This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, December 3. It is a crisis log.
There are 8 items with 9 dotted links: Item 1 is an
excellent piece on Senator Sanders' vision; item 2
is about the risks all people run because of the NSA and the GCHQ (i.e.
you may get on a terrorist list merely because a friend or a friend of
a friend might have written something the GCHQ or the NSA have as
search terms); item 3 is about "the torture report"
of the U.S. Senate; item 4 is about the fact that
we had five of the hottest years in the last 300 years in the previous
25 years; item 5 is an article of Chomsky's on
ordinary intellectuals; item 6 is about corporate
bribery: there is a lot of it, and it generally is started by the high
ups (who also profit); item 7 is a conventional
story on why doctors fail, with my own reasons; and item
8 is on the same theme, but written by one of the few good medical
doctors I know of, and with an additional dotted link by me.
Also, I should say that I have uploaded parts 27, 28 and 29 of my autobio
again, with a few small corrections.
1.To Counter Rise of Oligarchy, Sanders Pitches
Progressive Economic Vision
item today is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
In a speech on the
Senate floor on Tuesday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced
his vision for a progressive economic agenda that he says could restore
shared prosperity, reinvigorate the middle class, and mitigate a host
of social crises that stem from the current system that has created
great wealth for a select few while systematically eroding the quality
of life for the many.
Detailing twelve economic
areas that need immediate attention and major overhauls, Sanders
indicated his plan is driven by the neeed to re-establish the
status of the middle class as the key indicator of overall economic
"The American people must
make a fundamental decision," Sanders said. "Do we continue the 40-year
decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich
and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda
that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides
health care for all?"
Here is Sanders' 12 point
plan, as summarized by Jon Queally:
Invest in our
crumbling infrastructure with a major program to create jobs
by rebuilding roads, bridges, water systems, waste water plants,
airports, railroads and schools.
systems away from fossil fuels to create jobs while beginning
to reverse global warming and make the planet habitable for future
economic models to support workers in the United States
instead of giving tax breaks to corporations which ship jobs to
low-wage countries overseas.
Make it easier
for workers to join unions and bargain for higher wages and
federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour so no one who works 40
hours a week will live in poverty.
pay for women workers who now make 78 percent of what male
policies that have shuttered more than 60,000 factories and
cost more than 4.9 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs.
affordable and provide affordable child care to restore
America’s competitive edge compared to other nations.
Break up big
banks. The six largest banks now have assets equivalent to 61
percent of our gross domestic product, over $9.8 trillion. They
underwrite more than half the mortgages in the country and
issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards.
Join the rest of
the industrialized world with a Medicare-for-all health care system
that provides better care at less cost.
Security, Medicare, Medicaid and nutrition programs.
Reform the tax
code based on wage earners’ ability to pay and eliminate
loopholes that let profitable corporations stash profits overseas and
pay no U.S. federal income taxes.
Well... I certainly
support it. Whether it will make it, or whether Senator Sanders will
become the next president I don't know, and indeed doubt, if
continue until 2016 roughly as they have since 2001, which I don't
know, but this is
Indeed he agrees himself that it is doubtful:
Such an ambitious
plan won't be easily accomplished, Sanders acknowledged and said that
the largest obstacle would be whether or not Americans can answer this
question: "Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and
political power of the billionaire class or do we continue to slide
into economic and political oligarchy?"
Well... I agree, but it
could have been formulated differently: "Is the American people
prepared to have fair agreements for most, or do they want to continue
to be exploited and fleeced by the few rich?" - but yes, this is mostly
a difference in stresses and not in principle.
Here is Senator Sanders outlining his plan in the senate:
Anyway... this is
definitely good news, because it is a coherent, sensible and
progressive plan, that is outlined by a senator, and that also is not
really radical: Nothing that Senator Sanders desires is
the bomb!' Are you at risk from the anti-terrorism algorithms?
item is an article by James Ball on The Guardian:
Should our future robot
overlords decide to write a history of how they overcame their human
masters, late 2014 will be a key date in the timeline. Last week, an
official report from the parliamentary intelligence and security
over responsibility for the UK’s fight against terrorism, or at
least part of it, to Facebook’s algorithms – the automated scripts that
(among other things) look at your posts and your networks to suggest
content you will like, people you might know and things you might buy.
intelligence failures that led to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby at
the hands of two fanatics, the committee absolved MI5 of
responsibility, in part because the agency was tracking more than 2,000
possible terrorists at the time – far more than mere humans could be
expected to follow. Instead, they placed a share of the blame on
Facebook – which busily tracks its one billion users on a regular basis
– for not passing on warnings picked up by algorithms the company uses
to remove obscene and extreme content from its site. David Cameron
agreed, and promised new laws, so it’s possible that soon Google,
Facebook and co won’t just be scanning your messages to sell you stuff
– they will be checking you are not plotting the downfall of western
In part, this is about
the lies and idiocies of Sir Malcolm Rifkind, that were dealt with the day before yesterday in Nederlog,
and in part this is about the question in the title.
There is quite a lot of speculation in the article, and the answer is
Yes, of course (though it depends on many things, but since the friends
of your friends also are searched, there is a considerable chance that
you may be, even if you really did nothing wrong, not even according to
the NSA or GCHQ).
3. 12 Things to Keep in Mind When You Read the
item is an article by Dan Froomkin on The Intercept:
The Senate Intelligence
Committee’s torture report will be released “in a matter of days,” a
committee staffer tells The Intercept. The report, a review
of brutal CIA interrogation methods during the presidency of George W.
Bush, has been the subject of a contentious
back-and-forth, with U.S. intelligence agencies and the White House
on one side pushing for mass redactions in the name of national
security and committee staffers on the other arguing that the proposed
redactions render the report unintelligible.
Should something emerge,
here are some important caveats to keep in mind:
As for the rest: Here
are the 12 points Dan Froomkin lists, but for the supporting and
clarifying text of each of the points you must click the last dotted
not actually reading the torture report. 2)
The CIA got to cut out parts. 3)
Senate Democrats had their backs to the wall. 4) The investigation
was extremely narrow in its focus. 5)
The investigation didn’t examine who gave the CIA its
orders, or why. 6)
Torture was hardly limited to the CIA. 7) Senate
investigators conducted no interviews of torture
Senate investigators conducted no interviews of CIA
officials. 9) In
fact, Senate investigators conducted no interviews at
all. 10) Bush and Cheney
have acknowledged their roles in the
The report’s conclusion that torture didn’t do any good
is a big deal. 12)
No one has been held accountable.
The points all make
sense and should be read in full.
2014 on track to be England's hottest year in over three centuries
item is an article by Damian Carrington on The Guardian:
2014 is set to be
England’s hottest year in over 350 years, according to the world’s
longest continuous record, with climate change at least partly to
blame. The whole world has had a warm year and global data, released
later on Wednesday, is likely to indicate a new record.
Higher temperatures cause
more evaporation and more rain, and 2014 began with England’s wettest winter in over 250 years,
leading to widespread flooding. Unless December
turns unusually cold, 2014 will beat 1995, 2006, 1990 and 2011 as the
warmest year on record. The average temperature in 2014 so far is
almost 11.5C, about 1.5C higher than the long-term average.
There is quite a bit
more under the last dotted link, but the above is the gist - and note
that the previous warmest years were 1995, 2006, 1990 and 2011: Together with 2014 that is 5
years in the last 25 years.
Elites Have Forced America into a
National Psychosis to Keep Us Embroiled in Imperial Wars
item is an article by Noam Chomsky on AlterNet:
Moore offers the
following summary of the "predominant voice of America at home and
abroad" - an ideology that expresses the needs of the American
socioeconomic elite, that is propounded with various gradations of
subtlety by many American intellectuals, and that gains substantial
adherence on the part of the majority that has obtained "some share in
the affluent society":
"You may protest in
words as much as you like. There is but one condition attached to the
freedom we would very much like to encourage: Your protests may be as
loud as possible as long as they remain ineffective. ... Any attempt by
you to remove your oppressors by force is a threat to civilized society
and the democratic process. ... As you resort to force, we will, if
need be, wipe you from the face of the earth by the measured response
that rains down flame from the skies."
There is a considerable
amount more, and it is good, but also from 1970, originally.
As to the intellectuals - those who got an M.A. or M.Sc. or more - I
must say that my communist father (who was very intelligent but not
highly educated) had them mostly quite right, as I learned myself in
the 1980ies in the University of Amsterdam, from which I was removed,
as the only Dutch student since WW II, briefly before taking my M.A.,
and namely - they really wanted it to be as painful and unfair as they
could make it! - as
"a fascist terrorist" by a bunch of sick, degenerate, lazy,
profiteering and utterly incompetent academic quasi- intellectuals:
You cannot trust any intellectual, and at most 1 in a
100 is honest (and most of these will also sell out if it pays
Then again, I agree real intellectuals are much needed, but I'd
argue that real intellectuals these days are rare, and
on all sides by fake "intellectuals", who did the same degree, which they could do because
the degree wasn't difficult at all, but who tend to have IQs under 130
and to be in fact, if not verbally, very docile and subservient
whoever is their boss or manager.
Anyway - the paper is worth reading in full.
Corporate Bribery and Corruption
Grease the Gears of Global Capitalism
item is an article by Sarah Lazare on Common Dreams:
corporations are behind the majority of documented bribes worldwide,
with most payers and takers hailing from rich nations, according to a study
released Tuesday by the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD).
The report, which
evaluated data obtained from 427 bribery offense cases spanning the
past 15 years, found that 57 percent of all bribes examined involved
corporate efforts to obtain public contracts—mostly in western, more
developed states. Customs and defense officials accounted for a
significant proportion of bribe recipients, at 11% and 6% respectively.
According to the study,
the average bribe amounts to 10.9% of the total value of the
transaction, with the average payout calculated at nearly $14 million
for the cases reviewed.
Besides, there is this:
When it comes to
corporate bribes, the analysis found that these instances are generally
not committed by lone low-ranking individuals. According to the report,
53 percent of known bribery cases directly involved high-level
corporate managers or CEOs. “Most international bribes are paid by
large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management,” the
And also this:
report states that, due to the complex and secretive nature of global
corruption, its findings are just "the tip of the iceberg."
item is an article by Atul Gawanda (an M.D. and professor at Harvard
who is from India):
I read it all through, but it is a
conventional story, that is also mostly about a problem his son had.
As far as I am concerned - and I am a psychologist of 64 who is
ill since he was 28 - here are the main reasons why doctors fail:
they are far
more arrogant than they have a right to
admit that they do not know something
they are clever at
techniques, and very, very bad at honesty
a whole lot that they simply cannot do
they earn too
much also in extra payments from Big Pharma
the science they
rely on has lately much diminished (through major corruptions
started by Big Pharma)
they are mostly incapable
to treat non-standard things
well (or even politely)
I have seen far more
medical doctors than most, simply because I and my ex-wife were both
ill and nobody knew what it was, and the above list of points covers at
least 99 in 100 medical doctors I've seen - and I've also lived several
years with medical students on the same floor in a student-flat; I am a
psychologist with one of the best M.A.s ever handed out; and I have
been badly frauded by quite a few medical doctors, though I
also have met several
who were honest, competent and intelligent, but again not more
than 5 in a 100 at most.
and last item is an article by 1 boring old man (in fact: a mostly pensioned
psychiatrist with a good mind):
This is mainly cited
because it contains the following:
During all those
years, I didn’t like the prominence of pharmaceutical influence
everywhere, but may have mistakenly thought it was like the Grand
Rounds I mentioned – desperation financing. It was that, but so much
more. It was ghost writing, jury-rigged Clinical Trial reporting,
Speaker’s Bureaus, payola, etc. It wasn’t just money flowing to
institutions, it was going directly into the pockets of academic
physicians and other KOLs. Industry was able to buy prominent doctors
with a small fraction of the money they made by having them on board.
I think of psychiatry as the worst offender, but that may only be
because I know more about what went on. But when I look at my
television set or hear the MRI machines whirring in the background when
I go in a hospital, I suspect it’s all over Medicine proper too [it
being outside influences pushing the profitability of Medicine wherever
it can be pushed in whatever way it can be pushed]. And we can’t
operate on a bad apples theory. Too many physicians in high places were
[are] on board [just look at PROPUBLICA’s Dollars for Docs or the
Sunshine Act site]. We have to swallow our disillusionment and assume
that enforcable [and enforced] stops will be required to keep it from continuing
and/or recurring [same it]. We have now a
whole generation of physicians who’ve grown up in this climate, with
too many participating, and they need special attention.
In brief: It is a
in medicine, and it is mostly a mess because most doctors have capitulated
to the power of money, mostly from Big
Pharma. Here is one
from many references I could give, from my own writings about the DSM-5:
It is morally disgusting, it is fraudulent, it is bullshit, it is pseudoscience,
but it pays really well, and therefore it exists and will
continue to exist so long as medical
doctors are allowed to profit from the drugs or therapies they
prescribe to patients, and as long as pharmaceutical companies are
massage doctors with "deep massages", "pheasant hunting", and what not,
so as to corrupt them.
But that is modern medicine,
to most medical people so far as I can tell: A fine excuse to make them
rich, at the cost of their naive and ignorant patients - and yes, this
is worse in the USA than elsewhere, but it is no good in England or
It is more
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
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: