Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy United States Your Rights Online

Rosenzweig Now Chairman of DHS Privacy Board 214

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-boss dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Paul Rosenzweig, a conservative lawyer and prominent proponent of the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness project, has been appointed the first chairman of the Department of Homeland Security's privacy board. This follows the appointment of an executive of Gator to the board. Lee Tien, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that, rather than viewing protection of privacy as priority, Rosenzweig 'tends to view privacy as something to be circumvented.' Are the foxes guarding the henhouse when it comes to government and privacy?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rosenzweig Now Chairman of DHS Privacy Board

Comments Filter:
  • by jmcmunn (307798) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:04AM (#12164128)
    Are the foxes guarding the henhouse when it comes to government and privacy?

    Why no, it seems that the Gator is guarding the henhouse in this case.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:20AM (#12164193)
      Somehow these appointments remind me of 1984.

      Along the lines of the ministry of love being where you go to get the living shit beat out of you it seems the ministry of privacy being formed in america is where all of your privacy will be stripped away.
      • Somehow these appointments remind me of 1984.

        Man you're old. I can't remember anything earlier than '85 or so.
      • The fox guarding the henhouse is the normal way most government works.

        The timeline of a board/commission/department/[whatever] that is supposed to deal with a problem:

        1. Concerned citizens see a problem/crises and demand that their reps "Do something about it!"
        2. The legislature creates a [whatever] to "Do something about it!"
        3. The concerned citizens see that something has been "Done" and get bored with the issue, moving on to another issue that's now in the news.
        4. The new [whatever] looks around for "experts" in the area they are supposed to be dealing with.
        5. The affected industry, ngos and other special interest groups are the ones who actually have the "experts" to supply.
        6. They also actually have a stake in what the [whatever] does, so they stick around and do whatever is necessary to control the [whatever]. Since no one else cares, they typically gain control within 0-3 years of [whatever's] existance.
        7. ??? (Traditional /. step)
        8. Profit! (for the special interest groups, because now they can use [whatever] to stick it to any new competition and preserve and expand their own power.)

        Take a look at just about any [whatever] that is "supposed" to be regulating something and you'll pretty much see the above pattern.
    • by mboverload (657893) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:28AM (#12164230) Journal
      This is worse than hiring a sex predator to be the janitor in a preschool.
    • I guess it's like hiring a theif to look at your security system, a cracker to test your firewall or a spammer to test your "rbl"!
    • by AdrainB (694313) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:49AM (#12164329)
      Not only is the henhouse being raided at the DHS, but Bush has packed the EPA and FDA with industry cronies. He has turned agencies created to protect consumers and citizens into agencies that work to protect corporate malfeasance. And it's really worse than the fox guarding the henhouse. It's like the first fox inviting other foxes in because there are too many chickens for one fox to eat.
      • You wouldnt care to backup your broad sweeping claims would you? Given that Bush has "packed" the EPA and FDA with industry cronies, I would assume you can provide a complete listing of hires in the last 5 years to backup your claim. Your choice of the word packed infers that a majority of the EPA and FDA has been replaced since you did not specify positions.

        This reminds of when during the election Bush "said" he wanted to reinstate the draft. I dont care which way you swing, I just care when mindless bant
        • This reminds of when during the election Bush "said" he wanted to reinstate the draft.

          I don't remember anyone claiming that Bush said that. As I understood it, people were saying that his actions were going to make it inevitable that a draft would be necessary. Do you have any references which say otherwise? I'm genuinely curious.

          -Chris
          • I dont have the email anymore but here is a similar one. There were several version floating around.

            http://www.diggersrealm.com/mt/archives/000140.htm l [diggersrealm.com]

            Never underestimate the power of lies. How many people actually believed this and voted for Kerry? (I am not saying voting for kerry is a bad thing, I think he was a good candidate.) I am simply stating how powerful disinformation is. One of the unfortunate sideaffects of free speech I suppose. I wouldnt be suprised if election laws were harsher wrt dis
        • by AdrainB (694313) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @12:04PM (#12166066)
          Remember the Vioxx vote to keep it on the market? Affiliations between 10 of the scientists that served on the committee and the three manufacturers of Cox-2 inhibitors were discovered -- a violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which prohibits scientists with direct conflicts of interest from serving on panels offering advise to federal regulatory agencies. What does that mean? Pharmaceutical shills are all aboard the FDA panels and they vote with Big Pharam dollars. Another 17 scientists had other ties to drug manufacturers, though not the three with products under consideration at the meeting. According to a New York Times analysis of the votes, the advisory committee would have voted for taking Bextra and Vioxx off the market beacuse of its risks had the shill-scientists been excluded from the vote. Here is the CSPI analysis of the FDA Advisory Panel: CSPI found ten (10) physician-researchers a/k/a Big Pharma Shills with direct ties to Pfizer, Merck or Novartis (including G.D. Searle and Pharmacia, which are now part of Pfizer). They were: * Steven Abramson, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Division of Rheumatology, NYU School of Medicine, New York. Has an interest in Merck. (FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Congressional Hearing Transcripts, 7/20/99) Received speaker's honoraria or consulting fees from Pfizer, Amgen, Novartis, and Pharmacia. (http://www.freecme.com/gcourse_view.php?course_id =1824 [freecme.com]; accessed 2/22/05) Consultant for Searle, and a member of the Speakers Bureau for Pfizer. Received an unrestricted educational grant from Pharmacia. (http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/news/2A3 45DDE45B8C851852569AE004B52DC [docguide.com]; accessed 2/23/05) * Joan M. Bathon, M.D. Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. Received consultancies and/or honoraria from Centocor, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, totaling less than $10,000 per year. ( Arthritis Rheum. 2004;50:3432-43.) Received ad hoc consultant fees and support for this research from Immunex. (Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Jun;46(6):1443-50.) Received support for research on etanercept and methotrexate in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis from Immunex, Inc. (N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1586-93.) Consultant for: National Advisory Board CTLA4-IG Project, Bristol Myers Squibb, 2000; International Advisory Board, Anti-TNF Project, Centocor, 2000; National Advisory Board, Anti-TNF Project, Knoll Pharmaceuticals, 2000; National Advisory Board, Anti-TNF Project, Immunex and Wyeth, 1998-99; National Advisory Board, Cox-2 Project, Searle, 1998-2000; Consultant, Bradykinin receptor antagonist project, Fournier Pharmaceuticals, 1996; Consultant, Anti-inflammatory initiative, Procter & Gamble. (http://www.fda.gov/cder/audiences/acspage/CVs/Bat hon,%20Joan%20M..pdf [fda.gov]; accessed 2/23/05) * John J. Cush, M.D., Article on concomitant leflunomide therapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis despite stable doses of methotrexate listed potential conflicts of interest due to consultancies, honoraria and grants received. (Ann Intern Med. 2002 Nov 5;137(9):726-33.) Consultant: Abbott, Amgen, Wyeth, Centocor, Pfizer, Regeneron; Disclosure: Current Investigator: Abbott, Amgen, Biogen Idec, Pfizer. (J Rheumatol. 2005 Feb;32(2):203-7.) ) Received grants from Abbott, Amgen/Weiss, Aventis, Centocor, IDEC/Genentech, Isis Pharmaceuticals. (http://www.fbhc.org/cme/abt04202/index.cfm [fbhc.org]; accessed 2/23/05) Dr. Cush is a member of The Cadeuceus Group, LLC. (http://www.fbhc.org/cme/abt04202/index.cfm [fbhc.org]; accessed 2/23/05) * Robert H. Dworkin, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics/Statistics and Pu
        • This site http://www.thetruthaboutgeorge.com/appointments/ [thetruthaboutgeorge.com]
          has some press clippings about Bush appointees, and the controversy surrounding them.
          I trust that you are not being disingenuous - you don't have to replace every employee of an agency / company to provoke change - just ones in key positions.
          It's quite obvious that the Bush Administration has been quite vigorous in this regard.
      • DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is already
        an oxymoron. They are in charge of the non-
        existent seaport security (w/ recent incursions
        by Chinese stowaways in container cargo), with
        nearly non-existent border security (w/ 1-1/2
        million illegal aliens entering the USA each year,
        up by 50% from before 9-11-2001), and with nearly
        non-existent enforcement of immigration laws (28
        million illegal aliens in the USA hired illegally
        by USA employers).

        We have illegal aliens working for the TSA (Trans-
        potation Security
  • As soon as I read the first line of the summary:
    conservative lawyer and prominent proponent of the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness project
    I'm not trying troll - but usually "conservative" and proponent of "Total Information Awareness" doesn't go together. I mean, I'm a liberal and I can remember a time "conservatives" were for more privacy rights (ok, forget the fight over sodomy laws).
    • "Is the fox guarding the henhouse?"
      Is the fox guarding the henhouse?!!?

      What're all these damned chicken feathers doing everywhere!? Ay! What's all this bloody mess here too?

    • by koreth (409849) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:29AM (#12164237)
      Get with the newspeak, bub. Today's new improved doubleplusgood American conservatives are for smaller government in the form of increased federal spending, more privacy in the form of total surveillance, state's rights in the form of Congressional meddling in individual state court cases, isolationist foreign policy in the form of overseas force projection, government transparency in the form of increased classification of documents, and high moral standards in the form of flagrant House ethics rule violations.

      Stop thinking like you're in the 20th century. It's a brave new world and white is the new black.

      • I was thinking the same thing:

        Doesn't this reek of Orwellian doublespeak? I mean - the privacy board represents a group of people who want to circumvent privacy. The PATRIOT act is the most un-patriotic legislation government action since COINTELPRO. Etc.

        Yuck!

        See This [thecarpetb...report.com] for a fun look at Bush tactics.

        April 02, 2005
        Build your own Bush administration! It's easy and fun!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:55AM (#12164834)
        Eh...some of this "speak" isn't so new.

        "more privacy in the form of total surveillance" --> HUAC, McCarthy et al.?

        "government transparency in the form of increased classification of documents, and high moral standards in the form of flagrant House ethics rule violations" --> Nixon?

        "smaller government in the form of increased federal spending" AND "isolationist foreign policy in the form of overseas force projection" --> Reagan?

        American conservatives have this wonderful way of completely ignoring their own philosophy.
        • by happymedium (861907) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:13AM (#12165007)
          Meh! I posted the above, but apparently the great Slashdot didn't see fit to log me on even though I told it to. I'm certainly not afraid to criticize dead conservatives.

          Anyway, one more observation on this topic: conservatives tried to excuse all of the above inconsistencies by saying thay they were for the sake of fighting communism. What are we doing today to keep the charade going? Fighting terrorism! That's really the most relevant parallel between 1984 and today's situation: just like Ingsoc, the U.S. always needs an enemy.
      • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @11:27AM (#12165694) Homepage
        Bush and those supporting him are neocons not real conservatives.

        As someone who considered themselves conservative before the religious right got involved, these people are an affront to true conservatives. Changing the ethics rules to favor one of their own crooked leadership, labeling someone who volunteered for service in Viet Nam "Hanoi John" because he later protested a loser war while promoting a dope-smoking, draft-dodging, Conneticut Yankee pretending to be a Texan, running up record federal deficits, and passing legislation to try and override state courts are all actions real conservatives should find hugely revolting.

        Conservatives are not your enemy. The Republican party pays lip service to its conservative roots the same way it pays lip service to the religious right. The Republicans are all about money and power at a time the Democrats have gone completely nutless. A lot of times these days you're picking the party that sickens you the least.

        And what's with the religious right? Why aren't all those right wing protestants having a fit about Bush kneeling in front of the Pope's body? Hello, McFly! All the world wondering after the beast...any of that ringing any bells? Or are you just all up about gays getting married these days?

        • As someone who considered themselves conservative before the religious right got involved

          See, the problem is that you're not really a conservative at all; you're a libertarian who's suffering from an identity crisis. It was the same for me; I used to think I was a liberal, but I've come to realize I'm a libertarian too.

          Conservatism, as originally understood, favored government imposition of social mores, limited individual rights, government collusion with (or ownership of) business, and general hostili
    • Neither "conservatives" nor "liberals" necessarily believe in freedom. Each camp attempts to limit different kinds of freedom to accomplish its objectives.

      The political landscape can be dumbed down to a simple Cartesian coordinate system: personal freedom on one axis, economic freedom on another.

      Whereas a liberal will tend to deprive you of economic freedom in order redistribute wealth and fund social programs, a conservative will tend to deprive you of personal freedom in order to control your behavior
      • > Neither "conservatives" nor "liberals" necessarily believe in freedom.

        Then why is the ACLU considered a liberal organization by most? Which philosophy gives you a better chance at:

        1. Dying with dignity.
        2. Decriminalzing non-addictive substances.
        3. Ensuring the rights of unpopular groups (minorities, gays, atheists, etc).

        Which one has historically? I'll give you a hint, it doesn't start with a C.

        • Then why is the ACLU considered a liberal organization by most? Which philosophy gives you a better chance at:

          Because the ACLU has a long history of being more interested in certain freedoms that others.

          Which philosophy gives you a better chance at:

          1. Retaining your constitutionally protected right to bear arms?
          2. Retaining the ability of you and your neighbors to to decide what your children should be taught in the schools your money pays for?
          3. Letting you keep and spend the money you earn as you choos
      • I've always found this quiz to be extremely uninstructive, and therefore I much prefer the Pournelle Axes [baen.com].
        • Many political columnists and major newspapers would disagree with you. The test has been called "brilliant."

          With regard to Pournelle's Axes,

          a) there's no fun test to take
          b) you "think" you know where you stand already, so "finding" yourself on Pournelle's coordinate system isn't very interesting
          c) And may I say, Pournelle pisses me off, and so does his militaristic fiction. Anyone who can "solve" a planet-wide social problem by killing an entire stadium full of malcontents, even in a work of fiction, s
    • True, although those values were found back at a time when the Republicans were getting hammered in congress by the Democrats. Was it any accident that when they were in the minority, the Republicans favored cutting spending on programs? Of course not, they knew their programs would never pass, so they just said "to hell with the federal govt ... let the states handle this". Now that they are in charge, they're whistling quite a different tune.

      As we can see, they're only for cutting so-called liberal programs. States' rights have seemed to lose style because those Massachusetts liberals can let gays marry (the horror!).

      Whenever any party is in the minority, they rail against any expansion of federal government powers because they know it won't be expanding in the way they like. As soon as the tides turn, government expansion is a nessary evil.
    • by hey! (33014) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:13AM (#12164486) Homepage Journal
      When will people stop giving their allegiance to labels?

      When will people start leaving their parties (Republican or Democrat) when their parties move away from what they believe?

      The answer is probably when there is a no longer a two party system. The Republicans can treat their conservative base with contempt, and then still get their support by fear: "look at what the alternative would be!" The Democrats do the same thing on their side of the fence.
      • When will people stop giving their allegiance to labels? When will people start leaving their parties (Republican or Democrat) when their parties move away from what they believe?

        I've gotten the distinct impression that US politics, in conjunction with the media, has become such that any issue is now a "black" (x)or "white" issue. IOW, it's easier to pick a view on a seemingly dichotomous issue rather than have to confront and think about the grey tones of real life.
        • It makes logical sense. We have a two party system in which the parties have to win based carving paper thin slices from the fat middle of the political spectrum. To justify their existence as a distinct "choice" naturally, they have turn up the contrast on the voters' video screens so that shades of gray translate to black and white.
          • We have a two party system in which the parties have to win based carving paper thin slices from the fat middle of the political spectrum.

            I've never found this argument at all convincing. It usually starts with the complaint that the Democrats aren't socialist enough. Fortunately, this isn't Europe and most people here agree that a regulated capitalist system like we have now is pretty close to ideal, if imperfect in a few places. Within those lines, there are huge disagreements that actually do affect
            • Well, it could also proceed from the position that Republicans aren't conservative enough.

              I think you have a fair point.There are multiple factors at play here. There are indeed differences between Republicans and Democrats, however they have to play a game in which they maintain their base and attract voters in the middle. Obfuscation of differences are an important tool. If you didn't see this strategy at work in the last election, you weren't paying much attention.

              What drives the Republican spending b
              • Well, it could also proceed from the position that Republicans aren't conservative enough.

                I don't think many people would advocate this position, fortunately. :)

                By some interpretations of the word "conservative", this is probably true. The conservatives who've become disaffected with the administration and its policies have spoken out against the expansion of executive power, new law enforcement capabilities, the growth in spending, and the activist foreign policy. All of these might be considered anat
      • Hey, I just happen to vote Democrat. Really though I'm a liberal. Hell, call me a NeoLib or whatever, but I'm not a Democrat anymore. Not after the refusal to push the real liberal philosophy up front. In the last presidential election, the Democrat's actually ran a real liberal [mintruth.com]. If you don't believe me, look at his anti-war and pro-environmental record - even Bush called him a liberal. However he meant it as a smear.

        I think, and this has been said, that the word liberal needs to be re0wned. Labels help -
    • >(ok, forget the fight over sodomy laws).

      Not to mention pornography, sex toys, gay rights, minority rights, etc.

      Conservatism is the defense of the status quo. Today and in the past. Anything else is sophistry and revisionism.
      • >Conservatism is the defense of the status quo. Today and in the past. Anything else is sophistry and revisionism.

        You're confusing, intentionally or not, conservatism [reference.com]'s multiple definitions. Republicans (who call themselves conservatives) today do not want the status quo - that's why they passed the USA PATRION Act, appoint privacy advocates who don't believe in privacy, etc. Another case in point: Terry Schiavo. The status quo said that it was up to the state courts. Most of today's conservatives tho

    • I'm not trying troll - but usually "conservative" and proponent of "Total Information Awareness" doesn't go together. I mean, I'm a liberal and I can remember a time "conservatives" were for more privacy rights (ok, forget the fight over sodomy laws).

      It seems the dividing lines have been redrawn... and it looks like it's now in crayon.

      The "Conservatives" still favor privacy and minimal intervention *if* you are a corporation. If you're an individual, you need to be watched to make sure you don't endanger

    • It is becoming imperative that Classic Liberals, and Classic Conservatives join forces to stop the wholesale destruction of our Republic.

      I think both camps are beginning to realize this.

      Check this out [checksbalances.org] Both sides [checksbalances.org] coming together against the Patriot Act.

    • Great way to open this thread!

      I see in lots of the comments already a strong awareness of what is happening in American politics. Outright thugs with a lust for wealth and power are getting away with wrapping themselves in flags and crosses, because reluctance to change views is a basic feature of conservative thinking. Sticking with the tried and true, not changing horses in mid-stream, weathering tough times with your beliefs intact -- these are sensible, down-to-earth attitudes that work if you have hon
  • by Silver Sloth (770927) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#12164145)

    Quote Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister:- I need to know everything in order to know what I need to know

    The beaurocrat's excuse for invasion of privacy never realy changes.

  • by Richie1984 (841487) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#12164147)
    I'm sorry, but after the news that a Gator executive was being appointed to the board, did anyone really expect this Privacy board to be anything of the sort? I'm not an American, but if I were, I'd be writing to my government representative now asking for help on this issue.

    Personally, I look at this issue like I do with European software patents. If ordinary people don't stand up and lobby their government representative, then nothing will change. If you believe strongly about this, then try to do something about it. Make your views known
    • by veddermatic (143964) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:15AM (#12164166) Homepage
      I'm not an American, but if I were, I'd be writing to my government representative now asking for help on this issue.


      When will you folks learn. In the US, our reps won't listen unless there's a huge PAC donation included with your letter.
      • "When will you folks learn. In the US, our reps won't listen unless there's a huge PAC donation included with your letter."

        Yes, it's hard to compete with PACs. But remember that PAC dollars are used to buy, for the most part, TV ad time. And those ads are used to get votes.

        Rather than give up, let's get off our asses and organize and get ready for the next election.

        Don't just write your Congressman that you think it's a pathetic joke that a TIA supporter his chair of the DHS Privacy Board -- get the sig
      • When will you folks learn. In the US, our reps won't listen unless there's a huge PAC donation included with your letter.
        People who sell out their country, traitors, are usually killed, and few people mourn their passing. How is that traitors in US congress are so popular?
      • Great excuse to do nothing.

        Unfortunatley, you'll probably get what you deserve.
    • If you were American, you would also know that writing to your representative is a waste of time. Unless your letter is wrapped around a fat check. :(
    • The problem is that America has now reached the ultimate phase in the ELITE universe and has become the first corporate state
  • by amigoro (761348) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:16AM (#12164175) Homepage Journal
    Paul Rosenzweig [mithuro.com] for beginners.

    On the Patriot Act:

    The 9/11 Commission has emphasized the importance of the Patriot Act and considers it to be an essential weapon in the global war on terrorism. Prior to September 11, there was a wall of legal and regulatory policies that prevented effective sharing of information between the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Read More [mithuro.com]

    Paul Rosenzweig On Transparency:

    After all, why do we seek transparency in the first instance? Not for its own sake. Without need, transparency is little more than voyeurism. Rather, the reason for transparency is oversight - Read More [mithuro.com]

  • by tezza (539307) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:17AM (#12164180)
    They heard concerns about an Invasion of Privacy.

    They have selected these Patriots to ensure that there is no risk of Privacy invading The United States of America. Over their dead bodies, there will be none of this Privacy in America.

  • Oh come on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:18AM (#12164183) Journal
    Oh come on - isn't it obvious?

    Privacy is something that is entirely the opposite of the DHS's goal - therefore, isn't it obvious that they will hire experts in how to remove privacy? The DHS's privacy department isn't about protecting privacy (because that would be counter to the DHS's mission) but rather how to remove privacy so the DHS can do its job. Of course they will mask this in doublespeak - just like what was called the department of war half a century ago got renamed to the department of defence.
  • I am really worried (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The current administration has no respect for laws and the constitution. They've said as much. They say it's all about stopping terrorists. They are trying to build a 'Fortress America' with the borders completely shut. We are already seeing scientists from other countries shunning the States because it is such a pain getting a visa. We are going to see Americans having as much trouble getting back into the States as foreigners do. (ie. you won't be able to get back in from Canada without a passport.)
    • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@gmail.OPENBSDcom minus bsd> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:46AM (#12164317)
      Countries don't refuse to do business with other countries because they don't like them much. Money is money, and America is now and will always be a huge market. We import everything, and export cash. It's a fact: we run a huge trade deficit pretty much always.

      Additionally, the Bush administration is not trying to shut the borders. The borders are completely porous in virtually every way. More than a million illegals came across the border last year.

      Pop-quiz: who was Germany's top trading partner in 1938?
      France.
      • huh? (Score:2, Informative)

        by ImaLamer (260199)
        It's a fact: we run a huge trade deficit pretty much always.

        Oh really? Cause that is a complete bull-shit statement. We've mainly operated at a deficit since 1960 - but not always. Either way, trade deficit isn't the only way to measure the economy.

        ahref=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_deficit [slashdot.org]ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_deficit>

        Additionally, the Bush administration is not trying to shut the borders

        Sure, the Canadian border.

        ahref=http://www.obviousnews.com/breakingnews/stor ies/obvi [slashdot.org]
        • Prescott Bush! (Score:2, Informative)

          by ImaLamer (260199)
          Prescott Bush - Prescott Bush - Prescott Bush

          and?

          Prescott Bush!!!

          Whenever I post and that name is included I get labeled a troll! Must be a filter or something? A perl script?
        • Oh really? Cause that is a complete bull-shit statement.
          No, actually it's not. If you think "we run a huge trade deficit pretty much always." is bullshit you have a comprehension problem. Read the sentence again, and re-forumalate your argument. We, *present tense run*, a huge trade deficit, pretty much, always. It means, for the most part, we run a huge trade deficit. Most of the time, we run a huge trade deficit. In general, we run a trade deficit. Which is, of course true. Has it *been* *alway
      • by handy_vandal (606174) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:01AM (#12164901) Homepage Journal
        Pop-quiz: who was Germany's top trading partner in 1938?

        Good point. Indeed, it's worse than that -- much worse.

        Who funded the Nazi war machine? Prescott Bush [wikipedia.org], among others.
        Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz
        Thyssen [wikipedia.org], who had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but who by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Hitler. Dealing with Nazi Germany wasn't illegal when Hitler declared war on the US, but, six days after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed the Trading With the Enemy Act. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City.
        Prescott and his partners made a ton of money banking for the Nazis -- investing in the Wermacht -- throughout the 1930s. Not illegal at the time. A brutal demonstration of man's inhumanity to man, perhaps; but not illegal at the time.

        Herr Bush, of course, is father and grandfather, respectively, to two generations of American Presidents (and one generation of CIA Director [google.com]).

        See also From Hitler to MX [google.com], documenting other examples of 1930's American investment in the Nazi war machine (and how, after the war, American-back ventures survived unbombed, while their competitors where destroyed). Companies involved include General Electric (sold advanced submarine tech for U-boats), and one or more (I forget which) of the big oil firms.

        War is -- dammit -- good for business.

        -kgj
      • Economy 101 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:37AM (#12165231) Journal
        Any money has _no_ intrinsic value. What matters is what you can buy with that money.

        If a country sells you ore for 1 million dollars, the value of that million dollars is _only_ what they can buy in return with it. No more, no less. If they can't buy much, then they're giving away their ore to you for free.

        So I wouldn't put much hope in an economy that _only_ exports cash. That's an economy that in reality exports _nothing_.

        If all you export is printed bits of paper, expect the value of those to plummet very very fast.

        The dollar until now did have the saving grace of being perceived as _the_ international standard, and as something worth having reserves of. But again, on the assumption that they can at some point buy stuff with those dollars.

        As that perception starts to fade, well, you're already seeing the effects. A huge trade deficit == a fast drop in currency value, until the value of _real_ exports matches that in imports. If you ever wondered why the dollar took a nose dive recently, now you know why: because of that trade defficit.

        Want to export even more money? Well, then be prepared for the dollar value to fall even more.

        Just keep it up. By the time your salary will be worth a tenth of what it's worth today, well, maybe you'll see what was wrong with that policy.

        "Countries don't refuse to do business with other countries because they don't like them much."

        True. But they might limit how much they're willing to sell you, based on how much you can actually afford to buy. And by "afford", I mean the value of your _exports_.

        "Money is money"

        Precisely because of that. What they're interested is what you can get for that money, not how fast you can print bits of paper.

        "America is now and will always be a huge market"

        China and India are both even bigger markets, and you don't see them being able to afford the same level of imports as you do.

        A huge market that can't pay is not much of a market.
        • I didn't say anything about anything being good!

          The original post claimed that other countries are going to stop trading with us over our politics, which is utter BS. They'll stop trading with us because our money won't be worth anything.

          I am well aware of money theory and the effects you describe. Thanks!
    • That's why they found enough money to add a $521B boondoggle medicare package that not even AARP supported, but when the time came to fund 10,000 new border patrol agents they said they didn't have the money for more than 210, right?
      • The Bush administration, I'm afraid, is more interested in perpetuating the fear of terrorism for their own Machiavellian purposes than in achieving any real "security". These people may be evil, but they're not stupid. They are well aware that they are trying to dismantle the New Deal and drive down wages of working Americans at a time of great economic uncertainty. They are equally aware that this kind of "renegotiation" of the social contract is likely to lead to significant civil unrest as the noose sta
    • I wonder how hard it is to emigrate to New Zealand?

      Hey! thats the country I've chosen to flee to! find your own damn country!

      wanna share a cab to the airport?

    • Ok, Ok, I buy the points, but lets leave the exageration aside:

      The current administration has no respect for laws and the constitution. They've said as much.

      When have they said as much? They seem to have tremendous respect for the law . . . they simply interpret it different than many other people. If they didn't respect it, they would even bother use try to interpret it.

      We are going to see Americans having as much trouble getting back into the States as foreigners do. (ie. you won't be able to get ba

    • I wonder how hard it is to emigrate to New Zealand?

      You can find out aere [immigration.govt.nz]

  • by Andy Mitchell (780458) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:21AM (#12164203) Homepage

    The way things are going in the western world at the moment I do fear that we are sleep walking towards some kind of Orwellian nightmare. We face a determined foe who are willing to die for what they believe in. Yet we are willing to throw aside our own hard won values of freedom and justice in the interest of "safety".

    Freedom is Slavery was a propaganda slogan from the book 1984, designed to keep the masses happy with being oppressed. Every time I hear Tony Blair or George Bush reducing our rights to "protect freedom" I'm reminded of this.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:26AM (#12164578) Homepage
      Yet we are willing to throw aside our own hard won values of freedom and justice in the interest of "safety".

      I'll give you a quote:
      "It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." --Hermann Goering

      See, here's the real lie. People believe they are protecting the values, not throwing them away. Of course the original quote was about war, now it is about terror.

      "Pacifists" are opponents of the politic. In this context, civil rights activists. They get discredited like dreamers, idealists which will expose the country to danger just like pacifists.

      "Lack of patriotism" is of course a good mix of nationalism (American/Non-american), racism (Caucasian/Arab) and religion (Christian/Muslim). It plays on basic "Principles are fine, but now we have to protect our own" self-preservation.

      Finally, "exposing the country to danger" is no longer about war, it is even "better". With war, you always know roughly who, where and how it will play out. With terror, the "danger" is everywhere, all the time and invisible. How can you argue that you are NOT exposing it to danger?

      Noone dares speaks of such things. It is not "politically correct" to quote Nazi leaders, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu and other examples of people that have manipulated great crowds. Naturally, we don't want to inspire more. But it also means people are oblivious to the fact that they are being manipulated. It cuts both ways.

      Kjella
    • my buddy ben... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sp1n3rGy (69101)
      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

      Ben Franklin
  • by Hallow (2706) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:35AM (#12164257) Homepage
    Well, if you're in the U.S., and you're concerned about these events (it's looking more and more like an anti-privacy group), might I suggest contacting the privacy office [dhs.gov] or going directly to the dept. of homeland security [dhs.gov] to let them know how you feel as a taxpayer about the appointment of individuals with a less than stellar record when it comes to privacy concerns?

    Might be a good idea to contact your senators [senate.gov] and representatives [house.gov] too.
    • ...and get a free, all expenses paid trip to sunny Cuba!
    • That would be the social responsible, intelligent, insightful thing to do. Naturally, slashdot would rather whine and price airline tickets and emigration restrictions... then still be in the country six months later, still whining, still pricing airline tickets, and still wondering why Congress isn't listening to them.

      Here's a clue, folks... most Congressmen do listen. If you call them, if you write them, your opinion is taken into consideration. Even if there is no money attached. Do corporations hav
      • Here's a clue, folks... most Congressmen do listen. If you call them, if you write them, your opinion is taken into consideration.
        Mine don't seem to. Bond, Talent, Blunt, all of Missouri, all good little Republicans marching in lockstep with what the Party wants. When I've written them with such concerns, they will either ignore me or send back a form letter saying (for example) how great the Patriot Act or the DMCA is.
      • Here's a clue, folks... most Congressmen do listen. If you call them, if you write them, your opinion is taken into consideration.

        The irony is that this is true exactly to the extent that we believe it to be true, and are willing to act on our beliefs. Cynical helplessness always plays into the hands of established power.

    • Sounds like a good way to get on that mysterious and secret No Fly list. You're clearly a seditious liberal!

      Isn't it cool how "liberal" has become the new "Commie"?
    • by XorNand (517466) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:50AM (#12164786)
      Bah... do you honestly think that the DHS is going to listen to you?

      One word: ACLU [aclu.org]

      Proud dues-paying member since 2003.

      One of the few organizations with the clout to truly (and positively) influence policy when it comes to these matters. You can be a member for less than $50/year. The min membership might even be half that much, IIRC.
      • Bah... do you honestly think that the DHS is going to listen to you?

        And you know this because of all the letters you've written that they've ignored?

        Not trying to defend DHS, but the idea that we say nothing because they will ignore it anyway is pretty pathetic.
  • Hiding stuff. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scottzak (398384) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:39AM (#12164275)
    It seems to me that privacy only matters if there is a threat of sanction for the private behavior. Hiding stuff tends to add a layer of unhealthy psych because of the continual threats to the integrity of the cloak.

    The real need is to roll back the ability of the mob to make your life miserable if you choose to think or do something that is unconventional.

    In the long run, which is going to leave us in a better position? Should we be fighting to maintain privacy in the face of increasingly efficient snooping, or fighting for freedom of thought and action?

    Not that anyone's really going sacrifice much to achieve either of those goals . . . .
    • It seems to me that privacy only matters if there is a threat of sanction for the private behavior.

      Or merely the possibility of a future threat (which possibility is, of course, a threat itself). What if some Red State government decided to start a registry of all gay residents, to no avowed purpose or intent? Should gays then not feel threatened? How about registering Jews in Germany in the 1930s? The real issue is not that information of this sort should (or can) be kept secret from everybody (i.e., abso

    • Re:Hiding stuff. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Broom Hillary (833488)

      I agree.

      Consenting adults should not be legally prohibited from engaging in any activity or speech they want, whatsoever, the only exception being to protect some overriding societal interest.

      Unfortunately this principle isn't explicitly stated in the US Constitution, so instead an implicit right to privacy has been used in its place.

      Why do we need limitations surveillance and the collection of information? I don't mind if I have to withstand peer pressure in order to act, think, and speak as I lik

  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:08AM (#12164446) Homepage Journal
    Are the foxes guarding the henhouse when it comes to government and privacy?

    Guarding is a cover story. The foxes are actually impregnating the hens -- breeding strange fox/chicken hybrids -- merging government and privacy into a single organism.

    I, for one, do not welcome our privacy-sucking overlords.

    -kgj
  • The political definitions has become so muddled that people tend to mix one with another,

    Just like I would describe myself as a classical liberal [wikipedia.org]as opposed to conservative [wikipedia.org].

  • Americaphage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:06AM (#12164946) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone else noticed that at every chance, Bush has sent the worst possible person to run the government agency that's supposed to protect our rights? It's not just incompetence anymore - this guy hates America.

  • you're too moronic to ever get it.

    "Homeland Security" has NOTHING whatever to do with either the "homeland" or YOUR security.

  • by blanks (108019) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:33AM (#12165204) Homepage Journal
    "tends to view privacy as something to be circumvented"

    I don't remember, but I think when I was a kid (20 years ago) didn't we have the right to privacy here in America. In fact wasn't this always one of the key items that made America so great?

  • by TempusMagus (723668) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @11:07AM (#12165488) Homepage Journal
    "Paul Rosenzweig, a conservative lawyer and prominent proponent of the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness project,
    I'm sorry but if you are for TIA you are not a conservative. Republicans ceased being conservatives the day they co-opted the Christian Right as a tactic to erode the non-wealthy power base of the Democrats. I'd vote for a true conservative if any exist.
  • by 4of12 (97621) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @01:06PM (#12166729) Homepage Journal

    when he says

    Rosenzweig 'tends to view privacy as something to be circumvented.'
    I think he's right.

    A little less privacy at the highest levels of government and in the corporate ranks would do wonders for increasing their dismal reputations for hiding incompetance and fraudulent behavior.

    Perhaps this new found penetration of privacy could be applied to the Vice President's meetings with business officials to come up with an energy policy. God knows we're ready for one.

  • Warmongers -- secret police -- monopolists -- spammers -- malware writers.

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

Working...