Welcome To The American Orwell State
If we don’t end the emerging American Orwell State, Francis Fukayama and the Dead Kennedys both could be tragically correct. History may well end, and it could end with Bedtime For Democracy. What Fukayama got right is that Western governments would emerge with hegemony over the rest of the world due to their advantages in wealth, culture and technology. What he got wrong was that they would use these advantages to stifle their own citizenry through the formation of what George Orwell described as Oligarchical Collectivism.
To properly assure the uncontested hegemony of an Inner Party Elite, all information must be controlled and censored. How else can both Google and the noble, all-knowing state assure themselves that we’ll do no evil? Well, according to The Washington Post (and other officially official sources within the Ministry of Truth), we no longer need to worry about that.
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The Government Lied And Privacy Died.
It was a sad day within the comfy confines of the K-Street confab. It seems as though the Juicebox Mafia ran out of boxes before poor Ron Fourier could enjoy one of his own. He wrote as if he had been betrayed in the National Journal.
Despite his clear and popular promises to the contrary, President Obama has not shifted the balance between security and freedom to a more natural state—one not blinded by worst fears and tarred by power grabs. If anything, things have gotten worse.
• Killing civilians and U.S. citizens via drone.
• Seizing telephone records at the Associated Press in violation of Justice Department guidelines.
• Accusing a respected Fox News reporter of engaging in a conspiracy to commit treason for doing his job.
• Detaining terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, despite promises to end the ill-considered Bush policy.
Or it could be that Ron Fournier had an honest concern dating back to the fateful signing of The USA Patriot Act in 2001. He’s not alone and he’s a man of honor for continuing that concern after his team captured the flag atop The White House. These concerns came to a head when The UK Guardian reported that The FBI had used Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act to justify seizing every phone record from Verizon under a secret order issued in April. According to the Washington Post, the order requires the company to hand these records over to the NSA in a Daily dump.
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I Can’t Quite Bring Myself To Missing Him Yet
In honor of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Keith Hennessey tells us something about Former US President George W. Bush I never would have read in The New York Times.* He teaches an MBA class at Stanford U and one of the aspiring, bright leading-lights in America’s next colossal mortgage meltdown asked him if George W. Bush was smart. Dumb question. Particularly if the student was a snide liberal hoping Mr. Hennessey would him, haw and duck. Hennessey, to his credit, answered below.
President Bush is extremely smart by any traditional standard. He’s highly analytical and was incredibly quick to be able to discern the core question he needed to answer. It was occasionally a little embarrassing when he would jump ahead of one of his Cabinet secretaries in a policy discussion and the advisor would struggle to catch up. He would sometimes force us to accelerate through policy presentations because he so quickly grasped what we were presenting. I use words like briefing and presentation to describe our policy meetings with him, but those are inaccurate. Every meeting was a dialogue, and you had to be ready at all times to be grilled by him and to defend both your analysis and your recommendation. That was scary.
So George W. Bush, like most sentient, literate human beings, is smarter than the “smart-set” that ridiculed him in the blogs and the newspapers. Does that mean he was good? Does that mean I miss him yet? I’d say he got a bum rap. Like any intelligent person called stupid by Maureen Dowd or Joe Biden, he was pilloried unfairly unless you believe the old saw that it takes one to know one. But no, I can’t say I quite miss George W. Bush. I explain below.
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