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NatSAg to Unveil Webapp for Putting Your Phone in a Global Context

A look at the issues surrounding the recent revelations regarding domestic spying.

Framing Debates

When we debate an issue, we do it within defined bounds. The bounds, or terms of the debate, act like the field in a sport. Those seeking a biased outcome will seek a biased definition, and we usually see the corporate media do their debates with poorly defined bounds. Like children learning to dance by watching drunkards and strippers, our own debates come out confused.

This pattern, it repeats. The corporate media only occasionally goes to the debate narrative, but often for the opposite reason you would think. You might think debate kicks off when someone wants a change. In our society debate does not allow for change.

Debate in the USA comes out like a drunk dancing. Stripper if you throw the practiced media narrative debates in the mix. Television time slots artificially limit the debate time. Guest bookings and sponsors and the like keep the advocacy from being too risque.

Debate comes as a consolation prize. Society saying no in a softer, gentler fashion. But with some issues, gay marriage for example, the debate actually moves the world.

Because you can’t really frame the debate. They tried. Civil unions. Everything except for the name of marriage. And that erodes pretty quickly once civil unions exist.

The other debates have moved some places. Gun control has moved a lot of places. Universal health care. Education.

The Cannabis debate slowly moves the world away from drug prohibition (rather, away from prohibiting certain drugs, where others have been available all along).

But the media does not follow along. They come along like some know-it-all cousin: “never happen.” It happens: “toldya so.” They do not provide the forum for change. The change comes, and they talk about it.

Big Brother from an Authoritarian Mother is Watching

Anyway. The National Security Agency (NatSAg for short) brings the latest debate. They accidentally asked the courts for all of our phone records. And those nuts at the court said, “okay.” Well after they bought enough hard drives to copy all the data in perpetuity, they have finally come to ask us what we think they should do.

Boy oh boy. They have themselves one of those old-fashioned dilemmas, don’t they. They can spy on us, gathering all information on our whereabouts, whatabouts, and whoabouts, our whyabouts, howabouts, and whenabouts. Or they can go fuckthemselves. It’s really quite a pickle.

The media seems a bit untorn about the whole thing. As do the overseers in the Congress.

One of the prevailing debate lines reads, “if you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” But my mother always told me that, “two wrongs don’t make a right,” so it looks like that one doesn’t pass the mom-said-the-opposite test.

Others say, “oh, but what if the threat is really bad,” like those scenarios they try to justify torture with. The same childish game of would you eat shit for a dollar? A million? To be able to fly? Again, a framing error. We have options besides sacrificing our babies to idols.


A lot of the fallout from the NatSAg revelations comes in the form of people mad at Obama, or worrying that the American people will take this lump. They fail to recognize that outrage does not necessarily spark outcry. That it takes time to manifest a reformation.

In Turkey they have recently seen major calls for renewal of their government. Like much of the Middle East, the protests did not come from a carefully thought out plan, or some major revelation akin to the NatSAg story here. Instead, the initial protests road on a smaller protest of a less visible issue.

The people hold the outrage, looking for somewhere to put it. Eventually they find that place, for good or ill.

But no, the American people may seem apathetic about spying, drones, inferior health care, inferior education, inadequate and overcomplicated tax codes, etc. They just want reform. They will rise up in protest in time, on some unknown H-hour, D-day. It may be a very different issue that brings them out initially. But like Turkey, once out, they will call for their rightful reforms.

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