"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin
1. Secret Court Renews
Controversial NSA Surveillance
2. Bank of America's Recipe for Getting
3. Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction
4. America No Longer Has a Functioning Judicial
It still is the case
that sleeping remains quite
difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at
Anyway - and no, sleeping did not much improve, so far. (It's mostly
pains of various kinds that keep me awake or wake me up: eyes, arms,
And presently it is 26.5 degrees Celsius where I am, in my house in
which is too hot, for me. I see what I can do, but it will not be very
much - though it is a fair NL.
Court Renews Controversial NSA Surveillance Program
I found this on Truth Dig, that credits it to the Washington Post:
The NSA directors give
the following twist to this denial of the Fourth Amendment:
It's all baloney - crap
 - but they cannot be stopped, at least not now. In any case: Secret
courts are tools of dictarorships, and are totally incredible in the
present case, where a government simply appropriates all computerized
commnications, as if it would have a right to it: Not in a state of law
- but see item 4.
“Consistent with his
prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and
continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection
program, the DNI has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that
the Government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect
telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority,”
a statement from the NSA Director’s office read.
The statement continued:
“The Administration is undertaking a careful and thorough review of
whether and to what extent additional information or documents
pertaining to this program may be declassified, consistent with the
protection of national security.”
2. Bank of America's Recipe for Getting Away
with Massive Fraud
This I found on Alternet, who credit an
earlier version to Occupy.com:
I think the case is
at least rather clear, but it ends as follows:
And indeed that is a
major part of the trouble: Taking down the Glass-Steagall
Act that allowed bank managers to do very many more things, and they
did it, and got away with it because they seem too big to fail, and are
rich people anyway.
What is clear is that
Bank of America, like all big banks in our era, isn't merely a
financial institution but simultaneously acts as an influential
institution in the media, military industrial complex, think tanks,
chemical companies and government circles.
The bank is too big to
fail. Too big to jail. And too connected to change.
Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction
And this I found also on Alternet, who attribute it to BillMoyers.com -
and note it is about Mass Distraction, rather than Mass
Destruction, though the former may contribute to the latter:
This mostly is an interview
that starts as follows:
And later there is this:
my feeling that what happened in Brazil, which is so encouraging about
citizens taking their destiny in their own hands, is not happening
here. We have unemployment and hunger and crumbling infrastructure and
a tax system out of whack and a corrupt political system. Why are we
not also taking to the streets is the question. And I want us to.
wrote "If you’re not outraged…you're not paying attention." So are we
not paying attention?
are paying attention to the wrong things. We are paying attention to
infotainment, which is being spoon-fed to us and sadly, frankly, we are
enabling because we love the stuff.
And later this
So, if it is true as you say, that, “Our tax code is the least
progressive in the industrial world,” that we've witnessed “The most
massive transfer of wealth in history,” which is “Destroying our middle
class,” that “Tuition is increasingly unaffordable, and retirement
increasingly unavailable,” that “The banks that sold trillions of
dollars of Americans' worth have not only gone unpunished; they're
still at it,” why are we not at the barricades?
I suspect among your viewers, there were people who are outraged and
want to be at the barricades. The problem is that we have been taught
to be helpless and jaded rather than to feel that we are empowered and
can make a difference—
But it is a huge
problem, that gets fairly well analyzed. Kaplan has children, which
forces him to be an optimist. I do not have children, and am glad about
that fact, not because I would not have wanted it, in principle (I got
ill at 28, and was ill ever since: hence, no children), but because of
the probabilities of things going very wrong in diverse ways
Ever since I was in junior high school, I was taught that to be a good
citizen meant you needed to know what was going on in your country and
in your world. You should read the paper, you should pay attention to
the news, that's part of your responsibility of being an American.
And the problem,
especially in recent years, is the more informed I am, the more
despondent I am, because day after day, there is news which drives me
crazy and I want to see the public rise up in outrage and say, no, you
can't do that, banks. You can't do that, corporations. You can't do
that polluters, you have to stop and pay attention to the laws, or
we're going to change the laws.
That every time that doesn't
happen, and I keep learning each day the same thing, something bad
happened and nothing was done about it, that's the news.
And my own step to deal with the problem
is pretty unique, though quite justified: I do not have a TV since
1970, and in fact never had one (except very briefly in 1985, and that
was on loan, and was quickly returned: I really don't want it).
But then my reason does not apply to the democratic majority: I find it
and stupefying; but the democratic masses do not, and find it
enlightening, interesting, flattering, and amusing.
4. America No Longer Has a Functioning Judicial
Then there is this on
Washington's Blog, with the following title
In case you are skeptical, it
starts as follows:
I wrote about it before, and my conclusion was and is
that this is illegal: Firstly, you definitely can challenge the
NSA stealing anything you do on a computer, on the pretext
that, somehow, it is public, for the simple reason that it is a serious
crime; and secondly, you can not leave these "permissions" be
decided by (blackmailed?) secret courts: That's plain crazy.
The Separation of Powers Which Define Our Democracy Have
The Department of Justice
told a federal court this week that the NSA’s spying “cannot be challenged in a court of law”.
(This is especially
dramatic given that numerous federal judges and legal scholars –
including a former FISA judge – say that the FISA spying “court” is
nothing but a kangaroo court.)
The possibility of "(blackmailed?)" is not a strange assumption
This also sheds some light on
Hedges: How can he possibly do decent journalism living in the country
he lives in?
After Pulitzer Prize
winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers
whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin
the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the
judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether
journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for
interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise
that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest
of their lives without any right to talk to a judge.
The Department of Justice
has also tapped
Congressional phones, and a high-level NSA whistleblower says that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top
government officials and military officers including all
9 Supreme Court justices.
Here is a last quote:
And you do not need to agree
to be very worried (and you can follow the links).
The Constitution is mortally
wounded. While the “war on terror” is commonly cited as the
excuse, most of the attacks on our rights started before
9/11. Indeed, the Founding Fathers warned 200 years ago that
open-ended wars give
the Executive an excuse to take away our liberties.
Two former U.S.
Supreme Court Justices have warned that America is sliding into
tyranny. A former U.S.
President, and many
other high-level American
a book, by Rick Falkvinge, who heads - I think - the Swedish Pirate
Party, and who wants to share his methods with others:
The book can be
downloaded, which I did, but I do not have an opinion about it,
firstly, because I read very little in it, and secondly, because
everything seems to have changed with Snowden's Revelations: You really
can't use the internet anymore, to organize things, at least not if
they are critical of the government.
Then again, I may be mistaken.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
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: