Prev-IndexNL-Next

Nederlog

Jan 18, 2017
Crisis: Manning Released, Taibbi On Trump, Pilger On Us, VIPS, Obama & Clinton
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction   

1. President Obama Commutes Prison Sentence For Chelsea
     Manning

2. Insane Clown President: Matt Taibbi Chronicles Election of
     "Billionaire Hedonist" Donald Trump

3. 
It’s Not About Trump, But Us
4.
Veteran U.S. Intelligence Officials Call for Russian ‘Hacking’
     Proof

5.
Bill Black: Obama Loved Austerity and the New Democrats
     Remain Addicted to It

Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of January 18, 2017. It may be that there will be no Nederlog tomorrow, because I have troubles with my teeth again.

This is a
crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about the - to me rather amazing, and I admit I was mistaken about this - news that Obama released Manning; item 2 is about a good interview with Matt Taibbi; item 3 is about an article by John Pilger who - correctly in my view - blames the voters for Trump's presidency rather thatn Trump; item 4 is about a - repeated - claim by (this time) no less than 23 former intelligence officials (for the most part) who insist - correctly, I think - that there is, as yet, no evidence whatsoever for the specific claims about Russian hacking that are supposed to have given Trump the presidency; and item 5 is about Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and shows neither was a progressive and both helped the rich very much.

As for today (January 18, 2017): My Dutch provider xs4all went wrong yet again, as they or some secret service have been doing most of the last year, while the Danish one.com is OK today...

My Dutch site more or less systematically shows the wrong date, and needs reloading several times (maybe even as many times as passed since the day they showed on the opening page of my site) to be impelled to show the right date (of today) and the right files. (Which are always there: You and I do not get them because someone is preventing that, which I think because it went OK for 20 years, and is extremely easy to do OK: What they are doing now - whoever it is - is far more complicated then doing the right thing correctly, as they have been doing from 1996-2015.)

And incidentally: I can get rid of "December 31 2015" in Denmark (which the provider regularly shows, much rather than the current date, although it meanwhile is 2017 and I published many
megabytes since 2015, also on every day) by (i) clicking on the rightmost globe, (ii) doing this again on the new screen, and then (iii) again on any central globe (... and I am deeply sorry, but this is the level of utter idiocy that I am now reduced to, either by my providers or by supermen from some secret service(s) from somewhere).

As to the Dutch site: You can get to today's date (in Nederlog) in three clicks: First on Sitemap (upper right); then in that on 2017 (in the Nederlog index); and then on the last item that index for 2017 shows.

Fnally, on this sorry subject:

This seems now the easiest way in which you can get my Nederlogs that have been served well for resp. 20 and 12 years. This is also the reason I consider everything that happens on my site now as intentional and illegal: I am sorry, but if I can't even get my own files on the same day after having uploaded them, something is awfully wrong somewhere, and not with me.

I have today attached the above message to the openings of both of my sites.

1. President Obama Commutes Prison Sentence For Chelsea Manning


The first item is by Alex Emmons on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:
President Obama has commuted the majority of the remaining prison sentence of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in military prison in 2013 for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks. Manning will be released on May 17 from Fort Leavenworth Military Prison, where she would otherwise have been detained until 2045.
I say! And I admit I was mistaken in this respect about Obama, and I say so because I have said I would admit it if it happened. Also, my congratulations to Manning, who surely deserved this (and in fact deserved no prison sentence whatsoever).

This is about what Manning did:
While serving as an army intelligence analyst, Manning sent hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic and military documents to Wikileaks, revealing, among other things, a dramatically higher civilian death count in Iraq and Afghanistan than the Pentagon revealed publicly, and the chilling video of a U.S. Apache helicopter gunning down journalists in central Baghdad.
And publishing these kinds of truths was not allowed by the US army nor by the majority of US politicians.

Here is one last bit quoted from this article:
Even with her sentence commuted, Manning will have spent more time in detention than anyone convicted of leaking to news organizations: Just over seven years. After being arrested in 2010, she endured 11 months of solitary confinement, and was repeatedly denied medical care for her gender dysphoria.
And here is a personal remark on why - as a psychologist of 66 - I can't take the "gender dysphoria" very seriously:

I am ill now since I was 28, with a real physical disease (that leaves me with far less energy than healthy persons) that has not been properly explained yet. Because that is the case, the vast majority of medical men and women have decided that I and 17 million others all over the world are not ill, and because we are not ill, according to them, they have decided we must be not sane.

None of us are judged individually: The years of our disease make no difference; the fact that my ex and I were first year students living on loans when we fell ill in the beginning of 1979 makes no difference; the fact that we both are still ill and both made excellent degrees in psychology while ill makes no difference; the fact that there are fine medical reports that say M.E. is a real physical disease makes no difference - all that matters "to official medicine" is that there are a few scarcely hardly sane psychiatrists [1] who are willing to affirm that 17 million people with a real disease are not really ill (after at most 140 years of real medical science) but are not sane [2], and should be treated by the psychiatrists, for lots of money for the psychiatrists , and that's sufficient to discriminate 17 million ill people.

In contrast, if I as a ten year old or so had said that my gender is wrong, I would have been taken quite seriously by a considerable number of medical men, and I would have had a decent chance of being operated upon; given other sexual organs; and given a lot of hormones.

I do not think the difference is fair, and while I do not blame Manning, who did very well in my opinion, I think much of medicine is fairly crazy, full of holes, and basically an ideology that decides who is ill and will be helped or not ill and won't be helped.

2. Insane Clown President: Matt Taibbi Chronicles Election of "Billionaire Hedonist" Donald Trump

The second item is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:
As a new study by Oxfam finds the world’s eight richest men control as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity, the group says it is concerned that wealth inequality will continue to grow following the election of Donald Trump, whose Cabinet members have a combined wealth of nearly $11 billion. We look at the rise of Trump, and those joining his administration, with award-winning Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi. His new book comes out today, titled "Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus."
I agree that it is both obscene and insane that mankind allows that a few individuals own tens of billions of dollars while close to a billion people are starving.

And since I have concluded that the ethics, morals and laws that are now quite common also do not object to these obscenities anymore [3], I decided that a minimal kind of socialism, which is based on the ethical, moral and legal rule that makes it absolutely impossible and very criminal to acquire more health or wealth in a year than 20 times as much as the poorest get. (See my "On Socialism" from 2015.)

I do insist that there is absolutely nothing against adoption of such a rule than the - very large - amounts of false propaganda by the few rich, whose private interests (to owe vastly more than anyone else; to exploit everyone mercilessly for their own profits) indeed are attacked with such an ethical and legal rule that aims at making it impossible that a very few get extremely rich because they are allowed to exploit the very many.

But I will not say more about this - well, except this: my proposal is fairly classically liberal socialism, but is explicitly based on ethical considerations rather than on a philosophy of history or a science of economics, which makes it different from most though not all classical socialisms - and turn to Matt Taibbi, after saying that I like the title of his book because I do think, as a psychologist, and in agreement with many other psychologists and psychiatrists, that Trump is insane: He has megalomania aka grandiose narcissism by psychiatrists. (There is good evidence for this proposition in the last link.)
AMY GOODMAN: (..) Yes, Matt Taibbi’s book is titled Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus. As this week, Friday, the inauguration of the 45th president, Donald Trump, is set, your thoughts, Matt Taibbi?

MATT TAIBBI: I mean, it’s unbelievable. I think this is an unprecedented crisis heading into an inauguration week. I think we never could have imagined that some—this last twist, at the end of what was already the craziest election season in history, with this Russia controversy and this sort of unparalleled intelligence crisis, in a way it’s actually kind of the perfect anti-ending to this, you know, incredible tragicomedy of the last couple years.

I agree, though I should add that a considerable part of my explanation is one that is consistently avoided by nearly all journalists: It is that large parts of the American voters, who anyway have for 50% an IQ that is maximally 100, are both stupid and ignorant. And I am very sorry, but I am a real intellectual; I think these facts are evidently relevant; and I think that the fact that they are hardly ever discussed by journalists is a sign of cowardice and dishonesty. (There is a journalist who does, in item 3.)

Then there is this:

MATT TAIBBI: (..) He’s a—you know, it was kind of hate at first sight, actually, when I first saw him on the campaign trail. He’s a fascinating, repellent, awful, epically horrible character. And in a way, it makes for this incredibly engrossing story to follow him. So, you know, I think that, to me, is what really stood out about this last year, is Trump himself, he is just such a unique figure in our time. He’s kind of the perfect foil to reflect everything that’s excessive and vulgar and disgusting and tasteless and cheap and greedy about American culture. He is the perfect mirror to reflect everything about our society.

Yes, I more or less agree - I do think Trump is repellent, awul and horrible, but he is not fascinating to me [4] - but once again, I also think that the best decent explanation for the fact that such a "repellent, awul and horrible" man gets elected is that there are vast amounts of Americans who do something as stupid and ignorant as electing such a man.

MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, and I think that was kind of a big oversight by a lot of the media. Trump—look, how do politicians get elected? There’s a very simple formula that people on both sides have followed for ages. They tell people that, you know, things are bad, and we’re going to give you somebody to blame. You know, on the right, they’ve traditionally pointed the fingers at minorities and foreigners. And on the left, we point at corporations, you know, the pharma companies, insurance companies, etc., etc.

Trump did all of those things. He appropriated all of those bogeymen, both the liberal and the conservative bogeymen, but he also made the campaign process itself a villain. He said, "These people, these reporters, these donors, these two entrenched political parties, they are against you." And unfortunately for us reporters, we were the only people from that particular group who were actually in the room during these events. So what he would do is he would say, "Look at these people. Look at these bloodsuckers. You know, they’ve never come so far for an event. And they didn’t want to come. They all said I was going to lose," etc., etc.
Yes, but the second paragraph implies - it seems to me - that Trump was a major liar also if I had not known that 70% of his statements that were checked were lies. [5] And he should not have attacked reporters as he did, not only because it isn't fair but because it isn't true: Most reporters and most editors of the mainstream media supported Trump.

Here is the truth about the drainer of the swamp: He extended the swamp to all of the USA:
MATT TAIBBI:  And then he turns around right after the election, and he brings five people from Goldman Sachs, or four ex-Goldmanites and a Goldman lawyer, into the White House. So this is, you know, your immediate, obvious contradiction in his campaign rhetoric. You know, he talked about draining the swamp, and the first thing he did is he filled it with people who were from that very company.
And this is the last bit, on the real winners of the present elections, and those of 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996 and 1992, who were never threatened with any dangers by Obama's Minister of Justice because "they were too big to fail" (which should have been: "too rich" instead of "too big"):
MATT TAIBBI: Right. And let’s be fair. Goldman has always had a major presence in government all over the world, not just in America. They’ve been presidents of the World Bank. They’ve been presidents of, you know, the EC Bank and Bank of Canada. You know, they head a lot of the Federal Reserve branches, etc., etc. But now it’s not just—it’s not just Mnuchin. It’s not just Bannon. There’s also Gary Cohn, who was the number two at Goldman Sachs behind Lloyd Blankfein. In fact, they were sort of co-heads of Goldman Sachs for all the relevant crisis years. Cohn is now the chief economic adviser to Donald Trump; he’s the head of the NEC. There’s Jay Clayton, who was Goldman’s lawyer. He worked for Sullivan & Cromwell, but he represented Goldman. Anthony Scaramucci, who’s another ex-Goldmanite, who is now a principal Trump adviser. So there’s at least—at least five high-ranking people already in the White House who have a relationship with Goldman Sachs. And again, this is a company that he specifically denounced during the campaign.
Yes indeed. There is considerably more in the interview, which is recommended.

3. It’s Not About Trump, But Us

The third item is by John Pilger (<-Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews:
This starts with the following introduction:
The looming inauguration of Donald Trump has led many on the “liberal/left” to vow eternal resistance but this fury has obscured the need for self-reflection on how “progressives” have lost their way, as John Pilger explains.
Yes indeed! The article starts thus:
On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward …,” say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”

And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.”

Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.
I say?! Well... it seems to me these writers either are quite crazy or quite corrupted by the promise of rich profits for themselves. Since it is quite unlikely there are so many crazy people, but rather easy, in the present world, to assume there are so many corrupt people, I'll adopt the second hypothesis.

And note what these supposed writers claim:

They want to close their eyes for the present, and concentrate on the future; and they adopted the political correctness bullshit to do so: In order to keep their dreams of their riches alive, everybody should not say what he feels, believes, thinks and values, if these feelings, beliefs, thoughts and ideals might upset the powerful who decide on their subsidies, prizes and awards.

Here is more on these exemplary writers:
That the menace of rapacious power — rampant long before the rise of Trump — has been accepted by writers, many of them privileged and celebrated, and by those who guard the gates of literary criticism, and culture, including popular culture, is uncontroversial. Not for them the impossibility of writing and promoting literature bereft of politics. Not for them the responsibility to speak out, regardless of who occupies the White House.
Yes indeed. Here is more about both the politicians (who love this kind of writers), about the "intellectuals", who supported the politicians, and about the writers themselves, who size has spectacularly shrunk, as their prizes (for the very few)
were spectacularly raised:

Today, false symbolism is all. “Identity” is all. In 2016, Hillary Clinton stigmatized millions of voters as “a basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.” Her abuse was handed out at an LGBT rally as part of her cynical campaign to win over minorities by abusing a white, mostly working-class, majority. Divide and rule, this is called; or identity politics in which race and gender conceal class, and allow the waging of class war. Trump understood this.

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident poet Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”

This is not an American phenomenon. A few years ago, Terry Eagleton, then professor of English literature at Manchester University, reckoned that “for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life.”

No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice.

I have said what I wanted to say about LGBT above: I do not belong to them and - while I affirm their rights to have the sex they want - I reject many of their political arguments.

As to the writers, the first thing I want to ask is whether there are any writers now who are like Shelley, Blake, Byron, Morris, Wilde, Wells or Shaw? It is my own impression that "there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist" anymore, as there were in the 19th Century, or if there are, there are far fewer of them.

Also, the reason is (quite probably) not that there are fewer born with minds like that, but that the ideology of the writers were vastly corrupted by "neoliberal" values joined to vastly increased literary prizes.

Here is how Obama is being made into a divinity, as if he were a Roman Ceasar (to whom happened the same):

Across the Review section of the Guardian on Dec. 10 was a dreamy picture of Barack Obama looking up to the heavens and the words, “Amazing Grace” and “Farewell the Chief.”

The sycophancy ran like a polluted babbling brook through page after page. “He was a vulnerable figure in many ways …. But the grace. The all-encompassing grace: in manner and form, in argument and intellect, with humour and cool ….[He] is a blazing tribute to what has been, and what can be again … He seems ready to keep fighting, and remains a formidable champion to have on our side … … The grace … the almost surreal levels of grace …”

It was utter baloney, though quite characteristic for the modern Guardian (which is a Blairite/Blatcherist paper for Blairites/Blatcherists). Here is some reality on Obama by Pilger:

One of the persistent strands in American political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” said Obama, who expanded America’s favorite military pastime, bombing, and death squads (“special operations”) as no other president has done since the Cold War.

According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day.  He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

Every Tuesday — reported The New York Times — he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the “terrorist target.”

And this is how Obama extended the influence of the USA all over the world by his secret "special forces":

Under Obama, the U.S. has extended secret “special forces” operations to 138 countries, or 70 per cent of the world’s population. The first African-American president launched what amounted to a full-scale invasion of Africa.

Here is William Robinson, who has not lost his mind to craziness or his character to corruption:

William I. Robinson, professor at the University of California, and one of an uncontaminated group of American strategic thinkers who have retained their independence during the years of intellectual dog-whistling since 9/11, wrote this last week:

“President Barack Obama … may have done more than anyone to assure [Donald] Trump’s victory. While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in U.S. civil society, a fascist outcome for the political system is far from inevitable …. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite.”

Robinson points out that “whether in its 20th or its emerging 21st century variants, fascism is, above all, a response to deep structural crises of capitalism, such as that of the 1930s and the one that began with the financial meltdown in 2008 …. There is a near-straight line here from Obama to Trump … The liberal elite’s refusal to challenge the rapaciousness of transnational capital and its brand of identity politics served to eclipse the language of the working and popular classes … pushing white workers into an ‘identity’ of white nationalism and helping the neo-fascists to organise them”..

I mostly agree with two small additions: First, I think my definition of neofascism (which owes a lot to "neoliberalism") is better and more appropriate than the usual definitions of "fascism". Second, I have been rereading Orwell's "Collected Essays and Journalism" [6] once again, and I think his arguments from the late thirties, in which he says that the fascism of his days (which Orwell did battle with in person, in Spain, in 1937) was a kind of capitalism, and while Orwell was not right in everything he said, I think he was quite right in this.

This article ends as follows:

The obsession with Trump is a cover for many of those calling themselves “left/liberal”, as if to claim political decency. They are not “left,” neither are they especially “liberal.” Much of America’s aggression towards the rest of humanity has come from so-called liberal Democratic administrations — such as Obama’s. America’s political spectrum extends from the mythical center to the lunar right.
(..)

While they “heal” and “move forward”, will the Writers Resist campaigners and other anti-Trumpists reflect upon this? More to the point: when will a genuine movement of opposition arise? Angry, eloquent, all-for-one-and-one-for all. Until real politics return to people’s lives, the enemy is not Trump, it is ourselves.

Yes, I quite agree: The "leftists" are not real Leftists as my parents and grandparents were; the "liberals" are liberal only in a few aspects and not in most others; the "social democrats" in Europe have moved to the neoconservatives' positions, who in turn have moved to the right; and much of politics - right, center, and "left" - is propaganda that has little relation to truth, other than denying and falsifying it.

So I agree mostly that "Until real politics return to people’s lives, the enemy is" the people themselves, who have given up truth, soldarity, honesty, justice,  science and fairness, because they have been systematically misled by 40 years of propaganda, lies and deceptions, and now care for themselves only, as if they are all billionaires or have a real chance to become one.

This is a recommended article.

4. Veteran U.S. Intelligence Officials Call for Russian ‘Hacking’ Proof

The fourth item is by VIPS (<-Wikipedia) on Washington's Blog:

This starts as follows:

MEMORANDUM FOR: President Barack Obama

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: A Key Issue That Still Needs to be Resolved

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office Friday, a pall hangs over his upcoming presidency amid an unprecedentedly concerted campaign to delegitimize it. Unconfirmed accusations continue to swirl alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized “Russian hacking” that helped put Mr. Trump in the White House.

As President for a few more days, you have the power to demand concrete evidence of a link between the Russians and WikiLeaks, which published the bulk of the information in question. Lacking that evidence, the American people should be told that there is no fire under the smoke and mirrors of recent weeks.

We urge you to authorize public release of any tangible evidence that takes us beyond the unsubstantiated, “we-assess” judgments by the intelligence agencies. Otherwise, we – as well as other skeptical Americans – will be left with the corrosive suspicion that the intense campaign of accusations is part of a wider attempt to discredit the Russians and those – like Mr. Trump – who wish to deal constructively with them.

I agree with everything except that Trump is supposed to "wish to deal constructively" with anything: I think that is an overestimate.

Here is why a long list of former professionals from the NSA and the CIA disagree with the propaganda that they got served as if it were the real truth:
We find the New York Times- and Washington Post-led media Blitz against Trump and Putin truly extraordinary, despite our long experience with intelligence/media related issues. On Jan. 6, the day after your top intelligence officials published what we found to be an embarrassingly shoddy report purporting to prove Russian hacking in support of Trump’s candidacy, the Times banner headline across all six columns on page 1 read: “PUTIN LED SCHEME TO AID TRUMP, REPORT SAYS.”
(..)
On page A10, however, Times investigative reporter Scott Shane pointed out: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. That is a significant omission.”
That is, the New York Times admitted somewhere inside that its huge banner headline on page 1 had no hard evidence whatsoever. Moreover, if there were such evidence, it almost certainly would and certainly should have been found by the NSA:
Our VIPS colleague William Binney, who was Technical Director of NSA and created many of the collection systems still in use, assures us that NSA’s “cast-iron” coverage – particularly surrounding Julian Assange and other people associated with WikiLeaks  – would almost certainly have yielded a record of any electronic transfer from Russia to WikiLeaks.
Yes indeed. And since the evidence wasn't given now, and indeed not since December 14 when this was pointed out by Binney and others, I think it is fair to conclude that the NSA has no evidence for the propaganda it helps put out.

Here is the final line from the article
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
This is followed by a long list of 23 names, most of whom did prominent service in the intelligence services of the USA. And this is a recommended article.

5. Bill Black: Obama Loved Austerity and the New Democrats Remain Addicted to It

The fifth item's is by Bill Black (<-Wikipedia) on Naked Capitalism:
This is from near the beginning, and is basically about "austerity", which is a euphemism that translates as "the refusal of the nominated politicians to borrow from the taxes to invest in the economy" which - I quite agree [7] - is a measure that makes the few rich a lot richer:

Unfortunately, the New Democrats embraced the economic malpractice of austerity with the passion of a convert. Michael Meeropol, an economist whose work I respect greatly, has rightly chastised me for failing to explain that fiscal austerity produces enormous winners, not just losers, and that this fact helps explain why the economic malpractice of austerity is so common. Austerity is a policy that aids the wealthy and harms the non-wealthy. One of the greatest triumphs of the wealthy is to get vast numbers of the non-wealthy to fail to understand this point.   The New Democrats’ passionate support for austerity reflects the interests of its primary donors – Wall Street elites.

Austerity produces higher unemployment rates. It can cause deflation. It leads to cuts in public employment and funding for social programs. High unemployment allows CEOs to force lower wages and creates a political climate in which CEOs are able to get legislation and rule changes embracing “labor flexibility.” That phrase is a euphemism for making it easier for firms to fire workers without. CEOs use high unemployment to induce an international race to the bottom on worker protections and wages under the pretext that doing so is essential for U.S. firms to maintain “global competitiveness.”

Deflation is a superb situation for (net) creditors. They get repaid in a currency that is gaining value. Deflation reduces interest rates, so the market value of existing long-term fixed rate debt instruments (bonds) can increase substantially.

Federal fiscal austerity could be implemented through tax increases, including tax increases on the wealthy and corporations. But this would harm rather than aid the wealthy so it increasingly rare to see it done because it would harm legislators’ wealthy patrons (donors).

Precisely! This is a fairly long article of which I will quote just one more bit, this time about Bill Clinton:

The supposed economic successes of the Clinton years (and austerity) have been exposed as fictional. The Clinton expansion was driven by the two largest bubbles in world history and the four greatest epidemics of elite financial fraud in history. The first of these epidemics was the Enron-era frauds. The other three epidemics of mortgage fraud began under Clinton, but blew up on Bush’s watch. Bush’s “wrecking crew” was even worse than Clinton’s assault on effective regulation, so you should not feel sympathy for Bush. The lost two decades have extended during Obama two terms of office. Significant wage gains only began in the U.S. in 2016. In particular, blacks and Latinos have suffered catastrophic wealth losses due to the fraud-driven financial crisis and the predatory for-profit schools. Black and Latino households’ wealth losses have not been regained under the Obama recovery. The top one-ten- thousandth of one-percent have been the massive winners in income and wealth under Obama.
Yes indeed, and the explanation is - it seems to me, and I must guess - fairly to very simple: "the top one-ten- thousandth of one-percent have been the massive winners in income and wealth" simply because they have the money to pay the extremely many lobbyists that try to move the elected few to do as the rich want them to, which they generally do, for a price for themselves.

This was called "corruption" until the Supreme Court legalized it in 2010. Now it's just "ordinary politics". (The facts remain the same.)

 
---------------------------------
Notes
[1] I am sorry, but ever since I read a - good - introduction to psychoanalysis when I was 16, I think Freud and most psychiatrists are much more likely not sane than that they are, even remotely, correct.

You might object to my saying that they are not sane, and indeed I do not know what is wrong with many of them, but I do know that they all pretend a lot of knowledge they definitely do not have, and that they do so essentially for money.

Also, I am a psychologist, so that my thesis should have some more support than when a non-intellectual or a historian or sociologist says these things.

Second, since I have seriously considered the DSM 5 (see here for a long but quite good discussion by me), I think precisely the same holds for all current psychiatrists:
They all pretend a lot of knowledge they do not have, and that they do so essentially for money.

Whether you consider this insanity or not does not much matter to me. I do know it is corruption (and for me a medical person who chose for corruption against doing his medical duty is doing something extremely bad).

[2] Note here I am talking about the 17 million people who have (or think they have: certainly not all claims are correct) M.E. And what I especially object to (after having seen my life ruined by 38 years of disease hardly anyone helped me with) are
the sick medical prejudices that no one needs any individual medical examination after he has been effectively classified as insane, and that 17 million people are declared as
insane, basically because that is very profitable to the psychiatrists and the health insurances.

And please note that I have no complaint about any medical person who says he or she can't find anything. I do have large complaints about the vast majority of medical persons who conclude from this (on the basis of the ever unspoken premise that they know everything there is to know about medicine, now and in the future) that those whose complaints cannot be explained by current medical science (that exists at most something like 140 years) are insane.

I think that is extremely offensive propaganda, which has cost me my life, my chances, and any chance of any help, and all of this was quite well-known to the medics who abused me and my ex (who likewise fell ill in January 1979, likewise is still ill, and likewise got a fine M.A. in psychology with which she likewise could do nothing for being ill).

[3]
I am sorry, but I still belong to the minority who thinks it is obscene that a few own billions while and because a billion are starving. (I am very sorry, but very possibly this is due to my genes.)

[4] No, indeed not. I have looked at videos of Trump, but all I see is a stupid gross indecent liar, who doesn't even know how to speak halfway decent English. And this sight is not fascinating to me, but obscene.

[5] Again quite correct: Someone who attacks the journalists as if they are  "bloodsuckers" (rather than Trump and the very rich) is an obscene liar and a demagogue.

[6]
I do know the full title: "The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell", published by Penguin Books (in my editions), and edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus. (It's just a lot of prose.)

[7]
I do, and since a long time, for I read Keynes (and quite a few other economists) in the 60ies and the 70ies. And while I certainly do not think Keynes was correct in everything he claimed, he was both a pro-capitalist and someone who saw that the few rich have to limited by some laws on their infinite greed (unless you want nearly everyone destroyed).

       home - index - summaries - mail