1. The Fall of Roger
Ailes: Can Sexual Harassment Claims
Oust the Biggest Man in
2. The Coronation of a Charlatan
50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the
2016 Republican Party Platform
4. Why Melania Trump’s Plagiarism Matters
5. Barroso and Goldman Sachs – A Dangerous Liaison
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, July 21, 2016.
is a crisis log. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about Roger Ailes, a sexual harasser, who was extremely powerful; item 2 is about Trump's coronation as Chief Charlatan of the GOP; item 3 is a fine article about what the GOP really wants: strongly recommended; item 4
is about Melania Trump's plagiarism, postmodernism and Orwell's great
fear: The disappearance of truth in both academia and public
discussions; and item 5 is about Barosso and other
top men and women of the EU: Apparently everyone of importance in the
EU (some 1000 persons or so) is being (also) paid by rich American
banks. (I don't know, but seeing their loyalties I will assume so.)
As an aside: It is rather hot today in Amsterdam. If it remains hot I
will stop writing Nederlog, except for saying it is too hot for me to
write. If so (I don't know now) I will resume if the temperature falls
again to tolerable levels.
Fall of Roger Ailes: Can Sexual Harassment Claims Oust the Biggest Man
in Conservative Media?
first item today is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!
This starts with the following
Roger Ailes’s lawyers have
confirmed he’s in negotiations to step down as Fox News chair amid more
than a half-dozen accusations of sexual harassment. For 20 years, the
former Republican operative has been the most powerful man in the
conservative media world. The scandal began when former Fox anchor
Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes. Now, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly has also
accused him of harassment. Many are celebrating Ailes’s anticipated
departure, though as Feministing founder Jessica Valenti notes,
"Removing one lascivious man can’t turn around the mess of misogyny
that is Fox News." Carlson’s suit also alleges Fox News has an overall
misogynistic culture. We speak to longtime media critic John Nichols of
Before turning to that here is the Wikipedia
item on Roger Ailes.
It does support the present article.
Yes, indeed. And Nichols is right that
considerably more attention should be paid to Roger Ailes, which can
easily be taken off from the incredible amounts of duplications of
bullshit that marks the reports on the Republican National Convention
(though that is unlikely).
JOHN NICHOLS: There is epic stuff. I mean,
there is a very good argument that we probably shouldn’t be discussing
the Republican National Convention as much as we are discussing this
transition, because if we accept that media is now such a dominant
force in our politics, the change of command at Fox, an operation
really created, conceptualized by Roger Ailes, is an incredibly big
deal. And people need to know who Roger Ailes is.
Roger Ailes is a guy who used to be a TV—he
was a TV guy in the '60s, and this political candidate, Richard Nixon,
came on his show. And off set, Ailes and Nixon started to talk about
stuff, and Nixon said, "You know, you're the kind of guy I think I
could work with." And Ailes left media to go into politics. He
literally was a critical figure in defining the modern way that we do
Also, Roger Ailes did a lot more than helping Nixon:
Yes, indeed. I do not know what difference
his replacement will make but it is a major change at Fox.
AMY GOODMAN: He was a consultant to Reagan.
He was a consultant to George H.W. Bush.
JOHN NICHOLS: And to—well, to Nixon.
AMY GOODMAN: And to Nixon.
JOHN NICHOLS: And George H.W. And then he
went—this guy, who started in the media and went into politics, defined
so much of how our national politics works, then went back into media,
with Rupert Murdoch at Fox, and created what can best be understood as
a partisan media. People often think of Fox as conservative, but Fox
often deviates from the conservative line. Where it gets its real
traction—and we see this again and again—is sort of in defining the
modern Republican Party. Look at this 2016 campaign. Look at the
interplay of Donald Trump with Fox: Sometimes he’s in a fight with
them; sometimes he’s, you know, getting along with them. There were
negotiations on how Fox would cover Donald Trump. And so, here you have
this amazing thing, Donald Trump running a campaign that fits into a
modern Republican Party, in many ways defined by Roger Ailes,
negotiating on how to appear on a network defined by Roger Ailes.
This guy is now about to depart. I will
tell you that it will be impossible to recreate him. He is an entity
There is more in the article, that is recommended.
2. The Coronation of a Charlatan
The second item is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig:
This is from near the beginning:
Trump is a brilliant showman, no
question about that. His life’s work has been self-aggrandizement, not
real estate, and all those years of practice served him well when he
turned to politics. He knows how to work a crowd. He understands
television and social media. He dominated and vanquished a field of
experienced campaigners as if they were mere apprentices.
But he lacks the knowledge, curiosity,
temperament, wisdom, compassion and resolve to be president. The GOP is
about to formally endorse a charlatan for the most important job in the
Great political parties do not do this.
They might nominate a candidate who is too conservative or too liberal,
too wooden or too glib, too inexperienced or too much of a warhorse.
They do not nominate the likes of Trump.
Actually, I don't think Trump "is a brilliant showman", which is
also something I would quite
easily admit if it were true (for me). But his speeches (that I saw)
were incredibly stupid, repetitive, crude; were mostly made up of
obvious falsities and exaggerations; and were full of gross and mad narcissism.
think that is "brilliant"
showmanship. It may appear different to the favorite Trump audience
with an IQ of maximally 80 and hardly any education, but neither Eugene
Robinson nor myself belong to that - indeed large - category.
But I agree with the other two paragraphs.
There is also this:
But what if Trump wins? Surely you are
not under the illusion that Trump would follow the advice of more
experienced hands and allow himself to be molded into a statesman.
Anyone clinging to that fairy tale paid no attention to the final
months of the primaries, when Trump would give a conventional
teleprompter-aided speech and the very next day go back to raving like
It is not leadership. It is gibberish. And Republicans in Cleveland
will pretend the emperor is wearing clothes.
I agree. As to "what if Trump wins?":
I have seen too many contradictory polls, so on the moment I think his
chances of winning are 1/2, not because of any polls but mostly because
half of the American voters have an IQ of maximal 100.
And if Trump wins, the USA deserve to be called the first neofascist
state - which you may not believe, which again is one reason for the
50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party
The third item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:
This is from the beginning:
The GOP 2016 platform would make
Christianity the official American religion, English the official
American language, replace sex education with abstinence-only advice
for teenagers, privatize almost all areas of federal services, cut
taxes and regulations for the rich and titans of industry, and impose a
belligerent foreign policy and military build-up.
Here are 50 excerpts from the 2016 GOP platform.
Let me start with suggesting a near
synonym for "extreme right-wing proposals" (in the title): neofascism. 
You may disagree, but if you do,
you should consider the following list, which I compiled by taking all
the titles will ommitting the texts that come with each item, that was
in every case selected by Steven Rosenfeld from the GOP 2016 platform:
1. Tax cuts for the rich:
2. Deregulate the banks:
3. Stop consumer protection:
4. Start repealing environmental
5. Start shrinking unions and
6. Privatize federal railway
7. No change in federal minimum
8. Cut government salaries and
9. Appoint anti-choice Supreme
10. Appoint anti-LGBT and
11. Legalize anti-LGBT
12. Make Christianity a national
13. Loosen campaign finance
loopholes and dark money:
14. Loosen gun controls
15. Pass an anti-choice
16. End federal funding for Planned Parenthood:
17. Allow states to shut down
18. Oppose stem cell scientific
19. Oppose executive branch
20. Oppose efforts to end the
21. Require citizenship
documents to register to vote:
22. Ignore undocumented
immigrants when drawing
23. No labeling of GMO ingredients in food products:
24. Add work requirements to welfare and cut food
25. Open America’s shores to more oil and gas
26. Build the Keystone XL Pipeline:
27. Expand fracking and burying nuclear waste:
28. No tax on carbon products:
29. Ignore global climate change agreements:
30. Privatize Medicare, the
health plan for seniors:
31. Turn Medicaid, the poor’s health plan, over to states:
32. No increasing Social Security benefits by
33. Repeal Obamacare:
34. Give internet service
providers monopoly control:
35. Make English the official U.S. language:
36. No amnesty for undocumented
37. Build a border wall to keep
38. Require government
verification of citizenship of all
39. Penalize cities that give
sanctuary to migrants:
40. Puerto Rico should be a
state but not Washington DC:
41. Support traditional marriage but no other
42. Privatize government services in the name of
43. Require bible study in
44. Replace traditional public
schools with privatized
45. Replace sex education with
46. Privatize student loans
instead of lowering interest
47. Restore the death penalty:
48. Dramatically increase Pentagon budget:
49. Cancel Iran nuclear treaty
and expand nuclear
50. Reaffirm support for Israel
and slam sanctions
This is a strongly recommended
article, for it is all based on what the GOP wrote itself, which you
can find out for yourself by clicking the last dotted link.
This is the program from the rich
ultra-conservatives, for the enjoyments and incomes of the rich
4. Why Melania Trump’s Plagiarism Matters
today is by Jeffrey C. Isaac on Common Dreams:
Two paragraphs from Melania Trump’s
speech last night before the Republican National Convention were almost
word for word the same as two paragraphs from Michelle Obama’s 2008
speech. This is a fact. Such verbatim quoting without attribution is
called plagiarism. Plagiarism is widely recognized as a kind of
cheating, indeed as a kind of theft. A plagiarist is someone who steals
the words of others and makes believe that they are his or her own
words. Plagiarism is a violation of common sense standards of
integrity. It is also a violation of expectations that are widely
shared by the major institutions of our society, including schools,
professional institutions — including bar associations and business
schools — and media institutions.
Melania Trump’s speech involved
plagiarism. And the author of her speech was a plagiarist.
Yes. I paid some attention to her
plagiarism ("her" because she affirmed - truly of falsely - she
did write it) yesterday, and then also noted that a physicist
calculated that the chances that it is not plagiarism are as 1 to 87
Then again, there is this:
The first and most important reason why
this plagiarism matters is because of what it demonstrates about the
ethics, or rather the lack of ethics, of the Trump campaign itself:
that the campaign plays fast and loose with the truth, and consistently
acts as if it can say or do whatever it wants, simply deny
responsibility, and then angrily maintain that its critics are always
wrong and the fault is theirs. Trump is always right. His critics are
always evil. The brouhaha over this plagiarized speech is simply a
blatant example of this.
Yes, but the case about truth is
considerably more important than that Trump (and his campaigners) "plays fast and loose with the truth":
For Trump there is no truth, quite
like it was for the postmodernists
that arose in the late 1970ies, that I first met in 1978, when the
academic year at the University of Amsterdam was officially
opened (with great regards from its Board of Directors) by a
postmodernist historian - M.C. Brands, still alive I think - who stated
his utterly insane faith in these exact
words (translated to English):
"Everybody knows that truth does not
This was a filthy lie for quite a few
reasons, two of which are that (i) nobody knows falsehoods are
true, and apart from that (ii) few believed at that time
(August 1978) that truth
does not exist.
But according to M.C. Brands, the Board of
Directors of the UvA, and some professors at the UvA that was false
(?!?!?!?!?!?!) and indeed their views became very rapidly
popular for the same reasons as Trump does not believe
in truth: it allows anyone (with such a belief, honest or not) to
pretend to anything whatsoever, and meet all criticism with
the thesis that anyway truth does not exist (as "everybody knows").
Postmodernism was the dominant ideology in
the UvA from 1982 till 1995, when the structure of the Dutch
universities that were effectively given to the students in 1971,
was removed by another act of Dutch parliament (25 years later!) that
then gave all
the powers to the bureaucrats, where it has remained ever since, and
who guard their rich incomes and great power with great jealousies. 
There is an excellent refutation
of postmodernism by Chip Morningstar that dates back to 1993, and was reviewed by me in 2010 (well
worth reading!) - but basically, Orwell was right (and he worried
already 75 years ago about the disappearance of truth): Truth
now has been removed from both academia and from the media, and
lies, falsifications, exaggerations and bullshit rule supreme, and
mostly without criticism. 
The second reason the plagiarism matters
is because of what it demonstrates about the campaign as an
organization: that the campaign is an organization only in the loosest
of senses. It has no campaign manager in a proper sense; it has little
clear structure; it has devoted little time and energy to fund-raising
or building an electoral ground game; and it seems entirely driven by
the whims and the ego of Trump himself (..)
I think Trump's campaign is mainly "driven by the whims and the ego of Trump himself". There are more reasons, that I leave to your interests.
The article ends as follows:
Yes, indeed. And in case you didn't notice:
The Trump campaign chose to begin its
reality-TV inspired, heavily scripted and produced spectacle of a
convention by showcasing “Melania.” Perhaps what viewers saw and heard
is a perfect representation of Trump and his campaign: all show and no
substance, all mendacity and no truth, and all ego and no real concern
for anyone else. Say what you want. Do what you want. Vilify others and
then steal their words. Get caught and then try to shout down and bully
those who notice. This is not an aberration. This is Trumpism. One can
only hope that a few months from now we can laugh about this absurd
reality TV show being enacted before our eyes. And yet I fear that the
joke may be on us.
all show and no substance, all
mendacity and no truth, and all ego and no real concern for anyone
else. Say what you want. Do what you want. Vilify others and then steal
their words. Get caught and then try to shout down and bully those who
notice. This is not an aberration. This is Trumpism.
Quite so. And as I said (see here):
I think the chances that Trump wins are 50/50, mostly because 50% of
all Americans has an IQ of maximally 100, and hardly any relevant
5. Barroso and
Goldman Sachs – A Dangerous Liaison
The fifth and last item today is by No
Name on Raging Bull-Shit and originally on Corporate Europe:
This starts as follows:
The news that José Manuel Barroso
will become non-executive chairman at Goldman Sachs did not exactly
come as a surprise. This is a man who presided over the European
Commission for 10 years and, from the beginning, his leadership
followed a corporate agenda, with its close links to the biggest
businesses and banks in the EU representing a key trait of the current
European project. But this one move has catapulted the EU’s revolving
door problem onto the political agenda, causing widespread jaw-dropping
and reactions of disbelief, making it a symbol of excessive corporate
influence at the highest levels of the EU.
The EU is a hugely failed project, but try
telling that to the very few very rich who rule it (for the most part
without ever having been elected by any population: they are
nominated by their arrived fellows who make up "the European
parliament", which also is no such thing).
And I did not know Barroso had such tight bindings to Goldman Sachs,
although indeed I am not surprised learning it now. Besides, this very
strongly suggests not just Barroso, but all of the top of the EU (some 1000 persons) is effectively (also) in the pay of the American
mega-rich banks. 
Here is some more that supports this:
But the problematic revolving
door moves of the former members of the Barroso II Commission have been
especially controversial since 1 May 2016. This is the date when the
ex-commissioners no longer need to seek authorisation from the
Commission for proposed new roles, and no longer face a ban on
lobbying. In just over two months, we saw former trade commissioner Karel
De Gucht join the board of mining giant
Arcelor Mittal; former digital agenda commissioner Neelie
Kroes joined the boards of tech firms Uber and Salesforce; and now
Barroso is about to become chairman of Goldman Sachs International.
Incidentally, both De Gucht and Kroese are
Dutch (a nation that excels in dishonest trading, shady deals,
and illegally making very many billions a year by
selling illegal drugs all through Europe, and excels in very little else
(other than some great painters around 400 years ago)).
Anyway... there is more in the article.
 I repeat that I don't
think Trump is a great showman, and that I would have admitted this
quite easily if it were true, simply because that would explain some of
his popularity. But to say Trump is "a brilliant showman" is like
saying - I am sorry only Dutchmen will pick up my references - that
Willy Alberti and André Hazes are "brilliant" singers.
 Here is the beginning of the lemma "Neo-fascism" on Wikipedia (which is not quite what I mean by "neofascism" - which I still have to explain - but which is close enough):
Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration policies or, where relevant, nativism, anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, anti-anarchism and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet. Some post–World War II regimes have been described as neo-fascist due to their authoritarian nature, and sometimes due to their fascination and sympathy towards fascist ideology and rituals.
And now you can read the 50 points Rosenfeld collected from the GOP's 2016 Platform...
 I have written a whole lot about this ever since September 1977, and I will not repeat this here. I do observe that none
of the many letters and mails I wrote were ever answered by neither the
City of Amsterdam nor by the (city) University of Amsterdam, which
would have been very easy to do if I had lied. I infer that both these institutions were headed by criminals and liars.
I will return to this, but not here and now. Here and now I only clarify two points:
academic year: This
runs in Holland from August till August the next year. The university
started (and probably still starts) late in August with the new year.
the structure of the Dutch
In 1971 minister Veringa introduced a law that was accepted by the
national parliament, that effectively gave all the Dutch universities to the students.
This was a totally unique plan (nobody else did it) and consisted mostly of three points: (1) the universities were to be ruled by parliaments, both in general (a university parliament) and specifically (every faculty has its own parliament),
quite like Holland (national parliament) and its cities (city councils,
elected by the inhabitants of cities) were ruled; and such that (2) each member of the university, whether professor, doctor, student, secretary or toilet cleaner got 1 vote, with which they could vote for political groups that wanted to be in those "parliaments" that were to rule (and it is this rule that gave the universities to the students: The students always had the absolute majority); and (3) there also was to be, besides these parliaments, a sort of daily government from top bureaucrats (in the University of Amsterdam always from the Dutch Labour Party, just as the Dutch Labour Party ruled supreme in Amsterdam for 65 years).
Finally, what complicated these sick structures even more were the facts that the great majority of the students were "left-wing"; most of the students who led student groups in the 1970ies and early 1980ies were members of the Dutch Communist Party, which meant that most elected
students in the University of Amsterdam until 1984 were members of the
Dutch Communist Party (this was all admitted by them, but only in 1991,
after the collapse of the Soviet Union and after the demise of the Dutch Communist Party); while from 1984 till 1995 most of the elected students were post- modernists.
That was the University of Amsterdam between 1971 and 1995, to which I
returned from Norway in 1977, where I lived and could have studied,
because I was born in Amsterdam...
 I repeat: Truth
now has been removed from both academia and from the media, and
lies, falsifications, exaggerations and bullshit rule supreme, and
mostly without criticism.
You may disagree, but it is highly likely that if you do either
you do not know (not by far, very probably) as much about universities
as I do or else you are a cosily living, very well-paid, extremely
well-pensioned member of academia.
Well, then, about academia: Very probably truth still plays an important role in
mathematics, physics, chemistry, bio-chemistry and biology, and some related studies, but
outside these studies and employments, to the best of my - large -
knowledge, truth has mostly disappeared from academia, certainly in
Holland. (The word "true" hasn't, but it does not
anymore mean that a statement is true if and only if what is says is a
fact. Probably it mostly means that the speakers pretend to believe in
In case you doubt this, consider that (i) very few who are not
academically employed know a lot about universities, while (ii) in
Holland a fraud like Diederik Stapel, who produced at least 50
thoroughly falsified articles that made him seem a great psychologist,
during at least 15 years, was not punished at all.
In any case, in Holland arrived academics are bureaucrats, with
bureaucratic positions (often with personal extras, both in power and
in money), and excellent incomes and pensions, and even in the 1970ies at most 1 in a 100
protested, even against the thoroughly insane plans that were realized from 1971/1972 onwards and are sketched in note .
So forget the academics: Nearly all of them have been bought; competed
to be bought; and will never say anything that might displease their
This was already so in the 1970ies, and is certainly now a whole lot worse than then.
 Suppose you increase their incomes by 100,000 euros a year. This would cost you 100 million - but that is peanuts for the very rich, especially seeing how extremely well they are being serviced by most politicians.
I don't know, but I think it more probable than not that most prominent European politicians also get - somehow, in some way - money from the banks "to supplement their incomes" (much like in the USA).