Archives for posts with tag: NSA

Remember 9/11? And how the Bushistas said we really needed the Patriot Act? And the repeal of habeas corpus? And warrantless wiretaps? And secret agencies and laws (and tons of oh-so-secret funding)? And a couple of land wars that killed lots of soldiers and civilians?

And a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them? Ohmygoodnessgracious, the DHS was ESSENTIAL to winning the Global War on Terror (GWOT) (Teapubbies totally suck out loud at acronyms, have you ever noticed?). We simply HAD to have it, and to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on it. And right away, too. Remember?

Of course you remember. So do we all. Which makes things seem puzzling today, when the Teapublicans are willing to kneecap that ever-so-very important agency, just to stick a thumb in Obama’s eye. How could they take such a risk to such an all-important entity over such a trivial matter of prosecutorial discretion of alleged illegal immigrants?

The answer is obvious: DHS isn’t really important.

DHS, GWOT, and the entirety of the “Republican agenda” of the day was, is, and will always be neither more nor less than  a right-wing wet dream come true; an enormous, extra-constitutional seizure of power and money, designed solely to enrich and empower a privileged few while impoverishing disempowering the masses.

Now that we know this to be the case, it’s time to do away with DHS and every other Bush-era “Republican” piece of policy or law that has anything at all to do with national security: because it was bulls*** when it was proposed, bulls*** when enacted, bulls*** when expanded, and is still bulls*** today.

Away with Gitmo, torture, wiretaps,  secrecy, imperialist wars of choice,  the Patriot Act, all of it. Throw it all onto the dungheap of history (as one should always do with bulls***) and return our stolen funds and freedoms to us.

And prosecute the conniving mammy-jammers responsible for the scam as well. Let them stand under the crap they created as we pitchfork it onto their compost pile.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

The tech industry now considers the National Security Agency to be a “threat”, and a bunch of “malicious hackers”. This is a direct quote from Apple, after they found out that the NSA has been secretly hacking our iPhones. Our tech industry now classes a government agency as being equivalent to spies, thieves, anarchist nutjobs and other such scumbuckets.

This writer agrees, and since he is writing this post on a iPhone, he offers this cheery message to the NSA: “F*** the lot of you, in whatever manner would be the least pleasant and most painful. F*** you, NSA, and the computer you rode in on.”

The NSA took the laws they got from the Bushistas and ran like Forrest Gump, with no one holding up a sign saying “stop”. And now they are hated, reviled, and have been revealed to be hurting our nation instead of protecting it.

The laws that have allowed the NSA to become an enemy of the American people need changed, of course; the reason they were able to do all of this stems from the early Oughts when an Administration with no respect for the Constitution ran roughshod over the rule of law. It’s long past time to correct those many wrongs.

Meanwhile, if Apple thinks the NSA is a load of malicious hackers, you’d be well advised to pay attention. The NSA is now our enemy. And for an agency of the federal government to have descended to such a lowly and despicable status is a tragedy worthy of Sophocles.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

They cost rich people a load of cash with their illegal (and legal) spying activities. And rich people have the ultimate power in this plutocracy democratic government. So, it’s safe to say that the boys and girls at Fort Meade have well and truly stepped in the s***:

“There’s no question that we’ve reached the point where the tech companies are being threatened financially and commercially by what’s happened with the NSA,” Boorstin says.

U.S. tech companies, including Google, are doing more business overseas, and customers in some of those markets are saying the American firms’ associations with NSA surveillance activities will cost the companies some of that business.

Shred the Constitution, and nobody really objects. Hack the cell phones of our allies, and a few politicos might bluster a bit. But cost a big US corporation some serious coin, and s*** is gonna get real, and it’s gonna get that way really fast.

It’s a sad thing indeed, that we can’t count on truth, justice and the American way to reign in an abusive and out-of-control government entity. It’s even more depressing to have to rely on a load of Scrooges to restore some semblance of the rule of law in this regard. But hey, the enemy of our enemy is our friend.

At least, in this case. F*** those greedy bastards in most other areas, but let’s cheer them on as they battle the NSA, Patriot Act, and the rest of the Bushistas’ legacy of unconstitutional intrusiveness.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

The first international Snowden revelations were about China. And they were released to the “news” media, right before Obama met with Chinese leaders.
The scheduled talks were derailed and damaged by the resulting brouhaha.

The second time involved Russia. Shortly before Obama and Putin were supposed to meet. So much fuss was raised, the meeting didn’t happen at all.

And right before this week’s EU meeting, some Snowden revelations hit the press about… You guessed ‘er Chester, about the NSA spying on Europeans. American/European relations have taken a big hit.

“The first time is coincidence, the second time happenstance, and the third is enemy action.” Someone is trying to damage the United States. The only question remaining is who’s behind it.

But the intent is now clear. Yes, the Bushies screwed us but good with the “Patriot Act” and all that came from it. And yes, the NSA needs to be put on a tight leash. These are needed reforms, sorely and urgently needed.

But reformers don’t try to weaken or destroy the thing they are trying to reform. Indeed, reformation aims to strengthen its object. That is the polar opposite of what is being done with Snowden’s stolen NSA files.

“The first time is coincidence, the second time happenstance, and the third is enemy action.” The only question remaining is who that enemy is.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Just ask Pussy Riot, gay tourists, businessmen and anyone who has irritated their KGB-boss leader (Putin).

Troublemakers are never free in Russia. Snowden is in for a shock.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

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 ( ), 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

One thing that has gotten lost in the outrage, uproar, and general brouhaha over the NSA’s Domestic Surveillance programs is how utterly inept the NSA has been shown to be. Yes, we hear about their Total Information Awareness yadayadaramaramadingdong, but it’s hard to believe they are capable of doing f***-all in a  secure and competent manner. Why?

Because a marginally-qualified contractor with nefarious intent was able to waltz into a supposedly secure NSA facility  and walk out with Hopper-knows-how-many secret files without anyone noticing. Indeed, the only reason those putzes at Fort Meade knew he had committed those crimes was because he told them he had done so.

Think about that for a minute. No security to speak of, open USB ports,  no checks of personnel on entering or leaving the building, any schmuck who can con his way into a gig with a consulting firm can take whatever information he or she likes and do whatever they want with it.

And where is that information now? Short answer: at least two places we know of (Snowden and Greenwald  both have the files), and probably more by now. Why more, you ask? Very simple: Snowden has had his laptops and other devices in three countries (USA, China, and Russia) who have very large and well-funded IT departments. Any schmuck with a screwdriver could have slipped out and ghosted his hard drives while he was in the shower, and he’d never know.

After that, no matter what sort of encryption he threw at the files, it’s only a matter of time before they are cracked open, and then everybody will know the NSA’s secrets. And that could harm a lot of people. Hell, it could bring down governments. And whose fault is it?

It’s the NSA’s fault, that’s whose fault it is. Time was, NSA security actually meant something. Many of us knew NSA workers, but almost none of us knew they were NSA workers. That agency kept security, by God it did.

Nowadays, any flat-headed flannelmouth with a good BS story can be a contractor for the NSA, get paid more than they deserve, and make off with sensitive national security information. Can you imagine how many foreign agents have already done the same thing? This writer suspects that the answer is “a s***load-and-a-half”.  But since the NSA is not at all secure, we’ll never know.

Not secure. Not serving our nation. So, what value are we getting for the billions upon billions of dollars we taxpayers have given the NSA over the decades? Apparently, not much value at all.


This blogger suggests we pull the plug on the NSA, fire the lot of them, and start over with a competent staff who can actually spell “security”.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

If you see Mr. Blunt and Cranky on stage playing some old chestnut like “Freebird”, you can tell why he’s playing it by who’s paying him (some bar owner, corporate type or FOTB). Once you know who is laying out the green and folding, you can understand why the band is playing a song we’ve grown heartily sick of over the decades. But hey, he who has the gold makes the rules: so in order to get the gold, the players follow the rules. The dude with the bucks wants to hear Skynyrd, so he gets Skynyrd.

If you encounter this writer in a corporate context, you might wonder why he puts on a tie, when his aversion to such ornamental ligatures is well-established. So you ask who is putting up the cash. Once you know who is writing the checks, the wearing of a suit and tie makes sense. Because he who has the gold makes the rules: so in order to get the gold, the suits follow the rules. The man with the cash wants us to wear ties, so we wear ‘em.

Now let us apply the same analytical (and yes, cynical) process to Edward Snowden. He took a pay cut in order to be able to steal government secrets and spread them around the globe, so he wasn’t likely saving a ton of bucks. He then flew on some not-too-cheap flights from Hawaii to Hong Kong, and then to Russia, where he’s been holed up for weeks in a pretty darned expensive and heavily secured hotel. He’s also been accompanied and been given legal advice on occasion by Wikileaks at least since he fled the USA (and for all we know, before that). He’s divulged secrets and rattled cages, and acted in a sometimes inexplicable manner. And we wonder: “Why?”

The answer, my friend, can be found when we identify Snowden’s paymaster. Putin sure as hell ain’t comping Edward’s room, meals and drinks for nothing. So either he is getting “paid” with Snowden’s stolen information, or somebody else is paying the bills for the airport hotel and whatever other costs he may be incurring.
Wikileaks is also not giving legal advice away for free. So either they are getting “paid” with Snowden’s stolen information, or somebody else is paying the bills for the legal beagles.

When we know who is bankrolling the man, we’ll understand why he is doing such things. Whoever has the gold makes the rules, and if Ed wants the gold, he’s following their rules. Somebody with money wants to stick it to the USA, and so Eddie is sticking it to us.

So, who’s the “somebody”, and what do they want for their money? Snowden sure as Hell isn’t telling: he wants to get paid, like everybody else. So who among you, out there in the Cranky Nation, can track down man with the cash?

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

P.S. This writer was able to find any number of crowd-funded “legal defense” funds set up for the man: but no way to actually tie those funds to his current financial situation. Send in some documentation, and if it’s verifiable we will publish it here.

Why re-write a good article? Click this link and read the Vanity Fair piece, which pretty much guarantees Eddie a Crown O’ Polished Turds.

Runner Up: the Texas State Senate, who tried to forge documents to fake a win on a woman-hating anti-abortion bill.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Mr. Blunt and Cranky has friends who do card tricks and carnival magic, and he knows the techniques they use: misdirection, sleight of hand, and so on. He also knows that our “representatives” and “news media” do much the same whenever they want to put one over on us. So it has been with the Snowden “scandal”.

While you were all aghast and agog at the NSA/PRISM/Verizon/Greenwald imbroglio, the following events also occurred, but you probably missed them:

The Supreme Court made it easier to deny your right to vote.

The Supreme Court also took away your right to remain silent and made it easier for your boss to abuse you on the job.

In Michigan, one unelected man is about to steal the pensions and other retirement bennies from retirees, and will also steal from investors .

In Ohio, extreme anti-woman legislation is being advanced along with a tax hike on everyone but the rich, who will get a tax cut. And these are just a few of the events that were being downplayed by the media while they hyped a series of BS scandals, each of which turned out to be nothing when they were looked at closely.

Get the picture, Cranky Nation? We. Are. Being. Conned. A load of cheap carnies and tricksters are getting us to “look over there” at these successive faux scandals while they screw the lot of us with their other hands. It’s time to stop paying attention to these con jobs, at least until we know if there is any fire beneath the smoke.

ALWAYS pay attention to the man behind the curtain. He’s hiding back there for a reason, after all. And if he asks you to look at something amazing, you’d be well advised to look at anything BUT what he’s trying to distract you with.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky