Friday, November 8, 2013

Jeremy Scahill with Tom Englehardt at the Lensic in Santa Fe, Oct 30, 2013

I found out about this particular appearance several days after the event.

I am on Lensic email list, but got no notice of this event; I've had "issues" with the Lannan Foundation and so I don't get notices from them; Jeremy was also at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe on October 31 at a screening of "Dirty Wars," and to sell and sign books, but interestingly, even though I was at the CCA a couple of weeks before, for a screening of "The Cherokee Word for Water," and I picked up lots of literature at the time, there was no mention of Jeremy or "Dirty Wars" in upcoming schedules. As we're not (yet) CCA members, we didn't get any online or mail notices of it, either. It is the way these things tend to go in Santa Fe. My understanding is that the Lensic appearance sold out within days of tickets becoming available in September, and I don't doubt there was a complete sell out at the CCA shortly after the announcement of "Dirty Wars" as the theater is tiny. Ultimately, there may have been little point in announcing these appearances more broadly. Nevertheless, here are the videos that Lannan has posted of the Scahill/Englehardt event at the Lensic:



[I haven't had a chance to watch them in their entirety yet...]

Extended: One of the critical thing that Jeremy points out in the second video (I've still not been able to watch all of either of the videos) -- almost in passing -- is that as bad as the NSA abuses are and have been, "they are eclipsed" by the abuses of the FBI and local police forces, something I have been trying to point out from the beginning of the hysteria over the NSA's domestic surveillance.

What he doesn't say or even allude to (at least so far) is that bad as those abuses are, they are eclipsed by the private sector's abuses. Of course, now that he's got a billionaire to fund his intrepid journalism, a billionaire who is as deeply involved in private sector surveillance as any one, maybe it's not in his interests to say anything about it.

But ultimately all this surveillance apparatus is folded in together, whether government or private, it's basically the same. People like to argue that the private sector can't compel obedience nor does it threaten you with guns, which is simply ignorant, foolish, or deliberately deceptive (my vote is that it is all three simultaneously, as this government we are supposed to dread so much is OWNED, lock, stock and barrel by the corporate sector which writes the laws which the government then enforces against the Rabble. Hello? Furthermore there is a whole private system of police forces, courts, and private prisons, which can and do use lethal force against citizens.

It is stupid -- or deliberately deceptive -- to claim that somehow corporations are benign while government is evil.

However, that's another discussion for another time.

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