Posts Tagged ‘AUTHORITARIANISM’

Internet Market Considers MIcrosoft Bid for Yahoo

NSA’s UK branch has now been exposed for spying directly into people’s residences with imagery from hacked web cameras.  These unaccountable monsters are the enemies of humanity and should be arrested and tried for their myriad ongoing crimes.

Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ
• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
• Yahoo: ‘A whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy’
• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images

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How Police Became a Standing Army

“Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces”

You’re going to want to think really hard whether you want to risk calling the police in the future … for anything.

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NSA Chief: Reporters Must Be Stopped
NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts
Edward Snowden: Comic Books and Video Games Inspired, Motivated Whistleblowing
Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence
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“I can say unequivocally … if you are a U.S. person the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls and the NSA cannot target your emails.”

-Barack Hussein Obama, June 17, 2013, Charlie Rose

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Washington Post:

Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011
Arrest the president.

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

ADDITIONALLY

What does this tell us?

The court in 2008 imposed a wholesale ban on such searches at the [OUTGOING BUSH REGIME’S] government’s request, said Alex Joel, civil liberties protection officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The government included this restriction “to remain consistent with NSA policies and procedures that NSA applied to other authorized collection activities,” he said.

The Bush regime was doing the same thing but tried to clean up the situation before the Democrats took over.

NSA Satellite Analyst Russell Tice showed that the Bushes were spying on domestic high officials and other opponents back in the early years.

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Revolution Goes Global

by Joe Giambrone

Elysium Unspoiled

A desolate third world wasteland.  A gated, auspicious, white people paradise.  Slave sweatshop.  Tea and martinis.  Not all that implausible, but Elysium represents the ultimate gated community, while the third world has become the entire earth.

This fundamental class distinction leads to inevitable class conflict in Neil Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9, a similarly weighty sci-fi film.  Both films take on issues of global significance, particularly immigration, apartheid and capitalist exploitation of the underclass.  Blomkamp strikes a blow for the rest of humanity, and Elysium is a very good film, bordering on greatness.  For an action sci-fi thriller, it delivers the battles, the archetypes and the desperation of the world.  I heartily recommend seeing it.

Elysium With Spoilers

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“It’s time to junk some toasters.”

The relaunch of the cheesy 80’s space opera was actually quite a bit more serious, faster paced and more dramatic than the original.  The theme, calling our attention to our own shortcomings, our own deadly sins, is intertwined throughout the various storylines, and repeats during the series.  Galactica is a highly political show, and battles between factions and forces play out plausibly, given the world.  Various political battles seek to alter the destiny of the survivors, pitting democracy against militarism and dictatorship.

We are, in the real world, at the cusp of a technological catastrophe.  Chemical, radiological and genetic experiments and associated pollution — and of course war — now stand to push us toward extinction, our own doing.  This arrogance of our species is reflected in the show in some profound ways.

The Galactica miniseries introduces well-defined characters and setups, some noticeably altered from the original iteration (Starbuck a muscular woman this time, and a possible romance between her and Apollo).

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The show has a militaristic veneer, but war is not the glorious accomplishment sold to the public in many other slick packages.  It’s horrific, costly and futile.  An anti-war slant accompanies this tale of machines evolving to destroy their masters and being quite efficient at doing so.  This is not a new plot device, but it’s done well.  Actually it’s done really well, with so many cliffhanger “you are fracked” moments, that I soon found myself addicted, watching the entire 4 seasons on Amazon Prime.

Machines, and their cold mindset, obliterate 12 planets of humans in a nuclear attack.  The remaining refugees must flee with the last remaining battle star to find a safe refuge.  The Cylons now look and act human, actually like sexy blonde actresses when they choose to.  It’s pulpy, but it repeatedly hammers home its themes.  A vain computer genius compromises the security of civilization, and their defense network is rendered useless.

Personal interests take precedence over what is best for the many, and consequences unfold.  Personal love affairs blind parties and keep them from properly carrying out their duties.  Security is pitted against personal stakes and human foibles.  These character weaknesses are designed into the story.

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Cylons infiltrate the security of the fleeing ships and can turn up anywhere.  What’s more, they are quasi-independent, unlike the Borg of Star Trek origin.  These biological Cylons simulate human complexity so well that they exist in a grey area, not knowing if they too are somehow alive, possess souls and can exercise free will, even in opposition to the Cylon directives and genocidal efforts.  This duality is explored more fully by season two, and individual Cylons challenge preconceptions that this is a species or race based war, and throw it back into more ideological terms of right and wrong, genocide and domination.

Like all sci-fi, and all TV for that matter, plot holes emerge if you want to get nitpicky.  Here, however, I’m not that concerned as the show usually returns to capable hands and mature minds.  They may veer occasionally but usually return the compass needle to true north and progress the story by leaps and bounds.

“If there’s one thing we know about human beings with certainty, they are masters of self-destruction.”

Paranoia runs through the fleet, as the Cylons could be anyone and anywhere.  They blend so well into human life, that often they don’t even realize what they are until they are activated.  In that capacity they mirror saboteurs, sleeper cells, terrorists.  Amping the paranoia post-9/11 is a natural choice.  As the X-Files focused on sinister government operatives who work in the shadows, the shadow government, Battlestar Galactica has exported the unknown and mysterious enemy among us to outer space.

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Interestingly, myth and religion play a prominent part.  Prophecies are being fulfilled, and the old stories are repeated in real time with dire consequences for humanity.  Religion is examined for and against, while the magical wheels turn in the background to fulfill the ship’s destiny.

Oddly, the Cylons too have evolved to embrace religion, a God that comprises everything and everyone, including them.  The Cylons believe they are on a religious mission too, and now that they have achieved humanoid form, the question of whether they do believe, and more importantly, whether they themselves now have souls, is explored.  The Cylons are not one-dimensional “toasters” anymore.  They have unique personalities, rivalries even.  Some may even side with the humans in the interest of self-preservation or perhaps for moral reasons; it’s never completely clear.

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Attitudes toward genocide against the Cylons are tested, as the Cylons for the most part prosecute their genocidal campaign against their creators, these humans of the 12 tribes.

Earth is the 13th tribe, of course, the lost one they are desperately seeking to rejoin.  Their Frankenstein’s monster race of killer robots trails along behind them.

 

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I’ve been writing about this stuff for decades, and readers here should already know this stuff.  Hopefully they’re God damned mad about it and not going to take it anymore.

There’s a reason I cite George Orwell over and over again.

Washington Post:

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

“The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.”

Objective Analysis: Obama Versus Nixon

Barack Obama

George Washington’s Blog:

Top Constitutional Experts: Obama Is Worse than Nixon”

 

Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform

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Latest “Immigration Reform” bill creates biometric database of ALL AMERICANS controlled by high priests in the Department of Homeland Security (SS).

WIRED:

“Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.

…It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”

For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.

High schooler arrested for science project
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State Attorney Jerry Hill: Drop charges against Kiera Wilmot

Sign Petition

Kiera Wilmot has been described as an exemplary student and a wonderful young woman. Why is it then that an experiment gone wrong is being dealt with by the police and school as a felony offense? According to the Miami Times:

“7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.”

The principal has said that that he doesn’t believe she had any malicious intentions. Yet she now faces two felony charges as an adult. These includ making, possessing or discharging a destructive device and with possessing or discharging weapons on school grounds!

I’ve learned that the charges have not yet been filed and this means that Florida State Attorney Jerry Hill and Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty have an opportunity to the right thing, use common sense, and drop these charges against Kiera.

Please sign this petition to challenge any decision to so drastically charge this young woman for something that was a simple mistake. Her life should not be turned upside down, her future crushed, because someone wants to make a statement. There was no criminal activity here – she does not deserve to be punished like this. Help Kiera find real justice!

I also recommend checking out this article about the situation

http://feministing.com/2013/05/01/the-effects-of-unchecked-criminalization-teen-charged-with-felony-for-science-experiment/

Commentary

Mike Judge was not talking about 500 years in the future when he wrote Idiocracy.  The nation of zombies is not fiction either, it’s here now.  They keep tapping and yapping and playing video games while the earth burns.  Metaphorically, it’s impeccable.

The society is now a top down authoritarian regime under total surveillance.  Corporate / government partnership has erased the civil liberties that once made America different from military dictatorships.  Justice is selective and does not apply to state crimes.  Citizens are trained not to challenge government criminality, first by being harassed as “conspiracy nuts” — as if the government is incapable of breaking the laws of the land — and then whistleblowers who show proof of government crimes are arrested and disappeared into gulags.  Their evidence is ignored by the corporate partners and the media empires they command.

The distraction society has reached a critical tipping point where people can obsess and communicate constantly as long as it is isn’t about anything actually important.  Actual citizenship, diligence, keeping the state in check is no longer even a part of the society for the great majority in America.  They have abandoned their responsibilities as citizens and accepted the dictates of the criminal political class.  By accepting a criminal state and failing as citizens, America is collapsing every day into outright fascism.

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Secret Elixir

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Fascist “Stop and Frisk” policy on trial — a whistleblower faces retaliation for calling out unconstitutional policies of the New York Police Department.