March 4, 2016

Crisis: Depression, Hillary, FBI & Stasi, American Evangelicals, Drugmakers
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Striking Admission By Former Bank Of England Head:
     The European Depression Was A “Deliberate” Act

2. In Bed with a Nation-Wrecker: 5 Ways Hillary Is As Bad
     As Bill

3. The FBI Has a New Plan to Spy on High School Students
     Across the Country

4. A Call to Evangelical Trump Voters
5. You Don’t Matter to Drugmakers

This is a Nederlog of Friday, March 4 2016.

This is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about the real ends of the unelected oligarchy that runs Europe; item 2 is about the fact (I take it) that Hillary is as bad as Bill Clinton (and this is a recommended article); item 3 is about the latest Stasi-like attempts of the FBI to know and control what every American teenager thinks and desires (and to report on everyone who is not quite average and very normal); item 4 is a fine piece on the evangelical Christians who support Trump: they are extremely inconsistent (and tend to be both stupid and ignorant, but these are my additions); and item 5 is about who really matters to the pharmaceutical corporations: only Congressmen who can vote on their profits, and not anybody else: They merely are forced to pay the medical bills.

1.Striking Admission By Former Bank Of England Head: The European Depression Was A “Deliberate” Act

This first item is by Tyler Durden on Raging Bull-Shit, and originally on Zero Hedge:
This starts as follows:

Once again we find that it is only after they leave their official posts that central bankers finally tell the truth.

Last night, it was Alan Greenspan who blasted the state of the economy, saying that “we’re in trouble basically because productivity is dead in the water” and when asked if he is optimistic going forward, Greenspan replied “no, I haven’t been for quite a while.”

Then on Sunday, the former head of the BOE, Mervyn King, warned that another aspect of the global economy, namely the financial system whose structural problems remain untouched since the financial crisis have been untouched, is “certain to have another crisis.”

I made the discovery mentioned in the first statement myself, over thirty years ago, and based on my experiences in Holland. Of course, other people made the same discovery, and probably also a lot sooner.

So all I am going to say here is: Yes, that is true - but only a small part of those who left their posts afterwards shed light on what they really did in it, and usually they have some external stimulus to do so, such as having published a book that they want to popularize.

And incidentally, but relevantly: Most of their peers do not tell the truth, or at least a commercially useful part of it, simply because they are in fact bought off with large salaries and don't have their own books to publish.

Anyway... here is Mervyn King, a former head of the Bank of England:

As the Telegraph reports today, according to the former head of the Bank of England Europe’s economic depression “is the result of “deliberate” policy choices made by EU elites. Mervyn King continued his scathing assault on Europe’s economic and monetary union, having predicted the beleaguered currency zone will need to be dismantled to free its weakest members from unremitting austerity and record levels of unemployment.

I note that "deliberate" is not quite the same as deliberate. Here is "a clarification" of the term (which indeed is not quite a clarification):

But the biggest question about Europe’s depression has always been whether it was the result of sheer stupidity and poor economic decisions or deliberate. King’s answer was stunning: “it is appalling and it has happened almost as a deliberate act of policy which makes it even worse”.

I think this means:

It was mostly not deliberate, because actually Europe's economic policies were selected by a handful of men who were greedy, not well informed economically, egoistic, and not by far as bright as they think they are themselves, and it could have been rather easily avoided with less greedy, better informed, less egoistic or brighter men. (But such men tend to be kept from high jobs by the majority of the far more ordinary men who are in the other high jobs.)

And while I admit there is some guessing in the previous paragraph, I think it also gives a fairly clear explanation of "almost deliberate".

Indeed, here is another powerful specialist, who gave a fairly honest answer in 2008:

Recall what then-AIG Banque’s strategist Bernard Connolly said in response to the rhetorical question of “What Europe wants

To use global issues as excuses to extend its power:

  • environmental issues: increase control over member countries; advance idea of global governance
  • terrorism: use excuse for greater control over police and judicial issues; increase extent of surveillance
  • global financial crisis: kill two birds (free market; Anglo-Saxon economies) with one stone (Europe-wide regulator; attempts at global financial governance)
  • EMU: create a crisis to force introduction of “European economic government”

The tragedy for Europe is that it has all panned out just as Europe’s unelected, ruling oligarchy as expected, and while we should congratulate Brussels which has managed to not only preserve but solidify its power, it now rules over a decaying, economically insolvent continent, with an entire generation left unemployed, with millions of refugees scrambling to get in, and with Europe’s cultural “integration” back to levels not seen in decades.

Or to put what was said in the four points in terms of power: The unelected ruling oligarchy of Europe is doing what most holders of great powers do to extend their own - completely undemocratic - powers as much as they can:

It is extending their own powers by any possible means, legal or illegal, moral or immoral, and is trying to get all enviromental powers (or rather "environ- mental" powers: many terms are propaganda terms); a far greater control by the police and the secret services that every inhabitant is well-behaved and thinks the desired thoughts while having the required values; it uses the crisis to extend its own powers and to curtail all others; and it is waiting for an opportunity to do away with nations, and give all economic powers to the very few unelected oligarchs in Brussels.

And I think that is a fair estimate. [1]
2. In Bed with a Nation-Wrecker: 5 Ways Hillary Is As Bad As Bill

The second item is b
y Paul Buchheit on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

In 1996 Bill Clinton referred to the U.S. as "the world's greatest force for peace and freedom, for democracy and security and prosperity."

For PEACE he cluster-bombed civilians in Yugoslavia, wiped out a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, and stood by as Iraqi sanctions and Rwandan genocide killed hundreds of thousands of people.

For FREEDOM he oversaw the largest increase in prison population in U.S. history, with the great majority of prisoners in for nonviolent drug offenses, and with more people working in criminal justice than in social services. 

For DEMOCRACY he backed NAFTA, which allowed corporations to undermine local governments with lawsuits against public health and environmental and food safety laws.

For SECURITY he dismantled the safety net for families with children, leading to a dramatic increase in extreme poverty in the U.S.

For PROSPERITY he invited mortgage failure by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act and deregulating derivatives, and he made CEOs more prosperous by making their "performance" pay tax-deductible.

I think all of the above is true (and you can check the links), and in fact Bill Clinton was mostly lying.

The same is true of his wife, as is argued by Buchheit in the rest of the article, of which I only copy the titles of the sections but not the text, which I leave to your interests:

Hillary on PEACE (Peace is War)
Hillary on FREEDOM (that is, Prison)
Hillary on DEMOCRACY (that is, Free Trade)
Hillary on SECURITY (that is, the Safety Net)
Hillary on PROSPERITY (that is, for Banks)

I think that is fair as well, and the article ends as follows:

Hillary should be instilling fear and apprehension in average Americans. In the same deceptive, cunning manner as her husband she leads us to believe that she is on our side. But she's married to Wall Street, and to the man responsible for the most diverse forms of national destruction in modern times.

Yes, indeed: This is why I don't like Hillary. And this article is recommended,
although I must admit that it probably will not make much difference, simply
because there are far more that have heard the Clintons' propaganda and have been tricked by it than are capable of seeing through it.

But this article is a good attempt to bring some clarity to those who can think
rationally, and it is a recommended read.

3. The FBI Has a New Plan to Spy on High School Students Across the Country

The third item is b
y Sarah Lazare on AlterNet:
This starts as follows - and sounds as if the FBI is firmly planning on being the Stasi of the USA (the Stasi was the secret service of the German Democratic Republic, i.e. the Soviet state that collapsed in 1989):

Under new guidelines, the FBI is instructing high schools across the country to report students who criticize government policies and “western corruption” as potential future terrorists, warning that “anarchist extremists” are in the same category as ISIS and young people who are poor, immigrants or travel to “suspicious” countries are more likely to commit horrific violence.

These are all either straight lies or heavily biased propaganda, and the only end the FBI can have for spreading this false rot is that it has Stasi-like aspirations.

Here is some more:

Based on the widely unpopular British “anti-terror” mass surveillance program, the FBI’s "Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools" guidelines, released in January, are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities. However, in its caution to avoid the appearance of discrimination, the agency identifies risk factors that are so broad and vague that virtually any young person could be deemed dangerous and worthy of surveillance, especially if she is socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken.

I disagree some: While I agree that the first target of the FBI are the "Muslim-American communities" I think the deeper point is that the FBI is
trying to follow "any young person" and indeed especially those who are "
socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken".

Tjhat is: what the FBI is really seeking to do is to know every young persons thoughts, every young persons values (both possibly with the help of the NSA) and to control all of these, just as the Stasi did in "socialist Germany", but with far fewer means to do so:

This overwhelming threat is then used to justify a massive surveillance apparatus, wherein educators and pupils function as extensions of the FBI by watching and informing on each other.

Precisely. You think not? Consider the following:

According to the FBI’s educational materials for teenagers, circulated as a visual aide to their new guidelines, the following offenses constitute signs that “could mean that someone plans to commit violence” and therefore should be reported: “Talking about traveling to places that sound suspicious”; “Using code words or unusual language”; “Using several different cell phones and private messaging apps”; and “Studying or taking pictures of potential targets (like a government building).”

Note this also applies to every American teenager: If you are not totally average, you might be a terrorist, or an extremist, which is another name
for a terrorist, and you ought to be reported for deviance (just like in the
German Democratic Republic).

All of this amounts to the FBI's (!!) building of a totalitarian state, as is also illustrated by the following:

Similarly, “Animal Rights Extremists and Environmental Extremists” are placed alongside “white supremacy extremists”, ISIS and Al Qaeda as terrorists out to recruit high school students. The materials also instruct students to watch out for  extremist propaganda messages that communicate criticisms of "corrupt western nations" and express "government mistrust.”

So if you are an "extremist" (you are for animal rights or a safe environment)
you are "a terrorist" like the ISIS or Al Qaeda; if you say that Western nations
are "corrupt", you are "an extremist" and therefore "a terrorist"; and if you don't trust the government you are also "an extremist" and therefore "a terrorist" (like I.F. Stone, I must presume, who famously said
"All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed.")

Who says so? The FBI, that is trying to become the Stasi of America. Perhaps you think I am exaggerating?

Well, here is the end of the article:

The FBI’s instructions to surveil and report young people not for wrong they have committed, but for violence they supposedly might enact in the future, is likely to promote an intensification of this draconian practice. Using a program initiated to spy on Muslim-American communities, the government is calling for sanctuaries of learning to be transformed into panopticons, in which students and educators are the informers and all young people are suspect.

I agree, and this is simply totalitarianism of the FBI. (Also, I have been warning against this since 2005, so it is not very shocking to me.)

4. A Call to Evangelical Trump Voters

The fourth item is by William Rivers Pitt on Truthout:

William Rivers Pitt is Truthout's senior editor and lead columnist, and he is certainly better informed about evangelicals than I am. This is a fine and recommended article, in which he asks in effect why so many evangelical Christians vote for Donald Trump, and he does so on Biblical grounds.

This is from near the beginning:

With Trump's every word against immigrants, Muslims, women and even his opponents, he betrays the teachings of Christ as described in Matthew 25:40: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did to me." Trump is a man of vanity and pride and brute inchoate rage, and last I heard, "Pride" was on the no-no list of deadly sins.

So is greed. "It's hard for me to turn down money," Trump said after his victory in Nevada, "because that's what I've done in my whole life. I grab and grab and grab. You know, I get greedy. I want money, money. I'll tell you what we're going to do, right? We get greedy, right? Now we're going to get greedy for the United States. We're going to grab and grab and grab. We're going to bring in so much money and so much everything."

As to pride: It is the most deadly sin, according to the Christians, and since nearly twenty centuries. As to greed: it is the second most deadly sin,
according to the Christians, since nearly twenty centuries. (Check the item
sin, if you didn't know: The seven Christian ones are all there, with their Latin names as well.)

So why are so very many American "Christians" and "evangelicals" supporting Donald Trump (who also sounds extremely stupid in the second quoted paragraph)?

Here is William Rivers Pitt's answer:

Why is this happening? I have a fairly straightforward explanation: You're a pack of marauding frauds. The "morals" and "values" you've been attempting to ram-feed the country for going on 40 years are ashes in your mouths if you stand up for Donald Trump. He represents everything you allegedly despise, and yet you run through walls to support him. Donald Trump is the moneychanger Jesus whipped out of the temple in his wrath, and here you are hitching your wagon to his star. You're not "evangelicals." You're football fans rooting for a team, jumping on board with the guy you think can win, and to hell with the contradictions. You literally reek to high heaven.

Yes and no: I agree the evangelicals and Christians that support Trump are behaving as "marauding frauds", for the simple reason that Trump is everything their Bible forbids, but I also think there is a deeper reason:

They are stupid, they are ignorant, they are easily deceived, and they are
also mostly deeply totalitarian, indeed as Christians. (And none of this is
necessary, for there are also quite a few Christians who are not stupid, not ignorant, not easily deceived and not totalitarian. Check out Chris Hedges,
for one - ministerial - example.)

Here is one last bit, from near the ending:

Matthew 6:5-6 teaches, "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret." Pretty sound advice under any circumstances.

Matthew is talking to you people, you who slather yourselves in false piety while flaunting your vivid hypocrisy.
Clearly, Pitt is correct in styling these evangelical Christian supporters of Trump as "hypocrites", simply because they are completely unevangelical and unchristian in supporting Trump (who also probably never read the Bible, by the way).

But nearly all the evangelical supporters of Trump belong to the uneducated, which Trump says he "loves very much", and indeed they probably for the greatest part also belong to the half whose IQs are maximally 100.

And this is a recommended read.

You Don’t Matter to Drugmakers

The fifth and last item today is by Jim Hightower on Truthdig and originally on OtherWords:
This was motivated by the fact that I am ill for 37 years, but this also is in fact a crisis item, as will emerge. It starts as follows:
If you wonder why Congress critters keep ignoring what the people want them to do — while doing things that people don’t want them doing — take a peek at the unique PR campaign now being run by the pharmaceutical industry.

The public is dismayed and disgusted by the flagrant greed of drugmakers that are shamefully zooming the prices of medicines into the stratosphere, turning necessities into unaffordable luxuries. As a result, there’s a growing demand for Congress to take action to stop the industry’s out-of-control price gouging.

To counter this, drug companies have launched a massive advertising campaign. They’re running ads on radio, in print, and on Facebook and Twitter painting themselves as the good guys.
However - as Hightower proceeds to explain - almost no one saw these advertisements, and they didn't because they were not directed at the many, but at the very few:

Instead, their “public” relations effort has made the odd and seemingly counterproductive move of sidestepping the actual public to narrowly target a very tiny audience.

As Celgene executive Bob Hugin arrogantly put it: “We’ve identified 7,000 Americans who matter.” The other 330 million of us, apparently, are nobodies.

In fact, the "other 330 million" are effectively nobodies: Their votes do not count in Congress, for they do not pay lobbyists.

Here is the end of the article:

So this is a surreptitious PR campaign meant to reach only the eyes and ears of policy elites. The goal is to have Congress — once again — ignore what the people want it to do, thus allowing the corporate few “who matter” to keep fleecing the rest of us.

And I suspect that this "unique PR campaign" has a high probability of succeeding.

[1] As a relevant aside: I never believed in "a unified Europe".

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