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Archive for Junho, 2013

Mister Thompson calls the waiter, orders steak and baked potato
(Then) he leaves the bone and gristle and he never eats the skin
The busboy comes and takes it, with a cough contaminates it
(And he) puts it in a can with coffee grounds and sardine tins
And the truck comes by on Friday and carts it all away
A thousand trucks just like it are converging on the Bay

Oh, Garbage, garbage, garbage, garbage
We’re filling up the seas with garbage
What will we do when there’s no place left
To put all the garbage

Mr. Thompson starts his Cadillac and winds it down the freeway track
Leaving friends and neighbors in a hydrocarbon haze
He’s joined by lots of smaller cars all sending gases to the stars
There to form a seething cloud that hangs for thirty days
And the sun licks down into it with an ultraviolet tongue
(Till it) turns to smog and then it settles in our lungs

Oh, Garbage, garbage
We’re filling up the sky with garbage
Garbage, garbage
What will we do, when there’s nothing left to breathe but garbage

Getting home and taking off his shoes he settles with the evening news
While the kids do homework with the TV in one ear
While Superman for thousandth’s time sell talking dolls and conquers crime
(They) dutifully learn the date of birth of Paul Revere
In the paper there’s a piece about the mayor’s middle name
(And) he gets it done in time to watch the all-star bingo game

Oh, Garbage
We’re filling up our minds with garbage
What will we do when there’s nothing left to read
And there’s nothing left to need
there’s nothing left to watch
there’s nothing left to touch
there’s nothing left to walk upon
and nothing left to talk upon
nothing left to see
and nothing left to be but garbage

In Mr. Thompson’s factory they’re making plastic Christmas trees
Complete with silver tinsel and a geodesic stand
The plastic’s mixed in giant vats, from some conglomeration that’s
been piped from deep within the Earth, or strip-mined from the land
And if you ask them questions they say “why don’t you see?
It’s absolutely needed for the economy.”

Oh, garbage, garbage, garbage
Their stocks and their bonds all garbage
What will they do when their system go to smash
there’s no value to their cash
there’s no money to be made
that there’s a world to be repaid
their kids will read in history book
about financiers and other crooks
and feudalism and slavery
and nukes and all their knavery
To history’s dustbin they’re consigned,
along with many other kinds of garbage

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Pois ricos ainda somos. Senão, vejamos. Se o estimado leitor ganha o salário mínimo, ou seja, uns 500 euros/mês x 14 meses, encontra-se na lista dos 15 %  mais ricos do mundo. Parabéns. Se ganha o salário médio nacional, ou seja 800/mês, guinda-se ao top 10%. Se ganha 1000€x12, abra já uma garrafa de espumante, porque integra o felicíssimo lote dos 6 % mais abonados! E de quanto precisa para chegar aos famigerados 1%? De uns meros 2 000 mensais. Mas mesmo que só receba o rendimento de inserção médio por família ( 240 euros/mês) sorria ainda, porque tem atrás de si 60% da humanidade!

Dá que pensar, não dá? Ou não dá? Ou dá? Ou não dá? Dá-dá.

Promoção

Promoção

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desempleo-Europa                                       Fonte: Zero Hedge

per-capita-oil-consumption-in-countries-with-recent-bank-bailouts                                       Fonte: Gail Tverberg

world-growth-in-gdp-energy-oil                                      Tverberg

food-and-oil-prices-are-correlated                                      Tverberg

world-population-and-fuel-use                                      Tveberg

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diz Mário Soares. Uma calinada desta magnitude deixa-nos sempre na dúvida a respeito da sanidade mental ou moral de quem a proferiu; ou seja, perguntamos se o autor será um caso de ignorância abismal ou de abismal cinismo. Tratando-se de de M. Soares, facilmente concluímos pela hipótese do cinismo, pois ninguém se mantém 40 anos no show-biz da política sem acesso a informação fidedigna, já que esta faz parte do arsenal básico de um político de carreira.

Então, o que M. S. sabe mas não quer nem pode dizer, é que o futuro de Portugal será convergir com Marrocos, agora que acabou o petróleo barato e o crédito fácil, que a bolha do endividamento nos rebentou nas mãos e se vão extinguindo os fundos estruturais da UE. Agora que acabou, em suma, aquilo que durante 30 anos nos permitiu a ilusão de uma economia (mais ou menos) pujante e em convergência com os países do centro. Não, a única forma de travar o inevitável e galopante empobrecimento deste país seria a milagrosa descoberta de petróleo, em abundância, na Cova da Iria. E as probabilidades de isso acontecer, reconheçamos, são iguais às de Messi vir jogar para o Macinhatense no próximo ano, e terminar a época com zero golos marcados. 

Se M. S. dissesse a verdade, ou seja, que o consumo de energias fósseis em Portugal vai regressar forçosamente aos valores de 1950, que o gigantesco balão do sistema financeiro global está na iminência de conhecer a agulha da realidade biofísica, que o crescimento económico não é mais possível, que sem crescimento económico não se pode pagar dívidas nem contrair novos empréstimos, e que sem essa magia o desemprego só pode continuar a aumentar (até à inevitável implosão política e social), e que portanto os actuais sistemas de segurança social são insustentáveis, e que a foice e o martelo têm mais futuro (não como emblemas políticos, mas como ferramentas) do que o Iphone ou o super-cargueiro, que, em suma, A PARTIR DE AGORA SERÁ SEMPRE A DESCER, se M.S. dissesse estas coisas, as suas palavras seriam recebidas com chacota e incredulidade. Caía-lhe o país em cima, corria sérios riscos de lapidação na próxima vez que saísse de casa.

M.S. não pode dizer a verdade aos portugueses, em primeiro lugar, porque, além do anterior, correria também o risco de que lhe perguntassem porque é que se calou até hoje e porque é que nunca fez nada, enquanto governante, para impedir que se chegasse a este beco sem saída; em segundo lugar, porque sabe que ninguém lhe daria ouvidos, já que 99,8% dos portugueses preferem acreditar na estorinha de que esta crise é um tropeção temporário (causado unicamente pela ganância de gangsters financeiros e políticos corruptos) e que em breve a nossa economia será resgatada pelo crescimento dos países do norte; em terceiro lugar, porque  nenhum prócere da pseudo-democracia e da política rasca se pode dar ao luxo de dizer a verdade, e muito menos quando a dita cuja desagrada aos ouvidos de um eleitorado pervertido por promessas fúteis e mentiras gratificantes.

O que Mário Soares podia fazer, se não tivesse perdido a vergonha há décadas, era enfiar-se num buraco e só sair de lá para comentar jogos de futesal. No fim de contas, mal ou pior, o seu trabalhinho está feito, e escusava de continuar a sujar-se na vida pública. 

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Ufizzi II

Pode nascer o Deus Menino ou sua mãe,

catapultar-se para o céu homem justo

e passear entre boninas, pode o rei

ser coroado, festejado num banquete

ou celebrarem-se esponsais de muito vinho

com ornatos de povão a toda a volta

– não há dentes, gargalhadas, olhos piscos,

na pintura piedosa ou secular antes

do século profano de Jan Steen.

 

Com licença para rir só as crianças,

quando muito, um outro querubim,

aquele sátiro devasso e sem remédio,

condenado. Mesmo Vénus triunfante

sobre Marte, o ébrio Lot com as filhas,

os soldados na cidade saqueada,

economizam em imagem a folia

despendida fora dela. Não se riem

os apóstolos, os santos, os prelados

nem os príncipes, os sábios, os banqueiros.

Campesino que os visse, tão compostos

e sisudos, sobrancelhas amolgadas

em presságios ruinosos, pensaria:

 

«Coitadinhos, que trabalhos. Acarretam

como Cristo o mal do mundo, os penitentes.

A grande cargo, grande carga, já se sabe.

Ainda bem que sou pequeno e inumano

como um burro, sem almudes de moral

na minha vida desalmada. Não me tolhe

a compaixão nem o remorso, e ao domingo

bebo muito, vou prá cama co’ a patroa

e rimos tanto que mijamos o colchão.»

(2008)

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Não há nada mais repulsivo do que o sentimento gregário. Nada me repugna mais do que a pessoa incapaz de estar sozinha. Quem não sabe estar consigo, talvez não saiba estar com os outros. É uma gente, a gregária, que vive a fugir de si própria, e do essencial assombro da existência que consiste na consciência da nossa finitude. E gente dessa é mais facilmente levada a cometer os crimes mais imperdoáveis.

Individualmente, é-me mais simpática a pessoa que sofre do que a que festeja. E não porque a ideia de celebração me seja antipática. É o que habitualmente se celebra, e como, o que se me torna repelente. O estado de multidão é sempre regressivo. É o retorno à horda, à manada. Desperta em cada um o que tem de pior. A mesma pessoa, quando afastada do rebanho, torna-se de imediato uma criatura, pelo menos em aparência, mais digna. Descobre o silêncio e a solidão: grande vitória para a sanidade pública.

Mas não é frequente isso. O que é frequente, e cada vez mais, é ver como as pessoas são incitadas a expor publicamente a sua vileza e o seu vazio interior. Chegou-se a um estado de degradação moral que é alheio a toda ideia de hierarquia. A vulgaridade já não embaraça ninguém, se não obstou a que o seu detentor alcançasse a notoriedade e a riqueza, que é tudo a que o vulgo consegue aspirar. Cada vez mais o domínio público se torna o espaço da cretinice, do frenesi e da insensatez. Outrora ainda se fingia respeitar a inteligência, a cultura, as atitudes cívicas e morais. Ninguém se atrevia a desdenhar publicamente a cultura ou a ideia de formação intelectual. Havia decerto nisso uma grande dose de hipocrisia. Mas a hipocrisia não é o mais baixo a que se pode descer: pelo menos revela ainda má consciência em relação a algo que no fundo (ainda que de forma meramente supersticiosa) se considera superior: os valores morais, a ideia de justiça, a honorabilidade da inteligência. Quando já nem hipocrisia existe, isso significa que só resta o cinismo. E o cinismo reside na constatação de que o sucesso mundano em nada depende da inteligência e da probidade, e no regozijo perante esse facto, que assume então visos de “libertador”.

O mundo está hoje tomado pelo cinismo, pela fraude e pela mentira. A linguagem da publicidade. Não é por acaso que estratégias publicitárias acabaram por contaminar o círculo da política. Na medida em que vivemos rodeados de pessoas que execram a profundidade, o primado da imagem (isto é, do superficial) exerce-se à custa da palavra (isto é, da inteligência, do diálogo e da persuasão). Onde só a imagem, a opinião, conta, a inteligência é sufocada.

No meio de tudo isto, a vulgaridade tornou-se normativa. É isso o que de pior tem a democracia. Ser um regime político manietado pela pressão vinda de baixo, do vulgo, do resíduo instintual e mesquinho no fundo de cada um. O grande número sanciona a mediocridade, define como interessante e valioso apenas aquilo que compreende, ou seja, aquilo que serve os interesses mais básicos e imediatos de um ser confinado aos mais rasteiros desejos e a uma vida espiritual inquinada. Com isso, não se sabe exigir mais do que conforto, diversão, embrutecimento. Que essa forma de existência decaída, entalada entre os rodízios do consumo e da produção, seja estimulada por quem exerce o poder (que é económico mais do que político) constitui o maior factor de perversão do sistema democrático.

Embora não haja absolutamente nada de original nestas constatações, é importante recordá-las a mim mesmo, de vez em quando.

(6 Nov. 2000)

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(The US has the highest prison population in the world, and by a wide margin: on a per-capita basis, it is 33% higher than the closest contender, Russia. If you take into account everyone under “correctional supervision,” 3.1% of the US population is either in jail or on probation (for blacks, it’s a stunning 9.2%). According to Human Rights Watch, since 1980 the number of people in US jails for drug charges has increased twelvefold. David Galand, in Is American Justice Dead?)

 

The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons

Global Research

Prisoners earning 23 cents an hour in U.S. federal prisons are manufacturing high-tech electronic components for Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles, launchers for TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles, and other guided missile systems. A March article by journalist and financial researcher Justin Rohrlich of World in Review is worth a closer look at the full implications of this ominous development. (minyanville.com)

The expanding use of prison industries, which pay slave wages, as a way to increase profits for giant military corporations, is a frontal attack on the rights of all workers.

Prison labor — with no union protection, overtime pay, vacation days, pensions, benefits, health and safety protection, or Social Security withholding — also makes complex components for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing’s F-15 fighter aircraft, the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16, and Bell/Textron’s Cobra helicopter. Prison labor produces night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms, radio and communication devices, and lighting systems and components for 30-mm to 300-mm battleship anti-aircraft guns, along with land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment for the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s laser rangefinder. Prisoners recycle toxic electronic equipment and overhaul military vehicles.

Labor in federal prisons is contracted out by UNICOR, previously known as Federal Prison Industries, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation run by the Bureau of Prisons. In 14 prison factories, more than 3,000 prisoners manufacture electronic equipment for land, sea and airborne communication. UNICOR is now the U.S. government’s 39th largest contractor, with 110 factories at 79 federal penitentiaries.

The majority of UNICOR’s products and services are on contract to orders from the Department of Defense. Giant multinational corporations purchase parts assembled at some of the lowest labor rates in the world, then resell the finished weapons components at the highest rates of profit. For example, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corporation subcontract components, then assemble and sell advanced weapons systems to the Pentagon.

Increased profits, unhealthy workplaces

However, the Pentagon is not the only buyer. U.S. corporations are the world’s largest arms dealers, while weapons and aircraft are the largest U.S. export. The U.S. State Department, Department of Defense and diplomats pressure NATO members and dependent countries around the world into multibillion-dollar weapons purchases that generate further corporate profits, often leaving many countries mired in enormous debt.

But the fact that the capitalist state has found yet another way to drastically undercut union workers’ wages and ensure still higher profits to military corporations — whose weapons wreak such havoc around the world — is an ominous development.

According to CNN Money, the U.S. highly skilled and well-paid “aerospace workforce has shrunk by 40 percent in the past 20 years. Like many other industries, the defense sector has been quietly outsourcing production (and jobs) to cheaper labor markets overseas.” (Feb. 24) It seems that with prison labor, these jobs are also being outsourced domestically.

Meanwhile, dividends and options to a handful of top stockholders and CEO compensation packages at top military corporations exceed the total payment of wages to the more than 23,000 imprisoned workers who produce UNICOR parts.

The prison work is often dangerous, toxic and unprotected. At FCC Victorville, a federal prison located at an old U.S. airbase, prisoners clean, overhaul and reassemble tanks and military vehicles returned from combat and coated in toxic spent ammunition, depleted uranium dust and chemicals.

A federal lawsuit by prisoners, food service workers and family members at FCI Marianna, a minimum security women’s prison in Florida, cited that toxic dust containing lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic poisoned those who worked at UNICOR’s computer and electronic recycling factory.

Prisoners there worked covered in dust, without safety equipment, protective gear, air filtration or masks. The suit explained that the toxic dust caused severe damage to nervous and reproductive systems, lung damage, bone disease, kidney failure, blood clots, cancers, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, memory lapses, skin lesions, and circulatory and respiratory problems. This is one of eight federal prison recycling facilities — employing 1,200 prisoners — run by UNICOR.

After years of complaints the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Occupational Health Service concurred in October 2008 that UNICOR has jeopardized the lives and safety of untold numbers of prisoners and staff. (Prison Legal News, Feb. 17, 2009)

Racism & U.S. prisons

The U.S. imprisons more people per capita than any country in the world. With less than 5 percent of the world population, the U.S. imprisons more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned in the world.

There are more than 2.3 million prisoners in federal, state and local prisons in the U.S. Twice as many people are under probation and parole. Many tens of thousands of other prisoners include undocumented immigrants facing deportation, prisoners awaiting sentencing and youthful offenders in categories considered reform or detention.

The racism that pervades every aspect of life in capitalist society — from jobs, income and housing to education and opportunity — is most brutally reflected by who is caught up in the U.S. prison system.

More than 60 percent of U.S. prisoners are people of color. Seventy percent of those being sentenced under the three strikes law in California — which requires mandatory sentences of 25 years to life after three felony convictions — are people of color. Nationally, 39 percent of African-American men in their 20s are in prison, on probation or on parole. The U.S. imprisons more people than South Africa did under apartheid. (Linn Washington, “Incarceration Nation”)

The U.S. prison population is not only the largest in the world — it is relentlessly growing. The U.S. prison population is more than five times what it was 30 years ago.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan became president, there were 400,000 prisoners in the U.S. Today the number exceeds 2.3 million. In California the prison population soared from 23,264 in 1980 to 170,000 in 2010. The Pennsylvania prison population climbed from 8,243 to 51,487 in those same years. There are now more African-American men in prison, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began, according to Law Professor Michelle Alexander in the book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

Today a staggering 1-in-100 adults in the U.S. are living behind bars. But this crime, which breaks families and destroys lives, is not evenly distributed. In major urban areas one-half of Black men have criminal records. This means life-long, legalized discrimination in student loans, financial assistance, access to public housing, mortgages, the right to vote and, of course, the possibility of being hired for a job.

State Prisons contracting slave labor

It is not only federal prisons that contract out prison labor to top corporations. State prisons that used forced prison labor in plantations, laundries and highway chain gangs increasingly seek to sell prison labor to corporations trolling the globe in search of the cheapest possible labor.

One agency asks: “Are you experiencing high employee turnover? Worried about the costs of employee benefits? Unhappy with out-of-state or offshore suppliers? Getting hit by overseas competition? Having trouble motivating your workforce? Thinking about expansion space? Then Washington State Department of Corrections Private Sector Partnerships is for you.” (educate-yourself.org, July 25, 2005)

Major corporations profiting from the slave labor of prisoners include Motorola, Compaq, Honeywell, Microsoft, Boeing, Revlon, Chevron, TWA, Victoria’s Secret and Eddie Bauer.

(mais…)

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In Collapse of Industrial Civilization

The Arctic is melting, but it’s just an invitation to exploit it as the next hydrocarbon frontier. It’s a golden busine$$ opportunity with new shipping lanes, untapped oil/gas reserves, minerals, and fish. Hell, it’s even got potential as another tourist trap.
Drill it, frack it, dig it up, pump it out and burn it!

Gotta keep our six lane highways humming, our three-story malls and big-box stores bustling, our jumbo jets flying, and our semi trucks hauling.
Drill it, frack it, dig it up, pump it out and burn it!

Our food supply is failing from floods, droughts, and heat waves, but it’s the perfect open door for Mon$anto’s GMOs. A DNA tweak here and a genetic alteration there to our fossil fuel-dependent monoculture crops is all that is needed to withstand this strange new weather.
Drill it, frack it, dig it up, pump it out and burn it!

The forests are dying, biodiversity is disappearing, the oceans are acidifying and plasticizing, the fresh water aquifers are drying up, and the skies are simmering, but the show must go on, for the corporations know no other way. Business-as-usual must continue, even if it kills us.
Drill it, frack it, dig it up, pump it out and burn it!

The history of large-scale industrialization, whether capitalist or communist, has been marked by the mindset of ‘develop-first and clean-up later’ if at all. The costs of oil spills, nuclear meltdowns, dead zones, industrial GHG pollution, chemical contamination and countless other adverse effects of man’s activities are paid for collectively by the human race as well as every other living thing on the planet. The totality of all these environmental assaults has reached such a high degree that it has set into motion an escalating disruption and alteration of the Earth’s weather and seasonal patterns. Last year was a record for CO2 emissions; methane spikes have been recorded in the ongoing runaway climate change of the Arctic; and we now know that both poles are primarily melting from below by the warming oceans. What has been the response of this planet’s human inhabitants? …to sprint headlong toward the climate cliff. This kind of reaction to the unfolding eco-apocalypse can hardly be the sign of a wise being, but rather that of a fossil-fuel addict who cannot stop using, even in the face of death, i.e. near term extinction (NTE). Wisdom requires a broad and deep understanding of reality as well as acknowledgment of one’s limitations and humbleness of one’s capabilities. Industrial man exhibits neither of these traits, but instead thinks of himself as somehow outside the web of life and a Master over nature.

(mais…)

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OBEDIENCE AT HOME

Guy McPherson

 

As if he could peer into the future, American author Henry David Thoreau is credited with the expression: “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”

I’ve written and spoken often about the requirements for maintaining an empire, particularly an empire in decline: obedience at home, oppression abroad, and wholesale destruction of the living planet. I’ve written numerous essays about the latter two phenomena. Although I’ve spoken about a few examples concerning obedience at home, I’ve not focused on the topic with a single essay. Ergo, this essay.

Herein I present a few recent examples of oppression abroad. This essay is hardly comprehensive, and the hits keep coming. But it’s a minor start to a major issue. I’m certain many more examples will appear — though not to the typical, purposely ignorant American — until American Empire finally sinks to the bottom of the cesspool in which it is mired.

I focus on the Obama administration because it is the most recent and also the most horrific example of imperialism. I refuse to play the game currently popular among Democrats in which Obama is compared to Mitt Romney or John McCain. Obama has a record as president, and Romney and McCain don’t. I cannot imagine a worse president than Obama, although that’s what I thought about his predecessor, too. I’m hardly the only person to refer to Obama as the worst president ever. Full disclosure: When I was registered to vote, I was a lifelong Democrat.

When he was in the Oval Office, I thought Ronald Reagan was the worst president ever. But I still recall thinking, when Reagan was shot, that it could be worse: We could have his vice president, ex-director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) George Herbert Walker Bush, as president. A few day less than eight years later, we did. Then along comes Slick Willy, who slyly managed to outflank his predecessor and the opposing party on several significant issues. In every case, Bill Clinton outflanked the opposition by moving further to the political right. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, George W. Bush was selected. Twice. And then, he was replaced by somebody even worse. In my voting lifetime, each neo-conservative U.S. president has been replaced by a worse version. And lest you believe otherwise, our two-party, one-ideology system of governance is working. It’s not working for us, but that’s never been the plan.

Within my lifetime, Democrats have shifted far to the right, thus coopting the ideas of the Grand Old Party. The latter party is effectively gone, serving only to make the Democrats seem sane by comparison. Obama and the Democrats can get away with every imaginable abuse — and many abuses I could not have imagined until they occurred — simply by using the Republicans as cover. The corporate media are fully engaged in the cover-up, as pointed out in the 21 March 2013 issue of Harper’s magazine: “Barack Obama … never stops serving the ruling class, yet the mainstream media, from right to left, continues to pretend that he’s some sort of reincarnation of Franklin D. Roosevelt, fully committed to the downtrodden and deeply hostile to the privileged and the rich.”

Obama’s corporate government is doing the bidding of the corporations. The corporate media aids and abets the enemies of the people. As Noam Chomsky points out, “any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.” The American people, fully convinced they are consumers instead of citizens, capitulate to their masters. The unseen bars keep the people enslaved.

Obama seeks cradle-to-grave power to rule over Americans, with examples that are breathtaking in their number and scope. He is responsible for torture, according to two-year independent investigation by the Constitution Project released 16 April 2013 (see here). Obama’s Department of Justice has brought charges against six whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917, a number that exceeds every previous administration combined. Indeed, he destroys whistle-blowers with a hateful vengeance, with a recent example focusing on a man who tried to reduce government waste. His vision of this country is termed Obama’s wiretap America in the 8 May 2013 issue of Salon, although it’s merely an extension of policies in place since at least 2001, according to an 11 May 2006 story in USA Today. Even before then, the National Security Agency (NSA) had a back door built into Windows software. Obama’s government gives AT&T and other telecommunications companies secret immunity from wiretap laws. In fact, officials in his administration have authorized a new government program involving the interception of communications on Internet service providers, as well as to record every single telephone conversation (as reported in the Guardian as recently at 6 June 2013). The same day, the Washington Post reports that one of George W. Bush’s legacies, continued by Obama, is a collaboration between U.S. spy agencies and Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Oh, and Obama’s Internal Revenue Service could be reading your email without a warrant. These invasions of privacy in name of security — an overview of the “best” articles on this worst of horrors is offered by ProPublica — are merely warm-up acts for the massive National Security Agency data collection and analysis center under construction in Utah which, according to a former NSA official, puts us very near “a turnkey totalitarian state.”

All of this probably is fine with most Americans. It’s been a long, relatively gradual road to this point. Most American citizens favor being spied upon, according to a poll conducted 6-9 June 2013 by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post. Most Americans also favor imprisoning terrorist suspects even without evidence to convict, according to a Rasmussen poll conducted in April 2013. And we’re busily looking the other way as the NSA uses a bogus, secret interpretation of the Patriot Act to get away with recording millions of telephone calls and retaining every email message for an indeterminate length of time. Fortunately for them and all of us law-abiding citizens, Obama refuses to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay — yet another in an endless string of broken campaign promises — and instead has approved major upgrades.

(mais…)

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