"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."
surveillance: Europe threatens to freeze US
2. Justice Department urged to
make public secret
Leak of All Things Suggests U.S. Won’t Prosecute
4. Pope Francis: Unfettered
Capitalism Is a ‘New Tyranny’
5. Is 'Doomsday Cache' Story
Latest Effort to Smear
6. Corporate Espionage
is another crisis item, which consists of 9 articles spread over 7
items have two articles. Also, the last is and isn't about the crisis,
it is about the enormous corruptions - billions of dollars have been
- in the medical and pharmacological worlds, that are quite
clear, but again are not
what the media write or talk about, and also not what the DoJ
except by forcing clear criminals to give up a small part of their
1. NSA surveillance: Europe threatens to
freeze US data-sharing arrangements
To start with, an article
in the Guardian by Ian Traynor:
This starts as follows:
There also is information
about what she can't do, which seems to me quite a lot, and about the
firm opposers of her plan: Lady Ashton and the British government, who
want to know all about you, without your knowing it or
approving it. Also, the Brits
will block anything they don't like, if they can, and Reding claims
herself has no power over secret services, that are 'national' - in
spite of the
The EU executive is
threatening to freeze crucial data-sharing arrangements with the US
because of the Edward
Snowden revelations about the mass surveillance of the
The US will have to
adjust their surveillance activities to comply with EU law and enable
legal redress in the US courts for Europeans whose rights may have been
infringed, said Viviane Reding, the EU's justice and rights
commissioner who is negotiating with the US on the fallout from the NSA
European businesses need
to compete on a level playing field with US rivals, Reding told the
So it would seem to me that, at least officially, the main thing that
may effect a
change is the law proposed by Sensenbrenner and Leahy, in the United
But I do not hold my breath.
Justice Department urged to make public secret
Next, an article by Spencer
Ackerman in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Federal appeals judges in
Washington will soon decide whether the public has the right to see
secret Justice Department documents setting out the legality of
surveillance practices – which powerful senators say amount to a body
of secret law.
A panel of three judges
from the District of Columbia circuit court of appeals met on Tuesday
morning to hear arguments related to the government's ability to
withhold from public view a 2010 ruling from the Justice Department's
Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) about the FBI's ability to get customer
data from telecommunications firms without any legal encumbrances.
The case, Electronic
Frontier Foundation v Department of Justice, is one of several recent
transparency lawsuits launched in the wake of the Snowden revelations
in the Guardian and other news organisations. The lawsuits are designed
to shed light on what senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, members of the
intelligence committee, call anti-democratic "secret law." But the
surveillance practice at issue is not believed to involve the sort of
bulk data collection that the NSA engages in.
Note this is a fairly
specific case about something that seems to have stopped.
It's here mostly because I am an opponent of secret courts that
the secret doings of secret and other services.
There is considerably more
in the article.
3. A Leak of All Things Suggests U.S. Won’t Prosecute
Next, a brief article
by Peter Scheer on Truth Dig:
This starts as follows:
It's also said that Assange's
attorney has asked for a formal declaration, but not said with what
success. In fact, I doubt there
will be any formal declaration, although there should be one: Obama's
doing things in secret.
U.S. officials speaking
anonymously to The Washington Post said the Justice
Department is unlikely to prosecute WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange
because of a “New York Times” problem:
If the Justice
Department indicted Assange, it would also have to prosecute the New
York Times and other news organizations and writers who published
classified material, including The Washington Post and Britain’s
Guardian newspaper, according to the officials, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Pope Francis: Unfettered Capitalism Is a ‘New Tyranny’
Next two pieces on the same
subject, namely one by Natasha Hakimi on Truth Dig, followed by one by
Katie McDonough on Salon. I start with the first:
The first item starts:
Though he may not
come down strongly on discrimination against the LGBT community or
women, if there’s one thing this latest pope knows how to condemn it’s
Indeed, he is quoted to the
Quite so - although the
explanation is fairly easy: This is because most "journalists" are no
longer journalists but are "journalistic" eager lackeys of those who
“Just as the commandment
‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the
value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an
economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis
wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.
“How can it be that it is
not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but
it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
Not only that, he also wrote:
Next, we have on the same
Katie McDonough in Salon:
“As long as the problems
of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute
autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the
structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the
world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.
This starts as follows:
And here is part of what he
Pope Francis on Tuesday
called capitalism “a new tyranny” and very explicitly called on global
leaders to act on poverty and growing inequality.
Francis’ remarks are part
of an 84-page document known as an apostolic exhortation, which makes official the
platform for his papacy.
The document is
incredibly direct in its call for specific, policy-level action to
fight institutional inequality rather than speaking broadly and loftily
about poverty as some kind of abstraction or something to be addressed
exclusively by charitable giving at the community level, as some of his
predecessors have been content to do.
I say. Well... perhaps he
makes a difference, although he is 76, which also is my reason to quote
him: There are over a billion Catholics, and this pope at least
Human beings are
considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We
have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no
longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new.
Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the
society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s
underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer
even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited”
but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
In this context, some
people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that
economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed
in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This
opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude
and na´ve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in
the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile,
the excluded are still waiting.
has interesting ideas.
'Doomsday Cache' Story Latest Effort to Smear
Next, again two pieces, of
which the first is by Alex Kane on AlterNet
This mainly reports. It begins
whistleblower Edward Snowden have a secret cache of National Security
Agency documents? U.S. and British intelligence officials now say
he does. They claim that “the worst is yet to come” from Snowden.
reports that intelligence officials claim that there exists a
“doomsday” cache of secret documents hidden on an Internet data cloud.
The heavily protected crop of documents allegedly includes the
names of U.S. and allied intelligence personnel. The data cloud
is protected by encryption and multiple passwords. The material
is allegedly separate from the other documents Snowden gave to
also relays U.S. intelligence officials’ worry that China and Russia
could get their hands on the material, though no evidence has ever been
produced to support those claims.
Of course, US and
British "intelligence officials" and Reuters can be trusted!
Well... they "claim" and say things "allegedly", and that is about it.
Then there is the
report on Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley:
This starts as follows (and
Yes: I think Gosztola has it
right. Also, this report quotes Glenn Greenwald:
by Reuters' Mark Hosenball, published late Monday, cites
unnamed officials who suggest Edward Snowden is hoarding a 'doomsday
cache' of names of intelligence personnel to be leveraged as an
"insurance policy" should the NSA whistleblower face "arrest or
The story, which
independent journalist and commentator Kevin Gosztola called
a "spoon-fed national security state propaganda intended to smear
Snowden," has drawn significant attention.
Indeed. And you can't
trust anonymous "officials" if there non-anonymous
"This 'threat' fiction is
just today's concoction to focus on anything but the revelations about
US government lying to Congress and constitutionally and legally
dubious NSA spying," Greenwald added and then accurately predicted,
"Yesterday, it was something else, and tomorrow it will be something
leaders lie under oath, as they did.
Corporate Espionage Undermines Democracy
an article by Ralph Nader that I found on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
It’s not just the NSA
that has been caught spying on Americans. Some of our nation’s largest
corporations have been conducting espionage as well, against civic
For these big companies
with pliable ethics, if they don’t win political conflicts with
campaign donations or lobbying power, then they play dirty. Very dirty.
That’s the lesson of a new report
on corporate espionage against nonprofit organizations, by my
colleagues at Essential Information. The title of the report is Spooky
Business, and it is apt.
is like a Canterbury Tales of corporate snoopery. The spy
narratives in the report are lurid and gripping. Hiring investigators
to pose as volunteers and journalists. Hacking. Wiretapping.
Information warfare. Physical intrusion. Investigating the private
lives of nonprofit leaders. Dumpster diving using an active duty police
officer to gain access to trash receptacles. Electronic surveillance.
On and on. What won’t corporations do in service of profit and power?
Quite so - and you
can download "Spooky Business" from the last link, and you will find an
interesting report, that is also quite explicit about its own partial
as for idealism…
Finally, an item by 1
boring old man, who is a pensioned American psychiatrist:
This is the beginning,
that also makes clear why it is reported as a crisis item:
The reason this is a
crisis item is that you - whoever you are, whatever your medical
complaint - cannot rationally trust medicine anymore, for that
has become a subjunct from big pharmaceutical companies:
think, by nature, I might be an idealist – someone who thinks that
right will prevail sooner or later. I never really thought that, but it
seems to be true. Watching what happened in psychiatry in the 80s
didn’t fit for me personally, but I thought things would strike a
balance sooner or later. But later didn’t come, and much "later," I
learned that the reason was because the pharmaceutical industry had
essentially purchased psychiatry and our literature, or at least a big
enough piece at the top of the heap to carry the day. That put a real
damper on that that idealism I think I had. And seeing the same forces
ripple throughout Medicine hasn’t helped a bit. So these days, I can
get just as disillusioned as many of psychiatry’s critics, maybe even
more so because it’s my hood that has been invaded.
G°tzsche calls what happened Organized
major force…]. Just a couple of years ago, I would have seen that
as a gross exaggeration, but not any more. Nowadays, I think he’s hit
the nail on the head, and if anything, we probably needed to face up to
that some years back rather than "finally." Talk about tarnished
idealism. This exceeds anything that I could have ever imagined. And I
think that in my case, idealism about Medicine and The Academy actually
interfered with my seeing what is now so damned obvious.
You do not know that the well-known names that signed a paper,
also wrote it, because many supposedly scientific publications are in
fact written by Big Pharna's copywriters, rather than by their supposed
authors; you do not know
whether the pills that are proscribed to you really work,
one has a right to see the original data, for these are claimed to be
Big Pharma's; and in psychiatry you may be almost certain your
diagnosis is contrived and artificial, and only serves to make higher
profits for both Big Pharma and the many psychiatric shills that work
And it is also true that three years ago, when I had not
read a lot of evidence,
I would not have believed so either. Now I do.
Anyway - there is a lot more in the article, and far more
on the site, and yes:
This psychiatrist does understand and use statistics.
 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.