A. Selections from July 2, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, July 2, 2017.
There are this month some changes in the formatting of Nederlog, and I
should also warn my readers that I may be denied an internet
connection. More later: I am trying to do what I am supposed
to do, but sofar without success.
Update later on July 2, 2017: I did - at long last - succeed in updating my account (after 3 days of troubles doing so). So internet will continue for me. (And I am relieved.)
The changed formatting is explained in section 2
that shows the new formatting of the crisis articles in Nederlog, which is
essentially a link + a single quotation from the link
(but still mostly without comments by me).
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and my health.
Since I am still looking at 35
sites every morning what I will do from July 1, 2017,
is to list the items
I selected as worth reading, and give one quotation from the
selected files to show you whether you might be interested.
I still will give hardly any comments (as I did before, until the end
of May 2017): I lack the health to do so (but there are a few lines of
2. Crisis Files
As I explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection from that item (indented)
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
A. Selections from July 2, 2017
items 1 - 6 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
President and They’re Not’: Trump Attacks Media at Faith Rally
President Trump began his holiday
weekend getaway with another denunciation of the news media, using a
celebration of American veterans and freedom at an evening rally to
thunder that he would not allow the “fake” media to stop his agenda.
to raucous supporters at a faith rally at the John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts in Washington, Mr. Trump brought the crowd to
its feet by condemning news organizations.
media is trying to silence us,” Mr. Trump told the crowd at the concert
hall, after returning to Washington briefly from his weekend getaway at
his golf club in New Jersey. “But we will not let them. Because the
people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to
the White House. But I’m president and they’re not.”
is from The New York Times, and it is a fairly long article. The above
quote is the start of the article. (And for president Trump's mental condition, see here.)
Care 2017: A Physician’s Perspective
Capitalism has been made into a
“sacred cow” by the right wing of America. Like any other human system,
capitalism has many faults. The unintended consequences and injustices
of capitalism are most glaring in our health care system. Medicare
spends about two percent of their health care “dollar” on
administrative work. Health insurance companies spend anywhere from 40
percent to 20 percent of the health care dollars they charge on
non-productive administrative work, like advertising and lobbying
congress for more profit potential. In general these companies run
convoluted systems that make a mess of the daily living experiences of
America’s sick and their families. Inscrutable communications, arcane
accounting practices and explanation of benefits (EOB), details that no
one can understand create a nightmare of paperwork for every American
with a significant health problem. The system is broken, is a burden on
all who get sick (and that’s all of us) and is not being
addressed responsibly by politicians. America requires radical changes
in our health care system.
This is from Truthdig and is by a working physician.
Happens If Trump’s White House Invokes Executive Privilege?
This is from Alternet.
Donald Trump’s presidency has been
defined by a central theme: Trump’s belief that ordinary rules and laws
do not apply to him.
Trump has made clear that he believes it
is up to his personal
discretion to order torture – even though torture is illegal
under all circumstances. In ordering a military
strike against Syria in April, Trump brushed aside constitutional
requirements that Congress approve such action unless the U.S. faces
imminent attack. And he has defended his presidency by falsely
claiming that the president
is incapable of having conflicts of interest.
Chanos: U.S. Economy is Worse Than You Think
This is from Naked Capitalism and is the start of the interview. There is considerably more under the last link.
Lynn Parramore: Let’s talk about
perceptions of the U.S. economy. You’ve pointed out that surveys asking
how people feel about the economy show optimism, while actual hard
numbers look disappointing. What do you make of this gap?
Jim Chanos: It’s
intriguing that people are reporting they’re feeling better,
particularly in the corporate sector, but even among consumers. People
say they feel good about the economy and yet they apparently don’t have
any money at the end of every month to keep spending.
We’re seeing weak consumer spending
numbers in both auto and housing, which are big drivers of the economy.
With unemployment so low and the expansion where it is, these figures
should be better than they are. There are portents of even worse things
when you look at state and federal tax receipts, which are down, and
other leading indicators.
It could all just be a soft spot in an
ongoing expansion — time will tell. But the narrative we were told
is that animal spirits would take us to the next level of economic
activity. That clearly is not happening in mid-2017. We’re 8 years into
an economic expansion, and economists say that the modern U.S. economy
has never gone more than 10 years without a recession. So as recoveries
go we are well into it.
Over-Criminalization of American Life
While the corporate
media devotes itself to sports, entertainment, dining out and the
latest political kerfuffle, America has become the Over-Criminalization
Capital of the World. The proliferation of laws and
administrative regulations, federal, state and local, that carry
criminal penalties has swollen into the tens of thousands.
The number of
incarcerated Americans exceeds 2.3 million, with the majority being
non-violent offenders–often for War on Drugs offenses.
This is from Washingtons Blog. Yhe main point is the graphic (and yes, I do know the American population also grew during all of the above years, but far less than the number of incarcerated Americans).
OLD PHILOSOPHER RETURNS, OR THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY APARTMENT.
This is by Robert Paul Wolff (<-Wikipedia). He says about himself:
Far more troubling is the increasing
evidence of the profound
mental instability of the President.
Rather than speculate on what the future holds, I will refer you to this recent
analysis by my son, Tobias, who thinks more deeply and passionately
about current political affairs than I can manage.
brutally honest, I am deeply fearful that Trump will
act impulsively and dangerously on the international scene, moved in
infantile narcissistic way by an imagined slight. We must ask
seriously whether the senior
military would collectively refuse to obey an irrationally
order coming from the Oval Office.
As I observed in one of my books, in politics I am an anarchist, in religion I am an atheist, and in economics I am a Marxist.
I am an atheist,
something like a philosophical anarchist (who is philosophical because
I believe that the basic limits on anarchism are the same as on rational thinking and reasonable acting: the average stupidity and ignorance), and I am not a Marxist (since 1970, when I was 20), but my parents were real, sincere, honest, very courageous and quite intelligent Marxists (but without a good education) , indeed quite unlike the vast majority of Dutch "Marxists" most of whom were unreal, insincere, dishonest and cowardly (and who ceased to be "Marxists" as soon as they could not earn anymore with pretending they were, mostly in 1991, and as documented by the Dutch - horrible, extremely insincere - booklet "Alles moest anders") .
Finally, I do follow Wolff, although I often do not quite agree with him, because he writes better than the vast majority of "academic philosophers", and because he is sincere, unlike all the "Marxists" I met in the University of Amsterdam, who indeed mostly were "Marxists" because that was very popular then in the University of Amsterdam in the Seventies and early Eighties. (For more see Note 2 from yesterday.)
parents were very courageous, as was my father's father, because they
were in the communist resistance against the Nazis in WW II, when also
my grandfather and my father were arrested in June 1941 and convicted
as "political terrorists" to concentration camp imprisonment. My father
survived over three years and nine months of four German concentration
camps; my grandfather was murdered; my mother was not arrested (but
brought the Dutch communist paper "Truth" around, and worked for Jewish
children in hiding).
Eventually, my father was knighted in 1980 (less than three months before his death).
 According to - at the very least - many tens of the mostly communist members of the student party ASVA in the Seventies and Eighties I - who opposed the ASVA because I was pro real science and anti political ideology - was, for those two reasons, and because I also had created a student party, a "fascist" and a "terrorist".
Many tens of them screamed
both terms at me when I gave the - invited - public speech that caused
my removal from the faculty of philosophy and the denial of the right
to take the M.A. in philosophy (that was almost done then).
And I never told these lying degenerates about my real communist
parents, because my parents were real communists, and none of the
"communists" from the ASVA were real. (Hardly anyone knew much
about Marx either, as I did.)