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Name: Jim
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Member since: Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Between this and being under Obama's spell already, you can be rendered senseless

quickly, and turned into a good and compliant little bot without even knowing it. Dare I say some are already there?

As long as you are part of the herd of the good sheppard, there is nothing to fear, including all those canines he uses for herd cohesion. Right?

Put differently, George Orwell isn’t who you should be reading to understand the dangers inherent to the NSA’s dragnet. You’d be better off turning to famous French social theorist Michel Foucault. (I wouldn't disregard Orwell, or Huxley either)

The basic concern with the PRISM program is that it is undoubtedly collecting information on significant numbers of Americans, in secret, who may not have any real connection to the case the Agency is pursuing. PRISM sifts through tech giants’ databases to cull information about suspected national security threats. However, since it uses a 51 percent confidence threshold for determining whether a target is foreign, and likely extends to individuals that are “two degrees of separation” from the original target, the chances are extraordinarily high that this program is spying on a significant number of Americans.

A citizenry that’s constantly on guard for secret, unaccountable surveillance is one that’s constantly being remade along the lines the state would prefer. Foucault illustrated this point by reference to a hypothetical prison called the Panopticon. Designed by utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the Panopticon is a prison where all cells can be seen from a central tower shielded such that the guards can see out but the prisoners can’t see in. The prisoners in the Panopticon could thus never know whether they were being surveilled, meaning that they have to, if they want to avoid running the risk of severe punishment, assume that they were being watched at all times. Thus, the Panopticon functioned as an effective tool of social control even when it wasn’t being staffed by a single guard.

In his famous Discipline and Punish, Foucault argues that we live in a world where the state exercises power in the same fashion as the Panopticon’s guards. Foucault called it “disciplinary power;” the basic idea is that the omnipresent fear of being watched by the state or judged according to prevailing social norms caused people to adjust the way they acted and even thought without ever actually punished. People had become “self-regulating” agents, people who “voluntarily” changed who they were to fit social and political expectations without any need for actual coercion.

Online privacy advocates have long worried that government surveillance programs could end up disciplining internet users in precisely this fashion. In 1997, the FBI began using something called Project Carnivore, an online surveillance data tool designed to mimic traditional wiretaps, but for email. However, because online information is not like a phone number in several basic senses, Carnivore ended up capturing far more information than it was intended to. It also had virtually no oversight outside of the FBI.


Time to Bell the Obama Cat (and to end the growing hopelessness)

unlike many, I've long thought that the abandonment of the dem party for a new one or existing third party is a grave mistake


despite being merely a dem voter as opposed to a supporter to the extent many here no doubt have been. I'll take the good cop with the kind words over the bad cop with the phone book anyday. The best scenario however, remains never finding oneself in the interrogation room, or in the situation before us, to minimize the differences between what we want and our elected leaders will fight for.

I think the author has it exactly right here

For progressives, there’s not a lot to be gained by venting against Obama without working to implement a plausible strategy for ousting corporate war Democrats from state power. Nor is there a useful path for third parties like the Green Party in races for Congress and other partisan contests; those campaigns rarely end up with more than a tiny percentage of the vote, and the impacts are very small.

This spring, there’s a lot of work beckoning for progressives who mean business about gaining electoral power for social movements; who have no intention of eliding the grim realities of the Obama presidency; who are more than fed up with false pretenses that Obama is some kind of ally of progressives; who recognize that Obama has served his last major useful purpose for progressives by blocking a Romney-Ryan regime from entering the White House; who are willing to be here now, in this historical moment, to organize against and polarize with the Obama administration in basic terms; and who, looking ahead, grasp the tragic folly of leaving the electoral field to battles between right-wing Republicans and Democrats willing to go along with the kind of destructive mess that President Obama has been serving up.

This is why I've thought BHO can be thanked for his recent effort, because of the potential it has for exploitation for new and better dems to use in primaries in 2014 to identify and hopefully prevail over. I also think this is right as well.

Obama’s move to cut Social Security is certainly outrageous, and it’s encouraging that a wide range of progressive groups are steamed at Obama as never before. But this kind of outrage should have reached a “boiling point” a long time ago. The administration’s undermining of civil liberties, scant action on climate change, huge escalation of war in Afghanistan, expansion of drone warfare, austerity policies serving Wall Street and shafting Main Street, vast deference to corporate power. . . The list is long and chilling.

Call the SS move a crossing of the rubicon, or going a bridge too far, straw that broke..., etc, but regardless, it certainly has the potential for my fav, a "Network Moment" from and with which we can let the corporatists/corporate-lite crew in the dem leadership ranks know "we aren't going to take it anymore!". It's well past time docility was replaced with outrage, the Orwellian nature of so much revealed, and the Huxleyan distractions abandoned or ignored, and replacing it with the "work" called for. http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/08/who-was-right-huxley-or-orwell/

This is a time for improvements or repairs, not switching vehicles to a new one we can't afford -- like giving rightwingnuts supremacy in the elections in the short term -- and that offers no guarentees we'll ever reach the desired destination should we ever get the keys.

Let the games begin

I'd say the key to victories in 2014 lie in both a litmus test for all dems running, and in their also doing a better job of countering this kinda BS, even if that means those running being critical of and willing to tarnish the pres by noting it's something he and the repubs have shown a "willingness" to own.

BLITZER: Well, let's talk about these proposed changes that the president is putting forward when it comes to Social Security and Medicare, the shocking proposals that you say the president's putting forward that could affect seniors. What's so shocking about changing that CPI, that consumer price index the way that you would determine how much inflation would go ahead with increases for Social Security recipients, for example?
WALDEN: Well, once again, you're trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors and I just think it's not the right way to go.

And here he is on the Medicare cuts:

Well, I thought it very intriguing in that the budget really lays out kind of a shocking attack on seniors, if you will. And we haven't seen all the detail yet, and we'll look at it, but I'll tell you, when you're going after seniors the way he's already done on Obamacare, taking $700 billion out of Medicare to put into Obamacare, and now coming back at seniors again, I think you're crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine, certainly, and around the country. I think he's going to have a lot of pushback from some of the major senior organizations on this and Republicans, as well.
Gee, who could have foreseen that line of attack from Republicans? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/10/1200768/-GOP-campaign-chairman-calls-chained-CPI-trying-to-balance-the-budget-on-the-backs-of-nbsp-seniors?detail=hide

As a somewhat old OWS preemie, I'm unsurprised by recent revelations

The good cop/bad cop tactics of our pols in DC in particular has always been as obvious as the increased craziness of the rightwingers since Bush took the helm.

The reason why the OWS never formally chose a party side in this battle is because both sides have in varying degrees, been part of the underlying and continuing social injustice problems largely tethered to the wealth/income inequality issue. Saint Raygun launched the rocket that has made the disparity sky high, and every pres since, dem and repub alike, have had a hand in boosting it. http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/10/income-inequality-america

This is also why I suggested to those so highly critical of those being critical of BHO's apparent "willingness" to put SS on the chopping block, before and after the election, that they should refrain from all the name-calling, label assignments, etc, because inevitably they'd find themselves in a distinct minority given the high likelihood he'd do what he's done, and because on a very fundamental level and in a very real way, most of us on the left that congregate here are OWSers, particularly we older ones who've lived all the aforementioned history.

It's his willingness to put it on the chopping block that has damned him, whether you believe that willingness has it's origin in an honest desire stemming from his "Third way" nature, or because he's "bluffing" with the lives and risking potential human misery to be suffered by our fellow citizens with gamesmenship. Whether or not the rightwingnuts call his bliff doesn't change the fact that he's willing to do it, unless of course he's lying about that, which leaves only the supporting of a liar and a lie, and conceding that the rightwingers don't have a monopoly on the use of "the ends justify the means" BS that underlies all their lying. http://www.thenation.com/blog/173703/nothing-new-under-wingnut-sun-minoritarianism That's one of the few things Saint Raygun got right -- his observation that morality and politics are inseparable, and as I've long seen and argued it, it is the differences in morality between the left/right ideologies that plays an intregal role in and best explains in large part, the mysterious workings of the modern rightwingnut brain in terms of their fact/science/etc denials. They simply can't be wrong when their goals are always "right", even today when from a popularity standpoint, it's the wrong time to be on the right or pushing modern rightwingnut policies.

And it bears mentioning as well, much like the bluffer at the poker table, he's "willing" to risk the loss, but only to others in this case, given the state of his financial security. The only thing he's risking is the quality of his legacy, which I'd always hoped would be enough to avoid where we are today, but never put all my eggs in that basket.

Given all that, I am pleased that BHO has sought to cut or diminish the juice going to the third rail, because it should serve as a learning experience for those lacking in sufficient vision to see the big picture, which includes and really is or should be all about those who are and are not served in adequate measure and ways by our leaders in DC, not cheerleading for the home team that is increasing becoming a fale choice at worst, or one between the lesser of two evils at best. Had it not been for the Lewinsky affair, perhaps more eyes could have been opened to all of this back in the waning days of the Clinton admin. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=clinton%20ss%20and%20lewinsky&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffiredoglake.com%2F2010%2F05%2F18%2Fhow-monica-lewinsky-saved-social-security-clinton-gingrich-bowles-and-the-pact%2F&ei=JzxkUeifAcLOyAHtoIGIAw&usg=AFQjCNHuiBTHssw01nPTGA487QqO7Iyyhg&bvm=bv.44990110,d.aWc

So can I get a "Well done, BHO!"?

I'd like to celebrate BHO's successful duping of so many

into thinking he'd never ever consider putting SS on the table. It looks like the alleged ODS-sufferers and BHO-haters got it right on that one, assuming the ink is dry on his budget now. For a guy who asked that we keep his feet to the fire, he sure did inspire some of his supporters to fight some of us doing that with "tooth and nail", didn't he?

It includes a cut to Social Security benefits — "chained C.P.I.," which would change how benefit increases are indexed such that they would grow more slowly in most circumstances — that is regarded as anathema to Obama's progressive base.

Personally I think the cart was put a bit ahead of the horse on this one. Wouldn't an announcement that he's gonna approve the Keystone pipleline too before this announcement have been appropriate?

And what's with all the hinting? Is he trying to avoid disappointment overload on the part of too many?

Obama Hints at Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline at SF Fundraiser, Blames Middle Class Priorities

I'm thrilled that the president is considering safety net cuts in his budget

because as we all know, "considering" isn't actually doing it.

I think it's important that doubting Thomas be left with something to hang onto besides all that hope that must be getting stale by now.

Well, Obama really is going to try to cut Social Security and Medicare. No, it's not a clever ploy -- unless you count the part where he's counting on you thinking that.

So here it is: The biggest trial balloon of them all in this morning's Wall St. Journal. Get your dialing fingers ready. There's a reason they let this story out on Good Friday, they're counting on you not noticing or being too busy to do anything about it. The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414, the comments line is 202-456-1111 (be prepared to hold) or you can email here.

WASHINGTON—The White House is strongly considering including limits on entitlement benefits in its fiscal 2014 budget—a proposal it first offered Republicans in December. The move would be aimed in part at keeping alive bipartisan talks on a major budget deal.

Such a proposal could include steps that make many Democrats queasy, such as reductions in future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security payments, but also items resisted by Republicans, such as higher taxes through limits on tax breaks, people close to the White House said.


there's wmd, and then there's wmd.

In evaluating who believed what individually or country-wise prior to the reintroduction of inspectors as a result of UNSC res 1441 (which came a month after the Iraq AUMF) it's critically important to determine specifically what they believed, given that the likelihood of the war being sold absent any nuclear threat from them were practically nil. Another "Desert Fox" maybe, but a full scale invasion and occupation? I think not.

DEBATEDISTORTED: THEINFLATION OF THENUCLEAR THREAT As former intelligence analyst and National Security Council staffer Kenneth M.Pollack has argued, Iraq’s alleged nuclear program “was the real linchpin of the BushAdministration’s case for an invasion.”41Indeed, a recent scholarly study found that manymembers of Congress “gave the nuclear threat as the main or one of the main reasons for their votes” supporting the war resolution in October 2002.42Yet, it now seems virtuallycertain that the administration publicly exaggerated the status of the Iraqi nuclear program.Officials also strategically manipulated their pre-war rhetoric about the Iraqi threat so as tomislead the general public and mass media. This often meant, for instance, blurring certainkinds of policy distinctions that would otherwise have suggested greater caution in the pathway to war. In many cases, moreover, it meant emphasizing the strong certainty rather than the real ambiguity about key evidence and thus implying the worst about the Iraqi threat. http://www.academia.edu/881665/Deliberating_Preventive_War_The_Strange_Case_of_Iraqs_Disappearing_Nuclear_Threat
CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

For example, there are reasons for this comment on the part of Blix "While I never believed Saddam could have concealed a continued nuclear program, I too thought there could still be some biological and chemical weapons left from Iraq's war with Iran.", which pretty much mirrors the pov of many if not most of us that opposed the war.

In the effort to give individual dems the Pontius Pilate water in terms of their roles prior to and in the wake of UNSC res 1441, and the countries "that believed" as well, an examination of the evidence in support of the potential for an active nuke program alone is the only thing that really matters, not whether they thought he had leftovers from earlier days, or indeed, was keeping biological/chemical stockpiles fresh in some measure.

The real history, according to the president, is that Iraq was a threat that had to be confronted in a post-Sept. 11 world, and that both parties accepted the administration's case for war. One key element of that case was the suggestion that Saddam Hussein had — or would soon have — the deadliest weapons imaginable.
In the fall and winter of 2002, the president and other top administration officials used stark language to help Americans imagine the dangers. "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud," Mr. Bush said in his State of the Union address in January 2003.Two months later, then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice used the very same words to describe the threat. And Vice President Dick Cheney publicly alleged that Saddam Hussein "has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
Critics Unimpressed by White House Claims
Outside the administration, there was widespread belief that Iraq possessed biological and chemical weapons, but less confidence on the nuclear question. The U.S. intelligence community was deeply divided over the issue. And, despite months of searching, U.N. inspectors — both before and after the invasion — failed to find any weapons of mass destruction.

Any commentary by dems prior to or in the wake of UNSC res 1441 that voiced a level of certainty rivaling that of Bush's on the nuke weapons programs (like bombing nuclear program facilities that didn't exist as we know in 1998) cannot be granted immunity from the charge of irresponsibility or divorced from participation in the selling of the war imo, if for no other reason due to ignorance or the enabling silence always is.


If keyboard warriors like me can study and cry foul as a result of it on the nuke questions and the critical role they played in the march to war the AUMF facillitated, surely all the smart guys we elected, dems and repubs alike, could have and should have slowed that march down with no votes until something more closely approximating "imminency" was established. This is no doubt why the push for the Iraq AUMF came first, with UNSC res 1441 second, which reeks of a cart before the horse situation to me. Maybe they didn't think Bush would lie us into war, or boot the inspectors before they could show the "flaws" in the intelligence, but it was certainly their job to include that in their calculation of the most important decision they can ever possibly make. This is why I've long contended that the Clinton efforts prior to Bush's best explain both the yes votes from dems and the level of public support for the war that resulted, regardless of the motivation for them like sanction preservation as opposed to invasion and occupation, etc. The potential for/the spectre of a nuclear threat was kept alive throughout the BC admin and beyond as a result, and were certainly exploited quite energetically by Bush and his lying crew if nothing else.

Bush bears the full responsibility for the war crime his war of aggression was and is, but the idea that the dems had no role whatsoever in creating the conditions conducive for that criminal act to take place, and therefore that slice of responsibility -- which my reading of your efforts indicates is the case you seem to be arguing -- will remain uncompelling and unconvincing to many of us.

But do keep trying. That's the case being made by most of us against the dems, not that they, like Bush, are war criminals as a result, or are directly complicit in that crime.

In the interest of fairness and telling the whole story

First of all, I've thought and argued from the beginning that the lies of Bush would never have been sold but for the comments coming from Bill Clinton and crew, who could have had no more certainty as to their existence than Bush did, as the Kay report subsequently showed. http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

Of course you can make the case that some of them were taken outta context or fell short of expressing the pov of the person who uttered them, like not in an effort to promote or support the military action Bush was obviously contemplating when he sought and secured the Iraq AUMF, but that doesn't diminish their value and role in the war campaign.

The posting of that list of dem quotes and noting that BC signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 (ignoring Section 8 which rejected military use of course), ALbright finding all the guesstimated deaths from the sanctions "worth it", etc, was the standard defense of Bushbots for years. I see used still today. WHat I always found amusingly stupid, is the way the rightwingnuts took the guesstimated number of deaths due to the sanctions as gospel, but found the surveys calculating the deaths due to the war bunk.

Secondly, for all the hoopla about the CIA and M16 ignoring intel circulating here and in Great Britain right now, I fail to see the big deal, since it really did nothing more than support for the "intel" we had during the Clinton admin

In a 25 January 1999 report to the U.N. Security Council, UNSCOM declared that the history of the Iraqi weapons inspections "must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel."

Kamel maintained that Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction and related programs after the end of the first Gulf War.

I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons—biological, chemical, missile, nuclear—were destroyed.

A 3 March 2003 Newsweek report said that Kamel's revelations were "hushed up" because inspectors "hoped to bluff Saddam into revealing still more." Kamel's version of events appear to have been borne out in the wake of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

So while Bush has complete ownership as the "decider" for misusing the Iraq AUMF and launching that illegal/immoral war of aggression, the dems were extremely helpful in creating -- unwittingly or not -- the situation underwhich it was conducive to sell the threat as a real one to the public. Their "certainty" imo was due to a desire to maintain the brutal sanctions that like with Iran now, which only escalated the human misery in the population, leaving those in power untouched. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/07/iran-santions-suffering

If this anniversary should be used for anything, it should be to ask the question as to whether history is on course for repeating itself. The biggest diff at this point seems to be that between the "Q" and "N" at the end of the name of our victims, separated by an "O/P".

wars are/historically have been almost always about resources of the non-human kind

and the most common denominator in the endless quest for control our wouldbe empire has embarked upon is of course, controlling the currency they are purchased with.

preserving the petrodollar http://ftmdaily.com/preparing-for-the-collapse-of-the-petrodollar-system-part-3/

which of course is tethered to and part of the bigger picture -- watch this when you get the chance, and spread it around

It's a pretty good presentation of what most who've explored/study these issues, already knew or strongly suspected.

BHO will never ever sign a cut to SS

until he does

Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:30 PM PST.

White House: No Medicare age increase, cut Social Security insteadby Joan McCarter .

103 Comments / 103 New.
attribution: DreamstimeIn Press Secretary Jay Carney's press briefing Monday, we found out that President Obama is now pursuing a "big deal" instead of a "grand bargain." This big deal will not include raising the eligibility age for Medicare. Instead of that, apparently the president wants to offer up Social Security. Yep, the chained CPI is in the big deal.


and then there will plenty of "good reasons" for it that no objection can possibly overcome.
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