This is a Nederlog
of Tuesday, December 22, 2015.
is a crisis blog. There are 4 items with 4 dotted links: Item
1 is on Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton and about a large
difference between the two; item 2 is about a good
piece by Stanley Heller who more or less outlines my own thoughts on
the "historic climate deal" he and I totally disbelieve in; item 3 is about an article by Robert Reich about
rotten apples and rotten systems, to which I have a rather important
addition; and item 4 is - once again - about the
hospital in Kunduz where the MSF lost 42 patients and staff members due
to an attack by the Americans, which the Americans only want to
1. Bernie Sanders on Challenging Wall Street: "CEOs May Like
Hillary -- They Ain't Going to Like Me"
first item is
by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed. And this ought to be very
relevant for those who can think, and are not themselves rich.
Although finding concord on a
host of issues including foreign policy, Saturday’s Democratic
presidential debate highlighted a key difference between front-runner
Hillary Clinton and top challenger Bernie Sanders: the economy. Clinton
said corporations would welcome her in the White House, while Sanders
pointedly said they wouldn’t. "The CEOs of large multinationals may
like Hillary. They ain’t going to like me," Sanders said. "And Wall
Street is going to like me even less. And the reason for that is we’ve
got to deal with the elephant in the room, which is the greed,
recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street."
Here is another thing Sanders said:
Yes, I agree. Here is some by Bill Curry:
And let me be clear: While
there are some great corporations creating jobs and trying to do the
right thing, in my view—and I say this very seriously—the greed of the
billionaire class, the greed of Wall Street is destroying this economy
and is destroying the lives of millions of Americans. We need an
economy that works for the middle class, not just a handful of
billionaires. And I will fight and lead to make that happen.
Hillary is literally not just a
poster child. She, Rahm Emanuel, their campaign, the later Obama
campaign, these were the first Democratic campaigns since Andrew
Jackson to raise more money from business than Republicans. The bond
they made with Wall Street has been critical in how they’ve built their
party. And it’s why the middle class is dying. This symbiotic
relationship between ever more concentrated and powerful global capital
and pay-to-play politics is at the heart of what’s gone wrong here.
I agree - and for more
see the Third Way,
for that was started by Bill Clinton, who fundamentally transformed the
Democratic Party, like his mate Tony Blair fundamentally transformed
the Labour Party, from faintly leftist parties with an agenda for the
poor and the middle classes to a neoconservative or neoliberal party
that mostly work for its own top managers (Clinton and Blair
are multi-millionaires) and for the managers of the big
corporations and banks, indeed - rather - as Hillary Clinton said.
Here is some more by Bill Murry:
Yes, indeed. Anyway: this is
a recommended article.
We’ve become a nation of
middlemen and toll collectors, of parasites, who the government allows
to set up the ability to take fees. Every time you swipe a credit card,
one of the major banks takes 1.75 percent of the transaction. They
don’t have to lend money to small businesses and to homeowners anymore.
The vital organs of this economy are shutting down because of the way
our democracy is mortgaged to the wealthy and the powerful.
2. ‘Progress’ Is Fatal
The second item is by
Stanley Heller on Truthdig (and originally on PeaceNews):
This starts as follows
(and can be seen as a sequel to December 14, last)
Historic! Oh, how the
elite love to use that word when touting their meetings and decisions.
It’s so important to have a record of historic agreements for your
“legacy.” So it was no surprise that President Obama said the Paris
agreement on climate was a “historic agreement” and “tribute to American
leadership”. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the pact was a “historical turning point.” Ban Ki-Moon, U.N.
Secretary General went further said the deal inked in Paris was “truly historic” and was a “monumental success.” Wow, “truly” historic!
With so many "historics"
it's bound to be nothing like it (except for a historic failure) and
indeed Heller continues like so:
Except why didn’t
the 32 page document talk about fossil
fuel? It literally doesn’t mention those two words, nor can you
find the words “coal” or “oil” in the text. That’s because the
world’s great muckamucks are promising to limit emissions without
challenging the beast whose waste is the emissions, without insuring
that most of the world’s fossil fuel stays right where it is, deep in
James Hansen called the
deal a “fraud”.
And I agreed with
him: see the Nederlog of December 14, 2015.
Here is more on Heller's
There’s nothing binding
in the agreement. Though all the countries made “commitments” nothing
will happen if they’re not honored. And even if all the commitments are
fulfilled the earth’s temperature will go up 3.7 degrees Centigrade,
far more that that 2 degree limit that the nations of the world said
was a safe limit five years ago and double the 1.5 degree limit this
agreement says the world should “pursue.”
I do not know about the
raise of 3.7 degrees in the earth's temperature, but this is mainly
because I am less well-informed than Heller is. I will suppose he is
correct - which also probably means that Amsterdam, where I live, which
lies over 2 meters below sea level, will drown in the
coming 30 to 70
years. (I probably will be dead when it happpens, since I am 65 years
now and not healthy.)
Here is some more by
“framework.” We need to use the technical word “bullshit” to describe
these phrases. They are words to describe non-agreements, words to fool
the public into thinking something important has actually been
Quite so! And there
The agreement doesn’t
even challenge the subsidies that governments give to the FF industries
to go out and find more carbon to burn. A piece in Scientific American
in May 2015 calculated the total yearly amount of these subsidies, a
breathtaking, mind boggling $5 trillion, $5 trillion a year to hasten the end
of a human-favored climate.
In brief, there was
something "historic" about Obama's, Fabius's and Moon's "historic"
words: They were quite conscious historical lies.
Here is Stanley Heller's
On this issue half-measures are
as good as being half alive. The whole system that is poisoning the
climate has to be reformed, changed, revolutionized, …whatever. We have
an immense task and we have just a few years or decades to get it
I merely add two points. First, I have been
hearing or reading this kind of lies, indeed mostly by politicians,
ever since 1971. And second, they have
convinced me, quite long ago also, that there will not be done
much about the climate without a political revolution, and
two major reasons:
It is too expensive - not profitable enough,
in the short term - for the economies that we presently have to do it
well, while the parties who do not want to do it well or at all
that is very profitable to them have most of the political
directly or indirectly.
This is also a recommended article.
Rotten Apples and Rotten Systems
third item is by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:
Martin Shkreli, the former
hedge-fund manager turned pharmaceutical CEO who was arrested last
been described as a sociopath and worse.
In reality, he’s a brasher and
larger version of what others in finance and corporate suites do all
Federal prosecutors are charging
him with conning wealthy investors.
Lying to investors is illegal, of
course, but it’s perfectly normal to use hype to lure rich investors
funds. And the line between the two isn’t always distinct.
Actually, I am not
much interested in Shkreli
(I agree he is a greedy egoist) except indeed as a human - greedy,
egoistic, bullshittting, lying - type that is also behind very much of
corporate riches and corporate policies (and that was in fact already
described very well in the 1820ies by William Hazlitt:
See his "On
corporate bodies", that is very well worth reading).
As to the pharmaceutical corporations:
Unlike most other countries, the
United States doesn’t control drug prices. It leaves pricing up to the
Which enables drug companies to
charge as much as the market will bear.
only that: it also
means many are not
insured, and it means that the American poor are nearly always less
well of in - crucial - health matters than the rich, as a matter of
course also: "You are not rich? Too bad, worse service for you."
Here is Reich's sum-up:
Yes, but there is considerably more:
Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical
industry is making a fortune off average Americans, who are paying more
the drugs they need than the citizens of any other advanced country.
That’s largely because Big Pharma
has wielded its political influence to avoid cost controls, to ban
using its bargaining clout to negotiate lower prices, and to allow drug
companies to pay the makers of generic drugs to delay their cheaper
As soon as the TPP, and
especially the TTIP and TISA are signed, the
Europeans will get all of the blessings the Americans got, simply
because by then corporate profit rules supreme, and anything that
threatens the expectations of projected profits can
be dealt with in
some fascistic quasi-court that only judges whether these expectations
were threatened, and against whom no appeal is possible, while the governments are mostly helpless.
That, at least, is my expectation: It
will be the end of all democratic
government and indeed in considerable part of government, because then
it has become "law" that multi-national profits trump all other
considerations: "We must think of the profits of the rich - first and only."
4. Backing MSF, Human Rights
Watch Says US Must Consent to War Crimes Probe
fourth and last item today is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows -
and in case you are interested, since I was interested in this
as well, see these items, presented in the order they were written and
published: One, Two, Three,
Four, Five, Six:
Quite so: An "investigation" by the American
army or the Pentagon is the same as letting illegal drugsdealers decide
themselves whether they are illegal drugs- dealers. ("Of course not! We
are noble souls that never did anyone any harm!")
There is "strong" evidence that the U.S.
military attack on a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
(MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan two months ago constituted a
criminal act, and should be investigated as such, Human Rights Watch
said Monday in a letter
to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (pdf).
"The attack on the MSF hospital in
Kunduz involved possible war crimes," said the advocacy group's
Washington director Sarah Margon. "The ongoing U.S. inquiry will not be
credible unless it considers criminal liability and is protected from
improper command influence."
airstrike on October 3 killed at least 42 patients and staff and
wounded several others. In November, the Pentagon released the summary
of its internal inquiry into the bombing, which blamed the attack on
"human error"—a conclusion that human rights groups rejected
and which MSF said provided "more questions than answers."
The ending of the article is as follows:
commanders who oversaw the Kunduz military operation shouldn't be
deciding who gets prosecuted for the MSF hospital attack," Margon
said Monday. "The U.S. government should recognize that its
resolution of this horrific incident will have repercussions for U.S.
military operations far beyond Afghanistan."
MSF has also repeatedly
called for the U.S. government to submit to an inquiry conducted by the
International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which was created
under the Geneva Conventions in 1991. The commission has
said it was ready to carry out an investigation, but could only do
so with the U.S. government's consent.