10, 2013
Crisis: Four months, MI5 chief, Yellen, Cruelty, 16 Ways, Tea Party
  "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. Four months of NSA-following
2. Five key claims from MI5 chief's defence of GCHQ
     surveillance analysed

3. Janet Yellen – not quite Karl Marx's ideal Fed boss 
4. Cruel and Unusual Republicans Want Poor Americans to

5. 16 Ways Default Will Totally Screw Americans
6. Tea Party Energy vs. Progressive Lassitude in Congress
About ME/CFS


There's more on the crisis today, and it is headed by a bit of personal stuff that explains why, maybe, possibly, I am not continueing with this, at least not as I have done it the last four months, though that was quite succesfull in terms of readership. Then again, I am only talking about what I may do, and not about any certainty. (Also, you can skip the first file if you are not interested in the writer but only in his writings.)

1.  Four months of NSA-following

Today it is four months ago that I called Edward Snowden "an extra-ordinary man" - in fact: on similar evidence as David Brooks had, except that I concluded precisely the opposite what Brooks did conclude - and started tracking NSA-materials.

Here is the file of June 10, and also that of June 9, since that motivated my predicate "extra-ordinary" and also explains what I see as the main "achievement" of modern societies, left, right and center: That almost anyone is turned by the age of 25 or so into an ordinary collaborator, who is happily consuming and contributing, and who has lost (almost) all of his originality and  individuality, and who tends to feel a bit proud of that as well:

My main reason to say so now, after 4 months, is that I do not know whether I will go on as I have been doing for 4 months now, which were different from the other Nederlogs, if only because I have been relaying far more from others than I have done till June 10.

This again has several reasons:

  • My health lately got a bit better than it has been for a long time.

Here "a long time" is some 12-15 or indeed even maybe 20 years - for as I recall it I was last - comparatively, and for a sick man - a bit fit in 1993, although at that time I also could not really do much. But since then my health has been mostly down, with only a brief up in the year 2000.

This is relatively important: I simply would have no choice if my health had not somewhat improved. Also, if my health gets worse again, then again there will be hardly any choice.

  • I am not doing - by far - enough of my own things.

Actually, this is a complaint ever since I fell ill, that is, for 35 years.

Then again, I have in the last 17 years (about half of the duration of my disease) created a website of over 500 MB, that includes over 20 of my booklength works (apart from over 150 MB of blogs, that must be over 3000 files at the moment), that I did not even try to publish on paper, namely (1) because that would have created huge difficulties with the Amsterdam bureaucracy, and (2) because publishing philosophy or logic would very probably not have made me any money (and could easily have cost me rather a lot, in terms of bureaucratic sanctions and punishments).

Even so, this is a small part of what I could have produced (outside Holland, to be sure: I really dislike the country I am forced to stay in, where I have never met anyone like me, not in 63 years) if I had been healthy, that also would have caused quite a different production (namely of much more logic and philosophy).

  • Also, while I think I have compiled a good list the last 4 months, a fair amount of what I listed is too ephemeral/too journalistic, for me.
This reason, like the other ones, is personal, but this and the following one may be more so than the others, and the present one comes to this:

I am definitely not a journalist, and am so not in the sick sense of Dianne Feinstein and her cronies, but in the sense of writing: I do not write for the day or for the week, and do not want to, and I also lack many of the characteristics (real) journalists have.

Put otherwise: While I do think real and good journalism is quite important, I am not and never was one, and also never wanted to be one of them, and indeed the same goes for 'being political' - this just does not interest me, and I also do not have the required mindset (that many journalists do have): I am not much interested in the news, and despise most politics and politicians, who I also hold to be very uninteresting persons.

Finally, another difference between me and others enters:
  • I am considerably more pessimistic than most, at least about ordinary men, that comprise the vast majority of men.
Again, this is mostly personal, and relates to my age (63), my background (I am the child of sincere revolutionary marxists, the grandchild of sincere anarchists, my father and my grandfather were convicted to the concentration camp as "political terrorists" by the Nazis in 1941 - and except for my brother, who does not live in Holland, I do not know of any Dutchman with such a background) and my personal history (I am almost the only one to have protested against the great decline in education that happened during my life, where I think it was everyone's duty to protest, for it it was an enormous betrayal, and also I am the only one since the Nazis occupied Holland to be thrown out of the university, briefly before taking my M.A. in philosophy, and while seriously ill, and again - according to the sadistic scarcely human though very collaborative and extremely well paid, and totally corrupt and completely parasitic staff - as "a fascist terrorist", which makes me a third generation "terrrorist", according to ordinary collaborating Dutchmen, and namely for asking these questions, in public), and also to the fact that I have no children, and therefore have less of an interest in outcomes that go beyond my own life.

In any case... I have been merely listing some reasons that may move me to stop doing what I have been doing the last four months. But this mostly depends on my health, and as I said that I simply do not know, at this moment, what I will be doing the coming months and perhaps years - except that there will be a regular Nederlog (as long as I can write), but maybe not with contents as the last four months.

2.  Five key claims from MI5 chief's defence of GCHQ surveillance analysed

Next, we get to the ordinary crisis items, that start today with a file by Nick Hopkins and Matthew Taylor in the Guardian, who analyse some of the prose of Andrew Parker, who looks like a contented human hamster, and who is the present head of the British domestic intelligence agency:
I'll leave this to you, and merely observe that Parker lied, lied and lied, and misled, and deceived, and also carefully did not discuss the fact that the NSA can do all the dirty work for him, while he can do all the dirty work for the NSA, and then exchange, while singing proudly that "everything is allowed against foreigners, ha-ha, ho-ho".

3.  Janet Yellen – not quite Karl Marx's ideal Fed boss

Next, I could have taken many articles that declare that Janet Yellen will be the next Fed boss, after Ben Bernanke, but chose the following brief one in the Guardian:
I only quote a very small bit, which indeed is to her credit:
she was one of the few who sounded the alarm bells on the property market bubble early on.
4.  Cruel and Unusual Republicans Want Poor Americans to Starve

Next, a file by Bill Boyarsky on Truth Dig:
It starts as follows:

Among the many victims of the Republicans’ deranged effort to kill Obamacare are the millions of forgotten poor suffering from bad nutrition or just plain hunger, one of the most shameful afflictions of American life.

They have escaped media attention. But they will be badly hurt if the effort of right-wing Republican House members—backed by their ultraconservative financial supporters—manages to destroy the Affordable Care Act and then bring down what’s left of the social and economic safety net that has for generations provided minimal protection to the poor, the elderly, children and the disabled.

And in case you did not know:
When the recession began in 2007, the poverty rate was 12.5 percent. Last year, it was 15 percent. In 2012, 46.5 million were living in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007, the federal government reported. A total of 16.1 million of them were children. Almost 4 million of them were 65 or older.

The government’s definition of poverty is $11,490 in yearly earnings for single people.
This means that "to be poor" in the US means that one has to earn something like 2/3rd of what I get - and I have to live from 10 euros a day, after paying rent and energy and health insurance, which is not easy.

Anyway - the two Koch brothers plus a few others seem to have decided thay these 47 million people deserve to die, and don't deserve any support, at least according to Senator Bernie Sanders:
As independent Sen. Bernie Sanders commented on his website on Monday, “The shutdown strategy was planned and paid for by the Koch brothers and other wealthy individuals who want to defund the Affordable Care Act, cut Social Security benefits, end Medicare as we know it, abolish the minimum wage and cut other programs that help working families. Their attitude is to use every ounce of leverage, even if it means catastrophic pain for America and the world, so long as we get our way.”
5. 16 Ways Default Will Totally Screw Americans

To continue the last item, here is one by Dana Liebelson on Mother Jones:
This starts as follows:
Perhaps you've heard that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by October 17 the United States will face an unprecedented financial default. The way some Republicans talk about the consequences of passing that threshold, you might think that hitting that limit might not be all that bad (Florida's Ted Yoho, in fact, thinks it would be beneficial). But sober-minded economists are describing the ramifications of a default with terms usually reserved Roland Emmerich flicks—terms like "apocalypse." The full economic fallout of defaulting are unknown. "It's a little like asking how many people will be killed if there's another terrorist attack," says Isabel Sawhill, a budget expert at the Brookings Institution. But we do know that as early as October 22 the US government will run out of money to pay its bills and federal spending will have to be cut by about 32 percent, according to an estimate by the Bipartisan Policy Center. That's when Americans of all stripes would start feeling the pain in many different ways. Here are 16 of them:
After which Ms Liebelson lists them, and you are welcome to them (if the link works, which I have had difficulties with). I merely note that I would not be amazed if this happens.

6. Tea Party Energy vs. Progressive Lassitude in Congress

Finally today, a piece by Ralph Nader:
This starts as follows:

The difference between the sheer energy levels of the far Right and the progressive Left in Congress is stunning. There is no comparison. The extreme Right know who they are: bulls. Their pathway to public recognition comes by defying the Republican Party leadership, thereby securing major media attention. This helps these extremists advance their minority-supported goals of privileges for the few at the expense of the many.

Progressive Left activists, on the other hand, make good speeches and statements but generally defer to their Party leaders who are largely out of gas, except when it comes to raising money from commercial interests.

Yes, quite so - and that is also why most of them are there: For the money, for them. Nader has quite a lot more, and ends like so:

Progressive words must never mask the absence of progressive action in Congress. The people deserve better than progressive sinecurists in Congress who are so smug that they increasingly do not return calls from civic leaders who press them to move out of their comfort zones and from words to deeds. Many can learn from the very few determined, energetic exceptions within their ranks like the wave-making Congressman Alan Grayson from Florida.

I quite agree - but with the possible disagreement that I think it is not very likely that many will learn from Grayson.



[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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