6, 2013
Crisis: Congress, Russia, Broken Media, Deregulated U.S. Meat Industry
  "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.

1. Congressional “Mad Dogs” Render the Powerful

2. Russia to monitor 'all communications' at Winter
     Olympics in Sochi

3. How the Broken Media Helped Break the Government
4. Get Ready for Extra Helpings of Feces, Pus and Chlorine
About ME/CFS


Today there weren't many crisis items, though I found a few that follow. 

1.  Congressional “Mad Dogs” Render the Powerful Powerless 

The first item today is by Ralph Nader, about the shutdown:

This starts as follows:

SHUTDOWN – blared the Washington Post headline. None of the powers-that-be could stop a small faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives from shutting down many federal government operations starting on October 1.

Suddenly the powerful Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are powerless, along with two hundred corporate trade associations, who see Uncle Sam as their big customer. Suddenly, the Republican dominated National Governors Association, together with Mitt Romney, the Party’s presidential nominee in 2013, are powerless. Also powerless so far are the allegedly sovereign people, who want uninterrupted safety inspections, enforcement of labor and environmental laws, children’s nutrition and educational programs (like Head Start), student loan processing, veterans benefits, detection of epidemics, access to national parks, and inspections of nuclear power plants.

And here is part of the ending:

Who is in charge here? Our Constitution opens with the words “We the People,” not “We the Congress” or “We the Corporations.” That is why people are deemed sovereign.

That sovereignty is in our hands only if we exercise it and challenge our wayward politicians. Time again for that oft-repeated but ignored cliché: Wake up America!
But that is indeed also a part of the existing problems: that so many people - persons, individuals - are so apathic.

2. Russia to monitor 'all communications' at Winter Olympics in Sochi

Next, a bit by Shaun Walker in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:

Athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will face some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games, documents shared with the Guardian show.

Russia's powerful FSB security service plans to ensure that no communication by competitors or spectators goes unmonitored during the event, according to a dossier compiled by a team of Russian investigative journalists looking into preparations for the 2014 Games.

And yes, it says: "no communication by competitors or spectators goes unmonitored". Why they would want to do so - getting everything anybody said or wrote, during an Olympics Game - is beyond my comprehension (well...: "Terrorists!", "Al Qaida!"), but they seem to be doing it, and are using a Russian system for doing so, called Sorm.

But things about this are even more secret than things in the NSA are in the U.S. though the following seems true:

In the end, the goal is overarching, but simple, says Soldatov: "Russian authorities want to make sure that every connection and every move made online in Sochi during the Olympics will be absolutely transparent to the secret services of the country."

3. How the Broken Media Helped Break the Government

Next, a piece by David Rohde in the Atlantic:
This starts as follows:

At 7 p.m. Wednesday night, Fox News reporter Jim Angle, citing conservative experts, reported that Obamacare would force young people to pay vastly higher premiums, face large deductibles and leave 30 million Americans uninsured.

On MSNBC, Chris Matthews called Republican opponents of the program “political lightweights” and “puppatoons.” Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said House Republicans were “sickening.”

A night of debate on the first federal government shutdown in 17 years and the country’s largest new government program in a generation had begun. On balance, Fox was worse than MSNBC. But both broadcasts were emblems of America’s failing news industry.

The triumph of opinion-driven cable TV and the collapse of newspapers has created an American news media that does an increasingly poor job of informing the public. And an excellent job of dividing it.

Rohde has quite a bit more, including the salaries the top men and women who are the new media pundits on cable TV: from 5 and 7 million on the left side, to 66 and 95 million on the right.

Anyway: what is true is that there are few sensible papers left, and the many that are lost are to be greatly missed, as are sensible and real journalists.

4. Get Ready for Extra Helpings of Feces, Pus and Chlorine

Finally for today - and I do not pick the titles, though I shortened the present one - there is a bit on one of the many really crazy deregulations, this time of the American meat industry. Here it is with full title, by Martha Rosenberg on Alternet:

It starts as follows:    
Remember in the mid-1990s when USDA began telling people to wash their cutting boards and utensils after preparing meat and always use a meat thermometer? Because US meat and poultry is so full of pathogens, if you don’t kill them they might kill you? That was the beginning of the government's move to pass food safety risks on to customers, and more distressingly, to meat processors themselves. The move is continuing with new, alarming government efforts to reduce and disempower meat inspectors at slaughter plants and allow private industry to regulate itself.
There is a lot more under the last link, and my two reasons for mentioning it are that it is a good example of a crazy deregulation (who really wants this, other than slaughterhouse owners?!) and because "you are what you eat", as the saying is.

So if you are an American, your government has also redefined that aspect of your personal being for you...



[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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