Who will win the war for the Internet? The corporate state or individuals?
Are corporations partnering with government going to kill the freedom and liberty we have all enjoyed on the Internet for years? Will CISPA and similar laws skew power toward the state, turning the wild and free net into a locked down digital commons. A prison yard even?
The government it seems would like to lock down the net. The once free United States is actively eavesdropped on by her own government. We now know this for sure. In a clear violation of the 4th Amendment the government is gathering our data to be processed by algorithms yet to be developed.
Add Diane Feinstein and her ilk in Congress relentlessly trying to shut down any free thought at all on the web (unless officially sanctioned) and its plain to see that we liberty loving cyber citizens are under severe threat.
Sadly many of the champions of the Internet, some of the trail blazing companies born in the recent past have been brought to heel, and into the government fold. (Most probably had no choice.) There was even a report that Windows 8 has an NSA Trojan horse component built into it. At least the German government thinks this might be the case.
It seems that the tide of corporatism and outright statism on the net is rising. But it can be beaten back.
(From The Atlantic)
We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers, and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two side fare in the long term, and the fate of the rest of us who don’t fall into either group, is an open question—and one vitally important to the future of the Internet.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Submitted by Tyler Durden
Ron Paul On American Exceptionalism
Ron Paul has his own take on what it means to be ‘exceptional’… it seems “inspire”, and ‘lead by example’ is preferable to ‘threaten’ and ‘attack’…
Screen capture added to original post.
Growing Up In America
Things Are Bad And Getting Worse
Terrible things are happening faster than we can keep up with them. Monsanto, widely regarded as a criminal enterprise, is expanding its monopoly over seeds and food production into Chile and Latin America. http://rt.com/news/chile-protest-monsanto-law-634/ Monsanto has given up for now on monopolizing Europe’s agriculture, but has brought the EU around to allowing it to market GMO food products. Money speaks, which perhaps is the reason that Chile’s former president, Michelle Bachelet, introduced the pro-Monsanto legislation that one of the legislative chambers has passed. There are mass demonstrations in Chile against the legislation that destroys Chile’s sovereignty over its food production, but just as Monsanto can purchase the US government it also can purchase the Chilean government. In our day and time, governments are just another commodity to be bought and sold by powerful corporations.
And then there is Fukushima. Media have led us to think that this nuclear crisis is over,
but it appears that it is only beginning. The risk of apocalypse is high. You can read here http://rt.com/news/fukushima-apocalypse-fuel-removal-598/ one assessment of the risks to all of us. Here another http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/13/the-fukushima-nightmare-gets-worse/print And here another http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/08/russia-today/chain-reaction-at-fukushima/ And another http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/10-0
And here http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-japanese-government-big-business-and-corporate-media-tried-to-hide-a-grave-threat/5346197
As soon as Egypt gets a democracy with an elected president, Washington has the military, which is dependent on Washington for money and equipment, to overthrow the democracy, just as Washington does in Honduras and elsewhere. The Egyptian government that democracy produced was Islamist. The Muslim Brotherhood is moderate, not radical, but the moderate Islamists showed lack of enthusiasm for supporting the Washington-Israeli policy of genocide for Palestine. Washington finds “freedom and democracy” unacceptable when it does not support Washington’s foreign policy.
This fall Congress will again be confronted with the debt ceiling limit. To keep this specter at bay, the US Treasury has been employing questionable means. The crisis that has been kicked down the road is likely to worsen, because the economy is likely to renew its decline in ways that cannot be disguised by manipulated statistics. Sooner or later the world will realize that the US cannot pay its bills and that the world’s reserve currency is being ruthlessly printed in order to prop up busted banks and the US Treasury. The house of cards that US economic policy has constructed in the 21st century can collapse at any time.
Since so much that is distressing awaits us, I propose a bit of respite and in this column
take us back to happier times.
Growing Up In America
cars make a difference
It was 1955 when I came of driving age. What a glorious year on the automotive scene. The first V-8 engined Chevrolet appeared in the striking art work of the 1955 Bel Air hard top coupe. Often two-toned, usually pastels, this car, stock from the dealer, had the acceleration to match the souped up flathead V-8 Ford engines that were ensconced in the hot rods of the day.
The small block V-8 found its way into the Corvette, saving the Corvette from extinction.
Ford came out with its new overhead valve V-8, installed in the 1955 Thunderbird, still a show-stopper today. The Thunderbird existed as a two-seater for 3 years. The 1955 and 1956 Ford Fairlane hard top coup looked like it was doing sixty sitting still.
The dramatic styling and energetic engines appeared everywhere in Detroit’s lineup, in the Mercury, the Pontiac, Oldsmobile, the Buick Century. So many two-tones, acceleration times cut in half. Life was good.
Not to be outdone, Chrysler produced the 1955 Chrysler 300 with a 300 horsepower Hemi engine. This car was the high speed king, reaching 130 mph. In 1956 the 300 Hemi delivered 355 horsepower capable of 140 mph. By 1957 the 300 Hemi produced 390 horsepower, outrunning the Ferraris of the day.
Every style of every marque was distinctive. There was no mistaking one model for another. Driving on city streets and country highways was a feast for the eyes. Style and color were everywhere.
Even in those days driving occupied much of a person’s time. To be among striking designs and color combinations that excited the imagination was good for the psyche. We were a different people.
Decades ago a rare piece of fiction in Road & Track resulted in a premonition of the brutal and indistinguishable appearance of today’s SUVs and oversized pickup trucks.
It was the only piece of fiction, aside from a cartoon strip feature, that I recall ever appearing in R&T. The magazine is about road tests, car reports, and race results.
Perhaps the explanation for the fictional story is that a prescient car guy realized the brutal design implications of the looming car safety standards and wrote a story set in the future.
In the story, a man has a lovely sports car from the past that, unlike the mandated safety vehicles, is fun to drive, but he can no longer take it out during normal hours. Under federal safety mandates, vehicles had become massive hulks, brutal in appearance, and capable of smashing the cars of the past without injury to themselves or their drivers. Drivers of the safe machines patrol on the lookout for cars from an earlier, more elegant time. It was a sport to corner them and to crash into them, thus terminating their existence and removing the offense to the ugliness of the safe cars mandated by the government.
To avoid the demise of his car, he only took it out at 3:00 AM in order to avoid encounters with safe cars. But one early morning two of the hulks were waiting for him. The safe cars approached from both ends of the road, leaving him no way out. But the agility of his car and his skills as a driver permit his escape. Henceforth his enjoyment of his car is confined to visits in the garage and memories of past drives.
I don’t remember if the story was illustrated or whether the image of the SUV was created by the writer’s words, but years later when I saw the first SUV, now with names, such as Titan, to go with their brutal appearance, I instantly recalled the R&T story.
The young have no memory of the past. They cannot know how exciting automobiles once were. The excitement created by the explosion of styles, colors, and performance in 1955 is gone from the world. It was a 15-year experience, with the muscle cars of the 1960s keeping the thrill alive.
When the Jaguar E-Type appeared in 1961, no one could believe that such an extraordinarily beautiful and fast car could be had for $5,000. Enzo Ferrari, the master car-maker of all time, declared the E-Type to be the most beautiful car in the world. One sits in permanent exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Who could imagine a SUV being there, or an over-sized pick-up truck? If we had called for our Saturday night dates in such vehicles, our dates would have been mortified and would have refused to come out of the house.
Anyone who has sat in the driver’s seat of an E-Type, the first modern car with all independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes, looking over the long and louvered bonnet (hood), and starting the powerful engine with its Jaguar growl finds today’s vehicles utterly depressing.
Another extraordinary design of the era was the Lamborghini Miura. It came 5 years after the E-Type and was an equal show-stopper.
Today if you have a quarter of a million dollars to spend on a car, you can purchase cars that can outperform these icons of the 1960s. But if you drive up in your Audi A-8, your AMG Mercedes, your Porsche turbo, your Ferrari Italia, the audience will flock to the E-Type and to the Miura. Style, when it was not dictated by Washington, was brilliant. There will never again be anything like it.
Today cars from the fifties and sixties, including the 1954 Oldsmobile Super 88 coupe, if in reasonable condition, are more valuable than most new cars. A good Miura goes for $1 million. A Series 1 E-Type, produced in much larger numbers than the Miura, goes for $125,000 if in good condition. I have a friend who in the mid-1960s bought and sold for $9,000 a Ferrari 250 GTO. This Ferrari, an aggressive and beautiful take-off on the elegant E-Type, won the world championship for three years in the early 1960s. There were only about 36 of them produced. One sold recently for $35 million. Try to imagine, short of dollar hyperinflation, any vehicle of our time ever fetching $35 million as a used car.
Seeing a car, rather than a SUV or monster pick-up truck, is becoming a rare event. Recently, I made a count on a stretch of Interstate highway, and 75% of the traffic consisted of SUVs and over-sized pick-up trucks. Americans want to appear brutal like their vehicles, and their police, and their governments.
SUVs were an unintended consequence of federally mandated fleet gas milage standards. Auto makers complied with the mandate by eliminating station wagons. People looking for station wagon replacement settled on delivery vans and panel trucks. These vehicles, classified as light trucks, were exempt from the gas milage standards, and the SUV was born.
The unintended consequence of safety standards is to take beauty out of almost all vehicles. How many attractive vehicles do you see today? I recently made a 370 mile trip and saw one car worthy of notice. It was a $300,000 600HP Bentley coupe, a rare and unusual car. When I came of driving age, beautiful and colorful cars emitting wonderful sounds were everywhere. We were surrounded by them. They were Chevrolets and Fords. They weren’t for the mega-rich. The working class could afford them.
Think about this for a minute. People spend much of their lives in passenger vehicles. They commute to work and back to home. They travel to shop. They travel to vacation destinations. They take children to school and back to home. All of this time that they spend in vehicles they never see anything beautiful or artistic unless some unusual remnant from the past or a rare modern day supercar, whose cost exceeds their lifetime earnings, happens by.
This was not true in my day. We were surrounded by color, style, and attractive designs. Literally everyone could afford it. The epitome of style was the two-door hard top coupe. Such a vehicle would cost, perhaps, $400 more than the base model that lacked the elegant touches.
Today, in our brutalized transportation existence, in which no make or model can be identified from any other and in which a two-tone paint job doesn’t exist, anyone with a collection of 1950s and 1960s two-door hard top coupes is a wealthy person not merely in money but also in spirit.
Today a person with a beautiful car from the past does not yet have to worry about being chased down and destroyed by a modern safe-car hulk, but he has to worry about where he parks it. Beauty and style elevate. Ugliness uglifies. People who drive barbarian cars can themselves become barbarians.
Terrible things happened in the 1950s and 1960s. McCarthyism got loose for a short period. President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby were murdered, as was Martin Luther King, perhaps by their own government. The reliance on fear to keep the profitable cold war going and the elimination of those who would change course are antecedents of the present. We still suffer from them.
The difference is that then enough Americans had a frame of mind that had space for the optimism that permitted blacks to be legislated into full citizenship and for the protests that brought to an end the military/security complex’s profitable aggression in Vietnam.
Perhaps elegant cars had a civilizing influence and contributed to that frame of mind. Get Washington out of car design. It might help to restore our humanity from the brutality that surrounds us.
Reprinted with permission from www.paulcraigroberts.org
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Sharing a fun and heartwarming post found on Policymic giving a birthday wish to Ron Paul on number 78. I can say over the numerous debates and campaigns the Dr. Paul has been involved in, with media coverage appearing across the globe, Policymic has posted most articles regarding Ron Paul in what I consider a fair manner and an agenda free platform.
78 Reasons Every American Should Wish Ron Paul a Happy Birthday
Tuesday is Ron Paul’s 78th birthday. The former Texas congressman has had a long career as America’s most ideologically consistent politician. Love him or hate him, he always speaks his mind, and refuses to pander to the crowd. To celebrate his birthday, here are 78 reasons why Ron Paul kicks ass.
FULL STORY (enjoy, I did!)
By The Associated Press Posted: Aug 11, 2013 12:11 PM ET | Last Updated: Aug 11, 2013 12:09 PM ET
Family rescued after plan to leave U.S. by sailboat fails
Arizona family said they were fed up with government interference in religion
A northern Arizona family that was lost at sea for weeks in an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion will fly back home Sunday.
Hannah Gastonguay, 26, said Saturday that she and her husband “decided to take a leap of faith and see where God led us” when they took their two small children and her father-in-law and set sail from San Diego for the tiny island nation of Kiribati in May.
But just weeks into their journey, the Gastonguays hit a series of storms that damaged their small boat, leaving them adrift for weeks, unable to make progress. They were eventually picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel, transferred to a Japanese cargo ship and taken to Chile where they are resting in a hotel in the port city of San Antonio.
Their flights home were arranged by U.S. Embassy officials, Gastonguay said. The U.S. State Department was not immediately available for comment.
The months-long journey has been “pretty exciting” and “little scary at certain points,” Gastonguay said.
She said they wanted to go to Kiribati because “we didn’t want to go anywhere big.” She said they understood the island to be “one of the least developed countries in the world.”
Kiribati is a group of islands just off the equator and the international date line about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. The total population is just over 100,000 people of primarily Micronesian descent.
Family allege government interference in religion
Hannah Gastonguay said her family was fed up with government control in the U.S. As Christians they don’t believe in “abortion, homosexuality, in the state-controlled church,” she said.
U.S. “churches aren’t their own,” Gastonguay said, suggesting that government regulation interfered with religious independence.
Among other differences, she said they had a problem with being “forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with.”
The Gastonguays weren’t members of any church, and Hannah Gastonguay said their faith came from reading the Bible and through prayer.
“The Bible is pretty clear,” she said.
The family moved in November from Ash Fork, Ariz., to San Diego, where they lived on their boat as they prepared to set sail. She said she gave birth to the couple’s 8-month-old girl on the boat, which was docked in a slip at the time.
In May, Hannah, her 30-year-old husband Sean, his father Mike, and the couple’s daughters, 3-year-old Ardith and baby Rahab set off. They wouldn’t touch land again for 91 days, she said.
She said at first, “We were cruising.”
But within a couple of weeks “when we came out there, storm, storm, storm.”
Canadian ship offered supplies
The boat had taken a beating, and they decided to set course for the Marquesas Islands. Instead, they found themselves in a “twilight zone,” taking more and more damage, leaving them unable to make progress.
They could have used a sail called a genoa, she said, but they risked snapping off the mast and losing their radio and ability to communicate.
They had been on the ocean for about two months and were low on supplies. They were out of food and were down to “some juice and some honey.” She said they were able to catch fish, but they didn’t see any boats.
Still, we “didn’t feel like we were going to die or anything. We believed God would see us through,” she said.
At one point a fishing ship came into contact with them but left without providing assistance. A Canadian cargo ship came along and offered supplies, but when they pulled up alongside it, the vessels bumped and the smaller ship sustained even more damage.
They were getting hit by “squall after, squall, after squall.”
“We were in the thick of it, but we prayed,” she said. “Being out on that boat, I just knew I was going to see some miracles.”
They watched the surrounding storms disperse, and “next thing you know the sun is out. It’s amazing.”
Lack of navigation expertise
Eventually, their boat was spotted by a helicopter that had taken off from a nearby Venezuelan fishing vessel, which ended up saving them.
“The captain said, ‘Do you know where you’re at? You’re in the middle of nowhere,”‘ she said.
They were on the Venezuelan ship for about five days before transferring to the Japanese cargo ship, where they were for nearly three weeks before landing in Chile on Friday. The Chilean newspaper Las Ultimas Noticias reported the story of their arrival.
“They were looking for a kind of adventure; they wanted to live on a Polynesian island but they didn’t have sufficient expertise to navigate adequately,” police prefect Jose Luis Lopez, who took the family’s statement at San Antonio, told the newspaper.
Sean Gastonguay’s brother Jimmy, who lives in Arizona, said he had provided a description of the family’s vessel to the U.S. Coast Guard and exchanged emails with them once they were picked up by the first boat.
“There was some concern, but we were hoping for the best, and they eventually popped up,” he said. He was able to keep track of the family with the help of the Coast Guard as they were transferred from ship to ship.
“We’re all happy. We have good peace of mind now,” he said.
Hannah Gastonguay said the family will now “go back to Arizona” and “come up with a new plan.”
Veterans Group Flag Ruffles City
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The way Moises Valencia describes things, it began with a simple idea – Seeing that the American flag flying outside the old military armory in the city needed replacing, he took it upon himself to contact local veterans about putting up a new one.
For good measure, he shelled out about $16 online for a yellow Gadsden flag, bearing an image, dating back to 1775, of a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me,” in case local veterans wanted to use that one, too.
City officials saw it as a group who had agendas that go beyond purely patriotic ones and decided to use a public space, the flagpole at the city-owned armory, to fly a banner that has come to symbolize the Tea Party and antipathy to government. Whatever the case, the results were an order by the city to take it down and a federal lawsuit filed by a conservative legal foundation to keep it flying.
In a lawsuit filed on July 26 in federal court in White Plains, the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of New Rochelle and its president, Peter Parente, sued the city, Mr. Bramson, the city manager and four City Council members, saying that the city had acted in an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable manner” and violated the group’s First Amendment rights.
It was not the first time the Gadsden flag has become a source of contention in recent years. Disputes over flying the flag have involved homeowners’ associations in Arizona, the state Capitol in Connecticut and the town common in Warren, R.I.
Image credit: http://nextnewsnetwork.com
Posted by Robert Wenzel
The Ron Paul Channel to Launch August 12
The Ron Paul Channel will be available to subscribers live or on-demand. Subscriptions will cost $9.95 per month and provide subscribers with direct access to Dr. Paul and a diverse array of guests.
“Americans are tired of the games and the lies of today’s media. They want the truth. I have been astonished by the flood of interest in the channel from tens of thousands of people in just a matter of hours,” said Paul. “Imagine this: no censors, no barricades, no statists. We will be able to engage viewers directly on subjects that matter most to them from finances to civil liberties to foreign policy.”
“The Ron Paul Channel will allow me to engage directly with viewers,” said Paul. “With the help of social media we can cut through the noise and get straight to the truth about subjects that matter most to you.”
More information is available at www.RonPaulChannel.com.
Image added to the original post.
Are Americans Capable of Retaining Their Freedom? – Dave Champion
Published by NextNewsNetwork
Independent radio host Dave Champion lives by a simple and direct motto: “Whatever the question, the answer is `liberty.’” The tagline to his program is just as forthright: “The Truth — whether you like it or not.”
Mr. Champion, known as America’s Bad Boy of Liberty, believes that Americans are adults who are capable of hearing unpleasant truths and acting on them.
He pulls no punches and cuts no corners in extolling the virtues of individual freedom and personal responsibility — and condemning corrupt, dishonest, and power-hungry officials at every level.
It’s a pleasure and a privilege to talk briefly with Dave today about the George Zimmerman acquittal and several other important — and widely misunderstood — recent events.
Fatal Consequences of Living in the NSA Surveillance State – Marcy Wheeler
Published by NextNewsNetwork
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the consequences of living in the NSA Surveillance State, Marcy Wheeler, known to civil libertarians by the cyber-nickname “Emptywheel,” had something to say about it. She has been a full-time commentator on individual liberties issues since 2007.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan.
Through her blog, Emptywheel.net, Ms. Wheeler has provided in-depth analysis of documents dealing with Guantanamo Bay, torture, personal privacy issues, and many other subjects of extreme importance to those who cherish individual freedom and the Bill of Rights.
We’re very grateful that she joins us today to discuss recent revelations regarding the NSA’s surveillance program.
Richard Stallman: “Facebook is a Monstrous Surveillance Engine”
If you want to have the possibility of some privacy someday, you’d better join the fight now, because now a bunch of other people are joining the fight. Now is the moment when you can make a difference. If you wait until the day you wish you had some privacy and only then try to do something…well, that day you will be one of a few people doing it and that won’t be enough. You’ve got to help make a critical mass when other people are doing it – and that’s now.
We call Windows 8.1 ‘Windows PRISM Edition’ because it’s designed to require people to send data to Microsoft servers, and of course, Microsoft will hand over any of that data to the US government on request. It puts the users in PRISM.
- Richard Stallman in the interview embedded below
If you don’t know who Richard Stallman, aka RMS is, it’s time to to get up to speed. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by watching the video interview below. He starts off explaining why he doesn’t own a mobile phone (it can continue to listen to you even when it’s turned off), and then goes on to answer almost every technology question imaginable to a layperson. Definitely worth the time.