MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: “How Much Can We Reduce Military Spending Before it’s a Risk?” / The Ring of Fire / Farron Cousins ☮

Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses the enormous amount of money the United States puts into military spending every year.

TOTALITARIAN SURVEILLANCE POLICE STATE: “A Nation of Snitches” / Chris Hedges ☮

A janitor walks past Transportation Security Administration sign reading: "If you See Something Say Something," to encourage citizens to report suspicious activities at Union Station on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The city increased security following bomb explosions in Boston that killed two people and injured more than 80 near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A janitor walks past Transportation Security Administration sign reading: “If you See Something Say Something,” to encourage citizens to report suspicious activities at Union Station on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The city increased security following bomb explosions in Boston that killed two people and injured more than 80 near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A totalitarian state is only as strong as its informants. And the United States has a lot of them. They read our emails. They listen to, download and store our phone calls. They photograph us on street corners, on subway platforms, in stores, on highways and in public and private buildings. They track us through our electronic devices. They infiltrate our organizations. They entice and facilitate “acts of terrorism” by Muslims, radical environmentalists, activists and Black Bloc anarchists, framing these hapless dissidents and sending them off to prison for years. They have amassed detailed profiles of our habits, our tastes, our peculiar proclivities, our medical and financial records, our sexual orientations, our employment histories, our shopping habits and our criminal records. They store this information in government computers. It sits there, waiting like a time bomb, for the moment when the state decides to criminalize us.

Totalitarian states record even the most banal of our activities so that when it comes time to lock us up they can invest these activities with subversive or criminal intent. And citizens who know, because of the courage of Edward Snowden, that they are being watched but naively believe they “have done nothing wrong” do not grasp this dark and terrifying logic.

Tyranny is always welded together by subterranean networks of informants. These informants keep a populace in a state of fear. They perpetuate constant anxiety and enforce isolation through distrust. The state uses wholesale surveillance and spying to break down trust and deny us the privacy to think and speak freely.

Continue reading . . .

INJUSTICE: “Chelsea E. Manning and the Power Elite” ☮

Chelsea E. Manningh/t: Anti-Theists. Pro Active Atheists. Opposing Religious Harm.

CONTEMPORARY POLITICS: “A Society of Captives” / Chris Hedges ☮