6a010535ce1cf6970c01b8d06105e4970c

Salon: What if Rand Paul were Muslim? The white, privileged assumptions behind his Patriot Act “principles”.

I spent three years as a double-agent for the FBI working undercover to counter Russian military intelligence collection efforts in New York City. My job was to convince the Russians that I was an authentic spy, willing to betray his country for cold hard cash. I believe they were willing to recruit me, in part, because I’m a first-generation American and the son of a Pakistan-born father. It was imagined that I had conflicting allegiances – a perception I played to. However, over time this assumption that my heritage makes me more prone to sell out my country has come to bother me immensely. Granted, I used the Russians’ own biases against them, but isn’t there a better way to determine loyalty than the color of my skin or my parent’s birthplace?

In fact, there is — the bulk data approach used by the National Security Agency.

I can’t speak for every child of immigrants, but in my case being first generation made me want to be the most American I could. Indeed, my background pushed me to want to serve. However, after my time as a double agent ended, I found myself fighting a new battle: The Assumption War. Based on nothing but my last name, people assumed that my stint with the FBI had involved terrorism. I know this because even now I constantly field questions like “Where were you born?” or “Are you Sunni or Shia?” As soon as those questions are asked, I feel that all of the work I’ve done, from fighting to expose the Russians to joining the military (activities that prove my loyalty), is erased and I’m nothing but my last name. Perhaps to those like Sen. Rand Paul who’ve never had to fight assumptions based on one’s ethnicity or the color of one’s skin, the thought of cell phone data being pooled and analyzed is disconcerting. However, as someone who regularly puts up with extra scrutiny, whether it’s at an airport or a shopping mall, I welcome the leveling of the playing field that bulk data collection brings.



  1. Egon Ruuda says:

    The bulk collection have led to uncover exactly zero of the many terror plots against the homeland. It is just a taxpayer burden that needs to go, of not only because “it ain’t working, and it isn’t cheap, and there is no point in throwing good slop to a dead pig”.

    • noname says:

      Funny how this article avoids the very pertinent fact, Bulk Data Collection has chalked up zero catches of the too many terror plots against the “homeland”.

      The word “homeland”, doesn’t it sound like Nazi-German war propaganda?

      The most interesting and telling quote in the article is:
      “I have no qualms about taking a wide-net, mass-data approach rather than selectively profiling based on background or heritage. I see no point in removing a powerful tool that encourages an evidence-based approach to intelligence gathering.”

      I guess this Dufus, thinks computer algorithms scooping up and storing bulk data is inherently right (the purveyors of big data want people to believe big data is magically inherently better, like lucky charms) because it’s objective and the alternative, people are inherently wrong because they are inherently biased.

      Yes, people are oft biased, but a well-trained, competent questioning; inquisitive human mind is something computers can never match, even with “big data”!!!

      I don’t care about cost, as much as I care about effectiveness. Bulk Data collection (Big Data) is ineffective and people confuse a high correlation as causation!

      Big Data leads to Big Dummies making uninformed decisions based because the computer suggests…

      It takes a big mind that is not frightened by the ever occurring unknowns to figure that out!!

      An excellent example of this in practice is IBMs Watson supercomputer working in tandem with radiologists to deliver automated diagnostics, using supercomputer deep learning methods and artificial intelligence. Well doesn’t that sound like a great and wonderful idea that you will gladly spend your health dollars for????????????

      But, really doesn’t that sound like a doomed oxymoron concept, “supercomputer working in tandem with radiologists and automated diagnostics”?

      Well, the data is in, the intentions and effort noble, but; in the end, a fail.

      If big data fails here, something infinitely more understood and scrutinized by trained experts and technologist, how is big data going to help with terrorism?

  2. bobbo, in point of fact says:

    Like a good Republican: I am FOR the death penalty. I think more people deserve it. But…I would vote against it because it is too expensive to carry out.

    Like a good Republican: I am FOR the most security against our Foes that we can fashion. But…I would vote aga the Patriot Act/Bulk Collection because it is too expensive to carry out (aka–not enough actionable intel).

    As to using “names” for a basis for further scrutiny: The Truth is a Bitch.

    • Freedom on a budget says:

      Fiscal responsibility! Welcome friend!

      • bobbo, in point of fact says:

        Excellent nom de flame….but you are being too reasonable.

        I’ll wait for the next AGW thread.

        • Freedom on a budget says:

          Anthropogenic Global Warming theory gives me an ice cream headache.

          http://freecriticalthinking.org/climate-change/123-anthropogenic-global-warming-theory

          • bobbo, in point of fact says:

            Quite a load of BS you linked to there. Still fun to read a well constructed red herring.

            I almost stopped right at the start as AGW is not a “long term” issue. They issue is HERE====>RIGHT NOW!!

            Ice Cream Headache…good analogy. I had one at first too….. but when 97% of scientists and 100% of formal scientific organizations support what common sense indicates and our own perceptions allow AND there is no alternative hypothesis for what happens to burned sequested carbon…. the headache really should go away.

            When you accept SCIENCE for all but 1 or 2 issues……………..ha, ha.

          • MikeN says:

            Besides your flawed claims of consensus, the best estimate of global warming is that it is not a serious issue. Rather than let you know about it, the politicians removed the best estimate from the last report. The latest science puts the number even lower.
            http://climateaudit.org/2015/06/02/implications-of-recent-multimodel-attribution-studies-for-climate-sensitivity/

            Even more than the best estimate, the likelihood of high warming is much reduced.

          • noname says:

            poor pathetic & pwn’d pedro

            Fact 1000: pedro brainfarts Cause Global Warming.

            Demonstrably, true and dramatically demonstrated!

            pedro’s shit for brains builds up gas causing DU farts and burps… a lot. The result is a large amount of methane being introduced into the atmosphere.

            The United Nation’s Agricultural Organization reports pedro brainfarts “generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent more than transport.”, WOW!!

          • noname says:

            Hilarious, really hilarious!

            Poor totally pwn’d Brainfart pedro self describes himself:

            “Brainfart: The only thing an empty skull produces.”

            You said it, not me!!

            Another artful Brainfart from poor totally pawn’s Pedro, our Mexicali clown.

            Please tell me more, please; I need the laughs!!!

        • Niki boy says:

          These ‘facts’ about AGW you speak of. Did obummer tell you it was hot, and that the polar bears need your tax dollars to survive? Or was it Al Gore right after he stepped out of his G6 personal jet? Maybe it was the NOAA who admittedly “went back and changed the data because it was wrong” I mean didn’t match the climate models…. oh wait was it perhaps the creator of many of the said climate models explaining in detail about how no matter what numbers you put in the program they don’t turn out right?

          I’m just a little confused right now. Help me understand, was it the IPCC? Was it China as they crank up coal plants? Maybe it was india? Yeah must have been, because NEITHER COUNTRY HAS AGREED TO ANYTHING! We’re well past the carbon “red line” and the oceans aren’t more acidic or deeper.

          Now… corporations need to clean their act up and quit blaming everyday citizens for their bullshit, but carbon isn’t making it warmer.

    • hoboken says:

      Some things are expensive and worth carrying out. That’s the rub. Many Republicans (and their ilk) can’t decipher which efforts will have good returns on these investments. EX: the Iraq war is a money hole. Most likely, making America unsafe and susceptible to attack. While infrastructure is a necessary to remain competitive in world markets, keep business’ in country and provide a stable economy for all Americans. Note where the ‘conservatives’ choose to spend our money. Many other examples of irresponsible spending led by the GOP could be listed but the two noted are non-shining examples of why Republicans have no business saying they are business oriented…at least for American business’.

      • bobbo, in point of fact says:

        I agree. Too many of their ilk (we do we libs love that word?) confuse bribery and corruption with “business.”? In similar vein–why do so many not recognize the economic multiplier effect of so many “social welfare programs” as opposed to the failed trickle down theories?

        Object Truth over Philosophy.

        Science over BS.

        • Calculated Risk says:

          Is this multiplier effect something you can scientifically model on a spreadsheet?

          The only thing I see multiplying is the number of folks on food stamps.

  3. NewFormatSux says:

    People make plenty of assumptions about Rand Paul based on his last name.

    So does this guy think the Russians who are tasked with recruiting people are stupid for assuming immigrants are less loyal?

    • noname says:

      NO he is saying people are stupid for assuming and his is correct!

      He is saying people are being intellectually lazy, dumb and dishonest when jumping to conclusions without supporting facts!

      These same assuming people get angry and hostile if confronted with their judgement error that calls into question their intellectual honesty!

      NFS of course your race based, anti-Obama, anti-Hillary, anti-… diatribes in DU aren’t examples of a biased, lazy intellectually dishonest person?

      • NewFormatSux says:

        So Russians aren’t people?

        • noname says:

          What makes you think Russians aren’t people??

          • NewFormatSux says:

            think the Russians …are stupid for assuming immigrants are less loyal?

            NO he is saying people are stupid for assuming ..

          • noname says:

            think the Russians …are stupid for assuming immigrants are less loyal?

            Yes, Anyone “Assuming Facts not in Evidence.” is stupid!

            When and if you visit your doctor, do you want him/her to assume you’re healthy or sick?

            What makes you think Russians aren’t people??

          • NewFormatSux says:

            You have reached bobbo/Mr ConFusion levels of reading comprehension.
            I said Russians, you said no, people.

          • noname says:

            Figures given your demonstrated under educated reasoning abilities here, your best retort to your own words is obfuscation!

            “So Russians aren’t people?”

            Which begs natural questions about the apparent underlying assumptions!!

            Of which, you can’t or don’t dare answer!

          • noname says:

            Damn, this time I didn’t even have to pwn pedro, NFS did it for me!!!

            Nice, NFS twin and best pwn’d Mexicali butt friend wants to join with NFS shit brain excretions for fun!
            NFS brain is certainly too weak and worthless and needs all the help he can get!!

            poor pedro begs the question; you both having the same genetic rubbish IQ bases, do have the same mommy? NFS is certainly the much smarter joke then poor jobless pedro!

            So pwn’d poor pathetic pedro, you want to swap butt spit and lick clean NFS dripping excretions and show him how to properly build and play in a mind excretions turd pit?

            Nice, this Lucha libre is certainly going to be fun!!

            NFS pwn pedor please continue, pls….

          • noname says:

            poor pathetic jobless pedro, you’re so laughably, pathetically so amazingly easily pwn’d!

            How do you do it, how does someone so laughed at, defeated, live with your delusions, your abundant ignorance and just plain stupidity?

          • noname says:

            Hilarious, really hilarious!

            Poor totally pwn’d Brainfart pedro self describes himself:

            “Brainfart: The only thing an empty skull produces.”

            You said it, not me!!

            Another artful Brainfart from poor totally pawn’s Pedro, our Mexicali clown.

            Please tell me more, please; I need the laughs!!!

        • noname says:

          Figures given your demonstrated under educated reasoning abilities here, your best retort to your own words is obfuscation!

          “So Russians aren’t people?”

          Which begs natural questions about the apparent underlying assumptions!!

          Of which, you can’t or don’t dare answer!

          • MikeN says:

            That’s not what begs the question means.

          • noname says:

            Do tell, what does “begs the question” mean to little MikeN?

          • noname says:

            poor pathetic jobless pedro, you’re so laughably, pathetically so amazingly easily pwn’d!

            How do you do it, how does someone so laughed at, defeated, live with your delusions, your abundant ignorance and just plain stupidity?

          • noname says:

            Hilarious, really hilarious!

            Poor totally pwn’d Brainfart pedro self describes himself:

            “Brainfart: The only thing an empty skull produces.”

            You said it, not me!!

            Another artful Brainfart from poor totally pawn’s Pedro, our Mexicali clown.

            Please tell me more, please; I need the laughs!!!

  4. bobbo, in point of fact says:

    “As a group, immigrants are less loyal.” /// I disagree based on the last 5 home grown terror attacks I can think of: all by first generation types. The parents came for FREEEEEEEDOM but their kiddies get “pulled back in” by general racial identification by themselves and by exclusion by the larger culture. Religion and terrorism: a cultural artifact.

    As said: Truth is a Bitch.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Sounds like you are agreeing, not disagreeing.

      • bobbo, in point of fact says:

        Correct. Racial Profiling is a legitimate part of “surveillance.” Its what you DO with the data that is debatable.

        • hoboken says:

          Legitimate profiling, should be that: legitimate. Should all whites be marked as possible White Supremacists? Many serial killers fit the profile of a large group of people. But good investigators can cull and narrow the search through knowledgeable skills. That’s what makes it legitimate. Focusing on the getting to the needle w/o screening very strand of the haystack.

          • NewFormatSux says:

            Star Trek fans are more likely to be pedophiles, based on available evidence. But to use that info would be a waste of time.

          • bobbo, in point of fact says:

            NFS–you have almost beamed yourself aboard.

            I’m thinking of those anti-racial profilers that object to identifying the race of individuals involved. I can see that when discussing book authors on unrelated subjects…but if an Albino robs a bank, I think it is a disservice to issue an APB on the neutral description of “an adult male 5’8” tall. Hey==an Albino is what we are after.

            Should we look more closely at Trekkies at Boy Scout Jamborees or anyone named Mohamed getting onto an airplane?

            I say: Run the test. Does the added element justify its cost and time given its predictive results?

            SCIENCE over BS.

          • MikeN says:

            I read it by Mickey Kaus a long time ago. Pedophiles very disproportionately are found by police to have star trek dolls or other items.

          • MikeN says:

            The media goes out of its way not to identify black or Muslim criminals. Just ‘youths’.

  5. Scooter says:

    It seems to me like argument here is that the wrong practice of widespread spying is mitigating the wrong practice of racial profiling. My answer is two wrongs never make a right. Not to mention the nativity of that opinion. Just because ALL data is being scooped up does not mean racial profiles are not used when that data is culled and processed; which inevitably it must be. I’m sorry this argument is ignorant I’m with Rand Paul.

    • bobbo, in point of fact says:

      It seems to me like argument here is that the wrong practice of widespread spying /// the post’s point is that bulk collection is NOT “wrong” but rather beneficial

      is mitigating /// No, its an alternative procedure not in any way associated with, related to, or mitigating racial profiling. They do different things and BOTH are being done FOR their own ends.

      the wrong practice of racial profiling. /// Definitional I suppose. The headlines are usually as you say: that racial profiling is wrong, but a close read of the the supporting material shows the error is how the data from racial profiling is actually used. ie==profiling is necessary and good and we all do it all the time. Actions based on such profiling may or may not be legal/right/wrong/some violation.

      My answer is two wrongs never make a right. /// But they so often do, hence the expression trying to negate reality. Each wrong “in itself” remains wrong, but together can cancel each other when resulting in a NET beneficial outcome. A is wrong. B is wrong. A+B==to be determined. Its like juggling hot potatoes. Hold the potato in your hand and its wrong as too hot. Now–juggling two potatoes and its right. (Ha, ha…..I crack myself up. Makes me want to eat some potatoe chips for some reasons)

      Not to mention the nativity of that opinion. /// Nativity? Hmmmm…you must mean naivety? Neither idea makes any sense.

      Just because ALL data is being scooped up does not mean racial profiles are not used when that data is culled and processed; //// The nativity or your naivety may be that the two concepts (bulk data vs racial profiling) have nothing to do with each other?

      which inevitably it must be. I’m sorry this argument is ignorant I’m with Rand Paul. /// Which argument? The OP or yours?

      In summary: I’m of the opinion, tentatively, that the first indication of acceptance of Global Warming in the USA will come when the Insurance Carriers STOP issuing liability policies which is closely tied to Banks giving out mortgages. That was the point of a show on tv stating that we are right now about “one mortgage cycle” away from Miami based banks/ins co’s leaving that market. With Big Business running interference on Climate Science, it makes sense it would be Big Business that turns the corner.

      The Science remains as first hypothesized 100 years ago and formally states about 40 years ago: we are dying in our own effluent. Just a matter of time. No mitigation at all.

  6. John Q. says:

    Let’s step back and examine things for a second. Pay particular attention to what terrorism is all about. I don’t think anyone would argue that the goal of terrorism is to terrify. But then, could another goal of terror be to cause those cowering in fear do something hypocritical? Could another goal of terror be to get a group of law abiding people go against their own principles?! Or is the goal of terror simply to cause chaos and anarchy that ultimately weaken those being terrorized?

    I ask since it seems to me like the terrorists have almost won this so called war and are winning every time they get someone in power to successfully shred the Constitution just a little bit more — like the 4th Amendment (irregardless if it’s doing it digitally or otherwise). Just about the only thing left for terrorists to do may be to get the USA and her allies start up the old Nazi death machine with more mass killings. And in that regard just look around! All anyone is doing with mass collection of data is giving those would-be Nazi’s a REASON to go on their killing spree all while they claim it’s for national protection. (Seems to me this is a good time to remind people that “protection” is also the stated goal of various criminal syndicates too.)

    … We’ll just never mind any of the traditions and stated principles American’s have always said they had — like innocent until proven guilty or being judged on one’s character/deeds. That’s clearly all hogwash if you approve of any of the big data collection programs or those who started (and enable) it.

    • bobbo, in point of fact says:

      You post as if the ISIS takeover of “Iraq” (sic!) and the terror tactics they use THERE is all negated because of what (doesn’t) happen in the USA?

      How isolated that position is.

      ISIS is winning, nearly complete, the takeover of Iraq by using terror tactics and military expertise provided by the Military folks we kicked out of their jobs and pensions and respect and function.

      Iraq stayed peaceful NOT because of our troop presence (that constantly made things worse) but rather because we PAID THEM not to fight.

      No PAYMENT….the fighting resumes.

      Has terrorism worked? ==>Can’t be denied. In combo in Iraq and a freebie twofer here in the USA. 1 dollar of terrorism buys them One Million in security responses===we are being bled dry like a stuck pig.

      You know what bleeds like a stuck pig don’t you?=====
      ============yes, a stuck pig.

      Well, if the world was different from what it is, it could have worked?

      Ha, ha.

      • Tim says:

        Bush-with-a-tan is shipping them over here aboard tha Queen Mary II —

        Slowly but surely
        Inch by inch
        The caliphatic cutter arrives
        schicka, schicka, schicka, shick.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        Has nothing to do with tactics, but that the Iraqi army isn’t interested in fighting them. Ramadi, the Iraqi army was three times bigger than the attackers.

        Turkey, Saudis, other Gulf states, and possibly even Israel are supporting ISIS because they hate Iran more.

  7. Dwight E. Howell says:

    I’m opposed to racism but then I do know what the word race means. Like everyone else I’ve noted that ill liberal bigots use the term to denigrate everyone that disagrees with them to the point that I suspect many no longer consider being called a raciest an insult.

    The web site linked by another pointed out an increasingly obvious fact. The modest degree of climate change being caused by CO2 is not a threat to the earth or its inhabitants. On the other hand the billions of dollars being squandered by followers of the AGW doomsday cult is killing thousands to to millions. In Scotland last winter they had ~7,000 surplus deaths due mostly to seniors who couldn’t afford to properly heat their homes, got sick and died. Scotland is a small place but one that does happen to be keeping score. Pull the same stunt in the US with over 300,000,000 people and the number should be in the hundreds of thousands per yr.

    I doubt if this is going to have much impact on those who are hell bent on saving a planet in no danger from CO2 but I think the public at large is coming to see these cultist as a threat to their safety and property as well as destroyers of the environment and wildlife due to ill conceived alternative energy projects. Whole forest are being destroyed to provide biomass for the EU. The use of gasohol drove up the cost of food in Egypt and played a major role in the revolt that put the Muslim Brotherhood in charge. Because it reduces mileage about 10% at the 10% by volume currently added to gasoline it means you are burning as much fossil fuel to go a given distance as before it was added which has to translate to more CO2 being released than would have occurred if it had been left out.

    According the WH about 32 billion has been spent studying and fighting the great demon CO2 and so help me, other than making a lot of people rich I don’t see what it has accomplished to offset all the harm it has done. Cutting down 19,000 trees to put in solar collectors is not a gain to me. The break even point for wind turbans is something over 30 yrs assuming they last that long.

    Polar bears are doing fine. The arctic sea ice is about where it was in 1978. Antarctica is running record sea ice. The Australians may have to move their Antarctic base because they often can’t get ships to it any more and have to fly most of their supplies in. With grant seekers fudging numbers it’s a little hard to be sure but it actually looks like real ocean levels may have fallen a smidgen during the last couple of yrs.

    Meanwhile Obama believes he has restored world wide respect for himself and the US by the farsighted polices he has implemented. At the same time media outlets around the world make jokes about him. They think he’s demented. They have actually said he’s the biggest threat to US national security around.


0

Bad Behavior has blocked 13801 access attempts in the last 7 days.