Author Topic: Is this Big Brother going to far?  (Read 6412 times)

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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Is this Big Brother going to far?
« on: August 08, 2009, 11:10:55 pm »
Many of you may have heard mention of the White House now asking for people to send in emails to report what they call "fishy" criticism against the healthcare reform bill.

Quote from: From the White House blog
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

Now, this is not to be confused with the thread on the reform bill. The point of this debate is aimed at this particular practice (and other similar ones) of info gathering by the government. Do you think it is a form of intimidation and invasion of privacy, or a responsible way for them to try and correct what they claim to be be myths. Or do you even see a purpose for it since they only mention wanting help "tracking" said info but don't specify why or what they plan to do with it.

...
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Go.
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Offline Nicholai

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 11:30:11 pm »
They are treading a fine line, but it depends on how you look at their intent.

This could be seen as a way of slowly creeping into other people's options,  or it could simply be an effort to discredit myths.
  It could be just that, an attempt to gather misinformation. But for all we know, every email you send is being saved to some "people who disagree with us" database in the CIA.  :D (JK :P) The government is good at spinning things, and it's difficult to understand how honest, or dishonest their intent may be.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 12:09:43 am »
But for all we know, every email you send is being saved to some "people who disagree with us" database in the CIA.  :D (JK :P)
I'm planning to wait a bit before giving my full views on this, but I wanted to point out that it's my understanding that the White House has a policy of keeping every bit of corespondence that comes in to it. Be it letter, voicemails, emails, etc, and nothing is ever deleted/erased.
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Offline Acton

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 11:57:10 am »
I been to the site and all I have to say is the next thing will happen Oceania no longer be at war Eurasia but Eastasia and 2+2 = 5.
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Offline Traumerei

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 03:58:36 pm »
I been to the site and all I have to say is the next thing will happen Oceania no longer be at war Eurasia but Eastasia and 2+2 = 5.
Please report those who you suspect of thought crimes to Miniluv.

I'm not too sure what you are saying.
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Offline Nicholai

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 04:27:58 pm »
I been to the site and all I have to say is the next thing will happen Oceania no longer be at war Eurasia but Eastasia and 2+2 = 5.
Please report those who you suspect of thought crimes to Miniluv.

I'm not too sure what you are saying.

It's a reference to 1984 by Orwell. One of my all time favorite novels.
I'll say it again,  it is a clever idea, even if their intent is open to interpretation.
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Offline Acton

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 04:47:50 pm »
Bingo we have a winner, I been bothered but the way the Obama administrations tactics. I getting nervous when government engages is such Orwellian style propaganda to change a reality with  ,threat of ridicule and force, a healthcare bill that only a few have read and nobody really can say how it will work.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2009, 04:57:07 pm »
1984 is (or at least used to be) standard reading material in most highschool English classes. Wikipedia has a good write up on it (notably in "The War" and "Doublethink" sections for Acton's reference). 2+2=5 is also a little theme of the book in how doublethink is used to say something you know is completely false yet still believe with all your heart that it is true and accept it. BTW, Oceania was always and has always been at war with Eastasia...after a re-write of history, which is controlled by Minitruth (Ministry of Truth: The propaganda arm of Oceania's regime, controlling information: news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. Winston Smith works for the Records Department (RecDep) of Minitrue, "rectifying" historical records and newspaper articles to make them conform to Big Brother's most recent pronouncements, thus making everything that the Party says 'true'.)

But back to the topic at hand: I don't care what they plan to do with any of the info gained through these reporting emails (half tempted to report myself for the heck of it :P ). It's the perception of what could happen. We have the right to free speech and to speak out against the government, but the new Obama administration has made some pretty insulting statements along the lines of telling people that disagree with them to shut up, though during the campaign, his supporters were told to get in the face of non-supporters and argue them down, and the types of demonstrations we're seeing now were seen as patriotic when they were directed at Bush. So with that in mind, it's no wonder that it should concern people when our own government is telling you to report your friends, family, and others. It makes us justifiably wonder what will be done with the information, which means it's become a form of intimidation and an infringment on our right to free speech. Not just with the current healthcare debate, but for any subject of governmental debate.

I'm also gonna question the legality of any such program. In one of the radio programs I listen to, they mentioned JFK (I think) had sent military troops out in plain clothes to go in to Vietnam anti-war protests to gather info on them. I was driving at the time and couldn't write down the important notes, but it was either the Supreme Court, or a Congressional statute put in place that made such info gathering of U.S. citizens illegal.
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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 07:26:29 pm »
I have heard various reports about this, and I don't agree with a snitch line, as desperately as we need public healthcare. I know of other organizations who are asking for people to ask for a hearing in their neighborhood, namely Move On and the SEIU. However, I also get emails from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asking people to, not only show up at hearings and protest, but to prevent other people from asking questions, prevent our elected officials from speaking, and, generally, prevent free speech from anyone who might be there to find out more about the bill being proposed.

I can say this about the protests at the healthcare town hall meetings: they are preventing real civil discourse regarding healthcare in these United States.  We have freedom of speech in this country, but no one has the right to yell fire in a crowded theater, aka insight a riot. I have seen these protests, and I have seen many of them become violent.

I do wish that the Republicans would address the healthcare crisis in this country and propose a plan of their own rather than just pay people to show up at public hearings and scream at the top of their lungs. (Namely Heather Blish, a paid operative at Ideal Campaign, a Republican consulting firm, who disrupted the Kagen hearing in Green Bay. I would not bring her name up here, but she has made herself a public figure and is transparent about her affiliation with Ideal Campaign, that is, except for when she very loudly protested at the recent town hall meeting, where she identified herself as "just a mom.")

I know how it feels to be denied free speech. Even though I was a part of a quiet protest against the War in Iraq back in 2004 and 2005, I was isolated to a "free speech zone," where no one would see the signs the protesters were holding. These were pretty tame signs with statistics. We did not include pictures of casualties as we saw this to be in poor taste. And we sang hymnals, we never shouted. Just kind of ironic.

As far as government going too far, I could say the police officer who pulled me over for no other reason than the fact I had a John Kerry and a Russ Feingold bumper sticker on my car was going too far. He asked me, "do you know why I pulled you over?" and I said, "no, do you wish to enlighten me?" I suppose he figured I was depressed after Kerry had lost and that I had been drinking. This was after the election results were in and it was late at night, as it often is when I have spent the night visiting my parents. I had my dog sitting next to me in the car. Oh, you know I always take him to the bars with me *rolls eyes*. The officer never did give me a reason. I went home and realized I had been profiled. Just some food for thought.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 08:29:57 pm by CiceroKit »
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Offline Nicholai

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 09:48:59 pm »
(Namely Heather Blish, a paid operative at Ideal Campaign, a Republican consulting firm, who disrupted the Kagen hearing in Green Bay. I would not bring her name up here, but she has made herself a public figure and is transparent about her affiliation with Ideal Campaign, that is, except for when she very loudly protested at the recent town hall meeting, where she identified herself as "just a mom.")

In a bizarre, twisted sort of way, this seems to be the root of the problem that Narei brought up. The government sees a lot of people on the other side of the debate doing a lot of sleazy things, so the government becomes willing to drop to their level.
At this point in the debate, it's almost comparable to two kids in a  school yard. One kid kicks the other kid in the crotch, so the other kid starts kicking the offending kid in the shins.
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Offline Motor Mouth

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 10:05:14 pm »
In a bizarre, twisted sort of way, this seems to be the root of the problem that Narei brought up. The government sees a lot of people on the other side of the debate doing a lot of sleazy things, so the government becomes willing to drop to their level.
At this point in the debate, it's almost comparable to two kids in a  school yard. One kid kicks the other kid in the crotch, so the other kid starts kicking the offending kid in the shins.

So at this point it's safe to say to either side, "What's the difference?". All I see is constant mud slinging from both parties and not enough bi-partisan cooperation to rehauling a broken system. Hopefully in the future we can even see some tri-partisanship in issues of this magnitude.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 02:24:23 pm »
If you want to make a thread about the protests and townhall meetings themselves, feel free and I'd be willing to join in. But this thread is about governmental info gathering on domestic citizens and using regular people to snitch on others. Please keep it to this topic. I don't mind discussion of the current issues if you can tie it to the topic at hand.

And seems I made a mistake in my other post:
Quote from: Me
I'm also gonna question the legality of any such program. In one of the radio programs I listen to, they mentioned JFK (I think) had sent military troops out in plain clothes to go in to Vietnam anti-war protests to gather info on them. I was driving at the time and couldn't write down the important notes, but it was either the Supreme Court, or a Congressional statute put in place that made such info gathering of U.S. citizens illegal.

I looked in to it more, and it wasn't JFK doing the info gathering.
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By 1966, the U.S. Army's Intelligence Command at Fort Holabird had broadened its civilian surveillance, including operations violating regulations and probably done without knowledge of senior army commanders. By 1968, renamed Continental United States Intelligence (CONUS Intel), the Holabird center had computerized field reports on civilians composed by more than 1,000 plainclothes army agents, who monitored civil rights and antiwar organizations, infiltrated radical groups like the Students for a Democratic Society, and sometimes engaged in provocative and illegal acts to discredit them....The extent of domestic military surveillance became the center of controversy when it was exposed in Washington Monthly magazine in January 1970 by a former military intelligence officer. This led to the first full‐scale public debate on the subject in America. Although the Supreme Court in Laird v. Tatum (1972) upheld the legitimacy of military surveillance for national security, a widespread public and congressional belief that the surveillance had become excessive, if not illegal, led the army to exercise greater control over its domestic military intelligence system.

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Offline Epsy

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2009, 12:08:05 am »
As far as I know this website is just so that the Obama admin. can keep track of the misinformation (specifically on health care) being sent out, so that they know how to frame the conversation against the opposition.

In other words, no I don't believe Obama is making an "enemy list" like some Republicans (Glenn Beck) have claimed. And either way I don't think there is enough information about how the website is being used in order to determine that President Obama is doing anything of the sort.
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Offline Zanner

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2009, 03:27:13 pm »
this, to me, sounds like the beggings of involving every supporter of the current administration in the complete monitorization of our every move. Imagine nighbors spying on nighbors, family fueds spiraling down so far as that some immature child would report a lie about his or her parents? Making enemys anywhere from your local church to one's place of work, and a disguntelted colleage reporting some offhand and vauge comment you made about wishing *insert politician/ so called important public figure here* dead, or even just calling that persona a BAD NAME? Just think about it, and do NOT fight fire with fire. just beacuse when the powers that be put you in one of those immoral and absurd 'free speech zones' does NOT mean that now you should take advantage, or turn a blind eye to similar persecusion to people with a differint opinon. Don't. We are being played against eachother so that we do not unify and defend our common intrests and rights, not to mention ignore the details of what is being passed, or just not ask questions beacuse we 'trust them'.

Also, DO belive that SOME of these so-called dissenters and agitators ARE indeed in the poket and or influence of the republican party, among other organizations. It would not surprise me if some of them are so-called democrats that want to discredit legitimate opposition and third-parties intirely as unreasonable, fearfull, bigoted, and 'conspiracy' theorizing/accusing troublemakers. Do not be fooled, just think about it. But that's as far as i want to go, as not to get into a debate about the healthcare bill itself.
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Offline Epsy

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2009, 06:49:51 pm »
this, to me, sounds like the beggings of involving every supporter of the current administration in the complete monitorization of our every move. Imagine nighbors spying on nighbors, family fueds spiraling down so far as that some immature child would report a lie about his or her parents? Making enemys anywhere from your local church to one's place of work, and a disguntelted colleage reporting some offhand and vauge comment you made about wishing *insert politician/ so called important public figure here* dead, or even just calling that persona a BAD NAME? Just think about it, and do NOT fight fire with fire. just beacuse when the powers that be put you in one of those immoral and absurd 'free speech zones' does NOT mean that now you should take advantage, or turn a blind eye to similar persecusion to people with a differint opinon. Don't. We are being played against eachother so that we do not unify and defend our common intrests and rights, not to mention ignore the details of what is being passed, or just not ask questions beacuse we 'trust them'.

Hyperbole and overreaction, thy name is Zanner. All this website is doing is keeping track of the misinformation and lies. I know someone who used the website and all they did was tell him what the bill actually entailed and to tell his friends the same thing. Its basically the same kind of deal Obama had with a website back when he was still running, the website dedicated to correcting misinformation that was being spread. The only difference is now that they are waiting for you to tell them what to correct.

Please educate yourself on the website before coming in here with such conspiratorial and absolutely ridiculous rhetoric.

Also, DO belive that SOME of these so-called dissenters and agitators ARE indeed in the poket and or influence of the republican party, among other organizations. It would not surprise me if some of them are so-called democrats that want to discredit legitimate opposition and third-parties intirely as unreasonable, fearfull, bigoted, and 'conspiracy' theorizing/accusing troublemakers. Do not be fooled, just think about it.

Please don't say something if you have absolutely no evidence to back it up.

And don't tell me you are defending birthers.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 06:57:44 pm by Naomi Maru »
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Offline Furlong

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2009, 09:34:27 pm »
My usual answer to those who say that the government is tracking all this information is that they are giving out government too much credit.  The government is simply not that organized or powerful. 

That said, It does seem perfectly reasonable to me for an organization, ion this case, the Obama Administration, to study the arguments being used against them, so as to form a better argument.  Occam's razor being what is it, and the simplist explination being most likley, it seems much more reasonable then the beginnings of a massive camplign to collect information on dissenters. 

But for all we know, every email you send is being saved to some "people who disagree with us" database in the CIA.  :D (JK :P)
I'm planning to wait a bit before giving my full views on this, but I wanted to point out that it's my understanding that the White House has a policy of keeping every bit of corespondence that comes in to it. Be it letter, voicemails, emails, etc, and nothing is ever deleted/erased.

This also seems entirely reasonable from the perspective of government transparency.  I feel better knowing that nothing is ever destroyed. 
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Offline Kada-Ru

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2009, 09:45:29 am »
I don't get involved in politics much but reading through these posts I get the image in my head of the movie, "Sound of Music".

I'm not sure I would be comfortable with someone 'pretending' to get close to me just so they can report on how I stand on certain issues especially if I didn't agree. Makes me more careful of who I talk to and about what.

I've always believed in allowing everyone their own views as I have my own.  But, this doesn't sound like people are allowed to have their own views any more. Creepy.
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Offline Epsy

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2009, 11:00:49 am »
I don't get involved in politics much but reading through these posts I get the image in my head of the movie, "Sound of Music".

I'm not sure I would be comfortable with someone 'pretending' to get close to me just so they can report on how I stand on certain issues especially if I didn't agree. Makes me more careful of who I talk to and about what.

I've always believed in allowing everyone their own views as I have my own.  But, this doesn't sound like people are allowed to have their own views any more. Creepy.

You sound quite facetious. People aren't going to try and get close to you so they can report you to Obama's mythical ACORN gestapo. This website exists for one reason and one reason only: So they can correct misinformation.

There is no censorship, there is no violation of first amendment rights. They aren't trying to silence people.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2009, 03:40:13 pm »
There is no censorship, there is no violation of first amendment rights. They aren't trying to silence people.

But there is intimidation, which is just as bad. It doesn't matter what we're told publicly. Knowing the amount of power our government has, it still makes people nervous that something could be going on. Maybe it wouldn't be such an issue if people actually trusted government, but thats the spot we're in now. Do I buy in to the "enemy list" type talks? No, but the goverment still shouldn't be allowed to have such a perception.
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Offline Epsy

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2009, 04:54:43 pm »
But there is intimidation, which is just as bad.

I think its silly to be intimidated by a website simply asking people to let them know what lies are out there.
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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2009, 07:53:10 pm »
We give up our privacy every time we talk on a cellphone in public, use a social networking site, or post on a forum. I agree with Naomi; I do believe the purpose of this is to find out what myths are being perpetuated. However, what works for a political campaign is not necessarily the best thing for someone to do once in office. I think that President Obama and staff made a mistake here. I know he is wanting to continue the conversation, and do things on a more personal level, but someone should have been able to see how this was going to be warped into something else. Why does he need people to email anyway? All of the misinformation is being covered by the news media. All he needs is to have Axelrod brief him on what is being said.

The media coverage of this, even on MSNBC, "is Obama's snitch line even worse than Bush's warrant-less wire taps," it is all part of the circus of the ridiculous in so many ways. I kind of figured that my phone line might have been tapped a few years ago, but my attitude was, "if they have nothing better to do..." If someone wants to listen in on my boring conversations, let them. The average person appears on camera over six times a day... but it is not the government watching, it is some bored-out-of-his-friggin-mind Wal-Mart security guard... that is, if he is watching at all.

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Offline Kada-Ru

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2009, 01:46:52 pm »
Quote
You sound quite facetious. People aren't going to try and get close to you so they can report you to Obama's mythical ACORN gestapo. This website exists for one reason and one reason only: So they can correct misinformation.

There is no censorship, there is no violation of first amendment rights. They aren't trying to silence people.
uhm, Naomi?  Please be careful how you respond to others posting in this thread.

For one, I am not being facetious.  Actually I was only doing as everyone else was doing and posting MY opinion about what I was reading here.  MY view of what I read.  As I said in my post, everyone has a right to their own opinions.  That doesn't mean they are being facetious or anything else.  Just posting their opinion.

So, please refrain from responding to posts if you can't be civil.

I wonder what members would think if Furtopia was to open up an email just for members to report people on the net that are against Furtopia?  I wonder how many times misinformation has been put out on the net about Furtopia?  We DO know what is being said.  Why would we need to have an email set up for for people to tell us what we already know?

The answer to that I am sure would be no different to how some are reacting to this.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2009, 04:23:01 pm »
This just in...or maybe it was yesterday...or the day before. Running nights always makes me loose track of time...


W.H. Pulls Plug on E-Mail Asking For "Fishy" Reports
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Offline Epsy

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2009, 05:08:33 pm »
Quote
You sound quite facetious. People aren't going to try and get close to you so they can report you to Obama's mythical ACORN gestapo. This website exists for one reason and one reason only: So they can correct misinformation.

There is no censorship, there is no violation of first amendment rights. They aren't trying to silence people.
uhm, Naomi?  Please be careful how you respond to others posting in this thread.

For one, I am not being facetious.  Actually I was only doing as everyone else was doing and posting MY opinion about what I was reading here.  MY view of what I read.  As I said in my post, everyone has a right to their own opinions.  That doesn't mean they are being facetious or anything else.  Just posting their opinion.

Yes, and I was posting MY opinion on what YOU posted. This is a debate forum, is it not? You have the right to your own opinion, and I have the right to criticize your opinion, especially when you are making an apparent comparison to Nazism. 

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I wonder what members would think if Furtopia was to open up an email just for members to report people on the net that are against Furtopia?

This isn't what the White House did, as the White House is not asking people to report other people. They are simply asking people to report on what misinformation that is being spread. They aren't the same thing.

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I wonder how many times misinformation has been put out on the net about Furtopia?  We DO know what is being said.  Why would we need to have an email set up for for people to tell us what we already know?

Multiply the misinformation being spread about furtopia by about...one billion.

And here, I can show you why this website was justified:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/08/essence-of-health-care-endgame.html

Also, while just 36 percent believe Obama’s efforts to reform the health system are a good idea, that number increases to 53 percent when respondents were read a paragraph describing Obama’s plans.

Majorities in the poll believe the plans would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants; would lead to a government takeover of the health system; and would use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions — all claims that nonpartisan fact-checkers say are untrue about the legislation that has emerged so far from Congress.

Forty-five percent think the reform proposals would allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care for the elderly.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 05:10:36 pm by Naomi Maru »
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Offline Traumerei

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Re: Is this Big Brother going to far?
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2009, 05:34:54 pm »
There is no censorship, there is no violation of first amendment rights. They aren't trying to silence people.

But there is intimidation, which is just as bad. It doesn't matter what we're told publicly. Knowing the amount of power our government has, it still makes people nervous that something could be going on. Maybe it wouldn't be such an issue if people actually trusted government, but thats the spot we're in now. Do I buy in to the "enemy list" type talks? No, but the goverment still shouldn't be allowed to have such a perception.

I'd be more worried about things like PATRIOT, than the government getting a list of people who oppose a health care reform (not that they are).

Also, I don't feel that the government deserved our trust much in the past hundred years. This isn't something at the fault of recent politics.

**Edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 05:56:15 pm by Traumerei »
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