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."
CIA’s Mop-Up Man
Hackers Did to Celebs? The NSA’s Been Doing That
to All of the U.S. Instead of
3. Limits to Growth was
right. New research shows we're
Deadbeats: How Companies Get Rich Off Of
Canadian Beekeepers Launch Class Action Suit Against
John Le Carré: “The U.S. Has Gone Mad!”
Gitmo Exclusive Part II: Media Brainwashing, Sham Trials
& Closing Gitmo for Good
This is a Nederlog of Friday,
September 5. It is a crisis log.
There are seven items with seven dotted links. You may be especially
interested in item 3, item 4
(from Newsweek!), item 6 and item 7.
The CIA’s Mop-Up Man
item is an article by Ken Silverstein on The Intercept (with a
three-line title, that I think is too long and therefore abbreviated):
This starts as follows:
Mr Dilanian is quite a
careerist! And I write this knowing - I think - that Dilanian's way of
making a career seems quite normal to me, at least judging by my - very
extensive - Dutch experiences with political, jpurnalistic, legal and
drugs- corruption. 
A prominent national
security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely
submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press
handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The
Email exchanges between
CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press
intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times,
show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with
the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes
sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to
publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to
have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually
published in the Times.
Indeed, that is brought out by the rest of the article, that gives a
lot more information on Dilanian's relations with the CIA, and also on
other journalists who "work very closely" with the CIA.
Is everybody corrupt? Of course not. But journalism has changed, and
there may be many more Dilanians than is currently known, if only
because the government approves, the CIA approves, the GOP approves,
nobody knows (except for Snowden's revelations), and the pay is fine.
So what would prevent a journalist these days to secretively
collaborate with the CIA? 
2. What Hackers Did to Celebs? The NSA’s Been
Doing That to All of the U.S. Instead of Predicting ISIL
item is another article by Juan Cole on Truth Dig:
This starts as
There has been a lot of
justifiable outrage about the invasion of privacy of celebrities and
the posting of their private, nude photos at 4Chan by hackers who
apparently got into their cloud accounts.
It seems odd to me that
the discussion of this issue has been completely unconnected to the
Snowden revelations that the U.S. government has been assiduously
spying on everyone’s cloud. (...)
Barack Obama’s glib assurances that they haven’t been recording our
emails notwithstanding, they’ve been recording our emails (they can
actually read them in real time), as well as sweeping up the content of
phone calls as data files. NSA personnel routinely passed around nude
photos of people captured from the internet, Snowden has revealed,
calling it a perk of the job. Some NSA personnel misused their
position to spy on ex-girlfriends.
Actually, it is not -
quite - true that "the
discussion of this issue has been completely unconnected to the
for I quoted yesterday a piece that
did so, and that was also not the only one to do so.
But I agree that far
fewer picked this up than were (or acted) outraged over the stealing of
the nude pictures of a few well-known sexy women, while there has been very
much more theft of nude pictures by the NSA and GCHQ, but indeed in
secret, and not - so far as is known - of well-known sexy women.
Anyway - here is the
end of the article, that seems correct to me:
3. Limits to Growth was right. New research
shows we're nearing collapse
But just as you feel
sorry for high-strung celebs distressed over being violated, you have
to feel sorry for the whole American public, who have been being
unconstitutionally violated for years.
item is an article by Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
I say. I have read the
book, indeed in 1972 or 1973, and indeed was then and am now convinced
that the central thesis of the book is correct:
The 1972 book Limits to
Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some
time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was
published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg
consigned it to the “dustbin
It doesn’t belong there. Research
from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are
accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s
scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing
Limits to Growth was
commissioned by a think tank called the Club of Rome. Researchers
working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including
husband-and-wife team Donella and Dennis Meadows, built a computer
model to track the world’s economy and environment. Called World3, this
computer model was cutting edge.
The book’s central
point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the
quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would
eventually lead to a crash.
However, a "cutting
edge" model in 1972 is hardly cutting edge now, and how sensible the
1972 predictions were must depend on (i) the central parameters that
were selected, and (ii) on the facts since 1972, and (iii) on how other
models performed after the fact, given the same factual data.
The article claims that the model - and more specifically, the
"business as usual" model - was quite correct, and indeed "other
models" were not, and it underlines the first point by showing three
graphs, that indeed are quite close.
I do not know whether this is correct, but it may be, and if it is, the
future is dark indeed, especially from 2015-2020 onwards, especially
around 2050, and until the end of this century, by which time - in 2100
- the population will have fallen back to 1980 levels (and the world
will be very much poorer, and in quite a deplorable state).
Anyway... here is a 1972 prediction from "Limits to Growth":
If the present
growth trends in world population, industrialisation, pollution, food
production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to
growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one
hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and
uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.
After 40 years, that
still seems quite correct, and you can study it in some more detail in
4. Corporate Deadbeats: How Companies Get
Rich Off Of Taxes
item is an article by David Cay Johnson on Newsweek:
This starts as
You and your
wallet have a big stake in huge tax-dodging deals being crafted by big
American companies, like Burger King merging with Tim Hortons, the
Canadian coffee and doughnut chain.
Burger King is
looking to swap the 35 percent corporate tax rate in the U.S. for
Canada’s 15 percent rate, even though its working headquarters will
remain in Miami. The little people—the millions of us who pay our taxes
week to week—will pick up some of the tax burden Burger King and other
multinationals shirk through these so-called inversions, in which they
move their headquarters, on paper, to escape taxes while continuing to
enjoy all the benefits of doing business in America.
It’s just one
of several ways multinationals don’t pay their fair share, and they get
away with it because the federal government encourages such behavior.
If Congress taxed you the way it taxes multinational corporations, you
would have a much fatter wallet. If you were Apple, General Electric,
Google or Microsoft, taxes would not be a burden at all. Instead, taxes
would help you prosper.
corporations get enormous interest-free loans:
Apple and GE owe
at least $36 billion in taxes on profits being held tax-free offshore,
Microsoft nearly $27 billion and Pfizer $24 billion, according to
Citizens for Tax Justice (..)
This is how it gets
How can a tax burden
become a boon? Simple. Congress lets multinationals earn profits today
but pay their taxes by-and-by. In effect, Uncle Sam is loaning these
companies all that money they do not immediately turn over as taxes.
And all of these loans come with the same attractive interest rate:
corporations are people, according to that brave protector of rights
that is the U.S. Supreme Court, there is this difference between people
For the vast
majority of people with regular W-2 jobs, income taxes are taken out before
you get your check. Congress does not trust you, so it
demands its cut up front and requires your employer, bank and
stockbroker to verify what they paid you.
But if you are a
multinational, the government takes your word on how much you owe,
subject only to the increasingly rare audits by the IRS.
multinationals, the taxes on each year’s profits do not come due
immediately, but often years or decades later. If a company goes broke
before the taxes come due, they might never be paid, as happened with
Enron, which, subpoenaed documents show, regarded its tax department as
a “profit center.”
Anyway... there is a lot
more in the article, and I must say I found it at least a bit amazing,
since it is in Newsweek and it is well worth reading.
Beekeepers Launch Class Action Suit Against
item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as
follows - and I wrote about this before, repeatedly, and this seems
good news to me:
Beekeepers in the
Canadian province of Ontario have launched a class action lawsuit
against makers of a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees.
(pdf) filed Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeks $450
million in damages going back to 2006 for the "chronic effects of the
use of the Neonicotinoids [...] felt by Canada’s Beekeepers annually."
The effort targets
agribusiness giants Bayer and Syngenta, whom the claims states were
"negligent in permitting or failing to prevent the damages caused by
the Neonicotinoids to the Beekeepers."
The claim, led by two
Ontario-based honey producers and filed by
Siskinds LLP, charges that agribusiness giants Bayer and Syngenta's
"continued production, marketing and sale of the Neonicotinoids" poses
"ongoing" damage. "Beekeepers have suffered, and will continue to
suffer, devastating economic hardships as a result of the continued use
of Neonicotinoids," it states.
There is considerably
more in the article, and this seems to me to be the way to go, and especially
in the U.S. and Canada, where neonicotinoids still are normally used
and produced, which is not the case in the European Union.
John Le Carré: “The U.S. Has Gone Mad!”
item is not an article but a video of John le Carré
(<-Wikipedia), who reads from an essay he wrote in 2003, briefly
before the invasion of Iraq, that I liked:
I owe this reference
to the site Raging Bull-Shit. It is from 2010 and by Amy Goodman, and
the title (in quotes) is the title of the essay. It takes 8 m
51 s, though not all of that is reading by Le Carré (he finishes by 7 m
Note again that this
was originally written briefly before the attack on Iraq.
Exclusive Part II: Media Brainwashing, Sham Trials & Closing Gitmo
The next and last
item is also not an article but a video, this time by Abby Martin.
It is part II of her series on Gitmo:
Here is the text
under this video:
On this episode of
Breaking the Set, Abby Martin features Part II of her exclusive
coverage from Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba, starting by going over how
difficult it is for the press to cover Gitmo due to extreme military
restrictions. Abby then speaks with Lt. Col. Myles Caggins,
Spokesperson for Detainee Policy, about the absurd bureaucracy of the
Periodic Review Board and why the prison remains open nearly six years
after Obama signed an executive order to close down the facility.
Several prominent Gitmo defense attorneys and a sociology professor
then explain why the military trials of the alleged 9/11 conspirators
have become a complete sham. Abby then speaks with another Gitmo
defense attorney, James Connell about the extreme secrecy and
overclassfication that plagues the prison and harms the attorney-client
relationship. BTS wraps up the show with a call to action to close the
prison for good and how shutting down the facility could be done in
quick and timely manner.
As I said the day before yesterday, when I put up
a link to part I: The
video takes 28 m 3
s but it is well made and well worth seeing, although it will not make
you happier. Also, Abby Martin is one of the very few who
makes such videos.
And especially the
interview with James Connell is well worth seeing.
 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 am very sorry but I have never
believed that "all men are equal" (except possibly in rights, but that
is something different, and indeed was also never said: What
was said was that everyone is equal, and not that
everyone deserves equal rights), and I also never have
believed that "everyone knows that truth does not exist", even though
these two statements are about the only thing I "learned" in the
University of Amsterdam (that I did leave with an excellent M.A. and
B.A.), and these two theses have been systematically endorsed
from resp. 1970 and 1978 till 1995 in that university.
I must also be one of the very, very few who did not
believe this (!), and I explain this by the fact that I am also the only
Dutchman living in Holland with a (genuinely marxist) father and a
grandfather convicted as "political terrorists" by the Germans in 1941,
and sent to concentration camps.
For this tended to be extremely rare among the heroic Dutch,
who had more voluntary members of the SS between 1940 and 1945 than
members of the resistance.
This is also the probable reason (or background) that I was
kicked out from the faculty of philosophy in 1988 by 16 academic
philosophers and the Board of Directors as "a fascist" and "a
terrorist", after having been invited to speak there, and having only
(<- The questions. They were not friendly but were very much
justified. No one ever answered them, except by scolding.)
And no one else in Holland has been thus honored since 1945 but
 A moral backbone, considerable intelligence and
personal courage - is one answer.
(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: