December 26, 2010


ME+me: On disgust, alleviated by Mencken and Bierce


I propose that it shall be no longer malum in se for a citizen to pummel, cowhide, kick, gouge, cut, wound, bruise, maim, burn, club, bastinado, flay, or even lynch a [government] jobholder, and that it shall be malum prohibitum only to the extent that the punishment exceeds the jobholder’s deserts. The amount of this excess, if any, may be determined very conveniently by a petit jury, as other questions of guilt are now determined. The flogged judge, or Congressman, or other jobholder, on being discharged from hospital — or his chief heir, in case he has perished — goes before a grand jury and makes a complaint, and, if a true bill is found, a petit jury is empaneled and all the evidence is put before it. If it decides that the jobholder deserves the punishment inflicted upon him, the citizen who inflicted it is acquitted with honor. If, on the contrary, it decides that this punishment was excessive, then the citizen is adjudged guilty of assault, mayhem, murder, or whatever it is, in a degree apportioned to the difference between what the jobholder deserved and what he got, and punishment for that excess follows in the usual course.

Son, it's like a latrine in this society:
       the human shit drifts to the top.
           -- My father explains society to me ca. 1958

I continue being not well, and otherwise also as before, so I cannot do much. That, together with utter, nauseating disgust is the reason there was no Nederlog the last three days.

1. Every generation a new set of bastards rise to the top
2. Mencken quotes
3. Bierce quotes

1. Every generation a new set of bastards rise to the top

The utter disgust is in part of the same quality and source as the disgust that piled up over the course of this year, in which I returned to reconsider ME, after learning of the link between XMRV and ME/CFS published in Science in the fall of 2009.

But it is not wholly due to a year of reading about medical fraudulence and sadism as regards patients with ME, and it is good to place it in context for a moment - a context which also relates to the H.L. Mencken quote, which is given above - namely by this link to Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, that discusses the issue why the Republican Party insist on tax cuts for the rich, while refusing to help the New York policement and firemen who were first to help the victims of 9/11, and are now left to die from cancers without help - because they are not rich, nor famous, nor have easy access to senators or ministers - and the main content is in the first two items:

To put it in general terms, as the logical philosopher I am, in the end:

If there is one thing I learned from 32 years of illness without help but with discrimination, denigration and defamation is the explanation why there were so many concentration-camps in the 20th Century, where my grandfather got murdered, and that my father barely survived:

In every generation, in every race, in every culture, in every faith every generation a new bunch of born rotters, genetical fascists, natural nazis, sadistic creeps and conscienceless psychopaths gets born, and in every generation, in every race, in every culture, in every faith it is these creeps who easiest and soonest get to the top, and rule the human world, or the part they can control, for their benefit, income, status and type of insanity:

In medicine, this is the human type - moral, medical, and scientific charlatans - of Simon Wessely, Peter White, Tony Pinching, Bill Reeves, James Jones, Ger Bleijenberg and Jos van der Meer: medical liars, medical frauds, and scientific, moral and human degenerates of major proportions, who feed like a vampires on the illness they help maintaining for their  perverse private kicks, for their personal incomes, and for keeping the profits or incomes of health-insurors, states and municipalities high.

I can not see any relevant human moral or intellectual or indeed racial difference between this manner of human-all-too-human sadistic frauds and the type of doctor Mengele and SS-doctors like Nieuwenhuis my father described, that, like shit in a latrine, gets to the top in most human institutions, and who are always at the bottom of concentration-camps, of totalitarianism and of man's inhumanity to man, but who can also lie and deceive most excellently.

Indeed, if there is a difference or two between Mengele and Wessely, it is that the former was probably much more of a moral idealist than the latter, and that the latter so far lacks most of the means of the former - but a good part of these means to ruin lives in the name of science very well may arrive with the DSM-5. O, and of course a Wessely or Pinching also need much less personal guts to be able to drive people to death, though as I said it is also true that, so far, they lack the means to go to the full extent of their personal sickness, which is medical sadism: The practice of medical lying, deceiving, manipulating and harming patients for money or for kicks.

Apart from that, I have learned in the University of Amsterdam that persons like Wessely and Mengele, and like Pinching and Eichmann are of precisely the same level and kind  human equivalence, for the University of Amsterdam taught for decades that all men are of precisely the same value, and perfectly equivalent ("gelijkwaardig") - a proud teaching which I am perfectly willing to believe, applied to most ordinary men, with the help of Evidence Based Science, if you please, but not if the same teachings are applied to my family, who are not the ordinary kind of collaborating two-timers and cheapo liars.

But then again, I was the only person since 1945 to be removed from a Dutch university because of his publicly outspoken ideas, and removed because I denied, by direct logical implication, that my parents and grandparents are the moral and intellectual and human equivalents of nazis or nazi-scientists like Wessely and Eichmann, or like Pinching and Barbie, of like Bleijenberg and Nieuwenhuis.

So I am quite willing to go to court for this... but am too disgusted at the moment, by these sado-satanic travesties of human beings to write more about it or them, and instead will quote a little.

2. Mencken quotes

I found a site with some nice H.L. Mencken quotes: Mencken-quotes. Here are a few - undoubtedly much disapproved of by many, but then one can think or one cannot:

  • My guess is that well over eighty per cent of the human race goes through life without ever having a single original thought. That is to say, they never think anything that has not been thought before, and by thousands. A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable. The pressure of ideas would simply drive it frantic. The normal human society is very little troubled by them. Whenever a new one appears the average man displays signs of dismay and resentment, The only way he can take in such a new idea is by translating it crudely into terms of more familiar ideas. That translation is one of the chief functions of politicians, not to mention journalists. They devote themselves largely to debasing the ideas launched by their betters. This debasement is intellectually reprehensible, but probably necessary to carry on the business of the world
  • Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
  • When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
  • All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
    • Smart Set (December 1919)

Actually, Mencken probably was too much of a romantic, for my tastes, and I could rewrite all of Mencken on lines like these, for the last and the last but one:

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. But such men are one in tenthousand at most, while all government, in its essence, is an attempt to have the status quo maintained. Governments exist to keep the ruling elites ruling, and to make everybody else as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible. Since at most one in tenthousand can really think, the only rational hope for mankind's improval is through real science.

The mass of mankind can't really think - they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental. Any democratic government is, therefore, a government of conmen. The main control in the governmental works tends to be that the conmen for the most part are from the class of the conned: while much is done by malice, the driving forces are stupidity and ignorance, within and without the bulwarks of social and religious power.

And so on. But Mencken saw some things in the right light. Here is another one, that I found very true in Dutch practice:

3. Bierce quotes

Mencken saw some things in the right light, but it is true that I was not much impressed by what I read from him, long ago, in an edition of Alistaire Cooke.

Two men that much inspired Mencken are Mark Twain, whose Huckleberry Finn one should read, if one believes oneself to be intelligent or if one likes the American, yes indeed the English language, and Ambrose Bierce, to whose The Devil's Dictionary the same applies as to Huckleberry Finn.

Here are a few selected bits, to show you what Bierce is like - and the poems are also by Bierce, masquerading under the most outrageous names and titles:

ART, n. This word has no definition. Its origin is related as follows by the ingenious Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J.

  One day a wag—what would the wretch be at?—
  Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT,
  And said it was a god's name!  Straight arose
  Fantastic priests and postulants (with shows,
  And mysteries, and mummeries, and hymns,
  And disputations dire that lamed their limbs)
  To serve his temple and maintain the fires,
  Expound the law, manipulate the wires.
  Amazed, the populace that rites attend,
  Believe whate'er they cannot comprehend,
  And, inly edified to learn that two
  Half-hairs joined so and so (as Art can do)
  Have sweeter values and a grace more fit
  Than Nature's hairs that never have been split,
  Bring cates and wines for sacrificial feasts,
  And sell their garments to support the priests.

ARTLESSNESS, n. A certain engaging quality to which women attain by long study and severe practice upon the admiring male, who is pleased to fancy it resembles the candid simplicity of his young.

CARTESIAN, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum—whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum— "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.

CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

  I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
  The godly multitudes walked to and fro
  Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,
  With pious mien, appropriately sad,
  While all the church bells made a solemn din—
  A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
  Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
  With tranquil face, upon that holy show
  A tall, spare figure in a robe of white,
  Whose eyes diffused a melancholy light.
  "God keep you, strange," I exclaimed.  "You are
  No doubt (your habit shows it) from afar;
  And yet I entertain the hope that you,
  Like these good people, are a Christian too."
  He raised his eyes and with a look so stern
  It made me with a thousand blushes burn
  Replied—his manner with disdain was spiced:

  "What!  I a Christian?  No, indeed!  I'm Christ."


DECALOGUE, n. A series of commandments, ten in number—just enough to permit an intelligent selection for observance, but not enough to embarrass the choice. Following is the revised edition of the Decalogue, calculated for this meridian.

  Thou shalt no God but me adore:
  'Twere too expensive to have more.

  No images nor idols make
  For Robert Ingersoll to break.

  Take not God's name in vain; select
  A time when it will have effect.

  Work not on Sabbath days at all,
  But go to see the teams play ball.

  Honor thy parents.  That creates
  For life insurance lower rates.

  Kill not, abet not those who kill;
  Thou shalt not pay thy butcher's bill.

  Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless
  Thine own thy neighbor doth caress

  Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete
  Successfully in business.  Cheat.

  Bear not false witness—that is low—
  But "hear 'tis rumored so and so."

  Cover thou naught that thou hast not
  By hook or crook, or somehow, got.

DIVINATION, n. The art of nosing out the occult. Divination is of as many kinds as there are fruit-bearing varieties of the flowering dunce and the early fool.

EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

EMOTION, n. A prostrating disease caused by a determination of the heart to the head. It is sometimes accompanied by a copious discharge of hydrated chloride of sodium from the eyes.

ENCOMIAST, n. A special (but not particular) kind of liar.

EVANGELIST, n. A bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbors.

EXCEPTION, n. A thing which takes the liberty to differ from other things of its class, as an honest man, a truthful woman, etc. "The exception proves the rule" is an expression constantly upon the lips of the ignorant, who parrot it from one another with never a thought of its absurdity. In the Latin, "Exceptio probat regulam" means that the exception tests the rule, puts it to the proof, not confirms it. The malefactor who drew the meaning from this excellent dictum and substituted a contrary one of his own exerted an evil power which appears to be immortal.

Well... and so on: The above is quoted from the Gutenberg-edition, html-version.

Have fun, if thus inclined.

P.S. Corrections have to be added later.

And why do Mencken and Bierce alleviate (my) disgust? Because they were bright, honest, could write, and made sense.

Also, I should mention that the News in English file is up to date, and describes the contents of Nederlog 2010 briefly.

P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz

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