Specifically we looked at Celebrity Culture Distractions, Drunk Perry, Jesse Ventura vs. TSA, Pushing the Media Envelope, Gaza Flotillas, Israel Lobby, George W. Bush Against Empire, Ron Paul predicting 9/11, Drones for Bones, and much more.
Links for the latest show:
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
WAR IS PEACE
RON PAUL REVOLUTION
DRONES FOR BONES
OCCUPY THE WORLD
THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE
THE EUROPEAN DEBT UNION
CLAIM THE INTERNETS
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
-George Orwell, 1984
Seizing upon the opportunities granted by European proximity, I recently made a visit one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world, London, England. Once known as unrivaled power capital of the British Empire, today’s London has turned more into “surveillance society”, as so quipped by the London Guardian.
London boasts nearly one camera for every 14 people, making common Londoners the most heavily-watched populace on the planet. The average Brit is said to be caught on camera over 200 times in one day, dwarfing any comparison to undemocratic “totalitarian” states which ultimately lack the resources to commit to such collective paranoia, a feat easily achieved by the richer “liberal” democracies of Her Majesty’s Kingdom.
What makes the presence of such a security apparatus entirely questionable, one could argue, is the fact that they have not served their entire purpose. According to a study and white paper produced by Urban Eye, the use of the cameras has been described by public officials as a way to both “tackle crime” and to “raise revenue”, the latter goal proving eventually to be the more worthy venture. In fact, research conducted by Scotland yard found that while cameras may have been erected in order to fight and prevent crime, they have proved to be an “utter fiasco“, with only 3% of crimes ever solved by use of the Closed-Circuit Television. A recent investigation by the Daily Mail revealed that all other information gathered by authorities are instead used to create “databases” for subjects, where now shockingly one in four Britons–15 million people–are now on a police database (see picture below).
The goal of Liberty In Exile, in exploring the city and country once labeled “Airstrip One” by writer George Orwell, was to attempt to document what Big Brother London is to the average citizen. Here is a collected photo essay based upon casual travel in the city which no longer holds any secrets:
According to the Montreal Gazette this morning, the federal government has just approved the use of “behavior-detection” agents at airports across Canada.
Once the program is fully implemented, specially trained officers with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority will be able to roam airports on the lookout for unusual or suspicious behaviour by passengers.
What this basically entails, as we covered on the last Liberty In Exile show, is that agents are now being trained to detect “terrorist intent” in people’s faces and micro-expressions. An ABC news report covered the same just a few weeks ago, a program which has already been in use in the United States for quite some time.
Instead of tangible proof linking one to terrorism, emphasis is placed upon one’s actions or behavior while they are at the airport.
In passenger-behaviour observation, officers are trained to detect irregular or suspicious behaviour.
“The emphasis is behaviour-based, for example — wearing heavy clothes on a hot day or paying unusual attention to the screening process,” according to a government background document.
“Screening officers trained in passenger behaviour observation screening may check a passenger’s documents and ask simple questions about the passenger’s identity and reasons for travelling to alleviate any security concerns.”
The program focuses on behaviour, not racial or ethnic profiles, the government is quick to point out.
This represents just another example of paranoid government action which will undoubtedly take more liberties away than it could ever save. Shall we continue to sacrifice our privacy for security which has not yet been proven to work in the slightest?
How is the detection of irritable or misplaced people at the airport, which must be practically everyone, at all reasonable or legitimate as a security measure? The majority of individuals at the airport are uncomfortable because of crowded public space, mediocre bathrooms, extended layovers, overpriced trail-mix, crying babies, bad coffee, unwashed benches, and countless other things. What is considered to be reasonable behavior or expressions after one has been traveling all day in a confined cabin, or is set to share 3 square feet of space with 50 complete strangers?
The truth doth be that this measure is not about security; it is about theatre. Beautiful, elegant, majestic theatre. A performance used to qualm the fears of the irrational populace who have been frightened and primed by their “virtuous” public officials who claim there is always danger on the horizon.
Waiting in the wings of this performance, however, is a billion-dollar industry. Millions of contracts for “security” experts and electronic devices which are guaranteed to MAKE YOU SAFE.
X-ray scanner machines, powder detection wands, 360 degree cameras with thermal imaging, bomb-sniffing dogs with a penchant for squeaky toys, and now: the behavior detection software. Yes, you heard it correctly. Individuals who have safely completed the four hour online training session in the windowless bastion of a basement-level government office are prepared to watch your face for clues. Is that a sniffle you just produced? A wink at a member of the opposite sex? Or is that a secret terrorist code, an idiosyncratic motion which will surely cause the destruction of millions of lives at one fell swoop?
The conscious public should be skeptical, not just in this particular case, but whenever a government agency is tasked with and promises to keep you safe. The measures put in place in the last ten years have done nothing but reassure a zombie population they will continue to be zombies, that billions of government money taken from the citizens will be used to defeat an enemy and protect you from an evil which they have themselves created by their actions and policies across the world.
Machines, gadgets, gizmos, suspicion, paranoia, and spying will never attack the problem at its root. It begins with the occupation of foreign land abroad, and ends with the promise to disintegrate the empire and return humbly to the front-line of the mainland. When war, occupation, and empire is forsaken for peace, trade, and partnerships, only then will these spurious threats be eliminated from memory. Only then will the grievances of our fellow man be thrown by the wayside and fraternity, harmony, and concord embraced above all else.
The enemy is not a fury-browed, tight-lipped imposter who travels with an Dooney & Burke accessory bag and aviators, but it is the policy of the governments which we have continued to give legitimacy to, despite their ultimate transgressions.
As liberal democratic countries continue to dilute the liberties and freedoms once enjoyed by their citizens for the sake of feel-good security measures, there must be voices of reason which guide us to a more just and more righteous existence in the polis. Liberty In Exile will continue to stand as a tool and mouthpiece for those liberties and freedoms we, as a people, once knew. To make government more the servant, and not the master of us all. In these free nations, we do not choose to be ruled, we elect to be governed.
More analysis and commentary will be covered this week on Liberty In Exile, broadcasting from Vienna, Austria.