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Saturday, June 15, 2013

First, Let's Kill All of the Optimists- The Sunday Collage

“Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn't the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.” 
 Mike Royko

As a child, I read Mike Royko everyday. In fact, I write here probably because of the influence Royko had on me. I can't imagine what might have happened had Royko (who might have been the greatest smart ass columnist of all time) lived in the days when computers spawned bloggers.

For the record I believe I was born an optimist. In an effort to keep my sanity, I have turned into a cynic. It is my refuge against what is true and if there is anything I hate worse than a flaming liberal wanting to tell me how to live-

It's an optimist denying the truth in favor of his or her own fantasy version- of how things are.

I have known four dyed in the wool optimists. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I have hated all four of them. They are delusional creatures. These people are often seen running around exclaiming, "Oh Happy Day" while smiling after swallowing anti-depressants and pretending to be optimists.

It is all a show you see. 

Once in awhile, justice comes on swift wings for these Mr. Rogers type- loons. Such was the case for a cop I used to work with. I will give his initials for the record as DB, but most will not remember who that is. He was one of those annoying bastards who pretended to be happy all of the time with one of those shit eating grins on his face- and for some unknown reason- I always just wanted to kick his ass. Kicking people's asses is one of the quickest ways to lose a job. It's a shame because that was once a very effective tool.

So one morning in the old days, DB the optimist, shows up to work with one eye black and swollen shut. Seems DB got more than a little bit friendly and optimistic about another guy's girlfriend and was jerked out of a hot tub naked and beat on a little bit. I think he told upper management- the Chief- that his injuries were the result of an unfortunate ski accident. I was well acquainted with the situation and I was pretty sure that had the Chief known the actual truth about what happened including the big yarn spun by Mr. Optimist- he would probably would have received a couple of unpaid weeks on the beach- if not fired altogether. But I let it go. I think I was just happy that he got his ass kicked by a private citizen and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. Years later, he got canned anyway.  

Very often- I come across political writers who think that "We the people" are still in charge of this government. I have to admit, that I once and somewhat recently, numbered among those optimists. I realize now how foolish I was.

Time and time again, I will read these political writers who talk about taking control of the government or (get this) writers who will say something like- we will vote them out! Really? 

So let the facts speak for themselves. With a 9% approval rate for Congress- 94% of the incumbents in the 2012 elections- were voted back in. If nothing screams TERM LIMITS more loudly than that- I don't know what does. That level of hopelessness is astounding. I have come to terms with it.

Term limits will never happen. I will die first. But that's just the optimist in me.

Here's the part you will really enjoy. The two remaining optimists that I know refuse to talk about politics. You know why? Get this. They see it as a no win situation. In other words, they are not very optimistic about talking about politics. Isn' that some rich shit? Apparently they pick only subjects that they are optimistic about! Therefore, if I can simply hijack all of the conversations and only talk about what I want to talk about- well I too, can be an optimist. Maybe join an old age nudist colony and sing Que sera, sera- whatever will be, will be- the future's not ours to see- que sera, sera.

God help me. I am thinking of blacking an eye or two. I shall leave this place today with another quote from a non optimist like me. 

“No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” 
 Lily Tomlin   


Friday, June 14, 2013

When Conspiracy Theory Becomes Conspiracy Fact*Updated

In the movie "Red", former spy John Malkovich's character is portrayed as a delusional and paranoid sort who thinks his former spy friends as well as himself, are being followed and watched.

The characters in the movie treat Malkovich like a "nutter" up until such point- that Malkovich is exonerated- when suddenly his group of former spies are attacked by the people watching them.

It's very difficult for people to grasp the idea of conspiracies. Throughout my lifetime, people have dismissed conspiracy talk as the venue of the mentally ill and paranoid. Unfortunately, at no other time in the history of this country, have I seen more conspiracies taking place.

Perhaps the term collaboration is more palatable.

Conspiracies occur for a variety of reasons but are always motivated by perceived needs. For example, if the few major oil producing companies want the most profit for their product- they have the money and motive to keep prices high- by conspiring and collaborating. Even when demand is low.

Former President Nixon employed several people to break into the Watergate Hotel to obtain information on the Democratic candidate. They even used hookers to glean information.

People who don't think that conspiracies can exist are naive. There is so much proof to the contrary- that it is difficult to ignore.

*Update. Here's a piece that corroborates the intrusion onto Sharyl Atkissons' hard drive. (cited below) Ace of Spades speculates that the only one with a motive to hack her computer is the WH itself-which in this case makes sense. There was an inside leak and we know Obama hates leaks.

Here is the original piece I read regarding the intrusion onto the hard drive of a reporter actually investigating the Benghazi debacle. Oddly, it seems someone was worried enough to hack into her computer. Her associates probably thought she was paranoid. From Michelle Malkin:

CBS statement: Forensic analysis shows Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was compromised on multiple occasions

By Doug Powers  •  June 14, 2013 11:53 AM
**Written by Doug Powers
Last month, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who has done lots of digging on stories such as Benghazi and Fast & Furious, became suspicious that her work and personal computers were being compromised.
That suspicion has been confirmed:
“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.
This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.
CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Declaring War on the Serfs

In 2009, I was well aware of what our government was becoming.

Ever since the banking oligarch helped themselves to a couple trillion of taxpayer dollars with the help of a paid off Congress and President- things have become far worse albeit camouflaged for the time being.

The trade off or camouflage came in the form of free money and food to help keep the mouth breathers and disposable class at bay, while re-inflating the stock market so that the people with real influence and clout would also shut up and fall in line. Government is learning, quite well, that you must keep the angry and hostile disposable class well fed and shut up. The elite just sit at a different table.

It would be a great plan except for a couple of things. Mostly, you run out of money and printing capacity. And then the real ugly stuff happens. With all of this debt to pay and a miniscule number of elite to steal tax money from, all you can do is declare war on the big demographic- the debt slaves and serfs and take their money away.

Here in this part of 'merica, they reassessed the value of my house- it rose 20% this year. Oddly, in all of the BLS inflation figures I've ever studied- no where does it account for lost spending power in the form of taxes. So when my taxes go up a couple hundred bucks this year, nobody ever accounts for that as far as inflation is concerned. Mathematically, it's like it never happened.

The same is true for my insurance. Insurance is this fixed cost that only goes up. Once again, as insurers screw the serfs by raising rates- BLS doesn't account for that lost revenue or call it inflationary.

Why do I speak of this as war? I lose 2400 dollars a year to unrecoverable insurance costs. This includes mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, insurance on my two vehicles. These are really just forced placed insurance packages that I could not opt out of.  On top of that, Obamacare is going to cost me 400 a month- taking my grand total of forced place insurance north of 7200 dollars or about 20% of my gross income. In war, one entity is trying to take away the freedom of another. So it's a war in every sense, sans the dead people or wage slaves. Think about that for a moment.

The government is quite literally stealing our money two ways. First they seize every nickel they can in the form of taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, gas tax, hidden taxes. They also raise rates on other government controlled utilities like my water, sewer, and trash. After they steal all they can in that respect- they serve us up some force placed insurance.

Eventually, the disposable class- the serfs who lose every fight will get angry and unruly. The government is preparing for that fight also. It is even arming it's IRS agents. This is the same government that is trying to take away the disposable class' guns- while buying millions of rounds of ammo and guns for themselves.

So the government thinks it will leave you with a subsistence amount of your money and if you don't like it...well I don't need a telescope to see where this is going. They prepare.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spynet, Deconstructing Edward Snowden, the Last Patriot

Yesterday, the UK's Guardian broke the story that a 29 year old government contractor, Edward Snowden, was the man who snitched off the National Security Agencys' version of Spynet.

His resume looks like a history of failure. High school dropout, college dropout, security guard, and then Information Technology whiz kid making 200k a year. I actually like that resume. That's a resume of a patriot. A kid who made the most of what he had by thumbing his nose at the credentials offered by Ivy league schools for a king's ransom.

The government can't make a wage slave out of you if you don't buy into the school mortgage theory.

Maybe, just maybe...Snowden is who he says he is.

A patriot.

This is what Spynet and the NSA can do.

Both papers have published a series of top-secret documents outlining two NSA surveillance programs. One gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records while searching for possible links to known terrorist targets abroad, and the second allows the government to tap into nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all Internet usage to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas.

As if on cue and perfectly predictable, the government is in full damage control with President Bush President Obama defending the wide sweeping and electronic eavesdropping capability of Spynet anywhere in the world. This is what Snowden says of it's capabilities;

     "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector. Anywhere," Snowden said in a video on the Guardian's website. "I, sitting at my desk, had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email."

The avalanche of speculation has begun. You want to know the best part??

Nobody can figure out what Snowden's motive is. Is he a spy, did he do it for China, money, fame, is he off his meds?

You see in the jaded, cynical world that we currently live in- the possibility that someone did this as a patriotic act is so far removed from the self absorbed reasoning of Americans that it is seemingly impossible. Why would a guy do such a thing?

Here is the Guardian blog- they are posting developments as they happen.

You can bet your ass that big brother is going to turn every possible stone until they come up with a narrative that is plausible. They'll want to make an example out of this guy. And you can damn sure bet that nobody in this administration is going to use the words "Snowden" and "patriot" in the same sentence. Their job this week, will be to vilify Snowden while flexing every muscle they have.

Oddly enough, Snowden is asking for asylum in Iceland. You remember Iceland don't you? The only government in the world that stuck a middle finger in the face of central bankers and is doing quite nicely right now with no giant debt pile to contend with.

My name is Edward Snowden. I am not hiding from you. I snitched off Spynet so fuck you. I will risk a life, maybe even death sentence, to be a patriot.

*Update. Found this fascinating bit of info after I posted.
Two key point Greenwald makes here:
1. When NSA defenders argue that Congress knew about the extent to which they've expanded the surveillance state and therefore there's no need for the public to be concerned since this has all been vetted, they are withholding the fact that those Congressman who did know were precluded from saying anything about it. Two senators who did know and WERE concerned - Wyden and Udall - could only hint at the abuse.
2. Those saying that these abuses have met court challenges neglect to mention that the Obama justice department has successfully challenged on the basis that the entities bringing the challenges have no standing. There has been NO court determination as to the constitutionality of this overreach. The NSA claims that since it's all top secret, they can't tell you who is being or has been monitored, so it's impossible for ANYONE, EVER, to have standing.

Edward Snowden is my kind of guy. Big, giant balls. A patriot. Gawd I hope so, this country could use a hero.