May 9, 2019

On The Crisis Series: Part 4 + Selections + Changes in Nederlog

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



1. Summary
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from May 9, 2019
   B. Changes in Nederlog

This is a Nederlog of Thursday, May 9, 2019.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:

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.

On the moment and since more than three years (!!!!) I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and I shall continue.

2. Crisis Files

A. Selections from May 9, 2019:

The indented text under each link is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
1. On The Crisis Series in Nederlog: Part 4
2. Unless Democrats Refute the Myth of a "Good Economy," Trump
     Likely to Win Second Term
3. Billion Dollar Loser: NYT Report on Trump’s Taxes & Massive Losses

B. Changes in Nederlog

              a. Why I want to do fewer crisis items

1. On The Crisis Series in Nederlog: Part 4

Well... I may have been ¨a little quick¨ the last three days in On The Crisis Series, for - after nearly three days - Firefox seems to work again as it did before.

Then again (1) it took about three days for them to repair the massive faults they made, and (2) my remarks in On The Crisis Series do report my genuine feelings, and also (3) while Firefox is presently working - more or less - decently again, I was sketching the near future of the internet, I am rather certain.

Also, I will change Nederlog, although I now can read most of the 35 files I have been reading the last 6 years (again) as I want to read them, that is, without obvious sick lies that are asserted to be ¨advertisements¨, and also without being nearly everywhere ¨invited¨ to sign in for advertisements and Google, or else to drop completely dead.

For a bit more, see below.

2. Unless Democrats Refute the Myth of a "Good Economy," Trump Likely to Win Second Term

This article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

Many in the mainstream media are telling us that the “good economy” favors Trump in 2020, and the Democrats are mostly mum on the subject, with Nancy Pelosi and the neoliberals hoping an anti-Trump campaign will win the day in the next election.

But simply running against Trump won’t work.  Democrats have to refute the myth of a “good economy,” then talk about what they’re for, what their values are, and what they are going to do for the American people. Sadly, the party’s leadership seems loathe to advocate progressive values, and incapable of explaining why the economy isn’t so great.

The reason an anti-Trump campaign won’t work is because the 2020 election will be determined by turnout. Anything less than 60 percent risks a Trump victory; and failing to embrace the progressive values embraced by the majority of Americans will likely keep turnout below that.

I think this is mostly correct, although I am not certain of the last statement - but then again, I may also be overestimating the intelligence of the average American voter.

Here is some more:

This gets us close to the giant fallacy the press and both parties are ignoring – GDP, job growth, and the stock market don’t tell us much about individual welfare.  For example, if you put Jeff Bezos and 1,000 other people with zero net worth in a room, they’d all be millionaires on average.  And that’s essentially what we’re doing nationally, and we have been for some time now.  For example, between 1980 and 2015, the top .01 percent saw their income rise by 322 percent, while income for the bottom 90 percent rose by just .03 percent.

Yes indeed - and incidentally 322 : .03 = 10,733 (!!). Incidentally, 100 : .01 = 10,000.
And this again shows that almost all the riches go to the very richest - since 35 years.

Here is some more:

Having a job is one thing.  Having a job that affords a decent quality of life is quite another, and fewer and fewer Americans have that.  Until recently, workers haven’t had a raise for going on four decades.  Wages finally started to go up under Obama, and they’ve continued to, but not enough to put a dent in the effects of decades of stagnation. For example, in April and March, the increases were a measly 6 cents and 4 cents respectively for the entire month. Meanwhile, corporations and the one percent are still walking away with a grossly disproportionate share of wealth.

Quite so. Here is some more on what I tend to call the centrist Democrats:

As Cohen put it, Davos Democrats are:

            … the network of elites whose economic and cultural prescriptions came to be seen by myriad voters across the United States and Europe as camouflage for a self-serving heist.

And with good reason.  The neoliberals in charge of the Democratic Party pay lip service to progressive policies around election time but govern for the elite, special interests, corporations and the rich.  And yes, Republicans are worse, but at the end of the day, too many voters seem inclined to punish hypocrisy more than straight out economic hooliganism. This means that more of those who would support Democrats are prone to stay home if Democrats present them with another centrist candidate like Hillary on election day.  Yet that’s exactly what the party leaders, the elite media, and the rest of the party old guard are doing – fostering a centrist candidate like Joe Biden (..)
Yes, I think that is quite true. Here is the ending of this article:

We’re living with the lessons of 2016, and they threaten to destroy the country.  Yet somehow, that’s not enough to convince Pelosi and the rest of the neoliberal crew to run a campaign based on values like fairness, equity, economic justice, protecting our climate, assuring that democracy isn’t co-opted by corporate cash, or constraining the wretched excesses of capitalism so that the people can get a piece of the pie.

Instead, the people within the party advocating these things are getting marginalized; the policies that might actualize them are getting labeled as a dream; proposals to get corporate money out of elections are being rejected; and tax and fiscal policies that attack the injustices of capitalism are being ignored.

The only way Trump can win is to keep turnout low.  The Davos Democrats are doing everything in their power to oblige him.

I think this is quite true and this is a strongly recommended article.

3. Billion Dollar Loser: NYT Report on Trump’s Taxes & Massive Losses

This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts with the following introduction:

We look at a major exposé from The New York Times, which obtained tax information on Donald Trump that shows his businesses lost $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994. While Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994 show that in multiple years during that stretch, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the country and paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years. “Almost every two cents of every dollar reported as losses one year, by everyone in the United States, were recorded by Donald Trump,” notes our guest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter previously with the Times, now founder and editor of DC He has been reporting on Donald Trump since the 1980s and his new piece for the Daily Beast is headlined “Trump’s Tax Leak Hints at Potential Fraud Investigations.”

I say, for I knew about this as little as most people. Also, as I have said before, I like David Cay Johnston.

Here is some more, with some backgrounds to the above news:

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. In a major exposé, The New York Times has obtained tax information on Donald Trump that shows his businesses lost more than a billion dollars from 1985 to 1994. While Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, The Times obtained printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts for a 10-year period ending in ’94. In multiple years during that stretch, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the United States. In both 1990 and ’91, Trump lost more than $250 million, more than double any other individual U.S. taxpayer, according to IRS documents. In eight of the 10 years, Trump paid no federal income taxes.

To unpack these revelations, we are joined from Rochester, New York, by David Cay Johnston, the twice Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formally with The New York Times, now founder and editor of DCReport.org_. He has been reporting on Donald Trump since the 1980s. His most recent book—_It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.

Here is some more:

AMY GOODMAN: So talk about exactly what has been exposed. He lost more than a billion dollars, more than any U.S. taxpayer?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Yes. Almost two cents of every dollar reported as losses one year by everyone in the United States were reported by Donald Trump. And what this shows is something I’ve been saying and writing about Trump for 30 years: he is a terrible businessman. His business model is not to get an enterprise, to nurture it, to grow it, to make it more profitable over time. His business model is the same as a mob bust-out. Get your hands on an enterprise, squeeze all the cash out of it, don’t pay your vendors, try to cheat as best you can your employees, don’t pay the bankers—and Trump once said, “I borrowed money knowing I wouldn’t pay it back”—and then leave the carcass and go on to the next deal.
Donald is, after Bernie Madoff, arguably the greatest wealth destroyer in American history.

I think that is correct. Here is some more:

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: But more importantly, Donald Trump held himself out as this great dealmaker, this genius businessman. He pushed himself into the front of the pantheon of the economic heroes who were lionized in the '80s for making money without any regard to how they made it, when he didn't belong in their league at all. To those of us who have been covering him closely and not buying at the surface what he says but checking the facts, the broad story here isn’t true. The size of the losses, however, is stupendous. Much larger than I ever imagined.

Yes - and this is also one of the quite many reasons why I think Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder.

Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: And I would point out that this was during or right after the period when we know that Donald Trump was very deeply entangled with the international cocaine trafficker Joseph Wexelbaum. So deeply entangled and did so many favors for him that I’ve said, and I’ll say again, the only logical explanation for his conduct is that Donald was in the cocaine trafficking business with Joe Wexelbaum. And Donald, if you’re listening, sue me if you think you can prove what I just said isn’t true.

I say! And this is a strongly recommended article.
Changes in Nederlog

Why I want to do fewer crisis items

Fundamentally, there are three reasons:

1. I don´t think the crisis series-as-was, from June 10, 2013 till May 5, 2019, made much of a
    difference to anyone, while it did take considerable trouble to write, and
2. meanwhile I am 69, and
3. I do want to write some other items in Nederlog.

What I´ll continue to do is to read the 35 sites I have been reading daily since 2013, but as I just said, I will do considerably less writing about what I´ve read - which will save me several hours each day, that I now can use for doing other things.

Then again, since I have been writing the crisis series for nearly six years, and also want to keep commenting sometimes on important political changes and events, it will not completely
disappear from Nederlog.

[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that 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.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 3 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).

The only 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 (!!).
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