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. House of Cards: A DC
Real Estate Column
2. A Year After Reform Push,
NSA Still Collects Bulk
Domestic Data, Still Lacks Way
to Assess Value
NSA’s Binney and Amb. White
Scum' vs. 'Great American Villian' as Citizens
Arrest Targets Kissinger
5. The Blauified Guardian - 2
This is a Nederlog of Friday,
January 30, 2015.
This is a crisis log. There are
5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about the American Congress of millionaires; item 2 is about Obama's wish for
surveilance; item 3 is about a prize
Binney; item 4 is about Kissinger;
and item 5 is about the Radically
of Cards: A DC Real Estate Column
The first item today is
article by Ken Silverstein on The Intercept:
This starts about
Democrat Tom Daschle, who worked himself up in a few years from owning
between $400,000 and $1.2 million to $5.2 million in just two years.
I'll skip that and turn to some general lessons.
Here is the first:
For those at the
top of the economic pyramid, like Tom Daschle, government is ruthlessly
efficient at funneling money upward via tax cuts and loopholes,
corporate subsidies, deregulation and other business-friendly policies.
Put otherwise: Nearly
all politicians in the American Congress are millionaires, who often
get a lot richer after leaving politics.
One of the reasons that
government works well for the wealthy is that so many elected officials
are wealthy themselves, and directly benefit from the economic measures
they pass. The median net worth of the current Congress is slightly
north of $1 million, according to the Center
for Responsive Politics, and that surely understates their wealth
because it’s based on financial disclosure forms that don’t require the
listing of real estate holdings.
Here is the second lesson:
A political system
that transfers wealth upward didn’t happen by chance, but was the
willful creation, and decades in the making, of our corporate and
I say - though I am not
really amazed (as I may explain tomorrow).
Between 1947 and 1979, the
share of income going to the top 1 percent fell by about 27 percent.
Then the effects of the corporate campaign began to kick in. Between
1980 and 2012, the share going to the top 1 percent rose by 120 percent.
There is considerably more in the article, mostly about specific
Year After Reform Push, NSA Still Collects Bulk Domestic Data, Still
Lacks Way to Assess Value
The next item is an article by Dan Froomkin on The Intercept:
This start as follows:
I must say I am not
amazed: Obama clearly wants the universal surveillance of his
The presidential advisory
board on privacy that recommended a slew of domestic surveillance
reforms in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations reported today
that many of its suggestions have been agreed to “in principle” by the
Obama administration, but in practice, very little has changed.
Most notably, the Privacy
and Civil Liberties Oversight Board called attention to the obvious
fact that one full year after it concluded
that the government’s bulk collection of metadata on domestic telephone
calls is illegal and unproductive, the program continues apace.
accepted our recommendation in principle. However, it has not ended the
bulk telephone records program on its own, opting instead to seek
legislation to create an alternative to the existing program,” the
And while Congress has
variously debated, proposed, neutered, and failed to agree on any
action, the report’s authors point the finger of blame squarely at
President Obama. “It should be noted that the Administration can end
the bulk telephone records program at any time, without congressional
involvement,” the report says.
NSA’s Binney and Amb. White
next item is an article by Ray McGovern on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows (and I
have added a link to the Wikipedia item on William
standing-room-only event held at Unter den Linden 52 in the shadow of
Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, Sam
Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) presented
its 14th annual award to ex-National Security Agency
Binney on Jan. 22. Binney ended his 36-year career in
intelligence after 9/11 when he learned that NSA Director
Michael Hayden had removed Fourth
Amendment privacy protections from the agency’s surveillance of
It also contains this:
Yes, indeed. But I must
say - and I first read Haffner in the late 1960ies - I am not
optimistic: Clearly there are good and intelligent and honest
and courageous men and women. But it is definitely not the majority,
who simply do not have the "solid
inner kernel" that the few
On both sides of the
Atlantic we hear the mantra: “After 9/11/2001 EVERYTHING CHANGED;” just
like “everything changed” after the burning of the Reichstag on
2/27/1933. That event led many Germans into what the writer
Sebastian Haffner called “sheepish submissiveness” — with disastrous
As a young German lawyer
in Berlin at the time, Haffner wrote in his diary one day after the
Reichstag fire that Germans had suffered a nervous breakdown. “No
one saw anything out of the ordinary in the fact that, from now on,
one’s telephone would be tapped, one’s letters opened, and one’s desk
might be broken into.”
What was missing, wrote
Haffner, was “a solid inner kernel that cannot be shaken by external
pressures and forces, something noble and steely, a reserve of pride,
principle, and dignity to be drawn on in the hour or trial.”
We are grateful that
these traits were NOT missing in Bill Binney. Nor were they missing in
Edward Snowden, whose patriotic risk-taking opened the way for Bill and
his colleagues to expose the collect-it-all fanatics and the damage
they do to privacy everywhere.
What Ed Snowden called
“turnkey tyranny” can still be prevented. But this can only
happen, if patriots like Bill Binney can jolt enough people out of
“sheepish submissiveness.” Goethe understood this 200 years ago when he
warned, “No one is more a slave than he who thinks himself free, but is
Scum' vs. 'Great American Villian' as Citizens Arrest Targets Kissinger
next item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as
follows (and can be seen as a continuation of my review of America
Keeps Honoring One
Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry
While defending Henry
Kissinger during a dramatic protest during a Senate hearing on
Thursday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called those speaking out against
the former Secretary of State as "low-life scum" as they were escorted
from the hearing room by Capitol Police.
Kissinger served under
President Nixon and is widely reviled by human rights advocates for his
involvement in orchestrating the Vietnam War and defending U.S. foreign
policy, including various atrocities, across the planet for more than
half a century.
Members of the peace
group CODEPINK took the opportunity of Kissinger's testimony before the
Senate Arms Service Committee to confront the man they call a "war
criminal" as they attempted to serve him with a 'Citizen's Arrest
Warrant.' Holding a banner and dangling handcuffs in front of a stoic
Kissinger, the protesters declared him a "war criminal" who should be
arrested and prosecuted for numerous offenses.
There is considerably
more in the article, that is good and
is "The official
'Citizen's Arrest Warrant' drawn up by CODEPINK":
I would be very
amazed if Kissinger ever gets arrested, but I agree with CODEPINK (and
for more see my
review of America Keeps Honoring One of
Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry
for the arrest of Henry Kissinger for War Crimes
From 1969 through 1973, Kissinger, working for Richard Nixon, oversaw
the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which led to the deaths of
millions of people. Many thousands more died from the affects of
massive doses of Agent Orange and from unexploded US bombs that cover
Henry Kissinger was one of the principle architects of the coup in
Chile on September 11, 1973, a coup that overthrew the democratically
elected government of Salvador Allende. Sixteen years of repression,
torture and death followed under the rule of Kissinger’s friend, the
fascist Augusto Pinochet.
Timor: In 1975, while working for President Gerald Ford,
Kissinger pre-approved the Indonesian dictator Suharto’s bloody
invasion of the small island of East Timor. This illegal act of
aggression was carried out with weapons furnished by the US. By the
time the Indonesian occupation finally ended in 1999, 200,000 Timorese
– 30 percent of the population – had been wiped out.
Kissinger’s legacy. Death. Destruction. Suffering. Misery.
Dictatorships. His is a murderer, a liar, a crook, a thug.
should hold their officials accountable for their acts. That’s why we
demand that Kissinger be arrested for crimes against humanity and tried
at the Hague.
The Blauified Guardian - 2
next and last item today is on the amazing stupification - "the act of dumbing down on purpose" - of The
Guardian's website, that you may find here:
reasons are - it seems - mainly that there are now as many (or more)
cell- phones as there are people, while there are no more than a couple
of hundreds of millions desktop computers and about as many laptops.
who wants to work for these, if the Big Money is in the cellphones?
The Guardian now is primed for the cellphone market, and to that end
they have removed nearly all of their photographs in their opening
screens, and print the titles of their articles as follows, so that
readers with cell phones - which have small screens and few fonts - can
see them in one swoop:
(and it is all in Time Roman, so as not to miss anyone with a
or (in Times Roman):
articles (also of the past that I tried) are all reset in Times Roman,
so that the ordinary person, who has a cellphone much rather
than a desktop, or even a laptop, can enjoy these articles without fail
I should like to say this.
Could it have been done
otherwise? Of course. Could it have been done more politely?
Definitely. Could there have been several websites, for several types
of computers? Of course, with a single click also, but that is not
where The Big Money is: That is in cellphones.
will see the Daily Mail model.
Daily Mail knows that reading is difficult.
has one paragraph per sentence, or maybe - rarely - two.
these sentences are sandwiched between photos.
that is The New Guardian model as well.
with fewer photos.
these may not display well on a cellphone.)
New Model will not be there directly.
writers will insist they need more than one sentence in a paragraph.
But it will come!
We rather sell to the many stupid than the few intelligent.
Who can blame us?
That is The New Guardian.
I do understand.
I must say that I have enjoyed the site for the last 1 1/2
years, but these times now have completely passed.
have some tips.
attach hearts (Alt 3, it used to be) with The Number Of Likes, like the Dutch paper "De Volkskrant".
(Used to be for somewhat intelligent people. Not anymore.)
attach pound signs to the articles you need to pay for, like the Dutch paper "NRC Handelsblad" (with
(Used to be for academically educated people. Not anymore.)
can write everything in Basic English words, of 4 or 5 letters.
Look at The Daily
Mail for much inspiration! 
The possibilities are endless.
They are also stupid, but then most people are not intelligent.
And who would want to make a paper for intelligent people?!
 And The Daily Mial website now looks a lot
better than The New And Improved Guardian's. (Try it!)