Archive for July, 2012
Remember when Obama said he was going to close Gitmo:
I wonder how the $40 million renovation of Gitmo fits into his plan to shut it down:
The U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be getting an estimated $40 million communications upgrade, signaling it will continue its mission of holding top suspected terrorists and as a major humanitarian aid base in the region.
The base, also known as Gitmo, will upgrade its limited satellite communications system to an underwater fiber optic line that will stretch from the base to the coast of Florida, according to Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale.
I guess one does have to be a pathological liar in order to become president so this shouldn’t surprise anybody.
Even though George Orwell foresaw a world where surveillance cameras existed in every home he could never predict how sophisticated that idea would become. The prison city of New York will be brining a new system online that combines surveillance technologies with a police database and monitoring software to spy on every man, woman, and child in the city:
The New York Police Department will soon launch an all-seeing “Domain Awareness System” that combines several streams of information to track both criminals and potential terrorists.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the city developed the software with Microsoft.
Kelly says the program combines city-wide video surveillance with law enforcement databases.
He says it will be officially unveiled by New York’s mayor as soon as next week.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) claims that the system will be used to track criminals and terrorists, which are meaningless criterions because everybody is a terrorist. You really have to give NYPD credit, they took 1984 and ramped it up to 11. I wonder how long it will be until they begin flying helicopters around the city to peek into peoples’ windows.
Due to other obligations I was unable to attend Defcon this year, which was made more disappointing when one of the speakers ended up being a former National Security Agency (NSA) official named William Binney. He explained something that I already suspected, that the NSA was already geared up to spy on American citizens but were waiting for a tragedy they could exploit:
He said the NSA began building its data collection system to spy on Americans prior to 9/11, and then used the terrorist attacks that occurred that year as the excuse to launch the data collection project.
“It started in February 2001 when they started asking telecoms for data,” Binney said. “That to me tells me that the real plan was to spy on Americans from the beginning.”
Binney is referring to assertions that former Qwest CEO James Nacchio made in court documents in 2007 that the NSA had asked Qwest, AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth in early 2001 for customer calling records and that all of the other companies complied with the request, but Nacchio declined to participate until served with a proper legal order.
“The reason I left the NSA was because they started spying on everybody in the country. That’s the reason I left,” said Binney, who resigned from the agency in late 2001.
To say I’m not surprised would be an understatement. The state has numerous mechanisms designed to further enhance its power over the people living within its claimed borders that are merely awaiting an exploitable tragedy. Without a tragedy to justify the implementation of new tyrannies it’s difficult to get the people to quietly roll over and accept their new chains. 9/11 gave the state enough justification to push the PATRIOT Act through, which was written before 9/11:
Paul railed on the PATRIOT Act, a pet issue that he frequently brings up on the trail.
“The PATRIOT Act was written many, many years before 9/11,” Paul said. The attacks simply provided “an opportunity for some people to do what they wanted to do,” he said.
Passing the PATRIOT Act into law removed the facade of legal restrictions that hindered the state’s ability to spy on the citizenry. In addition to the PATRIOT Act, 9/11 gave the state an excuse to pass the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Homeland Security Act, which established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Of course exploiting tragedies is nothing new, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed by exploiting the assassination of John F. Kennedy and there was a plan to fabricate a tragedy through a false-flag operation titled Operation Northwoods [PDF] in order to justify a war with Cuba (thankfully it was rejected by Kennedy).
Tragedies befall us everyday and those looking to increase their power need only await for one to arise. Look how quickly Schumer attempted to exploit the Aurora, Colorado shooting to justify a ban on standard capacity magazines. Needless to say I’m not surprised to hear that the NSA had the software to spy on American citizens developed before those planes struck the World Trade Center buildings. In fact I would have been shocked if that software hadn’t already been developed.
With all of this said it’s nice to see the One Ring didn’t corrupt Binney and he ran away from it once he realized its malicious nature. Unfortunately we don’t have enough Binneys, and thus enough people exist to staff the NSA and ensure its ability to continue spying on American citizens.
It still amazes me that anybody believes the government hires the best and brightest to ensure food, drugs, and other consumer products are safe for public consumption. That’s not how government works, government works by hiring people who agree with the state hive mind. You’re unlikely to get a position in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unless you believe in man-made global warming, you’re unlikely to get a job in the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) unless you believe people should have violence brought against them for using drugs not approved by the state, and you’re unlikely to to get a job in the Department of Agriculture unless you’ve sided entirely with Monsanto. The state also watches those in its employ to ensure they don’t dissent, which is what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was caught doing:
A wide-ranging surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against a group of its own scientists used an enemies list of sorts as it secretly captured thousands of e-mails that the disgruntled scientists sent privately to members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists and even President Obama, previously undisclosed records show.
Moving to quell what one memorandum called the “collaboration” of the F.D.A.’s opponents, the surveillance operation identified 21 agency employees, Congressional officials, outside medical researchers and journalists thought to be working together to put out negative and “defamatory” information about the agency.
The extraordinary surveillance effort grew out of a bitter dispute lasting years between the scientists and their bosses at the F.D.A. over the scientists’ claims that faulty review procedures at the agency had led to the approval of medical imaging devices for mammograms and colonoscopies that exposed patients to dangerous levels of radiation.
A confidential government review in May by the Office of Special Counsel, which deals with the grievances of government workers, found that the scientists’ medical claims were valid enough to warrant a full investigation into what it termed “a substantial and specific danger to public safety.”
Scientists working for the FDA became a hinderance to granting approval for medical devices because they had credible concerns about the safety tests being inadequate. Instead of investigating these claims, as an organization supposedly tasked with protecting the safety of individuals would, the FDA moved against the dissenting scientists but putting them under surveillance and, in some cases, outright firing them. We cannot rely on the government to protect us because they have no interest in protecting us. They hold their beliefs and nothing, including credible evidence, and shake their faith in those beliefs. Often their beliefs are based on monetary or political gain and I’m guessing the manufacturers of the mammogram and colonoscopy devices in question have some very good connections high up in the FDA.
You must always remember that you are a serf, you cannot own property, all property is collectively owned by the state. Because of this the state has the final say in any activities that are allowed or prohibited on your property. If you own an apartment complex and the state doesn’t want residents to smoke, even though you do, residents will not be allowed to smoke:
Smoking is already banned at beaches, parks, restaurants and near buildings in Santa Monica, but Tuesday night the city council sought to expand that prohibition and voted 4-2 to ban smoking for all new tenants of apartments and condos inside their residences – with one exception.
“It also requires existing residents to designate their units as smoking or non smoking and from then on it will be prohibited to smoke in a non smoking unit,” said Adam Radinksy, head of the Consumer Protection Unit in Santa Monica.
Under the guise of health and safety the state can deem anything prohibited anywhere. I’m surprised more municipalities haven’t entirely banned smoking whether it happens outside or inside private residents. In fact they could have police officers enter homes, with warrants and all, to determine if somebody in the home is smoke and arrest them under the claim that said smoking is harming any children, pets, or other residents living in the home. Better yet the state could just issue fines and expropriate more wealth from the people.
While everybody was trying to fight the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) the United States government was acting like the law was already passed. The United States government seized the assets of Megaupload after accusing the company of assisting pirates. Now the government has come out and said even if the charges again Megaupload are dismissed they have no obligation to released the seized assets:
The government also argued that it could keep Megaupload in legal limbo indefinitely. “None of the cases impose a time limit on service,” the government’s attorney told the judge. Therefore, the government believes it can leave the indictment hanging over the company’s head, and keep its assets frozen, indefinitely.
How convenient, when due process becomes a hinderance you merely keep the accused in a state of legal limbo and that allows you to keep their assets indefinitely. What this maneuver does is show that this case case about two things; first, this case was about striking fear into the hearts of oversea operations that may or may not assist in violating United States intellectual property laws and second, this case was about stealing other peoples’ shit (which is how governments get all of their wealth).
It’s funny, every state in the world seems to be preoccupied with disarming their
serfs citizens but they can’t come together and agree on how best to disarm their citizens:
The US, followed by Russia and China, said they needed more time to consider the issues.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett at the UN said it was a disheartening end to a month of intense negotiations.
However, the conference chairman said he was confident a treaty could be agreed by the end of the year.
Some delegates accused the US of bowing to domestic pressure from the powerful gun lobby in the run up to presidential elections, our correspondent says.
On Thursday, a bipartisan group of 51 US senators threatened to oppose any agreement that infringed on the constitutional right to bear arms.
This is good news for us serfs, it means that we have a little longer under the United Nations (UN) comes to an agreement on how we’re going to be disarmed. Unfortunately I don’t think we’re going to enjoy this gridlock forever:
Despite the setback, conference chairman Roberto Garcia Moritan said the eventual adoption of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was inevitable.
The UN is nothing more than a big group of states coming together to better tyrannize use lowly individuals. States have a vested interest in disarming their people because states exist solely off of expropriating from their people. Eventually the people get sick of having all of this shit taken from them and decide to hold a good old fashion armed rebellion, which ends with a new government being put into place that either starts off as or eventually becomes tyrannical and must be overthrown (it’s such a vicious cycle, you would think we’d learn to stop creating states to steal from us). With all of that said there is some hope as the United States, China, and Russia make great deals of money on exporting arms. All three states have a vested interest in preventing this treaty from passing.
After last week’s extremely nerdy power metal song I decided to go with something a little more traditional. I’m just kidding, this week’s band is King Leoric who sing songs about epic battles and the game Diablo. With that said they do sound like a more traditional band, something that may have spawned from the ’80’s:
I’m sure you’ve heard that Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced an amendment to the Cyber Security bill that would prohibit the manufacture and transfer of magazines with more than 10 rounds of capacity:
Democratic senators have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity gun magazines for some consumers.
Shortly after the Cybersecurity Act gained Senate approval to proceed to filing proposed amendments and a vote next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the gun control amendment, came to the floor to defend the idea of implementing some “reasonable” gun control measures.
Needless to say it’s sponsored by all the usual suspects:
The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.).
Of course this amendment makes little sense. It’s being introduced as a method to protect individuals by restricting the maximum number of rounds a criminal can have in their firearm but the Aurora, Colorado shooter’s 100-round AR-15 magazined jammed. Considering that fact wouldn’t the proper response to the Colorado shooting be to encourage people to buy ridiculously high capacity and notoriously unreliable magazines?
I know many gun bloggers are going to tell you to contact your “representatives” and demand that they oppose this amendment. That’s good and all but I think we should have a backup plan, let’s figure out how to easily manufacture reliable standard capacity magazines. Obviously this is the agorist in me speaking but I think it’s time we started ignoring these idiotic prohibitions. If we can manufacture registered parts of AR-15s on a 3D printer producing magazines shouldn’t be too difficult. Attempting to ban something that every yahoo with basic metalworking equipment can produce in a few minutes is impossible and it sends a signal to the state, we’re done complying with your stupid rules, regulations, and prohibitions. To quote Howard Zinn, “Civil disobedience, as I put it to the audience, was not the problem, despite the warnings of some that it threatened social stability, that it led to anarchy. The greatest danger, I argued, was civil obedience, the submission of individual conscience to governmental authority.”
People often mistake the United States for a free market economy, it’s not. The United States economy can best be described as fascist, where the difference between private business and the state is practically nonexistent.
This protection racket often targets individuals who want to start businesses that require very little initial capital, such as food carts:
In Holland, Michigan, a 13-year-old entrepreneur thought he would be able to sell hot dogs and financially help his disabled parents with the purchase of a food cart. Unfortunately, city zoning officials have shut down his business, based on an ordinance that prohibits competition to brick-and-mortar restaurants from mobile food vendors.
Why don’t teenagers have jobs anymore? Because every time they attempt to get a job or show some entrepreneurial spirit they’re blocked by the state. Established businesses don’t want to compete with teenagers who have very low expenses (they generally live at home and don’t have to pay food, water, electricity, or cable bills) and are usually very skilled at operating on small budgets. In a free market the established businesses would have to suck it up and deal with the fact teenagers could open shop and provide goods and services to customers. In the fascist economy of the United States an established business need only petition the state and ask it to prohibit competition in some way.