Ryan McMaken asks, Does military defense require large states?
Ryan McMaken asks, Does military defense require large states?
Alex Newman on a new bill introduced in Congress to get the U.S. out of the UN, and oust the UN from the U.S.
Jacob Hornberger provides the libertarian case against school vouchers.
Becky Akers comments on the DHS’s priority on leaked report of TSA failures: investigate where the leak came from!
Forbes with an article on a study showing that pain killers and antidepressants can increase aggression and violent behaviors.
Bill Murray with 7 reasons why police are more dangerous to Americans than ISIS.
James Bovard on the Washington intellectual gravy train.
Eric Margolis comments on the death of France’s forgotten armies.
Hina Shamsi says, Despite global recognition, the plight of Guantanamo’s best-selling author worsens.
And Justin Raimondo comments on the Diane Rehm-Bernie Sanders “dual citizenship” issue.
Here is my latest article on LewRockwell.com, Is America a Nation of Intolerant Narcissists?
Has freedom of speech become a thing of the past in America? College campuses now are intellectual prisons, and the thin-skinned offendotrons are the guards. And in post-9/11 America you can’t criticize the Regime without being called a “traitor” or “unpatriotic.” The political and social fascists and control freaks really seem to be trying to drive people into silence these days.
For example, on college campuses if you say something deemed offensive, you might actually receive a formal complaint from another student. Or if you’re a professor, you might receive an official reprimand because just one student complained about a book or material that was “offensive.”
Now a brainwashed zombie can assault your life with a complaint because she felt “triggered” by an innocent word or phrase. And I do mean “assault,” as these complainers aren’t merely complaining against other students or professors, they are turning them in to the Dean’s office or otherwise school authorities who then take formal disciplinary actions which go on the “offenders” record permanently. Or in some cases the police are actually called.
One professor who has consistently received high student evaluation scores writes that, out of fear, he has changed his class sources and material to prevent complaints that could get him fired, something he has already seen happen to other professors and grad students. The professor notes that many other professors have been making changes to their material as well.
He also notes that, while professors have always received a complaint or two, the nature of complaints today is based mainly on the complaining student’s emotions.
The students now seem unwilling or even incapable of considering uncomfortable ideas, because, the professor notes, “the immediate, emotional reactions of students contain all the analysis and judgment that sensitive issues demand.”
And this is not new, either. Way back in 2004, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe was discussing time preferences and present- and future-orientation in a lecture on money and banking. Dr. Hoppe happened to refer to homosexuals as a group “because they typically do not have children, tend to have a higher degree of time preference and are more present-oriented.”
A student then made an informal complaint because he was homosexual and Dr. Hoppe’s example made the student “feel bad.” But when Dr. Hoppe in a subsequent talk clarified the point by attempting to explain the difference between “all” and “average,” in his citing as another example “that Italians eat more Spaghetti than Germans …” that “this does not mean that every Italian eats more Spaghetti than every German. It means that on the average Italians eat more Spaghetti than Germans.”
That actually made things worse, and the one who “felt bad” formally complained against Dr. Hoppe, followed by a farce of a hearing and a year-long ordeal as one might find in communist countries.
This is the totalitarian mindset of the “hurt feelings” industry now.
Even recently Dr. Hoppe’s writings and lectures have been targeted by activists, including so-called libertarians in Sweden and Finland.
So the way I see it, the problem our culture faces today is irrationality and ignorance combined with a narcissistic hyper-sensitivity to just about anything that causes even the slightest discomfort.
Because the young people have been raised as Mommy’s little cupcake and the whole world revolves around Cupcake, anything or anybody who might rock the boat in Cupcake’s self-absorbed world is to be destroyed.
It all has to do with silencing others to protect the fragile emotions of the little Cupcakes of the next generation.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, in a recent interview in which he criticizes today’s culture of political correctness and intolerance, says that he is told by other comedians to avoid performing at college campuses altogether. In the recent ESPN radio interview Seinfeld described the young people as referring to things as “sexist” or “racist,” which aren’t at all sexist or racist.
But it isn’t just the young people who are behaving in such irrational ways now, and the high schools and college campuses aren’t the only places of such irrational political correctness. Despite comedian Jay Leno’s very high ratings, last year Leno became another victim of overly thin-skinned grown adults, as he had perhaps mocked Barack Obama’s medical takeover one too many times.
And reinforcing Seinfeld’s assertions about today’s young people and their irrational labeling as “sexist” or “racist” things which clearly have nothing to do with sexism or racism, Leno recently told Seth Meyers of an incident in which when Leno stated he didn’t really like Mexican food, a college intern then responded by exclaiming, “Whoa, that’s kind of racist.” Thankfully in his telling of the story, Leno clearly asserted that “being anti-guacamole is not racist,” referring to the racism accuser as an “idiot” and a “moron.” We need more of that kind of honesty in today’s public figures (and the private ones as well).
But today’s society isn’t just plagued with political correctness and intolerance as dictated by the fragile emotions of a new generation of morons, leftists and do-gooders. Many oldsters and conservatives are just as bad, and a big reason for that is this post-9/11 hysteria, ignorance and nationalistic authoritarian deference to our same “leaders” whose decades of militaristic aggressions overseas have been ruining those foreign countries and are now bankrupting America.
Just one example of that naive, nationalistic deference was how the neanderthals at a South Carolina Presidential debate booed Ron Paul when he dared to suggest applying the Golden Rule to U.S. government foreign policy. You know, as we wouldn’t like it if a foreign government invaded our territory, bombed U.S. cities, and set up their own military bases here, then perhaps we ought not do those things on their lands over there.
What? Apply the rule of law and property rights to ourselves that we demand on foreigners? Why, the neanderthals have never heard of such a thing. And that has much to do with the rise in narcissism across the political spectrum in America for decades. That is what “American Exceptionalism” really is, after all.
Dr. Paul’s criticizing the U.S. government’s policies of aggression overseas hits a fragile, insecure nerve among the little reich-wing Cupcakes in the audience, so they rudely and loudly “boo” those principled ideas of morality, peace and liberty.
The truth is, many of Dr. Paul’s critics have been guided by ignorance of the U.S. government’s actual aggressions overseas prior to 9/11 (or perhaps they selectively forgot). And they are also guided by their authoritarianism. Always obediently believe what the Rulers tell you. Support our government, right or wrong and all that.
And above all, as with the aforementioned nudniks and social activists, the views of today’s conservatives and nationalists are based mainly on their emotions and not rational thought. And we can see that clearly in their anti-immigration and anti-gay marriage views and their flag-waving and military worship. It really is the same kind of unthinking emotionalism as we hear from the anti-science climate change crowd who want to throw in jail those stubborn “deniers” who think that actual scientific evidence is important.
So America really needs to be a place of freedom of thought and expression. We should have the freedom to speak out against militarists and warmongers whose wars of aggression have done nothing but provoke foreigners to retaliate, just as much as we should have the freedom to give our opinions on the new transgender phenomenon and how feminists are tyrannizing the boys in school and indoctrinating peaceful college males to believe they are presumed-rapists.
Speaking of transgenders, I think that if Bruce Jenner wants to be called “Caitlyn,” that is his right. But no matter how much invasive or mutilating surgery he has, or whatever women’s garments he wears or how much make-up he puts on, he is still a male. I hope he doesn’t sue me for expressing my opinion on that.
Getting back to the narcissism of Americans, a transgender male is still a male and should use the “men’s room,” and that’s my view on that. (However, if I said that on a college campus I would probably be arrested and charged with harassment or assault, even though that kind of action against me in and of itself would be an act of criminal harassment and assault. And I would turn the tables against such accusers prosecutorially, that’s for sure. And I’m not a big fan of the government-monopolized judicial system, but exceptions can be made in the name of self-protection, I think. But I digress.)
So instead of using the men’s room, now the transgender male wants to use the ladies room because, he says, using the men’s room makes him uncomfortable. So, these self-centered ones want to use the ladies room, and make all those ladies in there uncomfortable! That really gets me. Is using the men’s room that big a deal? You are a male, for crying out loud, whether you like it or not! And no, I’m not referring to Bruce or Caitlyn Jenner, I’m just referring to all those confused and self-centered people out there who would rather make others uncomfortable to serve their own needs, that’s all.
I hope I haven’t “triggered” anyone’s fragile emotions, as I am not intending to do that, unlike Pamela Geller, the anti-Muslim activist who held a “draw Muhammad” contest to deliberately provoke “jihadists.” She says she believes in freedom of speech, yet she herself wanted to shut down a whole opera production which depicted the Palestinian hijacking of a cruise ship and the murder of a Jewish American passenger. I hope that Ms. Geller doesn’t sue me for writing what a hypocrite she is. (And we’re not allowed to speak out against the Israel Lobby, either, or criticize Israel, as that would be way politically incorrect!)
And football is a really stupid game. Am I allowed to say that? It should be of no surprise that so many millions of Americans love to watch a bunch of grown men running into each other, bashing their heads together, giving each other concussions and brain damage, and then suing the NFL. I’m sure that neanderthals love that stuff (and maybe transgenders as well, who knows?).
To conclude, I think that college students and professors who are accused of speech “crimes” because of possibly making some innocent remark or giving an opinion on something, should seriously consider making formal complaints of harassment against the accusers. And consider financially suing the thin-skinned accusers for causing emotional distress as well.
Speech dictators and opinion-silencers should not have the kind of power they have now. Their innocent victims need to fight back.
John Whitehead has ten principles for escaping the matrix and standing up to tyranny.
Paul Rosenberg says, Please do not support a candidate.
Lew Rockwell’s interview of Prof. Robert Higgs on his move to Mexico.
William Grigg on the latest incidents involving law enforcement’s criminal scheme known as asset forfeiture.
Jacob Hornberger says that Judge Katherine Forrest’s life sentence for Ross Ulbricht to send a message was in fact the wrong message.
Virginia Postrel says that the feds’ subpoena of Reason Magazine (regarding the Ulbricht case) stomps on free speech.
Jonathan Turley’s comments on Montana’s move to criminalize speech deemed insulting to religious or racial groups.
And Eugene Volokh’s further elaboration on the Montana “hate speech” law controversy.
Ernest Istook on Barack Obama’s gun-control-obsessed swatting of freedom of speech.
James Henry discusses the missing evidence of prior FBI relationship with Boston Marathon bomber.
Andrew Napolitano on the NSA’s unconstitutional bait and switch.
Trevor Timm says that if the FBI has a backdoor to Facebook or Apple encryption, we are less safe.
Washington’s Blog discusses the real risk of terrorism.
Uri Avnery writes about the early history of the current state of Israel.
Justin Raimondo on the Israeli-Saudi alliance.
Daniel McAdams comments on Saudi Arabia’s human rights campaign.
Laurence Vance says that it is blasphemy to compare Jesus Christ to a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger.
Sheldon Richman says we should abolish special ops forces.
Steven Horwitz says that socialism is war and war is socialism.
Roger Stone claims that LBJ ordered the 1967 attack on USS Liberty.
Philip Giraldi says the USS Liberty must not be forgotten.
Lenore Skenazy on the criminalization of an 11-year-old shopping at a store by himself.
Peter St. Onge wants machines to take our jobs: we want wealth, not jobs.
Juliana DeVries discovers that you can be prosecuted just for clearing your browser history.
James Bovard says that the TSA has no excuse to continue the groping.
Taylor Lewis says that libertarians need to stand against Rand Paul, not with him.
Dan Sanchez discusses the U.S. government’s support for al Qaeda and ISIS.
Ryan McMaken on how governments keep you (and your money) from leaving.
And Conor Friedersdorf says that Congress didn’t notice the FBI creating a “small air force” for surveillance.
In April I posted about the concert pianist Valentina Lisitsa, whose appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra were canceled because of pressure from Ukrainian activists who didn’t like her criticism of the current Kiev regime. Ms. Lisitsa was born in Kiev. She is known for advancing her piano career via YouTube rather than the traditional soloist management deal.
Well, the schnooks at the Toronto Symphony may have missed out on a great performance, but Canada is not all lost. With the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in Alberta, Ms. Lisitsa has just given “riveting” performances (according to the Calgary Herald) of the same piano concerto — the Rachmaninoff 2nd — that she was scheduled to perform in Toronto. The Herald notes,
As a performing persona, Lisitsa is striking. Tall, willowy, and with flowing blond hair, she projects the very image of the long-haired artist of the romantic era. As a pianist, she plays with evident command over the instrument, her tone powerful, full, and rich. Her technique manages the considerable challenges of Rachmaninoff’s writing with the athleticism of the perfectly coordinated tennis player who never misses a forehand.
Interpretively, her playing was highly individual, the tempos both very fast and, sometimes, very slow. In general, one was riveted by her as a performing artist, the work a vehicle for her presence as a virtuoso, with the ultimate effect resembling a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. This was large-boned playing, and there was nothing lacking in the on-the-sleeve emotionality of the big melodic moments in the framing movements. Other performances might lower the temperature slightly to permit the voice of the composer to emerge in a stronger way, but the authority of Lisitsa’s playing was compelling to watch and hear.
(Conductor Roberto) Minczuk and the orchestra, while occasionally a trifle loud, were nonetheless a fine support for Lisitsa, following her changeable tempos without missing a beat and offering sensitive flute and clarinet solos in the slow movement. The audience loved it, and responded with an instant standing ovation.
Now, this video below isn’t the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 that wowed the concert-goers in Calgary, but it is Rachmaninoff, and this is Valentina Lisitsa, performing the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 1, op. 28.
I have recently learned — better late than never — that more people seem to be viewing websites and blogs with their phones than regular desktops. I’m an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud and only have this one desktop and don’t use those little electronic gadgets. So, now that I know that some websites whose settings are “fixed” in the display are not easy to navigate on the smaller phones, I have changed the settings on my blog to “fluid” so that you can more easily view this blog on your phone. I hope. Any feedback on the changes is appreciated. If there’s still a problem please let me know. Thanks.
Now that former Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced his 2nd losing Presidential campaign, I feel obligated to re-run my post on him from 2011, and here it is. Enjoy.
August 19, 2011
Here is Michelle Malkin’s informative article about Rick “Merck” Perry’s controversial scheme of his state government’s forcing teenage girls to take the Gardasil HPV vaccine.
And Karen De Coster wrote about Gardasil’s dangerous effects, including some deaths, as well:
The organization Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FDA, and in a 2007 analysis it discovered, at that time, there were 3,461 complaints that were filed about adverse reactions to the vaccine. Side effects have been blood clots, Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, seizure-like activity, and fainting. It is also being linked to miscarriages, degenerative muscle conditions, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Oh, and death. Some young girls are developing juvenile ALS after getting the vaccines, and some die.
There are other things I’ve seen about Perry, quite a few items of which I’ve seen in comments sections of blogs, and from Robert Wenzel’s blog. In this post, Wenzel writes:
Brad Plumer at WaPo explains how the job market stayed strong in Texas, and why that is about to change:
Thanks to relatively high property taxes and loose restrictions on building, Texas had a much less severe housing bubble than did other states. When many parts of the country were plummeting into recession in 2008, Texas was still growing.
It was only in 2009 that bleak conditions nationwide finally caught up with the Lone Star State, and sales-tax revenue started dropping. Fortunately for Texas, however, Congress had just passed a big stimulus bill, and Perry used $6.4 billion in federal money to smooth over the state’s growing deficit. Hence Texas hasn’t been forced to enact the same sharp budget cuts over the past three years that most other states have made.
Trouble is, that’s all about to change. Texas could only fend off its deficit woes for so long, and this year, faced with a $27 billion shortfall, Perry and the legislature opted for steep cuts to Medicaid and education over the next two-year budget cycle. Given that roughly half of all new Texas jobs in the last two years have come in the health care, education and government sectors, it’s a real question as to whether a newly austere Texas will keep creating jobs at its current pace.
Got that? Fifty percent of jobs have been either direct government jobs or jobs created by Federal funding. Perry is a massive statist.
Also in that post, commenter Allen Lewis noted:
Also, Rick Perry introduced the first income tax in the history of the state of Texas. It’s called the business margins tax:
Also, Rick Perry loves to raise revenue by implementing “user fees” which he claims are not taxes.
(That reminded me of a column that Carla Howell wrote about Willard Romney: Mitt Romney: Champion of Big Government.)
And also from that post by Wenzel, Anonymous added:
Here’s the 2010 Republican primary debate. Y’all can watch Debra Medina kick ass against statists Rick Perry and Kay Bailey. It’s a good debate. Debra pulls out our dirty laundry for all to see. Shame she was plowed under by the evil Glenn Beck.
In this post by Robert Wenzel, one of his readers emailed him about meeting Perry and with more info on Perry. In that linked video, note how Perry points or jabs his finger in the guy’s chest. Can you imagine Mitt Romney doing that? (Hmmm. Wait, I can imagine Romney doing that. Never mind, as Emily Litella would say.) The reader wrote:
What I asked Governor Perry was “Considering state debt has nearly tripled and spending has increased by two thirds since you were governor, and also that ACORN considered your help their ‘proudest moment,’ what were the differences between him and the current liberal president?” As you can see, he immediately tried to excuse away the numbers.
I found the debt numbers at Politifact from Bill White, who quotes the Texas Bond Review Board. I asked Perry about the raw numbers, which show that in 2000 Texas state debt was $13.7B, and by 2009 that number had grown to over $34B (Mitchell Schnurman found more recent numbers for 2010: $37B.). Bill White at Politifact adjusted for inflation and found the debt merely doubled under Perry.
Perry’s record on spending can be found at Texas Budget Source. In 2000 when Perry took over, Texas spending was $49.7B and the latest numbers the site has available show that spending was $82.1B, a 67% increase. Adjusting for inflation and population growth, the growth in the size of the Texas government during his time as governor is a paltry 36%.
Finally, I found that Perry had good friends in ACORN, a community organization that Republicans love to hate. In 2006, Perry signed into law a bill which benefited low-income homeowners. ACORN called this their “proudest moment.” When Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson opposed funding ACORN in 2007, he attacked her.
On that post, commenter Scarlett wrote:
Perry like a pus boil on a neck, he will be popped with consistent factual questioning. This guy is a strict socialist, red/blue, blue/red. What else is new, MSM loves the BS from the appointed donkey.
And on this post, Robert Wenzel writes,
Perry has received a total of $37 million over the last decade from just 150 individuals and couples, who are likely to form the backbone of his new effort to win the Republican presidential nomination. The tally represented more than a third of the $102 million he had raised as governor through December, according to data compiled by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice, LaTi reports.
Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry.
Auto magnate B.J. “Red” McCombs, who contributed nearly $400,000 to the governor, is the primary financial backer for a Formula One racetrack to be built near Austin. The state has pledged $25 million a year in subsidies to support the project.
The Houston-based engineering firm of James Dannenbaum, who gave more than $320,000 to Perry, received multiple transportation contracts from the state. In 2007, Perry appointed Dannenbaum to a coveted post on the University of Texas’ board of regents.
A Mississippi-based poultry company run by Joe Sanderson, who gave $165,000 to Perry, received a $500,000 grant from a state business incentive fund championed by Perry to open a chicken hatchery and processing plant in Waco.
LaTi has more, here.
And TPM has this chart and explanation of the growth in jobs in Texas really being government jobs, not private sector jobs, as mentioned above.
And then there’s Rick Perry’s dream for a Trans-Texas Corridor. Apparently, he wants to join the rest of the world’s evil land thieves, and call it “eminent domain.”
And, when Joe Lieberman says that Perry has made “very good first impressions,” then I KNOW I don’t like Rick Perry!
With all this info on Rick Perry, who needs to hear about Perry’s possible, alleged gay/stripper/affair with his male secretary of state/ fiasco? I know I don’t.
From Monty Python
Glenn Greenwald writes that for terrorist fear mongers, it’s always the scariest time ever. Now, I’m sure that he’s referring to fear mongers who exploit terrorism and terrorist events for the sake of power grabbing, not fear mongers who are terrorists. However, one could make the case that the fear mongers and exploiters are themselves terrorists as they have been terrorizing the people with TSA Nazi-like criminality, their Red threat level alerts, and false flags like the underwear bomber.
But for the terrorist fear mongers who rule over us, and the obedient masses who believe every word they say as repeated by the media stenographers, it is always the scariest time ever. Greenwald quotes Lindsey Graham: “We have never seen more threats against our nation and its citizens than we do today.” And Dianne Feinstein: “I have never seen a time of greater potential danger than right now.” And from 2014, Rep. Mike McCaul: “Something will detonate . . . I’ve never seen a greater threat in my lifetime.” This goes back to 9/11, as they have been saying the same thing year after year after year. It all sounds similar to what WRKO talk host Jeff Kuhner is constantly saying about those Islamic extremists. I’ve been listening to Bloomberg 1200 and NPR a lot more in the mornings, thanks to Chicken Little Kuhner.
These “most dangerous times ever” rantings by our robot politicians and their media sycophants are part of the reason why so many Americans become so easily bamboozled to support each new police state intrusion, unconstitutional policy and criminally invasive procedure.
In a more recent article, Greenwald comments on the hysteria over the Boston police shooting and murdering of a terror suspect, Usaama Rahim because Rahim took out a big “military-style” knife and was attempting to shoot them with it and all the bullets it was loaded with. Greenwald noted how the media stenographers first referred to the knife as a machete, but after seeing photos of it they changed their panicked tune to something more truthful. Greenwald’s point in the article is that these uncritical, unthinking news clowns merely take the word of police on what took place and just repeat verbatim without checking, without investigating or corroborating the claims of the police. They all do it now, especially the Big Time national reporters. (Here is my list of past articles by Greenwald shining the spotlight on today’s national news “journalists” propagandizing on behalf of the State and the Regime.)
Greenwald refers to the local Boston TV news reporter who began the stenography, Cheryl Fiandaca, who apparently was the Boston Police department spokeswoman before her current job with 7 News. (That shows her true credibility as an “objective” news journalist, if you know what I mean.) Greenwald also notes that Fiandaca was at one time married to ex-Boston Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Greenwald says that given the information we have been told about this week’s Boston Police incident and the murdered suspect, there are questions which should be asked:
If Rahim was so dangerous, why didn’t the constant surveillance result in any charges? If — as the media spent all day claiming — he was on the verge of executing a horrific terror attack, why didn’t law enforcement agents have an arrest warrant or even search warrant? What was their intention in approaching him this way? Were they wearing uniforms, and — supposedly believing he was an ISIS operative eager to kill police — did they do anything to make him feel threatened?
As rampant, unjustified police killings have finally entered mainstream discussion, this has become a favored joint tactic of the police and media. Before the killing can be processed by the public, the victim’s character is smeared by media-laundered police claims, often anonymously. Here, the tactic had the sweetened appeal that it could be used to fearmonger over an ISIS attack in the U.S., as Rahim was not only black but also Muslim.
And now we are hearing how Rahim had been planning to target the anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller. However, it appears that Rahim had only “mentioned” her name in email or social media. The police now say that they had been wiretapping Rahim and he was recorded saying on the phone with his now-detained nephew that he wanted to target the “boys in blue.” But is it possible they were merely expressing wishful thinking? In fact, the police commissioner said just that in the interview on the Today Show.
It’s really a shame that the news media merely repeat word for word everything that police or FBI tell them, without any challenging of facts and assertions. Those government enforcers are the ones who have proven themselves the least trust-worthy. But a population of zombies constantly staring into their little gadget screens and texting gibberish seems oblivious to the reality of modern totalitarian parasites feeding off them.
Dr. Donald Miller explains the fallacies of statins (such as Lipitor) and the cholesterol-heart hypothesis.
Ralph Lopez asks, Does jade Helm violate posse comitatus?
Bionic Mosquito scrutinizes the Magna Carta on its 800th anniversary.
William Grigg discovers that only “Blue Lives” really matter.
Philip Giraldi asks, Are the FIFA arrests about Israel?
Chris Rossini on Isis and a gang of thieves writ large.
Laurence Vance asks, Are there rules for trade?
David Stockman asks, From whence cometh our wealth, the people’s labor or the Fed’s printing press?
Joseph Salerno on the government’s war on cash, safe deposit boxes, and a possible ride to the rescue in Texas.
James Bovard comments on the TSA’s recent failing tests.
Jacob Hornberger asks, Will U.S. soldiers soon be dying for communism?
and Robert Wenzel reviews the new film, San Andreas.
The NSA is only collecting “metadata,” they are only collecting phone call “records.” They aren’t “listening in on you,” etc., etc., etc.
Just repeat that as many times as you can, just as your heavenly Rulers and their media stenographers want you to. But, as those with more than a 2-second attention span have already known for years, yes, they are listening in on you. They are reading your emails. And they are up to no good. If you want to believe otherwise, you are just very naive, and perhaps ignorant of history.
As an NSA whistleblower revealed during the Bush administration years, according to an ABC News story,
Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.
“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News.
And more recently Dan Froomkin of The Intercept detailed how the NSA and other agencies can use speech-to-text technology to transcribe content of phone calls to readable, searchable text.
Experts in speech recognition say that in the last decade or so, the pace of technological improvement has been explosive. As information storage became cheaper and more efficient, technology companies were able to store massive amounts of voice data on their servers, allowing them to continually update and improve the models. Enormous processors, tuned as “deep neural networks” that detect patterns like human brains do, produce much cleaner transcripts.
Voice communications can be collected by the NSA whether they are being sent by regular phone lines, over cellular networks, or through voice-over-internet services. Previously released documents from the Snowden archive describe enormous efforts by the NSA during the last decade to get access to voice-over-internet content like Skype calls, for instance. And other documents in the archive chronicle the agency’s adjustment to the fact that an increasingly large percentage of conversations, even those that start as landline or mobile calls, end up as digitized packets flying through the same fiber-optic cables that the NSA taps so effectively for other data and voice communications.
So yes, they can and are listening in on phone calls as well as recording them for storage, and reading emails too, according to this CNET article:
Documents that PDF) that he witnessed domestic voice and Internet traffic being surreptitiously “diverted” through a “splitter cabinet” to secure room 641A in one of the company’s San Francisco facilities. The room was accessible only to NSA-cleared technicians.in a different EFF lawsuit provide some insight into how the spy agency vacuums up data from telecommunications companies. Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (
AT&T and other telecommunications companies that allow the NSA to tap into their fiber links receive absolute immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution, thanks to a law that Congress enacted in 2008 and renewed in 2012. It’s a series of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act.
In fact, as Glenn Greenwald detailed here, with XKeyscore the NSA collects “nearly everything a user does on the Internet.”
“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.
XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.
Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.
Under US law, the NSA is required to obtain an individualized Fisa warrant only if the target of their surveillance is a ‘US person’, though no such warrant is required for intercepting the communications of Americans with foreign targets. But XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst.
One top-secret document describes how the program “searches within bodies of emails, webpages and documents”, including the “To, From, CC, BCC lines” and the ‘Contact Us’ pages on websites”.
To search for emails, an analyst using XKS enters the individual’s email address into a simple online search form, along with the “justification” for the search and the time period for which the emails are sought.
And we also know that they have infiltrated game services such as Xbox Live, and not only eavesdropping on gamers’ chats, but intentionally intervening and recruiting informants. The Guardian notes,
If properly exploited, games could produce vast amounts of intelligence, according to the NSA document. They could be used as a window for hacking attacks, to build pictures of people’s social networks through “buddylists and interaction”, to make approaches by undercover agents, and to obtain target identifiers (such as profile photos), geolocation, and collection of communications.
Given that gaming consoles often include voice headsets, video cameras, and other identifiers, the potential for joining together biometric information with activities was also an exciting one.
But the documents contain no indication that the surveillance ever foiled any terrorist plots, nor is there any clear evidence that terror groups were using the virtual communities to communicate as the intelligence agencies predicted.
And this other article by Greenwald details how the U.K.’s NSA equivalent, GCHQ, infiltrates the Internet to manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations, having absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. The article notes that the GCHQ introduced these schemes to the NSA.
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
Now that the Obama DHS has the power to exploit any “emergency” as an excuse to seize control over private phone and Internet systems, we can trust the government to keep us safe, can’t we?
The truth is, this is all about control.
The TSA is a further example of how it is all about control and power-wielding and having nothing to do with preventing terrorism or protecting the people. The TSA has even most recently shown just how utterly useless they are in thwarting terrorists attacks, when TSA agents couldn’t detect prohibited items 95% of the time in a recent covert test.
The real reason for TSA criminal molesting, raping and radiation-emitting porno-scanners is for “security theater,” and to remind the people of how subservient they must be to the State. And, as Naomi Wolf wrote in the Guardian, the U.S. government and other totalitarian regimes use sexual humiliation as a political tool to control the people.
So, the TSA is not for “transportation security” — it is a bunch of sickos getting off on sexually molesting innocent people, while acting on behalf of the Regime’s power lusts.
And neither is the DHS about “homeland security,” nor the NSA about “national security.”
The truth is, it is ultimately about suppressing political dissent, and to enable the gangsters and hoodlums of society to legally commit crimes against others, including blackmail, theft and worse, and get away with it.
I’m sure that those readers from the Soviet Union know exactly what I’m talking about.
And Rand Paul says we should hire 1,000 more FBI agents? No, Rand, fire ALL the existing FBI agents and abolish that agency along with all the aforementioned, as FBI is just as useless and dangerous as those other agencies.
You see, for those who think that getting rid of these agencies is crazy, that is because millions of people have been bamboozled into believing the propaganda which promotes the national security state. This is the same FBI that intentionally infiltrates Muslim mosques and purposely motivates young Muslim males to want to commit “jihad” against America, and the FBI provides all the materials and sets the patsies up, just to say that they thwarted an attack (that they the FBI themselves concocted!). Only government bureaucrats think this way. And only totalitarians do these crazy things.
But regarding the blackmail, as investigative intelligence journalist Ronald Kessler wrote, citing a typical example in corrupt gangster Washington, involving the early FBI Reichsführer J. Edgar Hoover,
“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” said William Sullivan, who became the number three official in the bureau under Hoover, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter. But we wanted you to know this. We realize you’d want to know it.’ Well, Jesus, what does that tell the senator? From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.”
While the Washington warmongers continue to provoke foreigners with their wars, interventions, invasions and occupations — all unconstitutional and immoral, of course — they are hysterically fear mongering to bamboozle the public into accepting continuation of growing police state totalitarianism in Amerika.
After all, as Jacob Hornberger has pointed out several times, the Islamic terrorists aren’t bombing and attacking Switzerland and the Swiss people. That is because the Swiss don’t start wars of aggression against these Muslim countries, the Swiss don’t send drones over to bomb the Muslims and murder their innocent civilians. And the Swiss aren’t sending their military to invade and occupy Iraq or Afghanistan, or setting up Swiss military bases in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.
The real answer to our national security is to stop all the wars of aggression, invasions, interventions and occupations, stop provoking foreigners to want to attack Americans, abroad and in America. Yes, that is what actually will make us safer: our bureaucrats ending their criminal invasions and trespasses overseas, not turning America into Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.