Give me liberty or give me… ?

Add to the long list of people who need to shut the fuck up: Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence in the US.  God knows what power that title actually gives him in what spook agency but his principal role seems to be letting the American people know they’re utterly fucked.

You know that freedom and liberty idea that so many Americans are so fond of?  I think it’s time to face facts and file that under “not so much”.  Most rational people expect their government to have all sorts of spy operations in place.  Most of us manage to sleep at night by convincing ourselves it’s for our protection and as we’re clearly not criminals or terrorists, nobody’s spying on us.

That tissue-thin layer of self-delusion tends to get torn apart pretty thoroughly when a government official actually comes out and says “Oh yeah, we’re totally spying on everyone.  All the time.”

In a speech he gave in October, Kerr said Americans shouldn’t be fighting to protect their anonymity  – they should be “changing their definition of privacy“.  You see, in this brave new world, privacy doesn’t actually mean privacy.  It means accepting the fact that the government is going to have full access to every tiny detail of your life any time they want.  It means being innocent and law abiding doesn’t mean “not under surveillance”.  But we should all take a deep breath and relax because you can trust the government not to do the wrong thing.

It isn’t as if it’s easy to find examples of the Bush administration unjustly smearing their opponents (even those within their own party).  Incidentally, a Google search for “Bush administration smear opponent” returns 579,000 results.  Nothing to worry about there.

In the good old days of the Cold War and the McCarthy era, a sizable proportion of people being spied on actually belonged to the Communist Party (or at least went to meetings hoping to score with those hot politically active chicks).  Not any more.  Ever had a phone call with someone outside the USA?  That’s all they need to spy on you now.

Actually, I should correct that last alarmist statement.  They won’t spy on you for a call where the other party is outside the US.  They’ll spy on you if they have a reasonable suspicion that one end of the conversation is outside the US.  And of course we’re talking about eminently reasonable people here.  What could possibly go wrong with allowing that sort of power without the usual checks and balances?

And this Kerr character is either frighteningly stupid or simply enjoys insulting the intelligence of everyone else.  One of his primary justifications for unlimited government intrusion into innocent people’s lives is the way some people use social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace.  Yes, this is what passes for logic with these twisted freaks.  Some people give out personal information online and so everyone should give up all rights to privacy.

I keep wanting to avoid hyperbole and gratuitous references to rape but that’s what keeps popping into my head.  This sounds like the classic drunken moron’s defence for date rape.  “Hey, the bitch let me buy her dinner and all those drinks.  Then she came back to my place.  She knew what was coming next, you can’t expect me to listen when she says ‘NO’ after all that.”

But this prick really got me angry when he said “Protecting anonymity isn’t a fight that can be won… (stop struggling, bitch!)… Our job now is to engage in a productive debate.”  Oh yeah, that old chestnut.  Don’t get angry.  Just because the government is violently raping your basic rights and expecting you to say “thank you” afterwards.  Whatever you do, don’t get angry.  Be reasonable.

Do you know why Mr Angry exists?  Because it’s impossible for Mr Angry to not exist in today’s world.  Every piece of shit in every country in the world who wants to screw over other people is always quick to say anger is wrong.  You need to be reasonable.  You need to be productive when you respond.  You know what?


Here’s the big secret they want to keep from you: It’s OK to be angry.  In fact, fuck that too.  It isn’t OK.  It’s the appropriate response.  It’s fucking required.  I’m more than reasonable when somebody presents a reasonable proposal.  When they’re unreasonable I’ll resist.  And when they want to lie, cheat, steal and destroy the basic rights of innocent people and tell me I’m not allowed to be angry in response?

I. Get. Fucking. FURIOUS!



Filed under Politics, Video Blogging

11 responses to “Give me liberty or give me… ?

  1. Donald Kerr also said, “Protecting anonymity isn’t a fight that can be won.” Jesus Christ, he’s threatening us! He apparently believes it’s not his generation that’s the problem, it’s everyone younger than himself (the two generations below his, he said) because they object to “privacy being adjustable.” All this in his first month on the job. I picture him goose-stepping into his new office every morning.

  2. right on, mr. angry – give em hell! some things are non-negotiable…

  3. Salamaat,
    What liberty? Privacy? huh? Well stated Mr. Angry, the sad thing, is even with those flagrant statements No.One.Cares.

    Apathy is riding everyone here.

  4. DOA

    Is it me or is there way too little marching and protesting in the US? Their government is getting way too comfortable. No privacy, no universal health care… is this the last remaining superpower?
    Shouldn’t people be out… how do I say this… tearing shit up over this?

    I’d like to extend an invitation to our american readers. Visit downtown Athens (in Greece) around the 17th of November. It’s the anniversary of a major event in the struggle against the dictatorship we had back in the 70s and the students always use it to march and make demands. We’ll show you how to throw a decent protest. Gas masks are optional.

  5. Mr Angry, you have hit many nails upon their heads. Of course, when your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

    We folks in the USA done got ourselves TERRORIZED back in 2001. And rather than undertake some reflection on what would cause people to hate us so much that they happily kill themselves flying jet planes into buildings in order to kill us, we reacted with self-righteous paranoid rectitude. And we are still terrified. But no worries mates, the rectitude freaks (right-wing republicans) know what’s best for you, cause they have the fucking VALUES that you simple PEONS just don’t seem to get.

    A reread of Orwell’s 1984 is indicated here. Our telescreen cannot be turned off now …

    Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

  6. I was searching for this kind of a blog for months now. Actually lost the hope of finding one, but here i am 🙂 Thanks for the great articles! Looking forward for a little read after dinner 🙂

  7. Buck: Or Darth Vader’s Imperial March theme follows him wherever he goes

    vett: this sort of crap makes it easy for me to get angry

    Maliha: Salamaat. Apathy in the face of this insanity scares me

    DOA: The lack of riots in the streets surprises me a little

    David: What terrifies me is every decision made by the current administration since 2001 has made americans LESS safe.

    Halkett: I hope you like angry. I got plenty of that.

  8. Yes, it’s almost as if they want us to remain terrorized. The incompetence is stunning and scary, likewise our submission to it as DOA writes. We are a fat and lazy people, blowing over half our national resources on troops and ordnance. Fuck health coverage for our own children. Security trumps everything now, even though it’s a fantasy. So sad, we haven’t had a “good” war for 60 years. Randy Newman’s lyric comes to mind, “They all hate us anyhow, so let’s drop the big one now…”

  9. Wikipedia tells me liberty is something different. I’m all confused.


    /does secret handshake and leaves

  10. I really wish more people here in ‘merca saw things this way. Fear has turned the ‘Mercan people into bleeding sheep…

  11. David: it’s hard to escape the conclusion that those in power prefer a terrorised populace – much easier to control

    goatsoup: careful with those secret handshakes!

    phyre: I suspect that’s the intention

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