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."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
Edward Snowden went from loyal NSA contractor to
for Lavabit founder: judges may dismiss civil
3. Obama admits intelligence
chief fault over false Senate
4. Christie, Clapper and
Other Officials Who Should Be in Jail
Instead of Snowden
Pity the Billionaire
Horror Show of America: 'We Are Slaves to Profit,'
the Creator of The Wire
Tells Bill Moyers
7. Beyond Orwell’s Worst
8. About psychiatry
It's a Sunday today, and there were quite a few files on the
crisis. (So that goes to show there is no necessity about their being
few on Sundays.) In fact, I found at least seven, while the eighth is a
link to a good exposition of myself about the very many failings of
modern psychiatry, which caused me to - very definitely - call it a
pseudoscience, that should be terminated.
Also, this is uploaded some 4 or 5 hours earlier than is normal.
Edward Snowden went from loyal NSA
First, an article by Luke Harding in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
In late December
2001, someone calling themselves TheTrueHOOHA had a question. He was an
18-year-old American male with impressive IT skills and a sharp
intelligence. His real identity was unknown. Everyone who posted on Ars Technica, a popular
technology website, did so anonymously.
In fact, it is quite a
long file, that is an extract from a new book "The Snowden Files"
(for 12 pounds 99, or 8,99 at the guardianbookshop). I read it all, and
it seems decent, and even told me some things I didn't know.
It also seems to be the first biography of Snowden in bookform, and I
do not know what Edward Snowden thinks of it.
I think it was inevitable that someone would write a book about him,
and I found this well done, so far, though I am not a specialist on
Snowden. There was one thing, though, that did not seem to me
to be sufficiently stressed, and that thing also informed my very first
post on him, of June 10, 2013:
While there are, at least, several thousands placed like him, he
is the only one to have acted as he did.
That seems quite relevant to me, also because I am the son and
the grandson of men who were convicted
to German concentration camps for being "political terrorists",
which is to say that they were members of the Dutch communist
resistance against Nazism, and I know since a very long time how very rare
this resisting of evident Nazistic terrorism was in Holland (that is, until the end of WW II: after
the end almost every Dutchman suddenly had been a heroic resistance
hero, and none had harmed the 116.000 murdered Jews) were the dregs of
society - from very many professors to very many followers of Wilders -
all very loudly insist that "everybody is equivalent" (that is: you,
they and Einstein and Eichmann are all equivalent, at least according
to the vast majority of the Dutchmen).
So no: this is a sick, degenerate lie of the many who are weak and
cowardly collaborators of whatever regime they find themselves in, and
again no: in fact there are far more cowards and collaborators
than there are real heroes.
If it were otherwise, all of human culture and civilization would have
been quite different.
for Lavabit founder: judges may dismiss civil liberties concerns
Next, an article by Dominic
Rushe in the Guardian:
This starts as follows - and Lavabit (<-
Wikipedia) was the e-mail service that allowed encrypted mails, that
was, at one point, used by Edward Snowden - after which the NSA
insisted that they should get the encryption keys to everything
so that they could read everything, which the owner refused,
and which made him shut down his whole service:
It seems from the article that
the case is cooked: Judges Gregory, Niemeyer and Agee speak as if they
are personal friends of NSA directors, rather than as objective judges
- and indeed the NSA may know very much about them that
ordinary men do not and cannot know.
Civil rights lawyers
expressed concern this week that judges reviewing the contempt of court
case brought against Lavabit, an email service that was used by the
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, were dismissing privacy
concerns raised by the case as a “red herring” that had been “blown out
founder of Lavabit, Ladar Levison, is challenging a contempt of
court order brought against him when he initially refused to hand over
the encryption keys to his secure email service. The case is now with
the fourth US circuit court of appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Judges
Roger Gregory, Paul Niemeyer and Steven Agee presided over a hearing on
A decision is expected
within 45 days. If Levison’s appeal is rejected, he will be held in
contempt of court and it will be unlikely that the legal issues
surrounding the case will be resolved.
In any case, the judges speak as if it is self-evident to them that
anyone who runs an encrypted mail-service should hand over his
encryption-keys as a matter of course to the NSA or the FBI, so that
they can read anything, as is the duty of every man in a police state.
I really can't make anything else from it, and you can read the article
admits intelligence chief fault over false Senate
Next, an article by Spencer Ackerman in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
There is rather a lot more in
the article, but that is the short summary: According to Obama any
director of intelligence may lie all he pleases in Congress, and the
president then will save him by saying that "he could have played it
better than he did".
President Barack Obama
has said his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, ought to
have been “more careful” in Senate testimony about surveillance that
Clapper later acknowledged was untruthful following disclosures by
But Obama signaled
continued confidence in Clapper in the face of calls for the director
to resign from members of Congress who warn of the dangerous precedent
set by allowing an intelligence chief to lie to legislative bodies
tasked with overseeing the powerful spy agencies.
It doesn't matter what Congress laid down about any testimony it gets -
the directors of national intelligence are clearly above any law.
4. Christie, Clapper and Other Officials Who Should Be in Jail
Instead of Snowden
Next, an article by Juan Cole,
who is a professor of history, in Truth Dig, and who is not so lenient
with the truth as is Obama, when this serves Obama's interests (which
are the NSA's interests):
This starts as follows:
toward Edward Snowden in official Washington has nothing to do with
law-breaking and everything to do with the privileges of power. The
powerful in Washington may spy on us, but we are not to know about it.
Snowden’s sin in their eyes was to level the playing field, to draw
back the curtain and let the public see what the spies were doing to
them The United States has become so corrupt that the basic principle
of the law applying to all equally has long since became a quaint
relic. We are back to a system of aristocratic privilege. If we had a
rule of law and not of men, Edward Snowden would be given a medal and
the following officials would be on the lam to avoid serious jail time.
Also, Juan Cole contends that, far more than Edward Snowden, if the USA
were a real state of law, the following five would very
probably be in prison: James Clapper, Keith Alexander, Chris Christie,
Peter King and Richard Bruce Cheney.
He also gives arguments, and indeed I think myself that at least
Clapper, Alexander and Cheney do belong behind bars, although I do not believe this will ever
happen, at least not in the current US.
Pity the Billionaire
Next an article by David Sirota in Truth Dig:
This starts as follows:
It is this last fact
that caused David Sirota's article, which deserves a bit more
explanation, since you may have missed Tom
Perkins (<- Wikipedia):
The rich have never been
richer and the poor keep getting poorer. The financial Masters of the
Universe enjoy indefinite taxpayer-funded bailouts, while the social
safety net for the poor is gutted. The ruling class that engineers
crushing economic inequality gathers at the World Economic Forum in
Davos to pretend to care about said inequality, and then promises no
concrete actions to combat the crisis. Many high-income earners pay a
lower effective tax rate than low-income earners, and IRS data show
that in the last few years the rich have seen a steep decline in the
share of taxes they pay.
And if you think there’s
a problem with any of this, you’re a Nazi. At least according to the
poor, put-upon oligarchs.
Note Perkins was quoted:
He really said and more probably than not also mostly meant
these truly insane things. Also, as Sirota makes clear in the rest of
the article, this is not at all uncommon in the United States
these days - which I restate as: If you oppose the government, you are
a terrorist; if you oppose the billionaires, you are a Nazi. Also, the
real point is not at all whether this is true in any sense (and in fact
neither is, at all): the point is that using terms like "terrorist" and
"Nazi" gives you the moral high ground, and anyway few of those who
hear you did any systematic reading about terrorism or Nazism.
The latest fat cat to
compare critiques of inequality to violent National Socialism is
venture capitalist Tom Perkins—he of the $150 million yacht and the
5,500-square-foot San Francisco penthouse. In a letter to the Wall
Street Journal editor, this Silicon Valley billionaire last week
bewailed supposed “parallels” between Nazi Germany’s “war on its ‘one
percent,’ namely its Jews” and “the progressive war on the American one
percent, namely the ‘rich.’” Citing rising angst over inequality, he
insisted: “This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking.
Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’
radicalism unthinkable now?”
From this skewed
perspective, the 85 people who now own as much wealth as 3.5 billion
people aren’t the big winners. They are instead a persecuted diaspora
being exterminated by Hitler.
Also, I should add that many were unhappy with Perkins's writings, and
that Perkins meanwhile has "apologized" but also said the following
(and I quote from the Wikipedia article on him):
subsequently apologized for making comparisons with Nazi Germany, but
otherwise stood by the message of his letter, saying. “In the Nazi area
it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization” (...)
In other words: he
persists (but with a mock "apology").
Horror Show of America: 'We Are Slaves to Profit,' the Creator of The
Wire Tells Bill Moyers
Next an article, or rather an
interview, by Bill Moyers, that I found on Alternet that seems to have
originated on tomdispatch.com:
This starts as follows:
The rest is a good interview
(apart from the fact that there are far too many "you know"s in it)
that you can read yourself. Note: it is not optimistic, but I think
justifiedly so: there are very few causes for optimism about the US,
unless you are Jamie
Dimon or one of his colleagues.
This week on Moyers
& Company, David Simon, journalist and creator of the TV
series The Wire and Treme, talks with Bill Moyers about
the crisis of capitalism in America. After President Barack Obama’s
annual State of the Union address, it’s a reality check from someone
who artfully uses television drama to report on the state of America
from an entirely different perspective — the bottom up.
“The horror show is we
are going to be slaves to profit. Some of us are going to be higher on
the pyramid and we’ll count ourselves lucky and many many more will be
marginalized and destroyed,” Simon tells Moyers. He blames a
“purchased” Congress for failing America’s citizens, leading many of
them to give up on politics altogether.
Beyond Orwell’s Worst Nightmare
The final crisis item today is an article by Marjorie
Cohn, who is a professor of law and a past president of the National
Lawyers Guild, on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
“Big Brother is
Watching You,” George Orwell wrote in his disturbing book 1984. But, as
Mikko Hypponen points out, Orwell “was an optimist.” Orwell never could
have imagined that the National Security Agency (NSA) would amass
metadata on billions of our phone calls and 200 million of our text
messages every day. Orwell could not have foreseen that our government
would read the content of our emails, file transfers, and live chats
from the social media we use.
Yes, indeed. And this is a
good and informed article, that I leave to you, except for this part
near the end, that quite adequately sums up part of the justified
criticism of Obama's speech on the State of the Union:
Yes, quite so - and also, I
add, it never was about "the war on terror": It was from the
very beginning, that goes back to 9/11/2001 or before, about finding
all the private data of everyone, in order to control them:"the war on terror" always was a pretext.
Obama would likely argue
that our modern day “war on terror” is unlike COINTELPRO because it
targets real, rather than imagined, threats. But, as Hypponen says,
“It’s not the war on terror.” Indeed, the Privacy and Civil Liberties
Oversight Board, an independent federal privacy watchdog, found “no
instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of
a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist
The NSA spying program
captures all of us, including European leaders, people in Mexico,
Brazil, the United Nations, and the European Union Parliament, not just
the terrorists. Although Obama assured us that the government “does not
collect intelligence to suppress criticism or dissent,” our history,
particularly during COINTELPRO, tells us otherwise.
Obama proposed some
reforms to the NSA program, but left in place the most egregious
aspects. He said that the NSA must secure approval of a judge on the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before it gets access to the
phone records of an individual. But that is a secret court, whose
judges are appointed by the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts,
and it has almost never turned down an executive branch wiretapping
request since it was created in 1978. Most significantly, Obama did not
say that surveillance without judicial warrants or individual suspicion
should be halted.
8. About psychiatry
Finally, a good
article about psychiatry by me, from a little over a year ago:
I note that most of the article is repeated from a much
on my site, from April 2012, DSM-5: Question 1
of "The six
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis" but with a
few changes and with some corrected typos.
Also, it has the following long footnote that I here reproduce, because
it clarifies my attitude to "psychiatry" - between quotes, because this
is not at all a singular thing, or doctrine or theory, and never was:
psychologist and philosopher, who has learned nearly all of the above
since he got fast internet in 2009, maybe I should warn against a
confusion some may be liable to, as indeed I myself probably was,
before 2009, which amounts to denying that there is a real major health
problem, namely because one already knows that psychiatry and
are not what professional psychiatrists and psychologists claim
these to be.
Personally, I have never taken psychiatry serious as a real
science, basically because I did read Freud, Jung, Laing and some
others already in the 1960ies, and decided that whatever that was
intented to be, and whatever
that was good for - since many people do have psychological problems,
and some get thoroughly mad, and all such persons deserve some form of
help, however motivated, provided it is honest and not based on false
pretensions - it certainly was not real science, in the sense
that physics, chemistry, biology and most of medicine other than
psychiatry are real sciences.
Then again, until 2009 I never worried about psychiatry, because it
seemed to me to be somehow useful - more so than not - for at least two
To help the insane, and to provide some sort of support for the
neurotic, where I mean by "the insane" those who are thoroughly mad and
not capable of helping themselves nor of functioning in society
(without a lot of help), and by "the neurotic" those with psychological
problems who can function socially, but who seek help from
professionals, since they cannot find it elsewhere, and because they
miserable (anxious, fearful, nervous, unhappy etc.)
It also seemed to me, from what I knew about psychiatry and clinical
psychology, that much of that help was bound to be inept, since
most of what I had read in those subjects seemed mostly false to me,
but then in life one must make do with what there is rather than what
there should be, while society is fundamentally an interpersonal
contract for mutual help or protection.
It now seems to me - after three years of reading since 2009 - that
psychiatry since the DSM-III of 1980 is an intentional fraud, an intentional scam, that is meant
enrich psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies by the selling of as
many psychiatric drugs as is possible, and that for this purpose the
whole diagnostic machinery of psychiatry, that never was really
scientific, because there was not enough knowledge about how the brain
manufactures human thought and feeling, has been transmogrified into an
that is designed on purpose to look and sound as if it were
science, but is in fact intentional bullshit
designed to give psychiatrists power without social control, without
being found out, and with the possibility, that comes with their having
a medical B.A., to sell as many medical drugs to laymen as they can.
This is dangerous in itself, and the more since in the same period of
the last 30 years the social control of the drug companies has grown
much less, whereas great parts of what used to be more or less inept
psychiatric attempts at science have been replaced by professional
salesmanship and marketeering driven by the justified expectation of
Modern psychiatry, at least since the DSM-III, is not about
people with psychological problems in an honest way, but is
about selling them expensive drugs in a profitable
It is no longer a medical specialism, if it ever was; it is a kind of
pseudo-medical public relations through public deceptions that are
designed for and driven by profit, by the sales of psychiatric
which since the 1980ies has become an enormously profitable
that lacks control precisely because psychiatry and pharmacology are
difficult to understand, and because psychiatry since the DSM-III has
been designed on purpose to provide psychiatrists with more power, with
more patients, and with license to sell drugs for profit.
If I were you, or you were me, I would avoid seeing any psychiatrist if
I felt a need for psychological help of some kind, and would much
rather see a psychologist, not because these know more than
psychiatrists (both are bogged down by lack of knowledge of the brain,
and also lack of knowledge of how society's many influences shape
personality and character), but because they will listen
better; they will have seen far fewer salespeople who try to
make them sell expensive drugs (see the very instructive videos by Gwen Olsen, former
pharmacological sales representative); because they lack the power to
lock up people; and because there are far fewer rich forces from
pharmacological companies willing to buy their assistance.
Then again, because I am a psychologist, I can assure you very
confidently that psychologists, as well, in actual fact know very
little about human persons, their motives, their thoughts, or their
desires - which also is not a shame, because there is far
more to learn than there is known, and this is especially true about persons,
motives, thoughts, desires and their interactions (for nobody
sees them, and anybody only knows these directly from his or her own
experience: all the rest is inference, and is usually false, unless it
is very trite and common).
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
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.
note the whole file I
quote from is quite pertinent.)
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: