1. Literature: Dario Fo
and Bob Dylan
2. Trump Turns Nazi-Like
3. "Neoliberalism" Has
4. On WikiLeaks,
Journalism, and Privacy: Reporting on
the Podesta Archive is an Easy
This is a Nederlog of Friday, October 14, 2016.
is a partial crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is
about several articles commemorating Dario Fo (died at 90) and praising
Bob Dylan (Nobel Prize of Literature at 75); item 2 is about two
articles that explain Trump's latest speeches as "Nazi-Like"; item 3 is
about two articles that explain "Neoliberalism" has failed (hm, hm:
even the name was propaganda, and it doesn't seem to have failed its real
aim: Help the rich get richer, but the articles are mostly OK); and item 4 is about an article by Glenn
Greenwald who explains some journalistic principles.
Also, this Nederlog is a bit experimental in that the first three items
are all based on several articles. This happened mostly by accident,
following the first item (that also is not really a part of the crisis).
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need
to click/reload twice or more
to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
In any case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. (But not
on October 13.) The
Dutch site still is a mess.
I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!)
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that
for many months now.
1. Literature: Dario Fo and Bob Dylan
The first item today is in fact about two people and several articles,
but the two persons have something in common: Both won the Nobel Prize
Dario Fo, who was an Italian anarchist and writer, won it in 1997, and died
a couple of days ago at 90, and Bob Dylan, who is an American singer
and poet of 75 won it a couple of days ago.
I start with Dario Fo, who was a
real man: intelligent, brave and not an egoist (and most
men are neither, I am very sorry to say ). This is from the
opening of the above listed article, which is by Jonathan Kandel in the
New York Times:
I liked him a lot, ever
since I first saw "Accidental
Death of an Anarchist"
in 1972 or 1973 in England (with my then girlfriend Stephanie
Faulkner). The above article is adequate, but I think the Wikipedia
the Italian playwright, director and performer whose scathingly
satirical work earned him both praise and condemnation, as well as the 1997
Nobel Prize in Literature, died on Thursday in Milan. He was 90.
was confirmed by his Italian publisher, Chiarelettere.
wrote more than 80 plays, many of them in collaboration with his wife,
Franca Rame, who died in 2013, and his work was translated into dozens
best known for two works: “Accidental Death of an Anarchist” (1970), a
play based on the case of an Italian railroad worker who was either
thrown or fell from the upper story of a Milan police station while
being questioned on suspicion of terrorism; and his one-man show
“Mistero Buffo” (“Comic Mystery”), written in 1969 and frequently
revised and updated in the decades that followed, taking wild comic aim
at politics and especially religion.
1977 version of “Mistero Buffo” was broadcast in Italy, the Vatican
denounced it as “the most blasphemous show in the history of
The church’s attitude toward Mr. Fo had not mellowed a
generation later, when he was awarded the Nobel. “Giving the prize to
someone who is also the author of questionable works is beyond
imagination,” the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said.
critics felt differently. “Imagine a cross between Bertolt Brecht and
Lenny Bruce and you may begin to have an idea of the scope of Fo’s
anarchic art,” Mel Gussow wrote in The New York Times in 1983.
is better. He also had an
interesting and courageous wife, Franca
As I said, Dario Fo won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997, and Bob
Dylan won it in 2016.
I have linked above an article on Democracy Now! of five years ago
on Bob Dylan, in part because there is a whole lot on
Bob Dylan in the press that I leave to you, while this article is both
less prominent and oriented to the time I
liked Dylan, which was from 1962-1967, and especially to the very early
years (that I did not immediately hear: this started for me in 1965).
And I admit I mostly lost interest in Dylan from his LP "John
Wesley Harding" onwards (from 1967), just as I am not interested in
Christianity (to which he converted). The Wikipedia article on him
is again quite good. As to
Dylan's winning the Nobel Prize: I think it is deserved, mostly
because of his wide influence on many others, and because his texts
simply were better than those of most.
And while I don't think he was A Great Poet, he did write quite a few
fine songs with fine texts, and he also was quite influential, especially among musicians.
2. Trump Turns Nazi-Like
The second item is about two articles about Donald Trump, who is a mad
neofascist who loves grabbing women by the pussy, which he can do, in
his own opinion, because he "is famous", and who also won the
Republican candidacy for president of the USA.
I am a psychologist, and have been saying for
seven months now that Donald Trump is not sane. So perhaps
I am also less shocked about Trump's insane behavior and a bit more
shocked that so very few know something about psychology say so, in pubic (for he is
really nuts, but I also know since 40 years, at least, that most
academics are far more interested in their own status and incomes than
in their political pretensions ):
Here is some from the first of the two above
articles. This is by Adele M. Stan on Alternet, and she starts as
It would be tempting to label as
“unhinged” the speech Donald Trump delivered in West Palm Beach on
Thursday—a speech in which he dog-whistled a worldwide conspiracy
against him (without actually uttering the word “Jews”) and disparaged
the appearance of women who have accused him of sexual assault and
But it was not unhinged. The speech was
hinged to the original purpose of his campaign: to trade on the
resentments of a restive remnant of white America—angry white men and
the women who love them—and set the stage for mayhem in the wake of his
likely electoral defeat.
This was not your standard, off-the-cuff
Trump rant. This was a scripted speech, delivered with a teleprompter.
It was crafted. It featured the key words of right-wing complaints:
“sovereign,” “global bankers” and “slander.” Really, it came right out
of a Nazi propaganda playbook. And when one considers the themes common
between Nazi propaganda films and the films made by top Trump campaign
staffers Stephen K. Bannon and David Bossie (as analyzed
by AlterNet), we should hardly be surprised.
Here is some more:
And this is from the second article, by Tim
Murphy on Mother Jones:
“Anyone who challenges their control,”
Trump continued, “is deemed a sexist, rapist, xenophobe and morally
deformed. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek
to destroy your career and your family. They will seek to destroy
everything about you, including your reputation. They will lie, lie,
lie, and then again they will do worse than that. They will do whatever
is necessary. The Clintons are criminals. Remember that, they're
When the crowd began chanting, “Lock her
up!” Trump chimed in, “So true. Honestly, she should be locked up. She
should be. Should be locked up.”
You can check out yesterday's Nederlog to
check out Trump's lies about these "lies". And here is Trump's insane
conviction about the presidential election: If he doesn't win it, the
elections were fixed, and presumably there should be a revolution (by
Facing allegations that he sexually assaulted several women, Donald Trump
gave the most extreme and angry speech of his campaign on Thursday,
during a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida. The GOP nominee, who tweeted on Tuesday that the "shackles have been
taken off me," lashed out at the "corporate" media, the women who have
accused him of kissing and touching them without consent, and a
"globalist" criminal conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton, her husband,
and international bankers.
After a string of warm-up speakers who only
indirectly referred to the sexual assault allegations, Trump cut
straight to the chase. "These claims are fabricated," he declared
angrily. "They are lies. These events never happened—and the people who
brought them—you take a look at these people, you study these people,
and you'll understand that also."
Trump charged that journalists
and conspire directly with the Clinton campaign on helping her win the
election." He proclaimed, "This is a conspiracy against you, the
American people, and we cannot let it happen." It was a plot, he said,
to promote "radical globalization" and to protect a "corrupt
establishment." The only way to thwart the evil cabal, he insisted, was
to elect Trump president. But, he warned, the schemers had rigged the
system to elect Clinton and keep Trump out. It was a clear message: if
Clinton wins, she will be an illegitimate and criminal president
representing sinister forces intent on screwing Americans. A Clinton
victory, he signaled, would mean the election was fixed—a betrayal that
no patriotic American should accept.
I say. And I will not say much more, because
I think Donald Trump is insane (and I am a psychologist).
The third item is also about two articles, this time about
"neoliberalism" aka "Greed Is Good". I think both articles make sense,
but they also both miss that (i) even the name
"neoliberalism" is propaganda and
that (ii) "neoliberalism" has had
very great successes since 1980, namely in
providing the few rich with
more and more at the costs of the many non-rich:
To start with, this is from the
second of the above two dotted articles, which is by Thom Hartmann on
Truthdig, and - I think - this explanation is correct:
And that is precisely what happened since the
1980ies, with the following overall effect (and yes, I've used the
There's nothing wrong with wanting to
make money, but when President Ronald Reagan and his free-market
cronies came to town in the 1980s, something changed in US corporate
culture. Businesses were no longer just encouraged to make money --
they were encouraged to make as much money by any means possible, no
matter what the cost.
This new way of thinking was captured
brilliantly in Oliver Stone's film Wall Street when Michael Douglas'
character, Gordon Gekko, tells an audience of stockholders that "greed
This point of view was shared by
President Reagan, which is why he and the Republican Party did
everything they could to reward greed in our economy.
It's why Reagan functionally stopped
enforcing the Sherman Act -- so that big companies could merge with
other big companies to create giant monopolies, kicking off the "merger
It's why he dropped the top marginal tax
rate for the super-rich from 70 percent down to 28 percent over the
course of his administration.
It's also why he changed the tax code,
so that CEOs were purely incentivized by greed to increase share prices
Tax and accounting rules were both
changed in the 1980s to turn CEOs into shareholders more than
employees. This was done by converting huge chunks of their
compensation from payroll into stocks and stock options.
The idea here was to connect CEO pay
with the company's performance and therefore encourage efficiency in
business practices and create a lot of money for everyone involved.
What it actually did, though, was give
corporate executives an incentive to cut as many corners as possible to
make as much money as possible, everything and everyone else be damned.
The few rich got an enormous amount
richer; the many non-rich lost money or stayed (at best) equal for the
last 35 years.
And this is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews (which is from
the first of the above dotted articles). This starts as follows:
Oct .13 marked the birthday of the late
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – so perhaps it would be
fitting to take a moment to consider how Thatcherism still rules
the global capitalist landscape.
During her political prime in the 1980s,
Thatcher said she was out to change the soul, to change the conceptual
universe in which people live, and her idea that “there is no
alternative” (TINA) became so deeply embedded in our psyches and in our
consciousness that it seems we could no longer imagine that there is an
alternative to capitalism.
The neoliberalism of Thatcher was
characterized by deregulation (especially in the financial sector), the
suppression of labor, attacks on trade unions, and the privatization of
state-owned corporations. Both Thatcher and Ronald Reagan oversaw the
shift toward a more laissez-faire version of capitalism, which in
effect reversed the post-1929 movement towards increased
state-intervention and social-democratic capitalism.
It is long overdue that we lay this TINA
concept to rest. Consider this: in the 1930s there was a clear sense
that there was an alternative. After World War II, an alternative
emerged in which the state was heavily involved; and taxation rates in
the U.S. were very high. One of the persistent lies that we hear from
Republicans is that high taxation rates destroy growth.
Donald Trump repeated this fallacy in
the second presidential debate, but the record speaks differently. In
1945, that taxation rate on the top income brackets was 92 percent; it
never fell below 70 percent until Ronald Reagan brought it down to 30
In 1981, Reagan significantly reduced
the maximum tax rate, which affected the highest income earners, and
lowered the top marginal tax rate from 70 percent to 50 percent; in
1986 he further reduced the rate to 28 percent. Between 1945 and
Reagan, the average rate of growth in the U.S. was around 4 to 5
percent per year: one of the most successful boom periods of American
history, when the top tax rate was always at 70-odd percent.
Since Ronald Reagan, the top tax rate has
hovered around 35-39 percent and the average rate of growth since the
1970s has been 2 percent.
And you see above how this
enormous theft unpacked: The few rich got very much richer; the many
non-rich lost what the rich gained, and stayed at best equal in
income for 35 years.
Finally, to return to the beginning of this review:
I do think "neoliberalism" is itself a
propaganda term. The "liberalism" the "neoliberalists" were for was only
the liberty of the rich to exploit the non-rich as much as they
could, unrestrained by any regulation, any law, and any other norm
than the greedy insane moral (!) norm of Milton Friedman: CEOs
have only one moral norm they must satisfy, and that is to
return with as many profits as they can make (by any
means, including torture and military force, as happened in Chili in
the 1970ies, which was supported by Friedman).
And I do not think that economical mass-murder is
"liberal": At best it is conservative, and it is more like neofascism
than any other system I know of: Everything for the rich, without any
moral restraints whatsoever.
Also, the very frightening fact about this baloney for the
rich and the very rich is that it took in enormous amounts of people
who were tricked by "liberalism" and "freedom":
In fact the few very rich changed and deregulated and
destroyed all legal norms, all laws, and all sanctions on their
enormous greed, and succeeded in getting richer and richer
for 35 years, while everyone who was not rich grew poorer or
remained the same all those years.
It was an enormous, extremely enriching fraud
(<-Wikipedia), that defines "fraud" as: "deliberate deception
to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal
right", which is precisely
what happened, by the very rich and the rich, of everybody else,
and so far their propaganda
and their lies
4. On WikiLeaks, Journalism, and Privacy: Reporting on
the Podesta Archive is an Easy Call
The fourth and last item today is a single article by a single writer:
Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept on journalistic principles:
This starts as follows:
For years, WikiLeaks has been publishing massive troves of
documents online – usually taken without authorization from
powerful institutions and then given to the group to publish
– while news outlets report on their relevant content. In some
instances, these news outlets work in direct partnership with
WikiLeaks – as the New York Times and the Guardian, among others, did
when jointly publishing the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and U.S.
diplomatic cables – while other times media outlets simply review the
archives published by WikiLeaks and then report on what they deem
WikiLeaks has always been somewhat controversial but
reaction has greatly intensified this year because many of their most
significant leaks have had an impact on the U.S. presidential election
and, in particular, have focused on Democrats. As a result, Republicans
who long vilified them as a grave national security threat have become
their biggest fans (“I love WikiLeaks,” Donald Trump gushed last night,
even though he previously called
for Edward Snowden to be executed), while Democrats who cheered
them for their mass leaks about Bush-era war crimes now scorn them
as an evil espionage tool of the Kremlin.
Yes, indeed: This simply is what happened. It also
shows that very many politically interested folks make their opinions
on what is good and bad depend on whether what they judge serves their
current political interests ("Good!") or opposes their current political interests ("Bad!") - which incidentally is a complete inversion of what rational and reasonable judgements would be like.
So here is a list of five principles that Glenn
Greenwald articulates - and I give only a brief introduction plus the
principles, but I deleted their explanatory texts:
When it comes to the question of whether and how the
Podesta email archive should be reported, there are, in my view, five
principles that ought to guide the decision-making process:
source’s motives are irrelevant in deciding whether to
Journalists constantly publish material that is stolen or
The more public power someone has, the less privacy they
Whether something is “shocking” or “earth-shattering” is
All journalists are arbiters of privacy and gatekeepers of
I agree with all of them, and in case you do not, or are interested in Glenn Greenwald's reasons, you should check out the last dotted link and read everything.
And in case you disagree with item 5 (which speakers for governments tend to do: They want to be the unique deciders of what the inhabitants in their nations should and should not read, much rather than their inhabitants or their journalists), here is Greenwald's eminently sensible argument:
Quit so. The rest is equally good and recommended.
The often-heard objection that journalists should not act as arbiters
of privacy or gatekeepers of information is just absurd. All journalism
entails exactly those judgments: about what should or should not be
published, and about what invasions of privacy are or are not justified
in the public interest.
When the New York Times publishes state secrets, it acts as
“arbiters” of what should and should not be disclosed. When the Guardian
and the Intercept and the Washington Post chose to publish some
material from the Snowden archive but not all – on the ground that some
of the material would destroy innocent people’s lives or reputations –
they acted as “gatekeepers” of information. Literally every act of
journalism entails this process. A core purpose of the First Amendment’s
free press guarantee was to add an additional safeguard against excess
government secrecy by ensuring that others beyond government officials
made decisions about what the public knows. If you find it objectionable
that journalists act as “arbiters” or “gatekeepers,” then you simply
don’t believe in journalism, since all journalism entails that.
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
(really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
 I am, and I am certainly not a believer in "the equality of all": Everybody who is somewhat intelligent and honest knows that
this not true - and I am one of the very few who argued that this is
a reason why all should have equal rights.
Yes, indeed. And if you don't believe this (as many don't) I can only
suggest that you are not intelligent, or did not have revolutionary
parents and grandparents, like I had, or have not been excluded illegally from the right to take an M.A. in philosophy, or just believe in pretensions of academic intellectuals because they sound so good.
In any case, by now I think the reason that I heard few psychologists and hardly any psychiatrist who said - publicly! - what I say is that they nearly all like their own incomes and statuses much more than the tales they tell their students about their "values" and "principles". (And it is true they may risk something if Trump becomes president: He HATES criticism of himself.)