August 23, 2015
Crisis: Orwell, Corbyn Supported, "Free Trade", Deliberate Deception, Chronic Pain

 "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

Prev- crisis -Next


Why the workplace of 2016 could echo Orwell’s 1984
2. Jeremy Corbyn wins economists’ backing for
     anti-austerity policies

3. Picking Apart One of the Biggest Lies in American Politics:
     “Free Trade”

Deliberate Deception: Washington Gave Answer Long Ago
     in NSA Case

5. Proposals for the classification of Chronic pain in ICD-11

This is a Nederlog of Sunday August 23, 2015.

This is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about - what I think are - very frightening existing possibilities that big corporations are using to track their staffs, preferably 24 hours a day, and in everything; item 2 is about support given by 40 economists to Jeremy Corbyn's economical plans (not radical nor revolutionary); item 3 is about the lie of "free trade", that very much limited
any real growth of U.S. incomes of the 90% while very much increasing the incomes of the rich 1% (and it shows that until Reagan there was 190 years of growth of incomes for both American groups, with few exceptions); item 4 is about how the German government deceived the German people about the NSA (and does so till this day); and item 5 is of interest only for people with M.E., Fibromyalgia, or chronic pain, but since I have been diagnosed as having all, since 1989 (!), I do pay attention to it, since there also are others who are ill like me, who do read my site. [1]

1. Why the workplace of 2016 could echo Orwell’s 1984
The first article of today is by Stuart Dredge on The Guardian:
  • Why the workplace of 2016 could echo Orwell’s 1984
This has a subtitle or summary, as follows:
Last week’s revelations of the lengths Amazon goes to monitor staff come amid growing evidence that thousands of other companies are using technology to check on workers
The rest is a truly frightening list of specific spy-ware that one's bosses may be using to spy out absolutely every aspect of your life. This also goes much further
than Orwell's totalitarian dystopia, simply because absolutely everything gets recorded, often also 24 hours a day.

Here is a list of the items and techniques considered in the article. All come with text, most of which is left unstated here:

Wearable health trackers

Monitoring your night-time habits

Work/life balance

Augmented reality

Anonymous feedback tools

Driving-monitoring apps

Sociometric badges

That badge hanging from your neck to get in to your workplace? What if it also recorded your daily interactions? This is the idea behind sociometric badges, which capture “face-to-face interactions” of the wearer, as well as speech and body movement, then serve all this data up for analysis by employers. (...)

Happiness analytics

Some sociometric badges are going further. Earlier this year, Hitachi unveiled a new badge – slogan: “Human Big Data” – which aims to measure your happiness. How? A mysterious algorithm based on your physical activity, from how quickly you walk to how often you nod. Hitachi says this data will be aggregated to provide an overall happiness score for a workplace, rather than used for bosses to grill individual staff about why they’re not happy enough. Mood-tracking is a hot area for tech development, from smart-rings measuring your sweat to wristbands monitoring your heart. Some, like headworn devices Melomind and Thync, even claim to change your mood via electrodes stimulating the brain. The science remains under debate, but the vision of your boss trying to make you wear a de-stress helmet is… a bit stressful.

Facial recognition technology

Security drones

Corporate security

This is a very frightening article, and is so in part because this is announced for next year; in part because it is stated without much criticism; in part because there are no laws forbidding it (so that anything your boss thinks up to track you, wherever, whenever, however seems allowed as a matter of course after you signed a contract) ; and in part because few people care, and fewer people will disagree (if only because they risk being dismissed).

So, this seems to be the probable future, which will soon arrive, except for a major economic crash:

Almost everybody will be a fully known non-individual, who is being studied 24 hours a day by totally anonymous members of your government's secret services, who will check whether you have the right ideas and values according to your government, and also 24 hours a day by probably also anonymous members of your corporation's employment service who will check whether your behavior, also in your so-called "free time" is exactly as your bosses desire.

I am very glad I was born in 1950 and not 40 or 50 years later. Meanwhile, this is a recommended article.

2. Jeremy Corbyn wins economists’ backing for anti-austerity policies

The next article is by Daniel Boffey on The Guardian:
  • Jeremy Corbyn wins economists’ backing for anti-austerity policies

This has a subtitle or summary:

Former adviser to Bank of England among signatories to letter dismissing criticism of economic plans, saying they are ‘not extreme’

This starts as follows:

More than 40 leading economists, including a former adviser to the Bank of England, have made public their support for Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, dismissing claims that they are extreme, in a major boost to the leftwinger’s campaign to be leader.

The intervention comes as the Corbyn campaign reveals that a Labour government led by the MP for Islington North would reserve the right to renationalise Royal Bank of Scotland and other public assets, “with either no compensation or with any undervaluation deducted from any compensation for renationalisation” if they are sold at a knockdown price over the next five years.

The leftwinger’s economic policies – dubbed Corbynomics – have come under sustained attack in recent days, including by members of his own party, with Andy Burnham warning his party in an interview with this paper not to forget the lessons of the general election about the importance of economic credibility.

But with just under three weeks until Ed Miliband’s replacement is announced, Corbyn’s credibility receives a welcome endorsement as 41 economists make public a letter defending his positions.

In the letter to which David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee is a signatory, the economists write: “The accusation is widely made that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have moved to the extreme left on economic policy. But this is not supported by the candidate’s statements or policies. His opposition to austerity is actually mainstream economics, even backed by the conservative IMF. He aims to boost growth and prosperity.”

I'd say: Of course Corbyn's plans are not extreme! But not according to the Blairite liars of New Labour, indeed.

Then again, there is also this:

In defence of the Corbyn camp’s plans to renationalise privatised industries, John McDonnell MP, who is the candidate’s campaign agent, said that privatisation had been “a confidence trick”. He said: “Privatisation over the last four decades has been a history of the British people being robbed and the spivs snatching up the public assets being given the licence to print money. From the earliest privatisations of water, energy and rail to the PFI schemes from the last decade, it has been one long confidence trick.

“Under a Corbyn Labour government this shameful era of governments and ministers colluding in the picking of the taxpayers’ pockets will be brought to an abrupt end.

I agree - and no: while I don't know how to undo privatization, I do believe all I have seen of it was a massive scam, that paid the rich and took from the poor, basically by offering the poor "freedom", but without telling them that the only freedom that was furthered was that of the rich.

And yes: you can take back what was privatized by suitable legal changes, and you can do so without endangering capitalism, if that is whay you want.

3. Picking Apart One of the Biggest Lies in American Politics: “Free Trade”

The next article is by Thom Hartmann on Naked Capitalism:

  • Picking Apart One of the Biggest Lies in American Politics: “Free Trade”
This is a bit difficult to excerpt, because it treats a lot.

When Washington became president in 1789, most of America’s personal and industrial products of any significance were manufactured in England or in its colonies.  Washington asked his first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, what could be done about that, and Hamilton came up with an 11-point plan to build American manufacturing, which he presented to Congress in 1791.

By 1793, most of its points had either been made into law by Congress or formulated into policy by either Washington or the various states.

Those strategic proposals built the greatest industrial powerhouse the world had ever seen, and were only abandoned, after more than 200 successful years, during the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, and Bill Clinton (and remain abandoned to this day, as President Obama prepares to further expand “free trade”).

China, instead of following our recent path, implemented most of Hamilton’s plan, and it brought about a remarkable transformation of that nation in just a single generation.

Hamilton’s 11-point plan for “American Manufactures” laid out how to do it (it’s at the end of this article).

In fact, Hamilton's plan was one of protection and tariffs:

Protection of local manufacturers, with local money, in part achieved by putting a tariff on commodities offered from elsewhere in the world, so that these would not out-compete locally made commodities. For note that if you do not protect your local manufacturers, and do not prevent them from moving to countries with
the cheapest wages and/or lowest costs, they will (and then you have to buy from those countries and you lost an industry, as has been happening in the U.S. in ever increasing tempo since Reagan).

In fact, much of Hamilton's plans worked for nearly 200 years, while also:

And it didn’t start with Hamilton; he was just building on King Henry VII’s “Tudor Plan” of 1485, which turned England from a backwater state with raw wool as its chief export into a major developed state which produced fine clothing and other textile products from wool.

King Henry VII accomplished this by severely restricting the export of wool from England with high export tariffs and restricting the import of finished wool products with high import tariffs.

King Henry learned this from the Dutch.  They copied the Romans.  And the Romans got it from the Greeks, three thousand years ago.  It’s not new, and it’s not rocket science.

Nonetheless, President Obama continues to follow his predecessors – Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush – in the religious belief that “free trade” will save us all.  It’s nonsense. “Free trade” is a guaranteed ticket to the poorhouse for any nation, and the evidence is overwhelming.  (Ironically, the concept of “free trade” was introduced by Henry VII in 1487 as something that England should encourage other countries to do while it maintained protectionism.  It was invented as a scam.)

Yes, but I don't believe Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama were that stupid and uninformed (except - perhaps - Bush Jr.): Clearly they knew they were lying, and indeed whom they were lying for - their big backers, the big corporations and banks, whose managers and large stockholders are about the only people profiting from their policies. (And see the graphics below.)

Here is the difference Reagan made (and all other American presidents since Reagan):

It is only since the Reagan era and subsequently with Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama, that we have forsaken tariffs and have been chanting the “free trade” mantra—to our own detriment and destruction. A protectionist approach, including tariffs, is what the USA needs so it can get back in the game of manufacturing —before it’s too late.

Yes, but again: the “free trade” mantra was not a "religious belief" but a conscious deception of everyone who did not profit from transporting investments to China and other nations, which is at least 90% of the American population.

Here is the outcome:

When Ronald Reagan came into office, as the result of 190 years of Hamilton’s plan, the United States was the world’s largest importer of raw materials; the world’s largest exporter of finished, manufactured goods; and the world’s largest creditor.

After 34 years of Reaganomics, we’ve completely flipped this upside down.  We’ve become the world’s largest exporter of raw materials, the world’s largest importer of finished goods, and the world’s largest debtor.  We now export raw materials to China, and buy from them manufactured goods.  And we borrow from them to do it.
And the big corporations and the big banks prosper, and they do so in considerable part because they make it elsewhere, while the lower and middle classes have not had a real raise since Reagan, when their incomes are corrected for inflation.

Here are two graphics (both used earlier):

This indeed shows it really started under Reagan and continues till today (and note the blue bars are of the 90% poor and "middle class", the red bars of the 10% of the rich and their helpers).

Here is another view of the same:

Note the purple line that is completely flat since 1983: The 90%.

4. Deliberate Deception: Washington Gave Answer Long Ago in NSA Case 

The next item is by Matthias Gebauer, René Pfister and Holger Stark on Spiegel On Line:

  • Deliberate Deception: Washington Gave Answer Long Ago in NSA Case
This starts as follows:

The order from Washington was unambiguous. The United States Embassy in Berlin didn't want to waste any time and moved to deliver the diplomatic cable without delay. It was May 10, 2015, a Sunday -- and even diplomats aren't crazy about working weekends. On this day, though, they had no other choice. James Melville, the embassy's second-in-command, hand delivered the mail from the White House to Angela Merkel's Chancellery at 9 p.m.

The letter that Melville handed over to Merkel's staff contained the long-awaited answer to how the German federal government could proceed with highly classified lists of NSA spying targets. The so-called "selector" lists had become notorious in Germany and the subject of considerable grief for Merkel because her foreign intelligence agency, the BND, may have helped the NSA to spy on German firms as a result of them. The selector lists, which were fed into the BND's monitoring systems on behalf of the NSA, are reported to have included both German and European targets that were spied on by the Americans.

The letter put the German government in a very delicate position. The expectation had been that the US government would flat out refuse to allow officials in Berlin to present the lists to members of the federal parliament, which is currently investigating NSA spying in Germany, including the eavesdropping of Merkel's own mobile phone. But that wasn't the case. Instead, the Americans delivered a more differentiated letter, making it all the more interesting. Nevertheless, the German government remained silent about the letter's existence.

And in fact it still is, and yes: This was and is "Deliberate Deception". There is
considerably more in the article, which I leave to your own interests.

5. Proposals for the classification of Chronic pain in ICD-11

The final item today is by AdminDxRW on dxrevisionwatch.

I think this item - not a crisis item - will be of interest only to people with M.E., Fibromyalgia or with chronic pain, but then I have been diagnosed as someone who has "M.E./Fibromyalgia" (in 1989) where the second alternative was added especially because I have and had chronic pain for a long time [2], and there still are people with either or both diseases who do follow my site.

So here it is:

  • Proposals for the classification of Chronic pain in ICD-11
Note that this is Part 1. There also is a Part 2 (on Fibromyalgia). Finally, while this is the kind of information I like, it should be remarked that the whole discussion is both fairly technical and provisional (because it is about a proposed revision of the WHO/ICD coding for diseases and medical problems).


[1] But I am writing a lot less about M.E. these days, and will continue to do so: I am ill since 1.i.1979, and have given up hope there will be identified a cause or a cure while I live, whereas I have been continuously discriminated in Holland since 1979 for claiming to be ill, and have had no help whatsoever except minimal dole for a healthy person, all these years.

And no, it didn't make any difference to the Amsterdam dole, who have insisted since then that they - non-academic bureaucrats of extremely low brain power - are capable of deciding that I am fit to work, and I am not ill, and that was that: my doctor's judgements apparently were those of an idiot and a liar, rather like I was treated by these bureaucrats.

I do hope to write more on these bureaucrats, but this depends on my recveiving
my pension, which is supposed to happen this month, but which I haven't seen yet

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