Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Naomi Klein brings up some excellent points about how the heads of the states that make up North America believe that allowing protestors to be "seen and heard" from behind barbed wire while our leaders dine at the Chateau Montebello with the CEOs of Chevron, Ford, Lockheed Martin, and Wal-Mart--all who are on Global Exchange's 2005 list of worst corporations--is actually an acceptable.

I recently authored an article for The Humanist magazine titled "The Security and Prosperity Partnership Summit, Are Our Leaders Undermining Democracy?" In it I wrote, "Imagine how we would shake our heads in pity if we were to read about the heads of state of three developing countries barricaded in a luxury villa with the wealthy ruling class elite while the people protested behind the barbed wire. "If only they could live in a democracy," we would say with a regretful sigh."

I wish I had been creative enough to refer to it as the "Big Brother Democracy" it is. The mainstream media (except for Agence France Presse) has done little more than regurgitate the official press releases on the summit, so thank you, Ms. Klein and The Nation, for taking a critical look at what's happening.

Edward Johnson

Washington, DC

Sep 25 2007 - 7:32pm

Web Letter

Naomi has once again found the nub: The Security State? Well, kinda... the Private Contractor Security State...

On May 14, at an industry conference in Colorado sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. government revealed for the first time how much of its classified intelligence budget is spent on private contracts: a whopping 70 percent. Based on this year’s estimated budget of at least $48 billion, that would come to at least $34 billion in contracts. [Source: Salon, June 1, 2006]

The Private contractors of the Security State put Hallliburton to shame on their lucrative contracts, all protected in the Black Box of DOD budgets.

And who oversees the info the contractors purloin ?

Michael McKinlay

Hercules , CA

Sep 22 2007 - 8:16pm

Web Letter

I think the RCMP is frothing at the idea that they don't have to work a crowd that is standing within fifty feet of the world's leaders, wondering if a radicalized group of nationals has slipped under their net (like seventeen people arrested in Toronto after placing an order for fertilizer), possibly undetected by the exceedingly law abiding Muslim community itself. I think world leaders wouldn't get away with it otherwise and that most of what appears to be Big Brother is probably overriding security concerns regularly re-emphasized by each countries secret service and law enforcement and possibly not an idea originating in the minds of heads of state looking to avoid open criticism. These guys get and dismiss criticism far better than the average guy, as it is a part of their job. We can't put our own uninitiated sensibilities as part of our reasoning on why this may be happening. What is being said will be heard and covered by the press, which is certainly more important. The press is regularly scoured by the PM's office and potential issues are brought up in daily meetings. There are similar departments in every government in the world. It will be heard eventually, just not directly by the ears of people involved as they move from their car fifteen feet to an open door, but it will be heard.

Rob Weafer

Toronto, Ontario

Sep 5 2007 - 3:48pm

Web Letter

When you are "questioning authority" in the media, you must alway assume that you are being monitored by some individual, group or the government. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen! When they push, you push back.

I support the position of these protesters, and I have attacked the Corporate Fascist Agenda of "Free Trade," along with the Bush Administration. Contacting my federal representatives (including the White house) through Congress,org., I have called the President and his Administration "Corporate Fascist." It is my belief this is an accurate description of the President and the Administration.

As to the virtual fence, it is only more corporate welfare for Boeing. It is more eye wash to deceive the public. These people have no interest in border security, because it will slow down trade between Mexico, the US, and Canada. They could care less if Al Qaeda blows up the country, as long as they can dump their cheap goods on the US and Canadian markets. However, they will not be pleased when these drug gangs start kidnapping their family members and holding them for ransom. Kidnapping is a popular crime in Mexico.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 4 2007 - 3:37pm

Web Letter

Lately, I've been wondering whether our nation is still free respecting the Constitution or if we are living in a police state in order to prevent a possible terrorist attack on our soil, depending on how flexibility of freedom is perceived.

Nick Rosen

Great Falls, VA

Sep 1 2007 - 7:15am

Web Letter

It is time that we ordinary citizens secretly infiltrate the government, and secretly use it to advance our own causes.

Rod Bickles

Las Vegas, NV

Aug 27 2007 - 6:14pm

Web Letter

As always, Ms. Klein strikes home and leaves a molten crater. Admirable and ethical. Maybe, though, the national surveillance state is less like the breathless inner circle of The Bourne Ultimatum than the stoned reality-show of Fahrenheit 451, forty some years ago. Sadly, there is nothing very new here. The only good news is that, I hope, we are--all?--very gradually learning to mistrust anything offered by mass media. (Then what?)

Larry Bidinger

Cedar Grove, IN

Aug 23 2007 - 10:46pm