Archive for the ‘Anarchy Journal Constitutional’ Category

by @anarchyroll
8/13/2014

Before 2012, the only pink slime I was aware of was in Ghostbusters 2.

Then the ground beef byproduct controversy erupted.

Essentially, the public got wind of a filler in ground beef that contained ammonia hydroxide and was in the majority of mass-produced ground beef in major grocery stores and fast food chains. This led directly to the public flipping out, the (pink slime) filler to be removed, pulled from shelves, burger patties, etc…

But, America’s attention span is measured in 140 character online text messages and six second looping video clips. The media attention has gone away, the consumer outrage has gone away, and with that, the pink slime is coming back.

Why? The price of beef is going up, and putting pink slime into beef helps keeps costs down for manufacturers. So pink slime processing plants are reopening and pink slime will soon be back in our burgers and on our grocery shelves.

Will the public object again? Will mainstream media stoke the fires of public outrage again? Or do the majority of consumers and producers just want cheap beef?

 

by @anarchyroll
8/9/2014

Have you noticed more news on data breaches, password stealing, and hacking as a tool for war in the news recently? It’s not just you, and it’s not just sensationalism.

It turns out the internet being referred to as the information superhighway is an apt metaphor. As it has been recently revealed that the highway is more potholes than road.

In addition to have more holes than concrete, stretches of solid road that exist are seemingly ruled by Mad Max/Road Warrior style gangs in the form of international hacker mafias. No information on the open internet is secure. That was one of the lessons that should have come from the Edward Snowden NSA Leaks last year. But that fact took a distant second to the US government having a full-fledged Orwellian domestic spying program active, in place, and recording everyone’s emails, text messages, phone calls, and data placed on social media.

Not only is our personal, private information not safe from our government but our stock markets aren’t safe from international hackers either. The NASDAQ got straight up hacked into by Russian hackers in 2010. The hack and investigation into it were recently declassified and chronicled in a great article by Bloomberg Businessweek. After the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Secret Service each took turns looking into the matter, it is still unknown exactly how the hackers got in, what they took, and/or what they left behind. Essentially the only thing they know is that the hackers were Russian.

In related news, Russian hackers just this week stole more than 1 billion passwords and half a billion emails in the largest data theft in the history of the internet.

In the spirit of a stock market being hacked, it turns out professional hackers have their own exchange market. A recent article in TIME magazine revealed that hackers sell software bugs to the highest bidder to both governments and private companies.

The last year and a half will be remembered as the golden age for conspiracy theorists. Before you know it there’ll be a video released showing big foot, shooting Kennedy, from the studio where it staged the moon landing.

Learning that the information super highway is more potholes than roads in the long run, is good for us. We must be less trusting of faceless corporations. I know we’d all like to think Mark Zuckerberg is our friend, but he’s just another CEO trying to make money off of his customers. Not only are social media companies selling our information first hand through data brokers, but the information is so unsecure that all social media services are serving as enablers for identity thieves.

I can only imagine how much of my personal information is being packaged and sold on the black market. I’ve signed up and signed away my identity to a plethora of social media providers. But I’m a lower risk target. When I check my bank account online moths fly out of my monitor. But there are plenty more people who have plenty more to lose who have plenty more valuable information floating around online. And what we have definitively learned is that the information is NOT secure, it is floating around, waiting to be snatched by any hacker collective willing to put in the time and money.

There is no going back from the digital revolution. We’re not going back to analog and paper. So what is the solution? I don’t know, I just hope a solution is found before I have enough money to invest online.

by @anarchyroll
7/21/2014

Did you know the United Nations said that Detroit is violating the human rights of their citizens?

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are fundamental rights in America. So if that is actually true, and we can’t live without water, is water a right? The water companies in Detroit don’t think so and have been shutting off water supplies to delinquent customers.

The problems of the urban dystopia that is Detroit are pretty well-known. But I don’t think most people in America thought the situation in Detroit was worthy of the attention of the United Nations. Since we are in the United States of America after all, it is hard to fathom human rights violations worth of the attention of international governing bodies could be allowed to occur here. Well, welcome to the new normal.

Why are so many people (up to 30,000) so behind on their water bills that they are having access to it turned off? Maybe it has something to do with the 119% increase in cost as the city inches closer and closer to privatization of utilities.

As horrific as the situation in Detroit is, what is even scarier than municipalities and private corporations literally denying access to the essence of life to their citizens, is that the problems with water in Detroit is soon to become the rule not just an exception.

by @anarchyroll
7/17/2014

I recently starting watching the Netflix original program House of Cards. It is a fictional show, but the more and more I watch it, the more and more it feels like a psuedo documentary of Washington D.C politics in the dark and behind the doors. The controversial and shady manner of how CISPA has been repackaged as CISA and is being attempted to be rushed through Congress reaks Frank Underwood.

Last year, when CISPA was brought to light, the public and (all) the tech companies went very politely apeshit. If you don’t know what CISPA is and couldn’t be bothered to click on the link above, it basically puts the NSA on steroids and makes the steroids legal.

CISPA =  The End of Privacy

The public has made it clear they do not want this legislation. Google, Reddit, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and basically every other big company that makes money through the internet informed the public about the negative privacy implications of CISPA and the public let it known they wanted the bill killed/stalled/not to become law of the land. The tech companies then did what is really required to pass or kill legislation, used millions of dollars to fund lobbyists.

Much like in House of Cards, now that the first bill has been killed in the court of public opinion, the real bill is going to be attempted to be crafted and passed behind the closed Congressional doors.

Now CISA is heading to the Senate floor, after being rushed through committee, so it can be quickly voted on before the current Congressional session expires. American politics mixed with American ingenuity, if at first you don’t succeed at an agenda with shady politics,  try and try again.

 

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by @anarchyroll
7/3/2014

Social network sounds so much more appealing than electronic social emotional psychological experiment platform.

It was recently revealed that in 2012, Facebook manipulated the news feeds of just under 700,000 users, in order to measure the effects the news feed changes, on the mood(s) of the user(s).

The exact number of users who were unknowingly experimented on is 689,003. The exact amount of time was one week. Facebook showed less (than) positive posts from both friends and publication providers. Facebook did not get the consent of the users to do this experiment.

Facebook has both apologized, and offered no apologies for conducting this unauthorized psychological experiment.

Me personally, I find something like this to be disgusting and despicable. This is also a great learning lesson on a variety of levels. Let’s focus on how the results of the experiment show what social conditioning is.

Social conditioning is how we learn to think, perceive, and act through the media (movies, television, music, magazines, newspapers, social media websites/platforms, etc).

Facebook proved to themselves and to the world that social conditioning is a very real, very applicable, very effective social-emotional concept. Social conditioning shapes all of us, myself very much included. Facebook itself can be considered one big social conditioning machine.

It was also learned in the experiment that emotions are contagious. That people can in mass be manipulated to feel happier or sadder. What are the implications of this? What other large companies have performed experiments like this in the past? In the present?

I’m not going to bring this article down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole. There are simply questions worth asking of ourselves internally as well as the external world around us. How much of what we think and feel is rooted in our own personal identity, integrity, character, and principles? How much of our identity, values, and consent has been manufactured?

Think about it. Be aware of it.

What is “it”? It in this case would be the non material aspects of what makes you up as a person. Your thoughts, feelings, and so on. Do you think, perceive, and act based on what you internally believe? Or are you being so manipulated by the world around you that you have no identity that isn’t a corporate brand or group think produced? No one is above being asked that question, especially not yours truly.

Think about it. Be aware of it.

 

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by @anarchyroll
7/3/2014

Nothing quite says 1% like CEO of the biggest bank in America. That is the title held by Jamie Dimon (pictured above).

Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase and one of the most brilliant economic minds in the world.

JPMorgan Chase was a beneficiary of the TARP bailout following the 2008 economic collapse. Dimon and Chase were also at the center of the London Whale economic scandal in 2012.

Dimon and Chase took billions of dollars from the government when they didn’t need it, then turned around and used it to fund the same type of reckless gambling that was responsible for the economic collapse. If that doesn’t symbolize American greed and the 1% I don’t know what does.

Jamie Dimon may be a symbol, but he is also a human being. A human being who has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

Dimon wrote in a memo that his prognosis is excellent. The cancer was caught early, the treatment plan is all set up, he won’t even have to miss work. Of course, because he has the best healthcare money can buy and then some.

I wonder if the doctors will be injecting cash directly into the tumors.

I do hope this experience will change Mr. Dimon. I hope it will affect him. I hope his paradigm will shift dramatically. Cancer is still cancer, even for a wealthy white man. I’m sure he will do serious thinking, reflecting, and planning during his treatment sessions. Hopefully he will use his massive influence on the world to do something other than use money to make money. Hopefully.

by @anarchyroll
6/17/2014

Salt is to obesity what motor oil is to a car. Sugar is the gasoline.

Salt is America’s secret ingredient.

Salt is America’s spice.

Processed foods could not exist without salt.

Fast food culture would not exist without salt.

Franchise restaurants would not exist without salt.

Excessive salt intake is a direct contributor to heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, and obesity. If you don’t care about any of that, care about the health care costs that go along with battling the obesity epidemic. Those add up almost as much as senior citizens delaying the inevitable by an extra couple of days.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is getting read to unveil voluntary salt reduction guidelines for food makers. As with any government bureau, there is no set time-table for when the guidelines will be released, as well as what specifically the guidelines will be. But it’s a start. When dealing with an epidemic, it is important to at least start, no matter how small the first step may seem when staring up at a mountain.

I am in favor of strict, mandatory guidelines BUT completely understand why starting with voluntary, phased in guidelines are being enacted. America is so addicted to salt that a sudden drop might result in public backlash, which could lead to legislated high sodium diet recommendations.

Regardless of whether a person is a vegan, a paleo, a juicer, or junk food eating machine we can all agree that something must be done about wide-spread obesity in America. The abuse of the freedom to eat what we want is negatively effecting our society and culture at a level that has been labeled epidemic. If this where any other kind of epidemic would drastic action not be expected? Would freedoms not be forfeited?

With obesity, the government isn’t coming for our speech, guns, religious freedoms, or our children. They’re simply coming to take 30% of our daily salt intake.

by @anarchyroll
6/11/2014

When you’ve been labeled a traitor by the United States federal government and are in hiding in Russia, you’ll take just about any endorsement you can get. Having one of the three most recent Vice Presidents of the United States give you a thumbs up, is Christmas come early.

Al Gore said that Edward Snowden, in addition to breaking the law, “provided an important service” in exposing the NSA bulk surveillance programs.

Gore didn’t completely pardon Snowden’s actions, admitting that he did break the law and would have to serve some penalty for doing so. But Gore also refused to label Snowden a traitor, which is a huge step forward in the public debate on this issue.

The court of public opinion must shift if Snowden is to be able to return to America. The one thing Democrats and Republicans seem to have in common these days is condemning Edward Snowden as a traitor and kissing up the to Military Industrial Complex.

Gore’s endorsement of the good that came out of Snowden’s action are a good start and a good step in the right direction for those in power and on the left to come around to seeing Snowden as more of a whistleblower and less of a traitor.

by @anarchyroll
5/16/2014

There has been another development in Syria this week and, as has become standard, it is not a positive one.

Lakhdar Brahimi; the man tasked with trying to broker a peace treaty or at least a long-standing ceasefire in Syria has resigned. He resigned due to the current Syrian regime not giving an inch, as well as the international community basically not giving a damn about what is going on in Syria as long as chemical weapons aren’t involved. What has been happening and continues to happen in Syria represents everything wrong with the human race.

150,000 dead and counting, with no end in sight, no hope in sight, for the people of Syria. The situation between Russia and Ukraine has shifted all focus away from Syria. The fatigue of the international community has felt from the constant flow of horrifying news coming out of Syria is palpable. No one is even putting up a front of enthusiasm towards of humanitarian solution in that country. When politicians can’t even put on a veil of political correctness on an issue, you know the shit is hitting the fan.

Unfortunately in Syria, it is not shit hitting the fan, it is the blood of women and children by the thousand. Civilians are killed every day and everyone looks away. I had the pleasure of meeting someone who volunteered in the region, at one of the refugee camps. I gave them my respect and attempted to stay in contact with them as they were in the process of trying to go back. That area needs all the help they can get. It is such a vast war zone, one wonders if there is anything that can actually, tangibly, help.

Frequenters of this site know I keep an eye and an ear one what is going on in Syria and have written about it often. I will continue to do so. It is important to know about what is going on there. Remember, the whole situation started with the government opening fire on protesters. Consider what is also happening in Egypt, Ukraine, Greece, and Spain. It seems opening fire on protesters is becoming the norm. It is important to be aware of things like this so a disease of government versus civilian violence do not spread to our side of the ocean.

 

by @anarchyroll
5/7/2014

The last year has been full of vindication for all those paranoid schizophrenics out there.

We now know that not only has the NSA essentially been getting all the data on the internet and storing it, which is bad enough, but it came out this week that they weren’t using a back door but rather have the keys to the front of anything and everything Google. Which is basically everything that isn’t Apple.

The paranoia about what is done with our information is done online is spreading, and why wouldn’t it? It has also been found that our search engine uses and habits have changed in the wake of the NSA leaks.

I suppose I should think that unlawful spying is unlawful spying regardless. But something, and I’m not sure what exactly bothers me more than Google has been in on it the whole time. Call it naivety, and you’d probably be right or the other thing to call it is a natural reaction to massive trust violation.

This is why those agreements we have to sign before signing up for anything for free online is so long and in such small print I suppose. Fill it with loopholes so there is no legal obligation to not sell the information of every customer to a data broker or give it to Uncle Sam. What about the moral obligation? Oh, there’s that naivety again. It’s business, who has time for morals?  After all, what could be more moral than listening to one’s government?

It is sad how much Google is able to justify what they did to themselves. I suppose that there is a strong correlation with trust violation and monetary profit, not just these days, but basically since currency became the currency of the world. The amount of flagrant Big Brother going on with the NSA and telcoms physically weakens me. It makes me feel like not writing. All the more reason to write. The quality may not be on par, but if anyone learns about what is going on through my writing then it’s worth it.

Great news sources that stay on top of the NSA are: The Intercept, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and The Verge.