Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism
2. Outright Lies, Constant Tweets & "Alternative Facts":
Trump's Orwellian War with the
3. Four More Journalists
Slapped With Felony Charges for
Covering Inauguration Unrest
4. Obama Bequeaths a More
5. Trump Issues Media Blackout at Multiple Federal
This is a Nederlog of January 25, 2017. (It may be that there
will be no Nederlog tomorrow, because I have troubles with my teeth
Summary: This is a crisis
log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is a
non-good article by Naomi Klein on Trump; item 2 is
a good interview by Amy Goodman about Trump's Orwellian war with the
media; item 3 is a more or less correct article on
the felony charges - up to 10 years imprisonment + $25,000 fine -
slapped on journalists
who tried to report the facts; item 4 is about a good article by Robert
Parry on Obama; and item 5 is by Lauren McCauley about Trump's media
blackout of quite a few federal agencies (who may say things Trump
doesn't want to see published).
As for today
(January 25, 2017): I have
meanwhile attached a message to the openings
of both of my sites which points out that for somehing like a year now both
of my sites more
or less systematically, but unpredictably, show the wrong date
and the wrong files, indeed going so far back as 2015, and as
if I did not
write anything since then.
Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism
Today the Danish site was
(again) OK, but the Dutch site is again running behind the
facts and does not properly update at all...
More about this later.
The first item today is by Naomi Klein
(<-Wikipedia) on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
We already know that the Trump
administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on
“radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a
fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a
tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst;
security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home;
weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial
shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to
do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.
I say, which I do because this is not great
prose even though I more or less agree with it.
Part of the reason may be that I do not like Naomi Klein, but I
also think this is too complicated to explain, for it has to do with
her and my communist background and with the fact that she appears to
me as if she is a Dutch social democrat, which I know she
isn't, but even so. 
I leave it at this, and consider the rest of her article. It turned out
that she writes about Trump by rehashing what happened
Katrina (<-Wikipedia), now twelve years ago.
This takes up a fair amount of space, and I do not think it
tells me much about Trump or Pence (though yes, Pence was
involved with Katrina).
I leave it all to your interests, and merely
quote a kind of summary:
In the Katrina aftermath, the
vulnerable people, carried out in the name of reconstruction and
relief, did not stop there. In order to offset the tens of billions
going to private companies in contracts and tax breaks, in November
2005 the Republican-controlled Congress announced that it needed to cut
$40 billion from the federal budget. Among the programs that were
slashed were student loans, Medicaid and food stamps. In other words,
the poorest people in the United States subsidized the contractor
bonanza twice: First, when Katrina relief morphed into unregulated
corporate handouts, providing neither decent jobs nor functional public
services; and, second, when the few programs that directly assist the
unemployed and working poor nationwide were gutted to pay those bloated
OK - that seems correct (but happened in
2005/2006). Here is Klein's ending:
I say, once again, for this seems the best
Naomi Klein can do on Trump: Hurricane "Katrina tells us". And I am sorry, but I am not impressed.
This is the disaster capitalism
blueprint, and it aligns with Trump’s own track record as a businessman
all too well.
Trump and Pence come to power at a time
when these kinds of disasters, like the lethal tornadoes that just
struck the Southeastern United States, are coming fast and furious.
Trump has already declared the U.S. a rolling disaster zone. And the
shocks will keep getting bigger, thanks to the reckless policies that
have already been promised.
What Katrina tells us is that this
administration will attempt to exploit each disaster for maximum gain.
We’d better get ready.
Outright Lies, Constant Tweets & "Alternative Facts": Inside
Trump's Orwellian War with the Media
The second item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following
We turn now to look at President Trump,
the media and what the new administration calls "alternative facts." On
Saturday, in his first full day in office, Trump visited CIA
headquarters. Speaking in front of the CIA Memorial Wall, he told the
had a running war with the media. Hours later, Trump then ordered his
new press secretary, Sean Spicer, to hold an emergency press briefing
to claim, "This was the largest audience to ever witness an
inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe." Then, on
Sunday, Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, defended Spicer’s
demonstrably false statement by saying he "gave alternative facts." We
speak to filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, director of "Nobody Speak:
Trials of the Free Press," and Mark Hertsgaard, investigative editor at
The Nation magazine and author of seven books, including "On Bended
Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency."
Incidentally, I usually
reprint the introductions to Amy Goodman's interviews when reviewing them, because they
tend to be accurate, as is this.
As to "alternative facts":
"An alternative fact" = "a real political lie" or "a
falsehood presented as true by an immoral or degenerate political liar
who hopes to profit from plugging falsehoods as truths". 
This starts as follows:
We turn to look at President
Trump, the media and what the new administration calls alternative
facts. On Saturday, in his first full day in office, Trump visited CIA headquarters. Speaking of front of the CIA’s
Memorial Wall, he told the agency he had a running war with the media.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:
So I can only say that I am with you a thousand percent. And the reason
you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with
the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And
they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence
community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re number
one stop is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that,
I say. And Trump may have
been speaking the truth in a sense, for the mainstream
media lie a lot (and keep out a lot more from being known), but
then again, if Trump speaks the truth this is twisted to fit in with
Here is Trump's press
secretary, who lies, lies, and lies,, and seems to do so mostly because
his lies are some of Trump's present "favorite fantasies" :
PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER:
This was the largest audience to
ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the
globe. Even The New York Times printed a photograph showing
the—that—a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original tweet in
their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth and
crowd and intensity that existed. These attempts to lessen the
enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong. ... The
president is committed to unifying our country, and that was the focus
of his inaugural address. This kind of dishonesty in the media, the
challenging—the bringing about our nation together is making it more
difficult. There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the
responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable. And I’m here to tell
you that it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable,
Spicer lied about the
inauguration, which was less well attended in person than Obama's
inaugurations, and which also seems to have been less well attended
world-wide, although I am not certain of the last supposed
fact. (I didn't watch anything, but that's just me.)
Then again, Spicer
probably spoke truly when he said that "[t]he
president is committed to unifying our country", although he did not
say how Trump is going to try to do that:
By shutting down the
press, and especially the non-mainstream media, or forcing them
to print only his propaganda, and by forbidding protesters to
protest, namely by punishing protesters with up to 10 years jail and
$25,000 fines, simply for protesting peacefully.
Both measures are very
And here is Trump's
Orwellian speaker Conway (with a fitting last name: her way
is to con people):
Don’t be so
overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What it—you’re saying it’s a
falsehood. And they’re giving—Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave
alternative facts to that. But the point remains—
Wait a minute.
facts? Four of the five facts he uttered—the one thing he got right—
Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look,
alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.
Yes indeed, although in
this case they are not merely falsehoods (one may
speak falsehoods sincerely, simply by not knowing they are falsehoods)
but are lies.
Here is Knappenberger:
Right. It’s extraordinary.
I mean, it’s extraordinary even listening to the clips you just played,
I mean, and remembering we’re on day three here of this Trump
administration. But really what we’re seeing is an extension of what
we’ve been seeing—what we’ve seen from the last year from candidate
Trump. I mean, his rise was really a result of an all-out assault on
the press. I mean, it was one thing after another. He would berate the
press. He called them names, "scum." He said he was going to open up
libel laws and "sue you like you’ve never been sued before." He would
go around the press. He would attack even things like satire, things
like Saturday Night Live, or the cast of Hamilton
or something. I mean, anything that threatened him or anything that
approached an adversarial question at all, he would just go crazy with.
So I think we’re in a period where this is something we really have to
worry about. We just don’t know what this guy will be capable of doing
with the executive branch at his control.
I think that is mostly
correct, although Knappenberger misses that considerable parts of the
mainstream media effectively supported Trump by giving him very much
free attention and by never saying that 70% of his factual statements
But the rest is quite
true, and the most frightening bit is this: "He said he was going to open up
libel laws and "sue you like you’ve never been sued before."" And he seems to be trying to do so which,
if he succeeds, means that the USA will be changed into a Trumpian
dictatorship in which only the approved Trumpian propaganda is allowed
to be printed or shown. (I said "if he succeeds": he did not, as yet.)
Here is finally
Hertsgaard, who also makes a correct diagnosis, I think:
I think that what might be
happening here, though, is that Donald Trump and his
administration—Sean Spicer, the press secretary—may end up provoking
the Washington press corps, and the mainstream media, in general, into
becoming an adversarial press, which is not what they want to do, the
media. It is what the Constitution and American civics calls on the
media to do, to hold presidents and elected officials accountable by
being adversarial, by asking tough questions. In general, that’s not
the way the Washington press corps operates. And yet, I think when—they
now have a choice. Trump is so aggressive against them, and Spicer, as
well, that the Washington press corps is either going to respond back
and be adversarial or they’re just going to take it.
Yes, and I think
Hertsgaard is correct in three things: (1) the mainstream media (which
is not the non-mainstream media) does not want to be or become
"an adversarial press" , although (2) being
adversarial - asking though questions - is the role given
to the press by the Constitution's First Amendment, while also (3) now
that even the mainstream media are taken down as "scum" and
"liars" by Trump, they do have a real choice: Either speak the
truth about Trump or shut up and obediently transmit his
propaganda to the public that Trump misleads.
We will find out what the
outcome will be rather soon, I guess. And this is a recommended article.
3. Four More Journalists
Felony Charges for Covering Inauguration Unrest
The third item is by Jon Swaine on AlterNet and originally on The
starts as follows (and this is very worrying):
Four more journalists have been charged
with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around
Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers
are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.
A documentary producer, a
photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter were each
charged with the most serious level of offense under Washington DC’s
law against rioting, after being caught up in the police action against
This is very worrying because Donald
Trump clearly wants to shut up the free press and the free media:
They should either publish nothing or only what the Trumpian government
And if the press does not submit
then - even before any new laws have been introduced - they
are prosecuted as criminals with punishments of up to 10 years in prison
(in Holland you might get that punishment for committing a murder)
and a $25,000 fine.
Note that I am talking about accredited
Jack Keller, a producer for the web
documentary series Story of America, said that he was detained for
about 36 hours after being kettled by police at 12th and L streets on
Friday morning and then arrested despite telling officers that he was
covering the demonstrations as a journalist.
“The way we were treated was an absolute
travesty,” said Keller, whose cellphone has been kept by the
authorities. Keller’s editor, Annabel Park, said: “It is a maddening
and frustrating situation. These are people who were there observing
Yes indeed. And they should be
abled to do so, without being arrested or prosecuted, let alone with 10
years imprisonment for being a journalist and behaving as a journalist.
Here are some lawyers:
The National Lawyers’ Guild accused
Washington DC’s metropolitan police department of having
“indiscriminately targeted people for arrest en masse based on location
alone” and said they unlawfully used teargas and other weapons.
“These illegal acts are clearly designed
to chill the speech of protesters engaging in First Amendment
activity,” Maggie Ellinger-Locke, of the guild’s DC branch, said in a
Yes indeed. There is also this from the
side of the police:
Reports on the arrests of five of the
six journalists contain identical language alleging that “numerous
crimes were occurring in police presence”. They state that windows were
broken, fires were lit and vehicles were damaged. “The crowd was
observed enticing a riot by organizing, promoting, encouraging and
participating in acts of violence in furtherance of the riot,” the
police reports said.
First, I much doubt whether this
is true. And second, even if it is true about "the crowd", the only
way to have objective evidence about "the crowd" is letting
journalists collect it, instead of arresting them and prosecuting
them as if they committed a crime that's worth a murder sentence (in
Holland, in some cases).
4. Obama Bequeaths a
More Dangerous World
The fourth item is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews:
This has a subtitle that is adequate:
This starts as follows:
President Obama may have entered the White House with a desire to rein
in America’s global war-making but he succumbed to neocon pressure and
left behind an even more dangerous world, reports Robert Parry.
Any fair judgment about Barack
Obama’s presidency must start with the recognition that he inherited a
dismal situation from George W. Bush: the U.S. economy was in free-fall
and U.S. troops were bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly,
these intertwined economic and foreign policy crises colored how Obama
viewed his options, realizing that one false step could tip the world
into the abyss.
Yes, I agree with this. Next, there
is also this:
It’s also true that his Republican rivals
behaved as if they had no responsibility for the messes that Obama had
to clean up. From the start, they set out to trip him up rather than
lend a hand.
That said, however, it is also
true that Obama – an inexperienced manager – made huge mistakes from
the outset and failed to rectify them in a timely fashion.
Hm. I think it is true that Obama was an
inexperienced manager, but I don't think this was his only or
his major weakness. There is more below on this.
First a bit about Hillary Clinton as Obama's secretary of state:
In 2011, Obama also gave in to
pressure from Clinton and one of his key advisers, “humanitarian”
warmonger Samantha Power, to support another “regime change” in Libya.
air war devastated the Libyan military and ended with Islamic
militants sodomizing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with a knife and
then murdering him, a grisly outcome that Clinton celebrated with a
chirpy rephrase of Julius Caesar’s famous boast about a conquest, as
she said: “We came, we saw, he died.”
Yes, and presented like that it seems
as if Hillary Clinton is a sadist. I do not know whether she
is, but she sounds like one in this excerpt (where she was also stealing from Caesar, who didn't say quite this).
Here is more about Obama:
Even after Clinton, Gates and
Petraeus were gone by the start of Obama’s second term, he continued to
acquiesce to most of the demands of the neocons and liberal
interventionists. Rather than act as a decisive U.S. president, Obama
often behaved more like the sullen teen-ager complaining from the
backseat about not wanting to go on a family trip. Obama grumbled about
some of the neocon/liberal-hawk policies but he mostly went along,
albeit half-heartedly at times.
This is one way of reading the
evidence. Another way seems more consistent to me:
Obama specialized in saying one thing, for his voters, and did
that very well and with a lot of charm, while very
often doing the opposite in the laws and regulations he signed
or created. For more, again see below.
Here is some more on that:
Yes. And I note that none of the above was
necessary, for a Democratic president.
Instead of getting tough with Israel
over its continued abuse of the Palestinians, Obama gave Netanyahu’s
regime the most sophisticated weapons from the U.S. arsenal. Instead of
calling out the Saudis as the principal state sponsor of terrorism –
for their support for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State – Obama continued
the fiction that Iran was the lead villain on terrorism and cooperated
when the Saudis launched a
brutal air war against their impoverished neighbors in Yemen.
Obama personally acknowledged
authorizing military strikes in seven countries, mostly through his
aggressive use of drones, an approach toward push-button
warfare that has spread animosity against the United States to the
seven corners of the earth.
However, perhaps Obama’s most
dangerous legacy is the New Cold War with Russia (...)
Yes indeed, and Parry seems to me to be quite
right when he says that the "U.S. intelligence
agencies leak unsubstantiated claims that Putin interfered in the U.S.
presidential election by hacking and publicizing Democratic emails": See here.
After his relationship with Putin
had deteriorated over the ensuring two-plus years, Obama chose to
escalate the New Cold War in his final weeks in office by having
U.S. intelligence agencies leak unsubstantiated claims that Putin
interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking and publicizing
Democratic emails that helped Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.
We now return to the question what Obama really
is, underneath his charming person and usually well-composed words:
Yet, one of the mysteries of
Obama is whether he was always a closet hawk who just let his true
colors show over the course of his eight years in office or whether he
was a weak executive who desperately wanted to belong to the Washington
establishment and underwent a gradual submission to achieve that
I think myself that Obama was both "a weak executive who desperately wanted to belong to the
Washington establishment" and one who
started out as a Senator without real principles or many ideas
other than that he wanted to make it, which he did.
He was in fact quite like Bill Clinton (also charming, also
clever, and now very rich, after having given the bankers all they
wanted) and he probably also will be rewarded rather like Bill
Clinton was (except less, for Obama is half black and I am a realist).
This is from Parry's ending:
think Obama started merely as "an inexperienced president": I
think he started as the black counterpart of Bill Clinton, and with
similar principles: He wanted to get rich and famous. (And he
now is famous, and merely needs to get paid by the extremely
rich bankers for rewarding them a lot.)
So, Obama’s subservience to the neocons
and liberal hawks may have begun as a
case of an inexperienced president getting outmaneuvered by rivals
whom he had foolishly empowered. But Obama’s descent into a full-scale
New Cold Warrior by the end of his second term suggests that he was no
longer an overpowered naïf but someone who had become a committed
This also means that I do not know whether Obama ended up as "a committed convert", although he did what the rich and the
military wanted him to do.
But by and large this is a recommended article.
5. Trump Issues Media Blackout at Multiple Federal
The fifth and last item today item is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Though the majority of President Donald
Trump's controversial cabinet nominations have not yet been confirmed,
his so-called "beachhead"
teams have arrived at their respective agencies, carrying out orders
that make clear that the "War on Science"
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed broke the news
that scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are no
longer allowed to share information about taxpayer-funded research with
In an email sent Monday and obtained by
the news outlet, Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for the USDA's primary
in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), told
the department: "Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS
will not release any public-facing documents...This includes, but is
not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and
social media content."
I say. I grant that Trump is anti-science
and is president and also that the U.S.
Department of Agriculture is part of the government, but I can't
see why the president would have the power to legally deny them even publishing
"social media content". Also, I think myself that "taxpayer-funded research" should
be open to "the public": They fund it, to start with, and should be
abled to know what they funded.
Then again, Trump is a neofascist who doesn't
or truth, and he
has been given enormous powers, and is using them according to his ideology.
There is this by Rosenberg on Trump's
In a press
statement, Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and
Democracy at UCS, condemned the moves, describing the as "equally
short-sighted and destructive."
"These actions don't just threaten
scientists—they threaten everyone in the country who breathes air,
drinks water, and eats food," said Rosenberg. "These agency scientists
carry out research in support of policies that protect our health and
safety and help farmers, and it makes no sense to put up walls between
them and the public, or unilaterally halt the work they do."
"That the administration has moved so
quickly to clamp down on scientists shows that the Trump administration
is more focused on lifting rules on polluters than keeping our air and
water clean," he added.
Yes indeed. Here is Trump's extension
of his plans against the U.S. Department
It has become apparent that the Trump
administration has also ordered a media blackout at the EPA, as well as
at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National
Institutes of Health (NIH).
No more science. No more truth. No more
honesty. No real facts. Trump wants his government to publish only
his ideology, his lies and his fantasies, and he also wants to
prosecute anyone - private persons, media, scientists - who publicly
disagrees with him. 
Or at least, that seems to be his program
in my eyes.
Finally, here is some news about American
The clampdown comes amid growing concern
that Trump and his appointees will suppress scientific innovation and
research to advance their own ideological agenda.
More than 5,500 scientists have signed
on to an open letter, sent
to Trump in the days following his election, warning
against the dangers of allowing "political or corporate influence" to
override scientific fact.
I agree with them, but I also think - after
a full forty years of struggling against the very popular "Everybody
knows that truth does not exist",
that was first let loose in the University of Amsterdam in 1978
- that only very few academically employed scientists, when
faced with the choice between science and truth and loosing their
salary, will choose for science and truth.
And while I am very sorry, I
have seen forty years of that, in Holland, is also true, but this
seems to be rather universal: Most people care most for themselves and
their own incomes, and are quite willing to lie if this saves or
increases their incomes.
It's the same for most
 Perhaps I should add that I thoroughly
despise the Dutch "social democrats", who also are none of
the kind: They are postmodern third-wayers
ever since 1995 or long
before. (Incidentally, the Third Way article in Wikipedia, that was
good, now seems to have been mostly destroyed by Thirdwayers.)
Also, their leaders - Cohen and Asscher - come from the two Dutch
Jewish very rich terrorists who helped to murder more than 100.000
Dutch Jews between 1941 and 1945, and who did not even have to face any
judge, while they were paid by the SS with keeping their lives and
They bear the same family names as David Cohen and Abraham Asscher, and
Lodewijk Asscher is the - very rich, supposedly "social democratic" -
present leader of the "social democrats" and a great-grandson of
I have asked Job Cohen repeatedly - see ME in Amsterdam - about
his relation to David Cohen, but Cohen simply never answered me
about anything. His nephew (according to Dutch papers) Rob Oudkerk is a
grandson of David Cohen (and insisted his grandfather never did
anything wrong in WW II).
Incidentally: My father and grandfather were arrested in 1941 for
resisting the Nazis; were convicted by collaborating Dutch judges to
concentration camp imprisonment as "political terrorists", where my
grandfather was murdered. My father survived 3 years,
9 months and 15 days of 4 concentration camps, and was even - extremely
a communist - knighted briefly before he died.
I am quite willing to explain in court what I have against
Cohens and Asschers as leaders or prominent politicians in the "social
democratic" party: They owe me a great
lot (and Job Cohen was mayor of Amsterdam and never answered any of my
mails, while Lodewijk Asscher was alderman of Amsterdam and also never
answered any of my mails - that complained about being threatened
with murder by two of mayor Van Thijn's illegal drugsdealing friends,
who also were arrested with 2 kiloos of heroin and 1 kilo of cocaine,
but against whom I was not allowed to deposit any
complaint with the Amsterdam police by the Amsterdam police, that
obviously protected the illegal drugsdealers much rather than me or my
 This is the real
meaning of the Orwellian phrase "alternative facts": They are not
facts, they are definite conscious lies.
Also, once the papers stopped saying that presidents or prominent
politicians lie or may lie, they started to propagandize for the liars
they chose not to call liars while they clearly were
And this has been happening for many years now.
 There are some who say that Trump's present favorite fantasies are not
lies, presumably because one may believe something and repeat it, while
not knowing that what one believes is false.
Well... if you believe that about Donald Trump then either you
are a Trumpian or you are very dense: All politicians lie, and
Trump lied more than any living Western politician I know of.
 As to the phrase "an adversarial press": In fact, a real
press (of any political color, provided it is honest) does far
more than "asking tough questions" (which is how
"an adversarial press" gets
It articulates all manner of ideas about politics,
provided only that either the ideas are (at least) somewhat popular or
the ideas may be important while they have some positive evidence and have not been falsified.
And without a press which does all of that, also
with considerable political divergence in allowing for honest
conservatives, honest democrats, honest leftists and honest rightists,
democracy will soon be dead, for no one will have
sufficient true information to rationally decide what is and is not
 I bolded this simply because I think
it is true and important.