Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse

Home » 2014 » February » 07 (Page 2)

Daily Archives: February 7, 2014

Activist Post: Eyes in the Sky: New Surveillance Technology to Watch Over Us

Activist Post: Eyes in the Sky: New Surveillance Technology to Watch Over Us.

Lily Dane
Activist PostNew surveillance camera technology may be flying over your city soon. The new cameras are mounted on fixed-wing aircraft and can monitor an area the size of a small city for hours on end.

The Washington Post reported on this new generation of surveillance cameras:

A new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed that can track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time. Although these cameras can’t read license plates or see faces, they provide such a wealth of data that police, businesses and even private individuals can use them to help identify people and track their movements.

Even the name of the company that created this technology sounds ominous: Persistent Surveillance Systems. Ross McNutt, the president of the Ohio-based company, told the Post how the cameras could help reduce crime:

A single camera mounted atop the Washington Monument, McNutt boasts, could deter crime all around the Mall. He said regular flights over the most dangerous parts of Washington — combined with publicity about how much police could see — would make a significant dent in the number of burglaries, robberies and murders. His 192-megapixel cameras would spot as many as 50 crimes per six-hour flight, he estimated, providing police with a continuous stream of images covering more than a third of the city.

While taking measures to reduce crime is admirable, it seems that some, like Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, have other ideas about how the technology can be used. Biehl wants to invite the public to see the cameras in action, because it may scare them into behaving:

I want them to be worried that we’re watching. I want them to be worried that they never know when we’re overhead.

Civil liberties advocates say that while surveillance can help solve crime, privacy is at risk.

Joel Pruce, a University of Dayton postdoctoral fellow in human rights, told the Post:

There are an infinite number of surveillance technologies that would help solve crimes…but there are reasons that we don’t do those things, or shouldn’t be doing those things.

You know where there’s a lot less crime? There’s a lot less crime in China.

Jan Stanley, a privacy expert with the American Civil Liberties Union, said of the technology:

If you turn your country into a totalitarian surveillance state, there’s always some wrongdoing you can prevent. The balance struck in our Constitution tilts toward liberty, and I think we should keep that value.

Here, Craig Timberg of The Washington Post explains the technology:

Be sure to look up and wave hello if you see one of these surveillance planes hovering over your area!

Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”

Rio fare hike protests turn violent – Americas – Al Jazeera English

Rio fare hike protests turn violent – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

Police and protesters clash in Brazilian city’s main train station in a demonstration against a 10-cent bus fare hike.

Last updated: 07 Feb 2014 08:26

Members of the “Free Pass” movement invaded the station to demand zero tariffs in Rio de Janeiro [Reuters]
Police and protesters violently clashed in Rio de Janeiro’s main train station in a demonstration against a 10-cent hike in bus fare.A cameraman for Band TV was hit in the head by either a stun grenade launched by police or a homemade explosive tossed by protesters; it was not immediately clear which.

Band said in a statement that cameraman Santiago Andrade was taken to a hospital by police and underwent surgery. He is in serious condition.

It is the latest protest to hit Brazil since last June, when nationwide demonstrations broke out after a sharp police crackdown on a group in Sao Paulo that was marching against an increase in public transportation fares.

That increase was reversed in the face of protesters’ pressure.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes recently approved a 10-cent increase for bus fares starting this Saturday.

About 800 protesters had peacefully gathered on Thursday in central Rio before they started marching to the city’s main train station, some holding aloft signs condemning the billions of dollars spent to host the World Cup, money they want used for better hospitals, schools and infrastructure.

Clashes broke out inside the train station after demonstrators began jumping over turnstiles and police used batons and tear gas to disperse members of the Black Block anarchist tactic.

Police pushed the demonstrators outside and used more tear gas to disperse those gathered, while demonstrators hurled rocks at the officers.

Authorities were forced to close the station, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. Some bystanders were made ill by the tear gas, while others fainted.

Thais Jorao, a 22-year-old protester, said that demonstration was not simply because of the 10-cent bus fare hike.

“If it was a public transportation fare hike when we had good health services and education, you wouldn’t have this many people on the street,” he said.

“On top of this you see spending with the World Cup, things that we really don’t need. We want health, education, decent public transportation.”

Supreme Court Justice Confirms American Internment Camps Will Happen Again: “It is the Reality”

Supreme Court Justice Confirms American Internment Camps Will Happen Again: “It is the Reality”.

Mac Slavo
February 4th, 2014

internmentcamps

While President Obama and Congressional members have made an effort to convince their constituents that the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act will never be used against citizens of the United States, the fact is that the laws clearly allow for the detention, arrest and detainment of Americans without charge or trial. The President attempted to assuage these fears of potential abuse of the law by including a signing statement promising he would never use the law against Americans, but the statement itself is non-binding, leaving the possibility of misuse wide open.

In the event of a declared national emergency or war, when fear and panic are running rampant, the President will, without a shadow of a doubt, implement whatever means necessary in order to control the populace and maintain order.

Detainment and interment will be at the top of the Department of Homeland Security’s to-do list.

And if you have any doubts about this possibility then pay close attention to the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a recent event where law students asked the judge about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Keep in mind that this is coming from one of the people who will be sitting on the panel of judges who decides whether or not such an act is Constitutional:

Well of course Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case.

But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.

That’s what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war.

It’s no justification, but it is the reality.

There will come a time in America when panic grips the nation. There will be riots, violence, and bloodshed resulting from any number of plausible scenarios like the collapse of our economic and monetary systems.

When this happens the government will implement their continuity plans. Martial law will be declared.

The Department of Homeland Security will activate their already stocked and staffedFederal Emergency Management Agency refugee camps. We’ve seen these in limited form during major storms like Hurricane Sandy. Those who came to FEMA for help reported that their facilities were like concentration camps.

But they were nothing compared to what would happen in a situation where hundreds of thousands of people would need to be detained under a national emergency declaration. According to various sources and a ton of research over the years, FEMA camps are situated all over the country and are awaiting internees.

U.S. Army internal document provides some additional insight:

The document makes it clear that the policies apply “within U.S. territory” and involve, “DOD support to U.S. civil authorities for domestic emergencies, and for designated law enforcement and other activities,” including “man-made disasters, accidents, terrorist attacks and incidents in the U.S. and its territories.

The manual states, “These operations may be performed as domestic civil support operations,” and adds that “The authority to approve resettlement such operations within U.S. territories,” would require a “special exception” to The Posse Comitatus Act, which can be obtained via “the President invoking his executive authority.” The document also makes reference to identifying detainees using their “social security number.”

Aside from enemy combatants and other classifications of detainees, the manual includes the designation of “civilian internees,” in other words citizens who are detained for, “security reasons, for protection, or because he or she committed an offense against the detaining power.”

If you’re paying attention you can see the signs everywhere. The government of the United States is preparing for a widespread event that, based on their recent activities, will require the deployment of armed police, military and even a multi-million strong civilian security force.

This is happening and a Supreme Court Justice of the United States just confirmed that there will be no stopping it.

Joseph E. Stiglitz argues that bad policies in rich countries, not economic inevitability, have caused most people’s standard of living to decline. – Project Syndicate

Joseph E. Stiglitz argues that bad policies in rich countries, not economic inevitability, have caused most people’s standard of living to decline. – Project Syndicate.

FEB 6, 2014 6

Stagnation by Design

NEW YORK – Soon after the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, I warned that unless the right policies were adopted, Japanese-style malaise – slow growth and near-stagnant incomes for years to come – could set in. While leaders on both sides of the Atlantic claimed that they had learned the lessons of Japan, they promptly proceeded to repeat some of the same mistakes. Now, even a key former United States official, the economist Larry Summers, is warning of secular stagnation.

The basic point that I raised a half-decade ago was that, in a fundamental sense, the US economy was sick even before the crisis: it was only an asset-price bubble, created through lax regulation and low interest rates, that had made the economy seem robust. Beneath the surface, numerous problems were festering: growing inequality; an unmet need for structural reform (moving from a manufacturing-based economy to services and adapting to changing global comparative advantages); persistent global imbalances; and a financial system more attuned to speculating than to making investments that would create jobs, increase productivity, and redeploy surpluses to maximize social returns.

Policymakers’ response to the crisis failed to address these issues; worse, it exacerbated some of them and created new ones – and not just in the US. The result has been increased indebtedness in many countries, as the collapse of GDP undermined government revenues. Moreover, underinvestment in both the public and private sector has created a generation of young people who have spent years idle and increasingly alienated at a point in their lives when they should have been honing their skills and increasing their productivity.

On both sides of the Atlantic, GDP is likely to grow considerably faster this year than in 2013. But, before leaders who embraced austerity policies open the champagne and toast themselves, they should examine where we are and consider the near-irreparable damage that these policies have caused.

Every downturn eventually comes to an end. The mark of a good policy is that it succeeds in making the downturn shallower and shorter than it otherwise would have been. The mark of the austerity policies that many governments embraced is that they made the downturn far deeper and longer than was necessary, with long-lasting consequences.

Real (inflation-adjusted) GDP per capita is lower in most of the North Atlantic than it was in 2007; in Greece, the economy has shrunk by an estimated 23%. Germany, the top-performing European country, has recorded miserly 0.7% average annual growth over the last six years. The US economy is still roughly 15% smaller than it would have been had growth continued even on the moderate pre-crisis trajectory.

But even these numbers do not tell the full story of how bad things are, because GDP is not a good measure of success. Far more relevant is what is happening to household incomes. Median real income in the US is below its level in 1989, a quarter-century ago; median income for full-time male workers is lower now than it was more than 40 years ago.

Some, like the economist Robert Gordon, have suggested that we should adjust to a new reality in which long-term productivity growth will be significantly below what it has been over the past century. Given economists’ miserable record – reflected in the run-up to the crisis – for even three-year predictions, no one should have much confidence in a crystal ball that forecasts decades into the future. But this much seems clear: unless government policies change, we are in for a long period of disappointment.

Markets are not self-correcting. The underlying fundamental problems that I outlined earlier could get worse – and many are. Inequality leads to weak demand; widening inequality weakens demand even more; and, in most countries, including the US, the crisis has only worsened inequality.

The trade surpluses of northern Europe have increased, even as China’s have moderated. Most important, markets have never been very good at achieving structural transformations quickly on their own; the transition from agriculture to manufacturing, for example, was anything but smooth; on the contrary, it was accompanied by significant social dislocation and the Great Depression.

This time is no different, but in some ways it could be worse: the sectors that should be growing, reflecting the needs and desires of citizens, are services like education and health, which traditionally have been publicly financed, and for good reason. But, rather than government facilitating the transition, austerity is inhibiting it.

Malaise is better than a recession, and a recession is better than a depression. But the difficulties that we are facing now are not the result of the inexorable laws of economics, to which we simply must adjust, as we would to a natural disaster, like an earthquake or tsunami. They are not even a kind of penance that we have to pay for past sins – though, to be sure, the neoliberal policies that have prevailed for the past three decades have much to do with our current predicament.

Instead, our current difficulties are the result of flawed policies. There are alternatives. But we will not find them in the self-satisfied complacency of the elites, whose incomes and stock portfolios are once again soaring. Only some people, it seems, must adjust to a permanently lower standard of living. Unfortunately, those people happen to be most people.

Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/joseph-e–stiglitz-argues-that-bad-policies-in-rich-countries–not-economic-inevitability–have-caused-most-people-s-standard-of-living-to-decline#huJ4BlicZg9e2A6X.99

%d bloggers like this: