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Nederlog

Sep 3, 2016

Crisis: Corporate Fascism, Trump & Hitler Compared, Clean Energy, Common Dreams
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Introduction

1.
The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American
     History

2. Trump’s Mass Deportation Machine Would Create an
     American Police State Equal to Nazi Germany

3. Upend the Tax Havens to Fund Clean Energy
     Revolution, Group Urges

4. On Common Dreams
Introduction: 

This is a Nederlog of Saturday, September 3, 2016.

This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is in fact a repeat of an excellent article by Chris Hedges that I reviewed originally on November 7, 2015: It is repeated here, with a small addition of today at the end; item 2 is a fine article on the considerable parallels between Trump, who wants to disappear 11 million illegal immigrants from the USA, and Hitler, who wanted to disappear 11 million Jews from Europe (and succeeded for over 50%, in 4 years); item 3 is about a plan to fund a clean energy revolution, which is financially quite feasible, but is politically completely impossible with the vast majority of elected political liars and frauds that are the today's elected politicians; and item 4 is about the very sad plight of Common Dreams, which is overall the best progressive political journal I've seen over the past years: Please keep it going!

1. The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History

The first item today is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. Because Hedges is on vacation, this is a repeat from November 6, 2015:
As usual for me the last 3 years (since June 10, 2013) I have already reviewed this and will reprint my review, that appeared on November 7 last year:

----

This starts as follows:

The release Thursday of the 5,544-page text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared.

“The TPP, along with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”

In other words: it is explicitly fascist, and was designed to be explicitly fascist, which is also the reason why (1) it was kept secret so long by Obama, who is extremely much in favor of the TPP (and the TTIP and the TISA) and why (2) none of it can be amended in any way by the American Congress, that once was the supreme power in the USA.

This is what the TPP is (very briefly):

The TPP is part of a triad of trade agreements that includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA, by calling for the privatization of all public services, is a mortal threat to the viability of the U.S. Postal Service, public education and other government-run enterprises and utilities; together these operations make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy. The TTIP and TiSA are still in the negotiation phase. They will follow on the heels of the TPP and are likely to go before Congress in 2017.

Yes. Here is what these agreements really do and are:

These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement.

Well... I add two words: by fascism. For this is precisely what fascism means: The complete dominance of the multi-national corporations over everything, including the governments and the people.

Here is the mechanism (in brief):

The TPP removes legislative authority from Congress and the White House on a range of issues. Judicial power is often surrendered to three-person trade tribunals in which only corporations are permitted to sue. Workers, environmental and advocacy groups and labor unions are blocked from seeking redress in the proposed tribunals. The rights of corporations become sacrosanct. The rights of citizens are abolished.

Precisely. And fascism - whether as "inverted totalitarianism" or simply as totalitarianism (by the corporations, for the corporations) - is what will result.

Here is Chis Hedges' prediction about the future:
If there is no sustained popular uprising to prevent the passage of the TPP in Congress this spring we will be shackled by corporate power. Wages will decline. Working conditions will deteriorate. Unemployment will rise. Our few remaining rights will be revoked. The assault on the ecosystem will be accelerated. Banks and global speculation will be beyond oversight or control. Food safety standards and regulations will be jettisoned. Public services ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to the post office and public education will be abolished or dramatically slashed and taken over by for-profit corporations. Prices for basic commodities, including pharmaceuticals, will skyrocket. Social assistance programs will be drastically scaled back or terminated. And countries that have public health care systems, such as Canada and Australia, that are in the agreement will probably see their public health systems collapse under corporate assault. Corporations will be empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the common good.
As far as I can see, that is all literally true - and no: the chance that there willl be a "sustained popular uprising" "this spring" is close to zero. (Most Americans don't even know what the TPP is, simply because it was kept secret.)

Here is how the TPP will very probably pass - and this is the work of that superdemocratic president Obama (who is very much for the TPP, the TTIP and the TiSA, and will be much rewarded as soon as he ceases to be president):
The TPP, because of fast track, bypasses the normal legislative process of public discussion and consideration by congressional committees. The House and the Senate, which have to vote on the TPP bill within 90 days of when it is sent to Congress, are prohibited by the fast-track provision from adding floor amendments or holding more than 20 hours of floor debate. Congress cannot raise concerns about the effects of the TPP on the environment. It can only vote yes or no. It is powerless to modify or change one word.
So this is another fascist feature of these fascist laws. Here is the diagnosis of attorney Kevin Zeese:
“It is a global corporate coup d’état. Corporations will become more powerful than countries. Corporations will force democratic systems to serve their interests. Civil courts around the world will be replaced with corporate courts or so-called trade tribunals. This is a massive expansion that builds on the worst of NAFTA rather than what Barack Obama promised, which was to get rid of the worst aspects of NAFTA.”
Obama promised anything that would increase his popularity, and did almost nothing to keep any of his promises. And this is not just "a global corporate
coup d’état
": it is the beginning of global corporate fascism.

Here is more by Kevin Zeese:
"The thrust of the agreement is the privatization and commodification of everything. The agreement has built within it a deep antipathy to state-supported or state-owned enterprises. It gives away what is left of our democracy to the World Trade Organization.”
Yes, indeed. And that is fascism. Then there is this on some of the very many lies Obama told:
“Obama has misled the public throughout this process,” Dr. Flowers said. “He claimed that environmental groups were supportive of the agreement because it provided environmental protections, and this has now been proven false. He told us that it would create 650,000 jobs, and this has now been proven false. He calls this a 21st century trade agreement, but it actually rolls back progress made in Bush-era trade agreements."
Of course - but Obama will get his dream: He will also become a millionaire after he ceases to be president, though he probably (because he is half black) will not get as much as the $111 million dollars Bill Clinton made, or the 50 million pounds (at least) that Tony Blair made, but he and his family will do very well. (That is also why one becomes president or prime minister, these days, or so it seems: To become filthy rich.)

Finally, there is this (and the whole article is recommended and well worth reading):

The agreement, in essence, becomes global law. Any agreements over carbon emissions by countries made through the United Nations are effectively rendered null and void by the TPP.

“Trade agreements are binding,” Flowers said. “They supersede any of the nonbinding agreements made by the United Nations Climate Change Conference that might come out of Paris.”

And there went the decent future of 98% of mankind! Thank you, Obama!

----

As I started saying that Chris Hedges' article is a repeat from 2015, so is my review of it. All I add here and now - September 3, 2016 - is that I completely agree with what Hedges wrote, and what I wrote, except that I am more pessimistic than I was. [1]

And the reason I am more pessimistic is that I have learned that all the deregulations that liberated the rich (and only the rich) to do as they pleased, which was to destroy the jobs of many tens of millions of Americans, and to
transplant their factories to India or China, because of the starvation wages and extremely long hours there
, were all based on vast betrayals of neary all elected politician in the USA.

I take it that it is a compliment to them if I add that I think most of them have been very well paid by the rich - my congratulatons, guys and girls, for enriching yourselves so well!! - although I cannot prove that in the vast majority of cases, because all corruptions are secret, and because much of the press ceased to provide objective news.

But then that seems to be the case, for it was done by the majorities of the elected politicians, who were elected to do quite different things than they did in fact: They betrayed the common interests, to serve their private interests.

2. Trump’s Mass Deportation Machine Would Create an American Police State Equal to Nazi Germany

The
second item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:

This has a subtitle worth quoting:
Trump’s plan portends great civil strife, economic devastation and the imposition of a police state.
I agree [2], and the article that follows makes this quite clear. It starts as follows:
Donald Trump’s pledge yesterday to speedily deport “anyone who has entered the United States illegally” would require the creation of a vast police state that harkens back to the early 20th century, with Nazi Germany’s roundups and deportations of millions of Jews and others deemed undesirable.

“Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came,” Trump blared. “And you can call it deported if you want. The press doesn't like that term. You can call it whatever the hell you want. They're gone.”
I have been saying for a long time now that Trump is both mad and a fascist. This only supports my contentions.

Here is part of what Trump proposes to do:
Trump’s plan starts with the immediate roundup and expulsion of “illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever,” but goes far beyond the notion that local police might stop a car whose rear headlight is out, demand visas and green cards, and in their absence throw that person into an American gulag that ends in a foreign airport. Trump has said that “62 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants” receive some welfare or food stamps, a “tremendous cost to our country” and “will be priorities for immediate removal.” That would not create not just a climate of great fear, but in tandem with his pledge to push for a new national law withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities, it echoes 1930s Germany's deliberate stripping of civil rights.
Precisely, the only difference being that Germany discriminated Jews, and Communists, and Socialists, and Pascifists and Leftists (and more) while Trump's planned FUSA (Fascist United States of America) will discriminate (especially) immigrants, and aliens, and black people, and very soon - I think - anybody who opposes anything Trump wants, for anyone who opposes Trump is hated very much by the mad leader of the rightists. [3]

There is this on historic analogies:
The closest historic analogy is not the arrest and deportation of 1.3 million Mexicans in the 1950s derisively known as “Operation Wetback,” nor the round up and internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans in WWII, nor the arrest of thousands of accused Communists in the Palmer Raids after WW1. It is Nazi Germany, where the Gestapo, or the state police—along with the legal system and the courts, a transportation infrastructure, and transit and concentration camps—were used to arrest and deport millions of Jews and other undesirables.
Incidentally, the following quotation is from Wikipedia's lemma "Antisemitism" (quoted minus note numbers):
In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws prohibited sexual relations and marriages between "Aryans" and Jews as Rassenschande ("race disgrace") and stripped all German Jews, even quarter- and half-Jews, of their citizenship, (their official title became "subjects of the state").
(...)
After the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 a campaign of mass murder, conducted by the Einsatzgruppen, culminated from 1942 to 1945 in systematic genocide: the Holocaust. Eleven million Jews were targeted for extermination by the Nazis, and some six million were eventually killed.
That is, the Nazis aimed to murder 11 million Jews and succeeded in murdering 6 million in some 4 years (which is the time of one American presidency). Here is the number of illegal immigrants to the USA (from Wikipedia's Illegal immi- graton to the United States):
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has estimated that 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the United States in January 2012. According to DHS estimates, "the number of illegal immigrants peaked around 12 million in 2007 and has gradually declined to closer to 11 million."
Slightly over half of that number (52%) are Mexicans (about 6 million).

The Germans under Hitler attacked the problem as follows:

Here’s how enclycopedia.com summarizes the Gestapo network in WW2:

“At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, there were approximately 40,000 Gestapo agents in Germany. As the war progressed and the Nazis gained territory throughout Europe, the Gestapo swelled to employ over 150,000 informants, agents, and accessory personnel. Gestapo agents were charged with rooting out foreign agents and resistance fighters, but they also expanded their role as an internal police force."

The comparisons continue. American Action Forum anticipates the need for more than 300,000 additional “immigration detention beds.” If you look at the population of Nazi Germany’s biggest transit and concentration camps, you find a matrix of prisons where tens of thousands were held simultaneously in an array of facilities for forced prison labor or before being deported over many months.
It should be noted that there also were far more "professional military Germans" doing their best for their Fatherland: The SS, the SD, and also - especially but not only in the Soviet Union and Poland - the ordinary army (the Wehrmacht).

Here is Steven Rosenfeld's ending of his article:
It’s easy to dismiss Trump’s deportation pledge as the ravings of a politician who will say anything to rev up his base through grievance and revenge politics. But it's another to thing to contemplate what it would mean to enact. The historic analogies, where they can be found, are appalling and could transform the country into an unrecognizable police state.
Yes, and I add: of course. Again, here are some parallels aka analogies:

There were some 11 million Jews in Europe, that Hitler wanted to kill. There are some 11 million illegal immigrants in the USA, that Trump wants to see disappear from the USA. Among the 11 million immigrants, there are some 6 million Mexicans, who Trump desires all are returned asap to Mexico, where they are to stay behind the wall Trump is going to build. Hitler succeeded in disappearing 6 million Jews in 4 years. The plan to murder them were kept
secret, but that was the plan and the practice since the end of 1941.

I do not know how many people there were in Nazi-occupied Europe, but it may well have approximated 300 millions, which is slightly less than the present population of the USA.

So yes: I agree there are considerable analogies between Trump's plans for the illegal immigrants to the USA, and Hitler's plans for the illegal Jews in occupied Europe. And incidentally, the Jews in Germany and later in the rest of occupied Europe were non-legal non-citizens since 1935 (in Germany): see above. And their planned massmurder was a state's secret. [4]

3. Upend the Tax Havens to Fund Clean Energy Revolution, Group Urges

The third
item is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:

This starts with a subtitle which I reproduce:
The money to transform global energy system is out there, says Friends of the Earth International, 'but the political will to drive the transformation is shockingly absent.
Yes, indeed - and it is especially the absence of "the political will" that is quite central to this, for their are very many billions around, that mostly result from far less tax paying by the multi-national corporations.

Then again, my own assumption, that indeed I cannot prove, for the simple reason that all these and very many more eventualities that would rationally explain the shocking corruptions and the interminable lies of the majority of elected politicians - right, left and center - are simply not discussed anywhere in the press anymore, starting in the 1980ies, is that the majority simply betrayed their electorates because they were funded by personal subsidies from the very rich.

As I said, I cannot prove this, for these and nearly all personal facts about elected persons tend to be widely suppressed by the press these days, and since several decades.

Anyway, apart from the explanation how extremely many billions of dollars were gained by partial political decisions made by elected politicians, here is the proposal the Friends of the Earth have:
How to recoup and put to good use the bilions of dollars corporations and the super-wealthy hide from governments each year while also funding the renewable energy revolution scientists and experts say is necessary—and technologically possible—to combat the increasing threat of global warming and climate change.That is the question answered in a new report, published Friday by Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), that argues government revenue lost through international tax havens could power half the world with 100 percent renewable energy in just 15 years.

Released just ahead of this weekend's gathering of the G20 in China, the report—titled An Energy Revolution Is Possible:
Tax Havens and Financing Climate Action
(pdf)—details how the nations of Latin America, Africa, and most of Asia could be powered completely by clean energy by the year 2030 if they would invest approximately $500 billion annually, a number well below the estimated $600 billion hidden by tax havens, offshore accounts, and other tax-avoidance measures each year.

I completely agree with the argument, but should add immediately that I do not see any chance that this will be done, that is, apart from a prior and successful revolution, to be sure, the chances on which at present can be be safely set at 0:

Without public expenditures, the report argues, countries cannot make the necessary investments in renewables and that provides new incentive for closing tax loopholes and shuttering offshore tax havens.

"It is a gross injustice that the world’s richest multinational corporations and individuals do not pay their fair share of taxes and continue to pollute without limit," says Dipti Bhatnagar, the climate justice and energy coordinator for the group. "We must stop tax avoidance and use that money for building sustainable and just societies. An Energy Revolution is possible, but we must fight for it."

So I agree this is a financial possibility. But with the - rich, stupid, dishonest, ever lying and deceiving - politicians we have in vast majorities, this is a political impossibility.

4. On Common Dreams

The fourth
item is by the Staff of Common Dreams and is as follows (in a slightly smaller format):



If you click the above image you are led to a Common Dreams page called Urgent Request. Indeed, here it is:

I have mentioned this before, and one of my reasons to do so is that Common Dreams is - over all, in my opinion - the best progressive website I've seen. And I've seen a lot of the English ones, in the last three years.

I also think it is fairly ridiculous that such a fine journal should beg its readers for a little money, but I do not blame anyone working for Common Dreams, for they are
all doing their best.

Here is what they lack on the moment, in their own prose:

We have about $13,000 to go. Our average donation size is $39 - so if 336 people can step forward, this work will continue.  Your donation today will make the difference!

Please, please do so: There must be 336 people among over 300 million Americans who are willing to pay $39 dollars to save the best progressive internet journal I know?!
---------------
Notes
[1] In fact, I articulate my main reasons directly following this note: Most policitians that have been elected since 1980 have been liars and frauds (anyway) and I also think many of these liars and frauds (certainly Dutch ones, though by far not only Dutch ones) have been both bought by the rich and also gotten cued by the rich (for the Dutch conservatives talked just like the American conservatives, and did not think this up themselves).

And while I grant I have no proof, the main reason is that most main papers have ceased to do decent journalism, and have been turned into infotainment + amuse- ments for their readers, with a tiny bit of "political news" that their readers are allowed to know. (Witness the horrible today's NRC-Handelsblad compared with the same paper in the 1980ies - and I know, for I read it from 1970 till 2010, when I gave it up as worthless propaganda.)

[2] I agree since quite a while, but the present article does give good analogies between Trump and Hitler, which I think do exist and go considerably further than most realize.

Then again, I also agree Trump is neither the same as Hitler nor his equivalent. There are quite a few reasons for this, including some of Trump's plans, but an important one is that Trump is mad in a way that Hitler was not. (I think Hitler may have been insane as well, but not in Trump's way.)

You may disagree, but I do hold excellent academic degrees in psychology and philosophy, and this is what I think, and what quite a few seem to agree with.

Finally in this context of fascists, madmen and political liars: In fact, I fear Trump less than the stupidity of the average American voter, and if Trump does get elected, I will blame the voters who voted for him.

[3] I'm sorry, but this is what I think.

Indeed, Trump's extreme temperament, his hatred for anyone who opposes him or makes fun of him, his judicial attacks on anyone he dislikes, and his jumbled, stupid, extremely repetitive public sayings, of which over 75% are completely false and seem to have been made up by him (I've seen only a few of his sayings and tweets in which he does not say the same things at least three times, in two or three sentences) are reasons why I don't think he is sane.

[4] I am not saying Trump desires to murder the illegal immigrants he plans to arrest and deport. All I am saying is that there are some pretty good analogies between Hitler on the Jews and Trump on the immigrants. (Besides: What Trump really wants also is a riddle, simply because he makes up very much he says, and because he retracts, restates, and reformulates his desires very many times.)

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