Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Crisis: The Climate, Julian Assage, "Russia-gate", Nader On Obama

Sections                                                crisis index

1. Summary
Crisis Files
    A. Selections from October 11, 2017 


This is a Nederlog of Wednesday
, October 11, 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 will continue with it.

On the moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and will continue.

2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from October 11, 2017
1. Mr. Trump Nails Shut the Coffin on Climate Relief
2. Julian Assange on Roger Stone & Accusations
     About WikiLeaks and Trump Campaign Ties to

3. Julian Assange Marks 5.5 Years Inside Ecuador-
     ean Embassy as UK & US Refuse to Confirm
     Arrest Warrant

4. Russia-gate Jumps the Shark
5. Obama: Too Cool for Trump’s Crises
The items 1 - 5 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:

1. Mr. Trump Nails Shut the Coffin on Climate Relief

This article is by The Editorial Board on The New York Times. It starts as follows:

The Trump administration formally proposed on Tuesday to roll back yet another of President Barack Obama’s efforts to position the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change.
All this is infuriating on several levels.

It repeated the same false narrative that congressional Republicans have been peddling for years and that Mr. Trump’s minions are peddling now — that environmental regulations are job killers, that restraining greenhouse gas emissions will damage the economy, that the way forward lies in digging more coal and punching more holes in the ground in the search for oil.

It reaffirmed the administration’s blind loyalty to dirtier energy sources, ignoring the pleas of corporate leaders who know that economic momentum and new investment lie with cleaner sources of energy, and fear that without innovation their costs will rise and their competitive edge over foreign countries will be lost.

It repudiated the rock-solid scientific consensus that without swift action the consequences of climate change — widespread species extinction, more devastating droughts, more Harveys and Irmas and wildfires like those now raging in Northern California — will become more likely.

It offered, on a human level, more empty promises to the frightened miners who keep showing up to hear Mr. Pruitt say that coal is coming back, when any comeback is unlikely not because of regulation but because of powerful market forces favoring natural gas and renewables.

Yes indeed. There is more in the article, that is recommended. 

2. Julian Assange on Roger Stone & Accusations About WikiLeaks and Trump Campaign Ties to Russia

This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
Microsoft has joined Facebook in saying it is investigating whether Russian operatives paid for “inappropriate” pro-Trump ads on its Bing search engine and other platforms. Social media giant Facebook has said a Russian company placed thousands of ads on their network at a cost of more than $100,000, including some that targeted states crucial to Trump’s victory. Last week, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said it reached the conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, CIA Director Mike Pompeo has blasted Wikileaks as a hostile intelligence service that is often abetted by state actors like Russia, and Trump adviser Roger Stone declined to confirm to the House Intelligence Committee that he was directly in contact with WikiLeaks about damaging information on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. We get response from Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
In fact, there are three articles on yesterday's Democracy Now! with Julian Assange.

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, I think there’s a very good article recently published in The Nation which goes through all of that, and it’s shown to be nearly all fiction. The parts that you can actually determine, where you can compare with internally contradictory statements or other things, shows that it’s nearly all fiction. Whether there’s any truth to it, I don’t know. We haven’t researched that. 

Yeah, I would say that I think it’s very concerning to see this neo-McCarthyist hysteria, very, very dangerous in geopolitical terms. And, of course, it’s an attempt to, you know, to unite the Democratic Party. CIA structures it together in—and the media, in their assault against the Trump regime.
Yes indeed. I think that is nearly all correct, although I do not know about the CIA. But the rest is quite correct to the best of my knowledge.

Here is some more about Roger Stone (<-Wikipedia), but with far wider application:

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean?

JULIAN ASSANGE: He [Stone - MM]  doesn’t have anything to worry about because there is no back channel. There was never a back channel. I’ve said it at the time. He’s produced no evidence of it. We have complained about it. He’s simply trolling the absolute—you know, they want to be trolled. They don’t care. They don’t care what the truth is at all. All they want is some little propaganda point that they can use to somehow satisfy their ridiculous fantasies about taking down Trump in relation to Russia. And if Roger Stone is going to help with that, they will give him a massive platform. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Yes indeed. Here is the point of wide application once again:
(...) they want to be trolled. They don’t care. They don’t care what the truth is at all. All they want is some little propaganda point that they can use to somehow satisfy their ridiculous fantasies (...)
Quite so. There is considerably more in this interview, that is recommended.

3. Julian Assange Marks 5.5 Years Inside Ecuadorean Embassy as UK & US Refuse to Confirm Arrest Warrant

This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:

As we speak with WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, he shares an update on when he may be able to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has sought refuge and political asylum for more than five years. Earlier this year, Swedish prosecutors have dropped an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Assange, which he denies and calls a pretext for his ultimate extradition to the United States to face prosecution under the Espionage Act.

Quite so. Then again, Julian Assange is still far from safe. Here is part of the reason:

AMY GOODMAN: (..) We’re talking to Julian Assange, who has taken refuge, got political asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, for the last five-and-a-half years has lived in this tiny embassy in London. Julian, talk about the status of your case. In fact, you were holed up there so that you wouldn’t be extradited to Sweden, fearing then you would be extradited to the United States. But Sweden has dropped its case against you.

JULIAN ASSANGE: Yeah, of course. It never had a case. I was never charged. It was a, quote, “preliminary investigation,” which had been reopened, which had already been closed. So, yeah, but the United States continues its grand jury formally. It’s expanded it now to include our CIA publications. And CIA—Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo and the DOJ has been, at least in their statements—and we know from some internal matters—pursuing that aggressively.

And here is the rest of the reason: Assange is kept locked up because both Great Britain and the USA refuse to confirm or deny whether there are sealed extradition orders against him:

AMY GOODMAN: Why do they want you here in the United States? And what role is Britain playing right now? I mean, they don’t have to respond. There is not a known arrest warrant for you.

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, the U.K. says they refuse to confirm or deny whether they have already received a sealed extradition order. And the U.S. says that they refuse to confirm or deny whether they have already issued one.

As the last quotation from this interview, I quote Assange on the difference between the CIA and Wikileaks (and indeed any other more or less fair media organization):

AMY GOODMAN: Mike Pompeo, CIA director, his first major address as CIA director, takes on WikiLeaks and you, Julian. Your response?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, it’s a bit flattering, isn’t it? I mean, he’s saying that, essentially, that we’re a nonstate intelligence agency. Those are his words, which, of course, is completely absurd. Look, the media, media organizations, cultivate sources, protect their identities, if they’re doing their job well, and publish their material. The Central Intelligence Agency collects information for a different reason—to exploit it for interstate power, its own power—and then doesn’t publish it. So, the intentionality in obtaining information is to publish it, in the case of a media organization, and then it is published, hopefully. It is, with WikiLeaks. And the intelligence agencies collect information with a different intentionality, and they don’t publish. So, it’s—yeah, it’s absurd.

Yes, quite so. Again there is considerably more in the article, that is recommended.

4. Russia-gate Jumps the Shark

This article is by Robert Parry (<-Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:

A key distinction between propaganda and journalism is that manipulative propaganda relies on exaggeration and deceit while honest journalism provides context and perspective. But what happens when the major news outlets of the world’s superpower become simply conveyor belts for warmongering propaganda?

Yes indeed. Then again, all propaganda is manipulative, for a reasonable definition of 'propaganda' (unlike the lies from the very well-paid propagandists that claim to be involved in what they are pleased to call 'public relations' [2]) is this:

Propaganda: Slanted, biased, prejudiced or partial presentation of something that is meant to produce a state of belief that is not proportional to the evidence.

Most points of view people get exposed to are kinds of propaganda, whether political, religious or economical. And indeed, the last kind of propaganda, also known as advertising, is the most expensive and well-paid kind of writing or filming there is, and the sort of information most people are most exposed to.

Advertisement and public relations are also kinds of propaganda, intended to mislead a public into buying products or believing institutions, political parties or  governments. Of course, the commercial spreaders or lies that are public relations companies deny this, but then their craft is the art of lying, using the techniques of conmanship.
And here is more by Robert Parry:
That is a question that the American people now face as The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and virtually the entire mainstream media hype ridiculously minor allegations about Russia’s “meddling” in American politics into front-page hysteria.

For instance, on Tuesday, the major news outlets were filled with the latest lurid chapter of Russia-gate, how Google, the Internet’s dominant search engine, had detected suspected “Russia-linked” accounts that bought several thousand dollars worth of ads.

The Washington Post ran this item as front-page news (...)
Note what they ran as front page news: Some - claimed (!) "“Russia- linked” accounts" have "bought several thousand dollars worth of ads".

I say! Here is some background by Parry:
A journalist – rather than a propagandist – would immediately follow these figures with some context, i.e., that Google’s net digital ad sales revenue is about $70 billion annually. In other words, these tiny ad buys – with some alleged connection to Russia, a nation of 144 million people and not all Vladimir Putin’s “operatives” – are infinitesimal when put into any rational perspective.
Precisely - and that is not speaking about any of the many lies, propaganda, and bullshit the government of the USA spreads around.

There is considerably more that I leave to your interests. The article ends as follows:

Of course, the big difference between Iraq in 2003 and Russia in 2017 is that as catastrophic as the Iraq invasion was, it pales against the potential for thermo-nuclear war that could lie at the end of this latest hysteria.
I quite agree. And this is a recommended article.

5. Obama: Too Cool for Trump’s Crises

This article is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams and originally on Nader's site. It has the following subtitle:
Say the right thing and the people won’t mind so much when your words don’t match your deeds.
It starts as follows:

Back in the nineteen seventies, there was a best-seller, widely read in the business community, called Winning through Intimidation. Barack Obama should pick up a copy, because that is what Donald Trump may be doing to him. Obama stays mostly silent as the belligerent Trump rolls back or destroys the legacies of Obama’s eight years in office. The mere thought of tangling with the Trumpster’s foul, prevaricatory, sneering tweets offends Obama’s own sense of civil discourse between politicians.

Given the present crises, this revulsion is just another form of self-indulgence by the former, self-described community organizer, Senator and President.
In fact, I think Nader is too kind to Obama.

But I have to admit that I too was frauded by Obama in 2008 - see here - although one major reason that I could be frauded by him was that I only got fast internet in 2009 (after writing the above) and until then I had a telephone modem, that made surfing quite expensive for me, while it also was quite slow.

Then again, I have been critical of Obama since the summer of 2009, and at present I think he was just another Clinton or another Blair: Frauds who are interested in political power, because this enables them to get very rich themselves, and who can make it to political power because they are very good and very slick liars.

Here is more by Nader:

Mr. Obama could, for example, work to strengthen civic groups and help substantially to create new organizations to address urgent needs (such as averting wars); he could back opposition to Trump’s destructive policies that are running America into the ground while shielding Wall Street and the dictatorial corporate supremacists whose toadies Trump has put into high government positions.

Obama is a big draw and can raise hundreds of millions of dollars faster than most
This seems to be all correct. But Obama doesn't do these things. Instead, Obama tries to get rich:
Instead, Obama, besides raising funds for his presidential library (about $1 billion), is getting press primarily for being paid $400,000 or more per speech before Wall Street and other big business audiences.
This is precisely like Bill Clinton (who meanwhile seems to have gathered around $120 million, together with his wife).

Here is more on Obama:
There is plenty to be said in the U.S. that is both new and significant by Obama. However, apart from a few words here and there on bigotry and immigration, Obama has preferred to bounce between high-priced lecture gigs and wealthy watering holes where he is a guest of the super-rich, and to work on his book, for which he is receiving over $30 million. Michelle Obama is receiving many millions of dollars for her book and has also been attending celebrity-filled gatherings.
Again precisely like the Clintons. Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article, from near its end:

In his best-selling 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, then Senator Obama admitted: “I found myself spending time with people of means—law firm partners and investment bankers, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists. As a rule, they were smart, interesting people. But they reflected, almost uniformly, the perspectives of their class: the top 1 percent of the income scale.”

And becoming a senator, Obama got access to the 1%, while after becoming a president he could reward the criminal US bankers, as he did and did again and again, calculating that they would make him rich after being president, and he was right: They did.

This is a recommended article, although my faith in Obama is probably lower than Nader's, simply because I have no faith whatsoever in him, that is, except for the fact that I firmly believe that Obama's present project is to get rich by speaking to the criminal bankers he helped so much, for a mere $400,000 a speech.

Obama will very probably succeed in this as well.


[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that is systematically ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds, as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).

The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any other Dutch provider is any better (!!).

[2] As to "public relations", which is itself a propaganda term, a strongly recommended series is "The Century of the Self" by Adam Curtis. This is a four-part series, and especially part 1, that is mainly about the founder of propaganda Edward Bernays is strongly recommended by me. (It can be found on Youtube.)
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