October 16, 2010

Internet Security vs. Civil Liberty

From Washington DC it is being reported that the US government is taking a look at a new program now set to be rolled out in Australia, to make the internet “safer.” Before we get right to the topic, as a side note, it is worth mentioning that this is not the first time the Land Down Under has become the proverbial canary in the coalmine. In the late 1990's these freedom-loving people in a land of vast wilderness expanses was subject to new draconian restrictions on citizens' firearms. Today, statistics show that these heavy-handed restrictions by the government have done nothing to improve public safety. A fair argument can even be made that the loss of gun rights put the citizens there in more danger, at a very high monetary cost, yet the failed policy remains in place more than a decade later. Moreover, those statistics cannot show what the real cost may be when it comes to the values of liberty and freedom heralded by America, but supposedly also cherished by the rest of the “free world.” It seems that the global powers-that-be like to use a freedom-loving but sparsely populated land like Australia as a testbed for their control mechanisms over populations.

Here is some information on the impact of gun-control in Australia, information that you may not be allowed to view much longer if you are in Australia and your ISP doesn't want you to see this web-page...

Today, information is power. So it only stands to reason that the internet, the last bastion of unrestricted exchange of information, would be viewed by some as an entity which must be controlled, like all the other facets of our lives that have come under restrictions. It seems most of the so-called rights we are left with today require a user handbook in order to know how you can actually apply those rights without violating the law or some civil statute that may leave you broke and destitute should you stray afield of these control mechanisms. The internet however, is not so easily policed, with rapid dissemination of information made easy and with violators of public code more difficult to identify.

So it is no surprise that the current Presidential administration is meeting with industry leaders in order to find a way to put clamps on the internet. To impose security measures in the name of “safety” while claiming that civil liberty concerns are being weighed as anything more than a stumbling block to symbiotic government/corporate control of the internet. They are looking closely at portions of Australia's plan that are set to go into affect in December.

There, internet service providers will be allowed to alert a customer if their computer has been taken over by hackers. Seems like a good idea on the surface. As White House cyber-coordinator Howard Schmidt puts it, "Without security you have no privacy. And many of us that care deeply about our privacy look to make sure our systems are secure," But of course, the question then is, how effective is the software that is being used to identify threats? This also opens the door to “selective” policing, and lulls the public into a false sense of security. A very good hacker working on the cutting edge of up to the minute technology probably won't be detected. Government intrusions will not be reported most likely, even if they were detected. And of course, the corporations with their varying agendas will exploit this inherent vulnerability in selective policing. If your ISP is gathering usage data on you and selling it to another company, they certainly aren't going to send you a report about it.Besides, who better to judge their own security need better than the individual? Are legislated or corporate imposed requirements actually necessary?

Schmidt went on to say that the American public would go along with it if a company is willing to give them better security. Sure, why not? That is the real question. What is the real cost here? Because “giving” us better cyber-security is bound to have some strings attached. Nothing is free in this world, and no company, nor the government are about to spend millions, even billions of dollars and go well out of their way to “give” you anything, except syphilis perhaps.

Cyber-security expert James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies is of the opinion that the public would be amendable to the idea of having their ISP warn of cyber attacks, while helping them to clear malicious software from their systems through instructions, patches, and anti-virus programs. But isn't such help already out there? Well granted, security software and monitoring is not done by your ISP, but it's not like most of us are surfing the net without firewalls, malware removal tools at the ready, and even full retail grade security suites. Of course, much if it is not free, and some folks say in a sort of tongue-in-cheek manner that it is the cyber-security software companies themselves that are creating these threats in order to maintain the demand for their products and to insure continued update subscriptions. So will ISP's be providing for free what software companies have been charging for? Not for long, because as Mr. Lewis also explains, the public may be willing to pay a monthly service fee, just like all the other fees that are already attached to our utilities and communications services.

So rather than having the choice of whether or not you want to spend money on internet security, it will be mandatory that you now cover those costs as part of your standard contract with an internet service provider. For now though, the public is being softened up to the idea, like a crack dealer who give you your first few hits for free. Comcast is set to expand their Denver-based pilot program which alerts customers when their computers come under the control of a botnet. That program will go nationwide in the next few months. Seems all well and good, but even if the service is not itemized as a pay service, surely Comcast is not promising a freeze on general rate increases, which would help to cover the cost of the program, and whatever future security enhancements they may choose to “provide.”

Like Mr. Lewis said though, the public will probably be willing to pay a small fee with a non-chalant, “thanks for the info, good to know” sort of approach. After all, it could still be considered voluntary what company you choose as an ISP, though those options seem to have become more and more limited because of mergers. But in Australia, they are taking it a step further now. It's not just good-to-know info, but your ISP will insist that you do something about it. They are planning everything from warnings, to blocking outbound emails, to actually quarantining your entire system from the internet. That is not just one company, that is set to be the industry standard for all ISP's in Australia. It's one thing to be provided information to help keep your system safe and secure, it is quite another to have your access to the internet terminated because you are not up to date on your security maintenance tasks.

There are a few very big problems with that approach. Here in America, it could and should be seen as a direct assault on the First Amendment. To have your words, perhaps in the form of an email for example, being barred from distribution by some private corporation is a clear affront to liberty, even if it is in the interest of “internet security.” That's like saying that you cannot say what you want while standing on a street corner, because the guy who built the sidewalk is worried that you might cause damage to the sidewalk. Guess we'll have to go buy a pair of bowling shoes first. Freedom of speech, by paid permit only with proper attire.

Just because a person cannot afford internet security software, does not mean they should be barred access to the internet for one thing. But perhaps the ISP will be providing these fixes and software “free” of charge. Of course, then that means that your ISP could be installing who knows what into your system. What if the threat you are most concerned about is in fact your own ISP that you have been railing against on your web-page, or some other company that does business with your ISP, or the government who, no doubt, also have a cozy relationship with ISP's. What if these supposed fixes are malware themselves? What if these supposed fixes create system errors, as unnecessary system updates may do from time to time. But at least there, we still have a choice as to whether or not we update our systems. These new security ideas allow for no such freedom or choice in how you will maintain your system.

There is yet another serious concern, especially to folks like small business owners, folks who work from home, who depend on their computers for income. There may be times when a person is operating on a deadline, or may have some other immediate need for internet access such as a family emergency. A sudden and announced block could have serious and costly repercussions. Even for the person who is diligent with their system security knows that on occasion they may be subject to an attack or error that can take days to repair. Now you will be restricted or even barred from the internet during that time. Not to mention the fact that you might very well need internet access in the first place to make the repair. If you think they already thought this through, guess again. There is a whole nest of unforeseen problems that may or may not be fixed, as it is the consumer's problem, the citizens' problem, not theirs once these things are put in place.

Now a personal anecdote for a moment, if I may. In the US, a land-line telephone is considered so important, that even if you don't pay your bill, there are FCC regulations that bar outright and immediate termination of service. It can take months before that line is finally cut completely, and in that time the person who is in default will get many notices and still be able to dial the operator as well as 911. Several years ago I found out the hard way that digital communications are not governed by the same FCC regulations as the telephone company, and to not trust these companies any further than I can throw a television. I signed up for a triple-service plan with Cablevision, to have my telephone, television and internet all be provided by them for a single monthly rate. Because I made the switch part-way into the month, it created a billing error. I was told not to worry, that I had in fact been over-charged, and to not pay anything until my next regularly scheduled billing statement arrived. A few nights later, in the middle of the night, my roommate stopped breathing. I ran for the phone. I could not make a call. No, “sorry, your service has been suspended,” no dial-tone, no operator, no 911, nothing. I woke the neighbors, and got an ambulance there. My roommate was fine after a quick visit at the hospital. But you can bet that the next day I raised holy-hell with Cablevision, and a snotty supervisor that I finally got on the line from a neighbor's phone. That was how I learned the hard lesson of how not all service providers are the same or governed by the same regulations as technology advances. When I went back home, I found that she had in fact turned the telephone back on...and then an hour later my television and internet went dark. I ripped the box out of the wall and never dealt with Cablevision again.

Now just think of what an internet service provider like that will do if and when they are handed real power, as society becomes ever-more dependent on the internet. Are we really going to allow this sort of thing to be legislated into law, in the name of public safety, and then be forced to pay a fee on top of that? Apparently, because Mr. Lewis also tells us that it is inevitable that ISP's will play a role in internet security. Dale Meyerrose, vice president and general manager of Cyber Integrated Solutions at Harris Corporation states, "There are people starting to make the point that we've gone about as far as we can with voluntary kinds of things, we need to have things that have more teeth in them, like standards.” Teeth huh? Sounds like some folks are talking about sinking their teeth into the Constitution and our wallets. Standards? The same sort of standards that leave a person who has stopped breathing without a lifeline to the outside world? What threat justifies corporations or government imposing such standards and measures that will cause so many problems at considerable cost in time, money, and personal liberty?

According to former chief technology officer for the National Security Agency, Prescott Winter of California-based cyber-security firm ArcSight, the unfettered and unfenced technological wild-west is not secure, stating, “we need to take steps to make it safe, reliable and resilient.” Uh huh, so we keep hearing, but the reasons why are not so clear. It seems the spectre of oppressive corporate sponsored government is far more prevalent than the threat of any serious attack.

By what right does a corporation or government presume to dictate what level of security the individual may find necessary for their internet needs, or what they can afford? If one wants to buy some old laptop from a yard sale running windows 95 and go power up at the coffee shop to jump online, they should have every right to do so. But that is not the future envisioned by Mr. Meyerrose. Instead, he sees public wifi hotspots restricting access, blocking those laptops which are not equipped with certain security software, that do not meet whatever criteria the industry decides is the standard. Moreover, he sees that it will be your tax dollars that will be used to impose those standards, as tax breaks will be given to those providers who comply with the demands.

"I think that, quite frankly, there will be other governments who will finally say, at least for their parts of the Internet, as the Australians have apparently done, we think we can do better," says Prescott Winter. So it appears that they are indeed the canary in the coalmine, and that we are expected to go jump off the bridge behind them.

A report on this subject was made by the Associated Press and can be found at the following Yahoo News page...

US studying Australian Internet security program

For further reading on internet security, it is highly recommended that you read our previous article...

September 24, 2010

CIA Psyop: Cordoba Initiative

“I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.” ~Adolf Hitler

Wise words, from an evil man. How easily the masses are manipulated through emotion, that they will ignore all reason, not only allowing their most cherished values to be pushed aside, but demanding that they be swept away, so as to assuage their own anger and sadness. No case in recent history exemplifies that more than the fervor over the Islamic cultural center in downtown Manhattan. In a frenzy the people chant, “No mosque at Ground Zero!” Well folks, there are no plans for a mosque at Ground Zero. There are plans for a cultural center two blocks away from Ground Zero. Would there be such outrage if there were plans to build a Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) two blocks away from the site where a Christian fundamentalist blew up a Federal building, in Oklahoma City? Certainly not. But in this case, Americans are suddenly not only willing to allow, but are demanding that the government step in and trample the most very basic values of what it means to be an American in the first place. Have we made such great strides against racism and bigotry in this country, only to revert back to a “no n@ggers in this neighborhood” mentality?

The project for this cultural center was was begun in 2004. Their objective, to restore the old Burlington Coat Factory building and to upgrade the premises so that it is more suitable housing for a cultural center rather than the mosque that has already been operating there since the project's inception. Any city might be grateful for such a project restoring a dilapidated old building to improve a blighted property right smack dab in the middle of the busiest part of town. New York City may in fact be grateful for such development, but it is a national, even an international issue now. Suddenly after more than six years, and just in time for midterm elections with a Democrat as President and a Democrat controlled Congress, this smear campaign is launched into the headlines and used as a rallying cry by Republicans and their more rabble-rousing counterparts in the Tea Party movement.

But this isn't just about Republicans and Democrats. It never is anymore. As we have pointed out here before at the MSMReview, it is never as simple as Left vs. Right, and both parties are little more than two faces of a self-serving monolith giving the appearance of choice to the humble and near-sighted masses. By hobbling the Democrats in this election, it will become all the more easy to justifiably maintain the status-quo and to marginalize the chances of any real productive business from being done at all in Washington for another two years, as each side blames the other for the stalemate in any proposed initiative. At the same time it gives the power to the Democrat President to prosecute war in the middle-east as aggressively as his Republican predecessor, who's policies he has done nothing to reverse despite his posturing and promises before the last election. Anti-Muslim sentiment has been restored to its zenith, and is more deep-rooted now than ever before. Meanwhile, through the tactical application of propaganda, Conservatives have been made utter fools of, exposing their bigotry to anyone who is bothering to look at the situation with reason rather than emotion, having completely undermined the most revered tenets of Conservative philosophy for which they have always stood. How easily undone the traditional defenders of Constitutional liberty.

The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.

Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”
Just think of what might (not) have happened if the whole issue had been ignored and the national debate stuck with war, peace, and prosperity. There certainly would have been a lot less emotionalism on both sides. The fact that so much attention has been given the mosque debate, raises the question of just why and driven by whom?
~Former Republican Presidential candidate, Congressman Dr. Ron Paul
Ron Paul's complete statement

By whom indeed. There is no political gain here for either Democrat or Republican. They both lose, as do the American people. So who really is behind all of this?

The Cordoba Initiative is the non-profit group leading the project to build the cultural center since it was founded in 2004 by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Several media outlets have tried to make the weakest of links between Rauf and any number of extremist organizations, and even Iran. What you don't see being played on a loop over your television set is that Imam Rauf has worked for the FBI as a counter-terrorism consultant. And what you don't see blazoned across the headlines of your newspaper is the fact that he also worked as a spokesperson for Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Karen Hughes, during the Bush administration, as she headed up propaganda efforts in the Muslim world. Bush's favorite Imam traveled side-by-side with Hughes, attended the 2006 U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, and went to Morocco in 2007. So while some have tried to paint it that he has been traveling to the middle-east to collect funding from terrorists for the building project, it appears that he has actually been on diplomatic missions for the United States.

GZ Imam Helped FBI
Karen Hughes Opposes Cordoba House

Imam Rauf is not the only character in this story though. Another quite interesting person comes into play, far away from the media glare, offering up nearly a hundred-thousand dollars in seed money for the project between 2006-2008. The money reported to be their entire operating budget at that time came by way of the Deak Family Foundation, headed by one R. Leslie Deak, 52, a native of Scarsdale NY, who has served on the board of advisors for the Cordoba Initiative since its inception. His resume reports that he has “in-depth personal and business experiences in the Middle East.” He was born a Christian, converted to become an Orthodox Jew when he married, but then later divorced and again converted his religion, this time to Islam, when he married Moshira Soliman, with whom he shares a home in Rye NY. At least part of the year anyway, as he spends six months of the year in Egypt.

Resume on Linked In

Looking into Deak's background we see that he graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in international economics, but apparently didn't need to go much further in his education after going to work for his father, Nicholas Deak. The elder Deak had been an intelligence commander for the OSS, the predecessor of CIA, during WWII. He went on to found Deak & Co.which, along with subsidiaries, became one of the top gold and currency dealers in the world, controlling 20% of all retail gold sales in the U.S. and was the leading seller of the South African Krugerrand. Leslie Deak became Executive Vice-President of the the company. In 1978 the firm was convicted in Federal court and fined, for failing to report millions of dollars in large currency transactions with two Philippine businessmen. Then, in October 1984 the firm came under fire in a report by the President's Commission on Organized Crime alleging that their firm had been involved in a money laundering operation with Colombian drug cartels who had reportedly been bringing bags of cash, amounting to millions of dollars, right into the firm's NY offices. By December the firm had filed for chapter 11 reorganization in bankruptcy court. In November the following year, a deranged homeless woman walked into their offices, shot and killed the receptionist, and then murdered the company's founder, Leslie Deak's father Nicholas.

After the bankruptcy, the Deak empire was broken up and sold in pieces but continued to operate. One company that traces it's roots back to the original corporation is Goldline International Inc. Goldline sponsors Conservative talking-head Glenn Beck among others. The company is now under investigation by a U.S. Congressional committee as well as local authorities in California, and is the target of a class-action lawsuit for trying to dump debased product onto gullible customers. The 300-employee company is projected to have revenues in excess of $1 billion for 2010/11. Glenn Beck is aired on FOX News, which is a subsidiary of News Corp., who's second largest shareholder is Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who also happens to be funding Imam Rauf's projects. As comically pointed out by humor-newsman Jon Stewart, the right-wing media company railing against the Cordoba Initiative, are actually the ones “funding terrorism” as they like to put it. The right wing media is railing against an initiative that they themselves are funding by proxy.

HUFFPO article with Jon Stewart video included
Wikipedia - Goldline International

Now let's take a look at another item on Mr. Deak's resume, to see if we can see any other interesting coincidences. In the same time period that he gave nearly a hundred-grand to the Cordoba Initiative, he gave about as much to the National Defense University Foundation. The NDU is a network of research centers and strategy/war colleges, including the National War College, all under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Deak's own resume makes it clear that he is a much more active part of operational national security than simply a donor to defense education. His resume describes his affiliation with the NDU under this entry:

National Defense University Foundation
(Non-Profit; Fund-Raising industry)
2003 — Present (7 years )
Raising funds to support unfunded initiatives at National Defense University, the preeminent strategic educational facility of the United States.

Selected by Secretary of Defense to Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. Participate in briefings with base commanders and Joint Chiefs on issues, operations and strategic objectives.

Deak sits on the board of directors chaired by one Mark Treanor. Mr. Treanor was Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Wachovia Corporation between 1998 through the collapse in 2008, and a major consolidator of campaign donations for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008. Coincidentally enough, Wachovia also had their hands in some serious drug-money laundering, like the Deak family had been accused of years earlier. Now owned by Wells Fargo, Wachovia recently paid a $160 million settlement to end a criminal probe of money laundering for drug cartels through Mexican exchange houses admitting “serious and systemic” violations of the Bank Secrecy Act failing to monitor $420 Billion in transactions. At face value, we might suspect that there might be some common bond of profiteering through illigal drugs, but it may be even more complex than that. It is well known by many that CIA has long been involved in the trug trade. So perhaps these businessmen have been operating fronts for that ubiquitous spy agency.

But is there any clue that Leslie Deak has any contact with anyone in the CIA? Even if he were in any way involved in business dealing with someone from the CIA, surely it wouldn't be a matter of public knowledge. Right? Well as a matter of fact, Deak's own resume once again gives us a clue. He lists himself as a business development consultant for Patriot Defense Group, LLC.

Who we are and what we do...

Patriot Defense Group, LLC. provides defense, security, and logistical services in support of corporate and government clients. We provide professional services, training, and logistics to those who defend America, her allies, and Fortune 100 companies in the defense, energy, financial, and media sectors. Our company is organized into two functional divisions to provide these specialized services.

Our defense and government services division focuses exclusively on the needs of the U.S. military and law enforcement communities as well as the requirements of friendly foreign governments. We focus our capabilities and resources to provide specialized training, curriculum development and logistics.
Our corporate services division, PDG Risk Management, provides business intelligence and specialized security services to corporate clients and high net-worth family enterprises. These services rely upon a unique composite team of operations officers drawn from the ranks of the military, intelligence, and law enforcement communities. Our specialized security services are proactive and focus on protecting our clients' resources.

Management Team

Patriot Defense Group, LLC is a company with a wealth of experience. Our principal officers and contract cadre have served in contingency and other operational roles in every major conflict since the Vietnam War. You will not find a more qualified group of dedicated professionals to meet your organization’s needs.

PDG’s CEO and founder was an infantry platoon leader in Desert Storm; had two separate commands of a U.S Army, Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha (A-team); and served for nine years as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State in the Middle East supporting American foreign policy and economic initiatives.

The managing director of PDG's defense and government services was a CIA Operations Officer with extensive experience ranging from hostile environments in Asia and Southwest Asia to counterterrorism operations throughout the Middle East.

PDG Risk Management is led by a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service who worked on the personal security details of former Presidents Bush and Clinton. He went on to serve as the Director of Security for Shaw Engineering in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

Note that they do not name their managers. They do however name their strategic advisors. Alexander Cappello, finance and banking guru. The military man, General Doug Brown (U.S. Army, Ret.), who commanded the the entirety of US special operations forces, leading the War on Terror, until his retirement in 2007. The spook, James L. Pavitt, former Deputy Director for Operations at CIA, who controlled half of CIA's budget and a third of their deployed personnel. And then there is Leslie Deak, the “business development consultant” who will match this outfit with clients and financing.

Seems that Mr. Deak must have quite a few very powerful friends, throughout the world, in both private industry, as well as in military, government, and intelligence circles to do a job like that well. If one had a project they wanted to carry out, that might very well have global implications, is seems that he just might be the man who talk to, who could put together the financing, as well as bring together all the people that would need to meet in order to carry out an operation to a successful conclusion.

So just to re-cap now. While the media shine the spotlight on Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, trying to paint him as a terrorist, he has actually done extensive work for our government in counter-terrorism and pro-American propaganda in the middle-east. Meanwhile, a key partner in the development of the “Ground Zero Mosque” has gone completely un-noticed. R. Leslie Deak, key investor and board-member of the Cordoba Initiative was born the son of a man who held a command position in the OSS, predecessor of the CIA. Leslie Deak got a basic education in international finance and helped his father command a large portion of the world's gold and currency supply, until his father was murdered and the company broken up, amid well-founded allegations of money laundering for Columbian drug lords. One portion of the company, which still publicly claims its roots back to the heyday of the Deak empire, funds the Conservative propaganda machine and is now under investigation for scamming their customers selling fake gold. Deak himself goes on to sit on the board of directors for a foundation which funds the premiere research and educational facilities that determine national defense strategy and who write the book on fighting the War on Terror. Chairman of the Board for that foundation was a key officer and top lawyer for Wachovia, while they were laundering billions of dollars for international drug cartels. Deak is also recruited to develop the business of a private group of clandestine operatives for hire to both corporate clients and foreign states.

Are we really to believe that Leslie Deak's invlovement in the Cordoba Initiative is purely philanthropic? Or that he wanted to get in on the ground floor of an investment opportunity in some rinky-tink little Muslim cultural center that no one would have paid any attention to at all had it not been for it's proximity to the site of the nation's worst tragedy since Pearl Harbor? (Not to mention the biggest conspiracy since the assassination of JFK.) Perhaps instead we should at least consider some other possibilities here. That perhaps this has been planned for quite some time to be a political trump card of sorts in the upcoming national election that will determine the control of the Congress of the United States. An ace in the hole for the Republicans perhaps? Or maybe, just maybe, something even bigger than that. A CIA psychological operation that will accomplish a number of objectives.

First, it will guarantee continued support for American imperialism in the middle-east. Second, it will thoroughly undermine the the power of our national political leadership to do anything more than act as administrators of the status-quo, as babysitters of the citizenry, while more secretive and nefarious groups carry out their agendas. And third, it will bring in a wealth of data as they gauge public reaction.

How easy would it be to mount an all-out assault on what little remains of the Constitution? How malleable are the minds of the people in the face of a perceived threat? How willing are the people to condemn an entire section of society? Like Hitler did to Jews as a people, to Slavs. To political, religious and racial groups, all based on propaganda. These are the things that they have learned from the mosque-project. They see better now who the extremists are right here at home. Those that are willing to do violence in support of their agenda, and those who are paying enough attention to see through it and who will hinder their progress. You see, articles like this, this is the threat to the enemies of freedom. Places like the MSMReview, and people who speak of like mind will be identified as sources of information that cannot be propagandized or brainwashed, who cannot be dealt a blow of amnesia to history through shock and awe. The enemies of freedom are not bearded religious man living in caves and mud huts. Oppression and tyranny are much closer to home. The words of liberty and truth, that is the threat to their power, this is what will hinder their goals, and hopefully one day be their undoing.

Whether or not the Cordoba Initiative ultimately succeeds in its publicly stated goal is irrelevant. The fight is all that ever mattered. Will reason triumph over emotion one day, for the masses, or is it destined to remain the exclusive purview of elitists and despots?

September 13, 2010

Protecting State Secrets: Obama Builds on Bush Doctrine

While the average Joe Six-Pack is preoccupied with political cannon-fodder broadcast over and over again through our televisions, the real damage being done by the Obama administration is being largely ignored. The news is little more than media distraction over the falsehood that Obama is a Muslim from Africa, while the pundits babble on and on about his support of a construction project blocks away from Ground Zero in Manhattan, but no one seems to be at all concerned about the Obama administration's hypocritical support of government abuses begun under the Bush administration. Abuses that Obama himself appeared to have grave concerns about in his run for Presidential office. The sham of the two-party system persists, as does the myth that we have any choice at the voting booth any more. That much is clear to those who dig a little deeper than fifteen-second soundbites while Obama carries on the work of his predecessor to completely invalidate the basic tenets of Constitutional governance.

In the first weeks that Obama began to get settled in, his Justice Department sought to dismiss a lawsuit by the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, in which it was alleged that the charity's lawyers and board members rights to due-process and freedom of speech were violated by officials at the White House, the National Security Agency, the Treasury Department and the FBI. No evidence was put forth to substantiate the government's claim that the Oregon-based charity might be funding terrorism. Nevertheless, an eavesdropping operation against the philanthropic organization had been carried out without a warrant or the approval of any judge. In Obama's campaign to “change Washington” he had criticized the Bush administration of too-often invoking the privilege of state-secrets to resist lawsuits and to ignore public disclosure rules. In this case, the Justice Department did just that, once again invoking the privilege of state-secrets, claiming that the lawsuit could not be allowed to go forward on the grounds that the disclosure of information would be a threat to national security. When U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker resisted the claim by the Justice Department, they ratcheted up the pressure, and threatened to seize documents in the court's custody. Hardly a shining example of the open-government voters had demanded. Perhaps this was an isolated example though? After all, to be sure, there are some legitimate state-secrets that must be protected from time to time, and maybe this charity was not so squeaky clean themselves. We will probably never know.

What we do know though, is that this is not an isolated example at all actually. We can look to the dismissal of Jewel vs. NSA in January of this year, 2010. This case from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was filed on behalf of AT&T customers opposed to the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of America's phone calls and emails. In this case, the fact that this practice was not at all isolated was the very basis of the dismissal! A page from the EFF website tells us...

...U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker held that the privacy harm to millions of Americans from the illegal spying dragnet was not a "particularized injury" but instead a "generalized grievance" because almost everyone in the United States has a phone and Internet service.

"The alarming upshot of the court's decision is that so long as the government spies on all Americans, the courts have no power to review or halt such mass surveillance even when it is flatly illegal and unconstitutional," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston.


Of all the values espoused in the founding documents of this nation, perhaps none could be said to be more central to our national identity than the system of check-and-balances which keeps any one branch of government, among the three, from usurping unjust power, and toppling our nation into a despotic totalitarian order. It is indeed a value which rests at the very core of our entire structure of government from which all other Constitutional liberty is prescribed and ensured. No one branch of government has the right to operate autonomously without the oversight from another. Alarmingly, under the Bush administration, and now reinforced by the Obama administration, that entire system from which all others are based, has been thoroughly undermined in the interest of secrecy and unfounded claims of national security implications. Not only are judges being left out of their role in issuing warrants, even secret warrants on the basis of some evidence, to allow the government to spy on it's citizens, but now the courts are washing their hands of any involvement when it comes to litigation over clear, aggressive, well-documented violations of Constitutional liberty as a result. These rulings have essentially rendered our court system impotent, and relegated judges to nothing more than glorified traffic-wardens collecting revenue for the state. A rubber-stamp court system suddenly all-too reminiscent of Nazi Germany's People's Court. A paper-shuffling administration, subordinate to that of the Executive, rather than a genuine order of justice honorably maintaining our most precious values as a nation of free and self-determined people.

Louis Fisher, a Constitutional law expert from the Library of Congress wrote in an email to the Washington Post:
"1. The administration defends the state secrets privilege on the ground that it would jeopardize national security if classified documents were made available to the public. No one argues for public disclosure of sensitive materials. The issue is whether federal judges should have access to those documents to be read in their chambers.

"2. If an administration is at liberty to invoke the state secrets privilege to prevent litigation from moving forward, thus eliminating independent judicial review, could not the administration use the privilege to conceal violations of statutes, treaties, and the Constitution? What check would exist for illegal actions by the executive branch?"

What's a little illegal spying though? This is war right? A classic excuse used by tyrannical dictators the world over. Tell the people that it is in their own interest, in the name of their own safety, to have their own government spying on them, until the people one day wake up and realize from among the ruin, that it was their own government all along that was the enemy. Quite simply put, there is no excuse now, nor will there ever be any excuse, to crush Constitutional liberty. Those rights are our inalienable rights as human beings, they are not an arbitrary set of guidelines to apply and cancel whimsically on the tides of politics. These are things that an American President should know and know well, without being told. Especially one who just happens to be a Constitutional scholar. And anyone with common sense, scholar or no, should know that such abuses will not stop with violating our privacy. In fact, it has already turned to false and indefinite imprisonment, without any charges whatsoever, without any hearing or oversight by any courts. It has turned to torture of those innocents, at the hands of our own soldiers and agents, as well as our treacherous moves to hand over our prisoners to be tortured by foreigners in other countries.

In May of this year, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled unanimously that three prisoners being held at Bagram airforce base in Afghanistan had no right to habeas corpus hearings, handing the Obama administration a resounding victory in being able to hold prisoners indefinitely without any judicial oversight. Two Yemenis and a Tunisian claimed that they were being held without cause, were not terrorists, and had in fact been captured outside of the U.S. War-zone in Afghanistan. One is reported to have been captured in the far side of Asia, in Thailand, the second in Pakistan. Details on where the third detainee was captured are not clear. Tina Foster, a lawyer for the prisoners was quoted in a New York Times article as saying that the ruling gave a free hand to the Executive to “kidnap people from other parts of the world and lock them away for the rest of their lives.” The decision means that there is no judicial oversight, no burden of proof whatsoever to substantiate claims that a person might be a terrorist. She then went on to say...
“The thing that is most disappointing for those of us who have been in the fight for this long is all of the people who used to be opposed to the idea of unlimited executive power during the Bush administration but now seem to have embraced it during this administration. We have to remember that Obama is not the last president of the United States.”

Just a few days before the tumultuous national remembrance day of 9/11 this year, a Federal appeals court ruled that former prisoners of the Central Intelligence Agency could not sue over alleged torture in overseas prisons, even if they had since been released and had done nothing wrong, because such lawsuits might expose state-secrets. Like the pages right out of some bizarre Communist, One World Order pulp novel, state-secrets are now more important than revealing the facts of false-imprisonment and years of systematic physical and mental torture. A dark hour for liberty indeed. In this case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., by a 6-to-5 vote. Filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of five former prisoners, the suit alleged that the company had arranged CIA flights to transport prisoners to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation. This was not even a lawsuit against the government itself, or CIA, but a private company that was complicit in the allegations. So it can hardly be said that they were “just following orders” or that they should be afforded the same immunities afforded to the government. Where does that line of reasoning end? With Boeing dumping toxic waste in public schoolyard, immune from any legality or regulation because they contract with the government and the dumping is a matter of national security? As if the kidnapping, torture, and possibly even murder of people in some cases, weren't enough reason for concern.

The plaintiffs each make various claims regarding the details of their imprisonment and torture in places like a CIA “black-site” in Afghanistan, or after they were handed off in places like Egypt and Morocco. Lead plaintiff Binyan Mohamed is a citizen of Ethiopia and a legal resident of Britain. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 where he was then reportedly turned over to CIA and flown to Morocco where he was tortured by their security services over the course of 18-months there. The torture is said to have included techniques such as using a scalpel to wound his genitals and then pouring caustic liquid on the wounds. From there he was transferred back to CIA custody and delivered to a prison in Afghanistan where he was sparsely fed, and kept in perpetual darkness with a constant blaring recording of women and children screaming 24 hours a day. He was moved again later to Guantanamo Bay Prison where he was held for another five years, before finally being freed in Britain last year, 2009.

In other testimony at various times, murder has indeed been alleged, and it is hardly a stretch to discern that murder is indeed a strong possibility under these conditions. Who would ever really know? While some allegations have indeed leaked out, they are difficult to substantiate, and it is difficult to gauge how many prisoners, guilty of nothing, may have been murdered since 9/11. We do know however, that President Obama himself has endorsed state-sponsored killing of American citizens without any judicial oversight. Not enemy combatants mind you, but in fact has arbitrarily ordered the assassination of New Mexico native Anwar al-Awlaki. No arrest order, no trial, no judicial approval or oversight, no fact-finding mission by an impartial party, just an order to kill this American citizen on sight, wherever he is found. On the battlefield or off, sleeping at home with his children, or shopping at your local supermarket. Though the Bush administration reserved the right to order such a killing, it is not believed that they ever did actually order such an action, particularly against an American citizen.

Through his family, the target has vehemently denied that allegations of the Obama administration that he is guilty of terrorism or in any way connected to al-Qaeda. He is reported to have exchanged emails with the Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, in which he spoke negatively of his views on soldiers at the base who take up arms against Islam. But when did it become a capital offense to be against the war, or to speak your mind on politics or religion? Are such views really to be considered so radical that they do not fall under the purview of freedom of speech, much less subject to summary execution on the orders of the President of the United States? There is not even an allegation that this man has actually participated in any specific terrorist acts, nor that he provided material or financial support to any acts of terrorism. While Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) calls al-Awlaki “terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us,” the only allegation that is really being made against him is that he is a recruiter for al-Qaeda. Unsubstantiated claims that this man is a recruiter for an imaginary organization that was originally nothing more than a legal fiction created by American courts to be able to prosecute any Muslim accused of being a terrorist under the RICO act. Such prosecutions are apparently no longer even necessary with people being locked away tortured and murdered without so much as a lawyer or a judge to review the facts.

Now some folks who read this will no doubt have trouble putting aside certain xenophobic tendencies and judge the matter objectively. Certain powers that be rely on that fervor and anti-Muslim sentiment to achieve their ends in undermining the Constitution and installing their totalitarian order. It has always been the same throughout the ages. Vilify some group of people or another in order to seize upon all that is righteous and impose their despotic order. What will you do when you suddenly find that you are now the enemy of the state? Their work is nearly done now. The camps are built, the rail cars are sitting idly by waiting, certainly figuratively, even if not literally as some claim. Seeing the utter lack of change in policy from one President to the next, who appeared to be so fully opposed to the policies of one another a few years ago, coming from opposing political parties, it has never been clearer that the Master of the White House is only there to serve an insidious agenda that is contrary to the ideals put forth by the founding fathers of this nation. Obama swept into office on the promise of change, yet there is no substantive change whatsoever. What will it take so that we hold our leaders accountable for imperial invasions and false wars, for peeling away the fundamental rights of the citizenry, for torture and murder? For allowing themselves to be undermined, allowing this Republic to be usurped by some hidden cabal of internationalists? State secrets do not protect the people, they protect those who seek to enslave and kill the people, make no mistake about it. These are the darkest hours of American liberty.

“We recognized that it was not enough to overthrow the old state, but that the new state must previously have been built up and ready to one's hand....In 1933 it was no longer a question of overthrowing a state by an act of violence; meanwhile the new state had been built up and all that remained to do was destroy the last remnants of the old state – and that took but a few hours.” ~Adolf Hitler

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” ~Thomas Paine

If you have the time, MSMReview highly recommends the following video, Taxi to the Darkside. In yet another example of the relation corporate media has to more nefarious agendas, this movie had an extremely difficult time reaching the public eye, despite critical acclaim when it was first viewed. The clearest example is when the Discovery Channel bought the rights to the movie, only to announce that they would never air the film, due to the controversial nature of the piece. The following presentation found on Google Video is about 80 minutes long.

“Taxi to the Darkside” Wikipedia Entry

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

Al-Awlaki's father says son is 'not Osama bin Laden'

EFF Plans Appeal of Jewel v. NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Case

Jewel v. NSA

Handling Of 'State Secrets' At Issue

Expert Consensus: Obama Mimics Bush On State Secrets

Obama’s War on Terror May Resemble Bush’s in Some Areas

Detainees Barred From Access to U.S. Courts

Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A.

Obama wins the right to invoke "State Secrets" to protect Bush crimes

Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen

August 16, 2010

Modern Feminist Narcissism and the Sperm Bank

There is far too much to cover in one article regarding the modern feminist movement as it pertains to social engineering, the degeneration of the family unit, and many of the ills we see today in modern society. Suffice to say though, that the movement as a whole has been a great disservice to humanity, and even to women in particular. Fatherless children is only one aspect of a much, much larger agenda, and in this piece we will be narrowing the view even further to focus specifically on women who deliberately become pregnant by anonymous sperm donors. But just to be clear, when we speak here on “modern feminism” we are not speaking about all women, or against any women, but against the socio-political agenda of the feminist movement that has actually done a great disservice to women and society as a whole.

Today, political correctness dictates that we are supposed to accept fatherless children as a sort of “new normal,” in direct contradiction to the laws of nature. We fancy ourselves gods, who can re-write the laws of nature on a whim, whenever we feel like it, and then act as if there will be no consequences for turning the natural order of things upside down. Children are meant to have a mother and a father. One can argue that point all day long in the interests of their modernist socio-political agenda, but the fact remains that our species, like so many others, reproduces sexually with both a male and female contribution of chromosomes. Balanced children will grow from the guidance and nurturing of both a man and a woman. Of course, there is tragedy in the world. One parent or another may be lost in some tragic accident, a war perhaps. But how do we suddenly make the jump to accept as normal, even preferable, what was once only the result of tragedy? The answer is simple. Narcissism. Unbalanced narcissism. The “I want what I want, and you can’t tell me no” mentality of our modern society, which is just as much a product of modern feminism as women wearing blue jeans. (Not that women in blue jeans is a bad thing of course.) Putting aside now the high rate of children raised by divorced parents, or born of unwed and unprotected sexual liaisons, we will maintain our focus here on the microcosm of clinical sperm donation. Of course, what we see here can be applied to the larger social arena as well, but unclouded by the arguments that often derail debate on the genuine core issues as the “blame” is tossed back and forth ad nauseum. When a woman chooses to impregnate herself clinically with anonymously donated sperm, then clearly there is no ambiguity when it comes to the responsibility of the pregnancy.

Now, there are a number of reasons why a woman might want to employ the services of a fertilization clinic. This article is not meant to be taken as some sort of assault on science, only to call into question the moral basis, or lack thereof, for certain applications. As with any knowledge, just because we can do something does not necessarily mean we should. So we will not question here in this piece when a clinic might assist a happy and stable heterosexual couple in joining their natural egg and seed. We will also put aside the debate as it pertains to deceased partners. The focus here is on when a woman solicits an anonymous sperm donor. In some cases, it might be that her mate is sterile, that the man in the couple does not have sufficient viable sperm to initiate a pregnancy. In other cases, the woman’s mate may be another woman, and therefore obviously, her sexual partner cannot provide the necessary component to initiate a pregnancy. In other cases still, the woman may be alone, for one reason or another, perhaps coming toward the end of her own natural viability as a mother and anxious to partake of the gift of life.

At first glance, these reasons seem, well, reasonable. It’s natural for women to want to be mothers after all. But wanting something does not necessarily mean it’s the right thing to do. One might really want to go out and buy a particular house, but it might not be such a good idea if you can’t actually afford it, or if the house happens to be in a very bad part of town. So let us look a little more closely at what is really at stake here. To see if the “wants” or perceived needs really outweigh the potential for negative consequences.

With a single woman who has not been able to secure a stable relationship with a man, we can chalk it up to a bad luck of the draw, perhaps. Random odds that sometimes go against emotional fulfillment. For one reason or another, every male suitor turned out to be not so suited. But we could also look at the woman herself. Perhaps the men she met were not so much the problem. It is just as likely that she herself was the problem. The product of this modern feminist agenda. It is little surprise that a woman who goes through life with an “I don’t need no man, I can do it all myself” sort of attitude, will in fact wind up by herself, without a man. A cold desert for a woman to be lost in no doubt. Caught between hating men for not meeting the undefined ideal of a perverted feminist agenda, and not fulfilling her own natural identity as a woman. Of course, some women don’t just wind up in that spot, but choose to, usually because of a career. But in either case, is such a woman really the ideal candidate for motherhood? A woman too busy with other obligations that she has no time to make a secure emotional investment in a man, yet somehow expects to have enough time to fill the role of both parents, with all the love, nurturing, and guidance that a child should receive? Or a woman so emotionally unstable, lacking in dedication, or of such abrasive personality that she has been unable to maintain a caring relationship with a man? This is not meant presume to dictate a woman’s choices or personality of course, only to examine whether or not they are really ideal candidates for voluntary and deliberate single-motherhood. It seems there is a high probability that a child is more of an object or a prize to fill a void created by their own selfishness and lack of fortitude. Just because a woman can bear a child, does not mean that she will make a good mother. A woman who, for whatever her reasons, cannot maintain an enduring stable relationship with a grown man is hardly an ideal candidate to maintain a balanced and stable home for a child over the course of eighteen years, much less a lifetime of devotion that a good parent will often commit to.

We also see lesbian couples who often seek out sperm donors so that they may become same-sex parents. This obviously flies in the face of any natural sense of parenthood, social constructs aside. Once again, this is not to denigrate a woman’s personal choices in any way, and we will leave the common debates regarding the morality of homosexuality at the door. Instead, we might conclude that homosexuality does indeed play into the natural order of things, just not natural parenthood. That homosexuality is a natural mechanism to prevent the overpopulation of our species. That folks like homosexuals and others who are unable to maintain a heterosexual relationship are the gatekeepers who are destined to cease the perpetuation of inherited natural traits that nature sees fit to extinguish as we evolve. If homosexuality is a choice by nature, and not the choice of the individual, then clearly it is also nature’s choice that a homosexual not bear children. If it were otherwise, we would all be androgynous beings reproducing asexually. So clearly here we have a natural inhibitor preventing lesbians from becoming mothers. (No inference should be made here that homosexuality itself is necessarily an inherited trait, nor that it is destined to become, or should be, eliminated through natural selection.) There are also strong social complications that will distress a child as it grows up in a household with same-sex parents. First, confusion no doubt as to the natural order of things on a biological level, and a need for explicit sexual education from a very young age. There is also the outside social influences that will complicate matters, right or wrong. Even if one sees homosexual parenthood as morally acceptable, a good parent would never bring a child into the world to be used a pawn to enforce their socio-political views and willingly subject a child to undue hardship. So in that respect, we again see the “I want what I want” attitude rear its head, at the expense of the child, regardless of what either nature or society have to say about it. As politically incorrect as it may sound, homosexual couples are not ideal candidates for parenthood any more than a one-armed man is an ideal candidate for the NY Yankees.

A third reason for a woman to seek out a clinical sperm donation is in a case where a woman’s male mate might not be able to produce his own viable seed. Again, it seems fairly reasonable at first glance. Of course, we have the natural selection argument here again though. That there are natural population inhibitors that we may be violating to allow this sort of procedure to go forward. But at least we see a greater potential for a stable home and upbringing in the traditional sense. Yet digging in a little deeper, we find not only the potential for serious problems, but the sort of problems that have actually occurred. A case outlined in a recent Associated Press article that you will find linked below, told of how a young woman of 20 years old suddenly found out that the father who had raised her had been infertile, and that her biological father was an anonymous sperm donor. The truth of the matter was revealed by her mother just as she was divorcing the man who raised the young woman as his own. So here we really get to see the ugly side of modern feminism, and surely this is happening more often than we will find in a news article. Here this woman used this man to be the father to a child that was not biologically his, and all of the financial support that went along with that no doubt. When she was done with the man, just as the child was grown, she divorced him and then she went ahead and severed the bond between him and the daughter whom he had raised. An act so narcissistic that her own need to be cruel toward the man she was now leaving outweighed the well-being of the daughter she had seen fit to lie to for 20 years. Was it really worth it?

Not according to Lindsay Greenawalt, the product of a donor conception, who wrote in her blog, “If I had to choose between being conceived with half of my identity and half of my kinship deliberately denied from me for eternity — or never being born — I'd choose never being born. We were created to carry a loss. A loss that no human being should have to endure.” Barked at by egotistical sorts, these children are often told to be grateful that they are alive, as if this heartache that their mothers cursed upon them was really some gift to be cherished. More twisted sense of reality brought to us by modern feminism and the notion that women can do whatever they want without consequences, and that the world should be grateful for their mere presence. Recent studies have shown that children conceived in such a manner are more troubled and depressed than their peers as they become young adults. But rather than questioning the practice, news articles and study groups instead point to the anonymity of the donors as the source of the problem, not the fact that these women chose this themselves!

The media is doing a bang-up job of ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room too, by deflecting, spinning, and emotionalizing the topic to suit the feminist agenda. We see articles like the one from the AP mentioned earlier, titled, “Sperm-donors’ kids seek more rights and respect.” Respect? Is there some sense of entitlement here, that they are somehow due more respect than any other child? That now society must make special allowances for the choices of a mother who also was filled with some self-centered sense of entitlement? Rights? What rights? This was the conscious and deliberate choice of their mothers. The child has no rights, or say in the matter, any more then if the mother was a Preying Mantis who slew the father post-copulation. And what of the rights of a donor who never had any intention of being anything more than an anonymous donor of chromosomes? Well, we have Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker to spin that angle saying, “The adult voices of donor offspring are a welcome counterbalance to an array of cultural forces aimed at further marginalizing fathers.” So somehow we are supposed to believe that reneging on or undermining anonymity contracts is not actually marginalizing the rights of these men? How about giving some rights to men paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars a month to kids they are never allowed to see? This society is so twisted and turned upside down that men who want to be fathers aren’t allowed to be, but those who don’t want to be, will be forced to, as if it were a favor to them, and that they should be grateful.

Here is a link to the AP article as it appeared on FOX News:


Now clearly we see that the real problem here rests with the practice of actually becoming pregnant through this method, not the fact that the donors wish to remain anonymous. To say any different would be to apply the sort of logic where you might blame the electric company for the fact that you stuck a fork in the socket and got burned. So why then the assault on the rights of the men, the donors, rather than on the practice by women of using those services? Well, the “it’s for the children” excuse will pull at the heartstrings of many Liberals, so now we need something to offend the Conservatives. How about brother and sister accidentally marrying each other because anonymity prevented them from researching their background? Well there were a few cases like that in the news in the past few years.

Here’s a case reported by the BBC where twins who were adopted separately wound up finding any marrying each other after they were grown, not knowing that they were actually siblings, and then were forced to have their marriage annulled:


Now of course, the odds of such cases happening aren’t all that great, but that sort of thing is indeed possible, and even more possible when it comes to half-siblings or cousins as well. But even more pressing might be the need for medical information. The “right” of a child, or a child since grown to adulthood to have medical information of their biological paternal lineage. In fact, in some cases it could be seen as necessary to save a life, or to treat a debilitating disease.

These are all risks that the mother should consider before going ahead with this sort of pregnancy. There are so many risks, so many negative points to how it will affect the child, why would any reasonable woman actually go ahead with this sort of thing? The answer, a reasonable woman wouldn’t. Not generally speaking anyhow. There may be some exceptions of course, there always are, and many of these woman cannot be seen as downright bad mothers. But we are talking about the ideal here. What is really in the best interest of these children, and of society. Bringing a child into the world knowing full well that you are doing so deliberately putting them ad a disadvantage right from the start is not the sign of good responsible parent. That is the sign of a lonely, self-centered woman who puts her own needs before anyone else’s, including their own child. But rather than acknowledging that clear and simple premise, we have this convoluted campaign to shift responsibility back onto men and onto society for the deliberate choices made by these women.

Women who, by the way, are told that their choices are perfectly normal, so it’s not that we can really blame them either. Women are raised to believe that their actions have no consequences, that they can do as they please, while men and society pick up the tab and try to make the world a more comfortable place for them. This is where we see that the modern feminist movement is actually doing a great disservice to women, in the same way that a parent might spoil a child and let them run wild. One day, the child, or the women in this case, will have to pay the piper so to speak. For some women it may be the heartache of realizing just how much suffering they have actually condemned their child too by bringing them into the world without a father. For others, it will be an open assault against an inflated ego, when their child is not grateful at all to have been brought into this world. It’s no wonder women are more bitter and unhappy than ever before. They are trapped in a web of deceit. The modern feminist movement is no friend to them, it is an agenda put upon society, using women as pawns, for the shadowy figures who engineer the face of society to their own nefarious ends.

End like profiteering from misery. Think of all the dollars that could be had by stripping away donor anonymity. The lawyers could wind up having a field day with donors who might not have disclosed a family history of some affliction, or who hid certain facts about themselves which they refused to disclose. And now we have our “ah-ha!” moment. We start to get a glimmer of the real reasons why there is suddenly an assault on the anonymity of sperm donors. The lawyers are salivating at the chance to muck around in this sort of misery. The women and the offspring will be used as pawns as always, the face of irrational emotional appeal, but nevertheless quick to jump on that bandwagon when they are told that it is their “right” to demand compensation from the man. And the state? Will the state step in to stop such injustice? Absolutely not. They stand to profit from taxation, court fees, child-support processing, and will even be able to squeeze profits out of these matters that are found to be “criminal.” Already there have been cases in the news in the past few years where men were forced to pay support for children that were the product of in-vitro fertilization, for example.

Here’s an article from over three years ago that outlines some rather unjust rulings against sperm donors:


After having read this piece, perhaps some have been inspired to exercise more critical thinking rather than simply going along with what is easiest, or politically correct. Truth is the enemy of these spin-pages in the mainstream news and the agendas which they are well paid to support. Perhaps you found yourself offended at some points reading this piece. Good, that means you actually stopped to think rather then just listening to the drone of propaganda and everyone patting each other on the back while society is torn asunder. If we were to take the AP article mentioned up above at face value, me might have concluded that donor anonymity is a social scourge, and that men should be appreciative to have their rights undermined. The suffering of the children is very real, but that emotional appeal is misplaced in calling for an end to donor anonymity, rather than an end to the practice of donor pregnancies right from the start. This is all just setting the stage for precedents that will be set in the coming years, as nationalized healthcare and the legal system ramp-up the genetic mapping of society through DNA identification. Privacy is of no concern to the powers that be, and there is in fact a concerted effort to do away with the last few vestiges of it that we have.

For further reading on those concerns you may enjoy reading other articles posted here at the MSMReview:

Electronic Surveillance of Your Fat

L.A. Touts Serial Killer Arrest to Quash Civil Liberty Concerns

Technology and Police Hypocrisy

August 6, 2010

Border War: The Blind Eye of America

While the United States has spent almost a decade chasing down an invisible, some might even say imaginary enemy on the other side of the planet, a very real war at home has been completely ignored by our political leaders and largely left out of the mainstream media. No one seems to want to talk about the fact that the U.S. is being invaded by a very real, active, and potent enemy. Headlines like "Marijuana plants seized" downplay what is happening here at home, while headlines like "Al-Qaeda mastermind behind slaughter of U.S. troops" dominate the short attention span of the average American viewer. The truth of the matter is far more chilling than any politician or mainstream media source will ever admit.

Let us set aside many of the more common debates about illegal immigration, such as the damaging impact on the economy, on labor bargaining, the tax burden, infrastructure, etcetera. Instead let us focus on the mortal danger posed to Americans as a people, which stems from our ignore-the-border policy and the nefarious politics behind it. Advocates of illegal immigrants would have you believe that most people who cross the southern US border from Mexico are simple hard-working law-abiding folk, and that only the occasional bad apple floats across the Rio Grande or tumbles through desert tunnels. The truth is that millions of sworn gang members, gang affiliates, narco-terrorists, and bona-fide political insurgents here in the US are illegal immigrants, to say nothing of your average run-of-the-mill rapists and murderers. These gangs and criminal enterprises are far more lethal and organized than some family in Iraq or Afghanistan protecting their home from rampaging troops out gallivanting through the desert. The subversive political agenda of Aztlan is a direct threat to the sovereignty of the US and well funded by narco-dollars. While we are out chasing ghosts on the other side of the world, we have been invaded by a guerilla armies, millions strong, harboring ideology of racial supremacy known as La Raza, and bent on the destruction of America as we know it. They are not here to take part in the American dream, but to overrun it.

This is not to say that all illegals are narco-warriors and racists of course. If there weren’t genuine working class people just trying to get by and feed their kids, there would be little to pull at the heartstrings of gullible Americans or make an effective camouflage for the murderous infiltrators. But rather than become Americans, most illegals would rather send money “home” or insist that America adapt to them as if we were the uninvited guest. If someone has just broken into your house, eaten your ice cream and pissed in your couch, it is naive to suddenly expect they will observe the rules and customs of the household, regardless of whatever justification is put forth for their behavior. But rather than addressing the broken lock on the back door, our political leadership ignores it and panders to the sympathizers. There is no nobility in racist ideology, there is no noble cause to reclaim lost lands because Latinos are not in fact indigenous peoples, illegal immigrants are not persecuted refugess seeking freedom in the US, this is an invasion and wholesale looting of America by very powerful, organized and violent criminal empires.

In Mexico there is open warfare among these factions, that has claimed the lives of an estimated 28,000 people in the last four years. That is roughly double the amount of deaths in Afghanistan for the same time period. Is this the Aztlan dream? Is this the promise of La Raza? Mexicos’s intelligence agency director Guillermo Valdes stated in a meeting with his President Felipe Calderon that drug violence in Mexico “is still growing” despite the government crackdown that began in 2006. Yet the US does not see fit to intercede by aiding Mexico to better their circumstances effectively, or at the very least to protect our own population from the spillover of the narco wars through political pressure and serious border security. There is no such tidy estimate as the one above for the number of related deaths in America, but it is safe to assume that most drug and gang-related deaths in this country lead back to the cartels. Prison gangs like the Mexican Mafia, and the brutal Salvadoran street gang MS -13 who are some 70,000 strong, have been imported here but take their orders from places south of the border. Everyday more violent gangs of illegals take up residence in the US while at the same time new chapters or “sets” of more traditional street gangs such as the Crips and the Bloods spring up in newly established communities of illegal immigrants.

While the director of Mexican intelligence reports that they have seized $411 million in American currency, and 84,000 weapons since their crackdown began years ago, here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California one drug bust alone wiped out a pot farm worth $1.7 billion. Four times the value of Mexico’s four year war on drugs. After a similar bust in the Sequoia National Park two years ago, John Walters, director of the National Drug Control Policy, had this to say…

"These aren't Cheech and Chong plants. People who farm now are not doing this for laughs, despite the fact Hollywood still thinks that. “

These plots are not a few scraggly plants scattered around some hippie commune, but mega farms set up in huge swaths of commandeered soil in America’s national parks by Latin-American gangs using dangerous chemicals, fully armed para-military grade security forces and explosive booby-traps, while destroying the natural habitat. Investigations have concluded that a number of major forest fires have been caused by these invaders as well, in places where firefighters had to work with armed escorts and the people of surrounding communities were forced to flee. The profits from these crops are used to finance all sorts of other criminal activity and violence in communities throughout North America. Park rangers are desperately outgunned, and the innocent family on a hiking trip is in very real danger of never being seen again if they stumble across one of these farms.

So what is the Federal government’s answer to this danger? Well in an Arizona national park the answer appears to be making it illegal for an American to be on American land, rather than securing 3500 acres that includes part of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, where drug smuggling is so prevalent that the area was closed to civilians by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is, quite literally, a hostile takeover of sovereign American land and an open surrender by the US government, while we chase an imaginary terrorist organization half a world away. When you look at a map of the United States now, realize that the border you see is not accurate. The Federal government, willingly and without a fight has ceded territory to Mexican drug cartels. The border has been moved, and American soil has been conquered, without so much as a peep from the White House, or a fighting stand by American troops to defend against the invaders. If we shared a border with the Taliban would we tolerate such an assault? Are these invaders not every bit, nay, even more of a threat to the safety of Americans than radical Muslim fundamentalism? Between 2001 and 2007 there were 100,000 murders in America. Now let’s make a blatantly over-conservative guess that only 25% of those murders were drug or gang related. That would still mean that drug gangs have claimed better than ten times as many lives as the attack on September 11.

These well- armed insurgents here at home are better funded than Muslim extremists, are at least twice as active in Mexico as “terrorists” are in Afghanistan, support a doctrine of racial supremacy and are openly calling for the destruction of America. Yet both our political leadership and a huge cross-section of American society turn a blind eye, or openly give sympathy to the invaders as if it were some moral obligation to humanity that we allow them to shoot us, to burn us out of our homes, to rob us of our earnings, to destroy what we have built. The terrorists are right here, not off in some far away land. Their influence reaches all the way to the top echelons of power in the United States. How else can one explain the fact that neither former President Bush, nor our current President Obama has lifted a finger to fight these invaders and to regulate legitimate immigration? Meanwhile they execute a bogus war that was built on false pretense right from the very start. Conservative politicians did nothing to protect us from these insurgents, and I certainly don’t expect liberal politicians to do any better by openly supporting the invasion while actively blocking state and local authority from protecting their sovereignty and even the physical safety of their constituents. There is no exaggeration, we are in fact being invaded by terrorist insurgents who are better armed, more organized, and have greater numbers than the so called “al-Qaeda network.” Our own national political leadership has been subverted and is in league with these foreign invaders from the south. The government of the United States of America no longer represents the American people, but instead does the bidding of hidden powers with dark agendas.

While major media outltes are quick to support the sham called "the war on terror" reporting falsehoods and drawing all sorts of erroneous conclusions about conflict in the middle east, mainstream media sources have scant reporting on the subject matter of domestic insurgents, would certainly never call them what they are, and would not dare put the pieces together to make a factual conclusive report as we have done here. Nevertheless, here are some supporting links of information from both mainstream and alternate sources:










July 25, 2010

Book Burning in the Digital Age... and so it begins

The battle of the copyright is a long and sordid tale on the internet. Most folks are familiar with the old days of Napster, and the record companies suing the pants off of soccer-Moms because their kids had downloaded songs to the family computer. More recently as technology has continued to advance, we have seen movie companies also come into the fold along with the music companies, often suing to shut down websites that host torrent files of copyrighted material, as well as still going after the individual on occasion. At the end of the day though, most folks aren't overly concerned about those issues. Music and movies are creative expressions and public past-times for the most part, not exactly a priority in this day and age. It all sounds like a lot of hair-splitting over profits that no one really wants to be bothered with. Sure artists are entitled to make money from their work. But at the same time, when someone shells out $20 for a CD that has one good song on it, it's clearly a rip-off scheme by the recording industry too. A big ball of frustration and argument that is best left to the folks who have a vested interest in the fight. The whole debate has just soured many people to listening to music or watching movies at all. Easier just to flip on the radio or the TV and be done with it. Music and movies just aren't much fun as a hobby anymore, which is probably a bigger reason for any perceived loss of revenue for these big companies than anything else. Some folks have just decided to grow up faster than we would have liked to, wistfully leaving pop-culture behind to focus on more important issues. Like freedom of speech, perhaps.

Now anyone who has had contact with American society in the past fifteen years or so has heard all about these copyright lawsuits, and has probably heard the argument that it is all “really about freedom of speech.” Most of us never really bought into that though. It wasn't really about freedom of speech so much as buying a cable modem and ripping enough tracks to make a mix disc for the weekend, and to make it worth the money you were shelling out for the broadband connection. But as it turns out, these freedom-loving pirate pioneers might have had more insight than most of us ever gave them credit for. It's not just about ripping a free copy of some crappy pop jam anymore. The debates over sharing content over the internet are no longer the frontier of internet free-speech. The goalposts have been on the move it seems.

In 1993 there were about 50 corporations that controlled just about all of the media in the United States. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the works. By 2004, we were down to only five corporations controlling it all. Since the collapse of United Press International, the Associated Press has been the one and only national news service in the United States. This means that just about all the news you see is filtered through this one single company. Even local news from your home town is partially owned by the AP, as part of their agreement with smaller news agencies that make up their network. If there is a big enough story in your hometown, it gets handed up to the AP and sent out across the wires to be picked up by every other news agency across the country, as an AP article, not usually even giving a mention of your local hometown newspaper or reporter that broke the story. But in return, these smaller news agencies get to print other AP news, which accounts for just about anything that is being reported on any given day. This gives the AP a huge amount of leverage over how news gets reported, even if it does not originate with them. No news agency would dare defy the AP, and risk losing their agreement to print just about anything that is being considered news. It would be business suicide. The mainstream media in America is a network dominated by the AP. Not exactly an ideal arrangement for the promise of free speech. There was a time that we as freedom-loving Americans saw a singular state-controlled media as the hallmark of an evil totalitarian Communist regime, but would it really be any better to have a single corporation reporting all of the news rather than the state? Hardly. That would simply make it the hallmark of a Fascist totalitarian state rather then a Communist one. You see, Communism is what you get when the government controls business. Fascism is what you get when business controls government. In a nutshell anyway.

Thanks to technology, we still have a bastion of free speech with the internet. Even while your average American is content to sit back and zone out to regurgitated tabloid news, for many of us, the internet is as enlightening as it can be frustrating and confusing, navigating the back corridors of truth. The news here is not pre-packaged and heated in the microwave. It is raw, and requires critical thinking, cleverness, memory. In short, here you have to stop and think. If the truth is handed to you on a silver platter, it just might not be the truth, just like that might not be beef in that fast food taco. It's a shame that more folks aren't interested to look a little deeper into things, and are content to take the half-truths of the mainstream media as a complete source of important information. But at least the rest of us have the internet, this beacon of liberty and free speech. Well, for the moment anyway. It seems that our days may be numbered, and dwindling fast now.

Back in the summer of 2008, the Associated Press, a monolithic news agency with a litigious history decided it was going to set the precedent for how their material was disseminated across the internet, by issuing Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices to bloggers and news aggregators they claimed were violating their copyright and additionally were accused of “hot news” misappropriation under New York State law. They had already slapped two companies with copyright lawsuits not long before, one in Florida. In essence, this was the beginning of the AP trying to force the entire U.S.-based internet to become another one of their subsidiaries under licensing agreement.

Now to really understand this, we need to have a look at what is called the “fair use” act. What it tells us first is that copyrighted material can be used without permission, for such purposes as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” Seems quite reasonable, but too bad it's not quite that simple. You see, there really are no set guidelines. Even from that list there can be any number of exceptions based on the nature of the copyright work, potential profits from someone who is citing the work, and so forth. It is all so completely ambiguous that they might just as well have said, “Use whatever you want at your own risk because it's all up to the judge anyway.” That's really no exaggeration. Rulings in one case will not necessarily be used as a precedent in the next, particularly in civil suits, though copyright violation can be a criminal matter as well. There are no set standards for selected content, length or proportions of quotations, or potential market impact. Nevertheless, it has still been used as a general guideline for everyone from internet bloggers to public school teachers. An example might be the playing of a movie in the auditorium of a public school for students. It may not be considered a violation of copyright because it is being used for educational purposes. But if that same movie were to be played in an auditorium full of families at the ice-cream social gathering where goodies were being sold to raise money for a field trip, that could very well indeed be ruled as a liability through public dissemination of copyrighted material. Many restaurants can no longer sing the “Happy Birthday” song to patrons on their special day because of the threat of copyright lawsuits.

Across the internet though, it has been generally understood by bloggers and members of discussion forums and so forth, that news reports are not treated with the same level of copyright scrutiny as other media such as movies and music. After all, news is a relatively public matter anyway. Granted, reporters work hard often risking life and limb to get their stories, other staff all do their jobs, the news agencies have their expenses and financial obligations to investors, but at the end of the day the events they are reporting on are public events that they are willfully sharing with the greater public. In print they share it with the public for pocket change, but on their own internet sites they even share the news for free, and quite often encourage viewers to share it on networking tools such as Twitter or an RSS feed. The profitability in news reporting is not in the news itself, but in advertising revenues from companies who know that people will see their ad when they come to find out the news of the day, whether it be in print, over the airwaves, or over the internet. So really, it is in the best interest of any news agency to get the news out there as far and wide as possible, so long as they are referenced in some way. Let's not forget the old adage “there's no such thing as bad press.”

Copying and pasting an entire article may be seen as not really acting in good faith on the part of the blogger, but so long as it is properly attributed, it really should not be of serious concern to a news company. It's not really going to cost them anything. No one is going to decide that they would rather see their mainstream search engine news in some backwater blog day after day where the articles may be missing pictures, related links, and be generally mutilated in a hack paste job. Most folks will want to go right to the source, and see a copy/paste job merely as reference for discussion. Adding a link to any pasted article is certain to drive traffic back to the original news site, with folks who might never have even bothered to check the day's news otherwise. When most internet users post these articles, they are not posting it to circumvent the original news services and are not claiming the articles as their own original material, they are posting for the purposes of discussion, not plagiarism. Whether it be to critique the report itself, the news source overall, or as a general discussion related to the news being reported, the news article itself still becomes secondary to our own expression of free-speech. In this way we see that even a fully copied article could be seen as fair use, as a reference in these discussions.

So understanding all of this, one really has to ask, what was really behind the aggression of the AP against bloggers and other websites? Especially when you have a look at some of the specific instances they had issued the DMCA notices for. Many did not even copy the same headline, all of them contained links back to the original AP source, and none of them were even full posts of the article. They were merely snippets of the article, with a link back to the original complete article. You would think that the AP would be thanking them, not trying to sue them. You can see that down in the corner here of the MSMReview we even have a host-provided widget installed that runs an AP headline ticker. Is that something that we can be sued for? Could we be sued if we posted those same headlines without the widget?

By the end of 2008 it appears that the AP decided to back off a bit, and admitted that they might have been being a bit heavy-handed in the protection of their media. But one really has to wonder what set them on in the first place to such an ill-conceived venture. The only potential loss of revenue might have come from the fact that many news outlets in their network will pull an article after a bit of time, and then charge a fee for retrieval from an archive. In this way, a blog or forum could be seen as archiving these stories and undermining a very minor potential source of revenue. How often do folks actually go ahead and pay for an article for which the link is no longer active for, and especially in comparison to the potential for referral traffic generated by articles posted outside of the original site? Moreover, do they charge your local library a fee for making old newspapers available to the public after the articles have been pulled from the website? Granted, the library already paid 50-cents for a copy of the paper, but if that token amount were really the issue, then why do they not charge to read the headlines on their own websites and the large search engine hosts?

It just doesn't make sense, there is something missing from this picture still. Now we come to more recent news. It seems that other news sources are now hiring outside companies to do their dirty work for them, having a go at the bloggers and forums this summer in a similar manner that the AP did back in 2008, but on a much wider scale, and even more aggressively this time. Are they really so desperate for quick profits that they are willing to cut off their noses just to spite their faces? Are they really willing to alienate readers, and in turn their advertising clients, to scrape a few bucks away from bloggers? Was the whole AP fiasco just a “testing of the water” to to gauge reaction to an assault on free speech?

Steve Gibson, CEO of Las Vegas-based Righthaven has been buying up newspaper copyrights for the sole purpose of scouring the web to find and then sue anyone who has posted material without permission. He is able to compel quick settlements based on the fact that even a single violation can be a penalty of $150,000. Righthaven already has hundreds of lawsuits in the works, but estimates that there may be billions of violations. That will not doubt put any nickel and dime blogs and web sites right out of business. Many blogs and forums that could be seen as a profit company because of ad placement through services such as AdSense, really are not actually profitable at all, and are generally operated for reasons other than profit, such as practicing free speech and engaging their fellow human beings in discussion on current events via the internet. But even for larger sites, the threat is potent, seeing how much they stand to lose for even a single violation if they fight it in court then lose. One large internet forum that generates about 5 million hits a month with their user-generated discussion forum on alternative topics has decided to fight the lawsuit on the grounds that the site itself did not actually post the material, but that a forum user did, and therefore rather than file a lawsuit Righthaven should have served the site with a DMCA takedown notice. So in this case, we see that this company operating on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has actually gone well beyond what the AP did two summers ago. They aren't even bothering with take-down notices, they are going straight for the lawsuit. It is also interesting to note that this representative of the media has gone after one of the largest alternative subject matter forums on the internet, where open-minded free-thinking is highly valued (even if critically scrutinized.)

In another case, one of the above-mentioned forum's primary competitors has also been the subject of an action by a company representing Reuters news service, the AP of the British-influenced world. Again coming under fire is a forum on alternative subject matter where open-minded free-thinking is courted (even if dreadfully manipulated.) That case is part of a campaign launched in March by California-based Attributor with their FairShare Guardian model. In one 30-day scan with this new model, they found 75,000 sites with copies of un-licensed articles. Rather than suing them in court, Attributor offers discussion on syndication, in which they can pretty much demand any price they want for the syndication rights from the alleged violator. If negotiations fail, they will contact ad agencies doing business with the site. In the case of the specific site mentioned here already, the ad agencies did indeed pull their ads, the site's primary revenue stream for covering operating costs. Attributor also notifies search engines and web hosts, who are obligated under the DMCA to take down material they know to be in violation. So in essence, these forums are forced to pay the licensing fee for what might otherwise be considered fair-use, or be shut down entirely.

Now we finally see a pattern emerging. First, the somewhat failed attempt by AP to shutter blogs and websites that they had zeroed in on for whatever reason. Now we see on one hand a venture to force settlements that will likely shut down many thousands of blogs and websites. And on the other hand, we see due-process completely circumvented by a company demanding what can be assumed to be exorbitant licensing fees, and also sure to shut down thousands, even hundreds of thousands of websites. But can all this really be seen as a measure to protect profits? Certainly not when you consider that these blogs and websites are what drive traffic to these news sources in the first place. So then, this really isn't about profits so much as consolidation. One doesn't need a hundred-thousand blogs directing traffic to a few news sites, if a huge chunk of the web is shut right down entirely, and traffic can be directed through a few select mainstream social networking sites. This is about control, not profits. Controlling what you see, how you see it, and even the discussions you have about it. Bloggers are being forced to report the news under the terms dictated by licensing agreements, and whatever fine print that might entail aside from kicking up a fee as if news reporting were some mafia cartel. That is not free speech. This is about controlling our collective memory by editing and pulling articles and by preventing accessibility to archived copies of original stories floating around on the web. And that folks, is the real heart of the matter. Digital book burning. Remove our collective memory, mold the present, and dictate the future.

Whoa now. Maybe that's a bit of a jump there. A few select very powerful media monopolies shutting down the internet piece by piece? Sounds like a bit of a stretch into conspiracy-theory land there, no? Surely the government would have something to say about this, would step in to defend liberty and the Constitution? We have been like Gunny Hartman in the movie Full Metal Jacket here, rummaging through the unlocked footlocker of internet dirty laundry to “just see if anything's missing here.” And suddenly we find the jelly donut. Or better yet, that something is indeed missing. Something big. Something along the lines of 73,000 blogs shut down in a single day, with the flip of a switch. Here we get a good look at the relationship between business and the government.

On July 9 of this year, Toronto-based Blogetry.com, an internet blogging platform and Wordpress host-provider with approximately 73,000 clients, went dark. Less than a week later, Ipbfree.com, a site used to create web message boards, suddenly went offline. The shutdowns came with no notice, no pending legal action, and no explanation at all for some considerable time. Since then, some information has come out about the shut-down of Blogetry.com, so we are going to focus on that, as the information surrounding the Ipbfree.com seems to be far more scattered and less reliable. It should be noted that no direct correlation between the two events has been confirmed at this point, but there were some interesting similarities between the two events. Both said they were shut down by outside influence and not coming back, that the user-generated content violated no copyright laws, and that those who ordered the closures were legally bound to non-disclosure.

Initial speculation was that the shutdowns were part of a sweep by movie or record companies cracking down on illegal downloads and hosting of related files, with the support of the Obama Administration who has vowed to support the entertainment companies. It was not an unreasonable conclusion to reach, as these shutdowns came right on the heels of a number of scattered seizures by the Department of Justice along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement of assets and websites related to alleged illegal file-sharing, as part of an ongoing initiative called “Operation: In Our Sights.” So there we are back to the beginning of this article, with the “menace of digital piracy” that we have all been hearing about for years. One sure-fire method for Federal agents to conduct a “witch-hunt” by going after alleged pirates.

Other speculation was that perhaps there was child pornography involved. Another fantastic boogie man to get the people all riled up while being the perfect cover for officials to go right ahead and do just about anything they please. Now please understand, MSMR in no way is trying to make light of child pornography, or excuse the activities of deranged persons involved in that garbage in any way, but having to articulate that point goes to show just what a raw nerve there is there in society for the powers that be to poke at when they want to distract us. Even when they yell pedophile, we still have the right, nay, the obligation to question authority. But in cases of illegal file-sharing, and even in cases of illegal pornography, due process must still be applied. No agency has the right to arbitraliy march in and shut down a whole chunk of the internet. There is a lot of legal wrangling that can sometimes go on for years to get a specific website shutdown, much less an entire server of 73,000 clients. The DMCA protects internet service providers from liability of user content, as pointed out in the case mentioned earlier with Righthaven. Not to mention the fact that these sorts of takedowns are usually very public affairs, with publicity being exploited as a deterrent as much as possible.
In these cases, the cloak of secrecy is disturbing to say the least. As it turns out, the owner of Blogetry.com was just as confused as his clients, and tried repeatedly to contact his web-host BurstNet, before their first enigmatic reply. In a message to owner Alexander Yusupov they stated, “We are limited as to the details we can provide to you, but note that this was a critical matter and the only available option to us was to immediately deactivate the server.” In another message they went on to say, “Please note that this was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm. This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server. “ They refused to give him any more information though, and would not even disclose the law-enforcement agency involved. Nor did they disclose the agency to CNET news, when they were granted an interview with BurstNet VP, Benjamin Arcus. The VP did disclose however, that the service was terminated at the direction of a law-enforcement agency that he could not reveal, and that it was not a copyright issue. So this wasn't about digital pirates after all?

The latest news coming out now is that the secret agency was actually the FBI. BurstNet has also reversed themselves and is now stating that it was their own choice to terminate the server, and that the FBI had nothing to do with the decision. So apparently BurstNet was not in fact restricted to this “only available option” as they had stated, but freely and willingly chose to terminate the server of their own accord, and have tried to justify the unprecedented action by leveling an accusation against Blogetry that there was a history of abuses, though the FBI has not accused Alexander Yusupov of any wrong-doing. What is being reported now is that the bureau had merely requested “voluntary emergency disclosure of information" regarding links to bomb-making instructions and an al-Qaeda hit-list of Americans which appeared on as many as one Blogetry hosted blog. Ah-ha! And there we have another boogie man folks. The ubiquitous yet imaginary al-Qaeda. (You will remember in a previous article here at MSMR where we pointed out that al-Qaeda is actually a government generated fabrication.) Mention al-Qaeda, bomb, or terrorist, and the FBI can instantly shut down 73,000 free-speech platforms without any due-process or oversight whatsoever because of what may have been one single alleged offender. In the post 9/11 era there is nothing “voluntary” about what is expected during an “emergency.” BurstNet has stated that they cannot restore any Blogetry data, even with the offending material removed. All of those blogs are just gone, completely wiped out. Of course we are supposed to believe BurstNet's revised position now, that they did not cave in under pressure by the FBI in the face of some alleged terrorist threat, and that they wiped out 73,000 blogs because of two alleged previous violations of their policies by Blogetry.. It doesn't seem that it really makes much difference anyhow at this point. Either BurstNet threw themselves under the bus, doing irreparable damage to their credibility and the future of their business to cover for the FBI, or they were in fact the ones who decided to pull the plug as they are stating now, making themselves the bane of free-speech advocates around the globe.

When all is said and done, it is now abundantly clear that these companies and government agencies working in concert, have begun dismantling large swaths of the internet this summer, with a three-pronged assault on liberty, through lawsuits, through cutting financing, and through direct action by blocking and terminating access to the internet. Make no mistake about it folks, this is the burning of books in the digital age. The only question is if you are going to accept the excuses ever-ready at the hand despots the world over, and then bow down to the march of the jack-boot, while gleefully chanting the rhetoric that it is all for our safety, all for our children, all for our own good as we spiral down into the pit of totalitarianism. This is it, our last chance, the end game. There is nothing else left for them to take, but these last bastions of free expression and liberty, where the news can be pondered and debated without censorship, where we can collect our memories and look back to them to see what our tomorrow has come to. Do not forget what you have read here today. Remember the burning of the books.

“Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people”

~Heinrich Heine

Here's to hoping that no one gets sued over this, but here are links to related material and articles:

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I may be contacted at my email address marselus.vanwagner@gmail.com