"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."
gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop
2. Congressional Oversight of the NSA Is a Joke.
Know, I'm in
3. NSA surveillance: Merkel's
phone may have been
'for over 10 years'
4. The Democrat’s Version of
Health Insurance Would
There are four items
related to the crisis today, as outlined above and in the title, and
there also is a fifth section in which I explain a little about my
plans, but without making any commitment.
1. Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop
The first of today's articles is by Jim Newell, in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
I should say immediately that
(i) I find "Thousands gather" rather disappointing and (ii) I also had
expected to be disappointed.
Thousands gathered by the
Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday to march, chant, and
listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us, a
gathering to protest "mass surveillance" under
NSA programs first disclosed
by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Billed by organizers as
"the largest rally yet to protest mass surveillance", Stop Watching Us
was sponsored by an unusually broad coalition of left- and right-wing
groups, including everything from the American Civil Liberties Union,
the Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos to the Libertarian
Party, FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty.
There is quite a bit more, but I'll leave that to you.
Oversight of the NSA Is a Joke. I Should Know, I'm in Congress
Next, an article by Congressman Alan Grayson that I found on Common
Dreams, but is also in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
In the 1970s,
Congressman Otis Pike of New York chaired a special
congressional committee to investigate abuses by the American
so-called "intelligence community" – the spies. After the
investigation, Pike commented:
Quite so, but not many seem to
care. Also, the US representatives are very badly informed:
It took this
investigation to convince me that I had always been told lies, to make
me realize that I was tired of being told lies.
I'm tired of the spies
telling lies, too.
initiated one of the first congressional oversight debates for the vast
and hidden collective of espionage agencies, including the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
and the National Security Agency (NSA). Before the Pike
Commission, Congress was kept in the dark about them – a tactic
designed to thwart congressional deterrence of the sometimes illegal
and often shocking activities carried out by the "intelligence
community". Today, we are seeing a repeat of this professional
voyeurism by our nation's spies, on an unprecedented and pervasive
Despite being a
member of Congress possessing security clearance, I've learned far more
about government spying on me and my fellow citizens from reading media
reports than I have from "intelligence" briefings.
Besides, they are
systematically and intentionally kept in the dark:
classified information, and further meetings with The House Intelligence Committee hasrefused
to provide either. Supporters of the NSA's vast ubiquitous domestic
spying operation assure the public that members of Congress can be
briefed on these activities whenever they want. Senator Saxby
Chambliss says all a member of Congress needs to do is ask for
information, and he'll get it. Well I did ask, and the House
Intelligence Committee said "no", repeatedly. And virtually every other
member not on the Intelligence Committee gets the same treatment.
There is no legal
justification for imparting secret knowledge about the 's domestic
surveillance activities only to the 20 members of the House
Intelligence Committee. Moreover, how can the remaining 415 of us do
our job properly, when we're kept in the dark – or worse, misinformed?
Grayson also asks, quite
And why do
Generals Alexander and Clapper remain in office, when all the evidence
points to them committing the felony of lying
to Congress and the American people?
Finally, he ends on what reads
As it is now
constituted, the House Intelligence Committee will never decry, deny,
or defy any spy. They see eye-to-eye, so they turn a blind eye. Which
means that if we rely on them, we can kiss our liberty good-bye.
3. NSA surveillance: Merkel's phone may
have been monitored
'for over 10 years'
Next, an article in the Guardian, by Kevin Rawlinson:
This starts as follows -
though I should remark myself first that (1) I am not very much
interested in whether Europe's top politicians are spied upon, because
(2) I am mostly interested in the mass spying, which I think is
illegal and reprehensible while (3) this also may be - and seems at
present is - a rumor.
There is considerably
more, but I only quote this:
New claims emerged last
night over the extent that US intelligence agencies have been
monitoring the mobile phone of Angela Merkel. The allegations were made
after German secret service officials were already preparing to travel
to Washington to seek explanations into the alleged surveillance of its
A report in Der
Spiegel said Merkel's mobile number had been listed by the NSA's Special Collection
Service (SCS) since 2002 and may have been monitored for more than 10
years. It was still on the list – marked as "GE Chancellor Merkel" –
weeks before President Barack Obama visited Berlin in June.
Germany and Brazil are spearheading
efforts at the UN to protect the privacy of electronic communications.
Diplomats from the two countries, which have both been targeted by the
NSA, are leading efforts by a coalition of nations to draft a UN
general assembly resolution calling for the right to privacy on the
internet. Although non-binding, the resolution would be one of the
strongest condemnations of US snooping to date.
For more, use the latest
4. The Democrat’s Version of Health
Insurance Would Have Been
The last article, with a very long title, is by Robert Reich:
This starts as follows:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says
Republicans will seek to delay a requirement of the 2010 Affordable
Care Act that all Americans obtain health insurance or face a tax
penalty. ”With so many unanswered questions and the problems
arising around this rollout, it doesn’t make any sense to impose this
one percent mandate tax on the American people.”
After which Reich summarizes
the history, going back to Nixon, and explains that what is implemented
now as "Obamacare" in fact is the Republican plan, and that the reason
the present day Republicans object to it is that it is by Obama.
While Republicans plot new ways to sabotage
the Affordable Care Act, it’s easy to forget that for years they’ve
been arguing that any comprehensive health insurance system be designed
exactly like the one that officially began October 1st, glitches and
And in any case: the U.S. health care is much more expensive and
considerably worse than health
care has been in Europe since
I have been saying I will
change the reporting on the crisis. Here is a little clarification.
The main reason to want to make some changes is that I have been doing nearly
only crisis reports since the beginning of June, for nearly 5
months now, and while I think the plans of the NSA are extremely
bad, quite illegal, and very dangerous, my reporting on it will
neither stop nor change them, for which reason I think I should at
least lessen my reporting soon, and I also may change the style, e.g.
merely list titles, and skip both quotations and comments.
There are some other reasons, also:
I am at present a little bit (but not much) fitter than I have been the
last 1 1/2 years, that were quite bad, and I want to write some more
about other things, also because I really have seen a large lot
of journalism the past five months, and while that was for the most
part good or tolerable reporting, it nevertheless is journalism,
and I am myself neither a journalist nor indeed much interested in
Also, if I am fit enough, which I do not know yet, I may extend
Nederlog to a Wordpress item, but this will be in any case an
extension, and the stuff will be copied from my sites, rather than
written for it.
But I do not know yet, and at present much depends on my health and other uncertain things: If my health remains the same or gets
better, there may be a Wordpress extension of Nederlog; if not, I may
merely return to the free style I used until Snowden's revelations.
 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.