|The two main
reasons why so very few men dare to be honest in society are that
honest persons in authoritarian societies risk their lives, while in
non-authoritarian societies they risk their incomes.
Indeed, in society almost
all public acting is dishonest and conformist, and almost the only
exceptions to this are geniuses, comedians, fools, and idiots.
MM - Comments
on Chamfort's Maximes-1.9
1. Project Censored
2. Cort Johnson leaves Phoenix Rising
About two things I did not know about: A website
monitoring what the media do not monitor, and Cort Johnson exited
1. Project Censored
I found yesterday that there is a website Project Censored
to keep track of the things the US media neglect. They have been doing
so for nearly twenty years, and it seems a good idea to me.
Of course, there are a number of obvious objections:
Here are my brief answers:
- how do you track or
count what is absent?
- are these folks honest
- isn't it a way to
propagandize unpopular points of view?
Tracking the absent. I have noticed myself Dutch
papers have gotten a lot worse over the past years: dumbed down, more
commercial, less variegated, more main stream, less interesting, less
Indeed, after more than 40 years of daily reading the paper version of
the Dutch NRC Handelsblad I gave up on it, after seeing all of the
above happen to it, under a new editor and a new board, both
despicable, both dishonest, both clearly more interested in making
profit than in making a good paper.
Also, while there
clearly are problems in tracking, tracing and indeed knowing about what
gets not reported, there clearly are hings that certain papers and
programms, and especially those that are widely read or watched, seem
to avoid reporting about, or report about in a biased manner.
Project Censored. It seems to be the work of a small
independent university that, like Project Censored
(<- Wikipedia) has a "a leftist reputation". I quote from Wikipedia:
According to the
Project Censored official website, the organization describes itself as
a media research group that "tracks the news published in independent
journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an
annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been
overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national
I am not amazed, and don't
particularly care, because I like the idea, since I have noticed myself
that the mainstream news seems to me biased and partial, and rather a
lot sounds like propaganda.
Although the group
never explicitly takes a political
stance, a majority of the stories Project Censored highlights have a leftist political slant, criticizing big
business, economic inequality, the
Pentagon, damage to the environment, and misdeeds of conservative
politicians, among other progressive issues; at least 20 of the "Top 25
Censored Stories of 2007" could be classified in one of these
And I like it that there is a university involved, and I also like it
if such a project is based on clear criterions that are related to
objective facts and things one can count in a way that makes empirical
and rational sense.
Is it propaganda? It's bound to be selective, but
again I don't particularly care, for the reason I just gave. Indeed, I
would also take a look at what the Vatican considers not reported well
enough in the media, not because I agree with the Vatican, but to get
some perspective on their perspective.
Anyway... here are some of what they call the "Top Censored Stories
of 2013" (sic: I quote, and that is what it says), with their
ranking and what they say about it. The dotted link is to their site:
where you find all 25 they
list - and I quote by
indentation from their site,
so that you may learn about some of the things you may have missed
seeing in the media:
of an Emerging Police State
the passage of the 2001 PATRIOT Act, the United States has become
increasingly monitored and militarized at the expense of civil
liberties. The 2012 passage of the National Defense Authorization Act
(NDAA) has allowed the military to detain indefinitely without trial
any US citizen that the government labels a terrorist or an accessory
to terrorism, while President Barack Obama’s signing of the National
Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order has authorized
widespread federal and military control of the national economy and
resources during “emergency and non-emergency conditions.” Since 2010,
the Department of Homeland Security’s If You See Something, Say
Something™ campaign has encouraged the public to report all suspicious
activity to local authorities, even though actions that the DHS
identifies as “suspicious” include the constitutionally protected right
to criticize the government or engage in nonviolent protest.
the sea was infinite and
inexhaustible. It is not. The overall rise in ocean temperature has led
to the largest movement of marine species in two to three million
years, according to scientists from the Climate Change and European
Marine Ecosystems Research project. A February 2012 study of fourteen
protected and eighteen unprotected ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea
demonstrated that this previously healthy sea is now quickly being
depleted of resources. An international team of scientists conducted
the study over a period of three years and found that in well-enforced
marine reserve areas the fish populations were five to ten times
greater than the fish populations in unprotected areas. The work of
these scientists encourages the establishment and maintenance of marine
Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United
Federal Bureau of Investigation has embarked on an unusual approach to
ensure that the United States is secure from future terrorist attacks.
The agency has developed a network of nearly 15,000 spies to infiltrate
various communities in an attempt to uncover terrorist plots. However,
these moles are actually assisting and encouraging people to commit
crimes. Many informants receive cash rewards of up to $100,000 per
Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions Loaned to Major Banks
audit of the First Federal Reserve reveals sixteen trillion dollars in
secret bailouts to major American and European banks during the height
of the global financial crisis, from 2007 to 2010. Morgan Stanley
received up to $107.3 billion, Citigroup took $99.5 billion, and Bank
of America $91.4 billion, according to data obtained through Freedom of
Information Act requests, months of litigation, and an act of Congress.
Network of Corporations Run the Global Economy
University of Zurich study reported that a small group of
companies—mainly banks—wields huge power over the global economy. The
study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and
the web of ownership among them. The researchers’ network analysis
identified 147 companies that form a “super entity,” controlling 40
percent of the global economy’s total wealth. The close connections
mean that the network could be prone to “systemic risk” and vulnerable
Are The Top 1 Percent and How Do They Earn a Living?
richest 1 percent of the country now owns more than 40 percent of the
wealth and takes home nearly a quarter of national income. Evidence
based on tax returns indicates that this superelite 1 percent consists
of nonfinancial executives, financial professionals, and members of the
legal, real estate, and medical professions. Earnings at this level
correlate with deregulation and the other legal changes that brought on
the financial crisis. While the 99 percent deal with the direct
consequences of that crisis, the 1 percent increasingly have left
behind deteriorating neighborhoods in favor of wealthy enclaves,
further isolating themselves, according to a 2011 Stanford University
from Public Education to Feed the Prison-Industrial Complex
systemic recasting of education priorities gives official structure and
permanence to a preexisting underclass comprised largely of
criminalized, poor people of color. The rise of corporate-backed
charter schools and privatized prisons cannot be understood apart from
the record closures of public schools across the country.
22. Wachovia Bank Laundered Money for Latin American Drug
2004 and 2007, Wachovia Bank handled funds totaling $378.4 billion for
Mexican currency-exchange houses acting on behalf of drug cartels. The
transactions amount to the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act,
an anti-money-laundering law, in US history. This case is not
exceptional; Wachovia is just one of several US and European banks that
drug cartels have used to launder money.
2. Cort Johnson
leaves Phoenix Rising
Rising is probably the largest
website, at least in terms of registered members and
traffic, for people with ME/CFS in the
world. It was started - Cort Johnson
says - by Cort Johnson in 2004, while it started to get popular
when the news about XMRV reached the
world, after this had
been published in October 2009 in Science.
I was a member of Phoenix Rising for about 3 months in the first
half of 2010, and then withdrew myself because it was troll-infested,
extremely ill moderated, and
was effectively the territory of anonymous
sadists, posturing as ill people but proudly protected
by the moderators who acted as if protecting evident sadists was their
chosen mission in life. 
I tell it as I think it is, and I also admit it was my mistake to enlist as a member: I should have known better - but my excuse was that
at the time there were several tens of intelligent and sensible persons
who were writing on it, who since then were all removed, one after
another, evidently on purpose, evidently to suit the sadistic
inclinations of the sick shits and evident dumboes on it who did it,
who were all protected by the similarly qualified moderators. 
Then again, a considerable
part of the blame for the extra-ordinarily ill run Phoenix
Rising belongs to the - then - owner Cort Johnson, a strange and devious character
with a long past in est
(a form of psychobabble and bullshit for the higher educated).
It seems Phoenix Rising changed ownership in
August 2010 when it became a non-profit organization, but since I
stopped writing for it and withdrew in May 2010, feeling sorely abused
myself and having seen several large scale exercises in anonymous
public sadism on others - of the ever popular kind "let's destroy
everybody who stands out as more intelligent or as different from Us
Ordinary People" - that indeed did remove a number of people I liked, I
followed it far less closely than before, having concluded that rotters
were running it, and that I did not fit there, and also that I wanted
my name not to be associated with it.
I kept following it because there still were a few writing on it whom I
liked, and because it did have a lot of ME-related information, and
because, unlike the trolls who are so very popular there, I really have
ME/FM, with repeated medical diagnoses, and since 1.1.1979.
Anyway... the man who started it all and who allowed and furthered that
far better people than he got got discriminated and hunted away from
Phoenix Rising now apparently got discriminated and hunted away:
Incidentally: The report is
by Polly, who is a sensible woman, but this is one of the sites which
also is the haunt of the atrocious V99, so this is another site I only
briefly dip in to avoid too much spontanenous puking and disgust: I am
neither a sadist nor a masochist, and I also dislike reading the prose
of idiots and fanatics.
You can find a link to Cort Johnson's new site there, which I do not
wish to link to from my site, though I don't mind quoting him:
after creating Phoenix Rising and two and a half years after
turning it into a non-profit I am leaving Phoenix Rising and
creating a new website. I don’t think either the Board of Phoenix
Rising nor I want to get into the nitty-gritty of what happened.
Good riddance, I suppose,
though I very much doubt PR will improve: It has the wrong model,
though indeed it may be OK for patients with ME who are not well
educated and who want to socialize with other patients and find
information about their disease.
The site is not a non-profit but I could use your support in several
Cort Johnson's removal from Phoenix Rising seems good news to me,
simply because he stood by and did absolutely nothing while far better
persons than he is were grossly, repeatedly and sadistically abused,
and I'd like to know why he was at long last kicked out, as
seems very likely he was. Since I am not a member of Phoenix Rising
since May 2010, I cannot follow the members only discussions, and on
the parts of the site I can see, I can find nothing about the removal
of Cort Johnson.
My readers may well disagree, and if one hasn't carefully followed the
writings on Phoenix Rising and then on MECFS (a site started by others,
but very soon taken over by Patricia Carter) one might miss the same
pattern I have seen over and over again: Someone distinguishes himself
or herself, that is, stands out from the crowd, and then part of the
crowd, generally led by a few like "Esther12" and "Bob" starts grossly
offending that one person. I wrote out some it about the MECFS site in
2010: ME + me : Animal Forum
- 3: Slaughterhouse 11
Note that describes just 2 months of the goings on on MECFS forums then
freshly created, and is mostly not about me. At the time I described
the modus operandi, which is a cruel teamsport, rather like bear
First you find out what will
offend someone deeply.
Having found it you offend him or her deeply and rudely, but deny you
The other(s) of your team move in to accuse the offended one for
The original offender "apologizes", ambiguously, as if it is the
The other members of the team accuse the offended of not being polite.
And offend in one half of the sentence, and deny they offend in the
For those with a hangup on SM
it is a fascinating game.
In that last link you find the reasons why I removed myself from
Three more points:
(1) One of the things I find despicable is that almost everyone
involved is anonymous, and almost none of these anonymous folks
would have dared to say what they said if there was a fair chance of
finding them or naming and shaming them publicly with their real names
and addresses, and also they rarely have their own site, so they simply
cannot be found, and rely on that.
I find that sick, but indeed it is not limited to forums for patients
with ME/CFS, and trolls who claim to be patients. It seems to happen on
many forums, that I generally avoid reading forums for that reason.
(2) I have been a member of several forums for people with an interest
in programming, and regularly read several more such forums,
and my finding there was that while on these forums as well most go by
some alias, and while I saw some bickering (in more than 10 years
of reading such forums) it all was far less than on the
abovementioned forums "for patients with ME/CFS", while the dedicated
hunting in packs after one lone member I have seen nowhere else.
(It is also true I generally avoid forums, except in the subjects I
mentioned, and I also normally avoid reading comments sections.)
(3) Also, on these other forums, for programmers - and I have read at
least four these regularly for years, and in two cases for some ten
years - people were generally more polite, more kind, more intelligent,
more informed, and more helpful, and either there were no moderators,
and differences of opinion were almost always quickly settled, or else
there were moderators who were polite, sensible and impartial.
By and large, I found the differences with three or four ME/CFS-forums
I have also read quite striking.
P.S. Dec 30 2012: Added the above note, corrected a
non0working link, and undid some typos.
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: