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. Conservatives to announce plan
to scrap Human Rights
a Non-Denial Denial
3. Sex Uncovered: austerity-hit
Britons have sex less than
once a week, poll finds
4. Tim Berners-Lee calls for
internet bill of rights to ensure
This is a Nederlog of Sunday,
September 28. It is a crisis log.
There were not many crisis items, and I found four that follow. This
also makes the Nederlog smaller than it was the last six days, but then
it is a Sunday, and it also is convenient for me, since I have to do
some other things as well.
Then again, I think all four items that follow are quite interesting.
1. Conservatives to announce plan to scrap Human
item is an article by Chris Johnston on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
What Chris Grayling
really means is this: First, he wants the British judiciary system to
be even more partial pro the rich and against the poor than it is
already; and second, he wants the GCHQ to spy on on all Brits, and use
the findings in purely English trials without any human rights.
The European court of
human rights will be prevented from overruling decisions made by
British courts under plans set to be announced by the Conservatives
The justice secretary,
Chris Grayling, said that the Conservatives wanted to scrap the Human
Rights Act so that the final decisions in controversial cases could be
made by the supreme court rather than the European court of human
The policy, to be
included in the party’s manifesto ahead of the general election in May,
was an attempt to return power to Britain, he told the Daily Telegraph.
“Decisions like ‘do
prisoners get the vote?’ or ‘can you send brutal murderers to prison
for their whole lives?’ seem to be outside our control,” he said. “I
want our supreme court to be supreme. Decisions that affect this
country should be taken in this country.”
At least, that is how I see it. But he may get his wishes granted, for
the Brits have also suceeded, ever since Thatcher, in stupefying their
electorate by giving them ever less real education.
(And yes, I do think the intellectual and moral gifts of the
average is the main problem of mankind, and may kill all.)
of a Non-Denial Denial
item is an article by Dan Froomkin on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Yes, that seems to be
the basic mechanism, although one must add the Pentagon and White House
"dictionaries" - that are bogus, but refer to a very common
practice - that "allow" prominent speakers to use completely different
meanings for terms with standard meanings in the dictionary.
The non-denial denial is
an art that takes many forms in official Washington.
The basic idea is that
when you or your organization are accused of doing something that you
did in fact do, you respond with what sounds like a denial, but really
You issue a very
narrowly-crafted denial involving a lot of hairsplitting, while
avoiding the central claim. Or you dismiss the accusation as unworthy
of response. Or you deny something else: You raise a straw man
accusation and deny that; or – possibly best yet — you take advantage
of a poorly worded question.
The press typically
interprets it as a denial, and since you are a credible figure, it
And if the accusation
against you is ever irrefutably proven, then you point out that you
never really denied it. Since you didn’t technically lie, the press,
again, moves on.
Froomkin's analysis is good, but I leave it to your interests, except
for this bit:
The reason you so
infrequently see the word “lie” in elite media news stories is that the
editors generally take the position that even when someone has said
something clearly not true, a reporter’s use of the word “lie” — rather
than, say, “misspoke” or “was incorrect” — requires knowledge of the
subject’s intent to deceive. And a fair-minded journalist, they argue,
can’t be sure what’s going on in someone else’s head.
That is pure and quite
intentional bullshit of these editors, and the reasons are
quite simple: First, no one has "knowledge of" any one's intentions if
that is any one else - but even so there is an enormous amount
of lying, deception, grandstanding, and bullshit in politics, which everybody
allows, although indeed it depends on one's political allegiance who
gets blamed. But this is not about "knowledge":
It is pure and quite intentional bullshit
because everyone knows that everyone makes very many judgements
about the intentions of others, and indeed one cannot even function
normally in any human society without making these: it is impossible
to function socially without making judgements about others' beliefs
and desires, and indeed while quite a few of these judgements may be
false, many must be true or approximately true  as well.
Furthermore, if these editors say that "a fair-minded journalist (..) can’t be sure what’s going on
in someone else’s head" they are
lying, insane or bullshitting in a major way, and also very
much abusing "fair-minded":
Firstly, anyone who functions in any human society can be sure
that he does understand most of what others in that society,
with the same language, say and mean, and part of the reason is that
meanings are both in the head, and also, if mostly true, in
reality. That is simply how language works. (And no: truly
understanding another's meaning does not need at all imply any
Also note that part of how language works comprises knowing that what
anyone says may be quite mistaken, partially mistaken, mostly correct
or literally true, and that each of these possibilities may be lied
about, and that especially in politics, religion and economics. (And lying means saying
that something is true, while one believes it is false.)
Second, to prefix "fair-minded" to a statement that is palpably totally
false - one can say, in very many cases, what others mean, and
one cannot function in any human society without such
knowledge, although indeed this does not mean that one can always say
that the meanings one does understand are really as the
speaker says - is both toally dishonest and quite false propaganda.
Finally, I may be less upset than Froomkin is (but this indeed
I do not know), because I was a student of philosophy in a
university where everybody - all students, not just
those in philosophy - was taught from 1978-1995 the postmodernistic lies that
which were just plain
political lies and
presented explicitly as propaganda ("everybody knows") while also almost
everybody, students and staff alike, pretended to believe this and
to enthusiastically agree. (Indeed, the more stupid may even have
really believed this.)
- "everybody knows that
truth does not exist"
- "everybody knows that
everyone is equal"
- "everybody knows that
morality is wholy relative"
Also, I was one of the few who did not, simply because I
believe in science and truth, as I thought then anybody should who
studies or teaches in a university ... and so I was removed briefly
before taking my M.A. in philosophy as a student of philosophy (because
I asked questions -
literally! - as an invited speaker: it follows that one could not
question the University of Amsterdam seriously when I was a student).
It are events like these, that include the willing and eager corruption
- and see Lanny Breuer ! - of the
many, that make me quite pessimistic: I think I know that almost any
majority - left, right and center - is willing to sell out, willing to
be corrupted, and willing to conform to falsehoods and lies, simply to
make a career for themselves.
For that is what the majorities that I have seen in my life have
done - though indeed not everyone, not always, not on all subjects, but
mostly, and in democratic majority, and also often quite dishonestly. 
Sex Uncovered: austerity-hit Britons have sex less than once a week,
item is an article by Robin McKie on The Guardian:
This starts as
I say. That is at least
a bit strange, in that I thought that the average for folks in their
thirties was twice a week, but indeed these are figures of the 1980ies
- which means that presently folks on average do it half as
much as their parents did it thirty years ago.
Britain is losing its
libido. That is the striking conclusion of an Observer survey – published in the new Sex Uncovered supplement – which reveals that
the average British adult has sex only four times a month,
less than once a week. Our previous survey, in 2008, recorded a figure
of seven times a month.
For good measure, our
investigation of what goes on in Britain's bedrooms indicates that a
third of the nation does not have sex at all in a typical month, a rise
in abstinence of eight percentage points since 2008. Only 1% say they
have sex more than 30 times a month, an average of at least once a day.
After six years of
recession, and four years of a Tory-led coalition, it would seem that
when it comes to sex we have never had it so infrequently.
I will come to the political/economic suggestions that are hinted at to
explain this - "austerity", "recession" - in a minute. First, here is a
As to the question
of what people are doing instead of having sex, the survey shows that
53% of women (compared with 36% of men) read erotica, in particular
novels such as Fifty Shades of Grey. By contrast, 76% of men
(compared with 36% of women) watch pornography online. Other intriguing
findings in the survey include the revelation that almost one in five
Britons (19%) lost their virginity when they were under 16, the legal
age of consent. However, the average age at which a person loses their
virginity is 18, the survey found, while for those living in London and
the south-east that age rises to 19.
As for me: I hardly read
erotica (well...some Henry Miller, and that I do not read for the
erotica); I don't watch pornography on line; and I lost my virginity at
18, but that was in the 1960ies, and in Amsterdam. 
There is a considerable amount more, that I leave to your interests.
But what I will not leave to your interests (completely) is the
explanation for the considerable fall in sexual interest: I doubt it is
mostly due to the austerity or the recession.
Surely some of it will be, and I am merely speculating, but it seems as
if there are other reasons, related to food especially, for there also
was earlier - repeated - news on fewer sperms, which also was not
explained, but which does suggest it may be due to the food people eat,
that indeed has changed quite a lot the last thirty years, what with
very many additions of all sorts of things "because they are good for
people". (But I am speculating here.)
Tim Berners-Lee calls for internet bill
of rights to
ensure greater privacy
item is an article by Agence France-Presse on The Guardian:
This starts as
The inventor of the world
wide web has warned that the freedom of the internet is under threat by
governments and corporations interested in controlling the web.
Tim Berners-Lee, the
British computer scientist who invented the web 25 years ago, called on
Saturday for a bill of rights that would guarantee the independence of
the internet and ensure users’ privacy.
“If a company can control
your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go
to, then they have tremendous control over your life,” Berners-Lee said
at the Web We Want festival on the future of the internet in London.
“If a government can
block you going to, for example, the opposition’s political pages, then
they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in
“Suddenly the power to
abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and
In fact, Berners-Lee - who
is director of the World Wide Web Consortium - wants a Magna Carta (<-
“There have been lots of
times that it has been abused, so now the Magna Carta is about
saying...I want a web where I’m not spied on, where there’s no
censorship,” Berners-Lee said.
The scientist added that
in order to be a “neutral medium”, the internet had to reflect all of
humanity, including “some ghastly stuff”.
I very much doubt that is
helpful: First, putting together a Magna Carta takes years if not
decades; second, even if it is achieved, there is no one who will
maintain it, internationally; and most importantly, third: it seems a
sort of cop out, for what is required is much rather the application
of existing national laws, that do guarantee privacy,
also regardless of the instruments used.
Indeed, the Fourth
Amendment reads as follows - and does not mention the post, or
the mail, or anything: it mentions rights, as indeed is correct:
right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place
to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment to the US Constitution
than a Magna Carta it is required that the existing laws be maintained:
ALL of the activities of the NSA have been deeply
secret in part because they explicitly violated the Fourth
Amendment. The NSA simply is a criminal organization, however many
billions the government gives them to do their illegal spying.
And second, no Magna
Carta is capable of reigning in the NSA's illegal activities as long as
these are secret, and financed with billions of tax-money by a corrupt
government, and involve stealing private data of billions
of persons, simply because they can, and certainly not if that
is to be done by some sort of "international organization" - without
army, without territory, with little finances, and with no police.
So no, while it may
be nice to have a Magna Carta, it will not be effective without
national laws that are maintained by national states: THE problem is
that at present the laws are not maintained by many
governments, simply because spying on their own people makes
governments very much more powerful.
 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
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
from is quite pertinent.)
truth is important for three
reasons: First, very many statements are partial and incomplete in
their claims (essentially because the same claim could be made truly in
many different ways: "he has a ball" may be true, but does not say how
big or what color the ball is, nor what it is made of, for example),
while also, conversely, second, the same truth may be made by many
different statements ("he has a green ball", "he has a rubber ball"
etc.), while thirdly, very many statements people make are true but
within vague practical limits: "he is tall", "she is fat", "they are
clever" etc. etc.
 This also explains, partially at least,
why over 1% of the Dutch was murdered during WW II: The great majority
of the Dutch did not care very much for those who "were of inferior
race", that is, till the end of WW II, since when almost everyone
pretended to have been in the resistance (and also was far more
anti-semitic in the 1950ies (!) than before WW II, according to quite a
few objective observers).
Amsterdam at that time was supposed to be quite liberated. I now think
that was in part pretension, but it is true that the pill had just
started, and that
Amsterdam was quite free, comparatively at least.
(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: