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Unclear on the concept cavalcade continues to corrupt citizens’ consciousness

4:16 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Ripped from the headlines, the news seems to suggest that rank and file democrats are following their standard bearer’s ‘style’ when it comes to solving some of the more pressing and complex problems that we face togehter as a nation. Its good to know that these followers have appreciated the efforts made by the Obama administration to “set the tone” as we sally forth together to solve these troubling and significant criminal and cultural problems.

Democratic leadership acts as anti-equal justice vigilante, taking personal initiative to smash the concept of equal protection under the law with of get-out-of-jail-for-free winks and nods to felonious bankers

President Obama, referring to the his administration’s broad based policy of agreeing to non-prosecution agreements drafted by private businesses who have been accused of criminality, reassured citizens angered by the administration’s apparent disregard for the law when he stated; “Well, first, on the issue of — on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehman’s and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless…You know, the financial sector is very creative, and they are always looking for ways to make money. That’s their job. And if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it.”

Democratic president acts as anti-international and anti-US constitutional law vigilante, pommeling treaties and settled US law with the truncheon of a non-investigation promise to American torturers

A short two months after winning the election in 2008, and just days before taking an oath that requires him to “protect and defend the constitution”, president Barack Obama, speaking on television on January 10, 2009, advised Americans of his unconventional plan for enforcing treaty obligated, legally codified and constitutionally mandated prohibitions against torturing human beings, stating; “Part of my job is to make sure that, for example, at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got spend their all their time looking over their shoulders…(I operate on) a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

Democratic president acts as anti-health vigilante, taking personal initiative to smash the public healthcare option with cudgel of disingenuousness and lies

Speaking to a gathering of actually important Democratic party supporters in September of 2010 who paid $30,000 each to sup with President Obama, the president took time to put critics of his signature insurance industry bail-out plan called the Affordable Care Act in their place, saying, “Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there.”

Democratic president acts as anti-constitution vigilante, taking personal initiative to bug-splat American citizens with no judge’s order

In a new book regarding the 2010 presidential campaign, President Obama confirms one of the skills that he has consciously honed and perfected since he became president of the United States. Having overseen the conveyance of sky-death to hundreds of innocent humans as he personally ordered hundreds of drone executions, Obama reflected on his new-found passion, stating, “I’m really good at killing people.”

Democratic president acts as anti-privacy vigilante, taking personal initiative to bludgeon the notion of private communication for every member of the human race with complete and unrelenting surveillance

Speaking to a troubled populous after they were informed of the un-warranted and warrantless surveillance of all Americans, and most citizens of planet earth, for the entire time he has been president, Barack Obama sought to calm the concerns of Americans when he advised in July 2013 that, the “modest encroachments on privacy” were “worth us doing” in furtherance of protecting the homeland. Obama reminded Americans that, while not specified in the US Constitution, “There are some trade-offs involved,” when it comes to protecting the homeland.

Democratic leadership teams with Republican leadership as anti-sick person vigilantes, taking personal initiative to scheme to beat back relief payments to American patients with technical accounting brick-bat

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Troubled waters as Israeli newspaper is accused of editorial dishonesty

5:20 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

The artist-activist Roger Waters has responded sharply to the editors of Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper who published an interview by Alon Hadar with the co-founder of the music group “Pink Floyd” on September 28. Waters said that the article was “littered with misinformation” and amounted to a “serious distortion of the actual interview” that he gave in Amsterdam in early September.

Waters, in a letter to his Israeli fans that was released via social media, states that the editors of Yedioth Ahronoth did not misquote him, but they altered the questions that Waters was asked, making the exchange appear to have been “a combative, ill-natured, dog-fight.” Waters said that the editors of the newspaper were engaging in “shoddy journalism” as they held up “to be real, what is in fact, a fabrication.” Waters has provided an English Translation of the interview that was transcribed from a video of the event.

Waters said that the editors with all their “distortions and untruths…(appear to) want to maintain the status quo, alienate me from my fans in Israel and retreat from any consideration of the position that all the peoples of the region deserve to live in peace and justice with equal rights for all under the same laws, irrespective of color, race or religion.”

Waters agreed to the interview in an effort to reach out to his Israeli fans to explain his strong opposition to the half-century illegal occupation of Palestine, the militarized quarantining of Gaza and Israel’s unfair treatment of its Arab citizens. Waters had hoped that the interview could help him explain his “position on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), to break down Walls, and shed light on possible misunderstandings and our shared predicament.” Waters is a strong supporter of the growing boycott and divestment movement protesting Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.

The profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives

5:58 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

Wheatpasted Street Art: Lennon & Yoko: War Is Kinda Over!

War and the media as we head toward Syria.

cross posted at the demise

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…
– Major General Smedley Butler, War is a Racket pamphlet, 1935

Herman Göring, Founder of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany :

Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
– quoted in Gustave Gilbert’s Nuremburg Diaries, taken from an interview conducted while the Nuremburg trials were taking place

Yesterday, the self-styled professor Elizabeth O’Bagy was fired by the non-profit organization based in Washington DC that is called the Institute for the Study of War. The Institute fired O’Bagy for lying, and for many Americans – ain’t too surprising to find that there is a liar in DC.

O’Bagy’s ‘go for the war’ op-ed in the Wall Street Journal was cited by warmongers of both political stripes as American politicians pumped and primed it’s war making machine over the past few weeks. Both Secretary of State John Kerry (D) and Senator John McCain (R) used the “facts” contained in the Wall Street Journal piece to inspire war fury in the populace, while pointing to the “important op-ed” as they banged their fists on congressional committee hearing tables.

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DEA fakebook : parallel construction

1:33 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Reuters has reported that the National Security Administration has been sharing information gleaned through its extensive secret systems of surveillance with the Drug Enforcement Administration for more than a decade.

The information sharing, which has resulted in convictions of criminals in drug cases, has brought the law enforcement practice known as “parallel construction” to the awareness of US citizens who have reacted with astonishment, given the popular conceptions that Americans have about due process as it is articulated in the US Constitution.

The NSA, which has been revealed in recent months to be utilizing sophisticated technologies to engage in massive near total surveillance of Americans and the rest of the world’s citizens relying upon secret interpretations of secret laws, has been assiduous in ensuring that its worldwide surveillance program not be revealed. As the NSA shared its surveillance “tips” with the DEA, it instructed the agents who received its “tips” to create out of thin air justifications for why and how the DEA initiates its investigations. Reuters came into possession of training materials about the program that instructs agents to never reveal that “tips” come from the NSA and further instructs agents to misrepresent to judges and defense attorneys that the information received from the NSA was actually the result of “normal investigative techniques.”

Members of law enforcement who spoke about the NSA/DEA cooperative spying program to Reuters defended the spying program, saying that “parallel construction” is a police technique that is utilized “every day.”

In traditional law enforcement investigations, law enforcement must show a judge evidence of wrong-doing to receive a court order to electronically track, search or wiretap a target of interest. In cases where the NSA brought tips to the DEA that resulted in arrests, training documents revealed by Reuters show that the federal agents were required to “recreate” the trail of the investigation to cover up the fact that the cases were predicated on legally questionable surveillance by the NSA of regular American citizens.

While apparently this practice is ‘all good’ with police, federal agents and federal prosecutors as it guarantees them perfect ‘targets’ for investigations that are certain to produce jailed ‘bad guys’, it’s seeming violation of this tried and true method of criminal enforcement;

“no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized,”

has been criticized by civil libertarians, defense attorneys and legal scholars. The Reuters article quotes defense attorney Lawrence Lustberg, who succinctly articulates the constitutional and due process problems created by the DEA using the tactic “parallel construction”; when law enforcement is instructed to cover up the origin of or simply fabricate evidence that it uses to convict citizens of crimes, is “not only alarming but pretty blatantly unconstitutional.”

Many Americans, who have become inured to dual track systems of justice in America (one for the wealthy and connected and one for regular citizens), dual track systems for due process (where we are accorded inalienable rights that have no value when a politician screams the word “terror”), dual track systems for education (publically supported private schools for the wealthy and broken-down ramshackle schools for the poor), dual track systems for government bailouts (private financial companies get bailed out with no strings attached to the tune of trillions while those who lost their homes get measly hundred dollar checks), may themselves find it necessary to think about their relationship to their cultural and political environment using the technique of “parallel construction”:

“One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”, paralleled with, “one nation under surveillance, with suspicion and indefinite detention for all”.

Its all good.

soft totalitarianism : self-censorship and acceptance of corporate surveillance

11:33 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross poste at the demise

The revelation from one of the world’s few remaining independent press organizations, the Associated Press, that, subsequent to the federal government’s attempt to criminalize the act of reportage, its traditional sources regarding governmental wrong doing (or just plain government doing) are choosing to keep mum should be of no surprise to the AP, and also to us, the citizenry.

When confronted with the specter of rulers who make the game up as they go along their merry way committing both immoral and illegal acts (and also, immoral illegal acts) who then claim that they have self-created authority to do these things, which meet the standards of their underling rubber-stampers (which cannot in any case be reviewed by ‘regular citizens’) –many Americans have recently fumbled with, have attempted to define for themselves based upon what they know now is true about how the government operates and from whom it takes orders, have almost brought to utterance but are hamstrung from personally accepting a concept that has been reviled, ostracized, belittled, ignored (all in a self-serving fashion that countervails appreciable extant reality) but is none the less likely the single most apt way to characterize the relationship between our current leaders of commerce and leaders of our nation: that we are living in a neo-fascist state.

Moreover, many citizens are realizing that, with the metastasizing fashion that corporate finance has seized all world markets and made pariahs of those earthlings who do not participate in the predatory system of structured western commerce; we live in a globalized neo-fascist economy where even sovereign state governments are powerless to effect change using systems of democratic governance.

Benito Mussolini, the historic patriarch of the world’s first broadly acknowledged fascist state, is reported widely (but not definitively) to have once described the government that he controlled as “corporatist” as opposed to fascist, because fascism is the melding of the state and corporate interests. Which of these players actually is the controller in this dynamic is less important in my mind (I am not a historian) because when the state’s interests and corporate interests merge, the interests of the populace – the citizens who are supposed to direct polity in democracies – are not the foci of the energies and concerns of the state and our corporate masters.

What concerns fascists, both corporate and political, is often rather; for politicians, the concern to maintain power (do the bidding of corporate controllers) and concentrate power (e.g. presidential signing statements), and in the corporate world, the concentration of power (monopolization) and the maintenance of power (wealth hoarding) – really the same thing, none of which directly speaks to the concerns, needs or wishes of the governed.

When the media complains now about their inability to mine sources due to the government’s threatening actions, they must not want to remember that they (meaning DC media types – but the same holds true at the city and state levels) have over and over again chosen to trade their being given “access” to ask questions of those who govern for their acquiescence to power itself – not embarrassing, not alleging anything untoward, not bringing up unseemly or embarrassing matters; generally kissing the ring, if you will, of the political class in America largely for selfish careerist reasons.

Examples of this fake-style journalism are myriad indeed- to name a few; why no questions to the candidates for president last election on the illegal occupation of Palestine, why no questions about the presidential assassination of American citizens with no due process, why no concern in the media that Dodd-Frank has been neutered by politicians in both parties, why so much agreement that ‘no laws were broken’ when the private banks destroyed the world economy and were consequently made whole with tax dollars handed out in an impressive bi-partisan manner to these private companies with no pre-conditions, why is it fair to make these private parties whole with tax dollars, why no reportage about the corporate/government cooperative program to attack and criminalize the Occupy movement, why no media interest in the detainment and torture of Bradley Manning, why no reporting on the massive surveillance state in the US that has been known about for more than 10 years, with lawsuits being filed, admissions of wrong doing on the part of the highest levels of government, laws being retroactively changed to protect corporations, presidential candidates running on the issues of transparency, illegal surveillance and privacy, as candidate Obama did? The list is nearly endless.

What one can very easily calculate is that the press is understood by the powerful as a tool of propaganda and has been turned into no more than a career building mechanism by reporters and a money maker for media owners, none of whom understand as our founding fathers did that a free and contentious press is a bulwark against totalitarianism and fascism, a necessary component of a free democratic society.

From one standpoint, the questions that are not answered might reflect that concerns such as those referenced above just may not be seen to be of interest to the media because they feel their audience does not care about these. We know this is not the case subsequent to the recent revelations of the massive surveillance state and Americans’ genuine, concerned and almost frantic interest in the story.

From another standpoint, the questions that are not answered are providing cover for politicians who want their anti-democratic programs to never be discussed – in other words, these media professionals are conspiring to cover-up government abuses. And, the same can be said of the press when it comes to writing about corporate excess and corporate crime…we have seen over the past twenty years or more that questions about matters that are ‘sensitive’ to the corporate elite remain, quite simply, never asked and buried.

So, with respect to the media coverage of corporate crime and political malfeasance we see an agreement to present a charade of press freedom as a free press. The political class depends on fake-reporters that self-censor to maintain control and (as we have become aware due to recent revelations), to enlarge the national security state and diminish or negate the rights of Americans to confront and challenge the national security state. A beautiful form of control that relies upon individuals to abandon their sense of community and commitment to the ongoing project of a democratic country. We don’t have the need for Pravda, just look at what a free press we have…soft totalitarianism.

Sadly, we too, the citizenry, have ‘traded-off’ to secure access. Access to coupons, targeted advertising, special offers, reduced prices, free gifts – consumer treats that flow like an unstoppable torrent as we daily agree to the ‘terms of service’ contracts that are presented to us by corporations so we can use the products that they develop.

In light of the revelation that the federal government has been and intends to continue to record every possible communication and transaction that we make, many Americans are rightly concerned about their loss of privacy and its attendant freedom (the right to be secure in your persons, homes, papers and effects). Revealing, this anger and disbelief and concern, as we have each individually and on thousands of incidental occasions over the past ten years consciously, willingly and happily relinquished our anonymity and autonomy to the enticing, invasive and unstoppable culture of complete corporate surveillance.

No need to take away our rights when they have been gifted away to our leaders of commerce by you and me…Soft totalitarianism.

‘beware of maya’ george harrison

FBI use of unmanned drones constrained by unwritten rules

9:21 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI owns and operates unmanned surveillance drones that have been used by the agency for surveillance purposes.

Mueller, responding to a question asked by Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, advised the committee that the FBI surveillance drones have been used in surveillance operations on American soil. Mueller, in an attempt to assuage the concerns of the congressional overseers, assured that the FBI’s use of unmanned surveillance drones to spy on Americans was “very seldom” and only in “particular instances.”

Mueller further advised the committee that, although the agency has thus far only used its unmanned drone capabilities in the US on limited occasions, the FBI is currently establishing agency guidelines and rules for its future domestic drone surveillance operations.

Mueller leaks confirmation of leak investigation

1:30 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said today that the Department of Justice has “an on-going investigation” into the disclosure of protected information regarding the spying activities of the National Security Administration. 

Information published last week by the Guardian UK revealed that the NSA has been collecting and storing billions of digital communications, from phone conversations and email communications to social networking postings and the records of private commercial transactions for at least ten years.

Mueller told members of the House Judiciary Committee that the DOJ is “taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures.” 

Mueller also stated his conviction that the massive data collection and analysis program that the NSA has conducted for the past decade, which has focused both on foreign nationals as well as American citizens charged with no crime, is being conducted in a manner that does not contravene American’s Constitutional rights or US laws.

In general, the subjects of law enforcement investigations are not publically disclosed so as to not jeapordize on-going investigative inquiries. Official actions that law enforcement agencies take, on the other hand, such as allegations related to court filings, are public documents, and are available for review by all members of the public in our open society.