Monday, July 9, 2012

When They're Watching You... Oo-oo-ooh... Oo-oo-ooh

Please read Glenn Greenwald's speech on America's surveillance... government and corporate... of just about every damned thing you do, delivered to  * redacted * .

You and Thomas Jefferson may have thought that when things got as bad as this, there would be a revolution to correct them. But if there is, the revolution will not be televised... or blogged... or telephoned... or based on any other sort of electronic communication that the government-military-industrial complex can monitor... or acted upon in any place visible to America's estimated 30 million surveillance videocams (estimated in 2004 by Popular Mechanics).

Without communication, there is no revolution... peaceful or violent, lawful or otherwise. And with at least two government agencies (the FBI and the No-Such-Agency, and I'm guessing the CIA as well), and even some local police departments, and major telecom corporations, possessing the technology and having apparently been assigned the mission of tracking American citizens in America as they once tracked foreign spies and organized criminals, I doubt anything that one could reasonably call a revolution will happen. Read Greenwald for such details as are publicly available.

Orwell missed the date by a couple of decades, but I think the reality is here. Americans (and others), welcome to the rest of your sorry, surveillance-ridden lives.

UPDATE Tues. 7/10: Here's an excerpt from an ACLU mailer I just received:
A front-page story in yesterday's New York Times makes a stunning revelation: mobile phone providers received 1.3 million law enforcement requests for customer records last year alone.
(Bolds original.) As I was just saying...


  1. And the average American, just like the average Iraqi under Saddam's regime, is just fine with this because Saddam err the FBI only goes after those people. You know, those people, who aren't like us, who maybe are the wrong color, practice the wrong religion, aren't real Americans?

    Saddam was smart enough to keep his hands off of ordinary Iraqis, and thus survived two decades with only minor threats to his hold on power. And the modern American police state is equally careful to exercise its power only on those people, whoever those people are today -- like those dirty smelly hippies who were demonstrating in New York City something about Wall Street, people who aren't like us, good corpulent fat lazy smug Americans convinced nothing like that would ever happen to us, yo.

    No police state survives without the consent of the majority of its populace. And that applies to the modern American police state just as much as it applied to Saddam's police state. We are indeed happy with the blackjack, as Everclear noted in their ode to John Ashcroft...

    -- Badtux the Cynical Penguin

  2. BadTux, I've been reading... indeed, have almost finished... Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and in matters of class distinction, lack of legal due process and raw violence in the resolution of many matters, I see little difference between sixth-century England and present-day America (both as fictionally depicted by Twain). Even the Church plays its heavy-handed role today as in Arthurian times. I suppose it's human nature, and I wonder why we ever expect change.



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