Prev-IndexNL-Next

Nederlog


  June
5, 2014
Crisis: Germany, Great Britain, US, Totalitarianism, Corporations, Spying, Personal
   "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
















Prev- crisis -Next
Sections
Introduction

1. Germany opens inquiry into claims NSA tapped Angela
     Merkel's phone

2. Secret terror trial is threat to open justice, human rights
     campaigners warn

3. In U.S., 42% Believe Creationist View of Human Origins
4. Participatory Totalitarianism
5. The Way to Stop Corporate Lawbreaking is to Prosecute
     the People Who Break the Law

6. 5,000 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always
     Aimed at Crushing Dissent

7. Personal

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of June 5. It is an ordinary crisis log. Item 7 lists three things I should have listed before, but forgot. The first two are health related, but the last is a fine interview by Abby Martin with Binney and Wiebe about the NSA.

1. Germany opens inquiry into claims NSA tapped Angela Merkel's phone

The first item is an article by Philip Oltermann on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

Germany's federal prosecutor has defied public expectations by opening an investigation into the alleged tapping of Angela Merkel's mobile phone by the US's National Security Agency (NSA).

Federal prosecutor Harald Range announced on Wednesday: "I informed parliament's legal affairs committee that I have started a preliminary investigation over tapping of a mobile phone of the chancellor."

Merkel had complained to Barack Obama in person about the alleged tapping of her phone last October, but the federal court's investigation, which will be against unnamed persons, would constitute the first formal response to the affair. The German government has reportedly announced its support for the investigation.

The Karlsruhe-based court's decision comes as a surprise, not least since it appeared that both the German and the US governments had over recent months successfully calmed the waves stirred up by the revelations.

It really is about this, it seems:

The key issue for the prosecution will be to establish whether the NSA monitored the German chancellor's mobile automatically or by default, as the US government has so far implied, or whether individual agents were actively engaged in tapping her calls, as German tabloid Bild claims on Thursday.

The latter would constitute a clear breach of German law on German soil according to paragraph section 99 of the German criminal code.

It seems to me that it is much worse than merely tapping Merkel: 80 million Germans are being tracked, tapped, traced and "surveilled" by the NSA (or one or more of its Five Eyes partners) - and see item 7, the last sub-item, where Binney and Wiebe make that quite clear - and none of that is legal in German law.

There is also this:

The federal prosecution has stated that it has currently no plans to look into the alleged wider surveillance of German citizens through US intelligence services, a decision which some politicians have been quick to criticise.

Social Democratic party politician Ralf Stegner told Handelsblatt newspaper: "Orwell's 'All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others' can't be the right motto when dealing with a massive and mass-scale breach of civil rights".

However, Range stated that the scope of the investigation could be widened if the federal prosecutor were to obtain new evidence relating to general surveillance.

Well, Range should look at the Abby Martin interview, with two specialists: I think he has most of the evidence that he needs. (But it seems likely that he will ignore it, or indeed "wait for three more Snowdens, to get some certainty".)

2. Secret terror trial is threat to open justice, human rights campaigners warn

The next item is an article by Sandra Laville on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

A major criminal trial involving two men charged with serious terrorism offences could be held entirely in secret for the first time in modern British legal history.

Lawyers contesting the decision at the court of appeal on Wednesday said the plan amounted to "an unprecedented departure from the principles of open justice" and was "inconsistent with democracy and the rule of law".

Until now it has not even been possible to report the existence of the forthcoming trial against the two men, known only as AB and CD. But three appeal court judges lifted a gagging order allowing reporting of a hearing challenging the plans.

This is - again - the practice of Nazi-law [2] as far as I am concerned, and I completely agree with the lawyers who said this is a departure from the principles of (open) justice and the rule of law:

There is no rule of decent law in a completely closed trial, where the names of the defendants, their crimes, and even the event of their trial are all closed to the public and the press, and one should Trust The Goverment that the suspects are "terrorists", so anything may be done against them (in secret).

There is considerably more in the article, but it seems rather clear what is being done: The English government sides with the American government and insists on its ability to do "justice" the Nazi-style [2]: in secret courts, with unknown defendants, for undisclosed reasons, where on must "Trust The Government".

Well, I do not and I also have not been given any evidence that assures me I should: They're practising as a police state, not because they are forced to, but because that's what they want.

3. In U.S., 42% Believe Creationist View of Human Origins

The next item is an article by the Gallup company, of the polls:

Yes, you read that right, and it starts like this:
More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising.
Which means that more than 4 out of 10 Americans have a medieval outlook on the world, and do not admit or believe any science.

This is followed by a graph, which you can see yourself by consulting the last dotted link, after which it is said:

This latest update is from Gallup's Values and Beliefs survey conducted May 8-11. Gallup first asked the three-part question about human origins in 1982.

The percentage of the U.S. population choosing the creationist perspective as closest to their own view has fluctuated in a narrow range between 40% and 47% since the question's inception. There is little indication of a sustained downward trend in the proportion of the U.S. population who hold a creationist view of human origins. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who adhere to a strict secularist viewpoint -- that humans evolved over time, with God having no part in this process -- has doubled since 1999.

There is a lot more in the article, including four charts, but I think it is justified to conclude that
(Though not all of them, to be sure. "Merely" at least 4 out of 10.) 

4. Participatory Totalitarianism

The next item is an article by John Feffer on Common Dreams:

I like the title, but it seems John Feffer believes in astrology, or if he doesn't he is not clear about not believing it, and the same applies to the rest of the article, of which this is a fair selection (but without astrology):

The old metaphor for surveillance was the Panopticon: the warden, sitting at the hub of a penitentiary, could see what all the inmates were doing along the perimeter of the structure. Then came the Big Brother of the Cold War era: a state apparatus that used informers, propaganda, and interrogations to infiltrate every crevice of society.

Today’s metaphor is still Big Brother—but it’s the TV show, not the sinister presence of the George Orwell novel. In this reality TV show, the public watches what goes on inside a house fully monitored by surveillance cameras. But here’s the twist: we are both voyeurs and exhibitionists, for we have also turned the cameras on ourselves so that the surveillance can be mutual. We don’t just like to watch, like Chance the gardener in Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There. We like to be watched as well.

Speak for yourself! I do not like to be watched, and indeed very few people who understand politics and computers like to be watched, by unknown anonymous freaks, or indeed by most people. (And I never watched Big Brother: I do not even own a TV for nearly 45 years, which allowed me to read a lot.)

But then people who understand politcs and computers are in a minority, and that is just the problem: The majority has a vote, has a Facebook account, and have strong opinions about everything they hardly know anything about, and are not afraid to say so at all, quite anonymously.

And this does not seem to be an honest article, and it excels at not having a position.

5. The Way to Stop Corporate Lawbreaking is to Prosecute the People Who Break the Law

The next item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:

This is about the following subject:

But who’s really to blame when a big corporation breaks the law? The government thinks it’s the corporation itself.

Wrong.

I agree with Reich - but then the goverment's Supreme Court (I think it is the government's, even though in name the judicial and the executionary power are supposed to be distinct: everything is getting subordinated to the opinions of the leaders of the executionary power, Whom One Has To Trust) has decided that corporations are people.

Attorney General Eric Holder was even more adamant recently when he announced the guilty plea of giant bank Credit Suisse to criminal charges for aiding rich Americans avoid paying taxes. “This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law.” 

Tough words. But they rest on a bizarre premise. GM didn’t break the law, and Credit Suisse never acted above it. Corporations don’t do things. People do.

Actually, I don't quite agree with this: corporations certainly may do things, and they do do things, rather in the way you and I may lift and transport a large and expensive table that none of us could lift and transport alone.

What is utterly and completely false is that our combined strength that allowed us to lift the table makes a third person, and what is also
utterly and completely false is that if we lift and transport the table against the law, neither of us is responsible or accountable for doing so: instead it is "the corporation" we formed, in order to steal the table.

But this is what the US Supreme Court has decided is the case - or rather "is" the case, for it is complete bullshit, that probably was introduced to allow the people who form corporations to profit, and then blame the corporation, but not themselves, for doing anything illegal (and get exonerated as blameless, after they have given 25% of the profits of selling the stolen table to the government).

Reich, of course, knows this, and he ends as follows:

The truth is, corporations aren’t people — despite what the Supreme Court says. Corporations don’t break laws; specific people do. In the cases of GM and Credit Suisse, the evidence points to executives at or near the top.

Conservatives are fond of talking about personal responsibility. But when it comes to white-collar crime, I haven’t heard them demand that individuals be prosecuted.

Yet the only way to deter giant corporations from harming the public is to go after people who cause the harm.

Yes, indeed: Until human persons are prosecuted, for all they (and their wives) are worth and are convicted to long jail sentences for their crimes of self-enrichment, nothing will change in the behavior of the corporations: The people running them can do as they please, and when caught all they need to do is to cough up a part of their profits so as to be declared free from guilt.

And that is the law in the present US.

6. 5,000 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

The next item is an article by Washington's Blog on his site:

This starts as follows, with the colors and links in the original:

Tyrants Have Always Spied On Their Own People

Spying has been around since the dawn of civilization.

Keith Laidler – a PhD anthropologist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a past member of the Scientific Exploration Society – explains:

Spying and surveillance are at least as old as civilization itself.

University of Tennessee history professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius agrees:

Espionage and intelligence have been around since human beings first began organizing themselves into distinct societies, cities, states, nations, and civilizations.

Unfortunately, spying hasn’t been limited to defense against external enemies. As documented below, tyrants have long spied on their own people in order to maintain power and control … and crush dissent.

There is a whole lot more under the last dotted link that documents this.

7. Personal

The final item is mostly personal: References I like, but that I forgot to mention the last days. Here are three of them, with brief explanations.

First, there is this (since quite a few seem to be reading it, and rightly so):

In fact, this is me from August 2011. It does outline some of my main reasons, mostly derived from philosophy of science and - fairly elementary - mathematics, to insist that the DSM 5 is fraudulent and was intended to be fraudulent: It really is pseudoscience, and there really are not over 400 "psychiatric disorders" at all. (There might be 10 or 20 distinct and empirically distinguishable disorders, as indeed some professors of psychiatry have recently argued, but that is it, at least on the basis of the current level of massive ignorance about the causes and roots of people's real everyday functioning and experiencing.)

Second, I noted Suzy Chapman stopped writing and started writing again, and she made a large contribution some days ago:

This is about "bodily distress syndrome", which is a polite form of saying "you must be psychiatrically disturbed if we medics do not know what ails you - and indeed also if we medics are not sure that we know, and in fact also if we medics think it is really a lot cheaper for the government to make you into a nut, rather than a sick person who deserves help".

I know this is not for everyone, or indeed for most, but it is well done, and I do not know anyone who does it better than Suzy Chapman (who is not responsible for my summaries).

Finally, Abby Martin. I've said before that she is good, and she is, and indeed at present she is considerably better than The Young Turks, that are slowly turning more and more into a sort of Huffington Post: Very much detail on all manner of weird, sensational and strange things, that do not interest me at all, coupled with "Get money out of politics", which I agree with, but not much else.

To be sure, I do not like everything Abby Martin is doing either, because my teens fell in the Sixties when there was a lot of good music, while I do not like most pop music from the Seventies, Eighties etc. (with some rare exceptions, like Patti Smith), but this may be an age difference.

Here is Abby Martin with her latest of Breaking The Set: A fine interview with Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe, who quite clearly explain why they think the US is very fast turning into a police state or indeed has done so already:

I will put up more Abby Martin references soon: she is certainly not watched enough given the quality of what she does.

---------------------------------
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] I do know about the Nazis: My father and grandfather were imprisoned as "political terrorists" in 1941 in German concentration camps, which my grandfather did not survive.


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)



       home - index - summaries - mail