Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fearless Leader

One of our five member New Mexico delegation to Washington has uttered a statement about Syria, which has occupied the news cycle for the past week. Senator Tom Udall has assured us that he will be "evaluating the evidence and policy options as well as listening closely to the opinions of New Mexicans." The senator posted two statements on Facebook in short succession, which are combined into one statement on his web site:


Nothing yet from Martin Heinrich, Ben Lujan, Michelle Grisham or Steve Pearce, and the Albuquerque Journal has graciously chosen to not bother any of them with pesky questions about the future of the world while they are on summer vacation.

Tom Udall has actually been getting himself heard more of late. Whether this is because newly elected representative Michelle Lujan Grisham has been using the podium she's been given to singlehandedly fill the huge vacuum left by the silence of everyone else, or whether he has other considerations, I do not know.

But as far as molding public opinion, or doing anything to counter the pro-corporate, anti-Labor, Neoliberal agenda established by Conservatism over the past 30 years, all our delegates to Washington taken together have had about as much influence as I have. About zero.





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Second Guessing Syria

(Updated below)

Putting aside the question of whether it's possible to believe anything the US government says about Syria -- after several months of the daily outpouring of lies about NSA spying, after the lies about weapons of mass destruction, after the Gulf of Tonken, after all of it -- what if the US attack on Syria is followed by a massive chemical attack on rebel held areas by the Assad regime? What would President Obama do then?
Syrian refugees (Gallo/Getty)

That's one of many unintended consequences an attack on Syria could have, as outlined by the New York Times.

Others the Times mentions: A takeover of Syria by al Quaida-backed rebels. An attack on Israel from Iran, through Hezzbolah, that will draw an already-promised Israeli counterattack, drawing Lebanon into the conflict. Civilian victims of the attack will bolster support for the Assad regime. The Syrian refugee crises will be worsen. The already deepening regional conflict between Sunnis and Shiites will spiral out of control.

Besides all that, there are about 80 different armed militias fighting the Syrian government, most of whom don't agree with each other. A post Assad Syria would be unstable at best. Think about the almost daily mass killings by suicide and roadside bombings in Iraq. Or just think, Iraq. Afghanistan. Think Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, where stable secular states became unstable regimes in the control of Islamic fundamentalists or jihadist militias after US meddling.

It's impossible to point to a single positive outcome of US intervention in the Middle East.

The UK parliament's rejection of military action has acted like a speed bump in the rush to war as it's been conducted by our government through the compliant US media, which dutifully buries reports of polls showing that the US population is overwhelmingly against military action. The shock and awe of the rejection of violence by the UK, until now the US ruling elite's most loyal mascot when it comes to killing people, is probably what led to the story in today's Times.

But the media isn't mentioning the elephant in the room, that President Obama's decision to attack Syria now is a sign of his weakness in the face of Republican criticism. If this attack only causes things to unravel, what will the Republicans make Obama do then?


Update: Now comes word that President Obama will put the ball in congress' court by asking them for a resolution authorizing him to bomb Syria - when they return from recess in nine days. (New Mexico's delegation, all now in classic 'hide under your desk until it's all over' mode, will have to take a position!)

To his credit, Obama always understood the dangers of US involvement in the Syria, and managed the political fallout for not doing more there until the recent chemical attacks, at which point he caved.

The British, and the round of second guessing they set off, provided an opportunity that he's taken. Now that the congress has to share the consequences of involvement in Syria, the political rhetoric will be tempered by caution. A lot can change in nine days, and will. If Miley Cyrus twerks the president in the next nine days we'll never hear about Syria again.



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Monday, August 26, 2013

Salt Of The Earth

A very strange email showed up in my inbox today, advertising something called The Salt of the Earth Tour,  which will be a series of events sponsored by the New Mexico Democratic Party over the Labor Day Weekend. I have posted the email here. I don't see anything about the Salt of the Earth Tour at the NM Democratic Party's web site.

Why do I say the email is strange?







Because without making any reference to the significance of it, it uses the title of the movie Salt of the Earth, which was made in New Mexico in 1954, about a strike at a Silver City copper mine, by people who at the time were blacklisted.

That is, made by people who, during the McCarthy Era, were not allowed to make a living, and who were variously imprisoned, harassed, deported, ridiculed, slandered and defamed -- for constitutionally protected political beliefs -- in the media and by elected officials as a consequence of the uniquely American anti Communist hysteria that has been a part of this country since Socialism existed and reached its peak in the years after World War II and continues to this day.

Which the Democratic Party has always participated in, much as they are now participating in the conversion of what was once a social contract that resulted in the US working class achieving the highest standard of living in the world, to the current Neoliberal economy of massive wealth and income disparity and declining wages and living standards for the 99 percent while the 1 percent amasses the fruits of our labor at 1920s levels once again.

The movie Salt of the Earth, by way of its depiction of the labor struggle at the Empire Zinc Company's mine in Silver City, addresses issues of race, gender and of course class and was "a revolutionary film that remains unique in American cinema for both the circumstances of its production and its extraordinary forward-looking content."

Not that there have not been Democrats who, at least in their rhetoric have not said the politically correct things about gender and race. Not that there weren't Democrats who were made a little uneasy by McCarthyism. Not that there haven't been Democrats who have not understood what Socialism actually is and who sympathize with its objectives of economic and social fairness, but much like they do today, they have to a single person allowed themselves to be cowed into disavowing any alternative to rapacious unregulated Capitalism, by conservatives and Republicans and by the owners of Capital on whom they rely for their campaign contributions and their social status.

It's actually an affront for the Democratic Party of New Mexico to use the title of a movie like Salt of the Earth, and to not acknowledge what the title means, considering the party's history of acquiescence to McCarthyism and considering the sacrifices made by the people who made the movie, and by the New Mexican miners who were some of the principal actors in the movie, and the sacrifices made by them and all working people who have given their lives and livelihoods in labor struggles while the party that is supposed to represent their interests and relies on their votes continues to play them for fools.



Note: Salt of the Earth is available for purchase in DVD at least several places on the internet and may even be available for free viewing somewhere, or you can borrow my DVD if I can find it.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another Day, Another Lie

Machiavelli said that if a ruling oligarchy has nothing to fear, it will be a criminal organization. 

We're seeing proof. Spying on US citizens in blatant violation of Fourth Amendment, assassinations on the word of the president, the forcing down of the Bolivian's president's plane, trying to bully the Russians into handing over an asylum seeker protected by US and International law.

A government that allows bankers who stole trillions to walk the streets openly, invites them to the White House, names them to cabinet positions.

Days after a government official claimed the NSA "touches" 1.6 percent of internet traffic, the Wall Street Journal reports that it was a lie. It's 75 percent. Whistleblowers even before Edward Snowden were saying the NSA was scooping up 100 percent of our communications.

Now the Journal, before that the Washington Post, before that the New York Times -- not The Guardian or some Left Wing alternative rag but the three most important papers in the country -- have called the government out on its lies.

The government claims it had nothing to do with the illegal arrest and detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner. Just like it wasn't behind the downing of Evo Morales' plane.

Notice the escalation. Morales is a head of state. People take him seriously. He can embarrass the United States. He can make it harder for  the US to do what it does. But Glenn Greenwald's partner is just an average citizen.

One of us. Notice the escalation?

They know it will make the news. They want it to. They want us to take heed.

At least you can say you're witnessing history. The nation built more than any other on the ideals of freedom and civil liberties is headed in the opposite direction, fast. The American public isn't going to rise up and stop it, either. The ones who would lead the uprising, the youth, students, have been turned into debt slaves, in need of jobs. Economic insecurity permeates the country. It's not like the last time, the 1960s, when we were affluent, before the Middle Class was gutted, when college kids didn't worry about the future. Remember when we were a nation where every generation did better than their parents?

It's taken 40 years to get from there to here. A gradual series of events. Remember them? How about the war on the "Liberal media"? Media used to criticize government. Remember Vietnam? Remember how they drove a lying president from office? By the time of Gulf War I they were cheerleaders for war. In Gulf War II they were "embedded" with government. The media no longer use the word "lie." They say things like "misleading."

When Jacob Appelbaum, the developer of the TOR project, private browsing and email, was being stopped in airports and having his laptops confiscated, it didn't make the news. When independent journalist Laura Poitras, who has worked with Wikileaks and Greenwald, was having hers confiscated, it didn't make the news. Things are happening quickly now. Another day, another lie. Another truthteller goes to prison. Another meta data center opens up and starts silently recording where we go, who we talk to, what we buy, when we do everything we do. Another average guy has his cell phone and computer confiscated.

The ruling oligarchy has been testing the waters. Know it knows. It has nothing to fear. Not the media. Not the Democrats. Not the people. No one. Nothing. They know they can do whatever they want now, and they're doing it, and they know that you're not going to stop them.



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Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Police State

An article in the Huffington Post tells about a massive SWAT team raid on an organic farm in Texas that was guilty of having junk in the yard and letting weeds grow. It talks about other cases of SWAT teams being used like this. To serve non payment warrants. To check barber shops for permits.

Huffington Post
I think I've mentioned the explosion of SWAT teams throughout the country. Small town departments have them now. I know I've written about the arming of local police by the federal government with military hardware, armor piercing bullets, tanks, APCs, and now there's the coming of drones.

And domestic spying.

And what's it all for? Are the police in danger from organic farmers and barbers? Are we really in danger from terrorists? Besides 9-11, which never has added up right, there haven't been any terrorist attacks except the ones the FBI put people up to. 

Or are we the enemy?

I was looking at some data about the number of jobs different presidents have created. Job creation reached a high during the Clinton administration, more than 11 million in each term. Then it quickly dropped to almost nothing -- 1.1 million for GW Bush's eight years, and during Barak Obama's tenure, from January, 2008 until today, 1.2 million jobs have been added.

Whether it's economic decline or climate change that causes the societal disruption, they don't trust us to handle either one. They're going to handle it for us. They're practicing now.

Who is they? Not the police. Not the chumps in cubicles at the NSA. They have no idea. Who was the president playing golf with at that private club on Martha's Vineyard today? Where he got his latest instructions.



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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Or Shalt Thou?

Another day, another revelation of government officials bearing false witness about NSA spying. The latest is a leaked NSA internal audit that found thousands of cases of illegal spying on Americans -- not on terrorists, but on American citizens inside the United States -- that directly refutes the president's lies of less than a week ago.

The leaked audit was published not by WikiLeaks, not The Guardian, not Salon or any publication that can be dismissed with a wave of the hand but by the Washington Post, the official mouthpiece of the US political establishment.

The audit covered only NSA facilities in the Washington, DC area, not the rest of the NSA's world wide operations, and it only looked at the preceding 12 months, but found 2,776 violations.

Democracy Now immediately looked up the video of President Obama saying that what the audit would reveal, just a few days later, just doesn't happen, period.

President Obama; "If you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden has put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s emails. What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC."

It was stunning to see Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the number one domestic spying defender in congress, immediately jump up after the Post article appeared and claim that congress has found no violations of the law in its NSA oversight. Congress wasn't shown the audit, nor was the FISA court, which, like congress, has been put forth as our watchdog over domestic spying. We only know about the audit, and about the cases of eavesdropping on law abiding US citizens it found, because it was leaked by Edward Snowden.





Note: What's been revealed lately is just about the NSA, and represents only part of what the NSA is doing. It doesn't include promised revelations yet to come, and doesn't include spying on Americans being done by the FBI, CIA, ATF, DEA, Homeland Security or any other government agency that have been reported outside the mainstream media, although there have been recent mainstream media revelations about spying on Americans being done by the Postal Service and IRS, that have been overshadowed by NSA spying.

The World Socialist Web Site article on the leaked NSA audit catalogs some of the instances in which the government has made a statement about domestic spying that a subsequent leak proved to be a lie.


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mingling With The Masses

First District Rep Michele Grisham, my representative to the US House, is meeting constituents face to face Thursday at a community center in Albuquerque's South Valley.

Almost no elected official of that status does that any more, especially after tea baggers started showing up at these events armed, with the aim of shouting down the elected official and demonstrating what a menace tea baggers are to society. (This is Grisham's first term, so we'll see if it continues.)

One of the nice things about Albuquerque, to me, is its economic plurality. If you drive down, say, Rio Grande Blvd., upscale neighborhoods and working class neighborhoods alternate. Nowhere in the city are there vast tracts of land reserved for the well to do and off limits to the working class.

The South Valley is a bit different in a couple regards. Right in the midst of small stucco houses you'll see a big ostentatious house. I've only been here a few years, so I don't understand the complete significance of this, but there is one.

And I get the impression the South Valley isn't the most fashionable part of town. Not that it's unfashionable, but people don't say South Valley the way they do The Heights or The North Valley. (I live on the West Side. We don't care if we live or die and we don't care what you think.) Anyway it was good to see that Rep Grisham was going to be in the South Valley.

Besides her, the delegation member I read most about is Sen. Tom Udall, but it's usually about meetings he's having with corporate types.


I'll have more to say on this later but I have to go off and engage in Capitalism. I have an extra pickup tonight.


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Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Shangri-Las

(New entry at Greatest Rock and Roll Since Moses)

My latest discovery at Archive.org, where people post music and other media that's in the public domain (no longer under copyright) is a collection of 28 recordings by the Shangri-Las, two sets of sisters who made up the most iconic, unconventional, most talented if not the most successful of the 1960s Girl Groups.

 
Betty Weiss, MaryAnn and Angie Ganser, Mary Weiss

Included are monster hits like Leader of the Pack and Walking In The Sand, their great renditions of Maybe and Twist and Shout, the stirring Long Live Our Love, many others, and my favorite, The Dum Dum Ditty, which I'd never heard before but is a beautiful little song, very interesting in a musical sense, with one of the most beautiful cord progressions I've ever heard. (Incidentally, the lyrics are plainly, "He makes my heart go run run ditty," and why the title is different I don't know. Maybe it was copyrighted one way and they changed the lyrics in the studio.)

But this music makes my heart go run run ditty. Produced by George Morton, the only rival of the day to Phil Spector outside of Motown, the Shangri-Las were one of several top groups for whom Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, probably the greatest song writing  duo of the 1960s, wrote.

I could write a separate post about Mary Weiss' voice. She sang lead most of the time and her voice has a unique tonality. If a typical lead singer has a voice like a trumpet, where the vibration is caused by a round mouthpiece, hers is more like a reed instrument, a clarinet or a saxophone, where the mouthpiece is more flat. Air passes over her vocal chords differently. But while she contributed the most to the groups sound, no single Shangri-La had the talent of a Ronnie Spector or Darlene Love or La La Brooks (for whom Greenwich and Barry also wrote most of the great hits). It was the combination of voices. The group consisted of at least two superb and four definitely excellent singers. (Photographs of the group are often of three girls, as owing to various personal issues they appeared on stage and on album covers in different combinations at different times.)

Probably because they were such talented singers, Greenwich and Barry wrote some of their most challenging material for the Shangri-Las. Yes, it's pop music, but within that form, these Shangri-Las recordings stand apart, including as they do many songs with complicated harmonies and unexpected rhythmic changes, or that were written in minor keys or keys like A# major, or that change keys during the song, going back and forth between major and minor keys. That it was interesting music, coupled with the fact that the Shangri-Las were able to perform it so well, is why many musicians and singers would come along later, sometimes much later, and listen to their music and cover their songs. (See the biographical sketches linked to below to read about this.)

The Shangri-Las oeuvre owes, as much as it does to their music, to their reputations as bad girls, which neatly dovetailed with their songs' lyrical subject matter -- songs about bad boys who no one but they could see the good in, and about all the things that constitute teenage angst and fuel youthful rebellion. That, not just the music itself, is what gives this music its lasting appeal. It's good music, part of that great outburst of creativity that was Rock and Roll and helped create and facilitate what would become The 60s, but part of its appeal is that those things that constitute teenage angst and fuel youthful rebellion are still part of us. They never really go away. They may become tempered by their repression under subsequent layers of convention born of ambition and weakness, and experience born of pain, but they are always there, "deep inside," as a teenager might say, and songs like these, even as we think of them as simplistic or silly, can unexpectedly cause unconscious reverberations with that core self, where still reside all the dreams you ever dreamed, and the impulses once acted upon, and can get you up and bopping, sometimes physically, always spiritually.


About the girls' reputation and mystique, they really were four tough girls from the streets of Queens, NY, they really were headstrong and rude, and you can read all about it in a number of online biographical sketches, none of which ever entirely agree with each other, which is only as it should be. See:

Citizendia
Digital Dream Door
History of Rock
Tom Simon
Classic Bands 
Wilson and Alroy


(Note: This will eventually be listed in the Greatest Rock and Roll Since Moses page, but right now I have to go wash a truck and turn in an invoice and see if I can't find out why a diesel engine wants to cough while it's striving to climb Nine Mile Hill, as I continue to look for my own Shangri-la.)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

America Uber Alles


You come across things like this all the time. These are from a Facebook page that urges people to buy American and save American jobs.



This graphic drew many comments including: "F**k China. Dog eating short m***********s."


Unions are behind most of these graphics. The problem with them of course is that they pit one group of workers against another. The lower graphic suggests that Chinese workers shouldn't be able to have jobs, so that we can have them.

When you go beyond the graphics, you rarely find an analysis of how Capitalism, in order to survive as a system, always must be seeking out new markets, including new labor markets. Instead of being pointed to the logical conclusion that workers must organize across international boundaries, you find easy appeals to nationalism, which we in the US never admit to having so we always call it patriotism.

In the context of the overall class war it makes strategic sense to support and promote American unionism, but here is an opportunity to point out the problem of organized labor as it exists in the US. The golden era of the American working class, from the 1920s until the early 1980s, when we achieved the highest standard of living for a working class in the history of the world, came in some ways at the expense of workers in other countries. Our Capitalists, their safety and access to markets guaranteed by our military, were in countries all over the world busily exploiting cheap resources, extracted by cheap labor. This, along with US workers higher productivity, and 35 percent union density in the US, set up the conditions under which US workers were paid wages of multiple times what those other workers were getting.

The golden era also was made possible by the way our unions operated. The militancy and Socialist leanings of the US Labor Movement of the period from the 1890s to the 1930s, brought here by large influxes of European and Latin American immigrants, that existed when Franklin W Roosevelt became president, was weeded out of the movement by the union leadership as part of a bargain brokered by Roosevelt between Capital and Labor. Holding the specter of the rise of Socialism in Europe over the heads of owners, and dangling the promise of luxuries for workers in front of the union leadership, he made the deal that brought us out of the Great Depression and saved Capitalism from itself. In return for the union leadership purging militants, Socialists and Anarchists from their ranks, the owners would call off the Pinkertons and the other hired private militias who were killing strikers and organizers, and pay more in wages and benefits.

A good Capitalist, of course, sees a deal as just so many words, and beginning in 1980, with Ronald Reagan leading the way, Capital immediately went back on its end of the bargain. Instead of allowing unions to exist they were attacked, and good jobs were moved overseas. The union leadership, still unable to admit that there ever was a bargain or that it was ill advised, is now reduced to appeals to nationalism.

Workers have to go around the union leadership.They have to remember that the union movement is not about unions per se or about protecting specific union jobs, but about working class power. And since Capital knows no national boundaries and is free to move Capital and factories across borders to exploit workers who have less power, the working class can know no national boundaries. Workers must stand together across borders and all other kinds of divisions against lower and lower wages, against moving factories, against Capitalist control of the economy and the political system, and eventually must realize that only when workers own the factories, and the capital, can they guarantee economic justice.

And of course we American workers might have to get used to the idea that the living standard we enjoyed during the golden years was not sustainable, either in moral or environmental terms.



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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Upside Down



There has been a lot of "chatter" (to borrow a misused word) on Facebook about the difference between Costco and Wal Mart. Costco has been outperforming Wal Mart while paying its workers an average of over $20 an hour, plus some good benefits. Wal Mart pays its workers an average of under $13 and many Wal Mart employees are on food stamps.

I've also been seeing reference to Australia, where the minimum wage is much higher than in the US, while the unemployment rate is about two points lower.

We have a Democratic president who is going around proposing more tax cuts for the wealthy, and more spending cuts, which is the exact opposite of what you'd do if you wanted to stimulate the economy, and exactly what you'd do if you wanted to discipline the worforce by keeping growth at near zero percent.

Zero growth is fine with the ruling class. Stocks and profits are at record highs, fueled by lower wages and quantitative easing, the program of printing money -- i.e. running up the working class credit card -- to fuel the stock market. In the face of this the president has the gall to talk about "revenue neutral" tax cuts, meaning he intends to go after the social welfare net again -- Medicare, Social Security, the safety net in general -- in other words transfer more wealth from the ones least well off to the ones most well off. I've recorded his history of doing this even if it's not often reflected in the corporate media. Try putting "Social Security" in the search box on the right. This man should be thrown out of the Democratic Party along with most of congress.

The massive transfer of wealth and income upward -- we are back at 1920s Gilded Age levels -- has been the hallmark issue of our time. You might think you're doing OK, compared to those around you, but our share of GDP is at an all time low. After 30 years of what's called in some quarters Neoliberalsim -- it's basically Reaganomics -- we are well on our way to being a third world nation.


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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

We Are Being Lied To

If ever there does surface evidence of this supposed communication between Ayman al-Zawahri in Pakistan and Nasir al-Wahisi in Yemen, which is the purported reason for closing embassies and issuing travel warnings, it will turn out to have been from two years ago. Mark this down on your calendar. They are flat out lying. This smells exactly like one of their lies.

This has all the characteristics of these kinds of lies. All you have to do is look at what the president's press secretary is saying. He will offer no proof, no specifics, nothing that they can quote when we do discover that it's a lie.

This comes in the wake of a mass revolt in congress against the president and congressional leaders over illegal NSA spying on US citizens, after a month of revelations by Edward Snowden about illegal invasions of US citizens' privacy during which despite all the efforts of the president and the media all the polling shows the public still believes Snowden did the right thing and is a whistleblower not a traitor, as the economy heads south again as was predicted by everybody except those who are given a platform in the media, and as further, even more startling revelations, of which they are certainly aware, are on the way.

They are lying.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quantification





If I can find a graph like this for mechanics I can almost sum up my life.




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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gloom, Despair, and Hilarity

The Sunday paper says the jobs being created are mainly part time, and those that aren't are low paying. Before I put Saturday's paper in the recycling pile I noticed a story that says hiring is at a four month low, and hourly wages are down.

I go to the computer and click on an article that begins: "Do you think that, as a society, the United States has become a basket case? Well, join the club. I'm not just thinking of the country's dysfunctional Congress, pathological infatuation with firearms, addiction to litigation, crazy healthcare arrangements, engorged prison system, chronic inequality, 50-year-old military-industrial complex and out-of-control security services."

I'm only on the web because I can't seem to find the motivation to get out the door with six weeks worth of dirty laundry, and I only got that together because doing the books and trying to figure out regulations for my trucking business were bringing on waves of horror and panic.



Then I saw a notice about a protest against the NSA on Facebook, and someone had left this comment:

"We shouldn't be protesting them, they should simply change the way they operate. I'm not anti-gun by any means.. and the constitution does guarantee the people the right to be armed... but the NRA takes it a little bit too far, IMO. We could, rather than go to the other extreme, simply alter their course and bring them back toward reality."

One person so far likes the comment.




Saturday, August 3, 2013

Obama Plays An Ace

A week after the US House comes within a few votes of ending one of the massive NSA spying programs, here comes the Obama Administration citing vague Al Queida threats, issuing a worldwide travel alert and closing all our embassies in Arab countries.

Coincidence?

Sure, and it was coincidence when all throughout the 2004 campaign the Bush administration kept raising and lowering the alert levels and the media kept dutifully leading with that news, back before the color-coded alert system was tossed out.

But what if there really is an attack this time?

Yea, what if. What if the people who run government said there was no domestic spying, and you believed them, and then Edward Snowden proved that there was. Then what if the government said, OK, we do that, but that's all we do. We just collect lists of phone calls (Prism program), not the phone calls themselves. And you believed them.

Then the next week Snowden proved that they do collect the phone calls and can search them at any time, and the government says OK, but that's all we do. We aren't recording everybody's emails and search histories, browser histories, and chat sessions or anything like that (XKeyscore program), and you believed them again. And the next week Snowden proved that they lied to you again.

What if the government said they'd prevented "dozens" of attacks with NSA spying, and said it was "more than 50," and you believed them, and then after they got their headlines out of it, a few people in the media look into it and it turns out they might have prevented one. Might have.

How many times does the government have to lie to you before you stop believing what they say? How many Battleship Maine, Gulf of Tonkin, yellowcake uranium, Times Square bomber, underwear bomber, shoe bomber, La Guardia airport bombing stories do you have to swallow before you realize the government has been jerking you around with this whole terrorism thing all along?



Ana Marie Cox has a column in The Guardian that lists all the prominent American Liberal politicians who are hiding under their desks until this is all over (The New Mexico strategy -- I'm always pointing out how the non leaders in our New Mexico legislative delegation do this on anything controversial.)

Cox goes into how it's much easier to evoke fear in a populace than it is to explain to them the consequences of giving up their right to privacy.

"An attack could produce the desperate acceptance of a security state in an instant," she writes. "But it is difficult to imagine the incidents that would spur momentum towards a broader movement for and understanding of the right to privacy. And if you can imagine America coming to that – whether it looks like 1984 or Singapore – well, by then it will be too late."



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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Take Note



Take note of what happens when you expose the crimes committed by the United States government. Those who committed the crimes will put you in a cage, torture you and slander you in public. They will put you on trial using secret evidence and go on to commit more crimes, and stand before you and call America the greatest country on earth.

Take note of what happens to those who expose the crimes committed by the United States government, because they are not persecuted for their sake, or for the sake of the government, but for yours.

Take note. Remember what can happen. Take care of what you say. Take care of what you write. Take care of what you think. Don't end up like them.


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