Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Machiavelli

No Place to Hide? When investigative journalists are prosecuted for divulging secret government illegal actions

Machiavelli wrote in The Prince:

The character of the common people is mobile and easy to lead to an opinion. The real problem for the power-to-be is how to maintain this character, how to force the common people to believe when they cease to believe in the opinion of the powerful.

Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil:

The key word for those keen minds of conscientious people working on secret projects is: How to Trespass morality.

Roland Barthes wrote:

Fascism is to pressure people to express the opinions of the rulers

From a 1975 statement of Senator Frank Church to the committees of the  intelligence agencies:

“The US government has perfected a tech capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air…

That capability could at any time turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left…

Such is the capability to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegram…it doesn’t matter.

There would be No Place to Hide”

This monitoring capability has extended to internet, social platforms, mobile phones, public and private video cameras, satellite imaging, instant location capturing features…

The US government strategy, backed by Congressmen, Senators and leading journalists… was to mute Glenn Greenwald bold and direct reporting on the widespread surveillance on everyone (collective data gathering). The strategy was to label Glenn as just another blogger and an activist. Why?

Journalists in the US and in many other States have formal and unwritten legal protection that are unavailable to any one else when they reveal secret intelligence pieces through their job of investigative reporting.

Thus, robbing Glenn from this status of journalist was to expose him to legal criminal harassment.

For example, the misleading claims that he is:

1. A co-conspirator working with sources to obtain document

2. Establishing a covert communication plan to speak without being detected with sources

3. Employing flattery and playing to the sources’ vanity and ego to persuade the source to leak secrets documents

are routine tactics within the job description and methods of investigative journalists, but would not cover bloggers and activists.

Leonard Downie Jr. former executive editor of the Wash. Post, wrote in the name of the Committee to protect Journalists:

“The Obama Administration war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive since the Nixon Adm.  The 30 experienced Wash Journalists at a variety of news organizations interviewed for the report could not remember any precedent (on this scale)”

“The Obama Adm. had crossed a red line that no other administration has crossed before and blown right past” said Jane Mayer in the New republic. It is a huge impediment to reporting and beyond chilling. It’s more like freezing the whole process into a standstill”

Even the NYTimes reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, who had fought all the way to the US Supreme Court in order to publish the Pentagon Papers, advocated the arrest of Glenn.

No one in the US dared confirm any “informal assurance” that Glenn would not be prosecuted if he lands in the USA.

The US government was ready to concoct a theory that Greenwald’s repeated meetings with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and in Russia and publishing reports on a “freelance basis” with newspapers around the world do fall under the criminal law of “aided and abetted” Snowden in his leaks and helped a “fugitive” flee justice or that the reports constituted some type of espionage.

It is evident that the security state in the USA is more powerful than the highest elected officials and do boast a wide array of influential loyalists.

So what kinds of reforms are necessary to check this wave of collective meta-data collection surveillance on people and institutions?

1. Targeted surveillance backed with substantial evidence of real wrongdoing

2. This “Collect it all” approach and indiscriminate mass surveillance is constitutionally illegal.

3. Using metadata analysis technique has not produced or disclosed a single terrorist plot: This a terrible burden on the budget dedicated to hiring specialized data analysts who have no clue on how to handle their job.

4. The government must provide some evidence of probable cause of wrongdoing before listening to a person conversations. That’s the job of FISA court.

5. FISA court. must be reformed so that it is not used as a rubber stamp. Converting FISA court into a real judicial system would be a positive first step in the reform

6. This trend of co-opting entities by the national security state badly needs an oversight control system to tame its abuses.

7. Building a new Internet infrastructure so that all the communication traffics have no longer to transit through the US network. European tech companies are spewing alternative special platforms to Google and Facebook intended Not to provide data to the NSA

8. More encryption programs and browsing-anonymity tools are being designed for users working in sensitive jobs such as journalists, lawyers, civil rights advocate organizations…

9. Advancing government transparency reforms

Whistle-blowers have learned that speaking the truth does not necessarily destroy their life: The side of supporters has grown immensely and are promoting the human capacity to reason and make decisions outside the boundaries of government status quo.

Note: Glenn Greenwald published 4 books. Among them:

1. With Liberty and Justice for some

2. A Tragic Legacy

3. No place to hide

He published Edward Snowden secret stories in The Guardian before co-founding the investigative publication The Intercept

Most potent Queen: 16th century Catherine of Medicis

The 16th century was one of the most violent of centuries: massacres, religious genocide events, perpetual wars, famine, plagues (moria)…

And yet, the 16th century was ripe with illustrious and famous personalities and characters: Da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Machiavelli, Ariosto, England Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Phillip II of Spain, Charles Quint, Savonarola, Luther, Calvin

You can say Europe in the 16th century was the Christian flip coin of current ISIS (Daesh) in extremism, cruelty and fixation in their belief systems.

Every nascent religious sect, and they were numerous (Protestants, Calvinists, Lutherans, Baptists, Anabaptists…), and they all adopted the Old Testament stories for guidance and the Ancient prophets proclamations as their guiding rod to commit massacres and try to wipe out the other sect members.

This is a typical case of counter reaction since the Catholics focused on the message of Jesus (The New Testament) and the stories of the saints while they had the Old testament on the back burner.

This trend in focus is still adopted today with both sects.

The Catholics were called the papists, the Protestant sects in France were called parpaillot, reformists, biblical and they wore the white scarf

Almost any Prince with wealth hired from the large pool of mercenaries to attack towns and villages and get the title of the vanquished prince and the razzia loot.

Katarina of Medicis lost both her parents as a child.

Her father was Laurent II of Florence and her mother was the French Madeleine de Bourbon of Auvergne.

By the age of 18, she had lost all her cousins and relatives. Italy was the scene of constant wars among the princes and town and cities changed hands very frequently.  For example her aunt, half-brother Alexander and cousin Hippolyte died by poisoning and in battles.

Catherine spent most of her childhood in prisons, monasteries, nunneries… until her great uncle Pope Clement managed to arrange her wedding to the second son of France King Francois I.

The French King and his son Henry were made prisoners by the monarch Charles Quint at the Pavia battle in Italy, and they remained incarcerated for 5 years.

Henri II and Catherine were 14 years old when they married.

At their wedding night, King Francois entered their bedroom and watched the actual intercourse and made sure to see the bloody bed sheet.

And Catherine could not get pregnant until she was 18 and she lived in perpetual fear of being divorced, but King Francois liked his Duchessina.

Her first son Francois died in childhood. And she remained pregnant every year for 15 years.

Diane de Poitier, the eternal sweet heart of King Henry until he died, wanted Catherine to be pregnant all the time so that she keep the king all to herself.

There was no competition: Diane was beautiful and tall, while Catherine was short, chubby and plain.

Henry II wore the black and white preferred colors of his beloved Diane and all the emblems had the H and D initials.

After Henry died in a Knight Fighting joust during a ceremony by the captain of his Scottish troop Montgomery, Diane met with Catherine and Diane retreated to her chateau, never to hear from her again.

Catherine gave birth a couple of times to twins who died in childbirth and many other of her progenitor.

Only 3 of her male kids survived to live to be over 3o and no more than 35 Two became kings Charles 9 and Henry 3.

The daughters who survived to get married off were 3: Elizabeth, Claude and Marguerite (Margo )

The eldest Elizabeth was betrothed to Phillip II of Spain, Claude to the Prince of Lorraine, and Marguerite (Margo ) to Henry of Navarre, who became king Henry 4, and thus the dynasty turned over from the Valois to the Bourbon.

Margo and Henry had no liking to one another and they mostly led separate life. Margo fucked every attractive person she liked and had love affairs with her brothers, particularly the future Henry III.

When Henry 4 was assassinated, Margo continued her life-style of total debauchery and refused to be detached from her Regency status even after her son Louis 13 was enthroned.

Catherine had two critical jobs to battle for:

1. Secure and maintain the French dynasty of Les Valois through her sons

2. Avoid any excuses for Spain King Phillip 2 to invade France. Phillip 2 was the most powerful and wealthiest monarch in western Europe.

Actually, Catherine denied the Spanish troops permission to cross France in order to enter and occupy Belgium and the Netherlands

Some how, her immature sons took advantage of their mother’s worries and priorities by allying with French factions against King Phillip’s Catholic policies and constituted coalitions of princes opposing Catherine policies of neutrality.

The eldest son Charles 9 was cruel, brutal and a nitwit. He was tightly linked to admiral Gaspard de Coligny (a Huguenot Protestant sect) and they were scheming to form an army and harass the Spanish troops in Belgium.

That was a red line that Coligny should have not crossed for Catherine, and she decided to assassinate de Coligny

The attempt failed and the admiral was just wounded. Catherine knew that the fingers will point to her and she hurriedly met with her son King Charles 9 for the entire night, figuring a way out of that mess to avoid a civil war.

Finally Charles gave up and screamed “Kill him, kill them all”

Her son Henry gave the job to his great friend, the catholic prince Henry de Guise who insisted on waging wars on the Huguenots. De Guise didn’t wait for the green light and attacked the Huguenot early morning.

What was supposed to decapitate the leaders of this sect, turned out a massive massacre. The genocide in Paris lasted 3 days and 4 nights and then it spread to the provinces for months. After the massacre, on the 4th day, the shopkeepers, butchers and common people returned to their jobs as if nothing happened.

The insane and cruel Charles 9 lost it completely after this tragedy and stayed in his castle blowing his horns as if going hunting and screaming from the top of his head. He died at the age of 34.

Her second son Henry was her favourite. There were negotiation of marrying Henry to Elizabeth I of England that faltered because henry believed the rumors in France circles that Elizabeth was the “whore of London”

For a brief winter, Henry was pressured to travel to Poland in order to rule this country as its monarch, but he fled with his French companions and travelled across Europe, Venice and other Italian cities.

Henry’s passion as a young man was designing clothes and appointed himself the cloth designer in all ceremonies. He even designed what his brother-in law Henry of Navarre wore during his wedding. 

When Charles 9 died, Henry became King Henry III who was unstable and frequently whipped himself all night longs for forgiveness and chastisement. He brought wild animals and imprisoned them in a deep hole. One day he decided to kill a lion in the hole and then let the wild beasts devour one another.

His old friend Henry de Guise was receiving regular amount of money from Phillip II of Spain to destabilize France and keep it in constant civil war. And he set his mind to grab the throne since he was the most popular figure in Paris. De Guise was tall, svelte, handsome, blonde and rich.

In the nick of time, Henry III decided to flee to the Castle of Chartres in order not to be kept prisoner in Paris. It is there that Henry III receive intelligence that the Spanish Armada was destroyed and the attempt to invade England failed.

Eventually, Henry drew de Guise to his Palace and assassinated him by his Pretorian guards, along with de Guise’s brother the young Cardinal of Lorraine.  Pretorian guards or spadassins of 45 in number were from Gascoigne and headed by Du Guast. Catherine was dying during this assassination in another room.

And what of Catherine’s youngest son Francois?

Francois was fragile in health and eventually died of tuberculosis at the age of 30.

The king of Scotland sent his kid daughter Marie Stuart to Paris to live and be educated in the French court. Marie is the future  Queen of Scotland whom her cousin Elizabeth I would incarcerate in a London dungeon and decapitate her 8 years later.

Marie and Francois were inseparable, played together and were in love.

When Catherine husband Henry II was seriously injured, the surgeons were experimenting with “”live subjects” in order to discover the best way to perform the surgery on the dying Henry. Catherine forced Marie to watch the bloody surgery on one of the live person so that Marie learn “what it takes to be a queen

Until Marie had to leave France at the age of 18 after her father died. Marie never returned to France.

Francois gave his mother plenty of worries and troubles. He frequently disappeared from the screen of Catherine in order to form coalitions opposing either his brother Henry III or to fight the Spanish troops in Belgium.

Francois even paid a visit to London to rally Elizabeth I to his cause. He was a frequent visitor to Elizabeth’s bedroom until she got fed up and kicked him out of her bed, room and England.

Francois spent his last year leading an army in Belgium, occupying a town one day and losing another the next day.

Catherine had to criss-cross France several times and for a couple of years each time and way into her 60’s. Many of those long trips were meant to find her sons lost from her screen of control and who were complotting and joining coalitions (Ligues).

In her old age, she had to travel across France at the demands of  her immature sons of kings who were reluctant and unable to perform much of anything of value or to negotiate any peace treaty.

And Catherine was feared, respected, and admired for her abilities, steadfastness and clear visions by all the factious princes.

Catherine relied on her “Girls” the “Flying Spies” to gather critical pieces of intelligence of the creation of inside coalitions among the princes and managed to disperse or decapitate in the bud many alliances that constituted a threat to the throne of the Valois dynasty or which could invite foreign powers to attack France..

Catherine managed to maintain the integrity of France and avoided to intervene militarily outside France.

She was the Regent, in-power or effectively for 40 years and was the doyen (Dean) of the Western European monarchies  for several decades.

If it were not for her deceiving and deceitful sons of kings and her useless daughters, France would have witnessed the best powerful Queen they ever had.

She died before she could save Henry 3 who had accumulated enemies through his reckless decisions.

Catherine was a real genius in politics and statesmanship.

Mostly, real geniuses come from the pool of early orphaned persons

Note 1: Read the French book of Michel Peyramaure 

Note 2: In these centuries, absolute monarchies agreed to sign “peace treaties” when these 3 conditions were satisfied:

1. One of the monarch is feeling the weight of age and is terribly reluctant to go out on a long adventure

2. The treasury is bankrupt

3. Civil wars about to break out if one of the sons is vying for the throne

At this junction, the monarch gets busy “selling off” to the highest bidder his daughters and sons to kings and princes.

If the negotiations do not replenish the treasury, at least temporary truces are to be expected.

Soon enough, one of the sons snatches the throne, and being too anxious for adventure, more wars are ignited and the cycle is closed.

Sure, a historian can amass plenty of other causes to explain and validate the ridiculous frequent wars and skirmishes, but the simplest overwhelming reason is related of” totally bored young monarchs” with plenty of energy to spend outside of hunting parties.

On Religion: Omar Khayyam (1048 -1131), Abul Ala2 Al Ma3ari ( 937-1058), Ibn Sina2
I thought that I wrote the definitive position on religion. This position was stated succinctly and clearly 10 centuries ago, and by Moslems scholars.
Omar Khayyam (1048 -1131), one of the greatest mathematicians, astronomers, and poets of Iran
Omar Khayyam (1048 -1131), one of the greatest mathematicians, astronomers, and poets of Iran
“Do not suppose the statements of the prophets to be true; they are all fabrications.
Men lived comfortably till they came and spoiled life.
The sacred books are only such a set of idle tales
As any age could have and indeed did actually produce”.
Abul Ala2 Al Ma3ari ( 937-1058)
‎彡غرباء في المنفى 彡‎'s photo.
Ibn Sina2: “We are plagued by a community of people who believe that God never guided anyone else”
The famous physician who wrote the medical book Al Kanoun and was taught in Europe during the Renaissance period and centuries later.
Machiavelli wrote in The Prince:
“Religion is necessary to government.
Not to insure morals, but to control the people…”
‎العقل دين‎'s photo.
 

Part 1.  Two main factors:  For discriminating among developed capitalist economies, (Jan. 9, 2010)

How stable are developed capitalist economies?

Election law systems and political decision of the winning coalition in election that generates State’s initiatives programs constitute the two main factors that differentiate among the capitalist economies in developed nations.

First, the election voting system determines the type of capitalist economy.

Political conflict is at the heart of an economic system:  It results in irreconcilable interests among winners and losers in elections. Political conflict is related to the kind of consensus among political alliance blocks, representing the popular and the middle classes interests. Only a political decision of the winner in election can resolve the impasse: society has to admit this fact, instead of investigating the secondary factors for economic recovery, development, and stability.

Machiavelli and Carl Schmitt claim the autonomy of politics, and invite to think institutions as a way of resolving conflicts that alienate periodic social changes: this position refutes the concept that conventional rules and regulations contain economic activities that are meant to re-structure market deficiencies.  Institutional reforms (for modernization, efficacious productivity, and emerging branches in economies) are modeled relative to political conflicts: it is the political alliance that pressure reforms to please their constituencies.

The capitalist social-democratic system in Germany is the outcome of stable agreements between the lower and middle classes, which translated to job protection and generous social security system: the election law is proportional and multiparty.

The British (Westminster) election law is a bipartisan majority rule; it over represents the interests of the middle classes.  Thus, it favors socio-political compromises that admit job market flexibility (read, easy firing policies and lesser social security protection).  The needy class in England suffer from harsh universal health delivery system and long delay for non-emergency hospitalization.  Margaret Thatcher managed to rally the major political groups behind strategic radical reforms of the institutions, which created for her a social base supporting her economic programs.

France has been experimenting with a variety of election systems, but has been following the German’s model trend in the last decades. The majority system is based on two turn election, which permits the expression of political minorities.  Recently, French election system is leaning more toward the British system with the emergence of two major political blocks and the adoption of 5-year plans.

The emergence of “categorical” syndicates that are no longer interested in considering solidarity with other groups is weakening the social-democratic compromises: Syndicates are dissociating from uniting with single political blocks.

The US bipartite presidential election law is favoring the middle and higher classes, simply because the majority of worker syndicates failed to rally to a single political party. The US economy is going to suffer from major instability in direction because the Democratic Party declined the challenge to taking political decisions based on the winner’s rights to taking responsibilities.  The maimed universal health plan is one consequence; so is US position on climate changes and foreign policies.

The economic instability is also evident in that small local firms are different from small, but global enterprises.   Their heterogeneous demands are being expressed accordingly: Thus, these unstable political coalitions witnessed in European States.

The second main factor or State’s initiatives economic programs will be discussed in part two.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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