A somewhat irreverent look at state, government, and politics with a bit of econ thrown in as well since the two are inseparably linked in modern society and politicians and bankers are invariably at the coffers of the other, at least when not dipping their greedy hands into taxpayer pockets. Be forewarned the blog will have a decidedly libertarian slant.


Obama Promises, Including Whistleblower Protections, Disappear From Website


Really, Mr. President, our memories are not as weak as you and your administration seem to think they are. This is a clumsy and embarrassing attempt to rewrite history. But we will not forget. Nor will history. History will judge you no matter how much you attempt to deform or delete from it. The truth will always live on somewhere and reappear when most needed by the society.

Statement by Julian Assange on Verdict in Bradley Manning Court-Martial | The Dissenter



[On Tuesday July 30] Bradley Manning, a whistleblower, was convicted by a military court at Fort Meade of 19 offences for supplying the press with information, including five counts of ‘espionage’. He now faces a maximum sentence of 136 years.

The ‘aiding the enemy’ charge has fallen away. It was only included, it seems, to make calling journalism ‘espionage’ seem reasonable. It is not.

Bradley Manning’s alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower.

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ‘espionage’.

President Obama has initiated more espionage proceedings against whistleblowers and publishers than all previous presidents combined.

In 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama ran on a platform that praised whistleblowing as an act of courage and patriotism. That platform has been comprehensively betrayed. His campaign document described whistleblowers as watchdogs when government abuses its authority. It was removed from the internet last week.

Throughout the proceedings there has been a conspicuous absence: the absence of any victim. The prosecution did not present evidence that – or even claim that – a single person came to harm as a result of Bradley Manning’s disclosures. The government never claimed Mr. Manning was working for a foreign power.

The only ‘victim’ was the US government’s wounded pride, but the abuse of this fine young man was never the way to restore it. Rather, the abuse of Bradley Manning has left the world with a sense of disgust at how low the Obama administration has fallen. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness.

The judge has allowed the prosecution to substantially alter the charges after both the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases, permitted the prosecution 141 witnesses and extensive secret testimony. The government kept Bradley Manning in a cage, stripped him naked and isolated him in order to crack him, an act formally condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture. This was never a fair trial.

The Obama administration has been chipping away democratic freedoms in the United States. With today’s verdict, Obama has hacked off much more. The administration is intent on deterring and silencing whistleblowers, intent on weakening freedom of the press.

(Source: theamericanbear)

New jobs disproportionately low-pay or part-time

Bureau of Lies and Scams: Unemployment at 7.4 Percent


From the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in retail trade, food services and drinking places, financial activities, and wholesale trade.

Karl Denninger of Market ticker has this analysis:

Annualized, and population-corrected, we’re still in the hole… that figure is now -415,000 jobs annualized adjusted for population changes.  So no, we’re not “growing” employment — we’re stagnant.

Part-time for economic reasons workers (those who want full-time jobs but can’t find them) was flat annualized and up only slightly compared to last month.  Non-economic part-timers (by choice) was up 84,000 on the month and also up annualized.

Discouraged workers were up about 135,000 annualized.

Weekly hours were down a tenth and hourly earnings were off 2 cents.  If you look at the average weekly earnings loss ($3.09) and multiply it by the total employed (145,113,000) then divide by the average weekly earnings the imputed job loss due to hourly earnings and hour declines is 543,573, massively dwarfing the so-called “gains.”

This is a crap report no matter the spin put on it.

New Snowden leak: NSA program taps all you do online



Maybe what we all need is a good slap in the face.

(Source: socialismartnature)

GenQueue: How we are gentrified, impoverished and silenced – if we allow it


Momentous change almost always begins with the courage of people taking back their own lives against the odds.

New Statesman - John Pilger - July 25th

The Park Hill Flats in Sheffield in 1972. Photograph: Getty Images

I have known my postman for more than 20 years. Conscientious and goodhumoured, he is the embodiment of public service at its best. The other day, I asked him, “Why are you standing in front of each door like a soldier on parade?”
“New system,” he replied. “I am no longer required simply to post the letters through the door. I have to approach every door in a certain way and put the letters through in a certain way.”
“Ask him.”
Across the street was a solemn young man, clipboard in hand, whose job was to stalk postmen and see they abided by the new rules, no doubt in preparation for privatisation. I told the stalker my postman was admirable. His face remained flat, except for a momentary flicker of confusion.
In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley describes a new class conditioned to a normality that is not normal “because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does”.
Surveillance is normal in the Age of Regression – as Edward Snowden revealed. Ubiquitous cameras are normal. Subverted freedoms are normal. Effective public dissent is now controlled by the police, whose intimidation is normal.
The traducing of noble terms such as “democracy”, “reform”, “welfare” and “public service” is normal. Prime ministers lying openly about lobbyists and war aims is normal. The export of £4bn worth of British arms, including crowd control ammunition, to the medieval state of Saudi Arabia, where apostasy is a capital crime, is normal.
The wilful destruction of efficient, popular public institutions such as the Royal Mail is normal. A postman is no longer a postman, going about his decent work; he is an automaton to be watched, a box to be ticked. Aldous Huxley described this regression as insane and our “perfect adjustment to that abnormal society” a sign of the madness.
Are we “perfectly adjusted” to all of this? No, not yet.

Bradley Manning facing up to 136 years as sentencing phase begins



It was President Obama himself who infamously said, “If you see something, say something.” It seems Manning neglected to read the fine print. Now the whistleblower who called attention to U.S. war crimes faces life in prison while the perpetrators of those crimes go scot-free. Sort of makes a total mockery of the Nuremberg trials and our government’s participation in that landmark event.