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. David Cameron makes emotional
plea to Scotland as
court to investigate laws allowing GCHQ to
snoop on journalists
3. Sanders Talks 'Political
Revolution' in Iowa as Clinton
Declares: 'I'm Baaack'
4. 'More Harm Than Good':
Congressional NSA Reforms a
Sham, say Critics
In Swing to Left, Swedes 'Turn Their Backs' on Austerity
6. Liberals and Conservatives
Join Together to Slam Obama
for Sidestepping Congress on
7. From the Very Start, the CIA
Has Engaged In Covert
Terrorism to Give Government
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday,
September 16. It is a crisis log.
There are 7 items with 7 dotted links. This got uploaded a little
earlier than is normal for me.
1. David Cameron makes emotional plea to Scotland as
item is an article by Watt, Carrell, Clark, Treanor and Roberts on The
This is here mostly
because the Scots vote on Thursday on their independence. It starts as follows:
The British PM was
almost weeping, or possibly "weeping", for you never know whether a
politician is lying. What strikes me is that he is not being very
consistent: On the one hand, he says neither he nor the government will
be there forever; on the other hand he warns a separation would be a
painful divorce (with elections coming May?) that will last forever.
David Cameron has
spelled out to the people of Scotland the stark
costs of a "painful divorce" from the rest of the United Kingdom as a
poll showed nearly two-thirds of voters in England and Wales objected
to the idea of sharing the pound.
In an emotional but at
times hard-edged speech on his last visit to Scotland before Thursday's
independence referendum, the prime minister warned that a yes vote
would end the UK "for good, for ever" and would deprive the Scottish
people of a shared currency and pooled pension arrangements. He also
asked people not to mix up the temporary and the permanent, saying
neither he nor the government would "be here forever".
A Guardian/ICM poll shows
that 63% of voters in England and Wales objected to the
post-independence currency union sought by Alex Salmond, the
Scottish first minister. Most people in Scotland, previous polls have
shown, want a deal on sterling.
Cameron, whose voice was
close to breaking, spelled out what he believed would be the costs of
independence. "It is my duty to be clear about the likely consequences
of a yes vote. Independence would not be a trial separation. It would
be a painful divorce," he said.
But then it may be possible to hold both positions. As I have said
before, I am for Scottish independence, basically because I am for
change and against the Tories. (If you are not for change or like
the Tories, my argument does not apply.)
Whether it will work out I don't know. There is rather a lot more in
the article, but nothing is conclusive.
court to investigate laws allowing GCHQ to snoop on journalists
item is an article by Lisa O'Carroll on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
This seems good to me, and
indeed rather late. What the BIJ is protesting against is especially
of Investigatory Powers Act or RIPA (<- Wikipedia), which goes
back to 2000. Here is a summary from Wikipedia:
The European court of
human rights (ECHR) is to investigate British laws that allow GCHQ and
police to secretly snoop on journalists.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has gone straight to
Strasbourg in a bid to get a finding that domestic law is
incompatible with provisions in European law which give journalists the
right to keep sources confidential from police and others.
Its application was filed
on Friday and has been accepted by the ECHR, which has indicated in the
past it will expedite cases on surveillance through its legal system.
The move follows concerns
arising out of Edward Snowden’s revelations last year that GCHQ had
been secretly gathering intelligence from the country’s largest
telecoms companies using a secret computer system code-named Tempora
without the knowledge of the companies.
To me, that sounds like: All
surveilling powers to the government and also they are to be
kept a deep secret. That is not a democratic law: it is an
authoritarian law, or indeed a fascist law. But it does seem to
be the basis for the GCHQ's activities, and its phony assurances that
"it is acting within the law".
RIPA regulates the manner
in which certain public bodies may conduct surveillance and access a
person's electronic communications. The Act:
- enables certain public
bodies to demand that an ISP provide access to a customer's
communications in secret;
- enables mass
surveillance of communications in transit;
- enables certain public
bodies to demand ISPs fit equipment to facilitate surveillance;
- enables certain public
bodies to demand that someone hand over keys to
- allows certain public
bodies to monitor people's Internet activities;
- prevents the existence
of interception warrants and any data collected with them from being
revealed in court.
As to the RIPA, here is a little more from Wikipedia:
Critics claim that
the spectres of terrorism, internet crime and paedophilia
were used to push the act through and that there was little substantive
debate in the House of Commons.
The act has numerous critics, many of whom regard the RIPA regulations
as excessive and a threat to civil liberties in the UK.
That last part is
fascistic: I have the right and I should have the right to keep things
secret, and no democratic or free and open government should
have the right to force me to make everything I wrote or did
and filmed not a secret. (This holds for terrorists as well as for me:
Neither of us need to trust the government, and indeed I am not
a terrorist and do not trust many governments, and especially
not those which act as state terrorists -
such as the British government.)
Especially contentious was
Part III of the Act, which requires persons to supply decrypted
information (which had been previously encrypted by the owner)
and/or the cryptographic key to
government representatives. Failure to disclose these items is a
criminal offence, with a maximum penalty of two years in jail.
Talks 'Political Revolution' in Iowa as Clinton Declares: 'I'm Baaack'
item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This is basically about possible
plans of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to run for president in
2016. I think Hillary Clinton for president would be a bad idea, which
is not to say she may not win, but I like Bernie Sanders.
Then again, this is a fairly early day, so I only copy the last part of
the article, that shows Sanders is realistic:
spoke plainly about the shortcomings of the Democratic Party
leadership, the need for a candidate willing to take on the power of
Wall Street and the corrupting influence of money in politics, his
vision for a winning populist agenda, and what it would actually take
for a progressive candidate to win.
Yes. I do not know
whether that is possible, but then again I do not know what the economy
will be like in 2016: If it gets considerably worse, as very well may
happen, Sanders has a fair chance.
“For me to win, it would
require a grassroots effort on the part of literally millions of
people. Unprecedented,” Sanders said. “What we need now is a political
Harm Than Good': Congressional NSA Reforms a Sham, say Critics
item is an article by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
This starts as
The current "gutted"
version of the U.S.A.
Freedom Act (S. 2685) will only serve to legalize government's
currently illegal surveillance of innocent civilians, charged a
coalition of whistleblowers and civil liberties organizations in a
Monday calling on members of Congress to reject
the empty reform.
agencies' zeal for collecting Americans' personal information without
regard for cost, efficacy, legality, or public support necessitates
that Congress act to protect the rights of residents across the United
States and around the globe," writes the group under the banner of the OffNow campaign. The letter is
signed by a number of intelligence community whistleblowers, including
Thomas Drake and Daniel Ellsburg, as well as over 15 publications and
organizations, such as RootsAction.org,
CREDO Action, Fight for the Future, Restore the Fourth and the Sunlight Foundation.
The U.S.A. Freedom Act,
they charge, "is not the substantive reform originally envisioned and
supported by the public" after it was introduced to both houses by
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) in
October 2013. In late May, H.R 3361 passed the House of
Representatives—after being heavily marked up by the House Judiciary
subcommittee—and moved on to the Senate where it has languished in the
Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
In its current form, the
group says that the legislation now threatens to embolden the same
violations it alleges to deter and has numerous ambiguities which make
it "ripe for abuse."
The Act, they write,
"legalizes currently illegal surveillance activities, grants immunity
to corporations that collaborate to violate privacy rights,
reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act for an additional 2.5 years, and fails to
reform EO 12333 or Section 702, other authorities used to collect large
amounts of information on Americans."
I quite agree. You
can add your name to the OffNow campaign by clicking on the last dotted
link, and clicking once again at the end of the article.
5. In Swing to Left, Swedes 'Turn Their
Backs' on Austerity
item is an article by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams (as was the
The beginning of this
is as follows, and seems good news:
Turning their backs on
the prevailing austerity government, Swedish voters on Sunday elected
the Social Democrat Party and its head Stefan Löfven to lead the
country, allowing the center-left parties to reclaim power in the
historically socialist state.
The Social Democrat
Party, along with the Green Party and the Left Party, won 43.7 percent
of the vote and 159 parliamentary seats forcing current Prime Minister
Fredrik Reinfeldt—who championed lower taxes for the wealthy and the
privatization of public services, such as education— to declare his
resignation. The left-leaning parties have yet to establish a formal
"The Swedish people have
turned their backs against tax cuts and privatizations. The Swedish
people demanded change," said
Löfven, a former welder and union organizer, during his victory speech.
Though Sweden has fared better than others in the wake of the global
economic collapse, the wealthy, Nordic state has mounting unemployment
and complaints of failing standards of public services under increased
However, Löfven will
lead a minority cabinet, and as it is stated at the end of the article:
(...) the country's
far-right, anti-immigration party the Sweden Democrats (which
reportedly had early ties to the Swedish Nazi movement) also gained 48
parliamentary seats and won 13 percent of the vote (...)
So while the news
that the right has lost is good, the extreme right has also won.
As an aside: I would not
call Sweden a "historically
socialist state". It never
had a socialist economy; it has been capitalist for quite a
while now, and was regulated quite well
until the last rightist government; and what is leftish is mostly social democracy
(<- Wikipedia) which - in Europe - is not at all the same as
(<-Wikipedia). (But I agree some political terms - notably:
"liberal", "socialist" - have a rather different meaning in the
U.S. than they have in Europe.)
Liberals and Conservatives Join Together to Slam Obama for
Sidestepping Congress on ISIS Fight
item is an article by Erika Eichelberger on Mother Jones:
This starts as
In his speech Wednesday night, President Barack Obama
said he would "welcome congressional support" for his
expanded-but-limited plan to destroy ISIS, the terror organization
wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria. But Obama conspicuously did not say
he would ask lawmakers to vote on whether to approve this
military action. The White House insists that a previous congressional
authorization approving military action against Al Qaeda and its
affiliates allows Obama to go forward without seeking another explicit
green light from Capitol Hill. And once again, the nation is witnessing
another round in the decades-long tussle between the legislative branch
and 1600 Pennsylvania over the limits of the president's war-making
The White House is
simply telling bullshit
if it says that war in Iraq and Syria against ISIS gets permitted by "a previous congressional authorization
approving military action against Al Qaeda and its affiliates": That is like saying marrying one's
new wife is not necessary, namely because one married another one
before, and that marriage can do as well for this marriage.
Then again, as the
article also makes clear, there are not very many Congressmen who
seriously criticize Obama in this matter, for his decision mostly
serves their interests, whether they are Republicans or Democrats.
Even so, it seems to
me that this is a war, and Obama should ask Congress's agreement to his
bombing Iraq and Syria. In fact:
The White House's
contention that no new authorization is necessary has been challenged
by assorted constitutional law experts. Several note that ISIS is not
an Al Qaeda affiliate. In fact, Al Qaeda formally renounced the group in February. So the 2001 military authorization targeting Al Qaeda
should not apply to the current situation, says Bruce Ackerman, a
professor of law and political science at Yale.
Quite so - but it may
be that the majority of Congress rather looks away, for reasons that
the article explains quite well.
the Very Start, the CIA Has Engaged In Covert Terrorism to Give
Government Plausible Deniability
item is an article by Washington's Blog on his site:
There is considerably
more there, but I quote just a directive of the National Securities
Council of 1948, nine months after the CIA was formed (bolding is in
As used in this
directive, “covert operations” are understood to be all activities
(except as noted herein) which are conducted or sponsored by this
Government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of
friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and
executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident
to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can
plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them. Specifically,
such operations shall include any covert activities related to: propaganda,
economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage,
anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against
hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance
movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and
support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries
of the free world. Such operations shall not include armed conflict by
recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and
deception for military operations.
That is from 66 years
ago, and I note the CIA has been doing a lot of the above - but it now
seems also as if the last statement has a "not" too many, which should
have been an "also".
There is considerably
more in the article, and in case you are interested, it makes also
sense to consult Central
Intelligence Agency on Wikipedia.
 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.)
(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: