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The resolve of the American people

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One test of the resolve of the American public goes back to the people of West Virginia and DuPont. DuPont had knowingly been poisoning the ground and water supply in West Virginia since 1950, giving cancer to tens of thousands of people. Scientists have since found that 99% of humans on the planet are now affected by the chemical PFOA and PFOA-C8, better known as Teflon, the DuPont chemical. Through their factories dumping toxic waste into the nearby farmland, and the chimney releasing airborne toxins made the ground water, rivers and streams toxic waste dumps. The DuPont chemical creates 8 different kinds of cancer. The molecule is not water soluble and does not break down in the human body. Or any organic body for that matter. Local people watched cattle and other animals die en mass. They watched their own teeth turn black. They saw their kidneys and other internal organs rot and fail. The chemical was put into products that traveled throughout the world. Over time, through the massive distribution of Teflon in numberous products like fabrics, carpet, cooking ware DuPont managed to do massive damage to the entire planet, yet received only a slap on the hand with a $670M penalty in 2015, after a lengthy 15 year litigation. Their stock went UP 1% after the ruling. Then, they merged with DOW to become a bigger conglomerate with more money for lobbyists and to line favorable politician’s pockets.

Today, we have Flint, MI, as another test of our resolve. Nothing seems to change. If we have laws that make corporations “people”, we need to make the “people” liable beyond the depths of their pockets. We need to hold CEO’s and Board members responsible for damages done to the broader public on their watch . Whether this damage is health, environmental or economic we must see real justice handed down to real people who make decisions that destroy lives and our planet with “forever chemicals”.

Another kind of poison to our society is the financial industry. There is a handful of financial institutions that own Washington and its politicians. When it came time to evaluate the damage and possible resolutions to the greed and corruption on Wall Street in the 2008 global economic collapse we found the leaders of the top Wall Street banks meeting privately with the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson. The top global economists at the time, who were predicting this collapse, were not invited, despite seeing the demise from the outside looking in after the financial deregulations made by President Clinton in 1994. Now, only those of the very rich, who put the large dollars into the pockets of their politician friends, were asked to feed at the table of greed. Their solution was to ask for a bailout. They seemed to have come up with their own answers to self regulate. They chose to pass the buck to someone else. They chose to have the American people foot the bill of their corruption. The term “too big to fail” became the mantra of the time. The idea of self regulation failed.

The damage that DuPont did was based on the idea of self regulation. When the EPA was formed in 1970 they asked companies to give the new agency a list of poisonous chemicals that should become regulated. Now, it was feesibly impossible to give a list of ALL chemicals to the EPA in order to regulate so there was a caveat in the law. This was that if the chemical companies knew that a chemical was damaging to people or the environment and that chemical was not on the list of chemicals that the EPA was regulating, it was up to the company to then self regulate their actions to the extent the EPA would have regulated those actions should they have known of this chemical. The idea of self regulation failed.

Self regulation fails with the corporate structure since it is the idea that a corporation is designed for profit above all else. Micheal Douglas has a line in the Oscar winning, Oliver Stone film, “Wall Street”, where he says, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” He continues on to make the point that greed is a clean drive that “captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

The upward surge of mankind? History shows that the real measured upward surge of mankind can almost always be traced from its art, philosophy, character and compassion. Would one ask whether the upward surge of mankind could be measured in the actions and atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, Mao or the United States? The greed of power and money has continually shown us that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote from Lord Acton holds true today just as it did in the 1800’s. We can see examples daily throughout the world that anyone can withstand adversity. We can also see that if you want to test a person’s character, give them power. This is the true test of the human condition.

Acton took a great interest in the United States, considering its federal structure the perfect guarantor of individual liberties. During the American civil war, his sympathies were with the defense of state’s rights against a centralized government that he believed would, by what he thought to be all historical precedent, inevitably turn tyrannical.

Today we see emperical evidence of the truth to his fears. Over the past decades we have seen our system of government kow-tow to the highest bidder. This evidence can be traced back much farther in the annals of history, but for the United States it certainly became very entrenched in 1913. This was when the richest American, J.P. Morgan, and many of his wealthy foreign and domestic businessmen took control of the American government through the creation of the Federal Reserve. The Fed, as it is known, is a private bank that was able to stronghold then President Woodrow Wilson into signing over the Constitutional right of the country to print its own money to this private banking cartel of a small group of the richest people on the planet. They still maintain this stronghold to date and go on with their business without any relevant oversight to speak of. They have recently reache a point to which their over the counter lending practices between banks in these past few months has surpassed $3T and no one seems to be talking about it. I have a been: Is the NY Fed’s massive loan program even legal?

Henry Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs prior to becoming the Secretary of the Treasury in 2008. I find there to be a huge conflict of interest in this. Goldman Sachs has become the breeding ground for the heads of the Fed and the Treasury creating a very incestuous type of self governance that has failed the country and the global society. The tyranny that Lord Acton was afraid of became manifest.

The tyrants are the unregulated corporations and wealth barons that feed from the famous line of “greed is good”. Self regulation does not work. This has been shown time and time again.

Stanley Milgram, the famed Yale psychologist, began a study in 1961. This study commenced only three months after the testimony of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal who went on trial for crimes against humanity. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the popular contemporary question: “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” Milgram measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education, to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Participants were led to believe that they were assisting an unrelated experiment, in which they had to administer electric shocks to a “learner.” These fake electric shocks gradually increased to levels that would have been fatal had they been real.

The famed musician Peter Gabriel was first known for his work with the British progressive rock band, Genesis. He went on to create a successful solo career which included his 1986 album titled “So”. On this album was a song called “Milgram’s 37”. In part of the Iyric you will hear, “we do what we’re told, told to do.” this title, the reference to “37” came from the number of subjects who administered the maximum shock in one of the experiments – 37 out of 40 who administered the maximum shock available to give. Self regulation failed.

Milgram’s 37 – by Peter Gabriel

We do what we’re told
We do what we’re told
We do what we’re told
Told to do (2x)

One doubt
One voice
One war
One truth
One dream

Since Milgram the study has been done countless times across the globe to similar results. This study has since shown that nearly 99% of the time a person will follow the directions of the authority figure despite the internal conflict within the follower’s moral character. Therein, the adage that power corrupts.

This study shows us the character of the human specie. We tend to follow orders. We tend to even go against our own perceived moral character in order to do so. Is this due to fear to go against the norm? Or perhaps the desire to rise above our station? Or rather, greed. Therein lies the crux. If we as a society self regulate we fail. Nearly every time. We can quickly fall into the hands of the rich and powerful. When we find ourselves “following orders” and “becoming accomplices” to things we would normally find pause against.

We must as a society rise to the call of the DuPont greed and corruption. We must as a society rise to the call of the failure to prosecute the financial juggernauts that destroyed the economy in 2008. The politicians since have simply become accomplices to the greed and power that lies in its wake.

We must hold politicians and corporate executives accountable. The idea in America that money can buy justice must come to its end.

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I welcome those reading my blog. I appreciate all of the emails I have been receiving. I also appreciate those who have registered and subscribe to this blog. If you have come from Facebook please comment on this site, rather than any Facebook post of this page due to the fact that there are many readers who are not part of Facebook forums, or even Facebook itself. I encourage all readers to put their comments on this site so that all of the information will be accessible to all readers from all parts of the internet. I urge you to join this site and receive the RSS feed, or bookmarking us, sharing us with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this information I urge you to pass on this website address! Share and let’s make some change together!

Thank you for stopping by.

©2014-2020 Doug Boggs All Rights Reserved

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The Bedroom Antics of Technology and Politics!

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Are the bedroom antics of technology and politics making politics impossible? The simple answer yes, and no. It’s like asking “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The answer just isn’t that simple.

There has always been a very close relationship between politics and technology. Governments fund the research that drives many birthing technologies that then help to create many of the problems with which the government eventually wishes to solve. It’s an inherent conundrum of the dog chasing the tail.

Technology has always seemed to have been a double edged sword when it comes to politics. It takes its shape in many forms. We can reference both Hitler and Roosevelt and their power and popularity with radio. Hitler’s intense emotional “Zeig Heil” speeches that gave rise to the hands of the Nazi party, and Roosevelt’s friendly fireside chats where he entered nearly all of the living rooms of America. We recall the first televised United States Presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy helping solidify the well known catch phrase of “Never let them see you sweat.” These types of arguments can always find a pro and con angle, although it would simply depend on which political platform one might be standing on.

Technology guides some leaders to help them find solutions to their cause. Truman and the atomic bomb would be one of those examples. There was no reason these two bombs needed to be dropped onto the Japanese cities of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, on August 6th and 9th, 1945, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and decimating generations with its fallout. It was only a few months before, in April 1945, that Hitler had been defeated. By August of that year the world knew, as well as, Japan that the Japanese could no longer win. Also, at that time Russia was retreating under their own internal collapse. World War II was ending and America was shining bright. However, Truman felt the need to make a statement to the world of the dominance of American power.

It seemed that Truman felt his message would be better served through the massive anhiliation of innocent lives rather than through the inevitable round table agreements of acquiesence to western dominance. This new technology created the cold war that lasted decades. That continued quest of who is the biggest bully on the block. It defined the adage of whomever has the most destructive toys wins.

Technology and politics took a turn in the late fifties to a place where no man has gone before. We found ourselves fighting over space, that final frontier.

The technology race toward the end of World War II was moving towards rockets. Nazi Germany was leading the way before they lost the war and the United States took their chief engineer named Von Braun. It was Von Braun’s dream to put a rocket on the moon and he didn’t seem to care who allowed him to accomplish the task. When Germany was defeated the United States captured Von Braun and most of his team, who later helped develop the space programs and military missiles in America. Politics seemed to be holding its own with technology.

Having Von Braun helped the United States compete in the new space race of the new “cold war”. This push helped create the computer industries that were necessary to put a man on the moon. Since the Russians got to space first, the Americans wanted the moon. As Von Braun did his work, IBM did theirs by creating the initial computer programs that would eventually put a man in space, and in the words of Frank Sinatra in 1964 “Fly Me to the Moon”, which America did in July, 1969.

The space race created the satellite craze that followed with the new powerful computer programs. Technology was moving ahead quickly and politics was its driving force. The United States was also moving forward with a new idea called the internet.

The U.S. Dept. Of Defense began awarding contracts in the early 1960’s for packet network systems, including the development of ARPANET. This was an early packet switching network and the first to implement the protocol TCP/IP, which is the foundation of the internet. This research began in several different computer science labs around the United States, United Kingdom and France. The first message ever sent over the ARPANET was from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s lab at UCLA to the second network receiving at Stanford Research Institute.

In the beginning of the internet the digital technological platform was welcomed throughout the world and nearly everyone who could jumped in. It was the epitome of the freedom of information. The internet craze created instant millionaires and billionaires and was heralded as the way to level the expanding global playing field. Children in Nairobi could feasibly have access to the same information as a child in the United States. When this new technology began it was open, chaotic and de-centralized. It spanned the globe creating an international cross platform allowing people on opposite sides of the world the ability to share ideas and information with each other for free. It allowed borders to be crossed that had never been crossed before. It was this that made the governments begin to take notice and begin to get nervous, despite that it was the United States government that funded the invention of the architecture of the internet back in the 1960’s.

It the 1980’s, at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland we find British computer scientist Tim Berner-Lee’s creation of the World Wide Web. This technology included the rise of instant communication by email, instant messaging, VoIP telephone calls, video calls, discussion groups, blogs, and eventually leading to the powerful social media networks we have today. Some of those Social media giants in the United States include Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others.

Now, we’re in a world where the technology is about information. Digital information data is the gold standard in capitalism and in politics. Corporations capture and control information. If corporate interests, such as oil companies utilize their ability to control information on climate change, as an example, and are able to convince the public that climate change is a fraud and if successful at this manipulation of information then they are able to save billions or perhaps trillions of dollars in taxes, regulations and increased profits. Recently, we have seen evidence of acts such as this in the corporate world with Volkswagon defrauding their customers into thinking that their diesel cars produce lower carbon emissions than the company claimed to have said that they did. They got caught defrauding the public of over 11 million cars sold. We have also seen the evidence of information control or rather the attempt to control information in the political arena with President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal eventually ending in his impeachment.

 

When the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Thomas Jefferson Paris-1789

 

Information is power. Corporations want it, governments want it, and people want it. Corporations want it in order to maximize their opportunity for profits. Governments want it in order to control the huddled masses. People want it in order to know what the governments and the corporations are doing in order to be able to appropriately hold those parties accountable for those wrongdoings against the people, the environment, and the freedom of information itself. These three parties are desperately attempting to get along in the challenging digital world we now live in. Information is under attack.

As it was with radio, telephone, television, print media, and film industries it quickly began consolodating as big corporations swallowed up small start-ups. This is the process of capitalism and it seems as though this is a good result, however we have reached a point where there are only 6 corporations that own nearly all of the radio and television networks in the United States. So, today these large media corporations are able to control most of the information and lobby politicians and political parties for votes to deregulate their industry or for tax breaks in exchange for large campaign contributions. This is where we begin to lose the line between freedom of the press and independent journalism and politicians acting in the best interests of their constituents rather than the profits of the corporations.

The same kind of monopolies that were created through the deregulation of the telephone industry has happened with the new social media/information companies today. The internet has become capitalized, monetized and monopolized and controlled by some of the largest corporations in the world who now subsequently control the information that feeds the minds the global populace. This is known as institutional corruption. The public has become complacent with such type of corruption that it is now considered to be a type of legal corruption rather than illegal corruption. Which undermines the overall effectiveness of government. Through this type of corruption it may result in corrupt means as to how congress funds elections or the message of politicians and even the political message and voting of entire political parties.

The internet was originally designed to be end to end, peer to peer and a way for the average person to communicate and organize without control by corporations or governments. This was the architecture of the internet from its inception. As the internet has grown to become such a powerful global force of the acquisition and delivering of information governments have been trying to find ways to keep their foot in the door to have more control over this technology. Can the internet be kept free from government censorship, control or manipulation? It depends on the country. Time will tell. We have already seen evidence that the United States government has used the accepted legal corruption process of listening to and recording every citizen’s telephone calls without consent or a warrant. The liberties of privacy as defined under the constitution have been slowly eroding away.

With the release of the documents by the whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, we have come to find that our privacy has not only been under attack, but has been stolen. Politics and Technology can make interesting bed partners. We found that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, ATT, T Mobile and other corporations were disseminating and delivering billions of terabites of information to the government about the lives of every American. Some people say, “That’s okay, I’m not doing anything wrong. As long as I am safe and our freedom is protected.” What they fail to realize is that their freedom is already deteriorating as these actions whittle away at the protections within the Constitution.

We as a society have come to accept a level of institutional corruption with our government rather than holding them accountable. Snowden simply pulled back the curtain and exposed the existing institutional corruption. As a society we were sold a line of information by the government who said they were doing it in the best interest of the people to keep them safe. Much of the public remained complacent and are too busy posting pictures of their lunch or cats in order to use that same technology to create a groundswell of people rising up and holding our elected leader accountable for these actions. Although, Egypt and Tunisia and the Arab Spring taught us different and began to show the world the power of digital technology.

 

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

Benjamin Franklin to the Pennsylvania Assembly 1775

 

Before President Trump was sworn into office he was already following President Obama’s lead using the power of digital media. Trump’s is a prolific Twitter “er” to communicate with his voters, fans, and followers. The President-elect began disseminating Tweets about his political views and possible upcoming policies all for the world to see. He quickly became known as the first President who would be Tweeting his politics 140 characters at a time. Certainly a new way of doing things. Many people agree that this is not the most appropriate way of leading the world. He breaks stride in the procedural processes of global politics.

Wikileaks changed the geopolitical game by releasing their first document in December 2006 of a decision to assassinate government officials signed by a Somali political figure who was on the U.S terrorist list since 2001. Since then Wikileaks has released terabites of corporate, government and private citizen’s information. They make little effort to remove sensitive personal information. They continue to hold governments, politicians and corporations feet to the fire. In January 2017, a Wikileaks Twitter account stated it would create a data base of Twitter users which would include sensitive personal information, homes families and finances. Twitter bans the use of Twitter data for “surveillance purposes,” stating “Posting another person’ private and confidential information is a violation of the Twitter rules.” Wikileaks’ official Twitter page has disavowed that Twitter account.

Trump has enough power in the volume of Twitter followers to make the mass media kowtow to his whimper. He stated to the main stream media outlets that they were not being fair to him. If they continued to pose him in a negative way he will simply not allow them to interview him unless they can guarantee him a favorable view. As we will soon find with the Supreme Court vacancy to be filled with what he has promised to be a conservative judge the idea of free speech will be challenged. With a conservative Supreme Court, a Republican House and Senate, and Trump as President, this creates dangerous precedent that could find detrimental results to the First Amendment.

In order to truly answer this query we must keep both eyes open. In order to trust in technology we must be able to maintain the independence and transparancy of the medium. This is our only hope to be able to hold governments accountable.

Google had been doing business in China with a version of its service that conformed to the government’s oppressive censorship policies. Google officials stated at the time that they felt the most ethical option was to offer some services, though restricted due to China’s censors. The company wanted to get their hands on the enormous Chinese market. The are twice the amount of people in China on the internet that the entire population of the United States, and the numbers continue to grow. Google had been doing business for four years there before a cyber attack was discovered from within the country itself. Google found that the Gmail accounts of numerous Chinese human rights activists had been hacked so they shut down their operation. Instead of complying with the Chinese regime and continue to censor their platform they chose to direct all of the Chinese traffic to an uncensored version of its search engine based in Hong Kong. The Chinese government reacted and this action in effect made Google’s services inaccessible to the hundreds of millions of internet users in a handful of weeks.

As digital technology has created a platform of disseminating information across the globe it is quite a balancing act for corporations to maintain their business practices and abide by all the varying countries laws and regulations. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. There are much more repressive governments than others and as an example more variable ideas of what hate speech is or what exactly human rights are in one country than another.

The key to all of this is transparency. People must be able to know if the content is being monitored and censored by the governments. The freedom and power of holding governments accountable is based on the depth of the information that the government is withholding from the people themselves and how the various media companies are complying with the specific governmental regulations that they are tasked with.

Twitter took a major step forward and created a process in Iran that is known as two-factor authentication. This is a login option that allows users with Iranian phone numbers to use two activation processes in order to access their services. This action created a higher level of security for the resistance of any governmental attempts to censor or access any of the user’s content.

We find that digital technology corporations are ahead of the curve in attempting to maintain a free and independent internet. However the battle remains. Politicians are not laying down to the technology. Across the globe there are varying levels of censorship and government control.

Have you ever wondered why in America we can no longer purchase Blackberry devices or service? But, we can see the President and other politicians using the device and service? This is due to the fact that the Canadian firm’s platform is so difficult to hack. The United States government wanted to be able to have access to these devices just as Snowden exposed the extent that they have access to all other carriers and devices. But, the Canadian firm would not budge to the American government terms. So, we see our politicians using unhackable devices while “we the people attempting to form a more perfect union” are left with devices and services that the NSA can monitor, record, and even turn on and off remotely. Benjamin Franklin would be rolling over in his grave.

The politics is clear that the government has no problem with acquiring more information through the legal corruption of our individual rights and freedoms as outlined in the Constitution. And so far the people have made it clear that they don’t seem to mind as long as they are “safe and free.” From the political side of things digital technology doesn’t seem to make politics impossible. But we are only a few Tweets away from this new President to see if there is another side to this story.

 

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I welcome those reading my story. I appreciate all of the emails I have been receiving. I also appreciate those who have registered and subscribe to this blog. If you have come from Facebook please comment on this site, rather than any Facebook post of this page due to the fact that there are many readers who are not part of Facebook forums, or even Facebook itself. I encourage all readers to put their comments on this site so that all of the information will be accessible to all readers from all parts of the internet. I urge you to join this site, to receive the RSS feed, or bookmarking us, sharing us with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this information I urge you to pass on this website address! Share and let’s make some change together!

Thank you for stopping by.

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©2014-2017 Doug Boggs All Rights Reserved

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