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03 June 2015


Patricia Smith

The ACLU is one of the few organizations taking on the government over excessive spying into our lives. The courts have ruled that the NSA spy operations have exceeded their legal authority, but they are ramping up these programs instead of eliminating them. Why do you suppose the military is planning on conducting counterinsurgency operations on American soil? It's time to be afraid very afraid.

Brad C.

"Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep"

Will the local population be encouraged to plant paint ball IEDs, and station kids around the 'hood with cell phones to create a network of sentrys to inform our local mullahs of these clandestine Jade Helm movements? They want it to be realistic - right?

Ben Emery

The Security Buddha has awaken in you George, welcome to the club.

George Rebane

BenE 1003pm - The Buddha's awakening is a years long record in these pages Grasshopper.

Account Deleted

Maybe now the lefties will acknowledge the TP folks as aware and astute.
Not the crazies they were portrayed as with spiral lines in their eyes.
The govt is out of control. The conservatives have been banging that drum for decades. It's Ben that has finally awakened. Maybe.

Patricia Smith

Scott, I do not see a correlation between being against excessive spying on citizens and being for the TPP (I presume that's what you are referring to?). Both are invasions - one on our privacy, the other on the sovereignty of our nation.

If conservatives are against these issues, why is the Republican party (and Obama) leading the charge on these bills?
Sounds like the party leadersip is out-of-step with the rank and file members (same is true of the Democrats).

Ben Emery

The position on Americans being spied upon prior was it's no big deal to you since you gave way more information when you were in the military.

Russ Steele

Ben Emory, get a cup of coffee and then explain your charge that George, "gave way more information when . . . in the military." My guess is that you have never been in the military. Only a clueless person would make that claim. Explain yourself!

George Rebane

PatriciaS 647am - I believe the "TP" stands for 'Tea Party' in ScottO's 1040pm.

BenE 714am - Would love to respond, but I'm having trouble deciphering your sentence. Could you please rephrase?

George Boardman

Thank God there are no empty Walmarts around here.


Boardman, that was almost as bizarre as your last column in The Union.

Ben Emery

Previously you claimed that you had no problem with NSA Spying and the Surveillance State since you have given more information to our government voluntarily.

George Rebane

BenE 852pm - Now the part about my having "no problem with NSA" or any other government spying on its citizens without due cause and warrant you will have to prove. But I have stated that as one who has held high security clearances both in the military and as a defense contractor, and as a fully vetted (pre porous border) immigrant, the information the US government knows about me is about as complete as it can get. And I gave it freely since their knowledge of that was a clear and reasonable requirement for them to let me do my jobs. I expect such complete disclosure from any American desiring/willing to serve his country in those capacities.

However, that doesn't mean that I approve of their unwarranted violation of my Fourth Amendment rights today when I am no longer employed in a position of trust with confidential materials.

What's your stance regarding this?

Account Deleted

TP is Tea Paty. The ACLU does a good job for some of our civil rights, but is AWOL on others. The ACLU needs to learn that once they decide it's OK for the feds to over reach in one area, they will over reach in all areas. Trading security for our civil rights is nothing new. The founders warned us about that quite often.

Todd Juvinall

I lost respect for the ACLU when they defended NAMBLA.

Ben Emery

I have been trying to sift through our years long conversations but haven't come to the exchange yet. You were claiming to be conservatarian and I challenged it with your support for spying programs and you made the claim I stated above.

My stance has been the same since the Bush administration started and Obama administration continued the spy programs, they are unconstitutional and are grounds for a impeachment investigation to begin.

To expand it even further, the TSA bs at airports are another violation of our 4th amendment rights since the TSA is our federal government searching our personal belongings and even more invasive radiation through our bodies. I have tried to get the Libertarian Party to join the Green Party to protest outside the airports and they have declined for some reason. Direct action seems to be a lefty thing.

Patricia Smith

Todd, June 5, 7:00am The ACLU's principles extend across the board and sometimes upset people over the cases they represent. Their bedrock position is that the Constitution grants equal rights to every American. They took the NAMBLA case not because the support their cause, but because they support free speech - even for unpopular views.

Here is their position on why they took the case:

“There was nothing in those publications or Web site which advocated or incited the commission of any illegal acts, including murder or rape,” said John Roberts, executive director of the ACLU’s Massachusetts chapter. “NAMBLA’s publications advocate for changes in society’s views about consensual sex between adults and minors. This advocacy is political speech protected by the First Amendment.”

If I understand your statement, you are saying that you only support free speech when the content agrees with your position? Would you want someone to be able to quiet you because they found your speech offensive? (And trust me, many do find your positions offensive, but hopefully support your right to say whatever you want.)

Todd Juvinall

Patricia, where did I say I only support speech I agree with? I said I lost respect for them as they defended adult men raping underage boys.

Patricia Smith

Well Todd you are still wrong. The ACLU did not support men raping underage boys, but you see, you are entitled to spout utterly wrong nonsense. You lost respect for the ACLU for supporting the First Amendment.

Read the statement I posted from the ACLU (8:11). They were supporting the right of any individual or organization to speak freely - including you.

Todd Juvinall

Sp let me understand Patricia. When adult en want to have a sexual relationship with underage young boys, (and their ads were the issue) you don't consider that rape? OK, got it.

Patricia Smith

Todd, words are not actions. You have the right to SAY anything (outside of libel or defamation), but when you cross the line into direct action, then laws take precedence. Get the difference?

The ACLU did not support the defendants and certainly not their actions. They supported the right of the organization (NAMBLA) to express their beliefs. Not any different from the Tea Party being able to express their dissatisfaction with our current President - sometimes with crude and vulgar depictions.


Really Patty? Pick on the tea Party about "crud and vulgar depictions",, yet not a word on the vary same when Bush was painted with the same brush by countless LIBS.
As they say "what's good for one"...

George Rebane

BenE 736am - I believe your memory to be faulty when all you can do is repeat an unsubstantiated charge (see my 915pm) without citation. And not only do I "claim" to be a conservetarian, I invented the term, defined it, published an extended conservetarian credo, and have eight years of public record that upholds that credo.

In a (classically) liberal sovereign nation-state the educated citizens know that personal liberties and providing for national security are on opposite ends of a see-saw. (The ignorant believe that both can be increased concurrently, just as they believe that liberty and equality do not contend with each other.) We each have a different conception of the proper tilt of that see-saw. Mine has been extensively expounded in these pages and my credo.

After many years of imploring any collectivist of any stripe to share their socio-political credo to a definition that supports examination and debate, I have heard nothing but crickets. Other conservatives, libertarians, and conservetarians have reported similar successes over the last century. Yet well-known collectivist thinkers - progressives, socialists, communists, ... - have published magnificent tomes outlining how the governance of man should be organized. Why don't leftwing pundits, politicians, and even members of the local choirs cite such works as explicating their deeply held beliefs?

Don Bessee

Engaging in a conspiracy to commit a crime such as raping a child can be a crime in itself.

George Rebane

Administrivia - Mr Bessee (1054am) your fine comment hangs there alone and unrelated to anyone who has not been party to your conversation with other commenters. To understand your assertion, the reader has to do some pretty dreary detective work to reassemble the dialogue, labor not willingly expended. Therefore that pithy remark will go unappreciated, and dangle there as a curious and naked tautology.

I picked on you because you were the latest to contribute to the growth of comment threads that are disconnected for lack of a tag that provides provenance. Unfortunately, you are not alone in such omissions - many think that everyone is following their particular thread with complete recollection of its previous development.

Don Bessee

Fair enough Dr. R. @ P.S. 8:11,8:37,8:57

Todd Juvinall

Patricia is a perfect example of a liberal trying to make some sort of equality using child rape advertising and truly good things like the Tea Party. What kind of and does that? The problem with Patricia's argument as well, is you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater so you cannot also encourage men to rape young boys and the proof is in the results of the decision. OK got it Patricia.

I really don't think liberals have any boundaries of decency.

Todd Juvinall

Patricia 8:57 AM.


Ben, I regularly board aircraft for the purpose of travel without the hassle of a TSA molestation, and no one says you have to let the TSA grope you... it's what you sign up for when you buy a ticket for an airliner. Don't want your junk felt up, don't get in line for the groping.

Israel doesn't seem to need such intrusive methods despite being worried about the same terrorists, but they've become very good at identifying terroists while the TSA is focused on finding weapons which could be hidden under your left testicle.

Patricia Smith

Todd, 12:04 Again you confuse the issue. Do you get to decide which ideas are "good" and therefore can be expressed and which can't? Every decent person decries rape of anyone (man, women or child). This was never about the act of rape. It's standing for the principles of free speech as outlined in the first amendment. You either believe in that principle or you don't. Once you start deciding what is off limits, the door is open to censor anything someone finds repulsive. (And don't I wish I had the power to curtail some of the stupid hateful remarks I hear everyday.)

George Rebane

re Gregory's 1239pm - For all of our politically correct readers, Israel is one of the most successful and intensive users of so-called Bayesian inference, which when such use is disclosed in the US, the Left begins screaming 'profiling' and 'discrimination'. Result - our TSA people spend a lot of time groping grandma and children and ... . Israelis don't do that, but if your profile or background or behavior sets off their probability algorithm, then they haul your butt into a separate room and have a nice long talk with you before you can get on that or the next El Al flight. (Actually, our TSA does Bayes also, but doesn't tell anyone and still goes through the grope-a-dope at the gate because that's what they think gives comfort to the dopes so they feel secure and the govt can hire more unemployables.)

Todd Juvinall

Patricia 1:28 PM

I don't decide anything regarding speech. But as I mentioned, you can't yell fire. Do you think there is "hate speech" Patricia? If heterosexual men get together and issue a website page saying "all homosexuals should die" would you support them? How about white men with a website calling for the rape and degradation od Muslims? Is that OK? I am just trying to see if you liberals have boundaries so be honest. If you dare to respond.

Patricia Smith

Todd, I deplore all those statements, but I defend their right to say them. Yes there is hate speech, but it is not illegal. It saddens me that anyone would want to say those things and they should suffer the consequences of their behavior whether it be shunning, shaming, boycotting, or other means.

Before you claim the liberals have no morals, think of some of the stupid things that have said by Republicans:

"Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation." Rick Santorum (Jan 23, 2012 CNN interview)

"Rape is kinda like the weather. If it's inevitable, relax and enjoy it." (Clayton Wlliams, Rep. nominee for Governor, 1990)

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has way to shut that thing down." - Todd Aiken, Rep. candidate for Senate, Missouri

"If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death." -
Larence Lockman, Republican Member of Maine House of Representatives

And what about some members of the Tea Party cheering, "Let him die," to the question of what should be done with an uninsured 30-year old man in a coma.

Your moral superiority is amusing. I guess I am just more of a Constitutionalist than you. I wonder if your situational ethics extends to the 2nd amendment or is "anything goes" your philopsopy when it comes to gun ownership?

George Rebane

PatriciaS 347pm - Those are pretty heavy indictments of the speakers on rape. Are you painting the Republican Party with that brush, because 99.999% of Repubs share your thoughts on the matter?

However, what does the opinion of "some members of the Tea Party" about the comatose man have to do with morals? Are they opining about their beliefs concerning the end of life. I assume that the prognosis for recovery in the case was pretty dim. Just for the record, I do not think that any person has the right to put an indefinite drain into the public wallet, especially if that wallet is not committed by Constitution or law.

Todd Juvinall

Patricia 3:47,

Again you place words in mouth and then make claims that a couple of nutty people who may be republicans said something dopey. I place my opinions and positions on the First Amendment against any lib. The liberals are the ones stifling speech, not the right. My goodness look at the colleges. The conservatives are run out of the forums while the colleges invite Ahmadinejad for goodness sakes. I am sure I can find more than enough wacky statements by liberal politicians to do a one-up but who cares. The people did not elect the R's that said goofy things but the Democrats elevate theirs to Statesmanship. Look at Bill Clinton. Jeeze, he is a dirtbag and yet the most loved by your democrat party.

The fact that you can't admit the "hate speech" is illegal in some cases is quite telling. That shows me you are ignorant of the issue. And it is liberals that got criminal penalties into "hate speech" and made it part of the vernacular! So there we have it. Your ilk puts speech penalties into law and now you deny it.

The Second Amendment is the protector of the rest of the Amendments. All one needs to remember is Germany and the USSR (and their proxies) where firearms were banned and confiscated and the murders began. Fifty million in China under Mao alone. So if you want to lose your rights to all those other rights you so dearly love, keep trying to take arms from the law abiding.


Patricia, how many of those GOP candidates won their contests?

Lockman (the Maine republican) was offering an argumentum ad absurdum, not actually asserting a right to rape; what he was asserting is that there shouldn't be a right to terminate a pregnancy because, in his mind, it's murder and while I don't share that assertion for early term abortions, it is morally defensible. I can see how that would be lost on those unable to absorb sarcasm in that situation. I think Lockman was also trying to make the point of the current tilt against men regarding reproductive rights. He's still in office, his state legislature.

Clayton Williams was never elected to any office.

Todd Aiken was asked to withdraw from his senate race by his party and ended up abandoned and losing badly, 55-39, legitimately raped by the electorate.

Compared with what Dems get away with, I think this doesn't put the GOP as a whole in a bad light at all. Hank Johnson (D-GA) kept winning elections even after expressing concern that Guam might tip over if 8000 Marines were to be moved to one side of it, and he's allowed a vote in Congress.

Anything goes for gun rights? Like other constitutional rights, it can't be taken away without good cause. If you've not been convicted of a serious crime and not adjudicated a threat to yourself or others, why should the power of government forbid you the right to keep and bear arms? Like forbidding Patricia Smith access to the internet, or the press, it might be a public good but it would be wrong.

Account Deleted

Patricia at 8:11 - "Their bedrock position is that the Constitution grants equal rights to every American."
That might be their position, but their actions are quite different. They are absent on many issues that will cost them financial support. They are lefties and only seldom, if ever, do they support Constitutional rights that lefties don't like. The ACLU should be fighting big govt at every turn.

Ben Emery

Greg, 05 June 2015 at 12:39 PM

I think you are missing the point entirely. What probable cause does the TSA have to search, radiate passengers, and rifle through their belongings?

Ben Emery

George, 05 June 2015 at 10:53 AM

Sorry to let you know the back and forth on RR aren't that important to me to document and file away for future uses.

Our exchange happened over the last 2-4 years in a sea of comments and topics.

I am glad we are on the same page against the surveillance state and circus that is called Homeland Security in the US.


Ben, you're the one missing the essential point entirely... you consent to the search when you buy the ticket and pass the point of no return in the terminal.

If you want secure air travel, either allow the Israeli model, put up with the TSA model, buy your own airplane (or travel on a friend's) or go back to the old USA free model and, as Archie Bunker once suggested, arm the passengers.

The rich have NetJets. You have GropeMe Air.

George Rebane

BenE 841am - Fair enough, if you'd like to consider every comment stream on RR as being a 'Hello World!' experience. However, for me and most readers, these pages feature a long-running dialogue among the participants. Gratuitously putting contested words into someone's mouth without doing the little research to confirm them in this record will then not bolster your points.

Patricia Smith

Gregory, June 5, 5:15pm, I have posted several links to issues that are not popular amongst liberals that the ACLU has defended. They have not altered their position one iota even when many people cancelled their memberships after they supported causes like the KKK or the NRA. They do not make their positions based on the popularity of the idea or cause and they cannot be swayed by a popular outcry against an issue.

Many of you want to maintian the current policy of blaming everything on one side or the other. We will never find solutions with this approach.

Did anyone read the lovely tribute to Lowell Robinson in the Saturday's Union? I applaud the author's comments and approach to finding solutions by listening to one another.

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