June 20, 2013
Crisis: Standing back a bit

   "Those who sacrifice liberty for  
     security deserve neither."
     -- Benjamin Franklin

Prev- crisis -Next



1.  Standing back a bit
2.  Three quotes
3.  PRISM - Just The Beginning of Spying on You
4.  Paranoia, or Sad Truth? Surveillance State Changes Perspective
5.  Number of Plots Thwarted by NSA Spying Suddenly Changed
6.  Obama Defends NSA Spying
7.  Establishment Lapdog Media vs. Edward Snowden
8.  On the real traitors

About ME/CFS


It still is the case that sleeping remains quite difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at the moment.

Anyway. Today yet again more that touches on Snowden's revelations.

And again I should say I uploaded this very early in the day - Dutch time, on the 20th of June - because I want to have my day free for doing some other things, if I can.

Also, today is a bit different from other days: I stand back a little, and quote more than I write.

1. Standing back a bit

The last two weeks I wrote - with the exception of one piece, on "El Campesino" - only about the crisis.

This is another one, but it is a bit different: I want to stand back a bit, give three quotes from Galbraith, Huxley and Orwell, that I think are relevant; link in 5 pieces from The Young Turks; and end with a reference to a quite angry piece on Washington's Blog.

Also, I will not write much myself today, firstly, because I have written quite a lot on the
crisis, as this is the 190th piece in the series since 1.IX.2008, when I started the series at the time the Dutch political leaders had not yet seen anything, or at least pretended that was the case (though I tend to believe them, in this respect); secondly, because I am quite tired for lack of sufficient sleep; and thirdly, to give you the opportunity to make up your own mind.

The last is not because I think I am mistaken - if you think so, read the
crisis-series - although I am certainly not a dogmatist and would much welcome it if I were to be fundamentally mistaken, but mostly to show that I do not stand alone, and that quite intelligent and informed people think like I do.

Therefore, much of what follows serves the purpose of giving you a similar, though indeed not the same, point of view, and these are the views of The Young Turks, and also the views of an anonymous writer on Washington's Blog.

But first three quotes.

2. Three quotes

I start with a quote by John Kenneth Galbraith, that is not so much about him or me, even though he speaks of "we", but about ordinary men and women:

“We live surrounded by a systematic appeal to a dream world which all mature, scientific reality would reject. We, quite literally, advertise our commitment to immaturity, mendacity and profound gullibility. It is as the hallmark of the culture. And it is justified as being economically indispensable.”
- John Kenneth Galbraith
You may disagree with the phrasing. The general point it that ordinary men and women are, very often, far too gullible, and can be, and normally are, easily misled into believing all manner of things they should not.

Next, here is Aldous Huxley, who was not quite speaking about our time, more than 50 years ago, but very well might have been:

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
- Aldous Huxley, 1961

I do not presume to know what he would have thought about the present time, what with 78% of ordinary men declared insane, at least part of the time, by modern psychiatrists, and with very many taking all manner of strong, dangerous and ill-researched pills, but he certainly would not have approved.

Neither would George Orwell, who wrote as follows in "1984":

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
– George Orwell – 1984

Again, Orwell died the year I was born, and wrote this in a satire, but he did know what he was speaking about.

And in case you missed it: The masters of today, whether they are called Cheney or Obama, do not - really - know what they are doing, though they think they do, utterly occupied with power, that corrupts all, and though they may triumph, for a while.

Now to The Young Turks. I said I would be brief and I will be, and NB:

The titles of the sections also are the links to their videos.

3 PRISM - Just The Beginning of Spying on You

This is from some days ago and is a good summary.

4. Paranoia, or Sad Truth? Surveillance State Changes Perspective

This is about how much fundamentally changed since Snowden's revelations.
Incidentally, this also is about a journalist who died, as nominally are some other of these pieces, but though justified, this is mostly indeed incidentally so.

5.  Number of Plots Thwarted by NSA Spying Suddenly Changed

This is about Keith Alexander, and shows why I did not and cannot take him seriously as someone who can be relied upon for anything.

6.  Obama Defends NSA Spying

This is Obama with Charley Rose, lying and misleading. (You may think differently, but then you really are taken in, it seems to me. Also, in case you missed it: That also is his job, selling the goverment's policies, and unlike his predecessor, he is very good at it.)

7.  Establishment Lapdog Media vs. Edward Snowden

And this is about how the regular media, and the regular politicians, paint Snowden.

So to repeat: The titles of items 3 to 7 are also the links to the videos.

They are all by The Young Turks, who are presently the largest video news  organization, with over a billion views and nearly a million members, and while I do not agree with all, to believe I should or would is pretty crazy, and indeed I think they are quite good, while I also have four years experience with them, so I am not basing this assessment on little information.

8. On the real traitors

As you probably know, and may have seen when watching item 7, Edward Snowden has been portrayed as "a traitor", by so honorable a man as Dick Cheney.

The following is a reference to a fairly long but quite good and also very informed text on
Washington's Blog of June 19:
This starts - after two quotations - as follows:
There are weeks that change the course of human history. There are weeks when people must choose sides. There are weeks that expose the real American traitors. There is no middle ground in this debate. You are either on the side of freedom, liberty, truth, transparency and the U.S. Constitution or you are on the side of mindless obedience, oppression, deception, corruption and tyranny. A courageous young Millennial named Edward Snowden has risked his life and his future to expose the illegal, surreptitious surveillance programs being conducted by the United States government in clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The NSA, with the full knowledge of Barack Obama and Congress, has been covertly collecting phone and internet records on millions of Americans with the full cooperation of Verizon and other mega media/data corporations. Our owners have been using the U.S. Constitution to wipe their asses. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so unambiguous that any intelligent politician, bright journalist or fifth grader in Miss Sabatini’s history class could interpret its meaning and intention. Our founding fathers believed in truth, clarity and simplicity. The traitorous sociopaths in control of our government today believe in obfuscation, ambiguity and complexity.
I do not know who wrote this - other than "JimQ" - but I do know he is 50; a married man with children; and clearly an intellectual. I agree with most he said, except for some typos, and except with some doubt about the wisdom of some of his terms, but the typos are mostly clear, and I have myself made the same mistake of writing what I thought about despicable men and women.

In any case, do not get sidetracked by disagreeing by his occasional choice of words: It may be too strong for you, but it is only a few times, and he clearly is, justifiedly so, quite angry and quite concerned about his future, that of his children, and that of most other Americans.
P.S. 20 June 2013: Corrected a few typos and added or deleted some words to clarify my meanings.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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