1. Climate Deniers Get a Reality Check
2. What Really Stands in the Way of Closing Gitmo
Support Plummets, Is EU Moving Closer to Becoming
'TTIP Free Zone'?
Thanks to 'War on Whistleblowers,' US Ranks 41st on
Press Freedom Index
5. 'Staggering Reach'
of UK Surveillance and 15-Year
This is a Nederlog of Friday, April 22,
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about climate scientists and the public; item 2
is about Guantánamo's history and is a good article by a specialist; item 3
is about European opposition to the TTIP, which is more extensive than
I thought, but I remain pessimistic, because Europe also ceased being a
real democracy, like the USA; item 4 is about press
freedom in the USA: it is prettty bad, according to journalists who
should know; and item 5 is about the staggering
fascistic surveillance that the British state terrorists
of the GCHQ does since at least 15 years, all without any
justification (other than getting the means to terrorize anyone, in
secret, of course).
1. Climate Deniers
Get a Reality Check
This is a bit of a hasty Nederlog, because I also had to do some other
first item is by
Tim Radford on Truthdig and originally on Climate News Network:
This starts as follows:
In what should, in a rational
world, have been an entirely unnecessary research project, US
scientists have once again explored familiar ground and arrived at a
familiar conclusion: 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is
happening—and that it is caused by humans.
Since the governments of 195 nations
have de facto already accepted this, and collectively vowed at the UN climate conference in Paris last December to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion and contain
global warming if possible to a rise of 1.5°C, it might be expected
that citizens would need no further convincing. But surveys shows that
they do, and particularly in the US.
Yes (although I can't take that "vow"
seriously, but that is another theme). As to the facts reported here: I
am a scientist, though not of the climate, and (of course!) I agree
with the 97%. 
Here is some more on the "unnecessary
research project" (in a rational world, in which we definitely do not
Not only that: "The public" has very skewed
ideas about science. Period.
The researchers base their conclusion on
seven independent consensus studies already conducted by the
co-authors. And it includes one in 2013, in which scientists surveyed
more than 11,944 abstracts of scientific papers, and concluded—not for
the first time—that most scientists agree that humans are changing the
climate in which they so successfully evolved.
public has a very skewed idea
of how much
disagreement there is
in the scientific community.”
To be sure: Not all, but then the term "the public" covers everyone
(if adult), including scientists.
But most ordinary men, who either did not go to university or got a
degree in a fluke subject (as is pretty common these days), simply do not
understand methodology, statistics, and nearly all of mathematics, and
most also do not know much about real science (physics,
This also is not a shame (though it is a pity), and certainly
not if the firmly ignorant about science refrain from
judging science. But they don't, and especially not in the USA:
Yes, but it is more
serious, and the campaign against science is at least two
at least as judged by Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" , where
there were climate deniers in the later 90ies, who knew shit about
science, but who simply lied or made outrageous claims about
But there has also been an apparently organised programme, for more than a
decade, of outright denial and counter-claim.
Additionally, climate scientists have been the subject of
condemnation and abuse not normally heaped upon academic
None of these factors has much altered
the overall conclusion, in a programme of sustained international
research launched in 1988: climate is changing, and human economic
activity is making it happen.
I do not know how to deal with such politicians, except that - if I
know they are not climate scientists - I think it is rationally correct
to say to them that they talk like ignorant lying cheats, who deny
solid science, in order to indulge their own crazy dreams, that may, if
widely believed, destroy the earth.
But I know that would be impolite (although I think these
non-scientific liars about the climate are liars and are far
impolite and far more dangerous than many other kinds of liars).
2. What Really Stands in the Way of Closing Gitmo
is by Karen J.
Greenberg (<- Wikipedia) on Truthdig, and originally on
This starts as follows:
Yes, I can believe it. But I did have some
help: I know far more about concentration camps than most (and
a concentration camp), and I do so because my father and his father
were both locked up and convicted as - literally - "political
terrorists" in German concentration camps in 1941. Their
Can you believe it? We’re in the
last year of the presidency of the man who, on his first
day in the Oval Office, swore that he would close Guantánamo, and
yet it and everything it represents remains part of our all-American
world. So many years later, you can still read news reports on the
ongoing nightmares of that grim prison, ranging from detention without
charge to hunger strikes and force
feeding. Its name still echoes through the halls of Congress in
bitter debate over what should or shouldn’t be done with it. It remains
a global symbol of the worst America has to offer.
In case, despite the odds, it should be
closed in this presidency, Donald Trump has already sworn
to reopen it and “load it up with bad dudes,” while Ted Cruz has warned
against returning the naval base on
which it’s located to the Cubans. In short, that prison continues
to haunt us like an evil spirit.
crime? They resisted the Nazis. (My grandfather was murdered; my father
survived more than 3 years and 9 months of 4 concentration camps.)
Then there was this "law" enacted - which I call a "law" (among other
things) because I much doubt it is legal:
That same fall [of 2006 - MM],
Congress passed the Military
Commissions Act aimed at assuring that Guantánamo would be a site
not only for offshore detention, but for offshore justice as
well. At some future point, Mohammed and the others were to be
tried by the U.S. military in Cuba, not in American civilian courts in
the U.S. For the first time, the military commissions, like the high
value detainees, seemed to give Guantánamo definition (other than
simply as a site of abuse, mistreatment, and injustice) and the
possibility, in the context of the war on terror, of forward momentum.
Those not released could now be tried. And yet by the end of the Bush
years, only three prisoners, none of them HVDs, had been successfully
convicted—fewer, in other words, than the five who died in custody
there in those years.
Yes, though I should add that I am very much against
by "the U.S. military": It does not seem like real
justice to me, and besides
it gives "the U.S. military" far too
many powers they should not have (in any real
democracy, to be sure).
Then there is this:
By the summer of his first year
in office, Obama had announced that he would accept the distinctly
un-American reality of indefinite detention and the military
commissions as well, although in a new form still to be legislated by
Congress. From then on, his presidency would remain eerily locked in
the embrace of the Bush administration on Guantánamo and, promises or
no, one thing was quickly clear: the president was not about to go out
on a limb for the Gitmo detainees; he had other things to tend to (like
a health-care proposal).
Indeed - which means Obama actively allowed
U.S. concentration camps (for there are more, though these tend to be
only known as "black sites"), and he also completely lost me:
Somebody who does that, quite consciously also, is
not someone I could conceivably support or
believe in. (For I know too much about concentration camps.)
Here is some - relatively - good news about Guantánamo:
Still, today there are “only” 80
remaining detainees, a third of the population in January 2009. Twenty-six
of those have been cleared for release but are still awaiting transfer
years later, while 44 continue to be held without charges in indefinite
detention. Nine face actual charges before the military commissions.
This is indeed good news, simply because
everyone who is locked up in Guantánamo is locked up in a concentration
camp where they also get systematically mistreated and abused.
Here is part of the fascist techniques the USA used (and I am sorry,
is what they are):
To give themselves leeway in
terms of prisoner interrogation and treatment, the
administration refused to consider those held there as prisoners of war
(POWs), for fear that methods of interrogation would be restricted by
the Geneva Conventions. Instead, they coined a term, “enemy
combatants,” to create a category beyond the bounds of legality. To
this day, U.S. officials speak of the remaining detainees at Gitmo as
neither “prisoners” nor POWs.
The last paragraph of the article is as
follows, and seems the safest prediction about what is going to happen:
Still, all of us have to face
another possibility: that the prison will not be closed in what’s left
of the Obama years or in the presidency to follow; that this country
will instead be left in the twilight zone of Gitmo and in a world where
its values are the ones eternally associated with America; and that we
will continue to be known as a nation willing to avoid justice, if not
deny it outright.
reasons to believe this is the most probable outcome are that
(i) Obama had
eight years to close Guantánamo and did not do it; that if (ii)
Trump gets to be
the next president of the USA all bets are off, but Guantánamo will
remain open, and the same if (iii) Cruz is to be the next president;
while (iv) Hillary Clinton, who is
most probable person (now) to become president, is more hawkish than
As Support Plummets, Is
EU Moving Closer to Becoming 'TTIP Free Zone'?
The third item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common
This starts as follows:
I say! For this is relatively good
news (that occurs once in a fairly long while in these crisis files), that I also did not
know. Also, a fall in support for the TTIP of around 28% in two
years is a strong result, or that's at least my conclusion.
Intercontinental opposition to the
TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) continues to
grow, with a new poll out Thursday showing that support for the
controversial deal has "plummeted"
in Germany and the U.S. over the last two years.
(pdf), conducted by YouGov for Germany's Bertelsmann
Foundation, showed that only 17 percent of Germans believe the
corporate-friendly trade agreement is a good thing, down from 55
percent in 2014. Likewise, in the United States, only 18 percent
support the deal, compared to 53 percent two years ago—though nearly
half of U.S. respondents said they did not know enough about the
agreement to voice an opinion.
Here is a bit about what worried the Germans:
to Ars Technica, "[t]here are three main areas driving public
concern in Germany: fears about consumer protection, where 48 percent
of those interviewed thought TTIP would have a negative effect;
environmental standards (46 percent); and social standards—things like
workers' rights—where 40 percent expressed concern."
And this is about what is being done by Obama
and Merkel on the TTIP:
The agreement between the EU and the
U.S., which would impact 800 million people, is at the top of the
agenda for when Merkel and Obama meet, along with their respective
trade ministers, at a German trade show on Sunday.
that meeting "is being billed as the 'last chance' to wrap up the deal
before the White House changes hands." Trade ministers will gather in
New York the following day to continue negotiations.
One of the very many extremely sickening
facts about this bill, that when agreed to as law is the best
and firmest and surest start for a thorougly fascistic
 sytem, is that to the best of my
knowledge the TTIP is still mostly
secret, and is also to be voted on by the US Senate with extremely
little time for discussion, which makes it certain that if
does get approved in the U.S.A, it does get approved on nonsensical
grounds or on the basis of solid ignorance on
the side of "the law-givers".
Then there is this:
"The fact that Obama is being brought in
to try and curry favor for this controversial trade deal is testament
to the enormous tide of public opinion standing in the way of TTIP," said
Global Justice Now director Nick Dearden on Tuesday.
"Millions of people across Europe have
signed petitions against TTIP and hundreds of thousands of people have
taken to the streets to oppose it," he said. "Not even Obama's famous
charisma is going to persuade people in Europe to sign away important
legislations protecting public services, labor rights, consumer
standards, and public services."
I have to say yes and no to this: Yes, it
is good to know millions of Europeans have signed petitions against the
TTIP and that the solid majority of the German electorate (about
75-80%) is against the TTIP; but no, while I agree this is good, it
does not hearten me, for I know that in Europe, as in
the USA, what "the electorate" thinks, in large majority also, is unimportant
for the politicians, except to elect them.
Finally, this is the last bit I'll quote:
Yes, it is "merely
a "PR rebranding exercise"".
The European Commission has attempted to
quell some of the public opposition by developing a supposed
"alternative" to the controversial
Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) legal system written into
trade deals like the TTIP.
But its proposed "Investment Court
System" is merely a "PR rebranding exercise," according
to a report
(pdf) released Wednesday by Friends of the Earth Europe, Transnational
Institute, Corporate Europe Observatory, the Forum Umwelt und
Entwicklung, and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.
Also - knowing much more about fascism
than most - I am
very firmly convinced that the ISDSs are the legal system of
for they are designed to block every move of any nation's
government, any nation's judiciary, any nation's parliament, any
nation's own laws
that entails that the expected profits (!!) of multi-national
are less than the CEOs of these multinational corporations planned (!!).
These ISDSs will do so by convicting the nation's
inhabitants to pay hundreds of millions or several billions to
these multinational corporations from the taxes.
There are no appeals against these "courts". Only
multinational corporations and governments are to be party to these
courts: No one else - not the parliamentarians, not
the trade unions, nor any of the inhabitants - will even be admitted
to these "courts".
Here is a reasonable definition of "fascism"
by the American Heritage Dictionary:
is defined as "A system of government that exercises a
dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of
state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
Note that this generally comes about "through the merging of
state and business leadership" - which has
happened already in the United States, starting under Reagan
and - especially - Clinton, when the leading people
from the banks started to work for the government inbetween periods of
working for the banks, and were able to determine almost everything
that the banks and themselves profited, indeed to the tune of trillions
dollars, in 2008-2009.
But the fascism aimed at by the TTIP is even worse:
The nations, their governments, their parliaments,
their laws, and their judges are all made inferiors
to the multinational corporations, while the nations have to pay the multinational corporations from
the taxes of the nation in case any of their laws
or decisions might harm any of the expected (!!) profits
of the multinational corporations.
That is the stinking, gross and sadistic neo-fascist
corporate insanity that Obama and the proponents of the TTIP in Europe
want to impose on all of Europe - which may rapidly transform
Texas or Kansas, or even worse.
Thanks to 'War on Whistleblowers,' US Ranks 41st on Press Freedom Index
The fourth item is by Nadia Prupis on
This starts as follows:
The U.S. ranks 41st out of 180 countries
in Reporters Without Borders/Reporters Sans Frontières' (RSF) 2016 press freedom index, largely due
to the government's "war on whistleblowers," mass surveillance, and the
lack of a shield law for journalists that guarantees their right not to
reveal sources or other confidential information.
That's despite the fact that the U.S.
actually moved higher in the rankings this year, advancing from its
previous position at 49th in 2015. Its "relative improvement by
comparison hides overall negative trends," the organization stated in a
release accompanying the report.
I say, for I did not know this.
think it makes sense to add that I (very probably) trust the Reporters
Without Borders and that I agree with the criterions they used (see
below): the war on whistleblowers and the practice of surveillance are
respectively an authoritarian and a fascist degeneracy ,
am strongly against both of them.
There is also this:
The group writes:
The main cause for concern for RSF
continues to be the current administration’s obsessive control of
information, which manifests itself through the war on whistleblowers
and journalists’ sources, as well as the lack of government
transparency, which reporters have continually criticized. The
Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers under the
Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.
Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA operative, was convicted solely on
the basis of metadata in January 2015 of disclosing classified
information to James Risen and is now serving a 3.5 year prison
RSF's annual report measures the level
of press freedom worldwide using the following indicators: pluralism,
media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative
framework, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses and acts of
violence against journalists.
As I said, I agree with the criterions
5. 'Staggering Reach' of UK
Surveillance and 15-Year Coverup Revealed
and last item is by Nadia Prupis on
This starts as follows:
Newly released documents reveal the "staggering extent"
of the British government's mass surveillance of its citizens, ongoing
since at least the 1990s, and its 15-year coverup of those operations.
The documents, acquired by the
London-based watchdog group Privacy International, show that the UK's
intelligence agencies—MI5, MI6, and Government Communications
Headquarters (GCHQ)—"routinely requisition personal data from
potentially thousands of public and private organizations" under
Section 94 of the 1984 Telecommunications Act.
That includes financial data;
confidential health records; travel records; content of communications,
including with lawyers, doctors, and ministers of Parliament; and
personal online activity, such as petition signing, among other data.
The documents also show that agencies continued to request information
on scores of citizens despite privately
acknowledging (pdf) that it is "unlikely to be of intelligence or
First, I am not amazed this
the mass-murdering quasi-socialist multi-millionair Tony Blair: What a
- Catholic - creep he is! Second, I think this about settles it: Great
Britain's state terrorists have turned fascistic, for I do not
have any other name for the above kind of spying on people
who did not
do any harm whatsoever, especially since they themselves say that
what their spies stole is "unlikely to be of
security interest." (Also: I will withdraw the term as soon as
is properly investigated by a proper parliament.)
Then there is this:
Privacy International obtained the
documents as part of an ongoing case about the use of these so-called
"Bulk Personal Datasets" and the 1984 law, which the group describes as
"pre-internet legislation that was never intended to enable this level
of intrusion in a digital age." A trial will take place later this
summer at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which hears cases
about surveillance and intelligence.
"The information revealed by this
disclosure shows the staggering extent to which the intelligence
agencies hoover up our data," said Millie Graham Wood, legal officer at
Privacy International. "This can be anything from your private medical
records, your correspondence with your doctor or lawyer, even what
petitions you have signed, your financial data, and commercial
Yes, indeed. What also strikes me is how
little respect the GCHQ and the NSA have for the law:
On the one hand, these state terrorists spy
on absolutely everyone any- where on the basis (in the USA) of rejecting
the notion that the Fourth Amendment also applies to things written
and send with a computer and not only to things written
with a type-writer or with the hand, and send by paper mail, while
they prosecute persons on the basis of extremely general "laws"
of the 1780ies that do not and should not be applied to them.
Finally, there is this:
The documents also come as Parliament
considers sweeping surveillance legislation known as the Investigatory
Powers Bill, and often referred to by opponents as the "Snooper's
The government has argued that under the
law, intelligence agencies would only conduct targeted searches of
legally obtained records in national security investigations. However,
as Wood explains, "the agencies themselves admit that the majority of
data collected relates to individuals who are not a threat to national
security or suspected of a crime. This highly sensitive information
about us is vulnerable to attack from hackers, foreign governments, and
"The agencies have been doing this for
15 years in secret and are now quietly trying to put these powers on
the statute book for the first time, in the Investigatory Powers Bill,
which is currently being debated in Parliament," she said. "These
documents reveal a lack of openness and transparency with the public
about these staggering powers and a failure to subject them to
effective Parliamentary scrutiny."
Put otherwise: Until now, the GCHQ has
nearly always illegally collected information they had no
right to, simply because nearly all of the very many
petabytes of data they stole "relates to
individuals who are not a threat to national security or
suspected of a crime" (bolding added).
Now they want "to legalize" these extremely
many thefts by the state's terrorists. If this get legalized, I will
regard Great Britain as a neo-fascistic
state: In a proper democracy no one has the right to
collect this kind
of information on everyone, and no one should have that right. 
while I agree with 97% of the climate scientists, and on their science,
it does not follow that I need to agree with the ideas of environ-
mentalists. Indeed, I know that I do not or at least did not: I have
a number of proposals and ideas by environmentalists that I did not
Then again, much of this is over 30 years ago, and happened in the
"the University Parliament" that directed the University of Amsterdam
in the 1980ies.
 Bill Maher (<-
Wikipedia) is an American comedian whose ideas and
values I tend to like (not always, but mostly). He did two long lasting
on TV or the cable: "Politically Incorrect", from 1993 till 2002, and
"Real Time", from 2003 till now. I am referring to items of
"Politically Correct" that I saw on Youtube.
 I do
explain it: See here (a bit further on).
 Also not because of the lie
that the government will protect you from terrorism: First, no
governmen can give such an assurance, for there simply are not enough
police and military men "to protect everybody", or even a sizable part
of the population, if that were necessary; and secondly, terrorism
since 2001 has killed fewer persons than cows have
since the same year in Great Britain: See here.
Also, the number of persons killed by terrorists in Great Britain in 15
years is 57; the number of persons murdered in Great Britain in
the same 15 years is 15,162 (300 times as many).
 That is what I think: Secret
services that collect everything they can get from anyone
(and that is what is happening, already 15 years, thanks to
Bush Jr) are engaging in and preparing the future of fascism. In a real
democracy no one is surveilled, except as described
under the Fourth Amendment. Under fascism (or state "socialism") everybody
is surveilled, because everyone may object to the government.