ugust 26, 2013
Crisis: NSA 3x, Summers, parasites and personal
  "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. NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests
2. NSA leaks: David Cameron's response is intimidation, 
     says world press body

3. Who Isn't the NSA Bugging? New Revelations of Spying
     on UN

4. Larry Summers and the ‘End-Game’ Memo
5. A parasite on a parasite on a parasite
6. Personal
About ME/CFS


Yesterday there was only a file that lists the files I wrote on the crisis in August of this year, plus the 227 files I wrote since September 1, 2008, that are all on the crisis. This is a series that runs now in its sixth year, and I say a little more about it in the last section.

Otherwise, this is a fairly normal item in that crisis series: Three items on the NSA, that now seems to be written about a bit more critically, at least, plus an item on Obama's Federal Reserve candidate Larry Summers, who is about the last person a responsible president would want to nominate, and an item on parasitism that is there mostly because I consider it fun.

1.  NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests

To start with, a file by Siobhan Gorma from the Washington Journal:

This starts as follows:

National Security Agency officers on several occasions have channeled their agency’s enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S. officials said.

The practice isn’t frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it’s common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT.

There also are the usual stories that this is "little" and "the NSA has zero tolerance", according to the NSA, but then everything the NSA does is secret abd classified, and therefore should be distrusted.

In any case: Edward Snowden's former comrades, who still work for Booz Allen, do abuse their privileges, even according to the NSA.

2. NSA leaks: David Cameron's response is intimidation, says world press body

Next, here is a quite important statement reported by John Halliday in the Guardian:

Here are its first three paragraphs:

David Cameron has been told that the government's attempt to destroy sensitive leaked documents about mass surveillance was "an act of intimidation" that risks a chilling effect on press freedom.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has written to the prime minister over the government's "deeply regrettable" response to files leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The body, which represents 18,000 publications from 3,000 companies, condemned officials for their "symbolic" attempt to restrict reporting by destroying computer hard drives held by the Guardian.

I am pleased that a body that "represents 18,000 publications from 3,000 companies" agrees with me that Cameron tried to intimidate the Guardian, and that he went far beyond bounds doing so.

3. Who Isn't the NSA Bugging? New Revelations of Spying on UN

Next, another item on the NSA, this time by Sarah Lazarre for Common Dreams:

Here are the first three paragraphs, that show that far more than the "loved ones" of Booz Allen's staff are spied upon:

The National Security Agency has the United Nations New York headquarters bugged, with targets including the European Union and UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Der Spiegel revealed Sunday, saying the revelations came from documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In 2012, the NSA hacked into the UN's video conference system to obtain access, with one NSA official proclaiming "The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!)," Der Spiegel reports.

The NSA also spied on EU delegates in New York in the year 2012 and obtained information about the EU's IT infrastructure and servers.

In brief: Nothing the European Union or the United Nations do is safe for the spy masters of the NSA. Also: This does not matter to many Americans, because they are not Anericans. 

4. Larry Summers and the ‘End-Game’ Memo

Then there is another piece about Larry Summers' qualifications to be the follower of Ben Bernanke, which he is extremely qualified for in the eyes of Obama:

This is posted by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truth Dig, and it starts as follows:

A 1997 memo retrieved from the filing cabinet of investigative reporter Greg Palast shows the involvement of Lawrence Summers—Obama’s current favorite for chairman of the Federal Reserve—in a successful plan to help big bank CEOs “rip apart financial regulation across the planet.”

In the memo, future Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reminds “his boss to call the then most powerful CEOs on the planet and get them to order their lobbyist armies to march” to tear down financial safety regulations in all 156 nations party to the World Trade Organization.

I know this is 16 years old, but I do not believe Summers changed his mind on whom he serves: Those who pay him, which are the Wall Street banks.

5. A parasite on a parasite on a parasite

The following item is from an entry on Washington's Blog. I reproduce it because it seems more fair than not - and the writer is right that Aristotle had the opinion that those who live on money, commerce or finance, live as parasites, for the simple reason that they do not make anything. They generally live on interest:

Clicking images leads to their sources
“This is by no means a new idea, nor is it the least bit radical; it is deeply   conservative and highly traditional. It was Aristotle who first defined the economy as an exchange of goods and services for money, commerce as a parasite on the economy (where those who create nothing extract a share by trading) and finance a parasite on commerce (which extracts a share by switching money from hand to hand – a parasite on a parasite). A typical US politician, such as the president, who counts financial companies such as Goldman Sachs among his top campaign donors, could be characterized as a parasite on a parasite on a parasite – a worm infesting the gut of a tick that is sucking blood from a vampire bat, if you like.” – Dimitri Orlov – The Five Stages of Collapse

I guess the analogy is colored, but it is fair in the sense that finance - that is basically: banking - really is an industry that does not make anything real. It generally loans money to sell it to others against a higher monetary price.

6. Personal

I have been a bit better for five days or so and indeed five days ago bought a bicycle, which I have not had for 10 or 15 years. I also cycled through Amsterdam four out of the last five days. This was never more than 45 to 55 minutes of calm cycling, after which I am sweaty and tired, but it is something I could not do the last 10 to 15 years, and which I liked doing a lot.

Whether it will last is another question, as is whether I will keep the cycle, since I have had many stolen, but I will see.

Next, yesterday there was only an administrative file on the crisis series, that I will here say a few things about:

The crisis series was started on September 1, 2008, when the Dutch government was still denying there was anything amiss, and the Dutch prime minister Balkenende claimed "we Dutch must cycle a bit harder, that's all, and our financial position is excellent".

In any case: I mention the corporate bodies and democracy, the systematic lying the public is exposed to, I quote Hazlitt's "On corporate bodies", and I mention Mosca and Burnham in that first file.

And meanwhile it is nearly September 1, 2013, and Europe, Holland and the US are still in crisis and have been all the time.

I do not know of any series by another person on the subject that is as long or as thorough. It is true a few may have written more about it, but not in a series, and not with my knowledge of economics and the social sciences, although I admit by and large these are pseudosciences, which is shown by the fact that rarely a sociologist is asked to comment or indeed has contributed anything deep.

Also, I will try to find the theoretically most important pieces - but you should realize that over 225 pieces of at least 25 Kb, on average, is 5625 Kb i.e. more than 5.6 Gb, and I am not going to read all of this.

But I probably will recall most of it when looking at the titles, which doesn't mean I can recall it all, but which does mean I generally know what I wrote about.

Anyway - that is the plan.

[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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