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Nederlog

Jan 10, 2017
Crisis: USA Declining, Streep, No Vetting, Fisk On Lies, Davies On Mainstream Media
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction   

1.
U.S. Decline to Banana Republic Accelerates as Trump Places
     Son-in-Law Jared Kushner in White House

2. WATCH: Meryl Streep Slams Trump for Bullying & Calls for an
     Independent Free Press

3.
Senate Hearings Begin for Wealthiest Cabinet in U.S. History
     Despite Lack of Vetting

4.
Journalist Robert Fisk: We Have Always Lived With Lies
5. The ‘Post-Truth’ Mainstream Media
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of January 10, 2017.

This is a
crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is an article about how the USA is declining to a banana republic as Trump nominates his family to important government posts; item 2 is about Meryl Streep's speech and Trump's (predictable and indeed predicted) response (and Streep is too optimistic about "the press"); item 3 is about the major lacks in vetting Trump's candidates (which - I take it - Trump does not consider necessary: he doesn't care if his ministers are corrupt); item 4 is about an article about "post-truth" and the lies of the mainstream media; and item 5 is likewise concerned, and is also about the "social media".

1. U.S. Decline to Banana Republic Accelerates as Trump Places Son-in-Law Jared Kushner in White House

The
first item is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

Donald Trump’s intention to name his son-in-law Jared Kushner to a senior White House post violates ethical standards – and the smell test.

A 1967 anti-nepotism law states that a government official can’t hire relatives “in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control.” Kushner’s lawyers are said to be preparing to argue that the White House is somehow not an “agency” and so Trump can do as he wishes, but they are probably wrong and without a change to the law the appointment of Kushner would likely lead to litigation aimed at forcing him out.

And legalities aside, a world leader turning his son-in-law into one of his foremost advisers has an extremely creepy vibe, because it’s straight out of the third world dictator playbook.
Yes indeed: Trump's cabinet seems to be going to be the most illegal, the most immoral and by far the richest cabinet there ever was in the USA, and by now I guess all three things are happening on purpose (indeed in part because most "journalists" these days are very happy to pretend that the president(-elect) cannot lie, while he does so - when checked - 70 % of the time): This is going to give the greatest riches to the rich, and fuck the press and everybody else who protests, for they are losers and not billionaires.

I think that is the outline of Trump's values and priorities, and that is also why he nominated his son in law.

There is this on Kushner's conflicts of interest:
Also, as a major real estate investor himself, Kushner will also bring with him glaring conflicts of interest almost as labyrinthine as Trump’s. Kushner could of course sell all his assets and put the proceeds in a blind trust, but as with Trump the law does not require it and Kushner appears to have no intention of doing so.
In fact, if it is true that "the law does not require" that Kushner or Trump sell their assets, the law is rotten.

And there is this on Kushner's importance for Trump:

All this matters because Kushner may be the single most important influence on Trump. Before the election the Times called Kushner Trump’s “de facto campaign manager,” and a Trump adviser referred to him as “the final decision-maker” in Trump’s inner circle — despite the fact that Kushner had no official title.
And finally there is this on Kushner's character, intelligence and talents:

This shouldn’t be a surprise, since Kushner seems to be a Trump Mini-Me — like his father-in-law born to real estate wealth and not particularly talented at anything, but with a family taste for power and personal vengeance.

Kushner’s successful developer father, Charlie Kushner, gave $2.5 million to Harvard in 1998 when Jared was looking at colleges. Shortly afterward, Harvard admitted him – even though, as an official at Kushner’s high school put it, “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen.” After Harvard, Kushner was admitted to the law school at New York University. Coincidentally, his father had recently given NYU $3 million and rented the school office space at below-market rates.

In brief, Kushner is as talented as his father-in-law: He is "not particularly talented at anything, but with a family taste for power and personal vengeance."

And I kept the machinations of Kushner Sr. to provide his untalented son with degrees that suggest talent: It seems to have cost him $5.5 million, for Kusher Jr. lacked both the GPA and had insufficient SAT scores.

Here is my conclusion (once again): Trump's cabinet will be
the most illegal, the most immoral and by far the richest cabinet there ever was in the USA and it is the first two because those two serve the last.

And fuck all rules and all laws that forbid it: These billionaires-in-the-cabinet are all supermen (German: "Ubermensche") to whom moral rules and existing laws just do not apply if they don't like them.

This is a recommended article.

2.  WATCH: Meryl Streep Slams Trump for Bullying & Calls for an Independent Free Press

The second item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following introduction:
Watch an excerpt from Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech when she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at Sunday night’s Golden Globes. The Academy Award-winning actress used her address to call for protections for the free press and to criticize President-elect Donald Trump without ever speaking his name, saying the performance that most stunned her this year was Trump’s mocking imitation of a disabled reporter during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Actually, I still have not seen Meryl Streep, but that is mostly because I read much faster than people talk. Here are some of the words she spoke in writing:
MERYL STREEP: But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good. It was—there was nothing good about it. But it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter—someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It—it kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
Yes indeed - and the same applies to the case of the powerful who flunk and deny all laws and all rules that would limit their desires and their profits.

And Trump assembled the richest cabinet ever, many of whom probably know of Milton Friedman's one and only moral norm that Friedman (who loved the Chilean dictators) thought applied to any corporation: Make the highest possible profit. (Since that is quite explicitly the only rule, one has to understand its implication: And disregard all laws and all morals if these keep you from realizing the highest possible
profit.
[1])

Here is some more by Meryl Streep, which I also agree with, although I think this is not sufficient given the disdain of many modern "journalists" and "editors" for writing the truths that are inconvenient for the rich or the powerful:
MERYL STREEP: We need a principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why—that’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re going to need them, going forward, and they’ll need us, to safeguard the truth.
I agree in principle, but - unfortunately - I think that is not enough (and see item 5 below). And here is the reaction of the president-elect ([2]):
AMY GOODMAN: (...) This morning, President-elect Donald Trump slammed Streep, tweeting, quote, "Meryl Streep, one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big," unquote.
Clearly, a megalomaniac like Donald Trump needs to (!! [3]) insist that "Meryl Streep" [is] one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood", which is at least a little strange in that (I quote from Wikipedia) since 1971 Streep got "nominated for 19 Academy Awards in total, Streep has more nominations than any other actor or actress" and "Streep has also received 30 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight—more nominations, and more competitive (non-honorary) wins than any other actor (male or female)" - and these are just two points from a long paragraph detailing far more of her very many awards.

But Donald Trump believes he knows better than 45 years worth of acclaim for Streep, and he believes so because he is a megalomaniac who looks on anyone who does not wildly admire him as an enemy and a "flunky".

For more, see here. And this is a recommended article.

3. Senate Hearings Begin for Wealthiest Cabinet in U.S. History Despite Lack of Vetting

The
third item is also by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

A barrage of Senate confirmation hearings is set to begin Tuesday for what could be the wealthiest Cabinet in modern American history. This comes despite concerns that ethics clearances and background checks are incomplete for several of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks. "Each one of these people, by themselves, would be an outrage in any other administration. But the totality of what we’re seeing from the Trump administration has no precedent in American history," says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, which has just launched the CorporateCabinet.org website to track the corporate connections and conflicts of interest of Trump Cabinet appointees. We also speak with Richard Painter, professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota. He was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush from February 2005 to July 2007.

In fact, as I indicated in item 1, my own position is a bit more radical: Trump's cabinet will be the most illegal, the most immoral and by far the richest cabinet there ever was in the USA and it will be the first two because those two serve the last.

That is: There will be few accepted rules and few accepted laws that Trump and his cabinet will acknowledge as valid if these rules or laws limit the profits of the rich - and that is the "neoliberalism" aka the neofascism (in my sense: check it out!) of the rich, which may again be abbreviated as: Rules and laws apply to the rich only if they agree to them, and not otherwise.

Here are some of my reasons:

AMY GOODMAN: (..) Senator Warren later tweeted, quote, "Cabinet officials must put our country’s interests before their own. No conference hearings should be held until we’re certain that’s the case," she tweeted. Trump’s transition team responded with a statement: quote, "In the midst of a historic election where Americans voted to drain the swamp, it is disappointing some have chosen to politicize the process," unquote.
(...)

Clearly, Senator Warren was completely right. And Kushner's (?) answer is a complete and intentional lie: What Trump is doing is setting up the swamp of billionaires, liars, profiteers and generals to profit as much as they can, and to do so he is breaking all the moral and legal rules.

Here is some more:

AMY GOODMAN: How unusual is what’s happening now, having these hearings this week, confirmation hearings, where the senators question President-elect Trump’s picks without, in some cases, having these forms, questionnaires, completed, submitted? Explain who hasn’t submitted, what these forms are, why the senators need them at this point.

RICHARD PAINTER: Well, it is unusual. And we have historic elections for the office of president of the United States every four years and a transition from one president to another at least every eight years.
(..)
But it’s critically important for the nominees to have finished their Form 278, which is the financial disclosure form that lays out what their assets are and what their sources of income are, and then also to have entered into an ethics agreement with the agency that they’re going to go into that specifies what assets are going to be sold in order to avoid conflicts of interest and what matters, government matters, they are going to have to recuse from in order to avoid financial conflicts of interest with respect to the remaining assets. This is critically important because there is a criminal conflict of interest statute that prohibits any executive branch official from participating in a matter in which that person has a financial interest. So they either need to sell assets or recuse.

But they don't want to, and therefore they neither sell their assets nor do they recuse themselves.

And here is the government the Americans are going to get, "the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States":

ROBERT WEISSMAN: I think what we’re seeing with the failure to comply with these ethics rules is a reiteration of what we knew early on after the election, which is we’re going to see the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States. And we’re going to see now two kinds of corruption, one that is extremely likely because of the failure to take ethics rules seriously, which is scandals and violation of the law.
(..)
The second kind of corruption, which is guaranteed—100 percent guaranteed—is the revolving door kind of corruption. So we have all kinds of people coming in from corporate America—billionaires, huge contributors—and they’re going to rule on matters that directly relate to corporate interests, their own personal interests, whether or not they have—are going to be transgressing the conflict of interest rules. So we have the amazing spectacle of the former CEO of Exxon nominated to be secretary of state. You know, Exxon runs its own foreign policy; now Exxon is effectively taking over the foreign policy of the United States.
(...)
And you go on down the list, and it’s kind of endless. Each one of these people, by themselves, would be an outrage in any other administration. But the totality of what we’re seeing from the Trump administration has no precedent in American history.

I completely agree, and Weissman gives a partial list in the original that I recommend to your attention.

And this is a recommended article.

4. Journalist Robert Fisk: We Have Always Lived With Lies

The
fourth item is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

“We do not live in a ‘post-truth’ world, neither in the Middle East nor in the West—nor in Russia,” writes Robert Fisk, taking a dim view of the relationship between events, public figures, the media and the public in a column at The Independent.

“We live in a world of lies. And we always have lived in a world of lies. Just take a look at the wreckage of the Middle East with its history of people’s popular republics and its hateful dictators.”

I basically agree with Robert Fisk that "We live in a world of lies. And we always have lived in a world of lies."

Then again, the sick lie that we "live in a ‘post-truth’ world" is relevant in several ways that Fisk may not see, which probably is the case because he was not faced with a professor who was officially assigned to open the academic year 1978/79 (!!! [4]) in the University of Amsterdam with this sick neofascistic/fascistic [5] utter lie:

"Everybody knows that truth does not exist"

And he also has not seen how the vast majority of both students and staff of the University of Amsterdam kept up that utterly sick neofascistic/fascistic lie from 1978 till 1995 or later (and indeed some may still insist on it) - which for me (as one of the very few) terminated all hopes that I attended a real university, for a real university is based on a fundamental respect for the truth, and the above sick lie logically implies that it is not true that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, not true that there was a second WW, not true that Hitler was Germany's dictator, and also not true that my father and grandfather were arresed for resisting the Nazis and locked up in concentration camps [6], because

"Everybody knows that truth does not exist"

In the University of Amsterdam these neofascistic/fascistic lies were embraced with wild abandon, and for at least twenty years trumpeted around, while - extremely rare - persons like me, who insisted there is truth, and truth is essential for real science were simply accused of being "dirty fascists" by very many, and again with wild abandon.

That was (and probably still is) the way the neofascistic University of Amsterdam was run - and it is indeed quite possible that I was one of the very few who protested against this neofascism because I must have been the only one with a real proletarian education who also was the son and the grandson of two communists who resisted the Nazis and were locked up (and my grandfather murdered) in concentration camps.

I do not think there was anyone else in the University of Amsterdam with such a background, and this goes quite a big way in explaining why I was one of the very few who protested this neofascism/fascism that rules the University of Amsterdam since 1978. [7]

Back to Robert Fisk:

Now, I suppose, it is we who have regular elections based on lies. So maybe Trump and the Arab autocrats will get on rather well. Trump already likes Field Marshal/President al-Sissi of Egypt, and he’s already got a golf course in Dubai. That he deals in lies, that he manufactures facts, should make him quite at home in the Middle East. Misogyny, bullying, threats to political opponents, authoritarianism, tyranny, torture, sneers at minorities: it’s part and parcel of the Arab world.

Yes indeed, but then again it is not just "now" that the Americans "have regular elections based on lies":

To the best of my knowledge (i) the regular elections in the USA were always based on lies, but (ii) they are now and since 9/11/2001 more based on lies than they were before. (And indeed the Americans also have been warring the last 15 years.)

Then there is this that strikes me as strange (and I will explain):

I suspect that “post-truth” has more to do with social media than mendacious elections. The use of social media in reporting the battle of eastern Aleppo has been extraordinary, weird, dangerous, even murderous, when not a single Western journalist could report the eastern Aleppo war at first hand. Much damage has been done to the very credibility of journalism – and to politicians – by the acceptance of one side of the story only when not a single reporter can confirm with his or her own eyes what they are reporting.

We handed journalism to social media – and the armed men who control the areas from which these reports came know that they can pull the same trick again next time.
First of all: What are "social media", and why are they called "social" if "media" already implies this?

According to Wikipedia "Social media" (<-Wikipedia)
are computer-mediated technologies that allow the creating and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
This is - at best - a definition per obscurius: Most of the terms in the definition are also far from clear, and in any case "computer-assisted media" would have been very much clearer. (It is longer, but then this could be avoided by a new and brief term like "cedia" instead of "media".)

But then that misses the essential lie that these media are "social", whereas in fact they are a-social, for they limit everyone who uses these media to his own screen, in what would have been his own privacy, if computers and cell-phones were not the dominant way of stealing all privacies from anyone with an internet connection, indeed in good part from the users of the - so called - "social media", who rarely understand this nor its major dangers.

And the reason this lie is essential is that the a-social media are THE way in which corporations sell products, whereas many of the a-social media (like Facebook) provide apparently "free services" of websites for people who are too stupid or too lazy to write their own site, for the "right" of Facebook to steal all privacies from their users in exchange for free information about ... advertisements one might be interested in.

I leave it for the moment at this (which for me means that a-social media are something I totally despise and completely avoid: I am not stupid enough for them).

And I turn to the second question: Who "
handed journalism to social media"?!

I don't think anybody did, and indeed I only consider journalists those who (i) had some relevant education in journalism and who (ii) work for some corporation that produces journalism - which means that I do not consider myself a journalist, and that I certainly do not consider the vast majority of dummies who pretend to do journalism (anonymously, very often) as journalists, or as reliable, or as interesting, or as worthwile: I think they are not journalists, they are not reliable, they are not interesting, they usually are extremely ignorant [8], and they are not worthwile.

And I leave the rest of this article alone, because I got what I got from Truthdig, while the rest is on Huffington Post, that has adopted the
neofascistic rule that their journalism should not be copied, which is a neofascistic rule because (i) this never was the case before and because (ii) it makes it impossible or very much more difficult to even discuss the news that is presented in a non-copyable form.

For me this rule only serves the incomes of the journalists, the editors and the media, and it does so by stealing from everybody else, and what is being stolen in this case is
the right to discuss the news (in writing) which makes it for me a case of
neofascism.

5. The ‘Post-Truth’ Mainstream Media

The
fifth and last item of today is by Nicholas J.S. Davies on Consortiumnews:

This starts with the following summary:

U.S. mainstream media sees itself as the definer of what’s true and what’s “propaganda,” but has gotten lost in a fog of self-delusion and is now the principal purveyor of “post-truth” news, writes Nicolas J S Davies.

Yes indeed, although in this summary the term "news" were better put between quotes as well, for lies and deceptions are not news, but lies and deceptions that pretend to be news. But yes: Those who provide their lies, their deceptions and their propaganda in their media now also pretend that they can say what is the truth (but never say that their "truth" often consists of lies, deceptions or propaganda) and they do so.

Here is one of the main reasons why Western mainstream media now systematically lie and deceive:

Now the complicity of Western media in the success of this strategy has been exposed as a systematic and deadly lapse in journalistic standards. So we should by now have seen widespread corrections and retractions from mainstream media that helped the rebels broadcast propaganda that conveyed a misleading, one-sided picture of the crisis in Aleppo.

The absence of corrections or retractions reflects a “new normal” in Western media practice.

That is: They have simply stopped having real journalistic standards, which are standards of real truth, and in fact replaced them by having no standards at all,
that is, other than their own profits.

Here are the real facts about "the news" that is prepared by the mainstream media:

It is thus fitting that the Oxford Dictionary has chosen “post-truth” as its “word of the year” for 2016 (although ironically the word is usually hurled by the mainstream media against people who don’t accept Western propaganda as truth). Yet, so much of what we are now told by politicians, newspapers and talking heads has little basis in the real world beyond the media echo chamber. The real human experiences that once provided the raw material for “news” have been displaced by statements and press releases from government officials and corporate P.R. staffs that post-truth editors, producers and reporters repackage as their lead stories.

Yes indeed (bolding added): "the raw material for “news” have been displaced by statements and press releases from government officials and corporate P.R. staffs", and this in turn has the following effects (on - especially, though not only - Americans):

The resulting talking points are then repeated ad nauseam on infotainment TV shows to give Americans an utterly misleading picture of the world beyond our borders. That this is the only view of the world many Americans ever see fuels an ever-widening and dangerous gap in public perceptions between Americans and the rest of the world, crippling international efforts to solve many of the most serious global problems, including endless war.

In fact, none of this is necessary, but then again "social media" are especially "useful" for the ignorant and the stupid, and the ignorant and the stupid usually do not read any real journalism at all, but get their "news" from their friends and acquaintances of the "social media".

One of the consequences of the commercialized "news" and the "social media" spreading these lies is a new cold war:

The dangers of a “New Cold War” are not distant threats that might materialize at some point in the future. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, advised by Stephen Hawking, 17 Nobel prizewinners and 20 other eminent scientists and experts, has been warning for two years that we are already as close to Doomsday as at any time in our history except for the period from 1953 to 1960, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union first deployed hydrogen bombs. As the U.S.-Russian confrontation escalated in Ukraine and Syria, the atomic scientists advanced the hands of their “Doomsday Clock” from 5 minutes to midnight to 3 minutes to midnight, with this warning:

“The threat is serious, the time short. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists does not move the hands of the Doomsday Clock for light or transient reasons. The hands of the clock tick now at just 3 minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty – ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”

That is: Everybody is more likely to be blown up with nuclear arms than at any time in history, except from 1953 to 1960, when the threat was as large, but  then there were far fewer and far smaller nuclear bombs.

Here is how the English language is systematically abused by the mainstream media (which are now the main source of the very many lies and deceptions that the many believe is "the truth"):

And yet, in the midst of these real existential dangers to human society, Orwellian “post-truth” media are leading the public into a kind of dream world in which words like “aggression,” “propaganda,” “terrorism,” “defense,” “security,” “threat” and “violence” are exclusively appropriated as tools in the hands of powerful political interests and deprived of their objective meaning as useful terms for discussing the real dangers we are facing.

Precisely! Here is - to end this review - Nicholas Davies' general judgement:

Like many institutions in our society, the U.S. media system has been degraded by the inherent corruption of the neoliberal order that has been consolidating its power over our lives and society for the past generation. Just as commercially driven corporate control has proven to be a destructive model for education, healthcare and other public services that leads only to corruption and declining quality, handing over the responsibility for informing the public about what is happening in the world to increasingly monopolistic for-profit corporations is eroding yet another vital pillar of American life.

Understanding the world we live in is a basic human need, and an informed, educated population is the most basic building block of any form of democratic society. So we desperately need independent media institutions that genuinely and honestly shed light on the world around us, instead of profit-obsessed media corporations cynically exploiting and abusing our concerns for our world and our future as bait for advertising and propaganda.

I quite agree, but I see no way to get rid "of profit-obsessed media corporations cynically exploiting and abusing our concerns for our world and our future as bait for advertising and propaganda" just as I see no way to get rid of the universal spying
on everyone that is being done now for 15 years by the secret services.

That is, apart from a major economical crisis (which is not due to war). And I am very sorry, but this is what I think - and there very probably will be another major economical crisis, though I do not know how it is going to be used.

---------------------------------
Notes
[1] Milton Friedman really gave that rule. The implication is mine. It does cover Donald Trump, and it covers all the other billionaires in his team if you presuppose the ancient rule that behind every major fortune there is a major crime. (Alternatively, you can get the same result from considering how "justice" these days is exercised in the USA: The rich are allowed virtually anything.)

[2] I do not mind saying that Trump is president-elect, nor will I mind saying that Trump is president, but I will delete the usual capital letter, simply because I think he ought not to be president and he ought to be impeached as fast as possible.

[3] As to Trump's megalomania (aka grandiose narcissism, which I think is too much of a mouthful, less clear and less well-known than megalomania), check out this letter from three professors of psychiatry: I think they are quite right.

As to Trump's need to insist that Meryl Streep "is
one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood" (while she is the most lauded): This is due to his megalomania, and would not exist without it. (And this will become extremely problematic during Trump's presidency: He wants to punish everyone who does not admire him.)

[4] This really happened in August of 1978, now nearly 39 years ago. And I say so, because this was before the arisal of postmodernism, which did grow very popular in the UvA especially from 1983 onwards, for then most of the students - who ruled the university between 1971 and 1995, as the only country in the world - most of whom had been members of the Dutch Communist Party between the early Seventies and early Eighties gave up on Marxism and Communism, and exchanged these ideologies for that of postmodernism until 1995, at least. (I am less well-informed about the UvA from 1995 onwards, I admit.)

[5] In case you wonder why I call these lies "neofascism" or "fascism", you should read on about my family background and the infinity of lies that are made possible by the lie that there is no truth, that include denying the murder on 6 million news and on Nazism. But although this implication is nearly self-evident, absolutely no one saw it in the University of Amsterdam, not between 1978 and 1995. (Also, I have been called a "dirty fascist" between 1977 and 1988 (in the years I studied) by many quasi- communist members of the Asva: I now give them what was coming to them a very long time.)

[6] It is true that both my father and my grandfather were communists (and my father a prominent one after WW II), but this cannot be true if it is true that "Everybody knows that truth does not exist" (which is a very dirty lie, but not according to the vast majority of those who studied or taught at the University of Amsterdam between 1978 and 1995 (at least)).

[7] It is a fact that extremely few in the University of Amsterdam (both students  and staff) protested the lie that "Everybody knows that truth does not exist"; it is a fact that this lie was extremely popular in the University of Amsterdam (for nobody could be refuted!); and it is a fact that it was never withdrawn by anyone that I know of.

Whether the main reason why I protested (together with - maximally - 5% of the students) was that I was the only one in the UvA with communist parents and grandparents two of whom had been locked up in German concentration camps for resisting the Nazis, I do not know, but it remains an extremely strange experience for me to have been forced to study (because I was ill) in a university where the vast majority of both the students and the staff insisted that they knew that "everybody knows that truth does not exist" and did so between 1978 and 1995 (at least).

[8] The a-social media's bullshitters know extremely little, were it only for the reasons that 65% write, while about 20% check internet magazines or papers: Most of the a-scial media's users "know" the "news" they "know" from their friends and acquaintances. Also, altogether there are at least 4 billion users of diverse a-social media. (And I think these are very frightening numbers.)

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