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. Orwell’s Dystopian Future Is
Almost Here: A
Conversation With Glenn
2. Stealth bombs? Killer
plagues? Don't panic, just follow
3. Shocking but true: students
prefer jolt of pain than being
made to sit and think
4. Revealed: 'Collect It All'
NSA Targets Those Seeking Web
5. Independence Day: What
the He!! HAPPENED to America?
This is the Nederlog of July
4. It is an ordinary crisis
This got uploaded a bit earlier than normal, for I have to go out, and
it contains mostly quite interesting items, I think (in fact all,
except 3, which is explained there).
Dystopian Future Is Almost Here: A Conversation With Glenn Greenwald
item is an article by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig:
This starts with a quote
I will also start with:
Actually, that sounds
rather a lot less serious than what the NSA is doing now: They
can collect all; they want to collect all; they do collect all. It is quite
There was of course no
way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How
often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any
individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they
watched everybody all the time. But at any rate, they could plug in
your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit
that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was
overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
—“1984,” George Orwell
they watch(ed) everybody all the time
They say so themselves.
It is true they do not read it themselves, but then they have
programs which read it for them, and that can select everything
from everyone who interests them at that moment, for whatever
reason (which may vary very widely), and then they may compile a
dossier, also on the contacts and the contacts of the contacts, that
then may being handed over to the FBI or the CIA for further dealing
(including destroying the evidence about where this evidence of the FBI
or CIA came from), which may very well end up in a secret court at a
secret place, or never end up in court at all: you or your friends may
just silently disappear, for thinking wrong thoughts, or desiring wrong
desires, or having (possibly) done something you should not have done,
even if you have the formal right - and almost nobody will care,
for if they do, the same may happen to them. But it is all very
good for security, and Obama loves it, so it must be Good! You
Must Trust Him!
So that may very well be the future, since everything for it is in
place, and the government wants to do it, all in your interests
and for your security, or so they say, and almost no one
defends you, and those who do are declared mad and immoral by the
government... so I am very glad I am 64 and have no children.
I will select two bits. First there is this (and most I know from other
Yes. Bill Keller sports
"the objectivity" of a sports' journalist; not the objectivity of an
investigative journalist, who generally has to find the truth from a
whole lot of deceptions and falsehoods, and who does so because he or
she is convinced that the truth sought is an important truth for many
of his or her readers. Bill Keller sports a type of "objectivity" that only exists in a
small subset of "the news that is fit to print": where most people will
agree both sides are equivalent, as the two sides in a soccer
tournament (that is, if neither of whom is one's own country).
In fact, Greenwald is a
former constitutional law and civil rights litigator. During the
interview, he rattled off to me the difference between a source and a
journalist like it was second nature: “Sources are people in the
government who have a specific legal obligation not to disclose things,
whereas journalists have been recognized as having a First Amendment
But the exercise of that
privilege has brought with it criticism from both right-wing and
mainstream analysts, including fellow journalists, who see Greenwald’s
craft as tainted by too strong a bias. A lengthy
Greenwald and former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller in the
paper’s op-ed section last year revealed the establishment conviction
that good journalism can remain objective. Keller’s position that
journalists should “keep their opinions to themselves unless they
relocate (as I have done) to the pages clearly identified as the home
of opinion” is reflective of a status quo that tends to identify
anti-government opinions as bias while blindly accepting nationalistic
tendencies as objective. Greenwald’s answer: “Ultimately, the only real
metric of journalism that should matter is accuracy and reliability.”
Then there is this:
“1984,” traitors to the regime were “thought criminals” who were
disgraced by their betrayal of Big Brother. After bring singled out as
such a criminal, Orwell’s protagonist, Winston, is instructed by his
interrogator to believe he is “mentally deranged.” Although the novel
is an extreme depiction of a fascist future, many of the tactics
adopted by today’s so-called objective journalists to keep dissenters
such as Greenwald and Snowden in line are consistent with Orwell’s dark
fantasy. By discrediting those who speak out, it is possible to dismiss
the substance of their criticisms. But, as Orwell famously wrote, “in a
time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Yes - and Snowden and
Greenwald have been accused of the most idiotic things, and have been
called mad and dangerous , while most of their news is not
reported by the standard media or gets misreported - while all they did
was revealing to the public that the American state organs spy on
everyone, which is completely against human rights and the Bill of
Rights of the Constitution.
So no: I am not optimistic. I agree that “in a time of universal deceit, telling the
truth is a revolutionary act" but it is quite conceivable to me that
"revolutionary acts", like telling the truth and not believing the
govenment, will grow less and less and less, until everybody - who has
not disappeared - is very happy indeed, all thanks to the Brave
New World that was effectively started by Cheney, Bush and Obama, from
bombs? Killer plagues? Don't panic, just follow
item is an article by Simon Jenkins on The Guardian:
This has a subtitle
that I reproduce because it is relevant and I agree (apart from "the one
superbug there is no known antidote for": there are more, such as
scientists have a vested interest in propagating panic: it's the one
superbug there's no known antidote for
But apart from the
qualification, this is quite true: Politicians these days live on fear
rather on what they have done or can do, and they cultivate a climate
of fear, or at least many of them do.
This starts as follows:
Now it is planes falling from the sky. On Tuesday it was "superbugs threaten return to dark ages". At the weekend
it was internet thought-control menace. Last week we had killer fruit juice. The edifice of fear knows no limits,
its apparatchiks know no shame.
Had the Guardian leaked
yesterday's story from the US about a "stealth bomb alert" at world
airports, it would have been accused of traitorously warning terrorists
that the authorities were on to their new weapons. Unnamed
officials were asserting "a global threat environment" related
to plastic explosives hidden in body cavities and tested in Syria.
Details of the cells responsible were traced by the BBC to the
rightwing American Cato
Institute and David Cameron's office confirmed "there are terror
organisations that seek to do the UK, its citizens and its allies
harm". I am sure – but why tell us now?
To answer the last
question: Because "we" love to hear sensation, and do not know too many
facts, and certainly not scientifically tested facts, from the hard
sciences. In fact, the average "we" is pretty stupid and is so at least
in part because he or she has been consistently misinformed,
not only by the media but also at schools and universities.
How to respond to this
daily output from the fear factory? At the drop of a headline,
prime ministers disappear into "Cobra bunkers", to return telling
of blood-curdling threats. These are always backed by "hard
evidence" from the government's two most trusty allies, the
security-industrial complex and big science and/or big pharma.
Yes indeed, and this
needs three explicatory remarks.
First, the "hard evidence" the news offers is almost
always what is called such by its makers and sellers, which
often are the public relations firms of those putting out the "news".
That is, it is slanted from the very start, even if it contains a few
grains of truth. And it never is "hard", although it is often called
"hard" quite shamelessly: By far the most people don't even know the
scientific or legal rules by which "evidence" is to be judged.
Second, the "security-industrial complex" (and see:
complex") is real and powerful, and is one of the
most trusty allies of the government - which must always be
suspected of lying: "All
governments lie and nothing they
say should be believed." I.F.
Stone, and so must these
"most trusted allies": You can safely trust that the "news" you get
from them is partial, one-sided, and slanted.
Third, Jenkins is also
right "big science and/or big
pharma" are these days quite different
from what they were a long time: Nowadays these to belong to the "most trusty allies" of the always lying or slanting i.e.
propagandizing government: science and pharma are sick, and have been
made sick by the profit-motive (which indeed pays a whole lot, it is
fair to add).
Again, Simon Jenkins is
quite correct about how to judge "the news" one is offered - and also
about its main shortcoming:
There is no better maxim
in politics than that of Watergate's Deep Throat, offered in the dark of a
Washington car park. "Follow the money: just follow the money."
Whenever I see a scare story, read a letter to the press or hear
an interview, I crave to know where is the money. I am rarely told.
Yes, behind big
stories, at least, there is always big money. And no, the reader is
almost never told about it: The average reader's task is to believe and
support, not to think and find out.
Jenkins also says,
again quite correctly (and after parts I leave to your attention):
Yet what is the risk? Who
knows, when they use emotive words such as threat, danger, menace,
thousands dead. These are used in conjunction with what is virtually a
new grammatical tense, the "future conditional horrific". Unless the
subject is given a large sum of money then global warming or a storm, a
bomb or a pandemic "may … might … could kill perhaps, possibly
No one deploys this
construction to its own gain so freely as big science, be it
through professional bodies, research institutes, quangos or
pharmaceutical companies. They profess to be models of intellectual
rectitude, but we all have to make a living.
Yes, indeed! Very
much of medical science, all of psychiatry and a lot of science I have
read or tried to read the past 30 years or so consists of extremely
vague language, that pretends to be very precise, and precisely
is not, and that is composed a new grammatical tense, the "future
It works as follows: First
select what you want to propagandize. Then select a few facts that
possibly are relevant. Next select a threat. Then combine these by
"might" and "may": Very few will realize that "might" is almost exchangeable in logical
force with "might not", and
precisely the same holds for "may". Finally, lob off all qualifications
like "all", "some" and "most": use only unqualified nouns: "Scientists
have found evidence about a dangerous disease that may kill millions"
("and Tamiflu may
save these millions! Buy it!").
Nearly all psychiatry I
have read the last four years (quite a stinking lot) is composed by
these rules. Much of medical science - these days more an adjunct of
the propaganda-departments of the mega-rich big pharma, whose salesmen
are medical doctors - turns on "may" and "might", next to enormous
advertising campaigns joined with a refusal to publish any negative
facts that might inhibit the sales of very expensive patented medicines.
Anyway... this is a good
article, and it also lists a lot of facts that you may read for
yourself. It ends like so:
The truth is that the one
disease to which there is no known antidote is panic. It is a disease
that politicians and professionals (including journalists) have a
vested interest in propagating.
Neither politicians nor journalists know science (for the most part);
most of their audience doesn't know science; and most scientists doing
a science where there is big money (medicine, psychiatry) have been
corrupted by big money, and compose their sayings by means of the"future conditional horrific" (glued together by the wordlets "may"
and "might": if you see these, you can safely infer it is propaganda/"public
relations" much rather than real science).
but true: students prefer jolt of pain than being
made to sit and think
is an article
by Ian Sample, who is the science editor of The Guardian:
are at least two qualifications here: First, you should have read item 2. Second, I am a psychologist who had decided by
1980 that psychology is, for the most part, not a real science.
(I did get an M.A. in it with straight A's, so it is not that I
could not get a degree, in case you doubted that. But yes, I was quite
right - see Lutus,
if you want to know more.)
are the first four paragraphs:
It was not so much how
hard people found the challenge, but how far they would go to avoid it
that left researchers gobsmacked. The task? To sit in a chair and do
nothing but think.
So unbearable did some
find it that they took up the safe but alarming opportunity to give
themselves mild electric shocks in an attempt to break the tedium.
Two-thirds of men pressed
a button to deliver a painful jolt during a 15-minute spell of
solitude. One man – an outlier – found thinking so disagreeable he
opted for a shock 190 times.
Under the same
conditions, a quarter of women pressed the shock button. The
difference, scientists suspect, is that men tend to be more
sensation-seeking than women.
I am a psychologist.
My reaction is this: Either mankind (and womankind) totally changed the
last 25 years or so or else this is sensationalist baloney from these
"scientists" (who probably studied the same "science" as I and Diederik Stapel did).
And now you can read item 2 (again).
'Collect It All' NSA Targets Those Seeking Web Privacy
item is an article
by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
starts as follows:
Internet users who
use online privacy tools or read certain websites may themselves become
targets of NSA surveillance, according to a new investigation by public
broadcasting outlets in Germany published
Clearly, you are an
"extremist", yes, very little different from a "terrorist" if you do
not want all your private data and e-mails being scoped
up by the state fascists of the NSA, that make the US into a
police-state, where everybody is fully known to the anonymous and
secret spies of the government.
Citing documents that
refer to "deep packet inspection" rules used by the NSA for its
so-called "XKeyscore" program to determine what targets are selected
for surveillance and how, the investigation (versions: German
reveals that people who seek out or use online privacy tools—including
things like TOR, a network tool that provides digital anonymity and
minimizes exposure to possible surveillance—may be targeted simply for
making those efforts.
Other platforms targeted
by the program include the LINUX open source operating system as well
as privacy and encryption services such as HotSpotShield, FreeNet,
Centurian, FreeProxies.org, MegaProxy, privacy.li and an anonymous
email service called MixMinion. According to the reporting, the NSA
characterized those who would use such services as "extremists," which
outrage on social media as the story broke.
And my saying these are "fascist practices" - though Wolin and Wolf
agree - only shows I come from a fascist terrorist family: My
father was "a political terrorist" and was years locked up; my
grandfather was "a political terrorist" and died locked up; I myself am
"a dirty fascist" and "a terrorist" according to sixteen philosophers
from the University of Amsterdam, so there! 
There also this:
That last suggestion
seems good, if only because at present at most 1 in a 100 does have "the technical know-how to be private".
Cory Doctorow, writing
for Boing Boing in a piece aptly titled, 'If
you read Boing Boing, the NSA considers you a target for deep
surveillance,' says the reporting contains several key revelations.
I have known that this
story was coming for some time now, having learned about its broad
contours under embargo from a trusted source. Since then, I've
discussed it in confidence with some of the technical experts who have
worked on the full set of Snowden docs, and they were as shocked as I
One expert suggested
that the NSA's intention here was to separate the sheep from the goats
-- to split the entire population of the Internet into "people who have
the technical know-how to be private" and "people who don't" and then
capture all the communications from the first group.
This is another article you probably should read all of - that is, if
you are concerned about your privacy.
Day: What the He!! HAPPENED to America?
item is an article
Blog on his site:
For non-Americans: Yes,
it is the fourth of July today, and that is American
Here is the whole article (colors and links in the original):
The brief explanation of
"what happened to America" consists of three points:
“We Have Become Such Grumbling Drones — Powerless, Passive,
And Frankly A Bit Pathetic. Our Government Is Openly Trying To Strip
Away Core Privacy Protections and Increase Police Powers At Every
Level. Yet, We Have Fallen Victim” to Stupid Divide-And-Conquer Tactics
Call me old fashion …
I love America …
The Constitution and the
Bill of Rights …
The vision of the
Founding Fathers …
The “can do” American
Americans’ ingenuity and
the h@!! HAPPENED
As one of the nation’s
leading Constitutions experts – George Washington University law
school professor Jonathan Turley – notes:
I am still amazed that
we have come to this point of rapidly declining feelings of freedom and
widespread dissociation with our political system. It is not the
failure of our constitutional system and only partially the failure of
our leaders. It is largely a failure in ourselves that we
have become such grumbling drones — powerless, passive, and frankly a
bit pathetic. Our government is openly trying to strip away core
privacy protections and increase police powers at every level. Yet, we
have fallen victim to the “blue state” and “red state”
mentality — allowing politicians to constantly deflect criticism by
referring to the other side as the greater evil. The result is
predictable and … incredibly depressing.
Americans are stupid (I am very sorry, but this is a fact), and
(2) Most Americans
are taken in by propaganda,
(3) Most things most Americans read nowadays is propaganda (advertisements
And the American state nowadays is effectively run by men and women who
go in and out the revolving doors that connect big corporations and top
governmental jobs, and who never do anything else (and who tend to get
very rich that way: it does pay).
So it is relatively easy to explain, but the explanation, though true,
is bound to be rejected, for it doesn't flatter the self-image of the majority that has been deceived quite
Finally for today I
have an inspirational video that I found on Don Quijones website Raging
Bull-Shit that also shows - possibly - why I do not like the
pop music of the present decade (2010-2020) much: I was between 10 and
20 between 1960 and 1970, and bought the Stones, and Bob Dylan, and
Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin and such:
is, and this is a very good version because the sound track is great,
and the many photos do provide good pictures:
Incidentally... I still
like Abby Martin
a lot, and you can find a lot of interesting videos here:
This is the main link,
but there are a lot of categories there, and it probably is best to
start in one of the categories, like this one (one choice from quite a
But I have to admit that
the one thing I generally switch off on her site is music...but
I explained that,
and I am 34 years older than she is.
 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.)
It is all true, but it also needs some context: My father and grandfather were
arrested on August 1, 1941 and were convicted, by Dutch judges, as
"political terrorists" - but the judges were collaborators with the
Nazis; Holland was occupied by the Nazis; and my father and grandfather
were in the resistance.
Again, it is true I was scolded as "a fascist" and "a terrorist" by 16
philosophers who were very well employed and well paid, but the
University of Amsterdam was between 1971 and 1995 a marxist
university, it was run as a Soviet al those years, and was led by
communist students and
collaborators from Dutch Labour, and I had indeed protested against the
very bad and politicized "education" I got in the name
This was my text (as
an invited speaker) and then I was removed for speaking the
truth. Also, nobody did anything for me: I was a non-person
(and still am: the Dutch are a most
noble and honest race, and indeed most of the fathers or grandfathers
of those who discriminated me were very probably Nazi-collaborators
during WW II, for then very few went into the resistance, and
collaborated, and got through the war quite safely, and meanwhile
helped murder more than 1% of the Dutch population, because "these were
of inferior race").
(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: