This is the Nederlog of June
25. It is an ordinary crisis log.
Well... most of it is, but the last item is about a recent finding I
made: The blog called Raging
Bull-Shit by Don Quijones (in fact: an Englishman living in
Barcelona, Spain). I quoted some of him
earlier, and today there is a really good
film about the banking crisis plus a very nice song I found on his
blog. (I merely pass it on.)
1. Home secretary denies security services
engaged in mass
item is an article by Alan Travis on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
The home secretary has
denied that the security services are engaged in a programme of mass surveillance as she
made her most detailed case yet for a revival of a "snooper's charter"
bill to give them extra powers to track everyone's internet and mobile
Theresa May said on
Tuesday evening that new legislation was now a matter of "life and
death", as well as national security, and was needed to maintain the
ability of the police and security
services to monitor communications – which was being undermined by
rapidly changing technology. "We must keep on making the case until we
get the changes we need," she said in her Mansion House speech on
privacy and security.
May also made a sweeping
attack on the claims of privacy campaigners in the wake of the Snowden
disclosures of mass harvesting of personal communications data or
metadata by Britain's GCHQ and America's NSA,
denying that they amount to a programme of mass surveillance. "There is
no surveillance state," she said
O Lord! She is
shameslessly lying through her teeth, it seems with the end to get even
more "powers to track
everyone's internet and mobile phone use". She also is quoted (among other things, that I skip)
as follows, with total bullshit like this:
May said she would
go on making the case, telling her Mansion House audience: "The real
problem is not that we have built an over-mighty state but that the
state is finding it harder to fulfil its most basic duty, which is to
protect the public. That is why I have said before and go on saying
that we need to make changes to the law to maintain the capabilities we
The real problem is that
you have an overmighty state that runs an almost totally uncontrolled
secret service that completely betrayed its job and its function, and
now spies on everyone anywhere.
Also, quite categorically: It is a complete and craven lie that
"most basic duty (..) is to protect the public"
That is total crap:
You lack the manpower and you lack the police and indeed you will never
have them - all that the state does and all that the state can
do is to protect is what it can protect, which are its own
bureaucrats and people in government, and that is it, and
that always has been it.
Also, what the state does exist for, in the first place, is to maintain
the laws - which is quite different from "protecting the
public" (nearly 64 million persons, in Great Britan alone?!).
And besides... if you really wanted "to protect the public" you have to give them weapons, so that they can
defend themselves. You do not do this, because you do not trust them,
and thus you also have them at your mercy, at least individually
and in small groups.
Here are the last two paragraphs (there is rather a lot more):
May justified the mass
harvesting of personal communications data, saying it relied on
automated and remote access to data on the internet and other
communications systems: "Computers search for only the communications
relating to a small number of suspects under investigation. Once the
content of these communications has been identified, and only then, is
it examined by trained analysts. And every step of the way it is
governed by strict rules, checked against Human Rights Act
She is grossly
lying and misrepresenting. Here is the Human Rights Act, that totally
forbids the things she defends: From the Universal Declaration of
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference
with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon
his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of
the law against such interference or attacks.
Here is the last paragraph,
that brings some sanity, at last:
But Julian Huppert, the
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, said it was clear from the Snowden
revelations and other sources that "what we have in this country is not
done proportionately and with effective oversight. What is needed is a
complete review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the
Telecommunications Act, and everything that goes into the legislative
framework of surveillance."
Assange makes fresh bid to break
deadlock in Swedish rape case
item is an article by David Crouch on The Guardian:
This starts as
Lawyers for Julian Assange
have called for controversial telephone evidence to be released as they
made a fresh attempt to break the deadlock in the rape case brought
four years ago against the WikiLeaks founder.
Filing a challenge to the
prosecution in the Swedish courts, lawyers for Assange – who last week
marked the second anniversary of his asylum in Ecuador's embassy in
London – said a recent revision to Swedish law requires evidence held
by the prosecution to be made available to the defence.
Text messages sent by the
two women plaintiffs were seen by defence lawyers in 2010, but copies
of the messages were not issued to them. Assange has claimed that text messages sent by one of his
accusers show that she was ambiguous about his arrest and even opposed
"The messages strongly
suggest that there is no basis for the arrest and they are thus vital
so that he [Assange] can effectively tackle the arrest warrant," the
lawyers say in documents filed with Stockholm district court on Tuesday.
Actually, the basis for
this is a change in Swedish laws:
Sweden's code of judicial procedure was
updated on 1 June to conform with EU law, and now includes a
provision that anyone arrested or detained has the right to be made
aware of "facts forming the basis for the decision to arrest".
That seems a quite
Also, it seems to me
- from the little I know about it - that this is not a rape
case, and that it is being abused because this is Julian Assange.
Whatever the case, he has the right to know the evidence against
3. Glenn Greenwald: 'What I Tell People Who
Say They Don’t Care About Their Privacy'
item is an article by Alyssa Figueroa on AlterNet:
This starts as
Since he obtained and
published Edward Snowden’s leaked National Security Agency documents a
little more than a year ago, journalist Glenn Greenwald said people
have told him over and over that government surveillance does not
“Those people don’t
believe what they’re saying,” he told a sold-out audience last week at
the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
To illustrate this, every
time someone would come up to Greenwald and say they didn’t mind people
knowing what they were doing because they had nothing to hide, he would
proceed with the same two steps: first, by giving them his email
address and then by asking them to send him all their email and social
media passwords — just so he could have a look.
“I’ve not had one single
person send me them,” he said, as the room swelled with laughter. “And
I check my email box constantly!”
Yes, though I believe
it is more serious than "Those
people don’t believe what they’re saying": In fact - as shown by the total lack of response to
Greenwald - they know they are lying. But that -
although true - also doesn't catch it quite:
Ordinary people do not
talk to speak the truth, when talking in public: they normally talk to
be liked, and they generally say what they think other people
want to hear, especially if these "other people" are more powerful.
(And no, I am not an ordinary person, precisely because I
usually speak the truth, which I have found does lead to very serious
problems if the truth you speak is not socially popular: I have been
removed from the right of taking my M.A. in philosophy merely
for asking questions,
and as if that was normal and natural. And nobody protested, in
the heroic country I have to live in.)
Also, what ordinary
people like to believe is that they are safe if they have not
done any harm - conveniently forgetting the harm is not what they think
it is, but what those who command the snoopers think it is (and that
may be anything); conveniently forgetting that even if they did not do
any harm, they still run the risk of being arrested because a
friend or a friend of a friend did something the government doesn't
like; and conveniently forgetting everybody but themselves:
In addition, this notion
implies that if you don’t challenge the government, you won’t have to
worry about being spied on. But “the true measure of how free a society
is,” Greenwald said, “is how it treats its dissidents.”
He added, “We should not be
comfortable or content in a society where the only way to remain free
of surveillance and oppression is if we make ourselves unthreatening
and passive and compliant as possible.”
Report on 'Neonicotinoid Disaster' a 'Wake-Up Call' to Save the Bees,
item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This is an update on a
theme I wrote about before: The dying out of very many hives of bees,
which seriousluy threatens pollination, which in turn seriously
threates food supply.
It starts like this:
A widely used class of
insecticides poses a threat on par with that of DDT and is harming
ecosystems worldwide, a global team of scientists finds.
Their damning analysis
based on 800 peer-reviewed reports, the Worldwide Integrated
Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and
Ecosystems (WIA), puts a spotlight on neonicotinoids, or
"neonics," whose use they say poses a threat to global biodiversity.
In addition to "clear
evidence" that neonics pose threats to bees and other pollinators — a
point many environmental groups have stressed — the WIA analysis found
that the most affected group was terrestrial invertebrates like
earthworms, which are exposed to varying levels of the systemic
pesticides through multiple pathways, like the soil, the plant itself,
The analysis also found
that the standard ways of measuring the toxicity of the neonics are
inadequate as they fail to measure the chronic impacts of the
pesticides, which can linger and sometimes build up over years. One of
the findings is that long-term exposure at what are classified as low
levels can be harmful. Yet acute impacts can be devastating as well,
with the analysis noting that acute effects of some neonics can be up
to 10,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.
Continuing their use "is
not sustainable," and would mean continued detriment to global
biodiversity, the authors find.
There is considerably
more under the last dotted link, but I am glad that at least the main
cause of the massive dying of bee hives has been found.
5. So That's Why They Kept the Drone Kill
item is an article by David Swanson on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
As indeed also is right: it is
about murder. There is considerably more on the subject under the last
dotted link, and I do not agree to all of it, but it is true this is a
mere lawyers' memo that attempts to get beyond the law with totally
Now that the U.S.
government has released parts of its We-Can-Kill-People-With-Drones memo, it's hard to miss why it was kept secret
Liberal professors and
human rights groups and the United Nations were claiming an inability
to know whether drone murders were legal or not because they hadn't
seen the memo that the White House said legalized them. Some may
continue to claim that the redactions in the memo make judgment
I expect most, however,
will now be willing to drop the pretense that ANY memo could possibly
Oh, and yall can stop
telling me not to use the impolite term "murder" to describe the, you
know, murders -- since "murder" is precisely the term used by the
no-longer secret memo.
6. Raging Bull-Shit: 'Inside Job' and 'Them A Murderer'
and last section comprises two items: A film - full length - and a
found them on a blog I recently discovered, and indeed quoted, that I do
like, which is rather rare for me, as a matter of fact: I like books as
well, but there the same holds, namely that few are really good.
The blog is called Raging
Bull-Shit and is written by Don Quijones (who in fact seems to be
Englishman who lives in Barcelona, Spain). I quoted some of him (I
think it is, but do not know it is a male) earlier, and today there is
really good film
about the banking crisis and a very nice song that I found on his blog.
First the film:
Job" is a brief article that introduces the film of that title, by
Charles Ferguson. The film is also linked, and takes 1 h 48 m 39 s, but
it really is worth your time - and I tend to dislike talking
heads, so I mean this. It dates back to 2010, but that is not a
serious loss, and it shows you who are responsible for the crisis of
2008: The bank managers, who used the
deregulation of Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama to
get enormously rich themselves, and who broke the economy for
that end (and will do so again, it seems very probable, for Obama did
nothing effective to prevent them).
not know this film existed, and it would have been a considerable help
had I seen it in 2010. Anyway, it is here now: If you want to
understand the economy, or the crisis, this is a fine way to get a
fact-based good understanding.
Next the song:
This is a mere 3 m 41 s,
and you also get the full lyrics in the last dotted link, which you
will need. It is by Barrington Levy and I like it a lot, for one thing
because it is a quite good lyrical description of the men who destroyed
the regulated economy that worked well for forty years - see
previous dotted item - in order to get the upper hand themselves.