from June 3, 2018
B. One Extra Bit
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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.
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.
2. Crisis Files
These are five crisis files
that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 3, 2018:
1. The Deep State
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:
2. Seymour Hersh’s New Memoir Is a Fascinating, Flabbergasting
3. Cities & States Sue Big Pharma, Targeting the Firms
Who Profited from
Peddling Addictive Opioids
4. Bill Maher to Bernie Sanders: 'I’ll Be with Ya If You Run
Again' + video
'Ludicrous': Critics Slay Memo From Trump
Lawyers Claiming President
Above the Law
1. The Deep State
article is by Robert Paul Wolff on his site. It starts as follows:
heard a good deal lately about the Deep State, a
cabal of career government officials in the Justice Department, the
Department, and other federal agencies who are opposed to the
Donald Trump and are using their powers secretly to undermine his
resist his executive will. The term “Deep
State” seems to have been given currency by Steve Bannon, although I am
predates him. References to the Deep State
apparently abound in right wing media circles and form a part of
stories circulated on the Right.
I don´t often quote Wolff
in Nederlog, and my reason is that he is a philosopher, and Nederlog
may be sometimes about philosophy, but not often. (There is a lot
of philosophy on my site,
for I am also a philosopher.)
And I am quoting him here because he is talking about the Deep State,
which I have been interested in ever since reading Mike Lofgren in January of 2016. At
that time, I gave two quotes on the
meaning of the term ¨Deep State¨.
Here is the first, from Wikipedia (from January 2016):
And here is the second, in
which the idea of a Deep State is connected to Eisenhower´s
warnings about the dangers of what Eisenhower called the military-industrial
complex (also from January
within a state
is a political situation in a country when an internal organ ("deep
state"), such as the armed
forces and civilian authorities
(intelligence agencies and police),
does not respond to the civilian political leadership. The term, like
many in politics, derives from the Greek language (κράτος εν κράτει, kratos en
kratei, later adopted into Latin as imperium
or status in statu).
Sometimes, the term
refers to state
companies that, though formally under the command of the
government, act de facto like private corporations. Sometimes,
the term refers to companies that, though formally private, act de
facto like "states within a state".
I do not say
characteristic is complete, but I do think both are clarifying.
Now here is Robert Paul Wolff:
What are the key
players within the deep state?
The key institutions are
people would think they are. The military-industrial complex; the
Pentagon and all their contractors (but also, now, our entire homeland
security apparatus); the Department of Treasury; the Justice
Department; certain courts, like the southern district of Manhattan,
and the eastern district of Virginia; the FISA courts. And you got this
kind of rump Congress that consists of certain people in the
leadership, defense and intelligence committees who kind of know what’s
going on. The rest of Congress doesn’t really know or care;
they’re too busy looking about the next election.
Is there in fact a
Deep State? Of course there is, but not
only in the
Federal Government. There is also a Deep
State in the military, in the Catholic Church, in every university, in
in the Boy Scouts, in every state government, even in the Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries, and of course there is a Deep State in the
Revenue Service. All of these Deep States,
and many others besides, have a name, made current in intellectual
the greatest sociologist ever [save for Marx], Max Weber. They
are called bureaucracies.
O Lord! According to Wolff the
Deep State is another name for bureaucracies
(which I am sorry, but is complete bullshit) and
it also ¨apparently abound in
right wing media circles and form a part of
stories circulated on the Right¨.
The last is also a bit misleading, at least: I am certainly not a
rightist, and neither are
quite a few others who wrote about the Deep State.
Here is Wolff´s ¨deeper analysis¨:
Let us remind
of the etymology of the term “bureaucracy.” A
Democracy is a state ruled by the Demos,
the people. An Aristocracy is a state
ruled by the Ariston, the best [never mind the truth.] An Ochlocracy is a state
ruled by a mob. And a Kleptocracy is a
state ruled by thieves. A Bureaucracy is,
by extension, a state ruled
by the Bureau, which is to say by the faceless occupants of government
or bureaus, the career employees, the paper pushers, the rule
interpreters, and enforcers.
sorry, but this is total bullshit. I
like Robert Paul Wolff, but he is talking nonsense.
Hersh’s New Memoir Is a Fascinating, Flabbergasting Masterpiece
article is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept. This is from not far from
its beginning and is about Seymour Hersh´s latest book ¨Reporter¨
(which I have not read):
And I think these lessons
or principles indeed are quite correct. Here is more on ¨Reporter¨:
that Hersh has derived three simple lessons (...):
- The powerful prey
mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
- The powerful lie
constantly about their predations.
- The natural instinct of
the media is to let the powerful get away with it.
detailed explications of how Hersh has used these lessons, making
it one of the most compelling and significant books ever written
about American journalism. Almost every page will tell you something
you’ve never heard before about life on earth. Sometimes it’s Hersh
elaborating on what he’s already published; sometimes it’s new stories
he felt he couldn’t write about when he first learned of them; and
sometimes it’s the world’s most intriguing, peculiar gossip.
Well... OK I am more or
less willing to believe it, and Schwarz is quite enthusiastic. Here is
one bit about Nixon, that Hersh did not publish:
In the category of
stories Hersh did not report at the time is a disturbing account from a
few weeks after Nixon resigned in 1974 and returned to California.
Hersh writes that he had received a tip that Nixon had beaten his wife
Pat so badly that she had to be treated at a local emergency room. Then
John Ehrlichman, who’d been one of Nixon’s top aides, told Hersh that
he knew of other incidents when Nixon had abused her. But Hersh did not
report it, or even mention it to his editors, because he believed it
would only qualify as news if he could demonstrate that Nixon’s
behavior had affected government policy. Hersh later spoke about
the story in public in 1998. Women in the audience, he writes,
immediately informed him of just how illegitimate and
dangerous this standard was.
I say. This is a
& States Sue Big Pharma, Targeting the Firms Who Profited from
Peddling Addictive Opioids
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
New York Mayor Bill
de Blasio announced earlier this year that the city would sue
manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids to account for
their part in the city’s ongoing deadly opioid epidemic. Firms named in
the suit include Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and McKesson
Corporation. The Guardian reports that more than 60 cities are suing
Big Pharma over opioids. An explosive New York Times report has
revealed that manufacturers of the drug OxyContin knew it was highly
addictive as early as 1996, the first year after the drug hit the
market. The Times published a confidential Justice Department report
this week showing that Purdue Pharma executives were told OxyContin was
being crushed and snorted for its powerful narcotic, but still promoted
it as less addictive than other opioid painkillers. Purdue executives
have testified before Congress that they were unaware of the drug’s
growing abuse until years after it was on the market. Today, drug
overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50. We
speak with Barry Meier, author of “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and
the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic.”
I have written about this
before, and my own position on Purdue is that they are
drugs producers who systematically lied about OxyContin (for 22
years, also) simply because
this would increase their profits. Also the CEOs etc. of Purdue did
give shit about the people whom their drugs got hooked on hard
drugs, and thought they could get rid of any blame by
coughing up part
of their enormous profits to the prosecuters, as indeed happened many
Here is more:
GOODMAN: Explain the
nature of the settlement in 2007. Can the company—can individuals in
the company be held criminally responsible today, what, 200,000 deaths
later, in the last 20 years, though they would argue, “That’s not all
MEIER: Right. So, the
settlement was twofold. The company, Purdue Pharma, as a company, pled
guilty to a felony charge called misbranding, which was essentially
misrepresenting the drug, and paid $600 million in fines. The three
executives, top executives, of the company pled guilty to a misdemeanor
version of that charge. It was a sort of weird charge, because it only
held him liable in their roles as corporate executives. It did not
accuse them personally of any wrongdoing. They paid around—about $34
million in fines. But what we came to discover, and what was in the Times
in the other day and in the expanded version of the book, is that the
prosecutors on the case wanted to charge them also with very serious
felonies, that could have put them in jail, had that case gone forward.
Then again, rich
on the level of Purdue CEOs just don´t go to jail in the present USA,
indeed - perhaps - in part because they got rid of all personal
responsibilities for the deaths of very many Americans by coughing up
part of their profits.
Here is how people who
are not rich are treated in the present - neofascist,
plutocratic - USA:
GOODMAN: And talking about
holding people responsible, you write about how those that do drugs
together, a husband, could be found guilty of murdering his wife, etc.
Talk about that.
MEIER: Well, you know, we
have a different standard of justice in this country. One standard is
for the person who gets caught with, you know, some drugs in their
pocket. Another standard is for the person who’s caught selling drugs.
And another standard is for the executives of corporations that allow
these drugs to get into the wrong hands of people, or knowingly are
aware that these drugs are being abused, and don’t say anything. And,
you know, there seems to be very little punishment that those kinds of
GOODMAN: But what do
people face on the ground, who are doing drugs?
MEIER: They face
their—they face spending the rest of their life in prison.
MEIER: You know, they can
be sent away for 10 years, for 20 years. They can have their lives
destroyed, whereas the corporate executives don’t see their bonuses
going down. They don’t see their lives being ruined. They just go on
with their lives.
Precisely. There is a
lot more in the article, that is strongly recommended.
4. Bill Maher to Bernie Sanders: 'I’ll Be
with Ya If You Run Again'
article is by Nicole Karlis on AlterNet and originally on Salon. This
starts as follows:
Senator Bernie Sanders
(I-Vermont) stopped by Bill Maher’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” show on
Friday. Maher did not hesitate to flatter the former presidential
candidate, telling him he was more popular than Stormy Daniels’ lawyer.
“Sounds like they want you
to run again,” Maher said.
Actually, I don´t
understand how telling the truth - Bernie Sanders is
more popular than
Stomy Daniels´ lawyer - can be accurately described as ¨flattering¨
(¨to praise or compliment unduly or insincerely¨ - Shorter Oxford
Dictionary), but OK.
Here is more:
Kicking off the evening, he
asked Sanders to explain why the 2020 presidential election is “the
most important election” of all time.
“It is the most important
because we have a president who is a pathological liar,” Sanders said.
“We have a president who has strong authoritarian tendencies who wants
to everyday undermine American democracy, and in my state and all over
this country, you have men and women who have fought and died to defend
American democracy, and this guy looks all over the world and he kind
of likes all of these authoritarian leaders.”
”He attacks the media every
day, trying to make it harder for them to be critical of him, and we
have a president who is a billionaire himself, who has surrounded
himself with billionaires who gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest
people in this country and then brings forth a budget that would cut
Medicaid by a trillion dollars” Sanders added.
I agree with Sanders.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Maher concluded his
interview with a subtle endorsement.
“I’ll be with ya if you run
again,” Maher said.
Well... the basic
problem is - of course - also for Bernie Sanders that he will
in 2020. He is also one of the two Democrats I know of who would be
presidential candidates (the other is Elizabeth Warren),
but it is true that Sanders, if he became president in 2020, would be
83 at the end of his first term.
And I think that
Sanders´ own problem (who looks quite healthy now) is that he
know how healthy he will be in his eighties as president. And I think
this is a fair worry.
This is a recommended
article, and here is a video of Maher´s interview with Sanders (9 m 57
'Ludicrous': Critics Slay Memo From Trump Lawyers Claiming President
Above the Law
article is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
This last quote amounts to
this thesis, I think: The USA has elected an emperor as their ruler,
and emperors are God-given and beyond any control whatsoever
murder), indeed quite like the Roman emperors (such as Nero and
Government watchdogs and
legal experts called collective 'bullshit' against the legal team of
President Donald Trump on Saturday after it emerged his lawyers had
sent a memo to Special Counsel Robert Mueller claiming that the
president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice because, as the
government's top executive, he has nearly unlimited authority over
ongoing Department of Justice investigations and could also, if he
desired, issue pardons for those found guilty of misdeeds or illegal
In what the Times
characterized as a "brash assertion of presidential power," the 20-page
letter—dated Jan. 29, 2018—states:
It remains our position
that the President's actions here, by virtue of his position as the
chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor
legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him
obstructing himself, and that he could if he wished, terminate the
inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.
It is an utterly insane notion in a real democracy, but
then I do not
think that the present USA is a real democracy. But there are
considerable remnants of real democracy, and one consists of laws that
were not made by Trump.
Here is some more:
Posted online, the
confidential memo sent to Mr. Mueller by Trump's legal team can be read
Citing a recent 108-page
legal paper produced for the Brookings Institute (see below), Noah
Bookbinder, chairperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington (CREW), pushed back hard against the the claim that the
president cannot—based solely on his position of power—obstruct
justice. "The most fundamental American principle of all is at stake,"
said Bookbinder: "No one is above the law."
I agree with
Bookbinder, and this is a recommended article.
B. One Extra Bit
an extra bit in the crisis series. I did so before a few times. This
time it is about ¨the serious chronic disease¨ that both my ex-wife
(common law marriage, but by both of us regarded as a real marriage)
are now suffering from since 1.1.1979.
At looooooooooong last the medical world is in movement about ME/CFS.
It was not for the last 40+ years, and indeed my ex and I (who
both have ME/CFS since January 1979) met around 30
medical specialists in our attempts to get a rational diagnosis
and some help.
turned out that 27 of the 30 were utterly incompetent to do so,
for nearly all of
them were convinced that we were ¨psychosomatizers¨ - which
a medical diagnosis - and therefore either were hallucinating
and lack of energy and constant fatigue or else we were trying to
deceive the medical geniuses we met into diagnosing us falsely.
Having experienced that for nearly 40
years; having had decent
medical assistance of only one
medical doctor (a G.P., not
originally Dutch but Chechoslovak); I have concluded that the
assumption I can make (who also knows that education on
all levels has
about halved in the last 50 years, including the study of medicine)
that 90% of all Dutch medical doctors are
morally or intellectually
incompetent to properly diagnose or take care of patients who have rare
In fact, what was done to my ex and myself - who both fell ill in the
first year of our studies on study loans - was the constant trick (in
90% of the 30 medical specialists we tried) of Blaming The Victim:
¨Because we medics can´t find anything, we say that you are crazy, and
crazy people are not helped by us¨. (¨And there is the door!¨ as the
who acted for the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam told me, in 1982.)
Incidentally, my ex and I separated by the end of 1983, after 5 years
of constant illness for both of us, without any help
whatsoever, but we
both have IQs over 140, which is the reason we both succeeded
getting our - excellent - M.A.s in psychology, without ever
lectures, indeed in considerable part because the average student
the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam had an IQ of 115 in 1984 (and very
probably it is now lower still).
Anyway... here is a bit of news from a site for patients with ME/CFS:
This means - if Trump does not decide to blow up the world -
that ME/CFS will probably be resolved. Then
again, since the
first decent medical report on ME/CFS dates back to 1965, this is
40 years too late (and in fact seems to be mostly due because
professor biochemistry Ron Davis has a son with serious ME/CFS).
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 (!!).