America: Nobody Seems to Notice…

Talking about how rigged our country is, George Carlin in a blazing speech throws in this refrain:

Nobody Seems to Notice, Nobody Seems to Care

He repeats it a lot, so it must be important. The Zoo is right on, this is must see.  So go take a look.  Then come back.

Its called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.

Carlin correctly attacks the idea we have a choice in the elections.  We don’t.  It’ll be Mitt Romney as the “compromise” Republican, aptly the most disingenuous in the field, or the Huckster, a false prophet theocrat who is already being dressed up as “too liberal” in a transparent attempt to make him more palatable.  On the Dems side it will be Hillary, the quintessential establishment candidate.  And those are just the politicians.  We don’t elect the people who truly control the power in this country.  Hell, with the advent of voting machines with hackable audit trails and the press blackout when the mischief from 2000 carried into 2004, even the election we do take part in is a sham.

And the owners, as Carlin dubs them, don’t want an informed populace.  Bullshit like “Intelligent Design” and “Teach to the Test” and attempt to dismantle the Department of Education are all aimed at keeping us stupid and obedient.  It works hand in hand with the media oligarchy.

But he is wrong about one thing.  Listen to the crowd in that video.  Listen.  They are cheering.  They hear and echo every spark of Carlin’s speech.  We do notice.  And I suspect the idea that nobody notices, nobody cares, is part of the same damn apathy lie that sucks the resolve and hope out of our political reality.  Well I don’t believe it.  If we find the media suspect, if we find polls suspect, then why believe this is a country of idiotic bumpkins too stupid to know or care how fucked up everything is?  Why not feel the raging energy of real patriotism, and trust that across America there are millions who think as we do, feel as we do, and desperately want to act?

Look around you right now.  Look at your family, friends, co-workers.  The people you meet in bars and on metros, in grocery stores and just wandering around.  Sure there are some who willingly trade political consciousness and will for a condescending security blanket, but there are just as many if not more who are awake, who burn to take this country back.

So we do notice, Mr Carlin.  And we do care.  But faced with such well placed and articulated cynicism, our question is:  “What can we do?”.

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Privacy: Another Canary in the Caves

The US has slipped in a privacy rating by Privacy International.

We’re now in the proud company of China, Russia, Singapore Malaysia and the UK.  Via Slashdot:

 “Privacy International has released their report on privacy for 2007, which includes a color-coded world map that highlights the countries with the best privacy laws, the privacy-hostile countries being in black.

The report doesn’t paint 2007 in a kind light:

In recent years, Parliaments throughout the world have enacted legislation intended to comprehensively increase government’s reach into the private life of nearly all citizens and residents. Competing “public interest” claims on the grounds of security, law enforcement, the fight against terrorism and illegal immigration, administrative efficiency and welfare fraud have rendered the fundamental right of privacy fragile and exposed. The extent of surveillance over the lives of many people has ow reached an unprecedented level. Conversely, laws that ostensibly protect privacy and freedoms are frequently flawed – riddled with exceptions and exceptions that can allow government a free hand to intrude on private life.

Our country has been acting like the countries we’ve begun to criticize for decades.  Soon after 9/11, the Bush regime began exploiting the tragedy to send us tumbling ever farther down the slope.  We are now reaching parity with many of the worst governments in the world on many key points.  Privacy is one such point.  As we slip in areas such as health, torture, freedom of and from religion, representation in government and freedom of speech, we draw ever closer to the kind of government we once stood proudly against.

Everyone, from the left to the right, must step back and take a hard look at where our beliefs and our leaders are dragging us.  Once aware, we must kick, we must scream, and find the footing to stand up and fight.

Every inch we slip, on any front, is a rallying call to battle.  To win we must unite as one.  This unification does not mean swallowing our differences and stepping over principles.  It means acknowledging those differences and letting our alliance be all the stronger for it.  Our political will needs to be an unstoppable force of nature to break through the wave of authoritarianism threatening to break over our heads.  Together we can stand and meet it.