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Nederlog


  July
7, 2014
Crisis: Facebook,  Clinton, Ministers, Merkel, NSA*2, Reich, me+M.E.
   "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. We shouldn't expect Facebook to behave ethically
2. Hillary Clinton on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden -
     the full interview

3. Ministers push for new legislation to track phone usage
4.
Angela Merkel says allegations of US spying on Germany
     are 'serious'

5. Demonstrated: NSA Spies More on Ordinary Users Than
     Legal Targets

6. Why Walgreen Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Influence U.S.
     Politics If It Becomes Swiss

7. Report: 9 out 10 Caught in NSA Dragnet Are 'Ordinary
     People'

8. me + M.E.

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of July 7. It is an ordinary crisis log, but the last item is a brief update about me+M.E.

1. We shouldn't expect Facebook to behave ethically

The first item is an article by John Naughton on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

There are two interesting lessons to be drawn from the row about Facebook's "emotional contagion" study. The first is what it tells us about Facebook's users. The second is what it tells us about corporations such as Facebook.

In case you missed it, here's the gist of the story.
Since I have treated this before - see: July 1, 2014 and also my On the sham called "Facebook", from 2011 - I skip the gist (which you can read using the last dotted link) and turn directly to the lessons one could learn (if one is more intelligent than the average Facebook - well... fill it in yourselves).

You may not like the last qualification, especially not if you are amongst the billion of the o so very happy Facebook users, but there are at least 4 billion stupid people (simply from their IQs) so you should not be too let down, and I am not one of those (through no effort of my own, also).

Here is John Naughton on lesson 1:
When the story of this period comes to be written, one thing that will astonish historians is the complaisant ease with which billions of apparently sane people allowed themselves to be monitored and manipulated by government security agencies and giant corporations. I used to think that most Facebook users must have some conception of the extent to which they are being algorithmically managed and the outraged hoo-ha over this experiment might suggest otherwise. But I suspect that once the fuss has died down most users will continue to submit to the company's manipulation of their information flow and emotions. Those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make naive.
Yes - or they make them stupid, irresponsible, anonymous, and unaccountable. And totally egoistic and greedy. And no: the stupidity is probably in part simply genetical, but the rest is acquired: they loved their extremely poor education, because it allowed them to finish schools and universities by the hundreds of millions they should not even have been admitted to; and they enthusiastically lapped up corporate propaganda and advertisements, which they also believe and practice.

And here is John Naughton on lesson 2:
Besides, the idea that corporations might behave ethically is as absurd as the proposition that cats should respect the rights of small mammals. Cats do what cats do: kill other creatures. Corporations do what corporations do: maximise revenues and shareholder value and stay within the law. Facebook may be on the extreme end of corporate sociopathy, but really it's just the exception that proves the rule.
To which I say: Yes and no. Yes, Facebook stinks, for all they know about morals is how to pretend; who is on Facebook is stupid, simply because they delivered their privacy to a corporation which has greed for morals and sells their data and manipulates their users; but also no in the sense that in a slightly better run society than the ones everyone lives in, a corporation like Facebook simply would not exist.

Here, by the way, is lesson 3, that is not in Naughton's article:

If mankind disappears or has to weather enormous falls in their numbers and their civilization in this century, when temperatures are rising and very many species are rapidly disappearing, or indeed changes into a feudalistic economy with several tenthousands of tall handsome masters and the rest happy smaller ugly serfs, none with an IQ higher than 100, and all completely docile, this will be for the most part because the human average is too stupid not to be taken in, and taken in again, and again.

Almost all of the horrors I see coming (likely, not certain) could have been stopped, and probably would not have arisen, if the human average IQ was 30 or more points higher. This would certainly not make for angels, and may come with many other problems - but at least the average would not have been taken in so simply, abd by the billions, by stupid lies and empty promises. (See Edward Bernays "Propaganda", who created the systematic misdirection of the masses.)

2. Hillary Clinton on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden - the full interview

The next item is an article by no one on The Guardian:

In fact, the article introduces a video, and I should say I have seen just 1 m 14 s of 25 m 5 s, for it seemed to me I had fallen into utter hypocrisy, dishonesty and bullshit.

There is something like a write-up here, but again not the full text, and with a heading that itself is a subtle lie:

Anyway...it is here for those who have more patience with professional very rich liars than I have.

3. Ministers push for new legislation to track phone usage

The next item is an article by Patrick Wintour and Alan Travis on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

Ministers are poised to pass emergency laws to require phone companies to log records of phone calls, texts and internet usage, but Labour and Liberal Democrats are warning that they will not allow any new law to become a backdoor route to reinstating a wider "snooper's charter".

Inter-party talks, likely to bear fruit this week, are being held against the backdrop of an increased terrorist threat posed by British Muslims being radicalised by travelling to fight in Syria, and by the continuing controversy over the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services feel forced to act as a result of a European court of justice (ECJ) ruling in April that an EU data directive, implemented by a Labour government in 2009, was too sweeping and invaded the privacy of EU citizens.

There is considerably more in the article, but none of it is very clear. Also, I am not sympathetic to claims like "against the backdrop of an increased terrorist threat posed by British Muslims being radicalised by travelling to fight in Syria": That seems to me just stupid and hysterical baloney.

But you can read it all under the last dotted link.

4. Angela Merkel says allegations of US spying on Germany are 'serious'

The next item is an article by Reuters on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, says allegations that a German man worked as a double agent for US intelligence are serious.

"If the reports are correct it would be a serious case," Merkel told a news conference in Beijing, standing next to the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang.

"If the allegations are true, it would be for me a clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners."

The case risks further straining ties with Washington, which have been sorely tested by revelations last year of large-scale snooping on Germany by the US National Security Agency.

I suppose the allegations are true, and I also suppose Merkel has gotten nowhere in Washington. Both are suppositions, but they have reasonable evidence.

There is some more there, but this will have to wait till later. In any case, the Declaration on Human Rights is quite clear on this (see article 12), and - it would seem to me - the Europeans (apart from the Brits) just can not follow the American and British spying on everyone's computers and everyone's phones, not only because this is against the law and against all moral decency, but also because that way they are bound to loose most of their trade secrets as well, which is an enormous amount of money.

5. Demonstrated: NSA Spies More on Ordinary Users Than Legal Targets

The next item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This is a brief article, that starts as follows:

A four-month investigation by The Washington Post of a large cache of intercepted conversations provided by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed that ordinary Internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, “far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks.”

The Post reports:

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages — and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address.

… Many other files, described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained, have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless.

If you want to read all, here is the link to the Washington Post:
That is a long article, but it is quite good.

6. The Limits of Corporate Citizenship: Why Walgreen Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Influence U.S. Politics If It Becomes Swiss

The next item
is an article by Robert Reich, on his site:
This starts as follows:

Dozens of big U.S. corporations are considering leaving the United States in order to reduce their tax bills.

But they’ll be leaving the country only on paper. They’ll still do as much business in the U.S. as they were doing before.

The only difference is they’ll no longer be “American,” and won’t have to pay U.S. taxes on the profits they make.

Okay. But if they’re no longer American citizens, they should no longer be able to spend a penny influencing American politics.

Well... if you believe that, you believe in Santa Claus: Of course big corporations are making their profits as large as possible, and if this means becoming Swiss (as Walgreen seems to be doing), that is what it takes. And of course big corporations will keep on spending trying to influence American politics as long as they depend on it: They're only "Swiss" (or whatever) to maximize their profits, so as to have more money to influence American politics.

I mean: There are easy legal rules imaginable to prevent this - e.g. if you are "Swiss", you are not allowed to trade any more in the US, or only if you pay twice as much as you gain on taxes by turning "Swiss" - but these will never be accepted by the present Congress.

7. Report: 9 out 10 Caught in NSA Dragnet Are 'Ordinary People'

The next item
is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:

This is again about the Washington Post article that I linked in item 5, and this is a bit better than the earlier review. It starts as follows:

New reporting by the Washington Post based on materials leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals an unprecedented view of how the private information of millions of "ordinary people" are caught up in the spy agency's massive surveillance dragnet.

Though the files show how the targeting of one individual may have ultimately led to his capture by U.S. agents, "nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations," according to the Post, "were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else."

The Post's story—written in part by recent Pulitzer Prize-winner Barton Gellman—is striking for several reasons, one of which is that it shows, for the first time, that Snowden was able to access specific kinds of agency surveillance data that government officials have said he could not have accessed. Second, the leaked communications reveal the shocking level at which the private information of people who were not targets and "would not lawfully qualify as such," including untold numbers of Americans, are collected and then retained in searchable databases by the NSA.

There is also this:

Interviewed for the article, Snowden himself said: the powerful capabilities of agency surveillance programs like PRISM and Upstream have “crossed the line of proportionality.”

“Even if one could conceivably justify the initial, inadvertent interception of baby pictures and love letters of innocent bystanders,” said Snowden, “their continued storage in government databases is both troubling and dangerous. Who knows how that information will be used in the future?”

For example: If Rick Perry gets to be the next president of the U.S.? (I do not consider that likely, myself, but say: if some Christian faithful Republican gets to be the next president, with an NSA database filled with millions of data that he will believe to be evidence of satanic practices? I am just asking, and see no guarantee this will not happen. And the NSA "collects everything".)

8. me + M.E.

Finally for today a brief update about my M.E.:

I did get vitamins B and E last Friday and added them to the dosages I wrote down on
June 21, 2014. I added since Friday:


vit B50 : B Vitamins as follows: B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 50 mg each; B8 and B12 50 mcg each; and B11 (folic acid, that I rather avoid) 400 mcg.
(1 or 2 pills each day)
vit E : 400 iE (international units)
(1 pill a day)


Note I added this mainly because I did get good results with high doses of B and E in the middle eighties: From 1984-1988 my health was considerably better than before, since I fell ill on 1.1.1979, and the only difference was the large amount of vitamins I started taking at the end of 1983, especially B and E vitamins, since I had found these to be effective by chance, in England.

Especially from 1985-1987 I was considerably healthier (though never fully healthy) and did rather a lot more than before or since. (Also, I should say I am ca. 6 feet 4 inches: there is more to me than to most people, even though I am not fat and never was. This may have an influence on the dosages, though I do not know this.)

Again, I am just reporting. Also, all of the good these pills did, and a lot more, was completely destroyed by my not being able to sleep from 1988-1992, because the Amsterdam mayor Ed van Thijn gave his personal permission to deal illegal drugs from the house where I lived in - where 26 years later they still deal in illegal drugs, no doubt with the present mayor's personal permission - much rather than from his own house, and who refused all these years to acknowledge even the receipt of my letters (personally handed to his personal doorman by me).

I do not know how much he profited from helping the drugsmafia rather than doing his duty, but my guess is that he earned a great lot: 5% of 10 billion euros a year (easily added to the price of the drugs) = 500 million euros a year. (I do not think he got all of that. I do not think he was the only one to profit. And I do not think he was as noble as to get no money. He still can be questioned, but this is completely useless in Holland.)

Finally, as to vitamins in general [2]: I took them for 30 years now, off and on, but mosty on because off simply was less good, statistically; I am 64 but look 44; and if none of them did any good, which is possible though not likely in my case, then certainly none of them did any harm either. I merely report, and two of the reasons I took them is that (1) serious statistical investigations on myself strongly suggested they helped, whereas (2) almost no doctor helped in any way with any thing.

Also as a report: I am 36 years ill; my illness is still not allowed to exist by the dole, not even after 30 years (for I protested against the mayors, and told them they should not protect illegal extremely rich drugsdealers: shame on me); I have seen many tens of medical doctors, and most (but not: all) of them were incompetent, and almost none of them spent more than 10 or 15 minutes on me, while none went to see how I lived or had to pass my days, not in 36 years; I have contributed much more to the financial health and wealth of medical persons than medical persons contributed to my health or wealth; and I am a philosopher and psychologist of 64 who mostly gave up on medicine (except for well-known well-researched diseases) and who totally gave up on psychiatry - and the only sincere and great regret I have is that I will not be able to see how the present medicine and psychiatry will be viewed 100 or 200 years in the future: surely as very primitive and very ignorant deceptions committed on a very large scale.

---------------------------------

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.)

[2] This is motivated by two things: Apart from 2 or 3 doctors (from more than 30) I got no decent medical help of any kind, not in 36 years now, and neither did my ill ex - but we did get enormous amounts of utter bilge on the supposed causes of our illness, all totally uninformed medical bullshit, mostly caused by the inability of the majority of medical doctors to admit to a patient that they do not know something; and because I these days read a lot of bullshit about supple- ments. Well, again: They certainly did not harm me; I look 20 years younger than I am; I have strong statistical evidence they do help me; and if I had found serious and intelligent doctors who would have spend some days with me, and who would have found a cause and a treatment, I would not need to live in the halfdark and try the best with supplements. Healthcare is the care that your doctor gets an excellent income, and it is in a crisis because there as well the big corporations have taken over.


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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