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. The newly restored Bletchley
Park and the fast-eroding
freedoms it was set up to
2. News Outlets: Public Must See
'What Is Done in Their
Name at Gitmo'
3. Trade Treaties and the
Coming Rule of the Global
Media Sucks [DEVASTATING POLL]
This is the Nederlog of June
22. It is an ordinary crisis log.
It also is a Sunday and
it is summer. In Amsterdam, I haven't seen much spring, but that may
have been a fluke (though I am sure there were not many real spring
Anyway - I found 4 pieces (and threw away one that was on the list: too
speculative) and I liked especially item 1 and item 3, and you should read all of especially item 3: it does give a plausible sketch of a very
dystopian future, if there is not another major crisis soon, that is.
(And I agree it will not make you happier.)
Also, I updated the crisis index till today.
The newly restored
Bletchley Park and the fast-eroding freedoms it was set up to defend
item is an article by John Naughton on The Guardian:
This is mostly an
article about Bletchley
Park - and if you do not know what that was, try the last link,
which will explain to you that this is were Alan Turing and
others decoded German encrypted messages, and also this one: Marian Rejewski,
for he was a Polish mathematician who first broke the German Enigma.
Part of the reason is that - at long last (!) - Bletchley Park has been
restored, and can be visited by the public. Also, John Naughton has
been there before, and he does understand the dangers of the
GCHQ, as can be seen from his last two paragraphs:
These opinion polls -
which I trust - mostly indicate that vast amounts of the Britons have
been successfully deceived by governmental propaganda, for in fact the
GCHQ is totally different and in many ways quite opposite
to what happened at Bletchley Park:
And yet there's an ironic
twist to the story. Two of the huts in the Park were where what is
now GCHQ originated. The opinion polls suggest that most Britons think
that the vast, sprawling organisation that is the modern GCHQ does a
good or, at any rate, important job.
But there is a
significant minority that is troubled about the "mission creep" that
has been revealed by Edward Snowden
and now confirmed by the Home Office document. The spooks are puzzled
and offended by this. Do the critics not understand, they protest, that
there's a war on? Ah, yes, but this "war on terror" is a rhetorical
device, not the existential threat that Bletchley Park was created to
combat. That's the difference and it matters.
That is: the present
GCHQ (and its allied Five Eyes, and their secret services mates from
all over Europe) are the opposite of Bletchley Park: They spy
on everyone so as to end democracy and a free and open
society, and they do so on the pretext of "terrorism" - which in ten
years killed a bit over 3000 people in the U.S., and nearly all of them
during 9/11. I quote from 9/11
(Wikipedia) (bolding added):
- At Bletchley Park,
some of the best mathematicians broke the code of the German military,
who worked for Hitler, who had an enormous army and constituted the
gravest danger to Great Britain; the GCHQ does not break any code, to
my knowledge: they are far to busy hoovering up all the personal
and private data of anyone it can get, because this
prepares for an authoritarian state where the corporatocracy will rule
- Bletchley Park was
a deep military secret for a very good reason: WW II was going on; the
GCHQ pretends it has to be secret because of the complete lie
of the "war on terrorism", which they use to hide their stealing
of everyone's private data for the corporatocracy they further.
- Bletchley Park
opposed Hitler, Hitler's Germany and Hitler's Wehrmacht, to save
British democracy; the GCHQ opposes everyone with any private data, and
does so because it is the very willing handmaiden for founding an
anti-democratic, authoritarian corporatocracy,
where all the common people will be completely known and
constantly surveilled by their masters, who also will be able to select
any opponent and convict these in secret courts for secret
reasons to secret fates.
In total, almost 3,000
people died in the attacks, including the 227 civilians and 19
hijackers aboard the four planes. It also was the deadliest
incident for firefighters and for law enforcement officers
in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed
there is e.g. this - which is just about the (relatively safe!) year of
2010, and limited
to the U.S. (bolding added):
In 2010, there
were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes, killing 32,885 and
The 32,367 traffic fatalities in 2011 were the lowest in 62 years
(1949). Records indicate that there has been a total of 3,551,332
motor vehicle deaths in the United States from 1899 to 2012.
That is: each year at
least ten times more people die in a car accident than died on
9/11, which means 130 times more people died in car incidents
in the last 13 years than died by "terrorism" in the U.S. alone.
And I am not saying these are fully comparable, if only because
few car incidents happen on purpose, but 1 death = 1 death.
2. News Outlets:
Public Must See 'What Is Done in Their Name at Gitmo'
item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
A group of news
organizations on Friday filed a motion
(pdf) in a federal court seeking the right of the public to see
videotape evidence of force-feedings of a Guantanamo detainee in order
to be able to "exercise democratic oversight of its Government."
clarifies the meaning of "secret" and "classified" as used by the US
The 16 news
organizations, which include the McClatchy Company, First Look Media,
the Guardian US, Reuters and the Washington Post, seek to intervene in
the case of Abu
Wa'el Dhiab, a 42-year-old Syrian man who has been held at the
offshore prison for over ten years without charge, and was cleared for
release in 2009. With no other recourse, he has turned to a hunger
In the case in which the
news outlets seek to intervene, Dhiab is seeking a stop to his forcible
cell extractions and "torturous" force-feedings.
The government was ordered
last month to release to Dhiab's lawyers video of his force-feedings,
but the evidence is classified as "Secret" by the government and as
such the public has been prevented from viewing it. Yet "the
public has a qualified right under both the First Amendment and the
common law to inspect and copy this evidence," the news outlets state.
It helps to suppress evidence, that should be seen and judged
by the public, according to the Bill of Rights, even if
it is evidence about the gross mistreatment of a man held for over ten
years without any charge, who was cleared for release five
years ago, in 2009.
There is considerably more under the last dotted link.
Treaties and the Coming Rule of
item is an article by Don Quijones on Naked Capitalism (originally on
This is an excellent
article you should read in full. Here is its beginning:
Here is what it is all
Quietly, subtly, almost
imperceptibly, the rules governing global trade and financial markets
are changing. It is not happening by accident, but by wilful design.
Despite the enormous impact it will have on all our lives, the public
is not being consulted on any aspects of the process. Most people are
not even aware it is happening.
The main driver of this
change are the bilateral and multilateral trade and investment treaties
being negotiated in complete secrecy and behind closed doors between
corporate lobbyists, free trade activists and our own elected
“representatives” (a term I use in the loosest possible sense,
especially given the context). The ultimate goal of these treaties is
to reconfigure the legal apparatus and superstructures that govern
national, regional and global trade and business – for the primary, if
not exclusive, benefit of the world’s largest multinational
Corporations have long
been powerful economic and political entities, but in recent decades
some have grown to dwarf even middling-sized national economies.
According to a ranking published by Global Trends, 58 percent of the
world’s biggest 150 economic entities in 2012 were corporations. They
include oil, natural gas, and mining majors, banks and insurance firms,
telecommunications giants, supermarket behemoths, car manufacturers,
and pharmaceutical companies.
Changing the Law
Right now, the
representatives of many of these firms are engaged in late-stage
negotiations with the U.S. and European political leaders that
would make it financially calamitous for a nation-state to take any
actions against the interest of corporations. If passed — and at this
rate, it almost certainly will be — it will be the biggest bilateral
trade deal in the history of mankind.
What’s up for grabs in
the innocuously named “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”
(TTIP) is nothing short of the control and ownership of virtually every
economic sector and public service in both Europe and the U.S. – with
the exception, at the insistence of the U.S. government, of the
financial services industry. Unbeknownst to almost all Europeans,
the European Commission has shown a keen interest in opening up all
public services to foreign corporate ownership, from health care to
education, pensions to water provision.
And this is the end:
Based on the draft copy
recently released by Wikileaks, the treaty seeks to (among many other
- “Lock in” the
privatisations of services – even in cases where private service
delivery has failed – meaning governments can never return water,
energy, health, education or other services to public hands.
- Restrict a
government’s right to regulate stronger standards in the public’s
interest. For example, it will affect environmental regulations,
licensing of health facilities and laboratories, waste disposal
centres, power plants, school and university accreditation and
- Specifically limit the
ability of governments to regulate the financial services industry at
exactly the time when the global economy is still recovering from a
crisis caused by financial deregulation.
And yet, in the most
perverse of ironies, it is a system that appears to be almost
universally endorsed by our political leaders. It is an irony that
was not lost on the Spanish arbitrator Juan Fernandez-Armesto, who had
the following to say:
When I wake up at night
and think about arbitration, it never ceases to amaze me that sovereign
states have agreed to investment arbitration at all […]. Three private
individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any
restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all
decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from
As I warned in early
November 2013, the global corporatocracy is almost fully
operational. The intentions of those negotiating the multiple trade
treaties are now crystal clear: to place complete power and control
over our economies in the hands of the largest global corporations,
many of which bear the lion’s share of responsibility for the economic
and environmental mess we’re already in.
In the meantime, the
clock continues to tick down. At any moment, a few quiet strokes of a
pen behind the tightly closed doors of a luxury conference room could
usher in a new age of corporate domination. With it will come a new
kind of dystopia, bearing an uncanny likeness to the inverted totalitarianism foreseen
by Sheldon Wolin.
Yes, indeed - and it also
is the corporate fascism I envisioned in December of 2012, given this
year in a briefer and a bit clearer format here: Crisis: Hypotheses about the
causes of the crisis, since that hypothesis was spectacularly well
confirmed by Snowden's revelations. (I like to be right, but about this
I would have much liked to be wrong.)
Agree: The Media Sucks [DEVASTATING POLL]
item is not an article but a 3 m 52 s video by The Young Turks:
it is about this poll - and the graphic is a bit vague, for which I am
sorry, but it is still readable:
this means - and this is a Gallup poll - is that Americans these days
have about equal trust in their papers, their TVs and the internet. And
they trust it all less and less: About 20% has a "great deal" or "quite
a lot" of confidence in the news they are fed and the media that feed
I do not think this is "DEVASTATING": The trust fell by about 10% in 20
years - as indeed it should have, for there are fewer papers,
with less money, and most of the news is partisan, and grew
more partisan since 9/11 (and this includes the balancing acts of the
TV corporations that either say nothing or personalize
the news - "Edward Snowden: Traitor or Hero?", instead of "Hundreds of
Millions of Innocent Americans pirated by the NSA/GCHQ" - and then only
say "X said Yes and Y said No").
main problem I see is that most Americans lack the time or the brains
to inform themselves properly: Even while distrusting most of the news
they do get, which indeed seems quite correct to me, that is
most of the information they get.
fact the same holds for me: I have more time than most, being
ill, and I think I have, after more than a year of daily grinding
through the possible crisis-related offerings on over 40
carefully selected sites, which takes a lot of time, a fairly
good grasp of most of the crisis-related news, but that is about it,
and being bright I often am not confident.
 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: