April 14, 2019

Crisis: Snowden & Assange, Warren, Assange's Arrest, Assange's "Conspiracy, Dirty Dealings, ME/CFS

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



1. Summary
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from April 14, 2019
B. On ME/CFS in the Netherlands

This is a Nederlog of Sunday, April 14, 2019.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but since 2010 in English) 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 more than three 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 I shall continue.

2. Crisis Files

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

A. Selections from April 14, 2019:
1. Edward Snowden Leads Chorus Condemning Assange's Arrest
2. Here are 6 of Elizabeth Warren’s bold ideas

3. The Assange Arrest: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

4. Assange’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Expose War Crimes Has Already Been

5. The Obvious Dirty Dealings Behind Julian Assange’s Arrest
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. Edward Snowden Leads Chorus Condemning Assange's Arrest

This article is by Jake Johnson on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

Edward Snowden joined the chorus of advocacy groups, reporters, and critics as the NSA whistleblower described the arrest of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange Thursday morning as a “dark moment for press freedom” that could have grave implications for journalism across the globe.

“Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the U.K.’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of—like it or not—award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books,” Snowden tweeted.

Assange’s arrest comes amid concerns that British authorities could be planning to extradite him to the United States.

The U.K. police confirmed that Assange was arrested in part due to “an extradition warrant on behalf of the United States authorities.”

Yes, this is all correct. Here is some more by Glenn Greenwald:

“If you’re cheering Assange’s arrest based on a U.S. extradition request, your allies in your celebration are the most extremist elements of the Trump administration, whose primary and explicit goal is to criminalize reporting on classified docs and punish [WikiLeaks] for exposing war crimes,” tweeted The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald.

Yes indeed. And here is more by Matt Taibbi and Jeremy Scahill:

“All of us in the press should read the charges made against Assange very carefully,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, “as this case has enormous potential ramifications for journalists everywhere.”

Greenwald’s colleague at The Intercept, investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, called the arrest “an extremely dangerous crossing of the rubicon” when it comes to press freedoms. “All journalists,” he said, “should stand in fierce opposition.”

Yes, I quite agree. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:

Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, warned in a statement that “prosecution by the United States of Mr. Assange for WikiLeaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations.”

“Moreover, prosecuting a foreign publisher for violating U.S. secrecy laws would set an especially dangerous precedent for U.S. journalists, who routinely violate foreign secrecy laws to deliver information vital to the public’s interest,” Wizner added.

Yes indeed, and this is a strongly recommended article.

2. Here are 6 of Elizabeth Warren’s bold ideas

This article is by Alex Henderson on AlterNet. I abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:

Next to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the most progressive Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race is arguably Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Warren is a details-obsessed policy wonk, outlining solution after solution for the United States. Yet her presidential campaign has been underperforming, especially in light of her strong track record.

Yes, I agree with the above. Here is some more:

Here are six of the many areas in which the Massachusetts senator has excelled from a policy standpoint.

1. Warren realizes that gaping wealth inequality is terrible for free-market capitalism

Sanders and Warren part company when it comes to describing themselves. Sanders considers himself a “democratic socialist,” while Warren has said that she is a “capitalist to my bones.” But the New England senators agree that gaping wealth inequality is terrible for the U.S., and Warren—much like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s/early 1940s and President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s—realizes that capitalism is best served by a strong middle class.

Yes, I agree although I do not agree with Warren on the virtues of capitalism. Here is some more (and "(..)" indicates texts I deleted in this review):
2. Warren understands that the U.S. tax system is rigged in favor of the 1% (..)
3. Warren favors a wealth tax on the richest Americans (..)
4. Warren proposes breaking up the United States’ largest banks

The Great Recession was the worst financial crisis in the U.S. since the Great Depression, and Warren—not unlike Sanders—has stressed that in order to avoid another financial calamity, it is essential to break up the country’s largest banks
into a bunch of smaller banks.

I agree with all three points. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
5. Warren stresses that increasing the minimum wage is vital to having a strong middle class (..)
6. Warren views universal health care as essential to a healthy economy
I again agree with both points, and this is a strongly recommended article.

3. The Assange Arrest: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

This article is by Pepe Escobar on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
The date – April 11, 2019 – will live in infamy in the annals of Western “values” and “freedom of expression.” The image is stark. A handcuffed journalist and publisher dragged out by force from the inside of an embassy, clutching a Gore Vidal book on the History of the U.S. National Security State.

The mechanism is brutal. WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested because the United States demanded this from the Tory British government, which for its part meekly claimed it did not pressure Ecuador to revoke Assange’s asylum.

The U.S. magically erases Ecuador’s financial troubles, ordering the IMF to release a providential $4.2-billion loan. Immediately after, Ecuadorian diplomats “invite” the London Metropolitan Police to come inside their embassy to arrest their long-term guest.

Let’s cut to the chase. Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen, he’s an Australian. WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based media organization. If the US government gets Assange extradited, prosecuted and incarcerated, it will legitimize its right to go after anyone, anyhow, anywhere, anytime.

Call it The Killing of Journalism.
Yes, I agree and especially with this bit: "Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen, he’s an Australian. WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based media organization. If the US government gets Assange extradited, prosecuted and incarcerated, it will legitimize its right to go after anyone, anyhow, anywhere, anytime."

Here is some more:
Assange is allegedly guilty of helping Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intel analyst, to get these documents. But it gets trickier. He’s also allegedly guilty of “encouraging” Manning to collect more information.

There’s no other way to interpret that. This amounts, no holds barred, to all-out criminalization of journalistic practice.
Yes, I agree again, in part because - indeed - many journalists who get some information (from usually anonymous folks) ask for more (and often get it).

Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The great Daniel “Pentagon Papers” Ellsberg had already warned back in 2017:
    “Obama having opened the legal campaign against the press by going after the roots of investigative reporting on national security – the sources – Trump is going to go after the gatherers/gardeners themselves (and their bosses, publishers). To switch the metaphor, an indictment of Assange is a ‘first use’ of ‘the nuclear option’ against the First Amendment protection of a free press.”
The current DoJ charges – basically stealing a computer password – are just the tip of the avalanche. At least for now, publishing is not a crime. Yet if extradited, Assange may be additionally charged with extra conspiracies and even violation of the 1917 Espionage Act.
Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s very able lawyer, has correctly stressed his arrest is “a free speech issue” because it “is all about the ways in which journalists can communicate with their sources.” The invaluable Ray McGovern, who knows one or two things about the U.S. intel community, has evoked a requiem of the fourth estate.
Yes, I mostly agree with the above and this is a recommended article.

4. Assange’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Expose War Crimes Has Already Been Punished

This article is by Joe Emersberger on Common Dreams and originally on FAIR. It starts as follows:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should never have been punished for working with a whistleblower to expose war crimes. Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower, has done more time in prison, under harsher conditions, than William Calley, a key perpetrator of the My Lai massacre. Remarkably, Manning is in jail again, failed by organizations that should unreservedly defend her, as the US tries to coerce her into helping inflict more punishment on Assange.

As for Assange, he has already been arbitrarily detained for several years, according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Its 2016 press release on the matter stated:

The expert panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Mr. Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation.

Yes indeed. Here is more:

In 2010, the Guardian, like the New York Times and a few other corporate newspapers, briefly partnered with WikiLeaks to publish the contents of thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables, known as Cablegate. That year, WikiLeaks released other confidential US government information as well: the Afghanistan War Logs, the Iraq War Logs, the infamous “Collateral Murder” video.

The material exposed atrocities perpetrated by the US military, as well as other disgraceful acts—like US diplomats strategizing on how to undermine elected governments out of favor with Washington, spying on official US allies and bullying poor countries into paying wildly exorbitant prices for life-saving drugs.

Yes indeed. Here is more:

Last year, James Goodale, former general counsel to the New York Timescommented on the (now confirmed) idea that a “conspiracy” charge would be brought against Assange by the US government:

As a matter of fact, a charge against Assange for “conspiring” with a source is the most dangerous charge that I can think of with respect to the First Amendment in almost all my years representing media organizations.

The reason is that one who is gathering/writing/distributing the news, as the law stands now, is free and clear under the First Amendment. If the government is able to say a person who is exempt under the First Amendment then loses that exemption because that person has “conspired” with a source who is subject to the Espionage Act or other law, then the government has succeeded in applying the standard to all news-gathering.

One way to avoid being accused of a conspiracy is to simply not publish information that powerful people don’t want published, as independent journalist Matt Kennard, author of The Racket, noted on Twitter.

Yes indeed - and note what avoiding "being accused of a conspiracy" implies: Lies or ommissions about anything that may cause a journalist to be arrested.

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

The Guardian editors dropped any pretense of having journalistic standards when it comes to Assange when it published an outlandish claim that Assange met repeatedly with Paul Manafort in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Glenn Greenwald has done tremendous work exposing that journalistic outrage. It has become a “scoop” (heavily tweaked and qualified after publication) that the Guardian doesn’t retract, but doesn’t mention either—even in a very recent editorial (4/11/19) about Assange’s case.

In that editorial, the Guardiandisregarding the UN experts who said Assange had been arbitrarily detained for years, still calls for Assange to be “held to account” for “skipping bail” (though not extradited to the US). Journalism like that, at the “liberal” end of the spectrum, explains why Assange and Manning are in jail, while George W. Bush and Tony Blair walk free.

Yes, this is at least fair and this is a recommended article.

5. The Obvious Dirty Dealings Behind Julian Assange’s Arrest

This article is by Kit Knightly on The Off-Guardian. It starts as follows:

The US has been planning to have Julian Assange handed over for a longtime, that much is obvious. Mike Pence, the Vice President, was visiting Ecuador last year, notionally to discuss the Venezuela situation, and trade. But it was fairly obvious at the time, and even more so now, that they were discussing the details of Assange being handed over to UK authorities, and eventually extradited to the US.

“Trade”, indeed.

In terms of quid pro quo, the situation is clear-cut – In February, Ecuador got a $4.2 BILLION loan approved by the International Monetary Fund (amongst other pay-outs).
I do not know whether the above is correct, but I fear it is. Here is some more:

Less on the nose, but still definitely present, is the slow-burn media-based campaign of defamation and smears directed at Assange. A campaign designed to weaken public support for him and lessen the potential outcry if/when the UK handed him to US authorities, who famously use “enhanced interrogation” on suspects.

Last October, just three months after Pence’s Ecuador visit, an Ecuadorian government memo was “leaked” claiming that Assange had bad personal hygiene habits, was hacking people’s electrical devices, and neglecting his cat. These charges, cynically designed to make Assange a figure of ridicule, got massive play in the media. The Guardian, ever at the vanguard of sticking the boot in on Assange, ran a gleeful opinion piece mocking him. As did many other publications.

Yes, I agree with the above. Here is some more:

Equally obnoxious and dishonest is the ‘corporate concern trolling’ that allows faux-liberals to take up the craven position of “qualified support”, such as:

“You can think Assange is a liar, fascist and misogynist, but still think he shouldn’t be extradited”

This is the stance adopted by folks like Owen Jones in the Guardian, a position which claims to support one course of action, but is actually covertly arguing for the opposite.

In fact, Owen Jones is "the token "Leftist"" on the present Guardian. Why he thinks (that you can think) that Assange is "a liar", a "fascist" or a "misogynist" is totally unclear to me, but then this is The Guardian's "Leftist".

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

But this is all distraction and obfuscation – keeping the totally discredited accusations in the headlines, whilst avoiding the actual truth, which is:

Julian Assange was arrested for publishing evidence of US war crimes, after the US government bribed the Ecuadorian government to break international law.

That is what happened. And anyone who uses lies and distraction to deny this truth is on the wrong side of history.

Yes, I think Knightly is probably correct, and this is a strongly recommended article.

B. On ME/CFS in the Netherlands

Both my ex and myself have ME/CFS for more than forty years, and we are both Dutch, and have to live - very unfortunately, in my case - in Holland, for lack of money. We both became ill in January 1979, and then saw together or alone 30 Dutch medics.

Before saying what I think of 90% of the Dutch medics, I first add that both of us also succeeded - with much physical trouble, because we could not attend any lectures - to make excellent M.A.s in psychology, but then again we were not able to use them to make any money.

I have also been called "a dirty fascist" and "a terrorist" for 11 years by members of the ASVA (in the university) because I was not a Marxist, and absolutely no one cared one bit that I was called so.

Well... I strongly despise Holland and the Dutch; my ex and I have visited 30 Dutch doctors which were randomly collected; 27 out of 30 did absolutely nothing except take our money and tell us the utter (unmedical!) nonsense that it was "psychosomatic"; and I heard in March of 2018, after more than 39 years of illness that were never admitted by any but 3 out of 30 Dutch doctors I saw, that the Dutch health council had decided that we have "a serious chronic disease".

I do not say "No" - but I have been trying to move Dutch doctors to that position for over 39 years, and by now I have almost totally given up on almost all Dutch medical doctors for the simple reason that I am more than justified to claim that
  • 90% of the Dutch medical doctors is dangerously incompetent for anyone who has a non-regular disease that is difficult to diagnose
This is based on the fact that 27 of the 30 medical doctors my ex or I saw were very obviously totally incompetent in judging us, and besides refused to do anything whatsoever to help us. Besides, the present medical doctors received at most half of the medical teachings that were normal until the 1970ies, because all Dutch universities have halved in what they demand of students.

Anyway... here is a report on Dxrevision on the latest change in the "medicine" that Dutch people with ME/CFS have been made the victim of for over 40 years, in the case of my ex and myself, for there was 40 years absolutely nothing for us except medical discrimination and lies:

This is from that article:

As reported in Post # 345, the SNOMED CT Concept SCTID: 192439005 Neurasthenia (disorder) and its associated SCTID Concept terms were retired (Inactivated) from SNOMED CT’s International Edition and from national editions some years ago.

However, the Netherlands Edition retained the term neurasthenie under the SCTID: 52702003 chronischevermoeidheidssyndroom (CVS) Synonyms list. The neurasthenie term was exclusive to the Netherlands Edition, was assigned to the SCTID: 52702003 CVS code, and designated as an “Acceptable” Synonym term for CVS in the Netherlands Dutch language reference set.

I say, for I did not know that (for I dislike Holland and most Dutchmen so much that I mostly avoid reading or writing about it).

In case you are interesting in the meaning of "neurasthenie", here is an English explanation: Neurasthenia (from Wikipedia).

So my ex and I have been called that as well the last 40 years by nearly all Dutch doctors...

I better stop before I blow up, but will return later to the extra-ordinarily frightful utter incompetence of 90% of the Dutch medics (for 40 years, in our cases) to be human, decent, rational, scientific, reasonable or helpful to people with "a serious chronic disease".

[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that 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 3 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 (!!).
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