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. Why do
we still honour free-market intellectuals?
2. Work and Worth
3. Israel's Military Censors
Demand 'Prior Review' of NYT's
American media's new pro-Israel bias: the same party
line at the wrong time
Intelligence Agencies Have All Been Busted Lying
Again and Again
6. CEO Pay Is A Massive Scam, This Chart
This is the Nederlog of August
3. It is a crisis log.
It also was compiled on a Sunday, but there are six items on various
crisis issues, and while it is true that item 1, item 2 and item 6
have a similar theme, it is also true that this is an accident, and
they all have their own perspectives.
1. Why do we still honour free-market
item is an article by Nick Cohen on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
If the way we
treat the past is a guide, the historians of early 21st-century Britain
will look back at us and find significance in people and events we are
failing to notice. Whatever else they choose to emphasise, however, I
cannot believe they will ignore 14
September 2007. On that morning, Britain went from a mature modern
democracy to a country that resembled a bankrupt banana republic. The
crowds of savers queuing to pull their money out of the failed Northern Rock bank
were a funeral procession marking the death of the old world. Margaret
Thatcher's Big Bang, Gordon Brown's endorsement of light-touch
regulation, and the wealthy's convenient belief that fantastic bonuses
were no more than financiers' just deserts died that morning – not with
a bang but a Weimar.
The question in the
title is a good question, and I will turn to it below, but I suppose I
must first explain the pun "not
with a bang but a Weimar". I may be mistaken, but my guess is that most
will not know its meaning: This consists of a reference to "This is the
way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper", from "The Hollow
Men" by T.S. Eliot,
whereas "Weimar" refers to the Weimar Republic,
which was Germany after WW I and before Hitler's rise to power.
Anyway... to the
question in the title. It doesn't apply to me - see the "we" -
because I never believed it, but then my parents were marxists
(real ones, not quasi-ones, as most I have seen) and I studied a lot.
Here is my explanation, that Nick Cohen doesn't give because most of
his article is in fact about the Northern Rock bank and its chairman.
I think it mostly comes down to the following points:
This is what the "free
market" and "freedom" cries amount to: deceptive propaganda
put forward to deceive the masses into believing that the CEOs of
oligopolies deserve ten or twenty million dollars a year, whereas in
fact this is only theft: no one is worth those amounts,
at least not while his employees earn an average of $50,000 a year
(which is more than most Americans earn) and do nearly all of the work.
- Few know much or
anything about economy (in a more or less scientific way). 
- Most are staunch
proponents of freedom, indeed also when this ought to be somewhat
qualified and regulated (again, few know much about politics). 
- The conservatives
(ab)used these two facts to set up a myth that combines "freedom" and
"free markets" (a fallacy at least as old as Hayek in the 40ies).
- In fact there are only
markets because there are regulations; and in fact very much of the
markets there are ceased being free with the arisal of big multi-national
corporations that have oligopolies.
- And in fact, the myth +
the deregulations (also in part caused by
the myth) makes it a whole lot easier for CEOs to appropriate millions
a year, in fact for no reason at all (see item 2
and item 6, below).
- In fact, what the CEOs
and their spokesmen mean by "freedom" is their freedom to rob
the non-rich from the millions that the CEOs and their spokesmen pocket
And if "we" "honour" "free-market intellectuals" there are only two
possible reasons: Either we don't know anything much about economics, politics,
or we like deceiving the many because we are CEOs or are working for
For more, see item 2 and item 6.
(I didn't arrange it: these just happened to be there on the same day
as this item.)
2. Work and
item is an article by Robert Reich on his site:
This in fact has a similar theme as item 1 and
item 6, even though they each also have their own perspective. This
starts as follows:
There are considerably more examples, that you
may check out yourself, but the first main point is the opening
statement - and even that seems somewhat slanted to me, for in fact it
only applies to CEOs (and see item 6): There is NO
relation between the income of a CEO and his or her qualities of any
What someone is paid has
little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society.
Does anyone seriously
believe hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the $2.3
billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a
$1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?
On the other hand, what’s
the worth to society of social workers who put in long and difficult
hours dealing with patients suffering from mental illness or substance
abuse? Probably higher than their average pay of $18.14 an hour,
which translates into less than $38,000 a year.
How much does society
gain from personal-care aides who assist the elderly, convalescents,
and persons with disabilities? Likely more than their average pay of $9.67 an hour,
or just over $20,000 a year.
But if we consider all adult persons who work, it seems to me quite
clear that those doing the real work, although as a rule they
are paid little, normally on the fake ground that they have
little formal education, do the things that are worthful for a society: Without
their work there would be no society, or our lives would be a lot more
difficult than they are.
The reason they do not stand out is simply that they make little money,
and have few propagandists, and they are with many rather than few
- but the few, however clever they may be (which CEOs rarely are:
really clever people work in a university, also for a lot less pay),
and whatever their propagandists falsely declare, cannot run a society,
nor do the most important things in the society, which is the hard,
common, little paid work that forms the backbone of everything. 
After considerably more examples that I skip, Reich remarks, again
And what of
writers, actors, painters, and poets? Only a tiny fraction ever become
rich and famous. Most barely make enough to live on (many don’t, and
are forced to take paying jobs to pursue their art). But society is
surely all the richer for their efforts.
Yes indeed - and in
spite of the fact that "our society" - quotes because it isn't ours,
really: a few owe a lot; most owe nothing - is supposed to be about art
and science, after the bellies are decently filled, at least. It isn't
about art and science because the vast majority is very poorly educated
and also not very intelligent - but this does not mean that the
supposition that human society should be dedicated to art and
science, after the economy works, is not a sound idea, and a much
sounder than the current ideal of enormously enriching a few of the
biggest bastards and handiest liars and deceivers at the cost of
everyone, and hardly investing in art, artists, science or scientists
(except where it is
war - sorry: defense related).
The previous paragraph is followed by these two:
Well... to me it is not
doubtful: they're an enormous waste: They make the wrong
decisions, for the wrong reasons, while awarding themselves huge
riches, that they mostly stole from their much poorer underlings, on
the basis of myths
- see item 1 and item 6.
At the other extreme are
hedge-fund and private-equity managers, investment bankers, corporate
lawyers, management consultants, high-frequency traders, and top
They’re getting paid vast
sums for their labors. Yet it seems doubtful that society is
really that much better off because of what they do.
But Reich has similar ideas, from the text that follows the above
Here is the last bit I quote, that is dedicated to the choices of "the
best and the brightest":
Which means - quite correctly
- that most of the supposed "best
and the brightest" are not very bright (for then they had
studied something else) and certainly are not very good (for
they choose their financial studies and careers to help themselves,
which in this society generally means: at the cost of others).
In 2010 (the most recent
date for which we have data) close to 36
percent of Princeton graduates went into finance (down from the
pre-financial crisis high of 46 percent in 2006). Add in management
consulting, and it was close to 60 percent.
Graduates of Harvard and
other Ivy League universities are also more likely to enter finance and
consulting than any other career.
Anyway - this is good article, and you can read all of it by clicking
the last dotted link. And also see item 1 and item 6.
3. Israel's Military Censors Demand 'Prior
Review' of NYT's
item is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as
Following its reporting
of the latest events in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including available
details about an IDF soldier captured by Hamas soldiers early in the
day, the New York Times was contacted by Israel's military
censor and told that future reporting related to the capture would need
to be run through its office before publication.
The Times updated
their original story by adding:
censor informed The New York Times that further information related to
the soldier would have to be submitted for prior review. Journalists
for foreign news organizations must agree in writing to the military
censorship system to work in Israel. This was the first censorship
notification The Times had received in more than two years.
Israel's policy of
placing 'gag rules' over foreign correspondents is well known to
reporters who have worked in the country, but rarely acknowledged by
I say?! An Israeli
bunch of military censors insists on censoring an American
newspaper?! Apparently on the understanding: "We Israelis get
everything from your NSA, and so you should also conform to our
censorship"?! (I must guess, for I find this an insane notion: That the
Israeli censors have anything to say about the non-Israeli
Jon Queally quotes a
tweet from Freedom of the Press that advices a refusal to comply, with
which I wholly agree: the Israelis have no right to censor
anyone non-Israeli, at least. (And indeed I would withdraw from Israel,
because one is being censored, rather than stay there to report on what
the censors allow one to say: Uncensored news may be real news; censored
news is always propaganda.)
There also is this:
The episode comes amid
increased criticism of how many U.S.-based news outlets—including
MSNBC and the
Times which are often categorized as "liberal"
by many—skew and bend their coverage in order to offer a narrative more
friendly towards Israeli government and military policy.
Yes, indeed - and it
may be these are censored by the Israelis as well, and don't tell.
media's new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time
item is an article by Chris McGreal on The Guardian:
This starts as
Well, the first two are. Much
as I dislike Netanyahu - the wrong man at the wrong place, surely - I
am not much interested in his antics during elections in the 1990s.
(And there is a note at the end of the article that the present
quotation was substituted for the false quotation "Death to Arabs".)
Here are a few questions
you won’t hear asked of the parade of Israeli officials crossing US
television screens during the current crisis in Gaza:
These are contentious
questions, to be sure, and with complicated answers. But they are
relevant to understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today.
- What would you do if a
foreign country was occupying your land?
- What does it mean that
Israeli cabinet ministers deny Palestine’s right to exist?
- What should we make of
a prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who as opposition leader in the
1990s addressed a rally under a banner reading “Death to Arafat” a year
after the Palestinian leader signed a peace accord with Israel?
McGreal has a lot of experience:
Yes, indeed. There is a
lot more that I leave to your interest. I only want to comment on the
In years of reporting
from and about Israel, I’ve followed the frequently robust debate in
its press about whether Netanyahu really wants a peace deal, about the
growing power of right-wing members inside the Israeli cabinet opposed
to a Palestinian state, about the creeping air of permanence to the
So it has been all the more
striking to discover a far narrower discourse in Washington and the
notoriously pro-Israel mainstream media in the US at a time when
difficult questions are more important than ever.
(...) Golda Meir’s line that Israelis can never
forgive Arabs “for forcing us to kill their children”.
That is sick propaganda:
Firstly, no one "forces" the Israelis to kill children: they chose to
do so themselves. Secondly, to say that "Israelis can never forgive Arabs" is
disgusting, for consider: Thirdly, what would Meir have said if Himmler
had argued, in 1943, that the Germans can never forgive the Jews for forcing the Germans to kill their Jewish
I don't know and Meir is dead, but I suppose her reply would be along
the lines that the Germans murdered many more Jews than the Jews
This I grant, but it remains sickening and willfully false and
distorted propaganda for whoever tries to excuse his murders of
children on the murdered children or their parents.
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
Have All Been Busted Lying Again and Again
item is an article by Washington's Blog on his site:
This starts as follows
(colors in the original):
Yes, indeed. There is
more there, and then there is this, again with colors in the original,
and again only partially quoted:
CIA, NSA, FBI and other Intelligence Agencies Lie
CIA chief John Brennan
was busted this week for lying
to Congress and the American public by claiming that the CIA
wasn’t spying on the Congressional investigation into torture … when they
Director of National
Intelligence James Clapper admitted that he
lied to Congress and the American people about spying, and many
congress members, a co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, and a
constitutional expert all say that he should be prosecuted for perjury.
The NSA has been
caught in lie
after lie about surveillance on the American people.
An order from the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California has revealed the FBI
lied to the court about the existence of records requested.
It ends thus:
Not Just Passive Lying, But Also Active Manipulation
Spy agencies have also
been busted manipulating
the Internet – including social media – in order to promote false
propaganda and to stifle dissenting information. And see
And they have played a
central role in carrying out false
flag terror as well:
- The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to
pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the
country against its democratically-elected prime minister
A senior NSA executive tells Washington’s Blog that the NSA can use
information gathered from mass surveillance to FRAME
anyone it doesn’t like.
Indeed - and as long the
NSA is not tamed and rigidly controlled this is what one is going to
see a whole lot more of in the none too far future: People who are
prosecuted on very unclear "evidence" that somehow goes back or
may go back to the NSA, that also may very well frame someone with fake
information that gets accepted as "evidence". For no one can
tell: The NSA works in secret, and has information on everyone, and
also may have a lot of "information" about one, that can be used to
frame one, without it being true.
CEO Pay Is A
Massive Scam, This Chart Proves It
item is not an article but a video by The Young Turks:
This is a good and
popular item of 6 m 1 s, and it is dedicated to the supposed incredible
talents that are supposed (somehow) to justify the tens of millions
It is well worth seeing. The chart is in fact the following, that
displays the relation between compensation of CEOs and results of CEOs,
which was investigated by people only interested in the results and not
Which means that the result is: There is no relation between
compensation and results - it is random.
And yes: CEO pay is a scam, and most CEOs are not talented in
any major way at all, except perhaps as regards dishonesty and
deceiving, and greed for money and power (as was already noticed by
William Hazlitt: See his Corporate bodies).
For more, see item 1 and item 2.
 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.)
 I really owe this point to my marxist
parents. Especially my father did not want me to go to
university, because he held - with an IQ over 135 - that the skilled
workers, of which he was one, are the only ethical persons, as a group,
in the society he knew, and they should earn considerably more than
they got, simply because they made almost everything.
For him intellectuals and CEOs both were betrayers of the ideas of
equality of rights, and gobbled up much of the riches without any
decent justification, as most of their work amounted to little or
nothing - and I agree the vast majority turned out to be egoistic
betrayers of equal rights for all (also if they spoke in favor of it: still
they earned 5, 10, 15 times of those they said had "equal rights"
as they had).
Incidentally, while I mostly agree with my parents, I should also say
that their kind of worker is mostly a thing of the past in Europe or
the U.S.: The modern economy is supposed to be "a service economy"
(which I think is a very silly idea, but which has been
implemented: most people in Europe or the U.S. are
supposed "to service" others, while the work has been exported to the
poorer nations, since labor is much cheaper there).
And by "knowledge of economy" I mean you need to have read some great
economics and some introductory books used in its study in good
(In this sense I have knowledge of economy since a long time.)
"knowledge of politics" I mean you need to have read some great
historians and philosophers and some introductory books used in its
study in good
universities. (In this sense I have knowledge of politics since a long
(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: