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Nederlog


  June
25, 2014
Crisis: May, Assange, Greenwald, Bees' Deaths, Drones, Raging Bull-Shit
   "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. Home secretary denies security services engaged in
     mass surveillance

2. Julian Assange makes fresh bid to break deadlock in
     Swedish rape case

3. Glenn Greenwald: 'What I Tell People Who Say They Don’t
     Care About Their Privacy'

4. Global Report on 'Neonicotinoid Disaster' a 'Wake-Up Call'
     to Save the Bees, say Groups

5. So That's Why They Kept the Drone Kill Memo Secret
6. Raging Bull-Shit: 'Inside Job' and 'Them A Murderer'

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

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 surveillance

The first 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 phone use.

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 need."
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 the state's
"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 requirements."

She is grossly lying and misrepresenting. Here is the Human Rights Act, that totally forbids the things she defends: From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 12.

  • 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."

Yes, indeed.

2. Julian Assange makes fresh bid to break deadlock in Swedish rape case 

The next item is an article by David Crouch on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

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 to it.

"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 proper change.

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 him.

3. Glenn Greenwald: 'What I Tell People Who Say They Don’t Care About Their Privacy'

The next item is an article by Alyssa Figueroa on AlterNet:

This starts as follows:

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 concern them.

“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.”

Quite so.

4. Global Report on 'Neonicotinoid Disaster' a 'Wake-Up Call' to Save the Bees, say Groups

The next 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, and water.

Besides:

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 Memo Secret

The next item is an article by David Swanson on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

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 until now.

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 impossible.

I expect most, however, will now be willing to drop the pretense that ANY memo could possibly legalize murder. 

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.

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 invalid arguments.

6.  Raging Bull-Shit: 'Inside Job' and 'Them A Murderer'

The next and last section comprises two items: A film - full length - and a song. I 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 an 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 a really good film about the banking crisis and a very nice song that I found on his blog.

First the film:

"Inside 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).

I did 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 the previous dotted item - in order to get the upper hand themselves.

Enjoy!

---------------------------------
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.)


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)



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