Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Brother Caught Peeping, Again

Actually, my headline is too mild. Big Brother has been caught ogling. With his pants down, into every window in America. And the strobe lights are flashing all around the world.

The Orwellian security state and the Obama administration may have put the Arctic chill on leaks, but at least one whistleblower hasn't been cowed, handing over to The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald  a classified court order authorizing the FBI to seize millions of phone records.

No response yet from the government, although I am sure Attorney General Eric Holder was already drawing up the indictment against Greenwald this morning before he even took his first sip of coffee. (thankfully, Greenwald does not reside on American soil and is free from Homeland predations)

 That day last week when Holder professed to have rued secretly glomming onto to the phone records of reporters is nothing compared to the regrets he'll feel now that this giant cat is out of the bag.

I couldn't be happier that it was Greenwald who got this scoop. He has been fearless in his criticism of the Obama administration's assault on whistleblowers, resulting in sometimes outrageous attacks by Obamians who value Loyalty to the Leader above all else. Somebody in the government was encouraged enough by Greenwald's civil liberties advocacy to risk going to jail by giving him documentation, which has been sought under a FOIA request by other news agencies, including the New York Times. Access has been consistently denied by judges, themselves probably fearful of arrest for compliance with the First Amendment.

Even though we've known for a long time that the government was conducting a massive spying campaign against us, the evidence, in cold, stark black and white, was never there before now. Read the document; it's guaranteed to send a chill up your spine. It actually orders the recipient of the subpoena (Verizon) not to talk about it under penalty of some unknown fate.

As Greenwald points out in his piece, Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, in various "cryptic" statements, have already all but admitted that such a blanket surveillance operation is underway in this country. But they, too, were under threat of arrest if they went any further than veiled warnings.

Now all we have to do is wait for the reactions* to the revelation. Will it be a monumental "Meh" from jaded citizens? Will Greenwald be subject to new rounds of attacks? Will President Obama grin sheepishly as he protests that spying on innocent people Is Not Who We Are? Will progressives protest that Big Brother Loves Them?

Stayed tuned.

* White House sources (anonymous to protect the sensitivity of their cowardice) are, as expected, defending the spying program because it keeps us safe from Terrah. Also the Justice Department is wasting no time going after the leaker who dares to give aid and comfort to the citizenry.

24 comments:

Jay - Ottawa said...

"Under the terms of the order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data and the time and duration of all calls."
-- From Greenwald's Site

So r e l a x, everybody. No message content is being monitored by Obama's trenchcoat snoops.

Obviously, this is only to conduct some kind of government review –– i.e., limited to telephone numbers, time use, local or long distance –– of Verizon's billing practices.

The Shadow Knows said...

Well, when a President doesn't have negotiating skills, he has to turn to his other skills - peeping.

Richard M. Obama and his henchman H.R. Holdermann could be digging for dirt on Congress and other VIPs for leverage. They had to cast a wide net so as to disguise their true targets. Maybe that's why Al Gore is actually having a hissy fit - he might be making a lot of calls to his masseuse, or is it masseur?

Phone numbers actually give a lot of information even when the G-men don't actually listen in. Calls can be identified as being to escort services, bookies, drug rehab facilities, psychiatrists, mistresses, etc.

Obama is probably just expanding his OFA database. When he leaves office, he will take the nuggets gleaned with him to ensure his agenda gets advanced. But what exactly is his agenda anyway? Destruction of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, obviously.

James F Traynor said...

The Bill of Rights particularly. Always has been a nuisance.

James F Traynor said...

Actually all this shit began at the end of the Revolutionary War. Exhibits one and two are the Shays' and Whiskey Rebellions. Both were the result of the new oligarchs ripping off the small farmers. Old George did really well on the whiskey bit (he had two distilleries that got special tax rates) and the New England merchants did right smart with buying chits for pennies on the dollar and later cashing in big time when the feds assumed the debt at full value.

Denis Neville said...

“It’s called protecting America.”

We’re at war with terror for godsakes!

The skin of legalism stuffed with the sausage of tyranny.

Two by Tom Tomorrow:

“Circular debate”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/07/1088725/-Circular-debate

“Government policies are just and wise.”

http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/238199/TMW2013-05-22colorLARGE.jpg

Same as always!

“What the masses refuse to recognize is the fortuitousness that pervades reality. They are predisposed to all ideologies because they explain facts as mere examples of laws and eliminate coincidences by inventing an all embracing omnipotence which is supposed to be at the root of every accident. Totalitarian propaganda thrives on this escape from reality into fiction, from coincidence into consistency.

“The chief disability of totalitarian propaganda is that it cannot fulfill this longing of the masses for a completely consistent, comprehensible, and predictable world without seriously conflicting with common sense. If, for instance, all the “confessions”of political opponents in the Soviet Union are phrased in the same language and admit the same motives, the consistency hungry masses will accept the fiction as supreme proof of their truthfulness; whereas common sense tells us that it is precisely their consistency which is out of this world and proves that they are a fabrication.” - Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism.

Weapons of war deployed by the government against we the people.

“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.” - Edward Gibbon

And so it goes…

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies.

Anonymous said...

Karen,

I thought you had been informed.... there is a little known codicil in the Faber College constitution... that gives the Dean unlimited power in order to preserve order in times of emergency:

Greg: "What are you going to do? Delta House is already on probation."

Dean Vernon Wormer: "Oh... they are? Then, as of this moment, they're on Double Secret Probation!"

Greg: "Double Secret Probation, Sir?"

We've all been on DSP this whole time. I'm sorry, I would have said something, but I thought you knew.

Zee said...

Gotta laugh and cry at the same time.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, darling of the Left when it comes to curtailing MY (Second Amendment) rights, pooh-poohs concerns from that same Left when it is “discovered” that the NSA is tapping into ALL OF OUR 'phone records:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2013/06/06/u-s-senators-nsa-cellphone-spying-has-gone-on-for-years/

Hey, “No biggie” according to Dame Feinstein. This has been going on for seven years with nary a complaint from us proles:

“To my knowledge we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information, and it’s simply what we call ‘meta data.’” --M'Lady Dianne Feinstein

Maybe any citizen who dared to “register” a complaint has been silenced in one way or another, so M'Lady would never even hear any such complaint. There's always the IRS as a “silencer,” and, failing that, well, Gitmo.

OK, so call me paranoid. But I'll bet you are, too.

What I have to love is that so many Progressives adore M'Lady for her position on MY Second Amendment rights, but probably should FEAR HER for her perspective on your First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Well,

“You see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear.” --The Rockman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2a-_dvxtN0

My rights: Negotiable

Your rights: Non-Negotiable (Har. Har. Har.)

First, my rights go.

Next, your rights go.

This is, of course, “Libertarian bullshit,” but I think that this is the inevitable outcome of Big Government in action.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

It is, alas, simply human nature, which the Founders understood all too well; even if their document, the U.S. Constitution—with all its “checks and balances”—failed to comprehend the bottomless depths of ingenuity of the corrupt and would-be corrupt.

When you can round me up a bunch of demonstrably incorruptible—and halfway intelligent and realistic—human beings who actually want to serve in government, let me know. Maybe then I'll believe that good, Big Government is a real possibility.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, you're all on "Double Secret Probation."

The Shadow Knows said...

Hardee har har. The Feds don't know about the Reverse Directory where you can enter a phone number and get the name of person who has it. That's must be why they think we don't know about it either. They only look at phone numbers, not the name, honest!!!

Anyway, they assured us that they wouldn't even try to identify the owner of the number unless there was a connection to a suspected terrorist. But aren't we all considered suspected terrorists now?

I am just so thankful they would never try to get access to our electronic medical records. It was just a coincidence that Obama dedicated $20 Billion in 2009 to get everyone's medical record electronically accessible by 2014. It was just to make The System more efficient.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

Zee said...

@The Shadow Knows--

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

Well, The Shadow certainly knows, and so do then rest of us when we bother to try to look.

Some of us are basically good, some of us are basically good when we think that God's watching us, and some of us are just plain "bad to the bone" whatever happens.

That's been pretty much true throughout recorded history

Pearl said...

Zee:
The nosy agencies spying on people's communications these past few years,would have found our 'left wing' complaints about the results of the expanded and extended Patriot Act clearly, or had they read some of the true
progressive columns along these lines. Such information was not paid attention to it seems and of course Ms. Feinstein doesn't read articles like Karen's column or Greenwald's or others. Even if she had she would have attributed it to conspiracy theory nuts.

I am surprised they haven't denied some of us flying rights, or other
warnings as a result, but I am afraid that is coming. Meanwhile, as I predicted several times, when the truly comfortable are having their feathers ruffled, we then begin to have strong reactions about the loss of their civil rights, invasion of privacy, lack of information, etc. Maybe it
is a good thing after all. CNN was in a true sense of shock today over all the facts about the extent of recording communications of citizens via phone records, medical records, etc. as if they never suspected anything under
their noses. But many of us have been aware of this for a long while without substantial proof.

The nosy agencies are well trained and experienced - I know this from ours and others' experiences during the McCarthy years. Mail mysteriously opened, other strange occurrences meant to let us know they were watching anyone
who was considered a traitor to the country (now it is translated to a potential terrorist).

There is nothing new under the sun.

Zee said...

@Pearl--

I was born in late 1950, so I know little directly about the McCarthy era save what I have read. I do know that you--and your husband--suffered mightily under that evil inquisition, and I am deeply sympathetic to your unnecessary pain and grief.

Yet, if I understand you, I think that you make my case for small(er) government: because there is, indeed, "nothing new under the sun."

That includes human nature.

I believe that I have remarked earlier in this forum that I once met an IRS agent who really enjoyed poking his nose into other peoples' business just for the "challenge," or maybe just for the sheer fun of it.

The world is FILLED with such "nosy" people, in all walks of bureaucratic life.

You and your husband were victimized by such people, and the very same is going on today within a nameless, faceless, unaccountable--but still very real and powerful--bureaucracy.

Those people who are--as you say--"nosy" by nature, are just champing at the bit to deny us flying privileges; or who knows what else, just for the fun of it.

I think that I have remarked that my wife's Hispanic surname has Moorish roots, and that we have received "special attention" when flying, even when fully "equipped" with U.S. passports. What's next for us?

Whatever it is, you can bet that there's some nameless, faceless, and unaccountable bureaucrat out there just waiting to "stick it to her" with a new rule, just because he/she can.

That's human nature, it's nothing new under the sun, and we need to bring it under control with a smaller and more accountable government.

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a man and a dog." --Mark Twain

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Pudd'nhead_Wilson

Jim - South Florida said...

It's a good thing NSA has been monitoring so diligently for seven years. Two disgruntled Chechen-Americans might have set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, but were caught instead. Yep, sleep well -- the system works.

Denis Neville said...

Yet again Zee tries to make his “case for small(er) government.”

Small government leads to better results?

Ronald Reagan’s creed - "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." – has been the rallying cry for conservatives over the past three decades.

Buying into this nonsense requires the rosiest of rose-colored glasses.

The root problem is not big government. It is the kind of government.

Modern, smaller government conservatism has been a failure if one believes in our original social contract and the well-being of all our fellow citizens. But it has been extremely successful in doing the bidding of its lords and masters, transferring the nation’s wealth, income and power to the elite financial oligarchs and creating neo-feudalism. It began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Obama is the icing on their cake.

The malignant symbiotic relationship between corrupt crony capitalists and corrupt politicians is the core problem.

“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Read Chief Justice Robert Jackson’s That Man: An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Government grew under FDR, but it served most of us well. F.D.R.’s commitment to honest government reflected a political imperative - to show that government activism works.

Read John Joseph Wallis, Price V. Fishback, and Shawn Kantor, “Politics, Relief, and Reform; Roosevelt’s Efforts to Control Corruption and Political Manipulation during the New Deal,” http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10006.pdf

Sometimes government is the solution, no matter how much conservatives don’t want to believe it.

Government is the only enterprise powerful enough to ensure that the social contract be part of the cold calculations of crony capitalism.

The great men and women of modern liberalism, who understood the social contract and created the New Deal, have been forgotten and betrayed by Vichy Left neo-liberals.

Our national security state is a growth industry. Data mining is an automated process, meaning that the entire nation is being watched. We are all persons of interest. America is now the home of the Orwellian surveiled. The silence of the Obambots is deafening.

Congress pretends to be a relevant player in metadata, but it is only like Rome’s Imperial Senate.

The root problem is not big government, but the kind of government we have.

“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself - anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime.” – George Orwell, 1984

Jim - South Florida said...

@Denis Neville

Quoting "1984" on facial expressions. The media has been warning us, with "Lie to Me" and its facilitating "Person of Interest." Karen spoke of PoI a while ago, noting its veneer of the Security State always helping people, though inadvertently through rogue agents who have hacked the system. Ditto LtM, where reading facial expressions etc is always done for the right reasons. (And as always, Orwell was ahead of his time.)

Unfortunately, white hats and benign rogue agents are an anomaly in the Security State. It's no wonder Bradley Mannings are in short supply. Even senators who knew about NSA's spying were afraid to speak out.

It's a beautiful scenario for a fatherless man with a chip on his shoulder, which is more and more how I perceive POTUS. Keep the illegal wars simmering just hot enough to cause an occasional Benghazi or Boston, then use those inevitable outcomes to justify an illegal war against your own citizens.

When the entertainment media's favorite topic of a few years ago, climate change, really slams the planet, the systems needed to control rampaging migrant populations already will be in place. This is the first reel of the epic movie even Orwell couldn't imagine, and we're only just now seeing the opening credits.

Pearl said...

"The root problem is not big government. It is the kind of government."

Thank you Denis for this statement in your comment. I was going to say the same to Zee. For example, if a nation decides to implement a universal single payer health care system, they will require a larger addition to the government via health care decision makers, regulatory officials, financial
representatives regarding purchasing of medications and medical machinery,
as well as supervision of doctor's and other health care workers salaries and placements, supervisors of hospital activities and expenditures, ad
infinitum. The government will increase in size but the cost of health care for the citizens will decrease, the quality and efficiency of care will increase as a result.

The same could be said for a larger system of food inspection and regulation as well as other possible examples. Government efficiency and centralization
is the criteria regardless of the size. This approach describes the
functioning of a welfare state which is the only way out of the mess we are in.

Of course, how to motivate the population to accept and force such change is the question. If the current situation of unending scandals and corruption, financial mismanagement, failing infrastructure, school system, etc. continue, the necessity for survival may open the door. But that is not likely for a long while, if at all and our younger generations choosing
better lawmakers is the only hope for the future.



The Shadow Knows said...

"What a revolting development this is!"

James F Traynor said...

It was really smart of Greenwald to establish residence in Brazil; I don't think we have an extradition treaty with them. Ostensibly he did so because he's gay and has a partner who is Brazilian, but I suspect there's more to it than that.

Denis, Gibbon was a hell of an historian. I'm working fitfully on his second volume. Really does a job on organized Christianity. It is as Marx said (I think) the opiate of the people, but then too, as I think Zee would say, so also can the State. It was extremely shrewd of Constantine to combine the two.

pete v said...

from Dennis's rebuttal to Z:
Government is the only enterprise powerful enough to ensure that the social contract be part of the cold calculations of crony capitalism.

Having a hard time parsing this statement. Isn't "crony capitalism" typically considered a symptom of gubmint run amok?

Four comments into this thread James T made reference to the Whiskey rebellion, oligarchs ripping off farmers, George W's sweetheart tax deal, etc...

Seems like we're dealing with two sides of the same Möbius strip regarding human nature and the nature of human governments.

Zee said...

@Denis and @Pearl--

It is something of a mystery to me why—when I speak of the possible benefits of a smaller and more accountable government—you and others automatically assume that I'm proposing to snatch bread from the mouths of widows and orphans, and to cast the medically uninsured out into the streets to die on their own dime.

I can only guess that it is so ingrained in you to think the very worst of any Conservative that you instantly assume that is what I mean by “smaller government.” You never ask for further details; you only look forward to seeing who can be first with a good ol' one-line “Zee smackdown,” and that's the end of it in your eyes.

I am NOT proposing cuts to the social safety net when I speak of “smaller government.” But there ARE vast swaths of our current federal government that could be cut with no losses to the “social contract,” and with possible gains for the manageability and accountability of our government.

How about starting with the entire civilian portion of the Department of Energy? You know, the part that Obama's political appointees used to hand out some $16.1B in grants and loan guarantees as rewards to Obama's political campaign contributors and bundlers?

Even the “defense” portion of DOE could be cut. We currently have two nuclear weapons labs and two weapon engineering labs, one of each in California and New Mexico. How about getting rid of the two in California for an annual savings of maybe $4B? The current and projected sizes of the nuclear stockpile no longer require this redundancy.

Next, why do we need the respective Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, and Education? As nearly as I can tell, HUD is merely a full-employment program for private developers.

And what on earth does Commerce do, anyway? Draw up and lobby for passage of all-time Progressive favorites like NAFTA ?

The DoE wasn't formed up until 1980. By that time I had earned my Ph.D. from UC Davis. You know, back when California's public schools were still among the best in the nation? Fat lot of good the DoE has done to prevent or slow California's education slide.

So why do we need a DoE, which takes money from the states only to dole it back out again? And mostly gives us abominations like “No Child Left Behind,” which educators so uniformly seem to loathe?

Eliminate these agencies and save maybe $69B a year, and maybe lose some 65,000 federal employees whose ethics and behavior no longer have to be “watched” like the IRS's?

What about cutting agricultural subsidies, like the sugar boondoggle you Progressives all love so much?

What about cutting some of the hundreds of redundant federal agencies and programs?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/04/09/
wasteful-government-spending/2063511/

All of this is, I think, money that could be saved or used for other purposes such as those mentioned by you, Pearl.

And I don't think that I have mentioned cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Food Stamps once in all of the above.

And, of course, both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security could be cut significantly, maybe 10-20% each without making us any less “safe,” and maybe even better securing our civil liberties, to boot.

Or maybe you really wouldn't care to see this waste cut. It does, after all, mean “jobs” for someone, no matter how redundant or corrupt or obsolete the program or agency.

And “jobs”—any jobs—are a good thing, aren't they? So, bigger must always be better, mustn't it?

Zee said...

@pete v--

Far be it from me to put words in Denis' mouth, but this is how I parse out what he is saying:

'Our government is totally riddled with crony capitalism right down into the bone, and that's not gonna change any time soon. So we have to live with this deep corruption until the revolution comes—or, more likely, in my view— doesn't come.

Meanwhile—or maybe forever—we just have to hope that corrupt and evil though it may be, a sufficiently “powerful” government will still find some need to enforce the “social contract” as part of some kind of Faustian bargain that will better preserve its prior commitment to crony capitalism.

So, we need to surrender to—or at least tolerate—an evil and corrupt, powerful government, and hope (or pray) that it finds sufficient conscience or pragmatic need to hand us back something approaching half a loaf of social contract—or maybe just enough crumbs to satisfy us.'


If I wear rose-colored glasses, what color are Denis' spectacles, I ask myself?

@pete v, I really like your “Möbius strip” metaphor for the inseparable relationship between “human nature and the nature of human governments.”

Denis, Pearl and James seem convinced that if we can only just find the "right" type of government, somehow, human nature will not matter.

Mark Twain and I beg to differ.

Zee said...

@Denis--

A couple of thoughts on FDR (not that I am a student of the man or his presidency):

A few threads ago you produced a quote from some historians regarding FDR's expansion of government as evidence of his commitment to honest government.

I parsed your quote out for myself and came to rather different conclusions, but I was too tired and irritated at the time after my “Zee smackdown” to bother. But here it is:

Politics was paramount in the structure of New Deal relief programs; it just turned out that the best political outcome meant a reduction in corruption at the state and local level. This does not mean that Roosevelt did not use the administration of relief for his own political ends. There is ample evidence that presidential politics mattered in the distribution of relief funds. Corruption by others was curbed because it was in Roosevelt’s political interest to see it curbed. " --Denis Neville, quoting: John Joseph Wallis, Price V. Fishback, and Shawn Kantor, Politics, Relief, and Reform: Roosevelt’s Efforts to Control Corruption and Political Manipulation during the New Deal, (My bold emphases.)

In other words, Roosevelt curbed state and local corruption because it was in his own best interest to do so. But he may well simply have moved the corruption and manipulation up to the Federal level where it would benefit him, and not those “ other ” politicians.

According to the authors of Denis' quote, “ there is ample evidence ” that those who could be counted on to support Roosevelt come election time did better in the distribution of relief funds than those who could not be. So it doesn't appear to me that these historians show that FDR greatly reduced or controlled corruption at the same time that he substanially expanded the size of government; rather, they seem to acknowledge that he merely turned it—corruption—to his own purposes at the federal level.

Denis, you, Pearl and James may prefer to call that “pragmatism” in the quest for some nebulous, greater good ( à la Barack Obama), but I call it political favoritism and corruption. It seems to me that your quote rather backfires on you, as Obama is universally held in contempt by Progressives for his so-called “pragmatism.”

Zee said...

@Denis--

Also on the topic of FDR:

I also spent some time going back and poring over Andrew Bacevich's book, The Limits of Power. Bacevich seems to garner some respect in this forum even as a Conservative, and he seems not to be much of a fan of FDR and his governmental expansion, either. Or so I interpret his writings.

Bacevich—as I understand him—seems to trace much of the “national-security related” corruption in today's government to FDR's mighty expansion of the government from 1940 on, and to his creation of an extra-governmental “braintrust” comprised of “a cadre of distinguished citizens [who] rotated to Washington (more often than not from Wall Street) to occupy senior positions in the Roosevelt administration.” (Sound familiar today?)

“It would be a mistake to romanticize this tradition. which, in retrospect, appears parochial, hidebound and given to snobbery. Although its members evinced an admirable sense of nobless oblige, they were largely oblivious to questions of social justice and human rights. On matters of race and religion, they reflected the prejudices of their class and their times... Their aim was to preserve the United States rather than to tamper with the social or economic arrangements defining the American way of life.”

In other words, they were hardly a collection of “social justice activists.”

This type of extra-governmental arrangement gave us—under Truman and all the Presidents who followed—a devotion to extra-governmental advisors (Wise Men) to the exclusion of Congress, and a never-ending expansion of the national security state as we jumped from imagined national security crisis to national security crisis.

“In a broader sense, the practice of citing national emergencies as a rationale for enhancing executive power began in earnest on March 6, 1933. On that date, two days after becoming President, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring a state of national emergency and ordering a bank holiday, thereby inaugurating the New Deal. The U.S. has operated in a condition defined by emergency ever since. --Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power. (My bold emphasis.)

“Since 1940, a succession of national security emergencies, real and imagined, have permitted the federal government to assume a vast array of new responsibilities at the expense of state and local authorities.” --Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power.

So. Did FDR's huge expansion of the power and cost of government serve most of us pretty well in the long run? Bacevich doesn't outright say it, but he seems to trace where our government went wrong back to the Roosevelt and his vast government expansion.

“FDR's predecessors had presided over a republic... Truman's successors presided over a system defined by the concentration of power, both in Washington and, within Washington, in the executive branch. --Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power.

So what was FDR, if not Truman's--and all of Truman's successors-- “enabler?”

Jay - Ottawa said...

Where's the Reset Button?

Zee said...

"Will no one rid me of this [boring conservative?]"

--Henry II, in the play, "Becket"