1. Why Do So Many Americans Fear Muslims?
2. Cowardly Republicans Are Running Away from Voters and
Cancelling Town Meetings This Weekend
3. This Isn’t Just Trump. This Is Who the Republicans Are.
4. How the Trump regime was manufactured by a war inside the
5. George Carlin: How language is used to mask truth and Israeli
6. EDWARD SNOWDEN: Everything about Donald Trump
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, February 19, 2017.
a crisis log with 6 files and 6 dotted links: Item 1 is about an article in The Intercept about "Muslims" which I liked; item 2 is about a more general
feature of the present Republicans: They have the power and therefore avoid meeting the people; item 3 is about Trump and the Republicans (who serve the few rich, and not the many non-rich); item 4
is about a long and good article about the Trump cabinet and the Deep
State that I liked (but it is simply too long to properly extract); item 5 is about a very good and quite funny video with George Carlin about free speech (which I
am a proponent of); and item 6 is another video that is a record of a long interview
with Edward Snowden from late 2016, which I liked (and did not see earlier).
Incidentally, this Nederlog was written while I am quite tired because I didn't sleep enough because I have pain. Ah well - see ME.
As for today
(February 19, 2017): I have changed my site on February 1, 2017 to make
that it might be read,
because it nowF happened for most
of last year that both of my sites are not uploaded
Why Do So Many Americans Fear Muslims?
On xs4all.nl it may be days, weeks or months
behind to show the proper
last date and the proper last files (in the last 4 years always
date it was that day), and it was this morning again incorrect
again (but yesterday it was not);
one.com it may be shown
December 31, 2015
often was!!!) and was also again incorrect this morning; and
indeed I am sick of being systematically made
unreadable and therefore changed
the site to allow most readers to find it more easily.
For more explanations, see here - and no:
with two different sites in two different countries
with two different providers,
where this has been
happening for a year (and not
for over 20 and over 12 years
before) now I'm absolutely certain that
this happens and that it's not due to me.
Incidentally, if you reached February 1, 2017
on one of
my sites you are in the new set-up and from there you can
find the latest Nederlog, and all others from there.
The first item today is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept - with a considerably longer title, but the title starts as follows:
The article starts as follows:
There’s been lots of attention-grabbing opposition to Trump’s
“Muslim ban” executive order, from demonstrations to court orders. But
polls make it clear public opinion is much more mixed. Standard
phone polls show small majorities opposed, while web and automated
polls find small majorities continue to support it.
What surprises me about the poll results isn’t that lots of Americans
like the ban — but that so many Americans don’t. Regular people have
lives to lead and can’t investigate complicated issues in detail.
Instead they usually take their cues
from leaders they trust. And given what politicians across the U.S.
political spectrum say about terrorism, Trump’s executive order makes perfect sense.
There are literally no national-level American politicians telling a
story that would help ordinary people understand why Trump’s goals are
both horrendously counterproductive and morally vile.
Yes indeed, and this is a bit hopeful, also because "regular people" will mostly inform themselves by way of the mainstream media, that are both partial and incomplete, and also often misleading, or from Facebook, that seems awful to me.
(I dislike Facebook so much that I never visit it, but I do know that
Facebook now "serves" - and misleads, and advertises - around 1.4 billion members.)
Here is some wisdom of Trump:
In an interview last March with
Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump tried to puzzle out what’s behind the
terrorism directed at the U.S. “I think Islam hates us,” Trump learnedly
opined. “There’s a tremendous hatred there, we’ve got to get to the
bottom of it.”
“In Islam itself?” asked Cooper. Trump responded, “You’re going to have to figure that out. You’ll get another Pulitzer.”
During Trump’s speech at the CIA right
after his inauguration, he expressed the same bewilderment. “Radical
Islamic terrorism,” pondered Trump. “This is something nobody can even understand.”
I agree Trump sounds very stupid - "Islam hates us"?! Islam? us? - but then again he also is consistent, as Jon Schwartz quite correctly explains:
Say what you want about the tenets of this worldview, but at least
it’s an internally consistent ethos: We’re surrounded by lunatics who
want to murder us for reasons that are totally inscrutable to rational
people like us but … obviously have something to do with them being
Meanwhile, in private, the non-crazy members of the U.S. foreign
policy establishment aren’t confused at all. They understand quite well
that Islamist terrorism is almost wholly blowback from the foreign
policy they’ve designed.
Yes indeed. Then there is this on Obama (besides considerably more that I leave to your interests):
Yes, I think that is correct - and as I have
been saying quite a few times in Nederlog, indeed since the end of
2009: Obama excelled in saying one thing to his public, while often doing the other thing, that was very frequently incompatible with what he said,
Most importantly, Obama pretended that the U.S. has never done
anything truly wrong to others, and can enjoy the benefits of power
without any costs. This is the most pernicious and common form of
political correctness, but is never called that because the most
powerful people in America love it.
But Obama also engaged in something more
akin to what’s generally called political correctness, by
contending that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. But it does — just not in the way that Frank Gaffney and Pamela Geller would tell you.
Religion and nationalism have always been similar phenomena, and
Islam sometimes functions as a form of nationalism. And like all
nationalisms, it has a crazy, vicious right wing that’s empowered by
outside attacks on members of the nation. The right loves to jeer at
Obama for calling Islam “a
religion of peace,” and they should — not because Islam specifically
isn’t a religion of peace but because there is really no such thing,
just as there is no “nationalism of peace.”
but then these were policies, laws or regulations that are very much less commented in the press than his speeches.
There is a whole lot more in the article that I skip and leave to your interests. It ends as follows:
So it’s quite possible ISIS and the Trump administration can successfully collaborate on getting what they both want:
a totally unnecessary, civilizational war. To stop them we have to end
our truckling equivocation about terrorism, and start telling the truth
while there’s still time.
Yes. And the truth seems to me to be
fairly simple: Some Islamists are terrorists, rather like some
Catholics and some Protestants were terrorists in the 16th Centuryespecially, and in each case these were -relatively small - minorities of these faiths.
2. Cowardly Republicans Are Running Away from Voters and Cancelling Town Meetings This Weekend
The second item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:
This starts as follows and is here because I suspect this is a far more general symptom that characterizes many Republican politicians (beyond this weekend):
Almost all congressional Republicans are scared of facing voters in
town hall meetings over the long President’s Day weekend. Only 19
representatives and senators—a tiny number—will hold town meetings
during the first recess of the current session of Congress, according to
the Town Hall Project. But the group’s listing of these democratic mainstays barely tells the story.
According to an eye-opening Washington Post account,
Republican officeholders have been cancelling planned town halls
because they don’t want to face critics upset that they may soon lose
their health insurance or see an increase in costs as the GOP plans to
undermine Obamacare. Even worse, they don’t want organized progressive
groups to show up with posters and video camera and determination to
challenge them in public and post the confrontations on YouTube.
And what these Republicans also do not not want is that the media report on their betrayals of their voters, and they assume - quite correctly, I think - that if they do
not show up, the media just will write nothing, which
is much in their interests, since for the moment they have the majority
in the House and in the Senate, and they also have a Republican
government, so they can mostly do what they want anyway.
There is also this:
This cowardly response is nothing new from immoderate Republicans; it’s
in line with their partisan ethic that “anything goes” to win, except
playing fair. They cannot win in many states without gerrymandering
federal and state districts, which allowed them to seize power after the
2010 Census. They cannot win widely in high turnout elections, hence
their efforts to limit participation by creating barriers like new voter
ID laws or restricting voting options favored by critics, like early
voting on weekends.
I mostly agree with this, but as I eplained: The Republicans are not just acting "cowardly", they are furthering their own Republican interests by not showing up to face unhappy voters.
This article ends as follows:
What’s the word for elected officeholders not standing by their beliefs
in public and facing voters in their districts? Cowardice, plain and
simple, and that’s just the start.
Perhaps, and I don't like most Republicans either but as I explained, I think it is probably less cowardice than Republican self-interest: They have
the power in the USA and they can mostly do what they want without any
voters. I agree it is irresponsible and undemocratic, but it is
currently in their interest not to publicly face any opposition from the people.
3. This Isn’t Just Trump. This Is Who the Republicans Are.
The third item is by Dave Johnson on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
So far President Donald Trump has signed very few bills. One lets coal
companies dump waste into streams. Another lets oil companies bribe
foreign dictators in secret. Now he is moving to block a Labor
Department “fiduciary rule” that requires financial advisers to act in
the best interests of their clients when advising on retirement
Here’s the thing: this isn’t just Trump doing this. The Republican- controlled House and Senate passed those two bills, and the Republicans have been fighting that fiduciary rule tooth and nail.
It’s not just Trump, Republicans as a party are using Trump to engage
in a general assault on protections from corruption, pollution,
corporate fraud and financial scams.
This is who they are.
I simply do not know whether Trump "signed
very few bills", but I agree with the rest: The Republicans are the
party of the rich; Trump's cabinet is filled with billionaires and
generals; and they further the interests of the rich.
There is also this, that I mostly quote because of the graphic description of Trump:
Are Republicans dismayed that they have put a loathsome, deranged,
misogynistic, racist, psychopathic, uninformed, self-promoting, corrupt,
insulting, genital-grabbing, conspiracy-theory-peddling, Jew-baiting,
narcissistic-behaving, country-destroying, Putin-loving, generally
disgusting, fascist, loofa-faced sh*t-gibbon into power in our White House?
No, they are not. They like it that he’s squatting in the Oval Office.
Grover Norquist, one of the key leaders and strategists of the
conservative movement, worded it clearly and succinctly, “We just need a
President to sign this stuff.” “Pick a Republican with enough working
digits to handle a pen to become President of the United States.”
That is strong language about Trump. I also do not quite agree with it, but I do think he has it coming, and since I am a proponent of free speech - and see George Carlin in item 5: strongly recommended - I am not against it, although I don't agree with all.
As to Grover Norquist's opinion: The
Republicans needed a Republican president to sign typically Republican
bills, but I do think Trump is considerably more important than merely being able and willing to sign Republican bills, and indeed I hope some saner
Republicans will realize that he is mad, very temperamental, and very dangerous simply because he can now blow up the whole world with nuclear arms.
How the Trump regime was manufactured by a war inside the Deep State
The fourth item is by Nafeez Ahmed (<-Wikipedia) on Medium Corporation:
This is from near the beginning:
The Trump regime is not operating outside the Deep State, but mobilizing elements within it to dominate and strengthen it for a new mission.
The Trump regime is not acting to overturn the establishment, but to consolidate it against a perceived crisis of a wider transnational Deep System.
The Trump regime is not a conservative insurgency against the liberal establishment, but an act of ideologically constructing the current crisis as a conservative-liberal battleground, led by a particularly radicalized white nationalist faction of a global elite.
act is a direct product of a global systemic crisis, but is a
short-sighted and ill-conceived reaction, pre-occupied with surface
symptoms of that crisis. Unfortunately, those hoping to resist the Trump
reaction also fail to understand the system dynamics of the crisis.
Yes, I think this may well be correct. Here are three brief elucidatory remarks:
First, here is a reference to Wikipedia's lemma "Deep state in the United States", which is also quite insufficient in my opinion, but does more or less state the present opinion of the mainstream media. It is not long and gives several meanings for "deep state".
There is considerably more on the Deep State in the Nederlog index for 2016.
Second, I do believe in the Deep State, that I think is rather like Eisenhower 'military industrial complex (<-Wikipedia) except that (1) I add the secret services, which have become extremely much more powerful since the NSA has been collecting all they can find on any American and any other individual and (2) I observe that "the industries" also have become very much more powerful,
and are much larger and a whole lot richer than in Eisenhower's
time, and besides tend to be (if large and somehow involved in the Deep
State) multi-national corporations.
Third, I also believe in a transnational Deep System, that is mainly based on the many collaborating secret services (like the NSA in the USA, the GCHQ in Great Britain, and many more in other Western countries) plus the multi-national corporations, and especially the banks, and quite a few more.
And of course, because much of this is secret, and relatively little is published about it, and very little in the mainstream media, I do only know a bit about it - but it also would be very naive to assume that neither exists in any sense, and all we need to consider are the elected politicians and their plans and schemes. (In fact, my guess is
that many politicians, in many Western countries, are simply bought,
but I cannot prove that, though this supposed fact does explain rather
a lot about quite a few of the proposals of many politicians.)
Next, the above quotation continues as follows:
All this can
only be understood when we look at the big picture. That means the
following: we must look a little more closely at the individuals inside
Trump’s administration, the wider social and institutional networks they
represent, and what emerges from their being interlocked in government;
we must contextualize this against two factors, the escalation of
global systemic crisis, and the Trump regime’s ideological framing(s) of
that crisis (both for themselves, and for publicF consumption); we must
connect this with the impact on the transnational Deep System, and how
that links up with the US Deep State; and we must then explore what this
all means in terms of the scope of actions likely to be deployed by the
Trump regime to pursue its discernable goals.
investigation will help to establish a ground state for anyone on which
to build a meaningful strategy of response that accounts for the full
systemic complexity of our Trumpian moment.
And this is indeed what Nafeez Ahmed (<-Wikipedia) does in this article, which is over 323 Kb and quite good in my opinion, but also quite impossible to extract properly.
So what I will do is this: I extract four more quotes, to show you why I like it,
and to stimulate you to read all of it. It is well-written and nicely illustrated, but the following quotes are not representative.
Here is the first:
Trump’s administration has not just been bought by Wall Street. It’s been bought by the oil, gas and coal industries.
The fossil fuel freaks want to burn all the oil, gas and coal they can,
at any cost — and they are willing to dismantle whatever environmental
protections stand in their way.
I think that is correct, as can also be inferred from Trump's cabinet.
Here also is an additional remark: It would seem that the big computer and internet companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and quite a few more) are much less involved in Trump's cabinet.
Then there is this on Henry Kissinger (<- Wikipedia), who is meanwhile 93 but still seems to be politically involved:
Trump’s administration has been further augmented by a man with especially extensive ties to the US Deep State: Henry Kissinger.
December 2016, Kissinger, the notorious former Secretary of State
convincingly accused of complicity in war crimes by the late Christopher
Hitchens — who has played direct advisory roles in both the preceding Bush and Obama administrations — has become Trump’s unofficial foreign policy guru. Kissinger was a secret national security consultant to President Bush, and under Obama was directly involved in the US National Security Council’s chain-of-command.
I say. I have no proof of this, but I grant it sounds plausible.
Here is a bit about the connections between Trump's cabinet and the Deep State:
Perhaps the most powerful takeaway from this examination of who the Trump administration actually is, is that the Trump regime is not external to the Deep State.
On the contrary, the people who hold senior posts in his
administration, both formal and otherwise, are key nodes that represent whole layers of social and institutional networks within and across the wider US Deep State.
Incidentally, as to "this examination": Nafeez Ahmed contains a considerable amount of interesting information about many persons involved in the present government, all of which I recommend, and that I completely skip.
to the last quotation: In part, this is simply due to the fact that
many of the blllionaires (and millionaires) in Trump's cabinet are (or
were) heads of major corporations (like Tillerson, from Exxon Mobile),
while many of the generals in his cabinet are connected to the Pentagon.
here is a bit about the number of mostly civilians who were killed by
globalization, that again was mostly though not solely furthered by the
In his book, Unpeople (2004),
British historian Mark Curtis offers a detailed breakdown of the death
toll at approximately 10 million — a conservative under-estimate, he
qualifies. American economist Dr JW Smith, in his Economic Democracy (2005), argues that globalization was:
responsible for violently killing 12 to 15 million people since WW II
and causing the death of hundreds of millions more as their economies
were destroyed or those countries were denied the right to restructure
to care for their people… that is the record of the Western imperial
centers of capital from 1945 to 1990.”
As I said, none of the quotations I gave provide a fair view of the more than 320 Kbs of Nafeez Ahmed's text, which I strongly recommend that you read and ponder by yourself.
5. George Carlin: How language is used to mask truth and Israeli terrorism
The fifth item is not a text but is a video:
As I have said quite a few times in Nederlog, I really like George Carlin, whom I discovered only after he was dead, and about whom I wrote this in 2012:
As to "Magee's interviews": Here is one decent link to them (on Youtube): PHILOSOPHY: MEN of IDEAS- Bryan Magee: I think this - implicitly, of course -
George Carlin, although he never
got any university degree, was a real
philosopher who discussed real
philosophical problems in ways that are accessible, amusing and
instructive to real people who are not blessed by academic tenure for
knowing how to perform some academic tricks passably well and without
giving offense to the authorities or the public at large, and who call
themselves "philosophers" because they teach it, and maybe also write
about it in journals that are only read by their own kind.
Then again, in order
to reach the public Carlin had to adopt the stance of a comedian - as
few will pay to hear a talk about philosophy - a subject which he
excelled in thanks to a combination of courage, individualism,
intelligence and verbal wit.
He seems to me to be
one of the very few Americans of his and my generation who dared to
speak the truth about many
accepted idiocies and injustices in an intelligent and intelligible
way, and who also managed to get away with it, and indeed to make money
by it, because he was genuinely witty, which is another talent academic
philosophers rarely have, even if they believe they do (see Magee's
interviews, if you were inclined to think otherwise: compare the verbal
agility of these supposedly major 20th Century philosophers with the
verbal agility, ready wit and logical clarity that Carlin displayed,
also in direct discussion, as can be seen on YouTube).
supports my point (and I saw most of them, though not all, but then I do have
a B.A. in philosophy).
6. EDWARD SNOWDEN: Everything about Donald Trump
This is a good interview and
it clarifies Edward Snowden's position. I liked it. It is here (only)
now simply because I didn't see it before. (It doesn't say "everything about Donald Trump", of course: that is just click bait. But the interview is OK.)
The sixth and last item today is a video of a long (52 min) interview of Edward Snowden by Katie Couric (<-Wikipedia). It is from late 2016: