Judge Grants Torture Victims Their First Chance to
3. What Should Left-Wing Foreign
Policy Look Like?
4. How the Panama Papers
5. Who Runs Strongest
'That Candidate is
6. 47 Percent Of
Americans Cannot Even
Come Up With
$400 To Cover An Emergency
7. Empire Files: Abby
What Hillary Clinton
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, April 23,
crisis blog. There are 7 items with 7 dotted links: Item
1 is about Obama's great liking of Google aka Alphabet; item 2 is about a civil suit against the two designers
of the U.S. torture program, psychologists Mitchell and Jessen (who
were rewarded $80 million for it); item 3 is about
leftwing policy and the popularity of Piketty compared with the
invisisbility of Noam Chomsky; item 4 is about the
Panama Papers, Cameron, and why there are so few Americans in the
Panama Papers; item 5 is about a very recent
interview with Bernie Sanders, who concedes winning the presidential
candidacy will be difficult, but who goes on till the end, and who
insists - quite correctly - he is the best answer to Trump; item 6 is about the amazing poverty of nearly half of
all Americans (sorry guys: your money went to the rich); and item 7 is a fine video with Abby Martin exposing Hillary
1. The Android
first item is by David Dayen on The
This is from the beginning:
Over the past seven years, Google has
created a remarkable partnership with the Obama White House, providing
expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government
Precisely how much influence this buys
Google isn’t always clear. But consider that over in
the European Union, Google is now facing two
major antitrust charges for abusing its dominance in mobile
operating systems and search. By contrast, in the U.S., a strong
case to sanction Google was quashed by a presidentially appointed
say - and Google (aka "Alphabet") has an enormous amount of money (much
of it stolen from the American taxes, by the way, but that does not seem to hinder
Here is some more on the influence Google has on the White House:
As the interactive charts accompanying
this article show, Google representatives attended White House meetings
more than once a week, on average, from the beginning of Obama’s
presidency through October 2015. Nearly 250 people have shuttled from
government service to Google employment or vice versa over the course
of his administration.
I point out - once again - that the merger between the big
multi-national corporations and the government is a sign of fascism ?!
OK, I have done it - and mind you, this is not only about power but
also about lots of money:
Google’s dramatic rise as a lobbying
force has not gone unnoticed. The company paid almost no attention to
the Washington influence game prior to 2007, but ramped
up steeply thereafter. It spent
$16.7 million in lobbying in 2015, according to the Center for
Responsive Politics, and has been at or near the top of public
companies in lobbying expenses since 2012.
But direct expenditures on lobbying
represent only one part of the larger influence-peddling game. Google’s
lobbying strategy also includes throwing lavish
D.C. parties; making grants
to trade groups, advocacy organizations, and think tanks;
offering free services and training to
campaigns, congressional offices, and journalists; and using
academics as validators for the company’s public policy
In any case, I don't think Google lost on its investments in the
government. And this is how corruption - buying power or influence, which is what Google has spent a lot of money on -
Judge Grants Torture Victims Their First Chance to Pursue Justice
is by Jenna McLaughlin on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
I say. This indeed is rather amazing, especially because of what is said in the third paragraph: No
government interference, which they based on the - utterly illegal, in
international law - notion that torture should be allowed. I do hope
this judicial decision will keep standing, because that seems to be the only way "the public" may get some truths about the torturing that Mitchell and Jessen did and arranged.
A CIVIL SUIT against
the architects of the CIA’s torture program, psychologists James
Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, will be allowed to proceed, a federal judge
in Spokane, Washington, decided on Friday.
District Judge Justin Quackenbush denied
the pair’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit launched against them on behalf
of three victims, one dead, of the brutal tactics they designed.
“This is amazing, this is
unprecedented,” Steven Watt, a senior staff attorney for the American
Civil Liberties Union representing the plaintiffs, told The
Intercept after the hearing. “This is the first step towards
What’s so unprecedented is that this is
the first time opponents of the program will have the chance to seek
discovery evidence in the case unimpeded by the government. In every
other past torture accountability lawsuit, the government has invoked
its special state-secrets privileges to purportedly protect national
Then again, this is merely the beginning, so I only register it now. I
will probably return to it (in part because I really dislike my
Mitchell and Jessen, who also have been kicked from the American
logical Association, quite deservedly).
What Should Left-Wing
Foreign Policy Look Like?
The third item is by
Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Hm. There is something to the position of the
editors of n+1, but I think they considerably understate their
Remember the Bush years, when it was
safe, as the editors of n+1 say in the magazine’s Spring 2016 issue,
“to accuse the government of both criminality and insanity” for its
foreign policy? Not so in the Obama era, during which policy
discussions even among liberals narrowed to a slight “range of options
presented as the full spectrum of reasonable action”: “[A]rm the Syrian
rebels? Stay the course with a bombing campaign? Send a trickle of
‘advisers,’ softly and quietly, to invade Syria?”
This development owes a great deal to
the disappearance of the antiwar movement, the editors argue. Consider,
for example, that Thomas Piketty—“an economist concerned with
inequality and distribution”—“can publish the biggest academic best
seller of the decade,” “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” while a
foreign-policy expert like Noam Chomsky, who presumes American hegemony
is “not de facto a good thing,” gets nowhere in the national press.
There is not only hardly any antiwar movement in the USA (apart from
some veterans, to be sure), there also is a radical disappearance
of the real left , that morphed into the quasi-left of the
Democratic Party, that stands to the right of Reagan on many issues;
the disappearance of most of the free press; the rather
complete disappearance of any real "leftist ideology" in
the mainstream media, and its exchange to a mostly linguistic
position of political correctness; the morphing of the U.S.
government into a collaboration with the multinational corporations
(especially banking and computing, at least in this administration: it was oil in the previous one); and the constant secret surveillance of everyone by the secret services, that probably dampens the enthusiasm of many to protest the government. 
I think each of these changes was major, and each of
these changes contributed to the disappeareance from the mainstream
media and most of the paper press of most antiwar positions, of most
genuine leftist criticisms of society, and of almost any rational leftist
criticism of the government.
But I leave this theme, since this is a brief article, and most of it is
a fairly long quotation that answers the question of the title of the
I found the particular answer that is quoted not interesting.
4. How the
Panama Papers Reveal Scandalous Hypocrisy
The fourth item is by Jim
Hightower on AlterNet:
This is from near the beginning:
We've known for a while that tax dodging
is a common plutocratic scam, but the details from the leaked files of
an obscure Panamanian law firm named Mossack Fonseca now give us names
One is David Cameron, the ardently
conservative prime minister of Britain, who has loudly declaimed tax
sneaks in public. But—oops—now we learn that his own super-wealthy
father was a Mossack Fonseca client, and that David himself has
profited from the stealth wealth he inherited from the elder Cameron's
secret stash. Trapped by the facts, the snarling, privileged prime
minister used middle-class commoners as his shield, asserting that
critics of his secluded wealth are trying to "tax anyone who [wants] to
pass on their home ... to their children." Uh-uh, David—we merely want
to tax those who try to pass off tax frauds on the public.
Indeed, and I admit I liked the discomfitures and the corrupt twistings and turnings of Cameron, in part becase I just don't like him (though not as much as I dislike Blair), in part because of his riches (he is a millionaire, though not as affluent as Blair), and in part because of his awful policies: It is nice to know he is a fraud.
There is also this on the American rich:
This is good to know, though I should add that this seems to hold mostly for personal riches and less for corporate riches, which again seems to be the reason so many American corporations formally are seated outside the USA:
The global web of corruption involving
thousands of super-rich tax dodgers and money launderers that the
Panama Papers reveal is an explosive scandal—yet, interestingly, very
few names of the moneyed elite in our country have surfaced as players
in Mossack Fonseca's Panamanian shell game. Perhaps U.S. billionaires
and corporations are just more honest than those elsewhere.
Hahaha, just kidding! They're not more
honest, just luckier. You see, America's conniving richies don't have
to go to Panama to set up an offshore flim flam—they have the
convenience of hiding their money and wrongdoings in secret accounts
created right here in states like Delaware and Nevada.
The New York Times notes that it's easier
in some states to form a dummy money corporation than it is to get a
To avoid paying U.S. taxes.
Runs Strongest Against Trump? 'That Candidate is Me,'
item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Bernie Sanders acknowledged in an exclusive
interview with NBC News on Thursday that he faces "a
hard path" to win the Democratic presidential nomination—but maintained
that he's up to the challenge, asserting that "the people in every
state in this country have the right to vote for the agenda that they
"It's not unrealistic," he stressed, but
"it's a hard path, I admit that."
"Look, if we do not have a majority,
it's gonna be...hard for us to win," Sanders told reporter Andrea
Mitchell in his first interview since losing
the New York primary
to rival Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. "The only fact that I think
remains uncertain is if we continue to be running significantly
stronger than she is against Donald Trump, or whoever the Republican
nominee will be. I think that's a factor."
"I think there are a lot of Democrats
out there who are scared to death—as I am—about the possibility of a
Trump presidency," Sanders continued. "And the Democrats, by and large,
want to see the strongest candidate possible to take on and defeat
Trump or some other Republican. At this point, according to virtually
all of the polls, that candidate is me."
This is here because I did want to quote some reasonable article on Bernie Sanders after he lost New York to Clinton. And this is a reasonable article,
and also I agree with everything Bernie Sanders says in thev above quotation.
There is more in the article, and it is recommended.
Percent Of Americans Cannot Even Come Up With $400 To
Cover An Emergency Room Visit
item is by Michael Snyder on
Washington's Blog and originally on the Economic Collapse Blog:
starts as follows:
If you had to make a sudden visit
to the emergency room, would you have enough money to pay for it
without selling something or borrowing the funds from somewhere?
Most Americans may not realize this, but this is something that the
Federal Reserve has actually been tracking for several years now.
And according to the Fed, an astounding 47
percent of all Americans could not come up with $400 to pay for an
emergency room visit without borrowing it or selling something.
Various surveys that I have talked about in the past have found that
more than 60 percent of all Americans are living to paycheck to
paycheck, but I didn’t realize that things were quite this bad for
about half the country. If you can’t even come up with $400 for
an unexpected emergency room visit, then you are just surviving from
month to month by the skin of your teeth. Unfortunately, about
half of us are currently in that situation.
I say! And no, I did not know that, and this also is - well... should be: the politicians don't care, for the most part - a frightful shame for American governments and for American politicians.
Incidentally, I am almost 66 now (no, I don't look it at all) and have never in my life received as much as the minimal
legal income in Holland, for when I was healthy I did not work full
days in order to study; then I got a study loan, which was considerably
less than the dole; then I got dole, which was less than the official minimal income (I should
have gotten a health-program because I was really ill, but no: it was
much better that I suffered, according to the sick assholes of
the dole); and now I have a minimal pension, which is still 24/25th
of the minimal pension others get, because I lived in Norway for two
years) - but (also because I have learned to live cheaply and don't
drink at all) I do now have several thousands in reserve, of
course without any interest, because I am poor. (And that also took
trouble and restraint.)
In any case: The brief summary of the above is that the American rich and the American politicians have succeeded in making nearly half of the total American population, that is around 150 million persons, poorer and more decrepit than I am, who never got as much as a Dutch minimal income (while I do have an M.A. degree which is extremely rare: 9.3 out of 10 points maximal - the average is slightly above 6 - but I never got a real chance of making as much as one cent with it, and indeed I didn't).
And here is a journalist called Neil Gabler who gets quoted, to show you what it is like to have very little money:
I know what it is like to have to juggle
creditors to make it through a week. I know what it is like to have to
swallow my pride and constantly dun people to pay me so that I can pay
others. I know what it is like to have liens slapped on me and to have
my bank account levied by creditors. I know what it is like to be down
to my last $5—literally—while I wait for a paycheck to arrive, and I
know what it is like to subsist for days on a diet of eggs. I know what
it is like to dread going to the mailbox, because there will always be
new bills to pay but seldom a check with which to pay them. I know what
it is like to have to tell my daughter that I didn’t know if I would be
able to pay for her wedding; it all depended on whether something good
happened. And I know what it is like to have to borrow money from my
adult daughters because my wife and I ran out of heating oil.
I have had very similar experiences, and not just for one or a few years, but for more than 10 years, while I was in the dole, and had to repay debts. (But I have no children, no wife, and - so far - never ran out of heat.) 
Finally here is a sum-up in five points:
In brief: The United States - if this article is correct, and I see no reason to doubt it is - is growing rapidly poorer and poorer, except for the few rich,
To underscore this point, let me just
run five quick facts about the growth of poverty in this country by you…
–The number of
Americans that are living in concentrated areas of high poverty has doubled
since the year 2000.
–In 2007, about one out
of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that
number is one out of every
–46 million Americans
use food banks each year, and lines start forming at some U.S. food
banks as early as 6:30 in the morning because people want to get
something before the food supplies run out.
–The number of homeless
children in the U.S. has increased by 60 percent over the past
–According to Poverty USA, 1.6 million
American children slept in a homeless shelter or some other form of
emergency housing last year.
who are as rapidly growing richer and richer.
And this is a recommended article.
Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents
seventh and last
item is by
like Abby Martin (since Breaking The Set (<- Wikipedia)): she is
smart and sensible. The above link goes directly to Youtube, where you
should see the following:
takes 27 m 7 s. It is a good video on Hillary Clinton, who is not a
good person at all (but - still, even so - less bad and (especially) less crazy than Donald Trump, which I do mention in case the choice
will be between the badly
rotten and the loony fascistic, as very well may be the case).
 I have, and in case you want to disagree, here is the definition of fascism I presume, which is from the American Heritage Dictionary (<- Wikipedia):
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."
Note: "typically through the merging of
state and business leadership".
 I am merely briefly listing
these major changes here. I think they are all very important, and I
think they also have been very consciously striven for since the early
1970ies by "the political right" and by "the rich" (to use two easy
labels, that need expansions, but not here and now).
I think also most of these changes to the right comprise both of the
large American political parties (both did shift to the right, and
quite a lot as well), and much of what Powell and Reagan wanted for the
right has meanwhile been achieved.
But this is merely a note. I will probably deal with these 5 important changes in a later Nederlog.
 I should also say here that I was much
opposed by the bureaucrats of the dole, and by many other bureaucrats
who worked for the narko-nazis who were mayors of Amsterdam. (This is not true of anyone else in the dole, at least to the best of my knowledge.)
And please note that in Holland over 10 billion euros are turned over every year - at least - by the illegal drugsdealers who are protected by Dutch mayors, which makes their trade look legal, which it never was: all dealing in soft drugs in Holland is still illegal, and was so since 1965, but somehow there is since the middle 1980ies a deal between the drugsmafia and the Dutch mayors that consisted in this: The Dutch mayors "give their personal permission" to the illegal dealers to deal in soft drugs; the illegal dealers agree that they will not deal in hard drugs; and until they do they are completely free to do what they please, for part of the deal is and was that no one knows how much soft drugs are sold, and no one knows the quality of the soft drugs that are sold.
That is the essence of the thoroughly corrupt and totally illegal deal that was concluded in the middle 1980ies, and that is the case till today (over 30 years now).
I am for legalization of all drugs since 1969, but I think the Dutch set-up was designed to make an enormous illegal amount of money.
So far, it has succeeded in doing so from 1985 till 2016, in which also something like 300 billions of euros were sold merely in soft drugs. (That figure results very simply from the figures in the parliamentary Van Traa report, that was never
acted upon after Van Traa died mysteriously or was killed mysteriously.
The link is to the part of his report about Amsterdam, that is on my
site since 15 years. In case you read Dutch, do read Noot 60)
Incidentally: I do not know what part went into politicians', district attorneys' or judges' pockets. As the situation is, nobody knows, except for those who received some. Of course, the mayors themselves deny getting a single cent, and also deny they know anything about drugs. You might believe them, although all the evidence you have are their very honest faces, but the numbers in this note are the numbers in Van Traa's parliamentary report (for Van Traa was a parliamentarian and was given the task by parliament to compile a report on drugs in Holland).
And with a turnover of 10 billion euros each year (merely in soft drugs), which is about 12 billion dollars, lots of people may have been corrupted.
But do not count on any help from the Dutch police, Dutch
judges, Dutch mayors, Dutch district attorneys, Dutch politicians or
Dutch bureacrats to clarify the problems these enormous corruptions
As far as they are concerned, everything has been arraigned in the best possible way, and no one is to blame for anything (except for me, since I keep writing about it because my health was thoroughly destroyed since 25 years after having to live for four years above such illegal drugsdealers who were protected by the Dutch police, Dutch judges, Dutch mayors, Dutch district attorneys, Dutch politicians and by Dutch bureacrats).