Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Holier than you in Hong Kong

One of the things that I’ve learned through foreign languages is that insult words in every language fall into two types. One is words to insult someone’s moral integrity, calling them bad people. E.g. asshole, son of a bitch. 混蛋. Mostly have a “how could you do this to me?” meaning. The other type are words to insult someone’s intellect, calling them stupid. Idiot, dumbass, 傻逼. Mostly mean “you aren’t useful to me and I resent that”. Note that I’m talking about meaning, not etymology. Many insults are about family honor, son of a bitch, bastard, motherfucker. They are mostly used to call other people bad people though. The corollary is you can’t be good if you don’t have a proper family.

Being evil and being stupid are both bad things, and you would mostly want to avoid anyone who is like that. Being very smart but evil makes you want to really avoid such a person, he might be very dangerous. But what about a very nice but extremely stupid person? How would you feel about a total dumbass who has done a lot for you?  Stupid people are target of insults because the assumption is they are useless by definition, you don’t lose much by not associating with them. But what if one stupid guy helps you big time. Should you cut him some slack?

I guess you should but I find it very hard to do so. See this Edward Snowden guy. He’s a fucking hero. He has made public how USG has backdoor deals with all major tech companies to collect your data at their discretion and how they spy everything all the time. His leak has served to make people conscious about privacy issues, which is going to make a lot of smart people start to take measures about that.  I finally have an argument to make my girlfriend quite Facebook or my friends to stop using Gmail. The PRISM leak is a net good, no matter how  you see it.

And it was all perfect until this Snowden dude came out in the open. With pictures and all. What the fuck? Why would he do that? Why would he put himself, his family and all his friends at risk like that? And he chose to hide in Hong Kong? Of all places? Hong Kong is administered by China, a country which not only collects as much personal data as USG, they actually block you from accessing content, and they throw you in jail depending on what you tweet (although the UK does that too). Hong Kong itself is censorship free, but does he honestly think that the PLA isn’t going to grab him and tie him to a chair until he tells them all he knows? Best-case scenario China already knows everything about the CIA’s operation and doesn’t need this guy. What they’re going to do is grab him and make a deal with USG in exchange for something they want (the Senkakus, lower tariffs, exchange with Chinese spies, you name it). China is a sovereign country but it isn’t as sovereign as, say, Russia. China does need some degree of USG favor to operate in the world economy, and right now China is desperate to curry favor with the US.

Snowden is screwed, big time, and he knows that!

Q: Does your family know you are planning this?

A: “No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with …

I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.”

(…)

Q: Do you think you are probably going to end up in prison?

A: “I could not do this without accepting the risk of prison. You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk. If they want to get you, over time they will.”

Well why would you put your family at risk by making your face public in the fucking internet? Good Confucians in Hong Kong are surely scandalized at this sort of unfilial behavior. But Snowden is not a Confucian. He has other sort of morality code. And under his morality code, he is now holy. Oh yeah. He’s holier than thou.

I’m holy. Fuck yeah.

 

This guy has put his family, friends and his own damn life in danger, and for what? To be able to get that smug look on his face. Oh yeah. Look at that expression. That’s the face of the angels. A holy face. This guy has outflanked USG from the left, and he wanted you to know about it. He wanted everyone to know about it. Because everyone knows, bragging is half the pleasure of anything. The same way PUAs aren’t about banging hot chicks, they’re about talking about it afterwards. Not worth the trouble if you can’t brag about it. Yeah, men are like that.

What is this holy martyr going to do from now on though? Surely he has a plan to become another global Julian Assange, giving talks worldwide about State oppression and civil liberties to fringe leftists across the world. Systems engineer for NSA, he surely has a plan, right?

Q: Do you have a plan in place?

A: “The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me … My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom. I have no idea what my future is going to be.

“They could put out an Interpol note. But I don’t think I have committed a crime outside the domain of the US. I think it will be clearly shown to be political in nature.”

Orz. Shared values! You’re seriously looking for a country to the left of USG? Iceland huh? Well he does look Scandinavian.

Dude, I’m really grateful for what you did, but you’re the worse kind of dumbfuck there is. He could have just shut up and be smart about it, but no, he had to give a video interview to the fucking Guardian. When you think about it, maybe affirmative action, preferential hiring for minorities in USG is not such a bad idea. Diversity for the government workforce means there are proportionally less white status strivers looking to undermine government operations in order to be holier than thou. If there is something non-whites do better than white people, that’s loyalty.

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53 responses to “Holier than you in Hong Kong

  1. Transmillenium June 10, 2013 at 06:15

    He is in the open because he’s protecting himself in plain sight “if something happens to me and my family you know where the shot is coming”. Straisand effect. If he had been hidden he would be at a greater risk. Just a blinking point in a map that suddenly and silently is turned off into oblivion.

  2. Mitchell Porter June 10, 2013 at 07:48

    “Why would he put himself, his family and all his friends at risk like that?”

    He already did that, just by being a leaker. http://wapo.st/12Adpnd suggests that they were onto him, even before publication – I mean the part about police going to his home in Hawaii – and going public may have been intended to put a stop to such investigations.

    But who knows. I thought it was interesting that he surfaced just after the Obama-Xi summit…

  3. Anonymous June 10, 2013 at 14:38

    government operations being undermined is a bad thing? What?

  4. Athrelon June 10, 2013 at 15:03

    If China is playing a long game, the smarter thing to do is establish its reputation as a safe-ish place for defectors and malcontents to go. Pumping Snowden for information is a short-term win but ideally you’d want to be able to pull off defectors regularly, and lower the barrier to defectors. The analogous reverse case happens all the time, most recently with Chen Guangcheng.

  5. Handle June 11, 2013 at 01:04

    Yeah, his look is smug. And yeah, the papers say he’s got a girlfriend. But I’ll be damned if my gaydar’s not going off too.

    • spandrell June 11, 2013 at 02:26

      oh… Manning redux?

      • Handle June 11, 2013 at 11:47

        Manning’s trial is actually going on right now nearby at Fort Meade, Maryland. They’re making very quick progress getting through witnesses apparently. The prosecution doesn’t want to touch the gay angle with a 10 foot pool, but the defense will probably try to bring it up in mitigation.

        Homosexuality used to be a sufficient reason to deny someone a clearance because:

        1. They were highly extortable (especially when the Soviets or Chinese would send their homo-honeypot ‘ravens’ and then threaten to out them to family or the government (obviously much less of a concern these days – though while you don’t have to stay in the closet, that doesn’t mean that plenty of gays don’t want to remain there), and:

        2. They often had dual loyalties and it was ridiculously easy to alienate them ideologically from their host society. The Soviets would even tell them ridiculous lies, like Russia was more hospitable to gays than London or San Francisco, and then they’d defect and get to Moscow and discover … otherwise. But fundamentally, as a question of statistics, gays are a highly disproportionate fraction of traitors of national secrets. But while that was once explicitly recognized, it’s one of those patterns it’s evil to notice anymore.

        We’ve come a long way from when G2 used to put “homosexuality” right above “heavily indebted with bad credit history” on the “red flags” list of what to look for during a security clearance audit and the document I just send you via email. So long as your current “partner” signs a pro-forma attestation, you can now get benefits unavailable to like-minded straights!

        If I want to live indefinitely with even my baby-mama, there’s no form we can sign to get benefits. We have to be legally married. Gays don’t. It’s not a matter of going to Iowa or Massachusetts or Hawaii and getting married but not (yet) having that marriage recognized by the Feds as a matter of law, but benefits-worthy via administrative grace. You don’t even have to tie the knot in any state.

        If you would have told even most politically savvy officers 8 years ago that gay Soldiers would get family benefits (allowed to move out of the barracks, base housing, separation allowance, health care, etc.) by merely having their current love interest sign a form and move in with them, and hetero Soldiers would not either their heads would explode Scanners-style, or they’d call you insane. Now it’s mundane, boring, and banal reality. That’s fast!

        • spandrell June 11, 2013 at 17:11

          Well drones don’t have partners, homo or not. If this works as an incentive to cut human soldiers and push for the further robotization of the military, then it’s a good thing in the end.

  6. Aaron June 11, 2013 at 01:58

    If you just kicked USG in the nuts it would be hard to turn away from the glory. All men die, how many truly live, etc. Even though he may not have said so, I imagine he knows he will become an Assange style folk hero and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. This is progressivism at its best, progressivism raised out of the muck of social justice jingoism.

  7. Contemplationist June 11, 2013 at 04:45

    This is true medieval-level courage. He did a really great deed and he’s not delusional about the consequences unlike Aaron Swartz was. A hero in my book.

    • Handle June 11, 2013 at 12:10

      Well, wait – isn’t he trying to vanish, and/or seek asylum someplace beyond the reach of USG? Is that “courageous” or evidence that he thinks there’s some way he can escape the consequences for his acts? Is an ordinary criminal courageous because he knows the consequences for his crime, but tries to flee to Mexico to avoid getting caught? Of course not.

      And when he’s caught and captured we’ll see how willing he is to plead guilty and accept his life sentence. Bravery! Hero for Betrayal! Remember, nothing was illegal or unconstitutional, and all three branches knew what was going on and approved the program. The government did the equivalent of requesting a search warrant based on probable cause, which was granted because of the program’s extensive protective procedures, and Congress was notified and did not object. He’s just a simple traitor and he should hang.

      As Aristotle said, virtues are usually the moderation between two vices. In this case, courage lies between cowardice and either rashness / recklessness or fanaticism. My read of it is that Snowden has displayed both vices.

      • spandrell June 11, 2013 at 17:09

        He’s just a simple traitor and he should hang.

        Now you sound like just a normal Cathedral minion. What’d he do? Tell the people that the Facebook, Google and Apple are sending your data to the CIA. I appreciate that.

        • Handle June 11, 2013 at 23:52

          What’s the matter with the Cathedral killing him for it?

          • spandrell June 12, 2013 at 04:01

            Secretly, they both sigh and shrug and bemoan their forced public-relations BS Kabuki dance and become even more cynical, contemptuous of, and condescending towards their own people and commiserate in the common frustrations of the global elite,

            Give me a break. This just sounds like you wanna hang the guy because he’s made your work harder. If this guy’s revelations push someone to develop better encrypted email or IM then that’s a big win in my book.

            If surveillance doesn’t work for national security anymore, the government will have to use other methods for security, i.e. old, proven methods like not letting every obscure tribe on earth settle in your country. How’s that not a net positive? Is there any benefit in going on with surveillance as it is? Fuck that.

            • Handle June 12, 2013 at 12:07

              Is there any benefit in going on with surveillance as it is?

              Absolutely yes. Why is this so hard to believe? It’s easy to bitch about it I guess.

              Look I’ve got no interest in defending the Cathedral for the hell of it. And if some program is useless BS that wastes a bunch of money and doesn’t produce then I’m the first to call BS on it.

              As a matter of fact, in the budget-constrained environment of the sequestration, every program has to compete with every other program in terms of producing success stories efficiently. If your marginal rate of transformation in lower than the rest, your program gets properly mothballed. The internal competition is brutal, with every other director looking to vampire your budget by making the best case possible against it. This pressure works. This program was a good one.

              If you want to take the Anarchist position fine. But in the real world of running nation states this practice has been as properly universal as budgets and technologies allow since forever.

              • spandrell June 12, 2013 at 13:42

                I understand very well that any country will go as 1984 as they can get away with. The data is out there and it’s unreasonable to think that the government isn’t going to want access.

                But why is making it harder for the government to get access, or reminding the people that everything you do on the internet is being recorded a bad thing? Because it makes the work of the FBI harder? Because it makes the War on Terror harder? I don’t give a shit. If you can’t use surveillance to catch Pakis before they put a bomb in NYC then you come up with something else. Like, say, racial profiling. Or stop food aid to their government so they starve if they don’t cooperate.

                If the government can’t use surveillance to stop crime they will have to turn old school to do that. And that is a good thing. In the meanwhile this surveillance system you enjoy so much can be turned against ourselves any minute. How long until the UK puts you in jail not for your racist tweets but for your racist private emails? They do in China. I’m no anarchist but also no absolutist. Government works for its own interests, cooperating is not always the best thing to do.

              • spandrell June 12, 2013 at 13:48

                And anyway as you said this guy hasn’t changed anything. The program is not going to stop, foreign governments probably know all about it, smart criminals also figured it out, so what’s the big deal? That a bunch of libertarians who care about their privacy are going to get out of Facebook and Gmail? The horror! Let’s hang this guy!

          • zhai2nan2 June 13, 2013 at 04:28

            >What’s the matter with the Cathedral killing him for it?

            If the Cathedral kills Snowden, they will weaken their strategic position.

            Would it be “wrong”? That’s for God to decide.

            Would it be a tactical error? Yes!

  8. Dan June 11, 2013 at 20:58

    I don’t think he’s a coward at all. Most ordinary criminals have nothing to sacrifice anyway. This guy earned 122K a year (which is not bad when you are in your twenties), and living in Hawaii with a very beautiful girl. That is a lot to give up.

    Snowden is a traitor to his government and a hero to his people. What does that say about his government?

    • asdf June 11, 2013 at 21:50

      Bingo. This might be a white/Asian difference here. I went through this a lot with my Asian co-workers when I was getting rid of my corrupt government boss. White people believe that if something is wrong you have to right it, even if it potentially hurts you (and, naturally, those close to you). People fall short of this all the time, to the point it really isn’t expected, but when people do sacrifice for what’s rights its considered brave.

      I don’t know all the details of this case, but this guy has done more then anyone on this website will ever do in their entire lives.

      • Handle June 12, 2013 at 00:20

        This is interesting. Imagine yourself a few years from now looking back having to answer the question, “What did Snowden accomplish?” It’s the worst outcome – no increase in privacy, and some substantial decrease in national security. “Hero!”

        Here’s what I predict:

        1. Programs like this will continue and aren’t going to change at all. As they do and will in every country on Earth. What, you think the publically complaining Europeans don’t do this too (which makes Yglesias’ taking of their complaints at face value particularly idiotic in this instance)? Canadians maybe? Of course they all do.

        2. Imagine two heads of state, A and B, both doing X in secret, both knowing (perhaps everything but the details and methods) that each other does X in secret, and knowing the other state knows. Now, imagine “A does X” becomes a media event. B does his public dance “I am outraged that A does X! I will demand answers and accountability and investigations and a change in policy from A immediately!” A plays his part as well. Secretly, they both sigh and shrug and bemoan their forced public-relations BS Kabuki dance and become even more cynical, contemptuous of, and condescending towards their own people and commiserate in the common frustrations of the global elite, to whom they become ever more loyal at the expense of their countrymen. Fantastic, that’s all we need.

        3. Some threats will be more cautious and/or go dark.

        4. The Intelligence Community will become even more insular, incestuous, paranoid, and overprotective of sensitive information.

        What wonderful results. “Hero!”

        • asdf June 12, 2013 at 03:32

          Handle,

          It’s exactly the kind of attitude that allows the elite to get away with things. There was a time when things like this didn’t happen, and when the public outcry was enough to stop it from happening. The non-elite can win, if they are willing to make the sacrifices. Rights are never given to anyone, they are fought for.

          No one individual can stop a program. However, someone has to be first. Someone has to be the one that does the right thing even if they don’t know if everyone else will have their back. Otherwise nothing ever changes. Will what he’s done change anything? Maybe yes, maybe no. The mark of bravery is to do so anyway, even though you don’t know if this is the time it will cause change or not.

          “Programs like this will continue and aren’t going to change at all.”

          If nobody does anything about it, of course. You can apply that to anything. Even whatever pet problem you have.

          • Handle June 12, 2013 at 11:56

            asdf,

            I see where you’re coming from and I respect your point of view. I don’t even disagree with it when it’s about some USG nonsense that we both dislike. We’re coming at this from different frames. The press wants to present this as an “outrageous problem”. I don’t see it that way at all.

            Why should I? This is no different that when the FBI ask a judge to issue a subpoena and order some company to preserve business records (at government expense) for the sake of an ongoing investigation – data which can be mined later, under strict supervision and control and which Congressional notification and oversight, to produce the evidence of a foreign malicious activity. That’s what FISA and FAA do. They’re good systems that are difficult to comply with and, if anything, err against the side of intelligence and national security. You have to get the whole government on board before you do anything. That’s what happened here.

            If I were to make you king and put you in charge of the national government and hand you the PDB, and say “keep it on or turn it off?”, you’d keep it on. This is what every law enforcement agency in the country – and the world – and every private company – does all the time. Not because they’re arrogant and evil, but because that’s how the business of investigation and prosecution is accomplished. 90% of the time it’s, alas, post-hoc, and 10% of the time you may get to foil an ongoing conspiracy.

            Let’s take a mundane example:
            1. You report a burglary where your Hope Diamond was stolen.
            2. A detective searches for diamonds on ebay and, sure enough, there it is (this is more common than you’d think. Criminals are dumb. They’ll also post a thousand pictures of themselves posing with the diamond on facebook, instagram, etc.)
            3. The detective calls ebay and gets the info on the poster of the ad. Ebay hands over the info, because there’s no point in saying no only to get a court order for it later which has to go through the legal department which costs money. Ebay let you know it would do this in the ULA it had you digitally sign when you got an account. So, by the way, did all these phone and internet companies. What, you don’t get a lawyer to help you understand the consequences of the ULA to every website and piece of software you use? Of course not – nobody does. You can’t negotiate, it’s not worth your time, so you take your chances. Everybody takes their chances. But it’s in there. Also, there’s the Third Party Doctrine to worry about (which the Euros also lie about and pretend they don’t have, but, duh, of course they do). What, you want the government to protect you from this?
            4. The detective tracks ebay-dude down and says, “You got an alibi?” And he does. So the detective asks, “Ok, where’s you get the diamond”. Dude says, “I found it on the street”.
            5. You don’t buy it. You go to the court and ask for a subpoena and/or warrant to get this guys email, phone, and bank records. You hand those docs over to companies who hand you the data because they have to. You find a long sequence of communications detailing the conspiracy and negotiations over price, and the bank transactions involved. You need all this because otherwise you can’t prosecute in court. As a matter of fact, even if you think you don’t need a particular piece of data to make your case, because it’s already strong enough, you have to get it, or the Defense will use the argument of “insufficient investigation” (failing to look in places where one suspects to uncover evidence of exoneration), and your dude will walk. Yes – that’s how it works – you always need everything. Criminal Justice is very time and money intensive – the courts have made it that way.
            6. Now where did all those records come from? The businesses keep them for their use. And if they’d delete them, the government will either pay them to keep them available, store them on their behalf, or mandate collection and preservation. This is especially valuable if the need is urgent and you need to query the data right away.
            7. And even the intelligence community can’t do this with actual communication content – only ‘metadata’ – which has been the law since Smith v. Maryland in 1979.

            So, what’s the big deal?

            • asdf June 12, 2013 at 20:18

              I don’t know the details of this case, so I’m going to put a disclaimer out there first.

              I don’t consider it too much of a stretch to think that peoples freedom and employment could be under threat if the government has data that can be used against you. Visiting “racist” blogs. Time to go to the re-education camp, or be denied employment at major institutions. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but its the first thing I thought of when I heard the rough jist.

              Moreover, the details don’t really matter do they. The logic being used by you guys to go after this guy has nothing to do with the particular program. It could just as easily apply to say the Richwine case. Why should he publish a controversial PhD thesis when it probably won’t change anything and he and his family will have to pay a high price for heresy? Why if your the heritage foundation do you not fire the guy?

              Nothing you consider important can be defended without personal sacrifice, even in the knowledge that such sacrifice might be fruitless. I don’t know if this case is the best example, but this guy obviously thought it was important enough to take the risk, and the stuff you guys are spouting goes way beyond this case.

              • Dan June 12, 2013 at 23:35

                “I don’t consider it too much of a stretch to think that peoples freedom and employment could be under threat if the government has data that can be used against you. Visiting “racist” blogs. Time to go to the re-education camp, or be denied employment at major institutions. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but its the first thing I thought of when I heard the rough jist.”

                Bah. Lots of lefties from Matthew Yglesias on down visit sites like Steve Sailer’s blog. Plus there are so many different blogs that touch on HBD and a ton of other things; the chance of going after blog visitors is nil. Heartiste alone has what 10,000 visitors? 100,000? Our jails are already full.

                If go out and stab somebody then I suppose they could go through your Internet history to try to establish a hate crime but then you were going to jail anyway and the hate crime charges were coming anyway if you are white and the injured party is in one of the categories that recieves better treatment under the law.

              • Handle June 13, 2013 at 00:52

                1. Dude, I’m completely with you on Richwine etc. I donated money to Derb when the whole “The Talk” thing went down, and the current standing life-destruction witch-hunt court is revolting to me. And I’m down with Spandrell’s suggestions on better human-level security (as are nearly everyone I work with that’s not a political appointee). This includes Mark Steyn’s point, “what does it matter if we’ve got this giant intelligence apparatus if, when we’ve got hard facts on Hasan or Tsarnaev or whoever, we don’t actually use it?” I don’t want any of these maniacs in my country either. I get it – you guys think I’m a horrible brainwashed Cathedral minion who has drunk the kool-aid and an awful cowardly pseudo-reactionary. Ok, whatever, I’m a bad one, but a reactionary nevertheless. We agree 98% of the time on Cathedral craziness.

                2. And the IRS harassment of ideological opponents is also nauseating and infuriating. I totally get it that people who don’t know the details of how these programs actually work in practice are paranoid that they too will be (or are already) corrupted and used for political motives to persecute crimethinkers like us, just like they are already in the PRC and the UK. (It’s still a little heartbreaking for me to put Britain in that same category, but so it is). I get it that even if you accept what I’m telling you – that there was nothing illegal, wrong, inappropriate, etc. with these programs, that you’re free to not take my word for it and you’d probably still call me naive for thinking that it’s a sure think they would remain that way. Ok. The Cathedral corrupts everything else we’re supposed to trust too (e.g. Science and Global Warming) for it’s political ends, so why not this? Well, they haven’t gotten to it. Maybe you say “BS!” or maybe you say, “Ok, not yet! But it’s only a matter of time …” Ok. But then your position is completely rigid – you’re not making any space for me to be able to give you any information or argument to change your mind.

                3. And I also get that you greatly respect anyone who has the balls and the courage to knowingly and willfully endure the self-sacrifices to accomplish things like this. Because “courage” and “bravery” have such positive valences and connotations, it sounds off to use them describe the unfavored actions of disliked persons. But then courage has nothing to do with the rightness of an act, and a brave act by a courageously wicked person is worse than a merely routine or cowardly one.

                4. For what it’s worth, if the system were used for trolling for Top Secret, UK-style anti-Richwine purposes (NB: Harvard didn’t have a problem with it), then I’d consider the person who faced prosecution for spilling the beans on that to be a courageous hero too. But it’s not being used that way, and you wouldn’t face prosecution for that. Because that kind of nonsense would be clearly unconstitutional and illegal and you’d get shelter under the whistle-blower provisions. You probably scoff at statements like that – but if you knew how absolutely seriously they’re taken in the USG national security world because we’re constantly under harsh scrutiny by so many folks just waiting to cry wolf over something, then you’d take them seriously. Snowden doesn’t get whistle-blower protection because nothing he leaked was illegal.

                5. Here’s my frame though: All swords can be double-edged, and I separate the implement (amoral) from the purpose it’s put to (morally cognizable). I think the problem is the Cathedral’s loony egalitarian religion and it’s unhinged crusade of fanatical persecution of blasphemers and heretics and not the legitimate national security tools it has available that it could theoretically one day abuse for those purposes like some other countries do. If our dream came true and USG was suddenly taken over by some idea Enlightened Reactionary Institution, we’d still want them to have the implements and be able to keep secrets, we’d just want them to not use it for this BS.

                6. Here’s what this looks like to someone like me. When the Cambridge Five spilled the beans to the Soviets and defected, I’m sure plenty of people said “What brave, courageous heroes! Hooray Communism! Bring down USG and long live the revolution!” Or maybe they were evil useful idiots and puppets of Stalin. The same sort of things could be said for Bill Ayres and the weather underground right? Especially when his lawyers got him off on a procedural matter? Maybe the Red Brigades or JRA? I remember when OJ was acquitted and the blacks in my city celebrated “Yeah, F*sk the system! F*sk whitey!”, and just like the wretched Palestinians danced and other Muslims handed out candy on 9/11. All of these people think they’re against USG and glorify someone getting something over on it. I’m not down with any of it, not even in, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” way. “F*sk that!”

                7. So I draw distinctions between power and abuse of power. Between institutions and corruption of institutions. I’m not against there being a revenue collection arm of the Treasury; I’m against it abusing its discretion by auditing right-wing groups. I don’t want there to stop being a USG capable and effective at protecting us from real enemies (again, I can hear the scoffing and denial, but, like it or not, significantly threatening enemies are a reality and not a made-up phantom). I just want it to stop pursuing insane ends contradicting reality. I want it to not care at all what some guy’s dissertation said, or what we post on our blogs so long as we aren’t conspiring to commit real crime (and not thought-crime). The fortunate reality is that, currently, it is true that the intelligence apparatus of USG doesn’t care about any of our politics. Hopefully that situation lasts a long time.

              • Foseti June 13, 2013 at 01:48

                There are a lot of issues to consider here.

                Let’s stipulate in advance that it would be heroic to bring down a national security apparatus that spies on all law-abiding citizens and that criticizing such an apparatus is commendable. Snowden did the latter but not the former. At best then, his actions are commendable.

                His position is much murkier though. He was only employed because he agreed not to do these things. If you think violating this sort of oath is heroic, you need to specify why and when it’s not. Is it only heroic because you agree with the ends he wishes he had? Or, as Handle says, were Soviet spies also heroic? If not, why? If he really believes this is so evil that it needs to be brought down, why did he work there? A few former Soviet officials eventually defected and told their stories. Their stories were good but I don’t remember anyone falling all over themselves to call them heroes.

                Frankly, I’d lose no sleep if Snowden ends up in jail. Mid-level analysts for contract firms aren’t going to bring down USG’s intelligence gathering operations.

              • Dan June 13, 2013 at 01:59

                Contra Foseti, I think this will have a huge positive impact. This has zero percent to do with what Obama will do (nothing) or what our Congresscritters will do (nothing) and everything to do with what Google and other giants will do.

                I really think this has jolted companies like Google to its senses. Google is losing massive street cred among geeks right now. Libertarianism are huge in this demographic and huge among Silicon Valley types. I believe these companies will behave quite differently in the future.

              • Dan June 13, 2013 at 02:06

                Watch the ALCU lawsuit. It is a very good thing.

              • asdf June 13, 2013 at 02:38

                Roissy did lose his job over his website (disclaimer, I don’t know the details).

                As we can see from the IRS scandal, these people really do target people they don’t like just for the fuck of it. From my time in government I can tell you there is literally NOTHING these people won’t do or consider outside the realm of possibility. When I say its like working at the the N.I.C.E. that isn’t hyperbole. I’m not exaggerating. I felt like I was there. You could hear dialogue from the book coming out of my bosses mouth.

                I don’t consider legal protections of any merit. I watched illegal things happen all the time in government. Legal protections are worth nothing if the people implementing them don’t believe in their spirit. There is always a way around, over, or through them. I narrowly stopped my boss from hiring a convicted felon just out of jail for embezzlement and fraud to be a regulator so that he’d have an accomplice to help break the law with. If I wasn’t there it would have happened, it was days away from happening. It only ended because we threatened to go to the press about it. And that is just the beginning. These people do not care about the law or decency. The only things that keeps these demons in line is fear.

                So long as the government is progressive we can’t trust them with anything whatsoever that can be used against us.

              • Handle June 13, 2013 at 02:46

                @Dan:

                Sorry, this is senseless. All these companies were acting under a court order to provide business records. No company operating in the US can decide not to obey that order. If you don’t, 1. Your company will be held in contempt and the IRS will fine it heavily every day you persist in noncompliance until it bankrupts you, and 2. The responsible decision maker will be incarcerated in a federal penitentiary.

                You think Eric Schmidt, the 100th richest man in the world, is going to jail to preserve “street cred”? Or because maybe he and the other tech billionaires hate the Cathedral and Obama so much as opposed to being best buddies? The ACLU already contested this as they always do, at both FISC and FISCR, and they lost both times because, surprise, they have no case. If Google tells you that “We’ve cleaned up our act, no more cooperation from us!” would you believe them anyway?

              • Dan June 13, 2013 at 19:19

                The ACLU failed before on a technicality because they lacked standing. This is not the case before. They were specifically customers of Verizon business services and therefore were themselves spied upon.

  9. Greying Wanderer June 12, 2013 at 02:47

    USG and minions are the evil empire now.

  10. asdf June 12, 2013 at 20:54

    Have you seen the pic of this guys girlfriend?

    Either he’s gay or he’s got the balls to through away top end pussy and money for a cause.

    • Dan June 12, 2013 at 23:22

      China may grant him asylum or refuse to extradite him. When that ruling comes down, she will fly to Hong Kong to meet him and beg tearfully for him to have unprotected sex with her and not stop until she is carrying his child. I am picturing that now, with a black box blocking Edward from my mind’s eye.

      If he had enough game to land her as a computer nerd, she must now be longingly drowning in her own wetness thinking about him now that he is a national hero and a criminal at the same time.

  11. Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes June 12, 2013 at 21:42

    This guy is def. a hero.

    Normally, I get weird looks when ask people not to take my picture and put it on facebook. They think I’m joking around.

    But when I said it this weekend, people understood my point, because of the NSA scandal in the news. Maybe some small percentage of that change in attitudes will be long lasting.

  12. TheZeroMan June 14, 2013 at 04:57

    I’ll grant you that he’s probably a complete narcissist but is his course of action really illogical? It seems highly unlikely that the USG wouldn’t be able to trace the source of the leak, so going public would probably offer him the best protection.

    And if his course of actions were, as you agree with, positive, then ultimately, there isn’t too much point in criticizing his character. As a guy who hates politics, I kinda think all politics is pretty narcissistic anyway, so to me it isn’t really a big deal.

  13. Pingback: Snowden | Bloody shovel

  14. Thanatos June 24, 2013 at 19:06

    “If there is something non-whites do better than white people, that’s loyalty.”

    Lol. I have a homework assignment for you. Take a look at videos of what happened in Haiti when the regime prior to the Duvaliers took power. Then,watch videos of what happened after they were forced out of power.

    Do the same thing for every regime in Africa since the beginning of video technology.

    If “loyalty” means a persistent lack of vision or imagination or an ability to predict what will happen in the future based on what happened the last time some stupid ill-considered policy was followed, then yes, non-whites (and non-asians!) have us beat hands-down.

  15. Pingback: Doublespeak | Bloody shovel

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