Off the keyboard of RE
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It’s hard these days to remember “life before the internet”, when if you were in correspondence with anyone, you generally would take weeks between exchanging letters. Now, if I don’t get a response to some email I send out to somebody or some corporation that screwed up on billing me for something by the next day, I figure I am either being ignored or it is a conspiracy or both. LOL.
I used to watch TV in those days though, so that filled the need for constant information input, and I didn’t get the Writing Jones until PCs were well into their development in the early 90s. I started but never finished a couple of Sci Fi novels before that and wrote some Poetry during my College Years, but writing wasn’t a big part of my life until the Laptops showed up and I turned Solitary as an OTR trucker.
The Internet was already in existence by then, although accessing it while OTR was pretty difficult. It was Dial-Up modems in those days, and I had to find access to a phone line with a Local Number I could call in order to stay online for anything more than a few minutes. Typical 800 Number charges were 10 cents/minute, $6/hr to stay online on the times I went that route. So in those days I would often compose as I am doing now in a word processor, copy into the buffer and then briefly sign on at some truckstop and paste my post into one of the yahoo groups I ran at the time, then sign off again. My email POP program would download messages I could read off the computer while not online in a few minutes, so for about $1/day I stayed caught up with my friends and net acquaintances that way.
A couple of years into my OTR driving years, a company called Park-n-View started providing Cable TV, Phone and Internet service to truckers right in your Truck, by connecting up with Phone line and Coaxial Cable to a Port that was installed in each parking spot for the trucks. It was a pretty robust port made out of heavy metal in case the truck tandems ran over it in parking, as they almost always did. It also had to be well shielded from the elements, and remarkably to me these ports worked most of the time. Hadda be hell for the guys driving the Snow Plows in those parking lots though during the Winter. I suspect they kept the Plow Blades up 2″ or so off the ground level to clear the ports. Well built as they were, at right is what they look like today. Nice metaphor for technology in general, and in a sense its just a miniaturized version of Detroit screwed right down into the pavement.
At the very end of my trucking years, rudimentary WiFi began to hit the scene, I got a Sprint Cell Phone I could access a dial up modem with, and had an Unlimited Minutes plan for this. It was mighty slow of course, but in those days it was all just Text, no Pics and certainly no Vids. I was off the road a long time before REAL High Speed WiFi started to be offered in all the Truckstops.
There were of course many hours/days where I had no access to a phone line or even a Park-n-View connection to check in on the net, check my email and so forth, stuck in a Shipper or Receiver waiting for a load or unload. To fill those many lonesome hours in the cabin of my Freightliner, I played on my laptop. I installed graphics programs and publication programs and database programs. I taught myself rudimentary database programming and started creating publications that incorporated pictures into them. I learned the basics of HTML during this time as well, though never have really become a super geek with the uderlying Code that runs websites like the Diner. All of what I did accumulate in knowledge during that time though I now use to make the Diner a lively looking and functional website, though the underlying code comes from Peter, not me.
Most of all though during those lonesome times, I wrote. Not about Doom though in those days, other topics occupied my mind back then. Still in the course of that writing I developed the Gonzo Style and “Atitude” I still use today in my writing, bombastic and over-the-top quite often.
As it progresses here to today, I find some things very interesting in exactly who you find on the Internet to chat with. It is very demographically skewed of course. Despite the prevailing zeitgeist that it is the younger people who are conversant with Computers and the Internet, you wouldn’t know that as you travel around the Collapse Blogosphere, that is for sure. The main Bloggers are just about all 40 & Up, and the older they are, the more Prolific they are in what they write. Likely because once Retired from whatever their normal job was, they have tons of time on their hands to write whatever comes into the Senior Mind. LOL.
Similar demographics in the Commentariat on these Blogs also, heavily weighted toward the aging population of Boomers & Silents. Almost everyone of these folks has developed a “Lifetime Philosophy”, which often breaks down to very conventional Political Classifications of “Socialist” or “Capitalist”. There are of course innumerable variations on these ideas, but basically it seems to me to come down to those who think the Individual is more important versus those who think the whole Community is more important. Individual “Rights” versus Social “Welfare”, that sort of thing.
It is not just in age demographics that you get a skewed perspective, it is also across cultural lines as well. Even though a good part of the “well-educated” of 3rd World countries speak English and can afford a Laptop and Internet connection, I have never had a Native Chinese or Indian or Brazilian or Russian show up on any of my blogs or forums, though I did run into a few Eastern Europeans on Peak Oil in the HOT years from around 2006-2010. Mostly though what you find on the Internet in the Collapse Blogosphere are people from the native English Speaking countries of the FSofA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. So is it just these English-speakers who are concerned with Collapse Issues? The Well-Educated of China and India and Russia have no interest in investigating this stuff and discussing it?
Perhaps on their own local net in their own languages there is something similar going on, but you know I really doubt it. I think the whole “contemplation of collapse” meme is pretty consolidated into a relatively small demographic of Boomers & Silents living in the 1st World English Speaking countries. Why is that?
First off, I think the theories put forth by folks like M. King Hubbert and Richard Duncan have been very poorly disseminated outside the English Speaking world, hell even INSIDE this world said theories are not well known. I think in most countries particularly in the 3rd World that the “Progress Meme” is still being highly promoted amongst the Intelligentsia, and these folks are more concerned with CATCHING UP ot the 1st Worlders than with Reverse Engineering their societies toward a low energy footprint society.
The “progress” or move toward Social Media as a primary function of the Internet is also IMHO in large part responsible for poor information dissemination in this area. The English speaking world got Computers and the internet early enough on in the game that your current 40-70+ year old class of people here have been researching and reading about these things for quite some time, at least the most active of them have been. for the younger folks, the Internet has become more of a Sound Bite medium much like Television, with the Internet mainly used as a Comunications medium between friends, not as a Research medium for Information. If ya can’t consolidate it down to a 3 line Tweet or a 2 minute Vid, you can’t get many people to pay attention to what is presented on the net. I certainly have been criticized ENDLESSLY for the fact most of my Essays and Articles run in the Nabe of 2000-5000 words as being just too LONG for people to read. WTF? How can you detail out any reasonably complex idea in much less than this? Books are much longer…oh but yea people don’t read them anymore either!
The upshot of all of this is that the truth about Collapse is very poorly disseminated information, both Globally across cultures and Demographically across age groups. It is most certainly NOT taught in the Schools ANYWHERE at all. What is taught and promoted is to take out huge loans to get an Engineering Degree which in all likelihood by the time the average 18 YO today graduates will be quite worthless. If even the “well educated” class of people with access to computers and the internet are systematically routed away from exploring these issues, it certainly makes it quite difficult to generate a new consensus. Is that a Purposeful Plan of the Illuminati? If not, then it certainly was a fortuitous outcome for them to have a generation of clueless people distributed around the globe just about everywhere.
Henry Ford remarked once that if J6P understood the Monetary System at all, there would be a Revolution the next day. Ignorance is promoted and promulgated by the Illuminati. Anybody SMART enough to understand any of it is Coopted into the Game, and becomes a Mid-Level “Successful” Apparatchik, and over time develops a Rationale which explains and justifies his “Success” to himself. In justifiying that success, the same person demonizes and denigrates those less successful than himself as simply too stupid or too lazy to be successful. These are the people who make our Enslavement possible, these are the people who have brought us to the Brink of Extinction.
This facet of cultural development represents the “Banality of Evil”. The apparatchiks aren’t the ones truly “running the show”, but they ARE the ones who make the show possible at all. In one respect or another, anyone who participates in the system as a middle level apparatchik ends up functioning to perpetuate the Evil we have before us. You work, you pay your taxes, you vote, all of this serves to perpetuate the system. Dropping OFF this system, or “Dropping Out” really is an extraordinarily difficult thing for most people in Industrial Society to do at all.
If you buy yourself a Doomstead somewhere to set up Permaculture Farming, you are going to have Property Taxes to pay, and it is quite questionable as to whether the farm can both Feed you and Family AND sell the excess produce to increasingly broke populations. Trying to go out Rewilding, you will find that nearly every spot on the Globe is “owned” by somebody, or by Da Goobermint which has restrictions on just what you can Fish or Hunt up and kill. More or less a version of the old “King’s Fox Hunting Ground”, nobody but the King can go there and shoot anything, all the creatures on that plot of land belong to HIM. You gotta go mighty far out in marginal territory to be let alone to hunt & fish and gather as you will, at least for now that is the case.
Here on the Diner, we engage in the process of “Work Arounds” for these many facets of the failing industrial economy and how you might negotiate the shitstorm to come. The FOOD problem remains of paramount concern to most Diners, as we are all aware that the JIT shipping paradigm that utilizes the kind of Big Rig I drove is amongst the most vulnerable of the systems we are dealing with here and if/when it fails can rapidly bring extreme Hunger & Starvation to the most highly populated neighborhoods in the industrialized world, the Big Shities as I refer to them.
Is there ANY reasonable solution which has some CHANCE at success? In fact there is, though hope is slim that it will be implemented on a large scale in a near enough timeline to ameliorate an extreme and rapid Die Off event for Homo Sapiens.
What IS that HOPE? It is Hydroponics, a means of growing vast quantities of food in a Water and Energy conservative manner that can utilize much of the flotsam and jetsam of the Age of Oil ALREADY manufactured to produce vast quantities of food in many locations otherwise unsuitable for typical Ag techniques, including Permaculture. Here on the Diner, you can begin your exploration of Hydroponics in the Hydroponics NOW! thread inside the Diner, along with numerous other threads devoted to this topic.
Is Hydroponics a FOOLPROOF Solution to the Food Problem we will face as the spin down progresses onward here? No it is not, there are many difficulties involved, not so much with the technology or even having available the varous plumbing stuff from the Age of Oil. Even though you can scale down to create a system just big enough to provide for our own needs as the above pictured setup does for Diner Admin Peter, you do face the problem of Have Nots, aka as “Zombies” who in all likelihood will resort to violent tactics to acquire the food you have or are producing. Although more secure than exposed plots of land, not that much more secure.
In more remote areas, you probably can pursue such a technique with reasonable security, but inside a Big Shity or Suburb, even hidden in a basement your neighbors will quickly recognize you are not getting so skinny quite so fast as they are. They will knock on your door to ask for food, and eventually at the Point of a Gun likely ask to search your premises for food.
So even though it is technically feasible to pursue Hydroponics as a Solo Adventure for yourself and family, this really is not the best route to go for most people in most neighborhoods.
Rather, instead of HIDING what you are doing, ADVERTIZE IT! Let as many people as you know in the neighborhood KNOW about it, and TEACH them to do the same thing.
Learning to do anything like this takes Time & Experience, and time you put in now to teaching yourself how it is done makes you a VALUABLE member of your Community. People will Look to YOU to HELP them, and you will have the means to do that. Not with Money, but with that which NEVER can be taken from you by Da Goobermint, what you KNOW HOW TO DO.
Will it be IMPOSSIBLE to do Hydroponics once JIT fails and the Parts you buy now are no longer available from the Big Box Stores by way of Slave Laborers working in China? Not at ALL, because just about ALL of it can be scavenged from the parts used to construct your McMansion and your SUV! What cannot be scavenged this way can be facsimilated from local materials. Even Timers and Pumps can be created locally out of available materials.
If like some of the Diners here you decide to try and build a Hydroponics grwoing facility in your McMansion or Garage or Basement, I urge you not to think of it as just a means to feed self and family, but rather as your autodidactic method of gaining the knowledge necesary to help everyoneelseinyour community do the SAME THING. So you do not need a HUGE setup for this, and a good beginner system can be set up at an affordable price. for all but the totally destitute already.
The Diners are here to help you. We are all in the same mess of course, and this is something you CAN DO. Wherever you live right now, even in a Big Shity it is possible. Perhaps, just PERHAPS it is possible to get enough of your neighbors to WAKE UP in time to stave off the Zombie Apocalypse. Is this the Picture you want for the Future?
Or is it THIS
You can CHOOSE right now to make the second picture the OUTCOME here. Or at least make the EFFORT at it. Even if you FAIL, at least you know when you Buy your Ticket to the Great Beyond, you did NOT quit, you did NOT go down without a fight, and you made your very BEST effort to….wait for it…
Save As Many As You Can
Off the keyboard of Anthony Cartalucci
Published on Land Destroyer on December 1, 2012
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Image: New York Times depicts what is called a “mesh network,” or an independent internet that uses computers and phones not only as interfaces, but as actual nodes to create the network Imagine in this case, that the “country border” is that of Turkey and Syria. Such networks can be set up virtually anywhere, and the development of methods and software to do so have been the subject of US State Department funding and implementation.
The New York Times in their article, “U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors,” stated in June, 2011 that:
The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.
The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”
Therefore, the Syrian government would gain very little by shutting off the Internet to neutralize networks working entirely independent of infrastructure within state control. Conversely, if NATO has shut the Internet off at nodes leading into Syria, as appears to be the case, NATO and their proxies operating inside of Syria can begin spreading false information, uncontested, via radio, SMS, and even ad hoc WiFi networks.
With NATO’s proxies possessing their own communication networks, their own ability to co-opt and control signals in and near their areas of operation, in particular along the borders where NATO forces themselves are directly involved in disrupting and controlling communications, according to Reuters, a disruption in Syria’s communication networks would only serve to blind, hinder, and disrupt the government and the vast majority of Syria’s civilians.
The control of information, the ability to communicate and coordinate one’s forces, whether they are forces of a military or economic nature, is essential to the survival and prosperity of any nation. The neglect of improving and protecting the means of communication and the control of information within one’s borders is the modern equivalent of letting a castle’s walls crumble, its moat dry up, and to leave its towers without archers.
Syria is not entirely unprepared, however, and its ally Iran is actively building a model that could serve as an example for other nations to follow in securing their information and communication networks. Additionally, the measures used by NATO to subvert sovereign nations in their pursuit of corporate-financier motivated regime change across the planet, can just as easily boomerang back at these very corporations and financial institutions, slaying them with their own sword.
Countermeasures and Defensive Initiatives.
One of the many considerations and motivations behind the very creation of the Internet was its decentralized nature, and its ability to survive catastrophic attacks and still function. A subject of study by the RAND Corporation, the distributed nature of the Internet was seen as being superior to that of conventional, centralized communication architectures. However, the utility of such a network is still determined by who controls the flow of information at nodes and bottlenecks within the system.
Iran has been working on the creation of a nationwide intranet, independent of the Internet, in a bid to break the monopoly the West has been increasingly building over the years. By developing an indigenous network, Iran has the ability to isolate the country from attempts to use the Internet to undermine the nation politically and economically and control the nodes and bottlenecks within its borders.
While the Western media portrays Iran’s move as unreasonable, Western tech-firms are confirmed to be openly collaborating with Western governments in their bid to manipulate, undermine, and overthrow targeted nations, especially Iran. When we consider the disingenuous reasons behind the West’s confrontation with Iran, best articulated in Washington’s own policy think-tank, the Brookings Institution and their “Which Path to Persia?” report, the danger Iran truly faces becomes all the more obvious.
Image: Movement.org’s 2011 sponsor page. Since then, Google and the US State Department have since removed mention of their involvement, but Movement’s own annual reports (2008, 2009, 2010) still retain mention their sponsorship and role over the years.
Internet giant Google, for instance, has been openly working with the US State Department in their corporate-financier motivated interventions around the world, from Egypt to Tunisia, from Libya to Syria. It was revealed that as early as 2008, Google, along with AT&T, Howcast, and Facebook were collaborating with the US State Department via Movements.org to train, equip, and organize protesters ahead of the “Arab Spring” in 2011. The West’s governments and media would feign ignorance and surprise when widespread unrest finally swept the Arab World, when in reality it had been meticulously planned for years.
Image: The US State Department has used Google Ads to spread propaganda. This ad featured (in Farsi) the Twitter account @USAdarFarsi of the “Virtual Embassy of the United States” and reads, “Obama to the Iranian youth: I want you to know that I’m with you.” (click image to enlarge)
The US State Department regularly uses Google Ads to target Farsi speaking readers with messages to undermine the Iranian government – the modern equivalent of US Army Psychological Operations broadcasting propaganda over loudspeakers in a US theater of war, or the US State Department’s Voice of America for decades broadcasting propaganda via radio.
Additionally, Israel has openly admitted to waging “consistent and relentless” cyber warfare, just days after accusations were leveled against it regarding attacks on Iran’s infrastructure, both physical and digital.
Iran’s move, seen in this context, is not only reasonable, but would indicate negligence on the Iranian government’s part had it not begun taking more drastic measures to secure, defend, and isolate networks under constant, verifiable attack.
While Iran works to build technical solutions to adapt and overcome Western efforts to use the Internet as a weapon against them, Syria appears to be fighting with a much more hastily assembled defense, the Syrian Electric Army, to counteract torrents of propaganda emanating from similar organizations put together by the Pentagon, the Israeli IDF, as well as Saudi and Qatari propaganda machines.
The true story behind the Internet blackout in Syria may never be known, but simply countering propaganda online may not be enough to combat the full-spectrum warfare waged by NATO upon Syria, including cyber warfare. And surely such measures will not win the wars of the future. Iran’s approach, involving infrastructure as well as countering Western propaganda with their own professional, international news agency PressTV, provides nation-states with a model for confronting foreign hegemonic ambitions on and within their borders.
US State Department’s “Suitcase Internet” – a Double Edged Sword.
It is difficult to say what sort of people were actually behind the US State Department’s “Suitcase Internet.” There is Sascha Meinrath of the corporate-financier foundation-funded New America Foundation, who despite his affiliations and his role in facilitating American hegemonic ambitions across the Arab World, claims to promote “community wireless networks.” In this case, his deeds and the company he keeps, certainly don’t match his alleged desires. (read Meinrath’s US State Department RFERL interview here)
It is clear by now, with the so-called revolutions in Libya, Egypt, and Syria turning out to be textbook cases of “color revolutions” premeditated and carried out by and exclusively for a myriad of Western organizations, corporations, and institutions for the sole purpose of installing more obedient (not more democratic nor more humane) client regimes, that all those involved, along with their good intentions, were simply exploited.
Most likely, this technology will be outlawed or regulated into extinction across the West, even as it is used to overrun nations across the rest of the world.
Image: A visual depiction of Project Byzantium’s ad-hoc wireless mesh network. More information can be found on their website here. Such networks have been used by corporate-financier interests, acting through the US State Department and couching their intentions behind “democracy” and “freedom” to execute the so-called “Arab Spring.” By doing so, they have managed to co-opt the talent and intentions of people to accomplish the very opposite of their stated goal. Instead of freeing nations, they’ve only been burdened with worse oppressors with infinitely stronger backers – Wall Street and London.
Software similar to what is described as being used for the “Internet Suitcase,” also known as an ad-hoc wireless mesh network, can be found at Project Byzantium, and was produced by Washington D.C.-based hackerspace, HacDC. It is described as being made specifically with “activists” in mind. While hackerspaces and local innovation stand the greatest chance at leveling the playing field, reducing both disparity and the exploitation it invites, it appears that in this case, special interests have leveraged this phenomenon to its advantage.
But the concept of mesh networks themselves, along with the work of HacDC are like any tool or weapon – everything depends on whose hands it is in, and how it is used.
Across the Arab World, these mesh networks have allowed proxies of US corporate-financier interests (wittingly and unwittingly) to undermine and overthrow the governments of sovereign nation-states and have lead to the ascent of tyrannies not only many magnitudes worse, but their true nature concealed by a complicit Western media and diplomatic corps. But what if these mesh networks (combined with locally implemented broadband lines to guard against threats like these) were used to set up permanent networks in local communities, with permanent links between communities – and other locally produced and maintained solutions for connecting groups of communities in one country, with those in another?
The potential for upsetting telecommunications monopolies with open source, local networks, independent of both corporate and government control, rules and regulations is precisely how this sword cuts the other way. Local telephone networks, like those created and deployed by the US State Department against targeted and occupied nations could also likewise be deployed against the very corporate-financier interests using these tools today to achieve their geopolitical objectives.
Localizing these networks, and connecting them as local initiatives would not only supplant large, centralized corporate-financier interests, but in the process of supplanting them, would distribute the vast amounts of unwarranted wealth and influence they’ve accumulated, across thousands, perhaps millions of local entrepreneurs – in other words, wealth redistribution through innovation and local entrepreneurship – the eradication of monopolizing special-interests by globally boycotting them, and locally replacing them.
Syria and 4th Generation Warfare.
In Syria’s case, and any sovereign nation-state wishing to stave off the threats wars of the future will bring, a careful study of today’s technology and how it can be implemented as weapons tomorrow should form the driving force behind the formation of defense strategies – not just past successes and today’s current threats. Having both electronic armies and professional international media agencies communicating a nation’s interests to the world, as well as developing and deploying indigenous communications, manufacturing, and defense infrastructure are, and will continue to be, the keys to successfully defending a nation against 4th generation warfare.
Conventional armies and nuclear forces both still serve a valuable role as deterrents, but large contingents of counter-terrorism/counterinsurgency special forces in combination with serious telecommunication and information warfare strategies are essential. The forces of Wall Street-London corporate-financier capital have made it clear they favor 4th generation warfare to build their modern empire. Those that are being targeted must then prepare to fight 4th generation wars.
Off the Keyboard of John Ward
Published originally on The Slog on August 18, 2012
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For information only, I copied a Sloglink to a senior contact in Goldman Sachs two weeks ago. He emailed back to say that Goldman wouldn’t allow him access to the site.
In China, you can’t receive The Slog. All EU addresses in Brussels and Washington Government offices ban it. It is banned from commenting at The Guardian, and Huffington Post. If you leave a Sloglink at Huffpost, it will be automatically erased. The Financial Times will not allow anyone to say ‘bollocks’, even though virtually nobody today would be offended by the word in a well-argued context. No Newscorp title allows any leaving of live links to other sites (The Times itself is, like the FT, behind a paywall).
If, using my own pc with its clear relationship to The Slog’s identity, I Google even well-known political sites in Germany, I get redirected to an Austrian site for gays. While this suggests that even spooks have a sense of humour, it does make the flesh creep to discover that using someone else’s pc allows me to get through straight away.
No member of UNITE the Union can follow Slog links in the office. Nor can anyone working for at least two big UK banks – which (if nothing else) shows that my detractors are econo-politically eclectic.
I could go on and on with the list of those who refuse to allow access to the site. I find it flattering, but above all worrying, that a site this small in the greater scheme of things is worth their attention – whoever ‘they’ are. Commercially, cyber-banning (and deliberate blocking) is now an industry in its own right. The Russians, Chinese and Americans lead the way in this area, as they do in the area of cyberblagging crime. Talk to any senior UK policeman off the record, however, and he or she will tell you that Merrie Olde Britannia is pretty clueless in this area.
Blacking out what The Other Side says has become one of those activities where the unthinking no longer even discuss the right of every individual to receive news of no real threat no national security. Instead, they do presentations to equally morally dead clients about ‘incoming traffic purity’ and other such Orwellian tosh. I think this reflects the growing trend over the last decade away from debate among equals, towards the trashing of those designated ‘the enemy’. In economics, climatology, nuclear generation, social ideology, finance, and of course politics, it is a slanging match between two sets of tiny, extreme minorities, during which the rest of us remain unrepresented.
Think for a minute or two about that deadly combo of adjectives: censorious and unrepresentative. They are two of the prime requirements – along with dictatorial elite megalomania, and a distracted electorate – required for the easy creation of a totalitarian State. With the arrival of casual cyber-blocking, Britain has the full set. We’re not the only ones – but we are worse than most.
This oddly mechanical approach to denying access to objective analysis produces insane combinations of policy and ‘correctness’. Observations about them are waved away in a blasé manner by everyone from Dan Hannan to Harriet Harman, but they are no less real for all that. Hannan himself is an interesting case in point, in that he is both wronged and wrong. Those self-same Leftists who claim to be pacifist – and emit affected shock at the use of words like housewife or immigrant – are quite happy to call Dan ‘Tory scum’ and carry placards saying ‘Smash the Government’. Whereas while Mr Hannan gleefully retweets everything these knuckle-heads tweet at him, he is very careful never to retweet a reasoned deconstruction of his viewpoint.
Of late, the chorus of those Slog threaders trying to put me into the cyber-banner sin-bin has become inordinately loud – dare I say, suspiciously so. Their chief inabilities are the wilful refusal to accept that first, breaking the site’s comment rules with personally offensive resentment of myself and others is, um, breaking the rules. So they get banned from commenting. As I’ve said before, this is culling, not censoring. And second, that The Slog is genuinely unaligned with either mainstream political philosophy in the West.
At best, such is seen as indecisiveness on my part, and at worst as a lie. Put simply, if they’re Left wing I’m really a closet Nazi; and if they’re Right Wing, I’m just a fluffy old Leftie pretending I’ve changed but I’m still the same Commie bastard really. Now any even cursory perusal of the site content would tell a balanced reader that it is oligarchic, privileged and unacountable Establishments that I am against; and that what I’m for is the removal of all monied and other power influences upon the political process. But the charges continue anyway. In these cases, my tendency to ban such threaders is more often than not based on a sort of informal Mental Health Act.
Now and again, however, evidence rears its extremely ugly head (evidence is near-universally ugly, because it tends to confirm the existence of things we wish weren’t there) and in the case of Troll-swarms at The Slog, there’ve been one or two odd patterns of late. The one that has me most worried is a correlation between comments to the effect that “You’ve sold out, I used to like this site but now it’s obvious you’re really working for Them” and the cloning of some of my now largely redundant Microsoft Outlook email addresses. (They’re redundant, by the way, because Microsoft blocked my send capability after a few probing pieces about Bill Gates, anti-Trust bribes and so forth. It’s all part of the same syndrome.)
My assumption is that these are all the same sender, but one is still left asking why anyone could hate a blogger so much, he would keep on going to the trouble of inventing aliases all designed to persuade regulars that (a) my facts are wrong or (b) I’m some kind of Fifth Columnist. In short, my suspicion is that the person is a professional troll – ie, he works for someone with a broader agenda. One must watch and see: at the moment, I have an open mind. But a female Blogista remarked to me recently that she suspects the same concerted attempt to spin against her.
It simply won’t do to dismiss this as paranoia. The recent Bell Pottinger revelations showed how perniciously history itself was being written by some of the Bell-ends. It became obvious that Lord Bell’s ‘pr’ company was corrupting Wikipedia entries about an Asian country whose completely illiberal and torturous regime were paying him fat fees. It has always, I’m sad to observe, been obvious that Tim not so much lacks a moral compass, as refuses one on the grounds of them being surplus to his ethical requirements. But there are legions of folks around far, far worse than Tim Bell.
Every major comms service provider on the Net now cooperates with (indeed, gives 100% unfettered access to) the security services in every country where it has a business base. Over the past seven years to my certain knowledge, we have been told so many blatant lies about the cybernation of surveillance, it is no longer valuable to point them out: people either don’t care, or already know. It’s roughly on the same level as saying “the EU hates democracy”. For anyone even half-awake with an IQ over 80, it’s obvious.
In my days as a Student (when I was a liberal, but miles to the Right of most of my peers in the Politics Department) the standard response to any rebuttal of Soviet or Maoist or Trotskyist claims was either (1) to yell “Fascist!” or (2) to describe in an intolerably patronising manner how and why one was the sadly misguided victim of Western propaganda. I remember one particular chap at the time telling me, “There are no facts. Facts are a myth. All truth is relative”. He retired recently, having spent most of his working life as a foreign currency buyer for the Bank of England. So it’s highly likely he still thinks this to be true.
Two things have made the reality (and potential effect) of ‘propaganda’ more real fifty years on…even though, ironically, the word used these days is ‘virtual’. The first is 24/7 news stations, preferring as they do speed and quantity over considered analysis. The outcome of this is the vastly increased ability to tell a dramatic lie and remain undetected…in other words, for ridiculous shibboleths to become received truth. The second – less well understood, but even more Stasi-like in its ability to keep like-minded people apart and dismiss the truth – is proactive cyber truth-bending, blocking and fact invention. This is now the big growth area.
I realise I have blogged this point many times before, but please allow me to say again that, if we care more about our liberties and personal dignity than we do for political affiliation, the internet remains the home of the Real Opposition. However, if we want to have an effect on the culture and constitution of our various societies, there are in turn two realities to face.
The first is that the pressure will be more valuable if it is applied to those who fund (by which I mean bribe) the Establishment. The second is that we all need to raise our awareness of when dirty tricks are in play…and how to combat them.
Anyone in good mental health is rightly suspicious of conspiracy theories. But over the last five years, senior civil servants, MPs, globalist media owners, bankers and governments have shown themselves to be pretty adept at conspiring. And the real inequality in Western society – that placed before the law – has shown how profoundly unwilling Estalishments are to prosecute wrongdoers.
Twas ever thus, but twas never as well armed as it is today. Think on it.
I was doing my usual Googling to read through the MSM reports on the latest in Collapse topics, and there were a couple of article titles regarding Spain and Rajoy I wanted to read. One from the WSJ, other from FT.
Now, in prior Google adventures in surfing, most of the time even if something was “premium content”, if you came in via a Google search you could at least read that article. No more, at least as far as WSJ and FT are concerned. For WSJ, you get just a couple of lines and if you wanna read the rest, you gotta pay. For FT, you don’t have to pay as of yet, but you do have to Register to Read.
Now, I don’t about the rest of you guys, but I try not to register an email addy on every goddam site I go read at even if its free. It ALWAYS ends up with more SPAM in your mailbox of course. Besides that, it’s still more Data Mining on your preferences and proclivities by TPTB. The only time I register is if I want to participate on the site in some way, or of course also when you buy something online you can’t help but register including your credit/debit card number. If I have to register on every site I just go to READ, fuhgeddaboudit.
So, in terms of really being able to freely surf the web and research information, the window here is rapidly closing. For the most part the Blogs are still free and don’t require registration to read, but popular pundits more and more only SELL their information with Premium Memberships. Chris Martenson does that, John Hussman and even Speedy Gonzalo Lira does it, although I just cannot IMAGINE who is paying him $300/year to read his bloviations.
Anyhow, now except for other Bloggers with memberships who paste info from the WSJ in their posts, I won’t be getting any more stories to write about from them. Which is probably good, since reading Hilsenrath’s trash just rots your brain with propaganda anyhow. Hopefully for a while more at least Al-Jazeera and Russia Today will allow free reads.
Eventually I can see a day coming where all Bloggers will have to register with Da Goobermint and pay a scaled price depending on your readership base for the priviledge of Blogging on the Goobernet. This first of all forces all Bloggers to be Registered with the Ministry of Propaganda and regularly reviewed for the “appropriateness” of your content. Second, it will then force the Bloggers to pass on the cost of this to their Readers, unless they are independently wealthy and wish to pay the cost themselves. Then as a Blog Reader, unless you are independently wealthy, you probably only will pick 2 or 3 Blogs to read maybe because the costs would quickly add up even if you were only charged say $1/mo per blog. I’m sure in the course of a month I read at least 50 different Blogs at least once when following Links. If each time I went to a new one I had to register and pay to read, I’m not going to do it.
In this way, Da Goobermint achieves Economic Censorship without actually “Censoring Free Speech”. Because there IS no “Free Speech” on the Internet after a while, it all COSTS MONEY.
Its still possible to set up a Blog for free on Blogspot, and even buying your own domain and doing a WP Blog isn’t very expensive at least as long as you have a friend like Peter who knows how to install the software on the server space you buy. Also still possible to read most of these Blogs for Free without Registering also. The writing is on the wall though, and even if the Internet survives a few more years, as a medium for the free flow of information it will wither and die and become pretty much strictly a Goobermint/Corporate Propaganda tool. The only Websites which will be “Free” to read are those being supported by Goobermint Tax Dollars or Corporate Profits as a means either to Propagandize or Advertize.
Meanwhile for a Blogger like yourself who gets most of his information to write about by sifting through the MSM and the rest of the Blogosphere, my source material gets thinner by the day. Still can read the Headlines and the Newswire stuff from AP and Reuters usually as well, but as far as what the NYT, WP and WSJ have to say about anything, I’m clueless. I just don’t read them anymore because I am NOT going to pay to read their Propaganda.
I am at last safely back on the Last Great Frontier following my Excellent Mexican Dental Adventure. Still not sure I’ll survive long term here as I am a long way from being able to actually chew anything, and even getting down soups without choking is rough. However, I think I’ve spent enough time for a while on my dental issues. You can read more of the gory details inside the Diner.
Lots of concern last couple of days over the rapid expansion of the Police State surveillance powers as I hop around through my favorite websites. I’ve set up the Blogger Buffet with my favorite blogs, but what I really need is an I-phone App that allows you to Remote control any computer and bring up your favorite websites. I’m sure one already exists of course.
Anyhow, I don’t see what all the hullaballoo is about here. Basically from its inception, all electronic communications via the internet have been subject to EZ surveillance, recording and data mining. The fact that the NSA is building a new bigger Spy Shop to record everything that passes accross the net is nothing new, they have been doing this already for a long time. The new facility is just designed to handle the greater traffic loads they expect in the future as the whole world gets wired up and they have to keep tabs on 1.3B chinese in addition to just the .35 B FSofA slaves. Individually, your privacy isn’t going to be compromised by this new facility any more than it already is. TPTB already have the power to read all your emails, check all your bank transactions and follow you around as long as you have your Phone turned on all day.
Anyhow, IMHO this is just another example of Malinvestment on the techno paradigm. This facility isn’t going to be collecting much data once the electric grid fails. Maybe they get another 5-10 years running the high tech Brave New World/Big Brother paradigm, but this has about as much chance of long term utility as Carz do.
As an example here, take the Greeks. For just how much longer do you think Greek millenials are going to be scurrying around Athens texting each other on their smart phones? Even assuming they keep the network up and running through some privatization scheme for a while, who’s going to have money to pay their cell phone bill?
All the concern over your electronic data privacy is rooted in the belief that this whole infrastructure is going to stand in perpetuity. Really, its only been around for 20-30 years here to begin with and everybody seems to think we can’t live without it and Da Goobermint will wield it as a means of perpetual control over the population. Poppycock! In 30 years the Data Center in Utah will be just another rotting hulk along with all the strip malls and Instant Oil Change Jiffy Lubes.
For those of you concerned with Da Goobermint spying on what you write on the internet in the next 5 years or so and sending you to GITMO, given the number of people writing anti-Goobermint rants these days, you’ll have to go pretty far to garner any attention. Then in all likelihood once WWIII really gets rolling, the only info you’ll be able to get off the Net is Goobermint Propaganda anyhow. Bloggers will probably have to apply for a License to Blog and sign Agreements not to write anything except what Da Goobermint sends to you daily as acceptable topics with the politically correct spin.
Anyhow, for as long as this does last, the answer to the problem is Information Overload. If EVERYBODY is writing anti-Goobermint Rants on a daily basis, the NSA Goobers are basically going to have to just randomly pick out examples to send to GITMO. At the moment, I suspect my chances of winning this Lotto are less than 1:1000. More well read Bloggers might have slightly higher odds of getting nailed.
So, don’t sweat it. Who knows, if your Comment is read by some NSA apparatchik, it might finally be the one that gets him to wake up and smell the coffee, and a Convert will be gained inside the Belly of the Beast. I personally do not worry abotu this surveillance, and in fact I WELCOME the fact all my prose is being Recorded for Historical purposes. Of course, its just going to exist as a bunch of electronic bits on an NSA Hard Drive and in 50 years nobody will be able to read it again, but at least its out there somewhere after I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.