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 7
is a Nederlog of Saturday July 4, 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.
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 7 articles (with links and authors etc. but with very
little comments); item 3
is a link to Part 7 of the interview of Robert Scheer by Paul Jay and
is being reviewed by me (I like Scheer and The Real News); and item 4 is a brief conclusion
that - again - explains why I cannot upload at present. (I hope this
will be undone - made OK again - between July
6 and July 13.)
1. 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. It probably will be done in the week starting July 6, but I am
granting my providers the ability to work, and indeed it should get a
bit less hot as well.)
There is some more text explaining this from July
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. 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.
Here are the first seven articles: Titles + links + author(s) +
This is by Helena Smith,
John Hooper, John Henley and Larry Elliott on The Guardian.
This is by Giles Fraser on
This is by Robert Reich on
This is by Jon Queally on
This is by Andrea Germanos
on Common Dreams.
This is by Deborah James on
This is by Peter Müller and
René Pfister on Spiegel On Line.
There is one article that I will review. This is by Jenna Berbeo on Truthdig:
I have stated several
times why I do comment on this series. In case you are interested, look
Having said that, I jump straight into Part 7, and start right
at the beginning, with the following summary:
In part seven of
The Real News Network’s show “Reality Asserts Itself,” Truthdig
Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and TRNN’s Senior Editor Paul Jay discuss
the minute differences between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the
demonization of Republicans and what will happen to Social Security.
This not only gives a
summary of this part, but it also states who are the interviewer and
the interviewee (Jay and Scheer) and who produced it
(The Real News Network).
This is right from the beginning:
JAY: We’re just
going to pick up where we were. 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.
I agree - but this also
means that for at least 25 years now the majority of the
American people (or at least: of those who voted in presidential
elections) have been quite successfully deceived by the
relations their eager leaders-to-be
spread over their television screens to seek their own
And indeed I think that is true. But Robert Scheer somewhat disagrees,
it seems, for he says:
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. We’re getting that a lot now.
Well...yes and no. Yes,
both parties do this. But no, what Scheer seems to miss is that anybody
who does this, whether a Democrat or a Republican, has lost the
distinction between ideology and science or philosophy;
has lost the perception that what he or she gets fed
is almost only propaganda;
and does not see that he or she himself is speaking and
thinking like the propagandists
for his or her party wants him or her to speak and think .
Also, this style of speaking - tearing down the leaders of the
other party as evil idiots - is the dominant mode in either
are the normal modes of speech in American politics. (This was
always the case, but is a whole lot worse since propaganda + public
relations took over politics,
and since cleverly placed advertisements can decide an election, indeed
very possibly regardless of its truth and decency.)
Then there is this by Robert Scheer:
SCHEER: (...) It’s
a game, OK? Because fact is, no one’s going to destroy Social Security.
Social Security is a very good way of keeping the lid on mass
discontent. Before we had solid Medicare, Social Security, people
getting older were a burden on all these families. They were—it’s a
crisis. We’ve now institutionalized that concern, OK? That frees up
younger people. Everybody knows that. You try to move against that,
you’re moving against the most successful social program we’ve had. And
same thing is going to happen with Obamacare. It’s being accepted. It’s
institutionalized. The Republicans get in, they’ll try to make someliterally noise about it, but basically most of it
works. It’s not radical.
I don't know. I agree it
is all a game,
and I agree the game is done with lots of propaganda, lies, exaggerations, deceptions, falsified information
etc. but I have seen so much that I consider plain horrible or plain
gross immoralities pushed through by the Obama government (often also
in secret), that also insists on surveilling everyone's privacy
on the off chance (the pretext) "that he or she may be a
terrorist", that I really see no reason to believe Social
Security and Medicare may not get scrapped, even though I agree
this would be very stupid.
Robert Scheer also makes a sort of confession:
SCHEER: (...) 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. You know, here, you have it.
OK, that's fair enough.
Here is some more:
SCHEER: You know,
I don’t know where to begin, OK, because I understand how seductive
that argument is and I have accepted that argument much of my life. I’m
not going to be a hypocrite here. (...) 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.
I'd say that this at
least suggests either that Robert Scheer thinks he has been
tricked by the propaganda
from both parties "much of [his] life" or else that
something new has been happening, the last 15 to 35 years, or
both. My guess is both are true, but mostly indeed something
new has been happening the last 15 to 35 years (as indeed is also true, I
There is also this, which I agree a lot less on:
SCHEER: Let me
just say, if we look at what happened during the last 50 years, these
crazy Republicans, the ones that were described as crazy and
extreme—Richard Nixon—actually ended up having a foreign policy that
was no worse than the Democrats and in certain ways better. Richard
Nixon did not start the war in Vietnam and did not provide the main
escalation, which was the bombing of North Vietnam and carpet bombing,
Agent Orange, killing all these people. It’s true, he expanded it to
Yes, but he also
committed treason by upsetting the peace talks in Paris, leading to
years of more war, and indeed to his election. And besides: while I agree
signed some good laws, these were not only nor predominantly his
work or initiative.
Next, I excerpt this from a much longer discussion:
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. (..)
Yes, but what is "careerism"?
This is from my Philosophical Dictionary:
Careerism: The subordination of personal
values, personality, honesty, integrity and human decency for the
personal benefits and profits of rising high and earning much in any bureaucratic
institution as a reliable conformist in
Although it is widely
denied by careerists, the above is both the norm and the common
practice in virtually every human institution:
All ordinary men
seem quite capable, as it were by empathizing with their role (and its
future expected benefits if played up to standard), to replace
themselves in a socially contrived reality, that in
fact is mostly fictional,
but which is shared by others who play roles in the same
group, and who all together
keep up the pretense that their game is reality itself (from 9 to 5, or
whatever the office hours may be), and who thereby succeed, also as in
ordinary children's games,
to really have - or to mock-"really" have: it depends - the
kind of feelings, desires and beliefs that are appropriate to the bureaucratic
specifications of their role in the
The better on is able to
do this, the better one's chances on a successful social career, and
the higher one's income.
That is what I think, and
this is also why I do not (and never did) trust
politicians nor bureaucrats:
They seem fundamentally flawed human beings to me - but yes, alas it is
also true that the present Western societies are being
led and being run by people who are careerists, like
being careerists, are proud of being careerists - and have no
norm, no moral principle, other than their own
advantage. (And incidentally: one reason is that this is also the easiest
Indeed, I don't know whether Robert Scheer agrees with me, for he also
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.
I agree with both points:
There are no "statesmen or
stateswomen in the old-fashioned sense of people with a longer-run view", with a very few exceptions like Sanders,
Warren and Grayson, and the main reason is that for almost everyone in
or the bureaucracy,
it is both the simplest and the
mostly accepted option that all that is required of one to be a
success is that one lies
("For Our Great Party!") to further one's own income, status
Here is the last bit I will quote:
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. It’s not something I invented.
It’s something that our founders talked about, right? (...)
Well...yes and no:
First the yes: I agree that what is much needed is an "American
people" that intelligently discusses big questions and that is also
very skeptical about "those
in power no matter which party".
Unfortnately, I see little evidence that more than a small part
of the "American
people" (60% of whom are so intelligent and so well informed that they
support the litertal truth of Noah's Ark story, I'm told) is capable
of doing this.
The large majority, educated or not, intelligent or not, informed or
not, will mostly side with propaganda,
also in part because this is by far the easiest and
safest thing one can do, and they mostly don't see the propaganda of
their own party as propaganda: they think it is true and reasonable and
Then my no. I agree with Robert Scheer that all the advantages he
sketches that are in the American Constitution are there in part
because one cannot trust those in power, whoever
they are, however excellent their moral character, if only because the
powers successful politicians acquite are enormous, and far
greater than almost anyone else has.
But I really fundamentally disagree that not trusting those in power - very
important as this is - is (and bolding was added) "the whole reason we have freedom of
press, freedom of assembly, that they can’t invade our houses."
O no! It is also because freedom of the press,
freedom of assembly, privacy and freedom in one's own house, the
freedom to speak one's thoughts without sanction, and the freedoms and
rights given by the Bill of Rights are in themselves good things
that any thinking human being wants and should want for himself and for
Also, this is not something relative:
Freedoms and rights, and laws and legal procedures that guarantee these
are kept, for everyone and not just for the rich,
or the politicians, or their bureaucrats, are extremely
important, for once these
start disappearing, or start being qualified by "rights of governments"
spy on everyone), the dangers of dictatorship loom large, for most
are dictatorships by very few that are checked
and balanced by the powers of the people and the courts, and without
being thus balanced will soon be in fact, if not in name, dictatorships
by the very few in government.
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
which I tend not to cope well with.
 As an aside: This is also why there is a whole lot
less quotation in Nederlog of The Young Turks, which I liked rather a
lot as a set of progressives presenting their own news from 2009-2013.
But since then they have developed into a progressive propaganda
machine, with great lots of stuff on how bad this one is, and how crazy
that one is, how insane those are and so on and so forth. I find that thoroughly
uninteresting, even if it were all literally true (which it
isn't): In a country of over 300 million people there are bound to be a
lot of idiots, and I do not need ten reminders on what they did
and said each and every day. (But: The Young Turks still are popular.
It's mostly that I don't like propa-
ganda or sensation, while most do.)