The NSA and the Economy

President Obama told key members of Congress on Thursday that he was “open to suggestions” for reforming the National Security Agency surveillance programs that have embroiled his administration in controversy. Guardian article

President Obama wants to pull back the NSA’s far too extensive phone tap of the world and internet.

It is uneconomic activity. American values are offended by this data collection. The rest of the world is now in fear of the totalitarian juggernaut overwhelming the world with its moral values. In the last seven years it has prevented one terrorist attack. Acts of love and kindness may have well prevented another, natural causes may have prevented another, and the predator assassinations of the Al Quaeda leadership may have prevented a larger number of terrorist attacks. But if you spent the billions this programme must be costing on education, health, foreign aid and development and energy you would save far more lives.

Yes aid has been argued against as the results of it may not always be progressive. The tax system has not always benefitted the individual or hospitals always saved lives, but water and food production internationally is about to become increasingly significant in the future wars which will not be about religion.

The NSA data collection of intimate details of our private lives is every bit as scary as terrorism. And this incredible investment could be driven into into energy renewables that could slow the fatal decline into the global weather catastrophe that will lead to mass starvation and sunken cities.

Espionage

If the USA is actually spying on all internet activity then they will know this probably before you read it. The difference here is that you do not work for the NSA or have to read thousands of pages or scan mountains of material before you can go home, mentally exhausted from exposure to so many secrets it would do your head in. Somehow when you wake up in the morning you are ready, on time every days for work. The spy sat system notices however that today you change your route and computations that the master programmer called threat assessment comes into sharp play. That such an international abrogation of privacy exists we can thank history.

Not the bit of oft quoted, most revered document in America, The Constitution. It allowed for constitutional amendments. But lets juts say that I am not much of an American expert, but this is not the profile of the American species. It is the isolation of “Americans” as different to others that is the symptom of colonial empire rule. A deeply personal inner belief keeps reassuring me that they all know what they are doing. But rationality tells me that is simply not the case. On one side there are sadistic warriors who are so extremely fascist in their reputation and actions. And on the other wide the technocratic military might Because of war there is much money to be made, witness the bulging opium trade out of Afghanistan. The huge amount spent on weapons world wide. And what does it achieve, Syria has devastated their cities for no reason other than the Government would not respond to a citizen protest.

This entire spying on the human race exercise is not a surprise. America has always stretched the boundaries of what is possible the most efficiently in the past. They may not be doing very well at the moment but how much is that due to the wars on its plate (mainly Afghanistan) which unlike Iraq, was justifiable. Yes those Predators are truly a breach of humanity if not other conventions, but less civilians have died as a result of their use than have from large scale warfare to eliminate the leaders of a terrorist outfit or by whatever name they decide is appropriate to their enemies.

Edward Snowden vs USA

In his statement, Edward Snowden points to the violations of international law that the government of the USA has taken to extradite him back as a traitor. Indeed, as a contractor in the security services he has more than crossed the line into criminal liability. Technically. He could be accused of this, most certainly. Accused, yes. And in the current paranoid political environment in the USA he would be imprisoned for life, probably without trial. Certainly without a public hearing. But if what he asserts is true he would never be found guilty in an international court of law. The balance of justice appears to be in his favour.

Does the public of the world want the USA spying on their private conversations? More important to the American mind is the violation of its Constitution. Is it justified? Is America still at war or has it consigned itself along a course that is totalitarian in nature if not in name?

You can read Edward Snowden’s statement in The Guardian.

Additional

It sure looks like the Obama administration took the Bush Doctrine and found a way to make it work, properly. The NSA and CIA have been spying on allies forever and it is probably quite shocking to the military industrial complex to be openly revealed as not really different to previous totalitarian regimes that America used to criticise. It is a fallible political system that resembles religious fanaticism in its fervour (who would have thought they could make Nixon turn in his grave?). Great Britain did the same in the 19th Century. Look what happened and is still happening to it’s empire.

The world wants Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning to have their voices heard by the executive, for them not to be punished as is not treason if the Government is not abiding by The Constitution.

Information Freedom

What is freedom if you only think you are free?

Politics is hard. If you veer too far from the peoples’ hopes that voted you in, especially if you are exploring fascist tendencies, you got a lot of explaining to do.

Of course this “war” against “terror” needs to be concluded and maybe the most exhaustive war would not resolve it. The tendency is to try and resolve the conflict during your history making turn in office. But maybe the problem is deeper and actually solving it does in the opinion of the intelligence community require a war. And if the eyes of the CIA are turned inward, they are not turned outward, doing their job. And the same kind of shift of focus into what are in essence “criminal acts” that are called “terror” as the person became a Muslim. Is that the test of whether it was an act of terror versus the act of a deranged person with automatic weapons at the opening of a Batman film? Does the definition of “terror” turn on motivation or how, we the supposedly terrified public, feel?

We will remember Boston, but the location of the Batman mass murderer has fallen from my lexicon of “terror”. “Terror” is in fact a language idea, if you call it that, then anything is justified. Just like the governments if 1984, behind steel walls, the Governments of today are now afraid of and watching their own people. The US Constitution is revealed as a set of ideals and we witness America at war with itself. Not a civil war in any conventional sense. But a war all the same. Not so much a war do to the actions of the “terrorists” (one can just imagine they finally get to meet each other on the other side as so far they are only brothers because they do the same thing due to the same sort of language indoctrination.

The war is defined by the actions of the Government. And just like medical actions that have a high risk of failure, special powers must be kept back until there is no option, i.e. a state of war.

If a government finds an existential crisis has beset it from within, if it is fighting an infection then it has to act in a way that has survival in its future. Due to the electoral cycle it wants a result within 5 years.

Yes. The NSA data gathering is extremely Orwellian and changes the perceived nature of Government now that we all know that fascist measures are in play to allow American control of “it’s interests” (interests that are, incidentally, shared with and competed for by every country in the world) may have taken a step too far.

USA in undeclared war?

Ron Paul says that the US is in an undeclared war after the French incursion to rescue Mali from Islamic invasion, now being backed by the junior horse in the “Special Relationship” between the UK and USA may start to imply US involvement. Perhaps in an “Expendables” kind of way, a secret order of ageing knights gather in a glade on horseback are rearranging pieces in case USA involvement in a declared “war on terrorism” and invasion is one of those things that the West sees as troublesome and terrifying to swathes of civilisation.

Iran is angry that Israel conducts a military attack on a convoy of weapons headed toward Lebanon. Syria’s borders are not exactly secure with a vicious civil war that the West maybe can not justify an intervention as the rebellion does not appear to be one that will bring peace.

How Gun Control fails in America

Americans are faced with the law being tightened on gun control. The idea that the holy Second Amendment to the Constitution has exceeded its utility due to the invention of weapons that can kill hundreds of people in a single moment of mad anger and by simply pulling a lever was not an imaginable scenario when the Second Amendment was drafted. A lot of cattle rustling cowboy thieves threatened to rock the establishing economic might that the armies of the Founding Fathers cleared the way for by marching the British away after they had fought off the French and Native Americans.

So a new Republic was born and enshrined the law into the hands of the individual. Self preservation with a small militia to look after the unruly. Not entirely sure how it was supposed to evolve into a military industrial empire, but it did. And that produces weapons that can more properly be described as WMD than a means of self preservation. The Second Amendment needs amending. But suppression of an already well armed populace by introducing more weapons, by providing every school teacher with guns to reduce the degree which a lone gunman can run amok seems like throwing explosives into a fire. Yes it may prevent so many deaths in some instances, introducing more death dealing interlocutors. When a sad teacher runs amok, will the clamour turn to arm the children?

The US Election

The US Election has started.

It promises to be a close one, many pundits refer to the Bush-Gore clincher decided by the Supreme Court as a possible model for how this one should turn out. Let’s hope not.

A decisive election would have a more positive effect on America. If Obama wins, as the world hopes, the US should continue to expand its economy based on debt funding. If Romney wins, I expect the US will contract its economy as his weird economics take hold. Romney has promised growth and lower taxes in what sounds like a wish list of ideals for the wealthy. America is dominated by a middle class that I think will tend to believe Obama but are troubled by the actions of the Democrats when they controlled the House of Representatives in the first half of the Obama presidency – failing to take advantage of their power.

Regardless, Obama should win. His policies guarantee little, but Romney’s aggressive words against Russia could inspire fear.

We predict Obama will win.

Clinton and Bush

Bill Clinton and George Bush reveal their friendship when they appear together on TV. So it seems, at least. Perhaps they will cause world peace together but something is odd about this caucus of ex presidents. It is as though Clinton has embraced the devil vs the rehabilitation of Bush. The presidential campaign costs 3 billion dollars and yet this could swing voters, but which way is anyone’s guess. It is democracy in a bottle, diplomatic sages warning the next generation of bucks about to debate with each other.