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Last post Author Topic: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications  (Read 64754 times)

app103

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Bernie Sanders has introduced the Restore Our Privacy Act:

Read the bill here (pdf): http://www.sanders.s...%20Privacy%20Act.pdf

And has a petition up on his site: http://www.sanders.s...7d-b03e-0c790a6b9aa6

Quote
The legislation filed late yesterday would put limits on records that may be searched. Authorities would be required to establish a reasonable suspicion, based on specific information, in order to secure court approval to monitor business records related to a specific terrorism suspect.

Sanders’ bill would put an end to open-ended court orders that have resulted in wholesale data mining by the NSA and FBI. Instead, the government would be required to provide reasonable suspicion to justify searches for each record or document that it wants to examine.

The measure would eliminate a presumption in current law that anyone “known to” a suspect is relevant to the investigation. It also would increase congressional oversight by requiring the attorney general to provide reports to all members of Congress, not only members of the judiciary and intelligence committees.

http://www.sanders.s...40-BEB9-25BB5DC13A18

Tinman57

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  So, it looks like the British are in on it.  No big surprise here.....

Quote
British intelligence tapping fiber-optic cables for massive amounts of data
06.21.2013 3:55 PM
More secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest that the U.S. agency's British counterpart intercepts petabytes worth of communication data daily from fiber-optic cables.  The operation codenamed “Tempora” by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been going on for at least 18 months and involves the use of “intercept probes” attached directly to transatlantic fiber-optic cables landing on British shores from telephone exchanges and Internet servers in North America.

http://www.pcworld.c...amounts-of-data.html

IainB

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Interesting spinoff. As a result of the revelations about the NSA, Duck search is apparently going great guns: Search Engine Privacy - DuckDuckGo does not track its users.

Stoic Joker

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Cool, but why does the DuckDuckGo image search route through either Bing or Google?? Are they abstracting the personal info out of the query somehow...or is it/one still exposed?

IainB

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Cool, but why does the DuckDuckGo image search route through either Bing or Google?? Are they abstracting the personal info out of the query somehow...or is it/one still exposed?
Hahaha. Is there no end to your skepticism?
You're probably quite right though. Enquiring minds need to know.
For this reason I wouldn't usually touch Duck with a bargepole, and I would suggest that other users operate on the same principle that I do - that there will be tracks all over the place, but if Duck is (apparently) not recording them, then that doesn't necessarily mean that everybody else isn't recording them - until proven otherwise, at least.

What I find interesting though is the operation of human assumption/belief:
(from the link)
Quote
GW: We were close to 2 million queries a day before the NSA story broke. Since then, traffic has passed 3 million. We've broken records.

Stoic Joker

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Is that the ruthless dictators first show up as saviors angle ...(Just because DDG isn't storing the info doesn't mean filters can't be implemented at some point after the target fattens up a bit)... Or am I being to skeptical again.

40hz

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You can introduce all the legislation and issue all the guidelines you want. This genie is out of its bottle and never going to go completely back in. Even if the plug were pulled tomorrow, there is a multi-billion dollar investment in facilities and infrastructure modifications that put this system in place. And it was accomplished almost entirely without any public awareness or legislative oversight.

No government ever walks away from an investment of that magnitude.

And the simple fact such technology exists makes it almost inevitable that it will be used. If not today, then a year or ten from now when some cleverly orchestrated (if you're completely cynical) or carefully choreographed (if you're not) "crisis" or "national emergency" arises to argue for its "necessity." Like strategic weapons, you can lock them away in bunkers and silos, but they're still there. And they always will be. Even if you completely dismantle them. Because the technology still exists to recreate them at will. And the desire to do so is never completely absent.

Things like PRISM can easily be switched off by executive order tomorrow morning. But they can also just as easily be secretly switched back on an hour later. And that's the rub. You will never really know now that our government has completely crossed the line it began stepping over at the start of the cold war. An attitude those of you who were around in the 60s and 70s may remember as that widely bandied about right-wing slogan (misquoting Stephen Decatur) that went: "My Country, Right or Wrong!" It was very popular among the Hardhats and The American Legion.

If you don't know what a hardhat was
hardhat.jpg

(from Wikipedia)

On May 4, 1970, thirteen students were shot, four fatally, at Kent State University in Ohio during a protest of the Vietnam War and the incursion into Cambodia. As a show of sympathy for the dead students, then-Republican Mayor of New York City John Lindsay ordered all flags at New York City Hall to be flown at half-staff the same day.

The Hard Hat Riot occurred on May 8 1970 in Lower Manhattan. The riot started about noon when about 200 construction workers mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO attacked about 1,000 high school and college students and others protesting the Kent State shootings, the American invasion of Cambodia and the Vietnam War near the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street. The riot, which spread to New York City Hall, lasted little more than two hours. More than 70 people were injured, including four policemen. Six people were arrested.

At 7:30 am on May 8, several hundred anti-war protesters (most of them high school and college students) began holding a memorial at Broad and Wall Streets for the four dead students at Kent State. By late morning, the protesters—now numbering more than a thousand—had moved to the steps of Federal Hall, gathering in front of the statue of George Washington which tops the steps. The protesters demanded an end to the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, the release of "political prisoners" in the United States, and an end to military-related research on all university campuses.

At five minutes to noon, about 200 construction workers converged on the student rally at Federal Hall from four directions. Nearly all the construction workers carried American flags and signs that read "All the way, USA," and "America, Love it or Leave it." Their numbers may have been doubled by others who had joined them as they marched toward Federal Hall. A thin line of police formed to separate the construction workers from the anti-war protesters. At first, the construction workers only pushed but did not break through the police line. After two minutes, however, the workers broke through the police line and began chasing students through the streets. The workers chose those with the longest hair and beat them with their hard hats and otherwise. Attorneys, bankers and investment analysts from nearby Wall Street investment firms tried to protect many of the students but were themselves attacked. Onlookers reported that the police stood by and did nothing.

Some of the construction workers and counter-protesters moved across City Hall Park toward New York City Hall. They mounted the steps, planted their flags at the top of the steps, then attempted to gain entrance to City Hall. Police on duty at City Hall initially barred them, but soon the mob pushed past these guards. A few workers entered the building. A postal worker rushed onto the roof of City Hall and raised the American flag there to full mast. When city workers lowered the flag back down to half-mast, a large number of construction workers stormed past the police. Deputy Mayor Richard Aurelio, fearing the building would be overrun by the mob, ordered city workers to raise the flag back to full mast.

Rioting construction workers also attacked buildings near City Hall. They ripped the Red Cross and Episcopal Church flags down from a flag pole at nearby Trinity Church. One group invaded a nearby Pace University building, smashing lobby windows with clubs and crowbars and beating up students.

More than 70 people were injured, including four policemen. Most of the injured required hospital treatment. Only six people were arrested.[

During a press conference that evening, President Nixon tried to defuse the situation before tens of thousands of students arrived in Washington, D.C. for a scheduled protest rally the next day. Nixon said he agreed with everything the protesters were trying to accomplish, and defended the recent U.S. troop movements into Cambodia as aiding their goal of peace.[2][7][9]

Mayor Lindsay severely criticized the police for their lack of action. Police Department organization leaders later accused Lindsay of "undermining the confidence of the public in its Police Department" by his statements, and blamed the inaction on inadequate preparations and "inconsistent directives" in the past from the Mayor's office.

On May 11, Brennan and officials of other unions said that the confrontation had been a spontaneous reaction by union workers "fed up" with violence and flag desecration by antiwar demonstrators, and denied that anything except fists had been used against the demonstrators. Brennan said that telephone calls and letters to the unions were 20 to 1 in favor of the workers. It was generally believed that the action by construction workers was not premeditated, though one man claimed to have seen suited men directing the workers.

Several thousand construction workers, longshoremen and white-collar workers protested against the mayor on May 11, holding signs reading "impeach the Red Mayor" and chanting "Lindsay is a bum". They held another rally May 16, carrying signs calling the mayor a "rat", "Commy rat" and "traitor". Lindsay described the mood of the city as "taut". The rallies culminated in a large rally on May 20 in which an estimated 150,000 construction and other workers peacefully marched through the streets of downtown New York City. Workers in the surrounding buildings showed their support by showering the marchers with ticker tape.



In many respects, this battle is already lost. Because you now have a large cadre of elected individuals and entrenched career bureaucrats who have crossed the line and self-redefined their functions and role. And they aren't willingly going to relinquish any of the power they have since seized for themselves.

The creation of something like PRISM or the NSA, which were both created with the deliberate intent of remaining absolutely secret - and intended to operate with utter disregard for law or the principles of a free society - is nothing other than the manifestation of the growing distrust and contempt, on the part of many in government, for the people they supposedly are empowered to serve.

At the very core of all of this is a large-scale and ongoing revolt on the part of our public servants. Servants who now wish to rule rather than serve.

stfu.jpg

It will only get far worse before it gets much better.  :(

Tinman57

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Cool, but why does the DuckDuckGo image search route through either Bing or Google?? Are they abstracting the personal info out of the query somehow...or is it/one still exposed?

  DDG, along with it's own results (or lack thereof) also includes Bing and Google searches and offers up a link for their results.  You will only get spied on (tracked) if you click on the GoOgle or Bing link.  Of course this don't mean anything when Prism sits between the search engine and your ISP, or between you and your ISP.....

Stoic Joker

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Of course this don't mean anything when Prism sits between the search engine and your ISP, or between you and your ISP.....

Yeah, that part's a given. I was just pondering the DDG microcosm part because it struck me as a bit of spin-doctored slight of hand. It smacks of all the sincerity you'd expect out of someone saying trust me in an ally.. 

IainB

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This NSA business had left me with the nagging feeling that I had seen it in a movie.
Tonight I was cataloguing one of my portable drives (all movies) using BooZet's Visual CD Version 4.0 and found the answer amongst a collection of short films. It's from YouTube: PLURALITY


40hz

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Two mind-numbing articles by Paul Craig Roberts:

Robert's Bio
Quote
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.


A New Beginning Without Washington’s Sanctimonious Mask

and

Stasi In The White House

These posts pull no punches. (And here I thought I was royally pissed off! :tellme:)

just to know.png

Here's a few highlights:

Quote
Obama’s speech was delivered to a relatively small, specially selected audience of invitees.  Even so, Obama spoke from behind bullet proof glass.

Quote
Obama’s speech will go down in history as the most hypocritical of all time. Little wonder that the audience was there by invitation only. A real audience would have hooted Obama out of Berlin.

Quote
This is the same Obama who promised to close the Guantanamo Torture Prison, but did not;  the same Obama who promised to tell us the purpose for Washington’s decade-long war in Afghanistan, but did not;  the same Obama who promised to end the wars, but started new ones;  the same Obama who said he stood for the US Constitution, but shredded it;  the same Obama who refused to hold the Bush regime accountable for its crimes against law and humanity;  the same Obama who unleashed drones against civilian populations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen;  the same Obama who claimed and exercised power to murder US citizens without due process and who continues the Bush regime’s unconstitutional practice of violating habeas corpus and detaining US citizens indefinitely; the same Obama who promised transparency but runs the most secretive government in US history.

Quote
Obama has taken hypocrisy to new heights. He has destroyed US civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.  In place of a government accountable to law, he has turned law into a weapon in the hands of the government.  He has intimidated a free press and prosecutes whistleblowers who reveal his government’s crimes. He makes no objection when American police brutalize peacefully protesting citizens. His government intercepts and stores in National Security Agency computers every communication of every American and also the private communications of Europeans and Canadians, including the communications of the members of the governments, the better to blackmail those with secrets.  Obama sends in drones or assassins to murder people in countries with which the US is not at war, and his victims on most occasions turn out to be women, children, farmers, and village elders. Obama kept Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for nearly a year assaulting his human dignity in an effort to break him and obtain a false confession. In defiance of the US Constitution, Obama denied Manning a trial for three years.

Quote
Obama has turned America into a surveillance state that has far more in common with Stasi East Germany than with the America of the Kennedy and Reagan eras. Strange, isn’t it, that freedom was gained in East Germany and lost in America.

------------------

Quote
It is not clear to an ordinary person what Snowden has revealed that William Binney and other whistleblowers have not already revealed. Perhaps the difference is that Snowden has provided documents that prove it, thereby negating Washington’s ability to deny the facts with its usual lies.

Quote
Here we have a US Secretary of State lost in delusion along with the rest of Washington. A country that is bankrupt, a country that has allowed its corporations to destroy its economy by moving the best jobs offshore, a country whose future is in the hands of the printing press, a country that after eleven years of combat has been unable to defeat a few thousand lightly armed Taliban is now threatening Russia and China. God save us from the utter fools who comprise our government.

The world is enjoying Washington’s humiliation at the hands of Hong Kong. A mere city state gave Washington the bird.

Quote
The stuck pig squeals from the NSA director–”Edward Snowden has caused irreversible damage to US”–are matched by the obliging squeals from members of the House and Senate, themselves victims of the NSA spying, as was the Director of the CIA who was forced to resign because of a love affair. The NSA is in position to blackmail everyone in the House and Senate, in the White House itself, in all the corporations, the universities, the media, every organization at home and abroad, who has anything to hide. You can tell who is being blackmailed by the intensity of the squeals, such as those of Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) and Mike Rogers (R, MI). With any luck, a patriot will leak what the NSA has on Feinstein and Rogers, neither of whom could possibly scrape any lower before the NSA.

The gangster government in Washington that has everything to hide is now in NSA’s hands and will follow orders. The pretense that amerika is a democracy responsible to the people has been exposed. The US is run by and for the NSA. Congress and the White House are NSA puppets.

Let’s quit calling the NSA the National Security Agency. Clearly, NSA is a threat to the security of every person in the entire world. Let’s call the NSA what it really is–the National Stasi Agency, the largest collection of Gestapo in human history. You can take for granted that every media whore, every government prostitute, every ignorant flag-waver who declares Snowden to be a traitor is either brainwashed or blackmailed. They are the protectors of NSA tyranny. They are our enemies.

The world has been growing increasingly sick of Washington for a long time. The bullying, the constant stream of lies, the gratuitous wars and destruction have destroyed the image hyped by Washington of the US as a “light unto the world.” The world sees the US as a plague upon the world.

Mr. Roberts, you're awesome! :Thmbsup:

CWuestefeld

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Two mind-numbing articles by Paul Craig Roberts:

I'm afraid you're crossing the line into partisan politics.

I agree with the overall conclusion you're presenting here. But, bad as the situation that they describe is, these articles do contain untruths and exaggerations (I won't enumerate them, because I don't want to dig deeper into the political quagmire). Presenting things in this manner undermines the effort in the long run: it gives the bad guys the opportunity to rebut trivial details while ignoring the big picture, and it robs us of (some of) the moral high ground.

IainB

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@40hz: I'm confuzzled. Do Americans really need things like the 2 articles by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts before they can see the stark reality of what has been happening and what is still happening to their country and the US Constitution?

wraith808

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Two mind-numbing articles by Paul Craig Roberts:

I'm afraid you're crossing the line into partisan politics.

I agree with the overall conclusion you're presenting here. But, bad as the situation that they describe is, these articles do contain untruths and exaggerations (I won't enumerate them, because I don't want to dig deeper into the political quagmire). Presenting things in this manner undermines the effort in the long run: it gives the bad guys the opportunity to rebut trivial details while ignoring the big picture, and it robs us of (some of) the moral high ground.

Agreed +1

40hz

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I find it interesting how so many are willing to concede our government's right to spin stories, send off flames, bully pulpit and dead-cat its opponents, and lie at will to the public - yet very quickly label any nose tweaking or blunt editorial characterizations in return as being "partisan politics."

Our enthroned leadership has made an art form out of using so-called "partisan" political strategies and debating techniques. That's one of the reasons they have been - and continue to be - so successful.

FWIW, I think we can have "intelligent" and "measured" and "respectful" dialog about this whole problem until the cows come home. The only way any real change will come about (or even become possible) is if the general public feels sufficient anger and disgust about what is going on to force changes. Because it isn't ever the "bright promise for the future" that stirs our public out of its chronic political llethargy. It's the hard realization that "enough is enough" and that "I am no longer willing to tolerate this behavior - starting now" that brings about social change. Something that our politicians understand and have learned to take advantage of all too well. Because they're often the first to remind you "you're better than that"; and that "you shouldn't talk that way"; and suggest you try to "exercise proper restraint and some consideration with your comments" - because they certainly aren't going to do the same with theirs.

I have long since passed the point where I am willing to allow our politicians to unilaterally frame (or more often re-frame) the debate, set the rules for discourse, or define the terms being used. That is a courtesy I will extend to people of goodwill who are actively and honestly attempting to work toward finding a solution and undoing the damage they have caused. And I have yet to see any politicians matching that description show up.



If Robert's articles step on some toes - or offend some sensitivities - so be it. Some toes deserve to be stepped on. And some sensitivities need to be offended. Because as long as this situation can be ignored, or finessed, or rationalized ("It's legal!) or endlessly and genteelly debated on forums and in coffee shops by "people who think and worry too much"...then it will only continue.

Right now we live with the uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation of a powerful administration being caught out in series of incontrovertible lies and hypocritical acts going back several years. And, like all liars who have been found out, this administration is responding predictably as liars do. We're now seeing the usual psychotic attempts for it to"explain (i.e. lie) it's way out" as its former support base begins to crumble.

Hardly a time to pull too many punches IMHO.

But maybe that's just me? My problem is -  I've seen this sort of thing before. Although nowhere near this bad. And it wasn't fixed that time by people being overly polite about it.

And it won't this time either.

YMMV :)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 11:03:36 AM by 40hz »

40hz

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@40hz: I'm confuzzled. Do Americans really need things like the 2 articles by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts before they can see the stark reality of what has been happening and what is still happening to their country and the US Constitution?

Yes.


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I find it interesting how so many are willing to concede our government's right to spin stories, send off flames, bully pulpit and dead-cat its opponents, and lie at will to the public - yet very quickly label any nose tweaking or blunt editorial characterizations in return as being "partisan politics."

Our enthroned leadership has made an art form out of using so-called "partisan" political strategies and debating techniques. That's one of the reasons they have been - and continue to be - so successful.

FWIW, I think we can have "intelligent" and "measured" and "respectful" dialog about this whole problem until the cows come home. The only way any real change will come about (or even become possible) is if the general public feels sufficient anger and disgust about what is going on to force changes. Because it isn't ever the "bright promise for the future" that stirs our public out of its chronic political llethargy. It's the hard realization that "enough is enough" and that "I am no longer willing to tolerate this behavior - starting now" that brings about social change. Something that our politicians understand and have learned to take advantage of all too well. Because they're often the first to remind you "you're better than that"; and that "you shouldn't talk that way"; and suggest you try to "exercise proper restraint and some consideration with your comments" - because they certainly aren't going to do the same with theirs.

Quote
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Friedrich Nietzsche

And I think that's where it is in the end.  And ideological struggle.  Not for dominance, because it is the fight that is important.  We talked about Obama before, and how utterly he changed his tune.  We've talked about entrenched politicians, and how inured to the demands of the office over the demands of the political arena they become.

They don't start out that way.  But they make concessions in order to serve the greater good.  And that slippery slope eventually claims them.

Lies are damn lies, no matter if they're told for the greater good.  And if you tell one, you're more willing to tell the next.  And then descend to their tactics.  And then, by the time you win, you look back at the broken road that you took to get here, and can't really pinpoint the time that you became what you are... which is what you formerly hated.

The Truth should stand on its own merits.  Or it's not worth the medium used to deliver it.  And anything you tarnish it with makes it somewhat less than it should be.

We need to come together as one voice, one people... sex, creed, race, beliefs, orientation be damned and say that we stand for Truth and the Rule of Law, and we will accept nothing else.  No games, no twisting of words, nor hyperbole to exaggerate the situation.  And not let any of those things divide us.  That is why I'm against any hint of partisan politics as usual in the phrasing of any of this.  It's about something greater than that, IMO.

Of course, as you say, YMMV.

CWuestefeld

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^^^ Wraith's post above is one to put into your scrapbook.

Stoic Joker

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Governments-Fear-People.png

Apparently there is a bit more reasoned version of this by one of the original crew:

Governments-Fear-People.jpg
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 01:19:18 PM by Stoic Joker »

40hz

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We need to come together as one voice, one people... sex, creed, race, beliefs, orientation be damned and say that we stand for Truth and the Rule of Law, and we will accept nothing else.  No games, no twisting of words, nor hyperbole to exaggerate the situation.  And not let any of those things divide us.  That is why I'm against any hint of partisan politics as usual in the phrasing of any of this.  It's about something greater than that, IMO.

I agree.

And if you ever figure out how to make that work, let me know and I'll be the first to sign on.

Unfortunately, my experience with both attempting and actually bringing about social change doesn't bear that sentiment out. And I should know. I felt the same way you do for a good portion of my life.

In the end it always took something fairly stupid, providential, and semi-unrelated to get the ball rolling with the issues I got seriously involved in. Most people I've met don't like to think about higher principles. They're annoyed by them more often than not. But what they do understand is feelings, and "gut" reactions, plus what they "just know."

Long aside. Feel free to skip.
It used to frustrate me. And for a while it even made me see the "uninvolved" as worthy of contempt. But I soon realized that people are people - and they are what they are. It's not so much a "sheeple" thing, to use the current vernacular. It's just that they have a lot of things to worry about and do. And anything that doesn't directly and immediately interfere with what they want/need to do (i.e. make money, eat, sleep, feel safe, have sex, raise kids, see a dentist, keep their job, feed the dog, etc.) gets pushed onto their back-burner. It's a survival tool. Triage plain and simple. You start at the bottom of the needs hierarchy and move up from there.

I have a personal theory that social activism and revolutionary thinking springs from the extreme opposite poles of a single continuum. On one side is the point where people's backs are completely against the wall. At the other end is the point where too many people have too much free time on their hands. From my perspective, societal change and reform is born out of either desperation - or excess leisure.

Sometimes there's a bit of both. You have the have-nots working in conjunction a small group of morally motivated haves to bring about change. This creates a push-pull dynamic where those who stand to benefit maintain pressure - while those on the other end get more of their peers to see it their way and support the underdog.

The American civil rights movement back in the 50s/60s worked that way. College kids, wealthy people and self-styled intellectuals worked side by side with an oppressed social minority and its religious ministers to make it happen. The 60s/70s Viet Nam antiwar movement largely did not. That was mostly an upper class college movement. One which took considerably longer to succeed since people subject to the draft  (who were not in college) mostly just went. And it wasn't until those on the short end of the stick stopped defending the US policy in Viet Nam that their politicians finally deemed it safe to break ranks and get the hell out of there.


Fancy way of saying a catchy slogan and the occasional cheap trick invariably accomplished more to kindle a fire than a summit of long meaningful discussions and "feel good" high road sessions ever did. Especially if it caused a laugh. (Those in power hate to be laughed at.)

Initiating any meaningful movement or groundswell relies on tactics. The long game needs a strategy to keep it on course, and make sure it follows through to its objective.

Right now I think we're in the tactical phase. Mr. Roberts' comments are pure tactics.

We haven't made it to the strategy phase because we still don't know the true extent of this problem. And there is a concerted effort afoot to make sure "we the people" won't ever know.

To get to the bottom of this tar pit, we'll need people who are genuinely in a position to know break ranks and inform us. Snowden was the first. But we'll need people who are both involved and much closer to the seats of power (i.e. Reps/Senators) to be jolted out of their fog and take a step back and find the "high road" again.

Because they're the ones who will ultimately have to put this nation back on it. In both a representative and truly legal manner. That's their charter and sworn duty. Otherwise, this government has reached the point of catastrophic failure - and it's mob rule time.

And that's one "solution" that would be ten times worse than the problem we already have.
 8)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 01:28:35 PM by 40hz »

40hz

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@SJ Wraith & CU - LOL! ;D

But please remember what happens when governments really become afraid of somebody.

People living in places like Baghdad, or who are being detained indefinitely and without charges under utterly inhumane conditions, can tell you exactly what some governments can also do when they get really nervous and pissed-off about something.
 ;)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 02:06:18 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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But please remember what happens when governments really become afraid of somebody.

Actually I posted the graphics assuming that's what you're LOL'ing.

People living in places like Baghdad, or who are being detained indefinitely and without charges under utterly inhumane conditions, can tell you exactly what some governments can also do when they get really nervous and pissed-off about something

That's not fearing the people...that's viewing them with contempt.

40hz

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Actually I posted the graphics assuming that's what you're LOL'ing.


Yep, you for the graphics. I missed they were by you. All fixed now.  :-[

wraith808

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That's not fearing the people...that's viewing them with contempt.

This... And actually I'd phrase it a little differently... that's fearing the person rather than the people.  There's a distinct difference.  If the war for independence had hinged around any one person and that person had been taken out, what would have happened?  Historians look back at the close calls that George Washington had during the fight, and how differently things would have played out had any of those close calls come to pass.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... look at The Spartacus File by Lawrence Watt-Evans.  It's science fiction... but when you read it, bile will begin to rise as you recognize similarities between our own government and that in the book... and the actions and behaviors.

A quote from the book
Quote
Smith wanted Beech killed before he could do anything- but Schiano, who had compiled the Spartacus File, wanted to see how far Beech could get, and what, if anything, he'd do about the apparent conflict in his programming between pro-Americanism and the need to overthrow the government.

Schiano was beginning to suspect it wasn't that much of a conflict, actually.  After all, sending assassins after him hardly reflected the highest ideals of American society, or any great respect for Constitutional rights.

Not that he'd never say anything like that to Smith.  If Smith had any ideals, Schiano doubted they resembled anything in the Constitution.  The entire Covert Operations Group didn't much resemble anything in the Constitution.


40hz

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This has been a concern for some time even if it's smoldered mostly below the surface.

Back in 1968, this made for TV movie ran precisely one time and was never aired again.



It's very loosely based on Sinclair Lewis' cautionary tale It Can't Happen Here. (The book was better.)

Sinclaire sketches out a future American fascist state under the rule of President Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip and his single party American Corporate State (the "Corpos") with it's squads of armed and uniformed Minute Men brigades. Well worth a read. :Thmbsup:


Some excerpts from the book
Quote
(15) Congress shall, immediately upon our inauguration, initiate amendments to the Constitution providing (a), that the President shall have the authority to institute and execute all necessary measures for the conduct of the government during this critical epoch; (b), that Congress shall serve only in an advisory capacity, calling to the attention of the President and his aides and Cabinet any needed legislation, but not acting upon same until authorized by the President so to act; and (c), that the Supreme Court shall immediately have removed from its jurisdiction the power to negate, by ruling them to be unconstitutional or by any other judicial action, any or all acts of the President, his duly appointed aides, or Congress.

Addendum: It shall be strictly understood that, as the League of Forgotten Men and the Democratic Party, as now constituted, have no purpose nor desire to carry out any measure that shall not unqualifiedly meet with the desire of the majority of voters in these United States, the League and Party regard none of the above fifteen points as obligatory and unmodifiable except No. 15, and upon the others they will act or refrain from acting in accordance with the general desire of the Public, who shall under the new régime be again granted an individual freedom of which they have been deprived by the harsh and restrictive economic measures of former administrations, both Republican and Democratic.

Quote
In mid-August, President Windrip announced that, since all its aims were being accomplished, the League of Forgotten Men (founded by one Rev. Mr. Prang, who was mentioned in the proclamation only as a person in past history) was now terminated. So were all the older parties, Democratic, Republican, Farmer-Labor, or what not. There was to be only one: The American Corporate State and Patriotic Party--no! added the President, with something of his former good-humor: "there are two parties, the Corporate and those who don't belong to any party at all, and so, to use a common phrase, are just out of luck!"

The idea of the Corporate or Corporative State, Secretary Sarason had more or less taken from Italy. All occupations were divided into six classes: agriculture, industry, commerce, transportation and communication, banking and insurance and investment, and a grab-bag class including the arts, sciences, and teaching. The American Federation of Labor, the Railway Brotherhoods, and all other labor organizations, along with the Federal Department of Labor, were supplanted by local Syndicates composed of individual workers, above which were Provincial Confederations, all under governmental guidance. Parallel to them in each occupation were Syndicates and Confederations of employers. Finally, the six Confederations of workers and the six Confederations of employers were combined in six joint federal Corporations, which elected the twenty-four members of the National Council of Corporations, which initiated or supervised all legislation relating to labor or business.

Quote
He most noticed a number of stray imitation soldiers, without side-arms or rifles, but in a uniform like that of an American cavalryman in 1870: slant-topped blue forage caps, dark blue tunics, light blue trousers, with yellow stripes at the seam, tucked into leggings of black rubberoid for what appeared to be the privates, and boots of sleek black leather for officers. Each of them had on the right side of his collar the letters "M.M." and on the left, a five-pointed star. There were so many of them; they swaggered so brazenly, shouldering civilians out of the way; and upon insignificances like Doremus they looked with frigid insolence.

He suddenly understood.

These young condottieri were the "Minute Men": the private troops of Berzelius Windrip, about which Doremus had been publishing uneasy news reports. He was thrilled and a little dismayed to see them now--the printed words made brutal flesh.

Three weeks ago Windrip had announced that Colonel Dewey Haik had founded, just for the campaign, a nationwide league of Windrip marching-clubs, to be called the Minute Men. It was probable that they had been in formation for months, since already they had three or four hundred thousand members. Doremus was afraid the M.M.'s might become a permanent organization, more menacing than the Kuklux Klan.

Their uniform suggested the pioneer America of Cold Harbor and of the Indian fighters under Miles and Custer. Their emblem, their swastika (here Doremus saw the cunning and mysticism of Lee Sarason), was a five-pointed star, because the star on the American flag was five-pointed, whereas the stars of both the Soviet banner and the Jews--the seal of Solomon--were six-pointed.

The fact that the Soviet star, actually, was also five-pointed, no one noticed, during these excited days of regeneration. Anyway, it was a nice idea to have this star simultaneously challenge the Jews and the Bolsheviks--the M.M.'s had good intentions, even if their symbolism did slip a little.

Yet the craftiest thing about the M.M.'s was that they wore no colored shirts, but only plain white when on parade, and light khaki when on outpost duty, so that Buzz Windrip could thunder, and frequently, "Black shirts? Brown shirts? Red shirts? Yes, and maybe cow-brindle shirts! All these degenerate European uniforms of tyranny! No sir! The Minute Men are not Fascist or Communist or anything at all but plain Democratic--the knight-champions of the rights of the Forgotten Men--the shock troops of Freedom!"

Quote
On a day in late October, suddenly striking in every city and village and back-hill hide-out, the Corpos ended all crime in America forever, so titanic a feat that it was mentioned in the London Times. Seventy thousand selected Minute Men, working in combination with town and state police officers, all under the chiefs of the government secret service, arrested every known or faintly suspected criminal in the country. They were tried under court-martial procedure; one in ten was shot immediately, four in ten were given prison sentences, three in ten released as innocent . . . and two in ten taken into the M.M.'s as inspectors.

There were protests that at least six in ten had been innocent, but this was adequately answered by Windrip's courageous statement: "The way to stop crime is to stop it!"

Quote
December tenth was the birthday of Berzelius Windrip, though in his earlier days as a politician, before he fruitfully realized that lies sometimes get printed and unjustly remembered against you, he had been wont to tell the world that his birthday was on December twenty-fifth, like one whom he admitted to be an even greater leader, and to shout, with real tears in his eyes, that his complete name was Berzelius Noel Weinacht Windrip.

His birthday in 1937 he commemorated by the historical "Order of Regulation," which stated that though the Corporate government had proved both its stability and its good-will, there were still certain stupid or vicious "elements" who, in their foul envy of Corpo success, wanted to destroy everything that was good. The kind-hearted government was fed-up, and the country was informed that, from this day on, any person who by word or act sought to harm or discredit the State, would be executed or interned. Inasmuch as the prisons were already too full, both for these slanderous criminals and for the persons whom the kind-hearted State had to guard by "protective arrest," there were immediately to be opened, all over the country, concentration camps.

Doremus guessed that the reason for the concentration camps was not only the provision of extra room for victims but, even more, the provision of places where the livelier young M.M.'s could amuse themselves without interference from old-time professional policemen and prison-keepers, most of whom regarded their charges not as enemies, to be tortured, but just as cattle, to be kept safely.

On the eleventh, a concentration camp was enthusiastically opened, with band music, paper flowers, and speeches by District Commissioner Reek and Shad Ledue, at Trianon, nine miles north of Fort Beulah, in what had been a modern experimental school for girls. (The girls and their teachers, no sound material for Corpoism anyway, were simply sent about their business.)

And on that day and every day afterward, Doremus got from journalist friends all over the country secret news of Corpo terrorism and of the first bloody rebellions against the Corpos.

Quote
For the first time in America, except during the Civil War and the World War, people were afraid to say whatever came to their tongues. On the streets, on trains, at theaters, men looked about to see who might be listening before they dared so much as say there was a drought in the West, for someone might suppose they were blaming the drought on the Chief! They were particularly skittish about waiters, who were supposed to listen from the ambush which every waiter carries about with him anyway, and to report to the M.M.'s. People who could not resist talking politics spoke of Windrip as "Colonel Robinson" or "Dr. Brown" and of Sarason as "Judge Jones" or "my cousin Kaspar," and you would hear gossips hissing "Shhh!" at the seemingly innocent statement, "My cousin doesn't seem to be as keen on playing bridge with the Doctor as he used to--I'll bet sometime they'll quit playing."

Every moment everyone felt fear, nameless and omnipresent. They were as jumpy as men in a plague district. Any sudden sound, any unexplained footstep, any unfamiliar script on an envelope, made them startle; and for months they never felt secure enough to let themselves go, in complete sleep. And with the coming of fear went out their pride.

Daily--common now as weather reports--were the rumors of people who had suddenly been carried off "under protective arrest," and daily more of them were celebrities. At first the M.M.'s had, outside of the one stroke against Congress, dared to arrest only the unknown and defenseless. Now, incredulously--for these leaders had seemed invulnerable, above the ordinary law--you heard of judges, army officers, ex-state governors, bankers who had not played in with the Corpos, Jewish lawyers who had been ambassadors, being carted off to the common stink and mud of the cells.

To the journalist Doremus and his family it was not least interesting that among these imprisoned celebrities were so many journalists..


Project Gutenberg Australia has the full text up online here.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And on that happy note I think I'm gonna bow out of this discussion since I've said everything I really have to say about this - and I don't want to start (or possibly continue?) boring people by repeating myself.

The rest of you carry on. This is an important discussion you're having. :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 03:43:02 PM by 40hz »