Saturday, January 16, 2010


Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama's closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs." In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper's abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.

Sunstein advocates that the Government's stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into "chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups." He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called "independent" credible voices to bolster the Government's messaging (on the ground that those who don't believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who
appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false "conspiracy theories," which they define to mean: "an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role." Sunstein's 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story's Daniel Tencer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Politics of Travel in America with Ed Hasbrouck

The Politics of Travel in America with Ed Hasbrouck
Ed Hasbrouck, blogger for the Practical Nomad and advocate for the Identity Project will be educating the public about what they can manageably expect to be able to do on their behalf in light of TSA privacy trends. We will be discussing the public backlash against the use and installation of the Backscatter X-Ray machines as well as travel policy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Got Fascism? : Obama Advisor Promotes 'Cognitive Infiltration'

Your government appointees at work:
Cass Sunstein seeks 'cognitive' provocateurs

Cass Sunstein is President Obama's Harvard Law School friend, and recently appointed Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

In a recent scholarly article, he and coauthor Adrian Vermeule take up the question of "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures." (J. Political Philosophy, 7 (2009), 202-227). This is a man with the president's ear. This is a man who would process information and regulate things. What does he here propose?

[W]e suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of believers by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity. (Page 219.)

Read this paragraph again. Unpack it. Work your way through the language and the intent. Imagine the application. What do we learn?

* It is "extremists" who "supply" "conspiracy theories."
* Their "hard core" must be "broken up" with distinctive tactics. What tactics?
* "Infiltration" ("cognitive") of groups with questions about official explanations or obfuscations or lies. Who is to infiltrate?
* "Government agents or their allies," virtually (i.e. on-line) or in "real-space" (as at meetings), and "either openly or anonymously," though "infiltration" would imply the latter. What will these agents do?
* Undermine "crippled epistemology" -- one's theory and technique of knowledge. How will they do this?
* By "planting doubts" which will "circulate." Will these doubts be beneficial?
* Certainly. Because they will introduce "cognitive diversity."

Put into English, what Sunstein is proposing is government infiltration of groups opposing prevailing policy. Palestinian Liberation? 9/11 Truth? Anti-nuclear power? Stop the wars? End the Fed? Support Nader? Eat the Rich?

It's easy to destroy groups with "cognitive diversity." You just take up meeting time with arguments to the point where people don't come back. You make protest signs which alienate 90% of colleagues. You demand revolutionary violence from pacifist groups.

We expect such tactics from undercover cops, or FBI. There the agents are called "provocateurs" -- even if only "cognitive." One learns to smell or deal with them in a group, or recognize trolling online. But even suspicion or partial exposure can “sow uncertainty and distrust within conspiratorial groups [now conflated with conspiracy theory discussion groups] and among their members,” and “raise the costs of organization and communication” -- which Sunstein applauds as "desirable." "[N]ew recruits will be suspect and participants in the group’s virtual networks will doubt each other’s bona fides." (p.225).

And are we now expected to applaud such tactics frankly proposed in a scholarly journal by a high-level presidential advisor?

The full text of a slightly earlier version of Sunstein's article is available for download here.

Airport Scanners Can Store, Transmit Images

Contrary to public statements made by the Transportation Security Administration, full-body airport scanners do have the ability to store and transmit images, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The documents, which include technical specifications and vendor contracts, indicate that the TSA requires vendors to provide equipment that can store and send images of screened passengers when in testing mode, according to CNN.

The TSA has stated publicly on its website, in videos and in statements to the press that images cannot be stored on the machines and that images are deleted from the scanners once an airport operator has examined them. The administration has also insisted that the machines are incapable of sending images.

But a TSA official acknowledged to CNN that the machines do have these capabilities when set to “test mode.”

The official said these functions are disabled before the machines are delivered to airports and that there is no way for screeners in airports to put the machines into test mode to enable the functions. The official, however, would not elaborate on what specific protections, if any, are in place to prevent airport personnel from putting the machines in test mode.

The TSA also asserts that the machines are not networked, so they cannot be accessed by hackers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Anti-Real ID Bill picked up by Ron Paul


WASHINGTON - Based on reports from Liberty Coalition mover, Michael Ostrolenk, Representative Ron Paul has picked up a legislation to comprehensively repeal the Real ID Act of 2005 with no substitutions.

Several privacy, civil liberty and technology coalitions increased discussions about the Real ID Act calculating efforts towards a comprehensive repeal late last year. A draft was hatched during that time. Congressional leaders were solicited in order to seek a repeal. Rep. Ron Paul was the first to step up to the plate.

More news on coalition based developments to come.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010: Year of the "Tenther"

c/o Tenth Amendment Center

LOS ANGELES -- In 2009, seven states passed sovereignty resolutions under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Two states passed laws nullifying some federal firearms laws and regulations. States with Medical Marijuana laws in direct opposition to federal laws reached thirteen. In 2010, some expect the ante to be raised significantly.

"Already, over a dozen states are considering laws or state constitutional amendments that would effectively ban, or nullify, any proposed national health care plan in their state, and we expect that number to reach at least twenty in 2010," said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center.

"In conjunction with 20+ [24] states that have already said "No" to the Bush-era Real ID act, another dozen or more considering state laws to nullify federal gun laws, and the steady growth of states refusing to comply with federal marijuana laws, some might consider what we see today to be an unprecedented state-level rebellion to the federal government."

The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state nullifies a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.

"Nullification has been used to stand up for free speech, resist the fugitive slave laws, reduce tariffs and more. It's a peaceful and effective way to resist the federal government, and might be our only hope for moving towards the constitution. Legislators drawing this kind of line in the stand should be commended," said Boldin.

Grassroots activists around the country are looking to the Tenth Amendment and nullification to bolster their efforts too. Tenth Amendment rallies are planned in at least 10 states before the end of January, including Virginia, Washington, Alabama and Texas. "These aren't tea party protests, or tax protests, or any of the other topics that were popular last year," said Boldin. "These are rallies solely in support of the 10th Amendment, State Sovereignty or Nullification - something that indicates a major shift from the grassroots, and shows potential for the growth of a popular mass movement in support of the Tenth."

A recent article in the New York Times included "Tenther" as a top buzzword for 2009. In response, Boldin said, "With people looking to resist D.C. through state laws on everything from national health care to medical marijuana, the 10th Amendment appears ready to be front and center in the national debate once again this year."

About the Tenth Amendment Center:
The Tenth Amendment Center, a Los Angeles-based think tank founded in 2006, acts as an educational forum on issues related to the 10th Amendment and Constitutional governance.

The notion of 'brain chipping' and background on implants

BTC - I've heard the "brain chipping" idea being flung around but not in context of what I know to exist in law. For now a brain chip would be voluntary - unless you're military.

Some believe that everyone has technological "implants". I write because I don't necessarily know what to believe, but the burden of truth persists. When you look around online to research human microchip implants you find a lot of technology is now available to make it happen.

Apparently, Intel has created a convenience based technology where you can be deeply connected to your computer.
Intel believes its customers would be willing to have a implanted in their brains so they could operate computers without the need for a keyboard or mouse using thoughts alone. The could also be used to operate devices such as cell phones, TVs and DVDs.
Living in the Bay Area now I'm hearing the stranger experiences and claims about chipping. Some might include activist targets who have successfully deactivated chips.

In order for that to happen, there must have bee a congnition process which included the following:

1) The person somehow diagonosed or informed they were involuntarily chipped.

2) The person would have had to do some ground work in research to find a way to treat themselves in the event of an implant.

3) They found a way to remove or deactivate the internal chips.

Now - as you can tell unless there is something solid or concrete about this that you can feel with your hands or perceive in a forthwith way, it deserves to be unbelieveable.

However - the experiences themselves are irrefutable. People can lie or dispense untruths but if they claim experience or perception it does in fact exist if only in their mind.

So I encourage the gates to open for those who have experiences ONLY having had their implants removed. Send stories & contact to: