Does this count as a koan?

Given enough time, technological ephemeralization (doing more with less) logically leads toward everything from nothing.

Sparked off this:


Things I’m surprised weren’t mentioned after watching the former CIA and NSA boss Michael Hayden and reporter Glenn Greenwald debate each other

The surveillance includes world leaders. Do we suspect Angela Merkel of terrorism? 

And the vast sprawling surveillance state is so big it doesn’t even know its own size. The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”


The Debate via Techdirt:

“If you have (a little less than) 2 hours this weekend, find a way to sit down and watch the mother of all debates about the NSA surveillance program, in which former CIA and NSA boss Michael Hayden and reporter Glenn Greenwald debate each other. Hayden had (in)famous law professor Alan Dershowitz on his side, and Greenwald had Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian on his side, and they both had their interesting moments, but this debate was all about Greenwald v. Hayden and they did not disappoint. Greenwald knocked it out of the park. Hayden came off as condescending and evasive, while Greenwald had facts readily at hand. Hayden said he wanted to debate on the actual facts, and Greenwald brought a bunch, which Hayden didn’t respond to. Dershowitz kept insisting that it was all okay because the people at the NSA had proper motives (I don’t recall where in the 4th Amendment there’s an exception for motives). Meanwhile, Ohanian highlighted how the NSA is actually making us all less secure and massively harming the economy. The video of the debate is below, but you have to skip ahead to 29 minutes.”

Healthcare Debate and History in the U.S.

Shamelessly stolen from this facebook group: We Build Our Society / #WBOS

Marie posts a question about how to centrally plan the delivery of healthcare to a population, but seems incurious to the actual history of the use by elites to regulate, control and limit what were clearly once FREER (not the mythological perfectly “free”) markets in medical care.

Here is more information:

1. Letter to the editor, Roderick Long:

” To the editor:

To understand the current debate over healthcare, one needs to see past the rhetoric of both parties and look at the policies they actually enact.

Republicans promise to protect us against big government, while Democrats promise to protect us against big business.

“Hey there, corporate parasite” – “Hey there, socialist oppressor”

But in practice, both parties consistently support a partnership between big government and big business, at the expense of ordinary people. They bicker over which partner is to be dominant; but neither party ever seriously threatens the overall partnership.

The healthcare bill is a case in point.

Democrats have portrayed it as an assault on the power of insurance companies – as if those companies won’t benefit enormously from a provision requiring everyone to buy health insurance (with or without the public option).

The Republicans, for their part, portray their defense of the status quo as a defense of the free market. But the status quo in healthcare is no free market; it’s a system of massive, ongoing government intervention on behalf of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the medical establishment.

Democrats and Republicans disagree only over the precise flavor of intervention, not the amount. The question is always whether decisions about your healthcare should be made by bureaucrats, or instead by plutocrats – never by you.

A century ago, a vibrant system of health cooperatives, run not by bureaucrats or plutocrats but by the working class, was dramatically reducing healthcare prices and boosting patient autonomy – until government regulation shut the system down. (University of Alabama history professor David Beito documents the story in his book From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State.)

If Republicans really care about free markets, and if Democrats really care about the poor, why doesn’t either party work to repeal those laws and allow the cooperative system to return?

Roderick T. Long ”

Further reading, see
R.T. Long, How Government Solved the Healthcare Crisis: “In “How Government Solved the Healthcare Crisis,” market anarchist theorist Roderick Long discusses the history of the grassroots mutual aid associations that working-class folks organized to get access to affordable healthcare — until the State, at the behest of Big Medicine, deliberately set out to edge them out and shut them down, by any means necessary.”

R.T. Long: Poison As Food, Poison As Antidote:, and
R.T. Long: Remembering Corporate Liberalism:
Kevin Carson’s Meet the New Healthcare Boss:
and Honest Statism Beats a Fake Free Market:
Gary Chartier’s State Socialism and Anarchism: How Far They Agree and Wherein They Differ Regarding Healthcare Reform.

Roderick T. Long’s “Mutual Aid Medical Care“: