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. Fisa court grants extension of
licence for bulk collection
of US phone records
2. U.S. Government at War
With Itself Over Civil Liberties
Reveals Trade Deal Pushing Global Financial
4. House Moves to Rein in NSA
'Backdoor' Spying on
5. Don't Get Too Excited But
You Might Get Your Privacy
6. me + M.E. + mB12
This is the Nederlog of June
21. It is an ordinary crisis log.
It also is a Saturday
(and the longest day, at least north of the equator) but I did find six
items, that I spread over five sections. They follow, but I do not
think they are as interesting as yesterday or the day before yesterday.
Then again, I may be mistaken and anyway I can only serve what I've
found - and you may be interested in item 4 that
gives information on the first statement that passed the house
and serves to reign in (backdoor) spying by the NSA. That is
court grants extension of licence for bulk collection of US phone
item is an article by Dan Roberts on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Note that this was done
by a secret court, that should have no standing in any
real democracy, or in any open and free society. That is: there may be
things that cannot be dealt with in public, although this too must be
relatively rare in
any real democracy, or in any open and free society, but these are not courts.
The law should be kept in public, perhaps in rare cases keeping part of
the evidence secret. A whole secret court is authoritarian, and
US intelligence agencies
have made a fifth attempt to extend their bulk collection of American
telephone records – more than a year after the controversial practice
was first revealed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward
Despite repeated calls
from Congress and President Obama for the mass gathering of private US
phone records to be banned, a court has approved the request in secret,
allowing the NSA to continue collecting
metadata until 12 September 2014.
In a joint statement released late on Friday afternoon,
the justice department and director of national intelligence, James Clapper,
said it was necessary to continue seeking such legal extensions because
the Congressional reform process supported by Obama was not yet
"Given that legislation
has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the
capabilities of the Section 215 telephony metadata program, the
government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing
program," said the joint statement.
Anyway - there is considerably more under the last dotted link.
2. U.S. Government
at War With Itself Over Civil Liberties
item is an article by David Sirota on Truthdig:
This starts with a list
of some of the well-known spying stories since Snowden, which all show
the U.S. government to be in secret getting everybody's
personal data from anywhere, which is strongly against existing
laws and against any real democracy, which I take as given, and then
says and asks:
So with all that
in mind, it seems more than a bit hilarious that the U.S. government
has just posted its latest annual announcement about “funding for
programs that support Internet freedom.” In that dispatch, the U.S.
State Department says it is looking to support “technologies that
enhance the privacy and security of digital communications” and that
are “less susceptible to intrusion or infection.”
Well... I don't really
think this is "more than a
bit hilarious", were it
only because the NSA has been working in the deepest secret, and lying
to Congress (Clapper), and also because while the government has
strong authoritarian tendencies, it still is a very large operation.
But I agree with the conclusion of the article:
There is considerably
more under the last dotted link (and I don't agree with all of it).
situation, Foreign Policy magazine recently wrote: “We see the NSA, an
agency of the Defense Department, taking actions that are directly at
odds with those of the State Department. ...The NSA sees Tor as a tool
for terrorists and spies. The State Department sees it as a platform
for activists trying to evade the very kinds of surveillance systems
that the NSA has built.”
Now sure, resource-wise,
the State Department’s Internet freedom initiatives may seem tiny in
contrast to the NSA’s multibillion-dollar operations. And yes, the
initiative may, in part, be a diplomatic ploy. But it is clearly
something the NSA isn’t thrilled about. The State Department has helped
protect a secure conduit for online communications. That is the
opposite of what the national security apparatus wants, even if it is
exactly what a democracy is supposed to do.
Reveals Trade Deal Pushing
item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows (and
I have mentioned this earlier):
Lori Wallach, director of
Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, author of “The Rise and Fall of
Fast Track Trade Authority” and former Truthdigger of the Week, explains
to “Democracy Now!” the meaning of a secret draft text of the Trade in
Services Agreement, a proposal that would forbid signatory countries
from improving financial regulation within their borders.
The program reports:
group WikiLeaks has released the secret draft text for the Trade in
Services Agreement, TISA, a trade agreement covering 50 countries and
more than 68 percent of world trade in service. Until now, the draft
has been classified to keep it clandestine not only during the
negotiations but also for five years post-enactment. … The draft
Financial Services Annex would also establish rules favorable to the
expansion of financial multinationals into other nations by preventing
regulatory obstacles. The draft text comes from the April 2014
Note how completely
authoritarian, completely non-democratic, completely secret, and
totally pro rich this is (as is so much that Obama has furthered,
without ever admitting he did). Here is part of Lori Wallach's reaction
When asked by host Juan
Gonzalez what Wallach found most objectionable about the plan, she
Well, the single
most glaring and easy-to-understand piece of it, if you want to—if
viewers want to take a look at it, is a provision that’s literally
called “standstill.” And what it means is you have to have your
regulations stand still as to where they were. And practically, it
means—let’s say you want to ban a certain kind of derivative that gets
created, and it’s a disaster—it causes speculation and instability.
You’re forbidden from having new financial regulations. But the tricky
part about this is, if you look at the way the different versions of
that provision are written, it may require countries to stand still
relative to where they were when the WTO services agreement was
established in the 1990s, and that would mean all of these new
regulations that were put into effect after the global financial crisis
would automatically be violations. So the way the language is written,
maybe it’s standstill from 1994.
Yes indeed - and note
that they want to deregulate everything as was from the time before
Windows 95 opened the internet for most people. It seems insane to me,
but may be those propounding this (in secret) believe the military or
the police will enforce this kind of insanity, setting the clock back
20 years, and declaring many laws imposed since then illegal.
Moves to Rein in NSA 'Backdoor' Spying on Americans
items are two articles about the same subject, that is about the first
good news I've heard or read about blocking surveillance in the US.
Note that the second article discusses another amendment than the first.
First, here is Andrea
Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as
The House of
Representatives on Thursday approved
an effort to rein in government surveillance by passing an amendment
that attempts to block so-called "backdoor" searches by the NSA.
The late night vote on
the amendment, whose main sponsor was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.),
passed 293-123 with overwhelming bipartisan support and little
Massie and amendment
co-sponsors Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) called
their proposal "a sure step toward shutting the back door on mass
surveillance," and stated that it would "reinstate an important
provision that was stripped from the original USA FREEDOM Act to
further protect the Constitutional rights of American citizens.
Congress has an ongoing obligation to conduct oversight of the
intelligence community and its surveillance authorities."
Specifically, the amendment
to the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act would "prohibit
use of funds by an officer or employee of the United States to query a
collection of foreign intelligence information acquired under FISA
using a United States person identifier except in specified instances."
I say! Note this was
bi-partisan, and the yeas were more than twice as many as the nays.
Next, there is Justin
Elliott on ProPublica who reports on a different attempted law, but in
the context of the previous article:
This starts as
An amendment designed to
bar the National Security Agency from undermining encryption standards
was approved by the House last night.
The move follows
reporting last year by ProPublica, the Guardian, and the New York Times
on the NSA's
efforts to weaken encryption, including by influencing the
development of standards by the National Institute of Standards and
Technology. The stories were based on documents provided by Edward
The amendment, sponsored
by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and similar to one he
advanced last month, bars the NSA from using appropriation funds to
consult with NIST in a way that undermines security standards.
It still has a way to go
before becoming law: While the House is expected
today to approve the full appropriations bill that the amendment is
a part of, the Senate would have to pass the same text, and ultimately
President Obama would have to approve.
OK - it isn't there yet,
but it also is something: it tries to block the NSA's secret weakening
of encryption standards (which would be very costly for American
firms). Here is information about the previous article:
The amendment is separate
from another one the
House adopted last night that is designed to block the NSA from
conducting "backdoor" spying on Americans by querying databases of
In any case, both
items, if both are agreed upon, would be significant progress.
Also, it shows Snowden's files are now being actively debated
I still remain fairly
skeptical about the eventual outcome, but sofar this is progress.
5. Don't Get Too Excited But You Might Get
Your Privacy Back
item is not an article but a video by The Young Turks on the first of
the above two items:
is 7 m 12 s of video. I do not think it is particularly good, but it
makes some good points, notably about Snowden (but I disagree with
Mankiewicz on Snowden).
6. me + M.E. + mB12
This last item is not a crisis item but is a brief update about me and
First, here are two links to the latest two previous updates:
This is merely
background, to remind my readers (and that includes me) what I did
At present and since about a week I am mostly back at what I reported
on February 25, 2014, with one or two
This is the directly usable
form of folate, and part of the protocol. (2 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)
aB12: 3000 mcg: Note this adenosinecovalamin. This I
use every other or third day. (1 pill)
calcium + magnesium + zinc + vitamin D: 1000
mg + 500 mg + 12 mg + 7
mcg. This is mainly because I do not use milk anymore. (4 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 about it,
and I am
doing relatively well on this since a month. My basic reason to return
to this is that this worked well, and did not lead to crashes, whereas
I still have not figured out how take safely 3 or 4 metafolins
mcg each, for I got problems with both.
But the above works now and worked in the past, also in the sense that
I have no pains in my arms and legs during the day, at least most of the time
(which has been quite different for a decade or more!), and
that I do fairly well on them, and without any crashes.
Next, for those who are reading Phoenix Forums: I am only
"following" the one thread about B12, and of that I am nearly always only
reading the titles. I just do not believe
aliases without gender, age, education, degrees or anything, and indeed
almost always when I try to read someone I find mostly (avoidable)
vagueness, or guesses presented as facts.
And yes, I am very sorry too, but that's how it is.
did realize - from a mail to my G.P. of September 2012 - that I did
loose since then three M.E.-related problems I then complained about,
that I had been having for several years in September 2012.
So this is another reason to go on with the protocol: overall,
 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: