The person I was responding to did not mention off-road activity, and the root of the discussion was about space, not off-roading. If you are off-roading, you need an off-road vehicle, whether it's an SUV or something else.
This is because, speaking as a Vermonter, I see so many SUVs coming up with New York City plates and no mud, and then heading south again on Sunday with the same New York City plates and the same no mud. Of course there are people for whom full-time SUV ownership is a requirement, but a lot of people just do it because why not?
In my experience the main difference between a minivan and an SUV is that the minivan has more room for stuff, on the positive side, and a less rugged chassis (which is sometimes a negative). If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick the minivan because you can haul plywood in it, which you can't do in a typical SUV.
The point isn't to punish people for wanting what they want. It's fine for people to want what they want. The point is to avoid the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy of the commons is simply the fact that if everybody gets everything they want, you wind up with a mud patch in the center of town instead of a nice green lawn the kids can play on during town meetings. Nobody is willing to be the one who pulls back first, because that gives everyone else the advantage. Setting standards creates a level playing field, so that everybody gets some of what they want, but nobody gets so much that you wind up with a mud pit. It's not the only way to do it, but it's definitely a valid way.
For the weekend? Rent an SUV. The problem isn't that you go on a weekend trip with it: it's that you drive it to the store every day.
These are searches with warrants, so no NSL.
It depends what they are doing. TFA describes a situation where a murderer was found because he kept the victim's phone (on!) in his house. I have no problem with using cell phone intercept to track down a murder suspect in a situation like this, although the degree of stupidity required for this to work is astonishing. So based on the article we don't actually know that there were lax procedures. I'm not saying there weren't, but getting a court order for this sort of thing is precisely what they should be doing, so I'm having trouble seeing this particular revelation as something about which we should be deeply concerned. 25,000 searches over eight years is really not that many in a city the size of Baltimore if, e.g., they are using the device to track down stolen phones.
I take exception to your claim that the rest of us are base (nor do I assert that all Christians are hypocrites—just the ones who actually are). But thank you for the thought!
Sweet! Where do I sign? Wait, is NSA into life extension therapy as well as surveillance?
Is there some sense in which this comment is meaningful or useful?
Is the word "entrapment" mentioned anywhere in the message to which you are replying?
Terrorists are interested in instigating terror. If they were as big a danger as they are said to be, they would already have let off a bomb in an airport security line and killed a hundred people waiting to be screened. The fact that this hasn't happened either means that the government has a machine that watches our every move and knows who is going to set off bombs, in which case they don't need these stings, or else it means that there really aren't that many people who are interested in committing mass murder who are able to get into the United States and act on that wish.
Anarchy beats the crap out of misarchy. Personally I prefer democracy.
Dumb question. The job of the FBI is to arrest people who commit crimes. They should arrest exactly those people, and no other people. Of course it's an imperfect science, and they will miss some criminals and arrest some innocent people. But a key demographic they should avoid is arresting people who wouldn't have committed crimes without their help, because it is explicitly not their job to instigate criminal activity.
Christianity forbids warfare outright (Aquinas notwithstanding), and yet look at all the wars that have been fought in the name of Jesus, and all the "christian nations" that have fought wars for supposedly just causes. If you're going to lay terrorism at the feet of Islam, at least get the rest of the story straight.