who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
Trade Pact Would Give Wall Street a Trump Card
2. The Kunduz Hospital Attack
3. The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American
4. Governments and NGOs: Germany Spied on Friends
Guardian can't be copied anymore
This is a Nederlog
of Saturday, November 7, 2015.
This is a crisis
blog. There are 5 sections with 4 dotted links: Item 1
is on the TPP, that finally got published, and is - even - much worse
than the most skeptic thought; item 2 is about an
article by Glenn Greenwald on the American attack on the hospital of
MSF in Kunduz; item 3 is an
excellent article by Chris Hedges on the TPP; item 4
is about how the German counterpart of the NSA spied on anything and
anyone as it pleased, in spite of assurances by Chancellor Merkel; and item 5 is about another radical change in policy by
The Guardian: I can't copy anymore (without extensive steps and
troubles, for which I do not have either the health or the taste).
The last item also explains why I will probably end the
crisis-series: My father and mother didn't stop political fascism, in
spite of 45 years trying; and I didn't stop anything about corporate
fascism, that will very probably completely succeed by 2016 or
2017 (thank you, Obama: thank you very, very much!), and I also am
meanwhile 65, and have spend most of my time and energy the last 2 1/2
years trying to excerpt and review the most important journalistic
articles I could find about the growth of fascism (identified by me on December 25, 2012, before
knowing anything about Snowden, while knowing hardly anything about the
NSA or the TPP).
I am sorry, but I can't do it well without being able to copy from The
Guardian - but I take it the present plan of The Guardian, like the
the Guardian, was very well considered, and not at all
discussed with any readers.
It's too bad, but this will therefore probably be the end of the
crisis-series-as-was since June 10, 2013. You can thank The Guardian. I
suppose there will be a few more crisis items, but basically I intend
to switch back to the
Nederlog there was from 2008-2012, although it probably will remain in
English and also
will have a lot less on M.E. than there was in 2010 and 2011. (I still
have it and will continue my monthly update on it, but that's about it,
until someone arrives at
a really scientific theory to account for it, that is also very
confirmed. But I think the chances of that, while I live, are quite
1. TPP Trade Pact Would Give Wall Street a Trump Card to Block
The first item today is by
David Dayen on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed. The TPP was and
is a fascistic  corporatist plan to take almost
all powers from any democratically elected government, and give these
powers to the leaders of the multi-national corporations.
Banks and other financial
institutions would be able to use provisions in the proposed
Trans-Pacific Partnership to block new regulations that cut into their
profits, according to the text
of the trade pact released this week.
In what may be the
biggest gift to banks in a deal full of giveaways to Hollywood, the
drug industry and technology firms, financial institutions would be
able to appeal any national rules they didn’t like to independent,
international tribunals staffed by friendly corporate lawyers.
That could nullify a
proposal by Hillary Clinton to impose
a “risk fee” on financial firms — or the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie
Sanders plan to reinstate
the firewall between investment and commercial banks.
Financial firms could
demand compensation for these measures that would make them too
expensive to manage.
Here is some more on it e.g. in case you disbelieve this:
The TPP, a 12-nation pact
with countries in Asia and the Americas that requires congressional
approval, includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system.
This allows foreign companies operating in TPP member countries to
enforce the agreement without using that country’s court system.
Instead, corporations can sue for monetary damages in independent
tribunals before corporate lawyers who can rotate between advocating
for investors and judging the cases themselves.
The lawyers have an
inherent incentive to encourage more challenges with favorable rulings,
so they can be paid to arbitrate them. Labor unions who allege
violations of the trade deal cannot use ISDS directly; only
international investors, i.e. large corporations, can.
The ISDS are
fascistic courts of corporate arbitration. They are completely
anti-democratic, and were designed to be completely
anti-democratic and auithoritarian, and were designed
to maximize the profits of the fascist corporations.
Here is why the ISDS
is a fascist "court":
In prior deals, financial
services providers were limited to making ISDS challenges based on
discrimination — where foreign companies were subject to more stringent
rules than their domestic counterparts — or an illegal “taking” of
their investments. These types of challenges have been largely
unsuccessful in ISDS tribunals.
But now, for the first
time, financial institutions could make an ISDS claim based on not
receiving a “minimum standard of treatment.” This is the most flexible
type of claim. “Over time, tribunals have interpreted this to mean that
the company gets compensation if the change in policy disappoints their
expectations of future profits,” said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s
Global Trade Watch.
11.2 of the agreement confirms that financial services providers
are covered under the minimum standard of treatment obligation. This
means that almost any change in financial regulations affecting future
profits could be challenged in an extra-judicial tribunal, even if they
equally applied to foreign and domestic firms and even if they were
enacted in response to a crisis.
which lowers the expectations of a fascist multi-national
corporation concerning its profits can go to the fascist ISDS. Exit
democracy. Exit national laws. Exit rigths of everyone
who is not a fascist corporate lawyer or a fascist corporate
Here is how Exxon
increased its profits in Canada:
Of course the
compensations will be very much higher. And of course
there is not even a right to appeal to the fascist
pronouncements of the courtiers of the fascist ISDS.
Public Citizen estimates
that ISDS rulings carried out under U.S. free trade agreements and
bilateral treaties have ordered over $3.6 billion in compensation to
investors. To use one example, Exxon-Mobil won
$17.3 million from Canada this year in an ISDS tribunal, after
claiming that a law forcing offshore oil drillers to spend a percentage
of revenues on local economic development violated the North American
Free Trade Agreement. With the far larger amounts at stake in U.S.
financial regulations, the compensation awards could be much higher.
Importantly, there is no
ability to appeal an ISDS ruling, so even if countries believe it has
been interpreted poorly, they cannot change the outcome and would owe
potentially billions in compensation.
2. U.S. Journalists Who Instantly Exonerated
Their Government of the Kunduz Hospital Attack, Declaring it an
next item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
after the news broke of the U.S. attack on a Doctors without
Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, there was abundant evidence
suggesting (not proving, but suggesting) that the attack was no
accident: (1) MSF repeatedly
told the U.S. military about the precise coordinates of its
hospital, which had been operating for years; (2) the Pentagon’s story
about what happened kept
changing, radically, literally on a daily basis; (3)
the exact same MSF hospital had
been invaded by Afghan security forces three months earlier,
demonstrating hostility toward the facility; (4) the
attack lasted more
than 30 minutes and involved multiple AC-130 gunship flyovers, even
as MSF officials frantically pleaded with the U.S. military to stop;
and, most compellingly of all, (5) Afghan officials from the start said
explicitly that the hospital was a valid and intended target
due to the presence of Taliban fighters as patients.
Yes, indeed - I had read
the first four points before, but not the fifth, and this is an
excellent sum-up of the reasons why I think Kunduz was far more probably intentionally than
accidentally targeted by
the American military.
Here is more evidence:
Since then, the
evidence that the attack was intentional has only grown. Two weeks ago,
that “the Army Green Berets who requested the Oct. 3 airstrike on the
Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it
was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban
control.” Last night, NBC
News cited a new MSF report with this headline: “U.S. Plane
Shot Victims Fleeing Doctors Without Borders Hospital: Charity.” As the New
York Times put
it yesterday, the “hospital was among the most brightly
lit buildings in Kunduz on the night a circling American gunship
destroyed it” and “spread across the hospital roof was a large white
and red flag reading ‘Médecins Sans Frontières.’”
And there is this:
OK, although it is not quite
true that MSF is "universally respected": The politicians of no less
than 76 countries failed to honor the calls of the MSF
for an objective investigation, although these calls are perfectly
justified. I agree that numerically that is a very small group,
but they do have the power.
This was not the first
time top officials from the universally respected MSF have said this.
Three weeks ago, Stokes said in
an interview with AP that “the extensive, quite precise destruction
of this hospital … doesn’t indicate a mistake. The hospital
was repeatedly hit.” He added that “all indications point to a
grave breach of international humanitarian law, and therefore a war
crime.” That’s “all indications” point to a “war crime.”
The point here isn’t that
it’s been definitively proven that the U.S. attack was
deliberate. What exactly happened here and why won’t be known, as
MSF itself has said, until there is a full-scale, truly independent
investigation — precisely what the U.S. government is steadfastly
Then there is this on modern American journalism:
Journalism is the ultimate accountability-free profession, as
demonstrated by the fact that every journalist not named “Judy Miller”
who uncritically regurgitated and advocated false government claims
about Iraq not only paid no price but has thrived.
In fact, one fine reason to
read all of Glenn Greenwald's article is that he cites quite a few of
these sick and degenerate American quasi-journalists (many of whom
indeed argue as if their prejudice that Americans never do harm
is more than sufficient to justify their idiotic judgements
Americans never do harm).
Glenn Greenwald also has this:
I genuinely don’t
understand why the White House or Pentagon bothers to spend money on
official spokespeople. It’s such a redundant function given how many in
the U.S. media eagerly perform that role.
I agree that it seems as if many American
"journalists" ceased being journalists and mostly simply relay the news
(or "news") they get from the official "journalistic" spokespersons for
But I do understand why the government still pays its own
journalists: To have full control.
3. The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in
next article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as
The release Thursday of
the 5,544-page text
of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement
involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global
output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared.
“The TPP, along with the
WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade
Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American
history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in
Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches
of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals.
These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental
protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for
noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system
of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”
In other words: it is explicitly
fascist, and was designed to be explicitly fascist,
which is also the reason why (1) it was kept secret so long by
Obama, who is extremely much in favor of the TPP (and the TTIP and the
TISA) and why (2) none of it can be amended in any way by the
Congress, that once was the supreme power in the USA.
This is what the TPP is
The TPP is part of a
triad of trade agreements that includes the Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement
(TiSA). TiSA, by calling for the privatization of all public services,
is a mortal threat to the viability of the U.S. Postal Service, public
education and other government-run enterprises and utilities; together
these operations make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy. The TTIP and
TiSA are still in the negotiation phase. They will follow on the heels
of the TPP and are likely to go before Congress in 2017.
Yes. Here is what
these agreements really do and are:
These three agreements
solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final
evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give
up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to
protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem
and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional
democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted
technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse
phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement.
Well... I add two
words: by fascism. For this is precisely what fascism
means: The complete dominance of the multi-national corporations
over everything, including the governments and the people.
Here is the mechanism
Precisely. And fascism -
whether as "inverted totalitarianism" or simply as totalitarianism
(by the corporations, for the corporations) - is what will result.
The TPP removes
legislative authority from Congress and the White House on a range of
issues. Judicial power is often surrendered to three-person trade
tribunals in which only corporations are permitted to sue.
Workers, environmental and advocacy groups and labor unions are blocked
from seeking redress in the proposed tribunals. The rights of
corporations become sacrosanct. The rights of citizens are abolished.
Here is Chis Hedges' prediction about the future:
If there is no
sustained popular uprising to prevent the passage of the TPP in
Congress this spring we will be shackled by corporate power. Wages will
decline. Working conditions will deteriorate. Unemployment will rise.
Our few remaining rights will be revoked. The assault on the ecosystem
will be accelerated. Banks and global speculation will be beyond
oversight or control. Food safety standards and regulations will be
jettisoned. Public services ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to the
post office and public education will be abolished or dramatically
slashed and taken over by for-profit corporations. Prices for basic
commodities, including pharmaceuticals, will skyrocket. Social
assistance programs will be drastically scaled back or terminated. And
countries that have public health care systems, such as Canada and
Australia, that are in the agreement will probably see their public
health systems collapse under corporate assault. Corporations will be
empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and
animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into
marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every
pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected
profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers,
will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state
dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded
under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation
from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell
their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the
As far as I can see,
that is all literally true - and no: the chance that there
willl be a "sustained
popular uprising" "this spring" is close to zero. (Most Americans don't even know
what the TPP is, simply because it was kept secret.)
Here is how the TPP will very probably pass - and this is the work of
that superdemocratic president Obama (who is very much for the
TPP, the TTIP and the TiSA, and will be much rewarded as soon
as he ceases to be president):
The TPP, because
of fast track, bypasses the normal legislative process of public
discussion and consideration by congressional committees. The House and
the Senate, which have to vote on the TPP bill within 90 days of when
it is sent to Congress, are prohibited by the fast-track provision from
adding floor amendments or holding more than 20 hours of floor debate.
Congress cannot raise concerns about the effects of the TPP on the
environment. It can only vote yes or no. It is powerless to
modify or change one word.
So this is another
fascist feature of these fascist laws. Here is the diagnosis of
attorney Kevin Zeese:
“It is a global
corporate coup d’état. Corporations will become more powerful than
countries. Corporations will force democratic systems to serve their
interests. Civil courts around the world will be replaced with
corporate courts or so-called trade tribunals. This is a massive
expansion that builds on the worst of NAFTA rather than what Barack
Obama promised, which was to get rid of the worst aspects of NAFTA.”
Obama promised anything
that would increase his popularity, and did almost nothing to keep any
of his promises. And this is not just "a global corporate
coup d’état": it is the
beginning of global corporate fascism.
Here is more by Kevin Zeese:
"The thrust of the
agreement is the privatization and commodification of everything. The
agreement has built within it a deep antipathy to state-supported or
state-owned enterprises. It gives away what is left of our democracy to
the World Trade Organization.”
Yes, indeed. And that is
fascism. Then there is this on some of the very many lies Obama told:
“Obama has misled
the public throughout this process,” Dr. Flowers said. “He claimed that
environmental groups were supportive of the agreement because it
provided environmental protections, and this has now been proven false.
He told us that it would create 650,000 jobs, and this has now been
proven false. He calls this a 21st century trade agreement, but it
actually rolls back progress made in Bush-era trade agreements."
Of course - but Obama
will get his dream: He will also become a millionair after he ceases to
be president, though he probably (because he is half black) will not
get as much as the $111 million dollars Bill Clinton made, or the 50
million pounds (at least) that Tony Blair made, but he and his family
will do very well. (That is also why one becomes president or
prime minister, these days,
or so it seems: To become filthy rich.)
Finally, there is this (and the whole article is recommended and well
The agreement, in
essence, becomes global law. Any agreements over carbon emissions by
countries made through the United Nations are effectively rendered null
and void by the TPP.
“Trade agreements are
binding,” Flowers said. “They supersede any of the nonbinding
agreements made by the United
Nations Climate Change Conference that might come out of Paris.”
And there went the decent
future of 98% of mankind! Thank you, Obama!
Governments and NGOs: Germany Spied on Friends and Vatican
next article is by Spiegel Staff on Spiegel On Line:
This starts as follows:
Three weeks ago,
news emerged that Germany's foreign intelligence service, the
Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), had systematically spied on friends and
allies around the world. In many of those instances, the BND had been
doing so of its own accord and not at the request of the NSA. The BND
came under heavy criticism earlier this year after news emerged that it
had assisted the NSA in spying on European institutions, companies and
even Germans using dubious selector
Am I amazed? No, not a bit,
for I have meanwhile learned that the governmental spies do precisely as
they please, and wipe their asses with parliamentary instructions.
Here is some more on German governmental spying (and watch the
terroristic organizations they wanted to find everything about):
intelligence service's interest wasn't restricted to state institutions
either: It also spied on non-governmental organizations like Care
International, Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross
in Geneva. In Germany, the BND's own selector lists included numerous
foreign embassies and consulates. The e-mail addresses, telephone
numbers and fax numbers of the diplomatic representations of the United
States, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy,
Austria, Switzerland and even the Vatican were all monitored in this
For these - Care International, Oxfam and the
International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva - are evidently
muslim terrorist organizations, according to the BND, it must be
presumed, as indeed are all the diplomatic representations they also
And here is the German chancellor:
In October 2013,
Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned spying on her mobile phone by
saying, "Spying among friends? That's just not done." Apparently these
words didn't apply to the BND.
5. The Guardian can't be copied anymore
this space was reserved for a reflection on The Guardian, but since
I did so in the introduction, I leave it out.
14, 2015: Reformatted.
will be using this adjective a lot, in this Nederlog, in good part
because I do not understand why almost nobody else sees that
the TPP, the TTIP and the TiSA are deeply fascistic plans, or at least
is incapable of using the term. Well... I am not and here is why (but
this also will be one of the last times, I guess):
A. My father and mother were two of the most anti-fascist
Dutchmen of their generation (say: From 1910-1990), and were members of
the Dutch communist party for 45 years mostly because these
were anti-fascists, and were the only Dutch political party -
of ca. 10,000 members - that went into the
resistance against the Nazis.
My father and his father (also a communist) were arrested by the SS in
1941, and convicted, by collaborating Dutch judges (most
Dutchmen collaborated) to the concentration-camp. My grandfather was
murdered there; my father survived 3
years, 9 months and 15 days as a "political terrorist" (being a
communist) of 4 German concentration camps.
After WW II my father and mother were mostly discriminated by many
Dutchmen (many Nazi-collaborators) because they were supposed
to be "traitors" because they were communists. (They were not.
In fact, they explicitly gave their three sons Dutch names,
while very many Dutch children born
briefly after the war got English/Canadian names - "Tommy", "Johnny"
etc. - quite possibly after their actual fathers.)
B. My father and mother were also swindled out of a decent resistance
pension for my father, who was one of longest survivors of German
concentration-camps, because he was a communist. (He got the
pension because it was impossible to refuse him, but it was as
minimal as they could make it, also quite unlike others, who all
got very much better pensions. He even was one of the two
communists who got knighted in Holland, briefly before he died.
The rest wasn't, however heroic they may have been, because they were
traitors, as communists.)
C. I gave up on marxism and communism by the time I was 20, and turned
to science as the way to emancipate people, but when I started
studying, and found that the University of Amsterdam was mostly
and protested, I was for 12 years scolded as "a dirty fascist" by the
quasi-communist assholes of the Asva, who insisted on saying or
because they did not know my background, and because I was a
believer in science and in truth (which were both
deeply despised and strongly denied in the UvA, in most faculties, from
1971-1995) and had also said that I considered Peirce a greater
philosopher than Marx. (Reply by the head of the Asva: "Then you must
be a fascist, because Peirce was an American." (And Americans were all
imperialists, and imperialists were all fascists, all according to the
Asva, that really "reasoned" thus. No kidding!)
D. Clearly, I am and never was a fascist in any sense. Also, I
always liked and admired my parents (without agreeing with them
on communism), indeed to the extent that I hold that most Dutchmen are
compared with them fascists, or as little different from fascists that
it hardly matters (and that especially applies to all the members from
the Asva who year after year after year insistted that I was a
E. So now that we are very little removed from the triumph of fascism
in Europe and America, I am using the term for once as I