Closing Thought–03Apr18

Since the news broke about the insecurity of Facebook the conversation about the people’s privacy is once again newsworthy…..

Well I am here to keep you abreast of the government’s attempts to invade our privacy….ever hear of the CLOUD Act?

No?  Then maybe you should stop skimming the post and read it for real…..

While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

Our internet privacy has been under attack for well over a year now….we had better pay attention or lose out completely.


The Art Of The Big Lie

For about two years now we have been dealing with what is fondly termed as “Fake News”….in reality it has been around for centuries and in the past it was called propaganda….but today “Fake News” is used instead for it plays better in the political climate that has festered in the near present…..

Since I do a lot of research I am always finding reports/articles on what we are calling “Fake News” and since it is such a dominant subject these days I try to share these articles with my readers…..and as you would think I ran across another one…..

We live, we’re told, in a post-truth era. The internet has hyped up postmodern relativism, and created a kind of gullible cynicism – “nothing is true, and who cares anyway?” But the thing that exploits this mindset is what the Russians call dezinformatsiya. Disinformation – strategic deceit – isn’t new, of course. It has played a part in the battle that has raged between mass democracy and its enemies since at least the First World War.

Letting ordinary people pick governments depends on shared trust in information, and this is vulnerable to attack – not just by politicians who want to manipulate democracy, but by those on the extremes who want to destroy it. In 1924, the first Labour government faced an election. With four days to go, the Daily Mail published a secret letter in which the leading Bolshevik Grigory Zinoviev heralded the government’s treaties with the Soviets as a way to help recruit British workers for Leninism. Labour’s vote actually went up, but the Liberal share collapsed, and the Conservatives returned to power.

This also helps me to teach my readers a little history that they would otherwise not be exposed to in their normal day to day lives.

So I have but one thing left to say……Class Dismissed!

Liberal World Order, R.I.P.

I know that there are some out there that do not appreciate the word “Liberal”…..they see it as some sort of political illness from which no one recovers.

For about 70 years the US has been the leader of what is known  as “the Liberal World Order”…..but recently that leadership has begun to wane…

Richard Haass has written about the death……..

After a run of nearly one thousand years, quipped the French philosopher and writer Voltaire, the fading Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Today, some two and a half centuries later, the problem, to paraphrase Voltaire, is that the fading liberal world order is neither liberal nor worldwide nor orderly.

The United States, working closely with the United Kingdom and others, established the liberal world order in the wake of World War II. The goal was to ensure that the conditions that had led to two world wars in 30 years would never again arise.

To that end, the democratic countries set out to create an international system that was liberal in the sense that it was to be based on the rule of law and respect for countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. Human rights were to be protected. All this was to be applied to the entire planet; at the same time, participation was open to all and voluntary. Institutions were built to promote peace (the United Nations), economic development (the World Bank) and trade and investment (the International Monetary Fund and what years later became the World Trade Organization).–haass-2018-03

I was hoping that Trump had been telling me the truth about his foreign policy stands….but like most everything else he has lied and lied….

If he keeps up his charade as a world leader then this country will lose all standing in the world….Trump needs to back off the rhetoric and take a crash course in diplomacy.

Not damn likely!

Causes Of War: A Theory Analysis

After my tours of duty in the day’s war zones I went to university to study International Relations and Conflict Management….the studies were tough and thanx to the GI Bill they were almost totally paid for so I was fortunate to not be saddled with student debt.

War is a fascinating subject to study that is if you have the mind for it….if not then some will find it tedious and manufacturing headaches.  Personally, I found it anything but tedious so much so that I went on to grad school…..

Ever since my graduation I have worked to help people understand war… that has been a chore to say the least for most people could care less these days….war means nothing when your head is buried in social media…..

Enough of my remembrances…..below is a paper that analyzes the causes of war by Kyle Amonson……

War and conflict has been as much a constant in human history as humans. As Kenneth Waltz states, “there is no peace in a condition of anarchy,” and there will always be a form of anarchy as long as human nature is a variable in our complex domestic and international systems. Many scholars have analyzed the causes of war on a state-by-state-basis, other writers believe that it is possible to provide a wider, more generalized explanation (Baylis et al, 2017, pg. 239).  Additionally, many well-known international relations theorists have applied forms of theoretical framework to understand how and why we create friction in our societies, focusing on a variety of aspects, from international institutions to gender. For neorealist writers such as John Mearsheimer, international politics is not characterized by these constant wars, but nevertheless a relentless security competition, as we will discuss in this essay.

There are many immediate contributing factors of war, and this essay will discuss them, but it will initially focus on the generalized explanation of human nature in the pursuit of security as the primary cause of war. This essay will define war in the international and historical sense, then analyze human nature’s role in conflict, followed by human nature’s projection on the nation state and finally conclude with the most frequent manifestations of conflict and conclusion.

I just would like for people to try and understand war and its many aspects……yes, I am an anti-war geek and try to help people see why there needs to be an end to the conflicts that do so much damage to regions, people and ideas.

States engage in war to satisfy their human need for safety and security. This allows states to establish stable societies where they can live in status quo with their ideology, religion and culture of choice. The human aspect of society directly reflects in the state and the decisions that state makes.