July 11, 2013
Crisis: Stone, Secret Courts redefine "relevant", Reich
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
      security deserve neither."
         -- Benjamin Franklin

Prev- crisis -Next

1. Oliver Stone on NSA spying
Secret Court's Redefinition of 'Relevant'
3. Government's Secret Interpretation
4. Robert Reich on where the Republican senators are
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 there is in the present file only a Dutch part of my autobio (also added to the file I've created for that purpose) that was quickly copied, for the most part, from my journal for 1970.

1. Oliver Stone on NSA spying

To start with, here is Oliver Stone in the Huffington Post

And here is the video, also with a link to the ACLU’s campaign: here.

The Huffington Post article starts thus:

Politically-outspoken director Oliver Stone addressed the still-unfolding NSA spying scandal in a video released Wednesday, cautioning that Americans' civil liberties were being "eaten by the NSA surveillance machine."

"Does it concern you that the government is spying on you?" he asked.

Fot more, watch the video and read the article: It's a good video. Here is an excellent quotation from it:
"The question is not whether you have something to hide. The question is whether we control government or the government controls us."
2. Secret Court's Redefinition of 'Relevant'

Next, from the Wall Street Journal, an article by Jennifer Valentino-de Vries and Siobhan Gorman, that is rather amazing:
This starts as follows, by the - in a sense - not surprising, but in another sense quite stunning:
The National Security Agency's ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans hinges on a secret court ruling that redefined a single word: "relevant."
Here is the secret of the secret FISA-courts:
In classified orders starting in the mid-2000s, the court accepted that "relevant" could be broadened to permit an entire database of records on millions of people, in contrast to a more conservative interpretation widely applied in criminal cases, in which only some of those records would likely be allowed, according to people familiar with the ruling.
Another secret that now is out (the Snowden Effect!):
Two senators on the Intelligence Committee, Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Mark Udall (D., Colo.), have argued repeatedly that there was a "secret interpretation" of the Patriot Act. The senators' offices tell the Journal that this new interpretation of the word "relevant" is what they meant.
And there is this:
"The government must request specific records relevant to its investigation," Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, says. "To argue otherwise renders the provision meaningless," he says. "It's like scooping up the entire ocean to guarantee you catch a fish."
Right - and as far as I can see (and the article is good and balanced), there are at least three pretty scandalous things involved:
  • the totally out-of-bound ruling of "relevant", that has been
  • made in secret, is classified, and is done by secret courts, plus
  • the fact that the YES WE SCAN president keeps this secret, together with 92 million other documents.
You just can't declare everybody's phone-calls and internet-traffic "relevant", and if you intend to do so, and before it happens, the least that should happen is that this gets publicly, honorably, and honestly discussed.

If you do this in secret, you are behaving as in a Stalinist state, and you are not a democrat but a secret plotter.

3. Government's Secret Interpretation

I am not the only one concerned and made angry by this. Here is Washington's Blog:

This also has the subtitle
Government’s Interpretation of Spying Turns 200 Years of American Law On Its Head
That seems to me quite correct. Here are some consecutive paragraphs:

Wyden and Udall said that they couldn’t reveal to the public – or even other members of Congress who lack top security clearance – what the secret interpretation is … and that most Congress members were totally ignorant about it.

The author of the Patriot Act and chairman on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations – Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner – says that the government has gone far beyond what the Patriot Act intended, and that the Act “was originally drafted to prevent data mining” on the scale that’s occurred.

A top NSA whistleblower told us that the secret interpretation is that the government spies on everyone.

And the writer further refers to the Wall Street Journal listed above, and links in more that is relevant

4. Robert Reich on where the Republican senators are

But there is more involved in the
crisis and Robert Reich has an interesting piece about it:
Robert Reich asks the question, and illustrates how extremely little legislation is being produced, essentially because of the GOP, but he doesn't quite answer it - except, perhaps, by his last paragraph:
As has been noted many times in history, it is not so much the viciousness or carelessness of the bad people but the silence of the good people that brings societies to the brink, or beyond.  
Yes - though with all this secret spying, that's secretly "approved" by secret courts, some of them may be blackmailed as well.

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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