31, 2014
Crisis: UK Terror, Social Networks, No Wars, 9/11, Intercept
  "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

Paddy Ashdown slams 'kneejerk' Tory response to jihadi
     terror threat

2. Social Networks Diminish Personal Well-Being,
     Researchers Say

3. 'No to New Wars, No to NATO'
4. Top NSA Whistleblower: We Need a New 9/11 Investi-
     gation Into the Destruction of the World Trade Center

5. Intercept website much improved

About ME/CFS


This is a Nederlog of Sunday, August 31. It is a crisis log.

(This file got uploaded earlier than usual, which will give me the time to cycle.)

1. Paddy Ashdown slams 'kneejerk' Tory response to jihadi terror threat

The first item is an article by Toby Helm and Jamie Doward on The Guardian:
In fact, this continues, in a fairly solid sense, yesterday's "UK terror threat raised from substantial to severe". This starts as follows:

Tensions between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over how to counter the terrorism threat from extremists have been exposed as Paddy Ashdown accuses Tory ministers of "kneejerk" responses and of stoking fear in the minds of the British people.

The former Liberal Democrat leader and former high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, writing in the Observer, also criticises David Cameron for ill-judged rhetoric that he says could alienate ordinary Muslims and hamper the battle to defeat jihadis.

Ashdown's intervention comes as Cameron and the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, try this weekend to hammer out a package of anti-terrorism measures in time to announce them to the House of Commons when MPs return from their summer break on Monday.

Paddy Ashdown is quite right, from my point of view. He also said:

While not attempting to deny or play down the threat from jihadis returning to the UK, Ashdown says that the threat level in Northern Ireland has also been "severe" for the past four years, as it was in all of Britain for much of the 1980s and 1990s when the IRA posed the greatest danger.

He argues that the current threat is "one we have faced before and one we know how to deal with – effectively, without panic and without a whole new range of executive powers which could endanger our liberties.

And he said (among other things):
In terms that are bound to anger many Tories, he says that after the threat level was increased, senior Conservatives "from the prime minister downwards … took to every available airwave to tell us how frightened we should be and why this required a range of new powers for them to exercise".
Yes, indeed - and personally I do not mind angry Tories. In any case: This is indeed just what the exploitation of "terrorism" and the hysterics of David Cameron are all about: To wrest ever more powers from the ordinary people and the Parliament, and to give these powers to highly secretive organizations like GCHQ.

Again, as I argued already in 2005 (in Dutch):

The present situation and that of the last 13 years is not at all as dangerous as was the West's situation during the Cold War in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, when the West was threatened by very large, very professional, very well-trained armies that had access to many atom bombs.

Even so, there was no need for identification papers and no need to cover all anyone did with a phone or the ordinary paper mail by the secret services, and there also was far less dishonest hysteria of power-hungry politicians.

The reason to introduce enforced identification papers and to steal everyone's private data from their computers and phones, and the complete lack of any control of the big corporations and big banks, is simply a sign that present day governments work against democracy, against openness, against freedom, and
are out to get ever more powers by instilling a totalitarian climate of fear and hysteria, and to use these powers to get ever more money from the many poor to the few and powerful rich.

I think that is a fair analysis, although I also believe it is not quite Paddy Ashdown's. But he clearly is correct in protesting the Tory hysterics that are in fact moved by their desire for power, and not by any realistic concern for safety of the people.

2. Social Networks Diminish Personal Well-Being, Researchers Say

The next item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

A two-year survey of 50,000 people determined that a lack of face-to-face contact in interactions online—especially on social networks like Facebook and Twitter—reduced feelings of personal well-being.

Reduced well-being can be interpreted to mean reduced mental health.

Fabio Sabatini at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy and Francesco Sarracino at STATEC in Luxembourg reviewed answers from residents of 24,000 Italian households recorded annually by the Italian National Institute of Statistics. MIT Technology Review described the study, which drew data from 2010 and 2011, as especially important because it is “the first time that the role of online networks has been addressed in such a large and nationally representative sample.”

I say. Let me translate this for the lovers of Facebook and Twitter (two services I absolutely refuse to use):


I put it in caps (CAPS), in brief sentences, to make it clear this simplified summary may be read and understood.

But I grant this is not likely to succeed, and the main reason is that ordinary people are not gifted (which no one can help) and - much more seriously - do not allow anyone to excel them in any way, except if they happen to be sports' heroes or filmstars or singers, and gang up, anonymously, to bring down anybody who clearly excels them in some respects.

I know, for I have tried, for a little less than four months, to be part of a social network, and these were just as awful as when I was 12 and tried to fit in in a school for children of mostly well to do or rich people, as a gifted child from really poor parents - except that the "social networks" were more stunning, for almost anyone I "met" was so little of a real human being that I never learned their real names, their real ages, their real education or almost any other real thing: almost all I got was pseudo, anonymous, stupid, uninformed and ill-written.

I am very glad to have gotten rid of it, and I recommend the same to anyone with an IQ over 115 or 130: Your talents are unfit for social networks of fools, and you will feel much better by yourself. Really!

And without having to check your mail and phone you may see more real people, with real names, in real environments, and with real reactions! It's more unpredictable, but it is so much more fun!

3. 'No to New Wars, No to NATO' 

The next item is an article by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

As European Union leaders met in Brussels on Saturday where they discussed possible new sanctions against Russia and what they described as Russian aggression, a group of peace adovcates headed to South Wales to say "no to new wars, no to NATO."

Well... it is hardly the first time (I recall similar protests from 1961, and later) and it will almost certainly not be the last time. But they do have some rather good arguments (and this is quoted from material by "the group of peace advocates"):

War is the enemy of the poor. The world's 85 richest people have as much as poorest 3.5 billion. The annual sum needed to end world hunger is $30 billion while the US Military's budget is $530 billion per year.

Money into war is money out of our communities. In the UK, 500,000 people had to resort to food banks last year. While public services are slashed, one day of war in Afghanistan could fund 100,000 nurses.

I do not know whether the numbers are correct, but so far as I know they are more correct than not, and they are also more serious than the arguments used in the early Sixties: Then the inequalities in income were not as large as they are now and also the U.S. spent far less on wars than it does today.

4.Top NSA Whistleblower: We Need a New 9/11 Investigation Into the Destruction of the World Trade Center

The next item is an article by Washington's Blog on his site:

The "Top NSA Whistleblower" is William Binney (<- Wikipedia) and he stated this:

Binney was the original NSA whistleblower, and one of two NSA veterans whose example inspired Edward Snowden.

Binney recently signed Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s petition, stating:

There is clearly evidence that needs to be considered in a review of what happened in 9/11. We the public deserve an honest complete review of the facts with scientific interpretation and implications as to what really happened.

Two days ago, Binney said in an interview that speaking with physicists and controlled demolition experts convinced him that the investigations to date have – at best - been incompetent, and failed to address the observable facts (...)

Yes. There is considerably more that you can check out yourselves.

I merely add that my own conclusion after seeing some of the materials on 9/11 is that it seems more probable than not that in fact this was a false flag operation that was carried out by the US government, quite possibly commanded by Cheney and Rumsfeld.

But I do not know, and indeed if this is so, it seems quite unlikely it will be established the next 40 years or so, at least (without very major political changes, that is).

Even so, Binney and the Architects and Engineers are quite correct that the public deserves to know: They pay for it.

5. Intercept website much improved

The last crisis item is not an article but is provided by me, since I have followed The Intercept since it started:
I do not know when this happened. I only know I noticed it yesterday and it seems unlikely to have occurred long before yesterday.

Anyway... it does look quite good at present, and you can easily and quickly see what is on the site.

So this is a considerable advance.
[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)

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)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

       home - index - summaries - mail