ECHELON, Eavesdropping, Facts of Life

Here at Poddler’s Creek it is a sad day. Those of you who are afficionados of the VW Beetle will sympathise I’m sure. We have owned three Bugs in the family over the years, two of them until today. My Daughter needs a reliable, younger, less expensive car for work and sold hers last week, luckily to an enthusiast who will do it up and love it. She was very sad. She has nurtured it through her student days, sweated through Summers with it and frozen through Winters and retains her great affection for the breed. Today mine will tragically go to the wreckers. I can no longer drive it and it is unsafe and far too battered to take on the road any more. They all hold special memories. I have just washed the blanket I always kept in mine and found it covered in white Greyhound fur from my beloved Zorro, long deceased. It is another turning point in life. It represents my freedom, the 70’s time warp I sometimes escaped to and in. It was my first and probably my last! I have no regrets and it somehow appropriate they should both go at the same time. A new chapter begins – what will come next? I may never drive again, but if I do, it can never be a characterless, boring car. I look forward to seeing what life brings me next!
You know it constantly amazes me, although I suppose it shouldn’t after all these years, that so many male politicians have such a sketchy grasp of what used to be called ‘the facts of life’! In Tasmania a State politician has asked recently, rhetorically of course, the question “Don’t all children have the right to begin life with a male and female parent?” He was taking part in the debate on what has come to be called ‘gay adoption’ and which has been linked closely to ‘gay marriage’, as if it is a right to be fought for and won. Surely all have a right to marry whoever they love and wish to marry. No-one has a right to adopt a child, nor ever should have that privilege by law, whoever they are. It seems once again that the rights of children take second or third place and that once they become adults they will have to fight for what is rightfully theirs or should be.
It seems to have escaped the notice of this politician, that all children do have a male and female parent when they begin life. Despite new ways of conception and cloning of humans, scientists have not yet found an inexpensive and large scale means of dispensing with the need for a male and female contributor of genetic material in child creation. All children have a male and female parent when they start life, some now have three adult contributors in the race scientists seem to find necessary to invent a ‘super-race’. The future is of no importance, ethics are of no importance and children are a product, wanted but not considered.
What happens next is of major importance. All children need love, care, attention, safety, security, boundaries, appropriate parenting and do not need to become poster children for a parental cause, whatever it may be. Children do not need to become part of an industry or campaign and as a fellow adoptee put it in a comment on a blog post, Adoption is the brutalisation of infants – enforced detachment from their own people – creating a demographic of damaged isolated people without connection to their own.*
Now to something completely different and every bit as concerning, as it affects rights. privacy and our daily lives –
Under a system codenamed ECHELON, launched in the 1970s, the NSA and its junior partners in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada operate a network of massive, highly automated interception stations, covering the globe amongst them. Any of the partners can ask any of the others to intercept its own domestic communications. It can then truthfully say it does not spy on its own citizens.

In February 2000, it was disclosed that the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry, had prepared a report in 1999 which also asserted that NSA had helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According to the DAS report, “it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by the NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the [Microsoft] MS-DOS operating system by the same administration.” The report stated that there had been a “strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by insistent rumors about the existence of spy programs on Microsoft, and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates’ development teams.” The Pentagon, said the report, was Microsoft’s biggest client in the world. Eavesdropping On The Planet By William Blum.

So we find Bill Gates yet again with dirty hands and not looking like the Saint his fans adore. Put that together with his work and support of Monsanto, his views on Eugenics and the way his Foundation actually operates and it’s not beginning to look too pretty! No wonder he is amongst the 1% of the 1%.
Some other links to similar material –

*with thanks to Catherine Lynch


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