1. Vindicating Snowden
2. Leading Senate Proponents of Spying and
Election Boost From
“Libertarian” Koch Brothers
3. Michael Moore: How I
Moved from Supporting Bernie
Sanders to Hillary Clinton for
4. Turkish Government Arrests Opposition Parliament
Members in Further Descent
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, November 5, 2016.
is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about an
article by Glenn Greenwald on Edward Snowden and is quite convincing
(with inferences by me about the law); item 2
is about the Koch brothers (who are allowed by SCOTUS to spend nearly a
billion dollars on trying to make politicians, judges etc. to do as they
please: money are votes); item 3 is about Michael
Moore, who is a bit more reasonable about his support for Clinton that I had thought he
was; and item 4 is about Turkey, which - I agree
with the writer - seems headed towards a dictatorship by Erdogan.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It was OK for two days now, but again didn't work out
in Holland the last days: It keeps being horrible most days.
case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
In case you visit my
Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. It
did most of the last week so that is something.
I am very
sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
keep this introduction until I get three successive days
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen
for many months now.
Three New Scandals Show How Pervasive and Dangerous Mass Surveillance
is in the West, Vindicating Snowden
The first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept (and I
abbreviated his title above: It was too long to fit in my space):
This starts as
While most eyes are focused on
the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, three
major events prove how widespread, and dangerous, mass surveillance has
become in the west. Standing alone, each event highlights exactly the
severe threats which motivated Edward Snowden to blow his whistle;
taken together, they constitute full-scale vindication of everything
I agree I am pretty sick of reading about
Clinton and Trump and today's Nederlog only speaks briefly about
Clinton in section 3, though it wasn't arranged
that way by me. And I like Edward Snowden. So here goes:
The first event is about Great Britain:
Earlier this month, a special
British court that rules on secret spying activities issued
an emphatic denunciation of the nation’s domestic mass surveillance
programs. The court found that “British security agencies have secretly
and unlawfully collected massive volumes of confidential personal data,
including financial information, on citizens for more than a decade.”
Those agencies, the court found, “operated an illegal regime to collect
vast amounts of communications data, tracking individual phone and web
use and other confidential personal information, without adequate
safeguards or supervision for 17 years.”
I entirely agree - but why
it take "more than a decade", or more than 15 years to get a court as
far as this?! I'll sketch an answer to this after considering the
On Thursday, an
even more scathing condemnation of mass surveillance was issued by
the Federal Court of Canada. The ruling “faulted Canada’s domestic spy
agency for unlawfully retaining data and for not being truthful with
judges who authorize its intelligence programs.” Most remarkable was
that these domestic, mass surveillance activities were not only
illegal, but completely unknown to virtually the entire population in
Canadian democracy, even though their scope has indescribable
implications for core liberties: “the centre in question appears to be
the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s equivalent of a crystal
ball – a place where intelligence analysts attempt to deduce future
threats by examining, and re-examining, volumes of data.”
This is rather similar to the previous
British event, except - perhaps - that the Canadian secret services
were even more secret and more free to do as they
pleased (always in secret) and to gather illegally anything
they liked to gather than were the English secret services (but it is hard
to judge adequately were so much of the evidence is kept secret,
to this very day).
First about "the Canadian Security Intelligence
Service’s equivalent of a crystal ball":
As I have pointed out several times, this whole activity of "gathering
data" (here: all the data one can get, that were all
gathered illegally, or so it seems)
and searching them in an "attempt to deduce
future threats" (1) seems illegal to me
from the very start, for the data were gathered illegally,
while (2) in a free and democratic state (!!) the secret
services and the police should not (and cannot!!) investigate anyone's
private information to find evidence about possible future
crimes that they might possibly commit. But (3) the whole practice and
the whole idea were already popular in governmental circles in 1968:
And second, about the control of the law and the legislature:
I infer from the above two events, that indicate some 15 years
of utterly illegal behavior by the complete (?) secret
services of both Great Britain and Canada, and the fact that the
same has happened and is happening in the USA, that in fact the
control of the law and of the legislature has been mostly put aside
by both the governments and the secret services.
For that is the only reason these extremely dangerous very
illegal extremely widespread gatherings of evidence (it
seems absolutely everyone who is connected to an internet computer
or cellphone is targeted by the secret services) have been
continued for 15 years:
The government wants the data; the secret services want the data; both
want the data because this will make their powers far
stronger than the Soviet government or Hitler's government; and -
it seems - the law has effectively been declared not to apply anymore,
activities of the secret services remain as secret as they ever were
(apart from occasional rare whistleblowers like Edward Snowden).
So it seems to me that there is no more effective control of the
governments and the secret services in the West by either the law or
the legislature, for if there were these two reported events that I
quoted would have happened very much earlier.
This means that both the governments and the secret services of both
Great Britain and Canada have been - very consciously - acting in
extremely illegal ways for 15 years, with the end of gathering all
the evidence they could on everyone whatsoever, regardless of
any crime or any suspicion.
It also seems to me that the reason they acted thus illegally
was and is that they knew that the evidence they gathered would
give the governments and the secret services more powers than anyone
had ever had, while they knew that the
law and the legislature only function by agreement, by consent, and by
being tolerated by those who have the real effective power in any state:
the present government. And the British, Canadian and also the USA governments effectively decided to
screw both the law and the legislatures - and got away with
this for 15 years now.
The third scandal is a bit different, for this is not about 15
years of totally illegal spying on everyone that still continues, but
about recent spying on the activities of one Canadian journalist and
possibly those who informed him:
The third scandal also comes from
Canada – a critical partner in the Five Eyes spying alliance along with
the U.S. and UK – where law enforcement officials in Montreal are
now defending “a highly controversial decision to spy on a La
Presse columnist [Patrick Lagacé] by tracking his cellphone calls and
texts and monitoring his whereabouts as part of a necessary internal
police investigation.” The targeted journalist, Lagacé, had enraged
police officials by investigating their abusive conduct, and they then
used surveillance technology to track his calls and movements to
unearth the identity of his sources.
There is more on the third event, but I leave
that to your own interests. Here is Glenn Greenwald's ending:
Yet with each new investigation
and judicial inquiry, and as more evidence is unearthed, Snowden’s core
claims are increasingly vindicated. Western officials are indeed
addicted to unaccountable, secretive, abusive systems of mass
surveillance used against their own citizens and foreigners alike, and
the more those systems take root, the more core liberties are eroded.
Yes indeed - and Glenn Greenwald is
formulating this very carefully.
formulation goes further, for I asserted that the explanation for the
fact that the secret services could gather all the private evidence
they wanted for 15 years in a grossly illegal way is that - these days
- in fact the governments only tolerate the law when they agree
with it, and simply put it aside when it doesn't, and have been doing
that for 15 years now. And they will continue with this
until the system radically collapses, I am afraid.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
2. Leading Senate Proponents of
Spying and War Get Election Boost From “Libertarian” Koch Brothers
The second item is by Lee Fang on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
I'd say these are only in name
"politicians" but are in fact fully paid up propagandists for the
secret services and the Pentagon. And those who pay them - at least in
part - are the Koch brothers, who claim to be libertarians.
Several of the Senate’s biggest
hawks are receiving a crucial political lifeline from the
country’s most famous libertarian billionaire brothers, Charles and
Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Richard Burr,
R-N.C., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are some of the loudest proponents on
Capitol Hill of dragnet surveillance and torture, as well as expanding
the military budget and the military’s involvement in conflicts
overseas. All three are in heated re-election campaigns and throughout
the campaign, especially in recent weeks, Koch money has flooded in to
shore them up.
Johnson and Burr, as the chairmen of the
committees that oversee domestic security issues, have led the fight to
preserve and expand surveillance powers — and both face
challengers with a strong record in promoting privacy. Rubio spent much
of his failed presidential campaign attempting to push the envelope
on national security issues, demanding, incredibly, that the defense
budget should be expanded by $1
trillion over 10 years.
About that claim I have a small comment, but first there is this quote,
that sums up what the Koch's are really for:
Despite the rhetoric around civil
libertarian causes, the Koch network is largely devoted to policies
that allow Koch subsidiaries to pollute and
extract fossil fuels with minimal consequence, while reducing the
billionaire brothers’ tax bill.
And what makes the brothers’ $750
million political network fairly unique is the fact that officials
Industries’ lobbying subsidiary,
a firm called Koch Companies Public Sector, play a central role in
managing much of the Koch foundations, academic outreach, and Super PAC
Yes, indeed: The Kochs spend hundreds of
millions of dollars (which they can do because SCOTUS decided
in 2010 something that amounts to the thesis that money = votes, so rich
people in fact have enormous amounts of votes through having enormous
amounts of money, which SCOTUS decided the rich people can invest freely
into influencing voters, because SCOTUS "doesn't believe" in
corruption of or by rich men ) in order
that the Kochs can earn hundreds of millions of dollars more.
And "ľibertarianism", at least in their mouths, was just baloney and bullshit: The liberty
that the Kochs are trying to buy is the liberty of the Kochs to do
as they please.
This article ends as follows:
The Koch’s network now funds
groups that widely advocate for a radical expansion of government when
it comes to war, law enforcement and restricting reproductive health,
including the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute
Yes indeed - and they could realize all
of this thanks to the firm support of the majority of SCOTUS.
This is a recommended article.
Moore: How I Moved from Supporting Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton
The third item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts as follows:
With the U.S. election only days away,
Michael Moore has released a surprise new film about Donald Trump and
Hillary Clinton titled "Michael Moore in TrumpLand." Democracy Now! sat
down with the Academy Award-winning filmmaker and talked about how he
moved from supporting Bernie Sanders during the primary to now
supporting Hillary Clinton. "My hope was that on Tuesday we would have
the great decision … between the socialist and the billionaire," Moore
says. On Clinton, he notes: "She is a hawk. She is to the right of
Obama. That’s the truth. … We’re going to have to be active."
I say, and I do so because Moore is more
or less realistic about Clinton, whom he does support, I take it for
reasons like mine: He knows that there are just two choices for
president, and the choice for Trump is the choice for disaster.
And I agree. There is a considerable
amount of Michael Moore in the article, of which I will be quoting and
commenting just a little.
First there is this:
MOORE: That’s what’s so
great about this generation now, young people, 18 to 35, the Bernie
revolution, is that they are the ones in charge now. They’re going to
be in charge. And I’m very optimistic about this, because—because every
year 3 million 17-year-olds turn 18, which means they’re voters. And in
these next four years before the next presidential election, there’s
going to be 12 million more young voters. And they’re not haters.
No, and for two reasons: First, nobody
knows what millions or tens of millions of people are really thinking,
and this is the same for Michael Moore as for anyone else. And second,
he is doing what many people have done since many
generations: They put their faiths in The New Generation which - they
claim confidently - will not make the mistakes of all the
previous generations, and will put things right again.
Well, since this kind of thinking seems to
have been incorrect for donkeys' years, I think it is incorrect now.
That is, there will be a few differences, but in all
probability the new voters will vote in roughly the same ways as the
old voters (and the new generation will be much like the old one).
Next, there is this:
I agree with this, indeed I include Moore's blaming the mainstream media for Sanders' loss to Clinton.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think if the media had
not—had given as much time to Bernie Sanders as they did to Donald
Trump, had given as much time to Bernie Sanders as they did to the
open—the empty podium when they were waiting for Donald Trump for all
the months of the primary, had played a few of Bernie’s speeches—I
mean, he was getting more people to his speeches without the help of
the media megaphone than even Donald Trump was, and certainly Hillary
Clinton was. And you see how far Bernie went. Do you think it is
possible that it would have been very different, since they both
represented something outside the system?
MICHAEL MOORE: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In
fact, I mean, my hope was that, on Tuesday, we would have the great
decision, the choice, between the socialist and the billionaire.
Then there is this on Clinton's present position, which is that
of a candidate and not of a president:
I think Michael Moore is considerably
more optimistic than I am (if Clinton gets elected). To me
it seems rather likely she will do as Obama did, who looked like a real
progressive liberal when campaigning in 2008, but turned out to be a
somewhat less conservative Bush Jr on most of his real policies. And it
seems very likely this is Clinton's way as well. And no, I also do not
think ordinary voters will have much control over her actions once she
MOORE: Mm-hmm, yeah. And
then she had to run against Bernie for all those months, and she had to
start changing her tune. And she had to start agreeing with him,
because she wasn’t going to win. You know, even with all their cheating
at the DNC, even with all their
superdelegates, there was a chance he was going to pull this off. So
she had to either—either get with the program—in other words, where the
majority of Americans are at. The majority of Americans want universal,
single-payer healthcare. The majority of Americans, you know, want a
paid maternity leave. They want free college for their kids. Go down
the whole list. The American people agree with Bernie Sanders, not
Hillary Clinton. So, in order for her to pull that off, she either had
to start agreeing with the majority of Americans, and his presence
pushed her and pushed her and pushed her toward better positions to
Now, we could sit here and say, "Well,
that, Mike, that’s all they are—positions." Well, you’re right. We
won’t know what she’s going to do until she’s in there. So, the onus
really is on us. On November 9th, if she’s elected, on November 9th,
the next day, do we—whether it’s the Bernie revolution, whether it’s
the Green revolution, you know, whoever it is, do we get active right
away and make sure that she does the things she says she’s going to do?
Here is the last bit that I'll quote:
AMY GOODMAN: That was Glenn Greenwald.
I think here Michael Moore is quite right.
And yes, Clinton is a hawk, and no I don't think she
will be controlled by ordinary voters once she is president, but
MICHAEL MOORE: Yeah, thank God for Glenn
Greenwald. Yes, I’ve said the same thing. I mean, she is a hawk. She is
to the right of Obama. That’s—that’s the truth. So, for us to prevent
whatever war she might be thinking of getting us into, we’re going to
have to be active. We have be that way.
Donald Trump, trust me, we can’t even
imagine the kind of conflicts he’s going to get us into. This is a
12-year-old narcissist that is going to be sitting behind the desk in
the Oval Office, with a very thin skin and a lot of hate in him.
she is sane and Trump is insane, and therefore
anyone who can vote should vote, and should vote for
Government Arrests Opposition Parliament Members in Further Descent
The fourth and last item today is by Juan Cole on Truthdig and
originally on Informed Comment:
This starts as follows:
The Turkish government has detained 11 members of
parliament from the leftist, feminist and pro-Kurdish Peoples’
Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs. This step is
intended to give Erdogan the majority in parliament he needs to make
himself president for life, and to give Turkey (currently a
parliamentary government) an imperial presidency on the Egyptian model.
The pretext was that these MPs declined to testify in a witch-hunt
inquiry. I.e., this is precisely McCarthyism.
Since the failed July 15 coup, the
Turkish government of President Tayyip Erdogan has fired 110,000
people–10,000 of them just last weekend– from the police, judiciary and
other government offices. He has had 12,000 professors fired. Some 15
private universities have been summarily shut down on the grounds that
they have some Gulen link. If all of them were involved in the coup,
that action might be understandable. But manifestly, all were not. It
is true that the rightwing religious Gulen cult has seeded covert
agents throughout the Turkish government and business sector. But
surely there are hundreds of them, not 110,000. Among the authoritarian
steps he has taken is the lifting of parliamentary immunity, setting
the stage or his current coup d’etat.
I report this because it seems correct
to me. I do not know Turkish (at all )
but it seems evident to me that a man who does the above is
trying to become a dictator.
Here is some more:
Erdogan has also closed down 45 newspapers, 16
television channels and all told, 130 media organizations. Some were
accused of having Gulen tendencies. Others are pro-Kurdish. Still
others are secular. Many are just sometimes critical of Erdogan, which
apparently is no longer going to be allowed.
In modern democratic law, you can’t fire
or arrest someone for thought crimes. The arrestees need to have
actually done something wrong. Erdogan is trying to criminalize entire
groups, and suspiciously enough the only group left that is not taboo
is followers of Erdogan–i.e. right of center, at least somewhat
religious Sunni Muslim Turks, who make up about 40 percent of the
population. Secularists are likely at least 25%, Kurds are 20% and
Alevi Shiites are 20 percent (many Alevis are also secularists, and
some religious Kurds vote for Erdogan, so you can’t just add these
groups up–they overlap). So Erdogan is engineering a dictatorship on
behalf of a minority.
Yes indeed, simply because of the evidence
that was quoted above. Here is the last bit that I'll quote:
Saturday’s arrests targeted the moderate
pro-Kurdish HDP, which has stood for feminism, gay rights, and a
multi-cultural Turkey with a place for both Kurds and Turks (hence it
is the Democratic Peoples’ Party, with peoples in the plural).
In June of 2015, the HDP won 13% of seats
in parliament and left the ruling AKP or Justice and Development Party,
Erdogan’s party, with only about 40 percent.
If the HDP members of parliament are permanently removed, perhaps even
jailed, then Erdogan may argue that he has a majority of the remaining
MPs and can move forward with his coronation as dictator in chief.
Unfortunately for Turkey, Erdogan’s
erratic behavior is likely to tank the economy. The tourism sector has
collapsed. Foreign Direct Investment depends on confidence, which is
Every new assault that Erdogan launches
on democracy in Turkey has brought queries as to whether Turkish
democracy is now definitively dead. The answer each time is yes.
Again, this seems quite correct to
me. And there is more in the article, that is recommended.
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
"xs4all" (really: the
KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
 In case you were to argue that I am not
stating the argument about Scotus fairly: Yes and no. Yes, this is my
own common sense version of the decisions of SCOTUS, which is not
in the legal form SCOTUS would like to see it. And no, I think my
version is factually correct, and I don't care about legalistic baloney.
 This is relevant to
me and is also one of the reasons why I have far less material
about Russia and China (for example) than I would have if I had known
these languages. It really
makes a difference if one can check things out in the language of the
writers. (And I can check Dutch, English, German, French,
Norwegian, Danish and Swedish with hardly any problems, and I can get
by in simple Italian and Spanish. But those are all the languages I know.)