This is a Nederlog
of Thursday, December 3, 2015.
is a crisis file.
It also is a crisis file "new style"
that will rely less
on following the news and more on explaining the backgrounds of the
news. This file consists of 4
items with 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about France's
state of emergency (and the sick "European Convention on Human Rights"
that is no such thing at all); item 2
is about terrorism; item 3 is about a warning that
the American Constitution is being targetted for - neoconservative -
rewriting; and item 4 is about a video by Abby
Martin on socialism in the USA.
1. A State of Emergency in France
This first item is by Bianca Jagger on
This is from two days
ago, and is indeed by an ex of Mick Jagger, but it may be important and
it is a decent article. Here are four quotations from it.
First, there is this that set the background:
horrific November 13th Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130
people, the French government declared a.I hope that President Hollande
will restore France's obligations under the European Convention on
Human Rights and that these measures will be just a fleeting,
authoritarian parenthesis during his Presidency. As the French
political philosopher Montesquieu said: 'There is no crueller tyranny
than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the
name of justice.' state of emergency for 12 days, which was then
extended for three months, dating from November 26th. What is deeply
disturbing is that France has written to the Secretary General of the
Council of Europe, making an official
request to suspend their obligations under the European Convention
on Human Rights because the country's 'state of emergency' is "likely
to necessitate exemption from some of the rights guaranteed... due to
public danger that threatens the life of a nation.' The French
government has derogated the ECHR. Article 15 of the European
Convention permits derogations in times of war or other public
emergencies that threaten the life of the nation, to the extent
required by the exigencies of the situation. In other words,
restrictions to liberty must be proportionate to the threat.
Yes, indeed: This is what happened.
I have one addition: The European Convention on Human Rights is definitely no such thing, for what it does,
indeed under this name, is to give the
secret services of the European governments all the exceptions and all the means to do
what they like to almost anybody they designate as an enemy or terrorist.
If you compare the "European Convention on Human Rights"
with the real thing, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
you will see that the European Convention is mere legal cheatery that
gives the European governments all the means to spy on their
inhabitants as they want, but indeed in
the name and under the pretext
of "human rights". 
Here is some of what happened in France:
The state of
emergency laws allow the French government to impose house arrest
without authorization from a judge, conduct searches without a judicial
warrant and seize any computer files it finds, and block websites
deemed to glorify terrorism without prior judicial authorization.
According to Radio
France Internationale since the state of emergency was initiated
there have been 1,616 searches of premises, 211 arrests, 161 people
charged and 293 weapons seized. Human Rights Watch was among the first
organizations to sound the alarm, stating that 'these powers interfere
with the rights to liberty, security, freedom of movement, privacy, and
freedoms of association and expression.'
I completely agree with Human Rights Watch, but at the additional explanation (see above)
that the "European Convention of Human Rights" is not and never was about guaranteeing the human rights of Europeans, but is and always was about guaranteeing that Europeans can be secretly
investigated in masses by the secret services of their governments.
Then there is this:
in France are concerned that the government is using the uncertainty
and fear created by the attacks to institute draconian laws.
Governments often justify excessive security measures, claiming that
they are critical to maintain national security and that the people
they are targeting are the terrorists; in this case the 'salauds' who
massacred 130 people on November 13th. Unfortunately, they are also
been used against climate protesters.
Yes - and besides "salauds" is not
a criminal term, and whoever is called a "bastard", a "terorist", a
"criminal" or indeed a "salaud" still
has rights, or perhaps: still should
have rights under the older and properly
legal conventions, such as the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
The article ends as follows:
I hope that
President Hollande will restore France's obligations under the European
Convention on Human Rights and that these measures will be just a
fleeting, authoritarian parenthesis during his Presidency. As the
French political philosopher Montesquieu said: 'There is no crueller
tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and
in the name of justice.'
I fear this is too optimistic: The European Convention on Human Rights" is not about human rights but about the rights of the police, the secret
services and the military to break
human rights more or less as they please (see ),
and president Hollande abused the convention as soon as he had a
And while Montesquieu was quite right, Hollande has his "shield
of the law (..) in the name of justice" in the European Convention, which gives him all that his secret services, police
and military need to lock up anyone they want.
2. 'Global War on Terror' Coincides with
Dramatic Increase of Terrorism
The second item is
Tharanga Yakupitiage on Common Dreams (originally on IPS News):
This starts as follows:
In 2014, the
number of lives lost to terrorism around the world increased by 80
percent, the highest level ever. The majority of such terrorist
activity occurred in the largest refugee-producing nations, a Global
Terrorism Index (GTI) showed.
developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP),
comprehensively studies the patterns and impacts of terrorism globally.
GTI, released on 17 Nov, has recorded the rise in terrorism, with a
nine-fold increase in terrorism-related deaths since 2000. In total,
32,658 people were killed in terrorist attacks in 67 countries in 2014.
Even in the
wake of the 13 Nov Paris attacks, the majority of terrorism-related
deaths do not occur in the West. Most of these deaths, over 78 percent,
transpired in just five countries: Iraq, Nigeria,
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.
I am not amazed,
for the actual fighting is being done in these countries, much rather
than in Europe or the USA. Incidentally, rough division shows that this
means on average around 500 deaths
in each of the 67 countries, which shows that terrorism is still not a great danger in most countries
(e.g. when compared to deaths by car accidents).
Then again, this
averaging is not always fair
(and incidentally - I much
dislike these abbreviations - "IDPs" = "internally displaced people"):
From just the
five countries with the highest levels of terrorism, there were over 16
million refugees and IDPs in 2014. This includes Syria which has seen a
surge in terrorism and conflict since 2011, displacing and forcing
millions to escape.
currently over seven million IDPs and four million refugees from Syria.
Syrians also constitute the majority of asylum applicants in the
European Union (EU).
Here it should be
said that the politicians of the European Unity in great majority are
doing their best to keep the Syrians out
of Europe while pretending to
Here is the
conclusion of the article:
tackle terrorism successfully, the underlying drivers of extremism must
be addressed, the study underscored.
reducing state-sponsored violence, diffusing group grievances, and
improving respect for human rights and religious freedoms, while
considering cultural nuances,” stated Killelea.
For one thing, I would say much "state-sponsored violence" is just
another euphemism for "state terrorism", that so far has killed many
more "terrorists" than the "terrorists" have killed "state terorists".
(I quoted all terms. And it seems that Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld and
Blair had over a million Iraqi's killed.)
For another thing, while I agree on a verbal level with Killelea, e.g.
"religious freedoms" and "cultural nuances" do not correspond well to what Isis or
Boko Haram want: They want the opposites, or so it seems.
3. Pro-Democracy Group Warns of Secret
Right-Wing Push to Rewrite Constitution
The third item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
about a so far mostly hidden attempt to try to rewrite the American
radar of corporate media and general public, a "dangerous proposal" is
bubbling up in state legislatures throughout the country—one that could
trigger "political chaos that would make past upheavals like the
Watergate scandal and the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton
seem tame by comparison."
So warned the
grassroots, pro-democracy group Common Cause on Wednesday, in a new
report entitled, The
Dangerous Path: Big Money’s Plan to Shred the Constitution
comes in the form of a constitutional convention, assembled under
Article V of the U.S. Constitution, one of several mechanisms that
enables future amendments. Article V requires Congress to call such a
gathering once 34 state legislatures submit petitions to do so; new
constitutional amendments agreed to at the confab would then be sent
back to the states for ratification.
state legislatures have already passed resolutions calling for a
convention under the guise of balancing the federal budget, according
to Common Cause. Action in just seven more would force Congress to
Here are some of the things that the
right-wing groups that want to get rid of the Constitution have in mind:
pro-corporate, right-wing lobby groups like the American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC) and Citizens for Self-Governance—not to mention
a number of 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls—pushing for such a
convention, those who care about everything from environmental
regulation to same-sex marriage to fair taxation have reason to be wary.
For one thing,
the report cautions, there are no settled rules or procedures to govern
an Article V convention and experts say
(pdf) it cannot be limited in scope—meaning "there is nothing to
prevent the convention, once convened, from proposing additional
changes that could limit or eliminate fundamental rights or upend our
entire system of government."
seems to me as if the plan of The Young Turks to get money out of
politics also tries to get sufficient states together for some kind of
convention. I do not know
whether this is the same kind of convention, though it seems to be.
Here is what Common Cause and others fear:
A coalition of
reform groups, including Common Cause, went even further in
a statement this April, warning that "the call of a convention
would place all of the constitutional rights and protections of
individuals up for grabs. This includes protections that exist for
civil rights, civil liberties, freedom of religion, freedom of speech,
voting rights, privacy, and many others. The role of the courts in
protecting the rights of individuals and minority interests would also
be subject to change."
They may well be right.
4. America's Unofficial
Religion — The War On An Idea
The fourth and last item is a video by
Abby Martin in her new series "The
that America warred on is the idea of socialism.This is here mostly for
reasons: I like Abby Martin, and I know a lot about socialism and com-
munism, and I do the last because both of my parents were - real! 
- communists for 45 years, included taking part in the resistance
against the Nazis in WW II (which took the life of my grandfather and
cost my father more than 3 years and 9 months of being a prisoner in
German concentration camps).
In fact, I am not a communist nor a socialist since I was 20 (in 1970),
mostly because I disagree with Marx, I disagree
and I disagree with
the socialist notion of "social
ownership" (which seems to me - normally at least - a recipe for
ownership of everything by the leaders of the one admissible party).
Then again, my disagreements are based on a fairly sophisticated and
extensive readings of Marx,
socialist literatures, and political
texts, that is rather abnormal (in the sense that few have it).
Abby Martin's video is a documentary of 25 minutes about socialism and
communism in the USA, where these movements were rather popular in the
first half of the 20th Century, but were mostly destroyed in the second
half of the 20th Century, when terms like "socialism" were equated with
"communism", and both
were styled as "unamerican" and "treasonous".
I don't think 25 minutes is enough to give a more or less faithful
reconstruction of "socialism in America", but for those who care here
is my appreciation of my communist parents:
They were quite intelligent idealists, with noble ideals and ends, who
spent most of their lives trying to help the poor and the repressed.
They also were sincere patriots, they meant very well, and were quite
honest and quite fair. That the beliefs they had were not rational is
something they share with almost
anyone who has political (or
religious) beliefs of any kind.
I've always considered them and their friends (all communists, mostly
of Jewish backgrounds) as honest, honorable, intelligent persons who
wanted the good and did their best to bring it about.
And while I do know some communists and socialists whom I despise, my
parents and their friends never
belonged to these groups, and indeed it is my own guess that most of
the communists and socialists of their
generations who did not
make it as (semi-)professional party leaders were similar: Of good
will, with high moral ideals, and with considerable courage, but
unfortunately mistaken like almost anyone with any political ideals.
 In case you disagree,
here are the articles which deal with privacy. First there is the fine
article in the Universal Declaration:
exceptions and a clear formulation.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference
with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon
his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of
the law against such interference or attacks.
Here is next its sick and degenerate replacement in the
Article 8 – Right to respect for private
and family life
has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and
shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of
this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is
necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national
security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for
the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or
morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
the only "right" Europeans get is "respect", and that respect is
subject to the following list of freedoms
for the secret services or the police or the military of European states:
These are the six cases when the police, the secret services, the
military or the government need not
even show "respect":
- the interests of national security, or
- public safety or
- the economic well-being of the
- for the prevention of disorder or
- for the protection of health or
- for the protection of the rights and
freedoms of others
of these six cases the secret services, the police or the military, and
the government, can wipe their asses with any "respect", and can do as
they please with those accused or suspected of breaking any of the six
This is not a convention of
human rights: it is a convention on
the rights of spying and terror of the governments. And clearly
it has been intended to be
I like to point out a considerable difference I see between the
communists (and socialists etc.) of my parents' generation and the
"communists" I have known from my generation:
My parents were members of the CP for 45 years; were in the resistance
in WW II; and were quite intelligent but not highly educated; the
people of my own age who were "communists" generally were members of
the CP (if at all) for at most 5 to 10 years; did not do anything in any real resistance; and were almost all
intelligent although they were mostly highly educated.
I do not consider the last group as real
communists. (Also see )