"They 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."
1. Edward Snowden has
started a global debate. So why the silence in Britain?
2. A Toddler on 3 Different Psychiatric Meds?
How Drugging Kids Became Big Business
Much More Likely to Be Killed By Lightning than by a Terrorist
And again there is not much
crisis news, today.
Part of the reason for that
is discussed by Simon Jenkins, in item 1: The eagerly willing
collaborators who run most of "journalism" these days think you
should not know what is happening, for if you would know, their
masters, and even they themselves, might be endangered. (Namely: Voted
out, and quite possibly legally prosecuted.)
At least, that is what I make of the nearly total media silence
in Britain on some of the major news stories and on the most major
political event of this year: Edward Snowden's revelations that everybody
is spied upon on a largescale, if not by their own governments then at
least by the NSA.
But then there's also that
most reliable, that most honest, conservative MP who "chairs" the
parliamentary intelligence and security committee...
1. Edward Snowden has started a global
debate. So why the silence in Britain?
The first item today is an article by Simon Jenkins that I liked, but
that Malcolm Rifkind - British conservative MP who "chairs" the British
parliament's intelligence and security committee - found "rubbish".
I start with Jenkins'
starts as follows:
The Brazilian president cancels a state visit to Washington. The German justice
minister talks of "a Hollywood nightmare". His chancellor, Angela Merkel,
ponders offering Edward Snowden asylum. The EU may even end the "safe harbour" directive which would force US-based
computer servers to relocate to European regulation. Russians and
Chinese, so often accused of cyber-espionage, hop with glee.
In response, an
embarrassed Barack Obama pleads for debate and a review of the Patriot Acts.
Al Gore refers to the Snowden revelations as "obscenely outrageous". The rightwing John McCain declares
a review "entirely appropriate". The Senate holds public hearings and summons security chiefs,
who squirm like mafia bosses on the run. America's once dominant
internet giants, with 80% of the globe under their sway, now face
"Balkanised" regulation round the world as nation states seek to
repatriate digital sovereignty.
And in Britain? Nothing.
so. The main question is: Why is that so? Here are some points by
Also, there is:
(..) the fourth amendment lurks deep in its culture, protecting
privacy from the state without due process and "probable cause".
Britain has no such amendment.
(...) the lying to
Congress. Snowden, a Republican former soldier, was simply shocked at
the clear collapse of congressional and judicial oversight.
Both are fair points, that do
hold for the U.S. and for Snowden. Next, as to the British:
While the NSA is
supposedly overseen by a foreign intelligence surveillance court – now
exposed as ineffective through being secret – GCHQ professes "a light
oversight regime compared with the US". Its overseers are patsies.
Yes indeed. And while there
is this consideration:
The UK reaction to
Snowden may in part be an awareness of cant and hypocrisy.
True - but then that is
based on solid ignorance. And here is most of Jenkins' conclusion:
The need for the
state to acquire and guard some secrets is not in question. But such a
claim has been blown out of all proportion. We have created a monster
that has overwhelmed the defences put in place to regulate it. I
suspect neither Hague nor Rifkind had any clue of the Prism and Tempora
programmes. They are the useful idiots of the security classes.
To me that all seemed quite
fair, but I am not amazed Malcolm Rifkind - categorized, for all I
know: fairly, in the class of "useful idiots" (in fact a phrase of
Lenin) - meanwhile has reacted:
The problem with the title is
that it makes a claim that (1) hardly anyone can verify or falsify,
while (2) almost everyone's private and personal
data are involved, and while (3) there also is absolutely nothing
that guarantees British laws are correct, either. In fact, (4) in the
most improbable case Rifkind is right, there is a lot that is amiss
with the British laws, and (5) there still is a lot to explain to the
people whose personal data are dealt with as if these are public
property, all without asking any of them any consent, and also not
with any judge being involved, at least that I know of.
Does Rifkind answer any of these points?
Well, judge for yourself. My own judgment is: Hardly - and the one
point he does meet, more or less, all depends on his
word, that is hardly reliable or credible, without any independent
Here is the ending of Rifkind's piece:
First, no human system is
perfect. The first statement is a non-statement. That is, it is
blather, as is most of the article.
Our system is not
perfect. There are occasions when the intelligence obtained may be of
such little value as not to justify the diminution in privacy
associated with obtaining it.
But I have yet to hear of
any other country, either democratic or authoritarian, that has both
significant intelligence agencies and a more effective and extensive
system of independent oversight than the UK and the US. If you know
any, Sir Simon, tell us who they are.
Second, the second statement is weaseling: It does not at all, in any
way, meet my criticism (2), viz. that Malcolm Rifkind is an MP who sees
no problem whatsoever in the total British population's personal
data being completely open to the governmental secret spies,
with hardly any control.
Third, the third statement is bluffing. The point is not whether or not
there are better systems: the point is whether the British (and the US)
populations' private data may be appropriated and searched by a few
hunderdthousands of supermen and superwomen, with private contracts
with Booz Allen and such (or whatever may be the case in England), and
that all of these few supermen and superwomen do, and read, and know,
must happen in utter secrecy, and must be taken on trust
by the population whose personal data are being plundered.
2. A Toddler on 3 Different Psychiatric Meds? How Drugging Kids
Became Big Business
Next, another topic, namely medical
corruption, that is enormous in the United States: tens of billions
dollars. In profits. Of which a small percentage is paid to buy off
This is on AlterNet, and in fact is a publication from a book by Enrico
This starts as follows:
On December 13,
2006, paramedics arrived at the Plymouth County, Massachusetts, home of
four-year-old Rebecca Riley only to find her slumped over on her
parents’ bed, dead. The medical examiner on hand identified the cause
of death as heart and lung failure brought about by the medications she
was on. Rebecca was being prescribed Depakote, Seroquel, and Clonidine
by Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, a Tufts–New England Medical Center child
psychiatrist. She had diagnosed Rebecca with ADHD and bipolar disorder
when she was two years old. Rebecca’s death provoked a national debate
on how a child as young as two could ever be diagnosed with major
mental illnesses and be put on powerful tranquilizers. Katie Couric
eventually covered the story in a CBS 60 Minutes segment.
Note the following points: (1)
"She had diagnosed Rebecca with
ADHD and bipolar disorder when she was two years old"; (2) she was "prescribed Depakote, Seroquel, and Clonidine", none of which is for children, but
all of which cost a lot of money. Also, (3) the child
psychiatrist who "diagnosed" her, almost certainly used the DSM-IV,
which is an artful and hardly sane work, that exists mostly to sell
more drugs. (The DSM 5 is even less sane. And in case you doubt my
judgments, consider the 100+ articles
I wrote the last 3 years about the DSM, as a psychologist and as a
philosopher of science. I may be biased, but I am definitely not
The above quote continues with the following flabbergasting nonsense:
Rebecca’s parents were tried for and convicted of murder due to
allegedly overdosing her.
I find that very astonishing:
They did not make the diagnosis. All they very probably (mis)did was to
believe (the vastly incompent) doctor Kifuji. Indeed, that the doctor
is or was vastly incompetent follows from the following statements,
that immediately follow:
But this harrowing
outcome didn’t take the national spotlight off the shocking revelation
that a toddler could be diagnosed with mental illness and put on not
just one but three powerful tranquilizers. None of the drugs Rebecca
was prescribed was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use
with kids her age—not then and not now. There was absolutely no robust
scientific justification for Dr. Kifuji making the medication choices
that she made.
Quite so. So why convict the
parents? Of murder?! Why should they suffer rather than
"the expert" whose advice they followed?! This article does not answer
these questions, but it does provide an answer about the motives of
The main answer
lies with the spectacular success of twenty-first-century
pharmaceutical marketing of psychiatric drugs.
And this was just the beginning
of a good article, that I recommend you to read, especially if
you know someone who goes to a psychiatrist: Either that person must be
quite hopelessly insane, or else the person should stop doing it, in my
In 2008, psychiatric
drugs sold in the United States netted their makers $40.3 billion. A
good portion of that amount involved drugs commonly prescribed to kids.
A Wall Street Journal report indicates that between 2002 and 2007,
prescriptions for psychiatric drugs for kids rose by nearly 45 percent.
The most recent estimates suggest that up to eight million American
kids are on one or more psychiatric medications. Meds for kids are big
business and highly profitable.
Prices of ADHD meds at
the middle dose for ninety pills on Drugstore.com in 2011 were
Concerta, $540; Vyvanse, $532; Intuniv, $500; Adderall, $278; and
Ritalin, $191. The price of the most common antidepressants, like
Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, and Wellbutrin, for ninety
pills, was around $380. Two of the drugs prescribed to Rebecca Riley by
Dr. Kifuji happen to be quite pricey. Drugstore.com rates in 2011 for
180 500 mg tablets of Seroquel were $1,048 and for Depakote, $708.
Also, in case one needs therapy, one is very probably at the
wrong address anyway, and certainly in the U.S.: Psychiatrists only
prescribe these days; psychologists, who have no right to prescribe,
still do therapies. And one's GP can far better prescribe mind-altering
drugs than some mostly unknown psychiatrist, in case one really
need them. Which one very probably does not.
Finally, since I am shortcutting this: If you want to know more,
especially about the side-effects of psychiatric drugs your doctors
rarely mention, try this:
He is a psychiatrist, but he
does know a lot about side-effects, and has been complaining about them
for some thirty years now. (There is a lot of material there, and the
second is to a selection of Healy's articles.)
You’re Much More
Likely to Be Killed By Lightning than by a Terrorist
The last of the regular
items (in the crisis series) for today is by Washington's Blog, and has
I should start this with
saying that I still have not translated all of my "On Terrorism", but I have made a
beginning. In any case, the above is the status of "terrorism"
in the U.S. and indeed in the rest of the Western world, and this has
been the case now for 12 years.
That is: the actual statistics are that, if you are an American, you
are 68 times more likely to be killed by lightning than
by a terrorist. For all of the last twelve years.
But where are all the governmental anti-lightning measures?! To Save -
Even More! - Lives?! (I know. I am being ironical.)
Since this has been so for twelve years now, I take my case is
proved, if not logically then at least empirically: "Terrorism" is and
always has been a pretext, and it is a pretext for wars, for
NSA spying, for even more banking power, for a further decline of the
middle class, for more poverty of many, and for much more that is bad
for almost everyone, except for the few who profit or govern.
In case you doubt this, you can look at the above article, that has
many more details.
 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
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
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
from is quite pertinent.)
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: