1. Former 9/11
Commissioner Won’t Rule Out Saudi Royal
Family Foreknowledge of 9/11
2. Brazil Crisis Deepens as Evidence Mounts of Plot to Oust
3. Why Is the Corporate Media Taking Trump's
Noam Chomsky & Joel Bakan on the Psychopathic
Propaganda Machines That We
5. Average CEO Raise Last
Year Amounted to 10x What
Most Workers Made in Total
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, May 26,
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about 9/11 and especially "the Saudi connection"; item
2 is about Brazil, where very probably a coup has taken place; item 3
is about why the media is taking serious Trump's nonsense: I suggest
(unlike the writer) it is because the main media are corrupt, and were
so long before Trump announced his presidential candidacy; item 4 is a good and interesting article on
corporations (although I don't agree with all); and item 5 is about the many millions the few CEOs
get, as contrasted with the $50,000 dollars their many average
workes take home (also with my solution, that perhaps is "too radical":
Limit everyone's pay legally).
Former 9/11 Commissioner Won’t Rule Out Saudi Royal Family
Foreknowledge of 9/11 Plot
The first item is by
Alex Emmons on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
A former member of the 9/11 Commission
on Tuesday left open the possibility that the Saudi royal family knew
about the 9/11 terror plot before it happened.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., asked
members of the panel at a House Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing
to raise their hands in response to this question:
“How many of you there believe that the
royal family of Saudi Arabia did not know and was unaware
that there was a terrorist plot being implemented that would result in
a historic terrorist attack in the United States, in the lead-up to
Two of the four panelists raised their
hands, but Tim Roemer, 9/11 Commission member and a former congressman
from Indiana, did not. Neither did Simon Henderson, director of
the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near
I say. This is mostly here because I
investigated some about 9/11 and concluded from that investigation that
the official report on it is totally incredible and that it is considerably
more likely that 9/11 was - somehow - engineered.
I also have heard about possible Saudi
involvement of 9/11, and this article is about that. Then again, this -
like most things related to 9/11 - is hampered by very
documentation, which exists again because the American government
decided all sorts of documents are not open to the public.
In this case, this especially concerns 28
pages about Saudi Arabia that till now have been kept secret:
Sen. Bob Graham, co-chairman of the
congressional inquiry into the attacks, has suggested that the pages
contain “substantial” evidence of Saudi involvement — both by the
government and private citizens. “I think it is implausible to
believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom
had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a
high school education — could’ve carried out such a complicated task
without some support from within the United States,” Graham said on 60
Minutes last month.
Graham and his Republican co-chair,
former Sen. Porter Goss, have joined 9/11 victims’ family
members, activists, and congressional
leadership to call for the release of the 28 pages. The
chapter was initially classified by the George W. Bush White House,
fearful of upsetting a U.S. ally. Despite twice
promising to release the pages, President Obama has withheld them.
I agree with Graham, also about his
statement that it is "implausible to believe" that 9/11 was done
"without some support from within the
United States" (boldings added by me).
But there it stands again, almost 15
years after the 9/11 attacks, and the main
reason is that the present US government, the previous US government,
the US government before that, and Bush Jr.'s first government each and
all denied most requests for information on 9/11 by the public and
investi- gators that did not belong to the US government.
Crisis Deepens as Evidence Mounts of Plot to Oust Dilma Rousseff
The second item is by Amy Goodman and Juan
González on Democracy Now!:
This starts as follows:
A key figure in Brazil’s interim
government has resigned after explosive new transcripts revealed how he
plotted to oust President Dilma Rousseff in order to end a corruption
investigation that was targeting him. The transcripts, published by
Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, document a conversation
in March, just weeks before Brazil’s lower house voted in favor of
impeaching President Rousseff. Romero Jucá, who was then a senator but
became a planning minister after Rousseff’s ouster, was speaking with a
former oil executive, Sérgio Machado. Both men had been targets of the
so-called Car Wash investigation over money laundering and corruption
at the state-controlled oil firm Petrobras. In the conversation, the
men agree that ousting President Rousseff would be the only way to end
the corruption probe. In the transcript, Jucá said, "We have to change
the government so the bleeding is stopped." Machado then reportedly
said, "The easiest solution is to put Michel in"—a reference to Vice
President Michel Temer, who took power once Rousseff was suspended. We
speak to Maria Luisa Mendonça, director of Brazil’s Network for Social
Justice and Human Rights.
Yes, and see Glenn Greenwald's article that I
reviewed on May 21 last, and also
before that on May 13, 2016. As I
said on May 21: "I think something very
happening there, but there is a lot I do not know."
Well, this interview explains quite a lot, and does it well. Here is Maria Luisa Mendonça explaining why this is indeed a
LUISA MENDONÇA: Yes.
They actually see and prove very clearly something we have been saying
from the beginning, that this is a coup, because there is no reason, no
legal basis, for the impeachment of President Dilma, that the main
reason to do this was to actually stop investigations of corruption.
And it was clear from the beginning, because the interim president,
Michel Temer, appointed seven ministers that are now facing charges of
corruption. And also one of the first things he did was to eliminate
the Controladoria-Geral da União, which is a state agency that controls
contracts between the government and private businesses. So it was
clear that it was a way to stop investigations of corruption. And then,
the second main reason was to implement austerity measures in the
right-wing agenda that has been rejected by Brazilian society since
2002. So, the right-wing forces have not been able to win elections.
The only way for them to take power was by orchestrating the coup.
As I said, there is a lot more in the
interview, which is recommended.
Why Is the Corporate Media
Taking Trump's Nonsense Seriously?
The third item is by
Simon Maloy on AlterNet and originally on Salon:
I will quote two bits from this article, that
I found a bit disappointing. The first is this, after a fairly long
At this point, Trump has
successfully conditioned reporters to the point that they continually
expect him to “go there,” and because he’s set that expectation, his
embrace of crazy bullshit is treated almost as routine. Consider the
Washington Post article that
first reported that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate
for the presidency, had given a soft endorsement to a crazy conspiracy
theory about Hillary Clinton murdering an old friend. The headline?
“Trump escalates attack on Bill Clinton.”
This illustrates why I think the article is
disappointing: Clearly, it is not Trump who is responsible for
the corrupt US press in the main media, nor are all American
journalists utter fools who are being tricked by Trump.
It are the main media itself that are deeply corrupt,
and they have been so for a considerable time before Trump
announced his presidential candidacy.
Something similar is wrong with the following and last bit that I'll
Again it is supposed it is Trump, Trump,
Trump who does these evil things (yes: it is
evil to accuse Hillary Clinton of "murdering an old friend"), while all
American journalists from the main media are tricked into repeating his
Again, we’re talking about one candidate
backhandedly making the allegation that his opponent was an
accessory to murder, and the press reaction is “boy, that Trump
sure can drive headlines – better watch out, Hillary!”
This is precisely what I was talking
about I wrote
earlier this month about the danger in normalizing Trump. He
wants all the craziness to be taken in stride, and he’s succeeding.
He’s being abetted in this by a Republican Party establishment that is
happy to bite its tongue so long as they get their tax cuts and
conservative judicial nominations. But that’s no reason for the press
to buy into Trump’s game and treat his crazy mudslinging as a mere
campaign tactic rather than a disqualifying character flaw.
No, it is the American main media that are corrupt. I
think this ought to be quite clear by now, if only because
there still are American media that do
print "all the news that's fit to print" rather than "all the 'news'
that the journalists like to adorn to enjoy and amuse their audiences".
(Try Truthdig. Try Common Dreams. Try Mother Jones. Try Naked Capitalism. And there
are quite a few more, though indeed they are all not main
Noam Chomsky & Joel Bakan on the Psychopathic Propaganda Machines
That We Call Corporations
The fourth item is by James Hoggan on AlterNet
and originally on New Society Publishers:
This starts as follows - and I start
with the subtitle that gives the title and the writer of the article
that follows, that was excerpted from the book:
The following is an excerpt from the
new book I'm
Right and You're an Idiot by James Hoggan (New Society
The article itself starts as follows:
Propaganda is a polluting and polarizing
behavior that is arguably as vast and destructive as any other cultural
or social forces. What’s more, in the case of modern corporations,
deregulation has legitimized the use of unbridled propaganda and
created a regulatory, legal and financial system that virtually demands
In his book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of
Profit and Power, author, filmmaker and law professor Joel
Bakan traced the corporation’s rise to dominance, right back to its
origins centuries ago. Balkan illuminated how these juggernauts are
required by law to elevate their own interests above those of others
and pursue their goals with rampant self-interest, sometimes without
regard for moral limits.
I completely agree with the first
paragraph (and see the lemmas on Propa- ganda
and on Public
Relations, and also see the article on deregulation I wrote): This is also
as it seems to me.
Then again, this is not at all
how it appears to be seen by the liars, the polluters, and
the polarizers who are making propaganda for
heaps and heaps of money:
These all argue that all they do is "informing the public". I think
they are all liars, who make very easy money by designing
pretty lies and deceptions to
mislead the public, and this is one of their main lies. (They are not
"informing the public"; they are deceiving
Skipping a paragraph, the article
continues as follows, about professor Bakan:
The law professor sees the contemporary
corporation as a “very strange, potentially dangerous and destructive
institution.” Back in the late 1990s he started to observe the
power of corporations as they exploded into public awareness,
spearheading the development of globalization, deregulation and
privatization. Governments began to abdicate much of their regulatory
oversight and free corporations from legal constraints. As a result,
corporations emerged as self-governing institutions with the single
goal of serving their own interests and those of their shareholders.
Bakan’s work does not seek to vilify or
analyze the people who run corporations or work for them. He critiques
the institutional nature of the corporation as legally created, saying
it is an invention that has been imbued with characteristics that, if
observed in a human being, would swiftly be diagnosed as psychopathic.
In fact, corporations existed already
before the 1820s, as anyone can see from William Hazlitt's
brilliant "On Corporate Bodies"
 that dates from before 1823, and
indeed corporations may well be seen as being created by the Dutch
in the early 17th Century (who were the first to sell shares).
Bakan is quite right that the corporations
in the 1990s "exploded into public awareness,
spearheading the development of globalization, deregulation and
privatization", but one point he doesn't
make is that this was made possible by the deregulations that Reagan started
and Clinton continued.
Also, while it is correct that "Governments began to abdicate much of their regulatory
oversight and free corporations from legal constraints" not a hint of a possible explanation
for this - really very strange - fact is given:
Why would democratic
governments give all these dangerous deregu- lations - no
more "regulatory oversight", no more "legal constraints" - and all this enormous power to a few of the
My own explanation is simple and adequate,
but I cannot prove it: Money.
That is, not only were European politicians very eager to
follow Republican talking points and trickery ten and twenty years ago
(I know: it happened in Holland, for one example, and it was
all copied directly from the Republicans, and much too
complicated for the intellectual level of the Dutch politicians to
think of this themselves), I think they also accepted money
to betray the interests of the people who had elected them.
As I said: it is simple, it is adequate,
and it explains a lot, but I have no proof, for
corruptions are always done in silence and in secret.
Next, I also find it a bit strange that "Bakan’s work does not seek to vilify or analyze the people
who run corporations or work for them" especially
the composite of these persons, which is the corporation, is said to
have "characteristics that, if observed in a
human being, would swiftly be diagnosed as psychopathic".
But a corporation is - in the end - merely
an association of physical persons who agreed to
collaborate for their mutual interests, so it seems to me rather
strange how the corporations can have many of the
characteristics of psychopaths, while the individuals who lead
the corporations are not psycho- paths. (And see .)
James Hoggan had some doubts about why
corporations are like psychopaths, but he soon agreed:
This view initially seemed a little
extreme to me, as I built my business around representing successful
corporations and never saw anything remotely like this in the companies
I worked with. But then Bakan outlined the characteristics of a
psychopath: including callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
incapacity to maintain enduring relationships; reckless disregard for
the safety of others; deceitfulness, repeated lying and cheating people
for profit; incapacity to experience guilt; failure to conform to
social norms with respect to lawful behavior. Looking at this list in
relation to the excesses on Wall Street, the guiles and machinations of
big banks, the environmental record of oil and gas companies, the
misinformation campaigns surrounding climate change and the lies
and lack of guilt in the tobacco industry, I began to see Bakan’s point.
Then again, the characteristics of a
psychopath (which are correct, and see e.g. January 7, 2012, which seems the
most complete Nederlog I wrote about psychopaths and psychopathology ) all seem to follow from the definition of a
corporation as an association of persons who collaborate to make
profits for themselves: If all you are concerned
with is the maximal possible profit, all characteristics of
psychopaths either follow logically or probabili- stically
(and the last especially in conjunction with how easy it is to
disregard the law, which - incidentally - again is a whole lot
easier for multi-national corporations, and a whole
lot easier with deregulated
And I insist that while most of the characterisitics of a psychopath
(who only seeks his self-interest, just like a corporation
only seeks maximal profit) are similar to those
of corporations, I also insist that the most awful of
these characteristics were made illegal by law from
the 1930ies till the 1980ies.
Only in the 1980ies were corporations made free of the laws that bound
their inhumanity and psychopathology so that these - from 1930-1980 -
remained restricted to
be inside the law: From Reagan onwards all these laws were deregulated. 
Sofar, all quotes were from the beginning of the article. I have two
more that answer, or seek to answer, specific questions.
The first of these is about deregulation (which is the same
as making things legal that until deregulation were forbidden):
I asked Bakan why the public has failed
to demand more regulation. “That’s the $64,000 question,” he said, and
it has to do with the manufacture of ideology, with the manufacture of
public opinion, with the role that for-profit, advertising-driven media
plays in forming public opinion, the lack of critical-thinking training
in our education system—and all the various ways in which knowledge is
constructed in our society. “We citizens have been asleep at the
it is mostly a combination of acquired ideology on a
native ground of egoism
Everybody was told the lie that "freedom"
would be as good for them as it was for the CEOs of the corporations
that exploited them; everybody was told the lie that "free trade" is good for everyone; most
politicians from most parties also supported these lies; and the
main media repeated these lies, so in the end
it is not very amazing that the majority of the public believed
what they were told. (And see item 5.)
Finally, here is Noam Chomsky:
Chomsky wasted no time telling me
exactly what he believes is at the root of the problem: “The government
is not our government. It is not a government of the people. It’s a
government of the overwhelmingly rich, of the corporations and the
wealthy. . . . And so it does what they want.”
I agree, although I have an addition
after "the wealthy":
"and of the main media and the public
relations offices, who all lie and mislead and deceive, and have misled
most of the population, that also was extremely badly educated on
This explains the
last line in the last quote: "And so it does
what they want.”
Average CEO Raise Last Year Amounted to 10x What Most Workers Made in
But this is an interesting and long article, that is recommended.
The fifth item is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
say. Mr Khosrowshahi earns only 1.8 million dollars each week,
which is at least three times as much as I got in a lifetime. It's
true this is only 7 to 9 times as much as other CEOs receive (who earn
as much as I do in a lifetime, all in a week or two to three weeks).
It was another
banner year for chief executives at the biggest companies.
For its latest annual study of CEO
compensation, the Associated Press, using data from Equilar,
looked at what 341 executives at companies in the Standard & Poor's
500 index brought home from salary as well as other perks like stock
awards and deferred compensation.
The study found that the median
compensation was $10.8 million, up from $10.3 million the CEOs took in
the year before.
The median CEO pay raise was 4.5 percent
from 2014—and that bump alone, nearly $470,000, is about ten times what
the average U.S. worker makes in a year, the AP notes.
The top-paying industry was healthcare,
with a median compensation of $14.5 million.
The CEO of Expedia, Dara Khosrowshahi,
was both the highest paid CEO in 2015, raking in $94.6 million, as well
as the CEO with the biggest raise, up 881 percent from the year before.
Here is a comparison between the pay CEOs receive as compared to those
who do the work for them who are not CEOs:
The AP/Equilar study comes on
the heels of the AFL-CIO's most recent figures on its Executive
PayWatch, showing that the average CEO of an S&P 500 company in
2015 brought home 335 times more money than the average worker, while
the Economic Policy Institute noted
last year that "inflation-adjusted CEO compensation increased from $1.5
million in 1978 to $16.3 million in 2014, or 997 percent," compared to
the inflation-adjusted compensation for the "average private-sector
production and nonsupervisory worker [which] rose from $48,000 in 1978
to just $53,200 in 2014, an increase of only 10.9 percent."
That is: The average
CEO of an S&P 500 company got 335 times as much as his (or
her) average worker (who accordingly is at most 1/335th of the value
of his/her CEO).
Also, from 1978 till 2014 the CEO's income rose by 997 percent
(that is: it got ten times higher), whereas the average
worker's income rose in the same period by 10 percent (that is:
it got 1/10th higher, i.e. it gained 1/100th
of the gain their CEOs brought to the bank).
As I have said several times before: I think this is all so manifestly
absurd and so clearly unjust and obscene that my own
response to this degeneracy is to propose that absolutely no one
should earn more than 20 times of what the poorest in his or her
society receive. That is my regulatory proposal, and in fact that
is all I desire. (For more, see "On
Since 97% do not earn more than 20 times of what the
poorest receive, I think it ought to follow that the majority
supports my proposal.
Unfortunately, they do not. For an explanation, see the end of item 4.
bodies" (from 1822) starts as follows:
bodies are more corrupt and
profligate than individuals, because they have more power to do
mischief, and are less amenable to disgrace or punishment. They feel
neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill. The principle of
private or natural conscience is extinguished in each individual (we
have no moral sense in the breasts of others), and nothing is
considered but how the united efforts of the whole (released from idle
scruples) may be best directed to the obtaining of political advantages
and privileges to be shared as common spoil. Each member reaps the
benefit, and lays the blame, if there is any, upon the rest. The esprit
de corps becomes the ruling passion of every corporate body,
compared with which the motives of delicacy or decorum towards others
are looked upon as being both impertinent and improper.
Once again: This was published in 1822
(and the rest of the essay is as good)
 There is one more
article that discusses the issues, which also is quite good, but it is
long (over 300 Kb) and about psychiatry: DSM-5:
Question 1 of "The six
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis". I also think this is quite interesting for psychiatrists,
psychologists, medics and some philosophers.
 This - around
1980 - is also the time that capitalism-with-a-human- face, that
had ruled from 1930 till 1980, was replaced by capitalism-with-an
-inhuman-face, which by now - 36 years later - has
won most of the fights it engaged in, simply by having ready public
liars in the shape of public
relations officers and lawyers, and by having oodles of money.