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Nederlog

May 17, 2016

Crisis: Snowden Archive, Noam Chomsky Interviews, Corrupt U.S. Government
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1.
The Intercept Is Broadening Access to the Snowden
     Archive. Here’s Why

2. The Most Intriguing Spy Stories From 166 Internal NSA
     Reports

3. Noam Chomsky: Climate Change & Nuclear Proliferation
     Pose the Worst Threat Ever Faced by Humans

4. This U.S. Government Is The Most Corrupt In History
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 and item 2 are from The Intercept, and detail a broadening access to the Snowden Archive; item 3 is just one from four - interesting - interviews with Noam Chomsky; and item 4 is about a fine article by Washington's Blog that details - quite convincingly for me - that the U.S. government is the most corrupt in history.

All articles are recommended (and indeed some more are: Both on The Intercept and Democracy Now! there are more recommended files [1]).

Some brief personal news: Yesterday the stove stopped working and then my modem fell out, switched on, fell out etc. for something like five times and then fell out in the evening and still didn't work this morning. Both would have been serious problems (for me: I am not healthy) if the first hadn't righted itself after ten hours or so, while the second worked again after I stopped the computer and reinstalled it all with all plugs pulled out and then pushed in again.

Lesson for you: If there is no Nederlog and I have not said anything before, it will very probably be computer problems.

Also, something very few non-Norwegians realize: Today - May 17 - is Norway's National Day:
Flag of Norway.svg
I lived there 2 years, 8 months and 15 days, in the 1970ies, and these were the best years of my life. It also was the most stupid decision of my life to leave it, for I could have stayed there and studied there, and my life would not have been destroyed by illness; by illegal drugs dealers protected by mayor, police and bureaucrats; nor by a fundamentally marxist or postmodern university headed by sadists and degenerates (for the University of Amsterdam was owned by the students from 1971-1995, who made an enormous totalitarian mess of it because they had the absolute power, and "absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Lord Acton). (For more see [2] and [3].)

But about Norway I can say what is impossible to say for me about Holland, where my life and my chances were intentionally destroyed to help the illegal drugs dealers, and by the sick sadists who ruled the University of Amsterdam, who removed me briefly before taking my M.A. in philosophy, because I believed in truth ("everybody knows truth does not exist" was the rule in the University of Amsterdam since 1978), I believed in science ("everybody knows science is a capitalist illusion", according to the vast majority of the students), and because I said - completely truly, in an invited speech, that I considered all those who "taught" me philosophy, except for one Englishman (who was removed three years later, although he was a full professor, and indeed not a marxist), utter incompetents:
Yes, I love the country: Ja, jeg elsker dette landet.
This is about Norway, not about Holland, and the last bit is Norwegian, and says what the first bit says.

A final personal remark about One.com: I am still very much offended by them, namely for denying 99% or more of the information they supplied from 2004-2015 about my site and my files, and suppose they have been sold, but I don't know. For the moment I will continue there, and will inform you later.

Now to today's crisis files. I will keep it fairly brief, because I had to do some other things:

1. The Intercept Is Broadening Access to the Snowden Archive. Here’s Why

The first item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded. As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived.

Today, The Intercept is announcing two innovations in how we report on and publish these materials. Both measures are designed to ensure that reporting on the archive continues in as expeditious and informative a manner as possible, in accordance with the agreements we entered into with our source about how these materials would be disclosed, a framework that he, and we, have publicly described on numerous occasions.

This is quite interesting. Here is the first measure:

The first measure involves the publication of large batches of documents. We are, beginning today, publishing in installments the NSA’s internal SIDtoday newsletters, which span more than a decade beginning after 9/11. We are starting with the oldest SIDtoday articles, from 2003, and working our way through the most recent in our archive, from 2012.

I did download what was made available today, but haven't looked at it yet.
(Lack of time.) The other measure is this:

The other innovation is our ability to invite outside journalists, including from foreign media outlets, to work with us to explore the full Snowden archive.

This is explained in more detail in the article. Here is one last bit:

There are still many documents of legitimate interest to the public that can and should be disclosed. There are also  documents in the archive that we do not believe should be published because of the severe harm they would cause innocent people (..)

There is considerably more in the article, that is recommended.

The following article, also on The Intercept, is about the 166 NSA Reports that were made available today:

2. The Most Intriguing Spy Stories From 166 Internal NSA Reports

The second item is by Micah Lee and Margot Williams on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:
In the early months of 2003, the National Security Agency saw demand for its services spike as a new war in Iraq, as well as ongoing and profound changes in how people used the internet, added to a torrent of new agency work related to the war on terror, according to a review of 166 articles from a restricted agency newsletter.

The Intercept today is releasing the first three months of SIDtoday, March 31 through the end of June 2003, using files provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In addition, we are releasing any subsequent 2003 installments of SIDtoday series that began during this period. The files are available for download here.

As I said in the previous review: I did download them (it's one zip file of 5 MB), but did not yet have the time to look at them.

The above continues thus:

We combed through these files with help from other writers and editors with an eye toward finding the most interesting stories, among other concerns.
This is the beginning of a whole lot more, all of which is recommended. (I may later return to some of the stories summarized in this article.)

3. Noam Chomsky: Climate Change & Nuclear Proliferation Pose the Worst Threat Ever Faced by Humans

The third item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts as follows - and is one of four files on Democracy Now! today, all of which are interviews with Chomsky:
President Obama has just passed a little-noticed milestone, according to The New York Times: Obama has now been at war longer than any president in U.S. history—longer than George W. Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Obama has taken military action in at least seven countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Just last month, President Obama announced the deployment of 250 more Special Operations troops to Syria in a move that nearly doubles the official U.S. presence in the country. As war spreads across the globe, a record 60 million people were driven from their homes last year. Experts warn the refugee crisis may also worsen due to the impacts of global warming. Over the weekend, NASA released data showing 2016 is on pace to be by far the hottest year ever, breaking the 2015 record. Meanwhile, many fear a new nuclear arms race has quietly begun, as the United States, Russia and China race to build arsenals of smaller nuclear weapons. These multiple crises come as voters in the United States prepare to elect a new president. We speak with one of the world’s preeminent intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years. His latest book is titled "Who Rules the World?"
Here is just one bit of it, from the beginning:

AMY GOODMAN: So, Noam, who rules the world?

NOAM CHOMSKY: That’s, to a certain extent, up to us. It is possible for populations to rule the world, but they have to struggle to achieve that. And if they don’t, the world will be ruled by concentrations of power—economic power, state power—closely linked with consequences that are of the kind that you describe. But that’s a choice.

I agree. And this is all recommended, as are the other three interviews on Democracy Now! Again I say I may return to some of these later: I have little time now. But Noam Chomsky is a very rational man, and deserves being read or listened to seriously by anyone who considers himself or herself intelligent.

4. This U.S. Government Is The Most Corrupt In History

The fourth and last item is by Washington's Blog on his site:
This starts as follows (colors and bolding in the original):

“There Has Never Been A Time, However, When The Government Of The United States Was So Perversely And Systematically Dedicated To Special Interests, Earmarks, Side Deals, Log-Rolling, Vote-Trading, And Sweetheart Deals”

And it continues like this:

Government corruption has become rampant:

  • Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
  • NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
There is a whole lot more, that I recommend to your attention, followed by this (and the boldings are in the original):

The biggest companies own the D.C. politicians.  Indeed, the head of the economics department at George Mason University has pointed out that it is unfair to call politicians “prostitutes”.  He says they are in fact pimps … selling out the American people for a price.

A former U.S.  Senator writes:

Measured against the standards established for republics from ancient times, the American Republic is massively corrupt.

***

Can anyone seriously doubt that our republic, our government, is corrupt? There have been Teapot Domes and financial scandals of one kind or another throughout our nation’s history. There has never been a time, however, when the government of the United States was so perversely and systematically dedicated to special interests, earmarks, side deals, log-rolling, vote-trading, and sweetheart deals of one kind or another.

Incidentally, the last bolded bit started this article. But this is not the last of the article. Hee is more, from a Congressman:

A U.S. Congressman says:

  • Washington is a “sinkhole of leeches”
  • Money “corrupts” and House members are “puppets” to lobbyists who bankroll their campaigns.  “Business organizations and unions fork over more than $3 billion a year to those who lobby the federal government. Does that tell you something? We’re operating a f–king casino”
  • ‘America’s on an irreversible decline and no one in Washington seems to care . . . God help us.’
  • “We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation. It’s about getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election.”  “Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver.”  “But what the hell? It makes them happy hearing it . . . My main job is to keep my job”

He also says:

  • “Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them”
  • “My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything”
  • “Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost”
This ends as follows (colors and boldings in the original)

We’ve Forgotten the Lessons of History

The real problem is that we need to learn a little history:

  • We’ve known for thousands of years that – when criminals are not punished – crime spreads
  • We’ve known for centuries that powerful people – unless held to account – will get together and steal from everyone else

Beyond Partisan Politics

Liberals and conservatives tend to blame our country’s problems on different factors … but they are all connected.

The real problem is the malignant, symbiotic relationship between big corporations and big government.

I quite agree (and I read a lot of history and of politics). Again, this is a recommended article.

----------------------------------------------------------
Notes

[1] In case you don't know: If I recommend an article, it means that I think intelligent persons should read the whole article. (You can always do so, because
the articles I review are always linked by dotted links.)

[2]
This reproduces Note 4 of May 1, 2016 and Note 1 of May 13, 2016:

The main reason for my problems at the University of Amsterdam (which were many) was that all Dutch universities between 1971 and 1995 (which covers all the years I studied) were totally unique in the whole world in being effectively owned by the students:

They were by law ruled by parliaments, both for the whole university and for each faculty, which were elected by the students, by the people who worked as secretaries and cleaners, and ny the professors and lecturers, where each person - student, cleaner, professor - had 1 vote.

This meant that the students always had the absolute majority, and it meant in the University of Amsterdam that the mainly communist and then postmodern student party ASVA had the absolute power in the university from 1971 till 1995 (when another parliamentary law of the state finished it all, quite radically also).

What I saw - with communist parents, and communist grandparents, all also proletarians, while I was one of the few with a genuine proletarian background who studied, and one of the very few with parents and grandparents in the real resistance against the Nazis - was massive corruption, massive laziness, and very great amounts of lies, pretensions, and corruptions.

But I was also one of the few who opened his mouth: Something like 90% or 95% of the students loved the radical declines in standards that happened all these years, simply because this made it very easy to get an M.A. (One could get an M.A. in philosophy by taking part in demonstrations or in squatting in the 1980ies, as I was told in the 2000s by two who did so), and therefore I was much discriminated: I was pro truth, pro science and not a Marxist at the time most students disbelieved there was any truth, held that science was mostly a capitalist illusion, and considered themselves (falsely, nearly always) Marxists.


[3] This reproduces Note 2 of May 13, 2016:

The reason is again the radical declines in education on absolutely all levels since 1965 in Holland: Until that time anybody who was intelligent enough to go to any school that educated beyond the basic level of worker taught three foreign languages to the pupils, which meant that something like 75% or so of the Dutch population did have some command of English, German and French. This also worked quite well ever since 1865, when the pre-university education was installed.

Since then, this has been completely broken down, and one or two foreign languages (English, nearly always) is the current normal. Thus, most Dutchmen who were born after 1950 did not learn three foreign languages, and in fact speak one, brokenly: English.

And simply requiring a reading ability in German or French was already over and done with by 1980, in Holland.


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