"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin
1. Robert Reich on Detroit
3. How Austerity has Failed
4. Personal (mostly Hazlitt)
It still is the case
that sleeping remains quite
difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at
Anyway - and no, sleeping did not much improve, so far.
And presently it is 25 degrees Celsius where I am, in my house in
which is too hot. I see what I can do, but it will not be very much.
Also, it will be economical, all of the three non-personal items, but
that seems just in a crisis.
The last part is personal and mostly about Hazlitt.
1. Robert Reich on Detroit
The news that Detroit is broke also reached Holland, though I have not
heard or read much that was serious about it. Robert Reich latest
column is about it and it is serious, also in the title:
And that, indeed, is it: There
is no need, but the few rich seem to have decided to let the many poor
die, while the many poor do nothing, in the hope they will be spared.
Reich's piece ends like this:
analogous to a Wall Street bank drawing a boundary around its bad
assets, selling them off at a fire-sale price, and writing off the
loss. Only here we’re dealing with human beings rather than
financial capital. And the upcoming fire sale will likely result in
even worse municipal services, lousier schools, and more crime for
those left behind in the city of Detroit. In an era of widening
inequality, this is how wealthier Americans are quietly writing off the
2. Open Corporates
"Corporations" - often temporary piracies
designed to enrich the individual pirates, while denying any and all personal
responsibility for anything they do - the either scarcely sane or
thoroughly corrupt U.S. Supreme Court decided, in majority - "are
people", and thus "they" now also may corrupt and pay politicians.
It was and is a major mistake, and was totally unlogical - see
corporate bodies"  - and now there is also
some much more recent evidence, brought forward by Open Corporates,
about how extremely complicated the ownership relations are that
support the big corporations.
I found this on Common Dreams, and it reminds me of the time I was 17
and worked as a documentalist for a Dutch bank (see, if you read Dutch 1967-1968, opgroeien in Amsterdam), for it seems the same, except that
it is now much more complicated and entwined, what with modern
It goes by this title, and if it interests you, you are supposed to
I agree it is
interesting, but it is not something one can do much about (though one
has - perhaps - better guesses on what corporations may and may not do).
Austerity has Failed
This is - surprise! - an economical analysis by an economist, Martin
Wolf, that was also published by the New York Review of boooks:
It starts as follows
The rest is not rosier, but
Martin Wolfe does argue his case, and believes the many mistakes - the
blunders - can be undone.
Austerity has failed. It
turned a nascent recovery into stagnation. That imposes huge and
unnecessary costs, not just in the short run, but also in the long
term: the costs of investments unmade, of businesses not started, of
skills atrophied, and of hopes destroyed.
What is being done here
in the UK and also in much of the eurozone is worse than a crime, it is
a blunder. If policymakers listened to the arguments put forward by our
opponents, the picture, already dark, would become still darker.
Personally, I tend not to believe so - or at least: Not by the present
governments in Europe, which indeed may do it all on purpose, instead
of by "blundering", or may only care for their own skins.
Whatever the real explanation, the fact seems to be that the rulers of
Europe have succeeded in killing off the mild improvements that had
been made in 2009 and 2010, and this article gives reasons and
4. Personal (mostly Hazlitt)
It is over
degrees Celsius in my living room, and that is too hot for me. Also,
the news promises this may last till Wednesday or later, and it might
even get to get 30 degrees or more.
Well... the result will be that I can do very little.
Then again, I am a fan of Hazlitt,
of over thirty years standing at the moment, and I have just downloaded
the 12 volumes that together form his Collected Works, at least as
edited in by Waller and Glover, from 1902 till 1904.
In fact, here is part 1, in case you care:
(But you have to download it
yourself, from that link.)
It also turned out this is a fine edition, and I can even read it
without inverse coloring, with the present state of my eyes, and the
quality of paper they used. It's known not to be complete, and there
are two later editions, but I have no money for them, and I am quite
pleased this edition is available to me.
Indeed, I want to read it all, or at least read all that I have not
read, which is considerably less. This is not a plan I would recommend
to others, but I am a real fan,
since over thirty years also, and my main reason for being so is that
William Hazlitt was an extremely bright and courageous man, who wrote
extremely well on many subjects that interest me.
I know it is odd, these days - and also in earlier days, in fact - to
be seriously interested in such writers, I mean the extremely bright
extremely well writing ones, but then I must be odd, and I really like
him and always did.
Also, I should say to whom I owe the great pleasure of Hazlitt's
Collected Works: To the University of Toronto, that owes the books, and
to the archive.org, that copied them.
Thank you very much!
 This starts as follows:
On Corporate Bodies
Corporate bodies have no
bodies are more corrupt and
profligate than individuals, because they have more power to do
mischief, and are less amenable to disgrace or punishment. They feel
neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill. The principle of
private or natural conscience is extinguished in each individual (we
have no moral sense in the breasts of others), and nothing is
considered but how the united efforts of the whole (released from idle
scruples) may be best directed to the obtaining of political advantages
and privileges to be shared as common spoil. Each member reaps the
benefit, and lays the blame, if there is any, upon the rest. The esprit
de corps becomes the ruling passion of every corporate body,
compared with which the motives of delicacy or decorum towards others
are looked upon as being both impertinent and improper.
This - and the
rest - was published in 1822.
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: