"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. Does Democracy Still
Work in America?
2. The True History of Libertarianism in
3. Sept. 9 Could Mark the Beginning of the
End for Net Neutrality
4. Revealed: The NSA’s Secret Campaign to Crack,
Undermine Internet Security
Yesterday I got over 10,000
hits and had over 600 visitors, only in Denmark. (The Dutch
site very probably has more.) The last figure is not uncommon, but the
first is. Also, more than 300 MB was downloaded, in one day, which may
be an all time high, in Denmark. Actually, I do not know why - I must
be doing something well, according to some, but I have no specific
ideas as to what - but I record it.
Anyway - today there is
less on the crisis, and I also have, at least for today, slightly
changed my tack, and have looked for explanations of what's going on.
Does Democracy Still Work in America?
To start with, an item by
The Young Turks:
This reports an investigation
of 90,000 Americans, over quite a long time, namely five Congresses.
Basically, the outcome is that it works only if you have money, and the
better the more money you have.
That is: the poor are consistently not listened to nor voted for; the
middle class sometimes is; and the upper class consistently is listened
to. By both parties.
I do not think you did not really know or at least guess this, but it
does also seem a well-based conclusion: No, democracy hardly works in
America. (The members of Congress mostly work for those who can pay
The True History of Libertarianism in America:
Next, a - fairly long - article by Mark Ames in Alternet. It's here not because I agree with it (I
think it is one-sided, and not rightly so) but because the writer does
not like Milton Friedman, and neither do I, and also because I am still
trying - not being an American - to get what libertarianism might mean:
But I do not agree with the
writer, who says (among other things):
was a project of the corporate lobby world, launched as a big business
“ideology” in 1946 by The US Chamber of Commerce and the National
Association of Manufacturers.
And my point is not that the
above historical detail is not correct, for that may well be so, but
that "libertarianism" - whatever it is, precisely - cannot be reduced
to that: it is not just "a phony ideology to promote a
corporare agenda", though indeed it is also being used for that purpose.
3. Sept. 9 Could Mark the Beginning of the
End for Net
Next, this - an article by
Josh Levy that I found on Common Dreams - is here because I was not
aware of the facts it treats:
It starts as follows:
Sept. 9 is the
next front in the long-running battle over what we can do and say
And it ends thus:
That’s the day Verizon
will face the Federal Communications Commission in court over the
agency’s Net Neutrality protections, which
the company wants to overturn. If Verizon gets its way, the FCC’s
rules protecting Internet users from corporate abuse will disappear.
Verizon vs. FCC
is much larger than the claims of a single company. At stake is whether
the Internet will remain an open medium for creativity, free expression
and innovation, or a cable-like closed system that just a few ISPs
The stakes couldn’t be
higher: The FCC’s ability to safeguard Net Neutrality is crucial to the
future of the open Internet.
You'll find the explanation
in the parts I did not quote.
NSA’s Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security
a long article by several journalists, including some of the New York
Times, on Pro Publica, that also is a few days old:
This starts as follows, with a
statement that is uncertain, but that seems currently more true than
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.
There is quite a bit more, and
regular readers of Nederlog of the last 3 months will know most, but it
is a reasonable summary. Here
are some things I learned from it:
So not everything is
- Encryption still works,
as does PGP aka Pretty Good
Privacy. (But I do not know about the version bought by Symantecs:
I have an earlier one, that I so far have not used.)
- There still is room for an alternative non-commercial internet.
(This link is 4 years old, and needs some corrections or additions, but
still seems sound, also in combination with the next point.)
- Open software
works: A great part of the problem is due
to the fact that on Windows and Apple most software, including that of
the OS, is closed source. This is not the case on Linux.
 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: