Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters nationwide believe it is likely the NSA data will be used by other government agencies to harass political opponents. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 30% consider it unlikely and 14% are not sure.
Then, on top of the obvious epistemological blindness of building a security state with open borders, they make it worse by knowingly and deliberately unleashing the IRS on their political opponents like an underfed pack of Dobermans. All of this makes the true values of the current administration apparent. Keeping you down is far more important than keeping you secure.
By now, we’ve all gone through the mourning period requisite to accept that any privacy we expected to have as American Citizens is dead. The War on Terror killed it. In a sense, Osama Bin Laden won. He’s spiking the football down in hell as we speak. If he hated us for our freedoms, he should lighten up a bit and chill. Those freedoms are increasingly becoming non-existent – a casualty of war so to speak.
And the people wielding all the special powers we enacted to fight The War on Terror still wield them without any let-up. They wield them without let-up right after they announced the war was coming to an end. So if the GWOT is over and done with, who does the administration consider the enemy? Or worse yet, does the administration even feel the need for an enemy? Do they consider the police state a naturally justifiable equilibrium? All of these questions above are fine and dandy for batting around the dorm hall amidst a cloud of epistemological bong smoke. If you don’t like the answers to any of the questions I’ve posited then here’s the only question that matters: what do you intend to do about it? Glen Greenwald offers one response below.
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.
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.
The Fundamental Problem of Economics states that people with infinite demands will attempt to meet those demands with limited resources. This predictably fails. The best we can hope for is what is called a Pareto Optimal solution where you pretty much do the best you can with what you have. Much of the debate between boosters of command economies and free market economies centers on how a society works towards getting more to dole out and a Pareto Optimal distribution of what they have.
The socialists in Venezuela solve this problem by rationing. They ration food. The socialists in America solve this problem by rationing. They ration donated organs available for transplant. This can lead to heart-breaking and intractable dilemmas in which there is no answer that maximizes everybody’s happiness. In just such a dilemma, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius learned just how hard a job it was to be queen.
It would appear Al Sharpton has turned over a new fig leaf these days. He now wants people who accuse others of wrongdoing to actually provide evidence. He now worries about the precedents that get set by false accusations. He hypocritically opines below. “The precedent that it would set for them to just bully an Attorney General out of office when there is no evidence | Read More »
Massive complexity cannot permanently attain equilibrium. Human beings lack the intellect and the moral character to manage it. Complexity is adopted because of the awesome societal benefits it offers both individuals and organizations. Mass production, mass communications, modern transport and modern medicine have so changed and enhanced the lives of the average American, that most of us would be dead without them. Yet, as complexity increases, its marginal unit costs increase and the marginal unit benefits decline. This interaction eventually leads to the marginal effect of further complexity becoming a negative instead of a positive. Nowhere has this become more painfully untenable than Detroit, MI. The city has become, in my humble opinion, the canary in the coal mine for urban America.
Detroit initially gained from complexity. General Motors came to symbolize the American commonweal. It was a social safety-valve where people who wanted to escape major injustices of American Society could come and try their hand at work that was dirty and hard – yet very lucrative compared to the alternatives. Detroit rode this growing complexity and incoming diaspora until it became the 5th largest American City and was nicknamed “The Arsenal of Democracy.” Then Motown rode the complexity curve over the hump.
A brief history of recent climate science puts this outstanding effort in its proper context. From about 1850 to nearly 2000 our planet appeared to be growing significantly warmer over time. There were fluctuations, but a trend was identified (and some would say artificially amplified) suggesting that our climate was warming at a dangerous rate. We have recently enjoyed a fortuitous leveling in what was previously a significantly alarming increase in the Earth’s Median Daily Temperature. From about 1998 to the present, the Earth’s temperatures have either stabilized or moderately decreased. The current controversial theories regarding human impact on the terrestrial climate failed to explain this departure from forecast. But rather than holding a polka dance to celebrate our likely salvation from climate-induced immolation, proponents of AGW engaged in an odious practice of “Hiding the Decline.” But why hide the decline when you can scientifically account for it instead?
Perhaps this old song from John Lennon played in President Obama’s head as he gave his recent speech at The National Defense University. It’s decent yet misguided naivete went through mine as I read about The President’s views on our war against Reactionary Islamic Fundamentalism.
Brett Easton Ellis begins his first novel Less Than Zero with a seeming Red Herring. Blair tells Clay (the anti-heroic protagonist) that “People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.” This, of course, symbolizes the empty, existential ennui that Easton-Ellis posited as a monster poised to devour the children of 1980’s America. I sometimes feel that I live in an era marked by that monster’s triumphant conquest over what was once a great American Nation. I find myself forced against my will to believe the nation I once loved has succumbed to what I once described as “The Evil of The Blur.” I was born here and grew up here. I served in my nation’s armed forces of my own free will. I wasn’t exactly Rambo and never claim to be. However, I loved America without condition. Now I only remain patriotic to the memory and hope in all my delusional vanity that this is what we can again become. Now keep that in mind as you imagine what Osama Bin Laden thought about America on a typical day.
When Islamist fanatics Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, allegedly murdered British soldier, Lee Rigby in Woolwich last Wednesday, it looked as if Enoch Powell was truly The Cassandra of Post-modern Great Britain. Could there be riots on the streets of England reminiscent of what has befallen Stockholm, Sweden in the last few days? Not if Dame Stella Rimington has her way. Here’s what British society would devolve into if we heeded her warning.
The 78-year-old, who was MI5’s first female Director General, said: ‘The community has the responsibility to act as the eyes and ears, as they did during the war where there were all these posters up saying the walls have ears and the enemy is everywhere. ‘There have often been indications in the community, whether it’s Muslim or anywhere else, that people are becoming extremists and spouting hate phrases.’
That kid got run over twice and those people just did nothing! We should denounce the People’s Republic of China. They are evil. They are malignant. They are materialists who have no value for human life what so ever. They could totally care less about someone else’s kids. Or not unless hypocrisy is the bow vice makes to virtue. You see, the PRC is an | Read More »
Markets around the world are deep in the red. England’s FTSE is down. 1.7%. France’s CAC 40 is down 2.3%. Germany’s DAX is down 2.4%. Spain’s IBEX is down 1.4%. Italy’s FTSE MIB is down 2.5%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 is down 0.8%. This follows sell-offs across Asia. Japan’s Nikkei fell by a stunning 7.3%.
I’m sure the parrots at CNBC Squawk Box are remarkably charming this fine and wonderful morning. And Jim Cramer has probably exploded and totally made a mess all over the set at “Mad Money.” However, you can get the same level of news content and far more entertainment by watching this Alien’s clip linked here. What staggers the mind is that all of this is caused by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dropping hints that he might choose to reduce the rate at which he hands out free money to banking institutions via QE.
Since August or September of 480BC, Western Culture has been well aware of the power multiplier that comes with establishing and holding a choke point. When King Leonidas of Sparta held a vast army of Persians at bay for several days with a smaller force at Thermopylae; the world then knew that chokepoints were strategic fulcrums from whence power could be leveraged far beyond its initial limits. The economic analog to such a chokepoint is the monopoly. The government permit power is just such a chokepoint generating function to empower the state beyond its circumscribed constitutional limits.
When the government controls activity via permit, they are able to do several things that go far beyond their enumerated Constitutional powers. They can pick winners and losers. They can dictate the size and scope of activities without having to depend on the approval of courts or legislators. An agency wielding permit power can skim a surplus off the top through fees that go beyond the cost of providing inspection and certification related to the permit. Like a gang of brigands controlling a bridge, a regulating agency can use the permit power to dictate who gets to pass, how much traffic traverses the road and how much in bribes have to be paid in order to get across the river
I apologize. Lizz Winstead is no longer part of The Daily Show. An earlier version of this article strongly implied that she still directed the content of Daily Show jokes. ‘This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives,’ wrote comedian Lizz Winstead, in a tweet, around 3:30 Monday afternoon. (HT:Daily Mail) Earlier this Spring I pondered why this | Read More »
We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.
The fridge had been totally nuked. The Jihadist Warlord Abu Sakkar tore off the fig leaf of civilization and revealed the gibbering, demonic barbarian behind the thin veneer of every civilized human being. Hit the play button below if you have a pretty strong stomach and your co-workers won’t get too upset. This ain’t your typical rugby party stunt. While not quite The Donner Party; it’s close enough for post-modernism.