ugust 4, 2013
Crisis: Krugman on chaos, Greenwald on ignorance, Cox on silence
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

1. Paul Krugman: Chaos Looms
2. Members of Congress denied access to basic information
     about NSA

3. Why Are Liberals Like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren
     So Quiet About Snowden's Astounding NSA Revelations?

4. Personal
About ME/CFS


Again I did not sleep too well and so there may be less today than there might have been.

Today's file covers Paul Krugman on the looming chaos; Glenn Greenwald on the lack of information of members of Congress; and Ana Marie Cox on the question why Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and others are quiet about Snowden.

1. Paul Krugman: Chaos Looms

The following is by Paul Krugman, in his column in the New York Times for August 1:
Krugman put it as follows:

Right now, if inherent importance were all that mattered, I wouldn’t be writing about the effects of sprawl, or the Fed succession, or even, probably, about China’s brick-wall problem. I would instead be writing all the time about the looming chaos in U.S. governance.

In the short run the point is that Republican leaders are about to reap the whirlwind, because they haven’t had the courage to tell the base that Obamacare is here to stay, that the sequester is in fact intolerable, and that in general they have at least for now lost the war over the shape of American society. As a result, we’re looking at many drama-filled months, with a high probability of government shutdowns and even debt defaults.

He also speaks of
...the madness of the GOP...
I am quoting him because I guess that he is right, which means that there will be exceedingly little legislation of any kind by the U.S. law makers, and many problems.

And I also do not know of any cure: We shall see, but it will not be pretty.

2. Members of Congress denied access to basic information about NSA

Next, there is Glenn Greenwald with another column in the Guardian: This starts as follows:

Members of Congress have been repeatedly thwarted when attempting to learn basic information about the National Security Agency (NSA) and the secret FISA court which authorizes its activities, documents provided by two House members demonstrate.

From the beginning of the NSA controversy, the agency's defenders have insisted that Congress is aware of the disclosed programs and exercises robust supervision over them. "These programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate," President Obama said the day after the first story on NSA bulk collection of phone records was published in this space. "And if there are members of Congress who feel differently, then they should speak up."

But members of Congress, including those in Obama's party, have flatly denied knowing about them.
And I think they are quite right: First, almost everything that could be made secret about it has been made secret, and secondly, the few who did know, such as Wyden and Udall, were met with lies by the bureaucrats of the NSA. And president Obama was simply and plainly lying: You can not speak up about things you do not know.

Greenwald details the experiences of Congressmen Griffith and Grayson: The former got no replies; the latter got a negative, that further inquiry turned out to be classified. The brief of it is:
To date, neither Griffith nor Grayson has received any of the documents they requested.
Also, there is this little democratic point:
Moreover, even when members of the Intelligence Committee learn of what they believe to be serious abuses by the NSA, they are barred by law from informing the public.
Which itself is a travesty in a real democracy. In brief, in the terms of the concluding statement of the piece:
Whatever else is true, members of Congress in general clearly know next to nothing about the NSA and the FISA court beyond what they read in the media, and those who try to rectify that are being actively blocked from finding out.
3. Why Are Liberals Like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren So Quiet
             About Snowden's Astounding NSA Revelations?

This is an interesting question, that Ana Marie Cox tries to deal with on Alter net:

She starts with a more general question:

Why hasn't the left been able to rally support around opposition to domestic spying?

Part of the answer to that is that "the left" are Democrats in the U.S., for the most part, and the majority of these folks believe president Obama should be trusted, and indeed should be trusted blindly, as the case is.

But there is another reason:

One bomb, one devastating video, one instance when our agencies can prove a near-miss and a denouncement of surveillance becomes a millstone and not a platform.

To which I say: Yes and no.

Yes, in the sense that, if there is such a problem, whether it is engineered or real, this may cost votes.

But definitely no in the sense that you cannot logically subscribe to anything like surveillance of the computer data - of virtually anything that any U.S. citizen does with his or her computer - of over 300 million U.S. citizens and claim that you live "in a democracy" where "the Constitution" is maintained.

So the real answer for this ostrich-like policy of putting their heads in the sand  when faced with a crisis seems to be:

Because many of the politicians of "the left" in the U.S. rather are cowards who want to be re-elected in a non-democracy where there is no maintained  Constitution, than they want to defend the principles they swore allegiance to.

4. Personal

That was it for today. If I had slept better, there might have been more, but I did not, and it also is Sunday.
[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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