20, 2014
Crisis: Snowden*3, Vast Databases, Cameron, Sabbatical, Carlin
  "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

The 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
     rights commissioner

Intelligence services 'creating vast databases' of
     intercepted emails

5. British PM Cameron Enabling Wall Street’s Takeover of
     National Health Service

6. on its extended sabbatical…
George Carlin

About ME/CFS


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 Edward Snowden.

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. [2]

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.

1. The Guardian view on Edward Snowden's challenges for society

The first 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 fools.

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 themselves up 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 subvert surveillance  

The next item is an article by Reuters on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

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 their messages.

"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 Earth(Hope).

"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 

The next item is an article by Reuters on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

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 public interest.

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 news conference.

"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 information."

Quite so! There is also this:

(..) 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.

4. Intelligence services 'creating vast databases' of intercepted emails

The next item is an article by Owen Bowcott on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

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."

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 government's senior security advisor, Charles Farr, has submitted a lengthy defence of interception surveillance 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

The next 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 pure neo-fascism:

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 Guardian:

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.

Thank you, David Cameron! O what a fine man you are! (There is more by McCluskey here.)

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 saw:

Was it 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.)

7. George Carlin

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 selected materials:

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.


[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.)

[2] 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...

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)

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)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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