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. Secret Manuals Show the
Spyware Sold to Despots and
Inside Story Of Matt Taibbi’s Departure From First
3. Nato frontline in
life-or-death war on cyber-terrorists
4. Follow the Money: Big Banks,
DOJ Find Benefits in
5. ‘We Never Managed to Relax’
After World War II (Parts 4
6. Police Using Controversial
Patriot Act Authority for
'Everyday' Cases: Civil
7. Corporate Destruction of
Free Markets Rules Us
8. Patients with CFS found to
have reduced white matter
and other brain abnormalities
This is a Nederlog of Friday, October 31. It is a crisis log.
This is a crisis item with 8 items and 10 dotted links: item
1 is about a new way (it seems) to spy on anyone and avoid
encryption; item 2 is about The Intercept itself; item 3 is about NATO's cyberwar; item 4
is about how ordinary people get defrauded by the deals the Justice
Department makes with the rich bankmanagers; item 5
is another isssue of the interview Chris Hedges had with Sheldon Wolin
on Real News; item 6 is about the abuses of the
item 7 is Ralph Nader on the deceptive and
totally false myth "the free market";
and item 8 is about a recent finding at Stanford
University about people with M.E.: Their brains really are
Also - in case you missed it - there were two NLs yesterday,
although the first is
only interesting for people with M.E. or an interest in orthomolecular
medicine, and in fact I also uploaded an extended version of my last autobiographical file.
(And I did a lot because I could.)
Manuals Show the Spyware Sold to Despots and Cops Worldwide
item is an article by Cora Currier and Morgan Marquis-Boire on The
This starts as follows:
I say. There is a whole lote
more in the article, which does explain how it works.
When Apple and Google
unveiled new encryption schemes last month, law enforcement officials complained
that they wouldn’t be able to unlock evidence on criminals’ digital
devices. What they didn’t say is that there are already methods to
bypass encryption, thanks to off-the-shelf digital implants readily
available to the smallest national agencies and the largest city police
forces — easy-to-use software that takes over and monitors digital
devices in real time, according to documents obtained by The
in full, for the first time, manuals explaining the prominent
commercial implant software “Remote Control System,” manufactured by
the Italian company Hacking Team. Despite FBI director James Comey’s dire
warnings about the impact of widespread data scrambling —
“criminals and terrorists would like nothing more,” he declared —
Hacking Team explicitly promises on its website that its software can
The manuals describe
Hacking Team’s software for government technicians and analysts,
showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype
calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also
catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices
using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments
to deliver viral installers. With a few clicks of a mouse, even a
lightly trained technician can build a software agent that can infect
and monitor a device, then upload captured data at unobtrusive times
using a stealthy network of proxy servers, all without leaving a trace.
That, at least, is what Hacking Team’s manuals claim as the company
tries to distinguish its offerings in the global marketplace for
government hacking software.
One problem is that it is, in part at least, derived from manuals, but
I am willing
to believe that most of it is true.
In any case, it is not good news, for it does suggest that
also may not work, as indeed I thought, but in my case based on the
consideration that it may be circumvented if it gets installed on a
computer on which a secret key-stroke copier has been installed.
As I said, there is a lot more in the article.
Inside Story Of Matt Taibbi’s Departure From First Look Media
item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Matt Taibbi, who joined
First Look Media just seven months ago, left the company on Tuesday.
His departure—which he describes as a refusal to accept a work
reassignment, and the company describes as a resignation—was the
culmination of months of contentious disputes with First Look founder
Pierre Omidyar, chief operating officer Randy Ching, and president John
Temple over the structure and management of Racket, the digital
magazine Taibbi was hired to create. Those disputes were exacerbated by
a recent complaint from a Racket employee about Taibbi’s
behavior as a manager.
The departure of the
popular former Rolling Stone writer is a serious setback
for First Look in its first year of operations. Last January, Omidyar announced
with great fanfare that he would personally invest $250 million in
the company to build “a general interest news site that will cover
topics ranging from entertainment and sports to business and the
economy” incorporating multiple “digital magazines” as well as a
“flagship news site.”
One year later, First
Look still has only one such magazine, The Intercept.
There is a considerable
amount more. I do not know what to think of it, except that it is a sad
frontline in life-or-death war on cyber-terrorists
item is an article by Leo Cendrowitz on The Guardian:
This starts as
It’s been a busy week in
the skies above Europe’s periphery, as Nato has repeatedly scrambled
jets to track “unusual” sorties by Russian bombers.
However lively the aerial
game of cat and mouse has been, it is nothing compared to the digital
skirmishing that goes on in and around the servers and systems that
sustain the western alliance.
“The threat landscape is
vast, from malware and hacktivists to organised criminals and
state-sponsored attacks,” says Ian West, a former RAF officer who now
heads up Nato’s cyber-security services. “Things that we thought
impossible can be done.”
West’s 200-strong team
covers operations for about 100,000 people at 34 Nato sites. Their task
is formidable even by the hyperbolic standards of the internet. “Our
intrusion detection systems find around 200m suspicious events each
day,” West says.
The rest of the
article is as uncritical of NATO as the beginning. My guess is
the Money: Big Banks, DOJ Find Benefits in Settlement Deals
that it is in The Guardian to show that The Guardian does support NATO.
I do not but I agree that it is different from the GCHQ, both in its
and its ends.
item is an article by Donald Kaufman on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
believed that "The Justice
Department might have talked a good game about punishing major banks" because it always seemed to
me as if
(1) the Justice Department protected major criminals who were bank
managers, by (2) freeing
them of all guilt, all responsibilities, and from having to appear in
if only they handed part of the loot they stole to the Justice
The Justice Department
might have talked a good game about punishing major banks like JPMorgan
Chase, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs for their involvement in the
recession that set the the U.S. economy reeling six years ago.
But as Lynnley Browning
explains in Newsweek, there is more to the story behind the
big-figure settlements that the DOJ required those banks to pay:
Because settlements can
be deducted from tax liabilities, for nearly every dollar a bank or
lender has pledged to pay in cash or pony up in other ways—such as
through buying back soured mortgage-backed securities, extending
cheaper loans or forgiving failed loans held by struggling
homeowners—up to 35 cents will find its way back into bank coffers, a
reflection of the 35 percent federal corporate tax rate.
Deep in the legalese
weeds of the settlement documents lies buried treasure. Big banks such
as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase will receive deductions against
the corporate tax that will amount to between half and nearly
three-quarters of their multibillion-dollar settlements, at least.
Meanwhile, midsized banks and nonbank lenders generally get to deduct
the whole shebang.
[…] Federal tax rules
allow companies to deduct from their tax returns as an ordinary cost of
doing business any settlement payments that are construed, explicitly
or not, as restitution or compensation. Payments flagged as penalties
or fines, typically outlined in criminal cases, are generally not
deductible, as opposed to the civil settlements with banks.
As I see it, this is and was major governmental corruption
major crooks. This shows I was quite right - except that the deals made
sweeter for the criminals who made them: They can claim back up to 35%
of every dollar they paid to the state.
Not only that: The Justice Department also is corrupt in a major way:
Precisely. The Justice
Department protect the major thiefs from the banks by not
them properly and gets 3% of the billions they settle, that
declare that the corrupt and very rich bank managers do not bear any
responsibility or guilt.
Another unsettling factor
in this mix has to do with what the Justice Department stands to gain
by appearing to throw the books at the big banks. As Browning explains,
“[t]he agency receives a cut of up to 3 percent of its share of the
total settlements for its Working Capital Fund, a slush fund common
across major government agencies.”
So, these hefty
settlements start to look less like justice being served and more like
pockets being lined.
‘We Never Managed to
Relax’ After World War II (Parts 4 and 5)
item is about a six part interview that Chris Hedges did with Sheldon
Wolin. This part was written by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig (but
contains a link to the interview I use):
In fact, this is from the long
video interview that Chris Hedges had
with Sheldon Wolin, that is also on the Real News. I have dealt with
parts 1-3 here, and with part 4 here, so I will only deal with part 5 in
the present item.
Part 5 has the title
and in fact I have already
stated my answer: Yes - but there are two fundamental
forms of capitalism: regulated capitalism
and unregulated capitalism, and
the former is quite compatible with democracy, while the latter is not.
(The last two links are quite fundamental.)
Now to the text of part 5:
This begins with Chris Hedges asking Sheldon Wolin, who is 92, about
his experiences in WW II, in which Wolin was a a bombardier and
navigator in the U.S. Air Force, who also flew 51 missions. I will
leave most of that to your interests, but I do pick out this, because
it seems quite true to me:
WOLIN: Well, you must
remember the cardinal
fact, which is we were all so young. I was 19. And the other members of
our crew, there was only one who was about 23 or 24. So we were all
extremely inexperienced and impressionable, and we were flying these
giant bombers and going into combat not knowing anything about what it
meant except, you know, in sort of formal lectures, which we might have
had. So the experience was always quite traumatic in a lot of ways.
I think that is quite correct
and indeed also holds for me, though I very probably
disagreed when I was between 19 and 27 or so: While I got to be an
legal adult at age 21, I hadn't even stopped growing then and, speaking
myself, I'd say now - at 64, though still looking 44 or so, after 30
years of megavitamins  - I was a child till 16 and an adolescent the
next 10 years or so, and only started to be a real adult from my early
thirties onwards (which also meant I changed less, from then onwards).
And while it is true that I am a slow developer, I also think this is
biologically correct, and indeed was also admitted by the Ancient
Greeks, who used various age limits for various functions.
Also, this is important for wars: Most who do the fighting are between
18 and 24 or so, and I'd say they are usually not full adults even if
they are legally declared adults.
There is also this exchange, about academic writing, that is quite
Yes, indeed: The
vast majority of academics just cannot write, period. There are
quite a few other reasons why so much of academic prose is rather
awful, but one very important one is that very few can really
write - and I know, because I have read very many academics, of
all kinds, and it was only rarely that I had to say "he" - Jacob
Burckhardt, C. Wright Mills, William James - "can really write",
compared with their academic peers, and real writers of novels.
HEDGES: Well, see, the
difference is you are a writer. I mean, you're quite a good writer,
which is not common among academics.
WOLIN: Yeah, I had always
enjoyed writing, from the time I was grammar school to the time I went
to college. I enjoyed it very much.
Then there is this (and I am skipping quite a bit):
This I also like, because I
did find the academic stuff, especially in American sociology, that I
read in the late Sixties and early Seventies indeed quite
boring and quite cramped and articial, indeed also with the
exception of C.
Wright Mills (who never was fully accepted) and Vance Packard
(who had to work as a journalist) and a few others.
HEDGES: How much damage
do you think those purges, triggered by the McCarthy era in the early
'50s, did to the academy?
WOLIN: I think it did a
lot to people, but often in ways they weren't quite aware of. It had a
definite chastening and deadening effect on academic inquiry and
political expression. And what happened was, I think, the worst part of
it, was that once that got into the air, it became normal. You accepted
those things really unconsciously.
HEDGES: When you say
"those things", what are you talking about?
WOLIN: You're talking
about how far you question government policies, how far you question
dominant values, what you said about the economy, and things of that
Finally, this is from near the end, and is quoted because I was removed
- as the only student to whom this happened since WW II - from
faculty of philosophy in 1988, briefly before getting my M.A. there,
because of my publicly
Note that the constraints are
rarely stated, and mostly "understood" (and accepted by all careerists
and all conformists),
and that they also serve mostly
WOLIN: Well, yes, it
certainly cast a kind of set of constraints, many of which you didn't
really recognize till later, about what you could teach and how you
would teach and what you wouldn't teach. And its influence was really
simply very great, because people--it's not so much what they said as
what they didn't inquire into.
HEDGES: Well, and also
it's who's let into the club.
WOLIN: Yeah. Oh, yes.
Yes, indeed. Yes, indeed.
to exclude topics of research.
Anyway - I found this again quite interesting, although this part is a
personal than other parts.
Using Controversial Patriot Act Authority for 'Everyday' Cases: Civil
item is an article by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This has the
following subtitle, which does not amaze me one bit:
Created under the
guise of fighting terrorism, 'Sneak and Peek' now being used to spy on
drug suspects, immigrants, rights group finds
The reason this does
not amaze me at all is that I've always said that "terrorism" was a pretext to search and control everyone
in everything he or she does (by computer or cellphone, at
least) simply because he or she is not one of the very few
trusted persons in government.
This starts as
surveillance provision of the Patriot Act, which allows law enforcement
to conduct searches while delaying informing the suspect, is broadly
used, but almost never in terrorism cases—despite Justice Department
officials arguments to the contrary, according to an analysis by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
"Yet again, terrorism
concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties," writes EFF’s Mark
The rights group analyzed
federal reports from 2011, 2012, and 2013, released after an
unexplained three-year delay, on warrants that were issued under
Section 213, known colloquially as "Sneak and Peek."
Out of more than 11,000
requests for those delayed-notification searches in 2013, a grand total
of 51 were used for terrorism cases, EFF found. Almost all of the other
Sneak and Peek warrants went to drug investigations.
I'd say that this is
sufficient proof that I was right: 51 out of 11,000 requests were
related to terrorism, and the rest was not. Note that this is
less than 1/2 of 1%.
Here is the EFF's Mark Jaycox:
argued in 2001 is happening: sneak and peak warrants are not just
being used in exceptional circumstances—which was their original
intent—but as an everyday investigative tool," Jaycox writes.
7. Corporate Destruction of Free Markets
item is an article by Ralph Nader on his site:
This starts as follows
(and is quite important):
I grant that is how it
tends to be presented, and I also grant that the majority of the simple
minded believe it (more than not), but I cannot believe that frauds
The ruling dogma of our
political economy is corporatism. Corporatism claims to draw legitimacy
from the free market theory that all vendors who do not meet market
demands will go under. Corporatism uses this illusion to exert power
over all aspects of our political economy.
corporatists believe, are the best mechanism to allocate resources for
the exchange of goods and services. They believe markets free of
regulation, taxation or competition from government enterprises produce
the best results. Their favorite metaphor is Adam Smith’s “invisible
hand” that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people
by the exertions of many willing sellers and many willing buyers (Adam
Smith, they neglected to add, favored public works, public education
and social safety nets like decent wages and public welfare as needed.)
like Milton Friedman believed their own propaganda,
simply because it
is complete bullshit from the concept of "free markets" onwards, simply
because any free market is a free market because it is maintained by
legal rules and regulations, and where there is no free market the
strongest rule, by rules of force, by rules
of corruption, by massive deceptions, or by military might.
Here are the questions Ralph Nader poses, with the answers deleted: you
can find them under the last dotted link:
Can there be a
free market without freedom of contract?
The answers are (in
brief): No, no, no, no, no, no and no. And the story billions of people
are being told about "free markets" is one big dirty deception,
and pack of lies, that are designed defraud the billions and to profit
Can there be a free market
if workers cannot join together to bargain with large employers whose
investors have expanding freedom to form companies, holding companies,
subsidiaries, joint ventures and partnerships to advance their
Can there be a free market
without strong and comprehensive anti-monopoly, anti-cartel and other
laws against the myriad of anti-competitive practices that Adam Smith
alluded to back in 1776 when he warned of the motives when businessmen
Can there be a free market
without a free market of retaining lawyers to pursue wrongful injuries
and fraud by both direct negotiation with the perpetrators or resorting
to open, public courts?
Can there be a free market
when corporatists produce crony capitalism or torrents of corporate
welfare tax escapes, subsidies, handouts and bailouts that rig markets
against other smaller businesses that are playing by the rules of the
Can there be a free market
when corporate-managed trade agreements, such as NAFTA and the World
Trade Organization (WTO), subordinate civic efforts to secure better
labor, environmental and consumer treatments to the supremacy of
Finally, can there be a free
market when the banks fund and control the powerful, secretive Federal
Reserve that tightly regulates interest rates and can buy trillions of
dollars in bonds (aka quantitative easing – QE) to juice the stock
markets and the banks, while tens of millions of savers receive less
than half of one percent in interest on their savings?
Or as Ralph Nader puts it, at the end:
with CFS found to have reduced
white matter and other brain abnormalities
Corporatism, in reality,
is the corporate state – a tyranny, greased by big money in elections –
never envisioned by the framers of our Constitution when they started
its preamble with “We the People.”
Wake up call, anyone?
(See citizen.org for
The next and
item of today is a small article by dr. Speedy, who is a real
who really has M.E. as I do, but he
has it more seriously:
Or rather, since dr.
Speedy provides the link:
The last item contains this:
And it starts with this sum up
(and yes, it was Stanford University):
Lead author Michael
Zeineh, assistant professor of radiology, said: 'This is a very common
and debilitating disease.
'It's very frustrating
for patients, because they feel tired and are experiencing difficulty
thinking, and the science has yet to determine what has gone wrong.
'Using a trio of
sophisticated imaging methodologies, we found that CFS patients' brains
diverge from those of healthy subjects in at least three distinct ways.'
The condition affects between one and four million in the US and
millions more worldwide.
- Study at Stanford
University examined MRI scans of CFS patients comparing them to those
of healthy volunteers
- Found three distinct
differences in different parts of the brain
CFS patients found to have lower levels of white matter - which carries
information and signals between different parts of the brain
- A tract connecting
the frontal and temporal lobes was found to be abnormal
- And grey matter -
which processes information - in those two areas of the brain was
thicker in CFS patients
 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.)
 Yes indeed - and see yesterday, though this is
partially in Dutch: I have taken megavitamins for 30 years now (most of
the time) because this helped me, while no one and nothing else helped
me (apart from my direct family and a few rare medical doctors). In
fact, the taking of megavitamins was argued especially on the basis
that it would extend your life: See e.g. the two volumes "Life
Extension" by Pearson and Shaw, from 1982. In fact, I was never
extending my life, and at 64 I still do not know whether it does, but I
that I still look 20 years younger than I am (as I did also when I was
44). And this may be due to the vitamins I took.
(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: