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."
in Secret While We're All Being Watched
launch biggest crackdown on trade unions for 30
3. Alexis Tsipras: bailout a ‘bad
deal’ but the best Greece
4. VIDEO: Robert Scheer on
American Power and
Arrogance: ‘It’s a Toxic
Cocktail’ (Part 10 of 10)
5. Hillary Clinton’s
is a Nederlog of Wednesday July 15, 2015.
This is a
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about a good and long article that explains how you can
improver your privacy; item 2 is about
an article in The Guardian on another of Cameron's sick degeneracies; item 3 is about an article that says, probably
correctly, Tsipras got the least evil deal he could get; item
4 is about the last part of the 10-part series Paul Jay did on The
Real News Network with Robert Scheer; and item 5 is
about Robert Reich about
the Glass-Seagall act and Hillary Clinton.
in Secret While
We're All Being Watched
The first article today is by
Micah Lee on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
There is a whole lot
more and it is quite good: It does explain what it sets out to explain,
and also does this clearly. Recommended!
When you pick up the
phone and call someone, or send a text message, or write an email, or
send a Facebook message, or chat using Google Hangouts, other
people find out what you’re saying, who you’re talking to, and where
you’re located. Such private data might only be available to the
service provider brokering your conversation, but it might also be
visible to the telecom companies carrying your Internet packets, to spy
and law enforcement agencies, and even to some nearby teenagers
monitoring your Wi-Fi network with Wireshark.
But if you take careful
steps to protect yourself, it’s possible to communicate online in a way
that’s private, secret and anonymous. Today I’m going to explain in
precise terms how to do that. I’ll take techniques NSA whistleblower
Edward Snowden used
when contacting me two and a half years ago and boil them down to the
essentials. In a nutshell, I’ll show you how to create anonymous
real-time chat accounts and how to chat over those accounts using an
encryption protocol called Off-the-Record Messaging, or OTR.
If you’re in a hurry, you
can skip directly to where I explain, step by step, how to set this up
OS X, Windows,
Linux and Android.
Then, when you have time, come back and read the important caveats
preceding those instructions.
One caveat is to make sure
the encryption you’re using is the sort known as “end-to-end”
encryption. With end-to-end encryption, a message gets encrypted at one
endpoint, like a smartphone, and decrypted at the other endpoint, let’s
say a laptop. No one at any other point, including the company
providing the communication service you’re using, can decrypt the
Tories launch biggest
crackdown on trade unions for 30 years
The next article today is by Patrick Wintour on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
crackdown on trade union rights for 30 years will be unveiled on
Wednesday, including new plans to criminalise picketing, permit
employers to hire strike-breaking agency staff and choke off the flow
of union funds to the Labour party.
There is a lot more under the
last dotted link. There really are going to be two kinds of people in
Great Britain: The few rich and the many poor a.k.a. as the masters and
the slaves. (You may see it differently.)
The scale of the reforms
goes far wider than the previously trailed plan for strikes to be made
unlawful unless 50% of those being asked to strike vote in the ballot.
In a set of proposals on
a par with those introduced by Norman Tebbit in 1985, Sajid Javid, the business secretary, is also
to require that at least 40% of those asked to vote support the strike
in most key public services. In the case of 100 teachers asked to
strike, the action would only be lawful if at least 50 teachers voted
and 40 of them backed the strike.
The double threshold
would have to be met in any strike called in health, education, fire,
transport, border security and energy sectors – including the Border
Force and nuclear decommissioning.
3. Alexis Tsipras: bailout a ‘bad deal’ but the
best Greece could get
The next article
by Reuters on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
There is more there, but it
seems this will be accepted, since it seems that the majority of the
Greeks accept this evil choice over the bigger evil of being cast out
of the EU. (There also are no preparations to help Greece survive
outside the EU, that I know of, and I agree that in any case that would
be very hard.)
The Greek prime minister,
Alexis Tsipras, has defended the bailout
agreed at Sunday’s eurozone summit and ruled out resigning, saying it
was a bad deal but the best available under the circumstances.
“I am fully assuming my
responsibilities, for mistakes and for oversights, and for the
responsibility of signing a text that I do not believe in, but that I
am obliged to implement,” Tsipras told Greek public television on
In an hour-long interview
that mixed a defence of his abrupt change of course over the bailout
deal with barbs aimed at Greece’s European partners, Tsipras said he
had fought a battle not to cut wages and pensions.
He said Greece must stick to the deficit reductions
agreed in the deal, which he said were milder than previously agreed
Tsipras said that even
though some countries had resisted giving Greece “fresh money” –
Finland and the Netherlands in particular – they relented in the end.
4. VIDEO: Robert Scheer on American Power and
Arrogance: ‘It’s a Toxic Cocktail’ (Part 10 of 10)
The next article
today is by Jenna Berbeo on Truthdig:
We have arrived at
the last part of the interview Paul Jay of The Real News
Network had with Robert Scheer. I have reviewed the 9 earlier ones, and
you will find the 9th one here, while
you can find the other ones by looking in the
index of 2015 for "Jay&Scheer". (It seems as if this originally
started out as a three-part series. The first part of that series is here.)
And as before, I will jump straight in.
So you’re 79.
JAY: You’re going to be
80 soon. You don’t seem—.
SCHEER: I’ve got another
JAY: Another year.
Alright. You don’t seem to, like, have stopped at all or slowed down
much. What keeps you going?
SCHEER: Well, it’s funny,
‘cause my wife asks that. People ask me that question all the time. And
I say, if I didn’t have outlets, I would still have outrage. I would
still have concern. I would tear up. I care.
I think there is
another reason as well: Robert Scheer still has most of his health and
strength at 79. This is different from most 79-year olds (and neither
of my parents, for example, got to be 79).
Also I will be a bit more selective in this last part. First, there is
SCHEER: (..) Maybe
it’s my upbringing, but I always had the idea that everybody matters.
And I was not raised in
an elite environment. My parents were garment workers, and I knew they
mattered, I knew their friends mattered, I knew the people in my
neighborhood mattered. And they didn’t make a lot of money. They worked
hard. And some fell off and became what we used to call bums. You know,
my father would take me down the bowery, show me people who were
waiting, lined up to get food. You know, I was a kid during the
Depression. And I never—no one around me, no one ever gave me a reason
to think that these people were not equal to me and to anyone else. I
never—I was always raised with the idea there was an inherent value to
I was raised
similarly, but I did not quite accept it: While my parents were very
decent and helpful, quite a few Dutchmen were not, and my
parents were - completely falsely - charged with being "traitors to
Holland" because they were communists.
My own reaction to that was and is that I can only explain this by the stupidity and egoism that seem
the dominant values or properties of many. (And no, I am not
sorry: My parents were discriminated a lot, and they were
discriminated by people who almost always were their moral and
intellectual inferiors, and who discriminated them basically out of a
combination of sadism
And there is this, that also holds for my parents:
SCHEER: And I think—and
it certainly was not based on religion. I think it was enhanced by not
being religious. I had to find meaning in the secular life. You know, I
couldn’t be waiting for another life. And I couldn’t find it just in
scripture or something. My parents had both basically rebelled against
the life of scripture. They saw its downside.
In fact, my mother
and her family never were religious in any
sense, and my father lost his religion (Protestantism) in his early
twenties, indeed like his father (in his fifties). In both cases, the
main reason was the crisis of the Thirties.
Then there is this:
I agree that it is quite
possible that the USA will sink into barbarism, and I also agree it
isn't there yet, though it is moving in the direction.
JAY: You mentioned
Germany descending into barbarism. It didn’t take very long in terms of
the number of years. Do you think that can happen here?
SCHEER: I not only think—.
JAY: Or do you think it’s
SCHEER: No, I don’t think
it’s happening here. But I do think it can happen here. I think—and one
of the really disappointing things about Germany for me, ‘cause I’ve
gone back there quite a few times, found my father’s brother and all
that sort of thing—he was nice guy, a good guy—is how they can return
to normalcy so quickly, almost like it didn’t happen.
As to Germany, I think I may differ about the explanation for the fact
that "Germany" could "return
to normalcy so quickly, almost like it didn’t happen":
My own explanation is that most ordinary men
are fundamentally - first and foremost - conformers:
They "really" believe what the majority believes, as long as
this is the solid majority, and they "really" believe what a new
majority believes if that gets the upper hand, and they also do not
see many problems
with their attitudes, and possibly quite radical changes, in part
because they don't
know much about the backgrounds, economics, politics or philosophy.
Next, there is this about Robert Scheer's optimism:
I look differently upon the
world, but it is quite possible that part of the reason is that
I did not live through the Depression nor through WW II.
SCHEER: And then, so, later we were fighting about
things like the right of farmworkers or the right of immigrants or the
right of gay people or women’s rights, equal pay. So to my mind it very
clearly was better to struggle over these things and celebrate what
might seem small victories, but they added up.
And I guess my optimism is
that I’ve seen quite a bit of positive change in this world. You know?
I mean, I’ve seen in many ways things get better.
Then again, my own point of view is that human beings remain
mostly the same (now, a hundred years ago, or two thousand years ago)
but that technology rapidly changes, and indeed gives many more
But I am not optimistic about technology either, especially not
because it is through technology that the climate has changed, and
through technology that
there soon will be very little oil and other raw materials, and both
facts will introduce enormous problems that have to be
solved, and indeed quite soon.
Here is Robert Scheer's reflection on being 79:
But I suspect
that’s true of almost every 79-year-old in the history of the world,
right? Oh, I saw all of that. But you saw one period of history from
one vantage point with one set of experiences. So who’s to say that the
next 79 years aren’t going to be more interesting? I would expect
they’d be a lot more interesting. I mean, we’ll probably extend life
and all sorts of ways.
I am not 79 (and suspect that
my chances of reaching that age are small) and I also am a lot less
optimistic, especially because of climate change, the end of oil and
many other raw materials, there being over 7 billion people, and the
stupidity and crudeness of many political leaders and many of their
followers. And there also is the real chance of an atomic war, that
will end civilization.
Next, there is this on what is important:
I agree. But who is seriously
interested in history? Or indeed in any real science? Only a small
minority, always and everywhere.
JAY: Alright. Final word
to young people watching this piece.
SCHEER: History matters. And
you have to understand the history of other people as well as yourself.
And there is finally this on the USA:
SCHEER: (...) But when you come from the most powerful
country in the world that is also the most arrogant because of its
claim to be the depository of human freedom, etc., it makes for—it’s a
toxic cocktail. You get drunk on the power of this culture and its
military, its wealth, and you can become incredibly destructive. And we
have been incredibly destructive.
True - but again, the
only two reasons I can think of for this arrogance are a combination of
stupidity and power. And I think there will be a lot more of both,
5. Hillary Clinton’s Glass-Steagall
The final article
for today is by Robert Reich on Truthdig (and originally on Reich's
This starts as follows
I agree, but I don't see
Hillary Clinton - who knows Robert Reich quite well, as does Bill
Clinton - will follow this advice, were it only because much of her
campaign funds are from the big banks, that all very much desire no
Glass- Steagall act.
Hillary Clinton won’t
propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act
– at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been
advising Clinton’s campaign. “You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall,”
Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to
mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about
This is a big mistake.
It’s a mistake
politically because people who believe Hillary Clinton is still too
close to Wall Street will not be reassured by her position on
Glass-Steagall. Many will recall that her husband led the way to
repealing Glass Steagall in 1999 at the request of the big Wall Street
It’s a big mistake
economically because the repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the
2008 Wall Street crash, and without it we’re in danger of another one.
There is also this on the background:
“The idea is pretty
simple behind this one,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said a few days ago,
explaining her bill to resurrect Glass-Steagall. “If banks want to
engage in high-risk trading — they can go for it, but they can’t get
access to ensured deposits and put the taxpayers on the hook for that
For more than six decades
after 1933, Glass-Steagall worked exactly as it was intended to. During
that long interval few banks failed and no financial panic endangered
the banking system.
But the big Wall Street
banks weren’t content. They wanted bigger profits. They thought they
could make far more money by gambling with commercial deposits. So they
set out to whittle down Glass-Steagall.
I agree. But I would be
very amazed to see Hillary Clinton change her position - and if she
does, I still won't believe she is sincere.