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."
want right to see medical records without consent
2. The Enron-ization of Water: Wall Street’s Pending
3. Obama Isn't Half the Man
of Richard Nixon
4. How Professional Democrats and
Republicans Ran America Into
This is a Nederlog of Monday,
August 11. It is a crisis log. There are five items, with seven
dotted links - and yes, I know the crisis index needs updating.
want right to see medical records without consent
item is an article by Vikram Dodd on The Guardian:
Yes, you read that
well: Your medical records, including all the secrets you have told
your doctor the last decades, now ought to be seen by the British
police, because - wait for it! - that would make its job easier.
Here is the start of the article, which covers a very sick plan - and I
do not refer to the journalist or the paper:
Police want new and
expanded rights to access medical records and other confidential data
without an individual's consent, a senior police chief has told the
Sir Peter Fahy, the
Greater Manchester chief constable, said the extra access to sensitive
data was needed to help police cope with growing numbers of vulnerable
Note the bullshit
reason: They want to see your medical records including the things you
said to your doctor on the firm supposition this would be kept secret
- in order "to help police
cope with growing numbers of vulnerable people".
This is simply sick,
very sick. Fahy also said:
He said demands had
changed over the past two decades, with vulnerable groups now
accounting for around 70% of police work. "We need to have easier
access to information," he said.
It's utter bullshit.
The police simply is not there to help "vulnerable people".
That is just not its job; that is the job of social or medical workers,
not the police. The police is there to maintain law
and order, not to help "vulnerable people". To pretend it is, as a
policeman, is to grossly lie and distort - but OK: I suppose he is sick.
He also lied about
Fahy accepted the public
may be sceptical about his calls for greater powers but said privacy concerns which
either deny officers access to information or slow the process down
cost police money and time.
I mean: he "accepted"
is plain nonsense - he acts like a fraud or a madman who 'accepted'
that although you may think 2+2=4, he 'knows' it equals 22, in his
higher wisdom. His reason is despicable: He wants to sacrifice your
medical privacy, if you are British, to the convenience of the
police, so as to prevent that ignorance of your medical privacy will "cost police money and time".
Why not propose from now on
that the British police ought to be given the right to
- sorry: "interrogate with enhancements", like electricity and thumb
screws - people they suspect, because that would save "police money and time"?
It is precisely
the same line of argument. Then he has this bullshit, making
out as if the police is something like a medical staff:
"We could do a better job
if we have greater access to information, which it is currently hard
for us to get," he said. "It would give us a deeper understanding of
those we are expected to help and their problems. The actions we take
would be much improved if we had a better understanding of that history
at the time we are called."
Happily there is a
voice of sanity:
Dr Tony Calland, of the
British Medical Association, said: "The essential principle that runs
throughout the recording of medical information is that of
confidentiality and trust. This principle has stood the test of time
for millennia and still holds good today.
"At present the checks and balances in the current legal position are
satisfactory and whilst the current law may cause some difficulty for
the police the case has not been made to recommend a substantial change
in the law ."
I agree - but if the
maintenance of "confidentiality
and trust" is dependent on
such persons as are at present the majority of parliamentarians or
members of government, it will be soon lost.
Here are his final lies:
He accepted that trust in
state power had been damaged after the revelations from the
whistleblower Edward Snowden about the extent of state surveillance:
"The danger is [revelations] from Snowden create an atmosphere of
suspicion of why public services want to access the information."
But he said: "If you want
a good public service it is crucial that there is increased information
sharing, properly overseen and regulated."
Again he "accepted"
things, this time that Snowden - not he, not Cameron, not
the GCHQ - created "an
atmosphere of suspicion of why public services want to access the
information". Snowden did
That is utter
bullshit - and of course you need to be suspicuous of the government's
supposed "public services"! The government is the greatest power in the
country; it is run by bureaucrats;
while the government and the parliament are mostly professional
careerists, who nearly all want power and riches much more than they
want to serve the public. So clearly any rational person should suspect
what the government or its bureaucracies are up to.
And no: A "good
public service" does not start with "increased information sharing", especially not with the police, who
serve the executive (government) or the judiciary departments (law),
much rather than "the public": The police is there to maintain law and
order, much rather than "help vulnerable people".
In fact, the Dutch
police never helped me in 64 years: They did for three years nothing
to reign in a sadistic madman, who attacked me, threatened to murder
me, and kept me for three years from sleeping, and then did for four
years nothing against illegal drugsdealers in hard and in soft
drugs, because the mayor had given these illegal dealers "permission"
to deal from the house where I lived, and in both cases the police
knowingly broke the law. Otherwise the police did absolutely nothing
for me in my whole life.
That is the police I
know. I have no reason to believe the British police is any better -
though I grant they have not for 30 years protected dealers in
illegal drugs, if these had a "permission" by the mayor to deal in
illegal drugs: that is a typically Dutch way of making loads of money.
The Enron-ization of Water: Wall Street’s Pending Resource Grab
item is an article by Don Quijones on Wolf Street:
This is from the
The problem of water
scarcity is growing at an alarming rate. By 2050, experts forecast a
55% increase in the amount of water required to meet demand from rising
populations, food production and industry. Failure to meet that demand
will have devastating consequences: water shortages will become
chronic, leading to the proliferation of water riots and water wars.
According to UN estimates, $1.8 trillion in new investments will be
needed over the next 20 years to avoid such a calamity. The question is:
Whence Will That
According to the wise
masters of big capital and finance, there can only be one source: the
ever-knowing, ever-perfect financial markets.
Yes, of course. Also,
this will be extremely profitable to them. This is continued thus:
Writing in the Daily
Telegraph, Andrew Critchlow argued the case for financializing water:
Markets can play an important role in providing future water
security (DQ: Note the use of the term “water security,” not “water
independence” or “water sustainability”). The City can help to fund
vital water infrastructure and the creation of a futures market to
trade water would help to create a baseline pricing mechanism against
which regional water tariffs could be fairly set…
“Water will become something that is traded, there will be a
market for it and this could happen in the next decade,” said Usha
Rao-Monari, chief executive officer of Global Water Development
Partners – an affiliate of New York-based investment giant Blackstone,
the world’s largest private equity firm with a reported $280bn under
The reasoning is clear:
in order to create more efficient distribution of the world’s most
vital resource, we need to create myriad new layers of middlemen and
financiers and have them trading billions (if not trillions) of dollars
in derivatives of that scarce resource on global commodity exchanges.
It will be the Enron-ization of water, as the exact same people who
almost destroyed the global economy with mortgage-backed securities and
credit default swaps and who have corrupted the basic pricing mechanism
of just about every commodity market on the planet will be entrusted to
determine the price of the water we consume.
That is the basis to
support the title. There is a lot more in the article - and yes, I do
know it is speculative at the moment, but it is fair speculation:
Whatever can be made a profit from, will be made a profit from, if it
is up to the marketeers, and the bigger profit the better, regardless
of the costs to others.
Isn't Half the Man of Richard Nixon
item is an article by Ted Rall on Common Dreams:
Here is an outline of Rall's
There is more, some of which I
will quote below, but in fact Nixon's crimes are a lot more
serious than "screwing around with the FBI investigation".
By today's standards,
however, Nixon's efforts to protect his henchmen, including his screwing
around with the FBI investigation that led to an article of impeachment
for obstruction of justice, look positively penny-ante, more worthy
of a traffic ticket than a high crime or misdemeanor. Obstruction of
justice, scandalous and impeachable just 40 years ago, has become
Case study: Obama's
cover-up of torture.
Much bigger crime.
Much longer cover-up.
Much less of a problem.
Five and a half years
after taking office, President Obama finally admitted what informed
citizens have known since 2002: the United States tortures
The main reason Nixon did screw around with that investigation is that
he wanted to know - as outlined yesterday
- what Lyndon Johnson knew about Nixon's treason, which led to four
more years of war in Vietnam, and led to over a million more
deaths, including 20.000 American soldiers, and also made Nixon
president of the United States.
There is this on Obama - and I quote a lot less than there is in the
article, but this is the main point:
Normally, when one
crosses a line – is there a more clearly disgusting line than torture?
– one faces consequences. Thanks to Obama, however, no one from the
CIA, US military or other American government employee has ever
suffered so much as a 1% pay cut as the result of drowning
detainees, many of whom were released
because they never committed any crime whatsoever, sodomizing
kidnap victims with flashlights and other objects,
subjecting people to extremes of heat, cold and sleep
deprivation – not even for murdering
detainees or driving them to suicide at American-run torture centers like
Guantánamo concentration camp.
I agree all of this is
very bad and is completely against Obama's promises, and I also agree
that Obama's main reason (in public) is totally ridiculous: We must "look
forward as opposed to looking backwards". That is just a slickly phrased and totally
false complete refusal to do any justice.
But much as I dislike Obama, I
don't think he is a greater crook than Nixon: He did not win the
elections by a treasonous schema that made the Vietnam war (or any
other war) continue for four more years, in which, as a result, over a
million more men, women and children were killed.
Also, Nixon did not do "the right thing" by resigning: He
resigned because he had no other way to keep his treason secret - and
by resigning, he mostly succeeded in doing that.
How Professional Democrats
and Professional Republicans Ran America Into the Ground
item is an article by Matt Stoller, that was in fact written in 2012,
and is recycled by Lambert Strether on Naked Capitalism:
In fact, this
is about a book Jeff Connaughton wrote about the decline of democracy
and the rise of big money in the U.S., called "The Payoff: Why
Wallstreet Always Wins".
I found this on Wikipedia in an article on another book. for there is
no lemma on Connaughton himself on Wikipedia:
(..) Kaufman and
Connaughton worked on reform of the financial services industry in the
wake of the Great Recession. They encouraged criminal
prosecution of financial fraud cases as well as limits to the size of
banks, but met with limited success. Connaughton found that the
lobbyists he used to work with had better information and more input on
financial reform regulation than he had as a Senate aide. Connaughton
believed that the advocates for consumers, such as the group Americans
for Financial Reform were being overwhelmed by industry lobbyists.
After Kaufman's term ended, Connaughton, disillusioned with Washington,
moved to Savannah, Georgia and published a memoir
of his experiences, The
Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins.
That last book was
reviewed by Matt Stoller, and from his review I quote the following:
(..) has no illusions about the power of Wall Street and the
political system. It isn’t fixable within the current model. Nonprofits
are outgunned, political money is too powerful, and the careerist
allure Professional Democrats and Professional Republicans is
overwhelming. He has no solutions, just his own witnessing of how the
people who rule us think and act when we’re not in the room.
There is a lot more in
the review, which is interesting, but I quoted it mainly because of the
first paragraph above, because I agree with it, and because Connaughton
really seems to have tried, and seems to be telling the truth, at last.
Connaughton is going to pay
a heavy price for this book, and for his reform-minded behavior in the
last three years. He told stories that you aren’t supposed to tell,
gives away open secrets that should remain circulating only among
insiders. He blew up his connections in the world of politics, burned
all his insider bridges. I don’t quite know why he wrote this book –
though the book itself is deeply pessimistic, the act of writing is in
and of itself an act laden with hope.
and last item is an article by 1 boring old man (in fact, a mostly pensioned
psychiatrist with a good mind) on his site:
This starts as
last post [the
illusion of evidence…], I was playing with the phrases evidence of illusion [looking for
signs that a scientific paper has used the the techniques of
presentation to obscure rather than clarify data] and the illusion of evidence [valuing the
mathematical/statistical results of Randomized Clinical Trials over all
other sources of information].
After which it
continues (with a brief bit I don't quote in between) as follows:
Actually, as I pointed out last year, the illusion
of evidence is even a lot larger: The statistical model
that is used by psychiatrists, psychologists and pharma- cologists is
thing that got lost, the thing I started off wanting to say, probably
deserves its own separate post anyway. In a recent article
[unfortunately behind a pay-wall], David Healy makes the point
Today, many argue that the growing crisis in
health care stems from conflicts of interest and lack of access to
clinical trial data. Our view is that small-print disclosure in
academic footnotes and open access to trial data, important though
these are, will not solve problems that stem from the notion that
clinical trials provide a higher form of knowledge than knowledge borne
in a clinical encounter – the realm of the experiential and the
The Randomized Clinical Trials are all based on a deep statistical
fallacy, that was found by the mathematical statistician and cognitive
psychologist prof.dr. Peter Molenaar. It was reviewed by me in
From this review, I first quote Molenaar:
As will be
shortly, the assumption about the equivalence of a structure of
inter-individual variation at the population level and the analogous
structure of intra-individual variation at the individual level is
referred to as the ergodic assumption. It is
reiterated that the ergodic assumption underlies all standard
statistical analyses techniques in psychology. These techniques only
use information provided by inter-individual variation. As soon
as results thus obtained are generalized to the level of individual
subjects (e.g., in individual assessment or prediction), it is assumed
that the ergodic assumption holds. Almost always the ergodic
assumption is not stated or tested explicitly, but that does not mean
that it is not required to make generalizations from states of affairs
obtaining at the population level to the level of single subjects.
Next I quote myself from
last year, explaining the above:
The denotation “ergodic” is
inspired by the so-called classical ergodic theorems (cf. Krengel,
1985). These theorems, in particular Birkhoff’s individual ergodic
theorem (Birkhoff, 1931), imply general mathematical conditions that have
to be met by any measurable dynamic process in order to
guarantee that the population structure of inter-individual variation
can be validly generalized to the level of intra-individual variation,
and vice versa.
problem is that
it does not hold, for inter-individual processes,
although it does hold - if and when everything is done correctly - for intra-individual
As I said at the time, I
am a bit skeptical that most medical or psychological people will pick
it up soon, because it is mathematical statistics. Those who want to
try can find a (mostly) accessible treatment here (in a pdf):
Put otherwise and
simpler but quite adequately:
Most - nearly all - of
the data on which psychiatry and pharmacology
and psychology have been based do NOT allow the interpretaton
psychiatrists, pharmacologists or psychologists have given to them:
The data have been assumed
to be ergodic, but they are NOT
You just cannot
validly generalize about persons
as has been done in psychology, psychiatry and pharmacology.
In brief: What you get
from averaging the results of several individuals is not a
result that validly applies to any individual, not in the group and not
outside the group. It is all an illusion of evidence, much
rather than real evidence.
 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: