28, 2013
Varia: 2 anniversaries, 3rd anniversary, NSA chief, NSA employee, Hersh, Chomsky
  "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. Two 25 year old anniversaries
2. A 30 year old anniversary
NSA Chief: 'Yes' - Our Desire Is To Collect All US

4. NSA employee spied on nine women without detection,
     internal file shows

5. Seymour Hersh on Fixing Journalism With a Hatchet
6. Noam Chomsky: 'The Foundations of Liberty Are Ripped
     to Shreds'
About ME/CFS


Today there are two or three varia items, all anniversaries, before I come to the crisis.

1. Two 25 year old anniversaries

First today, two anniversaries that this year got 25 years old:

First anniversary:

  • I was removed in May 1988, after an invited speech that only consisted of questions, when I was already ill ten years, and also briefly before my M.A., from the faculty of philosophy from the University of Amsterdam, while the professional academic philosophers screamed at me (after loosing discussions) that I am "a fascist" and "a terrorist". No one else was ever thrown from a Dutch university for stating his opinions, since the end of WW II.
I found that most offensive, for all I was doing was deploring the awful "education" I had received, while it also so happens that I have a better and far more real resistance background than any of the sick and parasiting sadistic  assholes who screamed at me: My father and grandfather were convicted in 1941, by collaborating Dutch judges, as "political terrorists" to the concentration camp, where my grandfather was murdered, and my mother was in the communist resistance, and escaped arrest.

Also I have waited for 25 years for any excuse, and spend more than 180 MB on that and related issues on my site, and never got as much as any excuse, from absolutely no one. This I will return to.

Second anniversary:
  • I was gassed by carbon monoxide from the stove, because my landlord had, very probably intentionally - it turned out around September 28, 1988 - made the one chimney collapse that I had to use for getting heat - which he did because I protested, and kept protesting when threatened with murder, against the noise and threats from his illegal drugs dealers, that had arrived there to deal drugs with the written personal permission from their friend and protector, the mayor Ed van Thijn.
I found that most offensive, and if possible I found it more offensive that I was called "a liar" by the corrupt mafia-mates who acted for the City of Amsterdam, for nearly 4 years, until a smoke test was done on the last day I was in that house, on February 10, 1992, which showed the chimney was still collapsed, and had been very dangerous all the years since 1988.

I have waited for 25 years for any excuse, and spend more than 180 MB on that and related issues on my site, and never got any excuse, from absolutely no one. Also, my health has been much worse ever since then - for I had to do this while I was ill. This I will also return to.

Let me add that no one from the Dutch philosophers that removed me did anything of any value the last 25 years, in which they were pampered with big salaries and hardly any duties, and that there has been turned over at least 250 Billion just in soft drugs - marijuana and hashish - in Holland, because some of the Dutch politicians protect the dealers while keeping soft and other drugs illegal, I think for a percentage (which is easy to get - and a mere 5% of 250
Billion = 12,5 Billion, which buys or would buy very many Dutch politicians).

Indeed, you'll find the backgrounds - 180 MBs in all - here, mostly in Dutch:
But the main thing I learned from this is that almost no one cared, and hardly anyone wrote me, although very many read parts of it:

This explained a great lot - to me - about the murder of over 1% of the Dutch population, namely for being "of the Jewish race", during WW II, that my father, mother and grandfather actively resisted, as three of the very few.

That reason is that of the remain 99% at least 98% collaborated, whether enthusiastically (far more often than admitted) or "forced by circumstances

2. A 30 year old anniversary

Then there was another anniversary, it seems today:
  • The GNU system is 30 years old
I quote from a mail I received today from the Free Software Foundation:

Can you believe it? The GNU system is thirty years old today!

In 1983, Richard Stallman launched the free software movement with the words, "Free Unix!" We've freed a lot more than that in the last thirty years. The GNU system is now a vast universe of fully free operating systems, window managers, and software that serves almost every imaginable purpose. More than 95 percent of the world's supercomputers run free software. A majority of web servers run free software. Even more impressive, there are estimated to be tens of millions of free software users worldwide.

That's a lot to celebrate.
Yes, indeed - though in fact it is also true that those "tens of millions of free software users worldwide", of which I am one, are less than 2% of the software users.

But OK... it probably has a lot to do with genuine intelligence, which also is a quite scarce commodity. (Also 2% of the people has an IQ over 130, although it is nowadays true almost anyone can run Linux, even though relatively few do.)

3. NSA Chief: 'Yes' - Our Desire Is To Collect All US Communications

Next, I leave the subject of anniversaries, and turn to the NSA and its chief, Keith Alexander, as reported by Jacob Chamberlain on Common Dreams:

Here is the first paragraph:

Asked whether the National Security Agency should collect all communications of U.S. residents at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, NSA Director General Keith Alexander replied, "I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox – yes."

No, it is not "in the nation's best interest", but I am willing to believe that a sick freak like Alexander thinks so: He identifies "the nation" with the government, the NSA and those contracted by the NSA, I suppose, and entitles them to spy on everybody else, on any pretext.

Here are the next two paragraphs:

Alexander, who was joined by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Deputy Attorney General James Cole, went on to maintain the the NSA's collect-it-all approach to communications surveillance in the U.S. and around the world is necessary—urging Senators not to be moved by the rising tide of public discontent that has surged since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a trove of incriminating evidence through several newspapers, exposing the agency's unconstitutional surveillance practices.

Alexander blamed "sensational headlines," not the actual dragnet surveillance practices revealed in the media, for public anger—a notion that seemed to be shared by most of the Senators at the hearing, who are supposed to be in charge of NSA congressional oversight.

And so on - but the report by Chamberlain is good, and also makes it less probable the Senate will do much effective about the NSA, at least without being forced by the public.

4. NSA employee spied on nine women without detection, internal file shows

Next, an article by Paul Lewis in the Guardian:

This starts as follows:

A National Security Agency employee was able to secretly intercept the phone calls of nine foreign women for six years without ever being detected by his managers, the agency's internal watchdog has revealed.

The unauthorised abuse of the NSA's surveillance tools only came to light after one of the women, who happened to be a US government employee, told a colleague that she suspected the man – with whom she was having a sexual relationship – was listening to her calls.

And there you are: Mr Alexander's henchmen, though technically supermen (and superwomen) are human too. Also, there is this:

The letter, from Dr George Ellard, only lists cases that were investigated and later "substantiated" by his office. But it raises the possibility that there are many more cases that go undetected. In a quarter of the cases, the NSA only found out about the misconduct after the employee confessed.

It also reveals limited disciplinary action taken against NSA staff found to have abused the system. In seven cases, individuals guilty of abusing their powers resigned or retired before disciplinary action could be taken. Two civilian employees kept their jobs – and, it appears, their security clearance – and escaped with only a written warning after they were found to have conducted unauthorised interceptions.

There were no prosecutions, and also the case is over 10 years old.

5. Seymour Hersh on Fixing Journalism With a Hatchet

Next, here is some more on Seymour Hersh, this time by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truth Dig:

It starts as follows:

Seymour Hersh, the reporter who exposed the My Lai massacre in 1969 and the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, wants to shutter the major news bureaus, fire 90 percent of editors and generally make journalists outsiders again.

Hersh thinks NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden made surveillance into a real debate because Snowden put verifiable documents in the hands of editors who otherwise wouldn’t touch the theme. But Hersh is doubtful the revelations alone will change the course of history.

“I don’t know if it’s going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America—the president can still say to voters ‘al-Qaida, al-Qaida’ and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic,” he told The Guardian newspaper in an interview Friday.

Quite so! But that indeed is a major reason, if also not a conclusive one (and those are very rare outside pure mathematics), to hold this will get to be a lot worse before  - if ever - it gets to be any better, in  U.S. politics at least.

Here are some of the questions Seymour Hersh poses, all quite justified, in my opinion:

“Do you think Obama’s been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. What’s going on [with journalists]?

“[H]ow does [Obama] get away with the drone programme,” he continued. “[W]hy aren’t we doing more? How does he justify it? What’s the intelligence? Why don’t we find out how good or bad this policy is? Why do newspapers constantly cite the two or three groups that monitor drone killings? Why don’t we do our own work?"

Anyway - there is more there, and it is good, though I do not see where Mr Kelly got "the hatchet" from that he has in his title: It is not to be found in the interview. All Hersh does is say: Dismiss the incompetents, which seems quite justified to me, and he is also right there are a lot of incompetents in journalism these days.

6.  Noam Chomsky: 'The Foundations of Liberty Are Ripped to Shreds'

Finally, another piece on Noam Chomsky and his opinions. It is by Steven Garbas, and I found it on AlterNet, though it seems to have originated in Satellite Magazine:
I just quote the beginning:

Noam Chomsky: Just driving in this morning I was listening to NPR news. The program opened by announcing, very excitedly, that the drone industry is exploding so fast that colleges are trying to catch up and opening new programs in the engineering schools and so on, and teaching drone technology because that’s what students are dying to study because of the fantastic number of jobs going on.

And it’s true.
There is a lot more on this, and Chomsky sounds rather defeated, though well within reason, since it is very probably true that the great majority will make drones and does not care much for their use, as long as it is not on them or their beloved families.

And here is the ending:
You know, I have to say, I never expected much of Obama, to tell you the truth, but the one thing that surprised me is relentless assaults on civil liberties. I just don’t understand them.
I have been thinking about the same, and one decent explanation is that he was and is a puppet from the start, or before: An attractive good talker, half black, without really great talents, but quite willing to do anything for a job that gave him a lot of power.

This must remain a guess, but it does explain a lot about his factual policies, that were quite unlike his many promises.



[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 machine) which is a disease that 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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