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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Crisis+Quotations: Putin, Mad Trump, GOP Tax-Cuts, Espionage, Propaganda



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Introduction

1. Summary
2. Quotations
3. Crisis Files
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Sunday, June 18, 2017.


1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will continue with it, but on the moment I have several problems with my computer, my modem, the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible, and my health.

It may be that I'll be off for a few weeks, that is, I will publish nothing or little for a few weeks. I don't know yet, but I will keep you informed in Nederlog.

And what I will do for the moment - since I am still looking at 35 sites every morning - is to list the items I selected, but without any of my comments. Today I selected five items, and they are below and link to the originals, but on the moment I have no comments, basically because that takes too much work on the moment.


2. Quotations

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. These are the tenth ten of my aphoristical reactions [1] to Chamfort's aphorisms:
In ordinary society, everything is makebelief, pose, and pretense, including the pretense that this is slander of ordinary men. The reason is not that men are natural born liars and deceivers, but that, as men usually are, it is much easier to become rich or a social success by lies and deception than by truth or honesty.

There are very few socially successful men who do not look down with deep disdain, distrust and dislike upon those who donot wish to lie and deceive to make a career.

There would be far fewer great and evil men, if there were far fewer willing executioners for them.

The great human problem does not consist in the small minority of depraved leaders, but in the great majority of depraved and eager followers.

Fame, wealth and status generally require the same sort of character to reach them: In human society as it is and has been, the real bastards are the most successful.

The great and the bad in any society, especially in politics and religion, often are the same.

There are fair and independent judgments of men by men, but never if self-interest or prejudice are involved, and this is the usual case.

Public opinion, like all opinion, deserves respect in just two kinds of circumstances: When it is informed or rational, and when it is violent or dangerous.

Vanity is pleasure in what others believe that one is; pride is pleasure in what one believes oneself that one is.

If you have wit and you are honest, the only way to make a career is on the stage, as a buffoon or a comedian.

It is impossible to tell the truth about men to most men without being much hated or despised by them - not because they know that one lies, but because they know that one speaks the truth about what they falsified in order to prosper themselves: A hunchback also doesn't like to be called hunchback.

True human greatness generally requires lack of self-interest.

All power corrupts, because power enables one to avoid or repress all honest discussion of one's weaknesses and faults.

It is impossible to be a public success without being a personal fraud.

There is more from where the above comes from. And the last one - like all the others - is from 2008, that is from pre-Trump days.


3. Crisis Files

I have been writing on the crisis since September 1, 2008 (Dutch) and with considerably more attention since June 10, 2013 (English).

If you check out the
crisis index you will find that I wrote in over eight years nearly 1600 files, that nearly all consisted of a reference to one or more articles that were partially quoted and mostly commented.

I will continue with that, simply because I think the crisis is a very important social, political and economical event, but meanwhile I have turned 67 and need a little rest,
so what I'll be doing the coming weeks (at least), is selecting 3 to 6 files from the 35
sites I consult every morning to see what's happening in the world of politics and econonomics, and present them, but now without my comments.

Here is today's selection:
1. ‘The Putin Interviews’: Excerpt
2. Groveling Before the Mad King: Donald Trump's Cabinet of
     Sycophants
3. Trump Embraces GOP Tax-Cut Orthodoxy
4. The Espionage Act: One Hundred Years of Murky Law
5. What the Romans Did for Us: On the Age-Old Art of
     Propaganda
These are all well worth reading.


Note
[1] These are aphorisms of my own. I like them and therefore reproduce them. Nicolas Chamfort was French and lived from 1741-1794. He was extremely witty. (And I admit neither he nor I are friendly about the majority.) Also, while I say these are "ten aphorisms", there usually are more: I am speaking of "ten" due to the original grouping (which has been deleted in this presentation).

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