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Nederlog

June 21, 2015
Crisis: DOJ gagged Google, Bank Felons, "Terrorism" & "Racism", me+ME update
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
 
   -- Benjamin Franklin
   "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.
Revealed: How DOJ Gagged Google over Surveillance of
     WikiLeaks Volunteer

2. How to Punish Bank Felons
3. On "terrorism", "racism" and Roof
4. me+ME:
Update about supplements & condition - June
     2015 



This is a Nederlog of Sunday June 21, 2015.

This is a crisis blog. But it is not a quite normal one: It is a Sunday, and I found only a few crisis files I want to comment on; I also wanted to comment on me+ME and the supplements I use to battle M.E. (which I have since 1.1.1979); and I decided to rerun two files I wrote in 2013 about a review by the late Chalmers Johnson (<-Wikipedia) of Sheldon Wolin's (<-Wikipedia) book "Democracy Incorporated", simply because it is interesting.

Indeed I do not mind repeating things I've had in Nederlog before, and jave done so before: Nederlog by now exists since 2004, consists of thousands of files; takes over 250 MB of html (on my hard disk, probably a bit less on the internet, but not much); and I like the two files that I reproduce today as one, especially since it is a bit more theoretical and a bit less journalistic than most of the things I wrote since the second half of 2013. [1]

Also, while it is theoretically quite possible that some of those who follow one of my sites (there are two, here and here, and they are supposed to be the same) might recall these pieces on Chalmers Johnson, it seems rather more likely they forgot them, as indeed I did until I did a search. (I check around 40 sites a day, and wrote on average about five articles a day, so I have written about nearly 2000 articles since I wrote the originals on Chalmers Johnson.)

So today's Nederlog is divided into two files. This is the first file, and consists of three items related to the crisis plus one update about me+ME (which you can skip, unless you have ME), and the other file is a repeat (plus some small corrections) of the files I wrote in 2013 about Chalmers Johnson on Sheldon Wolin.

Here begins the first of today's two files:
1. Revealed: How DOJ Gagged Google over Surveillance of WikiLeaks Volunteer

The first item is an article by Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks.

Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (pictured above), a developer for the Tor online anonymity project who has worked with WikiLeaks as a volunteer. The order also gagged Google, preventing it from notifying Appelbaum that his records had been provided to the government.

This means - in my opinion - that the Obama administration acted as totalitarian thugs: Wikileaks exists primarily because most papers stopped serving the public, and instead do serve the government, and therefore refuse to publish or even acknowledge the data Wikileaks provide; the data of Jacob Appelbaum are private and should not be seen by any government without first handing over credible evidence that Appelbaum committed a crime; while the fact that the "order also gagged Google, preventing it from notifying Appelbaum that his records had been provided to the government" makes it explicitly totalitarian.

In proof of which there is also this:

The Justice Department argued in the case that Appelbaum had “no reasonable expectation of privacy” over his email records under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Rather than seeking a search warrant that would require it to show probable cause that he had committed a crime, the government instead sought and received an order to obtain the data under a lesser standard, requiring only “reasonable grounds” to believe that the records were “relevant and material” to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Google repeatedly attempted to challenge the demand, and wanted to immediately notify Appelbaum that his records were being sought so he could have an opportunity to launch his own legal defense. Attorneys for the tech giant argued in a series of court filings that the government’s case raised “serious First Amendment concerns.” They noted that Appelbaum’s records “may implicate journalistic and academic freedom” because they could “reveal confidential sources or information about WikiLeaks’ purported journalistic or academic activities.”

Yes indeed (to the second paragraph). But Obama's secretive and totalitarian goverrnment wanted none of this, and persisted, and some secret judge signed a secret order and that was it, as far as the government is concerned.

There is considerably more in the article, which is recommended, but I only quote Appelbaum's quite correct response:

Appelbaum, an American citizen who is based in Berlin, called the case “a travesty that continues at a slow pace” and said he felt it was important to highlight “the absolute madness in these documents.”

He told The Intercept: “After five years, receiving such legal documents is neither a shock nor a needed confirmation. … Will we ever see the full documents about our respective cases? Will we even learn the names of those signing so-called legal orders against us in secret sealed documents? Certainly not in a timely manner and certainly not in a transparent, just manner.”

Quite so.

2How to Punish Bank Felons

The next item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:

This starts as follows:

What exactly does it mean for a big Wall Street bank to plead guilty to a serious crime? Right now, practically nothing.

But it will if California’s Santa Cruz County has any say.  

First, some background.

Five giant banks – including Wall Street behemoths JPMorgan Chase and Citicorp – recently pleaded guilty to criminal felony charges that they rigged the world’s foreign-currency market for their own profit.

This wasn’t a small heist. We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars worth of transactions every day.

The banks altered currency prices long enough for the banks to make winning bets before the prices snapped back to what they should have been. 

Which makes this fraud (<-Wikipedia) and since the banks pleaded guilty, I suppose they will agree to this. Then again, as Robert Reich says:
The penalty? The banks have agreed to pay $5.5 billion. That may sound like a big chunk of change, but for a giant bank it’s the cost of doing business. In fact, the banks are likely to deduct the fines from their taxes as business costs.
And besides: They very probably gained a lot more by fraud than they have to pay back "in penalty".

Also, while the rest of Reich's article recommends punishing these banks by refusing to trade with them, I don't think that will make a large difference.

I think the only realistic approach towards corrupt bankmanagers (who may earn 10 or 20 million a year) is to lock them up for quite a few years, that is: To apply the law to them as this has been applied to poor people.

This doesn't happen because the political and legal systems in the United States
have been very much corrupted, but this doesn't mean it can't be done nor that
it shouldn't be done.

3. On "terrorism", "racism" and Roof
 
I wrote yesterday - what I consider to be a quite good - item on Glenn Greenwald's quite clear article (and this is a link to that article):
If you read that, you will find that I mostly agree with Greenwald, except about his last conclusion that the term "terrorism" is so widely abused (yes, it is) that it is virtually meaningless (no, it isn't: it accuses people of being evil users of armed violence).

This is an update, that is mainly caused by the explosion of journalistic pieces on Roof and his 9 murders. For example, Mother Jones lists on its current frontpage (undated, but as given in the morning of June 21, 2015) a mere 15 articles by 15 or more journalists all of whom write about Roof or Charleston (where Roof murdered nine black people) - and that is just one publication.

I have four observations about this.

First, it is a little too much.

And no, I do not mean to criticize Mother Jones, nor any of the very many journalists who did write about Roof or Charleston - I am just saying that 15 articles on the same subject, let alone the at least 1500 or more articles other journalists wrote in other publications on the same subject, simply is far too many to read for anyone, including myself.

Second, it is American.

Next, I realized that a good part of the very many articles about Roof's nine murders are caused by racism or anti-racism that are rather typically American, by which I do not mean to say that Europeans are not racist (they often are, just as there are quite a few anti-racists in Europe), but that the U.S.A. is - now, and this is different from 1940-1945 - considerably more racist than Europe, for quite clear historical reasons (a large black population, most of whose ancestors
were imported as slaves).

Third, "terrorism" and "racism" are both very ideological terms, that are used in quite distinct ways by the left and by the right. [2]

I have explained this yesterday for the term "terrorism" (and nearly all of that
explanation is mine and original, and I think it is good and revealing), but I realize that the same holds for "racism": the left and the right both use the term,
but in opposite ways. For the right, "racism" starts with Obama and is mostly
something black people commit against whites; for the left, "racism" is mostly
something white people commit against blacks.

Indeed, this is also obvious from the reactions to Roof's crimes: The left - I think mostly correctly - claim Roof is a racist who indulged in terrorist acts, indeed in order to start a race war; the right - quite falsely, I think - mostly insisted that
the crimes were not racist, not terrorism, and must be "inexplicable" (or "mental illness", for whites just can't be racists, even if they say so themselves).

Fourth, although I am a leftist, this section and my reaction of yesterday to Glenn Greenwald's article are in the end mostly logical remarks about the abuses of
terminology.

4. me+ME: Update about supplements & condition - June 2015

This item is one of a sequence of monthly items that give some information about the disease I have since 1.1.1979 and about what I am doing against it with vitamin and mineral supplements. The previous item in the sequence is May 25, 2015 and the present section can be skipped by anyone without M.E.

First, the reason why I use vitamin and mineral supplements, indeed since 1983, it that my disease so far only answered positively to three things:

Good sleep
(8 hours every 24 hours) and a lot of rest; large doses of vitamins (especially in 1984-7, when my condition did improve rather a lot, and then totally collapsed due to three and a half years of insufficient sleep because of noise and threats); and especially of mB12 and metafolate, that somewhat improved the miserable condition I had from 1991-2012, but that didn't cure me.

Second, this month - June 2015 - is again a bit different from the previous 15 months. The reason is mostly that my computer stopped working on April 29, which caused me to do considerably too much from April 30 - May 8 (though the computer got working again), when I also collapsed.

Since then I have PEM (malaise through too much exercise), which first was  lessening, but flared up again a week ago, when I did not sleep for more than 5 hours every night for 5 succesive days, and in spite of a sleeping pill, and also started sweating rather a lot in my sleep, which I have done a lot before, but not since 2011.

Therefore I have several times changed my vitamins and supplements through June, but it didn't seem to make much difference. And I have slept well the last two days (9 and 8 hours respectively) and am feeling a bit better, but I am probably not yet out of this decrease in my condition.

Currently, I use this:

vitamin C: 4 grams:
It still is 4 grams a day.
VM-75: A multivitamin pill which many ingredients.
I take one a day, divided into two portions.

Calcium+vitamin D+vitamin K:
I still take 2 pills a day, which gives a little less than the daily recommended dose (apart from what is in the VM-75)
Potassium: 4 pills a day (or sometimes 5)
This gives 800 mg a day (or 1000 mg)
Metafolin: 2 pills a day
This gives 2000 mcg a day.
Vit mB12 infusion: 1 pill a day
This gives 1 mg methylcobalamin a day OR
Vit mB12 5000 mcg: 1/2 pill a day.
The last two are alternated every day.
Vit aB12: 1 pill every other day
This gives 3000 mcg of dibencozide
And that is it for this month: the main consistent difference with the previous month is that I replaced the Multitotal pill by a VM-75, which is considerably stronger (larger doses) and which does seem to help more.

And while I do seem to be picking up, it goes slowly.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. Jun 29, 2015:
Corrected a few typos and inserted two links (I forgot or that didn't show).

Notes

[1] I like this because I am a person who always was much interested in theories, in science and in methodology, and who has excellent degrees - only As - in philosophy and psychology. And while I realize that most of my readers do not have most of my theoretical interests, it is my site, and I write what I please.

[2] Incidentally: I am one of those who thinks there still is - and has been, since the French Revolution of 1789, at least - a rather clear and factual division between the political left and the political right.

In case you deny this, I suggest that (i) you do not know too much about politics and philosophy, and (ii) you may be confused by the considerable overlaps in attitudes and values between the Democrats and the Republicans in the U.S. or by the propaganda of the right in the U.S. and Europe (that indeed these days, and since Clinton and Blair falsified the left as "Third Way", has taken over many of the slogans and terms of the left, but generally uses them in false and improper ways, and to mislead and deceive the electorate).

I do know a lot about politics and philosophy, which will not be so easy to make up: it is due to 50 years of much reading, but the many terminological confusions are - I think - mostly avoidable by anyone who has a decent intelligence and is able to check out a few things, by finding out what has been written about the subject by various others, and by using the internet in a rational and responsible way.

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