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Nederlog


  July
10, 2014
Crisis: Snowden, Bahamas, Surveillance*2, Privatization, CIA, Assange, Media, TYT, medicine
  "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. Edward Snowden applies to extend stay in Russia,
       lawyer says

 
2. VIDEO: Bahamians React to NSA Surveillance
 
3. Civil Rights Organizations Demand Answers From White
       House on Surveillance of Muslim Leaders

  4.
Emergency surveillance law to be brought in with
       cross-party support

  5.
The tide is turning against the scam that is privatisation
  6. The CIA style guide goes online: now you can learn to
       write like a spy

  7. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Responds to Hillary Clinton: Fair
       U.S. Trial for Snowden "Not Possible"

  8. US Military Admits Spending Millions to Study
       Manipulation of Social Media

  9.  American Citizens Targeted By NSA Deemed
       'Mohammed Raghead'

10. a long hot summer…

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of July 10. It is an ordinary crisis log.

It has 11 items, spread over 10 sections, with the last one on the crisis in medicine, which is, as so often, caused by greed and corruption.

1.  Edward Snowden applies to extend stay in Russia, lawyer says

The first item is an article by
This starts as follows:

Edward Snowden has applied to extend his stay in Russia, his lawyer says.

Anatoly Kucherena said the former National Security Agency contractor had made the application to Russia's migration authorities because his one-year permit was due to expire at the end of July, according to Russian news agencies.

Kucherena refused to say what kind of migration status his client is seeking, saying that it is up to the federal migration service to make the decision.

The article contains some more, but this is about the relevant information.

And I use it as today's start because almost everything anybody - who does not belong to the NSA, CIA or FBI - knows about the NSA, especially, is due to the great courage and the conscience of Edward Snowden.

I very much hope his permission to stay is extended.

2.  VIDEO: Bahamians React to NSA Surveillance 

The next item is an article by Ryan Devereaux on The Intercept:

This starts as follows, under a video of 5 m 15 s:

Nearly two months after The Intercept revealed that the National Security Agency has used the Bahamas as a “test bed” for a powerful surveillance system that can collect and store an entire country’s phone calls for up to 30 days, government officials and residents of the Caribbean nation remain conflicted over the spying. The U.S., meanwhile, remains silent.

In a new video report, journalist and self-described “supersleuth” Nimrod Kamer–perhaps best known for his prodigious celebrity trolling skills–scored a trip to the sunny capital city of Nassau with cameraman Tom Bell to confront Bahamian politicians about the revelations and ask locals what they thought of the world’s greatest superpower collecting their private communications. The results were mixed.

Yes indeed: Some care, some don't care, some say they don't care (e.g. the minister: "The USA is listening to the whole world" "I don't care"), others say they do care etc. But that is to be expected (and no, I do not believe that "person x says p" and "person x believes p" and "p is true" are interchangeable at all: in front of a camera everyone tries to make an impression).

Anyway: it remains strange and frightening, for someone who thinks privacy is the basis of the civilized law, for ordinary people, that the privacy of a whole country can be removed just like that by a single secret service operating in secret.

3. Civil Rights Organizations Demand Answers From White House on Surveillance of Muslim Leaders

The next item is an article by John Cook on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

In the wake of our story this morning reporting on the FBI and NSA’s monitoring of prominent Muslim-Americans, a coalition of 44 civil rights groups organized by the American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to President Obama demanding  a “full public accounting” of the government’s “targeting of community leaders” for surveillance. Separately, the White House told the Guardian that it has asked the intelligence community to “review their training and policy materials for racial or religious bias” after we published an internal instructional memo that referred to a hypothetical surveillance target as “Mohammed Raghead.”

Also, the White House has reacted to the last issue - which seems to me a whole lot less serious than the actual stealing of the private data of very many, but this is modern politics: restricted to Politically Correct language:

The White House didn’t immediately respond to the letter. But White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told the Guardian that the administration takes the publication of the memorandum using an ethnic slur “extremely seriously”:

Upon learning of this matter, the White House immediately requested that the director of national intelligence undertake an assessment of intelligence community policies, training standards or directives that promote diversity and tolerance, and as necessary, make any recommendations changes or additional reforms.

This sounds like: "We in the White House are completely OK that you secretly listen in on everything everyone does or say - but please write about it in our approved PC language, will you. Even in your secret memos!" 

4. Emergency surveillance law to be brought in with cross-party support

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

This starts as follows:

Controversial emergency laws will be introduced into the Commons next Monday to reinforce the powers of security services to require internet and phone companies to keep records of their customers' emails and calls.

The move follows private talks over the past week and the laws will have the support of Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be a sunset clause and a new board to oversee the functioning of the powers.

Details are due to be announced at a Downing Street press conference on Thursday morning. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, modelled on a similar US body and including external experts, will be required to check on how the powers are used.

Here are my readings of these paragraphs:

First paragraph. The "controversial emergency laws" all relate to the facts that Great Britain is European, and the European Court of Justice has been against the storing and keeping of records, in which they are right

Second paragraph: On the basis of spying on everyone, most policitians of any party are exchangeable. Most want it, and most want it in secret, and they are willing to do and say almost anything to further their stealing of your privacy.

Third paragraph: This is moved through - against the European Court - on the basis of a secret deal between a few political leaders of several parties (who all want to spy on your privacy). Also, I have repeatedly said the supposedly "independent "Priivacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board" is not independent at all but is a congregation of Feinsteinian friends of Obama who are willing to implement Obama's plans to spy on everyone, come what may. Well, Cameron has created a similar "independent" office of his friends, or so it seems. (And no: the "experts" are not "external" and they probably are not real experts either.)

There is considerably more under the last dotted link, but mostly it is propaganda talk, by Cameron and by Cameronites like Clegg.

5. The tide is turning against the scam that is privatisation

The next item is an article by Seumas Milne on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

Privatisation isn't working. We were promised a shareholding democracy, competition, falling costs and better services. A generation on, most people's experience has been the opposite. From energy to water, rail to public services, the reality has been private monopolies, perverse subsidies, exorbitant prices, woeful under-investment, profiteering and corporate capture.

Private cartels run rings round the regulators. Consumers and politicians are bamboozled by commercial secrecy and contractual complexity. Workforces have their pay and conditions slashed. Control of essential services has not only passed to corporate giants based overseas, but those companies are themselves often state-owned – they're just owned by another state.

Report after report has shown privatised services to be more expensive and inefficient than their publicly owned counterparts. It's scarcely surprising that a large majority of the public, who have never supported a single privatisation, neither trust the privateers nor want them running their services.

But regardless of the evidence, the caravan goes on.

I say. But Seumas Milne is quite right: Privatization is an awful scam, a sick fraud, perpetrated in the name of "liberty" and "freedom", underwritten by Labour, Conservatives and Liberals, and designed to scam, steal and defraud the many poor and the middle class by the few and idle rich.

And it happened everywhere, from the middle eighties onwards, which very strongly suggests there was a plan behind it, for it was done in the US, in Great Britain, and in Europe, and it was done by political traitors from the Left, the Middle and the Right, and it was done with the same sick lies, that even were presented in the same verbal ways: it was "for liberty", it was "for freedom" - which meant but did not say: the liberty and the freedom of the few rich to exploit the many poor, and deny them their rights, that they had won legally, after a battle of some 100 years.

There is more that is really fine:

But the need to break with 30 years of cash-backed dogma against public ownership goes well beyond rail. The privatised industries haven't only failed to deliver efficiency, value for money, accountability or secure jobs. They have also sucked wealth, rentier-style, out of sitting-duck monopolies, concentrated economic decision-making in fewer and fewer hands, deepened inequality and failed to deliver the investment essential to sustainable growth.

Yes - and let's also make it quite clear that this is not an anti-capitalist movement: it is a movement against capitalism-with-an-inhuman-face, which is the face of the present conservative leaders, the present liberal leaders and the present labour leaders, and it is a movement for capitalism-with-a-human-face that has worked quite well for 30 years.

It is the privateers who are the extremists; it is the privateers who want to kick everybody out so that only the rich, preferably from other countries, can exploit the poor; it is the privateers who are for exploitation of the many while pretending to do it because they are "libertarians", "for liberty", and "for freedom". No they are not: Their liberty is the liberty of the rich to do what they want, and to exploit everyone who is not rich, and to make this "the law": be rich or be a docile wage slave.

And this is also quite correct so far as I can see:

The case for new forms of public ownership in the banking sector and utilities – energy, water, transport and communications infrastructure – is compelling. A core of socially owned and democratically controlled enterprises could set the pace of investment, reconstruction and the shift to a greener economy.

It's a policy that has support from the majority of the public but is regarded as beyond the pale by the business-as-usual elite. It would be prohibitively expensive, they claim, and a throwback to a better yesterday. In reality, there need be no net cost to the public purse.

Anyway - this is a fine article you should read all of. I do not know whether it will make any difference, but it did make the main points, and it made them well:

We urgently need a mixed economy, with regulations for the banks, and a return to Keynesian economic policies, if we want to prevent that the whole economy and the world get totally ruined by the few rich.

It really is as simple as that - but a major problem is that policians from every direction have been bought, and lie, simply because they profit so very much.

6. The CIA style guide goes online: now you can learn to write like a spy

The next item is an article by Leo Benedictus on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

We know that the CIA takes writing seriously. Magnificent euphemisms such as "enhanced interrogation techniques", "extraordinary rendition" or "illegal combatants" were clearly carved with care out of the language.

Few people imagined quite how seriously, though, until last week, when the Style Manual and Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications (Eighth Edition, 2011) began to be disseminated online. The book, which is 185 pages long, offers comprehensive instruction on the writing of "clear, concise" spy reports – in much the same way that newspaper style guides advise subeditors and writers. As director of intelligence Fran Moore writes in the foreword: "The information CIA gathers and the analysis it produces mean little if we cannot convey them effectively." (Note the singularity of "CIA", and its lack of a definite article.)

I say. Let me remind the reader that "enhanced interrogation techniques" = "torture"; "extraordinary rendition" = "kidnapping plus torture"; while "illegal combatants" = "terrorists" = "opponents of our government of any kind".

There is considerably more under the last dotted link, and it is interesting the CIA tries to prescribe its propaganda by a style guide.

7.  WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Responds to Hillary Clinton: Fair U.S. Trial for Snowden "Not Possible"

The next item is an article by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts as follows:
In part two of our exclusive interview, Amy Goodman goes inside Ecuador’s Embassy in London to speak with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Assange has been living in the embassy for more than two years under political asylum. He faces investigations in both Sweden and the United States, where a secret grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks for its role in publishing a trove of leaked documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as State Department cables. Assange responds to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent comments that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden should return home to face trial. "It’s the advice of all our lawyers that he should not return to the United States. He’d be extremely foolish to do so," Assange says. "It’s not possible to have a fair trial, because the U.S. government has a precedent of applying state secret privilege to prevent the defense from using material that is classified in their favor."
This is a really fine interview with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, who quite clearly and conclusively refutes the lies, deceptions and bullshit Hillary Clinton uttered in her interview with the Guardian (that I did not watch it because it clearly was very hypocritical).

8.
US Military Admits Spending Millions to Study Manipulation of Social Media

The next item
is an article by Washington's Blog on his blog:
In fact, this refers to a Guardian article, which is here:
That last article starts as follows:

The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread.

While some elements of the multi-million dollar project might raise a wry smile – research has included analysis of the tweets of celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, in an attempt to understand influence on Twitter – others have resulted in the buildup of massive datasets of tweets and additional types social media posts.

Several of the DoD-funded studies went further than merely monitoring what users were communicating on their own, instead messaging unwitting participants in order to track and study how they responded.

Put otherwise: A few tens or hundreds of anonymous government-paid spies are trying to find the best ways in which a few tens or hundreds of anonymous government-paid spies can influence millions or tens of mllions of naive computer users, so as to convince them of the government's wisdom and the government's plans. (This is "modern democracy" at work: governmental spies who get paid from the taxes to mislead and deceive the masses, and who can do this far better than ever, thanks to the internet.)

This last article also says (a bit further on):

However, papers leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate that US and British intelligence agencies have been deeply engaged in planning ways to covertly use social media for purposes of propaganda and deception.

Documents prepared by NSA and Britain's GCHQ (and previously published by the Intercept as well as NBC News) revealed aspects of some of these programs. They included a unit engaged in “discrediting” the agency’s enemies with false information spread online.
There is quite a lot more in the second article. Now back to the first. Here is its middle third:

This story can only really be understood with a little context:

  • We noted 6 years ago that the Pentagon is using artificial intelligence programs to try to predict how people will react to propaganda
There is considerably more in the first article - and I draw two conclusions:

First, many governments are far more concerned with secretly manipulating public opinion by the internet than they ever did; and second, that is not the task of the government, which is not to influence public opinion, not at all, but to uphold the law, as transparently and honestly as it can.


9.
American Citizens Targeted By NSA Deemed 'Mohammed Raghead'

The next item is not an article but a video by TYT:
This is 8 m 55 s and deals with the article by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain. It also quotes the words of the most transparent very honest and really democratic president Obama:



This video refutes these lies, and has a good ending, although it will not make you happier.

10. a long hot summer…

The next and final item is an article by 1 boring old man (in fact: a mostly pensioned psychiatrist with a clear mind):

This is in the context of the fight about medical data and medical evidence, both of which are denied by the big pharma companies who claim - on invalid but tricky grounds - to owe these, and to keep these from doctors and patients who want to make up their minds on the real benefits and risks of the medicines they prescribe or take.

I take that for granted, and merely quote one bit, that seems to me
quite convincing - after 4 years of reading about psychiatry and medicine, that was mostly triggered by the facts that (1) I am ill since 36 years but get no help of any kind except for minimal dole, that to this day does not admit I am ill, and (2) I have since 5 years fast internet, which enabled these extensive readings.

And please note the writer is not ill, and talks about 25 years of falsities, lies, deceptions and profiting by the pharmaceutical companies and by medical people:

Had there been true data transparency, the last twenty-five years might have been very different, particularly in psychiatry. The Clinical Trials of the SSRIs and Atypical Antipsychotics might have looked very different if we had the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate them. And that’s also true of many of the general medicine "blockbusters" [> $1B/year].
Note that "the general medicine "blockbusters"" are singular: this concerns just one medicine, and this mostly concerns the profits made in the USA alone. There tend to be many such "blockbusters" every year, and it is these that the pharmaceutical companies and their corrupt medical doctors wait and long for and exploit as soon as they have one: See the following revealing movie on Mother Jones. It is also because I have read so many of these stories that I have almost totally lost my trust in medicine, as I have never had much trust in psychiatry:

Medicine is - or was - a science, but a real science is based on real tests, which have now been quite impossible for the last 25 years, at least in the case of hugely profitable and widely prescribed medicines, simply because big pharma owes all the data (it says, and effectively does), and only very partially releases these, and mainly if these are positive to their claims.

Well... that means medicine - including psychiatry, but that never was a real science - is not a real science anymore: it is a pseudoscience, which pretends to do tests, the results of which are published for the most part only if they increase the sales of the medicines they are "testing", and which tend to be repressed and kept secret otherwise.

In case you doubt this, here is the start of the article on pseudoscience on Wikipedia:

Pseudoscience is a claim, belief or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

A field, practice, or body of knowledge can reasonably be called pseudoscientific when it is presented as consistent with the norms of scientific research, but it demonstrably fails to meet these norms.
That precisely describes medicine these days - and yes, I can judge it: I have an excellent M.A. in psychology and an excellent B.A. in philosophy of science, and I know the last field better than any medical person I have read or met.

There still are parts of medicine that are scientific, but it must be feared these are all without expensive new drugs and are mostly free from the hugely corrupting influence of big pharma.

As for the rest: Expect lies, for these lies are the road to riches, for big pharma and for some totally corrupt doctors - "Key Opinion Leaders" who sell their names and signatures to the "public relations" departments of the pharmaceutical companies they serve - and many partially corrupt doctors, who do it for profit and are all massaged by salesmen and saleswomen from Big Pharma. (See Gwen Olsen, who was one, until she stepped out: Many good videos.)

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

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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