|"There are no
morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use
to us just because he is a scoundrel."
(V. I. Lenin)
the word is commonly understood, are nothing but corruptions."
(Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on various subjects)
1. Obama vs
do I think of it?
I believe I am still somewhat paying back my walk of 5
but I also seem to be getting out of it.
Then again, I keep sleeping too little, which is pretty frustrating
because it diminishes my chances of recovering somewhat and because it
is difficult to fight against because it may have several reasons: M.E., keratoconjunctivitis
sicca, and the mB12 protocol, to name
three most prominent.
Anyway. For the moment a piece about who is worse: Obama or Nixon -
which is not such a badly posed question as the naive readers may
believe, because Obama has realized very little of his promised
"Change!" ("Yes, we can!", "YES,
WE CAN!"), and because of various
other reasons of
which I will now only deal with one.
1. Obama vs Nixon
My source is a piece on Democracy Now! called
that you'll find under the
link. I will quote some of it, but should tell you that my original
source is Alternet.org, and it
seems as if Democracy Now! has presented
its original as a video.
Also, I am deleting most things about Assange, because this
complicates my own story, and also because Democracy Now! has a fine
about him, which is an intersting interview with him of 40 minutes,
that you'll find here
So to the real subject of this
piece: Is Obama worse than Nixon? The question is less bad than
either fanatic Democrats or laid back persons might be inclined to
To sketch in the background, I quote from the beginning of the
interview, after qualifying that - at least here - the comparison is
specifically about Obama's treatment of the press, and not in
general terms about policies, or about other policies, both of which
are (or at least: seem) to be quite different.
The background Democracy Now! gives starts as follows - and I
have made some links to Wikipedia e.g. for my readers who are too young
to recall this:
Department’s disclosure that it had secretly subpoenaed
phone records from the Associated Press has prompted a wave of
comparisons between President Obama and Richard Nixon.
ago, the Nixon administration attempted to block The New York Times
from publishing a secret history of the Vietnam War leaked to the
newspaper by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
Two days after the Times
first published excerpts of what became known as the "Pentagon Papers,"
the Nixon government asked for and received a Supreme Court injunction
against the newspaper, arguing that publication of the documents posed
a "grave and immediate danger to the security of the United States."
Here I do
suppose my readers to know about the subpoenaing of the phone records
of Associated Press.
Next, in the same original paragraph Democracy Now! introduces
its main subject - and again I've added links to Wikipedia, and also to
the Journalism Press's blurb on the internet about Mr. Goodale's book,
that was published on April 30, 2013.
And since this is really important, here is the text of the First Amendment to the Constitution,
where the latter is the supreme law of the United States:
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Finally, for those who may think Mr.
Goodale may be young and naive: He is a former Vice Chairman of the New
York Times; a leading First Amendment lawyer, and will be 80 in a less than
speak to James
Goodale, the general counsel at The New York
during the Pentagon Papers crackdown. Goodale is a leading legal expert
on the First Amendment and has just published a new book, "Fighting
the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles."
Goodale said he wrote the book in part because of the work of Julian
Assange of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and how he is likely
being targeted by the U.S. government in an ongoing grand jury probe.
"My book is meant to be a clarion call to the journalist community:
Wake up! There’s danger out there," Goodale says. "You may not like
Assange, but wake up! The First
Amendment is really going to be
damaged. If Obama goes forward and succeeds, he will have succeeded
where Nixon failed."
Next, I suppress rather a lot,
including a perfectly justified, clear, reasonable set of four polite
questions to president Obama, that started with "I'd like to ask you
about the Justice Department".
But I'll quote all of the President's answer:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
Well, yeah, I’ll let you guys engage in those comparisons. And you can
go ahead and read the history, I think, and draw your own conclusions.
My concern is making sure that if there’s a problem in the government,
that we fix it. That’s my responsibility. And that’s what we’re going
I hope you found that as
enlightening as I did. I skip a goodly amount, and arrive at Mr
(..) And the theory was that the New York Times reporter
conspired with those antiwar protesters, and he was going to indict
them for conspiracy.
The main reason is - by the way
- that conspiracy is a much easier trial than the alternative charge
espionage, and that anyway the press is unlikely, in the present
climate, to get more access than they get in the trial against Bradley
Manning, where they have almost no access, and, if they do, no right to
make notes (!).
So, now, fast-forward. What is
Obama doing? He’s convened a grand jury.
We haven’t heard about it; I think it’s still there. I think it may
have even indicted Assange in secrecy. But what’s the charge?
I skip a brief bit and arrive at more by Mr Goodale:
So, my book is meant
to be a clarion call to the journalist community:
Wake up! There’s danger out there. You may not like Assange, but wake
up! The First Amendment is really going to be damaged, if Obama goes
forward. And as I said at the beginning of the show, if he does and
succeeds, he will have succeeded where Nixon failed.
And that is the
comparison Obama vs Nixon - that may sound a lot more
reasonable now. Here is a final bit by Mr Goodale, though not the the
end of the interview, and with an initial bit surpressed, but with the
information that the first "he" = Julian Assange:
Here it should be noted
that Mr Goodale is a lawyer, and he mentioned another crazy
thing Obama has done, apart from subpoenaing the Associated Press's
records, telephone conversations etc.: He has classified, in one
year, seven million governmental documents.
GOODALE: (..) And he’s
quite right about
talking about the threat to journalism with respect to the way Obama is
going about prosecuting him. What lawyers like to say is that if in
fact the prosecution goes forward, as Julian Assange has said, it
criminalizes news gathering, because I talk to you and ask you to give
me a secret, or anything, but in fact that anything may be classified;
we’re all both going to go off to the hoosegow. And, you know, Obama
has classified, I think, seven million—in one year, classified seven
million documents. Everything is classified. So that would give the
government the ability to control all its information on the theory
that it’s classified. And if anybody asks for it and gets it, they’re
complicit, and they’re going to go to jail. So that criminalizes the
process, and it means that the dissemination of information, which is
inevitable, out of the classified sources of that information will be
So there you are: The government of the United States has classified
very much information, the discussion or mere publication of which will
make the reporters who are doing this almost certain to go to jail.
What do I think of it?
You may not
think this is very serious, or think that Mr Goodale is selling a book,
or think that if he is not very young, he is very old, and more such
I think that he is quite right to worry, though indeed not quite for
his own specific reasons, at least not those he stated.
My own reasons are that I do not trust Obama. In fact, that started
already in 2009. This is Dutch, and the part about Obama
translates as "Obama's weakness" (in which I may have been wrong,
although the ways to find this out have probably been classified by
And since I am still not very
strong and quite tired I will restrict myself to gathering some more of
my own writings.
In 2010 I wrote mostly about ME, and canīt find "Obama" a title,
though there are the following three important files from the end of
In 2011 there are
three in a sequence in July
and from the end of the year
In 2012 there is quite
a lot, and I only choose a few:
These are from the times in which I had no or yet no major eye
problems. Here are three from the times I had major eye problems
And from the end of 2012
From 2013, right at
the beginning, the important
And there is this, from
January 22 about the second inauguration speech
This ended with this statement
I'll leave it at that, for the
moment, though by now it is no longer fair to blame Bush, at least for
quite a few things: Obama did spectacularly unwell, at least, given his
campaign promises. 
Four years ago I had more to say, but then I was more
optimistic about Obama than I am now. I think now and then that he was
the better candidate for the job, and that he probably means well, but
he has a very curious habit of compromising, that gives the Republicans
much more than they should have.
Also, I am against drone killings, against concentration camps, against
rendition, against arbitrary arrest, against torture, against
protecting corrupt and incompetent bank managers, and against
I expect more of the
I am against the coming four years - but yes, matters would probably
have been considerably worse under Romney, and yes again, a
considerable part of the problems he and the rest of the world has was
inherited from the Bush years.
But OK... (i) you must be quite stupid to
believe these: In fact, they
are as carefully, craftily and secretly worked out as advertisements,
just as in the cases of Clinton and Blair - see Thatcherism - and
(ii) it is all a game of
lies and propaganda
anyway. Then again, it would be nice to have money
out of politics, and to get something (back) like "a real
democracy", or at least a state of affairs where the politicians and
the papers lie only because they want to, and not
because they have to or else are jailed for 10 years or so.
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: