Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Message From Your Friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System

There's never enough information to be absolutely safe.

Greetings Mr. J.Q. Public:

J.Q., you don't know me but I know you. I am your friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System--actually, an automated response feature of the system.

You may wonder why you are receiving this email, and you may attribute it to the email you sent an associate stating that the theater play you attended "bombed." Since enemies of America use code phrases rather than overt words like "bombed," that email was noted but not considered actionable. I'm not authorized to reveal what did attract my attention about your communications.

In my routine search of your public records, and all 11,379 emails, texts, message board posts and phone calls you've made in recent years, I found a disturbing trend I am obligated to report to you: your affection for pepperoni pizza with hot chilis and olives (most often from Frank's Pizza Parlor, 1.34 miles from your home) appears to be negatively impacting your health, as your medical records indicate high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

You see, the ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System is all about protecting you--from terrorists bent on destroying America's freedoms and way of life, and also, if need be, from yourself.

I also noticed that the deductions listed on the last three years of your Federal tax returns don't quite align with your other financial records. You probably think everyone fudges on their tax returns, J.Q., but I strongly recommend you start following the letter of the law, as this sort of willful misinformation can lead to IRS audits. Actually, I can say with 100% certainty an audit has already been ordered.

Third-party sources report that you appear to have voted for a Green Party candidate in the last election. Now perhaps that was a simple slip of the ballot, but your file will look a lot less suspicious if you vote for one of the established parties rather than a fringe party.

Satellite imagery suggests that your backyard peach tree has leaf curl, and I strongly recommend spraying a copper solution on the tree as soon as possible. It also appears that you left a hammer on the roof when you were affecting a repair last fall. It's about 1.25 feet from the southwest corner of the roof.

Although humor is frowned upon here, I am allowed one jocular statement per message to maintain the friendly tone of this communication. So let me assure you that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas, J.Q., heh-heh. Yes, I am referring to the family vacation in Las Vegas you conducted this spring while on sick-leave.

I am sorry to say that these inconsistencies, though modest in scope, have automatically triggered the addition of your name to the No-Fly List. Please remember that the next time you are questioned by Homeland Security officers at the airport, please answer their questions honestly and fully, for your own protection and for the protection of the nation. I am sorry if you miss your flight, but protecting liberty has a cost.

Since the ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System also monitors the deep Internet, i.e. encrypted files and servers, I can also suggest deleting the photos of your ex-girlfriends from your PC, and also showing a bit more enthusiasm at work, as your performance reviews have declined and quite frankly, you might not make it through the next round of layoffs.

J.Q., you will find an email address to a secure server at the end of this message. This enables you to privately report any suspicious behavior or activity you might see in your workplace, neighborhood and public venues. What is suspicious behavior? Any attempt to evade surveillance is highly suspicious, for example, using cash to make major consumer purchases or deploying signal-disrupting covers on mobile devices.

Helping to protect America will improve the metrics of your file, J.Q., and the tax audit and No-Fly listing could be remediated by your volunteering to help us keep America safe.

I know you're going to help us protect America, because I already know you so well.

Thank you for your cooperation.

your friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System 

Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify or understand. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism and the elimination of accountability
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Not accepting responsibility and being powerless are two sides of the same coin: once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

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To receive a 20% discount on the print edition: $19.20 (retail $24), follow the link, open a Createspace account and enter discount code SJRGPLAB. (This is the only way I can offer a discount.)

Thank you, Gary R. ($100), for your outrageously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.Thank you, Paula C. ($50), for your stupendously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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