Wednesday, June 12, 2013

If you don't trust them

In a comment to JudgyBitch about the NSA spying, I wrote the following:

I find it amusing in a scary sort of way, that Republicans are somewhat OK with NSA snooping when a Republican is in office – Dems are very much against it. Reverse the party in office and reverse the results. What this shows is a serious lack of vision – no hindsight, no ability to project forward. Once a government takes a power to itself, it rarely (if ever) gives it up – so when your party is in power, the question you need to ask is – do I trust the other party with this power? And if the answer isn’t a resounding YES, then maybe you’d better avoid giving that power away.
Someone suggested that I needed to take it a step further and ask if you would trust Hitler with it.  I live in a community with a lot of retired liberals - when you listen to them, their is no doubt that that wouldn't trust Bush with anything.  I suspect their response to any Republican would be similar.   Most of them still think Obama was a good idea.    The Republicans I know don't trust any Democrat from what I can see.   The funny thing is, those two parties are so close in terms of behavior that the only significant difference is which lobbyists they let though the door.

So I don't believe we need apply the Godwin Law

Most administrations since I understood enough to care, have shown a willingness to abuse their power.   The will is there, we don't need to give them a way.

Something to think about,  Historically speaking your more likely to be killed by your own government. 

From Reason Magazine

Ohio State University political scientist John Mueller and Mark Stewart, an engineering professor at University of Newcastle in Australia recently estimated that the U.S. has spent $1 trillion on anti-terrorism security measures since 2001 (this figure does not include the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Assuming that 2,300 Americans might have been killed by terrorists inside the United States, this implies a cost of more that $400 million dollars per life saved. Typically when evaluating the costs of protective regulations, federal government agencies set the value of a life at about $9 million.

That's from 2001-2010.

From the Wall Street Journal
Overall, academic and governmental databases report, terrorist attacks killed a total of about 5,300 people in the most highly developed nations since the end of the Cold War in 1991, a rate of about 300 per year. The chance of a Westerner being killed by a terrorist is exceedingly low: about a one in three million each year, or the same chance an American will be killed by a tornado.
So, unless the NSA thinks Americans are building nukes or equally dangerous WMDs (the old definition - not the Boston one) monitoring us is also a waste of money.

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