1. To the Next U.S. President, the Unlimited Power to Spy,
Imprison and Kill
2. To Counter Trump and Far-Right, Labor Leaders
'Global New Deal'
Warning to Europe – How the TTIP Threatens Public
4. Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media
5. May 12: About me and ME
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, May 12,
is a crisis blog. It is a bit abnormal, for it consists of three crisis
items; one half crisis item (so to speak) and one non-crisis item: Item 1 is about the very
much extended powers of the American president (by both Bush Jr and
Obama) to wage war, spy, imprison and kill (but I don't quite agree
with the article); item 2
is about a demand for a global New Deal by labor leaders (I am sorry,
but I am skeptical: I have seen too many labor leaders - in Holland, is
true - I do not trust one bit); item 3 is about the
TTIP (which is even worse than painted in this article); item
4 is about a documentary from 1992 about Noam Chomsky that I found surprisingly
good; and item 5 is about me and ME mostly because
it is ME-day today (I ceased to believe in patients' organizations in
2010-11: Sorry, I am really too intelligent and I hate
being descriminated by the stupid and the ignorant for not
being stupid and ignorant, which is what happened to me and quite a few
others: Thank you, and bye, bye!).
1. To the Next U.S.
President, the Unlimited Power to Spy, Imprison and Kill
first item is by David Swanson
(<- Wikipedia) on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Remember when coups and assassinations
were secretive and presidents were obliged to go to Congress, tell lies
and ask permission to wage wars? Remember when torture, spying and
indefinite imprisonment were illicit, when issuing signing statements
to rewrite laws was rare, and when yelling “state secrets” to shut down
legal cases was considered abusive?
For over two centuries, it would have
been an outrage for the president to hold a meeting every Tuesday for
the sole purpose of going through a list of names and picking out which
men, women and children should be killed.
Those times are gone. By mutual consent
of those in power in Washington, D.C., all such resistance and outrage
is now firmly in the past. It would now be unfair and violate
established bipartisan precedent to deny the powers of unlimited
spying, imprisonment and killing to the next president of the United
Well ... I am 19 years older than Swanson
is, and I can assure him that the past I remember (from a real
leftist point of view ) was considerably
less rosy than he paints it. Then again, I agree that the
present is nothing to luxuriate about, simply because the very few who
are rich or are high in government have considerably
more powers than they did before 2001, and they use it mostly to
further extend the riches of the very rich and the powers of the very
few who are high in the U.S. government.
It seems that the article is mostly about the following recent book:
Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program,” a
new book from Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, is terrific to
see—both for what it actually teaches us and even more because of what
it represents. These same reports from The Intercept have already
brought us the same details online—details that fit a pattern of
similar revelations that have trickled out through numerous sources
over the years. The truly encouraging part is that a media outlet is
reporting on the dangerous expansion of presidential and governmental
power and framing its concerns in a serious way.
Yes indeed - except that I would not
have put it as the last statement in the quote puts it. In fact, the
journalists of The Intercept are doing their duties as
investigative journalists, and it is very discouraging that so
few journalists in
the main media do.
There is this advice for those who read "The Assassination Complex", which is
probably sound, and that is quoted here especially because of its
I recommend starting “The Assassination
Complex” by first reading Glenn Greenwald’s afterword. In it, Greenwald
reminds us of some of Senator and Candidate Obama’s statements in favor
of restoring the rule of law and rejecting President George W. Bush’s
abuses. Yet what Candidate Obama called unacceptable at Guantanamo,
President Obama has not only continued at Guantanamo and elsewhere but
expanded into a program that focuses on murder without “due process”
rather than on imprisonment without “due process.”
“Somehow,” writes Greenwald, “it was
hideously wrong for George W. Bush to eavesdrop on and imprison
suspected terrorists without judicial approval, yet it was perfectly
permissible for Obama to assassinate them without due process
of any kind.” That is, in fact, a very generous depiction of the drone
murder program: “The Assassination Complex” documents that, at least
during one time period examined, “nearly 90 percent of the people
killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.”
“It is hard,” Greenwald writes, “to overstate the conflict between
Obama’s statements before he became president and his presidential
Quite so, and my own
reaction to Obama's gross deceit was - already in 2009 - to conclude
that really he was just another one in the long lists
of political "leftist" frauds I have seen
in my life. He has more charm than most; he may be a bit more
intelligent than many; but mainly he is a personal careerist who
expects to be made a mass-millionaire like the Clintons for the
services he did for the very rich, and who pronounced many lies in
order to be elected, indeed precisely as Greenwald said.
2. To Counter Trump and Far-Right,
Labor Leaders call for 'Global New Deal'
There is considerably more in the article, but I did not find it very
The second item is by
Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Concerned about the rise of right-wing
extremism and how it has preyed on the fears of working people across
the world, labor leaders from nearly a dozen countries met in
Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to declare the need for a "global New Deal"
to fight these forces.
Highlighting the unique position of the international labor movement to
combat extremism, labor representatives traveled from Belgium, Canada,
France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK to
strategize about how best to counter the appeal of far-right rhetoric
to voters frustrated by years of gross inequality and, instead, harness
that energy to advance workers' rights and values.
Hm. My father was a trade union leader
in the 1950ies and 1960ies, but he seems to have been radically
different from the more recent "trade union leaders" (in the
Netherlands, but these are mentioned in the quotation): He
worked as a housepainter (and indeed sometimes a strike was organized
got him such work), and with the very low salary housepainters got, and
besides he did lead a - far left - trade union (that did organize
In contrast, more modern "trade
union leaders" (like Wim Kok and Lodewijk de Waal) were simply lying careerists who
were hunting for the best jobs with the best incomes
(and Wim Kok also sold
out Dutch Labour and made it "a neoliberal" party circa 1995, became
prime minister, and currently earns a cool quartermillion a year
for a few days a year as adviser to bankmanagers: all very
profitable, for him).
So I trust modern trade union leaders
about as much as I trust professional politicians (left, right or
center): Hardly or not at all.
Besides, consider their "strategizing"
(?!) "how best to counter the appeal of
What about all the neoliberal bullshit
from "trade unions" and "Labour Parties" that I have heard since the
despicable Tony Blair grabbed power? How left is "the left" with
professional assholes who lead it while getting incomes in the highest
3%? Who get to be multi-millionaires?!
I say it isn't left anymore, it is mostly
"leftish neoliberal" which is in fact just contradictory baloney +
rightish trash. Then
again, I admit there is also this bit in the article:
Notably, Tuesday's panel placed "a
sizable share of the blame" on center-left parties' embrace of
neo-liberalism, HuffPo reports, which has "diminished the public's faith in the ability
of labor unions and progressive politics to deliver for them—paving the
way for far-right populism."
insist that the candidates and political parties we support back an
ambitious program for broad-based economic growth driven by rising
wages," declared Damon Silvers, director of policy at the AFL-CIO. "The
labor movement must demand that the politicians we support offer, in
place of neoliberalism and austerity, a global New Deal."
one thing, why did Silvers not specify
what he means when he speaks about "a global New Deal"? That cannot be
very difficult, since there is the New Deal, and global plans never
have many clauses or points.
For another thing, it seems to me that the
leaders are reacting to their loss of popularity rather than
clearly that "a neoliberal center-left party" is as contradictory
a term as are "honest Tony Blair" or "neofascistic left".
So overall my response to this initiative is negative:
Let them first speak honestly
about neoliberalism; let them first criticize the "left" that
turned neoliberal for personal gain of the leaders; let them
say what they mean by "a global New Deal" and perhaps then I'll
grow less negative.
As it is, I look upon the trade unions as
I look upon "the left": It was mostly
falsified quite intentionally in the 1990ies by the leaders of the
and the left (like Kok and Blair: both traitors to the real left), and
intentional falsification is publicly and clearly
rescinded, I am neither with the
"leftish" but not leftish parties, nor with the "leftist" but not
leftist trade unions.
First you have to cough up and spit
out Blair, Kok and the many neoliberal traitors who followed them; second,
you have to reinstitutionalize something
Warning to Europe – How the
TTIP Threatens Public Health Care and Pensions
like a credible anti-capitalist anti-neoliberal plan; and maybe
then I might
start to consider whether you are credible or merely head large
while having large incomes that you are trying to save.
The third item is by Michael
Hudson (<- Wikipedia) on Naked Capitalism:
From the beginning:
America’s Obamacare and health
insurance laws have been written by political lobbyists for special
interests. So has the TTIP (..). Since George W. Bush, the U.S.
Government has been prohibited from bargaining for low bulk prices from
the pharmaceutical companies. Most Americans think that Health
Management Organizations (HMOs) are rife with corruption and billing
fraud. The insurance sector has made a killing by spending a great deal
of money on bureaucratic techniques to reject patients who seem likely
to require expensive health care. Doctors need to hire specialists
working full time just to fill out the paperwork. Error is constant,
and any visit to the doctor, even for a simple annual checkup, requires
many hours by most patients on the phone with their insurance company
to correct over-billing.
I do not know how correct the last
bit is (I suppose it is), but I do know about the TTIP
and it is horrible.
Here is some about its genesis:
To put this in terms that, although they are
probably not politically correct, at least are somewhat clear:
The TTIP is so awful because it is in fact a proposal of neofascism
that hands over all relevant economic powers states have to the
CEOs of the multi-national organizations and their lawyers, who
both wrote the neofascistic TTIP and will handle the
The agreement has been drawn up in
secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as
a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to
see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful
that it could never be approved by voters. That is why the lobbyists
for banks, insurance companies, drug companies, oil and gas companies
and other special interests that wrote the law are trying to bypass
democratic government and going directly to Brussels – and in the
United States to the Executive Branch of government.
The aim of the TTIP is to replace the
application of national laws with special courts of referees nominated
by the special interests. This includes the organization of health
care. Last week Britain’s main labor union, Unite, warned that the TTIP
would mean that the National Health Service would have to be wound down
Here is some more on these "court"-cases:
A salient goal of TTIP is to
shadow the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), an
instrument of public international law granting firms the right to
raise an action in a tribunal on the basis that a state’s policies have
harmed their commercial interests. … The economist Max Otte has called ISDS ‘a complete
disempowerment of politics’. The tribunals are confidential, as is
usual in arbitration. Negotiations over ISDS within TTIP are also
secret, the aim being to get the ink dry on the agreement before it can
provoke opposition by being made public.
In brief, the TTIP is by far the most
neofascistic plan I have ever read (in small part, because I
and nearly everyone belongs to the sub-humans whom the
neofascists deny the right to know their plans).
There is a lot more in the article, that is recommended.
4. Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media
The fourth item is by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick, and is a 1992 docu-
mentary about Noam Chomsky:
I decided yesterday to watch
this documentary that is now 24 years old, that
also takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to see all of (which is very
me: I tend to switch off documentaries far sooner) but I was
- This is a well made and quite
interesting documentary, that was well thought out and well filmed.
- It clarifies rather a lot about Noam
Chomsky's attitudes and values, and
is still quite actual.
- Most of the sub-themes still
hold (as do Chomsky's references), while
the main theme - Propaganda - is more appropriate than ever
(for it has grown much in power, reach and dishonesty)
So I warmly recommend
that you watch this documentary: Unless you know a very great amount
about and from Chomsky, it will teach you some things, and it does so
in a well-designed manner.
5. May 12:
About me and ME
The fifth and
last item today does not have a link, and is in fact copied from 2015. Here it is:
item today is not an article. Today - you may not know - is International
M.E. day. [See May 12, 2013 for
more, in case you are interested.]
The addition of 2016 is this:
I know because I have
the disease for 37 years now, which I
almost completely without any help and in the ordinary dole,
the Amsterdam bureaucracy has for 31 years refused to admit
that I am
ill - even though my illness started in the first full year of
university studies, and even though I got a B.A. in philosophy and an
M.A. in psychology, all with straight As (which was very rare
then), indeed also while being ill in the
Then again, I should
also say that I have totally given up on writing
about M.E. (apart from the protocol I use) even though I still have it,
and am much handicapped by it.
The reasons are - in
the end - mostly that since between 1995 and 2005
something like (at least) a tenthousandfold more "authors and
writers" appeared, thanks to the powers of computers, nearly all of
whom are totally anonymous, quite stupid, unable to
write clearly about anything whatsoever, and most of whom are
fanatically concerned with their own (anonymous) standing, while
feeling free to contradict or doubt anything anyone may have written
who happens to know more or think better than they do. 
I am sorry: I was ill
and helpless in the thirty years from
but I was not - apart from Amsterdam authorities - discriminated.
That started only when I started writing for Phoenix Forums (for people
with M.E.), and not only to me, but to anyone whose IQ
was clearly higher than 110.
Since both my IQ and
my education are a lot better than those
of the great majority I do give up, at least until there is a
medical explanation for M.E.
I also am a whole lot happier since giving up all the anonymous
assholes "with M.E." in 2011 (nearly 5 years ago!) for I do not
want to be discriminated for being more intelligent than those
who criticized me, but that seems the proud norm on Phoenix
Rising, for it did not only happen to me, but it happened to almost
everyone who was clearly more intelligent than the average and who
had something interesting to say. 
 My leftist point of view is real,
leftist and much
informed, because I studied both philosophy and psychology and got excellent
degrees (only As) in spite of being ill all the time, and
parents and grandparents were - real, intelligent, though not
educated - communists or anarchists (which means that the leftism in my
family dates back to the 1880ies, in fact).
And because it is real and much informed, I know that most (not:
all) that passes for "leftist" these days - Clinton, Blair, Kok, and very
many more professional well-earning politicians and trade union leaders
- are not leftist at all, but are neoliberal
rightists, whose "leftism" consists only of politically
correct phrases that aim at their reelections (when
this was the case),
but who are otherwise as "leftist" as are the multi-millionaires that
Therefore I insist that most of the political left I have known
until 1995 or so
differed fundamentally from "the political
left" that followed Clinton, Blair and Kok, that was not left
or leftish at all, but belonged to the neoliberal right (and
made Clinton and Blair multi-millionaires, which was why they went into
politics: For their power and for their money,
precisely as the neoliberals teach).
 Incidentally, when I write "neofascism" it means
that I have thought about it and written about it: More
than 1200 Nederlogs since 1.ix.2008, for example.
I do not use the term to scold; I use the term because it seems
the best to indicate what is happening.
And what is happening is an enormous power grab by the right,
that has been brewing since
the early 1970ies, and that meanwhile has had many
successes, i.a. expressed by the fact that in real terms
85% to 90% of the ordinary Americans have not gained any
1980, and many have lost a lot; and i.a. expressed by the fact that the
Wall Street bankers can do and fraud and deceive and enrich themselves
as they please without running any risk of legal
prosecution "because they are too big to fail".
from 2015:] Incidentallly:
I am less complaining about the treatment I got
know I am arrogant) as about the treatment others got, about
which I am quite certain that it was mostly directed against
their clearly being more
intelligent than most. Well... having seen that, I was, am, and
will be out. If being more intelligent than most is a ground for
discrimination, and it was, I do not fit in.