1. Socialism for the
Rich, Capitalism for the Poor:
An Interview With Noam Chomsky
2. Trump's War on Science
3. Trump Is Destroying Our Government 'From the Inside
Out, the Way a Worm Slowly
Devours an Apple'
4. Federal Judge Blocks Jill Stein's
is a Nederlog of Tuesday, December 13, 2016.
is a crisis
log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is
about a fine interview with Noam Chomsky; item 2 is
about Trump's decision to nominate the ExxonMobil CEO as Secretary of
State (and shows Trump's war with science); item 3
is about Trump's war with government (which he dislikes: He wants "all
power to the CEOs"); and item 4 is about Jill
Stein's efforts to get
some security about the votes: it seems this has now been halted by two
judges who act (and write) like Trump's men.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It keeps being horrible most days and was so on most days in
But on 2.xii and 3.xii it was correct. Since then it mostly wasn't
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/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
In case you visit my
Danish site: This was so-so till 18.xi
and was correct since then (most or all days).
I am very
sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
keep this introduction until I get three successive days
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen
for many months now.
1. Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor: An
Interview With Noam Chomsky
The first item
today is by C.J. Polychroniou on Truthout:
This starts as follows:
The United States is rapidly
declining on numerous fronts -- collapsing infrastructure, a huge gap
between haves and have-nots, stagnant wages, high infant mortality
rates, the highest incarceration rate in the world -- and it continues
to be the only country in the advanced world without a universal health
care system. Thus, questions about the nature of the US's economy and
its dysfunctional political system are more critical than ever,
including questions about the status of the so-called American Dream,
which has long served as an inspiration point for Americans and
prospective immigrants alike. Indeed, in a recent documentary, Noam
Chomsky, long considered one of America's voices of conscience and one
of the world's leading public intellectuals, spoke of the end of the
This is another in the series of good, clear
and honest interviews with Noam Chomsky. I will quote some from the
beginning. There is considerably more in the original, that is
The interview starts as follows:
C.J. Polychroniou: Noam, in
several of your writings you question the usual view of the United
States as an archetypical capitalist economy. Please explain.
Noam Chomsky: Consider
this: Every time there is a crisis, the taxpayer is called on to bail
out the banks and the major financial institutions. If you had a real
capitalist economy in place, that would not be happening. Capitalists
who made risky investments and failed would be wiped out. But the rich
and powerful do not want a capitalist system. They want to be able to
run the nanny state so when they are in trouble the taxpayer will bail
them out. The conventional phrase is "too big to fail."
Hm. In a way, I quite agree: Chomsky is
right that the rich and the powerful "want to be
able to run the nanny state so when they are in trouble the taxpayer
will bail them out".
But then again, it depends on what one
understands by "capitalism".
Thus, if I look back at the 19th Century,
or at the Twenties in the USA, I see the same class of the rich and
powerful who wanted a nanny state they controlled to take care of their
interests, and who indeed were more powerful in the 19th
Century, at least, than the present rich and powerful. (The 19th
Century was very cruel to the poor, who were mercilessly exploited.)
Then there is this on inequality:
Yes, I quite agree. And the super wealthy
are, accordingly, 1 in a 1000, and they have arranged it (by paying
money to politicians) that they get nearly all the wealth, that also is
mostly denied to the other 999/1000.
Much has been said and written
about economic inequality. Is economic inequality in the contemporary
capitalist era very different from what it was in other post-slavery
periods of American history?
The inequality in the contemporary period
is almost unprecedented. If you look at total inequality, it ranks
amongst the worse periods of American history. However, if you look at
inequality more closely, you see that it comes from wealth that is in
the hands of a tiny sector of the population. There were periods of
American history, such as during the Gilded Age in the 1920s and the
roaring 1990s, when something similar was going on. But the current
period is extreme because inequality comes from super wealth.
Literally, the top one-tenth of a percent are just super wealthy.
Put otherwise, in the present USA there are almost 325,000,000 men,
women and children, of whom some 325,000 have most of the powers there
are, which they tend to use to extend their own power and wealth, at
the costs of the 999/1000, who have very little or no real powers.
This leads to democracy (in the USA):
Yes, though "democracy" (like "capitalism"
and most other political or economical terms) is ill defined. But
Chomsky is right in identifying democracy with the influence "the
public" has over policy and politicians, and is also right in saying
that "the public" has lost nearly all of its influence, while
this was replaced
- very intentionally, quite systematically, and since Reagan, and by
virtually all politicians, both Republicans and Democrats - by the
influence of the richest ("plutocracy").
Is the US then a democracy in
The US professes to be a democracy, but it
has clearly become something of a plutocracy, although it is still an
open and free society by comparative standards. But let's be clear
about what democracy means. In a democracy, the public influences
policy and then the government carries out actions determined by the
public. For the most part, the US government carries out actions that
benefit corporate and financial interests.
And in fact, while I agree that the USA is - on the moment, before
the Trumpian presidency - in several senses "open and free", I also
insist that (i) very soon there may be laws that will much restrict the
openness and the freedoms (for Trump seems to want to attack everyone
who offended him, and to be able to do that he needs to redefine the
First Amendment) while also (ii) if the openness and the freedoms are
in fact used by the mainstream media to mostly distribute lies,
deceptions and propaganda - which I think is the case: they serve the
rich, and are paid well for doing that - then this openness and freedom
is intentionally hollowed out by the people who should preserve it.
I think that is also a fact. Here is the last bit that I'll quote,
which is about the very strong overlap between great wealth and great
Concentration of wealth yields
to concentration of power. I think this is an undeniable fact. And
since capitalism always leads in the end to concentration of wealth,
doesn't it follow that capitalism is antithetical to democracy?
Concentration of wealth leads naturally
to concentration of power, which in turn translates to legislation
favoring the interests of the rich and powerful and thereby increasing
even further the concentration of power and wealth. Various political
measures, such as fiscal policy, deregulation, and rules for corporate
governance are designed to increase the concentration of wealth and
power. And that's what we've been seeing during the neoliberal era. It
is a vicious cycle in constant progress. The state is there to provide
security and support to the interests of the privileged and powerful
sectors in society while the rest of the population is left to
experience the brutal reality of capitalism. Socialism for the rich,
capitalism for the poor.
Yes indeed, although I doubt "[s]ocialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor" is a good slogan, again because both "socialism" and
"capitalism" are not well- defined.
For me, it comes down to: More wealth and more power for
the very rich, no wealth and no power for the rest. That also is
the straight recipe for Trump and his government.
There is considerably more in the
interview, which is strongly recommended.
2. Trump's War on Science
The second item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I shortened the
long title some:
This starts as follows:
Over the weekend, news reports
began to circulate saying President-elect Donald Trump is expected to
nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as
secretary of state. Tillerson has served as CEO
and chair of Exxon since 2006. Environmental groups have widely
condemned the potential nomination. Exxon is facing multiple lawsuits
over its role in covering up the science behind climate change.
Tillerson is also known to have close ties to Russian President
Vladimir Putin. (...) For more, we speak with Erich Pica, president of
Friends of the Earth USA; Carroll Muffett,
president of the Center for International Environmental Law; and Bill
McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
Yes, indeed. Also this article is from
yesterday, and at the moment - early in the morning of December 13 - I
do not know more.
Here is Carroll Muffett:
MUFFETT: I’ll say that
when the news first came out, I assumed it was a grim practical joke.
As it became more real, our response is that it is irresponsible, and
it’s unconscionable. It poses a threat not only to the planet, but to
human rights. To put—to put the CEO of Exxon
in charge of our negotiations on climate change, our negotiations on
oil, on energy, on human rights, with countries around the world where
this company has interests, where it has a track record of abuses, is
I did not think it was "a grim practical
joke": I think it is entirely in line with Trump's program, that is
neofascistic. And while I agree in a sense with Burnett that the
decision "is irresponsible"
and "unconscionable", of
course from Trump's point of view it is quite responsible and quite
conscionable: He is there to serve
the interests of the very rich, and this is one more way of doing that.
Something similar is true for Erich Pica:
PICA: I would say I
agree with Carroll. At first I thought it was a joke. And then, you
know, in thinking about it, Rex Tillerson should be indicted for
corporate fraud and for lying to the American public, lying to the
world, lying to their shareholders. And so, he should be strung up, and
the company should be strung up, in the court of law for fraud. And
instead, he’s being rewarded by President-elect Trump with perhaps one
of the most important Cabinet picks in the U.S. government, the State
Department, the head of the State Department. So it is kind of this
interesting and weird Bizarro world that we’re now living in
But this is by Bill McKibben (<-Wikipedia)
and seems more to the point:
BILL McKIBBEN: (..) I was
perhaps a little less surprised than Erich and Carroll by all of this.
I think that what’s going on is that the Trump administration has
decided to drop all pretense. They are fully engaged in full-on climate
denial, and they are fully clients of the fossil fuel industry. (..)
Yes, indeed: With
Trump in power the very rich (1 in a 1000, who own nearly everything,
because they have it arranged so that 999 in a 1000 own nearly nothing)
"now own, lock, stock and barrel, the policy
that they’re putting forward". And that policy
is indeed "all about helping the fossil fuel
And now, the world’s biggest fossil fuel
company and, in many of the most recent years, the most profitable
company on Earth, the biggest company the world has ever seen, is just
basically going to be in charge of things.
What I think we need to say over and over
and over again is the era of any pretense is over. These guys now own,
lock, stock and barrel, the policy that they’re putting forward. As the
planet goes south, everyone will start to realize exactly who and why
it’s happening. And in that sense, and in that sense only, there’s
something useful about all of this. The era of any pretense that we’re
working hard to both deal with climate change and help the oil industry
and whatever, that’s over. Now we’re doing one thing: Federal policy is
going to be all about helping the fossil fuel industry.
There is more in this article, which is recommended.
Trump Is Destroying Our Government
'From the Inside Out, the Way a Worm Slowly Devours an Apple'
The third item is by Ilana Novick on AlterNet:
This is from near the beginning and is
here because of the following quote:
In Monday's column, Blow reminds us
that, with his picks of an education secretary who hates public
schools, an EPA head who denies climate change, an anti-abortionand
anti-public health activist to head the Department of Health and Human
is "trying to destroy these agencies from the inside out, the way a
worm slowly devours an apple."He doesn't want to run the government, he
wants to blow it up, and to do so specifically with officials who
donated generously to his corrupt campaign.
Yes indeed: Trump does not believe
in governmental power, and wants to see it replaced by the power of the
rich, which is mainly invested in corporations.
Whether he will succeed in doing this
remains to be seen, for one problem for him is that he heads a
government, and if this government is bad it will reflect on him and
his governors - but then he can try to meet this with extremely many
lies, fantasies, deceptions and propaganda.
To end this article here is a quotation
from Samuel Adams
(<- Wikipedia) who seems to have prefigured the arrival of Trump and
--- Samuel Adams quoted
“If ever the Time should come, when vain
& aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our
Country will stand in Need of its experiencd Patriots to prevent its
Ruin. There may be more Danger of this, than some, even of our well
disposd Citizens may imagine. If the People should grant their
Suffrages to Men, only because they conceive them to have been Friends
to the Country, without Regard to the necessary Qualifications for the
Places they are to fill, the Administration of Government will become a
mere Farce, and our publick Affairs will never be put on the Footing of
Yes, indeed: Trump lacks any real
qualification for the job of president of the USA, and very probably
will make a mess out of it. And if not, he will do all he can to
benefit the richest, at the costs of the non-rich: See item
4. Federal Judge Blocks Jill Stein's Pennsylvania Recount
The fourth item is by Nika Knight on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
A federal judge in Philadelphia on
Monday ruled against Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein's lawsuit
calling for a recount of the state's presidential election ballots as
well as an examination of voting machines for signs of hacking.
U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond said
"suspicion of a 'hacked' Pennsylvania election borders on the
irrational" in a 31-page ruling, dismissing Stein's effort to press
forward with the recount.
The judge also argued that it appears
impossible for a recount to now meet the deadline for Pennsylvania to
certify its election results—which is Tuesday.
As I have said several times by now: While
I don't like Jill Stein much, I think she was and is totally right in
demanding a real proof that the elections (in Pennsylvania, Michigan
and Wisconsin) were fair.
I also think that Judge Paul Diamond seems
very much of a Trump supporter - as I fear many more judges will be as
soon as Trump is president: Most men, including most judges , are not
brave and like those with a lot of power.
Here is some more:
"Dr. Stein has repeatedly stated that
she has sought a Pennsylvania recount to ensure that every vote
counts," Diamond wrote in his Monday ruling, according
to CNN. "Granting her later than last-minute request
for relief, however, could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote
counts. Such a result would be both outrageous and completely
unnecessary; as I have found, suspicion of a 'hacked' Pennsylvania
election borders on the irrational."
The Green Party is undecided as to
whether it will appeal the decision.
"But one thing is clear," said a
Green Party lawyer, Ilann Maazel, to the Associated Press. "The
Pennsylvania election system is not fair to voters and voters don't
know if their votes counted, and that's a very large problem."
Stein's push for a recount in Michigan
was halted on
similar grounds by a different federal judge last week.
I think by now it is too late, but I do
not know what Jill Stein or the Green Party will decide.
And this is a recommended article.
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
KPN), simply because these have 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
 First, judges are men (taken as covering both men and women).
Second, to illustrate the quality of most judges, here is a Dutch example: All
of the Dutch Supreme Court (except for its Jewish president, who was
very soon dismissed, and who soon died, but his - Jewish - wife was
sent to the concentration camp and murdered) collaborated with the Nazis, and by far the most Dutch judges also collaborated with the Nazis. And my father and my grandfather, who were both arrested in June of 1941 for resisting the Nazis, were condemned to the concentration camp by Dutch judges, who told them they were "political terrorists".
After the war, almost all Dutch judges were retained, and worked on as judges.