July 1, 2015
Why there are NO uploads on my site + Crisis materials + Jay&Scheer part 5
  "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


1. Why there are no uploads on my site since June 29
2. Crisis materials (links, mostly without reviews)
3. Review of Jay&Scheer 5
4. Conclusion

This is a Nederlog of Wednesday July 1, 2015.

This is not a normal crisis file or Nederlog because while I can write it, I can't upload it, and this also may take some days to sort out.

I explain this in a little more detail in item 1. I decided to keep finding and linking crisis materials, which follow in item 2, but I also decided to comment
far fewer than I did before (see item 1), because I also need time. Then again
I did comment on one item, namely parts 5 of the interview Paul Jay did
on The Real News with Robert Scheer, and you'll find this (eventually, when
I succeed in uploading) as item 3. Item 4 is a list of conclusions for today.

Indeed I also plan to continue the present schema until after I can upload again, that is - since I do read the about 40 sites I read every day for NL - I will keep
selecting articles from sites, and upload the links, as in item 2 below, but I will not review them, or only a selection, simply because this saves time and saves
health, and for the moment I have little of either.
1. Why there are no uploads on my site since June 29, 2015

The first item today is an explanation of its title: Why there are no uploads on my site since June 29, 2015.

The basic reason is this: The programs I use for uploading the sites, which happens with FTP (<-Wikipedia) stopped suddenly and unaccountably on June
29, and since then I have not been able to start them again.

I don't think it is a fault with the computer; it may be a fault in Ubuntu though this is less likely; and all I do know on the moment is that the two programs I
use on Ubuntu to get FTP-uploading to my sites done, that worked quite well for over three years, stopped working and refuse to start.

I will have to sort this out, and eventually I will, but I do not know how long this will last (passwords, extremely slow help from providers, bad health, tropical temperatures, other work I must do etc. etc.)

There are also two additional reasons why this may take some time to sort out:

The first is that my health has been no good for some two months now, which
seriously limits what I can do, while it also is going to be tropically warm the coming days, which I don't like and is bad for my health, and I also have to do some other things - unrelated to computing - that will take time and energy this month.

The second is the more general issue that I have been following the crisis now
for over two years - since June 10, 2013 - and I do not know whether I want to continue it.

My basic reasons for that are that doing it as I did - basically: reading 40 sites every day; selecting articles; presenting the articles and reviewing them - takes a lot of time and trouble. I do not know whether I want to go on with that, in
part also because I have reached some general and quite pessimistic conclusions.

Indeed, this reason has been playing around for quite a while. I still don't know what I will do, althiough Nederlog will certainly continue. But there is one thing that I can do as long as I merely link interesting articles about the crisis, and do not review them (which takes the most time): I can write some longer file or files with my pessimistic conclusions about the crisis, and will.

Here is the summary:
  • I can't upload on the moment, and will try to sort this out the coming days or week, which will eventually succeed.
  • Until then I will continue Nederlog (without uploading, until I can, again) but while I will keep listing crisis-related articles I will only review a few of them, because this is easier and I have to do other things as well.
  • I will also try to write out some of my general conclusions about the crisis.

2. Crisis materials (links, mostly without reviews)

The next item today is a list of articles with links. As I said in the previous item,
I will keep looking every morning at around 40 sites and collect interesting articles, but for the moment I will not review most of them: I merely list them.

This has two advantages: Less work for me, but possibly more articles for my readers. Indeed today is such a day, for I found ten articles.

Here they are: Titles + links + author(s) + site:

This is by Ian Traynor and Jennifer Rankin on The Guardian.

3. Review of Jay&Scheer 5

The next item today is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
I will review this and start with saying why: I like Robert Scheer; he is one of the most important journalists in the U.S.A.; and I have reviewed the first four parts of this series. Indeed, part 4 was reviewed here, and part 5, for which originally there was no text, was summarized here.

Also, two other reasons to review this are that I think this series of interviews is
a bit more important than merely daily news, in part because Scheer also is invited to think and speak about general themes, and gets a fair amount of space
to do so, and because he is 79 (although he looks a lot younger).

This is from the beginning:
PAUL JAY: (...) Certainly Ronald Reagan’s presidency ushered in this new phase of what people call neoliberalism and such, but it was Bill Clinton—and you just mentioned—really helped regulate or deregulate and create much of the bubble. And you can see it all happening again. When Bill was elected, it was very Obama-esque. You know, it was a change that people could believe in. Now the whole same kind of sections of the elite are now all ready to inaugurate Hillary.
Yes, indeed and this is also a very important themes: The presidential elections in the U.S. are both faught and decided by propaganda and lies, and not by real information and (mostly) honest politicians. Also, this started mostly in the early
seventies and late sixties, under Johnson and Nixon, and took great flight after
it, starting with Reagan, and continued with Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton.

And Paul Jay is also quite correct in seeing the parallelisms between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama: Both were elected because they deceived the people who chose for them, for in either case what they were promised was change and policies the people understood and agreed to, while what they delivered was merely continuance of the existing policies most people did not agree to, but
wrapped up in carefully planned pieces of populist presidential propaganda.

Finally, Paul Jay is also right in implying that fundamentally Bill Clinton was a great liar and deceiver, who sold out whatever was leftist in his policies, and replaced this by the propaganda and utter lies of the "Third Way", that effectively denied | any other social system than a deregulated capitalist one, that strongly favoured the 1% of the richest, and delivered this fundamentally by ceasing to be leftist, progressive and liberal, and turning rightist, conservative and anti- democratic under the pretense that this is what the people and the leftists needed and wanted. It was all a well prepared system of lies, but it worked, and it made the main quasi-leftist perpetrators, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, proud multi-millionaires. (They succeeded, and succeeded very well.)

Here is Robert Scheer, making a fundamental point:
SCHEER: Yeah. Well, one of the problems that I find with my friends, people I like to have dinner with and have known, is that it’s very easy for them to demonize what they consider to be the far greater evil of the other side. And I’m sure it comes back the same way. If you’re a fairly reasonable Republican, you think, wow, these Democrats, they’re going to bring about communism and they’re going to destroy individual freedom, and they’re just horrible, which is not, of course, true. It had never been true and it’s garbage. They’re just like you, and they’ve gone to the same schools, and they have very similar thoughts, and they can be bought off in the same way. And so Democrats do the same thing about the Republicans.
Yes, but I think the problem is more serious: These people have basically accepted the propaganda they are fed by their side as if it is the truth - which
it isn't, for it is propaganda, but they don't really see this, most of the time.

And the reason this is more serious is basically that most people mistake propaganda and truth because the main media have turned the last 15 years
to writing and speaking propaganda (hyperboles, large exaggerations, plain
falsities, subtle misdirections, gross re-definitions) much rather than even
merely attempting to find the truth or prick through the propaganda.

Scheer also makes an honest confession:
SCHEER: (...) And what’s lost in this game of terrorizing people—and Ralph Nader understands this as well as anyone. And if you want to ever ask me what I did wrong in life, one of the stupid things I did was have a debate with Ralph Nader on a Nation magazine cruise in which I was celebrating Obama and this new progress. I drank the Kool-Aid. And Ralph Nader was saying, nonsense; they’re going to give you the same old crap is the other guys do, ‘cause they own both parties. And he was right and I was wrong.
Yes, that seems to me to be quite true and quite honest - and please mind this is about 2008 (when Scheer was ca. 72).

Here is some more:
SCHEER: (...) And all my life I’ve voted for—I voted for Dianne Feinstein. I think she’s been a horror. You know, I voted for Clinton. I went to a White House dinner at Bill Clinton’s invitation, and Hillary Clinton said I was her favorite correspondent—or favorite columnist in the world. You know, I wrote nice things about the Clintons, as well as critical things. And I understand how seductive this argument is that those Republicans are really bad, dangerous people, and on the other hand, folks that we hang around with or support, they may not be the greatest, but at least they’re sane.
And here is another thing on the subject of propaganda (which has become very much more important the last 35 years) and politicians:
SCHEER: (...) And Nixon, being a politician above everything else—that’s what we forget, being a careerist, which is what all of these people really are. You know, they’re politicians. (...)
I've lifted this out of a lot more because I think this is a quite important point:

Leading politicians are not ordinary men, and they are subtly different in being
far more careerist, far less honest, far more manipulative, and doing things, at least in so far as the electorate is concerned at least, by deception, fraud, misdirection and (generally intentionally false) redefinitions of terms, situations, principles and facts.

Also, this is true of all leading politicians, left, right and center: What you see, if you see one, is a propagandist deceiver, whose words you cannot trust, because he or she got where they are by being the most successful liars, deceivers and pretenders their parties could find.

And this was different until about 30 years ago, not because the politicians were
any better, but basically because there was a lot less propaganda then, and there
also was a still competent press that wanted to report the facts rather than the
propaganda of the politicians or governments.

And this had - among many other important consequences - the following effect:
SCHEER: What I’m talking about is: what is the core ideology of any of these people? The core ideology of any of them is opportunism. It’s their career, their advancement, their short-term gain, their sense of how they can move ahead. We do not have statesmen or stateswomen in the old-fashioned sense of people with a longer-run view.
For they are all lying, and they are lying fundamentally (1) because this pays and makes them more powerful, and (2) because most of the free press ceased to be a free press.

Here is another point relating to this:
SCHEER: The American people have got to rise to the responsibility of citizenship and ask themselves, do I want to really build another carrier or do I want to engage in drone warfare, do I want to have cyber war that’s going to drive—do I want to do this surveillance state and spy on everybody in the world and make that a way of life? There are a lot of big questions about how we use our resources and how we are governed and elite and so forth. And that requires a movement that’s based on skepticism of those in power no matter which party. That’s the assumption of the American experiment. That’s the whole reason we have freedom of press, freedom of assembly, that they can’t invade our houses. That’s why we have the Bill of Rights, that’s why we have separation of powers, that’s why we have checks and balances, because we assume people are corrupted by power.
Yes, I agree - but (1) "the American people" just doesn't have the knowledge and the education to see through the propaganda they are fed by all political directions
and (2) I believe "
freedom of press, freedom of assembly, that they can’t invade our houses" and "the Bill of Rights" and - especially! - "separation of powers" have been mostly neutralized and done away with by the goverments and the leading politicians: They mostly exist because they are good propaganda for politicians, but the politicians themselves know that these are not the real rules
they play by: it are merely the stuff the electorate likes to hear, and that gets them elected.

You may disagree, but: "freedom of the press" has been mostly given up by the mass media, and got replaced by something much cheaper, easier and more emotional: propaganda; "
freedom of assembly" still exists but (i) is difficult if you are black or have a mexican background, and also (ii) is hardly effective
because it is no more reported, unless tens of thousands get in the street; "
that they can’t invade our houses" has in practice been turned totally around: the government (and big corporations) now knows absolutely everything about you, indeed quite as if they are masters and the people are slaves, and insists they have the right and the duty, as state terrorists, supposedly because of the - utterly false - "terrorism" (which is no real danger to the U.S., Canada, Australia etc.); "the Bill of Rights" still exists formally but in practice gets undercut by - secret - redefinitions of key terms, by legal actions ("Citizens United"!), and by political lack of interests; and indeed the whole concept of "separation of powers" has been totally done away with: the U.S. government for a good part exists of former bankmanagers (of Goldman Sachs, especially) who turned politicians for a while to further deregulate, after which they return through the revolving doors to their banks to make tens of millions a year for themselves (and then they may return again as politicians etc.)

So I look upon this in a considerably less optimistic way than Robert Scheer does.

Of course, I may be mistaken, and even if I am not, it may - eventually - not work out as bad as I think it may work out (say - for example - if there is no next crisis and Bernie Sanders gets elected), but as is, I think the big corporate managers have won, and are running both the government and the political parties, and have most of the powers they want, and also have billions and billions of dollars to buy, corrupt or influence whatever they do not already rule.

And about the only countervailing forces I can see are the remnants of the free press (such as: Truthdig, Common Dreams, Mother Jones, The Intercept, Truth-out, Consortiumnews, The Guardian); a minority of journalists; some public intellectuals; and a minority of the electorate, most of whom are more intelligent  and better educated than the majorities who elect the propagandistic bank- managers-turned-politicians who rule the U.S. since the turn of the century.

4. Conclusion

Originally I intended to do part 6 of the interview by Paul Jay of Robert Scheer here as well, but since this is long enough as it is, I will leave that till tomorrow
or the day after.

Also, since I can't upload this, and I don't yet know how long that will last, there is also this: I will try to keep up writing Nederlogs for later publication, that depends on my being able to upload them, but they probably will be briefer.

For as I said, while the main reason that you cannot read this on July 1, 2015, when this was written, is that I can't upload, it is also a fact that I need to do
quite a few other things than computing, while my health is currently - and since 2 months - worse than it was since 2012, and also there seems to starts a period with tropical temperatures in Amsterdam, which I tend not to cope well with.


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