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Nederlog

Sep 23, 2016

Crisis: Violence, "Stop-And-Frisk", "Climate Math", Trump in Germany
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Introduction

1.
Standing Firm in the Face of Violence
2. After Two Fatal Police Shootings, Trump Calls for
     ‘Nationwide Stop-and-Frisk’

3. The New, New Climate Math: 17 Years to Get Off Fossil
     Fuels, Or Else

4. Lies and Lapses on the US Campaign Trail
Introduction: 

This is a Nederlog of Friday, September 23, 2016.

A. This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about the police-violence against blacks, which indeed is stunning (but I don't quite agree with the writer); item 2 is about Trump's demand that the - legally very doubtful - "stop-and-frisk" rule is reintroduced; item 3 is about new, new maths about the climate, which I, who has been following the environment since the late 60s reject (sorry: Paris failed already, in my opinion); and item 4 is about how Trump is seen in Germany, in Spiegel, which is also odd: None of the words "authoritarian", "rightist", "fascist" and "neofascist" is used in describing Trump in no less than 5 pages, and it seems the worst is that he is "a liar" (who might be "a racist").

Also, there is today an earlier file, which is mostly in Dutch, and is my autobiography for 1991, which was the worst year of my life. (This doesn't seem to interest many, but I don't care: I wrote it mostly for myself. And the present version is - or will soon be - considerably better than the first version, for those who are interested.)

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 very sorry if you have to click several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. And it was yesterday still or again the case. Indeed, this also holds for the opening pages: These too are not renewed at "xs4all", or at least: Not for me.) [1]

1. Standing Firm in the Face of Violence

The first item
today is by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Another week, and another unarmed black man has been shot by police, with video footage of the macabre incident available for all to view from various angles. The shooting death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Okla., at the hands of a white police officer, Betty Shelby, is sickening. The footage has re-traumatized black Americans, as well as those of us non-black Americans who are paying attention.
I agree, although I don't like "re-traumatized" or indeed "traumatized", though my dislike for both terms may be personal (I am a psychologist). Then again, I do agree that the shootings of many unarmed black men seems an indication that the American police can these days more or less do what it likes to black people. (And indeed I wonder whether that is policy.)

Then there is this:

The deaths of black Americans at the hands of police have inspired a growing wave of nonviolent actions, sparked by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand during the anthem, which is de rigueur at sporting events. So many athletes have followed suit that the protest is even spreading to white players like soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
I like Kaepernick's actions. As an aside: One of the many ways in which Americans are both historically behind and far more conservative than Europeans is their attitude to their national anthem.

There is this, which I think is a bit mistaken (in a "leftish" manner, as well):
Today the Donald Trumps, Sarah Palins and Ann Coulters of the nation are at the helm of a reactionary movement that is so resentful of the righteous anger felt by people of color that it is legitimizing the open expression of racism. Trump’s shocking popularity is one measure of resentment felt among some whites. He conveniently feeds off of their rage and scapegoats people of color in a classic bait-and-switch ploy.
My underlying point is that Trump seems to have close to half the votes of Americans: I agree this shows his "shocking popularity", but no: If he pulls nearly 50% of the votes with "the open expression of racism" - which I agree he does - to speak of "some whites" is a bit too careful: At least these are many whites (and yes, I also would say that most of them are stupid and ignorant, although I know that it not "politically correct": it is true).

This is from the last paragraph of the article:

Our presidential election has become a referendum on which side will win, with a highly flawed Wall Street-loving war hawk offered up as the only alternative to Trump. Regardless of the election result, how things will all turn out depends desperately on the ability of social justice to prevail over neofascism.
But if Sonali Kolhatkar can see (and I agree, and know a lot about the topic) that Trump is a neofascist, why doesn't she say people should vote for the only realistic alternative, which indeed is "a highly flawed Wall Street-loving war hawk"? Who although bad is neither a neofascist nor mad?

Ah well....

2. After Two Fatal Police Shootings, Trump Calls for ‘Nationwide Stop-and-Frisk’

The second item is by Nika Knight on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

As the nation reels from two recent fatal police shootings of black men, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday called for cities nationwide to adopt “stop-and- frisk”—a widely condemned police practice that New York City was forced to abandon after a federal judge struck it down as unconstitutional, finding that it disproportionately targeted minorities.

“‘I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to,’ Trump said, according to excerpts of a Fox News ‘town hall’ in Cleveland, after a listener asked what he would do to reduce crime in predominantly black communities across the nation,” reports Reuters.

Well, Trump is a mad (narcissist) neofascist who lives by provocations and lies, and this is another one.

Former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous characterized the tactic as “the worst racial profiling program in the country, in any city,” back when it was still in wide use in New York City.

The tactic was encouraged and became widespread in New York under the mayorship of Rudolph Giuliani, who is now an avid Trump supporter.

Yes, indeed he is (and therefore also a neofascist, a liar and a provoker). Incidentally (as the article also makes clear): stop-and-frisk was forbidden by a New York Court.

3. The New, New Climate Math: 17 Years to Get Off Fossil Fuels, Or Else

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

Though it may not have seemed possible, climate catastrophe is even closer than previously thought, with new figures released Thursday finding that—when the wells already drilled, pits dug, and pipelines built, are taken under consideration—we are well on our way to going beyond 2°C of warming.

"If you're in a hole, stop digging," begins the study, put forth by the fossil fuel watchdog Oil Change International (OCI), in partnership with 14 other environmental organizations.

The report, The Sky's Limit: Why the Paris Climate Goals Require a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production (pdf), calculates the potential carbon emissions for already developed reserves and transportation projects, such as oil wells, tar pits, pipelines, processing facilities, railways, and exports terminals.

The findings are bleak: "The potential carbon emissions from the oil, gas, and coal in the world's currently operating fields and mines would take us beyond 2°C of warming," the study confirms. "The reserves in currently operating oil and gas fields alone, even with no coal, would take the world beyond 1.5°C."

Well, yes: Of course, I would say. But then again, I have been reading about "the environment" (as it tended to be called then, which indeed also is a more correct term than "the climate) since the late 1960ies (for I am 66, and was born in a very political family).

Also, indeed in part because I know a fair amount about "the environment", I never believed in the Paris Climate Goals. They are far too weak, and will be broken - and are being broken - anyway.

Then there is this, which is hung up as a piece of "new new" math that centers upon the Paris Climate Goals:

McKibben goes on to calculate some of this "new new" math:

In the United States alone, the existing mines and oil wells and gas fields contain 86 billion tons of carbon emissions—enough to take us 25 percent of the way to a 1.5 degree rise in global temperature. But if the U.S. energy industry gets its way and develops all the oil wells and fracking sites that are currently planned, that would add another 51 billion tons in carbon emissions. And if we let that happen, America would single-handedly blow almost 40 percent of the world's carbon budget.

"If the world is serious about achieving the goals agreed in Paris, governments have to stop the expansion of the fossil fuel industry," said OCI executive director Stephen Kretzmann.
I do not know how "serious" "the world" is about "achieving the goals agreed in Paris": I am not, for I think these goals are far too poor, simply because I know extremely little has been done about "the environment" since 1970.

This article ends as follows:

"This is literally a math test," he concludes, "and it's not being graded on a curve. It only has one correct answer. And if we don't get it right, then all of us—along with our 10,000-year-old experiment in human civilization—will fail."
O wow, but not really. In fact, "we" will not get this right. The reason is not that "we" are bad in maths, but that "we" - the common people of the earth - are almost wholly without power.

4. Lies and Lapses on the US Campaign Trail

The fourth and last item is by Klaus Brinkbäumer, Veit Medick, Gordon Repinski, and Holger Stark on Spiegel International:

This has five pages and is probably too large to excerpt properly. But it is from Spiegel, and worth looking at. It starts with a summary that I reproduce:

Donald Trump is a proven liar. But Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate as well. With eight weeks to go until Americans go to the polls, the prospect of a notorious charlatan moving into the White House is looking more realistic than ever.

I say. From this summary, I learn that there are two flawed candidates who may win the American presidency (which is not precisely news), and that Trump is "a proven liar" and "a notorious charlatan".

Hm... I have been following the USA daily since 2013, and meawhile have written over 1320 articles on the crisis (which still persists among everyone who is not rich). My English is absolutely fluent.

Then again, I have missed reading Trump is "a notorious charlatan" (I agree he is: I am saying I didn't read it, which does indicate that this notoriety is less than claimed), and while I agree that Trump is indeed "a proven liar" it so happens that (i) I know that nearly all politicians (of any stripe) excel as liars (and usually at nothing else) for well over 50 years, whereas (ii) I have read far more serious criticisms of Donald Trump: He is a racist, he is authorita- rian, he is a rightist, and he is a fascist or a neofascist.

But not according to Spiegel International, at least in terms of the words they use. They write no less than 5 pages about Trump, but they completely do not use the tems "authoritarian", "rightist", "fascist" (which is what e.g. Robert Reich called him repeatedly, and Reich was secretary of state under Clinton) or "neofascist" in any connection with Trump.

It's true that the term "racist" does occur in the article and is even used once to describie him as "a xenophobic choleric, a racist", but that's it, as far as Trump is concerned: It seems overall that the worst one can say about him is as the article starts and ends, for it ends like this:

Liars, after all, are no longer on the political fringe.

I say. And that is Spiegel, announcing a truth I know since well over 50 years, as if lyng in politics is something new.

Originally I had prepared a number of selections from these five pages, but I will cook them in to just two bits. The first is this:

Donald Trump's political ascent has long since ceased to be a laughing matter. Even though he has been exposed hundreds of times, the Trump juggernaut just keeps on going. Indeed, it's possible it may end inside the White House in eight weeks. Something astonishing has happened.

Trump may have been "exposed hundreds of times", but not in the main media, or if so, only recently: He has been exposed many times, but mostly outside the main media, both in TV and in print.

Indeed, this is the main reason Trump still is popular: The main media do not use politically incorrect terms like "lies", even though they are perfectly true, to describe a candidate 75% of whose utterances are lies.

And this is about Trump himself:

There is nothing elegant about this candidate. Those who look closely, or get close to him, can hardly stand this over-tanned, bloated man with the dyed blond, comb-over hair (or toupee or whatever it is). He stands there flailing, bellowing and spitting. And his tie is always too long.

He's not even an eloquent speaker. He uses few words, he constantly loses his train of thought and seldom finds it again and he often gets carried away in anger. He'll repeat a half sentence he seems to like two or three times, but there's nothing funny or intellectual about it.

All this has led journalist and economist Paul Krugman to believe that Hillary Clinton could suffer a fate similar to that of Al Gore 16 years ago. He was the smarter, better-educated candidate, harder working and even a better speaker, but instead his opponent became president -- a man who could get away with every impudence, lie and mistake: George W. Bush.

I mostly agree: He doesn't look well, and he is a lousy speaker with a bad intellect, who indeed repeats (and repeats and repeats) himself all the time.

Then again he may win, simply because he either is supported by the main media, or - at least - is hardly criticized by most of the main media, and besides because the majority of the Americans may well be both stupid and ignorant, if not by birth than by education. [2]

Also, we see here (which is correct, indeed) that George W. Bush also was a liar in politics (as indeed are nearly all politicians I have seen the last 50 years).

Why the Spiegel doesn't even mention that this "liar" also has been described (in the media) as an
authoritarian, as a rightist, as a fascist and as a neofascist completely escapes me - they might have mentioned it, at least, after all - unless they want to be friends with him in case he is the next president.

I don't know. But this is an article in the style of the main media.

---------------
Notes
[1]  Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all" (really: the KPN), simply because these haven been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

[2] I am sorry, but half of the American voters has an IQ that is not higher than 100, and most American voters do not understand much about politics (<- if you have read all of that you may qualify). And in any case:
If Trump gets elected, I will blame both the main media and the voters.

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