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Another Power Grab Attempt?

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Balladeer
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25 posted 04-06-2009 05:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Grinch, I don't know how many times you will have to day it, either. I can certainly be rather dense at times.

So then the UK has the same powers, in which they can pull out individual banking records, pull out and use or block individual health records and do the same things this bill proposes? That would be interesting to see. If you know of any link that would point that out, I'd be interested in seeing it.
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26 posted 04-06-2009 06:02 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:
Ron:

Tell me again, though, why you're not equally worried about being branded a known terrorist? It seems everything you are now concerned about was already given away in the so-called Patriot Act? Or do you honestly think people weren't investigated in depth "simply by claiming their actions are in the best interest of the safety of the country?"

Be worried, Mike. I know I am. But let's be worried about the lack of checks and balances, not about the personality of the current administration.




     The amount of power that was directed to the executive branch by the Bush Administration was of enormous concern.  It put too much power in the hands of a single branch of government.  It was egregious at the time and still remains so.  Too many legislators on the left and the right signed on to the deplorable giveaways of liberty that were pushed mostly by the right wing but which were also to my mind more upsettingly backed by those on the left.  I expected more of them.

     This is what we get for letting panic govern our actions.  That the right wing is only now growing upset about these actions seems a bit on the late side.  They would have done better to have opposed them when they where in the the driving force behind pushing them into existence.  Even now, they would do well to focus their attention on a close examination of the PATRIOT Act, which has been one of the instruments which has so served to concentrate power in the hands of the Executive branch.  The fears that some of the respondents to this thread have voiced are not to my mind attached to the current legislation, but are in fact attached to the PATRIOT Act itself, and are already in place; not potential and pending, as these folks would seem to suggest.

     The repeal of the PATRIOT Act would remove most of the actual cause for alarm, quite handily, thank you, and would remove a blight on the English language as a happy side-effect.  Like The Clear Skies Act, The PATRIOT Act is about the exact reverse of what it claims to be about.  It is about the dismantling of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

     Unhappily my prediction that a change in administration would make the Right Wing unhappy with the powers granted the Executive branch seems to be materializing with deplorable speed.  I wish that it had proven as crazy as my prediction that there would be an attempt to postpone elections.  There are sometimes things that are worse than being correct.



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27 posted 04-06-2009 06:19 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
So then the UK has the same powers, in which they can pull out individual banking records, pull out and use or block individual health records and do the same things this bill proposes?


The UK government doesn’t have those powers Mike, and this bill doesn’t grant them to your government either.

Here’s a list of the contents:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Cybersecurity Advisory Panel.
Sec. 4. Real-time cybersecurity dashboard.
Sec. 5. State and regional cybersecurity enhancement program.
Sec. 6. NIST standards development and compliance.
Sec. 7. Licensing and certification of cybersecurity professionals.
Sec. 8. Review of NTIA domain name contracts.
Sec. 9. Secure domain name addressing system.
Sec. 10. Promoting cybersecurity awareness.
Sec. 11. Federal cybersecurity research and development.
Sec. 12. Federal Cyber Scholarship-for-Service program.
Sec. 13. Cybersecurity competition and challenge.
Sec. 14. Public–private clearinghouse.
Sec. 15. Cybersecurity risk management report.
Sec. 16. Legal framework review and report.
Sec. 17. Authentication and civil liberties report.
Sec. 18. Cybersecurity responsibilities and authorities.
Sec. 19. Quadrennial cyber review.
Sec. 20. Joint intelligence threat assessment.
Sec. 21. International norms and cybersecurity deterrence measures.
Sec. 22. Federal Secure Products and Services Acquisitions Board.
Sec. 23. Definitions.

Which section deals with pulling your banking or health records Mike?

I’ll give you a clue - NONE OF THEM DO.

Balladeer
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28 posted 04-06-2009 06:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, some of them must, grinch, if these points are valid...


According to Granick, granting the Department of Commerce oversight of the "critical" networks, such as banking records, would grant the government access to potentially incriminating information obtained without cause or warrant, a violation of the Constitution's prohibition against unlawful search and seizure.

irst, the White House, through the national cybersecurity advisor, shall have the authority to disconnect "critical infrastructure" networks from the Internet – including private citizens' banks and health records, if Rockefeller's examples are accurate – if they are found to be at risk of cyber attack. The working copy of the bill, however, does not define what constitutes a cybersecurity emergency, and apparently leaves the question to the discretion of the president.
Why would private citizen's health records be at risk of a cyber attack?

the bill establishes the Department of Commerce as "the clearinghouse of cybersecurity threat and vulnerability information," including the monitoring of private information networks deemed a part of the "critical infrastructure." I'm curious as to what private information network would be part of the "critical infrastructure.


Yes, Bob, we know....it's all the Bush administration so what's new?  If you feel so strongly against the patriot act, you must be against this also.

Balladeer
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29 posted 04-06-2009 06:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Don't get me wrong, gentlemen. I believe cyber security is vital. Our nuclear power plants, our air traffic control system, and many different systems we use would be thrown into chaos if invaded by a cyber attack, as would the country. The question is - should this also be extended to everything this bill calls for? Why do personal and private records of individuals have to figure into this? It seems to me that Obama is taking the threat of a valid possible method of attack and using it to expand governmental powers far beyond what is really necessary to protect the safety of the country.Why? For the same reason the government is now selling Chevrolets....more governmental power, the mainstay of the Democratic doctrine.
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30 posted 04-06-2009 07:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

         You seemed to want to focus on the wire-tap elements of the PATRIOT Act as though there were no others.  This is not the case.  I offer for your consideration four sections of the first version of the PATRIOT Act.  You may wish to follow up on your own; or not.  I got this text from a summary provided from this link:


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:HR03162:@@@D&summ2=m&
Sec. 105) “Requires the Director of the U.S. Secret Service to take actions to develop a national network of electronic crime task forces throughout the United States to prevent, detect, and investigate various forms of electronic crimes, including potential terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure and financial payment systems.”

(Sec. 814)” Revises prohibitions and penalties regarding fraud and related activity in connection with computers to include specified cyber-terrorism offenses.”

(Sec. 816)” Directs the Attorney General to establish regional computer forensic laboratories, and to support existing laboratories, to develop specified cyber-security capabilities.”

Sec. 1016) “Critical Infrastructures Protection Act of 2001 - Declares it is U.S. policy: (1) that any physical or virtual disruption of the operation of the critical infrastructures of the United States be rare, brief, geographically limited in effect, manageable, and minimally detrimental to the economy, human and government services, and U.S. national security; (2) that actions necessary to achieve this policy be carried out in a public-private partnership involving corporate and non-governmental organizations; and (3) to have in place a comprehensive and effective program to ensure the continuity of essential Federal Government functions under all circumstances.
Establishes the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center to serve as a source of national competence to address critical infrastructure protection and continuity through support for activities related to counterterrorism, threat assessment, and risk mitigation.
Defines critical infrastructure as systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.”

     This last section, Section 1016, is the section that I thought might be the one that you would find most interesting.  As you can see, the PATRIOT Act has already opened the barn door.  Moaning about the horse that might escape in the future is a bit late, don’t you think?

     Do you think that these provisions have been used as authorized?  I for one think there are many more upsetting provisions in the act than these.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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31 posted 04-06-2009 07:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Allow me to repeat, Bob...

If you feel so strongly against the patriot act, you must be against this also.

Yea or nay?
Bob K
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32 posted 04-06-2009 10:19 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

          Should the present bill indeed do the things you say it does, I'm against it.  I'm against any bill that does such things as you say this bill does.  According to Grinch, this bill does not do those things, and you haven't given him a clear reply as to why he should believe otherwise.  The authority you cite is without source and is hence as likely to be from The American Thinker as it is from The Economist or some other source with good research standards and only a moderate ax to grind.  I would be curious to know.

     According to the Summary of The PATRIOT Act I quoted above, and whose link you may follow, it seems pretty clear that the PATRIOT Act actually does seem to have some of the surprises you impute to this newer legislation.  Including the references to banking and other things that you find so very objectionable.

     You offered me a yes or no challenge, Mike, without offering your opinion in as open a fashion on The PATRIOT Act.  While I didn't have the references or materials at hand to make the decision at hand that you certainly should have supplied to make it a fair request, I did do the best I could to give you a straight answer.

     If you want to do this sort of thing again, I'd appreciate it if you'd try to offer the same sort of background that I offered you.  I don't want to think of this sort of thing as a debate, although I suppose it could be, but an attempt to get an honest expression of what the truth is as I see it.  I hope this is a good faith answer for you, and that it gives you some notion of how I feel about the issue.

     I don't like anything that abridges liberty or constitutional rights.  From either side of the aisle.  I still get angry about the stuff we did with the Japanese Americans during World War II.  I have never been happy about the alliance the Democrats made with the Dixiecrats that kept the Democrats in power for so long.
I don't like abuses of power period, especially by my own party, which ought to know better.

     That doesn't mean that I like them by Republicans very much better at all, at all; and the PATRIOT Act was one of them.  And most of the stuff that you're finding wrong with this current piece of legislation, I suspect, aren't in the current piece of legislation, but sure as all get out are in the PATRIOT Act.  


quote:
Mike:
Why would private citizen's health records be at risk of a cyber attack?



     Medicine is one of the largest sectors of the economy.  If records of who has been treated for what are destroyed, then it's an attack on the insurance industry, which is a lynchpin of the economy.  Nobody knows who has been billed for what, and what has been payed for.  Even if nobody goes under, it freezes the health care and the insurance industries in their tracks for a very long time and puts that sector of the economy back on a cash basis.  Do you have money to pay cash for the various medical stuff you need and are likely to need?  It's like throwing a slinky into somebody's bicycle gears.  Don't think one set of medical records, think many sets of medical records.


quote:
Mike:
I'm curious as to what private information network would be part of the "critical infrastructure.



     Think credit information networks, which have a lot to say about how much a given person will pay for anything on a credit card.  Think of Bank Credit systems, which keep track of who owes how much money to whom.  What happens if the savings of everybody in New York was suddenly transfered to the accounts of everybody in Detroit, or the debts of everybody in Milwalkee ended up in your bank account.  While these structures are fairly well guarded, they certainly are vulnerable to a well planned and executed assault that could spread to a nationwide economic meltdown fairly quickly.  It doesn't have to be on the Army or Navy or on secure satellite systems to do enormous damage.  What about an assault on air traffic control computers systems, or the electrical grids that control and back up these systems?

     What about attacks on water treatment plant control centers or on hydro-power centers which could put down the electrical grids for large sections of the country at once?

     Actually, these things are important, and you aren't thinking this particular issue through.

     I don't know that these solutions are the ones that must be adopted.  That's another question, Mike.  I think that oversight and defense of these things, however, is part of a prudent defensive strategy.  But to pretend there is no issue is unrealistic.

     To return briefly to the issue I raised above about The PATRIOT Act, "Do you think that these provisions have been used as authorized?  I for one think there are many more upsetting provisions in the act than these."  If you need more more clarification, there is clarification available in the posting in question.

     Sincerely, Bob Kaven

[This message has been edited by Bob K (04-06-2009 10:56 PM).]

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33 posted 04-06-2009 10:54 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But, thanks to the internet, they CAN simply type "Obama complaints" or "Obama criticisms" or "Obama socialist" or any number of combinations and automatically come up with a huge list in seconds to key on. That's a big difference.

So locking up 10,000 people unlawfully is worse than locking up one or two?

I think if you happen to be an individual in either group, you'll still be sitting in the same jail cell.

quote:
If you want to consider the two to be similar, then I must assume that, since you have spoken against the illegal but not illegal wiretaps, you must speak equally against this plan, also...

I might well be, Mike. I haven't had a chance to read the full bill, yet.

I can say, at this time, that Granick isn't going to make up my mind for me. His interpretation of technical tactics seems to lack any real authority? Does he even understand how a cyber attack is launched or how it must be countered? Or, like so many, does he have an assistant to turn his computer on and off for him?


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34 posted 04-06-2009 11:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I'm afraid that your scenario about the medical field is a little too far-fetched for me but, then, I can also realize that some of my thoughts must look the same way to you. Under the private information networks, you list air traffic control system, electrical grid systems, water treatment plants, etc which I don't regard as private information networks at all. I actually did mention beforehand that air traffic control was imperative to have proper safety controls.

As far as the Patriot Act is concerned, your question is Do you think that these provisions have been used as authorized? Well, they have been around for a while now and I haven't heard of any cases in which they haven't.....and I have little doubt that, if they had, the press would have been more than happy to let us know. Do you have any indication that they haven't? As far as my opinion of the Patriot Act, I personally think it has done good, as did democrats who approved it.


So locking up 10,000 people unlawfully is worse than locking up one or two? Well, it's certainly worse to the other 9,998!  Why should it be an either/or? If there ARE going to be injustices I would prefer to see them held to a minimum, at least.

I guess the bottom line is that I do not trust Obama at all. What I've seen from him since the election has been governmental interference and power grabs and governmental takeovers. I think that he, as president, is definitely on a power crusade and something like this just adds to that power and gives him more control over the private sector, which he can take advantage of. His decade-old cry for "redistribution of wealth" has a tone to it that  I find dangerous. I would like to be wrong. I don't think I am.
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35 posted 04-07-2009 03:55 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm curious Grinch and Bob, does the U.K. version and the Patriot Act contain a paragraph such as this one?

The President -
may declare a cybersecurity emergency and
order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic
to and from any compromised Federal government
or United States critical infrastructure information
system or network;
Ron
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36 posted 04-07-2009 09:50 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I guess the bottom line is that I do not trust Obama at all.

Precisely, Mike. And my point was that it's not a personality you should distrust, but the laws and policies that potentially empower the personality. It doesn't matter if the man is Bush or Obama, Republican or Democrat, anything that compromises American freedom is a very dangerous thing.

quote:
... does the U.K. version and the Patriot Act contain a paragraph such as this one?

Denise, the paragraph you quote simply says someone should have the power to pull the plug on any computer that is being attacked. You know, as opposed to leaving it running so the attack can continue? Why, either in the UK or US, would you have a problem with that?

FWIW, one of our servers was hit several years ago with a Denial of Service (DOS) attack. Our hosting company shut us down for most of a day, until the attack subsided. It's fairly standard procedure. And we're not even a critical infrastructure.
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37 posted 04-07-2009 10:59 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Of course someone has to monitor and shut down the system in the event of an attack, Ron. I just don't think it should be the President or the President acting alone without some sort of checks/balances to his deciding that something is or isn't an emergency or threat and what will or will not be limited or shut down.

My question remains, though, is there such a paragraph in the British counterpart of this bill or in the Patriot Act that gives such power to the Prime Minister or President.

Also, I'm sure we have some sort of system in place right now to deal with cyber threats and emergencies. Does it give the President such power? If not, why would it be decided now that such power, to him, is necessary?
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38 posted 04-07-2009 02:28 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

More concerns about the proposed legislation:

"Raising eyebrows is Section 14 in which the Commerce Secretary has access to all relevant data concerning federal and public networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access; and Section 18, Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network."

Morrissey believes Section 14 may be a bigger problem.

"It essentially revokes all privacy safeguards on Internet use for all networks. The Fourth Amendment would go straight out the window with the explicit inclusion of 'private sector owned critical infrastructure information systems and networks.' While Section 18 limits jurisdiction to federal networks, Section 14 allows the government to go after private networks without search warrants. The section also doesn't limit the jurisdiction to acute attacks, either. That jurisdiction exists at all times. The big problem isn't that Obama might shut down the Internet. It's that the bill essentially repeals the Fourth Amendment."

S. 773 should be carefully tracked by all Internet users at GOVTRACK, which I mentioned in one of my previous columns. Or at Open Congress.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=94066


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39 posted 04-07-2009 03:50 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
My question remains, though, is there such a paragraph in the British counterpart of this bill or in the Patriot Act that gives such power to the Prime Minister or President.


Same answer different thread:

If you mean would the Prime Minister have the authority to remove the compromised government or critical system from the internet then yes, he could authorise that. He could also authorise the isolation of any private network that was found to be the source of an attack on a government or critical system.

It would be stupid not to give someone that power.

Morrissey is talking twaddle Denise, Jennifer Granick is spouting the same nonsense, they either don’t know the first thing about how the Internet works or they’ve got an ulterior motive to spread this unconvincing misinformation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Granick was connected to one of those foil hat wearing organisations like the EFF who have in the past provided funding to defend the hackers this legislation is designed to defeat.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if she was in fact the Civil Liberties Director of that very organisation.

I suppose those poor hackers stealing your bank account details have rights too.

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40 posted 04-07-2009 04:06 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Same follow-up question different thread.

No, what I mean Grinch, is it codified in your law explicity giving him the authority to proclaim a cyber emergency or threat and then to limit or shut down internet systems, with no checks and balances on his decisions and actions?
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41 posted 04-07-2009 04:17 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Is it codified?

It’s implicit in his role as head of the British Government, most of the critical infrastructure of this country is OWNED by the government. He is in effect the CEO. If he needs to isolate a critical installation or government system because it’s compromised he’s obligated to do just that - in fact there’d be rioting in the streets if he didn’t.

You don’t want Obama to have the power Denise? Fine. Who do you propose should have it based on the unavoidable fact that someone has to have it?

.
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quote:
Of course someone has to monitor and shut down the system in the event of an attack, Ron. I just don't think it should be the President or the President acting alone without some sort of checks/balances to his deciding that something is or isn't an emergency or threat and what will or will not be limited or shut down.

Denise, you're already trusting him with the Launch Codes. The President decides, with no checks and balances, whether America is being physically attacked from without and is the sole arbiter of World War III. He can push the button that destroys everything. And you're worried whether he'll disrupt Internet service unnecessarily?


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That's an incredible piece of information and something I certainly didn't know (along with the mountains of other things). The president can simply say "Push the button" and set off a nuclear attack just because he feels like it? No checks? No one to answer to or coordinate with? He can say it and it's done? Why do I find that nearly impossible to believe?
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44 posted 04-07-2009 07:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Sorry, Mike, it's true.  It's been true as long as there have been nuclear bombs; I believe tactical nuclear weapons might even be deployed, after the initial policy decision is made, on the theater level.  But the bombs and the ICMBs are on the decision of the President.  He's got the launch codes and he's trailed around by a military guy with a briefcase containing the launch codes at all times.

     Oh Yeah.
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45 posted 04-07-2009 08:05 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Bob:
quote:
The amount of power that was directed to the executive branch by the Bush Administration was of enormous concern.  It put too much power in the hands of a single branch of government.  It was egregious at the time and still remains so.


Denise:
quote:
I just don't think it should be the President or the President acting alone without some sort of checks/balances to his deciding that something is or isn't an emergency or threat and what will or will not be limited or shut down.


Mike:

While it's a little hard to believe that you didn't know this (and yes there are checks in the process but the principle is the same):

quote:
That's an incredible piece of information and something I certainly didn't know (along with the mountains of other things). The president can simply say "Push the button" and set off a nuclear attack just because he feels like it? No checks? No one to answer to or coordinate with? He can say it and it's done? Why do I find that nearly impossible to believe?


Ron:

quote:
And my point was that it's not a personality you should distrust, but the laws and policies that potentially empower the personality. It doesn't matter if the man is Bush or Obama, Republican or Democrat, anything that compromises American freedom is a very dangerous thing.


Does anybody else see a pattern? For those of us who see the last eight years as an utter, dismal failure and for those of you who fear the next four to eight years, the point is the same.

The executive branch wields too much power.

I know of only one article (in The Atlantic) that has addressed this.

We need to rethink and amend the executive section of the Constitution.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled rantcast.   
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46 posted 04-07-2009 08:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, then, let's hope there is never a Manchurian Candidate episode involving the president....
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47 posted 04-07-2009 09:57 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



      That was a joke, Mike, Right?

      The Manchurian Candidate was about the President.

      It was also a great book, by Richard Condon,that is much too little read these days, one of the great satiric novelists of the 20th century.  He hit both the left and the right, for what it's worth, but this one in particular, was a cautionary tale of the McCarthy era stripe.
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48 posted 04-07-2009 10:18 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

So it isn't codified in your law because essentially the Prime Minister is the CEO of Great Britain. That's not the form of government we have here, Grinch. We are a nation of laws, not of men. At least that was the original plan. It seems more and more with each passing day that Obama aspires to be our CEO. Some banks have even tried giving back the TARP money and they have been refused. Perhaps Obama likes having that hold over them? But I don't think he will succeed, or if he does it won't be for long because most Americans prefer our form of government, not the EU model, with the exception of the majority of the Democratic Congress and the President, of course.

I also think this is a very serious matter because most people do not understand the workings of the Internet. Most of us are computer illiterate in that sense. It's Greek to us. So we can't just take one politician's word that something is a cyber emergency and grant him powers on his say so alone to take systems down. There needs to be some sort of independent oversight to insure that political games aren't being played. Preferably I'd like to see someone at the head of an independent agency charged with making those decisions if and when necessary.

Ron, I've never worried much about the President having the nuclear codes and the power to activate them since it's long been considered a deterrent against any nation using them, including us, because it would mean mutual annihilation.

Yes, I do worry about passing legislation granting internet shut down powers to the President after he delcares a cyber emergency without a formal checks and balances worked into that law. Without that I think Government censorship could become a reality, as in China. Whom, by the way, was referenced in this bill as having a plan that we should emulate!

I'm also concerned with Section 14 violating the Fourth Amendment. I also believe that the terms used in the bill are too vague for comfort. There isn't much detailed defining of terms.

Brad, I don't think the problem is with the Executive Clause of the Constitution. I think the problem is with Congress granting powers to the President in bills like this one.

Michael, we can certainly hope so.
Bob K
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49 posted 04-08-2009 01:40 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The TARP money was given out to the Broad Range of Banks, Denise, those that needed them and those that didn't.  That was part of the original plan for it, and it was at the insistence of the last administration that it was done that way.  The idea was not to single out some banks as being more fragile than others, and to serve as some sort of protection to all of them as a result.  This had some plusses and some minuses, and I think you could have made a good faith argument either way.  The President (Bush) was in favor of passing the money out to everybody.  He convinced folks to do it his way.  My politics and his seldom agree, but I don't really know, honestly, if he was right about this one or not.

     I do know that part of the reaction, when some of the banks wanted to pay bonuses, was that the taxpayers got bent out of shape, also for good reason.  They were under the impression that they'd just bailed out failing banks (some of them were in fact failing banks) and were being slapped in the face for their generosity.  It's possible that in some cases this was true.

     It also makes sense that the government not accept the return of the TARP funds now, for the same reason that President Bush made a point of passing them out in such a disguised fashion in the first place.  The idea is to help prop up confidence in the general state of the economy and not show favor to some sectors of the banking sector at the expense of others.  Having made the initial decision the way it was made, for good or ill, it does make sense to follow through for the same reasons.

     Whatever faults President Obama may have, and I'm sure he has many, I suspect that this isn't one of them.

     Sorry to disagree with you here, Denise, but I think that I'd need more data than what you've supplied to suggest that President Obama is an evil genius.  I still maintain he's Republican Lite, and pretty much a centrist.  Not nearly as far to the Left as he should be to qualify as a good solid Liberal.
 
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