According to the Department of Defense, and its newly formed arm the Information Awareness Office:
The most serious asymmetric threat facing the United States is terrorism, a threat characterized by collections of people loosely organized in shadowy networks that are difficult to identify and define. IAO plans to develop technology that will allow understanding of the intent of these networks, their plans, and potentially define opportunities for disrupting or eliminating the threats. To effectively and efficiently carry this out, we must promote sharing, collaborating and reasoning to convert nebulous data to knowledge and actionable options.
However, whatever exactly an “asymmetric threat” is, I am relatively sure that it is NOT terrorism. The number one threat to capitalism may be terrorism; the number one threat to democracy is ignorance.
That ignorance is what keeps us from attacking the real terrorists – those that use the constitution as toilet paper to cover their asses, those that use the threat of an “unseen” enemy to trivialize the right to privacy; that leverage their jingoistic propaganda machine against free-thinking, indepedent peoples to force them into supporting right-wing, totalitarian legislation; that insist that information is power while steadily depriving our educational system of any element of teaching that asks students to do their own research, find their own answers, seek their own truth, follow their own bliss.
The worst of it is that based on the voting patterns in this country, we do NOT give a damn. That only proves even more clearly that the enemy is ignorance, not terrorism.
George Bernard Shaw once quipped that “democracy is the only form of government under which revolution is against the law.” Why? Because, theoretically, in a true democracy, where each person has a voice AND EXERCISES IT, you are ultimately revolting against yourself. The power structure that you put in place, that is you. Obviously, if in a democracy no more than 50% of the people who have the right to vote do so, then ultimately only those people who are concerned enough about their agenda will get out and vote. In America right now, it appears that those people are the Right Wing, Conservative Class. The left, the Democratic party, the concerned liberal front — they don’t need a qualified candidate or candidates in order to staunch the tide of Fascism. What they need is voters. Fuck the platform, whatever it may be. With the weak support shown the Democrats in this last election (in New Orleans, because it was RAINING, the voter turn-out was low …), it doesn’t matter WHAT their platform is, it will not succeed.
My personal belief is this:
Until the recent increase in home-schooling (and that is another whole topic altogether), we as a nation make an exception for mandatory public education only in cases of religious objection. I think we should make participation in the government mandatory on that same basis. If you don’t vote, you don’t get public assistance. You don’t get social security. You don’t get free legal defense. You don’t get road repair. And so on. It is, after all, a democracy. It is a government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people. If you’re not interested in being part of the OF and BY, then you don’t get the FOR. So it’s a lot of hassle. So it takes up some time. So your vote doesn’t count. Well, MAKE IT COUNT. Use it. Or lose it. The bottom line is that you’re going to lose it one way or another at this rate. The suede-denim secret police are just around the corner. The conveniences you demand are about to become mandatory.
One more thing. People want better schools. Better roads. More cops. More whatever. And at the same time, they’re always complaining about higher taxes. The Republicans want to create a huge Homeland Security Department, increase defense spending, improve our intelligence infrastructure. Well, those things cost money. And that money comes from ONE place – TAXES. You can’t have it both ways. I can’t believe that there is NO politician that is honest enough to flat out admit it. NO TAXES = NO SERVICES.
And another thing. You know what REALLY pisses me off? So-called “Christian” “family-value” candidates who run mud-slinging campaigns. THEY ARE TOTAL HYPOCRITES. Because their ads don’t tell you the truth. They violate a serious commandment – thou shalt not bear false witness. So they are NOT Christians. Period. They are liars, and their campaigns prove that they HATE the American people. Hate them? Yes, because they are flat-out telling you, the voters, that they think you are STUPID enough to buy this crap. And you know what? For the most part, they are right.
Which again, proves my point. Terrorism is not the enemy. Ignorance is the enemy.
One last item. This description from the IAO blurb above “…collections of people loosely organized in shadowy networks that are difficult to identify and define…” sounds familiar. Who does it sound like? The American people. Particularly those that don’t stand for something, and as a result, fall for anything.