"They who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. Glenn Greenwald and Janine
Gibson: 10 highlights from
their Reddit AMA
2. 'The End of Global Privacy': Greenwald
3. The Economics and
Politics of Chaos
4. Obama Quietly Okays
Military Aid to Countries That Use
of the Senate Judiciary Committee: “We Get
More [Info on NSA Spying] In
The Newspapers Than In ...
Whittemore convicted to 2 years in prison
This is again a bit earlier
than otherwise, and the reason is again mostly that I could.
The first two items
today are both about the Reddit Q-and-A that Greenwald and Gibson did;
then there is Krugman; followed by Obama and his Genuine Care for
Children; and the last crisis item is a brief one from Wahington's
Blog. My last item will be mostly relevant to people with ME/CFS and
not to others, and is about Harvey Whittemore.
Glenn Greenwald and Janine Gibson: 10 highlights from
their Reddit AMA
This first item, like the
next one, is given to a consideration of some highlights of the Reddit
Q-and-A. This one is from the Guardian and by (and I quote) "Katie
Rogers and Reddit readers":
This starts with a description
of what it is, which I skip, and then considers 10 questions + answers,
of which I will select some:
what would you say is the single most shocking revelation that Snowden
has leaked. Why?
This was a good question with
a fine answer - and see I.F. Stone's quote, above.
The general revelation
that the objective of the NSA is literally the elimination of global
privacy: ensuring that every form of human electronic communication -
not just those of The Terrorists™ - is collected, stored, analyzed and
The NSA has so
radically misled everyone for so long about its true purpose that
revealing its actual institutional function was shocking to many, many
people, and is the key context for understanding these other specific
Next, here is another good general question:
it too late to roll back the surveillance state?
I again refer to my
quotations, this time by Benjamin Franklin. But
that doesn't solve anything, itself, and I would also say that (1) it
very probably will not be "a people's majority" that settles
this question, since that happens only very rarely, and
(2) it is not about "feeling secure", since you have been and
are more likely, as an American citizen,
to be struck by lightning than by any terrorist.
I think this is the
question we've all been asking. It's at the heart of this story. And we
fundamentally think it's a debate best had in the open. It's going to
come down to what citizens, users and voters think about how much
they're prepared to give up in order to feel secure. It's not an easy
Next is a question that I have redacted the second part from, as I have
done in the answer:
you feel that the protections that journalists count on are
disappearing? Is journalism as a whole in danger? (..)
I think more is the matter and
that indeed journalism as a whole is in danger. But I grant that is a
difficult and complicated question, although the real basis is simple: Lack
of advertisements' income.
This is a critical time
for journalistic freedom, and there are two major shifts which are
threatening important work. One is the attempt to categorise "who is a
journalist", which we are in danger, as an industry, of enabling. I
feel profoundly uncomfortable about any line drawn around pay,
employer, hours or volume of work that will define a "real" journalist.
And then only the "real" journalists will be protected.
I don't think that's how
the world works any more, so that's problematic. (..)
Finally, a variant of the "if you did not do anything, you have nothing
is your response to those who look at these revelations and say, "So
what? I follow the law. Why should I be afraid?"
It's a perfectly
reasonable point of view. As journalists, we're OK with providing you
with enough information that you can make an informed decision.
What I do find baffling
is the "so what, we knew this already" response. It's inexplicable,
given the number of administration voices all welcoming the debate and
acknowledging it would not have happened without Edward Snowden. Have
Here I beg to differ: It is not
"a perfectly reasonable point of
view", and the reason is that the
supposed supermen of the NSA just have no right to view
everything you do with a computer, however twisted their
justifications are, and also regardless of the new laws Obama
and his NSA-lovers may have introduced, classified or not.
Also, there is my June 18 treatment of
the question, with some help by Falkvinge, as to "if you did not do anything, you have nothing
Zero – If you've nothing to hide, you do not exist.
One – The
rules may change.
– It’s not you who determine if you have something to fear.
– Laws must be broken for society to progress.
– Privacy is a basic human need.
Five - Government must
be public, citizens private, not conversely.
'The End of Global Privacy': Greenwald Talks NSA
Next, here is the same theme
treated by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This goes over the same
grounds, and selects some of the same answers. But there also are some
differences, and this is one of them:
Will there be any
more groundbreaking leaks? Also, how do you feel about the response
from the American people?
There is the additional
problem that some may get too old, but I do not think this will become
a major problem.
Greenwald (GG): There are
definitely huge new stories to come: many more. I've said that from the
start every time I was asked and I think people see by now that it's
true. In fact, as Janine said the other day, the documents and
newsworthy revelations are so massive that no one news organization can
possibly process them all.
As for public opinion,
I'm incredibly gratified that Americans, and people around the world,
have been so engaged by these issues and that public opinion polls show
radical shifts in how people perceive that threats to their
privacy/civil liberties from their own government are greater than
threats to their safety from The Terrorists.
As to the gratification: I am a bit less gratified, but in the end it
is the results that count.
Anyway... there are quite a few more questions + answers under the last
3. The Economics and Politics of Chaos
Next, I turn to a column
by Paul Krugman, mostly because of the illustration and the ending.
This is as I found it on Common Dreams:
It starts as follows:
The best commentary I’ve
seen on what just happened is visual, and can be seen here.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I should put that image on a Times web
If you press the here
you get the illustration, that is indeed funny, though this does not reflect on what is being done.
And here is how the
Coming back to the class
warfare issue: my working theory is that wealthy individuals bought
themselves a radical right party, believing — correctly — that it would
cut their taxes and remove regulations, but failed to realize that
eventually the craziness would take on a life of its own, and that the
monster they created would turn on its creators as well as the little
And nobody knows how it
Yes, I think that is
a fair assessment.
Obama Quietly Okays Military Aid to Countries That Use
Next, quite a few of my readers may recall the honest
Obama argueing at the end of his Syria-speech that he owed it to the
Syrian children to bomb Syria. Well, here is another item that shows
how much he takes the interests of children, worldwide, very serious.
The report is on Common Dreams and by Sarah Lazare:
Here are the first three
Amid the hoopla of
the government shutdown, the White House quietly
passed a bill Monday that overrides a law banning military aid to
countries that use child soldiers.
There is more under the last
dotted link, that includes Obama's not caring for U.S. 17 year olds,
that may join the military, with parental consent. (This very
young age "to fight for your country" in fact started in Vietnam.)
Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 prohibits the U.S. government from
providing military assistance to countries that directly use, or
support the use of, child soldiers. Built into the law is an option
allowing the U.S. president to override the ban if he/she deems it
On Monday, President
Obama issued complete waivers to Yemen, Chad, and South Sudan, opening
up those countries to U.S. military aid despite their known use of
child soldiers, declaring
in a written memorandum it is "in the national interest of the United
States" to override the ban.
5. Chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee: “We Get More [Info on NSA Spying] In The
Newspapers Than In Classified Briefings”
As the last in today's five
items on the crisis, a brief piece on Washington's Blog:
This starts as follows:
I am quite willing to believe
NSA is a Rogue Agency
Patrick Leahy – the Chairman
of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and member of the Subcommittees on
Defense and Homeland Security for the Appropriations Committee – has
top secret clearance.
We sometimes find we
get far more in the newspapers — we get crossword puzzles as well — we
get more in the newspapers than in classified briefings.
Harvey Whittemore convicted to 2 years in prison
Those who read me for the crisis news may well ask "Who is Harvey Whittemore
- and why should I care?".
Well... outside Nevada, which is where he lives, he is not widely
known, but inside Nevada he was known as one of Harry Reid's - who heads the Senate for the Democrats - strongest backers, and also has one of the
men behind the Whittemore Peterson Institute, that is mostly run by his
wife Annette, and that is for the most part concerned with researching
ME/CFS, which is a disease that one of his daughters has, for quite a
He got into problems with the law over organizing support money for
Harry Reid and got involved in a court case that Whittemore lost, in
which he was convicted to a two years imprisonment term, that is
supposed to start on January 31, 2014.
I am merely reporting the facts as they are known to me. And the reason
I am doing so is that the
Whittemore Peterson Institute has been quite popular, for some two
years, in "the ME/CFS community"
(sorry for my quote-marks: I can't avoid these), for which reason it
also may interest a few that a cursory and brief investigation of two
of "the community's" bases did not seem to report in any way on
But indeed this is also probably the last you will hear from me about
 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
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.