A friend of mine posted this Reddit thread to Facebook. I’ll quote a bit of it here:
You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.
Context: The author writes about the outcome of surveillance laws in the country where he lives, generally looked upon as a dictatorship—one of the Arab Spring countries—as a warning to Americans about what typically follows these sorts of laws.
I’d seen this thread already from a few Redditor friends of mine, who have otherwise shown little to no interest in speaking out against dangerous laws of this sort. So this was my response, to Redditors, to Democrats, to Republicans, to anyone who speaks up today and grows silent tomorrow when #NSA is no longer trending on Twitter:
"The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals. This dynamic - the hallmark of a healthy and free society - has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable."
Glenn Greenwald (via azspot)
This really is remarkable.
"The administration has now lost all credibility."
The Editorial Board of the New York Times (via enemyofthestatist)
While reading this I had to go find the Feinstein video to find out what she actually said, [I’m uncomfortable with paraphrased quotes that aren’t sourced…] and found a couple of choice quotes that I thought I’d share:
“Terrorists will come after us if they can.”
-fear-mongering, warhawk Republic—oh wait, that was Dianne Feinstein.
“It’s called protecting America.”
-George W. B—Oh damn, it’s Feinstein again. I get those two mixed up all the time. [You should click on that link, because I wasn’t just making a snarky general comparison…]
(Source: jeffmiller, via againstpower)
"This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers."
— Martin Luther King Jr. [A Time to Break Silence]
"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent."
— Martin Luther King Jr. [From A Time to Break Silence]
"If we were genuinely concerned with honouring those who have died in war, we would make it our sacred task to eradicate the causes of war. Of course, many Americans — including most notably our leading politicians — couldn’t care less about truly honouring those whose guts have been ripped out, whose limbs have been bloodily and painfully mutilated, whose minds have been destroyed. For the state and its enablers, the war dead are props used to purify and sanctify the ongoing and future campaigns of slaughter, in an endless procession of slaughters throughout history. The war dead are especially useful, since they have been rendered forever mute; they are unable to tell us the truth of what they endured, or about the lies for which they died."
— Arthur Silber (via anarchei)
(Source: powerofnarrative.blogspot.com, via anarchei)
"They call themselves ‘fiscal conservatives’, and they’re spending a trillion dollars a year managing an empire. You’re not going to solve our problems that way. You can’t tinker around with cutting food stamps for the poor and think you’re going to solve this problem. We have to change our attitude about the role of government. We can’t be the policemen of the world, we shouldn’t be policing personal lifestyles, and we certainly shouldn’t be running the economy. We have to have those attitudes changed or there’s no hope of us solving our problems."
— Ron Paul (via laliberty)
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
James Madison, “Federalist #51” (via politicalprof)
LOL yeah because the government is not made up of teh eviel menz, government is an omniscient God, amirite?
Silly ISU professors…