Post 9/11 America has increasingly become a security state. Spying on the population is now commonplace. Local police forces have been militarized. Borders, points of entry, especially airports, and border regions have become the scene of long lines with questionable outcomes.

Posts about the Security State

Capitalism, Delusion, Economy, Inequality, Racism/White Supremacy, Security State

My Year End Siege of Angers – the list –the rerun

December 29, 2023

Last year, at about this time,  I tapped away at the list below. In recent days I returned to the question of a new Siege of Angers. I came up with little new and found that last year’s Siege of Angers remained at the top of my mind. The one exception is the continuing siege of fascism spearheaded by Trump. We need to counter-attack vigorously. I don’t believe the Democrats are in a position to —>> read more –>>


  1. Carter C. Price and Kathryn A. Edwards, “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018” (RAND Corporation, September 14, 2020),
  2. Please note that the income distribution in 1975 was not an ideal. There was significant inequality. From our current perspective, it seems idyllic compared to the transformations of the last 40 years.
  3. Price, Carter C., and Kathryn A. Edwards. “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018.” (RAND Corporation, September 14, 2020).
  4. For another day, we could look at the wealth inequalities that this has produced. Much worse!
  5. The classic origin text is Hayek, Friedrich A. von. The Road to Serfdom. G. Routledge, London, 1944.
  6. This movement was also championed in the UK and then forced on much of the developing world through US foreign policy, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank
  7. The “liberalism” of neoliberalism is not the liberalism we associate with FDR and the Democratic Party here in the US. The academics who coined this word were referring to 18th and 19th century European liberalism. A different beast.
  8. First Inaugural Address on January 20, 1981
  9. see Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, Revised edition (New York, NY: PublicAffairs, 2015)
  10. Just search for "monopoly"(click on this link to conduct the search) on this website for many discussions of monopolization.
  12. I have to credit my stepson Jonathan London, Professor of Global Political Economics at Leiden University in the Netherlands, with this observation.
  13. Lewis Powell, “Memorandum: Attack On American Free Enterprise System | Lewis F. Powell Jr. Papers | Washington and Lee University School of Law” (August 23, 1971),
  15. Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3 (September 2014): 564–81,
Capitalism, Economy, Empire, Healthcare, Politics, Security State

A thought for the day while looking around in TikTok

August 28, 2023

The other day I was poking around in TikTok to see what it is all about. Came across a quote from Karl Marx that struck a chord. “There must be something rotten in the very core of a social system which increases its wealth without diminishing its misery.”1 Here we are 164 years later and this observation is perhaps even more telling. This is particularly so because we are a very rich country. The US —>> read more –>>


  1. This appeared in an article Marx wrote for The New York Tribune in 1859
Security State, Technology

Tik Tok, Surveillance, and Short Memories

March 24, 2023

The recent ruckus about the likelihood that the Chinese government might access data from American TikTok accounts is perhaps well-placed. They might also use their access to TikTok to spread propaganda and other malicious information. Certainly, the simple solution suggested by TiKTOk of storing all US user data on servers in the US is not terribly reassuring. Backdoors in software are commonplace. One would have to be careful about who the software engineers are who —>> read more –>>


  1. This data covers 1979 -2013
  2. Fowler, Jeffrey A. “I Tried to Read All My App Privacy Policies. It Was 1 Million Words.” Washington Post, May 31, 2022, sec. Your Data and Privacy.
Capitalism, Economy, Education, Empire, Environment, Healthcare, Inequality, Politics, Racism/White Supremacy, Security State, Women

My Year End Siege of Angers – the list

January 1, 2023

Yesterday as I was taking a walk up and down Warren St. here in Hudson I realized that I had become actively angry about the state of the US and the world. I walked past hotels where a single room would set you back $400 for a night or you could go for the suite that is a mere $1300. This in a country where 32% of the people can’t pay an unexpected $400 bill.1 —>> read more –>>


  3. see the empirical study Martin Gilens, Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (Princeton, N.J; New York: Princeton University Press ; Russell Sage Foundation, 2012).
  11. and
Empire, Politics, Security State

9/11 and the Trump Pandemic – a contrast in reactions

December 5, 2020

Since I noticed that every day now as many Americans are dying in the Trump Pandemic as died during the 9/11 attacks I have thought about how different public and government reactions have been.

Empire, Politics, Security State

How America Tortures – a new report with drawings and a movie

December 13, 2019

 How America Tortures by M. P. Denbeaux, & Seton Hall University. (2019) This report includes eight drawings by Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo detainee, illustrating his experiences during torture sessions. Abu Zubaydah is also a figure in the movie discussed below. This report is really a short book, some 95 pages including extensive notes, that covers all aspects of the CIA torture program. Download the report here>>>>. Here are screen grabs of the Abu Zubaydah drawings —>> read more –>>

Politics, Security State

Revisiting MetaData – Your Life Made Visible

November 17, 2016

In the current moment much of the concern about privacy online and otherwise has been overwhelmed by Trump, inequality, racism and other matters. The NSA and other spies, government and corporate, are not taking a vacation.  I wrote earlier about this in  “The Uses of Metadata – an experiment you can conduct with your own life’s metadata” in July, 2013. Recently I revisited Immersion: a people-centric view of your email life, the MIT project to visualize —>> read more –>>


  1. metadata = a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. In the case of email this includes date and time; to, cc, bcc recipients; and subject line.
Books, Security State

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald – book review

June 1, 2014

We are within days of the anniversary of the first revelations from Edward Snowden’s archive of NSA documents. The drum beat of new stories emerging from this trove continues even to this moment. ((NSA Collecting Millions of Faces from Web Images accessed 06012014)) So, Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State might be greeted with a yawn, what could be new? In fact, there is much that —>> read more –>>

Security State

FISA Court – Not a Court – an Administrative Rubber Stamp – Bureaucrats Dressed Up as Judges

July 11, 2013

The government and the press continue to refer to the FISA Court as a judicial review, a third party oversight of the government’s intrusions on our privacy. This misuse of words and concepts needs correction.

Security State

The Uses of Metadata – an experiment you can conduct with your own life’s metadata

July 9, 2013

With the recent revelations of the NSA vacuum cleaner collecting metadata about every aspect of our lives ((We are forced to assume that they are collecting everything, emails, telephone calls, financial transactions, text messages, anything digital which is virtually every aspect of life unless you took to the woods before 2000 and have been subsisting in an entirely cash economy without any communications that re not face to face. The tangle of lies by every —>> read more –>>

Books, Security State

Put your bodies upon the wheels, upon the levers….

June 27, 2013

Confronting the ruling powers (government or corporate) over their misdeeds has a long and honored history. Most recently the Occupy movement brought some new approaches and energy if not immediate success to protest. The Free Speech Movement at U. Cal Berkeley in the mid-sixties provides the famous speech by Mario Savio that included his call: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t —>> read more –>>

Security State

NSA Vacuuming, Meta Data, Mistaken Misleading Metaphors

June 17, 2013

NSA’s gathering of Meta Data Compared to Corporate Use of Information In the current discussions of the government’s wholesale seizure of the meta data of our personal digital lives there is regular comparison to the acquisition and use of information about our digital lives by corporations. At the moment corporate use of individual information results in targeted advertising and increasingly location aware targeted advertising through our smart phones. The implicit, sometimes explicit, notion is that —>> read more –>>

Security State

Dangers of the US Security State

June 16, 2013

There are those, in response to the recent revelations of the US government vacuum cleaning our lives through the NSA and other secret programs, who take the line that the innocent have nothing to fear from the government. Here is an example of why no one should take such a naive approach to the powers of government. LAURA POITRAScredit: Ruby Washington/New York Times photographer – borrowed w/o permission The New York Times reported recently (“Player —>> read more –>>

Security State

US Vacuum Cleaning Our Privacy – the bigger story

June 8, 2013

There has rightfully been considerable outrage over this week’s revelations that the Federal government has been sucking up information on virtually every aspect of our lives, email, telephones calls, pictures, credit card and banking transactions, and so on. Unfortunately almost all of this discussion is taking place without a useful sense of the scope, scale, and trajectory of the government’s war on terror. META DATA Before getting to the bigger picture within which the present —>> read more –>>

Empire, Security State

Parallels and Prescience – on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”

September 12, 2011

Having successfully avoided much of the national moment for our politicians to blather on about the true meaning of 9/11, I was struck this morning by parallel between our “War on Terror” and our longest war, the “War on Drugs” (I have written earlier about this here). Some may be offended initially by this comparison. The War on Drugs was invented for the most cynical of purposes by one of our more craven Presidents, President Nixon ((I —>> read more –>>

Politics, Security State

Naomi Wolf’s The End of America – the movie

May 27, 2011

The End of America – a film by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern Here is a summary ((from the website – 05/27/2011)) of the ten steps discussed and illustrated by Ms. Wolf in the movie. 10 STEPS THAT CLOSE AN OPEN SOCIETY 1. invoke an internal and external threat People who are afraid are willing to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do. 2. establish secret (unaccountable) prisons where torture takes place In a secret —>> read more –>>

Empire, Politics, Security State

9/11 and the Uses of American Amnesia (or Self Delusion)

September 20, 2010

As another anniversary of the events of  September 11, 2001 passes, the endless reflexive bleating in the press and our politics about 9/11 reminds that Americans continue to be enormously ignorant and callous about our place in the world. The destruction on September 11, 2001 of a few buildings and the associated loss of life continues to occupy enormous space in the media and our political life. It remains a resource for politicians and the —>> read more –>>

Books, Security State

Yottabytes and the National Security State

October 17, 2009

The current New York Review of Books has an article by James Bamford, “Who’s in Big Brother’s Database” that reviews the new book by Mathew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency . I have gotten in line at my local library to read this book and will make further comments after that. Meanwhile, the Bamford article mentions the construction boom at NSA (National Security Agency) with a doubling —>> read more –>>

Empire, Politics, Security State

A New Thought on Terrorism

December 6, 2008

An article in today’s NYTimes about cyber crime, malware, etc. suggests to me that another line of attack may be through the Internet against our utilities, telecoms, or financial institutions. There have already been massive attacks against whole countries with successful breakdowns that lasted for hours and days. Ukraine, Lithuania, and Georgia were targets over the last year. My memory is that suspicions fell to the Russian government because the attacks, in these cases massive —>> read more –>>

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