ugust 22, 2013
Crisis: Manning, Miranda, Levinson, U.S. economic policy
  "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. Bradley Manning and the Gangster State
2. David Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by police
3.  Lavabit founder: 'My own tax dollars are being used to spy on me'
4.  US Economic Policy: Keeping Wages Flat Since 1979
About ME/CFS


Today there are four sections, one on Manning by Hedges, that I do not quite agree with; one on Miranda by Booth; one on Levison, who founded and closed Lavabit, that was used - with many others - by Edward Snowden; and one by Queally on the American economy.

1.  Bradley Manning and the Gangster State

This is by Chris Hedges on Truth Dig:
Here is the first paragraph:
The swift and brutal verdict read out by Army Col. Judge Denise Lind in sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison means we have become a nation run by gangsters. It signals the inversion of our moral and legal order, the death of an independent media, and the open and flagrant misuse of the law to prevent any oversight or investigation of official abuses of power, including war crimes. The passivity of most of the nation’s citizens—the most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history—to the judicial lynching of Manning means they will be next. There are no institutional mechanisms left to halt the shredding of our most fundamental civil liberties, including habeas corpus and due process, or to prevent pre-emptive war, the assassination of U.S. citizens by the government and the complete obliteration of privacy. 
I don't know this verdict "means" what Chris Hedges says it means. I agree the situation in the U.S. is bad, in the ways Hedges says it is, but I don't think the verdict "means" these things: it is, much rather, one of the many symptoms of the many changes for the worse that have been happening since Bush Jr took power, and since Obama decided to follow his example.

To illustrate my diagnosis, here are the last four sentences in Hedges' piece:
It is not Manning who was condemned Wednesday, but us. “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “the true place for a just man is also a prison.” And that is the real reason Bradley Manning is being locked away. He is a just man.
The first sentence is clearly false, also when taken metaphorically. Manning was condemned, quite unfairly I agree, but not other people.

The second sentence is also false (as I remarked already in 1982), much as I like Thoreau: Just men do not belong in prison, also not, and indeed especially not, in a social system that is rife with unjust abuse.

The third sentence also is either false or undecided: Manning was convicted for lots of reasons, which I agree with Hedges were mostly false or inappropriate, but not because he is a just man.

Finally, the fourth sentence has the unfortunate aspect - that indeed emerged after Hedges wrote his piece - that Manning, according to Manning, now is a woman, who goes by the name of Chelsea. I take this as evidence that he has been broken by the trial, because this is just wishful thinking on Manning's part, that also has no realistic hope of being realized and that will probably increase his problems.

2. David Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by police

Then there is this in the Guardian by Robert Booth:

Here are the first two paragraphs:

David Miranda has been granted a limited injunction at the high court to stop the government and police "inspecting, copying or sharing" data seized from him during his detention at Heathrow airport – but examination by the police for national security purposes is allowed.

Miranda had taken the government to court to try and get the data returned, but judges ruled that the police would be able to make limited use of what had been taken during his nine-hour detention on Sunday. He is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who has exposed mass digital surveillance by US and UK spy agencies.

I merely report it, because it is quite uncertain what the material is.

3. Lavabit founder: 'My own tax dollars are being used to spy on me'

To continue an item I had on August 9
here is more on Lavabit, that was an U.S. encrypted mail-service that was used by Edward Snowden, and that was shut down by its owner, Ladar Levinson: I'll quote only a small bit to show the cruel and illegal idiocies the U.S. state now uses against totally innocent persons - for Ladar Levinson did not even know Snowden was amongst his clientele, until Snowden was forced to use his mail service while being trapped in Moscow:
The 32-year-old is now stuck in a Kafkaesque universe where he is not allowed to talk about what is going on, nor is he allowed to talk about what he's not allowed to talk about without facing charges of contempt of court.

It appears that Levison – who would not confirm this – has received a national security letter (NSL), a legal attempt to force him to hand over any and all data his company has so that the US authorities can track Snowden and anyone he communicated with. The fact that he closed the service rather than comply may well have opened him up to other legal challenges – about which he also can not comment.

What contemptible court issues rules that rule out one's mentioning what one is  not allowed to talk about?! To someone who did absolutely nothing and has not been convicted?!

Anyway, there is considerably more under the last link.

4.  US Economic Policy: Keeping Wages Flat Since 1979

Finally, on quite another aspect of the crisis, although it is about the U.S. This is by Jon Queally:

Here is the sum-up of a report that gave rise to the above heading:

The central problem, say the report's authors Lawrence Mishel and Heidie Shierholz, is that "wage and benefit growth of the vast majority" of workers has remained steady—or even declined—amid rising costs of living while the "fruits of overall growth have accrued disproportionately to the richest households" in the country.

"The wage-setting mechanism has been broken for a generation," write Mishel and Shierholz, "but has particularly faltered in the last 10 years."

"Corporate profits, on the other hand, are at historic highs," they continue. "Income growth has been captured by those in the top 1 percent, driven by high profitability and by the tremendous wage growth among executives and in the finance sector."

That is: For the last 35 years the poor have gotten poorer, so that the rich could get richer in the U.S.

It's economy, which is not an exact science, in spite of its formulas, but it seems to me basically correct.
[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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