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."
British society favours the rich – the tax avoidance
scandal makes this clear
Europeans must face up to our own security
3. ‘Pornography Is What the
End of the World Looks Like’
4. This is How the World Ends:
Twelve Risks That Threaten
5. Pharmaceutical Rape
This is a Nederlog of Monday,
February 16, 2015.
This is a crisis log. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about how
British society favors the rich; item 2 is pretty
sick nonsense about We Europeans Who Must Live With An All-for-one, One-for-all Security Guarantee
(+ Kant + Venus + Mars); item 3 is Chis Hedges
about pornography; item 4 is about major disasters;
and item 5 is about pharmaceutical rape (which does
British society favours the rich – the tax avoidance scandal makes this
The first item
article by Owen Jones on The Blauified
This has the
While the poor’s
smallest misdemeanours are punished, the rich are able to draft the
loopholes they then use to avoid tax
I like the subtitle,
because one of the consequences I have drawn from the deregulation, that is now going on
for 35 years, and the very shameful saving of the banks
and the mega-rich criminal bank managers, is that I now live in times
that are closer to a 100 years ago than to 40 years ago, and that the real
economic conflict is between the rich, who are all very proud
to be greedy egoists, and who form 1-10% of any society, together with
their eager servants, and the poor, who make up most of the
And yes: Without rules and laws, that are used to protect the
poor and the middle class, and that took care that the income all of a
society earns gets distributed with some fairness, but that now
been mostly shifted aside by propaganda and
from the rich, and from their spokesmen, the ever lying creeps who lie
for the rich in their "public
relations" scams, and who write all the advertisements
that are everywhere, it really is down to these terms: the battle
between the few, greedy, egoististic, lying, deceiving rich, and the
many poor (most of whom are not well educated, and therefore easily
tricked, deceived, deluded, scammed, and frauded).
Also, while I am poor and on the side of the poor, and while I know
there are many more poor than rich, I do not know who will win,
since the rich owe big money, have fine false propaganda from "public
relations" and, especially, now know almost everything
about almost anyone, in principle, and also in fact,
if you are a
known opponent of the government, all thanks to the NSA, the GCHQ etc.
Anyway... the article starts as follows (and is about Great Britain):
Life is cheaper
for the rich. That holds for many reasons – not being saddled with
personal debt, for example – but being able to use devious means to avoid paying tax is one privilege of the rich.
Lord Fink tried to mitigate the embarrassment of his climbdown with Ed Miliband by claiming that
“everyone” avoids tax. This attempt by wealthy individuals to sow
mass confusion about what tax avoidance is must not go unchecked.
Yes. There is also this:
The retort of tax
avoidance apologists always goes like this: “Ever bought anything from
duty free? Got an Isa by any chance?” There are many ways to avoid tax,
goes this line of attack, and everyone from a hospital cleaner to a
multibillionaire hedge fund manager uses them. This nonsensical
argument reinvents what tax avoidance actually is. As HMRC puts it: “Tax avoidance is bending the
rules of the tax system to gain a tax advantage that parliament never
intended.” To avoid tax is to not pay tax parliament intended you to
pay; it is to go against the spirit of the law without going against
the letter of the law; it is to exploit loopholes that by definition
Tax avoidance really underlines how different
life is for the rich and for everybody else. Wealthy individuals can
afford accountants to zealously hunt down loopholes and exploit
legislation. The “big four” accountancy firms are themselves employed
by government to advise on drafting tax laws. As the House of Commons
public accounts committee has detailed, they then use their expertise
to tell their clients how to get around the legislation they have
helped to draft.
Yes, indeed. There is
more under the last dotted link. (And as Justice
Holmes said, quite memorably: "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society" - those who do
not want to pay them, who are mostly the rich,
are against any civilized
To avoid tax is to scrounge
off the state. Rich individuals and major companies depend on the
state: whether it be a financial system that was bailed out by the
state; state-funded infrastructure; tax credits to subsidise the wages
of their low-paid workers; a law-and-order system to protect them and
their property; an education system to train up their workforce and
those of other institutions they depend on; and so on.
Europeans must face up to our own security challenges
item is an article by Natalie Nougayrède on The Blauified "Guardian":
I picked this article
because I disagreed with the title: If you believe that "We Europeans"
are there, and may be addressed, you must have a very different mind
And indeed... "We Europeans" are told by Ms Nougayrède that (hold on, for Herr Blau found
it also important enough to quote again in big letters):
For years, Europe
built its common project with a Kantian view of the world – the Venus
syndrome (with the US as Mars), as described by Robert Kagan(...)
I have no idea who
Robert Kagan might be; I know about the bullshit mythology about women
from Venus and men from Mars, but have no idea whatsoever what
this utter sillines has to do with Kant; I have read Kant, being a
philosopher, in German also, I think very probably quite unlike Ms Nougayrède, but have no idea what she
talking about, apart from Venus and Mars, that do not occur in either
of his Critiques..... in brief, this is utter bullshit. (But
Ms Nougayrède picture is some 2
by 2 inches, so
clearly she must be A Great Writer, according to Herr Blau, at least.)
Here is one other gem of this Great Mind:
But the fact that
debates continue about Nato’s ability to enact Article 5 of its
treaty (the all-for-one, one-for-all security guarantee set in
place for its members) is testimony to how shaky the
transatlantic bond has come to be perceived.
I will skip the lousy
grammar ("fact - debates - testimony - bond - come - perceived") and
merely comment on what the debates are about:
one-for-all security guarantee set in place for its members)
The reason there are
debates about this is that this is a completely crazy piece of
Nations - territories with a population with a
definite language and long, centuries old, traditions of doing many
things in their own ways (rightly or wrongly) - have a fairly
well-defined historical existence; federalist partnerships of
tens of different nations with different languages
and different norms and regulations are completely new creatures
and have no well-defined historical existence whatsoever, while
the notion that all these different nations have to act as "all-for-one, one-for-all" - Greece? Portugal?
- merely is an insane piece of wishful
thinking by "European politicians" who
are full of nonsense,
propaganda, and no knowledge of literature beyond the utterly
But OK - here then is
background from Wikipedia:
All pure fiction, even
for persons, but adapted
by scarcely thinking politicians for tens of nations, as a rule
for each and for all...
Three Musketeers (French: Les Trois
Mousquetaires [le tʁwa muskətɛʁ]) is a novel
by Alexandre Dumas.
Set in the 17th century, it
recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he
leaves home to travel to Paris, to join the Musketeers of the Guard.
D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those being his
friends Athos, Porthos
inseparable friends who live by the motto "all for one, one for all" ("tous
pour un, un pour tous"), a motto which is first put forth by
3. ‘Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like’
item is an article by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
“Fifty Shades of
Grey,” the book and the movie, is a celebration of the sadism that
dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core
of pornography and global capitalism. It glorifies our dehumanization
of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love.
It eroticizes hypermasculine power that carries out the abuse,
degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have
been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service
of male lust. The film, like “American
accepts a predatory world where the weak and the vulnerable are objects
to exploit while the powerful are narcissistic and violent demigods. It
blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.
I haven't read or seen "Fifty Shades of Grey" and do not want to because I dislike sadism
and masochism. I have seen some porn, but not on the internet, and most
of that is from the eighties or nineties. Most of the porn I've seen -
all regular, straight, and without obvious perversions, which I simply
don't like - seemed fairly innocent to me, but then I haven't seen
much, most of it is at least 15 years old, and - having been born in
1950 - I well know the distinctions between sex and love, and while I
like sex I don't mistake it for love.
“Pornography,” Robert Jensen writes, “is what
the end of the world looks like.”
And I suppose - but do not know - that I may be a bit more
innocent than most, simply because I haven't seen much porn and also am
much interested in it, though I like women and sex, but indeed not
reduced to mere porn, which - for what I've seen - tends to be fairly
stupid and single-minded, and is intellectually completely non-alluring.
From Chris Hedges's story I get a rather different view from porn. I
will leave the starker bits to your interests, and just quote two bits
with some backgrounds.
First, there is this:
A new wave of
feminists, who have betrayed the iconic work of radicals such as Andrea
Dworkin, defends porn as a form of sexual liberation and
self-empowerment. These “feminists,” grounded in Michel Foucault and Judith
Butler, are stunted products of neoliberalism and postmodernism.
Feminism, for them, is no longer about the liberation of women who are
oppressed; it is defined by a handful of women who are successful,
powerful and wealthy—or, as in the case of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” able
to snag a rich and powerful man.
I suppose this is more
right than not, and indeed I agree with Hedges that both neoliberalism
are evil and stupid schemes of ideological wishful
thinking very much rather than serious - if mistaken - philosophy.
Indeed, their crudeness is an important part of the reason for their
popularity: Most men (and most women also) are not very
intelligent, and are much easier moved by crude but appealing
falsities and deceptions than by any subtle argument.
And there is this on the financial side of things:
The income of the
global porn industry is estimated at $96 billion, with the United
States market worth about $13 billion. There are, Dines writes, “420
million Internet porn pages, 4.2 million porn Web sites, and 68 million
search engine requests for porn daily.” [To see excerpts from Dines’
I say. I assume the $96 billion is yearly, but I don't really
know how big this is (though it seems less than Big Pharma makes from
drugs!) nor how to compare it, except that per present inhabitant of
earth it works out as a little over $ 13 per person per year - but that
is all persons, of any age and any sex.
Anyay - there is considerably more under the last dotted link, and I
have not served the more awful or the more sexy bits. Also,
guess Chris Hedges'
reaction is rather stronger than mine, he does have a point.
How the World Ends: Twelve Risks That Threaten Human Existence
item is an article by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
I say. Well... here are
the risks the study distinguishes:
Extreme climate change.
Global pandemic. Major asteroid impact. The rise of artificial
These are just a few of
the potentially world-ending events that threaten civilization as we
know it, according to a new report from researchers at Oxford
The study, "Global
Challenges" (pdf), urges readers to consider a new
category of global risks—low-probability, high-impact scenarios that
hover at the extreme end of the spectrum.
"This report has, to the
best of the authors’ knowledge, created the first list of global risks
with impacts that for all practical purposes can be called infinite."
However, the authors note, "the real focus is not on the almost
unimaginable impacts of the risks the report outlines. Its fundamental
purpose is to encourage global collaboration and to use this new
category of risk as a driver for innovation."
I want to add one more,
although this may fall under (12):
1. Extreme Climate Change
2. Nuclear War
3. Ecological Catastrophe
4. Global Pandemic
5. Global System Collapse
6. Major Asteroid Impact
8. Synthetic Biology
10. Artificial Intelligence
11. Uncertain Risks
Global policy risk
12. Future Bad Global
13. The rise
of financial fascism + universal secret surveillance
For it seems to me I may
be witnessing the start of this, both in the U.S. and in Europe, and
while this will not end humanity's existence, it will, if it is
make most men into effective slaves of the very few very rich (while the many powerless poor even may be
happy with new drugs).
There is more under the last dotted link.
5. Pharmaceutical Rape
The next and
last item today is an
article by David Healy (a professor of psychiatry) on his site:
This starts as follows (with
the colors as in the original, but with the fonts straightened out a
bit and all converted to Verdana) and is by Laurie Oakley:
An act of plunder,
seizure or abuse, despoliation, to rob of goods by force, to seize
wrongfully or by force, steal.
A concept that examines a
culture in which
harm from pharmaceutical products is pervasive and normalized due to
societal attitudes about medicine and health care. It is a complex set
of beliefs that
encourages capitalistic, pharmaceutical domination of healthcare and
supports everyday harms in medical and mental health care settings. It
is a society where harm is only acknowledged as rare, yet is accepted
as necessary, and inevitable. In a pharmaceutical rape culture, doctors
and patients unknowingly trust what are oftentimes pseudo-scientific
facts put forth by drug makers about drug safety. Both doctors and
patients end up disbelieving the reality of the adverse events they see
and instead believe alternate explanations for such events. A
pharmaceutical rape culture condones harms caused by the
industry-government-medical trade alliance because the culture
produces, reproduces, and is completely saturated with “information”
that supports that alliance.
There is considerably more
under the last dotted link, but while I like it (as a psychologist with
excellent degrees, now ill for the 37th year, but without
anybody bureaucratic or political admitting this, because this is much
cheaper, and also because I protested against the illegal
dealing of illegal drugs by illegal dealers that
Amsterdam's mayor Van Thijn gave permission to make their profits from
the bottom floor of the house where I lived, instead of his own
house, or that of his aldermen, and such things are Not Done by other
Dutchmen) I must say that the formatting is not very good.
of widespread pharmaceutical rape: A tendency
to remain oblivious in the face of evidence of harm.
- Trivializing pharmaceutical rape: A
response to harm by denying that real damage was done.
- Medical/pharmaceutical objectification/commodification.: An
attitude about patients that is limited to placing primary value on
what goods or services can be employed for reimbursement or
compensation. Reducing him/her to a commodity with value being limited
to financial usefulness.
- Victim blaming: It is your
fault you were hurt because you did x, y, z. If you hadn’t done x, y,
z, you would not have been harmed. You went to the doctor, you asked
for medication, you consented to the treatment, you kept going back to
the doctor, you didn’t do your homework, you should have known better,
you should have listened to your body, I knew better and I didn’t do
- or, what you
was your own illness, it was your poor diet, your lifestyle, your lack
of exercise, your use of alcohol or other drugs, your age, your family
- you are at fault because you are a
drug addict, (even though the addiction came about through or was aided
by what is considered legitimate prescribing).
- The refusal to acknowledge reports: only accepting controlled clinical trials
and not case studies.
But I like the piece and I also like and admire dr. Healy's courage and