Rand Paul Is Running For President On An Anti-NSA Platform

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Rand Paul Is Running For President On An Anti-NSA Platform

As the next U.S. Presidential election draws closer, the NSA and its surveillance programs come back into focus.

Another Republican presidential nominee has officially entered the race, as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his candidacy today.

Key in that announcement? Senator Paul would effectively end the NSA's current surveillance programs. "I say that the phone records of law abiding citizens are none of [the government's] damn business," said Paul towards the end of his speech this morning (starting at the 22-minute mark). "...and as president, on day one, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance."

"I believe we can have liberty and security, and I will not compromise your liberty for a full sense of security. Not now, not ever."

Senator Paul's remarks, coupled with John Oliver's take on Snowden and the NSA, have put the agency's surveillance programs in a renewed national spotlight. While fellow nominee Senator Ted Cruz has taken a reform approach on the NSA, Senator Paul effectively wants to see agency gone altogether. Paul voted against an NSA reform bill last year, saying the legislation didn't go far enough in limiting the Patriot Act, or the NSA's powers derived from the Act.

The first two Republican nominees for President are confirmed, and both have put the issues of the NSA and government surveillance center stage. And you can be sure that other Republican nominees, and the Democratic field alike will do exactly the same. No matter your thoughts on the ever-growing field of candidates, the fact that the NSA will be a cornerstone during the debates is proof-positive that the voting public cares. (And here's hoping net neutrality is just as in-focus down the road.)

Source: Rand Paul's speech (YouTube) | The Verge
Teaser Image: Roll Call

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And just as it is gone, the ISACC will emerge! (International security of American Citizen Censorship)
Then the binding of this government body shall begin!

He is a libertarian. What else could a libertarian run on if not smaller government?

I wouldn't vote for this Paul.
http://randpaul.breaksthe.net/

Eh, he's still a Republican. His platform requires him to support the Keystone Pipeline, outlawing abortion, cutting red tape for mega-corporations, etc.

Not popular sentiments here, but this is one of the areas where I tend to disagree with my own party. I do not like the idea of government surveillance programs but I feel they are a necessary evil. Like it or not we let the information technology genie out of the bottle and now we have to deal with it, as we've seen with hacking attacks and cyber terrorism the government needs to remain alert and active to have any chance of defense at all. The same also applies when it comes to terrorists, spies, and other sorts using information networks to work against the country, as we've already see we even have Americans joining groups like Al Queda and the like, able to make connections and contacts and be easily swayed by propaganda and those they meet on the internet. Heck, we even had two little girls try and kill another one because some guy on The Internet claiming to be Slender Man (they seem to have spent little time trying to track him, of course if they did and failed and it just hasn't made the papers it further reinforces my point) told them to.

I do not like the idea of spooks and law enforcement potentially crawling through my personal crap on principle, but given the realities of information warfare nowadays at the end of the day that principle will be meaningless if other nations pull far enough ahead to tear us apart on that level and we wind up with them crawling through our crap anyway. Like it or not we opened the bottle and as much as it sucks we have to deal with it. As it is I currently doubt the competitiveness of the US's computer warfare power as it seems that nations like China are continually one upping us, and even invading our "cyber territory" so to speak with relative imputiny. At the end of the day given that anyone with the skills and the desire is going to go through your crap anyway, I see no point in selectively telling the government it can't. It blows chips but all that does is reduce the chances of the other guys who are already there being caught or the government being able to stop them. If things were really private I'd have more objections, but they really aren't, so to me it usually seems like a whole bunch of butthurt directed at the only group we can have a say with. I mean it's not like a nation like China or private hackers and snoops remotely give a crap.

Ideally we should be balancing offense and defense when it comes to international affairs and the rat race. For moral reasons the US has largely remained on the defensive, what "offense" we conduct usually having to be deep black ops and such due to public objection to the US doing anything to anyone in it's own interests for the most part. Given our defensive and largely reactive strategy strong defense is needed, our general policy making the kind of protection against the government difficult. Indeed the less offensive we've become the more draconian the US has gradually been getting across the board. If we just leveled the people that messed with us in a "total war" type fashion, at least to the point of removing the threat, or rendering the rival impotent, it would be different. The way we do things now though we leave all the people who are enemies or rivals standing so they get to try again and again, and that means we need to become increasingly defensive. A lot of people, especially those with liberal sentiments, don't see to "get" that a lot of this security based civil liberties crap is the price we pay for say not killing millions of people overseas to remove the threat they pose.

Ideally I think the US should be engaged in a balance of offensive and defense, as opposed to going entirely one way or another, which means occasionally being absolutely horrible bastards of the worst sort when someone crosses our interests (which might not be on the side of angels to begin with, face it, like every nation we need to be selfish and self interested). We make it so more of the world fears us, and then we don't have to be quite as defensive. If say some hacker, government sponsored or otherwise, thinks the CIA or any one of the 16 or so known intelligence agencies the US has is going to kill them and everyone they know, they might not be so quick. Ditto if say we can't single out the person and say "meh, we'll just take out the entire town" (the civilian deaths mean that civilians will of course try and prevent other civilians from doing things that can bring this wrath upon them). Once people know you'll do that offensively it becomes less necessary to actually do it as well.

That said, the very reactions I'm likely to get to the above statement here sort of show why we're entirely on the defensive, and that's a big part of why we even have arguments about draconian security measures. That said even if we do turn the US into the police state it won't work forever, it's unpleasant and temporary. That said that's where our overly humanitarian international policy is heading. To me politicians right now who are telling people what they want to hear (peaceful US, combined with little internal security) are simply putting their desire to get elected ahead of what's good for the country. That's half the problem right now, we need politicians who are going to tell people things they find nightmarish and wont' want to hear, and also people realistic enough to vote for people who are genuinely honest on these kinds of points. Even the Republicans seem to be spending a lot of time right now trying to figure out how to convince the largest group of people and simply maintain power if they get it, and while that's good for political organizations, it's not good for the country.

I see.

And what is his policy on VIDEOGAMES?

I must be misreading the article. I keep missing the part that connects it to this site's content.

I get the NSA checking the internet forums and such, but spying of US citizens through their personal e-mail and phone calls just oversteps the boundaries.

Once that nonsense starts where does it end?

I get the NSA checking the internet forums and such, but spying of US citizens through their personal e-mail and phone calls just oversteps the boundaries.

Once that nonsense starts where does it end?

NSA has it's place but that place certainly isn't to read through emails, wiretap and sift through the online footprint of its citizens en masse.

Fucking politicians though, I mean what is this, some sort of popularity contest(?)

Canadish:
I see.

And what is his policy on VIDEOGAMES?

I must be misreading the article. I keep missing the part that connects it to this site's content.

You do realize that's only a fifth of the site's content now right? The top of the page even explicitly spells it out with the tabs: Videogames, Movies & TV, Comics & Cosplay, Tabletop, Science & Tech. What tab is this article under? Science & Tech, because NSA surveillance is done via... wait for it... TECH!

I wish people would stop with this whole "this is a games only site" crap. To be fair though the About Us page only talks about videogames, so The Escapist may want to look into updating that - kinda misleading nowadays.

OT: I was with him all the way to here

Senator Paul effectively wants to see agency gone altogether.

Sorry but eliminating the whole agency is too far for me. As the SIGINT (signal intelligence) counterintelligence group their whole job is doing what makes them so controversial - monitoring communications. The only problem is that they're supposed to be the foreign surveillance agency - the FBI takes care of domestic concerns. Limiting the NSA's abilities to monitor domestic concerns is all that is needed.

RatGouf:
I wouldn't vote for this Paul.
http://randpaul.breaksthe.net/

Yeah that's the problem with all the Pauls. They're genuinely 50% right on a lot of issues. But that still leaves 50% batshit insane and/or dangerous ideas flowing from their mouths.

YES!

This brings me great joy! Finally, a candidate worth voting for. I was growing sick of the Obama's, and the Romney's, and the Chris Christie's. I was growing tired of choosing a lesser of two evils. My views are probably unpopular here, but I don't care. I loved Ron, and I could potentially learn to love Rand, if he sticks to his libetarian guns. He's not as good as his father, but he's still the best possible candidate I've seen thus far. I just hope the Democrats can put up a strong anti-NSA showing as well (though I don't hold much hope).

Therumancer:
I do not like the idea of government surveillance programs but I feel they are a necessary evil. Like it or not we let the information technology genie out of the bottle and now we have to deal with it, as we've seen with hacking attacks and cyber terrorism the government needs to remain alert and active to have any chance of defense at all.

The NSA are on the hackers' side on this one. They want there to be security vulnerabilities in your electronics and software, because they want to abuse those vulnerabilities too. Get rid of these bastards, and replace them with somebody who wants to improve US information security instead of sabotaging it.

Liar! Why can't politicians ever be honest?

What are you going to do on day One?
Take an oath, go to a reception because I had to take an oath. Answer a bazillion phone calls from people congratulating me on taking said oath. Get annoyed because my mailbox is full, my twitter account moves faster than a space shuttle and I can't answer fast enough. Hire more PR guys. Go to bed...

Now shall we talk about day two?

Good move by him, focus on this issue and don't let people focus too much on his incredibly weird other policies.

This dude is going to be viciously attacked by both sides, especially since he seems to be genuinely anti-establishment and anti-foreign involvement. Then again, that might only make him stronger since "establishment republicans" are unelectable due to minority bloc voting.

He is not his father. He is a lot more like a modern Republican than a libertarian so I don't consider him a good candidate. But he may still end up being the lesser of the evils and the only hope we have for a halfway decent foreign policy. The thing that really makes me not like him is he is so afraid to be considered an "isolationist". Which is stupid speak for good foreign policy. It was like that with his father. Ron believed in a non-interventionist foreign policy but all the dumbasses on both sides kept calling him an isolationist... which was not what he or anyone else was saying. Ugh, this is why I hate politics, the average person can't be trusted with basic information.

As anyone reading this can see, I have more of an interest in good foreign policy rather than another hot button issue like this. I'm sorry, you are stupid if you think any executive orders last more than the length of that presidency. What he does regarding this can be undone by anyone after him, so it's more important to appeal to congress than expect the president to make any lasting changes. But foreign policy is the realm of president as much as congress and America's foreign policy is all fucked up, and neither the Democrats or Republicans have made any positive headway in that area for longer than is worth recalling.

While he's no Ron Paul, and certainly no libertarian, he is also the only potential Presidential candidate from the two leading parties that I would consider tolerable as President.

Captcha: "This is it".

Indeed.

Devin Connors:
...on the NSA, Senator Paul effectively wants to see agency gone altogether.

Sorry, but what evidence do you have that Paul wants to dismantle the entire NSA? I googled it and I couldn't find a single quote from Paul about wanting to dismantle the entire organization, only to end their mass surveillance programs against US citizens.

Baresark:
He is not his father. He is a lot more like a modern Republican than a libertarian so I don't consider him a good candidate. But he may still end up being the lesser of the evils and the only hope we have for a halfway decent foreign policy. The thing that really makes me not like him is he is so afraid to be considered an "isolationist". Which is stupid speak for good foreign policy. It was like that with his father. Ron believed in a non-interventionist foreign policy but all the dumbasses on both sides kept calling him an isolationist... which was not what he or anyone else was saying. Ugh, this is why I hate politics, the average person can't be trusted with basic information.

As anyone reading this can see, I have more of an interest in good foreign policy rather than another hot button issue like this. I'm sorry, you are stupid if you think any executive orders last more than the length of that presidency. What he does regarding this can be undone by anyone after him, so it's more important to appeal to congress than expect the president to make any lasting changes. But foreign policy is the realm of president as much as congress and America's foreign policy is all fucked up, and neither the Democrats or Republicans have made any positive headway in that area for longer than is worth recalling.

He is also one of the senators that signed that stupid letter to Iran that was basically designed to sabotage our current deal and de-escalation (in addition to being condescending and insulting).

That idiocy costs him a lot of credibility in my opinion.

Zakarath:

Baresark:
He is not his father. He is a lot more like a modern Republican than a libertarian so I don't consider him a good candidate. But he may still end up being the lesser of the evils and the only hope we have for a halfway decent foreign policy. The thing that really makes me not like him is he is so afraid to be considered an "isolationist". Which is stupid speak for good foreign policy. It was like that with his father. Ron believed in a non-interventionist foreign policy but all the dumbasses on both sides kept calling him an isolationist... which was not what he or anyone else was saying. Ugh, this is why I hate politics, the average person can't be trusted with basic information.

As anyone reading this can see, I have more of an interest in good foreign policy rather than another hot button issue like this. I'm sorry, you are stupid if you think any executive orders last more than the length of that presidency. What he does regarding this can be undone by anyone after him, so it's more important to appeal to congress than expect the president to make any lasting changes. But foreign policy is the realm of president as much as congress and America's foreign policy is all fucked up, and neither the Democrats or Republicans have made any positive headway in that area for longer than is worth recalling.

He is also one of the senators that signed that stupid letter to Iran that was basically designed to sabotage our current deal and de-escalation (in addition to being condescending and insulting).

That idiocy costs him a lot of credibility in my opinion.

That is exactly the issue. The pundits are all saying he signed that because he was afraid to be considered an "isolationist" and essentially weak on the issue of hostile foreign powers. But I couldn't see myself voting for someone who is so concerned about what the Republican party will think of him. It's pathetic. My only hope was that he would renege on that if he ever became president. But the way I see it is: People will see him as too similar to his father no matter what and he doesn't stand much chance.

Chance of voting for someone named after a line of thinking that can be described as "Economic Scientology": 0%
If he weren't as crazy as his name implies I'd feel bad about it.

Xsjadoblayde:
And just as it is gone, the ISACC will emerge! (International security of American Citizen Censorship)
Then the binding of this government body shall begin!

Wow, really? You went there with this? How about you take my vote instead?

He's a conservative, which means he'll support military expansion, cut social services, devastate the economy, and the environment, cut public infrastructure, remove civil rights.

Don't vote for a conservative, vote for a progressive like Elizabeth Warren.

Evil Smurf:

Don't vote for a conservative, vote for a progressive like Elizabeth Warren.

Vote progressive: because you can never pay too much in taxes(tm)

OT: mehhhhhm, I like a lot of his polices (against NSA, against ACA, supports incentives for alternative energy rather than strong arming, against government funding for abortion but not against medically relevant abortion, wants to leave the Weed issue up to the states, pro term limits, pro border security) but he also has a couple of really fucking dumb hang ups (anti gay marriage, cable company sockpuppet, wayyyyy to far in the right direction on guns, want to leave Israel out to dry). I really hope we get someone better, but at this point this guy makes me vomit in my mouth the least of the viable candidates.

Jsan the Candyman:
Eh, he's still a Republican. His platform requires him to support the Keystone Pipeline, outlawing abortion, cutting red tape for mega-corporations, etc.

There's more to it than that. He's speaking all well and good about government corruption, but he'll never talk about corporate corruption.

Rand Paul is an anti-federalist who wants drones for police over government usage and while he's good at stating certain claims, I doubt he'd change the underlying issues in his pursuit of a police state in the name of libertarianism.

OK so phone calls would be safe but I'm not concerned about the government knowing who I called and for how long. That amounts to a 3 minute call to the pizza place once in a while. What about my dick pics? How will senator Paul end the governments ability to get my dick pics?

FalloutJack:

Xsjadoblayde:
And just as it is gone, the ISACC will emerge! (International security of American Citizen Censorship)
Then the binding of this government body shall begin!

Wow, really? You went there with this? How about you take my vote instead?

I see no immediate problems with translating unconventional thinking into the world of politics, so yes! What could possibly go wrong?
When do i start? Or is that not how it works?

The thing I got caught up in while listening to the speech was the textbook example of the language of American Exceptionalism at the 24:10-mark, "We are still exceptional and we are still a beacon for the world."

While this might be everyday political speak in the US, it is actually a hard idea to grasp for those on the outside that highly educated and influential people use these ideas honestly and sincerely. It is an extremely American way to look at the world.

To illustrate and clarify my point; I take American History as part of my history degree, and the professor, a Minnesotan who has lived in Norway for eight years, tries his very best every week to utilize the ideology and language of American Exceptionalism as a method of explaining and contextualizing various events and developments, and it is near tangible in the air how it clashes with the inborn humility* of Norwegians, with the result that the students fail to see the relevance; they simply do not believe this is a view held by anyone, or used non-rhetorically by anyone not named John Winthrop.

TL;DR: National mindsets are weird

*In that we know we are the best, but wouldn't dream of stating it out loud. How rude would that be!

Uh, webmasters? You got some Rand Paul on your news page, might want to take that down before it spreads.

chadachada123:
While he's no Ron Paul, and certainly no libertarian, he is also the only potential Presidential candidate from the two leading parties that I would consider tolerable as President.

Captcha: "This is it".

Indeed.

I feel like it's important to point out that, while his opposition to the NSA spying program is good (and it is sad that there's so few politicians *actually* opposed to it on both sides) a lot of his other proposals range from problematic to outright dangerous and harmful to the country.

He has said he would like to...
- Cut the Center for Disease Control by 20%
- Cut the Food and Drug Administration by 20%
- Cut NASA by 20%
- Cut funding to National Parks by 30% and privatize some parts of the national park system (how are they still national parks and not private land then?)
- Abolish the Department of Education
- Cut the National Science Foundation by 62%
- Massive cuts to the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Agriculture
- Department of Health and Human Services cut by 26%
- Cut the Environmental Protection Agency by 29%
- Privatize both Social Security *and* Medicare
- Eliminate two of the most common tax credits that middle-class and poor americans use while removing capital gains tax altogether, along with several other types of taxation that only affect the super-rich.

And on top of all that, Rand Paul has said recently offered a budget amendment to *increase* military spending 16% over the next two years. (For those who aren't aware, military spending accounts for over 60% of the US discretionary spending budget, and over 40% of *all* military spending worldwide. We spend about five times more on our military than the country in the #2 slot, China).

Rand Paul has some good ideas. I like his opposition to the NSA spying program and the direction that the drone strike program has taken over the last few years. But, I also like NASA, knowing that there isn't poison in my food, science and education, trying to to make sure poison isn't getting dumped into the environment, and that idea that a private corporation *won't* have their grubby mitts all over the social security and medicare of the old and the poor.

There is something to be said about cutting the fat in government. But you also have to create revenue, which he seems to have no plan to do. No one likes taxes, I get it. But nations do not run on magic, pixie dust and prayers to Ayn Rand.

( http://www.vox.com/2015/4/7/8360691/rand-paul-budget-president/in/8125230 )

sanamia:
Liar! Why can't politicians ever be honest?

What are you going to do on day One?
Take an oath, go to a reception because I had to take an oath. Answer a bazillion phone calls from people congratulating me on taking said oath. Get annoyed because my mailbox is full, my twitter account moves faster than a space shuttle and I can't answer fast enough. Hire more PR guys. Go to bed...

Now shall we talk about day two?

Drax the Destroyer? Is that you?

Gindil:
...I doubt he'd change the underlying issues in his pursuit of a police state in the name of libertarianism.

Do you know what Libertarianism means? It's quite literally the polar opposite of a police state.

This is how it normally goes.

Politician goes against something they have little knowledge of (due to classification/ lack of being in that job/ reading too much media as 'fact',) and use it as a cornerstone of their cry for public support.

Then they get elected.

Then they realise that they have to make a calculated decision based off of all the facts, because much can be effected by their decision. Then they are read in to the projects, given all the details, the projections of what would happen if that project didn't exist and the reasons that project exists in the first place. Then they let it carry on as it was, and play down the fact they ever spoke about it in the first place.

Politics 101.

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