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BS: The Slippery Slope

Amos 19 Oct 10 - 09:04 PM
Amos 19 Oct 10 - 09:04 PM
Bobert 19 Oct 10 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,999 19 Oct 10 - 10:46 PM
Amos 19 Oct 10 - 11:01 PM
Janie 19 Oct 10 - 11:36 PM
Sawzaw 20 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM
Amos 20 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM
Sawzaw 20 Oct 10 - 12:48 PM
bobad 20 Oct 10 - 01:31 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Oct 10 - 01:54 PM
Amos 20 Oct 10 - 01:55 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Oct 10 - 02:36 PM
Amos 20 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM
Rapparee 20 Oct 10 - 09:28 PM
Bobert 20 Oct 10 - 10:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Oct 10 - 05:10 PM
Amos 21 Oct 10 - 08:01 PM
mauvepink 22 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Neil D 22 Oct 10 - 02:08 PM
Donuel 22 Oct 10 - 02:38 PM
Donuel 22 Oct 10 - 02:52 PM
Donuel 22 Oct 10 - 03:15 PM
Amos 22 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM
Amos 22 Oct 10 - 05:33 PM
Amos 11 Nov 10 - 07:15 PM
Amos 18 Nov 10 - 12:15 PM
mousethief 18 Nov 10 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Nov 10 - 09:32 AM
Amos 19 Nov 10 - 10:59 AM
Little Hawk 19 Nov 10 - 12:09 PM
Charmion 19 Nov 10 - 02:16 PM
kendall 19 Nov 10 - 05:59 PM
Amos 02 Dec 10 - 06:50 PM
Amos 02 Dec 10 - 06:58 PM
mousethief 02 Dec 10 - 07:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Dec 10 - 07:53 PM
Amos 04 Dec 10 - 06:19 PM
Amos 04 Dec 10 - 06:34 PM
Amos 04 Dec 10 - 06:43 PM
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Subject: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:04 PM

The slippery slope referred to is the creeping onset of group-think, double-talk, corporatocrocy and near-fascism that has marked our decline in the US over the last 40 years.

Today's installment is an airline pilot's description of his encounter with airport security on his way to work:



Airline pilot vs. invasive TSA screening -- in his own words

http://bit.ly/cluBCa (Expressjet Forums)


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Subject: RE: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:04 PM

Srry--should be BS.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 10:25 PM

Step outta line, man come an'...
...take you away

You gotta stop, children
what's that sound
Everybody look
what's goin' down

Ya know, Amos, this doesn't surprise me too much... Looks as if the US is indeed on the slippery slope toward some real good ol' fashioned facism... We are seeing the beginnings with the very intolerant and racist/sexist Tea Party that uses the 2nd Ammendment as thier Bible, talks about restoring the country's consititutional rights, yet cannot tell ya' exactly what right has been taken from them just before tellin' ya' that they really don't believe in the 14th Ammendment... Sheet fire, it's been around for one heck of a long time... Longer than any of them or their daddies, fir that amtter... So here we have a segment of folks who think that if they don't like a certain law then, Well, screw it... We'll do it our way...

Problem is is that is how somewhat stable societies go from stable to, ahhhhhh, killing each other to try to drive home their point... I mean, this really started in the 60s and we have been at war since... The right killed off any chance of a truly modern nation with killing off the progressive leaders...

So, yeah, that's what it comes down to when a culture of suspicion and hate and fear and more fear and more fear settle in... Purdy messed up but guess what... Fear drives people and fear is being peddled 24/7 by those who are rich and have never had it so good...

And so unless that culture breaks, we will see more and more of scared people turning to guys like the guards in the story... If anyone ever thinks fir one minute that Osama bin Laden didn't win, think again...

Slippery slope??? Yeah and Boss Hog is gettin' ready to put another layer of ice on it with the hundreds of millions he has secretly funneled to the most intolerant to get them into power so he can buy some more ice fir that slope...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 10:46 PM

He is one seriously gutsy individual.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:01 PM

YEah, I noticed that. Unflinching, and apparently said nothing abusive despite being up to his ass in idiots...



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Janie
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:36 PM

Whoa..............!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Sawzaw
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 10:20 AM

Does anybody want to fly with a stoned pilot?

How about with an intoxicated pilot?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM

Sawz' usual sense of relevancy reveals itself in scintillating tangents.

From the NY TImes:

"...Michelle Williams is shooting "My Week With Marilyn," and another movie is planned based on an account by Lionel Grandison, a former deputy Los Angeles coroner who claims he was forced to change the star's (Marilyn Monroe) death certificate to read suicide instead of murder.

At least, unlike Paris Hilton and her ilk, the Dumb Blonde of '50s cinema had a firm grasp on one thing: It was cool to be smart. She aspired to read good books and be friends with intellectuals, even going so far as to marry one. But now another famous beauty with glowing skin and a powerful current, Sarah Palin, has made ignorance fashionable.

You struggle to name Supreme Court cases, newspapers you read and even founding fathers you admire? No problem. You endorse a candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat who is the nominee in West Virginia? Oh, well.

At least you're not one of those "spineless" elites with an Ivy League education, like President Obama, who can't feel anything. It's news to Christine O'Donnell that the Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. It's news to Joe Miller, whose guards handcuffed a journalist, and to Carl Paladino, who threatened The New York Post's Fred Dicker, that the First Amendment exists, even in Tea Party Land. Michele Bachmann calls Smoot-Hawley Hoot-Smalley.

Sharron Angle sank to new lows of obliviousness when she told a classroom of Hispanic kids in Las Vegas: "Some of you look a little more Asian to me."

As Palin tweeted in July about her own special language adding examples from W. and Obama: " 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

On Saturday, at a G.O.P. rally in Anaheim, Calif., Palin mockingly noted that you won't find her invoking Mao or Saul Alinsky. She says she believes in American exceptionalism. But when it comes to the people running the country, exceptionalism is suspect; leaders should be ó as Palin, O'Donnell and Angle keep saying ó just like you.

In Marilyn's America, there were aspirations. The studios tackled literary novels rather than one-liners like "He's Just Not That Into You" and navel-gazing drivel like "Eat Pray Love." Walt Disney's "Fantasia" paired cartoon characters with famous composers. Even Bugs Bunny did Wagner.

But in Sarah's America, we've refudiated all that. "


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Sawzaw
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 12:48 PM

Lemme see Amos:

Airline TSA pilots flying security safety irrelevant?

Airline TSA pilots flying cartoons movies actresses ahtletes relevant?

Yeah well let me know when Bugs Bunny gets his pilots license.

Then you can get your relevancy license.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: bobad
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 01:31 PM

Here's another example of the descent down that slippery slope. Crossing the border into the US used to be a relatively easy and not terribly unpleasant experience for us Canadians. I myself was, not too long ago, subjected to some heavy handed treatment crossing over to visit a friend in Vermont. Many people I know have said they will no longer go to the US as it is not worth the hassle.

My experience, though, does not compare to what befell this couple on their way to do some shopping in the US.

LEAKED RECORDING AT US/CANADA CROSSING


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 01:54 PM

Sawzaw-
Care to explain how an ATI scanner will detect whether or not a pilot is stones or intoxicated?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 01:55 PM

Sawz:

I didn't say these things were unimportant.

But the security process being discussed had nothing to do with sobriety. Get a context, dude.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 02:36 PM

Good God the conversation that Bobad links to! What a jack-in-office!

And as for some of the pompous American pricks commenting on that thread - their idea being that no-one who was not a US citizen had ANY rights in the US.

Bring back Greenday!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM

Yeah, they're a right gang of jobsworths, eh?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 09:28 PM

When I left Getaway I went through TSA at BWI. I was picked to have the whole body, millimeter scan. I can only assume that my pinup picture is now in the TSA lounge with the female agents drooling over me.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 10:01 PM

...and then Rap woke up...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 05:10 PM

They tend to take me aside for a body search in airports. I have to admit I feel quite flattered. I think it's the beard.

Mind, I've never come up against what seems to be implied here: "Travelers refusing this indignity may instead be physically frisked by a government security agent until the agent is satisfied...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 08:01 PM

More than seventy years ago, the Supreme Court abandoned a brief, disastrous experiment with "tentherism," a constitutional theory that early twentieth century justices wielded to protect monopolies, strip workers of their right to organize and knock down child labor laws. This discredited constitutional theory is back -- with a vengeance -- endangering Medicare, Social Security, the minimum wage and even the national highway system and America's membership in the United Nations. For the first time in three generations, the right is fielding a slate of candidates convinced that any attempt to better the lives of ordinary Americans violates the Constitution -- while a number of sitting lawmakers such as Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL) are already actively pushing tentherism from within the Congress. Make no mistake, this agenda threatens all Americans, from the youngest schoolchild to the most venerable retirees.

SLAMMING SCHOOLHOUSE DOORS: Tentherism's core tenet is that the 10th Amendment must be read too narrowly to permit much of the progress of the last century. Thus, for example, because the Constitution doesn't actually use the word "education" -- it instead gives Congress broad authority to spend money to advance the "common defense" and "general welfare" -- Senate candidates like Ken Buck (R-CO) and Sharron Angle (R-NV) claim that the federal Department of Education is unconstitutional. That means no federal student loan assistance or Pell Grants for middle class students struggling to pay for college, and no education funds providing opportunities to students desperately trying to break into the middle class. And that's hardly the worst news tenthers have in store for young Americans. Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller wants to declare child labor laws unconstitutional -- returning America to the day when ten-year-olds labored in coal mines.

THANKLESS LABOR: Tenther candidates have even worse plans for working age Americans. Miller and West Virginia GOP Senate candidate John Raese both claim that the federal minimum wage is unconstitutional -- a position the Supreme Court unanimously rejected in 1941. If you're a person of color or a woman or a person of faith than you are also out of luck, because Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul agrees with Justice Clarence Thomas that the ban on employment and pay discrimination is unconstitutional (don't try to get a meal on your lunch break either, because both men feel the same way about the ban on whites-only lunch counters). Significantly, the constitutional doctrine which supports the minimum wage is the same one which supports child labor laws and bans on discrimination, so when a candidate comes out in opposition to any one of these laws, it is likely that they oppose all of them. To top this all off, Alaska's Miller even claims that unemployment benefits violate the Constitution, so Americans who are unable to find work in the new tenther regime will simply be cast out into the cold.

AN IMPOVERISHED RETIREMENT: Social Security may be the most successful program in American history. Without it, nearly half of all seniors would live below the poverty line. Yet, because words like "retirement" don't specifically appear in the Constitution, tenthers think that Social Security is forbidden. Indeed, Social Security has not just been labeled unconstitutional by specific GOP candidates, the Republican Party's "Pledge To America" embraces a tenther understanding of the Constitution which endangers both Social Security and Medicare. Tenthers respond to claims that they would abolish America's entire safety net for seniors by pointing out that state governments could still create their own retirement programs, but such a state takeover of retirement programs is economically impossible unless America forbids its citizens from retiring in a different state than the one that they paid taxes in while working. Some tenther candidates have also suggested that Social Security can survive so long as it is privatized, but privatization would impose significant new risks on seniors, create new administrative costs, force benefit reductions and cost more money than the present system. In other words, the right has a simple plan for American families: making sure that everyone at the dinner table is completely on their own.



The above excerpt i from Politifi.com.

And here is Another article on this brand of lunacy.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: mauvepink
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM

I'm afraid this is nothing new.

In the UK we have CHIRP (Confidential Human Incident Reporting Programme) for Aviation and Maritime environments. Many years ago, post 9/11, security was stepped up at UK airports on all personnel going 'air side'. This included flightcrew, of course, and it was right and proper that checks were done

But there is a way to do checks and back then a whole plethora of new security people were taken on by private firms (not Government Agents) to do body searches. A great many of these new security people were professional and courteous but the jobsworth type who, when given a uniform to stand in will become mini-Gestapo, were totally over zealous and seemed to take great pleasure in winding up some air crew.

At that time there was a sudden increase of reports on CHIRP from aircrew who had been hassled and rousted by some of these fools. At least two reports I remember spoke of the pilot's performance being quite severely negatively affected be cause he had just een through such a horrid experience and wound up before geting to his aircraft. One pilotr had the Police summoned to him and he was told he would be arrested if he did not comply to a search. A couple of pilots were turned away and not allowed through because they objected not to the serach but th way in which the search had been carried out. At the time it was becoming a worrying thing for the authories as so many flightcrew were messed up by these fools who seemed to take great joy in doing it.

All pilots know the importance of security. In all the cases I heard of back then I do not recall one pilot saying they did not understand why they were searched. Their problem was the way in which the searches were carried out and the sheer bloody-mindedness of the so-called security operative. They did not have the latest scanners we talk of above back then.

As far as I recall the CAA issued new guidelines and the problem, or at least the reports, seemed to die down a lot. Either that or the crews just became innune to the ignorance and zealousness of some of the security people.

I have seen it a lot around airports. Mosr security people/Police etc., are just fine when you approach them and they are respectful and helpful. But some just love to roust anyone and it seems the lower down the ladder they are (most are likely on the minimum wage too and many are not happy in their job) the more they like to wield what power they have.

I will reiterate though that the majority are not like that. Problems arise when you do hit oneof these jobsworths and if that happens once a week then it happens far too much.

mp

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM

Last time it happened to me was when I had to go into the Probate Registry in London to deliver a document. It shares premises with a Family Court and the security guard explained that it could get quite hairy at times, especially where child custody cases were involved. He had a cupboard full of various items confiscated - knives, hammers...

As mauvepink says, there are times and places where security checks are justified, and just because you think you look like a respectable citizen doesn't mean too much. It's how it's done that matters.

I can't see much point of a body search of a pilot though - true enough there, have been very rare cases where pilots have deliberately crashed their planes - but a body search isn't going to do much about those cases. You don't need a weapon if you are flying a plane - the plane is the weapon.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM

I copied this paragraph from the article Amos provided a link to:

This is the vision Chief Justice Marshall embraced in Gibbons when he wrote that the "wisdom and the discretion of Congress, their identity with the people, and the influence which their constituents posses at elections" are the most robust limits on Congress's commerce power. If national leaders want to cast aside the minimum wage, allow poor children to toil in sweatshops, and eliminate Social Security and Medicare, than they have that right. But the American people must also have the power to swiftly cast such fools out of office.

Unfortunately it appears that this year the American people are determined to cast such fools into office. One of the most frustrating aspects of U.S. politics is how often working class people are tricked into voting against their own best interest. I mean, if someone is proposing a tax cut for the wealthy that would benefit 3% of the population at the expense of everyone else, you would think it had a snowballs chance in hell of going through. but if pollsters are right, congress will fall into the hands of people who wish to do exactly that. Howard Zinn in "The Peoples' History of the United States" makes the case that over our entire history there is example after example of the powerful using divide and conquer techniques to play one oppressed group off against another to preserve their own interests. It started in the colonial era when poor frontiers people were used to create a buffer zone between Natives and the established territories along the Atlantic coast. It continued into the industrial age when playing off one ethnic group against another kept them fighting each other when they actually had a common enemy in the factory and mine owners. Look at the anti-Irish sentiments held by working people during the mass immigration caused by the potato famine and the ban on African-American membership in most labor unions


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 02:08 PM

(oops, bumped the enter key in mid-thought)
Look at the anti-Irish sentiments held by working people during the mass immigration caused by the potato famine and the ban on African-American membership in most labor unions, UMW and IWW being exceptions. In the case of UMW it wasn't pure altruism, it was a recognition by John L. Lewis, one of the smarter labor leaders, that if Blacks were kept out they would be used as strike breakers. Other unions didn't even let this pragmatic knowledge temper their innate racism. The IWW on the other hand were such true believers that there were only two groups, workers and bosses, and recognized no distinction within the ranks of workers.
   Now we are seeing this technique being used again and this time it's as Machiavellian and insidious as it has ever been. The teapeople that show up at rallies are for the most part not wealthy people, BUT they are being funded and their candidates are being funded by the wealthy elite. People like the Koch brothers, multi-billionaires whose father was an early member and important financial enabler of the John Birch Society (and an admirer of Mussolini). I'm sure I'll hear cries of "who, us?" style indignation from conservatives, but I do think that the racial mistrust by working and middle class people is being used by these behind the scenes manipulators in a very cynical manner to once again play one group against another to keep them from noticing their common enemy, the power elite, grabbing for even more power.
    But the rich and powerful are walking a thin line in one regard. If they overstep in their agenda (ending social security, the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, affordable medical insurance, etc.) and take too much away from the people they risk a cataclysmic backlash. Remember that the disappearance of a middle class was a major cause of the French Revolution. Howard Zinn continues in his theory by stating that part of the divide and oppress technique is to give just enough more to just enough people to maintain that buffer between the power elite and the most morbidly oppressed. After all if you are going to perpetuate class conflict you want to be careful where you set the bar or you will be vastly outnumbered. I think they are forgetting that lesson at their own peril by trying to strip away the just enough more that's been rationed out over the last century. They may win in the short term, this year's midterms for example, but in the long term they risk bringing down their whole house of cards. Eventually "The People" will wake up, look around and see the elderly impoverished, children hungry and poorly educated, and most pathways of upward mobility completely shut off and there will be hell to pay.
They won't blame themselves for electing the tools of the rich and powerful to high office and scapegoating each other just won't work anymore. Then who are they going to be coming after.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 02:38 PM

The quiet bloodbath to come, should corporate Republican Plutocrats take over the goverment, will be an epoch of pathos and tradgedy, the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Depression.

While the wealthy police state reactionism feel justified the more intimidating and arrogant they become, the people will seek out and find alternatives for survival that will resemble the state of affairs in Mexico.

There are 19 million people at the bottom of the ladder who have the same amount of total income as the income for the top 74 people at the top of the income ladder.

So far it is only the nervous wealthy class who are yelling "ITs Class Warefare, the poor should be ashamed of themseoves!".
The poor do not feel they did anything to the rich to deserve such disdain and cruelty of losing Social Security , minimum wage, unemployment insurance and welfare. The system for corporate welfare, tax breaks and goverment incentives is alive and well.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

For example did you know that the Bank Of America paid exactly 0.00% in taxes in 2009 ? The normal tax rate for corporations is 35% before they apply loop holes that exoncerate them from paying any taxes at all. btw GE and CitiGroup also paid exactly nothing in corporate taxes last year as well.

PS paying legislators for loop holes isn;t cheap but it is cheaper than having to pay any taxes.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 02:52 PM

By the way, the engineered economic collapse was supposed to include all funds for social security to have been taken and placed in the hands of Wall St. Goldman Sachs for "investment prior to the collapse.

On Oct. 15th George Bush was asked what his biggest failure was and he replied "It was the failure to privatize Social Security."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 03:15 PM

A brief reminder for dealing with the police state:
What few civil liberties that you think you have, are in reality totally absent when dealing with police. The only time you can seek protections of civil liberties is to survive the encounter and then seek redress through the courts if your civil liberties have been assaulted or stolen.

You must not raise your voice even if the officer walks a far distance and asks you to respond to a question. They do this to create a situation where they can claim you raised your voice.

If they suggest that you wouldn't mind if they searched you or the car, you must not give total agreement. They will ask you why and you should respond that you do not wish to be late and that your time is valuable.

IF the police proceed without cause you must comply and remain prostrate in tone of voice and body language. Implying a great respect for the officer is usually all that you need to do to avoid a complete invasion of your life and liberty.

If it is not enough remember that they will try to cause you to show any kind of resistence, even if it is a facial or body gesture that does not touch anyone. This will become the non existent "violent offense" for which you can be arrested and charged.

They know you do not like the loss of your time and liberty and will try to taunt you into anger. TOtal subservience, no matter how humiliating, is the only option you have as to minimize your inconvienience.

However if you are facing an Einstatzgruppe of soldiers, all bets are off. Save your life by any means necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM

PRivatization of everything is the dream of the Chicago Boys school of economics. This doctrine ruined Poland, Chile, Bolivia, Russia, and Argentina. That's how they know it works. In each case the result was the wealth of the nation was funneled to a small clique of super-wealthy individuals and massive pverty descended on the majority of the population. For a detailed analysis of how this comes about, read the histories included in "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism", a 2007 book by Canadian author Naomi Klein.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 05:33 PM

A brief video on The Shock Doctrine.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 07:15 PM

TSA Goons harass a young woman passenger and handcuff her to a chair, tear her ticket up, and reduce her to tears.

No questions!!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 12:15 PM

Nicholas Kristof writes:

But there is also a larger question: What kind of a country do we aspire to be? Would we really want to be the kind of plutocracy where the richest 1 percent possesses more net worth than the bottom 90 percent?

Oops! That's already us. The top 1 percent of Americans owns 34 percent of America's private net worth, according to figures compiled by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. The bottom 90 percent owns just 29 percent.

That also means that the top 10 percent controls more than 70 percent of Americans' total net worth.

Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley who is one of the world's leading experts on inequality, notes that for most of American history, income distribution was significantly more equal than today. And other capitalist countries do not suffer disparities as great as ours.

"There has been an increase in inequality in most industrialized countries, but not as extreme as in the U.S.," Professor Saez said.

One of America's greatest features has been its economic mobility, in contrast to Europe's class system. This mobility may explain why many working-class Americans oppose inheritance taxes and high marginal tax rates. But researchers find that today this rags-to-riches intergenerational mobility is no more common in America than in Europe ó and possibly less common.

I'm appalled by our growing wealth gaps because in my travels I see what happens in dysfunctional countries where the rich just don't care about those below the decks. The result is nations without a social fabric or sense of national unity. Huge concentrations of wealth corrode the soul of any nation.

And then I see members of Congress in my own country who argue that it would be financially reckless to extend unemployment benefits during a terrible recession, yet they insist on granting $370,000 tax breaks to the richest Americans. I don't know if that makes us a banana republic or a hedge fund republic, but it's not healthy in any republic.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:10 PM

Welcome to 17th century Russia, or maybe 11th century England. Prepare for neofeudalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 09:32 AM

Or 18th century France. You know, just before the Revolution.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 10:59 AM

The legalization of torture under the GWB administration, and the diminution of Constitutional protections, and the reduction of public dignity and individual privacy are all symptoms of a nation in the grip of a serious problem, one which is being badly solved by patches and half-assed impulses.

The real question, I believe, is to name the correct problem.

IS it inherent human bestiality? Over-population? Mass stupidity? Manipulation for personal gain by a small minority?

Name the right problem and the answers will begin to appear.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 12:09 PM

It's a number of things, but I think it's mostly "Manipulation for personal gain by a small minority", your fourth suggestion.

Gosh, Amos! You now seem to be preaching the very gospel you have so long been upbraiding me for preaching. ;-) If I may quote from the first post in your thread:

"The slippery slope referred to is the creeping onset of group-think, double-talk, corporatocrocy and near-fascism that has marked our decline in the US over the last 40 years."

Well, yeah! THAT's what I've been saying. I'm so glad to see you coming forward hesitantly out of the shallows of de Nile, shaking the water and muck off your boots, and finally admitting that, yes, corporatocracy and near-fascism is destroying your onetime democracy.

Welcome to the club, pardner. ;-) If you need to seek refugee status, I'll help you get into Canada. You can live in the little smokehouse where we do up the back bacon. It's in the backyard, and it's only 5 feet away from the outhouse (very handy!) and 15 feet from the swamp where you can swim in July-August when the snow finally stops, and you will have very little trouble with the bears. Very little. In fact, forget I even said that part about the bears.

Be warned, though. Canada is really just a branch plant of your corporatocracy. They haven't fucked things up here nearly as badly YET as they have where you are, but they're certainly working on it. Just give 'em time, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 02:16 PM

Stay out of Ottawa, at least if you're a female person of colour who wishes to walk down Rideau Street after midnight. Check this out:
Ottawa Citizen coverage of the Stacy Bonds case


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: kendall
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 05:59 PM

What would happen if everyone just refused to fly?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 06:50 PM

In related news the gradual encroachment of free communication by electronic means has led to a series of consitutionally dubious laws which may make a criminal out of anyone.

This article provides the details of the major ones which have come into existence since the Clinton years.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 06:58 PM

Federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking Americans in real-time using credit cards, loyalty cards and travel reservations without getting a court order, a new document released under a government sunshine request shows.

The document, obtained by security researcher Christopher Soghoian, explains how so-called “Hotwatch” orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs. The revelation sheds a little more light on the Justice Department’s increasing power and willingness to surveil Americans with little to no judicial or Congressional oversight.

For credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person’s purchases by writing their own subpoena, followed up by a order from a judge that the surveillance not be disclosed. Agents can also go the traditional route — going to a judge, proving probable cause and getting a search warrant — which means the target will eventually be notified they were spied on.

The document suggests that the normal practice is to ask for all historical records on an account or individual from a credit card company, since getting stored records is generally legally easy. Then the agent sends a request for “Any and all records and information relating directly or indirectly to any and all ongoing and future transactions or events relating to any and all of the following person(s), entitities, account numbers, addresses and other matters…” That gets them a live feed of transaction data.


Full article here at Wired.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 07:20 PM

This ceased to be the United States in any real sense when the Patriot Act was passed. It just gets worse. You can start a bingo card of the constitutional rights we're being stripped of. B-4th amendment. N-14th amendment. Etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 07:53 PM

"Let me know when Bugs Bunny gets his pilots license."

Actually I have seen several such cartoons. The best one was when the diving nose first plane stopped just short of the ground, and he stepped out. Ran out of Gas...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 06:19 PM

This is a somewhat chilling article describing the invasion of the internet--once a free-ranging frontier kind of place--by DHS enforcers with little concern for First Amendment issues.

"And in what ICE termed its “Cyber Monday” crackdown, a statement on the official DHS site made it clear that this was only the beginning:

    The coordinated federal law enforcement operation targeted online retailers of a diverse array of counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses as well as illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, music and software."...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 06:34 PM

A record one in six American families went hungry last year because they did not have enough food, a shock survey has revealed.

Some 17.4million U.S. households - 50 million people - were classified as ‘food insecure’ which meant they regularly skipped meals even if they wanted to eat.

Others went for entire days without eating and handed round smaller portion sizes to make their meagre offerings suffice.

The news comes as it is revealed that top U.S. executives saw their pay and bonuses shoot up last year in the face of the worst recession for 80 years.
A homeless man roots through a rubbish bin in New York looking for something to eat

A homeless man roots through a rubbish bin in New York looking for something to eat

The highest paid bosses received an average of $1.6million (£1million) as a bonus on top of their basic remuneration, an increase of 11 per cent.

Salaries rose by just 3 per cent but that still meant the typical executive took home $7.2million (£4.4million).

The dietary figures are the highest since 1995 when the first national food security survey was conducted and will be acutely embarrassing for the United States, the world’s richest nation and the last remaining superpower.

They also shine a light on the vast numbers of hard working Americans who have lost their jobs in the recession and for the first time are having to rely on the state to make ends meet.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture study shows that in 2009, almost 50 million people, including 17 million children, were ‘food insecure’.

This marked a slight increase from the previous year when 17.1 million families had difficulty putting meals on the table.

Those in this category usually went hungry, could not afford a balanced meal and cut their portion sizes on the occasions they did have food.


Read more: Daily Mail article.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Slippery Slope
From: Amos
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 06:43 PM

http://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-based-dns-to-counter-us-domain-seizures-101130/

BitTorrent Based DNS To Counter US Domain Seizures
Written by Ernesto on November 30, 2010

The domain seizures by the United States authorities in recent days
and upcoming legislation that could make similar takeovers even easier
in the future, have inspired a group of enthusiasts to come up with a
new, decentralized and BitTorrent-powered DNS system. This system will
exchange DNS information through peer-to-peer transfers and will work
with a new .p2p domain extension.

In a direct response to the domain seizures by US authorities during
the last few days, a group of established enthusiasts have started
working on a DNS system that can’t be touched by any governmental
institution.

Ironically, considering the seizure of the Torrent-Finder meta-search
engine domain, the new DNS system will be partly powered by
BitTorrent.

In recent months, global anti-piracy efforts have increasingly focused
on seizing domains of allegedly infringing sites. In the United States
the proposed COICA bill is explicitly aimed at increasing the
government’s censorship powers, but seizing a domain name is already
quite easy, as illustrated by ICE and Department of Justice actions
last weekend and earlier this year.

For governments it is apparently quite easy to take over the DNS
entries of domains, not least because several top level domains are
managed by US-based corporations such as VeriSign, who work closely
together with the US Department of Commerce. According to some, this
setup is a threat to the open internet.

To limit the power governments have over domain names, a group of
enthusiasts has started working on a revolutionary system that can not
be influenced by a government institution, or taken down by pulling
the plug on a central server. Instead, it is distributed by the
people, with help from a BitTorrent-based application that people
install on their computer.

According to the project’s website, the goal is to “create an
application that runs as a service and hooks into the hosts DNS system
to catch all requests to the .p2p TLD while passing all other request
cleanly through. Requests for the .p2p TLD will be redirected to a
locally hosted DNS database.”


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