Thursday, July 8, 2010

Perfect Citizen

U.S. Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies By Siobhan Gorman

"Perfect citizen" is the code name for yet another gov't breech of our civil liberties and any semblance of privacy that we think we have.

This name comes from, of course, the same folks who named the Patriot Act.

Just when we think we've seen trashed all of the words an actual patriot might use to describe what's happened to America, they find the next phrase to twist. The barrel may be empty now, but it matters little because the deep and profound damage is already done: we can't trust words anymore. Think about the implications!

Let's do everything we can to use the Internet to usurp those with such power over our information supply (and our priorities and the national mood on each). The Internet is truly our big - and only - hope.

"The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks"


"U.S. intelligence officials have grown increasingly alarmed about what they believe to be Chinese and Russian surveillance of computer systems that control the electric grid and other U.S. infrastructure."


"With the growth in concern about cyber attacks, these relationships began to extend into the electronic arena, and the only U.S. agency equipped to manage electronic assessments of critical-infrastructure vulnerabilities is the NSA, government and industry officials said."


"Wow, the name "Perfect Citizen" just screams of Orwellian repression" -Mike Lorrey

The crux of this issue is that (a) technology enables the 1984-style Orwellian world we should be absolutely terrified of, (b) the march into this horrific world is coming in a series of small doses, each cloaked in patriotic-sounding words, and (c) at the very core of this matter is the issue of privacy, which was not mentioned in the Constitution and Bill of Rights simply because the Founding Fathers had no concept of what was to come by way of computers and networks.

Food for thought: imagine our world when your car issues you a ticket for speeding or not fully stopping for a stop sign, etc. You can extrapolate this fact to come up with even more chilling scenarios. All of it, of course, will be sold to the public "for our own good".

The crux of our endless War on Terror By Glenn Greenwald

In this story, Glenn reacts to information that there are a few hundred Al Qeada members in the world.

"So between Afghanistan and Paksitan combined, there are a few hundred Al Qeada members total. All of this ongoing war and those hundreds of billions of dollars spent and those deaths and the decade of occupation, and those bombings and shootings and drone attacks and lawless prisons and habeas-stripping court precedents: it's all (ostensibly) for a few hundred extremists total hiding in remote tribal areas."

Octavia Nasr's firing and what the liberal media allows By Glenn Greenwald

This article explores the inner workings of media control.

"That message spawned an intense fit of protest from Far Right outlets, Thought Crime enforcers, and other neocon precincts, and CNN quickly (and characteristically) capitulated to that pressure by firing her. The network -- which has employed a former AIPAC official, Wolf Blitzer, as its primary news anchor for the last 15 years -- justified its actions by claiming that Nasr's "credibility" had been "compromised." Within this episode lies several important lessons about media "objectivity" and how the scope of permissible views is enforced."

We're in a Recession Because the Rich Are Raking in an Absurd Portion of Wealth By Robert Reich

"Our economy can't thrive when the richest 1% get an ever larger share of the nation's income and wealth, and everyone else's share shrinks."


"Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation's total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America's total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total."

Two More Candidates for the McChrystal Treatment By Robert Scheer

"It’s not working. Time for the president to concede that the economy is at best stagnating and at worst about to take another steep nose dive. I don’t know if we are headed for another Great Depression, as Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman dared suggest recently, but it is amply clear that the Obama strategy, inherited from George W. Bush, of bailing out Wall Street in the forlorn hope that it would repair the economic damage the fat cats inflicted on the rest of us has not worked."


"The housing market remains in dire shape, and with it the nest eggs of Americans who are responding by squelching their appetite for consumption. The Wall Street hustlers were made whole, but not so the people whose home mortgages the banks are foreclosing, or businesses and their customers looking for the credit that the banks had promised to free up."


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