Assume that the Government is Always Watching

nsa-utah-data-center

Clusivius:

Clusivius-sqAll of the wonderful “smart” devices that nearly everyone uses on a daily basis, if not constantly, are Trojan horses designed to watch and listen to our every move.  Nevertheless, the cattle are shocked when they find out that their beloved government is willing to use its power to spy on them.

The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer’s camera — without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording — for several years, and has used that technique mainly in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations, said Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico, now on the advisory board of Subsentio, a firm that helps telecommunications carriers comply with federal wiretap statutes.

The FBI’s technology continues to advance as users move away from traditional computers and become more savvy about disguising their locations and identities. “Because of encryption and because targets are increasingly using mobile devices, law enforcement is realizing that more and more they’re going to have to be on the device — or in the cloud,” Thomas said, referring to remote storage services. “There’s the realization out there that they’re going to have to use these types of tools more and more.”

It is best for Americans to assume that the government is always observing us whatever we are doing, even though this is not quite possible yet, especially for those who live in rural areas.  But regardless of location, any activities or communications performed through internet-connected electronic devices are likely being filtered for keywords.  Once a person triggers enough keywords, they are sure to be targeted for more in-depth surveillance.  Eventually a human might even get involved.

How should we handle this surveillance?  During the American Revolution, while serving as US Ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin described to a concerned friend his attitudes about spies:

I have long observ’d one Rule which prevents any Inconvenience from such Practices. It is simply this, to be concern’d in no Affairs that I should blush to have made publick; and to do nothing but what Spies may see and welcome. When a Man’s Actions are just and honourable, the more they are known, the more his Reputation is increas’d and establish’d. If I was sure therefore that my Valet de Place was a Spy, as probably he is, I think I should not discharge him for that, if in other Respects I lik’d him.

We should follow this model in the course of our everyday activities, even those activities that are designed to fight against our political enemies.  We shouldn’t say or do anything that we’re not willing to defend in public.

Even if a man must break the law in service to his national cause, he should always act with honor and justice, doing nothing that would harm the reputation of his cause, and expecting that if he gets caught he must accept full responsibility for his actions, suffering whatever consequences may befall him with dignity and grace.  (But really, people—finger wagging—it’s so much simpler if you don’t break the law!)

There is one great advantage to the government’s widespread use of electronic surveillance: it makes them stupid! Just as today’s teenagers don’t know how to change the oil in their cars and don’t know how to write in cursive, today’s masters of surveillance are prepared to let computers perform all of their analysis for them.  If something isn’t flagged on their system, they aren’t going to notice it.  If we don’t want the government to spy on us, we should speak face-to-face away from electronics or write with good old-fashioned ink and paper.  And don’t forget to stick something over that camera lens!

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Where Tolerance Gets Us

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Patulcius:

When it comes to tolerance and what it has done to Western Civilization, two quotes from the great 18th Century theologian John Wesley aptly describe the effects. The first:

What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.

And from John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible for Matthew 24:9:

Then shall they deliver you up to affliction – As if ye were the cause of all these evils. And ye shall be hated of all nations – Even of those who tolerate all other sects and parties; but in no nation will the children of the devil tolerate the children of God.

Next to egalitarianism, tolerance is the key (stated) virtue of the Progressive Left.

Of course, to the Left, tolerance is something that other people must accept. Christians must tolerate other religious points of view and the acceptance of homosexuality. Nativists must tolerate the flood of foreigners in their midst. Men must tolerate a lack of respect from their wives and children—and from society in general. Football fans must tolerate anti-bullying rules.

But the Left not only does not, but must not, tolerate viewpoints and people whom their side does not approve. Why should they tolerate those who don’t believe in equality and tolerance? Why should Progressives tolerate those who, by the very nature of their privileged births, are deemed bigots and oppressors?  And what about smokers and fat people? Well, they’re not following the sacred tenets of good health and nutrition, so they deserve to be shamed and spat upon for their own goods.

And the Left disapproves of no one more ferociously than a Bible-believing Christian.

The former Western hegemony of White, Christian, and male was nagged bit-by-bit into tolerating groups of people who opposed them. Often the outcasts and misfits could make a persuasive case for the extension of Christian mercy, love, and compassion.  And what one generation tolerated, the next generation accepted as normal, and the third generation fully embraced.

Now tolerance has reached absurd dimensions in the West to such an extent that Whites are immigrating themselves into oblivion, Western Christianity is a force of impotence, and Western men have grown weak and effeminate and/or degenerated into delinquent free-loaders.

And now the “children of the devil” have taken over the Establishment. They grow bolder every day in their repression of the White, the male, or the Christian wherever the former “oppressors” might assert themselves.

rainbow-coexist

“Coexist.” Well, Western society isn’t targeting the Muslims here, nor the peaceniks, transvestites, homosexuals, Jews, letter-I worshippers, or Taoists. Just the Christians. Funny how that tolerance thing works.

Interestingly, the Left usually tolerates Muslims. Muslims (ostensibly) condemn homosexuality, repress women worse than any Medieval Christian, and have little patience for the enlightened Progressive virtues of tolerance and social equality. So why does the Left tolerate Muslims and not Christians? Leftists consider Muslims to be a people oppressed by the former White-male-Christian hegemony, for one thing; and for another, Muslims blow people up.

(And despite all of the Hollywood propaganda that suggests otherwise, it is un-Christian to blow up innocent people in the name of Christ, and Christians simply don’t do it.  Such tactics wouldn’t work anyway. There’s a blowing-people-up double-standard.)

Now Western society is lost. To survive here, Christians must recognize that the popular culture is no longer our culture, that our countries no longer belong to us, that the greater society is no longer ours.

The misconception that we belong to the greater society, so hard to break, is preventing the formation of a distinct Christian society in the West that can resist the evils of the outside world.  The early Church was coherent because it remained a society separate from the Romans.[1] A similar separation is necessary today.

And if Christians can form a distinct society in the ashes of the West, then we must no longer tolerate unrepentant sin in our midst. Only then will we survive and grow.

Clusivius:

While Christians must certainly forge a tighter community and weed out the unrepentent rebels in our midst, it is too early to give up on Western Civilization.

It may now be suicidal to fight for one’s government, or to partake in most of its culture, but the nations of the West are not yet lost.

People who love their nations are waking up and returning to their roots. Such people must band together to resist the tyranny of the Globalist Establishment.

Considering tolerance, a free society must possess some degree of tolerance in order to remain free.  The question is, tolerance to what degree?  What a  society must not do is allow its defining, majority culture and religion to fall to the wayside in the name of tolerance of others, as we see in the West.

Concorditas:

Indeed, there is room for a variety of like-minded people to gather together and organize resistance in groups, and for compatible groups to work together against the forces of Progressivism and Globalism. In fact, they are doing so already.

And each of these groups, be they religious or political, must strengthen and uphold the ancient moral codes of our civilization in order to remain cohesive against our enemies.

The causes are not yet lost.

[1] Christian society remained separate from the Romans until they gained enough numbers that Roman society joined and conformed to Christendom.

The FDA Trans-Fat Ban: A Benefit or an Abuse?

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Clusivius

On November 7, the FDA announced their plan to effectively ban “transfats” from American food.

“The FDA’s action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat. Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year – a critical step in the protection of Americans’ health,” says FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.[1]

The FDA acknowledges in the article that food manufacturers have, on their own, drastically cut their use of trans-isomer fatty acids in food. “Since trans fat content information began appearing in the Nutrition Facts label of foods in 2006, trans fat intake among American consumers has declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012.”[2]

Why should the government step in now?

Most likely some government up-and-comer is trying to make a name for herself, but one can’t help but make a connection between this sort of ban and the ban of other things that the cool kids don’t like, such as cigarettes or junk food.

It’s interesting that the use of partially hydrogenated oils partly arose from the health concerns over the use of animal fats in food preparation. As in the case with bottled water and plastic bags, the progressives want to tear down the devils of their own creation and replace them with they-don’t-know-what. Likely they will despair the unintended consequences of their current fix.

One way or another, this trans fat ban represents another encroachment by the government on personal liberty in the United States.

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I’m sure she means well. Nannies generally do.

Patulcius

Sometimes the government should step in to offset the abuses of private industry.

The FDA was created in 1906, a time when companies sold spoiled meat and rat-infested wheat, as well as a wide variety of tainted foods. Sometimes in the private sector if laws don’t protect the consumer from unscrupulous businesses then the moral businesses can prove unable to compete against the immoral ones and the ignorant public won’t do anything about it.

The food industry began using artificial trans fats, in part, because they helped increase shelf life, could reduce the need for refrigeration, and also because they were cheaper to use than animal fats.

In the face of protests by certain segments of the public, the private food industry has largely rid itself of trans fats. They continue to use them in certain foods, such as microwave popcorn, presumably because they haven’t found a cost-effective substitute that won’t affect the flavor of their products.

Trans fats don’t add any flavor and very little consumer benefit to the foods in which they are used, and they represent an unnecessary health risk to the consuming public.

A gradual ban on trans fats, while perhaps unnecessary, will remove a health risk to the public without sacrificing consumer choice in what they eat. The ban is a greater benefit to consumers than any potential harm to liberty.

Concorditas

While the trans fat ban will likely do some good without greatly disrupting the consumer market, the fact that the private sector is already working to remove it from their products demonstrates how unnecessary the law is.

It would be like the police increasing their fines and the number of their patrols in an area where drivers have already voluntarily cut their incidents of speeding by 78%.

It demonstrates the phenomenon of outlier punishment. When a large percentage of people abuse a group’s cultural norms, the zealous enforcers of those norms will show caution when they try to rein in the rebels in order to avoid a major fight. But when sufficiently few people within a group violate the norms, the zealots will vigorously punish the rebels to bring them in line because it’s easy to do.

The FDA ban is unnecessary, offering little benefit. The government estimates 7,000 saved lives out of 320 million people, assuming that current trans fat consumption remains static, which it will not.

[1] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA News & Events.” FDA Takes Step to Further Reduce Trans Fats in Processed Foods. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 7 Nov. 2013. Web. 09 Nov. 2013. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm373939.htm

[2] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA News & Events.” FDA Takes Step to Further Reduce Trans Fats in Processed Foods. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 7 Nov. 2013. Web. 09 Nov. 2013. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm373939.htm

The Senate Amnesty Bill; Why Must the West Uniquely Open the Floodgates?

Gang-of-8

What’s so funny, Gang of Eight? Just the decline and fall of Western Civilization, that’s all.

Patulcius

The United States government seems bent on foisting an amnesty for the country’s supposedly 11 million illegal aliens on the American people whether they want it or not.[1]  The ‘Gang of Eight’ Senate bill, called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), would allow illegal immigrants who arrived before 31 December 2011 to become legal residents if they meet various conditions, such as paying back-taxes and having a clean criminal record,[2] and the bill gives them a pathway to US citizenship.

The smug, aptly-named ‘Gang of Eight’ assures Americans that this bill will establish border security before these migrants can become citizens, but we heard this sort of nonsense back in 1986 to promote the passage of the previous amnesty.  The new bill grants more H1-B worker visas each year (from a current 85,000 to 205,000), and it allows more agricultural workers inside the country.  The bill allows Congress to change the amounts of future immigrants based on ‘economic conditions’, but this would likely mean, in practice, that limits on the numbers of issued green cards would effectively disappear.

Earnest-faced conservatives, terrified that they might feel racist, are always saying that they don’t mind legal immigrants, but they strongly oppose the illegal variety.  But how does an invasion that the government sanctions bring different results than an invasion that happens illegally?  Our country is still transformed, our local cultures drowned out.

And why must the West uniquely absorb the excess populations of other nations?  In doing so, Western nations seem to say that they possess no national or cultural heritage that is worth maintaining.  Our globalist leaders would suggest that our economies, our laws, and government benefits matter the most in a country.

But our nations at one time understood that we were a collection of people who shared a common history, language, ethnicity, and culture.  Minorities were tolerated to various degrees, but they were not allowed to disrupt the nation that surrounded them.  People once considered nationhood as something to cherish and uphold, and, if necessary, to defend.  Virtually no one questioned such an obvious commitment.

What changed?

Since the 1950’s and especially the 60’s, Western nations, ashamed of their recent legacies of colonial exploitation and white supremacy, embraced a suicidal policy of immigration from other countries, particularly from non-European countries.  It wasn’t ‘nice’ to deny the benefits of one’s country to others, especially when one’s country had shamelessly exploited the people who clamored to move in.  Whites forced themselves to believe that anyone from anywhere could assimilate into their countries, that Turks could become good, orderly Germans, that Moroccans would transform themselves into fine, upstanding French snobs.  Mexicans, we are assured, want to become law-abiding, English-speaking US citizens.  Somehow the reality has failed to meet these utopian ideals.

Rather than assimilate, the non-European migrants have created large pockets of restless, unemployed, resentful populations that are reproducing faster than the secularized, egalitarianized natives.

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Europeans are starting to figure out that mass immigration isn’t working.

In Europe, mostly Muslim immigrants possess little respect for the societal nihilism that surrounds them, and they wish to impose their own unyielding society on the natives.

In the United States, immigrants more simply want to work and send money home, or take advantage of the welfare system.  Few of them have any real loyalty to the United States, even fewer value our traditions of individual liberty and Christian morality.  (And why should they when so few Americans do?)

Given enough time and enough continued migration, the immigrants will transform their host nations into the types of countries from which they departed—poor, heterogeneous, corrupt, and unstable.

It is interesting that people from non-Western countries have come to understand that it is okay to maintain their cultures and ethnicities as nation-states in their own lands (although these countries often do force their own local minorities to assimilate), but white countries become dangerous and racist when they assert dominance within their own countries.  This dichotomy ironically stems from the worldwide ascendancy of Western culture, a culture that despises its own traditions and history of ethnic dominance.  People in non-Western countries ultimately face, as the West now faces, self-destruction of their own culture, sovereignty, and ethnicity pushed by their own Westernized international elites.

Each nation of people on this earth, however great or small, should be able to maintain its own borders, language, ethnicity, and culture.  Likewise, each nation should respect the borders, language, ethnicity, and culture of other nations.

We in the United States, in order to uphold our own enfeebled nation-state, should resist this newest amnesty.  Regardless of the rhetoric, this bill increases the already perilous threat to our language, ethnicity, and culture.

The awful ‘Gang of Eight’ and the major political parties will pressure everyone to support the bill.  The Democrats will support the expanded voter base, and Rubio and McCain will warn Republican suckers that without the support of Hispanics they will never win another presidency.

romney-cincy

Typical Romney rally in Cincinnati: Not many brown faces in this crowd. “Fend for yourselves!” doesn’t play out among non-White voting blocs.

But these arguments are false: non-white voting blocs do not share elite progressive concerns; they only want government benefits.  And for conservatives, Hispanics will never, as a whole, become ‘good Republicans’; amnesty will only accelerate the decline of American conservatism.

Strong popular opposition to immigration ‘reform’ has derailed such immigration bills in the recent past, and may well do so again.  We shall see if the American people have the will to preserve themselves.

Clusivius

The immigration situation for Western nations outside of Europe isn’t quite so grim as Patulcius suggests.

In general, very limited immigration can benefit a country if it can attract the world’s best and brightest.  The phenomenon of ‘brain drain’ brings such talented people to an advanced country like the United States.  These are people whose skills would be wasted in their own poor countries.

And, outside of Europe, the immigrants are assimilating.  In the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, most immigrants show signs of learning English (or French in Quebec) and their children have absorbed much of the culture.  By the third generation, these immigrants are often culturally indistinguishable from the white natives.  The prognosis in the long term for the assimilation of immigrants in these countries is quite good, despite some of the heated rhetoric.

Admittedly, immigrants are failing to assimilate within parts of the United States, such as southern Florida and regions of the American southwest, and these do pose a threat to the integrity of the country.  But in areas where a single immigrant group doesn’t dominate a large area, the immigrants will gradually adopt the culture of their new countries.

The greatest danger of immigration, particularly in the United States but also in other Western countries, comes from the political disruption that immigrants bring, at least in the short run.  For the most part, immigrants have little respect for individual liberty as a political ideal.  Their own countries use politics as a means to gain support from different factions within their electorate, and immigrant populations (like many native populations) view voting as an exercise in determining the distribution of largesse.

Elites in the United States dislike individual liberty, and they have managed to tilt the electoral balance in their favor by flooding the country with new voters who care nothing for the Constitution, for individual rights, or for self-sufficiency.  Since so many native-born citizens no longer value these freedoms, they will vanish at the national level as immigration continues to accelerate.

I, too, oppose the amnesty bill.


[1] Dann, Carrie. “They’re Off! Immigration Debate Begins on Senate Floor.” NBC News. NBCNews.com, 7 June 2013. Web. 10 June 2013. http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/07/18829022-theyre-off-immigration-debate-begins-on-senate-floor?lite

[2] How difficult can this be for an immigrant without papers?

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