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Saturday, January 18, 2014

"We are now a police state" - top NSA official

So much for that whole "land of the free" business. To say nothing of the Fourth Amendment and security in one's person and papers:
“The main use of the collection from these [NSA spying] programs [is] for law enforcement. These slides give the policy of the DOJ/FBI/DEA etc. on how to use the NSA data. In fact, they instruct that none of the NSA data is referred to in courts – cause it has been acquired without a warrant. So, they have to do a ‘Parallel Construction’ and not tell the courts or prosecution or defense the original data used to arrest people. This I call: a ‘planned programed perjury policy’ directed by US law enforcement.”

“And, as the last line on one slide says, this also applies to ‘Foreign Counterparts. This is a total corruption of the justice system not only in our country but around the world. The source of the info is at the bottom of each slide. This is a totalitarian process – means we are now in a police state.”
- Bill Binney, NSA Senior Technical Director
The USA's spying program is ALREADY much worse than Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or even East Germany. The gloves are coming off. One can no longer reasonably pretend that the USA is anything but an imperial police state wearing an increasingly thin quasi-democratic, faux constitutional veil.

Remember this the next time you dismiss something as conspiracy theory or claim that a government agency couldn't possibly keep a secret from the American people. The real NSA conspiracy against the American people is much more extensive, and has been around longer, than even the hard-core conspiracy hunters suspected.

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55 Comments:

Anonymous Idle Spectator January 18, 2014 4:46 AM  

"I googled your bedroom." - new t-shirt.

Anonymous zen0 January 18, 2014 5:18 AM  

''Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.''
George Bush

Looks a little different, now.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 18, 2014 6:10 AM  

In a way, this relieves some of the pressure.

If they already know everything, why worry about being 'found out'?

Relax, be Fascist, and face the sun.

Anonymous LES January 18, 2014 6:29 AM  

Now let us swell with pride as we stand for the National Anthem and feel all goose-bumpy when the jets fly over the stadium. We're number 1! Oh, yeah,
and support the troops.

Anonymous Keep Calm and Carry On January 18, 2014 6:48 AM  

The market already is coming up with a solution,the Android Blackphone.

Blogger JACIII January 18, 2014 8:02 AM  

I can understand how the truly rich thought this was a good idea. The perception that their thugs in blue would be better able to keep the riffraff from their sight and their privileged positions placing them above persecution would tend to support this. But, it can't end well. There is no way for it to end well. It's the of stuff like the French Revolution, Kristallnacht, and the Reign of Terror.

Pen and paper will be back in vogue very soon.

Anonymous zen0 January 18, 2014 8:05 AM  

Pen and paper will be back in vogue very soon.

Cursive, bitchez.

Anonymous Roundtine January 18, 2014 8:08 AM  

This is why there is separation of powers. Intelligence should have never been taken away from the military.

Anonymous jack January 18, 2014 8:14 AM  

It will be interesting to see the price of BlackPhone and how long it takes the NSA and associates to make it illegal. If they don't make the thing illegal then you can probably have some reasonable doubts as to its real level of security.

I still like the ideal of [startrek] metaphor 'speak' and the use of one time pads. Surely, short of actual brain reading that could be called secure.

An idea: Millions delivering code word trigger emails [words like NSA, terrorist, bomb, assassination, etc. combined with totally ordinary material, maybe receipts, gossip about the stars in Hollywood] overload the sifting computers and collection points.

So, I wonder when the blackshirts will be loosed upon us; excuse me, the DHS, the 16k so called IRS agents, Obamatron's private army.

Anonymous Idle Spectator January 18, 2014 8:14 AM  

Pen and paper will be back in vogue very soon.

Im'a gunna get me a pick quill pen and start the calligraphy.

Intelligence should have never been taken away from the military.

I'm not sure it was there to begin with.

Blogger Krul January 18, 2014 8:18 AM  

JACIII - Pen and paper will be back in vogue very soon.

In a world of supercomputers and high speed electronic communication, writing on paper and distributing pamphlets becomes an act of political subversion once again. How romantic!

Considering the wording of the Fourth Amendment, paper may hold out as a refuge of free thought well after the annexation of all the ones and zeroes... IF they want to maintain the facade of adherence to the Constitution, that is.

Anonymous p-dawg January 18, 2014 8:19 AM  

@Jack: Sokath, his eyes uncovered. Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Darmok and Jalad in the ocean. Uzani, his army with fists open. Uzani, his army with fists closed.

Anonymous Steveo January 18, 2014 8:20 AM  

NSA or Snowden? Who upheld their oath to the Constitution of the US?

Blogger JACIII January 18, 2014 8:23 AM  

Yes, zeno, the unbreakable cursive code.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 18, 2014 8:42 AM  

I used to accept what I read (if I remember right) in Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA, by William Colby. He said, there can't be anything too crazy, because if four people know a thing, one has already sold their story to the New York Times. The risk that your big secret will come out and you will face unacceptable consequences is too big. In sum: ignore all "conspiracy theories".

National Director of Intelligence James Clapper committed perjury and misled Congress very publicly. Nothing happened. So for "unacceptable consequences" read "no consequences". (Many other examples might be given.)

Selling your secrets to the New York Times doesn't work if the New York Times is a co-conspirator, which it almost always is, along with the rest of the mass media. The mass media's hilarious lack of interest in Somalis and bombs is one example among too many to count.

We know that this is in part because journalism is a networked (and heavily Jewish) conspiracy, because JournoList came out - and we know that there's a lot more of that that we never saw. So apparently conspiring to fix stories for partisan reasons, smear people with "racism" and other deadly charges on a purely manipulative basis, and advance the careers of the networked in-group at the expense of outsiders is not as bad as it gets.

Obama's anti-whistle-blower campaign is very serious. Consequences are for truth-tellers, not conspirators.

Despite that, absolutely massive secrets and conspiracies come out from time to time. And sometimes - like this time - they even explain how everybody is deceived in an ongoing way. ("...this also applies to ‘Foreign Counterparts...") Nothing happens.

We know that "big science" is in part a conspiracy, because we have all read "climategate" emails where the conspirators talk about how they stiff people trying to use the Freedom of Information act, collaborate to kill the careers of dissenters, and so on. After that revelation, nothing happened.

The fact that nothing happens is inexplicable according to the official story on how our democratic system works. On all these issues the political opposition ought to be leaping on the issue to better satisfy the public and win power. That doesn't happen. Something else happens, which we are not permitted to see.

We know that highly networked and secretive billionaires pay many hundreds of millions of dollars to political parties, politicians and campaigns. What are they getting for their money? All we know is that the mass media doesn't think we need to know.

On all the most crucial issues, like mass immigration, both parties collaborate to lock out the public, not allowing a vote (or as with Save Our State in California, invalidating it).

This doesn't apply if you don't believe it, but I do and I'm not alone: white genocide is a Krakatoa of a secret, which is being hidden in plain sight. And if there can be one, why not two or more?

Anonymous Godfrey January 18, 2014 8:44 AM  

Maybe, just maybe the naïve lollipop state worshiping left and the brain dead USA-USA-USA right will FINALLY begin to realize who the real enemy is.

We're in a class war.

Anonymous YIH January 18, 2014 9:15 AM  

'Mark Zuckerberg Runs A Giant Spy Machine'.
Between Fecesbook, the Federal Reserve and Woody Allen (among countless others) there are jews who keep proving Stereotypes exist for a reason

Anonymous Tony Montana January 18, 2014 9:57 AM  

Operation Blackphone: an elaborate and impressive sting set up by the NSA. What better way to gather and monitor all terror suspects under one pseudo-service with a device and marketing campaign that is sure to lure them in. Any other explanation would just seem ridiculous given the power the NSA has to control the tech industry.

Anonymous Bobo January 18, 2014 9:59 AM  

I was working in the French Quarter on the Sat before Katrina hit. On the Weather Channel you could plainly see a massive demonic swirl covering the whole Gulf, and heading right for NOLA.
Everyone was calmly walking around, tourists drinking and snapping pics, some business owners were making half-hearted storm-preps. I'm telling everyone I came in contact with "Get the flyin' f@ck outta here!"
Everyone thought they had plenty of time. Or that it wouldn't be that bad, or shift toward Pensacola.
I bugged home @ 4 to the North Shore, loaded wifey and baby up, and at 11pm escaped unimpeded to my folk's in west La. Then calmly watched the horror of family members and others fail to escape what had been easily escapable.

So now an even bigger & more deadly storm is enveloping 'Murica, everyone's still walking around calmly drinking and taking pics...
Me, I'm loading up the brood and heading for sunnier climes. To my family & friends who stay behind, thinking it's not going to get that bad (or mo' foolisher) that things will get better...enjoy the nationwide Superdome, and all the fun and vibrancy it entails.

Anonymous Mr. Stubby January 18, 2014 10:02 AM  

Oh thank God! Now that we know, we can go back to shopping!

Anonymous BillB January 18, 2014 10:28 AM  

It is fact that the federal government has only six (6) police powers and those are explicitly granted in the Constitution. Everything else the FBI, DEA, and others do is UNCONSTITUTIONAL regardless of the end which it serves. It is also fact that We the People have failed to hold of elected servants feet to the fire every time they violated the Constitution, and we don't need the f-cking supreme court to make to tell what is and isn't unconstitutional that is NOT a power the court legally has. We the People are supposed to be in charge. All those who sat here and recited the lie known as the Pledge of Allegiance and who applauded actions, both military and political in foreign countries are to blame. If you don't understand that the US is merely the EU for the 50 nations that make up the damn thing, you are ignorant. Go read your Constitution; the word nation NEVER appears but Union does. To everyone who voted in the guy who promised them the most or who brought home the bacon, this is YOUR fault.

Anonymous Stilicho January 18, 2014 10:34 AM  

Avoid all gov't employees.
Shun all gov't employees.
Discriminate against all gov't employees.
Destroy all gov't employees.
Destroy the families of all gov't employees.
No need to shoot their dogs, we aren't complete barbarians.

There's the trajectory. Apply as needed. After all, they are already doing it to citizens.

Anonymous bw January 18, 2014 10:46 AM  

...at the end of September, Greenwald and Scahill revealed that they were working on a ground-breaking story containing new details on the NSA’s role in the US assassination program gleaned from Greenwald’s private stash of Snowden documents.

Two weeks later the $250 million deal with Omidyar was announced and talk of the assassination program expose stopped. Three months later, no further details have been released about the story, and whether or not it will appear as one of the first big ventures on Omidyar’s new news venture.

More worrying still are Pierre Omidyar’s role in this saga. That this billionaire co-founder of eBay is suddenly so concerned with the state of journalism that he is willing to drop a quarter of a billion dollars purchasing the services of the very man who is sitting on a trove of tens of thousands (or more) NSA documents is odd, especially considering that Omidyar’s record on civil liberties and his network’s connections to the NSA and Booz Allen Hamilton are enough to raise serious red flags about his new venture.

As principal shareholder and chairman of eBay, Omidyar controls eBay’s child company, PayPal. PayPal has recently made headlines for prosecuting the so-called “PayPal 14,” the hacktivists who staged a virtual ‘sit in’ in protest of PayPal’s decision to cut off Wikileaks’ funding by organizing a Denial of Service attack on PayPal’s website. PayPal was co-founded by Max Levchin, a dedicated NSA supporter.

More worrying still, Sal Gambianco, one of the principal investment partners with the Omidyar Network, actually sits on the board of advisors of Globant, a software company in which both the Omidyar Network and Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden’s former employer, are major shareholders. Philip Odeen, one of the Booz Allen Hamilton board members, also sits on the Board of Directors of Globant. The Omidyar Network and Booz Allen Hamilton are also both major investors in Innocentive



Anonymous YIH January 18, 2014 10:47 AM  

@Keep Calm and Carry On:
Even easier; get a 'burner' phone. Pay for it in cash. Pay for the airtime cards in cash.
What does it do? It makes calls, it takes calls, it does text messages, and nothing else. No GPS, no internet, not even a camera.
The best the NSA can do is get a rough estimate of the phone's location from triangulation.
Just like Fecesbook, the more you can do, the more they can spy on you.

Anonymous p-dawg January 18, 2014 11:13 AM  

@YIH: I would recommend one of those for private conversations, and a regular smartphone for everyday use, for camouflage. Leave it at home when necessary. Maybe they'll think you're home when just the smartphone is. At the very least, you don't stick out as a weirdo with no phone.

Anonymous Godfrey January 18, 2014 11:20 AM  

Well "liberals" you have what you want. There are now practically no limits on raw government power. So naïve fools when does utopia arrive?

I guess in a sense utopia does arrive if you're wealthy and politically connected. But for the rest of us, the 99.9%, it's going to be hell on earth.

Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2014 11:47 AM  

Selling your secrets to the New York Times doesn't work if the New York Times is a co-conspirator, which it almost always is, along with the rest of the mass media.

Exactly. It's not necessary to keep something a secret if the MSM treats it as a joke. Take as a random example the death of Vince Foster. We know that as soon as the news got to the White House, there were attempts at a cover-up, with various people going through Foster's office and briefcase and looking for anything incriminating. But it didn't really work; lots of contradictory information came out anyway, plenty to show that Foster certainly didn't commit suicide where the body was found, at the very least. Entire books have been published, and numerous web sites built, chronicling all the falsehoods that prop up the official story. Yet most Americans believe the official story for one reason: the MSM says the dissenters are a bunch of kooks. That's all it takes. If the MSM had been against Clinton instead of in his pocket, they could highlighted all the contradictions and pushed the conspiracy angle and gotten Clinton impeached in a matter of weeks -- even if he was completely innocent and Foster did commit suicide.

You could replace Foster with Waco, Obama's birth certificate, or any other conspiracy theory. The MSM is completely in charge of what most people believe when it comes to these kinds of stories. People think, "Well, I wasn't there, so whom am I going to believe: some guy with a web site who seems a little too invested in this, or all the well-groomed, highly-educated people on TV who tell me he's a nut?" The JFK conspiracies survive for the same reason: the MSM loves JFK (the myth, at least), so it continues to give at least some credence to the theories instead of just slapping them down as nonsense.

Imagine if the powers-that-be behind the biggest dozen or so newspapers and TV networks all decided to convince the populace that the moon landings never happened. How long would it take to get a 51% response to "it never happened" on a poll? A month, maybe?

Blogger Jamie-R January 18, 2014 12:27 PM  

I laughed when Obama said they don't do it on corporates.

Blogger Jamie-R January 18, 2014 12:28 PM  

Way to paranoia the Germans. It's like 1939.

Blogger Jamie-R January 18, 2014 12:30 PM  

The Germans are always like, we should go West, we should go East. Putin makes it clear, fuck Poland, let's get together.

Blogger Jamie-R January 18, 2014 12:31 PM  

I'm hoping Brit heritage societies wake up, we're not winning anything.

Anonymous sawtooth January 18, 2014 1:19 PM  

The state uses the MSM to disseminate a plethora of dread words to manage the herd.
Propaganda terms like "denier", "truther", "birther", "racist"; "tin foil hat" and on and on.

Average simpletons are loath to be thought of as unacceptable to the herd so not only do they keep themselves within the confines of acceptable thought but sometimes join in the chorus of ridicule and denouncing those who are rightfully suspicious of what they are told by approved sources.

I realize that what I just stated is hardly news but what has always amazed me is how well it works.

Blogger Jamie-R January 18, 2014 1:47 PM  

"Love is always born on a chance." So let Vox roll the dice,

Blogger ajw308 January 18, 2014 1:47 PM  

The market already is coming up with a solution,the Android Blackphone.
You really think a cell phone by one of the NSA's public fronts is going to be secure?

Go read about companies like Palantir Technologies. The only reason the CIA finances something like that is they need a private company to do something they can't legally do.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist January 18, 2014 1:56 PM  

Five years ago, I believed Alex Jones to be a kook. Then at some point I had to ask myself: How many times do the "kooks" need to be right, and how many times does the "respectable media" need to be wrong, before I conclude that the "kooks" are actually worthy of real respect, and that the "respectable media" is really rather kooky?

I couldn't quite tell you when that line was crossed (sometime in the past year to be sure), but it has been. I still don't believe every single thing that Jones and people like him claim, but neither can I dismiss it all out of hand the way I used to, either.

The "kooks" have simply been right too many times.

Anonymous YIH January 18, 2014 2:15 PM  

@P-Dawg: Why is a 'smartphone' something that is necessary? I have a digital camera, I have an mp3 player, I have a computer with the internet.
I don't see any reason why all of those things have to be combined other than ''Nate: Yeah, you're lame, my iShit can do everything''
So what?

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist January 18, 2014 2:20 PM  

"Pen and paper will be back in vogue very soon."

Unfortunately that isn't a practical option for those of us whose subversive and/or revolutionary activities involve speaking out and trying to get a movement going. The mainstream media is too controlled, and handing out pamphlets on the streetcorner will both not reach the necessary audience and will be just as trackable as online communication. No, the internet is the only practical way to get the word out to a wide audience.

Which the government knows full well, and which I suspect is the real motivation behind all of this. Chilling online criticism to the maximum extent possible is a far more practical explanation for all this bother than defending the nation against a few Muslims in a faraway cave somewhere, especially when one considers that by now, any genuine terrorists have gotten the idea that all communication should be done by non-electronic means.

Blogger James Dixon January 18, 2014 2:52 PM  

> On all these issues the political opposition ought to be leaping on the issue to better satisfy the public and win power.

As Vox had noted several times, there is no political opposition. The two parties are two sides of the same coin. And since the control the electoral process, no third party has a real chance.

> To everyone who voted in the guy who promised them the most or who brought home the bacon, this is YOUR fault.

Well, yeah. But what percentage of the people here do you think did that?

> other than ''Nate: Yeah, you're lame, my iShit can do everything''

Nate is a Blackberry fan, not an iDevice fanatic.

Anonymous p-dawg January 18, 2014 3:02 PM  

@YIH: As previously stated, for camouflage. When the government checks up on you, if you give them something to see that they are expecting, they have no reason to look further. If you have anything that sticks out, it might catch their attention.

Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2014 3:18 PM  

Then at some point I had to ask myself: How many times do the "kooks" need to be right, and how many times does the "respectable media" need to be wrong, before I conclude that the "kooks" are actually worthy of real respect, and that the "respectable media" is really rather kooky?

Yep. I was thinking the other day about how many issues there are on which, once I did some research and learned about them in some depth, I discovered that the conventional wisdom is wrong, usually 180 degrees off the truth. It's not just politics either: nutrition (grain good/animal fat bad), virtually everything in the area of HBD/IQ/race, many historical events, men/women, education/schooling, etc. You can almost -- but not quite -- take any issue, see what the MSM is saying about it, and assume the opposite.

The more controversial the issue, the more likely they are to be lying. So an article on race and IQ, for instance, you can assume will be nothing but lies. A piece on what kind of flowers grow best in low-PH soil, on the other hand, might be on the up-and-up -- but check to make sure before planting.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist January 18, 2014 3:41 PM  

@p-dawg

The problem with what Harvey Silverglate pointed out in Three Felonies A Day is not that the government has plans to put all 300 million or so of its citizens - who are all incessantly unintentionally violating some obscure statute or another - in jail. The problem is that if you become an annoyance to them, they will always have *something* they can nail you on. It cannot be otherwise, for as Silverglate pointed out, it is basically impossible to live a normal life without constantly committing transgressions against one or another overly-broad and little-known law.

Anonymous jack January 18, 2014 3:46 PM  

@ p-dawg:

sorry; finally got back to the computer. Those darn chickens demand a lot!
Yeah, metaphor speak would not be easy; And, it would probably have to be combined with something else to be really secure. All that said, I have been wondering, considering the idea that government labs may be decades ahead of what we see in the real world, if their fancy computer systems are being run by actual AI's. Would not surprise me. I just hope those AI's are not up to level of Skynet. Yet.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist January 18, 2014 3:52 PM  

@jack

My fear that this may be true is balanced against my knowledge of the government's general ability to get high tech defense systems working properly (see: F-35).

Blogger TangoMan January 18, 2014 4:29 PM  

We may have an example of this "planned programed perjury policy’" playing out in the media right now. Following the bouncing ball .

CNN reports: After a renewed push for leads in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, authorities in the United Kingdom are turning to Portuguese officials for help. . . .

The development in the case comes roughly three months after new police sketches were released of potential suspects and UK police appeared in a TV appeal for information.


Apparently FOX News didn't get the cover-up memo: Recently discovered cellphone records showed the three suspects made several calls to each other in the hours after the girl vanished.

"Madeleine went missing and within minutes the phones of these suspects were 'red hot' - they were talking to each other an awful lot,” said Martin Brunt, a Sky News crime correspondent. “Investigators have no idea what they were saying to each other. There are no recordings of the phone conversations, but the activity was such that it's raised suspicions."


Which is the most parsimonious explanation?

-Police put up 3 sketches drawn from witness testimony that is now 7 years old and this leads to the identification of 3 suspects and then police troll through 7 year old phone data and detect that these men were talking to each other; or

Police troll through 7 year old phone records, observe a pattern of calls during the moments of McCann's kidnapping, pull the account information, run it against criminal records, find the mug shots of these thieves and then concoct the miraculous recollections which help manufacture the sketches that they put on the TV which leads to the identification of the 3 suspects.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 18, 2014 5:53 PM  

sawtooth January 18, 2014 1:19 PM: "The state uses the MSM to disseminate a plethora of dread words to manage the herd."

Everything you said in that comment is dead on.

Part of the effectiveness of this tactic is that people need to talk back when they are called names. Politically, the side that is always being called names and doesn't talk back effectively will lose and be marginalized.

People can't safely and effectively talk back by themselves; they need to be given things to say back. One reason is, people can't speak freely without the consequences. If you're in the UK and someone calls you a racist, if you say "sure I'm a racist" you might go to prison and get the full Emma West treatment. Or at least get fired.

Not many people are smart enough to come up with safe, effective answers in each situation, not enough to make a political movement viable. You need canned answers that can be passed on and used by masses of ordinary people near the belly of the IQ bell curve.

One of the best ideas anyone has had in recent years is to say:

"In your opinion I'm a racist. You're only saying that because I'm white. Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white."

I didn't understand the point the first time I saw someone say that. The point is not to say the cleverest and most effective thing you as a smart individual can think of in that situation. The point is to say something that's good enough, and that other people can pick up and use too, even if they are only averagely bright and live somewhere where tweeting the wrong thing can lead to the police coming for you at 3am.

Unless you give people an answer like that and get them to use it, telling them about scandals and injustices is counterproductive. it only demoralizes them, because they still can't talk about these things and demand solutions, because if they do someone will call them a racist and they will have no answer, and politically, socially, emotionally and sometimes even legally, getting called nasty names and having no answer is not sustainable.

Of course, that's only for "racist". That still leaves "denier", "truther", "birther", "tin foil hat" and on and on. But "racist" is the one that can put you in prison, so that's a good start.

"In your opinion I'm a racist. You're only saying that because I'm white. Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white."

Pass it on.

Anonymous flapjack January 18, 2014 6:46 PM  

@ YIH: No such thing as burner phones in Australia. You have to provide ID, that is recorded, to buy a mobile phone. The justification is cracking down on organised crime. How long until such laws spread to America?

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 18, 2014 7:00 PM  

Imagine if the powers-that-be behind the biggest dozen or so newspapers and TV networks all decided to convince the populace that the moon landings never happened. How long would it take to get a 51% response to "it never happened" on a poll? A month, maybe?

Two days, because some people worked a double shift the first day.

Story: "NASA official admits the moon landing was faked in order to demoralize the Soviets." [Shots of the Berlin Wall falling]

Next day at work, your coworkers: "Yeah, did you hear we never landed on the moon? It's crazy, WTH." [Munches on some cud.]

Anonymous p-dawg January 18, 2014 7:55 PM  

@ADA: I'm aware of the "law of rules instead of rule of law" problem. That's why I recommend keeping up appearances when possible. It's not that they CAN'T get you, because they can. It's all about not giving them a reason to. Let them find what they're looking for - it's the rare person who will keep looking.

Anonymous map January 18, 2014 9:19 PM  

"As Vox had noted several times, there is no political opposition. The two parties are two sides of the same coin. And since the control the electoral process, no third party has a real chance."

I really don't understand this. Why would anyone want to be a junior partner in the enterprise of government? Nobody wants to rule? Republicans are satisfied with being the buffoons?

Blogger Outlaw X January 18, 2014 11:50 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 19, 2014 6:51 AM  

map: "I really don't understand this. Why would anyone want to be a junior partner in the enterprise of government? Nobody wants to rule? Republicans are satisfied with being the buffoons?"

You can do well off graft as the permanent opposition. Depending on the attitude of the ruling party, you can have enough access to get minor things done (while never doing anything that bothers the ruling party or conflicts with its real agenda) and you can sell the favors produced by your access. (Or at least that's how it used to work in parts of Australia.)

The point is, as long as you are the opposition, nobody else is. There are issues that can only be effectively raised, pursued or put on the permanent record of parliamentary proceedings if you do it. But you're not doing that, which means that nobody can.

Inexperienced (often young) political crusaders in the flood tide of first success, with a big majority and a blithe belief that the press will always be friendly, don't see the advantage of that. Experienced political operatives see it, and they will want you thrown a bone from time to time in return for your being nice. And you can sell those bones.

This called collegiality, bipartisanship, and working together for the good of the country.

I read that more than half of US Congressmen / Congress-persons are millionaires. How do you think that happens?

Anonymous Bob Sacamano January 19, 2014 10:03 AM  

"The USA's spying program is ALREADY much worse..."

Yep, Americans can't exercise their freedoms. Because totalitarian. [Yawn]

Anonymous map January 20, 2014 1:46 AM  

Titus Didius Tacitus,

"You can do well off graft as the permanent opposition."

I understand what you are writing, but yours is an explanation for why a controlled opposition is desirable to have...if you're the dominant party. It does not expalin why anyone would willingly choose to be the controlled opposition instead of the dominant party.

Do you think selling the scraps occasionally thrown to you is better than feasting on the roast?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 20, 2014 8:38 PM  

map,

Ah, "instead of the dominant party". The gentlemen who explained the old system to me didn't address that.

My impression was that they had not really been in it to win it. Their voters / suckers thought they had been, but they hadn't.

Think of the attitude of a second-rate sports team that knows before the season begins that they are going to finish in the bottom half of the table. Now suppose the superstar team has unexpected injuries and might lose the next game. There's two attitudes you can take to that. This can be your day of pride. Or you can dismiss that as an immature attitude, and take an offer. At the end of the season you can still finish out of the final eight, but higher, and get nothing. Or you can have a new car.

A hand lays an envelope full of money on the table in front of Butch. Butch picks it up.

MARSELLUS: Now the night of the fight, you may fell a slight sting, that's pride fuckin' wit ya. Fuck pride! Pride only hurts, it never helps. Fight through that shit. 'Cause a year from now, when you're kickin' it in the Caribbean you're gonna say, "Marsellus Wallace was right."

BUTCH I got no problem with that.

MARSELLUS (O.S.) In the fifth, your ass goes down.

Butch nods his head: "yes."

MARSELLUS (O.S.) Say it!

BUTCH In the fifth, my ass goes down.


A sense that one is morally beaten (or beaten down by endless mass media messaging), and that one is an educated person that has accepted that to some extent one is on the losing side of history and has to accept that, whereas one's voters / suckers can't be expected to understand that, also plays into it.

The mature people that take that deal have a lot of hostility to the immature punks that don't; even hatred.

Watch again Boehner Takes on the Tea Party. He's showing the same "mature man / smart guy / tough guy" attitude of the sellouts who hate the non-sellouts. One reason I believe that what one applied at least in some parts of Australia applies also in America in the 21st century is that I've seen that act before.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus January 20, 2014 8:42 PM  

Boehner Takes on the Tea Party

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