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."
Guardian view on Edward Snowden's challenges for
2. Edward Snowden: easy-to-use
technologies can subvert
3. Edward Snowden should not face
trial, says UN human
services 'creating vast databases' of
5. British PM Cameron Enabling
Wall Street’s Takeover of
National Health Service
6. on its extended sabbatical…
This is the Nederlog of
July 20. It is a crisis log.
It is a follow-up to July 19 (that I also
renamed to July 19 - was: 18
- at one point, and in which I made some other repairs), which was not
quite normal, mostly because it reviewed two long Guardian articles on
The present crisis issue starts with three articles on Snowden,
followed by one on the secret services collecting all the materials to
jail anyone, if they want, and the British PM's sell-out of the
National Health System under a secret international treaty that
I can only describe as neo-fascist. 
There also is an article on 1 boring old man, whose blog was removed
unaccountably for a couple of days, which is less of a crisis item, but
is here because I quoted him rather a lot, and like him (without
agreeing to everything he says), and there also are both a brief and a
long video from George Carlin, who still is one of my favorite
philosophers: he was smart, knowledgeable and formulated really well,
none of which is true of the vast majority of academic philosophers,
who also completely lack his courage and nearly all lack all talents,
which also seems to be a necessary condition for being nominated into
academia, in philosophy, at least.
The Guardian view
on Edward Snowden's challenges for
item is an article by Editorial on The Guardian:
This starts as follows,
and undoubtedly is a follow-up of the two long articles on Edward
Snowden on The Guardian that I reviewed yesterday
(with a few corrections of today):
Love or revile
him, Edward Snowden
has raised a great number of profoundly important challenges for
society. They include disturbing issues to do with legality,
privacy, security, oversight, consent, ethics, commerce, innovation,
communications, encryption, and international relations. No one
sensible thinks these matters are easy to understand, let alone
reconcile. But one of the things that marks democracies out from
security states is the expectation that elected politicians will debate
and, on our behalf, resolve the complex tangle of dilemmas involved in
21st-century surveillance, intelligence and policing.
I quite agree with the
first statement, but I disagree with the second, rather like George
Carlin (and see item 7, below): I certainly have no
faith whatsoever that "elected politicians will debate and, on our behalf, resolve
the complex tangle of dilemmas",
and indeed have never voted in any of the ordinary elections
since 1971: I do not want to be demeaned by associations with egoistic
Also, since my position these days is rather less anomalous (is the
term, I will suppose) than it was 30 or more years ago, this
really should have been mentioned:
Ordinary politics by ordinary politicians does not resolve
almost anything in the rational and reasonable ways I
favor; I distrust nearly all ordinary politicians I see and saw, and
know they are nearly all a lot less intelligent and informed than I am,
and I know that the one major talent they nearly all have is that they
are very impertinent liars, cheats and deceivers - and I mean that for every
party, left, right and center. They are not where they are for me,
or for democracy, or for rights: They are where they
are for themselves, for power, and for more money for their kind of
people, which is definitely not my kind.
Next, I do agree that ordinary elected politicians should
play the roles The Guardian assigns to them. I say they do not want to
play these roles; they have not played these roles for decades; and
indeed the vast majority lack the talents, the motives, the honesty and
the decency to do so at all in any tolerable fashion.
Also, in case it is relevant: I am 64 and hold two of the best academic
degrees. I am not saying this because I am stupid or ignorant; I am
saying this because I am not, and because those who set
as modern politicians are, as a rule. Besides, they tend to be
totally free of the ballast of a personal conscience.
In fact, in the next paragraph, after correctly listing the debates
Snowden's revelations unleashed, which I leave to your interest, the
Editorial says, quite correctly:
From the vast
majority of Westminster peers and MPs there has barely been a peep. And
then – nine days ago – there came the revelation that the UK government
had secretly cooked up "emergency" legislation which was rushed through
both houses with unseemly haste and minimal discussion.
Quite so - which should
show that the British parliament and the British elected politicians
are, in vast majority, not democrats, not defenders of
rights, and not representatives of those who elected them: They
function as a group that is eager to bring in fascism - see item 5, below - though they are too cowardly to
call it that way, while they are enabling its program.
That is: They want to take away your rights, they want
to take away your remaining riches, and they want to take away
your remaining freedoms, indeed unless you belong to their club or have
arrived as a millionaire. For that is what they are doing. And
as for you, if you are not their assistant or an arrived millionaire:
you are a mere statistic, without any value - and as you may be "a
terrorist" (they claim), the GCHQ knows all about you. (See item 4.)
The Editorial has considerably more that criticizes the
parliamentarians, which is OK as far as it goes - but it does not go
far enough because it does not see or say that these parliamentarians
are in vast majority incompetents, liars, cheats, deceivers and
careerists. (I am sorry, but they are - again: I am 64 and hold two of
the best academic degrees.)
And I do not believe in them at all, for I have seen this for
44 years now: Parliamentarism may work, but not if it attracts and
gives positions to the worst, to the cheats, to the deceivers, to the liars and to the posers, as it does and has done in England since
Thatcher, Blair and Brown ruined the democracy and filled the
parliaments with their talentless careerist yes-men. (And see item 7: George Carlin spoke the truth, indeed
also in a funny way.)
2. Edward Snowden: easy-to-use technologies can
item is an article by Reuters on The Guardian:
This starts as
Edward Snowden, a
former US spy agency contractor who leaked details of major US surveillance
programs, called on supporters at a hacking conference to spur development of
easy-to-use technologies to subvert government surveillance programs
around the globe.
Snowden, who addressed
conference attendees on Saturday via video link from Moscow, said he
intends to devote much of his time to promoting such technologies,
including ones that allow people to communicate anonymously and encrypt
"You in this room, right
now have both the means and the capability to improve the future by
encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every
day," he told the New York City conference, known as Hackers On Planet
"That is what a lot of my
future work is going to be involved in," he told hundreds of hackers
This I like, and
expect more of it than I do from all the efforts of all the
parliamentarians (which tend to be directed against the rights
of ordinary people, whatever the pretense, and with a few exceptions,
that never win a parliamentary vote).
Then again, I am not
very optimistic about this either, especially because the open source
community is a small community that also has little money.
3. Edward Snowden should not face trial, says UN
human rights commissioner
item is an article by Reuters on The Guardian:
This starts as
The United Nations's
top human rights
official has suggested that the United States
should abandon its efforts to prosecute Edward Snowden,
saying his revelations of massive state surveillance had been in the
The UN high commissioner
for human rights, Navi Pillay, credited Snowden, a former US National
Security Agency contractor, with starting a global debate that has
led to calls for the curtailing of state powers to snoop on citizens
online and store their data.
"Those who disclose human
rights violations should be protected: we need them," Pillay told a
"I see some of it here in
the case of Snowden, because his revelations go to the core of what we
are saying about the need for transparency, the need for consultation,"
she said. "We owe a great deal to him for revealing this kind of
Quite so! There is
(..) she added that
Snowden should be seen as a human rights defender.
"I am raising right here
some very important arguments that could be raised on his behalf so
that these criminal proceedings are averted," she said.
Pillay was speaking after
issuing a report on government surveillance, The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age (pdf), which says
governments must accept stronger checks on their data
surveillance powers and companies must do more to stand up to the
state's demands for data.
One reason to copy
this is the link to The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age (pdf), which I
downloaded and may return to.
services 'creating vast databases' of intercepted emails
item is an article
by Owen Bowcott on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Of course, these
databases are assembled from stolen materials that are the private
possessions of those the government flunkies stole it from. But then
again there is this, by the spokesperson for the governmental thieves:
The intelligence services
are constructing "vast databases" out of accumulated interceptions of
emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet
has been told.
The claim emerged during
a ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and the government at
the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT).
Matthew Ryder QC, for Liberty
and other human rights
groups, told a hearing the government had not disputed "that databases
gathering material that may be useful for the future is something that
may be permissible under Ripa [the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000]".
If they are deemed under
the legislation to be "necessary", he said, that may mean their use
"can stretch far into the future".
Ryder added: "The
government is now conceding it can gather such databases."
senior security advisor, Charles Farr, has submitted a lengthy defence of
policy, explaining that emails, online searches and communications that
touch foreign servers are deemed to be external, not internal, and so
do not require an individual warrant to be intercepted.
Farr says they are "deemed"
to be "external, not internal". Itb is total bullshit: What
he means is that he or the
GCHQ can steal all your private information, lock it in
a private database, and may use it against you 10, 20 or 40 years in
the future, in a secret trial, without any lawyer for you, and without
any possibility of appeal.
There is considerably more in the article, that also notes that there
is no judgment yet.
5. British PM Cameron Enabling Wall Street’s Takeover of
National Health Service
item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows - and note the TTIP is a secret
treaty that will only be made not secret after
it has been functioning for five years at least. Also, it is
Thank you, David Cameron! O what a fine man you are! (There
is more by McCluskey here.)
The U.K.’s cherished
public health service is in danger of being sold off to private
corporations via a trade deal that would create a single market between
the European Union and the United States and open future British
governments to massive lawsuits in international courts should they
attempt to reverse the decision.
The proposal is another
example of a country’s elite selling out institutions that are
necessary to the public welfare for the sake of maintaining and
increasing its own wealth and power.
Embedded in a pact called
the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the deal was
being negotiated in Brussels last week. Len McCluskey of Unite the
Union, Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union, wrote on Thursday in
The government’s Health
and Social Care Act 2012 opened the floodgates to the NHS sell-off. The
act has massively increased the number of private providers in the NHS.
Since this act came in to force, 70% of health services put out to
tender have gone to the private sector.
Many of these companies
are US-based or have Wall Street investors. Serco, for example, is
involved in the provision of health services within the NHS and is
owned by big Wall Street investment firms such as Invesco, Fidelity and
BlackRock. Now [Prime Minister David] Cameron is set on giving these US
investors new powers to sue any future UK government if it makes
changes to health policy that might stop the dollars rolling in.
The deal will mean that
American investors will be able to haul any UK government that tries to
reverse privatisation to a tribunal – the “investor state dispute
settlement” that would operate outside the law of this land. These
tribunals will have the power to award billions in damages and
compensation for lost profits and the loss of projected future profits,
with no right of appeal. Yes, that is right – no right of appeal.
6. on its extended sabbatical…
Next, there is this by 1 boring
old man on his blog:
In fact, I had missed his
blog for some days, and he starts by explaining why:
I woke up
Thursday morning to an email
alerting me to the fact that my blog had disappeared. I tried it and
something I said? The nice
technician in Utah [who knew it was in Utah?] said not-to-worry. It had
been moved to a new server [?] and the domain pointer hadn’t been
‘hooked up.’ The department that looks into such matters didn’t open
until 10:00 AM EST. Oh by the way, after it’s hooked up. it’ll take
several days "for global DNS propagation."
Anyway... there is
considerably more there, but this at least explains why I missed it for
some days, and instead got the above. (I am following it because he is
one of the few psychiatrists I still can take serious. I am not saying
it is for everyone.)
Finally for today, two
videos with George Carlin, a small one of five minutes and a large one
of slightly over an hour, that is a composite of over 40 years of
I may return to this later,
for I do believe he spoke the truth (mostly), and very few do, and
especially not in such a way that it also makes one laugh.
 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.)
I think that really is the right term, taking "fascism" = "the
unification of government and big business", so I am using it.
In case you object: 26 years ago I have been removed briefly before
taking my M.A. from the faculty of philosophy of the University of
Amsterdam as "a fascist" and "a terrorist", essentially because I was not
a marxist and asked questions.
Before that, my father had been described as "an insane little
strike-leader" by a doctor of the Amsterdam GGD, because my father
spent more than 3 years and 9 months in German concentration-camps, and
was knighted afterward; and my mother had been described as "a dirty
whoring cunt" by two doormen of the Amsterdam "social service".
In fact, my mother, father and grandfather were heroes of the Dutch
anti-fascistic resistance, but this does quite adequately relay
the average intelligence, decency, humanity and the motives of the
Amsterdam civil servants.
And of course, my letters and mails were never answered: I
addressed them to degenrate fascists and terrorists who posed as social
democrats but who helped turn over more
than 260 billion dollars in illegal soft
drugs alone in Holland the last 26 years. But the Dutch don't care...
(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: