American politicians learned nothing from the collapse of the Roman Republic

❝ If you were a Roman citizen around, say, 200 BC, you probably would have assumed Rome was going to last forever.

At the time, Rome was the greatest republic in human history, and its institutions had proven resilient through invasions and all kinds of disasters. But the foundations of Rome started to weaken less than a century later, and by 27 BC the republic had collapsed entirely.

❝ The story of Rome’s fall is both complicated and relatively straightforward: The state became too big and chaotic; the influence of money and private interests corrupted public institutions; and social and economic inequalities became so large that citizens lost faith in the system altogether and gradually fell into the arms of tyrants and demagogues.

This is more than a deja vu moment. The article confronts American greed, corruption, ignorance, bigotry and – did I mention – greed. Read it, please. If your favorite Congress-critter or President is a Trumpublican, you know that they won’t.

US Government Condemns Cyber-snooping — Except When They’re Doing it. To us.

❝ The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Privacy International, a similar organization based in the United Kingdom, have now sued 11 federal agencies, demanding records about how those agencies engage in what is often called “lawful hacking.”

The activist groups filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and nine others. None responded in a substantive way.

“Law enforcement use of hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy,” the ACLU argues in its lawsuit, which was filed Friday in federal court in New York state…

❝ “…the public does not know when law enforcement agencies believe they can use hacking without obtaining a warrant or other judicial authorization. The public does not even know whether many of the defendant agencies have internal rules or protocols governing hacking. Without more information, the public is not able to exercise meaningful democratic oversight of this new and intrusive law enforcement capability.”

Once again, practices condemned by our papier-mâché politicians when practiced by foreign governments are perfectly legit when it’s Uncle Sugar pulling the trigger.

Going, going, gone…


Click to enlargeDOD photo

❝ One striking image shows the Marine Corps generals who will have left the Trump administration, after the president praised their service…

The photo above, taken in 2013, marked the first time six four-star Marines Corps generals were actively serving in the Marines.

Knowing Marine tradition of dedication to defense of this nation and its Constitution – the eventual departure of these Marines is precisely what I expected.