"They who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. State conservative groups plan
US-wide assault on
2. Japan Has Fallen Back
Into Fascism After 68 Years
rational philosophy & science are important
is a crisis item, or at least started out as one, but then Nelson
Mandela died yesterday, aged 95, which means that all the papers who
were against him, at least until he had become president, need a lot of
explain why he was such a great man.
that cost quite a few crisis items: I found only two, that follow. The
third item is in fact from my own journal of 1984, where it also
appears in English.
groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax
start with, an article by Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg in the
This starts as follows:
There is a lot more in the
across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector
rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income
tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents
obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The strategy for the
state-level organisations, which describe themselves as "free-market
thinktanks", includes proposals from six different states for cuts in
public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government
workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter
public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against
regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
The policy goals are
contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The
proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of
groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
2. Japan Has Fallen Back Into Fascism After
an article on Washington's Blog, with a title three lines long, that I
shortened to its beginning:
But yes, the title's
beginning is adequate, at least from the rest of the article, that
starts as follows:
And it continues thus:
Japan Falls Back Into Fascism
The Empire of Japan
surrendered on September 2, 1945.
68 years later, Japan has
fallen back into fascism.
comprising more than 7,000 demonstrators continued around the Diet
building, mobilized by civic groups, unions and concerned individuals,
following similar scenes Wednesday that saw more than 6,000
anti-secrecy law opponents march around the Diet building hand-in-hand.
And the impassioned pleas
of Japanese Senators (via Xinhua):
outraged was opposition lawmaker Hirokazu Shiba in the committee
meeting Thursday, that he rose from his seat and shouted “This is the
way the reign of terror begins!” His fervor led to his fellow lawmakers
having to physically restrain Shiba, as tensions in the meeting reached
The secrecy bill is
headed for passage Friday. Indeed, the bill has likely already passed
by the time you read this. (Update: it passed.)
In fact, from the
last link there is an explanationm, by Elaine Kurtenbach on ABC
parliament approved on Friday a state secrets law that stiffens
penalties for leaks by government officials and for journalists who
seek such information, overriding criticism that it could be used to
cover up government abuses and suppress civil liberties.
ruling coalition forced a vote on the bill in an upper house committee
on Thursday. Despite stalling tactics by opposition parties, the full
upper house approved the bill on Friday by 130 to 82.
more powerful lower house had approved the bill last week.
Minister Shinzo Abe, who is seeking to increase Japan's global security
role and create a more authoritarian government at home, says the law
is needed to protect national security and assuage U.S. concerns over
the risks of sharing strategically sensitive information with Tokyo.
worry the law could be used to hinder public disclosures, punish
whistleblowers or muzzle the media since journalists could be jailed
for seeking information they do not know is classified as secret.
bill allows heads of ministries and agencies to classify 23 vaguely
worded types of information related to defense, diplomacy,
counterintelligence and counterterrorism, almost indefinitely.
So this seems the end of
the free press in Japan - which may come next year to the US, as well,
and then will find a glowing and proud Obama explaining this is all for
"transparency" and for "liberty" and for "democracy" and for "freedom",
since he can do that really well, showing first is left ear, and then
his right ear.
Meanwhile, back to
Washington's Blog, and his title - and the bolding is in the original:
Also, there is this:
Another Japanese Senator said:
“The path that
Japan is taking is the recreation of a fascist state. I
strongly believe that this secrecy bill represents a planned coup
d’état by a group of politicians and bureaucrats,” he warned.
Just like the U.S. Japan
is responding to crises of its own making by
The Guardian notes:
journalists in Japan could soon find themselves facing long spells in
prison for divulging and reporting state secrets, possibly including
sensitive information about the Fukushima nuclear disaster ….
“It is a threat to
democracy,” said Keiichi Kiriyama, an editorial writer for the Tokyo
Shimbun newspaper ….
“It can be used to hide
whatever the government wishes to keep away from public scrutiny,” said
Mizuho Fukushima, an opposition MP. ….
[The] justice minister,
Sadakazu Tanigaki, refused to rule out police raids of newspapers
suspected of breaking the law.
Indeed, the number 2
government official said last week that protest
You can follow the last
link in case you doubt it.
rational philosophy & science are important
last item is something I wrote in a book I gave to friends 29 years
ago, and that I copied in my journal. It was already then in English,
as indeed are large parts of my journals, since I spoke that language
mostly in the 1970ies, and anyway read more English than Dutch in my
believe that the most pressing and the most human need is to have an
An explanation what the world is and should be like, capable
of inspiration and restraint; I believe that all sane men are capable
of understanding and appreciating rational argument, if not usually
capable of producing such themselves, at any great scale; & yet I
am forced by the facts to believe that most men choose, manufacture
& defend their beliefs by their fancies, needs & desires: By
and large people do not believe what they rationally ought to believe,
nor do they disbelieve what they know they have no reasons for, or
reasons against. In the main people believe what they wish to believe
and disbelieve what they desire were not the case. Most men's reasoning
powers are enslaved by their passions; most men's beliefs are dictated
by their fears & desires, and consequently most men at most times
& most places have been mostly deluded most of the time. And let it
be noted that most human delusions are self-willed: It is not that
people cannot be reasonable & rational; it is that people do not
desire to be so. Cromwell's plea "By the bowels of Jesus Christ,
Bethinkest Thee that Thou mayst be mistaken" is wasted upon most men:
They guide their lives & opinions by their passions; & their
passions by their selfish interest, their ignorance,
& the imitation or fear of others' opinions, of whom the same is
true. Most societies are made up of men mutilating & demeaning each
other, for false ideas & false reasons, & under pretense of
doing good & being reasonable.
book was "Yawning Heights", by A.A.
Zinoviev, and I still think so. In fact, I have not much changed my
opinions the last 30 years - which is not very strange, since they were
and are in favour of rational philosophy and science for over 40 years.
And yes, I also know that neither was nor is a popular choice.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, thay the governors do not rule, or at least, should
not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part
of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any of the citizens: upon the same
principle, if it is advantageous to place supreme power in some
particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and
the servant of laws.
(And I note the whole file I
quote from is quite pertinent.)
About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.:
The "/CFS" is added to
facilitate search machine) which is a disease that I have since 1.1.