WASHINGTON – Tim Alberta reports for National Journal that the “Republican Study Committee [RSC]—a group of 172 conservative House members—has barred Heritage Foundation employees from attending its weekly meeting in the Capitol.” Heritage, a fiscally conservative Washington think-tank, has traditionally been involved in the closed-door meetings but no longer.
Through the summer, Heritage insisted that a relatively popular program, commonly known as “food stamps,” be voted on separately from subsidies to big agrobusiness.
In July, Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage arm Heritage Action, released a statement to that effect. It read, “The purpose of ending the unholy alliance that has dominated the food stamp and farm bill for decades is to allow substantive debate that would allow the House to show its conservative values. Also, Needham warned the RSC against “subsidies and government intervention that will continue to harm consumers and taxpayers alike.”
You can read more here about how powerful Republican Party politicians are in league against conservatives and with powerful farming special interests.
Nation Editor Barbara Ehrenreich said the Government’s Message to the Poor is ‘Die’
WASHINGTON – Barbara Ehrenreich, contributing editor at The Nation, suggested on August 15 that the government’s message to poor people is essentially to “die.” Asked by The Internet Chronicle about the roots of New York City’s stop-and-frisk program, Ehrenreich alluded to a Michigan woman’s struggle to escape a 30-day prison sentence for being unable to pay for a son’s incarceration. Ehrenreich was speaking at the Lamont Street Collective.
“There’s a punitive mentality in this country,” said Ehrenreich, “that is not entirely sane.”
New York City Police have a long-standing policy of halting, interrogating, and searching pedestrians – judicial critics have said, without probable cause. In an August 12 decision, federal District Judge Shira Scheindlin rejected the city’s stop-and-frisk policy, saying that it amounted to “indirect racial profiling.” The vast majority of those stopped in 2012 alone were black or Hispanic.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the policy. And Tuesday, city attorneys sent a letter to Scheindlin citing statistics that use of the policy had declined by more than half over a year.
According to a statement by the American Civil Liberties Union, Edwina Nowlin, a Detroit, Michigan native, served 28 days of her sentence before the organization’s having successfully interceded.
Ehrenreich, the New York Times bestselling author of “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” blamed the rise of New York City’s financial sector in the 1980s and 1990s for the persecution of the poor. “Gentrification,” she said, has become rationale for targeting the impoverished.
Said Ehrenreich, Nowlin “was picked up by the cops on the street and charged with not only the usual homeless crime of being in the street and so forth but with failing to pay for her son’s – 16-year-old son’s – room and board in jail … So [Nowlin] gets picked up and she gets put in jail for that. Then she gets a paycheck. She thinks it can be applied to her son’s room and board, but no, it’s immediately confiscated for her room and board in jail.”
Added Ehrenreich, “Now, what is going on here? What are they thinking? I mean, the message to people who don’t have money is, ‘die;’ you know, just be dead; be gone.”
Ehrenreich also said that the mass incarceration of the poor – the design, she claims, of the Bloomberg administration’s embrace of stop-and-frisk – initiated under the aegis of beautification.
At the close of her talk, she said that her opposition to stop-and-frisk not due to its enforcement being racist but because police should not have grounds to randomly halt and interrogate innocent individuals whatsoever.
The author’s comments on August 15 are in the video below:
Snowden has proved the insidious discount card programs at Supermarkets track your every move.
MOSCOW, Russia – New leaks by Edward Snowden, the whistleblower responsible for unveiling NSA surveillance programs, show that all “discount cards” offered by supermarkets are in fact used as part of a ubiquitous data collection and surveillance program.
“Every time you swipe that card to save a few measly cents,” said Snowden, via collect call, “they collect information on everything you purchase. They know what you eat and drink, and they know how you pay for it.”
Supermarkets fired back at Snowden, claiming that the data isn’t identified with individuals unless it poses a clear and present danger.
But Snowden provided evidence to The Internet Chronicle showing that that was clearly not the case. In documents obtained during his tenure as elite hacker for the NSA, Snowden uncovered a program to profile every individual, including images taken from supermarket video surveillance, which has been in place for decades.
“They watch you pick up every item and can compare it with metadata,” warned Snowden. “Everyone has a file, and I wouldn’t be surprised if shoplifters were prosecuted 10, 20 years down the line when it’s possible to analyze this data in more detail.”
Snowden is an important figure, but not nearly as important as the story he created by releasing these NSA files. President Obama has already confirmed and condoned their practices, but this is a tremendous story substantiated with hard evidence and what follows will have huge, far-reaching implications.
We live in a surveillance state. That much is certain. But there’s a gritty reality behind what that entails.
I just saw graphic photographs of Snowden’s girlfriend on the internet. She’s a lovely lady, but the stories are just despicable – obviously dredged up for titillation to sell readership, but there’s something so animalistic about it. The woman, as meat, without Snowden in her life anymore. It’s fucking tragic, and people are just gawking at her. This “news” outlet describes how she lives alone in her Hawaii home now that Snowden is missing. That’s just sick. Show pictures of her almost naked, and then describe where she’s known to live, and how vulnerable she is. I imagined if that were you, how it would make me feel. I am totally horrified. The United States is currently engaged in an information arms race, and I consider Snowden’s girlfriend a sort of digital casualty, probably worse.
I can say without hesitation no terrorist attack in all the years I’ve been alive has frightened me a fraction as much as the realization I came to myself, that my entire life could be taken away from me in a keystroke on the whim of a government which justifies its Orwellian chokehold on power in the name of “security.”
We may safely declare this is a war between us, and the United States Government.
Even with the awareness of my keywords in the subject line of this email, combined with my position at the Chronicle which is now associated with Snowden – and has undoubtedly triggered the absolute certainty of some nine-to-fiver on federal payroll having to read over this private email to you – I am comfortable saying this to you and to them, and I’d even publish this on the site: We may safely declare this is a war between us, and the United States Government. By ourselves, I mean all the people of the world – even those without a constitution with similar Fourth Amendment rights to privacy & freedoms from searches and seizure – because if our Constitution guarantees us these rights, then shouldn’t it apply to all potential subjects of the US Government? That is to say, every American citizen has been identified by his or her own government as a potential enemy combatant, or a terrorist, or whatever you want to call it… and is treated thusly, with blanketed, aggregate surveillance combined with the specific, surgical analysis of private communications. All tracked, like a herd of sheep, all outliers monitored. I read the figures today, a low estimate puts their requests at around a quarter million US citizens under close surveillance. That is to say, their emails, Facebook messages, Skype messages, Google search histories, Gmail contents, etc. were all turned over for analysis – by law.
Perhaps even more disturbingly, as if that isn’t bad enough, I have it on good authority the US Government is teamed up with Microsoft and Google to allow the government to save files to a person’s computer, if required as part of an investigation. At first you might assume this can include keyloggers, and it certainly could, but technology has advanced beyond the need to trace simple keyboard activity. No, perhaps most damaging of all is the ability of government secret agents to plant files on computers through Google and Microsoft Windows backdoors, designed by these tech firms explicitly for government use – which are later used as evidence against outspoken government critics. Illegal files, like rape videos and child pornography can be dredged up from a person’s hard drive and used against him or her in court, after the government put it there – just like that Dave Chappelle joke about crooked cops dealing with black people: “Alright, let’s sprinkle some crack on him and get the hell out of here.”
People, I am dismayed and horrified by the evidence coming out against my government, and their stubborn refusal to undo this evil perpetrated upon us. Next week, the United States will come out with charges against Snowden. There will be protests, shows of support, but the TV-viewing majority, as I witnessed while staying in TN (around a television), is already being told Snowden is a traitor. That’s right, by the “news” like CNN and FOX and MSNBC and whatever else is on there. Even people I work with believe he is a traitor, but Snowden is not like Manning. Snowden, through Greenwald, carefully released ONLY what the public needed to know and is withholding some even bigger shit because he is using discretion the way a journalist is supposed to use and is expected to use, but still, he’s being made out to be a criminal.
And because Snowden is doomed, we are all doomed.
This is the last generation who knew freedom, and we were just kids. I’m sorry this is happening. I really am trying to come to grips with it myself, and I am sorry the whole world got wired up and went fucking crazy. We’re now witnessing the sad, nervous breakdown of a once prosperous nation, and there is no turning back.
This story is still young, so all the things which I’ve told you will continue to come out over the next few weeks, and then it will be dangerously forgotten. The extradition and judicial process for Snowden will be long and slow, just like Manning’s currently is, but this will be worse. There’s going to be a whole new determination of what it means to be ignorant and naive, and people are going to deny the importance of this event, and say those who don’t are carrying on – but mark my words – American justice just shot heroin, and she thinks it feels good.
The rest of our time spent in America will be characterized almost entirely by the long, drawn-out process of watching it die, and remembering better times.
Plato said that a city driven by luxuries was fevered, and in a state of Eternal War the entire planet is overrun by Jungles as Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming alter the climate and lead to mass-famines in every city except on small islands. Repeated Nuclear Detonations release just enough ash to partially cancel the global warming, ironically becoming the only reason life on Earth can possibly survive.
FROM WITHIN PRISM’S PANOTPIC GAZE — The Empire Has No Clothes, and the Revolution draws ever nearer, just as me and all my friends on Twitter have always agreed. It’s so close I can taste it.
As the Panopticon’s Black Iron Prison encloses the planet Earth from a panoply of hateful Imperial powers — America, China, and every tinpot dictator in each patsy state on the planet, We, The People of the Internet have been busy plotting the perfect and most intellectual plans for the New World Order, which also happens to be the thing conspiracy theorists like me fear most. I’ve done tremendous research on this problem, and have logged untold thousands of hours on many different versions of Sid Meyer’s Civilization series.
The New World Order is a horror, of course, unless you happen to believe in Reparations for all Blacks in America, Gay Marriage, Legal Marijuana, Maximum Salaries, and Maximum Work Weeks. You want some hope? I’ll throw that in, but you’ve got to send me bitcoins.
That’s right! No one in America (Or our patsy semi-colonies!) will EVER work more than 20 hours a week. It’s a bitch when all these RedBoxes, McBoxes, and Combine Harvesters take the jobs of all our illegal immigrants and we have to start paying for their healthcare. But not anymore! No, No! We will have enough jobs even for the freeloaders and the tramps, and people will still be able to become unbelievably filthy fucking rich with a maximum yearly income of 5 million dollars. Sure, some people might say I want to unfairly tax the everliving shit out of those who bring in billions, but I don’t see it that way. They made it all on your dime! Think about it, we’ve been investing tax money into computers and robots for a hundred years in order to fight for freedom and defeat the Nazi Scum. We SHOULD be living in a Techno Utopia with Robots doing Everything! To HELL with Nazi-sympathizing billionaires who think that THEY should get ALL profit off of The Only God Damned GOOD war we’ve fought in a long time. We’re gonna invest it in robots, motherfucker! If you Vote for ME as president of the New World Order, which will surely follow the oncoming Revolution (I believe it was instigated by the Chinese! They’ve taken Snowden into their grips, and I’m afraid it’s too late for Obama. (We can’t fall into the grips of China. Trust me, I would prefer Prism to the Great FireWall ANY DAY.))
Armed militia groups have assembled in public spaces around the nation in response to totalitarian government surveillance.
WASHINGTON – Floods of concerned citizens around the nation are reporting the same chilling story: Convoys of military and paramilitary forces are arriving at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) camps, which are capable of indefinitely interning a large proportion of American citizens. Militia groups have reportedly assembled in downtown Grand Rapids, N.D., at the Citadel patriot community in Benewah County, Idaho, and at least a hundred public spaces across the nation. Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside of the entrance to the access road leading to the deep-underground FEMA Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. It is unclear whether this is a response to activation of FEMA camps, or if the FEMA camps activated in response to the assembly of these militias, who are likening themselves to an armed Occupy movement.
A spokesperson for the OccupyMilitia, as the spontaneous militarized protest movement has been dubbed, said, “We don’t want death or violence. We just want an end to totalitarian Internet surveillance, and we know from watching the Occupy protests that we need to be armed if we want to be heard.”
Citizens around the nation wait with bated breath as the inevitable conflict approaches, and for some the story has become too much to handle.
“We’ve had several suicides related to this NSA wiretap story,” said Dr. Angstrom H. Troubador of Mercy Hospital in Cuthbert, Ga. “More are coming in by the hour as these FEMA stories spread. People are certain they will soon be sent to their death in these camps, especially those who already believe Obama is the Antichrist.”
One fine morning several weeks ago, I received a phone call from the local FBI office requesting an interview about Barrett Brown, former spokesperson for the Anonymous hacking collective. I told the agent, on the phone, that I didn’t really have any useful information, but he still wanted to talk to me. I didn’t see the harm in it, so I agreed to meet him that afternoon at a nearby coffee shop. For the rest of the day I grew increasingly nervous about the meeting as new and scarier possibilities came into my mind, despite their improbability. Was this guy a legitimate FBI agent, or was he something else? Did he intend to harm me, or possibly kill me?
I arrived to the coffee place a few minutes early and browsed through a selection of used books which included Bruce Sterling’s Hacker Crackdown — on sale for ten cents. Nearly immediately, I was accosted by a gregarious teenage girl, who complimented my beard and compared me to a popular musician I had never heard of. She was blonde, cute, and bubbly, but just underneath the surface lurked high culture. For the next few minutes we talked about Nietzsche and Goethe, until I saw the FBI agent staring at me from the corner of my eye. I said to the girl something like, “I’m sorry. I’m here to meet an FBI agent and talk to him about some shit.” She did not ask why, but instead exclaimed, loudly, “I hope he doesn’t drag you away and poison you!” This bizarre exchange, to which I have done little justice, was surely within earshot of the agent, and I still wonder whether it was some insidious kind of psychological manipulation. I am sure it was even stranger from the point of view of the agent.
He sat at a small table with a little pile of papers, and I joined him. On the papers were questions for me and information about me. I saw my driver’s license photo in full color for the first time, but with a distorted aspect ratio which widened my face. His manner was gentle, as you’d expect from a computer guy, and he wore an impeccable grey suit with fancy wingtip shoes. Because he alluded to a position with national security implications, that is all the description I will provide. Despite warning me that he was not an expert on Anonymous, he came across as generally well-informed, if not hopelessly misled on a few specifics. His praise for my writing was effusive and embarrassing, so much so that he apologized, and I could not help but glance at the girl, who now sat with her friends just a table away, as circuit breakers in my brain began to blow. What does she think of me, sitting here, getting this kind of incredible praise from an FBI agent? Surely she must be hearing this shit, and certainly she must not believe any of it. This boiling cauldron of ego soup was all the hotter for the chilling anxiety I had felt leading up to it. Yet, for all that, I did not detect a hint of inauthenticity in the agent’s manner, and, in fact, I saw genuine disappointment after a joke he told bombed because of my abnormally serious demeanor.
The business of the interview, the source of my anxiety, turned out to be a bit of a sad joke and far less disconcerting than all the continuous praise. Several questions, for instance, hinged on a case of mistaken identity. Because I use the pseudonym Kilgore Trout and had been somewhat of a nemesis to Barrett Brown, the FBI had apparently connected me with another Kilgore Trout who was, several years before I knew of Brown, also at odds with Brown. Both Brown and the other Trout had participated on the Little Green Footballs web site, some despicable hole of fringe punditry, but I knew very little about it. The agent claimed Brown had tasked a hacker with cracking Little Green Footballs — a fairly explosive piece of information. Evidence of Brown giving jobs to hackers has been alluded to in many stories about LulzSec, but no one has been sure of Brown’s level of involvement. If it was true he tasked someone with hacking Little Green Footballs, then his involvement with LulzSec could have possibly been pivotal. It was shocking, but of course I knew nothing that could be of help in any case. With grave seriousness which was not present in any other part of the conversation, he asked something like, “You once wrote that Barrett Brown worked for China or Russia. Is this true?” Like his joke that bombed earlier, my mind was too messed up to laugh at the right cue, and I did my best to seriously explain the joke. While anything is possible, I can’t get over the certainty that the FBI, in general, is seriously convincedin Anonymous and its possible connections to foreign power. It brings to mind reports out of Iranian state-owned media that attacks by Anonymous are orchestrated by the American government.
It’s nice to be reminded that law enforcement agents are real people, but it’s also a bit disturbing — because they’re real people. Anons, especially, tend to imagine law enforcement as a monolithic edifice which sees all and acts like a hatefully inhuman machine in exacting draconian punishments for the smallest infractions. Maybe that likeness is accurate enough in a few cases, but at the same time it’s really humans we’re talking about — prone to the same fear, misinterpretation, misinformation, and confusion as the rest of us.
The following video was extracted from an archive of federal repossessions and returned the chronicle.su office late last year.
“Years of systematically abusing oneself while praying to Charles Manson leads a person to create music and imagery like this. And in one dark night, it can all disappear. With one murder, all your work can be lost forever, whether you meant to kill the guy or not.” – Ronald Reagan
The pretext for this video more or less implies that the video was released in order to meet serious market demand for distorted pornographic imagery interlaced with swastikas and pictures of world leaders being shredded apart while a man sings into a dildo-enhanced microphone. There is no turning back now. Your mind is on the drugs.