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. The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is
a Drop in the Internet
2. Drone killings case thrown out in US
How we can fight back against the Supreme
4. Noam Chomsky: Ecology,
Update on my mB12-protocol
This is the Nederlog of April
5. It is another crisis
It also is a Saturday, and I did not find much: four articles. They
follow below, to which I have added an update on my mB12-protocol that
I recently changed, experimentally.
The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is a Drop in
The first article today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed - and it
seems to me that the internet's possibilities, that currently include
its being mostly unencrypted, have fundamentally changed the
activities of "western
intelligence agencies", and
changed them to something rather like the Stasi - except that the "western intelligence agencies" know much more and are more powerful than the Stasi
This week, the Associated
a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International
Development to create “a
Twitter-like Cuban communications network” run through “secret
shell companies” in order to create the false appearance of being
a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the service’s Cuban users
was the fact that “American contractors were gathering their
private data in the hope that it might be used for political
purposes”–specifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment
dissent in Cuba and subvert its government. According to top-secret
documents published today by The Intercept, this sort of
operation is frequently discussed at western intelligence agencies,
which have plotted ways to covertly use social media
for ”propaganda,” “deception,” “mass messaging,” and “pushing
These ideas–discussions of
how to exploit the internet, specifically social media, to
surreptitiously disseminate viewpoints friendly to western interests
and spread false or damaging information about targets–appear
repeatedly throughout the archive of materials provided by NSA
whistleblower Edward Snowden.
That is: they are now for the first time and on a large scale
attempting to influence and mold society, using all possible means for
that, and these are mostly foul.
As they put it in one of their own graphics, these are their current
concerns, in a considerable part:
again that, on the scale this is practised and is projected is no
longer spying: it is doing politics, in a secretive,
hidden, fundamentally completely dishonest way.
Indeed, the graphic is immediately followed by the following paragraph
by Glenn Greenwald:
The document was
presented by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG).
The unit’s self-described purpose is “using
online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,”
including “information ops (influence or disruption).” The British
agency describes its JTRIG and Computer Network Exploitation operations
as a “major part of business” at GCHQ, conducting “5% of Operations.”
"something happen in the real or cyber world" is out and out political.
Also, as done by the GCHQ it is totally dishonest deception, explicit
propaganda, and gets spread about by institutions that are wholly other
than they are publicly advertised to be.
Here are Glenn Greenwald's concluding words - and there is a lot more
in the article:
Yes, I agree - and I
know that formally this should not happen, but then any objection is
brushed aside by arguments that "terrorism" must be countered; "trust"
is necessary; and anyway all operations are secret, as is all oversight.
But these documents,
along with the AP’s exposure of the sham “Cuban Twitter” program,
underscore how aggressively western governments are seeking to exploit
the internet as a means to manipulate political activity and shape
Those programs, carried
out in secrecy and with little accountability (it seems nobody in
Congress knew of the “Cuban Twitter” program in any detail) threaten
the integrity of the internet itself, as state-disseminated propaganda
masquerades as free online speech and organizing. There is thus little
or no ability for an internet user to know when they are being covertly
propagandized by their government, which is precisely what makes it so
appealing to intelligence agencies, so powerful, and so dangerous.
2. Drone killings case thrown out in US
The next item is an
article by Reuters on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
That seems to be another judge
who has given up on the fundamental task of the law, or indeed who has
been secretively warned.
A US federal judge has
dismissed a lawsuit filed against the government by the families of
three American citizens killed by drones in Yemen, saying senior
officials cannot be held personally responsible for money damages for
the act of conducting war.
The families of the three
– including Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born militant Muslim cleric
who had joined al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate, as well as his teenage son –
sued over their 2011 deaths in US drone strikes, arguing that the
killings were illegal.
Judge Rosemary Collyer of
the US district court in Washington threw out the case, which had named
as defendants the former defence secretary and CIA chief Leon Panetta,
the former senior military commander and CIA chief David Petraeus and
two other top military commanders.
"The question presented
is whether federal officials can be held personally liable for their
roles in drone strikes abroad that target and kill U.S. citizens,"
Collyer said in her opinion. "The question raises fundamental issues
regarding constitutional principles and it is not easy to answer."
But the judge said she
would grant the government's motion to dismiss the case.
It seems clear to me that Obama's drone program, in which he every
Tuesday gets to decide who he is going to kill by drones, often based
on mere suspicion, in countries he is not at war with, is deeply
illegal, and also Anwar al-Awaki was an American, who are supposed not
to be killed by American troops, without any due legal process, that is.
Finally, it would also seem to me that "The question presented is whether federal officials can be
held personally liable for their roles in drone strikes abroad that
target and kill U.S. citizens" has been answered, namely by the
Nuremberg trials: Federal officials are "personally liable" for everything they do.
There also this from the lawyers of the ACLU and the CCR:
Yes, I agree.
"This is a deeply
troubling decision that treats the government's allegations as proof
while refusing to allow those allegations to be tested in court," said
ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi. "The court's view that it cannot provide a
remedy for extrajudicial killings when the government claims to be at
war, even far from any battlefield, is profoundly at odds with the
Centre for Constitutional
Rights lawyer Maria LaHood said the judge "effectively convicted" Anwar
al-Awlaki "posthumously based solely on the government's say-so".
LaHood said the judge also found that the constitutional rights of the
son and of Khan "weren't violated because the government didn't target
"It seems there's no
remedy if the government intended to kill you, and no remedy if it
didn't. This decision is a true travesty of justice for our
constitutional democracy and for all victims of the US government's
unlawful killings," LaHood said.
3. How we can fight back against the Supreme Court
The next item is an
article by Cenk Uygur (the main host of The Young Turks) on The
This starts as follows:
Let me start by quoting
two great men and a crook that died the other day.
"The issue today is the
same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be
allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." -- Thomas
When asked if his
payments to politicians had worked, Charles Keating replied, "I want to
say in the most forceful way I can: I certainly hope so."
When asked outside of Independence Hall if we have a republic or a
monarchy, Benjamin Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."
Well, here we are, aren't
we? Right at the point where we are about to find out whether we can
keep it or not. The Supreme Court has decided that a small amount of
people will get to control our entire political system. Which
politician or political party can resist hundreds of millions of
dollars put in at once? Maybe one person can resist, maybe one party
can resist for a small period of time, but eventually they will
In Congressional races, 95
percent of the time the person with more money wins. It doesn't matter
if they are a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. It
doesn't matter what their ideas are or what their ideology is. It
doesn't matter what they think at all. You have more money and you will
win 19 out of 20 times.
Yes, quite so - although this also shows that most of the US
voters are - none too intelligent.
Next, there is this:
Justice Anthony Kennedy
destroyed our republic. We knew Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Thomas were
corporate robots. We knew they were going to say disingenuously that
corporations or billionaires pouring in millions into our politicians'
pockets wouldn't lead to corruption. What an unbelievable joke. But it
turns out that Kennedy was the biggest joke of all. He claims that
millions in campaign donations won't even result in the appearance of
corruption. Can anyone with a shred of intelligence honestly believe
So, it was nice while it
lasted. Democracy at the national level is dead now. We have replaced
it with an open auction. This will not at some future date lead to a
worst case scenario. We're already living in that scenario.
You don't have to worry
about the top 1 percent. Now, the 0.00024 percent of the country who
donate over a $100,000 to politicians will rule us all. Because even
the federal limit of $123,200 per election cycle has now been
eliminated by the McCutcheon decision. They can now spend unlimited money "contributing" to our politicians.
Yes, though I am
willing to blame the other four judges that sided with Kennedy as well.
Also, I noted "Democracy
at the national level is dead now": this is important, because there still are
possibilities on the state level. This I will return to below.
As to the 1 percent:
that is mostly a side issue, that is not really relevant. It marks a
distinction in income that serves as a symbolic point, and that does
explain who profited from the crisis: those who earn at least as well
as 1% maximal of the population, and that still seems true, and not
Then again, the
figure of 0.00024 percent
is relevant, and corresponds to 1 in 4168 (rounded), for this simply
says how many did donate "over a
$100,000 to politicians". But
this may shift up considerably, though indeed it never can get much
Anyway - there is rather a
lot more in the article, and that is mostly dedicated to Cenk Uygur's
Wolf Pac, that he founded with one mission only:
amend the constitution
to get the corrupting influence of money out of politics
This is for my
American readers. I agree with it, but I am not an American.
Chomsky: Ecology, Ethics, Anarchism
an article by Javier Sethness on AlterNet:
In fact, this is an
interview with Chomsky, that is introduced by the interviewer as
Here are some selections,
all from Chomsky, with my reactions - and the format is that the
indented parts are quotes from Chomsky, and the non-indented parts are
I had the great good
fortune recently to interview Professor Noam Chomsky, renowned
anarcho-syndicalist, to discuss the question of ecological crisis and
anarchism as a remedy.
My own view is
that anarchism flows quite naturally out of major concerns and
commitments of the Enlightenment, which found an expression in
classical liberalism, and classical liberalism essentially was
destroyed by the rise of capitalism — it's inconsistent with it.
I would say I am a
who is much inspired by the Enlightenment, and where
I mean by "classical liberal" especially Alexis de Tocqueville and John
Stuart Mill, both of the 19th Century. But I probably am not an
The "probably" is
there mainly because there are many different kinds of
anarchism. I am probably not one because for me (1) it is fairly
obvious that complex society needs
some form of government and some publicly maintained and enforced
system of law and order to work at all, and (2) I am also not
optimistic about the human average, thinking with Hazlitt that
mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago.
The theory is plain enough; but they are prone to mischief, "to every
good work reprobate.""
But I have read a fair
amount of anarchism, and one of the things I like about it is that it
is much inspired by human individual freedom, which it also seeks to
protect and further.
Well, if you take a look
at markets, they are a recipe for suicide. Period. In market systems,
you don't take account of what economists call externalities. So say
you sell me a car. In a market system, we're supposed to look after our
own interests, so I make the best deal I can for me; you make the best
deal you can for you. We do not take into account the effect on him.
That's not part of a market transaction.
Yes, indeed: this is a
good criticism of markets, namely that they tend to eliminate all
considerations of any human ends and goals apart from individual
monetary gain. That is simply stupid, and the main reason this
got popular nevertheless was an enormous confusion of values, basically
by the trick that "individual
monetary gain" =
"individual freedom", which is just a lie.
Perhaps. I agree this is
how it works, but it also seems to me many are genuinely
convinced that market
principles are good and lead to the good. They are not, and certainly
not in isolation, nor extended to everything, but indeed "free market"
and "market principles" are nearly always used ideologically
rather than rationally.
The task of the state is
to rescue the rich and the powerful and to protect them, and if that
violates market principles, okay, we don't care about market
principles. The market principles are essentially for the poor.
destruction now is at the level of 65 million years ago, when an
asteroid hit the Earth and destroyed the dinosaurs and a huge number of
species — massive species destruction. That's being replicated right
now, and humans are the asteroid. And we're on the list, not far.
I suppose this is
correct, but as I have said before: My main lesson from watching "the
environmental movement" for some 45 years is that it was almost
completely ineffective except in helping politicians to acquire a moral
patina that they do not deserve at all. In brief: society needs to be
transformed before the many problems with nature can be solved, if
indeed this still is possible.
involve common effort and solidarity and mutual support and concern for
others — those are out of the market system. The market system is based
on maximization of individual consumption, and that is highly
destructive in itself. It's destructive even for the human beings
involved — it turns them into sociopathic individuals.
Yes and no. "The market
system" is good for some things - but the main problem is that it is
almost never clearly defined, neither by the proponents nor by
the opponents, nor is it well reasoned about, rationally speaking.
totalitarian institutions — we don't get access to their internal
Or as Hazlitt said: "Corporate bodies
have no soul." And indeed they are also secretive, at least
concerning their real ends and ways (for there also is a lot of
given to the public as "public
My own feeling is
that people like Adam Smith were basically right, that there is a
natural sympathy for others. I think the rich and powerful understand
that. I think that's one of the reasons why there's such massive effort
to destroy the institutions in the society that are based on solidarity.
This is about Smith's moral
philosophy, and - I say - he clearly was right: Of course there
is natural sympathy for others (what else is love?) though it depends a
lot on who the others are, and clearly there also is antipathy for
others (what else is hate?), and again it depends a lot.
Then again, I doubt that many of the rightists see this, and indeed it
is their lack of seeing this, and their fondness for
simplistic baloney of the Ayn Rand type, to the effects that "greed is
good" and "being selfish is natural", that contributes to their
attempts to destroy "the
institutions in the society that are based on solidarity".
Why should I pay
taxes? Well, you pay taxes so that the kid across the street will go to
school, because you care about other people. But that has to
be driven out of people's heads. It's a little like markets and
consumption. Markets are favored by the economics profession, by the
rich, and so on, up to a point — they really don't believe in them,
they want the powerful state to come in and save them if they're in
trouble. But ideologically they're preferred, because they restrict
human action to individual self-gratification — not mutual support, not
protection of the commons.
The best brief answer to the
question why one should pay taxes is by Oliver
Wendell Holmes Jr. (the Supreme Court judge): "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society".
I quoted that from Wikipedia, that also has this: "In his will, Holmes left his residuary estate
to the United States government".
Anyway - I like the above brief quasi-discussion, but I should also say
that Chomsky is more complicated, and so am I.
Update on my mB12-protocol
Finally, an update on my
mB12 protocol. The last one was recent, on March
27 and reported I was doing well - relatively, always (!) - on
three metafolates a day, together with the rest of the protocol.
Well... I have been doing - relatively - well on that for a whole
month, each and every day, in which I did some more than in most months
the last 10 or 12 years or so, and so I decided to increase the dose of
MFs to 4 and added another K for safety, to arrive at the following
protocol, in which
the bold underlined items are links to Wikipedia:
This is the directly usable
form of folate, and part of the protocol. (4 pills.)
vitamin C: 4
I think - statistics support
me - this makes sense for me. (4 pills)
kalium: 800 mg:
This is part of the
protocol. I do need at least 400 mg, given the rest. (4 pills)
mB12: 1000 mcg: Note it is methylcobalamin, and
I currently use B12 infusion,
from Enzymatic Therapy. (1 pill)
3000 mcg: This is adenosylcobalamin. I
currently use 1 every other day (roughly).
calcium + vit D +
vit K: 800 mg + 5 mcg + 80 mcg. This is mainly because I do not use milk anymore. (2 pills)
VM-75: A multivitamin
+ mineral supplement from Solgar, that contains about everything, that I will not list here, also
because it seems - experimentally - most is not very relevant for me.
And that is it. Here are
what I've changed:
now take 4 pills instead of 3. This is experimental: I will see whether
I can do this for 4 weeks without getting worse.
it's the same. If you want to know more go to March
27 or search the indexes of Nederlog since 2010 with "B12".
kalium: I added
one pill. Again experimental.
calcium + vit D +
vit K: This replaces the earlier pills I took. (There is no deep
justification: I buy what is available.)
Note that this whole protocol is speculative: it is based on
decent biochemistry, and it has been tested, but not extensively. I am
following it because I have been ill for 36 years now, and this worked
the best for me, but it is also true that I got this working fairly
well only in 2012, and then was upset by a serious form of keratoconjunctivitis
Finally, as before this specific protocol also is speculative: I have
to see whether I can keep this up for four weeks, and do relatively
well on it. I will tell you in four weeks, or before if it doesn't work.
 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.)
(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: