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."
1. NSA targeted Chinese
telecoms giant Huawei – report
2. Targeting Huawei: NSA Spied on Chinese
3. Chris Hedges at Oxford College: Is Edward Snowden a
Truthdigger of the Week: Rep. Alan Grayson (Video)
5. Debating Secrecy vs. a
The Real Truth About ObamaCare
This is the Nederlog of March
23. There are six items, on
a Sunday, plus a seventh personal item that lists some details of what
I re-uploaded yesterday.
1. NSA targeted
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei – report
The first article today is by Martin Pengelly in The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
It also says about the NSA and
The National Security
Agency created “back doors” into networks maintained by the Chinese
telecommunications company Huawei, according to a report released on
The report comes from a
document provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and
disclosed by the
New York Times and Der
Spiegel. It will add to embarrassment in US government circles, in
light of an October 2012 US House of Representatives intelligence
committee report which said US firms should avoid doing business
and another Chinese telecoms company, ZTE, because they posed a
national security threat.
There is considerably more
under the last dotted link, but this is also the subject of the next
The Times and Spiegel
reports said that in an operation code-named Shotgiant, the NSA gained
access to the company's servers in Shenzhen, obtaining information and
monitoring communications between executives. Among those whose emails
the NSA was able to read was the president of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei.
Huawei, which maintains
operations in the UK
despite all but ending its attempts to access the US market, due to
government resistance, claims to connect a third of the world's
population. It is also the world's third-largest maker of smartphones,
after Apple and Samsung.
Huawei: NSA Spied on Chinese Government and Networking Firm
The next item is an article by Der Spiegel (English on line edition):
This starts as follows:
It seems from the rest of the
article that the NSA got a lot of Huawei, including the secret
sourcecode for Huawei's products.
The American government
conducted a major intelligence offensive against China, with targets
including the Chinese government and networking company Huawei,
according to documents from former NSA worker Edward Snowden that have
been viewed by SPIEGEL. Among the American intelligence service's
targets were former Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Trade
Ministry, banks, as well as telecommunications companies.
But the NSA made a
special effort to target Huawei. With 150,000 employees and €28 billion
($38.6 billion) in annual revenues, the company is the world's second
largest network equipment supplier. At the beginning of 2009, the NSA
began an extensive operation, referred to internally as "Shotgiant,"
against the company, which is considered a major competitor to US-based
Cisco. The company produces smartphones and tablets, but also mobile
phone infrastructure, WLAN routers and fiber optic cable -- the kind of
technology that is decisive in the NSA's battle for data supremacy.
Hedges at Oxford College: Is Edward Snowden a Hero?
The next article is
by Donald Kaufman on Truth Dig:
This starts as follows:
An Oxford debate in late
February posed the question: Is Edward Snowden a hero? In an
impassioned defense of a patriotism that courageously stands against
the abuse of state power, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges said yes, and
by a vote of the those present, won the contest.
And after a list of
speakers, it shows 8 videos, each of 8 to 10 minutes, of the various
I like Chris Hedges,
though I do not always agree with him, and I like it that he won the
debate, which indeed to me poses a question which is a no-brainer, also
if you much disagree with what Snowden did: it did take a lot
of guts. (It also reminds me of the treatment Bill Maher got, briefly
But I have to admit I
did not watch any of the videos yet, indeed in part because this
concerned a real no-brainer.
of the Week: Rep. Alan Grayson (Video)
Next, an article by
Alexander Reed Kelly on Truth Dig:
Here is a part from page
1, that explains why Alan Grayson got to be Truthdigger 
of the week:
And here is a part from
The power to parse
bullshit is an honored prize among truth seekers, and it was this power
of Grayson’s that drew me to him when he was attacking House
Republicans during the Obamacare clashes of 2009. “It’s my duty and
pride tonight to be able to announce exactly what the Republicans plan
to do for health care in America,” the former lawyer said in one of the
House’s most memorable performances that year. “It’s this: Very simply
… don’t get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.”
Some of the larger left’s
more genteel members take issue with this kind of treatment of those on
the right-hand side of the aisle. I asked Grayson about the
incompetence of those he targeted. He didn’t see it that way. “I don’t
think that Congress is incompetent,” he said. “I think that the people
in charge here in the House are serving their corporate masters and are
doing so quite effectively and are doing it as effectively as they
possibly can. They’re doing everything they can to defeat any sort of
progress in the country, whether you’re talking about inequality or
health care, or whether you’re talking about jobs or education. They’re
very good at it, and my hat is off to them, except for the fact that I
think of all the suffering that entails in the lives of ordinary people
all around America, which they seem to be utterly inured to. They just
don’t care. They’re calloused, bigoted tools and they’re acting for the
benefit of their corporate patrons who are the real owners of the
Republican Party. The fact is that Congress is gridlocked because
that’s the way corporate interests want it.”
deregulation and privatization to give them more monopoly
opportunities,” he recognized. “They want a low taxation on the rich
and low taxation on corporations, and what they want above all is cheap
I've quoted rather a lot
because I think it is good, and because, like me, Grayson takes his
inspiration from classic liberalism - which, to me at least,
are the ideas of John Stuart Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville and John
Maynard Keynes, much rather than others, who indeed generally also are
a lot less intelligent.
“Wall Street is running our
economic policies,” he continued. “The big oil companies have been
running our energy and environmental policies. The military-industrial
complex runs our foreign policies. It doesn’t have to be that way.
People simply have to wake up and take back control. The tools are
available to do that. We are still a functioning democracy. Someone
like me can still win a congressional campaign. If we actually had a
serious antitrust law, if we had a serious system of progressive
taxation, if we had a serious system that put human needs first instead
of the needs of monopolies and multinational corporations, then we’d
have bliss. We’d have heaven on earth. And it is actually attainable.”
He takes his plan for the
rebuilding of paradise from the work shed of classic liberalism. It
involves a precise set of laws that would reorganize capitalism to
deliver its benefits to society as a whole. “All we need really is the
traditional goals of full employment and a well-managed economy
including full aggregate demand,” he told me, meaning enough money in
the hands of the public to buy goods and services at a rate that keeps
the economy from shrinking. These are precisely the principles that
built the middle class during the most prosperous decades of the 20th
Borne along by current
trends, the alternative is an apocalyptic dream.
Anyway... this was a good decision by Truth Dig, and the only
thing I miss is the video: For me it isn't there, though this may be
Secrecy vs. a Free Press
Next, an article by Danny Schechter on Consortium News:
This is a report in a recent
forum that was about the title. I extract one piece, on which I have
Here are my comments, by
While the newspapers
publish Snowden revelations disseminated by Greenwald and Poitras, it
seemed clear they really don’t like working with them, seeing them more
as advocates than “legitimate” neutral objective pros like themselves.
Nevertheless, it was a
rare united front of media leaders and mainstream reporters along with
independents speaking out for the public’s right to know.
Although there was some
squeamishness in Establishment circles about the need to “balance”
supposedly legitimate national security interests and a freer flow of
information — there was a great deal of prattling about
“responsibility” — top newspapers are rattling the spooks by their
willingness to carry what the spies see as stolen or purloined
documents. The intelligence functionaries spoke in terms of “good guys”
versus “bad guys.”
Of course, they assume they
are the former. Today, at the National Security Agency and other
agencies, there seems to be more momentum to “punish” leakers and
rule through intimidation.
Paragraph 1: ALL politics consists of advocating for some positions and
against others. Those who deny this are plain liars. And please note
that you do not have to agree with advocates, but you should
allow that they are doing what everybody in politics is doing,
and that a "“legitimate” neutral
objective pro" is about as
"legitimate" as a journalist as is a self-castrated idiot, who
castrated himself because he does not want to publicize his own stance,
nor those of others.
Paragraph 2: I doubt it, simply because "the mainstream reporters" have not reported
much since 9/11/2001, although they "reported" a lot, on trivia that
hurt no one. Then again, I am willing to believe that they can lie very
Paragraph 3: The media simply are not there to defend the "legitimate national security interests": That is the task of the government.
Those journalists who insist that it is their task simply are
not real journalists but are at best "journalists" - or "whorenalists",
adapting a joke of the Dutch writer W.F. Hermans: they write for the
government, as if they are "security experts", and while doing so deny
the validity of all criticism of the government.
Paragraph 4: That acknowledged spies can advertize about themselves
that they are the good guys while conducting a massive secret
rape of everybody's personal data shows how very sick the media are.
6. The Real Truth About ObamaCare
article by Robert Reich, on his site:
This starts as follows:
Actually, I do not know.
Here are a few of my reasons:
Despite the worst
roll-out conceivable, the Affordable Care Act seems to be working. With
less than two weeks remaining before the March 31 deadline for coverage this year, five million people have already signed up. After
decades of rising percentages of Americans’ lacking health insurance,
the uninsured rate has dropped to its lowest levels
Meanwhile, the rise in
health care costs has slowed drastically. No one knows exactly why, but
the new law may well be contributing to this slowdown by reducing
Medicare overpayments to medical providers and private insurers, and
creating incentives for hospitals and doctors to improve quality of
I agree none of these is
a conclusive argument,
but the healthcare in Holland got a lot worse the last 10
years, the premiums are legally bindable and a lot higher, and it seems
to me that this is a system that was clearly designed to help the doctors
and the insurance companies (or more precisely, their
directors: the director of "mine" "earns" half a million a year) very
much more than the patients, who indeed are neither organized nor
knowledgeable nor permanently ill, but who have to pay for it,
or else get legally prosecuted.
- The healthcare in
the U.S.A. clearly is sick since a long time: Far too expensive for
many, and mostly directed at improving the incomes and lives of medical
doctors and insurance companies rather than helping the ill - which is
an argument for "Obamacare".
"Obamacare" seems the wrong name for what is in fact Romneycare,
which was a system designed to prevent the coming of a real and
effective health insurance in the U.S.A.
- In Holland, I now
am legally forced to have a health insurance, which costs me at least twice
as much as I paid most of my life, and takes one fifth of my income,
and seems to serve only the - anyway large to very large - incomes of
doctors and insurance companies, while giving me less and less of
service: I got no effective help for 36 years now.
- In Holland,
everything is bureaucratized in the health service: For
everything there has to be a form and a code, and more is spend on
filling out these, it seems, than on serving patients.
is a bit more about the re-uploading of my site that I did yesterday:
I have yesterday, after uploading Nederlog, updated the index files for
my site (English and Dutch)
to show the right 2014 materials. (Yes, that was slow.) Next, I
re-uploaded most of the Help-section
again, mostly dated March 22, 2014, because I did change a little.
Finally, I think MEinAdam
is mostly in order since last month.
This means that I still have to do most in the philosophy section, and the logic and computing and me sections.
That is rather a lot to do, and the reason it progresses slowly is that
there are various difficulties with these sections, that also have
white backgrounds, which are still difficult for my eyes. In
there still is rather a lot to do that is quite boring and soon quite
painful to do.
But there is one decision I've made that simplifies it some: I decided not
to try to update the me section, on which I had
started in 2012 and 2013.
The main reasons for that decision are: I am
ill, for 36 years now; the section was renewed in 2010-2011, mostly
because of the 2009 news that there was a scientific explanation, which
since was refuted; I am not and never was a medical man; and also I
think that what is there is more than sufficient to get most of
facts about and around ME, which in fact are not many, and
also well caught by the files below.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
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 one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
 I do want to point out that I was one
of the very, very few, among tens of thousands, who
protested during the at least 18 years that the University of
Amsterdam held up the claim, also supported by its Board of Directors,
that "everybody knows that truth does not exist", which I first
heard stated, precisely as quoted but in Dutch, from prof. M.A. Brandt
in August of 1978, in a public lecture that served as the opening of
the academic year.
Almost everyone - almost all students, almost all staff members - of
the University of Amsterdam agreed that everybody knows that
truth does not exist, and indeed I was the only student since the end
of WW II who was removed from the University
of Amsterdam's faculty of philosophy briefly before taking my M.A. in
philosophy, because I had the temerity of asking questions about
this in public.
Also, I was removed as a "fascist terrorist", in spite of being ill
(which much pleased the fascist terrorists of the Board of
Directors who sanctioned it), in spite of having the freedom to state
my own opinions, in spite of having one of the best
resistance-backgrounds of all Dutchmen, and in spite of being a very
good student, and that in spite of my illness.
(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: