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."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. Back in the USSR: Belarusian
leader who helped bury
Soviet Union says it is making
2. Sense about Science:
First Admit no Harm
3. Tech Companies Boost Their
Efforts to Stave Off Spy
4. Democrats Approved Mass
Surveillance and Torture
This is the Nederlog of June
10. It is an ordinary crisis log, except for one difference:
The last section contains a
bit of personal reflection on my year of Snowden's revelations, because
for me that started on June
10, 2013, for then - or the day previous to it: I forgot, for I
still had serious eye-trouble then and slept far too little - I
the identity of Edward Snowden, although I had picked up the first
publication of Glenn Greenwald in the context of Edward Snowden, namely
on June 7, 2013, in my Crisis: No
more Fourth Amendment.
Anyway - first today's crisis related news.
1. Back in the USSR: Belarusian leader who helped bury Soviet
Union says it is making a comeback
item is an article by Mark Rice-Oxley on The Guardian:
This starts with a large
photograph of a demonstration of 2011 of what are described as
"Communist party supporters"
in Donetsk, and who sport many red flags with a hammer
and sickle, and a flag with a portrait of Stalin's face under an
extremely high military hat.
It opens as follows:
The man who convened the
meeting that buried the Soviet Union in 1991 has warned that it is
being restored in his native Belarus and across the post-Soviet space.
Shushkevich – the politician who hosted the 1991 summit at which
Belarus, Ukraine and Russia signed the USSR into obsolescence and paved
the way for independence – said a mixture of despotic leaders,
KGB-revivalism and Putin’s Ukraine interference all remind him of the
worst of the Soviet Union.
“What we see now is the
restoration of Soviet order, in Belarus most of all,” Shushkevich said
in his study in the modest central Minsk apartment.
“Look what happened in
Ukraine. It was just the same as in Soviet times in 1990 when they
tried to restore
control over the Baltic republics with special services. It’s all a
play by Russian special services. And in Belarus it’s just like Soviet
farms, it all works like a Soviet regime.”
basically an interview with Stanislav Shushkevich, who is 79 and a
former professor of physics. You can read the rest of the interview
under the last dotted link, in which he also says
Now it’s the KGB
who control the electoral process. There are no elections, just a
I think he may be right
that Russia is growing "socialistic" again,
but indeed nobody knows. Four relevant considerations are:
But I do not know and indeed nobody
does. Also, in case I may be misunderstood: This is mostly about what
manner of propaganda would be most palatable for the
Russians or least disliked by them: it is not about real communism,
real socialism, or real anything.
- The winners of the
Yeltsin-revolution, that terminated the Soviet-Union, are Putin's KGB
(since renamed, but that is mere propaganda)
and some handfulls of extremely rich schemers, who are - it seems -
mostly controlled by the (former) KGB.
- Russia and China
are getting closer together (again), and China is still, at least in
name and in government, a communist - totalitarian,
- Most of the
Russian population are neither happier, nor richer, nor more than
nominally more free than they were in the last stages of Soviet
- It would be handy
to have a widely accepted - authoritarian, totalitarian - ideology that
motivates the masses, and communism still "works" for quite a
2. Sense about Science: First Admit no Harm
item is an article by Dr.
David Healy on his site:
This is in fact the
second of a four part series, and it is about the enormous corruption
of the Western medical health system.
Here are three quotes
from the beginning. To start with:
First I note that Dr.
Healy is a psychiatrist who has been defending patients' rights for
over 20 years now, as one of the very few psychiatrists and few
medical doctors who does do so - even though I would say and
indeed have thought that is the duty of every medical doctor. (I still
think so, but I do not think most medical doctors these days are up to
it, even though there still are some.)
Anyone interested in
Pharma will know about its ability to Astroturf – to create patient
organizations whose role is to promote an illness or subvert an
existing one. Creating awareness of conditions sells drugs.
Also, I think I have seen some of that on Phoenix Rising,
which is nominally, but not really, a site owned by real patients with
the real disease Myalgic Encephalo- myelitis,
but in fact is a very secretive organization where anybody with real
knowledge and real brains gets attacked by scores of anonymous
ass-holes posing as patients. (I did it and failed, and withdrew.
Others did it and failed, and where hunted away. But the site thrives
fueled by anonymous idiots writing utter bullshit. I really do not
know how one can trust anyone about whom one knows that one does NOT
know ANYTHING whatsoever except an alias, but then I do have a
really high IQ.)
Next, there is this:
Yes, quite so - and
please note that everybody involved gets very well
paid. They get very well paid for screwing the interests of the real
patients but then real patients rarely know science or the law,
and are far more trustful of the medical and legal folks who
screw them for money, always with a smile and a kind word, and if
medical always clad in a stethoscope. (But: it really is about their
enormous incomes, and the vast majority is screwing patients'
rights for their incomes.)
Less well known is what
happens at a higher Astral level. You can’t sell a product that
gets a bad reputation or is removed from the market. The
marketing mission at this meta-level is to risk manage by influencing
the debate on Risk.
You do this by setting up
think tanks, hiring ex-regulators, academics and others, capturing the
regulatory system, and working with a body with a name like Sense about
The regulators advise you
on how to get an indication for a drug even though it doesn’t work for
that. The academics advise on how to do trials that use a problem
your drug causes to hide a problem your drug causes. The lawyers
advise on the trials or studies that need doing in order for you to be
able to defend the product in academic and legal settings.
Finally, there is this:
But the key thing is to
have groups help change the wider climate of debate – their efforts
will make you seem mainstream. These are not the right hand (dextrous)
experts you engage to take the known problems and hide them but the
left hand (sinister) experts that take it as read you have been acting
in good faith and don’t want to see you irrationally victimized.
Your, and accordingly
their, mission is to transform poisons into fertilizers or even into
vaccines. To transform inevitably risky chemicals into something
where the greatest risks lie in non-use.
The climate changing
operations of Pharma and its Sinisters have been so successful that two
hundred years after Pinel’s famous medical dictum:
“The art of medicine lies in treating when possible but it
is an even greater art to know when not to treat”,
medicine has been turned
inside out and the essence of medical wisdom has become:
“The art of medicine lies in getting people on as many drugs
as possible even though most of these will not help them; non-treatment
is not acceptable in this day and age”.
And the Hippocratic Oath
“First Admit no Harm”.
One of the few things
I have learned from three years reading about psychiatry and medicine
are, first, the enormous corruption of psychiatry since
1980 (which has some 20 times more "disorders" now than can be
established, and indeed calls them "disorders" because they
have no legitimate evidence of any illness) and, second, the enormous
corruption of medicine, mostly by pharmaceutical
corporations, which now has reduced much of the "medical testing"
of any medical drugs (and especially of recently patented expensive
drugs with large markets) to marketing campaigns done in fact
by the very same pharmaceutical corporations that developed the drugs.
Indeed, I do not know
what to do about this - except by staying as far away of psychiatry and
medicine as I rationally can: These have been turned into corrupt,
lying, degenerate profit-oriented activities these days, even if there
still are a minority of practitioners one can mostly trust. (But not
about the qualities of well-paying drugs that were recently developed,
simply because the relevant research was done and is owned by the
pharmaceutical corporations, rather than by independent doctors or
3. Tech Companies Boost Their Efforts to Stave
Off Spy Agencies
item is an article by Donald Kaufman on Truthdig:
This starts as
Tech companies are in a
new race to make it harder for spy agencies around the world, such as
the NSA in the U.S., to access their customers’ data.
Google, which had been
more cooperative with the government before former NSA contractor
Edward Snowden exposed the agency’s snooping tactics, is now taking
steps like laying its own fiber optic cable under the world’s oceans to
thwart the NSA and other clandestine operations. According to The New York Times, Facebook, Microsoft
and Yahoo are also ramping up their encryption efforts, which might not
guarantee total insulation against unwelcome interference but will make
break-ins more difficult and time consuming.
The Snowden leaks, which
exposed massive surveillance from the U.S. government and other state
agencies, have not only hurt these tech companies’ bottom lines and
reputations domestically but are also forcing them to take new
precautions if they want to preserve business relations with countries
such as Brazil and Germany, both of which have threatened to entrust
their data solely to local providers.
Well... I have to say
I much doubt it.
I do not deny that
the "tech companies" have been hurt by Snowden's revelations, but this
is against the background of all of them collaborating as if
they were mad (or rather: moved only by profit, and not
by legal or moral considerations) with the U.S. government's secret
services, as long as they could suppose the services they so willingly
rendered were secret.
I also do not deny
that some of the things that some of the "tech companies" have said
(after Snowden's revelations, to be sure) were sensible.
But it seems fairly
self-evident to me that (1) the "tech companies" have collaborated
for many years with the NSA, it seems regularly also doing more than
they were asked; (2) the
"tech companies" only
publicly registered some dissent after Snowden's revelations;
(3) which indeed hurt their profit margins, so that (4) it is quite
evident they had to do something - which seems mostly
(5) to start yet another public
relations campaign to assure the public
that "they are not to blame" and "do everything to solve the problem".
would have done the same, were I the - totally corrupt, or
merely partially corrupt - CEO of a US tech company, who is much
concerned to keep the profit margins as high as possible.
But I do not believe
them until they are encrypting all the data that goes through them
(which they can do at a fairly small cost, so far as I know) - and even
then I would not know whether the NSA, by hook or by crook or by prior
infiltration, also possesses the encryption keys and algorithms.
However, if they
start encrypting their data, I would be much more sympathetic to them.
Approved Mass Surveillance and Torture
item is by Washington's Blog on his site:
This is mostly, though not
solely, about Nancy
Pelosi, who is the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
I know a little more about her than about most U.S.
politicians, because she has a Dutch son in law who contributed
regularly to Dutch radio, but not much.
Here is the beginning of
the item (colors as in the original):
There is more there on the
subject, and next there is this:
Pelosi Was Briefed On – and Covered Up – NSA Spying On
When a teen asked Nancy
Pelosi last week why she supports unconstitutional NSA spying, Pelosi
responded that the NSA lied to Congress about what they were doing, and
she didn’t know:
But Pelosi was actually
briefed on – and approved – illegal mass surveillance by the NSA.
Last November, high-level
NSA whistleblower Bill Binney confirmed
to Washington’s Blog that Pelosi was briefed on NSA’s mass surveillance
BLOG: Is CBS right that you tried to warn Congress 10
Yes, first to Diane Roark (House senior staff assigned to monitor NSA)
in late 2001, then, to a House Intel Committee member. Diane also
talked to Porter Goss [then-chair of the House Intelligence Committee]
and Nancy Pelosi [ranking member on the Intelligence Committee at the
time] about it in the same time frame. This to me was the obvious
reason Nancy said (when she was speaker) that impeaching George W was
off the table. Cause she was part of it from the beginning.
Again there is considerably
more there. But I think the above is sufficient. (Well... it may help
to know that the estimated
worth of the Democratic Mrs. Pelosi is $58 milion, according to
Pelosi Also Complicit In Torture
Pelosi was also complicit
in torture. And yet she lied about that, also.
Nancy Pelosi claimed in 2009:
The Bush administration
did not inform Congress that it had waterboarded detainees in
classified briefings, after the agency had already done so…
Pelosi told reporters
that the administration officials only told her and those in a
classified briefing in the fall of 2002 that they believed they had the
legal authority to do so, based on Office of Legal Counsel memos which
have recently been released by the Obama administration.
“In that or any other
briefing… we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding
or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used,”
said Pelosi. “What they did tell us is that they had some legislative
counsel… opinions that they could be used, but not that they would.”
However, that is likely
As noted by the
above-linked article at Huffington Post:
contradicts a recently released Senate committee report that cited CIA
records to claim that senior members of Congress in both parties were
briefed on the waterboarding, which had already been done to detainee
Moreover, the Washington
Post wrote in 2007:
Four members of Congress
met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to
wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S.
custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which
included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was
given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the
harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their
prisoners talk. Among the techniques described, said two officials
present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be
condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill.
But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least
two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two
U.S. officials said.
Finally, as I said in the introduction: Today is the first anniversary
that I heard about Edward Snowden and his revelations, for then I wrote
In fact, I may have
known a day earlier, but I forgot, mostly because my eyes were
considerably worse then than they are now, and I did not sleep enough
and had not slept enough for a year. (This is better now.)
In any case: I am glad that I did, and glad about what I wrote that
day, which I strongly recommend you (re-)read, if only because I think
it all was quite correct, as indeed also holds for this item, from June
7, 2013 (before knowing of Snowden):
Another file that may
bear (re-)reading is from January 16, 2013, because it does give a good
idea of what I think the crisis is (which is considerably more
extensive than most realize, and also goes back much longer than to
2008, when indeed capitalism crashed):
To end this note, I want
to insist again - as I did a year ago - that Edward Snowden is not
an ordinary man, and
also not an "extra-ordinarily ordinary" man, and indeed that is just the
basic human problem:
That there are only very few who are as intelligent and as
brave as he is, while the vast democratic majority, with an average IQ
of 100, and absolutely nothing they have ever done that
distinguishes them in any way, keeps insisting that "everybody
is equal" (at least in Holland, and also on international patients'
If everybody were
equal to Snowden, as regards intelligence and braveness, there would be
no NSA-as-is; no surveilling of everyone; and not much else that is bad.
 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.)
(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: