The US Is An “Endemic Surveillance Society”

According to Privacy International, the United States has dropped from Extensive to Endemic, now tied with China, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the UK(with the UK being more-or-less the worst in the free world). But never fear! We are still number one in a few things. They are:
* Legal protections
* Privacy enforcement
* Use of identity cards and biometrics
* Visual surveillance
* Communications interception
* Workplace monitoring
* Medical, financial and movement surveillance
* Border and trans-border issues

By number one I, of course, mean we are the worst. Go America!

Chinese Sub Surfaces Undetected Next to USS Kitty Hawk

Unfortunately, our military seems to underestimate the Chinese, especially their technology. Deployed with a battle fleet during exercises, the 160 ft Song Class slipped through a contingency of at least a dozen warships and 2 of our own submarines undetected, then proceeded to go into visible attack range before surfacing. The U.S.S. Kitty Hawk is a 1,000 ft. US super-carrier with 4,500 personnel on-board.

Read the rest here.

It disturbs me greatly that we can’t detect a sub when we have 14 ships looking for it.

Federal Reserve and Tax Fact Dumping Ground

NOTE: I am not intentionally causing civil unrest or disobedience. I am just stating items I have come to learn through my 1st Amendment right. The PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act cannot touch me.

INCOMPLETE

I’m really tired. Tired of all the lies and misinformation that is spreading around the United States. This particular group of misinformation is in regards to the Federal Reserve, so I’m going to post as many facts as I can find in relation to said system. I’m not going to format it, organize it, or try and intentionally persuade in any way, shape, or form. If your opinion changes, it is simply because its all here.

– Passed in 1913, the 16th Amendment established the Federal Reserve, a central bank for the United States.
– The Federal Reserve Act was passed during what is essentially Christmas vacation for Congress, and if a state does not have legislators in Congress at the time a bill is passed, its vote is not counted(They cannot vote if they aren’t in the session).
– The Federal Reserve is not actually federal, it is a private bank entrusted with the powers Congress gave to it.
– Congress does not coin money, despite what the Constitution says. They buy the money from the Federal Reserve, with money that was given to them by… the Federal Reserve.
– The 16th Amendment does not give the government any new powers of taxation.
– Income Tax law is an unapportioned tax, therefor unconstitutional, therefor illegal.
– Most Income Tax revenue does not enter government circulation. It pays the Federal Reserve which is, again, a privately owned bank.
People are free to ignore an IRS summoning for unpaid income tax. People are free to They may still receive letters, but they are only enforceable with a federal court order.
– The total debt incurred by our Republic pre-Bush II was less than 2 trillion(in inflation dollars), while it grew by 2 trillion under Bush II, in just the first four years.

The Good Shepherd, a fable

Once upon a time a good shepherd named Sam lived in a lush green valley. He tended a small flock of sheep and protected them and cared for them and took their wool for himself. And his herd would grow, for all the sheep nearby heard that his charges need not fear the butcher…as I was saying, Sam was a kindly shepherd.

And so Sam would take in sheep that ran away from other farms, where butcher’s knife awaited them. Naturally, he would return the kind he didn’t like…sheep with fleece that resembled dreadlocks or funny looking eyes or other undesirable traits. Still, all the animals around knew his place to be best.

The safety of the sheep and Sam’s prosperity were further enhanced by Sam’s long shotgun. The jackals soon learned to pick other prey and the sheep were content, though often cold for lack of fleece.

Over time, however, the happy sheep began to notice that something was amiss. For instance, when the jackals slinked by, Sam would no longer chase them. He would simply blast them from the porch of his spare but neat white house. The problem with that was simple: most of the pellets ended up in the sheep, with a distinct minority inconveniencing the jackals.

Moreover, whether because of myopia or a drinking problem, Sam would often fire upon black sheep of the herd, as if confusing them with the jackals. When the sheep complained, the herder would look puzzled and go home to enjoy fine mutton.

The situation grew intolerable, yet everyone knew that other ranches had the same problems, and worse. The most active of the herd had finally come up with a good idea. Next time the jackals came in to try their luck they were able to get right next to the sheep — and then the rams and the ewes charged, giving hell with horn and hoof.

No sooner that the predators retreated, leaving mangled comrades in their wake, than did rancher Sam come out, shotgun at the ready. He surveyed the battleground and addressed the sheep. “Sheep,” he said “I am impressed! Who did this fine work?” Several planners of the ambush came forward, baaaing proudly.

Baa! Sam raised his shotgun and blasted the animal closest to him. The rest stood dumbfounded, not sure what to do. The shepherd quickly shot the others who came forward.

“That” he declared “is the end to which all who employ violence against fellow animal will come.” One ewe began to say that jackals were not exactly fellow animals, but the gaping muzzle of Sam’s shotgun restored quiet.

Sam knew he was right, for if the dumb beasts learned to fend for themselves, he and his shotgun would be unemployed. Worse yet, fleecing would become outright perilous.

And so life goes on as before. Jackals eat better, and so does Sam. Stray pellets have a commendable ability to find sheep while seeking jackals. And the herd is content, for they know that the other sheep have it even worse.

The Source

What do we do now?

From www.commondreams.org. A good article, but it raises the question; what do we do now?

I wish people would stop breaking into tears when they talk to me these days.

I am traveling across the country at the moment — Colorado to California — speaking to groups of Americans from all walks of life about the assault on liberty and the 10 steps now underway in America to a violently closed society.

The good news is that Americans are already awake: I thought there would be resistance to or disbelief at this message of gathering darkness — but I am finding crowds of people who don’t need me to tell them to worry; they are already scared, already alert to the danger and entirely prepared to hear what the big picture might look like. To my great relief, Americans are smart and brave and they are unflinching in their readiness to hear the worst and take action. And they love their country.

But I can’t stand the stories I am hearing. I can’t stand to open my email these days. And wherever I go, it seems, at least once a day, someone very strong starts to cry while they are speaking.

In Boulder, two days ago, a rosy-cheeked thirtysomething mother of two small children, in soft yoga velours, started to tear up when she said to me: “I want to take action but I am so scared. I look at my kids and I am scared. How do you deal with fear? Is it safer for them if I act or stay quiet? I don’t want to get on a list.” In D.C., before that, a beefy, handsome civil servant, a government department head — probably a Republican — confides in a lowered voice that he is scared to sign the new ID requirement for all government employees, that exposes all his most personal information to the State — but he is scared not to sign it: “If I don’t, I lose my job, my house. It’s like the German National ID card,” he said quietly. This morning in Denver I talked for almost an hour to a brave, much-decorated high-level military man who is not only on the watch list for his criticism of the administration — his family is now on the list. His elderly mother is on the list. His teenage son is on the list. He has flown many dangerous combat missions over the course of his military career, but his voice cracks when he talks about the possibility that he is exposing his children to harassment.

Jim Spencer, a former columnist for the Denver Post who has been critical of the Bush administration, told me today that I could use his name: he is on the watch list. An attorney contacts me to say that she told her colleagues at the Justice Department not to torture a detainee; she says she then faced a criminal investigation, a professional referral, saw her emails deleted — and now she is on the watch list. I was told last night that a leader of Code Pink, the anti-war women’s action group, was refused entry to Canada. I hear from a tech guy who works for the airlines — again, probably a Republican — that once you are on the list you never get off. Someone else says that his friend opened his luggage to find a letter from the TSA saying that they did not appreciate his reading material. Before I go into the security lines, I find myself editing my possessions. In New York’s LaGuardia, I reluctantly found myself putting a hardcover copy of Tara McKelvey’s excellent Monstering, an expose of CIA interrogation practices, in a garbage can before I get in the security line; it is based on classified information. This morning at my hotel, before going to the sirport, I threw away a very nice black T-shirt that said “We Will Not be Silenced” — with an Arabic translation — that someone had given me, along with a copy of poems written by detainees at Guantanamo.

In my America we are not scared to get in line at the airport. In my America, we will not be silenced.

More times than I can count, courageous and confident men who are telling me about speaking up, but who are risking what they see as the possible loss of job, home or the ability to pay for grown kids’ schooling, start to choke up. Yesterday a woman in one gathering started to cry simply while talking about the degradation of her beloved country.

And always the questions: what do we do?

It is clear from this inundation of personal stories of abuse and retribution against ordinary Americans that a network of criminal behavior and intention is catching up more and more mainstream citizens in its grasp. It is clear that this is not democracy as usual — or even the corruption of democracy as usual. It is clear that we will need more drastic action than emails to Congress.

The people I am hearing from are conservatives and independents as well as progressives. The cardinal rule of a closing or closed society is that your alignment with the regime offers no protection; in a true police state no one is safe.

I read the news in a state of something like walking shock: seven soldiers wrote op-eds critical of the war — in The New York Times; three are dead, one shot in the head. A female soldier who was about to become a whistleblower, possibly about abuses involving taxpayers’ money: shot in the head. Pat Tillman, who was contemplating coming forward in a critique of the war: shot in the head. Donald Vance, a contractor himself, who blew the whistle on irregularities involving arms sales in Iraq — taken hostage FROM the U.S. Embassy BY U.S. soldiers and kept without recourse to a lawyer in a U.S. held-prison, abused and terrified for weeks — and scared to talk once he got home. Another whistleblower in Iraq, as reported in Vanity Fair: held in a trailer all night by armed contractors before being ejected from the country.

Last week contractors, immune from the rule of law, butchered 17 Iraqi civilians in cold blood. Congress mildly objected — and contractors today butcher two more innocent civilian Iraqi ladies — in cold blood.

It is clear yet that violent retribution, torture or maybe worse, seems to go right up this chain of command? Is it clear yet that these people are capable of anything? Is it obvious yet that criminals are at the helm of the nation and need to be not only ousted but held accountable for their crimes?

Is it treason yet?

This is an open invitation to honorable patriots on the Right and in the center to join this movement to restore the rule of law and confront this horror: this is not conservatism, it is a series of crimes against the nation and against the very essence of America. Join us, we need you.

This movement must transcend partisan lines. The power of individual conscience is profound when people start to wake up.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey said No: he told colleague that they would be ashamed when the world learned about the Administration’s warrantless wiretapping. Comey said No: history will look at this torture and disgrace the torturers. A judge today ruled that the U.S. can’t just ship prisoners out of Guantanamo to be tortured at will — she said No. The Center for Constitutional Rights is about to file a civil lawsuit — against Blackwater: they are saying No.

In Germany, according to historian Richard Evans, in 1931-1932, if enough Germans of conscience had begun to say No — history would have had an entirely difrerent outcome.

If we go any further down this road the tears will be those of conservatives as well as progressives. They will be American tears.

The time for weeping has to stop; the time for confronting must begin.

Are they psychotic? (not a rant)

All right, radical liberals and libertarians and most other free thinking individuals, stop with the impeachment thing. Its over. The general public doesn’t care, and probably never will. Let’s not treat them like the criminals that they are. Lets treat them as psychopaths.

Why?

Well, I say they’ve gone nuts, obviously. And here the reason.

Any normal, sane person, would look around and see the general opinion of the world, or at least your own people, when they are engaged in a war. But us? Nah. Our leader throws us into two misinformed, illegal wars, and is now looking for a third.

Why? Well, I have a theory on that, and it involves the Federal Reserve, but thats for another day.

The point is, last week, Bush remarked that “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III . . . you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” On Sunday, Vice President Cheney warned of “the Iranian regime’s efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic power . . . [we] cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions.” On Tuesday, Bush insisted on the need “to defend Europe against the emerging Iranian threat.”

What? Europe? How will the Iranian’s attack Europe(for no reason, since they aren’t angry with anyone in Europe) with a nuclear weapon(they don’t possess)?

How about we calm down and stop launching unprovoked attacks?

The government knows I own this blog, due to a major social networking site

Which, as a whole, I think is very surprising. To have some bloated federal agency interested in me, a small-fry in the politics blogosphere, is interesting, to say the least. Let me explain how I stumbled upon this information.

My step-mom was a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense. She was hired/promoted to a GS(Government Service) job, which she readily accepted. After her acceptance of the job, however, it came to her attention that she needed her Secret level security renewed. This being normal, she went in for the interview. I do not have a transcript(its against regulation for interviewee to record interview), however after she came home, she said that she had trouble at her interview. Apparently, they asked her if they knew about a certain ‘iGeneration’s Concerns’ blog. She stated that she didn’t look at online blogs. After a period of silence, they asked if she knew, to the best of her knowledge, the owner of ‘https://anotheropinionatedyouth.wordpress.com/’. Once again, she stated no, and the interview went along as planned. However, since these questions were out of the ordinary, as she had had a Secret-level clearance interview previously.

When she came home, she looked up the blog, but couldn’t figure out who ran it, since a whois query would only show up wordpress.com. She asked me to help her find out who ran a certain blog, to which I said “Sure. What’s the URL?” “another-opinionated-you…” “Uh, thats mine. Why are you looking it up?” To which she looked at me, and gave an answer of “huh…”, and then proceeded to tell me the previously written information.

So I wondered. How can they find out this information? I purposely used an email I had never used before, and registered both this blog and the email under the same assumed name. I also use Tor, a service which routes all your outbound connections through three different servers(owned by other people, not Tor) before going to the destination.

After thinking a bit, I figured out the answer.

Myspace.

It makes sense too! Where is the one place on the entire internet where we give up all of our information? Our friends, contacts, coworkers, and family? Social networking sites. The one where I post the most information, and the first links to this site, is myspace.com.

I wonder what else they can find out about people online…

UPDATE: I have since updated all my information(name, email) to reflect the fact that now that the government knows about me, I don’t have anything to hide.

My name is Mitchell Strand