who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. Still Broken Five Years
2. The Cruel and Shameless Ideology of
3. Liberal Politicians Launched
the Idea of “Free Trade
Agreements” In the 1960s
4. NY Times Joins The Fight
Against Money In Politics
5. Trans-Pacific Partnership =
Government Corruption At
Snowden Leaks: How The
Government Reacted To
This is the crisis file for
Sunday, February 23, 2014. I could find only
three articles, to which I have added three TYT-videos.
Incidentally, here are my main reasons not to have many videos: First,
I read a lot faster than people talk. This generally makes me think
videos are slow. To this must be added: second, spoken language is
generally less clear than is written language. There are some - very
few - exceptions to this, but this is the generally valid fact,
although this does not mean that (spoken) videos are necessarily
inferior. (Film or video has other possibilities than written texts.)
Third, videos tend to disappear faster than texts on the internet.
But today there are three videos, all by The Young Turks (TYT), which
is one of the very few channels I still regularly check since I first
found it in 2009, when I acquired fast internet, simply because I
them, though I also tend to watch only a fairly small percentage of
their videos (and none from their other services), simply because of my
lack of time or my lack of interest.
Still Broken Five Years
The first article is
by Mike Whitney. I found it on Truth Dig, but it is originally from
CounterPunch, and it has a rather interesting point:
This starts as follows:
I admit this is news
me, and probably for my readers as well, even though this is in fact
the seventh year of the crisis. There is considerably more,
“The repo market wasn’t
just a part of the meltdown. It was the meltdown.”
—David Weidner, Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2013.
Ask your average
guy-on-the-street ‘what caused the financial crisis’, and you’ll either
get a blank stare followed by a shrug of the shoulders or a brusque,
three-word answer: “The housing bubble”. Even people who follow the
news closely are usually sketchy on the details. They might add
something about subprime mortgages or Lehman Brothers, but not much
more than that. Very few people seem to know that the crisis began in a
shadowy part of the financial system called repo, which is short for
repurchase agreement. In 2008, repo was ground zero, the
epicenter of the meltdown. That’s where the bank run took place that
froze the credit markets and sent the financial system into freefall.
Unfortunately, nothing has been done to fix the problems in repo, which
means that we’re just as vulnerable today as we were five years ago
when Lehman imploded and all hell broke loose.
Repo is a critical part
of today’s financial architecture. It allows the banks to fund their
long-term securities cheaply while giving lenders, like money markets,
a place where they can park their money overnight and get a small
return. The entire repo market is roughly $4.5 trillion, although
the more volatile tri-party repo market is around $1.6 trillion. (Note:
That’s $1.6 trillion that’s rolled over every day.)
And there you are...
There is considerably more in the article, that I recommend you read
all of, and it ends like this, which reminds me of my Crisis +
DSM-5: It's deregulation, stupid! (over a year old):
While most analysts agree
about the origins of the crisis and the type of changes that are needed
to avoid a repeat, the banks have blocked all attempts at
reforming the system.
It’s because the reforms
would cost the banks more money, and they don’t want that. They’d
rather put the entire system at risk, then cough up a little more dough
to make repo safer. Here’s how the New York Fed summed it up in a paper
titled “Shadow Bank Monitoring”:
motivation for intermediation outside of the traditional banking system
is for private actors to evade regulation and taxes. … Regulation
typically forces private actors to do something which they would
otherwise not do: pay taxes to the official sector, disclose additional
information to investors, or hold more capital against financial
Regulate. That’s the ticket.
could have prevented the last crisis, and stricter regulations can
prevent the next one. It’s just a matter of finding the political will
to get the job done.
2. The Cruel and Shameless Ideology of
article is by Ralph Nader, and I found it on Common Dreams:
Actually, this is mostly
about a specific labor conflict in the U.S. but it does illustrate its
title quite well.
3. Liberal Politicians Launched the Idea of
“Free Trade Agreements” In the 1960s
article is by Washington's Blog, and it illustrates that "liberal",
especially when joined to "politicians", has a rather different meaning
in the U.S. than it has in Europe (where it is also far from clear )
This starts as
might assume that it is Republicans
who are cheerleaders for global corporations at the expense of
government. But, as shown below, liberal politicians have been
just as bad … or worse.
Matt Stoller – who writes
for Salon and has contributed to Politico, Alternet, Salon, The Nation
and Reuters – knows his way around Washington.
Stoller – a prominent
liberal – has scoured the Congressional Record to unearth hidden
historical facts. For example, Stoller has previously shown that
the U.S. government push for a “New World Order” is no wacky conspiracy
theory, but extensively
documented in the Congressional Record.
Now, Stoller uses the
Congressional Record to show that “free trade” pacts were always
nation-states to promote rule by multinationals:
officials (liberal ones, actually) engaged in an actual campaign to get
rid of countries with their pesky parochial interests, and have the
whole world managed by global corporations. Yup, this actually
was explicit in the 1960s, as opposed to today’s passive aggressive
arguments which amount to the same thing.
There is a
considerable amount more in the article, that ends as follows:
The bottom line is not that liberals
– or conservatives – are evil.
It’s that neither
the Democratic or Republican parties reflect the true
values of the American people (and see
Indeed, a scripted
psuedo-war between the parties is often used by the powers-that-be as a
way to divide and conquer the American people, so that we are too
distracted to stand up to reclaim our power from the idiots in both
parties who are only governing for their own profit … and a small
handful of their buddies.
And I think that is a
really good point: there are too few political parties in the United
States, and the two dominant ones are both grossly corrupt.
whether I would consider George Ball and David Rockefeller to be - as
the article has it - "liberal internationalists" I very much
but this is again the difficulty I also mentioned in note .)
Joins The Fight Against Money In
Now I get to the first
of three videos by The Young Turks (TYT):
This seems to me to be
quite interesting news, even though I do not expect much of it in the
The Editorial Board of the New York Times has decided there is -
massive - legalized bribery (their term) in the United States, and
writes as follows in the The
Line at the 'Super Pac' Through:
year will be the moment when individual candidate super PACs — a form
of legalized bribery — become a truly toxic force in American politics.
The giant ideological super PACs formed by political operatives like
Karl Rove spent hundreds of millions in 2012, but didn't produce the
conservative revolution demanded by the big donors. So now the torrent
of cash is heading toward smaller groups set up to promote a single
candidate or, more often, to trash that candidate's opponent."
5. Trans-Pacific Partnership
= Government Corruption At It's
Next, there is this video by
This is about the TPP, which
amounts to the following (according to exposethetpp.org),
who also supplied the boldings:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership n. 1. A
"free trade" agreement that would set
rules on non-trade matters such as food safety,
internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation, and the
environment. 2. A binding
international governance system that
would require the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile,
Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and any
other country that signs on to conform their domestic policies to its
rules. 3. A secret
trade negotiation that has included over
600 official corporate "trade advisors" while hiding
the text from Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, the
press, civil society, and the public.
Again, this is a secret
trade negotiation that is very much favored by Barack Obama,
Whom_We_All_Must_Trust TM. It is so secret that not
even the members of
Congress - the guys and gals the Americans elected to rule
them - were allowed to see it, although they now can - but: in a closed
room, without notepapers, without having the right to make copies, and
without having the right to quote what they memorized.
Also, this item is well done by Cenk Uygur.
Snowden Leaks: How The Government Reacted To Wikileak
Next, the last video
another revelation due to Edward Snowden. Part of it is the following
graphic, that contains a question "agents" - some of the former
colleagues of Snowden, all totally anonymous but very
powerful - asked their goverment:
What was the point of that? The following:
That "normally otherwise" is a bit false, it has since emerged, again
thanks to Edward Snowden, but you see how you are being tracked
if you are so bold as to want to use your own
mind: You are being called "malicious", and then anything is allowed
Anyway... another good item.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
 In the U.S. "liberal" these days seems
to be more of a swear word than a properly descriptive term, and it
certainly does not mean what I mean by it, although I probably am more
sympathetic to "liberal" than "non-liberal" views (here taken in the
In fact, I like to describe myself as a "classic liberal", by which I
mostly mean that, of all the political ideals that I've read - a
fair amount - I like best or indeed least dislike the "liberalism"
as espoused by the 19th Century writers John Stuart Mill and
Alexis de Tocqueville - but this is not at all what "liberal" means in
present day Holland, where it seems closest to "conservative" (which is
quite unlike from what it means in the United States).
But OK - this is mainly a note that explains a bit about the many
different meanings the same term has in several countries (for the
English meaning of "liberal" again differs from both the Dutch and
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: