I’ve compiled a list of articles below with topics I’ve been reading (lately, in the past, or in the not so distant past) that get at some of the most concerning trends I see occurring. The Republican and Democrat divide going to extremes is of course front and center for many of us because of the major news sources, but I’m even more concerned about underlying, structural, societal issues with discourse, governance and the elites running the show. And I’m not talking about “shadowy” elites playing the puppet strings. I’m talking about those in power and leadership positions openly doing so. It also seems to be we are quickly pivoting toward a culture of screaming down our opponents, taking them down in virtual flash mob, pitchfork-like attacks or flounder-gigging if you will to social exclusion either from career or status. This is the bitter, logical end of relativistic, post-modernism (also called post-postmodernism): sheer power wielded by those possessing the power to get what they want based on their version of truth. The only question is, whose truth will reign? And it turns out it’s a power wielded primarily by the small number of elites versus the people who will get what they want.
Before going into this, it should be noted Christ is the sovereign King who rules all governments by the power of His word, including ours. These things are not happening in a vaccuum apart from Him. With that noted, it is also important to note that Christ has given us means and tools at our disposal to influence and change government for the benefit of all. Benjamin Franklin had this to say when asked what kind of government was being formed. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Our freedoms are being eroded right before our eyes as the nation is enthralled with the likes of the Kardashian’s, obsessed with football, or we have just stuck our heads in the sand either willfully or through pure ignorance. This is no different than the Roman population being distracted with circuses, gladiatorial sport and bread before the empire succumbed to the Visigoths sacking Rome in the fifth century. This entire clip is worth watching for every American, left right, Democrat, Republican, whoever. One smart man.
“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. ” – Ariel Durant
I don’t normally read RollingStone Magazine, but I stumbled across a link to an article while on Bruce Schneier’s security blog. In short, China is performing a social/spying experiment upon a city called Shenzhen. Every spy toy imaginable is being employed in the service of watching and controlling every movement its citizens make. This is 1984 stuff here. And one of the interesting comments in the article is that U.S. corporations are some of the largest financiers of this endeavor. Also, just like everything in China, it will be exported to a “neighborhood near you,” as it says in the article. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true and maybe a bit alarmist. But it is odd to me the U.S. seems to have such a vested interest in this. Also, at the very least, the technology could be quickly exported to current oppressive governments for the controlling of their people. Here are some quotes from the article:
“As China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, Shenzhen is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of this vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range — a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.)”
“This is how this Golden Shield will work: Chinese citizens will be watched around the clock through networked CCTV cameras and remote monitoring of computers. They will be listened to on their phone calls, monitored by digital voice-recognition technologies. Their Internet access will be aggressively limited through the country’s notorious system of online controls known as the ‘Great Firewall.’ Their movements will be tracked through national ID cards with scannable computer chips and photos that are instantly uploaded to police databases and linked to their holder’s personal data. This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces.”
“One Shenzhen-based company, China Security & Surveillance Technology, has developed software to enable the cameras to alert police when an unusual number of people begin to gather at any given location.”
“Shenzhen is the place where the shield has received its most extensive fortifications — the place where all the spy toys are being hooked together and tested to see what they can do. ‘The central government eventually wants to have city-by-city surveillance, so they could just sit and monitor one city and its surveillance system as a whole,’ Zhang says. ‘It’s all part of that bigger project. Once the tests are done and it’s proven, they will be spreading from the big province to the cities, even to the rural farmland.’
In fact, the rollout of the high-tech shield is already well under way.”