Thursday, June 30, 2016

60 Policies from One Year of Donald Trump

What I do see is not policies so much as debating points aimed at waking up the audience.  If you demand everything and sound unreasonable, it is certain that your opposition will show up ready to do business.  Then you see if it is even possible to shake out a satisfactory solution.

He knows quite well all this must translate into an acceptable body of legislation.  You may also be sure he knows his limitations better than anyone else.  However, bluff is a powerful tactic.

This is the first potential president I have seen in sixty years quite able to run circles around the Russians and even bring Iran to heel.  

Otherwise most analysis on Trump that i have seen remains wishful thinking and mostly naive.  He has proven over and over again that he can pick successful partners and build and then get out of the way.  These accomplishments are not bombast.  What better definition exists for a successful president?

60 Policies from One Year of Donald Trump

How to make America a weird and scary authoritarian state:

  • David J. Bier
Friday, June 17, 2016

One year ago, Donald Trump thrust his bizarre, erratic, and incomprehensible campaign on the world. Much has been said about Trump’s "rhetoric" during his campaign — the racism, sexism, incivility, and much else besides — but rhetoric is not what makes a Trump administration a unique threat to the country. It is his policy proposals that should receive our closest attention and concern.

Below is a list of nearly 60 “policies,” if you can dignify them with such a title, that Trump has proposed during his campaign. The list drives home how truly frightening a Trump presidency would be for the country and the world. Skimming the surface of Trump’s stream of consciousness brings out some particularly disturbing aspects of his agenda: notably, the way he singles out specific businesses and individuals for targeting by the government, as well as his obsessions with China, Mexico, Muslims, and immigrants.

Perhaps worst of all, Trump’s proposals expose how broad he thinks the powers of the presidency are: virtually infinite. There is never a glimmer of understanding that the government is bound by the Constitution, that the federal government has limited scope and authority, or that president is just one of three equal branches of the federal government.

Instead, it is Trump, and Trump alone, who will transform American laws, government, and society, from the top down. Trump will bomb and invade countries, Trump will steal their oil, Trump will kill deserters, torture suspects, bypass courts, ban Muslims, break treaties, and have the military do things like mass executions with bullets dipped in pigs' blood — all while getting Americans to say “Merry Christmas” again.

Well, all I can say is Merry Christmas, America. Here's what the primaries brought us this year.

Bold: attack on individual or business.

Italics: attack on Mexico or China.

Underlined: attack on immigration.
  June 2015
  1. Make Ford to Scrap Expansion Plan in Mexico August 2015
  2. Deport 11 Million Immigrants
  3. Triple Number of Deportation Agents
  4. Force Cities and States to Help Deport Immigrants
  5. Force Mexico to Pay for Wall on US Border
  6. Strip US Citizenship from Babies Born to Immigrants September 2015
  7. Use FCC to Fine His Critic, Rich Lowry
  8. Place 35% Tariff on Ford Cars Made in Mexico
  9. "We Will Break" North American Free Trade Agreement
  10. “Government Will Pay” for Health Care for “Everyone” October 2015
  11. Deport Syrian Refugees Legally in the US
  12. Soldiers Who Desert Should Be Shot
  13. Spend Tens of Billions on Border Wall
  14. Keep Troops in Afghanistan November 2015
  15. Kill TPP Free Trade Agreement
  16. Get Americans to Say "Merry Christmas"
  17. Create Special Deportation Force to Remove Immigrants
  18. “Bomb the S***” Out of Syria
  19. Close Mosques in the United States
  20. Create Database for Muslims
  21. Bypass Courts in Mass Deportation Plan December 2015
  22. Restart Warrantless Surveillance, Metadata Collection
  23. Kill Family Members of Terrorists
  24. Washington Post Is a "Tax Shelter" for Amazon, Jeff Bezos
  25. Ban All Muslim Travel to US
  26. Shut Down "Parts" of the Internet
  27. Issue Executive Order Mandating the Death Penalty for Killing Police January 2016
  28. Impose 45% Tariff on Chinese Products
  29. Throw Bowe Bergdhal Out of a Plane in Afghanistan February 2016
  30. Tells Supporters to Knock Out Protesters
  31. Use Eminent Domain for Economic Development
  32. Tax Carrier-brand Air Conditioners Made in Mexico
  33. Force Apple, Tim Cook to Break into iPhone for FBI
  34. Keep Obamacare’s Individual Mandate for Health Insurance
  35. Praises Mass Executions of Captured Soldiers with Bullets Dipped in Pigs Blood
  36. Threatens Donor for Giving to Opponent’s Campaign
  37. Prosecute Hillary Clinton
  38. Proposes “Trade War” with China
  39. “Open Up Libel Laws” to Sue Critical Press March 2016
  40. Force Apple to Make iPhones in US, not China
  41. Force Military to Follow Illegal Orders
  42. Prosecute Ed Snowden for "Spying" for Russia
  43. “Torture” Terrorism Suspects
  44. Increase Military Spending
  45. Steal Iraqis' Oil
  46. “Pause” Legal Immigration
  47. Send 20,000 or 30,000 Troops to Middle East
  48. Trump Could Envision a Nuclear First Strike
  49. Appoint Supreme Court Justice to Investigate Clinton’s EmailApril 2016
  50. Raise Taxes on the Wealthy May 2016
  51. Threatens Pfizer, Carrier, Ford, and Nabisco With 35% Tariff
  52. Increase Minimum Wage
  53. “Go After” Amazon for Anti-Trust and Taxes
  54. Bomb Libya
  55. Threatens “Mexican” Federal Judge Trying His CaseJune 2016
  56. “Keep Business Out of Mexico”
  57. Ban All People from Countries with "History of Terrorism"
  58. Surveillance of US Mosques
  59. Ban Guns for People on Secret "Watch Lists"

Capitalism Is Stronger Than Hate

In the end it is the deliberate dehumanization of peoples through our media in particular that inspires those young men to murder.  We may not be doing it, but  almost all competing cultures do to a varying degree.

This cultural brainwashing has not been vigorously challenged by the West.  Islam proves that it matters.  Rather than thundering off to war, perhaps it is time that we simply monitored their public discourse, including priests and imams and learn to act against it.  Convenient bogey men need to stand up and bite.

What this item teaches so clearly is that all that nonsense disappears face to face.  Any bias is quickly overcome and ones humanity takes charge.  so it it time to help it along by thwarting the hate salesmen.

Capitalism Is Stronger Than Hate

Reflecting on the Orlando attack

David Veksler

Monday, June 13, 2016

On Friday, I was commiserating with FEE's Pakistani freelancer about the challenge of fasting for Ramadan in the 113°F heat and intermittent AC in Lahore, while he congratulated me on my promotion.

There we were, a militant atheist Jew and a devout Muslim separated by 7730 miles and an even wider cultural gulf, but united by a love of good design and commitment to our common project. Capitalism bound us in ways that go beyond a simple financial transaction.

Both sides will dehumanize each other. Through trade, however, we discover the humanity in each other.

We found each other for purely utilitarian reasons, nominally driven by the need to earn a living, yet self-motivated by our individual passions for great design and leveraging intellectual advocacy through technology.

We are not merely a capitalist exploiter and wage-serf, linked through unfeeling logic and financial necessity. We are two passionate entrepreneurs, using money as the tool by which we further our individual values and careers.

Once our financial arrangement is complete, our connection will fade, but a mutual respect and some deeper sense of understanding and empathy will remain.

My mental image of a Pakistani or a Muslim will expand to include a talented designer struggling with power outages and heat waves while balancing the requirements of his faith and the demands of his perfectionist clients.

When I heard the news about the shooting in Orlando , I thought about how both sides will dehumanize each other — the radical Muslims who condemn secular Western culture, and the fearful, warmongering Westerners who wish to destroy and build walls against the alien.

It’s hard to imagine how these two groups can connect, understand, and build empathy with each other. It’s hard to be friends or lovers with someone so physically and mentally distant. And yet capitalism provides a chance for a real connection — if we let it.

Are Reptilians / Draconians Terrestrial Beings?

 We now have ample stories telling us of the reptilian race.  From their own words, we know that they are earth evolved and have been established from the age of the dinosaurs or for many millions of years.  

That they are singularly muscular actually confirms that they are also Earth based.

That really leaves open only one question.  Is someone making this story up?  I do have at least one report that is decades old and we do need more to block out the possibility we are all been hoaxed.  At the same time, i get the impression that they are slacking on discipline as well and that is leading to more sightings.

Otherwise they reside in subterranean habitats and use advanced technology and come to surface only to address tasks of their own devising.  Their population could easily be billions and they would be completely self sufficient.

My own work has pretty well shown me that this is completely feasible and simply made easier with sea access and air vents.

Humanity looks more and more to be a grand experiment...
Are Reptilians / Draconians Terrestrial Beings? 
Friday, June 17, 2016

One of the more unexplained, and mysterious, beings reported to me are the Reptilian, Ichthus and Draconian humanoids. We assume that these entities are of extraterrestrial origin...but there may be some realization that they have been a part of terrestrial Earth for a longer period of time than we wish to admit. Here are a few accounts:

Black Scaled Reptilian Humanoid Seen Near Canberra, Australia

Hi there. I live in the capitol of Australia. Canberra. My friend witnessed something pretty intense and I was on the phone whilst it happened. So I heard it. And heard him. He is never prone to displays of hysteria but was totally freaked out by his encounter. He was walking by the storm water drains about 100 metres from his house when he caught sight of a child sized, 3 foot tall or so, black scaled reptilian humanoid creature. He described it as having long fingers and bright cat eyes when they caught the light. It followed him home and climbed over the fence after him. It was studying him and not behaving particularly aggressive or hostile. It walked on 4 and 2 legs. He shooed it away with an umbrella, very British of him I know, which is when I heard it make a high pitched hiss growl and take off. We wish to make an expedition to locate and take film of the adults. But we do need help. A bunch of ill prepared retards we are not. But questions remain. Armed or not? Night vision? Torches. EMF? Provisions. Maps of tunnels. Inform someone in case of getting lost. fluorescent chalk markers for trail signs with black lights for picking them up. But we need to know about THEM.... Details. Any one in Canberra who can add a professional touch to our survival rate? Any advice on the subject would be very much appreciated. And have we forgotten anything in our equipment? Thanks. Jack.

When I made an inquiry, I received the following:

It's in Gordon, a suburb of Canberra. About 100 metres away from the house is a storm water drain with underground access. Its on the same street as the local shops. The incident occurred at about midnight. My friend tried communicating with the creature at my behest. It stared at him while standing up right. Then when he stepped towards it ran. Over the 5 foot fence. It had reptilian and humanoid features. The tunnel system under Canberra is very extensive. Covers most of its underground. All leading to rivers or lakes. Don't know what else to tell you.


Austrian Cave Encounter

One of the more intriguing accounts ever forwarded to me. The original email from the witness was forwarded to me during the 2009 Christmas holidays. I exchanged emails with the witness but there were some communication difficulties that needed to be ironed out. Anyway, here is the final version of Gregor's encounter:

Hello Lon - I am writing to you from where I live in Gmunden, Austria. Recently I came across your story about the man who had an encounter with an alien type creature in a cave in the United States. The story is similar to my encounter in an obscure cave here in Upper Austria. This area is known for salt mining and Salzkammergut, the salt mines of the former Habsburg empire. I am a trained and certified geologist - I studied at the University of Salzburg and in the United States at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I have explored and documented cave systems throughout Austria, Czech Republic and Poland since 1988.

In May 2011 I was in a narrow cave that a colleague had recently found. This was approximately 2 KM north of Obertraun on the opposite side of the descending mountain range in the foothills near the east bank of Halsatter See (lake). As I moved through the difficult passageway I started to hear voices emanating from the darkness ahead of me. I stopped to collect a few sample from the cave wall - chipping it with my pick. I moved deeper - maybe 50 meters - until I noticed the voices again. I am familiar with echos and Doppler effect sounds in caves but this was totally different. I stood quietly for several minutes until the voices stopped.

Again I moved through the cave - almost crawling at this point. After another 40 meters I ascended into a chamber that was big enough to accommodate several people. There were two wide openings on the opposite side of the chamber - each looked like it has been excavated by machine. There was also an obvious rotting odor. As I examined the chamber I noticed an odd red iridescence as I passed the light over the rock floor. When I knelt down to collect a sample I again heard voices coming from one of the passageways. At this point I was terrified and started to hurry back through the narrow cave. After I squeezed back several meters I was able to turn my head just enough to look back into the dark chamber.

A yellow light slowly made its way into the chamber from the left opening in the chamber - then there were several yellow lights following the first. As the lights moved through the opening into the chamber then back through the opening on the right I was able to see the beings. The sight sent fear throughout my body - I was actually paralyzed.

The creatures were humanoid in stature - but these were not human. Each varied in height but all looked the same - muscular lizards that walked upright like humans. There is not a better term I can use to identify these beings. These creatures wore dark colored full-body uniforms that extended and covered the feet. I couldn't tell the exact color of the skin but each had a pronounced muzzle. The long tails were very prominent and swiftly swayed back and forth as they moved forward. The arms and legs were massive - I could detect the musculature through the uniforms. There were voices also - as if they were talking to each other. The voices actually sounded human though I could not detect the language. There were possibly 20 or more of these creatures as they walked single file through the chamber and into the other opening.

When I conceived it was safe to move I quickly withdrew from the cave. I think I may have been in shock because I barely remember anything that happened from that point until I reached my office. I decided to keep a private journal regarding my encounter - but I have not discussed it with anyone else. My colleague who originally found the cave told me that he has explored the cave since my encounter but never mentions anything about the chamber, other passageways or bizarre beings.

At this point in time, I am starting to doubt that I witnessed these creatures. Is it possible that I hallucinated this encounter - or possibly experienced something from the past or the future? I am a trained professional who deals with reality - but my beliefs have been seriously shaken. I appreciate your introspect and thoughts - as well as observation by your readers. Thank you - Gregor


Ichthus-Humanoid Close Encounter

I've been debating on whether to even post this (it belongs in the ultra strange and weird category) but I do so, in hopes that someone else may have seen, or experienced something similar and will come forward to give their account.

A few days ago I woke up and thought, "Now that was one weird dream!" Well, at least that is what I keep telling myself.

I'm not really sure if it was a dream, or not. I was in bed, asleep. I woke up suddenly, to see an alien face peering down at me. I had just enough time to take note of it's most outstanding features, think "Wow!" to myself and then immediately drifted back into slumber.

Shortly after, I woke up. I got up and went to the bathroom, then came back to bed, only to realize that there was blood on the bed. I checked myself and could find nothing amiss, no cuts, scratches, or other mean of blood letting. I was bemused, to say the least.

I dressed, left my husband sleeping in bed and let the dogs outside. I then walked over to my cell phone and tried to "wake it up" but it was dead. Now that might not seem like a problem, but when I went to bed, it had a full charge.

When the battery died, the phone shut off and it wasn't going to turn on. I reached for my charge cable, plugged it into my Samsung Infuse and when the battery icon appeared, it showed the phone had no charge at all. Coincidence?

OK, so let's get this straight. I have a dream that may, or may not have been a dream (with an alien in my face), there was blood on my sheet and pillow and my fully charged phone was dead as a doornail.

As for the alien, it had bulging, round, fish-like eyes, gill slits where a nose would be (I saw the gills flare open as it exhaled when I opened my eyes), mottled green tinted white skin and nobs and a frill on the head. Hey, it would make a good sci-fi movie alien!
          Thing is, that's pretty much what I saw.

Later on in the day I noticed a tiny needle stick in the top of my right hand, made more noticeable due to bruising.

I'm a UFO investigator. I "investigate reports of UFOs and aliens." I'm not supposed to experience these things but then contact with something not of this earth, is the driving force behind my search for the truth.

In my research as a UFO investigator, I've not been acquainted with fish-like aliens, so I did some checking and found that the Apkallu, were a fish-like race that supposedly helped to advance the Sumerians of Ancient Mesopotamia. There is a problem here. The Apkallu are depicted as been fish-like from the waist down (i.e., merman). I only saw this chap from the neck up.

Listed among the many supposed types of aliens that are here, or visit Earth, or made an impact on human civilization, are the amphibians. I could not determine what these beings possibly look like but they are listed as "semi-aquatic". Gills might be a good indication.

Some researchers seem to think that "greys" have a cetacean ancestry, or is it that Sirius Reptilians, with scales and gills, lurk among us? Well, this is all speculations and hopefully it was just a silly dream, mixed with eerie coincidences.


'I mean you no harm...'

Hello Lon, a few nights ago I was outside and walking around my farm where I live alone when I saw a series of lights moving across the sky. At first I thought nothing of it but then one of the lights stopped moving and something dropped from it, like a pod or something. I freaked out and ran to my house and locked the door. Being a woman of only 35 years old I am easy to spook.

The next morning I woke up with a figure sitting at the foot of my bed. The figure was reptilian like a lizard or something. It spoke english but had a deep hiss in his voice. it told me this:

"I mean you no harm warmling. I only seek to explore your world and it's lifeforms. I am only a male scout in which I am looking for samples."

I asked: "how are you talking to me? Where did you come from?"

His reply: "You only hear the tongue you understand, but I cannot say too much. May I take a sample from your hair?"

My reply: "I guess, but where did you come from and what are you?"

He went over to me and put his hand on my head, it felt very cold and scaly. Then he plucked a strand of hair from my head and put it in some sort of cylinder. After that he told me:

"thank you, my overlord will be pleased."

Then he just vanished. My skin turned numb where he had touched me and I have had a cold ever since. I did not know how to feel toward this encounter. I did not feel threatened but rather curious. The reptilian was lime green, stood maybe 6 feet tall and looked muscular. He wore all black from his neck down and had some sort of belt lined with gadgets of sorts. The face had a snout like a normal lizard and his eyes were large and purple.

What was this thing and does it have anything to do with the lights I had seen before? Will he or any of his kind come back?

There Is No Way the Minimum Wage Can Help the Economy

This is rubbish.  All the arguments below can equally be applied to union settlements as well.  Today we actually tax folks and the economy to pay welfare to those not working, as if that is not some form of dysfunctional minimum wage.

As i have posted long since, we need a standby bid for all available labor set at whatever seems to be a reasonable wage that is directly tied to housing and sustenance.  I have since gone on to understand that the best way to actually implement such a system is to provide four hours of light duty first thing in the morning in exchange for bed and breakfast or their monetary equivalent is appropriate.  That releases all personnel to pursue work and other endeavors thereafter.

Minimal analysis suffices to inform us that we are already spending the money while millions of hours of useful light duty is desperately needed.  In short, doing it all correctly could well be revenue neutral and provide a massive influx of labor to groom woodlands as the core default after all other volunteer slots are filled.

There Is No Way the Minimum Wage Can Help the Economy 

Another Baffling and Bad Argument for Minimum Wages 

Howard Baetjer Jr. Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In the current debate about the minimum wage, some argue that higher minimum wages boost the economy overall. If workers receive higher wages, the reasoning goes, then they will have more money to spend, and their increased spending will boost business all around. 
In this news video, for example, an activist in the citizen action committee #FightFor15 says (at 1:44), “There’s a simple economic fact: When there is more money in the hands of people, it’s going to help the economy all across the board.” 
Similarly, a friend of mine commented on a recent post that “One can suppose the benefit to those who receive the increased wage and the benefit to the economy from their increased spending outweighs the de minimis loss of jobs.” 
But higher minimum wages don’t boost the economy. 
Let’s leave aside whether the job losses are de minimis, either overall or to the people who suffer them. Leave aside also that increased spending by those who keep their jobs and earn more at the higher wage rate is at least partially offset by the decreased spending of those who lose their jobs (or are never hired in the first place) and earn nothing at the higher wage rate. 
Let’s focus just on the increased spending by those who now earn more. Does their increased spending mean more spending overall? 
No, it doesn’t. 
That extra money has to come from somewhere. 
The increased wages their employers now must pay them is money those employers would have spent in some other way, perhaps on building maintenance, on new equipment, on expansion of the business, or on wages for an additional employee. 
Even if the employer just retained that money as profit, she would not put it in a mattress; she would invest it somehow, in a bank account, say, or in stock. In that case, the bank would typically lend the money to a borrower who would spend it, or the seller of stock would spend it in some other way. Regardless, the money would get spent. Higher minimum wage requirements do not increase spending overall; they just change who spends it and what it is spent on. 
The belief that higher minimum wages increase spending overall is an instance of the error Frederic Bastiat points out in “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen.” The error here is to see only the increased spending by the wage-earners who receive higher wages, and not to see the decreased spending by the employers who pay the higher wages. The latter completely offsets the former. 
Nevertheless, artificially raising wage rates still causes an overall loss to the economy — even if no workers are laid off — by increasing costs and thus reducing output. Suppose, for example, that when the minimum wage is raised, a particular employer lays off no one and pays her low-skilled employees increased wages with money that she would otherwise have spent on replacing some of her business’s old equipment. 
While the total spending in the economy would stay the same, total output would decrease, because her employees would be working with old equipment rather than new, and therefore cannot produce as much. The higher minimum wage would mean fewer goods and services for people to enjoy. 
Higher minimum wages don’t boost the economy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Snowden Test

A remarkably effective way of getting disclosure out there in order to then shape the ensuing debate to be one's perceived needs. As indicated, it is all a little too pat.  And do we really believe that the NSA has quit whatever congress has mandated?

After all, the police learned a long time ago to wire tap to their heart's content so long as you surrender its value as evidence.  What is also true, any such legally collected evidence can be made costly to use by simply demanding a full review.

Thus collecting intelligence is often best collected secretly in the first instance.  Smoking guns are rare and actual targets are already wary. How easy is it to discuss 100 kilos of coke by simply substituting 100 kilo sacks of sugar?.

The Snowden Test

June 16, 2016

David Thrussell, Contributor

No doubt you know the basic story.

Beginning June 5th 2013, a series of explosive articles ran in The Guardian (and subsequently a handful of other newspapers/magazines) detailing a vast web of global surveillance (engineered by the U.S. National Security Agency and U.K. partner GCHQ). The revelations were backed by large troves of primary information (code-names/programme descriptions) and internal documents (charts and diagrams) apparently directly sourced from the NSA.

A storm of controversy soon erupted over the breadth and ubiquity of this global surveillance. Forthcoming details on the myriad of previously secret programmes made it clear that email, text, phone data and communications were being scooped-up, recorded and analysed on a mammoth and almost unimaginable scale around the world.

On June 9th, 4 days after the earth-shaking leaks began, the then 29 year-old Edward Snowden identified himself as the source of the leaks. Secreted in a Hong Kong hotel room, Snowden volunteered his motives and personal history to a voracious media and public. What followed in the succeeding 2 weeks resembled an international spy-thriller, as Snowden fled from one safe-house to another throughout Hong Kong, always one step ahead of the press and (presumably) U.S. law enforcement. ( you really need help to do this - arclein )

The details are sometimes contradictory, but apparently Snowden then boarded a flight from Hong Kong June 23rd en route (via Moscow and Havana) to safe haven in South America. Oddly, sometime during that flight the U.S. government revoked Snowden’s passport, causing him to be stranded in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. After a lengthy period (somehow, and somewhat miraculously, avoiding both assassins and journalists for over a month) Snowden received legal asylum and left the airport to begin a new life in the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, various news outlets continued a drip-feed of dramatic and ‘Orwellian’ revelations.

Snowden had become an iconic figure. Celebrated by ‘progressives’ as a whistleblower and hero, derided by ‘conservatives’ as a traitor and fugitive – he lives presently (we’re told) with his girlfriend in Russia, and appears (sporadically) as an advocate of communications privacy and government accountability.

Further theatrics were provided by the incidents of an Ecuadorian Presidential plane being forced to land, numerous international political leaders’ communications being routinely tapped and fierce debate about the probity of Snowden’s actions and the actual spying regime he exposed. American conservatives and pundits denounced his ‘treason’ and pleaded for his ‘extrajudicial assassination’ while others hailed his patriotism.

It was a thrilling, captivating and microscopically reported tale.

Yet somehow…it doesn’t quite stack up. Some thread of doubt remains, some scent of faint incredulity lingers.

Questions provoked by the official narrative are partly logistical, partly philosophical and decidedly pragmatic.

For starters: are we really to believe (especially in light of his own revelations of an all-pervasive clandestine surveillance regime) that Snowden, after booking a flight to Hong Kong (and soon after – numerous hotel rooms) all admittedly on his own credit card, could not be immediately traced and apprehended (or ‘neutralised’) shortly after (assumedly) the entire U.S. security apparatus had been alerted to his actions and movements? Is it really plausible that possibly the world’s most wanted man (at that moment) could just ‘go-to-ground’ and evade the ‘all-seeing-eye’ for a full fortnight in a cosmopolitan and highly-accessible city?

Some sources report that Snowden gave up his rental home in Hawaii (as he was ostensibly ‘transferring jobs’) just days before he ‘fled’ to Hong Kong and global infamy. How convenient.

Snowden also comes from a family steeped in security state nomenclature. His grandfather was a rear-admiral and subsequently a senior FBI official (present at the Pentagon on September 11th 2001) while apparently “everybody in my family has worked for the federal government in one way or another.” Snowden himself enjoyed stints at the CIA and NSA before landing at defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Surely it would be starkly traumatic for one so tethered to the military-industrial-complex, to suddenly turn ‘traitor.’

Still other questions rudely interrupt the ostensibly chivalrous tale.

To put it bluntly, Snowden is possibly just a little too young to be a convincing whistleblower. 29 year-old whistleblowers are statistically a rare thing indeed. By definition – zealots must start with zeal. Only over time is it plausible for the zealot to become wizened by the ugly machine of which he is but a cog. Just a handful of years before turning tumultuous ‘whistleblower’ Snowden was to be found on internet tech-forums waxing enthusiastically about the security state. His ‘gestation’ from true-believer to ground-quaking operative seems unusually and unconvincingly brief.

Fellow whistleblower William Binney is more likely (at least by age) to be the real deal. Over three decades in spy-craft he reportedly became increasingly frightened by the metastasising spectre of the national-security-complex. His revelations, while similar in tone to Snowden’s and predating them by over a decade, were greeted with little fanfare (and considerable personal harassment and marginalisation).

By contrast, Snowden was granted immediate and enthusiastic access to the most venerated organs of ‘controlled opposition’ and officially sanctioned stenography. Each outlet sticking dutifully to their established charter and brand demographic.

While (by some sleight-of-hand) still able to present itself as ‘progressive’ and ‘independent’, the New York Times is neither. Socially liberal yet aggressively war-like in foreign policy tastes (just how elites like it), the NYT has led the charge to countless illegal and immoral invasions/wars/actions and interventions, baying for rivers of blood from Iraq to Syria and beyond.

Likewise, the U.K Guardian gives oxygen to a raft of somewhat nebulous social concerns with po-faced righteousness, while yet being a clamorous cheerleader for bombing and murder from Libya to Ukraine (how many times can one newspaper repeatedly invent the ‘Russian invasion of Ukraine’ and retain any kind of credibility?).

Similarly, there is something decidedly absurd about the pretence of exclusive Snowden techno-anarchist sound-bites gracing the pages of neocon-beltway-bible The Washington Post.

And yet those glorified minarets of state/private propaganda champion a supposedly dangerous traitor/whistleblower absconded into enemy territory? It doesn’t add up.

Indeed, The Guardian tasked one of its most voracious experts in officially-sanctioned fellatio (Luke Harding), to mint the approved novelisation of poster-boy Snowden’s exploits. Harding’s long stint of feeble, flaccid journalism in thrall to MI6 and deep-state enabling has finally found just recompense in a big-time Hollywood pay-cheque (his book adapted for Oliver Stone’s forthcoming Snowden biopic).

As a blunt instrument of propaganda, Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” might indeed make Leni Riefenstahl blush, but could the Snowden gambit be a far more insidious and subtle secret-state strategy?

In purely practical terms alone, the ‘Snowden revelations’ have been an unmitigated victory for the national security state. A global public that was previously blissfully unaware of its position as central target of mass surveillance has now been thoroughly (and generally, comfortably) acclimated to that very idea. A raft of recent studies conclude that the Snowden revelations have had a marked chilling effect on people’s online habits and expressions of dissent.

Indeed, for a permanent cyber-Panopticon to be truly effective as a means of social control, the inmates (the global public) must be at least peripherally aware of its existence. Assuming it does actually exist and one of its aims is (logically) the abortion of popular dissent (through mass scale self-policing), a gargantuan surveillance apparatus also has clear uses as a giant blackmail machine (this would neatly explain the perpetually compliant response from the legislature and judiciary) and as a profound and unimaginably effective tool of social engineering.

Perhaps we are already there? Various leaks about Facebook and the Pentagon’s partnered experiments in ‘crowd herding’ and ‘emotional contagion,’ along with the underreported long-term history of tech corporations (Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc.) co-parenting with the NSA-CIA-Pentagon-DARPA nexus, hint that the entire electronically mediated womb-environment of today might just be one vast dark Psy-Op (interestingly, Vladimir Putin once referred to the internet as a ‘CIA Project’).

Software already exists to constantly monitor social media, analyse (in real-time) public trends and responses, and generate automatic (i.e robotic) comments/posts supporting (or denigrating) a chosen policy/worldview/opinion/initiative/product. We know (ironically largely via Edward Snowden), that our rogue intelligence agencies have been busy launching battalions of cyber-warriors and studying the psychology of online relations and the very architecture of our intrinsic belief systems.

After endless reams of circus commentary and vast volumes of hot air, the net result of the Snowden saga has in fact been the legitimation, legalisation and expansion of the very same unwarranted, unconstitutional, unnecessary (and surely intrinsically illegal) indiscriminate surveillance regime.

‘Mission creep’ has become a stampede, as supine governments rush a candied ‘national security’ wish-list of mass surveillance (and police state) initiatives past a bewildered and disenfranchised public. Nowhere is this more rudely obvious than in Australia, Canada, the U.K and the U.S itself, all of which have increased the state’s options for surveillance and data retention in the months since the ‘Snowden revelations’ (while performing a pantomime of ‘debate’ and ‘consultation’).

The ‘terrorist’ bogeyman (looking understandably tired and unconvincing) has been trotted out yet again to justify all this breathless chicanery. That these nations are all working from the same international (intelligence agency?) playbook seems in little doubt – the timing, wording and circumstances of (for example) recent surveillance ‘reforms’ in Australia, Canada and France being so strikingly similar. Likewise, a similar series of dubious provocations, sieges and ‘terrorist’ attacks predictably and magically manifested themselves just prior to the legislation being tabled – the public must, of course, be cajoled in the right direction.

Is it not possible that we have been completely gamed? The mysterious and messianic figure of Edward Snowden, introduced to acclimatise the global public to the very idea of an endless, all-pervading surveillance state (entirely unaccountable with unstated goals and limitless technology). Snowden as ‘progressive’ Trojan Horse (perhaps much like Barack Obama before him) to activate and mobilise the public passion, only to see it hijacked and channeled into Room 101. After much ‘debate’ from captured politicians and a puppeteer punditry the (entirely noxious) ‘security regime’ is solidified and expanded – the illusion being, that ultimately ‘democracy’ functioned and the population actually ‘chose’ omniscient observation – for the ‘greater good.’

Snowden himself perhaps reminds one of an articulate Lee Harvey Oswald-like character, a brave young patriotic warrior in deep-cover embrace with the Russian bear, dancing a dangerous and duplicitous deep-state deception. Knowingly (or unknowingly) a tool of clandestine forces. Snowden should bear in mind that he too, if he outlives his usefulness, might be thrown to the lions (just like Oswald was).

Imagine for a moment that the Snowden saga is a test. Having built a labyrinthine structure for social control (a compliant media and cowered public that cheerfully delivers itself up to enormous data-mining projects like social media): in fact, an almost entire reality-set constructed and delivered electronically – surely one would be tempted to test it? To see if complete movements, debates, paradigms and world-views could be generated out of whole virtual cloth and controlled? A test-tone, a electro-static ripple, a tremulous shock-wave to the online body electric.

Would it really be possible to introduce an idea (global omniscient surveillance) itself intrinsically repugnant, and yet shepherd it through a controlled release (and discourse) to have it ultimately accepted, completely present and yet essentially invisible? To test the various nuances and feedback loops in media (and online social media) that now might just grant remote Panopticon control of an entire population and their ‘internal landscape’? An electronically mediated ‘reality’ where ideas and beliefs are mere manifestations of algorithms and software?

Conservatives, progressives, activists, lethargists – all actors in the traveling circus of ‘representative democracy’ and ‘online society’?