Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Switch is Nearly Complete


Washington's Blog reported:

"Now, we have a system of pervasive, pre-criminal surveillance where the government wants to watch what you’re doing just to see what you’re up to, to see what you’re thinking, even behind closed doors."
It's the freedom to be a rat in a surveillance maze.  Facial recognition, financial information, domestic military mobilization, and declining middle class.  Once upon a time a signature characteristic of democracies was a growing middle class.  Secretary of State Condi Rice once lectured the world in this regard.

Update 6-11-14:  Government lawyers say the NSA is "too big to comply" with a court order.

Update 6-19-14:  A Gallup poll shows U.S. Congressional approval at a historic low.  A mere 7% said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress, down from last year's 10 percent.

Update 8-24-14:  Harvard's Cornell West weighs in the Obama Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, national surveillance, national security presidency.

Update 10-24-14:  2014 midterm elections are expected to be the most expensive in history. That’s right. The price tag will be just shy of $4 billion, according to projections released Wednesday by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s about $13 million a day from Jan. 1 through the Nov. 4 Election Day.  Democracy for sale!

Update 6-10-15:  The Obama administration has asked a secret surveillance court to ignore a federal court that found bulk surveillance illegal and to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months. (The Guardian)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Democracy Grows Impatient


Several months ago a friend expressed his concern regarding how the world's leaders had shifted to violence as a method to make change.  This gentleman is a cancer physician, who cared for thousands in our community over the years.  As a doctor he'd committed to an oath to heal and do no harm.

I remarked how I'd been struck by democracy's impatience.  Why couldn't people wait for the next election, frequently not but a year or so away?  What was so important that violence had to be used to tear down democracy in order to build a supposedly better edition?  Violence breeds violence.

This morning's news showed the impact of over a decade of violence in parts of Iraq.  The commenter said there was no sign America had ever been there.  What he meant:  There are no signs of American branded corporate interests, fast food, hotels, banks, etc.  In contrast Iraq's stable, oil generating communities had peace, stability and a Jaguar dealership. 

America is back to the "enemy of my enemy is my friend."  Democracy needs to be better than that.  Manipulation is not the least bit elevating or inspiring. 

Update 3-14-15:  The United States reiterated its new long standing position of not backing coups.  I take it the CIA is not part of the United States...