This is our last gasp as a democracy. The state’s wholesale intrusion into our lives and obliteration of privacy are now facts. And the challenge to us—one of the final ones, I suspect—is to rise up in outrage and halt this seizure of our rights to liberty and free expression. If we do not do so we will see ourselves become a nation of captives.
. . . → Read More: The Last Gasp Of American Democracy, By Chris Hedges
Fifty years ago this month, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram published a groundbreaking article describing a unique human behavior experiment. The study and its many variations, while ethically controversial, gave us new insight into human tendencies to obey authority, surprising the experts and everyone else on just how susceptible we are to doing the bidding of others. The original experiment revealed that a majority of participants would dutifully administer increasingly severe electric shocks to strangers – up to and including potentially lethal doses – because an authority told them that pulling the levers was necessary and required (the “shocks,” subjects found out later, were fake). People who obeyed all the way to the end did so even as they experienced tremendous moral conflict. Despite their distress, they never questioned the basic premise of the situation that was fed to them: the institution needed their compliance for the betterment of the common good.
. . . → Read More: Obedience To Corporate-State Authority Makes Consumer Society Increasingly Dangerous, By Yosef Brody
And you, Prometheus, you stole their fire, and you know it. You said, “Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, [Senator Dianne] Feinstein, and [Congressman Peter] King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.” Someday you may be regarded as a Mandela of sorts for the information age, or perhaps a John Brown, someone who refused to fit in, to bow down, to make a system work that shouldn’t work, that should explode. And perhaps we’re watching it explode
. . . → Read More: Prometheus Among The Cannibals: The Edward Snowden Story, By Rebecca Solnit
I myself find a certain continuity between placing people in inhuman prison conditions and raping their identities through metadata surveillance. It’s all bad. But what is your point, Melissa? That because Snowden is exposing (“complaining about”) government surveillance rather than prison conditions he should willingly submit himself to the U.S. prison system?
. . . → Read More: A Necessary Third Open Letter To Melissa Harris-Perry, By Gary Leupp
With the continuing release of secret files on the NSA’s spying programs on American citizens, spying programs supported in their entirety by the Obama Administration, it appears that the false illusion of Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Jack Kennedy is finally coming to an abrupt and rude end. It’s being assisted by the multiple stress fractures of the economy, joblessness, divisive politics and the growing distrust of government at all levels, ironically called forth by that very government. There’s also the environment and energy, when combined with the above, provides an opportunity to see the administration’s ineptitude at best, and their callous disregard for the constitution at the worst. Now it’s going to get ugly. It’s already getting ugly.
. . . → Read More: Edward Snowden: Hero Or Traitor? It Depends On Who You Are, By Gary Stamper
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
. . . → Read More: NSA Taps Into Internet Giants’ Systems To Mine User Data, By Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill
This is an article by Chris Hedges that no major publication will print: This movement will not stop until we are ruled by Biblical Law, an authoritarian church intrudes in every aspect of our life, women stay at home and rear children, gays agree to be cured, abortion is considered murder, the press and the schools promote “positive” Christian values, the federal government is gutted, war becomes our primary form of communication with the rest of the world and recalcitrant non-believers see their flesh eviscerated at the sound of the Messiah’s voice. . . . → Read More: The Christian Right And The Rise Of American Fascism, By Chris Hedges
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, if signed into law, will signal the death knell of our constitutional republic and the formal inception of a legalized police state in the United States. Passed by the House on May 26, 2011 (HR 1540), the Senate version (S. 1867) was passed on Dec. 1, 2011. Now only one man — Barack Obama, a scholar of constitutional law — will make the decision as to whether the Bill of Rights he went to Harvard to study will be superceded by a law that abrogates it. . . . → Read More: Obama’s Most Fateful Decision, By Jim Garrison