Every day but Monday, but if you need the reminding, then just FEED!
Perplexing silence from our leaders can be deadly, but as Richard Seymour reports, one man in Turkey is proving that silence can be a weapon for the other side as well.
Mark Karlin reports on evidence that the Obama administration does indeed have intentions of cyber-attacking domestically, as I’ve written about before. From the article:
As for assurances that Americans will not be the targets of cyber-attacks, Greenwald and his co-author are hardly optimistic:
The directive provides that any cyber-operations “intended or likely to produce cyber effects within the United States” require the approval of the president, except in the case of an “emergency cyber action”. When such an emergency arises, several departments, including the department of defense, are authorized to conduct such domestic operations without presidential approval.
So we have a president who has an assassination list and decides or delegates who shall live and who shall die; we have a president who has authorized the vast intelligence apparatus of the United States government to gather private data and communication records of American citizens; and now courtesy of the Guardian UK, we discover that we may be subject to cyber-attacks without even presidential approval when there is an “emergency.”
Who is to say that this won’t be used against environmentalists, whistleblowers, the Occupy Movement, journalists and any person or organization that advocates for changing the status quo.
Is the surveillance and cyber-attack state being built to protect the citizens of the United State or to protect the corporate/political ruling elite from the citizens of the United States?
William Rivers Pitt writes on the many character assassination attempts thrown against Edward Snowden by media and politicos alike. From his article:
I am not going to speak to Ritter’s guilt or innocence regarding these charges; he had a lawyer and a trial and a jury, and it is what it is. But the revelation in February 2003 effectively removed him, and our book, from the debate over the war a month before the war kicked off…and the book was right, he was right, we were right, and now a lot of people are dead even though we were right.
Scott Ritter’s personal failings doomed his message. The people who wanted to entomb him in crap to shut him up did not have to work hard to do so…but even with all that crap, there remains the pesky fact that he was 100% spot-on correct about the war, its aftermath and its eventual outcome.
People are currently attempting to entomb Snowden in crap because they don’t like his message, and no one has accused him of anything even remotely as serious as what Ritter was accused and eventually convicted of, yet so many have already decided he’s just another dirtbag to be ignored…and some of the people going after Snowden seem so deeply committed to tearing him down, which tells you something all by itself.
My point: separate the man from the message. Scott Ritter was a deeply flawed man according to the courts, but a lot of people would be alive if his message had been allowed to stand on its merits instead of getting dragged down and erased with him.
And John Hudson reports on yet another whistle-blower being bullied into silence by federal agents.
In local news, at the start of this year I held a seasonal job with a cattle farm for some weeks, where I completely demolished my right thumb in manually dismantling a 60+ year old barn. The massive blood-clot underneath the nail is now officially halfway grown out.
Protests have been erupting in São Paulo, Brasil over the impending World Cup festivities. Although the country is one of the founding members of the United Nations, poverty and corruption and crime run rampant, with dire needs for education and healthcare reforms. Suddenly, the government has the money for expensive new stadiums, while illiteracy rates are over 20% and children in some areas are dying from disease and gang violence and drugs. With the announcement of a new hike in busfare and the proposed cable car service as ways to cash in on the tourism boost, citizens took to the streets again on Monday to protest the deafness of their government. Because they know the money will not find its way to them, as evidenced by the similarly afflicted Portugal who are still paying the debt caused from expenditures of the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship finals, despite the millions of tourist monies that entered that country for the games. To make matters worse, there are growing numbers of stories where local authorities are literally evicting residents from their homes at gunpoint with no prior notice, for space to construct the stadiums and additional hotels, and these poor people are receiving absolutely nothing in compensation. This is global Capitalism forcefully shoving people into the streets, people who have already been let down time and again by their political leaders.
For a very human, very sober account of what’s transpiring, watch this short vid:
And if you’d care to know even more, please watch this short film on the matter:
Thom Hartmann writes one fine reason why the United States should stay the hell out of Syria. From his article:
If the people of a nation in turmoil aren’t sufficiently motivated and capable of pulling off their very own revolution without the help of outside forces, then after the so-called revolution is over, the people will not be able to govern themselves, and the situation will be far worse than before.
For example, look at the American Revolution.
Before the American Revolution even began, we already had meta-governments in place in every state and city in the union. There were town councils, city councils, and state governments. The infrastructure needed to succeed post-revolution was already in place before it.
If you’d like more reasons, see for yourself here.
Mark Karlin reports on how mainstream media ignores and distorts the increasingly tragic plight of the poor.
Dana Liebelson writes a solid summary of Edward Snowden’s live Q and A from this morning.
Max Blumenthal reports on how Obama’s claims that the surveillance does not include content of messages has actually been debunked by the FBI themselves. Whoops!
Apple confirms that the government has requested user data several thousand times this year already. I have my own theory on this, regarding Apple and the previous, similar statements from facebook. They are saving face. I think these corporations are far from innocent and I think they are playing down the full numbers. They are admitting some exchanges only to appear still trustworthy to their massive streams of clientele, but I cry bupkiss. Collecting user datum is a large function behind why these companies exist in the first place.
Shayana Kadidal reports on the wall separating the presidential administration from true transparency for the people it is hired to represent. And David DeGraw writes a provocative piece on how we might honestly be able to repair that distance. Hint: it starts with you. A passage I really dug:
We live in a Skinner box. It’s classic “behavioral modification” (b-mod) within a “token economy.” We have an outdated system of incentives; you incentivize and reward certain behavior, and you punish or withdraw basic necessities for other behavior. It’s behaviorism 101.
Give people a paycheck to have certain opinions, to do certain things. You can see it everywhere, in almost all professions, not just the media. If you think a certain way, if you do certain things, you will be awarded with a paycheck. If you don’t, you lose your paycheck. Or, as Thomas Paine said in Rights of Man, “Those who do not participate in this enacting do not get fed.”
People get paid a lot of money to spew bullshit talking point propaganda on a daily basis. The truth of the matter: if you propagate the message of tyrants, and if you are good at it, you can become rich and famous. That’s what primitive self-obsessed ego-driven careerists do. They are the ultimate pawns of empire. They enrich themselves by riding the coattails of conquerors.
As W.E.H. Lecky once said, ‘The simple fact of applying certain penalties to the profession of particular opinions, and rewards to the profession of opposite opinions, while it will make many hypocrites, it will also make many converts.’
Our Skinner box society, our token economy is run by the modern day aristocracy through a system of enlightened despotism. You either bow down and play by their rules or you lose access to basic necessities. It’s the root of modern monetary enslavement – debt and wage slavery.
The fact of the matter, the truth of the matter: we are not supposed to be freethinking participatory citizens involved in the decision-making processes that guide our lives and determine our fate. We are mentally conditioned to be spectators, mindless reactionary consumers and wage slaves.
He covers a LOT of ground, and I do recommend the full article in its entirety.
And to end on a nice note, a good friend of mine is offering up ridiculously cheap art commissions. You can get information, and see more of her work, at DeviantART, but here’s a sample below.