So Buzzfeed got NSA staffers to describe (anonymously, but on the record) exactly what they’d like to do the Edward Snowden. The results are creepy in terms of how psychologically revealing they are and in what they reflect about these guys’ perspective on the rule of law. Take a look at just one example:

[….] “His name is cursed every day over here,” a defense contractor told BuzzFeed, speaking from an overseas Intelligence collections base. “Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung, forget the trial and just hang him.” 

Techdirt’s commentary is spot-on [emphasis added]:

Do people like that sound like the kinds of people you can “trust” to not abuse their power? Do they sound like people you can “trust” to not spy on people they don’t like? They’ve already admitted that they’re willing to kill someone they don’t like just because they don’t like him. 

The article is chilling not just because of what these employees of the American public are openly discussing doing to someone who sought to inform the American public — but because it shows the lengths they will go to to trample the American ideal and the Constitution, which they took an oath to uphold. They are directly admitting that all of that, all logic, all reason goes right out the window when someone pisses them off. 

And that’s the very reason why the NSA needs to be reined in. The people working there seem to be bloodthirsty and emotional, prone to lashing out and dismissing the very basis of the Constitution. After hearing those statements, I don’t see how anyone in the NSA can possibly claim that the American public can “trust” them not to abuse the system. They appear bloodthirsty and eager to abuse the system.

There are dangerous people in the NSA.

(via antigovernmentextremist)

"Everybody here just does their job, right? If you’re working here and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said ‘you know what, I want to get something, but I don’t know exactly what I’m gonna get. I’m just going to stop working till I get something - I’m just going to shut down the whole plant until I get something’ - You’d get fired, right?

‘Cause the deal is, you’ve already gotten hired. You’ve got a job. You’re getting a paycheck. And so you also are getting the pride of doing a good job, and contributing to a business, and looking out for your fellow workers. That’s what you’re getting. It shouldn’t be any different for a member of Congress.”

-Barack Obama talking about how much he hates Labor Unions Republicans and the entire mentality behind them, while coincidentally sounding exactly like a Union-hating Republican o.o

[No, seriously, close your eyes when you press play on that video and tell me he doesn’t sound like Dubya. Not, like how dumb he is, or the words he’s saying (those too I guess) but his voice, it’s fucking cray.]

Misogyny/Misandry Monday!

I’m not actually going to do this every Monday, but since I’ve been trying to catch kids up on war and police brutality and the very in-your-face political topics, I thought it’d be nice to touch on something a little more subtle, but every bit as dangerous as any Statist propaganda—dangerous because this is what is shaping the mindsets of future leaders, thinkers, writers…

I present to you: »The highly intellectual thoughts of Feminist thought-leaders«

[This was originally going to be just a reblog of that list, but my comments got too long so I decided to just link to it. Moving on…]

Want to take away the rights of men and women? Don’t try to do it all at once. Do it slowly, through contrived and convoluted rhetoric that sets them against each other. Cement women in their roles as victims, and men into the roles of victimizers.

Any woman who refuses to be known as a “victim” has been “brainwashed by the Patriarchy”.

Any man who refuses to be known as a “victimizer” is a misogynist who needs to “check his privilege”.

Stuck in these roles long enough they’ll easily begin to actually hate each other. And once that happens you’ve effectively eliminated 50% of people who would object to policies and/or attitudes that hurt men or women.

And how easy it is to stick these roles on them with the false statistics they circulate, the biased studies they create and then reference, and the insanely hyperbolic reactions they have to things like: being hit on in an elevator (see Rebecca Watson v Richard Dawkins) or men making sex jokes—not even sex jokes, more like jokes with sexual innuendo (see Adria Richards v sex jokes/the world/two engineers who were not even addressing her). Say something they don’t like and you will have an angry mob of Feminists inciting vitriolic backlash the likes of which you couldn’t have imagined.

If we believe Feminism represents women, then inferring from the actions/words of feminists above we could only conclude that women are: dishonest, bad at statistics, bad at academic studies, inclined to overreaction, irrational, violent…

Wait a second, bad at math, over-emotional, spiteful? That sounds exactly like the public perception Feminism so LOVES to blame on “the Patriarchy”.

It’s starting to sound a lot like the Feminist movement actually hurts women more than it helps; it’s starting to sound like Feminism itself perpetuates the stereotypes and victimhood mentality that stunt the progress of women as a group and as individuals; it’s starting to sound like Feminism doesn’t represent women at all, but instead-like So.Many.Political.Movements-represents only the interests of a handful of individuals who have the most to gain from the policies and perception their rhetoric creates.

Women can’t be oppressors, women can’t be sexist, women can’t be rapists, women can’t be domestic abusers…

This doesn’t look like a win for women to me, it looks like a win for oppressors, sexists, rapists, and domestic abusers—and a heavy, heavy loss for their victims.

"I LEARNED that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.

The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen.

I visited the site later, once I was able to bear the pain of seeing where he sat in his final moments. Local residents told me his body was blown to pieces. They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead.

Nearly two years later, I still have no answers. The United States government has refused to explain why Abdulrahman was killed."

The Drone That Killed My Grandson  - NYTimes.com (via brooklynmutt)

We. Are. The. Terrorists.

(via antigovernmentextremist)

Sorry Reddit, I’m just kind of jaded…

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 only problem I have with this, is that it takes someone who’s lived in a country where this shit happened for people to actually listen.
Everyone else who’s been saying “Hey this is a bad sign. Uh, hey guys when this happened in other countries it was only ever followed by horrible events…Hey guys, it seems you think that a Democrat president can do no wrong but whether or not that’s true, these powers are one day going to be handed over to a Republican and then what the fuck are we going to do?” has been ignored, labelled a conspiracy theorist/fear mongerer/doomsayer/crazy/naive, and tossed into the pile of “people who say things I don’t want to hear and aren’t as charismatic as the guy I voted into presidency [so now I feel I have to stick by whatever he does so that I don’t look bad] and therefore I don’t care what they have to say”.

And even now, when I’d like to feel hopeful at the raised awareness of these dangerous problems, I can’t shake the feeling that in a couple of weeks after a few hypocritical but oh-so-charasmatic speeches, the complacency will set back in. The comfort of toeing the party line will be restored. And this reddit guy will be tossed back into the pile of crazies just like those before him./Rant

So far, I’ve gotten exactly one response:


So I’m sorry, Reddit. As much as I would like to believe that you’re all turning into tenacious, critical political activists that don’t sway with the crowd, all I can think of is how you lapped up Obama’s every word in his IAMA, asked him hard-hitting questions like what the White House beer recipe is and who’s his favorite basketball player, and literally compared him to Jesus.

Now, I’m not even on Reddit, so I realize it may be unfair of me to mistrust your dedication to Sparkle Motion, but for the better part of four years now, I have watched the tide ebb and flow—mostly ebb—on The Patriot Act extension, Guantanamo Bay never ever ever being closed, the NDAA being signed into law, drone strikes, extrajudicial assassinations, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden… I can’t list everything that passed, loudly and then quietly, in and out of public concern.

So please forgive me if I’m being unjust, but I am just so f*cking jaded.

"I think you’re misunderstanding the perceived problem here, Mr. President. No one is saying that you broke any laws; we’re just saying it’s a little bit weird that you didn’t have to.

Shocking -_-

"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.

(via apoplecticskeptic)

(via antigovernmentextremist)

"Asked about the stepping up of US offensive capabilities outlined in the directive, a senior administration official said: ‘Once humans develop the capacity to build boats, we build navies. Once you build airplanes, we build air forces.’"

-a senior administration official [in this article about US cyber attacks]

…Am I the only one who gets legitimately terrified—down to my goddamn bones—when someone just casually says, “Hey, if you build things that are supposed to help people, we’re going to use them for war instead. Deal with it.”

I’m glad he makes the distinction though, “Once you build airplanes, we build air forces.”

Good. Don’t group me in with that shit.

^^^Excerpt from the speech in 2001 that warned what the Patriot Act would do, given by the ONLY senator that voted against it.

So, is this where Democrats and Republicans alike kind of shuffle their feet sheepishly and go, “Yeah whoops, turns out we all supported this…”

"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)


Seriously, read this whole article. It is the most important thing you’ll read all day. I wanted to bold basically the whole thing, but limited myself to about half of it.

Last week President Obama announced restrictions on U.S. drone strikes. He touted the rules—“written policy standards and procedures that formalize and strengthen the Administration’s rigorous process” for authorizing targeted killings—in a policy statement, a speech, and a background briefing by senior administration officials.

This week Obama went right back to business. He killed a Taliban leader with a drone strike in Pakistan, and White House press secretary Jay Carney won’t even admit that’s what happened. The strike, coupled with the administration’s evasive answers about it, exposes the loopholes in the toothless new policy. Here’s a list of them:

1. Transparency. In his speech, Obama pledged a new “transparency” about the drone program. He framed his policy statement as a commitment to “share” information with the public so citizens can “make informed judgments and hold the Executive Branch accountable.” But on Wednesday, when reporters asked about the reported strike on Taliban leader Wali ur-Rehman, Carney refused to confirm it. The transparency pledge, Carney explained, applies only to the administration’s “standards” for authorizing strikes, not to “the details of every counterterrorism operation.” That’s like reciting your marital vows when your spouse asks where you were last night.

2. Associated forces. “Beyond the Afghan theater, we only target al-Qaida and its associated forces,” Obama declared in his speech. The appended clause—and associated forces—covers  Rehman, other Taliban operatives, and God knows who else. We don’t believe in guilt by association. But we do believe in execution by association.

3. Punishment. “Lethal force will not be proposed or pursued as punishment,” says the policy statement. However, targeting decisions “will be informed by a broad analysis of an intended target’s current and past role in plots threatening U.S. persons.” That’s not much of a distinction. When reporters asked about the strike in Pakistan, Carney noted that Rehman was “wanted in connection to the murder of seven American citizens on Dec. 30, 2009, at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan.” We’ll kill you for what you did to us. We just won’t call it punishment.

4. Feasible capture. This is an old loophole, but the policy statement broadens it. “The policy of the United States is not to use lethal force when it is feasible to capture a terrorist suspect,” says the statement. Then comes the big caveat: “Capture operations are conducted only against suspects who may lawfully be captured or otherwise taken into custody by the United States and only when the operation can be conducted in accordance with all applicable law and consistent with our obligations to other sovereign states.” Even when we have the physical ability to capture you, doing so might violate domestic or international law. In that case we’ll have to kill you instead.

5. Preference. The policy statement asserts a “Preference for Capture.” Obama, in his speech, reaffirmed that “our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute.” In the background briefing, administration officials assured reporters that the U.S. has a “preference” to administer strikes through the military rather than the CIA, as well as a “preference for working with partners and strengthening their capacity to take action against terrorist networks.” To illustrate this point, the officials cited the administration’s collaborative approach “in Pakistan, where the Pakistanis have taken action against extremists.” So what did we do when we found Rehman, knowing that Pakistani security forces wanted to kill him? Did we hand off the job to them? No, we did it ourselves. Deferring to local governments is just a “preference.”

6. War theater. All the principles outlined in the policy statement and the speech—imminent threat, feasible capture, external oversight, avoiding civilian casualties—are reserved for strikes “outside areas of active hostilities.” So when reporters asked about Rehman, Carney explained that in “the Afghan war theater … we will continue to take strikes against high-value al-Qaida targets but also against forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces.” Never mind that the Rehman strike was in Pakistan: That, too, is part of the Afghan “theater.” But don’t worry: Obama pledged in his speech that “by the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we’ve made against core al-Qaida will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.” We’ll still use drones there. We’ll just point out that we’re doing it less.

7. Demilitarized CIA. In the background briefing, administration officials said the new policy acknowledges “that the United States military is the appropriate agency to use force outside of active warzones, given their traditional role and given the transparency [that] can be associated with actions by the United States military.” So in places where we aren’t at war, we’ll administer drone strikes through our war department. And in places where we are at war, we’ll administer drone strikes through our intelligence agency. The policy is absurd, but it allows the administration to pretend that we didn’t kill Rehman, since that would be disclosure of an intelligence operation.

8. “Reservation of Authority.” That’s the all-purpose exception Obama inserted at the end of his policy statement. It says the rules outlined in the statement “do not limit the President’s authority to take action in extraordinary circumstances when doing so is both lawful and necessary to protect the United States or its allies.” That last bit—or its allies—makes the rules open to suspension, at the president’s choosing, anywhere in the world. Obama and his lawyers have gotten exactly what they wanted: the appearance of constraint, without the reality.


Minimum-wage laws date to the 1930s, and supporters in Congress at the time were explicit about using them to stop blacks from displacing whites in the labor force by working for less money. Milton Friedman regarded the minimum wage as “one of the most, if not the most, anti-black laws on the statute books.”

When you artificially increase the cost of labor, you wind up with surplus labor, which takes the form of unemployment. Younger and less-experienced workers—a disproportionate number of whom are black—are more likely to be priced out of the labor force when the cost of hiring someone goes up. Prior to the passage of minimum-wage laws—and in an era of open and rampant racial discrimination in the U.S.—the unemployment rate for black men was much lower than it is now and similar to that of whites in the same age group.

Today, unemployment stands at 7.9% overall but is 13.8% among blacks (versus 7% among whites), 14.5% among black men (versus 7.2% among white men) and 37.8% among black teens (versus 20.8% among white teens). Yet Mr. Obama has proposed increasing the minimum wage by 24% to $9 an hour to placate his union supporters who want less competition for their members. A higher minimum wage might lift earnings for existing workers—provided they keep their jobs—but it also reduces job opportunities for millions of people out of work.

Out of political expediency, Mr. Obama is putting the interests of Big Labor ahead of the urban poor.


Jason Riley: Minimum Expectations

As a member of a Hollywood union, I face a sort of minimum wage hurdle of my own. The next step up in my career is a substantial one - and one in which I am more than capable of making (a position I held - with, in fact, greater pay - on a number of non-union reality shows). But because of the union, I cannot take that position without being paid the union minimum for that position. In other words, the studio and producers would have to pay me the same rate they would pay a multiple-Emmy winner with 30 years of experience. I cannot offer to work for less as an opportunity to prove myself. I have no leverage - I cannot offer any incentive - for producers to hire a [relatively] young and eager talent over a reliable veteran. And indeed, I have missed out on multiple jobs precisely because of this artificial price floor. 


(via laliberty)

(via laliberty)




…but perhaps the most unsettling, is witnessing the very slow transition of political bloggers unfolding like this: Republican/Democrat—>something under the Libertarian umbrella—>some form of…

you dont go from an anarchist to a marxist

1. Oh really, then just what the fuck have all these Anarcho-Communists been doing? Because I know I’m not the only one who’s witnessed at least a few of them changing their label from “Anarcho-Communist” to “Marxist”.

that doesnt happen

Okay. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot in your ripe eighteen years of age. I’m not saying it makes sense. I’ve also seen Anarchists and Libertarians turn into NeoCons, and crazier transitions than that, but it does happen.

and i hope you know the communist manifesto doesn’t call for a violent revolution

it calls for unification

2. Who said anything about the Communist Manifesto? Because I know I didn’t. In fact, my post had exactly nothing to do with it.

3. Would it kill you to capitalize? Or has the whole “Fuck Capitalism” thing gotten conflated with “Fuck capitalization” in this new generation of political bloggers? [I know this has nothing to do with the point of this post, but really.]

(via etativel)

I’ve Seen a Lot of Unsettling Things on Tumblr

…but perhaps the most unsettling, is witnessing the very slow transition of political bloggers unfolding like this: Republican/Democrat—>something under the Libertarian umbrella—>some form of Anarchist—>”Mutualist”/some form of Marxist—>”Hey guys, let’s start a violent revolution!”

It’s some scary shit.