Belloc: “Islam not an alien religion, but in its origins a Christian heresy”

Belloc’s Prophesy

by Joe Sobran

Griffin Internet Syndicate, October 25, 2001 – Back in the 1930s, when white men were preparing for another round of mutual slaughter, few of them paid any attention to the Muslim world. They assumed it to be a backward region that history had long since passed by.

One man saw it differently. The great Catholic polemicist Hilaire Belloc, an Englishman of French ancestry, remembered Islam’s past and predicted, in his book The Great Heresies, that it would one day challenge the West again. As late as 1683 its armies had threatened to conquer Europe, penetrating all the way to Vienna; Belloc believed that a great Islamic revival, even in the twentieth century, was altogether possible.

Because Islam has little attraction for Christians, the West has generally failed to grasp its appeal for others, its profound and permanent hold on the minds of believers.

Belloc saw Islam not as an alien religion, but in its origins as a Christian heresy, adopting and adapting certain Christian doctrines (monotheism, the immortality of the soul, final judgment) and rejecting others (original sin, the Incarnation and divinity of Christ, the sacraments). Its simple, rational creed had a powerful appeal to Arabs who had known only the arbitrary gods of grim pagan religions. It swept the Arab world, then made converts — and conquests — far beyond Arabia.

Islam was a militant religion from the start. Mohammed himself conquered the entire Arabian Peninsula in just a few years. The new faith was torn by violent internal divisions even as it continued to spread. But spread it did, with incredible rapidity.

Christians had good reason to fear Islam, which soon conquered Spain and held it for centuries. But because Islam has little attraction for Christians, the West has generally failed to grasp its appeal for others, its profound and permanent hold on the minds of believers. Unlike the Christian West, the Muslim world has never had crises of faith like the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

Unlike the Christian West, the Muslim world has never had crises of faith like the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

Islam is a simple religion, easily understood by ordinary people. Its commandments are rigorous but few. When it conquered, its subjugated people often felt more liberated than enslaved, because it often replaced burdensome old bureaucratic governments with relatively undemanding regimes — and low taxes. As long as its authority was respected, Islamic rule was comparatively libertarian. It offered millions relief from their traditional oppression; for example, no Muslim could be a slave.

Belloc distinguishes sharply between Islam and such barbarous conquerors as the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. The Mongols were purely destructive; they were known for slaughtering whole cities and making huge pyramids of severed heads.

Such savagery was alien to the Muslims. Where they conquered, daily life usually went on much as before and culture thrived. In many respects the Muslim world was far more civilized than Christian Europe for centuries. The West hated and dreaded Islam, but nobody would have thought of calling it backward.

Belloc saw Islam, though inferior in material power, as having a great advantage: its religious faith was still strong, while the West was losing its religion and consequently its morale.

That contemptuous image came much later, when modern Europe’s science, technology, and — above all — weaponry had eclipsed those of the Arabs. We are apt to forget how recently this development occurred; and, as Belloc warned, it is not irreversible.

Man, especially irreligious man, is apt to equate power and progress. Many of those who say America is “the greatest country on earth” really mean only that America has fantastic military might, capable of annihilating any other country — and some of them, at the moment, are in the mood to do some annihilating.

To the pious Muslim this attitude seems crass and barbaric. He may conclude from it that the decadent West understands only one thing: force. And would he be far wrong?

Belloc admitted that the idea of a new Muslim challenge to the West seemed “fantastic,” but only because the West was “blinded” by “the immediate past.”

Belloc thought it entirely possible that Islam would catch up technologically, while he doubted that the West would undergo a spiritual revival.

Taking a longer view, he saw Islam, though inferior in material power, as having a great advantage: its religious faith was still strong, while the West was losing its religion and consequently its morale. He thought it entirely possible that Islam would catch up technologically, while he doubted that the West would undergo a spiritual revival.

Are we seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of Belloc’s prophecy? If so, the current uproar over Islamic terrorism may turn out to be a mere superficial symptom of a much larger historical drama. The West is still strong, but it is dying. Islam is still weak, but it is growing. Never mind the terrorists; check the birthrate.

Article originally appeared at Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation and is reprinted here with expressed, written permission from the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation.

Dear Catholics, what’s it going to be? Papal Idolatry or defense of the faith?

Wow!  When it comes to politics in Catholic teaching, it is hard to find anyone better than Tom Woods to deliver terrific interviews with key thinkers in the debate.  You will love this interview.

A few key points made in the interview:

American Conservative Catholic press has ignored George Neumayr’s book.  Woods asks why. Neumayr’s answer? A right-wing political correctness. Papal idolatry over the defense of the faith.  They would prefer to be seen as not being too critical of the Pope.  Maureen Mullarkey, in her review of Neumayr’s book at The Federalist, expresses her distaste with Francis, but according to Neumayr, it is more political than theological.

With regard to Liberation Theology, Pope Francis is rehabilitating all of the condemned liberation theologians from the Pope John Paul, II, era.  Leonardo Boff, Brazilian theologian, was removed for his environmental activism, what Neumayr calls environmental hi-jinx.  Francis went so far as to contact him to create a world government plan to extract wealth from first-world western nations.

Gustavo Gutierrez is the father of Liberation Theology. And Pope Francis’s pontificate has become a total rehabilitation of liberation theology of the theologians condemned under Pope John Paul.

The Pope has offered some telling tweets, like this gem, “inequality is the root of all evil.”  No pope would ever say something so ridiculous.  Inequality is baked into the universe.  It was Satan’s refusal to accept inequality that led to the fall of man.  Not everything is the same. Reality is hierarchical.  Reality is unequal, in the sense that not everything is the same.  If we don’t see that we are creatures and that God is the creator, and we don’t accept that his will prevails over our own and that we should conform our will to his, that was the essence of the revolt against God.

Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to Satan, because, for Alinsky, Satan was the first socialist, the first champion of the have-nots.   The Pope is much more of a socialist than he is a Catholic.

Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?  Great question.  His mentor was a full-blown Paraguayan communist, Esther Ballestrino de Careaga.  Francis had communist teachers and mentors from whom he learned just as President Barrack Obama, Jr. had.  Obama’s mentor was communist poet and writer, Frank Davis Marshall.

Jesus!  Just as Barrack Obama had communist mentors in Frank, so too did Pope Francis, a.k.a., Jorge Mario Bergolio, in the form of Esther Ballestrino de Careaga, a Paraguayan woman.  Pope Francis described her as the “boss,” “a Paraguayan woman,” [born in Uruguay but moved to and was raised in Paraguay] and a “fervent communist.”

The “boss” to whom Pope Francis referred is Esther Ballestrino de Careaga. He has described her as a “Paraguayan woman” and a “fervent communist.” He considers her one of his most important mentors. “I owe a huge amount to that great woman,” he has said, saying that she “taught me so much about politics.” (He worked for her as an assistant at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory in Buenos Aires.)

Lord, have mercy.

Further, what is with all of this intrigue and crime surrounding these shadowy figures who play a prominent role in the lives of these public men?  See what George Neumayr, writing at the The Spectator, said about Esther Ballestrino de Careaga.

“Tragically, Ballestrino herself ‘disappeared’ at the hands of security forces in 1977,” reported Vatican correspondent John Allen. “Almost three decades later, when her remains were discovered and identified, Bergoglio gave permission for her to be buried in the garden of a Buenos Aires church called Santa Cruz, the spot where she had been abducted. Her daughter requested that her mother and several other women be buried there because ‘it was the last place they had been as free people.’ Despite knowing full well that Ballestrino was not a believing Catholic, the future pope readily consented.”

The father of Barry Sotelo, a.k.a., Barrack Hussein Obama, was a Kenyan government official named Barack Obama, Sr.  See his Wikipedia entry.  had Frank Davis Marshall, a communist.  The

Wikipedia explains that Barack Obama, Sr.

. . . married in 1954 and had two children with his first wife, Kezia. He was selected for a special program to attend college in the United States, and studied at the University of Hawaii. There, Obama met Stanley Ann Dunham, whom he married in 1961, and with whom he had a son, Barack II. She divorced him three years later.[13] The elder Obama later went to Harvard University for graduate school, where he earned an M.A. in economics, and returned to Kenya in 1964. He saw his son Barack once more, when the boy was about ten.

 

“Protectionism only opens the door to retaliation”

[…] from President Ronald Reagan during his “Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session During a United States Chamber of Commerce Teleconference” on May 10, 1983:

I oppose the quick fix of trade protectionism, because we saw the nightmare that helped create in the 1930s. We and our trading partners are in the same boat. If one partner shoots a hole in the boat, it makes no sense for the other partner to shoot another hole in the boat. That’s not getting tough. It’s getting wet. And eventually it means sinking the boat that’s headed for greater growth and prosperity.

The same holds true for dead-end policies like the local content rule — legislation that would force those who sell cars in the United States, including domestic manufacturers, to build their cars with a rising share of U.S. labor and parts. As the Congressional Budget Office pointed out, this would destroy more jobs than it would create. It would add significantly to the cost of new cars and these costs of protecting one group of workers would be passed on to another group down the line whose jobs would then be jeopardized. It would violate our international commitment to the GATT.

Protectionism only opens the door to retaliation. We would buy less from our partners, they would buy less from us. The world economic pie would shrink and political tensions would multiply. The local content rule is a cruel hoax. We propose a positive approach. We want to enhance the ability of U.S. producers and workers to compete on a fair and equitable basis in the world marketplace.

from Mark J. Perry’s Carpe Diem

 

By mirroring body language and linguistic patterns, the NLPer attempts to achieve one very specific response: rapport. 

What that person does with the rapport they’ve built varies.  Trust but verify.

The sordid details of the founder of Neurolinguistic Programming, Richard Bandler’s, life aside, the 10 ways to avoid being hypnotized by NLP, even to a novice like myself, are an excellent start in protecting yourself from predatory narcissists.  I can’t really believe that I am writing about this.  But I think it is one piece of your self-defense arsenal.  True, people can hurt you with all kinds of ballistics, knives, or any object, and certainly you should learn how to thwart any attacks by these methods.  But sneakier people will use mind games.  NLP or Neurolinguistic Programming is one of these methods.  You should at least have some basic understanding what it is and how it works, for most ethical people use the techniques for good, to enhance personal interaction as opposed to destroying the personalities of others.  NLP techniques are frequently used in sales and leadership programs to enhance productivity.  Learn how here.  But to strengthen your defense against predatory uses of NLP, check out this article, “10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Mind Control.”  I’ve listed those 10 Ways here:

1. Be Extremely wary of people copying your body language.
2. Move your eyes in random and unpredictable patterns.
3. Do not let anybody touch you.
4. Be wary of vague language.
5. Be wary of permissive language.
6. Be wary of gibberish.
7. Read between the lines.
8. Watch your attention.
9. Don’t agree to anything.
10. Trust your intuition.

The primary goal of any Neurolinguistic Program is to build rapport.  Once rapport is established, then the NLPer can more easily execute his goals over that foundation of rapport.  But rapport is key, for without it no layering or manipulating can occur that will stick.  And you want to make instructions stick if you want your subject or interlocutor to do your bidding.

By mirroring body language and linguistic patterns, the NLPer is attempting to achieve one very specific response: rapport. Rapport is the mental and physiological state that a human enters when they let their social guard down, and it is generally achieved when a person comes to the conclusion that the person they’re talking to is just like them. See how that works, broadly? An NLP person essentially carefully fakes the social cues that cause a person to drop their guard and enter a state of openness and suggestibility.

Once rapport is achieved, the NLPer will then begin subtly leading the interaction. Having mirrored the other person, they can now make subtle changes to actually influence the other person’s behavior. Combined with subtle language patterns, leading questions and a whole slew of other techniques, a skilled NLPer can at this point steer the other person wherever they like, as long as the other person isn’t aware of what’s happening and thinks everything is arising organically, or has given consent. That means it’s actually fairly hard to use NLP to get people to act out-of-character, but it can be used for engineering responses within a person’s normal range of behavior—like donating to a cause, making a decision they were putting off, or [other things; so you want this knowledge to protect yourself].

1. BE EXTREMELY WARY OF PEOPLE COPYING YOUR BODY LANGUAGE.

If you’re talking to somebody who may be into NLP, and you notice that they’re sitting in exactly the same way as you, or mirroring the way you have your hands, test them by making a few movements and seeing if they do the same thing. Skilled NLPers will be better at masking this than newer ones, but newer ones will always immediately copy the same movement. This is a good time to call people on their [nefarious deeds].

Yeah, it’s called mirroring.  Mirroring is a better label.  If a stranger or a newcomer to your life is making a deliberate effort to mirror you, alert immediately to their intentions.  If it is an old friend, a dear friend, a cute friend, or a family member, someone you’ve known for years, then mirroring can be a cute and playful exchange, for they are mirroring for its own sake and not for the long-range, more sinister goal of trying to undermine your emotional and intellectual autonomy while trying to control or your behavior.  So if you notice strangers mirroring you, be wary.

I was out on a date with a gal at the Blue Oyster Bar in Denver.  Prior to meeting, she made a big deal to me about not changing my work shirt.  She wanted me to match her as close to perfect as possible.  Sounded weird and childish to me, but her request seemed to match her 9-year old personality.  Turns out that her intention was much more sinister than that.  She wanted her apparel to mirror mine, and in that mirroring she would send messages and instructions that compelled me to do her bidding.  But I think I must have frustrated her, since she complained about me to her coworkers in Dispatch.  She showed up in her work shirt, and two other shirts over that, totaling three shirts.  But the first and or second button was opened on each shirt, effectively creating a standard of three downward arrows, pointing downward from her chest. To what were the arrows symbolically pointing?  The nether regions.  You tell me what her message was.

2. MOVE YOUR EYES IN RANDOM AND UNPREDICTABLE PATTERNS.
This is freaking hilarious to do to troll NLPers. Especially in the initial stages of rapport induction, an NLP user will be paying incredibly close attention to your eyes. You may think it’s because they’re intensely interested in what you’re saying. They are, but not because they actually care about your thoughts: They’re watching your eye movements to see how you store and access information. In a few minutes, they’ll not only be able to tell when you’re lying or making something up, they’ll also be able to figure out what parts of your brain you’re using when you’re speaking, which can then lead them to be so clued in to what you’re thinking that they almost come across as having some kind of psychic insight into your innermost thoughts. A clever hack for this is just to randomly dart your eyes around—look up to the right, to the left, side to side, down… make it seem natural, but do it randomly and with no pattern. This will drive an NLP person utterly nuts because you’ll be throwing off their calibration.

3. DO NOT LET ANYBODY TOUCH YOU.
This is pretty obvious and kind of goes without saying in general.  But let’s say you’re having a conversation with somebody you know is into NLP, and you find yourself in a heightened emotional state–maybe you start laughing really hard, or get really angry, or something similar–and the person you’re talking to touches you while you’re in that state.  They might, for instance, tap you on the shoulder.  What just happened?  They anchored you so that later, if they want to put you back into the state you were just in, they can (or so the wayward logic of NLP dictates) touch you in the same place.  Just be like, “Oh, hell no, you did not!”

When I was out on that date with that gal [I wouldn’t even call it date; in fact, she didn’t call it a date either.  She called it “hanging out.”  She called it that because she was trying to get me to reveal personal details against my will].  But using the middle finger of my right hand, I tapped the back of her left hand.  It stopped her in her tracks.  She recognized the subtlety, its persuasiveness, and didn’t like how the power in that one gesture shifted for a moment.  She double-downed.  It startled her a bit, perhaps because my tiny action was exponentially more powerful of a rapport builder than her hours and weeks of texts and phone conversation.  Funny.  It stopped her in her tracks.

4. BE WARY OF VAGUE LANGUAGE.
One of the primary techniques that NLP took from Milton Erickson is the use of vague language to induce hypnotic trance. Erickson found that the more vague language is, the more it leads people into trance, because there is less that a person is liable to disagree with or react to. Alternately, more specific language will take a person out of trance. (Note Obama’s use of this specific technique in the “Change” campaign, a word so vague that anybody could read anything into it.)

5. BE WARY OF PERMISSIVE LANGUAGE.
“Feel free to relax.” “You’re welcome to test drive this car if you like.” “You can enjoy this as much as you like.” Watch the f*k out for this. This was a major insight of pre-NLP hypnotists like Erickson: the best way to get somebody to do something, including going into a trance, is by allowing them to give you permission to do so. Because of this, skilled hypnotists will NEVER command you outright to do something—i.e. “Go into a trance.” They WILL say things like “Feel free to become as relaxed as you like.”

6. BE WARY OF GIBBERISH.
Nonsense phrases like “As you release this feeling more and more you will find yourself moving into present alignment with the sound of your success more and more.” This kind of gibberish is the bread and butter of the pacing-and-leading phase of NLP; the hypnotist isn’t actually saying anything, they’re just trying to program your internal emotional states and move you towards where they want you to go. ALWAYS say “Can you be more specific about that” or “Can you explain exactly what you mean?” This does two things: it interrupts this whole technique, and it also forces the conversation into specific language, breaking the trance-inducing use of vague language we discussed in #4.

7. READ BETWEEN THE LINES.
NLP people will consistently use language with hidden or layered meanings. For instance “Diet, nutrition and sleep with me are the most important things, don’t you think?” On the surface, if you heard this sentence quickly, it would seem like an obvious statement that you would probably agree with without much thought. Yes, of course diet, nutrition and sleep are important things, sure, and this person’s really into being healthy, that’s great. But what’s the layered-in message? “Diet, nutrition and sleep with me are the most important things, don’t you think?” Yep, and you just unconsciously agreed to it. Skilled NLPers can be incredibly subtle with this.

8. WATCH YOUR ATTENTION.
Be very careful about zoning out around NLP people—it’s an invitation to leap in with an unconscious cue. Here’s an example: An NLP user who was attempting to get me to write for his blog for free noticed I appeared not to be paying attention and was looking into the distance, and then started using the technique listed in #7 by talking about how he never has to pay for anything because media outlets send him review copies of books and albums for free. “Everything for free,” he began hissing at me. “I get everything. For. Free.” Obvious, no?

9. DON’T AGREE TO ANYTHING.
If you find yourself being led to make a quick decision on something, and feel you’re being steered, leave the situation. Wait 24 hours before making any decisions, especially financial ones. Do NOT let yourself get swept up into making an emotional decision in the spur of the moment. Sales people are armed with NLP techniques specifically for engineering impulse buys. Don’t do it. Leave, and use your rational mind.

10. TRUST YOUR INTUITION.
And the foremost and primary rule: If your gut tells you somebody is fucking with you, or you feel uneasy around them, trust it. NLP people almost always seem “off,” dodgy, or like used car salesmen. Flee, or request they show you the respect of not applying NLP techniques when interacting with you.

Hopefully this short guide will be of assistance to you in resisting this annoying and pernicious modern form of black magic. Take it with you on your phone or a printout next time you’re at a used car sales lot, getting signed up for a gym membership, or watching a politician speak on TV. You’ll easily find yourself surprised how you allow yourself to notice more and more NLP techniques… more and more… don’t you think?

(For more on NLP, check out the book Introducing NLP by Joseph O’Connor or the immensely useful Neuro-Linguistic Programming for DummiesAs a bonus, here’s a great video breaking down the use of NLP techniques by media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, from FOX News to Stephen Colbert. It gets a bit into Christian conspiracy thinking, but is VERY good information.)

War on drugs is a Trojan War on us

Before the first 60 seconds are up, a bombshell is dropped.

Undercover U.S. Intelligence agents used drugs to target leftist leaders from SDS, the Black Panthers, Young Lords, and even the Occupy Movement.  It also tells how they particularly targeted leftist musicians, like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur to promote drugs while murdering them as they started to sober up. And goes into details how agents dosed, ah gave LSD to Mick Jagger and got Elvis involved.

Listen to this intriguing interview with John L. Potash, author of Drugs As Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac and Other Leftists. Taken together with the crucial backstory provided by the late David McGowan’s highly-acclaimed underground revisionist classic on the 1960s-1970s counter-culture’s effect on American rock’ n’ roll music, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops and the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dreamall one can say is that in the immortal words of the Buffalo Springfield’s For What Its Worth — “There’s Something Happening Here – What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear.”

Remember the chilling words of top aide John Ehrlichman, who had advised Nixon on domestic policy.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people,” Mr Ehrlichman said in the 1994 interview.

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalising both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.

“We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes… and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

h/t Charles Burris

Soaked in Bleach.

On John L. Potash’s book, Drugs As Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Colbain, Tupac, and Other Leftists, Amazon has this to say

Drugs as Weapons Against Us meticulously details how a group of opium-trafficking families came to form an American oligarchy and eventually achieved global dominance. This oligarchy helped fund the Nazi regime and then saved thousands of Nazis to work with the Central Intelligence Agency. CIA operations such as MK-Ultra pushed LSD and other drugs on leftist leaders and left-leaning populations at home and abroad. Evidence supports that this oligarchy further led the United States into its longest-running wars in the ideal areas for opium crops, while also massively funding wars in areas of coca plant abundance for cocaine production under the guise of a “war on drugs” that is actually the use of drugs as a war on us. Drugs as Weapons Against Us tells how scores of undercover U.S. Intelligence agents used drugs in the targeting of leftist leaders from SDS to the Black Panthers, Young Lords, Latin Kings, and the Occupy Movement. It also tells how they particularly targeted leftist musicians, including John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Tupac Shakur to promote drugs while later murdering them when they started sobering up and taking on more leftist activism. The book further uncovers the evidence that Intelligence agents dosed Paul Robeson with LSD, gave Mick Jagger his first hit of acid, hooked Janis Joplin on amphetamines, as well as manipulating Elvis Presley, Eminem, the Wu Tang Clan, and others.

Take a page out of Vladimir Putin’s book, who does not drink wine.

Jeremy Corbyn Tells British People to Accept Socialism

This is incredible.  Didn’t they already have socialism under Winston Churchill? And yet socialists, students of cultural marxism, SJW’s, and Liberation Theologists alike all want socialism without ever having to account for mass murder, destruction of wealth or destruction of life that is left in its wake.  Now I know that this same horde will say in reply, “Well, look at capitalism!  Look at its horrors!  Look at the wars.”  Yes, look at the wars.  And look, too, who launched them.  Government ghouls.

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h/t EconomicPolicyJournal

How the NSA Spies on Americans

It uses work-arounds.  Tricks.  This is not new.  But I guess if we look at the details of the Snowden revelations the story becomes only a little more interesting.  The article opens by declaring that the government spies

on most Americans through our computers, phones, cars, buses, streetlights, at airports and on the street, via mobile scanners and drones, through our credit cards and smart meters, televisions, dolls, and many other ways.

Computers?  Of course.  Phones?  Oh, yeah.  And it’s not just the government.  What’s crazy is that the government grants use permits for the surveillance technology to other companies.  If you work for a company that requires a phone app to conduct business, you are handing over all of your personal data, your contacts, your location, your browsing history, everything you might use on a smart phone, you are handing over, not just to government warehouses where they store the information but to sociopathic employers who want to satisfy their envy.  Does the government have contractual agreements, coerced or willingly agreed to, to install surveillance software programmed into cars?  You betcha.  Buses?  Oh, hells yes.  Streetlights? Streetlights!  The better to see you with?  Almost.  Or the better to hear you with.  I’ve seen this.  The funds came from Obama’s 2009, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, creating what he and his staff liked to call Shovel Ready jobs.  I recall how the shovel ready funds arrived in my town, which received nearly $4 million in funding.  The funds were dedicated to retro-fitting a freeway on-ramp.  The project of retrofitting lasted for years.  They had to get that retrofitting just right.  Then the second installment of funds arrived and a section of a main boulevard in my old town was repaved and streetlights went up.  Lots of them.  Redundant amounts.  I noticed, too, how the light coming from the lights was a muffled yellow light that didn’t really seem to light the street for drivers or pedestrians.  Odd.  Or was it?  Perhaps not.  So if the lights weren’t installed to illuminate the street, they were apparently put in to illuminate the conversations of residents within earshot east and west of the boulevard.  It took the city a total of four years to complete a one-mile stretch of the boulevard.  That was my suspicion then.  And then I read this from 2013, four years into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (remember Clinton’s Community Reinvestment Act? It’s what led to the subprime mortgage crisis) and the tail end of the street construction:

RT notes:

Street lights that can spy installed in some American cities

America welcomes a new brand of smart street lightning systems: energy-efficient, long-lasting, complete with LED screens to show ads. They can also spy on citizens in a way George Orwell would not have imagined in his worst nightmare.

With a price tag of $3,000+ apiece, according to an ABC report, the street lights are now being rolled out in Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh, and may soon mushroom all across the country.

Part of the Intellistreets systems made by the company Illuminating Concepts, they have a number of “homeland security applications” attached.

Each has a microprocessor “essentially similar to an iPhone,” capable of wireless communication. Each can capture images and count people for the police through a digital camera, record conversations of passers-by and even give voice commands thanks to a built-in speaker.

Ron Harwood, president and founder of Illuminating Concepts, says he eyed the creation of such a system after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He is “working with Homeland Security” to deliver his dream of making people “more informed and safer.”

Not to be outdone by Obama’s extensive 2009 spying program affectionately known at the American Recovery [recovery from what?] and Reinvestment Act, Obama signed into law a second wave of shovel ready funds anointed by the very proletariat description of American Jobs Act.  You’ve got to love the titles of these tax-funded bamboozles. Remember this?

The following article is reprinted here from expressed written permission from Washtingon’s Blog.

NSA Uses Trick to Spy On Americans

Posted on June 23, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog

The government is spying on most Americans through our computers, phones, cars, buses, streetlights, at airports and on the street, via mobile scanners and drones, through our credit cards and smart meterstelevisionsdolls, and in many other ways.

Yesterday, ZDNet reported that the NSA uses a trick to get around the few flimsy American laws on spying … they shuttle internet traffic overseas so they can pretend they’re monitoring foreign communications:

A new analysis of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden details a highly classified technique that allows the National Security Agency to “deliberately divert” US internet traffic, normally safeguarded by constitutional protections, overseas in order to conduct unrestrained data collection on Americans.

According to the new analysis, the NSA has clandestine means of “diverting portions of the river of internet traffic that travels on global communications cables,” which allows it to bypass protections put into place by Congress to prevent domestic surveillance on Americans.

. . .

One leaked top secret document from 2007 details a technique that allows the intelligence agency to exploit the global flow of internet data by tricking internet traffic into traveling through a set and specific route, such as undersea fiber cables [http://bit.ly/14VFDL2] that the agency actively monitors.

Yemen Connection to the World screen-shot-2017-06-21-at-11-27-00-pm

Leaked NSA document from 2007. (Image: source document)

The document’s example noted Yemen, a hotspot for terrorism and extremist activity. It is difficult to monitor because the NSA has almost no way to passively monitor internet traffic from the cables that run in and out of the country. By shaping the traffic, the agency can trick internet data to pass through undersea cables that are located on friendlier territory.

Goldberg’s research takes that logic and focuses it on US citizens, whose data and communications is out of bounds for the intelligence agencies without a valid warrant from the surveillance court.

The government only has to divert their internet data outside of the US to use the powers of the executive order to legally collect the data as though it was an overseas communication. Two Americans can send an email through Gmail, for example, but because their email is sent through or backed up in a foreign data center, the contents of that message can become “incidentally collected” under the executive order’s surveillance powers.

Thomas Drake – one of the top NSA executives, and Senior Change Leader within the NSA – blew the whistle on this deceptive practice more than a decade ago.

For his troubles, Drake was prosecuted under the Espionage Act and literally framed by the government.

Postscript:  Drake also notes that the government is storing for the long-term just about everythingthey’re collecting.

But don’t worry . . . the government would never think of doing anything mean with the information.