Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jefferson and McLuhan: The Perception of The Truth

On McLuhan's gravestone are the words "The Truth Shall Make You Free." 

Having Watched the “Frontline “piece on Bradley Manning and the release of “The War Logs” and diplomatic cables via WikiLeaks I would say that it offered an informative piece of journalism for those who have not been paying attention and pin pointed a major area of Federal persecution efforts; the failure to link what I would refer to as “The Boston Connection”.

That is matter for serious consideration at a later time.

For the moment let it suffice to say that the WikiLeaks revelations have, for anyone concerned, clearly defined how governments operate and how wars are conducted. The facts are ugly as the veil of secrecy so valued by the political, military, economic and corporate leaders of this planet reveal the worst side, the dark side of our humanity characterized by actions and attitudes that are hypocritical, duplicitous, devious, deceitful, and dismissive of all notions of law and decency.

The powerful who would rule and manipulate us do so in secrecy, a secrecy that threatens the freedom and well-being of every American. The revelations often referred to as embarrassments, and given the pettiness, crude nature and incompetence of many of the actors; there is more than enough embarrassment to go around. We need to remember that “our leaders” are not better than any of us, and so many cases they are lesser beings who have no moral compass and the consciences of a sociopath.

There is no crime, perversion or horror that is beneath them.

The revelations terrify them insofar as they have been exposed for the lying hypocrites and criminals that they are.

We are expected to conform to laws that restrain our darkest animalist impulses while they have endowed themselves with the right of indulgence in every depravity imaginable.

That revealed knowledge demands, for them, not justice but revenge, vengeance of such a magnitude as it will restore their self-anointed rights and strike fear in anyone who seek the truth or oppose  premeditate daily criminality in a manner and scope that would make Machiavelli cringe.

Our new world and its technologies despise secrecy on one hand and on the other seeks to annihilate every vestige of personal privacy, save for those who would render our government meaningless replacing it the rule of the corporations through the total corruption of our elected leaders. But let me add a bit more perspective to our cyber age, a world of (Os and 1s) where bright folk try to protect both secrecy and privacy to no avail as there will always be someone out there that has not be bought off that will pierce any all mechanisms of protection. So I will turn my attention to one who had a perception of our age as profound as Jefferson’s perceptions of human nature.

The late Marshall McLuhan wrote "World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian and military participation."

We Are There!

Participants in this war will find the Culture Jammer's Encyclopedia to be a compendium of great information and links on subjects from Art Forgeries to Anarchism.
(See Below) 

Every so often I see a page which takes the words out of my mouth. To quote: "Citizen! The computer is your friend! Fight back! The computer is your weapon!"

In our age the computer is rapidly becoming the tool for calling the people to the streets in open revolt, resistance and revolution as social malaise generated by economic failure and deprivation of opportunity has become the price the world has paid for the establishment’s failed schemes of greed.
The sound bite spinmeister of the media world have coined the phrases “Jasmine Revolution” and “Arab Spring” to somehow legitimize, romanticize and make palatable a human crisis where people are being brutally slaughtered as a ruling class of old despotic thieves and killers are fighting for their lives, their way of life, that of the domination of the citizens of their nations for the pleasure, privilege, pillage, plunder and power that have enjoyed for decades, decades in which, behind that dark veil of secrecy; they have adopted as family the police, both visible and secret, and the armies of those nations.

They have no inclination to step aside; they have to be swept aside in true blood bath revolution, about which there is nothing romantic, and if there is a heroic content to the bloodshed we are witnessing; it is heroism born of human desperation and aspirations.

Of course; I never expect the mainstream media to frame events in their reality. Media fiction is more appealing and sells better. They paint a picture, frame issues as indigenous to that area of the world and never question whether similar parallel social content exists in this nation.

Every so often they slip up and ponder the question of: How, if the people of the Arab states are successful in sweeping aside old regimes will this impact our influence in the region.

The media and our powers that be are paying lip service to the word “Democracy” in the hopes that what new order emerges placates the populous without allowing them to exercise an option to end our Imperial ambitions in the region and tipping the scale against American/Israeli defacto dictation. 

We really are desirous of creating a new illusion, a new delusion. Throw the people enough crumbs to get them out of the streets and back into their lives of quiet desperation and all will be well again. It is a hideous scenario that exists in the shadows behind the veil of secrecy. We don’t won’t real change, only the appearance of change with sufficient crumbs tossed to mob to send them back into silence.

Revolutions are dangerous not only from the stand point of the carnage of physical violence, but in their after math as well. Will the new order truly reflect the will of the people? Will new regimes and governing structure really advance the causes of human freedom, dignity and opportunity of those who have shed their life’s blood for their ideas, or will the new order be corrupted from the outset?

I will try to in simply terms define the real danger in any revolution, be it in the Arab world or the inevitable conflict that will one day rock this nation.

WE BECOME WHAT WE BEHOLD; and as such every Revolution resorts to the very tools of the regimes that are being toppled. The rhetoric of revolution is always dependent upon ideals; the aftermath is always a continuing struggle of ideals versus ideology. The aftermath of revolutions is always cloaked in the name of Justice; the reality is a matter of how far is revenge carried out under that righteous cloak, and can when the blood lust of revenge and vengeance is slacked can a new order be established foundationed on ideas, ideals and principles?

After all new regimes will be fashioned and headed by mere mortals, folks who fashioned a response of violence in secrecy to begin with, humans who utilized the tools of their masters to destroy them, humans who will not want to see their new dream toppled by anyone who finds fault with it or desires even a greater growth of freedom.

Our forefathers, when they drafted our Constitution did so emphasizing the protection of property right first and had as matter of political necessity to add the Bill Of Rights for the people. Our document displays fundamental controls over competing interests and reflects the fundamental distrust that people have of one another and personal ambitions for power and control. Can a true “Democracy” ever emerge from the ashes of Revolution, or are the innate predispositions of our species so dark that all that can be accomplished is to destroy old orders whose abuses and corrosion have gone so far as to be intolerable any longer, and they are swept aside, punished and regulated by a new order, a new order that inevitably have be brought down as in turn as it finds its own pathway of excess?  

Jefferson reminds us that:

 Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”  
We Are There!

I await the day that Americans wake up to the fact that we have been deluded, abused and manipulated while our would be masters have played us like a cheap fiddle while they have fashioned, (and call it whatever you will), a Fascist, Corptocracy, Corpocracy America.

We never were a Democracy; we have always been a representative government and we have always been taught, brain-washed in the notion that our system/structure of government embodies the best provisos and attributes for a just governance and greatest degree of human freedom available to any people on Earth. If America lived up to 50% of the great rhetoric contained in our history; we would indeed be a wondrous nation worthy of emulation. We are long on the words and wantonly short of deeds.

John F. Kennedy said: “Those who would make peaceful evolution impossible; make violent revolution inevitable.” The divisive public discourse in this nation, the ever dwindling of daily civility, the flight from ideas and ideals into monolithic ideologies guarantee that this nation is rapidly approaching the point of no return as regards any hope for the restoration of a workable system of governance in this land.  

Let me just conclude these remarks and observations with a series of quoted observation from Thomas Jefferson, all of which serve to bolster my commentary.


Every generation needs a new revolution

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important.

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and..

“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, it’s necessary consequence.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

"It is unfortunate that the efforts of mankind to recover the freedom of which they have been so long deprived, will be accompanied with violence, with errors, and even with crimes. But while we weep over the means, we must pray for the end." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795. ME 9:300

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.

"Culture jamming is a resistance movement to cultural hegemony and the homogenous nature of popular culture, executed by means of guerrilla communication. The movement is a form of public activism which is generally in opposition to commercialism, and the vectors of corporate image. It often entails transforming mass media to produce ironic or satirical commentary about itself, using the original medium's communication method. Furthermore, culture jamming is based on the idea that advertising is little more than propaganda for established interests, and that there is a lack of an available means for alternative expression in industrialized nations.

Culture jamming's dynamic aims include:

* To create a contrast between corporate or mass media images and the realities or perceived negative side of the corporation or media. This is done symbolically, with the "detournement" of pop iconography.

* To renew civic engagement and social connectedness through shared radical ideas.

* To reawaken a sense of wonder and fascination about one's surrounding environment, inspired by the frequent intentional ambiguity of a specific culture jamming technique, which stimulates personal interpretation and independent thinking.

Culture jamming's intent differs from that of artistic appropriation (which is done for art's sake) and vandalism (where destruction or defacement is the primary goal), although its results are not always so easily distinguishable."

 NY Times reporter subpoenaed in CIA case

Feds want James Risen to testify about classified docs he allegedly received from ex-CIA operative charged with leaking info


ALEXANDRIA, Virginia - Federal prosecutors issued a subpoena for a New York Times reporter to testify about classified documents he allegedly received from a former CIA operative who is charged with illegally leaking the information.

In a court filing late Monday, prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia said they expect the reporter, James Risen, will try to quash the subpoena.

Risen has not cooperated in the case against ex-CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling.A judge previously quashed a subpoena issued to Risen earlier in the case. But prosecutors say Risen's testimony would be relevant to a jury, and that reporters enjoy no special privilege under federal law to avoid testifying.

"Mr. Risen is an eyewitness to those crimes. Mr. Risen's testimony, like that of any other citizen in his situation, should therefore be admitted to permit the jury to carry out its truth-seeking function," prosecutors from the Department of Justice and the Eastern District of Virginia wrote in a court filing seeking to compel Risen's testimony at trial.

Prosecutors allege Sterling was a source for Risen in a book about CIA operations in Iran.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride in the Eastern District of Virginia referred calls to the Justice Department, where DOJ procedures require the attorney general himself to sign off on subpoenaing a journalist.

Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said in a statement that the department makes "every reasonable effort to attempt to obtain information from alternative sources before even considering a subpoena to a member of the press, and only seeks information essential to directly establishing innocence or guilt."

Sterling's lawyer, Edward MacMahon, expressed frustration Tuesday that the prosecutors' motion delved into topics that previously had been under seal.

"Everything in that motion has previously been considered classified," MacMahon said. "Ultimately this is an issue between Risen and the U.S. government."

The government's motion is actually the first time in the case that Risen was mentioned by name. The indictment referred to him only as "Author A." The judge in the case, Leonie Brinkema, has prodded the government to lift much of the shroud of secrecy in the case so it can be efficiently prosecuted in open court.

Risen's lawyer, Joel Kurtzberg, confirmed that Risen received the subpoena Monday night and again will ask the judge to quash the subpoena. He declined further comment.

A New York Times spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Sterling, who is black, has a long, contentious history with the CIA. He filed a racial discrimination complaint with the agency's Equal Opportunity office in 2000 and followed that up with several federal lawsuits.

US Embassy Cables: Barack Obama May Have 'Prejudiced' Bradley Manning Trial


Remarks that 'Manning broke law' could prejudice army private's trial over leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks

US president Barack Obama may have prejudiced the trial of US army private Bradley Manning who is charged with leaking classified US documents to WikiLeaks, by saying at a fundraiser that Manning "broke the law", a leading British MP has warned.

Ann Clywd, chairwoman of the all party parliamentary group on human rights chaired a meeting on Tuesday about the plight of the alleged WikiLeaks source to coincide with Obama's state visit to Britain.

She said she found the president’s remarks at a fundraising event in San Francisco last month "an amazing thing for the president of the United States to comment on when the man hasn't stood trial yet".

The fundraising where Obama was challenged about the US government's treatment of Manning was recorded on video. "I can't conduct diplomacy on an open source," Obama told an unidentified questioner. "That's not how … the world works. If I was to release stuff, information that I'm not authorized to release, I'm breaking the law … We're a nation of laws. We don't individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate … He broke the law."
Manning, 23, is facing a long prison sentence after being charged with leaking highly embarrassing secret government documents about the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and diplomatic cables from every US embassy in the world. He is accused under military law of obtaining the documents while at forward operating base Hammer in Iraq and passing them to Wikileaks for publication.
Manning was charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system in connection with the leaking of a video of a helicopter attack in Iraq in 2007," and "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source and disclosing classified information concerning the national defense with reason to believe that the information could cause injury to the United States."
Charges include wrongfully obtaining classified material for the purpose of posting it on the internet, knowing that the information would be accessed by the enemy; the illegal transmission of defence information; fraud; and aiding the enemy. The charges relate, among other things, to the alleged theft of more than 380,000 records from the US government's Combined Information Data Network Exchange database for Iraq, over 90,000 records from the same system for Afghanistan, more than 700 records from its Southern Command database about Guantanamo Bay and more than 250,000 records from the State Department's Net-Centric Diplomacy database, commonly known as the US Embassy cables.
Emily Butselaar, an editor at Index on Censorship, the free speech pressure group, said her organisation is also concerned that Obama may have prejudiced Manning's right to a fair trial by declaring he has broken the law.
"Despite making freedom of information and transparency key commitments of his presidential campaign, Obama's administration is cracking down on whistleblowers," she said.
"If there has to be a trial, it should be in public and not a closed military trial," Clwyd said.
A White House spokesman declined to comment citing the legal process that is underway.
Manning's detention for 23 hours a day in a tiny unfurnished cell at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, caused a storm of protest. He was held in a space measuring 6ft by 12ft with no window, furnished with a bed, toilet and sink. He was fed antidepressant pills, forbidden to exercise in his cell, and forcibly woken if he attempted to sleep in the daytime. A so-called "prevention of injury" order deprived him of his clothes at night and also of normal sheets and bedding.
Juan E Mendez, a UN special rapporteur on torture, investigated his case and accused the US government of prevarication in response to his request for an unmonitored meeting with Manning, saying he was deeply disappointed and frustrated. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley called Manning's treatment "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" and resigned two days later.
Last month, the Pentagon transferred Manning to a medium-security facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he has more freedom of movement.
CODEPINK Activist Rae Abileah Who Disrupted Netanyahu's Speech In Congress Injured By Guards And Arrested At Hospital

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517

Protester disrupting Netanyahu in Congress arrested at hospital
See press release and videos:
Photo available for use:
Police arrested CODEPINK peace activist Rae Abileah at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. Abileah was taken to the hospital after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by AIPAC members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. 

Abileah interrupted Netanyahu with a banner that said  “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation, stop Israel war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.” She rose up to speak out just after the Prime Minister talked about the youth around the world rising up for more democracy. 

As this 28-year-old Jewish American woman spoke out for the human rights of Palestinians, other members of the audience—wearing badges from the conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee—brutally attacked her. The police then dragged her out of the Gallery and took her to the George Washington University Hospital, where she was being treating for neck and shoulder injuries.

“I am in great pain, but this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that Palestinians go through on a regular basis,” said Abileah from her hospital bed. “I have been to Gaza and the West Bank, I have seen Palestinians homes bombed and bulldozed, I have talked to mothers whose children have been killed during the invasion of Gaza, I have seen the Jewish-only roads leading to ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank. This kind of colonial occupation cannot continue. As a Jew and a U.S. citizen, I feel obligated to rise up and speak out against stop these crimes being committed in my name and with my tax dollars.”

These actions were part of a week of protests called Move Over AIPAC. For more information, see: 

Right-Wing Media Predictably Attack Obama For Going To Europe After Tornadoes
Media Matters for America
Right-wing media have attacked President Obama for traveling to Europe following the tornadoes in Missouri. However, the administration's response to the tornadoes has continued during Obama's trip to Europe, and Missouri officials have praised the ...
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