Archive for August 20th, 2011

Control of information as the ultimate battle

| August 20, 2011 | Reply
Control of information as the ultimate battle

As I’ve been getting more involved in the preservation of net neutrality over the past few weeks, I’ve increasingly seen the focused and orchestrated lies of financially insatiable telecoms. It was while in this frame of mind that I read Glenn Greenwald’s latest column, “A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State.”

This is the point I emphasize whenever I talk about why topics such as the sprawling Surveillance State and the attempted criminalization of WikiLeaks and whistleblowing are so vital. The free flow of information and communications enabled by new technologies — as protest movements in the Middle East and a wave of serious leaks over the last year have demonstrated — is a uniquely potent weapon in challenging entrenched government power and other powerful factions. And that is precisely why those in power — those devoted to preservation of the prevailing social order — are so increasingly fixated on seizing control of it and snuffing out its potential for subverting that order: they are well aware of, and are petrified by, its power, and want to ensure that the ability to dictate how it is used, and toward what ends, remains exclusively in their hands.

If this sounds like hype, read Greenwald’s column and follow his many links, and consider this:

In August of last year, the UAE and Saudi Arabian governments triggered much outrage when they barred the use of Blackberries on the ground that they could not effectively monitor their communications (needless to say, the U.S. condemned the Saudi and UAE schemes). But a month later, the Obama administration unveilled a plan to “require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct ‘peer to peer’ messaging like Skype” to enable “back door” government access.

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Why young Americans passively accept the status quo

| August 20, 2011 | 7 Replies
Why young Americans passively accept the status quo

I just finished reading Bruce Levine’s article at Alternet: “8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance.” It is a rare day when I read a detailed article with which I so completely agree. Here are eight reasons why the great majority of young Americans passively accept massive social injustice, incessant warmongering, and a stunning amount of lying and betrayal by most of their so-called leaders:

1. Student-Loan Debt.
2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance.
3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy.
4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.”
5. Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously
6. The Normalization of Surveillance.
7. Television.
8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism.

I highly recommend Levine’s article for more details on each of these reasons. I especially agree with his arguments that by fighting back, young Americans perceive that they are putting at risk their chances of engaging in the material good life that they crave.  Fighting back, and even speaking out in person, can destroy one’s chances of getting a “good” job.

[More . . . ]

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The religion of the Koch brothers

| August 20, 2011 | Reply
The religion of the Koch brothers

The Koch brothers’ warmongering and misinformation campaigns allegedly benefit society, according to Charles Koch.

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