Dilma Rousseff, Former Leftist Guerrilla and Brazil’s
First Female President, Is
2. Julian Assange: Michael Ratner was a
Justice" from Guatemala to
3. Want to Know if the TPP Will Be a Disaster? Just Look at
the Korean Trade Deal
As Wealthy Surge, U.S. Poor and Middle Class Incomes
Have Gone Backward
5. The Powers That Be Have Looted the Economy and
Destroyed the Middle Class
This is a Nederlog of Friday, May 13,
is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 6 dotted links: Item
is about the suspension of Dilma Rousseff, with an extra link to an
article by Glenn Greenwald, who knows a lot more about Brazil than I
do; item 2 is about Julian Assange about the
deceased lawyer Michaeal Ratner (who was a good lawyer, in contrast to
28 out of 30 Dutch legal phonies I met in the 80ies and 90ies); item 3
is about the TTP and is here because it may warn against adopting the
neofascistic TTIP in Europe: The TTIP will make Europe mostly like Texas; item 4 is about the - radical - change in the statistics of inequality from a bell to a cusp shape : the middle class is dying, as is also explained by item 5.
Dilma Rousseff, Former Leftist Guerrilla and Brazil’s First Female
President, Is Suspended
first item is by Natasha Hakimi Zapata on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
An epic 20-hour debate in the Brazilian
Senate concluded in a vote to suspend Dilma Rousseff from her
presidential duties for six months as an impeachment trial is set to
begin. The move is being seen by many as an elite-run “coup” that has
left the country in a confused state of affairs.
That is a summary that is adequate to the
best of my knowledge, which is not large. For those interested in
Here is some more, from a leftish point of view:
My own guess
is that this is mostly correct, but as I said, I don't know much
... one politician described [Wednesday]
as the “saddest day for Brazil’s young democracy” [as] senators voted
55 to 22 to suspend the Workers’ party leader, putting economic
problems, political paralysis and alleged fiscal irregularities ahead
of the 54 million votes that put her in office.
Rousseff, Brazil’s first female
president, will have to step aside while she is tried in the upper
house for allegedly manipulating government accounts ahead of the
previous election. Her judges will be senators, many of whom are
accused of more serious crimes.
A final decision, which is likely in
September or October, will require a two-thirds majority. Ominously for
the president, this margin was exceeded in Thursday’s vote.
The impeachment is more political than
legal. Similar fiscal irregularities went unpunished in previous
administrations, but they are a pretext to remove a leader who has
struggled to assert her authority. ... “This is the saddest day in the
history of our young democracy,” said Vanessa Grazziotin, a senator
from the Communist Party of Brazil. “This isn’t a valid Constitutional
process, it is a coup that goes against the opinion of the majority in
the 2014 election.”
about Brazil. (I am sorry, but that is how it is.)
But there are some who do know a lot about it, and I suggest
that in case you want to know more, and like me you don't have enough
Portugese, this is the best place to start:
This is by Glenn Greenwald, who lives in
Brazil since a long time.
Julian Assange: Michael Ratner was a "Campaigner for Justice" from
Guatemala to Palestine
The second item is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:
On Wednesday, the trailblazing
attorney Michael Ratner died at the age of 72. In recent years, Ratner
served as the chief attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and
became a leading critic of the U.S. crackdown on whistleblowers,
including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. We reached Assange in the
Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he sought asylum nearly four years
As it happens, I don't like lawyers
as a group, and I have quite good personal empirical reasons:
I tried to find in Holland, in the 1980ies and 1990ies - for
some twenty years! - one
decent lawyer who was willing to help me attack the corruptions in the
University of Amsterdam, from which I was removed briefly before taking
my (excellent) M.A. in philosophy (as the only student ever to
be removed since WW II from any Dutch university for stating his honest opinions),
and I tried to find one
decent lawyer who was willing to help me against the illegal creation
by drs. Ed van Thijn and others (like the drugscorrupt Amsterdam
district attorney Fred Teeven) of a 10-40 billion dollars a year
illegal drugsmarket in Holland.
I could find absolutely no one - and this in a climate
(of the 1980ies) which was rife with - literally - hundreds or
thousands of "leftist", "marxist", "socialist", "revolutionary" lawyers
 (I quoted what they said they were) who all wanted to
be seen as fundamental, principial critics and opponents of
capitalism and exploitation, who also had often organized themselves in what
they called "lawyers' communes" (Dutch: "advocaten kommunes").
It was all one big set of major lies, that taught me a lot
about "the left", "leftish revolutionaries", and Dutch lawyers:
In Holland, being "left" for academics, lawyers, politicians and
bureaucrats was merely one among several propaganda-outlines to
make money for themselves while also getting fame as "revolutionaries"
which no one was. I know, for my parents and
and all that I got when I turned to "leftist" lawyers were lies, lies,
lies, lies and more lies, and when I protested they refused to work for
Then again, Holland is just one country; it is a special country that
has been rife
with enormous hypocrisies and lies ever since WW II; it is a very small
country, that in real fact it is quite provincial (and considerably more
so now than 30 years ago ); and it is certainly not
typical for other countries.
So I am glad to say that not all lawyers are bad and immoral
(nearly all the Dutch ones I met were, although there also were two - 2
- exceptions ), and Michael Ratner
(<- Wikipedia) who died two days ago, is a quite notable non-Dutch
ASSANGE: Michael touched
many people throughout his life. And you’re seeing some of that today.
He was my personal friend and adviser, our lead lawyer in the United
States and in the English language. So, people here, people associated
with WikiLeaks, its various staff, and our other lawyers in the United
States are grieving.
But I want to reflect a little on Michael
Ratner. Michael was important, not because of his—simply because of his
talent and indefatigability, political and human consistency, but
because he was a role model to so many who knew him, and a role model
that is immutable. Michael was not a—one of these figures that plague
the left so much. He was not a thundering genius, although he was
brilliant. He was not someone who was ideologically hidebound. He was
not someone who simply engaged in value projection or exhibitionism.
Michael Ratner was a—led a life which was laudatory both at the—at his
human level, in terms of his dealings with his family, his children,
with his friends, and in terms of his work in law and political
consistency. And he brought all these things together. And that is why
you’re seeing the outpouring that you are seeing.
Indeed, while I never knew Ratner this is
one reason (among several) why I believe he was a good lawyer: Because
Julian Assange says he "was not someone who
simply engaged in value projection or exhibitionism": Almost
all the Dutch lawyers I met (in the 1980ies and 1990ies) did that all
the time, and did nothing of any value for me
(who simply asked their legal help with
very strong cases).
Thus, they defended the enormous
illegal drugstrade in Holland (where
drugs are illegal, o Americans: They are sold publicly
because of extremely widespread political and legal corruption,
that exists because illegal drugs are enormously
profitable), and they defended the enormous decline in
education and educational standards in Holland, and they did that in
I was involved in by refusing to do anything useful for
AND they all (that I met) - at the time, in the
1980ies, in Amsterdam - wanted to be known as True Marxist Revolutionaries. (Again see note 
for back- ground: Holland really was quite unique in the world from
1971-1995, when the universities were completely in the power of the
students - who made an enormous totalitarian mess of it.)
They were lying deceiving frauds, all
but two of them (that I met, and I have tried a lot, and am myself a child of genuine marxists, who also were genuine heroes of the resistance in WW II).
The third item is by Leo
Gerard on AlterNet:
3. Want to Know if the TPP Will Be a Disaster? Just Look at the
Korean Trade Deal
This starts as
On the fourth anniversary of the Korean trade deal, its
lofty promises have been revealed as putrid pie in the sky: More
jobs lost. No exports gained.
Just like NAFTA, just like
China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), free traders
swore that the Korean deal would shower jobs and economic prosperity
down on America.
It didn’t happen. Actually,
the exact opposite did. In all three cases, the schemes enticed
corporations to close American factories and offshore work. That
enriched CEOs and shareholders. But it impoverished millions
of American workers and bankrupted communities.
Now, a backlash is evident in
the groundswell of support for insurgent presidential candidates on
both the left and right who denounce these failed free trade policies.
This is an uprising against a quarter century of Washington, D.C.,
based free-trade boosterism. Its first victim should be the proposed
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive scheme between the United
States and 11 Pacific Rim countries.
This article is reproduced and
reviewed here mostly because I want to warn the Europeans against
permitting the neofascistic horror that is the TTIP: There are
precursors of it - the NAFTA and the TTP - that are very similar.
This article is about the TTP, that also was introduced as fast track
(i.e. with minimal or no reading by the parliamentarians who made it
legal), and that
also was introduced with enormous waves of propaganda-lies about "free trade" and all the boons these were supposed to deliver:
Absolutely nothing was delivered that was any good to anyone who was
not already very rich (and who usually lived somewhere else on the
Here is some news about the TTP
and the NAFTA as practised:
The abject failure, the
upside-downness of the Korean deal, is illustrated by these two
statistics: The U.S. trade deficit with all nations over the past four
years declined slightly, by
5 percent. At the same time, the trade deficit with Korea
surged up 115 percent.
Clearly, something is very,
very wrong with the Korean deal. And with NAFTA, which is still sucking
manufacturers like Carrier over the border to Mexico, a
corporate desertion announced in February that will cost 2,100
American workers their jobs at two Indiana plants.
And this is how China risks
being made into Texas by the U.S.:
That is: The U.S. Steel Corp. decided "to outlaw all Chinese steel" (!!) not
because of whatever lies it told, but because (1) it now can,
under the TTP and (2) because it really wants all the power over
all the steel that gets produced in China or - at least - to block it being sold in the USA.
And, similarly, clearly
something is wrong with China’s entry into the WTO, considering that
U.S. Steel Corp. just filed a petition with the U.S. International
Trade Commission asking it to outlaw all Chinese steel because of
numerous violations, including five Chinese military officials hacking
into the corporation’s computers to steal trade secrets.
All of the free trade schemes
had the same bad effects. But each time a new one is proposed, like the
TPP, its cheerleaders say, “No, no, trust me, this one is the one. This
time it’s going to be great!”
I predict the same will happen in Europe as soon as the TTIP becomes
law, except that it will happen on a much larger scale,
because Europe is a lot richer:
There is far more available to
get stolen by the multi-national corporations, and with the TTIP it will get stolen, "legally" also (by fast
tracking, deceiving, corrupting, lying and propagandizing) because the TTIP involves that multi- national corporations can set aside all decisions made by parliaments, by judges and by governments on the simple ground that these decisions - to protect consumers health, to protect the environment etc. etc. - harmed their expected profits.
As Wealthy Surge, U.S. Poor and Middle Class Incomes Have Gone Backward
The fourth item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows and charts
evidence for the radical decline of the middle class in the USA:
Note that the actual falls in earnings are
around 10% (or more), which is
Middle- and low-income households in the
U.S. made less money in 2014 than they did in 1999 as the middle class
lost ground in almost 90 percent of the country's metropolitan areas, a
analysis by the Pew Research Center released Wednesday has found.
The report looked at 229 of the 381
federally designated "metropolitan statistical areas" in the U.S., from
Seattle to Boston, which accounted for 76 percent of the nationwide
population in 2014. It found that poorer households saw their income
drop from a median of $26,373 in 1999 to $23,811 in 2014, while
middle-class incomes fell from $77,898 to $72,919 in that same time
quite a lot in a mere 15 years (in which the very rich
also succeeded in
raising their vast incomes by a lot more than 10%).
And here is evidence that the middle class is disappearing:
That is: First, this surely is an enormous
success for the American exploiters: After 36 years of trying, they
succeeded in making the middle class a minority in the USA.
The report follows a previous
Pew analysis which found that for the first time in more than 40
years, the middle class is no longer the majority in America.
"The deeper root at what is driving
inequality and really hollowing out the middle class—that is a pattern
very strong in the metro areas," Rakesh Kochhar, associate director of
the Pew Research Center, told
the Los Angeles Times. "It is cutting across all
communities. No one seems immune to this widening inequality trend."
are considerable remnants, but things are getting more and more unequal: The very rich get a whole lot richer; the many poor
lost what the very rich gained. And this will continue because of very many deregulations: nearly all legal protections of the many have been removed by the few who govern.
5. The Powers That Be Have Looted the Economy and Destroyed the
The fifth and
last item today is by Washington's Blog
on his site:
This starts as
follows and continues the previous item:
That is, the pattern follows
the tendency from a bell-shaped curve (many
America’s middle class has been
A new study by Pew finds:
From 2000 to 2014 the share of adults
living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S.
metropolitan areas examined in a new Pew Research Center analysis of
government data. The decrease in the middle-class share was often
substantial, measuring 6 percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan
Rakesh Kochhar, associate director of
research at Pew, told
The other commonality isn’t just the
shrinking of the middle class, but a movement both up and down the
ladder. There’s a polarization. There are more in the upper tier
and more in the lower, and fewer in the middle.
For background, see this,
in the middle, few at the sides) to a cusp-shaped curve (few in the
many at the sides, and especially at the poor side).
Here is the summary:
In other words, inequality is
skyrocketing, the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer … and the
middle class is disappearing.
policy has caused medieval, king-and-serf levels
of inequality. And the American Dream has moved
Indeed, even central bank economists admit
that bad central bank policy is increasing inequality.
the economy … and even the people know
It’s not a mistake … it’s a descent
(and see this).
One reason to review this
item is that I like Washington's Blog (also a lot better
than some of his regular contributors, indeed), and another is that he
documents his arguments quite well.
It's the same here, and if you reply these are all links to his own
blog (and this is the case in the present article): Yes, but these
again are derived from others, and Washington's Blog is radical and has
been so for quite a while.
And his arguments - while I don't always
agree with them - are usually good, as is e.g. witnessed by the last-but-one link in the present article, lawlessness,
which links to an article from 2012.
 This reproduces Note 4 of May 1, 2016:
The main reason for my problems at the
University of Amsterdam (which were many) was that all Dutch
universities between 1971 and 1995 (which covers all the years I
studied) were totally unique in the whole world in being
effectively owned by the students:
They were by law ruled by parliaments, both for the
university and for each faculty, which were elected by the students, by
the people who worked as secretaries and cleaners, and ny the
professors and lecturers, where each person - student, cleaner,
professor - had 1 vote.
This meant that the students always had the absolute
majority, and it meant in the University of Amsterdam that the mainly communist
and then postmodern student party ASVA had the absolute
power in the university from 1971 till 1995 (when another
parliamentary law of the state finished it all, quite radically also).
What I saw - with communist parents, and communist grandparents, all
also proletarians, while I was one of the few with a genuine
proletarian background who studied, and one of the very few
with parents and grandparents in the real resistance against the Nazis
- was massive corruption, massive laziness, and very great
amounts of lies, pretensions, and corruptions.
But I was also one of the few who opened his mouth: Something
like 90% or 95% of the students loved the radical declines in
standards that happened all these years, simply because this made it very
easy to get an M.A. (One could get an M.A. in philosophy by taking part
in demonstrations or in squatting in the 1980ies, as I was told in the
2000s by two who did so), and therefore I was much
discriminated: I was pro truth, pro science
and not a Marxist
at the time most
students disbelieved there was any truth, held that science was mostly
a capitalist illusion, and considered themselves (falsely, nearly
 The reason is again the radical
declines in education on absolutely all levels since 1965 in
Holland: Until that time anybody who was intelligent enough to go to any
school that educated beyond the basic level of worker taught three
foreign languages to the pupils, which meant that something like 75% or
so of the Dutch population did have some command of English, German and
French. This also worked quite well ever since 1865, when the
pre-university education was installed.
Since then, this has been completely broken down, and one or
foreign languages (English, nearly always) is the current normal. Thus,
most Dutchmen who were born after 1950 did not learn three foreign
languages, and in fact speak one, brokenly: English.
And simply requiring a reading ability in German or French was already
over and done with by 1980, in Holland.
 One exception was a woman, who was not
employed by me to fight the enormous Amsterdam and Dutch
drugscorruption, nor to fight the enormous corruptions of the
University of Amsterdam, but to defend me against the corrupt manipulations of those who provided my student loan (I was supposed -
ill since 1.1.1979, in the poorest dole since 1984 - to repay
42,000 guilders of loan within one year in the late 1990ies, which
was completely impossible from an income of 10,000 guilders
a year, but I was pushed, and pushed and pushed by them, simply
because - I think - they wanted to see me dead (because I had
criticized the drugsdealers of Dutch Labour, who let me be gassed by my
drugsdealers in 1988)).
She did this very well (I had prepared the case, but she wrote most of
I have not one word in criticism, because she was polite, rational,
fair and had
no desire nor any pretense that she was A
Marxist True Revolutionary Dutch Lawyer, which indeed also was a
con-game that was most popular in the later
seventies and the eighties. (Once again: My parents were genuine
my grandparents genuine anarchists, and I can really judge this, and
was and am appaled: It was all utter bullshit and it was very widely
practised in the 1970ies and 1980ies by Dutch lawyers.)
But she is the only good lawyer I met in Holland (of about
thirty, and I also met another decent one, although he did not go to court for me), and since I had similar experiences with medics, I think that
is a fair
indication of the levels of rationality and morality among the Dutch
academically educated: Around 2 in 30 is possibly decent and intelligent.
And this also was the level of competence in the university: The great majority was incompetent, in the studies I
(philosophy, psychology, Norwegian).
And yes, that is a fact i.a. because I did succeed in
terminating the University of Amsterdam with an excellent B.A. in
philosophy and an excellent M.A. in philosophy (both straight A's), in
spite of enormous discriminations, exclusions,
sendings off, etc. etc. all next to the illness I have since 1.1.1979.
At most 2 in 30 of the Dutch academics that were supposed to teach me
the rest was incompetent, lazy, and parasitical, and the last
especially because anyone who had some position in the university at 25
(in the seventies) could be virtually certain that he or she would still
be a state bureaucrat 40 years later, for state bureaucrats were
virtually impossible to fire, and all Dutch universities were in fact state bureaucracies.
(These things are now - in 2016 - all organized differently,
which is not to say they are organized better. But indeed
almost all of the total incompetents I met in philosophy in 1977 were
still there 30 years later, still parasiting, still
drawing enormous incomes for doing fundamentally nothing - no one published, all claimed vainly that publishing was vanity - other than