is another crisis item, and yes I noticed today is 11/12/13. Anyway,
apart from the date (not very special, although this is the latest of
that pattern - n/n+1/n+2 - this century), this is a fairly normal
Chris Hedges on Invisible Revolutions and the Collapse of Ruling
To start with, an item by Kasia Anderson
on Truth Dig:
What do Edward
Snowden, the former Yugoslavia, Alexander Berkman and the logistical
and legislative mess known as Obamacare have to do with one another?
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges connects these figures and concepts in
conversation with The Real News Network’s Paul Jay about how “organic”
and “invisible” revolutions take hold as the credibility and solidity
of powerful institutions and ideas start to erode.
But the actual
content is the following video, of 14 min 13 sec, that follows below.
Mind that I do not
know whether Hedges is right, and that I do disagree with him on
various points. Then again, he writes well and has his heart in the
right place, and he knows a lot, so he is a man I take serious.
In fact, something
similar holds for the Real News, whose video this is: They do need
support, since they are one of the few organizations that attempt to
bring the real news, rather than keep you amused.
2. Uruguay legalises production and sale of
Next, an article by
Jonathan Watts on the Guardian:
The world's most
far-reaching cannabis law has been
passed by the Uruguayan parliament, opening the way for the state to
regulate the production, distribution, sale and consumption of the
planet's favourite illegal drug.
The law, effective from
next year, will: allow registered users to buy up to 40g of marijuana a
month from a chemist's; registered growers to keep up to six plants;
and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99
I think this is good
news, that could have been realized by 1969 in Holland, if the
Dutch politicians had not been corrupt. Indeed, that is the kind of
corruption the present Uruguayan government seeks to destroy:
Before the passage of the
bill, president Josť Mujica called on the international community to
assist in what he admitted was an experiment aimed at finding an
alternative to the deadly and unsuccessful war on drugs.
"We are asking the world
to help us with this experience, which will allow the adoption of a
social and political experiment to face a serious problem – drug
trafficking," he said earlier this month. "The effects of drug
trafficking are worse than those of the drugs themselves."
Yes indeed - except
if you are a Dutch politician, of course. And there are others who have
such views, all wholly objective, if you believe it:
Drug rehab workers have
mixed views about the likely risks and benefits. Nancy Alonso, a
psychologists who runs an addiction treatment centre, believes the law
will create social and health problems.
"Marijuana is highly
addictive. It's 15 times more carcinogenic than tobacco. It produces
psychological disorders like depression, anxiety and – for big
consumers – schizophrenia," she said. "As a healthcare agent, I think
the social harm will be huge."
This is all baloney
by a person who profits from the present schema: Marihuana is not
addictive; it is not carcinogenic; it does not produce "psychological
disorders" and it also does not produce schizophrenia - these are all
In fact, I've seen
the more or less free usage - not: free selling, which is illegal in
Holland, but also is quite well protected by many corrupt Dutch
politicians, and I must suspect for a percentage (that can easily turn
into lots of money) - of marihuana and hashish in Amsterdam for
something like 45 years now, and I do not know of any
death from that, and not even of any serious accident.
There are bound to
have been some accidents, and there also have been some murders, but
these were generally of big dealers in all manner of drugs, and not in
just marihuana and hashish.
Also, I know of many
accidents, including mortal ones, with many other kinds of drugs:
heroin, speed, cocaine, amphetamine and alcohol all are a lot
more dangerous than are marihuana and hashish, it simply emerges from 45
years of Dutch experiences.
So yes, I quite
welcome this: In my extensive experience, marihuana is the least
dangerous of all drugs, and far less dangerous than
alcohol, and anybody who says otherwise either does not know what he is
talking about or is lying.
Mandela coverage and the banality of goodness
Next, an article by Simon Jenkins in the
This starts as
follows - and please note I have no TV since 1970, for which reason I
am safe from all this rot:
Enough is enough. The
publicity for the death and funeral of Nelson Mandela has become
absurd. Mandela was an African political leader with qualities that
were apt at a crucial juncture in his nation's affairs. That was all
and that was enough. Yet his reputation has fallen among thieves and
cynics. Hijacked by politicians and celebrities from Barack Obama to Naomi Campbell and Sepp Blatter, he has had to be deified so as to dust
others with his glory. In the process he has become dehumanised. We
hear much of the banality of evil. Sometimes we should note the
banality of goodness.
Yes, indeed - and
"banality" = "ordinaryness". Then again, I do not think Mandela was an
ordinary man, but he has been made into a sort of divinity by grossly
corrupt and indeed quite evil media:
I guess Pfaff is right,
and indeed at the very best Obama was a weak and secretive president,
who got to be president by lying about very many things he would
change, whereas he mostly continued the policies of his also weak
Here is one paragraph:
Mr. Obama endorsed
his and his predecessor’s (George W. Bush) achievements, which he
enumerated as (I paraphrase): strengthened alliances, new partnerships
forged, defense of universal rights and human dignity, defense of the
nation, the fight taken to America’s enemies, the number of Americans
in harm’s way reduced and America’s global leadership restored.
Seconded by (then) Defense Secretary Robert Gates, he promised a larger
military budget and, instead of a downsized force, a more capable one.
He said that after the Second World War and Vietnam, American forces
had been left ill-prepared for the future, but that would not happen
“on his watch.”
And this is another:
decided to run for president in 2007 and won, as the man who would end
George Bush’s Iraq war. He did so up to a point (see above) but
enlarged the one in Afghanistan, following the generals’ advice about
which he had little choice, having been, in civilian life, a community
organizer and teacher. Since then, he has followed the beat of the drum
in the Middle East and South Asia, bombing Libya and enthusiastically
offering to bomb Syria. He has inaugurated drone assassinations (not
something endorsed in international law) and perpetuated Guantanamo
imprisonment (ditto). He has opened a new era in America of
governmental secrecy and persecution of dissidents, matters in which
the United States was, in the past, considered to have an edifying
But what is also true is
that he is a very good salesman.
Doc: Canada Set Up Spy Posts for NSA
Next, an article by Andrea
Germanos on Common Dreams:
At the behest of the U.S.
National Security Agency, Canada engaged in global spying operations,
including setting up spy posts, CBC News reports.
The collaborative efforts
of the two nations' spy agencies covered surveillance in "approximately
20 high-priority countries."
The NSA's Canadian
counterpart, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC),
"offers resources for advanced collection, processing and analysis, and
has opened covert sites at the request of NSA," CBC reports
the NSA document as stating.
The newest surveillance
revelation made possible by Edward Snowden shows "co-operative efforts"
between the CSEC and NSA that go beyond those of the "Five Eyes"
(Canada, the U.S,, the UK, Australia and New Zealnd) partnership.
I note especially that they
"covered surveillance in
"approximately 20 high-priority countries"" though indeed it does not state who they "surveyed" - and
actually, "surveilance" in contexts like these is a euphemism for
"spying and stealing".
the NSA Blackmailing Its Overseers In Washington?
This starts as follows -
and the coloring and boldings are in the original:
Are the Intelligence Committees Being Blackmailed?
During the Vietnam war,
spied on two prominent politicians – Senators Frank Church and
Howard Baker – as well as critics of government policy Muhammad Ali,
Martin Luther King, and a Washington Post humorist.
The main whistleblower
who revealed the Vietnam-era spying was Christopher
H. Pyle. Pyle told
Rob Kall of OpEdNews:
They targeted Sen.
Frank Church and Sen. Howard Baker. It could mean they were
trying to get information or dirt on senators involved in the Church
committee and Watergate committee investigations respectively — either
to learn something about their investigations or to discredit them.
We still need more
information about what happened then. But more critically, we need more
information about what’s happening now. These revelations raise the
obvious question: If the NSA was targeting people like Sen.
Frank Church, who were in a position to oversee the NSA — is that
happening now? That is, are people like intelligence committee chairs
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and other
congressional leaders — who are supposed to be providing oversight
themselves — compromised in some way by the NSA? If so, as
seems quite certain from the recent Edward Snowden revelations, then how
can they conduct genuine oversight of the NSA with their committees?”
I have raised the
question myself earlier, and my answer is this:
I would be very
amazed if the NSA does not keep extensive documents on all US
senators and congressmen, and also knows a lot more about the
things many of them would not want to be publicly known than
they probably do know themselves. And indeed I also would be amazed if
the NSA will not try to use its knowledge to target senators
and congressmen, if they think this will make them win the vote.
Then again, as the
rest of the article also argues, it may not be necessary to blackmail
them: They also may be bought.
So this is why I am
not certain that the Senate or Congress will stop the NSA.
 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.