Cyberization-McDonaldsization-Walmartization-Amazonization Version 3.0

Cute, really, calling it, Surveillance Valley,  that abomination of elitist, mostly Zionist, and certainly white male-dominated reverse Darwinism IT bootcamp, where the most hostile sub-species exists to shred all human agency. These are Ivy League/Stanford/Georgia Tech types, very strange, indeed, humans who are possessed of the most puerile of spirit, the most usury, psychologically defective, narcissistic, Oedipal hearts on earth, and they just keep that lie going. Silicon Valley my ass!

As if this drone-loving, Fidel-exploding cigar-loving, misfit, racist, bio-hazard, NSA, CIA, DARPA, DoD is somehow more dangerous than Google, Yahoo, Amazon, the entire Brave New World of Media. Really, we fear those drones run by SWAT Team USA, when, we have GOOGLE?

I know Edward Snowden recently weighed in on that, saying he isn’t so concerned about the private sector having our stuff versus the US government having cyber-spooked us into puddles of panicked people, but a fascist mine owner or defense industry CEO or GMO monopoly, they suck the last drops of humanity from any potential whistle-blower in private industry with their psychological traps, and economic whips. Well, we’ll cut him some slack – bad nights in Moscow? Yasha Levine:

“Twitter doesn’t put warheads on foreheads,” Snowden joked.

Snowden’s position is perfectly in keeping with the anti-government, pro-corporate politics we’ve seen growing up around his leaks. Unfortunately his position is also wrong — plainly and dangerously wrong.

Snowden can joke about Twitter all he wants — and it’s clear he was going for laughs over facts by choosing Twitter as his example of a private Silicon Valley company rather than citing, say, Peter Thiel’s Palantir, which we know produces software that assists US forces in the targeting of insurgents (disclosure: Thiel is an investor in Pando, through Founders Fund).

The fact is that, even setting aside powerful private defense contractors — like the one Snowden worked for before he defected to Russia — plenty of plain ol’ tech companies do have to power to take away “life and freedom.”  I’m talking about the biggest Surveillance Valley megacorps that are known to willingly — and at times proactively and voluntarily — turn over intel on users that gets people put away behind bars, and sometimes beaten and tortured.

For the clearest examples of that behavior, look no further than eBay and Yahoo.

A few weeks ago, my Pando colleague Mark Ames reported that eBay — the company founded and chaired by Pierre Omidyar, the patron saint of Edward Snowden’s NSA secrets — runs its own global private spook army, which routinely hands over user data to law enforcement on a “silver platter.” And much of the time, the people eBay turns over to the cops haven’t even been accused of a crime.

Here’s how Ames describe’s eBay’s policing and detention efforts:

“[eBay] not only complies with requests from government agencies for user data but proudly boasts of doing so proactively, often without formal warrants or subpoenas.

From its earliest days, eBay has operated a vast trans-national private police force which has overseen thousands of arrests and convictions around the globe, has trained countless thousands of law enforcement officials in the US and abroad, and cooperates with police and intelligence agencies on every inhabitable continent.

Last year, eBay’s longtime Chief Internet Security Officer, David Culliname, told an audience of top private security executives that eBay’s global security operations led to the arrests of 3,000 people around the world over a period of three years — or roughly three people arrested per day, thanks to eBay’s work.

…eBay works closely with a variety of federal agencies, including the FBI, Homeland Security, and the DEA. In 2007, eBay spokesperson Nichola Sharpe told the AP, ‘We’ve been working with the Drug Enforcement Agency as far back as 2006. People buy items that are completely harmless — law enforcement can look at that and see it’s suspicious.’

According to a DEA agent from the Rocky Mountain Field division, Mike Tuner, working with eBay offered certain legal advantages. To search a person’s home, the DEA would need a court-ordered subpoena or warrant, but to search the suspect’s business information and behavior on eBay, the DEA only required an administrative subpoena, which eBay ensured would be easy to obtain.”

Look at this piece of human disease, Google Glass Guy: “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about. Your digital identity will live forever… because there’s no delete button.” —Eric Schmidt. Google creep numero uno.

There is absolutely no stopping the shifting values, the slippery slope baselines, and the complete acceptance of zero privacy, zero rights, zero creativity. Walmartization of everything … make that McDonaldsization of everything. Super-Size Us, and, well, tax-fine-levy-fee-interest rate us into generational hell.

These IT and cyber punks are assisted by the entire project of exploitative, rip-off, unfair and unbridled greed that is the USA-Transnational Corporation. Think about what WE the rat-mouse-cockroach consumer get from our hand over fist to the millionth power dumping of money into the corporate system: forced arbitration, that is, if we are screwed by our bank, our cell phone carrier, our computer, our drug company, what have you, well, we have signed away our constitutional and we the people for us and by us legislative and legal rights to take the bums to court.

How does this all happen? Really, how? Dying education, Bozo the Clown journalism, elites entertaining themselves into the millionaires’ club and devolving us into captured death.

Amazing to see the attacks on Mike Whitney over at Alternet:

January 3, 2014   Millions of older Americans say they will never be able to retire. They simply don’t have the savings. According to CNN, “Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings…50% have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all….” (“ 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck“, CNN Money)

“No savings at all”?

That’s right. So retirement is out of the question. A sizable chunk of the adult population is going to punch a clock until they keel-over in the office parking lot and get hauled off in the company dumpster. And those are the lucky ones, the so called baby boomers. By the time we get to the millennials it’ll be even worse because the economy will have been ravaged by 25 or 30 years of austerity leaving the proles to scrape by on hardtack and gruel. Pensions are already being looted, Social Security is under fire, and any small stipend that supports the poor, the unemployed, or the infirm is going to be terminated. That’s why everyone is so down-in-the-mouth, because their expectations of the future are so bleak. Check this out from Business Insider:

“For millennials, the situation is even more grim. Compared to their parents at their age, the under-30 set is worth only half as much. And while this is a sobering reminder of the scale of the Great Recession’s impact on younger generations, it’s not the whole story. These households were actually falling behind even before the stock market and housing crash, researchers found.

Basically, those finely tuned educated Americans commenting, vary in their disgust of us, the workers who have worked our asses off slopping, teaching, doing, banging, hammering, anything we have done to try and work and live. We are to be condemned because we can’t get jobs, or we never started up a great little business to nowhere with no value to humankind, or that we got over our heads with family, debt, educational usury. Blame us for not saving money, for spending it on lattes, what have you.

The breadth of this stupidity is what one can expect when one has zero concept of what a country based on shock doctrine and economic zones of sacrifice does to individuals …. Or a country that sucks on the crack pipe of  exponential growth in population, output, what have you, how this dominant force kills us … a force of governmental and corporate collusion that makes the rich are heroes and the working class the scum. A society where the hidden and not-so-hidden (but blatantly erased from critical thinking by the majority and vanguard in this society) external costs (externalities) of those captains of industry and scions and exceptional hucksters are never-ever explored. GDP my ass. Nothing about steady state economics and a Genuine Progress Index? This is what CAPITALISM breeds, and American exceptionalism, and what Manifest Destiny wrapped up in Judea-Christian hate, greed, usury, all of that,  has brought to this society.

A good friend, says: “Somehow, we have come to think the whole purpose of the economy is to grow, yet growth is not a goal or purpose. The pursuit of endless growth is suicidal.” ~ David Suzuki

Steady State Economics (err, ecological consciousness)

Around the same time that Georgescu-Roegen published The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, other economists, most notably E. F. Schumacher and Kenneth Boulding, were writing about the environmental effects of economic growth and suggesting alternative models to the neoclassical growth paradigm. Schumacher proposed “Buddhist Economics” in an essay of the same name, included in his book Small Is Beautiful. Schumacher’s economic model is grounded in sufficiency of consumption, opportunities for people to participate in useful and fulfilling work, and vibrant community life marked by  peace and cooperative endeavors. Boulding used the spaceship as a metaphor for the planet in his prominent essay, The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth. He recognized the material and energy constraints of the economy and proposed a shift from the expansionist “cowboy economy” to the conservative “spaceman economy.” In the cowboy economy, success is gauged by the quantity and speed of production and consumption. In the spaceman economy, by contrast, “what we are primarily concerned with is stock maintenance, and any technological change which results in the maintenance of a given total stock with a lessened throughput (that is, less production and consumption) is clearly a gain.”

DalyGeorgescu-Roegen’s student, Herman Daly, built upon his mentor’s work and combined limits-to-growth arguments, theories of welfare economics, ecological principles, and the philosophy of sustainable development into a model he called steady state economics. He later joined forces with Robert Costanza, AnnMari Jansson, Joan Martinez-Alier, and others to develop the field of ecological economics. In 1990, these prominent professors established the International Society of Ecological Economics. The three founding positions of the society and the field of ecological economics are:

1.       The human economy is embedded in nature, and economic processes are actually biological, physical, and chemical processes and transformations.

2.       Ecological economics is a meeting place for researchers committed to environmental issues.

3.       Ecological economics requires trans-disciplinary work to describe economic processes in relation to physical reality.

Unfortunately, this discourse, this huge overlay of analytical skills and reasoning is no longer part and parcel part of the average American’s mindset or working memory or intellect. When you become colonized by junk, consumerism, wage classism and corporate fascism, you cannot think outside some very limited and limiting sets of lines. The lines are the barriers to a just economy-ecology-engine of fairness.

This drone mindset is the absolute predicted result of a society raised on illegal wars, torture, the economic blood-sucking of the war profiteers, those who are most obvious, and then all the minions and offshoots that make money on pain, murder, explosions, chemicals, and, yes, the paper pushers and cyber mules, packing the lies of a nation in some triple helix of insanity. Pando (dot) com.

Yep, the ACLU. The civil liberties advocacy group might be at the forefront of the fight to limit and regulate domestic drone use by the government…. but as far Amazon’s private sector drones are concerned? Well, let’s not get too hasty.

In a statement issued a day after Amazon announced its drone program, ACLU vaguely referred to the need for some kind of “solid drone privacy protections” but ultimately said it trusted — or rather, “hoped” — that the company would do the right thing:

 “We presume that Amazon is interested in delivery, not surveillance … Let’s hope that the company will see clearly that the fate of this technology is inextricably tied to the privacy questions that surround it, and help us push to lay those questions to rest.”

And it worked. Google, the largest private data collection company in the U.S., was allowed to deploy a fleet of cars equipped with battery of sophisticated surveillance equipment without oversight or regulation of any kind.

Well, we know how that turned out.

After a series of investigations in the U.S. and Europe, we learned that Google had been engaging in a covert — and certainly illegal — espionage operation on a global scale, siphoning loads of personally identifiable data from people’s Wi-Fi connections all across the world. Emails, medical records, love notes, passwords, the whole works — anything that wasn’t encrypted was fair game. It was all part of the original program design: Google had equipped its Street View cars with surveillance gear designed to intercept and vacuum up all the wireless network communication data that crossed their path.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a tech privacy advocacy group that single-handedly investigated Google Street View violations, describes Google’s mass surveillance operation this way:

Using hidden Internet receivers Google “Street View” vehicles also collected a vast amount of data from users of private Wi-Fi networks in homes and businesses. Google collected MAC addresses (the unique device ID for Wi-Fi hotspots), network SSIDs (the user-assigned network ID name) tied to location information for private wireless networks, and Wi-Fi “payload” data, which included emails, passwords, usernames and website URLs.

Privacy and law enforcement agencies around the world investigated Google’s conduct. Data protection authorities in France, South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Spain found that Google’s Wi-Fi interception violated applicable data protection laws. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada determined that Google violated Canadian data protection law by secretly intercepting “full names, telephone numbers, and addresses of many Canadians … complete email messages, along with email headers, IP addresses, machine hostnames, and the contents of cookies, instant messages and chat sessions.”

So, I plod off to work Monday, teaching, again, at the college level, this time back at a community college. What do I say to those students? What can they ask if they don’t have the gumption, the agency, the training, the learning, the critical thinking skills to ask the right questions, when, in fact, nothing much about invasion of privacy, surveillance, the upending of human cooperation and community strikes most youth, now, odd.

Why should it? Real revolutionary voices, real radicals, read thinkers, why we are scoffed at daily in the daily dry gurgle of mass murder media?

I face cyberization of education, more and more people saying,” Well, hey, it’s gotta be better, really, than face to face, this at-home, bedroom slippers, do it at your own pace with the help of a million mouse clicks, thing called distant-remote-telecommuting-on-line learning! Yep, dumb-down America!

Under pressure to turn out more students, more quickly and for less money, and to tie graduates’ skills to workforce needs, higher-education institutions and policy makers have been busy reducing the number of required credits, giving credit for life experience, and cutting some courses, while putting others online.

Now critics are raising the alarm that speeding up college and making it cheaper risks dumbing it down.

“We all want to have more students graduate and graduate in a more timely manner,” says Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors. “The question is, do you do this by lowering your standards?”

Faculty are fighting back. University faculty from all over the country plan to meet in January in New York under the umbrella of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, a national movement that aims to “include the voices of the faculty, staff, students and our communities — not just administrators, politicians, foundations and think tanks — in the process of making change.”

This is where we are at, the so-called fight back – unemployment benefits – insurance for a society – cut, diced, splayed, ready for dissolving; school to prison pipeline spreading; more public schools and public things shuttered by the pigs of capital and moguls of privatizing; more rotten things of meaningless unkindness ending up in the news, on the boob-tube or boob-plasma screen; more apps and IT and junk in our hands; more and more budgets busted by the continual scam of health care, transportation,  rent, gentrification of cities by the 19 percent at the expense of the masses, the majority.

But, really, on all fronts, you can find the death of intelligence, and the DNA of Americans warped into the DNA of white mice engineered to be afraid of their own shadows. Americans are armchair lovers; armchair rich boys and girls; armchair iron chefs; armchair athletes; armchair selfie-gratifying movie makers; armchair humans. Can you see this stuff coming, a man and woman unfurling a banner at a company that deals in dirty energy charged with terrorism? Note there are lawyers involved, and, well, that is the epitome of this society – one army of greasy lawyers up against 50,000 other armies of these emotional zombies. Always the law involved. On any side. They play the game, legal eagle (vultures) for a fee. You think the One Percent and 19 Percent don’t make money off of us, off of the foils and pain they unleash on us as individuals and communities? Really!  The new red (commies) is green:

As the banner unrolled, some glitter fell to the ground. The whole thing was pretty boring, as far as protests like this go, Warner says. Security guards asked them to leave, and they did; Warner had no desire to get arrested, plus Stephenson had to finish her grad-school homework.

“I could have swept it up in two minutes if they gave me a broom,” Warner says. As they were leaving, he apologized to the cleaning lady. She smiled at him and said it’s OK.

Police arrested two other protesters with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance who had locked themselves in the building’s doorway. But what to do with the glitter-fabulous Warner and Stephenson?

More cop cars kept arriving, and they knew something was up. They were detained because the cops said they needed to investigate the substance. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean? The glitter?” Warner says. “You think glitter is a hazardous substance? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

When they got to jail, they found out they were being charged with a “terrorism hoax,” a state felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Their attorney, Doug Parr, has been involved in dozens of protest cases like this one in Oklahoma and Texas. In other arrests, protesters have faced trumped-up charges, but this is a radical escalation.

“I’ve been practicing law since the 1970s. Quite frankly, I’ve been expecting this,” Parr says. “Based upon the historical work I’ve been involved in, I know that when popular movements that confront the power structure start gaining traction, the government ups the tactics they employ in order to disrupt and take down those movements.”

So do you ever have conversations with these money-converts? These aliens who have taken over the world with their One Percent virus and their total awareness lock-down money-changing view of the globe, of, shit, dark matter … anything to harvest, anything to hawk, sell, pop out, invent for their simple lust for games, mind games, the money-financial Art of War 8.0.

Is this story about Street View cars doing the ultimate covert game (illegal? espionage operation?) as part of Google’s 10.0 takeover of all words, facts, financials, personals, anything. Google equals global, and these punks, these Zionists, well, they are after global data. Like a Good Humor army of surveillance trucks, these Art of War lovers are tapping into people’s Wi-Fi connections across all social economic statuses and across all geo-political borders.

We are supposed to be shitting our pants about NSA’s dragnet, when Schmidt is getting, illegally, “emails, medical records, love notes, passwords, the whole works — anything that wasn’t encrypted was fair game.”

 I am trying to flow with this thesis, this long-experience perception and anecdotal and studied proposition that there is a certain class – breeds – of people who are rarefied in their upbringings, maybe even in their DNA codes, but still, these people having these conversations and debates amongst themselves.

A whole lot of people – white, Jewish many are, most from some outer ring around Saturn – they are the vanguard who control the culture, the jobs, the economic outlook, even the opposition, and I have found that I have almost pushed out of my many wombs of intellectual and emotional labor to see that in a very dim light many people who I deal with, who have people like me by the carotid, they are not of my same mind.

I see their narratives, their Hollywood tricks, their financial felonies, their discourses, their academic pontifications, their legal leverages, all the things they control, both the culture and the leftist utterings, unions, hell, so-so much in media and medicine and science, well, in all those bright and vaunted moments, their contributions to humankind are essentially now becoming revulsions for me.

How they stage faux battles or grandiose legal and political wars, or how they control the narrative, the very things that I thought I might have some ability to make powerful changes around – fiction, journalism, education, environmental and social justice. But, alas, they have created kettles, these areas I once found profoundly possible, places where I believed revolutionary and righteous and working class mixed with avant-garde, all of in one large stand against the monopolizers, the One Percent, the fascists ruling government now, education now, the Judicial Branch, media, all five estates, thank you very much. And then I get this in my in-box, from the Oregon NPR/PBS station. Do these people really have blood in their veins, or, is it just  hemolymph?

If you or a family member is losing long-term unemployment benefits, OPB would like to hear from you.

As of December 28, more than 1.3 million Americans are no longer receiving long-term unemployment compensation. The federal program that provides benefits to people who have been out of work for six months or more has now expired.

Are you or a family member among those affected? How does losing unemployment benefits change your situation? Contact Oregon Public Broadcasting (NPR-PBS)  

These people do not care, and I have already dealt with this outfit, several times. Job wise, trying to break in at 56 with more energy and background as a writer-journalist-thinker-creative artists than they could ever imagine, and another time working with these 20 and 30 somethings around stories. There is something rotten with the people in little power circles, who have jobs, who see the world really as “I am so lucky to have my job and my lifestyle, and, well, too bad so much is so bad … but shit, what a chance at a story!”

Hell, I get the same loopy things from rejection letters for jobs I apply for. Dudes in academia who misspell my name, call me Ms. Haeder, have grammatical mistakes in their letters, and say such gut cutting things like – “Oh, sorry for the delay, but we received overwhelming numbers of respondents to the job, and, well, we just were not expecting that, 600 people for one job, one $40 K a year job, with expectations to be Girl/Boy Friday, Media Whiz, Information Wizard, Gopher (go-for it) Class I,II,III, and all the other stuff that might make this a 60 hour a week gig, for, well, $40K … and the number of PhD’s who applied for a job that does not need a college degree …. Ha, in this recovering economy, well, we know how much work you put into applying, sucker.”

One friend’s wife just applied, or tried to put in an application, at the Whole Foods in Portland. The manager laughed, and went on and on how “I have people with master’s degrees and doctorates working here … we have benefits … people wait for years to get a job as a grocery boy/girl. You come to me with what? You want a part-time gig? Ha!”

That’s it now, is it not? This mentality is pervasive, galvanized to a society that is empty, and emptying, living the dream of sacrifice zones here, and our little town doing so well there. But read! Listen. Many-many Americans do not like you, do not respect you, do not want you alive, do not think work is work unless it involves business, moving money, selling something, dealing in hardware and anything that smells of money-money-money. There is no need for public ANYTHING. The private jockeys will save mankind. If Google  or Gates or Bezos or Bloomberg or Pearson has your information, then it’s gotta be good, it’s gotta be right.

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.