This is how you deal with them. Mastery, I can only aspire to such power. Charisma.
A score of recent defense department and other official documents warn that climate change, energy shocks and economic crisis could trigger waves of civil unrest. The understanding seems to explain the proliferation of security and surveillance programs over the last decade.
The preparation makes sense from the perspective of governments (four of which—the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand—appear to have been granted access to data collected by the NSA spying program disclosed in recent weeks, as members of an international intelligence alliance known as “Five Eyes”). The world can unravel in at least three different ways. If and when it does, those in power will want the means to keep their grip. Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges has been warning us about this for a while now.
One legal military document grants extraordinary powers to intervene in a domestic “emergency” or “civil disturbance” outside of White House approval. A 2006 National Security Strategy brief warned that “Environmental destruction, whether caused by human behavior or cataclysmic mega-disasters … may overwhelm the capacity of local authorities to respond, and may even overtax national militaries, requiring a larger international response.”
Two years later, the defense department’s Army Modernization Strategy described a soon-to-arrive “era of persistent conflict” due to competition for “depleting natural resources and overseas markets” fueling “future resource wars over water, food and energy,” and predicting a resurgence of “anti-government and radical ideologies that potentially threaten government stability.”
That same year, a report by the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute warned that a series of domestic crises could initiate large-scale civil unrest. “Under the most extreme circumstances,” the report showed, Department of Defense action “might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, Dod would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.” Around the same time, the Pentagon began developing a force of 20,000 troops who would be on hand to respond to “domestic catastrophes” and civil unrest.
Of course there’s money in this game too. Speaking before employees of Booz Allen Hamilton, the defense contractor that formerly employed NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, Lt Col. Mark Elfendahl, then chief of the Joint and Army Concepts Division, in 2010 described preparations for fighting in the homeland as a way to legitimize the U.S. military budget.
Also in 2010, the Army’s annual Unified Quest program—a yearly conference to determine how war should be waged in the future—voiced expectations that “ecological disasters and a weak economy” would fuel migration to urban areas, increasing social tensions within the United States and between “resource-starved nations.”
The tragic irony here is that the U.S. government’s foreign and domestic policies have created and continue to create the conditions of violent unrest that both honest social critics and war officials are expecting.
Nafeez Ahmed, the Guardian contributor who deserves great credit for compiling excerpts from these documents for the public, concluded his article on the subject by saying: “The Pentagon knows that environmental, economic and other crises could provoke widespread public anger toward government and corporations in coming years. The revelations on the NSA’s global surveillance programmes are just the latest indication that as business as usual creates instability at home and abroad, and as disillusionment with the status quo escalates, Western publics are being increasingly viewed as potential enemies that must be policed by the state.”
The point is driven home in the examples of the targeting of domestic activist groups, by government and private industry in cooperation, below.
It is therefore not surprising that the increasing privatisation of intelligence has coincided with the proliferation of domestic surveillance operations against political activists, particularly those linked to environmental and social justice protest groups.
Department of Homeland Security documents released in April prove a “systematic effort” by the agency “to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations” linked to Occupy Wall Street, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).
Similarly, FBI documents confirmed “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector” designed to produce intelligence on behalf of “the corporate security community.” A PCJF spokesperson remarked that the documents show “federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”
In particular, domestic surveillance has systematically targeted peaceful environment activists including anti-fracking activists across the US, such as the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, Rising Tide North America, the People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative, and Greenpeace.
… A University of Bath study … based on confidential sources, found that a whole range of corporations – such as McDonald’s, Nestle and the oil major Shell, “use covert methods to gather intelligence on activist groups, counter criticism of their strategies and practices, and evade accountability.”
Pretext: A lot of people are analyzing this recent PRISM thing and speculating on what’s going on. It’s not a mystery. A lot of people are construing this as a privacy issue. While I agree that privacy is an integral part of a democracy, I am inclined to disagree that this is the main issue when talking about the NSA; as I will discuss, that’s the FBI that you should be concerned about. I don’t perceive this as a “privacy” issue. It’s an ethics, constitutional issue, and monetary issue. It’s not just a matter of principle or emotion, it’s a matter of integrity of state. I will be analyzing the holistic state of affairs from a rather different perspective from most of the media (i.e sensationalizing the privacy issue).
Part 1: What is NSA? History
Part 2: Modern Privacy // Myths & Reality
Part 3: The Modern Technology
Part 4: The laws and legal understanding BASICS.
Part 5: “The Players”
Part 6: Current State of Affairs
Part 7: There is no 7, only Zuul!
Part 8: The Future.
Part 9: How do we fix this?
Part 1: What is NSA?
Old agency jokes say that NSA means No Such Agency or Never Say Anything. Until recently, very few people have even heard of the NSA, even though today they are magnitudes larger than the CIA; with a classified budget estimated to be magnitudes larger. Today, NSA employs about 30,000 Americans and holds hundreds of classified contracts with various different security contractors and private enterprise companies. For all intents and purposes, they can play god should they choose to smite you. They have the resources, the technical abilities, the funding and support of the entire United States government (even if many insiders don’t like it). Today, NSA has become arguably the most powerful collective entity on the planet… But how did we get here?
On November 4, 1952, the National Security Agency formed. Their HQ in Fort Mead, Maryland is still today one of the most secretive buildings in the entire country, probably the world. Directly from wikipedia: NSA is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S. government communications and information systems, which involves information security and cryptanalysis/cryptography. To put it rather bluntly, they are an electronic spy agency.
The National Security Agency is not under the Department of Homeland Security. The National Security Agency is organized under the Department of Defense. The Director of the NSA is always a military officer and also commands one of the DoD’s Unified Combatant Commands: CYBERCOM. Parts of Homeland Security and the NSA are both part of the United States Intelligence Community along with 15 other government organizations including the CIA and DIA. All information sharing between them would be directed and governed by the Director of National Intelligence. James R. Clapper.
So what’s the problem today?
Well, this is the long version, from Jewel v NSA (Filed by the EFF in 2012). 2001-2002 “The President’s Surveillance Program” Shortly after September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President George Bush Jr. authorized NSA to conduct a variety of surveillance activities, including the warrantless surveillance of telephone and Internet communications of persons within the United States. — U.S v Jewel brief. October 1st, 2001 the President gave a secret order to conduct electronic surveillance within the United States, without an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC — Discussed later). The Program would need to be renewed approximately every 45 days. George Bush Jr. renewed the Program Order at least 30 times. This program “Stellarwind” is still around today under the Obama administration, renamed Ragtime-P (more later on that). That same year, USAPATRIOT was freighttrained through Congress, with section 215 intact. This will be discussed or at least mentioned later, along with National Security Letters and their abuse potential and history. This type of mind set and culture of “F*** IT WE’LL DO IT LIVE!” is the real problem with the government today, and I don’t just mean NSA
“There is very little oversight, and when there is it’s often just talk”– Thomas Drake.
The 2002 Trailblazer Project gives us great insight into the political, economic, and pathological environment of the intelligence community, closely following 9/11 attacks. The scars of the paranoia and rapid expansion still resonates today. This is no mistake. There was blood in the water, and private security contracts pooled around it like sharks. In a FRONTLINE Report interview involving Stellar Wind, many of the people directly involved said the same or similar things. “In those days, Congress would give money to anyone who asked.” And they did.
SAIC a private contracting company similar to Lockheed or Northrop, largely failed to provide what they were being contracted to do by the NSA (Create Trailblazer, a surveillance apparatus). Of the $280 million budget, over $1.8billion (yes that’s over budget…) was wasted on the failed Trailblazer project. This lead to Thomas Andrew Drake (Former NSA) blowing the whistle four times, through proper channels, between 2002 and 2006. This will be further analyzed in the Current State of Affairs, as well Thomas Drake will be mentioned extensively in each part. William/Bill Binney (Former NSA) will also be mentioned for his part in the whistle blowing. This type of waste is a matter of culture, as discussed by Thomas Drake in a later section. You should take the time to read his interview later on.
In 2003 the now infamous Room 641A was created. This shows us just how deep the rabbit hole between private enterprise and state security’s marriage goes, and how desperate these folks are for MORE INFORMATION. Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.
Boeing Narus, an Israeli subsidiary of Boeing, was contracted to create a device that would copy almost every packet (bit of data) sent throughout the “back-bone” of the tier-1 internet lines at AT&T and send them to NSA for data-mining opperations. The Narus STA 6400 was the device used. In 2006 Mark Klein blew the whistle on NSA, leading to the class action lawsuit by the EFF against AT&T (Hepting v AT&T). The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.
The John Ashcroft (Then Attorney General) situation –See “Attorney General” section in 2004 highlighted just how desperate G.W.H.B and players (discussed later) like David Addington and Dick Cheney were to continue this type of blatantly illegal program. With the reelection of Bush in 2004, Ashcroft gave his resignation.
On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. This will be discussed in “Laws” (FISA Amendment Act of 2008 sec 702).
With the election of President George Bush Jr. for his Third Time (aka Obama) the surveillance state expanded. I won’t touch much on it, but Stuxnet was actually the result of President Bush, and completed under Obama under “Operation Olympic Games”. This shows us just how far Obama is willing to go to expand our use of cyber weapons, and their deployment, or rather discovery, in 2010.
In 2012 the codename Ragtime-P was leaked. This was a continuation of the domestic spying program originally Stellarwind. In 2013 a few things happened. A judge shoots down NSLs (largely an FBI problem) and a man named Edward Snowden leaked documents detailing what many already knew and had confirmed. The presence of an illicit marriage between the U.S DoD and private enterprise. This caused many people to flip the fuck out. However, today, the NSA, contrary to common belief, does have strict POLICY oversight, is not a rogue agency, and is not spying on every citizen in the United States the way it is being asserted. I will discuss this point further in part 7. However, the NSA does have nearly unlimited power (should they choose to exercise it), is involved with some possibly unconstitutional behavior, and involved in some egregious violations on matters of national security. All of this will be discussed further in different sections.
All of this said, one has to ask, to what ends is this all orchestrated? To what end? The answer is two fold and will be analyzed later.
“Total Informational Awareness” is the first answer. The second is simply “Because they’ll cut our budget next year if don’t keep spending”. The private enterprise leeches the massive budget, and will continue to do so until the marriage is broken, or more light is cast into this “shadow government”. This is not conspirators terminology. For every government entity, these is at least twice as many “shadow” entities doing the exact same job, for the same or greater cost.
So what about privacy?
Part 2: Modern Privacy // Myths & Reality
Modern Privacy has largely become a thing of the past; this is the sad truth of affairs. There are three sides to this story: the reality, the paranoia and hype (i.e sensationalism), and taking extremist measures (such as TAILs or TOR for everything).
Privacy is a concept that was fundamental to the United States’ Founding Fathers. If you don’t already know what the 4th amendment is, I suggest you check out /r/Assert_Your_Rights. Operation Shamrock is the first time we see NSA doing, well, exactly what they’re doing today; analyzing data of domestic messages by intercepting them without out knowledge or approval. During Shamrock 1945, they would read the outgoing telegraphs. How did they get them, you may ask? The same way they get them today, through the new PRISM program we’re now learning about. They asked…
There is a common misconception that the NSA is spying on our private conversations, looking at the naughty pictures you send me ladies ;- ) and keeping dossiers with our names and numbers on them. This is flat out untrue. I assure you, using software such as: Xkeyscore, Narus-Insight, DCS5000 (FBI), or even Wireshark or firesheep (lol), the NSA could spy on you in an instant. However, they don’t. That is a separate issue of technology and law enforcement. That is not what I am here to discuss. The violations of NSLs, FBI wiretaps, and other things of this nature are a different (related) monster. Please don’t misconstrue what I am saying to think that I’m down playing the capabilities that the NSA has; they’re nearly endless. I am here to give you the facts, the reality, the culture, the economic and socioeconomic repercussions if don’t fix this now. We are talking about the NSA, not the FBI. (See TSA analogy later on).
So where does that leave us? Well, for starters you can cast out the image of the NSA having thousands of people behind screens laughing at your private emails, or seeing you googled the word “bomb” or “Ricin” and desperately trying to learn everything about your past. There are only a handful (aprx. 12 — I believe according Thomas Drake in this Q&A) people on the Earth that cleared in and “allowed” to read your emails in the intelligence agencies. Again, we are not talking about the corruption and lack of oversight of the FBI; we are speaking explicitly about intelligence and contractors. We are speaking assuming that they are following the rules. There is a strict process by which the NSA can actually look at content data; however, what Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum (discussed in part 5) tell us is that COLLECTION IS STILL AN ISSUE.
People tend to think about as if they’re being spied on RIGHT NOW. “Oh god! They’re watching me! THEY’RE WATCHING ME!”
No. They’re not. They’re NOT watching YOU DIRECTLY, even if they are passively collecting some obscure meta-data and sorting it; it’s not “yours”. They don’t link it to your phone, your photo, etc. The fact that they COULD is scary, but that’s not what I’m talking about here today (That’s the FBI, you can listen to Jake Applebaum if you’re worried about the privacy and safety from law enforcement side to this.) Read into Ragtime-P for more information on this.
There are (probably) no lists with your NAME on it. (unless you’re a known terrorist…Snowden talks about this in the interview, about false labels, but I don’t want to get into the “what if” hypotheticals, such as “what if YOU DO hit their shit list??” — That’s a separate really scary issue I’m not going to touch on here. That’s the type of thing we’ll be forced to deal with in about ten years, if we don’t stop this stuff now. Yeah, we need to worry about this stuff NOW, because the FBI and the NYPD are doing that NOW. Not so much the NSA…but if we look at what they’re creating (a surveillance state the likes of which the Stazi or George Orwell could have only dreamed of) we are actually that close from “Turnkey Tyranny”.
You’re assuming anyone/everyone involved in the intelligence world (mostly private sector) actually gives a shit about our PERSONAL information, like who we’re sleeping with, or what we like to drink after work, what I had for breakfast or how often I jerk off, or what porn I favor…They don’t. Get adblock plus and 50% of the problem is solved for the folks who care about that stuff. E.g marketing firms.
They (Agencies like CIA and NSA and to a lesser extent FBI) want the big picture — See Boundless Informant…
Your girlfriend’s hot tits aren’t their concern, neither is hacking your webcam to spy on you beating off. That’s where the privacy issues of NSA’s Box, sorry Microsoft XBox one come into play with PRISM specifically, but again, I’m not talking about this here today. Still with me folks?
They (The contractors and agencies like and including NSA) want a bigger $$ contract (by proxy a cut of NSA budget, from a cut of your paycheck)**
It’s not a matter of what they are or they’re not looking at…. It’s not even a matter IF they WANT to look AT YOU. I assure you, they absolutely could (the privacy issue part of it) but THEY DON’T. It’s also true I COULD go around killing people in the street….but I don’t. In fact, someone like me (the shady scary tech types with a laptop on reddit o0o0o0o0o0o) could gather just as much information on you as they could. Perhaps more, because I’m not bound by the law and I’m an asshole (hypothetically).
So what does that mean?
They’re not actually creating Dossiers on every living person on Earth.
For some perspective on what they’re (the intelligence side, not the enforcement side) actually doing I suggest you read a lot of this guy Thomas Drake (NSA Whistle Blower 4 times over). This was the interview I talked about earlier. READ THIS.
Unless they have a really good reason or a ton of really really “high-value” intelligence spilling out of “you”, I doubt anyone even cares you exist. I understand this does raise concerns about “Total Informational Awareness” and being able to retroactively data-mine you maliciously, but that’s not what I’m here to show. They’d just query Stazibook. But that’s not going to be the NSA or CIA. That’s the popo and the feds. (Sup’ Feds. Apparently I made front page. My name is No One, I’m 21 years young and I want you to read this and accept that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.)
If you want more on the privacy concerns (they are extremely valid, but I’m looking at this on a bigger scale, not a law enforcement scale or ‘privacy concern’ perspective) check out Jacob Applebaum’s (TOR project guy) 2 hour talk on digital repression.. This guy is brilliant, but he’s not talking about the same thing I am here. The privacy issue attached with PRISM “scandal” PRISM/NSA-Gate (can I coin this? I’ve always wanted to coin a term :-3) is just a catalyst to garner attention. Edward Snowden is largely a martyr in my opinion, and a hero.
Part 3: The Modern Technology
I don’t want to spend too much time with this, because this is an endless rabbit hole. Everything from the 1.8gigapixil cameras on MQ drones; The Narus STA 6400is fundamentally a splitter that copies all packets of data and filters them. Check out this break down of RAGTIME-P (surveillance on a huge scale) to see how it works. (Fun google buzz words, nothing substantial here)
Narus-Insight is similar to DCS5000 (point and click surveillance folks!) — Mostly FBI :: IMSI catchers — Fake towers being used by the NYPD. (See Applebaum’s repression workshop). :: Xkeyscore — The datamining program NSA uses (probably) :: Tempest Attacks — They can actually read the EM waves in your house through your walls and what have you….scarrryyyy :: Laser Mics — A fun science project for 6th graders. Nothing more than hype. :: Echelon– SIGINT network :: Carnivor — Project FBI uses :: Stylomatry — analyze who you are based on the words you use and the way you type :: RSA History :: TruCrypt — You should all download this! :: PGP encryption :: TOR :: TAILS — I use this without a hard drive for ‘secret’ stuff (implying i have any) :: Firesheep — Facebook cookie snatcher :: Wifipinnaples — I’m just listing fun stuff, this is a “rogue access point” attack — :: SCADA system infiltration (what I first got involved with with this security nonsense) and all types of fun military drones etc etc. Check out more on GOOGLE and dig around some forums for the tech (personally 3 years ago I though the DARPA vulcan project scramjets were the coolest thing ever….still do).
“Okay, it’s important to not to let this stuff paralyze you…it’s one thing to know it’s happening, and it’s one thing, and it’s another to pretend that the solution is to become a Luddite” — (Watch for 3 minutes)Jabob Applebaum
Part 4: The Laws (link)
NSLs or National Security Letters — These are now basically in the past since the court ruled them unconstitutional. Under USAPATRIOT these administrative subpoenas were given vastly expanded access to things like “databases” as opposed to hyper specific non-content data, like who called who ‘meta-data’. These letters, or requests (with force) allowed (mostly the FBI) to completely subvert the process of obtaining a warrant. That’s a whole other scandal with AT&T employees being placed inside FBI HQ’s. NSLs came with a gag order. This meant that you couldn’t tell anyone about it, not even that you had received it. Not even a lawyer. The FBI sent out as many as 50,000 of these per years to various different bodies. PRISM (NSA’s program) saw fit to simply cut out even the NSL and go directly to the providers as opposed to ISPs (internet service providers). NSLs are a huge deal, and there is enough information on google to fill another post about them. But that is the basics. They’re abusive subversive pseudo-warrants that the FBI used to use until very recently this year.
SCA — “Third Party Doctrine” and Stored Communications Act — I.E if you share something with a third party, they can share it. This matters! This is why PRISM is technically legal…although probably unconstitutional. Anything that is stored on their database is theirs. Your emails? Theirs. Pictures? Theirs. Now, that doesn’t give them the right to reproduce it due to copywrite laws, but there is no LAW preventing them from snooping, even if policy prevents them from doing so. They can also, as with PRISM, simply hand over your data to law enforcement at their leisure.
* US v Duffey — Cell phone dumps (mostly and FBI trick) are legal because of the “Third party doctrine” discussed above. What the FBI didn’t tell the courts was how many innocent people also were tracked based on these “cell dumps” which are pseudo-GPS tracking. (See also IMSI towers for wiretapping).
* Hepting V AT&T — Discussed previously, the 641a room lawsuit filed by the EFF.
* Jewel V NSA — Basically part 2 of Hepting after the Hepting case was dismissed.
* People V Diaz — Cell phones don’t need warrants after an arrest. Not related to the NSA, but still be aware of this fact and always encrypt your stuff! Check out /r/Assert_Your_Rights and /r/Privacy for sure.
* USSID-18 Regulations and boundaries circa 2005 (thanks /u/postmodern)
* CALEA — Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in 1994 to make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap digital telephone networks. CALEA forced telephone companies to redesign their network architectures to make wiretapping easier. It expressly did not regulate data traveling over the Internet.
* USAPATRIOT Section 215 — Honestly, it’s tl;dr please just read it off the resource link provided.
* FISC – Foreign Surveillance Court(Created under FISA) — This is basically the “court” designed to oversee foreign communications and what have you and approve the looking into data. Remember, the NSA can legally (my ass) store your information, as long as they don’t read it or analyze it (that’s scary…and many people believe illegal). Contrary to common belief, as was stated, there is oversight on NSA. Lots of it.
2008 FISA Amendment Act – Section 702. “Activities under Section 702 are governed by [REDACTED]executed jointly by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence that detail targeting and minimization procedures under which the government will obtain foreign intelligence data. –
Acquisition under Section 702 is governed by targeting procedures and minimization procedures for Section 702 filed with the FISC stipulating, among other things, that The target is *”reasonably believe to be a NON-USPER outside the U.S. *[The problem is there is no unclassified standard for this. - Noted by A.R.R] A significant purpose of the acquisition” is to acquire foreign intelligence. Minimization procedures are in place for USPER information. Targeting and minimization procedures are consistent with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.”
By order of the FISC, the Government is prohibited from indiscriminately sifting through the telephony metadata acquired under the program. All information that is acquired under this program is subject to strict, court-imposed restrictions on review and handling. The court only allows the data to be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization. Only specially cleared counterterrorism personnel specifically trained in the Court-approved procedures may even access the records. (link)
Part 5: The Players
For the record, I won’t be listing all the agencies. I will leave you with this analogy.
Comparing law enforcement to NSA is like comparing them to TSA to DEA. Just because the TSA sometimes finds drugs, it’s not their job to kick in your door and build cases about it. This is analogous to to FBI and the NSA in that the NSA is light-years ahead of the FBI in terms of electronic capabilities, but doesn’t kick your door in (well maybe mine). — /u/ldonthaveaname
Edward Snowden — NSA Whistleblower I hope you’ve watched Ed. Snowden talk you’ve heard him say quite a bit about this stuff. He’s talking about Privacy issues, or so it would seem…really, he’s talking about RESTORING DEMOCRACY AND OVERSIGHT, not subjective privacy concerns about your silly skype convos. I’m not giving this guy’s life story here. /r/Snowden
William/Bill Binney) — If you’ve not heard the story of Bill Binney click that link right now. Really. Bill Binney was an NSA executive who left the NSA after blowing the whistle on the stuff I’m trying to raise awarness about right now. I.E that it is a privacy issue, but more over, it’s a matter of wasting and dysfunction. Thomas Drake has some great stuff on this.
Thomas Andrew Drake — NSA Whistleblower and one of my heros. I don’t even want to put the wiki paragraph here. Read this for more about TrailBlazer You really have to read this to understand and contextualize everything I’m talking about. Of all the resources I’ve linked here, this is the most important. (link)
* John Ashcroft — As discussed previous, he was the Attorney General under Bush for the first term. Read his Wikipedia on his term as AG and watch “Cheney’s Law”
* Eric Holder — Acting Attorney General under Obama as of today (Jun, 13. 2013).
* Obama – Ring ring ring ring….OBAMA PHONE!
* James Clapper — Director of National Intelligence
* Dick Cheney — Dictator of the United States 2000-2004. See the documentary Cheney’s Law (FRONT LINE).
* China — According to Snowden if you don’t believe my word for it, contrary to common belief, we’re not really at war with China. I’ll bet in 50 years the “informational cold war” (I’m bad at coining terms) will be a thing. We hack them, they hack us. It’s symbiotic and both sides lie and point fingers at the other. Why not sing koobayha and make friendly you ask? Simple. Money. I was a security conference last week and I heard this quote “You can sell anything to China…..ONCE.”
* Russia — Russian hackers are a different group. These guys are criminals. I really don’t have time to dig into this, but I think the NSA could and should be doing more to protect against this and lifting it from the totally overwhelmed and inept FBI. It’s our tax money, why are we not protected? (See Bryan Krebs on Security).
* No One / AngryRantingRealist — Some guy with a laptop. You can read more about me if you really care (“Judge me not by who I am, but by the weight of the words I speak” — Some profound shit I just made up to quote myself)
* General Keith Alexander — Director of NSA … In the words of Jacob Applebaum “This man is a fucking liar.” I’d loooveee to see that report the NSA talked about today (6/12/13) what with “dozens” of plots foiled. My ass. Keith Alexander is arguably the most powerful man on earth today. He commands the Navy 10th and the Airforce 24th fleets as a private army. He has risen through the ranks higher and held more power than anyone in American History.
* Bryan Krebs– Washington Post former Journalist on security. Really fantastic in depth stuff.
* Jacob Applebaum– Computer Security Researcher and TOR project. /u/ioerror / @ioerror This guy is my hero. Go to youtube and watch his digital repression workshop. It’s long, but it’s super insightful. This guy is a legend.
Part 6: Current State of Affairs
I hope you’ve watched Ed. Snowden talk you’ve heard him say
“All they care about is POLICY” and that the only way to change things is through POLICY.
But wouldn’t NSA want to prevent a 9/11 or track Al Qaeda? — Interviewer …
That’s logical thinking. You have to remember, NSA is an institution, and it preserves its integrity before anything else. Rule number one. It’s pathological. — Thomas Drake.
Changing the culture is the way to go (see Thomas Drake Interview). Unfortunately, unlike PIPA SOPA this isn’t something that’s just going to go away over night if google and friends says ["we don't like this"](www.stopwatching.us). They have a culture of apathy (not just the NSA, we’re talking big picture). Just ask the man who knew 9/11 was coming (even outside NSA who “knew a lot” — Drake) John O’Niel (FBI). Such a tragedy that he died in the attacks themselves after being forced out of the FBI for being “abrasive”. Watch the whole story of John O’Niel here (really great 9/11 stuff)
Private Contractors/NSA: It’s not an entity of illicit shady types behind the curtain, it’s a group of executives with skilled “hackers” (misnomer) and analysts working for them, marketing literal bullshit (trailblazer) to the government and the government willingly relinquishing control to the private sector
(booz allen, raytheon, lockheed, northrop grummun, boeing etc etc etc.) It’s about PROFIT.
What better way to get profit than to make the NSA (the pay-check suppliers by proxy) and U.S DoD (paayyychhheeeckkkkkksss). The issue is that this country doesn’t even know what it’s doing anymore. We’ve tossed money to companies like Booz Allen and CAIC (which IMHO isn’t even the big bad wolf…see BlueCo, Lockheed, Northrop etc) and they’ve built us a functioning ‘Total Awareness Matrix’ but at the end of the day, we’re not aware of shit. There is so much redundancy it’s unbelievable.
Part 8: The Future
Today, the sky is not falling. At least not in terms of your personal conversations about drug dealing and cheating on your wife in regards to NSA. That’s the FBI…you should worry about them, and the police state Bloomberg has created with the NYPD… What people like myself, and many others are worried about is what happens when they keep stretching, keep over-reaching and expanding…where does it end? Does it? Does it implode, explode, snap? Do we fall into tyranny? What happens to democracy when everything is a secret? Watch Thomas A. Drake on this stuff (First 20 minutes)
If we put this much power from spying into humanitarian efforts, like solving sex trafficking, or drug exports (implying we don’t allow it), or stopping cyber criminals (Check out Bryan Krebs on this stuff!) the world would be a better place. However, we aren’t team America World Police. We just wrap ourselves up in the flag of democracy and pat ourselves on the good german backs and say “job well done, we got paid!” …when really it’s about the bottom line and squeezing the fruit (literally if we look at 1954 CIA Coup of Guatemala) out of the rest of the world, and fueling it to those ends, we’ve created a literal second industrial military complex, this time being fed into “intelligence”. And It sucks. If we aren’t careful, this will never stop and we’ll end up in a true Orwellian state.
The worst case scenario is that CIA and NSA and all the other alphabet agencies we see in movies turn the tyranny key and we become a true state under secret police where dissidence like this is illegal, rather than obnoxious and short lived.
In 2011 we assassinated a completely innocent U.S Citizen with “a flying fucking robot” — Jacob Applebaum, with no trial because we didn’t like what he had to say and had bad info that linked him to terrorists. Two weeks later we killed his 17 year old son in a separate drone strike miles away and unrelated. No trial. No judicial oversight, no judicial process, only the vaguely assert “due process” although that was, of course, classifed by the CIA. This is Obama’s drone program. This is the foreseeable future if we aren’t careful. What happens to our democracy if everyone is an enemy? What happens to freedom…?
Part 9: How do we fix this?
Again, I don’t perceive this as a “privacy” issue. It’s an ethics and constitutional issue, and a monetary issue. It’s not just a matter of principle, or emotion… it’s a matter of integrity of state. Things like the judge that ruled NSLs unconstitutional (national security letters) based on the gag-order under the 1st amendment, are the way to stop things! Give your support to the ALCU and the EFF!
It’s all about policy and law (see the EFF).
If it’s not legal, they make it legal…THIS IS THE CULTURAL CHANGE I TALKED ABOUT. IT IS OUR JOB TO HELP PRESSURE THOSE IN POWER TO DO SO TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL AGAIN!!!
Changing things like the FISA Amendment Act Section 702 (“The Barn Door” — Thomas A. Drake)
Is really the best way to stop this type of activity. The issue isn’t that someone is directly spying on everything we have, it’s that they can retroactively go back in time and make you into a criminal, even if they aren’t directly under PRISM (which is what part 1 of this long post discussed). Both Jacob Applebaum, and Ed. Snowden both touch on this.
The best chance we have is to pressure our Congressmen into holding more hearings that will hopefully change their mind for funding and policy
If you’ve seen many of the interviews with the NSA and FBI speaking to Congress, you’ve heard them lie through their teeth or dance around answers with stuff like “Not under this program” (Stellarwind & Trailblazer). We need to keep them under the microscope. Especially if the FISC (FISA COURT) isn’t going to and Congress is either too submissive, apathetic, or powerless to do so themselves.
There are few individuals involved that the EFF lawsuits (Hepting V AT&T and Jewel V NSA (still on going)) such as David Addington (Cheney’s Lawyer) and John Ashcroft (then acting AG) as well as people like the leader of NSA. (Wed. 6-12-13) that people (EFF / ACLU) are trying to “take down”. this probably not the way to stop the problem holistically, but gives negative media attention to the questioned parties and that sure as hell does! And, if they do happen to pull a victory like google did with the NSL’s being unconstitutional, I’m all for that!
Hopefully we can repeal a lot of these amendments (FISA Sec. 702, 2008) (PAA, 2007) and sec. 215 USAPATRIOT etc etc. I’ve been writing my congressmen 6 or 7 page letters on this since I stumbled upon this clusterfuck and hopefully I’ll wake up and I wont be alone in that endevour. Check out “Cheny’s law” the FRONTLINE report and check out Jacob Applebaum’s talk with Bill Binny on Democracy Now.
We have all heard about young men (and they do seem to be almost all men) who it is said have become anti-social, who spend most of their time at computers, on the internet, with few friends, seeming of little value to greater society.
But is this really a correct view of these men?
Are we beginning to see that these computer freaks are much like caterpillars that first form cocoons that we barely notice and then turn into beautiful butterflies?
Are these computer freaks coming out of their cocoons and emerging as a new class of warrior ready to do battle against the state, armed with superior minds, armed with minds that think very logically–minds that can out think the state?
It appears so.
These warriors fight on a new platform, a platform the state does not understand. I have seen the thinking of the state’s workers up close. They may see the results of some of what the cyber-warriors have created, but they don’t come close to understanding the creations of the cyber-warriors and they are far, far from understanding where the creations might lead.
When you are doing battle against an opponent that doesn’t understand the degree that you are already engaged in battle, you have a distinct advantage. The cyber-warriors have this advantage. They may not succeed in every battle and or every method of attack, but that is the nature of battle.
William Lind has taught us how established military command fails to see new and developing advances that occur in generational war. Indeed, cyber-war is so different that it appears that Lind has not even detected it—and if anyone from a conventional war perspective would spot such a new direction in battle it would be Lind.
So what is it about this new direction in war that makes it so different? First, it is not a battle that is waged by governments against other governments. It is a battle of the individual against the state. It has a very libertarian streak. It is a battle that the state has a difficult time protecting against because it has a difficult time understanding from where an attack might emerge and it has a difficult time understanding the nature of the attack once the attack itself is observable.
Among current, early cyber-warriors leading attacks, I have in mind such men as Julian Assange, creator of Wikileaks, Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous developer of Bitcoin and Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower.
What is important to understand is that all three have superior programming skills and appear to be able to out think government moves and to counter them. It is perhaps not by accident that they are able to make counter moves. Their development as programmers surely required them to think in very logical, disciplined clearly thought out steps. A discipline that proves of great value in battling the state. I repeat, they are all unlikely to be successful in their attacks, but the attacks will keep on coming. The moves by Assange, Nakamoto and Snowden will surely act as catalysts that will encourage other cyber-warriors to emerge from their cocoons. The direction of attacks, and methods, of course, will be hard to determine in advance, that’s what cyber-generation war is all about. The state should be very worried.
* Scraping the barrel for revenues: Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’; Titans;
* Snoopgate: Surveillance Can be Used to Frame You, If Someone In Government “Happens to Take a Dislike to You”; America’s New Normal: Mass Surveillance, Secret Courts and Death to Whistleblowers; “If They Want to Get You, They Will Get You in Time”; NSA Leaker Edward Snowden An American Hero;
* I Dream of Singularity: Weird Plausible Outcomes;
* Psychotic Wingnuts: Turning over the US army to the Khmer Rouge;
* Life extension and overpopulation: Link
A common objection against starting a large-scale biomedical war on aging is the fear of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation). This fear is only exacerbated by the fact that no detailed demographic projections for radical life extension scenario have been conducted so far. This study explores different demographic scenarios and population projections, in order to clarify what could be the demographic consequences of a successful biomedical war on aging. A general conclusion of this study is that population changes are surprisingly slow in their response to a dramatic life extension. For example, we applied the cohort-component method of population projections to 2005 Swedish population for several scenarios of life extension and a fertility schedule observed in 2005. Even for very long 100-year projection horizon, with the most radical life extension scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 60), the total population increases by 22% only (from 9.1 to 11.0 million). Moreover, if some members of society reject to use new anti-aging technologies for some religious or any other reasons (inconvenience, non-compliance, fear of side effects, costs, etc.), then the total population size may even decrease over time. Thus, even in the case of the most radical life extension scenario, population growth could be relatively slow and may not necessarily lead to overpopulation. Therefore, the real concerns should be placed not on the threat of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation), but rather on such potential obstacles to a success of biomedical war on aging, as scientific, organizational, and financial limitations.
* Have been quite depressed today. Was a bad day. I had some glimmer of a hope moving here, sadly was not to be.
Large segments of society are embracing a cadaver willingly, full of desire. The Cadaver is Thanatos, the will to embrace death itself. Division was created based on the works of Clancy, not a moral human being to start with, and this game revels in the adoration of a world where millions have died under horrible circumstances. Those depicted in the game are heroic and lethal characters. These characters represent the desire for people alive today to one day mean something- even if it takes apocalypse, mass death and pandemic. People alive today feel a vacuum of meaning, and they are willing to endure great misery (and accept far greater misery for other people) so they have experience personal empowerment, meaning and victory. This urge alive today – this glorification of the end of civilization – is clear evidence that the world we are in is a failure. It it is losing its appeal and too many people at least subconsciously desire a reset.
I wrote an article about “Eugenics” several years ago, and at the time I didn’t fully appreciate how insidiously tainted the term “eugneics” has become. Eugenics is a curse word. The very idea of Eugenics can no longer be disassociated from the atrocities waged in its name. On account of this idea people were imprisoned, tortured, mutilated and murdered, all throughout the western world.
Eugenics means simply that an all-powerful authoritarian force mobilizes its full state power to categorize people on certain qualities, then spies on these people based on those qualities, and brings to bear the full force of legal and extralegal (and eventually arbitrary means) and progressively moves along a quickly escalating sequence of acts of intimidation, institutional discrimination, societal isolation, arrest, pseudo-medical treatment, internment, quarantaine and eventually a regimented and finally murder.
It has proven very easy to alienate society from certain groups, for vaguely plausible sounding reasons. Nonetheless historical eugenics was largely a pseudo-science. At best Eugenics was instrumental in “enabling” racist and genocidal policies. Not much has changed since the mid 20th century. We are still widely swayed in to action by superstition and hysteria.
Take for instance the whole debate surrounding pedophyles. I am not saying that practicing pedosexuals are predisposed towards their pathological urges because of their genes. It may be true that pedophyles are born with their predispositions, but I regard it as irrelevant for the point I am trying to make. The point I find far more relevant is how deeply dismissive society has become of acknowledging any rights of pedosexual (in specific) and predatory sexual deviants (in particular). I would argue this estrangement has itself taken on the level of sinister pathology of a witch hunt.
I might agree that practicing ‘pedosexuality’ can be strongly argued to be an inexcusable transgression, regardless of whether or not the pathology emerges on account of genetic frailty, disturbed psychosexual aberration, sexual (or other) forms of abuse, yet the disturbing societal response to pedosexuals (or pedophyles, which is a different thing) has taken on the dimensions of an equally irrational and vicious pathology, and the hunt for ‘sexual predators’ is often considerably more violent than the sexual acts envisioned or desired by the typical pedosexual specimen. Indeed, in recent history we see the pattern alluded to above – based on certain very severe (and many less severe incidents) all categories of pedosexuals world wide have come under exacting surveillance, random arrest, intimidation, persistent and cruel popular and state discrimination, often quite ruthless internment and forms of treatment (including te occasional castration), routine police violence, and pervasive and often random and lethal violence from society and its people.
I am not defending pedosexuals in this article. I simply don’t find myself caring. What does concern me is the irrational severity of treatment of pedosexuals (and rapists) and I am able objectively assess that this is what we should call a “witch hunt”.
The same is pretty much the default level of irrational hysteria in any case when ‘terrorism’ raises its ugly head. I can argue that western society is responding much as if it suffers from a deficient immune response when it comes to “the war on terror”. The cure may be considerably worse than the affliction. It isn’t that society is wracked with anxiety over the possibility terrorist attacks (bees cause substantially more deaths, and influenza causes many hundreds of times more economic damage, yet we see no wars against bees, or widespread paramilitary security measures against influenza) and I could even go as far as voice my suspicion that the State apparatus in numerous countries is abusing the threat of terrorism to implement laws and security measures that are largely self-serving and “politically convenient”.
Even the mere association “with” terrorism, no matter how remote or imaginary, can have pervasive and disruptive consequences for the subjects of anti-terror laws. People have careers and lives ruined for being listed on this US no-fly list. Right now journalists, political activists, lawyers, people with certain names all find themselves all capriciously hurled on terror watch lists, and the mechanism of this ‘proactive persecution’ is of the same level of indiscriminate state and societal violence as is the case with the witch hunt against pedosexuals, or the so-called “war against drugs”. In all cases there is an interesting unifying element at work, which many people will find my argument offensive when I invoke it.
Point one – modern western society is more violent than in earlier eras. Especially the last decades media, entertainment and casual violence has become highly symbolic, ceremonial and part of how people “have fun”. I don’t care why, but violence seems to sell and the majority of people are buying the product wholesale. Something about the age we live in makes “witnessing” a range of forms of violence, emulated or real, to be strangely seductive. I personally am unable to watch this categories of movies without getting fairly upset, but I would argue that in the last decade things have become possible (and commercially viable) that would have been regarded as mostly unthinkable expressions just two decades earlier. If a movie such as SAW would have been released to the audience in the 1970s, the uproar might very well have led to imprisonment of its makers. Yet after late 2001 somehow most people don’t seem to care anymore, and/or care less with every passing year. I would argue this level of apathy is the core issue which I am addressing here and the apathy (or denial) itself is what should cause most concern. Of course censorship of free speech is a very bad thing, but freedom of expression does allow for society to consistently insist to consume some pretty deranged topics.
I personally conclude that a movie such as SAW emerges not in a vacuum, but is just the scum churning on top of a turbulent society, much like debris welled up from a putrid psychologtical undercurrent. In essence I might find myself arguing that society as such currently revels in forms violence, probably empowered by the rize of new forms of communication. In this process internet is a catalyst and not a causative.
Point two – current society is pervasively inundated with equally severe forms of sexual expression, which are at odds with the last century or centuries. I had the fortune of casually visiting the KINK.COM studios last year in San Francisco, and while I am an avid supporter of the freedom to self-express and the freedom to explore unconventional styles of erotic interaction between people, KINK is a brand that produces a category of pornography that is so viciously intertwined with explicit and violent sexuality that it something dazzles me that this is so widely consumed in society. Porn is pretty hard core these days, and extreme porn is more popular than ever.
I can’t and won’t judge KINK because what they produce as pornography most of it I have done in my private life, and I have absolutely no problems with other people doing (or watching) acts I find to be consistent with my own default sexual style but I draw the a line in the sand when it comes to most forms of violent and degrading pornography. What is the pertinent issue here is the casual availability of these modes of sexuality such as KINK (or Gonzo), but equally so the pervasive accessibility of quite sexually explicit statements in the non-pornographic media world wide. I am routinely fascinated and somewhat perplexed how far casual advertising goes, and in many cases it crosses well in to niches that would have been regarded as completely pornographic just a few years ago. Right now I can argue that advertising and casual media is inundated with imagery brazenly subsumed from pornographic and fetishistic subcultures, and people seem to want more every year. Again I argue that the Internet is a catalyst and not a causative.
Point three – society is riddled with abuse of various unhealthy substances, and ‘narcochemically toxic’. Our food, our medication, our pleasure has taken on the intensity of constant binging. I feel this excessive style of consumption to taint much of the corporate model. Whether it be Monsanto’s arguably dubious corporate policies of inundating the world’s supermarkets with equally dubious products, to the whole catastrophes which surround antidepressant use, the industry of selling cigarettes and alcohol, the fast food business… in all cases people acts like a total hypocrites when it comes to the consequences of unhealthy behavior. People are often going out of their way to indulge in excess, almost as if to make a point. This isn’t just about YOLO – obesity isn’t “fun” and the point of living an intense life shouldn’t be about making most of that life to be wracked in sickness. Again, I argue that media and the internet have done the equivalent of strapping a turbocharger to the consumption patterns of individual human beings, and turned naturally sensible people from rational and deliberate citizens in to hysterical and gluttonous consumers.
Society may feel guilty about ist collective inability to not succumb to extreme violence, extreme sexuality, extreme consumption. This guilt may take on its own morbid character and I strongly suspect that the societal response to the three “unacceptable extremes” (pedosexuality/rape, violence/sadist horror, hypersexuality) is a manifestation of this guilt. I am not denying vicious terrorists, crazed junkies/drug peddlers and (child) rapists exist, I am only arguing that society started eating its own tail, as an attempt at reconciliation of the parts of society we may all affirm there is something deeply sick with it. In essence – I see manifestations of terminal cognitive dissonance. Too many people instinctively recoil in loathing about what we as a global society have become.
This is where the article becomes a tiny bit self-serving.
I am concerned, since in all cases the alleged above (categories) of ‘witch hunts’ may be crossing over in realms I personally hold dear. I should add “unwarranted”. As indicated, I have deepseated interests in pervasive societal liberty, especially when it comes to forms of sexual self-expression, the use of (specifically) nootropics and means for self-enhancement, as well as forms of technological experimentation, and in all three above categories of “crackdowns” these interests may in the near future became impacted by these alleged societal “Jungian shadows”.
I label myself often a transhumanist and a technoprogressive, and these persuasions are impacted by the triad of persecution in terms of gender issues (a very high number transsexuals seem interested in transhumanism), study of how the mind works (nootropics, The Hedonistic Imperative, paradise engineering, etc.) and in particular “hacker culture”, technological self-determinism (which has increasingly come under purview of the ongoing international terrorism witch hunt. It takes just a little for easily confused populations to “crack down” on people with unconventional sexual lifestyles (by labelling them perverts). It takes very little for the state to want to crack down on people who have a revolutionary political message (on the pretext of national security). It takes very little for both to start yet another witch hunt in people who like to experiment with alternative modes of thinking, consumption of hallucinogens (and call them drug fiends). It wouldn’t take any especially noteworthy incident for the international community – in particular the biggest bully which is now the United States – to decide that the various “technoprogressive” memes I feel a deep personal kinship with become legitimate targets for crackdown.
But I am not the only one warning for these excesses. Being my conceited elitist self I think it is just Kruger-Dunning at work, when people such as “Vigilant Citizen” and “Alex Jones” are shooting the technoprogressive vessel across the bow with more than warning shots for a crackdown against “transhumanism”, and completely mistakenly (or lyingly) associate it with the most negative trends in the world emerging (bilderberg, Illuminati, New World Order, etc.). I don’t want “transhumanism” to become the target for idiot politicians to crack down blindly against meaningful technological and scientific progress to an arguable better world, but clearly this idea has been belabored in considerable detail.
A century ago we witnessed a pervasive and horrendous injustice worldwide. From Sweden to Australia, from Germany to the United States – people suffered and died because of this wretched superstitious pseudo-science which was Eugenics. Eugenics has mostly been put on display on its excesses and crimes and the practise has been revealed as an unambiguous pathology – to the point that right now any rational debate on the whole topic of Genetic experimentation or healing (let alone enhancement or self-directed engineering) has become next to impossible difficult. A dear friend who worked in various technoprogressive fields had the nerve to openly debate these topics in Germany, and she found herself completely marginalized in her professional field on basis of being associated with far right extremist ideas – while being a small asian woman.
Knee jerk hysterica doesn’t serve us in progressing our world to a better state. Once society overcompensates in zeal in key items because it doesn’t want to come to grips with its own pervasive excesses, it tends to “throw out the child with the bathwater”. This is as stupid as it is wrong.
That is why I point an accusing finger to this new politics of “Eumemics”, i.e. to indiscriminately target key excesses of society, such witch hunts fueled by cognitive dissonance in society, and to completely go overboard. Mass-hysteria is a collectivized mental disorder, and when it grows and festers it tends to vector into new niches of easily available persecution. Let me invoke a (slightly racist) image, on how witch hunts work, an image we can all agree on it belongs in the shame section of human history.
What do I suggest? I don’t know. But certainly we are clearly doing a lot of things 180 degrees wrong right now.
* Dystopia: Syria will be bloodier than over, as foreign fascists throw money and weapons in a messy civil war; Insanity in India; Death By Taxes; Burnout; Inescapable – Crash & Burn; Reddit “Descent in to Tyranny”; Assange on PRISM: US justice system in ‘calamitous’ collapse; US Income inequality off the charts; Pharmageddon;
* The Surveillance Bubble: EU inceasingly put off by US bullying, All in the US under Surveilance. Everyone; Obama mocks Orwellian accusations;
Surveillance in the US signifies an infrastructure with certain goals, objectives, rationales and motives. Even superficial analysis reveals any publicly stated goals are clearly not the actual goals. Once you regard the US as a systemically fragile state and society, with pathological and long ignored disparities in wealth, income, opportunity and empowerment, does it become painfully obvious why the US state maintains such a cancerous and sudden expansion of the surveillance state. The US has so many entitled elite clients requisitioning the services of the political class, there is a massive demand for protection of the same entitlement. In effect elites are paying politicians not merely to implement a pervasive infrastructure of surveillance, imprisonment, intimidation and repression but much worse – use tax payer (majority constituent) money to use the state apparatus in favor of elite status quo versus any change to this status quo. In essence, the US state apparatus is taxing the population to finance their own manacles. The conditions for revolution in the US are quickly approaching, as living conditions in the US cross from the merely Austere into the cinematically Dystopian. The US will collapse – what is at stake is that everyone but the elite suffer the consequences of the elites. The elites are seceding from the consequences of collapse, and they are making sure the surveillance state has every american in the sights of some automated elimination system (drones, guns, prisons, extralegal rendition, fema camps) when the actual collapse does arrive.
This will make any collapse only more bloody. It will change any collapse in a free-for-all lynching of the rich. The State apparatus will not be able to contain the indignation of hundreds of millions of angry people. The revolutiuon will clash with the control infrastructure in the most violent manner. The tyranny infrastructure will ablate into nothingness, but the price will be millions extra dead americans and the blowback will be as bad as the worst in human history. The elites of the US are creating the conditions for massive, bloody orgies of vengeance directed at them.
The USA is in 1989 much like the Soviet Union. It is going down.
* Transgender: Warrior Princess;
“The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said. “There is no other.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
* Israel Sucks: Israel Skinheads;
“Ever since the dawn of language and self-conscious thought, the human species has engaged in a unique “natural experiment” in progressive niche construction. We engineer our own learning environments so as to create artificial developments cocoons that impact our acquired capacities of thought and reason. Those enhanced minds then design new cognitive niches that train new generations of minds, and so on, in an empowering spiral of co-evolving complexity. The result is that, as Herbert Simon is reputed to have said, “most human intelligence is artificial intelligence anyway”.
* Money: Housing Prices bloated – real people crowded in to the margin by the 1%ers and their investments; Are Central Banks Losing Control Over Interest Rates?; The Liars in Charge; The World Economy; How the financial elites deal with whister blowers;
“Para-Economical Money” is a carcenomic side effect of elite empowerment. It doesn’t matter who the elites are that perpetuate this money scam, and it might be USSR Communists, Euromandarins, Japanese Technocrats, a Weimar era incompetentocracy, Greedy Banksters, Roman Emperors or the USSA BiPolar Fauxdemocracy. It’s consistently the same pattern – an elite gets their unilateral paws on the printing presses of a fiat currency and they decide “they need a little extra heroin”, for a good cause. The good cause can be a just war in some country with dark skinned people, or pervasive food riots in their big cities, or bailing out some collapsing infrastructure – the system starts out in disrepair and the elites enter with all the best intentions and end gluttonously stuffing their own pockets. Before long the entitlement feeding frenzy crowds out the real people, and to repair things becomes a very steep uphill; struggle. So the entitled elites just decide to give up – a systemic collapse, crisis, austerity, population die off, police state becomes simpler than readjustment. Fascism becomes simpler than Revaluacion. This always used to be how things went down, however since a few decades we have a new sabot in the machine. The internet is evolving in to a synthetic global neurology and it seriously fucks with this mechanism. It allows feedback, introspection and constant and pervasive emphasis of fact. The entitlement elitists are in a panic.”
Space: Elon Musk Goes Full Mars;
Us Foreign Policy: Ex CIA Chief Debunks US Foreign Policy Myths (Hint: is too expensive);
Sociology: Atheism Reloaded;
Oil: Seven Sisters 1; Dangerous Times As Energy Sources Get Costlier To Extract;
Scary Shit: Insidious 2;
Japan: Places where no people are born;
Dystopia: NK; Authoritarian NeoLiberalism; The Death of US the Republican Brand; Mansions Getting Bigger, Rental Apartments Getting Smaller; New York Law Would Make Annoying Cops A Crime; Now FBI wants back door to all software; Nuclear Fallout;
“The collapse of petrodollar, is that a good thing or bad? How will for example Sweden be affected? How will i personally get affected?”
Hi Kris. The US implemented and imposed a world financial order at the end of WW2. At the time this system, which I can call “the global trade reserve currency” means that the Dollar became the default trade currency for all big transactions world wide. Aluminium, wheat, oil, etcetera. This made dollars a currency that was in high demand, and for a few decades this was good to the US. But the US needed oil. At the end of WW2 the US closed a pact of true friendship with the Saudi, since Saudi had most oil. The US became an industrial apparatus that turned oil in to prosperity. The Saudi were handsomely rewarded and agreed to equally handsomely reinvest this money in US corporations and US government bonds. However this didn’t keep on working and in the 1970s oil prices went up sharply. This was the first oil crisis, and in part it was political and in part it was a renegotiation inspired by OPEC. Up till that time “money” was defined by gold, but Nixon decided that gold back US dollars wasn’t a good idea. From that moment onwards the US dollar wasn’t backed by Gold, but by the US military apparatus. The US used force projection – primarily the threat of nuclear weapons – and that allowed the US to act as part schoolground bully, part world police. Sadly this meant that the US could endlessly print dollars, and thereby fund all imports it could ever want. Or so it assumed. In the 1990 China exploded across the world stage in exports, and the US had nowhere to back away when its dollar started deflating in effective purchase value. It is completely self-evident for everyone who is paying attention that this gluttunous party is ending in a matter of a few years (maybe less, maybe more). The problem is that upon the demise of the petro dollar the US effectively becomes a third world country in purchase power (probably about as poor as brazil) and a completely unmanageable society, for a list of multiple reasons. The US will be unable to import the oil it needs and will be unable to transition to a society that needs less oil. This will be nothing short than deadly to US society. These reasons and the consequences of such a collapse are analyzed in excruciating detail by Chris Martenson, Jared Diamond, Michael Rupert, Max Kaiser, Dmitry Orlov and on web sites such as Zero Hedge.
A collapse will be probably more gruesome than the 1930s collapse for the US. Again, Dmitry Orlov has covered this in great detail. The US is however clearly taking steps to mitigate the pain of this imminent transitional phase. It is obvious that the events on 11 September 2001 must be read in this light, and those in charge knew precisely what was happening decades ago. The US decided in the late 90s to become a repressive society. The elites in the US realized the eventual outcome and they didn’t want to foot the bill for a collapse – in essence what has been happening ever since has been the equivalent of a society wide yard sale. Hence the elites appoint a suitably psychopathic henchman in to the white house did what they felt was necessary.
The collapse of the oil dollar will be severe for most countries world wide, and will be extremely bad in the third world, where high oil prices causally translate to starvation. I predict a decrease of effective affluence in western Europe of about 50%, maybe a little less severe in Sweden than in the Netherlands. For several years it will be very bad in Europe, but as US oil demand falls away, shortly afterwards Europe will be able to get oil a lot cheaper and this may spur on an economic boom. My expectation is that upon the actual dollar collapse much of the world will become an interlocking patchwork of countries declaring a state of emergency. There will be a pervasive climate of revolt and some countries may resort to “dirty tricks” to keep their populations in check.
How to end the Israel-Palestina affair, now with the “arabic spring” with hezbolla on the move again?
It is irrelevant, or will soon become irrelevant. A few years after the collapse of the dollar Israel will be made to use nuclear weapons on most of the middle east and palestinians will be evicted from Israel. I am not sure if Israeli politicians will actually be this ruthless, but signs are not looking good. My expectation is that ten, fifteen years from now much of the middle east will have experienced massive die off, famine, war, civil war, infectious disease. In some middle eastern countries die-off may be as high as 25% of the total population. A lot of that will be suffered by migrating people living (and dying) in refugee camps.
Is capital punishment good or bad?
Capital punishment is a waste of precious resources, and the consequences of this measure are worse than the benefit. If it worked I would be in favor of it, in some cases, but I remain convinced it is extremely counterproductive and it does not do what people expect of it – deter undesirable behavior.
Why is fundamentalism going upwards again when it looked so positive at the start of the “arabic spring”?
The Arab Spring should be an extremely hopeful development. It may spread to oil exporting countries. If it were to spread to Saudi Arabia, this may spur on an immediate renegotiation of oil exports. Note that Iran would become an oil IMPORTER in just a few years, and even Saudi Arabia would be using most of its oil production domestically in less than 20 years. The era of affordable oil is ending, and I see no politician or corporate block respond to this, other than by creating a pervasive apparatus of national and transnational authoritarianism. A pan-arabic block and a sudden increase in oil prices, for whatever reason, would force politicians hands and make them invest heavily in infrastructures of sustainability. Such an infrastructure of “resilience” would greatly mitigate the dystopian misery we will suffer in a few years. Bear in mind – me writing this will almost certainly get me locked up or “disappeared” in a few years. Me making these statements publicly is likely not likely to be smart for the likes of me.
And are u still depressed?
On and off I am. Today is quite good, the last few days have been fairly awful. I have some nice people nearby who make me smile.
We were tired of our mundane lives in an un-augmented biosphere. As Transhumans, some of us booted up our mind-uploads while yet others ventured out into the desert of the real world in temperature regulated nano-clothing, experiencing a tropical paradise… even as the “naturals” would deny it’s very existence.
* Dystopia: Perspectives on the Limits of Growth: It is too late for sustainable development; The Case for Sending Alan Greenspan to Prison; A world with less oil; Big Yellow ducks in China No Longer Allowed; Food prices causally link to oil prices; The Insider Crowds (I suggest they increase their budget for personal protection – they have a bullseye painted on their forehead about now); Orlov on Communities; Some Bold claims!; How society should operate;
* Turkey: Erdogan is almost certainly another dead dictator within a few months; Turkish army feels needs to get cautious about now;
* WTF: Parents ‘No no we aren’t guilty’;
* US Collapse: The Most Entertaining Experiment This Century; The persistence and intent of US income inequality;
* Rogue Historical Atavism: Systemic child abuse in the Vatican;
* Space: Shuttle Tile Material; This COMPLETELY does not make sense; ROFL at least four species; Lunar mining tool concept art;
* Gender Issues: “Warrior Princess“;
* Ten years SL: Festivities;
* Transhumanism: Humanity’s imminent extinction;
* Turkish Protests: Pic Summary; General Pics; General Pic; Turkish Police goes psychotic; Third day protests; More; Turkish protests turns in to civil war; Turkish PM vows to crush any signs of civil war in Turkey; Occupy Instanbul has a little more teeth than it did in the US; More pics; Taunts; Turkish cops execute protesters; Millions on the streets in Turkey riotting against the Government, Police Lynched in Turkey, Turkish Police shoot people in the face after taking aim, Erdogan expresses terror about social media, at fear at being deposed, Censorship, REVOLUTION in TURKEY,
“There is now a menace which is called Twitter,” Erdogan said. “The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.”
* Extreme Stuff: Futuristic Suit;
* Amazing CGI Art: The Guardian; Vitaly Bulgarov;
* Dystopia: Broken human beings; Spain mulls abandoning minimum wage; What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About The Next American Revolution, The road to WW3, Assange on Wikileaks Crackdown, Welcome to “tough luck” justice,
* US Police Madness: NYPD slugs Judge in the throat;
* Corporate Filth: Jeffrey Sachs: Banking Abuses ‘Can’t Get More in Your Face’; Montsanto gives up in Europe; Montsanto stock crashing; Subsidizing Walmart; U.S. Brands Choosing To ‘Have Blood’ On Their Labels; Wallstreet are the real “takers”,
* Prison-Industrial Complex: How to waste taxpayer dollars;
* Heartbreaking: Police dog mourns dead boss;
* Space: Dione; Gas clouds falls in to Galactic Core Black Hole;
* Saudi Arabia: Immigration;
* Movies: Man of Steel; After Earth review; After Earth trailer;
* AntiCapitalism: The Delusions and Fall of Global Capitalism,
* The global climate debate: Australia,
* The Robot Revolution: A moratorium on warbots,
* My SCOOP.its: Basic Income, Concentration of Wealth is an Existential Risk, Upgrading Democracy, Endgamewatch, Better Mobility, Living, Logistics, Infrastructure, Juxtaposing planetary petrochemical constraints versus space orbital infinite energy, Deliberating Violence in Revolutionary Thinking,
Trying to stay away from Facebook for a while, it nauseates me off late.
I have checked some discussions on UN agenda 21. What is your opinion on that? American tv channel Fox News is trying to pluck agenda 21 to pieces. They even suggest that 21 group want to biohazard at lots of ppl to death for sort of “start over”. Is it any truth to this or is the same old Stuff that Americans are afraid for the evil “SOCIALISM” with stuff like public healthcare and such?
The UN is an international organization composed on all these career bureaucrats and international values and agenda’s. That means multilateral debate and compromise.. On the one hand the US has the biggest military investment world wide. It could literally win a conventional war with every single country, if destruction meant winning (which it doesn’t). The US doesn’t have any reason to engage in compromise and debate. It can dictate terms to everyone.
On face value, the UN is almost nothing. It is a very badly managed platform for international debate with some minor value for existing trade treaties. The world bank and WTO (which and at least acknowledged by the UN) is far more important than the UN itself. Plus a lot of really ghastly countries have a chair in the UN, and the US disdains the values of these countries. Hence the US holds the UN “instinctively” in contempt. Largely because it “disagrees” with them, “cultured people that know best”.
But what actually matters is that the US consumes wayyyy too much and polluted wayyy to much. At the core rich people in the US know the US is headed for “a big reset”. The dollar is on the way out. The trade has a gross imbalance. People in the US mostly stopped doing any meaningful progress. The US draws absurd economic gains from migration based slave labour. The US is milking patent and corporate law. The US (and anglo-saxon world) plays a depraved banking sector like the house Casino. The US fucks over most of the third world, sponsoring torturing regimes left and right – including the Saudi who still behead people. Yanno “they hug and kiss” psychopaths.
In essence the US is a corporate entity interested ONLY in the values of the rich ruling class. Democracy is a “rounding error” in the US, and for the rich an increasing nuisance. If the US were to listen to the UN calling for international equality, justice, human rights treaties, whatever, this would cost the US a lot of functional richness. The US doesn’t want to stop having a Great Party. UNA21 represents an extremely lean list of articles that pretty much makes sense if we want to keep this planet from completely going to shit. Which it is going seriously fast btw… However the Rich in the US don’t like it one bit, because basically it constrains them from treating the rest of the planet as their bitch to rape on a daily basis. It isn’t about “socialism”.
Fascist right wing dictatorship <.........> Oligarchy <...> Police State <...> The US <....................................................................................................> somewhat fair politics <........................> social democracy <............> sweden <.....................> socialism <............................................>left wing dictatorship
As some of you people know I don’t have a high income. In fact I feel I have a pretty lousy income. You may also know I often frequent events in other countries where I do presentations. Last year I still had a fairly decent laptop. Then I went to Tenerife for a project and one morning my laptop was just dead. The Tenerife adventure “didn’t really work for me”, so the nett effect was a loss of a laptop. That sucked pretty badly.
So now I am turning to my close to 1000 followers of Facebook and other social media with a plea for help. Without a laptop as a travel tool I regard myself as handicapped.
1. Can you all make me some suggestions on what laptop I should aim for .. (I am mostly windows compatible only)
2. Can people help me with some financial support for requisitioning a fresh laptop, *or* maybe has a spare “fairly robust” device she or he isn’t using and is willing to part on my behalf?
If people make me consistent suggestions (I am not very technical) and I get people making a promise for a donation I could (for example) put the most suitable laptop in my amazon wish list.
Sadly I have chosen not to use Paypal, a choice which was largely unavoidable.
Pic is create by me.
Voice sounds remarkably like that of my dearly departed friend Dan. Which is probably a coincidence.
Look, the article and book by Zoltan Istan is just a great story. I recommend buying the book. The basic premise of the book is quite sound – “religious and reactionary US extremists take over the nanny state apparatus of a United States wracked by failure and inadequacy, and crack down in a paroxysm of luddite psychosis against those progressives people are doing all the hyper-ambitious research that’ll change our lives for the better.” Yes this idea is sound. The US as a society is clearly a failure of long term ambition (progress) management, whereas the EU was a failure in that regard well in to the 20th century. Yes no society on our planet is doing pretty much OK right now. My personal theory is that big state isn’t a cause, it’s a symptom. The cause of all human woes, IMHO, is that we as a species (a) are not intelligent enough for certain levels of complex society, (b) we overbred because we could, yanno antibiotics, industrialized agriculture, fertilizers, cheap energy and (c) now we are running out of this cheap energy we don’t have anywhere the required societal management systems to cut down on the near infernal overconsumption we are facing in society. Nanny state isn’t the problem, it’s just how human leaders are – grandparent types who feel all bliss if they can give presents and play Santaclaus (The New Deal, Welfare, Pensions), but who are all curmudgeons once no one listens to them.
The disease we face as western society isn’t an asshat Dubya in charge, it’s the fact that the guy is bitter because he can’t party and rev the engines like His dad could, back in the old days when oil still cost 10$ a barrel. So when Zoltan writes about the State suddenly going McCarthy on Transhumanists, he does have a valid point.
However. I can give you a dozen other forces of persistent moronicism on this planet that gravitate towards the same pathology. Basicly Luddites who misconstrue progress with danger. And as far as bad goes, the State has actually become pretty irrelevant. Politicians all agree that right now the state is a substantially lesser force of constraint and repression than the corporate. So my stab at Zoltan’s monologue isn’t about me disagreeing – it is about me pointing to a whole ecology of other management cultures (other than conservative retarded political dumbasses with too much power) that are far more aggressive to “speculative experimental progress and practical futurism” than the state. I am a lot more worried about the confluence of status quo bankers than a bunch of reactionary xians.
[In Khannea SunTzu remarkable new novel she’ll never write – The NeoProgressive’s New Deal – the leader character, Cassandra Assange (Daughter of Julian Assange, born in 2003), is the target of literal micro drone assassination attempts, a vicious media campaign and endless incapacitating litigation. She became a political activist like her father in the mid 2020s, and now exemplifies the new counter-cultural ideal. Militantly lesbian and technoprogressive she gave birth of a clone of her wife, and her wife gave birth to a clone of Cassandra in the late 2020s. Shortly afterwards a microdrone (suspected of NAUS origine) crawled in to their apartment in Australia and her wife died. In part as a defensive response to this omnipresent threat Cassandra fled to Berlin with her barely surviving daughters and pursued a political career as part of the Pirate Party. As a highly visible and widely emulated media icon Cassandra rekindles the ANON movement in to “New Individualism” or NYM ideology).
Cassandra is a tall girl, standing at just over six feet. She is muscled from years of diving and long distance running in Australia and is in her late 20s. She has long braided hair woven with bright glowing strands and she is heavily tattooed with a dragon running down her shoulders. She is ferociously hated in the (former) United States, in part because of the political activities of her father (whom she barely met in life) and who was himself assassinated with Polonium isotope in 2016. Cassandra exemplifies anti-corporate culture and militant anti-capitalism. It isn’t even that she is any particular active or has any particularly strong convictions, but the symbolic value of her name and statements made the US ‘war on terror machine’ (now thirty years alive and as visibly a miserable failure as the earlier US wars) kick in to overdrive. Half the world renditions “terrorists” to the US by the thousands every year and Cassandra is high on the list to be “Guantanamoed”.
In the last few years Cassandra wrote a few books, and ran for the Pirates in Australia, Sweden and Germany when she was still in her early twenties. The moment she appears on the political radar she became effectively unable to travel outside Europe. As the US transforms in to the NAUS (now including former England, sans Scotland) and the European Union transforms in the European Alliance (now including Russia) at the end of the teens, Cassandra survives on running on a political ticket of staunch anti-Americanism. This includes the rainbow selection of very popular talking points, including banning human gene patents, governmental research in to life extension, renegotiating general intellectual properties completely, legalizing private of ownership of 3D printers and reorganizing the world financial sector.
Her 2028 decission to give birth to a GMO (genefixed) clone of her lover Melancholy ended her inheriting the label of “transhumanist”, a derogatory term in the continental US. In the late 2020s Transhumanism in the US was increasingly associated with “democracy”, another historical artifact that is not well appreciated in some circles, like “socialism” half a century earlier. So Cassandra finds her somewhat against her will to become the figurehead and symbol of a international anti-corporatism. And with result – one can get arrested in the CONUS wearing a ‘che’ T shirt with her face on it.
Upon Melancholy’s death Cassandra living in Europe has become inescapable. EA becomes her prison.. Cassandra flees Australia in the diplomatic mail, and settles in Berlin where she has a massive following. This increases political attacks on her, this time executed mainly by means litigation. Cassandra has a legal team that has to wade through hundreds of lawsuits between the years 2029 to 2031.
This is including completely irrational (but high profile) lawsuits that her appearance and styling are in large part based on the FoxNey CGI “eviscerator” game, franchise and movie characters of Cassie Deveraux
Cassandra now survives on political donations by means of BitCoin, which has embedded her firmly on the NAUS terror watch lists, as BitCoin violates the 2018 Amero union banking laws.
Her wife dead, one child partially paralyzed and one child emotionally traumatized by this barrage of state hatred, Cassie has fought depression for months and is now perfecting her survival strategy by running for the New Individualists block as a EA senator, spearheading a Pirate ticket. That decission diminishes the drone assassination attempts, but it made the legal and media attacks become a constant toxic background hiss.
Oddly, in 2031 the NAUS turns eager to talk to her.
The overtures starts subtly from Microsoft “intermediaries” and take weeks, like a baroque online dance. Everyone knows that MS AI’s are heavily intertwined with EA and NAUS state governance and that in effect MS executives are by and large NAUS State Department executives. The last attempt to browbeat her in to Parlay comes as subtle as would such attempts from Baron Harkonnen to discuss the art of Kanly with Duke Atreides have been.
But all this back and forth kinda makes sense, since Denver would be burning through a lot of state department money every month to go after her. Cassandra isn’t dismissive of meeting yet another suit, but she doesn’t see the Microsoft angle. Why would the US state seek to settle its case by entangling Microsoft in to the mix?
Cassandra, discusses this with her oddball cyberpunk media team, shrugs and agrees to a meeting in town. Getting there by limousine is acceptably unsafe but the risk was manageable. Lunch at Berlichingen, 12:30 PM with one PR executive Crowles.
If Cassie has any residual optimism regarding the get-together she abandons it completely when she looks at Crowles. He is Mister Dead Eyes, eerily similar to Udo Kier. The man seems to have been genetically bred to radiate contempt and to project intimidation. This isn’t anything like an olive branch. This man has come to her to break her spirit.
Crowles has elected to receive her seated in a private fumatorium room with table. He housed a Havana just before she enters. As she strides in he nods and he takes a long sip of his night black quadruple espresso. Cassandra catches the reflection of dead fish eyes in the coffee.
A sustainable minimum of pleasantries drifts back and forth. The ambiance is analogue to that of a Alcor Dewar. Crowles gets to business and his contempt as thinly disguised as a bloody uruk hai axe wrapped Furoshiki style.
“I am here to offer you a billion Amero, Miss Cassandra”, Crowles pipes as amicably as Dominican Nun in Inquisition Drag. “We will negotiate with third parties to abandon all attempts to harass you if you follow a certain list of steps precisely. ” Crowles gestures towards a coffee coloured DDR-style plastic binder. “It is quite simple. You retire from public office. ”
Cassandra blinks once. Crowles continued, after pausing for another lubricating sip of dark ooze of Tsathoggua.
“For you taking steps to disband your initiatives to become an Alliance senator. You might be wondering why we would invest a Billion, but rest assured, the current budget of these aforementioned third parties is bigger than this billion. We would desire nothing less than full administrative retirement and we will give you guarantees…”
(…A clear hint at where these drones were coming from…)
“..and you can live what’s left of your life in peace. The amount has been made available for you to deposit on BitCoin, as an amount linked to Amero. Swiss bank account. If you honor the terms of the agreement, you’ll get an ante of this reimbursement in the next months and once your decision becomes verifiably irreversible the remainder in a year. You may retire in the Alliance, we don’t care where, as long as you completely step away from public life. We suggest Greece. I hear Greece is the perfect ambiance for the likes of you. ”
Cassandra shirks being stunned for a moment, then regains her composure. All this is quite direct and downright rude. For the US state department a Billion Amero BC is not all that big an investment. These people use BC to bribe warlords and assets worldwide on a daily basis, since nobody outside the US is dumb enough accepts Amero. Bitcoin is very hard to percolate back to the US since it is next to impossible to exchange there, with these DHS banking laws in effect.
Outside the US a billion’s worth of BitCoin will allow her to buy several houses and live in obscene luxury for the rest of her life.
These deals are common all throughout the 2020s. Lots of people fell for these corporate offers, and even at that the BC equivalent of a Billion Amero was a very high offer to betray all she stands for.
Cassandra is actually tempted for a split second, but curiosity prevails.
“Show me your terms” she inquires maintaining detachment. Crowles smiles cautiously and breaks the seal on the binder. The artifact was 3D printed solely for her benefit, seal and all. The insides are all plastic cards that shimmers in holographics and thus are difficult to photograph unless from precisely the right angle and distance. Even then, Cassandra has attended the meeting without recording devices, as per agreement, and glances over at the terms of the offer.
Parts on Basic Income makes immediate sense. NAUS hates the popular basic income in the Alliance. The idea of basic income has been spreading – China, Japan, Australia, India, Brazil all offer their citizens a lean basic income and media agitators in the mainland US call it “populist democratism”.
There are some points on her abandoning her political struggles on Intellectual Property and patent laws and that was also to be expected.
An article on population growth quota. Fertility quota is a sensitive point for Americans, who still let in a few million highly educated ‘guest workers’ every year. Yanno, “pay taxes, wear a guest worker uniform, maybe become a citizen”, that sort of thing. The EA on ten other had has closed its borders and has applied population growth quota on all member states. In fact, that’s why Cassandra had originally agreed to ‘marry’ Mel – she didn’t want to constantly be slandered a racist. It is so easy to confuse birth quota with racist immigration policies.
Her father had pioneered these points in the mid teens as an Australian parliamentarian, nothing surprising there.
However… contract point 15. Distance herself publicly from transhumanism. Denounce ‘neo-eugenics’. Denounce the life-extension articles she was currently running on in Alliance parliament. She looks up at Crowles her face betraying her confusion.
“Oh I see you noticed a few key points” Crowles smiles like a shark
“..that’s why we offer a Billion. You may understand we have our own motives. Let’s not belabor these points, you may appreciate we have our motives in the US. Let’s keep it simple – we just don’t like people in the EA to make claims they are “progressive”. It is a tautology as far as I am concerned, and quite silly. I mean, seriously. The EA is a demographic mausoleum.
” Transhumanism … it is .. distasteful. Old modernist ideology, not that dissimilar from Communist utopianism. You are the most visible spokesperson of this outdated ideology world wide. We simply don’t like it. You have been hammering this Transhuman filth over here in the EA. You are associating New Individualism with Transhumanism. This whole notion has been a nuisance for us for decades as you may appreciate.
” Let’s be simple about it. Transhumanists are in essence hackers” (he states with a deeply menacing undertone) “and that means terrorists. Very simple. Transhumanists are hackers. They upset the established status quo. That means they are terrorists. Plain and simple. We dealt with hackers quite nicely – most of them are resident of the 52th state now.. ”
That was a reference to Cuba. Guantanamo.
” However you also have credibility in this distasteful field. Transhumanism is actually spreading in Russian EA. There are actual ‘Transhuman’ political parties there. If your european initiatives popularize these memes, it will signify a considerable annoyance for us. ”
Crowles looks closer, for full force of intimidation.
“Do realize the alternatives, Cassandra. Not take this deal and you’d live in your Berlin Bunker for the rest of your life as a Teleworking Senator riding a telepresence drone working 16 hours a day for a pitiful wage.
” Take this deal and you’d be living along the Greece Riviera in considerable luxury. Understand closely – the state department, and we at Microsoft and Monsanto we had enough of this nonsense of “birth quota” in the EU. We don’t want further research in to “life extension”. This expensive nonsense is hurting our medical patents.
” Seriously, what is this “life extension” doing? Just a few statistical years since the beginning of this century? – it is pitiful and it costs Alliance taxpayers billions. But those few extra years are breaking states world wide under the accumulating costs for pensions. And the measly extra 20 months gained by life extension are costing medical conglomerates billions, as people need ordinary medical treatments later.
” That is why a billion is a spare change for us, Cassandra. We get rid of you, we have you discredit and step away from this Transhumanism Science Fiction modernist nonsense, are all better off.
” We want things to remain as they are Miss Cassandra. The corporations of this planet need technological and scientific stability. People who fall in line. Predictable, not constantly disrupted by these chaotic new technologies or politicized utopian science.
” Young people should remain consumers, playing their little MS Dreamscape games all day. Keep them in food aid and labour reserve and please don’t start this nonsense of trying to give these dead end idiots a “basic income” for doing absolutely nothing and being available for forced labour or the military.
” What kind of democratist drivel is that? Who is going to pay for this democratist nonsense? Certainly not the corporate sector! And that’s our core point of this contract, Miss Cassandra. We want to nip this whole growing Basic Income nonsense in the bud. Giving useless bums a few hundred euro is already an affront to Capitalism and free markets. The advances you already made are inspiring similar initiatives in Britain – NAUS territory. England is NAUS now, despite of it still having ..” (whince) “…a parliament. We do not want this basic income and life extension nonsense to catch on in London.”
“Are you kidding me, Crowles?” Cassandra finally blurts out.
“Do I look like I’m kidding, Miss Assange?” Crowles eyes are especially icy.
Here’s a nice story.
Last year I spent a few days and nights in central San Francisco. I stayed in this hotel, just north of Tenderloin. It was a fairly rough neighborhood, coming from local hobbit ville frame of reference. I liked it all right and I had no issues there. The cops didn’t even bother me. I must have looked like a “harmless foreigner”. One night I went for a movie. Checking online I found Judge Dredd playing just around the corner. So imagine me walking in to a cinema in Dystopian SF and watching Judge Dredd.
Halfway the movie I got really in to it. It’s a pretty decent movie. And I forgot I was in the United States. No seriously, I was in a movie theater halfway across the planet from my home, watching an exciting movie and I literally forgot I was not in my country of residence. And I realized I was completely and utterly exhausted. I was thinking dreamily – “after the movie all it takes is a short bike ride and I’ll be home.” I was literally thinking what I might have in the fridge back home, maybe I could have a snack. I was looking forward to my own bed.
Movie ends. I shuffle out and fuck. It’s midnight in one of the most intense Dystopian cities on the planet, probably more intense neighborhood, after watching hyper-violence Judge Dredd. I swear, I almost went bad right there right then. Walking back to the Hotel felt a little .. uncomfortable.