1. Clinton, Sanders and Unelected Superdelegates
2. Obama Plans More Wars
3. NYPD Used Cell
Phone Spying Tools Over 1,000 Times
4. On the TTP/TTIP/TiSA
5. Democracy in Peril:
Twenty Years of Media
Consolidation Under the
This is a Nederlog of Friday, February 12,
Sanders and Unelected Superdelegates
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 7 dotted links: Item
1 is about how the unelected
superdelegates that the "Democratic Party" in the USA uses since the
early 1980ies to select its presidential candidates (!) may keep Bernie
Sanders from winning the candicacy; item 2 is about
the enormous sums the candidate of "Change!", "Change!",
"Change!" is planning to give to the Pentagon to further the many USA
wars; item 3
is about the very many liberties the NYPD takes in order to read
anything anybody says on his smartphone, which shows the future - the
police + secret services know far more about you
(whoever you are) than you do - if the NSA is not radically
tamed; item 4
is about the neo-fascistic means by which the neo-fascistic TTIP is
protected in Germany (and elsewhere) (but I know I am one of the few
who warns in these terms ); and item
5 is a good article about Bill Clinton's very many deregulations
that only served the very rich.
first item is based on two articles :
This is from the first of the above two
items, and is its start:
With Bernie Sanders’ double-digit
victory over Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and
near tie with her in last week’s Iowa caucuses, it would seem that the
race for the Democratic nomination would be neck and neck. But that is
not the case. In New Hampshire, Sanders trounced Clinton 60 to 38
percent—but they split the delegates evenly thanks to unelected
superdelegates siding with the former secretary of state. Overall,
Clinton sits far ahead of Sanders when you factor in these
superdelegates—the congressmen, senators, governors and other elected
officials who often represent the Democratic Party elite.
There is - both in this and the other
above-mentioned article - more on the "unelected
superdelegates" (bolding added), which I will only briefly indicate
These were introduced in the early 1980ies in the Democratic Party in
an attempt to control the outcomes of elections, and to try to stop
undesirable candidates, like Bernie Sanders is at present. These "unelected superdelegates"
(bolding added) are unique to the Democratic (!) Party.
This is from the first article and sketches the powers of these "unelected superdelegates"
Nermeen Shaikh: Overall,
Clinton sits far ahead of Sanders when you factor in these
superdelegates—the congressmen, senators, governors and other elected
officials who often represent the Democratic Party elite. Because
superdelegates are free to support any candidate, independent of
election results, they are often wooed by and align with candidates
very early in the campaign season. As early as August of last year,
months before the first ballot would be cast, the Clinton campaign had
reported a superdelegate count of more than 400 out of an available
Why the Democratic Party would want
any genuinely democratic election of its presidential
candidates remains somewhat obscure, until you realize that the
United States passes for "a democracy", as does the "Democratic Party".
This is from the second article:
Sanders, on the other hand, is
losing the superdelegate race by a catastrophic amount. Party elites
who have announced who they are supporting have almost universally
broken towards Clinton’s camp. A recent unofficial count put Clinton’s
advantage at a staggering 355-14. And given how Sanders falls well
outside the establishment compared to Obama in 2008, it’s hard to see
how he can gain a significant number to make up for Clinton’s lead –
meaning it’s more likely that superdelegates would at least want to tip
the scales in favor of Clinton, even if he ends up winning more
That seems - apart from all pretended
"democray" - a fair expectation. There is one proviso:
The important thing to know here
is that Superdelegates are merely pledged to a candidate. We know who
they support because they’ve stated it publicly, or been asked by
journalists. They are not committed, and can change at any time. If
Bernie Sanders wins the popular vote, he will be the nominee. End of
Well... yes... perhaps, is my reaction (for I
do not believe in the genuine "democracy" of the Democratic
Party). I take it the last quotation may be correct if Bernie
Sanders wins by a large difference, all over the USA.
Otherwise, it may be the "unelected
superdelegates" (bolding added) who will decide who will be the
Democratic Party's presidential candidate.
There is considerably more in either article.
2. Obama Wants More Wars
is also based on two articles :
This is from the first article:
Recently, Secretary of Defense
Ashton Carter previewed the proposed new Pentagon budget for 2017, and
one thing is evident: war is in the money. The Obama administration
wants to double the funding for the war against the Islamic State to $7
billion, money to be ponied up by a Congress that refuses to declare
war on the Islamic State.
At the same time, the proposed budget
calls for a quadrupling to $3.4 billion of what might be considered
next-war funding. Think of it as financing for a prospective future
European face-off against Vladimir Putin & Co. Yes, Russia, a
rickety energy state facing plunging oil prices and rising discontent,
turns out, according to Carter, to be America’s latest looming enemy du
jour. The defense secretary is planning to use that $3.4 billion to
“stockpile heavy weapons, armored vehicles, and other military
equipment” across Central and Eastern Europe, station “a full armored
combat brigade” (4,000 or more troops) in the region, and “construct or
refurbish maintenance facilities, airfields, and training ranges in
seven European countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.” (All of them, except half of Germany,
were once part of the Soviet bloc.)
This is from the "Change!", "Change!",
"Change!" president ("Yes we can!", "Yes we can"!).
The rest of the analysis is from the
second article, that asks a quite pertinent question that is never
raised and never answered: Does any of the presidential
candidates even know what is the percentage of the present budget
Here are some of the answers:
Why is this topic, although seemingly
central, scrupulously avoided?
- The candidates all, more or less,
- None of the candidates brings it up.
- Nobody in Congress, not even the “progressive”
caucus, brings it up.
- Nobody in the corporate media brings
- The corporate media outlets see war
profiteers as customers who buy ads.
- The corporate media outlets see war
profiteers in the mirror as parts of their corporate families.
- The fact that the military costs
money conflicts with the basic premise of U.S. politics which is that
one party wants to spend money on socialistic nonsense while the other
party wants to stop spending money and build a bigger military.
Those seem like the obvious answers, but
here’s another. While you’re being entertained by the election,
President Obama is proposing a bigger military than ever. Not only is
U.S. military spending extremely high by historical standards, but
looking at the biggest piece of military spending, which is the budget
of the Department of so-called Defense, that department’s annual “Green
clear that it has seen higher spending under President Barack Obama
than ever before in history.
I may be repeating myself, but this is
the candidate who promised "Change!",
"Change!", "Change!", "Change!", and
who got elected on that promise.
Well, here are some of the changes he recently proposed:
There is more in either article.
When it comes to nuclear weapons, Obama
wants to increase spending, but when it comes to other miscellaneous
extras for the military, he also wants to increase that. Military
retirement spending, on the other hand, he’d like to see go up, while
the Veterans Administration spending he proposes to raise. Money for
by fighting it, Obama wants raised by 50%. On increasing hostility
through a military
buildup on its border, Obama wants a 400% spending boost. In one
analysis, military spending would jump from $997.2 billion this
year to $1.04 trillion next year under this proposal.
That’s a bit awkward, considering the
shade it throws on any piddly little project that does make it into
election debates and reporting. The smallest fraction of military
spending could pay for the major projects that Senator Bernie Sanders
will be endlessly attacked for proposing to raise taxes for.
NYPD Used Cell Phone Spying Tools Over 1,000 Times Since
third item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This is from the beginning, and sketches
part of the future if the NSA is allowed to continue as it has been
doing since 2001, at least in my opinion:
The New York Police Department (NYPD)
has used the covert cell phone spying devices known as Stingrays more
than 1,000 times since 2008, including for the investigation of
low-level crimes and typically without a warrant, the New York Civil
Liberties Union (NYCLU) revealed on Thursday.
"If carrying a cell phone means being
exposed to military grade surveillance equipment, then the privacy of
nearly all New Yorkers is at risk," said
Donna Lieberman, NYCLU executive director. "Considering
the NYPD's troubling history of surveilling innocent people, it must at
the very least establish strict privacy policies and obtain warrants
prior to using intrusive equipment like Stingrays that can track
people's cell phones."
In addition, the department confirmed that it has no written policy for
the devices, but that its practice is to obtain a pen register
order—which requires a lower standard of probable cause to collect
phone data than a warrant—prior to using them.
Stingrays operate by mimicking cell
phone towers, tricking nearby cell phones into connecting with them,
which allows police to pinpoint users' locations, collect phone numbers
that a user has been calling or text messaging, and even intercept the
contents of their communications. Civil rights groups have criticized
the controversial technology for what they say are invasive and
That is: Everybody counts as a suspect
of anything; anybody's private communications are stolen
as a matter of course, with hardly any checks and no guarantees
of any kind; the police and the secret services know far more
of your own life and past ideas and values than you do;
and everybody who is not
a leading politician (or a movie star), nor in the secret services or
the police is - at the very best - a secondary "citizen" who only
deserves to be listened to in secret, in order to decide
whether he or she will be arrested.
4. On the
The fourth item is by Lambert Strether on Naked Capitalism:
This is only a small part in much larger
sum-up of quite a few different things.
It is about the TTIP and the great inferiority
of any elected
parliamentarian to the neo-fascistic lawyers of the multi-national
corporations who are trying to lay down neo-fascism on everyone (you may
disagree, but this is how I see it, and that is completely in line with everything I know about fascism and
neo- fascism) .
As you may know, the TTIP until very
briefly ago was a completely hidden "law", which it was because
it desires to end most of the powers of any national
government, of any elected national parliament, and
of any national judiciary, and it does so by giving these
powers to lawyers who act for the multi-national corporations, both
as lawyers and as judges, to pronounce on the issue whether any
of these national elected institutions did anything to lower the
expected profits of the multi-national
corporations, and if it does, to convict all
of the inhabitants of the nation to pay hundreds of millions or
billions to the multi-national corporations from the national taxes,
also mostly in secret, and without any appeal.
Very briefly ago parts of the TTIP were
"opened", but not to the public, whose human and national
rights are threatened, and who have to pay all the billions
that the multi-national corporations are going to demand, but only to
parliamentarians, who all must approach this fascistic creature as if
it were the Holy Writ: They may not take any notes, and
must be superfast readers, and
some who did so also found that the TTIP they saw was full of very many
elementary spelling mistakes.
And here I take up the story and quote:
She is doubtless right that these
errors are fairly unsubtle attempts to create unique copies so that any
leaks can be traced back to their source, since visitors to the reading
room are directed to a particular computer when reading the text.
This is to guarantee the lawyers of the
multi-national corporations the means to prosecute any
parliamentarian who spoke up about what they may have read to
those who elected them (and who will have to pay the fines
imposed by the
lawyers of the multi-national corporations if these do not realize
And this is not all, and not
And here are the obstacles:
It’s almost as if the very text of the law
itself has been privatized…
Even though this reading room for
German politicians has finally been opened — two and a half years after
the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations began — numerous obstacles are placed in
their way to make that opportunity as inconvenient as possible. First,
the texts are only available in English — imagine if US politicians
were only allowed to read the French version of the negotiating texts.
Moreover, the German visitors to the room are completely on their own:
they cannot take even security-cleared specialists with them in order
to decode the highly-abstruse wording of the documents. Finally, as
Kipping notes above, she had just two hours to get through 300 pages —
roughly 24 seconds per page.
I disagree with the last sentence: It is fully
as if the very text of the "law" has both been privatized and
made virtually impossible to read by any elected
representative. (No one can read legal prose, in a foreign
language, at a rate of 24 seconds per page.)
Well, I say it again: The TTIP is a neo-fascistic law, that is pushed
through by neo-fascistic means, in order to be the foundation of a
neo-fascistic multi-national "state" where everything will be
for the very rich only, where everybody who is not
very rich will be fully known to the secret services, to a very
much larger extent than he or she recalls, and where anybody
who may constitute any risk to the very rich will be removed by the
(without anybody knowing, apart from direct family, who again will be
"legal commands" not to say anyrhing to anyone).
That is what I expect, and that is what I see
happening, indeed all with the tacit consent of most politicians.
But hey! You do not need to worry if your IQ is below
115 and you are decently
Also, these imminent enormous political changes certainly will not
be called for what they are, once it has gotten passed by the European
politicians. They are quite capable of calling it a
super-democracy because no one will ask any
improper question anymore, while the former "leftists" who "progressed"
to "political correctness" (already in the nineties) as their only
"political demand" may even like it a lot!
No one will ever be capable of saying anything
improper, for everyone will be prosecuted who does, and everyone is
fully known by the secret services. Politically Correct Bliss!
So really the future is very rosy, and it is only a few
people like me - whose grandfather was murdered by the Nazis, and whose
father spent over 3 years
and 9 months as a political prisoner in German concentration camps -
protest, no doubt because they fear for their "freedoms". 
in Peril: Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Under the
The fifth and last item for today is by Michel Corcoran on Truth-out:
This is from near the beginning of the
Twenty years ago this week,
President Bill Clinton signed
Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was
"essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies," as
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it, and radically "opened the floodgates
In fact, this was one of the many deregulatory decisions Bill Clinton
made, all of which only
served the very rich and their interests (and for which he got well
paid after finishing his presidency: $130 million - at least - for a
The negative impact of the law cannot be
overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of
telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, "is
widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal
laws of this generation." The act dramatically reduced important
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership,
and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets
across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of
information in the United States and around the world.
Here is part of what Clinton wrought for the very rich:
Twenty years later the
devastating impact of the legislation is undeniable: About 90 percent
of the country's major media companies are owned by six corporations. Bill Clinton's legacy
in empowering the consolidation of corporate media is right up there
with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and welfare reform, as being among the most tragic and
destructive policies of his administration.
And the deregulations, not to forget,
including the deregulations of the big banks, of which there
now also are some six that own most and who are free to do
whatever they please, regardless of the law, "because they are too big
There is a lot more in the article, which is recommended.
fact, this is somewhat of an innovation in the crisis series: Several
sources in a section, with a title I made up rather than that I copied
it from an article I was reviewing. And I do not name the journalists
anymore, when I am using several articles as my source.
I do not think the innovation is large, and in any case it is
mostly caused by the endless amounts of "reflections" by endless
amounts of journalists who really have not much to say, but repeat it
after each election, which means that in some of the sites I check
every day there may be as many as 7 articles by 7 journalists
who all review the same election, which again is one of
many similar elections, while few have anything much
to say that is new or original.
 I am sorry if my terminology
inconveniences you, but I am one of the relatively few who still
believes in truth
and in ethics,
and part of the reasons for my own opinions are that my grandfather was
murdered by the Nazis; my father survived more than 3 years and 9
months of German concentration camps as a communist; my mother was in
the real communist resistance, and that I was called "a dirty fascist"
a mere 12 years by the Stalinist members of the ASVA in the University
of Amsterdam because I was not a Marxist (most of
the members of the ASVA were pseudo-marxists with rich parents:
mine were very poor revolutionary honest communists whom I
liked a lot but disagreed with) and because I had the temerity to
believe in truth and in science (in a
university!!) in which none of the members of the ASVA I saw or heard
believed in: They all disbelieved in science ("capitalist") and
in truth ("everybody knows truth does not exist").
Then again, I am one of the extremely few with such a
revolutionary background, and one of the few who knows a lot about both
and science, so you have to excuse me if you are inconveniened
in any way in your opinions: I am deeply sorry that I still can
think and publish.