November 24, 2017
3. About ME/CFS
This is a Nederlog of Friday, November 24,
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.
moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) I have
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from November 24, 2017
Thankfully Recommitting to Resistance
2. Trump's Judicial Picks: 'The Goal Is to End the
3. How Gutting Net
Neutrality Poses a Direct Threat to Political
4. National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
5. The End of the End of History
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:
Recommitting to Resistance
This article is by Charles Blow on The New York Times. It
starts as follows:
Thanksgiving I wrote a column titled, “No,
Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along,” in which I committed myself to
resisting this travesty of a man, proclaiming, “I have not only an
ethical and professional duty to call out how obscene your very
existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral
obligation to do so.”
I made this
promise: “As long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of
my withering gaze.”
I have kept that
promise, not because it was a personal challenge, but because this is a
I say, but
not really, for I think this sounds a bit empty and a bit
personal, and it is by a prominent journalist of The New York Times.
some more mostly personal statements by Blow:
Donald Trump, I
thought that your presidency would be a disaster. It’s worse than a
disaster. I wasn’t sure that resistance to your weakening of the
republic, your coarsening of the culture, your assault on truth and
honesty, your erosion of our protocols, would feel as urgent today as
it felt last year. But if anything, that resistance now feels more
Nothing about you has changed for the better. You are still
a sexist, bigoted, bullying, self-important simpleton. But now all of
the worst of you has the force of the American presidency.
And this is the last bit I quote from this article,
which seems a bit better:
The legitimacy of your presidency is in question. The
corruption of your administration is not. You are a national stain and
an international embarrassment. You are anti-intellectual and
pro-impulse. The same fingers with which you compulsively tweet are
dangerously close to the nuclear codes. You are historically
unpopular and history will not be kind to you. It is all so
case, here is my reason why I believe at most half of Blow's
assurances: It is all based - quite explicitly, also - on Blow's
feelings much rather than on factual evidence.
as the son and grandson of two heroes of the Dutch resistance against
Nazism in WW II, I think "Resistance" is a bit abused
in the USA, but I will leave this point aside simply because I do not
know anyone else other than my brother with that kind of
background. (They do exist - persons with a father and a
grandfather in German concentration camps because they resisted the
Nazis - but they are quite rare anywhere.)
Judicial Picks: 'The Goal Is to End the Progressive State'
This article is by
Jamiles Larty on AlterNet and originally on The Guardian. This is from
near the beginning:
(..) [T]he makeup of
America’s judges is quietly becoming the site of one of Trump’s most
unequivocal successes: nominating and installing judges who reflect his
own worldview at a speed and volume unseen in recent memory. Trump
could conceivably have handpicked more than 30% of the nation’s federal
judges before the end of his first term, his advisers have suggested,
and independent observers agree.
“The president himself has
said that he expects this to be one of his major legacies. He is going
to reshape the bench for generations to come,” said Douglas Keith,
counsel with the fair courts arm of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Yes indeed. Here is
some more on this topic:
Until recently little
attention has been paid to Trump’s judicial appointments. But Senator
Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware and a member of the Senate
judiciary committee, identified the importance of these appointments
early on. In June he said: “This will be the single most important
legacy of the Trump administration. They will quickly be able to put
judges on circuit courts all over the country, district courts all over
the country, that will, given their youth and conservatism, have a
significant impact on the shape and trajectory of American law for
Again: Yes indeed. Here is a
But supreme court justices
represent just a small percentage of the broader federal judiciary,
with roughly 850 seats in regional federal courts nationwide. In many
cases, it is these jurists that have the final say on the law of the
land in the US, since the supreme court only hears a relatively small
number of cases every year.
And for these posts,
Trump’s candidates have been whiter, more male and, according to the
American Bar Association, less qualified than any incoming cohort in
“I think the goal is to end
the progressive state as we know it,” said Baher Azmy, Legal Director
of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a progressive-leaning legal
agree with Baher Azmy and this is a recommended article.
Gutting Net Neutrality Poses a Direct Threat to Political Organizing
This article is by Amy
Goodman and Juan González on AlterNet, and originally on Democracy Now!
It starts with the following introduction:
Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai issued a major order
Tuesday in which he outlined his plan to dismantle landmark regulations
that ensure equal access to the internet. Pai wants to repeal net
neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from stopping or
slowing down the delivery of websites and stop companies from charging
extra fees for high-quality streaming. A formal vote on the plan is set
for December 14th. We speak with Tim Karr, Senior Director of Strategy
for Free Press, which is organizing support to keep the rules in place
ahead of the vote.
Here is first some more om
Quite so. And here is Tim
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a major order
Tuesday titled “Restoring Internet Freedom,” in which he outlined his
plan to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the
internet. Pai described his plan to overturn rules put in place by the
Obama administration during an interview with the Heritage Foundation.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Pai’s
proposal would repeal net neutrality rules that bar internet service
providers from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites, and
stop companies from charging extra fees for high-quality streaming.
AJIT PAI: Essentially,
my proposal to repeal the Obama administration’s heavy-handed
regulations adopted two years ago on a party-line vote that regulated
the Internet. And what I’m proposing to do is to get rid of those
TIM KARR: This
is one of the most extreme proposals we’ve seen this FCC, which is
saying a lot, because there have been a number of very extreme
proposals over the last six months including efforts to roll back
broadband subsidies for working families, efforts to knock away media
ownership rules that would allow a company like Sinclair to control
local television. This goes even further. It takes away the essential
protection that Internet users have to ensure that their online
connections aren’t blocked, aren’t throttled, or that their
communications aren’t censored in any way.
I mean, really what this is
about is the future of communications. The internet is remarkable
because it puts that control, the control over media in the hands of
internet users. What Ajit Pai is proposing to do is take that away from
internet users and hand it to a handful of companies, companies like
AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, who have designs on the Internet that
are not in the best interest of people like you and me.
Please note Karr's "It takes away the essential protection that
Internet users have to ensure that their online connections aren’t
blocked, aren’t throttled, or that their communications aren’t censored
in any way":
In fact, the internet is
censored already, e.g. by anonymous censors of Facebook, that
use unknown rules and unknown programs, but the point
is also that one's online connections soon may be blocked or throttled
by anonymous persons using anonymous rules for anonymous
Here is some more by
In fact, this is about freedom,
personal privacies and censorship, and in fact all
personal freedom and all personal privacies are threatened a
billionfold more than in previous times, simply because now a
few totally anonymous people working for secret services or big
corporations can block most personal freedoms one
did have before the internet (basically because one's
personal privacy could not be stolen nor be abused, while with the
internet they can, all in the deepest secret as well).
TIM KARR: Well,
the Internet was created as this network where, where there were no
gatekeepers. Essentially, anyone who goes online can connect with
everyone else online. And that’s given rise to all sorts of innovation,
it’s allowed political organizers, and racial justice advocates to use
this tool to contact people, to organize, to get their message out.
What Pai is proposing is to
take that principle, net neutrality, out of the network and allow these
very powerful companies to insert themselves as gatekeepers.
There is considerably more in the article, that is recommended.
Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
This article is by
Ralph Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Seeking to capitalize on
the Republicans’ disarray, public cruelty and Trumpitis, the Democratic
Party is gearing up for the Congressional elections of 2018. Alas,
party leaders are likely to enlist the same old cast and crew.
The Democratic National
Committee and their state imitators are raising money from the same old
big donors and PACs that are complicit in the Party’s chronic history
of losing so many Congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative
races—not to mention the White House.
The large, embattled unions
are preparing to spend millions on television ads and unimaginative
get-out-the-vote efforts, without demanding fresh pro-worker/pro-union
agendas from the Democratic politicians they regularly endorse.
The same old political
consulting firms, which also consult profitably for corporations, are
revving up their defeat-prone tactics and readying their practice of
blaming the candidates—their clients—when their strategies and
lucrative ad buys don’t work.
Yes indeed. In fact, my
own ideas about the Democratic Party may be more radical
than Nader's, for I believe that the vast majority of the Democrats
has been corrupted by the Clintons from the 1990ies onwards, for the
Clintons mostly worked for the rich bankers and also were very well
rewarded by the big bankers.
And this, that is the explicit
and obvious corruption of most Democratic politicians has been the
real end that moved the Democratic Party all
the time since Clinton ceased being president: Being a politician
has become an excellent means for becoming quite rich oneself,
and that also seems the best way of understanding most politicians.
There have been a few
Trenchant and prescient
criticism of the Democratic Party by its own prime loyalists goes back
many years. In 1970, John Kenneth Galbraith, eminent economist, author
and adviser to John F. Kennedy, wrote an article for Harper’s,
warning about the decline of the Party’s representation of the people’s
interest. Twenty years later, Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under
President Clinton, wrote a column in the Washington Post
calling the Democratic Party “dead.”
But thirty years later
(!!) Robert Reich still has not given up the Democratic Party.
And here is the
obvious beginning of the grand corruption that corrupted most of the
leading members of the Democratic Party:
The other milestone event
in 1979 that has turned into a disastrous millstone around the
Democratic Party’s neck was the party leadership accepting California
Congressman Tony Coelho’s strenuous urging that it start pushing hard
for the same corporate campaign cash that the Republicans had long
solicited. The full-throated devouring of cash register corporate
politics was the final slide into the pit of institutional corruption
for the Democrats.
Precisely. There is
more in the article, that is recommended.
End of the End of History
This article is by Klaus Brinkbäumer on Spiegel
International. This is from near the beginning:
After the collapse
of communism in 1989, Francis Fukuyama wrote "The End of History," by
which he meant the triumph of Western values. Soon the entire world
would be democratized, the victorious political order seemed clear.
In fact, I thought
Fukuyama was publishing bullshit as
soon as I read it (in 1989), while the rest of these introductory
paragraphs are also neither very good nor very clear. (E.g.: Who is
the "self" in "the self-inflicted
economic crisis of 2008"?!
It certainly wasn't me, nor indeed any of the non-rich,
who are in the vast majority.)
How absurd that worldview
seems now, in November 2017.
Since September 2001, the West
has made a number of missteps. There were the aimless interventions in
Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. There was the self-inflicted economic
crisis of 2008, which was actually not a global disaster but a
trans-Atlantic one, as China, Indonesia and India all continued to
grow. For too many years we have clearly demonstrated to non-democratic
states that democracy may no longer be reliable and is far too fragile:
It installs incompetent leaders like Donald Trump in power and leads to
blunders like Brexit. It has long been clear that democracy is slow,
but now it's obvious that it also makes terrible mistakes.
Then there is this:
This means - at least in
my opinion - that the title of this article is vastly
It must first be said that
the government crisis, which has arisen out of the failed coalition
talks, is not a crisis of state - at least not yet. A caretaker
government is in office, the federal president is exhibiting prudence,
the country's economy is robust, and the system is working as it
should. Even the chancellor - whose enthusiasm for political
communication is limited at best and whose 12 years of leadership have
brought the country to where it finds itself today - is proceeding
carefully and maturely.
The Social Democrats,
meanwhile, twice hastily - indeed, childishly - rejected the idea of
joining Merkel in a coalition. There is now no safe way back.
Here is some more, and again it is rather vague:
In human history,
there has hardly ever been such a rapid rise - which really is just a
return to form - as that of China over the past 30 years. The country
has long since begun financing other states without paying attention to
issues like democracy and human rights: The old "Washington Consensus,"
is being replaced by the "Beijing Consensus."
In fact, I don't even have
an idea what Brinkbäumer means by the "Washington Consensus" or by the "Beijing Consensus": Consensus by whom? Consensus on
I really have no idea (while knowing a lot about politics).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The idea that
democracy was somehow the endpoint of development was megalomaniac. As
long as there is something to redistribute, every system has it easy.
But in the past 11 years, freedom around the world has receded. Of 195
states only 87 are still free, 59 are partially free and 49 are not
free at all according to the NGO Freedom House.
Why does one write down a pretty
crazy statement that "[t]he idea
that democracy was somehow the endpoint of development was megalomaniac"?!
I suppose that the reason for Brinkbäumer are Fukuyama's crazy ideas (although I miss
the link to megalomania) but I never believed them, nor did I ever
believe that "democracy" was an end of history or an end of society,
simply because "democracy" is both too vague and not
individual enough: I am and was always primarily interested in individual freedom (under law) and equality of rights and laws for all.
There is more about "freedom" in the last paragraph, but again I do not
quite understand what Brinkbäumer means by "freedom", although I guess it has
much to do with what he calls "democracy".
Then again neither concept is clear, and I think the same is
true of this article.
The following article is not about politics but is
about the disease I have now since 1.1.1979. I have been discriminated now for
nearly forty years, precisely as everyone else with ME/CFS:
We have been told consistently by most medics that we are not
sane because we believe that we are really ill (which is a very
classical way of blaming the victim). "Therefore" - according to the vast
majority of the medics, each of whom must be, in his or her own
estimate, a superhuman genius who knows absolutely everything there is to know about
human beings and human diseases - the many millions with
ME/CFS are insane ("psychosomatizers" etc.) 
I have heard that story for nearly forty years now, and my own
conclusion is that 90% of the doctors I saw are total incompetents (and
quite dangerous to their patients) - and in fact I am only
applying ordinary statistics when I say so. 
And at long last there is evidence that it is a real disease - evidence
that could have been found forty years ago, if only the
vast majority of medical people had not decided that they like
the utter and total pseudoscience of psychiatry much more than
doing real science themselves, and that they know everything these is to now about human beings
and human diseases:
In fact, I will only print
the abstract because very few people will be interested:
I say. In fact, there are
also some earlier medical arguments that people with ME/CFS are
genuinely ill, and I wrote about them e.g. on February
Gulf War Illness (GWI) and
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have similar profiles of pain, fatigue,
cognitive dysfunction and exertional exhaustion. Post-exertional
malaise suggests exercise alters central nervous system functions.
Lumbar punctures were performed in GWI, CFS and control subjects after
(i) overnight rest (nonexercise) or (ii) submaximal bicycle exercise.
Exercise induced postural tachycardia in one third of GWI subjects
(Stress Test Activated Reversible Tachycardia, START).
The remainder were Stress Test Originated Phantom Perception (STOPP)
subjects. MicroRNAs (miRNA) in cerebrospinal fluid were amplified by
quantitative PCR. Levels were equivalent between nonexercise GWI
(n = 22), CFS (n = 43) and control (n = 22) groups. After exercise, START
(n = 22)
had significantly lower miR-22-3p than control (n = 15) and STOPP (n = 42), but higher
miR-9-3p than STOPP. All post-exercise groups had
significantly reduced miR-328 and miR-608 compared to nonexercise
groups; these may be markers of exercise effects on the brain. Six
miRNAs were significantly elevated and 12 diminished in post-exercise START,
STOPP and control compared to nonexercise
groups. CFS had 12 diminished miRNAs after exercise. Despite symptom
overlap of CFS, GWI and other illnesses in their differential
diagnosis, exercise-induced miRNA patterns in cerebrospinal fluid
indicated distinct mechanisms for post-exertional malaise in CFS and START
and STOPP phenotypes of GWI.
 I have now been
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.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
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).
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 (!!).
 Clearly, I would not mind being
called - effectively - insane by most medics I went to for help for
myself and my ex (also still ill, nearly forty years later) if
these were mere personal judgements.
But they are not: These personal judgements are copied as if
they are God's Very Own Wisdom by all (medically and
intellectually usually utterly unqualified) bureaucrats
who do treat you as if you are insane, and also thereby steal
much of the money you would have been entitled to if
you had been declared ill.
 I knew only about the
existence of M.E. (as it was then called, and as I think is still
the best name for it) more than ten years after both my ex and
myself got it.
The main reason was that none of
the circa 30 medical doctors my ex and I had seen between 1979 and
1983, all of whom were supposed to
be "medical specialists", knew about the existence of M.E. even though
it had been quite clearly described in medical articles by an
English medic in 1965.
I did not know this until ca.
2000, but my inference about medical (in)competence is an evident
statistical generalization from my experiences: If you want to
see a medically qualified doctor in
Holland, your chances are about 1 in 10. The rest are
incompetent liars who seem to be much
more interested in money for themselves than in health for their