from April 25, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from April 25, 2018
1. Why the DNC Is Fighting WikiLeaks and Not Wall Street
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:
2. Wall Street Admits Curing Diseases Is Bad For
3. 'The Evidence Suggests Trump Is a Traitor':
David Cay Johnston
4. New Study Shows Melting Ice Could Spell
Disaster Faster Than
5. "A Complete Disaster": Noam Chomsky on Trump and the
Future of US
the DNC Is Fighting WikiLeaks and Not Wall Street
article is by Norman Solomon on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Exactly 200 days before the crucial midterm
that will determine whether Republicans maintain control of Congress,
the Democratic National Committee filed a 66-page lawsuit that surely
cost lots of money and energy to assemble.
In fact, I think - like Solomon
- that this lawsuit looks like a fraud: The
will not be touched at all by the outcomes of American
legal processes, and the same holds for Trump and his
operatives, at least as long as Trump is president.
Announced with a flourish by
DNC Chair Tom Perez, the civil
lawsuit—which reads like a partisan polemic wrapped in
legalisms—sues the Russian government, the Trump campaign and
operatives, as well as WikiLeaks and its founding editor, Julian
To emphasize that “this is a
patriotic—not partisan—move,” Perez’s
announcement of the lawsuit on April 20 quoted one politician,
Republican Sen. John McCain, reaching for the hyperbolic sky: “When you
attack a country, it’s an act of war. And so we have to make sure that
there is a price to pay, so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians
to stop these kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy.”
So in fact the only one who is really
attacked by the DNC is Julian
Assange (who presently does not even have internet), while the
quote the DNC took from McCain seems pretty crazy, because he
completely confuses real attacks
and verbal attacks,
and indeed makes verbal attacks and disagreements a reason to
style those who disagree (with him) as enemies of democracy -
which is out and out totalitarian,
in Orwell´s and my sense, but not in the - sick - Wikipedia´s
sense, which has redefined the term so that it means only what
Brzezinski chose to mean by it.
Here is more on the DNC lawsuit:
In brief: The DNC is
trying to mask or to deny ¨its fealty to Wall Street or [its] overall
failure to side with
working-class voters against economic elites¨ and does by screaming about Russia.
The DNC’s lawsuit amounts
to doubling down on its fixation
of blaming Russia for the Democratic Party’s monumental 2016 loss, at a
time when it’s essential to remedy the failed approaches that were
major causes of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the first place. Instead of
confronting its fealty to Wall Street or overall failure to side with
working-class voters against economic elites, the Democratic National
Committee is ramping up the party leadership’s 18-month fixation on
Russia Russia Russia.
I think that is wholly correct. Here is more:
The most unprincipled part
of the lawsuit has to do with its
targeting of Assange and WikiLeaks. That aspect of the suit shows that
the DNC is being run by people whose attitude toward a free
press—ironically enough—has marked similarities to Donald Trump’s.
Early in his presidency, Trump
proclaimed that news media are “the enemy of the American people.”
Of course, he didn’t mean all media, just the outlets providing
information and analysis he doesn’t like.
What Perez and the DNC crew
are now promoting via the
lawsuit is also harmful, though more camouflaged. The lawsuit’s key
arguments against WikiLeaks are contrary to the First Amendment, and
they could be made against major U.S. newspapers. Unauthorized
disclosures are common, with news outlets routinely reporting on
information obtained from leaks, hacks and various forms of theft.
I think that is also
mostly correct. Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
Yes indeed. And this is a recommended
In view of the national
Democratic Party’s deference
to corporate power, we might see why the DNC is taking the current
approach. It would be a much steeper uphill challenge to actually
champion the interests of most Americans—which would require taking on
Wall Street, a key patron of both major political parties.
Nor would it be easy for
the Democratic Party to advocate
for U.S.-Russia détente that could reduce the risks of nuclear
conflagration. Such advocacy would enrage the kingpins of the
military-industrial cartel complex as well as most of the
corporate-owned and corporate-advertised news media.
How much easier it is to
make some political hay by
targeting Russia with a civil lawsuit. How much more convenient it is
to show utter
contempt for the First Amendment by suing Julian Assange and
Street Admits Curing Diseases Is Bad For Business
article is by Lee Camp
on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Goldman Sachs has outdone
itself this time. That’s saying a lot for an investment firm that both
helped cause and then exploited a global economic meltdown, increasing
its own wealth and power while helping to boot millions of Americans out
of their homes.
But now Goldman Sachs is
openly saying in financial reports that curing people of terrible
diseases is not good for business.
In fact, I think I am
considerably less shocked by Goldman Sachs´s behavior than Lee Camp
(who also is thirty years younger than I am).
And my reason is Milton Friedman
1962, but this seem to have
norm for Friedman): Profit and only
profit, of private individuals
running private corporation without any
to anyone. Here is Friedman:
could so thoroughly undermine the very foundation of our free society
as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility
other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.
This is a fundamentally subversive doctrine. If businessmen do have a
social responsibility other than making maximum profits for
stockholders, how are they to know what it is? Can self-selected
private individuals decide what the social interest is?"
- we got no
responsibility whatsoever except
enlarging our own profits - is one
the reasons I think Friedman was a neofascist,
in my sense. And indeed
private individuals" cannot "decide what the social
interest is" then no one
can. Besides, the
also are "self-selected
and they do understand what their "social interests"
are: Their own
interests and no one else's, precisely as Friedman put it.
In fact, I think I can logically deduce from Friedman´s ¨norm¨
would be much for keeping people ill, or indeed killing them, if only
were profitable. And keeping people
ill (while you can cure them) is an
assured way of making profits from medicines, so
Friedman ought to have
been strongly for keeping people ill (if this is profitable).
Here is more by Camp:
As I have just explained,
Salveen Richter could have quoted Milton Friedman. Here is more by Camp:
In a recent report, a
asked clients: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?”
Salveen Richter wrote:
“The potential to deliver ‘one-shot cures’ is one of the most
attractive aspects of gene therapy. … However, such treatments offer a
very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic
therapies. … While this proposition carries tremendous value for
patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome
medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”
Yes, a Goldman analyst has
said outright that curing people will hurt their cash flow. And he said
that in a note designed to steer clients away from investing in cures.
Can “human progress” have a bottom?
This analyst note is one of
the best outright examples I’ve ever seen of how brutal our market
economy is. In the past, this truth would not have been spoken. It
would’ve lived deep within a banker’s soul and nowhere else. It
would’ve been viewed as too repulsive for the wealthy elite to say, “We
don’t want to cure diseases because that will be bad for our wallet. We
want people to suffer for as long as possible. Every suffering human
enriches us a little bit more.”
In fact, I doubt
simply because Milton Friedman implied the same, in 1962 - and he
much embraced for it, at least by ¨the right¨.
Here is more by Camp:
rule implies that if more sick imply more profits for your firm, you
ought to try to make more sick, and Friedman would also insist that
that is your only ¨social
And believe it or not, the
Goldman note gets even worse. The analyst
says, “In the case of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C,
curing existing patients also decreases the number of carriers able to
transmit the virus to new patients. …”
Decreases the number of
carriers? Goldman Sachs … is in a financial partnership … with fucking
Let that sink in. Sit with
that and decide whether you want to keep your seat on spaceship earth.
Here is a sum-up by Camp:
They aren’t even
trying to cure infectious diseases that make them piles of cash.
Instead, the moneyed interests are complaining to their clients that
they need to avoid curing these diseases. Because not only do they lose
money on the patient who no longer needs meds, they also lose money
because that patient won’t pass the disease onto others.
I agree, but
Friedman has been here before, in 1962: If killing people makes a
profit for your firm, you ought to kill them; if making people ill
makes a profit for your firm, you ought to make them ill, for profit
and only profit is the only thing that counts (for the rich). And
is a recommended article.
Evidence Suggests Trump Is a Traitor': Pulitzer-winning Reporter David
article is by Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It
starts as follows:
The saga of President
Donald Trump consists of several parallel and intersecting stories.
There is the structural
dimension. Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton was not entirely
unpredictable or shocking. America's crisis in civic literacy,
political polarization, rampant anti-intellectualism, deeply embedded
sexism and racism, greed, broken schools and weakened democratic
institutions, as well as a hollowed-out public sphere where people
confuse celebrity with human worth made the election someone like Trump
There is Donald Trump the
man, who seems to revel in the very worst human values. His closest
family members -- including his father and grandfather -- taught him
the "value" of unrepentant greed and ambition. He also displays the
symptoms of malignant narcissism, as well as sociopathy.
I do not quite agree with
DeVega on Trump, but I let that pass. As the title says, basically this
is an interview with David Cay
Johnston, and this was a link in case you want to know more.
Then there is this in the
I think this is mostly
correct. Here is more:
How was Donald
Trump able to defeat Hillary Clinton and win the White House?
Well, a series of events
came together. First of all, Hillary Clinton had a lot of baggage and
as Donna Brazile's book “Hacks” shows, she ran a poor campaign and did
not listen to the advice of people who told her she needed to pay
attention to what Trump was doing.
Secondly, the Republican
challengers were a clown car of utterly unqualified people, which meant
his lack of qualifications was not so noticeable. The one qualified
candidate in that field was John Kasich.
Next, Donald ran on an
economic platform that on the surface spoke to inequality and
frustration. For example, in 2012, the bottom 90 percent of the
Americans reported a smaller income than in 1967. Donald tapped into
that problem, but he’s a con artist who promised to drain the swamp and
then stocked it with swamp monsters.
Another factor was the utter
failure of journalists to vet Donald Trump.
I say, which I do because
I did not know several things in the first paragraph quoted
You have studied
and written about Donald Trump for three decades. What does the public
need to know about his background to understand his behavior as
Here are the key things
people should know about Donald Trump. He comes from a family of
criminals: His grandfather made his fortune running whorehouses in
Seattle and in the Yukon Territory. His father, Fred, had a business
partner named Willie Tomasello, who was an associate of the Gambino
crime family. Trump's father was also investigated by the U.S. Senate
for ripping off the government for what would be the equivalent of $36
million in today's money. Donald got his showmanship from his dad as
well as his comfort with organized criminals.
I think it is very
important for religious Americans to know that Donald Trump says that
his personal philosophy of life is revenge. He has called anyone who
turns the other cheek -- which is a fundamental teaching of Christ in
the Sermon on the Mount -- a fool, an idiot or a schmuck.
And I think myself that ¨religious Americans¨ who voted for
not very relevant, simply because most are stupid or ignorant or
are fond wishful
thinkers, but I admit that Johnston is right in taking
them serious simply because there are so many of them.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this interview (and it is David
Cay Johnston who is talking):
elections are the most important American elections since the Civil
War, and I'm including 1932.
I completely agree
the first paragraph, and mostly with the second, and this is a
Based just on normal
historic averages, the Republicans should lose control of the House by
about four seats. They should lose control of the Senate as well,
although the map is pretty awful for the Democrats. If Republicans
retain control then I believe what will happen over time is that
someone who shares Trump's dictatorial and authoritarian tendencies but
doesn't have his baggage -- someone who is a competent manager and just
as charismatic -- will eventually arise and you can kiss your
individual liberties goodbye. That will take time but it's the trend we
are heading towards.
Study Shows Melting Ice Could Spell Disaster Faster Than Previously
article is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Bolstering concerns that so-called "feedback
loops" should be considered a legitimate and serious concern, a new
study shows that a worrying hypothesis put out just three years ago
about the impacts of melting Antarctic ice may already have started
In a paper published
in Science Advances, researchers at the University of
Tasmania and other institutions found that the melting of Antarctica's
glaciers has begun to trigger a "feedback loop" in which that melting's
effects on the oceans cause even more ice sheets to deteriorate, and so
Chris Mooney of the Washington
Post described the feedback loop phenomenon as "one of the most
worrisome predictions about climate change" in an article
about the findings.
"What we found is not only
a modeling study but is something that we observed in the real ocean,"
Alessandro Silvano, one of the researchers, told the Post.
"Our study shows for the
first time actual evidence of this mechanism. Our study shows that it
is already happening."
In fact, I have
been - occasionally: there are many things one can rationally
worry about - worrying about feedback loops ever since I read the
Limits to Growth¨ in 1972/3.
Then again, I seem to
know more about feedback loops than Conley or Mooney: There is no
need to put the term between quotes, and the whole idea is more than a
hundred years old (at least).
And this I also knew in
1972/3. Then again, as the above quotation makes clear (to some
extent), there is a particular kind of feedback loop busy that
make Antarctic ice melt considerably faster:
As Common Dreams
reported in 2015, NASA climate scientist James Hansen first raised
concerns about the feedback loop then. As the Post
reports, Hansen explained that the melting of glaciers would create
fresh water, blocking cold salt water from sinking to the bottom of the
ocean and protecting the ice shelves from melting:
When cold surface water
no longer sinks into the depths, a deeper layer of warm ocean water can
travel across the continental shelf and reach the bases of glaciers,
retaining its heat as the cold waters remain above. This warmer water
then rapidly melts the glaciers and the large floating ice shelves
connected to them.
The continuous melting
cycle could soon begin to cause rapidly-rising sea levels and
destructive hurricanes and other storms.
"That would mean loss of
all coastal cities, most of the world's large cities and all their
history," said Hansen when his paper on the feedback loop theory was released.
Quite so. Then
this will probably take several tens of years, so ordinary people
to pay absolutely no attention whatsoever, just as they did
when the ¨The Limits
to Growth¨ were
Anyway: this is a
Complete Disaster": Noam Chomsky on Trump and the Future of US Politics
article is by C.J. Polychroniou on Truthout. It starts as follows:
Just how bad are
things with Donald Trump in the White House? And what does having a
racist, misogynist, xenophobic and erratic president who continues to
enjoy unquestionable support from his base tell us about the state of
US politics and the dangers to the future of democracy in the US and in
the world on the whole? Noam Chomsky shares his thoughts on these and
other related questions in an exclusive interview with C. J.
Polychroniou for Truthout.
indeed, and as usual with the interviews of Polychroniou that I have
read, it is a good interview. I will quote four bits from it,
is much more in the interview (that you can get by clicking the
Also, in the quoted bits that follow all quoted bits that are not in
bold are Chomsky´s. Here is the first bit:
Polychroniou: (...) But,
really, how bad is it having Trump in the White House?
Very bad. As Trump began
his second year in office, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced
their Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, citing increasing
concerns over nuclear weapons and climate change. That's the closest it
has been to terminal disaster since 1953, when the US and USSR exploded
thermonuclear weapons. That was before the release of Trump's Nuclear
Posture Review, which significantly increases the dangers by lowering
the threshold for nuclear attack and by developing new weapons that
increase the danger of terminal war.
On climate change, Trump is
a complete disaster, along with the entire Republican leadership. Every
candidate in the Republican primaries either denied that what is
happening is happening or said ... we shouldn't do anything about it.
And these attitudes infect the Republican base. Half of Republicans
deny that global warming is taking place, while 70 percent say that
whether it is or not, humans are not responsible. Such figures would be
shocking anywhere, but are remarkably so in a developed country with
unparalleled resources and easy access to information.
Also, while I agree
that the opinions of the Republicans mentioned above are indeed crazy
or ¨shocking¨, simply because they totally contradict real science, I
think I may be a bit more specific on the causes of this ¨shocking¨ craziness ¨in a developed country with unparalleled
resources and easy access to information¨:
I think there are three
or four important underlying causes: stupidity,
thinking and the - utterly sick - thesis that there simply
is no truth,
which means that everything in the end only depends on wishful
and not on real information, real
knowledge, or real science.
And incidentally: The
asocial media like Facebook, with several billions of members, have
given something like 2 billion people the possibility to publish their
usually complete ignorance
of real science and the wishful
they hold to be real.
Here is more Chomsky:
When we turn to matters of
great though lesser import, the conclusion is the same: disaster. While
Trump's antics occupy the attention of the media, his associates in
Congress have been working intensively to advance the interests of
their actual constituency -- extreme wealth and corporate power --
while dismantling what is of value to the general population and future
Yes indeed, I think
that is also wholly correct, as is the following, which I
selected because it is a bit slogan-like, unlike most of what
writes or says, and indeed he also is dealing with a slogan:
In general, "make
America great" means great at destroying, and that's where the
greatness ends. It's by no means entirely new, but is now raised to a
higher level and becoming a matter of principle.
Yes indeed. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this fine interview:
overall sense about Trumpism? What is it really all about, and do you
think Trumpism is showing us the future of right-wing politics in the
I mostly agree, but I may
be more pessimistic
about the Democrats than Chomsky, indeed in
considerable part because the ¨managers¨ of the Democrats are lavishly
funded by bankers and mostly do what these bankers want,
while the ¨growing
activist social democratic base¨ lacks both the power and the money
get the power (and risk being abused again in the way Hillary
abused Bernie Sanders in 2015-16).
one of many manifestations of the effects of the neoliberal policies of
the past generation. These have led to extreme concentration of wealth
along with stagnation for the majority. There have been repeated
crashes of the deregulated financial institutions, each worse than the
last. Bursting bubbles have been followed by huge public bailouts for
the perpetrators while the victims have been abandoned. Globalization
has been designed to set working people throughout the world in
competition with one another while private capital is lavished with
benefits. Democratic institutions have eroded.
The real surprise in the
election was the Sanders campaign, which broke with a long tradition of
pretty much bought elections, and was stopped only by machinations of
the Obama-Clinton party managers. The Democratic Party is now split
between the donor-oriented New Democrat managers and a growing activist
social democratic base.
But there is considerably more in the interview that is strongly
have now been
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).