A Voyage… Of Sorts

PICT0387 4x6 RS.jpegAbove: a project of mine that is almost finished. It may just come in handy…

Ever want to just get away from it all? Things just south of where I live seem to be getting a little dodgy. I’m not following it closely – bad for my health – but I get the impression that we (the entire Planet) are in for a frightening amusement park ride, kind of like being on a rickety contraption that has needed maintenance – no, out-and-out modification – for waaayyy too long. Circumstances beyond our control, such as locked iron bars across our laps, forbid escape, yet we might have avoided the crisis by Continue reading “A Voyage… Of Sorts”

Maciej Cegłowski on The Unbridled Growth of Surveillance

On June 16, 2016 Maciej Cegłowski, one of four panelists on a seminar called The Moral Economy of Tech, startled his SASE audience of social economists with his ten minute contribution. It is worth taking the few minutes it takes to read. He reveals the scary extent to which our institutions gather a dangerous, gargantuan, indigestible amount of data on virtually every citizen.

Border customs agents are (Egad!) discussing asking travellers routinely for their social media links.

Cegłowski calls for a rethink of this invasive activity that governments and corporations do “just because we can” and muses about what could happen if extrajudicial murder by military or police drones were to become as commonplace in the First World as it is in an increasing number of US-strategic, Third World, places. And what place isn’t “strategic” for Barrack and Hillary these days?

One “tongue in cheek” photo to highlight America’s relentless military expansion:image

The above courtesy of russia-insider.com

Cegłowski points out that many of these drone hits are simply based on circumstantial data collection from cell phone contact lists or social media interchanges that create some imprecise “probability” that a target, guilty or innocent, is in a house or a car or at a wedding:

Get into the wrong person’s car in Yemen, and you lose your life.

He concludes with this frightening statement about data collected for data’s sake:

What we’ve done as technologists is leave a loaded gun lying around, in the hopes that no one will ever pick it up and use it.

I’m getting tired of passing on this stuff like Jeremiah.

 

Scary! The TPP Fast Track! Please Sign Naomi Klein’s Petition

The senate has just given President Obama the power to take  America into the dreaded Trans-Pacific Partnership, described as “NAFTA on Steroids” because it probably includes provisions enabling Corporations to sue governments for laws they enact to protect the environment – as NAFTA’s Chapter  11 now does.

Congress is next to vote to give the President similar, draconian, totally undemocratic powers.

Please read up (if you need to) on the TPP and quickly sign Naomi Klein’s petition against it HERE!

PLEASE.

IT’S URGENT…

About Time – About Drones

I see other voices bigger than mine crying in the wilderness that Obama’s use of drones may be criminal. About time.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/world/story/1.2129761

And, from The Onion LOL “Obama Spends Afternoon In Garage Restoring Classic Drone”

When Our Paradise Includes Video Game Killing

Above: “Stealth attack drone” – a bit of levity before the deluge of gloom…
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A couple of quotes from July 2013 articles that point to a divorce between capitalism in the extreme form into which it has morphed and what we used to think of as democracy.

Maybe there’s something wrong with our notion of paradise.

The above quote is from a book called Trouble in Paradise by Slavoj Zizek reviewed in the July 18th London Review of Books.
The second quote is from the same issue of the London Review of Books. This one is called What’s In It For Obama by Stephen Holmes. It discusses the current president’s now widespread and cowardly use of attack drones to kill mere suspects of anti-US activity and any other innocent humans and pets who happen to be nearby.
… has Obama’s switch from a policy of detain and interrogate to a policy of kill on sight really followed an anti-liberal script written by Bush-era hawks? The speculation has a ring of truth. At the very least, Obama’s armed drone programme is a blood relative of Bush’s original unindicted detention programme. Their kinship is suggested by the shared principle that suspected enemy combatants do not deserve hearings to prove they are innocent of the charges against them
I had a lot of sauce to add to these two quotes but I have distilled it into the following few lines. The last quote is mine.
I have called the use of drones cowardly before (here, here, here and here), but this cynical, callous and, yes, evil use goes beyond the pale. Marshall McLuhan saw early that technology changes how we live. It is clear that it has made it possible to make real warfare into a thoughtless and self-serving video game. This is (as if we needed it) ultimate proof that technological progress has outstripped humanity’s moral capacity for using it properly.
Disgust doesn’t even come close to how I feel about how far our species has fallen.

The Boston Marathon and U.S. Drone Attacks: a Tale of Two Terrorisms

Not to minimize the heinous, despicable tragedy that occurred in Boston, but to point out senseless suffering all over the globe. NONE of this can be justified.

Three of my previous posts that deal with the brutal cowardice of using drones

Earth First! Newswire

Earth First! Newswire

[UPDATE: Check out more current opinions, and analysis on the Boston bombings and possible Chechnya connection from the Earth First! Newswire]

To murder several runners using bombs at a sporting event is terrorism.

To murder 175 children using military drones is U.S. policy.

We should accept neither. We should fight against both.

List of children killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen:

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Intelligence, IQ and Democracy

Recent studies have shown that our children score better than we and our grandchildren better still on IQ tests yet the broadcast media are being dumbed down to attract a younger audience.

This begs the question: Are the young really smarter than we geezers? Continue reading “Intelligence, IQ and Democracy”