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

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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?
-IainB (June 26, 2013, 10:14 AM)
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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.
-40hz (June 26, 2013, 10:40 AM)
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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

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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.

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

Stoic Joker:

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

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.
-wraith808 (June 26, 2013, 11:50 AM)
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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.


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