A. Selections from July 14, 2017
B. On my computer
This is a Nederlog of
Friday, July 14,
This is a
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection from that item (indented)
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are six crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
July 14, 2017
items 1 - 6 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn Discuss How to Get the World We Want
This is an article (that I read) + video (that I didn't
see) by Naomi Klein on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
I’m Naomi Klein, reporting for The Intercept, and I’m here in London at
the Houses of Parliament with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour
Party, three weeks after the Labour Party in an historic election won
many, many more seats than anybody predicted – except for some of the
people in this room, who saw it coming. And it’s just an enormous
pleasure to be here with Jeremy and to talk about the importance of a
forward-looking, bold agenda to do battle with the right. Hi, Jeremy.
Lovely to see you.
Jeremy Corbyn, it’s been extraordinary being in the U.K. this week, and
seeing the political space that you have opened up, and the fact that
now we’re seeing the Tories try to poach some of your policies and
scramble to try to appeal to young people by talking about maybe
getting rid of tuition fees.
Well, social justice isn’t copyrighted, but it’s a bigger picture than
just the individual issues.
want to talk about this extraordinary moment in which the project that
really began under Thatcher in this country, and Reagan in the U.S. —
the whole so-called consensus that never really was a consensus, the
war on the collective, on the idea that we can do good things when we
get together — is crumbling. But it’s also kind of a dangerous moment,
when you have a vacuum of ideology, because dangerous ideas are also
surging. So what is the plan to make sure that it is progressive,
hopeful ideas that enter into this vacuum that has opened up?
a decent interview.
the Health Care Corporate Strike Force
This is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. It starts as follows:
care corruption is a severe problem in the US, and globally.
I completely agree that
(bolding added) "health care corruption is a severe problem in the US, and
globally" - such as in Holland.
For years, we have ranted
about the US government's lackadaisical - to use an execessively polite
term - approach to wrongdoing by big health care organizations. The
trend really got started back in the day when now Governor Chris
Christie (R - NJ), then a federal prosecutor, started making deferred
prosecution agreements available to corporations which appeared to have
committed white collar crimes. However, these agreements were
originally meant to give young, non-violent first offenders a second
Since then, we have noted
the continuing impunity
of top health care corporate managers. Health care corporations
have allegedly used kickbacks
to enhance their revenue, but at best such corporations have been able
to make legal
settlements that result in fines that small relative to their
multibillion revenues without admitting guilt. Almost never are
top corporate managers subject to any negative consequences.
In Holland I am ill now for 38 1/2 years, with the serious, debilitating and dangerous disease
M.E. (see the link for the evidence that this is a serious, debilitating and dangerous
disease), but of the circa 30 "medical doctors" I have seen, 27 were much more
interested in getting rich themselves than in caring for
Also, none of these supposed "medical specialists" knew anything
whatsoever about M.E., althougth this was well described since
1965 by Allan Ramsay M.D. and nearly all simply repeated
the lies of the
psychiatric pseudoscientific frauds that if a medical person doesn't
know somehing, the fault lies with the madness of the patient: Blaming
the victim and declaring them insane.
I am sorry, but after 38 1/2 years with a real, serious, painful
illness without any help whatsoever, except by one
excellent G.P., who unfortunately stopped practising in 1999, my
position on medical persons in general is as follows:
Medical persons almost always chose medicine because they
want to get rich. They don't care for patients, but they do care
for their own - excellent - incomes. There are exceptions, but
if there are more than 5% exceptions (who do care for their
patients) it is extremely strange that I did not meet them in
Seen from my point of view, most medical people are frauds
(they have been to me and my ex, who also has M.E. and who also got an
excellent M.A. in psychology and who also is ill since the beginning of
I distrust all medical people and my reasons are these:
Their utter indifference to the fates of myself and my ex for nearly
forty years now, with some very few exceptions,
that show that the rest are frauds, (indeed to anyone with
M.E., including some of their fellow medical doctors - and there are
some 17 million people with M.E. in the world, and all of them are
discriminated); their interest in declaring anybody who does something
they don't know as "psychosoma- tizers"; their being in the medical business for
money; and their having far more power than they deserve
leave me no other conclusiom than this.
For more, see item 6 below, which has excellent
evidence (in an article by a very fine medical doctor).
Further Blow to Democracy in Brazil? Glenn Greenwald on Conviction of
Lula Ahead of 2018 Election
article is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikk on Democracy Now!. It
starts with the following introduction:
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been convicted on corruption
charges and sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison. Lula, widely
considered one of Brazil’s most popular political figures, is the
front-runner in the 2018 elections. We look at how this development
could impact his presidential bid, and we speak with Pulitzer
Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept.
is from the interview:
(..) Lula has been the singular dominant figure in Brazilian politics
for more than 15 years. He is identified internationally as being the
brand of the country. He was president for eight years, from 2002 until
2010, and oversaw extraordinary economic growth, left office with an 86
percent approval rating, and is currently leading, as you said in the
introduction, in all public opinion polls for the 2018 election. He’s a
polarizing figure now, to be certain. There’s a large segment of the
population that despises him and that doesn’t want to see him return to
power, but there’s a large segment of the population that wants to see
him be president again. Certainly, he has more support than any of the
other prospective 2018 candidates. And so, to take somebody who is this
dominant on the Brazilian political landscape, not just in terms of its
recent past, but also its short-term future, the person overwhelmingly
likely to become the country’s next president through the ballot box,
and convict him on charges of corruption, bribery and money laundering,
and sentence him to a decade in prison, just a little under a decade in
prison, you really can’t get much more consequential than this.
is quite a bit more, and I found it quite interesting. Recommend.
for Doomsday: A Shelter-in-Place Mentality Is the New American Normal
is by William Astore on Truthdig, and originally on TomDispatch. This
is from near the beginning:
When it comes to
nuclear weapons and what once was called “thinking
about the unthinkable,” no other nation has as varied, accurate,
powerful, deadly, or (again a word from the past) “survivable” an
arsenal as the United States. Put
bluntly, the nation that is most capable of inflicting a genuine
doomsday scenario on the world is also the one best prepared to ride
out such an event (whatever that may turn out to mean). In this
sense, America truly is the exceptional nation on planet Earth.
It’s exceptional in the combination of its triad of
nuclear weapons, its holy
trinity of sorts—nuclear missile-carrying Trident
submarines, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and
strategic bombers still flown by pilots—in the thoroughness of its
Armageddon plans, and especially in the propagation of a lockdown,
shelter-in-place mentality that fits such thinking to a T.
is considerably more, and the article also has the merit of mentioning
my favorite film director, Stanley Kubrick,
and my favorite film, Kubrick's Dr.
Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Greatest Story Too Rarely Told: America Is an Oligarchy
This is John Atcheson on Common Dreams. This starts as follows:
Enough. It’s time to quit being “balanced” or “non-partisan” or
whatever other euphemism the elite establishment media uses to justify
ignoring the two biggest elephants in our national living room.
Trump was elected there was a lot of concern about allowing his idiocy
to become the “new normal.” But in truth, we’ve been accepting an
unacceptable level of insanity in our national body politic for decades
number one—and it’s a huge honking beast squatting squarely on
our ottoman—is the fact that the Republican Party has come unhinged and
it’s dragging us back to the Dark Ages. Literally. To be a
Republican today you have to have complete disdain for facts, reality,
empiricism, the scientific method, or any of the other underpinnings of
the Enlightenment. This isn’t merely a difference between two
legitimate philosophies as the press insists on portraying it—rather,
it is a self-limiting time bomb which is destroying any hope of a
prosperous economy or a functioning society, not to mention our
country’s standing in the world and the habitability of our planet.
basically agree. There is also this:
And again I agree. There is
more in this article that also is recommended.
brings us to Elephant number Two – the Democrat’s embrace of the raw
deal over the New Deal. The idea that there is a Party
representing the left (or the people, for that matter) in the US is
ludicrous. We have a right-wing Party representing the
Oligarchy—the Democrats—and an insanely right-wing Party—the
Republicans—who represent an extremist fringe of the rich
Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption
This is by Marcia
Angell (<-Wikipedia: recommended) and is from The New York
Review of Books. In fact, this was first published in 2009, but
it is very well worth reading.
No one knows the
total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate
from the annual reports of the top nine US drug companies that it comes
to tens of billions of dollars a year. By such means, the
pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors
evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians,
particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the
results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the
definition of what constitutes a disease.
Yes indeed. As I started
saying, this was originally published in 2009. It was republished now.
I do not know the reason, but my guess is that it is as was in
2009, except that it is considerably worse.
Here is one more quote, on the DSM (this is still about the DSM-IV,
that since has been followed by the totally pseudoscientific
And that is what the
DSMs all are: Fraudulent pseudoscience intended to make
psychiatrists rich and powerful, and based on no real evidence
whatsoever. And please note that until the DSM-III was published
(in 1980) there were between 40 and 50 so-called "mental diseases" ; since the DSM-5 there are over 400.
Given its importance, you
might think that the DSM represents the authoritative distillation of a
large body of scientific evidence. But Lane, using unpublished records
from the archives of the American Psychiatric Association and
interviews with the principals, shows that it is instead the product of
a complex of academic politics, personal ambition, ideology, and,
perhaps most important, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
What the DSM lacks is evidence. Lane quotes one contributor to the
DSM-III task force:
Lane uses shyness as his
case study of disease-mongering in psychiatry. Shyness as a psychiatric
illness made its debut as “social phobia” in DSM-III in 1980, but was
said to be rare. By 1994, when DSM-IV was published, it had become
“social anxiety disorder,” now said to be extremely common. According
to Lane, GlaxoSmithKline, hoping to boost sales for its antidepressant,
Paxil, decided to promote social anxiety disorder as “a severe medical
condition.” In 1999, the company received FDA approval to market the
drug for social anxiety disorder. It launched an extensive media
campaign to do it, including posters in bus shelters across the country
showing forlorn individuals and the words “Imagine being allergic to
people…,” and sales soared.
There was very little
systematic research, and much of the research that existed was really a
hodgepodge —scattered, inconsistent, and ambiguous. I think the
majority of us recognized that the amount of good, solid science upon
which we were making our decisions was pretty modest.
This is a strongly recommended article.
B. On my computer
I commented yesterday on my
eyes and my health, and what I said there is unchanged. What did change
yesterday is the behavior of my computer: It works again as it should.
The reason for the temporal blacking of the files I loaded with Firefox
- that bothered me for a week: it is quite irritating having to
wait 5 to 10 seconds until any file that I downloaded from the internet
worked again as it should - was Ghostery, as I established yesterday,
after which I stopped it (it is an Add On on Firefox) and replaced it
(<-Wikipedia), that also has the - great - benefit of being
Since that replacement the computer works as it should (which is a
First, here is a collection of - no less - than 131 articles on the DSM
100 Nederlogs about and around the APA and the DSM-5 (It did not make any
difference: Money-for-themselves is much more important to
psychiatrists than patients. And yes, I do have an excellent M.A. in
Second, as to "mental
diseases": This term basically is bullshit. If
you want to know why, see this article that I wrote in 2012: DSM-5: Thomas Szasz's ideas about
I mostly agree with Thomas Szasz,
who since has died, but I think he was mistaken about madness: Some
people do get mad (and such people do need help). This
is from the introduction on the Wikipedia article about him (without a
throughout his career that mental illness is a metaphor
for human problems in living, and that mental illnesses are not real in
the sense that cancers are real. Except for a few identifiable brain
diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, there are
"neither biological or chemical tests nor biopsy or necropsy findings
for verifying or falsifying DSM
I agree with this quote.
i.e., there are no objective methods for detecting the presence or
absence of mental illness. Szasz
maintained throughout his career that he was not anti-psychiatry but was rather
anti-coercive psychiatry. He was a staunch opponent of civil commitment and involuntary psychiatric treatment
but believed in, and practiced, psychiatry and psychotherapy between consenting