Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TBGO: Lawless

In the next few weeks and months, you are likely to hear quite a bit of rhetoric about "precious freedoms," your "constitutionally guaranteed rights," and how the gummint REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANTS to keep YOUR privacy secure.
In the wake of the Snowden revelations, and the rest of the recent news about USer domestic intel gathering, there will probably be some kinds of legislation percolating through Congress to "rein in" the abuses by the NSA, and the CIA, and the HSA, and the USIC, and the rest of the more than 20 government bureaus which operate their own intelligence-gathering services, along with the more than 2000, private corporations conducting intel-gathering and analysis FOR the Gummint.
The powers-that-be will swear--promise and assure us, on their sacred honor, or their mother's grave, or their love of God--that they are doing everything POSSIBLE to ensure the security of our personal communications, records, and data, and that the preservation of the integrity of individual privacy is their foremost concern.
And they will be lying.
Not maliciously.
Like how Intel Director Clapper "prevaricated" (lied) to Sens. Rand Paul and Ron Wyden in the Senate: "As close to the truth as I can be," he replied when asked if US Intel surveilled USer citizens (Wyden and Paul BOTH knew Clapper couldn't answer them without violating CIA regs and federal law...It was a cheap shot, and a put-up job. There's a reason Clapper wasn't charged with anything, and this is it). OF COURSE they do. Derp...
And so they're being FORCED into lying because what you/we, the citizenry, demand is impossible to supply: There is NO WAY the USofA, the largest, most powerful, richest, most hated, envied, most loathed superpower on the planet, can STOP spying.
Knowledge is power. Information is the raw material of knowledge. An empire needs all of both that it can gather. It won't stop.
Because: There is NO ALTERNATIVE, from the intelligence perspective, to broadly collecting EVERYTHING, and storing and sorting it for later. If your "NATIONAL SECURITY" depends on an informed leadership--and it does--then you can in fact leave no stone unturned; you look at EVERYTHING.
So you HAVE to either 1) ignore or 2) work around the laws and regulations which well-meaning naifs throw up to "protect" themselves from Gummint interference. And rest assured, any such laws which are passed WILL CONTAIN language which opens the door for "exceptions."
And those "exceptions" will be used (and mis-used) by the clandestine 'warriors' to accomplish their national defense missions.
For which, should they prove to have been derelict, they would be (justly and rightly) pilloried for the damage consequent from their failures.
It's a double bind, which the bureaucrats will resolve in favor of the status quo, ante.
So if you don't want anybody to know about what YOU'RE up to,  keep it to yourself, and don't reveal it on the intertubez, cuz that what they'll be watching.
Worth remembering, also: There is no sovereign state in the world --not one--today which does NOT operate as large, and as comprehensive an array of intelligence gathering and analysis operations as they can afford and support, and which operations DO NOT surveille their own citizens. We've been spying, officially, on our own citizenry for 150 years, at least..
It's just that in the past the people being surveilled weren't the good burghers. They were the "trouble-makers," "activists," "civil rights workers," "labor" or "student" leaders, Communists, Socialists, and other rabble whose rights didn't matter...Good times!
We can have private conversation about this when I see you at the beach, chers. PAZ!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TBGO: Why Murkins Hate the Poor

Welcome! Ladies and Gennemuns, Boys and goils around the woild, to the WWH/CJE electronic soapbox. This is yer ol'perfesser, "Dr. Woody," John Konopak in Albuquerque NM with today's installment: 
"Unclean! Unclean!"
The Gospels and lots of other sources acknowledge: The Poor are ALWAYS with us.
It's true, and never more so in a zero-sum economy such as the one in which the vast majority of citizens/consumers struggle to survive.
Not only are they always with us, but increasingly it seems they are also greatly hated. 
One detects lots of consternation about this particular phenomenon. Why, why, why? cry the 'liberals' and the socially conscious? Why do we hate the poor?
Well, it's really not All that difficult. 
Think leprosy, in the days of yore. 
Nobody knew WHY someone contracted the condition, in which parts of the victim became all too obviously  'diseased' and then just fell off. 
However much or little it was understood, they blamed the victim for his condition...
But NOBODY--other than saints and martyrs--wanted ANYTHING to do with them.
Unclean! Stay away! Stay Away@!

Like leprosy, a thousand years ago, in the Levant, being poor is the worst thing that can happen to any Murkin. 
Like lepers, the poor most often have no control over what happened to 'em, no way to fix it, and nobody wanting, willing or able to help.
This ain' NO country for poor folk, folks...Murkins detest the poor, the same way that people detested and fled from lepers in earlier days. It might be contagious! Stay away! Stay Away! You really DON'T wanna get any of THAT on ya!
Poor people mostly STAY poor, unless they luck the fuck out on some lottery. 
That's part of capitalism, along with structural unemployment, there's structural poverty.

And that's not an accident. Capitalism requires compliant workers. Workers with disemployment and poverty staring over their shoulders are a lot less likely to stray into unions, etc...
On top of that, of course, the Ownerz and Oligarchz have directed their pet, corporate media to make sure the Murkin people blame the poor for their poverty. 
They have succeeded beyond imagining...
You've heard the drill; you know it by heart: The poor are to blame for their situations. They're lazy, or they fornicate, or they take drugs, or they're just naturally inferior in motivation and other good, american, social virtues..
OR as some gurus would have it: Maybe they didn't draw the GOOD ju-ju to 'em; instead, they complained and the BAD ju-ju got 'em. 
But anyway, it was their own fault. Warn't nuthin the system coulda done...
You've heard and seen the same message THOUSANDS of times from every imaginable source: popular entertainments, advertisements, dramas, preachers, politicians, business leaders of every stripe: "They had choices, but they made bad ones!"
It's the underlying theme of the whole literature of self-help and so-called "positive thinking" scams. If you're not "successful," it's YOUR fault.
I wanna remind ya, hippies: The wealthy make "choices": Escargot or Foie Gras; the Benz of the Porsche. The poor make decisions: Rent or food, utilities or meds. There is a difference and it's not just semantic. 
We can discuss it, later, when I see you at the beach.

As the Cookie Crumbles: Help-less-ness

Prez. LowBar today (Wednesday) gave a speech in which he described income inequality in the USofA as 'the defining problem' of the current period.
APART from the fact that he's dreadfully, and probably fatally, wrong--CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE DEFINING ISSUE OF THIS WHOLE EPOCH--Aside from that, ya gotta admit, that there Prez LowBar, he gives purty good speech.
But, of course, that's just about ALL he can do about it.
Govt spending is down, govt hiring is non-existent, and wages are frozen. Departmental budgets are gutted by the sequester, jobs go unfilled, programs wither, and the House isn't gonna open the exchequer...
That's WHY he can give so rousing an address about it.
But way down, he knows (and I hope it eats at him) that ANY initiative he proposed which set out to actually rectify or specifically dispel income inequalities would IMMEDIATELY be MIS-characterized and LOUDLY condemned by the White/Right/Teahadists as "nothin' but blatant give-away to "HIS" people," aka "thim dam, lazy, shif'less, fornicatin' nigras!"
Any such proposal would, as such, be DOA--Dead on Announcement--in the House, and only slightly healthier in the Senate.
Such is the influence, still, of the Bagger Bloc. It is undiminished by recent events and/or apparent set-backs. It still commands both an outlandish share of press attention and of political influence.
A bitto history: The Bagger leadership, the money, comes from the right-wing, business/oligarch class, people allied and/or affiliated with the Olins, the Coors, the Kochs, et al. The rank-and-file Baggers, on the other hand, are the remnants and the political descendants of the the "Raygoon Democrats."
The Raygoon Dims were mainly white, center-right, working class folks who read and perfectly understood the subliminal, racially coded signals the GOPhux campaign was sending by holding its first official campaign event of 1980 in Philadelphia, MS, where 16 years before, the KKKlan had murdered three civil rights organizers and buried their bodies in a dam. Mississippi Burning, anyone?
The signal Raygoon and the GOPhux sent and the signal the racially disaffected Dims read was that civil rights movement was as dead as those three "troublemakers,"and the days of giving "them damn mahnorities everythin' they demanded" were over.
That set well with a LOT of lower class, low status white voters, who flocked to the Raygoon standard. That was the signal which set off the "Great Defection" in 1980, which broke the old FDR coalition. It signalled the onset of the systematic roll-back of all the "liberal" social gains of the previous 50 years. It's influences and consequences are still potent even today.
We can discuss 'em further when I see you at the beach...Paz, chers...