1. On the Gulfwar (of 1991)
2. The Return of American Race Laws
3. What Does Steve Bannon Want?
4. Donald Trump Will Use Every Weapon to Stamp out the
5. Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors to Justify
This is a Nederlog of Monday, February 27, 2017.
Summary: This is an
ordinary crisis log (after some days on the news about ME/CFS). There
are 5 items with 4 dotted links: Item 1 is by me about the Gulf War,
that officially ended on Feb 27, 1991, and was the first war I
know about that was reported as pure propaganda; item 2 is about an
article by Chris Hedges of the US race laws that are cropping up under
Trump; item 3 is about an article about what Steve Bannon wants (in the
NYT); item 4 is about Trump's attempt to lock up every protestor for
ten to twentyfive years for "resisting arrest"; and item 5 is about yet
another corrupt and fraudulent extension of the pharmaceutical
corporations' extremely many abuses (that make it very many billions a year in
As to the updating
The Danish site is OK again; the Dutch site is - still - stuck
for me on February
22. Where it stuck for others I have no idea: It may be December
2015. (They do want immediate payment if you are a
week behind. They have been destroying my site now for over
1. On the Gulfwar (of 1991)
Today it is 26 years ago that president George Bush Sr.
announced the ending of the Gulf War between Iraq and the USA (that was
followed by another war that destroyed Iraq). It had lasted less than two months.
I was 40 then and it was the first war that I knew that was presented in propaganda terms and reported in propaganda terms by "embedded journalists".
And while I did have a computer then, in 1991, I did not have an internet, and had to rely on the paper (very much better than nowadays) and the radio (also very much better than nowadays). These days the same sources are absolutely horrible in Holland.
I also wrote a journal and here are three bits on how that war appeared to me (and these bits are also quoted in my autobiography). Here they are.
The first bit is about The Century Of Democracy, which was the Twentieth Century:
14.i.1991: A near century of democracies
I do insist that The Century Of Democracy did not produce good general education; nor sensible planning; nor a high culture of any kind; nor a
civilized society. Instead what ordinary people did get were mostly lies, propaganda and bullshit. And the vast majority loved this because they did not know anything better than their own prejudices and ideologies.
A near century of democracy and capitalist and socialist exploitation
has produced 2 (almost 3) world wars; hundreds of colonial wars;
hundreds of millions unnecessarily starved people; several genocides;
unprecedented tyrannies; unprecedented stupid hedonism, tempered by
fear of what the neigbours might think, in the West; and a world close
to several ecological disasters. There is a less shady side, which
mainly is about (1) the rights of millions of people in the West
(quietly avoiding the issue what they did with their opportunities) and
(2) the welfare of idem (ditto), and (3) the growth of knowledge (idem
again). Also interesting is what has not been achieved nor generally
aimed for: Good general education; sensible planning; high culture; a
The forces molding this century have indeed been power, ideology and
exploitation - and note: Everywhere "by the people, for the people, in
the name of the people", for nearly all states claimed to be
democracies. Everywhere this was a lie, though there are indeed great
differences between being allowed to 4-yearly elect some incompetents
from a small pool of incompetents or being tyrranized unceasingly by
the same sort of incompetents ruling a police-state, who claim likewise
it is in your interests (or you must be crazy).
The second bit is about the horrible bullshitters that "reported" the war (by lying, propagandizing and by a complete lack of all independent ethics):
21.i.1991: The people one sees in the media
In fact all of "the experts" were journalists that could be tweaked and manipulated by the military. No one with any academic training in any field that touched on the war was ever asked anything (that I heard, and I followed the war rather closely), quite possibly because they could not be relied on to lie reliably.
Another interesting (and worrisome) thing is the sort of people that
suddenly get virtually unlimited access to the media (and therewith
immediately to literally millions of people). The people that suddenly
can talk for hours on the situation in the world and reach hundreds of
(1) the standard journalists, who do what they did before (moderating,
say) only on a larger scale;
(2) leading politicians, who also do what they did before (lying to the
public in its and their interests), only on a larger scale, and more
puffed up - for ain't these decisive times;
(3) special correspondents: Journalists who happen to be on a
sensational spot, much like sports reporters (which is why very much is
written the last few days about 3 American journalists who are
reporting live from Bagdad: It makes many of their colleagues very
(4) specialists: Flocks of so-called defense-experts, military experts,
experts on the Middle East, experts of diplomacy, political experts and
got knows what else. (The only thing missing sofar is an expert system,
which also will be the only "expert" giving some sensible info.)
And that's it. You hear no writers, no philosophers, no psychologists,
no sociologists (unless "expert in the Middle East" at the very least),
no scientists, and not even priests - nothing.
I don't suggest that these kinds of people, as they are on average now,
could contribute much of genuine interest, and certainly I would expect
mainly drivel, humbug and bullshit. But that is what we're getting now,
and not from people humanly qualified or knowledgeable for anything but
knowing whether Quattar has more anti-tank-missiles than Oman, or the
other way around.
And the third bit is on the liars who pretended to be 'experts' and who posed as if they were 'commentators':
22.i.1991: The idiots who are commentators
In brief, what I got in 1991 as "war" was only propaganda by propagandists that was designed to deceive the public - and that completely succeeded in doing so.
It is amazing what idiots most commentators are. Most seem to know very
little - experts of defense, on Turkey, on the Middle East, on Iraq,
etc. all apparently lifted from telephone directories of universities
or earlier known at the BBC nearly all have very little specific expert
information and lots of platitudes and generalities. A few know
something, apart from recent events, that's not reported earlier, but
it's always in the way of some statistical or technical information:
Names of missiles and kinds of planes etc. and most is of the
wowie-type: knowledge of jargon rather than based real understanding.
What is much more worrisome is a near total blank regarding knowledge
from history, politics, sociology, economics, psychology - or what not
in fact. All is discussed in terms of very primitive personalized
psychological concepts: Nations are reduced to actions and plans of
leaders, who are interpreted in simple psychological terms. To some
extent, of course, this is adequate, but it is a very partial story
(the main actors without the stage, the props, the other actors and the
script), and it is also contaminated by propaganda:
Rather than radically saying something like: "OK, let's treat all as if
they're scheming for personal power, glory, riches and status", instead
all are treated in part as they pretend they are, and in part as Our
Ideology frames them, and what people are seen as depends mainly on the
purport of their latest sensational act: In terms of Our Values (that,
moreover, are publicly presented as True and Reasonable). People "are"
what they seem to be to our emotions - that's more or less what it
comes down to. And our emotions are rarely guided by sensible thinking
or adequate information, and seldomly controlled by a rational mind.
I return to 2017 and continue with Chris Hedges:
2. The Return of American Race Laws
The second item is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The warmup act for a full-blown American
fascism and orchestrated race war is taking place in immigrant and
marginal communities across the United States: Racial profiling. Random
police stops. Raids at homes and businesses. People of color pulled
from vehicles at checkpoints. Seizures of individuals with no criminal
records or who never committed a serious crime. Imprisonment without
trial. Expedited deportation hearings and removal proceedings that
violate human rights. (..) Parents separated, perhaps forever, from
their children. The hunted going underground. The end of the rule of
law. The abandonment of the common good. The obliteration of a social
state in which institutions and assistance programs—from public
education to Social Security and welfare—make justice, equality and
Yes indeed. I think this is a fair sum-up although I prefer my term neofascism
(<- definition), also because that provides some backgrounds and
explanations. But Hedges is right that this is American racism.
Here is part of the reason why:
White Europeans who are undocumented are not being targeted. The
executive orders of President Trump are directed against people of
color. They begin from the premise that white Americans are the true
victims of neoliberalism, deindustrialization and falling living
standards. The Trump orders are written not to make America great again
but to make America white. They are an updated version of the Nazis’ Nuremberg race laws, the Jim Crow laws, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Naturalization Act of 1870.
Perhaps, which I say because I haven't
checked these earlier versions. Also, it is my guess that the present
racism contains more propaganda and more ideology than before, namely to offset the gains that were made the last 60 years or so, but I may be
Here are some of the present facts as they also struck me:
Militarized police kill with impunity, and the courts lock people away
often for life. Rights are treated as privileges that can instantly be
revoked. The poor, especially poor people of color, have been exempted
from moral consideration. They are viewed as impediments to social
cohesion. And these impediments must be eliminated. This is the template
for what will come.
Yes. Then there is this on Steve Bannon (there is also more on him in the next item):
I share Bannon’s distaste for globalization, free trade agreements, the
failure to put Wall Street bankers in jail, the bank bailouts and crony
capitalism and would even concede that Americans wallow in the moral
swamp of a culture of narcissism. He is right when he attacks the two
major political parties as the one “party of Davos.” But his solution to the purported crisis—total war by the white race to regain its ascendancy—is insane (...)
I agree Bannon does not appear to be quite sane to me, and for a similar reason: He may not be insane as Trump is,
but his recipes of combining the destruction of most of the government
with an increased spending on the military and on nuclear weapons, and
with a strong desire for major war, does not appear to me "sane politics" as I see that (and that within very broad margins).
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article, and this time I partially disagree:
The central tenet of fascism is always that war cleanses society
and that the “virtues” that war inculcates in its combatants and
survivors provide a new moral vigor. Bannon knows no more about war’s
reality, which I endured for two decades covering conflicts in Central
America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, than he sees in
Hollywood movies. But war for him, which will come in a confrontation
with the Islamic world and perhaps China, cannot arrive too soon.
No, I do not think so. First, I took
considerable trouble to define fascism and neofascism, and my
definitions are under the link. Second, I think Trump and Bannon are
neofascists rather than fascists, and I'd say that the central tenets
of neofascism are these (and I quote from my definition):
(..) an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state (..)
Then again, I do recommend the article. Here is more on Steve Bannon:
3. What Does Steve Bannon Want?
This starts as follows:
The third item is by Christopher Caldwell on The New York Times:
I don't like Caldwell's "not
just as a hate object but as a heuristic, too", but I realize this is
the New York Times, that just a few days ago "progressed" to writing
that Mr Trump is also know to ... lie sometimes, which must be seen - I
suppose - as an enormous gain in the truthfulness of their reporting.
(Besides, the term "heuristic" is abused.)
Trump presents a problem to those who look at politics in terms of
systematic ideologies. He is either disinclined or unable to lay out his
agenda in that way. So perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump’s chief
strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who does have a gift for thinking
systematically, would be so often invoked by Mr. Trump’s opponents. They
need him not just as a hate object but as a heuristic, too. There may
never be a “Trumpism,” and unless one emerges, the closest we may come
to understanding this administration is as an expression of “Bannonism.”
Bannon, 63, has won a reputation for abrasive brilliance at almost
every stop in his unorthodox career — as a naval officer, Goldman Sachs
mergers specialist, entertainment-industry financier, documentary
screenwriter and director, Breitbart News cyber-agitprop impresario and
chief executive of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
Then again, I more or less like it that Bannon at least can think and has read books. My applause! Here is some more on what Steve Bannon thinks:
Bannon, unlike Mr. Trump, has a detailed idea, an explanation, of how
American sovereignty was lost, and of what to do about it. It is the
same idea that Tea Party activists have: A class of regulators in the
government has robbed Americans of their democratic prerogatives. That
class now constitutes an “administrative state” that operates to empower
itself and enrich its crony-capitalist allies.
Hm. I do not think that is a sign of brilliant thinking: What Bannon sees or pretends to see is a "class
of regulators in the government [that] has robbed Americans of their
democratic prerogatives"; what he wants to replace it with is by a class
of billionaire regulators who desire to destroy the government and to
enrich themselves as much as possible while doing so.
Mr. Bannon spoke on Thursday of “deconstructing the administrative
state,” it may have sounded like gobbledygook outside the hall, but it
was an electrifying profession of faith for the attendees.
And I think this is the replacement of the Democratic bullshit by the
Republican bullshit. It is the exchange of one set of lies that serve
one set of the extremely rich (the bankers and the internet providers),
by another set of lies that serve another set of the extremely rich
(the oil and coal billionaires).
I do not think that is brilliant thinking, for it is mere Republican ideologizing. Here is some more on Bannon's personality:
This may well be right (and indeed Chris Hedges said a similar thing in item 2): Bannon seems to be a rightist "intellectual
in politics" who is "excited by grand theories", and who also has - in spite of seven years of service in the U.S. Navy - little experience in real wars.
focused on Mr. Bannon’s ideology are probably barking up the wrong
tree. There are plenty of reasons for concern about Mr. Bannon, but they
have less to do with where he stands on the issues than with who he is
as a person. He is a newcomer to political power and, in fact,
relatively new to an interest in politics. He is willing to break with
authority. While he does not embrace any of the discredited ideologies
of the last century, he is attached to a theory of history’s cycles that
is, to put it politely, untested. Most ominously, he is an intellectual
in politics excited by grand theories — a combination that has produced
unpredictable results before.
We’ll see how it works out.
And I am a afraid that we might "see how it works out" by seeing the start of a nuclear war (that we won't see the end of, since we will be dead).
4. Donald Trump Will Use Every Weapon to Stamp out the Grassroots Resistance
The fourth item today is by Douglas Williams on AlterNet and on The Guardian :
This starts as follows:
I mostly agree, and indeed it seems to me not just that "[p]eople tend to think that voting and electioneering are the sum total of
democracy": It seems as if the majority
Pundits say Donald Trump is “undermining democracy”. But their
concern is often just about elite institutions: the media, the
judiciary, the electoral system. What is ignored is the effect that the Trump administration
will have on the social movements, which serve as pillars of the
resistance. If these fall, our democracy will be irreparably harmed.
extends far beyond the ballot box – it includes the active
participation of labor and racial justice movements in civil society.
People tend to think that voting and electioneering are the sum total of
of the people who vote are as stupid and ignorant as suggested here. 
Here is some more on the Trump government's policies:
In a country where police chiefs consider resisting arrest a hate crime punishable by ten years in prison and where state legislatures are considering immunity for those who run over protesters,
the Trump administration has signaled that, actually, we are not tough
enough on protesters and activists. As bad as this may be, however, it
is this part of the executive order that is the most chilling:
That is: At present you may end up for ten years in prison because (according to the police who arrested you (!!!)) you have been "resisting arrest";
if Trump is to be believed, soon they may be put for 25 years in prison
while the police officers who put them there will have immunity for running over protesters. 
that review … make recommendations to the President for legislation ….
defining new crimes of violence and establishing new mandatory minimum
sentences for existing crimes of violence against Federal, State,
tribal, and local law enforcement officers, as well as for related
And I do think (i) that may be quite likely and (ii) it will kill most protests and possibly quite a few protestors.
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
If the resistance that everyone has been talking about is to be
successful, it cannot be led by politicians in statehouses and
Washington. It must be a grassroots effort that organizes communities
for a common purpose: one rooted in the cause of social, economic, and
political equality and justice. These efforts are building due to thisF
administration’s naked disdain for working-class Americans, their
families, and their communities.
Donald Trump and his administration knows this, and that is why they
will use every weapon in their arsenal to stamp out the spirit of
resistance and revolution that is bubbling to the surface.
Yes. And this is a recommended article.
5. Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors to Justify $1,000-Per-Day Drugs
This starts as follows and is here mostly
because I am ill since over 38 years, in which I have seen medical
services grow worse and worse while the premiums I have to pay, forced
by law, rose from 20 euros in the 1980ies to 173 euros a month in 2017
(while medical doctors still are among the best paid, but also
got their degrees in half the time it took between 1865 and 1980 ):
The fifth and last item today is by Annie Waldman on Truthdig and originally on ProPublica:
Over the last three years, pharmaceutical companies have mounted a public relations blitz
to tout new cures for the hepatitis C virus and persuade insurers,
including government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, to cover
the costs. That isn’t an easy sell, because the price of the treatments
ranges from $40,000 to $94,000 — or, because the treatments take three
months, as much as $1,000 per day.
To persuade payers and the
public, the industry has deployed a potent new ally, a company whose
marquee figures are leading economists and health care experts at the
nation’s top universities. The company, Precision Health Economics, consults
for three leading makers of new hepatitis C treatments: Gilead,
Bristol-Myers Squibb, and AbbVie. When AbbVie funded a special issue of
the American Journal of Managed Care on hepatitis C research, current or
former associates of Precision Health Economics wrote half of the issue. A Stanford professor who had previously consulted for the firm served as guest editor-in-chief.
That is, the sick degenerates who run the
American pharmaceutical corporations teamed up with a bunch of sick
degenerate professors in economy who desire to make millions of dollars
Here is some more on these academics-for-hire (to be sure: for-profit-for- themselves-and-the-pharmaceutical corporations):
While collaboration between higher education and industry is hardly
unusual, the professors at Precision Health Economics have taken it to
the next level, sharpening the conflicts between their scholarly and
commercial roles, which they don’t always disclose. Their activities
illustrate the growing influence of academics-for-hire in shaping the national debate
on issues from climate change to antitrust policy, which ultimately
affect the quality of life and the household budgets of ordinary
Americans — including what they pay for critical medications.
Here is the background on pharmacy in the
USA - which the TTP, the TTIP and the TISA all want to urgently extend
to Europe and everywhere else:
Prescription drugs on average cost more than twice as much in the
U.S. as in other developed nations. That’s mostly due to name-brand
drugs. They represent 10 percent of all prescriptions but account for
almost three-quarters of the total amount spent on drugs in the U.S. Their prices have doubled in the past five years.
U.S. grants drugmakers several years of market exclusivity for their
products and remains one of the only industrialized countries that
allows them to set their own prices.
These protections have allowed the pharmaceutical industry to become
one of the economy’s most profitable sectors, with margins double those
of the auto and petroleum industries.
Yes indeed - but as I said, the
pharmaceutical multi-national corporations probably will soon succeed
in extending their vast powers to Europe.
Finally, this is how the degenerates who run pharmaceutical multi-national corporations really work:
Precision Health Economics allows drugmakers to review articles by
its academics prior to publication in academic journals, said a former
business development manager of the consulting group. Such prior review
is controversial in higher education because it can be seen as impinging
on academic freedom.
“Like other standard consulting projects,
you can’t publish unless you get permission from the company,” the
former employee said.
Precisely. And you also don't own your
data and you are not allowed to publish them without allowance by the
 I am sorry but I strongly dislike The Guardian (and Huffington Post, and The Times and other papers and magazines) that forbid anyone from copying and commenting their texts. In the case of The Guardian I also know the reason: The Guardian exists to pay its journalists a lot of money
(much rather than provide the real news honestly), and the previous
chief editor preferred to bring the news rather than serve his
And I think "papers" or "magazines" that went the way of The Guardian went the way of neoliberalism/neofascism: Anything is OK as long as it is profitable, for profit is our one and only moral norm.
 I am saying this not because it pleases me but because it seems to be both very true and very frightening, namely to have a majority of voters who vote not with their rational minds but from ideology and prejudice.
 Whereas in Holland you still get between 8 and 12 years for committing a murder.
 And I am sorry again, but I was there when the Dutch universities were completely (and intentionally) destroyed. And I know they are still standing there and still call themselves universities, but they give at most half as much as I received in education, which was far too little compared with what people had to learn from 1865 till 1980. Also, if you do not have an M.A. diploma of my quality and do not have a very high IQ, I cannot take any of your arguments seriously. People were not crazy between 1865 and 1980, but they were considerably more intelligent on average once they had made it as a student. (And that is the main reason for the difference, which seems to have been successful everywhere but in Finland: To please the strong tastes of the grossly average for an academic degree.)