Even More Mike & Gary: Parrot Man

Gary was Mike’s first visitor in prison after his conviction for drugs and maiming a police officer with the bomb in the trunk of his car. Gary’s visit was not a social one.

“There are a lot of old men who are very nervous.”

They sat in silence for a moment.

Gary already knew the answer though. Mike had several broken ribs. If he had talked, they would have grabbed Gary before he ever got to visit with him. He had kept his mouth shut and that concluded the purpose of the visit.

“Best of luck in the cage, kid.”

It would be years before they met again. Gary retired to Costa Rica and opened a bar. There, he became known as ‘Parrot Man.’ Mike learned this from the locals when he went to visit him, though he had no idea why Gary had earned the moniker.

When Mike eventually found Gary’s home, which was difficult to reach in the Costa Rican jungle, he found it was a simple hut. There was a dead parrot, stiff with rigor mortis, in the yard, which looked like it had seen better days.

In the main room, there was a six by three by three foot cage with a lock on it.

“What’s that?” he inquired.

“Oh, that. There was a parrot who destroyed the roof of the hut. I fixed it. Then the parrot came back and destroyed it again.”

Gary was fidgeting with something. He was still creating inventions for use in covert ops. Old habits like that one and living like a Spartan remained despite his retirement.

“So I captured it and put it in the cage. I gave it enough water for three days. Then, when I was sure it was looking at me, I swallowed the key. It died in the cage.”

Gary saw Mike’s reaction.

“Don’t feel sorry for that damn bird. It tore up my roof. It could easily have dug its way out of the cage. It had sharp talons. It didn’t want to live.”

As they talked into the night, Gary explained that, in Vietnam, he had seen a lot of young Americans die for no good reason. It had not been his place to question it, he said, merely to do the best job that he could. His personal politics had made no difference in his actions while there. However, this admission makes one wonder if that wasn’t part of his motivation for blowing up that general’s car in the first place.

Gary died in Costa Rica.

Conclusion

One thing that these accounts show, true as memory can account for, is that there is often more to stories than we are used to believing and that even when we suspect there is more to a story, our trust may be misplaced in assuming something is being done in secret for our benefit. Mainstream media has us quickly defining stories, such as drug busts and shootouts, a certain way and those ways are not the full story and often leave out the important bits such as why things we perceive as big problems persist indefinitely. Choices are given, often bad and worse and we take them because that is all that is offered.

This is not freedom. This is a simulation of freedom; an illusion of liberty hiding the fact that the age of man and the nation state is ending and the age of a construct is beginning. The ago of the gargantuan multinational corporation is merely dawning. They are only loyal to themselves, they do not create jobs but rather profit from deleting them, they thrive on human misery and strife, capitalize on poverty, illness, and hopelessness, they distract us–with the aid of our elected and appointed officials and our corporate media–from the real problems and real culprits. Life from here on to the foreseeable future is going to be about constant fear; fear of being stepped on because a thing decided to step on communities did so; fear of the opposition because that is what the news–or what will pass for it–will tall you that you should be afraid of. This is a moment in time predicted by so many good and bad science fiction stories and yet we fail to recognize it as such because we are living inside it. What passes for normal today would have been completely absurd, totally insane, a mere few decades ago. People persist in thinking everything is sort of random. While I would not go as far as to say everything is not random, there is a lot more that is not, that is planned, executed, and even when things go awry, the fallout is controlled and all for a few simple goals: Distraction, increasing power and profits, and keeping the majority of the population from having a say by siphoning off their wealth and rights a little at a time.

If you can stop and think like a psychopath for a moment, it really becomes clear. What is the end result of the negative TSA coverage? Privatizing airport security which will result in cheaper pay for workers but bigger profits for those who own the companies with the contracts. So it is with this week’s pair of police executions. Politicians will not increase funding to improve training; they will not send money to communities so individuals can get better educations and jobs; they will instead privatize the police and then you’ll only have law enforcement services–aka justice–if you can afford it and you pose no threat to the special interests who control it.

Your dystopia is here. You just need to open your eyes.

Still More Mike & Gary: Sold Separately

Mike continued his work for Jaime. Mostly there were no problems and everyone was pleased. After a particular exchange of product for cash, the dealers asked if Mike could acquire some weapons for them.

Unsure if he could, he called Gary. Gary asked what they wanted and told him the price. The dealers agreed.

32 M-16’s with ammo. The next week, Gary delivered them. The dealer and his weapon “expert” checked them out as Gary looked on. He could see that there was some disappointment over something, but the dealer smiled when he said, “Hey, c’mere.”

Gary did so. The dealer grabbed Gary’s hand and snipped the end of his thumb off with snips he had in the other.

“Do I have your attention?”

“Oh, you’ve got my full f—ing attention,” Gary answered.

“These weapons don’t fire.”

A little known fact regarding how Department of Defense runs things is that the firing pins are shipped and stored separately. This is to prevent an armed uprising, should any particular group, including one supposes the grunts under the brass’ charge, from gaining access to them and taking over the base.

Another side note, small thefts like 32 assault rifles rarely even make it to CID for investigation. You see, military commanders walk on water and so it is inconceivable that such thefts could occur under their command. They really want their files to reflect their supernatural abilities to keep America great and so the contents of their record trumps what occurs in the actual, real world. *

So they were off to Gary’s to sort things out. Mike pulled the lighter out of the dealer’s car and cauterized his thumb. The dealer, clearly elevated in his organization beyond his cognitive abilities, said, “Hey, no smoking in my car.”

“Smoking? You want me bleeding all over your leather seats?” Mike replied.

When they arrived, Mike and the dealer went to the door. The dealer’s partner waited in his car down the street a bit.

Gary exited the front wearing a nice, white dress shirt which he was buttoning the sleeves on.

“This him? The thumb guy?” was all Gary inquired.

“Yeah,” Mike replied meekly.

“So what’s the deal?”

“These weapons have no firing pins,” the dealer replied testily.

“Correct. Those are sold separately,” Gary explained while buttoning the other cuff and rattling off the price for 32 firing pins.

“No. You give me the pins. I already paid for them.”

“Ok. First, Mike, you wait inside.”

As Mike passed Gary, Gary whispered, “Out the back and down the alley.”

Mike went inside and went out the back. However, he waited rather than flee. He wasn’t sure what was next for him. Had he screwed up this time? Gary had reminded him that neither of them were arms dealers and they both worked for Jaime, whose business was controlled substances.

Several minutes later, Gary exited the back carrying a suitcase.

“What are you still doing here? I told you to run.”

“Yeah…but your house…”

BOOM!!!

There was an explosion from the front of the house on the street. Two charcoal drug dealers awaited the authorities.

“This was my house. It’s not anymore.”

Mike looked puzzled.

“‘What’s that officer? A drug deal gone bad? Blew up in front of my house? I was in Europe on business at the time. Bad neighborhood. I should move.'”

“But…”

“But that’s the way it is. Always have a backup plan, a way out and be ready to go on a moment’s notice.”

They continued their work after some time at a new location.

* Pun intended.

More Mike and Gary: Not All Parkas

Dramatic reenactment.

Mike arrived at Gary’s home as he did on most days. Always uncertain what his training would consist of, he sometimes dreaded it. It seemed as though it was getting more and more violent and dangerous and far more so than whatever Mike faced simply working for Jaime and the Cartel.

Mike entered Gary’s living room, if you could call it that. There was hardly any furniture in the place. Gary slept on the floor on a mat. There were no photos, no paintings, not even any kitschy pieces of art. Gary had explained that he might need to leave at a moment’s notice and he never kept anything he couldn’t leave behind.

He also explained that even if he lost interest in a particular comfort, like a cushy bed or chair, his body would still want it and that was a weakness that he could not afford.

On this day, Gary was seated in a wooden chair and cleaning his shotgun. His mood seemed a bit out of character to Mike, less formal than usual.

“You snow ski?” Gary inquired while wiping the shotgun with a rag.

“No. I water ski now and then.”

Gary nodded, “Too bad. Got that parka for you.”

Gary nodded in the direction of a red parka hanging on a nail in the corner.

Mike looked at it.

“Go ahead and try it on.”

Mike walked over and picked it up. It seemed heavy to him. He got the front closed up around him, wondering where one snow skis in California.

BOOM!!!

Mike fell back against the wall, vaguely beginning to wonder what he could possibly have done to have Jaime have him killed. He got to his feet and realized he was neither dead nor dying.

“What the f—!?!”

“Relax. You’re okay, right?”

Gary liked to test things. He had sewn lead sheets, taken from x-ray protection aprons, into the parka to see if a homemade bulletproof vest were feasible. He may have had another motive as well.

Making sure that one was using the right tool for the right job required experience, according to Gary. That was why the next week he gave Mike a choice: Mike could shoot himself in the leg or Gary would do it for him.

Mike wound up doing it himself. Gary quickly filled the hole with some kind of animal fat soaked in alcohol and seared it closed. Now Mike would know what it felt like to be shot, though a .22 didn’t pack the power of a .45 or a 9mm.

By Popular Demand

More of an illustrative story. One that relates how the world really works, what makes it tick when it matters.

MEET MIKE

Mike started being a drug dealer in LA back in the 80s. Mike did a lot of time in the penn because a booby-trapped trunk of the car he was driving blew up when a cop opened it and a hot piece of metal burned the cop’s eyeballs out. Mike had tried to warn him, the trap was to stop other crooks, not the police and DEA. For those, all you had to do was go quietly and wait for the lawyer to show up as long as you weren’t the f—up of the month that the cartels threw law enforcement to hide the fact that the War on Drugs is a farce. Just enough seized to justify raising the street price and, by the way, making it seem as though more was seized each time because it was measured by street value that increases after each bust due to the appearance of scarcity.

Anyway, that’s why Mike did so much time and then had to leave California after he got out. He had told the cop not to open it and got bashed in the teeth for the warning and LAPD and LACSD have long memories.

But what is more interesting is of course how Mike learned to booby-trap trunks.

MEET GARY

Gary was an orphan who put himself through college. Gary was undercover during the war in Vietnam as a US Army Staff Sergeant linguist when his real job was as a CIA officer.

Gary took eleven enemy bullets in Veitnam. Thankfully for him, one was a tracer round and that cauterized several of the others so he didn’t bleed to death.

Gary was sent stateside to recover from his injuries but remained under his cover. This is where some general decided to boss around a staff sergeant in order to impress a lady.

At first Gary balked at the silly request to pick up a piece of paper. Then he realized why he had been asked and was admonished for talking back. Gary apologized and the general moved on.

So, of course Gary went to the vehicle storage facility building and rigged the general’s car’s gas tank to blow up the next time it was on a long trip. It worked and the general died.

He turned himself in to the MPs but suggested that they needed to call a number on a card that he gave them. Eventually, they did call.

Langley goons showed up and got the charges dropped. “We have to end our affiliation with you,” they told him, “But don’t worry, we’ll find you a new gig.”

The new gig was teaching drug dealers “security.”

Now that’s about as close to absolute power as it gets. CIA, and the intelligence community in general, likes to claim it is well disciplined.

Yet nothing has changed. You can be the guy who pulled duty to drive the general, burn in flame, and not even merit a mention in the story when it is told on some blog.

Rational Wiki ‘TI’ Section Response, Part 1

This will serve as a start to a response to Rational Wiki’s piece {which changes from time to time; it is a wiki} on so-called Targeted Individuals.

Note: It’s not that I agree with what some TIs’ claims are. It’s that I disagree with how they are being engaged and evaluated. I cannot help but think, prior to the Snowden story breaking, that people would likewise have dismissed average ‘Joe’ being spied upon. While I understand and empathize with the need for proof and documentation, there’s a certain naïveté with regards to other historical programs at Rational Wiki. Additionally, there is a reliance on various points of view {perhaps necessary given it is a collaboration}, some of which adopt a sort of mainstream media worldview while others accept that MSM is riddled with falsehoods. The result is a sort of schizophrenia or MPD of its own, where the arguments change once a particular one is defeated.

For example, “Government doesn’t do this,” except when one shows it does, the bar is moved to, “But they aren’t doing it to you because you aren’t important, merely mentally ill.” Without an agreement on the rules of engagement and a starting point of accepted givens, much of this “debate” is pointless.

INTERESTING FIND – FOIA DENIAL

Ran across this, a Freedom of Information Action denial from 1995 given in 1997. It appears that the National Security and Defense Intelligence Agencies believe that the Russian acoustic psycho-correction technology {see tabs up top for two 1993 articles on same}, were details available to the American public, would “reasonably” do “exceptionally grave damage” to the national security of the United States of America. You can try to make excuses for why this might be the view but the simplest answer is, we are using it. Domestically. As I’ve suggested time and time again, in addition to homegrown voice-to-skull in subliminal mode {also see that tab at top}.

NSA FOIA Denial

Just ask yourself this: Have you ever woken from a dream only to have to dream continue in your head for several minutes? Me neither. Not until this nonsense started. Probably only four or five times that I’m aware of. But I note that the dreams are more of those that one wakes up from frustrated with particular people, mostly former friends, except the dreams don’t seem at all motivated by fears nor do the people seem to be symbolizing anything in particular. It just appears as though these dreams are designed to make me angry with particular people.

Now ask yourself whether or not hypnotic, or perhaps in this case subliminal, suggestion can alter what one dreams about. Seems to me that it can.

The tech exists. The science adds up. This only leaves motive and lack of controls for excuses for rejection of the possibility. How do you know what the motives are? How do you know that the controls, oversight, are working, when we have such a corrupted system to begin with?

This is behavioral modification used in such a way as to be seemingly untraceable. Attempting to ascribe ones own values to a system that demonstrably does not share them doesn’t seem like a good way to move forward, to get at the truth.

The point: Once you can convince someone of a particular narrative, then might that not explain some of the phony/faulty narratives that exist in addition to the possibility that, yes, there is some sort of targeting program?

RESPONSE TO RATIONAL WIKI PART ONE – PREAMBLE

The link is here:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Targeted_Individuals

I am making a copy since, as previously noted, it changes from time to time.

Probably the first thing that should be said is, there is an expectation that a person who might be targeted by the public and/or private intelligence community must function as:

Their own doctor; a neuroscientist; their own psychiatrist; an investigative journalist; a detective; a physicist; a chemist; a trained covert operative; a Constitutional lawyer; a NATSEC lawyer; a professional magician; a wealthy individual {in order to buy back their representatives from the special corporate interests that own them completely and to receive topnotch healthcare}; political activist; and something along the lines of master yogi or other person capable of being rational while enduring pain and possibly other afflictions.

I don’t think that this is a reasonable expectation. Not even individuals who actually are one of those things are expected to function as all of those. While it is rational to expect the burden of proof to lay on the person making the claims, the possibility that there is any truth to it means that there is a such a wide power differential between the targeted and the targeters that establishment of the truth becomes next to impossible. Occam’s Razor does not apply to waste, fraud, and abuse. If it did, would we have needed an Edward Snowden?

It is also interesting that historian is not on the list.

The second thing relates to what causes certain forms of mental illness, or at least what the latest beliefs as to what causes them are. We are used to thinking of emotional and psychological scarring as something that occurs in the brain, but lately the research is suggesting instead the gut.

Trauma and isolation, as noted in the Cold War brainwashing study CIA conducted, can cause schizophreniclike symptoms. Merely dealing with something shocking and being denied human contact can cause a shock that in turn causes a shift in the balance of bacteria that the body uses for digestion. As a result, the balance of serotonin and dopamine {perhaps others} is disrupted.

We can guess, and it’s a fascinating topic, why and how this came to be from an evolutionary standpoint. An ancient farming community suddenly forced to become feral in order to survive a pack of raging carnivorous marauders, for example, might explain this strange symbiotic relationship.

Torture, solitary confinement, shock and awe…these can all affect mental {gut} health. How would you expect an average person subjected to covert harassment to respond? What would happen to their psychology, their health?

TARGETED INDIVIDUALS SECTION – INTRODUCTION

Rational Wiki notes:

As is to be expected (because paranoid delusions respect no borders), TIs are found around the world—from North America and Western Europe[2][3][4] to Asia.[5]

And of course the United States of America respects borders. In any case, I don’t find this persuasive. Of course other countries would have similar programs. And as Greenwald himself has noted, the CIA station in Rio is considered to be one of the most active in the world. The notion that the US intelligence community doesn’t operate overseas seems silly and not properly thought out.

Next we have an interesting list of things that Rational Wiki says don’t exist:

This all includes: microwaves,[6] “psychotronics”[7] (basically a variety of hypothetical electronic [8] weaponry[9]), secret mind control,[10] actively enforced “gangstalking”,[11] “remote sexual abuse”,[12] surgical insertion of alien implants[Note 2][13] and even reptilian involvement.[Note 3][13

Interesting because some of them provably do and interesting because they put microwave weapons and reptilian {ie, space alien} involvement in the same sentence.

You’ll find press coverage of MEDUSA, a psychotronic weapon, as well as the former President of Honduras making similar claims {in the MICROWAVE section} while in exile on the Mind-Affecting Tech tab up top. You’ll also find the ability to make someone as drunk without the use of any drugs whatsoever under SANGUINE and the US Army confirming via FOIA response that microwaves can be used to mimic that administration of drugs under MICROWAVES. Add to the list of expectations placed upon a target that ability to resist being affected by drugs as prerequisite.

Of course implants are not required for any of this and I agree that there is no space alien involvement. However, convincing people that there is space alien involvement, or that vaccines are dangerous for that matter, is exactly the kind of disinfo that the intelligence community would engage in. According to Snowden, the CIA’s budget some years back was between $14B and $15B while NSA’s was only between $9B and $10B. What do we think CIA does with this money exactly? Save kitties from trees?

Unsurprisingly, most TIs deny that anyone in the movement suffers from mental illness, and many emphatically insist that psychiatric care or medication are actually the vehicles for the malevolent plot(s) directed against them.[1]

While there are undoubtedly people who mean well in the mental health sector and are not in any way involved in a mass conspiracy, it seems again intellectually dishonest to make this statement and not acknowledge three or four things:

Donald Ewen Cameron, former president of both the World Psychiatric and American Psychiatric Associations, conducted horrific experiments for the CIA under MKULTRA in Canada resulting in severely debilitating his subjects. There are many examples of bad mental health practices that didn’t even–so far as I know–have anything to do with CIA dating back further. In general, there seems to be a “we’ve progressed” attitude, despite being bombarded on a daily basis with the same old misconceptions. For example, mixing up what it means to be gay or transgender with what it means to be Speaker of the House and a pedophile. Or the Dominionism/Zionism movements. Does listening to what they have to say, coupled with acknowledging that they have better control over US foreign policy than more rational people do, make you believe we have progressed?

How about the current lawsuit against the two psychiatrists who designed the CIA’s torture program? How about dosing GITMO detainees with five times the normal dosage of mefloquine/Lariam, which is known to cause some schizophrenic symptoms at normal dosage?

Rational does not necessarily mean informed, apparently.

Never heard of the red eye thing. Don’t recall ever having had it either, apart from pink eye I got in Toronto not long after the final “poison lite” episode as mentioned in the previous post.

Before we move on, let’s take a look at a most informative MKULTRA {this was a real program and not made up–perhaps that needs to be said} draft memo, one of the few documents to have survived the director’s destruction order. One can find it in the US Senate {a real organization} report appendix on the CIA’s {also a real organization} program of behavioral modification in 1977 {a real year}.

[document begins]

DRAFT

[deletion]

5 May 1955

A portion of the Research and Development Program of TSS/Chemical Division is devoted to the discovery of the following materials and methods:

1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.

As noted above, means and methods to produce this effect as tracelessly as possible would be of keen interest to Langley. If you can label someone as “crazy,” your work is done because they will never be believed. You can then engage in any behavior desired so long as there are no witnesses.

Next, another quote from Rational Wiki:

”Fibromyalgia, anyone? Cancer? Autism? Rheumatoid Arthritis? Osteo Arthritis? Migraines? MS? Incontinence? Infertility? Strokes? Heart Attacks? Pulmonary dysfunction? Bronchitis? Sudden onset of any disease? Recurring colds and flu? Narcolepsy or insomnia? All this and more, brought to you in Silence by Electronic Warfare weapons, and by covert operatives working quietly in your neighborhood.

—Self-diagnosed TI “Ramola D”[15]

Note, again, TIs are expected to be their own doctors or to go to doctors who are not going to even give the possibility of intelligence community malfeasance any weight at all, usually after the patient has been unemployed and is now destitute. Why is that important? See item 5 from the same memo quoted above:

5. Materials which will produce the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way so that they may be used for malingering, etc.

Making someone believe they have particular diseases. Why? This is key to understanding how CIA really thinks and behaves. It’s malicious, sadistic, and the point is to destroy a person. In fact, one might become poor just trying to deal with phony symptoms that doctors are not prepared to deal with because the likelihood that these people…

Central Intelligence

Look at ’em. So cute with their big johnson

…are up to no good just seems a bridge too far.

Next, the ‘Kernel of Reality’ section. Good to see MKULTRA and COINTELPRO mentioned but the notion scoffed at that they are active today. Again, the chronocentric “we’ve progressed” beyond barbarism despite being exposed to its continued existence is to blame.

Agree on HAARP, however. HAARP was actually a big waste of money and the creator was charged with fraud a few years back. But note the requirement to be have PhD in physics in order to self-diagnose what’s making some feel as though they are being targeted with e-weapons. Really a no-win situation for such a person if they exist.

But, to understate, the TI movement is not characterized by such rational interests and justified fears.

Probably so. They are people desperate to make “it” stop. Whether that is, as Rational Wiki mostly suggests, “merely” mental illness, or something more, it would still seem to me that not making their situation worse would be rational and humanitarian response. Being desirous for pain to stop is a normal reaction among most animals. Being unreasonable about what it is, how to make it stop also seems pretty normal.

Regarding the Snowden documents and the allegations of limited hangout, etc., I’ve discussed this before. I understood, to an extent, the role that NSA plays versus the role that CIA plays, for example, and did not expect mind control, my preferred term brainhacking, or behavioral modification to be part of it. I knew others who did expect it. I understand the disappointment, but it’s apples and oranges, even though surveillance to some extent obviously played a role in COINTELPRO.

Most often missing from discussion of Snowden and CIA is his story about the drunk diplomat. How was it that CIA was there, waiting, to make the diplomat’s DUI charges disappear? Details are sketchy so difficult to say, but see again the Mind-Affecting Technology tab and the SANGUINE section. You might have two drinks and be fine, but get hit with the make ’em drunk weapon, for which the scientific principles have been known for decades, and drive more like you’ve have six cocktails.

JTRIG Section

Think I’ll just distill it all down to this, from the Church/Tower Hearings, Book II: Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, page 5:

Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed–including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, break up meetings, ostracize persons from their professionals, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths.

Note that it does not say, “Only important people, as determined by rational people among the public, were targeted.” Just like NSA surveillance isn’t limited to it either, though when it is a world leader, there seems to be a lot more outrage about it.

Also, if you think you’re too rational or too smart to be tricked by professional spies, I would invite you to please stop commenting on NATSEC issues. There’s a very large body of knowledge designed to do just that. If you have a copy, please let me know, would love to peruse it.

End Part 1. Coming up, longstanding exemptions to DoJ application law as with regards to CIA, NATSEC excemptions/carveouts to FOIA, and NATSEC human experimentation advise and consent exceptions have all recently been discussed in the public domain. Where’s the outrage?

BBD – There’s Only Bad Guys

Primarily this is a update because I haven’t posted in so long. Also it is the result of a recent experiment though I’m not sure I intended it to be one.

2016 Q1 UPDATE

In January, I applied for a partial disability with Social Security. I had zero income in 2015 and 2016 wasn’t looking much better.

I listed two issues. The first, what I’ve come to refer to as poison light, the series of odd nausea that I experienced first in Kentucky in early 2012 and then once in Toronto that I’ve detailed before. The result is a chronic cough that comes and goes in terms of frequency and intensity and is related somehow to digestion.

The second I referred to as an anxiety disorder due to having to constantly be on guard not ever knowing how and when some form of harassment will be coming my way. It is tiring to have to live this way, but what can one expect when we incessantly elect people who, for example, by their own admission prefer being courted by lobbyists over their previous work as community organizers? Seems we can’t not fall for a good public relations campaign with meaningless one word slogans.

About three days after I applied for the partial disability, the spookspace meter dropped from about a 7 on the 10 scale to a 2. As I noted regarding the visit to Tuscon University to see Chomsky, Snowden and Greenwald discuss privacy, there was very, very little to report. So it was pretty much everywhere else from that point in January until a few days ago. Suspiciously little strangeness apart from the possibly so-subtle that it wasn’t “enemy action” at all. This is the only thing I can call a vacation from it since December of 2009. It was pleasant.

Additionally, two part-time gigs {not enough to get healthcare} fell out of the sky and so my premise of not being employable suddenly fell apart, though not enough to get me out of poverty.

Parallel with this hiatus was something that probably is related but had a very slow fuse on it. In fact, since I don’t yet have an ending for this particular series of events, I don’t want to discuss it in detail just yet. Just let me mention that two times {with a possibly unconfirmed third I was not present for} we had the following memes: transgender and public restrooms. And not really in the way you might expect. Sounds like a typical sort of spookspace nonsense setup to me at this point but it’s really just background noise compared to the main event, which as I said is not yet resolved and therefore no more details for now.

When you have power, budgets, are an unopposed superpower, and have 4 million or so people with security clearances and probably far less than 100,000 terrorists in the world, you have to find something, make something up, just to justify your existence, keep yourselves busy, and start creating a niche for yourself for that cushy private job your will be awarded for, for example, creating the “LGBT terrorist suspicion” sector to go with the immigrant, Muslim, African-American ones that serve the killer clown sector so well.

In any case, it appears we are ending the vacation and in addition to being assaulted with election bullshit I will soon also be back to dealing with having my head messed with by the US intelligence community. It’s been such a joy over the past six-and-a-half years that I can hardly contain myself at the prospect of its continuance.

Post coming regarding engagement of so-called “Targeted Individuals” later today.

A Trip About Privacy

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

“If terrorists are also wizards, we have a bigger problem.”
― Edward Snowden

Yesterday, I took a trip to the Tuscon area. Went up to the top of Mount Lemmon in the early afternoon and went to UA to see Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky speak about privacy with Nuala O’Connor of the Center for Democracy and Technology as moderator.

MOUNT LEMMON

Scene of the 2003 fire.

Scene of the 2003 fire.

Howard the Hadrosaur

Obviously, a hadrosaur skull fossil. ‘Eye iz a paleontologist wiht pareidolia.’

I’d regale you with the full photo set, but I recall the “Hell’s Bells” segment from Rod Serling’s Night Gallery episode 15 starring John Astin.

"One person's vacay..."

“One person’s vacay…”

If you make it to the area, I do recommend the trip up the mountain. Also amazing to see so many bicyclists making it up 27 miles or so to an elevation of over 9,000 feet. These people are Olympiads. There are clubs that arrange biking groups, if you are so inclined to try that.

UA, TUSCON

The University of Arizona is a beautiful campus, at least the portions I had time to tour. There’s also a nice, if commercial, pedestrian friendly area just across the street.

I found friendly people there and not as I feared young versions of John “LeGrouch” McCain. And the eye candy… Between the cyclists and the sporty types on this campus, well, I may have been a little distracted on this trip. The guy with an owlbear tattoo over his heart, for example. “Owlwha…?”

Which brings me to the next point. On a personal level, the most notable thing about this trip is how little there is to note. The Spookspace Meter stayed right at zero the entire time. And it’s not like I wasn’t expecting or looking for something to happen. But it didn’t. What may this portend? I may blog about that in a few days if I get my thoughts on it in order. In any case, it was a reminder of what “normal” was like. And I kinda miss normal.

The closest thing, apart from the discussion about privacy itself, regarding subjects normally found on this blog came from a simple question from a police officer doing security at the event. He asked me if I made this myself:

A Conversation on Privacy

I explained that, no, it was from a professor from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences {also involved with this event and a continuing series of speakers on privacy which will begin in October}. She was giving them out for free.

What’s interesting about this question is I think that he was really doing a threat assessment. He was really wondering, “Here’s a guy wearing a baseball cap backwards, looking perhaps a little haggard,” {I brought the hat because I figured some time on top of a mountain was not likely to be kind to the hairdo and I was correct}, “who showed up early and took his seat. May as well see how he reacts to law enforcement.”

But this is exactly how it should be done. Build a rapport. The police and the public are one. All basic law enforcement science, part of what came out of sweeping reforms in the UK in the 19th Century, also known as Peelian Reform, a la Sir Robert Peel. It also works wonders in interrogation. Whereas the Reid Technique and torture will only gum up the works.

A CONVERSATION ON PRIVACY

Noam Chomsky referenced the quote at top as the definition of privacy. I don’t want to delve too deeply into being a target, but this is exactly what is denied you. Regardless of the means and methods, the cause, even being alone in a quiet room does not convey a relaxing effect. It feels as though you are not alone and that the room is anything but quiet. Those who utilize these methods are aware of this and part of the purpose is to destroy the target via these “invisible” means in order to maintain plausible deniability and the illusion that power is limited by law and some sense of morality when the opposite is true.

Some of the things Greenwald and Snowden said they had said before but they bear repeating. If there is a legitimate basis for mass surveillance, then let’s at least let the public know so they can sign off on it.

But there were some shifts in the conversation as well. Added to this was, if we are not informed, then we are ruled from above and not, as democracy is supposed to work, electing people who represent our interests.

They went even further. It has become abundantly clear that the purpose of mass surveillance is not terrorism and to a large extent not even crime. It is because much of, for example the Pentagon Papers, indicate that the public is considered the enemy, that it is hiding things from the public that power spends a lot of time and effort trying to achieve.

When power talks about protecting the nation, what they mean is preserving state power and economic/corporate power. They do not mean protecting the public at large nor the public interests which often run contrary to these former concerns.

I was liking what I was hearing. No more playing the “game” of pretending to, or on good faith actually doing it, take power at its word. This is a huge step in the right direction. I cannot express how frustrating it was, and still is for so many media outlets and people in general, to simply assume power says what it means. It’s a huge waste of time and energy to do so.

Snowden also said, “Privacy is how we know what we think.” This is another way of describing that quiet room. How can you stop, get away from all the influences, if those influences are constantly in your face? Whether watching FOX or CNN, or being glued to Facebook or on that Rightwing Dad mailing list {many of those emails being penned by political operatives no doubt} you cannot, are not, making up your own mind; you are parroting someone else’s opinion without critical thought.

And, really, free will is not quite as free as we’d like to think in the first place per the neuroscience and perhaps even some psychology models. Take away that quiet time and it becomes orders of magnitude less free.

Edward also pointed out the terms we use and why we use them. “Private citizen.” “Public official.” We are supposed to be scrutinizing these people, not the other way around.

And yet... "I have a wide stance."

And yet… “I have a wide stance.”

And, even though they’ve said it before and I’m sure will again and yet often do not get credit for having done so, both Snowden and Greenwald were clear to point out that corporate power is also an issue. For example, the Apple v FBI thing. “Apple did not react the way it did because it suddenly became a privacy advocate; it did it because it’s afraid people will buy some German company’s products instead.” Edward threw up the SilVal timeline slide of when NSA had access to their servers, which of course included Apple and Google.

Which brings me to my only nitpicky criticism of Greenwald for the evening {because I thought the tie was fine, but see again what I said about wearing a baseball cap backwards}. When he told people to “google 2004 Rumsfeld report on terrorism.” I sometimes get prickly over political correctness, especially when it is really nitpicky, but given Google’s status as part of the surveillance state can’t we instead say “Duckduckgo 2004 Rumfeld Report on Terrorism” now?

Chomsy also brought up how lucky we are in the US to have as much openness as we do. While I think, and think he would agree, that we don’t have near enough {Snowden and Greenwald also brought up Chelsea Manning and how one million secret documents being released did not bring the Apocalyptic scenario that pro-classifiers suggest doing so would}, I think he has a point. He means from both FOIA and leaks. Of course I must remind folks about the FOIA reform NATSEC carveouts that may or may not find their way into the final version once the House and Senate versions get reconciled.

But his larger point was we can see, as noted above, power really considers democracy a drag, that the public is enemy number one.

Combine this with the stats on terror attacks–Al Qaeda actually killed fewer people than the IRA, for example–and you can see that someone is trying to cook the books. What are they trying to distract us from? Commercialization of…everything.

Brussels came up and Chomsky said it must at least be worth taking a look at why ISIS claims it is doing what it is doing. If you want terrorism to end, then it would be smart to do so. “And it would work,” he added, to applause. ISIS says it is hitting back for being droned. Pretty simple.

What is perhaps the most strange thing that was said was when Chomsky suggested that good, eg Ivy League, education can lead people to not question authority. That was an astounding thing to note, but pretty clearly true, especially in the UK.

You can read Eric Ortiz’ live blogging of the event for more:

Eric Ortiz, “Live Blog: A Conversation on Privacy With Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden,” Truthdig, 25 March 2016:

truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/ live_blog_a_conversation_on_privacy_20160325

Or watch the video on Monday.

Overall I think things are moving in the right direction in terms of the serious dialog. Of course, policy, law, and oversight are other matters, but I’ll take what I can get.

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