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 there are no uploads
on my site
since June 29
(links, mostly without reviews)
3. Review of Jay&Scheer 6
is a Nederlog of Thursday July 2, 2015. It is mostly like yesterday's
NL, and (also) cannot be uploaded today:
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.
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
selecting articles from sites, and upload the links, as in item 2 below, but I will not review them, or only a
small selection, simply because this saves time and saves health, and
for the moment I have little of either.
Here are the items for today: item 1 is a brief
statement on why there are no uploads to my site; item 2
consists of 8 articles (with links and authors etc. but with very
little comments) plus 4 links to videos I found interesting; item 3 is my excerpt + comments of the sixth part of
the interview that Paul Jay, from The Real News Network, made with
Robert Scheer; and item 4 is a brief conclusion
that - again - explains why I cannot upload at present.
1. Why there are no uploads on my site since
June 29, 2015
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)
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
how long this will last (passwords, extremely slow help from providers,
bad health, tropical temperatures, other work I must do etc. etc.)
There is some more text explaining this yesterday.
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, I am afraid - succeed.
- Until then I will continue
Nederlog (without uploading, until I can, again) but while I will keep
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.
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
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 another such a day, for I found eight articles, and
also found four videos, that are all a bit older to rather old,
but that I think are particularly clear or interesting.
Here are the articles: Titles + links + author(s) + site:
- History Interupted: Welcome to the 1970s
This is by
David Michael Green (a professor of sociology) and is interesting
because it tells the story of what has happened, with
what most American progressives of 1970 expected to happen
(which was quite different).
And here are the videos, with
some brief comments:
- Noam Chomsky - On Being Truly Educated
This is a
brief video in which Noam Chomsky explains what it is
to be truly educated. I agree, and would say I am truly educated
since 25 (basically because by then I had read a great lot of science,
philosophy of science and mathematical logic, all on my own initiative)
- but the sad thing is that few are really educated, and this
with an academic diploma. (They may know a lot about a little, but most
are not independently thinking individuals.)
- Oliver Stone: Snowden Is a Hero; Obama Is a
This is the
first of two older interviews (from 2013 or 2012) with Oliver Stone by
Abby Martin. They are here basically because Oliver Stone speaks quite
clearly, and - I think - quite correctly.
- Oliver Stone: Obama a Wolf in Sheep's
- The World At War 1973(World War II
Documentary) Episode 1 A New Germany(1933-1939)
This I owe to Oliver Stone, who said this was a good series. It is and
it is available on Youtube, and I saw three parts of it, so far, and
what I saw (if you can look upon the murder of some 40 millions in
six years as "likeable" - but I am referring to the films
rather than the
of Jay&Scheer 6
The next item today is an
article by Jenna Berbeo 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 five parts of this series. Part 5 was done yesterday and is here.
Also, two other reasons to review this are that I think this
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 in part because he is 79 (although he looks a lot
younger), and he knows a whole lot.
I will jump in without more introductions. This is from the beginning
and I start with Paul Jay, who makes an interesting point:
JAY: It would be
in the interest of global capitalism to have more rational banking
regulations as they introduced in the 1930s. It would be in the
interest of global capitalism to deal with the threat of catastrophic
climate change. It would be in the interest of any rationality not to
let fossil fuel and the arms industry so dominate U.S. foreign policy,
particularly in the Middle East (...)
Yes, indeed. But this serves
as a reminder of the following points: (1) on the level of public
rational pro-capitalist policies, there hardly
are any, as Jay explains; (2) there may be some on the level of
secret Bilderberg conferences and such, but it doesn't seem to be very
effective, and it isn't published; so (3) it seems most economic
activities - that are essentially decisions to invest (or withhold)
capital - are done by the chairmen (mostly males) of big corpo-
rations, and are made to increase their own profits, without
any rational coordinated plan, other than (4) he continued propaganda
in the main media, that do not amount to any rational plan to
try to save or indeed regulate corporate capitalism.
Also, (5) this is really serious, because while the corporate
capitalists have won and won a whole lot since 1979-1980, their own
main tool of deregulation also
seems to have deregulated their own capacities to do
the controls that might help
continue their own rule (which is serious, not
because I like them, but because
they risk ruining the whole economy and the natural environment).
Robert Scheer agrees:
SCHEER: No, I
think even in those circles there’s an awareness that we’re not doing
very well, and there are reminders that we’re not doing well. You know,
our economy is stagnant. We’re up against some real problems in terms
of our future. Income inequality is one. You don’t have to be some wild
lefty liberal to see that. I mean, the whole foundation of our country
was always on a stable middle class and an expanding middle class,
opportunity, equal playing field. I’m not saying that was the reality,
but that was always the expectation. (...) And we have been forced over
the last couple of decades to recognize that no, it’s going alarmingly
in a different direction.
But - again - relatively
few are doing much to stop the direction the U.S.A. is going, which is
- in the none too far future - that of a poor country, with little
industry, because there are other countries where labor costs are a lot
lower, and since the laws have all been deregulated, capital is flowing out
of the country, and gets invested in the third world and China, much
rather than in the U.S.A.: it is more profitable to the rich
owners of capital.
Here are Jay and Scheer on one cause of this:
JAY: I would probably think most of the elite know
it’s in trouble. They’re just going to cash in on it, and it’s going to
be someone else’s problem to do something about it.
I also note that Scheer
has interviewed and travelled with the presidents of the U.S.A. since
Nixon, and knows them personally. And I agree, although I add that
SCHEER: Okay. You’re putting
your finger on something that I feel is very critical.
And if I were to try to
explain, the big shift that I’ve seen is long-term as opposed to
short-term, that most of the people I had interviewed in the first
stage of my career, say somewhere up until 1970, were people that at
least were concerned what their grandchildren might think.
I think what happened is we
went into this madcap period of short-term greed.
there are two reasons for this: (i) there doesn't seem to be any
capitalist agenda, while (ii) the main media have put it out - and propagandized
this for many years now - that greed is good, and that those
who don't make it economically get what they deserve, and they
deserve no help from those who did better.
that’s really what my book is about, because you had sensible rules of
the road that came out of the New Deal, and there was a recognition,
because of the Great Depression, that you just can’t have this madcap,
crazy, Gilded Age society. Again I overuse this concept of adults
watching the store (...) And you lost that. You got people coming out
of the law schools and the business schools that were shysters. You
know, they just wanted some hustle, some scam. That’s how you got into
credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations.
Yes, I think that is
correct: (1) there are no more overarching pro-capitalist rules
or principles (as there were in the 1950ies and 1960ies), while (2)
there is a whole lot of propaganda
that greed is good, and somebody who isn't rich is a fool
and a sponger , which succeeded in (3)
getting greedy, immoral people in both political power and economic
power, and indeed (4) because these types are only moved by
their own profits, it is like delivering the whole
machinery of economics and politics in the hands of a greedy bunch of
fools who only are interested in maximizing their own profits.
And here is more on how this enormous schema of theft and corruption
got legalized, and who legalized it:
SCHEER: You know.
I mean, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Bill Clinton
signed off as a lame duck president in 2000, after it was already—you
know, the election was over, he was now a lame duck, and he signed this
bill. What was the purpose of it? It was to make all of this garbage
legal. It said—I think it was Section 3 of the Commodity Futures
Modernization Act—a Republican-Democratic bipartisan bill—said no
existing law or regulatory agency will have jurisdiction over credit
default swaps or collateralized debt obligations or any of these new
financial mechanisms. Why? Because they said this is modern. (...)
Quite so. And it was all
done very intentionally by Bill Clinton: These were the real "Third Way" policies
he was pushing, witn enthusiastic help by Tony Blair:
Right? Legal certainty
meant no one’s going to look at it, no one’s going to challenge it, no
one’s going to set any standards, no existing regulatory agency or law
will apply. So it was a license to steal.
It was the "legal" license to steal for the greediest types; and it
also was the license for them - Clinton and Blair - to get to be
multi-millionaires; and fuck the remaining 99% (for they are too stupid
to see through the propaganda
Here is another sum-up by Robert Scheer:
SCHEER: And it’s
nothing more than the mafia doing a scam, only you have passed laws
that say that’s all legal, that’s all legal.
Now, you’re absolutely right. You wouldn’t do that if you were worried
about how even you would appear to your grandchildren. Okay? People
looking back now know these people were crooks, whether they went
to—they didn’t go to jail, ‘cause they they get the law passed to make
it that it’s not a crime to defraud people. It’s legal.
Well... yes and no: Yes,
I agree, it all was and is a scam that was legalized by Clinton (and
later by others, for this has been going on all these 15 years since
Clinton signed these scamming bills), but no, I think it is worse.
For it seems to me that the few who do and did get exceedingly rich - Dick Fuld, for one example: a
psychopath still worth 500 million dollars - know very well
that what most of the population looks at are the winners,
while their methods soon will be mostly forgotten past history,
and anyway are hardly discussed, precisely because they have been made
Also, I should say here, for the benefit of my readers, that I have
known since a very long time that, in a phrase: "Legal" is not "Moral". That is, what gets to be a law,
that will be defended by the government, the bureaucracies, the
police, the military, and the secret services, may very well be
a deeply immoral set of rules, that have been
explicitly designed to scam and to plunder the many, much
rather than "to serve and protect" the majority of the people.
Besides, there is also this complication:
JAY: But it’s not, like,
that it’s just a bad group of people happened to get into power. And
I’m not suggesting you’re suggesting that.
SCHEER: No, it’s the best
and the brightest that Halberstam wrote about in Vietnam. These are
very well educated people who know what they’re doing and, I believe,
have to know it’s going to destroy the lives of millions of people, and
they go ahead and do it. It’s just like—.
JAY: Yeah, ‘cause they
say if it ain’t me doing it, it’s going to be him doing it, or her.
SCHEER: Whatever their
rationalizations, they surround themselves with lawyers and PR people
who tell them this is all wonderful, and they get away with it.
Yes indeed. And there
are two additional relevant considerations.
First, while I agree
with Robert Scheer that on one level the economic elite knows very
well they are massively enriching themselves by means that should
be - and have been for a long time - illegal, but now
are "legal", and that will destroy the lives of many millions
of people, I also think that for the most part these consequences are
"put on the back-burner", so to speak, for a later day:
At present, the rich are profiting enormously, and are mostly
interested in their
short term profits (which also are enormous) and
disregard most of the rest.
Second, Paul Jay is quite right that this is the excuse: " if it ain’t me doing it, it’s going to be
him doing it, or her". One
point - that has been clear to me for more
than 45 years - is that this is THE excuse of the weapons dealer or the
drugs dealer, and in fact it amounts to this: "if others are to
be prevented from making large profits, I will do so before
they get the chance", regardless of any morality. It is greed,
and greed only, as the ultimate standard for what is right
and what is wrong.
Next, there is this,
on the power of money:
True. And what is
especially demoralizing is that it doesn't take much to fundamentally
corrupt the great majority. Most men value money more than morals, for
once you have money you can buy most men.
SCHEER: Well, but also
the question you should ask is why aren’t they being observed in doing
this. And the reason is because they can buy off everyone.
JAY: Especially the media.
SCHEER: The media, but
the universities, the grants of—you know, build buildings at
universities. Come on.
Then there is this, and this is the last bit I quote from this part:
But it’s not just
the media. I mean, I don’t want to exonerate the media, but you—you
know, in the day of the internet, you should have more critical voices
Yes, indeed. I have two
Now, most of this stuff is
not all that difficult to figure out. So then you have to ask yourself
the question, why didn’t you figure it out? I mean, why didn’t the
media—in my book I describe how The New York Times was a cheerleader
for this radical deregulation. They used words like modernization. They
said long overdue. Now, why? You know, because they were living in a
culture and benefiting from a culture that was benefiting from the
ripoff. These are the people who advertise. These are the people who
invest in your venture, in your media. These are the people who buy
chairs at the schools where you’re teaching. These are people who
support the charities or political causes that you happen to agree
with. There is a culture of corruption (...).
First, I agree that "n the day of the internet, you should have more critical
voices". And I have been quite closely following the news on the
crisis and on universal spying on everyone, and the general conclusion
I draw is that there are few persons like my own direct family (for my
grandfather was murdered in a German concentration camp as a political
prisoner, my father survived more than 3
years and 9 months of German concentration camp as a political prisoner;
while I myself was thrown out of the University of Amsterdam and was denied
the right to take my M.A. in philosophy because I was not a
communist, and said - completely
correctly, and rather politely - as an invited speaker that my
teachers were lazy incompetents. In thanks, I was removed as a
"fascist terrorist". To my knowledge no other student has been
removed for saying his honest opinion, that also was completely true,
from any Dutch university, since WW II. None. )
Second, I also agree with Robert Scheer on the more general
He and I live in a time of gigantic personal corruption, where
most are either rich and corrupt and are dishonestly enriching
themselves further or else are not rich but are willing to collaborate
with the rich, while saying nothing in criticism of the rich.
And this enormous personal corruption has been manufactured
intentionally by the rich and by the leading politicians; it has
been picked up and spread with great plaudits by the main media; it is
basically very simple: "The Rich Are Good; The Poor Are Scum; Everybody
Who Works Will Get Rich", which are all total lies, but which
also are widely believed and propagandized; and in the end few
protest, and indeed few dare to protest, for the government knows
everything anyone does.
Finally, to end this item: I think this was again quite interesting,
and there are four more parts in this series to come.
Since I can't upload this today, 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 since
June 30, 2015, 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 has started a period with tropical temperatures in Amsterdam,
which I tend not to cope well with.
I have been hearing this now, also in Holland, also by leading
politicians, for something ike 15 years now. Lately, there was an
asshole who is minister who claimed, in public, that people like me are
"slimy bits of shit" ("labbekakken") because we are not leading
politicians or local rich folks. The man is an utter moral degenerate -
but he was covered by his ministerial mates.
You may disagree, but you should remember that (i) there were only 3000
persons in Holland who went into the real resistance, and that both of
my parents and my father's father belonged to that - properly
considered - tiny group, and (ii) there were some 10,000(s) more who
risked their lives hiding Jews or making and spreading resistance
papers, but also that (iii) 25,000 Dutchmen volunteered for the
Waffen-SS (and were mostly killed in Russia), and (iv) the whole Dutch
Supreme Court and nearly all judges, and nearly all policemen collaborated
with the Nazis, while (v) in Holland more than 100,000 Jews were
rounded up and gassed, mostly because they were poor, for
(vi) so many could be so easily picked up because Abraham Asscher and
David Cohen, who presided over the Jewish Council had asked them - on
instigation of the SS - to register as Jews, which
wasn't done before the war, but which most did, when asked by "their
own Jewish Leaders", while (vii) both Asscher and Cohen survived the
war, and did not even have to appear in court.
Incidentally (vi) is the reason why so many Dutch Jews were
murdered (much more than elsewhere in Nazi-occupied countries),
but these things are rarely discussed in Holland, in part
because the straight descendants of Asscher and Cohen are again
very prominent in the present Dutch politics. They also pose as "social
democrats" (of the Clinton-variety, but that they don't say) and are
still extremely rich. And most Dutchmen know very little history, and
also are quite
prepared "to forgive" their corrupt leaders, and "to
forget" the many crimes they committed.