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."
Snowden given permission to stay in
three more years
2. "A Hideous Atrocity":
Noam Chomsky on
on Gaza & U.S. Support for
3. Leaked Files: German Spy
Arab Spring Protesters
Percent ‘Literally Rich Beyond Measure’
5. On me and M.E.:
supplements, boxes, Prozac
This is a Nederlog of Friday,
August 8. It is a crisis log.
There is an earlier Nederlog of today,
which continues my autobiography, in Dutch.
The present file has four crisis items of various kinds, and ends with
a somewhat longer personal note on my M.E. and the drugs I have taken
to help me against this.
1. Edward Snowden given permission to stay in Russia for
three more years
item is an article by Alec Luhn and Mark Tran on The Guardian:
This starts as follows,
and is good news according to me:
As I said: This is good
news (for me, though not the NSA). There is considerably more in the
article, but I will only lift two things I did not know.
the National Security Agency whistleblower, has been given permission
to stay in Russia for three more
years and will be allowed to travel abroad for three-month stints. His
Russian lawyer told reporters that Snowden, whose temporary asylum ran
out on 1 August, has received a three-year residence permit.
"The decision on the
application has been taken and therefore, starting 1 August 2014,
Edward Snowden has received a three-year residential permit," said
But the former NSA contractor has not been
granted political asylum, which would have allowed him to stay in
Russia permanently. However, Kucherena said Snowden would be able to
extend his residency permit for a further three years when it runs out
and after five years would be eligible to apply for Russian
citizenship. He did not know if Snowden intended to do so.
First, there is this:
permit will allow Snowden to travel out of Russia for the first time,
provided he does not stay outside the country for more than three
months at a time, Kucherena said. The lawyer said he could not say
which country Snowden might visit.
That is a bit nice,
though I suppose that Snowden, even if he does take this up, should
still avoid countries with strong ties to the U.S., including Europe.
And there is this about Snowden's successors, that is, other members of
the NSA who turned whistleblower:
"As far as
successors, not just one person, but many have appeared," Kucherena
said. "Edward Snowden doesn't have anything to do with this, but the
feat he accomplished inspires other young people who follow this and
understand that we live in a world of total surveillance in violation
of our rights."
2. "A Hideous Atrocity": Noam Chomsky on
Israel’s Assault on Gaza & U.S. Support for the Occupation
item is an article by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:
This starts as
Vicious. Murderous. That is how Noam Chomsky
describes Israel’s 29-day offensive in Gaza that killed nearly 1,900
people and left almost 10,000 people injured. Chomsky has written
extensively about the Israel/Palestine conflict for decades. After
Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Chomsky co-authored the book
"Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians"
with Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé. His other books on the
Israel/Palestine conflict include "Peace in the Middle East?:
Reflections on Justice and Nationhood" and "The Fateful Triangle: The
United States, Israel, and the Palestinians." Chomsky is a
world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Institute
Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he
has taught for more than 50 years.
In fact, this is the
introduction to a long and interesting interview, that I leave to your
perusal, except for quoting one tiny bit, because it is good and quite
Well, as always, for all states and all political leaderships, we have
to distinguish rhetoric from action. Any political leader can produce
lovely rhetoric, even Hitler, Stalin, whoever you want. What we ask is:
What are they doing?
Yes! You just cannot
trust policians, of whatever kind: you must check whether their
words and their deeds are consistent - for which you generally need a
press (that will inform you that you cannot trust policians, and if you
can, as may happen, this is mostly because they are checked by a free
3. Leaked Files: German Spy Company
Helped Bahrain Hack Arab Spring Protesters
item is an article by Cora Currier and Morgan Marquis-Boire on The
This starts as
There is considerably
more under the last dotted link, but I will only quote one bit from it,
that explains some:
A notorious surveillance
technology company that helps governments around the world spy on their
citizens sold software to Bahrain during that country’s brutal response
to the Arab Spring movement, according to leaked internal documents
posted this week on the internet.
The documents show that
FinFisher, a German surveillance company, helped Bahrain install
spyware on 77 computers, including those belonging to human rights
lawyers and a now-jailed opposition leader, between 2010 and 2012—a
period that includes Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
FinFisher’s software gives remote spies total access to compromised
computers. Some of the computers that were spied on appear to have been
located in the United States and United Kingdom, according
to a report from Bahrain Watch.
There’s little regulation
preventing companies like FinFisher from selling surveillance software
to countries like Bahrain. And the secretive nature of the industry
means that companies “have been allowed to operate with impunity,
selling intrusive surveillance equipment to states where there is no
public scrutiny of surveillance or clear laws regulating its use,” said
Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International.
‘Literally Rich Beyond Measure’
item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig!:
This starts as
Wealth hidden by
tax shelters and non-responses to questionnaires is so undercounted
that “correcting for similar lapses in income data almost erases
progress made from 1988 to 2008 in narrowing the gap between the
world’s rich and poor,” Bloomberg contributor Jeanna Smialek reports a
body of research has found.
I say - though this does
not amaze me at all, for a reason that follows. First, there is also
this: Smialek is
quoted to the following effect:
I think the "m" in "million"
ought to be a "b" (since there were 442 billionaires in the US). Also,
there is this:
Failure to get a better
handle on the actual amount of wealth and income means economists and
policy makers don’t have a proper understanding of the degree of
disparity, which represents a hurdle in addressing it. For instance,
knowing that earnings and assets are more concentrated could spur
support for changing the tax structure, Zucman said.
“If you don’t have a good
idea of what the world looks like, it’s hard to determine what the
effects of policies will be,” said Carter Price, senior mathematician
at the Center for Equitable Growth in Washington, which focuses on
issues of economic inequality. “Looking retrospectively, it’s hard to
assess what the effects of a policy were.”
The richest of America’s
rich—the top 0.1 percent with at least $20 million in net wealth—held
23.5 percent of all U.S. wealth in 2012 after adding in estimates of
how much was hidden in offshore tax havens, said Zucman, a visiting
scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. That compares with
his previous estimate of 21.5 percent.
59-year-old Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of cleaning and personal-care
products company Seventh Generation Inc. and among “the wealthiest 1
percent in the U.S.,” as saying, “The more money that you have, the
easier it becomes to hide that and avoid taxes.” He adds that the very
rich have wealth in foundations and companies that compound the
difficulty of measuring their fortunes.
And Hollender formulated the
reason why I am not amazed:
Zucman’s paper found that
financial wealth held offshore costs the U.S. $36 billion in annual
uncollected tax revenue. Smialek writes, “That’s enough to buy lunch
for every student in New York City public schools for more than a
century. Europe is losing about $75 billion.”
“The more money
that you have, the easier it becomes to hide that and avoid taxes.”
Quite so. (And what
about a death tax of 100% for the mega-rich? Seeing that they tend to
claim it is talent that they claim made them rich?)
5. On me and M.E.: supplements, boxes, Prozac
This final item is
about me and M.E. and has three subjects: the supplements I currently
take; something I did achieve, finally, after 8 years; and a
consideration of Prozac (fluoxetine). It is a bit longer than is usual,
for this kind of subject.
supplements I currently take. I mentioned last week that I have
kicked out some and experimented some, because I had occasional
diarrhea, without feeling ill, which was one reason to change the
supplements, and also I became aware that I may have been taking too
much of the the B-vitamins, especially B1 and B2.
What I am taking now
since a week is this:
This is the directly usable
form of folate, and part of the protocol. (2 pills.)
vitamin C: 4
I think - statistics support
me - this makes sense for me. (4 pills)
kalium: 800 mg:
This is part of the
protocol. I do need at least 400 mg, given the rest. (4 pills)
mB12: 2000 mcg: This is again the B12 infusion, that is
supposed to be the best, and I doubled the dosis. (2 pills)
aB12: 3000 mcg: Note this adenosinecobalamin. This I
use every third day. (1 pill)
mg. This is just magnesium
and constitutes a daily dose. (1 pill)
E: 400 IE. This is because it has seemed to help me
quite a few
times the last 30 years. (1 pill)
This is the same as I
noted on August 2, except that I took less magnesium. I am doing
reasonably well on this, and also have no more diarrhea. So this worked
out, and I will probably not bother you for a month.
Next, the boxes. This requires some explanations.
I am ill now since 1.1.1979 and have been ill all the time,
has varied considerably. The variations were due to three reasons,
which I will briefly treat.
First, the disease itself varies unaccountably: one may get more or
less ill without being able to give any cogent reason. This has always
been the case.
Second, the disease may get worse because one has to do too much or
because one has too little sleep. This has happened quite a few times,
but especially (i) from 1981-1983, because my ex and I lived next door
to a madman who terrorized us, and (ii) from 1988-1992, because I lived
above a legal-illegal drugs coffeeshop that had been given personal
permission by Amsterdam's mayor Van Thijn to deal illegal soft drugs
from the house where I lived, not where he lived, and
without informing or asking me anything.
Third, the disease may get less because of pills one takes, and I have
taken three kinds of pills: orthomolecular supplements since the summer
of 1983, in many varying doses, by varying suppliers, and off and on;
sleeping pills since 1994; and Prozac (fluoxetine) from 1994 till 2011,
also off and on, but none since 2011.
The first collapse, due to terror and lack of sleep during two years, I
weathered fairly well as soon as I could sleep again normally, which
happened as soon as I got a new house, and also because I had started
to take orthomolecular supplements (aka megavitamins), that I first found out about in
1983 (before the taking of supplements got fashionable). The second
collapse, after four years of too little sleep, murder threats and
being gassed, lasted from 1992-2012.
I have been consistently worse from 1992-2012 than I
was before, because what remained of my health was almost totally
destroyed, and the medicines I took also did not have much effect: I
started sleeping pills in 1994, simply because I slept only 4-6 hours a
night without, and that is too little, and while they did help me
sleep, which also improved my health a bit, it did not improve more.
And I also had become very depressed in 1990-1991, which indeed
I knew, being a psychologist, and hoped to weather by having a new
house from 1993 onwards in which I could sleep well and was not
bothered by anyone, but while I got a bit less depressed, I could not
get rid of depression.
My G.P., who was very good, recommended that I should take Prozac which
she was willing to prescribe, and I took it from 1994 onwards, and
indeed it did help me to get out of the deep depression I had
lived in for several years, and did so, after an initial 4 weeks of no
results, quite suddenly, and moved me out of being depressed to feeling
mentally more or less normal - but then this did not change anything
about my M.E. which remained quite troublesome. 
In fact, also because I did not get any help, and because my very good
G.P. ceased to practice in 1999, I could not properly clean my house,
and it slowly grew more and more cluttered, even though I tried to
In 2006 I decided to pay someone to help me, which cost me 450 or 500
euros, but which also resulted in a clean house, which I have kept up
reasonably well ever since, but the cleaning up had resulted in
having nearly 40 big boxes filled with unsorted papers of all
kinds, and also with many other kinds of stuff that I had to sort, that
included quite a bit from my mother, who had died in 1996.
These are the boxes, that filled a considerable part of
one of my two rooms ever since the summer of 2006, and which I then had
decided "to sort as soon as I could". The problem was that I simply
could not, and nobody else did anything for me, so there they stood,
and stood, and stood.
That is, until this year:
I have now sorted over 20 large boxes of
paper down to three boxes containing 1 1/2 meters of papers, and did so
between May and August of this year, and I feel very well about
this, simply because I wanted to do it very much, could not do
all until this year, and now managed it rather easily.
I still have to sort 1 1/2 meters of papers by kind and date, and I
also still have to sort ten boxes of household stuff, most of which
undoubtedly can be thrown away, but all of this is a lot easier, and will be
finished in a month or two, if I keep having my current level of health.
Finally, Prozac (fluoxetine). I have taken Prozac, and
started in 1994, when it also got rid of the major depression I had
then for four years, and did so within 2 or 3 months at most, which
much improved my mood.
Now I want to say some things about taking Prozac (or fluoxetine) and
start with the following three items:
First, I had never been depressed before 1990. I had clearly
had my ups and downs, but never longer than a few hours or days
at most, and in fact had had a fairly constant, stable, non-depressed
and quite level mood ever since my middle teens, about which I had no
complaints at all, and that also seemed quite a bit more stable and
less problematic than what I tended to see around me.
Second, I got a major depression that started to build up in 1990,
which belongs to the kind psychiatrists call "reactive" and that I
prefer to call "situational":
I had to live in a situation in which I could consistently not sleep
enough, and was threatened with murder by dealers in drugs (both hard
and soft), which the mayor had put on the bottom floor, and which the
police defended much rather than me.
Third, I never have had any chemical sensitivity, not for
medicines and not for anything else: normally, such medicines as I
take, including orthomolecular supplements, either work normally, or do
not work at all, but they normally do not give me specific
This also is the case for me with Prozac (as it was called when I
started it) aka fluoxetine (as it was called from circa 2002, when it
also got a lot cheaper, simply because the patent had ended).
I started with reading about Prozac in 1994, when I read "Listening to
Prozac", which in fact was a bit of propaganda, and have read rather a
lot about it since 2010, which also changed my attitudes to it, and
altogether stopped my taking of it, which I now don't do for three
years, and will never do again. Here are my reasons.
While I really was helped by Prozac, which got rid of a major
depression in 1994, and I also did not have any of the adverse
reactions that seemed to have plagued many more people (including many
suicides and quite a few murders) than the pharmaceutical company
wished to acknowledge, I kept taking it far too
long, as a matter of course, and "to prevent the recurrence of more
I should have stopped it in 1995, but did not, and indeed taking it for
a long time afterwards did not seem to have any major consequences for
me. In fact, I did experiment with it, and took it off and on from
around 2000, but I do not think that was a wise decision at all:
Now - not being depressed, and not having taken an
anti-depressant for at least three years, and in fact not
needing one since 1995 - it seems fairly clear to me that my mental
situation from 1995-2010 was somehow flattened or levelled:
I did not have any remarkable lows, but I also did not get any
This is difficult to describe but this is how it struck me: as if I
lived in a somewhat artificial world where both the deep lows
and the highs, such as falling in love, were "kept in control" and were
not felt, because I took fluoxetine.
Since I have taken it for 15 years, and have now not taken it for 3
years, in which I was also not depressed at all, but did
saw a return of myself as I was before 1990, I am fairly certain of my
conclusions (and I also note, albeit parenthetic-
ally, that the ordinary experiments that allow a medicine to be
accepted rarely take more than four to six weeks, while the long term
effects simply are not studied at all).
In any case, here are my conclusions about Prozac/fluoxetine:
1. There are serious problems (which may end in
suicide or murder) for
of users of Prozac. I did not have them, and it may
be that they are somewhat rare, but they definitely exist, and should
be known to everyone before he or
starts taking it.
2. Anti-depressants in general are not well
have they been well
researched. They may help in some cases, as they did
help me, but they
certainly are prescribed far too much.
3. If you are prescribed an anti-depressant (and the
since 1980 or so, tend to be varieties on a theme, that
are mostly made
because of the patents, that is, for profit rather than for patients)
and it doesn't
work, you should stop taking it after 2 months or so; if it does work,
should stop taking it after half a year, at most, after feeling better.
4. I am fairly certain that Prozac (and other
a long time work as levellers and flatteners
of one's moods. It turns out that I feel considerably better - "less
flat", "more natural" - without than with (and indeed I really have had
no depression except for 1990-1994, and that was
Of course, it may be that you have extreme moods anyway, in which case
things might be different, but for me, with a fairly level and normally
quite tolerable mood that I did have from 1965-1990, also quite
unproblematically, it seems quite sensible not to take any mood
changers as long as I do not really have to.
And the same holds for most others, it would seem to me: medicines of
are not healthy, and you should avoid taking them without a good and
rationally founded reason.
 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.)
know this is contrary to psychiatric wisdom, who insisted at that time
that M.E. = depression, but then indeed I believe that psychiatrists by
and large are incompetent and unwise, and I am a psychologist - and a
philosopher who is quite qualified to judge these matters.
(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: