"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."
Pay Zero Taxes?
Become A Large Corporation
'should offer Edward Snowden asylum after
3. Metropolitan police
detained David Miranda
4. National security: our spy
chiefs won't be
sleep over their
summons by MPs
All we ask is for transparency to inform the surveillance
6. Portrait of the NSA: no detail
too small in quest for total
7. UK Claim That 'Journalism
8. Prof Simon Wessely -
Right or Wrong?
9. SHIT Happens – 2
There is today again
"a normal NL" with ten entries, of which the first seven are crisis-related, while items 8 and 9 are health-related,
a sick ME-shrink and about the enormous corruption of Big Pharma
almost no one does anything about, and the last item is a brief
To Pay Zero Taxes? Become A Large Corporation
To begin with, 3 minutes
and 40 seconds of video by TYT (aka The Young Turks):
This is about the fact that 1
in 9 of the 500 top U.S. corporations pay no taxes - something
I consider to be quite insane, but I agree that I am morally quite
naive and also that this is a sign of the times and of who really
has the power: The heads and owners of the firms who do not pay taxes.
'should offer Edward Snowden asylum after NSA
Next, an article by
Philip Olterman in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Personally, I think this
is a bad idea: I don't think a country with an extradition treaty with
the U.S. should offer refuge to Snowden, and that basically because
even 5000 "big names" - if there are as many such names in Germany -
can stop or undo an arrest, and probably also can only lengthen
Snowden's stay in Germany until he is delivered to the U.S. police.
An increasing number of
public figures are calling for Edward Snowden to be offered asylum in Germany,
with more than 50 asking Berlin to step up it support of the US
whistleblower in the new edition of Der Spiegel magazine
Heiner Geissler, the
former general secretary of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, says
in the appeal: "Snowden has done the western world a great service. It
is now up to us to help him."
The writer and public
intellectual Hans Magnus Enzensberger argues in his contribution that
"the American dream is turning into a nightmare" and suggests that
Norway would be best placed to offer Snowden refuge, given its track
record of offering political asylum to Leon Trotsky in 1935. He bemoans
the fact that in Britain, "which has become a US colony", Snowden is
regarded as a traitor.
But I think Snowden got that.
Metropolitan police detained David Miranda for promoting
Next, an article by Jamie
Doward in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed. And here is the
passage of the - several times redacted - text that motivated the
British police to arrest Miranda:
The detention of the
partner of a former Guardian journalist has triggered fresh
concerns after it emerged that a key reason cited by police for holding him under terrorism powers was
the belief that he was promoting a "political or ideological cause".
The revelation has
alarmed leading human rights groups and a Tory MP, who said the
justification appeared to be without foundation and threatened to have
damaging consequences for investigative
Which is to say that he is a
terrorist because he was supposed to carry unknown material
that was alleged to be:
The notice then went on
to explain why police officers believed that the terrorism act was
"We assess that Miranda
is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger
people's lives. Additionally the disclosure or threat of disclosure is
designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of
promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within
the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is
examined under schedule 7."
influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a
political or ideological cause.
I say. Well... anyone
criticizes any aspect of the British government is clearly
"a terrorist", according to the present British goverment and its very
eager flunkeys. I do understand: They can't wait for the full
security: our spy chiefs won't be losing any sleep over their summons
Next, an article by Andrew Ransley in the Observer:
This has the following
Yes indeed - I complained that
very few British parliamentarians seem to be able to program, and Chris
Huhne complained he did not get any information that he could not find
in the paper.
Over here, David Cameron
rejects calls for a debate by scoffing that it is all "airy-fairy".
Over there, Barack Obama acknowledges that there is cause for grave
concern. Over here, William Hague says: "The innocent have nothing to
fear", that most chilling of reassurances. Over there, John Kerry has
conceded that the NSA was allowed to run on "autopilot" and American
surveillance "has reached too far inappropriately". Over here,
parliament has barely opened a sleepy eyelid. Over there, the chair of
the Senate intelligence committee has called for a total review:
"Congress needs to know exactly what our intelligence community is
Bipartisan legislation has
already been introduced to Congress to try to address the fundamental
issue, which is that the technological capability now available for
intelligence gathering has far overtaken the capacity of slow-footed
politicians and creaky laws to ensure that its use is proportionate and
safeguarded against abuse.
There is considerably more in the article, but I leave this topic with
its ending, that seems to me quite correct:
You may enjoy the
spectacle of the trio of intelligence chiefs making their first joint
outing in the public gaze, but be aware that spectacle is all that it
is likely to amount to. This has all the signs of an essentially
cosmetic exercise designed to give the appearance that they are
accountable to scrutiny without subjecting them to the real thing.
All we ask is for transparency to inform the
Next, an article by Henry Porter in the Observer:
Here is a small part of the
article, that is mostly about the British almost total silence as their
democratic freedoms are denied and their personal data stolen:
The writer also did
something: He organized a meeting with quite a few sponsors at the
Royal Institute of British Architects in London. But he is indeed in
what seems to be a small minority in Great Britain, that indeed once
open and free society, but is so no more.
The way this debate has
been silenced at both ends of the UK is not just deeply depressing – it
is extremely dangerous. For it gives the impression that we don't care
about our freedom and that as long as we believe we are safe from
terrorists, the government can do what the hell it likes with our
information, even if that means building an invincible political power
over trade unions, dissenting minorities, legitimate protesters,
environmental activists, Her Majesty's opposition... you name it!
In contrast to Britain, the
reaction in Germany, France, Spain, Brazil and the United States to
the NSA leaks has included
protest, vigorous debate and in America the admission from the
secretary of state, John Kerry, that the NSA has gone too far and the policy of bulk data
collection must be looked at again. Last week's disclosure about
Europe-wide surveillance of phone and internet traffic, going on,
presumably, without the knowledge of democratically elected assemblies,
has caused further outrage.
6. All we ask
is for transparency to inform the surveillance
Next, an article by Ewen MacAskill and James Ball in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Note this is a long article,
that gives quite a lot of background. I leave it to you, but I wish to
quote this bit:
Barack Obama hailed
United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon as a "good friend" after
the two had sat down in the White House in April to discuss the issues
of the day: Syria and alleged chemical weapons attacks, North Korea,
Israel-Palestine, and climate change.
But long before Ban's
limousine had even passed through the White House gates for the
meeting, the US government knew what the secretary general was going to
talk about, courtesy of the world's biggest eavesdropping organisation,
the National Security Agency.
One NSA document – leaked to the
Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden just a month after the meeting
in partnership with the New York Times - boasts how the spy agency
had gained "access to UN secretary general talking points prior to
meeting with Potus" (president of the United States). The White House
declined to comment on whether Obama had read the talking points in
advance of the meeting.
The reasons to quote
this is to have a listing of the various secret communities that spy on
the rest of the world, the 5-eyes, the 9-eyes, the 14-eyes and the
41-eyes, and to have it confirmed how the German government is playing
Merkel's more than ten years being tapped: It is using the controversy
to get its spooks an upgrade, and closer to the NSA.
The NSA operates in close
co-operation with four other English-speaking countries - the UK,
Canada, Australia and New Zealand - sharing raw intelligence, funding,
technical systems and personnel. Their top level collective is known as
Beyond that, the NSA has
other coalitions, although intelligence-sharing is more restricted for
the additional partners: the 9-Eyes, which adds Denmark, France, the
Netherlands and Norway; the 14-Eyes, including Germany, Belgium, Italy,
Spain and Sweden; and 41-Eyes, adding in others in the allied coalition
The exclusivity of the
various coalitions grates with some, such as Germany, which is using
the present controversy to seek an upgrade. Germany has long protested
at its exclusion, not just from the elite 5-Eyes but even from 9-Eyes.
7. UK Claim That 'Journalism Equals
Terrorism' Sparks Outrage
in the last of today's crisis-related materials an article by Jon
Queally on Common Dreams, that continues item 3:
As I have reported this
above, I'll start with quoting from the middle:
After which several
others are cited, some at considerable length. This you can find
yourselves. I only quote the ending, and then explain why I hold a
somewhat different opinion:
The use of the words
"espionage" and "terrorism" to describe what Miranda was doing
immediately generating outrage among journalists and open government
advocates across the world.
"For all the lecturing it
doles out to the world about press freedoms, the UK offers virtually
none," said Greenwald to Reuters in response to the news
about his Brazilian husband, David Miranda.
"They are absolutely and
explicitly equating terrorism with journalism," he added while
condemning the language.
But Greenwald was not
alone in his repudiation
As I have argued quite a
few times, I have already in 2005
explained, in considerable (if also Dutch) detail, why "terrorism" as
used by Western governments (and also terminology like "Al Qaeda")
is utterly false bullshit.
In post earlier this year
exploring why the word's use is not just a question of semantics,
Whether something is or
is not "terrorism" has very substantial political implications, and
very significant legal consequences as well. The word "terrorism" is,
at this point, one of the most potent in our political lexicon: it
single-handedly ends debates, ratchets up fear levels, and justifies
almost anything the government wants to do in its name.
And as he tweeted on
Saturday following the latest revelation from Scotland Yard:
But there is more to it than utterly false and intentionally deceiving bullshit:
It also hides the fact that it are the states - those
that uphold the 5-eyes, the 9-eyes, the 14-eyes and the 41-eyes - and their
present governors, and those that governed since 9/11, who have
implemented their own state terrorism against their own
populations (or those of another country, that then is exchanged
for the same information from another country).
And this state terrorism is not an empty term: It is
the largest and most powerful attempt towards authoritarian governments
that I've ever seen.
8. Prof Simon Wessely - Right or Wrong?
Next, on to another theme, namely ME/CFS.
The following is an article by Margaret Williams on that light of the
easy "scientific" essay and that eager servant of the British military
and secret services, professor sir
The reason it is listed
here is that I usually like Margaret Williams's articles, and I think
it is always justified to attack professor Wessely, at least in
writing, video and drawings, for he truly is the equivalent of those he
so eagerly serves: his masters in the military and/or the GCHQ.
Then again, I must also admit that these days I spend very little time
on reading about ME/CFS and on patients' lists: The news about ME/CFS
is basically that there is no news, and no research money, and that the
situation for patients gets worse and worse, and buck up!
Also the patients, on average, have an IQ that is maximally 100, and -
alas for my life's chances and careers - I do score a whole lot higher.
Also, much to the detriment of my own career, I am honest, and
it has been made devastatingly clear to me that only decent
deserving ordinary people and trolls get anything to say or
decide on any patient's list.
I have learned that lesson really well, meanwhile - and indeed
am also not the only one with real brains and a real
education to learn this: Quite a few of these relatively rare
individuals have been hunted from patients' lists, always in the same
completely unfair manner. (Also, I am soon to be pensioned, so
I have little to fear anymore from the Dutch authorities, although I
certainly will not get any help.)
Happens – 2
Finally, the second file
on "SHIT happens" by Dr David Healy - and please note that "SHIT" is an
acronym for "Secret Health Ingredient in Treatment":
This starts as follows - and I
added two boldings:
SHIT stands for
Secret Health Ingredient in Treatment – see SHIT Happens.
In the early twentieth century SHIT was some supposedly secret magic
chemical. In the early twenty-first century SHIT is important
information about adverse effects of a drug that has
been kept hidden.
Also, although this probably will not interest most of
my non-sick readers, they should know that (1) everyone is
being lied to and manipulated by the copywriters of Big Pharma, and not
only in the case of psychiatric drugs, but quite generally, and (2)
this again can happen because these corporations are - somehow,
inexplicably - only "punished", if at all, by "settlements" in which
they return a small bit of their billions of profits, to buy not
being researched by the law and also often being declared guiltless,
because they have paid a small part of their profits back.
for me: I am still doing a bit but not much better than I did the last
1 1/2 years, that were pretty awful, and for the moment I am occupied
by trying to copy Stephanie Faulkner's letters to me to html.
If I want to publish them, which I strongly tend to do, I need to do
and in any case most of her letters were handwritten, in a not very
clear handwriting. This also has its special difficulties for me,
because my eyes, although they have improved and are improving, are
still not OK, and very probably will not be, for at least one
Then again, copying her letters - of which I have at least 105 pages
- is something I like to do, in any case, whatever I do
with the result, which is worth
something, also because they give me much to think.
 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.