About the Antigovernment Extremist: I'm a recent graduate of Ohio University where I majored in Political Science with a minor in Economics. My emphasis in university was on constitutional law and American government. This blog is my outlet for political ramblings and where I post current events with a bit of personal commentary. Below you can find similar blogs that I would recommend as well as a series of tags that I've used to allow for better navigation of the topics I post about.
An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has found that its officers improperly penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, a C.I.A. spokesman said that agency’s inspector general had concluded that C.I.A. officers had acted inappropriately by gaining access to the computers.
The statement said that John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director, had apologized to the two senior members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and that he would set up an internal accountability board to review the matter. The board will be led by former Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana.
So the CIA “improperly penetrated” the computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Don’t worry though, CIA Director John Brennan said he was sorry.
Let’s also remember that the NSA has probably had a live feed of every computer in the Capitol for years now. You’ll remember that Diane Feinstein wasn’t all too upset about the revelations that the NSA had been spying on literally everyone until it became clear that Congress too was being spied on.
NSA/CIA spying on the communications and internet activities of average Americans: par for the course, NSA/CIA spying on Congress: a gross perversion of justice and the rule of law.
“On this matter, the reasons given for the persistence of the mispricing of fractional-reserve debt (IOUs + RP) are unsustainable in the long run. The lack of legal protection for genuine money titles is no more than a technicality, for there is nothing in practice that can sustainably prevent the existence of full reserve banks. Awareness that “deposits” are not actually money being held for safekeeping is a matter of educating the public, as is awareness that government’s deposit “guarantees” are not actually credible in the event of a systemic run.
If we assume, then, that fractional-reserve banking will come to its logical ending, there is good reason to believe that the shock will herald the endgame for fiat money. It is in fact the case that all fiat money is the liability of the central bank, which also carries the risk of non-repayment (default risk). This, again, means an arbitrage opportunity for market participants to withdraw the fiat money from the fiat money banking system. This confirms that the original basis for fiat money is destroyed, for its repayment to the central bank is not credible.
Finally, at long last, we have a worldwide return to sound money. Will there be a new 21st century Gold Standard? Will we recourse to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin? Will we see the rise of the Equal Opportunity Standard, with everyone in the world being issued once with an equal amount of World dollars? Or will there be another innovation to come? What we must defend, as proud advocates of freedom, is that the free market will decide. That governments finally learn to stop their oppressive, damaging interference with the monetary system.”
Some are saying that this could be “the most revolutionary essay in the history of monetary economics and banking.” It was written in 2003 by Jörg Guido Hülsmann, a senior fellow of the Mises Institute. Check it out for sure. It does get pretty technical.
This is an amazing article. And a perfect time to mention that I met Norquist at Freedom Fest just a few weeks ago. There I was, partying at the Bellagio on the Sunset Strip, just beginning to feel the buzz from my second flute of champagne (complements of the Libertarian Party), when I turn around and there’s Grover Norquist peaking over the crowd. He was very nice and cordial and we spoke about how awful the income tax is. Definitely something I’ll remember. I hope he has a good time at Burning Man and I hope I’ll be able to make it out there some time.
In Iraq, hardcore Islamic jihadis known as ISIS have taken over much of the country – shown in red as the new “Islamic State” or self-described caliphate – using captured American weapons:
Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states have evacuated their diplomats from Libya, the United States is preparing for possible evacuation of U.S. personnel, and the country appears on the brink of a larger civil war.
Opium production is at an all-time high under the American occupation of Afghanistan.
And the New York Times reports this week that the Taliban are currently making huge gains in Afghanistan … in some cases expanding even beyond their traditional areas of influence prior to 2001:
The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.
The pessimist in me sees this as part of the plan. It could just be a “happy coincidence” for the military industrial complex that profits off of these endless conflicts or they knew going into it that toppling leaders in the region would create power vacuums for the supposed terrorists to fight over. Intervention begets intervention.
An advocacy group has released images which claim to show an NYPD officer putting a seven-months pregnant woman into a chokehold for illegally grilling on the sidewalk in front of her apartment.
NYPD officers have been banned from using the chokehold since 1993, but an officer can be seen in the pictures wrapping his arm around 27-year-old Rosan Miller’s neck in the Saturday incident.
Her young daughter is also in the pictures, watching the arrest unfold.
Illegally grilling on the sidewalk! What a hardened, dangerous criminal! And I bet that little girl now has a very solid grasp on who she can trust and what’s ok to do to women and/or people who are physically weaker than you!
Me after reading No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald.
Seriously go read this book right now. It reads like a spy thriller making it nearly impossible to put down. Greenwald’s commentary on the integral importance privacy has to a free society is a breath of fresh air.
Understanding the measures Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras took to bring the egregious abuses of power by the NSA and the elected members of our government makes the general population’s complacency and acceptance of these surveillance programs maddening. I kept finding myself shaking my head in disbelief, gazing off wondering how anyone could support these institutions, let alone go along with them. Greenwald and Snowden especially are heroes and it’s my hope that history will remember them as such.
What I think is the most important part of this book is how Greenwald illustrates how surveillance has historically never been used for “national security” and how it has almost exclusively been used to enhance the powers of the state. The NSA is no exception to this historical fact. Much of the book is dedicated to how the NSA and other intelligence agencies use their powers to spy on economic summits, political dissidents, heads of state and the social media accounts of average citizens around the world. The most disturbing of the revelations are how surveillance agencies are developing strategies to defame and destroy the reputations of those the state deems undesirable.
I have yet to encounter a writer that can so perfectly encapsulate the arguments not only for privacy but against dragnet, indiscriminate surveillance as Greenwald does in this book. His experience as a lawyer and as a journalist shines through in this scathing indictment of the NSA and the mainstream political media who act merely as mouthpieces for agents of the state who wish to completely eliminate privacy in the digital age.
“Attributing dissent to personality disorders is hardly an American invention. Soviet dissidents were routinely institutionalized in psychological hospitals, and Chinese dissidents are still often forcibly treated for mental illness. There are obvious reasons for launching personal attacks on critics of the status quo. As noted, one is to render the critic less effective: few people want to align themselves with someone crazy or weird. Another is deterrence: when dissidents are cast out of society and demeaned as emotionally imbalanced, others are given a strong incentive not to become one.
But the key motive is logical necessity. For guardians of the status quo, there is nothing genuinely or fundamentally wrong with the prevailing order and its dominant institutions, which are viewed as just. Therefore, anyone claiming otherwise—especially someone sufficiently motivated by that belief to take radical action—must, by definition, be emotionally unstable and psychologically disabled.
Put another way, there are, broadly speaking, two choices: obedience to institutional authority or radical dissent from it. The first is a sane and valid choice only if the second is crazy and illegitimate. For defenders of the status quo, mere correlation between mental illness and radical opposition to prevailing orthodoxy is insufficient. Radical dissent is evidence, even proof, of a severe personality disorder.”
— Glenn Greenwald — No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State
Here’s the now infamous Meet The Press interview between David Gregory and Glenn Greenwald wherein Gregory asks why Greenwald shouldn’t be prosecuted for “aiding and abetting” Edward Snowden. In other words, Gregory accuses Greenwald of committing a crime for the act of journalism. This aired on June 23rd, 2013.
“As the ACLU’s deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer, observed, the NSA databases ‘store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online.’ The agency claims this personal information won’t be abused, ‘but these documents show that the NSA probably defines “abuse” very narrowly.’ As Jaffer pointed out, the NSA has historically, at a president’s request, ‘used the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political opponent, journalist, or human rights activist.’ It would be ‘naive,’ he said, to think the agency couldn’t still ‘use its power that way.’
Other documents describe the government’s focus not only on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, but also on what the agency calls ‘the human network that supports WikiLeaks.’ In August 2010 the Obama administration urged several allies to file criminal charges against Assange for the group’s publication of the Afghanistan war logs. The discussion around pressuring other nations to prosecute Assange appears in an NSA file that the agency calls its ‘Manhunting Timeline.’ It details, on a country-by-country basis, the efforts by the United States and its allies to locate, prosecute, capture, and/or kill various individuals, among them alleged terrorists, drug traffickers, and Palestinian leaders.
A separate document contains a summary of a July 2011 exchange regarding whether WikiLeaks, as well as the file-sharing website Pirate Bay, could be designated as ‘a “malicious foreign actor” for the purposes of targeting.’ The designation wold allow extensive electronic surveillance of those websites, including US users.”
Glenn Greenwald — No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State
Honestly I could quote this entire book cover to cover. You need to go pick it up and read it. This quote struck me because I actually downloaded this book from Pirate Bay. Whoops.
“What if governments were originally established to protect people’s freedoms but always turn into political and imperialist enterprises that seek to expand their power, increase their territory and heighten their control of the population? What if the idea that we need a government to take care of us is a fiction perpetrated to increase the size of government? What if our strength as individuals and durability as a culture are contingent not on the strength of the government but on the amount of freedom we have from the government?”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an expected contender in the 2016 presidential election, has positioned herself to appeal to more moderate or even neoconservative audiences in recent days. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, she praised President George W. Bush’s AIDS relief programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, saying his initiatives there make her “proud to be an American.”
In the same interview, Clinton distanced herself from President Obama’s foreign policy, suggesting that he has not made it clear how D.C. “intend[s] to lead and manage” international affairs. Clinton advocated a more interventionist approach, arguing that, "We have to go back out and sell ourselves" as guarantors of worldwide stability. Currently, the U.S. military has as many as 900 bases worldwide, and has ground troops or drones active in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen.
Meanwhile, despite objections from supporters within her own party, Clinton has repeatedly spoken to audiences at large Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Ameriprise Financial. “The problem is these speeches give the impression that she’s still in the Wall Street wing of the party,” said Charles Chamberlain of the left-wing Democracy For America PAC.
If Clinton is elected President in 2016, the White House will have been in the hands of just three families — the Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas — for 32 years by the time her first term is complete.
“When someone robs a bank with a gun or kills someone with a gun, there’s no debate about who needs to be investigated and prosecuted. When a police agency is charged to seek out and prosecute people who are illegally possessing or transferring guns, they’re required to use their own discretion when it comes to what communities to target and what methods they’ll use to target them.
Inevitably, this will manifest as sting operations against communities with little political clout. (Or, just as troubling, deliberately targeting people for political reasons.)
[Brad] Heath points out that a federal judge recently accused the agency of “trolling poor neighborhoods” in search of patsies. In some cases, the ATF — the federal agency that exists to fight gun crime — actually supplied its targets with the guns the agents would then arrest them for using to rob stash houses — which were also set up by the ATF.”