Posts tagged Power
Bush and Obama have different flavors. But both are crony capitalists. Bush was the Republican version, Obama is the Democrat version. Both have sought to more closely link business and government, to expand the presidency and bureaucracy, and to reduce the inherent freedoms of the American people.
They both like power. They both (I believe anyway) see the Constitution as something to get around, not something to celebrate. Both have taken this country down a very dangerous path.
(From Real Clear Politics)
The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in every single branch.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
The Battle for Power on the Internet: Bruce Schneier at TEDxCambridge 2013
Published by TEDxTalks
Bruce Schneier gives us a glimpse of the future of the internet, and shares some of the context we should keep in mind, and the insights we need to understand, as we prepare for it. Learn more about Bruce Schneier at https://www.schneier.com and TEDxCambridge at http://www.tedxcambridge.com.
Posted by Robert Wenzel
The Yin and Yang of Government Power
One of the areas where government would like to have absolute control is in the area of money creation. By having control of money creation, the government can, of course, control a monetary spigot that allows it to spend well beyond its ability to the raise funds via taxation and borrowing.
That said, it is instructive to understand the many ways the free market is attempting to circumvent government monopoly of money control. It is an object lesson in understanding that government is not all powerful and that there is a yin and yang to government power. At times, there can be a major jump in government power in a sector, but, over time, a counter response from the free market can occur that is difficult for the government to understand and defeat. Below is an important TED talk delivered by Paul Kemp-Robertson. He discusses the many points of free market responses to government money. He is a little weak in understanding completely how and why these currencies are emerging and doesn’t seem to understand their emergence in relation to Ludwig von Mises’ Regression Theorem, but it is a solid tour of the early-stage free market counter punch to government money.
Taken with a wide spectrum view, it is a great sign of hope that shows how free markets can emerge to counter government power.
Follow more of Robert’s posts here.
By CBC News
Big Brother’s power is building, warns George Orwell biographer
‘Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. He felt that if someone didn’t sound the alarm loudly enough, eventually a lot of the freedoms he cherished would be lost.’
Earlier this month, the most talked about novelist in the English language wasn’t Dan Brown, Stephen King or George R. R. Martin and his Game of Thrones series. It was George Orwell, whose most famous novel, 1984, saw its sales spike by a reported 7,000 per cent.
Of course, this happened after Edward Snowden pulled back the curtain on a massive surveillance program in which the U.S. National Security Agency could scour the data on the cellphone and internet activity of U.S. citizens. Terms like Orwellian and Big Brother became ubiquitous in the media and everyday conversation.
- NSA surveillance leaker charged with espionage, theft
- Neil Macdonald: Obama’s whistleblower conundrum
- Why the U.S. hasn’t nabbed Edward Snowden yet
- Canadians react to U.S. surveillance program leak
That came as no surprise to Michael Shelden, a professor of English at Indiana State University and the author of Orwell: The Authorized Biography.
“People realize that this problem of Big Brother watching you is not going to go away,” professor Shelden told The Sunday Edition’s guest host, Kevin Sylvester.
“It’s an incredible phrase. I think we’ve taken it for granted for many years, but it probably is one of the most prophetic things said in a novel in the past hundred years.”
Orwell, professor Shelden pointed out, is still the reference point whenever stories emerge about surveillance of the public and increasing government controls over civilian populations.
“Orwell is the one who saw this. He’s the one who got it right. Orwell could see how the power would accumulate and would be imposed whether you wanted it imposed or not. There was a certain acquiescence, of course, but he once said, ‘The object of power is power.’”
But after the initial burst of outrage at the growing appetite of governments for surveillance and data on their citizens in the name of fighting terrorism, there’s also a sense that a lot of people are not all that upset. Many people still happily make their private lives very public on social media and pay little heed to the omnipresent security cameras in the public sphere.
And a survey by the Pew Research Centre found that a majority of Americans think that tracking phone records to investigate potential terror threats is more important than the right to privacy.
“We have a situation now where a lot of people take this kind of intrusion into our private lives increasingly for granted. I don’t think we should,” said professor Shelden.
“Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. He felt that if someone didn’t sound the alarm loudly enough, eventually a lot of the freedoms he cherished would be lost, and people would wake up one day and wonder where they’d gone.”
You can hear Kevin Sylvester’s full interview with Michael Shelden about the vision and continued relevance of George Orwell on The Sunday Edition’s site, or through the link at the top-left of this story.
Copyright © CBC 2013
Republished with permission.
Listen to the interview
Even The New York Times editorial page turns on President Obama
The AP thing got their ears perked. Now with the recent NSA revelations even the Grey Lady, bastion of liberal statism, The New York Times, says the president has gone too far. It’s pretty hard for a liberal president to lose The Times but Obama seems to have done it, for at least this moment in time.
(From The New York Times)
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.
Nigel Farage speaks to François Hollande (Feb 2013)
Published on Jan 26, 2013 by Eduardo89rp
Ron Paul giving the Carl Davis Distinguished Lecture on “The Libertarian Future”
Published on Dec 24, 2012
The Louis E. Carabini Distinguished Lecture, presented at the 2012 Mises Institute Supporters Summit: “The Truth About War: A Revisionist Approach”. Recorded at Callaway Gardens, Georgia, on 26 October 2012. Includes an introduction by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Music by Kevin MacLeod.
NOTE: This video may be reproduced for non-profit, educational purposes ONLY.
The Associated Press Posted: Dec 9, 2012 10:55 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 9, 2012 11:16 AM ET
President’s rescinding of decrees called empty gesture
Egypt’s liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15.
President Mohammed Morsi met one of the opposition’s demands, annulling his Nov. 22 decrees that gave him near unrestricted powers. But he insisted on going ahead with the referendum on a constitution hurriedly adopted by his Islamist allies during an all-night session late last month.
The opposition National Salvation Front called on supporters to rally against the referendum. The size of Sunday’s turnout, especially at Cairo’s central Tahrir square and outside the presidential palace in the capital’s Heliopolis district, will determine whether Morsi’s concession chipped away some of the popular support for the opposition’s cause.
The opposition said Morsi’s rescinding of his decrees was an empty gesture since the decrees had already achieved their main aim of ensuring the adoption of the draft constitution. The edicts had barred the courts from dissolving the Constituent Assembly that passed the charter and further neutered the judiciary by making Morsi immune from its oversight.
By Eric Blair
By now anyone who pays attention to politics knows that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 contained a provision that allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial.
Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA states that anyone suspected of being involved in terrorism or “belligerent acts” against the U.S. can be detained by the military under the so-called Authorization for Use of Military Force, including American citizens.
In other words, the war on terror has been officially declared on U.S. soil and everyone is now considered a potential combatant in this war.
Senator Lindsey Graham pretty much summed it up when he said, “The homeland is part of the battlefield and people can be held without trial whether an American citizen or not.”
Even though this clause is a direct violation of citizen’s rights under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, there was scarcely any dissent and hardly a peep from the corporate media when Obama signed it into law under the cover of darkness late on New Year’s Eve 2011.
This year Senator Rand Paul once again blocked the passage of the NDAA for 2013, which the Senate hoped to rush through before the Thanksgiving recess. Using a filibuster, Paul is attempting to force a vote on his amendment to exempt American citizens from the indefinite detention clause.
Rand Paul’s amendment simply reaffirms the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
A citizen of the United States who is captured or arrested in the United States and detained by the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Compare that to the 6th Amendment of the Constitution:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
It’s sad that it is so difficult to get elected officials to debate, let alone vote on, legislation that is in direct violation to the Constitution that they swore an oath to uphold. But these are certainly Orwellian times where normal thinking no longer applies.
As Rand Paul points out in the video below about the 2012 NDAA vote, “The senate voted 55 to 45 to allow indefinite detention of US citizens without jury trial. We have become Orwellian without even knowing it.”
When the Senate resumes after recess, the NDAA 2013 will likely pass even with a recorded vote on Paul’s amendment, but at least the traitors will put themselves on display for all to see.
If there are any true oath keepers in positions of power, this would be a perfect time to arrest those who vote against this amendment. Their treason to the Constitution couldn’t be any clearer.