26, 2013
Crisis: Drones, Brazil, Scahill, Monsanto, NSA, Sebelius
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

Prev- crisis -Next

1.  UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA's  
      view of drone opponents as 'threats' and 'adversaries'

2.  Brazil Could Take Extraordinary Measures for Privacy
Jeremy Scahill: Obama Is an Enforcer of Empire
4.  Anti-GMO Campaigners Claim Victory as 'Monsanto
      Protection Act' Stripped From Senate Bill

5.  Declassified NSA files show agency spied on Muhammad
      Ali and MLK

6.  Dear Secretary Sebelius, adopt the CCC and cancel
      wasting tax-payer money on the IOM contract
About ME/CFS


Today there are five items on the crisis, while the sixth and last is on ME/CFS. I don't think they are very important, except perhaps the last, but that is only relevant for people with ME/CFS or their caretakers.

And I should say I am reviewing my site, and may upload it all again the coming days.  I'll keep you informed, but it should not bother most readers. The main reason is to be sure all is there that should be there, and nothing else.

1. UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA's view of drone opponents as 'threats' and 'adversaries'

I start with a Glenn Greenwald item in the Guardian:

Here are the first three paragraphs:

A well-known and highly respected Yemeni anti-drone activist was detained yesterday by UK officials under that country's "anti-terrorism" law at Gatwick Airport, where he had traveled to speak at an event. Baraa Shiban, the project co-ordinator for the London-based legal charity Reprieve, was held for an hour and a half and repeatedly questioned about his anti-drone work and political views regarding human rights abuses in Yemen.

When he objected that his political views had no relevance to security concerns, UK law enforcement officials threatened to detain him for the full nine hours allowed by the Terrorism Act of 2000, the same statute that was abused by UK officials last month to detain my partner, David Miranda, for nine hours.

Shiban tells his story today, here, in the Guardian, and recounts how the UK official told him "he had detained me not merely because I was from Yemen, but also because of Reprieve's work investigating and criticising the efficacy of US drone strikes in my country."

There is considerably more in the original. I do not think any of it is very important, but it does go to show that the NSA and also the American government are playing it hard: Whoever does not agree with them is no good, and deserves sanction.

That is also not very surprising, but it is unpleasant and totally irrealistic, also as the NSA and the American government do seem to believe their own propaganda.

2. Brazil Could Take Extraordinary Measures for Privacy

This is a brief item on the president of Brazil:
It starts as follows:

Years from now, we might look back on NSA spying as the thing that broke the Internet.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is so offended by U.S. espionage against her government, as documented in the Edward Snowden leaks, she has proposed a range of measures to increase privacy. One of those is to lay fiber optic cable directly from Latin America to Europe. Currently, much of Brazil’s traffic passes through North America, and that is where the NSA may be intercepting it.

I do not know how important, effective or costly this is.

3.  Jeremy Scahill: Obama Is an Enforcer of Empire

Next, Jeremy Scahill, in an item I found on Alternet, but that is originally on Democacy Now! This is probably the most important item:

Here is Scahill from the interview:

JEREMY SCAHILL: During this section of the speech my jaw sort of hit the floor. He basically came out and said the United States is an imperialist nation and we are going to do whatever we need to conquer areas to take resources from around the world. I mean, it was a really naked sort of declaration of imperialism, and I don’t use that word lightly, but it really is. I mean, he pushed back against the Russians when he came out and said I believe America is an exceptional nation. He then defended the Gulf War and basically said that the motivation behind it was about oil and said we are going to continue to take such actions in pursuit of securing natural resources for ourselves and our allies. I mean, this was a pretty incredible and bold declaration he was making, especially given the way that he has tried to portray himself around the world.

Quite so, and all by the man of "Change!" and "Yes we can!"

4. Anti-GMO Campaigners Claim Victory as 'Monsanto Protection Act' Stripped From Senate Bill

Then there is the following item on Common Dreams by Jacob Chamberlain:
This starts as follows:
An amendment dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act," which currently allows large agriculture and biotech corporations to ignore court orders involving the safety of genetically modified seeds, has been stripped from Senate's spending bill that could be voted on as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Following an organized campaign against the provision in recent months, its removal was being cheered by food safety and environmental activists as a victory.

The Monsanto Protection Act, otherwise known as the Farmer Assurance Provision rider, was wedged into a stop-gap budget bill that passed earlier this year and signed into law by President Obama in March.

I think this is fairly interesting, and Monsanto is a threat, and besides, this was again signed by the man of "Change!" and "Yes we can!".

Declassified NSA files show agency spied on Muhammad Ali and MLK

Next, an item by Ed Pilkington in the Guardian:
Here are the first 2 1/2 paragraphs:

The National Security Agency secretly tapped into the overseas phone calls of prominent critics of the Vietnam War, including Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and two actively serving US senators, newly declassified material has revealed.

The NSA has been forced to disclose previously secret passages in its own official four-volume history of its Cold War snooping activities. The newly-released material reveals the breathtaking – and probably illegal – lengths the agency went to in the late 1960s and 70s, in an attempt to try to hold back the rising tide of anti-Vietnam war sentiment.

That included tapping into the phone calls and cable communications of two serving senators – the Idaho Democrat Frank Church and Howard Baker, a Republican from Tennessee who, puzzlingly, was a firm supporter of the war effort in Vietnam.
Again, I do not think this is very important: It is long ago; it were all specific individuals rather than tens or hundreds of millions, and also it was in the days that Edgar Hoover was leading the FBI, about whom president Harry Truman said (as quoted in the Wikipedia item on Hoover):
"we want no Gestapo or secret police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him".
But this is important in that the postmodern Hoovers, such as Keith Alexander, have very much more power and information, and - I'd say, from his actions and statements - the same level of discretion and reliability as Hoover.

Dear Secretary Sebelius, adopt the CCC and cancel wasting tax-payer money on the IOM contract

Finally, an item that will interest relatively few: An open letter to the current head of the CDC that is signed by most medical researchers of ME/CFS:
This is from the Niceguidelines blog, that is run by a medical doctor with ME/CFS, Dr Speedy. Here is his second paragraph:
So …. yesterday, 35 of the world’s foremost clinicians and researchers have agreed on the use of a case definition (see open letter below), the Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC), that has been used more and more frequently for years worldwide. The CCC were adopted by an International Consensus Panel consisting of “members [who] have approximately 400 years of both clinical and teaching experience, authored hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, diagnosed or treated approximately 50 000 patients with ME.”
Note this is quite important, for three reasons (at least): Firstly, this is signed by 35 of the most prominent medical researchers; secondly, the CCC criterions - whether of 2003 or of 2012 - are quite sensible and quite informed, and indeed accepted by most patients (including me); and thirdly, it is quite important people with ME/CFS have some sort of defense against psychiatrists, who would all put them in a madhouse if only there was money for that, for the latest from psychiatry, from the DSM 5, is that any unexplained disease "as a matter of fact" is "explained", as the execrable "ME-expert" professor Peter White declared,  in writing, namely as some form of psychiatric "disorderedness".

And no, I have not been putting you on: According to professor Peter White - also a data-falsifier - "there are no unexplained diseases": Medicine is done, and if you have something that is not in current medical books, this is sufficient proof you are mad - and need to take pills or need to arrested.

The question is whether this will succeed. I hope it does, for the reasons stated.



[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, thay 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 of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servant of 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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