I have always thought that if we lost our republic, it would not be a dramatic shift to an open dictatorship; rather, it would be a shift from a republic to something that still seemed to have the form of a republic. Rather like the Roman Empire, when Augustus, the first emperor, ruled as the "first citizen" in what was sold as a continuation of the republic, complete with a Senate that persisted for hundreds of years. Is our government the "real" government, or are all of the decisions for the national security state made behind the scenes, with the president more or less a figurehead? I don't mean to sound paranoid; I am agnostic about this, but I wonder about the scope of the National Security Act of 1947. It doesn't seem that the last couple of elections made much difference from the Bush years. And somehow, there are always enough people who are suborned to make sure that real change never happens, as we saw in last week's NSA vote.
Michael Johnson seems to be thinking along the same lines.
Let's ask Bill Hicks for his opinion:
Yes, doesnt seem to be much difference between Obama and the Bush crowd.He hasnt even closed Guantanamo. When it comes to climate change the fossil fuel companies are totally in control. And the NSA spying thing is on such a scale: You coud hardly say this is a government that trusts its people. Whats it going to take? The earth going into an unstoppable tipping point? Its too late then. Unregulated markets just let the Gordan Geckos of this world run wild IMO.
Thanks for the link yet again, Tom.
Although I feel as I write articles like that...it's like throwing a glass of water over Niagra Falls.
I don't know whether I've become more pessimistic over last 12 years, but I can't help but feel nearly certain that Bradley Manning will be convicted.
Also: most of us saw that Eric Holder reassured us that Snowden wouldn't get the Death Penalty. This assumes some Deal will be made with the Russians. And WHY is Holder already convicting and choosing a sentence for Snowden? And Why is Snowden a criminal? And WHY should we believe Holder/Obama on this? And - always the most pressing Q for me - WHY doesn't the public seem to care?
Tony Smyth says, "You can hardly say this is a government that trusts its people." I have to admit I think Tony's only too accurate here. (Chomsky has been saying the same thing for years, and just did again, recently. He's cited govt. memos that refer to the populace as "enemy territory"...)
Obama/Cheney and the NSA seem mostly an arm of Protection for the Owners of the country, and those Owners' assets over the Earth, and the "right" to continue with what they were doing. Any damned Americans or other Terrorists who seek to stifle the Getting ought to be stopped before they can start. The Constitution - as Dumya let on - really does seem like a "scrap of paper" to them.
To quote one street corner philosopher I talked to a few months ago, This is some fucked-up shit comin' down from Above, man.
I wonder about...some better word for mass hypnosis.
fuzzbuddy: thanks for injecting Hicks into this discussion. He and Carlin and RAW and Krassner and a few others always seem the ones equal to this grave topic. That they're "only" comedians or social satirists puzzles me too: "only." As if some former Head of State is who we should be listening to when it comes to the persecution of whistleblowers and true patriots, the utter trampling of the 4th Amendment...
Thanks for the nod, Jackson. I give it a shot?
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