A. Selections from August 4, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Friday, August 4,
This is a
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.
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.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
August 4, 2017
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:
Corrupt Congress Protects its Bribe-Drenched President, Finalizing
Elites’ Two-Year Plot
This is by Glenn
Greenwald on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Just over a year ago, in
Brasília, one of the most nauseating and humiliating political
spectacles I’ve ever seen took place over nine hours. In Brazil’s lower
House – a body where a majority of members are
implicated in corruption investigations – one dirty,
shady cretin after the next stood up in front of television cameras
and flamboyantly declared that
their conscience, their religion, their God, their children, their
devotion to Jerusalem, the memory of their mother, their pastor,
the purity of their soul demanded that they punish corruption
by removing the elected President, Dilma Rousseff, from office.
Just imagine the most
extreme, primitive cartoon version of a gleefully hypocritical
moralizer – a preacher who leaves his weekly whorehouse orgy to go
directly to Sunday church to rail against hell-bound sinners – and
you’ll have a perfect vision of the majority faction that
sanctimoniously paraded itself that day. The slime that oozes from
their pores is palpable. These are the people who nullified
a national election in, and are thus now ruling over, the planet’s
fifth most populous country.
And it ends as follows:
In one sense, there is
pure karmic justice here: Brazil has the political class, and the
broken and corrupt leaders, that perfectly reflect the character of the
elite oligarchical class that has ruled the nation with an iron fist
But in a much more
profound sense, what they have done is a horrific tragedy that is
gut-wrenching to watch: hundreds of millions of human beings, born in a
deeply stratified society, who have been without hope for generations,
finally got a glimpse of hope during the last decade, only to watch it
be stomped and extinguished by the same ruling class of thieves
and liars that has been the sole authors of the country’s enduring
plight of inequality and misery for the many.
This is a quite good
article that is recommended reading (and that contains a lot more).
Call for Police Brutality Is No Joke
This is by Amy
Goodman and Denis Moynihan on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I have said many times
now that I consider - as a psychologist - Donald Trump to be an insane
person (he has megalomania,
that psychiatrists these days call
"narcissism") who also is a neofascist
(in my sense, which is quite
well considered), and this quote supports both of my positions.
On Friday, President
Donald Trump addressed a crowd of police officers in Long Island, New
York, and sent a shocking message to the nation. Trump’s words are
worth repeating in full, as they are an explicit endorsement of police
“When you see
these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see
them thrown in, rough—I said, please don’t be too nice. Like when you
guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you
know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and
they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take
the hand away, OK?”
And I also - on July 16, last - mentioned
Orson Welles, who in 1955 (!!) described
"the police". Here it is again, for it is quite instructive and
Orson Welles Sketchbook - Episode 3: The
I should add (and I
quote myself) that I
am very sorry to say that his
excellent ideas are now out of date as well:
Everyone has his own dossier in many secret
services, and the secret services and the police have all the powers.
They also do not serve the people; they serve the - numerically
very few - authorities, who serve the - numerically very few -rich, who corrupted nearly all politicians.
We are living in the early days of neofascism
(in my sense: see the link) and the one personal thing I am very
thankful for is that I was born in 1950, and will probably be dead when
it is at full force.
a Mega-Billionaire Rescue America from GOP’s Insurance Mayhem?
This is by Ralph Nader on
Common Dreams and on his site. It starts as follows:
Before recommending a
practical way to reverse the devastating impact of Congressional
Republicans’ attempts to strip tens of millions of Americans of health
insurance coverage, and the non-stop anxiety and dread that comes
with such cruel and vicious legislation, note the impact of having
gerrymandered (the politicians pick the voters) Washington rulers.
The arrogant Republicans
in Congress have good health insurance, life insurance, pensions,
salaries and expense accounts paid by you the taxpayers. This
perversely has led them to drop any empathy their residual consciences
might have possessed before they came to Capitol Hill – many as
At the same time, in a
country that spends well over $3 trillion a year on ‘healthcare’, the
GOP’s various bills leave millions of families fearing loss of
insurance, reduced coverage, larger deductibles, unaffordable co-pays
and inscrutable insurance and billing fine-print trap doors. This is
producing serious fear, anxiety, depression and in many cases absolute
terror for sick children and ailing parents.
Yes indeed, for basically
they are scheduled to die by the GOP and by Trump. Here is what it
comes down to, in terms of American deaths, each year:
Well it’s a stupid, but
lucrative, ideological game for the Republicans, whose various factions
juggle their corporate paymasters and reactionary dogmas, as they try
to give the rich and powerful another $800 billion in tax breaks at the
expense of millions of their neighbors’ lives and livelihoods.
Without health insurance,
about 35,000 Americans die each year; many more stay sick or injured
because they cannot afford insurance to get diagnosed and treated in
time. About 30 million people fall into that helpless, hurtful category.
Those tens of millions
more Americans who are underinsured can barely figure out where they
are covered and how much they have to pay or go without.
For the most vulnerable of
these Americans, the choice is morbidly clear: pay or die.
Precisely. And here is the
last bit from this article:
A majority of Americans,
including a significant number of conservatives, favor single payer,
full Medicare for all. So do a majority of physicians and nurses,
currently in thralldom to corporatist dictates.
How to get there from
here? Listen to Warren Buffett, the multi-billionaire and sage from
Omaha; he favors full Medicare for all as being more efficient and
humane (A single payer system has far less administrative costs and
billing fraud). Then he tells us the pathway to turning this whole
madness and mayhem around. To paraphrase what he once said, there are
only 535 members of Congress (100 senators and 435 representatives),
and we’re over three hundred million people. Why can’t we control these
Imagine if a very rich,
enlightened person pledged one billion dollars to fund the organizing
of a few thousand serious volunteers in every Congressional District,
each having four full-time advocates. Working with these volunteers,
each dedicating 300 to 400 hours a year in Congressional watchdog
associations, this watchdog initiative would immediately
represent a majority of Americans. Within 36 months, with a
consequential election in 2018, our country would have comprehensive,
universal, affordable, simpler single payer (full Medicare for all),
saving lives, livelihoods and endless family anguish and fear.
Of course, the "very rich, enlightened person" Ralph Nader has in mind is Warren
Buffett. I wish this were true, but in fact I consider this rather
Then again, this is
a fine article that is recommended.
Martin Schulz Says Trump 'Far Worse' Than Expected
This article is by Florian Gathmann, Barbara Hans and Philip Wittrock
on Spiegel International. It starts as follows:
Unfortunately, this is nearly all Spiegel International publishes. Does
it believe most of its readers are so stupid and ignorant that
they can't thole articles that are longer than five Tweets? I
really don't know, but I am seeing that tendency on many
The following passages
have been excerpted from the interview with Martin Schulz DER SPIEGEL
published online on Thursday. The former president of the European
Parliament is running against Angela Merkel as the center-left Social
Democratic Party's chancellor candidate.
Before the U.S. election, you told us that as president of the United
States, Donald Trump would be "not only a problem for the EU, but also
for the entire world." You were right.
Schulz: It has
actually been far worse.
DER SPIEGEL: What
do you mean by that?
Schulz: It was
clear to me that the White House's solemn atmosphere would not civilize
Trump. But the merciless nepotism with which he conducts politics, in
which he places himself and his family above the law, I wouldn't have
considered that possible. And on top of that there is this reduction of
complex political decisions to 140 characters. When it comes to a U.S.
president, I consider the reduction of politics to a tweet to be truly
dangerous. Trump is a risk to his country and the entire world.
It also seems that many modern high school graduates can't properly
read, write or spell anymore...
I have warned for forty years against this, and also against
stunning lie (now
since forty years very intentionally spread by the
"University" of Amsterdam) that
knows that truth does not exist
which is a
fascistic lie that will enable any mass murder you like, and - see here and here, for example (and I also
learned that I am a fascist and a terrorist (already in 1988),
all according to the Stalinist fascists from the ASVA - but I
clearly totall failed: 95% of academic Dutchmen (tested in
university elections!!) much rather lie for their own
incomes, than speak the truth for science.
And now we live in pre-neofascistic times. Schulz is nominally right,
but he will not stop Trump nor neofascism.
Chomsky on How the United States Developed Such a Scandalous Health
This is by C.J. Polychroniou on Truth-out. Originally, it
was publsihed in January 2017, but is now repeated by Truth-out. It
starts as follows:
considerably more in the article, that is recommended. And I tried
finding it in January, but could not find it. There is a fine interview
with Chomsky here Explaining
the 'Collapse' That Gave Us Donald Trump that is also recommended.
Polychroniou: Article 25 of the UN Universal Declaration on Human
Rights (UDHR) states that the right to health care is indeed a human
right. Yet, it is estimated that close to 30 million Americans remain
uninsured even with the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(ACA) in place. What are some of the key cultural, economic and
political factors that make the US an outlier in the provision of free
Chomsky: First, it is important to remember that the US does
not accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- though in fact
the UDHR was largely the initiative of Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired
the commission that drafted its articles, with quite broad
The UDHR has
three components, which are of equal status: civil-political,
socioeconomic and cultural rights. The US formally accepts the first of
the three, though it has often violated its provisions. The US pretty
much disregards the third. And to the point here, the US has officially
and strongly condemned the second component, socioeconomic rights,
including Article 25.