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Sometimes one of the exercises one must go through in executive training is a workshop where one puts oneself in another’s shoes.  This exercise broadens the perspective of a budding young exec and gives them the rare view not often allowed, of seeing his own problems from his adversaries’ perspective…

Since one is too often, too deep in one’s own crises to think objectively, the formula is to take one’s own fears, correlate them in a fabricated  parallel situation,  and then role play….  The lesson is that things are often not as simple and clear cut as one naturally assumes, where one sees themselves as good, thereby making all against them,  evil…

So, with your indulgence….

May 1st, 2014….

A flash mob of armed farmers stormed the Capitol building in Harrisburg today and took control of the building.  The police officers were disarmed and allowed to leave.  Hostages are still inside.

May 2nd.

The police of Harrisburg have surround the capitol, but are dwarfed as crowds approaching a million have spontaneously  poured in from across Pennsylvania’s countryside in support of the demonstrators inside.  The police are taunted and are awaiting reinforcements.

Late afternoon riot police from Philadelphia, with heavy machinery, have arrived. They are expected to  storm the building at dawn.  The Governor of PA has now officially called this an illegal takeover and has stressed that the supporters give up and go home.

May 3rd.  At dawn the Philadelphia police storm the building and with guns blazing, meet fierce resistance. They pull back. The crowds have grown larger as Patriot Groups across the nation have sounded the alarm. Volunteers are pouring in from all over the United States.  The Tea Party is now calling for the overthrow of the entire government of PA  and the formulation of a new one, more closely aligned to the needs of the country music loving people of rural Pennsylvania….

May 4th.  The governor again calls the meeting illegal but the crowds are bigger than the police. It is a stalemate.

May 5th.  The federal government has negotiated an agreement between the governor and the demonstrators.  The demonstration will be dismissed, and the governor will listen to the needs of the Tea Party and the patriots.

Late afternoon, Sheriff Arapao  from Hokey, Dokey Arizona, has called for the elimination of the governor, to be replaced by a constitutional sheriff as head of an interim government.

May 6th.  Shots were fired into the crowd by unknown assailants. 100 demonstrators were killed. In the morning the crowd, angered, stormed the capitol to find it empty, doors and files all unlocked, and computer running.   No one has seen the governor or his officers.

May 7th.  Still no sign of the governor.  The head of the Harrisburg Patriot Group declared himself as head of the interim government.  and his followers to be the legislative body.  In rapid succession they passed several measures….  Taxes were abolished. Slavery of the Negro reinstated. Government welfare abolished.  English only could be spoken. No restrictions on buying or selling weaponry of any kind.  All questions of legality would be handled by the interim government.  And it was also deemed legal to kill any man, woman, or child,  for not going to what was considered a “true Christian” church on Sunday morning…

May 8th.  Rejoicing erupts spontaneously in the mountains and  countryside of  PA… South-eastern PA is in shock.  Particularly among the dominant Afro-American population, Hispanics, Asians and Muslims.   City leaders governing Philadelphia and surrounding counties,  say they will respect the interim government’s authority as being that of the state, and try to hold Pennsylvania together… “We are still one state” they say “and will work within the framework provided.”.. There is considerable angst among the blacks however…

May 9th.  The US  Navy pulls into the Philadelphia Shipyard, where hundreds of mothballed ships lie.   The US says it is simply protecting its assets.   Civic groups call for the US to send in additional troops to protect Philadelpians.  They say they would rather remain in the US than become part of this new Pennsylvania run by Tea Partiers gone amok.

Sheriff Arapao calls on the US not to interfere or intervene and says doing so will be seen as an act of aggression toward the patriots and the US will suffer dire consequences if they do.

The US responds that an Arizona Sheriff has no jurisdiction in Philadelphia.

May 11th.  Reports that multiple convoys of armored personal carriers have crossed the Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin bridges and have now entered Philadelphia.  Conveys were also reported seen along I 95 in Delaware and heading north upwards  through Chester, and also up from Maryland along Route 1….

May 12th… The US reports it is not acquiring Philadelphia, but is merely setting a perimeter to protect its new base in the shipyard.  Sheriff Arapao is calling on the complete removal of all troops except for the original ones originally located in the shipyard.  The US responds that given the violent antics of the Tea Party in Harrisburg, they simply don’t have the trust factor with this new regime to do so.

May 12th.  The ousted governor  of PA surfaces and holds a press conference in Washington DC and calls for the reinstatement of  his government,  calling the coup an illegal use of force and an action condoned by no laws or precedents.

Citizens in Philadelphia hold massive demonstrations along the Ben Franklin Parkway in support of a future US occupation.  Tea Partiers are holed up in their militia armories,  blockaded and surrounded by US forces.  There has been no bloodshed reported.

May 13th.  The interim government of Tea Partiers has called on the US to leave.  The US now has said it is there to stay….  Sheriff Arapao contends that the US is planning to take over all of Eastern PA.  The US says that should be decided by referendum,  the people have the right to choose with whom they wish to be governed.   Sheriff Arapao says that is unfair because everyone knows that in such a vote, most of urban PA would side with staying in the US and not elect to be under the rowdy independence of a sheriff and his posse….

May 14th.  Local Tea Party citizens not affiliated with the interim government descend upon the Mexican community of Hazelton and set fire to houses of Mexicans and burn their cars…

May 15th… African communities across the state of PA, and particularly in Pittsburgh, reported sightings of armed men in white robes and several crosses were burned in Three Rivers Point.  There were also reported incidents of bricks thrown through windows of minority businesses.

May 16th.  Breaking. The interim government just issued a proclamation on sheepskin that declares that no Afro-Americans, no low income, and no Mexicans will be hither allowed in public schools or public buildings. They use is only for white people.

The US immediately calls on them to change, staying those with colored skin that is darker than white, also have rights as well.  Sheriff Arapao says the posse do, what the posse do. That is what freedom is… sometimes.

May 17th.  The US puts 40,000 troops along the extended border of PA.  Is says it is for field training  Sheriff Arapao calls it provocative and sends out a call for patriots everywhere to matriculate into PA to fight the US imperialists.

May 18th.  Armed  personal waving US flags occupy the West Chester Courthouse this morning . There was no blood shed.  All participants appearing to be afro-Americans, were masked, well organized and said wore American flags on their logos.

The interim government called it an act of war, and from a hill top of Arizona, Sheriff Arapao called upon Americans to abandon their diets and all drink milkshakes, to apply pressure by shaming the ineffectiveness of Michelle Obama’s healthy diet plan.   The US laughed at that retaliation, but Sheriff Arapao claimed it would be highly effective  for it would piss off the real power inside the White House…

Meanwhile the interim Tea Party government said it was in a financial crisis.  It had no money to pay anyone, it was unable to maintain any governmental services.

May 19th —  Early this morning Delaware County courthouse was stormed by what they said were local separatists but all had the same markings as did those in West Chester.  The courthouse was quietly taken over, as well as the water plant and sewer.

In West Chester, members of the wealthy neighborhoods who tended to support the Tea Party’s call of no taxes, demonstrated in front of the occupied West Chester courthouse… They were soon outmatched, and overrun by counter demonstrations of relatively poorer African Americans who quickly took control of the street.

May 20th  Demonstrators took over the city building in Montgomery PA today.  Tea partiers with the help of the PA national guard surrounded the building and set fire to it, after boarding the doors to prevent escape.  48  pro US demonstrators died.

Sheriff Arapao blamed the deaths on the US, saying they were creating the demonstrations and thus forced these 48 to die.  The US countered saying most Afro Americans are very concerned that the official potion of the Pennsylvania  government is to have them enslaved, and has already banned them from public schools and public buildings, and in this case who were basically doing what was done by the Tea Party originally at the capitol building in Harrisburg.

Sheriff Arapao called the US a liar and called upon all Americans to punish the US by not eating broccoli this time… (Take that Michelle)….

Meanwhile the neighboring states of New York, Ohio, and New Jersey have been working on a deal with the Tea Partiers and the US government.   It would involve PA’s borders remaining intact, but give autonomy over each region to that regions’ inhabitants, based on their choices in that election.  It would give US control over Philadelphia.

The Tea Party says no deal on elections or future government will be made until the US is completely removed from their territory.  The US replies that they will stay until the Tea Party can show they are responsible citizens, willing to let others have rights too.

May 21– The Tea Party with the help of their patriot Vietnam vets flying confiscated national guard helicopters,  attacked the strongholds in eastern PA taking over all.  8 people died in the gun battles, several innocent bystanders hit by stray fire.  The total dead is over 50.  The separatists loyal to the US, quickly retake the buildings after the air power has left.

May 22 — Sheriff Arapao and the interim government call upon the US to move its troops back from the border.  The US replies it has, but Sheriff Arapao says his patriots tell him it is not so….

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And that is where Ukraine as seen by Russia is today… It is ironic and sad that due to normal human nature, simply because we Americans been told that Putin is “bad” by people (Sarah Palin) who we don’t really know well, or don’t know if we can trust even at all (Fox News) , how quickly it taints us to jump to that very conclusion, with no supporting facts… Anyone who states an cautionary opinion otherwise, quickly gets pooh-poo’d by the tiny little minds here in the US..

But when roles are reversed, Putin’s own account seems very plausible.  As we go forward, we must ask ourselves why the US today in our real world is now playing the role of Sheriff Arapao in the pretend one above…  Is it because there are many moles of Sheriff Arapao replicated and buried within our real government, today?  People who perhaps, don’t really care about being right or wrong, … but just want a war they’ve been planning in such detail all these years… to finally happen?

 

Did you ever notice how a fight starts on a elementary school playground? A stare down, and obviously neither wants to do it. but neither wants to hear the taunts of “chicken” either…  It starts with one bystander… “Fight, fight, fight, fight,” and gets picked up by his accomplice, “fight, fight, fight, fight,”,,, and then his toady joins in… “fight, fight, fight, fight,” and then innocent bystanders flocking to the sudden outburst, who really have nothing to win or lose but just want some relief from their boredom, find themselves captured and joining in… “fight, fight, fight, fight,,,”…

Maybe they will fight; maybe they won’t… but usually when they don’t…. it is only because an adult stepped into the fight zone and took control…..

The real problem today, is those yelling “fight, fight, fight, fight” inside our nation’s beltway….  They will always be there too.  Whether to push Kennedy into the Bay of Pigs, or the US and NATO into a war with Russia.

For them, it is all the same.

 

 

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Photo courtesy of the EPA.

That would be my advice.  Truth is, we quickly make Russia into a demon.  They do the same to us.  If there is anything we have learned over 100 years since the Great War started in August 1914,  it is that going to war, should be the last resort…

Back in the early ’90’s upon being given the privilege to look over the Soviet’s intelligence when Communism fell,  we were shocked that all their aggressive actions were seen in their eyes as defensive moves against possible aggression being planned by us….It is best represented by a young officers story from the cold war.  I’ve long forgotten the source, if it comes up later I’ll tag it in…

But a young officer was in charge of a section of the German fence, and on his first shift, received a request for orders and told the reconnaissance  brigade to go 5 more miles along the fence past where they usually turned around.  They called back to say they’d stumbled on fresh movement of troops being maneuvered to that gap on front line we never had bothered to inspect..  After finding our troops were now outnumbered  by their new response, this young officer ordered another brigade to move up from the south.   That brigade also discovered another large number of troops moving in from the eastern reserves to that same point… The officer began to sweat. Was he witnessing on his watch, in his territory, the beginning of the long-feared invasion of Western Europe by the Soviets?  He called up two more brigades and ordered them to dig in around that point.  The Soviets brought up tanks, and lined them up for an invasion… The young officer then picked up the phone…  Far away, the head of command looked over all the evidence… Finally he gave this advice… Pull your troops out, by ten miles…. he did, and the Soviets pulled theirs back as well.  Ok, came the next order. Resume normalcy.  And soon, everything again was routine….

For those that don’t understand war,  the point of the story was, that the young officer caused the crises.  The whole Russian buildup, was because of him.  He made a move the Russians didn’t understand, and since they didn’t understand, they prepared for an attack. As we brought up more, so did they. They were simply matching our moves… Fortunately someone wise enough to understand that he Russians really didn’t want to go to war, stepped in and averted a possible WWIII start-up incident…

As if on cue, already dumb John McCain is rattling swords and demanding we nuke Moscow.  Soon Lindsey Graham will follow as Tweedle Dumb always follows Tweedle Dee… Likewise, Putin will also have his exact same crowd (probably riding Harleys), his group of idiots, clamoring for war as well…

The Western press has already begin its war talk, leading with the condemnation of the Russian Government…  But really, isn’t that a bit premature?   No one has died.  Far less than anything that happened in Kiev earlier this week….

Let’s wear Putin’s shoes for moment….

What if the predominantly Mexican population of San Diego wanted to be aligned with Mexico instead of the USA, all because we couldn’t get Republicans to pass immigration laws.. What if they gathered en masse in San Diego to protest, stayed, burned down government and private buildings.  What if we tried to make them stand down, and it roused up even more Mexicans to their defense.  What if the Mayor fled to Yuma, and camped out in a sanatorium. …   …

What would the US do.  OUR entire Pacific Fleet rests in San Diego… We would probably act prudently. and move outward to expand our perimeter.  We would probably commander all airports and ship docks in that area in order to be able to land reinforcements if necessary.  We would probably park a couple of gunboats facing the city as an intimidating force reminding the Mexicans we had forces they couldn’t get to, so their behavior should keep that in mind.  We’d probably block access roads leading into the port, so an invasion army wouldn’t be able to charge in unannounced…

Just to play devils advocate, what might happen if we took no action to defend ourselves?  As most Americans are asking the Russians to do? We saw the Mexicans had little respect in town for law and order.  There are a lot more of them than there are of us… What if 10,000 of them just walked on to the base, armed with shotguns, hunting rifles, and a few semi automatics.  What if they boarded all our ships, our subs, and put our sailors at gunpoint into the brig, and announced they were in charge of the Baja Mexican Navy… Now the 2nd largest navy in the world.   What would the US do?  Would we sail into our own harbor as did the Free French and blow what used to be our own ships up out of the water?

Of course the Mexicans would say we are invading their new country.  Of course every Spanish tonged nation South of our border would be condemning us for invading Mexican California… despite the fact that a lot of gringos, maybe even a majority, live around San Diego and support our American troops being there and keeping the masses of Mexicans from turning on them….

Point is, we would ourselves, do what Russia just did...

So how can we condemn them, when we have contingency plans to do exactly the same thing?

There is further evidence this is not like Sudetenland, . One, no one has died. It was a smooth peaceful quiet takeover, textbook by American Standards.   Two, action is isolated to the port and Crimea.  Three,  all evidence points to these actions solely for the purpose of controlling access to the base.

As Americans we would laugh at Europe, Russia, and China telling us to abandon San Diego.  There are a lot of similarities between that and the Russian base. The number one move now appears to be: for the Kiev Ukraine government to insist that the base will forever stay Russian, and guarantee the safety of all Russians living on Crimea… Second, it should state that the current administration insists  there will be no change for those who like having Russians close by. For that select group, there will be only two options.  Life goes either goes on the same; or it gets better.  The third option that it may get worse, is forever off the table.. .

It would be the equivalent of that American young officer calling off his men, and telling them to retreat backwards 10 miles..  it would be the opposite of what happened 100 years ago, where threats begot threats and soon rigid plans took effect and not one leader had the chutzpah to stop it from going forward.  6 million soldiers died, 15 million civilians died, and a whole generation of young men was wiped out.  Girls had to marry men their father’s age.. and in the end  Western Europe’s borders were right back where they were before the whole event started.

Cool heads must prevail.  Of course the McCains will spout off.  They don’t matter.  What matters is that we treat the Russians with respect just as we would like them to do for us, if the shoe were on the other foot and we were fighting the battle of San Diego…..

If you didn’t hear Allan Loudell today, you missed one of the best broadcasts I have heard since those early days of CNN leading up to the First Gulf War.

You know how today’s news is kinda sickening and syrupy?  Promoting an agenda, with t’s crossed and i’s dotted?  Well this broadcast went back to the old days of journalism, as when CNN was starting out, … of putting people familiar with the MId-East on, and letting them tell us what they knew….

It was amazing and one came away from is with a wider knowledge of who is pushing what, even though why still, at this point makes no sense….

As a lesson that “what makes sense” usually turns out wrong, is this potential solution that seems to be a win, win, win for all.

Only in America…

Actually Britain, but it was still an American, our own Secretary of State, John Kerry.   When asked by a reporter in London, what, if any, alternative there was other than war that could possibly solve this,  Kerry flubbed and said.… Well, if Assad were to turn over all his chemical weapons to the international community and let them be destroyed, US would find it hard to go to war….

Putin quickly responded… That is a great idea… Let me call Assad…   In minutes, Assad said… “why yes.  What a great idea.”

The White House was quick to back track…

“Uhhh, Kerry wasn’t serious… We still want to go to war (reason still unknown),  and Kerry was just making a hypothetical argument knowing full well that the impossible could never occur, that Assad would give up his Chemical Weapons…”

(Mental note:  the White House really wants war.)

Meanwhile all those familiar with the problems begin working through the implications.  It is a win for Assad.  It is a win for Russia. It is a win for Iran, Hesbollah, Israel, Jordan.  It is a win for America and the west.  it is a win for the rebels in Syria.  We’ve gone full circle…

So, John Kerry’s big FU’… may have just unintentionally saved the world from a war no one except those in the White House, ever wanted…

Only in America… (well technically Britain)

What a great excuse for a cup of tea…  and a biscuit or even better, two.

The reason we are so sure Assad ordered the chemical attack itself, comes from an intercepted  communique from a high ranking Hesbollah official to the Iran embassy in Damascus, which states that  “Assad made a big mistake in ordering the use of chemicals.

Put yourself in his shoes.  Wouldn’t that be exactly what you would have said upon first hearing of the attack and seeing footage?  Everyone, including myself, thought is was Assad long before proof began to turn up that other alternatives existed.

So to make the assumption that a Hesbollah in Lebanon would have inside knowledge of  the upper mechanizations of Syria’s armed forces, is not realistic.   For this person to say Assad made a grave mistake is really, no different than myself, saying Obama is making a grave mistake by ordering this discussed future military strike.  Do I know if he has ordered it?  No.

But that doesn’t stop me from trying to warn them that such actions are severely harming themselves,…

And this, is our whole “evidence” supporting that Assad needs punished.

Assad in his Charlie Rose Interview, asserts that he did not order chemical weapons.  As many including the Russians have said…  doing such would be the height of stupidity. Similar to the US, nuking Damascus because chemical weapons were stored there… Duh, why would we do that?

This is corroborated by German Intelligence, who now state that intercepted phone calls show Assad was not himself involved in last month’s attack or in other instances when government forces have allegedly used chemical weapons.

Which suggests rogue elements in Assad’s forces.  That is to be expected.  In an area where religious hatred is so high, the ability to inflict causalities on one’s hated adversary, might overrule any orders to the contrary.  Those old enough to remember the Cold War, no doubt also remember the countless novels and movies depicting a rogue element inside our own military, initiating nuclear strikes to achieve a personal result….  perhaps even a promotion.

So we have a flimsy piece of evidence that a recent law school graduate could get thrown out of court, and we have an ally offering up intelligence showing Assad knew nothing, nothing… and having both together, we have to give Assad a pass, because the preponderance of the evidence, shows him to be not guilty.  Maybe he is guilty and hides it well.  However, the preponderance of evidence is not enough to convict him….  if any American courtroom would acquit him, we certainly can’t bomb them back into the Stone Age.

“Watching you watching me / It’s so easy to see…/ Watching me watching you / It’s so obviously true”  Lyrics by Bill Withers… 

If there is anything one can gather from the Snowden release, it is that American media is severely compromised.

Here is the news we are constantly being given:

  • Interest and speculation on what Snowden must feel.
  • Speculation on where he might or might not go.
  • Speculation on what it must be like to live in an airport.
  • Breaking news of what Snowden’s father thinks and feels.
  • Reports on who back in Washington, feels he needs or needs not to be punished.
  • Accepting without question, the US Government’s case he is a spy, not a whistle blower.

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So here is what is not getting told.

A) Internet freedom is over.  Revelation that the US has the ability to read everything passing through the US, means that this connection is no longer trusted by the Chinese, the Russians, our economically competitive nations, those pirate sympathizers or people like you and me, who don’t want strangers accessing what we like to do when we have stripped off our professional skins and get down to being ourselves.

B) The Chinese have moved to seal off their own system. The Russians will have theirs up and running shortly. There will be soon be private enterprises who will set up secure connections that guarantee that no records will be given out based on the  model of the Swiss system of financial secrecy.

C) What this means, is that we revert back to the library system.  If you want to look up something in China, you will send a query, it will be approved as it leaves the US, it must be approved by the Chinese in order to enter, and it then gets directed to your party.  This requires human oversight, and will slow queries to weeks, instead of nano-seconds.  Same if you wish to find out something in Russia.  Heaven help us if a Chinese satellite breaks off course and drifts towards collision with the International Space station manned by Russians and Americans…  We’d never get the message.

D) We are hoping the US will be one monolithic entity under this, but imagine if it wasn’t.   Imagine if nothing liberal could be searched up in Texas?  Or nothing Conservative in Connecticut?

E) This is being effectively done, right now, and no news service in the US is reporting it.

F) Without Snowden we would not know that the NSA has been able to bend nine US internet companies to its demands for access to their users’ data.

G) Without Snowden we would not know that analysing data was not done by the NSA< but was  turned over to un-vetted private operators, such as employees of Booz Allen Hamilton.  Their employees had access to every email, every phone call,  every facebook account.   We would not know that half a million fellow citizens have high security clearances who shouldn’t.

H) Nor would there be a debate between Europe and the US over where the line between Freedom and security should lie.

i)  Control of the internet is about to get very contentious.  Knowing how the US and its internet corporations abused their control, certainly means the US cannot be counted on to oversea almost all of the junctions upon the net.   Google instead of being world wide, independent of the US government, is now seen as an express arm of that same government.  Yahoo, Verizon, AOL, Time-Warner, Microsoft, Comcast, all certainly cannot be trusted either…

J)  These revelations also damage the Obama administration’s credibility to its core. Proclaiming internet freedom in words, to cover up deeds on this gigantic scale, was an attempt to mislead.  Fully aware of the extent, and arguing for full internet freedom is equivalent of George Bush arguing for gentleness and amnesty towards Iraqi prisoners  to cover the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.

K)  Snowden’s revelations tell us that NO United States- based internet provider can be trusted with your privacy.  Nothing that is stored in their “cloud” services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.  If you are a company thinking of using a US company for servicing your IT needs, you now know that all your trade secrets will be up for sale.

This means the golden years for US internet companies may have come to an end.  If not their end, then at least these companies must now scramble to quickly evolve into different entities if they wish to survive.

Perhaps Swiss law might be tweaked to allow secure servers to set up camp somewhere in the beautiful Alps, who for NO reason, will give out any information….

More jobs going overseas.

Why is this not being mentioned in American media?  Are our reporters really that stupid?  Is our press truly nothing but Luddites who blindly go where authority directs them to go and look for clues?

That could explain why we constantly hear about  speculation about Snowden’s travel plans, asylum requests, state of mind, physical appearance, etc. The “human interest” angle over here, has trumped the real story.

The real story is that the NSA revelations expressly tell us how our networked world actually works and they portend the direction to which it is heading.

I hope you enjoyed your freedom while you had it.  The internet is through,.. Welcome to the Age of Internets…..   That is the real story.

The sub-story is that the NSA lied in March and emphatically said: this program flat-out did not exist.  So when they say they only see phone numbers… ?

cough, cough…

The NSA does not yet have your passwords.  We know this because today word broke they were asking internet providers for them.  Whether this was for one or two suspects, or passwords for all the data they collect, no one is yet saying.

All the internet providers said no, thank goodness.   This will have to go through Congress now if it ever is to take place.  Perhaps with this revelation, it is the proper time for another House defunding bill to be proposed against the NSA… After all, how many attempts have been made to defund Obamacare or Planned Parenthood?  Unlimited. 

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user!

Government orders demand not only a user’s password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt,  A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password.

Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google all confirmed they would not divulge this information. Not responding were Apple, Facebook, AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast so you may have already been compromised.  There is a good chance these little companies don’t have the clout to stand up to government requests.

The big companies resisted the government’s requests by arguing that “you don’t have the right to operate the account as a person,” 

 

it is probably time to discuss this.

For years we have quietly known and accepted the negatives of having an NSA. Things like we need it for our protection, or it makes things safer, tended to overide our fears that they know too much already, and I can’t do anything in private anymore…

We accepted that as progress.

However, when you have an organization so secret, that members of Congress are shocked to find out what it is doing, that no one knows who is authorizing who gets spied upon and what, that when brought before the courts for overstepping the Constitution, it can’t be prosecuted because a) it operates under “secret” laws, b) with “secret operations”, c) authorized by “secret courts” …. it is time to shut the entire operation down.

Why do we have the NSA when we have the CIA and the FBI. The FBI covers domestic spying. The CIA covers international spying. So, unless we find out that there are aliens and the NSA is really running the world while we think otherwise, then it probably ought to go.

I find it interesting that those on the far right, and those on the far left are the most outraged by this disclosure. We’ve been stating that news on this blog after the story was broken back in 2007-8 and not one press person cared. I supposed the AP Story opened their eyes this time. Struggling to put a finger on why, I came up with the theory primarily by looking at Congress, that it is the libertarians on left and right who are against, and the conformist, primarily in the center who are acceptive. So this gives us a split where the bottom third and the top third of the political body are opposed to the middle third… If you look at Congress that is exactly how it splits up. Moderates are pro domestic spying, the libertarians are not.

Probably similar is the theory that those beholden to corporate interests are pro-spying, after all, that is normal in the corporate environment; interoffice spying is not limited by any judicial system because it is deemed to be private. Those aghast, tend to fight corporate intrusion from their original political perspective, either left of right.

What the NSA does, watch everything to discern what is happening to increase its chances of survival, is not new. Intelligence has been the secret success of many an empire. Knowing what someone will do before they do it, is pretty comfortable in a world where in a day, we probably pass within 10 feet of 10,000 people (that includes inside our vehicles).

That is what all governments with the capacity, do. The biggest argument against it, is that it is un-American. Sure we have the “ability” to do it, but do we have the restraint, not to…

America has always been ruled by restraint. When Washington was entreated to be the King, he restrained and said no. When the heads of Europe all bet that Washington would invent a method to stay in power, he restrained, and government turned over peacefully. When the US was left in charge of a broken Europe, it put it back together and went home. The only country to invade another and give it back willingly to its original owners.

We had a scare in Boston a while back. Did the NSA protect us then? It’s a secret, no one knows. In Newtown 26 bodies littered the floor of an elementary school. Did the NSA protect us then? When a gunman burst into Aurora firing into the audience, did the NSA protect us then? When Gabby Gifford took a bullet, where was the NSA? Did the NSA protect us then?

That is the point. We are always in danger. But our personal lives are more at risk if our private information should fall into a competitors hands, than being victim of a terrorist. In Boston just 2 people died. In Newton 26. But each and every one of us, is at risk that selective information from ones past, can be used in secret to smear each and every one of us, should it fall into the wrong hands.

What would happen if we shut the entire agency known as the NSA down? A big nothing. They overstepped. It is not knee-jerking anger to respond “Shut them down right now!” It it calm, cool reasoning tipping the balance, that points out simply that is the right way to go.

This erupted on a right wing blog here in Delaware and for future historians who may wonder how Republicans collectively lost their minds, I preserved it right here….

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“Excuse me. Federal spending in 2008 was $2.9 trillion.

For 2011 it was $3.8 trillion.

For 2012 it was $3.7 trillion…..

Even if we cut $85 billion that still leave $700 billion we are over spending!!! “

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Of course, it certainly makes a difference in what is being overspent and what therefore needs to be cut.

In 2008, our defense budget was $671 billion. (Includes $190 billion for two wars not listed in budget but funded outside by appropriations).  This year it is $670 billion, including the two wars.. In 4 years there has been some creep downward of $1 billion.

Back in 2008, our non military discretionary budget was… $488 billion    Today it is  $615 billion.   The breakdown is below.

2008 ———-(+ or – 2007)—–  Cabinet Department——-(2013 budget)

$69.3 billion (+0.3%) – Department of Health and Human Services  ($81)
$56.0 billion (+0.0%) – Department of Education  ($68)
$39.4 billion (+18.7%) – Department of Veterans Affairs  ($60)
$35.2 billion (+1.4%) – Department of HUD  ($41)
$35.0 billion (+22.0%) – Department of State and Other International Programs  ($56)
$34.3 billion (+7.2%) – Department of Homeland Security  ($55)
$24.3 billion (+6.6%) – Department of Energy ($36)
$20.2 billion (+4.1%) – Department of Justice ($24)
$20.2 billion (+3.1%) – Department of Agriculture ($27)
$17.3 billion (+6.8%) – NASA  ($18)
$12.1 billion (+13.1%) – Department of Transportation ($24)
$12.1 billion (+6.1%) – Department of the Treasury ($14)
$10.6 billion (+2.9%) – Department of the Interior ($12)
$10.6 billion (-9.4%) – Department of Labor($13)
$51.8 billion (+9.7%) – Other On-budget Discretionary Spending ($53)
$39.0 billion – Other Off-budget Discretionary Spending  ($31)

A four year creep of $127 billion.

And we are proposing to cut $85 billion of that per year….  how much is 85 billion?  Well if you parked 85 billion cars, bumper to bumper, it would stretch to the sun and back, and back again as far as Mercury….

Imagine that huge amount instantly disappearing from our economy?

That is a pretty big worry.

Now we know where $100 billion of that $700 billion difference  came from.  Granted, it costs more to run our government now.  We have tighter security in our airports than we did in 2008.  We have tighter border security than we did in 2008.  We have a lot more people on food stamps than we did in 2008.  We have a lot more baby boomers retired or retiring… than we did in 2008…. We pay more in servicing our debt, than we did in 2008….

None of these can be cut.  Therefore we must cut out of our military.  We must cut out of our non military discretionary services…

Republicans have underestimated how painful these will be.  CBO says 700,000 jobs will be lost.  Regional pockets of unemployment could cross 40%.. Northern Virginia and Bethesda Maryland, will be very hard hit.  For when government workers get laid off, it is a  little different than if one closes a plant that makes widgets for the Chinese.  People in government facilitate other peoples lives.

Our food is safe, because of government.  Our planes are safe, because of government.  Our roads are safe because of government.  Our schools are safe, because of government.  Our neighborhoods are safe, because of government.  Our health is safe, because of government.  Our retirement is safe, because of government….

After March 1st, that safety provided by the government disappears….  the safety net has developed holes all through it…

Now when flying on the trapeze  through private sector jobs, flitting from one to another,  one must add the worry that if one misses his timely catching of the next bar,  he may just fall through one of the many gaping holes scattered across that net so far below….

A. A woman, with two small children, separated from an abusive husband. He has just started violating a no-contact order, and is making threats over the upcoming divorce.

B. A father of three boys, married, lives in rural area. Owns 97 acres of woods. Has a two mile driveway. Then fifteen miles of one lane road to the nearest major highway, whose junction is 38 miles from the nearest police station.

C. A 15 year old urban dropout, who was jumped and beaten up badly when he was twelve in an act of random violence; he was in the wrong place when they were looking for something to do, allegedly to “teach him a lesson”; the reality? There was no reason for it.

D. A thirty year old man, who was raped over 100 times while a child by a neighbor, and that neighbor now is politically well connected, who boasts on talk radio of how big his arsenal is….

E. A bright, attractive professional woman of twenty five, who has a high powered job, lives alone out of necessity and convenience, lives on an international schedule, enters and exits often between midnight and 6 am.

F. A 43 year old mother, who at 18 became state’s witness and testified against her acquaintance and he, is being freed tomorrow, sentence done….

G. A 62 year old pill popping DJ, who excels at conservative talk radio, by stirring up hate, spinning lies into truth, and coining derogative names to be recycled by bitter old white me, like “femminazi’s”….

H. Pastor Washington, who has taken the calling of walking around the inner city on very cold nights, and persuade homeless people to swallow their pride and come inside to a warm shelter…

I. One day, you?

This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.