A. Selections from July 25, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Tuesday, July 25,
This is a
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 probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection from that item (indented)
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
July 25, 2017
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:
Hedges: Trump and the Christian Fascists
This is by Chris Hedges on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being
filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its
network of megachurches, schools, universities and law schools and its
vast radio and television empire, is a potent ally for a beleaguered
White House. The Christian right has been organizing and preparing to
take power for decades. If the nation suffers another economic
collapse, which is probably inevitable, another catastrophic domestic
terrorist attack or a new war, President Trump’s ability to force the
Christian right’s agenda on the public and shut down dissent will be
dramatically enhanced. In the presidential election, Trump had 81
percent of white evangelicals behind him.
Trump’s moves to restrict
abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, permit discrimination against LGBT
people in the name of “religious liberty” and allow churches to become
active in politics by gutting the Johnson
Amendment, along with his nominations of judges championed by the Federalist
Society and his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants, have endeared
him to the Christian right. He has rolled back civil rights legislation
and business and environmental regulations. He has elevated several
stalwarts of the Christian right into power—Mike Pence to the vice
presidency, Jeff Sessions to the Justice Department, Neil Gorsuch to
the Supreme Court, Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education, Tom
Price to Health and Human Services and Ben Carson to Housing and Urban
Development. He embraces the white supremacy, bigotry, American
chauvinism, greed, religious intolerance, anger and racism that define
the Christian right.
Yes, I agree. One
reason - there are quite a few more: Read the article! - is the
following from the end page 2 of the article:
Presently, nearly 40
percent of the U.S. public believes in Creationism or “Intelligent
Design.” And nearly a third of the population, 94 million people,
consider themselves evangelical.
As I have been saying
now for fifty years: The main problem for ordinary people
is that they
are on average both stupid and ignorant. (O,
and anonymous!) These days, they also
congratulate themselves on their stupidity and
Oh well... But this
a recommended article (and a brave one).
Phil Stinson: Police Shoot & Kill About 1,000 People Every Year in
This is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts
with the following introduction:
As outrage grows
in Minneapolis over the killing of an unarmed white Australian woman,
we look at the staggering number of fatal police shootings in the
United States. For more, we speak with Philip Stinson, criminologist
and associate professor at the Criminal Justice Program at Bowling
Green State University.
Actually, what I
to see was someone who seems to need a bit of a lift towards full
professorship and therefore, like a real Dutch "social democratic"
academic, presents his case, fully honorably, but with many academic warnings.
I am sorry if I did not get Stinson correctly, but I do
forty years of experiences with the Dutch "social democrats" who still
seem to rule most of the Dutch "universities" (that were very bad
time, and must be at least twice as bad and ten times as expensive
Here is the one fact that is served more or less correctly:
GONZÁLEZ: Now, Phil Stinson, you’ve been developing a database
on police shootings nationwide. Could you talk about that database and
what your preliminary findings are? And how big of a problem is police
shootings in this country, say, compared to other nations?
STINSON: Well, one of
the problems is, we simply don’t have good data going back too many
years. The best estimate that I can give you is that, over the last
several years, on-duty police officers shoot and kill someone between
900 to 1,000 times each year. So, two to three times a day in this
country, someone is shot and killed. That’s not even including the
And this is why he seems to
be talking about it...
Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence
This by the VIPS -
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, that includes William
Binney, John Kiriakou, Ray McGovern, Coleen Rowley and Kirk Wiebe - and
it starts as follows:
And this article/memo ends as
In a memo to President
Trump, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA
specialists, cite new forensic studies to challenge the claim of the
key Jan. 6 “assessment” that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Forensic studies of
“Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last
year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not
hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC
computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.
After examining metadata
from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server,
independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied
DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs”
implicating Russia were then inserted.
Key among the findings of
the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC
data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far
exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack.
It is well worth reading and
Full Disclosure: Over
recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in
the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well
nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to
everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole
purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account
our former intelligence colleagues.
We speak and write
without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we
say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely
coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder
speaks volumes about these highly politicized times. This is our 50th
VIPS Memorandum since the afternoon of Powell’s speech at the UN. Live
links to the 49 past memos can be found at https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/.
the Food and Drug Companies Ensure that We Get Sick and They Make Money
is by Paul Buchheit on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
reason for single-payer health care: The documentary What the Health shows
how the lives and health of human beings are considered insignificant,
and in many ways threatened, by the pursuit of profits in the meat and
dairy and drug industries.
The corporate disdain revealed by this film is nearly beyond belief.
And our 'trusted' watchdog agencies, both non-profit and government,
are beholden to the biggest companies, accepting money in return for
their silence about the dangers of animal and pharmaceutical
Some of the contentions in the documentary have been disputed,
most notably the implication that sugar is
not a major factor in diabetes, and that dairy is.
Indeed there may be flaws in the documentary. But it clearly reveals
the damaging behavior of the businesses and organizations that are
contributing to human suffering.
Here is one more quotation:
Can't Sue the Industries that Make Us Fat and Sick
The average American has gained 25-30
pounds since 1960, along with the growth of the meat and dairy
and sugar industries. But we can't fight the system. The so-called "Cheeseburger
Law" bans lawsuits related to industry culpability for our
We Can't Even Know What's in Our Food
In a world of common sense, we would have the right to know what we're
eating. Just the opposite. The food industry's DARK
Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) negated existing
GMO labeling laws.
We Become 'Terrorists' If We Object to Animal
Enterprise Terrorism Act denies the free
speech rights of animal activists who object to the
exploitative practices in animal production
The Absurdity of the Capitalist Approach to
Our system of health care focuses on symptoms rather than causes.
diet promotes good health, but thanks to Big Ag and Big Pharma
our diets are built around meat and dairy products, and then drugs to
fix the inevitable problems.
is a recommended article.
Monster: The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and Labor
This is by
Lambert Strether on Naked Capitalism. If you want to know what TiSA is
about: Read the last four points in the
previous article, which is
about how healthcare now has become utterly deregulated in the USA, and
extend to every business anywhere, which is what the
TiSA is about.
This article starts as follows:
In our previous
posts in this series (here,
we treated TiSA as a sort of dream of the collective unconscious of the
globalist elite hive mind; underneath it all, it’s what they
really want, though expressed in prose both opaque and
phantasmogoric. We saw how TiSA’s definition of services is so vague,
so subject to the manipulations of The Trade Blob that provides legal
and technical services to the global elites, as to make the scope of
the agreement totalizing. We saw the global dominance of the forces
behind TiSA: Really Good Friends of Services (23 WTO members, including
the US and the EU and TeamTiSA (chaired by Citigroup, IBM, UPS,
Walmart, MetLife and Liberty Mutual). We looked at how TiSA
negotiations will be structured and showed how, through its standstill
and ratchet limitations, TiSA seeks to arrest any government policies
that do not put markets first (for example, Medicare for All) to create
a neoliberal utopia. And we urged a re-orientation from defeating
treaties — though defeating TPP, and putting TTIP on hold, are all good
things — to defeating the forces behind the treaties, because when a
treaty is defeated, The Trade Blob simply breaks it up for spare parts
and tries again. In this post — after which I’ll give TiSA a rest,
unless driven by events — I want to look at TISA and labor, again using
using Professor Jane Kelsey‘s TiSA:
Foul Play (PDF) as our guide. Of course
matters are as horrible as you would think.
This is a recommended article.