Constitution

Either you’re the Butcher or the Cattle

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on October 16, 2014

children-of-men

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I know many people have no interest in watching the boob tube because 99% of the programming is either mindless drivel or government sanctioned propaganda. It’s the 1% that reflects the deeper themes and moods engulfing our society. Television shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead reflect the darkening mood of this intensifying Fourth Turning. I wrote one of my more pessimistic articles called Welcome to Terminus in April regarding the season four finale of the Walking Dead series. I essentially argued we are approaching the end of the line and the world is going to get real nasty.

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In the six short months since I wrote that depressing article, we’ve seen men beheaded on Youtube videos by terrorists no one had ever heard of at the beginning of this year. Somehow a ragtag band of 30,000 Muslim terrorists, using American military equipment supplied to fight Assad in Syria and taken from the Iraqi Army when they turned tail and ran away, have been able to defeat 600,000 Iraqi and Kurd fighters with air support from the vaunted U.S. Air Force. Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan descend into never ending religious based warfare. We’ve even had passenger planes mysteriously disappear in Asia with no trace.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and rejoined Russia, initiating a plan to punish Russia by the western powers. America supported and planned the overthrow of a democratically elected government in the Ukraine, with a predictable push back response by Russia, leading to a bloody civil war in the Eastern Ukraine. We’ve had a false flag shooting down of an airliner over the Ukraine by the Ukrainian government, blamed on Russia and Putin by Obama and his EU co-conspirators. The American corporate media mouthpieces have ignored the cover-up of missing controller transmissions, black box recordings, and physical evidence regarding the murder of hundreds of innocent people by western politicians. Israel and Hamas resumed their endless religious war in Gaza, with thousands of casualties and destruction.

UK fear mongering and financial threats barely averted the secession of Scotland from the UK. Cantalonia continues to push for a secession vote to leave Spain. Violent protests have broken out in Spain, Italy, France and even Sweden. Turmoil, protests and riots in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico have been driven by anger at political corruption, high inflation, and general economic dysfunction. Saber rattling between China and Japan has increased and young people in Hong Kong have been protesting the lack of democratic elections being permitted by China. The world economy, undergoing central bank monetary stimulus withdraw, is headed back into recession as Germany, China and the U.S. join the rest of the world in economic decline. And now the Western Africa outbreak of ebola has gone worldwide, with predictions of an epidemic potentially causing worldwide economic chaos.

What’s happening in the real world makes the dystopian zombie world of Walking Dead seem almost quaint. The writers of this show brilliant use of symbolism and imagery captures the violent, chaotic, inhumane, darkening, brutal world we inhabit as the Fourth Turning crisis period we entered in 2008 deepens on a daily basis. There is a good reason why the first episode of their fifth season drew the biggest cable TV audience in history. The show is clearly tapping into the mood of the masses. Early in the latest episode you realize Terminus has become a processing center run by cannibals. The line between victim and criminal, killer and prey, good and evil, madness and sanity, and moral and immoral is blurred. Everything is relative in the post-pandemic world of the Walking Dead.

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Seeing Wall Street cannibals walk away unscathed after devouring the worldwide economic system in 2008 with their fraudulent financial schemes, corrupt politicians enriched by throwing taxpayers under the bus, militarized police forces trampling the Fourth Amendment, the NSA spying on every American, a private central bank enriching their owners by funneling trillions into their bank vaults, a president trampling on the Constitution by issuing executive orders to bypass the other branches of government, and billions of welfare and tax fraud from the urban ghettos to the penthouse suites in NYC, has convinced a large swath of Americans that everything is relative and nothing matters in our warped dystopian world. Right and wrong no longer matter. Morality is an antiquated concept. Adhering to the Constitution is an outmoded notion. Our society celebrates and condones our dog eat dog economic paradigm. Or zombie eats anything world in the case of Walking Dead.

The Terminus complex is reminiscent of the concentration camp in Schindler’s List. It is complete with railroad cars to hold the prisoners, gates with barbed wire, armed guards, and extermination facilities to “process” the prisoners. Thick black smoke belches into the air. There is a room stacked full of booty, teddy bears, watches, clothes – everything except the gold fillings.The Nazi like precision and attention to detail is reflected in the almost business-like method in which the Terminus administrators go about gutting their prey. The bone chilling efficiency and antiseptic processing facility evoke memories of the holocaust gas chambers. The opening sequence when Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob are among a group of men lined up to be gutted like pigs over a trough in place to collect their spilled blood, might have been the most brutal scene ever put on non-premium cable TV.

The callous and dispassionate way in which the prisoners (cattle) are lined up in front of a stainless steel trough is disconcerting and bone chilling. The victims are hit with a baseball bat and then their throats are slit over the trough by men in protective suits. They have become nothing but cattle to be butchered and consumed by the Terminus cannibals. You see another part of the processing plant where human remains are hanging from hooks like sides of beef. Gareth, the leader of Terminus, supervises the operation like a CEO, berating the butchers for not meeting quotas and following standard operating procedures. Not much different than how our mega-corporations are run today.

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The other fascinating similarity between the dystopian “nightmare of want” setting of Terminus and our modern day dystopian “empire of excess” is the use of false advertising and propaganda to lure “customers” into their web. Their version of billboard advertising was plywood with the hand written messages of “Sanctuary for All”, “Community for All”, and “Those Who Arrive Survive”. The Terminus cannibals would have fit in well on Madison Avenue with the highly paid spin artists, propagandists, and whores for the corporate oligarchs.

The signs along train tracks and radio transmissions from a call center like facility showed the calculated business-like efficiency of the cannibals in systematically and methodically luring victims to their slaughterhouse. It is the same techniques used by the apostles of Edward Bernays to consciously and intelligently manipulate the habits, opinions, tastes, ideas and actions of the masses, in order to control and influence their buying habits, voting decisions, and support of their rulers. The unseen men who constitute the “invisible government” use these techniques to keep the cattle docile, fed, and ignorant, as they are led to slaughter.

The government and lack thereof is always lurking in the murky background of how and why the United States has devolved into an infected world of the walking dead. This episode provided some clues about government labs producing viruses as weapons to be used against some unexplained enemy. The insinuation is that the government somehow lost control of the virus and the ensuing pandemic destroyed our modern world and left the survivors to battle the biters and each other for the remaining scraps. The Federal government caused the societal collapse and is nowhere to be found in rebuilding the nation.

It is unclear how the apocalypse went down, but you can assume it began with fear, which led to panic, chaos, economic collapse, violent upheaval, war, and total breakdown of governmental authority and control. It is ironic that today fear of a worldwide ebola pandemic is coinciding with an inevitable economic implosion, wars raging in the Middle East, violent protests raging around the globe, and trust in governmental authority plunging to all-time lows. The Walking Dead has wittingly or unwittingly captured the ambiance of our turbulent times.

When you are faced with desperate circumstances you can either do whatever you need to survive or you can submissively accept your fate and die. Gareth and his cannibalistic cohorts had been in the same situation as Rick and his posse, but they had somehow turned the tables on their captors. Gareth’s survival of the fittest creed was “either you’re the butcher or you’re the cattle”. Human beings react to intense pressure and life threatening situations in different ways. Some people snap and turn into monsters, like Gareth. Some people snap and lose their minds. Others, like Rick and Carol, summon an inner strength to do whatever it takes to survive while barely maintaining their humanity. Others turn into blind followers of a strong forceful leader, not questioning the morality, legality or humanity of what they are ordered to do. The line between right and wrong, necessary versus unnecessary, vengeance versus justice, and butcher versus cattle is blurred in a world without rules, government or accepted norms.

I believe the “butcher or cattle” analogy is sadly a valid meme for the world we currently inhabit. In the Walking Dead world, individuals must choose to be butcher or cattle. It’s a Darwinian world of kill or be killed. Like minded individuals with common values and goals form communities to protect themselves, provide for themselves, and attempt to bring a semblance of order in a chaotic world. The community of Westbury, led by the governor and the community of Terminus, led by Gareth, are founded upon a foundation of evil and ultimately destroyed. Rick’s community of liberty minded freedom fighters do whatever is necessary to survive, but retain their humanity, decency and desire to create a better world.

Our present day world may not be as brutish as the Walking Dead world, though the line between reality and fiction is often indistinguishable when you turn on the news, but the distinction between butchers and cattle is clear. The elected and non-elected rulers of the deep state are the butchers, sending young men off to die for oil companies and arms dealers, impoverishing the masses through inflation and their control of the currency, and enriching themselves through their complete control of the political, financial, judicial, and economic systems. This establishment, or invisible government as Bernays described, is committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. Its scope, financial resources, and global reach put it in a predator class all by itself.

The common people are the cattle being led to slaughter. We are kept docile with incessant propaganda from the mainstream media; marketing messages to consume from Madison Avenue; filtered, adjusted, manipulated economic data fed to us by government agencies; an endless supply of iGadgets and other electronic distractions; government education designed to keep us ignorant; 24/7 reality TV on six hundred stations to keep us entertained; corporate toxic processed food to keep us obese and tame; and an endless supply of Wall Street supplied debt to keep us caged in our pens with no hope of escape. The butchers of the deep state have maintained control for decades, but we’re entering a new era.

Fourth Turnings result in the tables being turned on the butchers. Some cattle are awakening from their stupor. They can see the bloody writing on the slaughterhouse wall. Anyone who isn’t sensing a dramatic mood change in this country is either a mindless zombie or a functionary of the deep state. The financial shenanigans of the ruling class are again being revealed as nothing but a Ponzi scheme built on a foundation of debt and propped up by delusions and ignorance. When the house of cards collapses in the near future, the tables will turn. When people have nothing left to lose, they will lose it. The butchers will become the cattle. There will be no sanctuary for these evil men. Their reign of terror will be swept away in a whirlwind of retribution, death and destruction. It might even make the Walking Dead look like a walk in the park.

 

Do No Evil Google…

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on February 24, 2013

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…Censor and Snitch for the State

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

 

I find the quote above by Edward Bernays to be a perfect synopsis for everything that has come to pass over the last century. The world has become increasingly controlled by an invisible government of greedy Wall Street bankers, shadowy billionaires, immoral big business, crooked politicians, and the military industrial complex, with mammoth media conglomerates, purposefully using propaganda to manipulate and mold the minds of the masses in order to exert power and control over our lives. He wrote those words in 1928, when the only available forms of manipulation were newspapers and radio. Bernays would be ecstatic and delighted with the implements available today used by our corporate fascist state controllers as they deliver the electronic messaging guiding the public mind.

He never dreamed of television, the internet, social media, and the ability of corporations like Google, in full cooperation with the government, to censor the truth, while feeding misinformation and state sanctioned propaganda to the masses in such an efficient and effective mode. Compelling the masses to worship at the altar of technology, while idolizing the evil men running our largest banks and corporations, has been a prodigious success for the shadowy ruling power and their mass media propaganda agents. Mike Lofgren, former congressional insider and author of The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted, describes these mysterious perfidious men as the Deep State:

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.

My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.”

 All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched.

Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. – Mike Lofgren, Anatomy of the Deep State

The techno-narcissistic American public has been manipulated into falsely believing their iGadgets, Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of Apps have made them smarter, freer and safer. As Goethe proclaimed, the majority of willfully ignorant Americans are hopelessly enslaved, while falsely believing they are free. Our controllers, through relentless propaganda and misinformation pounded into our brains by the government controlled education system and unrelenting messaging by their mass media co-conspirators, have molded the minds and opinions of the vast majority into believing government and mega-corporations are beneficial and indispensable to their well-being.

The overwhelming majority have been conditioned like rats to believe anything their keepers feed them. In order to keep society running smoothly, with little dissent, thought, opposition or questioning, the Deep State utilizes all the tools at its disposal to manipulate, influence, coerce, bully and bribe the populace into passive submission. They’ve trained us to love our servitude. The Inner Party sees this as essential to their continued control, power and enrichment, while keeping the Proles impoverished, ignorant, fearful and distracted with bread and circuses.

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The key weapon in their arsenal of obedience is technology and the mega-corporations that control the flow of information disseminated to the hypnotized mindless masses. The United States has devolved into a society where a few powerful unelected unaccountable men, controlling the levers of government, education, finance, and media are able to formulate the opinions, tastes, beliefs, and fears of the masses through the effective and subtle use of technology. They have tenaciously and unflinchingly fashioned a technology addiction among the masses in order to keep them distracted, entertained and uninterested in thinking, gaining knowledge, or comprehending their roles and responsibilities as citizens in a purportedly democratic republic.

The mass media, along with their corporate compatriots – Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Yahoo, Facebook and Google, gather vast amounts of data, emails, phone calls, texts, internet searches, spending habits, credit information, passwords, videos and private personal information from an agreeable, gullible and trusting populace. Americans have a seemingly infinite capacity for blindly counting on the government and the corporatocracy to use this data in an honorable and ethical manner. But, as Edward Snowden has revealed, the corporate fascist state is collecting every shred of data on every American in a systematic and thorough way. We have voluntarily surrendered our privacy, liberties, and freedoms to mega-corporations like Google and their techno-brethren, who then willingly collaborate with Big Brother NSA and allow unfettered access to this private information.

The U.S. Constitution along with the First and Fourth Amendments are meaningless to these deceitful entities. Our freedoms have dissipated at the same rate we have adopted the technological “innovations” of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. We are being monitored, scrutinized, tracked and controlled by the technology we have exuberantly purchased from the mega-corporations stripping us of our freedom. Technological “progress” has actually resulted in a colossal regression in freedom, liberty, independence, choice, and intelligent questioning of authority. We having willingly submitted to the google shackles of tyranny in exchange for being entertained and amused by Angry Birds, Words with Friends, facebooking, texting, tweeting, posting selfies and statuses, and linking in.

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means

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David versus the Nameless, Faceless Goliath Robot

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair – I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

 

 

My enlightening encounter with the nameless, faceless $52 billion “non-evil doing” behemoth entity known as Google, over the last month, has clarified my understanding of how the invisible governing body of the Deep State uses the power of the all-mighty dollar to suppress dissent and obscure the truth. My inconsequential libertarian minded blog that attracts 15,000 visitors per day has been up and running for the last five years. I started my own blog because I didn’t want to deal with ongoing censorship of my articles by Wall Street sellout blogs such as Seeking Alpha, Minyanville, and Financial Sense.

Their salary/living depended upon them not publishing articles critical of Wall Street and the government. My intention has never been to make a living from my blog. Any donations or incidental advertising revenue allowed me to upgrade my server capacity to handle more visitors. I’m certainly not averse to making money, but the sole purpose of my blog has been to try and open people’s eyes to Wall Street criminality, political corruption, media propaganda, and the perilous financial state of our country. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when Google approved my website for ads in December.

I will admit my site has been essentially an un-moderated free for all going back to the very beginning in 2009. I do not believe in censorship or false civility. I attempt to induce anger and outrage with every article and post. These are desperate times and anger is the appropriate reaction. The country is on a burning platform of unsustainable policies and practices which threaten the future of our society. I’m pissed off and I want others to be just as pissed off. The regular commenters are intelligent, critical, opinionated, and not afraid to unload with both barrels on fellow regulars or newbies. The language is often strong and the posting of pictures and images adds to the frat house like atmosphere. Regular contributors include doctors, farmers, engineers, business owners, accountants, teachers, waitresses, students, homemakers, soldiers, spies, and retirees. The wild-west nature of the site is not a secret to anyone who has ventured a peek. I assume Google did a review of the site before approving it for their Adsense program.

I started running Google ads on my site in early December. My site operated as it always had. The $30 per day in ad revenue was welcome, as it helped defray my server and security expenses. I experience a surge in visitors whenever I publish an article that gets picked up by fellow truth telling alternative media websites like Zero Hedge, 321 Gold, Washington’s Blog, Jesse’s Cafe Americain, Steve Quayle, Monty Pelerin, Doug Ross, Market Oracle, Dollar Collapse, TF Metals and several others. I published an article called The Retail Death Rattle on January 20 which obliterated the false government and mainstream media recovery storyline and skewered the delusional incompetent CEOs of mega-retailers. It struck a nerve as it generated the highest visitor count in history for my site. It was even picked up by Wall Street Journal owned Marketwatch. My articles are highly critical of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, corrupt Washington politicians and the feckless captured legacy media, but they usually fly under the radar of the ruling class. On January 22 Google disabled my ads for “policy violations”. This is the vague non-specific description provided by the non-human policing bot:

Scraped content

It’s important for a site displaying AdSense to offer significant value to the user by providing unique and relevant content, and not to place ads on auto-generated pages or pages with little to no original content. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • copying portions of text content from other sources
  • websites dedicated to embedded videos from other hosts
  • websites with gibberish content that makes no sense or seems auto-generated
  • templated or pre-generated websites that provide duplicate content to users.

Sexual content

Google ads may not be placed on pages with adult or mature content. This includes, but is not limited to, pages with images or videos containing:

  • Strategically covered nudity
  • Sheer or see-through clothing
  • Lewd or provocative poses
  • Close-ups of breasts, buttocks, or crotches

Over the last five years I have received exactly ZERO complaints from other websites or authors about re-posting their articles, with full attribution and links, on my website. No one can accuse my site of not having unique and relevant content. I have permission to post articles from Zero Hedge, Charles Hugh Smith, Michael Snyder, Jim Kunstler, David Stockman, John Mauldin, Doug Casey, Paul Rosenberg, Fred Reed and dozens of other brilliant truthful journalists detailing our societal decay. Was there some Kate Upton bikini Gifs and provocative Salma Hayak pictures scattered within the 200,000 comments made on the site in the last five years? Guilty as charged. It seems Google reviewers can’t see the hypocrisy of running ads to meet young bikini clad Asian girls, while disabling ads because there are a few bikini pictures on the website. I suspected my article had drawn the Eye of Sauron in my direction and this was the response.

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Speaking truth to power during these perilous times has repercussions. But I decided to make a good faith effort to follow their rules.

I had made almost 15,000 posts over the last five years. Over the next week I scanned the site and archived posts that included articles from mainstream media websites, along with a hundred or so bikini pictures. You never deal with a human being when attempting to satisfy the Google Gestapo. Identical canned appeal denial responses are issued from Google Central with no clarification or effort to help you understand their reasoning.

Hello,

Thank you for providing us with additional information about your site. However, after thoroughly reviewing theburningplatform.com and taking your feedback into consideration, we’re unable to re-enable ad serving to your site at this time, as your site appears to still be in violation.

When making changes, please note that the URL mentioned in your policy notification may be just one example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website. Appropriate changes must be made across your entire website before ad serving can be enabled on your site again.

If you’d like to have your site reconsidered for participation in the AdSense program, please review our program policies and make any necessary changes to your webpages.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

There must have been some miscommunication within the Google Gestapo, as the ads were re-enabled after one week and my third appeal. A newbie, who didn’t get the memo, must have mistakenly activated my ads. Regular commenters and contributors were confused by what they could and couldn’t post on the site, as was I. The iron fist of the Google Stasi came down once again within a week, with the identical policy violation notice. I made the assumption that since the site was declared in compliance as of January 29, I only had to address anything posted since that date.

I had purged the site of any and all risqué pictures, so I knew that wasn’t a real issue. I thoroughly reviewed every post made since January 29 and archived or edited them to leave no doubt I was meeting Google’s vague guidelines. I continued to have my appeals rejected. I then went back a year and archived hundreds of other posts. By the fourth appeal rejection, I realized I would never meet their standard because it wasn’t really about violating Google content policies. It was my libertarian, anti-government, anti-Wall Street, anti-Mega-Corporation, anti-Surveillance State views that were the real issue. They were attempting to make me “not understand” or write about the creeping corporate fascist paradigm overtaking the country by making my Google salary dependent on “not understanding”.

Once I understood this truth, I was set free to provoke and prod the nameless, faceless Google entity and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their true purpose. Their appeal form allows 1,000 characters for your response. Along with the actions I had taken, I began to question the integrity of the Google apparatchik “reviewer”, as it was clear the site was not in violation. I had archived over a thousand posts and tens of thousands of comments. I challenged the man behind the Google curtain to provide me with proof the site was still in violation. I must have struck a nerve, as out of the blue I received a new violation notice.

Violent or disturbing content

AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.

Now this was funny. My site focuses on the financial, political, and social decay of our country. It in no way advocates or promotes violence. It has no graphic images or gory videos. If Google is attempting to suppress videos of revolutions occurring in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Syria from being seen by citizens of the world, their credibility is zero. If Google is attempting to suppress videos of police brutality against citizens or the police state locking down an entire city while violating the Fourth Amendment, they prove themselves to be nothing more than a fascist propaganda tool of the State. This violation notice was laughable, but I decided to call their bluff one last time. I spent three days and archived 14,000 out of the 15,000 posts ever made on my site. All that remained were my main articles, published on dozens of other sites with Google ads active, and original content produced by myself or other approved contributors. There was no violent content, scraped content, or sexual content on my website.

My ninth and final appeal was denied. I then proceeded to write an FU Google post on my website and inform my readers and contributors they were unshackled from the Google Evil Empire of Censorship. I’m in the process of restoring all of the posts I had archived. Some might argue that Google is just exercising their rights under our free market capitalism system. I would argue free market capitalism does not exist today. The unholy alliance of big banks, big corporations, big military and big media has created a state run by the few for the benefit of the few. They use their control of the purse strings to manipulate minds, crush dissent, and censor through bullying and bribery.

Once I mentally liberated myself from their financial control, I was able to see their game. They essentially wanted me to purge the site of every anti-establishment example of free speech and First Amendment rights I had ever written, in order to kneel before the altar of $$$ in the Church of Google. Google would be perfectly fine if I converted my website into a chat-fest where I discussed the details of the upcoming Kim and Kanye wedding, pondered deep issues regarding the benefits of gay marriage, conducted polls on who The Bachelor will choose to be his betrothed this season,  mused about what Hollywood stars will wear at the Academy Awards, and debated who will win the fourteenth season of American Idol. The Google money would flow freely as I contributed to the dumbing down and sedation of the masses. I have chosen not be a Judas that sells out my readers and the American public for 30 pieces of fiat to the Google Pharisees and the American corporate fascist surveillance empire.

This was not the first time the Deep State attempted to silence my anarchistic viewpoint. On June 5 Edward Snowden, American hero and patriot, released the first of thousands of documents detailing the traitorous actions of the NSA, Obama, Congress, the Judicial branch, and the corporate media. Snowden revealed the government, in cooperation with Google, Verizon, Facebook and a myriad of other technology/media companies, was collecting metadata and conducting mass surveillance of every American in violation of the Fourth Amendment, a clearly illegal form of search and seizure.

On June 19 I penned an article titled Who Are the Real Traitors? In the article I declared Obama, James Clapper, Dick Cheney, Diane Feinstein, Peter King and a plethora of other politicians, faux journalists, and talking media heads as the real traitors of the American people. The article achieved wide distribution through my usual channels and must have again drawn attention in Mordor on the Potomac. Two days later anyone with McAfee or Norton security were receiving false warnings about a malicious virus on my site. Long time readers in the military informed me the site was now blocked by the Department of Defense as a dangerous website. Other long-time readers informed me their corporations were now blocking access to the site. The site was inundated by denial of service attacks. It slowed to a crawl and was virtually inaccessible. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.

I was forced to switch server companies and hire an anti-hacking company to protect the site, thereby increasing my cost to run the site by a factor of 10. Even though the companies I hired confirmed there were no malicious viruses on the site, Norton continued to scare Internet Explorer users from reading my site for the next eight months. How the $8 billion Symantec (owns Norton) entity could rationalize this false warning on only $80 billion Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, seems suspicious to me. The warning would not appear if you accessed the site with Mozilla Firefox, even if you employed Norton security. Norton makes it virtually impossible to appeal their false danger rating. I’m sure thousands of people were scared away from my website by these unaccountable corporate entities, working on behalf of the all-powerful state. Lofgren’s Deep State or Bernays’ Invisible Government hate the truth. They despise anyone who attempts to open the eyes of the public to their deception, criminality, and propaganda.

Google has become a tool and partner of the Deep State. Enrichment of the state within the state is their sole purpose. Google’s Don’t Be Evil motto, originated when they were a fledgling company in 2000, has become a farce as they have descended into the netherworld as the information police for the ruling despots. They are now a humungous corporation with near monopoly control over the flow of information, searches, emails, and internet advertising. They know more about you and your habits than you do. They attempt to control freedom of speech at the point of a wire transfer. Fall into line or no advertising blood money for you. Not only do they suppress viewpoints through advertising revenue bullying, they manipulate their search engine results to hide the truth from the masses.  Google search engines filter, block and bury blog posts that contain content or information it deems incompatible with the message of its corporate fascist co-conspirators. Its oppressive corporate practices on behalf of its evil partners are an abridgment of the freedom of speech, perversion of the truth, and active attempt to mold the minds of the masses.

 

One of the most intelligent and cleverest contributors to my website, Nick (aka Stucky), summed up the evil entity known as Google in this pointed comment on my website:

There is an Entity out there who knows every search you ever made.

The Entity knows all about your emails, the content and address.

The Entity knows what you buy online and how often.

The Entity is developing software to predict what you will buy next.

The Entity can now even watch you, and know where you are, and what you are doing.

The Entity even knows your habits.

The Entity has enormous resources and stacks of cash.

The Entity shares your information with Lesser Entities … and also The Big Evil Entity that rules us all.

The Entity makes the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, and their ilk look like Lightweight Chumps.

The Entity hates you. You are just a means to an end.

The Entity is building a Profile all about you.

The Entity will soon know you better than you know yourself.

Welcome to Google, the most evil Entity on the planet.

As a society we have fallen asleep at the wheel. We’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled into complacency, distracted by minutia, mesmerized by technology, turned into consumers by corporations, pacified by financial gurus and Ivy League economists, and fearful of our own shadows. Surveillance, censorship and propaganda are the tools of the oppressive state. Free speech and truthful revelations about the Deep State are a danger in the eyes of our oppressors. Words retain power and can change the hearts and minds of a tyrannized citizenry willing to listen. V’s speech to London in the movie V for Vendetta, with slight modification, captures the essence of how Google fits into the evil matrix we inhabit today.

Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?

Cruelty and injustice…intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic you turned to the government and their banking/corporate patrons. They promised you order. They promised you peace. And all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

I choose not to silently and obediently consent to the will of the Deep State. Google will not silence me. We are in the midst of a Fourth Turning and I will try to do my small part in sweeping away the existing social order and trying to replace it with a system that honors and follows the U.S. Constitution. In Part 2 of this expose of evil, I’ll provide further proof of Google’s hypocrisy, censorship, and willing participation in spying on the American people. I’m beginning to understand the major conflict which will drive this Fourth Turning – The People vs The Corporate Fascist State.

 

WARNING: The National Security Agency is recording and storing this communication as part of its unlawful spying program on all Americans … and people worldwide. The people who created the NSA spying program say this communication – and any responses – can and will be used against the American people at any time in the future should unelected bureaucrats within the government decide to persecute us for political reasons. Private information in digital communications is being shared between Google, Facebook, Verizon and the government. It will be used against you when it suits their purposes.

Dialogue Destruction

Article off the keyboard of RE
Podcast off the microphones of RE & Monsta

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 4, 2013

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Discuss this article at the Guerrilla Internet Free Speech Table inside the Diner

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Last week in the Sunday Brunch article I discussed the problems of Censorship in the Commentary of many if not most Collapse Blogs & Forums.  This is just one prong of a multi-faceted issue of developing real debate about what is certainly the most Important Topic of Our Time, if not the most Important Topic of ALL TIME.  If Collapse leads to the Near Term Extinction of Homo Sapiens per Guy McPherson, this debate fits the latter category.

The issue I would like to discuss this week is the lack of a real Dialogue between what now is a fairly large community of “Collapse Professionals”.  The lack of Dialogue is a corollary problem to the Commentary Censorship problem, and follows directly from it.

I began my investigation into Collapse Dynamics not as a Blogger, not as an Academic Researcher, but as a member of the Commentariat of the Peak Oil Message Board, back in what was its heyday during the financial collapse of 2008.  In the case of a Forum as opposed to a Blog, all the folks in there discussing the issues are relatively Equal, though some are more Equal than others once they rise to the level of the Mod Squad on the Forum.  Said designation usually comes after a Commenter has spent enough time on the board and is sufficiently in line with the Group Think of the website to be asked onto the moderating staff.

http://www.mitchellteachers.org/WorldHistory/AncientEgyptNearEastUnit/Images/KushEgyptiansHomagetoPiye_large.jpgMuch different dynamic exists on Blogs by a single author, where that Blogger is KING, and generally expects the Commentariat to be Humble and appreciative of his/her Greatness.  If you post consistently CRITICAL commentary on the Blog, you get the designation of “Troll”.  Anyone who disagrees often enough and at enough length to give the blogger a headache is a “Troll”.  LOL.

Returning to the Forum dynamic, there basically everyone is an Expert with their own ideas, but in terms of justifying those ideas what they often do is take Quotes from recognized “Collapse Stars”, who in those days back on Peak Oil included authors like Joseph Tainter (Collapse of Complex Societies) or researchers like Richard Duncan (the Olduvai Theory).  Who NEVER shows up in the commentary to discuss what these guys wrote about?  The AUTHOR himself!  So you can’t actually discuss these ideas with the guy who originally wrote about them, only acolytes who use the material to justify their own POV.

In many cases today though, the Authors of Books and Theories on Collapse run their own Blogs as well, and sometimes they allow commentary; occassionally they actually participate in the commentary; and sometimes they allow no comentary at all on the blog.  In the case of those who do allow commentary and who do occassionally respond as well, the real Collapse Afficionado may drop in to discuss some ideas expressed in the authors latest Blog.  That is where then the Censorship begins taking place as mentioned above and in the last article.  So you do not get real dialogue going on these Blog Commentaries either, because everyone who posts up is expected to pay homage to the Author’s Greatness, not take him to task for his ideas.

There is still ANOTHER effect of this dynamic, which is Who ALMOST NEVER shows up on the Blog of a Collapse Star to discuss ideas they have which conflict with the ideas of the Blog Proprietor?  Other Collapse Stars!  So what would really be the MOST INTERESTING of Dialogues, two Pundits with conflicting ideas about Collapse facing down in a Commentary and Challenging each other on their ideas NEVER HAPPENS!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O3eIVl-7ve0/TyiUH5h4K_I/AAAAAAAALU4/XQoioThhz-o/s400/house%2Bof%2Bcards%2Bfalling.jpgThere are MANY subjects in the Collapse Panopoly of Ideas which have various Pundits with Diametrically Opposed conclusions about Collapse Dynamics which would benefit from these folks directly discussing Publically their ideas with each other.  A few I can think of off hand would be say John Williams (Hyperinflationista) and Nicole Foss (Deflationato).  John Michael Greer (Slow Catabolic Collapse) and David Korowicz (Fast Systemic Collapse). Antal Fekete (Gold Bug) and Ellen Brown (Debt Free Credit Money).  I could go on and on with this, but of course the fact of the matter is none of these folks ever show up in the Commentary of their Evil Twin to hash it out online.

Why do these folks who have fundamental disagreements rarely show up in the Commentary of another Collapse Star to debate the points?  Reasons are many.

First off, generally speaking a Collapse Star is a Bizzy Person, working on his Next Book some days, working on his Next Blog other days, Booked for a Speaking Engagement other days, and of course most of them still have some IRL JOB they have to do also.  Just responding in your OWN Commentariat if you run one is time consuming, much less travelling over to another Collapse Star’s Commentariat to take him to task for an opposing idea.

Second, the Collapse Star has more to LOSE than to GAIN by going Mano-a-Mano with another Collapse Star.  If they get Bested in the Debate, their Rep is Diminished.  When you go offsite to somebody else’s Blog, you are always of course in the position of subservience to the Blog Author, so even another Collapse Star could have his posting Censored at a certain point if he pursues the argument too long.  This is what REALLY gets you identified as a “Troll” by a Blogger.

Here is how it goes, even for the Smarter than the Average Bear Troll like yours truly on a given Blog in the Commentary.  This is generic, it has occured for me on Market Ticker (Denninger) and Dark Ages America (Berman).

I make Post #1, questioning some ideas presented in the Original Article.  Collapse Star responds mostly amiably in Rebuttal, then I come back with Post #2, Dissecting the Rebuttal.  Collapse Star responds a good deal LESS AMIABLY with the next Rebuttal, with perhaps a WARNING that if I continue, my Posting will be Sent to the Great Beyond.  I respond with a 3rd Post, which usually does not show up but if it does is followed by Napalm from the Blog Author and I am Permanently BANNED from said Commentary.  LOL.  So MAX here you have about 3 posts before you are Identified as a “Troll”.  A Troll is anyone who keeps going on an argument longer than the patience of the Collapse Star will hold out, which usually is around 3 posts.  LOL.

Contrast that of course to the Debates that go on inside the Diner.  We have numerous Debates here that run 30-50 PAGES in length, with each page harboring 15 posts on the topic, and often a Principal in the Debate will have a dozen or more rebuttals that each themselves is of Blog Length.  Go to the Hyperinflation vs Deflation debate or the Waste Based Society debate to get examples of what I am talking about here.  Said Debates go on for MONTHS, in perpetuity really.  They are fundamental questions which constantly have new input from the Real World to hash over, that impact substantively on the debate.  They never end, but that does not mean you don’t keep learning from them as they progress over time.

Anyhow, we have fairly successfully overcome the napalm issues involved with long debates here inside the Diner between the Diners (though we still do occassionally EXPLODE with a Napalm Contest), but that STILL does not get Collapse Stars dropping on inside the Diner to clarify issues they wrote about which we Cross Posted as fodder for discussion.  So, STILL no ability here to make inquiries of the Original Author of the Ideas in a Free and Open Debate situation.

To resolve this issue somewhat on the Diner, we started doing Podcasts.  In the Podcasts, we invite various Collapse Stars to come on and Pontificate on their philosophy, and whoever is doing the Podcast as Host (me and Monsta usually, but also other Diner Admins like Surly, WHD and Haniel) gets to ask them questions about their ideas.  This has worked out very well generally speaking, we have some fabulous recordings with people like George Mobus, David Korowicz, John Michael Greer, Gail Tverberg, etc. However, we still do not have the situation where these folks directly discuss Collapse with EACH OTHER.  That would be the Next Step I would hope to achieve with Diner Podcasts.  Working with the Database Cavalry from California on jacking on some nifty Video Conferencing software to accomplish this next Techno-Feat on the Diner.

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There are ISSUES with doing this of course, main one being again it is not necessarily in the interest of the Collapse Star to get involved in the Podcast where their Ideas might be seriously CHALLENGED.  This was the Genesis of the No-Show of Charles Hugh Smith to a Podcast we scheduled a couple of weeks back, and led to the Charles Hugh Smithless Podcast Monsta and I did as a Comedy Sketch which heads this article.  I sent Charles a Script of questions, along with questions embedded in a Post made by Agelbert, one of the most Active Diners.  Charles was REPULSED by the tone of Agelbert’s questions, and emailed me that he did not want to participate in a Podcast where people were SCREAMING at each other in VOLUMINOUS DISSENSUS along the lines of a Rush Limbaugh show.  Which we never do here in our Podcasts, but Charles did not bother to listen to any of them to see what goes on, he just nixed it and did not show up.

Still uncertain as to whether we can EVER get the various Collapse Stars together, either in Text Debate on the Diner Pages or in Verbal Debate on Diner Podcasts.  IMHO, this kind of DIALOGUE is a necessary part of elucidating the TRUTH about the Collapse, and what we might do to ameliorate the consequences of reduced per capita energy as the Industrial Society spins down.

http://dellkimberly.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/image51.jpg?w=630So I plug onward here, clearly not the most Popular Guy in the Collapse Blogosphere because I get on EVERYBODY’S Case for Censoring their Commentary and not engaging in Dialogue with others who ponder on the issues of Civilization Collapse in great detail.  This discussion must take place in REAL TIME, here and now, because sure as fuck it is not taking place in the MSM or at the Political Level amongst the purported “Leadership’ class of our society.  I put up the Diner as a place where ALL can Speak Free, Pundits and Commenters alike.  Here on the Doomstead Diner, NO COMMENT ever gets DELETED.  No Diner ever gets BANNED.  That does not mean you are FREE to trash a debate with Napalm, you most certainly cannot do that here, because I will SQUASH YOU LIKE A BUG if you try that tactic.  Been at this game a long time now, know all the tricks,  BTDT myself on MANY boards.  You cannot pursue this paradigm here.  On the Diner, I am ADMIN.

POWER OF GOD ON A FORUM.

RE

Who Are the REAL Traitors?

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

Published on The Burning Platform on June 18, 2013

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Discuss this article at the Heroes of the Revolution Table inside the Diner

“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.”Edward Snowden

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”  – Samuel Adams

 

There are weeks that change the course of human history. There are weeks when people must choose sides. There are weeks that expose the real American traitors. There is no middle ground in this debate. You are either on the side of freedom, liberty, truth, transparency and the U.S. Constitution or you are on the side of mindless obedience, oppression, deception, corruption and tyranny. A courageous young Millennial named Edward Snowden has risked his life and his future to expose the illegal, surreptitious surveillance programs being conducted by the United States government in clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The NSA, with the full knowledge of Barack Obama and Congress, has been covertly collecting phone and internet records on millions of Americans with the full cooperation of Verizon and other mega media/data corporations. Our owners have been using the U.S. Constitution to wipe their asses. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so unambiguous that any intelligent politician, bright journalist or fifth grader in Miss Sabatini’s history class could interpret its meaning and intention. Our founding fathers believed in truth, clarity and simplicity. The traitorous sociopaths in control of our government today believe in obfuscation, ambiguity and complexity.

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Living Constitution?

Do you believe the mass collection of metadata information from millions of Americans with no probable cause is an unreasonable search as defined by the 4th Amendment? Do you believe the complete lockdown of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country and the door to door search by heavily armed government security thugs for one wounded teenager, without warrants or probable cause, was a violation of the 4th Amendment? Do you believe secretive governmental agencies have the right to partner with the biggest internet/communications/mass media corporations in the world to record your phone calls, read your emails, and monitor your internet communications under the bogus justification of the War on Terror (you are more likely to be struck by lightning twice than to be killed by a terrorist)?  Do you believe that government agencies tasked with revenue collection can be used to create an enemies list based upon whether you donated to the Ron Paul campaign, believe in liberty, or belong to a Tea Party organization? Do you believe allowing minimum wage government drones to molest little old ladies, paraplegics and three year old children, while conducting full body scans on all airline passengers really makes you safer from phantom terrorists? Do you believe having 30,000 high tech surveillance drones that can see you picking your nose in your driveway from 25,000 feet are not a violation of your privacy rights?

Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If you answered in the affirmative to any or all of the questions above you are either a government apparatchik, someone dependent upon the surveillance state for your paycheck, a victim of decades of mind control through corporate mass media propaganda, or one of the willfully ignorant masses. Of course the ignorant masses will not be reading these questions as they are focused on the inbred royal family saga, Kim Kardashian’s bastard child pregnancy, and the upcoming episodes of Honey Boo Boo, Teen Mom, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, Duck Dynasty, Real Housewives of Idiocracy or paying $200 on their plastic debt accumulator to watch multi-millionaire freaks of nature play children’s games. Those who argue the U.S. Constitution is a living document open to interpretation by the interchangeable corporate fascist parties that control the reins of power at Versailles on the Potomac are nothing but apologists for the corrupt status quo. The American people are provided the illusion of choice by their owners, but the major policies are kept intact – never ending war, never ending currency debasement, and never ending screwing of the middle class.

The revelations by Millennial martyr, Edward Snowden, about the PRISM program and the fact that the NSA harvests data directly from the servers of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and other corporate co-conspirators came just days after disclosure that our Orwellian trained keepers had been shredding the 1st Amendment. The Obama administration has continuously flaunted the Bill of Rights when they interfere with their mission to create a centrally planned welfare/warfare state. Republicans don’t resist Obama’s efforts on Constitutional grounds, as they have no love for its constraints either. The seizure of AP reporter phone records in an effort to uncover leaks and to intimidate the free press, monitoring of reporter James Rosen using false information to obtain a warrant, and the computer hacking of lead Benghazi CBS reporter Cheryl Attkisson are clearly violations of the 1st Amendment.

There has been faux outrage among those in the establishment. It’s nothing but a game to entertain their rabid disciples. There is virtually no difference between the pretend parties who alternately operate as figurehead leadership in Washington D.C. Both parties cooperated to crush the peaceable assembly of young people exercising their right to petition the government about the blatant criminality of Wall Street bankers. The supposed Soros inspired OWS movement was subdued by Democratic mayors using their local military police hooligans, supported by the Federal surveillance state, in cooperation with the very same criminal Wall Street banks who had destroyed the worldwide financial system in their ransacking of the nation’s wealth through a well planned and executed control fraud.

The cheerleading of this disgusting display of fascist tactics by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and the likes of CNN, MSNBC, and Bloomberg News told me everything I needed to know. Those within the status quo will circle the wagons whenever there is a threat to their wealth, power and control. If you make it onto the establishment’s enemies list, the Constitution will not protect you. The only true free speech is being exercised on the internet, for now. The plutocracy of wealthy corporate elite and their captured puppet politicians are attempting to crush dissent and free speech by restricting access to anti-establishment websites, introducing legislation to control the internet and as we now know hacking into sites considered enemies of the state. The guarantee of 1st Amendment protection has increasingly becoming a quaint old fashion notion in this fascist state.

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Constitution has been increasingly treated as an optional instructional manual by what passes for leadership in this country. An all-out assault has been waged on the 2nd Amendment by the control freaks who want to create a national gun registry so they know where to send their military assault teams when the time comes. Every assault on our liberties, rights and freedoms is done on behalf of the children. Sinclair Lewis once declared:

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

He was wrong. Fascism has come to America, wrapped in fiat currency, carrying a child as a prop, in the name of the War on Terrorism. Presidents have been flaunting their disdain for Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution since World War II. The Imperial American Empire has been militarily enforcing its hegemony over the world since the 1950’s without Congress ever declaring war, as required by the Constitution. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria are just the latest victims of our hypocritical interventionist state. Our predator drones roam the skies above foreign countries murdering suspected bad guys at the whim of PS3 trained gutless techno geeks sipping a decaf on their 9 to 5 shift.  The corrupt spineless swine in Congress expose themselves as nothing more than bought off acolytes of the military industrial complex warned about by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The citizens of this country have failed to heed his warning. We have not been alert and to describe the narcissistic, delusional, math challenged, willfully ignorant sheep, bleating for their safety and security as knowledgeable is beyond laughable. Security and liberty have not prospered together. The arms dealers formed an unholy alliance with the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks, their sugar daddy Federal Reserve, easily bought off feckless political class, and sociopathic government bureaucrats to create this corporate fascist welfare/warfare state that has subverted our liberty while obscenely enriching the .1% who have used their unwarranted influence in a traitorous manner. The disastrous consequences for the world continue to build like the dome of a volcano before it detonates and destroys everything in a fiery swath of lava.

New Boss Same As The Old Boss

“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.” – Barack Obama

 

The nattering classes who dominate the boob tube spin the storylines of their corporate clients on a daily basis, but the uncovering of the deceitful activities of the ruling establishment by Edward Snowden have exposed the truth about who runs this country. Republicans, Democrats, neo-cons, ultra-liberals, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, military generals, and the government drones who monitor our phone calls, texts, emails and internet postings have all shown their true colors in the last week. They don’t care about truth, justice, or the American people. James Clapper lied during sworn testimony before Congress about spying on millions of Americans because he didn’t think he’d be caught. He was caught red handed. And no one is calling for his apprehension and imprisonment.

We are lied to, misled, misinformed, and inundated with falsehoods and propaganda on a daily basis by our leaders. The proof that we live in a plutocracy dominated by two corrupt political parties (with 250 millionaires in Congress), six Wall Street banks (JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs), six mass media companies (Comcast, Google, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom), seven arm dealers (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, United Technologies), a few politically connected mega-corporations (Exxon, General Electric, Verizon, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, General Motors, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, IBM), and a few hundred shadowy billionaires is how they have unequivocally declared that Edward Snowden is a filthy high school dropout traitor. He has revealed secrets about how the lords of the manor keep the serfs and peasants under surveillance. Here is a smattering of the vitriol spewed about this American patriot:

“America is now a less safe place. The world is a less safe place because of what Mr. Snowden unilaterally did. He deserves to be prosecuted. I hope they find him in the hole that he’s hiding in in Hong Kong and bring him home and try him.” – Karl Rove

“I hope we follow Mr. Snowden to the ends of the earth to bring him to justice.” – Lindsey Graham

“For this, some, including my colleague John Cassidy, are hailing him as a hero and a whistle-blower. He is neither. He is, rather, a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.”Jeffrey Toobin – The New Yorker

“What he did was an act of treason.”Diane Feinstein

“He’s a traitor.” – John Boehner

“I think he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I consider him right now to be a defector.” – Peter King

“There is an obligation both moral, but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.” – Peter King

“I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people.” – Al Franken

“For me it is literally, not figuratively, literally, gut-wrenching to see this happen, because of the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities.”James Clapper (Perjurer)

“We do not see a tradeoff between security and liberty.” – Keith Alexander – NSA Director

“The national security of the United States has been damaged as a result those leaks. The safety of the American people and the safety of people who reside in allied nations have been put at risk as a result of these leaks.” – Eric Holder

“I think he’s a traitor. I’m suspicious because he went to China. That’s not a place where you would ordinarily want to go if you are interested in freedom, liberty and so forth. It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.” Dick Cheney – The Dark Lord

“And I hope that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” – Mitch McConnell

“Now you’ve got this 29-year-old high school dropout whistleblower making foreign policy for our country, our security policy. It’s sad, Brian. We’ve made treason cool. Betraying your country is kind of a fashion statement. He wants to be the national security Kim Kardashian. He cites Bradley Manning as a hero. I mean, we need to get very, very serious about treason. And oh by the way, for treason — as in the case of Bradley Manning or Edwards Snowden — you bring back the death penalty.”Fox and Friends

“Can intelligence operate effectively if every starry-eyed analyst feels entitled to be a self-appointed whistle-blower?” – Gary RosenThe Wall Street Journal

“Edward Snowden should go to jail, as quickly and for as long as possible.” – John Yoo – The National Review.

“I think on three scores—that is leaking the Patriot Act section 215, FISA 702, and the president’s classified cyber operations’ directive—on the strength of leaking that, yes, that would be a prosecutable offense. I think that he should be prosecuted.” – Nancy Pelosi

“Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves. Is any blogger out there saying anything – do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.” – Lindsey Graham

“This lens makes you more likely to share the distinct strands of libertarianism that are blossoming in this fragmenting age: the deep suspicion of authority, the strong belief that hierarchies and organizations are suspect, the fervent devotion to transparency, the assumption that individual preference should be supreme. You’re more likely to donate to the Ron Paul for president campaign, as Snowden did. But Big Brother is not the only danger facing the country. Another is the rising tide of distrust, the corrosive spread of cynicism, the fraying of the social fabric and the rise of people who are so individualistic in their outlook that they have no real understanding of how to knit others together and look after the common good.” – David Brooks

It seems the ruling oligarchs, their mouthpieces in the mainstream media (both conservative & liberal), Machiavellian politicians on both sides of the aisle, unscrupulous military commanders and deceitful government bureaucrats have all rallied to shield their existing perverted surveillance state. These people actually believe that what is best for their own personal interests is best for the citizens of this country. There is only one Party – the Establishment Party. The smear campaign against Edward Snowden began immediately. The vitriolic accusations, venomous scorn, malicious ridicule and pathetic attempts to discredit Edward Snowden for sacrificing everything on behalf of the country he loves has revealed more truth about how the real world operates than the thousands of articles written by supposed “conspiracy theorists” over the last decade. Anyone with their eyes open and mind not controlled by the regime know the real criminals in this tragedy. Leon Trotsky, who also participated in a brutal fascist surveillance state, put it best:

“The real criminals hide under the cloak of the accusers.”

In a country where those in power encourage and participate in the plundering of people’s bank accounts by billionaires, the largest financial control fraud in world history by the biggest Wall Street banks, treating every citizen as a suspect until proven otherwise under the auspices of the ironically named Patriot Act, creating an Orwellian surveillance state of cameras, drones and snitches, torturing suspected enemies, conducting military exercises in the skies above our cities, seizing reporters’ personal records, using government agencies to harass political opponents, listening to our phone calls with warrantless wiretaps, reading our emails and texts, brutally crushing peaceful protests, attempting to disarm us, locking down an entire city and kicking doors down while searching for a hapless wounded teenager, appropriating our DNA, detaining us without charges, assassinating suspected dissidents, regulating what we can eat, drink or smoke, passing 2,500 page corporate lobbyist written bills that no one has read, using laws to enhance the wealth of the .1%, creating a tax code designed to minimize the burden on the .1%, the feeding of economic information by the Fed and Federal government to connected crony banks minutes before the public so they can pre-program their HFT computers to profit at the expense of the muppets, conducting cyber-attacks on sovereign countries and then feigning outrage when the favor is returned, and militarily intervening around the world under the false guise of strategic interests, we are supposed to trust the establishment? As we descend further into tyranny, I don’t know which is sadder – the pure evil of these men or the apathy and complacent acquiescence of the willfully ignorant masses to the methods employed by their owners. The numerous laws passed by those in power are just more proof of how corrupt our society has become.

 “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus

The threat of tyranny was still raw in 1975, after the Watergate cover-up, when Senator Frank Church warned about the National Security Agency:

“I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

Again, we failed to heed his warning. We’ve crossed over the abyss and the vision of our future will be the boot of a DHS thug stomping on the face of an American citizen – forever.

True Ruling Power of Our Country

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

  

Whenever I would use the term oligarchs, ruling elite, powers that be, owners, .1%, or ruling class, it always sounded too conspiratorial. But after years of reading the writings of Edward Bernays, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ron Paul, George Carlin and a number of other “crazy” bloggers, while witnessing with my own two eyes what is happening in this country, I’ve come to the conclusion that our country is run by an invisible government consisting of a small cadre of rich powerful men who manipulate, obfuscate, eliminate and fabricate in their insatiable greed for glory, riches, power and control. They thought they had perfected the art of propaganda:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays

The disclosure of the unholy alliance of corporations and the government to secretly spy on millions of Americans, while attempting to intimidate journalists and crush dissent from political opponents, is throwing the master plan of the ruling elite into disarray. The conspiracy of silence and denial is fraying at the edges as the truth continues to leak out:

“The contents of a phone call could be accessed simply based on an analyst deciding that. If the NSA wants to listen to the phone, an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required.” – Democratic Rep Jerrold Nadler

There have been a few lone voices in the wilderness warning about the rise of this corporate fascist surveillance one party state, but they have been scorned, ridiculed, marginalized and ignored. It seems the libertarian minded men and women of this country have been right all along.

“We’ve slipped away from a true republic. Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government, big business and authoritarian rule, and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen. When it comes to any significant differences on foreign policy, economic intervention, the Federal Reserve, a strong executive branch, a welfarism mixed with corporatism, both parties are very much alike.  The major arguments in hotly contested presidential races are mostly for public consumption to convince the people they actually have a choice.” – Ron Paul

True liberty minded Americans and those who value freedom and the Constitution have rallied to the defense of a true patriot. “We the People” must reclaim this country from the unelected .1% who has conducted a silent coup while we were pre-occupied with our techno-narcissism and consumed by the urge to consume. We have an omnipotent outlaw government with concentrated overwhelming power. The out of control bureaucracy devouring treasure, the blood of our young, civil rights, and the Constitution will not yield of its own volition. When the government tyrants classify all of us as enemies of the state, it is time to dismantle the state and water the tree of liberty with some blood, if that is what is required.

“Perfect safety is not the purpose of government. What we want from government is to enforce the law to protect our liberties. The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around. We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the persecution of Greenwald and the other whistle-blowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.” Ron Paul

The country is being run like a mafia crime family. The Don and his family of criminals operate in secrecy, eliminating their opponents, buying off the press, bribing the police for protection, running the rackets, and collecting their tribute from those that want to do business with them. They go to war against the other families whenever they want to expand their turf. The country has been captured by an organized crime syndicate and it will require an Elliot Ness type character with many strident Constitutionalists to rid the land of these evil, lawless, egocentric men. One of those evil men slithered out of his lair onto the neo-con network – Fox News – to declare Edward Snowden a traitor and spy. Mr. Snowden responded to chicken-hawk Dick “Deferment” Cheney during another freedom of the press in a foreign country event:

“Further, it’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.

Who has done more to shred the Constitution and strip us of rights, liberties and freedoms in the last thirteen years – Cheney or Snowden?

This brings us to the question of our times. Who are the patriots and who are the traitors? Those in power have been using the Bernaysian propaganda technique of conscious and intelligent manipulation of the public mind by using the corporate media to convince the distracted ignorant masses that Edward Snowden has committed treason against his country and should be punished for his crime. Interestingly enough, treason is addressed in Article III Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. 

At the same time it would make sense to define the term patriot:

A person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

Does Edward Snowden fit the definition of a traitor as described in the Constitution? The shallow vacuous pundits in the corporate mainstream media complex blather on about treason while focusing their in-depth journalism on pictures of Snowden’s girlfriend from her Facebook page. This is what passes for journalism in America today. A man uncovers the largest spying conspiracy in human history and highly paid mouthpieces for the establishment focus on pole dancing. The last time I checked, Congress hadn’t declared war on anyone, so Snowden isn’t a traitor under that clause. He must be providing aid and comfort to our enemies. Who are the enemies today? They seem to change on a daily basis. I guess since we are considered potential enemies of the state, his revelations were giving the citizens of the United States aid and comfort.

On the other hand, a patriot is someone who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on its behalf against those who would damage or hurt that country. The government of the United States (President, Congress, Judiciary), in conjunction with their corporate, banking and media co-conspirators have knowingly and willingly subverted the Constitution of the United States and have therefore committed treasonous acts that have endangered the rights, freedoms and liberties of the people. A corrupt regime will use their thousands of laws to ensnare anyone in some violation of those laws. But at the end of the day a critical thinking individual knows right from wrong without being told by a government bureaucrat. Edward Snowden is a patriot of the highest order. His act of heroism, knowing he would be despised, attacked and hunted down by the American Thugocracy, is on par with the actions of our Founding Fathers who knew they would be hung if their Revolution failed. A true patriot must be ready to defend his country against a tyrannical government. Edward Snowden just dumped the tea into the Boston Harbor.

Edward Snowden is standing up to the autocratic powers that have seized control of our Constitutional Republic. Other patriots (Thomas Drake, William Binney, J. Kirk Wiebe, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz, Daniel Ellsberg) have sacrificed their careers and lives to reveal the truth about government corruption and malfeasance.  Ben Franklin pondered whether we could keep the Republic they had given us. He understood human nature and the likelihood that we as a people would become corrupted, vote for people who promised us the most, and would willingly sacrifice our independence, freedom, liberty and rights for the presumed safety and security of a despotic government:

“In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults; if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and I believe, further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

Words of a Traitor?

“…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”Edward Snowden

The key terms are “good conscience” and “secretly”. Doing what is right does not mean doing what the authorities declare to be the law. Edward Snowden has a conscience. Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, James Clapper, John McCain, Diane Feinstein, Ben Bernanke, Jon Corzine, Jamie Dimon and the rest of the sociopathic criminal governing class have no conscience. Their souls are blackened with their crimes and misdeeds. In our Bizarro world, Nobel Peace Prize winners slaughter Muslim children indiscriminately with their squadrons of killer drones. Those in power are allowed to operate in the shadows, hiding anything that might incriminate them and secretly spying on millions of citizens without probable cause, while we the people have no right to privacy or freedom from surveillance in this plutocracy. We are all suspects in the eyes of the state and can be terminated at the whim of a government apparatchik:

“Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude … to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody – even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.” – Edward Snowden

Our greatest fear at this point in history is the continued apathy, ignorance, slothfulness, and delusional thinking of our narcissistic populace regarding the most important issue of our time – freedom or tyranny? Will enough people stand and fight the encroaching surveillance state and the evil men pulling the levers? Change will not happen through the ballots box, as the system is rigged and the democratic process has been subverted. It will require patriots taking to the streets and more people like Edward Snowden stepping forward to lead us back out of the abyss into which we have fallen. Time is growing short. Will we rise to the occasion or will we cower and wait until the satanic Eye of Sauron turns in our direction?

“The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.” Edward Snowden

 

“I do not expect to see home again.” Edward Snowden

Over the course of decades we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the love of material possessions, the lure of a debt based faux wealth, the money for nothing entitlement promises of dishonorable politicians, the evil of currency debasement, the effectiveness of mass media propaganda, and the belief that we could sacrifice freedom and liberty for promises of safety and security made by a cabal of powerful rich men. Power has been concentrated into the hands of the few, who operate in secrecy and despise the people. They don’t want transparency or open debate. Freedom of speech is nothing but a thorn in their side. They believe they are smarter than the serfs and have no morality when it comes to committing illegal acts and disregarding the Constitution. They are not acting in the public interest. Their abuse of power and looting of the national wealth have put us on a path towards a bloody revolution. This is not a time for conformity, obedience or submission. It’s time to stand up and expose the evil doers. It’s time to rally around those who care about this country. Who are the real traitors? You know the answer. What are you going to do about it?

“The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are being looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care? When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media? Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.” – Ron Paul

 

WARNING: The National Security Agency is likely recording and storing this communication as part of its unlawful spying programs on all Americans … and people worldwide. The people who created the NSA spying program say that this communication – and any responses – can and will be used against the American people at any time in the future should folks in government decide to go after us for political reasons. And private information in digital communications may be given to big companies by the government.

Edward Snowden-American Patriot

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

Published on The Burning Platform on June 9, 2013

Discuss this article at the Heroes of the Revolution Table inside the Diner

The smear campaign will begin immediately. The US government is predictable. They will use their corporate MSM mouthpieces to denigrate and trash this martyr for American freedom and liberty. There will be an avalanche of negative articles and news reports by the usual faux journalists. They will attempt to convince the willfully ignorant masses that his revelations have endangered them and made them less safe. There is nothing further from the truth. This brave noble man has put his life in danger to reveal the Orwellian methods being used by the Federal government to control and monitor you. Edward Snowden is a true American Patriot. His plight should be the rallying cry for a revolution against the corrupt, dangerous, power hungry elitists that control this country. Think for yourself. Don’t let the controlled media tell you what to believe. This man has done a national service in revealing this secret spying effort that affects every person in this country.

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Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows
Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’

 

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

‘I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made’

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week’s series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for “a couple of weeks” in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. “That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world.”

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”, and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. “I’ve left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay,” he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

“All my options are bad,” he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

“Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets,” he said.

“We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. “I am not afraid,” he said calmly, “because this is the choice I’ve made.”

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and “say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become”.

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

‘You can’t wait around for someone else to act’

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression”.

He recounted how his beliefs about the war’s purpose were quickly dispelled. “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: “Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn’t feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone”. Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he “watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in”, and as a result, “I got hardened.”

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.”

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them”.

He described how he once viewed the internet as “the most important invention in all of human history”. As an adolescent, he spent days at a time “speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own”.

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. “I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said, “because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.

A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”

For him, it is a matter of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: “I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation,” reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. “That has not happened before,” he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week’s news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden’s leaks began to make news.

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it “harder for them to get dirty”.

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week’s haul of stories, “I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets.”

Big Brother has ARRIVED!

Off the keyboard of Steve Lendman

Published on the Steven Lendman Blog on May 1, 2013

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

Institutionalized Spying on Americans

Big Brother no longer is fiction. It hasn’t been for some time. It’s official US policy. According to ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program director Barry Steinhardt:

“Given the capabilities of today’s technology, the only thing protecting us from a full-fledged surveillance society are the legal and political institutions we have inherited as Americans.”

“Unfortunately, the September 11 attacks have led some to embrace the fallacy that weakening the Constitution will strengthen America.”

Manufactured national security threats matter more than fundamental freedoms. Domestic spying is institutionalized.

Anyone can be monitored for any reason or none at all. Privacy rights are lost. Patriot Act legislation authorized unchecked government surveillance powers.

Financial, medical and other personal information can be accessed freely. So-called “sneak and peak” searches may be conducted through “delayed notice” warrants, roving wiretaps, email tracking, and Internet and cell phone use.

The FBI, CIA, NSA, and Pentagon spy domestically. So do state and local agencies. Spies “R” us defines US policy. America is a total surveillance society. It’s unsafe to live in. Everyone is suspect unless proved otherwise.

The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying. It passed with little debate. On Sunday, December 30, 2012 Obama signed it into law. Doing so largely went unnoticed.

These type disturbing measures usually slip below the radar. Weekends and holiday period enactments conceal blows to freedom. Warrantless spying became law for another five years.

Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization. Probable cause isn’t needed. So-called “foreign intelligence information” is sought. Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing.

Months after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans lawlessly. Sweeping surveillance followed without court-approved warrants.

Doing so violates core constitutional protections. Major US telecommunications companies are involved. They have been since 9/11. Things now are worse than then.

On April 29, Russia Today (RT) headlined “Spy, or pay up: FBI-backed bill would fine US firms for refusing wiretaps.” A day earlier Washington Post article was cited.

It headlined “Panel seeks to fine tech companies for noncompliance with wiretap orders,” saying:

“A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former US officials familiar with the effort.”

At issue is alleged FBI concerns about “Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals.”

FBI spying is longstanding. So are other lawless practices. Throughout its history, the agency operated within and outside the law.

J. Edgar Hoover ran it from 1924 – 1972. He waged war on communists, anti-war, human and civil rights activists, the American Indian Movement, Black Panther Party, and other groups challenging rogue state policies.

He ordered agents to infiltrate, disrupt, sabotage, and destroy them. Anyone advocating ethnic justice and racial emancipation, as well as economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines became vulnerable.

Post-9/11, FBI abuses escalated. Intrusive surveillance tools now target ordinary Americans. Unchecked authority and other abusive practices are widespread. America’s war on terror matters most.

Disturbing tactics include greater physical surveillance, commercial database data retrieval, paid informants infiltrating groups (or targeting individuals) on false pretenses, and letting covert unidentified agents conduct “pretext” interviews for information.

Muslims are America’s target of choice. So are anti-war and social justice activists. A gloves off, no-holds barred approach is followed. Virtually anything is fair game. Innocent people are vulnerable.

The Patriot Act authorized so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). FBI agents take full advantage. They do so by demanding personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, credit companies, and other sources without prior court approval.

The FBI wants more. According to the Washington Post, it wants companies failing to heed wiretap orders penalized.

In February 2011, then FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told House Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee members about a “Going Dark” problem.

She explained the agency’s inability to access comprehensive “communications and related data.” She claimed a “public safety” threat when critical information is missed.

In March 2013, current FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann addressed an American Bar Association discussion. He did so on legal challenges new technologies pose, saying:

“We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”

Under current law, Internet communications companies can refuse to comply with court-ordered wiretaps. They can claim no practical way to do so.

Proposed legislation would change things. It would force companies to rebuild their capability to allow government monitoring.

Weissmann calls doing so a “top priority.” Proposed legislation is being drafted. It’s an extension of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

It grants federal authorities sweeping surveillance powers. Doing so lets them spy on Americans more intrusively.

CALEA originally applied only to digital telephone networks. It forced telephone companies to redesign their network architectures to make wiretapping easier.

In 2005, online communications were added. Broadband providers had to rebuild their networks accordingly.

At issue was permitting access to Internet “phone calls” through VOIP applications, as well as online “conversations” by instant messaging programs.

Law enforcement wiretapping is longstanding. Existing laws permit tapping phone or online communications regardless of what programs or protocols are used.

Industry largely cooperates. Digital age surveillance is easier than authorities claim. They want greater ease than currently permitted. Expanding CALEA is overkill. Doing so enhances police state powers.

The FBI cites its “tappability principle.” It does so to justify its demands. It claims whatever is legally searchable sometimes should be physically searchable all times.

Applied to phone and Internet communications, it would require designing phones and computers with built-in bugs. Doing so would elevate surveillance powers. Everyone could be spied on at all times. Private communications no longer would exist.

Expanding CALEA is the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps software companies are next. Enhanced legislative authority may force them to create surveillance-ready programs. Doing so may compromise innovation.

Applying phone system rules to software development and online communications assures trouble. What’s longstanding policy for one compromises innovation for the others. It also more greatly undermines freedom.

Police state powers are enhanced. Companies are forced to comply. Under draft legislation, courts could levy fines. Judicial inquiries could impose additional ones. After 90 days, unpaid amounts would double daily.

According to Center for Democracy and Technology senior counsel Greg Nojeim:

“This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs. They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.”

Former federal prosecutor Michael Sussman added:

“Today, if you’re a tech company that’s created a new and popular way to communicate, it’s only a matter of time before the FBI shows up with a court order to read or hear some conversation.”

“If the data can help solve crimes, the government will be interested.”

In 2010, after its networks were hacked, Google began emails and text messages end-to-end encryption. Facebook followed suit.

Doing so compromises FBI monitoring. Agency officials want enhanced CALEA authorization permitting it.

They claim doing so only extends current law to new technologies. It requires phone and online companies to allow wiretapping.

It’s much more than that. It elevates mass surveillance to a dangerously higher level. It’s another step toward full-blown tyranny.

On April 29, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) headlined “Feds Push for Backdoor Wiretap Capabilities.”

According to CDT Senior Staff Technologist Joe Hall:

“A wiretapping mandate is a vulnerability mandate. The unintended consequences of this proposal are profound.”

“At the very time when the nation is concerned about cybersecurity, the FBI proposal has the potential to make our communications less secure.”

“Once you build a wiretap capability into products and services, the bad guys will find a way to use it.”

CDT President Leslie Harris added:

“What the FBI is proposing sounds benign, but it comes with such onerous penalties that it would force developers to seek pre-approval from the FBI.”

“No one is going to want to face fines that double every day, so they will go to the FBI and work it out in advance, diverting resources, slowing innovation, and resulting in less secure products.”

“The sad irony,” said Hall, “is that this is likely to be ineffective. Building a communications tool today is a homework project for undergraduates.”

“So much is based on open source and can be readily customized. Criminals and other bad actors will simply use homemade communication services based offshore, making them even harder to monitor.”

Media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners how Internet freedom has been compromised.

His important new book “Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy” explains what should concern everyone.

“The corporate media sector (did) everything in its immense power to limit (its) openness and egalitarianism…., he said.”

“….corporate and state surreptitious monitoring of Internet users” compromises fundamental freedoms.

Doing so is “inimical to much of the democratic potential of digital communication.”

Internet freedom depends on “arrest(ing) the forces that promote inequality, monopoly, hypercommercialism, corruption, depoliticization, and stagnation.”

It requires ending mass surveillance powers. It’s about restoring lost democratic principles. America’s heading the wrong way. It’s perilously close to ending freedom altogether.

Impeach Obama: A National Imperative

Off the keyboard of Steve Lendman

Published on the Steve Lendman Blog on February 11, 2013

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

Do it now before it’s too late!

America’s Declaration of Independence states:
 
“(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (it’s the right of the people, it’s) their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
 
Straightaway as president, Obama violated his sacred trust. He betrayed his constituents. He’s a serial liar. He broke every major promise made. He serves illegitimately.
 
He institutionalized tyranny. He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He’s guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
 
He menaces humanity. He’s heading America for WW III. He wants America’s social contract destroyed. He wants millions impoverished, unemployed, left hungry and homeless. He’s beholden to powerful monied interests that own him.
 
He spurns fundamental civil and human rights. He mocks democratic values. He’s contemptuous of essential needs.
 
Law Professor Francis Boyle is unequivocal. He told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners he should be impeached. He urged House Republicans to so.
 
He’s offering his services pro bono. On December 9, Boyle spoke at the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights.
 
US militarism threatens WW III, he said. A century after earlier imperial aggressions, “neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening” global war.
 
He cited his teacher, mentor and friend, Professor Hans Morgenthau. Earlier he warned about “unlimited imperialism.” His seminal book “Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace” discussed it.
 
His cardinal tenet was darkly Hobbesian. He said international law and world organizations are “irrelevant” in conflicts of national interest between nations. Ignore “reality” and perish, he stressed.
 
Imperial priorities are disastrous. They destroy societies and human life. They make it “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
 
No law or justice exists, no sense of right or wrong, no morality. Imperial madness prioritizes war. Absolute power is sought no holds barred.
 
Boyle cited the US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 – The Law of Land Warfare. Paragraph 498 says any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.
 
Paragraph 499 defines a war crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it, and complicity with respect to international crimes.
 
Paragraph 501 says all high level civilian and military officials in any way involved in crimes against peace are personally responsible for war crimes.
 
Paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime. Paragraph 510 denies the defense of an “act of state” to absolve them.
 
Obama, other high administration officials, and their subordinates “are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace,” said Boyle.
 
The Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, other international laws, and FM 27-10 define them.
 
In “international legal terms,” said Boyle, “the United States government” is guilty of “serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.”
 
US citizens are constitutionally empowered to resist, says Boyle. They’re entitled to challenge their own government. They should “prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate (its) ongoing criminal activities….”
 
“Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs! The US government officials are the outlaws!”
 
They “disobeyed fundamental principles of international law as well as US criminal law, and thus committed international crimes and US domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the United States Constitution.”
 
“The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all US government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.”
 
Fundamental rule of law principles apply to all US military and civilian personnel. They include top commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates, CIA and other intelligence officials, as well as the president and vice president of the United States.
 
No one is exempt. Rule of law principles are inviolable. Imperial aggression is lawless. So is extrajudicial killing, torture, and other high crimes.
 
No president should be allowed to get away with them, says Boyle. Lawbreaking demands accountability. Doing so invites intolerable consequences. Disaster awaits.
 
We the People must act. Institutionalized tyranny approaches. It’s a hair’s breath away. Freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination. Humanity may not survive Obama’s second term.
 
Articles of impeachment are essential. Growing calls say so. In August 2011, Veterans for Peace (VFP) urged it. Waging illegal direct and proxy wars were cited.
 
“Therefore Be It Resolved,” said VFP, “that Veterans For Peace call on the US House of Representatives to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack H. Obama for failure to uphold his sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies foreign and domestic, and for his commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, obstruction of justice and the violation of numerous national and international laws, treaties and conventions.
 
Impeach Obama Campaign.com has a White House Watch page. It urges readers to support impeachment.
 
Another page headlines “NEW ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.” It states:
 
“ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
 
RESOLVED, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following article of impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:
 
ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE NAME OF ITSELF AND OF ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AGAINST BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF ITS IMPEACHMENT AGAINST HIM FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS IN USURPING THE EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVE OF CONGRESS TO COMMENCE WAR UNDER ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11 OF THE CONSTITUTION.”
 
Other detailed information followed. Obama violated his oath of office. It mandates he “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
 
He “mock(s) the rule of law.” He “unilaterally” commits aggression. He “endanger(s) the very existence of the Republic” and freedom. He’s guilty of “impeachable high crime(s) and misdemeanor(s).”
 
The UN Charter explains conditions under which waging war is justified.
 
Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use.
 
Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”
 
Justifiable self-defense is permissible. Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 prohibit unilaterally threatening use of force not:
 
  • specifically allowed under Article 51;
 
  • authorized by the Security Council; and
 
  • permitted by constitutional and US statute law provisions.
 
Three General Assembly resolutions prohibit non-consensual belligerence:
 
  • the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;
 
  • the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and
 
  • the 1974 Definition of Aggression.
 
Nuremberg Tribunal’s Justice Robert Jackson called aggressive war “the supreme international crime against peace.” Guilty Nazi war criminals were hanged.
 
The Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 lets Congress alone declare war. December 8, 1941 was the last time. Subsequent wars were illegal. Responsible officials were and are war criminals.
 
The 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) limits presidential warmaking powers. It requires consulting with Congress before authorizing troop deployments for extended periods.
 
Section 4(a)(1) requires presidents to inform Congress within 48 hours about deploying troops to areas of ongoing or imminent hostilities.
 
He must explain why they’re sent, constitutional or legislative authority for doing so, estimated duration of involvement, and whatever other information Congress requests.
 
Section 5(b) mandates withdrawal within 60 days plus an additional 30 exit period unless Congress extends the time frame for another 30 days, declares war, or unavoidable circumstances require more time. Unlimited amounts are prohibited.
 
One exception applies. As commander-in-chief, presidents may introduce US forces unilaterally into conflict areas in case of a national emergency if America, its territories, possessions, or military is attacked.
 
Under all circumstances, Congress must be kept fully informed. It has final say. Since passage, presidents exceeded their constitutional and WPR authority.
 
All US wars are illegal. Congress violates its own mandate. Accountability is null and void.
 
The Constitution’s Article 2, Section 4 states:
 
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
 
In 1793, George Washington said:
 
“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress, therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”
 
In 1805, Thomas Jefferson said:
 
“Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war.” Warmaking is “exclusively (for Congress) to yield or deny.”
 
Thomas Paine said:
 
“In America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king, and there ought to be no others.”
 
John Jay was America’s first Supreme Court chief justice. He said:
 
“(A)bsolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.”
 
“These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”
 
Alexander Hamilton called impeachable offenses those “which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the violation or abuse of some public trust. They are of a nature which with peculiar propriety may be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done to society itself.”
 
James Madison said:
 
“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”
 
“War is the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. No nation (can) preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
 
“In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”
 
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. They charged actions “subversive of constitutional government.”
 
Obama exceeds the worst of all previous presidents. He’s guilty of multiple high crimes and misdemeanors. Holding him accountable is essential. Do it now before it’s too late. Humanity may not get a second chance.

Guerilla Internet Free Speech-The Oil Drum Debate

Off the Keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Guerilla MRE Foxhole of the Diner

A few days ago a Refugee from The Oil Drum, Futilitist Loren Soman arrived in the Diner after being BANNED from the Commentariat there.  The main point of contention in that Banning seems to have been Loren’s low opinion of the work of Arch Druid John Michael Greer. He published his recounting of the discussion on TOD which led up to it on his new Futilitist Blog, and I cross posted it on the Diner.

Part of the Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project is that the Diner will Publish at least inside the Diner any Banned Commenter from any other Website, which I did shortly after the Futilitist was banned.  If the content is good enough and the Banning capricious enough, I will publish a Blog article to highlight it also.  This I did as well.

What makes a Banning Capricious?  Well, it’s one thing if a Commenter gets Banned for hurling around a lot of foul language on a website that does not allow that.  Although I don’t agree with such a banning it is not capricious, it is a clear violation of a standing rule the participants tacitly accept on the website.  Another non-capricious Ban is when a commenter SPAMS a site with completely off-topic material.

After reading through the posting, neither of these conditions were met.  The discussion was about the theories of John Michael Greer, and all the posting was to that topic.  The ostensible reason for the Ban was that the Futilitist was “Trolling” and making Ad Hom attacks on JMGs Intellectual Honesty.  This is certainly a valid criticism of any Pundit, and there was no foul language involved, so why the Ban?  Just because you disagree with this evaluation by a given Commenter?  If you disagree, just knock down the argument with counter examples.

So in all respects, this Ban met my conditions for Full Guerilla Support of the Futilitist.  I don’t necessarily agree with his opinions, but I support his right to express them on a Website open to the Public which presents such ideas and allows commentary.  The second part of Full Support is my Promise to go over to the Website in the aftermath of the Ban and Lawyer it for the Victim of the Banning.

So I registered on TOD a couple of days ago and dropped in on the September 1st “Drumbeat”, the Column which Admin of TOD Leanan writes her material in.  Actually writes is something of a misnomer, since she basically seems to compile Newz Stories in the Drumbeat.  I have a History wih Leanan, she was Newz Editor of Peak Oil during my time spent in the Commentariat of that Forum.  I began with a Greeting and an oblique reference to the JMG controversy, after which Leanan and I engaged in a protracted 2 day discussion of the Principles of Free Speech as they pertain to Blogs and Forums on the Internet.  The COMPLETE discussion follows below here.  It’s LONG.

In the debate, Leanan claims to be a supporter of Free Speech, while at the SAME time maintaining it is her right to Censor or Ban any commentary on the site for whatever reason she deems is appropriate.  Her rationale is that only if Da Goobermint suppresses Free Speech is the principle violated.  The “Private” ground of Internet Blogs and Forums can be Censored by the Owner/Admin without violating Free Speech according to Leanan.

The problem of course with this idea is that about all Information Media are “Privately Owned”, from Newzpapers to TV Stations to even the BIGGEST of all now Google, and of course all of us Pipsqueak Bloggers as well.  You can take it as Axiomatic that Newzpapers owned by Rupert Murdoch and TV Stations owned by Clear Channel Communications are not going to provide Free Speech opportunity to the masses, and Google is in the bizness of real information editing through access to their Search Engine.  For the most part, if you cannot find the links on Google, even if the Information exists somewhere on the net, it might as well not exist at all, nobody will ever find it or read it.

Similarly, if you start one of the Bazillion Blogs on Blogspot, the chances you will find any readership are pretty small.  Even a first class Economic Blogger like Steve from Virginia has MINISCULE readership for his Economic Undertow Blog, he’s even way below the Diner in Alexa Ranking.

So in terms of “Free Speech” exactly WHERE in the Media is J6P supposed to exercise this RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution and actually be HEARD?  Nowhere really, except for one possible place, the Blogosphere of fairly successful Blogs and Forums like The Oil Drum, Denningers Market Ticker, The Automatic Earth, Zero Hedge etc.  On these Blogs, there is substantial Readership, so if you make a Comment, it likely gets a whole lot more Readership than your Blogspot Blog does.  ideas can actually be EXCHANGED ebtween commenters.  The veracity of Articles can be EXAMINED.

This cannot happen of course if you go about capriciously BANNING people just because they annoy you and don’t buy the Spin of your blog hook,line and sinker.  The only people who remain in the commentary are those who buy the Group Think and don’t make any waves.  The result is not FREE SPEECH, it is PROPAGANDA.

At the end of this protracted debate, I INVITED Leanan to make a Voluntary Commitment with the Diner to support Free Speech on The Oil Drum.  She refused the offer.  So chalk up The Oil Drum as being yet another Propaganda Website feeding out their spin on Energy Issues.  Like Denninger’s Market Ticker, don’t take a contrary opinion to Karl’sKapitalista Spin on Ticker Forum.  Like TAE, don’t question the Energy Expertiese of Stoneleigh, and DEFINITELY don’t cross swords with Ilargi, you’ll get your First Class Ticket to the Great Beyond of that website faster than you can say “EROEI”.  Don’t question the Intellectual Honesty of John Michael Greer on The Oil Drum either.  This in the mind of Leanan is “Free Speech”, since Da Goobermint isn’t the one doing the Censoring.

In a Pig’s Eye.

RE

 

 Reverse Engineer on September 2, 2012 – 4:05pm Permalink | SubthreadComments top

Greetings Leanan!

Long time no chat. You may remember me from the Peak Oil Forum.  Other TOD members of the commentariat also may remember my Nom de Plume. 🙂

Just registered here on TOD, resultant from a recent discussion on the theory of Catabolic Collapse of John Michael Greer.  Discussion in that topic is apparently closed now.

Anyhow, for all Old Friends from Peak Oil, I would like to invite you all to the Doomstead Diner, an Industrial Civilization Collapse Blog and Forum dedicated to principles of Free Speech on the Internet.

You can find the Diner at http://doomsteaddiner.net

The Diner features the ability of all Commenters to create their own threads, as well as place Multimedia like Graphics and YouTube Videos into all their posting.  No commentary is ever Censored on the Diner (except for clear SPAM).

Come on over to the Diner and join the fray as we hash out the implications of Industrial Civilization Collapse at the End of the Age of Oil.

RE

 Leanan on September 2, 2012 – 5:38pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Threads automatically close for comments here after a week (I think).  It’s an anti-spam measure.  Generally, a thread more than a few days old is no longer active.  Spammers swoop in after people are no longer reading the thread and fill it up with spam.

If there’s still an active discussion, I can open up the comments again, or you can bring the discussion forward.  (Generally, I discourage bringing old discussions into new threads, but if the original thread is old enough that it’s closed for comments, it’s different.)

 

 Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 12:40am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I never close threads on the Diner. When Spammers show up to clog up a thread with Pharmaceutical Ads, I just eliminate whatever they got up and then Ban the IP Addy.  Long as you have a few people monitoring this it is not hard to sweep out the SPAM as it shows up.  It is annoying, but overall a tractable problem.

Is it possible here for Members to Originate threads?  I could not find  how to do that if it is possible.  Seems all you can do is Comment on a thread already originated by yourself or a few others.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 

 Leanan on September 3, 2012 – 3:47am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Long as you have a few people monitoring this it is not hard to sweep out the SPAM as it shows up. It is annoying, but overall a tractable problem.

It’s more difficult here.  This is a blog, not a message board.  We’ve got a huge database of articles now, and posts with new comments don’t “pop to the top” as they do with the message board system.  So spam would go unnoticed for years before we started “age-ing out” comments.  Just because of the structure of this site, there’s no point in leaving comments open forever.

Is it possible here for Members to Originate threads?

No.  Call us elitist, but we’ve decided we want quality rather than quantity, and that means strict control over the articles that are posted here.  Even those on staff cannot get their articles posted unless they get enough votes from the other editors.  (Drumbeat excepted, of course.)

 Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 12:57pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Very limited system, IMHO.  You can have both Quality & Quantity by marrying Blogs and Message Boards.  You can maintain editorial control over the Blog while allowing members to begin their own threads on the Forum.  That is how I have the Diner set up.

Also, you never miss SPAM as it gets dropped on the Forum, since it queues to the top of the list of most recent posts.You knock it down as soon as it gets posted up.

Anyhow I notice you are cross posting some of Gail’s articles, who should I submit mine to here?

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 Leanan on September 3, 2012 – 5:10pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Very limited system, IMHO.

We know that, and we’re fine with it.  Our intent is not be an “everything bagel” – all things to all people.  We are what we are.  People who come here are here because they like what we are.  People who don’t like it can go elsewhere, or set up their own sites.

Why should we try to do what you’re doing, when you’re already doing it?

Anyhow I notice you are cross posting some of Gail’s articles, who should I submit mine to here?

Use the editors address (on the right sidebar).

However, the standards for accepting articles are fairly high, and the acceptable topics somewhat narrow.  Don’t be upset if you are turned down.

 

 Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 8:21pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“Why should we try to do what you’re doing, when you’re already doing it?”-Leanan

Because it would improve the experience of the Commentariat and provide more information accessibility to your readership.

“However, the standards for accepting articles are fairly high, and the acceptable topics somewhat narrow.”-Leanan

I have read through a number of articles here and I can’t figure out exactly what the standards are or what fits the category of acceptable topics.  The quality varies tremendously, and the range of topics isn’t that narrow far as I can tell.  Do you have a style sheet you can send me?

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 2:47am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Because it would improve the experience of the Commentariat and provide more information accessibility to your readership.

I disagree.  The internet provides plenty of information, and plenty of opportunity for free speech.  Far more than any one person can make use of.  What people are looking for is a gatekeeper.  Some people want stricter gatekeepers than others, but that’s what you’re really selling when you put up a web site: a gatekeeper.

I have read through a number of articles here and I can’t figure out exactly what the standards are or what fits the category of acceptable topics. The quality varies tremendously, and the range of topics isn’t that narrow far as I can tell. Do you have a style sheet you can send me?

You’ll have to ask the editors.  I have nothing to do with the key posts.  I only do the Drumbeat.

I will say our structure and focus changed recently – within the last year or two.  So look at recent articles, not the older ones.  I believe the idea is to focus more narrowly on oil and energy, and also to provide more solid data and analysis, rather than the more speculative stuff.

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 3:58am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“I disagree. The internet provides plenty of information, and plenty of opportunity for free speech. Far more than any one person can make use of. What people are looking for is a gatekeeper. Some people want stricter gatekeepers than others, but that’s what you’re really selling when you put up a web site: a gatekeeper.”-Leanan

I could not disagree with this more.

Free Speech exists almost nowhere on the Internet, certainly not in the Blogosphere Commentariats.  I not only was regularly Censored on Peak Oil, I was Banned not once but TWICE from that Forum.  Similarly Banned on Market Ticker and The Burning Platform as well.  I gather from recent action here that some of the Commentariat have been either Censored or Banned as well.  How is that Free Speech?  I suspect I will be banned here as well, but until I am banned I will elucidate this for you.

MOST commenters have neither the time, energy or expertiese to run their own Blogs/Forums.  So if/when they get BANNED, their Speech is SHUT UP.  Each and every Blog has its own “Spin” and “Group Think” and if you deviate from it too far and persist in deviate thinking, you get accused of “Trolling”.

You cannot get a full perspective on Peak Oil or the Economic spin down so long as you persist in this type of Censorship.  I have been the victim of such censorship more times than I can count, but unlike most “Trolls” I do have expertiese enough and time and energy enough to create an alternative Forum for Free Expression and Discussion of the concepts underlying Peak Oil and the Economics of Industrialization.

You have a CHOICE as a Proprietor of a Newz Information Medium, either to provide Free Speech or to Limit Speech only to “approved thought”.  Long as you choose the latter alternative, you are simply doing Propaganda.

This is my last word on this subject here, I won’t Troll you and make a nuisance of myself here.  I will however post to Topic on the threads on this website as long as I am not CENSORED.  When that occurs, you identify yourself as an Enemy of Fr4ee Speech on the Internet.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 4:21am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

MOST commenters have neither the time, energy or expertiese to run their own Blogs/Forums.

This is simply not true.  Anyone with Internet access can put up a blog for free, no expertise needed.  Indeed, that is how this site started: as a free blog on Blogspot.  If you have time to comment on another blog, you have time to post on your own. Heck, it’s easier to post at Blogspot than it is to post here.

Each and every Blog has its own “Spin” and “Group Think” and if you deviate from it too far and persist in deviate thinking, you get accused of “Trolling”.

I don’t see anything wrong with that.  Each site is different.  You just have to find (or create) the one that suits you.

Be warned: this site is tightly moderated.  Probably far more so than PeakOil.com.  Our guidelines are here, but we also reserve the right to remove any comments for any reason.  In particular, off-topic posts, political rants, and conspiracy stuff will probably be removed.

I am all for free speech on the Internet, but it doesn’t all have to be here.  As Nate put it, Gresham’s Law applies: bad posters drive out the good ones.  That’s the reason we moderate this site.

I also think you’re being somewhat naive.  If you achieve any kind of success with your site, I suspect you’ll find you have to censor some posts.  Heck, even 4chan censors some things.

“I also think you’re being somewhat naive. If you achieve any kind of success with your site, I suspect you’ll find you have to censor some posts. Heck, even 4chan censors some things.”-Leanan

Clearly you have not visited the Diner.

I have plenty of tools available to marginalize a persistent ******* without resorting to a Ban or Censoring a post.  I’ve been at the game of board moderation since AOL days.  Quite a bit before you ever got on the net moderating boards I am sure.  Naive I am not.

ANYTHING that ANYONE has to say on the relevant topics can be posted on Doomstead Diner, and it does not stop good analysis from happening at the same time.  All the tangents have some value, we have people analysing the perspectives from Fundamentalist Christian Perspective to New Age Philosophers and SERIOUS Conspiracy Theorists, you name it.  There is MUCH more to consider in this dynamic than just EROEI or depletion rates.

I censor NOTHING besides clear Pharmaceutical SPAM really.  You should try reading the Dirdy Birdy Chronicles to see that I not only will not Censor, I in fact will PROMOTE idiosyncratic arguments on the Diner.

Anyhow, as I said, I will not Troll you, I will just point out to you that the Banning and Censorship you are engaged in now is counterproductive.  I am in the Bizness of trying to get the MESSAGE out of Industrial Civilization Collapse, so I do not want to get Banned here myself.  You have to accept however that you ARE engaging in propaganda the way you run this website.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 4:48am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Sorry, had to censor your post.  We don’t allow profanity here.

RE – I can understand your frustration: “Free Speech exists almost nowhere on the Internet, certainly not in the Blogosphere Commentariats. I not only was regularly Censored on Peak Oil, I was Banned not once but TWICE from that Forum.” But I think there’s something very important that you and others who feel the same completely miss. Free speech also includes not being required to listen to someone else’s speech. You have absolutely no right to express your opinions to me unless I choose to hear them. I’m free to have any conversation I want just as much as I’m free to not have that conversation. The Oil Drum, as well as nearly every other web site, is privately owned and was created for the benefit of a defined group. And each web site has the right to restrict membership as it wishes. If the Oil Drum only allowed folks over 6’4″ with blue eyes to post on its site then that’s as much about free speech as anything else IMHO. Those of us shorter types with brown eyes might not like those rules but that is the nature of freedom, isn’t?

Someone doesn’t have time or capability to build their own web site? So what? Where is it written that it must be so? If you owned a web site would you allow anyone to post if they didn’t follow guidelines you set up? Or would you let the site go completely uncontrolled and allow anyone and everyone to post anything they wanted? I seriously doubt it. I, for one, hope you stay around. Conversations with opposing views are more interesting IMHO. I would hope you have the capability to structure your posts so they stay within the parameters that the OWNERS of TOD have established. If not I’m sure you can find other sites more accomidating.

 

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 5:01am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“If you owned a web site would you allow anyone to post if they didn’t follow guidelines you set up? Or would you let the site go completely uncontrolled and allow anyone and everyone to post anything they wanted? I seriously doubt it.”-Rockman

I DO “own” a website Rockman, and I in fact DO allow “anyone and everyone” to post whatever they want!  LOL.  So your assumption and “serious doubt” is WRONG from the GET-GO.  You just got no clue dude on how it can be done.

Come visit the Doomstead Diner and LEARN what Free Speech really means and how you can allow all perspectives to be heard, without BANNING and CENSORING the Commentariat.

http://doomsteaddiner.net

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 5:09am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I’d go so far as to say it’s necessary to have some restrictions in order to create a space for reasonable discussion.  As we see in the comments at MSM sites, the same old partisan liberal vs. conservative rants take over, driving out all other discussion, if you don’t limit them.

We started out pretty much “everything goes” here, but as the site grew, it simply became untenable.  In theory, the answer to bad speech is more speech; in practice, it doesn’t work that way.  At least, not on the Internet.  On the net, the people who have the most time and inclination to post are often…um…”neurologically atypical”?  I can’t count the times I’ve sent someone a warning and got a reply along the lines of “Sorry, I’m on new meds and they’re not working.”  They’re on disability, and have nothing to do but post all day, and there’s no way people who have jobs and families can keep up.

I’d go so far as to say you are WRONG, you just need to segregate discussions by type and by participants.  You create separate categories for those who Napalm and those who write off toic and those who actually make intelligent and to topic commentary.  You move the posting as necessary tot he approrpiate category.  Readers can view what category pleases them to read.  All the wirters can write what they want, all the readers can read what they want. Win-Win for all.

RE

All the wirters can write what they want, all the readers can read what they want.

But that’s kind of the point of having different sites on the net, isn’t it?

We simply aren’t interested in some topics and some posting styles.  Why should we devote our time, energy, and money to supporting them?  There’s plenty of other places where people can post political rants, argue about whether AGW is real, debate 9/11 “truth,” etc.

This site is designed to be easy for the staff to run.  The theory being that whether peak oil looks like the Greater Depression or Mad Max, it’s likely we are all going to have less time to babysit our blog.

It’s a big Internet.  There’s room for your site as well as ours, and many others.  Why not give people the choice?  Why should we be like you? Vive la difference.

I am all for variety and “Vive la Differance”, issue being that the Doomstead Diner is an Anomaly, it is not the NORM.  Sites like TOD are the Norm, and these are the preponderance of sites that people seeking information arrive at as they awaken to the problems.

About ALL the most read sites engage in Censorship, I know Zero Hedge does I know y9ou do, I know The Automatic Earth does.  It is exceedingly rare to find a site where Censorship is NOT engaged in reularly.  Karl Denninger does it, and Peak Oil did it as well when you were Newz Editor there.  So how can you make the case that there is “Free Speech” on the Internet when about every website BESIDES the Doomstead Diner engages in this sort of Propagandizing?

I am trying to motivate other Bloggers to be more FREE in speech, and I can show how to do it also without diminishing the Quality of your website.  It truly angers me to se intelligent posters BANNED for “Trolling”, mainly because they just do not buy the groupthink of the website.  Its not abotu off color language, I got now problem with you putting a bunch of **** for a one of George Carlins Seven Dirty Words, it is about IDEAS beign censored.  Valid Critiques of people liek John Michael Greer, who while he has a decent grasp of history also has his own spin he is promoting and his history is colored by that.

You told me in order to drop an article on TOD, I gotta meet some requirements which you do not really specify.  You are publishing only what YOU think is valid.  How can anyone get a complete perspective that way?  Sure, you can bookmark 100 websites all with different spins, but again MOST people do not have time to surf through so many sites.  If you just put up ONE spin, you are no better than the MSM and Rupert Murdoch.

Grow out of such a narrow perspective Leanan, it is not productive.  It does not serve to rbing all thoughts TOGETHER, it it isolates rather than consolidates.

Anyhow, I am done tonight with making this case.  Do as you will with TOD.  I just see it as sad that on such a well read website you will pursue these policies when they are not necessary at all to pursue.

RE

I am all for variety and “Vive la Differance”, issue being that the Doomstead Diner is an Anomaly, it is not the NORM.

Perhaps this is because Doomstead Diner is not what most people want?

Valid Critiques of people liek John Michael Greer, who while he has a decent grasp of history also has his own spin he is promoting and his history is colored by that.

Valid critiques are fine.  Just don’t cross the line into personal attacks. And people who do stuff like create sockpuppets and post comments to support and attack themselves are likely to get the banhammer.

You told me in order to drop an article on TOD, I gotta meet some requirements which you do not really specify.

Sorry, but as I said, I really don’t know what the requirements are.  I am not on the board or the editorial staff (by my own choice), and I have never tried to submit an article myself.  Asking me about it is like asking an Orthodox rabbi about the best way to cook bacon.

It does not serve to rbing all thoughts TOGETHER, it it isolates rather than consolidates.

I think it’s the opposite.  We’ve made a conscious decision to remain small.  Everyone who posts here has to share the Drumbeat, and the result is an interesting synthesis that might not happen on a message board.

 

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 12:36pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Perhaps this is because Doomstead Diner is not what most people want?-Leanan

On the contrary, just about everyone I have spoken with finds the type of censorship engaged in here to be damaging to its credibility, and are looking for alternatives.  The Diner grows as a result of such censorship on sites like TOD, TAE and others.

I think it’s the opposite. We’ve made a conscious decision to remain small. Everyone who posts here has to share the Drumbeat, and the result is an interesting synthesis that might not happen on a message board.-Leanan

You’ve made a CONSCIOUS choice to marginalize yourself and engage in Group Think?  That is NUTS.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

Think of it this way.   We’re a small specialty store.  You want to know why we aren’t trying to be Wal-Mart.  Well, because we don’t want to be Wal-Mart.

We’re not for everyone.  We’ve never been the biggest peak oil site on the net, nor the most accessible, and do not aspire to be. If that’s what you want to be, go for it.  I wish you all the success in the world, if only because maybe you’ll draw off some of the spammers, trolls, scammers, nutburgers, industry shills, etc. that make moderation necessary.

Who’s asking you to be Walmart?  I’m asking you to stop CENSORING and BANNING commenters on your Blog who are doing nothing more than expressing a contrary opinion (albeit at some length, but then those articles you drop on are plenty long themselves).

Nor does the Diner aspire to be Walmart either, I like to think of it as a Smorgasbord where you can sample Caviar and Crepe Suzette, Potato Chips and Onion Dip, Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers, along with some dishes from Outer Space 🙂  LOL.  You pick what appeals to you.

Don’t count on my saving you from “spammers, trolls, scammers, nutburgers, industry shills,etc”. They don’t last long on the Diner.  I can out-Troll anybody.  😉

RE

I’m asking you to stop CENSORING and BANNING commenters on your Blog who are doing nothing more than expressing a contrary opinion (albeit at some length, but then those articles you drop on are plenty long themselves).

I don’t think I do that, but why do you care?  You have your own site.  Run it as you wish. I promise I will not show up there making demands that you change to accommodate my desires.

I CARE because a main focus of the Diner is to defend the principles of Free Speech on the Internet.  I CARE because this sort of Capricious Banning is what I was subjected to on Peak Oil, where in fact you were Newz Editor at the time.

I suggest you read my article on the Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project to understand my POV on this better.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/27/guerilla-internet-free-spe…

RE

I tried reading your link, but it makes no sense to me since I am not involved in those sites and do not know who you are talking about, or what happened.  However, I support TAE’s right to moderate their own site as they see fit.  I think small sites like TAE are best run with a policy like that at The Big Picture:

This may be a free country, but The Big Picture is my personal fiefdom. I rule over all as benevolent dictator/philospher king/utility infielder. Fear my wrath, mortals!

I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.

You don’t know who Ilargi and Stoneleigh of The Automatic Earth are? Good grief, Stoneleigh was editor of TOD Canada! Ashvin Pandurangi either?  I find that hard to believe.

“I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.”

In other words, you do not support Free Speech, you support Capricious Censorship by Newz Organizations for no better reason than you “feel like it”.  Because people accept this is why we have Newz Organizations like Fox and MSNBC.  People don’t grasp they are being fed only what the proprietors of those sites want them to read or hear.  So it is here on TOD as well, just on a much smaller scale.

At least you admit to being a Propagandist and Censor though, that is some level of honesty.

RE

I know who Stoneleigh and Ilargi are, but I don’t regularly read their site.  So I don’t know what’s going on there. No clue who Ashvin Pandurangi is.

I support free speech, but I believe the concept applies to the government, not individuals – or web sites.  I feel very strongly that everyone has the right to run their sites as they see fit.  It’s like a private home.  If you’re going to visit, you have to obey the house rules, and if the owners decide they want to kick you out, you should go.  It’s the civilized thing to do.

Ashvin is the other Admin of TAE along with Stoneleigh and Ilargi.  He ran the site while they were Globe Trotting in OZ.

Far as supporting Free Speech, you don’t practice what you preach.  That is not support.  “Government” doesn’t run Newzpapers, TV Stations or Websites, Private Enterprise does.  If the individuals who run these organizations will not practice Free Speech, it does not exist.  You are contributing to the totalitarian state by silencing those who do not agree with you.  You are not a supporter of Free Speech if you will not practice it on your website.  You are a Propagandist.

RE

I didn’t even know they were globetrotting in Oz.

Not a big fan of the MSM in the US, but I don’t think having the government running newspapers and TV stations is the answer.  I’d rather have private enterprise and individuals doing it than the government.  As long as the government doesn’t censor them, free speech is upheld.

“Not a big fan of the MSM in the US, but I don’t think having the government running newspapers and TV stations is the answer. I’d rather have private enterprise and individuals doing it than the government. As long as the government doesn’t censor them, free speech is upheld.”-Leanan

Who would approve of Goobermint running TV and Newz Stations?  This is another Strawman like your Walmart argument.  The point here is if the 4th Estate does NOT practice Free Speech (and TOD is a member of the 4th Estate reporting on Energy issues), there is no Free Speech.  You EXPLICITLY ADMIT you do not practice Free Speech, so it CLEARLY is not upheld by you.  You are a Censor and a Propagandist, just cop to it.  You don’t Walk the Walk.

RE

As I said, I think freedom of speech applies to the government, not to web sites or the MSM.  And no, I don’t think TOD is part of the 4th estate.  We’re just a little blog.  Size matters.

The real problem with the MSM is that they are giving people what they want.  And apparently, what people want is views that support their own.

There’s other sources out there.  Al-Jazeera, BBC, Press TV.  During the Gulf War, I remember going to foreign news sites to find out what was really happening.  I was not censored.  Unlike in China, where CNN and other US news sources were blocked.  The information is out there, if people want it.  They don’t want it.

“The information is out there, if people want it. They don’t want it.”- Leanan

Really?  You believe that?  You think people WANT to be fed lies?  Pardon me for saying so, but you are outta your mind.

I now understand how you rationalize your behavior.  Have a nice day.

RE

The thing is…they don’t believe it’s lies.  They believe everything else is lies, and they don’t want to hear it.

I say this as someone whose parents have become complete Fox News groupies.  It’s on 24/7, and they gripe like crazy if they go someplace where CNN is on the TV.  CNN is all lies, see.  Fox News is the “no spin zone,” where the truth and only the truth is heard.  Seriously…it reminds me of the TV commercial with the girl who’s convinced you can’t put anything on the net if it’s not true.  My parents believe that if it’s on Fox News, it must be true.  They have graduate degrees and strictly limited my TV viewing when I was a kid.  And now this.

You don’t GET that you do precisely the same thing as Fox Newz does?  You eliminate contrary opinion on your channel.  You accept articles only from Editorial Board Approved Pundits. You just are not as big as Fox is, but the PRINCIPLE is the same, and it is the principle that counts, not the size.  If the discussion is not proceeding as YOU would like it to, you’ll hit the Ban button whenever it suits you to do so. You explicitly said so. Who but other people who March to the same Drumbeat you do will ever expect a level playing field for debate about some of the most important subject matter of our time on a website with such a policy?

They have graduate degrees“-Leanan

Ph.Ds have no more CFS than anybody else.  You find at least as many cockamamie ideas being spouted off by folks with Grad degrees as anybody else, in fact probably a good deal more of them.  Case in point would be a few of the folks with Grad degrees you publish here on TOD on a regular basis.  Every idea under the sun has somebody who wrote a doctoral dissertation defending the idea.  The reason you need free and open discussion is so that these ideas can be refuted and repudiated as necessary.  If you don’t allow that, your website is just a Propaganda organ for a given subset of ideas that YOU think are true.

You can run your website however you please, but I will call you out for what you are.  A Censor and Propagandist in the Fox Newz mold.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 6:07pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I said I support private enterprise in the MSM.  Or at least, I don’t see any better alternative.  I don’t care to watch Fox News myself, but I don’t think it should be banned.  Nor do I think the government, or you or I, should be telling them what they can or cannot say.

What is the alternative?  Government rules determining what must be shown on TV or printed in newspapers?

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 6:41pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“What is the alternative? Government rules determining what must be shown on TV or printed in newspapers?”-Leanan

The ALTERNATIVE is for Private Proprietors of Websites to VOLUNTARILY open their websites up to Free and Open discussion with a No Ban/No Censorship Policy.

Unlike Newzpapers, you have essentially Unlimited numbers of Pages and no real limit on Space.  Particularly if you use linking and store high bandwidth material offsite, like Videos on YouTube.  You can create hierarchies for viewing and publication, so you can “spin” your website as you please while still allowing the readers to have their say.

The real Revolution in communication that is the Internet is that it provides for 2-Way communication, not just Writer to Reader.  Any Reader can become a writer, and vica-versa.  Not if you pursue the policy of Banning and Censoring what “malcontents” and “trolls” will post though.

Look, if it wasn’t possible to do this, I could see the rationale for some Banning and Censoring, but it IS possible to do it.  I do it on the Diner.  You just have to set your systems up correctly.

It all depends on the Individual and his/her beliefs and Commitment to the Principles of Free Speech.  Those of us who are proprietors of Information Websites are at the leading edge of this, and if we do not provide the mechanism for the Average J6P to get his Voice Heard, NOBODY will do it.  Da Goobermint certainly will not, and the MSM will not either.  Who is LEFT Leanan?  Just you and me.  Join with me VOLUNTARILY in this adventure.  You can reconfigure this website with better tools for management of trolls and industry shills.  I will help, pro bono, no charge.  I don’t do this for money, I am on a Mission From God on the Issue of Free Speech.

It is UP TO US.  WE HAVE TO PROVIDE THE MEDIUM.  Most people cannot do this.  We CAN.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 6:49pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I can’t do it.  I don’t particularly want to, either.  But I’m glad you are.  Best of luck.

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 7:00pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

You can, you just don’t WANT to.  Just don’t claim to be a supporter of Free Speech.  You are not.

RE

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