1. Save America From
Donald Trump to Fix America, or,
Did Your Mother Drop You on
2. Despite Paris Climate Pledge, Planet on Track
Surpass 3°C Temperature Rise
3. A Huge Victory for
Online Privacy Advocates
4. Creating a National Security State “Democracy”
5. Noam Chomsky on Hopes for Democracy in 2016 and
This is a Nederlog of Friday, November 4, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about an interesting article by Juan Cole (but he and I may
disagree on Trump: we both strongly disapprove, but my reasons are that
he is not sane, and I am a psychologist); item 2 is
about the real risk that the climate will be 3.5 degrees warmer by 2050
rather than 1.5 degrees: I agree; item 3 is about a
huge victory for Google, Facebook, AT&T and other thieves of
private information that ought to have been kept private; item 4 is a fine article about the National Security
State that is being surrected in the USA; and item 5
is about an interesting interview with Noam Chomsky.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It was OK for two days now, but again didn't work out
in Holland yesterday...
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. 
In case you visit my
Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working.
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.
keep this introduction until I get three successive days
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen
for many months now.
1. Save America From Donald Trump to Fix America, or, Did Your
Mother Drop You on Your Head?
The first item today is by Juan Cole on Truthdig and originally on
This is from near the beginning:
I more or less agree, but I should add that my
position on Trump (whom I like as little as Cole, it seems) is different:
So America is drowning, and voting for
Hillary Clinton is the equivalent of rescuing it. It is the stiff
arm to deal with a hysteria that will otherwise sink us.
I see too many people agonizing over
this election. Will they vote for the Greens?
Libertarians? Is Hillary as bad as Trump?
Did your mother drop you on your
head? This is a drowning country we’re talking about. You
don’t have the luxury to sit on the beach and decide whether to go in.
I really think he is mad, that is insane, that is crazy.
And I am thinking this not as journalist (and I am not a
journalist either ) but as a psychologist: Trump is a grandiose narcissist;
grandiose narcissists are insane and utterly irresponsible; one
should not vote for insane persons - and certainly not
as the most powerful person on earth.
Then there is this:
An America under Trump would be
dead. Donald J. Trump is the greatest danger to American
democracy in modern history. He openly menaces journalists, he
keeps inquiring about why we have nukes if we can’t use them, he wants
to steal Iraq’s petroleum wealth, he promises to use torture, he courts
the KKK, he proposes tax and other policies that will vastly increase
inequality and bankrupt the government, and he wants a trade war with
China. I could go on with a litany of fatal “policies” (actually
more like wicked quips) all the way down the page (and blog pages don’t
really have a fixed bottom). All this is not to mention his
criminal notion that he has a right to French kiss and fondle any woman
he can get hold of with his tiny hands.
I don't know whether America under Trump
would be "dead", though indeed it might, literally, through a nuclear
war. But I agree Trump "is the greatest danger
democracy in modern history", and the rest is
There is also this:
But here’s a surprise. We live in
a society dominated by corporations the way medieval Britain was
dominated by feudal lords. The only difference is that we have a
higher standard of living than did the serfs and we get to decide
between two Establishment candidates for high office regularly.
Over two-thirds of America’s $18.5
trillion economy is
generated by Fortune 500 big corporations (in 2014 it was 73%!)
When I was a graduate student 36 years
ago it was about 50%. (Small business accounted for most of the
other half then, and were the source of the vast majority of
Yes, indeed, and especially "We live in
a society dominated by corporations the way medieval Britain was
dominated by feudal lords". Except that
it is considerably worse, for the feudal lords could not
manipulate what their serfs
saw and believed, for there were no computers and no internet.
This ends as follows:
Mostly yes. In any case, the choice is bad in
the sense that there is just one sane candidate, and she is
pro-rich, pro-bankers and quite dishonest, while the other candidate is
a raving lunatic. (I am sorry, but that is what he is.)
I have made my peace with being a serf
who gets to vote for the
candidates the two parties (mainly representing the corporations)
present me with. (It is a first past the post system, so creating
a 3rd party is almost impossible). It is a very
corrupt system, maybe the most corrupt on earth. I’ll
probably never see a president who really represents the mainstream of
America, because of voter suppression and big money in politics and the
corruption of corporate media. I blow off my frustrations at this
blog and maybe I change a few minds here and there. Civil
disobedience seems increasingly called for with regard to
hydrocarbons. But we can’t do that if America is dead. And
Clinton won’t kill it, however wrongheaded some of her announced
policies. We survived Bush, though with a $6 trillion bill, and
we can survive Clinton. We can’t survive Trump.
But I completely agree with Cole that whoever can vote in the
American elections should vote, and that all minimally rational
persons vote for Clinton, not because she is any good, but
because she is not insane.
2. Despite Paris Climate Pledge,
Planet on Track to Surpass 3°C Temperature Rise
The second item is by Nika Knight on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Global warming is on track to top 3°
Celsius, the United Nations warned this week, because today's climate
pledges are "not nearly enough" to prevent dangerous levels of warming.
That's according the latest annual "Emissions
Gap Report" (pdf) from the United Nations
Environmental Program (UNEP), which concluded that pledges to cut
emissions will result in a global temperature rise of 3.4ºC above
pre-industrial levels, far above the 2º limit and 1.5º goal agreed to
under last year's Paris
"Current commitments will reduce
emissions by no more than a third of the levels required by 2030 to
avert disaster," two UNEP leaders warn in the report's introduction.
I must say that I did not believe at
all that the Paris climate pledge would be any good, so this quite
sad news does not come as a surprise to me at all - and
incidentally, it takes just 13 years + 1 month to 2030.
Here is one summary:
"After 24 years of negotiations we are
hurtling towards a 3.5 degree world, which will be catastrophic for
millions across the world," added
Dipti Bhatnagar, a climate justice and energy coordinator also at FOE
International. "Despite all the science-based evidence, rich countries
are failing to do their fair share of emissions reductions as well as
provide much-needed finance to drive energy transformation in
Yes - and I do like to add that (i) these "24 years of negotiations" were
negotiations by regular politicians and nations, which (ii) I've known
the 1970ies one cannot trust, so again I am not
surprised at all that, again
after "24 years of
negotiations", the climate will get warmer by 3.5
degrees Centigrade by 2050 (if this isn't prevented, which seems quite unlikely).
Here is one sum-up:
If international leaders fail to step
up, UNEP warns, "we will mourn the loss of biodiversity and natural
resources. We will regret the economic fallout. Most of all, we will
grieve over the avoidable human tragedy; the growing numbers of climate
refugees hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflict will be a
constant reminder of our failure to deliver."
"None of this will be the result of bad
weather. It will be the result of bad choices by governments, private
sector, and individual citizens," the agency heads note. "Because there
And that sum-up - not very realistically,
it seems to me - does not consider a major collapse of
economies due to climate change, which I think is rather likely.
Then again, the situation is dire anyway,
and this is a recommended article.
A Huge Victory for Online
The third item is by Jeff Chester, who is the executive director of the
Center for Digital Democracy, on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
The AT&T buyout of Time
really about owning as much of our personal information as possible,
whether it flows from our computer, our TV or — especially — from our
mobile phones. It reveals the goal of the next generation of Big Media
mergers: bringing together under a single entity massive broadband
network connections and vast production and content capabilities, along
with sophisticated data-mining operations that deliver micro-targeted
ads. AT&T and other large corporations want to profit by knowing
what we buy, where we go, what we view and who we interact with — and
to use powerful data analytics to (in their words) “monetize” our
Yes, indeed. And because I have been saying
so since 2005 I will now say that AT&T, Google and Facebook are the
dominant neofascistic empires that are directed by extremely
rich neofascists - and if this offends them, look at the definition
I give : It suits all of them to a t. 
They are neofascists, as are all employees of the NSA and especially
its directors, because they steal all information they can acquire from
anyone, which they have no right to, but have been systematically
allowed to by the politicians (whom they may pay) and the courts (that if not corrupt -
which is a large assumption these days - have to work with "laws" like
the European Convention of Human Rights, which are not at all about
human rights, but about the absolutely unlimited rights of the spies
and the dataminers to extract everything they can get form anyone).
(See here for a little more on that sick Convention.)
There is one possible limitation on the "rights" of the very rich and
the very powerful to know absolutely everything about absolutely
But potentially standing as an
obstacle to the data-domination goals of
this mega deal is last
week’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
requiring broadband internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T
to begin protecting consumer privacy.
I say - and I am quite sorry, but this
declaration that personal information that has been stolen
for many years now ought to be regarded as "sensitive" does not satisfy
me at all. All I can say for it is that it is better than absolutely
The key safeguard adopted by the FCC last
week says that data about
one’s health, finances, precise geolocation, children and — critically
— information culled by ISPs monitoring our use of mobile “apps” and
“web browsing,” must now be classified as “sensitive.” This will force
ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, the key gatekeepers to our
wired and wireless internet connections, to treat this data
differently. The customer will be empowered to decide how this
sensitive information can be used, if at all, by advertisers and others.
First of all, the information is still being stolen, and should
not be. And second, who can assure me that this stolen
information is not
dealt with, in secret, as the ISPs please to do? I think it is; I think
it will be; and nothing will change this until these data simply are not
stolen anymore (and that seems a most unlikely ideal, these
Then there is this, which is quite correct:
ISPs and data giants such as
Google fought the FCC’s privacy plan,
which was spearheaded by its chairman, Tom Wheeler. Until now, the
digital media industry — which includes broadband companies, internet
advertising-dependent giants and major marketers — had successfully
blocked any law or regulation that would protect consumer privacy
online. That’s because the ability to steal and sell other people’s
data to fuel marketing and advertising has become one of the US’ most
successful global businesses. Our companies — think especially Google
and Facebook — have perfected the vast technological capabilities to do
this well throughout the world.
And they are neofascists because they steal
everybody's private data. Also, I think they are abusing the law very
consciously: While it is possible to maintain that in the USA the
Patriot Act has deregulated the Fourth Amendment (I think the argument
is invalid, but suppose), they certainly are stealing all
the personal data they can get from everybody who is not an American.
Finally, here are some of the grossest neofascistic lies:
The FCC’s new privacy rules have
triggered an outcry of alarm and
opposition from opponents. The lobbying group
representing Verizon, News Corp., Google and others
charged that the FCC was “ more “regulatory opportunism than reasoned
policy… that abandons principles of fair competition.” USTelecom,
the ad-supported internet economy.” The cable industry called
the decision more “regulatory opportunism than
reasoned policy… that abandons principles of fair competition.”
represents telephone companies, claimed that “classifying all web
browsing as sensitive information… [is] a disservice” to consumers.”
Not to be outdone, the trade group representing the most powerful US
advertisers, the Association of National Advertisers, blasted the decision,
calling it “unprecedented, misguided, counterproductive and potentially
extremely harmful.” It promised to see the “rules undone,” whether by
“court challenges or action on Capitol Hill to reverse this extreme
overreach by the agency.
I say. I will not
comment on these sick lies, but this article is strongly recommended.
4. Creating a National Security
This starts as follows:
The fourth item today is by Tom Engelhardt on TomDispatch:
To say that this is the election from
hell is to insult hell.
There’s been nothing like this since
Washington forded the Rubicon or Trump crossed the Delaware or
delivered the Gettysburg Address (you know, the one that began
“Four score and eleven women ago...”) -- or pick
your own seminal moment in American history.
Billions of words, that face, those
gestures, the endless
insults, the abused women and the emails, the 24/7 spectacle of it
all... Whatever happens on Election Day, let’s accept one reality:
we’re in a new political era in this country. We just haven’t
quite taken it in. Not really.
I agree that "we’re
in a new political era in this country".
Possibly some of the rest may be somewhat exaggerated, but Engelhardt
is right about this. Also, it seems to me that both these 2016
elections and the American political climate depend a lot on the years
2001-2003 (the last year because then the war was started against Iraq
that still lasts), but I will leave that possibility to your own
Next, there is this on Donald Trump:
Whatever you think of The Donald, who in
the world -- and I mean the whole wide world (including the
Iranians) -- could possibly forget him or the election he’s stalked
so ominously? When you think of him, however, don’t make him the
cause of American political dysfunction. He’s just the bizarre,
disturbed, and disturbing symptom of the transformation of the American
Yes and no: Yes, Donald Trump is not
"the cause of American political dysfunction". But no, he is not (bolding added) "just the bizarre, disturbed, and disturbing symptom
of the transformation of the American political system",
in the first place because persons and their personal choices also are
important, and in the second place because I have seen quite a few
American presidents I didn't like (and my memories start with
Eisenhower), but I do not recall any presidential candidate who was - remotely, also - as bad, as insane, as
crude, as offensive, and as much lying as Donald Trump.
Then Tom Engelhardt, who is about 6 years
older than I am, does something interesting: He asks what his parents
(who died in the Seventies and Eighties) would have thought of the
All of this seems quite right to me, indeed
quite independently of the political preferences of Engelhardt's
parents: All of these changes were major changes, and all of these
changes much increased the powers and the incomes of the few very rich,
at the costs of the powers and the incomes of the many non-rich.
On a somewhat more modest scale, my mom
and dad wouldn’t have recognized our political world as American, and
not just because of Donald Trump. They would have been staggered
by the money pouring into our political system -- at least $6.6
billion in this election cycle according to the latest estimate,
more than 10% of that from only 100 families. They would have
been stunned by our 1%
elections; by our new Gilded
Age; by a billionaire TV celebrity running as a “populist” by
riling up once Democratic working-class whites immiserated by the likes
of him and his “brand” of casino capitalism, scam, and spectacle; by
all those other billionaires pouring
money into the Republican Party to create a gerrymandered Congress that
will do their obstructionist bidding; and by just how much money can be
“invested” in our political system in perfectly legal ways these days.
Here is more on the wars that now continue for 15 years and against
trillions of dollars, which come from tax money ,
though the wars are essentially presidential decisions, as if the
presidents of the USA since Bush have dictatorial possibilities:
On my tour of this new world, I
might start by pointing out to my mom and dad that the U.S. is now in a
state of permanent
war, its military at the moment involved in conflicts in at least six
countries in the Greater Middle East and Africa. These are
all purely presidential conflicts, as Congress no longer has a real
role in American war-making (other than ponying up the money for it and
beating the drums to support it). The executive branch stands
alone when it comes to the war powers once checked and balanced in the
Yes indeed, and the main difference with the
times in which Engelhardt's parents lived is that these "are all purely presidential conflicts",
indeed since 15 years: Before Bush Jr. took power and started warring,
Congress was supposed (and still is, Constitutionally speaking) to
And there is this on the president's personal powers:
I could mention that the
president who, in my parents’ time, commanded one modest-sized secret
army, the CIA’s paramilitaries, now essentially presides over a
full-scale secret military, the Special Operations Command: 70,000
elite troops cocooned inside the larger U.S. military, including
elite teams ready to be deployed
on what are essentially executive missions across the planet.
I say, and I briefly checked it out: There
were already about 33,000 such elite troops in 2001, some of whom - I
must say, and I am not an American - strike me as rather likely
candidates for 9/11, simply because the evidence I have seen
(considerable amounts) strongly suggests that at least some of the
buildings that were hit during 9/11 also were secretly blown up.
And no, I do not know this: I guess this, indeed in
considerable part because the official story about 9/11 definitely is
full of holes. 
Here is the last bit that I will quote from this article:
I could point out that, in the
twenty-first century, U.S. intelligence has set up a global
surveillance state that would have shamed the totalitarian powers
of the previous century and that American citizens, en masse, are
included in it; that our emails (a new concept for my parents) have
by the millions and our phone records made
available to the state; that privacy, in short, has essentially
been declared un-American. I would also point out that, on the
basis of one tragic day and what otherwise has been the most
modest of threats to Americans, a single fear -- of Islamic
terrorism -- has been the pretext for the building of the already
existing national security state into an edifice of almost unbelievable
proportions that has been given once unimaginable powers, funded
that should amaze anyone (not just visitors from the American past),
and has become the unofficial fourth
branch of the U.S. government without either discussion or a vote.
Yes, indeed: Quite so. And it are also
especially these "once unimaginable powers"
(that are very much greater than those of the KGB in the Soviet Union)
that strongly dispose me to believing that the USA is moving rapidly to
become a neofascistic state.
You may disagree (but check out my definition, please: I am saying
these things not because I wish to offend but because they seem
probably true to me), but I really think so, indeed since 2005 (<-Dutch) at the latest.
And this is a very good article that I strongly recommend.
5. Noam Chomsky on Hopes for Democracy in 2016 and Beyond
The fifth and last item today is by Saul Isaacson and Dan Falcone on
This is from near the beginning (and the
speaker is always Noam Chomsky, apart from the bolded questions):
You feel Sanders is doing the
Pretty much, I think. People said he was
depicted -- and he depicted himself -- as a political revolutionary,
but he's not. He's a decent, honest New Dealer. He wouldn't have
surprised Eisenhower very much. It's just the country has gone so far
to the right, that when he takes sort of New Deal positions, he looks
like he's from outer space. But he never pretended to be anything else.
I think he's an honest guy. He says what he believes. Always [said] he
would support the Democratic candidate. He's doing it. And I think it
Yes, I agree - and Noam Chomsky is "a political revolutionary", or at
least (because he is not a fanatic) far more than Bernie Sanders.
This is on the incredible amounts of
propaganda and advertisements that are spread by the mainstream media:
What happened to our ability to
Mainstream ideology is never going to
want to discuss issues, because it's too threatening, so if others
don't do it, it'll disappear. Tell me, why should they? They want
things supportive of power systems -- it's kind of like getting people
hooked on television, or [consuming], or on sports or something. If you
can get the public out of your hair, it's fine. If you start discussing
issues, people get involved. So you certainly don't want to do that. So
it's up to the rest of us. But it's always been like that.
I agree, except that it hasn't "always been" quite "like"
they are now, and the great differences are that the spies of the
government and the spies of the dataminers now (i) know everything
about anyone and (ii) are almost completely free to deceive anyone in
any way by manipulating what they get to see and not see.
And I think these are very major and
extremely negative changes, for they give all the power to the very
few, who also are mostly operating in total secrecy.
Then there is this on racism and the USA:
Yes, evidently Trump and his voters are
racists. And I think Chomsky is quite right in saying that "until 1945, the United States was a cultural backwater" and indeed it still is, at least for the half that
supports Trump and is neither intelligent nor knowledgeable.
Is racism behind the Trump
campaign and behind Trump's popularity?
There's no doubt. Take a look at the poll
analyses. The Trump voters are pretty racist. But I think that there
are things about the United States that aren't really recognized
sufficiently, so it's important to remember that until 1945, the United
States was a cultural backwater. It wasn't part of the modern world....
So, a good part of the country is still [adhering to] what's been
traditional. It's just not part of the modern world. Just take a look
at the statistics. The religious fanaticism, there's just nothing like
it in the world.
Here is the last question plus answer that I will review from this
Daniel Falcone: Could you touch
on how the current situation in the US differs from the current
situation in Europe?
Right now [the British are] kind of
destroying themselves with economic policies that are much worse than
those here. By comparison, the US looks progressive. Europe is worse.
Now, European democracy is just being completely undermined by the
troika. And the decisions -- they're just taken away from nation-states
where at least people had some kind of voice -- and now placed in the
hands of Belgian bureaucrats with the northern banks looking over their
shoulders. It's pretty scary.
Yes indeed. Neofascism  has arrived in Europe on the level of government:
All of Europe is being directed by a few neofascist frauds who only
look at their own riches and those of the banks they serve.
And if you see this differently I can only
suggest that you know a lot less about both politics
that you don't have a father who survived 3 years and 9 months of
German concentration camps, nor a grandfather who was murdered there;
that you did not study philosophy; that you are not
very intelligent; and/or that you have been convinced by the very many lies, deceptions and propaganda
that reached you from the offices of the very rich or their political
None of this holds for me, and therefore I may reach some
conclusions a bit sooner than most others.
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
"xs4all" (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
 Indeed I am not, and have explicitly
denied I am since 2008, at the latest: I do not have the
education of a journalist; I never
worked as a journalist (I did work for a paper, but not as a
journalist, and I published, in 1971, two articles in the press, but
that is all); and indeed I never desired to be a journalist.
What I am is an intellectual with radical ideas, and what I do is
writing out my opinions on my site. That is all.
 I am saying this not because I want to
offend but because I want to explain,
and my own explanatory definition of neofascism is this:
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
And the link in which I argue this is the
following: On Fascism
and Neofascism: Definitions.
 That my
definition does suit many (not: all) of the very rich
and their corporations should be evident from note .
Incidentally (but an important point):
Many "neoliberals" and most of the present GOP seem to be - if
trusted on their words, which is extremely unwise, since lying
is extremely easy
- are "against government". If that was really true none of the wars
that have been conducted by the USA could have been conducted, for they
are paid for by tax money, that requires a government to get the tax
money in the first place.
And indeed it is quite false: At least the GOP is only "against
government" when the government doesn't do as it pleases; as soon as
the government does as it pleases they are strongly for government.
The brief of it is that they are lying (which is extremely
easy, and needs no money).
 Maybe I should start
by saying that I am not an American and also am not
interested in conspiracy theories. What I am interested in
(always) are true
And the evidence I have
seen, which is quite a lot since 2001, but especially since
2009 because then I got fast internet, is that (1) the official
explanations for 9/11 are full of holes, while (2) there is
strong evidence that at least some of the buildings that collapsed on
9/11/01 were in fact collapsed by controlled explosions.
Both numbered statements seem to me to
have a rational probability that exceeds 1/2 and nothing
I am told about "conspiracy theories" will change anything about that
 Yes, indeed. Here is
an addition: I am and always have been a strong opponent of political
correctness: Those who seek to influence people "not to use
offensive prose" in fact are seeking to censor people so
that they do not say anything anyone might oppose.
I think there are and have been
fascists, sadists, terrorists, liars, degenerates, frauds, torturers
and many other things I regard as morally despicable, and I have
or assert my right to describe them in factually
adequate terms and to name them as I did in this paragraph. To forbid
my naming them thus is to insist on falsehoods.
 Again see note .