Thursday, July 13, 2017

Crisis: Brazil, Trump, Scarborough Quits GOP, The Rich & Taxes, Impeachment - My Health

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
2. Crisis Files
    A. Selections from July 13, 2017 

    B. On my eyes and my health

This is a Nederlog of Thursday, July 13, 2017.

1. Summary

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 with my health.

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, followed by
      One selection from that item (indented)
      Possibly followed by a brief comment by me (not indented).

This is illustrated below, in selections A.

2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from July 13, 2017

The items 1 - 5 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:

As Momentum Grows to Remove Brazil’s President, New Pressure Campaign Sparks Rage

This is by Glenn Greenwald and Erich Dau on The Intercept. This starts as follows:

A new, innovative public campaign, aimed at securing the removal of Brazilian President Michel Temer, was launched on Monday night with a new website, at, designed to enable public pressure on Congress. The site is called “342 Now” – referring to the number of votes needed in the lower House to proceed with an investigation and ultimate removal of Temer – and its complex design allows online users to send messages to every Congress member not only by email but also through their platforms on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and wherever else they may be found online.

Up until now, polls have shown that Temer is universally reviled: he reached a record-low 7% approval rating in the last Datafolha poll. From the moment he took power upon the impeachment of the country’s elected President, Dilma Rousseff, Temer has been embroiled in serious corruption scandals. But even for Brazil’s permissive political culture, his latest embarrassment has made his presidency unsustainable: the release of audio tapes that capture him, last March, approving bribes to silence a key witness in the country’s sweeping corruption investigation. Media outlets and even his fellow party members have openly spoken of his impeachment, or resignation, as a fait accompli.

Temer himself has now been formally charged with accepting bribes, making him the first sitting President in Brazil’s history to be a criminal defendant while in office.

I say! There is considerably more under the last bold link, and it is interesting.

2. Trump White House in Crisis as Emails Confirm Campaign Embraced Russian Effort to Defeat Clinton

This is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the followibg introduction:
The White House is in disarray following revelations that President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., supported an effort by the Russian authorities to share information incriminating Hillary Clinton in an attempt to help Trump win the election. The latest development in the ongoing saga of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian authorities came from a series of emails that Trump Jr. personally released on Tuesday. The emails discussed a meeting he—as well as Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort—had in June 2016 at Trump Tower with a person described to him as a "Russian government attorney." We speak with Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties.
There is considerably more under the last bold link.

3. Joe Scarborough Has Finally Seen Enough, Calls It Quits on the GOP

This is by Alexandra Rosenmann on AlterNet. This starts as follows:

"Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough made a surprising announcement on "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday: The former Florida Republican congressman is giving his party the boot.  

"You changed your mind about Donald Trump. Why haven't other Republicans done the same?" Colbert asked, drawing on Scarborough's lifelong allegiance to the GOP.

"I think it's inexplicable," Scarborough answered. "This is well before Donald Trump was elected president that my party has betrayed their core values."

Scarborough supported Jeb Bush in the Republican primary and backed John Kasich once Bush dropped out. He claims he was never "pro-Trump," much to the dismay of the president, who insisted in a tweetstorm that he no longer watches Scarborough's morning show. 

According to Scarborough, Republicans had "1,000" reasons not to vote for their candidate, from Trump's initial Muslim ban proposal, to his attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, to his feigning ignorance of David Duke and the KKK.

I say, but not really. Here is a bit of background that I think is quite relevant:

I think Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi - the hosts of "Morning Joe"s are part of the Deep State, which gets explained - for example - here:
Crisis: Deconstructing America's 'Deep State'. And one possible explanation is that the partners in the Deep State have decided to impeach Trump because they cannot control him.

Yes, I know I am guessing, but here is more, which explains the Brzezinski connection:
Crisis: propaganda and Control: 1968: Mika Brezinski's father - who was the head of National Security under Jimmy Carter knew in 1968 (before the arrival of the personal computer) that (I quote from 1968):

Mr Brzezinski realises that the technotronic society fills some
people with uneasiness (in this respect the reactionaries and the
revolutionaries are as one).
   However Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite
lovers of freedom and anarchy will seriously obstruct the new
order. For one thing, 'it will soon be possible to assert almost
continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain  up-to-
date, complete files, containing even personal information
about the health and personal behaviour of the citizen, in
addition to the more customary data.' Moreover it will be
possible to anticipate and plan to meet any uprisings in the
future. The police will even be able to forecast crises before the
rioters themselves are conscious of wanting them.

4. 3 of the Most Outrageous Ways the Richest 1% Avoids Paying Taxes

This is by Paul Buchheit on AlterNet. This starts as follows:

The entire 2017 safety net is about $850 billion, compared to over $1.5 trillion for tax expenditures, most of which are for rich Americans

The Unrelenting Wealth Grab by the 1% 

The average 1% household increased its wealth by $3 million in 2016. Since much of that was in the form of stock gains, they paid tax on only a small part of their incomes, and then took an average of about $200,000 per household in tax subsidies. When all forms of taxes and income and capital gains are considered, the richest 1% pay lower tax rates than the poorest 20% of Americans. 

The Rich Old White Guy's Safety Net: Retirement and Health Care 

Wealthy people are living longer, so they're getting much more of the late-life benefits. A Brookings report estimates that lowest-quintile Americans born in 1960 will receive "only 78 percent of the lifetime Medicare benefits received by the top income quintile."

A Congressional Research Service report states: "When Social Security benefits are measured on a lifetime basis, low earners, who show little to no gains in life expectancy over time, are projected to receive increasingly lower benefits than those with high earnings."

The American Medical Association agrees. The National Institutes of Health agrees. Middle- and upper-income Americans are even grabbing Medicaid benefits because of the program's accommodating asset-exclusion limits

Taking from the Poor American's Shredded Safety Net 

Uninformed critics believe that government transfers go to the poorest Americans. They don't.

There is more under the last bold link, including more outrageous tax breaks for the rich. 

5. Article of Impeachment Introduced Against President Donald Trump

This is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

This is a developing story and may be updated...

An Article of Impeachment against President Donald Trump was officially introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The resolution (pdf), submitted by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and backed by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), specifically cites alleged "obstruction of justice" by Trump as a potential "high crime and misdemeanor" that could be grounds for the president's removal from office.

"Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump's campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia," said Sherman in a statement announcing his decision. "It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute Obstruction of Justice."

I explain this - tentatively but definitely - by reference to item 3 above, and I do not mean Joe Scarborough. There is some more in the article, that I like.

B. On my eyes and my health

Here is some more on my eyes, the present situation with Ubuntu 14.04. and my health.

I think my eyes are just good enough to use 14.04. The reason is simply that my eyes improved some since 2015, when I also tried 14.04 but had to give it up because I just could not work with it then. This is good.

As to the Firefox on Ubuntu 14.04: It is still blacking out on my computer, but more briefly. As I said yesterday:

It is probable that I will find out, but on the moment I have not been sleeping enough and am not well, so I will have to postpone this or the moment.

And that is the third point: My health is not good after a month of sleeping 4 to 6 hours every 24 hours, which does mean I have to postpone things.

I am sorry, but that is how it is, and has been for the last 38 years of M.E., that is still classified by most doctors as if it is not a real, serious disease, although it is, and there now is also very good evidence (but if I judge Dutch doctors well, as far as these intellectual and moral morons - who all earn 20 times as much as I do - are concerned, it will take another 20 to 40 years until they stop following the crazy or financially very egoistic pseudoscientists who are psychiatrists).

For more, see here:
me+ME+Crisis: About ME/CFS - 1: Some updates about Oystein Fluge and Ron Davis

Incidentally, professor Ron Davis is one of the world's best living biochemists. He has a son with very serious M.E. (Most Dutch doctors - none of whom know as much as one percent of biochemistry Davis knows - will probably say Davis must be mad not to accept that his son is mad.)

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