"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. Tech companies call for
'aggressive' NSA reforms at
White House meeting
2. Merkel compared NSA to
Stasi in heated encounter with
3. Snowden: 'I Would Rather Be
without a State than
without a Voice'
4. NSA Surveillance Is
about Power, Not "Safety"
5. Former Top NSA Official:
“We Are Now In A Police
6. Battle over Snowden on CNN between Greenwald and
is yet another crisis report, with six crisis items and with a seventh
item on the crisis in medicine, that seems to me as serious as the
crisis in bank management, and to exist for the same basic
reasons: deregulation created the plane
on which greed manages incredibly large incomes for a few, in the name
- utter propaganda
crap - about "market freedom" or "patients' outcomes".
companies call for 'aggressive' NSA reforms at White House meeting
To start with, an
article by Dominic Rushe, Paul Lewis and Spencer Ackerman in the
This starts as follows -
and the reader should realize that the White House attempted to put a
spin on this:
The top leaders from
world’s biggest technology companies called on the US to "move
aggressively" to reform the National Security Agency’s controversial
surveillance operations after discussions with President Obama on
Tuesday, resisting attempts by the White House to portray the encounter
as covering a range of broader priorities.
Executives from 15
companies, including Google, Apple, Yahoo and Twitter, used a
face-to-face meeting with Obama and vice-president Joe Biden to express
their concern that the NSA’s wide-ranging surveillance activities had
undermined the trust of their users.
The meeting came a day
after a federal judge ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of
Americans’ phone records was “almost Orwellian” in scope and probably
a violation of the US constitution. Some of the tech companies
represented at the White House have already expressed deep concern at
the wide-ranging nature of NSA surveillance, and the way it apparently
draws information from their systems without their knowledge.
Let me first clarify the
spin: There was an attempt by the White House to make this seem "a
broad discussion" "on many topics", including "the state of the
government's health care sites", that indeed are slow or broken.
In fact, the president and
the vice-president only arrived after the side issues were resolved or
"resolved" (a Microsoft engineer was appointed), and from then on the
discussion was (I quote):
Having gotten this out of the
way, here is what was discussed with the president and the
vice-president (both of whom were very much against spying on all
Americans during election days, and now seem very much for):
exclusively on surveillance issues.
Incidentally: The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which
is from 1986, cannot possibly legally allow specifically that "emails and digital communications older than
six months to be seized without a warrant", for there were no
and very little digital communications in 1986. That is, the
"allowance" must have been based on some stretch of terminology - and
besides, even then it says "older
than six months".
Specific topics that were
raised included Prism, an NSA program that collects and mines internet
communications, bulk collection of telephone records and reform of the
secret Fisa courts. They also discussed the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act, a 27-year-old law that allows emails and digital
communications older than six months to be seized without a
Among those meeting Obama
at the White House were Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, Marissa Mayer, the
CEO of Yahoo, and Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman. Senior
representatives from Comcast, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Netflix
were also there. So too was Randall Stephenson, the chairman and CEO of
AT&T, one of the telecom providers routinely required to provide
the NSA with metadata about its US customers.
There is considerably more in
the article, but it doesn't get much clearer, which probably is what
the White House intended.
2. Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated
encounter with Obama
Next, an article by
Ian Traynor and Paul Lewis in the Guardian:
This starts as
In an angry exchange with
Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has
compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the
ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship
in East Germany, where she grew
The German chancellor
also told the US president that America's National Security Agency
cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to
leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.
Livid after learning from
Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with
the accusation: "This is like the Stasi."
The newspaper also
reported that Merkel was particularly angry that, based on the
disclosures, "the NSA clearly couldn't be
trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them
I say. But Angela
Merkel is mostly right, though I think she is somewhat unfairly blaming
Snowden. For it is not a matter of trust: it is a matter of
concern that these data on everyone were gathered, and once they were
illegally, according to Judge Leon, there always was the
risk of some whistleblower(s) - and Merkel could have
complimented Snowden on having been quite clever.
Also, there is this
fairly odd bit:
Snowden is to testify on
the NSA scandal to a European parliament inquiry next month, to the
anger of Washington which is pressuring the EU to stop the testimony.
In Brussels, the chairman
of the US House select committee on intelligence, Mike Rogers, a
Republican, said his views on the invitation to Snowden were "not fit
to print" and that it was "not a great idea".
Inviting someone "who is
wanted in the US and has jeopardised the lives of US soldiers" was
beneath the dignity of the European parliament, he said.
From this it would
seem the US president has sent an utter idiot - I mean Mr Mike Rogers -
to Europe. Incidentally, as to Mr Rogers and his mental capacities, he
In comments to the
Guardian, he referred to the exchange as "a conversation that may or
may not have occurred".
Merkel is - very possibly - a liar, according to Mike Rogers. Thank
you, Mr. Rogers! More
to the point:
A draft report by a
European parliament inquiry into the affair, being presented on
Wednesday and obtained by the Guardian, says there has to be a
discussion about the legality of the NSA's operations and also of the
activities of European intelligence agencies.
The report drafted by
Claude Moraes, the British Labour MEP heading the inquiry, says "we
have received substantial evidence that the operations by intelligence
services in the US, UK, France and Germany are in breach of
international law and European law".
There is also this
bit, which I am against:
However the official, who
spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the
talks, said German and US officials were still in the process of
negotiating how any final agreement – the details of which could remain
secret between both governments – would be formalised.
I am against this
because I do not want spying to be "regulated" by secret
between governors: Governors cannot be trusted,
especially not as
regards spying on everyone, because that is so very much in
the privileged few that make up governments, and so very much against
What does make sense,
and is important it was said, is this:
"We want to be assured
that not everything that is technically possible will be done," the
German official added.
This is important for
several reasons: So far, the White House and the NSA's position has
amounted to stealing whatever they can, and altering, stretching, or
redefining all laws that oppose this.
There is considerably
more in the article.
'I Would Rather Be without a State than without a Voice'
Next, a brief piece
by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This is mainly here
because of the following part:
Though many media outlets
depicted the letter as an offer by Snowden to "exchange" or "swap" his
assistance for political asylum, nothing in the letter suggests a quid
For example, the USA
Today headline on Tuesday morning read: 'Snowden
to Brazil: Swap you spying help for asylum.' And even the Guardian
Snowden offers to help Brazil over US spying in return for asylum.'
But as journalist Glenn
opportunity to see how media outlets can distort things: compare
headlines about Snowden letter to its content (..)
— Glenn Greenwald
The only thing I
deleted from Greenwald's mail is a reference to Snowden's letter, that
Surveillance Is about Power, Not "Safety"
Next, the letter by
Edward Snowden, that I found on Common Dreams (and elsewhere):
This starts as
He was listened to, as he says
in a paragraph I skip, and next says:
Six months ago, I stepped
out from the shadows of the United States Government's National
Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist's camera. I shared
with the world evidence proving some governments are building a
world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we
talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open
eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and
would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of
the world deserve to understand the system in which they live.
At the NSA, I
witnessed with growing alarm the surveillance of whole populations
without any suspicion of wrongdoing, and it threatens to become the
greatest human rights challenge of our time. The NSA and other spying
agencies tell us that for our own "safety"—for Dilma's "safety," for
Petrobras' "safety"—they have revoked our right to privacy and broken
into our lives. And they did it without asking the public in any
country, even their own.
Quite so. I skip another
paragraph, and come to this:
tell us that Brazil should not worry, because this is not
"surveillance," it's "data collection." They say it is done to keep you
safe. They’re wrong. There is a huge difference between legal programs,
legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement — where individuals are
targeted based on a reasonable, individualized suspicion — and these
programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under
an all-seeing eye and save copies forever. These programs were never
about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and
diplomatic manipulation. They're about power.
Precisely - and as I said and wrote in Dutch on 29.x.2005,
that is over eight years ago:
were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social
control, and diplomatic manipulation. They're about power.
Or as I called it then and
call it now: These programs are about state terrorism and they implement
state terrorism. That is what they are for, and that is what
for, from the beginning. And see item 5.
I skip another paragraph
and come to this:
I sure hope he is right that
"The culture of indiscriminate worldwide surveillance (..) is
collapsing", but I have not seen much of it collapsing, though I have
seen a lot of discussions, that indeed would not have taken place
Six months ago, I
revealed that the NSA wanted to listen to the whole world. Now, the
whole world is listening back, and speaking out, too. And the NSA
doesn't like what it's hearing. The culture of indiscriminate worldwide
surveillance, exposed to public debates and real investigations on
every continent, is collapsing. Only three weeks ago, Brazil led the
United Nations Human Rights Committee to recognize for the first time
in history that privacy does not stop where the digital network starts,
and that the mass surveillance of innocents is a violation of human
Also, one should realize that this is a most powerful drug to
have: To be able to control everyone, by controlling - copying,
storing, for eventual use - ALL one's information and ALL one's data,
This goes very much further than the Stasi, and is as much
powerful and as much more dangerous, in anyone's hands.
corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" said Lord Acton,
the power the NSA craves is the most absolute power there ever has been.
Then Snowden has this brave statement:
I agree, though his final
statement is a bit problematic:
My act of conscience
began with a statement: "I don't want to live in a world where
everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every
expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded. That's not
something I'm willing to support, it's not something I'm willing to
build, and it's not something I'm willing to live under."
Days later, I was told my
government had made me stateless and wanted to imprison me. The price
for my speech was my passport, but I would pay it again: I will not be
the one to ignore criminality for the sake of political comfort. I
would rather be without a state than without a voice.
If Brazil hears
only one thing from me, let it be this: when all of us band together
against injustices and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we
can defend ourselves from even the most powerful systems.
The problems are (1) that not
all band together (2) that the governors are nearly all corrupt and
lying (3) that the opposition - the NSA, the US government, the GCHQ,
the English government, and so on - is very strong and very
well-funded, by the taxpayers they hope to control, and also (4)
that not many of the media follow this in any
detail, while (5) that there also are a lot of lies and willing liars,
because the power the NSA's success promises is exceedingly
great, and far greater than any government ever
I have quoted a little over half of Snowden's letter, but the previous
item was quite right in insisting there is no offer of any
swap, nor of
any quid pro quo - and as I said, there are many lies and many
(although these tend to make up things rather than say "No" where they
5. Former Top NSA Official: “We Are Now In
A Police State”
Next, an article from
This starts as follows,
whetre the colors and the links are in the original:
32-year NSA Veteran Who Created Mass Surveillance System
Says Government Use of Data Gathered Through Spying “Is a Totalitarian
Bill Binney is the
high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass
surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA
veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the
senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of
Binney has been
interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS,
New York Times, USA
and many others.
Last year, Binney held
his thumb and forefinger close together, and said:
We are, like, that far
from a turnkey totalitarian state.
But today, Binney told
Washington’s Blog that the U.S. has already
become a police state.
By way of background, the
government is spying on virtually
everything we do.
And there is this (skipping
several paragraphs of interesting links):
Binney told us today:
The main use of the
collection from these [NSA spying] programs [is] for law enforcement.
[See the 2 slides below].
These slides give the
policy of the DOJ/FBI/DEA etc. on how to use the NSA data. In fact,
they instruct that none of the NSA data is referred to in courts –
cause it has been acquired without a warrant.
So, they have to do a
“Parallel Construction” and not tell the courts or prosecution or
defense the original data used to arrest people. This I call: a
“planned programed perjury policy” directed by US law enforcement.
And, as the last line
on one slide says, this also applies to “Foreign Counterparts.”
This is a total
corruption of the justice system not only in our country but around the
world. The source of the info is at the bottom of each slide. This
is a totalitarian process – means we are now in a police state.
I quite agree, and if you
want to see the slides referred to you have to follow the link. And I
quite agree with William
Binney (<- Wikipedia):
This is a
totalitarian process – means we
are now in a police state
The reason is that the
trials will be secret; the evidence will be secret; the outcome may be
secret; and lots of people may simply disappear, as happened in Germany.
Also, you cannot
government or its bureaucrats: They allowed it in the first
place, and they are the only
ones to be certain to profit from it.
6. Battle over Snowden on CNN between
Greenwald and Toobin
Next, a video by The
Young Turks, of a little over 7 1/2 minutes:
Basically, this is a
report on the debate between Greenwald and Toobin, that was moderated
by Anderson Cooper on CNN.
It is a good report,
that I recommend you
I we sleep…
Finally, another article by
1 boring old man, that is a lot better than the previous one (in which
he criticized Marcia Angell for formulating shoulds):
There is considerably more
in the article, but I quote this paragraph, that bears out what I wrote
about the corruption of medicine yesterday:
All of my medical
life, pharmaceutical advertising has been part of things, part of being
a doctor. I never gave it much thought, What was different about the
last twenty-five years was that they found ways to advertise without it
showing. It never used to occur to me that an article in a medical
journal like the American Journal of Psychiatry was constructed under
the tutelage of a drug company. I never thought of famous physicians as
Key Opinion Leaders – people whose notoriety was a
commodity to be bartered for its impact on my prescribing habits. If
that was going on in my distant past, I didn’t know it and I would have
considered it fraud. Now, it’s so ubiquitous that it’s the rule rather
than the exception, and it has produced an enormous amount of confusion
– too much to fathom. And a lot of that confusion is because the famous
doctors became KOLs. Maybe Nemeroff, my chairman, was the absolute
worst, but there were plenty of others at places like Harvard and
Stanford, the venerated halls of learning in medicine and psychiatry.
That I was on a clinical faculty at a place where those things were
happening and didn’t really know it is a testimony to the very stealth
that is on trial here.
Yes indeed: This is how
medicine tends to be run these days, which is not by science, not
ethics, but by the profit motive. And this holds for all of
though it probably is worst in psychiatry, that also is not a science
but a mere pseudoscience
, unlike most of the rest of medicine.
And now that I am writing
about medicine again, I had a list of
points yesterday, to which I want to add two points I forgot:
So that is another large
problem: There are far more dumb doctors, in medicine, and indeed in
all of science or "science", and these were intentionally created,
at least in the sense that the levels of education the universities
offered have halved (while the price for the students tripled,
quadrupled or more).
- During the last 40+
years the universities have been totally changed: most are now
offering "education" at the level of colleges (or lower) forty
and more years ago, and they both offer and demand far less for
graduates to graduate in, though it is also true that, precisely for
that reason, very many more people graduate, and can graduate.
- This has also been so
for medicine. Though I know not enough to make a decent test
and comparison, I have met the last 20 years "doctors of medicine" that
were "fully qualified" that were much more stupid than the nurses
I met forty and more years ago - and no, I am neither lying nor
Finally, you will not hear many young "academic scientists"
about this, firstly, because on average they are more stupid and less
well educated than nearly all scientists that were educated forty and
more years ago, while also those who made it to academic tenure
generally are not
the best, a few studies excepted, but the most conformist.
This is another long NL, and in this NL I have not treated all I found,
for lack of time and space. There will be some other material this
year, although it probably will be mostly on the crisis, on which I
have now been reporting since September 1, 2008, which will be a little
more reflective, but it depends on my health and on the number of
crisis items in the news.
P.S. Dec 19, 2013: I corrected
a few typos and added some boldings.
 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.)
am a psychologist and a philosopher, and I am quite able to judge the
pretensions of the psychiatrists, and they are nearly all false,
fraudulent, lies or pretense. They do not know
and almost none of them do
know any philosophy of science, or anything much outside their own
priestcraft of lies, deceptions and frauds, that are nearly all
calculated and perpetrated to deceive ordinary people and to
sell them expensive psychotropic drugs, that for the most part are
almost the same as the psychotropic drugs of the 1960ies and
1970ies, but minimally manipulated to get a new patent, and also the
drugs they sell are very badly tested, many of the side-effects are
unstated or were initially unstated, whereas no one knows their
long term effects.
- what is the self, a
person, or a character
- what is thinking,
feeling, or desiring
- what is madness (they
cannot define it!)
So my advice is not to see a psychiatrist if you need mental
help, but instead to see a psychologist, while your G.P. anyway is both
qualified to prescribe any medicine, and as a rule is much better
informed about you than any psychiatrist.
Also, expect miracles of no one: Nearly all that a rational psychiatry
or psychology requires to know is not known, and very likely
will not be known for at least another thirty years.
To be sure, for psychologists the same points hold, simply because no
one has plausible scientifically tenable answers to the above
dotted points, but they cannot incarcerate you if they do not like you,
and they probably have more attention for your own story, while
they also are under no pressure from pharmaceutical companies to sell
you expensive psychotropic drugs, and also are far less likely to be
visited by pharmaceutical salespersons.
For more, see the psychiatrists dr.
Healy and dr. Nardo, who
at least write sensibly and who know a lot about the evidence, and
especially about the limitations of their colleagues and themselves.
Also, dr. Healy's site has a lot of
information about drugs and their side-effects.
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.