July 24, 2013
Crisis: Hedges, Warren, Alexander, "Terrorism", DSM requiem
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

Prev- crisis -Next

1. Chris Hedges: The Liberal Elite has Betrayed the People
Warren Balks at Student Loan Deal
NSA's Keith Alexander Calls Emergency Private Briefing
I’m Three Hops from a Terrorist
Requiem for DSM
About ME/CFS


It still is the case that sleeping remains quite difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at the moment.

Anyway - and no, sleeping did not much improve, so far. (It's mostly pains of various kinds that keep me awake or wake me up: eyes, arms, legs.)

Presently it is 26 degrees Celsius where I am, in my house in Amsterdam, which is too hot, for me. But OK... I am doing somewhat well, and will write soon about the probable reason, viz. the mB12 protocol, that I halved as regards mB12 and MF, with - so far! - decent results.

Also, I have added a quotation by I.F. Stone, that seems to me to be quite correct, and especially so about the Obama government, though it is true of all government and all governors: You cannot trust people who have very much more power than you have, and who are virtually beyond any attack - and this also is the case when they (purport to) "mean well".

The main news today is that there is part 4 from 7 of the Real News interview with Chris Hedges, that is quite good, in which he clearly says what I have been saying for some 35 years now: "The liberal Úlite" is dead, and killed itself by lying, posturing and corruption, and besides by poisoning itself by post-modernism and identity-politics, that I will come to when I deal with the essay.

The rest is a mixed bag:
Elizabeth Warren balks at the incredible raise in interest on student loans; Keith Alexander made an attempt to deal with criticism;  Yves Smith finds she is 2 or 3 hops away from terrorists or "terrorists"; and there also is last bit on psychiatry and the reasonably fair dr. Ghaemi.

Also, I have slept a bit better and am feeling a bit better, for the moment, so I did write more in comments.

1. Chris Hedges: The Liberal Elite has Betrayed the People

To start with, here is part four (from seven) of the interview Paul Jay of the Real News - that I hope lasts: they're good - had with Chris Hedges, and this time I have it from the site of the Real News, that also has a text-version, which is quite helpful. I give - as is usual for me - the actual title:

The real title and the content give me some bitter joys, for I have been saying this for over 35 years now, and the general response - screamed at me in 1988, by 16 academically employed "philosophers" of the UvA, all parasites, all morally degenerate folks, without the least talents of any kind other than parasiting, who indeed removed me, and denied me the M.A. and the Ph.D. in philosophy - that I was "a fascist" and "a terrorist", and indeed after the last (repeated) disqualification I stepped down as an invited speaker.

Again, my brother (who does not live in Holland) and I have the best possible resistance background: Both parents communists; both members of the resistance as was my father's father; both my father and his father arrested and convicted to German concentration-camps as "political terrorists" by corruptly collaborating Dutch judges ...

... I repeat this here because it is all so very plain and obvious that very few people can be trusted; that most people, in nearly all circumstances, are - socially safe! - collaborators, out of personal weakness, stupidity, greed, corruption, ease or what not; and also, as Hedges says, that "the Left" is dead, and has been dead since the 1990ies, basically due to Clinton, Blair and Kok, three personal careerists who destroyed the left, quite intentionally so, and who replaced it by what is called "the Third Way" or "Blatcherism", that was basically a sell out to the PR firms, and nothing else.

Here is the beginning of the interview, that is quite fair and honest:

JAY: Millions of people unemployed, millions of people have lost their houses, and for a long time the left was saying the crash is coming, the crash is coming, the people will rise up. Well, the crash came, and some people rose up, but not in the kind of critical numbers that would have shaken or, as in the previous episode you said, terrified the elites. Why?

HEDGES: Because the traditional liberal elite divorced itself from the issue of justice to embrace for the last few decades issues such as gender equality, multiculturalism, identity politics, all of which I support. But while they busied themselves with these activities, the working class was being destroyed through NAFTA and the outsourcing of jobs, the stagnation, in essence reduction of the minimum wage.The Democratic Party used to watch out for the interests of labor and even for the poor. But that all changed under Bill Clinton. Although Clinton, like Obama, continues to speak in that feel-your-pain language of traditional liberalism, they've completely betrayed the very people that they purport to represent and defend.
Yes, quite so. A bit further on, there is a good part of the explanation for the U.S. which happened in fact in the 1950ies:
[HEDGES] Now, the problem is that the radical movements that were able to push the liberal elites to respond have been destroyed. We don't have any anymore. In the long war against our internal and external enemies in the name of anti-communism, they've been utterly decimated, culminating in the 1950s with these huge purges. Ellen Schrecker has written two good books about this. You know, thousands, thousands of high school teachers, social workers, artists, directors, journalists like I. F. Stone were pushed out. I. F. Stone--.

JAY: And particularly trade unionists.

HEDGES: And trade unionists.
Here is one of the main results:
JAY: And it kind of goes together. When the movement's so weak, a lot of the elite says, well, we don't need to safety valve, 'cause the pressure's not building.

HEDGES: Well, that's precisely the problem. There is no pressure from the other side. And the liberal elites, you know, while they can speak in a rhetoric that is reminiscent of that rhetoric--and Obama does it, certainly--serves their paymasters, which are Wall Street and defense contractors and the fossil fuel industry.
And there is this:
[HEDGES] We are the most surveilled, monitored, eavesdropped, controlled, watched population in human history, and I speak as somebody who covered the Stasi state in East Germany. (..) We are seeing the corporate state dismantle programs that once provided benefits like unemployment payments or social programs to the poor, to the elderly, to students, to make us even more frightened and more easily manipulated. I mean, there's a kind of awful logic to what they're doing. And, you know, it is--those forms of repression are quite effective. We have shifted, I think, from a democratic state to a species of corporate totalitarianism.
And this:
HEDGES: Well, right-wing populism or fascism is a very real possibility. And I think that we are particularly vulnerable to that because our progressive populist and radical movements virtually don't exist, and because the liberal center is so discredited.
There is rather a lot more in the full interview, but I think you can understand why Chris Hedges is frightened and unhappy.

Note that I have no cures: I have seen this happening over the course of 35 or 40 years, and I saw nobody protest in a rational fashion (other than myself), while I saw the whole "leftist" elite behave as a corrupt mob, all eager for collaboration, higher pay, better positions, while mounting their "progressive" lies - for while I agree with Hedges on much, I disagree with him on "
gender equality, multiculturalism, identity politics": These were, at best, the froth on a totally disappeared leftist cake and were entirely meaningless without a truly leftist group to support them.

Also, these are "progressive signals" you just can't shovel down the throats of the uneducated masses, and indeed are mere empty signals signifying nothing without the power to upkeep them.

But OK - I don't really mind, for these "ideals" have been given up essentially for what they were: meaningless show-cases of a meaningless "good will", that does not and cannot work without real power to back it up, which has not been there, since 1995 at the very latest.

2. Warren Balks at Student Loan Deal

Next, there is Elizabeth Warren, on Truth Dig:

In fact, she said:

“If Republicans insist that we continue to make the same $184 billion in profit off of the student loan program, that just means that students in future years will have to pay higher rates to make up the difference,” Warren wrote in the email. “I don’t believe in pitting our kids against each other. In fact, I think this whole system stinks.”

She continued: “We should not go along with any plan that demands that our students continue to produce huge profits for our government. Making billions and billions in profits off the backs of students is obscene.”

I quite agree, though I doubt she will win the vote, simply because most seem to be corrupted.

3. NSA's Keith Alexander Calls Emergency Private Briefing

Then there is this in the Huffington Post:

This starts as follows [1]:
The National Security Agency called for a "top secret" meeting with members of the House on Tuesday to lobby against the first House amendment to challenge the agency's authority to cull broad swaths of communications data, according to an invitation circulated in Congress.
and a little later says
The invitation warned members that they could not share what they learned with their constituents or others. "The briefing will be held at the Top Secret/SCI level and will be strictly Members-Only," reads the invite.
Then again, I agree with Senator Wyden that this is a lot more than could have been expected 8 weeks ago, and the difference is mainly due to Snowden and Greenwald.

4. I’m Three Hops from a Terrorist

Then there is this, by Yves Smith, from Naked Capitalism:
Actually, my grandfather was locked up as "a political terrorist" in 1941, as was my father (by the Nazis: they were among the very few who really resisted), and I have been removed by my generation of collaborating careerists who screamed at me that I am "a fascist terrorist", namely for only asking questions, so I would be rather amazed if (1) I am not one of the "terrorists", which (2) I will never find out, because the materials about my father and grandfather also were secret.

I don't really know, and trust I will never find out, but I would not be amazed if I am being checked, even though it also is true that I am one of the least terroristic persons I know of, who did not even throw anything at a police-agent.

Anyway... the article is worth reading, because it explains why many of my readers may be three hops away from "a terrorist" - which is, in my opinion, anyway a bullshit concept, that nearly always is a pretext to mislead.

5.  Requiem for DSM

Finally, I am a bit amazed to be able to list and quote a decent article from the Psychiatric Times, even though it is by dr. Nassir Ghaemi, whom I have quoted before, and who is one of the small minority of mostly sane psychiatrists:
Yes indeed! It is true that dr. Ghaemi and I don't agree on several things, but it is also true that he is one of the few real psychiatrists I know of who more or less consistently has been opposing the DSM for mostly sound reasons.

Indeed, dr. Ghaemi's convictions in this came about in a quite different way than my own (who is a psychologist and a philosopher, not a psychiatrist), as he describes himself in his second paragraph:
When I graduated a generation ago, I accepted DSM-IV as if it were the truth. I trusted that my elders would put the truth first, and then compromise for practical purposes where they had no truths to follow. It took me 2 decades to realize a painful truth, spoken now frankly by those who gave us DSM-III when Ronald Reagan was elected and DSM-IV when Bill Clinton was president: the leaders of those DSMs don’t believe there are scientific truths in psychiatric diagnosis—only mutually agreed upon falsehoods.1 They call it reliability.
So I was there long before Dr Ghaemi (and also I am considerably older), but that does not matter - or at least not very much, though Dr Ghaemi also explains that the rot really dates back to the DSM III, which was published in 1980:
The Board of Trustees of the APA had to finalize and approve DSM-III. Somewhere along the line, 2 dozen diagnoses became 265 disorders (not modifiers), without a single piece of new scientific evidence for the other 241.

I suggest you read new historical books that carefully study the minutes of DSM-III task forces and other documentation.4,5 You’ll understand why about 90% (241 of 265) of DSM-III diagnoses are unscientific, and you’ll also understand how even the poor 2 dozen that had decent scientific evidence were distorted and deformed.

Indeed - and that is one of the roots of the real problem: The insane proliferation of "diagnoses" by which people can be declared insane, based essentially on absolutely nothing - other than "the power of psychiatry", which in fact is faith-based baloney and the need of most of its members to make money, that corrupted the vast majority.

Then again, a little further on, dr. Ghaemi has a criticism which I might take personally, although I don't:

Yet strident critics of DSM, often psychologists, are wrong: they want to claim that there is no part of psychiatry, not a single shred, that is medically legitimate: there are no diseases in psychiatry. But there are psychiatric diseases (eg, schizophrenia, manic depression), just not almost 200 of them.

Can anyone accept this notion? That DSM is not 100% false (it is 91.9% false, based on the original 2 dozen RDC criteria divided by 297 DSM-IV diagnoses), and not 100% true either. That there are diseases (in psychiatry as well as in medicine), but most clinical pictures (in medicine as well as in psychiatry) are not diseases.

One reason (there are more) why I don't take this personally is that I agree - and have indeed done so for something like 45 years now. (But then I was never seriously interested in a mostly nonsensical subject like psychiatry - "you do not have the beginning of the knowledge you need!" - and indeed I also never worked as a psychologist - though I wrote much more than most do, and also am much more read, is also true.)

Also, I do not agree with all dr. Ghaemi claims, and notably not with this:
Our DSM leaders did not lie; they deceived themselves, which is worse, because then they could honestly mislead the rest of us. Our strident antipsychiatry critics do not lie; they mistake half the truth for the whole, which is worse, because irrationally held truths are more harmful than reasoned errors.
No, that's simply nonsense, for several reasons.

Firstly, leaders who introduce a diagnostic manual of which 92% of the diagnoses are essentially based on nothing (other than made up lists of criterions, that are based on nothing or on piffle and bullshit), and who maintain this for something like 33 years now, must have been lying, for a good part, unless their IQs were lower than 85, which is certainly not the case.

There really is no rational way around this - and that is all wholly apart from the many billions that psychiatrists were expected to gain from this, collectively, and that they also did gain from this.

Secondly, I am not an antipsychiatrist, and even though dr. Ghaemi quotes T.H. Huxley as a source for his quaint opinion that "
irrationally held truths are more harmful than reasoned errors", that is bound to be a mistake in most cases: You want people to believe the truth - and you ought to know most cannot reason out most truths, even if they tried and thought they could.

To take just one example:

I agree with dr. Ghaemi at least 9 out of 10 of the diagnoses in the DSM-5 (and IV and III) should not have been there, for nearly total lack of real support.
But millions upon millions have been diagnosed in these essentially nonsensical terms, and have been medicated because of these diagnoses, and very many - though not: all - have been led into serious problems because of the lousy qualities of the pills they took. (See dr. Healy, to see what I have in mind: There is a great deal to complain about.)

If this had not happened, for some quite irrational reason, such as God's decision to stay the hand of the APA leadership to sign to these mock diagnoses, also in a manner that no rational man can explain, then very many people would have been saved from very many very serious difficulties. [2]

Unfortunately God did not do so - but the example seems to me fair enough to show one cannot rely on the glib apothegms of Darwin's propagandist, as if these apothegms are reliable.

But OK... dr. Ghaemi meant and means well, but indeed it is too late for a rational and scientific psychiatry, for there too the bastards and the liars have triumphed, and the few intelligent decent people have been abused and sidelined.

[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

[2] They might have had other ones, I am willing to agree - but surely not as many as they got being diagnosed in false ways, and getting ill researched pills, with undisclosed dangers.

About ME/CFS (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:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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