"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."
Press Freedom Under Threat
2. Wikileaks Exposes the TPP
as a Capitulation to
A Disaster Made Worse By Greed
4. Google Is Now Bigger Than
Both The Magazine And
5. CIA Creating Vast Database of
6. Who Will Guard the
7. Google, Yahoo, Facebook and
Twitter Have a New
8. Germany Says No to
is another crisis issue. There are 8 sections with 8 links.
this is a bit hasty piece, for I spent a lot of time on the letters of
Stephanie and also on finishing "Tropic of Cancer", that I read for the
first time in 34 years or so.
leave Stephanie's letters for the moment, and I only remark here and
now that "Tropic of Cancer" was a bit disappointing: Some good
writing, but too little story, and no really interesting characters.
Also, in fact it contains little
explicit sex. Then again, I think that was also the sort of judgment I
when I first read it ca. 1979: I found his other books considerably
later - and now to what I assembled today on the crisis - which,
incidentally, I read yesterday in one of the awful rags that are
today's Dutch papers, "IS OVER!". I merely report it, and I also give
the reason: "The economy" grew the last three months by "0.1 %".
really amazing if you believe it.
British Press Freedom Under Threat
To start with an editorial
in the New York Times:
This starts as follows:
Britain has a long
tradition of a free, inquisitive press. That freedom, so essential to
democratic accountability, is
being challenged by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
government of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Yes, indeed. There is more
good stuff, and it ends thus:
Unlike the United States,
Britain has no constitutional guarantee of press freedom. Parliamentary
committees and the police are now exploiting that lack of protection to
harass, intimidate and possibly prosecute The Guardian
newspaper for its publication of information based on National
Security Agency documents that were leaked by Edward Snowden. The
New York Times has published similar material, believing that the
public has a clear interest in learning about and debating the N.S.A.’s
out-of-control spying on private communications. That interest is
shared by the British public as well.
The global debate
now taking place about intelligence agencies collecting information on
the phone calls, emails and Internet use of private citizens owes much
to The Guardian’s intrepid journalism. In a free society, the price for
printing uncomfortable truths should not be parliamentary and criminal
Quite so - and those starting
the parliamentary and criminal
inquisition are quite rotten folks, in my opinion.
2. Wikileaks Exposes the TPP as a
Capitulation to Corporate
Next, in an effort to
get some clarity on the TPP, here is an item of the Real News, that'll
take slightly over 9 minutes, with Kevin Zeese:
This is - I quote - about
"corporate power grown wild"; about "a corporate wishlist", that is
also being pushed, and pushed and pushed by that very kind president
Also, this is over 1000 pages
of still mainly secretive laws, that have been written by over
600 corporate lawyers, without any public input, and all to
increase the corporate powers.
I hope this will make the TPP and the Obama administration clearer.
Disaster Made Worse By Greed
Next, a piece on
Haiyan aka Yolanda, which is one of the greatest stoms ever, that hit
the Phillipines on Novermber 8. This is by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truth
This is mainly here
because the reason for such storms are said to be global warming. In
infrastructure have been washed away, children have been orphaned,
families have been separated, homes have been flattened and, as of this
writing, heavy rainfall was still hampering the survivors’ ability to
regroup, rescue others and simply live another day. The numbers are
staggering. Nearly 10 million people are affected—about a tenth of the
entire population of the Philippines. As many as 800,000 people have
been displaced. Leyte’s provincial governor estimated that 10,000
people were dead, and while it is still too early to account for
all the fatalities, even the current official count of 2,300 is
In other words: a major
disaster. There is rather a lot more in the article.
Is Now Bigger Than Both The
Magazine And Newspaper
Next, a piece
from BusinessInsider by Jim Edwards:
This starts as follows:
I am not amazed, but the speed
at which Google overtook the printed media is somewhat amazing. Also,
the article prints a graphical chart that is quite interesting.
Google has become so big
that sometimes it's difficult to understand just how big it is. It's on
course to do $60 billion in revenue this year, almost all of that from
advertising. But how big is that in terms of the media it competes
against for ad dollars?
To answer that, Business
Insider CEO Henry Blodget presented this slide in his keynote
at Ignition 2013 this morning. It shows that Google alone is now
bigger than either newspapers and magazines.
In part this is because
the print media has suffered such a precipitous decline. But note that
Google's last full year results from 2012 are approaching the historic
maximum that all magazines combined achieved back in 2007 before the
Vast Database of American's Personal Financial Records: Report
Next, an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Claiming the same
authority as the NSA does for its bulk collection of domestic internet
and phone data, the clandestine Central Intelligence Agency is
compiling a "vast database" that includes the personal financial
records of Americans, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There is rather a lot more in
the article, in which it is also noted that the financial corporations
are pressed to this, as were Google, Facebook and Yahoo, and also that:
In a news story published
Friday, the Journal reporting shows the CIA program "collects
information from U.S. money-transfer companies including Western Union"
and that some of the data goes "beyond basic financial records,
such as U.S. Social Security numbers, which can be used to tie the
financial activity to a specific person."
only made aware of this program during inquiries that followed in the
wake of the Snowden documents in the last several months.
6. Who Will Guard the Guardians?
Next, a letter by the British
approximate non-entity - I am sorry, but this does seem a good
description of - Sir Malcolm Rifkind, that is being answered by the
Guardian's Alan Rusbridger:
Here is a part from
Sir Malcolm is
many admirable things—a lawyer, a distinguished parliamentarian, a
quick-witted debater, and a Scot. But I suspect he does not understand
very much about the complex technologies built in total secrecy by
smart engineers at GCHQ. The people he is supposed to be regulating
have devised systems capable of processing 181 billion pieces of
metadata a month. Expert cryptologists are appalled at some of the
compromises to Internet security that have been introduced by the NSA.
No meaningful oversight is possible without sophisticated understanding
of digital technologies.
And while I would myself
not describe Rifkind as quick-witted, it remains a fact that he is 67
and in all probability can't even program.
Here is another bit of Rusbridger's reply:
(..) it’s not, I
believe, appropriate for the government of which he’s a member to tell
a newspaper when it’s had “enough debate” and threaten it with prior
restraint—a nice name for censorship. My piece, he says, reads like
“the case for the defense.” Isn’t it rather shaming that his fellow
Conservative MPs are demanding a prosecution?
Yes, indeed, though
probably not in Rifkind's opinion.
7. Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter Have
a New Lobbying
Next, an article by Dana Liebelson on Mother Jones:
This starts as follows:
Not a month goes
by without former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden
dropping another explosive bombshell about the US government's vast surveillance programs. In
response, lawmakers have proposed a flurry of bills that aim to clamp down on NSA
spying. But tech companies aren't just sitting on the sidelines—the
latest lobbying disclosure forms filed by Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter reveal that their lobbyists are keeping an
eye on a number of these anti-NSA bills. And although most of the
companies won't say which specific bills they support or oppose, some
new bills have popped up on their lobbying forms just as the companies
are publicly demanding surveillance reform.
There is rather a lot
more in the article, including a list of eight pro-transparency bills,
that is announced as follows:
ado, here are eight pro-transparency bills that some of the biggest
names in tech are watching:
And indeed they do
follow, and it is a nicely clear list that I leave to your own perusal.
8. Germany Says No to Weaponized Drones
Finally today, an article by David Swanson on
This starts as follows:
And that is good news,
for a change.
Germany had planned to
buy a fleet of “Euro Hawk” killer drones — perhaps in an effort to
bring the European Union up to speed with certain other Nobel Peace
But something happened on
the way to the celestial colosseum.
Of course, Captain Drone
Man himself undoubtedly learned the news first, unless the NSA
misplaced some of Frau Merkel’s emails under a pile of exchanges among
nonviolent activists planning the upcoming drone summit
What happened was public
pressure within a nation dedicated to peace and — at the moment — more
resistant than Japan to being turned back toward war. Germany has
now said nein,
nein, and hell nein to killer flying robots. And not just to
the use of weaponized drones within what Americans might call Der
Homeland, but to Germany’s use of remote control murder planes against
human beings anywhere on earth.
 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.