Thousands Mobilize in France Against 'Headlong Rush
2. The Clinton System
3. Bill Black: Announcing
the Bank Whistleblowers’ Group’s
Interior Minister on Refugee Crisis
5. The radical left has
Bernie Sanders all wrong
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, January 31,
Thousands Mobilize in France Against 'Headlong Rush into
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about France, its decline towards an authoritarian state, and
the protests against it; item 2 is about the
Clintons and the system that enriched them; item 3
is about a new whistleblowers' group, that I welcome and find quite
interesting; item 4 is about an interview with
Germany's interior minister, who mostly said nothing; and item 5 is about how the far left is mistaken about
by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Thousands of people in Paris and other
French cities hit the streets on Saturday to protest the controversial
state of emergency that one organization says is an indication of a
"headlong rush into authoritarianism."
The measure, imposed following the November attacks in
Paris, is set to expire February 26. Debate in the bicameral
parliament is forthcoming, as Agence France-Presse reports,
with "Senate [...] to vote on the proposal on February 9, followed by a
vote in the National Assembly on February 16."
At the action in Paris, police said
5,000 took part, while organizers said the turnout was 20,000. Dozens of similar protests also
took place Saturday in other cities across the nation.
I agree with the demonstrators, and indeed
with the slogan that what is happening in France is a "headlong rush into authoritarianism" - and in fact I agree
with this at least since October 29, 2008 (in Dutch, but quite good).
And indeed I go further: I thought then
and I think now
that "terrorism" was and is the completely dishonest political
propaganda way to end personal freedoms, to end personal decision
making, to end social freedom and to further the denials of access of
the many poor and non-rich to virtually any governmental power or
Nearly all of the news I have read about
terrorism in the main media were and are - in my opinion - propaganda
falsehoods to move the frightened many to accept the destruction of
their own democracy, their own democratic laws, and their own
Here is - once more - Hermann Goering on
It does, especially since so many
are neither intelligent nor informed.
And this is what is
happening in France:
Paris-based civil liberties group La
Quadrature du Net earlier this week called on people to take part in
one of the protests, and also urged people to call members of
parliament to voice their concerns.
"To stop the government's escalation of
security measures, which destroys the bases of our institutions day
after day and trivializes attacks on fundamental rights, it is urgent
to clearly demonstrate our refusal of this obnoxious policy," the
in a media statement.
Yes, indeed. And there is this, that again
accords with my diagnosis that "terrorism" is a
coded attack on democracy and democratic rights,
neither of which is realistically threatened by "terrorism":
Quite so. Will it help? I fear not, but
indeed I agree with the demonstrators:
The protests also come the same week as
France's top administrative court rejected an appeal
brought by the Paris-based League of Human Rights that urged the body
to suspend all or part of the state of emergency, and follows a joint
statement by a group of United Nations human rights experts who warned
that the measures "impose excessive and disproportionate restrictions
on fundamental freedoms."
If you give up your democratic
rights, you embrace an authoritarian state.
is by Simon Head on The New York Review of Books (that seems to be
getting a bit more political):
This starts as follows:
On January 17, in the final Democratic
debate before the primary season begins, Bernie Sanders attacked
Hillary Clinton for her close financial ties to Wall Street, something
he had avoided in his campaigning up to that moment: “I don’t take
money from big banks….You’ve received over $600,000 in speaking fees
from Goldman Sachs in one year,” he said. Sanders’s criticisms
coincided with recent reports that the FBI might be expanding its
inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails to include her ties to big donors
while serving as secretary of state. But a larger question concerns how
Hillary and Bill Clinton have built their powerful donor machine, and
what its existence might mean for Hillary Clinton’s future conduct as
American president. The following investigation, drawing on many
different sources, is intended to give a full sense of the facts about
Clinton and not to endorse a particular candidate in the coming
And that is indeed what the article does.
Here are three facts about the Clintons that were pretty decisive for me:
1. Bill Clinton started the completely
fallacious bullshit of the Third Way, which in
fact served the big banks and the rich, while lying about its
own progressiveness (which was mostly mere political
correctness (<- Wikipedia): legislating how one should address
others). As Bill Black (see the next item) said:
"Third Way is this group that pretends
sometimes to be center-left but is actually completely a creation of
Wall Street--it's run by Wall Street for Wall Street with this false
flag operation as if it were a center-left group. It's nothing of the
2. This bullshit
produced $120 million for him, mostly as rewards for his
serving the big banks. (The same bullshit produced at least 50
million pounds to the Catholic fraud Tony Blair.)
3. Bill Clinton started the big deregulations that led to the
2008-crisis, and the following major corruptions of the major American
These fraudulent positions are not treated
in the article, which follows the money, but I did like the article,
that does make a lot clearer about the massive financial speculations
the Clintons engage in, that come down to the following:
(i) rich corporations pay - say, and these
numbers are genuine if approximare - $250,000 for a speech, (ii) which
gets remunerated by help from the Clintons at some later point that
normally deliver a 10 or 100-fold or more in profits to the rich
corporations, while (iii) the Clintons keep playing the progressive
helpers of the non-rich, since that is what they get most of their
In brief, they are totally corrupt and extremely well paid,
which again they are because they do reliably deliver to the
rich corporations as whose paid servants they function.
Here is Simon Head's appraisal of their reliability (for the
rich, not for the non-rich):
What stands out about what I will call
the Clinton System is the scale and complexity of the connections
involved, the length of time they have been in operation, the presence
of former president Bill Clinton alongside Hillary as an equal partner
in the enterprise, and the sheer magnitude of the funds involved.
Yes indeed. And this article is well worth
reading and is recommended, simply because it does give a credible
survey of the enormous amounts of money the Clintons get from
the rich, for their services to the rich.
The article ends as follows:
So far, Hillary Clinton has refused to
commit herself to a reintroduction of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall
Act, which Bill Clinton allowed to be repealed in 1999 on the advice of
Democrats with close ties to Wall Street, including Robert Rubin and
Larry Summers. The reintroduction of Glass-Steagall, favored by Bernie
Sanders, would prevent banks from speculating in financial derivatives,
a leading cause of the 2007-2008 crash. With leading Wall Street banks
so prominent in the Clintons’ fundraising streams, can Hillary Clinton
be relied upon to reform the banks beyond the modest achievements of
the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010?
The reply to this question is: No, she
certainly cannot be trusted - follow the money, and you will see where
her real loyalties are.
3. Bill Black: Announcing the Bank Whistleblowers’ Group’s
third item is by Bill Black
(<- Wikipedia). I found it on Naked Capitalism, but it originated on
New Economic Perspective:
This starts as follows:
I am writing to announce the formation
of a new group and a policy initiative that we hope many of our readers
will support and help publicize. Gary Aguirre, Bill Black,
Richard Bowen, and Michael Winston are the founding members of the Bank
Whistleblowers’ Group. We are all from the general field of
finance and we are all whistleblowers who are unemployable in finance
and financial regulation because we spoke truth to power and committed
the one unforgivable sin of being repeatedly proved correct.
This is excellent news for me,
because indeed this is true about Bill Black, and no doubt also about
the other three: They are financial specialists who are honest,
and are therefore widely discriminated by the very many
American corrupt financial organizations.
Here is some more:
We are a newly formed organization of
financial sector whistleblowers dedicated to holding the elite
financial leaders who led the fraud epidemics that caused the financial
crisis and the Great Recession personally accountable and to helping to
implement the urgent changes necessary to prevent or at least reduce
the frequency and harm of future crises. Our group has expertise
in finance, banking, real estate, accounting, underwriting, economics,
law, securities, criminology, regulation, and financial
derivatives. We also have international expertise.
We are releasing four documents
today. This first document provides the outline of our plan that
would allow any newly elected President (or President Obama) to restore
the rule of law and end “too big to fail” without any new legislation
or rules within 60 days. The second document explains and fleshes
out the outline of our 60-Day Plan. The third document is our
proposal to encourage the candidates to pledge that they will not take
contributions from banks (and their officers) that the federal
government, after investigation, have found to have engaged in fraud or
other felonies. The fourth document explains who the
whistleblowers are and provides our bios and contact information.
Our group is predominately former
bankers who worked at fairly senior levels for enormous financial
institutions. We do not hate banks or bankers as a group.
We know, however, that when elite fraud is not stopped by the
regulators and the prosecutors it is likely to create a “Gresham’s”
dynamic. The Nobel Laureate George Akerlof was the first
economist to describe this dynamic in 1970.
Excellent - indeed also if it fails (as it
very well may if Trump or Cruz is the next US president).
There is a lot more under the last dotted
link, which is recommended.
4. German Interior Minister on Refugee Crisis
This has an introduction:
fourth item is by Ralf Neukirch and René
Pfister on Spiegel International:
In an interview, German
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, 62, warns that the government in
Berlin only has a few weeks left to solve the refugee problem. He fears
that Europe's open-border policies may soon end if a solution isn't
I will quote two bits from the interview,
though it seemed to me mostly given by a governmental liar who does
really answer any questions about his policies, his concerns, his
values or his priorities, rather as if he belongs to the political
nobility (which he does, in effect).
But judge for yourself: These are "the best" bits from the interview:
If that wasn't impressive, there is the
SPIEGEL: Isn't the real
illusion the idea that Europe is going to help bail Germany out of the
refugee crisis? Austria has announced a cap on the number of refugees
it is willing to take, Denmark has tightened its asylum laws and Sweden
is no longer allowing refugees without papers into the country.
De Maizière: On Monday, I sat
together with my European counterparts in Amsterdam and the degree of
responsibility they felt was indeed very divergent. However, it is a
mistake if some partners believe they can avoid the problem.
Well, 365 * 2000 = 730,000 in a country of
over 80 million inhabitants. That is still less than 1%. But with men
like De Maizière... o well.
De Maizière: We want clarity by
spring. Compared to September and October, when on some days as many as
10,000 people entered Germany, the number has decreased significantly.
In January, an average of 2,000 people came per day, which, projected
over a year would still be very many -- too many. So no matter what, we
need to prevent the influx from massively increasing again in the
spring. Time is running out.
5. The radical left has Bernie
Sanders all wrong
The fifth and last item is by Josh Fattal
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed: These (American) "far leftists", to settle
on a name, don't live in a reality in which 60% of the American population
believes in the literal truth of Noah's Ark story; where the majority is
Christian; and where one can get some political changes, though indeed
not all one wants, by voting for a politician who is not
perfectly ideal. 
For the most part the far left—those
whose identities are wrapped up in being socialist, anarchist and other
shades of left activists—do not understand the real significance of the
Bernie Sanders campaign.
Clinging to their ideologies and
principles, they see plenty of reasons why Sanders is insufficient: he
doesn’t call for workers owning the means of production; he doesn’t
advocate national control of key industries; he will centralize the
state with big government.
Here is Josh Fattal's argument against this
type of "far leftist":
But they are missing the point.
Let me point out some of what these folks neglect: Bernie Sanders is
publicizing two main messages: 1) the economy is rigged and 2) our
politics is corrupted. Millions of people have heard that message more
clearly from him than they ever would have heard before.
I agree with Fattal, but indeed I much doubt
many of the "far leftists" will see it thus, basically because they are
predominatly of the type that wants things all as they please, and
reject anything which goes in their direction without reaching it.
One socialist website even makes
it seem that Bernie will undermine the revolutionary working class’s
aspirations for syndicalist control of the economy. This kind of
thinking is the result of a mind-body split. These radicals are clearly
not experiencing the embodied world around them. Instead they seem to
be using deductive logic based on theory, not sound history.
Yes (although I don't believe in "a mind-body split": far too vague): They simply are
so prejudiced that they deny all theories that don't agree with their
assumptions and they also deny or disregard all facts that go against their
theories. (Also, if they are postmodernistically influenced they deny facts and truths:
all there is are "narratives", for the committed postmodernists. )
The article ends as follows:
Without Sanders’ political
revolution, we can rest assured that we’ll have another four years of
cycles of repression, resistance and left critiques of politicians who
they now say make no difference anyway. It’s hardly deniable that a few
months of activism devoted to Bernie could enable more change than
years of screaming at the corporate iron wall.
I agree, but then I've always been a
realist. And this is an interesting and sensible article that is
recommended, though without any illusion (on my part) that it will cure most on the
must and do grant that there simply are (far) leftist groups
that do not
live in reality, and they have been there all the time in the over 50 years I've
been looking at politics, and also before that, going back as far as
the French revolution. And something similar holds for (far) rightist
groups, though I am less informed about them (apart from the Nazis,
about whom I know a fair amount).
And my explanation for the continued - centuries long (!) - existence
of both groups of radicals is in part temperamental (some
really do insist that nothing is sufficient or good unless it totally
fits their own theories) and in part totalita- rianism (which
amounts to roughly the same, but not on temperamental grounds but on -
purported - grounds of doctrine).
 The narrative point of view - "we all
tell each other narratives; everything is a narrative" - is still quite
popular amongst the politically correct "left", so I say something
To insist that "everything is a narrative" is normally a relativistic very
wide generalization that does away with any distinction of
quality in the narratives, apart from personal liking.
It is normally pure bullshit
that reduces any saying by anyone to "talk", while
denying (in good part through refusing to discuss) any
difference in the intellectual, ethical or scientific
status (including the definite lacks thereof) of the "talkers": One's
views - however uninformed, however stupid, however biased - are "just
as good" as anyone else's views, according to many "narrativists".
Well... this is just a plain lie in most circumstances: The intelligent
and informed, and especially those who know about real science,
generally know better than the unintelligent, the uninformed and the
not scientifically educated.