1. Noam Chomsky: Why the Republican Party Is a Threat to
2. 'Morally Horrible' Law Lets Denmark Take Refugees'
Valuables in Exchange for
3. Bill Black: Wall
Street Declares War Against Bernie
Supreme Court Approaches Judgment Day
5. The Top Six Global
Threats the Presidential Candidates
This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, January 27,
This is a
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about Noam Chomsky, who seems to support Clinton (I disagree
and explain); item 2
is about Danish greed for the Danes: They steal jewelry from refugees
to prevent that refugees want to go to Denmark (but lie about it); item 3 is about a fine article by Bill Black about
Wall Street billionaires; item 4
is about a reasonable article about the Supreme Court, that soon will
have three octogenarians, and one who is close to it; and item 5 is about a number of global threats that indeed
are not talked about by presidential candidates.
Chomsky: Why the Republican Party Is a Threat to Human Survival
by Sarah Lazare on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
Renowned scholar and activist Noam
Chomsky declared this week that the GOP and its far-right front-runners
are "literally a serious danger to decent human survival.”
with The Huffington Post on Monday, Chomsky cited the Republican
Party’s refusal to tackle—or even acknowledge—the “looming
environmental catastrophe” of climate change, thereby “dooming our
He went to rebuke the Republican party
for its “abject service to private wealth and power” and dispossession
of the poor.
I fully agree with this.
But Chomsky made it clear that
his conviction that “the Republican Party has drifted off the rails”
and must be stopped by no means amounts to an endorsement of Democratic
hopeful Hillary Clinton—who he has previously
criticized as hawkish and opportunistic.
I do not agree with this. And I'll explain myself after the following and last quote
from this article, in which Chomsky seems to explain his choice for
And Senator Bernie Sanders, Chomsky
Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera’s UpFront show, “would--of the current
candidates--be the one who would have, from my point of view, the best
"I agree with him in a lot of things,
not in other things," Chomsky said, calling him “basically a new
"I frankly think that in our system of
mainly bought elections, he doesn't have much of a chance,” he
First, I agree with Chomsky that it
is - now - more likely that Clinton will win the nomination than
Sanders, though (i) I do not know by how much, and (ii) this is
still very early in the nominations.
Second, what I do not understand is why Chomsky - who does like
Sanders more than Clinton - doesn't take a similar position as Sanders
does: I support Sanders, who is the best candidate, until he is beaten,
and then I support Clinton, as better than any Republican.
That seems to me quite cogent, although I know that some purists, like
Chris Hedges, dislike Sanders - among other things - precisely for this
choice, and they themselves - or at least Chris Hedges - will vote for
the Green Party candidate, who will certainly loose.
To me the above seems the best and the most rational
possibility: Support your candidate of choice until he or she is
beaten; then say who is your next best candidate, and support him or
2. 'Morally Horrible' Law Lets Denmark Take Refugees'
Valuables in Exchange for Asylum
is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
This has a subtitle which is worth quoting
(and note the Danes are one of the richest countries in the world):
"They are fleeing from war and
how do we treat them? We take their jewellery."
This starts as follows:
I say. Why doesn't the Danish Parliament
decide that all refugees must loose their gold fillings too, before
they get Danish money to support them?! And "give" their all (except
for $1,450, on which one cannot live decently for one month
in Denmark, where rents and food are very expensive - and I know, because I
have family living in Denmark) to the Danes?
The Danish Parliament on Tuesday
approved a controversial law which allows authorities to seize money
and valuables from refugees, as well as delay family
reunification—treatment which critics decry as "morally horrible"
against those fleeing war and other violence.
"The bill presented by the center-right
minority government of prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen was approved
by 81 of the 109 lawmakers present, as members of the opposition Social
Democrats backed the measures," the Guardian
The law will allow police to search
refugees upon arrival and confiscate any non-essential items worth more
than 10,000 Danish kroner (roughly $1,450) that have no sentimental
value to their owner. The bill also includes a measure that raises the
waiting period from one year to three before refugees can apply for
their families to to join them. It also permits officials to consider
an individual's "integration potential" in resettlement cases,
increases administrative fees, and slashes temporary residence permits
to two years.
This is really sick, as far as I am concerned, and especially
in view of sick degenerate utter lies like these:
justified the action, saying the law "is about creating equality
between migrants and Danes," as the seizures are supposedly intended to
cover the cost of each asylum-seeker's maintenance by the state, which
they compare to Danish citizens on welfare benefits.
No, you Danish parliamentary sick and
degenerate liars: What you are doing is stealing almost
everything they still possess, making them the lowest of the low
and the poorest of the poor in Denmark; and you are not
doing it "to cover the costs" but to frighten any refugee away from
Denmark, that wants to reserve nearly all its riches for proper
This is clearly what it is about and for, so why be hypocrites?
It's true not all Danes (possibly even - for this was a parliamentary
decision - not most Danes) are positively impressed by these utterly
sick measures that have only one real purpose I can see: Frighten
away each and every refugee to Denmark because the Danes will steal
all you still may have, apart from enough money to stay three weeks in affluent and rich Denmark:
"Morally it is a horrible way to
treat people fleeing mass crimes, war, rapes," said Pernille Skipper,
an MP and legal affairs spokesperson for the left-wing Enhedslisten
party. "They are fleeing from war and how do we treat them? We take
They steal their jewellery, to be
precise: They dehumanize them further down than refugees (who
lost their countries, their language, their houses, their rights,
and most everything else) to make it as clear as they can - according
to the vast majority of Danish parliamentarians - that most Danes want to remain 100%
Danish, indeed like most Dutchmen, who want to remain 100% Dutch, and are
another nation with a completely false reputation for freedom,
liberality, and equality.
Black: Wall Street Declares War Against Bernie Sanders
third item is by Bill Black
(<- Wikipedia) on Naked Capitalism, and originally on New Economic
This starts as follows:
Wall Street billionaires are freaking
out about the chance that Bernie Sanders could be elected
President. Stephen Schwarzman, one of the wealthiest and most
odious people in the world, told the Wall Street Journal that
one of the three principal causes of the recent global financial trauma
was “the market’s” fear that Sanders may be elected President.
Schwarzman is infamous for ranting that President Obama’s
proposals to end the “carried interest” tax scam that allows private
equity billionaires like Schwarzman to pay lower income tax rates than
their secretaries was “like when Hitler invaded Poland.”
Wow - and he is a mega-rich Jew who dares
to make these totally insane comparisons. 
Here is some more about him:
Schwarzman’s claim that the global
financial markets are tanking because of Bernie’s increasing support is
delusional, but it is revealing that he used the most recent market
nightmare as an excuse to attack Bernie. The Wall Street
plutocrats, with good reason, fear Bernie – not Hillary. Indeed,
it is remarkable how vigorous and open Wall Street has been in
signaling through the financial media that it has no problem with
Hillary’s Wall Street plan. CNN, CNBC, and the Fiscal Times, under titles
such as: “Here’s Why Wall Street Has Little to Fear from Hillary
Clinton,” pushed this meme.
I think all of that is quite correct, and
indeed the mega-rich bankers also are quite correct in not
fearing Hillary Clinton.
Here is some about another billionaire,
the 7th richest American (and the 13th richest person in the world):
Mayor Bloomberg was outraged that Wall
Street banksters were criticized for their roles in leading the world’s
largest criminal enterprises. Bloomberg invented a fictional
alternate history in which the banksters were the victims of Congress,
which purportedly forced them to make millions of bad and fraudulent
loans – and then to sell the fraudulently originated loans to the
secondary market through fraudulent representations and
warranties. This is deranged, but Wall Street billionaires are
deranged. They are surrounded by media, gofers, and politicians
who treat their incoherent ramblings as genius. Bernie scares all
of these groups.
Yes, this is totally deranged. As
my last quotation from this article I have this:
Political scientists’ research has revealed the crippling
grip on power that the Wall Street billionaires have in practice and
the fact that the wealthy have, on key public policies, strikingly
different views than do the America people. In particular, the 1%
are exceptionally hostile to Social Security and anything that protects
the weak from predation by the wealthy. They are also stunningly
unconcerned about problems such as global climate change while they are
paranoid about debt, deficits, and inflation even during the depths of
the Great Recession.
In brief: These greediest of all mega-rich egoists
are completely for everything that allows them to get even
richer, and are completely against anything that prevents that.
Well... I am against personal billionaires, any and all, on the ground that they are extremely unhealthy to almost anyone who does not have their riches. 
This is a recommended article.
4. The Supreme Court Approaches Judgment Day
fourth item is by Bill Blum on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
I know you’ve heard this before,
but this time the future of the Supreme Court really is up for grabs in
the coming presidential election. By the time November rolls around,
three of the justices—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Anthony
Kennedy—will be octogenarians. Right behind them, Justice Stephen
Breyer will be 78.
Unless Father Time goes on permanent
leave or the laws of nature are suspended, all four could resign on
short notice, allowing the next occupant of the White House to appoint
Since the average tenure of justices
appointed since 1970 has exceeded
26 years, the next president will have the opportunity to reshape
the nation’s most powerful judicial body for a generation or more. And
with the power to reshape the court will come the power to redefine the
meaning and application of the Constitution.
Yes, indeed. Bill Blum also explains why
both the left and the right are concerned:
It’s easy to understand such
concerns. The replacement of even a single justice could swing the
tribunal’s voting balance on a variety of pivotal legal issues,
prompting reconsideration of a host of recent, landmark 5-4 decisions.
Since those decisions are a mixed bag, some liberal in outlook and
effect and others conservative, both ends of the political spectrum
have plenty of skin in the game of remaking the court.
He continues with listing and commenting on
five recent cases that appeared before the Supreme Court. I think they
are interesting but leave them to my readers' interests.
5. The Top Six Global Threats the Presidential Candidates Are
Never Asked About
The fifth and last item is by Andrew
Bacevich on Common Dreams and originally on TomDispatch:
This starts as follows:
Yes and no: Yes, US politics has degenerated
into "a form of low entertainment"
that is far less about any real issues as it is about the prejudices of
the candidates and their audiences. No, because desiring that a
presidential election campaign "should
engage and educate citizens, illuminating issues and subjecting
alternative solutions to careful scrutiny" is to
demand the impossible in a country where 60% of the adults believe in
the literal truth of Noah's Ark story.
To judge by the early returns, the
presidential race of 2016 is shaping up as the most disheartening in
recent memory. Other than as a form of low entertainment, the speeches,
debates, campaign events, and slick TV ads already inundating the
public sphere offer little of value. Rather than exhibiting the
vitality of American democracy, they testify to its hollowness.
Present-day Iranian politics may
actually possess considerably more substance than our own. There, the
parties involved, whether favoring change or opposing it, understand
that the issues at stake have momentous implications. Here, what passes
for national politics is a form of exhibitionism about as genuine as
A presidential election campaign ought
to involve more than competing coalitions of interest groups or bevies
banks and billionaires vying to install their preferred candidate
in the White House. It should engage and educate citizens,
illuminating issues and subjecting alternative solutions to careful
But I agree most candidates sound from hardly sane to quite insane (and
yes, I am aware they sound like that in part because they seek to
please their audiences):
In that regard, nothing tops
rhetorically beating up on the so-called Islamic State. So, for
example, Hillary Clinton promises
to “smash the would-be caliphate,” Jeb Bush to “defeat
ISIS for good,” Ted Cruz to “carpet
bomb them into oblivion,” and Donald Trump to “bomb the shit
out of them.” For his part, having recently acquired
a gun as the “last line of defense between ISIS and my family,” Marco
Rubio insists that when he becomes president, “The most powerful
intelligence agency in the world is going to tell us where [ISIS
militants] are; the most powerful military in the world is going to
destroy them; and if we capture any of them alive, they are getting a
one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay.”
Incidentally, Isis seems to have no more than
35,000 military men, that are surrounded by around 5,000,000 (five
million) Islamic soldiers from various Islamic states, but this indeed
is an aside. 
Andrew Bacevic continues:
What sort of national security
concerns shouldbe front and center in the current election cycle?
While conceding that a reasoned discussion of heavily politicized
matters like climate change, immigration, or anything to do with Israel
is probably impossible, other issues of demonstrable significance
deserve attention. What follows are six of them (...)
Again, yes and no: No, I do certainly not
believe that these questions are "probably impossible" to be discussed
reasonably in front of any audience, though yes, I also believe
that the audience of presidential elections is probably not fit
In fact, I believe what Robert Reich believes (see yesterday):
But detailed policy proposals are
relevant to the election of 2016 as is that gaseous planet beyond
Pluto. They don’t have a chance of making it, as things are now.
Also, this is not because "detailed policy proposals" are not
interesting: it is because they are beyond the intelligent and informed interests of most voters.
Having granted that, I also grant that I think it is a pity that the
following questions will probably not be discussed at all by any of the
candidates (and almost certainly not by any GOP-candidate):
1. The War on Terror: Nearly 15 years after this “war” was launched by George
W. Bush, why hasn’t “the most
powerful military in the world,” “the finest
fighting force in the history of the world” won it?
Why isn’t victory anywhere in sight? (...)
that in fact I have not
quoted rather a lot of text (indicated by "(...)"): Each point comes
with a fairly long justification, for these are just the topics and the
questions, and not the reasons for the questions.
more than 70 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what purpose do nukes
serve? How many nuclear weapons and delivery systems does the
United States actually need? (...)
Security: Given the availability of abundant oil and natural gas
reserves in the Western Hemisphere and the potential future abundance
of alternative energy systems, why should the Persian Gulf continue to
qualify as a vital U.S. national security interest? (...)
Now that the United States has normalized
assassination as an instrument of policy, how well is it working?
What are its benefits and costs? (...)
Seventy years after World War II and a
quarter-century after the Cold War ended, why does European security
remain an American responsibility? Given that Europeans are rich
enough to defend themselves, why shouldn’t they? (...)
Does the national debt constitute a
threat to national security? If so, what are some politically
plausible ways of reining it in? (...)
I liked the article, without agreeing with everything, and leave the
rest to the interests of my readers.
What would he say against a person like me, who insists that the
billionaires are so greedy, so egoistic, so dishonest, and so
corrupting that it is
by far the best for human civilization to forbid
anyone making more than 20 times what the poor get, supposing the poor
can decently live on that?
Perhaps I am a 1000 times Heydrich, in his
scale of values?!
 But it
is fairly relevant: I never even was in Africa, so I don't these
numbers with absolute certainty, but I have heard them
many times, and I have not
heard them denied. If these numbers are correct (more or less), I
really don't understand why this war in and around Iraq continues and
continues - that is, except because the US military like it to
continue and continue, because it does serve their
interests very well: The more and the longer wars the US is involved
in, the more money for the military.