"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."
1. UK's reputation is damaged
by reaction to Edward
Snowden, says UN
2. We Are in the Midst of
Defeating the Largest Corporate
Trade Agreement in
Holder Says He Wouldn't Prosecute Glenn
Greenwald ... Sort
4. Time to Cash In: Geithner
to Head Wall Street Private
good recent philosophy book
is another crisis item. It's also Sunday
today, and I did not find much, but I did find four items, that follow,
to which is added a personal piece about what sofar seems a good
introductory philosophical book, of which there are not many.
below, and the reason I wrote "sofar seems" is simply that I am reading
it and haven't finished it yet.
I should say this latest crisis item is a bit less than
other crisis items, firstly because I found only four articles, and
secondly because I cut out most from the last section, because that was
about me, and is better at another place.
UK's reputation is damaged by reaction to Edward Snowden,
says UN official
To start with, an article by Matthew Taylor, Nick Hopkins and Phil
Maynard in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
I quite agree - even though I
do not really know what is "a
democratic society", and myself
rather speak of "an open and free society".
A senior United Nations
official responsible for freedom of expression has warned that the
British government's response to the mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden is
doing serious damage to the UK's international reputation for
investigative journalism and press freedom.
Frank La Rue, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of
expression, said he was alarmed at the political reaction following
the revelations about the extent and reach of secret surveillance
programmes run by Britain's eavesdropping centre, GCHQ, and its US
counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA).
"I have been absolutely
shocked about the way the Guardian has
been treated, from the idea of prosecution to the fact that some members of parliament even called it treason," said La
Rue. "I think that is unacceptable in a democratic society."
The rest of the article reports on a meeting of the World Association
of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) the coming January, and
also reports on the recent editorial of the New York Times, in which it
is pointed out that Britain does - rather oddly - have no
guarantee of press freedom, and then went on to say:
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 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, including "a free
We Are in the
Midst of Defeating the Largest Corporate Trade Agreement in History
Next, an article by
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese on the TPP:
This starts as follows:
There is quite a lot more, in
what is a good article, but most is there to wake up Americans. I do
hope they are justified in their optimism that the TPP can be beaten,
and I also note that, to quote:
These are times of great
secrecy and misinformation. Government and corporations hide their
actions to avoid public disapproval and accountability. Courageous
truth-tellers are persecuted for exposing the deep corruption. We
depend on whistleblowers to expose the lies and shine light on
information that is hidden from the public so we can understand what is
happening around us. We need to know the truth in order to participate
in the great debates that shape our futures.
This week, we learned
that a brave whistleblower gave the text of the full intellectual
property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to Wikileaks.
was released to the public on Wednesday and has spurred quite
a stir as we discover that our concerns about the TPP are justified. We
learned that the United States stands out in bullying other countries
on behalf of multinational corporations and that the TPP will provide
extraordinary patent protections and internet restrictions designed to
further enrich the wealthy while the race to the bottom accelerates.
This article is
produced by PopularResistance.org in
conjunction with AlterNet.
So you also know where you
can find more.
Holder Says He Wouldn't Prosecute Glenn Greenwald ...
Next, an article by Alyssa Figueroa in
This starts as follows:
In an interview
with The Washington Post, Attorney General Eric
Holder implied that even though he doesn’t agree with reporter Glenn
Greenwald’s actions, he wouldn’t prosecute him.
I say! Isn't Mr Holder
merciful! In fact, he gets quoted to the following effect:
that has not come to my attention is presented to me, what I have
indicated in my testimony before Congress is that any journalist who’s
engaged in true journalistic activities is not going to be prosecuted
by this Justice Department. … I certainly don’t agree with what
Greenwald has done. … In some ways, he blurs the line between advocate
and journalist. But on the basis of what I know now, I’m not sure there
is a basis for prosecution of Greenwald.
Indeed, Glenn Greenwald isn't
taken in, as e-mail in the piece shows:
Holder may do whatever he pleases, e.g. by saying that "in his opinion"
Greenwald is not "a true journalist" or is "too much of an advocate"
therefore he gets arrested.
So yes, I especially agree with the "Sort of" in the title.
to Cash In: Geithner to Head Wall Street Private
article by the Common Dreams staff:
This starts as follows:
Yes, though president Obama
nominated him and renominated Bernanke, and
Ex-US Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner, President Barack Obama's key economic adviser since
2009, is joining private-equity firm Warburg Pincus, according to a
statement on Saturday.
Geithner, who has spent
the last 26 years in 'public service', will become president at the
Wall Street-based corporate buyout firm starting on March 1st,
according to a
press release today from Warburg Pincus.
When Geithner left his
post with the Treasury Department in January 2013, Matt Taibbi told
Democracy Now: “He’s the architect of “too big to fail. When this all
blows up — and it’s going to blow up, for sure, because things can’t
continue the way they are right now — people are going to look back in
history, and they’re going to say, “Who was to blame for this?” And
Timothy Geithner is going to be the guy who designed this entire
both appointments were as
much to blame, for it nominated the definitely wrong
served the rich or themselves rather than the many.
A good recent philosophy book
Finally, something that has very little to do with
the crisis: I found what seems to be a good and recent philosophy book,
namely Bryan Magee's 1997
This is a quite rare
for me: to find an introduction to philosophy that seems to be written
by a sane and intelligent man (and I have seen many and owe quite a
- Confessions of a
But it is, and part of my reasons to say so is that Magee
(the link is to what seems the best brief biography) is quite clear on
why linguistic "philosophy" (the quotation marks here are quite
justified:) is not real philosophy.
In any case: If you want to read a decent introduction to philosophy,
that is rather personal, and to an extent autobiographical, this is a
P.S. Nov 18, 2013:
Repaired a few small mistakes in typing.
 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.