President’s Day

Our Presidents can now, on their own,:

  • Order assassinations–including American citizens
  • Operate secret military tribunals
  • Engage in torture
  • Enforce indefinite imprisonments without due process
  • Order searches and seizures without proper warrants–gutting the 4th amendment
  • Ignore the 60 day rule for reporting to Congress the nature of any military operation, as required by the War Power Resolution
  • Continue the Patriot Act abuses without oversight
  • Wage war at will
  • Treat all Americans as suspected terrorists at airports with TSA groping and nude X-raying

And the Federal Reserve accommodates by counterfeiting the funds needed but not paid for by taxation and borrowing–permitting runaway spending, endless debt, and special interest bailouts…Congress, with bipartisan support, obsessives on how to expand the unconstitutional war power of the President that he already holds. The current proposal would allow a President to pursue war anytime, anyplace, for any reason–without Congressional approval. Many believe this would even permit military activity against American suspects here at home. The proposed authority does not reference the 9/11 attacks.

The proposal passed. Today is President’s Day in the United States of America. What was once a holiday has become a day demanding of intense introspection and widespread concern.

Surveillance State: Endgame

Imagine that someone took your personal data–favorite color, favorite movie, favorite food, cities you hope to travel to, artists you love, your pet peeves and secret desires–and sold that information to the highest bidder.

You are an attractive, talented, capable, and promising member of the masses. A leader at a religious group at school, the go-to person for an animal rights group online. Maybe you had a debate featured on television, or you’re a normal heterosexual guy whose baseball highlight made the local news. And now there’s a bored billionaire out there with his eye on you.

Various intelligence agencies know where you’ll be on a Saturday afternoon, and on request they sell that information to some point-oh-one percenter. He shows up, bumps into you, but maybe he’s not your type. Suddenly though you find yourself impressed because he’s wearing a t-shirt featuring that obscure band you like. He starts a conversation and you’re curious.

Days later you wonder if you made the right move giving him your number. You’re not sure why, but you get a weird feeling every time you think about that conversation. Every thing he said was so right, it was like he already knew you. You’re listening to Pandora, or some other hackable internet radio station, and that song you’re ashamed of liking about meeting your soulmate and falling in love comes on. Your phone lights up with a text.

It’s him. He was doing something totally boring until just now–when he thought about you. You wonder if it’s meant to be…

Your daughters, your sons, your friends and family members are in danger. Information is being gathered on them at astonishing rates, information that can be used much more creatively than domestic terror cases. Mass surveillance has the ability to make not just anyone, but virtually everyone, vulnerable to deception by trust. Trust won with the unethical, illegal, and immoral use of personal, private, sensitive information.

The Problem With Lies

The problem for most people with lies is that when they are believed, usually based on some kind of desire within the recipient, they concede a kind of mental ground to the lie that most people lose track of even after the lie has been proved false. Placing momentary credence in a lie becomes a problem when the shoddy bookkeeping practices of the human mind misplaces the paperwork on the loan, or credit, it lent to the lie in the first place. The problem isn’t hearing lies, or even that you try them out to see how you like them, it’s that they take things from you—elements of reality—that most people have no idea how to take back.