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Nederlog

Sep 8, 2016

Crisis: Legal Neofascism, Trump, New York Times, TTP
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Introduction

1.
Here They Come Again
2. Trump's Insane Nondisclosure Agreement
3. New York Times and the New McCarthyism
4. Prominent Scholars Decry TPP's "Frontal Attack" on
     Law and Democracy
Introduction: 

This is a Nederlog of Thursday, September 9, 2016.

This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about a good article by George Monbiot on the TPP, the TTIP, the TISA and the CETA, which in my considered opinion all are attempts to introduce legal neofascism (because political neofascism doesn't work: voters don't want it); item 2 is about Trump's breaking the law to assure no one says anything bad about a Trumpian; item 3 is about an interesting article about (especially) the New York Times, that does seem to grow more and more into a propaganda sheet; and item 4 is (at long last) about a decent letter of 200 academics who attack the TPP.

Also, I like to draw your attention to a previous Nederlog, called Rewriting my site, that is indeed about that, or more precisely: About a resized graphical background that is necessary since I have now a normal sized squarish monitor. [0] This will take quite a lot of work, which I will continue after having finished the present crisis item. (It will probably be done before the end of September. I do not yet know when, but I will say so in Nederlog if it is finished.) And here is the link to Rewriting my site, that shows how much I have corrected.

1. Here They Come Again

The first item today is by George Monbiot on Monbiot.com [1]:
This starts with a subtitle that is worth quoting:
Corporate lobbyists and their captive governments try to wear down our resistance with one fake trade treaty after another.
I think the subtitle is quite correct in suggesting that these treaties are "fake" in so far as they are falsely and deceptively decreed to be about trade: they are not, for they are about policies, and in fact are about taking most policy forming initiatives from nations, governments, parliaments and democracies, and give these almost exclusively to the CEOs of multi-national corporations.

These treaties are trying to do what the rightist politicians cannot do: Give almost all power - including state powers, including parliamentary powers, including any power over a nation's economy - to the CEOs of multi-national corporations who never may even have entered the countries they seek to exploit mercilessly.

For me, they are the essence of neofascism, and they are because fascism was classically defined as "all power to the corporations", that are subject to the state. Neofascism goes one step further:
"all power to the multi-national corporations" with no powers to the state, the parliaments, the governments or the people.

Then again, I should also warn against one possible reading of "fake" in the above summary: "fake" modifies "trade", and is correct in saying these treaties are falsely projected and propagandized as being about "free trade": really they are about taking all powers from states, governments, parliaments and democracies.

But be warned: These treaties are not "fake". They sign away almost all the rights and all the laws that protected you, your parents and your grandparents had, thanks to hundred or more years of struggles. They are the attempts of a handful of extemely rich men and their lawyers to grab almost all legal powers there are, and to subject these to their own desire for the maximal profits for their own multi-national corporations, also if this includes destroying nations and their inhabitants. ("Fuck them! Loosers!")

This starts as follows:

Is it over? Can it be true? If so, it’s a victory for a campaign that once looked hopeless, pitched against a fortress of political, corporate and bureaucratic power.

TTIP – the transatlantic trade and investment partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that “the talks with the US have de facto failed.” The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has announced “a clear halt”. Belgian and Austrian ministers have said the same thing. People power wins. For now.

But the lobbyists who demanded this charter for corporate rights never give up. TTIP has been booed off the stage but another treaty, whose likely impacts are almost identical, is waiting in the wings. And this one is more advanced, wanting only final approval. If this happens before Britain leaves the EU, we are likely to be stuck with it for the next 20 years.

I wrote about Gabriel and the TTIP on September 1 and August 29 last, and the summary is that I am not convinced that the TTIP is dead (and I simply don't trust politicians, especially not leading ones: they tend to excel in one and only one thing: deceiving the people to get better deals for themselves or their parties).

Apart from that skepticism, I think that NAFTA, TTP, TTIP, CETA and TISA all have one and the same end: To give all power to the multi-national corpo- rations; to do this in a way that pretends to be for "free trade", which is a complete intentional deception; but which in fact takes nearly all powers from states, governments, parliaments or democracies.

They all are aiming to give neofascists - the CEOs of multinational corporations that support these treaties - all powers over everyone, in a deceptively "legal" way that is explicitly drawn up NOT to be read by parliamentarians, but to be approved by them nevertheless in a fast track, in which they can say very little, about treatises that contain more than thousand of pages written in dense legalese.

This is also what Obama - who is going to be paid really well for his efforts - is trying to do with the TPP.

Here is Monbiot on one of its alternative plans to institute neofascism in a "legal" way because it cannot be instituted in a political way:

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is ostensibly a deal between the EU and Canada. You might ask what harm Canada could do us. But it allows any corporation which operates there, wherever its headquarters might be, to sue governments before an international tribunal. It threatens to tear down laws protecting us from exploitation and prevent parliaments on both sides of the Atlantic from legislating.

To say that there is no mandate for such agreements is an understatement: they have received an unequivocal counter-mandate. The consultation the EU grudgingly launched on TTIP’s proposal to grant new legal rights to corporations received 150,000 responses, 97% of which were hostile. But while choice is permitted when you shop for butter, on the big decisions there is no alternative.

Precisely: You have the free choice about which color sweetie you want to buy; you are denied all freedoms if it is about destroying your legal rights, your freedoms, your incomes, your parliaments or your democracies. The choices for or against them are to be by the multi-national corporations' CEOs and their ever lying rich lawyers.

Here is one reason why every European inhabitants rights are destroyed from the very start:

It’s not clear whether national parliaments will be allowed to veto this treaty. The European trade commissioner has argued that there is no need: it can be put before the European Parliament alone. But even if national parliaments are allowed to debate it, they will be permitted only to take it or leave it: the contents are deemed to have been settled already.

Only once the negotiations between European and Canadian officials had been completed, and the text of the agreement leaked, did the European Commission publish it. It is 1600 pages long. It has neither a contents list nor explanatory text. As far as transparency, parity and comprehensibility are concerned, it’s the equivalent of the land treaties illiterate African chiefs were induced to sign in the 19th Century. It is hard to see how parliamentarians could make a properly-informed decision.

It is sick legalese that has been purposively crafted to be sick legalese. But some things can be deduced from it:

Like TTIP, CETA threatens to lock in privatisation, making renationalisation (of Britain’s railways, for example), or attempts by cities to take control of failing public services (as Joseph Chamberlain did in Birmingham, laying the foundations for modern social provision) impossible. Like TTIP, it uses a broad definition of both investment and expropriation to allow corporations to sue governments when they believe their “future anticipated profits” might be threatened by new laws.

Like TTIP, it restricts the ways in which governments may protect their people. It appears to prohibit, for example, rules that would prevent banks from becoming too big to fail. It seems to threaten our planning laws and other commonsense protections.

Anything not specifically exempted from the agreement is considered covered. In other words, if governments don’t spot a potential hazard before the hazard emerges, they are stuck with it. The European Union appears to have relinquished its ability, for example, to insist that investment and retail banking be separated.

Again, it simply is legal neofascism, that also is to be pushed to the last remnants of effective parliaments in neofascistic ways. It is the exclusive
rule of the rich made into "law" by falsehoods, deceptions, manipulations
and corruption of politicians.

Here is the next attempt (after NAFTA, TTP, TTI) to try to found a legal neofascism:

CETA claims to be a trade treaty, but many of its provisions have little to do with trade. They are attempts to circumscribe democracy on behalf of corporate power. Millions of people in Europe and Canada want to emerge from the neoliberal era. But such treaties would lock us into it, allowing the politics we have rejected to govern us beyond the grave.

If parliaments reject this treaty, another attempt is already being prepared: the Trade in Services Agreement that the European Union is simultaneously negotiating with the US and 21 other nations.
And the TISA is yet another attempt to found legal neofascism. [2]

This is a recommended article.

2. Trump's Insane Nondisclosure Agreement

The
second item is by Elizabeth Preza on AlterNet:

This starts as follows:

Volunteers interested in helping elect Donald Trump may want to read the fine print about what a role on the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign really means. The Trump campaign now requires online volunteers who want to make phone calls on behalf of the candidate to sign a wide-ranging 2,271 word non-disclosure agreement promising not to say anything disparaging about Trump, his family, or any related company, “and to prevent [their] employees from doing so.” The non-disparagement clause covers the duration of the volunteers’ service “and all times thereafter.”

Possibly (probably?) this is evidence that Donald Trump never read or understood the First Amendment (<- Wikipedia) to the Constitution (he also doesn't seem to know the number of its articles).

Here it is (bolding added):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It insists that one has free speech in the United States. (I agree that it seems true that according to the Supreme Court's Citizen United's decision "free speech" = "money" and "money" = "votes", but I insist on the literal reading and not the metaphorical one.)

Here is one reaction to it by CNN:

CNN contributor Rachel Sklar posted portions of the NDA to Twitter Friday, noting that “even by the grossly permissive standards of Citizen’s United, coercing your employees is completely illegal," meaning an employer who volunteers for the Trump campaign would have no legal ground to stop their employees from disparaging the Republican candidate. Sklar called the wording “coercive and illegal.”

Incidentally, merely twittering Trump's complete NDA takes something like 16 Tweets, which shows how extremely stupefying Tweets are, but then the average is not intelligent (I hope you are not offended, but it is simply true).

I think Sklar is right, but I also fear that this will not stop Trump from prosecuting anyone who said anything that might be construed by some as
disparaging him (and see March 14 for the psychological background), simply because he is such a person (who lacks self-control, knowledge of the law, moral decency and a grasp of what sane behavior means).

3. New York Times and the New McCarthyism

The third
item is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows:

Traditional U.S. journalism and the American people are facing a crisis as the preeminent American newspaper, The New York Times, has fully lost its professional bearings, transforming itself into a neoconservative propaganda sheet eager for a New Cold War with Russia and imposing a New McCarthyism on public debate.

The crisis is particularly acute because another top national newspaper, The Washington Post, is also deeply inside the neocon camp.

The Times’ abandonment of journalistic principles has become most noticeable with its recurring tirades about Russia, as the Times offers up story after story that would have embarrassed Sen. Joe McCarthy and his 1950s Red-baiters.

Operating without any actual evidence, a recent Times article by Neil MacFarquhar sought to trace public challenges to official U.S. government narratives on world events to a massive “disinformation” campaign by Russian intelligence. Apparently, it is inconceivable to the Times that independent-minded people might simply question some of the dubious claims made by Official Washington.

Perhaps most stunningly, the Times sought to prove its point by citing the slogan of Russia’s English-language television network, saying: “RT trumpets the slogan ‘Question More.’”

I think Robert Parry is right, but I have one qualification on my own knowledge to agree: I dislike both the New York Times and the Washington Post, and for that reason tend not to read them, except in rare cases, for specific articles.

In any case, Parry provides a fair amount of evidence, that I leave to my readers' interests. Here is one of Parry's conclusions about both the New York Times and The Washington Post:

But there is something even more insidious about what The New York Times and The Washington Post have been up to. They are essentially saying that any questioning of the official U.S. government narrative on any international topic puts you in league with Moscow in its purported attempt to “weaponize” information, whatever that is supposed to mean.

The two newspapers are engaging in a breathtaking form of McCarthyism, apparently in some twisted effort to force a neoconservative ideological conformity on the American people in support of the New Cold War.
Again I think Parry is right, with the qualification I made above. And indeed, completely apart from McCarthyism, I think both papers are pushing a neo- conservative agenda, and (a bit oddly in my understanding, since the Soviet
Union is dead for 25 years now) do so with anti-Russian propaganda. [3]

More specifically (and transcending McCarthyism) there is this on psycho- logical warfare, propaganda, and controlling and coloring the amount and the contents of information ordinary voters get to see:

NATO has even established what it calls a “Strategic Communications Command,” or Stratcom, in Riga, Latvia, which – as veteran war correspondent Don North has written – views “the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’

“This attitude has led to treating psy-ops manipulative techniques for influencing a target population’s state of mind and surreptitiously shaping people’s perceptions as just a normal part of U.S. and NATO’s information policy. …

“And, as part of this Brave New World of ‘strategic communications,’ the U.S. military and NATO have now gone on the offensive against news organizations that present journalism which is deemed to undermine the perceptions that the U.S. government seeks to convey to the world.”

In other words: The USA's military wants to feed the people propaganda and lies and deceptions that serve the USA's military, and because it wants to do so it attacks all decent journalism as anti-American. There is only one kind
of news that the US military thinks is fit to print, and that is news that either is its own propaganda or supports its own propaganda.

There also is this curious kind of projection (that is: accusing others of the things one is doing or planning oneself to do):

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions. …

“The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates cyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russia’s ability to spread disinformation. … A Russian influence operation in the United States ‘is something we’re looking very closely at,’ said one senior intelligence official,” while admitting that there is no “definitive proof” of such a Russian scheme.
I do not have an optimistic or sympathetic view of Putin, but surely the Americans are much richer, with more people, and probably more resources, and they certainly are propagandizing Russia in the ways they claim the Russians are attacking the USA.

Indeed the very NATO Stratcom that is proud to propagandize the Russians; thinks it has a right to and tries to destroy decent journalism, also insists
that they know (without evidence) what the Russians are up to:

“‘Our studies show that it is very likely that [the influence] operations are centrally run,’ said Janis Sarts, director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research organization based in Riga, Latvia.”

Yes, that is the same NATO Stratcom complex that, as Don North reported, blends psychological operations with traditional public relations. Yet, you wouldn’t know that from reading The Washington Post’s article, which cites Stratcom as a source for accusing Russia of running influence operations.

Here is one of Parry's conclusions:

In other words, any reporting or commenting on significant foreign policy issues could open a journalist or a citizen to a U.S. government investigation into whether you are part of some nefarious Russian propaganda/disinformation scheme.

He may well be correct. For the predictable outcome of confusing military propaganda, deceptions and lies with civil journalism, honesty and courage
is that the
propaganda, deceptions and lies will win (they have the most
money and the most power), which means totalitarianism and totalitarian
attitudes will grow.


4. Prominent Scholars Decry TPP's "Frontal Attack" on Law and Democracy

The fourth item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams [4]:
This starts as follows:

More than 200 legal and economic scholars—including President Barack Obama's Harvard Law School mentor Laurence Tribe—have penned a letter to Congress warning that the pro-corporate Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime enshrined in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) "threatens the rule of law and undermines our nation's democratic institutions."

As ISDS "threatens to dilute constitutional protections, weaken the judicial branch, and outsource our domestic legal system to a system of private arbitration that is isolated from essential checks and balances," the academics urge (pdf) lawmakers to reject the TPP, despite the Obama administration's full-court press to pass the trade agreement during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress.

I say! Incidentally, my main reason to do so is that I am quite skeptical of most academics (they simply are conformist workers who earn more than others and try everything to keep their privileges, and protesting these days
doesn't help your academic privileges [5]), but I am thankful that - at long last, to be sure - some academics have banded together and did write a letter to Congress about the TPP and the ISDS.

In fact, I have my opinion on the NAFTA, TPP, TTIP, TISA and CETA in item 1, and I refer you to that (and I am quite serious, and if you are less serious I suggest to you that you also know a lot less about fascism and politics than I do, although I agree that my knowing more does not prove that I am right).

And in fact, if the signatories agreed that the TTP (etc.) "threatens to dilute constitutional protections, weaken the judicial branch, and outsource our domestic legal system to a system of private arbitration that is isolated from essential checks and balances", and they did, I would say that they are considerably closer to my diagnosis that the real end of the TPP, TTIP, TISA and CETA is to introduce neofascism, much rather than "free trade" (which is bullshit anyway).

Here is some more on what the signatories agree to, and also on some of the signatories:

The signatories—who also include Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, and Columbia University Professor and UN Senior Adviser Jeffrey Sachs—note that concerns they outlined in a March 2015 letter opposing the inclusion of ISDS provisions in the TPP and other multinational trade deals were ignored. 

In fact, they write, "the final TPP text simply replicates nearly word for word many of the problematic provisions from past agreements, and indeed would vastly expand the U.S. government's potential liability under the ISDS system."

I have two remarks on this: (1) I think this supports the notion that the TTIP, TISA and CETA are all very similar attempts to achieve a kind of legal neofascism, while (2) the reader should not forget that the signatories are - it seems - all from the USA: They are right that the U.S.'s government will be severely restricted by adoption of the TTP, but it should be added that precisely the same holds for all governments that sign these treaties: They effectively agreed to suicide, at least partially, or maybe assume a comatose position, on purpose, because that would help the rich to grow vastly more rich.

Then there is this (and the signatories are quite right):

The letter continues:

If the TPP text were approved by Congress, we would not only be entrenching this inherently flawed mechanism, but significantly expanding it.

[...] In recent years, corporations have challenged a wide range of environmental, health, and safety regulations, fiscal policies, bans on toxins, denials of permits including for toxic waste dumps, moratoria on extraction of natural resources, measures taken in response to financial crises, court decisions on issues ranging from the scope of intellectual property rights to the resolution of bankruptcy claims, policy decisions on privatizations of prisons and healthcare, and efforts to combat tax evasion, among others. Nearly 700 cases have been filed against approximately 100 governments over the past few years. There were 50 known ISDS cases launched in the regime's first three decades combined. But the number of cases has soared in recent years. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in 2015 alone, 70 ISDS cases were launched—more than in any previous year.

"Today's letter from top legal experts makes clear: ISDS undermines the American judicial system and tilts the playing field further in favor of big multinational corporations," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has argued many of the same points.

I agree, and in case you disagree with my statement that the TTIP, TISA and CETA in fact seek to introduce legal neofascism, then (i) you should read through the list again, and decide whether these measures do not incredibly increase the scope, the power, and the incomes of multi-national corporations, at the costs of governments, parliaments and all inhabi- tants of nations; (ii) you should also consider that only governments' lawyers and multi-national corporations' lawyers are admitted to these ISDSs; and (iii) you should realize that the 700 cases that have been filed against governments (and against democracies, nations, inhabitants and national taxpayers) are only the beginning of the beginning of vastly more similar cases, that will almost completely destroy governments, parliaments and democracies.

Here is the brief sum-up of how they do it and why:

"This provision empowers companies to challenge laws and regulations they don't like," Warren said on Wednesday, "with friendly corporate lawyers instead of judges deciding their disputes. Congress should not approve a TPP agreement that includes ISDS."

They should also refuse to aprrove the TPP without ISDSs: These are simply extremely bad laws that only help the rich. And any laws any parliament does approve should - de-mo-cra-ti-cal-ly and de-cent-ly - be discussed properly in parliament, where also everyone, including the public, has the full text of the laws that are proposed long before they are discussed in parliament: That is democracy, and anything else is not democracy.

Here is the last bit I'll quote, that is about how Obama's governments absolutely insists on pushing the TPP through, unread, unstudied, mostly secret, mostly not comprehended by Congress, but Obama - whose future millions very probably depend on its success - insists Congress must nevertheless pass the TPP:

As Public Citizen's Lori Wallach wrote last week, statements such as McConnell's

need to be understood for what they are: negotiating for changes to obtain even more corporate goodies—longer monopoly protections for pharmaceutical firms' high medicine prices, elimination of an exception protecting some tobacco regulations from TPP attack, and more. So far the corporate 'we-want-more-or-else' tactic has pushed the White House into caving on Wall Street firms' demands to 'fix' TPP rules allowing governments to limit movement of financial data across borders. Since the administration has made no parallel moves to address criticisms coming from its own party, a very bad deal is getting even worse.

Meanwhile, Wallach continued, "the massive corporate coalition pushing for the TPP is aggressively lobbying to pass the pact in the lame-duck session—that unique moment of minimum political accountability when the retired and fired in Congress get to come back and vote one more time knowing they will not be facing their voters again."

It is the sickest way to try to push through the sickest and explicit neofascist law, but this is what Obama and his corporate executives, many of whom come from (and will return to) Wall Street, deeply desire, because it will incredibly much improve the powers of the rich, and by as much diminish the powers, the rights, and hundred years of legal protections of the non-rich.

---------------
Notes

[0] Incidentally: I do want to keep my sites to look reasonable on the monitors (and computers and OSs) that I use, and I am trying to do so for
the new monitor I have, but I gave up (by 2012) trying to please everyone:

I do take care it works well on Firefox, on Ubuntu, on a normal sized squarish monitor, but I will not check anymore how my site is displayed on other monitors, other OSs and other screens: Too much work for my health. (I guess it works on most systems, since it is html that ought to work the same everywhere, but I lack the health to check and repair.)

[1] I did find this on The Guardian, but The Guardian is turning more and more rightist, and now even prevents copying of journalists' prose, although that hardly survives the day, except in very few cases.

It was - some 50 years ago - asked: "What could not be paid yesterday, is today worth 25 cents, and is tomorrow worth nothing?" The answer was: Today's paper. And that answer was correct, apart from very rare articles.

But these days, according to The Guardian and Salon, journalists words are not allowed to be cited anymore forever.

I think their editors are completely insane (or else: extremely greedy), and I only add that Alan Rusbridger, who edited the previous Guardian, that was a whole lot better than the present one, seems to have broken all or most ties with the present Guardian (but is tacit about his reasons).

This policy of protecting journalists at the costs of any reader discussing any of their prose makes my work also impossible, as it makes all written democracy that is based on quoting journalists either impossible or a lot more difficult.

It is a very big shame, and I rate The Guardian that has been sterilized in this way very much lower, for it is almost completely useless for any intelligent written discussion based on journalists' reports. (But what would democracy mean if one's income is at stake?! You can see it in the modern The Guardian: Nothing.)

[2] In case you disagree, you simply are reacting to the bad taste in which the term "fascism" tends to be greeted. Indeed, I think that term is these days mostly avoided because of the widespread influence of political correctness: One should not say ugly things about others, for that might offend them, and that - the politically correct suggest - is about the worst thing one might do ("for everybody is equivalent" as most of the Dutch would insist).

Nevertheless, it is what I think, and I think it because I have studied a lot of politics, a lot of philosophy, a lot of science, and also the - many - meanings of the term "fascism". (I will publish soon about this, in Nederlog.)

Well... to the best of my knowledge the TTIP etc. are attempts to literally found a kind of classical fascism (defined as: the rule of the corporations in the state) in a new form which I call neofascism (defined as: the rule of the multi-national corporations, that take over most of the powers of the state, the government, the parliaments and the democracies).

I really think I am right, but I am no stranger to be discriminated for my opinions, though I do like to add that when it was I who was concerned, and not powerful lawyers from very powerful multi-nationals, absolutely no one protested that I was called "a dirty fascist" by my opponents, while I was in fact an anti-fascistic son of anti-fascistic heroes of the resistance, and also a son of a communist father who was knighted because of his anti-fascism.

Why have I been called totally falsely "a dirty fascist" for ten years in the University of Amsterdam because I was pro science, pro truth and no Marxist, while very few spent harsh words on the neofascist activities of the multi- national corporations?

(Because I have and had no power, while the multi-nationals are more powerful than states these days. O, and because those who accused me in the University of Amsterdam all were utter phonies.)

[3] They do, and one of the odd things is that the Americans indeed treat the Russians (who these days are being led by a very capitalist government) as if they are very much like the Soviets were, back in the 1960ies or so.

But as I said, I think Parry is right, and this shows how much real propaganda has taken the place of real journalism in the eyes of the American government.

[4] About Common Dreams, because I wrote about them on September 3: The next day they stopped their asking for money - and didn't explain why. I do hope they made the amount they desired, for as I said: They are the best internet journal I know, and they are much appreciated by me. (I think they did succeed, this time. I hope they can get their finances a bit better, but indeed I also know it is very difficult these days.)

[5] As my own case illustrates: At 66 I never in my life earned as much as a legal minimum income, while I have an absolutely brilliant psychological M.A.; a brilliant philosophy B.A.; and while I was denied the right to take my examination for the M.A. in philosophy (as the only person since WW II who was treated that - completely illegal - way). Besides, I was kept for 7 years from proper sleeping in Amsterdam; was gassed and almost died; and protested for many years the noise from illegal softdrugs-dealers who were protected by the mayor, the district attorneys, the aldermen and all bureaucrats of Amsterdam.

All I did was protesting against dishonesties. But the dishonest were the powerful, and this is what they did to me: They made me live without any real right for nearly ten years, and they took care I am the poorest Dutchman.

(So I also understand why so very few agree with me: It is too dangerous, and they have children etc. etc.)

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