ZeroHedge
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RE: An Apology

Dear ZeroHedge,

I am sorry. Evidently, I was wrong about conspiracy, more specifically, the US Government’s pursuit of what must be one of, if not THE world’s biggest: the hoovering-up (no pun intended) storage and analysis of the entire world’s digital and voice information. In the past, I derided your cherished belief in a US Government Puppeteer-like Plunge-Protection Team on the Ockham-inspired grounds that it would be virtually impossible to undertake what was alleged without at least some whistle-blowers, co-conspirators and/or enablers coming forward with evidence to expose such actions. I was quick to point out the glaring inconsistency to your argument that mocked what you saw as the US Government’s apparent ineptitude in Agriculture, Healthcare, Securities Market regulation, Welfare, Military Purchasing, Industrial Policy, FEMA, as well as Fiscal and Monetary policies, yet somehow managed to confer an ability to implement and perpetuate Machiavellian manipulations and direct interventions in financial markets to great success (and to the chagrin of perma-bears and pessimists alike) without ever getting get caught.

Now, looking at what the NSA has accomplished, more or less without general disclosure until recently, ranging from their ability to access and subsequent archiving of every digital and voice communication, to the ubiquitous tools built-in to every device and every information orifice everywhere in order to access whatever it wants, whenever it so desires, it is apparent that not only is the US Government awe-inspiring in the scope, breadth and efficiency of what it can accomplish when it sets it sights on it, but people are now ascribing near-omnipotence to its abilities, so much so that at a dinner the other night, I was told in no uncertain terms, that “they” can activate one’s phone – even when it’s powered off – and use it to listen to surrounding conversations. Irrespective of whether or not it’s true, the point is that it’s powers and abilities are now-deemed so great, detractors are afraid of what and how (whether premeditatedly or inadvertently) they might be used.

Of course, the government has not been without their successes in the past in areas such as funding university research, DARPA, US Nuclear Weapons development, NASA, Hubble, TVA, National Highway System, NOAA, USGS, CDC, etc. These are conveniently expunged from Libertarian derision of The State. But Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s awesome prowess, giving it near-total electronic omniscience, should humble observers and silence all doubters, irrespective of whether or not one agrees with their objective, and give the US Government maximum respect for its powers of organization, implementation and efficiency, to the point where even a skeptic like me must concede the possibility that a PPT might, at the very least, actually exist. I’m not saying it (an Oz-like Wizard at the helm) DOES, but it seems that such a minor undertaking, in light of recent revelations, is well within their capabilities. What say YOU WikiLeaks?

So impressive is the US Govt’s can-do mobilization of resources to achieve an objective when it wants to, one can only imagine the inspired possibilities were our now-exposed, highly-motivated, best and brightest, to tackle something like Single-Payer Healthcare, ubiquitous quality Education, forward-thinking Energy Policy, and even Inequality. Vanquished is the image of the US Government as a tree-house for plodding lazy job-for-life postal workers, replaced with not only “men-with-a-plan”, but the wherewithal to realize it with the same focus that put Neil Armstrong on the moon (understanding ZH’ers reservations as to the veracity of this event).

Somewhat more controversially, consider that with the NSA’s complete-and-total data-acquisition and mining infrastructure at its disposal, we might banish Medicare fraud, Welfare cheats, Defense contractor malfeasance, Co.’s flouting environmental regulations, Govt contractor bid-riggings, bridge-closings, bogus analyst recommendations, HFT collusion, Bernie Madoff, self-detonating CDOs, and even incontrovertibly-nail GOOG, AMZN, & SBUX for rather obvious and cynical tax evasion ploys are surely just a hop, skip and several keystrokes away. No wonder the latter are becoming uncomfortable with their prior cooperation. A tad Orwellian, one might ponder? Perhaps. But since it is out there, is it not worth asking whether our (and it IS “ours”) rather impressive machinery might not, at the very least, be targeted at enhancing the wider Public Interest in more generally protective ways? “No more secrets” cuts both ways.

Once again, mea culpa for doubting you, and I look forward to your help in conceiving how awesomely the US Government will achieve similar efficiency and success in Healthcare, Education, and Transport when we approach these issues with equal resolve, as we have demonstrated in the manipulation of markets and God-like elimination of all secrets from the electronic sphere.

Yours truly

Cassandra

Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “An About-Face Regarding ZH Conspiracy Theories”

  1. EdMcGon says:

    Cassandra,
    You’re missing the point with the NSA. It isn’t indicative of tremendous government efficiency. It is handing over a terrible power to a government that is inefficient in policing itself, thereby leaving the door open to abuse of said terrible power. You may want to check the history of J.Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon for examples of U.S. government abuse of power.

  2. rd says:

    Cassandra missed the real meaning of The Edward Snowden Affair. Despite their hoovering up of all the electronic data, they couldn’t even figure out that one of their own was hoovering their hoovering and was planning on bolting the country and giving it to international journalists. The NSA appears to have largely functioned as a highly intrusive Library of Congress with people taking care of the colelctions instead of Hoovering them (FBI-Hoover) to control the universe. It appears that they have given more access to their archives to international journalists than to their own agencies.

  3. Jake Gittes says:

    Barry:

    You forgot to mention the awesome potential power of the U.S. Government to tackle once and for all the acne outbreak which seems to have infected the vast majority of posters on the various ZH threads.

    When the government decides to commit its awesome powers to eradicating the bad skin conditions of the country, a whole lot of that righteous indignation will disappear from the ZH website.

    Yours truly,

    Jake Gittes

  4. Concerned Neighbour says:

    Not sure if serious Cassandra, but I’d lay high odds on these stock “markets” being overtly controlled via futures.

  5. cr says:

    Cassandra,

    You make a good point that NSA capabilities are now overestimated. The scale of the NSA effort though different appears to be comparable to or greater than East Germany’s Stasi. Without doubt the NSA has violated the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. The ability to blackmail and extort those in a position of power is potentially extreme. In the military we had a saying that capabilities breed intentions. We have good reason to be very afraid.

    The leaders at NSA to include Hayden and Alexander have demonstrated through their actions that they are zealots blind to the law and the Constitution. These are the men who have crossed the line. What will the next holders of this power be willing to do with this immense power?

    Zero Hedge sometimes plays the Fool to these kings. Though sometimes inflated, we should at least appreciate ZH’s using humor, art and sarcasm to speak truth to the populace about the crimes of the government.

  6. VennData says:

    But wait! How does Cassandra reconcile the FACT that the S&P500 should be at 420?

    See!? Zero Hedge is right.

    - Rick Santelli

  7. Wake-up says:

    Cassandra – Have you been living under a rock for the last 15 years? Before Snowden there was much written in the press about the NSA spying – about Raptor, Carivore, the US WEST – Nacchio fight (we know had that ended! Quite a message to those corp leaders who don’t ‘cooperate’!) . But go further back – the INSLAW case, J.Edgar Hoovers secret spying, etc…

    The magic of Snowden has been the timing and the processes of managing the media releases. The timing in that America is at a temporary low point in our paranoia – having been satiated with the dual 10 yr+ wars and of course the “War on Terror”. If these disclosures occurred in 2002 – I doubt we would have had the same reaction.

    As for the “President Working Group on Financial Markets” or the “PPT” one only has to do a Google search and 15 minutes of reading.

    Americans seem to have this Ostrich mentality – or one could say cognitive dissonance – similar to say a mild case of dissociative identity disorder (which has been skyrocketing in more extreme cases – I wonder why?).

    Time to wake up!

    You obviously do not understand sarcasm . . .

  8. RW says:

    I love the smell of irony in the morning. Thx

  9. JoseOle says:

    ZH jumped the shark a long time ago. Life’s too short to waste time on crap like that.

  10. linhdtu says:

    heh,heh, I have always enjoyed Cassandra’s wit. Sarcasm aside, he has a very good point. If the US gvt has the ability to succeed in all these nefarious activities exposed by Snowden , why can’t it solve the other more public and pressing issues like affordable health care etc … I recently retired after 11 yrs working for the DoD as a civilian, carrying a TS clearance like Snowden ( a very annoying regulation ) required for many “dark ” projects I was involved with. I can assure you that the “darkness” is mostly a cover and an excuse for inefficiency and cover up of bureaucratic bungling than any hint of advance scientific secrets to be kept out of sight of our enemy.
    Before joining the Dod, I worked for 20 yrs in the private industry (HP and IBM) and I have never met any colleague within the gvt who is smarter than me. My point is that the success of these nefarious projects depends on really sharp people and sharp people don’t cotton to the choking rules and regulations that I can imagine to be at least twice as cumbersome as the ones I had to endure.

  11. Angryman1 says:

    Libertarians can hate the nation state because they love market statism. anything that goes against the market statists is against them.

  12. 4whatitsworth says:

    Why would any politician in their right mind banish Medicare fraud, Welfare cheats, Defense contractor malfeasance, and Co.’s flouting environmental regulations when these are the people that keep them in power? Why not use this information to spy on advisories and their campaigns?

    Think of what you could do to folks like Romney and Christie if you had access to their email and phone calls?

  13. MayorQuimby says:

    ZH is selling bearishness. So is Denninger and many others. People forget there is profit or motive behind these blogs and sites.

    At the same time – there is profit intent here as well (potential clients). Everyone is selling something – and they should be. We all have to be productive and earn a good/great/okay/fantastic….living.

  14. bonderman says:

    While I don’t give government high marks for efficiency, its difficult to assess the abilities of NSA as so little is really known about it. For example, how much does NSA spend. It might be that even mediocre staff can come up with some effective programs, given the cash.

  15. zorg says:

    The Cassandra metaphor or curse occurs when valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved.
    The term originates in Greek mythology. Cassandra was given the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions.
    The metaphor has been applied in a variety of contexts such as psychology, environmentalism, politics, science, cinema, the corporate world, and in philosophy, and has been in circulation since at least 1949 when French philosopher Gaston Bachelard coined the term ‘Cassandra Complex’ to refer to a belief that things could be known in advance.

  16. Zephos says:

    Though ZH represents financial journalism to some extent these days, but most of its articles are just what Warren used to say about the articles in financial world; “Let blockheads read what blockheads write”