Archive for the ‘Department of Injustice’ Category

…all over it.

…Judy hammering Obama.

…are we living Orwell, or Kafka? Either way, it’s freedom that is lost.

The Eyes Watching You

1984 and the Surveillance State

by SARAH SKWIRE

George Orwell. 1984. New York: Plume, [1949] 2003. 323 pages.In the kind of horrifying coincidence that surely would have prompted one of his more acerbic essays, the news that various U.S. government surveillance agencies have been gathering data from millions of citizens’ phones, email accounts, and web searches broke during the week of the 64th publication anniversary of George Orwell’s 1984. As the news reports poured in, and as sales of 1984 surged by an astonishing 6,884 percent, a friend asked me whether the PRISM story strikes me as more Orwellian or more Kafkaesque.

My response? We’d better hope it’s Kafkaesque.

No one wants to inhabit a Franz Kafka novel. But the surveillance states he describes do have one thing going for them—incompetence. In Kafka’s stories, important forms get lost, permits are unattainable, and bureaucrats fail to do their jobs. Like the main character in Kafka’s unfinished story, “The Castle,” if you were trapped in Kafka’s world you could live your whole life doing nothing but waiting for a permit. But at least you could live. Incompetence creates a little space.

What is terrifying about Orwell’s 1984 is the complete competence of the surveillance state. Winston Smith begins the novel by believing he is in an awful, but Kafkaesque world where there is still some slippage in the state’s absolute control, and still some room for private action. Winston says that Oceania’s world of telescreens and Thought Police means that there are “always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed—no escape.” But he follows that by saying, “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.” He also believes that while the diary he keeps will inevitably be discovered, the small alcove in his apartment where he writes his diary puts him “out of the range of the telescreen.”

via The Eyes Watching You : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education.

New book out.

‘Guns across the Border’ tells inside story of Operation Wide Receiver CI

‘Guns across the Border’ tells inside story of Operation Wide Receiver CI“Operation Wide Receiver,” a precursor to “Operation Fast and Furious” wherein U.S. guns were bought by straw purchasers and “walked” under the noses of ATF investigators into Mexico, has been the subject of numerous Gun Rights Examiner reports. The central figure in those reports was Mike Detty, a gun writer, a firearms dealer, and the confidential informant who literally risked his life over the course of years to do what he believed was right, only to find the obvious criminals weren’t the only ones he couldn’t trust.

Detty has written about his role in a book that’s so new it doesn’t even officially release until next Wednesday. “Guns across the Border: How and Why the U.S. Government Smuggled Guns into Mexico” tells his story in an easy to read narrative that’s nonetheless engaging from the outset, and that held me throughout.

via ‘Guns across the Border’ tells inside story of Operation Wide Receiver CI – National gun rights | Examiner.com.

This is a good read. Are you paying attention?

All Terrorism is Connected

The Tarnaev brothers were cruelly successful, but they are far from the only terrorists over the past decade with big ideas about carnage in America. There is a temptation with each act of terror to see it as an isolated act, connected to the mental state of the actor, but not to larger forces. The FBI used to have theories about “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” and “Lone Wolves” that were not only wrong, but also pulled law enforcement off the track.

“Sudden Jihad Syndrome” was invented by the FBI to explain why people who lived quietly in the United States for some period of time “suddenly” went berserk and killed others. Why Naveed Haq shot six people at the Seattle Jewish Federation, killing one; why Hesham Hadayet, an Egyptian with a history of radical statements, shot up the El Al ticket counter in LA; why Derek Shareef, a convert to Islam, planned to firebomb a mall in Rockford, IL; and why Bosnian Sulejman Talovic, killed five people in a shopping center in Salt Lake City. It was supposed to explain why Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot up an Army recruiting center in Little Rock, and Kosovar Arid Uka killed two soldiers on a U.S. Army bus in Germany. The FBI won’t call it “jihad,” but a “bolt from the blue” was also supposed to explain why Maj. Nidal Hassan killed 13 people at Ft. Hood; it doesn’t explain why he yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he did it.

via Blog: All Terrorism is Connected.

…up front. I’m easily amused.

…from happening.

This is a failure of epic proportions.

ICE ex-chief: Nondeport rules would’ve spared 9/11 hijackers

The former chief of deportations in the Bush administration will testify to Congress on Tuesday that President Obama’s new nondeportation policies would have let the Sept. 11 hijackers remain in the country even if they had been picked up in the months before their deadly attacks.

And the current chief of the union that represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will tell the House Judiciary Committee that ICE agents are now required to wait until most illegal immigrants have three misdemeanor convictions before they can be arrested and put in deportation proceedings.

“Most Americans would be surprised to know that immigration agents are regularly prohibited from enforcing the two most fundamental sections of United States immigration law,” said Chris Crane, president of National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council. “According to ICE policy, in most cases, immigration agents can no longer arrest persons solely for entering the United States illegally.”

via ICE ex-chief: Nondeport rules would’ve spared 9/11 hijackers – Washington Times.