If I Told You, I’d Have To Piss You Off

Two Senators complain that the Obama Administration is willfully twisting the meaning of the USA-Patriot Act in order to spy on Americans in ways that Congress never intended. But they won’t tell us how or why.

11 thoughts on “If I Told You, I’d Have To Piss You Off

  1. Aw to hell with a drone. They can buy me off. Cheap! I just want a six-figure salary, health care, and a retirement. Give me that, and I’ll keep my mouth shut about how Freemasons run the country. (It’s all right there on the back of a dollar bill, anyway!)

  2. Sorry, Alex, it’s a 3-way tie for absolutely useless. As Mr. Rall points out (satirically, he might think) anyone the administration thinks might be able to make any kind of change will be killed, and the killing sold to the American people as essential to protect them from the threat.

    US governments started with the Red Threat, then the Yellow Threat, then the Red Threat Redux, and, when all the reds and yellows had been rendered obviously harmless, the Terrorist (of unnameable affiliation) Threat.

    All these threats justified restrictions on the liberties of US citizens, but none so much as the Terrorist (of unnameable affiliation) Threat, which clearly justifies a policy of ‘better 1,000 innocents executed than that a single guilty terrorist go free’ since we ‘know’ that a single terrorist (of unnameable affiliation) has read in his Holy Book how to make a thermonuclear weapon from materials in his mother’s kitchen (as detailed in Inspire magazine) and can easily kill millions if not stopped.

    So, as you say, the Times won’t publish the letters of anyone who isn’t a member of the Establishment, e-petitions serve as nothing more that marketing devices to collect the names of the gullible, and taking your money out and threatening your Congresspersons should have no effect, since they know your vote won’t be counted.

    And if any of the Powers that Be thought your actions WOULD count for anything, you can expect a drone.

  3. Final Exam:

    Place, in descending order, the efficacy of each action:

    1. Writing a really good letter to the editor and submitting it to the New York Times, where it might, if hell freezes over, get published.

    2. Click on an e-petition that will harvest your personal information for the purposes of selling you shit.

    3. Take all your money out of the bank, buy local/U.S. goods only, cut up your credit cards, and start making direct communication with your elected officials: “Yes, I’m calling Sen. X to let him know, if he doesn’t start pushing for an investigation against Wall Street and the corruption–and that means I want to see perp walks–I’m voting him out of office. And the first thing the person I vote in is going to do is start investigating whether Sen. X did anything illegal while in office.”

  4. The Gravel case reflects a trend that has been exacerbated by the Internet. As the number of sources for information increases, the average impact of each of those sources diminishes. Gravel was one of a very few people who was in a position to publish at the time, so he got a lot of attention. Now, when EVERYONE can publish, the background noise swallows up disclosures of even the most obscene and disgusting secrets.

    Case in point: I could not, for the life of me, recall Bradley Manning’s name, mainly because his case has dropped off the radar. But we sure got a lot of coverage of Dead Michael Jackson’s doctor being found guilty of manslaughter. Any reading of what was done to Manning, the entire procedural dryness of how he was handled, is sickening. Period. You don’t molest prisoners. You don’t do it with guard dogs or with “stress positions” or by psychological head games. But Manning has been sitting in jail for over a year now. The men (and possibly boys and women, who can tell who is actually there) in Gitmo have been warehoused there, outside of the public eye, for even longer. And we shrug our shoulders, scratch ourselves, and go on eating at Wendy’s.

    Sure, there’s a lot of outrage about such loophole justice (these people are either provably guilty or not, if not, they must be let go, that’s how the system works, and ex post facto never works), but the outrage is dilute. Why? Because everyone can go onto Daily Kos and write a 6,000-word essay about home-canning vegetables and how Manning should be set free, and why fracking is bad, an how empowered everyone feels by sending e-petitions to the White House (Because they REALLY pay attention to those at the White House. It shows people care enough to click on a button!!!1!) and how OWS will change the whole world because the energy it’s, um, energizing, is really empowering and energizing.

    There’s a reason there are no courses in esoterics and exoterics until graduate level in college.

  5. It’s not like this hasn’t come up before.

    “[Alaska Senator Mike] Gravel came to national prominence in 1971, during the struggle over the Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that detailed how missteps and manipulations by successive U.S. administrations and their agents had created the quagmire that was the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, provoked a national uproar when he put the report in the hands of the New York Times, which published portions of it in June of that year. The Justice Department moved to block further publication of information from the Pentagon Papers and to punish newspaper publishers who revealed the contents. At that point, Gravel, a war critic, stepped in. The senator released the Pentagon Papers to the public, arguing that he had the authority to do so as a senator communicating with his constituents. He then sought to publish the papers in book form as The Senator Gravel Edition, The Pentagon Papers [Beacon Press]. When Justice Department went after the senator and his publisher, Gravel fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court. While lower courts expressed sympathy for the Gravel’s stance, the high court rejected his claim that as a senator he had a right and a responsibility to share official documents with his constituents. Fortunately for Gravel, publicity surrounding the case was so damning to the administration’s position that it finally backed off. ”



  6. “What are they for? … The opposite.” Even though that is supposed to be a punch-line (and indeed it is funny) sadly that is probably a safe stance to take these days. If one has no Idea what is going on then statistically speaking one’s best interests probably do lay in taking a stance that is simply the opposite of everything and anything taken by the establishment.

    Antiestablishmentarianism, the simple and effective guide for political activism for the uniformed in the 21st century.

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