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.
Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. So critical is this denial to the U.S. government that last August, an NSA spokesperson emailed The Washington Post to say (emphasis in original): “The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for instance, responded to the Petrobras revelations by claiming: “It is not a secret that the Intelligence Community collects information about economic and financial matters…. What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of—or give intelligence we collect to—U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
But a secret 2009 report issued by Clapper’s own office explicitly contemplates doing exactly that. The document, the 2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review—provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—is a fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies as they identify future threats to the U.S. and lay out the actions the U.S. intelligence community should take in response. It anticipates a series of potential scenarios the U.S. may face in 2025, from a “China/Russia/India/Iran centered bloc [that] challenges U.S. supremacy” to a world in which “identity-based groups supplant nation-states,” and games out how the U.S. intelligence community should operate in those alternative futures—the idea being to assess “the most challenging issues [the U.S.] could face beyond the standard planning cycle.”
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini
it’s gonna be fun when the republicans win back the presidency because suddenly every tumblr liberal is going to “discover” mass deportation, drone strikes and everything else that was going on under obama, but act as if it’s something the republicans started.
basically, imperialism’s okay if you can paint a smiley face on it.
I hope republicans win the White House so that the anti-war movement will make a comeback.
This is an interesting take on income inequality. Unfortunately this article doesn’t really answer the question posed in the headline but it’s interesting nonetheless. I would hazard a guess that it has something to do with the United States’ marginally freer markets. Every income bracket in America is better off than their Briton counterparts, excluding the bottom 5%.
Through the fog of Twitter, it’s difficult to discern the precise details of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Mo., in the 10 days of protests spurred by the police killing of an unarmed teenager. Still, maybe it’s not too early to wonder: When, exactly, did the United States become a banana republic? “Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb?” asks my Cato Institute colleague Walter Olson. What could possibly justify police “red-dotting” peaceful protesters with laser sights, or an attempted head-shot, with a tear gas canister, at a man standing in his own yard, insisting, “this [is] my property!”? Here you can watch police fumigate a news crew and take down their cameras — then chase off the other journalists filming the assault.
Last week, I found myself musing darkly, “Just wait till Ferguson’s cops get federally funded drones.” If you think paramilitary policing looks dystopian now, just wait till you see what’s being cooked up in defense contractors’ labs.
For decades now, as Radley Balko makes clear in his indispensable 2013 book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, federal subsidies have encouraged the proliferation of military ordnance on the home front — from M-16s to grenade launchers to 30-ton armored vehicles. Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has accelerated police paramilitarization with more than $7 billion in Urban Areas Security Initiative grants.
With Homeland Security funding, “Police departments are arming themselves with military assets often reserved for war zones,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., noted in a 2012 report on the UASI program. Among those assets are surveillance drones and the Long Range Acoustic Device — a sound cannon deployed last week in Ferguson that can disperse crowds with a 149-decibel assault (permanent hearing loss begins at 130).
A Homeland Security report obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2013 revealed that the agency has considered outfitting its expanding inventory of drones with “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets of interest.
Meanwhile, both Homeland Security and the Pentagon maintain a keen interest in developing crowd-control weapons for occupations at home and abroad. In 2007, the department’s science and technology arm “contracted for the development of the ‘LED Incapacitator,’ a nauseating strobe” weapon meant to overwhelm and disorient targets with rapid, random pulses of light.
Remember that tyranny doesn’t arrive in one day. Politicians don’t campaign on ushering in a totalitarian police state. It is slowly erected bit by bit until one day we awake to our enslavement. That’s why this episode in Ferguson is such a big deal. It’s one of those glimpses behind the curtain. It’s a microcosm of the coming (and some would say, already present) police state.
Here’s another libertarian being awfully quiet on the Ferguson ordeal:
Anyone who thinks that race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. And the root of the problem is big government.
There is a systemic problem with today’s law enforcement. Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.
“They sprayed protesters in the eyes during Occupy Wall Street movements everywhere. The conduct has been outrageous. This killing of this black teen is not simply racism. The problems are much deeper. Claiming this is just racism deflects the entire issue and makes it simply black-v-white. This is something far more serious for it is impacting our entire society.
The protests over land was yet another example. The police showed up with weapons and told the people they would shoot to kill. The police are being transformed from protecting the public into protecting government from the public.”
“There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others… I propose in the following discussion to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the ‘economic means’ for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the ‘political means.’”
“In short, private crime is, at best, sporadic and uncertain; the parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline can be cut at any time by the resistance of the victims. The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for predation on the property of the producers; it makes certain, secure, and relatively ‘peaceful’ the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society. The great libertarian writer Albert Jay Nock wrote vividly that ‘the State claims and exercises the monopoly of crime…. It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien.’”
Today Ron Paul did an interview with C-SPAN2’s BookTV where he took questions from callers, emailers and individuals on Twitter and Facebook. One of the first questions he took was from me! I recorded his response and uploaded it to my Youtube channel which you should click through and subscribe too.
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.
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.
“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
“All of the evidence highlights the implicit bargain that is offered to citizens: pose no challenge and you have nothing to worry about. Mind your own business, and support or at least tolerate what we do, and you’ll be fine. Put differently, you must refrain from provoking the authority that wields surveillance powers if you wish to be deemed free of wrongdoing. This is a deal that invites passivity, obedience, and conformity. The safest course, the way to ensure being “left alone,” is to remain quiet, unthreatening, and compliant.”
— Glenn Greenwald — No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State