July 25, 2013
Crisis: American "Democracy"?, Chart, Congress, Hudson
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

Prev- crisis -Next

1. America Does not have a Functioning Democracy
Chart: How Booz Allen Hamilton Swallowed Washington
US Congress Embraces Both NSA Spying and Endless

Michael Hudson Shreds Obama’s Orwellian Speech
5. Personal
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 - 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, legs. It's not "nerves".)

Presently it - still - is 26 degrees Celsius where I am, in my house in Amsterdam, which is too hot, for me. But OK... I am also still doing somewhat well, and will write soon about the probable reason, viz. the mB12 protocol, that I halved as regards mB12 and MF, with - so far! - decent results.

Today there is a bit about a piece that seems inspired by Jimmy Carter's recent comment, that is a bit unrealistic; some about a chart that lists how much Booz Hamilton makes and owes from the government's original work; a bit about two quite unfortunate decisions in Congress; and a nice bit about the analysis of a recent Obama speech.

1. America Does not have a Functioning Democracy

I start with an article by Michael Gatto on OpEdNews:

Actually, this is an article that seems better than it it is, as I shall now explain. It starts of as follows:

All of us really need to stop getting involved in distractions and look at what has happened in the last few months. When I talk about distractions, I'm talking about the Zimmerman trial, the royal baby in England and the Republican attacks on women in Texas and other States. I'm not saying that these issues are not important (except for Kate's baby), some of them are. The point I'm making here is that these events are monopolizing the news while important issues are being hidden from the public by the mainstream media.

I agree with the conclusion - but then the beginning is quite irrealistic. What seems true is the following:
One of the most important issues that the government wishes would go away is the fact that the NSA is monitoring every phone call, tweet, email and online communication of every person in America. This isn't all, they are also eavesdropping on communications of other nations, even their closest allies. The government doesn't want the people dwelling on the fact that we have absolutely no privacy. They also don't want people reading about how outraged other nations are over U.S. clandestine activities. The truth is that the government would like everyone to be involved in issues such as gay marriage, abortion, celebrity worship and forest fires.
But it doesn't mention that nearly half seems to feel quite happy that they're being eavesdropped upon, and indeed many probably can't judge the scale of the problem, and flatter themselves with the beliefs that they will not be hit.

Well... and so forth. I am not saying it's a bad article, and indeed I don't think so. It just doesn't get very far.

And one of the things people will have to learn to see is that it is not the majority that makes politics.

2. Chart: How Booz Allen Hamilton Swallowed Washington

Next, a real chart:

It has little text, but what text it has rightly points out it is a present a "government behemoth", and indeed the most worrying point in the chart is in the lower right had corner:
Percentage of U.S. intelligence budget going to contractors: 70%.
That is pretty insane. (Which is not to say the rest is a lot saner.)

3. US Congress Embraces Both NSA Spying and Endless Wars

Then there is a quite serious piece on Common Dreams:

It starts as follows
In two separate votes in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, lawmakers from both parties affirmed their ongoing acceptance of the ever-growing national security state and support for the military authorization that has kept the nation in constant war since 2001.
And it notes:
The first amendment voted down, introduced by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and co-sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), would have severely curtailed the massive collection of US citizens' telephonic and digital communication data by NSA surveillance programs, the existence and extent of which have only recently come to light following disclosures from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The second amendment defeated, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiffer (D-Calif.), would have unseated the powers contained in the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), signed in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks of 2001 (and continually renewed since), that underpins the entirety of the ongoing and so-called 'war against terror,' (...)
There is more, including lists of the voters and the votes in the original. But OK, that is what "the people" want, when seen in terms of the majority of the representatives.

4. Michael Hudson Shreds Obama’s Orwellian Speech

This is from Naked Capitalism:
It starts as follows (and supports my analysis in the crisis series, now ongoing since Sep 1, 2008, and hence is nearly in its sixth year):

Michael Hudson was so incensed by what he called a “Blairesque” speech by Obama on Wednesday that he took it upon himself to comment on its all-too-frequent sleights of hand and outright fabrications. However, you’ll also notice that the speech contained so much bullshit (in the Harry Frankfurter sense of  indifference to the truth) that eventually Hudson’s comments thin out a bit.

The original speech is in black. Hudson’s remarks are in red. You’ll see he took mercy on you and edited the speech down a bit and also bolded some of the, erm, remarkable parts. I’ve added a few observations, in blue. I hope readers in comments will join in the fun by extracting sections or phrases from the speech and explaining what they really mean.

And it seems to me you can read it yourself: It's a good analysis of a bad and tricky speech, indeed in the Blatcherist tradition, and Yves Smith seems quite right in one of her comments about Obama:
He’s in fact used his power very deliberately, to neuter critics on the left and to sell and deliver neoliberal policies. He could have gone a very different course but chose to sell out massively on his campaign promises instead.
Yes, that is what has happened, and undoubtedly very consciously so.

5.  Personal

I could have made this a longer file, but do not, because I have done enough today, and am rather warm and rather tired.
[1] 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 government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
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 quote from is quite pertinent.)

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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