A. Selections from August 28, 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 28, 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:
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
rhetoric of the “alt-right”
about white nativism and protecting American traditions, history and
Christian values is the lust for violence. Behind the rhetoric of antifa,
Bloc and the so-called “alt-left” about
capitalism, racism, state repression and corporate power is the same
lust for violence.The two
opposing groups, largely made up of people who have been cast aside by
the cruelty of corporate capitalism, have embraced holy war. Their
lives, battered by economic misery and social marginalization, have
suddenly been filled with meaning. They hold themselves up as the
vanguard of the oppressed. They arrogate to themselves the right to use
force to silence those they define as the enemy. They sanctify anger.
They are infected with the dark, adrenaline-driven lust for
confrontation that arises among the disenfranchised when a democracy
ceases to function.
In fact, while I - who
doesn´t live in the USA - know fairly well what the “alt-right” is, I´ve
read only ten days ago for the first time something about the so-called
This is supposed to abbreviate “anti-fascists”, but while my grandfather, my father, and
my mother were genuine and very courageous, real
anti-fascists (my father and his father were convicted as “political
terrorists” in 1941 and sent to the concentration camps) and while I always
have been an anti-fascist, I very much doubt the genuine
character of the so-called “anti-fa”.
I stated my reasons on August 18, and
you are referred to that, but here is just the last bit from it, that
states one set of my reasons:
I am sorry, but my
my mother and myself are not "on’-tee-fah"s
and not even "antifa"s: I think it is utterly ridiculous
to reduce those you are against from "fascists" to "fa"s, but indeed my
parents and myself were or are genuine anti-fascists - which
seems to be a quite rare breed, and certainly in
Holland (where nearly everyone is a relativist and
that pays the most).
And while I have
read this interview with Mark Bray and indeed also the next one
(also on Democracy Now!), and while what he says about (classical,
European) anti-fascists is mostly correct, one of my reasons to write
the above is that I have been hearing much talk about "fascism"
("Nazism", "neofascism", "neo-fascism", "neo-nazis") for over 40
years now (indeed because I was falsely accused of being a
fascist in 1977, which falsity was repeated and repeated until 1989) I
have NEVER read any definition of "fascism" or "neofascism"
(etc.) that made much sense or indeed was more or less adequate given
the - enormous - amounts of facts known about the fascists.
Do people want
It seems like it (...)
My other reason is
that the whole shape and content of any genuinely
Leftist movement has been almost completely destroyed the last 40 years
by pretended “leftists”, who reduced being a leftist from
genuine political opposition to the capitalist system and its
governments to some sort of personal opposition to political
incorrectness and "alt-right".
And this happened not only in the USA, but also in Europe and in
Holland, where in fact it seems to have gotten started nearly 40
years ago by the neofascistic statement, during the public
opening of the "University" of
that truth does NOT exist"
which served then as the
defense of the quasi Marxists who had
taken over the "University" of Amsterdam, and later as the
defense of the postmodernists,
who ruled the "University" of
Amsterdam from 1984 till 1995 (when the "parliamentary system" that had ruled the Dutch universities
since 1971 was collapsed, and the universities were returned exclusively
to the top of the Social Democrats and the professors, since when the "University"
of Amsterdam is at least as authoritarian as it was until 1965,
and very much worse intellectually speaking).
In brief, while I do know quite a lot about the almost total
corruption of the Left and Leftism, most of my knowledge is limited to
Here is more by Chris Hedges about the deep corruption that has taken
hold of the USA since Reagan was president (for many of his policies
were also carried on by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom
became multi-millionaires by helping the rich):
It was inevitable
that we would reach this point. The corporate state has seized and
corrupted all democratic institutions, including the two main political
parties, to serve the interests of corporate power and maximize global
corporate profits. There is no justice in the courts. There is no
possibility for reform in the legislative bodies. The executive branch
is a dysfunctional mess headed by a narcissistic kleptocrat, con artist
and pathological liar. Money has replaced the vote. The consent of the
governed is a joke. Our most basic constitutional rights, including the
right to privacy and due process, have been taken from us by judicial
fiat. The economically marginalized, now a majority of the country,
have been rendered invisible by a corporate media dominated by highly
paid courtiers spewing out meaningless political and celebrity gossip
and trivia as if it were news. The corporate state, unimpeded, is
pillaging and looting the carcass of the country and government, along
with the natural world, for the personal gain of the 1 percent.
I agree with this diagnosis.
Here is Chris Hedges on the white racists and neo-Nazis:
The white racists
and neo-Nazis may be unsavory, but they too are victims. They too lost
jobs and often live in poverty in deindustrialized wastelands. They too often are plagued by
debt, foreclosures, bank repossessions and inability to repay student
loans. They too often suffer from evictions, opioid addictions,
domestic violence and despair. They too face bankruptcy because of
But I do not agree
with that bit: Surely, it was much the same in late twenties of the
last century, briefly before Hitler was - democratically! - elected.
But after Hiter was elected, his Nazis destroyed most of the Left, and
in any case I do not see why one should sympathize much with
the poor economic and financial situation of most whose stupidity and ignorance led
to their becoming Nazis.
Then there is this, which seems to me much more relevant and much
The protests by
the radical left now sweeping America, as Aviva Chomsky
points out, are too often little more than self-advertisements for
moral purity. They are products of a social media culture in which we
all are the stars of our own life movie.
Yes indeed - and this refers
to my above point that the whole
shape and content of any genuinely Leftist movement has been
almost completely destroyed the last 40 years by pretended “leftists”,
who reduced being a leftist from genuine political
opposition to the capitalist system and its governments to some
sort of personal opposition to political
incorrectness and "alt-right".
“Rather than organizing for
change, individuals seek to enact a statement about their own
righteousness,” Chomsky writes in “How
(Not) to Challenge Racist Violence.”
That is, these are not genuine Leftists (as my
grandfather, my father, my mother and very many others were in the
Thirties, Forties, Fifties and Sixties of the last century), but they
are genuinely confused.
I completely agree with Aviva Chomsky, and also reviewed her
article here (a week ago). Here is my
conclusion from that review:
Finally, here is Aviva
Chomsky´s father Noam:
There are several
possible explanations for the fact that those who pose as "the left"
these days are not at all like the vastly more
real) leftists among whom I was born .
Computers and the
styles of quasi-communication these engender are part of that
explanation, but - it seems to me, also using my own memory - I
think the main reason is the rise of postmodernism,
that I saw blossom in the 1980ies and 1990ies in the
The thrust for
postmodernism abated some, compared with the 1980ies and 1990ies, but
one reason for this seems to be that it - "Everybody knows there is no
truth", in other words - has won great popularity among
and stupid billions
that now "communicate" (mostly anonymously, often offensively) on the
And while this
probably was not the end of Aviva Chosmky's article, which is
recommended, my own conclusion from the forces
of postmodernism, "fake news", bullshit, and
the enormous amounts of propaganda
and lies in the
mainstream media, is that " “activism”
[that] emphasize self-improvement or self-expression rather than
seeking concrete change in society or policy" is much more like self-adornment, self-
aggrandizement and self-promotion than it is like - real
- leftist politics.
I simply do not
believe in the honesty of postmodernists, and besides I think the vast
majority of those I have spoken to (quite a lot since the 1980ies) are
obscurantistic and ignorant
fools. And indeed, if you are pretending that you oppose racism
you "studiously avoid
topics like colonialism, capitalism, exploitation, liberation,
revolution, invasion, or other actual analyses of domestic or global
affairs", either you must
be quite stupid
or you must be trying to deceive others.
Taking to the
street to fight fascists ensures our defeat. Antifa violence, as Noam
Chomsky has pointed out, is a “major gift to the right, including
the militant right.” It fuels the right wing’s paranoid rants about the
white race being persecuted and under attack. And it strips
anti-capitalists of their moral capital.
I think the Chomskys and
Hedges are correct, and this is a - strongly - recommended article.
Our ‘Child King’
This article is by Peter Wehner on The New York
Times. Wehner, the NYT tells us, "served in
the previous three Republican administrations", so he is - I suppose -
a prominent Republican. The article starts as follows:
The reason this article
is here is because - I take it - it is by a leading Republican.
REPUBLICAN lawmakers have seen the Trump disaster coming for
a while now. They simply have no clue what to do about it.
A couple of months ago — before we learned that Donald Trump
Jr. wanted to spend quality time with people he believed represented
the Russian government, before the president publicly humiliated his
attorney general and was abandoned by top business executives, before
he claimed “some very fine people” were marching in Charlottesville,
Va., alongside neo-Nazis and white supremacists — a Republican member
of Congress I spoke with called the president a “child king,” a
Even then, the words that
came to mind when some congressional Republicans described the
president were “incompetent” and “unfit.”
And while I do agree (as a psychologist) with the theses that
the president is
“incompetent” and “unfit” I somewhat disagree with calling him a “child king,” or a “self-pitying fool”.
My reason is mostly that there are far better diagnoses of
Donald Trump´s incapacities for any leading political function
(which I agree are difficult for Republicans to agree with), namely
that he is a madman
(according to - at least - 53,000 psychologists or more) and
also a neofascist (in my plausible sense
of that term).
The following is considerably more correct:
problem facing Republicans is that Mr. Trump’s presidency is a wreck.
His agenda is dead in the water. A special counsel is overseeing an
investigation of his campaign. The West Wing is dysfunctional. And
President Trump is deeply unpopular with most Americans.
I more or less agree,
and also with the following (from a leading Republican):
They need to accept, finally, the reality — evident from the
moment he declared his candidacy — that Mr. Trump is unfit to govern.
He will prove unable to salvage his presidency. As the failures pile
up, he’ll act in an even more erratic fashion.
The mental hurdle Republicans have to clear is that in
important respects the interests of the Republican Party and those of
Donald Trump no longer align. The party has to highlight ways in which
it can separate itself from the president.
ends as follows:
I tend to agree and this is a
We are well past the point where equivocations are
defensible, and we’re nearly past the point where a moral
reconstitution is possible. The damage Mr. Trump has inflicted on the
Republican Party is already enormous. If the party doesn’t make a clean
break with him, it will be generational.
Trump's Finger Off the Nuke Trigger
is by Eric Margolis on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
I completely agree with
Eric Margolis (though I don´t understand "government" after "deep", but that is an aside).
President Trump's ability
to trigger a nuclear war is "pretty damn scary" said former U.S.
intelligence director James Clapper this week. Remember when
Trump vowed to "bomb the shit" out of his enemies?
I don't have much respect
for Clapper, who brazenly lied to Congress and is a ringleader of the
deep government’s efforts to overthrow Trump. But this time,
Clapper is 100 percent right. He's scared and I am too.
Here is some more:
Possibly so. But for me
the inital two paragraphs are sufficient. And this is a recommended
Unless, of course, Trump,
who managed to avoid Vietnam era military service because of a bump on
his foot, decides to go nuclear. This would mean hitting North Korea
with a score or more nuclear weapons, large and small, before the North
could riposte. North Korea would be totally destroyed, and its 25
million people left dying, maimed or starving. Japan, the world's
third largest economy, would also be shattered.
Nuclear fallout would
shower South Korea, Northern China, and Pacific Russia—and eventually
blow east to the U.S. and Canadian west coasts. If the Trump
administration decided to use nuclear weapons against North Korea, then
why not in Afghanistan? The temptation will be obvious.
Gun Groups That Aren’t for White Right-Wingers
This article is by
Kali Holloway on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
I have a theory that the
quickest way to get legislative gun control in this country would be to
start a movement that successfully convinces millions of black folks to
join the NRA. I’m not pro-gun, I just know that a gun rights movement
fueled largely by white fright would suddenly see the logic in gun
restrictions if more people that didn’t look like them carried firearms.
That’s what happened in
the late 1960s when the Black Panther Party for Self Defense started
patrolling Oakland’s black neighborhoods while openly carrying guns,
which was perfectly legal according to California law. It took only a
few months of that for the state legislature to draft the Mulford Act,
aimed at ending open carry in the state. After 24 Panthers showed up at
the state Capitol armed to the teeth to protest the bill, Gov.
Ronald Reagan couldn’t sign it fast enough.
My theory is that
this theory of Holloway
is pretty silly, for several reasons, some of which were put forward in
Here is some more:
Having a president who
sympathizes with neo-Nazis and fascists has helped mobilize and
invigorate hate groups and other violent racists, inspiring some who
oppose them to take up arms. To be clear, I am not in support of arming
this country, and I’ve never thought throwing guns at the gun problem
was a way to solve it. But with so much violence coming from the right,
it’s unsurprising that some have decided to battle them on their own
playing field. “We didn’t argue our way into white supremacy and
slavery,” Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher told Shadowproof, “we’re not
going to argue our way out of white supremacy.”
And this is followed
by a survey of six armed groups that do not belong to the right. I
leave this to your personal interests.
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
It so happens that in
the USA Labor Day
is the first Monday in September. In Europe it tends to be May 1, but -
in my leftist experience - this also mostly was dead by the 1970ies.
This will be the first
Labor Day of
the presidency of Donald J. Trump, who came to office riding a wave of
anti-establishment anger from average working people. No one can say
see it coming.
By the time Trump was
typical American household had a net worth 14 percent lower than the
household in 1984. The richest 1 percent owned more
than the bottom 90 percent.
Last year’s annual
Wall Street bonus pool alone was larger than the annual year-round
all 3.3 million Americans working full time at the federal minimum wage
$7.25 an hour.
While 90 percent of
US adults born in the early 1940s were earning more than their parents
time they reached their prime earning years, only half of adults born
mid-1980s are earning more than their parents in their prime earning
Most also have less
security than their parents. Nearly one
out of every five American workers is in a part-time job. Two-thirds
paycheck to paycheck.
But this is an aside, and Reich is quite correct in what he says about
the USA. Here is some more:
To attribute all this to
the impersonal workings of the market, and
assume it’s because most workers aren’t “worth” as much as before, is
to ignore the increasing ability of moneyed interests to alter the
for their own benefit – demolishing trade unions, turning full-time
into contract workers, and monopolizing industry.
America’s economic and
political elites could have used their growing political and
economic clout to help
workers get ahead – through better schools and more affordable college,
job retraining, wage insurance, better public transportation, and
And here is the sum-up:
But they did the reverse:
They spent more and more of their
ever-growing wealth and power to rig the game to their own advantage.
Yes indeed. And this
is a recommended article.
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 (!!).