July 6, 2013
Crisis: Top managers, Stone, asylum, truth, Russian opposition
    "Those who sacrifice liberty for
      security deserve neither."
         -- Benjamin Franklin

Prev- crisis -Next

1.  "Dutch top managers earn the average"
Oliver Stone defends Edward Snowden
Venezuela, Nicaragua Offer Snowden Asylum
4.   We Can Handle the Truth
Russian opposition leader vows to destroy 'disgusting
       feudal system'
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. Yesterday I returned to the crisis, and today I continue, though it does not all relate to Snowden's revelations: The middle three do, but the first is about the salaries for managers in Holland; and the last is about a Russian opposition leader who probably will be locked up for 6 years or more.

1. "Dutch top managers earn the average"

To start with, an article from the utterly sick NRC - that I read daily the 40 years from 1970-2010, and then gave up in deep disgust due to its having sold out to propaganda and advertisements.

The article is about the salaries of the top managers in Holland, and though I will give two brief Dutch quotes, it is not necessary to understad them

As was to be expected, there is not a iota of criticism in it, and the title translates as "Dutch top managers earn the average"

Besides, in the on line version there is no proof, no evidence, no criterions (what is "a top manager"?) - in fact it seems to be nothing but a sparse copy or restatement or paraphrasis of some advisory company.

It starts as follows (don't worry if you do not read Dutch):
De beloningen voor Nederlandse topbestuurders staan in de Europese middenmoot. In Zwitserland verdienen CEO's het meest, gevolgd door Spanje en Duitsland. Een topbestuurder bij een Europese multinational verdient in Europa gemiddeld 5,7 miljoen euro per jaar.
Which I still recalculate: The average European top manager (?) earns 5.7 euros = 12.54 million guilders each year.

Since there is nothing that has the least appearance of evidence or exactitude, I only quote a little more (and again not to worry if you don't read Dutch):
Uit onderzoek van de Volkskrant bleek vorige maand dat Bernard Dijkshuizen van Ziggo met 15,7 miljoen euro het hoogste inkomen in Nederland heeft. ASML-baas Eric Meurice komt uit op 11,2 miljoen euro, gevolgd door Peter Voser van Shell, met een inkomen van 7,5 miljoen euro.
As I do not know what "average" is supposed to mean, I calculate the average of these three Dutch "top managers": 11.46 million euros. Each year. That is: A mere 25.2 million guilders.

I am supposed to believe that Mr Dijkshuizen has over 1000 times my own yearly worth...
and no: I do not see and never saw the need for all people earning the same, but a 15 fold difference seems to me more than enough to fairly express the differences in capacities and education.

And that was also how it was, in Holland, for many years, and until 15-20 years ago. Anything much more unequal is based on greed of the few:

A 100, 500 or 1000-fold difference in payments is just sick greed by the very few at the costs of the very many.

2.  Oliver Stone defends Edward Snowden over NSA revelations

Next, we turn to film director Oliver Stone, who gets quoted and photographed in the Guardian by Xan Brooks:
That is nice of him, and he also said the right things. The first two paragraphs are:

Oliver Stone, never one to run scared from a controversy, yesterday waded into the ongoing NSA debate, defending the American whistlebower Edward Snowden and hailing him as a "hero" for exposing the US's mass surveillance programme.

"It's a disgrace that Obama is more concerned with hunting down Snowden than reforming these George Bush-style eavesdropping techniques," the Oscar-winning director told audiences at the Karlovy Vary international film festival in the Czech Republic.

And this is half of the fourth:
"To me Snowden is a hero because he revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the fourth amendment," Stone said. [1]
All quite so. For more, see the last dotted link.

3.  Venezuela, Nicaragua Offer Snowden Asylum

Next, while Stone was worried nobody offered Snowden a place of refuge, meanwhile Venezuela and Nicaragia have done so. The report is by Peter Scheer on Truth Dig:
This is some progress, but the article ends, correctly I think, thus:

A plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was controversially diverted like a ping pong ball around Europe, allegedly because Morales had also offered Snowden asylum and the U.S. and its allies thought the president might be spiriting the young man out of Russia.

Just how Snowden plans to get from Moscow to Caracas, Managua or Sucre, and whether Putin will let him go, remain open questions.

Indeed. Then again, as I said: it is some progress, although I do not see how Snowden will get there, as yet.

4. We Can Handle the Truth   

The following is by Eugene Robinson and on Truth Dig. He is mostly concerned witht he graphic lies that have been told by speakers for the government, also while they were on oath:

I mostly agree with Mr Robinson, who says among other things:
We know that permission for this surveillance was granted by one or more judges of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court. But the court’s proceedings and rulings are secret. We don’t know what argument the government made in seeking permission to conduct this kind of vacuum-cleaner surveillance. We don’t know what the court’s legal reasoning was in granting the authority. We don’t know whether the court considers other laws so elastic.
Indeed, especially those points are important: One does not know, and is supposed to trust spokesmen for one's government (if one is a US citizen) - that to the best of my knowledge played utter havoc with the law, with the Amendments and with the Constitution, and has been doing so ever since Bush Jr. got nominated by the Supreme Court.

There is no reason to believe them; every reason to distrust them; and one knows since Snowden's revelations that they lied, and lied many times.

Here is the last paragraph of Robinson's article:
The biggest lie of all? That the American people don’t even deserve to be told what their laws mean, much less how those laws are being used.
For more, see the last dotted link.
5. Russian opposition leader vows to destroy 'disgusting
            feudal system'

Finally, a bit about Russia:
This starts as follows, where I have added the link to Wikipedia on Navalnye:

Russia's top opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, has vowed to destroy the "feudal system of power" lorded over by Vladimir Putin during powerful closing remarks to a provincial court that could send him to prison for six years.

Blasting Putin's government for "occupying" power, pilfering the country of billions of dollars and leading Russia down a path of vodka-fuelled degradation, Navalny urged his followers not to be afraid as he awaits a likely jail sentence.

"My colleagues and I will do everything to destroy this feudal system that exists in Russia – this system of power where 83% of the national wealth belongs to 0.5% of the country," he said.

Navalny, who is 37, has been accused of embezzling 330,000 pounds. It seems quite unlikely that he has done it, but this will not stop his accusation or  his conviction.

The main reason for this is that he is right about the distribution of wealth in the former Soviet Union.
[1] Here is the text of the Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
-- Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution

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)

       home - index - summaries - mail