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In thinking about arguments that I have heard made against the NSA’s PRISM program (this program is basically the limitless power the NSA seems to be exercising in collecting an ungodly amount of information, without warrant, from all Americans’ use of the internet), a little conundrum came to mind. One of the things the NSA is doing is building a data storage facility in Utah to maintain the Brobdignagian mountain of information on all of us American citizens.

Aside from the utter unconstitutionality of this (after all, this sort of thing is what really gave the American Revolution it’s fuel), one of the good arguments I have heard against it is that the NSA is collecting SO MUCH information that it has basically been rendered too unwieldy and hence useless in the fight to prevent terrorism in real time. In other words, even with the world’s largest data storage facility and access to state of the art algorithms and supercomputers, we can’t “plan” domestic terrorist defense well. I’ve heard this argument from people of both the left and the right.

Now think about that.

We can’t even process this data to plan one single aspect of our lives. Yet, even after making these sorts of comments and observations, those on the right continue to disavow all other basic laws of economics (deficits don’t matter! unless Dems are in power) and those on the left proudly proclaim themselves socialists, propose all manner of additional labor market interventions, dream of a Green New Deal program, and so on.

So, the NSA program is obviously awful – but so, too, are those arguments from folks who claim there is “too much data” … it is not that those arguments are wrong, they are not – but that they are just merely conveniently cherry picked and used for political convenience.

It has been said, and I totally agree, that “Clarity is Courage.” So many people are so deeply intellectually bankrupt today that it is nearly impossible to listen to any garbage spewing from their mouths. Until and unless those in the punditry and the permanent political class follow their thoughts to their logical conclusions, and admit them honestly, you are best served to totally discount what you are hearing, even if you like what it sounds like.


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