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Nederlog

Sep 20, 2016

Crisis: Nader on Trump, Trump Presidency, Surveillance, CETA
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Introduction

1.
Nader: Trump is a Freeloading, Pontificating Empty
     Suit Who Has Cheated on Everything He's Done

2. A Trump Presidency Would Likely Be Even Worse Than
     You Think

3. Into the Unknown: Government Surveillance After
     Brexit

4.
As CETA Advances, Reports Warn Deal Will Ruin
     Economies, Cement Corporate Power
Introduction: 

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

A. This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about a good interview with Ralph Nader about Donald Trump (and there are 5 more inter- views with him at Democracy Now!); item 2 is about why a Trump presidency will be - very probably - much worse than most think; item 3 is about how the British are transforming their government in the neofascist direction by surveilling everyone and keeping this secret; and item 4 promises again a change in the neofascist direction, this time of Europe, by the adoption of CETA, that provides all rights and all regulations to the rich multi-nationals.

B. 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 it is possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my computer.

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. Nader: Trump is a Freeloading, Pontificating Empty Suit Who Has Cheated on Everything He's Done

The first item
today is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

As The New York Times reports Donald Trump received at least $885 million in New York City tax breaks for his real estate projects since 1980, and also sued three mayoral administrations when the city sought to deny him tax breaks for a pair of Trump skyscrapers, we speak with consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Trump is "a freeloader on the backs of taxpayers who have to make up the difference for the taxes he doesn’t pay, or get less public services," Nader comments.
Incidentally, $885 million in tax breaks means that Trump received on average between $20 million and $30 million dollars each year.

And I like Ralph Nader (<-Wikipedia) who was interviewed by Democracy Now! and indeed is on the Democracy Now! site with no less than six interviews. This is from the part where Nader speaks about Donald Trump:

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about—I want to go through the records of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. How would you characterize Donald Trump and what he represents, from foreign policy to domestic politics, specifically what he is saying that he would do as president of the United States?

RALPH NADER: Well, you don’t know what he’s going to do, and he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He’s basically wondering how he ever got to the top of the Republican Party and turned it into the Trump dump. He has no impulse control. He has no factual content in his head. He doesn’t really know much about anything other than being a gambling casino czar that goes bankrupt and creams off the crop and leaves the devastation to the workers and the creditors and the small business suppliers. Donald Trump has cheated everybody he has been able to cheat. He’s cheated workers, small businesses, taxpayers. He’s cheated creditors. And almost everything he attacks people for, he has done in spades. He refuses to release his tax returns, because it not only shows he hardly pays any taxes and he’s a corporate welfare king getting all kinds of freebies from the taxpayer, but he has entanglements with his partnerships all over the country and the world that may prove very embarrassing to him. So, this is what the Republican Party has reaped by allowing the electoral process to be commercialized and corporatized. So, if you say, "What is he going to do?" the one thing we know is, if anybody dares offend his ego, they’re going to get a lash back. And when you’ve got your hand on the nuclear button and you’ve got the kind of power you have in the White House, that’s a very dangerous option.

I agree - to the best of my knowledge, which meanwhile (after writing more than 1300 Nederlogs on the crisis alone) is pretty informed - with all that Ralph Nader says, but I want to add one more thing because I am a psychologist:

AND these kinds of facts very strongly suggest that Donald Trump is mad, besides being a major liar and a major cheater, while he besides - Nader is quite right! - hardly or not at all knows many of the facts a future president of the USA should know.

There is this on Trump's relations to his supporters, who are mostly poor and badly educated white folks:

AMY GOODMAN: For his supporters, they may say the man uses the loopholes, which means he knows the loopholes, and then he’ll close the loopholes. Is that true?

RALPH NADER: That’s interesting. The millions of his supporters would be very, very critical of a neighbor that worked the welfare system unfairly. And he’s a corporate welfare king. He’s a freeloader. He’s a freeloader on the backs of taxpayers who have to make up the difference for the taxes he doesn’t pay, or get less public services. So, to the Trump supporters, who are believed to take any criticism of Trump personally, to them, I say, reduce Trump to a neighbor, and see if you’d really want to live next to that man, who is a boastful, pontificating empty suit and who lies as a matter of conviction rather than just principle.

I think Ralph Nader's answer is quite good, although I don't think it will change the opinions of most of his mostly poor and badly educated white folks, whose existence, stupidity and ignorance are important, and not only to Americans but also to Europeans like me - and I am sorry, but I decided almost fifty years ago that THE main dangers in politics, morals and ethics are the almost total lack of decent education, the native or acquired stupidity of many, and the consequent ignorance of very many voters, and I still think the same.

And while I did change my mind the last 50 years on quite a number of points,
I did not change my mind on that point. [1]

Here is more by Nader on the enormous cheat (deceiver, liar, fraud) that Donald Trump is:

RALPH NADER: Yeah, well, for example, he’s gone bankrupt deliberately four or five times in his Atlantic City and other casinos, because he rakes off the cream from the bankruptcy, and he gets rid of his debts. So he’s cheating his creditors. He’s cheating his workers, who are left on the street. With Trump University, he’s cheated his students. That’s now in litigation. He’s cheated the taxpayers, because anybody who’s a corporate welfare king is a freeloader on the backs of middle-class taxpayers, who have to pay their taxes. And he’s boastfully cheated on matrimony. Imagine a guy boasting about cheating in the past on his own matrimony. And you have evangelicals supporting him? You see, this—he is doing us a favor by showing us the degree of disintegration in our society, civically and otherwise.

That’s why we’re holding this four days’ convocation in Washington, two at Constitution Hall, called "Breaking Through Power."

There is more in this interview and - as I said - there are five more on the site of Democracy Now!

This article is recommended.

2.
A Trump Presidency Would Likely Be Even Worse Than You Think

The second item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:

This starts as follows:
Americans have a habit of badly misjudging presidential candidates, living with awful results and forgetting. Ronald Reagan squandered the Cold War’s peace dividend with tax cuts for the rich and left America deeply in debt. Donald Trump is hawking that same approach with added chaos: high-end tax cuts, more military spending and new trade tariffs, which will trash the economy.
I agree, and add that there are at least two reasons why "Americans have a habit of badly misjudging presidential candidates": (1) a large part of the Americans have no adequate ideas about either politics or politicians, and
therefore (2) a large part of the Americans are simply deceived and cheated
by very many (often rich, often corrupt) politicians.

Then there is this, which I like a lot:
Hillary Clinton keeps reminding audiences what Maya Angelou said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” In that vein, Keith Olbermann’s recent video reels off hundreds of Trump’s vicious attacks, lies, boasts, ego and dark fantasies. “The Republican Party has actually nominated for president an irresponsible, unrealistic, naive, petulant, childish, vindictive, prejudiced, bigoted, racist, Islamophobic, antisemitic, misogynist, fascistic, authoritarian, insensitive, erratic, disturbed, irrational, inhuman individual named Donald John Trump,” he sums up. “This is madness!”
Yes indeed, and here are the links to my review of Keith Olbermann's recent video, and a link to the video itself and its text: Quite instructive, quite honest, and based on many linked facts.

Next, there is this on what a Trumpian presidency might mean:

Nobody can know what will happen if Trump is elected. No politician gets everything they promise. But if you compare the differences in the proposals and attitudes put forth by Clinton and Trump, you get a quick sense that this election’s results will affect our daily lives in dramatically different ways. Many people don’t appreciate the presidency’s power, even as Congress tries to sabotage it. Others say that American government can withstand a demagogue. Do we really want to find out?

Here are 11 areas where Clinton and Trump are poised to take the country in starkly different directions.
I agree that "[n]obody can know what will happen if Trump is elected", although I do insist that whatever happens it will be a major and very unfair mess.

Steven Rosenfeld puts it in the form of 11 questions, each of which is elucidated by text. I only give the questions here: If you want to read the texts, click on the last dotted link above:

1. Will there be a revival of American racism against
     non-whites?

2. Will police reform, criminal justice reform and gun
     control, be totally lost?

3. Will the use of force abroad grow like the embrace of
     force at home?

4. Will gains made by women be set back decades?
5. Will the economy be trashed by a debt-fed bubble?
6. Will climate change be ignored?
7. Will student debt and tuition remain sky high?
8. Will health care be recaptured by free-market
     predators?

9. Will the rich keep getting richer?
10. How far will civil rights be rolled back?
11. Will right wingers control the Supreme Court for
     decades?

My own answers to these questions, in so far as these can be answered by a yes or no answer is a probable yes in 10 out of 11 cases. Question 10 has no yes or no answer, and my own feeling is: Very far.

In any case, this is also a recommended article.

3. Into the Unknown: Government Surveillance After Brexit

The third item is by Harmit Kambo on Common Dreams, and Harmit Kambo is the
Director of Campaigns & Development at Privacy International: This starts as follows:
As the UK Parliament returns from its summer break, everyone’s back to talking about Brexit. But there’s another policy of existential significance to our democracy that we really need to be talking about. I refer here to the innocuously named ‘Investigatory Powers Bill’. The House of Lords have been debating the ‘bulk powers’ - what we would call the mass surveillance measures - of the Bill over the recent days. We are literally weeks away from the most draconian and far-reaching surveillance legislation of any democracy becoming law. 

Given that it's all about state surveillance powers, no wonder the government gave this legislation a name so boring that it has just slipped under the public’s radar undetected. 267 pages of highly complex, technical and very confusing clauses brings to mind Voltaire: “The secret of being a bore is to tell everything”. Not that they are telling us everything, of course. Despite the length of the legislation, it's highly ambiguous: there are plenty of ‘known unknowns’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ about what state bodies’ newly-lawful surveillance practices will entail. 
I say, for I missed the fact that Great Britain is voting in a few weeks time on the degree of neo-fascism with which it will be governed, for that is what total surveillance of everyone is for and will bring about:

Loss of almost all rights, of almost all freedoms, of almost all legal protections of almost anyone; change of the ordinary people into surveilled sheep or slaves; and the triumph of the rich and their political governors. [2]

Also - since the wars that the US and Great Britain started are going on for fifteen years now, and since I know about the total surveillance of everyone since 2013, I am certain all of this was willed and planned.

Here is some more on the new "laws" that will introduce more and more neofascism until they are totally removed:
As the UK’s all-encompassing ambitions for government surveillance powers look to pass into law, there is also an important question now over whether in a post-Brexit Britain key judgments from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will be able to curb those excesses. Perhaps they could have. People have often looked to international bodies to act as a bulwark on the worst excesses of laws such as those promised by the Investigatory Powers Bill. But the current political climate leaves us with no such guarantee.
I very much doubt that the Court of Justice of the European Union will make any difference.

First, the human rights in Europe have been totally sickened and mostly destroyed by the European version of the once very good original 1948 Declaration of Human Rights: What the Europeans put in its place is the absolute opposite of human rights, for the simple reason that almost each and any human right it assigns, is assigned in the context of explicit regulations that give the police and the secret service all rights to break any human rights. [3]

And second, because the British left the European Union: Why should they care for judges that belong to a federation they no longer belong to?

Finally, this is what threatens for the Bill of Rights the British had: It will be replaced by a bill of "rights" that assigns their "rights" to the police and the secret services:
But the twist in the story - and the twist of the knife - is that the UK Government is pushing forward with its plans to scrap the UK Human Rights Act, and attempt to fulfill our ECHR obligations with a new ‘Bill of Rights’. Make no mistake, the British government is not undertaking such a drastic, complex, and constitutionally fraught process to give Britons more human rights. So no one knows if these judgments will be worth the paper they're written on in a post-Brexit UK.
Actually, I suppose myself that "these judgments will be worth the paper they're written on": They are undemocratic, they are unequal, they give
the police and the secret services all powers, they will deny that the British have any decent human rights, but formally it will all be quite "legal", for
"the parliament" (made up mostly of liars for their own advancements) has approved or will approve.

I think neofascism is approaching fast, both in the USA and Great Britain. And most of the corrupt politicians we have these days want it, for it will benefit themselves (but no: they will never call it what I call it).

4. As CETA Advances, Reports Warn Deal Will Ruin Economies, Cement Corporate Power

The fourth item is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

As the pro-corporate Canada-Europe trade deal notched another victory on Monday, a pair of new studies underscored how the health, rights, and livelihoods of people on both sides of the Atlantic will suffer under the pending deal.

Germany's minority Social Democratic Party (SPD) voted in favor of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), making it increasingly likely the trade deal will be approved by the country's Parliament. The backing came despite the fact that on Saturday over 300,000 people across Germany marched in opposition to the deal and its "toxic" sister agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

I am not amazed that the German Social Democrats wipe their asses with the rights and freedoms of their voters (and all other Germans):

The Dutch social democrats do so already for at least 28 years, for in each of these years they have freely agreed to support the illegal drugsdealers to deal their illegal drugs, and doing that they have protected an illegal turnover in illegal drugs of all kinds that now probably, in 28 years,  approximates a trillion dollars [4] (not quite, but close).

But hardly anybody cares in Holland, and since Maarten van Traa was either murdered or killed in a very strange accident, hardly anyone in Holland even mentions that each year (since 1988) about 10 billion Euroos worth in just marijuana and hashish are turned over illegally, and probably at least double that if the other drugs (cocaine, heroine, ecstasy etc.) are also counted in.

Indeed, if there is anything in the press (rarely) as a rule the earnings and the turnovers are divided by 100 or 1000, and most "facts" that are mentioned are false, while absolutely no one asks about the integrity of Dutch policians, of Dutch judges, of Dutch district attorneys, given that each of them knows or ought to know that with their personal permission in Holland each year, for 28 years now, between $10 billion and $25 billion euroos are turned over in Holland in illegal drugsmoney, that are protected (since 28 years) by all Dutch politcians, all Dutch judges, and all Dutch district attorneys.

But nobody cares, and illegal drugs are cheap and easily available, in Holland. I think probably the same will happen to the CETA in Germany:

As Deutsche Welle noted, CETA "is scheduled to be signed by Ottawa and Brussels next month. However, each [European Union] member state would then need to fully ratify the agreement for it to come into force."

Critics say that the agreement will only increase corporate power and that its provisions will "water down or abolish environmental, health, and consumer protection regulations."

AND - this critic says - it will introduce neofascism, by making everything that upsets the projected profits of the multi-nationals a crime that will be punished by new "courts" of "law" that are not accessible for anyone but states and multi-national corporations, and that are headed by lawyers who work for the multi-national corporations.

Here is more on the new "legally" (to be) introduced neofascism:

According to the study, CETA would "arguably grant ever greater rights to foreign investors than NAFTA, increasing the risk that foreign investors will use CETA to constrain future government policy."

What's more, the report points out that Canadian subsidiaries of U.S.-headquartered multinationals will also be able to use these provisions to sue European governments. Given that E.U., Canadian, and U.S. companies are already "among the most frequent users of investment arbitration...there is every reason to expect that they will use CETA to rein in government measures."

Commenting on the study, Nick Dearden, director of the UK-based Global Justice Now, said the agreement "would open up [E.U.] government to a deluge of court cases by North American multinational corporations and investors. It presents a threat to our ability to protect the environment, to protect the public, and to limit the power of big banks. It's thoroughly undemocratic and must be stopped."

Indeed because these threats to the environment, the public, the democracy, the national governments, the national courts, and the hitherto existing laws SPELL neofascism (but yes: I know the politically correct "left" doesn't like to offend anyone important by naming them properly).

This ends as follows:

"There are a lot of myths about free trade and CETA. Here's an independent study that suggests that there aren't economic gains—only job losses, inequality, and the erosion of the public sector," said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

"But that's only the economic part," Barlow added. "We haven't begun to quantify the damage to our laws, policies, and democracies through regulatory harmonization and corporate lawsuits challenging our environmental and social standards. Not to mention attacks on farmers and municipalities. So what are we getting out of this?"

My answer: The end seems to be neofascist government that rules for the rich, and only the rich, and degrades everyone else to a totally surveilled slave, who risks arrest and disappearance if they say or write anything anywhere that might been seen as criticism of the government or the rich.

That seems the most probable future. (I am very glad I was born in 1950 and not later, but that's just about me.)

---------------
Notes
[1] And indeed I never will, and totally reject the Dutch prejudice (also part of the Dutch laws) that "everyone is equivalent to everyone else", for this implies that my father and grandfather (both locked up in concentration camps by the Nazis, whom they resisted, which my grandfather did not survive) are of the same human value as Nazis, fascists etc. Utter trash - though I do agree (if asked) that very few Dutchmen had the courage to go into the resistance against the Nazis. (But both my father and my mother did.)

Besides, I also believe that there are at least as large differences in human beings intellects as there are in their faces or shapes: We are all alike, as apes without fur, but some are a lot smarter than others. (And no, this doesn't make them into better human beings: How good someone is and dares to be depends less on his intelligence than on the values he or she really has.)

[2] Everybody may see this differently, but I insist both on my opinions and on my rights to utter them, and I like to add that my opinions are those
of a 66 year old who took one of the best psychology M.A.'s ever, after having been denied - totally illegally - the right to do the M.A. in philosophy.

Also, my opinions on fascism and neo-fascism are not only based on a huge amount of readings in politics (the last link only links a little, though what it links is quite important to know) but also on the fact that my grandfather was arrested by the Nazis for resisting the Nazis and murdered in a concentration camp, while my father (his son) survived more than 3 years and 9 months of four concentration camps (and he indeed was knighted in 1980, it seems as the only communist ever to be knighted as long as the Dutch Communist Party existed).

O, and the last link contains the English translation of his memories of the concentration camps that my father (barely) survived.

[3] Here is just one example (and many of the articles of the so-called "
European Convention on Human Rights" are thus conditioned, which makes it not a convention on human rights, but a convention on the rights of the police, the secret services and the government. Again, compare the classical 1948 Declaration of Human Rights that contains none of these conditions):

This is Article 8 on your privacy, your correspomdence and your personal freedoms in the European Convention:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

This means that the secret services and the police are completely free "in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others" to rape all the rights on personal freedom, privacy and protected correspondence.

In contrast, here is the corresponding Article 12 of the real 1948 Declaration:

Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
All spying amd surveilling was excluded and forbidden by article 12; almost all spying and surveilling are legal and permitted for virtually any reason under article 8.

It is the same with most other articles:
The so-called "European Convention on Human Rights" is - compared to the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights - an intentional fraud.

[4] Simply because according to the one and only parliamentary report that was written on it, that was pretty thoroughly researched (i) the amount of only soft drugs sold from Holland is nearly 10 billion euroos each year, while (ii) if the other drugs - cocaine, heroine, ecstasy etc. - are included, the totals "get much higher". And since in 1996 there were almost as many users of cocaine, heroine or ecstasy as there were of soft drugs, and since the Van Traa Report said explicitly that "the dealing in" illegal "drugs is one of the most important and quickest growing sectors in the Dutch economy", I think it is fair  (since cocaine, heroine or ecstasy are a lot more expensive than marijuana and hashish) to put these amounts to (at least) 15 billion euroos each year, which makes the total amounts in 28 years 28 * 25 billion euroos
= 700 billion euros.

I think myself - who survived nearly four years of terror and murder threats from the softdrugs-dealers that mayor Van Thijn of Amsterdam gave his “personal permission" to deal from the bottom floor of the house where I lived, that these 700 billion illegal euroos owe their existence to (ex-)mayor Van Thijn, who proposed these deals between the law and the illegal dealers in drugs.

Here is a
link to the Dutch note in which these billions are argued (not by me: By parliamentarians and others who wrote the report).

The only question I have (to which I do not know the answer) is: How much did Van Thijn appropriate of these 700 billions? (I will never know, for the Dutch will never investigate this.)


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