LIONEL PODCAST: You Must Believe in the Illusion of Choice

Deconstructing the illusion of the left-right paradigm. If you understand one thing, this better be it.

“When the business interests … pushed through the first installment of civil service reform in 1883, they expected that they would be able to control both political parties equally,” wrote Professor Carroll Quigley in his book, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. “Indeed, some of them intended to contribute to both and to allow an alternation of the two parties in public office in order to conceal their own influence, inhibit any exhibition of independence of politicians, and allow the electorate to believe that they were exercising their own free choice.”

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers,” he wrote. “Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”

The UK beta-tests everything. Lest you not believe my assertion that the UK is the Petri dish for hyper-surveillance and draconian eavesdropping and monitoring, look no further than this.

Can you hear me now? The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system. Thus is the title of Alexander Abdo and Patrick Toomey’s piece in The Guardian. Remember, what you read about in the Ted Baxter MSM is old, dated and irrelevant. It’s always worse than you think. It’s already beyond horrid. What will you do? What will you say about this?

Another burst of sunlight permeated the National Security Agency’s black box of domestic surveillance last week.

According to the New York Times, the NSA is searching the content of virtually every email that comes into or goes out of the United States without a warrant. To accomplish this astonishing invasion of Americans’ privacy, the NSA reportedly is making a copy of nearly every international email. It then searches that cloned data, keeping all of the emails containing certain keywords and deleting the rest – all in a matter of seconds.

If you emailed a friend, family member or colleague overseas today (or if, from abroad, you emailed someone in the US), chances are that the NSA made a copy of that email and searched it for suspicious information.

The NSA appears to believe this general monitoring of our electronic communications is justified because the entire process takes, in one official’s words, “a small number of seconds”. Translation: the NSA thinks it can intercept and then read Americans’ emails so long as the intrusion is swift, efficient and silent.

That is not how the fourth amendment works.

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