Dec 17, 2016

Crisis: Multi-Millionaires, Arctic Warming, CEOs, Poverty, Health Care Warning
Sections                                                                     crisis index

California Democrat Zev Yaroslavsky Tells Robert
     Scheer Why the State Is a Model for Progressives

2. A ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Assessment on Arctic Warming
3. 100 CEOs Have as Much Retirement Savings as 116
     Million Americans

4. Beyond Resistance: The Story of 2016
5. Suppose the Pope Condemned Health Care Corruption -
     and Hardly Anyone Noticed?

This is a Nederlog of Saturday, December 17, 2016.

This is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is (in my extracts) about the multi-millionaires who were presidents of the USA; item 2 is about arctic warming, which goes much faster than elsewhere; item 3 is about 100 American CEOs whose retirement savings are equal to the retirement savings of 78% of all Americans; item 4 is another warning about the extreme skewness of incomes in the present USA (that will get much worse with Trump); and item 5 is about health care corruption and the mainstream media: There is massive health care corruption, but hardly any gets ever reported in the mainstream media (and this may effect you, whoever you are, wherever your are, as soon as you get ill with some not totally understood disease).

-- Constant part, for the moment --
B. In case you visit my Dutch site: It keeps being horrible most days and was so on most days in November 2016. But on 2.xii and 3.xii it was correct. Since then it mostly wasn't (until and including the 16.xii).

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/reload several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [0]

C. 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.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.

1. California Democrat Zev Yaroslavsky Tells Robert Scheer Why the State Is a Model for Progressives

The first item today is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

On his KCRW show, “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer speaks with Zev Yaroslavsky, one of the leaders of California’s Democratic Party, about the California paradox, or how progressives swept the nation’s largest state in the 2016 election while Hillary Clinton got Trumped elsewhere in the country.
Yaroslavsky also talks about Democrats’ lack of coherent messaging during the election, which in the minds of many voters stood in contrast to Trump’s perceived clarity. Finally, he discusses the value that the increasingly progressive California sees in immigrants.

I like Robert Scheer and I did not know who Zev Yaroslavsky (<-Wikipedia) is. From the Wikipedia he seems to be a quite decent politician, which means that he belongs to a rather
small minority
of all American politicians (most of whom are - I'm sorry - corrupt frauds).

But I was a bit disappointed by the interview, which takes 5 pages on Truthdig, because I had selected it to get a clear answer about the state, but I don't think I got it (and I read all).

I did get two bits from it, and here is the first:

Scheer: Let’s cut to the chase here. I think there was a world of difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton. You’re a politician. Come on, Zev. You’re a progressive politician but you’re a very successful politician. You’re preparing to run for the Senate for the President of the United States. You’ve been a Senator from New York. What do you do? You go to Goldman Sachs and take three-quarters of a million dollars for three speeches that weren’t even speeches. They were little blather there and you don’t even cover yourself by saying to these folks in case those speeches become public, and any speech you give should be public, you don’t even say, “Hey, you guys bear some of the responsibility.” On the contrary, you say, “We need you down in Washington to write better laws because you understand it so bring it.” What was this woman thinking?

Yaroslavsky: I don’t know and you have to ask her, but I’ll tell you one thing. That’s not the reason she lost the election. I think the reason the Democratic Party and its candidate lost the election is because ... The reason Jeb Bush and John Kasich and all the others on the Republican side didn’t get any traction on their side was because they were not in touch with what the people of this country were going through. A big chunk of the people and a critical mass of them who tilted the election from her to him.

I think - to answer Scheer's qutestion - that Hillary Clinton was doing what Bill Clinton was doing before her:

Cashing in as millionaires (together they now seem to be worth around $120 million, but this is one estimate of several) for massively helping the Wall Street bankers to enrich themselves and deregulate the laws that bound them. They wanted money for that service, and they got it, and making speeches for $250,000 a speech was the way.

And I think all of that was quite deliberate and started in the early 90ies under Bill Clinton, and was continued all the way since, under Bush Jr. and under Obama, who probably is going to do the same as Bill and Hillary Clinton: Cashing in on the massive help he provided to the bankers, whom he gave what they wanted. [1]

As to Yaroslavsky's answer: I am sorry, but this is the theology of politics. Nobody knows what tens of millions of people thought, felt and believed, and while there has been some research into it, that research tends to be wholly neglected by politicians who plug their own
theological explanations of voters without offering the least evidence for their guesses.

This is the second and last bit that I'll quote:

Scheer: All right. Let me end with this question. How worried are you? This guy does have ... President-to-be Trump does have his finger on the button. He could do a lot of damage. President of the United States is the most important human being in the world. He could without even thinking, and maybe that’s the problem, can cause a lot of harm. Are you losing sleep over this?

Yaroslavsky: Well I’m not losing sleep but I tend to sleep better now than I used to. My waking hours are ... Give me stomach aches. Let me put it that way. I’m worried about it mainly because I don’t know ... Aside from his behavior and having his finger on the button and his clearly tempestuous personality, I don’t know what he stands for. I don’t think anybody knows. I’m not sure he knows what he stands for.
As to Scheer: I think that if there is an atomic war, we are all dead. And I also think that with Trump as president - who I think is both a neofascist and a madman - the probability that this will happen is appreciable, and much higher than it probably ever was precisely because Trump is ignorant, tempestuous and mad. (I am sorry if you disagree, but I am a psychologist and this is what I think.)

As to Yaroslavsky: I am sorry, but that is nonsense. Clearly, Trump is a neofascist in my sense, which I once again repeat because I think it is a good definition, for which I have read a whole lot. You can read more about it
Neofascism is a. A social system that is marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that propounds an ethics which has profit as its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist, anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are stronger than a national government or stateb. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.
Also, I must say that if you have been a progressive Jewish Democrat for over 40 years, which is all true of Zev Yaroslavsky, it seems to me rather odd to insist that you don't know what Trump stands for and to add that you even doubt he knows: Even if you know nothing else about Trump, clearly he is a rich man who is for rich men.

And if you read through my definition of neofascism, that was prepared without any thought about Trump, it seems you must agree he seems to be described there point by point by point. And this also explains his picks for his cabinet, it seems to me.

Aah well...

2. A ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Assessment on Arctic Warming

The second item is by Andrea Germanos on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams:

This has the following bit in it, which indeed is fairly jaw-dropping:

The report’s main findings, as noted by NOAA:

  • Warmer air temperature: Average annual air temperature over land areas was the highest in the observational record, representing a 6.3 degree Fahrenheit (3.5 degree Celsius) increase since 1900. Arctic temperatures continue to increase at double the rate of the global temperature increase.
  • Record low snow cover: Spring snow cover set a record low in the North American Arctic, where the May snow cover extent fell below 1.5 million square miles (4 million square kilometers) for the first time since satellite observations began in 1967.
  • Smaller Greenland ice sheet: The Greenland ice sheet continued to lose mass in 2016, as it has since 2002 when satellite-based measurement began. The start of melting on the Greenland ice sheet was the second earliest in the 37-year record of observations, close to the record set in 2012.
  • Record low sea ice: The Arctic sea ice minimum extent from mid-October 2016 to late November 2016 was the lowest since the satellite record began in 1979 and 28 percent less than the average for 1981-2010 in October. Arctic ice is thinning, with multi-year ice now comprising 22 percent of the ice cover as compared to 78 percent for the more fragile first-year ice. By comparison, multi-year ice made up 45 percent of ice cover in 1985.
  • Above-average Arctic Ocean temperature: Sea surface temperature in August 2016 was 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) above the average for 1982-2010 in the Barents and Chukchi seas and off the east and west coasts of Greenland.
  • Arctic Ocean productivity: Springtime melting and retreating sea ice allowed for more sunlight to reach the upper layers of the ocean, stimulating widespread blooms of algae and other tiny marine plants which form the base of the marine food chain, another sign of the rapid changes occurring in a warming Arctic.
Here is one other bit:

According to Brenda Ekwurzel, a senior climate scientist and the director of climate science at the Union of Concerned Scientists, the “jaw-dropping” assessment from NOAA “is remarkable for two reasons.”

First, so many records were broken or ranked second in each respective observational period (see Table). The second reason is that change is happening so fast and with such great magnitude that NOAA included an addendum to log changes leading up to the report release.

The report, said Margaret Williams, managing director for U.S. Arctic programs at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is “a red flashing light.”

As I have indicated several times, I think there are far too many people alive on earth (nearly three times as many as there were when I was born); I think since 1972
that far too little has been done against that; and I think this will collapse the present world and the present world order if that has not been blown up in an atomic war before that.

I am sorry to be pessimistic, but I am so - about this topic - since 1972, and have been growing more and more pessimistic ever since, simply because the world population kept growing and growing and growing.

This is a recommended article.

3. 100 CEOs Have as Much Retirement Savings as 116 Million Americans

The third item is also b
y Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows (and in fact is another warning):

While many Americans are facing a "frightening retirement reality," 100 CEOs are looking at "colossal nest eggs" and can look forward to monthly retirement checks of over $250,000 for the rest of their lives.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) puts a spotlight on this massive savings gap in its new report (pdf), "A Tale of Two Retirements."

"While slashing jobs and benefits for ordinary workers, CEOs of large companies have been feathering their own nests," stated Sarah Anderson, report co-author and director of the IPS Global Economy Project. "It's no wonder so many American workers are concerned about whether their golden years will be tarnished by financial stress.”

In fact, these 100 CEOs have retirement funds that total $4.7 billion. That's as much as the retirement savings of the 41 percent of U.S. families with the smallest nest eggs—that's 116 million people.  The report also notes that 37 percent of U.S. families have no retirement wealth at all.

This also means - to add a bit of personal detail - that each of these 100 sick and sickening degenerates gets in two months of pension more money than I got in my whole life of 66 years. And wholly apart from that - and yes, I have been ill since I am 28 - I think this is extremely sickening, and it shows that the present American society is very unfair to at least 78% of its people. (For 41%+37%=78%).

And this is about the extra-ordinarily rich merry few who are going to improve the incomes of the rich few by a lot more:

The new IPS report comes on the heels of an analysis by Quartz finding that Trump's 17 cabinet-level pics have more wealth than one-third of U.S. households combined.

I say. And this is a recommended article.

4. Beyond Resistance: The Story of 2016

The fourth item is by Richard Eskow on Common Dreams:

This is from near the beginning and is the only thing I'll quote from this article:

Here’s a macro-trend: According to a recent paper by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman,

“… the bottom half of the income distribution in the United States has been completely shut off from economic growth since the 1970s … In contrast, income skyrocketed at the top of the income distribution, rising 121 percent for the top 10 percent, 205 percent for the top 1 percent, and 636 percent for the top 0.001 percent.” (emphases mine)

Here’s another: According to the Equality of Opportunity Project, the percentage of Americans who grow up to have a better income than their parents has fallen from roughly 90 percent for children born in 1940 to only 50 percent – a coin toss – for children born in the 1980s. The largest declines occurred for families in the middle class.

Here’s a third: The top 0.1 percent of Americans now holds as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. It hasn’t been that bad since the 1930s.

I say, again. And this may be interpreted as another warning that incomes are extremely askew in the present USA.

5. Suppose the Pope Condemned Health Care Corruption - and Hardly Anyone Noticed?

The fifth and last item today is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal:

Let me start with saying that the present article - which is from an American site about health care - is relevant to everyone, and not only in the USA, simply because health care
has been corrupted quite massively everywhere (also in Holland [2]), and continue with a brief explanation why I read Health Care Renewal.

I read Health Care Renewal firstly because I am ill for nearly 38 years now and secondly because it is a good site run by (responsible and intelligent) medical doctors, that indeed seems to be so good that it is always the last thing to load in the long list of internet magazines I check every day, which seems to happen because it is slowed down on purpose (but this is a guess).

Then again, I normally avoid mentioning health matters in my
crisis reports, and most of what I write these days on my site are crisis reports. But this is quite relevant to everyone and it begins as follows:
We have frequently discussed outright corruption in health care as one of the most important causes of health care dysfunction.  Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as
Abuse of entrusted power for private gain
In 2006, TI published a report on health care corruption, which asserted that corruption is widespread throughout the world, serious, and causes severe harm to patients and society.
the scale of corruption is vast in both rich and poor countries.
Corruption might mean the difference between life and death for those in need of urgent care. It is invariably the poor in society who are affected most by corruption because they often cannot afford bribes or private health care. But corruption in the richest parts of the world also has its costs.
The report did not get much attention.  Since then, health care corruption has been nearly a taboo topic in the US.
One of the main reasons health care corruption - which is extremely massive in the USA - "has been nearly a taboo topic in the US" is that the pharmaceutical corporations, who earn billions by these corruptions, also spend millions of those billions on preventing that almost anyone mentions health care corruption (in the USA).

And in fact, here is an excellent bit of evidence that this is so, that indeed also is an excellent bit of evidence that the mainstream media (in the USA, but not only there) have been thoroughly corrupted, and do not bring most of the real news anymore (but instead have endless stories meant to amuse their readers):
Yesterday, this story appeared in the Catholic News Service. It opened with:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Corrupt business practices that seek to profit from the sick and the dying are a cancer to hospitals entrusted with the care of the most vulnerable, especially children, Pope Francis said.

Doctors, nurses and those who work in the field of health care must be defined by their ability to help their patients and be on guard against falling down the slippery slope of corruption that begins with special favors, tips and bribes, the pope told staff and patients of Rome's 'Bambino Gesu' children's hospital Dec. 15.

'The worst cancer in a hospital like this is corruption,' he said. 'In this world where there is so much business involved in health care, so many people are tricked by the sickness industry, 'Bambino Gesu' hospital must learn to say no. Yes, we all are sinners. Corrupt, never.'
One might think that this condemnation of health care corruption by the leader of a huge Christian religious group would get considerable attention, but one would be wrong. The only other coverage of the Pope's message was an extremely brief (6 sentences) item by the AP (see here via Business Insider.)
I think this is indeed quite stunning, simply because the pope heads more than one billion Catholics, and he said something that is quite true in my (non-US) experiences, for after 38 years of illness I am still not considered ill by all bureaucrats and most medical doctors, in spite of the fact that my ex and I both fell ill in the first year of our studies, which we also both finished with excellent M.A.s, but that we never could make a single cent with these degrees because we both are ill for 38 years now - but not according to 95% of the utterly incompetent medics we saw, and not according to the sick, degenerate and extra-ordinarily stupid and uncivilized bureaucrats we met in Holland.

Anyway... if you meet a medical doctor these days, prepare to be frauded, if it is not by
being prescribed extremely expensive medicines, then by utter baloney as soon as they see they can't explain your complaints: Then 95 out of a 100 Dutch medics will say you are insane and make it up ("you are psychosomatic"), for they care much more for their own incomes than for your health, your rights, or your income. (For they are only human, after all, and neither moral heroes nor particularly honest.)

I know, for I have been thus abused for 38 years now. [3]

[0] 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 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 whatsoever for anyone).

[1] The brief explanation is that people work for money, and the same applies to the Clintons and to Obama. These were very successful political people, so they also got a great lot of power, but presidents (until Trump) could not earn really very much while they were presidents. And therefore to get really rich (multi-millionaires, which is what the Clintons now are, indeed like Tony Blair) they needed to help those who made enough to make them millionaires. And this they did. (Yes, I do think it is as simple as this: Who else could pay $250,000 per speech than bankers? Who else would do so if they weren't helped by those in power? Who can deny that the Clintons and Obama followed policies with the bankers which allowed them to make billions?)

O yes! But the pattern in Holland and in Europe is different from the pattern in the USA. In the USA, there is massive corruption in the health industry on at least two fronts: First, the prescriptions of very expensive patented pills; and second, the manipulation of very many pharmaceutical investigations into drugs, that help the pharmaceutical corporations to get even richer than they are.

In Holland, at least the first corruption is less on the moment, and I do not know about the second corruption, but the vast majority of doctors knows much less than they pretend to know, and tend to call anything they don't know medically (which is in fact a great lot, which is understandable since medicine is a real science for less than 150 years) "psycho- somatic", i.e. they blame their patients for their own ignorance, and in fact accuse them of being insane.

My ex and I, who both got ill in January 1979 (!!) have seen at least 30 medical doctors of whom no one even knew what M.E. is (which was first medically described, and quite well also, in 1965), but 90-95% asserted they knew what ailed us: We were insane.

For me this means that 90-95% of the Dutch doctors my ex and I met were in fact degenerate and immoral frauds. Also, see the next note.

[3] Because almost none of the 30 or so medical doctors I saw was intellectually and morally competent, I am still not officially ill, after 38 years of suffering, illness, pains and extremely little money (while I got a psychology M.A. with an average of 9,3 out of 10, which is extremely rare).

I am sorry, but only 2 out of the 30 medical doctors my ex and I saw was not a fraud. The rest didn't know anything about our disease (which is OK with me: I also don't know many things I would love to know), nor did they know anything about my ex and I (except that we were both quite polite and quite intelligent), but nevertheless accused us that we are insane and made up our complaints from thin air: Because they had no idea, they said we were "psychosomatic" (which anyway is a fraudulent non-medical concept, I say as a psychologist: in real medicine there are not both a body (soma) and a mind (psyche): there only is a body).

I have had one piece of great luck the last 38 years, and that was meeting dr. Helen van Proosdij-Fertigova, who was an excellent G.P. for me between 1986 and 1999 (when she stopped working as a medical doctor), and to whom I very probably owe my life:

She was a really excellent doctor (who also was not Dutch, but originally from Checho- slovakia, whence she fled in 1968, which may not be accidental, as the one other doctor who was scientific and decent was from Java: all the purely Dutch medical doctors I met professionally dressed - in medical white, often with stethoscopes draped around their necks to make clear their effective superhumanity to anyone who had not studied medicine - and behaved as frauds, for they did not know what ailed us, and did not know shit about our lives or our persons, but nevertheless accused us of being insane. I think you only do that - about quite intelligent, quite polite persons like my ex and I - if you are a real fraud.)

The reason why I very probably owe my life to
dr. Helen van Proosdij-Fertigova is that she believed me (and talked much more with me than any other doctor did: she knew whom she was judging; the others did not) and that I had to survive between 1988 and 1992 nearly four years of non-sleeping, murder threats, and an attempt to gas me (literally, and it almost succeeded) from the degenerate illegal drugsdealers that the sick and degenerate mayor of Amsterdam Ed van Thijn had given his "personal permission" (in writing: I saw the letter) to deal illegal drugs from the bottom floor of the house where I lived. (I do not know how many millions he meanwhile earned this way, but they may be extremely many, in part because he also succeeded in getting all of Holland to deal in the same illegal way with soft drugs: Since 1988 something like 28 * 20 billion dollars = 460 billion dollars have been turned over in Holland in this grossly illegal way that was started by Van Thijn.)

For much more, you need to read Dutch: See ME in Amsterdam.

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