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."
markets continue to be volatile as investors fear
2. Answering 'Resistance From
All Sides,' Germany Moves
to Ban GMO Crops
3. Western Democracy Is An
Endangered Species On Its
Way To Extinction
The Raping of America: Mile Markers on the Road to
5. Lack of vitamin D may cause
multiple sclerosis, study
This is a Nederlog of
August 26, 2015.
This is a crisis
blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about China (and brief: I will not report the speculations); item 2 is about a German move to ban genetically
modified crops (and I ask about the TPP); item 3 is
about an article by Paul Craig Roberts that argues the USA is on the
way to extinction; item 4 is about an article by
John Whitehead that the USA is on the way to fascism; and item 5 is not a crisis-item: it is about a very recent
specific genes + insufficient amounts of vitamin D may cause multiple
(It is here because my disease - M.E. - is also unexplained, as is
M.S., and seems related to it: Thus, both are probably auto-immune
markets continue to be volatile as investors fear China risk
next article is by Justin McCurry on The Guardian:
As you may know,
I've decided to skip journalists' and economists' "inter-
of news about stocks, because these are about as informed as people
advising you to bet on red in a casino. So while the stocks are still
dithering a lot, I merely report the dithering:
Investor confidence was
also hit by a last-minute plunge on Wall Street on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial
average ended 204.91 points, or 1.3%, lower, having been up by as much
as 441 points earlier in the day.
Wall Street extended its
losses for six straight days, its longest losing stretch for more than
In early trading on
Wednesday, the Shanghai index fell 1.8% but recovered to end the
morning 0.8% up. Australian shares fell 0.5%.
Stocks in New Zealand,
Taiwan and south-east Asia were mostly lower.
Some analysts said that
fears of a prolonged market crisis sparked by concern over China’s
economic outlook may be overblown, but they warned that the region
should expect more volatility.
Incidentally, I included
last paragraph because it gives a clear example of the
prose journalists and economists use to pretend they know:
analysts" (!!) "said" (!!) ... that it may get better or may get worse.
'Resistance From All Sides,' Germany Moves to Ban GMO Crops
The next article is
by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Germany on Monday became
the latest country in the European Union to take a stand against
genetically modified (GMO) crops in its food supply.
Minister Christian Schmidt told government officials that he will seek
to implement the European Union's "opt-out" rule to stop GMO crop
cultivation in the country, including those varieties which may be
approved by the EU, according to documents seen
by Reuters this week.
Individual regions in
Germany will have until September 11 to inform Schmidt if they wish to
be included in the opt-out. Germany will then have until October 3 to
tell the EU whether or not it will participate in the cultivation
As agriculture ministry
spokesperson Christian Fronczak told
Bloomberg, "The German government is clear in that
it seeks a nationwide cultivation ban."
"There’s resistance from
all sides, from the public to the farmers," Fronczak said.
Note that this means
essentially that Monsanto (<-
- by far the greatest producer of the seeds that produce GMO
will be denied to do the same in Europe as they have done in the USA,
where indeed they even succeeded blocking the need for saying on some
label that the food one buys is GMO.
Also, while I have no strong position on GMOs as such, I do
have a strong position on Monsanto and on labeling: Monsanto
(<- Wikipedia) is an evil corporation that basically tries to get
all the power in American agriculture through its genetically modified
seeds. (See the Wikipedia article.) And whether or not a product is
genetically engineered must be on the label, simply to give its
potential buyers a rational choice.
Incidentally... since that
moral hero Obama opened the roads to the TPP, my guess about what will
happen - in the coming five years or so, if the TPP is agreed
with the European politicians (that meanwhile are about as corrupt as
their American counterparts) - is that the German rulings will be
attacked as "bad for Monsanto's profits" (which is true), and therefore
will be forbidden by the lawyers who are to act as judges in TPP-cases.
I may be pessimistic, but
this is what the TPP is about: defending the interests
of the rich corporations by insisting, this time also in "law", that
whatever hinders their profits is a crime,
even if the decision is explicitly taken to protect the population, and
does protect the population.
That will be forbidden
because profits go before people, in Obama's - still secret -
TPP (that meanwhile got partially known through Wikileaks).
Democracy Is An Endangered Species On Its Way To Extinction
The next article is
Craig Roberts (<- Wikipedia) on his site (Institute for
First a bit on Paul
Craig Roberts, that I quote from the beginning of the Wikipedia article
on him (quoted minus notes):
Paul Craig Roberts
(born April 3, 1939) is an American economist
He served for one year as an Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration.
He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal,
Business Week, and Scripps Howard
During the 21st century,
Roberts has frequently published in Counterpunch,
writing extensively about the effects of the Bush (and later Obama)
administrations related to the War on Terror, which he says have destroyed
the U.S. Constitution’s
protections of Americans' civil liberties,
such as habeas corpus and due
process. He has taken positions different from former Republican
allies, opposing the War
on Drugs and the War on Terror, and criticizing
Israel’s policies and actions against the Palestinians.
Incidentally, he also
got the French Legion of Honor (in 1987) as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science
and policy after half a century of state intervent- ionism". (Hm!)
Here is an outline of some of his arguments:
I quite agree - and the
nest eggs" so much coveted by the Blairites are that they too want to
make between 20 million and 80 million pounds by advising
to suppress their populations, and such, as did that socialist
/catholic hero Tony Blair, who offers a fine example how much
money a thoroughly corrupt politician can make, and thus serves as a great
inspiration for myriads of other political careerists.
The British Labour Party
no longer represents the working class. Under UK prime minister Tony
Blair, the Labour Party became a vassal of the One Percent. The result
has been a rebellion in the ranks and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, a
principled Labourite intent on representing the people, a no-no in
Corbyn is too real for
the Labour Party Blairites, who hope to be rewarded with similar nest
eggs as Blair for representing the capitalist One Percent. So what is
the corrupted Labour Party doing to prevent Corbyn’s election?
The answer is that it is
denying the vote to Corbyn supporters. You can read the story here:
Indeed the last link - here - is an interesting read, that
shows Roberts is quite correct.
Then there is this (from a - former? - Republican) about the USA:
keep in mind that most of the dollars that they pay in income tax are
spent either spying upon themselves and the world or killing people in
many countries. Without resources taken from American taxpayers
millions of women, children, and village elders would still be alive in
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine,
South Ossetia, and other countries. America is the greatest exporter of
violence the world has ever known. So wear your patriotism on your
sleeve and be proud. You are a depraved citizen of the world’s worst
killer nation. Compared to the USA, Rome was a piker.
I mostly agree, but not
with the last two statements.
First, as to the average American being "a depraved citizen of the world’s worst
That the USA currently is "the
world’s worst killer nation"
is undoubtedly true, but that is almost wholly the work of its
who often were bank managers or oil companies' representatives, and
normally also, after governing for their interests, will return to be bank
managers or oil companies' represent- atives. And these leading
politicians - that may well be called "depraved" - have done a whole
lot (also helped by many journalists and editors, these days) to misguide,
mislead and deceive the
average of the population they lead,
and have largely succeeded in doing so.
I agree it would have been very nice if the American
population were more intelligent, less ignorant and less prejudiced,
but they are not. Their excuse is
that they were misled, misguided and deceived, and I think that is
if they themselves see it otherwise). Put otherwise, they are too
stupid and too
ignorant to be (consciously) "depraved".
Next, as to the USA and Rome. I think I am fairly well read in Roman
history, such as Suetonius, Plutarch and Tacitus, and indeed also all
of the - very enjoyable (!) - seven volumes of Edward Gibbon's
Fall of the Roman Empire", and I mostly disagree for (at
least) three reasons:
First, Rome was a much more violent society than (even) the
present USA: There were for nearly 400 years - for example - the very
widely visited "circuses" were very many men and women were killed very
in order to enjoy and invigorate the population (who loved it). Second,
Rome was a slave state: Most of its inhabitants were slaves
(about whom extremely little is known: I don't think there were
than three or so slaves whose names were known (Aesop, Epictetus and
Spartacus ). Third, punishments were much
more cruel: People
were cruelly but legally murdered, e.g. by crucifixion (thus 15,000
survivors of Spartacus' rebellion were all crucified after being
defeated) or in a circus, to amuse the population.
Finally, I also think the comparison between a - these days generally
little known - state, that mostly collapsed 1500 years ago, and a
modern state, is rather precarious and question-begging (though Gibbon is
really interesting, for intelligent persons).
Then there is this about France:
France herself seems to
be collapsing as a democracy and no longer respects her own laws.
According to this report from Kumaran Ira on World Socialist Website https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/19/fkil-a19.html
“In the name of the “war on terror,” the French state
is dramatically accelerating its use of clandestine operations to
extra-judicially murder targeted individuals. French President François
Hollande reportedly possesses a “kill list” of potential targets and
constantly reviews the assassination program with high-ranking military
and intelligence officers.
“This program of
state murder, violating basic constitutional rights in a country where
the death penalty is illegal, underscores the profound decay of French
bourgeois democracy. Amid escalating imperialist wars in France’s
former colonial empire and deepening political crisis at home, the
state is moving towards levels of criminality associated with the war
against Algerian independence and the Vichy regime of Occupied France.”
Where do you suppose the
socialist president of France got his idea of an illegal and
unconstitutional “kill list”? If you answer from “America’s First Black
President,” you are correct.
I think that is
correct, and indeed is a sign that the government's officials
over power from parliaments (which these days anyway tend to be filled
And there is this on Western civilization:
I certainly do not
believe that Western civilization was ever pure as snow and devoid of
sins and crimes against humanity. But it is a fact that in Western
civilization, despite the numerous injustices, reforms were possible
that improved life for the lower classes. Reforms were possible that
restricted the rapaciousness of the rich and powerful. In the US
reforms made the impossible come true: ladders of upward mobility made
it possible for members of the lowest economic class to become
multimillionaires. And this actually happened.
That is also true,
and happened mostly - if it happened - somewhere between 1920 and 1980.
Here is Robert's
general judgement on the present USA:
Just as the Roman Empire
ended in the destruction of the Roman people, the American Empire will
end in the destruction of the American people. Judging from histories,
Roman citizens were superior to American citizens; yet, Rome failed.
expect any other outcome. The price to be paid for insouciance,
self-satisfaction, and complicity is high.
I am not as
certain as Roberts is, but indeed the situation is bleak, and
especially bleak because more than 50% of the American population
unintelligent, uninformed and prejudiced, while 100% of the
population is heavily propagandized,
which the majority simply doesn't seem to see.
The Raping of America: Mile Markers on the Road to Fascism
This starts as follows:
next article is by John Whitehead on Washington's Blog:
there certainly were precursors like Sheldon Wolin (<- link to the
first of a series of interviews Chris Hedges had with him) I was one of
the first who insisted that the best general explanation of
what has been happening in the U.S., and especially since Bush Jr. was
nominated by the Supreme Court, and started the Iraq war, is that it
seemed most like a well-prepared and successful grab of
power by the corporations - including the banks - and corporate
interests, which is politically known as fascism, and has been
known as such since Mussolini.
“Freedom is never
voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the
oppressed.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
There’s an ill will
blowing across the country. The economy
is tanking. The people are directionless,
and politics provides no
answer. And like former regimes, the militarized police have
stepped up to provide a façade of law and order manifested by an overt
violence against the citizenry.
Despite the revelations
of the past several years, nothing has changed to push back against the
American police state. Our freedoms—especially the Fourth
Amendment—continue to be choked out by a prevailing view among
government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize,
strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual
at any time and for the slightest provocation.
Despite the recent
outrage and protests, nothing has changed to restore us to our rightful
role as having dominion over our bodies, our lives and our property,
especially when it comes to interactions with the government.
Indeed, I did so before knowing of Edward Snowden, namely on 25 December 2012, which I
republished, edited a bit, but left mostly unchanged, on January 31, 2014, after learning
about Edward Snowden.
Also, I think my analysis still holds good, but indeed - as Whitehead's
title also has it - it still seems a road towards fascism,
which hasn't fully arrrived yet, but which is approaching more and more.
Here is some more Whitehead:
Yes, in so far as it
lays a part of the blame with the less intelligent and less educated
half of the American population; no, in so far as I don't believe
Worst of all, it seems as
if nothing will change as long as the American people remain distracted
by politics, divided by their own prejudices, and brainwashed into
believing that the Constitution still reigns supreme as the law of the
land, when in fact, we have almost completed the shift into fascism.
In other words, despite
our occasional bursts of outrage over abusive police practices,
sporadic calls for government reform, and periodic bouts of awareness
that all is not what it seems, the police state continues to march
"we have almost completed
the shift into fascism";
but a qualified yes in that
this does indicate the direction of the changes.
Here are some examples that Whitehead has in mind:
I agree with all that,
but it is not - yet, at least - a proof of fascism, though it does seem
considerable evidence that the American police has been heavily
militarized, and also seems to have changed their main task of protecting
the people to suppressing the people, with considerable and
totally unmerited violence as well, especially against blacks.
of minor infractions which have resulted in strip searches include:
individuals arrested for driving with a noisy muffler, driving with an
inoperable headlight, failing to use a turn signal, riding a bicycle
without an audible bell, making an improper left turn, engaging in an
antiwar demonstration (the individual searched was a nun, a Sister of
Divine Providence for 50 years). Police have also carried out strip
searches for passing a bad check, dog leash violations, filing a false
police report, failing to produce a driver’s license after making an
illegal left turn, having outstanding parking tickets, and public
intoxication. A failure to pay child support can also result in a strip
It must be remembered
that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to
prevent government agents from searching an individual’s person or
property without a warrant and probable cause (evidence that some kind
of criminal activity was afoot). While the literal purpose of the
amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted
government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our
Here is the last quotation I will give:
With every court ruling
that allows the government to operate above the rule of law, every
piece of legislation that limits our freedoms, and every act of
government wrongdoing that goes unpunished, we’re slowly being
conditioned to a society in which we have little real control over our
lives. As Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone and
an insightful commentator on human nature, once observed, “We’re
developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about
cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”
Indeed, not only are we
developing a new citizenry incapable of thinking for themselves, we’re
also instilling in them a complete and utter reliance on the government
and its corporate partners to do everything for them—tell them what to
eat, what to wear, how to think, what to believe, how long to sleep,
who to vote for, whom to associate with, and on and on.
In this way, we have
created a welfare state, a nanny state, a police state, a surveillance
state, an electronic concentration camp—call it what you will, the
meaning is the same: in our quest for less personal responsibility, a
greater sense of security, and no burdensome obligations to each other
or to future generations, we have created a society in which we have no
police abuse, SWAT team raids, economic instability, asset forfeiture
schemes, pork barrel legislation, militarized police, drones, endless
wars, private prisons, involuntary detentions, biometrics databases,
free speech zones, etc.: these are mile markers on the road to a
fascist state where citizens are treated like cattle, to be branded and
eventually led to the slaughterhouse.
I mostly agree, with
three notes. First, I agree that these - e.g. in the last paragraph - are
strong tendencies towards fascism, but it hasn't fully arrived
yet. And second, I also agree that a major responsibility for these
lay with the American population.
But third - and this is also why I disagree with the quote by
Rod Sterling -
the basic problem is the lack of intelligence and knowledge in
the 50% of
the most stupid - sorry: the least intelligent - Americans, together
deception by political leaders they trust.
And it is true that nearly all political leaders in the USA have
behaved as if
they are best served by the least intelligent or the least
have done their mighty best to see to it that the 90% of the poor and
class get as bad and as worthless an education as can be
managed (which is
pretty easy with less and less money for education).
But it is not true "a new citizenry" is being produced: All
that gets reproduced is an ever larger mass of adults who know
very little, think very little, and try to get by by pleasing their
authorities and by avoiding taking any controversial point of view.
vitamin D may cause multiple
sclerosis, study finds
today is not a crisis item, but is related to the -
bureaucratically totally denied - real
illness I have since 1.i.1979:
For those who are
interested, first a very brief bit on the real status of some unexplained
I am since 1989 - according to my doctor, who also knew me quite well -
a patient who suffers from Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) and/or Fibromyalgia (F.M.), and the last
was especially indicated because I had (and have) rather a lot of pain.
Next, there are two related diseases that also are mostly
unexplained: Lyme's disease (where the mode of transmission is known,
but not the details about how the disease works) and Multiple
Sclerosis (M.S.) of which the cause is also unknown.
OK - now for the news:
Lack of vitamin D may be
a direct cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study has found. The
discovery may have important public health implications since so many
people have insufficient levels of the essential vitamin, researchers
The findings may help
explain why rates of MS, a potentially disabling auto-immune disease
that damages nerve fibres, are higher in high-latitude regions such as
northern Europe, which have fewer sunny days. Sunshine triggering a
chemical reaction in the skin is the primary source of vitamin D.
Previous studies have
suggested an association between lower vitamin D levels and a higher
risk of MS. But now scientists have demonstrated a genetic correlation
that points strongly to a causal link.
Scientists who scoured
the DNA of 33,996 participants identified four single-letter variants
in the genetic code that were closely associated with a vitamin D blood
A comparison between
thousands of MS sufferers and healthy individuals found that people
whose genetic makeup was associated with a lack of vitamin D – meaning
they had fewer of the biomarker variants – were at least twice as
likely to have MS.
I say. And I definitely was
low in D until well in my thirties (when it got better because I
started taking lots of supplements in 1984). And no, I am not
I really have M.S.: I am saying that supplementing with
vitamins and minerals
is important, because (1) this may help battle a cause of a disease one
has or may develop, known, partially known, or unknown; (2) very
much about the human body is still unknown; and (3) with
proper supplements (wisely taken) one at least provides one's body with
a good grounding to battle against disease. 
Here is the last bit, that also shows the discovery is important:
MS, which affects about
100,000 people in the UK, occurs when the immune system attacks the
protective myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibres and acts as an
insulator. Nerve signals are disrupted, leading to symptoms that can
range from mild tingling sensations to full-blown paralysis. In rare
cases that progress rapidly, the disease can be fatal.
Dr Benjamin Jacobs, from
the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital in London, said: “This study
reveals important new evidence of a link between vitamin D deficiency
and multiple sclerosis. The results show that if a baby is born with
genes associated with vitamin D deficiency they are twice as likely as
other babies to develop MS as an adult. This could be because vitamin D
deficiency causes MS, or possibly because there are other complex
Yes, but it is
strong evidence for some important tie between insufficient
vitamin D (which is very common in the U.S. and Northern Europe) and MS.
P.S. Aug 27, 2015: Removed some typos.
In fact, I owe this point to George Orwell's "Collected Essays" (etc.),
Incidentally, while I
definitely have gotten older in looks since 2012, when I still had no
grey in my hair and no curves in my face, I think I still look
- emphatically not: feel - 20 years younger than I am,
indeed also was the
case in my early forties, when I saw someone drop off her chair when I
my age (43, while she had taught I looked like 23). In fact, "Life
an important reason for people to take megavitamins, and while I never
took vitamins for that purpose, I am a good example for the thesis that
it may help.
That is, if mere looks (without the associated feelings) are important.