from March 7, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
2018. There also is another Nederlog today, in Dutch. It is a repeat
from 2006: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) 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.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from March 7, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. Gary Cohn’s Exit Won’t Make This Administration Any Better
2. How Corporate Health Care Leaders Maintain Their Impunity
California's Democratic Primary and the Sham
4. Six Ways the 'Resistance' Gave Trump a Dictator’s Toolkit
5. Daniel Ellsberg on Dismantling the Doomsday Machine
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:
Cohn’s Exit Won’t Make This Administration Any Better
This article is by The Editorial Board on The New York Times:
In fact, I
do not see why the NYT writes that Cohn
administration filled with people with dubious ideas, limited
experience and loads of ethical baggage, Gary Cohn, the former Goldman
Sachs executive who became the top economics official in the Trump
White House, was supposed to be among the sensible adults in the room.
is leaving after failing repeatedly to be the stabilizing influence
that the Trump administration sorely needed.
Many critics of Mr. Trump are
already cheering Mr. Cohn’s departure. Indeed, he has done an awful
job. His chief accomplishment was helping pass a tax cut that will
benefit wealthy people like himself while adding $1.5 trillion to the
national debt for future generations to pay off. Mr. Cohn’s other pet
project — to develop a plan to rebuild American infrastructure —
produced a shambolic
proposal that is going nowhere in Congress.
"has done an awful job. His chief
accomplishment was helping pass a tax cut that will benefit wealthy
people like himself while adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt for
future generations to pay off"
for in fact
he succeeded (it seems) in arranging it that by 2027, when the
spoken of in the last quotation are fully implemented, that 83% of
benefits of those tax cuts will all go to the richest 1% (including
Surely, that was one of the main aims of this "registered
Here is more on Cohn and others that are part of the Trump government:
I take it this is all true. (I
don't know.) Here is the last bit that I quote from this
Yet, for all
his flaws, Mr. Cohn most likely represents the high-water mark for
economic thinking in this administration. The Treasury secretary,
Steven Mnuchin, another former Goldman banker, sent currency markets
reeling recently when he talked
flippantly about weakening the dollar. Kevin Hassett, who is the
chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has peddled
nonsense about how the corporate tax cut will
increase wages for working families when in fact most credible
experts rightly predicted that it would principally benefit investors.
In another corner, Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, and Peter
Navarro, a White House trade adviser, are goading the president to
start a destructive trade war with the rest of the world.
In fact, while I do
think there are a few - more or less - sound economists, I also
am quite sure that neither the Editorial Board nor Trump will agree
with me. And it does not seem very unlikely to me that Trump will
nominate another banker that comes from Goldman Sachs, although I do
not know this is correct, nor do I have any idea who it might
With the cranks and nationalists ascendant in Trump World,
whoever replaces Mr. Cohn is unlikely to be any better than he is, and
possibly quite a bit worse. No sound economist would risk his or her
reputation by working in this administration. Since before even taking
office, Mr. Trump has reeled from one scandal to the next. Recent weeks
have brought a parade of senior officials departing, most under a cloud
of suspicion. The first-year turnover among senior staff members in the
Trump administration is significantly higher than for the past five
presidents and is double the rate for the first year of the Reagan
administration, the previous record-holder, according to the Brookings
Of course, Mr. Trump is
adamant that there is no
chaos in his administration.
But it is correct that Gary Cohn has left the Trump government, and it
is also correct this is fairly important. And this is a recommended
2. How Corporate Health Care Leaders
Maintain Their Impunity
This article is by Roy Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. This is from
near the beginning:
For years, we have
railed against the impunity
of top leaders of health care organizations. We have noted that
legal settlements made by health care organizations of alllegations
almost never do top leaders who presided over these actions face any
negative consequences. Lack of deterrence caused by such impunity
appears to be a major cause of the epidemic of continuing
unethical behavior, crime and corruption
on the part of large health care organizations. How executives got to
the point of having such impunity has never been clear.
To start with, here is a
bit of personal background on why I am following Health Care Renewal.
There are basically two kinds of reasons.
The first is that within less than 10 months I'll be ill forty years
(40 years) with a serious disease - Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis - that
for all the time that I have this disease this has been denied
by 27 of
the 30 Dutch "medical specialists" (all very much richer than I ever
could be) and other "medical doctors": They all said - in effect - I
was not ill but insane (though they phrased it more politely). For me
(I did not select the
vast majority of "medical specialists") this means that 9 out of 10
all Dutch medical doctors are very much more interested in the money
they make, than in the patients they treat: They are medical frauds.
The second is that while I was ill I did three full studies in
"University" of Amsterdam. The main reason I could do so - and
note that I usually was too ill to follow any lectures, which
serious additional handicap - is that I found in 1978 (because my
girlfriend was a psychological assistant who mainly tested IQs) that my
IQ is over 150, while the average IQ in the "University" of Amsterdam
was ... 115. (Which is ludicrously low, for a university.)
In any case, I did make an M.A. in psychology with an excellent
did make an excellent B.A. in philosophy in 1980, but
was denied the
right to take my M.A. in philosophy in 1988 because I was not
(and had said so clearly ), and because I had
criticize the utterly incompetent parasites who were paid a lot of
money to teach "philosophy", and I also wanted to take an M.A.
Norwegian, where I had lived nearly three years and learned to speak
and read the language really well, but I soon found out that the
"University" of Amsterdam did not even have a single speaker of
Norwegian, and blamed me for getting angry about
made me finish there.
To turn back to my health: I am following Health Care Renewal because I
am much more interested in good medical science and good
than almost anybody else, for the simple reason that my life has
destroyed by medical liars and degenerates who all were very much more
interested in their own finances than in helping or maintaining or
listening more than 5 minutes to people like myself and my ex,
had the extreme ill luck of getting ill in 1979 with M.E., and who also
is still ill, and who also got a brilliant M.A. in
her IQ was 142 and not 115. (But Dutch medics nearly all pretend we do
not exist and do not deserve any hearing.)
Finally, to turn to the above quotation: I agree with
the last statement, "How
executives got to the point of having such impunity has never been
clear." I disagree with
that because I think the main reason that the rich medical
fraud almost as much and certainly as long as the rick banking
who make millions in the USA each year are the political frauds
Senate and in Congress who are in at least 95% of the cases only
getting rich themselves.
There are some more reasons, and one of them is this:
In general we have
seen much tougher enforcement directed against relatively small health
care players than against bigger ones. For example, we
noted in 2014 that settlements by Merck, Eli Lilly, Takeda,
and Teva, all large pharmaceutical companies, allowed the companies to
pay fines to settle allegations that they pushed dangerous products,
while none of the executives who authorized, enabled, or directed these
actions faced negative consequences.
Yes, I agree but I also
insist that money = power, and that with sufficient amounts
you can buy the large majority of those in power, at
least in the present USA.
Here is more by Roy Poses MD:
rationale does not address the failure to pursue enforcement actions
against organizational leaders who who enabled, authorized, directed or
implemented misbehavior. It is not that there are no good legal
tools available to do so. We wrote
I suppose this is true
don't know) but I also suppose that in the end the causes are the
as made all higher executives all American banks stand free from any
legal prosecution whatsoever: They could fraud as much as they
because - lied Eric Holder - "they are too big to fail".
we noted here,
a Supreme Court case from 1943 empowered the government to seek
penalties against responsible corporate officers (the "responsible
corporate officer doctrine") who were in a position to stop a fraud
that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction, particularly for the
selling of misbranded or adulterated drugs into interstate commerce
under the US Food and Drug Act. Despite a threat made
in 2010 by the chief counsel of the Inspector General's office of the
US Department of Health and Human Services to use such legal authority
to "get high level executives out of companies," nothing of the sort
That was a lie, but the top people of the banks were told that they
could do almost anything they pleased to get as rich as they could,
because applying the law against them was out. And I think the same
happened in case of the pharmaceutical corporations.
In fact, there is rather a lot more in quotations from The Intercept,
which I think are quite good, but which I do not quote here: If
want to read them get the original article.
I skip all that and end with the following:
So this suggests
that leaders of large health care corporations have actively attempted
to preserve their impunity. Furthermore, their methods have been
aimed not just at increasing their personal impunity, but the impunity
of all corporate leaders, which has implications beyond health care. In
that they resemble efforts of leaders of other big corporations, like
tobacco companies, to combat specific regulations by campaigning
against regulation in general. Finally, they have deliberately
obscured their efforts to dodge responsbility by using third parties
paid with concealed funds.
Yes, but in fact it is
worse: it is not just the tobacco companies and
some others who plainly
frauded. It are the bankers who frauded and who were declared free to
fraud; it are the policians who frauded because this
made them a lot richer; and indeed it also are the
leaders of large health corporations who frauded, and who also were
hugely rewarded for their frauds, e.g. by having to pay a small
percentage of their gains back to the state to buy off prosecution
the leaders of the frauds. (Which is what happened very many times.)
So I think this article is well worth reading, but in fact it is not
negative enough. But it is a recommended article.
Democratic Primary and the Sham of Elections
This article is by Scott Tucker on Truthdig. It starts as
The recent California
Democrats State Convention denied Sen. Dianne Feinstein an endorsement
for a fifth full term, although the party machine and her bank account
are still in her favor. There are signs
of dissent and youthful unrest among Democrats, and not just in
California, though anyone hoping to reform that party must first break
grip of the old guard.
Yes indeed, although I
am afraid that "the old guard" - presumably: Hillary Clinton and here
team - are extremely hard to "break", simply because the big money in
the Democratic Party is with them (and big money these days supports
and permits massive fraudulence of any kind).
In fact, a considerable
part of the rest of this article is given to a new voting schema that
is being adopted in California, in which it is not parties that
compete, but (always: rich) individuals, also if both are
Democrats or both are Republicans. It clearly has little to do with
real politics, and everything with helping the rich to get the
positions they wanted, but I quote only this bit on it:
I agree with this. Here is Scott
If leading Democrats in
California really want to make elections fair and democratic, they
would endorse and campaign in earnest for instant-runoff
voting, or ranked-choice
voting. So why don’t they? Career politicians in the big corporate
parties don’t really want the competition. They would prefer to
continue framing opposition candidates and parties as “spoilers.” They
prefer to pose as pragmatists and lament “wasted votes”—namely, the
votes they can never gain by honest elections.
When such career politicians
and their publicists also have the gall to give us advice on “swing
states” and “strategic voting,” they deserve Bronx cheers. If something
has to give, it is their corrupt “bipartisan” electoral system, and not
Again I agree, but I also note the
main problem with the above: The problem is that "the
parties of corporate dictatorship" have all the money they want from the very rich
corporations, while the individuals who oppose them have no rich
backers. Anyway... this is a recommended article.
Because they work in
earnest to disenfranchise voters who oppose their public policies, they
also teach the useful lesson that a social revolution may be necessary
to gain a truly democratic republic.
We can have democracy in
this country, or we can have their two-party system, but we cannot have
both. The actual party of peace, economic democracy and ecological
sanity is still a work in progress, including many Green Party voters
and supporters of democratic socialism.
The parties of corporate
dictatorship will not reform themselves out of sheer goodwill. Only
steady resistance will break their grip on power. Whether on election
days or in the social movements that go over, under and around their
corporate obstacle course, our voice and our message are growing
clearer and stronger:
Not one cent for the
parties of corporate dictatorship, not one vote for the parties of war
Ways the 'Resistance' Gave Trump a Dictator’s Toolkit
This article is by Lee Camp on Truthdig. It starts as
Yes indeed, and you can
find a lot about the TPP by checking the indexes of Nederlog
from 2013 till 2016 inclusive.
My longtime arch-nemesis,
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—which I thought we had vanquished
after years of stabbing, kicking and choking it—may now be rising from
the dead like a zombie, like a vampire, like a Jeff Sessions. And this
is yet another sign that the so-called Democratic “Resistance” is a
joke so big it has to buy two airplane seats.
Let me explain.
The TPP was the largest trade
deal ever conceived. It was created under Barack Obama, hashed out in
secrecy by corporate lawyers, involved 12 countries and would’ve gone
through except that Donald Trump promised during his campaign he would
not sign it. When he got into office, he stuck to that promise.
Next, there is this:
Trump binned it
because a bunch of people on Twitter yelled at him, and he thought:
“Whatever they said—I’ll do that. Plus, it will piss off Obama.
This is a brief
explanation, but I think it is correct. Then there is this on NAFTA:
”So as idiots and paint chip
nibblers are known to do, Trump did something good for all the wrong
reasons. That’s pretty much the case every time he does something good.
He’s also renegotiating
NAFTA to “get us a better deal,” which is like hiring an empty shoe
box to renegotiate your mortgage. And keep in mind, NAFTA was not just
a disaster for your average American. It was a disaster for your
average Mexican, too, which triggered much of the migration to the
United States that Trump supporters and run-of-the-mill racists love to
complain about. NAFTA allowed U.S. corporations to crush Mexican
farmers, and suddenly, trekking through the deadly desert to America
seemed like a nice option.
I did not find much about
NAFTA in my Nederlogs, but there us a good article on March 9, 2016, about it (in part)
which - incidentally - also has a review of Robert Reich
calling Trump "a fascist".
Then there is this about "The Resistance" in the USA:
What does this have to do
with the so-called Democratic “resistance”? Well, there’s a reason
Trump has such an outsize trade authority—a reason your mainstream
media would rather you forget. Obama handed this trade authority to
Trump on a silver platter. Back in 2015, Congress, under pressure from
the Obama administration, voted to give the president, any
trade authority for the next six years. This means Congress cannot
change a word of any trade deal Trump approves.
This is yet another way the
corporate-owned Democrats have furthered and supported Donald Trump
every step of the way. They try to act like the “Resistance,” but
they’re not resisting anything. They’re trying desperately to prop him
up, make him stronger, give him every power a unitary executive can
In fact, I did not know
that Obama handed unlimited trade authority to Trump, though indeed I
am not amazed (and Obama is a fraud like the Clintons).
As to "The Resistance": I partially
agree. I did pay a little attention to it in late 2016, but
when it turned out it was mainly Keith Olbermann acting as if he is a
Hero Of The Resistance in pretty crazy programs, I started skipping it,
and I still do.
Then again, I do not
know whether I agree that the Democrats are supporting "Donald Trump
every step of the way": I
think the Democrats are supporting Big Money, and especially
though not solely the rich bankers.
But here is more by Lee
Besides unlimited trade
authority, many Democrats also voted to continue to give Trump unlimited
war powers with the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Thirteen Democratic senators voted to continue to have no congressional
oversight over Trump’s wars. Remember that the next time Jean Shaheen,
Claire McCaskill, Mark Warner and Sheldon Whitehouse try to tell you
they’re part of the resistance. No, they’re part of the
“freesistance”—giving Trump a free pass for unlimited war. They’re paid
employees of the war profiteers. Having the word “Senator” before your
name just means you’re one of the more highly paid employees.
It just means you have a bathroom that others aren’t allowed to use.
I fear that is quite
correct. And there is this:
A few weeks ago, Congress
passed a spending bill that took away the remaining congressional
oversight of the intelligence community. Before that, they voted to
continue giving Trump unlimited
Here is a sum up of
points by Lee Camp:
Just to sum up, the
Democrats have helped, voted for, and often argued in favor of all of
If this is considered
“resistance,” then I don’t want to be a part of it.
- Giving Trump unlimited
- Giving Trump unlimited
trade negotiation powers.
- Giving Trump unlimited
- Giving Trump the power
someone up indefinitely without a trial or charges under the
National Defense Authorization Act.
- Giving Trump the power
American citizens without a trial or charges.
- Giving Trump’s
control of our election system infrastructure.
Well... I do not know whether
all of this is correct, but much of it is. And this is from the ending
of the article:
As George Carlin said,
“It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” Schiff is corrupt and working
for corporate America and Wall Street. Trump is corrupt and working for
corporate America and Wall Street. Ninety-five percent of the
Democratic congresspeople are corrupt and working for corporate America
and Wall Street. Ninety-nine percent of the Republicans are corrupt and
working for corporate America and Wall Street.
Do not expect them to save
We cannot look to inverted
totalitarianism to save us from inverted totalitarianism. The
ruling elite will let us die and then charge us for the coffins.
Yes indeed, and this is a
Ellsberg on Dismantling the Doomsday Machine
This article is by John Mecklin from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
In [The Doomsday
Machine] Ellsberg chronicles his early career as a RAND Corporation
analyst deeply involved in the crafting of American nuclear war plans
in the 1960s—plans that were meant to be more controlled and
discriminating than earlier versions but, he came eventually to
understand, were actually blueprints for the obliteration of
civilization. “Working, conscientiously, obsessively, on a wrong
problem, countering an illusory threat, I and my colleagues at RAND had
distracted ourselves and helped distract others from dealing with the
real dangers posed by the mutual superpower pursuit of nuclear
weapons—dangers which we were helping make worse—and from real
opportunities to make the world more secure,” Ellsberg writes.
“Unintentionally, yet inexcusably, we made our country and the world
I think that is correct,
and in case you are interested, here is some more about Daniel Ellsberg
(whom I do admire).
The rest I quote from the interview, that makes up most of the article.
Here is the first bit:
John Mecklin: For
those few people in the world who haven’t read your book yet, why did
you write it now?
Daniel Ellsberg: I
drafted the first part of the book really 40 years ago, just after the
[Vietnam] war ended in 1975. My publisher then said they would sell
1,400 copies, which meant that they would not publish it. Really, I
tried a couple of other times. There was no interest in publishing.
I spent all my time trying
to help build an anti-nuclear movement, like the anti-war movement. My
full-time job was in work on the bilateral nuclear weapons freeze and
various other things. I was getting arrested in civil disobedience
actions, 87 times up till now. I was doing that and getting interviewed
a lot and speaking on this subject all the time but with no national
attention, whatever, to either the arrests or the lectures or the
interviews or anything like that. Many people thought I just
disappeared all that time. Actually, I was being pretty active in
getting a lot of local coverage, but no national coverage at all.
In fact, I admit that I
did not read The
Machine and I also do not know anyone who has. (I think you should
if you have any doubts, but I have been demonstrating against nuclear
arms already in the 1950s.)
And Ellsberg is quite correct
that while he has been quite busy with nuclear arms since 1975, there
was no interest in him or his theses on a national level.
Here is more on the American
(mainstream) media and their reasons to almost never write or talk
about a major nuclear war:
John Mecklin: The
major media tend to almost never actually confront or describe the
actual effects of a major nuclear war. Why do you think that is?
Daniel Ellsberg: That’s
hard for me to say, really. I certainly agree with you. I would say
they have been shockingly derelict in reporting this. I can’t give an
answer. I haven’t been able to ask their editors what’s going on.
But it’s a very interesting
question. My speculative answer would have to be that the major media
have always supported basically—until quite recently perhaps—our basic
nuclear arsenals. Insane as they are. They’re unjustifiable, if you
really look at them critically. And yet they’re treated as though they
are reasonable responses to the nuclear era, which they are not.
Nothing reasonable about them at all.
I think the answer of
Ellsberg is correct. Then again, there are other reasons. Here
is Ellsberg again:
What’s it all for? It is
for [military] service share of the budget. Lockheed Martin, Boeing,
Grumman, Northrop. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, as one after another
official has put it, from James Baker to others. Profits, as I say,
jobs, and campaign donations. It’s embedded in all 50 states of the
union, one way or another, in the various expenditures, and very hard
to get rid of. Almost impossible.
Yes indeed: nuclear
arms are supported because they give enormous profits to a few
corporations, which also plow a small part of their enormous profits
back as campaign donations for politicians who support nuclear arms.
Here is the last bit,
on Ellsberg motivation:
I agree, and I think since
a long time than any major nuclear war certainly will destroy human
civilization, and probably all of mankind, in the somewhat longer run,
with nuclear winters of many years, and with ever present nuclear
radiation. And this is a strongly recommended article.
I was participating in
plans—it’s true for my plans as well—for something that is only
euphemistically called mass murder. “Mass” doesn’t entirely convey that
we’re not talking about a massacre in a historic sense here, but we’re
talking about the annihilation of tens, hundreds of millions of people.
And really billions of people. That’s not an exaggeration; even aside
from the smoke [that causes nuclear winter], you’re talking billions of
people. Mass murder doesn’t quite convey that, because there is no
human language that conveys it.
We don’t have language, and we
don’t have concepts.
have now been
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl 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.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
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 (!!).
 This happened five or seven days
into the first year I studied, which was the academic year 1977/1978.
What made this quite important (which I did not know at the
time: I had lived in Norway) is that the whole university (all
Dutch universities) had effectively been given ¨to the students¨,
who had the vast majority in any university, and the
students (at least those in Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Tilburg) were
almost all very ¨leftist¨, and many supported the Dutch Communist Party from
1977 till 1984, and after that converted to postmodernism, and as soon
as socialism had collapsed in the Soviet Union nearly all became
This situation of all Dutch universities being in the
hand of the students was unique in the world; it lasted for
25 years; it was totally undone by a parliamentary decision in
1995; and all of the leaders of the present universities
pretend that the years from 1971 till 1995 (that covered at least 4
full generations of students) simply do not exist.
I cannot regard the Dutch ¨universities¨ as real
universities since 1995: they are - at best - colleges (as indeed was
already the official plan in 1992).