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Nederlog


  October
11, 2014
Crisis: NSA, Snowden*5, Aslan, Coming Revolution
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
 
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton
















Prev- crisis -Next
Sections
Introduction

1.
Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany
2.
 Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, Moved to
     Moscow to Live with Him

3. Second leaker in US intelligence, says Glenn Greenwald
4. Edward Snowden Should Have Won Nobel Peace Prize:
     Poll

5. Reza Aslan on Bill Maher’s anti-Islam crusade: “Frank
     bigotry”

6. The Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent
     Into Chaos and Violence?


About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Saturday, October 11. It is a
crisis log.

It has 6 items and 8 dotted links, and indeed five of the links are about Edward Snowden, who narrowly missed the Nobel Prize; who we now learn lives with his girl friend in Moscow since July, and about whom Laura Poitras made a film, called Citizenfour (which was an alias Snowden used).

So this crisis log is mostly about Snowden, and as it happens most of the news is Good News - which is not often the case in the crisis series (whence my bolding and coloring).

The last thing to say in this introduction is that the separate Nederlog about my M.E. and vitamins, that is partly in English and partly in Dutch, and that was planned for today, has gotten moved till tomorrow or the day after, mostly because of formatting problems.

1. Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany

The first item is an article by Peter Maass and Laura Poitras on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also indicate that the agency has used “under cover” operatives to gain access to sensitive data and systems in the global communications industry, and that these secret agents may have even dealt with American firms. The documents describe a range of clandestine field activities that are among the agency’s “core secrets” when it comes to computer network attacks, details of which are apparently shared with only a small number of officials outside the NSA.

“It’s something that many people have been wondering about for a long time,” said Chris Soghoian, principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, after reviewing the documents. “I’ve had conversations with executives at tech companies about this precise thing. How do you know the NSA is not sending people into your data centers?”

There is a lot more in the article, that you can reach by clicking the above dotted link.

2. Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, Moved to Moscow to Live with Him 

The next item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

CITIZENFOUR, the new film by Intercept co-founding editor Laura Poitras, premiered this evening at the New York Film Festival, and will be in theaters around the country beginning October 24. Using all first-hand, real-time footage, it chronicles the extraordinary odyssey of Edward Snowden in Hong Kong while he worked with journalists, as well the aftermath of the disclosures for the NSA whistleblower himself and for countries and governments around the world.

The film provides the first-ever character study of Snowden and his courageous whistleblowing, contains significant new revelations about all of these events, and will undoubtedly be discussed for years to come. But one seemingly banal — yet actually quite significant — revelation from the film is worth separately highlighting: In July of this year, Snowden’s long-time girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, moved to Moscow to live with him.

I say. Well, that is good news. I haven't seen Citizenfour (which was premiered yesterday) but it is nice to know that Snowden and his girlfriend really love each other and are living together again, after more than a year of forced divorce.

And while I have to admit the real love is an inference by me, it does seem quite justified by the risks both willingly take.

There is more under the last dotted link, and also more in the following article by Ewen McAskill on The Guardian:

This starts as follows, under a photograph of Lindsay Mills:

The mystery of the whereabouts of Edward Snowden’s long-time girlfriend is solved in a documentary that premiered in New York on Friday night: she has been living with the national security whistleblower in Russia since July.

The surprise revelation in the documentary, filmed by Laura Poitras, upends the widespread assumption that Snowden had deserted Lindsay Mills and that she, in a fit of pique, fled Hawaii where they had been living to stay with her parents in mainland US.

Since Snowden, a former NSA contractor, outed himself last year as being behind the biggest leak in US intelligence history, Mills has remained silent, giving no interviews or any hints of her feelings on the subject of her boyfriend or his actions.

The two-hour long documentary, Citizenfour, shows Mills living in Russia with Snowden.

There is more under the above dotted link.

3. Second leaker in US intelligence, says Glenn Greenwald

The next item is an article by Ewen McAskill on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

The investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald has found a second leaker inside the US intelligence agencies, according to a new documentary about Edward Snowden that premiered in New York on Friday night.

Towards the end of filmmaker Laura Poitras’s portrait of Snowden – titled Citizenfour, the label he used when he first contacted her – Greenwald is seen telling Snowden about a second source.

Snowden, at a meeting with Greenwald in Moscow, expresses surprise at the level of information apparently coming from this new source.
More Good News (which is quite rare in the crisis series)! And there is some more in the article.

There you also find a reference to another Guardian article, by Spencer Ackerman:
This starts as follows (and contains the trailer for the film):

CitizenFour must have been a maddening documentary to film. Its subject is pervasive global surveillance, an enveloping digital act that spreads without visibility, so its scenes unfold in courtrooms, hearing chambers and hotels. Yet the virtuosity of Laura Poitras, its director and architect, makes its 114 minutes crackle with the nervous energy of revelation.

Poitras, the first journalist contacted by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, mirrors her topic. She rarely appears on news programs or chat shows. She is a mysterious character in her own movie, heard more than she is seen.

But surreptitiously, Poitras has been a commander of a stream of disclosures for 16 months that have forced the NSA into a new and infamous era. CitizenFour demonstrates to the public the prowess that those of us who have worked with her on the NSA stories encountered. Her movie, the culmination of a post-9/11 trilogy that spans a dark horizon from Iraq to Guantánamo, is a triumph of journalism and a triumph for journalism.

I say, but this time because I am pleased. Again, there is considerably more under the last dotted link.

4. Edward Snowden Should Have Won Nobel Peace Prize: Poll

The next item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

Edward Snowden should have been the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, according to readers of the UK's Guardian.

According to results of a poll taken by the newspaper, 48 percent of readers thought that the NSA whistleblower—who was among the possible winners of the official prize—should be given the award.

I agree, but there is a Dutch proverb that applies: "I'd-rather-have-cookies are not baked". Even so, it seems a pity to me, since Snowden risked very much, and his revelations were enormous and of great importance.

And indeed, the last paragraph of the article is this:
In their nomination of Snowden for the official prize, Norwegian lawmakers Bård Vegar Solhjell and Snorre Valen stated that his "actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies. Its value can’t be overestimated."
That is (I would say): Without a transparency that one can trust, and for good reasons, one must distrust all statements of governments, and especially of the American government, for governments are the most powerful and therefore least honest institutions there are in the world, and the American government is the most powerful of all governments - and quite dangerous as well, at least for those who have displeased it.

5. Reza Aslan on Bill Maher’s anti-Islam crusade: “Frank bigotry”

The next item is an article by Elian Isquith on Salon:

This is a good interview with Reza Aslan. I will quote only one bit from it, with Reza Aslan talking:

But Bill Maher isn’t the average person! [Laughs] He is a media personality, he’s intelligent, he’s humorous, he has a cultural significance — and so it’s surprising to see these kinds of unconsidered remarks from him; and more importantly, an inability to recognize how his rhetoric is coming across.

I want to be 100 percent clear about this: Bill Maher is not a bigot. I know him, I’ve hung out with him; he’s not a bigot. But the way that he talks about Islam is undeniably bigoted, and for him to just simply excuse that by saying, “I’m a liberal! We can’t be bigots!” is, I think, disingenuous.

That is fair enough, and there is a lot more under the last dotted link.

6. The Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent Into Chaos and Violence?

The next item is an article by David DeGraw on Washington's Blog:

This starts as follows:

A new paradigm is organically evolving: new economic systems, sustainable communities, solar energy, organic farming, liquid democracy, worker co-ops and new media. For all the problems we are confronted by, there are existing viable solutions. There is much to feel positive about. A decentralized global uprising is undermining systems of centralized and consolidated power. A new world is being born.

However, as exciting as the evolution presently occurring is, after extensive research I am forced to confront the fact that I do not see how emerging solutions will reach a critical mass and create the needed change before the affects of inequality, poverty and the overall deterioration of society will lead to widespread chaos and violence. As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, as much as I want to just disengage from the status quo and focus on the implementation of local solutions, we cannot ignore the urgent need for significant systemic change on a mass scale now.

Yes, indeed - and in fact I have been hearing or reading about "this new paradigm", for the most part, at least, for over 40 years now and I am reading
it these days by Naomi Klein - but hardly anyone sofar asked questions like: Well, that is all very nice, but please tell me "
how emerging solutions will reach a critical mass and create the needed change before the affects of inequality, poverty and the overall deterioration of society will lead to widespread chaos and violence".

So that is one decent point. Much of the rest of the article is also decent, though indeed DeGraw does not tell me his answer to the above problem (though it may be in the book from which the present article was lifted).

---------------------------------
Notes
[1] 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 government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
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 quote from is quite pertinent.) 


About ME/CFS (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:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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