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. Rochester byelection:
beliefs of Ukip voters are soaked in
Fearmongering Kills the NSA Reform Bill, What’s
3. Senator: White House Simply
Doesn't "Want Public to
Know" Scope of CIA Torture
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, November 22. It is a crisis log.
It's a Saturday, and I
also slept too little. In any case, I found no
more than 3 articles with 3 dotted links, and they follow: Item 1 is nominally about Ukip in Great
it seems to me more is involved, and I sketch it; item 2
about the fearmongering that killed the NSA reform bill, and is more or
less OK but forgot to mention two forces that are effective against the
NSA; and item 3
is about the Senate's Report on torture by Bush's CIA, that is
obstructed by Obama's White House and the present CIA: The less the
know, the better this is for the CIA, indeed.
And here goes:
byelection: beliefs of Ukip
voters are soaked in leftwing populism
item today is an article by Owen Jones on The Guardian:
This starts as follows -
and broaches a more general theme:
There is considerably
more in Owen Jones's article. In fact, the reason for the article is a
small English byelection that was won by Ukip, so it is not itself that
important in fact, but it may herald things to come in the UK, and
indeed also is somewhat similar to the US midterm elections, that were
won by the Republicans.
If the seemingly
irresistible rise of Ukip teaches us anything, it is that sentiment all
too often trumps reality and mere detail in politics. The party is a
self-described “People’s Army”, now emboldened by a victory in
Rochester and Strood it hopes will bring renewed momentum. Its voters
are disproportionately working class.
Polls suggest they support renationalising rail and
energy and want higher taxes for the rich and an increased minimum wage.
According to research by the academic Matthew Goodwin, 81% of Ukip
supporters believe “big business takes advantage of ordinary people”; a
slim majority want the government to redistribute income; and they
overwhelmingly agree “there is one law for the rich and one for the
These are beliefs soaked
in leftwing populism; and yet those who subscribe to them have flocked
in droves to a party of the hard right. Ukip’s leaders now defiantly,
unapologetically present themselves as a people’s insurgency against a
I agree with Owen Jones that one of the things the British outcome
shows, and indeed also the US outcomes show this, at least in my
opinion, that "sentiment
all too often trumps reality and mere detail in politics".
But it may show considerably more than this, namely the following - and
when I am writing "the average voter" I do mean especially the
whose IQs are not higher than 100; who never visited a college or
university; who read very few if any complicated books; who may
work hard but who also know few historical or political facts; and whom
you need to convince, if you are a politician, at least if you want a
As I have said several
times, I have not voted since I wasn't forced to, which was in
1971, and indeed my reasons are that I had found out by then that the vast
majority of the voters did hardly know anything about politics,
economics, law, science or philosophy, but voted nevertheless, while
for a single individual like me, who did know rather a lot about these
by then, there were literally stadiums full of football
voted for whoever massaged their sentiments best, and I did not
want to take part in such a crazy, irrational and degenerate schema.
- The average voter
has lost any rational and reasonable compass (including his or her own
incomes or social status: "everyone can get rich, so everyone should
think like a rich man");
- the average voter
now can be manipulated by advertisement agencies to vote in majority as
the advertisement agencies tell them - indeed precisely as in everyday
- there are hardly
any more rational and reasonable arguments in politics: it is all
reduced to sentiments-manipulated-by-ads that the most stupid 51% of
the voters can understand and process and vote for or against.
And yes, I know the most degenerate and sickest pieces of shit -
currently a (bad, incompetent, lazy, well-paid) professor at the UvA -
told me that "you
may not talk anymore with us, because you do not vote" (and no: he did
not talk with me) - as if duly voting every four years proves you are
excellent democrat, and not voting proves you are a fascist... but
this is another of "the sentiments" the Dutch use, successfully
also, to get as many of the
dumbest to vote.
Then again, I am not concerned with the Dutch now: In am
that, at least in the U.S. and the U.K., voting has been transformed
into a game of lies and postures that is played by political
try to convince the most stupid half of the population by
nonsense, irrelevant sentiments, and falsehoods to vote for them - and
who generally succeed, and indeed also do not think anything
they said to get elected imposes any duty on them when elected.
That is, what I am saying is that the current climate of our proud
democracies is in fact dominated by the advertisement agencies
write the lies for the politicians to try to convince the most stupid
and most ignorant half of the population: that is what is
effectively left of "our great democracy", indeed next to an ever
decreasing list of formal rights and freedoms that few really
And note what I am saying: This means that any input into "the elective
process" by the intelligent few - who make up at most 5 - 10 % of the
voters - is in fact almost useless and quite wasted, for all that really
counts are the advertisements that move the majority of the least
intelligent and least knowledgeable.
That, at least, is how it does seem to me. (But you can vote or
not as you please: I will not criticize you for either.)
Fearmongering Kills the NSA Reform
Bill, What’s Next?
item is an article by Zoë Carpenter on AlterNet:
This starts as follows
(and illustrates what I said in item 1, by the way):
Yes, indeed. Of course,
Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Michael Hayden are degenerate liars
who lied, deceived and fearmongered, but then those are the
processes with which elections are won and decisions get forced - and
certainly not by rational argument or reasonable expectations.
For a few hours on
Tuesday, the Islamic State looked like the best thing that ever
happened to the National Security Agency. The USA Freedom Act, a modest
bill seen as the best chance for reforming one of the NSA’s dragnet
surveillance programs, failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the
Senate by two votes after Republicans insisted that it would
precipitate a terrorist attack.
“This is the worst
possible time to be tying our hands behind our back,” Mitch McConnell
said. “We live in a dangerous world, and the threat by ISIL only makes
it more so.” Marco Rubio chimed in with his own warning: “God forbid
that tomorrow we wake up to the news that a member of ISIL is in the
United States,” he said. Former CIA director Michael Hayden penned a Wall
Street Journalop-ed under the headline, “NSA Reform That Only
ISIS Could Love.”
Really, the USA Freedom Act
was NSA reform that no one really loved, except maybe the Obama
Here is one conclusion Zoë Carpenter draws, and this seems a fair one:
failure to bring even a narrow, watered-down reform to a final vote
underscores that Congress is for the most part disinterested and/or
incapable in exercising its constitutional duty to oversee the
intelligence community. (There are individual exceptions, of course
Yes, indeed. And here is
last part of the article, that is a bit more somber than there is a
need to be:
But absent the
emergence of a spine in Congress with regards to the incessant
fearmongering that serves as a shield for government spying, a
patchwork of court rulings and the power of consumer choice looks
increasingly like the only viable defense.
Here Zoë Carpenter
forgets two important forces: First, the programmers, as was evidenced
yesterday, here and here, and second those who still argue
against massive surveilling - Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept; The Guardian; the
ACLU; the EFF etc.
So while the situation is bleak, it is a little less bleak than
is sketched in this article.
3. Senator: White House Simply Doesn't "Want
Public to Know"
Scope of CIA Torture
and last item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Rockefeller of course is
quite right. Here is the New York Times:
"The public has to know
about it. They don’t want the public to know about it."
That's what Sen. Jay
Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told
the Huffington Post on Thursday night regarding continued
White House stalling over release of a report that catalogs the
internal investigation of CIA torture during the Bush years. The
comments followed a close-door meeting between Senate Democrats and
Obama administration officials that took place just hours before the
president gave a much-anticipated speech on another subject,
Rockefeller said the
torture report is "being slow-walked to death" by the administration
and told the HuffPost, "They’re doing everything they can not
to release it."
"[The report] makes a lot
of people who did really bad things look really bad," Rockefeller
continued, "which is the only way not to repeat those mistakes in the
And this is what they are
During a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill
with Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff, the senators
said that the White House was siding with the C.I.A. and trying to
thwart negotiations over the report’s release. The negotiations have
dragged on for months because of a dispute over the C.I.A.’s demand
that pseudonyms of agency officers be deleted from the report.
The C.I.A., supported by the White House, has
argued that even without using the real names of the officers, their
identities could still be revealed.
According to several people in attendance,
the meeting was civil, but neither side gave ground, and it ended
without resolution. The Senate Intelligence Committee spent five years
working on the 6,000-page report, which is said to provide grim details
about the torture of detainees in C.I.A. prisons during the Bush
administration, and describe a persistent effort by C.I.A. officials to
mislead the White House and Congress about the efficacy of its
interrogation techniques. The committee voted this year to declassify
the report’s executive summary, numbering several hundred pages, but
the fight over redactions has delayed the release.
Earlier this week,
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), also member of the committee, characterized
the CIA’s arguments for leaving the report heavily redacted
“ludicrous.” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said the version under
discussion would leave all but 15 percent of the report blacked-out.
"Try reading a novel with 15 percent of the words blacked out—"
Heinrich said. "It can't be done properly."
Note that the Senate is
supposed to control the CIA...
coalition of advocacy groups—including RootsAction, Demand Progress,
Win Without War, CodePink, USAction, and others—argue the senators on
the Intelligence Committe have another path if they truly want to give
the public a look at the scope of the abuses perpetrated by the CIA.
And, according to the groups, the senators have no obligation to wait
for permission from the White House to act. As the coalition points out
in a statement, "Members of Congress have an absolute right to
free speech, and a member could enter the report into the Congressional
Record in its entirety—just as the Pentagon Papers were by Senator Mike
Gravel in 1971—without fear of prosecution."
So it seems that it is
up to Senator Mark Udall:
The group has put
particular focus on outgoing Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to step forward
and release the report. Udall lost his re-election bid earlier this
month and will be leaving the Senate in January. Signers of the
petition say that if Udall, or other members in a position to do so,
take the "heroic and courageous act" of releasing the full
report, "we and countless others will support you."
It is currently not
known what Senator Udall will do.
 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.)
(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: