May 26, 2018

Crisis: Trumpian Degeneracies, Economic Neofascism, U.S. Torturers, Racist Trump, Pentagon


1. Summary
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from May 26, 2018

This is a Nederlog of Saturday, May 26, 2018.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:

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.

On the moment and since more than 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 I shall continue.

2. Crisis Files

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

A. Selections from May 26, 2018:
1. Donald Trump’s Guide to Presidential Etiquette
2. Want to Make Money Like a C.E.O.? Work for 275 Years
3. Will U.S. Torturers Ever Be Held Accountable as War Criminals?
4. Trump’s Racist Attacks Have a Deeper Meaning: Crushing All Dissent
5. Audit The Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
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. Donald Trump’s Guide to Presidential Etiquette

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

Remember when President Michelle Wolf outraged the conscience of conservatives across America by cracking a joke about the press secretary’s eye makeup? Oh, wait — Ms. Wolf is a comedian. Telling jokes is her job.

A better example is President Hillary Clinton, who disregarded all protocol and endangered our national security by relying on a private email server to conduct some government business. Hold on, you say Mrs. Clinton isn’t president, either?

O.K., then — how about Barack Obama, an actual president? His disrespect for that station is the stuff of legend. A tan suit. Shirtsleeves in the Oval Office. Those big, impertinent feet defiling the presidential desk.

President Trump has managed to avoid those particular offenses. His suits are dark, his ties patriotically long. Yet in so many other ways he is violating Americans’ expectations of how presidents should behave — even of how adults should behave, particularly when children are watching. Yes, Mr. Trump has now been compared to Joseph Stalin by one senior senator from his party, and, yes, he has been pre-emptively disinvited to the prospective funeral of another. But most Republican leaders, usually such vigilant guardians of Oval Office decorum, have remained strangely silent.

Quite so, although I don´t think that (bolding added) ¨most Republican leaders¨ (..) ¨have remained strangely silent¨: They have been predicticably silent.

But this is a good idea of the NYT and indeed may meanwhile be considered as a ¨traditional for Trump´s government¨:

So, for the fourth time in a year, we’ve compiled a list of Mr. Trump’s more egregious transgressions. These items don’t represent disputes about policy, over which reasonable people may disagree. They simply serve to catalog what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and across America, through their silence, have now blessed as behavior befitting a president of the United States.
Yes indeed - and a long list of the utter lies of the neofascist madman who is now president of the USA follows, and it is worth looking at. This is a recommended article. 
2. Want to Make Money Like a C.E.O.? Work for 275 Years

This article is by David Gelles on The New York Times. It starts as follows - and this is in fact extremely obscene in my eyes:

A Walmart employee earning the company’s median salary of $19,177 would have to work for more than a thousand years to earn the $22.2 million that Doug McMillon, the company’s chief executive, was awarded in 2017.

At Live Nation Entertainment, the concert and ticketing company, an employee earning the median pay of $24,406 would need to work for 2,893 years to earn the $70.6 million that its chief executive, Michael Rapino, made last year.

And at Time Warner, where the median compensation is a relatively handsome $75,217, an employee earning that much would still need to work for 651 years to earn the $49 million that Jeffrey Bewkes, the chief executive, earned in just 12 months.

These stark illustrations of income inequality are revealed in the Equilar 200 Highest-Paid C.E.O. Rankings, which are conducted annually for The New York Times by Equilar, an executive compensation consulting firm. As economic uncertainty roils the country, the gap between top executives and everyday employees grows ever wider.

I am sorry, but I have been called - utterly falsely - a ¨dirty fascist¨ and ¨a terrorist for over 40 years now in Holland, by the sick, degenerate fascist terrorists of the ASVA that shared the power in the ¨University¨ of Amserdam from 1971 till 1995, and who did it all to make as much money for themselves and as much power for themselves, and none whatsoever for their  - very few - opponents, of whom I am one.

And for me messrs McMillon, Rapino and Bewkes - and their likes - are simply extremely sick and greedy sadofascists.

Here is more from the article:

This year, publicly traded corporations in the United States had to begin revealing their pay ratios — comparisons between the pay of their chief executive and the median compensation of other employees at the company. The results were predictably striking.

“It’s grotesque how unequal this has become,” said Louis Hyman, a business historian at Cornell University. “For C.E.O.s, it’s like they are winning the lottery year after year. For a lot of Americans, they don’t have any savings. When they lose their job, they lose everything.”

Live Nation and Time Warner did not reply to requests for comment. After publication of this article, Walmart said it was increasing wages for low-paid workers.

Hyman is quite right. And here are some supersadistic neofascist degenerates:

For the first time, two chief executives on the list were awarded more than $100 million each. Hock Tan of Broadcom received $103.2 million, while Frank Bisignano of First Data earned $102.2 million.

In 2017, the median pay for the 200 highest-paid chief executives was $17.5 million, and they received an average raise of 14 percent, compared with 9 percent in 2016 and 5 percent the year before that.

Among the 160 companies of that group that revealed pay ratios, the median compensation for chief executives was also $17.5 million. In contrast, workers earned $75,217

As I said: This is what neofascism is like - a few CEOs are rewarded over $100 million each year, while the poor earn $15,000 a year, and the ¨middle class¨ $75,000 a year. It is stinking obscene, and it also is due to major theft of all the workers who work in corporations where these megarich neofascists tender to their own greed. And this is a recommended article.

3. Will U.S. Torturers Ever Be Held Accountable as War Criminals?

This article is by Marjorie Cohn on Truthout. This starts with the following qualification:
This piece was first published Wednesday, May 16, on Truthout. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Gina Haspel as the first female CIA director.
I missed this article, but since it is a good article, here it is. It starts as follows:
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to support Gina Haspel’s nomination today, despite the fact that her facilitation of torture should disqualify her from assuming the role of CIA director.
In her testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 9, Haspel insisted that the CIA’s interrogation program during the Bush administration was legal. Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran, argued that it could not be determined whether torture was effective to gain intelligence. She refused to state categorically that torture is immoral. And she never condemned the torture program in which she participated.

Haspel was chief of base at the secret CIA black site in Thailand when al-Qaida suspects, including Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, were waterboarded and brutalized in 2002. Ten years later, Sondra Crosby said al-Nashiri was “one of the most severely traumatized individuals I have ever seen.”

Waterboarding involves pouring water into prisoners’ noses and mouths to make them feel like they’re drowning.

And waterboarding has been regarded as torture since the 1600s at the latest. As to Gina Haspel: I think she is an eager sadist, an eager torturer, and an utter liar. I reject everything she says as a lie.

There is this about U.S. law - which in fact is a ridiculous bit of nonsense that people in the CIA who love torturing others can cast aside at will:

U.S. law has long considered waterboarding to be torture, which constitutes a war crime. After World War II, the U.S. government tried, convicted and hanged Japanese military leaders for the war crime of waterboarding.

Torture is prohibited under the U.S. Torture Statute; the U.S. War Crimes Act; the Geneva Conventions; and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (also known as the Convention Against Torture).

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture,” the Convention Against Torture states unequivocally.

Precisely. But not anymore in the USA nor in the CIA. And there is this about the sadofascist who started that people could be tortured, the neofascistic sadist Cheney:

According to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powell, Bush’s secretary of state, the torture policy emanated from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.

That makes Cheney—along with George W. Bush and other officials who authorized the torture—liable for war crimes. But since Barack Obama refused to hold the Bush war criminals accountable, Cheney continues to advocate torture with impunity.

In a recent appearance on Fox Business, Cheney supported Haspel’s nomination. He said he “wholeheartedly” favors “enhanced interrogation techniques”—a euphemism for torture. “I think the techniques we used were not torture,” Cheney claimed. “If it were my call, I would not discontinue those programs,” Cheney said. “If it were my call, I’d do it again.”

As I said. And here is more on the sadist Haspel, who lied and lied and lied so that she could torture:

Haspel confirmed that there were tapes documenting 92 interrogations of a detainee. Although she denied giving the order to destroy the tapes, Haspel acknowledged that in 2005, she drafted a cable from Jose Rodriguez ordering the destruction of the tapes. Rodriguez was chief of the CIA clandestine program and Haspel was his chief of staff.

When asked if she supported the destruction of tapes depicting waterboarding, Haspel said, “I absolutely was an advocate” of erasing the tapes, citing security concerns. She claimed to rely on consistent advice from counsel that there was no legal requirement to retain the tapes, provided that the treatment conformed to U.S. law.

Thus the obscenely sadistic liar Haspel. And incidentally, both Rodrigues and Haspel knew thay what they did was torture according to almost all non-U.S. lawyers - but Haspel helped destroying the evidence of her own torturing. What an utterly sick degenerate! And this is a recommended article.

4. Trump’s Racist Attacks Have a Deeper Meaning: Crushing All Dissent

This article is by Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as follows:

If you are not afraid by now, you should be.

Donald Trump is a racist. This is not a random accusation but an inference drawn from ample evidence. He has demonstrated those traits and behaviors throughout his time in public life.

Donald Trump is now the leader of the Republican Party, even if some Republicans remain uncomfortable with that fact. That party is the country's largest white identity organization, and torchbearer for a political value system where conservatism and racism are now effectively one and the same.

Donald Trump is an authoritarian. He holds democratic norms, culture, laws, and institutions in contempt and is doing everything in his power to become America's first dictator.

Yes, I think that is mostly correct. Here is more on the neofascist Trump:
In response to the NFL's decision to fine players who kneel in protest during the national anthem next season, Donald Trump used the bully pulpit of the presidency to gloat and threaten. "Well, I think that's good," Trump said during a Fox News interview. "I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still I think it's good. You have to stand — proudly — for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country."
That is: Not only is Trump an evident neofascist, but he is also a totalitarian - except on the sick and degenerate Wikipedia, where ¨totalitarianism¨ apparently has been redefined by an assistant of the neofascist Zbigniew Brzezinski (and for more on him see the last link).

Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:

Patriotism is compulsory. Freedom of speech is undermined if not wholly overturned -- especially for those who dare to criticize or otherwise oppose Donald Trump, his allies or his public. In a version of "blood and soil" racism, those who protest or otherwise dissent are to be expelled from the country -- especially if they happen not to be white.

Again, Trump's scorn is selective. He did not threaten the neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who rampaged and committed murder in Charlottesville with deportation. Instead, he suggested that some of them were "very fine people."

Yes indeed. And this is a recommended article.

5. Audit The Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities

This article is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

Top military, diplomatic, and political leaders have exposed, warned of, and condemned our runaway, unaudited military budgets for decades, to no avail.  (For many examples, see America’s War Machine: Vested Interests, Endless Conflicts by James McCartney, with Molly Sinclair McCartney.)  They usually come to the same desperate conclusion: that only organized citizens back in their Congressional Districts can make Congress stop this spending spree. Only us, Americans!

From 1953, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his “Cross of Iron” speech before the Convention of Newspaper Editors, to full-length addresses by President Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, the warnings about unrestrained military spending have not been addressed. The military budget—now at about a trillion dollars when you add up all costs—is spiraling out of control and draining the public budgets for rebuilding America’s public infrastructure and services. Now both major parties go along with uncritical rubber-stamping.

Quite so. And here is how much of the American taxes are invested in war, violence and terrorism in the last 26 years: About half:

Even the strict Pentagon budget of about $700 billion is now over fifty percent of the entire federal government’s operational budget for the other departments and agencies.

President Eisenhower said:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

And Eisenhower was quite right. Here is how the Pentagon can steal more or less what it likes the past 26 years:

What to do?  Start with requiring a fully and authentically audited military budget, a provision already required by federal law since 1992.

The Pentagon has been in violation of that Congressional directive since 1992 but keeps promising that an audit is coming, to Congress’s Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Well... I´d say that if you believe that the Pentagon will audit itself while it has not done so in the past 26 years, while it was legally obliged to do so, you must be an idiot.

This is from the ending of this article:

This legislation needs immediate public hearings in Congress. Full annual audits will reveal the costs of Empire. This is your money that could be used in your own community for jobs to repair and upgrade your public transit, roads, bridges, schools, drinking water/sewage systems, and other crumbling infrastructure and facilities.

I completely agree, but I would be much amazed if this ever happens before the next major economical collapse. But this is a strongly recommended article.


[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 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 (!!).
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