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."
tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. FDR Second Bill of Rights
2. Hang On to Your Wallet: Negative Interest,
the War on Cash
and the $10 Trillion Bail-In
3. UN Council Approves French
Resolution for 'All Necessary
Measures' Against ISIS
4. Rational Monster: How
Terror Fits into Islamic State's Plan
This is a Nederlog
of Sunday, November 22, 2015.
This is a crisis blog. There are 4 items with 4 dotted links: Item 1 is a video of Roosevelt making the speech of
his Second Bill of Rights, now briefly over 70 years ago plus the text,
with my comments; item 2 is about the threatening
disappearance of cash, which will allow the bankers to make you
pay for stalling your "money" with them; item 3 is
about the usefulness of the UN: They supported Hollande, so I don't
think (also for other reasons) they are much use; and item
4 is about Spiegel International on Isis.
1. FDR Second Bill
The first item today
is by Franklin
Delano Roosevelt (<-Wikipedia). It is a video of 1944:
In fact, I was out for the text,
most of which follows below. But I found this
recording, made on
FDR's own request after January 11, 1944. (Roosevelt died on
1945, aged 63.)
Accordingly, the film is slightly over 70 years old. It is not a very
good film, but this is mostly because of the time. The sound is OK,
though. And most of the ideas have not been realized these 70
though a few thing were done in the early Sixties.
This is most of the text, with 13 notes under it:
precisely. That is also the major difference between Democrats like
Roosevelt, and most Republicans, especially of the present day:
“It is our duty now to
begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a
lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living
higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high
that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our
people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed,
ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.  This
Republic had its
beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of
certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free
speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from
unreasonable searches and seizures.  They were
our rights to life
and liberty. As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as
our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved
inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.We have
come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom
cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous
men are not free men.”  People who
are hungry and out of a job are
the stuff of which dictatorships are made. In our day these economic
truths have become accepted as self-evident. 
We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a
new basis of security and prosperity can be established for
all—regardless of station, race, or creed.  Among
The right to a useful and
remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the
The right to earn enough
to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer
to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his
family a decent living; 
The right of every
businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from
unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; 
The right of every family
to a decent home; 
The right to adequate
medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; 
The right to adequate
protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and
The right to a good
All of these rights spell
security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move
forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human
happiness and well-being.”
America’s own rightful
place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and
similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. 
The Republicans just don't care for the poor, whether these are
"one-third or one-fifth or
one-tenth" of the population, and
indeed many of the Republicans these days are proud that
they are greedy, proud that they are egoistic and immoral, and pretend
to believe that "everybody can be rich" (which is a plain lie: there
only are rich people when there are non-rich people, just as there only
are tall people when there are non-tall people).
This is also the main difference between capitalism-with-a-human-face,
that Roosevelt favored, and capitalism-with-an-inhuman-face,
that most of the rich favor, knowing full well that their gains are
someone else's (usually very many) losses.
Let's briefly consider these "inalienable
political rights" "of free
speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from
unreasonable searches and seizures":
Free speech mostly (and so far) persists in the United
States; a free press formally still exists, but factually
most of what once was a free press, here also including TV and cable,
is currently owned by a few rightist billionairs who have replaced most
journalists by "journalists" who are neither critical nor investigative
anymore; free worship still exists for Christians, Jews and
Mormons in the United States, but less so for Muslims, and anyway
religion still does not pay any taxes, and is much more influential
than the founding fathers - Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Hamilton -
thought desirable; trial by jury and indeed trials by some
court have been severely curtailed for both Muslims and
whistleblowers; and the freedom
unreasonable searches and seizures has been completely lost: The
NSA knows everything about anyone, and the police seizes computers and
hard disks as if they have a right to them, especially on borders.
I conclude that the "inalienable political rights" Roosevelt was (rightly) proud of have not
been "inalienable", for they are curtailed by something like half (or
more, depending on how one feels about the great decline of the free
press, that was once thought a necessary factor for the
maintenance of a real democracy).
completely agree "that true
cannot exist without economic security and independence" indeed for the given reason: “Necessitous
men are not free men.”
But the GOP pretends to believe that men who are poor or starve owe
this to themselves, and should be starving, and are not
entitled to any help from those who are less poor. They inverted the
Christian teaching to "Blessed Are The Rich", while insisting that
poverty and starvation are just.
 I agree that a great many poor are a great
danger to any society and any civilization, and indeed "are
the stuff of which dictatorships are made" (together with lies, propaganda, deceptions and
I also think this is both a political and an economical truth,
but these days it may not be self-evident, because truth is widely
supposed not to exist, and science is widely
supposed to be "just another opinion". I think both are
self-evident lies, but at least many of the Republicans
pretend to think otherwise.
agree that a "second Bill of
Rights" that tries to give
"security and prosperity" to all, completely independent from "station,
race or creed" would be a very significant improvement
of the Constitution - but it has not been there for the last 70
again mostly because the rich few were much against it, and had
and have a lot of power (and now more than the last 100 years).
One major problem with getting a fairly paying job in "the industries or shops or farms or mines of
nation" is that thanks to the
many deregulations under Reagan,
Clinton and Bush, most of the industries have been exported to
countries with far lower salaries; most of the mines have been
closed and most of the small farms have been destroyed.
This really is a major problem, and the only solution I see is
undoing the deregulations (which only help the very rich) -
but I agree that will be very diffficult. But without it, a
income for most Americans is a thing of the past.
There are not many small farms or farmers left: See .
There also are far less small businesses: Most business is,
directly or indirectly, owned or co-owned by the billionairs who own
the large multi-national corporations, and they approve only if the
business agrees with their interests: A few multi-national oligopolies rule most businesses.
This is plainly denied by all the Republicans who insist that
it is one's own fault if one isn't rich - which is utter bullshit that only
serves the few rich, and harms the many who are not rich severally.
There still is no "adequate medical care" for the many poor in
the United States, where health care also is more expensive than
anywhere else, to keep the medical doctors and the pharmaceutical
corporations rich, at the costs of the ill and the poor.
The "economic fears of old age,
sickness, accident, and
exist, and have existed all the intervening 70 years. Why? It
me mostly because the rich make a large part of their profits by paying
low wages, while they also had the power to forbid or diminish
unions (and the last considerably more so than in Europe).
This just doesn't exist: Nearly all education is bad or insufficient,
and also most education after age 18 has become very expensive, while
also growing less and less in quality.
Indeed "these rights spell
security" and also were meant to
help guarantee that "human
happiness and well-being" were accessible to all or most.
They were mostly not achieved, simply because a secure income
on which one could live was not in the interest of the powerful
rich, who in effect also held, all these seventy years, that the only
ones with a right to "human
happiness and well-being" were the rich.
Summary: This still is an admirable program, but it only
can be realized after most or all of the deregulations get undone, which may need a revolution of
On to Your Wallet: Negative Interest,
the War on Cash and the $10 Trillion Bail-In
The second item today is by Ellen Brown
(<- Wikipedia) on Truthdig
and originally on the Web of Debt:
This starts as follows:
I say. And I also am one
of those who is very much opposed to this, and who fears that there is
a deeper, darker threat afoot.
In uncertain times,
“cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to
eliminate that fact. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is
some deeper, darker threat afoot?
Remember those old ads
showing a senior couple lounging on a warm beach, captioned “Let your
money work for you”? Or the
scene in Mary Poppins where young Michael is being
advised to put his tuppence in the bank, so that it can compound into
“all manner of private enterprise,” including “bonds, chattels,
dividends, shares, shipyards, amalgamations . . . .”?
That may still work if
you’re a Wall Street banker, but if you’re an ordinary saver with your
money in the bank, you may soon be paying the bank to hold your funds
rather than the reverse.
Four European central banks
– the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank, Sweden’s
Riksbank, and Denmark’s Nationalbank – have
now imposed negative interest rates on the reserves they hold for
commercial banks; and discussion has turned to whether it’s time to
pass those costs on to consumers. The Bank of Japan and the Federal
Reserve are still at ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy), but several
Fed officials have also begun calling for NIRP (negative rates).
Here is the "justification":
The stated justification
for this move is to stimulate “demand” by forcing consumers to withdraw
their money and go shopping with it. When an economy is struggling, it
is standard practice for a central bank to cut interest rates,
making saving less attractive. This is supposed to boost spending and
kick-start an economic recovery.
That is the theory, but
central banks have already pushed the prime rate to zero, and still
their economies are languishing. To the uninitiated observer, that
means the theory is wrong and needs to be scrapped. But not to our
intrepid central bankers, who are now experimenting with pushing rates below
I agree that (1) the
"justification" is utter trash: it is a long time ago since I got any
interest, and besides (2) the whole recipe of austerity only
banks and the bankmanagers, and not ordinary folks.
There is also this:
The problem with imposing
negative interest on savers, as explained
in the UK Telegraph, is that “there’s a limit, what economists
called the ‘zero lower bound’. Cut rates too deeply, and savers would
end up facing negative returns. In that case, this could encourage
people to take their savings out of the bank and hoard them in cash.
This could slow, rather than boost, the economy.”
Again, to the ordinary
observer, this would seem to signal that negative interest rates won’t
work and the approach needs to be abandoned. But not to our undaunted
central bankers, who have chosen instead to plug this hole in their
leaky theory by moving to eliminate
cash as an option. If your only choice is to keep your money
in a digital account in a bank and spend it with a bank card or credit
card or checks, negative interest can be imposed with impunity. This is
already happening in Sweden, and other countries are close behind.
I do believe that the bankers
want to get even more power by eliminating cash. Indeed, as an ordinary
user of a bank (where I stood positive for over 10 years, also) I am
only allowed to take up 250 euros a day, and that from a
bank which had to be saved by the likes of myself (without ever being
course: it was all forced).
Also, I think Martin Armstrong sees it correctly:
Armstrong goes further and suggests that the goal is to gain
totalitarian control over our money. In a cashless society, our savings
can be taxed away by the banks; the threat of bank runs by worried
savers can be eliminated; and the too-big-to-fail banks can be assured
that ample deposits will be there when they need to confiscate them
through bail-ins to stay afloat.
And that may be the real threat on the horizon: a major derivatives
default that hits the largest banks, those that do the vast majority of
Yes, indeed. There is
more in the article, that is recommended.
UN Council Approves French Resolution
for 'All Necessary
Measures' Against ISIS
The third item
is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as
The United Nations
security council has unanimously
approved France's resolution to take "all necessary measures"
against the Islamic State (ISIS) and urged all able member states to
join in the fight.
The 15-member panel
adopted the resolution Friday after the French government called for
"merciless" military action against the militant group following the
attacks in Paris which killed 130 people.
to media outlets who saw the text of the resolution, it calls for
"member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary
measures—in compliance with international law, on the territory under
the control of [ISIS]—to redouble and coordinate their efforts to
prevent and suppress terrorist acts."
Member states should
"intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters
to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of
terrorism," the resolution says.
I think this shows two
things: (1) the United Nations is not more sane than Francois Hollande,
and (2) it cannot be trusted (if it ever could be) as an independent
force: it is mostly a sick bureaucracy
that supplies incomes to
many bureaucrats, but which does little good, and mostly speaks like
the US wants it to speak. (There are a few exceptions, but this seems
the rule to me.)
There are rational people
outside the UN, and here is one of them:
As Phyllis Bennis, senior
fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams
on Friday, "Resolutions like this can be dangerous."
"It is important that it
is not taken under the terms of chapter seven, but it is implying
support for all countries to use military force in ISIS territory,
which is heavily populated," Bennis said. "We have been using military
force against terrorism for the past 15 years, and it has failed."
The reason I just said that
the UN cannot be trusted anymore is - in part - that the 15 years
of failure are still not evident to most of the bureaucrats
and politicians who make up the UN.
Monster: How Terror Fits into Islamic State's Plan
The fourth item today
is by Christoph Reuter on Spiegel International:
This starts as follows:
Thanks to Hollande and
the UN she will have a front seat to many subsequent bombardments, as
long as she doesn't flee or gets killed.
"It was a terrible night.
We heard the roar of the jets, the detonations. Then, the power
suddenly went out and everything sunk into darkness," the young woman
on the phone says. She said that she could only see the flashes from
the explosions, with one bomb landing right near where she was. "But I
don't want to die after all that we have already gone through here."
The woman is from Raqqa,
where Islamic State has its headquarters in Syria. She lives there
together with her parents and brothers. Still. As do so many other
civilians. On the phone, she was describing the first wave of attacks
in the "war" that French President François Hollande declared against
Islamic State following the attacks in Paris.
There is also this on Raqqa and Isis:
But the upper
echelons of IS
have been living for months in the city's densely populated residential
areas and are careful to keep their movements inconspicuous. As such,
they have likely been able to escape the US-led coalition's airstrikes,
which have been ongoing for 15 months.
It is simply impossible
to win, as it is now fought: You cannot win a war with just
artillery, and you cannot win a war with just air-bombardments. I
suppose someone has said that much to Hollande. Whether the French and the US will send
"boots on the ground" remains to be seen.
At the most, airstrikes have
weakened Islamic State, but have certainly not defeated it. Hollande
has declared a war that is almost impossible to wage.
Finally, there is this (from considerably more), which only shows how
stupid most papers are:
The fact that an
(though probably fake) Syrian passport was found near the bodies of one
of the suicide bombers is likely no coincidence. Suddenly, all Syrian
refugees are viewed as potential terrorists -- just as IS had hoped.
For clearly to
generalize from one doubtful Syrian passport to "all Syrian
refugees" is a plain fallacy.