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Some critics of the total information awareness police state have mentioned that the fast-spreading corporate state spy network is beginning to look like the old East Germany Ministry for State Security (or Stasi).  And many people take issue with that characterization; some get offended by it.

I argue that their reaction may be do to not being aware of the exact nature of the spy network.  Actually, I would go a step further and say that when it comes to the modern surveillance police state in this country, what it has evolved into is far worst than the Stasi, by leaps and bounds.

One of its main tasks was spying on the population, mainly through a vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures including hidden psychological destruction of dissidents (Zersetzung, literally meaning decomposition). It also worked as an intelligence agency abroad, the respective division Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung was responsible for both espionage and for conducting covert operations in foreign countries.  Under its long-time head Markus Wolf it gained reputation as one of the most effective intelligence agencies of the Cold War. Numerous Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes after 1990. After German reunification, the surveillance files the Stasi had maintained for millions of East Germans were laid open, so that any citizen could inspect his personal file on request.

[The emphasis is mine]

Imagine if the Stasi had the total-information-awareness capabilities we have today!

Before I present the case to support my assertion, let me go straight to the "elephant in the room" when it comes to the reason why the American Surveillance Police State is so dangerous to civil liberties: The subterfuge used to justify it is national security, protecting the citizenry against terrorist plots, and against crime.  It is a fact that that is an important function of the surveillance police state, but it is not the most important function.  The most important function (the reason it has the funding it has) is to be used as a tool of repression and oppression against the population to prevent us from organizing and acting against the depradations of the corporate state, in the name of profits.



Hence, as this worst-than-Stasi system takes hold, its real targets will be social justice activist, labor union organizers, environmental activists, and those who threaten the control and profits of the corporate state.

And what I'm describing there is outright fascism.

Today Al Jazeera published an article about how DC police is turning average citizens into spies: "Exclusive: How DC police use citizens as spies - Al Jazeera investigates shadowy surveillance technology revealed in correspondence between law enforcement and TrapWire."

But TrapWire has become a lightning rod for civil libertarian groups and other critics who see its technology — and law enforcement’s hunger for it — as a symptom of a creeping surveillance state in the age of the so-called war on terrorism. That feeling has only been strengthened in the wake of the leaks by Edward Snowden, the former contractor with the National Security Agency who revealed details of mass data trawling by U.S. spy agencies and those of other countries.

Now Al Jazeera has obtained more than 2,000 pages of documents from the MPD in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the department that casts a rare spotlight into how TrapWire’s technology has been used by law enforcement (read the original contract) and the sorts of activities that are being picked up by the system.

Let me address one more thing, which I've mentioned in my previous writings about this subject: The reason this situation is so dangerous is because thousands of companies peddling surveillance, national security, and crime-prevention products and services are mainly interested in profits, in increasing market share.  Individually, these companies may not seem to be doing anything wrong, and I'm sure none of their employees or executives have the intention of trampling all over our civil and constitutional rights.  But that's what the banality of evil is all about.  Individually, they are just doing their job.  Collectively, they are the precursors of a totalitarian, fascist surveillance police state.  The whole thing is operating on auto-pilot, as it were.

That's the first part of the problem.  The second part is the culture of legalized briberythat has engulfed our political system: From Top Cop to the Corporate Boardroom: Ex-Police Chiefs Spin Through Revolving Doors Into the Private Sector

"Bratton's seamless shifting between police agencies and private intelligence firms, or the board of Motorola, raises significant questions," Crockford said. "It's a problem in that police are supposed to serve the public interest. But corporations have other interests, competing interests, and other motives."

In a Los Angeles Times article in 2009, years before Bratton was hired by Motorola Solutions, former California Assembly member Tom Hayden said "there were obvious red flags" back when Bratton was hired straight out of Kroll Inc. to run the LAPD. "The man monitoring the city's compliance with a federal decree was the friend and former employer of the man he was supposed to be monitoring. Was this really the sort of independent, conflict-free relationship required of a monitor?" Hayden called for an independent inquiry. None was ever undertaken.

When public officials are mainly interested in cashing in on their official duties, there will be a tendency to take actions that benefit their future employers, while in office, and then use their influence (peddling) on behalf of those employers when they leave office.  If there is a better definition of public corruption, someone please share it with me.

Getting back to the Al Jazeera article, if you read, you will become aware about the dangers of turning average citizens into spies.  The potential pitfalls are many: racial profiling; the building of dossiers of totally innocent people, kept in government databases for years; the repression, infiltration, and entrapment of social justice activists, civil liberties groups, and environmentalists.  And you will learn that the vast majority of that unwarranted surveillance results in very little actionable intelligence when it comes to real crimes.

These programs are not only wasteful and harmful, they are insulting to our intelligence,” said Kade Crockford, the director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union in Massachusetts, who reviewed the MPD’s TrapWire documents obtained by Al Jazeera.

“Americans aren’t stupid. If we see someone with a gun or a knife, we will call the police,” Crockford said. “The notion that we should report to the police people taking photographs and notes or ‘acting suspicious’ runs contrary to every democratic value this nation claims to defend.

It’s a waste of public resources, and it promotes a culture of fear, which is corrosive to democracy and an open society.”

[The emphasis is mine]

Now, and getting back to my argument about this spy network being worst than the Stasi, add to these accounts the recent revelations about the government and a vast network of corporate spies infiltration of social justice groups, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: Corporations increasingly spying on nonprofits, group says.

Corporations are increasingly spying on nonprofit groups they view as potential threats with little fear of retribution, according to a new report by a corporate watchdog group.

The large companies employ former Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, FBI, military and police officers to monitor and in some cases infiltrate groups that have been critical of them, according to the report by Essential Information, which was founded by Ralph Nader in the 1980s.

"Many different types of nonprofits have been targeted with espionage, including environmental, anti-war, public interest, consumer, food safety, pesticide reform, nursing-home reform, gun control, social justice, animal rights and arms control groups," the report said.

And then of course, there is the issue of sockpuppets, of which I wrote about in this recent diary: Persona Management, Misinformation Artists, And Propaganda in 2013.  And the issue of corporate state propaganda.

You put it all together, I and argue that the Stasi had nothing on the current crop of corporatis thugs who have taken over the levers of power.

Finally, one recurring counter-argument I often hear when I call attention to these issues is that the situation isn't that bad, that I'm being hyperbolic, that if we really lived in a police state I (and others) would not be able to write about this things.

My take on those arguments is that sometimes people do need to be hit with the proverbial (or real) two-by-four in order to wake up to certain realities.  They would walk to their front window, look at the quiet street, the beautiful trees, and the chirping birds and say, "Nope, no police state or jack-booted thugs out there, so RP is  just blowing smoke!"

Folks, as fellow kosack bobswern often points out, we're talking about turn-key totalitarianism (or fascism).  The ruling elite is building this cage all around us, almost in plain view.  I argue that unless we confront this situation head-on, now, at some point the mask will come off and the system will reveal its true nature.  They are building this fascistic infrastructure because they intent to use it.

One final point: Sometimes I'm accused of being pessimistic about the future, when I focus on these issues.  That is not the case.  I'm actually very optimistic, and one of the main reasons is because of the revelations of crimes committed by the surveillance state, as exposed by Edward Snowden.  I'm grateful of the work Glenn Greenwald, and Bill Moyers, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Jesselyn Radack, and the ACLU, and the folks from the Occupy Wall Street movement, and Bob Reich, and the many Daily Kos activists around the country, and the people from Popular Resistance, and countless activists around the country.

We are going to set this straight!  And I do feel that by the spring and summer of 2014 the peaceful resistance (against corporate state oppression) will be in full swing.  I just can't bring myself to accept that we the people are going to let a tiny group of plutocrats dominate us, exploit us and oppress us so completely.  I have to believe that at one point we collectively are going to say, "Okay, enough of this bullshit!"  I believe the tipping point is fast approaching.  

UDPATE 1: TUE DEC 17, 2013 AT 04:00 PM PST - A few users brought to my attention that Angela Merkel herself used the Stasi comparison.

The Guardian: Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

UDPATE 2: TUE DEC 17, 2013 AT 06:00 PM PST Thanks to fellow Kosack ApostleOfCarlin  for alerting me to the following BusinessInsider article:
Former Stasi Officer: The NSA Domestic Surveillance Program Would Have Been 'A Dream Come True' For East Germany
The National Security Agency's domestic surveillance capabilities would have been "a dream come true" for East Germany, a former lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country's secret police told Matthew Schofield of McClatchy.

~Snip~

“You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” Wolfgang Schmidt said. “So much information, on so many people.”

The comments echo those made by NSA whistleblower William Binney, who told documentarian Laura Poitras that the danger of the NSA's domestic dragnet is that "we fall into a totalitarian state. This is something the KGB, the Stasi or the Gestapo would have loved to have had."

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Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues.  Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people.  They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies.  A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption."  Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll.  Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them.  And talking about trolls, visit my "Trolls gone wild! diary to read about how they do their thing, and to see them in action!
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Comment Preferences

  •  if you see something, subvert someone else /nt (5+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:56:32 AM PST

  •  To be clear, it's worse than the Stasi (14+ / 0-)

    in terms of what it watches. Internally the intelligence gathering services aren't torturing people or holding them like the Stasi did. Sure, there's repression, but we've got it all spread out. That way no one is accountable for when people get tortured in prisons, and they do. We literally give our police officers devices that allow them to electrocute people until those people do what the officer wants. But we spread it out the responsibilities so much that there is no institution like the Stasi.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:04:43 PM PST

  •  FB as Stasi-Lite /nt (5+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:07:23 PM PST

  •  Can we please stop with the "Stasi" nonsense? (32+ / 0-)

    Even Edward Snowden refutes the comparison.

    The Stasi murdered, tortured, abducted, and held hostage it's own citizens. The NSA May or may not be reading my emails. Both are wrong, but it's a world of difference.

    President Obama has the amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

    by NoFortunateSon on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:07:54 PM PST

  •  'Worst [sic] than the Stasi'? (26+ / 0-)

    Hyperbole is a great tool for writers. I am a big fan of hyperbole. But history is more important than hyperbole. How much do you know about the Stasi? About life in East Germany under the Soviet-supervised communist regime? Did you ever travel there, under the eerie eye of machine gun-toting guards in watchtowers stationed along the autobahn corridor linking West Germany and West Berlin?

    Did you ever live there? Did you ever fear the disappearance of your family members, their murder at the hands of the state, for any reason at all--including any form of political speech? Did you ever have your body pumped full of dangerous drugs just so you could perform better as an athlete and win medals for your country?

    Your ahistorical hyperbole is offensive. It spits on the graves of all who suffered and died at the hands of the Stasi. It dishonors the millions of brave Germans who resisted and fought to free themselves. And it undermines any points you are trying to make about current abuses, which are in no way comparable to the heinous crimes of the Stasi.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:10:07 PM PST

    •  Thank you for some perspective. (7+ / 0-)

      I came into this post to write pretty much the same thing.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:08:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I did travel there, to Berlin in fall of 1987 (11+ / 0-)

      It was two years before the wall fell.  We saw the gaudy capitalism in West Berlin on the Ku'damm;  in contrast there was one big department store in East Berlin called Centrum.  Next to a display of ugly stationery there was a barrel of unwrapped toilet paper rolls--because it was, you know, the paper department.
         We also saw the death houses in West Berlin--not concentration camps, but ordinary  houses where they had, instead of living room furniture, a noose where people were hanged, right next to a desk where a the names where neatly recorded.

          So, yeah, I'm also a bit offended by the attempt to make cheap blog points.  I'm assuming the last few diaries bombed, so, time to ratchet up the nonsense again.

      Don't be that white guy telling African Americans what is and isn't racist.--kos

      by chicago minx on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:41:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How soon before we're all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, gulfgal98, Kombema

    reduced to mathematical algorithms as envisioned by Hari Seldon in Asimov's Foundation Trilogy?

  •  name names. Start with all the infiltratiors here. (16+ / 0-)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

    by terrypinder on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:12:22 PM PST

    •  Everyone who rec's this comment (6+ / 0-)

      will certainly be on The List!

      Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

      by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:28:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your snarky efforts to detail this diary (9+ / 0-)

      with nonsensical posts noted.

      Did you forget about the famous 'DBAD' rule?

      You broke it.

      •  Asking someone to name names is dickish? (11+ / 0-)

        (also, I was serious.)

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

        by terrypinder on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:56:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  terrypinder, I saw your comments (4+ / 0-)

          in this diary.

          You have no credibility on this.

          •  oh, honey. (4+ / 5-)

            Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

            by terrypinder on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:04:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You can take your (10+ / 0-)

              condescending, sexist "oh, honey" and shove it where the sun don't shine.

            •  "honey"? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ek hornbeck, TheMomCat, poligirl

              yeah that get's one

              Victim of the system~Bob Marley

              by LaEscapee on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:04:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really, then you (3+ / 0-)

                had better never visit Baltimore or Torrington, CT.  I have zero clue what gender angel d is == nor do I care.  

                " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                by gchaucer2 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:18:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  angel d is a she. (6+ / 0-)

                  And I, too, find terrypinder's "oh, honey" offensive. It feels deliberately dismissive, in an intentionally sexist way.

                  I understand what you are saying about regional expression, gchaucer, however.

                  The larger problem here is that the diarist has once again stirred up a shitstorm. I'm starting to feel provoked. Intentionally. When we Kossacks should all be working together to fight common causes.

                  I love angel d. She is a wonderful woman. We used to run into each other all the time in Club JeffLieber. I think you would love her too.

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:24:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i'm okay with the uprates being removed. (7+ / 0-)

                    it was a rude comment.

                    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

                    by terrypinder on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:25:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  okay - i'll consider it but it disturbs me that (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      earicicle, terrypinder

                      the hr'ing here is out of control.  whenever someone has an honest disagreement over a position taken, suddenly, everyone is amy vanderbilt (UNLESS they are the ones hurling the insults).

                      that is NOT what hrs are for.  so... i think i'm going to leave my uprate after all.

                      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                      by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:33:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you. :-) (6+ / 0-)

                    I like (most of) Ray's diaries.  I don't understand why people who don't like what Ray writes just don't open/comment in them.  And when they do, instead of making some kind of argument, they troll the diary to death leaving loooong strings of nonsensicle comments.

                  •  I had a problem (0+ / 0-)

                    with angel d bringing up comments in another diary.  I thought the response was appropriate.  I'm from a place where practically everyone calls each other hon or honey.

                    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                    by gchaucer2 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:28:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I know. so am I. but I meant the comment to (0+ / 0-)

                      be rude.

                      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

                      by terrypinder on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:28:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  CONTEXT is everything (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      earicicle, PhilJD, LaEscapee, poligirl

                      It is idiotic in this context to even try to assert that this is some neutral type of greeting.  If I said my cat died, and someone wrote, “Oh, honey,” that would be one thing.  In this case it is clearly condescending and dismissive.  I don’t think it’s HRable, but it is also not worthy of uprates, either.

                      •  my uprate is not for the use, rather it is to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        earicicle

                        counter the MISUSE of hrs.  

                        the comment was not hr'able - that is why i uprated.  that he was being dismissive isn't particularly "nice" - but it isn't out of bounds in an argumentative society that gets passionate over politics.

                        had the comment been personally offensive, then i would have hr'd it.  it is just "rude" but not something that is worthy of being hidden from the community.

                        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                        by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:37:25 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, I agree with you there (0+ / 0-)

                          that it was merely rude and not HRable.

                          Though I did note your first reaction was to say I thought the response was appropriate because you had a problem with me bringing up comments in another diary.

                          I was bringing up not so much the comments, but the commenter's behavior.  And it was some random old diary, it was a recent diary by the same author as this one, and it is linked in this diary.  

                          Then you write:  "I'm from a place where practically everyone calls each other hon or honey."

                          As if the comment to me was NOT meant to be rude and dismissive.

                          So much double-speak goes on around here.

                          •  angel d - what i meant by my being familiar (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            angel d, serendipityisabitch

                            with that usage is that is it something that is southern and frequent.

                            it can be used as an endearment, patronizing, insulting, many ways.

                            it was a rude response - but not to the level of hr'worthy.  that was my point as well as saying that when something is familiar, then the reaction is different - obnoxious?  yes.  so dire that it needed to be hidden - well, if that is the standard, these pages and diaries would be filled with a whole lot of white space.

                            i fight regularly for people to be civil - it is mostly a losing battle.  

                            what i see here, though, is the same group of people going at each other's throats (NOT you, btw) and then when the least little excuse is given, the hr's fly.

                            we have no real standards at the moment.  when that has happened in the past, markos finally gets fed up and comes in and bans everybody who was participating in the back and forth - from BOTH sides of the argument.

                            and, to be clear - yes, the comment was rude and dismissive.  but it is not anywhere near the comments that are too disgusting for the non-long time user to see.  what i do when someone does that to me - and they do, frequently, is disengage.  i stop responding - perhaps one final post to say that i am no longer responding and why - then i walk away and go enjoy my pup or my horse or a good cuppa coffee!

                            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                            by edrie on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 06:15:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  as a southerner, so do i use that term as a (0+ / 0-)

                      "polite" but somewhat sarcastic dismissal.

                      it's a helluva lot better than GFU.

                      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                      by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:34:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think it's HR'able LaE (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doroma, LaEscapee
            •  uprating (4+ / 0-)

              I've seen "oh, honey" directed to both men and women (possibly including me), in what seemed to be a gender-neutral way. Annoying, sure, but is there any precedent for HRing it?

              "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

              by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:14:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's okay that this is hidden (3+ / 0-)

                I typed in my family's variant of AAVE, (oh, honey is a statement of pity where I grew up) and I probably shouldn't have codeswitched for this particular audience.

                Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

                by terrypinder on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:24:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  communication is good (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  earicicle

                  I don't want it to turn into a rating war, and it seems that it won't.

                  Wandering into Ray's diaries puts a lot of us on edge.

                  "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                  by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:30:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Which best the obvious question ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ray Pensador, Nada Lemming

                    why wander in?

                    Seriously, if you don't like Ray's writings, just don't read.  There are plenty of us here on DKOS that do like his diaries, and I for one am sick of seeing his comment threads trolled to death.

                    •  correx: begs, not best ... oi (0+ / 0-)
                    •  that question utterly puzzles me (5+ / 0-)

                      Why on earth shouldn't we disagree with diaries we disagree with?

                      If you think I'm trolling Ray's diaries, then by all means cite specifics. A big part of Ray's problem is that he keeps complaining about trolls but never points to any. How would I explain to my mother if I ignored that?

                      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                      by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:36:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I didn't say YOU specifically were trolling (5+ / 0-)

                        his diaries, but do deny that some people do?  Repeatedly?  That’s who he means by “trolls” and they make themselves evident in his comment threads.  Check out the link at the bottom of his diary, “Trolls gone wild!”  It’s pretty clear that people enter his diaries and don’t even bother to make an argument against what the diary is about, they just disrupt the comment threads.
                        Ray is a big boy and can take care himself, and doesn’t need me to “protect” him.  But I do think it’s up to me to protect myself from having to read long strings of comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the diary at hand, and serve only to discredit, disrupt, disrespect and derail the comments sections of his diaries.  
                        I’m sure I’m not the only person who sees this.

                         

                        •  That's funny. I guess now we'll have a (0+ / 0-)

                          "Trolls Gone Wild Part II!" in this diary.

                          I'll add it to my little note at the end of each subsequent diary.

                          •  don't. we don't need any more divisiveness. nt (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            earicicle

                            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                            by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:45:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No kidding, edrie. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            edrie

                            Almost seems like someone relishes the divisiveness, doesn't it? As I said when this diary first dropped, some things just make you go 'Hmmm...'

                            But what do you & I know? We've only been here since the Paleolithic and Jurassic eras! ;-)

                            Smooches to you, edrie. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

                            xoxo,
                            ear

                            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                            by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 10:08:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i totally agree with you, earicicle. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            earicicle

                            what i've noted of late is that the sense of community is harmed by these types of screeds - this is the first holiday season that there has been little "joy" on the boards.

                            the ugliness that these things brings out is driving many of the old-timers to take a "vacation" until things balance back out again... and they always do... balance back out, that is.

                            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                            by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:57:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I think that mostly misreads the situation (5+ / 0-)

                          "Some people" write stupid comments in almost any diary that gets an appreciable number of readers. But Ray has a history of making observably untrue claims about other people's posts. Going back to August, DeadHead is the only person other than Ray who has posted in as many as half of Ray's diaries. In Ray's mind, it seems, some people show up constantly -- he used to say the minute he published -- to insult him, but the record doesn't bear that out. I would venture that most of the comments that Ray complains about either are substantive or are direct reactions to baiting in the diary. terrypinder's opening salvo here isn't elegant, but it does respond to content in this and previous diaries. I try to avoid reacting to bait in the diary, but it would be better if it weren't there to begin with.

                          Soon I'll be driving to Newark to retrieve my daughter, so I may be intermittent until morning.

                          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                          by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 04:09:38 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  thanks! (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hey338Too, angel d

                            The roads were salty but (for the most part) not slick. I ran out of wiper fluid on the way home, so we had to make two quick stops just to clean the windshield. The flight was delayed by almost three hours, but hey, our daughter is worth waiting for. :)

                            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 06:17:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Just me, huh? (0+ / 0-)

                            You're in nearly every damn one, dude, so I really don't know why you're singling me out.

                            Besides, I don't show up just to shit in his diaries, so your equivalence is false.

                            It isn't just in Ray's mind. The same diary-shitters DO show up to...shit in his diaries! Not every diary, just ones that make them _uncomfortable.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:16:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  please stop. nt (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            earicicle, ord avg guy

                            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                            by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:46:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait, you're telling *ME* to stop? (0+ / 0-)

                            Did you miss this?

                            I think that mostly misreads the situation

                            "Some people" write stupid comments in almost any diary that gets an appreciable number of readers. But Ray has a history of making observably untrue claims about other people's posts. Going back to August, DeadHead is the only person other than Ray who has posted in as many as half of Ray's diaries. In Ray's mind, it seems, some people show up constantly --he used to say the minute he published -- to insult him, but the record doesn't bear that out. I would venture that most of the comments that Ray complains about either are substantive or are direct reactions to baiting in the diary. terrypinder's opening salvo here isn't elegant, but it does respond to content in this and previous diaries. I try to avoid reacting to bait in the diary, but it would be better if it weren't there to begin with.

                            Soon I'll be driving to Newark to retrieve my daughter, so I may be intermittent until morning.

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 04:09:38 PM PST

                            Did you tell the poster of that comment to stop? I'm not allowed to respond to a comment I'm explicitly named in?

                            If you're gonna be one-sided about it, then please just mind your own business.

                            Thank you.  




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:12:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  deadhead, you come into every thread looking for (0+ / 0-)

                            a fight.  you really do have a problem, imho, and i don't think this board can solve it.

                            i really feel sorry for you - it is never about the issue with you - it is about personality and insults.

                            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                            by edrie on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:00:14 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I note... (0+ / 0-)

                            You're the one who arrived AFTER me in this diary, to do your usual ninth inning blog nanny routine.

                            I also note you didn't address my comment to you.

                            You swooped in here to castigate ME for responding to a comment in which I was mentioned by name.

                            And now you say I have a problem bigger than this board can solve?

                            Who the hell made you arbiter of such things?

                            This ain't your site, edrie.

                            Again, please mind your own business, because you're doing EXACTLY what you accuse me of doing -- not focusing on the substance of this diary and instead scolding persons.

                            The same thing you were doing in the last diary I interacted with you in.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 01:19:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One more thing... (0+ / 0-)

                            In your comment to me, you failed 3 of the 3 questions you list in your sig line. Yet you likely won't even see how you did so.

                            You pick and choose whom you want to wag your finger at.

                            You overlook all the other dickishness in this diary and...chastise me.

                            Then again, once you claimed a proven zombie was being bullied, and once you declared you'd "read all those diaries" yet still maintained a level of ignorance indicative of having NOT read them, I stopped taking anything you have to say seriously.

                            Bye bye.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 02:20:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that simply isn't true (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            terrypinder

                            Your deeply felt sense that it is true doesn't trump arithmetic.

                            As far as I can tell or remember, I had only commented in one of Ray's diaries before the beginning of August -- and that comment was unambiguously positive. (It turns out that Ray complained about "trolling, corporate shills, etc." in the same comment thread, but I didn't notice at the time.) I've commented in less than half of them since then -- not "nearly every damn one." Over that period, I've commented in about 40% of his diaries, and you've commented in about 60%. I'm "singling [you] out" because I'm looking at the frequency distribution.

                            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 06:38:42 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh (0+ / 0-)

                            Me:

                            Going back to August, DeadHead is the only person other than Ray who has posted in as many as half of Ray's diaries.
                            Verifiably true.

                            You:

                            Besides, I don't show up just to shit in his diaries, so your equivalence is false.
                            My equivalence? I didn't say anything about your motives at all, much less the motives of an entire unidentified group. There is no equivalence.

                            I don't condone showing up "just to shit" in anyone's diary. Thinking at that level of freehand subjective generalization isn't likely to explicate the social dynamics in Ray's diaries or anywhere else.

                            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 07:09:22 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Here's a serious problem I have, angel d: (8+ / 0-)

                      Ray permits NO dissent within his diaries, which is deeply ironic--and deeply disturbing--considering his diaries' themes. He seems to consider anyone questioning or disagreeing with him a troll. Look at the whole 'Sockpuppet & Troll Watch' box at the end of the diary. It is part of what Ray has been doing here for awhile: casting disagreement as 'suspicious' behavior.

                      For example: My problem with this diary is strictly factual. Nothing the NSA, CIA, FBI or any other agency of the US government is doing today is 'worse than the Stasi.' This is demonstrably false, in scale, scope, intent--by any historical measure. The rest of the diary becomes irrelevant after this inflammatory, factually incorrect start.

                      A start so ridiculous that some Kossacks can only mock, when Ray won't correct or retract such an offensive false thing.

                      I'm beginning to wonder why Ray writes diaries like this. Diaries that divide natural allies like you and me. BTW, I hope you are doing well, angel d!

                      Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                      by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:51:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I read all of his responsive comments in (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT, earicicle, CenPhx, gulfgal98

                        this diary, and one commentor called his diary "bizarre" and Ray's comment was simple:  I take it you don't agree with the premise (or something like that).

                        Ray has been taken to task about how he responds to disagreement and he has changed his approach.

                        And yet his diaries still get trolled ... and it's ugly and relentless.

                      •  To this point (6+ / 0-)
                        For example: My problem with this diary is strictly factual. Nothing the NSA, CIA, FBI or any other agency of the US government is doing today is 'worse than the Stasi.' This is demonstrably false, in scale, scope, intent--by any historical measure. The rest of the diary becomes irrelevant after this inflammatory, factually incorrect start.

                        A start so ridiculous that some Kossacks can only mock, when Ray won't correct or retract such an offensive false thing.

                        If someone walked up to you and said:

                        "I saw some lights in the sky. I wonder what they were? Any thoughts?"

                        How would you react?

                        And on the other hand, if they said:

                        "I saw lights in the sky - it's the government! They're sending drones out to spy on me! They're out to get me because they're evil!"

                        How would you react in that case?

                        I'd be much more likely to listen in the first instance. But hyperbole and jumping to conclusions that sound paranoid tend to scare people away, especially when the evidence is lacking.

                        And talking about "Worse than Stasi" doesn't help credibility at all. I'm far more inclined to listen to someone who just says "This is bad, I don't like it, let's fix it" than someone who says "This is worse than Nazi Germany!!!1!!" (even though they have the right to say that in public without the fear of being arrested, jailed, beaten or killed simply for saying it).

                        You can only cry "Wolf!!" so many times before people start rolling their eyes and backing away.

                        "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

                        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 04:55:44 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  why? because this is a community where what is (6+ / 0-)

                      written represents ALL of us, not just those that agree or disagree with a particular poster or diarist.

                      many more people lurk and read and if the ideas presented that we strongly disagree with, we are nothing more than an echo chamber.

                      furthermore, if some of us feel very strongly about a position or ideology, we shouldn't be afraid to defend our position with facts and substantiation.

                      this isn't a popularity contest on who owns the intertubes for the day/week/hour - or who gets the best mojo.  this is a place for the exchange of ideas IN the attempt to improve the political landscape.

                      right now, there appears to be an all out war going on in the great orange over who's ideology is right.

                      i suggest that the real answer is a little bit of this and a little bit of that combined to make a WHOLE LOT of that over there.

                      without the combination, we are forever doomed to being spectators on the sidelines.

                      that's why i read diaries that may hold differing ideas than my own.  from those diaries, i will either change my mind or find information to make my own beliefs firmer held.

                      that is the purpose of my being here.  i don't and can't speak for anyone else.

                      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                      by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:44:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So this is a community where... (0+ / 0-)

                        "What is written represents all of us," yet you "read diaries with ideas differing from [your] own," which may lead to you "changing your mind."

                        Isn't that a bit contradictory?




                        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                        by DeadHead on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:21:12 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Wanna make this clear (0+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
                  HudsonValleyMark, gchaucer2, phenry
              Be proud be very fucking proud

              Victim of the system~Bob Marley

              by LaEscapee on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:12:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think the ideal would have been 0+ / 0- (0+ / 0-)

                Or maybe 0+ / 2-, if terry had preferred that, since there is no mechanism for deleting comments.

                I also think 0+ / 0- would have been appropriate for the comment to which terry was responding, which vaguely referenced prior comments and concluded "You have no credibility on this." What is someone supposed to say to that?

                "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 07:29:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  uprated for inappropriate hr. (0+ / 0-)

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:31:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Anyone else find it ironic... (8+ / 0-)

            ...that the biggest proponents of privacy here always seem to follow what other posters say and do in other threads?

            Now obviously, dKos is a public place. There's nothing to spy on. I just find it ironic.

            President Obama has the amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

            by NoFortunateSon on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:37:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think you'd hold up under questioning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch

      I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

      by jbou on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:31:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Insider Threat program (11+ / 0-)

    Insider Threat is the program that Obama has been pushing for government employees to spy and snitch on one another, even over the most mundane things.

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

    It is incredibly shocking that a Constitutional lawyer would even think to promote such a program that is insidious and an affront to basic civil liberties. Failure to report fellow workers for any suspicious behavior can result in firing.  
    The program could make it easier for the government to stifle the flow of unclassified and potentially vital information to the public, while creating toxic work environments poisoned by unfounded suspicions and spurious investigations of loyal Americans, according to these current and former officials and experts. Some non-intelligence agencies already are urging employees to watch their co-workers for “indicators” that include stress, divorce and financial problems.
    This is not about national security.  It is about creating a police state in which journalism is becoming criminalized and employees are required to spy on their fellow workers. This administration has to be the most untransparent and paranoid administration ever.  Makes you wonder what they are trying to hide.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:23:48 PM PST

  •  What a bizarre diary. (13+ / 0-)

    The diarist very obviously never visited East Germany....

    These kinds of dumb, hyperbolic comparisons make DailyKos look really whacked out.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:29:52 PM PST

  •  I have actually seen my STASI file. (7+ / 0-)

    I have one, as an American who on several occasions travelled to the DDR when I lived in Europe. It is not large. But they knew who I was.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:44:47 PM PST

  •  Not worse than slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, (6+ / 0-)

    indentured servitude, women's chattel status, River Rouge, tribal reservations, draft conscription, prison, county jail, entrenched poverty, etc. The problem is secret government, if the courts won't enforce the constitution, an enduring problem for a republican form of government.

  •  I spent time in the GDR (12+ / 0-)

    The comparison is too stupid to comment on.

    I wish the diarist could talk to my friend who risked his life to escape to West Germany in 1974.

    The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

    by DowneastDem on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:54:11 PM PST

  •  DO NOT GO ONLINE!!!!!!! (14+ / 0-)

    Everyone!!!! Please listen to me!!!

    Whatever you do, DO NOT GO ONLINE!!!!!!!! Your every movement is being tracked by the NSA, Google, Facebook and The Daily Kos!!!!!!!!

    YES!!!! KOS IS TRACKING YOUR EVERY MOVE HERE!!!!!!!

    In other words...

                                      KOS = STASI

    You think I'm kidding?

    I have been to Daily Kos World Headquarters. Kos, himself, directs efforts to track every site visitor's movements within the site!!!!!

    By my clicking and reading Ray's diary -- Ray, a known Revolutionary (I'm with you, Ray!) -- kos is then forwarding this information to the STASI-like NSA and the CIA! (Note: Kos once applied for a job with the CIA.)

    FUCK ALL OF THIS!!!! DO NOT GO ONLINE!!!!

    Don't say you weren't warned.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:58:43 PM PST

  •  Once again... (13+ / 0-)

    From Pensador's own "15 Rules of Web Disruption"...

    1.  Start a partisan divide-and-conquer fight or otherwise push emotional buttons to sew discord and ensure that cooperation is thwarted.   Get people fighting against each other instead of the corrupt powers-that-be.  Use baseless caricatures to rile everyone up.  For example, accuse the author of being a gay, pro-abortion limp-wristed wimp  or being a fundamentalist pro-war hick when the discussion has nothing to do with abortion, sexuality, religion, war or region.  Sweeney explains:

    Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule … Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

    "Worse than the Stasi".... yeah, once again, Ray exemplifies the very behaviors he decries. Too bad, because buried in the baseless caricatures and name-calling is probably a useful argument.

    But as ever, the argument is probably better made by someone else.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:10:47 PM PST

  •  riddle me this, Batman (7+ / 0-)

    When have we not lived in a police state? For as long as our country has existed minorities and women got the shaft from our cops and our courts.  

    Secondly,  you connect dots that aren't connectable and you end up sounding like the old hippie who reaches too far to try and spur some action.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:24:13 PM PST

    •  I had a thought the other day, about all of this (12+ / 0-)

      Jbou, this isn't aimed at you - just as an addendum to what you wrote.

      Many years ago, before I was deeply into politics (I still voted and did my homework), I remember walking through Pike Place Market in Seattle.

      I think it was Left Bank Books I was passing. Not sure.

      In any case, people were handing out leaflets there for a small newspaper they produced. They walked up to me, and handed me a leaflet, all the while talking about their newspaper and what their message was.

      Honestly? All I remember of their message was a bunch of buzzwords. Bourgeoisie. Capitalist. Fascist. So on and so forth. I took the leaflet, and walked away, hearing that same refrain as they spouted off their message to anyone who would listen. And damned few were listening.

      Do you know why Fox News does as well as it does? Why so many listen? One of the reasons is that they're careful to couch their propaganda in language that doesn't shut down the ears of those listening. They craft their lies very carefully - in words that stick to the ear, not ones that fall on the ground unheeded. They leave most of the crazy rhetoric to their base.... and they just hint at it. They suggest and inflame, but with simple weasel words.

      I still feel my eyes glazing over when I see (or hear) the kind of rhetoric the people at Pike Place used all those years ago. It Does Not Help Your Cause.

      Stasi. Corporatist. Bankster. So on and so forth.

      At that rate you're speaking to the choir, because they're the only ones who aren't turned off by that kind of language.

      It's like the LaRoucheBags.... with their Obama as Hitler signs. They look like nutjobs - well, they really ARE. But it doesn't help to use the kind of "buzzword buzzword buzzword am I really crazy or just trying too hard to prove how smart I am" rhetoric that turns people off. (Not comparing anyone here to the LaRouchies - just saying that they sound perfectly sane to their own inner group, but not to anyone outside of it. Same for Westboro. Think about that for a moment.)

      Complain at me all you want for saying it, but if you got out of your narrow thinking and looked at it with an open mind - you would see what I'm saying is true.

      Talk to people about the fact that they're being watched, and that their privacy is being violated. Tell them you care about what happens to them. Tell them you would like them to get involved in fixing this.

      But when you start talking about "Stasi" or "Corporate State" or "Fascism" and all of that, you lose the attention of anyone who isn't already firmly in your corner. Because it just sounds like bees, droning on in their ears... buzzz.... buzzz.... buzzwords... If you want people to listen, then talk to them. Don't spout.

      "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:46:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I wonder iF you aren't trying to look (6+ / 0-)

    Completely ridiculous so that people begin to think these programs are not a problem. A different version of the agent provocateur.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:43:37 PM PST

  •  Now that we have had the Stasi comparison (10+ / 0-)

    I am waiting for what comes next.

    You cannot just brush people off by saying "oh and some of you will be offended" by the use of this word.

  •  Posted without comment. (10+ / 0-)

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:09:23 PM PST

  •  "worse" or "more effective?" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angel d, Free Jazz at High Noon

    I would like to start out by suggesting that the effect of our internal security efforts on African American men is arguably on a comparable level with the effect of the Stasi on its victims. African American men really are imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by the police. But that's not my main point.

    Certainly what our government is doing to most of us is not "worse" than what the Stasi did, when you consider its effects on us as individuals. The Stasi poisoned every single human relationship in the DDR because you could never be sure whether even your closest friend or your lover was reporting to the Stasi on your political views. The Stasi helped kill the DDR as a functioning state, because any sort of criticism of anything at all could result in spending the rest of your life as a menial laborer under suspicion of being an enemy of the state.

    The latter fact is why I would say that what our government is doing is worse, because it's more effective. The DDR could not and did not endure more than forty-odd years. Its internal security measures were horrible and insane and ultimately self-defeating.

    It's true that to most people the repressive effect of our American internal security measures is a trivial irritant, in no way comparable with the effect of the Stasi on the average citizen of the DDR. But the effect on those who are actually trying to defy the established order and bring about significant change is massive, and despair-inducing.

    When I was growing up in the sixties and seventies I saw the anti-war and civil rights movements as effective ways that the ordinary mass of people could rebel against the ruling class and change the course of history. As the decades have gone by, I have seen the government become more and more effective at sidelining and marginalizing this kind of citizen activism.

    Peaceful protest groups really are infiltrated by agents of the security forces who do their best to sow disruption, chaos, ineffectiveness, and a sense of betrayal and futility. People who think that war or pollution or oligarchy are wrong are mislabelled terrorists.

    In our society, there is a much wider acceptable range of opinion and argument than there was in the DDR. People can and do criticize those in power for mistaken or ineffective policies or for corruption. Our ability as a society to carry out our project of capitalist hegemony and unlimited growth is much greater because we can correct our errors in this way, unlike the DDR. For this reason our society and economy are not on the brink of collapse-- we will not suffer the fate of the DDR.

    But step outside of the allowable frame of debate, and you are marginalized.

    I am afraid we will successfully continue on our present course until its "success" renders the world so uninhabitable for humans that modern civilization collapses.

    The next time you see something in the news about "eco-terrorists," think about that.

  •  Ray, if it was truly "worse than Stasi"... (11+ / 0-)

    ... wouldn't you be risking prison and torture by writing this diary?

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 03:36:09 PM PST

    •  The level of surveillance and the capabilities (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angel d, Johnny Q, DeadHead

      have already surpassed the Stasi.  The American surveillance state is collecting data on potentially every citizen in the U.S. and is using very powerful technology to do so, including powerful networks, databases, artificial intelligence, and all kinds of software applications.

      In that respect, it is worst than the Stasi.  Regarding the issue of people being picked up... That's the next step once the system takes its mask off.  If they build it, it is because they intend to us it.

      •  No, Ray, the Stasi would have arrested you. (6+ / 0-)

        And you would be "disappeared."

        So it's not "worse than the Stasi."

        So in no respect is it "worse than the Stasi."

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:37:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except in respect to what the NSA has access to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          Which is the whole point here.

          They have access to a level of information that the Stasi would drool over.

          In respect to how much they know about us they are worse than the Stasi.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:23:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Google has more information about us than the (6+ / 0-)

            Stasi.

            That's a function of advancing technology.

            The Stasi made people disappear.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:27:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's what an actual Stasi agent has to say (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              about it:

              Former Stasi Officer: The NSA Domestic Surveillance Program Would Have Been 'A Dream Come True' For East Germany
              The National Security Agency's domestic surveillance capabilities would have been "a dream come true" for East Germany, a former lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country's secret police told Matthew Schofield of McClatchy.
              •  Ray, you're still here? (5+ / 0-)

                I figured a loud dissident like you would be "disappeared" by now if the situation was, indeed, "worse than the Stasi."

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:40:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Way off topic, but - could I persuade you to come (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hey338Too

                  by and snark in this diary? You'll see why when you get there, I hope.

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:44:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You did read the diary, right? The data (0+ / 0-)

                  collection capability, the surveillance, the storage of huge amounts of information, the advanced software applications, artificial intelligence, all that stuff (the fascist infrastructure) is worse (bigger) than anything the Stasi had, exponentially.

                  Once the system turns, it will use this fascist infrastructure.  I called it "turn-key fascism."

                  Wasn't that clear in the diary?  If not, I'm just clarifying it for you.

                  •  But are you in danger of being imprisoned? (5+ / 0-)

                    The Stasi was imprisoning dissidents with much less surveillance technology. They would have imprisoned more people with this technology.

                    So, are you in danger of being imprisoned by the government for what you write here, Ray? Because if you are, then that would make this situation "worse than the Stasi."

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:49:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bob, my final post here. Let me ask you a (0+ / 0-)

                      question, and I hope you'll be straight with me on this... Given the plethora of insults, mockery, very hostile and vitriolic language against my person in this thread, would you say that I engaged with people in a respectful manner when I put forward my counter-arguments?

                      Okay, moving on now to other projects.

                      You guys, all of you, have a wonderful night!

                      •  C'mon, Ray. (3+ / 0-)

                        For the most part, you have done what you do so often: repost parts of your diary as an answer. You're not discussing anything. You're simply repeating yourself.

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:12:35 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Okay, one more try. About engaging in (0+ / 0-)

                          lobbing highly personal insults and name-calling, do you feel I did any of that to anybody here?  Mind you, if you browse the thread you're going to see a lot of very vitriolic language and insults against me, and allusions to mental illness, "size," all kinds of things like that.

                          Do you feel I at least didn't reply in kind (in those situations?)

                          Anyways, now for real.  Out of here...

                  •   "all that stuff...is worse (bigger) than anything (6+ / 0-)

                    the Stasi had."

                    Whoa fucking Nellie! So SEVEN hours after publishing this inflammatory shitstorm, what are you trying to do? Claim that you don't know the difference between the words 'worse' and 'bigger'? Magically conflate the definitions of the two? Weasel out of the offensive affront to history, without admitting you were wrong, and HOW wrong?

                    As a woman, I'm the first to admit that size matters. But how you use your tools, for what intent and purpose also matter.

                    The disingenuousness truly astounds me.

                    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                    by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:00:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I see you have a strong point of view about this. (0+ / 0-)

                      Thanks for participating in the comment thread either way.

                      •  I don't have a point of view. (4+ / 0-)

                        I have facts. Travels. Friends & relatives, and their first person accounts of living under security regimes behind the Iron Curtain. Years of study; two degrees; years of teaching; a lifelong passion for continuing to learn about--and from--history.

                        The least you could do is actually read the Wikipedia article to which you have linked.

                        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                        by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:14:09 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  And I hate 'participating' in these shitstorms. (3+ / 0-)

                        They are divisive and unproductive. I despise all the security theater and Constitution-shredding and war-mongering that has gone these past 12 years. But progressives need to come together and discuss these issues intelligently--with a factually accurate understanding of history--before we can begin to work on solutions. The deliberate sowing of discord does us no good.

                        Plus, I'm now way behind in watching tonight's basketball game. Fuck that shit.

                        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                        by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:21:45 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  And by 'disappear' we of course mean... (3+ / 0-)

              prison, torture, labor camps, death. Children forced to inform on their parents, students on their teachers, athletes' families surveilled /essentially held hostage so they wouldn't defect while traveling to compete abroad. You know: Just another day under Obama's NSA

              Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

              by earicicle on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:36:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, they don't (4+ / 0-)

              They certainly don't have as much information on me as the NSA does. They don't have access to my bank accounts, all of my email, everything I've ever written on the internet, where I am any time I have my cell phone with me, etc. The NSA has access to everything Google has and then more.

              The Stasi was a massive surveillance operation as well as it's other functions. Most of what it did was surveillance though.

              You said "So in no respect is it "worse than the Stasi."" That was the comment I was replying to. And the NSA is worse than the stasi in respect to the quantity of information they gather and the number of people they gather it about.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:59:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay. (7+ / 0-)

                The Stasi, with much less robust technology, was able to imprison dissidents of any sort. With more technology, they arguably would have imprisoned more dissidents. Even the statement from the former Stasi office quoted by Ray makes this case. The Stasi would have loved to have this technology.

                But, of course, it didn't exist.

                So the advance of technology has made more information available to the government and corporations.

                But, as the quote from the former Stasi official makes clear, they would have used this technology to imprisonmore people.

                So, no, the existence of additional tracking technology does not mean that the situations is, as Ray claims, "worse than the Stasi."

                They have more tools than the Stasi, but that's a matter of time and technology.

                The fact that Ray makes that claim with a straight face as he posts this information publicly using the Internet shows just what a ridiculous claim it is.

                If the Stasi had this technology (had East Germany survived to this point) a guy like Ray in East Germany would disappear in the middle of the night.

                I bet Ray is here to post tomorrow.

                What do you think?

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:06:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They gather more information about more people (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ray Pensador, DeadHead

                  than the Stasi did. That makes them worse in that respect. They know were virtually everyone is almost all of the time, as well as knowing what they say. "Oh, it's just new technology" doesn't really cover it. If you do more of something bad you're worse. Technology can help make something worse. Not to go all Godwin, but the Nazis wouldn't have been as bad if it weren't for the technology they had. That's part of the horror story of Nazi Germany, the use of industrial technology as a means of extermination.

                  That's why the NSA is worse, it's the use of information technology as a means of surveillance. It's a qualitatively different thing than the surveillance of the Stasi and it's worse. We're literally using algorithms to decide what people to strike with drones. That's not the NSA, but it's indicative of the way that we've harnessed technology in a new and exceptionally horrible way.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:25:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, it's not worse. (6+ / 0-)

                    The Stasi was bugging people's phones, homes and offices. The Stasi was paying informants to turn in their friends and cowrokers. The Stasi was pulling people out of their homes in the middle of the night. They had loads of information on people. And they used it to remove dissidents from society.

                    To continue to claim that because the NSA has more robust surveillance tools than the Stasi that it is, therefore, "worse than the Stasi" is simply untrue and a gross exaggeration. By any measure.

                    It's inane.

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:55:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'll say it again (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ray Pensador, Bob Johnson, DeadHead

                      Because what you said was that it was in no respect worse, I'll note that the NSA is literally recording every phone call, and it can transcribe them to text and store them. It's getting everything. And it can go through it with it's nice algorithms. It's an order of magnitude worse than anything the Stasi could do. Remember, they also have access to every bit of gossip people spread through the internet, and of everything that other law enforcement agencies have.

                      You keep bringing up the rest of what the Stasi did, that's beside my point. This is about surveillance.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:01:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, I keep bringing up the claim that the (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT, Hey338Too, Diogenes2008, earicicle

                        ... situation is "worse than the Stasi."

                        Is the NSA bugging you home, your office and your phone? Is the NSA turning your family, friends and co-workers into paid informants?

                        C'mon...

                        And advance in technology doesn't mean it's "worse" than the Stasi. Not in any way, shape or form.

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:08:37 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The "Situation"? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DeadHead

                          I mean, I really couldn't stand Jersey shore, but I'm not sure what that's got to do with it.

                          No one said "the situation" was worse than the Stasi. I said that the surveillance, nee spying, is worse than the Stasi and gave specific reasons. And I don't know if they're doing some of those things, but they are certainly do others. You admit that they have an unprecedented level of technology but somehow it's still not worse.

                          And advance in technology doesn't mean it's "worse" than the Stasi. Not in any way, shape or form.
                          I made an argument as to why it did. I know you can do better than "is not". The use of this technology is worse for the various reasons I laid out. You really sound like you think that the Stasi was worse because it disapeared people. The NSA doesn't do that, it's a different agency that would do that. Although the NSA is sending info to the drug warriors. And they're arresting people. But everyone knows that black and brown people are being targeted, so it isn't fascism, just racism. Or something.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:31:54 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  That's the problem with the diary, frankly. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT, earicicle, undercovercalico

                        You and I agree on the NSA and the massive overreach.

                        But the fact that you and I are arguing about whether or not it is "worse than the Stasi" is just inane. It's trivial. Just the sort of nonsense provoked by dairies like this.

                        Have a good night, AoT.

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:17:01 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Which was the point of my diary. n/t (0+ / 0-)
              •  By the way, you were unresponsive to what I wrote. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Diogenes2008, earicicle

                I wrote that Google has more information on you than the Stasi ever would or could.

                I didn't say Google had more information on you than  the NSA could have.

                "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:14:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, google doesn't (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ray Pensador, DeadHead

                  I guarantee they don't.

                  Google has a bit of information about me, but not nearly as much as the Stasi would have. Google probably has more info than the Stasi would have about some people, but not everyone. And Google can't go get info from other companies.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:18:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Google can link your mobile device to your email (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    earicicle

                    ... to where you visit and what you do online. They can build a picture of your interests and who you are communicating with.

                    They have loads of information on you. Maybe not you, personally, depending on how much you use Google products and offerings, but they can build complete pictures of a person's interests and contacts. And never mind the addition of other social media tools that reveal information about user including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, among many.

                    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:25:48 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Actually, you can link those things (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bob Johnson, Ray Pensador, DeadHead

                      Google can't just do it.

                      And you can stop those things from happening if you use the correct programs on your phone.

                      https://guardianproject.info/

                      If more of us used encryption it wouldn't be a problem. I was happy to find out that Dailykos will be implementing https coming up here sometime soonish.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:30:03 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT, earicicle

                        And how many people are aware of these protections? Most people think, "Hey, it's convenient!" and they take Google's (relentless) advice and link all of their various devices and services.

                        Your awareness is not reflective of that of the average person.

                        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                        by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:33:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Correct, my awareness isn't (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Bob Johnson, Ray Pensador, DeadHead

                          Which is besides the point. The NSA is collecting shit tons of data. Yes, if someone uses google for everything then google will have a lot of information on them, just like if someone goes to the same tea shop every day. But google can't force other companies to give them information. The NSA can get information that I can't stop them from getting.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:41:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No doubt. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            But can Google get more information on you than the Stasi? I think it's possible that they can, especially with data mining technology.

                            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

                            by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:50:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The might be able to (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead

                            if they decided to write the algorithms and all of that. More so if you've got google fiber. But as I've said many, many times. Google can't arrest you. The government can. Power in the hands of business is a threat, but it isn't the same threat as the government. It's fundamentally different.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:53:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be silly Bob,... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      earicicle, Via Chicago

      ... Ray is outsmarting the "Stasi" by posting under a pseudonym.  Despite posting 532 diaries and 8619 comments, and owning raypensador.com (which he monitors on his Chromebook powered by Google), there's no way anyone could possibly know who is really behind "The King Thinker"!  So the NSA may be the worsteriest intelligence agency in the world, but Ray's got his bases covered.

      Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

      by Hey338Too on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 04:42:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let me tell you a little story: (0+ / 0-)

        I've been working in technology for over 20 years now, and have experience with surveillance technology.  Since the 1990's I've assumed that anything I do online can be monitored by government agencies.

        Check this out... This is a quote from the second diary I wrote here back in June 8th, 2011:

        Almost every single technological tool you are using is being used by the corporatist police state to enslave you.  Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc., Yahoo mail, etc., by themselves are just technology tools and services, and are not inherently bad.  But the problem is that with your acquiescence (even if you don't know it), they are mainly being used to enslave you further and further.

        It's like a drug.  These tools are put out there, and because of their convenience, and because they fulfill one of human beings strongest desires (connect with other, validation), millions and millions of people open themselves up and share all kinds of thoughts, photos, content, views, likes, dislikes, etc.

        In the meantime, "somebody" is collecting every single piece of data being generated by you, and in turn that information is being sent up to the corporate masters, and to the government.

        This information in turn is used to control you.  Say something "wrong", and you are blacklisted from employment.  Express a strong political view, and you are branded as a potential radical (or worst).

        I've known this has been going on for years.  I think thus far I'm "small potatoes" and don't think there is a reason for me to get the attention of the NSA or FBI, but if I were "a person of interest," of course they would already have access to every single piece of information about me; everything I've ever written; every email, etc.

        I'm not worried about it.  I assume that is the case.

        Lastly, even if things got really fascistic, and for example they started passing laws to prevent people to write in the way I'm writing, at that point I would not comply and will be ready to deal with the consequences.

        I'm not afraid.

        •  Ray, it's amazing you're still online. (5+ / 0-)

          You know so much about the surveillance state yet you're still here, online, risking it all!

          Your bravery in the face of the malevolent corporate kleptocrats -- and your use of a Twitter feed when you know they are monitoring your every move (you being  a major threat to their propagandistic surveillance state hegemony) -- is nothing short of inspiring!

          "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

          by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:43:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nah, I'm small potatoes. Now, if all of the (0+ / 0-)

            sudden people would listen to my advice and form a highly-coordinated, strategic, disciplined, cohesive, and sustained peaceful resistance movement capable of mobilizing 100,000 people, then I may get their attention.

            But the likelihood that people would organize in such fashion at my prodding is virtually non-existent, so I'm just one guy out of a million out there writing about this stuff.

            But like I said, even if I had their attention, I would continue doing my thing unmolested.  Did you see my diaries where I taunt them, and I encourage NSA analysts to become whistle-blowers?

            What I'm trying to convey with my writing is that the fascist infrastructure is being put into place before our very eyes and that eventually the system will turn.

            •  Ray, it's gonna' happen! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Diogenes2008, earicicle, Hey338Too
              Now, if all of the sudden people would listen to my advice and form a highly-coordinated, strategic, disciplined, cohesive, and sustained peaceful resistance movement capable of mobilizing 100,000 people, then I may get their attention.
              Don't put yourself down! Isn't that what the book project is all about? The book project is still on, isn't it? Scheduled for an April 15, 2014 launch?

              "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

              by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:01:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, the book is still on, and a lot of what I'm (0+ / 0-)

                doing now is part of the research on propaganda.  Regarding the uprising I expect to see in the spring and summer I'm basing that on close monitoring I'm doing on several groups around the country.

                I notice that a lot of people (new) are fast becoming aware about the true nature of the system, and I'm noticing a lot of activities I've thought about for years as it related to effectiveness.  So I'm making a projection base on those observations that by spring things are going to heat up when it comes to the movement.

                But it has nothing to do with what I'm doing.  I'm just one voice out of a million of others talking about these things.

        •  My turn... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diogenes2008, earicicle, phenry

          ... I've been deeply involved in technology at least as long as you have, probably longer - as a developer and project manager (on really big projects, for a really big technology company).  I love to read your take on technology for their shear audacity.  To me your technology diaries clearly present a fundamental misunderstanding of the industry and the forces behind it while at the same time you gobble up the technology you rail against.  But please, don't stop, I can't wait for your book to come out.

          Lastly, I loved the "tells" in your comment:

          I think thus far I'm "small potatoes"
          even if things got really fascistic
          So you agree with the rest of us that the future is in doubt.

          But here's a quote from you're second diary:

          The neo-fascist corporatist state has been putting into place a highly effective repressive regime under the veneer of security on the one hand, and technological advancement that are purportedly good for you.
          So which is it Ray?  Your second diary says we're there already and your last comment says that maybe it won't happen.  Typical.

          Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

          by Hey338Too on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:08:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I like how (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador

            You always seem to be very supportive of NSA surveillance.

            Countless diaries, you're nearly always there, pooh-poohing someone or something speaking unflatteringly about surveillance, the NSA, or Edward Snowden.

            So while you might think you're exposing some inconsistency on Ray's part, your tactics have been a known-quantity, or to use your word, typical, for quite some time now, to those of us paying attention.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:21:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're like the NSA of Daily Kos! (5+ / 0-)
              ... your tactics have been a known-quantity, or to use your word, typical, for quite some time now, to those of us paying attention.
              I bet you're tracking more people here than the NSA! Are you logging posts by user name?

              "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

              by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:31:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bob, this diary is going to go in my little box (0+ / 0-)

                at the end of all my upcoming diaries... Let's get you to break the record from the other day and see if you can post over 50 messages in this one also.  What do you think?

              •  Yes, Bob. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gulfgal98

                That's exactly what I meant.

                "Paying attention," in the sense I intended, was an unfortunate, but necessary consequence of having to deal with hordes of stupid fuckwits trolling and derailing with their repetitive bullshit every fucking diary about the NSA that was posted back when Snowden's leaks first came out, early last June.

                The idiocy was so bad, I ended-up compiling a list of all the bullshit we came across, which I posted on serveral different occasions. It was actually well-received and I got many compliments on it. My little pride and joy.

                Here it is, in case you missed it:

                Yawnsplainer's Paradise

                GENERAL YAWNING
                     - Why is everyone surprised?
                     - Where was this discussion 10 years ago?
                     - The government has assured us everything is on the level, and I trust them.
                     - You endorsed these policies when you voted for [Democrat]
                     - You're giving this data voluntarily with every click.
                     - Just use snail mail instead.
                     - They've already been doing this for a long time, now.
                     - Every other country does it, too.

                GREENWALD-RELATED
                     - is a liar.
                     - hates Obama and is trying to make him look bad.
                     - is just some blogger.
                     - is gay.
                     - I don't like/trust him.

                SNOWDEN-RELATED
                     - is a traitor who just wants to make us look bad.
                     - is trying to blackmail us.
                     - is a fame whore.
                     - is just some hacker.
                     - is a high school drop-out.
                     - went to Hong Kong.
                     - is a spy for [whatever country he's currently in]
                     - voted for/donated to Ron Paul.
                     - is a Naderite.
                     - There's discrepancies in Snowden's reported salary.
                     - His girlfriend was a pole dancer.
                     - He defected to Russia.
                     - How could he do this to his family?

                DAILY KOS META-RELATED
                     - Libertarians are infiltrating Daily Kos to divide Democrats.
                     - Real Democrats get behind the president no matter what.
                     - Somebody called me an apologist/other name.
                     - These leaks will damage Democrats in the coming mid-term elections.
                     - Godwin.

                NATIONAL SECURITY/USG-RELATED
                     - I'll give up YOUR rights to be protected from some nuke-weilding terrorists.
                     - 50 terrorist “events” were foiled, thanks to these policies.
                     - It's legal. It's all done in accordance with the law.
                     - No direct access to servers.
                     - It's just metadata.
                     - Relax, no one's listening to your phone calls.
                     - If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
                     - The NSA only deals in signals intelligence, it says so right on their website.
                     - Reforms were already in progress long before Snowden's leaks.

                I didn't see you in very many, if any, of those diaries, so I'm not surprised you opted for the type of reply to my comment above that you did.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:03:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Then you've misread my comments regarding... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jiffypop, Diogenes2008, earicicle

              ... the NSA.  I have never said that reforms weren't needed, that better oversight wasn't required, and that more transparency into what they do and how they do it wasn't needed.  But, please keep paying attention.

              Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

              by Hey338Too on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:56:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Uh-huh (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not the only one who "misread your comments."

                And, by the way, I don't consider someone who got NR'd for uprating a slur against Ray in a diary he wasn't participating in to be acting in good-faith in his diaries.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:08:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  What I wrote in that second diary is accurate and (0+ / 0-)

            not only that, the description I presented about how the government was monitoring everything we were doing online was right on the money also.

            Regarding technology, you made a general put down type of statement, but if you care to share an actual issue you would like to discuss, I'll be glad to.

            I've also worked on large (complex projects) and have experience with multiple technologies, so maybe we can get into shop talk if you like.

            •  Cool, on April 16th we'll talk all you want... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              phenry

              ... in the meantime I can't wait for the technology section of your book.  

              PS - there are some REALLY, REALLY, SMART people on "your side" of the argument.  I recommend that you let some of them proof your content before you publish.

              Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

              by Hey338Too on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:41:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  No, just no. (10+ / 0-)

    The comparison is mendacious and insulting.  You take an important but contextually trivial comparison of electronic surveillance capabilities and conflate it with the Stasi's horror of omnipresent informants and vanishingly minute crimes of ideology and loyalty (with terrible consequences if detected and all the oppressive self-policing and distrust that came with it).  That's plainly dishonest rhetoric.  

    (I say the comparison between Stasi capabilities and current US capabilities is trivial in context because the Stasi were in their heyday 50 years ago.  Of course there is much vaster capability for automated surveillance now than then and a corresponding loss of privacy.  But this is true, to varying degrees, of just about every single state in the developed world today.  The Stasi would just as easily love to have Italy's current capabilities, or Taiwan's, or Sweden's.  Or heck, Germany's own.  As an indicator of how awful the situation is in the US particularly, it's useless.

    And at least one previous poster has addressed the Stasi itself and what made it so particularly nasty, but the main thing to note about that was it didn't need anything fancy.  It got by just fine by simply criminalizing (and harshly) any and all dissent towards the regime or its ideology, spoken or otherwise -- and then making it clear that failing to turn your friend, your neighbor, your lover, your parent, your child in for having such opinions would mean it was you on the hook instead.   The entire country was a nightmare of paranoia and mistrust.

    If we had anything remotely like that in this country we'd all be in jail or worse.  The potential to carry it out a bit more easily is not the same thing.)

    •  Thanks. the fact that technology has advanced (5+ / 0-)

      to the degree it has doesn't doesn't translate to "worse than Stasi." I think that this is the point everyone is ignoring -- or most everyone.

      •  I fully addressed this in the diary: (0+ / 0-)
        Finally, one recurring counter-argument I often hear when I call attention to these issues is that the situation isn't that bad, that I'm being hyperbolic, that if we really lived in a police state I (and others) would not be able to write about this things.

        My take on those arguments is that sometimes people do need to be hit with the proverbial (or real) two-by-four in order to wake up to certain realities.  They would walk to their front window, look at the quiet street, the beautiful trees, and the chirping birds and say, "Nope, no police state or jack-booted thugs out there, so RP is  just blowing smoke!"

        Folks, as fellow kosack bobswern often points out, we're talking about turn-key totalitarianism (or fascism).  The ruling elite is building this cage all around us, almost in plain view.  I argue that unless we confront this situation head-on, now, at some point the mask will come off and the system will reveal its true nature.  They are building this fascistic infrastructure because they intent to use it.

        Wasn't that clear?  Let me know if you are referring to something else.
    •  I thought I've clearly addressed this issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead

      in the diary:

      Finally, one recurring counter-argument I often hear when I call attention to these issues is that the situation isn't that bad, that I'm being hyperbolic, that if we really lived in a police state I (and others) would not be able to write about this things.

      My take on those arguments is that sometimes people do need to be hit with the proverbial (or real) two-by-four in order to wake up to certain realities.  They would walk to their front window, look at the quiet street, the beautiful trees, and the chirping birds and say, "Nope, no police state or jack-booted thugs out there, so RP is  just blowing smoke!"

      Folks, as fellow kosack bobswern often points out, we're talking about turn-key totalitarianism (or fascism).  The ruling elite is building this cage all around us, almost in plain view.  I argue that unless we confront this situation head-on, now, at some point the mask will come off and the system will reveal its true nature.  They are building this fascistic infrastructure because they intent to use it.

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