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Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications

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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.

Stoic Joker:
But please remember what happens when governments really become afraid of somebody.-40hz (June 26, 2013, 01:26 PM)
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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-40hz (June 26, 2013, 01:26 PM)
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That's not fearing the people...that's viewing them with contempt.

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

-Stoic Joker (June 26, 2013, 01:34 PM)
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Yep, you for the graphics. I missed they were by you. All fixed now.  :-[

That's not fearing the people...that's viewing them with contempt.
-Stoic Joker (June 26, 2013, 01:34 PM)
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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 bookSmith 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.

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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(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.
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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.
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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!"
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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!"
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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.
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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..
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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:


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