2nd Amendment

Posted: July 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

I agree that the issue with the 2nd Amendment is not about gun technology. It is not about machine guns or assault rifles. It is about the rights established in the Constitution and for whom those rights were established. On that basis, the 2nd Amendment does not give all individuals the right to own guns… Preventing slave rebellions was one of the primary reasons for the 2nd Amendment. The larger reason was that the Founders never intended for everyone to be armed.  Conservatives insist on an “original” reading of what the founders wrote. But their reading of the Constitution is not original and just plain wrong.  If we want to know what the founding fathers thought, we cannot limit ourselves only to the vaguely written second amendment. We have to read and understand the entire Constitution.image

When we read the full Constitution, we see clearly what they thought and agreed to. Yes, they were afraid of tyrannical leaders. But they were also afraid of the people. That is why they did not give the right to vote to the vast majority of people living in the 13 colonies. That is why they made the Senate a body whose members were selected by the legislatures of the 13 new states and not by voters. That is why they created the Electoral College to establish a buffer between the voters choice, as limited as it was, and the ultimate decision about who becomes president. That is why states are equally represented in the Senate, no matter how large or small their population. All of these features of the proposed new state appeared or were not changed in the body of the Constitution. The Amendments were meant only to amend, not eliminate, the powers enumerated to the federated state created by the new Constitution. They did not change the kind of government they wanted or who was allowed to have input. They merely softened it’s impact and offered citizens, who were a small minority, the right to challenge the state through speech, assembly, etc. But these enumerated rights were not given to the entire population. Those rights were given to only the small number of people who had the right to vote.

So, when the 2nd amendment specifies a “well-regulated militia”, they were not talking about all the people. They were referring to a small volunteer militia regulated by the state governments (to prevent slave rebellion, as some historians have shown). They did not want to arm all the people. Certainly not slaves. Just as they did not want to fully enfranchise all of the population. The passage of the XV Amendment in 1869 established a right to vote. But it does not explain how the majority of the people can get that right. Women still could not vote till 1920. And Native Americans could not vote till 1921. The Founders were, in fact, deeply afraid of, what they perceived as, the people’s irrationality and passion. Giving the people, the vast majority of which were not given the right to vote, a right to bear arms is the last thing they wanted to do. The writers of the constitution were ambivalent about democracy and vague in the writing of this document. But they were not illogical. They categorically did not give all of the people “the right to bear arms.”

A lot of our knowledge of early America comes from westerns on TV and movies. Those were 19th century experiences with people moving out to territories out west. In the original 13 colonies, people lived mostly in towns and cities. And guns were restricted. Or, at least, Natives, slaves, and propertyless white men were not given the legal right to own guns in colonial and post-Constitution 18th century America. There is plenty of historical research that confirms that. Here is one… “Laws largely proscribed Indian militia service, thus limiting Indians’ lawful access to guns, and numerous colonial statutes forbade the sale of guns or ammunition to Indians altogether.” http://georgetownlawjournal.org/files/2012/06/Riley.pdf

Abortion Is Here To Stay

Posted: June 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

Abortion! Is a very politically charged issue. Pro-lifers claim that they simply want to protect human life by banning abortion. They focus on banning what some call “partial-birth abortions” because it is a graphically and morally gruesome procedure. Pro-choicers know that banning “partial-birth”, a medical procedure that is used very rarely, will not end the attempt to ban all abortions. Their concern is with the health of the mother, the reason why doctors engage in post-20 week abortions. They make the correct argument that pro-lifers will protect a fetus, that is not able to survive on its own, but are casual about the health of the mother both during pregnancy and, more generally, in life. Each side is making a moral claim… about life and about priorities. Pro-lifers will preserve life, even if the fetus is not viable and the mother’s life is a risk. Pro-choicers will preserve a woman’s right to choose, even though this sometimes means abortions of fetuses that look viable.

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What I see is that banning abortions will not end abortions. They have always existed. If legally banned, women will pursue illegal abortions with risky doctors and procedures that will put their lives at risk. The vast majority of women do not pursue abortions and are tormented by a decision to pursue one. There need be no legislation to ban what most women will not pursue. Even “partial birth” abortions were done very very rarely, when it was legal. And they were done because of the health of the mother or the fetus. As it stands right now, furthermore, we don’t view anencephalics, those small number of babies tragically born with only a brain stem and not the rest of the brain, as living humans. Even for viable anencephalics, there’s no purpose to providing treatment. We let them die.

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Pro-choice people want to protect abortion rights because they are concerned with banning what will take place anyway and because they know that illegal abortions are a lot worse for everyone. They are also insistent that life is precious after birth too and chide pro-life advocates for not doing enough to provide for those already born. Pro-choice advocates have compromised by permitting the ban on “partial-birth” even though it takes away a possibly necessary procedure from doctors. So, the onus is on pro-lifers to make the case for banning all abortions. They do not have to agree with abortions if their moral code tells them it is wrong. But they cannot take away the right to abortion from those who do not have the luxury of a moral standard that limits and endangers the life of the mother and her already existing family.teen-pregnancy-chart2

Superman got his power by being dropped to Earth. He came from another galaxy that operated according to different laws of physics. Spiderman became powerful after a spider bit him.  Wonder Woman got her special powers from Olympian Deities.

Roberto Suro recently wrote a New York Times editorial where he asks the question “Whatever Happened to Latino Political Power?” Suro provides a good description of how Latinos have not become more powerful. But, unlike what we know about superheroes, he nowhere explains what it takes to become powerful or to lose it.

So, where the hell does power come from?

barack-obama-funny-supermanIn one of her songs, Diana Krall sings plaintively “What do I have to do to make you love me?” The answer is, of course, obvious. She can try giving him flowers or a kiss or a hug or sex. She can tell him “I’m sorry.” Whether any of those actions or words will cause her beloved to open his arms again to her is not assured. Her beloved must still value what she has to offer if she is ever going to be able to make an impression and get his love back again.

Humans, unlike superheroes, get our power from each other. It does not come from outside, from external accidents, superior beings, or unusual laws of physics. We cannot influence those who do not engage with us. We cannot affect the way they think, act, or feel if we cannot offer them something of value. Two year olds know this well. They automatically spew out a barrage of “no’s” to any entreaty a parent or anyone makes to them. And by those declarations, those two year olds reject and prevent the adult’s attempt to influence them. “Comete esto ahora mismo!!” “No” dice el Niño embullado con su poder.

Suro tells us that we Latinos have tried marching and voting. Yet, still, immigration reform is not a political priority for either political party. He wrote that

“Latinos have claimed a political destiny based on their population numbers, but the numbers that count in politics are those that decide elections. On that score Latinos have a dismal record to overcome.”

That is true. Demographic growth and voting have not delivered the policy and legal changes Latinos seek. However, is it true that all that Latinos have to do to reverse this political failure is, as Suro concludes, to show up on Election Day? Only if you think that political power comes mostly by voting. We have plenty of evidence to suggest the opposite.

Voting is an integral part of the democratic process. But it is not the most important part, especially today. There is, for instance, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. That court decision unleashed and amplified the already caustic power of money in elections.  How does a mostly poor Latino community succeed against that? It can be done. But it won’t happen with money or, more accurately, with Latino money.

Those without money can compete in this corporatized republic. The Tea Party movement has proven that. This group of mostly disaffected white middle class conservatives and evangelicals managed to upend Republican congressional leadership, elect scores of Tea Party supporters, as well as push the Republican Party and it’s presidential candidates harder to the right.  But a great deal of that success has come because of the financial support they have received.

The Tea Party Movement has received generous financial support from the Koch brothers as well as from conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. In addition, the Tea Party has the focused and uncritical support of an entire media empire and faux news distributor in Fox News.  The millions of dollars and media attention the Tea Party has received has elevated what is a small, fringe, and extremist political group into a mainstay of public consciousness and recognition.  They became well known, tapped into a growing white American fear and resentment, and hijacked the Republican Party political agenda. As a result, they were able to leverage that support into a power that outpaces its actual size of about half a million active members.

DreamersIn comparison, the mostly Latino Dreamers Movement has not received comparable support from financial elites and media. They have received funding from groups such as Unbound Philanthropy, the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and other groups such as the National Education Association (NEA). Most of that money has gone to organizational development, lobbying in Washington, and scholarships. Why the difference?

The major reason why the Dreamers did not have the impact of the Tea Party is that its goals are narrow, affecting mostly Latino immigrant youth.  They sought changes in law in order to more fully participate in educational opportunities and the “American Dream.”  Financial support came from those few who agreed that existing immigration laws violated moral and democratic principles.  The Dreamers were, unlike the Tea Party, not seeking to transform the very structure of how the state taxes, spends, and relates to the economy.  The latter are the kinds of issues that make both conservative and liberal economic elites salivate.

Those different outcomes for the Tea Party and the Dreamers provide clues as to how to create more political power for Latinos.  We have to think of what Latinos can offer the general public and the economic elite that will motivate them to support and reinforce our political goals.  The problem is that I really can’t think of one such issue. Will we get support to prevent random and traumatic deportation? Not likely. What about our poor wages? Some support exists for this issue, but only as a general push to raise the minimum wage for everybody. The current economic stagnation means that a higher minimum wage will not translate into direct improvements to Latino wages, especially since so many of our community work off the books.

The conservative attempt to roll back voting rights is an important structural issue that can galvanize bipartisan support in this society. However, the weight of public opinion and support seems skewed towards restricting voting rather than expanding it.  While some bipartisan financial and political support for voting rights has emerged on the national level, the conservative political machine has focused on and succeeded in changing and rolling back voting rights at the state level. They have succeeded in changing public opinion. Today, a large majority of Americans support more restrictive voter ID laws, which are a solution to a non-existent problem. Thirty-two states have passed voter ID laws as of 2015.

The irony is that any success in fighting restrictive voter ID laws will do very little to improve Latino political power. The reason is simple. Elections are not as important to politicians as they used to be.  Politicians are concerned about elections. They want to get reelected.  Congressional politicians have to win elections every two or 6 years. But getting reelected depends more on money than on policies, legislation, or the voter’s interests.

Congressman Steve Israel, about to leave Congress, recently confessed that, when he first entered Congress, he was “advised that if I didn’t raise at least $10,000 a week (in pre-Citizens United dollars), I wouldn’t be back.” How does a poor Latino community compete with that? How do we contribute and offer the dollars that will make the hundreds of Israels in Congress, other levels of government, and the media answer our phone calls, welcome our visits, as well as open their minds and hearts to our concerns?

All Yours lovePoliticians spend more time each day they serve in Congress on raising money than on constituent communication and service.  They know without money, they can’t win. And that means that Latino sources of power will remain severely limited for the foreseeable future. It also means that Latinos will have to think of new ways to amass power that are not focused only on tactics like voting. We have to develop strategies for power that can inspire non-Latinos to join and support our causes, goals, and policies. Without that, we will forever be stuck asking, pursuing, and hoping for love… but being very disappointed.

How much are we worth? I am not referring to monetary value. Those kinds of calculations are best left to actuaries and class action lawyers. I am referring to the impression we make on others. Do people look our way when we enter a room or just ignore us? Do people listen to us? Do people take us seriously? Are we respected?

We all have moments when we believe, correctly or not, that we are being ignored. Sometimes we just feel invisible. Some would argue that being ignored, shunned, or given the silent treatment is one of the worst things one can experience.

Sometimes we want to be invisible. But what if feeling invisible happens too often? And what if being invisible is true not just of us as individuals but as a group, as Ellison’s Invisible Man understood? Latinos often feel like we, as a community, are not often noticed. That feeling is often not easy to document. It’s almost impossible to prove the lack of something, what does not exist.

We do know, however, that the media ignores our accomplishments, culture, concerns, needs, and leadership. We know that we complain about garbage, crime, dilapidated housing, and poor schools all the time. We know that nothing happens until hipsters move into our community to ignite our displacement. We know that we are not only ignored in life…but also in death. We know this especially when others point to whom they give worth and attention… and leave us out.

On December 23, 2015, the New York Times again published a list of notable dead in 2015 and, again, barely mentioned Latinos. Out of the 34 dead featured in long and short obituaries, only one was a Latino. That was A$ap Yams, a producer/promoter of rap music. Yams’ main contribution was making the newcomer A$ap Rocky into “New York’s most exciting rapper in a generation” (NY Times, Magazine December 23, 2015). The Times admitted Asap Rockythat A$ap Yams was a “20-something nobody” who made “another 20-something nobody into a star.” So why did they include Yams in their compilation? Because, they write, he was a “cultural polyglot” who used the internet to figure out what “15-year olds were into.”

A$ap Yams, born Steven Rodriguez, was an interesting young man. He had great creative potential. He would have certainly made a bigger splash in the music business had he lived beyond his 26 years. But his insertion in this Times compilation happened because a white audience was impressed by his ability to get young people to like the violent and explicit lyrics of the music he produced. He titillated white music listeners.

A$ap was Dominican and Puerto Rican. But he did not get into this Times death issue because he represented Latino culture.  Nor was his presence in this issue likely to encourage others to pay more attention to Latino culture and music. Latinos have been involved in Hip Hop music from the very beginning and continue to make contributions to this music style. But it is not perceived to be a significant part of Latino culture.

Yes, the Times had to make choices. They only published 34 death stories in the magazine. Thus, who they left out is as important as who they included. There was limited space, after all. Their choices reflected priorities and vision. But it is absurd to think that there were few notable Latino deaths in 2015 that compared to those the Times included.

Just looking at the 2015 deaths in January alone, I found several significant Latino deaths in that one month. This included the radical Chicano preacher Reies Lopez Tijerina who helped lead a group that tried to take over a small New Mexico courthouse in 1967. This Chicano raiding party tried to liberate Chicano prisoners who had been arrested in a land grant dispute as well as to place the district attorney under citizen’s arrest. The land had been taken from their ancestors by Spain and Mexico, then legalized by the U.S. after acquiring the territory.

Tijerina became known as one of the “Four Horsemen of the Chicano rights movement, along with Cesar Chavez,, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales and Jose Angel Gutierrez.” Tijerina died on January 19, 2015. Certainly his story is worth reporting and remembering?

Nipón Sevilla, the Cuban born, but Mexican based, movie actress and dancer died on January 1, 2015. Sevilla, whose real name was Emelia Pérez Castellans, had a long and stellar career performing in scores of Mexican movies from the 1940s till the 1990s. She was highly regarded and received the “Silver Goddess Award “Dolores del Río” in 2009, for her film career, and in 2014 she received a homage by the MeNinon Sevillaxican Academy of Art and Cinema-tographic Sciences and the National Film Archives, for her career and influence in cinema.”

 

Mexican movies made vital cultural contributions to almost every Latin American country during a time, from the 1930s to 1960s, when Hollywood provided little that resonated with Latino culture and history. This Golden Age of Mexican cinema brought Latino sensibilities to the screen. Latinos from Bogota to Buenos Aires to the South Bronx and Brooklyn sat in dark theaters watching Mexican films starring Cantinflas as well as Sevilla and others. A vezes una de mi tias me llevaba a ver peliculas Mexicana en un teatro en el Bronx cuando yo era un nino. So, Sevilla definitely had a lasting impact on Latinos from all over the world.

Corrupt politicians in Mexico must have also been pleased to see that journalist Julio Scherer García died on January 7, 2015. García helped to expose some of the most important scandals in Mexican history. This included

probing a secret army unit set up to combat guerrillas, a multimillion-dollar Swiss bank account of a president’s brother, and official involvement in the assassination of a journalist.”

Scherer Garcia riled corrupt presidents, wrote more than 20 books about Mexican politics, won Columbia University’s prestigious Maria Moors Cabot in 1971, and was so respected by most Mexicans that, in 1994, “the Zapatista rebels invited Mr. Scherer to participate with a Catholic bishop and the Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchu as intermediaries in a dialogue with the Mexican government.” Certainly the paper that prints the news that is “fit to print” should have recognized the importance of the journalistic work done by Julio Sherer Garcia.

The reason we should be concerned about the Times omitting worthy Latino deaths is not just that we may want to satisfy our own vanity or cultural and nationalistic pride. The Times sends out messages by these lists and who is in it. They devote an entire issue of their Magazine because they think it is important for their audience to know who these people were.  They are, thus, telling their readers who they consider worthy.

There are many more notable Latino deaths in 2015. The three individuals above were only a few of the hundreds of notable Latinos who died in 2015. The Times is also not the only paper that ignores Latinos in life and death. Both analog and digital media and news sources have done a very poor job of reporting on the Latino and minority communities of the U.S. The Times, however, possesses a special prestige, top recognition, and authority in the U.S.

The Times’ “The Lives They Lived” issue sends subtle but devastating messages to teachers, journalists, researchers, students, politicians, and especially to our Latino community about who to admire and respect. The Times’ omissions will have a negative impact on the Latino public image. Their exclusion from the list of notables reinforces discriminatory beliefs and practices, weakens social mobility, limits economic opportunities as well as political participation, and, ultimately, dampens Latino social and political power.

Is the Times aware of the negative impact of their choices? Can’t tell from their short intro. They wrote only about “Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year“. There is no discussion of how they deliberated and made their choices. It likely that the omission of Latinos reflects the linguistic and cultural limits of current Times management and reporting.

The Times is simply not connected to Latino leaders, institutions, and community.  Latinos do not appear in their existing corporate leadership, networks, college alumni groups, or neighborhoods. And that reflects the extremely limited presence of Latinos on the Times editorial, reporting, and governing boards. There are no Latinos, for instance, among their ten top executives. Out of the 14 members on their Board of Directors, only one is Latino, an Argentinian corporate mogul, Raul E. Cesar, who has directed U.S. corporations since 1977.

The news staff at the Times is also lacking.  They were sued in 2015 for racial discrimination. That lawsuit, claiming that over 30 minority journalists were fired because of their race and age, is not yet settled. However, the overall numbers do not look good. As of 2015, only 19% of their newsroom employees are minority. This compares unfavorably to other newspapers like The Washington Post which has 31% and Newsday which has 26.5%.

The reality is that even these numbers are suspect since they do not address the lack of support, opportunities, and respect that minority journalists often experience on the job. Diversity programs, like the one the Times has, are often used to mask discrimination and a real lack of diversity.

Why do Latinos get ignored? Much of it is due to class, race, policy decisions, as well as the segregation of Latinos from the mainstreams of American life. The New York Times takes note of A$ap Jams because he appeared on their radar. He produced Hip Hop and not Latin Music.  He was interviewed in English-dominant journals, newspapers, and media. The Times actually wrote an obituary of Yams when he died in January 2015. He was in their networks and memory banks.

Interestingly, even A$apYams thought he and his crew had been ignored and dismissed by the music business. In a 2014 interview, he stated “We still don’t get the props that we deserve as a legitimate record label, despite us releasing two debut albums from two new artists in a six months time span that were both top five albums on Billboard, which is a crying shame.” The shame continues for Latinos in general…the shame that we continue to accept being ignored, shunned, and disrespected… in life and in death.

All of the opponents to the Iran deal are confused and delusional.

Is Iran a dangerous state and not to be trusted? Yes. But they are trustworthy on some things. They are, in fact, our allies in the fight against ISIS. Without them, we could not keep ISIS in check.

iran20a  Is it possible that Iran will use some of the funds released by the agreement to fund terrorism? Yes. But no one knows how much and it is already funding terrorism now. And our allies, the Saudis, also fund terrorism. 9/11 being the most glaring example. We do know that this agreement is something that will support the rising population of young Iranians who are looking towards the west for inspiration. This group can serve as a bulwark against the Iranian right wing and the Ayatollah.

Is the inspection process something that provides Iran with some ability to hide what they are doing? Possibly. But right now we have no inspection process and they can do whatever they want. With this agreement we have some way of monitoring what they are doing.

Will our not signing tDiplomacy-NIAC-infographiche agreement stop the deal? Nope. Other nations have signed on and will no longer punish the Iranians. So, Iran will be able to do whatever the opponents say they will do even if we do not sign. Is there a possible better deal out there that we can get if we persist? Possible, but not likely. This deal took years to make and faced opposition in our country and Iran. This is the best possible deal we can make at this moment.

How do we get Iran not to build nuclear weapons?  If you know anything about selling, we have already won by getting them to sign the deal. What we all want is for Iran to join the fraternity of nations who abide by international law and decency (something the U.S. has not always done, btw). By getting them to say YES to this deal, this deal has created a situation where they will likely say yes to those larger goals. That is what salesmanship is all about.

Here are some thoughts on racism and how it plays out for Blacks and Latinos in the U.S. after hearing about, but not yet reading Coates much celebrated book on being Black in this country.  I think the experience of racism is a little different for Latinos.

It was the first time that Coates, who writes for The Atlantic, had held a copy of his latest book, Between the World and Me.

This book is personal, written as a letter to his teenage son Samori. In it, we see glimpses of the hard West Baltimore streets where Coates grew up, his curiosity at work on the campus of Howard University and his early struggles as a journalist.

Coates also reflects on what it meant, and what it means, to inhabit a black body in America. He gets at the physical consequences of slavery and racial discrimination, and he brings to bear his big fear that his life and the lives of his loved ones might end unnaturally.

This is exactly what it felt like growing up in Harlem and East New York…you walk around the streets with a fear that goes to your bones, a fear of others around you who were also traumatized. They and I walked around posturing tough, with a little jive, to hide our fear, walking among zombies, ready for battle, ready for death…and knowing deep inside that the world outside not only did not care, but wanted you dead…and yet we found comfort in the grace, beauty, and support of the people you lived with and who, at bottom, loved you…

The experience of racism is different for Blacks and for Latinos. For Blacks, it is about their bodies… those desired and despised bodies. For Latinos, it is about their space, their land…and the desire and demand that they move off that land. Blacks get adored in sports and destroyed by police in the streets. Latinos get in the way of American profit making machines in Latin America and in U.S. cities.  People build physical and imaginary walls built to keep them out of the U.S. or displace them from desired neighborhoods.

In a recent Hugh Eakin New York Books interview, Mark Danner does a masterful job of dissecting the voids, contradictions, and failures of the recent Senate report on the CIA’s torture program.  This interview article, “Our New Politics of Torture,” includes many observations and gems. One comment by Danner, in particular, stuck out because it points to a wider and more profound flaw in modern state sovereignty.  Danner concludes that the major problem with the U.S. torture, or “enhanced interrogation,” program was that it was mostly about our fears and, more exactly, the fears of our officials and leaders in the U.S. state. He states that,

“It’s an epistemological paradox: How do you prove what you don’t know? And from this open question comes this anxiety-ridden conviction that he must know, he must know, he must know. So even though the interrogators are saying he’s compliant, he’s telling us everything he knows—even though the waterboarding is nearly killing him, rendering him “completely non-responsive,” as the report says—officials at headquarters was saying he has to be waterboarded again, and again, because he still hadn’t given up information about the attacks they were convinced had to be coming. They kept pushing from the other side of the world for more suffering and more torture.”

Thus, we tortured because we were so afraid of another attack, of being surprised, of being embarrassed and shamed, of the terrorists! Aside from the idea that our fear is exactly what the terrorists wanted… and achieved, there is another very grave conclusion that we can make. It was not just the CIA that was afraid. The American people were very afraid too. And our state leaders, from Bush to Cheney to Rumsfeld to Congress, were very afraid indeed. Why? Primarily, I think, because terrorism strikes at the achilles heal of modern states, especially Super Powers like the U.S.  All of our weapons systems and armed forces are geared to repel and preempt attacks against us by other nation-states. But this is precisely what terrorism is not.

A Shiite pilrim w flag of martyr Iman HusseinTerrorists have no specific land to call their own. They have no military bases. They have no standing army. They operate without a specific chain of command. They operate like independent cells. There is no easy way to destroy its head, no matter how many drone strikes we deliver to eliminate terrorist leaders. Our missiles sit impotently in their silos. Our ships and planes circle “problem areas” but cannot encounter the enemy. We can spend billions and billions more on Defense, without a noticeable impact on our security.

Global travel, communications, and capital flows makes terrorist location, actions, and intentions so much more difficult to trace and block. The U.S. State is reduced to relying on information, and the CIA, in a much more profound and, ultimately incomprehensible way. The information we need is complicated, dense, unreliable, and often complicated by pesky things like human and constitutional rights. One can sense the exasperation of state leaders. Complaints about constitutionality of the bulk screening of U.S. civilian phone calls and emails are rendered irrelevant by the realization that intelligence officials have no other way of knowing what terrorists are up to. Thus, a recent government report lamented that

“From a technological standpoint, curtailing bulk data collection means analysts will be deprived of some information,” said Robert F. Sproull, the chairman of the committee that examined the problem and a former director of Oracle’s Sun Labs.”

That scares the hell out of state leaders. And thus, like a parent, who cannot get a child to behave with mere words and nagging, state leaders feel compelled to resort to violence. Their hope is that it will deliver the cooperation and information they need to not be embarrassed and shamed… by terrorists. But, ultimately, torture does not work.  It just inflames and expands the terrorism.