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. Obama Charged with
'Imperial Hubris' Unmatched Even
Now Fear ISIS Sleeper Cells Are Living in the
U.S., Overwhelmingly Support
3. Climate crimes: Naomi Klein on
4. Tech Giants Pull Massive
Bait-and-Switch on Your Privacy
“We Are In that Brave New World, and We Are Capable of
Being In that Orwellian World,
6. Senate Kills 'Citizens
7. Obama Rallies America To War & Why ISIS Should Be
8. Yahoo Releases Documents
Proving NSA Forced Them To
Violate User Privacy
This is a Nederlog of Saturday,
September 13. It is a crisis log.
There are eight items with nine dotted links. I think rather a lot is
interesting, but I am quite willing to agree it also is disappointing,
that is, if you are interested in a constitutionally governed
U.S. that is not governed by big money.
It seems that is over and done with: the constitution has been done
away with by propaganda
and lawyer's bullshit,
while big money has been put in the chair were it can decide all by the
majority of the U.S. Supreme Court.
As Senator Bernie Sanders said:
American has one vote and the Koch Brothers have one vote plus the
ability to put tens and tens of thousands of ads on the air. That is
But that is the
present U.S. governmental system:
A small elite of millionaires who decide in the interests of
millionaires and billionaires, while deceiving
the majority of the electorate, also with the help of the main stream
And no: That is not democracy.
Charged with 'Imperial Hubris'
Unmatched Even by Bush
item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows
(and I said yesterday the war - that
isn't called "war" - is illegal in my opinion):
A day after
President Obama told the American public he was preparing to bomb
targets inside the sovereign state of Syria and that he did not need
congressional approval to do so, critics are lashing out against what
Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law and political science at Yale
University, described as "imperial hubris" on Friday.
Here is Zoe Carpenter from The
In his scathing op-ed in
the New York Times, Ackerman writes:
President Obama's declaration
of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American
constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George
W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional
consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal
opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral
war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.
This became clear when White House officials
briefed reporters before Mr. Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday
evening. They said a war against ISIS was justified by Congress’s
authorization of force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks, and that no
new approval was needed.
But the 2001 authorization
for the use of military force does
not apply here. That resolution — scaled back from what Mr. Bush
initially wanted — extended only to nations and organizations that
“planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks.
And Ackerman's not alone.
And here is Bruce Ackerman
The White House’s
dismissal of the need for congressional approval is also in conflict
with positions Obama himself expressed as a presidential candidate.
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to
unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not
involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama declared
to The Boston Globe in 2008.
The situation in Iraq and
Syria does not appear to meet that standard. Obama acknowledged on
Wednesday that “[w]e have not yet detected specific plotting against
our homeland.” Meanwhile, intelligence sources say that the threat from
ISIS has been grossly exaggerated. “It’s hard to imagine a better
indication of the ability of elected officials and TV talking heads to
spin the public into a panic, with claims that the nation is honeycombed
with sleeper cells, that operatives are streaming across the border
into Texas or that the group will soon be spraying Ebola virus on mass
transit systems—all on the basis of no corroborated information,”
former State Department counterterrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin told
The New York Times.
seems grimly determined to practice what Mr. Bush’s lawyers only
preached," the Yale professor concludes in his op-ed. "He is acting on
the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in
chief, has unilateral authority to declare war. In taking this step,
Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice
voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of
executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he
swore to uphold."
Yes, and his modus
operandi seems to be: Frighten the people and then do as you please. As
I have said repeatedly before: This is the Goering Principle, and it works,
if your electorate is stupid enough, and it is:
And so it goes...
2. Americans Now Fear ISIS Sleeper Cells Are Living in the
U.S., Overwhelmingly Support Military Action
item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
Glenn Greenwald is
explaining what is behind item 1. As I said there,
my own theory is that it is a combination of (i) at least half of the
American population can be deceived
into believing most anything, while (ii) everybody's vote counts as one.
Currently, 2/3rds of
the American population believes the complete bullshit that
ISIS is active in the U.S., just as 2/3rds of the American population believed in 2002 that
Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that they had been tricked
into believing. (Thank you, Colin Powell!)
Here is Greenwald's
I’ve long considered this
September, 2003 Washington Post poll to be one the
most extraordinary facts about the post-9/11 era. It found that –
almost 2 years after 9/11, and six months after the invasion of Iraq –
“nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks .
. . . A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents
believe it’s likely Saddam was involved.”
(picture of the evidence about Saddam)
Is it even possible to
imagine more potent evidence of systemic media failure than that (or systemic
success, depending on what you think the media’s goal is)? But in
terms of crazed irrationality, how far away from that false belief is
the current fear on the part of Americans that there are ISIS sleeper
cells “living in the United States”?
Well... it is both
equally bullshit, but the U.S. population now has been
tricked a second time, simply by illegal bluff, deceptions, pretensions, and
falsehoods. Also, while I agree there has been a "systemic
media failure", one
important underlying cause is that most Americans are - I'll put it
politely - not intelligent
and not informed.
And that is a very major problem: Who is going to see
that the American elite answers to the law or the constitution?! If the
elite can successfully and for thirteen years mislead and
deceive the majority?!
In point 3 (from 9) Glenn
What kind of country goes
around bombing people with no strategic purpose and with little motive
other than to “flex muscles” and “show toughness”? This answer also
seems clear: one that is deeply insecure about its ongoing ability to
project strength (and one whose elites benefit in terms of power and
profit from endless war).
It seems to me that the
insecurity of the people is far less important than the security of the
governing elites that they can make more than half of the
people believe almost anything, and that therefore they are
free to serve the military-
industrial complex, for on every bomb made a profit
Here is a good question
from point 7:
easy to understand why beheading videos provoke such intense emotion:
they’re savage and horrific to watch, by design. But are they more
brutal than the constant, ongoing killing of civilians, including
children, that the U.S. and its
closest allies have been continuously
It’s true that we usually don’t see that carnage, but the
fact that it’s kept from the U.S. population doesn’t mean it disappears
or becomes more palatable or less savage.
Yes, a good point:
The main stream media do not show many pictures of the carnage
the U.S. does do, often also against nameless civilians. This
is another major shortcoming of the lack of a true free press
in the U.S.: it (still and sofar) exists, but not in the main
stream media, that basically systematically lie and deceive, if only (though not only)
by not showing the carnages the U.S. makes.
There is considerably
more in the article, which is good.
crimes: Naomi Klein on greenwashing big business
item is an article by Naomi Klein on The Guardian:
This is from near the
beginning of a long article:
If we continue on
our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, major
cities will drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas; our
children will spend much of their lives fleeing and recovering from
vicious storms and extreme droughts. Yet we continue all the same.
understood as the common people, did not do this, and indeed
What is wrong with us? I
think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe:
we have not done the things needed to cut emissions because those
things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning
ideology for the entire period we have struggled to find a way out of
this crisis. We are stuck, because the actions that would give us the
best chance of averting catastrophe – and benefit the vast majority –
are threatening to an elite minority with a stranglehold over our
economy, political process and media.
mostly powerless, while the political elites do what they want,
and get away with it, because most of "us" get deceived by them
or the media, and most common people are in any case neither
intelligent nor informed.
I know my position is not popular, but then it is one of the first
judgements I made, quite consciously also, at age 4: Most of the
children I then first met at
school were not intelligent ("did not seem to imagine things"
as I put it at 4). 
(There is a good piece by me on this issue here: On a fundamental problem in ethics and morals.)
Anyway - there is a lot more in the Naomi Klein piece, but much of it
is personalized: It's about the failures of Richard Branson and Bill
Gates; about Naomi Klein's successful and unsuccessful pregnancies; and
about her looking away for years from evidence about the rapid changes
in ecology and climate.
I do not think that is very interesting. Also, while I agree climate
change is real,
my own position is that the theme of intentionally changing it is too
large: it cannot be done without a prior revolution, and to
bring about that other projects are more realistic and
Giants Pull Massive Bait-and-Switch on Your Privacy
item is an article by Marcy Wheeler on AlterNet:
This is mostly a
critical report on the USA Freedom Act. I'll leave it to you, but I
quote the ending:
As it happens, I am not
attacked" the U.S. or
rather: I am not convinced 9/11 was not a false flag
operation. But in any case, the rest of the first paragraph is true.
Thirteen years ago,
terrorists attacked this country. They attacked it, hoping to push the
United States to change its ways. In the interim, the U.S. has
tortured, attacked with drones — even American citizens, embraced
indefinite detention, and — directed against its own people — engaged
in dragnet surveillance.
One thing we swore we
would not do is lose America’s freedoms and Constitutional powers.
Congress needs to do more
than rubber stamp a system of abusive spying. And the Executive needs
to recognize it can defend both the country and American liberties.
We’re fighting terrorism. But we’re also fighting to ensure we remain
And in fact, I tend to saying that "America’s freedoms and Constitutional powers" have been lost, and indeed
president Obama's new war, combined with his sanctioning and protecting
spying on everyone, is good evidence that this is so, and indeed also
how it was done: Mostly by propaganda and
that could succeed because it is easy to propagandize and
deceive the majority of a population that is neither intelligent nor
Supreme Court Justice: “We Are In that Brave New World, and We Are
Capable of Being In that Orwellian World, Too”
item is an article by Washington's Blog on his site:
In fact, since it is not
long, here is the whole article (colors and links in the original):
Yes, indeed - and this
piece is optimistic in not considering the evidence
that this could happen in large part because most of the U.S.
population is easily deceived.
Top Politicians Warn of Fascism
Current U.S. Supreme
Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said
yesterday in reference to spying and drones:
We are in that brave
new world, and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too.
Two former Supreme Court
Justices – Souter and O’Connor – also
warned of dictatorship.
So have both Republican
and Democratic congress members.
And two top-level
A small handful of
are in charge of the insane asylum … but people are so distracted,
afraid and hampster-on-a-treadmill-busy that we can’t shake of the
stupor enough to reclaim our freedom.
Kills 'Citizens United' Reform
item is an article by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
have been interested in the Senate's willingness to get money out of
politics. I wrote about it on September 6,
last and said then:
Well... I am in
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.
thus it did happen. Nadia Prupis' article starts as follows:
Hope for a measure of
campaign finance reform fell apart on Thursday after an amendment to
overturn the Citizens United ruling failed to move forward in
54-42 to end debate on the Democracy for All measure, as supporters
called it, falling short of the necessary 60 votes needed.
“Senate Democrats want a
government that works for all Americans—not just the richest few,” said
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) after the vote. “Today,
Senate Republicans clearly showed that they would rather sideline
hardworking families in order to protect the Koch brothers and other
radical interests that are working to fix our elections and buy our
The amendment, sponsored
by Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), would have enabled Congress and state
legislators to override the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that deregulated
campaign spending, which critics said gave unlimited power to super
PACs and wealthy donors.
There is considerably
more that you may be interested to read. Here is the ending:
"Today's vote once
again shows that deep-pocketed special interests have a death grip on
Washington,” said MoveOn.org campaign director Victoria Kaplan. “Our
politicians, our elections and our democracy should not be auctioned
off to the highest bidder. Yet, increasingly, that is the system we
have. It is beyond broken. It is shameful. Once again, obstructionist
Republicans have blocked sensible policy to return power where it
belongs — with the people, not with the army of lobbyists and corporate
Yes, indeed - but
your politicians, with help from the Supreme Court, have "auctioned off" your democracy "to the highest bidder", and have sold it to
"the army of lobbyists and
It's very sad, but
that is the only tenable conclusion, together with the less important
one that the politicians have been paid well by the lobbyists.
7. Obama Rallies America To War & Why
ISIS Should Be
item is not an article but a video by The Young Turks:
It is a 15 m 28 s
video, that includes a good portion of Obama's talk, with comments and
interpretations by Cenk Uygur. I agree the talk was both horrible and
phony bullshit, for Obama just does not have the authority he
claims, not constitutionally, as he very well knows - but
twothirds of the U.S. population is misled, and Obama hides behind mere
legal opinions by a lawyer who acted for Bush, and who essentially said
an American president is beyond the law. Well, he isn't, but he
probably will not get punished, and so he goes on.
This is the text
under the video:
"President Barack Obama
addressed the nation Wednesday night, setting out a long-term strategy
for defeating the Islamic State -- the militant group formerly known as
ISIS or ISIL -- that includes authorizing U.S. airstrikes against the
group in Syria.
"We will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these
terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our
efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so
that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense," Obama
said in remarks as prepared for delivery. "Moreover, I have made it
clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country,
wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action
against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my
presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."
Obama announced the U.S. will also "increase our support to forces
fighting these terrorists on the ground," noting the U.S. will send an
additional 475 service members to Iraq to support Iraq Security
Forces."* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
Uygur is a bit more radical than I would have been.
8. Yahoo Releases Documents Proving NSA Forced
Them To Violate User Privacy
item also is not an article but another video by The Young Turks, this
times of a little more than 9 m:
takes up an earlier story, and shows Yahoo did well (and much
better than others, especially Microsoft), which also could not be seen
until now, for one of the many innovations introduced by Bush and Obama
is that the pronouncements of the law, that is the court's decisions,
also are kept secret, if this serves the government's interests.
This is the text under the video:
"The US government
threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day if it refused to hand over user
data to the National Security Agency, according to court documents
unsealed on Thursday.
also is a link to an article by Dominic Rushe on The Guardian:
In a blogpost, the company
said the 1,500 pages of once-secret documents shine further light on
Yahoo’s previously disclosed clash with the NSA over access to its
users’ data. The size of the daily fine was set to double every week
that Yahoo refused to comply, the documents show.
The papers outline Yahoo’s
secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle to resist the
government’s demands for the tech firm to cooperate with the NSA’s
controversial Prism surveillance programme, revealed by whistleblower
Edward Snowden last year."
is a good exposition.
 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.)
is quite true. But I assume it can be seen only by persons with a
relatively rare intelligence. (And no, it did not please me age
4, and it does not please me 60 years later. But I never found
cause to review my judgment.)
(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: