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July 12, 2013
Crisis: Varia - The Snowden Effects - 1
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
      security deserve neither."
         -- Benjamin Franklin




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Sections
Introduction
1. How Microsoft handed the NSA access
2.
Clever but poor boys 'are 30 months behind richer peers'

3. 43% Believe that US Health Care is Corrupt...
4. The Groundwork Obama’s Laying for America’s Future
5. Oregon Students Fight Back Against Debt, And Win
6. 11 Big Myths About the Economy
7. Robert Reich: An impertinent question
8. An important case against NSA spying big step forward
9. Snowden not a traitor 
About ME/CFS

Introduction:

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

Anyway. This is a follow up to today's earlier Dutch part of my autobio, and consists of 9 diverse items relating to several aspects of the crisis. Also, because this is a lot of text, and as my sleeping is bad as it is for most of a year now - 5 to 6 hours on average
(!) [1] - I limit my comments.

Also, because the data are diverse, but quite a few can be quite plausibly seen as an effect of Snowden and his great courage, I present them under Jay Rosen's title The Snowden Effects - 1, and indeed most are heartening, albeit also in an ever tougher and more cruel corporate world.

1. How Microsoft handed the NSA access

This is the latest by Glenn Greenwald, and it is a fine article about a thoroughly and eagerly corrupt servant of the thoroughly corrupt US government:
As I also said - see Ubuntu - I am now for over a year using GNU/Linux.Ubuntu, and it does very well, and the only reasons I am using Windows still is (i) to use my flatbed scanner, and (ii) to check out items on an old computer, and in either case I have switched it off from the internet.

I really do not see why any of my readers could not do the same: It is easy, it is convenient, it works, and it is called Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

It will not save everything for you - nothing does - but it will help you do much more, all for free, and make it much more difficult to spy on you.

2. Clever but poor boys 'are 30 months behind richer peers'

This is a British item, from the Guardian, that I report myself as a very clever but very poor boy who grew up in the 1950ies with quite extra-ordinary marxist parents (which is an important reason to write my autobiography, in Dutch):
The lesson you can draw from this is that most clever but poor boys chances are wasted, and are wasted on purpose.

3. 43% Believe that US Health Care is Corrupt...

This is from the US and from Health Care, and the full title is as follows:
I agree these are the data, and the media are mostly corrupt, but possibly there may be a little shift, though indeed I also remain cautious, if only because (i) a really big shift is needed, and (ii) the opponents - governments + big corporations - are very strong, and highly trained quite vicious and utterly dishonest liars. (For more on health care, see my DSM-5 series: More expert liars).

4. The Groundwork Obama’s Laying for America’s Future

And this is an excellent article on Truth Dig, outlining what the YES WE SCAN president is really doing:
It's a great shame, but yes: He is playing it very well, and tries top uphold a progress exterior, while working for the NSA and the big corporations.

5. Oregon Students Fight Back Against Debt, And Win

An item about the enormous student debts, that this time is hopeful:
Again, this is a plan that worked, was passed unanimously, and worked in about half a year. The fight is not over nor won, but this is an important step, albeit in one state only.

6.
11 Big Myths About the Economy

And this is a quite interesting article about the economy:
Here are the myths - for their explanations, consult the article (and I am not wholly agreeing, but it is a good article)
Myth 1: Economics is a science.
Myth 2: The goal of economic policy is maximizing efficiency.
Myth 3: The economy is a market.
Myth 4: Prices reflect value.
Myth 5: All profitable activities are good for the economy.
Myth 6: Monopolies and oligopolies are always bad because they
           distort prices.

Myth 7: Low wages are good for the economy.
Myth 8: “Industrial policy” is bad.
Myth 9: The best tax code is one that doesn’t pick winners.
Myth 10: Trade is always win-win.
Overall: Quite so - and check it out!

7.
Robert Reich: An impertinent question

Robert Reich is a very intelligent man I did not know about until the beginning of this year (when I met him in The Century of the Self), and this seems one of his best pieces:
Actually, these are 5 questions preceded by

Permit me an impertinent question (or three).

Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by
....

after which the questions follow, which in turn are followed by:

Would you call this treason?

If not, what would you call it?

And what would you do about it
This is truly excellent and timely! Also, it is quite courageous, and the questions are very fine, and very pertinent!

8. An important case against NSA spying big step forward

Here is another hopeful case, this time mostly due to a good and independent American judge. This is from the Verge:
This starts as follows:

Do the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance programs violate the Constitution? That's the question that civil rights and privacy advocates have been trying to have the courts answer since long beforeThe GuardianThe Washington Post. Now their mission finally seems to be making headway, as a federal judge ruled Monday that the Obama administration can not use its "state secrets" privilege to block a lawsuit originally brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2008. Edward Snowden shared his trove of secret documents with and

That's big news: until now, the administration has repeatedly invoked the privilege to block almost every legal challenge the NSA has faced over its surveillance activities (..)
and that is quite so, as indeed is the warning that this is just the beginning (of the beginning) and not at all the end, which is the closure or indiscriminate spying.

There is more under the link, and also in the following articles, on the same subject, by the Electronic Frontier Foundation

and by Techdirt:
9. Snowden not a traitor

This started with Greenwald on Snowden in the Guardian, and this ends with an article in Common Dreams, by Andrea Germanos:

Also, it has a sub-headline:

New poll also indicates Americans increasingly view anti-terrorism policies as intruding on their civil liberties

This is quite interesting, and also implies something else I said before: On Snowden, it seems, parts of the right and of the left, in so far as they are not hopelessly corrupted, can combine, indeed in the interest of all Americans, and indeed of all people:

No way you want to live in a society where a very few corporate and government agencies know and control all.
---------------------------------
Note
[1] I must chalk it up to the mB12 protocol, which certainly changed things for me: I do feel somewhat better, but I sleep quite badly, and I can't get the proportions right. There really has to be found something, for I do need more sleep. Then again, I can stand the effects of too little sleep much better, is also true. 

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)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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