We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am shocked - shocked! The sudden phony shock and alarm about NSA phone data-mining is a nice bit of acting, but congress has known about it for years, and the whole story was reported earlier by the NYT, as seen here.
Is it constitutional to data-mine phone records in search of suspicious international calling patterns? I don't know, but the laws are on the books - Calif Conservative lists them. I can easily see its potential usefulness: it's like taking a CAT scan of the nation, to find a tumor. There really is no other way to try to do it, and our phone records are not secret or confidential - but their content is, so wiretapping is another matter.
However, effectiveness is no justification for unconstitutional acts: only in love and war can the ends possibly justify the means. (It's a shame that the Supreme Court forgot that principle over the past 30 years.)
So I suspect that how people feel about all this depends on whether they view us as being in a war or not - a war against Jihad, but an unconventional war with a pre-industrial people, which requires that Jihad plant organizations within the US. Is this crime, or war? You tell me. It might be a matter of semantics, but to me, it's a kind of war.
If anyone wants the NSA to stop doing this, they should speak up and say so. I trust the NSA not to mis-use their data, but I still do not like the idea.
My plan: let no-one into the US unless properly vetted and checked, and find and kill the terrorists, and then quit this operation.