Category Archives: Statism

Shoulder to Shoulder With Edward Snowden

For your consideration. (E)

Bill Bonner

I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today, 
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away, 
And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.

Lee Greenwood

We’re here on a bend in the Rhine river. Enjoying the 4th of July.

From our hotel, we see the Rhine water flowing swiftly, from right to left. (Let’s see, the Rhine flows from South to North… to discharge into the North Sea. Or somewhere near there. So, if the water is flowing to the left, we must be on the west bank of the river.)

We just arrived yesterday and spent the day in business meetings. Switzerland is a good place to do business, especially for French people. But, except for a brief walk through the old part of the city, we haven’t had much time to get our bearings.

One thing we notice, however: Like Zurich, Basel is a calm, civilized place. We see no poor people. Nor are there any slums. Nor are there people who look like they shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

In short: This ain’t Baltimore. But then, what is?

Back to the news:

Poor Edward Snowden. The man performed a valuable public service. He should get a medal on this Independence Day. Instead, he will have to face the music.

“As Snowden looks for asylum, doors slam around the world, ” says the International Herald Tribune.

Tuesday, the Russians seemed to close their doors to him. Ecuador seems to be withdrawing its invitation. Venezuela and Bolivia are still possibilities.

But like Julian Assange, he may be forced to hole up in some gloomy embassy. Or worse, he may be handed over to the US for a full program of torture. Yes, they could force him to watch TV! Or a Senate hearing! Or listen to Lee Greenwood whine on the radio!

He will surely want to slit his wrists after a few hours… saving the feds the cost of killing him.

Shoulder to Shoulder With Edward Snowden

Yes, the music Snowden will face, if he is delivered to the Americans, will be grim. He will be charged with treason… which comes with a funeral dirge.

Here at the Diary, we are shoulder to shoulder with Snowden. “He broke the law, ” say the news reports. That’s what we admire about him. Sometimes the law needs be broken.

America circa 2013: History will record that laws grew up like kudzu.

One law told people they had to have health insurance, whether they wanted it or not. Another told them what they could do with their money… another gave them the right to ingest certain things, but not others.

The proliferation of laws made more and more things unlawful. You cannot smoke a cigarette where you please. You cannot have a private conversation. You cannot do this… but you must do that.

This trend gave lawmakers – including mid-level bureaucrats and unnamed officials – more and more power. And took power away from ordinary citizens, who were convinced that it made sense to limit their rights more and more to preserve their freedom.

And every day, during the summer of 2013, the sun shone, the kudzu grew, and wrapped itself around their necks. Did they fail to report a $5 tip? Did they forget to separate their garbage? Or dare to fix a clogged toilet without a permit? Americans were so proud of their freedom, they didn’t notice how fast they were losing it.

They didn’t notice (how could they?) the huge growth in secret organizations around Washington. They could scarcely remember going through an airport without standing in ‘security’ lines with their belts and shoes in their hands. They had to assume (what else could they do?) that public officials really were working to make their lives safer and more prosperous.

But, as more and more things could get you into trouble (more than anyone could possibly keep track of), it became more and more important to keep one’s affairs private.

Likewise, the controllers found it evermore convenient to tap phones and record private email conversations. Who knows when you might say something they could use against you!

Lies Are More Valuable Than Truth

Is the kind of “big data” the feds are gathering useful? Our friend Nassim Taleb tells us that it is probably less accurate… or more prone to misconstruction… than the feds believe:

We’re more fooled by noise than ever before, and it’s because of a nasty phenomenon called “big data.” With big data, researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level.

Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information. In other words: Big data may mean more information, but it also means morefalse information.

But this is just great for the feds. They know perfectly well that the fight against terror is a pretext. They are zombies. The real goal of zombies is to increase their power and wealth at someone else’s expense. And for that, false information is better than the real thing.

False information can show anything you want it to show – even that a 93-year-old great grandmother is a threat to the nation.

Lies are more valuable, to them, than the truth.

Edward Snowden came out and revealed the extent to which the feds – under the guise of protecting us from terrorism – are keeping track of everyone and everyone’s business.

This was deeply disturbing to thoughtful people… if there still were any who feared the rise of an all-knowing, all-powerful Big Brother state from which no secrets are kept and from which no desires are hidden.

And it was disturbing too to the Big Brothers. They insist on knowing everything about everybody else’s business. But they made it a crime to reveal what they were up to!

In short, nobody likes a snitch… and a snoop especially dislikes a snitch.

Snowden was paid to snoop, not to snitch. He was paid to break the law and lie about it. And now he may have to face the law and pay the price for telling the truth.

Regards,

Bill Bonner

Bill

© Bill Bonner’s Diary of a Rogue Economist | 819 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Original Article: http://www.billbonnersdiary.com/articles/bonner-independence-day.html


The White House Has No Credibility

Don’t always agree with all Baldwin says. I am NOT a Constitutionalist but still can agree with him on issues of liberty.  The crap seems to be hiitin’ the fan for O and company. Unfortunately, the Bush cartel is still on the loose and playing their control games behind the scenes. BTW none of these politicians complaining are without guilt unless you would count those only in office  the past couple of years. They MAY NOT have blood on their hands yet. All others need to go to trial for treason-yeah right. (E)

Original article archived here: http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/1040/The-White-House-Has-No-Credibility.aspx

Chuck Baldwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Holy Cow, Martha! Will miracles never cease? Chuck Baldwin and the New York Times editorial board actually agree. Are we in the Twilight Zone? Is it Freaky Friday? Is the Times editorial board reading my columns and seeing the light or am I watching CNN and MSNBC too much? I know I don’t watch those two propaganda outlets too much, and I doubt the Times editorial board pays too much attention to what I write, so what is going on?

On June 6, the editorial board of the New York Times posted a column that yours truly could have written. The column was entitled “President Obama’s Dragnet.” The editorial begins:

“Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

“Those reassurances have never been persuasive–whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism–especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

“The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.”

The editorial goes on to say, “Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.

“This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To causally permit this surveillance–with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power–fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.”

The Times editorial concludes by saying, “On Thursday, representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, said that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds by obtaining a secret order to collect phone log records from millions of Americans.

“‘As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the F.B.I.’s interpretation of this legislation,’ he said in a statement. ‘While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses.’ He added: ‘Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.’

“Stunning use of the act [Patriot Act] shows, once again, why it needs to be sharply curtailed if not repealed.”

See The New York Times editorial here:

President Obama’s Dragnet

First of all, the Patriot Act introduced by Sensenbrenner and passed into law in 2001 had been introduced before (almost word-for-word) during the Clinton administration. It was soundly defeated by Republican majorities in both the US House and Senate. Then after 9-11, these same Republicans passed the Patriot Act into law. And you read that the principal sponsor of the Act in the House, Jim Sensenbrenner, said he had “always worried about potential abuses.” Then why the heck did he and the rest of the Republicans in the House and Senate pass the darn thing? You know why. Back in 2001, a Republican was in the White House. As we have seen time and time again, party partisanship usually trumps loyalty to the Constitution on Capitol Hill.

Think about it: when Democrat Bill Clinton was President, Democrats on Capitol Hill strongly supported what became known as the Patriot Act; and Republicans opposed it. But when Republican G.W. Bush was President, Republicans supported (and passed) the Patriot Act; and Democrats opposed it. Remember: it was the same bill! What made the difference? The party occupying the White House. Yet, even the chief sponsor of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner, said he “always worried about potential abuses.” Well, now we know his worries were justified.

Wouldn’t it be nice if just once members of Congress (from both parties) would choose to err on the side of liberty and constitutional government instead of tyranny and Big-Government?

Secondly, the abuses of power by the White House under the guise of the Patriot Act have been going on ever since the darn thing was passed. Barack Obama is no guiltier of trampling the Bill of Rights than G.W. Bush. It was Bush who pushed through, not only the Patriot Act, but the Military Commissions Act and the NDAA, all of which give the executive branch of the federal government unconstitutional authority to abuse the rights and liberties of the American people.

I even recall when G.W. Bush appeared before the United Nations shortly after ordering the invasion of Iraq and told that body the reason Iraq was invaded was for the “peace and credibility of the United Nations.”

See Bush’s speech to the UN here:

George W. Bush Addresses The UN

I didn’t know the United Nations had any credibility worth saving. Furthermore, I thought the US armed forces were supposed to fight to preserve the safety and liberty of the United States. You mean to tell me that American forces were sent into Iraq for the benefit of the “peace and credibility of the United Nations”? Egad. I wonder if Bush and Obama are using federal police powers against the American citizenry for the same reason that US troops were used against Iraq: for the “peace and credibility of the United Nations.” I think it is safe to say that anyone who would abuse US troops to fulfill the machinations of the United Nations would have no hesitation to abuse US citizens for the same reason. In other words, everything that G.W. Bush started, Barack Obama is continuing–both in regard to the wars waged in the Middle East and in the abuse of liberties in the United States.

The rubric for all of this abuse is the “War on Terror,” with the Patriot Act serving as the cornerstone piece of legislation authorizing it and the Department of Homeland Security serving as the cornerstone agency enforcing it. The net result is perpetual war abroad and a burgeoning police state at home.

The New York Times is right: the Obama White House has no credibility on this issue. Neither did the Bush White House. Then, again, it might not matter whether the White House has any credibility, as long as the United Nations has credibility. I jest, of course.

The Times is also right when it says the Patriot Act needs to be “sharply curtailed if not repealed.” I vote for the latter.

And why is it left to the New York Times to call for the repeal of the Patriot Act? Where are the so-called conservative Republicans? Where are the cable news networks? Where is the rest of the media? And where are America’s pastors and churches?

The New York Times and Chuck Baldwin preaching the same sermon: who would have ever believed it?

(c) Chuck Baldwin

 


Government Secrets and the Need for Whistle-blowers

From Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier

June 10, 2013

Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.

The Guardian delivered this revelation after receiving a copy of a secret memo about this — presumably from a whistle-blower. We don’t know if the other phone companies handed data to the NSA too. We don’t know if this was a one-off demand or a continuously renewed demand; the order started a few days after the Boston bombers were captured by police.

We don’t know a lot about how the government spies on us, but we know some things. We know the FBI has issued tens of thousands of ultra-secret National Security Letters to collect all sorts of data on people — we believe on millions of people — and has been abusing them to spy on cloud-computer users. We know it can collect a wide array of personal data from the Internet without a warrant. We also know that the FBI has been intercepting cell-phone data, all but voice content, for the past 20 years without a warrant, and can use the microphone on some powered-off cell phones as a room bug — presumably only with a warrant.

We know that the NSA has many domestic-surveillance and data-mining programs with codenames like TrailblazerStellar Windand Ragtime — deliberately using different codenames for similar programs to stymie oversight and conceal what’s really going on. We know that the NSA is building an enormous computer facility in Utah to store all this data, as well as faster computer networks to process it all. We know the U.S. Cyber Command employs 4,000 people.

We know that the DHS is also collecting a massive amount of data on people, and that local police departments are running “fusion centers” to collect and analyze this data, and covering up its failures. This is all part of the militarization of the police.

Remember in 2003, when Congress defunded the decidedly creepy Total Information Awarenessprogram? It didn’t die; it just changed names and split into many smaller programs. We know that corporations are doing an enormous amount of spying on behalf of the government: all parts.

We know all of this not because the government is honest and forthcoming, but mostly through three backchannels — inadvertent hints or outright admissions by government officials in hearings and court cases, information gleaned from government documents received under FOIA, and government whistle-blowers.

There’s much more we don’t know, and often what we know is obsolete. We know quite a bit about the NSA’s ECHELON program from a 2000 European investigation, and about the DHS’s plans for Total Information Awareness from 2002, but much less about how these programs have evolved. We can make inferences about the NSA’s Utah facility based on the theoretical amount of data from various sources, the cost of computation, and the power requirements from the facility, but those are rough guesses at best. For a lot of this, we’re completely in the dark.

And that’s wrong.

The U.S. government is on a secrecy binge. It overclassifies more information than ever. And we learn, again and again, that our government regularly classifies things not because they need to be secret, but because their release would be embarrassing.

Knowing how the government spies on us is important. Not only because so much of it is illegal — or, to be as charitable as possible, based on novel interpretations of the law — but because we have a right to know. Democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function properly, andtransparency and accountability are essential parts of that. That means knowing what our government is doing to us, in our name. That means knowing that the government is operating within the constraints of the law. Otherwise, we’re living in a police state.

We need whistle-blowers.

Leaking information without getting caught is difficult. It’s almost impossible to maintain privacy in the Internet Age. The WikiLeaks platform seems to have been secure — Bradley Manning was caught not because of a technological flaw, but because someone he trusted betrayed him — but the U.S. government seems to have successfully destroyed it as a platform. None of the spin-offs have risen to become viable yet. The New Yorker recently unveiled its Strongbox platform forleaking material, which is still new but looks good. This link contains the best advice on how to leak information to the press via phone, email, or the post office. The National Whistleblowers Center has a page on national-security whistle-blowers and their rights.

Leaking information is also very dangerous. The Obama Administration has embarked on a war onwhistle-blowers, pursuing them — both legally and through intimidation — further than any previous administration has done. Mark Klein, Thomas Drake, and William Binney have all been persecuted for exposing technical details of our surveillance state. Bradley Manning has been treated cruelly and inhumanly — and possibly tortured — for his more-indiscriminate leaking of State Department secrets.

The Obama Administration’s actions against the Associated Press, its persecution of Julian Assange, and its unprecedented prosecution of Manning on charges of “aiding the enemy” demonstrate how far it’s willing to go to intimidate whistle-blowers — as well as the journalists who talk to them.

But whistle-blowing is vital, even more broadly than in government spying. It’s necessary for good government, and to protect us from abuse of power.

We need details on the full extent of the FBI’s spying capabilities. We don’t know what information it routinely collects on American citizens, what extra information it collects on those on various watch lists, and what legal justifications it invokes for its actions. We don’t know its plans for future data collection. We don’t know what scandals and illegal actions — either past or present — are currently being covered up.

We also need information about what data the NSA gathers, either domestically or internationally. We don’t know how much it collects surreptitiously, and how much it relies on arrangements with various companies. We don’t know how much it uses password cracking to get at encrypted data, and how much it exploits existing system vulnerabilities. We don’t know whether it deliberately inserts backdoors into systems it wants to monitor, either with or without the permission of the communications-system vendors.

And we need details about the sorts of analysis the organizations perform. We don’t know what they quickly cull at the point of collection, and what they store for later analysis — and how long they store it. We don’t know what sort of database profiling they do, how extensive their CCTV and surveillance-drone analysis is, how much they perform behavioral analysis, or how extensively they trace friends of people on their watch lists.

We don’t know how big the U.S. surveillance apparatus is today, either in terms of money and people or in terms of how many people are monitored or how much data is collected. Modern technology makes it possible to monitor vastly more people — yesterday’s NSA revelations demonstrate that they could easily surveil everyone — than could ever be done manually.

Whistle-blowing is the moral response to immoral activity by those in power. What’s important here are government programs and methods, not data about individuals. I understand I am asking for people to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior. Do it carefully and do it safely, but — and I am talking directly to you, person working on one of these secret and probably illegal programs — do it.

If you see something, say something. There are many people in the U.S. that will appreciate and admire you.

For the rest of us, we can help by protesting this war on whistle-blowers. We need to force our politicians not to punish them — to investigate the abuses and not the messengers — and to ensure that those unjustly persecuted can obtain redress.

Our government is putting its own self-interest ahead of the interests of the country. That needs to change.

This essay originally appeared on the Atlantic.

EDITED TO ADD (6/10): It’s not just phone records. Another secret program, PRISM, gave the NSA access to e-mails and private messages at Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Skype, AOL, and others. And in a separate leak, we now know about the Boundless Informant NSA data mining system.

The leaker for at least some of this is Edward Snowden. I consider him an American hero.

EFF has a great timeline of NSA spying. And this and this contain some excellent speculation about what PRISM could be.

Someone needs to write an essay parsing all of the precisely worded denials. Apple has never heard the word “PRISM,” but could have known of the program under a different name. Google maintained that there is no government “back door,” but left open the possibility that the data could have been just handed over. Obama said that the government isn’t “listening to your telephone calls,” ignoring 1) the meta-data, 2) the fact that computers could be doing all of the listening, and 3) that text-to-speech results in phone calls being read and not listened to. And so on and on and on.

Here are people defending the programs. And here’s someone criticizing my essay.

Four more good essays.

I’m sure there are lots more things out there that should be read. Please include the links in comments. Not only essays I would agree with; intelligent opinions from the other sides are just as important.


Washington’s Scandals: The Internet Works Both Ways

Original Article: http://www.thedailybell.com/29127/Washingtons-Scandals-The-Internet-Works-Both-Ways

Reuters: ‘An Increasingly Polarized Washington Is Devouring Its Own’ … Unprecedented Justice Department searches of journalists’ phone records. IRS targeting of conservative political groups. Spiraling sexual assault rates in the military. And the downplaying of the first killing of an American ambassador in 30 years. But Obama‘s failings are only part of the problem. An increasingly polarized Washington is devouring its own. Ceaseless, take-no-prisoners political warfare, not nefarious White House plots, ravages government. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: Government needs to work better to avoid crises and scandals.

Free-Market Analysis: On Saturday, we published an editorial with a title very similar to the one in this current Reuters editorial: “Scandal: And They Shall Eat Their Own … ”

The difference between the Daily Bell editorial and the Reuters editorial is instructive. In our editorial, we posited that a reason for the scandals might have to do with the ubiquitous nature of the modern Internet. This was not the only possibility but it was one Anthony Wile found feasible.

This Reuters editorial blames “gridlock.” The Reuters editorial wants us to believe that the current scandals inWashington, DC can be rectified by a more smoothly functioning government. We don’t think that government is much of a solution to anything. We believe such scandals could be rectified by shrinking government, not making it function more effectively.

Here’s more from the article:

In a matter of days, alarming accounts have emerged regarding the actions of five key federal government bureaucracies: the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon.

For commentators on the right, the reports are final proof of the raft of conspiracy theories focused on President Barack Obama. For commentators on left, they are non-scandals that Republicans exaggerate for political gain. Our endless left-right debate – Obama the devil, Obama the angel – misses more serious problems.

… Obama came into office promising openness – but from counter-terrorism to domestic policy, his White House has been secretive, insular and controlling. Yes, Republicans are bent on destroying Obama’s presidency, but an aloof president has alienated his Democratic allies.

Congress is no better. Each two-year term seems to set new standards for political trench warfare. One-third of the committees in the Republican-controlled House are investigating the administration. Some on the far right call for Obama’s impeachment.

You see? The problems faced by the US government have to do with the bad behavior of its actors. Everyone has to shoulder some part of the blame: Obama, Congress, the Pentagon, etc.

But the problem with this logic, in our humble view, starts and ends with the size of government and the pervasiveness of monopoly central banking. It is the availability of a money machine itself that has allowed government to grow to its current dysfunctional size.

And dysfunctional – and titanic – it is. Government at levels in the US must surely spend up to US$4 trillion on, among other things, a dysfunctional public school system, a crumbling industrial infrastructure and a vast domestic spy network complemented by a hugely expensive military-industrial complex. The value of all these expenditures to individual citizens is dubious to say the least.

The system exists, nonetheless, corrupt beyond measure, authoritarian by design and obviously repressive in its actions. Gradually, however, what we call the Internet Reformation is changing this situation.

As more and more information mounts up about destructive government actions in the US – and Europe, too – we would argue it becomes harder and harder to maintain business as usual.

Now, there are probably other reasons for these US scandals to come out now, and certainly there are many competing interests that might want to generate such difficulties. But think about what has come before: a steady drip, drip, drip of revelations that have not been staunched despite the best efforts of those in government and their media enablers.

Controversial reports having to do with President Obama’s birth certificate, election rigging, the destruction of the World Trade Towers and much else have not been excised from the public consciousness with the ruthless efficiency of pre-21st century maneuverings.

It is much more difficult to keep a secret these days, or stop people from speculating about motivations and underlying realities.

Conclusion: Many fear that the Internet is giving government the tools to be more authoritarian than ever. But it works both ways.


The IRS’s Job Is To Violate Our Liberties

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013

By Ron Paul

Ron Paul

“What do you expect when you target the President?” This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton. Recent revelations that IRS agents gave “special scrutiny” to organizations opposed to the current administration’s policies suggest that many in the IRS still believe harassing the president’s opponents is part of their job.

As troubling as these recent reports are, it would be a grave mistake to think that IRS harassment of opponents of the incumbent president is a modern, or a partisan, phenomenon. As scholar Burton Folsom pointed out in his book New Deal or Raw Deal, IRS agents in the 1930s were essentially “hit squads” against opponents of the New Deal. It is well-known that the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson used the IRS to silence their critics. One of the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon dealt with his use of the IRS to harass his political enemies. Allegations of IRS abuses were common during the Clinton administration, and just this week some of the current administration’s defenders recalled that antiwar and progressive groups alleged harassment by the IRS during the Bush presidency.

The bipartisan tradition of using the IRS as a tool to harass political opponents suggests that the problem is deeper than just a few “rogue” IRS agents − or even corruption within one, two, three or many administrations. Instead, the problem lays in the extraordinary power the tax system grants the IRS.

The IRS routinely obtains information about how we earn a living, what investments we make, what we spend on ourselves and our families, and even what charitable and religious organizations we support. Starting next year, the IRS will be collecting personally identifiable health insurance information in order to ensure we are complying withObamacare‘s mandates.

The current tax laws even give the IRS power to marginalize any educational, political, or even religious organizations whose goals, beliefs, and values are not favored by the current regime by denying those organizations “tax-free” status. This is the root of the latest scandal involving the IRS.

Considering the type of power the IRS excises over the American people, and the propensity of those who hold power to violate liberty, it is surprising we do not hear about more cases of politically-motivated IRS harassment. As the first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy” − and who better to destroy than one’s political enemies?

The US flourished for over 120 years without an income tax, and our liberty and prosperity will only benefit from getting rid of the current tax system. The federal government will get along just fine without its immoral claim on the fruits of our labor, particularly if the elimination of federal income taxes are accompanied by serious reduction in all areas of spending, starting with the military spending beloved by so many who claim to be opponents of high taxes and big government.

While it is important for Congress to investigate the most recent scandal and ensure all involved are held accountable, we cannot pretend that the problem is a few bad actors. The very purpose of the IRS is to transfer wealth from one group to another while violating our liberties in the process; thus, the only way Congress can protect our freedoms is to repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.

Dr. Ron Paul, a medical doctor and longtime Texas Representative to the US House, continues to promote and educate on issues of liberty through his “Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk” column, pubished weekly here.  

 

 


DOJ Targeted FOX News Reporter For Espionage

This is ludicrous! These people are crazy. It is time to stand up. I don’t care for Alex Jones‘ style but if the facts are true, and from my research they are, then what he is saying is well worth listening to. At the very least for the information. (E)

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FM 33-39.40 US Army Interment and Resetlement Operations

Link opens entire PDF of FM 33-39.40 Read for yourself what is planned for you as referenced in the previous video. Watch the video below it to navigate to important pages. (E)

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USArmy-InternmentResettlement PDF file

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US Government is Planning for Financial Collapse (and You are in Trouble)

Dismiss this if you like but it is true nonetheless and  the solution offered is the best I have seen so far even though I expect it will not be acted on in time (E)

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An Open Letter From Assata

By Assata Shakur
Source: Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Assata Shakur’s ZSpace Page

My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.

I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.

In 1978, my case was one of many cases bought before the United Nations Organization in a petition filed by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, exposing the existence of political prisoners in the United States, their political persecution, and the cruel and inhuman treatment they receive in US prisons. According to the report:

‘The FBI and the New York Police Department in particular, charged and accused Assata Shakur of participating in attacks on law enforcement personnel and widely circulated such charges and accusations among police agencies and units. The FBI and the NYPD further charged her as being a leader of the Black Liberation Army which the government and its respective agencies described as an organization engaged in the shooting of police officers. This description of the Black Liberation Army and the accusation of Assata Shakur’s relationship to it was widely circulated by government agents among police agencies and units. As a result of these activities by the government, Ms. Shakur became a hunted person; posters in police precincts and banks described her as being involved in serious criminal activities; she was highlighted on the FBI’s most wanted list; and to police at all levels she became a ‘shoot-to-kill’ target.”

I was falsely accused in six different “criminal cases” and in all six of these cases I was eventually acquitted or the charges were dismissed. The fact that I was acquitted or that the charges were dismissed, did not mean that I received justice in the courts, that was certainly not the case. It only meant that the “evidence” presented against me was so flimsy and false that my innocence became evident. This political persecution was part and parcel of the government’s policy of eliminating political opponents by charging them with crimes and arresting them with no regard to the factual basis of such charges.

On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.” Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Foerster was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Foerster was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.

The U.S. Senate’s 1976 Church Commission report on intelligence operations inside the USA, revealed that “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public’s perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” news contacts.” This same policy is evidently still very much in effect today.

On December 24, 1997, The New Jersey State called a press conference to announce that New Jersey State Police had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to intervene on their behalf and to aid in having me extradited back to New Jersey prisons. The New Jersey State Police refused to make their letter public. Knowing that they had probably totally distort the facts, and attempted to get the Pope to do the devils work in the name of religion, I decided to write the Pope to inform him about the reality of “justice” for black people in the State of New Jersey and in the United States. (See attached Letter to the Pope).

In January of 1998, during the pope’s visit to Cuba, I agreed to do an interview with NBC journalist Ralph Penza around my letter to the Pope, about my experiences in New Jersey court system, and about the changes I saw in the United States and it’s treatment of Black people in the last 25 years. I agreed to do this interview because I saw this secret letter to the Pope as a vicious, vulgar, publicity maneuver on the part of the New Jersey State Police, and as a cynical attempt to manipulate Pope John Paul II. I have lived in Cuba for many years, and was completely out of touch with the sensationalist, dishonest, nature of the establishment media today. It is worse today than it was 30 years ago. After years of being victimized by the “establishment” media it was naive of me to hope that I might finally get the opportunity to tell “my side of the story.” Instead of an interview with me, what took place was a “staged media event” in three parts, full of distortions, inaccuracies and outright lies. NBC purposely misrepresented the facts. Not only did NBC spend thousands of dollars promoting this “exclusive interview series” on NBC, they also spent a great deal of money advertising this “exclusive interview” on black radio stations and also placed notices in local newspapers.

. . .

Like most poor and oppressed people in the United States, I do not have a voice. Black people, poor people in the U.S. have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression and very little freedom of the press. The black press and the progressive media has historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We need to continue and to expand that tradition. We need to create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio Stations or Newspapers. But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika. All I have is my voice, my spirit and the will to tell the truth. But I sincerely ask, those of you in the Black media, those of you in the progressive media, those of you who believe in truth freedom, To publish this statement and to let people know what is happening. We have no voice, so you must be the voice of the voiceless.

Free all Political Prisoners, I send you Love and Revolutionary Greetings From Cuba, One of the Largest, Most Resistant and Most Courageous Palenques (Maroon Camps) That has ever existed on the Face of this Planet.

Assata Shakur Havana, Cuba

Below is a clip of Assata Sakur’s Documentary “Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur Documentary”

“I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered … rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.” — Assata Shakur

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
                                                           ? Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography


Assata is Not a Terrorist: She is a Freedom Fighter like Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X & Martin L. King [#Feminist Friday]

While I don’t agree with all of the sentiments here I do agree that the way the American government has treated Blacks and other minorities is unwarranted and oppressive. Things need to change for all Americans who are not among the racists or elitists. (E)


Who is Behind “Al Qaeda in Iran”?

 

Original Article:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-al-qaeda-in-iran/5332593

US-Canada Claim Iran-Al Qaeda Ties Despite US Funding Al Qaeda in Iran for Years

OsamaTVSpeech

As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI “success” stories have been “serendipitously” splashed across Western headlines. Among them was an allegedly “foiled” terror attack in Canada, reported to be the work of terrorists supported by “Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.” The Globe and Mail, in its report, “Canada joins U.S. in alleging al-Qaeda has operatives based in Iran,” states:

“To many, it came as a surprise that the RCMP is alleging that two terror suspects arrested in Canada on Monday were supported by al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.

The Sunni-based al-Qaeda and Shia Iran belong to different branches of Islam that have been at odds historically. But in recent years U.S. officials have formally alleged that Iran has allowed al-Qaeda members to operate out of its territory.”

Both at face value and upon deeper examination, this assertion is utterly absurd, divorced from reality, and indicative of the absolute contempt within which the Western establishment holds the global public. In reality, the West, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in particular, have propped up and perpetuated Al Qaeda for the very purpose of either undermining or overthrowing the governments of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Libya,  Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and beyond.

Regarding Iran in particular, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker piece titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” would state:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

In a follow up, Hersh in his 2008 New Yorker piece titled, “Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran,” spelled out a damning indictment of US involvement in bolstering, arming, and funding terror organizations, not linked to, but described as actually being Al Qaeda.

Of American support for Al Qaeda the report states (emphasis added):

The Administration may have been willing to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was reason to believe that the groups had operated against American interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. “The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,” Baer told me. “These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers—in this case, it’s Shiite Iranians. The irony is that we’re once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties.” Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.

The report would continue by stating (emphasis added):

One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support.

The manifestation of this insidious conspiracy can be seen playing out across Syria in which US-backed terrorists openly operating under the flag of Al Qaeda are locked in a catastrophic sectarian bloodbath with the Syrian people and the Syrian state’s closest ally, Iran. The conflict in Syria exposes that the machinations revealed back in 2007-2008 by Hersh, are still being carried out in earnest today.

Clearly, US-Canadian claims that Iran is somehow involved in harboring Al Qaeda within its borders, when it has been the West for years propping them up specifically to overthrow the Iranian government, are utterly absurd. In reality, while the West uses Al Qaeda’s presence both within Iran and along it peripheries to undermine and ultimately overthrow the Iranian government, it in turn uses these very terror organizations to induce paralyzing fear across Western populations in order to consolidate and expand power at home.

Additional Reading: For more information on just how much support the US has provided Al Qaeda terrorists in Baluchistan versus both Pakistan and Iran, please see, “US Attempting to Trigger Color Revolution in Pakistan.” For more information on the US’ delisting, arming and training of the terror organization, Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK or MKO) versus Iran, please see, “US to Delist & Arm American-Killing Terror Cult.”

Continue reading


New Normal Terror Attack

Excellent article about conditioning by Tony Soldo at The People’s Voice .org (E)

Original: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2013/04/20/new-normal-terror-attack

April 20th, 2013

By Tony Soldo

One of the objectives of the false flag Boston Marathon bombing terror attack, was to create fear, confusion, anger, and hatred, in the subconscious minds of the masses, the millions of people who absorb and accept the “New Normal”, whenever the people in power implement a tactic or agenda

(Problem).

After the media saturates the minds of the masses, the government has a greater role in their lives to rule over them and control them.

The media conditioned the masses to cheer the police and soldiers after the suspect was caught, and the whole city of Boston came out of their houses, cheering the soldiers and police, waving their flags, and singing the national anthem

(Reaction).

Now, anytime there is any kind of attack or even a suspected threat, the government can just lock down a whole city, send in the troops, stop and search anyone, go door to door, invading homes, forbidding Citizens to leave their houses, and businesses to close, etc…and the majority of people will not only allow this “New Normal”, they will cheer and sing while the oppressors are oppressing them.

(Solution).

The New Normal is a terror attack against the people, and the minds of the people.

Everything that happened after the False Flag Boston Bombing, was meant to create a new, expanded role of government and soldiers and police, on the streets of the USA.

They can violate the rule of law, the Bill of Rights, including the 4th Amendment, Posse Comitatus, Habeas Corpus, and the Miranda Act.

This False Flag attack will be used to expand the Police State, take away more of our fast evaporating freedom and liberties, but also they will use this crisis to pass laws and bills like the CISPA act, that allows the government to extract all personal information on anyone from any source, without a warrant, and pass tougher laws demanding deeper background checks, and create a grid where all of our personal information can be stored and shared by any and all law enforcement, instantly.

Look for these measures to be hidden in any new immigration reform bills (the terror suspects will be presented as an example for stronger background checks).

And also, this attack will give the politicians more “ammo” to pass more laws taking away the people’s right to keep weapons to defend themselves.

All major False Flag Events serve many purposes, and this one will serve at least three, creating the new normal in our society and nation.

1) Police State, with troops and cops patrolling the streets, searching people and homes, whenever there is any standoff (threats, or even bank robberies and other domestic crimes).

2) More information gathering, storing, and sharing, on all of us.

3) More laws limiting and restricting the people’s right to protect themselves with weapons.

Add to that two more aspects of the expanding Police State:

More cameras on the streets, and more public announcements encouraging people to spy on their neighbors and report suspicious behavior.

These new normal conditions would be impossible to implement all at once, but, when down incrementally, step by step, over time, they are almost impossible to stop.

The only hope is Citizen activism.

Start researching issues and topics like: state sponsored false flag terror, police state, martial law, war profiteering, corporate colonialism, and individual liberty, and human rights.

Then find alternative information and news sites that don’t play the left / right game, but rise above to show the big picture of how our individual freedoms and liberties are being stolen from us and the people in power are actively gaining more power and more wealth, everyday, and they will never stop on their own, like any addict, they can’t stop.

They are addicted to power and money, and they need intervention.

These power hungry people are operating in Washington DC, and on Wall Street, they are nothing more than businessmen and actors, playing a role, they are no better than you or I, and do not deserve our respect, allegiance, or obedience.

The most important thing you can do is start talking to everyone, your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and complete strangers.

Share with them some new information that you are discovering while searching alternative sites for truth hidden from us by the mainstream media and the government.

Stop getting your news from these two sources, (Mainstream Media, and Government), question everything you see and hear, use your critical thinking skills, and separate the truth from the lies, and encourage everyone around you to do the same.

Take all that you find, that is good and true, and move forward, leaving the bad, and the lies behind.

Peace.

-###-

https://www.facebook.com/TonySoldo?ref=tn_tnmn

Tony Soldo is a Christian Pacifist Anarchist


Study finds troubling patterns of teacher assignments within schools

From : http://phys.org/news/2013-04-patterns-teacher-assignments-schools.html#nwlt

April 23rd, 2013 in Other Sciences / Social Sciences

Even within the same school, lower-achieving students often are taught by less-experienced teachers, as well as by teachers who received their degrees from less-competitive colleges, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the World Bank. The study, using data from one of the nation’s largest school districts, also shows that student class assignments vary within schools by a teacher’s gender and race.

In a paper published in the April issue of Sociology of Education, the researchers present the results of a comprehensive analysis of teacher assignments in the nation’s fourth-largest school district, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Their findings identify trends that may contribute to  and achievement gaps nationwide.

Previous research indicates that high-quality teachers can significantly improve education outcomes for . However, not all students have equal access to the best teachers.

“It is well-known that teachers systematically sort across schools, disadvantaging low-income, minority, and low-achieving students,” said Demetra Kalogrides, a research associate at the Graduate School of Education’s Center for Education Policy Analysis and one of the study’s three authors. “Our findings are novel because they address the assignment of teachers to classes within schools. We cannot assume that teacher sorting stops at the school doors.”

The authors note that more research needs to be done to see whether such patterns exist within schools across the country.

The assignment of teachers to students is the result of a complex process, involving school leaders, teachers, and parents. While principals are constrained by teachers’ qualifications—not all , for instance, can teach physics—they also may use their authority to reward certain teachers with the more desirable assignments or to appease teachers who are instrumental to school operations.

Teachers with more power, due to experience or other factors, may be able to choose their preferred classes. Parents, particularly those with more resources, also may try to intervene in the process to ensure that their children are taught by certain teachers.

“We wanted to understand which teachers are teaching which students,” said Susanna Loeb, a Stanford professor of education, the director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis, and an author of the study. “In particular, are low-achieving students more likely to be assigned to certain teachers, and if so, why?”

Using extensive data from Miami-Dade, the authors compared the average achievement of teachers’ students in the year before the students were assigned to them. They discovered that certain teachers—those with less experience, those from less-competitive colleges, female teachers, and black and Hispanic teachers—are more likely to work with lower-achieving students than are other teachers in the same school.

They found these patterns at both the elementary and middle/high school levels.

According to the researchers, teachers who have been at a school for a long time may be able to influence the assignment process in order to secure their preferred classes—for instance, classes with higher-achieving students. The study found that teachers with 10 or more years of experience, as well as teachers who have held leadership positions, are assigned higher-achieving students on average.

Assigning lower-achieving students to inexperienced teachers could have significant repercussions. According to the researchers, it could increase turnover among new teachers, since novice teachers are more likely to quit when assigned more low-achieving students.

In addition, it could exacerbate within-school —for example, the black-white gap. Since they are lower-achieving on average, minority and poor students are often assigned to less-experienced teachers than white and non-poor students. Less-experienced teachers tend to be less effective, so this pattern is likely to reinforce the relationships between race and achievement and poverty and achievement, the researchers said.

The study also found that lower-achieving students are taught by the teachers who graduated from less-competitive colleges, based on test scores for admission and acceptance rates. This trend is particularly evident at the middle school and high school levels, possibly due to the more varied demands of middle and high school courses. Teachers from more competitive colleges may have deeper subject knowledge than their colleagues from less-competitive colleges, leading principals to assign them to more advanced courses, the researchers said.

The researchers noted that assignment patterns vary across schools. Experienced teachers appear to have more power over the assignment process when there are more of them in a school; senior teachers are assigned even higher-achieving students when there is a larger contingent of experienced teachers in the school.

At the same time, schools under more accountability pressure are less likely to assign higher-achieving students to more-experienced teachers than schools that are not under accountability pressure.

Finally, according to the findings, class assignments vary depending on a teacher’s gender and race. Since female teachers are more likely to teach special education than male teachers, on average they work with lower-achieving students than their male colleagues. Also, black and Hispanic teachers, when compared with white teachers in the same schools, work with more minority and poor students, who tend to be lower-achieving.

Unlike sorting based on experience, the authors said that teacher-student matching based on race could improve student achievement because previous research suggests that minority students may learn more when taught by minority .

“Our analyses are a first step in describing within- class assignments, an important, yet often overlooked, form of teacher sorting,” said Kalogrides.

Provided by American Sociological Association

Journal reference: Sociology of Education


Blackout in Protest of CISPA

 

Click Photo for more Information

To learn more and find out what you can do go here: http://www.cispaisback.org/

 


Eric Schmidt Wants To Protect You From Your Neighbor’s Drone. But What About Barack Obama’s?

Here is another C4ss article. They are left leaning but are freedom loving nonetheless. I tend to lean a bit more right but am open and am exploring, reading and praying. Meanwhile this Schmidt dude sounds like a real elitist puppet. Take all rights away from the people because only government can be trusted with new technologies.

People can regulate themselves. They do not need drones (government officials) attempting to decide what is right and wrong for everyone in every situation.

Apart from certain things like theft, murder and the like most issues are not a matter of right or wrong but preference. Since this is true it should be left up to locals as to what works best in their area. As for those things that are definitely wrong, even here each community or locale must decide how best to handle these types of violations.

Of course that will present a problem since if you are traveling and kill someone it may be considered a murder in one place and accidental in another. In which case everything from being let go to a death sentence could occur. But do we truly want freedom or do we want some government that tells everyone what they can and cannot do? It seems worth the risk of freedom to me.  

I say this as a felon who could have been killed if some folks had had their choice, while others even the victim of my crime would have had me have no record whatsoever. (E)

Posted by  on Apr 15, 2013 in Commentary

As reported by the BBC, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt expresses grave misgivings about civilian acquisition of drones during an interview with the Guardian (available only to that paper’s subscribers). Curiously, Schmidt voices little skepticism of government use of drones for surveillance and targeted killing. He has this to say about his fear of drone proliferation:

“ You’re having a dispute with your neighbour … How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?” Schmidt also cited the possibility that terrorists could acquire drone technology as another danger. To make sure that drones don’t fall into the wrong hands, Schmidt said, “It’s got to be regulated … It’s one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they’re doing, but have other people doing it … it’s not going to happen.”

Schmidt’s assumption that drone deployment by governments has “some legitimacy” is debatable given the available evidence. For instance, a report from McClatchy raises serious questions about whom the US Government targets with its drones. The Obama administration claims that drone strikes “are authorized only against ‘specific senior operational leaders of al Qaida and associated forces’ involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks who are plotting ‘imminent’ violent attacks on Americans.” But according to McClatchy reporter Jonathan S. Landay,

Copies of the top-secret U.S. intelligence reports … show that drone strikes in Pakistan over a four-year period didn’t adhere to those standards.

The intelligence reports list killings of alleged Afghan insurgents whose organization wasn’t on the U.S. list of terrorist groups at the time of the 9/11 strikes; of suspected members of a Pakistani extremist group that didn’t exist at the time of 9/11; and of unidentified individuals described as “other militants” and “foreign fighters.”

These revelations led Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald to state bluntly, “The Obama Administration often has no idea who they are killing.” So why would Eric Schmidt be so unconcerned about the drones deployed by the US government?

Maybe it has something to do with Schmidt’s cozy relationship with President Obama. The administration reportedly offered Schmidt a cabinet post after the president’s 2012 re-election. According to  the Telegraph, Schmidt oversaw “Google’s $700,000 donation” to the Obama campaign and has been close to the president since the 2008 presidential campaign.

Or perhaps Schmidt is just a bourgeois liberal who thinks more highly of state and corporate officials than he does of “the rabble.” Schmidt also said, “ I’m not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being.” This statement displays a frustrating, but common, naivete about the nature of governments. If Schmidt was truly aware of the state’s capacity for mass killing and organized violence, he might become less wary of the local yokels. Schmidt’s error is similar to those who demand further restrictions on private firearm ownership even as US government at all levels becomes more militarized.

But what about Schmidt’s neighborhood squabble scenario?

If my neighbor had his drone buzzing over my residence, I suspect that I — probably accompanied by sympathetic and irritated neighbors — would pay Mr. Drone Fetish a visit. I would ask him to behave in a more neighborly fashion if he ever wanted to see his drone again. If he persisted, the best shot in the neighborhood might just blow his precious drone out of the sky. Emerging anti-drone technology and community pressure might also be used to harsh his UAV mellow.

Come to think of it, since domestic law enforcement is now in the drone game, drone shooting may become a hot new sport for freedom-loving US rifle owners. After all, clay pigeons pose no threat to you or your civil liberties. The same cannot be said of government drones, no matter what Eric Schmidt thinks.

C4SS Fellow Dave Hummels is a libertarian socialist writer from Central Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Dave has over a decade of experience in the healthcare security field and is a licensed emergency medical technician.
 

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