"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."
2. Embassy Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy
Hub in Berlin
3. Spain summons US ambassador
over claim NSA tracked
60m calls a month
the First Country to Fully Legalize the Sale and Use
of Pot End Illegal
'It Is Time for Reform': Thousands Rally to End
6. Stasi Meets Steve Jobs
7. NSA Says It Stopped Spying
on Angela Merkel "This
There are today seven
articles in the crisis series, and there was yesterday a bit of information about
what I may be doing to Nederlog, though none of that got to be a
Also, today's issue is a bit shorter than it would have been if I had
not just heard that my English girlfriend Stephanie is dead, since
1996, which is a great pity.
1. Our Invisible Revolution
The first article today is by Chris Hedges, in Truth Dig:
The previous article was a week ago, and I wrote a fairly long
criticism of it, that I ended as follows:
(..) Chris Hedges
an honorable man (quite straightly, without Shakespearean overtones)
and means well, and I also agree with his diagnosis of the actual facts
more than I disagree, but I also see neither much of a hope nor much of
a chance to start a "class war" in the existing situation.
That still holds, and
indeed I see a lot less to criticize in his present piece. In any case,
he starts as follows:
But I think he deserves
reading and he also knows more about the US than I do, and he is
certainly right in considerable parts of his analysis.
There is rather a lot
more, but I mostly agree, and only quote this part:
“Did you ever ask
yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to
exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the
world?” the anarchist Alexander
Berkman wrote in his essay “The Idea Is the Thing.” “If you did,
then your answer must have been that it is because the people support
those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in
Berkman was right. As
long as most citizens believe in the ideas that justify global
capitalism, the private and state institutions that serve our corporate
masters are unassailable. When these ideas are shattered, the
institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate and collapse. The
battle of ideas is percolating below the surface. It is a battle the
corporate state is steadily losing. An increasing number of Americans
are getting it. They know that we have been stripped of political
power. They recognize that we have been shorn of our most basic and
cherished civil liberties, and live under the gaze of the most
intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. Half
the country lives in poverty. Many of the rest of us, if the corporate
state is not overthrown, will join them. These truths are no longer
freed from all laws, government regulations and internal constraints,
are stealing as much as they can, as fast as they can, on the way down.
The managers of corporations no longer care about the effects of their
pillage. Many expect the systems they are looting to fall apart. They
are blinded by personal greed and hubris. They believe their obscene
wealth can buy them security and protection. They should have spent a
little less time studying management in business school and a little
more time studying human nature and human history. They are digging
their own graves.
I think they are, but I
also think that one's chances with money or gold are a lot better than
In any case, this essay as well is well worth reading, and I mostly
agree with it.
Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin
Next, a fairly long and thorough article in Der Spiegel, English
edition, by the staff of Der Spiegel:
This starts as follows, and
the bolding is in the original:
Please note that this is in
three parts: You'll find links at the end.
to SPIEGEL research, United States intelligence agencies have not only
targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone, but they have also used
the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station. The revelations
now pose a serious threat to German-American relations.
It's a prime site, a
diplomat's dream. Is there any better location for an embassy than
Berlin's Pariser Platz? It's just a few paces from here to the
Reichstag. When the American ambassador steps out the door, he looks
directly onto the Brandenburg Gate.
When the United States
moved into the massive embassy building in 2008, it threw a huge party.
Over 4,500 guests were invited. Former President George H. W. Bush cut
the red-white-and-blue ribbon. Chancellor Angela Merkel offered
warm words for the occasion. Since then, when the US ambassador
receives high-ranking visitors, they often take a stroll out to the
roof terrace, which offers a breathtaking view of the Reichstag and
Tiergarten park. Even the Chancellery can be glimpsed. This is the
political heart of the republic, where billion-euro budgets are
negotiated, laws are formulated and soldiers are sent to war. It's an
ideal location for diplomats -- and for spies.
Spain summons US
ambassador over claim NSA tracked 60m calls a month
Next, an article by Paul Hamilos in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Note that 60.5m =
60,500,000 Spanish phone calls, in one month.
The Spanish prime
minister, Mariano Rajoy, has summoned the US ambassador to explain the
latest revelations to emerge from the files leaked by Edward Snowden,
which suggest the National Security Agency tracked more than 60m phone
calls in Spain in the space of a
secretary of state, ═˝igo MÚndez de Vigo, is meeting James Costos as
the White House struggles to contain a growing diplomatic crisis
following accusations that the NSA monitored the phones of
scores of allies, including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
El Mundo newspaper
reported on Monday that it had seen an NSA document that showed the US
spy agency had intercepted 60.5m phone calls in Spain between 10
December 2012 and 8 January this year.
4. Can the First Country to Fully Legalize the
Sale and Use of Pot End Illegal Drug Trade?
Then we get to an article by April M. Short on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
In Uruguay, it
has long been legal to smoke cannabis, but growing, buying, selling or
carrying it can result in prison time. However, the Uruguayan House
passed a cannabis legalization bill in late July and contingent on a
senate vote set for November, Uruguay is readying to become the first
country in the world to completely legalize the government-controlled
sale, cultivation, and consumption of cannabis. And as sales will start
at just $1 per gram, it is likely to provide the most accessible
cannabis anywhere in the world.
The Uruguayan system will
operate similarly to the new system of legalized cannabis in Colorado,
where people can buy the herb at licensed stores and grow alimited
amount in their homes.
Since I have not much
time (see item 8) I will just answer the question
the title asks: No, but it is a great step forward.
'It Is Time for Reform':
Thousands Rally to End Government Spying
Next, a brief article by Laura
McCauley on Common Dreams:
I use this to reproduce Edward
Snowden's full statement, that the article prints:
Quite so. But still I found
the attendance disappointing, though I also know that, so far, at
least, I am living in apathetic times.
In the last four
months, we’ve learned a lot about our government. We’ve learned that
the US Intelligence Community secretly built a system of pervasive
Today, no telephone
in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today,
no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing
through the NSA’s hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this
is not surveillance. They’re wrong.
We’ve also learned
this isn’t about red or blue party lines. Neither is it about terrorism.
It is about power,
control, and trust in government; about whether you have a voice in our
democracy or decisions are made for you rather than with you. We’re
here to remind our government officials that they are public servants,
not private investigators.
This is about the
unconstitutional, unethical, and immoral actions of the modern-day
surveillance state and how we all must work together to remind
government to stop them. It’s about our right to know, to associate
freely, and to live in an open society.
We are witnessing an
American moment in which ordinary people from high schools to high
office stand up to oppose a dangerous trend in government.
We are told that what
is unconstitutional is not illegal, but we will not be fooled. We have
not forgotten that the Fourth Amendment in our Bill of Rights prohibits
government not only from searching our personal effects without a
warrant but from seizing them in the first place.
Holding to this
principle, we declare that mass surveillance has no place in this
It is time for
reform. Elections are coming and we’re watching you.
6. Stasi Meets Steve Jobs
Next, an article by Eric Margolis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
“Gentlemen do not
read other gentlemen’s mail” sniffed US Secretary of State Henry
Stimson in 1929 when told that American cryptographers had broken
Japan’s naval and diplomatic codes.
For more, click the last
Stimson, who later headed
the War Department, ordered code-breaking shut down.
Alas, there are not any
old-school gentlemen left in Washington these days. Revelations of US
electronic spying by whistleblower Edward Snowden have ignited a furor
across Latin America and now Europe.
7. NSA Says It Stopped Spying on Angela Merkel "This
This is an article by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones:
This starts as follows:
I think think it is a
desperate attempt: They really had not expected they were outed by
Is this story actually
true, or is it a desperate attempt by the NSA to pretend that they had
stopped spying on foreign leaders before they got caught with their
hands in the cookie jar? Beats me, but here it is:
The National Security
Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and a number of other world leaders after an internal Obama
administration review started this summer revealed to the White House
the existence of the operation, U.S. officials said.
....The White House cut
off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one
tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S.
official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but
haven't been phased out completely yet, officials said.
....The senior U.S.
official said that the current practice has been for these types of
surveillance decisions to be made at the agency level. "These decisions
are made at NSA," the official said. "The president doesn't sign off on
this stuff." That protocol now is under review, the official added.
Actually, this issue of Nederlog is smaller than I expected - but I
just got the news that my English girlfriend
Stephanie F. died in 1996, from a very aggressive cervical cancer,
probably at age 53. I am not very amazed, because I believed I would
have, somehow, heard of her if she were alive, since she was very
special, but I am rather struck. It's a great pity.
 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.