Hitler Found in Mountain View, California

08/05/2013 09:00

by Erika Nolan and Jeff Opdyke

Is it stupidity, or are voters electing brain-damaged politicians?

Those are the only two explanations for recent actions on the city side of Washington, D.C. There, council members are picking a fight with Wal-Mart. In their wisdom – i.e. unconscionable stupidity – the council has passed the Large Retailer Accountability Act that requires Wal-Mart, and pretty much Wal-Mart alone, to pay a minimum of $12.50 an hour to its workers, 52% higher than any other retailer in D.C. must pay, including Wal-Mart’s big-box competitors. Numbingly stupid as that is, that’s actually not the really stupid part. It’s this: D.C. council member and bill supporter Vincent Orange told a retail trade-association magazine that: “We’re at a point where we don’t need retailers. Retailers need us.” That type of ignorance has to be the result of brain damage – or economic Tourette’s Syndrome. D.C.’s unemployment rate at 8.6% is one of the highest in the nation. One in every five Washingtonians lives below the poverty line. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart’s net profit – a record $17.8 billion for fiscal 2013 – is almost exactly double D.C.’s city budget, and the retailer aims to bring six stores and 1,800 jobs to the city. Fairly obvious to me, then, is that D.C. needs Wal-Mart far more than Wal-Mart, with 11,000 stores, needs six more piddly outlets.

And Wal-Mart knows this. Instead of kowtowing to politicians with the business acumen of a potted geranium, Wal-Mart is threatening to bolt, leaving 1,800 locals without jobs. D.C. will not see tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue. And one developer who is spending $200 million on D.C.’s most-eagerly awaited redevelopment project – anchored by a Wal-Mart – says that without the retailer, the desperately needed revitalization project is dead. Good job, Mr. Vincent. I guess you’re right – D.C. doesn’t need Wal-Mart as much as Wal-Mart needs D.C.

This is the thing about politicians, especially those on the far left. They so don’t understand capitalism and the free markets that they cannot grasp the reality that for-profit businesses have done far more for the poor than government ever has. Wal-Mart wants to be bring jobs, income opportunities and low-cost retail options to areas of D.C. that desperately need them … and politicians can’t understand that their meddling always creates unintended and generally negative consequences, and that those consequences almost always hurt the poor. Government in America, at all levels, simply cannot get out of the way of itself. It’s one of the biggest weights holding the country back on social, educational and economic levels … and it won’t change until voter mentality changes.

Hitler would be proud

Ever-more damning information continues to come out about just how much of our personal information the NSA is tracking on all of us – and it’s a ton. Pretty much your entire online existence. I sit here in perpetual dismay, wondering why we’ve heard such little outcry, given how deeply the government is invading our lives.

When Snowden announced that from his desk he could wiretap anyone with an email address, U.S. officials angrily and actively denied it. But now we learn that XKeyscore, the NSA’s internal program, is capable of reading emails and private messages, tracking every website search each of us conducts, looking at our address books to see who we know and who we chat with – and the content of those chats. Now, I know there’s a large swell of people who believe we should be tracking “persons of interest” who might pose a security threat. I ask those people this: When do we all become “persons of interest,” based on the random whim of a government minion or a computer algorithm that sees we’ve searched for a new “pressure cooker” and a “backpack” (the ingredients of the Boston bombing) within minutes or even days? What happens when the government wants to follow people who vote libertarian? Or have spoken out about GMO foods? Or donate to a foreign charity?

And they aren’t just tracking us person by person. They are also tracking the IP addresses of every person who visits any website that they have interest in. Hitler would be proud. The NSA has taken a page right out of the Nazi regime, where spying and secret data-collection was rampant.

Just how the information the NSA gathers is put to use was exposed by a freelance journalist in Long Island. She claims she received a visit from six agents on a joint terrorism task force on Wednesday morning, related to old web searches for … a backpack for her husband and a pressure cooker for her kitchen. What struck me was her claim that the agents mentioned they do this about 100 times each week. Random checks of homes? Based on internet surveillance? One hundred times each week? Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

Everyone in America today should spend time Googling “gasoline, nails, backpacks, pressure cookers, fertilizer,and propane.” Maybe throw “Al Qaeda” in there to grab some headline attention. If the government is going to spy on every American, well, then, let’s make them truly spy on every American. Let’s see what happens when we all ask to be watched.

But, it’s not just the NSA

Google, Facebook and many other household names knew the NSA searches were happening and they said nothing. They did nothing. Actually, they did worse than nothing … they were complicit! Honestly, I fear Google. If you recall, the Mountain View, California Search Engine from Hell declared in its IPO documents – and its stated corporate motto is – “don’t be evil.” Ha! Google is a master at control and manipulation. In the newest chapter of “Google Plays God,” the company’s engineers have created an algorithm to decide how your Gmail should be sorted. Apparently, those of us with a mouse in our hand do not have the mental acuity to decide what mail we wish to read and what we wish to skip. Google, in unburdening us from that pesky freedom-of-choice conundrum, will undoubtedly say it’s being benevolent by "helping" users sort through email more efficiently.

Instead, Google is making decisions for you on what you see and what’s hidden or labeled as trash or spam – even when the email is something you have paid to receive, like your subscription from The Sovereign Society. So, if you’re a Gmail user, beware. There’s a very good chance the information we send you – maybe even this issue of Sovereign Digest – will end up shelved in the promotional inbox, even though you are an active subscriber. To prevent that from happening over and over, please read the information in this link. It will help you establish Google settings that prevent the Evil Search Beast from trashing emails you actually do want to read.

Or, better yet: Everyone in America with a Gmail account should find a new email provider – one that leaves personal decisions to the email-account owner. If anyone is using a free email provider that you can recommend, please let me know. I’ll happily share all suggestions next week.