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What opposition could there be, to a network of civilian organizations focused on threats to civil liberties and constitutional issues?

Fears that since world war two, Intelligence Units or Agencies created
by the Congress, and vested with secret privileges by the President,
have grown into a possible threat to the Privacy of the world's peoples,
including we Americans. Are we, perhaps inadvertently, slipping in the direction of a police state?

This is perhaps much too sinister a topic for a TED conversation.
So, I asked Randall Monroe for his answer to the same query.

Since the NSA has developed many other programs besides Prius
and those are today being used by many other agencies and private
corporations. How many of them can you name?

To lighten the mood, and bring this into a more comical arena.
As Google moves down the street, filming each location, we are all
becoming corralled much as cattle in a pen.
The age of E-Moo is upon us all.

For you gamblers, remember some Casinos use an NSA developed
program, NORA, that can identify cheating card sharks and any
relationship to the dealer, within 6 seconds.

  • May 27 2014: Don't get me wrong...I sincerely hope the Revolution is at the ballot box. History tells us, however, that when injustices are not righted the rulers are wiped away in a revolution.

    The problem with your point of view is that you think the US military is the enemy of the US civilians. They are made up of US citizens just like me and you. Should things ever get so out of hand that the US military is called upon to shoot US citizens they will not carry out that order. So it matters little what weapons they have.

    What we need is real leadership in this country instead of the bought-and-paid-for drones that both political parties cough up each election cycle. So get out and Vote, honestly for either party, as a high voter turnout is the only true indicatior that people are unsatisfied.
    • May 27 2014: Martin, History is written by the winners.

      Our US Military has been "overfed" by monies that's used for research, development,
      and production of their killing tools. Taxed-payers have been slighted over the years,
      with social programs ignored for the middle classes. A full fledged welfare program
      keeps the poor from being a problem. While the wealthiest of our citizens (.01%) spend
      their monies elsewhere. The Roman Empire had a similar history.

      Real leadership is hard to find. The selectors of our leaders are ex-leaders, and their kind.
      They raise huge sums of monies to pay the media and public relations firms to sell their
      selections to the voters. A hypnotist couldn't do a better job. The selectors really don't care
      who wins. After the elections, both parties split the running of the government.

      Passing legislation is a joke. Those 35 original Washington DC Lobby firms have grown to
      4 or 5 thousand nation-wide. After a bill becomes law, they set to work to change it, a bit at
      a time, year by year. They are famous for undoing our banking laws. $11 Trillion Dollars
      raped from our Treasury stands out as the biggest (ongoing) Bank robbery in world history.

      Please watch TED talk -- William Black; How to Rob a Bank (from the inside that is).
      It is a real eye-opener.

      I do not know the answer. But I sure as hell know the problem. And from the number of
      conversations applied to my query I can tell that Americans have not yet recognized that
      the problem exists.

      The Problem is a simple one. Our US Government has Secrets. 850,000 employees
      with Top Secret Clearances. 15 Senators charged with Oversight. Led by an 80 year old
      lady Senator.

      Go Figure.
  • May 26 2014: Frank

    We have disagreed on some items and agreed on many and as to your suggestion, yes, but words are only words. If I understand correctly, what you are suggesting is a Declaration of Independence, a listing of grievances as in Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum or "The Ninety-Five Theses", by Luther. History shows the road traveled here.
    Some years ago I wrote a piece called, "America has died" and some years later posted it on another blog site here,
    http://cjhunsinger.hubpages.com/hub/American-Has-Died There was one response. The last paragraph is the passive-aggressive action paragraph.
    I am in favor of your suggestion with considerations. We cannot look to any politician for alliance. You deal with the comedy; I have no sense of humor, I'm German. I prefer biting, gnawing and ripping satire. I like my reference to the Green party and Soylant Green.
    • May 26 2014: Charles, Thank you, you've been busy.
      HubPages about Auto Service and Frankenstein are as least popular as is
      my Opposition conversation. But eventually the masses will awaken.
      Probably much too late to extricate themselves. I will be long dead by then.

      My problem is that I research using the internet, going back to the very beginnings.
      I took the NSA and found their Achilles heel. But it does little to stop them.
      They run unchecked.

      Consider the coincidences. 10 years ago, Prius had 150+ locations around the world
      and 800 servers, collecting the intellectual properties of the world's populations. At the
      same time the US Military leased 150+ installations from foreign governments. Today,
      the world is covered with NSA instruments, and they've moved into that old realm that
      President Ronnie alluded to, Star Wars. The newest Director, headed up that realm,
      and now he runs the whole show. He reports, not to the chief's of staff, but only to the
      Secretary of Defense, and the President. Pandora's Box is open. We cannot claim
      singular title to the A-bomb, H-bomb, and N-bomb. The time-table is running out of
      sand. When delivery systems are in place by all participants, some nut job will figure
      out a way to destroy us all.

      Watch the Hollywood kid movie Ants. It properly depicts what we have morphed into.

      I was reading some history of the build up of the US military in the 1930's, before Hitler
      became the threat. It shows that our government was preparing for War even when
      FDR promised not to get involved in European squabbles. The actual documentations
      bore this out, while the historical writings glossed over and muted what was happening.
      Those historical writings are what our children and grandchildren know today, as gospel.
      The conclusion to this paragraph; I read about an ex-CIA employee. He has written a
      History of the World 1760 to the present. Go figure...
  • May 23 2014: We are not 'inadvertenly slipping in the direction of a police state.' We have been thrown in the back of a windowless carrige with the NSA in the drivers seat, whipping 8 frothy-mouthed Clydesdales to a full gallop. Downhill. With the wind at their backs.

    The opposition is the Internet. Information shared prevents the fear the police state desires. It cannot be silenced without reversing the computer revolution. Even China knows that, although they do their best. But ask yourself: Why does China censor 'Tianamen Square'? After all, an entire generation has grown up since it happened, so if they were successful then there would be no searches being done today. So the Chinese State steals technology and makes their own Google, FaceBook, YouTube, etc. in an attempt to keep the truth hidden. It will all fall apart soon.

    North Korea has 'reversed the computer revolution' by never having one. Yet what relevance do they have in today's world? Capitalism will never allow the reversal because they make too much money off of it. Capitalism is not a Political idea, nor a Religious one, so it penetrates everywhere and cannot be stopped.

    Imagine the Fat Cats trying to figure their way out of this. They can use information and computers to control their people, but they need free-thinking workers to create the tools. Squash freedom too much and profits fall, innovation fails and they fall behind on the technology. Allow some freedom and some of those smart people create encryption methods, hack data and expose them. So they can create the NSA, pass the Patriot Act and try to censor us, only to find that the butler lighting their cigars has been live-streaming the talk to YouTube, while hackers have emptied their bank accounts and FaceBook is asking if anyone knows how to set up a gillotine.

    As far as the current threat, I feel that we are at the far-right end of the pendulum swing. I expect everything to move in the other direction for the next 50 years.
    • May 24 2014: Martin, Thank you sir.
      You've a most unique way of describing the 'out of control intelligence agencies' and their
      wicked ways.

      Our new government, laced with Financial Bankers, Harvard graduates, and their lower class
      Spies, is self-absorbed. It arises from the all too-prevalent condition called "center of the universe"
      syndrome, which leads people to believe that the world revolves around them and that all others
      are just supporting cast in the grand theater of mortality in which only they have the starring role.

      If you are wrong about the pendulum swing, what then?
      • May 27 2014: "If you are wrong about the pendulum swing, what then?"

        Revolution. Pure and simple. That's what the gillotine is for.
        • May 27 2014: Martin, Short and to the point.
          But when the opposition has all the weapons.
          Weapons that we taxed-payers paid for,
          Revolution is not an option.
          In a personal mystery of sorts.
          Someone has invaded my computer recently. They left thousands of files.
          Mostly copies of files, one for one. but with a long string of numbers added,
          that are a part of each file name. Really screwy.

          Most of the files are copies of my own existing files.
          But, thousands are new files concerning the government.
          After reading some of them, I became paranoid. They are a nightmare.

          My external storage capacity is over 2(TB), it shows only 443(GB) left.
          My computer is brand new, a gift for Christmas last year, 2013.

          I've been trying to stop the President's, DOD's and NSA's bad deeds
          for a couple of years now. Just missed when their budget was approved
          last year by a 12 vote margin. I figured I would become a thorn.
          I just wanted to alert people that there is a serious problem.

          My new computer is stuffed to the gills with more government files
          than I could read in a lifetime. I hope it is a prank from someone.
          Otherwise, I expect a visit from some Kevlar clads.
  • May 18 2014: The FBI has identified people involved in almost every terrorist bombing in America "before" the event and have done nothing?? It makes you wonder who's side they are on? Don't forget the entire Bin Laden family, who was living a life of luxury right here in America at the time of the bombing, was rounded up and flown back to Saudi Arabia! And at a time when no other planes where allowed in American air space! Wouldn't you think we might have some questions for them??

    Opposition? Most people do not even know who the opposition is. Frank knows, he told me, ask him.
    • May 18 2014: Keith, thank you

      I just revisited a TED talk, and saw your remark next day.
      William Black's "How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is)"
      told of a Partnership created in 2007, between the FBI and
      the Mortgage Banker's Association, or as Mr. Black said:
      A trade association of 'perps'! Lions roaming the camp sites,
      while the FBI is chasing mice. (Pinkerton wanna-be's.)

      I will splice my understanding of both the S&L debacle and
      rape of our Treasury for $11 Trillion, and 100 million jobs.

      The only good thing about Bernanke was his beard.
      We should have given our $11 Trillion to Bernie Madoff.
      At least he and his salesmen worked hard at their trade.
  • May 25 2014: Frank

    When you speak of opposition are you talking about the government? if so, then there would probably be none until someone echoed the words, "When in the course of human events----"
    Is that where this has to go? That we are even talking about a police state indicates the road being traveled.

    Perhaps, I am wrong, but except for the Tea Party and I am not to excited about that, we are now down to a one party system and I shall call it the New Order Party. The one that pays everyone a $1,000 an hour so that we can eliminate capitalistic inequality. The NOP is really on top of things. We will socialize healthcare so that all people will fairly receive the same quality of medicine that our veterans receive under government control. Soylent Green will be the new federally mandated food supplement The thinking is ingenious and goes along with the Green Party on the need to recycle, plus adding needed protein and roughage to our diets. Did I mention that the use of Solyent Green is said to be a deterrent to climate change.
    Tom Jefferson and Jimmy Madison could have learned alot from the NOP. Just think how much time and money has been wasted building three branches of government when only one is really needed. When looking back and noticing that the entire system of government was formalized on one sheet of paper, one has to ask the question; What were they thinking? The Obama Admin used 2000 sheets of paper for the ACA and that does not include the 20,000 sheets used by the bureaucrats. How thoughtful to put so many people to work.
    I would agree with Martin here Frank, inadvertent seems a bit of an understatement. I am sure that it was never the intention of Adolph to create the SS or for Russia the KGB. Let us keep America safe even if we have to put every American in jail, after all is not 'safe' better than free. Free people do stupid things, They do not watch their weight and their cholesterol is to high. They also have a propensity to think to much,.
    • May 26 2014: Charles, Musing is a good history lesson..

      To identify the "Problems" that "our current government" is causing, both
      here at home and world-wide, I suggest we make a list, a Glossary,
      explained in detail, so that others can understand.

      Then, a second list of "Fixes", that also identify the "Perpetrators", by name
      and bad deeds. Those who operate without integrity. Perhaps in this way,
      we can solicit the support of those government employees with integrity.

      Identify the Problems, identify the Fixes, Identify the Perpetrators..
      with a chorus of "I'm my own Grandpa". - sung by Tom Arnold.
      A little comic relief never hurts.
  • May 23 2014: Any threat to the "new world order" will of course meet opposition at every corner. The backbone of the NWO is the American Dollar. However the NWO is beginning to show some nasty cracks in there plans. a) Russia and China are already beginning to trade with each other directly without the sanctions of the NWO as they continue that co-operation between major powers, that weakens the US Dollar and thus the NWO. That could easily spread to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    b) At the same time South America is pulling out of the IMF and also away from the NWO. They want their own monetary system and have the power through cooperation again to accomplish that. They are pulling away from America and Europe's influence and doing very well on their own and that influence is spreading all the way up to Mexico.
    We could easily see at least three or four major financial networks in the near further to break up the NWO. a) China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and North Korea. b) America, Europe, Africa, Australia c) South & Central America and Mexico d) Could be middle east countries
    That would be a wonderful start!!!!
  • May 19 2014: We have to start somewhere.
    If we don’t try, this FCC internet regulation will become something unstoppable.

    I do not think this will put a target on your backs, and I know I am asking a lot.
    But please for all of us, try to communicate with one another concerning the
    world-wide misconduct of our Politicians.

    March 14, 2014 in an article published from the founder of Facebook.
    (I've inserted comments of my own. But the main thrust isn't changed.)

    The internet is our shared space.
    It helps us connect.
    It spreads opportunity.
    It enables us to learn.
    It gives us a voice.
    It makes us stronger and safer together.

    The internet works because most people and companies work together
    to make our shared space even better for the world.

    Repeated UN reports of the bad behavior of the US government, led by
    President Obama's secret directives, and the damage the US government
    has created world-wide, embarrassing Americans, must be stopped.

    The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat.
    But it is being threatened by the US government's FCC, and big business.
    These are real threats to your individual freedom and privacy.
    When it comes time to vote, the media will have made your selections for you.

    This is your world. Don't you think it's time to clean house?