This starts as
Donald Trump must be the biggest
liar in the history of American politics, and that’s saying something.
Trump lies the way other people breathe.
We’re used to politicians who stretch the truth, who waffle or
dissemble, who emphasize some facts while omitting others. But I can’t
think of any other political figure who so brazenly tells lie after
lie, spraying audiences with such a fusillade of untruths that it is
almost impossible to keep track. Perhaps he hopes the media and the
nation will become numb to his constant lying. We must not.
Trump lies when citing specifics. He
claimed that a “tremendous flow of Syrian refugees” has been entering
the country; the total between 2012 and 2015 was around 2,000, barely a
trickle. He claimed that “we have no idea” who those refugees are; they
undergo up to two years of careful vetting before being admitted.
Trump lies when speaking in
generalities. He claimed that President Obama “has damaged our security
by restraining our intelligence gathering and failing to support law
enforcement.” Obama actually expanded domestic intelligence operations
and only dialed them back because of bipartisan pressure following the
Edward Snowden revelations.
There is considerably more in the same
vein in the article. And I do agree with the above, although I want to
add that the two main reasons that Trump could
utter the astounding amount of lies he made are that
(i) the Republicans are now, since 15 years at least,
campaigning on a mostly fact-free basis, that also (ii) has
been embraced by the U.S.'s main media.
The two reasons also are a bit different in motivation, but
do supplement each other: The Republicans are campaigning on a mostly
fact-free basis because this makes their propaganda a
whole lot easier , while the main media embrace
a fact-free basis because this makes them free of having to tell the truth, which
they also do by reporting falsehoods and truths as if
they are on the same level: "The Republicans deny global warming; the
Democrats affirm global warming: We now have reported both sides
and so we are objective" .
Next, there is this, which I find a bit odd:
I write not to defend Obama and Clinton,
who can speak for themselves—and have done so. My aim is to defend the truth.
Political discourse can be civil or
rowdy, gracious or mean. But to have any meaning, it has to be grounded
in fact. Trump presents a novel challenge for both the media and the
voting public. There is no playbook for evaluating a candidate who so
constantly says things that objectively are not true.
I say?! What about a "playbook" that says
that you should contradict persons whom you suspect are lying for their
own profits or their own power?!
And I think that is also pretty obvious:
Politics and the news must be based on facts; therefore
the media should check factual claims and report truly
on their findings; and if either of these are missing all you
get is made up of lies,
that gets reported as if these are real facts that also may be
There is also this, that I again find odd for the same reasons:
I totally fail to comprehend why
"[i]t goes against all journalistic instinct to
write in a news story, as The Washington Post did Monday, that Trump’s
national security address was “a speech laden with falsehoods and
It goes against all journalistic
instinct to write in a news story, as The Washington Post did Monday,
that Trump’s national security address was “a speech laden with
falsehoods and exaggeration.” But I don’t think we’re doing our job if
we simply report assertions of fact without evaluating whether they are
Trump’s lies also present a challenge
for voters. The normal assumption is that politicians will bend the
truth to fit their ideology—not that they will invent fake “truth” out
of whole cloth. Trump is not just an unorthodox candidate. He is an
inveterate liar—maybe pathological, maybe purposeful. He doesn’t
distort facts, he makes them up.
What if that is the simple truth? Why would journalists not
report truly on
what they think is the truth?! 
And while I agree that Trump is "an inveterate
liar", who is
pathological and who makes up "facts" all the time, I again suggest
that Trump could get as far as he did because the main media
stopped reporting the real truths and the real facts around 15 years
ago, and replaced this by middle-of-the- road quasi-objective propaganda.
Will Soon Force Americans to Leave the United States
The second item is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Neoliberal economic policy will
eventually pressure U.S. citizens to emigrate just as it caused
millions to leave Russia, the Baltic States and now Greece in search of
a better life, economist Michael Hudson tells The Real News Network’s
Perhaps, is my reply.
Two difficulties I see for emigrations by Americans is
that those most inclined to emigrate will be the poor and the non-rich
and many of them do not have much education and do not
speak any other language than English, which makes only
English-speaking countries easily available to them, that generally
will not want them because of their lack of education.
Here is some more:
SHARMINI PERIES, TRNN: It’s the
Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.
After decades of sustained attacks on
social programs and consistently high unemployment rates, it is no
surprise that mortality rates in the country have increased. A research
team from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New
York has estimated that 875,000 deaths in the United States in the year
2000 could be attributed to clusters of social factors bound up with
poverty and income inequality. According to U.S. government statistics,
some 2.45 million Americans died in the year 2000, thus the
researchers? estimate means that social deprivation was responsible for
some 36 percent of the total deaths that year. A staggering total.
I agree that is a staggering number, but
it also is a number that is 16 years old, and that dates from before
Bush Jr.'s awful government, from before 9/11, and from before
the crisis of 2008, that still continues for everybody who is not rich.
Finally, here is Michael Hudson:
Well... the Americans are native
speakers of English (for the most part). I agree this will limit their
choices, but not worse than the Russians or the Greeks. What will
probably limit the chances for a successful emigration is
MICHAEL HUDSON: (..) Now, the
question is, in America, now that you’re having as a result of this
polarization shorter lifespans, worse health, worse diets, where are
the Americans going to emigrate? Nobody can figure that one out yet.
There’s no, seems nowhere for them to go, because they don’t speak a
foreign language. The Russians, the Greeks, most Europeans all somehow
have to learn English in school. They’re able to get by in other
countries. They’re not sure where on earth can the Americans come from?
Nobody can really figure this out.
And the amazing thing, what’s going to make
this worse, is the trade, the Trans-Pacific trade agreement, and the
counterpart with the Atlantic states. In today’s news there’s news that
President Obama plans to make a big push for the Trans-Pacific trade
agreement, essentially the giveaway to corporations preventing
governments from environmental protection, preventing them from
imposing health standards, preventing them from having cigarette
warnings or warning about bad food. Obama says he wants to push this in
after the election.
that most of those who want to emigrate do not have much education.
I agree with Hudson on the TPP, which is an extremely bad plan
that will only
serve the rich, at the costs of the poor, but I don't see how
(specifically) would make many more people want to emigrate.
Republican Civil War Officially
Declared: GOP Delegates Openly Plot to Overthrow Trump at Convention
The third item is by Brad Reed on AlterNet and originally on Raw Story:
This starts as
Trump’s poll numbers sinking into a death spiral, dozens of
Republican delegates are now openly plotting a coup to overthrow him at
this year’s Republican National Convention.
Washington Post has scored an interview only with GOP delegates who are
leading the effort to allow delegates to vote their consciences at
this year’s RNC so they can choose someone other than Trump. The rule
change would allow delegates to unbind themselves based on
“personal or religious conscience.”
I agree Trump's poll numbers are quite
bad, and it also might have been mentioned that quite a few of the
multi-national corporations either have
ceased contributing to the Republicans or radically
contributions, all because they think (as I do, and as by now
intelligent persons do) Trump is unfit to become president
of the USA.
And I think that is quite good
news - but it isn't yet November 2016. Here is a bit more:
That is a sound idea, but it also is very
late, and in fact there are at present
Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from
Colorado, says that their plan is to stop Trump from becoming the
nominee first and then hoping the delegates can then pick a consensus
non-Trump candidate afterward.
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’
movement,” he told the Post. “Nobody has any idea who is going to
step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re
just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”
some 30 Republicans who seem to agree with Unruh, which is not much.
But we shall see what the Republican Convention brings.
The Drug War Started
45 Years Ago Today—Here's How to End It For Good
The fourth item is by Derek
Rosenfeld on AlterNet:
This starts as
Former President Richard Nixon
officially declared a “war on drugs” 45 years ago today. His primary motivation was to
go after anti-war protesters and black people. It doesn’t
get clearer than this frank explanation from one of Nixon’s top policy
advisers, John Ehrlichman:
“We knew we couldn't make it illegal to
be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to
associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then
criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We
could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings,
and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we
were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
First, this article is from yesterday, and
it was on June 18, 1971 that "Nixon
officially declared a “war on drugs”". And
second, I have earlier reported on the John Ehrlichman quote, that
originally was made in 1994, in March
of this year (which is well worth reading).
The brief summary I gave in March was
this: "The War On Drugs" was
based on very conscious lies
by Nixon, and indeed that was and is quite true. He was not warring
against drugs: That only was the pretext to attack the leftish
youths and the blacks. Unfortunately, it succeeded.
Here is some more:
Every year, more money is requested to
fight the drug war and now the U.S. spends more than $51
billion annually on the war on drugs. There are more
than 1.5 million arrests for drugs each year, the large majority of
which are for possession only. But no matter how much money we spend
and how many people get arrested, drugs have been around for thousands
of years and they always will be.
So what should we do instead?
Here I should first say that Derek
Rosenfeld is the manager of social media and media relations at the
Drug Policy Alliance, and next that I agree with his proposals
(in my case: since the end of 1969 (!), and especially because
of my experiences in Amsterdam since 1967, and the Wootton Report).
Here they are, and these are the headings of the sections that explain
while I did not include the texts explaining them: If you want to read
them, click the last dotted link:
Decriminalize All Drugs and Offer Treatment on Request
End Mass Criminalization/Incarceration
Prevent Drug Overdose Deaths
Reform Youth Drug Education
Learn From the Rest of the World
This is a recommended article - except
for the Dutch schema for marijuana, which is illegal
(!!) and is operated intentionally in such a way that no one can find
how much is sold (in a specific coffeeshop) nor can anyone say anything
objectively fact-based about
the qualities of what is sold, both of which seem to have been mostly
increase the incomes of quite a few politicians, district attorneys and
judges - for marijuana is illegal in Holland since 1965,
but sold as if it were legal for the above reason, or so it
seems to me .
It is a bad way of dealing with marijuana, for it will enrich
the few criminals and the politicians and bureaucrats who serve them - 10
billions euros worth of marijuana are sold in Holland alone,
each year - and won't do much for anyone else
other than making it easy to get the drugs (while it also hugely
increases the chances of being murdered because of drugs,
though indeed not for those who can keep themselves far from
sellers of drugs).
And this is a recommended article.
5. Top NSA Officials’ Reaction To 9/11: “9/11 Is a Gift To
The fifth and last item is by Washington's
Blog on his site:
This is as
I agree with all of that, except with
the last statement: Clearly mass surveillance has been
introduced under the pretext of the war on terrorism.
What was the NSA’s reaction to 9/11 …
the greatest intelligence failure in history?
After all, overwhelming evidence shows
was foreseeable. Indeed, Al Qaeda crashing planes into the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon was
itself foreseeable. Even the chair of the 9/11 Commission said that
the attack was
And a top NSA whistleblower says that
the NSA had all of the information it needed prior to 9/11 to stop the
attacks. The only reason NSA didn’t share that information with other
agencies is because of corruption
… in an effort to consolidate power. And see
As a high-level NSA whistleblower notes
in a brilliant
new documentary coming out in September, the reactions to 9/11 by
the number 2 and number 3 official at the NSA were:
“9/11 is a gift to the NSA. We’re going
to get all of the money we need … and then some”
“We’ll milk this cow for 15 years”
How can this be true?
Because mass surveillance has nothing
to do with preventing
It indeed either doesn't seem to make any difference on terrorism or
else indeed may help it because very much more
has been gathered than data from presumed terrorists, but surely
mass surveillance has been introduced under the guise of
battling with terrorism.
But maybe this is what was meant. If so, it should be rephrased, e.g.
Mass surveillance doesn't help prevent terrorism, although it has been
introduced by using terrorism as pretext.
is so in any case (for propaganda is
lying or exaggerating) but is specifically the case for global
warming: The Republicans deny it exists, even if 99,9% of all
climate scientists insist it does.
There are many ways of being dishonest about the truth.
One is to simply
straightly lie, as for instance Trump does. This is also done by the
main media, but probably a lot less than Trump.
Another is not to
allow speakers or information about themes one does not want one's
readers/viewers to know of. This is done a lot by the main media.
Yet another one is to
report on two sides by pretending the evidence is more or less
"Some say global warming exists; some say it doesn't; we are
journalists and have given you the facts" (without saying 99% of
climate scientists say it exists). This is also a favorite technique in
the main media.
Finally, many of the lies
of the main media do not contradict palpable facts, but
color their presentations and explanations of the
causes, backgrounds and testimonies.
In general, the main media lie and propagandize a lot these days, but
the lying and propagandizing they do consists in giving dishonest,
or partial accounts rather than straight lies.
 I do
not see any good reason why not, but I do want to make one
remark because I am a philosopher who knows a lot about logic:
insist that there is no truth, or that
there are no factual
standards to decide who (very probably) speaks the truth and who lies,
are liars, for almost none of them has any
real knowledge of logic
or theories of truth, while almost everyone of
their readers believes in a realist theory of truth, that is much
like mine (except that I do know a lot more about logic).
In other words:
Journalists who defend their lies by insisting that philosophers or
logicians have "proved" that there is no truth, are very
probably lying postmodernists,
and pretend to have knowledge they really lack.
And yes, I have
journalists who did so, but indeed in the 1990ies, when postmodernism
was at its height and was also supported by many academics.
have had to live for four full years above illegal
drugsdealers that were given the bottom floor of the house where I
lived by the mayor of Amsterdam, Ed van Thijn (as shown by his
personally signed letter they showed me, that gave them his "personal
permission" to deal in soft drugs from the house where I
lived), and who proceeded for four full years:
(i) to threaten me with murder when I protested the noise they
made: "We will murder you if you do anything that displeases us"
(literally); (ii) who tried to gas me and almost succeeded
(I have been on the floor, unconscious for several hours); (iii) who completely
destroyed my health by not allowing me to sleep properly for four
years; but who (iv) were personally protected by the
mayor (who for four years never replied my letters,
also not those that were given to his personal doorman: he never even
acknow- ledged receiving them), personally protected by
the Amsterdam City
Police; personally protected by Amsterdam's district attorney
(Teeven, who seems to have scored tens of millions in a case with major
personally protected by all the bureaucrats of
Amsterdam and by any of the judges I tried to approach and by each
and any of the National and the Amsterdam "Ombudsmen" I tried
to reach (several in both cases).
Then again, if you
want to vastly enrich your local politicians, your local
bureaucrats, your local police, your local judges, your local district
attorneys and your illegal drugsdealers (ALL of whom but
the last I have tried to reach for more than ten years: nobody
was there, ever) then the Amsterdam model of massive
illegal sellings of illegal drugs (so that it seems
legal) is the most perfect.
And as I said, since the 1996 Parliamentary Report by
Van Traa (<- Dutch link) it is clear what is the motive: Every
year in Holland at least 10 billon euros in soft
drugs are being sold (and 4 times as much if all drugs are included),
and if those "permitting" it (completely illegally) got 1
of every 1000 cents turned over by the illegal trade in merely
soft drugs, they have by now, and since 1990, 260 million euros to
divide among themselves.
But no one in Holland
seems to care about this enormous corruption, that exists since
1986 i.e. for 30 years now. I care, because my health was intentionally
destroyed to facilitate the illegal dealings in drugs
by the murderous bastards that were all the time protected by
Amsterdam's mayor, Amsterdam's aldermen, Amsterdam's City Police,
and all of Amsterdam's bureaucrats, indeed even when they were
arrested in the summer of 1991 with 2 kilos of heroine and 1 kilo of