Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 20,562
Number of posts: 20,562
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Unfortunately, the Snowden disclosures have not (yet) done "tremendous damage" to the "Western" "intelligence" agencies. Or barely any. Very unfortunate.
These authoritarian deep-state structures and their private corporate allies like Booz Allen remain firmly ensconced in their power. In every conceivable way, they continue to violating the rights and damage the interests of the very people they claim to be defending, as well as helping to create hell and destruction around the world, and thus to generate the very same "security threats" that they claim to be defending against.
We can hope, of course, that as a result of the Snowden disclosures, at some point down the line, others will be similarly inspired, and some real damage will be done to these fraudulent, criminal organizations.
We can hope for their eventual abolition, so that this country may one day truly serve as a light unto the world in inspiring other nations to also shake free of such parasitical, conspiratorial, criminal, and yet: state-financed agencies.
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Feb 24, 2014, 03:52 PM (0 replies)
Please learn to read what I wrote, before misrepresenting it with a non-sequitur question like that.
I said something about what the Dow is, both inherently and as an indicator of something positive (which you seem to think it is). It indicates nothing other than the current market value of 30 mega-death corporations chosen by NewsCorp as indicative of something important. These are big parts of the much bigger machine that is melting the icecaps and driving what is probably the biggest extinction event in the history of life. To focus on the triviality of their current market price is the problem, not the solution.
Golly gee, do a lot of voters nevertheless care about that crap more than they do about their own lives, and those of their children and grandchildren? On some level, yes. Or they are willfully ignorant. Either way they do.
Your response - that I was actually expressing an opinion about how people who own stock should vote, and somehow magically without actually saying so - is bizarre, and speaks to obsessions of yours so strongly held that you can't even read what anyone wrote except in terms of party strategy, apparently divorced from any principle or the most important issues facing us.
The Democrats are not a successful liberal party. That's what they were up until the 1970s (domestically, anyway, notwithstanding their support for the international murder machine that killed millions in Vietnam and elsewhere).
At the moment, they are a successful, for now, neoliberal party. Very big difference, and highly unfortunate. They would be serving us better in the wilderness, if they were actually going to be a liberal party when elected.
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Feb 24, 2014, 03:44 PM (0 replies)
What about the majority-minority blocks within the minority-majority areas? Partition is a great long-term solution a) if you are a very naive liberal humanitarian who's barely conscious of the ineherent imperialism in your proposal; or b) if you are CIA looking to plunge Ukraine, and Russia, and Europe, into a decade of ethnic cleansing and proxy war based on obtuse categories taken from the irrational and outdated handbook of traditional beliefs. What about all the people who don't identify strongly either way, or, e.g., who think of themselves as Russian-speaking Ukrainians, or global citizens, or whatever? I suppose they can just be given the same choices as those who in 1991 thought of themselves as Yugoslavians, and believed they had escaped the old ethno-religious matrices: join, run, or die.
Posted by JackRiddler | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 11:14 AM (0 replies)
As the right-wing oligarchs once again attempt to violently destabilize the democratically elected government of Venezuela, check out the crudity of the propaganda being pumped out in the attempt to sell their revolt as some kind of popular uprising that is being brutally suppressed by dictatorial forces, etc., etc.
The bastards even had the nerve to steal the extremely well-known picture of the Egyptian woman murdered in the street by police in Cairo and present it as a Venezuelan event:
For many more examples of pictures from around the world being appropriated and falsely presented as scenes from Venezuela, see:
The real question is, what kind of "opposition" imagines that this kind of crude tactic can work in the digital age when we have such wonders as reverse image searches?
Is the CIA still stuck in the 1950s?
The answer, possibly, is that they don't really care:
It's all about keeping the blood boiling with a core of right-wing anti-socialist Venezuelans and their lobby in one country, the United States, which is known for having a really stupid political culture where people will believe fucking anything, and which is providing the "international" financing and backing for the so-called Venezuelan "opposition."
There are a few such supporters of the next CIA coup attempt in Venezuela who post daily on this site, by the way. Whatever the latest lie of the day, they will be supporting it.
The irony is that this is the Venezuelan counterpart to the Tea Party "birth certificate seekers" who will believe any hysteria and make up any lie about Obama.
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Feb 17, 2014, 06:38 PM (80 replies)
While you focus on asking extremely loaded questions with patently false premises--as though you were echoing the authoritarian state's campaign to attack and neutralize Greenwald--the big question is, whether you, Demenace, should be murdering little kittens by drowning them in the river near your house. If indeed that is what you are doing.
Posted by JackRiddler | Wed Feb 5, 2014, 03:23 PM (1 replies)
Do pregnant pot smokers go around violently poking kids in the head? Or do they blow the smoke at the poor darlings? Because those are the only realistic possibilities implied by the syntax.
"The Institute's Professor Tibor Harkany was part of a global team of scientists looking into what effects consuming cannabis during pregnancy had on the unborn child."
Global team research money well spent! At last, someone's figuring out things we would have never known. The campaign by the state and the medical establishment to encourage pregnant women to smoke pot and cigarettes and chug liquor with their legally mandated prozac must stop!!! We need PSAs!!! Lady, don't smoke! (Also, keep those damn pot dealers in prison and keep funding the Mexican and Colombian states to kill thousands of their own citizens in the war on drugs. For the children!!!)
"In addition to researchers from Sweden and Austria, researchers from the US, Germany, Finland and the UK took part in the study."
Who paid for them to torture all those mice?
(The usual answer, no matter which institutes and foundations may have chipped in, is going to be: taxpayers.)
Posted by JackRiddler | Thu Jan 30, 2014, 08:56 AM (0 replies)
"Social investing" and "public and private partnership work" are weasely euphemisms. An outfit like Goldman Sachs doesn't do anything of the sort. It does some public relations to put the perfume on the dogshit, and engages in social engineering to shape society in its interests.
Isn't compartmentalization grand? Anyone who chooses to work at the firm responsible for running up oil and food prices and causing worldwide hunger in 2008 doesn't get excuses, even if she had nothing to do with those activities.
Goldman Sachs is a criminal organization deriving hyperprofit from actions of global piracy, plunder and effectively mass murder. No one person runs the show, various functions are undertaken in making possible the eventual bottom line. A key part of that is distracting from the criminality by engaging on the side in some ostensible charity to a few of the victims of capitalism. Blunting potential opposition by spreading a bit of money around, especially in New York. However, after Goldman's immense atrocity became so internationally prominent during the crisis, I would have respected someone willing to walk away from the perks of such a job by making her resignation as loud as possible. But then she wouldn't be considered for new jobs in management positions, would she now?
Goldman Sachs, of course, shouldn't exist. It should have been liquidated along with the other TBTFs in 2008. Instead they were rescued at an enormous expense to the public, so that they could emerge more powerful and more enabled to engage in mass crime than before. Did they throw some obols afterwards at the worthy poor? Was this lady one who got to put a smile on the affair?
New York City has hundreds of CEOs of housing and development groups that aren't Goldman Sachs to choose from. Your assertion that she's the only one for the job is ludicrous! Such an appointment is a signal to the ruling class and everyone else who doesn't have blinders on that it will be business as usual with at best the appearance of reform, just like Bratton -- just like the choice of Rahm Emanuel by Obama as his first appointment.
Tale of two cities. Where's the other one?
Posted by JackRiddler | Wed Dec 25, 2013, 12:12 PM (1 replies)
Here's a swimsuit photo:
Wish her looks were the only thing to worry about with her.
Your implicit assumption that there is one measure of "attractive" that allows you to categorize one woman as attractive, and another as unattractive, and assume that everyone will take these assessments as self-evident, and to do so in such a public form without regard for the response, is just one of the things that makes you and your post so singularly unattractive.
But maybe you can still get away with the "sorry, I was drunk" excuse.
I too fantasize about women all the time. The difference is to know who wants to hear about it.
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 07:41 PM (0 replies)
Free speech is protection from having your writing, speaking or ideas censored or restricted by the government, and ideally from other authorities that may have an actual physical or legal power to prevent you altogether from publishing or public speaking.
Free speech is not a protection from the opinions of others or from others' responses to your opinions. In fact, such a protection is contrary to the idea of free speech. If you talk, you'll also have to hear. That's the free speech of others. If everyone doesn't have it, it's meaningless.
Free speech also does not extend to the editorial policy of publications. It does not mean you get to speak as you like in the New York Times, in the Socialist Worker, on Al Jazeera, or even on the far more open platform known as Democratic Underground.
Sometimes this can be so awfully unfair, how media editors and producers behave, and often it contributes to hegemonic power structures. But as long as they don't gag, fine, arrest or otherwise prevent you from speaking or publishing, they aren't violating your human right to free speech.
I do believe a modern idea of free speech must extend to the freedom for all people to have and run their own sites on the Internet as they see fit. For example, no one's stopping you from finding a Manly Man's Club on this world-wide web and pecking away all of your complaints about the womens to your heart's (or dick's) delight. And it's essential that these be indexed. In a sense, Google is taking over the function of an authority with the power to censor. I think if they kept your problem with women off their index, that would be a form of censorship, because then no one would be able to find your bitter rants who was actually looking for them. But DU doing so (which of course it has not) would not remotely approach that standard.
Posted by JackRiddler | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 04:34 PM (1 replies)
Back in October, when the NSA claimed that their bulk surveillance program had figured in preventing 50+ terrorist plots, the only example they presented in any detail turned out to be one where human intelligence alone did the job. NSA's bulk surveillance had nothing to do with catching the suspects in that case.
You gotta wonder how they couldn't manufacture anything better!
If this was the best they could do, perhaps it was an act of contempt. Perhaps they were telling us that yes, they are full of bullshit, but enough people believe them or don't care so that nothing will change.
What are you going to do about it?
But first, let's consider another question that arises.
Since it's value as a protection against "terrorism" is butkus, what is the actual function of the NSA?
I propose four answers:
(1) Industrial Policy:
For ideological reasons, the U.S. pretense is that the government does not subsidize technological development. This is supposed to be one of the worst Sins Against Capitalism. Industrial policy is something that the Socialist Europeans and Chinese Commies do. We just have a "market" that accomplishes everything by magic.
Now of course U.S. governments have always subsidized R&D. That is necessarily how most R&D happens in the capitalist and imperialist powers, regardless of all our myths about lone geniuses and courageous private entrepreneurs. Outfits like NSA and DARPA (previously ARPA) have paid to develop computing and telephony going back to the Bell Labs days. Directly or indirectly, Top Secret America has spawned the basis for the WWW, Oracle, Cisco, Apple, MS, Google, Facebook, Paypal, etc.
Industrial policy, an indispensable component of modern capitalism, is implemented in the form of a so-called "security agency" that subsidizes industries but does not actually provide any security. In fact, it's part of a larger military-industrial-intelligence apparatus that makes enemies. And if it doesn't make enough enemies, it makes them up.
(2) Blanket Surveillance For Clients:
A general surveillance apparatus of Americans, Earthians and all of their businesses and corporations, with all of the power and benefits for those who have access to it that such an apparatus implies.
For those who have access -- including the private contractors -- an enormous advantage, with the ability to manipulate, blackmail and own politicians, officials, corporate CEOs and other key figures around the world.
Such information can be accessed and used covertly, without needing to go through protocols, warrants, court orders, etc. The target under threat need not know what the source is, only that the targeter has the troublesome information. And that's just in the case of blackmailing someone. A company can be outmaneuvered, find that its secrets have been stolen, or be hit by trading with insider information, all without having any clue how its competitors or antagonists got the information.
This is the kind of power that is allowed to the likes of Booz Allen Hamilton and its friends. (Oh wait, there are access limits monitored by software and no one can do a search without oversight being aware, ha ha.)
Congress, the main body with an ostensible oversight function, would be an obvious target for such surveillance attacks. As if this is necessary given its general abdication from responsibility and fearful kowtow to the god of "security," and the fact that only a handful of committed, bought and sold properties of the MIC like Feinstein get to be in the leadership positions of the responsible committees, and thus have substantive access if they want to use it.
(3) Getting Rich:
The system of course makes a lot of money for the contractors and, importantly, their executives and consultants, the decision makers and policy framers.
NSA and other "Top Secret America" officials go through the revolving door after an early retirement from "service" and are recruited by the contractors as very high-paid "consultants" and the like, so that the system becomes a massive self-licking ice-cream cone. It is the equal of Wall Street in corruption and self-deceiving justifications - and, fatally, fully unaccountable power.
To further justify it, it creates all those wonderful jobs jobs jobs. Many thousands of them, but not millions like a real manufacturing sector would. You have to ask, so what? We could be paying a far higher number of people just as well to put up solar panels and wind turbines and make electric cars, damn it.
It's hard not to think of this as the most important factor. Money is a huge motivator, but I believe it also needs an ideological and emotional justification, because most people don't like to think they're power-mongering assholes out only for themselves. (The ones who don't mind, the sociopaths, are the most dangerous, most able to disguise themselves to everyone else, and tend to succeed very well and rise to the top in such a system.)
(4) Satisfying Ideological Needs:
All institutions require an internal morality, a religion. For the military-industrial-intel complex this is going to have to be a lie, since these agencies and industries are superfluous, parasitic, destructive, and actually cause most of the problems they purport to address. They have become a dictatorship over a separate, extraconstitutional realm of government -- a parallel state that provides "security" against "enemies" and is thus expected by definition to break laws and "Do business with unsavory characters."
So there is a nearly totalitarian but seemingly sincere ideology in place, and most of the operators, the non-sociopaths, presumably believe it in earnest. They usually become fanatic about it. Everything they do is justified, and much worse will be justified besides, because all this is all necessary to protect "Americans" and help America -- oh beloved land of the free! -- to survive in a perpetual death-struggle against World Communism.
Sorry! Terrorism! I meant World Terrorism.
(Communism, where did that come from?)
And this is the system that Snowden and the earlier whistleblowers have begun to expose, at sacrifice to themselves. They are the ones who need defense from progressives and all people of good conscience -- not the NSA!
Posted by JackRiddler | Sun Dec 22, 2013, 11:34 PM (28 replies)