1, 2013
Crisis: Obama and Syria, Kerry says 'Obama has the right', regardless
  "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. Obama, Congress and Syria
2. Obama 'has the right' to strike Syria regardless of Congress vote, says Kerry
3. Personal
About ME/CFS


There is not much today on the subject of the crisis. There is some on the subject of Syria, and I will limit myself to that.

1. Obama, Congress and Syria

To start with, Glenn Greenwald, who writes in the Guardian about:
This starts as follows:
It's a potent sign of how low the American political bar is set that gratitude is expressed because a US president says he will ask Congress to vote before he starts bombing another country that is not attacking or threatening the US. That the US will not become involved in foreign wars of choice without the consent of the American people through their representatives Congress is a central mandate of the US Constitution, not some enlightened, progressive innovation of the 21st century.
After briefly commenting on George Bush, Greenwald continues:
But what makes the celebratory reaction to yesterday's announcement particularly odd is that the Congressional vote which Obama said he would seek appears, in his mind, to have no binding force at all. There is no reason to believe that a Congressional rejection of the war's authorization would constrain Obama in any way, other than perhaps politically. To the contrary, there is substantial evidence for the proposition that the White House sees the vote as purely advisory, i.e., meaningless.
And that is just it, for look at the next item:

2. Obama 'has the right' to strike Syria regardless of Congress vote, says Kerry

This is also from the Guardian, but it is by Spencer Ackerman:
This starts as follows:

The Obama administration indicated on Sunday that it would launch strikes against Syria even in the face of rejection by the US Congress, less than a day after vowing to put an attack to a congressional vote.

President Obama "has the right to do this no matter what Congress does", said secretary of state John Kerry, one of the leading advocates of a military assault on dictator Bashar al-Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons on 12 neighborhoods outside Damascus on 21 August.

I think this is called an "imperialist presidency", that is, an American president who does as he pleases, mumbling "Trust Me!", regardless of what Congress or the Constitution say he should (not) do.

And I agree with Greenwald this is "particularly odd". Then again, it would be interesting to see what will be Obama's position in case he does strike against the wishes of Congress - except that you cannot predict what other people, such as Putin, will do if he strikes.

3. Personal 

Since there is so little today, a few reflections on my own situation:

As it happens, I am rather a lot better than I have been all of the last year, though indeed the last year was quite a bad year, what with my keratoconjunctivitis sicca, that was quite painful and serious in my case, and that I still have to an extent that I really need a tweaked monitor and also to an extent that I still feel my eyes continuously and need to drop in Duratears every two hours.

But I have it for some 16 months now, and it is less than it has been nearly all those months (that I spent a year ago with hardly the use of a computer), and it is still improving, though it is also still doing that slowly.

Also, probably not coincidentally, my sleep has been improving the last ten days.
[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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