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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Crisis: On M.E., Nuclear Launches, Chomsky, The Kochs, Deadly Attack, Stephanie Faulkner

Sections                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1. Summary
2.
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from November 28, 2017
3. 75 years ago
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday
, November 28, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a
crisis 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 will continue with it.

On the moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and will continue.

2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from November 28, 2017
1. New Recognition for Chronic Fatigue
2. The Duty to Disobey a Nuclear Launch Order
3. Chomsky: Is Socialism on the Rise in America?
4. The Kochs Just Scored a Major Media Coup
5. There’s a Strategic and Deadly Attack Aimed at the US Republic,
     But It’s Not the Russians
The items 1 - 5 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:

1. New Recognition for Chronic Fatigue

This article is by Jane E. Brody on The New York Times.

In fact, this is not a crisis article, but M.E. as I strongly prefer to call ¨Chronic Fatigue¨ is a disease that struck me - within slightly more than a month - 39 years ago, on January 1, 1979. And on January 10, 1979 it also struck my ex, who also is still ill.

Having M.E. has been since then (by far) the main influence on my life, for my life would have run completely different if I had not fallen ill with M.E. (and the same holds for my ex):

I did get an M.A. in psychology with a straight A; I did get a B.A. in philosophy with a straight A; and my M.A. in philosophy was illegally denied me in 1988 because I criticized my ¨teachers¨ of ¨philosophy¨.

Also, I am still ¨officially insane¨ - ¨psychosomatic¨ - all these 39 years, in which I did get two of the best degrees while I was continuously in pain with extremely little energy.

It is especially for this reason that I have concluded that 90% of the Dutch medical doctors are liars and frauds who are much more interested in their own excellent incomes than in patients or their diseases: Was it otherwise I would not have seen 30 ¨medical specialists" of whom 27 said ¨it is psychosomatic¨ - which is to say, effectively:
¨We doctors insist that you are insane, which also means that we will do fuck all for a madman like you, because you insist that there are diseases that we medical geniuses do not know. This is utter crap: Modern medicine knows everything there is to know about medics, in all its aspects, and the same holds for each and every medically qualified person. Go fuck yourself! You´ll be much better of dead!¨
It is called blaming the victim. In people without medical degrees this is very strong evidence for sadism. And I - with whom nothing is psychologically wrong: I am a psychologist - have been consistently treated like that by 27 out of 30 Dutch ¨medical specialists¨, none of whom did even know M.E. existed (between 1979 and 1984) although it had been perfectly clearly been described by an English medical man in 1965.

Again, I did not find out most of the above three paragraphs until ca. 2000 or later, for the simple reason that I could not find much information about M.E. without internet.

Now to the article. It starts as follows - and Jane Brody is a journalist who specializes in health matters since 1976. I do not know whether she studied medicine (or anything):

Having recently endured more than a month of post-concussion fatigue, I can’t imagine how people with so-called chronic fatigue syndrome navigate through life with disabling fatigue that seemingly knows no end. Especially those who are erroneously told things like “It’s all in your head,” “Maybe you should see a psychiatrist,” or “You’d have a lot more energy if only you’d get more exercise.”

After years of treating the syndrome as a psychological disorder, leading health organizations now recognize that it is a serious, long-term illness possibly caused by a disruption in how the immune system responds to infection or stress. It shares many characteristics with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis but without apparent signs of tissue damage.

Ahem. The ¨so-called chronic fatigue syndrome¨ was so called by psychiatrists precisely because it was a trivializing name for something hardly any psychiatrist believed in. There are many different names for the disease, but it seems that the the term ¨M.E.¨ which was introduced in the 1960ies by medical people who believed in the disease, is still the best, indeed in part because it explicitly names - if expanded as ¨Myalgic Encephalomyelitis¨ - the muscle agues I have had now for almost 39 years, continuously.

Second, although it is technically correct to speak of ¨years of treating the syndrome as a psychological disorder¨ (as a psychologist I can assure you that M.E. never was part of psychology, and correctly so) in my case it are almost four decades.

And third, if you want to know something about recent medical investigations into M.E. I advise you to read my me+ME+Crisis: About ME/CFS - 1: Some updates about Oystein Fluge and Ron Davis that was written on February 25, 2017.

Fourth, about ¨leading health organizations now recognize that it is a serious, long-term illness¨: I am sorry, but not in Holland. In Holland everyone with M.E. is still insane, I guess because this is much cheaper than treating them as ill people. (I got minimal dole for 32 years, and was always refused any money for being ill.)

I go to the next quote:

Accordingly, doctors now typically refer to it as myalgic encephalomyelitis, meaning brain and spinal cord inflammation with muscle pain, and in scientific papers it is often written as ME/CFS. At the same time, a major shift is underway as far as how the medical profession is being advised to approach treatment.

No, not according to my - rather extensive - information: In fact - see the Wikipedia on ¨chronic fatigue syndrome¨ by far the most doctors (as far as I know) still don´t believe there can be any disease they haven´t learned about, and call it (i.a.) ¨post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)¨ and other trivializing names.

And I call these trivializing names because none of them even mention the muscle agues I have now for 39 years; most of them speak of ¨fatigue¨ while my real problem (and that of my ex, who also has the disease, as long as I have it, and also is a psychologist who couldn´t work) is not fatigue but lack of energy. (You are ¨fatigued¨ if you are tired. You have a lack of energy if you just finished running the marathon. And I have felt as if I had just run the marathon very many times these last 39 years.)

Then there is this:

The longstanding advice to “exercise your way out of it” is now recognized as not only ineffective but counterproductive. It usually only makes matters worse, as even the mildest activity, like brushing your teeth, can lead to a debilitating fatigue, the core symptom of the disease.

This is all true (but I have heard for 39 years that “exercise is the way out of it”), although I should add that there are many levels in the disease, and people who get a collapse after brushing their teeth or going to the toilet simply have it more seriously than I have.

Then there is this which is mainly baloney:

This new thinking is long overdue. It is understandably difficult for doctors to appreciate that a disorder lacking obvious physical abnormalities could have a physical basis, especially when patients debilitated by a chronic disease that no one understands are likely to be depressed and anxious.

It is definitely NOT ¨understandably difficult for doctors to appreciate that a disorder lacking obvious physical abnormalities¨: This is only understandably difficult if these doctors are either incompetent or believe that they know all there is to know about any possible disease.

Also, if you are not somewhat depressed or somewhat anxious after hearing total bullshit from nearly all medical mouths you consulted for twentyfive years I´d say you are a psychological miracle. (In fact, medics in vast majorities everywhere have been blaming the victims for being ill.)

Here is more that is more or less good journalism, but simply is false for someone like me:

The core symptoms of the syndrome make it clear that this is not a matter of malingering. No one with an appreciation for life would pretend to be so debilitated. As the C.D.C. put it, “People with ME/CFS have fatigue that is very different from just being tired. The fatigue of ME/CFS can be severe; is not a result of unusually difficult activity; is not relieved by sleep or rest, [and] was not a problem before becoming ill.”

I have been saying both things - my ex and I are not malingering; my ex and I both fell ill in the first year of our studies; my ex and I are studying on study loans etc. and also no: we have no ¨fatigue¨: we have a chronic and constant lack of energy - ever since 1979, but I have given up trying to convince medical people of anything.

This is all true:

Following even minimal exertion, patients tend to “crash” or “collapse” and may require days, weeks or longer to rebound. As mundane an activity as grocery shopping, attending a school event, preparing a meal or even taking a shower may force a retreat to bed.

But I should remark that collapses (especially after three years of insufficient sleep because of illegal drugsdealers that are protected by the mayor, the police and all city bureaucrats) may last months, years and decades: My present position is much worse than it was between 1984-1987 precisely because of that reason.

Then there is this, that is all true (and should at least partially explain why I and most other sufferers of M.E. reject the name ¨chronic fatigue¨ for our disease):

Muscle and joint pain unrelated to an injury is a common accompaniment, as well as headaches that are new or worse than previously. Some people also have tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpits, a frequent sore throat, chills and night sweats, allergic sensitivities or digestive problems.

In fact, I know only two persons with M.E.: Myself and my ex. I have met others who claimed the same, but I did not see enough of their lives and their troubles to be able to agree with them. I lived for 5 years with a woman with the same disease as I had and we both had muscle agues; she had headaches but I did not; the same for lymph nodes; I had extremely frequent night sweats but she did not (but she had years of diarrhea that I did not have); and I think we both had digestive problems.

But none of this was admitted by almost any doctor I saw: All was ¨psychosomatic¨.

Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:

There is currently no known cure for ME/CFS and patients should be wary of any therapy that claims otherwise.

I agree, though I did have some interesting and long lasting results with orthomolecular vitamins. (I report them because they are factually correct, but I do not pretend to be able to explain them: I am not a medical doctor).

Finally, being ill for 39 years and being consistently put away by 9 of 10 doctors I saw as if I was a psychosomatizer who deserved to be blamed for his own problems, and who also was denied all help by 9 out of 10 doctors:

I distrust 90% of all doctors I see, and I avoid all medical people as much as I can. In fact, I will only call a medic if I have identified myself what I have (in the Wikipedia or on the internet) and also have ascertained they will probably not say ¨it is psychosomatic¨ [2].

And I also think 90% of the doctors I have seen or am likely to see are both incompetent and dangerous for their patients, simply because this has been true for 39 years now in my own experience (and no, I have had no other diseases).

In fact, I think I´d be crazy if I thought otherwise, but I agree that except for my ex I do not know anyone who has been both ill and victimized for 39 years. I have been.

2. The Duty to Disobey a Nuclear Launch Order

This article is by Marjorie Cohn on Truthdig and originally on Truthout. It starts as follows:

On November 19, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, declared he would refuse to follow an illegal presidential order to launch a nuclear attack. “If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail,” the general explained at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia. “You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”

Gen. Hyten is correct. For those in the military, there is a legal duty to obey a lawful order, but also a legal duty to disobey an unlawful order. An order to use nuclear weapons — except possibly in an extreme circumstance of self-defense when the survival of the nation is at stake — would be an unlawful order.

I agree with both Cohn and Hyten, but must add that I am rather skeptical about military refusals of orders. A bit more on that below.

First, there is this:

There is cause for concern that Donald Trump may order a nuclear strike on North Korea. Trump has indicated his willingness to use nuclear weapons. In early 2016, he asked a senior foreign policy adviser about nuclear weapons three times during a briefing and then queried, “If we have them why can’t we use them?”

Yes indeed. And here are the rules that apply to Trump, although Trump himself may well deny this applies to him:

The president can only use military force in self-defense or to forestall an imminent attack. There must exist “a necessity of self-defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation,” under the well-established Caroline Case. A president has no lawful authority to order a first-strike nuclear attack.

As to military refusals of orders: As I said, I agree with Hyten, but I also think that the refusing of orders by military men is quite unlikely.

But this is a good article that is recommended, that also contains quite a lot more.


3. Chomsky: Is Socialism on the Rise in America?

This article is by C.J. Polychroniou on AlterNet and originally on Truthout. This starts as follows:

We live in an age of illegitimate neoliberal hegemony and soaring political uncertainty. The evidence is all around: citizen disillusionment over mainstream political parties and the traditional conservative-liberal divide, massive inequality, the rise of the "alt-right," and growing resistance to Trumpism and financial capitalism. 

Yes, the present age is full of contradictions of every type and variety, and this is something that makes the goals and aims of the left for the reordering of society along the lines of a true democratic polity and in accordance with the vision of a socialist reorganization of the economy more challenging than ever before.

In this context, the interview below, with Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin, which appeared originally in Truthout in three separate parts, seeks to provide theoretical and practical guidance to the most pressing social, economic and political issues facing the United States today.

In fact I have reviewed each of the ¨three separate parts¨ and did so (partially at best, I agree) here, here and here. And this is a strongly recommended article.


4. The Kochs Just Scored a Major Media Coup

This is by Robert Reich on AlterNet (and originally on RobertReich.org, where I did not find it today). It starts as follows:

Tonight, the Koch brothers invested $650 million so the Meredith Corporation could buy Time Inc. – which, in addition to its flagship magazine, Time, also publishes People, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.

In announcing the deal, Meredith said that the Koch’s would “have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations.”

Rubbish. The Koch Brothers don’t invest $650 million for nothing. My guess is they intend to use Time and its other publications — which reach millions of online and print readers — to promote their right-wing conservatism.
Yes indeed: I completely agree. This also is a brief article, but it is recommended.

5. There’s a Strategic and Deadly Attack Aimed at the US Republic,
But It’s Not the Russians


This article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

An all-out assault on our freedom began in earnest 46 years ago, when Lewis Powell issued a 34-page memo on August 23, 1971 in response to a request from the Chamber of Commerce.  Their campaign was strategic, patient, inexorable, and fueled by billions of dollars.

As Powell put it:

Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.

A collection of wealthy conservatives funded what was a de facto coup, setting up foundations and think tanks designed to discredit government while portraying free markets as the source of salvation. To accomplish it they established a conservative presence in the press, educational institutions, and civil society – indeed, their coup aimed to completely change the cultural and philosophical assumptions underpinning the nature of our Republic, the principles it was founded upon, and the role of corporations in society.

And it has been spectacularly successful.

I completely agree (and have been drawing attention to Lewis F. Powell Jr. for a long time, as indeed have quite a few others).

Here is more:

Today, the remnants of the last impediment to their takeover are being swept away – specifically, the remains of rules designed to assure an informed citizenry.  Thomas Jefferson said he would prefer newspapers without government over government without newspapers. Today, we are losing the press, and as a result, losing the informed citizenry that has been the foundation of our freedoms since our nation was formed.

Yes, I think this is also true (though I have to admit that - anyway - I believe that only a minority of all Americans is both adequately informed and capable of dealing rationally with the information they have - but indeed I agree my criterions are fairly high).

Here is more:

Make no mistake, this takeover was intentional and it is the last step a decades long strategy to take over a free and independent press. 

Democracy’s Last Act – Three Strikes and We’re Out

Net Neutrality: With the end of net neutrality, a few giant corporations will control the ease of your access to the Internet, and the costs of and to the sites you visit.
(..)
FCC Rules: The changes watering down the FCC rules designed to assure a diversity of views have been going on since Reagan, and Bill Clinton doubled down on Reagan's assault, but what’s happening right now is the death knell for an independent media. 
(..)
Mergers and Monopolies: The Sinclair buy out is only the latest in a two-decade long consolidation of the media.  A twenty-year frenzy of mergers has put about 90 percent of the country’s major media outlets under the control of just six corporations.
Again quite so - and I have been suppressing text in my summary. Here is the last bit that I´ll quote from this article:
Don’t look to the Democrats to prevent it.  As they demonstrated at the Democracy Alliance’s recent meeting in La Costa California, they are firmly committed to the same old game of chasing corporations and fat cats for their money and, inevitably, serving their interests not the people’s.
Well... I have very recently read that Bernie Sanders is planning to run for the Democrats in 2020. I do not know whether that is true.

I agree with John Atcheson that the present Democrats are mostly ¨
chasing corporations and fat cats for their money and, inevitably, serving their interests not the people’s¨ but I do not know what they will be like in two or three years.

In any case, this is a strongly recommended article.

3. 75 years ago

It is November 28 today, which means that Stephanie Faulkner - the first woman I lived with and the only woman I desired to marry (and she me) - was born 75 years ago today, on November 28, 1942.

She died in 1996, but I did not know that until 2013, when I wrote about her, here and here.

And I have one thing to add to what I wrote then about her: I did copy and comment on the first 25 letters she wrote to me, in 1971 and 1972, but I will not upload them, mostly because they are too personal.

I will say that the reason she stands out for me is that she certainly was the most intelligent woman I ever met, and quite possibly also the most intelligent person I met, and also that she was Irish in her own opinion, though born in Wales, as the child of an Irish father and a Welsh mother.

Since I am commemorating November 28, 1942 let me add that on that same day Emmett Grogan was born. He was one of the leaders of the U.S. Diggers [3], whom I discovered (in some detail) in the beginning of this year.

See here and here for some more on the U.S. Diggers. I only add that this still has to be completed and that I also got considerably more critical of them after I found out that many of the U.S. Diggers used hard drugs, which I have always opposed. Indeed Grogan died in his 35th year in 1978 from an overdose of heroin.

I think that Grogan was a bright man (also from an Irish background, by the way) and that his book Ringolevio is quite interesting, but I also think that he and the other U.S. Diggers that turned to hard drugs, that also include Peter Coyote, who was another leader of the U.S. Diggers, made a quite serious mistake.

------------------------------
Notes

[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that xs4all.nl is systematically ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds, as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).

The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any other Dutch provider is any better (!!).

[2] I am quite sorry that it is this way, but I simply have seen far too many medical doctors who actually were completely ignorant about both myself and my disease who simply lied to me, also without any other reason than their vanity or their incompetence.

Besides, there is another reason, and it is medical, in the good sense:

The whole term and the whole concept of ¨psychosomatic problems¨ is totally unmedical bullshit that has nothing to do with real medicine: Real medicine - that only exists some 150 years!! - is based on the thesis that everything a real medic can find out or say about any disease is somatic (about the body): The ¨psyche¨ (the ¨soul¨, the ¨mind¨) - indeed quite unlike the brain - simply does not belong to medical science. (And - incidentally - if there is a specialist on psychology it is me rather than the medical doctors I see: I have an - excellent - M.A. in it, and none of them did any systematic studying in psychology. I did.)

And there is yet a third reason, that is mostly personal: I know that I am quite intelligent, which also comes with some arrogance, but I have never met anyone - and I have met very many professors, in quite a few sciences - who was as arrogant and as condescending as plenty of the medical doctors I met.

[3] Incidentally: The article on the U.S. Diggers in the Wikipedia has been systematically getting worse since I first read it (like much else on Wikipedia). For example, the present article ends with the following section (there is more in it than I quote):
Division of Labor
The Diggers' division of labor between men and women has been criticized as sexist, with male members primarily forming ideas while female members of the organization were tasked with most of the practical and instrumental work these ideas required.
I am sorry, but while this may be true, it is about as relevant as criticizing the Labour Party or the Catholics for ¨sexism¨ in the Sixties.

This is just irrelevant bullshit, and besides: the U.S. Diggers were not a ¨theater¨ group: They were a counter culture group with revolutio- nary aims that arose from a theater group - the Mime Troupe - that they left behind to form the Diggers.

Are these lies intentional or are they merely based on ignorance?!

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