FBI spies on tar sands opponents under banner of "national security"

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Sadly, there is a long history in the US of classifying environmental activists as “threats” to be surveilled and harassed by alphabet agencies.


The police must get out of politics or they lose all credibility and authority. Up hold the law not politics.

There is much talk, in many countries, about controlling the executive or limiting their (over)reach. I don’t think this will work to well. Basically, they are doing what they think their job is. If a society decides they have too much interference by their executive branches, the only way to effectively dial that down is to cut their funding, to limit their numbers.

It has irritated me, since my early teens, that the majority of political conservatives are so violently opposed to conservation.


Can’t bring about the apocalypse if we behave as stewards of the Earth, now can we?


“Starve the beast” has been comprehensively proven to be unworkable. Cutting funding just hurts everyone, because political activity continues regardless of whether it gets paid for or not - cutting funds just creates economic disruption that (unsurprisingly) disproportionately harms the most vulnerable members of society. We’ve attempted it for decades now and it just doesn’t work, at least not in the USA.


Harming the most vulnerable is kinda the point.


Yeah, “[conflating] their whims and campaign policies with the very existence of the state” has been going on for a very long time in this country, when it comes to environmental and anti-war issues. (But not when it comes to anti-abortion, where the state has gone out of its way to not come down on such groups, even as they performed acts of actual terrorism.)


Yup. See my post just above yours in reply to medievalist. It applies to more than just one aspect of our current political culture.

I’m suggesting to cut down on riot cops, snoops, and security theatre, not on schools, hospitals and public libraries. Has the conservative rhetoric of the last decades really been internalized so much that this does not even come to mind as an option?

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Me too. It has always struck me as odd that we as caretakers, I.e. conservators, of this planet should exploit it. Having dominion over the earth doesn’t mean eat it all, pollute it, and blow it up.


See? They’re not actually rounding up dissenters yet. What is everybody so worried about?


The point is that you can cut funding as much as you want, and the riot cops, snoops, etc. will get cut long after the schools, hospitals and libraries - if anything gets cut at all. That’s what actually happens.

We’ve tried this already, for decades now. When you cut funding, the problems get worse. Something more than just cutting funding is required in order to change behavior of the ruling classes. They don’t care if they run a deficit, and the first checks they write will go to their thugs and cronies.

If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe someone else?


I don’t think that claim is supportable, unless you’re talking solely about Republican leadership and not about the voting populace at all.

Many people, including myself, really believed we could get a smaller government by voting for politicians who would cut taxes, and that this would benefit everyone. It was a naive but heart-felt position, and although I personally figured out the reality after Reagan’s first term and stopped voting for tax-cutters, a lot of people still honestly believe that reducing the funding of government would harm the fat cats more than the little guys. They really aren’t interested in harming vulnerable folks at all - in fact the conservative, small-town people who most strongly support “starve the beast” typically spend a larger portion of their income on charity than wealthier liberal city folk.

But I gotta go, and we’ve veered pretty far off topic anyway.

I’m sure you understand the party leadership clings to their wedge issues solely because it hoodwinks so damned many people into voting to be harmed by the party’s economic policies The most ironic thing is that this whole smaller-government thing is a complete red herring. The ruling class benefits greatly by having a reasonable tax collection scheme in order to line their own pockets from fat contracts, just so long as their own tax rates remain unsustainably low.

But yeah, this discussion should probably be moved to a thread on neoliberal economic claptrap.


How? magically? Am I supposed to assume that cutting FBI funds is impossible because US Republicans didn’t do it??

It’s like I’m saying “I want to have fewer snoops, let’s talk about having fewer snoops” and you reply “you can’t have fewer snoops, you will only have fewer hospitals, stop talking about having fewer of anything government-ish, it’s a conservative trope”. It’s weird.

Did anyone ever believe having fewer cops ever was part of the Republican agenda? … oh wait… you did, didn’t you

At this point, I’m afraid that the most outrageous part of this story is how little I’m outraged by it, compared to all of the other things our wonderful freedom protecting intelligence apparatus has been up to lately. This is a fairly clear violation of civil liberties, but getting upset by it seems almost quaint.

I was replying to your suggestion that we could have fewer snoops by cutting funding to the executive branch, not to your idea that we should have fewer snoops.


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