Bonner: "We're Living In A Deep State Paradise"

Authored by Bill Bonner via BonnerAndPartners.com,

Clowns to the left of us... jokers to the right... what a hoot it is to watch them jump and howl.

Trade barriers... LGBT bathroom policies... the Dow... Elizabeth Warren... Rudolph Giuliani... unemployment... QT [quantitative tightening]... Canadians sneaking across the border to buy our shoes – there’s no shortage of louche entertainment in yesterday’s events.

But what about tomorrow? We learn from the papers that computers can beat us at chess, write better essays, and drive our cars.

So far, so good.

Identified Undesirable

Alas, these same computers can also pick our face out of a crowd... cancel our credit cards... and take away our passports. Using algorithms and Big Data, they can also identify us as “undesirable”... or worse.

That’s when your editor sees the scaffold going up in front of him... and there is the hangman approaching with a noose in his hands.

Last week, a couple of reports added to his soucis.

First, the IRS announced that it would block passports for 362,000 Americans who are late on their taxes.

From where in the Constitution does the tax collector get the right to confine citizens who have never been convicted of a crime? We don’t know.

We believe our own accounts with the IRS are in good order. But the “tax code” had 74,608 pages in 2016; there is plenty of room for disagreement, ambiguity, and interpretation.

Our own tax return is more than two inches thick. It is prepared by professionals.

Could they make a mistake? Of course, they could. Could the IRS make a mistake… or worse, intentionally try to make life difficult for us?

It would never do such a thing, you say.

In 2013, the IRS apologized for targeting conservative groups for extensive auditing. It admitted that it had given especially harsh treatment to groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names and promised it wouldn’t do it again.

Of course, it won’t. And it won’t make mistakes, either.

Targeted by Spooks

Already, in addition to the IRS’s “no passport” list are the feds’ “no fly” and “hit” lists.

An interesting feature of these lists is that you never know if you are on them… or why. The feds don’t have to prove anything.

An interesting case arose recently wherein a man found out, apparently by accident, that the feds were trying to kill him.

He went to a wedding in the Middle East… and in came a missile attack. Who were they shooting at? Then, he realized it was him! He thought it was an accident; the spooks had mistaken him for someone else.

But there was nowhere to go to appeal... no court in which he could prove his innocence.

The whole matter was hidden from view, behind a sordid screen of “national security.”

Meanwhile, in May, China officially began its “social credit” system. The idea is to amalgamate electronic sources of information on each of its 1.4 billion citizens and then target them for rewards or punishments, depending on their scores.

The Week magazine was on the case:

Government documents show a plan to block poorly scored citizens from air or rail travel for up to a year, though perhaps less for minor infractions like leaving a bike parked on a footpath. More than 7 million citizens have already been blocked from travel, Human Rights Watch reports, for offenses like “insincere” apologies.

For the first time in history, the internet, with its electronic surveillance, and the collusion of data accumulators – Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others – make it possible for the authorities to control and manipulate every aspect of life.

Algorithms can now do what used to require whole squads of spooks, snitches, and sinister agents.

Did you ever attend a meeting of the group Americans for Limited Government? Did you ever talk to a known undesirable? Do you believe Congress is run by a bunch of incompetent crooks? Do you read the Diary? Are you insincere?

Put away the waterboards. Send the torches and pliers back to the tool shop. There is no longer any need to ask, let alone to torture. The feds already know everything.

Deep State Paradise

The National Security Agency (NSA) has been monitoring our telephone conversations for years. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others know what we do, what we want, and even what we think. And now, Big Technology is working with the feds to use this data to control us.

Again, back in China… The New York Times:

In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-size displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the names of people who don’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras – four times as many as the United States.

That’s just one piece of the system. The data flow in from GPS, social media, credit cards, banks, job sites – just about everywhere.

Then, the feds can manipulate outcomes simply by editing the “news”… or denying access to important services… or applying individualized rewards or penalties. Even highway tolls can be adjusted for each car, depending on what behavior the authorities want to modify.

The New York Times again…

“This is potentially a totally new way for the government to manage the economy and society,” said Martin Chorzempa, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

“The goal is algorithmic governance,” he added.

Just 18 years ago, America’s five largest corporations were companies that provided essential goods and services – ExxonMobil, General Electric, Ford, General Motors, and Walmart.

Now, the five largest corporations all truck in data: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, and Facebook.

And they are using this data – in collusion with the feds – to create a Deep State paradise.

“But what do I have to fear,” asks the good citizen? “I don’t do anything wrong. I have nothing to hide.”

Here at the Diary, we have a sunny disposition and undying faith in public officials. What do we have to worry about? After all, the “government is all of us,” Hillary Clinton assured us. It would never do anything that wasn’t for our own good, would it?

We are serene… and overjoyed, of course. With so much new control, the Deep State will help us be better people… never jaywalking… never speeding… never trying to save on our taxes… and certainly, never, ever criticizing our democratically elected leaders, no matter what numbskulls they appear to be.

In short, it will work like a lobotomy, helping us be model citizens.

We’re all for it. Sincerely.

NSA, are you listening?

Comments

hongdo brushhog Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

They make it up as they go along.  You have no idea what is "wrong" at any given time.

And remember we are not common law any more which is what most people thing of for wrong and right.  We are statute law and rules made by numerous layers of bureaucracy and all cumulative and never expire. 

And you are not allowed to find out what is "wrong".  Call the IRS for legally binding guidance.  You won't get it.

 

In reply to by brushhog

vato poco Bubba Rum Das Thu, 07/12/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

54R is what makes a man out of a boy. 

years back, me and a buddy bought Mosin-Nagants. on sale! $65!! (really)

went shooting. maybe the steel buttplates (!) should have tipped us off. (evidently, "concern for the wellbeing of our fellow rooskis" is not a large part of the russian national character) after about 30 rounds or so, shoulders sporting big-ass new bruises, we switched over to the handguns. the lesson: 1) never trust a commie 2) always bring other guns

In reply to by Bubba Rum Das

Scipio Africanuz DC Beastie Boy Fri, 07/13/2018 - 02:14 Permalink

It all started with the "Patriot Act", so much freedom was stolen by that act, the eyes of avaricious thieves watered in envy. We warned that it would kill America, nobody wanted to listen, they all wanted to get the terrarists. A monster was created with that "treasonous act", a bonafide hydra, so powerful, it almost destroyed a president, and it's still trying to destroy him!

Those in congress are not immune either, they didn't think matters through thoroughly when they voted to pass that act, it makes everyone unsafe, and for congress in particular, susceptible to unwarranted influencing and blackmail. That's why the FBI and intelligence agencies can thumb their noses at congress without consequence, the patriot act and accompanying rights destroying security legislation should be ungracefully retired.

If this is not done and soon, we'll have a really serious epidemic of something unmentionable!

And lest you forget, those "security destroying" acts, are the handmaiden of PNAC, they're five and six partners thus, while destroying the Full Spectrum Dominance madness abroad, it is imperative to demolish the Full Spectrum Surveillance at home!

President Trump, the patriot act and NDAA, are your enemies, as much as ours, will you restore our liberty and right to privacy? Ball is in your court, thanks...

In reply to by DC Beastie Boy

BandGap Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:08 Permalink

What will come out is the NSA's fucking data gathering will be a "good" thing when used to expose the "deep state".

It's not the deep state when your party is in control, you know.

Drain the swamp, disband the NSA and destroy all domestic files.

Dude-dude fbazzrea Thu, 07/12/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

If one tries to drain this swamp, the USA would enter into a major and long economic depression.  There are an estimated 4+million Americans with Top-Secret or higher government security clearance.  Imagine what would happen if you revoked the security clearance of just a quarter of them and told them to hit the streets? Alternatively implement an indefinite hiring freeze and allow folks to retire, and simply wait until the deep state withers?   Folks near the top of the pyramid wont let that happen, they'll punish and enslave any lawmaker who fathoms supporting any move other than expansion.     

 

 

In reply to by fbazzrea

Free This Kokulakai Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:44 Permalink

Nice - here's another:

Please don't bury me down in that cold, cold ground

I'd rather have them chop me up, and pass me all around

Throw my brain in a hurricane

The blind can have my eyes,

the deaf can have both my ears

If they don't mind the size

John Prine

That is from memory, it might not be exact, too lazy to look it up...

In reply to by Kokulakai

cheeseheader Free This Thu, 07/12/2018 - 22:55 Permalink

You sir, are sorta/kinda growing on me.

Mentioning John Prine just elevated you up a coupla notches....

Saw him in the 70's at our college utterly after a case of beer (my roommate picked him up at the Lexington airport), up on stage (10 feet away), never touched the mic, then with the girls swirling around him at our apartment for the after concert party.

Now, what was the article about??

In reply to by Free This

Consuelo Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:30 Permalink

He didn't mention those awful subsonic directed-energy weapons which make sleep nearly impossible at your friendly local foreign embassy.   What's that ticking noise I keep hearing...

 

 

I am Groot Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:33 Permalink

There should be a Citizens Arrest now of Obama, Hillary, Brennan, Clapper, Rice, Lunch, Powers, Wasserman Schultz, Comey, McCabe, Mueller, Steele, the Ohrs, Stzrok, Page, Rosenstein, everyone at Fusion GPS, and all the FBI agents who spied on the Trump campaign !

 

THE TREE OF LIBERTY MUST BE REFRESHED WITH THE BLOOD OF PATRIOTS AND TYRANTS FROM TIME TO TIME !

Downvoters should be flayed.

Cautiously Pes… GunnyG Thu, 07/12/2018 - 19:00 Permalink

The snatch and grab could work but it would be a very limited window of opportunity.  Once word goes out that such a thing has occurred, the targets would all go underground and be surrounded by 24/7 security.  But, if it were planned right, 2 or 3 of them could be picked up within a few hours of each other and whisked away to parts unknown.  This would make a great novel now that I think about it!

In reply to by GunnyG