1. The Revenge of the
Lower Classes and the Rise of
2. WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Attacks Against Jill Stein
Are "Going to Go Through the
3. Google in the White House? Assange Warns of
Ties Between Hillary Clinton
& Internet Giant
4. 50 Former National Security Officials and Advisers
From GOP Administrations
Denounce Donald Trump
5. The Real Threat to
6. Calling Someone Crazy Is Not an Insult to the Mentally
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, August 9, 2016.
is a crisis log. There are 6 items with 6 dotted links: Item
1 is a repeat of an article by Chris Hedges (who is on holiday),
which is mirrored by a repeat of my review; item 2
and item 3 are about some general opinions of
Julian Assange (and I agree and somewhat disagree); item
4 is about an excellent letter by 50 U.S. security
officials and others, who denounce Trump; item 5
is about Reich about Trump (I don't wholly agree, but this is again an
important reason to vote for Clinton, dislikable as she is);
while item 6 is about a crazy idea of Patrick
wants to prevent anyone (including medics and psychologists)
calling anyone (possibly especially) Donald Trump mad,
apparently because he has crazy ideas about political correctness:
Kevin Drum's reply is quite good.
Also, here is some news for the few who read my
(in Dutch): I
have yesterday uploaded a new version of Part I (my life until 1978) that is considerably better and clearer
previous version. Part II (my life until 42)
will follow soon, but I do not yet know when, because there is
considerably more to do than in Part I.
Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism
first item today is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts with the following:
Chris Hedges is on vacation
and will return to writing his weekly Truthdig column on Sept. 5. While
Hedges is on break, we will be republishing some of his Truthdig
columns. This one was originally published on March 2.
So...what I will do is repeat my own review,
which was first published on March 3, 2016.
(And no, I don't mind republishing it: I wrote more than
1500 reviews a year the last few years, so some duplicates are
This starts as follows:
College-educated elites, on
behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on
the working poor. Now they are being made to pay. Their
duplicity—embodied in politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and
Barack Obama—succeeded for decades. These elites, many from East Coast
Ivy League schools, spoke the language of values—civility, inclusivity,
a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle
class—while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their
corporate masters. This game has ended.
I think this is mostly correct except for the
last quoted statement, and I will also put it bit more sharply:
First, much of the actual factual dirty work that effectively
enriched the already very rich corporate owners or CEOs has
been done by "college- educated elites", and second, much of that dirty
work was done by politically correct speaking moral degenerates
from the same class of elites.
For this is simply what happened in fact:
The very rich were much enriched since the 1980ies (!!); the very rich
could not do that alone; they were helped by a large
class of people who belonged to the "college-educated
elite"; these people systematically enriched the very rich while talking
correct talk; and these "college-educated
elites" also systematically confused the left with their own
correct "leftist" verbal drivel (which
many also genuinely believed). 
Then there is this:
There are tens of millions of Americans,
especially lower-class whites, rightfully enraged at what has been done
to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to
reject the neoliberal policies and political correctness imposed on
them by college-educated elites from both political parties:
Lower-class whites are embracing an American fascism.
I do not think they are (boldness
me) "rightfully enraged".
That is: Their enragement has causes, and one important cause is their
poverty, but to be "rightfully enraged"
- as I use these terms - one has to have a moral or ethical right that makes
one's anger rightful, and this they precisely lack, because
they really do not understand they are being deceived by
those they incorrectly trust, like Donald Trump.
But this is a more or less correct description of many of them:
These Americans want a kind of freedom—a
freedom to hate. They want the freedom to use words like “nigger,”
“kike,” “spic,” “chink,” “raghead” and “fag.” They want the freedom to
idealize violence and the gun culture. They want the freedom to have
enemies, to physically assault Muslims, undocumented workers,
African-Americans, homosexuals and anyone who dares criticize their
cryptofascism. They want the freedom to celebrate historical movements
and figures that the college-educated elites condemn, including the Ku
Klux Klan and the Confederacy. They want the freedom to ridicule and
dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the
freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And
they want the freedom to revel in hypermasculinity, racism, sexism and
white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These
sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state.
The stupid and ignorant want the
right to be stupid,
uncivilized, cruel, violent, and morally degenerate. I think
that is more or less true of many of them, and it is also true
this is a kind of "cryptofascism" but I doubt this is "fascism". And I also think they
should not have these "freedoms".
Next, there is in Chris Hedges' text a
long quotation by the - dead - American philosopher Richard Rorty,
which I totally skip because I have read philosophy for over 45
years, and I regard Rorty as an utter fraud. 
Then we arrive at a description of what
"fascism' means in the present USA:
Fascism is aided and advanced by the
apathy of those who are tired of being conned and lied to by a bankrupt
liberal establishment, whose only reason to vote for a politician or
support a political party is to elect the least worst. This, for many
voters, is the best Clinton can offer.
But we have not been given a
definition of the term "fascism", and the above quoted paragraph also
does not define it.
First, here is a definition of
"fascism" that I think is roughly correct. It is by the American
is defined as "A system of government that exercises a
dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of
state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
Second, if the choice is between Hillary
Clinton (and I agree with Hedges that I do not like her at all) and
Donald Trump, then the difference is large, and you should
for Clinton (in my opinion), also if your only reason to do so
is that she is "the least worse".
There is some more about Hedges' undefined fascism that I skip, not
because it may not be correct, in some sense, but
because Hedges does not give a satisfactory definition of "fascism". (I
Here is the end of Chris Hedges' article:
Again yes and no.
We are fighting for our political life.
Tremendous damage has been done by corporate power and the
college-educated elites to our capitalist democracy. The longer the
elites, who oversaw this disemboweling of the country on behalf of
corporations—who believe, as does CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie
Moonves, that however bad Trump would be for America he would at least
be good for corporate profit—remain in charge, the worse it is going to
Yes, "[w]e are fighting for our political life", in the sense that if Trump wins the USA will turn very
much more authoritarian, and most of the present left may be removed,
silenced, or disappeared into "night and fog"
with the help of the NSA.
But no, the article remains somewhat misleading from my point
which amounts to the following in terms of the present presidential
Bernie Sanders is much better than Hillary Clinton, who is much better
than Donald Trump (or any other Republican candidate).
I think my point of view is fairly self-evident for many
American voters, but Chris
Hedges much dislikes Bernie Sanders, and it also seems that he
considers the difference between Clinton and Trump to be much smaller
than it seems to me (much as I dislike both Clinton and her program).
Then again, while Chris Hedges does not define fascism, at least he
mentions it, which does seem an advantage to me.
And it does so because by the definition I used (which is not
mine, but is adequate) the
seem to be developing into a fascist state, especially if Trump
were to win the presidency - but indeed one should clearly define one's
terms, and it is also quite true that not anything called
"fascist" is fascist.
NOTE: The above text was originally written and published on March 3, 2016.
Julian Assange: Attacks Against Jill Stein Are "Going to Go Through the
The second item is by David Cobb (for the Green Party) on Democracy
This starts as
follows (and in case you wonder: This is on Democracy Now! but
they are (re-)publishing a conversation between David Cobb and Julian
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
spoke via video stream to the Green Party convention in Houston, Texas,
about the corporate control of information during the 2016 election. He
also predicted that attacks against Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein
would surge ahead of November’s election.
Here is the first bit that I'll quote:
So, to defend civil liberties and
the internet, the first thing is to practice it. That’s the number one
thing. That’s what we do. We defend the First Amendment and similar
constitutional amendments in other states by practicing them. We have
won every single court case that we have been involved in over the last
10 years. And that any right that is not fought for through practice
and defense is very, very quickly lost. It is just a piece of paper
unless you actually fight for it and practice for it.
Yes, that is mostly true, although it may
need a few specifications, like the following:
First of all, most nations do not have a First Amendment.
(Holland is one: I have been scolded as "a dirty fascist" from 1977
till 1987, not because I was one in any conceivable sense, but
because I opposed the communist student-
organization the ASVA. Nobody defended me. But if I
were to say such things
about Amsterdam's mayors (who had me gassed and let me be pestered and
threatened with murder for over 3 years by the illegal
softdrugs dealers they themselves protected), I am almost certainly
in trouble, for Amsterdam's mayors are far superior - in legal
practice - to me.)
Second, while Assange is mostly correct that unpracticed rights tend to
disappear, in my experience (in Holland, which is in several
respects a rather crazy country, if only because illegal
drugsdealers have been very well protected since 1987,
which may be - very easily! - explained by the
billions they have turned over each year since then) only a
small minority is willing to defend the rights they have, and especially
not if such a defense might put them into danger. 
So while I think Assange is mostly correct, in fact he is talking about
and to a relatively small minority.
Then there is this:
Google is very different, in an
important way, from Lockheed Martin. Yes, Google is building drones.
Yes, Lockheed Martin was and is building F-16s. But Google also
controls how we communicate with each other. So, Google is, in a sense,
like HIV. It doesn’t—it’s not just something
that afflicts your arm; it afflicts your ability to understand and
fight the infection. That’s true of all media, libraries, communication
services, etc. They’re involved in that part of society that we use to
understand ourselves, and that is the freedom of communication. So, the
freedom of communication, in some sense, is the fundamental right,
because it is the enabling right that allows us to speak to each other
to understand the importance of all our other rights.
I mostly agree on Google, and indeed have not
been using it (other than Youtube, I admit) for at least 6 years: I
really very much dislike it, and especially because of
the fact that "Google also controls how we
communicate with each other" and the
fact that it tries to find out far more about me (and
of others) than I think they should.
But I don't quite agree about "the freedom of
communication", and my reason is this: Google is
quite for "the
freedom of communication" - on condition that
they can "share", that is: steal, pirate, appropriate - your
communications whether or not these are private in any sense.
And I do not at all care for having "the freedom of communication" if
that communication involves that 100 secret services and 100 dataminers
- automatically, without me having anything to say in it, and without
informing me in any way - steal my emails and steal
what is on my
Now, I do not know how many secret services
me, nor do I know how many dataminers try to
me, but I think I do know both steal
from me, both try to get anything they can get from me (for
they are not punished in any way), and both are
protected by "laws" that allows them to
steal all the private information I store on my computer (e.g.
by the Patriot Act
(<- Wikipedia) and its successor(s)).
So I agree with Edward Snowden here: It is not "the freedom of communi- cation" that is fundamental: it is the privacy of "the freedom of communi- cation"
that is fundamental. If the privacy does not return, everybody
not in government nor works for a secret service) will be made a
complete and almost fully predictable effective slave of the secret
services and the data miners, who will have far larger dossiers
on anyone than anyone recalls about
his or her own life.
Finally, there is this:
So, my strong advice is to
understand, first of all, the necessity to be very skeptical of the
traditional media apparatus, which is ultimately owned by some of the
largest industrial conglomerates in the world, that’s firmly connected
to other points of power; work around it; become your own media in
practice, in small ways, in big ways; to keep—to keep your principles
and sense of clarity on principles.
Yes, I mostly agree, although I should add
that becoming "your own media in practice" is extremely difficult even if you have a lot of
time and a fine brain.
And besides, any successful media will be pirated by
the secret services and the dataminers, as long as their illegal
stealings of private information are not severely restricted,
which is not the case and is unlikely to happen without another
major crisis (I think).
3. Google in the White House? Assange Warns of Close Ties
Between Hillary Clinton & Internet Giant
item is also by David Cobb (for the Green
Party) on Democract Now!:
This starts as follows:
During the Green Party convention in
Houston, Texas, over the weekend, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
spoke via video stream about his book "When Google Met WikiLeaks" and
the relationship between Hillary Clinton, the State Department and the
internet giant Google.
In fact, this is from the same
series of interviews with Julian Assange as the previous item came
from. There are in fact four such interviews on the current Democracy Now!.
The present article is selected for one
bit, that articulates the roles of Google:
The chairman of Google, who was the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, has started, about a
year ago, a company to run Hillary Clinton’s digital campaign. Google
has been to the White House, on average over the last four years, once
per week—more than any other single company. It spends more money
lobbying Washington, D.C., than any other single company. Hillary
Clinton’s former staffer, Jared Cohen, was hired by Google in 2009 to
head up Google’s internal think tank. There’s a lot of other
interconnections between Google and the state. Eric Schmidt is now
also, at the same time as being chairman of what is now Google’s parent
company, Alphabet, is chairman of the Pentagon innovation board.
So you have a connection between Google, the Clinton campaign, which
will be almost certainly the next White House, and the Pentagon. And
this triangle is extremely worrying, because, as time goes by, Google
is understanding that it does have an ability to influence election
campaigns. It’s also bought more than 10 drone companies. It’s
integrating its mapping data in order to better be able to fly and
navigate drones around the world, is expanding into every country in
I quite agree: This is "extremely worrying". (And no, I have no idea about
how to end it, except by hoping for another major economic
collapse, although that too will be awful.)
4. 50 Former National Security Officials and Advisers From
GOP Administrations Denounce Donald Trump
The fourth item is by Eric Ortiz on Truthdig:
This starts as follows, and is here
because I have been saying this kind of thing for a considerable
time now (at least since the beginning of this year):
Another day, another public rebuke of
Donald Trump. In an open letter, a group of 50 former national security
officials and government advisers challenged the Republican nominee’s fitness to
Among the letter’s prominent signers
were former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden; Robert Zoellick,
former deputy secretary of State and president of the World Bank; James
Jeffrey, former deputy national security adviser to the White House;
and former secretaries of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Michael
Chertoff. The letter states:
The undersigned individuals have all
served in senior national security and/or foreign policy positions in
Republican Administrations, from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush. We
have worked directly on national security issues with these Republican
Presidents and/or their principal advisers during wartime and other
periods of crisis, through successes and failures. We know the personal
qualities required of a President of the United States.
None of us will vote for Donald Trump.
From a foreign policy perspective,
Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief.
Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President and
would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.
Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks
the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S.
moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack
basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws,
and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the
press, and an independent judiciary.
In addition, Mr. Trump has
demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding of America’s
vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its
indispensable alliances, and the democratic values on which U.S.
foreign policy must be based. At the same time, he persistently
compliments our adversaries and threatens our allies and friends.
Unlike previous Presidents who had limited experience in foreign
affairs, Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself. He
continues to display an alarming ignorance of basic facts of
contemporary international politics.
I say - which I do because I probably do not
like any of these characters (I don't know about all of them,
of course, but
those I do know something about I dislike), but I grant them that
all they are
saying above is quite true (in my opinion, but that is the only
one I really know, as holds for everyone). And not only
that: I also think they are honest (here) - and I completely agree
with them that "Mr. Trump lacks the character,
values, and experience to be President".
So this is a quite important letter and - for me at least - a
considerable agreement with a number of prominent Americans who do
believe in quite a few respects in the opposites of what I believe.
But we all agree that "Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and
Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a
dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national
security and well-being."
And in case you want to read the complete letter: It's under the last link.
5. The Real Threat to American Sovereignty
The fifth item today is by Robert Reich on his site:
This is from the beginning:
The biggest threats to American
invisible digital dollars wired into U.S. election campaigns from
Yet Trump seems to welcome foreign
influence over our democracy.
Sovereignty is mainly about a
government’s capacity to govern. A
government not fully accountable to its citizens won’t pass laws that
and protect those citizens – not just laws about trade and immigration
about national security, the environment, labor standards, the economy,
and all else.
To state it another way: Without a
functioning democracy, we just don’t have a country.
First, I admit that I do not know
enough about "American sovereignty" to be abled to decide what is the "biggest threat" to it.
I would myself incline to saying that the effective handing over of
many powers to the rich, for one example, is at least as
dangerous, but then I also do not have adequate ideas about what Reich
Second, whatever "American
sovereignty" is, I think Reich is mistaken
in saying that "Without a functioning democracy,
we just don’t have a country".
He is right it will not be a democracy (although it well may be
called one (!)) but it very well may be "a
country", albeit an authoritarian one, a fascist one,
or a corporate one.
Next, Reich gives considerable detail
about Trump's soliciting foreign money (from the United
Kingdom, Australia and Iceland, among others), while it seems as if
Trump doesn't know (or doesn't want to know: you never
know with him, though I agree he doesn't know much) that this is quite illegal:
Someone should let Trump know it’s illegal
for candidates for federal office
to solicit foreign money, regardless of whether the donations ever
materialize. In addition, foreign individuals, corporations and
governments are barred from either giving money directly to U.S.
candidates or spending on
advertising to influence U.S. elections.
Why hasn’t Trump been held accountable?
Because the Federal
Election Commission, charged with enforcing the law, is
gridlocked by its Republican appointees.
So we’re left with a presidential
candidate screaming about
threats to American sovereignty from trade and immigration, who’s
urging officials of foreign governments to compromise American
That seems quite correct. (And it is
illegal.) The article ends as follows:
I agree - and I add that reversing “Citizens United” will be impossible
the next 25 or 30 years if Trump becomes president, for
he will nominate 4 Scalias, who will be Supreme Court judges for 25 or
Donald Trump is right to worry about
American sovereignty. But the real
threat to our sovereignty isn’t imports or immigrants. It’s global
money influencing our politics.
Protecting our democracy requires two
steps that Trump and his
leading supporters oppose: First, enforce our laws against soliciting
or receiving foreign
money in our election campaigns.
Second, reverse “Citizens United.”
6. Calling Someone Crazy Is Not an Insult to the Mentally
The sixth and last item today is
by Kevin Drum on Mother Jones:
This starts as follows:
(<- Wikipedia: I think that's
him) either is quite stupid or is an excellent liar ,
and Kevin Drum is
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy is tired of
people diagnosing Donald Trump:
What I do know is that we ought
to stop casually throwing around terms like “crazy” in this campaign
and our daily lives.... When that language is commonplace, it becomes
that much harder for those experiencing mental illness to openly seek
treatment that works. It discriminates, in subtle and overt ways, and
extends its reach into schools, workplaces and the health-care system,
where we still don’t provide routine mental health exams. When we use
that word the way we have, we perpetuate the dangerous, “separate and
unequal” treatment of these illnesses, and continue to pretend that the
brain isn’t part of the body.
No. Just no. There are lots of words
that have both ordinary meanings as well as technical medical meanings.
When I say that Donald Trump is a cancer on our society, it's not an
insult to people with leukemia. When I say that Donald Trump is stupid,
it's not an insult to the mentally retarded. And when I say that Donald
Trump is crazy, it's not an insult to people with mental illnesses.
This is the kind of thing that helps power
people like Trump in the first place.
Being mad has a quite ordinary sense since -
least - 2500 years, so if I say that he or she seems mad to me, I am
saying something that others have been saying - rightly or wrongly -
for several thousands of
What is true (but not discussed by either) is that "being mad"
in a psychiatric sense is either not definable at all
don't really know how to explain madness in a rational
way, which they don't because in fact not much is known
about the workings of the brain) or else is bullshit
(like the wild and wacky DSM-III till DSM 5, which you can see reviewed
here, in some detail , and in quite a number of Nederlogs).
But none of this implies that no one is mad; none of
this implies that being mad is not capable of being judged; none
of this implies that maltreating English in the politically correct way
Patrick Kennedy desires is sensible in any way; and none of
this implies that people - including medical men or
psychologists like myself - should not say that a person who
talks and behaves like Donald Trump is
incompetent to be the next President of the USA, simply because he
lacks the knowledge, the temperament, and the brain to behave like one.
And for more on this topic see item 4.
This is also informed by my experiences at the University of Amsterdam,
from which I was removed, while seriously ill, briefly before taking my
M.A. in philosophy, because I was not a marxist, and
because I believed
in truth and in science.
I learned in the UvA - of the early 1980ies - where I also created a
student- party, that between 5 and 10% of the students at the time were
interested in science and truth, and that the rest was there only to
get a degree, by any feasible means.
Something similar held for "the scientific staff": Only a few were really
interested in science and truth; most were there only because they were
very well paid for doing extremely little.
And I think that what I learned there, by means of the yearly
from 1971 till 1995, namely that about 1 in 20
is seriously interested
in science and truth, and the rest pretends, deceives and lies, is
correct (and was roughly the same for all the years
You may disagree, but then you did not have my experiences, which also
were extremely convincing and quite long:
Most students and most academics simply lie when they claim an interest
in science. What they really mean is: We like easy
well-paid jobs, and we are willing to lie a lot for
 You may disagree, but it is almost certainly true
that you did not read philosophy
for over 45 years. I did, and
it is this that informs my judgement on Rorty, that I also will not
defend here, except by saying that I could quote quite a few
academically employed philosophers who think the same.
 I am sorry, but I have been
and truth for over
10 years in the University of
Amsterdam, and found that at most 1 in 20 were concerned about
science and truth: The rest simply did not care, for all they
wanted was an M.A. degree with as little trouble as possible.
My parents (and grandparents) had the same experiences: They went into
the resistance in WW II and found out that only a few
tenthousands of others did.
You may disagree, but you do not have my parents and you also
certainly did not do as I did in the university. And my
that at most 1 in 20 is interested in defending the rights they
The rest really doesn't care. (They do care about money and becoming
They don't care for others or for the rights of others.)
 I really don't know, but since I did read the
Wikipedia item on Kennedy, I think it is fair to add that he didn't
work a day in his life (he said so himself) while he has had serious
problems with cocaine, with alcohol and with oxycontin - and he is against
legalizing marijuana. I say.
 I saw - a
bit to my
amazement - that this dates back to August of 2012, but indeed it is
true that between 2010 and 2012 I paid most attention to M.E. (the
disease I have since 1.1.1979) and psychiatry (which is a definite
in my - very informed, psychologists'