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."
U.S. Government’s Secret Plans to Spy for American
Should Be Challenging Arguments for War, Not
Baying for Blood
3. Legal memos released on
4. The Bankruptcy of
Detroit and the Division of America
Scottish independence: A yes vote will produce a leaner,
The Guardian view on David Cameron’s bedroom tax
12 Theses on Education in the Age of Neoliberalism and
8. 'Disruption': Film Offers
Grassroots Global Revolt as Key
Answer to Climate Crisis
9. In 'Historic Moment,' US
Senate Set to Vote on Campaign
This is a Nederlog of
September 6. It is a crisis log.
It has nine items, that do not seem to me to be quite what they seem,
in part at least, and especially item 7, item 8, and perhaps - but for a different kind of
reasons - item 9.
Also, this got uploaded some hours before the normal time.
1. The U.S. Government’s Secret Plans to Spy for American
item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
I'd say that, clearly,
the first statement in the quotation embodies a lie by the U.S.
Throughout the last year,
the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in
economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own
spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other
corporate targets. So critical is this denial to the U.S. government
that last August, an NSA spokesperson emailed The
Washington Post to say (emphasis in original): “The
department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain,
After that categorical
statement to the Post, the NSA was caught spying on plainly
financial targets such as the
Brazilian oil giant Petrobras; economic
credit card and banking
systems; the EU
antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft, and Intel;
International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In response, the
U.S. modified its denial to acknowledge that it does engage in
economic spying, but unlike China, the spying is never done to benefit
After all, espionage is done, from ages immemorial, to get economic and
industrial data, and to get political data, and indeed to get any
data that are being kept from those who try to spy.
Second, the last statement
in the quotation offers another lie by the U.S. government: Of
course it will and does benefit American corporations with
the data it found.
And indeed Glenn
Greenwald has the information that proves the point, and it is from the
Snowden revelations. Thus, there is a secret report from 2009 that says
recommends “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open
source and proprietary information through overt means,
clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and
counterintelligence” (emphasis added).
(..) the report
heralds “technology acquisition by all means.”
Anyway - there is a
considerable amount of more information under the last dotted link.
And it also seems as if one way of reading Obama's government sayings
and get the truth is to deny everything they say, and to consider that
result the prima facie best approach to the real truth.
For this certainly is the case with spying (which is nearly
completely secretive, in spite of the fact that it targets everything
every American does with his or her computer or
cellphone, and without the least permission, and as if the government
owes everyone's private data).
2. Media Should Be Challenging Arguments for
War, Not Baying for Blood
item is an article by Dan Froomkin on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
There is a considerable amount
of information to build this up.
Washington’s elite media,
as usual, is doing its job exactly wrong.
They are baying for war.
Pundits and reporters are
for who can be more scornful of President Obama for his insufficiently
militaristic response to the brutal Sunni militants who call themselves
the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
They are gleefully
parsing Obama’s language for weakness, and essentially
demanding a major military assault — while failing to ask the tough
questions about what if any good it could actually accomplish.
However, I note two things: (1) Yes, this is true - the media have
changed, and quite radically as well, but this is a process with
several factors that has been going on some twenty years now (when it
started twenty years ago, with the rise of internet and the lack of
paper advertisements). And (2): While I agree that "the media" are
corrupt, not all are and not all are equally corrupt either -
or simply lousy, or poor informers - though indeed I agree that the
non-corrupted parts seem to be fewer than the corrupted parts, at least
memos released on Bush-era justification for warrantless wiretapping
item is an article by Ellen Nakashima on The Washington Post:
This starts as follows:
What an incredible and
degenerate liar is - or at least: was - Jack Goldsmith!
The Justice Department
released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public
airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the
warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails — a
program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The broad outlines of the
argument — that the president has inherent constitutional power to
monitor Americans’ communications without a warrant in a time of war —
were known, but the sweep of the reasoning becomes even clearer in the
memos written by then-Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith, who
was head of President George W. Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel.
“We conclude only that
when the nation has been thrust into an armed conflict by a foreign
attack on the United States and the president determines in his role as
commander in chief . . . that it is essential for defense against a
further foreign attack to use the [wiretapping] capabilities of the
[National Security Agency] within the United States, he has inherent
constitutional authority” to order warrantless wiretapping — “an
authority that Congress cannot curtail,” Goldsmith wrote in a redacted 108-page
memo dated May 6, 2004.
Indeed, we do not get in this piece "the sweep of the reasoning", but I would not
at all be amazed if there is hardly any reasoning for the
conclusion in the third paragraph, for that is plainly and completely
anti-democratic: The president has no ""inherent constitutional authority” to order
and evidently he also has no powers or authority "that Congress cannot curtail".
But OK - Goldsmith resigned in 2004, and seems to have changed his
opinions at least a little.
There is considerably more in the article, but it seems that the
situation of 2003 still mostly prevails, though the legal
veneer has changed somewhat: The NSA (together with the GCHQ,
perhaps) steals whatever it pleases - 850 billion documents,
for example: Over a 100 for every human inhabitant of the earth -
simply because it can, and the FISA-court simply rubber stamp
this. And then it is all legal, or at least "legal", and still almost
no one knows anything.
4. The Bankruptcy of Detroit and the
Division of America
item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as
There is rather a lot
more, that shows how the predominantly rich and white inhabitants of
Oakland County, that is hardly distinct from Detroit, except for a
small sign, refuse to assist the many poor in Detroit itself:
Detroit is the largest
city ever to seek bankruptcy protection, so its bankruptcy is seen as a
potential model for other American cities now teetering on the edge.
But Detroit is really a
model for how wealthier and whiter Americans escape the costs of public
goods they’d otherwise share with poorer and darker Americans.
Any hint they
should take some responsibility has invited righteous indignation.
“Now, all of a sudden, they’re having problems and they want to give
part of the responsibility to the suburbs?” scoffs L.
Brooks Paterson, the Oakland County executive. “They’re not gonna’ talk
me into being the good guy. ‘Pick up your share?’ Ha ha.”
It seems as if this
attitude is part of the core of the problem, and indeed this complete
lack of solidarity between the rich(er) and the poor(er) parts of the
U.S. economy, that also gets twisted by obvious and non-obvious racism,
is part of the teachings of the neoliberal Ayn Randians, that have been
put into Dutch verse long before Ayn Rand got born:
"Me, me, me, first!
And the rest can burst!"
(Dutch: "Ikke, ikke,
ikke!/En de rest kan stikken!")
independence: A yes vote will
produce a leaner,
item is an article by Simon Jenkins on The Guardian:
I will quote only one
paragraph from this, namely the following:
I would vote yes because,
though I disbelieve both Darling and Salmond, Salmond’s lies would
precipitate a crisis that would have to lead to a leaner, meaner
Scotland, one bolstered by the well-known advantages of newborn states
and more intimate governments. Scotland’s whingeing and blaming of
London would stop. It would be driven towards true
self-sufficiency, capable of resembling Denmark, Norway, Ireland
or Slovakia as a haven for fleet-footed entrepreneurs.
And I should add that
Simon Jenkins also says he would vote no as an English London-based
voter, though in fact he cannot vote at all.
What would I vote? I
have no vote, but it would be yes, and my main argument would be that I
haven't seen any decent English government since Thatcher. And
yes, I have lived in England, but not long, and before Thatcher
Guardian view on David Cameron’s bedroom tax defeat
item is an article by Editorial on The Guardian:
This starts as
For the prime minister’s
party to be defeated on the floor of the House of Commons is a pretty
rare event – happening somewhat less than once a year on average over the last third of a century. For the PM’s party to
go down by a hefty Commons majority of 75, as the Conservatives did on the bedroom tax today, is almost unprecedented.
True, David Cameron was once hammered on a purely procedural vote after being caught by a
Labour ambush, but today’s loss was over real substance: a bill to
exempt poor social tenants from paying for spare bedrooms until they’ve
actually got the option of somewhere smaller to live.
This is contentious social
policy, with direct implications for government spending. It thus
touches the government’s authority, making this a very bad first week
of term for the new chief whip, Michael Gove.
Note that the bill
was defeated with 75 votes. Also, there is talk in the English press
that this marks the end of the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. I don't
know, since I distrust nearly all currently active well known political
persons in Great Britain, but the article is here mostly because I have
very little sympathy with Cameron.
Theses on Education in the Age of Neoliberalism and Terrorism
The next item is an
article by DiLeo, Giroux, McClennen and Saltman on Truthdig:
In fact, this is an
excerpt from the book “Neoliberalism,
Contemporary Dialogues” by the same authors. I have to say I know none of these
except Giroux, who I mostly avoid because he sounds so much like the
quasi-marxist, quasi-progressive, quasi-egalitarian professors and
lecturers I know so well from the University of Amsterdam (whence I was
removed in 1988 briefly before taking my M.A. in
philosophy because I dared to ask questions in a public
Actually, almost none of these professors or lecturers were
anything like marxists,
progressives or egalitarians, but they all pretended to be
because they had extremely soft very well-paying bureaucratic
jobs they very much wanted to keep (and nearly all did, and for
twenty-five years at least: Dutch "scientists" are state bureaucrats),
and the climate in the University of Amsterdam was basically marxist or
while the universities were in the hands of the students from
So I copy the theses, but will not copy the intervening texts - and the
theses are bold in the original:
Neoliberalism is one of the greatest threats to the future
See what I mean? If not,
here is part of the blurb under thesis 5:
of progressive education in the United States.
The war on terror and the discourse on terrorism have
intensified the militarization of education.
The humanities are jeopardized by the rise of neoliberal
educational policies and the discourse on
Cultural Studies has been a major target of the attacks
on higher education.
Educational innovation is not supported by neoliberal
approaches to education.
The United States public education system will be
completely privatized if it continues to
through market-based values.
Education as a public good that prepares citizens for
collective self-governance is compromised by
educational policies and the war on terror.
The rise of neoliberalism and the discourse on terrorism
brings about a denial of politics.
Neoliberal educational policies in consort with the
discourse of terrorism promote extreme fear
students and faculty regarding education’s
Higher and public education is a public good and not
simply a private right.
Governance structures in higher and public education
should not mimic managerial models of
requires public investment.
the classroom is grounded in a critical pedagogy that values an
open-ended, dialogical, approach to education. The classroom in this
vision of educational praxis is viewed as a potentially transgressive
space wherein students and teacher mutually explore knowledge
formations in a playful albeit critically engaged manner.
I mean: "grounded in a critical pedagogy" with an "open-ended, dialogical approach", also with an "educational praxis" that is no less than "a potentially transgressive space" where teachers and students "mutually explore knowledge formations", "playful
albeit critical" but very "engaged"
- that all sounds very much like the awful bureaucratic sick
tripe that was served for 25 years in the University of Amsterdam.
And I may be mistaken, but that is what it sounds like.
8. 'Disruption': Film Offers Grassroots Global
Revolt as Key Answer to Climate Crisis
The next item is an
article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as
Ahead of a mass
demonstration scheduled for New York City on September 21 that will
take place alongside a global mobilization aimed at world leaders
meeting at the United Nations that week, climate campaigners have been
ratcheting up their messaging to make their position as clear as the
scientific consensus that informs it: The planet faces an
unprecedented crisis due to human-caused global warming and climate
change. As governments and business leaders have refused to act, it is
ordinary people, pushing radically from below, who must now mobilize.
Actually, I am
skeptical. See Chris Hedges' piece on
September 1 (about which I am also skeptical, but for different
reasons): It is too late to organize "a global mobilization aimed at world leaders", for these are a major part of the
problem and indeed have caused considerable parts of the problem
(namely by not doing anything effective, for something like 40
Also, I have watched
part of the trailer, and I what I saw there were extremely well-dressed
black and white Key Leaders of Opinion mouthing
big words, cut with footage from very poor people in crisis zones.
I am sorry: I have
seen this before, many times also, and it doesn't convince me at all.
(In fact, it sounds like the Dutch fraudulent "leftist" Wim Kok - the
friend of Clinton and Blair - who declared in effect (almost) that he
would end the presence of atomic weapons in the world, in the year
1980. Well, they're still there, and meanwhile Kok has become prime
minister, has pretended the left is dead c.q. replaced by "Third Way Politics",
and presently earns a very fat salary as commissioner here and
commissioner there. O so very credible! O so noble!)
'Historic Moment,' US Senate Set to Vote on Campaign Finance Amendment
The next and last
item today is an article by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as
The U.S. Senate is
expected to vote Monday on a constitutional amendment
that would effectively overturn
the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. The bill,
sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), "grants Congress and the
states the power to regulate the raising and spending of money and
in-kind equivalents with respect to federal and state elections,
“This is a historic
Marge Baker, executive vice president at People
For the American Way, which has been one of the leaders of the push
for a constitutional amendment. “The Citizens United decision
came just four and a half years ago, and now the Senate is about to
vote on an amendment to overturn it. Americans are fed up with the
staggering amounts of money flooding elections. With this level of
public support for taking money out of politics, it’s clear that this
is just the beginning of the push for an amendment.”
Because it would amend
the U.S. Constitution, the proposal requires a two-thirds majority to
pass. It would then have to pass in the House by the same majority and
be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. According to
Public Citizen, 50 senators have indicated their support for the
Well... I am in favor
of the amendment, but I also fear that it will not make the requisite
two-thirds majority, and will get stopped somewhere along the road it
has to take.
But I would be glad
to be mistaken.
P.S. Sep 7, 2014: I corrected a
 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.)
 This is all quite true, quite difficult to imagine,
and typically Dutch.
The most amazing thing is that the Dutch universities were for
nearly 25 years in hands of the students, but were in fact governed
as Soviets, by chairmen from the Dutch Labour Party, and a University
Parliament in which the communist (later: postmodern) students always
had the absolute majority (which they used only for their own
At present, and since 1995, everyone in the university, and indeed most
everyone in Holland, pretends there was no period from
1971-1995 at all: The profiteers, who also defended and taught the
theses that "everyone knows that there is no truth" and that "everyone
knows everyone is equal", still live, though most are very well
(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: