This starts as follows (a bit unexpectedly, but justifiedly):
After fumbling with a thin piece of black silk for half an hour in
front of a YouTube video called “How to Tie the Perfect Bow Tie” and
achieving only marginal success, I went to the 44th Daytime Emmy Awards.
I was nominated for outstanding information talk show host. The other
nominees were Steve Harvey and the hosts of “The Chew,” “The Dr. Oz
Show, “Larry King Now” and “The Kitchen.” Harvey won.
I made my way down the red carpet ignored, thankfully, by the gaggle
of press whose questions revolved around two themes—how do you feel to
be here and tell us what you are wearing. The celebrities, mostly soap
opera stars, had the generic attractiveness found on movie and
television screens, some of it clearly enhanced through surgery and
injections, and the bubbly effervescence we expect from entertainers.
I say. Chris Hedges clearly had a reason
to be there, though I wonder about his bow tie. Why do I wonder about
his bow tie? I suppose it was necessary to get in (which seems pretty
ridiculous to me, but OK) but I am asking because I wore a tie (an
only once in my life, namely when I was 14 and had to attend a school party:
What I found was that it felt like a bit
of rope tied around my neck which made breathing a bit more difficult
(which also seems to have been the reason why the late Dutch Prince Claus (<-Wikipedia) took his tie publicly off, in 1998) and since I also was at the age to recognize a penis symbol when I saw one, aged 14, what I recognized was that all
males walked about with gigantic and partially strangulating penis
symbols around their necks, which were for me two reasons to absolutely
never wear a tie anymore, and I did not.
They really do not feel nice. And I am sure that the real reason men walk about with these penis symbols, since God knows how long also, is because they evidently
are penis symbols, whatever other reasons they may give aside to wear
them (such as that it is required to get into some social events).
Anyway... back to Chris Hedges:
I looked at the reporters and television crews behind the rope that
stretched the length of the carpet and wondered what the ratio is
between reporters in the United States who cover entertainment and
fashion and reporters who cover the poor. I’m sure it is a bleak
Yes, indeed. I also do not know the ratio,
but I read the papers, and am therefore sure that the statistic is
bleak. Also, it is much safer, much easier, and probably also much more
rewarding to report on illusions and lies as if they are real and truth
and to run no risk whatsoever one is accused of lying, although one
does so continuously.
Here is some of the public conversations Hedges heard:
But at present there is more than just "feeling the love": There is also public whoring:
“I’m definitely feeling the love right now,” Mario Lopez, a host of
“Extra,” said to his Emmy co-host, the comedian Sheryl Underwood. “Are
you feeling the love, Sheryl?”
“You just had to brag,” she said. “I need to get me more Twitter
followers. Step aside, Mario. I need to beg. I need everyone watching to
follow me @sherylunderwood. Follow me right now. I need you to follow
me. By the time this show is over, we’ll see who has the most followers.
In fact, Mario, let’s make a deal. Whoever has the most followers at
the end of the show has to have sex with the one who has the least.
That’s a win-win for me either way. And let me tell you, Mario, there’s
not enough baby oil in Pasadena for what’s going to happen to you
I think this sick and vulgar, but then that's
just me (and probably Hedges and a few others who are more interested
in truth and reality than in lies and deceptions).
Hedges ends as follows:
There were once gradations of culture. There were once broadcast news
programs that took journalism seriously. There were once talk shows that
focused on books, political philosophy, economic theory, art and ideas.
There was once a literate public. This is gone now, replaced by a vast
burlesque. “Entertainment Tonight”—whose host, Mary Hart, was given a
lifetime achievement award at the Pasadena ceremony—has taken over the
news and information business. Almost all the shows on television today,
from “Dr. Oz” to “General Hospital,” are about presenting a
performance. Emotions replace opinions. Complex thought is banished. All
solutions are simple. We are never challenged. It is comforting,
amusing and reassuring. But it is cultural death. Societies that kill
their cultures kill themselves.
I think he is right, and I also think that
the past in which there were "gradations of culture" already started to
disappear rapidly from 1980 onwards, which also means that you need to nearly as old as Hedges (who is six years younger than I am) to be able to remember that past.
And this is a recommended article.
2. Macron Trounces Le Pen, Halting Advance of Far-Right in France
The second article is by Robert Mackey on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Yes indeed: The outcome was about 2 : 1 = 66% : 33%. And this was a major win for Macron
(<-Wikipedia). As for me, I don't like a bankers' candidate like
Macron, but I despise Le Pen, so overall I am satisfied, though unhappy
that there was no real leftist candidate instead of Macron.
The French public delivered a crushing blow to the hopes of extreme nationalists from Washington to Moscow
on Sunday, by electing the moderate, pro-European Emmanuel Macron
president, in a landslide victory over the candidate of the far-right
National Front, Marine Le Pen, who campaigned on a promise to leave the
Initial projections and preliminary vote tallies put the scale of
Macron’s victory at close to two-thirds of valid votes cast, thrilling
supporters gathered outside the Louvre in Paris.
There is also this:
That Le Pen managed to get about a third of the votes for her extremist
appeal to xenophobic French nationalism was variously seen as a triumph
for moderation or a frightening advance, 15 years after her father had
garnered less than 18 percent in the 2002 election.
In fact, I think neither: The situation now was quite different from what it was in 2002,
and this kind of result, that results from a forced choice from one out of two candidates also will tend to look fairly extremistic whatever the outcome.
Finally, I am keeping this short, because there are far too many self-advertisements of morons (aka Tweets): I dislike "journalism" done by mostly anonymous liars.
3. Our Constitution Vs. the Deep State Run by Intelligence Agencies and the Pentagon—Only One Will Survive
This starts as follows:
The third article is by Dan Sisson and Thom Hartmann on AlterNet
It is virtually impossible to read a newspaper or a blog analyzing the
politics of America in 2017 without thinking "disaster." Since Donald
Trump became president not just the United States, but the world, has
become unstable and liberal democracies in general are under assault by
antidemocratic authoritarian forces. In fact, a growing number of
heretofore optimistic writers are worrying out loud about not only the
end of America but the entire product of the Enlightenment: western
civilization as a whole.
I agree with the writers that "the
politics of America in 2017" are
disastrous, but I should add that some 45% of the Americans (at
present) do not seem to think so, for they (still) support Trump,
presumably because - if they are not rich themselves - they still
believe in him.
There is this:
This dire commentary cannot be the result of one man. And, in fact,
there is an accompanying system of organizations, individuals,
traditions and practices over a long period that have worked together to
bring us to this point. This “administrative state” is what is often
referred to as the Deep State: all the permanent institutions of
government, once augmented but now in most cases captured (or at least
powerfully influenced) by private, for-profit corporations, from defense
to intelligence to science.
I mostly agree, and in fact I think that
the present political situation in the USA seems to have been started
in 1980, when Reagan was made president of the USA.
As to the Deep State (with or without
capitals): I believe it exists, just as I think in fact it is mostly an
extension of Eisenhower's military-industrual complex.
There is considerably more in the Nederlogs of 2016 and 2017 (look in
the indexes for them with "deep state" if you care), and while I agree
that the influence of the rich on politics in the USA is far
too strong (for a real democracy, and a government "from the people, by
the people, for the people"), I also think considerable parts of the
deep state are the secret services (or parts thereof), which are secret
governmental activities financed from the taxes.
Here is Thomas Jefferson on political parties and factions (who more or
less concluded as I did in 1969, when I found - by reading in an
extensive series of parliamentary recordings about Holland - that I
could see nothing in it that interested or moved me in any way, since
when I also have not voted anymore ):
Jefferson had a special reason for criticizing party and faction. He
believed members of parties abandoned the principles of a free society
and he realized, more than most people in his generation, that no
republic, no democracy, could endure if the constitution which embodied
its principles was ignored or neglected on the altar of party or
faction. Jefferson believed strongly that members of parties and
factions were so corrupt (forever engaged in conspiracies to seize
political power) that he once said if there were political parties in
heaven he would not want to go there at all.
I agree with Jefferson, at least to the extent that I think many of the political leaders
I have seen in my life (of many different parties, in quite a few
different countries also, for I lived in three different countries in
my life, and was always well-informed politically) belong to the best, the most dishonest, the wiliest, the most corrupt, and the most in money interested parts of the people who were alive in the states they were politicians in.
Then here is this on the Deep State:
After World War II, we created factions that would ultimately
culminate in the Deep State whose components comprise every branch of
government and the sub-divisions within it: Departments of State,
Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, NSA, CIA, FBI and all agencies
supervised by the executive Branch, among others. In addition, both
Houses of Congress and recently the Supreme Court must be considered
part of the Deep State.
This Deep State trespassed almost
invisibly on the boundaries of the Constitution for a half century,
particularly when it came to the military-industrial complex (that
Eisenhower warned us about), secrecy and surveillance, the regulation of
the economy (markedly during the Great Recession of 2007-8), and the
continuation of our Middle East wars to control world oil prices.
Here I must say: I don't know. I do
believe in the Deep State, but I simply do not know whether the writers
are correct about its extent. Besides, I think myself that this list
does not comprise an item there should have been:
To the best of my knowledge, the secret services (there seem to be 17, I think, merely in the USA), and by these I mean all secret services, by now know what most individual persons believe, desire, value, and do, and also know precisely where almost everyone is, at any point of time (provided they have an internet computer or a cellphone).
And I do not have sufficient faith in the intelligence and in the ethics of the vast majority of persons to believe that this enormous amount of sofar almost completely unknown information about the privacies of almost anyone with an internet computer or a cellphone will not be abused to manipulate and deceive anyone who does not believe what the executives in his country desire people to believe: These enormous amounts of secret knowledge will almost certainly lead to a vast terrorism by those who possess that secret knowledge.
Here is the driving force of the Deep State (and most other human things):
Money is driving the Deep State’s quest for power and both the drive for
money and power are insatiable if not controlled by government
answerable to the people. Both money and power regularly corrupt human
beings, and often do so “absolutely” as Lord Acton warned us in the late
19thcentury. Thus we ignore the political wisdom of two centuries by
condoning a president who flaunts his wealth and power on a daily basis
with disdain for other branches of government (like “so-called judges”).
I completely agree with the above. There is also this:
We now have an entire generation that has never seen Congress stand up
and enforce its war powers, while we’ve been continuously involved in
multiple wars “declared” and run exclusively out of the Executive
Branch. The emphasis upon secrecy increases every day.
Yes indeed, and that while numerous wars are being conducted by the USA: This is one quite clear sign that considerable parts of Congress are corrupt.
Here is the last bit that I'll quote, from the end:
Hm. This is too sunny for me, but I agree with this part: "we must have
patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of
winning back the principles we have lost".
This must be our mantra, even as we work harder every day:
"A little patience," Jefferson wrote, "and we shall see the reign of
witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering
their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles. It
is true, that in the meantime, we are suffering deeply in spirit, and
incurring the horrors of a war, and long oppressions of enormous public
debt. ... If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have
patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of
winning back the principles we have lost. For this is a game where
principles are at stake."
It is time, now, for us to once again follow Jefferson's wise advice.
And this is a recommended article.
4. LANDSLIDE: France Overwhelmingly Says "NON" to Fascism, Trumpism
This starts as follows:
The fourth article is by Common Dreams staff on Common Dreams:
Centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency with a
landslide victory over the far-right, nationalist Marine Le Pen of Front
National. Macron, 39, a former economy minister who ran as a “neither
left nor right” independent, took 65.1% to Le Pen’s 34.9%, according to
election projections released after polls closed at 8pm local time (2pm
Macron’s margin of victory was larger than the lead he had in the
latest available polls of French voters. Many Macron voters were voting
against the far-right xenophobic polices of Le Pen and her party - Front
I think these (also) are the correct percentages (say: 65% : 35%), and I agree with the writers that quite a few who voted for Macron, did not so much vote for Macron as against Le Pen.
Then again, this also contains too many Tweets from anonymous morons who want their 15 seconds of fame, so this is again all you are going to get from me: I dislike "journalism" done by mostly anonymous liars.
5. For the director of “Risk,” filming Julian Assange became a spy game
The fifth article is by Gary M. Kramer on Salon:
This starts as follows:
This is mainly here to tell my readers that Laura Poitras (<-Wikipedia) has a new film out, and its subject is Julian Assange (<-Wikipedia). I don't know whether the above is correct, for I don't know Assange, but I do agree he has quite serious reasons to worry about his health, and indeed I
would have been quite nervous as well in case the U.K. Supreme Court
had decided whether or not I was to be effectively delivered to the
American secret services.
In her engaging new documentary,
“Risk,” about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, director Laura Poitras
admits in a voice-over, “I can’t believe what Julian allows me to film.”
are sure to be thinking the same thing. There are scenes of Assange in
the woods, acting paranoid when he hears the bark of a dog or some
rustling nearby. He is seen in a car, fingers trembling while the U.K.
Supreme Court decides his extradition appeal from sexual assault charges
in Sweden. There is a riveting episode in a hotel room with his mother
where Assange, his white hair dyed reddish-brown, is putting in contact
lenses in an effort to change his appearance.
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
The most salient feature of “Risk” is
how Poitras remains non-judgmental throughout. Through observation and
interviews she presents Assange truly as he is (or, at least, how he
presents himself to be). He talks about the perils of being known or a
target, and the importance of anonymity, admitting, rightly or not, that
his profile didn’t take off until the sex cases hit the news. Assange
firmly states, “People with strong principles don’t survive for long,”
possibly indicating the limited future he sees for himself as a
whistleblower. However, to his credit, he has the courage of his
He clearly does - and personally I don't care much for the rape accusations, mostly because they seem to have been screwed up by Swedish prosecutors in order
to prosecute Assange, who sits now for the fifth year in the Ecuadorian
embassy because of these complaints. And I think that is quite unjust.
6. Australian Senate seeks clarifications from ICD Revision
The sixth and last article today is by Suzy Chapman on DxRevisionWatch:
This starts as follows, and his here because I have nearly 40 years ME/CFS, and also because I like Suzy Chapman (who is not anonymous, very intelligent, and has done a great amount of quite difficult work for the millions with ME/CFS):
In February and March, the Countess of Mar tabled Written Questions
in the House of Lords seeking clarifications from the World Health
Organization (WHO) around ICD Revision’s proposals for the ICD-10
“legacy” terms, postviral fatigue syndrome, benign myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome for ICD-11.
Both responses received were as clear as mud and both refer to “chronic fatigue” – a term that exists neither in ICD-10 nor in ICD-11, and a term for which no proposal had been submitted.
In fact, Suzy Chapman has been busy now (at least) since 2010 (!!) to try to move the WHO to have reasonable definitions of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in their widely used definitions of diseases.
She does so in a supposedly "public
format" that the WHO is supposed (and claims) to maintain, but in fact
the "public format" is quite unclear, and also not quite public:
2. From the Beta draft Proposal Mechanism (for which registration is required):
Deadline Information for proposals:
Deadline in order to be considered for the final version is 30 March 2017
Comments by Member States and
improvements arising as a part of the Quality Assurance mechanism will
be included with deadlines later in 2017
3. In this November 2016
slide presentation by WHO’s, Dr Robert Jakob, the deadlines for Member
State comments and improvements arising as part of the Quality Assurance
mechanism were given as:
2017 Deadline Members State comments (31 May )
2017 Deadline Field testing / quality assurance (30 June)
4. However, no public information has been available for the deadline for receipt of stakeholder comments in respect of proposals that met the March 30 deadline for consideration for inclusion in the final (2018) version.
In other words (I would say, but I am not Suzy Chapman, who generally is quite polite) the WHO operated dishonestly (I think: The least they should have done is to publish these limits).
Here is what happened:
The three terms were restored to the Beta draft on Sunday, March 26,
when my long-standing proposals for exclusions under “Fatigue” were
also partially approved and implemented, together with a somewhat opaque
caveat, posted by a Beta admin, that prompted me to request
clarification from Dr Jakob for its meaning.
Dr Jakob confirmed that the three terms had indeed been restored to
the Beta draft. But the restoration of the terms under parent, Other disorders of the nervous system was not viewable in the public version of the Beta until midday on Monday, March 27,
because the public version of the platform had not been updated over
the weekend and neither had the Print Versions or the Print Version of
This meant that having finally been restored to the draft, after a
four year absence, the terms were viewable and open for comment by
stakeholders for barely 4 days before the March 30 proposal and comment deadline was reached.
There is considerably more, and this is a
recommended article (for the relatively few - "a mere 17 million" who
are supposed to have ME/CFS, and for those interested in both medicine
and in how honest "public processes" run by medical men tend to be
And the outcomes are quite important, for they will probably determine most of the medical responses to people with ME/CFS all over the world.