Not exactly the hope and change your mindless fans were looking for (Yes we can!), but hey, most of them are still around looking to lick your neoliberal ass, so it's all good. Yes, reading about how the U.S. got most of Europe to shit on Evo Morales, the fucking PRESIDENT of Bolivia, by diverting his flight and making it land in Austria because they thought he smuggled Edward Snowden, American Patriot, in his carry on bag. He did not. I'm not even linking because anyone reading this knows what is going on.
Meanwhile, the bankers are not being prosecuted, the hedge funders are laughing all the way to the bank, and disgraced former General David Petraeus is juggling offers of more money than most of us make to belch out a few lectures and stare at the pretty girls at public universities. Alex Pareene, of course, has this: David Petraeus can’t lose (unless he goes to jail)! And he's never going to jail. Our self-appointed elites don't even care. Why should they? What can we do? They gamed the system. In short: they are not afraid of us.
Real change won't come until they fear us. So, what do we do? We have to starve the beast, and this beast lives on money and power. So, ideas?
Snowden healthy and safe, says Assange. While things may seem dire, what with Assange holed up in the Ecudorian embassy, Manning on trial, and Snowden in flight, that they exist, that brave people are willing to step forward to counter the the criminal acts of this government and the corporate monsters that feed off of it gives me hope. Real hope, not that cheap branded bullshit that was shoved down our throats in 2008. I hope Snowden takes the time to write a very complete book.
What does ring true, however, is his assertion that a driving force from Tahrir Square to Occupy is a redefinition of notions of both what "freedom" means and its relationship to governments that seem ever more distant. It is significant, too, that many recent protests have taken place in the large cities that have been most transformed by neoliberal policies.
I hope President Neoliberal is reading this and realizing that with a turning tide his "legacy" can quickly turn from being the first black president, to being a "poor negotiator, to being realized as the monster whore for Wall Street and other monied interests. I mean most of us recognize this, but what happens when his desperate fan base does (or maybe they don't)?
Something is going on. The answer may come from elsewhere, because the powers that be are trying to keep use yoked but relatively well fed. Still, we don't need a majority to affect change. A lot of people are happy being sheep. We need to replace the sheperd with the stick with a sheperd with the carrots.
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations. This is how a hero thinks: 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."
The Guardian adds: 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."
I understand that democratic senators Wyden and Udall have attempted to get the word out about this filthy overreaching by NSA and the Obama administration despite being subject limitations due to material being classified as top secret. This happened under W with Sen. Rockefeller. Long and short, when your government is engaging in criminal acts that undermine the Constitution, any attempt to punish the whistleblower for reporting what is happening is itself criminal. Senators Wyden and Udall, step forward and help this brave man. The people, they are watching.
The Logic of the Surveillance State. You start noticing that certain western states suddenly agree that putting up cameras all around various cities are a good way to, allegedly, fight crime. Yeah, after the fact. It doesn't stop crime, but it is an excellent way to monitor everyone. And, as Welsh points out, as pattern recognition becomes better, the elites can have their datamining fine tuned to watch those who may cause them discomfort. In the end, this will fail, but as much as I know it is going on, and given that I've never bought the American exceptionalism argument, I am still shocked that people aren't absolutely outraged by this unprecedented instrusion by the government. Notice that I said "the" government and not "our" government, because it's not our government any more.
The Bill of Rights Exists: An Open Letter to Dianne Feinstein. The special people aren't worried because they think they get a pass because they are elite. But none of them know how to code or hack to do any of the things the NSA is doing every fucking minute. Maybe when one of them gets their tit in a ringer things will change.
The entire letter is worth a read, but these two sentences are particularly powerful: Whoever leaked the four-page Surveillance Court document to Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian deserves a medal and an honorary parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the Nation’s Capital. The only “threats” assisted by disclosure of that document are the possibilities of meaningful public discourse and informed consent of the governed.
By the way, if the NSA collected every communication since 9/11, more or less, then it should have access to all trades and communications by Goldman Sachs, right? Oh wait, they gave early money to Obama. Lloyd Blankfein sleeps securely at night.
Associated Press says U.S. government seized journalists' phone records. Of course this happened. Probably trying to find out who all WH leakers are so they can start prosecuting them and have a whole ward of Bradley Mannings. I am so so glad I did not vote for Obama for president. Holder was his pick for Attorney General. Period. I only hope that some journalists finally understand what this government is willing to do to keep all leaks from happening and start reporting the shit out of what is going on. With a handful of exceptions, DC is a fucking cesspit that needs a Herculean cleaning.
And I don't care if this is a fucking trial balloon. No democrat should ever allow cuts to social security or medicare to be offered to make a deal. No doubt this is part of Obama's 11th-dimensional chess and we are too stupid to see how brilliant this plan is--that is what his fanbots are saying, I'm guessing. Here's what I think it comes down to: Obama is in the big leagues. After his second term, he will make millions giving speeches and doing "good works"--and I mean real millions, like more than $100 million, and in short order. He will be going to resorts we don't even know exist. Rubbing shoulders with the rich criminal families of Europe, Asia, North and South America, and African despots. He and his wife and kids will never wont for a thing. So why should he care if his social security check is a little smaller? And yes, I don't think he or his circle understand just how important this is to the average joe. Sadly, I don't think they give a shit either. They are taken care of.
Anonymous hacks US Sentencing Commission, distributes files. And what is the "as-yet unknown information" that Anonymous is threatening to release if the U.S. government does not comply with Anonymous' demands for legal reforms (which are, quite frankly, sensible and aimed at finally making the U.S. a nation or laws and not men)? No one knows, but encrypted files have been distributed, each identified with the name of a Supreme Court Justice. The question is what is in the files? Information on the named justice, or something more? If at least some of the information in each file is on the justices, I'm guessing that folks might learn that Justices Roberts and Kagan have a little something in common. Please let this be worth the wait.
Update: Anonymous has hacked the US sentencing site again: Anonymous re-hacks US Sentencing site into video game Asteroids. My gut says there is a bit more going on than just the fuck you that comes with the second hack. Does anyone know which media outlet they contacted with information about the nine files mentioned above?