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August 07, 2007


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Frederick Hamilton

Prof Stone,
Most Americans side with the Democrats and Republicans who voted to allow the surveillance based on the information provided by the Director of National Intelligence, DCIA, FBI, et al.

Some day your approach may carry the day but in a post 9/11 America with Islamic terrorists hell bent on killing infidels such as you and I and implimenting Sharia law and machine gunning innocent young girls on their way to school the need to track the sickos trumps what very little loss of privacy we must give up. Life is full of trade offs. This is but a small trade off to make to potentially prevent another 9/11.

Frederick Hamilton

Oh and by the way, the law is only operative for six months and then must be renewed. The sky really is not falling in.



Most Americans believe in the virgin birth. Most Americans can't name a Supreme Court Justice. Most Americans think God created HUmans in theri current form. Most Americans can't point out Iraq or New Orleans on a map. Most Americans think Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

There is a reason we have a constitution buddy. There is a reason certain constitutional principles are not subject to the whims of the majority and the idiots they elect.

While you irrationallly piss your pants about terrorists killing infidels, we have killed hundreds of thousdands of innocents. While you worry about Dhira law being imposed, the Executive Branch is dolling out money to Sectarian organizations and supporting abstinence programs they know harm kids. While you focus on a single case of some looney extremeists killing girls on their wayto school, another black kid was gunned down in the back last night by white Chicago cops.

Small tradeoff? Hardly. Some violent fluke that killed 3000 lives is hardly a problemm compared to obesity, compared to asthma in poor areas and heart disease. It is hardly a problem compared to the number of automobile deaths due to underregulated cars.

Believe it or not 3000 deaths, while horrifying are not worth wroding teh fundamental freedoms Americans enjoy and which are suppose dto be protected from the whim of the majority of idiots by our Constitution.

So you may speak for yourself and the other cowards who piss their pants on a daily basis, and the majority of idiots in this country who have a highschool education if they;re lucky, but you don't speak for me or the rest of the educated rational people in this country that has a shred of spine. Coward.


"Mommy, why is daddy such a coward?"

"Well dear, because he will gladly compromise his personal freedom and abandon the fundamental principles that this country was founded on for a false sense of security. He lacks spine and is easily frightened by low probablity events. He has trouble thinking for himself somtimes - Fox news is scary dear, you can't blame him."

Bob Loblaw

Mr. Hamilton:

No one is suggesting that these measures are unnecessary and absolutely will not help protect American lives. The point is that these measures are extremely broad (i.e. no probable cause of a crime - imagine if police forces could operate like that! If they could search items that could reasonably carry or conceal illegal items: "Excuse me, ma'am, we noticed you were carrying a purse; as you know, purses can be used to carry drugs and guns. You'll have to turn that over to us to let us search it").

Another point is that the powers are being used with no independent oversight. Was it really so onerous to have to go to the (rubber-stamp-esque) FISA court? At least then there was an appearance of procedural oversight. Instead we're taking the word of one person: "Trust me, what I'm doing is appropriate". Why would a democracy give that amount of power to anyone (let alone to this administration with its waning (non-existent?) credibility)? You just don't do things like that for the same reason you don't have one person counting votes in an election.

Frederick Hamilton

I trust those in our government to try their best to protect me. Just as some of you trust government to do their best to provide for the less fortunate. Isn't it ironic that those of you that trust government with your money won't trust that same government to try and keep the Islamic terrorists from genocide.

It isn't about Bush. I can't wait for a new administration. They also will be doing just what all of you dislike about the present NSA, CIA and FBI.

Democrats control congress, so the new rules for catching the bad guys are their fault. Don't blame Bush. Blame the Dems. Their your people. What happened? Don't they listen well enough to LAK and Prof Stone?


Who trusts the government to spend our money? Me? No, they spend our money on the military industrial complex. Maintaining a Nuke arsenal. Maintatining bases in foreing countries. On no bid contracts for Cheny's friends' companies. Subsidizing industrial farms. I can't stand the way they spend money. If only they spent it on providing shelter and food for those without, on health care for uninsured children. You can't even fall back on that same tired argument anymore Fredrick, that's how bad Bush has been. But, good try.


Most Americans who are not law professors adhere to the rule: if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.

I realize law professors with socialist agitators in their family tree and a record of draft dodging during the Vietnam War are very concerned about this sort of thing, but back here on earth we realize that the governmet must first govern. And its first duty is security.

It's one thing to talk rather sterilely about a "person in Chicago" or a "person in Germany" but when the person on the other end is Ramzi bin Alshieb in Peshawar or Khalid Sheik Mohammad in Chitral and the guy in America is a citizen in name only with an unpronouncable name and membership in a Salafist mosque, I can't say I'll worry too much, and neither will most Amerians. It's just a different image . . . one out of a Tom Clancy novel.

I wonder as I always do when I read Stone's writings what extra powers would he permit the government to wage the war on terror?

The stakes are higher in war time. And the interests of foreigners, visitors, and even citizens (particularly from Mustlim comunities where terrorists find all to much sympathy and support, and our war on terror all too little) must take a back seat to national security for the majority, who is not Muslim, does not communicate much overseas, and has little to hide from the government.


Funny Roach. We're not in a war though. Haven't seen any kind of declaration of war, have you? And you're supposed to be the fan of original intent.

And the "I have nothing to hide" red herring of an argument is pretty weak for a U of C law grad. Is that the kind of lawyer you want to be? Offering distraction as argument? At least Frederick is a doctor. You have no excuse. I have nothing to hide either. That doens't mean it's ok for the governement to search and spy on its citizens without cause. What does the 4th amendment say again? Oh yea. Right.


Is there some evidence of Mr. Hamilton's claim that most Americans support this most recent surveillance legislation?


LAK I see you ignored the rest of my point, in particular the fact of who is on the other end of the call matters for our mental-emotional picture of what is affected by this legislation.

As for the "nothing to hide argument," it's the kind of common sense point that is very resonant with most people and dismissed out of hand out of prejudice by elites, liberals and, yes, most lawyers. I don't think it's dispositive. I also don't think it's laughable.

The interest of most people in privacy is really not that important to most people, especially when compared with national security. I think, frankly, just to make a point that we can and should inter certain people for suspicion of consorting/supporting the enemy as we did in WWII and as the Court approved in Korematsu. So this is a much more minor imposition by comparison where plumbing the depths of opinion in the form of a statutory change is probably a good solution.

Bob Loblaw

Mr. Hamilton,

I trust Congress and the President to bring up a budget that may contain social welfare programs because the process (including the bill, the debate, how each member votes etc) is nominally open and transparent (notice the flak Ted Stevens got for the Bridge to Nowhere). We can at least see - is my represenatitive acting in my best interest, or is he overstepping his bounds? It's verifiable. I know whether or not to vote to re-elect him.

There are spheres where such transparency may be detrimental (e.g. national security) so we rely on proxies. To minimize conflicts of interest, these proxies should be independent from one another and ideally free of any political pressures (as courts and judges nominally are). We have to take their decisions on blind trust, yes, but it has more legitimacy than taking the word of a single person (or persons that are non-independent of each other) that what they are doing is legal and in the interest of everyone. I don't know whether or not this is true and I have no independent proxy to allay my fears (how do we know they're even staying in the bounds of the law? We only have their word for it).


Jesus Roach. Korematsu is one of the great shames of our legal system and constitutional jurisprudence. We paid reparations for God's sake, twice. Have you no ethical or legal compass whatsoever??

And really, as a U of C man, you can honestly say with a straight face that "The interest of most people in privacy is really not that important"? Care to check that with holocaust survivors? Political opponents of Stalin? The entire population of North Korea? George Orwell? The founders of our Constitution? Don't be so [expletive deleted] ignorant Roach. You're compromising our world class institutional reputation for producing *brilliant* conservative douchebags.

Frederick Hamilton


Plenty of evidence. Don't you just love lawyers and evidence. The evidence is called both the Senate and the House controlled by those evil Democrats voting to allow evesdropping on calls routed through the U.S. from foreign countries so as to try like hell to keep Americans safe. Evidence? That big hole in the ground in lower Manhattan is evidence enough for most of us.


Hamilton: I thought not.

Frederick Hamilton


Sorry you don't believe the wishes of Congress. So, to make you feel better about the majority of the American people:

By Richard Morin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 12, 2006; 7:00 AM

A majority of Americans initially support a controversial National Security Agency program to collect information on telephone calls made in the United States in an effort to identify and investigate potential terrorist threats, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.

A slightly larger majority--66 percent--said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found.

Underlying those views is the belief that the need to investigate terrorism outweighs privacy concerns. According to the poll, 65 percent of those interviewed said it was more important to investigate potential terrorist threats "even if it intrudes on privacy." Three in 10--31 percent--said it was more important for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.

So, JackD, that poll admittedly one year old I am sure has been updated somewhere to reflect how Americans feel about listening in to international calls that are routed through U.S. corporate servers regarding internet traffic also.

Since you are so convinced that Americans don't want the government intercepting international calls and internet traffic regarding terrorist activities, could you please supply your polls showing something else.

Poll 1: House and Sentate polled and agree to intercepts

Poll 2: Abobe noted Washington Post - ABC News Poll

Poll 3: JackD's polls?



LAK, I disagree. And I'm glad we won WWII. And I'm sorry so many Japanese, Germans and Italians were disloyal--including the first Japanese Americans to encounter a Japanese flyer during Pearl Harbor, which flyer they readily assisted. Thankfully we can pay for mistakes and excesses in the luxury of peacetime that are hard to discern as too far (or not far enough) in the exigency of war time.

I don't view the Holocaust and other state violence of the 20th Century so much as a mass invasion of privacy as a mass invasion of the state into the lives of ordinary people who were defenseless in the face of the onslaught because of their passivity, traditions of obeissance to authority, and lack of arms. We have thankfully few of those national characteristics in America. I would agree that campaign finance legislation of all kinds is a invasive and unnecessary burden on privacy and freedom of association, though.

Also, could you please avoid the foul language. I realize you're used to being around people that agree with you and compliant Third World servants, as you yacht around the world, but it's really distracting to your points, meager and predictable though they are.


The state violence started with invasions of privacy Roach. It is the first wave of persecution. There are reasons the 4th Amendment exists.

Are you really blaming the holocaust or persecution of political ethnic or religious minorities on "passivity, traditions of obeissance to authority, and lack of arms"???
Is it possible you are being serious?

Are you also suggesting that all the Japanese Americans put in camps were disloyal? You seem to be. What of the innocent loyal Americans put in a concentration camp? You conspicuously neglect to discuss them in your defense of Korematsu.

As for foul language: Anyone who blames the holocaust on Jews, or defends Korematsu by implying that all Japanese Americans were disloyal is a complte and total [ ]. You must be the most loveless miserable human being on this planet. You certainly are a complete [ ] who had serious daddy issues. I wish you were right about the whole God thing, because then I could be assured that you would spend an eternity rotting in Hell. You are a disgusting, disturbed reprehensible human being. [ ]


LAK have you considered meditation to work on your own issues with anger?

Anyway, to be clear, I wasn't blaming the victims of 20th Century state violence. I was noting a difference of the American and Continental-European way, the latter of which is all too comfortable with an omnipresent state and where the spirits of people are weakened by centuries of petty intrusiveness in the name of authority or health or whatever. This was true of Russians, Jews, Germans, Frenchman, and the whole lot of them except maybe the stalwart Yugoslavian Chetniks and the Polish Home Army and the rest of the numerically insignificant opponents of Nazi and Communist rule.

That all said, I think your hyperbolic anger says a lot more about you and your problems than my unorthodox opinions say about me. I also think the failure of any site moderator to call you out on your uncivilized behavior says a lot about the ways conservatives can be attacked in a way favored minorities and liberals cannot at the U of C and most other institutions of higher education.


It's a blog buddy. Get over it. And in a world with [ ] like you, anger is entirely warranted. You just defended putting people in concentration camps based on their ethnicity. For [ ] sake. Honestly, you and Todd Henderson should get together and cry each other to sleep sometime over my inappropriate language. Or write a paper together about how great and efficient the world would be if it was made up of only rich white men and the corporations they run.

Lackawanna Blues

As usual, Brother Roach is speaking wisdom and LAK can only sputter obscenities.

I don't have much to add other than to mentiont that LAK vastly overblows Roach's statemtents. The interning of Japanese Americans wasn't a good thing because all Japanese Americans were disloyal (the majority were not). It was a good thing because some were disloyal and in wartime, you sometimes need a blunt instrument. Roach never said all J-As were disloyal. He said some were. Try to deny that.

And Roach did not blame the Holocaust on its victimes. The passive people he was talking about were the Germans.

And finally -- the Fourth Amendment says unreasonable searches and seizures are prohibited. Telephonic eavesdropping is neither. Just because Katz says otherwise doesn't make it right. I love the way liberals take bad Supreme Court decisions and then dress them up as some sort of talismanic symbol of true American culture. Get over it.


Well genius, you're focusing on the wrong part of the 4th Amendment, undurpirisigly. It also says no searches without a warrant and for probable cause, which is the operative issue here where Bush is searching U.S. citizens on U.S. soil without a warrant or probable cause. So care to try again? No? I thought so.

"I don't view the Holocaust and other state violence of the 20th Century so much as a mass invasion of privacy as a mass invasion of the state into the lives of ordinary people who were defenseless in the face of the onslaught because of their passivity, traditions of obeissance to authority, and lack of arms."

So quite clearly, (unless you can't read, which wouldn't surpirse me), he is not talking about the Germans, unless you think that Germans were the ones who were defenseless due to their "passivity." Try going to college before you post on lawschool blogs! Care to try again? No? I thought so.

And Roach says Korematsu is OK becasue some were disloyal. Which means he doesn't think it violated any constitutional rights of American citizens to put them in concentration camps based only on their ethnicity. It is a laughable, uninformed and deeply shameful position.


Or were you trying to argue that phone tapping and eavesdropping by the government isn't a search and therefore not subject to 4th amendment protections. Seriously? Is that your argument? Or that it isn't unreasonable? You don't think the governemnet listening in on yor phone calls is the proper subject of 4th Amendment protections? That is just dumb. I don't think even Roach would agree with you on that one.


LAK, you must be looking at a different version of the Fourth Amendment than everyone else. It protects "the right of the people to be secure . . . against unreasonable searches and seizures" and prohibits warrants not based on probable cause. It does not conflate the two.


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