from July 9, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
Incidentally, this is the 2000th file
I wrote about the crisis since September
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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from July 9, 2018:
1. The Con of Diversity
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:
"Hope in a Bottle" - Components of Purdue
Pharma Stealth Marketing
3. Trump’s Art of the No Deal (revised and updated)
4. Why Killing Dodd-Frank Could
Lead to the Next Crash
5. Has Democratic Socialism a Future in American Politics?
1. The Con
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I did not know about James
Cone (and 1970 is 48 years ago), but I think Chris Hedges is quite
right about the mechanism Harvard used to get only mediocre and
pliable blacks. And indeed part of this con-game (for that is what it
is) happens in the name of diversity:
In 1970, when black
students occupied the dean’s office at Harvard Divinity School to
protest against the absence of African-American scholars on the
school’s faculty, the white administration was forced to respond and
interview black candidates. It asked James
Cone, the greatest theologian of his generation, to come to
Cambridge, Mass., for a meeting. But the white power structure had no
intention of offering Cone a job. To be black, in its eyes, was bad
enough. To be black, brilliant and fiercely independent was
unpalatable. And so the job was given to a pliable African-American
candidate who had never written a book, a condition that would remain
unchanged for the more than three decades he taught at Harvard.
Harvard got what it wanted.
Mediocrity in the name of diversity. It was a classic example of how
the white power structure plays people of color. It decides whom to
promote and whom to silence.
Diversity in the
hands of the white power elites—political and corporate—is an
advertising gimmick. A new face, a brand, gets pushed out front,
accompanied by the lavish financial rewards that come with serving the
white power structure, as long as the game is played. There is no
shortage of women (Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Donna Brazile),
Latinos (Tom Perez and Marco Rubio) or blacks (Vernon Jordan, Clarence
Thomas and Ben Carson) who sell their souls for a taste of power.
Yes indeed. And this
correctly stresses the mechanism, that may be phrased as Hedges does in
the above quotation: those women and blacks who comply with the
white male power elite get "lavish financial rewards that come with serving the white
(that ran into many millions for Hillary Clinton, for example).
Or else it may be described more briefly, but as accurately: it is corruption,
for these people verbally abuse ideals they pretend to in order to get
large personal rewards in money for "serving the white [male] power structure".
Here is a wider sketch of a similar mechanism:
The absence of
genuine political content in our national discourse has degraded it to
one between racists and people who don’t want to be identified as
racists. The only winners in this self-destructive cat fight are
corporations such as Goldman Sachs, whose interests no American can
vote against, along with elite institutions dedicated to perpetuating
the plutocracy. Drew G. Faust, the first woman president of Harvard
University, whose appointment represented a triumph for diversity, upon
her retirement was appointed to the board of Goldman Sachs, a role for
which she will receive
compensation totaling over half a million dollars a year. A new and
“diverse” group of Democratic Party candidates, over half of whom have
been recruited from the military, the CIA, the National Security
Council and the State Department, is hoping to rise to political power
based on the old con.
Yes indeed - or at least
this is how it often works (also outside the USA,
woman gets nominated to an important post "because she is a woman" (in
fact: because she is a woman who is pliable i.e. corrupt) and then
rewarded for her pliability aka corruption by being offered a next very
highly paid job (thus it happens also e.g. in Holland).
Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
The plague of
diversity lies at the core of our political dysfunction. The Democratic
Party embraces it. Donald Trump’s Republican Party repudiates it. But
as a policy it is a diversion. Diversity has done little to ameliorate
the suffering of the black underclass. Most blacks are worse off than
when King marched in Selma. African-Americans have lost
over half of their wealth since the financial collapse of 2008
because of falling homeownership rates and job loss. They have the
highest rate of poverty at 27.4 percent, followed by Hispanics at 26.6
percent and whites at 9.9 percent. And 45.8 percent of black children
under 6 live in poverty, compared with 14.5 percent of white children
in that age group. Forty percent of the nation’s homeless are
African-Americans although blacks make up only 13 percent of our
population. African-Americans are incarcerated at more than five times
the rate of whites.
I think the first
statement of the above quote could be improved by inserting a single
term: "The plague of corrupt
diversity lies at the core of our political dysfunction." And the rest
of the paragraph is an outline of how corrupt
worked: It made a very few blacks and a few women rich, while it made
the blacks and the women in general worse off than they were before
(though indeed there are also other causes than corrupt
And this is a strongly recommended article in which there is a
than I quoted.
in a Bottle" - Components of Purdue Pharma Stealth Marketing Campaign
article is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. It starts as
Back in the distant
past the US government made some attempt to hold big health care
corporations to account for misleading marketing practices. We
learned a lot about these practices from documents revealed in the
resulting litigation, and in particular, about stealthy, deceptive
advocacy campaigns on behalf of big health care organizations,
often pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies.
For example, in 2012 we found
out about the stealth marketing campaign used by GlaxoSmithKline to
sell its antidepressant Paxil. This included manipulating
clinical research, bribing
physicians to prescribe the drug, use of key
opinion leaders as disguised marketers, and manipulation of continuing
medical education. Other notable examples included Johnson
and Johnson's campaign to sell Risperdal (look here),
and the infamous Pfizer campaign to sell Neurontin (look here
We also found that stealth marketing seemed to be partially responsible
for the growing popularity of narcotics (opioids) starting in the 1990s
Yes indeed - and I start
this review by three personal notes:
First, I am considerably more interested in "health matters"
(to choose a term) than most healthy people are, for the simple reason
that I have now almost forty years of a "serious chronic disease"
ME/CFS - that only this year was admitted (in Holland, where I
live) as a "serious
And second, I have been following Health Care Renewal and some other
sites run by medics I can trust (which these days are in a minority,
i.a. because I strongly dislike having been discriminated
"psychosomatizer" for forty years, especially because that
also entailed much more discrimination by
bureaucrats and no help at all as an ill person because - as
non-medical bureaucrats told me - "you are not ill").
And third, to the very best of my fairly extensive knowledge about
medicine & corruption - having been ill for forty
years without it
being allowed I was ill, and being i.a. a psychologist - I think
everything Roy Poses M.D. said in the above sum-up of
circumstances is factually correct.
This means also, by implication, that much of the American
health care has been destroyed by medical and pharmaceutical
corruptions (on very large scales, involving billions
of dollars). Then
again, I should add that the situation in Holland, although it was (and
is) bad for me and others with ME/CFS, it is not as bad (yet,
as in the USA.
Here is a bit more about medicine & corruption in the USA:
The organization and
complexity of stealth marketing, lobbying and policy advocacy campaigns
have often been sufficient to characterize them as disinformation.
For example, we characterized the campaign by commercial health
insurance companies to derail the Clinton administration's attempt at
health reform in the 1990s, as described by Wendell Potter in his book,
Spin, as just that (look here).
The tactics employed in that campaign included: use of front groups and
third parties (useful idiots?); use of spies; distractions to make
important issues anechoic; message discipline; and entrapment
In fact, there is a very good
(and very human) reason why "the
current Trump administration does not seem interested in pursuing
unethical or corrupt practices":
The administration, like many American medics and like very many
pharmaceutical operators, is much more
interested in making profits
that are as large as possible, than in
helping the health problems
Nowadays, the current Trump
administration does not seem interested in pursuing unethical or
corrupt practices by big health care corporations.
In case you doubt my conclusion, this is followed in the article by a
lot more information about Purdue Pharma that
has been plugging the
hard drug Oxycontin as a non-dangerous pain medicine - that meanwhile
has cost the lives of 64,000 Americans, which is more than
lives that were lost by the war in Vietnam.
This is strongly recommended in case you don't know it, but is skipped
here. Here is the ending of this article:
We have long
advocated better awareness of insidious disinformation campaigns in
health care, which we previously separated into stealth systematic marketing,
advocacy campaigns. Furthermore, we have long advocated more
vigorous regulatory and law-enforcement action against them.
Remember that many of the stealth marketing campaigns we discussed came
to light through regulatory and law enforcement action.
I fear this conclusion is
correct for the USA and this is a strongly recommended article.
Yet what sense does that make
when the federal regulators and law enforcers operate under a regime
that was perfectly happy to use disinformation to secure its election?
It apparently makes no more
sense than advocating for better federal law enforcement measures to
reduce conflicts of interest and corruption in health care under an
extraordinarily conflicted and corrupt regime (look here.)
The fish is rotting from the
So in parallel with what we
said then, the only way we can now address health care deception,
crime, and corruption is to excise the deception, crime and corruption
at the heart of our government.
Art of the No Deal (revised and updated)
article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Trump promised to be
“We need a leader that
wrote The Art of the Deal,” he said
in the speech announcing his candidacy. “I’m a negotiator. I’ve done
over the years through negotiation,” he said
during a Republican debate. “That’s what I do, is deals,” he said
in May. “I know deals, I think, better than anybody knows deals.”
But so far, Trump has made
at all, and the ones he thinks he’s made have unraveled.
Yes I think that is
correct - and also Trump was lying, as usual:
He did not write The
Art of the Deal: Tony
Schwartz did. (Schwartz was credited as co-author but said that "Trump wrote none of the book, choosing only
to remove a few critical mentions of business colleagues at the end of
Here is more on the
deals Trump claimed to make:
Trump has no trade deals,
Instead, he’s launched simultaneous
trade wars with Europe, China, Canada, and Mexico.
After slapping tariffs on
of Chinese imports, China has retaliated with tariffs on $34 billion of
American exports. Trump is now threatening tariffs on nearly everything
exports to the United States, as well as a clampdown on Chinese
After Trump raised tariffs
and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, they also
They promise further retaliation if Trump acts on his threat to place a
percent tariff on imported cars and car parts.
And some more:
Trump has no deal on
climate change. He
simply pulled out of the Paris accords.
No deal with the Group of 7
economic powers. He merely refused
the communiqué his own team
had agreed to. And no deal with NATO countries on increasing their
“No deal” also describes
with the Republican Congress.
He got no deal on replacing
Affordable Care Act, so Trump is quietly repealing it administratively.
least 5 million people will lose coverage.
Here is Reich's ending:
the biggest cons from the biggest conman to occupy the Oval Office is
All he really knows is how to bully friends, stage photo ops with
I think that is
basically correct, and this is a recommended article.
4. Why Killing Dodd-Frank Could
Lead to the Next Crash
is by Matt Taibbi on Common Dreams and originally on Rolling Stone. It
starts as follows:
Yes indeed. And as to "bipartisanship": What mere Democrats and mere Republicans want is hardly
ever relevant for members of the Senate and the House, for most
members of the Senate and
the House are not
moved by them but by lobbyists, who
come with promises of money for
In the age of Trump,
bipartisanship is considered a sin. So one would think that when
Republicans and Democrats do pass a law together, it’d be for something
so popular, it couldn’t be questioned politically: a nonbinding
resolution on the cuteness of puppies, maybe, or a national ice cream
Nope. The rare bipartisan
bill turned out to be a rollback of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform
act. More than 80 percent of Democrats and two-thirds of Republicans
want tougher rules on banks. Yet this was our Trump-era kumbaya moment:
a bank deregulation bill!
Ostensibly passed to address
the causes of the 2008 crash, the Dodd-Frank Act has instead spent more
than half a decade now as a hostage to a payola Congress, with both
parties taking turns cutting it down and delaying its implementation.
Here is how it worked for the (extremely weak) Dodd-Frank Act:
As I suggested, the answer
to the first paragraph is corruption,
while the second
paragraph simply is a fact
(and the crisis of 2008 still
continues for those who are not rich).
But why did this bill even
pass? Only 50 Republicans backed the rollback, meaning even a few
members of a dependably craven Republican caucus hesitated to pull the
trigger. That means they needed one Democratic vote to pass this foul
thing. They got 17. Why? What made this bill the weak link in the
battle line against Trump’s agenda?
The 2008 crash was caused when
financial companies, high on greed and the temptations of an
irrationally exuberant economy, borrowed beyond their means. Leveraging
themselves to the hilt, banks bet your kids’ future on a losing
roulette spin known as the subprime-mortgage market.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
It’s a huge victory for
Trump – eliminating Dodd-Frank was such an urgent need for His
Orangeness that an executive order mandating the act’s deconstruction
was one of his first policy moves. Like his White House hirings of so
many Goldman Sachs vets after loudly campaigning against the bank,
Trump showed his true colors when he made killing Wall Street’s most
hated law a high priority.
Then again, the Democrats
showed their colors when they gave him the win. Nobody will say so, but
everyone on the Hill knows why this bill passed. According to the
Center for Responsive Politics, three of the bill’s Democratic
co-sponsors, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and
Montana’s Jon Tester, are three of the Senate’s biggest recipients of
financial-services donations. Quelle surprise!
And this is once again
corruption. There is considerably more in the article, that is
Democratic Socialism a Future in American Politics?
article is by Lawrence Wittner on Common Dreams and originally on the
History News Network. It has something like a subtitle:
The rise in American
life of a rapacious corporate capitalism, a widening level of
economic inequality, and the sharply rightwing policies of many states
and the federal government are clearly inspiring a revolt on the Left
In fact, this bit occurs in the
text as well, but it is also presented a subtitle. I selected it
because the expression "the Left" is extremely
ambiguous and vague: There are many
diverse kinds of left, leftish, Left and also "left", "leftish", and "Left" candidates, and
besides, there is a large difference between the
voters, who vote for
their own interests, and those elected,
for those elected often do not
serve the voters but their own financial interests, which are paid
But it seems Wittner either is not aware of this or he does not want to
consider this. In any case, his article starts as follows:
Well... I shall not
discuss the "democratic socialism" of Ocasio-Cortez, but one general
problem with "democratic
socialism" in the USA, including that of Bernie Sanders, whom I like,
is that it is not so much "democratic socialism" as social democracy
although it also is leftish, is far less leftish than democratic socialism, and indeed in
general is not anti-capitalist.
Recently, when 28-year-old Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, an obscure, upfront democratic socialist from the
Bronx, easily defeated one of the most powerful U.S. Congressmen in the
Democratic primary, the story became an overnight sensation. How, the
pundits wondered, could this upset have occurred?
Actually, it shouldn’t have
been a total surprise for, in recent years, democratic socialism has
been making a remarkable comeback in American life. Bernie Sanders, the
democratic socialist U.S. Senator from Vermont, won 23
Democratic primaries and caucuses during his tumultuous 2016
But it seems Wittner confuses the two. Here is some more:
Other indications of
socialism’s recent popularity are numerous. They include Gallup polls
done in early 2016―one
showing that 35 percent of Americans had a favorable view of
“socialism” and another
revealing that 6 out of 10 Democratic primary voters felt that
“socialism” had a positive impact on society. Polls found that
socialism was especially popular among
young people, a key factor behind the jump
in membership of Democratic Socialists of America from 5,000 in
November 2016 to 40,000 today.
I think this is misleading
as well, that is, if I hold on to the ordinary meaning of socialism,
which is not capitalism, and is anti-capitalist: As far
remember, the "socialism" - (correctly) between quotes that is
discussed here was not identified as socialism. And while I
the membership of the Democratic Socialists may be now as large as
40,000, that is just a bit more than a 0.0001-th part of the
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
rise in American life of a rapacious corporate
capitalism, a widening level of economic inequality, and the
sharply rightwing policies of many states and the federal government
are clearly inspiring a revolt on the Left. As the Sanders campaign and
the recent election victories of Ocasio-Cortez and other leftwing
candidates indicate, in electoral politics this revolt is finding
expression largely inside the Democratic Party.
Well... it seems to me as
if the vagueries and ambiguities of Wittner, who is a historian, are
intended to help the Democratic Party. My problems with that are
several, and one prominent one is that while I think the voters
for the Democratic Party are generally (in various senses) "leftish", those
elected are (or soon get) often corrupt.
And besides, I think it would have been a considerably more
question to discuss the chances not of democratic socialism
social democracy in the USA, but as I pointed out, it
also confused these two.
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 (!!).