Saturday, January 30, 2021

Jeff Bezos' Nightmare


From September 8, 2019, that's "Jeff Bezos' Nightmare."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Jeff Bezos' Nightmare."  As Joe Biden cchases his tail, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders rise in the polling much to Jeff's dismay. 
Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

Jeff and the oligarchy got their way -- Bernie didn't get the nomination, Elizabeth didn't get the nomination.  It went to craven and corrupt Joe.  Any idiot dumb enough to tell you we have to be hopeful is just postponing reality.  Joe's plan is to do nothing.  And we can't afford that.

We need to be aware that climate change isn't be addressed, that the wars are continuing and that Joe and the Congress have no plans to help the American people.

Go read Ann's "Joe Biden is not an improvement" because she gets it.  Also read Marcia's "It is time to cancel Batwoman" -- I liked the Ruby Rose BATWOMAN.  I'm done with the show now.  I watched two episodes and the show sucks.  When Ruby left the show, they should have cancelled it.  Stan's covering a book in "Adrienne Barbeau's bad book THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO" so check that out.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Friday, January 1 2021.  History is largely ignored by the press.

REUTERS notes, "Iraqi security forces have killed Abu Yaser al-Issawi, an Islamic State commander who had claimed to be the leader of the group in Iraq and its 'deputy caliph', Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said on Thursday."  Said?  Well he Tweeted:

We promised and fulfilled. I gave my word to pursue [ISIS] terrorists, we gave them a thundering response. Our heroic armed forces have eliminated [ISIS] commander Abu Yaser Al-Issawi as part of an intelligence-led operation. Long live Iraq and its patriotic armed forces.

And while Tweeted is more accurate than "said,"  even more accurate would be "claimed."

How many times did we hear, for example, that Abu Ayyub al-Masri was killed -- starting as far back as 2006 and he wasn't killed until 2010.  And what of the other leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi?  How many times was the world told he was dead? Repeatedly in 2007, as I remember, and also true, the Iraqi government insisted they had arrested him in 2009 -- even produced photos claiming it was him.  It wasn't.  He would be killed in 2010 -- in the same attack that killed al-Masri, by the way.

More to the point, those two deaths didn't really matter.  David Rising (AP) reported on those two deaths:

The U.S. and Iraq claimed a major victory against al-Qaida on Monday, saying their forces killed the terror group's two top figures in this country in an air and ground assault on their safehouse near Saddam Hussein's hometown.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the killings of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri at a news conference and showed photographs of their bloody corpses. U.S. military officials later confirmed the deaths, which Vice President Joe Biden called a "potentially devastating blow" to al-Qaida in Iraq.

[. . .]

But Biden, President Barack Obama's point person on Iraq, said the deaths of the al-Qaida leaders underscored their overall improvement.

"The Iraqis led this operation, and it was based on intelligence the Iraqi security forces themselves developed," said Biden, who came before reporters in the White House briefing room to draw added attention to the results.

Potentially devastating blow, Joe?

No.  No, four years later, they'd not only be stronger, they'd become one of the most infamous terrorist groups in the world when they seized control of the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul.  Now terrorist groups terrorize -- hence their name.  They don't attempt to rule.  Somehow, ISIS -- not at all weakened -- managed to do what none before them could and they occupied and controlled Mosul not for days, not for weeks, not for months, for years.

And something else let's not forget, a US service member was killed in that attack.  Private 1st Class Charlie Cabay Antonio.  He was 28 years old, his friends called him Bong, he was from Kahuhi, Hawaii.  He suffered.  His family and friends suffered.

But for all of Joe's blustering -- which never included mentioning Charlie Antonio by name -- ISIS wasn't ended or even really harmed.

As Matthew Frankel noted two months later that year (2010) at Brookings:

Much has been made of Monday’s announcement of the recent killing of the number three man in all of Al Qaeda. The consensus seems to be that Mustafa Abu al-Yazid’s death will be a significant blow in the war on terror, but it’s much more likely to have no effect at all. If the past seven years in Iraq is any indication, the removal of enemy leaders has little to no impact on the group’s ability to conduct attacks against us.

The recent killing of top two leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayub al-Masri and Abu Umar al-Baghdadi, is a perfect example. “The death of these terrorists is potentially the most significant blow to Al Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency,” said General Ray Odierno, commander of US forces in Iraq, after the operation, which took place late last month.

The good feeling lasted less than three weeks, however. A series of devastating jihadist-led coordinated attacks across Iraq, killing over 100 people, soon reduced Odierno’s comments to mere hyperbole. And the fact that Masri’s death didn’t mean the end of Al Qaeda in Iraq shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has followed Iraq closely since 2003. In the past, whenever officials have pronounced upon the significance of an enemy killing, it has always proven premature.

So why hasn’t the removal of insurgent and terrorist leadership yielded more successful outcomes in Iraq? My research of twenty different high-value targeting campaigns from Algeria to Chechnya to Japan suggests that such operations have the greatest chance of success when conducted by local forces against a centralized opponent in conjunction with larger counterinsurgency operations. Until recently, American targeting efforts in Iraq failed to meet any of these criteria.

One needs to go back in time only four years to understand this dynamic firsthand. In June 2006, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was finally killed after a months-long manhunt. “Zarqawi’s death is a severe blow to Al Qaeda. It’s a victory in the global war on terror,” President Bush said at the time. But the “victory”—such as it was—proved to be short-lived. Weekly attacks against Coalition forces climbed from 950 in the week before Zarqawi’s death to 1400 just three months later. High-profile attacks nearly doubled over the next nine months, according to U.S. military data.

And our struggles with high-value targeting operations in Iraq have hardly been limited to Sunni jihadist groups. Overemphasis on targeting operations plagued our efforts in the early years of the war. In the months following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, U.S. forces made finding the fugitive leader, his sons, and other holdouts from the infamous “deck of cards” their top priority, ignoring the fact that anti-occupation sentiment had spread to tribal and non-Baathist Sunni figures and spawned a broad decentralized insurgency.

Poorly-conceived and poorly-managed targeting efforts added fuel to the fire. Brazen midnight US military raids sometimes led to the capture of an insurgent, but often created a new generation of enemies as a result of rough tactics and lack of sensitivity towards local customs.

Furthermore, since the Sunni insurgency was decentralized, with local commanders holding large amounts of autonomy, the targeting campaign did little to stem the levels of violence. The eventual capture of Saddam, and the deaths of his sons, had no effect on the growing insurgency. Instead, it took a combination of persistent attacks by Shia militias and the rise of the Anbar Awakening to defeat the bulk of the Sunni insurgency.

History has shown that a military force that fights insurgents far from its home turf, like American soldiers have done in Iraq, will have a severe disadvantage because troops don’t understand the local cultural dynamics and networks. Despite our technological superiority, the United States often falls short in the area of local intelligence collection, leading to poor target selection and unnecessary collateral damage as we have seen in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The press, yet again, plays dumb today and treats a claim as proof and treats the claim as significant.  There's no historical evidence to suggest that the death, if it took place, is in any way significant or that it will alter the trajectory of ISIS in any significant manner.

But don't let facts, reality or the examples from the past interrupt the nonsensical ravings, right?

And don't let the claim force you to note the executions in Iraq.  MEMO notes:

Executions are imminent in Iraq following the president's approval of the death sentences for hundreds of Sunni prisoners in response to the suicide bombings in the capital Baghdad last week, the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has warned.

The execution of 340 civilians arrested and detained under Article 4 of the country's Terrorism Law was approved two days after the bomb blasts, in which 32 were killed and for which [ISIS] claimed responsibility.

Three detainees were executed last Monday in the Nasiriyah Central Prison. According to AOHR UK, the condemned men came from the provinces of Nineveh, Anbar. Notably, all three were Sunni Muslims, raising concerns that their execution was based on sectarian grounds.

Mosul.  The city was destroyed by bombings carried out by ISIS, the US government and the Iraqi government.  That US and Iraq were 'liberating' the city.  All this time later, Mosul remains in ruins.  AFP reports on one section of the city:

Mosul's Old City still lies in ruins three years after intense fighting drove out Islamic State jihadists. Many Mosul residents long waited for compensation or rebuilding -- in vain, as Iraq remains mired in political and economic crisis, reported AFP. With rebuilding unlikely and Iraq's economy in tailspin, homeowners are desperate to sell. But many who lived through the horrors of IS rule there are now unable to find buyers for their properties in what still resembles a warzone.

A few days ago, THE NEW ARAB Tweeted:

"#Iraq's second largest city remains scarred by the war against the Islamic State. Although peace has returned, much of Mosul still lies in ruins" writes Sylvain Mercadier

Last month, Samya Kullab (AP) wrote:

The U.N. has estimated that over 8,000 Mosul homes were destroyed in intense airstrikes to root out IS. The nine-month operation left at least 9,000 dead, according to an AP investigation.

Memories of the group’s brutality still haunt locals, who remember a time when the city squares were used for the public beheading of those who dared violate the militants' rules.

The Old City on the west bank of the Tigris River, once the jewel of Mosul, remains in ruins even as newer parts of the city have seen a cautious recovery. The revival, the residents say, is mostly their own doing.

“I didn’t see a single dollar from the government,” said Ahmed Sarhan, who runs a family coffee business.

There are many problems with what Kullab wrote -- not reported, typed.  Including where did the reconstruction money go?  

Recently, the last seven or so months, the Iraqi government has claimed (lied) that they diverted it to COVID relief.  Again, that's a lie.  But if they had diverted it, it still wouldn't explain where all the money was prior to the COVID emerging on the world stage in February of last year.  Mosul should have been rebuilt long ago and it is an example of the ongoing corruption of the Iraqi government that continues year after year, regardless of which coward who fled Iraq is installed as prime minister.  

In 2020, AFP noted, "Iraq gathered $30 billion in pledges from international donors in Kuwait in 2018 to rebuild, but virtually none of the funds have been disbursed."  30 billion.  And yet no real rebuilding -- the rebuilding that has taken place has been done by the United Nations.

$30 billion.  Wasted.  A corrupt government that pockets the money -- over and over, we see this.

Turning to the US, David Sirota has a DAILY POSTER report that NEWSWEEK is part of:

On January 4, Joe Biden made an unequivocal pledge, telling voters that by electing Democrats to Georgia's senate seats, "you can make an immediate difference in your own lives, the lives of people all across this country because their election will put an end to the block in Washington on that $2,000 stimulus check, that money that will go out the door immediately to people who are in real trouble."

Less than four weeks later:

  • Biden is pushing $1,400 checks, rather than using his election mandate to demand new, full $2,000 checks.
  • Democrats are now suggesting that it could take at least until March to even pass the legislation, even as the economic crisis worsens.
  • Biden is now responding to threats of Republican obstructionism by floating the idea of reducing the number of people who would even get the checks. "He is open to negotiating the eligibility requirements of his proposed $1,400 COVID stimulus check, a nod to lawmakers who have said they should be more targeted," reported Reuters.
  • The signals of retreat are happening even as new polling data show that the original promise for a full $2,000 stimulus check is wildly popular.

Feel familiar? We've gotten into a flux-capacitor-powered DeLorean, flown back in time and dropped ourselves into 2009.

Back then, Barack Obama and Biden had gotten themselves elected in the middle of an economic crisis after promising to pass a public health insurance option. It was a promise as clear and explicit as the $2,000 checks promise is today—their platform was explicit in pledging that "any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan."

But then over the course of the year, as Republicans in the congressional minority kicked and screamed, the administration ever so gradually started backing down, rather than using the election mandate to try to shame the GOP into submission.

By the middle of the year, Obama said: "The public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform." His Health and Human Services secretary said that it was "not the essential element" of health care reform.

By the winter, Obama lied, insisting "I didn't campaign on a public option."

And then by 2010, the Obama White House had killed the plan, and Senate Democrats refused to even bring it up for a floor vote when they had the chance. Soon after, voters delivered what Obama called a "shellacking" in the midterm election, effectively foreclosing on the possibility of transformative change during Obama's presidency.

At WSWS, Bill Van Auken notes that Joe's already warring with Iran:

Meanwhile, an Iranian government spokesman appealed directly to the Biden administration to lift sanctions that have restricted the country’s ability to import vaccines needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Iran harder than any other country in the region, with 1.4 million reported cases and nearly 60,000 reported deaths.

“Since [Biden’s] administration claims not to be anti-science like the previous expects it to free the transfer of Iran’s own foreign exchange resources to fight the coronavirus and for health and food, and lift banking sanctions quickly,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told state television.

With its appeal for “unity” with the Republican Party, the Biden administration has little stomach for a swift and sharp reversal of the “maximum pressure” campaign imposed by Trump. Leading right-wing congressional Democrats, including Senator Robert Menendez, the incoming chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, have also opposed any letup of US aggression against Iran.

Biden has also pledged to “engage” with Israel before taking any steps to change the current “maximum pressure” regime against Iran, while Blinken has repeatedly stated that the new administration views Israel’s security as “sacrosanct.”

Tel Aviv has not only opposed any US return to the JCPOA but has threatened to militarily attack Iran and its nuclear facilities in response. This was expressed most directly by the new chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who gave a bellicose speech on Tuesday, declaring a return to the Iran nuclear deal an “intolerable threat” to Israel. He said that “anything that is similar to the current deal is a bad thing, and we cannot allow it,” adding that he had ordered the IDF to prepare new “operative plans” for attacking Iran.

The following sites updated:

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Cat Dancing Joe


From August 30, 2019, that's "Cat Dancing Joe."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's THE WOLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Cat Dancing Joe."  A woman confronts Joe Biden about his dressing up in cat ears and pretending he's a feline, "Joe, you are not a cat!  And, yes, it does make a difference if you say you are."  For more on Joe's delusions, Isaiah says see "Iraq snapshot," Mike's "Joe Biden and his lies" and Betty's "Joe Biden can't stop lying." Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

I don't anyone ever got away with more lies during a campaign than Joe Biden, certainly no one got such a pass from the media during one.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, January 22, 2021.  Silencing of dissent led to many things, including the Iraq War.  Today, we focus on the efforts to silence dissent further in the US.


What if a state of war and terror is used to make populations change their sense of democratic freedom without their ever recognizing that it's happening?  Can fear of terrorism make an entire population embrace values it would normally reject?  Would a population even realize it was becoming more and more entrenched in and comfortable with institutions that ignore the Constitution in favor of the rule of law?

Just go to an airport and stand in line at the security checkpoint.  Make people afraid enough, they will submit to anything.

The passage above from Shirley is even more pertinent as US lawmakers push for more 'terror' laws to 'protect' the United States.  Caitlin Johnstone notes:

The US political/media class have been pushing hard for more authoritarian policies to stave off the threat of “domestic terrorism” in the wake of the Capitol riot. President Biden, who was already working on rolling out new domestic terror policies well before January sixth, confirmed after the riot that he is making these new measures a priority. Political internet censorship is becoming increasingly normalized, anti-protest bills are being passed, and now we’re seeing liberals encouraged to form “digital armies” to spy on Trump supporters to report them to the authorities.

And an amazingly large percentage of the US population seems to have no problem with any of this, even in sectors of the political spectrum that should really know better by now.

“What else can we do?” they reason. “What other solution could there possibly be to the threat of dangerous fascists and conspiracy theorists continuing to gain power and influence?”

Well there’s a whole lot that can be done, and none of it includes consenting to sweeping new Patriot Act-like authoritarian measures or encouraging monopolistic Silicon Valley plutocrats to censor worldwide political speech. There’s just a whole lot of mass-scale narrative manipulation going on to keep it from being obvious to everyone.

Many religions feature a belief in 'treat others as you would like them to treat you.'  And if you were lucky to grow up with some form of a caring parental figure, you heard variations on this.  The reason is because when you do something nasty or rude to someone else, you don't have much right to complain when, as Cher sang in "My Song (Too Far Gone)," "what I did to many men was finally . . .  done to . . . me."

That is what happens.  And when laws are created to penalize those you disagree with, you better grasp that those same laws will, sooner or later, come after you.

The golden rule.  We'd hope everyone would follow the treat others as you'd like to be treated maxim out of kindness but, if nothing else, let's hope that they'll follow it for their own self-interest.   Again, to quote Cher, "What I did to many men was finally done to me."

It's already starting, the censorship.  Katie Halper Tweeted two days ago:

The Livestream That Youtube won't let me post is here with the controversial content cut out. But I'm going to keep contesting it.

Yesterday, Jimmy Dore noted the way the corporate media is promoting censorship.

And he did another segment.  This one was with Jordan Chariton.  

File it under Cher's "what I did to many men was finally done to me," in Jordan's case.  As the comments note, Jordan's been calling for the censorship of people for years.  And he's not noted here for his program due to his attacks on THE CONVO COUCH.  Maybe Jordan will learn a lesson from this?  Probably not.  But standing up for freedom of speech often means standing up for speech you don't like or speakers you don't like.  

You do that because you grasp the Constitution and you grasp the importance of freedom of speech.  Instead of re-programming centers for people AOC doesn't like, maybe we should be advocating to send the woefully undereducated AOC back to college to learn about the Constitution?

The politicians are not defenders of free speech.  The tech giants are not defenders of free speech, as Jimmy Dore and others note.  This is surprisingly to you only if you're new to this topic.  The week of August 12th, 2013, this was noted on LAW AND DISORDER RADIO:

Michael Smith:  The subtitle of your new book Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public Resistance  -- talk to me for a minute about corporate power.

Heidi Boghosian:  We know that 70% of the government's intelligence operations are conducted by private business.  They have a very co-dependent relationship in which Boeing, a lot of other military operations develop equipment specifically to conduct surveillance.  And the US government actually depends on them for analysis of data that is gathered and for setting up the internal communications system, for example, at the Pentagon.  So it behooves business, it helps their bottom line to create more sophisticated and intricate technology that the government depends on.  You must also realize that business is immune from Constitutional stricture so that they can in many cases spy free from liability and the government has given the telecommunications industry immunity from lawsuits so it really shows the extent that not only do we give them latitude but President Obama has a panel of corporate CEOs who advise him on policy. 

Heidi also addressed the issue on an August 16, 2013 broadcast of COUNTERSPIN:

Peter Hart:  Now we're talking about government spying and that's been the focus of so much one of the Snowden coverage.  One of the lessons of the book is that private companies are very much involved in this on a number of levels.  They're contractors with the federal government.  They're also hired guns on activist groups -- things that the government probably couldn't do legally but you can hire a private company to do these things.  Talk a little about the role of private companies and how they blur the distinction between government surveillance

Heidi Boghosian:  In many ways, private corporations have become the long arm of the government, doing -- as you say -- things that the government could not legally do because they're bound by the strictures of the US Constitution.  Our officials take an oath to protect the Constitution.  And, as we mentioned, some protections were set in place.  They've eroded over time but I think most Americans would be offended if they knew the level of surveillance and they're getting a hint of that now.  Corporations conduct approximately 70% of the US government's intelligence functions. We've seen a shift so that, in many cases, well trained staff move from the public sector into private jobs because they're much more lucrative.  What happens, however, is that there is no oversight and no accountability in a lot of these actions so that even members of Congress are largely in the dark about how these corporations act.  And, as you mentioned with activists, a large part of what corporations do is guard against any outside criticism of their policies so that, for example, in addition to entering into contracts with the government, they may have their own internal intelligence units that collect data, photographs, they spy on activists who are outspoken -- many times, successful activists who've actually changed policies of, say, Burger King or, you know, work that the group PETA has done to raise awareness about how we treat animals.  So environmental activists, animal rights have been deemed top domestic terrorist threats by the government and really, I think, playing into fears people have about another terrorist attack unfortunately by branding US citizens and other people who are merely exercising in most cases their First Amendment right to free speech and free activities, the right to assemble and take grievances to the government, they're being punished, labeled as terrorists, vilified and this has what we call a chilling effect on the exercise of free speech.

And as Lily Tomlin long ago noted in the seventies, big business protects big business.  Some very dangerous things are being proposed.

Glenn Greenwald (SUBSTACK) points out:

The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting “terrorism” that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This trend shows no sign of receding as we move farther from the January 6 Capitol riot. The opposite is true: it is intensifying.

We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens. This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance.

Underlying all of this are immediate insinuations that anyone questioning any of this must, by virtue of these doubts, harbor sympathy for the Terrorists and their neo-Nazi, white supremacist ideology. Liberals have spent so many years now in a tight alliance with neocons and the CIA that they are making the 2002 version of John Ashcroft look like the President of the (old-school) ACLU.

The more honest proponents of this new domestic War on Terror are explicitly admitting that they want to model it on the first one. A New York Times reporter noted on Monday that a “former intelligence official on PBS NewsHour” said “that the US should think about a ‘9/11 Commission’ for domestic extremism and consider applying some of the lessons from the fight against Al Qaeda here at home.” More amazingly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal — for years head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and the commander of the war in Afghanistan — explicitly compared that war to this new one, speaking to Yahoo News:

I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence. This is now happening in America….I think we’re much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.”

Anyone who, despite all this, still harbors lingering doubts that the Capitol riot is and will be the neoliberal 9/11, and that a new War on Terror is being implemented in its name, need only watch the two short video clips below, which will clear their doubts for good. It is like being catapulted by an unholy time machine back to Paul Wolfowitz’s 2002 messaging lab.

We stand up to efforts to curtail our rights or we accept what is imposed on us.  The PATRIOT Act was never overturned despite various politicians -- liars all of them -- insisting they were opposed to it.  Remember when Barack Obama was a candidate for president and he'd grand stand on the issue but then he went along renewing it over and over.  And don't pretend like the PATRIOT Act was a surprise or that it took years to realize the harm it was doing.  In 2002, the Center for Constitutional Rights' Nancy Chang's SILENCING POLITICAL DISSENT: HOW POST-SEPTEMBER 11 ANTI-TERRORISM MEASURES THREATEN OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES.  She wrote:


The antiterrosim measures discussed in this book have placed our civil liberties in jeopardy.  And because the "war on terrorism" -- of which these measures form a part -- is likely to become a permanent feature of American life, the task of reclaiming our civil liberties in the post-September 11 world will not be an easy one.  We must exercise our constitutionally protected rights of free speech and political association to protest antiterrorism measures that infringe on political and personal freedoms, organize public education campaigns, engage in grassroots, organizing, build broad coalitions, reach out to people of faith and immigrant communities, participate in voter education and registration drives, alert the mainstream and alternative press to our concerns, write letter to the editor for publiciation in our local newspapers, and seek information from the government under the Freedom of Information Act.  In addition, we must call upon the judiciary to serve as a check against executive and lesgislative measures that violate the Constitution.  And we must call upon Congress to play an oversight role over the executive branch, pass corrective legislation where needed, and appoint judges who are sensitive to the Bill of Rights.  

Our efforts must be directed not only at the federal level but at state and local governments as well.  Since September 11, more than a thousand antiterrorism measures have been proposed in state and local jurisdictions across the nation, and already a number of them have become law.  These measures threaten to criminalize speech and protest activities, limit the availability of public records, expand government surveillance powers, and promote participation in acts the legislature deems patriotic.  

People like Chip Pitts helped organize local efforts where We The People would attend city council meetings and attempt to get resolutions passed to oppose the government's seizure of your private information from public libraries.  There were many ways to fight back.  Few chose to fight.  This is an important issue and that's why we are focusing on it right now.  Before they pass more laws that destroy our rights, we need to be focusing on what's going on.

In her book WHAT IF, Shirley MacLaine notes:

More important than any of the aforementioned, what if the ''security'' measures have never been predominantly about security, but more about the purposeful dumbing-down of Americans, making us subservient to control and authority?  What if the point of amplifying fear is to render the population cooperative with its own individual captivity?  Fear breeds handing over control, and handing over control breeds cooperative dumbing-down/  In the name of protecting freeom and democracy, we've become prisoners of our own induced obedience.

The following sites updated:

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