Been here doing this website for what, two weeks? And I’m already on the kook list. Before you make fun of me, realize you may very well be on it too…
What is the kook list? It is a list of people the government does not like and plans to watch with the DHS. And no, I’m not wearing Reynolds…
Last month, after spending the better part of two years railing against purveyors of “fake news,” Trump called the media the “enemy of the American people.” Now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reportedly compiling a database of journalists, editors, correspondents, and bloggers to identify the leading voices in their respective fields.
According to an April 5 report in Bloomberg Government, DHS was searching for a contractor to help it monitor more than 290,000 global news sources in over 100 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, and Russian, all of which will be translated to English in real time. These outlets would include newspapers and magazines, television and radio, podcasts and social media.
If you haven’t noticed, since 9/11 the US government shows an increasingly strong trend towards authoritarianism. The authoritarian way to success is to scare the shit out of the population. Then citizens will run to the “strong man” in charge for protection. This is exactly what has been happening for years in America.
Basically, now the government can get away with most anything – war, surveillance, no economic programs for citizens because the military budget is exorbitant – as long as terrorism is invoked.
Bill Binney, a 36-year veteran of the National Security Agency who resigned in protest from the organization in 2001, states everyone’s conversations are being monitored and stored.
Binney resigned from NSA shortly after the U.S. approach to intelligence changed following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop — nicknamed ThinThread — were being used to spy on Americans.
The information leak facilitated by Edward Snowden apprised Americans of the NSA’s capabilities and intent at home. For example, the NSA’s program called PRISM.
Since September 11th, 2001, the United States government has dramatically increased the ability of its intelligence agencies to collect and investigate information on both foreign subjects and US citizens. Some of these surveillance programs, including a secret program called PRISM, capture the private data of citizens who are not suspected of any connection to terrorism or any wrongdoing.
In June, a private contractor working for Booz Allen Hamilton leaked classified presentation slides that detailed the existence and the operations of PRISM: a mechanism that allows the government to collect user data from companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, and others.
While much of the program — and the rest of the NSA’s surveillance efforts — are still shrouded in secrecy, more details are coming to light as the public, as well as its advocates and representatives, pressure the government to come clean about domestic spying.
What the hell is PRISM?
PRISM is a tool used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to collect private electronic data belonging to users of major internet services like Gmail, Facebook, Outlook, and others. It’s the latest evolution of the US government’s post-9/11 electronic surveillance efforts, which began under President Bush with the Patriot Act, and expanded to include the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) enacted in 2006 and 2007.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about how PRISM works, but the basic idea is it allows the NSA to request data on specific people from major technology companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others. The US government insists it is only allowed to collect data when given permission by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Snowden learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.” He believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance.
Once Snowden reached the conclusion the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy,” he said.
“The government granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”
There are many aspects to RussiaGate and its benefits to certain groups of people. The aspect we are talking about now is dissent. Here is Matt Taibbi’s take:
This Russians-are-in-our-precious-bodily-fluids insanity has progressed to the point where an anti-Russian documentary won the Oscar and host Jimmy Kimmel proudly declared, “At least we know Putin isn’t rigging this competition!”
If you don’t think the endgame to all of this lunacy is a world where every America-critical movement from Black Lives Matter to Our Revolution to the Green Party is ultimately swept up in the collusion narrative along with Donald Trump and his alt-right minions, you haven’t been paying attention.
That’s because Russiagate, from the start, was framed as an indictment not just of one potentially traitorous Trump, but all alternative politics in general. The story evolved to seem less like a single focused investigation and more like the broad institutional response to a spate of shocking election results, targeting the beliefs of discontented Americans across the political spectrum.
Two years ago, remember, the American political establishment was on the ropes. Donald Trump, a race-baiting game show host who’d run for office as a publicity stunt, was galloping to the Republican nomination in a rout.
He got 14 million primary votes; the Republicans’ chosen $100 million man, Jeb Bush, got 286,000. On the Democratic side, the overwhelming party favorite, Hillary Clinton, was fighting to hold off a Corbynite socialist with little money and even less institutional support.
From Trump to Bernie Sanders to Brexit to Catalonia, voter repudiation of the status quo was the story of the day. The sense of panic among political elites was palpable. The possibility that voters might decide to break up the EU, or put a Trump, Corbyn, or Sanders into power, led to a spate of “Do we have too much democracy?” essays by prominent think tankers and national press figures.
Two years later, the narrative has completely shifted. By an extraordinary coincidence, virtually all the “anti-system” movements and candidates that so terrified the political establishment two years ago have since been identified as covert or overt Russian destabilization initiatives, puppeteered from afar by the diabolical anti-Western dictator, Vladimir von Putin-Evil.
In a nutshell, the successes of Trump and Sanders are extraordinary because neither candidate articulated policies within the current parameters of the Overton Window.
The powers that be expected the mainstream aristocrat candidates (Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton) to win the nominations. What they got instead was Captain Insano and a guy who calls himself a socialist.
Make no mistake, this scared the hell out of most of the corporate and private entities, Super Pacs, and so on who fund these politicians’ campaigns. Their reaction has been to sabotage any non-mainstream groups and news sources, a reaction Trump certainly is on board with.
Two clowns in the same circus
Do you know what the Russian bear riding a unicycle juggling flaming chainsaws is supposed to distract us from?
The reason the powers that be tolerate Trump is he destroys everything he touches. Midas in reverse. These oligarchs want the entire government GONE, save the military.
In the meantime, the wars get worse, the so-called “Middle Class” becomes the poor, global warming is melting glaciers, we’re spending a trillion dollars on new nukes even though we can already blow up the Earth a dozen times over, the corporations get a tax cut they use to make a bubble with as stock buybacks.
On and on it goes.
This is what the Kabuki puppet show political theater is meant to obscure.
And it works.
Because Trumps daily inane banal tweets. WE should be embarrassed Trump: WWF Wrasslin Hall of Famer is in charge. Instead, we count his lies as if the exact number of turds matters.
Here is another take on the silencing dissent from Chris Hedges:
The elites face an unpleasant choice. They could impose harsh controls to protect the status quo or veer leftward toward socialism to ameliorate the mounting economic and political injustices endured by most of the population. But a move leftward, essentially reinstating and expanding the New Deal programs they have destroyed, would impede corporate power and corporate profits. So instead the elites, including the Democratic Party leadership, have decided to quash public debate.
The tactic they are using is as old as the nation-state—smearing critics as traitors who are in the service of a hostile foreign power. Tens of thousands of people of conscience were blacklisted in this way during the Red Scares of the 1920s and 1950s.
The current hyperbolic and relentless focus on Russia, embraced with gusto by “liberal” media outlets such as The New York Times and MSNBC, has unleashed what some have called a virulent “New McCarthyism.”
The DHS request says the selected vendor will set up an online ‘media influence database’ giving users the ability to browse based on location, beat, and type of influence, The database would include, for each influencer found, present contact details and any other information that could be relevant, including publications this influencer writes for, and an overview of the previous coverage published by the media influencer.
The bottom line is DHS powers to spy on its own citizens has increased tremendously since 9/11. Both Bush and Obama Now this same power is in the hands of a chucklehead malignant narcissist who demonstrates no interest in learning anything new.