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05 December 2010


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Is it an exaggeration to say the all-seeing Panoptic prison designed by Jeremy Bentham has metastatized to include all facets of modern life? The Panopticon as modern prison is now neither a disciplining of the self nor a disciplining of the soul's secret pathways (to rehabilitate the individual of course) but rather an all-encompassing, all-pervasive, "all-seeing" network of self-surveillance and "other"-surveillance that (from neighborhood watches to the 'If You See Something, Say Something" campaign, thanks walrus) includes but is not limited to electronic surveillance directed at computer downloads, facebook pages, credit card transactions, book purchases, as well as the ubiquitous use of video cameras--in businesses, on streets, highways, intersections, schools, factories, satellites, etc. The list could almost be expanded endlessly. I used to criticize as a matter of course "conspiracy" theories as revelations of paranoia but as a good friend repeats ad nauseum--just because you're paranoid doesn't mean somebody or somebodies are not out to get you. The sublime beauty of the Panopticon, of course, is that it leads to paranoia and self- and other-disciplining and thus creates conditions that justifies the curtailment of liberty in the name of preserving liberty.


they're second-hand quotes but I assume they are accurate.

Coming from Europe I consider Goldwater pretty much an arch conservative. It is his breed that along with the 'centrists' is currently being purged from GOP ranks. For today's litmus tests his (IMO totally accurate) views on separation of church and state are probably unelectable in Republican primaries, and iirc Goldwater was a Presbyterian, which for today's GOP just may not Christian enough I assume.

It is telling in its own right that he drew a line in the sand between himself and the new breed of religiously motivated conservatives. I think he was very prescient when he said that they religious conservatives may just do the GOP in. David Frum, who I generally loathe (ever since I read his epic masterpiece 'An End to Evil'), is worried about the future of the party as well, and I think for good reason.

Political hackery between R's and D's in America's bi-polar political system is bad enough without the the religious nuts in and around the GOP nationwide wasting time and treasure on idiocies like forcing creationism into science classes, as if Sunday school wasn't enough.

Iirc in Dover it was so bad that the local conservative opposition had to register Democrat, since they couldn't beat the nuts in the GOP process. They eventually won, but not without the lengthy process and the tenacious insistence of the Creationists introducing rancour hitherto unknown into Dover school boards and local politics and the entire community over the question whether the literal inerrancy of the Holy Bible ought be taught as 'science'. Those people who re-wrote Texas schoolbooks? Same sort of folk.

Americans can truly count themselves lucky they never had a religious war. They should really be thankful, but alas, there you have the ignoramuses blathering about separation of church and state being a myth. Or that prohibiting soldiers to witness subordinates is discrimination. Or take the rhetoric of 'soldiers for Jesus', 'war for souls', 'spiritual warfare' etc pp - there is a point after which such talk, even if originally used as mere rhetorical device, informs a mindset that is unfit for compromises.


B. Wade--I got your back (unforturately all I have is an 1851 cap and ball revolver) because critical thinking disappeared when the "welfare queen arrived on the scene in her Cadillac".

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Decline, yes and the traditional culture as represented by the Mayflower Compact in our Colonial era and Founding Fathers in our Republican era has substantially disintegrated.

Thus, the erection of an imperial "principate" (monarchy)on the ruins of the (former) Republic -- as done under Augustus -- is a rather easy matter. Augustus etal were clever enough to leave the forms of the Republic for the masses and their naive "exceptionalism."

2. The "WASP ascendancy" is dead and buried and subject of museums in New England, Virginia, etc. I take out of town guests to Monticello and Montpelier but, in truth, these represent a dead former culture.

3. Present US imperial culture with respect to foreign policy and national security policy is Jacobin and Neoconized.

Policy is in the service of transnational elites, not the American people. Wikileaks provide some useful insight into this.

4. Here is one effort by US historians to understand our present situation:


the unification of China Russia, US and others that you correctly mention brings to mind the famouns marxist "Proletariat of the world - Unite !" only now it should be called "Oligarchs of the world, Unite!"

Nancy K

Graywolf I find your thinking disgusting and against everything our founding fathers believed in. We are not China, we are not North Korea, we are not Russia, we are the United States of America. What part of freedom of speech and freedom of the press do you not understand.


I found this post on Guardian most amazing:
“Currently, I am in China and, as such, I can't view Wikileaks directly. More surprisingly, it sounds like soon neither will the west. Is there any way the info can be siphoned off Wikileaks while there is still access and forwarded around the world via Bit Torrent and eMule? Also, are there other ways to send money to Wikileaks? Ironically, the USA can't stop Saudi giving money to al Qaida but they can stop money sent to Wikileaks!?”
Nothing to smile about.



"Assange should be found and put down."
Believe it or not, I'm pretty much libertarian on most issues.
I draw the line on people violating their oath's of office to push a personal agenda.
Libertarian? What about that rule of law thing that prohibits extra judicial killings?

Do you believe the President as commander in chief has the authority to order that hit? That would not be a very libertarian point of view, in fact it is David Addington's and John Yoo's and Dick Cheney's view.

As for 'The constitution is not a suicide pact', you ought to read this: The cliché that "the constitution is not a suicide pact": Why It Is Actually Pro-, not Anti-, Civil Liberties.


trstone, thanks!


William R. Cumming:

>Will the Islamic wave again crest at Vienna?

I think not. Austria recently prosecuted someone for yodeling in public because it offended the local muzzies. The crescent banner will wave all over Eurabia and Englandistan.



The crescent banner will wave all over Eurabia and Englandistan.
Nonsense. I live in this 'Eurabia' and there is no basis in real life for your comment. Without undue respect, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Lois Hefferle

Col. Lang,
This actually is not a comment meant for public post. I need your help/direction. My family has 'adopted' a South Korean man who after high school (with my daughter at Notre Dame HS, Bethlehem, PA) joined the military to gain citizenship. He has no family in the US. He is now a medic special forces Fort Bragg. He was supposed to come for Thanksgiving but obviously prohibited due to NK/SK issues. We are beyond 350 miles. We do 7 fishes for xmas eve. I'm trying to send him a good hot meal for the 24th. I guess a lot shuts down on the holidays. I am not military. How do I make this happen--or what is the best way/place to make this happen? Would appreciate any input I can get from military personnel. I consider him my son.


"The United States is pleased to announce that it will host Unesco's World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from 1-3 May in Washington, DC”

Let's hope that this is not a date for a mass demonstration "Free Assange."

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