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Nederlog


  April
15, 2014
Crisis: Polk, Pulitzer * 3, Cellphones, Artificial Photosynthesis
   "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. "This award is for Snowden": Greenwald, Poitras Accept
     Polk Honor for Exposing NSA Surveillance

2. Pulitzer Committee Vindicates NSA Reporters With
     Highest Honor

3. Step Away From Your Cellphone! It May Be Killing You
4. Guardian and Washington Post each honored with
     Pulitzer for Public Service

5. Pulitzer Does Not Fully Express Power of Collaborative
     Snowden Reporting

6. Neil Tyson's Solution to Global Warming

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of April 15. It is another crisis issue.

There are six items today and they are nearly all positive, which happens very rarely in the
crisis series, that now is going on since September 1, 2008, when I realized something important had happened, at a time when all the Dutch papers and politicians were still very optimistic, and denied all evidence of the crisis.

Meanwhile, the crisis series has more than 450 files, of which the first 81 are in Dutch and the rest is in English.

Anyway - most is positive today, though I have thrown in one item on cell phones (that I do not use and never have used), basically because it may explain the considerable falls - 20%! - in sexual activity that I have written about in Nederlog repeatedly.

1.  "This award is for Snowden": Greenwald, Poitras Accept Polk Honor for Exposing NSA Surveillance

The first article today is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This is a long interview from which I select the introduction and two replies by Greenwald and one by Poitras.
Ten months ago, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald flew from New York to Hong Kong to meet National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Poitras and Greenwald did not return to the United States until this past Friday, when they flew from Berlin to New York to accept the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting. They arrived not knowing if they would be detained or subpoenaed after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described journalists working on the NSA story as Snowden’s "accomplices."
Note this is not the whole introduction. Also, since I have been closely following the crisis now since June 10, 2013, and fairly well since September 1, 2008, altogether with over 450 files like the present one since 2008, which I do not know anybody matches, I assume I may and indeed must presuppose some things.

Next, here is the first Greenwald quote:

GLENN GREENWALD: We weren’t so worried that we weren’t willing to get on the plane. I mean, if we were really worried, we wouldn’t have come. There was no need for us to come. But we knew, certainly, that it was a risk.

I mean, I think the important thing to realize about this is that American national security officials and other officials in the government have deliberately created an environment where they wanted us to think there was a risk. They have very deliberately and publicly suggested that the journalism we were doing was a crime. They have advocated that we be arrested. They have had their favorite media figures openly speculate about the possibility that we would be. They detained my partner for nine hours.
Yes, indeed. Here is the first Poitras quote:
LAURA POITRAS: Sure. I mean, you know, the other risk that I think that we face as journalists right now are the risk of subpoena, where the government subpoenas our material to try to get information about our source. And we know that the government has been using the border as a sort of legal no man’s land to get access to journalists’ materials. I mean, I’ve experienced that for six years, where I’ve been detained, interrogated and had equipment seized at the border, and never told, you know, for what reason that’s happening.
This is indeed a great danger, and Laura Poitras has been held up around 40 times the last six years. Here is the final Greenwald quote:
GLENN GREENWALD: For me, the most significant revelation is the ambition of the United States government and its four English-speaking allies to literally eliminate privacy worldwide, which is not hyperbole. The goal of the United States government is to collect and store every single form of electronic communication that human beings have with one another and give themselves the capacity to monitor and analyze those communications. So, even though I’ve been warning for a long time about this being an out-of-control, rogue surveillance state, long before I ever heard the name Edward Snowden, to see in the documents that that not only is their ambition, but something that they’re increasingly close to achieving, was, to me, by far the most significant goal, something that I don’t think anyone in the world knew or understood. And every other revelation is really just a subset of that one.
I agree with Glenn Greenwald that "The goal of the United States government is to collect and store every single form of electronic communication that human beings have with one another and give themselves the capacity to monitor and analyze those communications".

However, I must disagree politely with his "
something that I don’t think anyone in the world knew or understood": I really wrote it out all by myself on December 25, 2012, in Crisis: Christmas sermon: Hypotheses about CF+SS and also Edward Snowden understood this at that time and before, as did many others working for the NSA.

As usual, my more theoretical Nederlogs tend to be less read, and also I received the last six years only very few - over the last year (over 12 months): 4 (four) independent responses reached me - and nearly only completely trivial reactions to my sites, that pull at least 1500 visitors a day most of that time, and up to 10.000 hits a day - and which I all find very odd, unless the Dutch secret services blocks nearly all traffic, of course, but it is really as I said it is. [2]

Finally, for those who care to use their minds, here is a somewhat reworked version of the last link of January 31, 2014:
Crisis: Hypotheses about the causes of the crisis - and the hypotheses are the same as in 2012, but there are less of them. [3]

Also, there is quite a lot more under the last dotted link.

2. Pulitzer Committee Vindicates NSA Reporters With Highest Honor

The next item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truth Dig:

This starts as follows:
The 19 journalists, academics and writers who make up the Pulitzer Prize committee defied the Obama administration and defenders of the NSA’s secretive surveillance operations around the world by honoring The Guardian US and The Washington Post with the award for public service for the papers’ groundbreaking articles based on the leaks of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
This is surely good news! Here is Robert Scheer, quoted in the article, who is the editor of Truth Dig:
“What splendid courage!” he said in a statement. “The Pulitzer Prize committee honored the essence of justice by bestowing its most prestigious award—for public service—to The Guardian and The Washington Post for exposing one of the most important stories concerning civil liberties in the history of journalism. By recognizing the astounding threat posed by the NSA to the basic freedoms our government is sworn to observe, the award effectively honors Edward Snowden and, through his example, other brave whistle-blowers including Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack, as well as WikiLeaks Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange. They all rose to the challenge of saving our freedom from the political charlatans who attack our privacy by choosing the devil of false security over the angel of individual liberty. Raise a glass to the whistle-blowers and the brave journalists, led by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, who have risked so much to preserve the spirit of our Constitution when others charged with that task, from the president on down, have so clearly betrayed that sacred trust.”
Yes indeed: quite so! And here is Edward Snowden:

In a statement posted on The Guardian’s website, Snowden said, “Today’s decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance.”

His actions in leaking the documents “would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers,” he added.

There is more under the last dotted link.

3.  Step Away From Your Cellphone! It May Be Killing You

The next item is an article by Natasha Hakimi Zapata on Truth Dig:

This starts as follows:

According to an excerpt from “Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other Wifi-Age Devices” by Martin Blank, we’re all unwittingly participating in what’s been called “the largest biological experiment ever.” Science has shown that the electromagnetic fields generated by our cellphones (you know, those things you place next to your head, hands and vital organs on a regular basis) have an impact on “living beings” and have been proven to “[damage and cause] mutations in DNA.” 

The question remains, however, how the effects of extended exposure to electromagnetic fields will manifest themselves. Although we won’t know the answer for years, Blank believes it’s crucial to be aware of possible side effects in the here and now and minimize the time we spend attached to our phones.

In fact, there are data quoted in the article, and there also is a link in it to the article by Martin Blank in Salon.

All I add here and now is that this does suggest a good cause for the radical downfall in sexual activities - 20% in England - that I noted in Nederlog.

4. Guardian and Washington Post each honored with Pulitzer for Public Service 

Next, an article by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows (and repeats part of what was quoted above):

The Washington Post and the Guardian/US were both awarded one of journalism's top honors on Monday—the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service— for their separate but related reporting on the NSA's widespread surveillance documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill from the Guardian and the Washington Post's Barton Gellman sent shock waves across the globe for their reporting on the leaks—eliciting responses from citizens and governments alike and spurring a new era of backlash against government intrusion.

Following news of the honor, Snowden released a statement thanking the Pulitzer committee for recognizing those involved in the NSA reporting. He wrote:

Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.

Yes, indeed. There is considerably more under the last dotted link.

5. Pulitzer Does Not Fully Express Power of Collaborative Snowden Reporting 

Next, an article by Jay Rosen (who teaches journalism) on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
The Washington Post and the Guardian won the Pulitzer Prize for public service today. There’s no prize for the network of individuals and institutions that brought the surveillance story forward.

As the New York Times reported:

Though the citation did not name specific reporters, the work was led by Barton Gellman at the Washington Post and Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill at the Guardian, and Laura Poitras, a filmmaker and journalist who worked with both newspapers.

And people will debate that— not naming the reporters. Just as they debate the handling of the Snowden documents by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. (Disclosure: I am an advisor to First Look Media.)

Here I share some thoughts about the Snowden story — or story system — that go beyond what the prizes can recognize.

I merely add that you can read them under the last dotted link.

6.  Neil Tyson's Solution to Global Warming

Finally, an article by Chris Mooney on Mother Jones:
I quote just one bit in which Tyson is quoted:

That's where Tyson brought up climate change. Here's how he put it:

But if we could figure out the trade secrets of photosynthesis? Every other source of energy we depend on today—coal, oil, natural gas—would become obsolete. Photosynthesis is the ultimate green power. It doesn't pollute the air, and is in fact carbon neutral. Artificial photosynthesis, on a big enough scale, could reduce the greenhouse effect that's driving climate change in a dangerous direction.

Tyson isn't kidding: The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, sponsored by the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is busy at work trying to build "molecular-level energy conversion 'machines' that generate fuels directly from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide." Just the simple stuff.

Also, it should be added this, at best, still experimental. But it is one of the great ideas: to get energy from artificial photosynthesis.

And as I have also said in Nederlog: When I gave up marxism and politics when 20, in 1970, I traded these in for science as the way to emancipate mankind, and this still seems to me to have been the right choice, at least for me.

---------------------------------
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.)

[2] So I am sorry
to those who mailed me and got no reply: I answered the last 12 months 2 reactions on Wittgenstein and 1 on a book by Multatuli - and otherwise I got no credible reactions at all - and if I would have had them I would have answered them, politely also.

[3] Also, I should like to say that only very rarely have a set of explicit general hypotheses about society been so fast and so well confirmed - and once again: in December 2012 I did know of Glenn Greenwald's existence, but not of Edward Snowden or Laura Poitras.
 

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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