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rhett o rick

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Member since: Fri Apr 22, 2005, 01:05 PM
Number of posts: 42,719

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I am glad you posted this. I welcome a discussion of authoritarianism.

So let’s chat about authoritarianism. I recommend the book, “The Authoritarians,” by Bob Altemeyer. I think it important for further discussions re. authoritarianism.

Common definitions of authoritarian include:

“Characteized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom.
Of or relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite.”

When Snowden stepped forward to expose possible violations of law and our Constitution he was greeted by those that immediately wanted him arrested and punished. They made it clear that they supported the “authority” of the NSA. They, at that time, derided those (anti-authoritarians) that cried for investigations and further discussion. They disparaged those calling for open-mindedness and skepticism. They did not want further investigations or oversight. So at that time there were two basic points of view.

One point of view wanted to blindly believe that the “authorities” were not violating the law. In fact some actually came out and said, “The NSA is not violating the law.” This is important because this point of view was convinced that the “authorities” were above the need for review. It characterized those calling for investigations and transparency as having “hair on fire” and were racist among other ridiculous labels, seemingly desperate to stifle discussion. This point of view clearly meets the definition of authoritarianism.

The “anti-authoritarian” point of view (as labeled in the OP) believed that the revelations of Snowden indicated that review and more transparency was needed. This is not blindly following authority; in fact this view was skeptical of authority as open-minded people know that authority can be corrupted, especially if operating in secrecy.

The OP states that the anti-authoritarian point of view tried to stifle honest discussion (looks like projection to me). Well, it’s not too late. I would love to have an honest discussion. I would love to see the arguments of those that don’t agree with the anti-authoritarian point of view. I posted an OP that laid out what I thought was the non-anti-authoritarian’s arguments and the non-anti-authoritarians tried to get it locked. I can see that maybe I didn’t make a good case for the non-anti-authoritarians. So please lay out your arguments.

In a Democracy it is the people’s responsibility to be skeptical of authority. Authoritarianism and democracy don’t mix.

Below are the arguments of those that support the NSA over Snowden's revelations*.

There is no spying, Snowden's girl friend is a pole dancer.

There is no spying because Snowden broke the law.

There is no spying because a warrant is required (and we know the NSA wouldn’t try to get around that).

This might reflect badly on Pres Obama, therefore Snowden, Greenwald, Ms. Valerie Plame, and Sen Wyden are racists.

The NSA isnt really looking at the data, only collecting it. And it's only meta-data after all.

Snowden isnt telling us anything we didnt know. (so he should be thrown in prison?)

Gen Clapper didnt really lie, well maybe just a little lie. When he said the NSA wasnt spying he really meant they werent looking thru keyholes. Collecting and analyzing data isn’t really spying. Pres Clinton could have taken a lesson from Gen Clapper on how to lie to Congress and get away with it.

Pres Obama says they arent reading emails. (“they” refers to him and Bo)

Snowden is a traitor because he is giving China and Russia all our secrets but he doesnt have enough to prove the NSA is spying. (I know that sounds confusing but trust me I know I know the truth, I got it from CNN)

The Constitution no longer applies because we have new technologies. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t even mention e-mails.

The NSA says we are reading emails but only of foreign suspects.

Warrants arent necessary for meta data, phone logs, Google searches, library reading lists, or anything else so deemed.

We need the spying to assure our safety. Dog bless Generals Clapper and Alexander.

The NSA says we are reading emails but only of foreign suspects and those in America they correspond with.

The NSA doesn’t do anything w/o a warrant. And the warrant they have authorizes spying on everything, anytime, on anyone. (At least it’s legal)

The President says that America needs the discussion that Snowden brings to daylight. (not sure he actually mentioned Snowden by name) He added that "we" still arent spying on Americans. (not sure who he included with his “we”, maybe he and Bo again)

The $100 billions we pay to Booz-Allen is worth the secret "something" that might make us safer.

The NSA says they are reading emails but only of foreign suspects, those they correspond with and those they correspond with. Sorry, lost track of how many "bumps" the NSA has admitted to spying on but I think it’s like 100 million persons and 20 million dogs.

The President says we are lucky to live in America where we can freely speak of possible Constitutional violations by our government. And he would gladly demonstrate such if he could only get his hands on Snowden. There is no greater reward than a lifetime of solitary confinement.

The President says “they” (he, Gen Clapper, Gen Alexander, and Gen ) will investigate and take the proper actions in secret, of course. And when it’s all over, he will be able to assure us that “they” aren’t spying on us. (can you spell déjà vu?)

Did I mention Snowden dated a girl that was a pole dancer.

* Subject changed as advised.

The court hasnt had a chance to rule on what Booz-Allen is doing today. We arent even sure.

We need to find out. Or I guess we could pretend it's ok and concentrate on Snowden.

I dont care about whether the OP is facts or not, because it has nothing to do with the major issue that the Republicans want to hide and Democrats want to investigate.

I dont care if it's a fact that Snowden wears boxers and not briefs. His character has absolutely nothing to do with what we need to be doing now.

Who is collecting personal data on Americans?

How much data is being collected?

What are the sources of the data?

Is all of the data being compiled and analyzed?

Who has access to the data?

Is the FISA court providing honest oversight?

Is Congress providing meaningful oversight?

These are a few of the questions we should be discussing, not what kind of a person Snowden is.

Maybe I miss it, but seems to me that one of the big elephants in the room is Booz-Allen.

Why arent we looking closer at them. It appears that one of their lower level employees had access and stole a very large amount of data. Why did he have unrestricted access? Why has his supervisor not been questioned? Just what is the relationship between Booz-Allen and those that are in charge of our intelligence agencies? Who owns Booz-Allen? Do they do business with foreign governments? Do they store data or just have access?

The American Dream – Used to be an average American family wanted

a 40 hour per week job for the bread winner with two weeks vacation, a couple of kids, a modest house to own in 20 years, money for the kid’s college, and a modest retirement allotment.

That dream started to die in the 1970’s with the rise of the Conservative Conspiracy (please forgive the use of the C-word but it’s true, but that’s another OP).

Today the American dream is to win the lottery and be one of the 1%. One of the beautiful people we are bombarded with every day on Corp-Media.

Lotteries are the most repressive form of taxation. They get their money from those who can least afford it.

The new American dream – If you want to escape poverty, buy a lottery ticket and pray.

But a lot of people are suggesting that we need to take a hard look at this.

And stop fussing about Snowden and Greenwald.







This is clearly no longer based on Snowden's paranoid fears. The list is getting longer and longer.

This is exactly what I want to know. If you notice the spy machine we have incl Clapper, etc. is

essentially the same machine Bush had. I think when Obama got into office he was told that there was this massive spy machine in place keeping us safe and he best not mess with it.

Who makes up the ruling cabal? When Boosh was figurehead I thought that Cheney was one of the men behind the curtain. But his actions in late 2007 made me change my mind. Someone told him to back off. Seems to me that most of the spy guys and military leaders, and hell even economic leaders transcend presidents. How much of a figurehead is our president?

Pfc Bradley Manning Must Be Pilloried to Maintain the USofA’s Authoritarian Rule

The USofA is the big authoritarian (bully) on the block. Our government invades countries killing tens, even hundreds of thousands of innocents, kills suspected terrorists in other countries without permission of the sovereign nation’s government, spies on everyone including it’s own citizens, and in general acts like the big bully of the world. Why? Because they can.

As the big bully they cant let those that dare to look behind the curtain go free. Whistle-blowers and protestors have to be punished, but not only punished, they have to be crushed, brutalized to set an example (code for terrorize) the 99% into toeing the line.

Sadly there are those among us, the conservatives, that must stand by the authoritarian leadership. They defend the authoritarian leadership to a fault. Some may ask why do people voluntarily follow these authoritarian leaders?
Here is an explanation from Bob Altemeyer’s book, The Authoritarian Specter.

(Follower) Authoritarians believe that proper authorities should be trusted to a great
extent and deserve obedience and respect. They believe that these are important
virtues which children should be taught and that if children stray from
these principles, parents have a duty to get them back in line. Right-wing
authoritarians would ordinarily place narrow limits on people's rights to criticize
authorities. They tend to assume that officials know what is best and that
critics do not know what they are talking about. They view criticism of authority
as divisive and destructive, motivated by sinister goals and a desire to
cause trouble. Authoritarians believe, to a considerable extent, that established
authorities have an inherent right to decide for themselves what they
may do, including breaking the laws they make for the rest of us.

Sadly we see a lot of “Follower Authoritarians” right here in DU City.

The Authoritarian Specter is available for free here: http://patrick-fournier.com/d/cours3-6607.pdf

Yes I blow by those facts because it really means that he didnt follow the system. That's the point

the system is rigged. Rigged to hide the truth, rigged to keep those that want to reveal the truth quiet. I believe in law and order, but I also believe that it should be equally enforced. When I see the 1% Ruling Elite not being held accountable for heinous crimes, I have a hard time rationalizing that we should punish those that are trying to expose the Emperor without clothes.

In my opinion, those that are so very adamant for Manning and other whistle-blowers to be punished and punished severely, is because they are comfortable with the authoritarian power structure. Whistle-blowers and protestors dare to challenge this structure. This is the conservative mind-frame. They can forgive the misdeeds of the leader authoritarians but not the misdeeds of those that dare to try to reveal that their Emperor has no clothes.

The conservatives want Manning to spend life in prison because that's the most severe punishment society will allow. They long for the days they could get a rope and really teach him a lesson.

I recommend the book, The Authoritarians free here: http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf
Posted by rhett o rick | Thu Jun 6, 2013, 08:58 AM (1 replies)

OWS is not the movement. It is but a part of the movement.

It's time to choose sides in the movement, support the Ruling Elite or Support the People's Movement.

Declaration of Occupation from the New York General Assembly:

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Posted by rhett o rick | Sun Jun 2, 2013, 06:03 PM (0 replies)
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