The USNSA: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

USNSA-No Room Transparency“Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience … We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”

– Barack Obama

 

Dystopia, Data-Mining and Distraction

This past week was a wake up call for many Americans living in the United States of the National Security Agency (USNSA) – a dystopia of their own making. Yes, yes, revelations came to light that ‘the powers that be’ had obtained a secret court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allowing it to basically gorge itself on tens of millions of phone records of Verizon customers. Surprise! Big Brother may not be watching, but he is listening. A short time later, information concerning the government’s PRISM program was revealed. It basically empowers the National Security Agency (NSA) to data-mine the emails and chat records of both Americans and foreigners abroad from some of the largest Internet based services, such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Google (SkyNet) and other web-based giants.

Of course, all of this should come as a shock to no one … except the obvious clear majority of easily led American ‘sheeple’ that believe the internet, or their phone lines, for that matter, are ‘private’, and that their personal data are protected under a supposed ‘right to privacy‘ guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution … (insert pregnant pause) … oh wait , sorry … such a right is not actually expressed in the Constitution. Chalk that up to yet another American collective misconception … or perhaps to good old Uncle Sam, an apparent trickster of sorts.

Makes you think twice about ‘cloud computing’, doesn’t it? Sure. Go ahead and back up all your data online. It’s safe and secure – and makes it that much easier for the NSA to access. And trust me, it’s not doing so for the Lulz. Similarly, you can understand why some folks stuff money into their mattresses; banks are neither safe nor secure. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and ask anyone that has ever had the misfortune of having the long-arm of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ‘beam into’ their savings accounts to settle a tax matter or two.

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The Impetus Of Impediment

What is the nature of the luxury which enervates and destroys nations?
Are we sure that there is none of it in our own lives?
– Henry David Thoreau
As beautiful as simplicity is, it can become a tradition that stands in the way of exploration.
– Laura Nyro

 

I lie in the living room, a song in my head. My guitar sits across the room, silently resonating a song from long ago. It yearns for something new. It beckons me to come and create something more than I can, at present. I stare at it with loving disdain, unmoving and unmoved.

Yes, yes, it often seems like the hardest thing to do is that which we know we ought to do but which requires effort: our labors of love so to speak. Due diligence suggests we apply some elbow grease and put our backs into the matter at hand. Conventional wisdom says nothing about waiting for the ‘perfect time’, however. 

It comes to pass that we reach a point where we realize we need more, oh so much more, to sustain our passion, enhance our vision, nurture our idealism, and facilitate our expression. At this point, we begin to wrestle with the contention that it’s not enough for us to rest on our hollow laurels or innate talents. And so with reluctance, we knowingly resign ourselves to the reality that we need to transform ourselves in order to thrive. Yet, agreeing in principle is one thing … doing is another.

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