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Nederlog


  April
7, 2014
Crisis: Greenwald & Snowden, British Press, CIA, Rumsfeld, Hudson
   "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.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton
















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Sections
Introduction

1. Greenwald, Snowden Joint Address on Surveillance &
     Erosion of Rights

2. Press regulation: National titles could unite for more than
     an awards night

3. The CIA and the ‘Cult of Intelligence’ Will Manage to Keep
     Vast Majority of Senate Torture Report Secret
 
4. The Case for Donald Rumsfeld’s Prosecution
5. Michael Hudson: R is for Rentier

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of April 7. It is another crisis issue.

There was again not really much, but I did find five articles, that I serve below.

1.  Greenwald, Snowden Joint Address on Surveillance & Erosion of Rights

The first article today is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald made a joint appearance on Saturday in which they discussed how the "products of surveillance" include accumulation of metadata as well as drone strikes.

The two were speaking via separate video streams at a session of Amnesty International USA's annual human rights conference taking place at a hotel in downtown Chicago.

And it contains this (and this is from Reuters):

(Snowden and Greenwald) cautioned that government monitoring of "metadata" is more intrusive than directly listening to phone calls or reading emails and stressed the importance of a free press willing to scrutinize government activity. [..]

"Metadata is what allows an actual enumerated understanding, a precise record of all the private activities in all of our lives. It shows our associations, our political affiliations and our actual activities," said Snowden [...]

"My hope and my belief is that as we do more of that reporting and as people see the scope of the abuse as opposed to just the scope of the surveillance they will start to care more," [Greenwald] said.

Here is Glenn Greenwald:
"The premise that underlies the system of mass surveillance," Greenwald said, "is really the same principle and part of the same system — the idea that the government can do whatever it wants without even notifying its own citizens in any meaningful way that it's doing it, and can completely disregard the rights of its own citizens but even more so the rights of anybody who's not a citizen in order to exert dominion and control."

"One way it does that is through invasions. Another way is through torture. Another way is indefinite detention or drones. Another way is through mass surveillance," Greenwald said.

There is more under the dotted link, including a video (which I did not watch except for a small part: ugly sound).

2. Press regulation: National titles could unite for more than an awards night  

The next item is an article by Steve Hewlett on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

The British Press awards – in the past the scene of much bad behaviour – have been a bit subdued recently. Not surprising perhaps when you consider the phone-hacking/Leveson inquiry context in which they've been held. But this year's awards last week seemed, to this observer at least, to mark a significant change in tone. More people, an altogether more optimistic feel and a spread of award winners – the Mail on Sunday for its "Crystal Methodist" scoop about the Coop bank chairman, the Sunday People for "Nigella's Boiling Point" and the spectacular Saatchi/Lawson relationship breakdown, and to cap it all newspaper of the year for the Guardian – that suggest an industry getting its confidence back.

But in terms of where that industry is at, that last award is perhaps the most telling. The Guardian has not been popular with much of the rest of the press. Resented for its dogged pursuit of the phone-hacking story and blamed in some quarters for the Leveson inquiry which followed, not to mention plus what some see as the paper's "holier than thou" tone.
I have written about this before, and there is a lot more in the article. I want to make only one comment on the last quoted paragraph:

If this is what "
much of the rest of the press" thinks, it means that much of the rest of the press has totally sold out to government or the corporations, and is no longer a real and free press but has become a press made by lackeys, who proudly castrated themselves, and serve the interests that pay them by producing bullshit or trivia, and by accusing those who don't do of terrorism.

The Guardian is a very fine paper, and for a long time has been, and it also is about the only paper that I find readable: I daily check two Dutch papers, reputedly "for intellectuals", of which I have read one for forty years, from 1970-2010, but I have found these too are now mostly filled with shit, baloney and trivia, which also is the reason I gave up on them four years ago, incidentally completely apart from the crisis or the crisis series: I had my belly full with the shit of Louis Vuitton, Mercedes Benz etc.

So I am very glad there is The Guardian, and hope it may last long: I have mostly given up on Dutch papers, simply because they are compared to The Guardian these days mostly trash, and very dishonest and manipulative trash as well.

3.  The CIA and the ‘Cult of Intelligence’ Will Manage to Keep Vast Majority of Senate Torture Report Secret 

The next item is an article by Kevin Gosztola on Common Dreams:

Here is a small bit of it:

According to McClatchy Newspapers, the Senate report  CIA used “interrogation methods that were not approved by either the Justice Department or their own headquarters and illegally detained 26 of the 119″ captives they held in CIA custody.

While much of this has been understood to journalists and human rights groups that have been interested, the investigation also found that “critics inside the CIA were cut out of the debate over the program or ignored and the news media were manipulated with leaks that tended to blunt criticism of the agency.”

“The CIA’s high-level officials mismanaged the program,” and “interrogators who crossed the line into abusive behavior went unpunished.” The report also confirms the role of the CIA in the deaths of at least six captives.

Deception and hypocrisy has been employed by the CIA with success, and, through entertainment, such as the filmZero Dark Thirty, the agency has even been able to glorify and sensationalize what it has done in the global “war on terrorism.”

It is all very similar to how the agency acted to protect itself from scrutiny in the 1970s, when much of its covert operations in the 1950s and 1960s, including domestic spying on Americans, were beginning to become widely known.

This then is explained by Kevin Gosztola, in considerable detail.

I think I agree mostly with Gosztola on the chances that the Senate report will be published by the Senate or that the government will do it, for these seem pretty slim, that is, apart from small and redacted portions of it, also approved by the institution researched, the CIA.

But it is possible it will be made public in another way, by some whistleblower, who insists - correctly - that the public has the right to know what the Senate found out about the CIA, since it pays for it as well, and also if this would reflect badly on the CIA.

4.  The Case for Donald Rumsfeld’s Prosecution 

Next, an article by CÚsar Chelala on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

I have just finished watching the film “The Unknown Known” by Errol Morris, which is a long interview with Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense during the Iraq war, and cannot stop thinking about Rumsfeld’s role in the use of torture, for which he was widely condemned.

I have written about this before, on April 3, and CÚsar Chelala makes a good case why Rumsfeld should be prosecuted, though he probably will not. Here is the ending of the piece:

Decades ago, Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe how “normal people”, given the circumstances, could commit atrocious crimes.

The documentary “The Unknown Known,” draws its title from one of Mr. Rumsfeld’s most famous rhetorical pronouncements. In the film, Morris interviews Rumsfeld at length, and allows him to give his version of the facts that led to the Iraq war and subsequent events. Looking at Rumsfeld, totally oblivious and uncaring about the devastation that he and his accomplices unleashed in Iraq, I am tempted to call the process “the impunity of evil.”

Yes, indeed. Incidentally, Hannah Arendt's phrase does cover ordinary men (and women), and not merely "ordinary people" in quotation marks, and if you want to read a much better case for it than she made, you should consult Christopher R. Browning's "Ordinary Men", that makes the case quite well.

And if you have no time for that: The world wars have been mostly fought by ordinary men "doing their duty", which by and large was atrocious.

5.  Michael Hudson: R is for Rentier 

Finally, a brief article by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism:
In fact, this is about an Economic Dictionary that Michael Hudson is writing, that I wrote about before, namely on January 25, 2014. To quote myself from that page:
Actually, this is one from an ongoing series, that prints the Insider's Economic Dictionary, that is written by Michael Hudson, who is a professor of economics at the University of Kansas, Missouri.

If you click on here (also in the above linked piece), you'll get a list of the foregoing letters/articles; if you click on Michael Hudson's website, that is what you will get, where you find the same plus quite a lot more.

I linked this because I liked what I read, but so far haven't read most. In any case, this reminds me of my Philosophical Dictionary, that also goes its own way with regards to philosophy.
Here are two of today's items, to give you a taste:
Reaganomics: An economic slogan for the policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy (and especially for real estate) while increasing the Social Security tax on employees. (See Tax Shift and Laffer Curve). The effect was to quadruple the public debt during the Reagan-Bush administration, 1981-92. In addition to tax cuts, Reaganomics dismantled environmental regulations and deregulated industry in general, producing a stock-market and real estate boom that was the precursor to the economic bubble of the 1990s. See Chicago School and Asset-Price Inflation.

Rentier: Someone living on a fixed income, such as the French rentes, government bonds. What Keynes called a “functionless investor” in his recommendation for “euthanasia of the rentier” (General Theory, p. 376 1961 Papermacs edition, MacMillan & Company). Property rents and interest are the two major modern forms of rentier income. (See Adam Smith, Economic Rent and FIRE Sector.)

I like what I've read of it and do not have a high opinion of most economists.

Here is a final remark on one difference between this dictionary and mine on philosophy (there are several more): My dictionary is less limited as regards the length of the items.

---------------------------------
Note
[1] 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 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 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 quote from is quite pertinent.) 

About ME/CFS (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:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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