Letters: Federal Big Brother


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  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 13, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    I think one of the things we all are learning from a lot going on is that even if a program or government organization is good, it can be used for bad. If there is any blood on anyones hands, it belongs to the people now in charge and what they are doing with it. Not the people who authorized it years ago. Or, as in the case of things like the IRS or NSA, decades ago.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 13, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" since my earlier post was removed for some reason. Let me just refute your claims by stating that your history on these message boards only suggests that you are a constant Progressive/Liberal.

    You claim one thing, while doing the exact opposite. There are many examples of that in your posts.

    For the purposes of this, I will give you one point of inconsistancy. You claim to be libertarian, yet you fully support socialism. That is highly inconsistent because a libertarian seeks out the least amount of government control, while a socialist seeks for massive government control. This leads me to question your integrity.

    I would go deeper into how questionable your honesty is, but you or others like you would report it as a personal attack.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 12, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    To "airnaut" you realize that Huntsman wasn't running in the general election for President, and had dropped out.

    I am amazed, your voting record shows that you have no idea what you stand for. You have gone for a libertarian and a Progressive, quite the polar opposites. Where do you stand politically, your posts typify liberal/Progressive policies yet you claim to have voted for a libertarian candidate. Do you even know where you stand politically?

    I don't have the blood of guild on my hands. I supported the candidate I thought had the greatest chance of slowing the progress towards socialism.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    I'm a Republican, and yes, the Patriot Act may well have provided that "slippery slope" that the Obama administration is now sliding at a hundred miles per hour on.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 12, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    To "airnaut" lets see, the choice was the Progressive walking towards socialism (Bush) or the Progressives sprinting towards socialism (Kerry and Gore). Given the choice between fast and slow, I chose slow.

    Explain why you voted for Obama twice. In recent weeks, he has shown that what Bush did was like amature night at the comedy club.

    Why did you vote for Obama twice, when warned by conservatives that Obama was going to suck up as much power as he could, and drive us closer to a totalitarian state?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 12, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT

    "...It was also Progressives like Bush..."

    "The ironic thing is..."

    YOU voted for him TWICE.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 12, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" so what you are saying is that it is ok for Obama to abuse power because his predacessor did? Really, that is the best you can come up with? I guess that means that you don't mind government abuses as long as "the previous administration" did it too.

    To "The Real Maverick" when did I ever say to vote in Democrats. I said to vote in Conservatives, which typically are Republican (your ilk calls them extremist Republicans), Libertarian, or Independants. It is rare to see a conservative Democrat.

    To "atl134" It was also Progressives like Bush, and Richard Durbin (D). The ironic thing is that their vocal opposition only lasted until Bush was out of office, then silence. It wasn't until somebody wanted to sue that the ACLU got involved (money for their lawyers?). Michael Moore only opposed the Patriot act because Bush supported it. Just look at how silent he has been when Obama reauthorized it, and enacted laws to allow warrentless wiretapping.

    Basically, Progressives were on both sides.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    Progressives were the leading voices AGAINST the Patriot Act (ACLU, Feingold, Michael Moore) from the very start and still are. Protip: progressive policy isn't actually defined as "whatever Redshirt doesn't support".

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    June 11, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    "Why are the liberals not decrying this? Conservatives (not necessarily Republicans) denounced the Patriot act."

    The ACLU has filed a lawsuit with the NSA over the Patriot Act's phone surveillance. Do you consider the ACLU liberal?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 11, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    It needs to be stopped,
    or else there will be no end to it. It will continue to grow and encroach.

    It is all about power and control,

    and those that have it will not give it up, not easily, and not without a fight, just see how out government leaders talk about it.

    And remember the next person voted in and takes it's reigns may be someone you don't like or politically oppose. Will you trust them with it?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 11, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    "If you want to see more Conservatives in the Congress opposing things like the Patriot Act and the aweful things that Obama has done with it, stop opposing the conservatives that run for office."

    So you're suggesting that we vote in more Democrats? More Democrats than repubs oppose the Patriot Act.

    I'm glad that you have finally come around Redshirt! Yes, next election, lets vote all the repub bums out and just vote in Democrats!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 11, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    @RedShirt - please find me a case of rendition under this presidency.... please?

    Obama has found was of abusing it.... oh please... do tell what he has done that the previous administration hasn't. This partisan silliness yet amazes me. There are certain things the government does for national security which really transcend party lines. Good grief, could we please put the country ahead of the parties.... I am not a republican... I am not a democrat..... I am an American.... first and foremost. Can we please put the school yard name calling away - at least on one issue.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 11, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    If you own a cell phone, or have a credit or debit card.... you already lost this battle. You personal behavior is being data mined all the time. You think the adds that appear on your browser - even on the DN - you actually think those are random, or the same for everyone. I hope not.

    What the government is or isn't doing is just the tip on the iceberg. Googles entire financial model relies on selling your personal information to vendors.... what you search, what pages you look at.... what computer you browse from.... your cookies and history.... all for sale.

    This has nothing to do with BO, or Bush.... you give up your "privacy" daily when you walk down the street with your phone - which tells the phone companies where you are, how long you stay there, etc.

    Give up folks..... we are way beyond what that book talked about.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    I sincerely hope that our government will use every possible avenue to locate, identify and nullify the people who hate our government.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 11, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    To "atl134" It looks like we did get a good showing of Conservatives opposing the reauthorization.

    Just look at a lot of the Republicans in the senate. They are either Progressives, or have been there for so long that they are easily persuaded by Progressive arguments.

    If you want to see more Conservatives in the Congress opposing things like the Patriot Act and the aweful things that Obama has done with it, stop opposing the conservatives that run for office. You and your ilk keep saying that Republicans need to be more moderate. Well, this is what you get when you have more moderate Republicans in office. What is needed are more Conservatives, not more moderate Progressives.

    What should concern you most isn't the number of conservatives voting for the reauthorization, but the fact that Obama not only signed it, but has found a way to abuse it.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    June 11, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Well, I think we've proved that many of us are hypocrites, considering very few people who protested GWB doing this are now upset that it's Obama doing it(or vice versa) Now the question is how do we stop it? Face it, the public acts like sheep, electing Democrats and Republicans, who act like they are different, but are really fascists wrapped in the flag of democracy. GWB is a fascist, Obama is a fascist. When a Democrat or a Republican wins in 2016, whether it's Hillary, Jeb, Christy or some unknown D/R guess what. They'll act like fascists. Unless we have the guts to throw both the parties out we are going to continue to be treated like sheep, have our right trampled and get nothing done. So next time you go to vote think about that before pulling the trigger on the same old small minded ideas you voted for the last time.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    "Why are the liberals not decrying this? Conservatives (not necessarily Republicans) denounced the Patriot act."

    Then why didn't they vote against it in higher numbers since DW-NOMINATE scores consider the current Republican house caucus the most conservative ever? When the 2011 reauthorization came up every republican in the senate except 4 voted for it (Paul, Lee, Murkowski, Heller) and the Democrats had 14 no votes including Sanders. In the House the Republicans were almost 3:1 in favor of it while Democrats were 2:1 against it.

    @lost in DC
    "Where was the outrage when BO extended the patriot act? Bet you still voted to re-elect him."

    We were annoyed with it, Romney supported the Patriot Act, and we still agree with Obama on most issues even if he acted like a Republican on this one, so there's no reason not to re-elect him considering the circumstances from our perspective.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    Well at least Republicans are starting to come around to where a decent chunk of Democrats have been (half in the senate and 2/3 in the house voted against the Patriot Act reauthorization in 2011). While we're at it we need to deal with FISA too.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    I don't know what is sadder -- that the NSA is tracking all American communications like we feared they would, or that some people are surprised and shocked by this news. When they said "we're going to collect everything, but only look at certain stuff", you didn't really fall for that, did you?

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Mr. Obama has told us that he won the election, so live with it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 11, 2013 1:14 p.m.


    Sending a letter is handled differently by a Congressmn's staff than sending an email. Congress answers letters. It requires action on their part, at least if you ask them to respond. Emails seem to just be counted and then ignored.

    In the letters that I sent, I asked my Representative and both Senators to forward to me the warrant, signed by a judge, that listed the items to be searched and the probable cause making that search legal. I also asked them to tell me whether an "Act" can supercede the Constitution, reminding them that the Constitution is the ruler by which all laws and "Acts" are measured and allowed or disallowed.

    When citizens make a Congressman explain why he rejected our rights in order to give us "security", that Congressman knows that we are keeping track. It's a not-to-subtle reminder that he is a temp worker and that we are paying his wages. It requires him to be accountable for what he is doing.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    Where was the outrage when BO extended the patriot act? Bet you still voted to re-elect him.

    are you saying BO was a repub when he extended the patriot act?

    Of course, even if you don’t use a return address on the snail mail, they can still dust the letter for prints or DNA, and still find a way to track you down.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Mister J: Exactly. Iraq was such a great decision because it was Bush. Had it been Obama, Utah (which polls showed supported the war more than any other state, except when it came time to enlist, then we had the least amount of support), would have hated the war in Iraq.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Why are the liberals not decrying this? Conservatives (not necessarily Republicans) denounced the Patriot act.

    What the liberals here forget is the little fact that it was their guy that not only extended some of the worst portions of the Patriot Act, but has also added to the intrusions into our privacy.

    Like "Onion Daze" pointed out. With enough information you can trump up charges on anybody. In light of the recent scandals, do you liberals honestly think that the information being collected won't be used against innocent people?

    Ask yourselves this, would you trust a government filled with people you hate with the information that is being collected?

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:49 a.m.


    I agree that we should communicate with our representatives. I might suggest, however, that you can do so electronically. It gets there faster, and saves the cost of a stamp.

    Plus it's easier for the NSA to track and store. You know, just in case . . .

  • David King Layton, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    The old excuse of "you didn't protest when your guys did it, so you have no right to complain" may score political points, but it doesn't solve the problem of what we believe our government has the authority to do. I, for one, was in Junior High when the Patriot Act was passed. I apologize that the 14 year old version of myself didn't do more to protest such invasions of our privacy, but I now stand with any Democrat, Republican, or Independent who believes that all this data mining is in direct conflict with our 4th amendment, and the protection against searches and seizures without warrants and probable cause.

    I oppose these things not because they're a slippery slope, or because it means big brother is at the door, but I oppose them on their own merits. Collecting phone records of millions of Americans without probable cause is a violation of both the spirit and letter of the fourth amendment. Simple as that. I support our Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and stand with anyone, regardless of party, who is willing to stand for civil liberties.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    I will not say one shouldn't be outraged but what did you think they were going to do out there when they announced they were building a NSA complex and our Congressional delegation were doing backflips in joy? Do you really think this program was a brainchild of the current administration? I also think you are bit amnestic to think that the source of problems in our free enterprise system is anything other than monopolies paying their way with boatloads of cash, ie the recent special Monsanto legislations. How does the minority leader in the Senate increase his personal wealth by 24 million in 6 years? Who is greasing palms? Where is your outrage about Congressional corruption, legal only because they say it is? Is it because you voted for participants?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    I read the book 1984 and the only additional thing I would add to the recommendation is to keep in mind that it is fiction. It is not fact. It is not prophesy. It is not likely to happen.

    Information about people is a commercial commodity. It is worth money. Consequently business is the greatest information gatherer because it can be used to sell products.

    The LDS church has a data base about parentage. On the internet anybody can find personal information about arrest records, sex violators, I am able to see the phone statistics and information about my family group phones.

    I get junk mail with my mortgage balance on it. On the telephone I got “Happy Birthday” from a businessman that I don’t do business with.

    I had a disagreement for a free eye examination because I objected to putting the day of the month on the application where I has already given my age, and year of birth and the month of birth. They said “it’s for the record”.

    Asking for personal privacy in the open world is like walking naked down the street and expecting people not to look.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 11, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    It's up to the citizens to rein in the government. I'm fairly certain that these posts on the Deseret News are not forwarded to Congress; so, if you want to do anything more that "sputter", write your Representative and let him know how you feel.

    Of our two Senators, Mike Lee already "gets it". Orrin Hatch was promoting the new "King" sized building being built in Bluffdale where the information being gathered will be stored and "mined". He's a lost cause. Everytime I write to him, I get a very polite response that is full of platitudes and no substance. Rarely do his response letters even mention the problem that I asked him to solve.

    The Constitution protects the People, but as with any contract, if the People don't enforce that contract, the other party (the Government) will continue to abuse us.

    Get busy. Write those letters. Be a responsible American, buy the stamps and send the letters.

  • Grandma Char Kaysville, UT
    June 11, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    When the Patriot Act was quickly pushed through Congress right after 9/11, we were all pretty out of our minds afraid of what was coming next. But with that said, it was intended to track calls made outside our country. What the NSA is doing now is collecting data on all of us that could be used at anytime to blackmail, prosecute, or intimidate an individual. Look at what happened to General Petraeus. He was a victim of this system. I am not passing judgment on whether he should have been exposed or not, just that the info was readily available to the administration when they wanted Petraeus out of the CIA. There are so many laws and regulations in this country now, that we can hardly breathe without breaking one of them. If, our views are deemed a threat to a current President, whoever, it may be, average Americans could be the target of retribution. I need only point to the IRS targeting Tea Party groups. The NSA has unconstitutionally gathered our digital data, and it needs to stop. Laws that oppose the 4th amendment need to be challenged in court.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    The sky is falling.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    GK Willinton...
    "Agreed. Not to mention the spawns of the Patriot Act.... TSA & DHS"

    Gk.. Neither TSA or DHS was the spawn of the Patriot Act.. they were created because of a so called "Bi-partisan" commission findings when they discovered that several us intelligence agencies were not sharing information. Which of course the "Liberals" jump on because it bashed Pres. Bush.

    Maverick... If you had taken to the time to actually study the Patriot Act and what the intent of both the Democrats and the Republican members of congress wanted it to do, then you would have found out that they had put in some provisions to prevent the abuse of the current NSA administration.. But when you are not held accountable for violating laws, procedures or whatever like the Obama administration... this is what happens..

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    I, too, am a huge proponent of privacy. I avoid social media entirely, seldom answer the phone, etc. And I don't appreciate the government collecting my metadata. However, as maverick pointed out, people around here didn't squawk when the patriot act was passed. And what will they shout when the next attack occurs? Something like 'why didn't the government prevent this', I expect. I think the business of keeping us safe is not as pretty or cut and dried as we'd like.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    to Ernest T. Bass

    Like The Patriot Act or invade Iraq?

  • Sal Provo, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    It must be tough for the Republican haters to live in a state like Utah where unemployment is low, crime is low, and the economy is good. Perhaps you would prefer California or New York where the reverse is true.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Re: "It's been proven, the government is only evil when a democrat is in the White House."

    Glad to see you're finally getting it!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Maverick: It's been proven, the government is only evil when a democrat is in the White House. When a republican occupies 1600 Penn, then the government is wonderful and inspired and can do anything it wants.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    It's a case of too little too late, I'm afraid.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    re: The Real Maverick

    Agreed. Not to mention the spawns of the Patriot Act.... TSA & DHS.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    Where was the outrage when the Patriot Act was passed?

  • Onion Daze Payson, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:45 a.m.

    I remember the hysteria when there was a "John Bircher" behind every tree in the 1960s, especially in Orange County. The state tax people in California, under direction of Governor Brown and Attorney General Stanley Mosk, studied the dickens out of one anti-communist organization there. That was 50 years ago Gary. Remember payola, vicuna coats, golfing and goofing, Vietnam, Watergate, presidential and vice presidential resignations, etc, etc. The Republic and its people still stand 50 years later. Matching phone numbers and some IRS harassment is not 1984. Keep the faith baby.