This starts as follows:
President Donald Trump spoke with Associated
Press journalist Julie Pace on Friday, and the transcript
of the interview, released Sunday night, shows the president as
bombastic and unstable, alternately dismissing his 100-day
threshold and boasting about his accomplishments during that time.
The interview comes as public
trust in the White House plummets, a grassroots
resistance movement to the administration builds, and Trump reverses
or pivots his stance on numerous campaign pledges, including the
promise to call China a "currency manipulator."
During the interview with Pace, the
president displayed many of his trademark sensitivities, particularly
his anger at the media, which he described as "fake" multiple times. At
one point he referred to CBS' "Face the Nation" as "Deface
It also was remarkably stupid and ignorant , and to show this here is a video by The Young
This is 10 min 30 sec and
you'll have to watch it yourself (if interested) but it is
Back to the first article:
The interview was particularly notable
for the number of instances in which Pace simply wrote
"[unintelligible]" while quoting Trump.
In response to the question, "What's
making that switch [from business to government] been like for you?"
You have to love people. And if you
love people, such a big responsibility. [unintelligible] You can take
any single thing, including even taxes. I mean we're going to be doing
major tax reform. Here's part of your story, it's going to be a big
[unintelligible]. Everybody's saying, 'Oh, he's delaying.' I'm not
delaying anything. I'll tell you the other thing is [unintelligible]. I
used to get great press. I get the worst press. I get such dishonest
reporting with the media. That's another thing that really has—I've
never had anything like it before. It happened during the primaries,
and I said, you know, when I won, I said, "Well the one thing good is
now I'll get good press." And it got worse. [unintelligible] So that
was one thing that a little bit of a surprise to me. I thought the
press would become better, and it actually, in my opinion, got more
I am sorry, but for a president
of the USA - who isn't blind drunk, as Trump probably is not,
for he does not drink - this is utterly crazy talk. And there
is considerably more in both the linked article and in the
Now for a quote of something I
wrote yesterday (and the characteristics of Trump were all listed by
must a president of the USA show, next to: narcissism, xenophobia,
paranoia, vindictiveness, extreme personal sensitivity, stealing
others' work, blaming others for his own failures, lashing out at the
press as liars, and demonizing judges, before you conclude Trump is not
Must he be photographed dancing nakedly
with foam on his mouth on the presidential desk before he is removed?
In fact, I would not be
very amazed if Trump can also do that, and be forgiven
by his mates and co-governors as "showing a bit of personality".
Anyway... there is a lot more
in the article and in the video, and I am afraid this is the real
Trump, doing his best in a long interview. (Unless he was blind
2. Why Soviet Weather
Was Secret, a Critical Gap in Korea, and Other NSA Newsletter Tales
article is by Margot Williams, Micah Lee and Talya Cooper on The
This starts as follows and serves as a
remembrance that at The Intercept there now is another load of
documents from Edward Snowden:
Three years after the 9/11 attacks, a
frustrated NSA employee complained
that Osama bin Laden was alive and well, and yet the surveillance
had no automated way to search the Arabic language PDFs it had
This is just one of many complaints and
observations included in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA’s
signals intelligence division. The Intercept today is publishing 251
articles from the newsletter, covering the second half of 2004 and the
beginning of 2005. The newsletters were part of a large collection of
NSA documents provided to The Intercept by Edward Snowden.
This latest batch of posts includes
candid employee comments
about over-classification, descriptions
of tensions in the NSA-CIA relationship, and an intern’s enthusiastic appraisal
of a stint in Pakistan.
Most revealing perhaps are insights into
how NSA has operated domestically. The Intercept is publishing two
stories on this topic, including one about NSA
cooperation with law enforcement during American political conventions,
and in a throwback to the movie “Bladerunner,” another article
describes a spy
balloon used over the United States.
There is a lot in the article and in the
pdf but I leave this all to your own interests. (And I did download the
pdf, but did not yet read it.)
American Imperialism Leads the World Into Dante’s Vision of Hell
The third article is by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
“Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.
(Abandon all hope ye who enter here.)”—Dante, The Divine Comedy,
Inferno (Part I), Canto 3, Line 9
Before the Tomahawk missiles start
flying between Moscow and New York, Americans had better educate
themselves fast about the forces and the people who claim that Russia covered up a Syrian government
gas attack on its own people. Proof no longer seems to matter in the
rush to further transform the world into Dante’s vision of Hell.
Accusations made by anonymous sources, spurious sources and outright
frauds have become enough. Washington’s paranoia and confusion bear an
uncanny resemblance to the final days of the Third Reich, when the
leadership in Berlin became completely unglued.
This seems a decent article, and indeed is
the first part of a four-part series, but I must reject the "uncanny resemblance to the final days of the Third Reich,
when the leadership in Berlin became completely unglued": This was after
6 years of World War, while Berlin was mostly destroyed; the German
armies were mostly destroyed; and Germany was about to be defeated by
the Americans, the Russians, the Canadese (and more).
I am sorry but that is not fairly
comparable to the present situation of Trump and his cabinet
(who I agree are very bad, but who are not in the situation sketched).
Then there is this:
The current U.S. government campaign to
slander Russia over anything and everything it does bears all the
earmarks of a classic disinformation campaign, but this time is even
crazier. Considering that Washington has put Russia, China and Iran on
its anti-globalist hit list from which no one is allowed to escape,
drummed-up charges against them shouldn’t come as a surprise. But
accusing the Russians of undermining American democracy and interfering
in an election is tantamount to an act of war, and that simply is not going to
Again I am sorry, but this is also
somewhat of an exaggeration: If you check act of war you'll find that this opens as
Cheney also said (without any specification)
"In some quarters that would be considered an act of war" and added "he
"does not speak for anyone else; I am not part of the government
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says
Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election could
be interpreted by some as an "act of war."
So this is not quite "tantamount to an act of war": It is
Cheney, speaking for himself, saying what he thinks "some quarters"
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
Muddying the waters in a way not seen
since Sen. Joe McCarthy and the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s,
Disinformation and Propaganda Act” signed into law without fanfare
by President Obama in December 2016 officially authorizes a government
censorship bureaucracy comparable only to George Orwell’s fictional
Ministry of Truth in his novel “1984.” Referred to as “The Global Engagement Center,”
the official purpose of the new bureaucracy will be to “recognize,
understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda
and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national
But the real purpose of this totally
Orwellian center will be to manage, eliminate or censor any dissenting
views that challenge Washington’s newly manufactured version of the
truth and to intimidate, harass or jail anyone who tries.
I mostly agree with the first paragraph -
and insist that is a more or less natural consequence after
the government's secret services have gotten access to almost
anything they want (completely unlike anything that ever
happened before!): Once they have that, they are able to set up
their own standards of propagandistic
"truth" and indeed are also capable of arresting anyone who disagrees.
There is more in the article and this also
was the first part of a series. I recommend that your read it, but as
indicated I do not quite agree with it: I agree with the
criticisms but considerably less so with the comparisons and
illustrations - it seems.
4. Young People Want Radical Change—Survey Blows the Lid off
Right-Wing and Corporate Economic Propaganda
The fourth article is by Les Leopold on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
A new survey conducted by the
Runawayinequality.org Educational Network shows that younger Americans
(ages 18-40) overwhelmingly support bold proposals to reverse
inequality--- polices such as Medicare for all, free higher education,
ending mass incarceration, wealth taxes on multi-millionaires,
financial speculation taxes on Wall Street, public banks, immigrants
rights, worker rights, a guaranteed job at a living wage, campaign
finance reform, and a sustainable environment.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is
doing all it can to accelerate inequality. The billionaire appointees,
the Goldman Sachs economic advisors, the hollow health care and tax
proposals all are designed to move more money into the hands of the few.
Unfortunately, the mainstream Democrats
are hardly better when in comes to runaway inequality.
Yes indeed, also about the utterly
corrupt Democrats. (And for the Trump administration see item
Here is a summary of what the years since
Reagan became president bought to the non-rich and to the rich (also
- Over the last 37 years, America’s top
10 percent saw their incomes rise by 115 percent and the top 1 percent
saw an incredible rise of 198 percent. Meanwhile, the bottom half of
all American earners not only failed to see any gain at all, but their
incomes actually declined by 1 percent from 1978 to 2015,
research by Thomas Piketty.
- During the Obama years "the top 1
percent of families captured 52 percent of total real income growth per
family from 2009 to 2015 while the bottom 99 percent of families got
only 48 percent of total real income growth," reports
inequality expert, Emanuel Saez
Most politicians and pundits throw their
hands up in despair. They argue there is really nothing we can do about
rising inequality because of the powerful impacts of global competition
and automation. Those who are falling behind just don't have the skills
needed to prosper in the modern world. Life is unfair. Get used to it.
No. Life is unfair because the few
rich make in unfair, and they make it unfair so that they can
profit and remain rich, indeed precisely because the vast
majority of all men remain poor: What the many loose, the few get.
And as I said yesterday, I believe there is no need and no necessity
whatsoever for this extremely unjust arrangement:
My own position about
exploitation is (..) in the end ethical: I think
people are - often mercilessly, often cruelly - exploited not
for any real objective reasons, but because the exploiters
made the ethical judgements that their rights and their
first, and that those who have either money or power therewith
have the means and the justification to exploit those without
That is all "the necessity" I can
combined wishes, powers and wealth of the very rich, compared to the
virtually negligent powers and wealth of the very many poor they exploit.
To return to the article: The mainstream
Democrats have convinced themselves that, despite the Sanders surge,
most Americans do not support bold policies to reverse runaway
inequality. These officials believe that most Americans reject
Does a social democratic program appeal
to most Americans?
We decided to test the mainstream
Democratic Party phobias by asking 200 randomly selected 18 to 40
year-olds to evaluate a strong platform aimed at reversing runaway
I leave the rest to your interests. It is
fairly interesting and indeed it turns out that between 2/3 and 3/4 of
those polled are for the "socialistic" programs, but I do have one
remark: It seems to me these outcomes are the replies to straight
questions, which in fact are rarely posed in elections.
Even so, this is fairly interesting and a
5. The Pro-War Twist of the ‘Resistance’
The fifth article is by James W. Carden
The article starts as follows:
The Resistance, a
self-aggrandizing term for what amounts to a relatively small but still
powerful claque of embittered Clinton surrogates, has been keeping
itself busy of late, fanning the flames of McCarthyite recriminations
against anyone who dares question the rather flimsy public evidence
that Russia influenced the results of the 2016 election, all the while
cheering on President Trump’s expansion of the war in Syria.
Like its approach to the question of
Russia and the election, the Resistance will brook no dissent over
whether or not President Trump did the “right thing” in unleashing 59
Tomahawk missiles on a country which we are not at war with and which
has never attacked us.
As with their hysterical claims that Russia
stole the election from Hillary Clinton, the Resistance is loathe to
allow facts, logic or evidence to get in the way of its view that
Donald Trump acted in the security interests of the United States by
bombing the Syrian military which (with air support from the Russians)
is currently in the process in routing ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Yes, I think that is mainly correct. Also,
here are two personal remarks.
First, I did view a few of Keith
Olbermann's videos, who set himself up as spokesperson for The
Resistance, but I completely stopped doing so after he turned
out to be a total follower of the idea "that
Russia stole the election from Hillary Clinton",
which he plugged without the least evidence, and against
the strong claims of people like William
Binney (<-Wikipedia) and Ray McGovern (<-Wikipedia), who insisted that
there was no evidence, while there should have been.
Meanwhile, we are months further, and
there still is no evidence, but indeed this does not
stop people claiming to speak - on videos, on TV - for "The Resistance"
and to repeat the unevidenced story "that Russia stole the election from Hillary Clinton".
I don't like liars nor deceivers, and
this is one reason why I totally stopped following "The
There also is a second reason: Both
of my parents and my grandfather were in the Dutch
resistance to the Nazis in WW II. My mother was never arrested (in
spite of running considerable risks), but both my father and his father
were arrested. My
father was tortured, didn't speak and afterward tried to commit suicide
out of fear for a second time, but that attempt failed, though he also
wasn't interrogated anymore. What happened to my grandfather when
arrested I don't know, but both my father and my grandfather were
convicted, by collaborating Dutch judges, as "political terrorists", in
July of 1941, to concentration camp imprisonment, which my grandfather
(already in his 60ies) did not survive.
When I think of "the resistance",
I think of what I know, and what I know about resisting
the Nazis in no
way corresponds to the present "#Resistance" to Trump, which indeed
seems to be run mostly by supporters of Clinton from American
6. Trump's Corporate Takeover Detailed 100 Days into
There is more in the article, which is recommended. (And indeed no:
"#Resistance" is not the resistance, but it is mostly
Democratic propaganda supporting Hillary Clinton.)
The sixth and last article today is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
This starts with a fine summary (of
"The true depth of the
administration's unswerving commitment to an especially savage version
of corporate capitalism is now, as we approach the first 100 days under
the Trump administration, utterly clear."
The article itself starts as follows:
President Donald Trump approaches his
100th day in office the most
unpopular U.S. leader in modern history for a reason.
Exacerbating his failure
to uphold his populist campaign promises, a new report found that Trump
spent the majority of his presidency enriching his own business empire
while appointing fellow "corporate cronies" at the highest
levels of government leading to what Public Citizen describes as
"an unprecedented corporate takeover."
Published on Monday, For-Profit
President (pdf), chronicles each day of Trump's tenure thus
far and what actions or appointments were made that either enriched his
private business empire, placed the importance of "profits before
people," or highlighted the "corporate takeover" of government—despite
candidate Trump's repeated pledge to "drain the swamp."
I say, for I did not know that.
And I recommend you to download or view For-Profit
President (pdf): It is quite interesting, and is indeed a day-by-day
review of the first 100 days of Trump's presidency.
Here are a few of its findings:
The consumer rights group notes that the
"wealthy members of Mar-a-Lago have an unprecedented degree of access
and influence with the President of the United States. Members include
fossil fuel billionaire William Koch, the lesser-known brother of the
more politically active Charles and David Koch, electronic trading
billionaire Thomas Peterffy, and various corporate executives."
Public Citizen filed that day's event
under both "corporate takeover" and "enriching private business."
(Notably, on Day 6 of the presidency, the resort "doubled its
initiation fee to $200,000.")
Exemplifying "profits before people," on
Day 55, Trump
ordered a review of the Environmental Protection Agency's fuel
efficiency standards, which was done "in apparent response to direct
lobbying by the automobile industry."
"America has never seen anything like
Public Citizen president Robert Weissman in a column on Monday. "The
corporate capture began at the same moment as the Trump presidency,"
Weissman observed, adding that "its been downhill since then."
I think Robert Weissman is correct (but it
seems the corporate capture started even before Trump became
And here is a sum-up by Weissman:
Touching upon many of the more egregious
actions outlined in the report, Weissman noted that Trump's
pro-corporate capstone appears to be his swift rollback of public
health, labor, and environmental regulations. He wrote:
has eagerly signed into law a series of deregulatory measures to undo
Obama administration achievements, using an obscure legislative
vehicle known as the Congressional Review Act. Industries that have
spent more than $1 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions
have seen their investments pay off many times over. Trump has
gleefully signed measures making it easier for coal companies to
pollute streams and rivers; authorizing Big Oil to hide payments to
developing country governments; erasing obligations for government
contractors to ensure the safety and health of their employees; and
making it possible for cable and Internet providers to collect and sell
our most personal information. It's hard to imagine there's anyone in
the United States, not connected to Comcast, Verizon or another telecom
company, who favors giving the telecoms the right to traffic in our
Yes indeed. But - I am very much
afraid - that is the probable future (apart from an economic
crisis worse than in 2008):
Everybody who is not rich
will be fully known in his thoughts, his values, his desires,
his income, his health, his payments etc. etc. so that he can be
as well as is possible by the few rich, for these few (and their
menials) now know millions of times more about you and everyone
else than they knew before the computer + the internet - and
they now also can buy all the information they want, at least in the
USA, from the internet service providers...
And this is a recommended article.