Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Crisis: Apple's Silence, Health Care, Police Brutality, Trump Fritzing Out, Online Freedoms

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
2. Crisis Files
    A. Selections from August 1, 2017 


This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, August 1, 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 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.

As I 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, followed by
      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

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

A. Selections from August 1, 2017

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. Apple’s Silence in China Sets a Dangerous Precedent

This article is by Farhad Manjo on The New York Times. It starts as follows:

A year ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation made an extraordinary demand of Apple. To get inside a dead terrorist’s iPhone, law enforcement officials wanted the company to create a hackable version of the software that runs all iPhones.

To many legal experts, it wasn’t obvious that Apple had a winning case against the request. But facing great legal and political opposition, Apple took a stand anyway. Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, argued that the company had a financial and moral duty to protect its users’ privacy and security. He made clear that Apple would obey American law — but only after trying to shape the law.

The fight paid off. On the eve of a courtroom showdown, the F.B.I. rescinded its request. It is worth underlining this point: When Apple took a public stand for its users’ liberty and privacy, the American government blinked.

Yet in China over the weekend, when faced with a broad demand by the Chinese internet authority, it was Apple that blinked.

Apple pulled down several VPN apps — programs that allow iPhone users to bypass the Chinese government’s censorship apparatus — from its Chinese App Store. The developers behind the apps must register with the government under a cybersecurity law that went into effect in January. The law imposes criminal penalties on Apple and other companies that host unregistered apps.

I recall reading a quote from Milton Friedman - the "economist" who was a propagandist for the rich - that said something like "the only moral value a CEO has is to maximize the profit of his corporation". I forgot how it went literally, but that surely was the sense (that also might have been shortened thus: Maximum profit is the only moral value CEOs serve).

Well... China is an enormous market and Mr. Cook is a CEO. There is considerably more in the article.

2. What the US "Health Care Reform" Debate Did Not Address

This article is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. This is from near the beginning of the article:

Health Care Dysfunction

Despite some protestations to the contrary (e.g., here), the US health care system has been plagued by dysfunction.  According to a recent Commonwealth Fund study, the US was ranked 11 out of 11 in health care quality, but 1 out of 11 in costs.  Traditionally, health care reform has targeted ongoing problems in the cost, accessibility and quality of health care.  The ACA notably seems to have improved access, but hardly addressed cost or quality.

Early on we noticed a number of factors that seemed enable increasing dysfunction, but were not much discussed.  These factors notably distorted how medical and health care decisions were made, leading to overuse of excessively expensive tests and treatments that provided minimal or no benefits to outweight their harms.

I like Health Care Renewal - that indeed consistently (for 4 years!) is loaded the last of the 35 websites I load every day - although I am quite willing to concede that my liking has a lot to do with the fact that I am ill since nearly 40 years, and that my illness is systematically denied, not investigated and massively lied about by something like 19 out of 20 (or more) Dutch "medical people". (I have M.E., that lately has found a biochemical explanation, that might be accepted by Dutch medics in another 40 years, although I personally would not count on that, while I also will be a mere 107 by the time that - conceivably - might happen.)

And here is a list of the factors that have changed American health care to profit care for the rich medical people - and I only list the factors: If you want to read more about them, click the last numbered link:

Threats to the Integrity of the Clinical Evidence Base
Deceptive Marketing
Distortion of Health Care Regulation Policy Making
Concentration of Power

Abandonment of Health Care as a Calling
Perverse Incentives Put Money Ahead of Patients, Education and
Cult of Leadership
Impunity Enabling Corrupt Leadership

Note the above list is just a list of factors (which I think all apply). The links in the above list are all to articles on Health Care Renewal. And this is a recommended article.

3. Retired Police Detective: Trump's Comments Endorsing Police Brutality are "Treasonous"

This article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:

President Donald Trump is facing widespread criticism from police chiefs across the country following a speech he gave on Friday to police officers in Long Island, New York, that appeared to openly endorse police brutality. Commenting on the need to crack down on gang members, Trump suggested that police officers have license to use excessive force on suspects. The remarks come amid a controversial roundup of undocumented minors in Suffolk County, where Trump spoke, who were detained based on unconfirmed allegations of gang affiliation by local police. Trump painted what some say was an overblown picture of gang violence in the community. Following Trump’s remarks, the Suffolk County Police Department tweeted, "As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners." The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Foundation also criticized Trump’s speech, along with the police chiefs of New York, Boston, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and other cities. We speak with chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, Maya Wiley, and Graham Weatherspoon, a retired New York police detective.

There is considerably more in the interview.

4. Hill Republicans: Trump is Fritzing Out

This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:

This morning I phoned my friend, a former Republican member of Congress.

Me: What’s going on? Seems like the White House is imploding and Republicans are going down with the ship.

Him (chuckling): We’re officially a banana republic.

Me: Seriously, what are you hearing from your former colleagues on the Hill?

Him: They’re convinced Trump is out of his gourd.
Me: So what’s the plan?

Him: They want him outa there.

Me: Really? Impeachment?

Him: Doubt it, unless Mueller comes up with a smoking gun.
Me: But that won’t help them in the midterms. What’s the plan before then?

Him: Lots think he’s fritzing out.

Me: Fritzing out?

Him: Going totally bananas. Paranoia.
I think this well may be quite correct, although I also think - as a psychologist - that the very probably correct diagnosis of Donald Trump is megalomania.

Reich also thinks - or so it seems - that Trump will be out as president before midterms, and will be replaced by Mike Pence.

I do not know whether that is correct, and I don't like Mike Pence at all, but he has one point in his favor that Trump decidedly lacks: Mike Pence is not insane.

5. Online Freedom: Are We Past the Point of No Return?

This article is by Carla on the Off-Guardian (which is more readable and far more honest than the collapsed Guardian). It starts as follows:

Internet freedom is on the decline. It has been ever since companies began centralizing control over where users congregate, and things have only gotten worse with ever increasing government intervention. Some might see said claims as alarmist and will say things aren’t “that bad,” citing dictatorships such as North Korea as examples of true restriction of internet freedom. But this comparison doesn’t do justice to the extent to which online freedom is being limited.

Truly, the enemy is among us, and it has been for quite some time. Self-interested organizations including big record companies, movie studios and even the government have been slowing chipping away at individual freedom as they fear losing control over the economy and the people.

Beyond that, government organizations continue to tighten their grip as internet freedom threatens the status quo. The real question we need to be asking, though, is this:

Are we past the point of no return?

My answer to that question is two-fold:

(1) the internet has been designed to take away democracy, democratic freedom, and incomplete control of "the people" by the rich corporations, which I do think because the late Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski knew very well he was already planning this in 1967/1968 (even before the arrival of personal computers), as can be seen from these quotations from that long ago, that were first given by me in 2012:

The idea of the technotronic society seems to be under the
auspices of Zbigniev Brezezinski, until recently a member of
the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department, and now
Director of the Research Institute of Communist Affairs at
Columbia University. The 'technotronic society' seems to be the
exact opposite of the society of 'spontaneity' demanded by
revolutionary students, who Mr Brezezinskin evidently regards
as pathetic throw-backs, survivors of Romantic days, forlornly
playing out anachronistic roles:

Our society is leaving the phase of spontaneity and is entering a
self-conscious state; ceasing to be an industrial society, its is
shaped to an ever-increasing extent by technology and electronics,
and thus becoming the first technotronic society. This is at least in part the cause for much of the current tensions and violence, and largely the reason why events in America today do not fit established categories of analysis.

Mr Brzezinski realises that the technotronic society fills some
people with uneasiness (in this respect the reactionaries and the
revolutionaries are as one).
However Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite
lovers of freedom and anarchy will seriously obstruct the new
order. For one thing, 'it will soon be possible to assert almost
continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain  up-to-
date, complete files, containing even personal information
about the health and personal behaviour of the citizen, in
addition to the more customary data.' Moreover it will be
possible to anticipate and plan to meet any uprisings in the
future. The police will even be able to forecast crises before the
rioters themselves are conscious of wanting them.

And this is from the Wikipedia-article about Brzezinski (of 2012: meanwhile this - of course - has disappeared from Wikipedia: Wikipedia does not want you to know these things, or so it seems to me [1]):

"The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities." – Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970

Also: (2) the internet and the personal computer and cellphone are the tools of neofascism, that in the last 40 years has won most political and ethical fights, and is the probable future of everyone.

You may not believe this, but then you have not heard in 1978 in the "University" of Amsrerdam, in its official opening of that year, the sick utterly fascistic lie that

"Everyone know that truth does not exist"

nor were you the child of very courageous communist persons who were some of the few that had fought in the Dutch Resistance, nor were you since then, and for forty years, without any excuse, being told by the fascist terrorists who ruled and rule the "University" of Amsterdam that you are "a dirty fascist" and you are "a terrorist, a terrorist, a terrorist" (in 1988, when my right to take my - brilliant - M.A. in philosophy was denied to me, also in a very sadistic manner, by the fascist Board of Directors of the "University" of Amsterdam).

But I have been told all these things, and these things were done to shut me up; and I have that background, and I still can think.



[1] I am sorry, but Wikipedia is out for me these days, and since I know most things I liked disappeared, quite possibly by design. I have no proof and also no knowledge of the inner workings of Wikipedia, but they may have been partially taken over, in secret of course, by the Koch Brothers. In any case, most of what looked like
leftist values are now scorched and denied, as is extremely clear evidence that the whole internet was a contraption of the rich few:

"The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities." – Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970

That is, this was neofascism termed "technetronics" in 1970, that was strongly supported by Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1970. And it was already then planned to take over society by computers that would spy on everyone.

Incidentally, Gore Vidal was one of the few who were not deceived about this. Here are three articles I wrote about him in 2012, with many links to videos:

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