Archive for the ‘totalitarianism’ Category

c/o Grits for Breakfast


“If this idea had been proposed in the 1950s, it would have been discarded as reminiscent of Soviet Communism. But state Sen. Dan Patrick has SB 843 up Tuesday in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee that would expand the offense of “failure to identify” to require people to identify themselves whenever they’re legally “detained” by police. Presently, you’re only required to identify yourself upon arrest, which has been the law for many years. Here’s the description of the legislation and its intent from the bill analysis

BTC – Thanks to for sending this one over from Truth Dig’s Chris Hedges. You may or may not buy into the economic direction of the piece, but I think it still has some really great articulations about the Orwell : Huxley problem of losing our privacy and information liberties.

2011: A Brave New Dystopia

“Orwell warned of a world where books were banned. Huxley warned of a world where no one wanted to read books. Orwell warned of a state of permanent war and fear. Huxley warned of a culture diverted by mindless pleasure. Orwell warned of a state where every conversation and thought was monitored and dissent was brutally punished. Huxley warned of a state where a population, preoccupied by trivia and gossip, no longer cared about truth or information. Orwell saw us frightened into submission. Huxley saw us seduced into submission. But Huxley, we are discovering, was merely the prelude to Orwell. Huxley understood the process by which we would be complicit in our own enslavement. Orwell understood the enslavement.” 

::: MORE HERE::: 

BTC-  Thanks to JP @NCard for sending this one in.  You can support his work here.

Big WHOOPS to the Dept. of Defense.

Members of a credit union that serves active-duty military personnel and others connected to the Pentagon are at risk for identity theft after a laptop was hacked, exposing the personal and financial records of an undisclosed number of troops and their families. 

::: More from the Washington Post here:::

Here’s second life for news that matters.
Late last week privacy law heavyweights released their positions, to “clarify”public interest towards NSTIC.

A window into how D.C. feels about constant demand for SSN# and Drivers Licenses


Why the Internet Is a Great Tool for Totalitarians

No Facebook, You May Not Share My Address and Phone Number With Developers



Minus the Mountain Dew, Skateboards and here’s an update on Wednesday’s “extreme” Fast for Justice c/o Frida Berrigan.  Today is Day 9 of this difficult fast.  

Today was one of extremes. We experienced the extremes of ice skating down the streets of Washington DC and then swimming in the warm oceans of Bermuda. We also actively bridged extremes by interweaving visits to the Pentagon and to the Department of Justice with two different perspectives of the plight of the Uyghur men both held and released from Guantánamo. And at the end of the day, such extremes were summed up for us at Bus Boys and Poets when David Swanson, being interviewed about his new book “War is a Lie,” demystified all the justifications for war. Yes, with such a full day, it is hard to
imagine that we are fasting (and on day 8 at that)!

Or perhaps we are in a funny window of the fast, a practice that does open up to unforeseen extremes, where we seem to have an abundance of energy. As you will see in our open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and the press release (attached below), we have planned an extended demonstration for Wednesday into Thursday to remind the DoJ that work day hours do not exist for the men detained at Guantánamo.

Our strength most certainly comes from our resolve as a community to open this dialogue with the DoJ, and that such a dialogue will be productive if it is done in the good faith. Fully aware that another risk of arrest and an overnight vigil is a relatively small gesture of effort, we hope that it is adequate and that our modest plea for a meeting will be granted. We will certainly keep you all informed. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

In peace and solidarity,

Witness Against Torture


BTC – We are a couple of days off for the Holiday Season.   Lets show you some really cool gift items; which are actually good at any time into the New Year.

Here’s a really cool book by Gene Healy. It should prove useful as a Libertarian counterpunch, because a bunch of uppity Chicago people are going to try our patience in the new year.

Here’s another really super cool book from a Green perspective, by David Swanson.
You can buy it at 7 Stories  Press.

There is an awesome *free* new weight loss plan I’m trying out myself in January.

You can get yours @ Witness Against Torture online under FAST FOR JUSTICE.
Fast is just “fats” reorganized.  Think about it.

Please have some much earned decompression time to think about other things that really matter (family, love, staying warm & fed) and things that don’t matter at all (toys, snowfights, sledding, SeaWorld).

Russia’s search for an identity

By Masha Lipman for the Washington Post
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BTC- Hindsight is 20/20. It also tends to mellow with age and develop an alluring golden aura where power is recalled in retrospect. Stalin era Russia, became the international example of totalitarian establishment which imperiled and murdered it’s citizens. These citizens had no civil liberty, privacy or identity separate from the State. Everyone and everything was property of the State.

MOSCOW- On Friday, as Russia recognized its annual commemoration of political prisoners, President Dmitry Medvedev published a videoblog in which he condemned Joseph Stalin’s crimes and called on the nation not to forget about past political repression or its victims. Medvedev called Stalin’s repression “one of the greatest tragedies in Russian history” and expressed concern that “even today it can be heard that these mass victims were justified by certain higher goals of the state.” He said that “no development of a country, none of its successes or ambitions can be reached at the price of human losses and grief.” His statement, which led the state-controlled television news, was sharply at odds with official rhetoric of the past decade.

Medvedev’s address may have sounded radical, but many here are skeptical that the president’s words will actually bring change. The number of alarming signals of Stalin’s rehabilitation is growing. And in general over the year and a half of his presidency, Medvedev’s often well-intended rhetoric has not been matched with policy.

But it would be wrong to dismiss the speech and conclude instead — as observers at home and abroad sometimes do — that Russia has made a definitive turn “back” toward the Soviet Union and an admiration of Stalin. In fact, perceptions of Stalin are conflicted, and this conflict reflects Russia’s attempts — very feeble, so far — to reinvent itself as a modern nation. In December, Stalin came in third in a TV station’s poll of greatest Russian historical figures. Contest organizers are rumored to have tinkered with the results after discovering that the man who masterminded the extermination of millions of his compatriots actually finished first.

Yet the peak of Stalin’s terror is also recognized for what it was. In 2007, 72 percent of respondents told the Levada polling agency that the repression of 1937-38 were “political crimes that can’t be justified.” The day of remembrance of political repression, officially introduced in 1991, is not marked by major national events, but on Thursday, just outside the infamous Lubyanka building, the KGB’s headquarters and prison, the names of Stalin’s victims were read for 12 straight hours by any who wanted to participate. Other commemorations were staged elsewhere in Russia.