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Nederlog


  May
13, 2014
Crisis: Greenwald *2, Reich, Glaciers, Soviet Man, mB12-protocol
   "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. Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous,
     the state targets dissenters not just "bad guys"
 
2. Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made
     internet routers

3. How the Right Wing is Killing Women
4. Rising Sea Level Threat: Glaciers 'Beyond the Point of No
     Return'

5. The long life of Homo sovieticus
6. My mB12-protocol

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of May 13. It is a crisis issue.

It also starts - again - with two items with or about Glenn Greenwald, for the same reason as yesterday: His new book is published today. There also is an article by Reich, who convincingly shows that the U.S. has been getting worse and worse health care since 1990, and an article on the melting glaciers, that shows it will last a while, still. Also, there is a long article from 2011 about Russia that I liked, and I have a bit of information about my mB12 protocol, but nothing spectacular.

1.  Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous, the state targets dissenters not just "bad guys" 

The first item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Guardian:
In fact, this is a pre-publication of a part of his new book. "No Place To Hide".
I will start with quoting the epigraph:
Don't believe the argument that mass surveillance is only a problem for wrongdoers. Governments have repeatedly spied on anyone who challenges their power, says Glenn Greenwald in an extract from his book about Edward Snowden and the NSA, No Place to Hide
But what is "a wrongdoer"?! In the absence of any legal judgment? And almost always in the absence of hard evidence that those accused of "wrongdoing" did or said anything illegal?

The simple answer is: A "
wrongdoer" is anyone who opposes the present government, or parts of the government, or one or more persons in the government, in any way (also merely verbal).

And that is utterly insane totalitarian baloney, at least in a democratic and free and open society, where it is taken for granted, and indeed is a legal right, to differ in many ways from the opinions of many men and women, whether or not these men and women are members of the government.

But that
totalitarian baloney is dealt with, these days, as if it has the force of a papal opinion in the eyes of the catholic faithful: Whoever opposes the goverment is counted as a "wrongdoer" by the government - and against wrongdoers anything is permitted. As will be explained.

Next, here is Glenn Greenwald:

"Doing something wrong" in the eyes of such institutions encompasses far more than illegal acts, violent behaviour and terrorist plots. It typically extends to meaningful dissent and any genuine challenge. It is the nature of authority to equate dissent with wrongdoing, or at least with a threat.
In fact, by far the most "wrongdoers" only have some dissenting ideas and values, to which they have the legal right. But they are considered "wrongdoers" by the present authorities, simply because they are dissenting and because the present authorities are incredibly powerful, and can track and trace anyone, and do so.

Also, a word of criticism: I do not think that it "
is the nature of authority" to confuse dissenters and "wrongdoers": it is the nature of absolute non-democratic or totalitarian authority to do so; but it is not the nature of legal, non-totalitarian democratic authority.

What is true is that
legal, non-totalitarian democratic authority always has been in the minority in the world, till now at least, and what is also true is that the main way to see whether an authority is growing into a totalitarian form or has arrived there, is to see how they deal with non-violent dissent.

Here is more from Glenn Greenwald on the topic of how the US government recently dealt with non-violent dissent:

During the Bush years, for example, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed, as the group put it in 2006, "new details of Pentagon surveillance of Americans opposed to the Iraq war, including Quakers and student groups". The Pentagon was "keeping tabs on non-violent protesters by collecting information and storing it in a military anti-terrorism database". The evidence shows that assurances that surveillance is only targeted at those who "have done something wrong" should provide little comfort, since a state will reflexively view any challenge to its power as wrongdoing.
I have not quoted rather a lot of historical examples, that you can check out yourself. What interests me here is that it is very recent, and it gives a view of the Pentagon that shows it is totalitarian, and no longer democratic:
The Pentagon was "keeping tabs on non-violent protesters by collecting information and storing it in a military anti-terrorism database".
For these people are non-violent, and they only committed what Orwell called "a thought crime": they dissented from some opinions of some of their governors. And because of that, they are surveilled and stored in "a military anti-terrorism database", indeed quite as if they are terrorists (and with unknown consequences for the rest of their lives).

Not only that: these days secret services do far more than merely collecting information:

One PowerPoint slide presented by GCHQ surveillance officials at the 2012 SigDev conference describes two forms of attack: "information ops (influence or disruption)" and "technical disruption". GCHQ refers to these measures as "Online Covert Action", which is intended to achieve what the document calls "The 4 Ds: Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive".

Another slide describes the tactics used to "discredit a target". These include "set up a honeytrap", "change their photos on social networking sites", "write a blog purporting to be one of their victims" and "email/text their colleagues, neighbours, friends, etc".
This means that the present day secret services target their own population of persons if these are known to dissent from some of the opinions of some of their governors
   (1) as to be surveilled in any possible way, as if they are "terrorists";
   (2) to be opposed by secret service operations that are all grossly illegal -
namely: with the stated ends to "
Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive", indeed by the grossest and most illegal forms of trickery and deception, which
   (3) are supposed not to matter and not to be known by almost anyone,
       because they are done by the secret services.


This is the state doing the job an enemy's secret service might do on its own population of dissenters, all by completely illegal means, but all protected by secrecy and by many protections from the government.

Here is more on the operations of the GCHQ:
The document then lays out what it calls the "Disruption Operational Playbook". This includes "infiltration operation", "ruse operation", "false flag operation", and "sting operation". It vows a "full roll out" of the disruption programme "by early 2013" as "150+ staff [are] fully trained".
This is how Cameron's government tries to do politics these days and deals with those who dissented from some opinions of some of their governors: more than 150 totally secret illegal tricksters, trained in and proud of very many totally illegal means, and fully protected by all the forces of government, that tries to keep everything secret, are working to "Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive" anyone who dissents from Cameron and co's political wisdoms - indeed including the staff of the Guardian.

Here is the last bit of Glenn Greenwald - and no, you did not get "
All of the evidence": For that you need to read the last dotted link or buy the book:
All of the evidence highlights the implicit bargain that is offered to citizens: pose no challenge and you have nothing to worry about. Mind your own business, and support or at least tolerate what we do, and you'll be fine. Put differently, you must refrain from provoking the authority that wields surveillance powers if you wish to be deemed free of wrongdoing.
Yes, indeed. And if you are not "deemed free of wrongdoing", that is, if you publicly dissent in any way, then you risk that your life, your job, your boss, your relations, or your family become the subjects of secret attempts to "Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive", that are all covered, all lied about and are all kept secret by your very fine and noble governors.

2.  Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers

The next item is another article by Glenn Greenwald on The Guardian:

This starts as follows, and is, as the epigraph says, another quote from Greenwald's "No Place To Hide":

For years, the US government loudly warned the world that Chinese routers and other internet devices pose a "threat" because they are built with backdoor surveillance functionality that gives the Chinese government the ability to spy on anyone using them. Yet what the NSA's documents show is that Americans have been engaged in precisely the activity that the US accused the Chinese of doing.

As Greenwald makes clear, he thinks that it is entirely possible for the Chinese government to try to do so, or indeed to have done so.

The problem is that the NSA does the same, in secret, to anybody, it seems (for they are out, explicitly, they themselves say, to capture all the data they can get):
A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.

The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft … is very hands-on (literally!)".

Again, that is quite illegal - but don't worry: it's the government or their contractors who are being quite illegal - besides being very dangerous: others may find and use some of these "backdoor surveillance tools" as well, to start with.

There is considerably more under the last dotted link.

3.   How the Right Wing is Killing Women

The next item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:

This starts as follows:

According to a report released last week in the widely-respected health research journal, The Lancet, the United States now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.

To put it bluntly, for every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died. That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.

A woman giving birth in America is more than twice as likely to die as a woman in Saudi Arabia or China.

The reason is the bad state of the U.S. health care. Also, while you may - perhaps - doubt the Saudi Arabian or Chinese numbers, here are the U.S. numbers for 1990, 2003 and 2013:

In 1990, the maternal mortality rate in America was 12.4 women per 100,000 births. In 2003, it was 17.6. Now it’s 18.5.

That’s not a measurement error because we’ve been measuring the rate of maternal death in the United States the same way for decades.

By contrast, the rate has been dropping in most other nations.

There is quite a lot more that I skip, but here is Reich's conclusion:

Right-wing ideology is trumping the health needs of millions of Americans.

Let’s be perfectly clear: These policies are literally killing women.

Yes, I think they are.

4. Rising Sea Level Threat: Glaciers 'Beyond the Point of No Return'

The next item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:
Glaciers in the West Antarctic "have passed the point of no return," threatening greater sea level rise impacts than previously thought, scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine warning in a new study.

The findings, which focus on the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The glaciers' grounding lines — the points at least one thousand feet below ice where they first lose contact with land — are moving further inland, and as that happens, the glaciers' flow speeds accelerate. And the faster they flow, the more they thin— that means their days are likely numbered.

Since I am living in Holland, in the part that lies several meters below the current sea level, I was a bit interested in when I need to start worrying.

Well...
While the time frame of the "collapse" will take at least 200 years and perhaps over 1,000 years, it has already begun — losing 10 feet of elevation per year in some spots — and appears to be inevitable.
... I am not saying this isn't serious, but there are more serious things (for me).

5. The long life of Homo sovieticus

The next item is an article by an unknown in The Economist, of December 2011:
One reason this is here is that this seems like a good article, and also uses a term I first knew from Zinoviev (with whom I also disagree quite a lot, but whom I also know of since 1975 as a logician) : See my article from 2009: On Zinoviev's Theory of (Soviet) Man.

Another reason this is here is that I have not written anything in Nederlog about the developments in the Ukraine, mainly because I neither know Russian nor Ukrainian; do not know much of the region; and all I do hear seems to be quite partial.

The article is from December 2011, and does not say anything about the Ukraine, but it does give what seems to me to be some decent information on Putin's Russia, where most ordinary people seem to long for the days of the Soviet Union.

I will quote only two bits. Here is the first:
Russia is still a hybrid state. It is smaller, more consumerist and less collective than the Soviet Union. But while the ideology has gone, the mechanism for sustaining political power remains. Key institutions, including courts, police and security services, television and education, are used by bureaucrats to maintain their own power and wealth. The presidential administration, an unelected body, still occupies the building (and place) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

More important, the Soviet mental software has proved much more durable than the ideology itself.
Actually, I am not amazed and indeed Putin is a former KGB-man. But the main reason that the present Russia is still much like an authoritarian capitalist version of the Soviet Union is that it has been socialistic from 1917-1991.

And there is this:
As Yegor Gaidar, a prominent liberal economist, warned in 1994, “The carcass of a bureaucratic system can become the carcass of a mafia system, depending on its goals.” By the time his book appeared in 2009 his warning had become reality. In the past few years this “monstrous hybrid” has started to extend its tentacles into every sphere of public life where money can be made. Examples of violence against businessmen abound. This adds up to a Soviet-style policy of negative selection, where the best and most active are suppressed or eliminated while parasitic bureaucrats and law enforcers are rewarded. What Stalin wrought by repression and extermination, today's Russia achieves by corruption and state violence.
Again I am not amazed. Anyway - there is rather a lot more in the article, including a quite interesting graphic.

6. My mB12-protocol

I realized I still
have to say something about my mB12 protocol, although there isn't much news.

The previous note about this was on May 2, 2014, and in fact it has not changed, that is, I take 1600 mcg of metafolate each day (2 pills), and I have been doing reasonably well on that.

In fact, the whole protocol of April 5, 2014 applies: It is precisely the same, except that I added 4 magnesium pills a day since almost three weeks now, which amounts to a double dose of the Recommended Daily Allowance (but I am 6 ft 4 and I have M.E.)

Anyway... I think this helps some, as before, and I am judging this especially by how much I can do on a day, which is better - a bit, not much - than it has been since many years, I think indeed since 15 or 20 years, though also without curing me and without getting me to a level comparable with healthy people.

Also, the improvements go slow. Then again: the whole treatment is speculative, although it is based on good biochemistry, and it does help, so I am not complaining.

There will be a new update in the beginning of June, if I do not change anything, which is not likely, and the probable update is that I will continue as I am doing now, for I do have considerable experience with that, and it definitely does help some.
---------------------------------
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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