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Nederlog


  February
18, 2014
Crisis+me+ME: Scheer, Assange, Spiegel, G°tzsche, ads & internet
   "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton
















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Sections
Introduction

1. Honoring the ‘Accomplices’ to Truth Who Caught Clapper
     in a Lie

2. We Demand an Investigation: NSA and GCHQ Spying on
     WikiLeaks

3. Striking Back: Germany Considers Counterespionage
     Against US

4. Get Real: Peter G°tzsche Responds
5. On advertisements, education, sadism and internet
About ME/CFS

Introduction:

This is in part a crisis file and in part continues what I wrote yesterday about advertisements and about sadism.

The first three items are regular crisis items, while the fourth is an update about the mental sickness called psychiatry, for indeed it comes to that, if you do not have a real science, but only function as an idiot eager to prescribe anybody any patented hugely profitable drugs for almost any reason.

These are the four more or less regular crisis items. The last item continues yesterday's items on advertisements and on sadism: it has become very easy for the unintelligent to get on line - and to fuck up almost anybody's good and careful work, at least if this is activism.

Note that all I do here is to register a very dominant and - to me - quite frighening tendency: I can't do anything to undo it or to stop it.

1. Honoring the ‘Accomplices’ to Truth Who Caught Clapper in a Lie

The first article is by Robert Scheer on Truth Dig:
It repeats news I reported yesterday, but the news was fairly important, and the reaction is word reading, and starts thus:

The tide is turning. Yesterday’s traitor is today’s hero, and the brave journalists who helped Edward Snowden get the word out are at last being honored for their public service. Or so one hopes.

On Sunday it was announced that the prestigious George Polk Award for National Security Reporting would be given to the four journalists – Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman – most active in reporting about the content of the NSA documents leaked by Snowden. The award, named after a CBS News correspondent killed in 1948 while covering the civil war in Greece, is intended to honor journalists who “heightened public awareness with perceptive detection and dogged pursuit of stories that otherwise would not have seen the light of day.”

That is, of course, the very purpose of the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press, an indelible standard of freedom subverted by figures like James R. Clapper Jr., the president’s director of national intelligence, who condemned those reporters as “accomplices” to Snowden’s disclosures and suggested that telling the truth should be treated as a serious crime. Of course, Clapper’s own blatant lies to the Senate Intelligence Committee, denying mass-scale surveillance of the American public under his direction, are to be presumed virtuous.
Yes, indeed - and I also note the "Or so one hopes", to which I add: "though not if one is an ordinary "journalist" today, who is there to serve the corporations, and gets paid by them".

And that is one of the major problems of the present times: the lack of good, independent investigative journalists and their being classified as "accomplices" and "terrorists" by the sick military figures who try to make the U.S. into a police-state.

As Scheer also says, quite correctly:
There is no evidence that this reporting has weakened the U.S. government’s ability to protect the nation or that the NSA’s mass surveillance of the private communications of Americans has made us safer.

On the contrary, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, concluded, after an exhaustive investigation in the wake of the Snowden revelations, that the NSA surveillance program should be ended, as it is ineffectual and dangerous to our freedoms.
But you can read it all by following the last dotted link.

2. We Demand an Investigation: NSA and GCHQ Spying on WikiLeaks

The next article is by Julian Assange on Common Dreams:
Here is part of his statement:
WikiLeaks strongly condemns the reckless and unlawful behavior of the National Security Agency. We call on the Obama administration to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the extent of the NSA’s criminal activity against the media including WikiLeaks and its extended network.

News that the NSA planned these operations at the level of its Office of the General Counsel is especially troubling. No less concerning are revelations that the US government deployed "elements of state power" to pressure European nations into abusing their own legal systems; and that the British spy agency GCHQ is engaged in extensive hostile monitoring of a popular publisher’s website and its readers.

The NSA and its UK accomplices show no respect for the rule of law. But there is a cost to conducting illicit actions against a media organization. We have already filed criminal cases against the FBI and US military in multiple European jurisdictions. The FBI’s paid informant, who attempted to sell information about me and my staff to the FBI, was imprisoned earlier this year.

No entity, including the NSA, should be permitted to act against journalists with impunity. We have instructed our General Counsel Judge Baltasar Garzˇn to prepare the appropriate response. The investigations into attempts to interfere with the work of WikiLeaks will go wherever they need to go. Make no mistake: those responsible will be held to account and brought to justice.’

I think he is justified, although I doubt that, at least now, "those responsible will be held to account and brought to justice". Then again, there is the next item:

3. Striking Back: Germany Considers Counterespionage Against US

Next, an article by SPIEGEL Staff in the international edition of the Spiegel:
This starts as follows:

The question seemed out of place, especially when asked three times. A female journalist from a satire magazine wanted to know if Thomas de MaiziŔre liked cheese snacks. "Questions like that are more appropriate for breakfast television than here," the minister snipped back. It was de MaiziŔre's first visit as interior minister to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency. And he was in no mood for jokes.

Instead, the minister preferred to focus on the basics during the appearance two weeks ago, with counterespionage at the top of his list. The issue, he warned, shouldn't be underestimated, adding that the question as to who was doing the spying was but of secondary importance.

In other words: Germany intends to defend itself against all spying efforts in the future, even if they are perpetrated by supposed friends.

While the minister's words may have sounded innocuous, they marked nothing less than the start of a political about-face. Away from the public eye, the German government is moving toward implementing plans to turn its own spies against partner countries like the United States, putting allies on the same level as the Chinese, Russians and North Koreans.

That seems to me a false direction and a mistaken initiative: The correct reply to being spied upon is not to liberate one's own spying. Then again, as the article explains, it seems to be the case Germany has not got anything from the US after the news that Chancellor Merkel's phone was tapped for a long time.

Anyway - there is a lot more in the article, and no doubt there will be more later.

4. Get Real: Peter G°tzsche Responds

Next an article by David Healy (introduction) and Peter
G°tzsche (article):
I will quote from the introduction by David Healy (minus the red color):

History will recognize Peter as the man who, among other achievements, prised open the question of access to RCT data, forcing the European Medicines’ Agency to open up their files. His motivation to do this came in part from a discovery of how appallingly bad the state of affairs in psychiatry IS. How almost all trials on which the field depends are ghostwritten, all data withheld and all dissent suppressed. Whatever it is this is not science and there has to be a good chance it’s killing and disabling more people prematurely than it helps.

What you hear from Peter is a howl of horror. The rest of us have got so inured to the situation we can no longer see how bad it is. The Allied troops arriving at concentration camps must have reacted the same way, where many inmates had gotten used to the situation.

It’s quite possible as George Dawson says that psychiatrists could make equivalent comments about other concentration camps in internal medicine. That doesn’t excuse what’s happening in either psychiatry or the rest of medicine. It’s time to Get Real or at least recognize how an outsider from the media or elsewhere would react if they found out what is really going on.

Peter’s response to George Dawson is here.

You can see his response by clicking the above link - and Dawson seems to be a young bearded nutter who got lost in psychiatry, and will defend it against all arguments and all comers, I guess because he has a soft job.

5.
On advertisements, education, sadism and internet

This continues yesterday's items:
I have linked them so that you can check them out, but I will here formulate their main points:
  • British TV-viewers each watch, on average, 47 advertisements while wasting the four hours they daily spend on average on TV.
  • The Brits get served 2,800,000,000 adverts - 2.8 billion - adverts a day, and that is just by television.
  • The ordinary trolls are in fact "prototypical everyday sadists".
You may doubt this, as you may doubt everything, but these seem to be all facts, and they have been investigated and counted carefully, and this also holds for the third outcome (which in fact I thought ever since I got internet in 1996).

But I am now less interested in the third outcome than in the other two:

I live in a world where almost everyone reads more advertisements and more propaganda than he or she reads books or solid facts; where only a very small minority really knows any science, and generally feels proud of that; where the average person believes - by the tens or hundreds of millions - totally insane religious (Christian right), political (GOP, Tea party) and medical (psychiatrists are real scientists, who care more for you than for their own excellent incomes) complete bullshit, and now, by the force of computers, can "unite" with his or her own equals, and deflect, flounder or destroy almost any rational initiative, for they can do so simply by clicking on some piece of ill-written nonsense prepared by some hidden anonymous propagandist or troll, whom they generally also defend, because they feel flattered and pampered by them, and indeed they are.

That is: I have seen the lower half of the ability and intelligence range arrive at the internet the last 10 or 15 years or so, and at having computers (generally these days: tablets, which in fact look quite primitive, but then also require no thought and no knowledge), and by finding the internet prepared for them, namely by providing artificial websites for the lower half of the abilities range (Facebook), that steal their data, so as to give them more "personalized" advertisements, which the majority seems to like and approve rather than detest.

My point is that this is quite different from how things used to be:

Fifty years ago - say: it doesn't matter that much - there were far too many advertisements, but this was as nothing compared to the incredible amounts of propaganda and public relations poured out over everyone nowadays, for every corporation now has its own propaganda departments (generally styled as "public relations"), with the result that the vast majority reads more propaganda and ads than anything else; and fifty years ago - again it doesn't matter much - the average and sub-average minds were as unintelligent as these are nowadays, but they only stole elections, and were mostly ineffective otherwise, whereas these days they may get organized by propagandists and trolls and anyway are absolutely everywhere, with billions of ill-written "opinions" on absolutely everything, almost wherever one looks. (This is also why I have no space for comments.)

This is really radically different from how things were, and these changes have happened within the last ten or fifteen years, at most. I find it disquieting, especially because it makes all rational activism almost impossible, and because there is nothing I can do about it.

---------------------------------
Note
[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.)

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)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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