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. Will an Emboldened Netanyahu
Lead Israel to National
2. Judge Orders US Government
to Stop Suppressing
Evidence of Torture and Abuse
3. Wild Bee Decline A Sign of
Europe's 'Ecological Disaster':
Secret CIA Video Showed Ronald Reagan How the
Soviets Viewed America
5. 10 Charts Which Show We Are
Much Worse Off Than Just
Before The Last Economic Crisis
This is a Nederlog of
March 22, 2015.
This is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about a piece by Max Blumenthal on Israel and Nethanyahu; item 2 is about an American judge who ordered the
release of photographs that (would) document the abuse by American
military; item 3 is about a considerable decline of
the wild bee species in Europe (and no more bees = no more food); item 4 is a historical item that quite amused
me: A video made by the CIA in 1985 for Reagan's information,
about the ideas the Russians (under Soviet rule) had about the U.S.:
interesting about propaganda
and item 5 is about a quite interesting
on Washington's blog about the great economic declines since 2008.
This also got uploaded a bit earlier than normal - and I also like to
point out that
item 5 is considerable support for
my own thesis that the West has been in crisis since 2008 and still is
- in fact, the West is considerably worse than it was in 2007. (You
should read the whole article. And all statistics in it are from
official U.S sources.)
an Emboldened Netanyahu Lead Israel to National Suicide?
item is an article by Max Blumenthal
(<- Wikipedia) on Truthdig (and originally on AlterNet):
This starts as follows:
There is also this:
Prime Minister Netanyahu propelled his Likud Party to victory over the
centrist Zionist Union in national elections this week with a vehement
rejection of a Palestinian state and warning of “buses full of Arabs”
inundating polling places. He understands that most Jewish Israelis do
not want to live beside an independent Palestinian state or next door
to a Palestinian. He is one of them, after all, and he shares their
sensibility. His last minute desperate appeal to racism was an Israeli
application of Alabama Governor George C. Wallace’s political rule: “I
will never be out-niggered again.”
By making Netanyahu the
longest serving prime minister in Israel’s
history, Jewish Israeli voters have chosen occupation, apartheid and
periodic bouts of warfare.
millions of Palestinians live under Israeli rule without the right to
vote or any legal rights at all. The war that left some 2,200 residents
of the Gaza Strip dead last summer and reduced nearly a quarter of the
besieged coastal enclave’s urban landscape to rubble was supported
by over 90 percent of the Jewish Israeli public, with 45 percent of
Israelis complaining that their army had not used enough force. This
was the Israel that rewarded Netanyahu with his fourth term.
And there is
considerably more under the last dotted link, including some background
information on Nethanyahu. Also, I do not know enough from
Israeli politics to pronounce confidently on Max Blumenthal's version
of if, but I dislike Nethanyahu, because he seems a hysteric, and I
also am an opponent of the bombing of Gaza. 
2. Judge Orders US Government to Stop
Suppressing Evidence of Torture and Abuse
item is an article by Sarah Lazare on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
A federal judge on Friday
ordered the U.S. government to release more than 2,000 photographs
showing abuse and torture of people detained by the American military
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The decision is the
latest development in a more than 10-year-long legal
battle, in which the American Civil Liberties Unions has argued
that disclosure of the records is critical for public debate and
Many of the concealed
photographs were taken by U.S. military service members and collected
during more than 200 military investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some could be on par with, or
worse than, those released from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
U.S. district judge Alvin
(pdf) that the government "is required to disclose each and all of the
photographs" in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from
the ACLU. In the order, Hellerstein argued that the government did not
adequately prove that "disclosure would endanger Americans."
The decision gives the
Solicitor General two months to decide whether to appeal.
Of course I agree
with the judge's decision, for these photographs are simply evidence
about what really happened - which is not at all what the U.S.
government likes to be known.
Here is the rest of
the article, that is brief and good:
The ACLU has pressed for
the release of records relating to torture and extrajudicial killings
of prisoners in U.S. custody around the world since 2003.
The administrations of
George W. Bush and Barack Obama have vigorously fought to keep these
photographs suppressed, and in 2009, the White House collaborated
with Congress to secretly change FOIA law to enable the concealment of
the images, arguing it is necessary to protect national security.
However, ACLU deputy
legal director Jameel Jaffer argued
in response to Friday's ruling, "To allow the government to suppress
any image that might provoke someone, somewhere, to violence would be
to give the government sweeping power to suppress evidence of its own
agents’ misconduct. Giving the government that kind of censorial power
would have implications far beyond this specific context."
"The photos are crucial
to the public record," Jaffer continued. "They’re the best evidence of
what took place in the military’s detention centers, and their
disclosure would help the public better understand the implications of
some of the Bush administration’s policies. And the Obama
administration’s rationale for suppressing the photos is both
illegitimate and dangerous."
Bee Decline A Sign of Europe's 'Ecological Disaster': Study
item is an article by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as
Nearly one in 10 European
wild bee species is facing the threat of extinction, according to the
first assessment of the continent's bee populations, published
As environmentalists have
bees and other pollinators are essential to the world's food supply,
farming system, and environment. However, both in Europe and the U.S.,
they have been threatened by industrial agriculture practices,
insecticides, and climate change, which causes more heavy rainfalls,
droughts, and heat waves that can harm bees and their access to food.
Bees are vital to food
production but are in decline in many parts of the world. There are
1,965 wild bee species in Europe and 9.2 percent of them are at risk of
extinction while another 5.2 percent are likely to be threatened in the
near future, according to the international study, funded by the
The International Union
for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also said its study showed that 57
percent of all European bee species, which include types of bumblebees,
honey bees and solitary bees, were so little known that it was
impossible to judge whether they were at risk or not.
The reason this is
here is that without bees - that is: without pollinators of
our crops - we're all dead. There is more in the article.
4. This Secret CIA Video Showed Ronald
Reagan How the Soviets Viewed America
item is an article by Dave Gilson on Mother Jones:
This starts as follows:
Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he became the first president to
receive Central Intelligence Agency briefings in video format. The CIA
produced more than 40 short informational videos for Reagan, ranging
from evening-newsy looks at topics like the Chernobyl nuclear accident (below) to profiles of foreign leaders.
I selected this because
it amused me considerably (if you are interested at all, you should
watch the video that takes 9 m 33 s: it is quite interesting) and also
because this does give considerable - implicit - information
and deception (once you realize that you are looking
at a film prepared by the CIA to inform the U.S. president in secret).
The CIA declassified and released several of the videos in 2013, including this look
at how the Soviet media portrayed the United States. It's worth a watch
as an '80s-tastic Cold War relic, featuring cameos by Michael Jackson
5. 10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off
Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis
The last item
today is an article by Michael Snyder on
Washington's Blog (with the original appearing on The Economic Collapse
This starts as follows:
If you believe
that ignorance is bliss, you might not want to read this article.
I am going to dispel the notion that there has been any sort of
“economic recovery”, and I am going to show that we are much worse off
than we were just prior to the last economic crisis. If you go
back to 2007, people were feeling really good about things.
Houses were being flipped like crazy, the stock market was booming and
unemployment was relatively low. But then the financial crisis of
2008 struck, and for a while it felt like the world was coming to an
end. Of course it didn’t come to an end – it was just the first
wave of our problems. The waves that come next are going to be
the ones that really wipe us out.
I say - but Michael
Snyder's charts are rather convincing. I will not
reproduce the charts (you can click on the last dotted link to see them
- and see below) but I will summarize the
argument, and select bits of it (there is considerably more text in the
did not copy the charts, but they are quite convincing because they all
do show large losses and also because they are all taken
from the U.S. official statistics.
#1 The National
Just prior to the last
recession, the U.S. national debt was a bit above 9 trillion
dollars. Since that time, it has nearly doubled.
#2 Total Debt
Over the past 40 years,
the total amount of debt in the United States has skyrocketed to
astronomical heights. We have become a “buy now, pay later”
society with devastating consequences. Back in 1975, our total
debt level was sitting at about 2.5 trillion dollars. Just prior
to the last recession, it was sitting at about 50 trillion dollars, and
today we are rapidly closing in on 60 trillion dollars.
#3 The Velocity
(...) the velocity of money
fell dramatically during the last recession (and) has (...) kept going
down since then (...)
#4 The Homeownership
rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen to a 20 year low
#5 The Employment
prior to the last recession, approximately 63 percent of the working
age population of the United States was employed. During the
recession, this ratio fell to below 59 percent and it stayed there for
several years. Just recently it has peeked back above 59 percent,
but we are still very, very far from where we used to be (...)
#6 The Labor Force
“labor force participation rate” has fallen substantially since the end
of the last recession…
#7 The Inactivity
Rate For Men In Their Prime Working Years
Just prior to the last
recession, the inactivity rate for men in their prime working years was
about 9 percent. Today it is just about 12 percent.
#8 Real Median
[This dropped, and there is
also this quite interesting information - MM:]
In America today, most
Americans do not make enough to support a middle class lifestyle on a
single salary. The following figures come directly from the
Social Security Administration…
-39 percent of American
workers make less than $20,000 a year.
-52 percent of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
-63 percent of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.
-72 percent of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.
cost of living just continues to rise steadily. For example, the
cost of food and beverages has gone up nearly 50 percent just since the
federal government is now spending about twice as much on food stamps
as it was just prior to the last recession.
And this really is an
article you should read all of.