Archive for the 'Privacy' Category

08
Jul
10

Are You A “Perfect Citizen”?

per·fect [adj., n. pur-fikt; v. per-fekt]

– adjective

exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

From the Wall Street Journal:

The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.

The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government’s chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn’t persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.

An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.

Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.

“The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government…feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security,” said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. “Perfect Citizen is Big Brother.”

Raytheon declined to comment on this email.

A U.S. military official called the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras. It’s a logical extension of the work federal agencies have done in the past to protect physical attacks on critical infrastructure that could sabotage the government or key parts of the country, the official said.

The classified program is now being expanded with funding from the multibillion-dollar Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which started at the end of the Bush administration and has been continued by the Obama administration, officials said.

17
Mar
10

Facebook Fed Friends Go Undercover to Keep America Safe

From Wired.Com

The next time someone tries to “friend” you on Facebook, it may turn out to be an undercover fed looking to examine your private messages and photos, or surveil your friends and family. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has obtained an internal Justice Department document that describes what law enforcement is doing on social networking sites.


16
Jan
10

Obama’s Ministry of Truth?: Analysis of Cass Sunstein’s “Cognitive Infiltration” Strategy

THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH

The best way to control opposition is to lead it ourselves – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

To ensure survival, oppressive governments purposefully shape, distort, and conceal potentially damaging information. Public perception must be craftily managed, lest the house of cards collapse due to the implosive effect of exposure. The free-flow of information, particularly the sort divulging deep-seated political corruption and large-scale government illegality, would spark intense moral outrage leading to pesky legislative hearings, lost elections, criminal trials, impeachment proceedings, etc.

An oppressive government wishing to obscure its anti-democratic hubris, must taint the jury pool to avoid conviction in the court of public opinion. The following article is demonstrative of the methods and tactics employed by rogue governmental factions of the mistakenly labeled freest country on the face of the Earth to co-opt and marginalize information that is deemed too dangerous for public consumption.

From the Raw Story article “Obama staffer wants ‘cognitive infiltration of 9/11 conspiracy groups”:

President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11. Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.

Sunstein’s article, published in the Journal of Political Philosphy in 2008 and recently uncovered by blogger Marc Estrin, states that “our primary claim is that conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a ‘crippled epistemology,’ in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.”

In Cass Sunstein’s view, those who have a healthy functioning epistemology obtain their news and information from government-approved  mainstream media sources. Surely Sunstein is aware of the U.S. government’s long history of co-opting journalists and infiltrating news organizations to ensure favorable reporting (see Carl Bernstein’s 1977 Rolling Stone article The CIA and the Media and Alex Constantine’s article Mockingbird: The Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA). Former CIA Director William Colby boasted that “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” The Pentagon pundit scandal (also referred to as “psy-ops on steroids”) is a recent example of the U.S. government shaping public perception through the recruitment of active and retired members of the military to sell the Iraq war to the American people through the MSM.

Those suffering from Sunstein’s diagnosis of “crippled epistemology” are merely individuals who obtain news and information from sources outside of the government’s long arm of control. From the government’s perspective, there is a risk that increasing numbers of citizens will resort to unapproved news outlets to feather their reality nests. When a critical mass of those who reject the state-engineered MSM corporate propaganda is reached, the state’s fragile body of lies is placed under heightened scrutiny.

Sunstein, whose article focuses largely on the 9/11 conspiracy theories, suggests that the government “enlist nongovernmental officials in the effort to rebut the theories. It might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts.” [see Pentagon pundit scandal (also referred to as “psy-ops on steroids.”]

Sunstein argued that “government might undertake (legal) tactics for breaking up the tight cognitive clusters of extremist theories.” He suggested that “government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”

Truth has a remarkably tenacious nature, and as a result, is quite difficult to suppress. Therefore, the malefactors promoting the deception must employ a variety of obfuscation tactics to derail attempts to bring their activities into the light. Through the use of agent provocateurs, the limited hang-out, ad hominem attacks, mis-info and dis-info campaigns, appeals to authority, and other deceptive tactics, the typical citizen is unlikely to question the architecture of his externally designed reality tunnel.

The controllers are well aware that perceptions are malleable.  Deference to authority is deeply ingrained through social conditioning and the subconscious desire for a strong unyielding leader. In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler expressed the propaganda power of the “big lie”:

[T]he broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

The “big lie” is inconceivable to the average bloke whose daily life is rife with the telling of little white lies. Due to their ubiquity, these falsehoods of little import merely grease the wheels of social interaction, and as a result, are bandied about with minimal contemplation. The “big lie” requires not only more devious preparation, but also acts as a guilt-filled anchor continually punishing its purveyor. Governments and psychopaths have a distinct advantage in that they possess no conscience in need of assuagement.

Sunstein “wants to hold blogs and web hosting services accountable for the remarks of commenters on websites while altering libel laws to make it easier to sue for spreading ‘rumors,'” wrote Ed Lasky at American Thinker.

In other words,  if your conspiracy-busting, divide-and-conquer, dis-info strategy fails to stem the flow of damaging information, you can always wage war against the First Amendment.  Advocating an end-run around the First Amendment through legislative and/or judicial modification of defamation law would surely obtain the intended chilling effect on free speech, but at what cost? As a Constitutional law professor, surely Cass Sunstein understands the sanctity and the necessity of free speech in a democratic society. But then again, if we are to take him at his word, his allegiance must surely lie elsewhere.

If you don’t have this freedom of the press, then all these little fellows are weaseling around and doing their monkey business and they never get caught  ~ Judge Harold R. Medina

11
Nov
09

Robert Anton Wilson on “National Security” and the Empedoclean Knot Infinite Regress

prometheusFrom Robert Anton Wilson’sPrometheus Rising“:

Every authoritarian structure can be visualized as a pyramid with an eye on top. This is the typical flow-chart of any government, any corporation, any army, any bureaucracy, any mammalian pack. On each rung, participants bear a nescience  in relation to those above them. That is, they must be very, very careful that the natural sensory activities of being conscious organisms – the acts of seeing, hearing, smelling, drawing inferences from perceptions, etc. – are in accord with the reality-tunnel of those above them. This is absolutely vital; pack status (and “job security”) depends on it. It is much less important – a luxury that can be easily discarded – that these perceptions be in accord with objective fact.

For instance, in the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the agent had to develop a capacity to see godless communists everywhere. Any agent whose perceptions indicated that there were actually very few godless communists in this country at that time would experience cognitive dissonance – his or her reality-tunnel was at variance with the “official” reality-tunnel of the pyramid. To talk about such perceptions at all would be to invite suspicions of eccentricity, intellectual wiseactreing or of being oneself a godless communist.

As Paul Watzlawick notes, that which is objectively oppressed soon becomes subjectively repressed (unthinkable). Nobody likes to feel like a coward and a liar constantly. It is easier to cease to notice where the official tunnel-reality differs from existential fact. Thus SNAFU accelerates and rigiditus bureaucraticus sets in – the last state before all brain activity ceases and the pyramid is clinically dead as an intellectual entity.

We also propose that “national security” is another semantic spook, an Empedoclean knot; that the search for national security is the chief cause of national insecurity and a potent anti-intellegence mechanism.

As Leary writes:

Secrecy is the original sin. Fig lead in the Garden of Eden. The basic crime against love… The purpose of  life is to receive, synthesize, and transmit energy. Communication fusion is the goal of life. Any star can tell you that. Communication is love. Secrecy, withholding the signal, hoarding, hiding, covering up the light is motivated by shame and fear.

As so often happens, the right wing is half right for the wrong reasons. Thy say primly: if you have done nothing wrong, you have no fear of being bugged. Exactly. But the logic goes both ways. Then FBI files, CIA dossiers, White House conversations should open up to all. Let everything hang open. Let government be totally visible. The last, the very last people to hide their actions should be the police and the government.

What my eminent colleague states so poetically can be stated more functionally as follows:

Every secret police agency must be monitored by an elite corps or secret-police-of-the-second-order. This is because of (a) infilitration of the secret police, for purpose of subversion, will always be a prime goal of both internal subversives and hostile foreign power, and (b) secret police agencies acquire fantastic capacities to blackmail and intimidate others, in and out of government. Stalin executed three chiefs of the secret police in a row because of this danger. As Nixon so wistfully said in a Watergate transcript.

Well, Hoover performed. He would have fought. That was the point. He would have defied a few people. He would have scared them to death. He had a file on everybody.

securityThus, those who employ secret police agencies must monitor them, to be sure they are not acquiring too much power.

Here a sinister infinite regress enters the game. Any elite second order police must be, also, subject to infiltration, or to acquiring “too much power” in the opinion of its masters. And so it, too, must be monitired, by a secret-police-of-the-third-order.

In brief, once a government has n orders of secret police spying on each other, all are potentially suspect, and to be safe, a secret police of order n plus 1 must be created. And so on, forever.

In practice of course, this cannot regress to mathematical infinity, but only to the point where every citizen is spying on every other citizen or until finding runs out.

National Security, in practice, must always fall short of the logically Empedoclean infinite regress it requires for perfect “security.” In the gap between the ideal of “One Nation under surveillance with wire taps and urine tests for all.” and the strictly limited real situation of finite resources and finite funding, there is ample encouragement for paranoias of all sorts to flourish, both among the citizens and among the police.

Thus, the USSR after 62 years of Marxist secret police games reached the point where the alpha males were terrified of painters and poets.

secret policeIn spying-and-hiding transactions, worry leads to more worry and suspicion leads to more suspicion. The very act of participating, however unwillingly, in the secret police game – even as victim, or citizen being monitored – will eventually produce all the classic symptoms of clinical paranoia.

The agent knows who he is spying on, but he never knows who is spying on him. Could it be his wife, his mistress, his secretary, the newsboy, the Good Humor man?

If there is a secret police at all, in any nation, every branch and department of government, and institutions which are not even admitted parts of government, becomes suspect in the eyes of the cautious and intelligent people as a possible front for, or tunnel to, the secret police. That is, the more shrewd will recognize that something bearing the label of HEW or even International Silicon and Pencil might actually be the CIA or NSA in disguise.

In such a deception network, conspiracy theories proliferate. Rumor is necessary, it has to be found, when people cannot find “official” news sources that can be trusted to tell that them what is really going on. The present author, having worked in the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the legalized-pot movement and other dissident causes, has repeatedly been approached by friend A with dire warnings that friend B is almost certainly a secret police agent, only to be told later and independently by friend C that friend A is a secret police agent. It requires delicate neurolological know-how to keep one’s sense of humor in the secret police matrix.

The more omnipresent the secret police, the more likely it is the intelligent men and women will regard the government with fear and loathing.

The government, on discovering that growing numbers of citizens regard it with fear and loathing, will increase the size and powers of the secret police, to protect itself. The infinite regress again appears.

The shock of discovering that most of the power in the world is held by ignorant and greedy people can really bum you out at first; but after you’ve lived with it a few decades, it becomes, like cancer and other plagues, just another problem that we will solve eventually if we keep working at it.”~ Robert Anton Wilson

23
Jan
09

Shadow Factory Revelations: The Illegal NSA Domestic Spy Dragnet

Recently, additional news has surfaced regarding the government’s unlawful domestic surveillance operations. A former NSA analyst and whistle-blower, Russell Tice, has revealed that the government’s illegal spying on Americans is far more pervasive than previously known. In a brazen display of arrogance, government officials who have sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, are routinely violating their duties and responsibilities to the American people.

Information regarding the unconstitutional NSA surveillance program has been steadily trickling out for the past several years. Of particular import is the 2005 New York Times story that broke the news of illegal domestic spying, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s lawsuit detailing information that AT&T allowed the government to surreptitiously monitor the phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants, and the revelations in James Bamford’s books uncovering the widespread incompetence and illegality of NSA domestic intelligence gathering operations.

clicking1

Russell Tice, the NSA whistle-blower, recently appeared on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC program and provided shocking details about information he uncovered during his tenure at the spy agency. According to Tice, organizations, news agencies, and journalists were targeted with a 24/7 data-collection dragnet despite evidence of criminal or terror-related involvement. Compartmentalization procedures were employed to prevent him (and other analysts) from knowing the full extent of the unlawful NSA domestic spying operations.

According to Tice, “The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications — faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications. It didn’t matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”

Tice revealed that the information gathered by the NSA sweep is “digitized and put on databases.” A $130 million, the 470,000-square-foot facility in San Antonio is being built to warehouse the spy data. NSA’s new Texas Cryptology Center will employ 1,500 people and “may eventually be able to hold all the information in the world.” According to James Bamford, the author of “Shadow Factory“, the goal is to know “exactly what Americans were doing day by day, hour by hour, and second by second… where they shopped, what they bought, what movies they saw, what books they read, the toll booths they went through, the plane tickets they purchased, the hotels they stayed in… In other words, Total Information Awareness, the same Orwellian concept that John Poindexter had tried to develop while working for the Pentagon’s [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency].”

uncle-sam

Despite George W. Bush’s previous assurances to the contrary, The NSA has been violating the rights of American (non-terrorist) citizens for years. The false-flag 9-11 attack on America was a pretext for legislation and unconstitutional executive actions designed to erode the rights of average Americans. With Osama bin Laden still on the loose (wink-wink), the military submerged in two far-and-away imperialist quagmires, and the economy in free-fall, the blatant assault on individual rights and privacy is, unfortunately, a minor blip on most Americans’ radar screens.

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious ~ George Orwell (1984)

20
Jan
09

The Audacity of Privacy: Obama’s AG Nominee Supports Library and Bookstore Record Searches

holder_met 0324During his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing last week, Barack Obama’s Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder, pledged his support for renewing Section 215 of the Patriot Act. This unconstitutional provision allows the FBI to search personal records from businesses, bookstores, and libraries. Prior to this legislative assault on the Fourth Amendment, individuals had an expectation of privacy from prying government eyes regarding their reading selections.

The target of the search does not have to be suspected of terrorism or any other crime. A permanent gag order that accompanies each search prohibits the business or library from telling anyone about it.

Organizations of librarians and booksellers have denounced the law as an assault on reader privacy. Some libraries have posted signs warning patrons that their records are subject to government inspection, and many librarians now destroy files on borrowers who have returned their books. (source)

patriot-act

Many on the left, and civil libertarians, have denounced the colossal privacy invasion measures ushered in with the Patriot Act under the Bush Administration’s watch. Obama’s Attorney General nominee seems eager to continue this distressing pattern of privacy erosion in the name of fightin’ terror.

AG nominee Holder’s position on Section 215, coupled with Obama’s vote in support of the expanding the sweeping FISA legislation (the government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications for providing personal records to the government) signals the incoming administration’s disdain for individual privacy.

21
Nov
08

Celine’s Laws

pyramidCeline’s Laws were maxims attributed to the fictional character Hagbard Celine in writer Robert Anton Wilson’s co-written series Illuminatus! Trilogy (The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple and Leviathan). The works, which have been described as “a fairy tale for paranoids”, fuse factual information with a hyper-imaginative, post-modernist, sci-fi landscape awash in drugs, sex, and majick-riddled fiction in a Dischordian scheme Wilson named Operation Mindfuck.

Freeman Hagbard Celine, H.M., S.H. (Holy Man, Shit Head) is a central figure in the Illumanitus! Trilogy. Celine, a Discordian Anarchist, fought the Illuminati in a golden submarine (named Leif Ericson). He designed a supercomputer called FUCKUP (First Universal Cybernetic Kynetic Ultramicro-Programmer). Celine’s three laws are outlined in his manifesto Never Whistle While You’re Pissing.

raw4Wilson was an American writer, psychonaut, libertarian, philosopher, jury nullification proponent, Church of the SubGenius member, consciousness explorer, Maybe Logic Academy founder, rational irrationalist, model agnostic, and a few other things. His role as consciousness barricade obliterator, socio-political pseudo-edifice deconstructionist, and idiocracy annihilator will not soon be forgotten.


Celine’s Laws

1. National Security is the chief cause of national insecurity

Paranoia accompanies the rise and increasing power of the state, necessitating a secret police (e.g., Hoover’s FBI). With the threat of infestation by internal subversives and foreign enemies, and the dangerous monopoly on blackmail and intimidation powers a singular agency wields, another intelligence apparatus must be instituted to monitor the former. A higher level secret police would then need to be created to oversee the most recent agency addition – ad infinitum.

This infinite “watching the watchers” regression leads to needless spying, the spawning of laws violating civil liberties, and the targeting of innocent citizens under the sweeping banner of national security. In the end, the citizen is threatened more by the paranoid machinations of Homeland (In)Security than whatever enemy necessitated its original creation.

2. Accurate communication is possible only in a non-punishing situation.

Wilson advanced the view that true “communication only occurs between equals.” In a hierarchal structure, strong motives exist for the subservient to lie, bootlick, and ingratiate themselves to their superior. Due to the imbalance of power, the inferior member must protect themselves from violence or the loss of economic security through deceit and subterfuge.

Accurate information can only be transmitted between equals. When the hierarchal dynamic exists, the inherent possibility of the use of force prohibits truthful information exchange. According to Celine’s law, any hierarchy acts more to conceal the truth from its leaders than it serves to find the truth.

3. An honest politician is a national calamity

Although absurd on its face, Celine’s third law argues that a corrupt politician is preferable to an honest one. To redress inequity, and fix the broken political system, the honest politician must implement new sweeping reforms through laws. With more and more laws, individuals are subjected to the greater possibility of criminal prosecution.

Individual freedoms are restricted with each legislative enactment which punish human interaction. The citizens, unable to keep abreast with the flurry of legislative activity, find their liberty at greater risk due to potential criminal prosecution. Though the dishonest politician may line his pockets with the monies of the people, an honest politician may pose the greater threat by unwittingly stripping them of individual rights.

rawrip1

Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence ~ Robert Anton Wilson

04
Nov
08

Obama’s Civilian Informant Brigade

Obama is America’s second best bullshitter politician behind William Jefferson Blythe III. His masterful combination of Dr. Milton Erickson’s conversational hypnotic skills and substance-free aspirational rhetoric has duped many a naive voter. The pied political piper artfully provided the peeps what they wanted to see and hear. Now the rope-a-dope is on (U.S. imperialists out of Iraq??? Yeah, right).

spyAccording to Barack “Hussein in the Membrane” Obama, the feds, state and local police, and the rent-a-cops just aren’t enough to instill fear in the hearts of the proles these days. The Kenyan-born crack-smoker is calling for a “civilian national security force” that is just as “powerful, strong, and as well funded” as the U.S. military.

I guess that Obama didn’t get the memo regarding W’s deployment of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team to police the streets of America. But then again, you can’t have to many eyes and ears in your delicate new regime. I can’t wait to submit my application for neighborhood surveillance captain in the Obama corps.

I seriously doubt that Obama’s handlers have clued him in on how many zeros are in the military defense budget. But then again, money is not an issue when you can forcibly extract whatever you need from a minority of the population with a progressive income tax. Democracy is but a fragile specimen that atrophies when the shmoes figure out how easy it is to vote in a wealth re-distributor to lighten the load.

Just like under W’s civil liberty deprivation regime, the change we can believe also wants to shit on your privacy. Obama claimed that the Bush administration had “abused [its] authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders”. Soon afterwards, he dutifully cast his Senate vote in favor of immunizing telecoms from liability for handing over private communications to the government.

wiretaps1

With his telecom immunity flip-flop vote, maybe Obama just wanted a little more intelligence on the American people to buttress his civilian informant brigade field reports. The audacity of snoops.

My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you’ll join with me as we try to change it ~ Barack Obama

17
Oct
08

News and Commentary You Can Use (If you printed it out, balled it up a bunch of times to make it softer, and then put it next to the toilet)

From the Washington Post:

The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to “engage and inspire” the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.

Nothing inspires an occupied and brutalized populace like U.S.-generated conquered nation propaganda. If the “news on the ground” does not justify the ongoing genocidal destruction of a nation, sometimes you just got to make shit up. Consider your $1 contribution to the psy-op war effort an uplifting kick in the pants to those ungrateful Iraqis that have been “liberated”. Besides, we got to keep their spirits high to get those lucrative oil contracts.

Recent news of the NSA eavesdropping on American soldiers, journalists, and aid workers should be of little surprise. Two whistle-blowing NSA intercept operators detailed how recordings were made of intimate conversations and traded amongst their perverted peers for a good laugh. This revelation prompted the following from America’s number one journalist, Stephen Colbert.

This is exactly what the NSA should be monitoring. When people are having sex, they let their bar down. You can learn a lot about a person by which god’s name they cry out right before they visit the holy land. Besides, listening to phone sex is a valuable tool in the war on terror — if you know how to interpret it. Where does the government get off listening to my private conversations?’ You just got your answer. They’re getting off at the NSA.

According to Reuters, banks and dealers’ overall direct borrowings from the Fed averaged a record $437.53 billion per day in the week ended October 15, topping the previous week’s $420.16 billion per day. “The banking system is going to become addicted to this very cheap money. Unwinding it will be very difficult,” said Howard Simons, strategist with Bianco Research in Chicago.

The FED’s magical currency printing machine must be working overtime these days. I can’t think of a better way to restore investor and consumer confidence than an avalanche of fiat federal reserve notes flooding the market leading to rapid inflation. No wonder politicians cannot tell you the price of a gallon of milk, the damn prices keep shooting up.

On a more sorrowful note, the marriage of Madonna and Guy Ritchie seems to be in its final throes. During their courtship, I tried my best to contact Madge and warn her about the emotionally stunted and unsophisticated Brit. To the dismay of many, my numerous letters detailing Mr. Ritchie’s coarseness, homophobia, and spiritual immaturity were not enough to avert this marital disaster.

I pray that the international Qabbalistic community comforts and strengthens Madge in this time of not only great sorrow, but wondrous opportunity. May the Sephiroth of love (divine emanation of angels) guide and direct Madonna into the loving arms of a powerful, loving, and deserving Qabbalist in the days ahead.

19
May
08

Democratic Tyranny: Government Surveillance and The Trees

While reading an article on the evolution of wiretapping technology, and listening to my favorite Rush album (Hemispheres), a synapse circuit overloaded, and I felt compelled to record my thoughts for posterity. Here is my hastily written correlative shotgun thesis.

With the emergence of digital and cell phone technology in the 90’s, the spooks were losing the capability of spying on Americans. Something had to be done to ensure that 4th Amendment violations would continue unabated. Not to worry, a ball-busting series of negotiations between communications industry titans, the Feds, and supposed civil libertarians (the ACLU), paved the way for the current and future privacy erosions.

Jerry Berman was a veteran of the privacy wars, seemingly born for the role of liberal, dogmatic activist. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s, and, in 1967, his law degree, Berman began lobbying for the American Civil Liberties Union. He became an authority on the intersection of national security and technology, schooled by the exposure of illegal FBI spying operations aimed at political organizations, war protesters, and leftist activists. In 1978, Berman helped to craft the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which set new restrictions on the government’s domestic intelligence-gathering.

He was present at the creation of several important pieces of surveillance legislation, and he helped secure individual privacy protections. In playing his role, Berman didn’t adhere to a hard-and-fast position but instead embraced his own brand of “principled pragmatism.” By his logic, the interests of privacy and national security were not incompatible. If all sides — government, industry, civil-liberties activists — could find ways to “maximize the good and minimize the harm,” as he liked to say, they could strike a satisfactory balance and create workable laws.

This idea guided his work on FISA and other legislation, sometimes to the consternation of more-ideological activists who employed him to lobby Congress on their behalf. Perhaps that was because principled pragmatism recognized an unsavory reality: In Washington, those who show up to play the game make the rules. Negotiation requires sacrifice. Sacrifice requires flexibility. Some people would rather break than bend. But compromise is how things get done, and Berman accepted it. (source)

So as I am reading about that bit of sordid recent history while listening to Rush’s song The Trees. In the song, competing factions (the maples and the oaks) are having a bit of a squabble over collective vs. individual rights relating to sunlight and airspace. The maples formed a union, demanded equal rights, and the state intervened to police the dispute by way of force (hatchet, axe, and saw).

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream “Oppression!”
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
“The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light.”
Now there’s no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw ~ Rush (The Trees)

I see these two battles as roughly synonymous. The maple’s cry for the right to more sunlight is akin to the psy-op brainwashed masses demand for more safety and security (through government surveillance). Both must be implemented through the use of force, effectively subjecting the right of the individual to the will of the majority. All hierarchal governmental structures operate in this manner.  Forcible interferences with human nature (i.e., natural rights, and individual liberty) are the inherent destructive by-product of any democratic system.

In the natural order of things, the animal and plant kingdoms resolve their disputes with prompt efficiency, as dictated by the laws of nature. Human be-ings haven’t embraced universal homeostatic equilibrium. Consequentially, a perpetual tug-of-war pits one group against another in an endless battle royal of individual rights vs. the mob-rule subjugation machine.

The maples’ demand for more sunlight prompted the invocation of authoritative power as a balancing mechanism. The security of the people is the justification employed to erode the privacy of the individual (a form of psychological violence).

Which prompts the question – do we still have a shared human nature?




Johnny Peepers

----> is a socio-pathetic degenerate with a penchant for cheap booze, ruphy-laden broads, and dim sum soup.

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