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. Glenn Greenwald: from
Martin Luther King to Anonymous,
the state targets dissenters
not just "bad guys"
2. Glenn Greenwald: how the
NSA tampers with US-made
3. How the Right Wing is
4. Rising Sea Level Threat:
Glaciers 'Beyond the Point of No
5. The long life of Homo
6. My mB12-protocol
This is the Nederlog of May
13. It is a crisis issue.
It also starts - again - with two items with or about Glenn
Greenwald, for the same reason as yesterday: His new book is published
today. There also is an article by Reich, who convincingly shows that
the U.S. has been getting worse and worse health care since 1990, and
an article on the melting glaciers, that shows it will last a while,
still. Also, there is a long article from 2011 about Russia that I
liked, and I have a bit of information about my mB12 protocol, but
1. Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King
to Anonymous, the
state targets dissenters not just "bad guys"
The first item is
article by Glenn Greenwald on The Guardian:
In fact, this is a
pre-publication of a part of his new book. "No Place To Hide".
I will start with quoting the epigraph:
Don't believe the
argument that mass surveillance is only a problem for wrongdoers.
Governments have repeatedly spied on anyone who challenges their power,
says Glenn Greenwald in an extract from his book about Edward Snowden
and the NSA, No Place to Hide
But what is "a
wrongdoer"?! In the absence of any legal judgment? And almost always in
the absence of hard evidence that those accused of "wrongdoing" did or
said anything illegal?
The simple answer is: A "wrongdoer" is anyone who opposes the present
government, or parts of the government, or one or more persons in the
government, in any way (also merely verbal).
And that is utterly insane totalitarian
baloney, at least in a democratic and free and open society, where it
is taken for granted, and indeed is a legal right, to differ
in many ways from the opinions of many men and women, whether or not
these men and women are members of the government.
But that totalitarian baloney is dealt with, these days, as
if it has the force of a papal opinion in the eyes of the catholic
faithful: Whoever opposes the goverment is counted as a
"wrongdoer" by the government - and against wrongdoers anything is
permitted. As will be explained.
Next, here is Glenn Greenwald:
wrong" in the eyes of such institutions encompasses far more than
illegal acts, violent behaviour and terrorist plots. It typically
extends to meaningful dissent and any genuine challenge. It is the
nature of authority to equate dissent with wrongdoing, or at least with
In fact, by far the most
"wrongdoers" only have some dissenting ideas and values, to
which they have the legal right. But they are considered
"wrongdoers" by the present authorities, simply because they are
dissenting and because the present authorities are incredibly
powerful, and can track and trace anyone, and do so.
Also, a word of criticism: I do not think that it "is the nature of authority" to confuse dissenters and
"wrongdoers": it is the nature of absolute non-democratic or totalitarian authority to do so; but it is not
of legal, non-totalitarian democratic authority.
What is true is that legal,
non-totalitarian democratic authority always has been in the
minority in the world, till now at least, and what is also true is that
the main way to see whether an authority is
growing into a totalitarian form or has arrived there, is to see
how they deal with non-violent dissent.
Here is more from Glenn Greenwald on the topic of how the US government
recently dealt with non-violent dissent:
During the Bush
years, for example, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) revealed, as the group put it in 2006, "new details of
Pentagon surveillance of Americans opposed to the Iraq war, including
Quakers and student groups". The Pentagon was "keeping tabs on
non-violent protesters by collecting information and storing it in a
military anti-terrorism database". The evidence shows that assurances
that surveillance is only targeted at those who "have done something
wrong" should provide little comfort, since a state will reflexively
view any challenge to its power as wrongdoing.
I have not quoted rather
a lot of historical examples, that you can check out yourself. What
interests me here is that it is very recent, and it gives a view of the
Pentagon that shows it is totalitarian, and no longer democratic:
The Pentagon was
"keeping tabs on non-violent protesters by collecting information and
storing it in a military anti-terrorism database".
For these people are
non-violent, and they only committed what Orwell called "a thought
crime": they dissented from some opinions of some of their governors.
And because of that, they are surveilled and stored in "a military anti-terrorism database", indeed quite as if they are
terrorists (and with unknown consequences for the rest of their lives).
Not only that: these days secret services do far more than
merely collecting information:
This means that the
present day secret services target their own population of
persons if these are known to dissent from some of the opinions of some
of their governors
One PowerPoint slide
presented by GCHQ surveillance officials at the 2012 SigDev conference
describes two forms of attack: "information ops (influence or
disruption)" and "technical disruption". GCHQ refers to these measures
as "Online Covert Action", which is intended to achieve what the
document calls "The 4 Ds: Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive".
Another slide describes the
tactics used to "discredit a target". These include "set up a
honeytrap", "change their photos on social networking sites", "write a
blog purporting to be one of their victims" and "email/text their
colleagues, neighbours, friends, etc".
(1) as to be surveilled in any possible way, as if they
(2) to be opposed by secret service operations that are
all grossly illegal -
namely: with the stated ends to "Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive", indeed by the grossest and
most illegal forms of trickery and deception, which
(3) are supposed not to matter and not to
be known by almost anyone,
because they are done by the secret
This is the state doing the job an enemy's secret
service might do on its own population of dissenters, all by
completely illegal means, but all protected by secrecy and by
many protections from the government.
Here is more on the operations of the GCHQ:
The document then
lays out what it calls the "Disruption Operational Playbook". This
includes "infiltration operation", "ruse operation", "false flag
operation", and "sting operation". It vows a "full roll out" of the
disruption programme "by early 2013" as "150+ staff [are] fully
This is how Cameron's
government tries to do politics these days and deals with those who dissented from some opinions of some of
their governors: more than 150 totally secret illegal tricksters,
trained in and proud of very many totally illegal means, and
fully protected by all the forces of government, that tries to keep
everything secret, are working to "Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive" anyone who dissents from
Cameron and co's political wisdoms - indeed including the staff of the
Here is the last bit of Glenn Greenwald - and no, you did not get "All of the evidence": For that you need to read the last dotted link or buy the
All of the
evidence highlights the implicit bargain that is offered to citizens:
pose no challenge and you have nothing to worry about. Mind your own
business, and support or at least tolerate what we do, and you'll be
fine. Put differently, you must refrain from provoking the authority
that wields surveillance powers if you wish to be deemed free of
Yes, indeed. And if you
are not "deemed
free of wrongdoing", that
is, if you publicly dissent in any way, then you risk that your life,
your job, your boss, your relations, or your family become the subjects
of secret attempts to "Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive",
that are all covered, all lied about and are all kept secret by your
very fine and noble governors.
2. Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers
with US-made internet
next item is another
article by Glenn Greenwald on The Guardian:
This starts as
follows, and is, as the epigraph says, another quote from Greenwald's "No
Place To Hide":
As Greenwald makes clear, he
thinks that it is entirely possible for the Chinese government to try
to do so, or indeed to have done so.
For years, the US
government loudly warned the world that Chinese routers and other internet devices pose a
"threat" because they are built with backdoor surveillance
functionality that gives the Chinese government the ability to spy on
anyone using them. Yet what the NSA's documents show is that
Americans have been engaged in precisely the activity that the US
accused the Chinese of doing.
The problem is that the NSA does the same, in secret, to
anybody, it seems (for they are out, explicitly, they themselves
say, to capture all the data they can get):
A June 2010 report
from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is
shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts –
routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from
the US before they are delivered to the international customers.
The agency then implants
backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal
and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all
their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT
tradecraft … is very hands-on (literally!)".
Again, that is quite
illegal - but don't worry: it's the government or their contractors
who are being quite illegal - besides being very dangerous: others may
find and use some of these "backdoor
surveillance tools" as well, to
There is considerably more
under the last dotted link.
3. How the Right Wing is Killing Women
next item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as
According to a report
released last week in the widely-respected health research journal, The
Lancet, the United States now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on
maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.
To put it bluntly, for
every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died.
That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in
Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.
A woman giving birth in
America is more than twice as likely to die as a woman in Saudi Arabia
The reason is the bad
state of the U.S. health care. Also, while you may - perhaps - doubt
the Saudi Arabian or Chinese numbers, here are the U.S. numbers for
1990, 2003 and 2013:
In 1990, the maternal
mortality rate in America was 12.4 women per 100,000 births. In 2003,
it was 17.6. Now it’s 18.5.
That’s not a measurement
error because we’ve been measuring the rate of maternal death in the
United States the same way for decades.
By contrast, the rate has
been dropping in most other nations.
There is quite a lot
more that I skip, but here is Reich's conclusion:
Right-wing ideology is
trumping the health needs of millions of Americans.
Let’s be perfectly clear:
These policies are literally killing women.
Yes, I think they are.
Sea Level Threat: Glaciers 'Beyond the Point of No Return'
next item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Glaciers in the
West Antarctic "have passed the point of no return," threatening
greater sea level rise impacts than previously thought, scientists at
NASA and the University of California, Irvine warning in a new study.
Since I am living in
Holland, in the part that lies several meters below the current sea
level, I was a bit interested in when I need to start worrying.
which focus on the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, were
published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The glaciers' grounding
lines — the points at least one thousand feet below ice where they
first lose contact with land — are moving further inland, and as that
happens, the glaciers' flow speeds accelerate. And the faster they
flow, the more they thin— that means their days are likely numbered.
While the time
frame of the "collapse" will take at least 200 years and perhaps over
1,000 years, it has already begun — losing 10 feet of elevation per
year in some spots — and appears to be inevitable.
... I am not saying this
isn't serious, but there are more serious things (for me).
long life of Homo sovieticus
next item is an article by an unknown in The Economist, of December
reason this is here is that this seems like a good article, and also
uses a term I first knew from Zinoviev (with whom I also disagree quite
a lot, but whom I also know of since 1975 as a logician) : See my
article from 2009: On Zinoviev's
Theory of (Soviet) Man.
reason this is here is that I have not written anything in Nederlog
about the developments in the Ukraine, mainly because I neither know
Russian nor Ukrainian; do not know much of the region; and all I do
hear seems to be quite partial.
The article is from December 2011, and does not say anything about the
Ukraine, but it does give what seems to me to be some decent
information on Putin's Russia, where most ordinary people seem to long
for the days of the Soviet Union.
I will quote only two bits. Here is the first:
Russia is still a
hybrid state. It is smaller, more consumerist and less collective than
the Soviet Union. But while the ideology has gone, the mechanism for
sustaining political power remains. Key institutions, including courts,
police and security services, television and education, are used by
bureaucrats to maintain their own power and wealth. The presidential
administration, an unelected body, still occupies the building (and
place) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
Actually, I am not
amazed and indeed Putin is a former KGB-man. But the main reason that
the present Russia is still much like an authoritarian capitalist
version of the Soviet Union is that it has been socialistic from
More important, the Soviet
mental software has proved much more durable than the ideology itself.
And there is
As Yegor Gaidar, a
prominent liberal economist, warned in 1994, “The carcass of a
bureaucratic system can become the carcass of a mafia system, depending
on its goals.” By the time his book appeared in 2009 his warning had
become reality. In the past few years this “monstrous hybrid” has
started to extend its tentacles into every sphere of public life where
money can be made. Examples of violence against businessmen abound.
This adds up to a Soviet-style policy of negative selection, where the
best and most active are suppressed or eliminated while parasitic
bureaucrats and law enforcers are rewarded. What Stalin wrought by
repression and extermination, today's Russia achieves by corruption and
Again I am not amazed. Anyway
- there is rather a lot more in the article, including a quite
I realized I still have to say something about my mB12 protocol, although
there isn't much news.
The previous note about this was on May 2,
2014, and in fact it has not changed, that is, I take 1600 mcg of
metafolate each day (2 pills), and I have been doing reasonably well on
In fact, the whole protocol of April 5, 2014
applies: It is precisely the same, except that I added 4
magnesium pills a day since almost three weeks now, which amounts to a
double dose of the Recommended Daily Allowance (but I am 6 ft 4 and I
Anyway... I think this helps some, as before, and I am judging this
especially by how much I can do on a day, which is better
- a bit, not much - than it has been since many years, I think indeed
since 15 or 20 years, though also without curing me and without getting
me to a level comparable with healthy people.
Also, the improvements go slow. Then again: the whole treatment is
speculative, although it is based on good biochemistry, and it does
help, so I am not complaining.
There will be a new update in the beginning of June, if I do not change
anything, which is not likely, and the probable update is that I will
continue as I am doing now, for I do have considerable experience with
that, and it definitely does help some.
 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: