1. Secret Text in Senate
Bill Would Give FBI Warrantless
Access to Email Records
2. 600 U.S. Writers Sign Open Letter Denouncing Donald
3. Clinton’s Imperious Brush-off of Email
4. Advice for Divided Democrats
5. 'Bern: The Movie' Celebrates
the Life of Bernie Sanders
and His Revolutionary
This is a Nederlog of Friday, May 27,
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about how the FBI and the NSA are making the USA into a fascistic
state: I am sorry, I have no other name for it (and I quote Church
again), for that is what will be the outcome if it is not radically
terminated; item 2 is about a good letter signed by
many American writers who oppose Trump; item 3 is
about Clinton's (ab)use of emails during her time in Obama's
government: it involved an "inexcusable, willful
disregard for the rules"; item 4
is about an article by Robert Reich who advices Democrats to vote for
Sanders if they can, and to vote for Clinton if she is the
alternative to Trump (and I think he is quite right); and item 5 is about a movie about Bernie Sanders, that
looks as if it is quite good, and that will appear on the internet
today (May 27, 2016).
Secret Text in Senate Bill Would Give FBI Warrantless Access to Email
The first item is by Jenna McLaughlin on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
A provision snuck into the still-secret
text of the Senate’s annual intelligence authorization would give the
FBI the ability to demand individuals’ email data and possibly
web-surfing history from their service providers without a warrant and
in complete secrecy.
If passed, the change would expand the
reach of the FBI’s already highly controversial national security
letters. The FBI is currently allowed to get certain types of
information with NSLs — most commonly, information about the name,
address, and call data associated with a phone number or details
about a bank account.
Since a 2008 Justice Department legal
opinion, the FBI has not been allowed to use NSLs to demand “electronic
communication transactional records,” such as email subject lines and
other metadata, or URLs visited.
The spy bill passed the Senate
Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, with the provision in it. The lone
no vote came from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who wrote
in a statement that one of the bill’s provisions “would
allow any FBI field office to demand email records without a court
order, a major expansion of federal surveillance powers.”
I say. So they want to read everybody's
emails and do so without a court order (which is totally
against the Fourth
Amendment): That is the way towards fascism, especially if
Trump is elected president.
“At this point, it should go without
saying that the information the FBI wants to include in the statue is
extremely revealing — URLs, for example, may reveal the content of a
website that users have visited, their location, and so on,” Andrew
Crocker, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote
in an email to The Intercept.
“And it’s particularly sneaky because
this bill is debated behind closed doors,” Robyn Greene, policy counsel
at the Open Technology Institute, said in an interview.
In February, FBI Director James Comey testified
a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats that the
FBI’s inability to get email records with NSLs was a “typo” — and that
fixing it was one of the FBI’s top legislative priorities.
Since I am writing about this since 2004 (in Dutch) I will quote
Church (<-Wikipedia) again, who warned in 1975 what
James Comey is now trying to realize in the USA:
But this is what the FBI, the NSA and
many senators do wish: A government with greater
tyrannical powers than ever existed, for it will know everything
about its inhabitants (who certainly are no more "citizens"), who will hardly
know anything about those who govern them and watch them and
who read absolutely everything they write, and all without them having any
idea (until they are arrested as nuisances to the government, although
by that time such arrests probably also will be secret, as will be their trials: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton).
"I know the capacity that is there to
make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency
and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law
and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss.
That is the abyss from which there is no return."
In the need to develop a capacity to
know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has
perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the
messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important
to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies.
We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be
turned around on the American people, and no American would have any
privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone
conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to
If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge
in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence
community has given the government could enable it to impose total
tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most
careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no
matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government
to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the
capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must
see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this
technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that
we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is
2. 600 U.S.
Writers Sign Open Letter Denouncing Donald Trump
The second item is by Emma Niles on Truthdig:
This starts as
Some of the greatest American writers
are standing up to oppose presumptive Republican presidential nominee
Donald Trump. An open
letter to the American people published on Tuesday declares:
I quoted it because I agree with it.
writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can
be abused in the name of power;
Because we believe that any democracy
worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled
disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate;
Because American history, despite
periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand
experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not
pitting them against one another;
Because the history of dictatorship is
the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;
Because the search for justice is
predicated on a respect for the truth;
Because we believe that knowledge,
experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable in
Because neither wealth nor celebrity
qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military,
to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people;
Because the rise of a political
candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent
elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers,
shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and
minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful
For all these reasons, we, the
undersigned, as a matter of conscience, oppose, unequivocally, the
candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States."
Clinton’s Imperious Brush-off
of Email Rules
The third item is by Ray McGovern
(<- Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows:
State Department functionaries faced a
hopeless task as they tried to spin their own Inspector General’s
matter-of-fact critique of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s
imperial attitude toward basic security measures everyone else is
required by law to follow.
It turns out that she deliberately chose
to use a hacker-friendly, unprotected email server, and not so much for
convenience – unless you define “convenience” as the ability to operate
in total secrecy with no possibility of being held accountable for your
policies or behavior. In one email to an aide, Clinton explained, “I
don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”
There are quite a few reports on this
development, but this probably is the most informed. Here is some more:
In fact (and "the Post" is the Washington
When some staffers had the temerity to
voice concerns over the vulnerability of a non-governmental email
system, they were warned by their seniors “never to speak of the
Secretary’s personal email system again.” The IG report establishes
that Clinton’s claim that her use of an insecure email system for
official business had been “allowed” is, well, disingenuous
In the print edition, the Post
lead editorial’s headline reads: “Ms. Clinton’s willful misjudgments:
She repeatedly ignored warnings not to use private email during her
tenure as secretary of state.” The online headline reads: "Clinton’s
inexcusable, willful dis- regard for the rules." The editorial
ends with the recommend- ation: “We urge the
FBI to finish its own investigation soon, so all information about this
troubling episode will be before the voters.”
There probably will be
considerably more on this, and this is a recommended article.
4. Advice for Divided Democrats
The fourth item is by
Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:
With the Democratic primaries grinding
to a bitter end, I have suggestions for both Clinton and Sanders
neither will like.
First, my advice to Clinton supporters:
Don’t try to drum Bernie Sanders
out of the race before Hillary Clinton officially gets the nomination
in fact does get it).
Some of you say Bernie should bow out
because he has no chance of getting
the nomination, and his continuing candidacy is harming Hillary
It’s true that Bernie’s chances are
slim, but it’s inaccurate to say he has no chance. If you
consider only pledged
delegates, who have been selected in caucuses and primaries, he’s not
far behind Hillary Clinton. And the upcoming primary in California –
the nation’s most
populous state – could possibly alter Sanders’s and Clinton’s relative
I agree (and have been looking for months
now - The Guardian! The Guardian! The once decent stinkingly Blairite
Guardian! - at "supporters" of Bernie Sanders "advicing him" to give
up: the utterly hypocritical liars and cheaters!).
There is also this on what Sanders does do (and see item 5):
(..) Sanders has been telling a basic
truth about the
American political economic system – that growing inequality of income
wealth has led inexorably to the increasing political power of those at
including big corporations and Wall Street banks. And that political
stacked the deck in their favor, leading to still wider inequality.
Nothing important can be accomplished –
reversing climate change, creating true equal opportunity,
overcoming racism, rebuilding the middle class, having a sane and
foreign policy – until we reclaim our democracy from the moneyed
interests. The longer Bernie Sanders is on stage to deliver this
Again I agree, and also like to point out
- again see item 5 - that (i) Bernie Sanders is quite unique in
American politics, and (ii) his "message to the American people" has
been the same ever since 1971. And in case you don't think so: That is
a strength and not a weakness. The reason is that the
above "basic truth" remained the same: The American people are being shafted by the few rich.
My final quote is this:
Which brings me to those of you who say
there’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and
That’s just plain wrong. Trump has revealed
himself to be a narcissistic,
xenophobic, hatemonger who, if elected, would legitimize bigotry,
Supreme Court justices with terrible values, and have direct access to
the button that could set off a nuclear war.
Quite so. And besides, for those
who hate Clinton but are Democrats, liberals or progressives: Somebody
was quoted (in a Bill Maher program) to the effect that
he hates Clinton, and he disagrees with all her
parameters - "but her parameters are normal", and that's why he will
vote for Clinton if she wins the presidential candidacy.
She is bad but she is sane, unlike the "narcissistic,
xenophobic, hatemonger" Trump.
The Movie' Celebrates the Life of Bernie Sanders and His Revolutionary
The fifth item is by Alexandra Rosenmann on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
Bernie Sanders may have been
dubbed an outsider candidate in the 2016 presidential election, but the
Democratic candidate's progressive agenda has been shaping American
politics for nearly four decades. In his presidential campaign, the
74-year-old senator from Vermont has reached millions of Americans with
the same populist message of wealth inequality, which the filmmakers
behind the new documentary Bern: The Movie hope will prevail,
with or without Sanders winning the party's nomination.
I mostly agree, although I don't like
"populist" before "message", though this may be due to my (European)
understanding of "populist".
And here is something about Bernie Sanders' quite unique consistency:
Yes, indeed. This is a recommended article,
also because the article contains several videos. And the movie will be
released today, on the internet, for free.
Like many Bernie Sanders supporters,
Matthew has great respect for Sanders' consistency.
"If you just listen to the audio from
the sneak peek, without looking at the footage, you would be
hard-pressed to be able to tell when he said it. Was it yesterday or 30
years ago? That is extremely rare in a political candidate. And on top
of that, the struggles he faces while growing up mirror so many people
today here in the United States. He has a fascinating history that I
think many people can relate to," Matthew said.
I didn't see it yet, but will.