You Kids Have It Easy

Just think how many more victims the tyrants of the past could have racked up had they had the same toys and tools as President Obama and the NSA!

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  • Hamilton, an admirer of the British constitution, defended its corruption, saying that its corruption is what made it so durable and powerful.

    The monstrously corrupt Alexander Hamilton argues here that no Bill of Rights is necessary because:

    “It has been several times truly remarked, that Bills of Rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince.

    “It is evident, therefore, that, according to their primitive signification, they have no application to Constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the People, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the People surrender nothing; and as they retain everything, they have no need of particular reservations. ”

    And besides, such a Bill would interfere with a corrupt government’s ability to claim and use the power of a “Unitary Executive”, that useful euphemism for unaccountable dictatorial powers.

  • Decades ago when we older activists would describe evidence of intercepted mail, phone taps, personal surveillance, possible home searches, etc. we were called paranoid. The boldest among us would joke, “If they don’t have a file on me, I want to know what they’re doing with my tax money!” Time has shown that domestic spying efforts in the 60s, 70s were robust, but the technology was crude. It took the flowering of computer science to allow the true believers to achieve what the earlier homeland snoops could not even imagine.

    As someone who has had the experience of being followed, tapped, surveilled, arrested, jailed, and/or convicted for a variety of occupations, blockades, other actions, I am not surprised at the reluctance of many to get seriously involved in transformational challenges. The same was true back in the day of fingerprints and steamed envelopes. People fear the beast … and with good reason; solid intimidation of us citizens is a primary goal of the Frankengov spy programs, if not the main goal. The capacity of the feds to watch you like a salamander in a $2.00 fish bowl is a heavy thing to weigh when considering whether or not to become a political actor.

    Ted’s successful portraits of totalitarianism provide a kind of slo-mo visualization, like a stop action instant replay, to allow us to see the evil that lurks. For now, we seem to be tolerating the situation as long as the drones, extraordinary renditions, tortures appear to happen to people far enough away, of a different religion, a different color, etc. Most of us keep our head down, waddle back and forth to and from work, stupefy ourselves with the electronic chaff that’s thrown in our faces. A few stand up, Rall among them, to remind us of our common humanity and increasingly oppressed conditions. As police prepare for their drone fleets and anticipate the next step towards panopticonic capability, we had better listen to those few voices and stand up as well.

  • Off topic, but will there be any more “Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done”? I was really enjoying that.

  • Ain’t progress grand – or a bitch, depending upon how one sees it ?…


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