A. Selections from August 14, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
This is a
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection (usually) from that item
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
August 14, 2017
items 1 - 5 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
Misguided Attacks on ACLU for Defending Neo-Nazis’ Free Speech Rights
This article is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept. It
starts as follows - and perhaps readers should realize that Greenwald is
a lawyer who did what the ACLU is doing before he became a journalist:
Each time horrific
political violence is perpetrated that is deemed to be terrorism, a
search is immediately conducted for culprits to blame other than those
who actually perpetrated the violence or endorsed the group responsible
for it. It’s usually only a matter of hours before the attack is
exploited to declare one’s own political views vindicated, and to
depict one’s political adversaries as responsible for, if
not complicit in, the violence. Often accompanying this search for
villains is a list of core civil liberties that we’re told ought to be
curtailed in the name of preventing similar acts of violence in the
All of this typically
happens before much of anything is known about the killer, his actual
inspirations, his mental
health, or his associations. In the aftermath of the
widespread horror such violence naturally produces, the easiest
target for these guilt-by-association tactics are those who
have advocated for the legal rights of the group of which the
individual attacker is a member and/or those who have
defended the legal right to express the opinions in the name of
which the attack was carried out.
Yes indeed. But there
is also a major difference that simply was absent until the
The fact that there
are now billions of anonymous writers on the internet -
who cannot write, hardly know anything relevant, but who
all can scold as much as they want to, for all are anonymous to
anyone they offend.
And clearly these
kinds of people were there before the internet arrived, but
none of them could write anything that would reach more than a couple
of tens or a couple of hundreds at most, instead of the
chances they all have now, of addressing equally stupid and ignorant
folks by the millions or the billions, also with all of them having the
means to reply as well.
Greenwald is quite
correct and gives a good defense of what the ACLU does and stands for,
which I recommend but do not copy, except for this bit:
and civil liberties advocates by depicting them as “complicit” in the
heinous acts of their clients is a long-standing scam that is not
confined to the U.S. The Belgian lawyer who represented one of the
Muslim attackers in Paris, Sven Mary, said “he
had suffered physical and verbal attacks and his daughters had even
needed a police escort to school.”
Needless to say, none of
these legal organizations or individual lawyers condone violence. They
all vehemently oppose the ideology and worldview in the name of which
this violence is committed. Yet they are all blamed for the violence
and accused of complicity in it because they defend the free
speech rights and civil liberties of people who express views in
the name of which violence is commited.
My own explanation is in
part as follows: I am now since forty years "a
fascist"  simply because the Stalinist
terrorists who ruled the University of Amsterdam in the 1970ies
considered I must be a fascist because I did not
consider Marx the
greatest of all philosophers ever, and because I had said I preferred -
what they must have considered to be a fascist terrorist
American, as emerged from their own replies, forty years
ago - the American Charles
"Marxists" (who were not Marxists at
all, that is, if my knighted communist father and communist
grandfather, both of who were in the resistance against the Nazis, and
both of whom were arrested by the Nazis and convicted to the
concentration camp, where my grandfather was murdered, were
Marxists in any genuine sense) were a surprise for me
in the 1970ies, but I have since arrived at the conviction that they all
men, who were totalitarian
as most ordinary men are.
You may disagree,
but you did not have my parents or grandparents, who were very much
more courageous than the vast majority of conformist
The article ends as follows:
Yes indeed. And this is a
The need to fight
neo-Nazism and white supremacy wherever it appears is compelling. The
least effective tactic is to try to empower the state to suppress the
expression of their views. That will backfire in all sorts of ways:
strengthening that movement and ensuring that those who advocate state
censorship today are its defenseless targets tomorrow. And whatever
else is true, the impulse to react to terrorist attacks by demanding
the curtailment of core civil liberties is always irrational,
dangerous, and self-destructive, no matter how tempting that
impulse might be.
Cowards, or Criminals?
This article is by
Ian Buruma on The New York Review of Books. It starts as follows:
The main Nuremberg war
crimes trials began in November 1945 and continued until October 1946.
Rebecca West, who reported on the painfully slow proceedings for The
New Yorker, described the courtroom as a “citadel of boredom.” But
there were moments of drama: Hermann Göring under cross-examination
running rings around the chief US prosecutor Robert H. Jackson, for
example. Jackson’s opening statement, however, provided the trial’s
most famous words:
We must never forget
that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record
on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a
poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well. We must summon
such detachment and intellectual integrity to our task that this Trial
will commend itself to posterity as fulfilling humanity’s aspirations
to do justice.
How well humanity lived
up to these words, after a good number of bloody conflicts involving
some of the same powers that sat in judgment on the Nazi leaders, is
the subject of The Memory of Justice, the four-and-a-half-hour
documentary that has rarely been seen since 1976 but is considered by
its director, Marcel Ophuls, to be his best—even better, perhaps, than
his more famous The Sorrow and the Pity (1969), about the Nazi
occupation of France, the Vichy government, and the French Resistance.
This is here mainly because
of my own - very - anti-fascistic background. (See note ). And I admit I did not see the movie by
Marcel Ophuls that Buruma is defending in this article.
The article ends as follows:
For Germans living under
the Third Reich it was risky to imagine too well what their rulers were
doing. To protest was positively dangerous. This is not yet true for
those of us living in the age of Trump, when the president of the US
openly condones torture and applauds thugs for beating up people at his
rallies. We need films like this masterpiece by Ophuls more than ever
to remind us of what happens when even the memories of justice fade
I think I agree (without
having seen Ophuls' film) - and I did notice the "yet".
It Time For Mike Pence To Be President?
This article is by Kevin Drum on Mother Jones. It
starts as follows:
Back in the day, there
was a bit of bloggy conversation about whether Donald Trump might
actually be a less destructive president than, say, Ted Cruz or Marco
Rubio. The case against that was
This week we’ve seen both of
his two most serious flaws in action. Resurgent neo-Nazis and white
nationalists, who take Trump as their inspiration and role model,
invaded Charlottesville and produced exactly the violence and mayhem
you’d expect. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio had no problem denouncing these
racist thugs. But Trump, as
he did before with David Duke, refused to clearly and explicitly
He’s a serial liar.
He’s a demagogue. He’s a racist and a xenophobe. He
appeals to our worst natures….He’d appoint folks who make Michael Brown
look like Jeff Bezos. He would deliberately alienate foreign countries
for no good reason….And while that volatile personality of his
probably wouldn’t cause him to nuke Denmark, you never know, do you?
In fact, this is
the only article I review that is about Charlottesville. And I
think I agree with Drum, although I have no illusions about
Cruz's and Rubio's characters.
In any case,
here is the end of Drum's article:
Trump needs to
go. The sooner Republicans figure this out, the better off we’ll be.
Mike Pence may have sold his soul by signing up with Trump—and as
president he’d unquestionably be bad for everything I care about—but
Donald Trump is a disgrace, and a dangerous one. His 15 minutes should
have been up long ago.
I agree. But
since I am a psychologist, which happens to be relevant to
judging Trump, here is (once again) my own judgement: Trump has
to go, and the sooner the better, simply because Trump is a madman. And the
last link gives specialists who think the same, indeed already in 2016.
meeting with Donald Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality — whose
obvious impairment has only gotten worse
This article is by Bill
Curry, who was a counselor to Bill Clinton and who also was active as a
Democratic politician. This is from near the beginning:
In 2016, the
precariousness of Trump’s mental health was clear to all with eyes to
see, but like extras in a remake of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,”
reporters averted their glances. The day after the election, they were
all in a state of shock, like staff at an asylum who woke one morning
to find that the patient who thought he was Napoleon had just been
named emperor of France. Once he took office, many publications began
keeping running tallies of his lies. But all take a more cautious
approach to questions of their origins in his deeply troubled psyche.
To date, no major network, newspaper or magazine has run an in-depth
analysis of Trump’s mental health.
Yes indeed - which is
rather odd, for the simple reason that you don't need an M.A.
or a Ph.D. in psychology or psychiatry to say that Donald Trump does not
appear quite sane, quite often.
In any case, here is
the diagnosis psychologically or psychiatrically educated people have
no difficulty assigning to Trump:
The diagnosis we
associate with Trump is “narcissistic personality disorder” (a term
that only lately replaced “narcissistic character disorder”). You’ll find it in the Diagnostic
Survey Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, fifth edition.  Back in February, a principal author of the prior
edition, Dr. Allen Frances, wrote a letter to the Times rebuking mental health
professionals for “diagnosing public figures from a distance” and
“amateur diagnosticians” for “mislabeling” Trump with narcissistic
personality disorder. Allen says he wrote the criteria defining the
disorder and Trump doesn’t have it. His reasoning: Trump “does not
suffer the disorder and impairment required to diagnose mental
Frances does what he
accuses others of doing. By saying flatly that Trump doesn’t suffer a
disorder, he diagnoses a public figure we assume — for multiple reasons
— he hasn’t treated. Nor can he or anyone else tell “from a distance”
that Trump doesn’t suffer the requisite impairment and disorder. No
president ever seemed so impaired or disordered, but we needn’t compare
him only to other rotten presidents. Trump is the Chuck Yeager of
lying, a shatterer of records thought untouchable. That he is frozen in
pathological, crotch-grabbing adolescence is well documented; that his
judgment is often deranged by rage is self-evident.
Curry is quite
correct about Allen Frances. My own response to Frances (from February 5, 2017) includes some of the
reasons why I don't believe in Frances (and the notes in this
quote link back to February 5):
For Allen Frances not
only described one man he did not see as sane; he also
described (implicitly, at least) 17 million persons he did not
see, who have my
disease, as insane, although he probably did not see any, and certainly
It so happens that I know
of Frances since late 2010, when I first read
which taught me (among other
things, and I am
adding some that I learned later, for I did read rather a lot of
psychiatry between 2010 and 2013 ):
is a lot more I could tell about pyschiatry - and see my DSM-5: Question 1 of "The six
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis" of 2012, that is a long but well-founded
criticism of modern psychiatry - but these are some of the facts that convinced me that psychiatry never
was a real science, and still is not a real science at all.
- that Allen Frances can't
define madness, but he is a specialist on it;
- that psychiatry was not
a science till 1980 - see e.g. The Past
of A Delusion - when Robert
Spitzer (<-Wikipedia) almost singlehandedly transformed it by
writing the DSM-III mostly by himself and made it a real science ;
- that the DSMs are all the
private initiative and the private property of the American
Psychiatric Association, that earned at least a hundred million
dollars selling - very expensive - copies of them;
- that the process of compiling
the DSMs is totally private and depends on the decisions of
the APA, many of which are secret;
- that since then the number of "psychiatric
disorders" has risen from between 40 and 50 in 1952 till over
400 (!!!) in the DSM 5 (and the DSM IV) ;
- that the APA's
professionals together with the pharmaceutical corporations made
many billions of dollars prescribing
"psychiatric medicines" ; and
- that I, my ex, and 17
million of others with M.E. are not physically ill with
some unknown disease, but are insane according to the vast
majority of psychiatrists, and namely because we do not have a disease that current
medical science - that exists at most 150 years - can find:
Those without an
identifiable disease all are insane
according to the majority of all psychiatrists , and also that
- according to the
psychiatry of the DSM-IV 78% of all
the British are not sane.
This is from near the end of Curry's article:
I too recoil from quack
therapists diagnosing strangers on cable TV. But you don’t need to be a
botanist to tell a rose from a dandelion. In 2016 Trump compared Ben
Carson to a child molester and pronounced him “incurable,” but few
raised the far more real question of Trump’s own mental health. Do we
dare not state the obvious? You needn’t be an amateur diagnostician to
see that Donald Trump is mentally ill.
5. Can We Challenge Health Care Corruption
Under Morally Failed Government Leadership?
This article is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. A part of
the reasons this is here are that I
have ME/CFS since 1.1.1979, and another part is that I like Health
This article starts as follows:
An important theme
of Health Care Renewal
has been health
care corruption as a cause of health care dysfunction.
Yes, I think thay last
conclusion is very probably correct (which incidentally also means, I
think, that the USA ceased to be a democracy). Here is some more:
(TI) defines corruption as
of entrusted power for private gain
In 2006, TI
published a report on health care corruption, which asserted that
corruption is widespread throughout the world, serious, and causes
severe harm to patients and society.
scale of corruption is vast in both rich and poor countries.
might mean the difference between life and death for those in need
of urgent care. It is invariably the poor in society who are affected
most by corruption because they often cannot afford bribes or private
health care. But corruption in the richest parts of the world also has
Yet the report did not get
much attention and health
has been nearly a
taboo topic in the US, anechoic,
presumably because its discussion would offend the people it makes rich
(..) Health Care Renewal has stressed "grand
corruption," or the corruption of health care leaders. We have
noted the continuing impunity
of top health care corporate managers. Health care corporations
have allegedly used kickbacks
to enhance their revenue, but at best such corporations have been able
to make legal
settlements that result in fines that small relative to their
multi-billion revenues without admitting guilt. Almost never are
top corporate managers subject to any negative consequences.
Precisely - and also
note the parallel between bank managers and health care managers.
The article ends as follows:
Is it still
possible to meaningfully address health care corruption in a land whose
leader is so corrupt, a "moral failure," unable to "call evil by its
name?" Maybe not until that leader is no longer in office. We will find
out, but may not be able to survive a long wait.
I think it is, but I do not
live in the USA.
I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better.
remind you (again) that when I say
"an article is recommended" I mean that I recommend you to read it all
(which you can do by clicking its title).
was first deemed to be "a fascist" in late August of 1977, by
philosophy students who probably had just become members of the Dutch
Communist Party. I have since been claimed to be a - dirty etc. -
"fascist" and a "terrorist, terrorist, terrorist" in 1988, when
I was denied the right to take my M.A. in philosophy in the University
Being called "a dirty fascist" and "a terrorist" merely lasted from
1977 till 1989...
In fact, both of my parents were - real - communists for 45 years; both
of my parents were in the resistance against the Nazis, as was my
grandfather; both my father and my grandfather were arrested by the
Nazis in 1941, and convicted to concentration camp imprisonment as
"political terrorists", where my grandfather was murdered; and even I
was a member of the Dutch communist
party from 1968-1970, when I gave up Marxism.
So I think I was offended - tens of times, possibly several
hundreds of times - as "a dirty fascist" by sick, morally
degenerate, Stalinist terrorists from the ASVA, who all made careers
through their membership of the Dutch communist party, while very many
earned hundreds of thousands or more of euros that way, for none
was ever treated or regarded as I was by them.
In fact, "narcissistic character disorder", which replaced
"narcissistic personality disorder" are both very recent psychiatrese
terms (that is, terms used mostly by psychiatrists) that both
replaced the English term megalomania (that these days
has been removed from Wikipedia, that rapidly is growing worse).
And again I say I could remark a great lot here, but I restrict
my remarks to the fact that I did make a brilliant M.A. in psychology
in Holland, where I did learn precisely nothing about any
of the DSMs and also learned precisely nothing about psychiatry,
simply because the Dutch psychologists (of the 1970ies, to be sure)
were united in the thesis that psychiatry was not
a real science and that the DSMs were nonsense.
Those judgements were quite correct. (And I fear they are in the
present days of postmodernism
out of date.) And this does not
mean that Trump is not a megalomaniac, but it does mean you
cannot trust psychiatrists.