February 6, 2016

Crisis: Julian Assange*2, Jeremy Corbyn, US Republicans, Very Sick Britain
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Julian Assange Remains “Deprived of Liberty” After U.K.
     Rejects U.N. Ruling

2. "A Significant Victory": Julian Assange Hails U.N. Panel
     Calling for His Freedom

VIDEO: Jeremy Corbyn Takes Down Big Banks During
     Surprise Appearance

4. A Proto-Fascist, a Christian Theocrat, and an Ayn Rand
     Neoliberal as Leading Candidates

UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill: Loopholes Within
     Loopholes Will Lead to Unbridled Surveillance


This is a Nederlog of Saturday, February 6, 2016.

This is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about Julian Assange, as is item 2, to which I pay a little more attention; item 3 is about Jeremy Corbyn who recently speeched. There is a video, but it only shows the central part on my computer. The speech is OK. Item 4 is about the candidates of the Republican Party, who indeed are all horrible, albeit in varying degrees; and item 5 is about the proposed new spying "laws" of Great Britain, which are extremely sick and morally totally degenerate.

1. Julian Assange Remains “Deprived of Liberty” After U.K. Rejects U.N. Ruling

The first article is by Alex Emmons on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

A United Nations panel ruled on Friday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being “arbitrarily detained,” but British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond rejected what he called “a ridiculous finding.”

Although he claimed “sweet” vindication, Assange nevertheless remains confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has lived since 2012.

Assange has been fighting extradition by British authorities to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning concerning accusations of rape and molestation. He has never been charged with a crime.

The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on the U.K. and Sweden “to end Mr. Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation.”

That is about it. There is more in the article, but these are the main points.

And here is some more on the same subject:

2. "A Significant Victory": Julian Assange Hails U.N. Panel Calling for His Freedom

The second item is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:

This is from the beginning of the article:

AMY GOODMAN: Seong-Phil Hong, the rapporteur of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, spoke this morning.

SEONG-PHIL HONG: The working group maintains the arbitrary detention of Mr. Assange should be brought to an end. And his physical integrity and his freedom of movement should be respected. And finally, if necessary, he should be entitled to an enforceable right to remedy—for example, compensation.

AMY GOODMAN: The U.N. panel’s judgment is not legally binding. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond dismissed it as "ridiculous."

How should I call an utterly ridiculous governmental asshole like Philip Hammond? I will call him nothing and proceed to a lawyer who spoke for Julian Assange:

MELINDA TAYLOR: So, finally, we have the verdict of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. And they issued a very detailed opinion, which considers all arguments from Sweden and the United Kingdom. And this decision dispels the myth that Mr. Assange is either a fugitive from justice or that he could just walk out of the embassy. It is a damning indictment of the manner in which this case has been handled. It further affirms that Mr. Assange is a victim of a significant miscarriage of justice that is attributable to the action and inaction of both Sweden and the United Kingdom. It further emphasized Julian’s continued willingness to cooperate with the investigations in this case at all stages of the procedure.

I think this is a fair statement on Assange's views.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Mads Andenæs, I wanted to ask you—The Guardian newspaper had an editorial basically not backing—not backing Julian Assange, and saying that the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, that this latest opinion, is simply wrong. It says, "He is not being detained arbitrarily. Three-and-a-half years ago, he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex offences. ... 'Arbitrary' detention," The Guardian says, "means that due legal process has not been observed. It has. This is a publicity stunt." What do you say to that?

I only indicate my own views of The Guardian, which have radically changed since The Guardian locked copying and started adding incredible amounts of Javascript spying software:

What I say is that The Guardian has turned into a Blairite Facebook that spies upon anyone as much as they can, and that is a mere shadow from its former
liberal/leftist past self.

To me it is pretty disgusting, but I grant that is where the money is.

Also, I can still get the texts of the articles The Guardian publishes (with Emac or with Viewsource) - but seeing the enormous amounts of Javascript I do not want to anymore: I've given up on The Guardian.

The old Guardian is dead, and the new "Guardian" spies all it can.

3. VIDEO: Jeremy Corbyn Takes Down Big Banks During Surprise Appearance

The third item is by Natasha Hakimi Zapata on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

Billed as an event featuring comedians, poets, musicians and other artists and activists who supported Jeremy Corbyn, the audience at O2 Forum Kentish Town, a London concert hall, expected just about anyone but the Labour Party leader himself to appear Thursday night at the #JC4PM show.

Corbyn began and ended his rousing speech by thanking his supporters and reminding them of the work they have cut out for them in the years leading up to the 2020 election, when he plans to run for prime minister of the United Kingdom. Reflecting on his campaign for Labour leadership in 2015, the British politician said, “The bankers created a crisis, the government’s responded by cutting services, increasing the costs of the poorest people and making the richest even richer. And we said, ‘No, that is the wrong way around.’ ”

Jeremy Corbyn is quite right. Here is his speech, which is OK. For some reason I only got the middle part of the video on my computer, also directly from Youtube (and no, I do not do html 5):


4.  A Proto-Fascist, a Christian Theocrat, and an Ayn Rand Neoliberal as Leading Candidates

The fourth item is by Chauncey DeVega on Salon:
This is an interesting and recommended article from which I quote only one bit, which is about what almost all of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates share:

Almost all of the 2016 Republican presidential primary candidates share the following beliefs:

1. That the United States should bomb and kill many thousands of innocent people in the Middle East and elsewhere in order to supposedly stop the spread of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

2. Torturing suspected terrorists—even though such acts are both immoral and ineffective in retrieving actionable intelligence information—is acceptable.

3. “God’s law” should supersede the United States Constitution.

4. They are anti-science and do not believe that global warming is a real, scientifically proven, empirical fact.

5. Tax cuts for the 1 percent and the American oligarchs should be expanded and protected while the social safety net and workers’ rights are further limited.

6. The Affordable Care Act should be reversed, and action that will result in millions of Americans being left without insurance and forced to seek aid and assistance from private charities.

7. Muslim Americans should be tracked by a national database as suspected “terrorists.”

8. Basic government functions should be privatized and protecting “the commons” should be made the responsibility of profit motivated corporations.

9. Women should be denied the basic human right of making their own reproductive health choices.

10. They are “law and order” racial authoritarians who support police thuggery and brutality against black and brown Americans, the poor and other marginalized groups.

I say - but yes, this seems basically correct, as indeed does the title of the article, that is recommended and contains considerably more.

5. UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill: Loopholes Within Loopholes Will Lead to Unbridled Surveillance

The fifth item is by Eva Galperin and Danny O'Brien on Raging Bull-Shit, and originally on the Electronic Frontiers Foundation:
This starts as follows:

The House of Commons Science and Tech Committee has published its report on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, influenced by comments submitted by 50 individuals, companies, and organizations, including EFF. The report is the first of three investigations by different Parliamentary committees. While it was intended to concentrate on the technological and business ramifications of the bill, their conclusions reflect the key concern of lawmakers, companies, and human rights groups about the bill’s dangerously vague wording.

The Investigatory Powers Bill, as written, is so vague as to permit a vast range of surveillance actions, with profoundly insufficient oversight or insight into what Britain’s intelligence, military and police intend to do with their powers. It is, in effect, a carefully-crafted loophole wide enough to drive all of existing mass surveillance practice through. Or, in the words of Richard Clayton, Director of the Cambridge Cloud Cybercrime Centre at the University of Cambridge, in his submissions to the committee: “the present bill forbids almost nothing … and hides radical new capabilities behind pages of obscuring detail.”

I am not amazed, indeed also not at the "lawyers" - criminals with degrees in lying and deceiving - who obfuscated the "legal" texts.
The bill also provides for the UK government to compel companies and individuals to comply with its surveillance demands, including those located outside Britain, and to bar companies from revealing that they were the subject of such demands. As the committee says in its conclusions, “We believe the industry case regarding public fear about ‘equipment interference’ is well founded.”
Yes, indeed. It is complete moral degeneracy, but this is what the present English government deeply wants: To know all about anyone, regardless of terrorism, for that was merely the pretext.

And it wishes to spy inside and outside of Great Britain, and it wants to bar companies even from saying that they are spying for the government.

This is THE way to dictatorial insanity, but it is also what the British government very strongly desires.


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