15, 2013
Crisis: Dutch courage, NSA's ignorance * 2, mass surveillance, personal
  "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. "NSA too big too fail; Holland too small to object"
  2.  US 'may never know extent of Edward Snowden NSA
        leaks' – report

  3.  NSA deputy director John Inglis to retire at end of year
  4.  Global Petition To Halt Mass Surveillance By Famous

  5.  Personal
About ME/CFS


This is yet another crisis item, and while it is a Sunday, I have four items, and a personal note. Also, there was earlier today an upload of the latest bit in my autobiography, that is written in Dutch.

1. "NSA too big too fail; Holland too small to object"

To start with, a Dutch item, that I report with an English title, since this is the latest and the newest reason not to do anything against the NSA:

The title is mine, but under the link you'll find a brief item in Dutch, that reflects the musings of one of the leading regents of one of the rich Dutch families, Jacob Kohnstamm, who has invented the latest reason why he and the Dutch in general, cannot do anything against the NSA, and that includes maintaining the Dutch laws, that prohibit mass surveillance.

His message is in my title, and to my mind it is a cowardly lie. (Of course, I have to make a guess at his motives, but this is my guess, as I certainly don't think a Duitchman in his position will speak the truth.)

In any case: No one asked him to reflect on the size of the Dutch, nor on his  totally absurd presumption that the Dutch would have to do it alone - and in any case, he has no reason to speculate about the size of the Dutch nation if he is faced with very many clear transgressions of the Dutch laws, as indeed he is.

But yes... this is a fine example of real Dutch courage, that also manifested itself so very bravely during WW II, when over 1% of the Dutch population was gassed, because very few Dutchmen did anything for them: there were 6 times as many Dutch members of the Waffen-SS as there were members of the Dutch resistance.

2.  US 'may never know extent of Edward Snowden NSA leaks' – report 

Next, an article by Amanda Holpuch in the Guardian:

This starts as follows:

Government officials have concluded that they may never know the full extent of information leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to a report published on Saturday by the New York Times.

Senior government officials told the newspaper that investigators are unsure of the scope of information Snowden collected, partially because the Hawaii data facility he worked at, as a contractor, did not have employee monitoring software with which other NSA facilities were equipped. Such software is meant to detect unusual behavior among the agency's approximately 35,000 employees.

"They've spent hundreds and hundreds of man hours trying to reconstruct everything he has gotten, and they still don't know all of what he took," the Times quoted a senior administration official as saying. "I know that seems crazy, but everything with this is crazy."

So now you know - or at least you know what the NSA wants to tell you. My own inference is a bit different: Basically, it was, and probably still mostly is, a big mess at the NSA, though I am willing to believe they closed a few holes.

3.  NSA deputy director John Inglis to retire at end of year

Next, an article in the Guardian by Spencer Ackerman:

This starts as follows:

The National Security Agency's top civilian employee is leaving abruptly, as the agency continues to be swept by turmoil over its controversial surveillance powers.

John Inglis, who has spent nearly eight years as the deputy director of the NSA, is retiring weeks after Washington speculation placed him as a top candidate to be the first civilian to run the agency.

Inglis’ departure, first reported by Reuters and Foreign Policy magazine and independently confirmed by the Guardian, is set for the end of the year. In a few months he will be joined by his boss, US army General Keith Alexander, who is also stepping down after eight years. The moves give President Barack Obama an opportunity to reshape the leadership of a spy agency that has sparked one of the most intense diplomatic crises of his presidency.

Actually, I do not know about "abruptly", since I was under the impression, as the next few paragraphs in the article also clarify, that both Inglis and Alexander were scheduled to leave anyway, and quite apart from Snowden, and indeed before Snowden became world famous.

But I also agree that one cannot trust the NSA's staff.

4.  Global Petition To Halt Mass Surveillance By Famous Writers

As the last of today's crisis items, this is 4 minutes 50 seconds by The Young Turks, on the writers' petition to the UN:

Some of the things that are pointed out are that there is no mass movement, at least as yet; that most of the US intellectuals, and especially the law professors, did nothing (with a few exceptions); that even now writers speak less clearly in their e-mails than they did before knowing these e-mails are being swept up by the NSA to control them; and that the NSA, who raped everybody's privacy, is pursuing Edward Snowden because he trampled upon their privacy.

And here is a bit by Janne Teller, who heads the petition:

Yes indeed. And there is a fine example given in the TYT bit, that involves the insane dealings of the TPP: No one is allowed to know what these agreements are about, except those who benefit by them. And that indeed is the new style of government.

5. Personal

I have today linked in a piece of my autobiography, as I said at the beginning. I have still not progressed further than 40 years ago, but it is something, although I suspect I will - eventually - rewrite much of it, since at present it consists mostly of relatively short pieces that were written hastily during this year, that also were written without any documentation, except in the piece I uploaded today.

Indeed, it may even happen that I rewrite it in English, although for this I need to have it first, at least until 2000, and I also need to have the energy, that is also far from certain.

But there is more to come, even if it interests few.


[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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