Donald Trump Does Away With the GOP’s 9/11 Fantasy
2. Netanyahu's Paranoid Meltdown Edition
3. The Pentagon Is the
Most Spoiled Child of the Federal
4. The Death of the Republican Party
5. European Groups Expose 'Terrifying Extent of Corporate
Grab' Within TTIP
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, February 16,
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about the GOP's baloney about 9/11; item 2
is about the craziness that rules part of Israel under Netanyahu's
government; item 3 is about the enormous financial
desires of the Pentagon, for more money to make more wars; item 4 is about an article by Robert Reich that claims
the Republican Party is dead (but I don't believe it); and item 5 is about the very great dangers of the
TTIP for Europe: For me, it heralds - if accepted - the arrival of a
"legal" kind of fascism, that will very soon remake Europe into
another USA, including its many bad laws (for these are the most
profitable to multi-national corporations, and their profits
are the only thing that really counts, also "legally" if the
TTIP gets to be "law").
Donald Trump Does Away With the GOP’s 9/11 Fantasy
first item is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig:
This starts as follows (and
is here because of the GOP and 9/11):
“Surely this time,” the establishment
chorus cries with joy, “Donald Trump has gone too far!”
Sorry, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
What Trump did at Saturday night’s debate was ruder
than any of his prior insults, profanities or remarks about women. He
corrected the historical record about the 9/11 attacks, demolishing the
fairy-tale version that has become a central tenet of Republican dogma.
It’s true, and you can look it up: George W. Bush was president when
the World Trade Center towers fell.
It: Donald Trump Is Right About Iraq—and That Should Sink Hillary
I say - and of course the
main thing about Donald Trump's attack on the GOP's myths about 9/11 is
that he is a presidential candidate for the GOP, and also one who
considerable success with Republican electorates (so far).
The writer of the article
also has opinions:
Trump went too far, of course, as he
always does. He sought to actually blame the attacks on negligence by
Bush and his administration. As I’ve argued in the past, terrorist
atrocities should be blamed on the terrorists, not on the officials who
try and sometimes fail to thwart them.
I disagree, and for two reasons: (1) the official
story about 9/11 was a bunch of lies. I do not
know the explanation for the lies, but they were lies - according to
many physicists, architects and other specialists, whom I trust a lot
more than a couple of senators. And (2) surely the blame ought to be shared
somehow (being an anti-terrorist does not make you faultless) - and again there were major oddities on 9/11
with security: Why were there no fighter planes available, for example
(and quite a few more questions)?
Then there is this:
But historical fact is historical
fact—except in polite GOP circles. After Trump committed his heresy,
telling Jeb Bush that “the World Trade Center came down during your
brother’s reign,” Marco Rubio quickly began an incantation of the
Republican Creed: George W. Bush “kept us safe,” Rubio said, “and I am
forever grateful for what he did for this country.”
What Trump is quoted as saying indeed is
an elementary fact.
And while Rubio apparently got stuck in yet another of his
learned-by-heart speeches, Eugene Robinson is too optimistic about
historical facts: These have been denied by many others than are in
circles", mostly because that served some sort of popular lie.
This is from the end and seems correct:
But the biggest transgression, perhaps,
was to cite a more accurate history of the Bush administration’s “war
on terror.” Months ago, Trump pressured all the other
candidates—including Jeb Bush—into agreeing that the war in Iraq was a
mistake. Now he is challenging what I call the Bogeyman Claim: Vote for
Democrats and terrorists will come and get you. Vote for Republicans
and your family will be safe.
Saturday night’s debate was nothing short
of a bare-knuckles brawl, full of personal attacks and allegations of
bald-faced lying. But the most serious damage was not to any candidate
but to the GOP’s carefully constructed fantasy world.
Incidentally: I do not watch the
GOP debates, nor indeed the Democratic ones, although these are more
interesting (from reports that I did read).
There are two main reasons for this:
First, I dislike nearly all political speeching by anyone on anything.
And second, these speeches by presidential candidates are
reviewed by -
literally - many hundreds or thousands of journalists, so I do not need
to do what I don't like to do anyway.
Finally, as I started saying: I reported
this bit not because of Donald Trump, but because he denied as a
presidential candidate one of the major myths of
2. Netanyahu's Paranoid
is by David Sheen on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
The second week of February 2016 was a
banner week for racism in Israel, with shockingly racist rhetoric from
Prime Minister Netanyahu, genocidal references from his backbenchers
and fulsome attacks on Palestinian leaders from his entire government.
David Sheen explains this in five
sections, with the following titles:
1. Netanyahu’s racist incitement.
2. Palestine doesn’t exist because Arabs
3. New Knesset proposal declares Arabs the
4. One man’s terrorist is an Israeli
5. The Genocide convention.
You can read the text of the sections by
clicking the last dotted link.
Here are my brief summaries:
1. Netanyahu wants to build a fence around
all of Israel to defend it from the 'wild beasts' that surround Israel.
2. Palestinians have no rights as a people because they cannot
pronounce the "p". 3. Some Israelis hold that the Bible proves that the
Israelis (the Jews, though they may have difficulties with the letter
"j") were first in Israel (3500 years ago), and therefore it is
4. Palestinian Members of the Knesseth were suspended for months for
crime of meeting with Palestinians. 5. While the Israeli government
attacks Palestinians for sympathizing with terrorist they themselves
congregate with a
rabbi who calls on the "Jews to march on the rest of the Middle East
exterminate all men who refuse to abandon Christianity and Islam."
I think these brief summaries justify the
title of the article, for this is just plain madness.
3. The Pentagon Is the Most Spoiled Child of the Federal
third item is by Tom Engelhardt on AlterNet and originally on his site:
In fact I
will be quoting only from Engelhardt's introduction to another article (that you can find by clicking the last link).
Engelhardt starts like this:
Here’s my little joke of the month: How
do you spell Pentagon? M-O-R-E.
Whether it’s funny or not, it couldn’t
be more accurate. And that urge for more is fed endlessly by an
American military that has increasingly become the only “option” on
that mythical “table” in Washington where all options are supposedly
kept. 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.
Not only that:
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
In case you thought that was all: There is
more, on even more spendings on war, indeed all over the globe: The
Americans are everywhere.
Here is the ending of the introduction -
and note that there is also a 'pivot China' and a 'pivot Africa' for
Yes, indeed. And Obama wants all
investments in war and destruction, while the USA is growing poorer and
poorer, though indeed except for the 1% of the very rich and their lawyers,
families and friends.
Which brings us back to that proposed
2017 Pentagon budget. The skyrocketing funding to move new U.S. troops
and equipment into the former Soviet areas of Europe and build (or
build up) yet more "facilities" there means that, in 2016, we may be
witnessing a “pivot to Europe” as well. You could think of it all
collectively as the Pentagon’s pivot to more or less everywhere, or
just spell it out as M-O-R-E and be done with it.
4. The Death of
The fourth item is by Robert Reich on his site:
starts as follows:
I’m writing to you today
to announce the
death of the Republican Party. It is no longer a living, vital, animate
It died in 2016. RIP.
It has been replaced by
Evangelicals opposed to
marriage, and science.
Libertarians opposed to
constraint on private behavior.
“free market” can do no wrong.
Corporate and Wall
Street titans seeking
bailouts, subsidies, special tax loopholes, and other forms of crony
Actually, I think this is
a bit of an
exaggeration: The "warring tribes" were there for a long time,
and I do
not know of any prominent Republican who said his party is dead. (But I agree there may be such - but not known to me.)
Then again, what does seem
to be dead is the semblance of unity that the Republicans
emanated, and indeed one
important reason that died is Donald Trump's blowing up the myths about
9/11 (see item 1).
Here is Robert Reich on
the death he
I, for one, regret its
nation needs political parties to connect up different groups of
Americans, sift through prospective candidates, deliberate over
priorities, identify common principles, and forge a platform.
My own guess is that they
will get over
it, though I agree they have done the things Reich mentions extremely
badly in 2015
And here is Reich's ending:
Without a Republican
stands between us and a veritable Star Wars barroom of
Without a Party, anyone
runs who’s able
to raise (or already possesses) the requisite money – even if he
happens to be a pathological narcissist who has never before held
public office, even if he’s a knave detested by all his Republican
Without a Republican
Party, it’s just us
and them. And one of them could even become the next President of the
I mostly agree with the
that (i) I think it holds for quite a while now, indeed because
the Republican party did extremely badly in sifting serious
presidential candidates, but (iii) it isn't dead yet, and probably
'Terrifying Extent of Corporate Grab' Within TTIP
it will survive these presidential elections as well.
The fifth item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
to the London-based Global Justice Now and the
Netherlands-headquartered Transnational Institute, the TransAtlantic
Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) "would massively
increase the ability of corporations to sue member states of the EU
over measures such as windfall taxes on exceptional profits, or use of
taxation as a policy instrument such as a possible 'sugar tax'."
Yes, but in reality it is much worse
than that, and I explain it once again:
The TTIP is a completely anti-democratic authoritarian secret
attempt to found fascism forever  (also with
the help of the NSA), for it is introduced in a secret way in
which parliamentarians are deeply denigrated and cannot
even take notes or talk about what they've read (!!)
(and which they cannot read all or most of in such time as they
get to read this monstrosity) and it takes away almost all national
The national governments will be undone; the national
parliaments will be undone; the national judiciaries
will be undone; and all of these will be undone by unending attacks on
any government, any parliament or any judiciary that dares to do
anything that might lessen the expected profits from
multi-national corporations, that are free to oppose any such -
governmental, parliamentary or judiciary - effort by claims of millions
or billions in compensation from the taxes that the inhabitants of
these nations have to pay, and which, under these treaties,
will get done by the very own lawyers of the multinational
corporations in their very own fascistic "courts", which know no
appeals, and which transcend all national laws, all national
judiciaries, and all national parliaments.
If anything ever deserved to be called planned, legal
fascism by corporate design it this utterly fascistic sickness.
In case you doubt my claims (which is always allowed) consult
the first of the following links (a 1 MB download, that is good and
clear, but indeed doesn't mention fascism):
(pdf) zeroes in, as others
on the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions
that are an integral part not only of the TTIP but of other massive
The other links in the above quotation also
are good. You will find a list of cases in the report
(pdf). Here is a final bit from the
trade deals currently under negotiation. It shows
that corporations have already used such provisions of existing trade
deals to sue at least 24 countries, from India to Romania, over 40
tax-related disputes, in some cases successfully challenging and
lowering their tax bills.
Precisely - and why oppose the ISDS if these
anyway transcend all law you can throw at them and only
consider whether the expected profits have been reached? And this is done in a foreign court manned by lawyers-from-the-
The report underscores
that supposed tax
'carve-outs', written into trade or investment treaties in an effort to
limit the ability of investors to file tax-related ISDS cases, have not
succeeded in stopping taxes being challenged and defeated.
"Though some of these
clauses are stronger and clearer than others, they have not prevented
lawyers from filing tax-related ISDS cases, and they have not prevented
arbitrators from agreeing to consider them," the report reads. "The
language in these treaties is often convoluted and sometimes
contradictory, with exceptions within exceptions—giving lawyers a lot
to argue about but making it difficult for policymakers to know what
actions could risk a treaty claim."
What's more, the report
points out, "The
threat of an expensive ISDS case can be as powerful as actually filing
one. With states unclear about what might trigger successful claims,
the safest course of action is to never threaten a multinational
corporation's profits—a dangerous prospect for tax justice and public
corporations who act as judges? Without any appeal? Without any parties other
than corporations and states?
Anyway... it is all very horrible and also very evil
(in a cunning, totally dishonest and utterly sick lawyerly way) but my guess is
that most of the - few - European politicians who might (have)
stop(ped) the TTIP have been bought, and that (therefore) the horrible TTIP
will become European "law".
Also, this is a recommended article.
 Also once again: I am using
this definition of the term "fascism" that according to my extensive
knowledge is adequate:
is defined as "A system of government that exercises a
dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of
state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
The TTIP (and the TTP and the
TiSA and the CETA and also the NAFTA) are or were explicit attempts to
found a dictatorship "through
the merging of
state and business leadership" by
almost completely annulling the rights of nations, of governments, of
parliaments and of judges to make their own decisions by their own
criterions in conformity with the democratic majority of their own
Instead, everything done by any nation with such a sick
treaty as mentioned above will be judged by some external
"court" with just one criterion: Does it or does it not give
the full profits the multi-nationals expected?
And if it does not the inhabitants of that country may have
to pay the multi-national corporations hundreds of millions or several
billions to make up for the profits the corporations claim they lost -
for example, because the majority of that nation believed that some other
things (health, environment, education, law, decency, morals, etc.
etc.) were more important than multi-national profits.
No, they are not according to the TTIP, the TTP, the TiSA, the CETA and the NAFTA: Nothing
matters except the expected profits that the CEOs of
multi- nationals desire.
That is the essence of the TTIP, the TTP, the TiSA,
the CETA and the NAFTA and that essence is full fascism as defined, or
worse, for this time the state has not "merged" but is made a
subordinate subject to external "courts" run for CEOs
interests that very well never were in the state they challenged
for not giving them all the profits they expected.
And the TTIP will rapidly make Europe into another USA, for most of the
laws that make Europe a better place for most of its
inhabitants are subject to destruction by the "courts" of the
multi-national corporations that serve just one major end: The
maximization of the profits of multi-national corporations.