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."
Persecution of Julian Assange
Krugman: China's Leaders Have No Idea What They
This is a Nederlog of Saturday August 1, 2015.
This is a crisis
blog. There are 3 items with 3 dotted links: Item 1
is about a good article by John Pilger about Julian Assange; item 2 is about an article by Krugman about China; and
item 3 is nominally about what makes
Donald Trump so popular, but really is here because it lists a few
facts about education in the U.S.A.
There also is a longer file from earlier today
- Autobiografie 1986 - Jolanda - but that is a Dutch file in the series
that sketches my autobiography.
This one sketches my life in 1986.
Persecution of Julian Assange
article of today
is by John Pilger
(<- Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews (and also on John Pilger's site,
where it is called "Assange: the untold story of an epic struggle for
It starts like this:
I say: after five years.
A little further on, there is this:
The siege of
Knightsbridge is both an emblem of gross injustice and a grueling
farce. For three years, a police cordon around the Ecuadorean embassy
in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the
state. It has cost £12 million (about $18.7 million). The quarry is an
Australian charged with no crime, a refugee whose only security is the
room given him by a brave South American country. His “crime” is to
have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and
The persecution of Julian
Assange is about to flare again as it enters a dangerous stage. From
Aug. 20, three quarters of the Swedish prosecutor’s case against
Assange regarding sexual misconduct in 2010 will disappear as the
statute of limitations expires. At the same time Washington’s obsession
with Assange and WikiLeaks has intensified. Indeed, it is vindictive
American power that offers the greatest threat – as Chelsea Manning and
those still held in Guantanamo can attest.
continues to expose criminal activity by the U.S., having just
published top secret U.S. intercepts – U.S. spies’ reports detailing
private phone calls of the presidents of France and Germany, and other
senior officials, relating to internal European political and economic
And there is considerably
more in the article, some of which
certainly news for you (as it was for me). This is a recommended
None of this is illegal
under the U.S. Constitution. As a presidential candidate in 2008,
Barack Obama, a professor of constitutional law, lauded whistleblowers
as “part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from
reprisal.” In 2012, the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama
boasted on its website that he had prosecuted more whistleblowers in
his first term than all other U.S. presidents combined.
Before Chelsea Manning
had even received a trial, Obama had pronounced the whisletblower
guilty. He was subsequently sentenced to 35 years in prison, having
been tortured during his long pre-trial detention.
Few doubt that should the
U.S. government get its hands on Assange, a similar fate awaits him.
Threats of the capture and assassination of Assange became the currency
of the political extremes in the U.S. following Vice President Joe
Biden’s preposterous slur that the WikiLeaks founder was a
Krugman: China's Leaders Have No Idea What They Are Doing
is by Janet Allon on AlterNet:
starts as follows:
Let me first explain why
this article is reviewed here: Because it is about China, which
currently is one of the biggest economies in the world, that also has
been growing a lot the last ten years, at least. Therefore, what
effeccts China in a major way, effects the rest of the world. (And for
the same reason I paid attention to China before: See here and here.
There is more in the 2015 index.)
Paul Krugman turns his
attention to China in Friday's
column, and determines that despite Donald Trump's assertion that
China is "eating our lunch," the country's leaders have no idea what
they are doing. Politicians who happen to preside over booms (Jeb Bush)
tend to take credit for those booms, Krugman points out. China is no
"This is the context in
which you need to understand the strange goings-on in China’s stock
market," he writes. "In and of itself, the price of Chinese equities
shouldn’t matter all that much. But the authorities have chosen to put
their credibility on the line by trying to control that market — and
are in the process of demonstrating that, China’s remarkable success
over the past 25 years notwithstanding, the nation’s rulers have no
idea what they’re doing."
As to what the Chinese leaders are doing: They are trying to influence
the Chinese stock market, possibly - at least: this is one explanation
read - because many of its investors do not have much money.
There is considerably more in the article, that I leave to your
interests, apart from this summary at the end:
The response has
been an "an all-out effort to prop
up stock prices," Krugman continues, which might be a good strategy
for a couple of days, but not something to be sustained. Here is the
irony: "It also looks as if the Chinese government, having
encouraged citizens to buy stocks, now feels that it must defend stock
prices to preserve its reputation. And what it’s ending up doing, of
course, is shredding that reputation at record speed."
is by Robert
Paul Wolff (<- Wikipedia) on his blog:
Actually, although there
is a bit of explanation about Trump and his popularity at the end, I
mostly because I wanted some facts. Here is the first:
In the United
States today, roughly
two-thirds of all adult men and women do not
have four-year college degrees -- Bachelor's Degrees, as they are
America. When I went off to college in
1950, only five percent of adults had college degrees.
The number has been rising more or less
steadily in the sixty-five years since, so among adults in the cohort
Americans in their forties or fifties, to which most of the Focus Group
appeared to belong, many more than two-thirds do not have college
That is, the proportion
of those with B.A.'s rose from 1 in 20 in 1950 to 1 in 3
at present, which is over 6 times as many. I'd like to suggest
that the people in 1950 got a considerably better (and more
demanding) degree than the people now, simply because there were far
fewer students, who were on average more gifted. If you offer a
university education that is fit for at least half of those
with IQs over 100 (which half the people have got, or less), it cannot
be a very demanding education, for else there would be considerably
Here is the other fact:
are just shy of 2,500 degree-granting
four year colleges and universities in America. [Two-thirds
are private, but because of the size of
the big state universities,
sixty percent of college students are enrolled at public institutions.] If you can tear your eyes away from the two
famous elite institutions, you find maybe three hundred others that
heard of who does not actually live in the town where they are located.
That are quite a lot of
degree-granting colleges and universities, but then again the US has
over 300 million inhabitants (so it has less than 1 degree-granting
institution per 100,000 inhabitants).
According to Robert Paul Wolff, anyone with any college degree from any
of these institutions still is "head and shoulders" above the
two-thirds of Americans that do not have a college degree (in terms of
"educational credits", to be sure).
I don't know whether I believe that, nor do I know how much a B.A. in
psycho- logy, economics, anthropology or sociology is worth, but it is
true that four more
years of education will make some difference.
Anyway...here is the anecdote Robert Paul Wolff tells to explain Donald
Trump's success under the mostly none-college educated "working class
Possibly so, though I'd
say Kennedy was far more deserving than Trump. And is it possible that
the difference in standards corresponds to a difference in education of
the none-college educated "working class"? (For that certainly
did not improve either.)
There is a
great old story about Jack Kennedy when he was
first running for the Senate from Massachusetts as the fair-haired
son of his rich rum-running father. As
the story goes, he was campaigning at a factory in Southie, surrounded
workingmen. and he confessed that he had never held a regular
a day in his life. One of the men around
him called out, "Ah, Jack, you dear boy, you haven't missed a thing!"
those at the bottom take up one of those at the
top as their hero. That is what
Boston did with Jack Kennedy , and that seems to be what working-class
Republicans right now are doing with Donald Trump.