Isn't '1984'—It's Stranger Than Orwell Imagined
2. 'Media Is the Opposition': Trump Backs
Bannon in Ongoing War
Trump’s Demolition Derby
4. Fascism and the Current
5. On My Sites: The problems with uploading
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, January 29, 2017.
Summary: This is a crisis log with 5 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is an odd piece about "1984", which I didn't like; item 2 is about a decent article about Trump's backing of Bannon's war with the press; item 3 is about a good article by Bill Moyers about Trump's demolitions; item 4 is about a good article by Peter Wout about fascism in the
USA; and item 5 has no link and is about my - considerable and persistent - problems with both of my sites in 2016, with a possible solution (that I don't like but probably will soon be forced to).
As for today
(January 29, 2017): I have
meanwhile attached a message to the openings
of both of my sites which points out that for somehing like a year
of my sites more
or less systematically, but unpredictably, show the wrong date
and the wrong files, indeed going so far back as 2015, and as
if I did not
write anything since then.
Isn't '1984'—It's Stranger Than Orwell Imagined
it was correct, but that is rare (and uncertain) and besides: I have been daily
uploading my site for quite a few years now and not even that gets
properly shown now, since about a year, on both sites, and also quite unpredictably.
Somebody really wants you not to read my sites.
More about this later, namely below.
The first item today is by Jon Brioch on AlterNet and originally on The
This has a subtitle that is worth quoting:
Orwell could not have imagined
the internet and its role in distributing alternative facts.
Actually, I don't know what Orwell could
have imagined, but it is true that he did not. Then again, I don't
think this is a good article, and I will explain myself.
The article starts as follows:
A week after President Donald
Trump’s inauguration, George Orwell’s “1984” is the best-selling book
I have said already that I like this
because I like Orwell, but that I do not think it important
(and I dislike Amazon, and don't see why they need mentioning:
does one perhaps get paid for mentioning this company?). Also,
the title of the book was originally in letters, and not in numbers,
but that is merely a side-remark.
There is a - sort of - summary of "1984"
in it, but I skip it. Here is Brioch's rendering of doublethinking:
Because his job calls on him to research
old newspapers and other records for the facts he has to “unfact,”
Winston is especially adept at “doublethink.” Winston calls it being
“conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed
lies… consciously to induce unconsciousness.”
I don't think that is a clear
description. Here is a considerably better one from Wikipedia -
and note that the process of doublethinking is very unlogical:
To know and not to know, to be conscious
of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to
hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to
be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against
logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that
democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of
democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw
it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then
promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process
to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to
induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of
the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word
'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.
And while this is quite unlogical, it has
a clear and rational end:
If one is to rule, and to continue
ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality. For the
secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility
with the power to learn from past mistakes.
Both last quotes were from Orwell. Then
there is this:
Oceania was a prescient product of a
particular biography and particular moment when the Cold War was
beginning. Naturally, then, today’s world of “alternative facts” is
quite different in ways that Orwell could not have imagined.
I say, for I don't know what "a prescient product of a particular biography and particular
moment" is supposed to mean, indeed in
part because "prescient" implies foresight, while Brioch
insists in the next sentence that Orwell could not even imagine
the present reality (which he also tells his readers at least three
times, without ever providing any evidence or reasons).
Then there is this:
(..) unlike in Oceania, both information
and power are diffuse in 2017 America.
Oceania is not the present USA,
but the present USA is not by far as "diffuse" as Brioch
presents it: Power is firmly in the hands of the rich in the
USA, and information is far less "diffuse" than it was
20 or 30 years ago, for then there were thousands of papers owned by
thousands of different owners, whereas at present it seems all papers
are owned by twelve (12) companies. It is similar in TV and with the
internet: There are only a handful of big owners, and these own
And there is this:
In fact, I do not know what Brioch
thinks about the facts reported in the first of the above two
In 2004, a senior White House adviser suggested
a reporter belonged to the “reality-based community,” a sort of quaint
minority of people who “believe that solutions emerge from your
judicious study of discernible reality.… That’s not the way the world
really works anymore.”
Orwell could not have imagined the internet
and its role in distributing alternative facts, nor that people would
carry around Telescreens in their pockets in the form of smartphones.
As to the second paragraph: We are told for the third time what
Brioch thinks Orwell "could not have imagined" (without any
evidence whatsoever), but I agree it that smartphones are the present
form of Telescreens, except that they render far more
to the spies operating them than the Telescreens did (for everything
one does with
a smartphone gets stored, and what got stored is accessible to the
secret spies of the NSA, who are currently spying on everyone,
and not for what they did but for what they might do).
The article ends as follows:
In Orwell’s Oceania, there is no
freedom to speak facts except those that are official. In 2017 America,
at least among many of the powerful minority who selected its
president, the more official the fact, the more dubious. For Winston,
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.” For this
powerful minority, freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make five.
I say. I don't understand the point
of this literary paradox (?), but it seems that Winston understood
freedom as the freedom of speaking the truth, whereas the
present "powerful minority" understands freedom as the freedom to lie. And so?
My last question is a real one and occurs because I really do not see
the point of this article.
'Media Is the Opposition': Trump Backs Bannon in Ongoing War on Press
The second item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows (and I wrote yesterday about Bannon):
In an interview Friday with a Christian
radio show, President Donald Trump backed his chief strategist Steve
Bannon in calling the media "the opposition party."
"I think the media is the opposition
party in many ways," the president said on "The
Brody File," a program on the Christian Radio Network. "I'm not
talking about everybody, but a big portion of the media, the
dishonesty, total deceit, and deception. It makes them certainly
partially the opposition party, absolutely."
I say. This is at least a bit amazing in two ways:
First, to the best of my knowledge, the
mainstream media supported Trump, and also gave him lots
of free videos during his presidential campaign. It seems they did this
mainly because it gave them a lot of money, and not
because they believed in Trump, but this is what they did, just
as they did not criticize his obvious
Second, a president who is opposed by the
media will very probably have a hard time, but it seems as if
Trump is opposing "the media", though as usual he speaks
What is my explanation? I think he is
abusing his presidential authority to cast doubt on the media
(which he thinks ought to support him) in order to weaken
them and increase popular belief in Trump's messages
(Tweets), and that his aim is to eventually forbid the media that
And here is what Bannon said:
Trump's comments show support for a
statement made by Bannon on Wednesday, when the former executive chair
of Breitbart News told
the New York Times that "the media should be embarrassed and
humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while."
"I want you to quote this," Bannon told
the Times. "The media here is the opposition party. They
don't understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald
Trump is the president of the United States."
I wrote about this yesterday, but now add that Bannon and Trump
are fundamentally mistaken about the media as "opposition", and in fact
for they know quite well that the media is not the "opposition".
They say so, including crazy things like
"the media should (..) keep its mouth shut" because they want media
that only speak for them, and because they want to -
somehow - close the media which do not speak for them.
Here are the Reporters Without Borders:
Press freedom organization Reporters
Without Borders/Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) cautioned
just this week that the president's attacks against the media are
"reminiscent of an authoritarian government."
"It is clear that Trump views the media
as his number one enemy and is taking every single opportunity to try
to weaken their credibility," said Margaux Ewen, advocacy and
communications director for RSF North America, in a press statement.
"RSF reminds Trump's administration that the press does not provide
public relations for the president, but reports the truth in order to
hold government officials accountable, despite statements to the
contrary from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer."
Yes, indeed "the
press does not provide public relations for the president, but reports
the truth in order to hold government officials accountable" - or at least that is the main function of the
press in reporting political news (which is - by far - not
the only thing "the media" do) if "the press" is working
Here is more from the
Reporters Without Borders:
"The simultaneous attacks on the press
for so called 'inaccurate' reporting and the use of what the
administration calls 'alternative facts' to counter this reporting are
reminiscent of an authoritarian government's tactics," said Delphine
Halgand, director of RSF North America.
Trump has also blamed the media for inciting
protests against his win in November.
The president's comments signal that his
administration will continue its war against the media, which Trump
declared on his first full day in office. He described them as "among
the most dishonest human beings on earth" during a meeting
with the CIA and is reportedly considering banning journalists from
the White House—a notable break with tradition that, as former cabinet
secretary and renowned columnist Robert Reich put
it, evokes hints of tyranny.
Yes indeed. And this is a recommended
Trump’s Demolition Derby
The third item is by Bill Moyers on Truthdig and originally on Moyers
This starts as follows:
Yes indeed, and this is how it appears to me
as well, though I should add immediately that Trump does have a
political ideology and it is neofascism
(which might also be defined as: extreme neoliberalism, although this
is less good as a definition of it).
We’re a week into the Trump
administration and it’s pretty obvious what he’s up to. First, Donald
Trump is running a demolition derby: He wants to demolish everything he
doesn’t like, and he doesn’t like a lot, especially when it comes to
Like one of those demolition drivers on
a speedway, he keeps ramming his vehicle against all the others,
especially government policies and programs and agencies that protect
people who don’t have his wealth, power or privilege. Affordable health
care for working people? Smash it. Consumer protection against
predatory banks and lenders? Run over it. Rules and regulations that
rein in rapacious actors in the market? Knock ‘em down. Fair pay for
working people? Crush it. And on and on.
Next, there is this about Thomas Frank and his book The Wrecking Crew:
The Wrecking Crew — and what an
apt title it was — showed how federal agencies were doomed to failure
by the incompetence and hostility of the Bush gang appointed to run
them, the same model Trump is using now. Frank tracked how wholesale
deregulation — on a scale Trump already is trying to reproduce — led to
devastating results for everyday people, including the mortgage
meltdown and the financial crash. Reading the book is like reading
today’s news, as kleptomaniacs spread across Washington to funnel
billions of dollars into the pockets of lobbyists and corporations.
I have not read The
Wrecking Crew but then I have been writing
about the crisis since September 1, 2008, and wrote meanwhile until the end
of 2016 1445 articles on it, while I am far from stupid. In any case, I
agree with Frank on deregulation
(and the link is to a good article about it that I wrote in 2015), and
probably on considerably more.
do not like the term "kleptomaniacs" much, and namely not for
these two reasons: First, while indeed they - Bush Jr and his
followers, Trump and his followers - simply are thieves, I like "thief"
better than "kleptomaniac", and also, second and more importantly, they
are not just thieves: They are political thieves,
and their thieving politics has better names than "thieves" for it,
(And indeed I think the term does apply to both Bush Jr and Trump,
although they are not quite the same, neither personally nor
Then there is this, which is well seen and
Jonathan Chait went on to say: “Trump’s
brazen use of his office for personal enrichment signals something even
more worrisome than four or more years of kleptocratic government. It
reveals how willing the new administration is to obliterate governing
norms and how little stands in his way.”
For "kleptocratic" see above. But Chait is quite correct in saying
that Trump's administration seems based on obliterating governing
norms - which norms
(such as: equality, honesty, truth, calmness, rationality, fair sharing, factual reasoning
and more) indeed seem to be defended only by intelligent minorities,
and not by the president nor by his supporters.
Then there is this:
We were warned. Donald Trump himself told The New York Times,
“The law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a
conflict of interest.” Shades of Richard Nixon, who said, “When the
President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” And who also
announced, “I am not a crook.”
Which leads us to the second design now
apparent in Trump’s strategy of deliberate chaos. He may have run a
populist campaign, but now it appears he aims to substitute plutocracy
Both Nixon and Trump pretended to be above
the law, which neither was or is, at least in so far as the USA is a state of
law.  Then again, while the USA did succeed in
keeping up the law and getting rid of Nixon, the question is whether it
can legally get rid of Trump.
As to plutocracy:
Plutocracy means government by the
wealthy, a ruling class of the rich and their retainers. If you don’t
see plutocracy spreading across America, you haven’t been paying
attention. Both parties have nurtured, tolerated and bowed to it. Now
we’re reaching the pinnacle, as Trump’s own Cabinet is rich (no pun
intended) in millionaires and billionaires. He is stacking the agencies
and boards of government with the wealthy and friends of wealth so that
the whole of the federal enterprise can be directed to rewarding those
with deep pockets, the ones who provide the bags and bags of money that
are dumped into our political process today.
Yes indeed, except that I think
"neofascism" is better than "plutocracy", simply because there is
an ideology that moves the American plutocrats, and it is
neofascism (although I agree they probably call it "neoliberalism").
And this is a recommended article.
Fascism and the Current National Emergency
The fourth item is by Peter Woit
(<-Wikipedia) on his site:
This starts as follows:
After the election it seemed to me that
it would be a good idea to ignore what Trump tweeted or said, and wait
to see what he and the people he surrounded himself with would actually
do. We’ve been finding this out over the past few days, and today the
nature of the problem we face is now clear. The actions
ordered today that are now being carried out by US officials around the
world are the product of a deranged and dangerous personality who
has surrounded himself with similar others. This is a national
emergency with no parallel in our history.
While the US has never seen the likes of
this situation, Europe has, with Trump following a playbook familiar
from the history of the 1930s. At this point the US may be one
terrorist attack away from full-blown Fascism, this time with nuclear
weapons. This needs to be stopped, now.
I say. Peter Woit is a mathematical
works at Columbia University. I do follow his blog because I am
interested in physics, although I am not a physicist, and because I
agree with Woit, and indeed with Richard Feynman, on his position on
string theory: it does not seem properly testable, not to
Feynman, not to Woit, and indeed not to quite a few others, including
me (but I am not
important since I am not a physicist).
And I would not have expected a statement
like the above from him, though indeed I mostly agree: Trump is
a "deranged and dangerous personality" and Trump's ideology
does seem to be neofascism
(as I defined it).
Then again, Woit is the son of Latvian
refugees and seems to have been moved to his present position by
Trump's latest executive order, which banned many refugees from
returning to the USA or from entering it.
He also says:
The Constitution does provide two ways
to deal with something like this: either the impeachment process or
removal under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment as “unable to discharge the
powers and duties of his office.” Many of Trump’s recent statements are
clearly the product of delusional mind that is incapable of dealing
with reality, and these delusions are now reflected in his actions.
I again agree. But it will be very
difficult to stop the president of the USA, even though I quite agree
he has a "delusional mind that is incapable of
dealing with reality, and these delusions are now reflected in his
This is Woit's ending:
We need to figure out how to fight a new
form of Fascism that has just come to power and is starting to rule by
As I have said now many times in
Nederlog: I don't think myself that Trump is a fascist, while
also there are many definitions of fascism, most but not all of
which are not very good. I think he is a neofascist,
but again I have supplied my own definition of it, since I
could not find any reasonable one. In case you are interested
in my ideas about fascism and neofascism, read my On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions.
And this is a recommended article.
5. On My Sites: The problems with
The fifth and last item today
is by me and is about my sites.
I have two sites, one in Holland: maartens.home at
xs4all.nl, and one in Denmark: maartensz.org at one.com. The
first exists since 1996 and the second since 2004.
Both sites are the same (or at least: they are supposed to be, and I
think they are, and if I am mistaken it is my mistake and
concerns a few files) and both sites are quite big, for they are about
The reasons why I have a site in Denmark are that my brother lives
there, and I want some insurance against legal troubles with
the Dutch authorities, who might object to
two aspects of my sites, namely (1) my protesting against the kind, the
level, the utter
unscientificality, and the (Marxist and postmodernistic) bullshit that
was served as "science" to me in the University of Amsterdam in the
1980ies, and (2) my reporting on four successive years of total
discrimination because I objected against the horrible noise that the illegal
drugsdealers that Mayor Van Thijn of Amsterdam had given his
"personal permission" in writing, to deal illegal drugs from
the bottom floor of the house where I lived, instead of from his own
I think I am quite right in both complaints, but meanwhile and since
2015 or so it seems as if soon either my sites will be
forbidden because of my complaints or
my sites will be made unreadable for most.
In fact, they may have been made unreadable for most since the
end of 2015, when I got serious problems with both of my
sites: They do not update properly anymore.
Updating was no problem on either site until 2015: I
uploaded the new stuff, and when I then looked for it, it was there, as
indeed it should be. That is: Uploading normally worked for me from
1996 till 2015 on the Dutch site, and from 2004 till 2015
on the Danish site, and it worked in the sense I said it did: All I
needed to do was upload it,
and as soon as I had done so I could see it (and the rest of the sites
Since the end of 2015, uploading stopped to work as it did before, on both sites,
in the sense that it is since then quite problematic whether it works.
Also, since the end of 2015 I get no decent information about either
site anymore: I never got any decent information of "xs4all.nl"
, and the decent information I did get
about the Danish site totally stopped by the end of 2015. 
ALL I can do now is put material on the sites and hope
it is read: I get no information anymore about people reading
the site; I get no information of any kind about any
aspect of the 500 MB I put together in 20 years of work: Apparently, I
am a sort of slave who needs to pay for the hope that
his material is published, but who is not worth to be informed
about any aspect of it whatsoever (other than are
available on a browser and on ftp).
Incidentally: Everything about my sites is being followed and
administered and sold by my providers - except that I have no
right (anymore) of ever seeing any of the information
my providers collect about and from my sites (for which I have to pay
What "works" now is only that I can write a new file for my
site in html and upload it (all as before) - but often I do not
see it then on either site anymore or on at least one of the sites.
(And the last has been the norm through 2016.)
More precisely: I updated every day since more than three years
now, and most updates are in Nederlog and in the index of the site,
where the last day it was updated is shown, which - if updating
were done correctly - should have been today's date
(on any given day in the last three and a half years).
Except that often (but unpredictably) it is not:
In Denmark, for example, I got last year (2016) many times the
index of 31 december 2015, without a link to the correct
Nederlog, which then needs to be searched for. This means that people
who did try to read my Danish site in 2016 often got it
displayed as if it was last updated in 2015,
and without any indication this was false, and without
any indication there was a fresh Nederlog every day in 2016.
In Holland, my site never was moved back to 2015, but then it did not
update at all anymore, except by reloading + reloading +
reloading + reloading - which often happened (for me) because I did not
update immediately: If I had not done so for several days, it did not
show any new opening index (which was there: it just wasn't
shown) nor the last Nederlogs: It showed the date of several
days earlier, and the Nederlog for that date, and in order to get the
latest, I had to reload several times. (None of this was
necessary until the end of 2015.)
So for people who do not know my site very well, it
seems as if either site is not kept up anymore, may have
stopped in 2015, or is days, weeks, or months behind,
whereas it is quite difficult to get the really last Nederlog
(which was there every day, every day renewed, all
None of this is due to me. I do everything as
I did it since 1996. Hence either my providers do it or else someone
else does it, and then it is easy to say who: I am one of the main
protesters against being secretly surveilled by spies, and these spies
meanwhile spy on everyone anywhere, and therefore also
They also proudly announced (in secret, to themselves, but this was
revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013) that they can "Deny / Disrupt /
Degrade / Deceive" anyone who is using a computer connected to the
internet (including cellphones).
I do not know the true explanation. But these are the facts
about my two sites.
Finally, here is why I am extremely hesitant about writing my providers:
"xs4all.nl" cost me many thousands of guilders and euros between
1996 and 2009, because I very often had to phone in (by a
telephone-modem) between ten and thirty times to get any message
about whether there was any mail there, and I had to pay for
each and every phone tick. I phoned them quite a few times, but I was
always - for at least ten years - told the same disgusting lie: "Others do not
have the problem, therefore you don't have it either." 
"one.com" was quite good until 2015 but then seems to have
changed owners, and made everything a whole lot more difficult,
while completely stopping the supply of fine - and totally free -
statistics about my website. Also, they seem to upload my mails in
public (which I dislike) whatever I say or ask.
Anyway - now you know (if indeed you have been able to get it, which I
now have no ideas about anymore, and no information about, anymore)
what is the problem with my sites.
It will not stop me from updating them daily, but I grant my
digital life is made as difficult as it may be, and not by me.
(Incidentally... there is a possible solution: Making the daily
Nederlogs I write daily into the index file, and link from there to the index. I do not like this, but I may be soon be forced to do this if I want to be read at all.)
I think Bush Jr.'s advisor was bullshitting.
 "State of law" is the - somewhat unhandy -
translation of the German and Dutch term "Rechtsstaat", which is pretty
central to being a democracy, at least in the sense that a state that
is not a state of law, also is not a democracy.
Whether the USA at present is a democracy - with mainstream media that
don't care for the truth anymore (as soon as it is painful to the
government) and with people in power who are millionaires or
billionaires - in any sense seems moot. (But I grant that - as yet, at
least - it is not a dictatorship nor tyranny.)
more, mainly for the benefit of Americans: The drugsdealing that
happens in Holland is all illegal. Hashish and marijuana are forbidden
since 1965, and have been forbidden all these years since then.
What I think that the mayor of Amsterdam did around 1987-1988 was to
provide a plan for drugsdealing that made it seem legal to foreigners;
that provided that the police and the authorities would get no
information whatsoever about quantities sold or qualities sold; and
that provided the mayor with the - how shall I call it - illegal
prerogative of assigning shops to illegal dealers to deal soft drugs from as if these
I think also (but I have no proof) that the plan provided for a
percentage for the mayors and some lawyers from the about 20
billions of euros worth of drugs that are traded in this way in
Holland every year.
To give you an indication how much they may have earned: Since
1988 - and according to the numbers of the only parliamentary
investigation of drugs - this takes place, which is now for 29 years.
29 * 20 billion = 580 billion euros. 5% of 580 billion euros = 29
billion euros. (Spread over 29 years is also true.)
Again: I do not know this is so. Given the fact that the mayors
of Amsterdam since 1988 never answered any of my mails, nor my site,
nor ME in Amsterdam in any way,
I do believe they are extremely rich men now.
 Also, "xs4all.nl", which I did become a
member of in 1996 and which was a very good and helpful site was sold
by the real owners to KPN around 2000, who kept the name and the
formats, but completely destroyed the excellent service.
The people I was talking to until 2009 were KPN-people (that earned at
least 4 times the monthly costs for internet in the form of phone-ticks
by me). They were extra- ordinarily impolite, it seems as a matter of
principle. (They have since disappeared.)
 "one.com" was quite good until the end
of 2015, but then a great rot started, which suggests to me they have
been sold then. But I do not know this. And they did provide good
statistics (from a freely available program, that worked quite
well) but stopped doing so by the end of 2015. (There is "a
replacement" - that gives 1/1000th of the information
previously supplied, and in a format that is 1000 times as bad as
that of the free statistics, so awfully horrible as it looks).
 This was the standard reply between
2000 and 2009 at "xs4all.nl". And please note that this means that
they never needed to know anything about anything
whatsoever: If your reply to a serious and honest
complaint (that costs me thousands of euros, as well) is the completely
unmotivated "Others do not have the problem, therefore
you don't have it either" my inference is that you are a sick sadist who absolutely refuses to do anything, but who also is too
much of a coward to say so.