Beyond the Cusp

February 25, 2016

Nevada Republican Race, Israel and Random Commentary

 

Trump triumph or even cornier, Trump Trumps; any way one looks at it, The Donald won and won big. The question was could Donald Trump now that most of the also rans had quit the race, particularly Jeb Bush, get the Bush voters; and would Trump just receive what has been referred to as the thirty-five percent protest vote. There have been elections past when there was predicted a percentage which would be the “protest voters” such as the election with the Gingrich Revolution and the Contract With America and the predicted high percentage for the protest vote was a measly five or six percent with twelve the “worst case scenario” which would have a significant affect and as the Republicans were seen as the party which would garner the majority of the protest voters, protest voters were seen as uneducated and simply angry white men. Honest, there was no racial or sexual vindictiveness, it was simple truth, well, truth to the liberal mainstream media, an item broadly protested in the media, particularly by the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and on and on ending somewhere around the BBC and PBS, the two largest government run media outlets in the world. So, they drummed on FOX NEWS as well, “Will Trump manage to climb past forty percent or was his voter pool just the maladjusted loser voters who hate everything which was set at thirty-five percent of the voters. It has always amazed me how the media decides who does not belong in the race, the outsider with no real experience, and their voters are the disaffected and thus actually insignificant or a set number or percentage and never considered to be of any real value or able to make rational decisions and totally voting on instinct. The meaning behind that is they are mad animalistic rabies infected brains incapable of rational thought because they disagree with the moneyed elite, party central committees, the establishment and should be restricted from elections because they are chaotic and seen to also be quixotic and unstable. Well, I have news for all those making any of these claims, hey, democratically choosing the President, Congress all the way down to dog catcher, it is messy, emotionally driven, often factually limited and always surprising and this makes it a dangerous and unstable system with little order or predictable direction making it as you claimed, chaotic and with all that in mind, it still beats everything else ever attempted.

 

What is astounding is that representative governance has proven to be better at being self-correcting than any other system because every other system serves one person (dictatorship), party (Communism), family (Monarchy), ideology (Fascist), religion (Theocracy), moneyed elite committee (Aristocracy) or nothing with no laws (Anarchy and some claim Texas, incorrectly). By all appearances, if the people get their way, the Republican candidate for President will be Donald Trump. Let us assume that the under ten percent who support Kasich and Carson are freed up as they leave the race it would be ridiculous to expect that Trump would not get a minimum of three percent additional support which puts him really close to garnering half the electorate amongst the Republicans. Another thing the Republican Party better consider when they decide whether or not they will submarine Trump through the near forty percent of the delegates the Republican elitists, those Republican furthest removed from the electorate if their previous choices are to be considered, where Trump may have as high as ten percent of Republicans staying home election day, which considering the Democrat choices with Hillary the odds on favorite because the equally isolated Democrat elitists have chosen her, and even if it is loveable Bernie, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Sanders, and let’s face it, he does resemble the character Howard Beale from the movie Network, the Republicans will vote for a grasshopper if that were their choice against those particular Democrat candidates of which Hillary will be the better motivator of Republican voters.

 

There is one item about Donald Trump which bears mentioning that everybody has been completely mum about, perhaps because it is such a solid argument for electing Donald Trump, the people he knows. Donald Trump may set the mood and to an amount the preferred direction of the government, but he will also have advisors which will be guided to some extent by their requiring to pass Senate affirmation which will require them to tolerate the inane gotchas questioning probably by mainstream Republicans as well as the Democrats; but there would be a way Trump can even beat that. First and foremost he will need to set the mood by appointing some well-established experts to some cabinet posts. Donald Trump has likely made more than his share of enemies but probably also has a fair number of friends or people who owe him favors, some really, really big favors. Some of them, probably more than we might think, are, very likely, experts, and recognized as such, in numerous fields. Imagine if he were to appoint a surgeon with an impeccable and respected record in his field who also had in his resume being the chief of surgery or higher office within a hospital and its surrounding systems being appointed Surgeon General and another well-respected physician who has a record working part of his life with doctors without borders as head of Health and Human Services. I am sure Trump knows and is owed favors by sufficient people who have great resumes with making deals with foreign countries as well as having taken over a number of companies and turning them around nominated as Secretary of Labor and a renowned retired politician with a strong resume in foreign affairs, a previous Ambassador to the United Nations for example, appointed as Secretary of State. Once such have been appointed and survived the Senate reputation assassination and been approved, then Trump could appoint some lesser known but very competent managers and similar types to run other departments. His advisors will likely be a who’s who of business leaders and those well versed in international affairs.

 

I am of sufficient age to remember two United States Presidents who exceeded expectations. The first was General Dwight Eisenhower who accomplished more than many give or gave him credit for. He passed legislation to have the interstate highway system modeled after the Autobahn as he realized in case of great emergency the government may need such a system to transport military units across the nation from one end to the other. He began another system which worked for a while but grew to the point where it affected the market and is currently a real problem and repeal may be required to have system stabilize and pricing to fall more within expectations and represent service provided and not funds which can be almost stolen, that was the Federal Military Education Act which provided tuition assistance in return for service either in the military, Peace Corps or other approved system and the scholarship or grant in fields needed by these areas such as physicians, surgeons, engineering, management and similar areas.

 

The other was a man who exuded charm and warmth but likely was not qualified to hold too many if any cabinet positions, Ronald Reagan. But what President Reagan knew was very intelligent people who could take care of the cabinet and also advise the President; and he appeared to show common sense or he had a secret conscience who advised him and who he completely trusted to decide for him, possibly Nancy or some astrologer or a Ouija Board. Whoever or whatever he had, it had a good record and he had people who protected him from harm, a particular Colonel Oliver North comes to mind who in the hearings over the Iran-Contra Affair all but literally fell on his sword taking all the blame and removing any need to search higher for the guilty person, he had taken that charge. That Trump can bring people, some very well established and taking the positions because they respect Trump, owe Trump, love America or whatever reason, the people he will surround himself with will very likely be of greater quality than he himself possesses and that might provide exactly what is needed in the immediate future, competent and wise guidance and management of the affairs and spending with all working with an eye on efficiency and quality while streamlining government as much as possible. This would be a good thing and might just bring the United States back from their current position, legs and arms swimming in the air suspended at a position just a wee bit out of reach and beyond the cusp and Trump with the right advisors in place might just be able to catch a branch and while still beyond the cusp in a position where a lifeline becomes an option instead of a freefall.

 

Now I would like to share a video we received and found to give a great argument and question one can ask any Israel basher to answer and then watch them squirm. I will give a one word answer which while not exactly applicable as the current globe was the intention of the question, there is a historic answer. Harvard law Professor Allan Dershowitz revealing the undeniable truth Israel-haters will never admit making their answering this single question all the more satisfying. Here’s A-a-a-a-a-Alan Dershowitz:

 

 

We would like to thank Professor Dershowitz for posing his very appropriate challenge and despite knowing he was demanding a modern example but as that was not stated, I have an answer for Professor Dershowitz as ‘Judea’ which after the defeat of Israel, which became the ten lost tribes, were obviously next. They survived the Assyrians but finally fell to Alexander the Great forces and bringing on the Hellenistic challenge which almost destroyed Judaism. The savior might have been the Maccabees and their revolt against the Hellenist Greeks who were one of the four Greek remnants who were amongst the Greek Empire forged by Alexander the Great, in this case the Seleucid Empire. But Judea was threatened even by Alexander the Great and finally revolted after, according to the story of Hanukkah, being forced to make a sacrifice to a Grecian god which was more than the Head Cohen of the small town, who initially grabbed a weapon and killed the Hellenized Jew who offered to make the sacrifice, and after he and his five sons killed the Greek soldiers and he then made the fateful cry, “Those who are with Hashem come with me.” He and his sons and after his death his sons carried out the guerilla warfare which led to the Greeks deciding the land was not worth the troubles and departed. That too was Judea.

 

Seleucid Empire

 

In Israel there were two more Israeli men murdered in the terror war or intifada which has been exacerbated by a constant drumbeat of incitement from every corner and level of the Arab governance, the Palestinian Authority (PA) even including Mahmoud Abbas and the upper echelon of PA leadership to the preschool teacher and social media government and other posters who further the societal provocations along with many government salaried personnel providing media supplementations to the Third or Stabbing Intifada energized and foremost in the Arab mindset largely of the young adults, teens and even preteens. Then, as well, officials name streets, parks, soccer fields, schools, gymnasiums, official buildings and anything receiving a title or plaque as well as parades and anything their little minds and black hearts can dream up with the names honoring the worst of the worst terrorists who have killed large numbers of Israelis. We showed a video where Mahmoud Abbas was making a speech translated by Palestine Media Watch (PMW) in our article The Lie, the Temple, the Temple Mount and the Future After Jerusalem where he praises the terrorism and blesses the attacks, especially those where the attacker died as a shahids, and repeats the quote of the blessings heaped upon the Shahids including honors in the shahids’ family and they go to the best areas in heaven and granted seventy-two perpetual virgins who retain their virginity even after having sexual relations with their assigned shahids. There have still been a minimum of three attacks daily and usually a lot more. Just because it does not make the front page of every news reporting, is this the new normal for Israel and the world could not care less. Come summer the attacks per day will likely ramp up and by next fall if no serious consequences befall directly due to these deadly assaults will simply reach a daily average around ten to twelve. When Israel finally responds, that will be front page news and the world will gasp in horror over the response which should have been launched when the attacks first became news despite the world demanding Israel simply accept this as the price for existing. And before anyone asks, yes, it is insane to allow such attacks to be defined as normal because that sets the bar at least three to five Israelis murdered in the street every week. What makes this Intifada different is that PA television and radio broadcast are instigating for Israeli Arabs, specifically the youth, to rise up and murder their fellow countrymen as if it were a rite of passage and it has been working, especially when such attacks occur in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

 

Finally, the ceasefire in Syria has simply reduced the violence and not halted it completely. The refugees from this devastation continue to flood into Europe while their brothers and sisters across the Middle East continue to refuse them into their nations for resettlement. As the violence sweeps across Europe nation after nation will prevent them from crossing their borders. The Syrian war has also begun to spread as it has become the nexus for Sunni and Shia violence as some of these flames have begun to spread across the length and breadth of Europe as the sectarian war persists. It has spread to the fractious war in Libya, the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen while going from a small war to a much larger confrontation even in Nahariya and this has instigated much more of the violence. There have been demands made that Israel be forced to take in her share of refugees and there was one resurrection by the Israelis to this series of events as they have progressed and occurred. The response might result in turning away even the flow of Arabs requiring medical assistance which will result in an increase of deaths around the spreading value as reporting of the violence simply will remain mute except for blaming Israel for the violence. The drift of the deadly music has danced across borders and crept into Israel where they have received medical treatment and are returned to the border and reputedly simply return to the fighting. There are those in the Arab world who desire flooding Israel with the refugees their mindless violence had produced simply to destroy Israel and have it resemble Syria and know that if they simply march ten million refugees through the fence and towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that there is nothing Israel will do to prevent them from entry as we cannot shoot them and such numbers would overwhelm any attempt to stop them in a manner which is nonviolent. May such a threat never be foisted upon us as that would be damning us because we choose life by using your love of death and you hoping we harm a hair on a single head so you can then condemn Israel before the world. The saddest part is you do not really care if we kill these people or take them in as they are of no value unless they can destroy Israel, and this is your idea of reaching salvation, how sad.

 

We wish there was an easy path to put the world to right, but it has never been nor will it remain that way for long. We will have a chance when men no longer strive to conquer the world and instead conquer diseases and inequities, and by inequities we do not mean different levels of wealth or pay grades but rather we end hunger, treat the mentally challenged and work towards a better world instead of trying to mold it and the people in it to match our idea of right. Maybe the time will come when all people are educated and can realize their dreams, as long as those dreams are not subjugating others or taking everything for your group and who cares about all others. We see a time when that can come true and we are not that far from reaching a virtual utopia. Unfortunately there are an equal if not greater number of those who would tear the world apart destroying most of what is fine and wonderful about the human spirit. Destruction will never beat the path to mankind realizing all that they can be, but mankind is a foolish group of people often incapable of rational thought. Mankind has the capacity for such greatness and such depravity and each calls the other fascist or starry eyed dreamer who is incapable of living productively. That was once the sole determiner if a person was worth living a life. They were the eugenicists and their idea of a perfect world was one in which only the talented would be permitted to breed and one would be required to have a license to reproduce and those considered too stupid or otherwise imperfect would be sterilized or worse. Imagine their idea of perfection where any child tested and found to be wanting would be relieved from having to live an impaired life. One had to measure up and pass muster at every point in life and if you got injured and were no longer fully capable they would have had you removed as you no longer were producing more than you cost the society. These eugenicists had a name for their political train of thought, Progressives. They believed in the Master race and it resembled the idea identical in all ways to a madman who also had the eugenicist dream of perfecting the human race, the human condition, as it was called. When we refer to a perfected world everybody is permitted to be the best them that they can and care to be. A world where in dreamers who dream big ideas are permitted their and those who simply dream while lying in a field chewin’ on a piece of straw also are allowed to look at clouds and count the animals he can see them depict. We see a world which has reached such a state through automation reaching a point and science has invented power plants which are using renewable fuels and all those dreamed of things which would perfect the human condition to allow spirits to soar and people who are childlike to retain their innocence. A world without hunger and rivalries are tested in a mutually enriching manner. But perhaps those are simply the dreams of an old fool and the world will always have its cursed who strive to place all under their rules and their philosophy leaving no room for free thought or actions other than the strict line which is defined as a straight and narrow path. A world where there is but one book and it is law and there can be no other. Such a world will be stifling and eventually the human spirit will rebel and it will start with an act of defiance which will grow until dreamers can dream and fools can play their games of dreams and have dreams of games. When will this future utopia arrive? Perhaps it will come about in 2050 and perhaps never and that, we are afraid to say, our friends, but that depends on what happens here and now and in the next twelve years. Mankind is on the brink of greatness and at the same time staring into the brink of a dark and endless void as we walk along what may as well be the edge of a blade. If we can keep a balance in the world and there are no overwhelmingly destructive forces which succeed in forcing complete uniformity including thought and beliefs, then mankind might make that final leap into a bold future, all we need to do is get beyond that cusp which is almost within our grasp. Honestly, we see a world of wonder and greatness and a world of sorrows over what might have been if only. In one we may all want to live forever and be able to and in the other death will be an escape for far too many but it will be a world where lives are wasted in submission. The problem is which path do we choose for greatness and which path leads to ruin? There within lied the dilemma going forward and we must choose which cusp to cross and once we have we will only be able to hope that we went beyond the cusp which leads to progress though not necessarily the world of those early twentieth century Progressives, but a world which will have progressed beyond hate and death and war and into a celebration of life and how life made us all so very different. We can only wonder if we can ever reach a point where we can celebrate each other despite our being different. Let us hope for the best and guard against the worst and pray we all reach that promise of lands free of want, without hatred and free to choose and be different, that is the place where we all can celebrate.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 6, 2016

Iowa Results and Insights

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The biggest lesson we learned was that the media placed far too much emphasis on the caucuses. What we learned was that in cases where there was no definitive winner, then the entire choice would come down to a coin toss, how perfectly random. In the six instances where these rules were applied it was apparent that team Hillary got to call the coin-toss and call them they did. Apparently Bernie Sanders was perfectly happy to allow her team to call it, “Heads we win and Tails you lose.” And in six caucuses that appears to have been the call as Hillary either won each or Bernie lost, either way, Hillary went forth and declared a great victory while Bernie, being Bernie, claimed he and his supporters gave it a good fight and promised to continue the “Revolution” on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. When one looks beyond the primary delegates to the “Super Delegates” which are more or less decided by the Democrat Central Committee, one sees the reality of the delegate race as Hillary has 357, Bernie has 14 and O’Malley has 2 all going towards garnering the 2382 delegates needed to win.

 

We learned that Hillary can place way too much emphasis on her phantasmal ability or luck by her precinct chairs abilities to call coin tosses. Her grand claims of victory soon turned to sand in her mouth and she probably sputtered and spurted still insisting she had a mandate. Perhaps she was looking at the super delegate count which is made up of party hacks and people of whom Hillary had their FBI files on another server which was not used for State department e-mails but whose contents would be just as interesting to the voting public but has zero chance of ever seeing the light of day as it would be burned as soon as it was taken in as evidence. There are far too many people the files held there could damage and who have the power to destroy evidence just as well as Bill and Hill have proven capable. We also learned that Bernie has excited and tapped into an interesting voter group, the young and first time voters. Some of these first time voters have been of sufficient age to vote before but have now found their candidate. This is a large part of the voters eight years ago which propelled Obama into the White House and are just as likely to spoil Hillary’s last chance saloon and give her a really bad case of déja vu hiccups as she watches another upstart, this time a seventy-four year old hippie socialist who never let go of the dream from his college days, or is it daze? Should Bernie Sanders pull this off he will have proven that Hillary is fated to never grasp the golden ring in politics and Bill will never hear the end of how it was supposed to be hers but that Obama beat her and then Bernie the crazed lunatic stole it and it just was not fair. I guess nobody ever had the nerve or the suicidal tendencies to tell Hillary that life quite often is not fair. We learned also that Bernie had a solid and faithful following and that his challenge to the chosen one is real and very possible no matter how many delegates Bill can line up on Hillary’s side as in this day and age of the voters, as a collective intelligence, choose the candidates and the final elevations of a President. We also have seen the inside of the “Feel the Bern” generations and they are coming on strong and this might make Bernie Sanders the more electable Democrat and the real candidate the Republicans should fear facing.

 

The Republicans gave us a different message. The evangelicals, the Christian Right, was supposed to decide the Iowa vote and put one of two candidates on the short list for failure; they did not come through that way but have written the last swan song for Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz needed to corral, he is from Texas you know, the Evangelicals but he somehow lost about half the herd which left him limping into first place by a small margin, though it was a landslide by Hillary standards. Ted Cruz did do well as many had predicted claiming that the majority of the polling numbers for ‘The Donald’ (Donald Trump from here on) were mostly fictitious and when the time came to actually support a candidate, these polling numbers would prove to be a phantasm and disappear. Well, they actually did but not as far as predicted and Donald Trump has proven he is for real and will become a viable and potential winner should he start to actually express serious steps and reasons for his bombastic statements and clarify them into a reasonable platform people can stand behind. Ted Cruz, as wonderful as his supporters claim, will very likely fall flat in New Hampshire and rebound in South Carolina and Florida though it will remain to be seen if that is sufficient for him to remain in the race. After the caucuses in Nevada and Colorado it will be definitively decided who is the acceptable alternative to the establishment choice which appears currently to have fallen from Jeb Bush to Chris Christie to John Kasich and now on the Marco Rubio. Other than Cruz, Trump and Rubio who finished in close proximity to one-another, the rest should start taking stock of how much is this worth pursuing and what actually are your actual chances of emerging from the background in a positive manner. The media will ignore you until you make a mistake, and then they will crucify you until you fall on your sword; trust me, I’ve been there. For a good number, probably larger than those willing to vote for him, Ben Carson leaving will be heart-wrenching. We want so much to just once have the nice guy who refused to go negative and was an exemplary person whose life reads like a storybook where underprivileged youth from the worst part of town rise to prominence and was not only a success but also a solid positive force and contribution to society become Mr. Smith Goes to Washington except with a much happier result as he rises above the political machinery and does great and wonderful things lifting the nation by his inspirations. That would have been Ben Carson but perhaps this is better as the media have not torn him to shreds which would have come next had he shown he might succeed. The media will praise you to the hills and as soon as you start to succeed, partially due to their building you up, they will tear into you until you let out a personal secret, say that one time you lost your temper, we all have at least one such moment, and then that will become your defining moment as if nothing else you ever accomplished really made up for the momentary weakness when you were eight years old.

 

 

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

 

 

So the result in Iowa placed Ted Cruz momentarily in the cat bird seat with Donald Trump close behind and Marco Rubio in tightly behind Donald Trump. There being merely 8,500 votes between the three out of close to 175,000 they finished in a photo finish which their margins only looked large compared to the difference, or lack thereof, between the top Democrat candidates who basically resulted in a dead heat. The reality hopefully will become obvious to the three that for the race to be determined honestly then one of the non-establishment candidates will need to bow out if the other will have even a chance of taking the nomination. Should all three remain in the race and the contest continue to have similar results then there will be the definite possibility that at the Republican Convention there will be no definitive winner and as long as the three remain holding their delegates to their vote then there will be an arranged result which is basically a fixed convention where a candidate is chosen in some back room with some establishment and insiders making a choice and then bringing their golden boy forward and sweeping the convention as the party machinery steamrolls any opposition and presto, Jeb Bush is brought forward as the great hope of the party and we end up with the potentially lowest turnout election percentage in American history as we end up with that dreaded Clinton-Bush family rerun of the 1992 election without the drama or concern as the people show their disgust by staying home. Should this scenario become reality, then there need be a slight Constitutional Amendment making every Federal elected office have an additional choice at the bottom such that the people can demand better choices than the party line who has scratched the most backs and it is decided to reward them by making it their turn for the House of Representatives and then later the Senate and finally, for the real party hardliners, the Presidency by voting for “None of the Above” and if “None of the Above” receives the greatest plurality then the parties must find new candidates and a reelection will take place six weeks later, so they better choose well and somebody the people would rally to or they could face embarrassment after embarrassment and perhaps allow a primary if it is a Senate or House of Representatives for unaligned people to attempt to gain ballot access and allow the highest independent vote getter to also be on the ballot as it is doubtful such a person could do any worse in the performance than some of those currently in office. We really need to get better quality candidates and until the parties are forced to consider that they have to win over the people or face challenges from what are usually referred to as Joe-six-pack meaning it as a pejorative label when actually that may be a person who would do a far better job of representing the people with their being from amongst them. Still, there are the gems amongst a sea of party functionaries and the quality, or lack thereof, of the candidates on the average ballot simply proves George Washington correct when he claimed, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” Enough said.

 

We regret that nowhere in the conglomerate of offerings is there a single candidate with military service in their background. Some of the candidates I doubt could reduce their self-worth to a sufficient level to survive basic training nor would they know when to stand on principle and when to stand down as that is also something they test in basic training and for the select few who respond accordingly they offer them to attend OCS which is the one way that an enlisted man can become an officer, and maybe a gentleman. The world stage being what it is, we believe would be best served by somebody who has served and our first choice would be Lt. Col. Alan West.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 11, 2013

Prism, Echelon, Unlimited Data Mining, the NSA, Where Did it Start?

We are hearing stories and rumors, facts and flights of fancy, truths and misdirections, and enough information overload to the point that our heads are spinning and we end up so confused that we likely just shake our heads, take a couple analgesics for the headache and go off to forget the whole mess. Unfortunately, once we know that our every communication, our every internet search, every web site we visit, every purchase we make, and even our every move is being tracked, stored and can be retrieved any time in the future and collated to make any story desired about us believable. Add to that the fact that with computers tapes can be made in which there is nothing that cannot be produced showing us doing anything from sleepwalking to murder and saying anything from the kindest compliments to the worst treasons. When we delve deeply into the potential powers that the government could use in nefarious efforts to paint us as guilty of any crime and part of any conspiracy which they could ever dream up we realize that the powers that be have the ability to make our lives into whatever scheme their sick little minds desired. But at some point in our paranoid fog the thought creeps into our consciousness, when and how did all of this start and how long has it been turned against the people?

 

The beginning of modern data mining was espionage, both between rival city states and within city states by the different members of the ruling court. Espionage was accepted by the common person as it was something that did not affect their lives and it also diverted the ruling classes from further ruining their lives. That has all changed as it is now utilized by governments in order to control the lives of the people. Totalitarian governments have long been known to have secret police and entire departments within their governments which collected information on the general public and went even deeper on persons of interest. The targets usually contained the wealthy, political activists and anybody who was thought to be a potential problem, threat, rival or simply somebody who may need some convincing to assist with gathering information on any others. With the advent of the electronics age espionage became both more technical and also easier to employ against a wider set of targets. Even as electronic data increased geometrically, the ability to gather and store data increased exponentially far outstripping the rate of increase of available data. The unfortunate fact is that the ability to collect data has reached the dream point for the political class as they can now record everything. And since they have the ability to collect every iota of available data they have reached the obvious conclusion, they collect everything, why not.

 

The first major data collecting on masses of people in the United States where anybody who may be of use or importance was monitored for whatever secrets or damning information that could be uncovered was FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover. His files on politicians, leaders of industry, and anybody who was somebody became stories of legend. But J. Edgar Hoover would have salivated had he ever seen the NSA system known as Echelon, the forerunner of Prism. Echelon was preceded by international signal monitoring between nations but Echelon was capable of such volumes of data gathering as to make everything preceding it seem almost amateurish. Today’s data mining capabilities make Echelon appear almost primitive. Echelon was implemented over a quarter century ago and gave the NSA (National Security Agency) unprecedented capabilities outstripping their wildest dreams of the founders back in 1952. With Echelon the NSA finally realized their dream of having the capability to collect data on almost anybody their little hearts desired. But even the immense gathering powers of Echelon were outpaced by the amounts of data being generated very soon after its inception with the addition of general use of the Internet plus cell phones and a simple explosion with the advent of the electronics age. The onset of the electronics age also provided the solution to the unimaginable amounts of data generated. This presented the NSA with the opportunity to meet the challenge before them, the ability to collect all data from all sources. This required an extensive storage facility. That is exactly what the NSA just officially opened in Nevada where they estimate they have sufficient storage medium to store every electronic signal generated worldwide for the next century. Even if it only does as advertised for half that time, it will still have been an impressive system.

 

Echelon caused a stir amongst many people who follow government abuses, politics and conspiracy theorists. Much of what was known in the public about Echelon was refuted by government as the NSA and others denied its existence. Eventually, like anything which requires large numbers of people to run the equipment and make the raw data into something presentable that had real uses and meaning, the secret got out and enough became known that denial was no longer possible. Armed with the experience of the warnings and denials over Echelon, the revelations about Prism are easily believed by the people and thus no attempt appears to be in the works for denial. That leaves the government with the choice of facing the music or making what they are doing appear to be both necessary and innocuous. Trust one who was a believer and ever suspicious of Echelon, Prism is every bit as dangerous with levels of misuse beyond the wildest of imaginations. We have already been witness to the powers of Prism. General Petraeus and General John Allen were early victims of the powers of Prism as they were disgraced into retirement by the revelation of their private emails. The information of their emails that were released did not result from their government email accounts but from their private email accounts. The power of Prism became evident in these two cases as once those who wished to destroy these men’s lives took the knowledge that there had been emails that might be of a questionable nature and then gathered the entire history of these emails simply be entering a query into Prism data search and waited for the results. Presto, everything that matched the query for the past decade at their fingertips to use in any manner against these men. These were private emails and before you claim they should have known better than to leave such evidence, what would your bosses think if they had access to every email, chat, instant message, tweet, and Facebook entry you have made over the past decade? Would your job be safe? What about that comment you made after a particularly bad day about that slave-master who runs your office? That is the potential damage anybody in our government with access to Prism can bring down on any citizen of the United States for the foreseeable future. I am fairly sure that Prism also is collecting data from other nations as well and its capabilities are being made available to friendly government within limits. With Prism now fully activated and connected to the immense storage facility in Nevada the government can continue collecting every electronic signal and run their queries at their convenience as the data will be available for the rest of time, well, in theory at least.

 

Some may be interested in what are the main differences between Echelon and Prism other than the sheer immensity of the data that can be stored indefinitely by Prism versus Echelon. Well, that actually is the basic difference. Under Echelon the government entered key words and phrases which could be adapted depending on what were deemed to be of interest. With Echelon they had permanent key words such as bomb, President, terror, attack, assassinate, kidnap, Echelon, and the names of important or noteworthy people. When a piece of data crossed the Echelon data input channels containing any of these keywords it was saved and if it contained the right combination or sufficient numbers of key words, it was marked for review by an actual person. Echelon was monitoring all the trans-Atlantic phone cables, satellite uplinks and downlinks, Internet providers’ data points to the Web, and numerous other data points which were considered necessary or sensitive. The main deficiency of Echelon was the amounts of data it was capable of both storing and monitoring. Prism does not have such limitations as it has the capability to take in all the data that the NSA can manage to find a method to intercept. There is no requirement for keywords with Prism. Using Prism does require keywords but they can be entered well after the data was stored, not using them as a hurdle to clear in order to be stored. When accessing the Prism database one enters the names and keywords which they wish to pull the data on just like we do when searching the Internet. The difference is Prism has far more data than the Internet and Prism can track any piece of data in its memory back to the person or people who were parties to the conversation or otherwise connected to the data. Prism has another capability that too many will be even more ominous. If you wish to track the movements of someone you only need to enter a few key numbers to gather tracking information for them from that point further. Whether Prism has the ability to track one from past data it would likely be limited to tracking where any person received a cell call or used their OnStar or tracked their lost vehicle. Any way one looks at the power and potentials for misuse of Prism, it definitely is a sign that Big Brother has arrived and we may soon need to monitor our every facial expression so that our faces do not arouse suspicions, after all there are cameras almost everywhere.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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