"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
the Gangster State
David Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by
3. Lavabit founder: 'My own
tax dollars are being used to spy on me'
4. US Economic Policy:
Keeping Wages Flat Since 1979
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.
Manning and the Gangster State
This is by Chris Hedges on Truth Dig:
Here is the first
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
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'
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
Hedges wrote his piece - that Manning, according to Manning, now is a
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.
Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by police
Then there is this in the
Guardian by Robert Booth:
Here are the first
I merely report it,
because it is quite uncertain what the material is.
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.
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.
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
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.
Anyway, there is considerably more under the last link.
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:
That is: For the last 35
years the poor have gotten poorer, so that the rich could get
richer in the U.S.
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.
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."
It's economy, which is not an exact science, in spite of its formulas,
but it seems to me basically correct.
 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: