Saturday, December 19, 2015

The New USA

Massive internet spying is back; our government once again has the authority it, including President Barak Obama explicitly, wanted to spy on every detail of our lives.

Innocuous sounding media reports about what's in the "cybersecurity" bill that made it into the final version of the massive omnibus spending bill that's been signed by the president reflect the fact that many people, including congress members, don't actually know what's in the bill.

“Most members of Congress still don’t understand what it will actually do, which is to dramatically expand the U.S. government’s unpopular and ineffective surveillance programs and make all of us more vulnerable to cyber attacks by letting corporations off the hook instead of holding them accountable when they fail to protect their customer’s sensitive information,” Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight For the Future, a digital rights group, told The Intercept.

Also in the bill is the repeal of a law requiring country of origin labeling on meat sold in the US. Congress repealed the law because the US recently lost a case under NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which allows foreign countries to collect damages from the US government for such laws and would have required the US to pay out billions.

The Trans Pacific Partnership treaty, or TPP, that the president and both parties are trying to get through congress at the moment contains provisions that are worse and much further reaching.

Welcome to the New USA, where corporate interests trump US law, and where the surveillance state is in place and so are the militarily armed police, who already have official sanction to use whatever violence they deem necessary to keep the people in line. In other words, where the mechanisms are in place for it to quickly become a police state. Keep that in mind as the never ending foreign war rages on in the background of a presidential race that, intentionally or not, is conditioning peoples' minds in ways that are preparing them to accept it.

The mechanism and the willingness to submit to it are one thing. The reasons for it -- Capitalism's inability to emerge from its decade long global recession and its inability to provide a decent living standard for an increasing number of people -- are more apparent by the week.

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