"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. NSA decryption
revelations 'provide roadmap' to adversaries, US warns
Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web
End of Internet Privacy?
4. 10 Ways America Has Come to Resemble a
5. Syria and the Reality at
Home in America
6. Stopping Barry
O’Bomber’s Rush to War
7. NSA the enemy of
all of mankind
8. The Psychiatric Drug
Today there is rather a lot
more than the last days, and indeed I leave some for tomorrow, which is
a sunday, when there usually is less material. This is about the NSA,
how the U.S. is starting to resemble a banana state, about Syria, about
a Swedish Pirate Party's views, and at the end a bit on the crisis in
psychiatry (and indeed in medicine).
decryption revelations 'provide roadmap' to adversaries, US warns
Let us start with "a serious warning" from the U.S. government, that is
here rendered by James Ball in the Guardian:
It starts as follows:
I think one has to read a
little bit between the lines: What the U.S. government means is that
they decide who is a journalist and they decide what is
news, and that whoever is not "a journalist" (in their sense) or does
not write "news" (in their sense) must be "an adversary", if not a
administration has responded to revelations on the NSA's successes in
defeating online security and privacypublished
on Thursday by the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica.
In a statement issued on
Friday, the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI),
which oversees the US's intelligence agencies, suggested the stories,
simultaneously published on the front pages of the New York Times and
Guardian, were "not news", but nonetheless provided a "road map … to
Otherwise there is little to tell, though there is a fair amount more
under the last link.
2. N.S.A. Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of
Privacy on Web
Next, a bit of medical advice, by a site that is called "Health Care
Renewal", that is run by decent medical doctors (yes, they exist, even
in the U.S.):
It starts as follows:
There's already a
major issue with privacy and protection of medical records in
electronic form. See the multiple blog posts at this query
There is more and it ends like
Now this from the New York
Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web
But don't worry, your
electronic medical records are secure, and will NEVER be used for
political purposes by your adversaries...
By NICOLE PERLROTH, JEFF LARSON and SCOTT SHANE
September 5, 2013
Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on
encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and
behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting
the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according
to newly disclosed documents.
The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or
digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects
sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and
automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and
phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents
unless you're a real nobody, if you, say, contracted V.D. from that
sexy prostitute at that Vegas Convention, you perhaps better not tell
your doctor about it.
I hope they are right - and
there are no real nobodies, because everybody is defined by the NSA in
terms of metadata, that may link anybody to anybody who may be "a
terrorist" (aka "adversary" aka "someone who disagrees with the NSA").
Maybe this is what it will
take to get the government to start taking electronic medical record
privacy, confidentiality and security more seriously.
Our legislators, like
everyone else, have a stake in the game.
But I first must see some decent legislation that curtails the NSA -
but yes: this is what "all of anyone's and everyone's
personal data" means.
3. Greenwald: End of Internet Privacy
Next, an interview with
Glenn Greenwald on Democracy Now!:
starts as follows:
A new exposť based
on the leaks of Edward Snowden has revealed the
National Security Agency has developed methods to crack online
encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records.
"Encryption is really the system that lets the Internet function as an
important commercial instrument all around the world," says Glenn
Greenwald of The Guardian, which collaborated with The New York Times
and ProPublica on the reporting. "It's what lets you enter your credit
card number, check your banking records, buy and sell things online,
your medical tests online, engage in private communications. It's what
protects the sanctity of the Internet." Documents leaked by Snowden
reveal the NSA spends $250 million a year on a program which, among
other goals, works with technology companies to "covertly influence"
their product designs. "The entire system is now being compromised by
the NSA and their British counterpart, the GCHQ," Greenwald says.
"Systematic efforts to ensure that there is no form of human commerce,
human electronic communication, that is ever invulnerable to their
There is a lot more, and it is
4. 10 Ways America Has Come to Resemble a
for a moment on a somewhat other tack, an article from Alternet by Alex
Henderson, who offers a survey of
leave the article to you, but copy the 10 ways, but not the rest of the
1. Rising Income
Inequality and Shrinking Middle Class
2. Unchecked Police Corruption and an Ever-Expanding Police State
4. Highest Incarceration Rate in the World
5. Corrupt Alliance of Big Business and Big Government
6. High Unemployment
7. Inadequate Access to Healthcare
8. Dramatic Gaps in Life Expectancy
9. Hunger and Malnutrition
10. High Infant Mortality
you can find out how sensible this is.
5. Syria and the Reality at Home in America
Next, a piece by Robert
Reich, who restates some points:
This ends as follows - after a
long list of things Reich insists - and I agree - that could
and need be done:
Yes - quite so. And if
the policies are indeed dictated by Obama, Obama is the one to blame,
in the first place, I would add. Indeed, that is also something Ralph
Nader seems to think:
But we are not talking about any of this. We
are not debating what’s happening to our nation. We are not creating
jobs for the long-term unemployed. We are not raising the minimum wage,
expanding the EITC, or providing enough food stamps to feed America’s
poor children or keep working Americans out of poverty. We are not
improving the nation’s poorest schools or providing enough low-income
housing to keep destitute families off the nation’s streets.
We are not reforming our tax code or fixing
our schools or reforming our brutal immigration system. We are not
addressing the widening gap between a few at the top who are doing
better than ever and a larger number below who are sinking. We are not
getting big money out of politics.
We are paralyzed at home — as we turn our
attention to a potential quagmire abroad. This is the great tragedy of
6. Stopping Barry O’Bomber’s Rush to War
This is a column by Ralph
Nader from his site:
I did not know what one of
Obama's nicknames is "Barry O'Bomber", but it seems his young class
mates were right, albeit it not in a sense they knew:
Dear President Obama:
Little did your school
boy chums in Hawaii, watching you race up and down the basketball
court, know how prescient they were when they nicknamed you “Barry
Little did your fellow
Harvard Law Review editors, who elected you to lead that venerable
journal, ever imagine that you could be a president who chronically
violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties and
the separation of power at depths equal to or beyond the George W. Bush
Nor would many of the voters
who elected you in 2008 have conceived that your foreign policy would
rely so much on brute military force at the expense of systemically
waging peace. Certainly, voters who knew your background as a child of
third world countries, a community organizer, a scholar of
constitutional law and a critic of the Bush/Cheney years, never would
have expected you to favor the giant warfare state so pleasing to the
military industrial complex.
There is rather a lot more
under the lasy dotted link.
7. NSA the enemy of all of mankind
Next, we arrive at
Ralf Falkvinge's site, who does have an explicit party affiliation,
namely to the Swedish Pirate Party, and also is knowledgable about
This starts as follows - and
remember the writer is technically quite informed:
I'll leave the rest to you,
except for this part:
security services of the US, UK, and Sweden have been actively working
to plant backdoors into most commercial cryptography software. While
intended to use for wiretapping business secrets, medical journals and
bank transactions, those backdoors are also there for any other
adversary. This is effectively a declaration of war from the security
services against all of humanity.
The news broke this morning
that the NSA (US), the GCHQ (UK), and the FRA (Sweden) have been
actively working to subvert the cryptography that makes our society
tick, by planting backdoors in most if not all commercial cryptography
software. This means that these agencies have deliberately made all of
us vulnerable as we conduct our banking business, as we go to the
hospital, and as we talk privately online. Our society depends on our
ability to keep secrets, and the deliberate planting of backdoors, the
deliberate subversion of our infrastructure, is nothing short of a
declaration of war.
Quite so - and here are
the links to help you do so. And NO! it is it not
difficult at all. AND you can start with a computer that runs
two OS's, which is as easy - in fact I have been using GNU/Linux-Ubuntu
nearly continously since May 2012, and probably have not used Windows
to access the internet since then at all.
This subversion of our
critical infrastructure doesn’t just let the NSA and its ilk listen in.
It lets anybody listen in that has enough technical skill to
discover the planted back doors – and there are plenty of people who
have that skill. The security services, with the job of keeping us
safe, have effectively trashed our security completely. Assume the
worst criminals can eavesdrop with much more ease than the NSA were
ever able to, thanks to this subversion and breach of trust.
We can safely assume that
all American software is thoroughly Swiss-cheese compromised. If you’re
running anything from Microsoft or Apple, you’re owned.
They’re in your system, in your documents, and in your production. You
were played for a fool and you need to switch to a free-software
solution or stay owned.
It can be done and it is easy. You just need to start
doing it. And it can all be done completely without any payment
to anyone! Completely free! And it will make your computer
Psychiatric Drug Crisis
Finally, a psychotherapist,
namely Gary Greenberg, on the drugs crisis that is current in modern
This starts as follows
After that you get a survey of
how quite a few of these products came to be marketable, and also why
many of those decisions - including for Prozac and other sich medicines
- were mistaken and their real evidence was hardly better than
chance that they would help.
It’s been just over
twenty-five years since Prozac came to market, and more than twenty per
cent of Americans now regularly take mind-altering drugs prescribed by
their doctors. Almost as familiar as brands like Zoloft and Lexapro is
the worry about what it means that the daily routine in many
households, for parents and children alike, includes a dose of
medications that are poorly understood and whose long-term effects on
the body are unknown. Despite our ambivalence, sales
of psychiatric drugs amounted to more than seventy billion dollars
in 2010. They have become yet another commodity that consumers have
learned to live with or even enjoy, like S.U.V.s or Cheetos.
Yet the psychiatric-drug
industry is in trouble. “We are facing a crisis,” the Cornell
psychiatrist and New York Times contributor Richard Friedman warned last week. In the past few years, one
pharmaceutical giant after another—GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca,
Novartis, Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi—has shrunk or shuttered its
neuroscience research facilities. Clinical trials have been halted,
lines of research abandoned, and the new drug pipeline has been allowed
to run dry.
Even so: "more than twenty per
cent of Americans now regularly take mind-altering drugs prescribed
by their doctors"...
What wonder they do not protest, and smile at you happy as loons!
They're sedated! 
 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.)
 I am not quite serious - but it really
is odd that, so far, so few protested. And 1 in 5 is drugged. And that is
a fact, and is also a fact I find worrisome.
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: