who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
to restructure into new holding company called
and lenders agree new bailout deal, finance
3. Despite Majority Opposition,
Japan About to Hit 'Go' on
NSA Fears: Treason Investigation Reveals
Anxiety at the Top
From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too
Much - Thomas Drake on RAI
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday August 11, 2015.
This is a crisis
blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about Google's becoming part of Alphabet (though the article seems
mostly propaganda); item 2 is about Greece on The
Guardian: it seems there is -
nearly, perhaps - a bailout deal; item 3 is about
Japan, where the first - of possibly 23 more - nuclear reactors has
been restarted; item 4 is an article
by the Spiegel (On Line) about a possibly major conflict between
the German government about the NSA's spying; and item 5
is about an
interesting interview The Real Network made with Thomas Drake.
I am reporting a bit more briefly than usual, because there was earlier
today another NL (a Dutch
autobiographical one), and because I didn't sleep well.
restructure into new holding company called Alphabet
article of today
is by Dominic Rushe and Sam Thielman on The Guardian:
This starts as
I say. Well... Google
isn't dead, it merely moved to another corporate structure, quite
possibly to pay even less taxes. Also, the first "news" was merely
Google is dead. Long live Alphabet.
The tech company
announced on Monday that it would rebrand itself as Alphabet – a new
holding company whose largest wholly owned subsidiary will be Google.
In a surprise blog post
made public after the stock markets closed Larry Page and Sergey Brin,
Google’s co-founders, announced a radical shake-up of the company’s
corporate structure and management, handing control of its core search
engine business to rising star Sundar Pichai.
The new company,
Alphabet, will preside over a collection of companies, the largest of
which will be Google. Even the site’s new address also eschewed
O Lord! Blah, blah, blah
(and we avoid paying taxes as much as we can, but you won't
hear us about that).
“As Sergey [Brin,
co-founder] and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago,
‘Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become
one’,” wrote Page.
“As part of that, we also
said that you could expect us to make ‘smaller bets in areas that might
seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current
businesses’. From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do
important and meaningful things with the resources we have.”
Anyway, so far
it is merely bullshit,
but I have it because Google is important
(though avoided by me, insofar as this is possible).
lenders agree new bailout deal,
finance minister says
The next article is by Ian Traynor on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
So actually the title of the
article is mistaken? I don't know, and the article itself doesn't give
much clarification other than that the Greeks admitted "a few points"
still needed to be settled, while the Germans let it be known that
they want to look closely at "the fine print".
The Greek government
announced it has struck an ambitious bailout deal with creditors aimed
at securing around €86bn (£61bn) over three years in return for radical
economic reforms to be pushed through parliament as early as this week.
News of the agreement
following a marathon 24-hour negotiating session at Athens’ Hilton
hotel was not immediately confirmed by the eurozone creditors and
promptly triggered scepticism in Berlin, where the deputy finance
minister said the talks were not yet concluded and that fundamental
questions on Greece remained to be answered.
More will follow, undoubtedly.
3. Despite Majority Opposition, Japan About to
Hit 'Go' on Nuclear Restart
The next article is by
Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Despite widespread public
opposition and lingering safety concerns, Japan on Tuesday will switch
on a nuclear reactor for the first time since the 2011 Fukushima
of Reactor No. 1 at the Sendai nuclear plant, about 620 miles southwest
of Tokyo, comes four and a half years after an earthquake-triggered
tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, leading to
the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. In the
aftermath of the Fukushima crisis, which led to the displacement of
more than 100,000 people, all 43 of the country's operable commercial
nuclear reactors were taken offline.
Last fall, the Sendai
the first to clear safety hurdles imposed by a revamped Nuclear
Regulation Authority (NRA), established after Fukushima. More than two
dozen other reactors have applied for a restart. All are now subject to
the NRA's safety checks before they can come back online.
What about the other
42 Japanese nuclear reactors? 25 of them have applied
for permissions to be restarted. Then again, this may be
There are concerns, too,
about restarting such a large fleet of mothballed reactors. Bloomberg
reactors have been turned back on in other parts of the world, though
not on this scale—25 of Japan’s 43 reactors have applied for restart
permits. One lesson learned elsewhere is that the process rarely goes
smoothly. Of 14 reactors that resumed operations after being offline
for at least four years, all had emergency shutdowns and technical
failures, according to data from the International Atomic Energy Agency
and regulators in the U.S. and Canada.
That is a 100%
failure score. But not to fear, for Japan needs the nuclear energy for
4. Berlin's NSA Fears: Treason Investigation
Reveals Anxiety at the Top
The next article is by
Klaus Brinkbäumer on Spiegel On Line:
This starts as follows with
a summary (in bold in the original):
prosecutor was just forced out of office after launching a treason
investigation against journalists. The scandal, just like the "SPIEGEL
Affair" 50 years ago, reveals a growing state of anxiety among the
country's political elite.
Also, this article
seems to continue a previous article on Spiegel On Line, that I
The article itself starts
It's not the content that
was decisive. That was true back
then just as it is today. Back then, in 1962, our SPIEGEL predecessors
put together an important investigative report, but it was also
awkwardly written. And it certainly wasn't treasonous. It nevertheless
went on to become the most famous story SPIEGEL has ever published. The
8,000-word, 16-page cover story begins: "The chancellor left his
capital of Bonn. Just like the Führer at the beginning of the Battle of
France in the early morning of June 10, 1940, he reported to a control
bunker in the Eifel."
The piece focused on a NATO
exercise called Fallex 62, which
demonstrated, according to the story, that in the event of war,
Germany's food supply system would collapse just as rapidly as its
medical services. Furthermore, up to 15 million West Germans wouldn't
survive a nuclear war. Germany has only a "limited ability to defend
itself," was NATO's conclusion, as quoted by the SPIEGEL story.
German authorities, however, were among those interested readers. And
SPIEGEL quickly found itself on the business end of a treason
investigation -- an investigation that rapidly became the biggest
political scandal in Germany's short, post-World War II history. It is known as the
Therefore, now we may
another Spiegel Affair, and indeed Klaus Brinkbäumer may well be right, although it depends.
I quote just one more bit:
Today, the German
government knows that it has become
involved in an affair of which it was originally a victim. It knows
that it is unable
to protect its own citizens from (nominally) allied intelligence
services. The German government doesn't have the courage --
still doesn't have the courage -- to stand up to the NSA and the USA.
It doesn't acknowledge any mistakes, it explains nothing, it keeps
silent and doesn't govern.
I say. There is more in the
article, and this will not be the last article written about
Spiegel and the German government.
From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too Much - Thomas
Drake on RAI (5/5)
The last article is by The
This is an interesting
interview with an interesting man, Thomas Drake
(<- Wikipedia). I will quote two bits of it.
The first is from the beginning, and outlines briefly why the US
government went after Thomas Drake, who did have a high position in the
went after me
because I knew too much about several things, and I shared it within
channels, and ultimately went to the press anonymously, and over the
course of a number of years. But I was confronted by the dark side
shortly after 9/11. So the first thing was the secret surveillance
programs that were put into place as a result of 9/11 and unleashed on
the Petri dish called the United States of America, turning the United
States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for dragnet
electronic surveillance. To this day, we still don't know the full
extent of that.
The second bit is Thomas
Drake's assessment of Bush's government:
JAY: And we're going
to dig into all this.
And then there was also the 9/11 knowledge, what NSA actually knew,
what they should have known, what they didn't share, what they kept
hidden, and information that they never even discovered until later.
But you have said that if it had been acted on, it might have been
able--that information might have led to preventing the 9/11 events.
Well, I consider NSA quite culpable. In fact--well, we'll get into the
detail as to why, but extraordinarily culpable. And they've been
covering up their culpability ever since.
I never quite imagined
that the period in which I grew up as a very young teenager in the
1970s, that I would end up not only revisiting, but I would be reliving
it on a far vaster scale in terms of government criminal wrongdoing,
crimes, you know, high crimes and misdemeanors as defined by the
There is a lot more in
the article (and in
the video, which I didn't see: I prefer to read, because that goes much
faster than listening).
JAY: Reliving it
DRAKE: Reliving the
Nixon era, reliving the Watergate and then some. It
makes the Nixon era look like pikers, what happened in 9/11, in terms
of the government simply unchaining itself from the rule of law and
operating under extraordinary emergency conditions, the equivalent of
martial law in the country, but in secret. Virtual martial law is
actually what was instituted in the United States of America, truth be