1. From A Murrow Moment
To A Murrow Mindset: How
Not To Normalize Donald Trump
2. "Free" Trade? Fraud Alert
3. Do Women’s Periods Really Sync When They Spend
What to expect?
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, July 17, 2016.
is a crisis log. It is a sunday, and I found only three files that I
wished to review, while I used the occasion to add a fourth file that
sketches what I plan to do with my site: Item 1 is about a nice article by Arianna Huffington on Donald Trump; item 2 is about a decent article that explains "free trade" is propaganda much rather than fact; item 3 is about a non-crisis item that (also) explains that I learned few scientific facts in my study of psychology; and item 4 is about what the reader may expect on my site (supposing I do not get more ill than I am, the coming years).
A Murrow Moment To A Murrow Mindset: How Not To Normalize Donald Trump
first item today is by Arianna Huffington on the Huffington Post:
This starts as follows, and it is
here because I like Arianna Huffington (a bit) and despise Donald Trump
Yes, this is all true - and I should add that
I find the aiding and abetting of Trump by the American press both
sickening and worrying: Does this really happen only
spontaneously? Is there no plan and no coordination
behind it at all? (I don't know: I am asking.)
But, as we've seen over the course of this
campaign, Trump is as wrong about the press hating him as he is about Hispanics,
African Americans, women and the LGBT community loving him. The press
has had a very strange relationship with Trump since the beginning of
his campaign. From the moment he descended the Trump Tower escalator in
June 2015, his ascent has been aided and abetted by a very willing
Donald Trump is fond of claiming that everyone loves him. Hispanics love
him. African Americans love him. Women love him. The
LGBT community loves him. And Texas won't secede because Texans love him, too. But there's one group he
doesn't make this claim about. "I think the political press is among
the most dishonest people that I have ever met," he said at a press
conference last month, after reporters questioned his claims about donating money to veterans groups.
"The press should be ashamed of itself," he continued. "You make me look bad." So far he has
revoked the press credentials of, among others, The Washington Post,
Salon and, of course, The Huffington Post.
Then there is this:
As late as last month, the AP
reported that Trump still had only around 30 paid staff on the ground
nationwide. He was, as MSNBC put it, "a candidate without a campaign."
But, of course, the press has filled that void. While gleefully going
into BREAKING-HAPPENING-NOW-TEAM-COVERAGE mode on every little tweet,
they also largely ignored the seriousness and impact of his actual
proposals. Like the "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering
the United States," which Trump announced in December. Or his plan to deport all
undocumented residents of the U.S., which, as Josh Marshall note, has
certainly not received the amount of attention proportional to its
scope and potential human cost. "There's very little mention of what is
undoubtedly the craziest, most dangerous, most expensive and brutal of
his policies," he wrote, "his plan to deport roughly 3 percent of
the current U.S. population in 18 months." These were essentially
treated as just more colorful performances, courtesy of a blustery
reality TV star.
These plans are among my reasons to
say that Trump is mad (which I do think, while I am also a
Here is the main reason why I like Arianna Huffington:
Covering Trump in our Entertainment
section was a rhetorical device, meant to signal to our readers that
this was not a normal candidate and that we're not going to pretend
otherwise. After he proposed banning an entire religion from entering a
country founded on religious freedom, we decided to add an editor's
note at the bottom of every piece about him, which reads: "Editor's
note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all
Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering
the U.S." All of which is backed up by corresponding links.
And there is this about Trump's riches and
In 2005, former New York Times
and HuffPost editor Tim O'Brien, now at Bloomberg View, published his
account of Trump's business dealings in TrumpNation: The Art of Being Donald. In
the book, O'Brien pegs Trump's wealth at somewhere between $150 million
to $250 million. If Trump is right because he's rich, that's a lot less
rightness than $10 billion. After the book was published, Trump sued
O'Brien for $5 billion. And lost. And yet the media continues to refer
to him as a "billionaire," and allows him to get away with his claims
of his incredible deal-making powers.
This is the ending of the article:
What we need is not just a Murrow
moment but a sustained Murrow mindset.
That was in 1954. I think Murrow was right in
claiming (with Shakespeare) that 'The fault,
dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves', and it is the same
"This is no time for men who oppose
Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent," Murrow said on the air in
1954. "We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape
responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a
republic to abdicate his responsibilities... We proclaim ourselves, as
indeed we are, the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist
in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at
home... Cassius was right. 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our
stars, but in ourselves.' Good night, and good luck."
now - except that the free press has mostly gone bust.
This is a recommended article. 
2. "Free" Trade? Fraud Alert
The second item is by David Korten on
This starts as follows:
It is rare these days to hear the words
"market" and "trade" without the word "free" attached—especially on
corporate media. I even hear colleagues who are pursuing a more
localized economy use these terms without realizing that by so doing
they are subtly and unintentionally promoting a political agenda they
Words have power, and corporate spin
doctors choose them carefully to develop positive emotional
associations with their agenda.
The corporatist website Investopedia.com
explains what is meant by a free market: "A completely free market is
an idealized form of a market economy where buyers and sellers are
allowed to transact freely (i.e., buy/sell/trade) based on a mutual
agreement on price without state intervention in the form of taxes,
subsidies, or regulation." Thus, the term "free market" joins two
positive words—freedom and markets—and associates them with the
corporatists' ideal of freedom for corporations to maximize short-term
profits free from public oversight, taxes, or responsibility for public
This is all true, though I should remark that I never
believed in "free markets" and "free trade", indeed not since my teens
or earlier, which was in part due to my parents being - real -
communists  and in part due to my very much disliking any kind of propaganda. (As to "free markets" see my lemma on liberalism.)
Then there is this on the real meaning of the phrase "free market":
The "free market" of the corporatist
ideal is the polar opposite to such community-nourishing living
markets. The corporatists' free market is populated and organized by
transnational corporations that spurn attachments to people, place, and
fact, the freedoms that the multi-national corporations desire are the
freedom to degrade, defraud and demean the many who are not rich; the freedom to force higher tax rates on the middle class than on the rich; the freedom to lie and misrepresent; the freedom to attack states and ordinary tax payers for proposing laws that take a penny from their profits; and the freedom for the few rich to behave as if they are supermen entitled to everything.
And there is this:
For most of us, trade and freedom are
both good. "Free trade" connects these associations with the
corporatist agenda of trade unconstrained by national boundaries and
interests. These set up a positive association with international
agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that are
routinely referred to as "free trade" agreements. In fact, they are not
about freedom and only indirectly about trade. Filled with thousands of
pages of detailed rules, their primary purpose is to
strip countries of control of their own borders and transfer that
control to global corporations.
Perhaps the most striking "free market"
contradiction is that the corporatist neoliberal
agenda supports corporate mergers and acquisitions that build
concentrations of monopoly power and reduce the market competition that
is normally assumed to be a defining feature of a market.
Actually, I never saw why "[f]or most of us, trade and freedom are
both good" but I agree I have a logical mind that very much dislikes propaganda, and this statement (as well) is merely propaganda.
But this may well be different for most Americans, and Korten is quite right about the horrible bullshit that are the TPP and the TTIP.
This is a recommended article.
3. Do Women’s Periods Really Sync When They Spend Time
The third item is by Alexandra Alvergne on AlterNet and originally on
Let me introduce this item by saying that it
is motivated by my having an - excellent - M.A. in psychology, in which
I learned almost nothing of any factual scientific value.
 Indeed, the present "fact", that women's periods synchronize when
they live together, was one of the few real facts I was told while studying psychology - and now it has been torn down
on methodological and experimental grounds.
Here is an outline. The article starts as follows:
It is a popular belief that women who
live together synchronise their menstrual cycles, and that it’s
mediated by their pheromones—the airborne molecules that enable members
of the same species to communicate non-verbally.
The idea originated in a study published
in Nature in 1971, which recorded data on the onset of menstruation
for 135 American college students living in a dormitory. The dorm had
four corridors each with around 25 girls living in single and double
rooms. Based on the analysis of around eight cycles per woman, the
study reported an increase in synchronisation (a decrease in the
difference between onset dates) for room mates and among closest
friends, but not among random pairings in the dormitory. The author
hypothesised that this was driven by the amount of time that women
spent together, as this would allow for pheromone communication.
that is also how it reached me, except that I did not get it from
Nature but from one of the introductions to psychology, where it was
reported as a definite fact.
This is the outcome:
However, there is now accumulating
evidence that casts serious doubt on the existence of the phenomenon.
First, the original 1971 study was criticised on
methodological grounds. Second, a number of studies with both human
groups and non-human species failed
to replicate the initial findings, with at least as many studies
results as studies reporting negative
analyses have also revealed that some degree of synchrony is
to be expected given the shifts in female reproductive condition over
time, and that no adaptive process needs to be invoked to explain what
is observed. In other words, synchrony or the overlap of cycles between
females is best explained by chance.
In fact, I checked all five links above, and found that the reason I did not know the outcome until today is that the above findings date from 1992 till 2012 (long after I studied psychology).
So even the replication of important factual (or "factual") results in psychology takes from 20 to 40 years after being known - and besides, the mathematics of the 1971 study was also wrong.
And this is one of the few "facts" I was being served in the study of psychology... 
4. What to expect?
The fourth and last item is by me and
is a fairly brief survey of what readers of my site may expect
there in the coming years - and incidentally, the qualification here is
the same since 1.i.1979: it doesn't depend only on my wishes and my
time, but also on my health, which has been ill ever since 1979.
I started reporting on the crisis on September 1, 2008.
I did so in Dutch, and continued in Dutch for one and half years, and
then switched to English, with which I continued ever since. 
In nearly eight years I produced 1275 files about the
crisis, which seems to be less than some but more than most. Also, I
will continue with it, simply because the crisis continues for most who
do not belong to the 1% or the
It is also true that my crisis reporting was rather uneven: From
September 1, 2008, until June 10, 2013, I wrote 190 files on the
crisis, which works out as about 50 files a year, but since June 10,
2013, I produced the rest, which works out as nearly 1 a day, which is
a seven-fold increase.
The main reason is Edward Snowden, who showed me, and anybody else
willing to listen and reason rationally, that Orwell's nightmare of a
totalitarian state with absolute control of everyone by a few is being
implemented at top speed by the NSA, the GCHQ, and probably by most
secret services, and is covered by most politicians (who deny anything or much is wrong with gathering all that the secret services can get on anyone).
Reporting on the crisis
An important part of the reasons for me to write as much
about the crisis as I did was that I wanted to understand it better
than I did in 2008. I think I have succeeded in understanding it
considerably better than I did in 2008, but I have not
published much about this.
This will be done, but needs some time, and it also needs some
other essays that I haven't finished yet, such as the following one:
On fascism and neofascism
One of my essays that I have been promising and so far have not
delivered is "On fascism and neofascism". This started as an analysis
of over 20 definitions of "fascism" (the term) and produced my own
definition of "fascism", and then
continued with an analysis and definition of "neofascism" (the term).
The reason I have not finished and published it yet is that I was not
satisfied with my definition of neofascism. I think I have a reasonable
analysis now, but I have not worked it into the essay yet, and this
will need some more time.
Probably there are not many who are much interested in my
autobiography, but I am, for it concerns my life, which is the only one
I know intimately and from the inside. I also think it is fairly
interesting, in spite of my falling ill when I was 28 and remaining ill
ever since, but I agree I am partial.
At present, there is one part on line, that covers the first 28 years
of my life, while the next part, that covers my next 12 years (from 28
till 40) has been mostly done, but is not quite finished, and then
needs rather extensive rewriting (for all was originally done in brief
daily bits in Nederlog).
In fact, the same holds for the first part, that also needs some
rewriting. That is probably fairly easy to do, but in part II (from 28 till 40) I have consider- able trouble with
the only WYSIWYG html editor that I can get on Linux/Ubuntu,
which is the rather horribly buggy KompoZer.
I will probably have to rewrite considerable parts from what I have
from txt, which is a pain. I will do this for part II, if
only because of most of it has been written, but I do not know when,
and indeed I am a bit doubtful of part III (from my age 40 till 65), in
part because the last 25 years what remained of my health has been destroyed
by (ex-)mayor Van Thijn, who preferred protecting his very own
friends the illegal drugsdealers over doing his legal duties to protect
me, I think for financial
reasons (the drugsdealers he helped have turned over the last 30 years,
merely in soft drugs, 300 billion euros, and I see no reason whatsoever
why a man like Van Thijn would help them for many years with their
trade without getting a percentage).
But I can't prove the last fact, though it stands to reason (300
billion euros?! all given for nothing to the illegal
drugsdealers by Dutch politicians?! ) and besides there is another
problem with the last 25 years of my life: Very little happened in it
and what happened was mostly quite private.
So I don't know whether I will write part III. It is possible I will
leave it out, apart from the years 40 till 43 (1990 till 1993) that I
may add to part II.
You will find out, if you read Dutch and are interested, but
the main reason this stalled for the moment are the bugs in
KompoZer (which are pretty horrible, though by now they are mostly
known to me ).
The rest of my site
Lately, indeed since 2012 or so, I have not uploaded much on my
than in Nederlog, which was done daily, for the most part. (This also
relates to my eyes, that collapsed in 2012. They are considerably
better now, but not quite healed.)
The site is
over 500 MB, which is a lot (at least a 100 books, even if I discount a
lot of html- coding). Most is - these days, and since circa 2012  -
in my philosophy section, in which I treat some of the texts of around
30 philosophers, whose texts are quoted completely, and are annotated
by me in detail.
I think there are some quite good parts in it - such as in Leibniz, Hume,
Multatuli and Clifford, for example (and
in most sections there are several directories, each with quite a number of files) - and I
will extend what there is on the moment, but this will be of secondary
at least for now, as is the rest of the
site: I will maintain it and extend a few parts, but I will not extend
the site much, at least not until most of what needs repairing has been
 Incidentally, while I do not know whether the main media press these days is coordinated, I do know "the free press" does not
exist anymore. For this reason, I am rather certain that there will
neither be a Murrow moment nor a Murrow mindset (though I agree both
would be quite desirable).
 The "- real -" prefix is there because by now I have more
quasi- communists than real communists, which happened in the
University of Amsterdam, that was effectively ruled by the students
The quasi-communists were nearly all members of the ASVA, many of whom
had (around 1980) great fondness of crying out to me that I am "a
fascist" or also "a dirty fascist" (and sometimes "like a fascist"). I
do not deny that quite
a few were members of the communist party, but they were there because
that helped their personal careers (then) and not at all because they
were real communists, for they were not. My parents were, for over 40 years, and also in the resistance against the Nazis (which few dared).
 Note that I do not deny that there are various facts that I learned in the study of psychology, but most were not produced by psychologists but (mostly) by medics. There are in fact not many solid facts about human psychology that are known to psychologists and are not known to ordinary intelligent persons.
In case you want to read an article about psychology as a science, read this: "Is Psychology a Science?",
by Paul Lutus. (This dates back to 2003, and to a revised edition of
2013. It is OK, but I should add that most of the things Lutus
criticizes were known to me by 1980 - and I started studying psychology in 1978, indeed already with solid knowledge of methodology and statistics).
 It really was. And see the previous
note, to which it must be added that (i) the medical reporting done in
books of psychology tends to be simplified (no bio-chemistry, for
example), while (ii) the same holds for most statistics and nearly all
mathematics and physics.
 The reasons for switching to English
were that it is no more difficult than Dutch for me (I also lived with
three women with whom I spoke English, two of whom spoke English
natively) while it guarantees far more can read my texts. (I agree that
meanwhile "Nederlog" - which means something like "Dutch log" - is
inappropriate, but I keep it, since it has been used for 10 or 12 years
 I am quite certain of this. For one
thing, the real salaries of the 90% were hardly raised since 1980:
Nearly all increased income went to the rich.
 Please note that everything I say in this paragraph is true according to the Parliamentary Commission Van Traa (Dutch link). The Dutch politicians did not ever make marijuana or hashish legaĺ; all they did was furthering regulations that "allowed" mayors to give permission to their friends and acquiantances to deal illegal drugs in an apparently legal way, also while making it formally impossible to know how much was sold or to know the quality of what was sold; and the turnover in merely marijuana and hashish in Holland was at least 10 billion euros each year (and 50 billion euros if other drugs are also counted).
You may assure me that politicians like Van Thijn, Oudkerk, Cohen and Asscher are so extremely noble that they gladly and willingly arranged an illegal trade in illegal drugs that is worth between 10 and 50 billion dollars annually without taking any cent for this service (and not for 30 successive years either).
I say that all politicians I know in Holland excel in one and only one thing: Lying. And while I can't prove that they all profited, I know and can prove that I have been threatened with murder by the drugsdealers that Van Thijn allowed to deal from the bottom floor of the house where I lived; I know and can prove that I have been literally gassed by them; I know and can prove that they prevented my sleep for 4 years; and I know and can prove that the city police of Amsterdam for 4 years refused
to do absolutely anything against these drugsdealers, not even when I
went to the police after I learned they were arrested with 2 kiloos of
heroin and 1 kilo of cocaine: These degenerate dealers were treated by the city police as if they were the noblest, the best, the most decent, the most moral of all Dutchmen.
 The fact that most of the bugs of KompoZer are known to me now (after working for more than five years with it) doesn't
mean they are easily avoided (except by giving up WYSIWYG editing,
which is possible, but which I mostly avoid). And there is - alas, alas
- no other WYSIWYG html editor on Linux (which I think is a shame).
 There was rather a lot more
about computing and programming between 2004 and 2010 than there
is now. The main reasons for the changes is that I program a lot less
than I did, and that I changed from Windows to Linux in 2012. This will
probably not alter.