18, 2014
Crisis: USA*2, Bank, UK Tortures, Cuba, Inside Traders, Russia, Nader, Crisis
  "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

 Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton: the Perfectly Illustrative

We are f***ing sadists: We are not decent, and we are
     not a democracy

Swiss central bank introduces negative interest rates -
     business live

4. UK links to torture go beyond complicity to active

5. Obama and the Beginning of the End of the Cuban

 The Coin of the Realm: How Inside Traders Are Rigging

Russia's Economy Is Collapsing. Here's What You Need to

8. Senate Report Condemns Government Torture Abroad
9. The weekly crisis review

About ME/CFS


This is a Nederlog of Thursday, December 18. It is a crisis log, but it is one of the last or the last (see item 9):

There are 9 items with 11 dotted links: Item 1 is about America's future; item 2 is about America's present; item 3 is about negative interest rates by banks; item 4 is about the UK's torturing; item 5 is about Cuba; item 6 is about inside trading; item 7 is about Russia's economic collapse; item 8 is about Ralph Nader on the Senate's torture report; and item 9 is about my decision to stop the crisis series.

And here goes:

1. Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton: the Perfectly Illustrative Election

The first item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

Jeb Bush yesterday strongly suggested he was running for President in 2016. If he wins the GOP nomination, it is highly likely that his opponent for the presidency would be Hillary Clinton.

Having someone who is the brother of one former president and the son of another run against the wife of still another former president would be sweetly illustrative of all sorts of degraded and illusory aspects of American life, from meritocracy to class mobility. That one of those two families exploited its vast wealth to obtain political power, while the other exploited its political power to obtain vast wealth, makes it more illustrative still: of the virtually complete merger between political and economic power, of the fundamentally oligarchical framework that drives American political life.

There is more under the last dotted link.

2. We are f***ing sadists: We are not decent, and we are not a democracy 

The next item is an article by Patrick L. Smith on Salon:

This is from the beginning:

And as soon as I started thinking about the Senate’s torture report in the context of America’s conduct abroad, many other things seemed immediately of a piece. The string of police murders. The Surveillance State. The license granted corporations and the wealthy to purchase elections. No welfare for the poor but welfare for Wall Street. A minimum wage no one can live on. The bold-faced biases of our highest court—and when the judiciary goes, I learned during my years as a correspondent, all else is either gone already or on the way down.

The list goes on, of course. The reality in plain sight is that America is not the nation many of us think it is and we are not the people we think we are or claim to be.
There is more under the last dotted link.
3. Swiss central bank introduces negative interest rates - business live

The next item is an article by
This is from the beginning:

“By introducing negative interest rates, the Swiss National Bank is reacting to the European Central Bank’s recent decision and to the renewed pressure on its safe haven currency thanks to the Russian crisis.

But there is a fundamental disconnect between the Swiss economy and the outlook for the Eurozone: the Swiss economy is in better shape and disinflation is not a concern.

The introduction of negative interest rates is an attempt to stimulate the movement of money abroad. This measure could backfire if, rather than abroad, it pushed money towards asset bubbles such as property. This could undermine Switzerland’s financial stability.”
There is more under the last dotted link.

4. UK links to torture go beyond complicity to active involvement

The next item is an article by Phil Shiner on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

There’s a debate in Britain on whether to hold a judicial inquiry into UK involvement in torture. This comes in the light of last week’s Senate committee report on use in the US of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques – that is, torture.

But the debate should not be about mere UK involvement or complicity in torture. It is the UK’s actual use of torture – most notably in Iraq – that needs judicial scrutiny in public.

There is more under the last dotted link.

5. Obama and the Beginning of the End of the Cuban Embargo

The next item is an article by Amy Goodman on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighboring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may finally be collapsing. On Wednesday morning, we learned that Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor convicted in Cuba for spying, had been released after five years in prison. Another person, an unnamed Cuban imprisoned in Cuba for 20 years for spying for the U.S., was also released.
There is more under the last dotted link.

6. The Coin of the Realm: How Inside Traders Are Rigging America

The next item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:

A few years ago, hedge fund Level Global Investors made $54 million selling Dell Computer stock based on insider information from a Dell employee. When charged with illegal insider trading, Global Investors’ co-founder Anthony Chiasson claimed he didn’t know where the tip came from.

Chiasson argued that few traders on Wall Street ever know where the inside tips they use come from because confidential information is, in his words, the “coin of the realm in securities markets.”

Last week the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which oversees federal prosecutions of Wall Street, agreed.
There is more under the last dotted link.

7. Russia's Economy Is Collapsing. Here's What You Need to Know.

The next item is an article by Jenna McLaughlin on Mother Jones:
This starts as follows:

Early Tuesday morning, Russia made what may be a last-ditch effort to save its economy: the country's central bank jacked up interest rates to try to prevent the ruble from plunging in value for the sixth time this year. But the currency hit record lows anyway, sparking worries of economic collapse—and political instability.

Click on a question below to read more about what's going on in Russia.

There is more under the last dotted link.

8.  Senate Report Condemns Government Torture Abroad

The next and last item for today is by Ralph Nader on his site:

This starts as follows:

The 528 page Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. torture may come as a shock to many, but would not have surprised the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). In 1991 and again in 1995, fed up with his dealings with this agency, he introduced a bill for its abolition. Too much secrecy that amounted to a blanket institutionalized cover-up, too much bad or inadequate information leading to blunders, tragedies and failures to anticipate events like the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moynihan believed that secret government breeds disaster and shreds democratic societies.

Despite the bill not being put to a vote, Senator Moynihan’s criticisms proved justified after 9/11 when the C.I.A. became more imperial, more secretive, more violently operational and more of a “government within a government”—a phrase used by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) during the Iran/Contra scandal under President Reagan.

There is moure under the last dotted link.

9. The weekly crisis review

As you may have noticed, there are only the beginnings of articles and no comments, and that is on purpose:

I've been writing about the crisis daily now for one and a half years; I am being read all that time by about 2000 persons a day; but not a single mail reached me about Nederlog (although this is the most read part of my site), and I got emails by two other persons I did not know already, and that is it.

So... either no one from the several millions of hits and hundreds of thousands of users ever wrote me, or the Dutch CIA (called AIVD) blocked whatever was meant for me. (I don't know, but since I also hardly get any spam anymore, which I used to receive by the bucketful, I suppose the last is more likely. But
of course there is no proof - except that everyone is spied upon.)

In any case, if you mailed me about anything in Nederlog and got no answer:
I am very sorry, but your mail never reached me. None. Nothing. By no one.

Also, I am turning 65 in less than half a year, when I am scheduled for a minimum pension, that will be the first - very minimal - income the last 31 years that is legally assigned to me, for I am ill for nearly 37 years now, though not even that fact - nor the fact that I graduated with one of the best M.A.s ever awarded - has been admitted by the Dutch social services, nor indeed has any of my complaints, that include being thrown out from the University of Amsterdam briefly before doing an M.A. in philosophy there (and that is why I took the M.A. in psychology, in which I also had a B.A.: not because of much love for that subject on my part, since by 1980 I had understood it also is for the most part not a real science), as the only one to whom happened that since the Nazis were defeated, and being kept from sleeping for nearly four years by the fascist terrorists the narko-nazi mayor of Amsterdam had permitted to deal illegal drugs from the bottom floor in the house where I lived, instead from his own place, and who also successfully gassed me in 1988, because I kept protesting, but failed to kill me, probably because the house was a dump anyway, with holes everywhere.

Anyway... I am stopping with the crisis series (after writing more than 700 articles, all without any reaction by anyone, that reached me), and
  • I will turn back to writing as I did from 2007-2009, except that it very probably will remain mostly in English, although
  • there will be a weekly crisis series, on Sundays, apart from very special events, but that will probably be as this one: no comments, just titles and beginnings.
Note that this will be a whole lot easier for me, also if I continue to write every day, for it removes the need for reading a lot of journalism, and it will also allow me to do more things, such as investigating whether I can earn anything (I couldn't do for the last 30 years, and I haven't done, all simply to avoid troubles with the Amsterdam narko-nazi bureaucracy) and whether, though I am ill, I can leave Holland, which I still very much like to do, although this also will be very difficult, simply because I am ill and live on a minimum income (but without any debts).

Also, it will allow me to do more in philosophy and some other things I like and know a great amount about, although indeed very few are interested (and/as very few are truly gifted).

Here are three links to a man who saw things as they are for the most part and who commented bravely on it, and whom I did not know anything about until after he died (in 2008, while I got fast internet in 2009):
I am sorry that the videos are low quality, but the text and the selections are fine.

Also, I do not know yet about the rest of this year and about finishing the crisis series (with which the fact that the majority of the Americans approve torturing people also has something to do): there may be a few more, but very probably without any comments on my part.

I do know this is a considerable relief, that gives me quite a lot more space to do what I want, also since my health is and remains a bit better and since my eyes, although not healed, hurt me a lot less than they did for over two years.
[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)

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