1. The Courtiers and the
2. WashPost Makes History: First Paper to
Prosecution of Its Own Source
3. How Narcissism Hurts Us All
Are Adopting Principles of Fascism”
5. Why You Really Must
Get Behind Hillary, Now
This is a Nederlog of Monday, September 19, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is a fine article by Chris Hedges (I have some criticisms, but they are mostly terminological); item 2 is about Glenn Greenwald on The Washington Post; item 3 is an example of how journalists abuse terminology (sorry: there are few real narcissists, even if Donald Trump is one, and nearly everything Kali Holliway attributes to "narcissism" is much better attributed to egoism, greed, conformism, stupidity and more); item 4 is a quite
interesting very long interview with an ex-military man who is now a
lawyer and who does see that the USA is rapidly moving towards what I
call neofascism (and he gives some good reasons, but I do not pretend
that my selections are representative: it is too long for that); and item 5 is by Robert Reich who - once again - explains why people who are not rightists should vote for Clinton (even if - as I say - she is a bad choice: the alternative is both mad, evil and much worse).
In case you visit my
Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need
to click twice
to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for me, but
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
In any case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am sorry if you have to click several times to see the
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was.)
1. The Courtiers and the Tyrants
item today is by Chris
Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Thomas Frank’s marvelous
scorched-earth assault on the Democratic Party and professional elites
in his book “Listen, Liberal:
Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?” has one fatal flaw.
Frank blames the liberal class, rather than the corporations that have
seized control of the centers of power, for our descent into political
dysfunction and neofeudalism.
I think that is mostly quite correct, but it
does require an understanding of the term "liberal" that is given in
the following quotation:
Yes, self-identified liberals
such as the Clintons and Barack Obama speak in the language of
liberalism while selling out the poor, the working class and the middle
class to global corporate interests. But they are not, at least
according to the classical definition, liberals. They are neoliberals.
They serve the dictates of neoliberalism—austerity,
deindustrialization, anti-unionism, endless war and globalization—to
empower and enrich themselves and the party. The actual liberal
class—the segment of the Democratic Party that once acted as a safety
valve to ameliorate through reform the grievances and injustices within
our capitalist democracy and that had within its ranks politicians such
as George McGovern, Gaylord Nelson, Warren Magnuson and Frank Church
and New Deal Democrats such as Franklin D. Roosevelt—no longer exists.
That is (a bit more precisely): I agree such politicians
hardly exist anymore, (well: except for Bernie Sanders, indeed)
although there still are some - Chomsky? Hedges himself? - who are in
quite a few ways liberals like McGovern or Church. (Or that is what I think.)
But mostly Chris Hedges is right: If there are any real liberals left
in the USA (and I think there are a few), then their ideas and values
are not popular, and
most are academics, who are rarely in the news, basically because they
are discriminated, like Chomsky.
Then there is this, which I also mostly agree with (and I have opposed corrupt quasi-"leftist" academics since 1977, in Holland):
The Democratic and the
professional elites whom Frank excoriates are, as he points out,
morally bankrupt, but they are only one piece of the vast, fake
democracy that characterizes our system of “inverted
totalitarianism.” The problem is not only liberals who are not
liberal; it is also conservatives, once identified with small
government, the rule of law and fiscal responsibility, who are not
conservative. It is a court system that has abandoned justice and
rather than defend constitutional rights has steadily stripped them
from us through judicial fiat. It is a Congress that does not legislate
but instead permits lobbyists and corporations to write legislation. It
is a press, desperate for advertising dollars and often owned by large
corporations, that does not practice journalism. It is academics,
commentators and public intellectuals, often paid by corporate think
tanks, who function as shameless cheerleaders for the neoliberal and
imperial establishment and mock the concept of independent and critical
Yes, indeed: First, there are liberals and
"liberals", conservatives and "conservatives", and probably also, in
each case, two kinds of neoliberals and neo-conservatives.
And second, at least the government, the Senate and the House are all
vastly corrupted by lobbyists and by money, while the courts in good
part ceased to function as real courts should, and the same is true of
much of the press.
And third, Hedges is quite right about the academics (with some very
few exceptions): They make a lot of money by serving as "shameless cheerleaders for the neoliberal and imperial
Next, there is this on the "near-total continuity" between Obama's government
(as regards wars, as regards mass surveillance, as regards finances and banks)
and Bush's preceding government:
During Barack Obama’s
administration there has been near-total continuity with the
administration of George W. Bush, especially regarding mass
surveillance, endless war and the failure to regulate Wall Street. This
is because the mechanisms of corporate power embodied in the deep state
do not change with election cycles.
In fact, I would say that THE "mechanism of corporate power" is
I suppose - but do not know - that Hedges agrees.
And there is this about what is happening now, has been happening since
Reagan, and will continue to happen until it is radically stopped:
Our political elites, Republican
and Democrat, were shaped, funded and largely selected by corporate
power in what John Ralston
Saul correctly calls a coup d’état in slow motion. Nothing will
change until corporate power itself is dismantled.
I mostly agree. Perhaps a few things will
change (Democratic governors seem
less bad and less mad than Republican ones, for example), but then
again I agree that it all happens within the framework and against the
background of corporate power - that also has won nearly all the fights
it was involved in,
for it succeeded in deregulating nearly all laws that protected both
the ordinary people and the American economy.
There is this on Lewis Powell, and I agree with Hedges that he is THE
man who alerted the corporations and who prepared "the
that took place since Reagan: deregulation after deregulation of good
laws, and their replacement by extremely bad laws that only protect and
favor the rich:
Lewis Powell, then the general
counsel to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in August 1971 wrote
a memo called “Attack on American Free Enterprise System.” It
became the blueprint for the corporate coup. Powell would later be
appointed to the Supreme Court. Corporations, as Powell urged, poured
hundreds of millions of dollars into the assault, backing candidates,
creating the Business Roundtable, funding The Heritage Foundation, the
Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy,
and Accuracy in Academia. The memo argued that corporations must
marginalize or silence those who in “the college campus, the pulpit,
the media, and the intellectual and literary journals” were hostile to
Well, the corporations mostly succeeded, and
are now introducinh their own form of neofascism by way of the TTP, the
TTIP, the TISA and the CETA, all of which have two dominant ends: (i)
the introduction of a totally new "legal" system (ii) that outlaws the
former legal systems and replaces them by the rule of the multi-national corporations.
As for decent legislation, there is this by Ralph Nader:
“There hasn’t been a single major
piece of legislation advancing the health, safety and economic rights
of the American people since 1974, arguably since 1976,” Nader told me.
“That’s the effect of money in politics. That’s the effect of a totally
subservient strategy by the liberals.”
I believe him (though I don't know American
political history by far as well as he does).
Here is Nader on Bill Clinton, and again I think Ralph Nader is right:
“[Bill] Clinton was an enemy of
environmental, consumer, and worker issues,” Nader said. “He broke the
modest welfare system for single moms. He sold out to the agribusiness
companies. He allowed huge mergers in a bill he signed for the
communications and the media giants, all in 1986, and this was quite
apart from bombing Iraq illegally, killing civilians. He never opposed
a swollen military budget that was unauditable.
“If you can smile and have the right
rhetoric—Reagan did that, too—you get away with it,” Nader said. “… All
you’ve got to do in politics is say the right thing, even though your
whole record is contrary, and you’re on your way.”
Yes, although the second paragraph - which
I think is basically correct - also has a lot to do with the
fundamental stupidity or ignorance of very many American voters. (I am
sorry, but that is the case.)
Then there is this on the current elites:
Out of this rot and corruption, as it
always does, arose a class of privileged elites who wallow in
self-adulation and will do anything to further their personal
self-advancement. Thomas Frank, who is a gifted writer and reporter,
peers into the hermetic and exclusive world of the professional
Democratic power elite—the vacations in Martha’s Vineyard, the hipster
innovation districts for budding tech entrepreneurs in cities such as
Boston, the Ivy League pedigrees, the open disdain for the working
class and the blind faith in a functioning meritocracy. The elites
believe they are privileged, Frank writes correctly, because they are convinced they are the smartest, most
creative, most talented and hardest working. They cap this grotesque
narcissism, he points out, with a facade of goodness and virtue. They
turn their elitism into a morality play.
Yes, although I think much of that -
actual meritocracy, beliefs that the elites are the smartest and
hardest working - seems to be as old as the existence of elites (which
already were there in 500 BC, e.g. in Athens).
There is also this on the elites:
The problem is not the liberal elites.
The problem is the elites. They serve the same ideology. They work in
the same financial institutions, hedge funds and foundations, including
the Council on Foreign Relations, where government officials often are
parked when they are out of power. They belong to the same clubs.
In fact (a logical point): If there are no
liberals, there certainly are no liberal elites. But apart from that I
agree, and I add that the fluid that keeps the elites the elites are-
these days, at least, for most who are in the elites but not quite rich - financial corruptions of many kinds.
Next, another logical point, concerning
Noam Chomsky has amply elucidated the
role of liberals in a capitalist democracy. The liberal class is used
to discredit radicals, like Chomsky, and radical movements. It carries
out reforms, which are often later revoked, when capitalism extracts
too much blood or when it breaks down as it did in the 1930s.
My point is (again) that Hedges wrote in
the beginning of his article that "The actual
liberal class (...) no longer exists". If that
is so, we need other terms for what does exist (such as
well-paid academic elites who nearly all support
the goverment and the rich) than "liberals" (without quotes).
Here is the end:
Politics is a game of fear. And if you
lose the capacity to make the power elites afraid, you become their
plaything. This, in the simplest terms, is what has happened to us.
I agree, except that politics is a game of
(that if successful very often inspires fear) that the rich mostly
won over the past 35 years, essentially by corrupting most of
2. WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for
Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer)
The second item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Three of the four media outlets
that received and published large numbers of secret NSA documents
provided by Edward Snowden — The
New York Times, and The
Intercept –– have called for the U.S. government to
allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the U.S. with no charges.
That’s the normal course for a news organization, which owes its
sources duties of protection, and which — by virtue of accepting the
source’s materials and then publishing them — implicitly declares the
source’s information to be in the public interest.
But not the Washington Post. In the
face of a growing ACLU and Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for
Snowden, timed to this weekend’s release of the Oliver Stone
biopic “Snowden,” the Post editorial
page today not only argued in opposition to a pardon, but
explicitly demanded that Snowden — the paper’s own source — stand
trial on espionage charges or, as a “second-best solution,” accept “a
measure of criminal responsibility for his excesses and the U.S.
government offers a measure of leniency.”
In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an
ignominious feat in U.S. media history: the first-ever paper to
explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of
its own source — one on whose back the paper won and
eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. But even more
staggering than this act of journalistic treachery against the paper’s
own source are the claims made to justify it.
I say! It indeed sounds neither noble nor thankful,
and I suppose Glenn Greenwald is right in saying that the Washington
Post "has achieved an ignominious feat in U.S. media
history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the
criminal prosecution of its own source".
Then again, one possible explanation that Greenwald
doesn't mention (and I am guessing) is that the Washington Post
was sold between August and October of 2013 (after
its first publications on Snowden) to multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos (who
owns a mere 66.7 billion dollars, and is the world's third richest man ).
But as I said, I don't know. There is a lot
more in Greenwald's article that I skip. It ends as follows:
Actually - while I can understand Glenn Greenwald's
anger very well - I think it is a bit too strong to say that this
behavior "is warped beyond anything that can be described".
But what makes today’s Washington
Post editorial so remarkable, such a tour de force, is that
the editors are literally calling for the criminal prosecution of one
of the most important sources in their own newspaper’s history.
Having basked in the glory of awards and accolades, and benefited from
untold millions of clicks, the editorial page editors of the Post now
want to see the source who enabled all of that be put in an American
cage and branded a felon. That is warped beyond anything that can be
But it does sound pretty sick and the article is recommended.
3. How Narcissism Hurts Us All
The third item is by Kali Holloway on
This starts as follows - and while I have
out what Kali Holloway studied, this psychologist finds it very difficult to
believe that she studied psychology, and here is the reason why:
There’s no official equation that adds
up human behaviors to equal a clinical diagnosis of narcissism. But if
there were, taking 6,000 selfies over the course of a four-day
vacation, as Kim
Kardashian recently did, just might qualify. This would seem over
the top were we not talking about someone who released a collection of
300 selfies in a 2015 book titled, of course, Selfish.
If this is the Age of Narcissism (or more gravely, the narcissism epidemic), as
have dubbed it, the selfie is our most representative medium and Kim
Kardashian is the celebrity we deserve.
No, that is just baloney or confusion, and
this is neither "the age of narcissim" nor is there a "narcissism
epidemic": That is all nonsense.
What is true or at least what might
be true, is that this is the age of egoism,
the age of greed, the age of conformism, the age of cowardice, the age
of stupidity, the age of self-imposed blindness, or the age of moral
But not the age of narcissism, for
the simple reason that narcissism is a relatively rare kind of psychopathology.
I completely agree - as a
psychologist, also - with the thesis that Donald Trump is a grandiose
narcissist, and - therefore, though probably not only therefore - is
both definitely mad (with a pathology that is very difficult to cure)
and a great danger as the commander in chief of atomic weapons, but the
fact that as crazy a person as Trump is one of the two presidential
candidates does not mean at all that his form of psychopathology
suddenly fot "normal" or "epidemic". That is pure baloney.
There is considerably more about
"narcissism" - that in nearly every case should have been substituted by
one of the terms I mentioned: egoism,
greed, conformism, cowardice, stupidity, self-imposed
degeneracy, and perhaps more, but once again: No.
probably considerably less abnormal among CEOs, but since very few
people get to be CEOs this does not at all imply an epidemy of
Then again, Kali Holloway is quite right
that Donald Trump is a grandiose narcisssist:
Among its most damaging
byproducts is "Apprentice" star Donald Trump, the thin-skinned,
race-baiting, misogynist pathological liar this close to being the next
president of the United States, whom psychologist Ben Michaelis called
a “textbook narcissistic personality disorder” and Harvard psychologist
Howard Gardner labeled “remarkably narcissistic." Psychologist George
Simon told Vanity
Fair that Trump is, “so classic that I’m archiving video clips
of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his
characteristics. Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write
vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”
I fear that is all true enough. Then again,
this is not:
But a fair number of us might
also rack up higher than expected numbers. The truth is, we’re all a
little bit narcissistic (...)
Again no: "we" are not "all a little bit narcissistic", for
the same reason as we are not "all a little bit a billionaire", nor
"all a little bit of an Olympic winner". It's plain baloney: A real
narcissist, as Donald Trump undoubtedly is, is a fairly rare
occasion of a fairly serious pathology.
And again, what Kali Holloway seems to confuse are a fairly rare form
of psychopathology, and far more common forms that are far
by terms like egoism,
greed, conformism, cowardice, stupidity, self-imposed
degeneracy, and perhaps more.
4. “We Are
Adopting Principles of Fascism”
The fourth item is by Philip Weiss on Consortiumnews ansd originally on
This has a subtitle that is worth quoting:
Retired Army JAG Major Todd Pierce
explains how his perspective on U.S. foreign policy and politics has
changed as he watched the nation’s slide into “perpetual war,” (..)
Also, this is the second part of a quite
long interview with Todd Pierce (who is an interesting and intelligent
man) that is far too long and too complicated to
get excerpted properly in Nederlog.
Then again, I like Todd Pierce's opinions, and indeed do so for several
reasons that are probably not very common:
He is intelligent; he knows quite a few
resources I know as well (and that few people really
have read, though Pierce and I did); he was not
originally a leftist (Leftist, "Leftist" or "leftist"); he served in
war; and he got at a later age a degree in law, and he serves as the
lawyer of a man who is in Guantánamo.
This is from the beginning:
Todd Pierce: I’m trying to preserve the
freedom I’ve had. I see a genuine threat to it. And I see it from
people whom I know. The people in this Veteran intelligence group I’m
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity] includes the four NSA
whistleblowers, Kirk Wiebe, Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, and Thomas Drake.
Binney has got to be one of the smartest people in the world, I don’t
think that’s an exaggeration. He was one of the smartest people at the
PW: You’ve met him?
TP: Yes. And he agrees with me fully.
Because he’s seen the NSA. We’re a more sophisticated form of what I
think has to be called fascism. The term fascism was applied to the way
the communists and Stalin got on as well. You bring the term fascist to
what it really means, and that ultimately is, ultra-militarism and
authoritarianism combined with an expansionist foreign policy. And
that’s us—what you can see us becoming.
I mostly agree, and Pierce also reasoned
as I did (possibly in part because my grandfather was murdered in a
Nazi concentration camp, while my father survived over three years and
nine months of Nazi concentration camps, both
being committed for resisting the Nazis), but I am a little more
refined on terminology than Pierce may be:
I think what we are seeing is the birth of
neofascism, which is "ultra-
militarism and authoritarianism combined with an expansionist foreign
policy" that in turn is directed by the CEOs
of multi-national corporations (banks, silicon valley etc.), who
also finance it to a considerable extent and
pocketed nearly all the financial gains made during the last 35 years.
But with that precisification, I agree.
Here is more:
Yes, that is quite right. Then again, that is
itself no reason to speak of fascism, as Philip Weiss
PW: What do you mean?
TP: We’re selective. Bill Binney and these
guys were all arrested at gunpoint by the FBI. They were able for a
number of ways–including Bill Binney being quite smart and turning the
tables and showing that the government was making things up– they were
able to get out of it. The other person is Diane Roark, who was in
charge of oversight of the NSA for the congressional intelligence
staff. They’ve got the capabilities to spy on everybody and collect
every bit of data that we share, and they’re doing it, (..)
Actually, "fascism" is first of all not
an analytical term of politics, but is simply a term of abuse,
that was extremely widely used by the Left, the "Left", the left and
the "left" (they all exist, and are quite different!) since the second
half of the 1960ies.
PW: Binney has a reason to say fascist,
being at the point of the lance. He was atypical. Lefties pointed at
certain events in the ‘80s and said fascism. You remember them saying
TP: Yes, absolutely. You could point to
those things, and you could say it was proto-fascism. There’s
authoritarianism; what Nixon was doing and later Reagan were all
elements of it. But I think it took an event like 9/11 to bring it to
greater fruition. So the seed of it was there then and it could easily
have evolved into things we have now, because we know of things that
Nixon was saying. But it didn’t get to the point we’re at today. Reagan
never said– his Department of Justice didn’t go into court and say,
“Yeah I can kill an American citizen,” in the case of the Sandinistas.
But they did do so in the Obama administration, and I was in the court
when they did.
Very many people who were not fascists in any sense (like myself) have
been abused by their - Leftish, "Leftish",
leftish or "leftish" political opponents as if they were fascists,
which was rarely true.
Then again, Pierce has a point in the last quoted paragraph: American
citizens have been murdered by the American military. Here is some more
on Nazism and Nuremberg (<- Wikipedia) (the trials, in the second half of the 1940ies):
PW: At Nuremberg they hanged
Yes indeed, and Pierce is right. Also, I like
his mentioning Raymond
(<- Wikipedia): He was a very clever Frenchman who was a successful
sociologist and political philosopher, who wrote many books, some of
which I've read that were quite good (notably "The
Opium of the Intellectuals" (<- Wikipedia)).
TP: [Julius] Streicher, yes. But he went
beyond propaganda, too. I forget the details, but I have read his case.
But you can make the argument that he went beyond propaganda. I think
it included incitement to aggressive war and a few other things like
that. Of course we wage aggressive war, but we present it as we have
good intentions, unlike the Germans. Raymond Aron talks about that: How
good intentions are used to justify all sorts of war crimes.
There is this on the present presidential candidates:
And here is another reason (for me, at least)
to like Pierce: He knows both Jacob Talmon (<- Wikipedia) and his
book "The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy" (<-
Wikipedia), which is simply very
good, and he also seems to have read Edward Bernays' (<- Wikipedia)
horrific set of lies about propaganda (in his book called "Propaganda"):
TP: And what if Donald Trump gets
elected, what’s going to restrain him? This article in the
Washington Post pointed out, really nothing. That’s not because of
him, but because of the way the office of the presidency has
accumulated power in the last 50 years.
PW: That goes for Hillary Clinton, too?
TP: Absolutely. Hillary Clinton was part of
the administration that argued that they could kill American citizens
purely on the president’s say so.
TP: I haven’t looked at this
stuff for so long. But Jacob Talmon was an Israeli political scientist,
who wrote a
book on the origins of totalitarian democracy in
1952. He was addressing the Eastern European countries under the
influence of the Soviet Union, which were democratic in name only. And
if you tie that in to Edward Bernays’s argument– you have to have
propaganda to direct the people in the right direction. Fascism’s
founding principle is how to manipulate the masses. So propaganda was
always central to fascism.
Yes indeed. There is a whole lot more in this
interview, which is recommended and (in case you are interested) there is also the (also long) first
part of the interview with Todd Pierce.
Totalitarian democracy allows for the form
of democracy, but it requires the fascist principle that all the people
must be driven to the same ideas. And of course militaristic and
authoritarian because you can’t have dissenters in a fascist state, or
not too strong of a dissident movement.
You Really Must Get Behind Hillary, Now
The fifth and last item today is by Robert
Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:
Can we have a word? I continue to hear
from many of you who say you won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because,
you claim, (1) she’s no better than Donald Trump, or (2) even if she’s
better, she’s still corrupt, and you refuse to vote for the “lesser of
two evils,” or (3) you don’t want to reward the Democratic Party for
corrupt primaries that gave the nomination to Hillary instead of Bernie
These three positions (of what I consider
to be mostly leftists or "leftists", who are a quite different
breed from my Leftist parents and grandparents, I am not sorry
to say ) indeed seem quite common at the moment.
Here are Reich's argument against each of
I agree with each argument, though I am quite
willing to strenghten the first by agreeing that Hillary Clinton is
quite bad - but then again I agree with Reich that she is not by far as
bad as Donald Trump, and besides: she is not mad, while he is.
(1) Anyone who equates Donald Trump with
Hillary Clinton hasn’t been paying attention. Trump is a dangerous,
bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac with fascist tendencies who could
wreak huge damage on America and the world. Hillary isn’t perfect but
she’s able and experienced. There is simply no comparison.
(2) Even if you see Hillary Clinton as
the “lesser of two evils,” the greater of two evils in this case (if
you see the choice in these terms) is seriously evil. You’ve
probably had occasion in the past to vote for someone who doesn’t meet
your ideals, when the alternative is someone who falls much further
from those ideals. This doesn’t mean you’ve sold out or compromised
your principles. You’ve just been realistic and practical. Realism and
practicality are critically important now.
(3) I understand your frustration with the
Democratic Party, and your reluctance to “reward” it for its bias
against Bernie in the primaries. But anything you do that increases the
odds of a Trump presidency isn’t just penalizing the Democratic Party;
it’s jeopardizing our future and that of our children and their
Reich ends as follows:
There are just over 7 weeks until
Election Day. My request to those of you who still don’t want to vote
for Hillary Clinton: Please reconsider. It is no exaggeration to say
the fate of the nation and the world are at stake.
I quite agree and this is a recommended
 Here is - once again - the main reason why
mayor Van Thijn of Amsterdam (who let me be terrorized and gassed by
illegal drugsdealers that he had given (utterly illegal) "personal
permission" to deal in illegal drugs from the bottom floor of the house
where I lived) is a fraud who now for 26 years even acknowledged
receipt of my letters and mails to him (which were handed to his
personal doorman by me):
Each year (since 1988) the very much protected illegal
Dutch drugsdealers turn over (all in all, according to the only
parliamentary report ever published on it) some 50 billion euros (which amounts to the riches of Bezos).
I do not know how much of that yearly sum (meanwhile over a trillion dollars) the Dutch politicians, judges, or Van Thijn pocketed, but I find it personally quite incredible to assume that 28 years of illegal drugsdealing in illegal drugs,
all fully (but completely illegally) "personally permitted" by mayors,
district attorneys, judges etc. and not summing to well over a trillion
dollars were 28 years illegally permitted without receiving one cent.
It may be that I am not as moral as some Dutchmen, but I find that indeed
(But no: In Holland the degree of corruption exploited by the illegal drugsdealers will never be investigated or resolved: There is far too much to loose to do that.)
 I did so yesterday (in this footnote, thay you should consider if you believe yourself to be "a leftist"), and in fact 3 out of 4 of the groups that are
styled "leftist" these days are - in my very rich experience of real leftists - not leftists at all.