Okay, I'm still skeptical. Microsoft was facing a showdown with the EU and it seems they capitulated since they have this plus the Prism scandal to deal with. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seemed that everything they were trying for was derailed since the EU planned to have a few discussions with banning the Xbone due to the restrictions in play.
Try being a fan of Mother or other games that are highly sought after...
I wouldn't turn in my games if I knew how good they were. And the fact that there is no way to rent anymore besides Gamefly cements in my mind that publishers are losing opportunities to impress me by not opening new markets for themselves.
Do not make the mistake of comparing this time with that.
Ok... But let's do the exact opposite and see if there are parallels.
Germany was in the grip of a devastating depression, with civil anarchy as a theme.
How is that different from the US being gripped with punishing austerity in their sixth year while we give more money to the rich and leave the scraps for the rest of the nation?
There were no good leaders, no cohesive groups or mindset.
Communists were banned from influencing the government and their exclusion lead to extreme conservatism by the libertarians of the time. I try to keep partisanry out of the example, but it still explains the basic gist of corporatism that is currently going on in our country today.
The reparations the country made to the Allies were crippling the economy to the point of utter exhaustion.
No question. But look at our economy sputtering along when the rich could be taxed to provide better public services. Look at the demagoguery between liberals and conservatives in keeping a corrupt and unequal system of governance that is exhausting the people itself.
Hitler was 'selected' by the people because they were desperate for a leader who would lead them out of a economic misry so vast that the money would change value in hours.
True. And that's why austerity is so dangerous even in the country now. It makes people desperate to find blame with the weakest people of a nation and works to find scapegoats and con artists in positions of power.
Add to that the substrata of hatred towards one select group as the reason for their misery, and you have a country that was ready to give any man who had their hearts and minds in his speeches.
There are no Gestapo agents busting down doors to find the nearest Jew to put into concentration camps.
Try being black and having law enforcement break down your door with no-knock warrants. We have more people killed by police officers every day than were ever killed by terrorism.
There are no detention centers for intellectuals.
Aaron Schwartz' prosecution says otherwise. We don't detain the financially wealthy. We detain and subject everyone else to harsher fates for doing nothing other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The NSA does have too much power, and true, it has been used recklessly and without checks on it.
And all I've done is show the history of the 30s, which others have not learned. I stand by the view that if we move further to extreme conservatism, we will see fascism arise in the US. And that will be the utter end of the democratic experiment that began in 1776. Personally, I believe that there can be a new democratic experiment. It just means that our institutions will have to be changed considerably to allow more democracy than what the Founders ever intended. No electoral college. No 3/5th Compromise. No loss of votes for all American citizens.
But to pander to the view that we're going to turn into Nazi Germany because of it is sheer utter intellectual posturing and false straw man argument.
Nope. Just as we can learn about history to prevent it, so too can we learn to avoid the mistakes of even Germany and its bout with fascism. I stand firm that this was created to show how our history has progressed for the past 40 years. Maybe you don't agree. But with parallels in how we treat minority groups, it's time to recognize that we are dangerously close to the brink of our own destruction and that's difficult to accept but a desperate conversation needed right now.
February 27, 1933. That was the rise of Hitler. Democracy died that day in Germany. Those in charge received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed.
You see, the people were distracted by their unelected "leader", a man who was chosen for the position by the elites. He wasn't supposed to be there. Many citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. But he knew... They'd all be punished in the end. They dismissed him as a simpleton. He had simple, inflammatory rhetoric and knew how to have passionate speeches. But even his younger days in the occult didn't stop his rise to power. For this gentleman knew...
He knew the terrorist was going to strike (just not where or when). So when an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified that it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.
That fire was used not to declare war on a nation but a tactic: terrorism. This terrorism had to have originated with a group of people of Middle Eastern origin who rationalized their acts using religion.
Two weeks later, suspected allies were held in prison and patriotism erupted everywhere with the leader's flag. Within four weeks of the attack, the nations leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of fighting terrorism and the philosophy that spawned it - which suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Now police could intercept mail and wiretap phones; terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and no access to lawyers. Police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.
And people went along because he promised sunset provisions.
But the people got gradual increases in state sponsored terrorism. More people began to be arrested for suspicious acts. Pretty soon, the nation was referred to as "the homeland" in 1934. The beginning of an us-vs-them mentality pursued.
Then the push for more military war powers began. His argument? "Any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He withdrew his country form the League of Nations in October 1933 and negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden in the United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.
To get the evangelicals of his country he proclaimed a need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation with his "New Christianity". Every man in the growing army wore a belt buckle that declared Gott mit uns - God is with us- and most of them fervently believed it was true.
Within a year of the attack, the nation's leader began to coordinate various local police and federal agencies around the nation around Middle Eastern terrorism. What would eventually occur is that this national agency that was mandated to protect the security of the homeland, dealt with the press and had them at their disposal. They asked people to phone in suspicious neighbors.
And yet, that program began to grab opposition politicians and celebrities who dared speak out. Then the thirst for more power began... He reached out to industry and forged an alliance with them by bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. Government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against terrorists in the homeland and to prepare for wars overseas. Powerful alliances with industries culminated into one of the first large-scale detention centers for enemies of the state.
And yet, voices began to dissent.
Students started an active program against him called the White Rose Society and leaders of neary nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric.
So he created a diversion to get away from the crony capitalism he'd implemented, the questions of his illegitimate rise to power, and the civil libertarians who voiced concerns about the people being held in detentions without due process or access to attorneys or family.
And so, Adolf Hitler began his grandstanding for war. He claimed the right to strike preemptively in self defense. Months of lobbying and international debate ensued and he was allowed to annex Austria. To deal with the damage, Hitler and his "friends" in the radio began a campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation itself. If you questioned him, you were labeled unpatriotic, "anti-German," or "not a good German" while you were aiding the enemies of the state by failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men in uniform. It was the most effective ways to stifle dissent and pit wage earning people against the intellectuals and liberals critical of his policy.
And so to divert attention away from his policies, he focused the nation on war. There was violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders and the epidemic of crony capitalism was producing empires of wealth in the corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told his people that giving in to this leader's new first-strike doctrine for a second time would bring "peace for our time".
A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. Germany was fully at war and all internal dissent suppressed in the name of national security.
By the way... The office for the security of the homeland? That was the schutzstaffel. We know it in the US as the SS.
The US has been going down the same fascist path as other nations with the very same results... We created an aristocracy with Reagan, fought wars while eliminating public services under both Bushes, attacked our poor with crippling poverty under Clinton and Obama, while turning our democracy into a police state for the past 40 years.
Tread lightly... Our republic cannot stay on this path without dire consequences in the near future.
" Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school."
We need to stop playing the right-vs-left political game and start looking at things from a Constitutional stance.
There isn't really a "right vs left" game here. If you look at the political spectrum, it's neoclassical ideologies battling it out, ie conservatives vs liberals. If we were to actually have left wing politics, you would have communists vs conservatives and that isn't happening.
We must stand together as one people, indivisible, and demand that the government stop violating our rights. No other issue is more pressing than this one.
And there's plenty of ways to do that. In particular, I'm a fan of Constitutional amendments banning the electoral college, instituting proportional representation, and allowing people to form into unions or other businesses that they enjoy.
If we cannot even maintain our liberties, our rights, our privacy, if we allow the government and their goon squads to walk all over us for the sake of 'national security,' we have no right calling ourselves the land of the free, home of the brave
If we understood that political inequality leads to economic inequality, I'm sure that we'd have a much better system than now. Sadly, until more people decide that they've had enough austerity, this problem will continue.
I think a better idea might be to focus on the people they protect. If you focus on the government, it leads to private actors to repeat the process. That was the point I wanted to make. Any focus on the government should also focus on the private actors that they're protecting or we'll see a repeat of this and that's what I want to avoid.
If the reporting on this is true, then I'm not going to blame the government.
Okay, put down your pitchforks and let me explain...
I've always ran on the idea that people respond to incentives. While I accept that the government did want more power, there's a second story at play here...
Who is the government trying to protect? As far as I can gather, with the HBGary leak, the Manning leaks, and now the Prism leaks, there's a recurring theme...
I have to put my money on the contractors and the competition to Wikileaks wanting to erase anyone that opposes them. Our government already outsources 70% of their contracts to Booz Allen, Halliburton, and other private information contractors.
So how is it any wonder that the government shares interests with the people it protects?
We lost our democratic republic and the government works for the highest bidder. And the bidders are the Stratfors, and other defense contractors that milk taxpayer dollars for their own salaries and are unscrupulous when it comes to using the government to do their bidding.
I mean hell, the corruption laundering has been going on for so long that we have corporate interests in how people enjoy the arts as well as what information is public.
Is it really that much of a stretch to think that our government is not what the people wanted but what the people in high positions of power want?
One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
And, on top of that, people are pointing out that if Snowden could walk out with that much supposedly secret information, you have to wonder who else has done so as well, perhaps with much more nefarious intent, such as selling the information to a foreign power or group. Conor Friedersdorf points out that having the NSA collect so much data makes it a key target for the Chinese:
Didn't we learn from the Stratfor emails that we're already selling American secrets to others?
We sold secrets to Turkey and other countries based on what Stratfor did for money. So you mean to tell me that we should worry about the Chinese?
I think we should worry more about the profit motive in America.
"It teaches practically everyone in the world—sources, liaison services—that America can’t keep secrets."
There's a few contexts that need to be made here. Michael Hayden represents the richest people in the world. The CIA has long been used to depose democracy for the proliferation of American corporations. The NSA has worked to protect the richest members of society. So when he's talking about America, he's specifically talking about a small cabal of people that have what I should term a "shadow democracy". It's not a democracy where the public is served, it's one that only goes to the people with the most money to buy it. Most would call it crony capitalism, but there's plenty of synonymous words for it.
Now let's put out there that American corporations have a lot of influence in the government. We're criticizing a government that isn't put there to protect the American public. We should be asking who it is protecting and why has it decided to do so in an undemocratic manner.
No one that I know of would want the government spying on them. No one seriously thinks that the government should be able to snoop on everyone. Sure, we can use the buzzword of terrorist, just as Communist was the big one in the 50s and 60s or Reds in the 30s. But spying on ALL citizens in a large vacuum? Secret courts? Secret documents saying a person is guilty? No ability to defend oneself from unjust prosecution?
Kafkaesque courts that deprive you of your life and liberties with vague guidelines?
This is not how to run a society. We have a military-industrial-Congresso-complex that harms the rights of its citizens and forces through laws which protect certain Americans. Congress passes the laws, the military and CIA execute them, and the president signs off on them. That isn't a democracy. It's a dictatorship.
I find it stunning that this is one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on. This was dangerous to America. How? It's like everyone just totally forgot that the public they represent wouldn't want these impeachments on the Constitution.
And people are letting them do it. There's a lot to be lost if this continues. People's freedoms and liberties should be far more important than false securities of people in very high positions of power.
To me it seems USA is setting the standards of paranoia extremely high after 9/11 2001.
That was the catalyst. This entire issue of overwrought security has been in place since Truman. Nixon helped create the events that have given us a secretive government which looks out for itself instead of the people.
This is essentially 40 years of people being trained in secrecy, media manipulation, and backroom dealing that makes WWI look quaint.
If he did, he wouldn't be able to give the warnings that he did. Which is worse, to know how this program began and get these people on the record, or to be on the outside looking in while they do this without explicit knowledge?
Why do we set up an inherently undemocratic system of governance that we believe will actually work?
We have corporations that are managed by middlemen who make short term profit with long term costs. The workers have no say in just such a system.
That's liberalism in a nutshell. What we've done is go right back to the 1920s where a private market has been said to work best without the government, the rich can rule the country, and nothing can be done for the public.
And we've watched that argument explode in the face of every right wing person for the past 30 years as the public has suffered for it. Lobbyists and lawyers control Congress over the demands of the people, gerrymandering has effectively taken away the voice of minorities in America, and our politicians fight each other while protecting the rich and powerful.
But the debt really isn't a problem because Obama is indeed paying it down. Our deficit is also going down.
The rights and liberties we cherish in a democratic republic? That's what's going down. Screw the 2nd Amendment. I want my 4th and 5th Amendment rights. I want my 14th Amendment rights. I want the right to speak without being incriminated like Aaron Schwartz. I want the right to protest a war without being labeled a terrorist. I want the right to argue with someone who I might not agree with politically so that we can find the flaws of our position and improve our nation.
But what I don't want is to believe that our government can't be brought to heel. I refuse to believe that our democracy is so far gone that we can never attain it.
So the problem has a solution. Force Congress to listen to the people instead of the money that's already in politics. Force our corporations to be changed to something far more beneficial. We tried reforms to the system. It's time for some new ideas. We can try minimal income projects similar to Social Security. That seems to have worked for the past 75 years. Other projects I can think of are co-ops where the workers decide what they produce, where they produce and how they produce. Obviously, this creates new challenges than just raising taxes and watching the same movie play out a little faster than when it occurred in 1932.