Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lies lies lies and other random stuff

You ever get the feeling we're just moving deeper and deeper into Orwell's 1984? I can't off hand remember all of the details of the movie and never got around to reading the book but it's looking like we're there when it comes to Orwell's basic premise. We have cameras nearly everywhere. Our phone calls and electronic communications are being monitored. All for our safety they say. It all started long before 911. You remember guys trying to fly to Cuba don't you? That was the beginning of the end of our freedoms. With that became the advent of searches a violation of our 4th amendment by the way (no probable cause). But hey it's for your own safety they said. And now you can't even get a job in this country without someone knowing when you ran a red light 30 years ago. You can only hope that the report once locked in a file and now occupying hard disk space is accurate. They tell us to be on the look out for suspicious activity. Just what am I supposed to be looking for? I know when a group of teens are about to pull a prank, but some radical group? A single bag sits on the carousel at the airport going round and round long after the flight has landed. Eventually an employee will come and pick it up and drag it to lost luggage. Should I be concerned? Nope because I know the odds of any ill happening are higher than being hit by lightning.

Ah but to the lies. Draped in the U.S. flag the powers that be would have you believe that these wars we're fighting are the most important thing since the founding of this country. They'd have you believe that this is about spreading democracy in far off lands. Those people are just primitives who need to be shown how to live. (Do the American Indians come to mind here?) Nope what you're watching here is part of the largest theft in world history. Billions and billions of unfunded tax dollars are being thrown at a problem. And billions more are being siphoned off by corrupt officials on every side. I saw this at the start of the Iraq war when pallets of hard cash disappeared in short order. Only one of our guys was caught dipping his hand in the cookie jar. We're told that the Afghan war is going swimmingly well. Yeah swimmingly well for those lining their pockets with our money. There really is no incentive for this to end. We give no bid contracts to Haliburton. The locals get some scraps to play policeman while the elders and even the Taliban are paid off. There's enough money flowing into Afghanistan at present we could have rebuilt the place twice over, but you see they don't want the gravy train to end and they don't have to because they've been fighting so long that it's become a way of life. This very type of behavior has been going on for centuries if you bothered to read your history.
There's the massive wealth of minerals in that country but I don't see them benefiting from it any time soon. The Taliban and local warlords think too small. At my graduation a high ranking official from our federal government spoke. He said something to the effect that with a high school education you might be able to break into a train car and steal some of its' contents, with a college degree you could steal the whole car and with a higher degree you could steal the entire railroad. How prophetic of him as this was about the time of Watergate. Little did he know that near 30 years later our nation would be going on a robbery spree on global scale.


BBC said...

You ever get the feeling we're just moving deeper and deeper into Orwell's 1984?

Never saw the movie and never read the book but I've always assumed that we were moving in some direction, some of it will be bad and some of it will be good, depends on how you see it and how you deal with it.

Frankly, I think that democracy is overrated the way it is set up, there's way too many idiots that get to vote.

As for our greed at the upper levels, I've been reading most of my adult life about other powers that pretty much control our government, including by brainwashing it.

Well, all I need to do is slide along for a few more years until I die and get some rest from it all.

And now you can't even get a job in this country without someone knowing when you ran a red light 30 years ago.

Oh come on, it's not that bad, just try to find a record of my DWI when I was 20.

Hell, 24 years ago I walked away from a mortgage and some other problems and it didn't hurt my credit a bit.

Or my ability to get a job. Okay, the mortgage was a private contract so likely wasn't reported, sometimes ya just get lucky.

Demeur said...

I've got news for you Billy your record is there. When they did a background check for the airport my supervisor had to go in and explain something that happened 20 years ago. Me I'm a good boy.

Try walking away from a mortgage now. The rules are different.

S.W. Anderson said...

I share some of your pessimism, but not all of it.

"We're told that the Afghan war is going swimmingly well. Yeah swimmingly well for those lining their pockets with our money."

Not really, as I explained in a recent post on the Afghanistan quagmire. Obama and his people are trying to be as positive about it as they think they can get away with. But that falls way short of saying it's going swimmingly.

If you could ask Obama why the measured optimism, he'd tell you it's because the U.S. needs for those on our side in Afghanistan and Pakistan to hear it. He would explain those allies are nervous as cats in a room full of rocking chairs about U.S. troops and money being withdrawn. He'd say their troops won't stand up and fight if they think our troops are about to stand down and ship out.

That's an understandable position for Obama to take. He just shouldn't take it much farther, because it's past time to turn it over to the Pakistanis and Afghans, and get our troops the hell out of there. And oh, BTW, we need that $180 billion a year our Mideast wars are costing here at home.

Even without an IWOT, the sheer proliferation of crime inevitable in a society such as ours, coupled with unrelenting advances in technology, ensures erosion of personal privacy.

At least for now, IMO, our privacy and liberties in far more danger from the monitoring of, and information manipulation by, corporations than government agencies.

Randal Graves said...

SWA, who do you think the government agencies work for? :)

harry said...

Great post Demeur.

S.W. Anderson said...

Randal, that's a good point.

John Myste said...

BBC, I highly recommend 1984. It is one of the best books I have ever listened to. It also has a few "scenes" that are so real they are disturbing. They show the worst in mankind in a stressful situation and a side of humanity most of us wish to deny exists. It is the part where the protagonist turns against the women he loves because the pain of non-compliance with authorities is too great. I think if I am ever able to go back to sleep, I will have nightmares about that.