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."
service whistleblowers 'treated shockingly', report
2. Russia tightens controls
3. Yes, Admits CIA Chief, We
Spied on Senate Panel
spotting: Germans hold 'nature walks' to observe
rare NSA spy
illusion of evidence…
This is the Nederlog of August
1. It is a crisis log.
There is a mostly Dutch file earlier today,
which is part II of my
"Over geestelijke gezondheid en gestoordheid" ("On mental health and
This part is about the crisis and is in English.
1. Public service whistleblowers 'treated shockingly',
item is an article by Rajeev Syal on The Guardian (and this is about
the English treatment of whistleblowers):
This starts as follows:
Indeed. Since I am a
double whistleblower myself (on the shocking state of the Dutch
universities in the 1980ies and on the gigantic Dutch drugs-corruption
in the 1990ies) I know you literally risk your life, while what
you get - and I got - tends to be complete dismissals or pretensions
that you do not even exist by nearly everyone you address (who has some
sort of responsibility).
Whistleblowers who risk
their careers to uncover wrongdoing within public services are being
victimised by managers who nearly always escape sanction, a public
accounts committee report will say on Friday.
MPs were told that only
one senior manager who has victimised a whistleblower has ever faced
disciplinary procedures, while many government departments are still
failing to support employees who come forward in the public interest.
Part of the reason for this is that the politicians and the bureaucrats
tend to be the worst much rather than the best people
(I am very certain) although they do have these days enormous propaganda
departments that put out false stories about the great goodness of the
politicians and the political system they function in.
But that is merely what I learned, and most Dutchmen, who
certainly are a lot dumber than I am, and none of whom has as excellent
a background of resistance fighters in their family as I have, will see
this quite differently.
Here is some more:
It is probably the same
in England as it is in Holland, where whistleblowers - other than me: Fred Spijkers
and Ad Bos - have
been frightfully mistreated, lied about and victimized because
they dared to speak up.
Margaret Hodge, the
committee chair, said she had been dismayed by the way ministers and
senior managers have failed to protect the public interest.
"A positive approach to
whistleblowing should exist wherever the taxpayer's pound is spent, by
private and voluntary sector providers as well as public bodies.
However, far too often, whistleblowers have been shockingly treated,
and departments have sometimes failed to protect some whistleblowers
from being victimised."
MPs found there was a
"startling disconnect" between Whitehall's generally good
whistleblowing policies and the way they operated in practice.
Again, the main reason is that, in Holland at least, the worst
people rather than the best get to be leaders in politics and
in the bureaucracies, and I am afraid that as long as that is the case,
whistleblowers will not be thanked, not be paid, and
much risk being legally or otherwise victimized for their
troubles and courage.
This is also all I got for speaking up - and in fact it is not
far from a miracle, because I am also ill since 1.1.1979 and because I
objected to illegal drugsdealers who were and are protected by
Amsterdam's mayors, aldermen, lawyers and bureaucracy, that I am still
2. Russia tightens
controls on blogosphere
item is an article by Alec Luhn on The Guardian:
This starts as
There is also this:
A law that comes into
effect in Russia on Friday will
place tighter controls on the blogosphere, one of the few remaining
places where people can freely criticise the government.
The federal mass media
watchdog has said the law is meant to "de-anonymise popular websites".
Prominent bloggers argue it is yet another step to crack down on free
expression and will be wielded against critics of the regime.
Popularly known as the
"law on bloggers," the legislation requires users of any website whose
posts are read by more than 3,000 people each day to publish under
their real name and register with the authorities if requested. It also
holds popular bloggers to the same standards as the mass media,
forbidding false information and foul language, although it doesn't
guarantee them the same rights. Violators could incur fines of up to
50,000 rubles (£800) and be blacklisted.
I am not amazed, but then this
Popular blogger and media
entrepreneur Anton Nosik called the law on bloggers unconstitutional
and said it was meant to intimidate regime critics.
"It's about creating a
situation where big brother is watching you," said Nosik. "You are part
of a list, you are being watched, being observed, you are being served
notices and could even serve a criminal sentence if you choose to speak
3. Yes, Admits CIA Chief, We Spied on
item is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as
The findings of an
internal investigation at the Central Intelligence Agency made
available to the public on Thursday show that CIA agents did, in
fact, spy on the Senate Intelligence Committee panel set up to
investigate post-9/11 government torture under the Bush administration.
Lawmakers were briefed on
the report by the CIA Inspector General's Office earlier this week and
the head of the agency, John Brennan, issued an in-person apology to
lawmakers on Tuesday over the agency's behavior during a meeting with
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), who chairs the Intelligence
Committee, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ala.), the committee's vice
There is also this,
that refers to an earlier story that was reviewed in Nederlog:
During the public
imbroglio that followed between Feinstein and Brennan, as the Washington
out, the CIA chief said lawmakers would regret accusing the agency
“When the facts come out
on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been
this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be
proved wrong,” Brennan said at the time.
To the contrary, it seems
now that those concerned about the CIA's attempt to infiltrate the
panel's investigation have been quite vindicated for holding those
And there is this:
“The CIA Inspector
General has confirmed what Senators have been saying all along: The CIA
conducted an unauthorized search of Senate files, and attempted to have
Senate staff prosecuted for doing their jobs,” said Senator Ron Wyden
(D-Ore.) said. “Director Brennan’s claims to the contrary were simply
There is a lot more
on this topic, also elsewhere. But the brief of it is probably this:
Brennan has "apologized"; he will not go; Obama will not ask him to go;
and things will go on as they have been: Lying spy masters are these
days common in the U.S. and also simply get away with it.
As an aside: I also
still do not know whether the Senate's report on the CIA will be
published, in full, or in part, or in some redacted form that bears the
blessings of Brennan and Tenet.
We live in interesting and corrupt times... 
spotting: Germans hold 'nature walks' to observe rare NSA spy
item is an article by Philip Oltermann on The Guardian:
This starts as
Well... I hope so, but I
must admit I have to see it before I believe it. Then again, the
Germans may start such a protest, because they have had both Nazism and
Communism on their own territory.
One morning last July,
the German intelligence service knocked on Daniel Bangert's door. They
had been informed by the US military police that Bangert was planning
to stage a protest outside the Dagger Complex, an American intelligence
base outside Griesheim in the Hesse region. Why hadn't he registered
the protest, and what were his political affiliations? they asked.
Bangert explained that he
wasn't planning a protest and that he didn't have any links to
political groups. All he had done was put a message on Facebook
inviting friends to go on a "nature walk" to "explore the endangered
habitat of NSA spies". Eventually, the
agents left in frustration.
Twelve months later,
Bangert's nature trail has not only become a weekly ritual in
Griesheim, but also the frontrunner of a new multi-generational German
protest movement against digital surveillance.
the illusion of evidence…
item is an article by 1 boring old man on his site:
This is about the
corruptions of medicine and psychiatry, especially in the U.S.
boring old man is a mostly pensioned psychiatrist with a good mind.
First, a quotation (the bolding is in the original) - and perhaps I
need to remind you that "evidence based medicine" (which is a pleonasm,
at least if medicine is a real science) is supposed to be the rule in
what once was the science of medicine, and indeed has largely replaced
the real science:
“The whole thing is profit driven,” says Michael Carome at Public
Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. “You can
see where corners might be cut, looking the other way when there might
be concerns about an investigator.” Some experts argue that
the FDA’s entire rulebook for clinical trials, with its talk of things
like “institutional” review boards, reflects the academic past of
clinical research — not today’s industrial juggernaut of for-profit
clinical trials firms and for-hire review boards, which oversee a
workforce of doctors drawn from regular medical practice. “They are
regulations for a world that doesn’t exist anymore,” says Elizabeth
Woeckner, president of Citizens for Responsible Care and Research,
which campaigns for the safety of medical research volunteers.
I agree, and "the entire
rulebook for clinical trials" has been replaced by a mostly secret
rulebook that is used by the big pharmaceutical corporations, who also
write most of the articles (that then are signed by Key Opinion Leaders
with medical titles, and published in reputable medical journals) and
keep most of the data secret, especially if these do not support the
efficacy of expensive patented drugs.
The science of medicine has been replaced by science of profitmaking,
much like the politics of democracy has been replaced by the politics
of propaganda and authority.
There also is this:
The ersatz authors
are usually listed with their academic rank and university affiliations
as if either have much to do with the initiation or conduct of the
studies themselves, other that as perhaps a locus for recruitment and
administration [if even that]. More bizarre, in many cases, the authors
don’t come into the picture in a substantive way until the final
revision process. The fact that the trial was conducted by a contracted
commercial enterprise, analyzed by the industrial sponsor, and written
by a ghost is rarely apparent on reading the article.
Likewise, the appearance of the published articles on Clinical Trials
in peer-reviewed professional journals lends a further aura of academic
legitimacy – rarely earned in the case of Clinical Trials.
Yes. This is also why I
have given up on the science of medicine and the pseudoscience of
psychiatry: You simply cannot trust what you read, also
not if it is published in a reputable medical journal. I suppose
worse in the U.S. than in Europe, but the big pharmaceutical
all are American, and Europeans generally follow Americans, especially
it concerns making things worse, for that is both a lot easier and more
profitable than making things better.
And this is the ending
of the article:
Many of these
trials and the publications they’ve generated give only the illusion of evidence worth
attending to – a sham exercise of the scientific method. Speaking of
illusions, it is unlikely that regulations per se will ever fix the
problems so long as the current levels of conflict of interest remain
in the system. The biggest illusion of all may well be that conflicts
of interest are relative, or that they can be regulated. Almost by
definition, they can either be allowed to continue to dominate this
scene or be eliminated…
Yes. What needs to
happen is that the profit motive is removed from the practice of
"medical science" - and the profit motive got instituted there from
1980 onwards, by those making billions from the selling of their drugs:
the big pharmaceutical corporations.
I do not know how to do this, but I do know that I cannot trust any
"science" which is profit oriented first, and is hardly truth oriented
Also, I do not say you should distrust your medical doctor: he or she
knows more of medicine than you do or than I do, and may help you with
many medical problems you may have.
But you should realize that your medical doctor reads medical journals
that contain a good amount of effective pseudoscience,
and also may not see that, for it is all well hidden and
secretive, and indeed not many medical doctors seem to care, either
because they indeed don't care (for most doctors are doctors because of
the money they earn with it, after all) or because they lack the time
and the resources to verify that what is presented to them as science
indeed is real science.
 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.)
 I still do not mind having spoken up, firstly
because it was the right thing to do, secondly because my parents and
grandparents also went into the resistance in WW II, when there also
wasn't much support for what they dared, and thirdly because I was and
am ill. But it also is true that if I had not been ill, I would
not have spoken up in either case, for then I would
have left Holland in 1980, when I had made my B.A. in philosophy: I
much dislike the country I have to live in simply to survive. (And
anyone with my experiences would.)
 I realize some readers may not
recognize that "May you live in interesting times!" is - or so I've
been told - a Chinese curse: Interesting times are times of great
upheavals and many pains and great troubles for many.
(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: