Posts Tagged ‘Spying’

House Of Force, Not Health

May 22, 2014

Different countries manage their different houses in different ways. A century ago, the Prussian military, imbued by the philosophy of Bismarck, had a free rein over Germany, a fascist country, with a face saving, but impotent Reichstag.

Bismarck thought that force was… more economical. He has followers, to this day, worldwide.

USA: Into Force, Not Health. Health Spending Inflation, France Red, USA Blue.

USA: Into Force, Not Health. Health Spending Inflation, France Red, USA Blue.

This graph from the USA Federal Reserve, shows that, at least in health care, plutocracy has been doing increasingly better in the USA.

So Bismarck (author of universal health care in Germany in 1860!), from his very successes, instilled contempt for an economy not axed on force, in several generations of Germans.

However, a counterattack by the French army, east of Paris, the battle of the Marne, in early September 1914, should have put that theory to rest. But Putin did not get the news, or, maybe, finally, with his collapsing economy, it dawned on the Kremlin’s madman that now was not the time to wake up the animal spirits of an EU-USA contraption, with an economy worth around 33 times more than Russia’s.

Another one that did not get the news is American muscle. Being all muscle, and no brains, goes only that far.

As David Sanger says: WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has never said what it was seeking when it invaded the computers of Petrobras, Brazil’s huge national oil company, but angry Brazilians have guesses: the company’s troves of data on Brazil’s offshore oil reserves, or perhaps its plans for allocating licenses for exploration to foreign companies.

Nor has the N.S.A. said what it intended when it got deep into the computer systems of China Telecom, one of the largest providers of mobile phone and Internet services in Chinese cities…

Then there is Joaquín Almunia, the antitrust commissioner of the European Commission. He runs no company, but has punished many, including Microsoft and Intel, and just reached a tentative accord with Google that will greatly change how it operates in Europe.

American officials say, off the record, that while the N.S.A. does not spy on Airbus and give the results to Boeing, it is free to spy on European or Asian trade negotiators and use the results to help American trade officials — and, by extension, the American industries and workers they are trying to bolster.

Speaking of the spying China does in the USA, Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served in the Justice Department under the George W. Bush administration, wrote on the Lawfare blog on Tuesday that it “sounds a lot like the kind of cybersnooping on firms that the United States does.”

All of this to say, the USA does not spend as much brainpower on health care. From the New York Times, May 19:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/19/health/rating-a-health-laws-success.html

“Charting the number of deaths from diseases that could have been prevented if the patient had access to appropriate health care, called the “amenable mortality” rate, shows that the United States is far behind European nations.”

Treating these diseases — like heart disease, diabetes, infections, pneumonia and treatable cancers — improves greatly the quality of life, and survival.

“Nearly 20 years ago, the United States was closer to the middle of the pack, but other countries, like Ireland and South Korea, sharply improved their rates by 2007, according to the most recent data available from the Organization for Economic Research and Development. The rate of improvement in the United States was 14 percent, the lowest of all countries surveyed.

… Seven countries improved their rates to pass the United States, which is now on par with countries like Chile and Portugal.

Deaths from heart disease and other circulatory diseases represent about half of all amenable mortality. The rate in the United States is similar to the rate in South Korea, and far higher than the rate in France.”

Actually the death rate from all amenable diseases in the USA is more than twice that of France. And the gap was growing until recently. It’s not just that the same health care, from birth (more than twice more deadly in the USA), to MRIs is many times more expensive in the USA.

In the USA, when one tends to get pneumonia (as I do), it’s hard to get antibiotics. But all and any American fowl, chicken, cattle and pigs get them everyday, as “growth factors”. In other words, in the past, there was slavery, but now even pigs are treated better.

Is plutocracy unchained amenable to progress? Sure: if we were slaves, we would get antibiotics as growth factors. Our own greed for freedom has lowered our health prospects.

In related news, the new and future Boeing 777X is getting nine billion dollars in government subsidies (mostly as tax breaks; see the link with the very American publication Aviation Week). By comparison, Airbus gets none. Yes, contrarily to legend, none.

Different ways, different houses…

Patrice Aymé

Stalinism Not Dead

December 21, 2013

Greed Me Up:

Putin just freed a number of people who he had unjustly caged, sometimes up to ten years, to show what a democrat he was. All he showed is that he is the dictator of Russia. He dictates to justice what to do. Yet, he has not enough intelligence to understand this. We are led by morons: is not that reassuring to plutocrats?

Meanwhile a Federal judge nominated by Bush Junior, September 10, 2001, declared the NSA’s activities “probably unconstitutional”. Does that mean Obama is going to be less rabid about Snowden? Don’t hold your breath: Obama follows the plutocratic consensus.

Pluto Watches You

Pluto Watches You

(British NSA installations, Cornwall.)

And the plutocratic sense, in the USA, has been that, for a century, secret back room deals of the dirtiest type have been profitable to the elite (after a close call in World War Two, when fascism got out of control, backfired onto Anglo-Americano-German plutocracy, and could be defeated only by awfully equalitarian methods, that led to two scary decades of mass prosperity afterwards).

To that world, that world of multimillionaires and billionaires, the only world Putin and Obama know, Edward Snowden is the worst traitor, the greatest danger: the type who does not act out of greed.

Whereas the message, deep down inside, that plutocrats want to be understood, until there is no other, is that greed is the fundamental principle of man. Hence plutocracy is the crown of creation. (The message of Ayn Rand, her student Greenspan, etc.)

***

We Can’t Think, But We Can Spy:

International Media (Der Spiegel, New York Times, etc.) reveal another batch of targets by Anglo-American governmental spies. Says the NYT:  “The Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses.

Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, working closely with the National Security Agency, monitored the communications of senior European Union officials, foreign leaders including African heads of state and sometimes their family members, directors of United Nations and other relief programs, and officials overseeing oil and finance ministries, according to the documents. In addition to Israel, some targets involved close allies like France and Germany… the Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an internationally recognized center for research…

Also appearing on the surveillance lists is Joaquín Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, which, among other powers, has oversight of antitrust issues in Europe. The commission has broad authority over local and foreign companies, and it has punished a number of American companies, including Microsoft and Intel, with heavy fines for hampering fair competition. The reports say that spies intercepted Mr. Almunia’s communications in 2008 and 2009.

Mr. Almunia, a Spaniard, assumed direct authority over the commission’s antitrust office in 2010. He has been involved in a three-year standoff with [Don’t See Evil] Google over how the company runs its search engine. Competitors of the online giant had complained that it was prioritizing its own search results and using … other websites without permission

The surveillance reports show American and British spies’ deep appetite for information. The French companies Total, the oil and gas giant, and Thales, an electronics, logistics and transportation outfit, appear as targets, as do a French ambassador, an “Estonian Skype security team” and the German Embassy in Rwanda…

The Stalinist state lived off spying. And greatly died from spying. (Hitler used to hold 80 million Germans with only 10,000 Gestapo agents; the Stasi held 17 million East Germans with 180,000 agents, smothering the country; the USA spying archipelago has more than a million spies…officially… Not counting Facebook, Google and the like).

A theme of this site is that the USA has been conducting under cover activities of the worst type for a full century.

Those methods are reminiscent of those used to eradicate the Indians and are characteristic of the Anglo empire: reserves for Natives were created in South Africa, Canada, Australia and the USA. Except for South Africa, where the method was applied too late (and first to… wildly resisting whites!), the reservation approach resulted in the quasi annihilation of the Natives (by contrast the Iberian ex-colonies are of “mixed” blood to speak like that intellectuel de bas étage, Mr. Bob Dylan).

Those methods brought the First and Second World War, to the murderous extent they were: in both cases the USA practiced a “bait and switch” strategy on Germany. That allowed the fascists leading Germany at the time to engage in world wars, that only their masters in Washington and Wall Street could win.

At this point, the USA persists in applying this approach. It was fruitful in the Middle East, as it insured USA control of the fossil fuels there, for 60 years. It brought the “American Century”. However it is now as obsolete as French style colonialism in 1950. For example, Obama, still pursuing Carter’s strategy in Afghanistan, intends to leave forces there for another ten years. USA soldiers keep dying there, in the interest of plutocratic corporations. You know those that don’t pay taxes and feed plutocrats.

No way to make a better world.

Yet, in December a USA mission left for Mars, Maven. Europe launched no less than two major scientific missions with a total of four satelites, including one, the double telescope Gaia, built with a new material, silicon carbide, ten meters across (the machine, not the telescope), with  the world first billion pixel camera chip (that will operate at minus 110 Celsius).

Gaiai left from French Guyana, about the last pristine equatorial forest, on the Russian workhorse rocket, Soyuz, and will travel to the Lagrange point S2, at 1.5 million kilometers. Meanwhile Jade Rabbit, a Chinese robot, realized the first soft landing on the Moon in 37 years. And two USA astronauts, including a colonel, embarked on a series of spacewalks to repair the International Space Station, a place full of technological challenges.

More deeply, a German team announced that it had achieved NON DESTRUCTIVE photon detection (that will open plenty of possibilities, some very practical, other very esoteric).

This is how to make a better world: by achieving better, deeper understanding, not just by plotting, spying, cheating and stealing from others.

Patrice Ayme

***

New York Times Editorial Board, following day in “Bad Times For Big Brother“: “Mr. Obama acknowledged that some reforms could be done, but he insisted that there was no evidence that the phone surveillance program was being abused — a truly disturbing assessment given all the revelations since June. He said there’s a need to restore Americans’ trust in their government. The way to restore that trust is not through cosmetic touch-ups, but by Congress and the courts setting firm limits on all surveillance programs and ensuring that the administration complies.”

Complying with civilization is not something Stalinism is about. It’s more about destroying eleven (11) vehicles in a wedding procession in the middle of nowhere. Just because it wants to show it can.