Archives for posts with tag: domestic

Think  back to 9/11, when America got our collective nuts kicked so hard, we had lumps on our necks for years thereafter. According to the 9/11 Commission report ( http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf ), our intelligence agencies already knew the terrorists were here and in training for the attack – the problem was that the Bushies didn’t listen to the experts who were warning them about an impending al-Quaida attack. This means that the whole raft of domestic surveillance programs that have been developed since 9/11 would not have helped one bit.

One more time: We already knew about the terrorists among us. So we never needed more domestic surveillance. And we still don’t. What we actually needed (and still need) was for our leaders to pay attention to data and protect our nation from real threats, instead of ignoring facts and using their own mistakes as excuses to spy on us and rob us blind.

So, why was it put in place, back during the reign of Bush The Dumber? One may theorize as one wishes, because none of the responsible parties is going to admit that the Domestic Surveillance State was  a boondoggle coupled with a violation of our Constitutional rights. This writer submits that the whole program was nothing more or less than a  “Republican” transfer of tax dollars to their corporate cronies, with a bone thrown to the Fundagelicals and Birchers in their party.

Consider the enormous number of private companies that have made billions of dollars over the past decade  by providing “contractors” to replace NSA workers (at a higher cost, with lower quality and less security [e.g. Snowden]). Where did they come from? Like mushrooms on a manure pile, they sprang up when “watered” by the Bushistas’ off-the books torrential downpour of secret cash.

So here we are: our rights have been violated, our privacy have been infringed, and our pockets have been picked clean for over ten years by a load of  perverts and con artists, bent on snooping into our private lives and taking us for every cent we earn. And all in the name of solving a problem that never existed in the first place.

If you’re not foaming at the mouth right now, you’ve not been paying attention.

The solution, Cranky Nation, is obvious: dismantle the un-needed and illegal parts of the Surveillance State, kick the greedy f***s out of the process, and by so doing restore our rights while helping to balance the budget. And all of that as soon as possible.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Let’s start by saying that the Patriot Act (along with all of its bastard children) needs repealed ASAP, and the infrastructure that supports its aims needs trundled off to the scrap heap immediately afterwards. The notion that we are guilty until proven innocent is so diametrically opposed to everything America stands for is what makes all of these post-911 laws so dangerous.

But beyond the fact that the government is treating each and every one of us as if we are criminals and/or terrorists that they haven’t caught yet is the bigger problem: the secrecy with which these operations are carried out. “Trust us”, say the NSA, Congress, President et.al. “This is for your own protection”, they say. “We’d never abuse our authority”, they say. “We can’t show you how it works, what we do, why we do it or to whom we are doing it”, they say. “It has to be secret”, they say.

The problem with secrecy is the same problem we have with most human inventions: a little might perhaps enhance our safety, but too much can hurt us, weaken our nation, and perhaps lead to its dissolution. This whole domestic surveillance mess is made even messier by the fact that the government hid even the broad brush strokes of what they were (and still are) doing. And such information that does leak out seems to indicate that our government is acting in ways that would make Hoover blush.

This makes it very hard indeed to trust them: not only do they suspect each and every one of us of being potential Bin Ladens, but they themselves aren’t acting like honest, upstanding citizens whom we would be inclined to trust. (Remember Nixon and his “trust me” schtick, and how that turned out?)

On top of that, the degree of secrecy being employed here makes it possible for glory-hound “journalists”, “experts”, and “representatives” to make outlandish claims (e.g. Snowden, Greenwald, Issa) because we cannot verify anything they are saying. By acting thus they sow even MORE distrust among our society. The secrecy is making it impossible to trust our government, our institutions, the businesses with whom we deal, or even each other.

Secrecy kills trust. And without trust, we cannot be united. So if we can’t trust the government, we might as well just pull the plug on our country, because it can’t be a truly “United States of America”: there is no unity without trust.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

And when someone from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says “hunt”, we can safely assume he means “shoot”: hunting deer = hunting humans.

Dudley Brown, whose organization was at one time judged too bats*** crazy for the NRA , said and we quote: “there’s a time to hunt deer. And the next election is the time to hunt Democrats”. That, people, is a threat, plain and simple.

You can say “Awww, he doesn’t really mean it“, but that would be very foolish. One recent example tells us why:

A few years back, Sarah Palin (also a devotee of shooting metaphors) published a picture of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ district in the crosshairs of a telescopic sight.. And as we all know, Ms. Giffords was shot and nearly killed soon afterwards.

Ms. Palin tried to pretend that her threatening language and images had no connection to the violent crimes committed after she published them. But that is very hard to believe. Seriously, folks, if politicos didn’t think their words had an impact, would they bother saying them? Of course not. They say what they say in order to accomplish a goal, and they mean what they say. The only time such slimy weasels pretend otherwise is when they are called on their violent rhetoric, or if there are consequences to the hate speech they spew.

Like Palin, Mr. Brown used language that strongly suggests shooting and killing people. And also like her, he’ll strenuously deny that when if a Democrat gets murdered. But he’ll still have blood on his hands.

And like Palin (or Pilate) he can pretend to wash it away. But the stain of blood can never be removed from the hands of a killer, or one who urges others to kill.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky