June 23, 2018

Crisis: Immigrant Children, On Cellphone Records *2, Psychiatric Drugs, On Trump's Failings


1. Summary
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from June 23, 2018

This is a Nederlog of Saturday, June 23, 2018.
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 two 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 June 23, 2018:
1. Administration of Hate: The Snatching and Caging of Immigrant

2. Supreme Court Rules That the U.S. Government Must Get a Warrant
     Before Accessing Cellphone Location Data

3. The Supreme Court Takes On the Police Use of Cellphone Records
4. Lawsuit Claims Detained Migrant Children Have Been Forcibly Injected
     With Powerful Psychiatric Drugs

5. Imperial President or Emperor With No Clothes?
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. Administration of Hate: The Snatching and Caging of Immigrant Children.

This article is by Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept. It starts as follows:

All mass crimes in history start with a justification, a necessity rationalization, a sick form of nationalism and racism. This week on Intercepted: The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux talks about his recent reporting in the border state of Arizona and paints a harrowing picture of the human toll of family separations by ICE. Alice Speri lays out her investigation of sexual abuse by ICE officers and contractors in immigration detention centers. Sohail Daulatzai discusses his new book, “With Stones in Our Hands: Writings on Muslims, Racism, and Empire,” and explains why the film “The Battle of Algiers” is still relevant more than 50 years after its release. The legendary resistance singer Barbara Dane shares stories from her 91 years on earth fighting militarism, racism, and economic injustice. Plus, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen competes on Jeopardy! and we hear a cover of “The Partisan” from composers and musicians Leo Heiblum of Mexico and Tenzin Choegyal of Tibet.

In fact, I can only review one bit from this long article. There is far too much interesting text to try to review more in Nederlog. Here is Jeremy Scahill:

JS: I’m Jeremy Scahill, coming to you from the offices of The Intercept in New York City, and this is episode 61 of Intercepted.

Laura Ingraham: Since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents, and temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps or as The San Diego Union-Tribune described them today, as looking like basically boarding schools.

JS: I want to begin today’s show by reading the testimony of a Red Cross official who visited a site that was described by the authorities as a “shelter for the refugee children.” After visiting the site, this Red Cross official stated the following:

“Not far from the ambulance, from another barracks, the sad cries of the children were heard. There was set, on the bare floor, four hundred children: newborns, children from a few weeks or months, up to ten years of age. How many children came, and where they were dispatched, could no longer be found out. The children in the children’s barracks cried inexorably and were calling their mothers, who were only a few steps away from the children, but the fascist criminals did not let mothers to approach their children.”

Again, this was the Red Cross official’s description of what was called a “shelter for refugee children.” But this so-called shelter was not in the U.S.; it was in fascist Croatia during World War II. In reality, it was not a shelter for refugee children: It was a concentration camp, known as Sisak, and run by Ustaše fascists allied with Hitler. It began with 900 children in 1942, most of them Serbs, and eventually there would be more than 6,600 children that were taken to the camp. Between 1,100 and 1,600 of these children would die there.

The Nazis, too, had concentration camps for children. And, in at least one case, the Nazis manufactured a small village in one of its camps, forcing its prisoners to temporarily convert their hellish gulag into a propaganda site for a visit from the Red Cross.

I bring this up because of the mind-boggling press conference on Monday of the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen when she was confronted with the audio obtained and published by ProPublica on Monday.

That is: There is a close parallelism between the Nazis and Trump's policies on immigrants, whom Trump describes as "animals", while Hitler described the Jews as "vermin".

I think that is correct, but since I also know a lot about Nazism, I deny it is the same as the Nazis did, for what they wanted to do, and tried to do, was the extermination of the whole Jewish "race" (which I deny is a race).

But while it is not the same, I agree Trump's policies are both sadistic and beastly. Here is more on the lies of Trump's spokepersons:

[Audio clip of children bawling.]

JS: What we hear on this tape are cries of children in detention, desperate, looking for their parents, promising to behave if they let them see their parents. It’s gut-wrenching and sickening. But Secretary Nielsen assured the press that the conditions in these detention centers for children are actually really good, and she can testify to that because she’s been there.

KN: We can now care for them. We have high standards — we give them meals, we give them education, we give them medical care. There’s videos, there’s TVs, I visited the detention centers myself.

JS: There’s been a lot of discussions lately about comparing the Trump administration’s family separation policy to policies of the Nazis, specifically concentration camps. Some people have objected to such comparisons, saying that they trivialize the mass extermination that took place during the Holocaust.
I have three remarks on this quotation:

First, Scahill displays an audio clip for the simple reason that there are no video clips whatsoever of the supposedly almost paradisical standards Nielsen reported, who also - at least to my knowledge - declined to comment on what it means for a five or ten year old to be forcibly separated from their parents by police and to be locked up on their own, in places that are generally unknown to their parents.

Second, I disbelieve Nielsen. She is speaking for the grossest liar I have ever known, Donald Trump, and I think the only way Trump's speakers can keep up Trump's lies is by repeating his lies. Also, it is extremely easy to lie for most people, if their pay to do so is good.

And third, while I agree that Trump's policies are both sadistic and beastly, I agree with those who objected to some of the comparisons between Trump's policies a the policies of the Nazis, and I do so because the fates of at least the Jewish children who were arrested by the Nazis was to be gassed, as Hitler desired to exterminate all Jews.

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

You see, history and context are vitally important. At the same time, the horrors being meted out by the Trump administration are their own crime. And the racism, the xenophobia, the labeling of undocumented people as “vermin,” the lie from Stephen Miller that forced separation is actually a humanitarian program — all of this deserves to be fought because it is happening and it is happening now. Yes, the tactics, the rhetoric, the white supremacy — all of these are rooted in history. That history includes the Nazis, but it also includes the history of the United States.

All mass crimes throughout history start with a justification, a necessity rationalization, a sick form of nationalism and racism. And also, that notion that we are God’s chosen people and everything we do under our manmade laws is actually divinely blessed and endorsed. We do not know what horrors are gonna come next with this criminal, human rights abusing, child-abuse factory being run by the Trump administration. But history teaches us that now is the time to be vigilant, now is the time to fight, to resist, to stop this before it moves onto its next stage — whatever that may be.

I agree - and I think that the notion that Americans "are God’s chosen people and everything we do under our manmade laws is actually divinely blessed and endorsed" is in fact a sick abuse of religion.

And I also agree that "
[w]e do not know what horrors are gonna come next with this criminal, human rights abusing, child-abuse factory being run by the Trump administration", although, as I said, Trump has not ordered his police (yet) to shoot or gas immigrants (although he has described them as "animals").

There is a whole lot more in this article, that is strongly recommended.

2. Supreme Court Rules That the U.S. Government Must Get a Warrant Before Accessing Cellphone Location Data

This article is by Alex Emmons on The Intercept. It starts as follows:

In a landmark privacy decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that police must get a warrant in order to obtain your cellphone’s location data over an extended period of time.

The decision is a major victory for privacy advocates, who have long argued that the law has failed to keep pace with the amount of intrusive data we voluntarily hand over to private companies.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices on the court, declaring that even though the data is held by a third party, the government still needs a warrant to obtain it.

“We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information,” said Roberts, writing for the majority. “In light of the deeply revealing nature of [cell-site location information], its depth, breadth, and comprehensive reach, and the inescapable and automatic nature of its collection, the fact that such information is gathered by a third party does not make it any less deserving of Fourth Amendment protection.”

I say, and I do so because I had not expected this (and indeed it was a decision of 5 against 4).
Then again, this is a more or less reasonable decision, except that it comes many years too late, and could have been considerably better than it is.

Here is some on the background - and since this is an important decision, I review another article about it below:

When the case was argued in November, the government’s position was largely based on an old idea in Fourth Amendment law called the “third-party doctrine.” The Supreme Court expressed that idea in a famous ruling in 1979 that allowed police to obtain without a warrant a list of phone numbers dialed by an individual. The theory underlying that decision was that callers surrender their expectation of privacy when they hand that information over to a phone company.

But Friday’s ruling suggests that that opinion doesn’t apply to cellphone location information, which the court considers more intrusive.

“The Government’s position fails to contend with the seismic shifts in digital technology that made possible the tracking of not only Carpenter’s location but also everyone else’s, not for a short period but for years and years,” wrote Chief Justice Roberts.

Friday’s decision was made on narrow grounds, and the court did not examine potential implications for other technologies, like surveillance cameras, facial-recognition technology, or other types of phone or internet data. The court also declined to rule on whether obtaining real-time location data from a cellphone qualified as a search under the Fourth Amendment, and left open the possibility that the government could access less than seven days’ worth of location information without a warrant.

Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, said that the decision was a massive step forward, but expressed disappointment that the court did not address the possibility of real-time tracking.

I agree with Laperruque (and as indicated in the last but one paragraph of this quote, there also are quite a few other things that the Supreme Court should have addressed).

This is a recommended article, and here is more on the subject:

3. The Supreme Court Takes On the Police Use of Cellphone Records

This article is by Alex Abdo and Kate Klonick on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
The Supreme Court has handed down what may be the most important privacy case of the digital era, ruling on Friday that the government cannot force cellphone service providers to hand over their users’ locations over significant periods of time without first getting a warrant. The decision, United States v. Carpenter, is the latest in a steady drip of rulings by the Supreme Court over the past two decades that are gradually defining the Fourth Amendment right to privacy in a world of ever-evolving technology.
Well... yes and no: I think the Supreme Court made an important decision, which I happen to agree with, but I disagree with the supposed "steady drip of rulings by the Supreme Court over the past two decades that are gradually defining the Fourth Amendment right to privacy in a world of ever-evolving technology" for the simple reason that privacy is a human right since 1948.

Here is Article 12 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948:

Article 12.

    • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
This right (and others) that are 70 years old this year has been systematically denied by the internet, by the so-called "security" - i.e. the anonymous spies - for any government, and by Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft etc. who all and systematically interfere with the "privacy, family, home" and "correspondence" of absolutely everyone with an internet computer.

Moreover, these systematic attacks on the privacies of everyone have been going on from when the internet started, which I take it was in 1995 (a little bit later than the actual start).

This means that - e.g. - the American Supreme Court has been walking FAR behind the facts for 23 years now.

Here is some more:

The question the case presented was deceptively simple: Can the police collect your cellphone location data for days on end without a warrant? A 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court said no. But even in reaching what it characterized as a “narrow” conclusion, the court took a significant step that will shape the constitutional right to privacy in the modern age.

Specifically, the court cut back on the scope and reach of the “third-party doctrine” — a legal presumption, embraced by the Supreme Court in the 1970s and ’80s, that if you share information with a third party, you have forfeited your right to privacy regarding that information. It’s the rationale used to justify the police’s warrantless access to the garbage you place out on the street, to your call records and to your bank statements.

The application of the third-party doctrine has been logically inconsistent and confusing, and it is particularly ill suited to the digital age. When the doctrine was created, people generally kept their private effects — their journals, correspondence and the like — in their sole possession. It was perhaps understandable, in that world, that the Supreme Court often conditioned privacy on the secrecy of the information. It made sense to say that if you want something to remain private, you shouldn’t share it with others.

But it’s easy to see why that concept is untenable in modern times, when virtually everything we do requires sharing sensitive information with third parties.
Yes indeed - and now the situation is in fact that everyone with an internet computer is completely open to anyone who has the money or the power to find out absolutely everything about him or her.

And I think that is the most frightening fact about our time:

That a few anonymous freaks can and do know absolutely everyone (in principle: the information is there, but it may not have been read by human eyes) in complete detail (including your private thoughts, notes, correspondence, values, ideas and pornography).

It is the most frightening fact because this means that absolutely everyone can be completely controlled, known, manipulated, deceived or - indeed - arrested by a few handfulls of the richest or the most powerful persons.

4. Lawsuit Claims Detained Migrant Children Have Been Forcibly Injected With Powerful Psychiatric Drugs

This article is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
Shocking reports have revealed that immigrant children were subdued and incapacitated with powerful psychiatric drugs at a detention center in South Texas. Legal filings show that children held at Shiloh Treatment Center in southern Houston have been “forcibly injected with medications that make them dizzy, listless, obese and even incapacitated,” according to reports by Reveal. Meanwhile, according to another Reveal investigation, taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion over the past four years to companies operating immigration youth facilities despite facing accusations of rampant sexual and physical abuse. For more, we speak with the reporter who broke these stories: Aura Bogado. She is an immigration reporter with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Her latest stories are, “Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims” and “Migrant children sent to shelters with histories of abuse allegations.”
I say, although I must grant that I am not amazed (anymore) by statements like the above.

The main reasons are that I am academically a philosopher and a psychologist, who has been ill - like my ex - for nearly forty years with what was in 2018 described (correctly) as "a serious chronic disease" but which has been described since - at least - 1980 as a form of madness ("mental disorder", "mental illness") by psychiatrists.

This has led me to a fairly serious study of psychiatry. I think it is a total fraud, especially in the USA: All I can see in American psychiatry are lies and colossal - and succesful! - greed to get rich. I will not give you my reasons for thinking it is a total fraud - but see here:
DSM-5: Question 1 of "The six most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis" (which I wrote in 2012 and which was much downloaded, but never answered) - but only mention the following points:
  • Around 1950 you could be "mad" ("mentally disordered", "mentally ill") in about 50 ways; by 2013 there are now over 450 ways in which psychiatrists can claim you are "mad" ("mentally disordered", "mentally ill") - according to the APA's DSM-5 - while absolutely none of them has any theoretical justification: The DSMs are supposed to go by observations only, and are free of any theory whatsoever.

  • There is only one "mental disorder" that has at present a medical foundation (of some sort) and that is Alzheimer's Disease: ALL other "mental disorders" are assigned by psychiatrists without any medical foundations whatsoever. (See my - long and good - article on Thomas Szasz from 2012.)

  • All of the DSMs - we are now in number 5 - are private, mostly secret treatises compiled by psychiatric members of the APA of whom 70% have a positive interest that people get medicalized by psychiatric medicines (which makes them a whole lot of money, which is the main interest of almost any pychiatrist).

  • And here are - according to psychiatrists,who have no theoretical foundations whatsoever in the DSM, and whose theories are nearly all utter nonsense in my psychologically and philosophically very well-educated eyes - the number of "mentally disordered" Americans:
    Mental illnesses are common in the United States. Nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness (44.7 million in 2016).
  • There also are other psychiatric estimates of other populations. According to one report on the British, 78% of the Brits are medically ill, according to their psychiatrists.
All of the above points suggest that if you are a psychiatrist you probably are a fraud who is quite rich because you can prescribe expensive psychiatric medicines to half or three quarters of the total population, all based on "psychiatric theories" that are often unstated and else often obvious nonsense.

And I think the above is factually correct - except that there are (or have been) a very few nominal psychiatrists who were decent (and did not believe in current psychiatry). One of them was the American Mickey Nardo, who died in 2017. (The last link is to his site, which is still well worth reading, at least by psychologists and psychiatrists.)

Back to the article. Here is Aura Bogado:

AURA BOGADO: Hi, Amy. We have been looking into these migrant shelters for a while, and we have found over 100 allegations, investigation violations, crimes, for which people were sent to prison and other kinds of examples in which some pretty serious stuff happened. Sometimes it has to do with the forcible injection of heavy psychotropic drugs on sometimes pretty young children, sexual assault allegations, solicitation of child pornography for which someone is currently serving, I believe, a 10-year sentence. Some pretty horrific stuff.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And could you describe, Aura, what the effects—you learned about what the effects have been of some of these psychotropic drugs that children have been forcibly injected with?

AMY GOODMAN: And who gets to choose that they are being injected? What do they know about their medical histories?

AURA BOGADO: Yeah. What happens is that children go to a first shelter, and sometimes they are stepped up. That is the term that the government uses, is they’re “stepped up” in terms of if they see a behavior that they don’t like in children, they can be referred to a psychiatrist who then independently makes a determination.

And (American) psychiatrists are generally - with a very few exceptions - medical frauds who are much more interested in the money they can get for themselves by prescribing "psychiatric medicines" to people than they are interested in the rights or persons of those they prescribe to.

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

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Aura Bogado, you have been reporting on this for a while, before “zero tolerance” policy was put into effect six weeks ago and then Trump has reversed it with an executive order. People don’t even understand why he needed an executive order to do this. But when you talk about sexual abuse, kids being injected with drugs, being sent to psychiatrists to ask what their problem is when they are just asking for their parents, to be reunited with her parents, and then when they are upset, being injected or being given pills, the number of people they need to staff these places now, with the influx of children they are imprisoning, and families, will make them even more vulnerable. Is that not right? What level of scrutiny does any person who is hired get right now as these centers try to desperately staff up for thousands more people?

As far I can see the answer is that there is no scrutiny, or extremely little. And it even seems as if many children are sent somewhere without their parents being told anything about where they were sent to. And this is a strongly recommended article.
5. Imperial President or Emperor With No Clothes?

This article is by Nomi Prins on Common Dreams and originally on TomDispatch. It starts as follows:

Leaders are routinely confronted with philosophical dilemmas. Here’s a classic one for our Trumptopian times: If you make enemies out of your friends and friends out of your enemies, where does that leave you?

What does winning (or losing) really look like? Is a world in which walls of every sort encircle America’s borders a goal worth seeking? And what would be left in a future fragmented international economic system marked by tit-for-tat tariffs, travel restrictions, and hyper-nationalism? Ultimately, how will such a world affect regular people?

Let’s cut through all of this for the moment and ask one crucial question about our present cult-of-personality era in American politics: Other than accumulating more wealth and influence for himself, his children, and the Trump family empire, what’s Donald J. Trump’s end game as president?
To answer the last question:

I think Prins is quite right in suggesting that Trump's first end is to accumulate "
more wealth and influence for himself, his children, and the Trump family empire", for he is very clearly doing that.

And I also think that Trump - like everybody else - has an ideology (check my definition, if you never did!) and that his ideology is quite well described as neofascism (again: check my definition if you never did!).

I certainly do not think Trump will call his ideology "neofascism", and I think it would be quite difficult for him to even state it clearly (for my definition covers eleven points, which I think is too much for Trump to remember), but this does not mean he is not - mostly - following it.

For this is how I defined neofascism (before knowing of Trump, his candidacy or his presidency):
Neofascism is a. A social system that is marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that propounds an ethics which has profit as its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist, anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are stronger than a national government or stateb. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.
And I think it is fairly to very clear that each of the ends of neofascism is an end of Donald Trump, also if he or you does not know that.

Here is more from Nomi Prins, and it is about Trump's tariffs:

In the past four months, Trump has imposed tariffs, exempting certain countries, only to re-impose them at his whim. If trust were a coveted commodity, when it came to the present White House, it would now be trading at zero. His supporters undoubtedly see this approach as the fulfillment of his many campaign promises and part of his classic method of keeping both friends and enemies guessing until he’s ready to go in for the kill. At the heart of this approach, however, lies a certain global madness, for he now is sparking a set of trade wars that could, in the end, cost millions of American jobs.
I agree, although I do not think this worries Trump one bit: If you are not a member of Trump's family, and if you also are not rich yourself, he only cares about you propagandistically, but not really - as is indicated by his attempting to take even food money from the poorest Americans, to pay for the riches he gave to the few richest.

And here is Prins on American national security:
The current incipient trade war was actually launched by the Trump administration in March in the name of American “national security.” What should have been highlighted,however, was the possible “national insecurity” in which it placed the country’s (and the world’s) future. After all, a similar isolationist stance in the 1920s and the subsequent market crash of 1929 sparked the global Great Depression, opening the way for the utter devastation of World War II.
I agree, and there is a whole lot more in the article, that is strongly recommended.

[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 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).

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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