Gooberment or the Goober Kings?

Poltergist

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About Big Data Policy and You:

What the average American citizen does not realize is that government intrusion that Snowden revealed only begins to scratch the surface of what they are willing to do to the average American citizen in the name of "National Security". Understand that we live in a era of big data, but it's people that ultimately make sense of it all. The result of this are humans who have been given the power of omniscience over your lives. What's more, with the magic of statistics combined with an understanding of human psychology. We live in an era now were when you type enough words, express enough opinions and search enough websites, you literally bear your entire soul to strangers.

Consider that Google.com likely knows more about your sexual interest than even your spouse based upon your search criteria. It also knows your location, spending habits, political viewpoints, and even your mood based upon your search patterns. Since the unveiling of the much lauded internet 2.0, programers have been able to process more data about your searches and activities than ever before. Now consider social media. CNN.com Discuss boards employ a "Brand Lift" metrics system produced by vizu.com. You've never heard of brand lift metrics, you probably haven't heard of vizu. That's because it's an API that meant to sit silently in the background as it records and analyzes your activity. "Vizu Audience Incite is the first real-time attitudinal audience characterization solution for online brand advertising, allowing our customers to validate reach against custom or niche target audiences." Attiudinal is exactly what it sounds like, attitude. By "Validating Reach" Vizu.com allows it's customers, like CNN to pick and choose what comments are deemed worthy according to the Brand of politics they wish to Sell to you. In effect, the 'social media' they provide is merely an extension of their advertising. The goal is to influence your opinion, and get your like on facebook, not hear your discourse. There's no reason to think that any major news organization behaves any differently.

The ability to correlate so much data, combined with the pervasiveness of the internet in our lives, has allowed the government to acquire almost god-like powers of semi-ominiscients over most Americans. I say semi because the information they acquire is not perfect, there are always gaps. How far would they go to attain perfect information if they thought it was necessary? What would they do and would they really care about what rights they violated in the process? We like to believe that they the government doesn't violate the rules and laws it establishes, that maintaining rules and laws actually mean something to them. Though if you examine the history of this country, to believe so would be naive.

Many mass killers and terrorist tend towards high interest in politics and mental illness such as depression and anxiety. Now consider that these traits also define a portion of the American population, especially since depression and anxiety is highly prevalent but under-reported. Now that the government is capable of correlating enough data to determine which of it's citizens share these traits, would it not be prudent for the government to keep tabs on this segment of the population? After all, in the name of national security anything can be ultimately justified. Or is it about safety at all? A few high profile incidents in a country that loses thousand per year to gun violence are hardly justified in expending so many resources when it appears to have such a small impact on your overall safety. And yet the news will obsessively tell clue into the profiles of a few crazy killers, all the while ignoring the legitimate threats like robberies, and murders that occur more frequently among “sane” individuals.

Inherently the government expects you to trust them as they do this. They'll tell you it's for the security of the nation, when in actuality it is only for the security of the 1%. The government considers self preservation beyond all else, even the people they claim as citizens. This is why they create continuity of government plans, that don't involve saving anything more than the leadership. In cases of extreme emergencies the government is designed to outlast the people it claims to protect. If they need to, they will cut their losses and reside over your ashes. The 1% who controls 90% of all that is America consider the least important part of the American equation the American citizen.

The Soldier: Honorably Expanable

War is big business for America. We spend more than any other military on the planet. Our 2011 budget was on the order of $600 Billion+. When you consider the marvels of our American military it makes sense, however at the same time it does not. We aren't in a world war, so why do we dwarf everyone in military expenditures, and what do we have to show for it? Many nations have militaries that are larger than ours. Even taking into account the higher cost for technologically superior equipment the amount of money we spend on military indicates that we should be involved in at least one major conflict. The answer to this is simple, we are. The US is one of three major arms producers that have been involved in proxy wars since the beginning of the Cold War. The truth is, cold war never ended, it just became less transparent.

Realizing that it was impossible to simply export ideologies to other nations and that aggressively converting populations might precipitate a larger conflict they sought to avoid, the US, Russia, and China began employing a new tactic for achieving their foreign policy objectives. Now they simply dump arms into the hands of various rebels and use the resulting instability to suppress the prices of their natural resources. Dumping arms on a global scale is quite expensive, however that also means that certain firms in the united states stand to make a considerable sum by supplying the arms. Even beyond that, the restoration of shattered economies, bombed out cities, and destroyed infrastructure require these nations to employ the services of firms that can rebuild these things. The foreign aid to feed, house, and protect refugees also means money for the firms who provide the supply. All of this adds up to one undeniable fact. War is good business for America.

Today, Veterans from the Iraq war are facing a 20% cut in their military benefits over the next 20 years in a country that spends more on it's military than anyone else. How is this possible? The answer is simple, the cost of caring for soldiers after the war was budgeted for before the war began. Military analyst can give estimates of the expected causalities and roughly figure how much they will owe their forces according to the benefits they promised. The war ran over budget by a large margin which would leave a deficit in the military's overall budget as this would likely increase the amount of benefits the government would need to pay. So what do you expect them to do in that situation? Simply buy less equipment so that they can pay the soldiers? Doubtful, expenditures need to be maintained, because we are maintaining more than just Americans army. There is no direct payoff funding rebels who can't afford to pay for guns, the payoff comes from what they do with those weapons. It's an invest and when push comes to shove, the American soldier is the most expendable asset in that investment. In fact, a former soldier on benefits is nothing more than a liability on the balance sheet for the rest of their lives. It's no wonder we can find money to fund rebels with links to Al-Queda in Syria, yet can't pay for medical care for a marine who's lost an arm.


The Citizen Serf and the new American Lords:

Americans today come primarily as one of two things. Indentured servant, or share cropper. An indentured servant is simply an individual in debt bondage. In exchange for a sum of money, they were required to work for a fixed period of time to repay the debt and earn their freedom. A share cropping was the province of poor whites and freed slaves after the Civil War. In exchange for a place to live, they were required to work the land a give much of what they earned to the land owner. Today the most common indentured servitude contracts run for about 15-30 years and are called mortgages. The mortgage however is a far more flexible contract as it guarantees that the individual must devote their existence to a company to survive. If they falter in their agreement they lose their home and the ability to buy another home. They are forced to become renters, who pay just as much as the mortgage holder, but can never attain freedom in the form of home(land) ownership. They in effect become like share croppers, forced to spend the majority of their labors enhancing the wealth of others rather than their own.

Today, many Americans have lost their homes. As a result, there is an even older system that is beginning to take root. That of the Lord and Serf. In medieval Europe, large areas of land were controlled by a relatively few number of Lords who required the citizens to work the the land for little more than survival in return. Today, a mere 4 years after the housing market crash, this system is beginning to revive itself again. Large investors are routinely outbidding potential Indentured Servants(home buyers) in attempt to purchase the glut of the tens of millions of vacant properties being held by lending institutions. In doing so they are now making it difficult, if not impossible for the average citizen to even enter into debt bondage. In many case firms now own large swaths of property that they will only provide to renters. They are in effect the new Lords of the land, and you their serfs. To enter into their neighborhood you must come by them.

The Politics of Division: Two Faces of the Same Coin

TwoFace, the popular Batman villain, serves as an excellent analogy for the two party system of government. One side presents a presents a charismatic, calm, kind demeanor. The other side defined by an icy pragmatism, a cold hearted-desire to achieve it's goal regardless of cost. When in reality no matter which side you face, Twofaces apparent split personality has always worked towards a singular goal, just in two radically different ways. Twoface's signature action is to flip a two headed coin, one side normal, the other side scarred and how the coin lands dictates his actions.

In politics, this is expressed as the two party system, Republicans and Democrats. One the surface, they couldn't be more different. The bleeding heart liberal, always looking to help a guy down on his luck, always speaking compassion, progress, and diplomacy all the while never seeming achieving any of these things. The opposite side of the coin are the republicans, boisterous, demanding, pragmatic, quick to pull the trigger on their enemies; no diplomacy required. The democrats claim education is key, we live in worst educated 1st World country. The republicans claim we should pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, while implementing policies that lock the nations wealth into the hands of a few. Both pull the nation roughly in half, saying their policies are the ones that are needed to push the nation forward. And at the end of the day, the only thing they often achieve is implementing policies that enrich themselves, then playing a revolving blame game in which they take turns attracting the nations ire for the supposed “failures”. Last month we hated the Republicans for shutting down the government and messing with our lives. Then suddenly, it's blame Obama and the democrats for a crappy website and healthcare plan that's messing with our lives.

Congress is extremely efficient at passing most policies, so much so that you barely notice and wonder what they even do. It's when policies threaten the wealth concentration within this country that the two-faced nature becomes apparent. Highly televised political grid-lock is just a pretense, these individuals represent the some of the wealthiest individuals within our nation. So called “gridlock” occurs simply because, neither side wants something to occur. Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter their goal is simple, help themselves at your expense. Neither side is concerned with the issues facing everyday Americans, they simply need to maintain the relative concentration of power they work tirelessly to maintain and shift in their favor. While the average citizens whines and a complains about one politician or another, both shake hands everyday on a job well done keeping the citizens confused and divided over ultimately petty issues with little direct bearing on their day to day lives.

So where does this leave you?:

There's no easy answer to that question. From the day you entered school, you were likely educated below the 1st world standard. After all, after you attain a certain amount of knowledge, there is a risk you gain self-determination. By enforcing ignorance, they can always ensure you have to look to them for answers, they can always ensure you remain a dependent. By enforcing policies that transfer wealth out of the hands of the average citizen they can always ensure you remain weak, that you'll need their charity, that you'll never even have bootstraps to pull yourself up by. But the numbers show that most Americans will die without any wealth to their name and that Americas much lauded social mobility is a myth. You will most likely end up exactly where you started from.

By distracting you with political shell games, pretend arguments, and other forms of political showmen ship they keep you arguing amongst yourselves about national policies that hardly matter, all to keep you distracted from the world immediately around you, the part of the world you stand a chance to influence if you want a better life for yourself. They tell you on you tellie that you need them to survive, yet those who lived before us managed to create a living for themselves on inhospitable frontiers against all odds without the advantages of our modern society or infrastructure. Today we stand on the shoulders of what they accomplished in the past. They didn't look to others for handouts, they didn't look to some politicians in Washington to determine their future. They chose self-determination and built a future for themselves, with their bare hands if needed. Have we Americans become so weak as a people that we can't even survive without their helping hand today, even with all the advantages modern life has given to us? I say the answer to that is no, but it hardly matters as long as they manage to convince you otherwise.

/rant over
 
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Moonglow

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No link?
No full story posting.
Must invoke own words.
Check TOS
 

hjmick

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First, it's Orson Welles...


Second, I am unclear what Orson Welles has to do with this tale...
 
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Poltergist

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First, it's Orson Welles...


Second, I am unclear what Orson Welles has to do with this tale...
Orsen Welles wrote a novel about government surveillance taken to extremes. That's the reference.
 

hjmick

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First, it's Orson Welles...


Second, I am unclear what Orson Welles has to do with this tale...
Orsen Welles wrote a novel about government surveillance taken to extremes. That's the reference.

Really? I thought that was George Orwell...


I know Orson Welles was prominent in the movie industry, and I know he started in radio, I imagine he wrote as well, but I had no idea he wrote political thrillers...
 
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Poltergist

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Are you certain it isn't the other way around?
 

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