Sunday, June 09, 2013
  Thanks for proving my point

Thanks for proving my point, NSA. Or more precisely, proving good old Parkinson's point.
A U.S. intelligence agency requested a criminal probe on Saturday into the leak of highly classified information about secret surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency... Clapper blasted what he called "reckless disclosures" of a highly classified spy agency project code-named PRISM.
First, there is no INFORMATION. In both scientific and common usage, INFORMATION means something you didn't know before. Pretty much the same definition as NEWs. NEWs means a set of facts that are NEW to you.

The fact that NSA listens to everything and everyone all the time has been known for 40 years. It is not INFORMATION.

= = = = =

Ssshhh! Don't tell anyone! The sun is hot!!!! Sssshh!! Keep it secret! I'll put you in jail if you tell anyone!

Whoops. I was trying for a silly analogy, but it's unfortunately too perfect. The fact that the sun warms the earth is ALSO classified "information". You probably won't end up in jail for saying it, but you can lose your job and credibility for saying it.

In both cases the official "fact" is bizarrely false. Officially, NSA only listens when it gets a search warrant. Officially, only Evillllll KKKarbonnnnn warms the earth.

Backing away from this convoluted roiling maze of gibbering nonsense, let's ask what a spy agency should be doing. It should be trying to learn what our country's enemies are doing, so that our country's government can counteract the enemies. Focused action toward a focused purpose.

This is manifestly not what NSA, CIA, and all the other nameless agencies and pieces of agencies are doing. They are trying to learn what ordinary Americans are doing, so that they can keep ordinary Americans from knowing what ordinary Americans are doing. Action without purpose. Or rather, action with the sole purpose of expanding each agency's power and budget.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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