Prev-IndexNL-Next

Nederlog


  March
8, 2014
Crisis: Cycling, Women, Europe, Tracking, California, Economics, DSM rewrite
   "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
















Prev- crisis -Next
Sections
Introduction

1. I have got a bicycle again!
2. International Women's Day
3. 
What Europe Should Know about US Mass Surveillance
4. Do Companies Have a First Amendment Right to Track
     You?

5.
California’s Coming Minimum Wage Restoration
6. It’s Now Mainstream Economics that Runaway
     Inequality Hurts the Economy …

7. The Great "Crazy" Coverup: Harm Results from
     Rewriting the History of DSM
About ME/CFS

Introduction:

This is mostly a crisis item, but not wholly so: the first two items are respectively about myself and about women, and the last item is about the DSM-5. The others are about the crisis, and there is also a fair bit by Snowden, in item 3.

1. I have got a bicycle again!

The big news for today is personal news: I have got a bicycle again! I bought it yesterday, second hand, and cycled today for an hour, and really liked that.

You may think that isn't much, and that the news also is neither great nor special, but while this is true in a general sense, it is false in a personal sense: I bought another bicyle late in August of 2013, and started cycling then, and that was the first time I cycled this century. Before that I simply did not have the health to do it. And I had to give up cycling again after three months, because then my bike got stolen.

The present one is equipped with two locks, to which must (still) be added a third, but even so I will be amazed if I have the present bike in a year's time, and it  will not have been stolen: you can't even list a stolen bike anymore with the police, just as everything fails in Holland in case you dare to protest with the police that you have been threatened with murder and have been gassed by illegal drugsdealers who are protected by the mayors and the aldermen.

All this protection - by the way - has a very sound financial reason:

According to the numbers of the parliamentary Van Traa report, the last 25 years some 250 billion euros worth in soft drugs alone have been turned over in Holland, and according to me some 5% of that has found its way into the pockets of the Amsterdam mayors and/or their lawyers. (I must be guessing, for everyone in Holland whose duty it is to investigate these things has looked the other way the last - extremely profitable, and also untaxed - 25 years.)

But the court system and the judiciary in Holland also is totally sick and degenerate:

No Dutch judge has seen it as his or her moral or legal duty to protest against the illegal transactions -  viz. that persons get personal permission by the mayors to act as illegal softdrugs dealers from places assigned to them by the mayors, often - or even has even questioned these policies, that are very widespread and totally illegal. Not in
25 years.

But OK...Americans and other foreigners now should know that the coffee-shops they visit to get stoned are in fact illegal, and are only there because the Amsterdam mayors have worked out a system of which everyone profits in Holland who is rich or powerful already: the mayors, the dealers, the police, the district attorneys no doubt all get their parts, and only a poor and ill idiot like I am, who protests, and that only after he gets gassed by the dealers that mayor Ed van Thijn had put in his house, gets removed from the University as "a fascist terrorist" (with a better resistance-background than anybody else in the university!) and merely for asking questions, while I have now for 30 years been dealt as if I am a fraud by the degenerates who run the Amsterdam dole, who still have not admitted these 30 years that I have dole that I am ill.

Back to my topic: I still could afford to buy another bike, and I can ride it again, for an hour a day, and that feels quite good to me.

2. International Women's Day

You may or may not know that March 8 is the International Women's Day. I still can recall March 8, 1980, when, in Amsterdam at least, "everybody" was a feminist, certainly at the University of Amsterdam, and "everybody" took part in the festivities, and for all the daily papers this was frontpage news: "It Is International Women's Day!"

That was 34 years ago. Three days ago, I dealt with this topic:

Violence against women is "an extensive human rights abuse" across Europe with one in three women reporting some form of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15 and 8% suffering abuse in the last 12 months, according to the largest survey of its kind on the issue, published on Wednesday.

The survey, based on interviews with 42,000 women across 28 EU member states, found extensive abuse across the continent, which typically goes unreported and undetected by the authorities.

Two days ago, I read in the paper that in Holland things are going very well:

Women no longer earn 20% less than men, for the same work; they now earn 18% less than men, still for the same work. Glory, glory hallelujah!

Two percent less, and still nearly 1/5th less than men. For the same work. In only 34 years!

And today, I did not find even a mention that it is the international woman's day in the Dutch papers that I checked...

Besides, meanwhile Heleen Mees and company have succeeded in making most women fully working wage slaves "because that is good for them", and besides, from one income one cannot raise a family anymore: Thanks to feminism + corporatism, now both adults in a family are wage slaves, also normally with little choice about this.

So no: I will never be a feminist, but I like it if women were to earn the same as men and I dislike it that women are physically abused, and the reason I will never be a feminist is that being "a feminist" (especially since I am a man) seems to me the way to support Germaine Greer and Heleen Mees to make their careers, always in the name of "feminism", but also always restricted to their own careers (and a few women like them), as can also be seen from the facts listed earlier.

3.   What Europe Should Know about US Mass Surveillance 

The next article is by Edward Snowden. I found it on Common Dreams:

Here are a number of points I all agree with, that are all in Snowden's words, as a written answer to an investigative panel of the European Parliament, or in answer to specific questions Snowden was asked.

The only things that are not by Snowden are the "---"s that separate the quoted bits. But then I have deleted a fair amount of text. On the other hand, I think most of what follows is quite clear, and it all is presented in the order in which it was published:

The first principle any inquiry must take into account is that despite extraordinary political pressure to do so, no western government has been able to present evidence showing that such programs are necessary.

---

The most recent of these investigations, performed by the White House's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, determined that the mass surveillance program investigated was not only ineffective -- they found it had never stopped even a single imminent terrorist attack -- but that it had no basis in law. In less diplomatic language, they discovered the United States was operating an unlawful mass surveillance program, and the greatest success the program had ever produced was discovering a taxi driver in the United States transferring $8,500 dollars to Somalia in 2007.

---

I believe that suspicionless surveillance not only fails to make us safe, but it actually makes us less safe. By squandering precious, limited resources on "collecting it all," we end up with more analysts trying to make sense of harmless political dissent and fewer investigators running down real leads.

---

This should not have happened. I worked for the United States' Central Intelligence Agency. The National Security Agency. The Defense Intelligence Agency. I love my country, and I believe that spying serves a vital purpose and must continue. And I have risked my life, my family, and my freedom to tell you the truth.

---

These are not the capabilities in which free societies invest. Mass surveillance violates our rights, risks our safety, and threatens our way of life.

---

(...) if even the US is willing to knowingly violate the rights of billions of innocents -- and I say billions without exaggeration -- for nothing more substantial than a "potential" intelligence advantage that has never materialized, what are other governments going to do?

---

The right to be free of unwarranted intrusion into our private effects -- our lives and possessions, our thoughts and communications -- is a human right. It is not granted by national governments and it cannot be revoked by them out of convenience. Just as we do not allow police officers to enter every home to fish around for evidence of undiscovered crimes, we must not allow spies to rummage through our every communication for indications of disfavored activities.

---

Surveillance against specific targets, for unquestionable reasons of national security while respecting human rights, is above reproach. Unfortunately, we've seen a growth in untargeted, extremely questionable surveillance for reasons entirely unrelated to national security.

---

The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive, end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost- effective basis.

---

That our governments are even today unwilling to allow independent review of the secret policies enabling mass surveillance of innocents underlines governments' lack of faith that these programs are lawful, and this provides stronger testimony in favor of the rightfulness of my actions than any words I might write.

I leave the above quotations for the moment uncommented, except that I would like to see a fast introduction of pervasive end-to-end encryption.

4.  Do Companies Have a First Amendment Right to Track You? 

Next, an article by David Sirota on Truth Dig:
This starts as follows, and the whole article is in fact dedicated to the specific questioned outlined here:

Do corporations have a legal right to track your car? If you think that is a purely academic question, think again. Working with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, states are considering laws to prevent private companies from continuing to mass photograph license plates.

This is one of the backlashes to the news about mass surveillance. However, this backlash is now facing legal pushback from the corporations that take the photographs and then sell the data gleaned from the images.

In a lawsuit against the state of Utah, Digital Recognition Network, Inc. and Vigilant Solutions are attempting to appropriate the ACLU’s own pro-free speech arguments for themselves. They argue that a recent Utah law banning them from using automated cameras to collect images, locations and times of license plates is a violation of their own free speech rights. Indeed, in an interview, DRN’s counsel Michael Carvin defends this practice by noting, “Everyone has a First Amendment right to take these photographs and disseminate this information.”

Mr Carvin is, no doubt intentionally, confusing several things. For one thing, what he is really talking about is taking 50 million pictures each month, which no human being will ever see; for another, that is not free speech; for a third, even if relaying it to others were "speech", it is not stating anything the laws for "free speech" are for.

There is more in the article, but all I wanted to register here is another sick use of the Bill of Rights, that is intended to present the liberties that are taken with the law by corporations for their own profits, as if these things should be conceded because it is "free speech".

It is not.

5. California’s Coming Minimum Wage Restoration

Next, an article by Ralph Nader on his site:
This starts as follows:

If you haven’t yet heard of Ron Unz, you may soon. The conservative, successful software developer, theoretical physicist from Harvard and former publisher of the American Conservative magazine is launching a California initiative that asks voters in November to raise the state minimum wage to $12 per hour (it is now $8 an hour and is going to $9 an hour by July, 2014).

In commencing this effort, Mr. Unz is uniting conservatives and liberals in supporting this initiative and is hopeful that Silicon Valley billionaires or megabillionaires will help fund this citizens’ campaign.

If this sounds quixotic, put that reaction on hold. Mr. Unz’s mind seethes with logic. He believes that a left-right coalition behind a higher minimum wage makes perfect sense. Conservatives, he argues in many an article, would see a decline in taxpayer assistance to low-income people – food stamps, housing aid, Medicaid, etc. – if employers, not taxpayers, paid workers about what labor was paid in 1968, adjusted for inflation. And liberals have always believed in this social safety net on the grounds that workers earned it and that nobody, with or without children, working full time should be living in poverty.

Next month, my new book elaborates on the power of emerging left-right coalitions on many issues (Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State).

There is considerably more in the article. I think I like both the ideas raised in the quotation: To raise the minimum wage, and also that there are quite a few issues that could profit quite a lot from some left-right coalition(s).

Indeed, I also looked up Ron Unz on Wikipedia, and my one skeptical reaction comes from its noting his claim that he has an IQ of 214: I think that is rather unlikely, though I do not doubt he is quite intelligent.

6. It’s Now Mainstream Economics that Runaway Inequality Hurts the Economy …
 
Next, an article by Washington's Blog, of which I have again skipped part of the very long title:
Basically, this is a longish article that seeks to give considerable support to the thesis that many economists share the thesis that runaway inequality hurts the economy. (In fact, they ought to think so since Keynes, in the 1930ies.)

It also lists some niceties like this:

Economics professor Randall Wray writes:

Thieves … took over the whole economy and the political system lock, stock, and barrel.

No wonder the government has saved the big banks at taxpayer expense, chosen the banks over the little guy, and

No wonder crony capitalism has gotten even worse under Obama than under Bush.

No wonder big Wall Street players are continuing to loot taxpayer moneypublic resources. and

No wonder the big banks continue to manipulate every market and commit crime after crime and … and profit handsomely from it, while law-abiding citizens slide further and further behind.

Yet Obama is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than Bush, or his father, or Ronald Reagan.

That may seem radical, but it conforms to the facts.

7. The Great "Crazy" Coverup: Harm Results from Rewriting the History of DSM
 
Finally for today an article by
Paula J. Caplan about the DSM-5:
She is quite critical of Allen Frances, who merits this, and she starts with two quotations from Greenberg's "The book of woe: The DSM and the unmaking of psychiatry" (which I haven't read):

Psychiatric diagnosis is fiction sold to the public as fact.

[Psychiatry] has something rotten at its foundation: its have-it-both-ways, real-until-it-isn't diagnostic manual.

Both quotations are by Greenberg. I agree especially with the first, and like to add the explanation: Psychiatry is fiction sold to the public as fact, simply because that is the way psychiatrists make the most money.

Also, I will not give more quotations today, because I have over 45 Kb of file already, and because this probably will not be very interesting to most of my readers, but I may return to it later, in a Nederlog that is not dedicated to the crisis. (And you have the link, in case you are interested. And it is not a difficult article, I should add.)

I did like the article - but I should also say that I am the only psychologist who never earned a single cent with his M.A. even though that only had straight A's.

Also, I know only one person for whom this also holds: Suzy Chapman, who knows a great amount about the M.E., the DSM-5 and the ICD-10 and 11 (and certainly considerably more than I do about the DSM-5 and the ICDs), but who was removed from patient forums because ... "her writing was too complicated", according to the sadistic "patients" who said so, who were quite possibly for a good part psychiatrists posing as patients, and were anyway no more than very average, though morally quite degenerate, ill persons.

I must say that I find that all quite unfair: Suzy Chapman's treatment, my treatment, and the fact that almost anybody who writes about psychiatry does it to make a very good living from it, whether they defend the current sick institutions, or whether they write against them: they are doing it for money, though that may not be the only motive.
---------------------------------
Notes
[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] In contrast, I insist everybody is unequal, and some but not many are exceptional, and most of the exceptional people are unknown in the media.

[3] Two things that also should be mentioned here are these: First, the human average by and large is a rather bad, stupid, and egoistic lot - if you disagree: it is what the main religions tell you, as well - that also is much worse educated than it was until 45 years ago, at least in the West. Second, most exceptional people are not much better than the average, except for having one or two talents most lack.

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[2]
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



       home - index - summaries - mail