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Nederlog


  September
9, 2014
Crisis: Corporations, Drugs, Nixon, Berkeley Fights Again, Disrupt
  "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
















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Sections
Introduction

1.
Murky Special Ops Have Become Corporate Bonanza,
     Says Report

2. Decriminalisation of drugs for personal use under review
     by Lib Dems

3. Fleshing Out Nixon’s Vietnam ‘Treason’
4. Berkeley vs. Big Soda
5. Are You Ready to 'Disrupt'? Climate Movement Readies
     Global Mobilization


About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, September 9. It is a
crisis log.

There are five items with five links. Actually, these are mostly disappointing articles, in my eyes, to be sure, but I explain why. The one exception is item 3, but that is mostly historical, though it also illustrates that many U.S. presidents have not been honest.

And I updated the crisis link in all Nederlogs of September, which I forgot to do till today.

1. Murky Special Ops Have Become Corporate Bonanza, Says Report

The first item is an article by Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

The U.S. government is paying private contractors billions of dollars to support secretive military units with drones, surveillance technology, and “psychological operations,” according to new research.

A detailed report, published last week by the London-based Remote Control Project, shines a light on the murky activities of the U.S. Special Operations Command by analyzing publicly available procurement contracts dated between 2009 and 2013.

USSOCOM encompasses four commands – from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps – and plays a key role in orchestrating clandestine U.S. military missions overseas.

Researcher Crofton Black, who also works as an investigator for human rights group Reprieve, was able to dig through the troves of data and identify the beneficiaries of almost $13 billion worth of spending by USSOCOM over the five-year period. He found that more than 3,000 companies had provided services that included aiding remotely piloted drone operations in Afghanistan and the Philippines, helping to conduct surveillance of targets, interrogating prisoners, and launching apparent propaganda campaigns.

Note this is clandestine, worth billions, and comprises spying (aka "surveillance"), torturing (aka "enhanced interrogation"), and propaganda (aka "public relations") - and it is done all by private corporations, for the U.S. government. Also, it is all very secret. And it costs billions of dollars.

In fact, this is very handy: They outsource their dirty work to private corporations, who do it for them, while being kept secret. There will be no one who is accountable or responsible: The government isn't, because private corporations did the harm; the private corporations aren't, because they were told to, and while each points at the other no one gets the blame, and all get very well paid.

In fact, of the 3,000 companies involded
over 50% of the billions spend were received by just eight no doubt very patriotic companies: Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Harris Corporation, Jacobs Engineering Group, MA Federal, Raytheon, and ITT Corporation.

Greed is good! Also if it involves spying, torturing and lying!

2. Decriminalisation of drugs for personal use under review by Lib Dems

The next item is an article by Rowena Mason on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

The Liberal Democrats are looking at the decriminalisation of all drugscannabis to be sold on the open market. for personal use and allowing

Launching his party's draft election manifesto, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said the party would consider such options after they were advocated in a policy paper due to be discussed at the Lib Dem conference next month.

The paper said the Lib Dems "will adopt the model used in Portugal, where those who possess drugs for personal use will be diverted into other services". The southern European country decriminalised personal possession of all drugs in 2000.

The document also said the party "welcomes the establishment of a regulated cannabis market in Uruguay, Colorado and Washington state".

I must say that this would have looked much more credible to me if it were not for the following facts: (1) it is by the Liberal Democrats, who need a Liberal topic to appear to be Liberal about, and (2) it is a campaign by Nick Clegg, who must be the most honest politician that could be found in England, while also (3)
I recall the autumn of 1969, a mere 45 years ago, when I attended a conference in Amsterdam that planned to legalize marijuana, and based itself on a British parliamentary report, the Wootton Report (<- Wikipedia), that said, in the year 1968, among other things:
"The long term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects (…) Cannabis is less dangerous than the opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates, and also less dangerous than alcohol. (…) An increasing number of people, mainly young, in all classes of society are experimenting with this drug, and substantial numbers use it regularly for social pleasure. There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis requiring medical treatment (...)"
45 years of intensive use of cannabis and marijuana in Amsterdam strongly support this, since everybody has been abled to buy these drugs nearly anywhere in Amsterdam, starting in 1967 or so with Paradiso's house dealers, where the conference I attended was held.

Also, since the 1980ies everyone could buy marijuana and cannabis in hundreds of so-called "coffeeshops", which seem quite free and legal, but are in fact all illegal, except that they have gotten "personal permission" of Amsterdam's mayor to break the law (I feel sure for a percentage - say 5 or 10% of the turnover - to the mayor or his lawyers, for there are no free lunches, especially not in Holland, but I have no documentary proof [2]).

But yes... it did show what the Wootton Report claimed, in 1968: Marijuana and hashish are not dangerous, and in fact are a lot less dangerous than is alcohol and nearly all other drugs.

So in fact I think this is an other bit of propaganda for Clegg and his Lib Dems, that will almost certainly come to nothing, which will then be blamed on the Conservatives.

What do I think about drugs? I am for legalization of drugs since 1967, but I do not see this happening in Holland as long as Dutch politicians can become millionaires, albeit quite secretively, through giving "personal permission" to the drugs mafia to deal their illegal drugs wherever the mayor is kind enough to "personally permit" them to. I also do not see this happening in England, but England may well do it - eventually - sooner than the Dutch, because while the English politicians may be quite corrupt, they are not drugs corrupt, while all of Holland is drugs corrupt for over 30 years now, and legalizing very probably will cost the Dutch political worthies a lot of (illegal, but who cares) money.

3. Fleshing Out Nixon’s Vietnam ‘Treason’ 

The next item is an article by James DiEugenio on Consortiumnews:

This starts as follows:

One of America’s great political mysteries continues to come into sharper focus: Did Richard Nixon sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to win that election and did Nixon’s fear of exposure lead him to create the burglary team that got caught at Watergate in 1972?

Pieces of this puzzle began to fall into place even in real time as Beverly Deepe, the Christian Science Monitor’s Saigon reporter, got wind of Nixon’s treachery before the 1968 election although her editors spiked her article when they couldn’t get confirmation in Washington. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Almost Scoop on Nixon’s ‘Treason.’”]

In the ensuing years, other journalists and historians began assembling the outlines of Nixon’s peace-talk sabotage with the story getting its first big splash of attention when Seymour Hersh made reference to it in his 1983 biography of Henry Kissinger, The Price of Power.

Then, in 2012, investigative reporter Robert Parry discovered that Johnson’s long-missing file on Nixon’s 1968 operation, which was later turned over to the Johnson library, helped explain another mystery: why Nixon launched his Plumbers’ operation in 1971 and thus set in motion a series of burglaries that led to the Watergate scandal in 1972.
I have reported on this before (see: The heinous crime behind Watergate, of August 10, 2014), and it is indeed this treason - upsetting one's own government's peace negotiations in order to win a presidential election, that then causes 4 more years of war with 20.000 Americans and over a million Vietnamese killed - that caused the Watergate scandal.

Here is a small part of
The Almost Scoop on Nixon’s ‘Treason’:
After becoming President, Nixon escalated the Vietnam War, expanding U.S. bombing raids across Indochina and ordering an invasion of Cambodia. Under Nixon, the war would grind on for another four years at the loss of 20,000 more U.S. troops and possibly a million more Vietnamese. In late 1972, Nixon agreed to a peace settlement similar to the terms available to Johnson in 1968.
There is a lot more in the article, that is in fact a review of a recent book by Ken Hughes "Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate". It is a good article.

And it is in the crisis series mostly because it clarifies Nixon's doings and also because it clarifies the illegal and unconstitutional things quite a few U.S. presidents did.


4. Berkeley vs. Big Soda 

The next item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:

I'll quote just three paragraphs from close to the beginning:

Fifty years ago this month, Berkeley was the epicenter of the Free Speech Movement. Now, Berkeley is moving against Big Soda.

The new movement isn’t nearly dramatic or idealistic as the old one, but the odds of victory were probably better fifty years ago. The Free Speech Movement didn’t challenge the profitability of a one of the nation’s most powerful industries.

Sugary drinks are blamed for increasing the rates of chronic disease and obesity in America. Yet efforts to reduce their consumption through taxes or other measures have gone nowhere. The beverage industry has spent millions defeating them.

I say. At the moment, Reich is supporting the fight against Big Soda (Pepsico and Coca Cola), who are against a soda tax.

Well... I've checked Reich's biography on Wikipedia, and he wasn't in Berkeley fifty years ago (at the time he studied in Dartmouth), but it does seem rather "a sign of the times" to me that, fifty years onwards, the Left (what is left of them), gears up, not to fight for free speech, nor for a better education, nor for a changed society, but for the right to impose a soda tax of 1 cent per fluid ounce, so as to decrease the consumption of "sugary drinks".

I merely register it, possibly for a few who might turn nostalgic. If fighting for the right to impose a soda tax (of 1 cent per fluid ounce) is what the remains of the left these days do in the U.S. ...

Oh well.

5. Are You Ready to 'Disrupt'? Climate Movement Readies Global Mobilization 

The next item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

On Sunday night, a new documentary film highlighting the intertwined story of  the climate crisis and the growing social movement which has grown in response to it was released online for national screenings that took place in people's home and public meeting spaces.

At just under an hour long, the film—titled 'Disruption'—was produced with a stated goal to "galvanize a new wave of climate action and climate leadership" across the globe and comes just weeks before the 'People's Climate March' being organized for New York City that will take place on Sunday, September 21.

I must say that I do not believe in it, mostly for similar reasons as Chris Hedges does not believe in it, which I reviewed yesterday.

Here are a few of my reasons:

  • "the climate" is "supported" by most governments, since many years also, but to no avail;
  • the problems of "the climate" are that there are too many people who consume too much, and neither factor got - ahem, ahem - much less the last 45 years;
  • to act to "galvanize a new wave of climate action and climate leadership" (?!?!) seems a pretty crazy goal in my eyes (but indeed it is one in which you always can claim success, unlike "let's all consume 20% less", say);
  • the problem with climate actions is that you'll find most of the big corporations to be much in favor: it will help them sell things, like wind mills, solar panels, and electric cars, and seem to be quite moral as well.
But OK - I wish you much luck.
---------------------------------
Notes
[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.)

[2] Incidentally, 5 to 10% of the turnover is a mere 500 million to 1 billion a year, that is easily covered by price increases, and these things are very well understood though rarely written about in the Dutch papers, that generally seem very well controlled, and will not spoil the trade.

Also, while I have no documentary proof, I have lived for nearly four years above a coffeeshop that was given personal permission to deal marijuana and cannabis by mayor Van Thijn, and that also was allowed, by the same mayor, his aldermen, the district attorney, the judges and the police, to threaten me with murder (5 times); to deal cocaine and heroine; to gas me (literally: I was nearly killed with carbon monoxide
); to keep me out of sleep; to tell me I was a liar for four years, and nothing else was the matter; and to ruin my life for over 20 years, for no one of these did anything against any of these dealers, who were extremely well protected by the Amsterdam police, and who still florish and who have florished ever since 1987, quite unlike me.

So yes, I feel certain that the Dutch Labour Party, its Amsterdam mayors and Amsterdam bureaucrats are major drugscriminals, for they certainly are, in that they protect and further the illegal trade in marijuana and hashish since 1980 or so, which also is exceedingly profitable and quite tax free, but I also feel certain this will never be proved in Holland without a prior revolution, and that almost no Dutchman will care before the revolution. (For it is quite clear that they do what I claimed they do, but almost no Dutchman cares: Who cares in Holland if the mayors, the aldermen, the politicians, the judges, the police, and the district attorneys have been drugscorrupted for 30 years? So what if it gives everybody access to illegal drugs? So what if the politicians profit?)


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)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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