2, 2013
Crisis: Rusbridger, Anderson, British care, Saboteurs, Excuses, Revolution?
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

  1. What now for the surveillance state?
  2. UK terror law watchdog calls for end to detention at
       borders without suspicion

  3. Dehydration and malnutrition led to 2,162 deaths in care
       since 2003

  4. The Saboteurs
  5. Eight Common Excuses for Mass Spying and Why They’re
Are these revolutionary times?
About ME/CFS


This is another crisis issue and I've got six articles and seven dotted links. (And I think you should read the originals of Rusbridger and of Excuses.)

1.  What now for the surveillance state?

To start with, an article by Alan Rusbridger, in the Guardian:

This you should really read all by yourself, also because it is a fairly complex sustained argument, that treats issues like these:

It's now clear that GCHQ and the NSA have risen without trace to the top of the intelligence pecking order. Increasingly an asymmetry has developed: they potentially know virtually everything about us, but we know virtually nothing about them.

This raises three questions. First, is it right that they are able to master all civil and commercial forms of communication in order to collect, store and analyse information about entire populations? Who knew?

Secondly, is it right that we should know so little about who they are or what they do – that this dramatic loss of individual privacy, unprecedented in history, could be done without any kind of public knowledge or consent? Who agreed?

Finally, is this new infrastructure sustainable?

And it gives brief answers, and deals with other problems as well.

UK terror law watchdog calls for end to detention at borders without suspicion

Next, an article by Rowena Mason in the Guardian:

This starts as follows:

Britain's anti-terror law watchdog has said police should no longer be able to detain people at the UK's borders without any suspicion of wrongdoing, following the detention of David Miranda in August.

Theresa May, the home secretary, will come under pressure to change the law after David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, gave new advice on the controversial schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act relating to detention at ports and airports.

In a note to the House of Commons home affairs committee, Anderson said that he was setting out new advice after the legislation was put under the spotlight in a number of incidents this summer.

One was the nine-hour detention of Miranda, whose journalist partner, Glenn Greenwald, was involved in exposing the extent of US and UK spying based on leaks by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. At the time Greenwald worked for the Guardian.

Anderson said there must be grounds for suspicion that someone is involved in terrorism before they are held at the border.

He said this test should also apply before any data is downloaded and copied by the authorities. At present, a person can be detained for up to nine hours, without any grounds for suspicion, to determine whether they may be "concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".

This is something, although it's merely "advice". Also, there is quite a lot more in the article.

3.  Dehydration and malnutrition led to 2,162 deaths in care since 2003

Next, a piece of news about David Cameron's country, by Kevin Rawlinson, in the Guardian:

This starts as follows:

More than 2,000 people have died of dehydration or malnutrition while in a care home or hospital in the last decade, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

The figures show the "underlying cause of death" in 2,162 recorded cases since 2003 was dehydration or malnutrition. They do not include the death toll in 2013.

Campaigners said the figures were an "utter disgrace". "How can we call ourselves civilised when people are left to starve or die of thirst? … It is an utter disgrace that they are ever left without the most basic care," Dr Alison Cook, a director at the Alzheimer's Society, told the Daily Telegraph. The figures were made public following a Freedom of Information request by the newspaper.

Note indeed that this was done by way of "a Freedom of Information request by the newspaper". But OK: Thousands have starved to death in British care. Over the past ten years, is true, but that still makes for hundreds each year, on average.

It is quite odd this is not a scandal, but it seems it isn't. One possible reason, that's also raised in the article, is that they are not animals: now that would be a real scandal!

But this may happen to old people, if British: You may thirst or starve - "dehydration or malnutrition" -  to death under real British care, in a real British hospital or care home.

4.  The Saboteurs

Next, an article by Chris Hedges on Trutrh Dig:

This starts as follows:

CALGARY, Canada—Oil and natural gas drilling in the province of Alberta has turned Calgary in a boomtown. Glittering skyscrapers, monuments to the obscene profits amassed by a fossil fuel industry that is exploiting the tar sands and the vast oil and natural gas fields in Alberta, have transformed Calgary into a mecca for money, dirty politics, greed and industry jobs. The city is as soulless and sterile as Houston. The death of the planet, for a few, is very good for business.

The man who waged North America’s first significant war against hydraulic fracturing was from Alberta, an eccentric, messianic Christian preacher named Wiebo Ludwig who died last year.
And in fact the whole piece is about Wiebo Ludwig, about whom I learned that:
He spent his time in prison reading a treatise in Dutch on the nature of hell.
He seems to have been quite a character, and was eccentric. I think his case is a bit peculiar in the double sense of his being "an eccentric, messianic Christian preacher" and the conflict about his own soil - but OK.

It ends as follows:
Ludwig said: “We feel weak in all the things we are fighting. I think the match is very unequal. But it’s all right. Instead of griping about it, we might as well give ourselves to it.”
I don't think I agree, but I also am not a Christian and I do not reckon with an Eternal Life, or indeed anything after death.

5. Eight Common Excuses for Mass Spying and Why They’re Wrong

Next, a brief article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truth Dig:

This starts as follows
The Electronic Frontier Foundation compiled a list of “common refrains of folks confused, nonplussed, or simply exhausted from the headlines” about NSA surveillance and informed responses that can be used to enlighten a conversation.
And this leads us to the second link, on the site of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
where we find the whole article, that the questions that are answered are these:

I have nothing to hide from the government, so why should I worry?
Isn’t the NSA using the mass spying to stop terrorists?
The government will not abuse its power.
Allowing mass spying is patriotic.
Kids today (or my friends) post everything they do on Facebook or Twitter, why should we care if the government can see too?
Google and Facebook have my information, so why shouldn’t the NSA?
It’s just metadata, so why should I care?
This sucks, but there’s nothing I can do!

You can find out about the answers above, and these answers are good and sensible.

6. Are these revolutionary times?

Finally, a question that gets posed (or not) in a somewhat different form on Washington's Blog, but I thought the title too long:

This has the following subtitle or epigraph with coloring and boldness as delivered originally:

Congress Is Less Popular than Zombies, Witches, Dog Poop, Potholes, Toenail Fungus, Hemorrhoids, Cockroaches, Lice, Root Canals, Colonoscopies, Traffic Jams, Used Car Salesmen, Genghis Khan, Communism, North Korea, BP during the Gulf Oil Spill, Nixon During Watergate or King George During the American Revolution

And that is why I arrived at my question. Actually, I have no idea, although Congress indeed is far from popular. Also, there is more in the article, that ends thus:
Even back in 2010, Rasmussen noted that only a small minority of the American people think that the government has the consent of the governed, and that the sentiment was “pre-revolutionary”.
As I said: I have no idea, and I never even was in America.

[1] 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 Greenwald:
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. 1979:

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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