The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby bamboo » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:46 am

Nemo wrote:
bamboo wrote:As a Canadian i am really surprised to hear this. If something like this happens, wouldn't the relatives of the detained go to the press? It would be hard to keep the lid on it.


They did. The press then went straight to Public Relations who said trust us he's a terrorist but we can't tell you why. Case closed buddy. No need for a story and lunch is on me. We can get you that embed in the sandbox(Afghanistan) next month if you are still up for it. Egypt was not a cause celebre then and Mubarak was our guy. Canada protected it's interests in the region. The press in Ottawa is an extension of the government. They can only work here if they have access which is easily denied. Sympathetic press can look forward to being made Senators(ie Duffy or Wallin) or even Governor General. I was under the Code of Service Discipline and still am to some extent even now that I am out. He was not worth going to Edmonton for as no one would have given a shit. Cowards hear the word terrorist and all our rights and freedoms go out the window. They suck the first demagogue's dick who promises to protect them.


Interesting. I know most of the major news outlets in the US are in bed with the government, but I didn't know it's happening here too.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:21 am

bamboo wrote:Interesting. I know most of the major news outlets in the US are in bed with the government, but I didn't know it's happening here too.


Stop and consider how the reporting on the Conservative Party "robo calling" incident only lasted so long and remained out of the spotlight.

We have an illegitimate government with a majority running the country (and wrecking a lot of things), yet the media and populace haven't really reacted in any significant way.

We have less freedom now than what our grandparents enjoyed. Real political freedoms and freedom of speech are actively curtailed, meanwhile people are led to believe "progressive hiring policies", open-door immigration, acceptance of gay marriage and gender equality are what really count as indicators of freedom and rights.

Canada, like much of the rest of the west, is suffering a great deal of internal stress given increasing energy costs in the face of decadent levels of energy consumption. The natural reaction is to invest resources in increased policing and legitimization (like "we are the custodians of human rights").

In many ways it is a natural trajectory that a civilization takes once it is past its prime.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby bamboo » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:28 pm

Indrajala wrote:
bamboo wrote:Interesting. I know most of the major news outlets in the US are in bed with the government, but I didn't know it's happening here too.


Stop and consider how the reporting on the Conservative Party "robo calling" incident only lasted so long and remained out of the spotlight.

We have an illegitimate government with a majority running the country (and wrecking a lot of things), yet the media and populace haven't really reacted in any significant way.

We have less freedom now than what our grandparents enjoyed. Real political freedoms and freedom of speech are actively curtailed, meanwhile people are led to believe "progressive hiring policies", open-door immigration, acceptance of gay marriage and gender equality are what really count as indicators of freedom and rights.

Canada, like much of the rest of the west, is suffering a great deal of internal stress given increasing energy costs in the face of decadent levels of energy consumption. The natural reaction is to invest resources in increased policing and legitimization (like "we are the custodians of human rights").

In many ways it is a natural trajectory that a civilization takes once it is past its prime.


Thanks for your input. I follow news from the US more than Canada and that is exactly what I have been seeing. I guess Canada will follow whichever direction the US take.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby greentara » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:26 am

indrajala, Your postings are always clear and rational. I ask how is a civilization past its prime? There has always been ruthless leaders and inequality right through history. Is the last straw the 7 billion people stampeding over the thin crust of the earth thats not sustainable!
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:53 am

greentara wrote: There has always been ruthless leaders and inequality right through history. Is the last straw the 7 billion people stampeding over the thin crust of the earth thats not sustainable!


Civilizations go through cycles. A lot of historians are aware of this, though their advice is seldom taken seriously by the political class. There is also seldom the political will to really address long-term disintegrating factors because of short-term goals and contemporary political interests. The west is living beyond its means and should downsize its consumption, but there's no political will for that, neither from the elites nor the commoners. So, using violence to obtain unearned wealth is logical albeit immoral and illegal, though laws of course are only applicable when it is politically suitable.

However, that use of violence and the obtained wealth is subject to the law of diminishing returns. Societies solve problems through increased complexity, though it requires additional energy inputs. An energy subsidy in the form of booty from conquest or new energy source can remedy energy shortfalls, but there are limitations.

When a society is undergoing stress, it often responds through increased policing and legitimization. This is what we're seeing in the west right now: increasing internal surveillance, eradication of civil freedoms and propaganda detailing how we are the custodians of "human rights" (which legitimizes attacks on foreign countries that do not cooperate with us on our terms).

Unfortunately, human societies very seldom ever voluntarily reduce their complexity. We really should downsize our lifestyles and use a lot less energy, but that won't happen voluntarily on any significant scale for the foreseeable future. So this politically enables the western power bloc to exercise violence if need be to obtain the desired resources. We're all collectively responsible for the wars in the Middle East because of our consumption habits in a sense. That's just one example of many.

Our present environmental issues are another factor that will be our undoing. It won't be the end of humanity, but industrial civilization as we know it is unsustainable. The Roman model come the 3rd century became unsustainable. They started suffering decreased crop yields because of soil depletion. The government devalued the currency, effectively borrowing from a future which couldn't protest. Likewise, we're suffering energy stresses now and the solution has been to stave off collapse by devaluing currency.

So, it'd be optimal to downsize and sacrifice a lot for long-term sustainability, but it won't happen in my estimation. The rest of the world is likewise not keen on sustainability. But then that's a quality of humans: short-term planners. It seems our evolution didn't provide us with the ability to plan long-term.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:41 pm

Indrajala wrote:
We have less freedom now than what our grandparents enjoyed.


I think you are being a bit romantic. I am old enough to be your father, and have a pretty good recollection about how "free" speech was in the sixties and seventies. It was not very free. The thing is, that technology was not very advanced, it was a lot harder to track people and collect data on them. So it was easier to go under the radar. But then as now, there were the same pressures against freedom of expression. And in the generation before I was born there were the Red scares, Joe MCarthy and his gang, and so on in this country. Canada has always had more strict censorship policies than the US, following the lead of England.

Real political freedoms and freedom of speech are actively curtailed, meanwhile people are led to believe "progressive hiring policies", open-door immigration, acceptance of gay marriage and gender equality are what really count as indicators of freedom and rights.


Affirmative action was an important step in the US (and I guess in Canada) for moving minorities into the middle class out of step and fetch jobs. We don't have an open door immigration policy, so we don't have that issue. Gay Marriage and Gender equality are simply civil rights issues, that's all. Once the Civil Rights movment in the 1960's was more or less successful in eliminating Jim Crow laws and so on, all similar laws discriminating against people on the basis of religion, gender or gender preference were bound to fail, as they should fail.

Canada, like much of the rest of the west, is suffering a great deal of internal stress given increasing energy costs in the face of decadent levels of energy consumption. The natural reaction is to invest resources in increased policing and legitimization (like "we are the custodians of human rights").


I have been in a lot of places where laws were weak and persons were powerful. These places, like India, China, Mexico, and so on are more perilous places to live than the US and Canada.

I don't know about other people's experience but in the town where I live (in New England) there is so little crime that we really do not have a police force in any real sense.

I am sure than the experience of black communities in LA is quite different than mine, however.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Simon E. » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:59 pm

Indrajala I am actually old enough to be your grandfather, ( just ) and believe me people of your generation have vastly greater freedom ( in the U.K. at least ) in every sense than I had at your age.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:27 am

Malcolm wrote:I think you are being a bit romantic.


Really? Look at all the recent laws passed since 2001 for internal surveillance. This applies to the whole western world. Journalists don't have the same freedoms as they once did, as Chris Hedges has explained at great length. There's also the matter of human rights tribunals and being able to speak on certain taboo subjects without some kind of legal, social and/or economic punishments.


I have been in a lot of places where laws were weak and persons were powerful. These places, like India, China, Mexico, and so on are more perilous places to live than the US and Canada.


That doesn't negate the possibility we're seeing increased policing in the west. I don't mean cops on the ground arresting burglars, but behind the scenes surveillance and suppression of dissenting voices.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby greentara » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:02 am

Lets face it the system now appears broken. Did we have less freedom in the past? The past can appear shadowy...but there were definitely more jobs for most as manufacturing still existed in the first world. There were jobs for men that had job security, they could actually support a wife and kids. Now children are often farmed out at 6 months old to kinder's/creches as both parents now need to work but we are reassured by the corporate sector that its all good as we have flexibility. With all this flexibility couples often feel they are at the edge of losing control for fear is often inbuilt into their work histories. Six months in one job, then a year in an other job and so it goes.
Now the USA is constantly printing money but the bankers give it the corporate spin, calling it quantitive easing; all this is being done to stimulate the economy... that doesn't seem to want to come to life. This is a bandaid solution to a really serious problem which will eventually lead to massive unemployment and social breakdown.
No wonder the government is keeping tabs on us, they have their snouts embedded in our lives, what we buy, what we think, what motivates us as they anticipate we are heading for civil unrest.
Assange and Snowden are heroic in their efforts and they have ironically paid the ultimate price....lack of freedom themselves.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:25 am

greentara wrote:Lets face it the system now appears broken. Did we have less freedom in the past? The past can appear shadowy...but there were definitely more jobs for most as manufacturing still existed in the first world.


It was in the interests of the middle class at the time when that started: people could suddenly buy an abundance of cheap manufactured goods. However, the kicker was that the middle class would throw the working class to the sharks, but only in due time be thrown to the sharks themselves.


There were jobs for men that had job security, they could actually support a wife and kids. Now children are often farmed out at 6 months old to kinder's/creches as both parents now need to work but we are reassured by the corporate sector that its all good as we have flexibility.


There's a few causes for that.

One is that with women going to work, they could charge a lot more for real estate, requiring two incomes.

With the advent of feminism, a lot of women came to feel compelled to work lest they be seen as lowly dependent housewives. Such a disagreeable arrangement is remedied by becoming economically independent, which means working in the cash economy rather than being a mother. This is good for all kinds of business interests. I imagine all kinds of additional services came to grow as women came to have additional disposable income, like cosmetics and so on.

Increased consumption means increased economic activity, which sounds good maybe, but it might not actually be in the best interests of common people.

No wonder the government is keeping tabs on us, they have their snouts embedded in our lives, what we buy, what we think, what motivates us as they anticipate we are heading for civil unrest.


Like I said, increased policing and legitimization.

Maybe the US will get something like this in due time:

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Indrajala wrote:
That doesn't negate the possibility we're seeing increased policing in the west. I don't mean cops on the ground arresting burglars, but behind the scenes surveillance and suppression of dissenting voices.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_Act_of_1918

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:21 pm

I don't deny internal policing existed before. I'm saying I feel it is increasing over time.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:24 pm

Indrajala wrote:I don't deny internal policing existed before. I'm saying I feel it is increasing over time.



I think you would have found 1930's US pretty damn oppressive, especially if you were in a union.

The US has always reacted to perceived external threats with invasions of privacy. Modern technology just makes it easier to accomplish and more cost effective.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:39 pm

The stress that causes increased policing can be resolved.

Actually the post WWII energy subsidy and new wealth might help to explain the relief of earlier stresses. Though it only lasted for so long.
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