"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin
2. James Clapper lied to
4. A bit more by Ralph Nader
5. Rand Paul says he wants to go to court
6. Washington's blog
I believe I have paid back most of the harm my walk of
but sleeping remains quite
difficult for me.
This also makes my life rather difficult, at the moment.
Anyway. Today there is another set of six points, like yesterday. It's mostly about "The Snowden
Revelations", because I think these are very important. Also, it's
limited to six because I have my own health to take care of.
But I do want to say something about my comprehensive title "The Snowden Revelations":
I chose that title because it names the man who had the great courage
to make them, and I call them "revelations" - "the act of revealing or disclosing;
disclosure" - not because I did not suspect this to be true,
but because I did not know this to be true, as indeed is the
case for almost everyone.
Franklin's quotation today, because it is very apt. Also, I said
don't really know
Constitution or its Amendments, nor are they regular readers of
Franklin, nor do they really understand most of the dangers involved.
This seems to me to be quite
true and quite unfortunate. And it so happens that, while I am not a
regular reader of Benjamin Franklin, I have read him, and I owe several
of his books, and I looked him up yesterday, and found the following
quotation, that in fact seems to be the source of Gore Vidal, that I quoted last August.
My own textual source is Benjamin Franklin's "Autobiography and Other
Writings", edited by Russell B. Nye, 1958, where it appears as "Speech
in Convention", written September 17, 1787:
Most men, indeed,
as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of
all truth, and that wherever others differ from them, it is so far in
error. Steele, a Protestant, in a dedication, tells the Pope that the
only difference between our two churches in their opinions of the
certainty of their doctrine is the Romish Church is infallible
and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But, though
many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility
as of that of their Sect, few express it so naturally as a certain
French Lady who, in a little dispute with her sister, said, "But I meet
with nobody but myself that is always in the right." "Je ne
trouve que moi qui aie toujours raison."
Note this will soon be 226
years old, and it may well be asked whether Franklin would have
expected the US Constitution to last so long, before it would "end in despotism", because "the people
shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government".
In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its
faults - if there are such; because I think a general Government
necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a
blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther,
that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and
can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the
people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being
incapable of any other.
(..) It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching
so near to perfection as it does (..) Thus I consent, Sir, to this
Constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure
that it is not the best. (p. 196-7)
Then again, he died in 1790, and 225 years is a long time.
James Clapper lied to Congress
James Clapper is the director
of US national intelligence, who lied to Congress. Here is David Sirota
As Sirota explains, he really
did lie, and very consciously so, because he knew the
question was coming 24 hours before it was posed, for the man who asked
it had sent it to him.
You are not supposed to lie to Congress, but he did. Whether he will go
- I agree he must - is an open question, and in fact, even though some
attempts are being made, it is quite unlikely.
The concept of inverted
totalitarianism is by Sheldon Wolin. I wrote about it earlier, in
March, namely here: Crisis:
Sheldon Wolin on inverted totalitarianism, and
also the days after. There is a fair amount there, including links, and
I recommend it to you if you want to know more.
Someome who also knows the concept is Subhankar Banerjee, who is a
photopgrapher, writer and activist, who writes for Common Dreams:
This starts as follows
Quite so! And the whole choice
is bullshit, that tries to blow up a man because he, very courageously,
opposed something that is extremely dangerous, quite illegal, and that
has been going on in the utmost secrecy since 2007.
“[H]istory has come
to a stage when the moral man, the complete man, is more and more
giving way, almost without knowing it, to make room for the…commercial
man, the man of limited purpose. This process, aided by wonderful
progress in science, is assuming gigantic proportion and power, causing
the upset of man’s moral balance, obscuring his human side under the
shadow of soul-less organization.”
—Rabindranath Tagore, 1917
We are being asked to
choose: “Is Edward J. Snowden a hero or a criminal?” asks a Los Angeles Times poll; the Slate magazine asks, “Is Edward Snowden A Traitor?”; the U.S.
News and World Report asks if he is a: “Traitor or Hero?”; and the
Yahoo! News asks, “Is Edward Snowden a hero or traitor?” In
The New Yorker one writer opines Snowden is a “Hero” while another charges he is a “No Hero.” Blowing whistle against
the United States government is not a spectacle.
Most of the rest is about a film maker whom I do not know, but Subhankar
Banerjee clearly understands what is going on.
4. A bit
more by Ralph Nader
I wrote yesterday about Ralph Nader, and do so today, because he seems
to me to be mostly right. There
is a piece in yesterday's Huffington Post called
This is mostly to plug his
latest book "Told You So", but that is quite allowed, and he gives an
Many are shocked by the recent reports of the National Security Agency
(NSA) secretly collecting records of millions of phone calls, emails,
internet searches, and more, all without any clear oversight and
accountability. Many mainstream media outlets are now questioning the
scope of this monumental level of government snooping. But while this
news of Big Brother-esque overreach might be surprising to some,
consider those of us who predicted it back when the Patriot Act was
signed into law in the post-9/11 fervor. Benjamin Franklin once wrote:
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
There's more on this issue,
that you can find out yourself - and you also got the probable real
source of my contracted opening quotation.
5. Rand Paul says he wants to
go to court
There are many reasons why the
US are in radical decline but one dominant one is that they have,
effectively, only two political parties.
I said "effectively" because I am aware there are some more -
Communists, Greens, Nader's - but these generally pull very few votes,
and are hardly represented.
This does not mean they are wrong, or more wrong than the Democrats or
the Republicans, but it means they get no real chances to make a real
Next, as I have complained several times before, most things in the US
political landscape are determined by people following the (purported)
beliefs of their leaders - which can get to be very stark, as is the
case with Obama, who simply continued many policies of Bush Jr., after
having been elected on a program of "Change! Yes, we can!", and who now
is applauded by many Democrats for doing what they wildly decried in
Here is one article that I offer to support what I am saying
This is in Mother Jones, by
David Corn. I think David Corn is judging this as a Democratic follower
- and I think so because I am not a libertarian, not a Democrat and not
a Republican, and indeed also not an American, and also have no strong
interests in politics.
In fact, I probably disagree with most Rand Paul says, but I also
believe he is mostly sincere about the Constitution. Also, I do not think the very major problems
the US is in can be solved by the political parties there are.
But OK... I am an outsider.
6. Washington's blog
Finally, here is a link to a very interesting
piece on something that's called "Washington's blog":
I think this makes all valid
points - and it does so in the words of Richard Clarke, the "top
counter terrorism czar under Clinton and Bush"; of Republican
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner; of William Binney, the former head of
the NSA's global digital data gathering; and of three more, including
Thomas Drake, who also got into great trouble about his disclosing
NSA's secrets, and who also gives the right epitheton for what Edward
Snowden did: Civil disobedience.
So... if you want to be really informed, this last item is the best. 
Interestingly, this blog - "Washington's Blog" - has a statement on
National Security, as a general aside to its pieces, that starts thus:
We are NOT calling for
the overthrow of the government. In fact, we are calling for the reinstatement of
We are not calling for
lawlessness. We are calling for an end to
lawlessness and lack of accountability and a return to the
rule of law.
Rather than trying to
subvert the constitution, we are calling for its enforcement.
We are patriotic
Americans born and raised in this country. We love the U.S. We don't
seek to destroy or attack America ... we seek to restore her to
strength, prosperity, liberty and respect.
We don't support or like
Al Qaeda, the Taliban or any supporting groups. We think they are all
I like that, and there is
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: