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."
growth splutters to a halt as crisis enters new
2. The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the
Light by the Horrors of
3. Orwell estate hits back
4. under some of the rocks…
patients dying early because of
This is a Nederlog of Friday,
August 15. It is a crisis log.
I did not find too much about the crisis, although the first article
insists Europe still is in crisis and may enter the third dip, after
the double dip.
Also, at least the article about Orwell I review is not immediately
crisis related, but it is here because I like Orwell a lot, and because
his texts were sorely abused and falsified by Amazon.
And the present NL is uploaded a bit earlier than usual because I need
to do some other things.
growth splutters to a halt as crisis enters new phase
item is an article by Larry Elliott, the economics editor of The
This starts as follows:
I say! Well... not
really, as I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008, and this is the
587th in the series since 2008 (or the 597th, if I count the ones I
assembled under 226, because of a faulty numbering).
France piled pressure on
Central Bank to do more to boost growth on Thursday after news that
economic activity across the 18-nation single currency area came to a
halt in the second quarter.
With France registering
zero growth for a second successive quarter, Michel Sapin, the
country's finance minister, halved his growth forecast for this year,
abandoned the deficit reduction target and said it was up to the
Frankfurt-based ECB to respond to an "exceptional situation of weak
growth and weak inflation across the eurozone".
Sapin's demand came as
the latest figures from Eurostat, the European Union's
statistical agency, showed that problems in the single currency's Big
Three economies – Germany, France and Italy – resulted in no
increase in eurozone gross domestic product in the three months to
June. That compares with an increase of 0.2% in the first quarter.
And indeed: What can on expect when, both in the U.S. and Europe, none
of the bankmanagers who caused the crisis are punished in any way? What can on expect when, both in the
U.S. and Europe, the bank managers still are paid millionaire's incomes
for continuing fraudulent practices? What can you expect when your
bank, like mine, does not pay any interest, while paying its
manager half a million euros a year? And what can one expect if you
cannot trust the ordinary economical statistics anymore, where "new
jobs" are counted as "1" even if they are ten hours a week or do not
What you reasonably can expect is a continuation of the crisis, which
we have now for six years. And no, I am not happy about its
continuation, but I expect it to continue until either the banks are
tamed, and brough back to where they were in the 1970ies, or else the
banks are collapsed, which will happen in the next major crisis, after
which perhaps they can be tamed (but I do not know: this is the happy
variant, that assumes not too much disorder).
Here is some more by Larry Elliott:
And some more, after
skipping rather a lot, but this is about the triple dip:
interest rate – or yield – on 10-year German bonds briefly fell below
1% for the first time as dealers anticipated a protracted period of low
growth, low inflation and low interest rates. Markets already knew that
Italian output had contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter but were
surprised by a similar-sized fall in Germany, which was hurt by a more
challenging climate for its key export sector.
Markets had been
expecting growth in the second quarter to be 0.1% or 0.2%, but said the
fresh setback to the eurozone raised the prospect of a triple-dip
recession. The eurozone suffered a sharp contraction in 2008-09 and
then had a second, milder downturn from which it only finally emerged
It seems to me that
"finally emerged" is a bit too strong (I and most other non-rich did
not notice anything, for example), but OK: It seems like a triple dip.
And the crisis moves on, and is in its seventh year in seventeen days,
if I count from September 1, 2008.
2. The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally
Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson
item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as
militarization of America’s police forces is a serious menace about
which a small number of people have been loudly warning for years, with
little attention or traction. In a
2007 paper on “the blurring distinctions between the police and
military institutions and between war and law enforcement,” the
criminal justice professor Peter Kraska defined “police militarization”
as “the process whereby civilian police increasingly draw from,
and pattern themselves around, the tenets of militarism and the
The harrowing events of
the last week in Ferguson, Missouri – the fatal police shooting of an
unarmed African-American teenager, Mike Brown, and the blatantly
excessive and thuggish response to ensuing community protests from a
police force that resembles an occupying army – have shocked the U.S.
media class and millions of Americans. But none of this is
It is the destructive
by-product of several decades of deliberate militarization of American
policing, a trend that received a sustained (and ongoing) steroid
injection in the form of a still-flowing,
post-9/11 federal funding bonanza, all justified in the name of
“homeland security.” This has resulted in a domestic police force that
looks, thinks, and acts more like an invading and occupying military
than a community-based force to protect the public.
Yes - and the
justification that it is for "homeland security"
is utter baloney, as also emerged from Ferguson, at least if "homeland security"
is the security of ordinary people not to get shot or grossly
mistreated by "their" police (that is supposed to be there "to serve and protect") as a matter of course.
There is a lot more
that I leave to your interest, but here is the - underlying - reason
Glenn Greenwald sees for the militarization of the U.S. police:
The reason the U.S. has
para-militarized its police forces is precisely to control this type of
domestic unrest, and it’s simply impossible to imagine its not being
deployed in full against a growing protest movement aimed at grossly
and corruptly unequal resource distribution. As Madeleine Albright said when
arguing for U.S. military intervention in the Balkans: “What’s the
point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we
can’t use it?” That’s obviously how governors, big-city Mayors and
Police Chiefs feel about the stockpiles of assault rifles, SWAT gear,
hi-tech helicopters, and the coming-soon drone
technology lavished on them in the wake of the post/9-11
Security State explosion, to say nothing of the enormous federal
law enforcement apparatus that, more than anything else, resembles a
standing army which is increasingly
Most of this
militarization has been justified by invoking Scary Foreign Threats —
primarily the Terrorist — but its prime purpose is domestic.
Yes. This is also the
reason it will not stop, that is, not until a radical change in
American politics (which I do not see coming soon nor easily).
Orwell estate hits back at Amazon's corporate 'doublespeak'
item is an article by Alison Flood on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Representatives of George Orwell have
described Amazon's selective quoting of the Nineteen Eighty-Four author
as "dystopian and shameless" and "as close as one can get to the
Ministry of Truth and its doublespeak".
Amazon turned to Orwell
for support in its long-running and public clash over ebook terms with
the publisher Hachette at the weekend, comparing their battle over
ebook pricing ("We want lower ebook prices. Hachette does not") to the
fight Penguin had when it introduced cheap paperbacks in the 1930s.
"The famous author George
Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if
'publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress
them'," wrote Amazon in a
letter to readers. "Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion."
But the full quote from
Orwell runs: "The Penguin books are splendid value for sixpence, so
splendid that if other publishers had any sense they would combine
against them and suppress them." The discrepancy has been pointed out
by a host of websites. "It's clear that Orwell is praising the
paperback, not arguing for its abolition," wrote
TechCrunch. "Only a fool or a businessman would twist that quote so
completely. But that's exactly what Amazon did and that's horrible."
Yes, indeed. There is a
considerable amount more, and the ending is this:
Amazon have declined the
Guardian's request for comment.
Well... you could
stop buying via Amazon. I never did and never will, for I rather pay a
little more at a local bookshop. And no, it will not help much, but it
certainly does not contribute to Amazon or its mega-rich owner.
some of the rocks…
item is an article by 1 boring old man:
This starts as
I started writing
about these topics a few years ago because I was stunned by the
deceptive presentation methods in clinical trial reporting. And then I
discovered that if a trial didn’t come out like they wanted and
couldn’t be doctored, they just didn’t publish it. The more I looked,
the worse things got. The more I
looked, the worse things got. I kept running across the term CRO, one
that I’d never heard before, and asked a more knowledgeable colleague
what it meant. Looking into that arena lead me to a whole new level of
deception. It has been a disillusioning journey, I must admit.
I take it (from
Wikipedia) that "CRO" = "Contract Research Organization". Apart from
One of the things 1
boring old man does not say, although he mentions a number of
persons who think like he does, is how disappointing it must be
to discover that in fact few medical doctors or psychiatrists
seem to care, especially since 1 boring man is quite right that the
evidence for gigantic profit-oriented fraudulence is very massive.
1 boring old man also
says, still in a reflective mood:
I came back Monday from a
vacation trip with friends where I spent little time thinking about
contemporary matters medical. When I got back Monday night, I was out
of the rhythm of keeping up with the things I usually follow. What I
always find when I’ve taken a break is that I feel anew the same kind
of outrage I felt five or six years ago when I first began to
understand how the pharmaceutical-academic
psychiatry alliance had become so widely
corrupting. Obviously it’s a much bigger problem than simply
psychiatry, but it appears my specialty was especially vulnerable [and
had some people in high places who dove in head first]. It always takes
me a few days to recover my composure and get back into the state of
play, rather than this just rant on and on about the myriad of
absurdities like those mentioned above.
Well, I have been
following 1 boring old man daily for some 3 years now, and I have not
been disappointed (though I don't agree with all he wrote).
My own problem is -
again - that there are relatively few medical doctors who protest the
corruption of their own science, for indeed 1 boring old man is quite
correct that, while the corruption is most prominent in psychiatry, in
part because it is the least scientific of all branches of medicine, it
extends to much of medicine in general, which is more and more
transforming itself into being an adjunct to the pharmaceutical
corporations, that now conducts most of their researches, may write the
stuff the doctors sign, and simply does not publish whatever threatens
What can be done
about this? Medicine and psychiatry should be regulated (again, in the
interests of the patients, the doctors, and real science, and against
Big Pharma), and experiments and data should become objective and
scientific again, and not the property of the pharmaceutical
In fact, this is far
less difficult than regulating the economy and the big banks, but it
probably will not happen for the same reason as the big banks are not
corporations have enormous amounts of money, and can corrupt
most players, though indeed not all, and - alas! - many medical doctors
and psychiatrists have their eyes on the money they can get, much
rather than on the patients or their interests.
dying early because of postcode lottery
The last item of
is an article by Denis Campbell on The Guardian:
This is again about the
British health care system, and it is here because I wrote yesterday about the British psychiatrist
Simon Wessely, who had the gall to state this argument - and I quote
from The Guardian:
Wessely said there
would be a public outcry if those who went without treatment were
cancer patients rather than people with mental health problems.
Imagine, he told the Guardian, the reaction if he gave a talk that
began: "'So, we have a problem in cancer service at the moment. Only
30% of people with cancer are getting treatment, so 70% of them don't
get any treatment for their cancer at all and it's not even recognised."
As I pointed out
yesterday, Wessely falsifies matters in pretending that cancer and
psychological problems are on a par. They are not, and not at
all, because cancer is a real disease, with real
tests, and real treatments, whereas psychiatry is a fraudulent pseudoscience, the leaders of which agree that they
cannot even define madness, and that does not treat diseases
but what they are pleased to call "disorders", which they cannot
even rationally define (for the DSM is bullshit, if
properly and rationally considered, that seems to serve mostly as an
excuse to make patients swallow expensive drugs, of doubtful efficacy,
and undeclared side effects).
That was yesterday. Today there is another article in the Guardian,
this time about cancer, that starts as follows:
This is a great shame,
especially because of the following:
Thousands of people are
dying early of cancer every year because
of an "inexcusable postcode lottery" in how quickly the NHS diagnoses and treats the
disease, a leading charity warns.
Delays mean that cancer
patients in some areas of England have up to a 61% higher risk of dying
within a year of their diagnosis than those in other places, simply
because of where they live.
While one in four (24%)
of newly diagnosed cancer sufferers in north-east Hampshire and Farnham
in Surrey die within a year, 38% of those in the London borough of Barking
and Dagenham do so, according to a new Macmillan analysis of data from
the Office for National Statistics.
May I suggest something,
since this too seems to be a matter of money? As a psychologist
About 6,000 more people a
year would still be alive 12 months after being diagnosed if average
survival across England could be made as good as that already achieved
by the top 10% of England's 211 local CCGs, the charity says.
"This analysis shows an
inexcusable postcode lottery, which is responsible for 6,000 patients
dying needlessly every year within 12 months of being diagnosed with
cancer," said Juliet Bouverie of Macmillan.
"It's a no-brainer. When
patients have to wait longer for diagnosis and treatment, their chances
of surviving are significantly reduced."
Since cancer is a real disease, and psychiatry does not
deal with diseases but with "disorders", and is an evident pseudoscience,
quite a lot of lives could be saved or lengthened if British
psychiatrists would get less money, all of which should be given to real
Professor Wessely ought to agree, seeing his above quoted
argument about cancer, and in case he doesn't: His sort of work can be
done as well or better by psychologists, who also cannot sell expensive
drugs to their patients, as psychiatrists can, which means one source of major corruption less.
It will not solve all problems, but this is what I would do were I the
chief executive of the NHS: Invest the money I have in real
science and real scientists.
 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: