Tag Archives | Civil Liberties

Welcome To The Matrix: Enslaved By Technology And The Internet Of Things

Via Western Journalism

“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore.
Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me.’” ― Philip K. Dick

If ever Americans sell their birthright, it will be for the promise of expediency and comfort delivered by way of blazingly fast Internet; cell phone signals that never drop a call; thermostats that keep us at the perfect temperature without our having to raise a finger; and entertainment that can be simultaneously streamed to our TVs, tablets, and cell phones.

Likewise, if ever we find ourselves in bondage, we will have only ourselves to blame for having forged the chains through our own lassitude, laziness, and abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos that render us wholly irrelevant.

Indeed, while most of us are consumed with our selfies and trying to keep up with what our so-called friends are posting on Facebook, the megacorporation Google has been busily partnering with the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, and other governmental agencies to develop a new “human” species, so to speak.

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Bread and Circuses

800px-Jean-Leon_Gerome_Pollice_Verso

Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Via San Diego Reader

Roman leaders mollified the masses by providing food handouts and violent games to enjoy. Is this happening again in America?

Bread and circuses. Back in the Roman Empire, those were the keys to diverting the public’s attention from political greed and corruption — and, particularly, from the massive gap between the rich and the poor.

Rome won so many wars that it was overrun with captured slaves, and they performed the physical labor. Idle, unemployed Romans were restive. Julius Caesar perfected the ideal appeasement: give them wheat to eat and violent entertainment to savor — or, bread and circuses (panem et circenses).

It worked. Generally, the plebeians neither starved nor rioted. Salivating, they would watch gladiators slaughter animals and each other. Those gladiators were mainly slaves, but as they won laurels, they could win their freedom and rake in donations from the crowd.

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Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers

Frédéric BISSON (CC BY 2.0)

Frédéric BISSON (CC BY 2.0)

Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

PEN America published a report this week summarizing the findings from a recent survey of 772 writers around the world on questions of surveillance and self-censorship. The report, entitled “Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers,” builds upon a late 2013 survey of more than 500 US-based writers conducted by the organization.

The latest survey found that writers living in liberal democratic countries “have begun to engage in self-censorship at levels approaching those seen in non-democratic countries, indicating that mass surveillance has badly shaken writers’ faith that democratic governments will respect their rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and that—because of pervasive surveillance—writers are concerned that expressing certain views even privately or researching certain topics may lead to negative consequences.”

Specifically, more than 1 in 3 writers living in “free” countries (as classified by watchdog Freedom House) stated that they had avoided speaking or writing on a particular topic since the Snowden revelations, and only seventeen percent of writers in these countries felt that the United States offers more protection for free speech than their countries.

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‘South Park terrorist’ sues prison, claims it’s difficult to practice Islam behind bars

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Via NY Daily News:

A wannabe terrorist serving prison time for threatening the “South Park” creators is suing his jail for allegedly hindering his ability to practice his Muslim faith.

Zachary Chesser filed a civil complaint last month against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, claiming it made it difficult for him to “fulfill Islam’s religious obligations,” the Smoking Gun reported.

Islam requires regular group worship, which the prison only allows once a week, the 25-year-old said in the hand-written complaint.

Chesser said he has tried to connect with other incarcerated Muslims: He talks to a man on the floor above him from a shower drain, but the unusual communication is “physically painful, reeks of sewage and makes it very hard to hear,” he wrote.

Chesser was convicted in 2010 on terror charges after he threatened “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and tried to join a Somalian terrorist group.

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Mind Control: the Pentagon Mission to Program the Brain

Via Global Research

Since the dawn of time, the most powerful groups in every society have practiced forms of mind control on populations. They determined it was necessary. Eventually, they decided it was their most important job. Convincing the masses that a fabricated reality is Reality…that task requires formidable mind control.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

DARPA, the technical-research arm of the Pentagon, is leading the way in a mission to program the human brain.

What could go wrong?

In a word, everything.

Here is a DARPA release (5/27/14) on the upcoming “brain-mapping” plan, in accordance with Obama’s initiative aimed at “preventing violence through improved mental health”—otherwise known as Clockwork Orange:

“…developing closed-loop therapies that incorporate recording and analysis of brain activity with near-real-time neural stimulation.”

Translation: Reading myriad brain activities as they occur, and influencing that activity with various inputs/interferences. Drugs, electrical currents, nano-entities, etc.

Here’s another DARPA quote. This one lays out the foundation for the mission:

“…The program also aims to take advantage of neural plasticity, a feature of the brain by which the organ’s anatomy and physiology can alter over time to support normal brain function.

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Former ‘Onion’ editor: Freedom of speech cannot be killed

Daniel R. Blume (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Daniel R. Blume (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Joe Randazzo via MSNBC

When I was editor there, The Onion was located in the heart of Manhattan and the one person manning our front entrance was our petite, tattooed office manager, Jessie. She was the definition of unthreatening, and we used to joke that she was the only thing standing between us and some heavily armed radicals, should any ever become enraged by something we put in print. Right now, that joke makes me sick to my stomach.

Twelve people were murdered at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, today, apparently for doing the very thing The Onion does: satire. These people – including one guest and one police officer – are dead. They were cartoonists and editors and humorists. People whose job in life was to point at hypocrisy and laugh at it; to ridicule hate; to make us all try to see our own failings as humans.

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Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?

 [Photo credit: Lending Memo]

[Photo credit: Lending Memo]

via IEET:

What are our goals as a species? This, to me, is the most important question we can ask ourselves as human beings. Another way to say it: What is the meaning of our existence as a species? We never seem to directly ask ourselves these two questions in a collective way, which seems very odd to me. Because if we were discussing these questions openly, collectively and consistently, I believe we would live in a very different society.

This year the IEET is giving out editor’s choice awards to three articles for their outstanding writing and conceptual analysis contributing to transhumanism and technoprogressivism.

The #1 article by hits was Ramez Naam’s “2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember

The following piece was first published here on Sep 16, 2014 and is the #3 pick for the IEET editor’s choice award.

With his article “Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?” Marshall Brain explains one of the most pressing issues for technoprogressives: What kind of society do we wish to live in?

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10 Ways to Opt Out of the System

seier+seier (CC BY 2.0)

seier+seier (CC BY 2.0)

Via Activist Post:

I’ve noticed an increase in the defeatist tone among activists lately. Many are realizing that the current system cannot be salvaged, and they get angry at the lack of answers and give up hope. I’ve been there. We all have.

Yes, the system is tightening its control as more people begin to see it for what it is. Yes, mathematically and rationally, the system is nearing collapse. But the fix will not be found with anger and predictions of doom, and the fix will not come from petitioning a lawmaker, a regulator, or a sheriff. The fix can only come from you.

It’s true that it is nearly impossible to completely opt out of the system. The Matrix is all around us, embedded in our very survival. However, that doesn’t mean we should not do what we can to limit our exposure to the decaying system.

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History Lesson: America Is the Same Oligarchy It Was over a Century Ago

“Forget the politicians. They’re irrelevant. Politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media news. They own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the information and news you get to hear. They’ve got ya by the balls.”

via Truthstream:

(Truthstream Media) When Americans see charts like this one which illustrate that virtually all the food on grocery store shelves basically comes from no more than 10 megacompanies, or hear statements like this one from our own Attorney General Eric Holder who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that some banks are just too big to prosecute, or check out studies like this one out of Princeton which openly declare we are not a democracy but an oligarchy…it’s kinda hard to believe we aren’t an oligarchy (because we are).

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The Individual vs. the Goo

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Via War Is Crime:

“The people” is a convenient term for “every individual.” This has been lost in translation. It has been garbled, distorted, just as the proprietor of an old-fashioned carnival shell game distorts the audience’s perception with sleight of hand.

Are “the people” one group? Well, that’s the ultimate Globalist formulation.

However, from the point of view of the free individual, things are upside down. It is his power that is primary, not the monolithic corporate State’s. From his point of view, what does the social landscape look like? It looks like: the obsession to organize.

I’m not talking about organizations that are actually streamlined to produce something of value. I’m talking about organizations that plan more organization of life.

If you want to spend a disturbing afternoon, read through (and try to fathom) the bewildering blizzard of sub-organizations that make up the European Union.

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