Wednesday, June 12, 2013


It's all about how we use language... This isn't quite funny enough yet, but it's a start. (If there's one thing to which dictators are allergic, it's ridicule. Enough ridicule may even induce anaphylactic shock.)
On a recent visit to the United States, signs of an oppressive security apparatus could be found everywhere. At all national airports, passengers are now forced to undergo humiliating “naked” full-body scans before being allowed to board flights. Surveillance cameras gaze down from just about every corner, recording the movements and actions of the entire public. Incessant warnings on public transportation systems encourage citizens to report any “suspicious activity” to authorities.

Several American villagers interviewed for this story said the ubiquitous government marketing campaign called “If you see something, say something” does little to make them feel safer and, in fact, only contributes to a growing mistrust among the general population.
“I’ve deleted my Facebook account, stopped using email, or visiting websites that might be considered anti-regime,” a resident of the northern city of Boston, a tough-as-nails town synonymous with rebellion, told GlobalPost. (It was in Boston that a local militia first rose up against the British empire.) “But my phone? How can I stop using my phone? This has gone too far!”

American dissidents interviewed by GlobalPost inside the United States say surveillance by domestic intelligence agencies is just one part of a larger effort by the Obama regime to centralize power.



PR said...

The author is just calling it satire so he doesn't have to move to Hong Kong.

Lance M. Foster said...

I personally think that all the governments are well aware we are in the first stages of social and environmental collapse, and they are preparing for it. Get as much control as possible over the population so the people in power can manage for the collapse according to the interests of those in power for their protection and control over the remaining resources.

k-dog said...

Satire? Too much truth in it for it to be satire.

From the article:

“Our goal now is to just get out the message to the world about what is going on here. That’s the first step. We need to educate not only Americans but the world about the extent the US regime is controlling the lives of its citizens.

The question I ponder is:

Does the public have the awareness to ask the question what has all this data been used for? Or will they go straight to denial and say none of it matters because the government is 'just looking'. Will they assume that government is only acting like a concerned loving parent who looks to keep children safe?

Daddy Obama?

Snowden's disclosure comes as no surprise to those of us who have stuck heads above the masses and done things to attract Obama's attention. We know calling the data 'metadata' is a dodge.

My own feeling was that it was only a matter of time before somebody spilled the beans. All that power being abused with the grace of a drunk elephant could not be kept secret forever. I hope people start asking what all this data has been used for. I know personally it's not been sitting around doing nothing and collecting dust.

I hope more secrets are revealed, and soon.

Nothing is more dangerous than a government that spies on it's own citizens to keep them safe.


pseudonym said...

Re: daily show "GOOD NEWS, Your not paranoid"

Anything which encourages monumental inefficiency amongst intelligence agencies should be supported, in my view.

The sheer daily volume. They m_u_s_t be deleting more than they read.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is more dangerous than a government that spies on it's own citizens to keep them safe.

I think a citizenry that welcomes the spying is more dangerous k-dog. I'm moving to rural nowhere as soon as I can because of said citizens.

New Englander said...


The sheer daily volume. They m_u_s_t be deleting more than they read.

No, I don't think they delete any of it. No human reads it all, but software analyzes it, associates information with people, makes it all searchable, and probably rates you in various ways based on your communication and movement, like a credit report but more detailed.

Now and then, a human searches the database for the top "likely terrorists" and mines data about the top 100 results. Or perhaps they look at "copyright infringers" or "seed savers" or "3-d printing enthusiasts".

Anonymous said...

I don't trust Snowden or his motives at all.

I'm betting the things he is saying about the NSA are all true. I'm also going to predict that we'll see more whistleblowers from the other Federal Acronyms in short order (other than the DHS).

But Snowden keeps transforming into Snowjob in my head and that feeling is unshakable for the time being. It is exactly the kind of thing the restless occupiers and tea partiers have been aching to hear and they're all eating it up.

This is the controlled demolition of the desire to rise up.

Lance M. Foster said...

lol, seed savers are likely terrorists, eh!? Unlike Monsanto and their ilk. I heard from a couple of students in my classes that since they were vets of Iraq and Afghanistan, they get extra shakedowns at the airport. So the people who risk their lives for this government get put on the list too.

What psychos. Guess we are all flagged the same way for reading blogs like Orlov, or Kunstler or Greer. What a psycho mess all of this is. Absolute nutcases run the whole mess.

New Englander said...

Absolute nutcases run the whole mess.

If so, it behooves us to study their madness, at least to the extent that they hold power over us. I think the "They" consider themselves akin to cattle ranchers.

If you owned a herd of 300 million cattle and happened upon a convenient way to monitor and collect each cow's vital signs, movements, eating habits, and so forth, what would you do? I would develop software to identify "problem" animals, those becoming ill, likely stampede starters, and any with characteristics that seem unfavorable to my bottom line. If possible, I would automate ways to cure the curable ones and cull the others.

I would apply human intervention only for the purpose of testing and quality assurance. Once confident of the system's value, I would leave the decision when to kill which animal to the software.

Would I be a nutcase? That depends on whether I actually have such power or merely imagine it.

Anonymous said...

"Would I be a nutcase? That depends on whether I actually have such power or merely imagine it."

And if the Meek and Obedient think you have that power, they might follow you down
Well Trodden Corridors into valleys of steel.

Dick Cheney on a 4-wheeler!

(note - this short video is not brought to you by our sponsors, and is very NOT suitable for children)

k-dog said...

I came back and re-read the article. The article closes with:

“We meet in person these days to talk about strategy, phones and email are no longer safe for us,” one of them said. “Our goal now is to just get out the message to the world about what is going on here.”

Those of us who have been of this opinion for some time know this is not going to be an easy task.

Kevin Frost said...

They Know Everything

Some of us have this phobia about how the authorities are going to find out what we really think and then it’s game over. They’ll round up all the dissidents and bus them off to FEMA camps. Everybody’s got the fear. But this is at a time when they can’t afford to keep the penitentiary system going. One thing I wonder about. All those soldiers on the streets of Boston. I wonder what they thought they were doing? Now I know that what they (or anybody else) ‘think’ matters not at all. Ok. But, how about over a short/medium term? Is there a need to keep these guys loyal? The real question is loyal to WHAT?

Let’s back up a bit. I’d say the one and only major contribution of the left to a coherent theory of what’s going on these days was supplied by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine. For those who haven’t read this first rate study she outlines a string of neoliberal ‘initiatives’ of the ‘proactive’ kind beginning with Chile back in 71. Klein details a pattern of events in Chile that will subsequently be replicated elsewhere. First you start off with a government with a largish staff of public servants that collect taxes, rents, and administers other forms of value (forests, mineral wealth, water, public services etc.). But then something terribly shocking happens and people get confused. When people are suitably shocked then a strong man with a moustache, maybe, comes along and tells everybody things will be alright in the not to distant future but first of all important changes need to happen. Enter the Chicago boys with prescripted legislation and a whole raft of highly specific ‘reforms’ well calculated to ‘open up the economy’ to foreign corporations and privatise everything in sight. It only takes a week or two to ram it all through. Afterwards things get back to ‘normal’.

First Chile, then Bolivia, South East Asia in 97, Russia and then finally, guess where, Washington in 2001. Klien dug up an important speech delivered by Donald Rumsfeld to the assembled Joint Chiefs - so this is a roomful of 800 top brass at the Pentagon on September 10, 2001. Note the date. Rumsfeld got up to the podium and announced his presence as the new CEO of the worlds largest and most bloated bureaucracy and then he showed them his chainsaw and told them what he was going to do with it. Sort of a brassy guy himself. But clearly old Don had privatisation on his mind. Klein doesn’t dwell on the details, a roomful of senior military officers scratching their heads, but then there wasn’t much time for that. The very next day all hell breaks loose. A plane (or a hard tipped cruise missile) plows into the Pentagon leaving a big hole. Maybe that’s where all the money started flowing out of the place, do ya think? But who knows? There hasn’t been a proper audit on Pentagon finances since 1992. No matter, the privatisation program went though, and very quickly.

Now here we’re talking about the Pentagon but there’s more to security than that. There’s also all these intelligence operations, some we hear about, others we don’t, but not to be outdone they go up on the block to. Got security? Doesn’t come cheap. Unless you’re an insider with backing from large (tbtf) investment banks. Then it’s a different story. But suffice to say the investors do well in Washington just like they did in Chile, Bolivia, Thailand, and Russia.

Kevin Frost said...

They Know Everything cont.

Ok, now I’m warming to the point. Throughout the blogosphere the libertarians and lefties all seem to entertain Orwellian visions: ‘imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever’. Forever? How long does ‘forever’ last these days? This is what I’m wondering about. Mid century intellectuals were rather in awe of those ‘total states’ that used to be in vogue. They gave the impression of permanence. But what about these newfangled ‘public/private partnerships’ we’re always hearing about? Think for a moment about those troops on the streets of Boston. Who were they taking their orders from? There’s a bit of confusion about that these days. Things aren’t as clear as they used to be.

How long does forever last? We could assume it should last long enough to loot the place and get the hell out before the big structures ‘collapse’(collapse as distinct from demolish or maybe something inbetween?). These folks don’t stash their savings in piggy banks or local credit unions. More like offshore accounts, apartments in Rio, maybe a bit of acreage in Paraguay, and maybe more but no significant investments in America, that’s for sure.

They’ve got all our info, passwords, phone calls, emails, and such and we’re told it’s stored in Utah. They know it all. Soon the troublesome cases will get a visit from the Checka early in the morn, packed off to camps before the dawn. Maybe. But what’s got me wondering is this: the old NKVD, Gestapo, Stassi were all public servants, strictly speaking. They were operatives of a public authority. This is exactly what’s going by the way. If they were interested in incarcerating people they’d fund it. But no. If they were interested in governing the population they’d back the federal, state, and municipal structures. That’s not happening. What then is?

Wanna be a patriot? Succeed from the Union, startup a bit of freelance governance of your own? Go ahead. Who cares? Really, if Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria are anything to go by this may be oh happy days for those who will, those who can. And we thought the American dream was dead. Well, almost, but maybe not yet.

This is a thought experiment, not a prophecy. Everybody’s got the fear. Surely this is intended. But the question remains – to what extent are these fears well founded?

Ave said...

Kevin Frost : indeed prisons and gulags are from a different age, with a different technological and cultural setup.

The future is the slum. IMF adjustment programs utterly destroyed countires such as Zaïre, and turned them into a gigantic slum.

In the book "Planet of slums" Mike Davis explains how thugs replace policeman in keeping order (an order fit for the owner of the slum not its inhabitants).

My guess is that possible threats will be looted (=equipping the thugs) and then killed. Some improvised low-level torture (street thugs) may happen in between.

It's much more economical and to outstanders, it will be : "things happen". No uniforms, no responsability.

Proving such an assertion is seeing things as they already are, for most humans really, with different glasses. I dare to say things have been this way forever, and refined to a high art in Colonial India for instance (with the unhealthy mix of a skewed, tailor-made caste system).

Kevin Frost said...

Ave: good point. I was actually thinking about Zaire when writing that last bit. The thought was: ‘do mining companies need governments? No. Look at Zaire. All that’s required are militias and the companies don’t even have to pay, that’s what imperial taxpayer funded intelligence agencies are for. You just dig the stuff out of the ground and take it. Governments just get in the way. So from a surplus extraction viewpoint: just take it all.
‘Proving such an assertion is seeing things as they already are, for most humans really, with different glasses’. Good.
As to the anthropologic question, .... naw. I think people are basically good. Except in GB and the United States. Otherwise it’s not as bad as they say. More seriously I’m inclined to resist the anthropological question generally speaking and insist instead in clearly framing the actually existing material practices which serve as models for ‘human nature’ and generally become inflated with general principle status without a second thought. Otherwise noumena are hard to know. Phenomena on the other hand is something home made and to that extent knowable, though there be little interest in such things. Kant, Marx, Foucault.

Λύκινος said...

Hi Dmitry Orlov.

Sorry that the comment is a bit unrelated to article, but I would like to read sometime your opinion about bitcoin.

Ave said...

To Kevin Frost : I wasn't speaking on an anthropological point of view, rather ont he idea that for most humans on the planet right now, things are already looking like that.

About the question of whether people are good or not, it may be answered in different ways. One way would be : they are good *most of the time* (Earth : mostly harmless)

Another are : they are good, but passive, and let assholes take over.

My personal view is dependent on the proportion of different MBTI types in the population. ( )

Different people can be triggered by different buttons, but there are more of a certain range of types than of others.

44% of people are extroverted-sensing, 76% are sensing. Only 6% are introverted-intuitive.

If you get interested in that theory, these are numbers that are quite relevant.

(Also, 75% of women are of Feeling types, vs 43% for men, according to )

I think that "Edward Bernays" kind of people, while not philosophers, know empirically how we work, and may use statistics like these to tailor beliefs for maximum results.

People are good or bad in different ways, but if you know how to press their different buttons, in the end the masses work for you, and then it comes down to what you intend to do with it, good or evil (and, as they say, it is less in the goal than in the means...)

onething said...

Not guessing he will have a high opinion of something even more ephemeral than our digital/paper currency.

escapefromwisconsin said...

I've been calling on the Carter Foundation to monitor our elections for years.

I remember one of Yakov Smirnoff's most famous jokes was, "In America, you listen to man on radio. In Soviet Russia, man on radio listen to you!" Somehow it's not so funny anymore.

Anonymous said...

One cannot fail to notice the use of language in our media.

If it's an enemy, it's a regime, if it's an ally, it's a government. If he opposes us, it's a dictator, if he's one of our friends, he's a strongman. If they want to drive the Russians out of their country they're freedom fighters, if they want us out they're terrorists.

Phew. That felt good to get this off my chest. Let's just hope this post doesn't show up in PRISM too much.

k-dog said...

Are some websites suddenly collecting unsafe to proceed warnings? Are you being informed you may have typed the address in error. Are you being told if you go forward you will go to a shopping site unrelated to your destination.

Are we being messed with and misdirected or it just me?

Don't worry, I don't bite.