties to extremists, and including a US person,” Wheeler highlighted. “According to the NSA in 2009, it had a program similar to Project Minaret — the tracking of anti-war opponents in the 1970s — in which it spied on people in the US in the guise of counterterrorism without approval. We still don’t have details of this abuse.”

Wheeler additionally pointed out that the NSA collected Internet metadata “that qualified as content” until 2009, despite the fact that this was identified as an abuse of power in 2004.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who brought the country to this moment where Patriot Act powers might expire, revealed the NSA has infiltrated Google and Yahoo data centers to steal users’ data.

A recently released Justice Department inspector general report also showed for seven years the FBI defied a law that was supposed to restrict how business records sought under the PATRIOT Act were accessed—a pretty flagrant abuse of power.

Is none of this evidence of abuse for personal or political gain? Isn’t someone benefiting from not following guidelines or the law?

On October 9, 2008, ABC News reported hundreds of US citizens overseas had been “eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators” at an NSA center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Adrienne Kinne, a US Army reserves Arab linguist who was assigned to a “special military program” at NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003, said US military officers, American journalists and American aide workers were “routinely” having their calls “collected” when they called their offices or homes in the US.

This same ABC News report suggested that NSA employees were sharing “salacious or tantalizing phone calls” that contained “good phone sex” or “pillow talk.” More recently, in 2013, there was further evidence that came to light on how NSA officers abuse their access to collected data to pursue love interests.

Is this not evidence of spying powers being used for personal and political gain within an agency?

There is also the fact that the Justice Department inspector general has another report, which has not been made public. It details the FBI’s use of pen register and trap and trace devices under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act from 2007 to 2009. It possibly describes instances of abuse, which could inform discussion about expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act.

Only a tiny fraction of Savage’s analysis is spent on the flawed notion that privacy or civil liberties advocates have been wrong in their arguments about the potential for abuse. Around ninety percent of the analysis focuses attention on PATRIOT Act supporters, which should be the case. But, in framing the analysis as if both sides are incorrect, Savage promotes this idea that there is some balance (perhaps, so Savage and the Times can claim the analysis was “objective”).

Both sides are not equally wrong, and any analysis that inappropriately suggests some balance is merely giving citizens an excuse to tune out or ignore the debate happening in Congress.

The evidence clearly demonstrates, based off documents from Snowden, declassified inspector general reports, studies and other testimony, that advocates for spying powers have nothing but fear to convince the public that the expiring PATRIOT Act provisions must be continued. Fear and lies.

Privacy advocates have no need to fabricate claims about past, present or future abuse. They can simply continue to react and respond, as surveillance proponents flail about madly trying to protect security state powers. That may be enough to end the provisions once and for all.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."


  1. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Both sides do it or both sides are wrong is the fake balance the Media calls balance but of course balance only happens when its a lefty issue an Righty issue gets 24/7 coverage and no coverage of the other side of the issue.

  2. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    ““The NSA spied on the porn and phone sex habits of ideological opponents, including those with no significant ties to extremists, and including a US person,” Wheeler highlighted. “According to the NSA in 2009, ” The NYT thinks 2009 is several years ago? Also please explain why the NSA stopped spying on non terrorists opposing the government in 2009 or was 2009 the last year they were caught?

  3. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    “More recently, in 2013, there was further evidence that came to light on how NSA officers abuse their access to collected data to pursue love interests.” The NYT thinks 2013 is years ago? The NYT does not think cyber stalking by the government is wrong? Where the hell was the NSA when the Boston Marathon bombers were watching Jihad videos on the net? Too busy stalking their ex wives and checking the porn habits of political opponents? You don’t gather blackmail information for years unless you plan to blackmail someone the NYT should be asking who did the government blackmail.

  4. bsbafflesbrains
    May 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Not that we needed another example of how the NYT is no longer a beacon of the Free and Unfettered Press but rather a spokesperson/propaganda outlet for the Government.
    Keep outing them Kevin and eventually truth will out as we see from the public response to the true facts. Just as the TPP is clearly and obviously a way of making illegal Corporate cartels somehow legal this Patriot Act is just trying to maintain the fiction of permissibility for actions that are clearly prohibited by our Constitution. Even if the Patriot Act is sunsetted I have no confidence that the MOTU will turn off the machine and follow the law. Remember it WAS illegal before it was made legal retroactively. We really need some MOTU in prison soon.

  5. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    The number of anti governemnt racist miltia groups have sky rocketed while Obama has been President “Attacks against the Hispanic community have more than tripled in a year according to an official report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The Hate Crime Victimizations report, a Census-driven study, shows an alarming rise in violent anti-Hispanic crime from 0.6 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2011, to 2.0 per 1,000 in 2012.
    The overall total of nonfatal and property hate crime victimizations for the entire study, 293,800, isn’t statistically different to 2004 (the first year for which there is data), however. In other words: the number of hate crimes hasn’t changed—the targets have.”

    So despite all the NSA spying the number of hate crimes has not gone down at all any bets Muslims, Greenpeace, anti fracking groups, anti war groups get spied on but the Racists get a pass the evidence suggests this.

  6. jaango
    May 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    From a differing perspective on the same subject.

    Visualizing Tomorrow’s Future Today

    Here at the Chicano Veterans Organization our traditional Friday’s column
    focusing on the Odds and Ends and which emphasizes “the crazy” in national
    politics, is being dispensed with, and done with the following and which
    ‘circumvents’ the “nuance, subtlety and sophistication” that animates our
    National Debt and which effectively demonstrates and subsequently rejects this
    loss of their future.

    Back in 2002, we crafted our version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and
    which we called it the Five Planks, and in our Fourth Plank, we established a
    systemic that was predicated on the Trans-National Technology Centers (TTNC’S)
    established on our southern border with Mexico. Consequently, the incoming
    migration flow would be coordinated thought these TTNC’s and thusly, our
    seminal foreign politics and the resultant policies, would have its germination
    and accomplishment at “the local level” of civic engagement. And furthermore,
    Congress would allocate an approximate $500 million annually the small or rural
    communities here in the United States and in which these American
    municipalities would “adopt” some of Mexico’s smaller municipalities and done
    under the rubric that a “better” Democracy could and would be achieved in

    And of course, our self-interest would be on full display, given that we, the
    former Privates, Corporals and Sergeants and for having served in the military,
    would not be ‘swayed’ in supporting the facile direction that the usual
    suspects continue to tout privately and where America needs to “invade” Mexico
    with the tagline for “corruption” and “drug cartels” would win the day when it
    come to the overall meme of Nixon’s War on Drugs. And today’s version is now
    effervescently titled as “border security” notwithstanding, the meme that “the
    military” can protect all of its citizens from “terrorism” both foreign and

    And now our future intrudes.

    To wit, a small group of “middle school” students and born of Spanish-speaking
    families and which these families and the respective families have successfully
    undergone their Citizenship Regime. And because the students return to the
    parents’ municipalities in Mexico during summer vacation and for visiting the
    grandparents, they too have “matured” beyond their ages, and have come
    recognize that their grand parents are living in hovels and where the dirt
    floors can never be cleaned appropriately.

    And with this in mind, the grandkids have taken to establish their like-minded
    approach to “individualized” economic development. As such, they have—earlier
    this year, created a charitable non-profit foundation and to date, have went
    onto Facebook and will be leaving Phoenix, Arizona in the next few days.
    Thusly, their “results” have consisted of a “bob tail truck” of canned food
    goods and a bank account of over $25,000 that will distributed in their
    selected municipality in Mexico and where their grandparents continue to

    In summary, these Middle School students have never encountered our version of
    the Five Planks that encompasses our concern for Comprehensive Immigration
    Reform—then and now, have taken their future into their own hands and will
    begin to show us, the oldies as well as the hippies of the 1960s and that a
    “better” Democracy can be achieved, both here in the United States.


  7. bsbafflesbrains
    May 29, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    How many FBI files opened on the Bundy Ranch armed protest compared to blacklivesmatter or OWS?

  8. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    “Do hate groups commit violence or simply try to instigate it?

    There are no data on hate crimes committed by members of active hate groups,”

    ” For the latest year, 2012, the numbers are 5,796 incidents with 7,164 victims.”

    No then if we called Fox News a hate group spreading conspiracy theories not based in facts I wonder what the numbers would be?” Also I wonder how many terror attacks vs hate crimes in 2012? Since the GOP only cares about money what was the economic cost of terror vs hate crimes in 2012 ( I expect there will be some overlap). We are not serious about spying on Americans if we don’t stop Americans from committing hate crimes but we do gather blackmail information on peace groups, environmental groups etc.

  9. marym
    May 29, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Civil liberty and privacy aren’t “lefty” issues. Currently
    conservative libertarians are carrying a big portion of this battle. It’s a
    battle between authoritarians and non-authoritarians.

  10. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Exactly Obama very well might be investigating more African Americans than Hoover or Nixon ever did thanks to the NSA’s new tech making it so easy to spy on people. Boston Massacre an African American was killed the Red Coats went on trial and some were even found guilty even though the crowd threw rocks at the Red Coats that was not considred enough provocation to shoot.
    I vote we go back to British rule at least then Dark People had Rights and Cops went to jail.

  11. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Any bets the NSA and congress are both spying on Wallstreet to get inside stock tips just how much does personal wealth increase on average once a person joins Congress? Yes many are millionaires already but Congress is a pay cut for most of them and their investment’s go into a blind trust so just how do they get richer? Insider stock tips on which company gets a big government contract and blind trusts that are not so blind.

  12. bsbafflesbrains
    May 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    No need to bet because they already passed a law making them their staff exempt from the SEC insider trading laws. Just need a staff member to run the so called “blind trust”.

  13. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Conservative libertarians can join us on these issues for their own reasons.

  14. kgosztola
    May 29, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t presume to know what is obvious to people following news. I am going to write and call out people regardless of whether most know what I am arguing to be true. Because maybe they don’t really know. Plus, someone like Charlie Savage can be a good journalist and this is lazy journalism.

    Lazy journalism is worse than stenography. It fuels spread of misinformation without any bad intentions and makes it difficult for people to be properly informed.

  15. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    FDL should investigate that more!

  16. bsbafflesbrains
    May 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    It happens so much now in the MSM there is either a “lazy” virus going around the press pool or this is propaganda directed by others IMHO.

  17. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    You might find this interesting “84.125 years is the average billionaire life expectancy for 2014


    United States 83.4883.48 years vs 84.125 less than one years difference but these are the 2011 Hispanic numbers the most recent I could find vs the 2014 numbers reported by Forbes if 2014 numbers for Hispanics were available we very well might be able to show Hispanics live longer than billionaires”

    The poorest least insured group Hispanics tend to live almost as long as Billionaires and we do live longer than Congressmen with Full government healthcare and White Residents of Utah mostly Mormons who don’t drink or smoke. Hispanic kids get bombarded with negative messages about dying from cancer, heart disease, diabettes etc that put us down even though we live longer than whites and if I had more recent numbers maybe we live longer than billionaires. First generation immigrates live the longest even though least likely to have health care most likely to be poor. I could not find recent numbers for this so I left it out of the article hope this information gives the kids in your program pride gotta go soon bye.

  18. May 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Kabuki. CONgress will huff and puff and in the end pass the legistlation preserving the Patriot Act. It’s over for us 99ers. Obama’s election sealed the deal. Truly bi-partisan “rogering”. Bush, Obama, Bushama.

  19. May 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Obama’s true legacy:

    Record inequality which has hit blacks the hardest of course. But if you point that out, Uncle Tom’s like Michael Dyson and Melissa Racewell-Perry will slut shame you.

  20. May 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    They use this for blackmail. Like trying to pressure Dilma Roussef in Brazil by revealing she had a boob job.

    I definitely think they have the goods on Angela Merkel. Her take on Putin against her own economic and politic interests is very suspicious.

    What skeletons lurk in that closet? Hmmm?

  21. jaango
    May 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    My apology for the unedited version posted. However, the edited version is now on our vet-friendly web site.
    Further, my quaint notion of “surveillance” is predicated on the behavior of the DEA. As such, my view is that if the DEA can access this surveillance vehicle or applies to a Court for an Order or Warrant, and if after 60 to 180 days, no evidence of Probable Cause is evident, then, the DEA must “officially” notify the Target of this surveillance effort and explain the results of their “investigation.” And if the Target talks to the news media, all the better.

  22. ThingsComeUndone
    May 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Walking home found wifi anyway the NSA we assume spies on all Muslims except the Boston Marathon Bombers ( because what? ) if anyone types Muslim and violence we assume the NSA spies on them….so why is there a rise in hate crimes against Muslims if every mention of Muslim and violence on the phone, net etc gets flagged by the NSA? Unless the NSA made a decision not to protect Muslims from racists?

  23. dubinsky
    May 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    nicely done

  24. JediMj739
    May 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    New York Times, or media organization of the elite, wants us all to believe that it is voice of reason, when it comes to the Patriot Act. “the cute name the elites gave this bill is hilarious, there is nothing Patriot about this Act”
    The NYTimes editors who work for the elites never discuss the proper debate to have about the so call Patriot Act, because there is no debate that is proper about this ACT that craps on the work of our forefathers who never would have allowed such a bill to be in acted.
    the NYTimes should have simply said the ANTI PATRIOT ACT needs to be abolish, it does not benefit the citizens of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
    the elites are good! they have us calling an un patriot bill, Patriotic?
    what a country!

  25. JohnRedican
    May 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    The Patriot Act was never Constitutional, hence the mighty efforts of the government to keep it out of the higher Courts. I believe there are several provisions of the Act which would be struck down 9-0 if ever brought before the Supreme Court. Which is why that cannot be allowed.

  26. AlanMacDonald
    May 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Hurrah. Hurray!

    Rand getting this “huge thing right” has now expanded to the NYT getting this huge thing right!

    Even the ‘Old Grey Lady’ of media, the New York Times, ran an Opinion Pages Editorial on this critical subject:

    And the Times, yes, the Times, concluded that its lapse would be fine: “That would be perfectly fine.”

    The reader comments that these illegal spying activities should end was
    overwhelming!! With almost no Times readers defending this illegal,
    undemocratic, and un-Constitutional spying.

    I was surprised that the Times allowed one of my replies to a fellow reader’s comment to be included:

    “Cathi, thanks for your recognition of Snowden’s brave and
    patriotic service in specifically making public the extent of this Orwellian
    facade which only ‘poses’ as our previously proud democratic Republic.

    But even Snowden himself, and other truth-tellers like Greenwald, Manning,
    Assange, the “Occupy”movement, et al. have not yet fully recognized what
    their efforts have more broadly ‘exposed’ — which is to diagnose,
    recognize, expose, and publicly ‘call-out’ the entire scope of this
    Disguised Global (crony) Capitalist Empire, merely ‘posing’ as, and HQed in, our
    former country, and which now controls both the neocon ‘R’ Vichy party
    and the neoliberal-con ‘D’ Vichy party.”

    I also submitted this 2nd comment which I was amazed that the previously close-minded
    and censoring-inclined NYT judged suitable for on-line publication:

    “The solution is not to maintain secret spying on everyone in the world,
    both ‘abroad’ and ‘at home’ who resists living under an Empire.

    Instead the only solution is to stop ‘acting like’ a Global Empire abroad and at home.

    As the late great Jewish intellectual, Hannah Arendt, warned from her
    experience with an earlier wannabe empire in Germany and France, “Empire
    abroad entails tyranny at home”.

    German citizens learned that lesson too late when they allowed their Republic to morph into a quite visible Empire.

    Let’s “hope for change” that Americans can see that this better disguised
    global Empire needs to be recognized and corrected, as our forefathers
    recognized of a Red-Coated Empire long ago.”

    If the mighty defender of the entrenched system, the Times, allowed this to be openly
    spoken against this Dual-party Vichy American Global Empire —- why are
    the leftish, progressive-lite, alt-media herd of sheep afraid to speak
    the word ‘EMPIRE’, eh??

  27. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Another example of false equivalence. Please show me examples of the authoritarian left. The left is anti-authoritarian for the most part. Of course if you think anyone to the left of Fox News is a lefty, you might convince yourself that there is an authoritarian left…. in which case, do carry on.

  28. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Kevin, You, Glenn Greenwald, and a few others are doing a great job critiquing the lapdog corporate blowhards… and as a side effect, helping me keep my sanity. Thanks so very much!

  29. May 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    TPP, Patriot Act, “pivot” to Asia, and most significantly, perhaps, right-wing(authoritarian) anti socialist tendencies expressed with militarily and economically enforced regime-changes of democratically elected socialist governments.

  30. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Nice to have something that simple to hang on the wall I guess. Does nothing for me though. Libertarian is not the opposite of Authoritarian except in the minds of some Libertarians. I am anti-Authoritarian but most certainly not Libertarian. There is some crossover, but no simple chart will cover the complexities of belief systems.

  31. May 29, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    It’s a bit more informative than peddling the decontextualized right-left narrative.

    Libertarianism is mostly a leftist position associated with mid 19th century libertarian socialism/ anarcho-syndicalism and the Paris Commune.

    Ignoring the imbedded authoritarianism of the exceptional and indispensable nation by propounding some anecdotal and self referential crap is not useful, either.

  32. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    “Ignoring the imbedded authoritarianism of the exceptional and
    indispensable nation by propounding some anecdotal and self referential
    crap is not useful, either.” Please explain what you are talking about here.

  33. May 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    The history of American imperialism. Doesn’t ring any bells?

  34. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Libertarianism is flirting with some leftist ideas, but is not of the left for the most part. Libertarians don’t appear to care about the less powerful, only those who can pull themselves up by the bootstraps. They do not seem to believe in the regulation of corporate power, the role that government should play in keeping drinking water, air, and land clean for the benifit of all. The role that government should play in maintaining infrastructure. The role that government should play in making sure profits do not trump food safety and any number of other important things. Libertarians seem to have a fantasy that by simply practicing righteous individualism, the world would function better than with actual team work. This is of course just my opinion based of the Libertarians I have met and argued with. The most valuable thing about Libertarians is their strong anti-war stance in my opinion. That is why they are much better than most of the right wing. Still a somewhat selfish ideology on the whole. There are no Libertarian governments as far as I can tell, except perhaps Somalia? There are leftist governments, but of course they are regularly overthrown by outside forces (mostly CIA) and military coups.

  35. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    You are not making yourself clear. What does American imperialism have to do with the left? I am certainly not ignoring American Authoritarianism.

  36. May 29, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I’m proud of my home state Senate crew: Tester (D) and Daines (R) Montana took turns helping out Rand in his filibuster

    PS – I’m from Tester’s home county in Montana (Chouteau). The local farmers hate Tester. He’s an organic farmer and they don’t want his weeds in their pretty Monsanto laden wheat fields

  37. Shutter
    May 29, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    ““The NSA spied on the porn and phone sex habits of ideological opponents”

    Well, duh. What did people think all that hardware was for anyway if not arm-twisting?

    After all these years, Nixons still the one! He led the way, showed the true path. Destroy your enemies! Compile a list and don’t be afraid to blackmail those who would bring you down.

  38. May 29, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Stop the bull crap, Kelly!

    American “libertarians” are fully chained by their necks to the idea of property. They are propertarians; slaves to property!

    Your entire rant reflects the policies and ideology of the neoliberal leadership of the Dem party, fer shit’s sake!

    What distinguishes them from the authoritarianism representing the authoritarian (top down) corporatist policies advanced by the bipartisan establishment is that they would have let Wall Street go belly-up; they denounce the USTR advanced; monopoly capitalism engendering, trade agreements, and position themselves against militarism and empire.

    The direct democracy promoting socialist left is, but for the propertarianism (shared by libertarians and liberals,) far closer to right-libertarians than they are to liberals on quote a goodly number of issues.

  39. May 29, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Was it Carlin who said: Libertarians are just Republicans who smoke dope

  40. May 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Bob Marley sang, “stay away from isms and schisms”. But I like to think that my own political persuasion is Progressive Libertarian (ProgTard) for short.

    Don’t like the Dem Nanny state and r2p Neocolonial foreign policy
    Don’t like the Republican Old Testament punishment and corporate whoredom.

  41. May 29, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    If we agree that the left in the US has no place at the political table, as do liberals and conservatives, then nothing, indeed.

    So rather than talking about the “left” wherein we find liberals and progressives thrown into it, let’s define it in political-economic terms as socialists – preferably libertarian, as opposed to statist – and be done with the bull-crap peddled by the establishment via the corporate MSM propaganda organs.

  42. May 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    What are Liberal Hawks like Obama, Biden, Clinton, Power, Rice et al.? Unless we aren’t counting them as part of the “left” any longer?

    Republican identified Neoconservatism welded with Democrat sponsored Neoliberalism = Neocolonialism

  43. May 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    When does the inequitable financial situation get the blame for worsening health care outcomes in America?

    In America only wealthy whites are living longer. Everyone else’s life expectancy is flat or in decline.

    It’s like being told your poor eating habits are why you get cancer. Not being exposed to pathogens in the air from corporate industry.

  44. May 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    As much as I love Carlin, he missed wide on this one – sold them short, IMO.

  45. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    “Your entire rant reflects the policies and ideology of the neoliberal leadership of the Dem party, fer shit’s sake!” You just revealed yourself as a fool. I am fully against the neo liberalism of the D party, and am not a Democrat. I am an anti-authoritarian leftist, socialist. Are you a word-spewing algorythm with a Turretsian glitch or a human being?

  46. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    “What are Liberal Hawks like Obama, Biden, Clinton, Power, Rice et al.?
    Unless we aren’t counting them as part of the “left” any longer?”

    Only one steeped in the corporate media miasma thinks of those people as of the left. They were never of the left… all of them are charlatans, fakers, con-artists, and neo liberal douchebags. They are closer to Fascists than Leftists.

  47. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Again… what does American imperialism have to do with the left?

  48. May 29, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Hmm…so we are excluding the Dem party as representing the left, correct?

  49. May 29, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Then asking for the nth’s time what American imperialism – supported by liberals and opposed by “right-libertarians” and leftists(anti-capitalism) socialists – has to do with the putative leftism of the American establishment, makes you incomprehensible.

  50. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    At last, we are beginning to understand each other! What kind of person, who paid any attention to the actions of these hacks, would think the assholes were anything but deceitful quasi-Fascist opportunists? They talk a soft left game at times, but their actions are clearly for the rich and powerful, with a few crocidile tears splashed around for the base to lap up. A disgustingly transparent dog and pony show.

  51. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    “Incomprehensible” describes perfectly the drivel you have written. You are unable to state anything clearly so that I might understand what you are talking about. Way over my head I’m sure. You cannot even answer a simple question… well, simply. Hundred dollar words strung together do not make for brilliance all on their own. They require a coherency you seem to lack so far. Go ahead and surprise me. Clearly and simply answer the question: what does the (not putative) left have to do with American imperialism?

  52. May 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I believe we’ve cleared this matter up by agreeing that liberals do not represent leftism?

  53. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Of course they don’t represent leftism. They are fake leftists fully on board with war crimes if committed by their own side, fully on board with rampant Capitalism, fully on board with Fascist law and order fundamentalists of the ever stronger police state etc… they do talk about reforms, but we know that is akin to the liquid effluent of a diseased cow.

  54. May 29, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Could not agree more. May the Dems go the way of the Whigs. Look what happened to Milliband and his Red Tories strategy

    The bell tolls for thee Shillary, Wasserman-Shultz, Hoyer,, Pelousy, Schumer (D-Wall Street),Rahmbo

  55. Alice X
    May 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Vladimir Lenin to start. Many others to follow.

  56. Alice X
    May 29, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    The first great socialist schism was between Marx who proposed the dictatorship of the proletariat and Bakunin who predicted that the most ardent revolutionary in eighteen months would be as bad as the Tsar.

    Put simplistically Communist vs Anarchist.

    However it is somewhat misleading to have the heading Libertarian.

    In Europe Libertarians are Social Libertarians, ie Anarchists.

    The Right Wing version is an American construction and is more than a little convoluted to follow. Besides being rather inconsistent.

    Basically they are individualists who want the freedom to plunder unimpeded.

    In my view.

    But you are correct, the chart is two dimensional and the questioning is too brief. There can also be a tendency towards thinking of political correctness which can slant the results.

    Eight years ago when I answered those questions I came in two squares from bottom left (2 up 2 over). Next to Chomsky which fine with me.

  57. Alice X
    May 29, 2015 at 9:12 pm
  58. Alice X
    May 29, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Looks like I came late to the party.

  59. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Had to go back a ways didn’t you : )

  60. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I don’t do polls or questionaires, but I would be happy to be considered in agreement with Chomsky on most things.

  61. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 9:28 pm


  62. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Well, your home state senate crew (and mine) voted in lockstep with the rest of the senate to support Israel while they were committing war crimes in Gaza. The senate is full of Israel-firsters who are hypocrites of the first order. The senate itself is a profoundly undemocratic institution. Two senators for Vermont and two senators for California. Talk about unfair representation… and then of course it take only a minority to block anything in the senate. No majority rule in practice or even possibility.

  63. Alice X
    May 29, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    As I said there were many to follow. The Chinese still call themselves ‘Communist’.

    The Bolsheviks took over International Communism after 1917. Though to me it was a pretend version.

    It was useful for them to pretend, it was useful for the US to go along with it.—-.htm

    However as we know they went bust in 1991.

    There are still a few marginalized Stalinist parties hanging around.

    But they won’t bring in any war bucks so the Imperial US needed a new foil. They finally came up with the Muslims who filled in nicely to keep those war bucks flowing.

  64. dubinsky
    May 29, 2015 at 10:22 pm
  65. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    You really are a rusty tool, aren’t you? Hamas has indeed committed war crimes, but they are near-microscopic when compared to the abomination of Israel’s massive program of child torture, imprisonment, and killing, their UN targeting, press murdering, school-bombing, and all around Fascist abomination tactics. Pray tell, how many people has Hamas killed? Then, please, how many people has Israel killed? Maybe RickD will come in and help defend your deplorably stupid remarks? Have you read what Amnesty International has put out on the rogue-terrorist-criminal state of Israel over the years? Of course not. It does not fit your petty Fascist narrative.

  66. dubinsky
    May 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    that Hamas was only killed a few hundreds of innocent men, women and children, Kelly…is due only to their lack of competence and not anything else.

    they’ll happily kill tens of thousands if they could…. and claim that they murdered to serve Allah and every one of their murderers was embraced by Allah and is in paradise.

  67. John Kelly
    May 29, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    The fact that Israel has killed thousands, imprisons children, slaughters men women, and children who have no recourse, with the full support of Fascists like you, is due to their supreme competence at being mass murdering Fascists. They learned well from the Nazis. A sickening perversion of humanity has been created by these perpetual victims of the past. They have denigrated their ancestors with their immense indecency towards humanity. They brutalize the weak, they murder the innocent, they demean the very notion of human rights at every turn. The fact that they have not yet attained the level of disgusting atrocity of the Nazis is only because they have not yet convinced the believers to do so, not through lack of desire. When you kill children by the hundreds or thousands you are not on the moral high ground, you are a monster. I support the resistance against occupation. You support the brutal occupiers and their war crimes.

  68. dubinsky
    May 29, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    you mostly support pretending that you you know what other people think and pretending that you know what you’re talking about.

  69. kgosztola
    May 30, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I appreciate reading that. Best.

  70. Bill Rood
    May 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    The bulk collection of metadata allows prosecutors to build a web of circumstantial evidence showing that person A, who had access to certain classified material, had contact with reporter B. If they can also suppress information that other people had access to the same information and had phone conversations with reporter B, this can lead to a conviction based purely on guilt by association, without a scrap of evidence as to the actual content of those communications.

    This is not a hypothetical scenario. It is exactly how they railroaded Jeffrey Sterling.