A. Selections from August 29, 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 29, 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 Todd
Gitlin (<-Wikipedia) on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
Yes. In fact I wrote recently
two reviews of what I shall call (for lack of a better term) ¨the US
antifa movement¨. They are here and here, and they are well worth
considering (and I won´t repeat most of my arguments).
During his speech in Phoenix on Tuesday night, Donald
Trump spat out the nickname “antifa,” short for “anti-fascist” but
also a reference to a particular strand of aggressive left-wing
activism. In Mr. Trump’s telling, the presence of antifa activists
during the violence in Charlottesville, Va., this month was evidence
that the far left is just as violent as the far right: “You know, they
show up in the helmets and the black masks, and they’ve got clubs and
they’ve got everything.”
Surrogates have aped Mr. Trump’s “blame both sides”
rhetoric; overnight, antifa — and its assumed synonym, “alt-left” —
have become right-wing shibboleths, right there with “social justice
warrior” and “liberal snowflake.” In truth, there is no symmetry
between either “alt-right” and either “antifa” or “alt-left.” Antifa is
the backlash to the backlash, a defensive response to the growing
presence of right-wing extremism.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry. Because antifa
groups are willing to use force when needed, provoking them can trigger
a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The brief of my reaction (and I come from a deeply anti-fascist family
for three generations, with both my father and my grandfather locked up
in concentration camps in WW II for resisting the Nazis) is as
Here is my opinion about ¨the antifas¨, who do threaten
violence, but also shorten the fascism they are supposedly against to
(..) 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 just don´t believe
in ¨the antifas¨ without a lot more arguments what they
are really for: My parents and grandparents risked their lives and
being tortured because they opposed the fascists and not
¨the fas¨, and they opposed them because they disagreed with
their politics, their ethics, their economics, their racism and their
lack of humanity, and not to aggrandize themselves nor
from some sort of vague unhappiness they could not express.
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.
Here is the next bit by Todd Gitlin, still from the beginning of his
In brief, the antifas do not
look much like real antifascists such as my parents and
grandparents. They look like ¨leftist¨ postmodernists:
They lack a positive doctrine; they are not organized
other than locally; and they don´t even agree on how they pronounce
their own term: ¨AN-tee-fah
or an-TEE-fah¨ - but in any case they are against the fahs it seems,
and not so much against the fascists.
So far, there is a fearful asymmetry between the far right
and antifa: Over the decade ending in 2016, estimates of the percentage
of politically motivated killings committed by right-wing extremists
range from 73 to 92 percent, according
to the conservative Daily Caller. Despite the spurious rhetoric of
equivalency, supporters of antifa have, to date, killed no one.
Who are the antifa, then? They do not
advocate a positive doctrine, racial or otherwise. Some supporters
consider themselves (as Mr. Trump accurately said) anarchists, some
Marxists of different stripes; others don’t care much what you call
them. There is no national antifa organization; most organized groups
are local, concentrated in Texas and the Northwest. There’s not even a
consensus among adherents as to whether to pronounce the term
AN-tee-fah or an-TEE-fah. They aim to confront, expose, shame — and
sometimes convert — white supremacists.
It’s action and style, not
doctrine, that unites them.
There is considerably more in Gitlin´s article, that is recommended.
Governor Warns of a Long, Slow Recovery
This article is by Julie
Turkewitz, Richard Perez-Pena and Jack Healy on The New York Times.
This is about the flooding of parts of Texas. There may be more
Nederlog tomorrow, but I don´t know yet.
This article starts as follows:
As one of the most
destructive storms in the nation’s history pummeled southeast Texas for
a fourth day, forecasts on Monday called for still more rain, making
clear that catastrophic
flooding that had turned neighborhoods into lakes was just the
start of a disaster that would take years to overcome.
There is a lot
the article, but it is fair to say that at the moment there is not
much information about the damages that struck Texas, except that they
do seem very considerable.
Local, state and federal officials conceded that the scale
of the crisis was so vast that they were nowhere near being able to
measure it, much less fully address it.
Across a region that is home to millions of people and
includes Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, no one has a clear
idea how many people are missing, how many evacuated, how many hunkered
down or were trapped in their waterlogged homes, or how many inundated
houses and vehicles are beyond saving.
It is “one of the largest
disasters America has ever faced,” Gov. Greg Abbott said, warning
against expecting anything resembling recovery any time soon, or a
return to the way things were.
Trump Is Leading a 'Cult of Toxic White Masculinity' That May Destroy
Our Institutions and Endanger Our Safety
is by Don Hazen and Kali Holloway on AlterNet. This article starts as
For every lie he tells,
every promise he breaks, every newly submitted exhibit in the case
proving his corruption, Donald Trump’s base only adores him more. Trump
is historically the most
unpopular president in modern American history, but polls suggest
he may also be among its most fervently supported. If there’s anything
Trump’s campaign and presidency have proved, it’s that 35
percent of voters in this country will back him passionately, no
matter what he does.
Chauncey DeVega, politics writer for
Salon, is a keen observer of Trump and his supporters. DeVega argues
that Trump is less a political figure than the leader of a cult of
toxic masculinity, a nearly religious movement deeply infused with the
racism, misogyny and nativism that has long been part of this country’s
national character. DeVega believes the advancement of Trumpism will
have disastrous and far-reaching consequences that will last for years
beyond this presidency.
AlterNet executive editor
Don Hazen and senior writer/associate editor Kali Holloway spoke to
DeVega about Trump, the media’s obsession with his base, and what we
can do to push back against the administration's agenda.
This is the beginning of a
long and decent interview with Chauncey DeVega, who is black, and who
had quite a few of his articles over the last nine months or so
reviewed in Nederlog. The brief summary of these reviews is that I like
DeVega´s point of view, but don´t quite agree with it.
And I will quote two bits
from the - quite long - interview with him. Here is the first (and this
is DeVega speaking):
In fact, I think Trump is a
neofascist rather than a fascist, but DeVega does mention a
number of relevant criterions, so I mostly agree, as I also do with his
And here is some more on DeVega´s pessimism:
They recently had
on CNN—and the sample size is so small, but I have no reason to
doubt it—those folks literally said no matter what he does they'll
support him. These are Republicans. We have to be careful of the media
narrative separating Republicans from Trump voters. No, Trump won every
category of white voters. He's a Republican. They own him. He's the
leader of their party and his policies are the logical extension of
everything that they wanted to do, which is why they keep protecting
He's also a fascist based
on the criteria for fascism: wanting a one-party state, subverting
democratic norms, hostility to the media, nationalism and masculinity,
violence, militarism, chronic lying—which disorients the
public—assaults on the truth. The only thing he hasn't done yet is mass
ethnic violence and encouraging it and that's coming. We saw that in
Charlottesville. We saw that with his open embrace of white
supremacists and white nationalists. I think you're right on when you
ask, where's the huge protest? I think people are tired, they're
exhausted, they're still in shock.
I think that we’re
going to see a further erosion of our institutions, and our government
becoming even more broken. The law really is the only thing trying to
protect us and the law—lawyers and the courts—they have no enforcement
power. I think things are going to get very, very, very, very, very
dire very quickly, and I don't know what the resistance looks like in
this country. I think the American people are so drunk on consumerism,
and unfortunately too many of our white brothers and sisters are drunk
on white supremacy, white privilege and white identity politics. As
long as they think he's beating up the brown people, or the Muslims,
which is what fascists do, they'll go along with it. This country is in
Yes. There is a whole
lot more in the interview (with which I do not all agree), but it is
the Russian Threat
is by Jonathan Marshall on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
Readers of the New
York Times have more to sweat about than hot summer weather in the
Big Apple. The paper’s chief military correspondent, Michael Gordon — co-author
of the infamous 2002 story about Saddam Hussein’s “quest for A-bomb
parts” — has all but warned that war in Europe could break out at any
minute with the mighty Russian army.
I didn´t know about Michael
Gordon, but if he wrote that, he was then an obvious major liar. He certainly
is now, if he ¨all but warned
that war in Europe could break out at any
minute¨: I have lived in Europe the last 67 years, and it is not at
all like that.
But then the mainstream
media these days, and in fact since quite a long time, are more
like the centers of propaganda for
the views of their rich owners than that they are genuinely informing
their readers with real news that serves the interests of
the readers rather than the owners.
And as my readers may know,
I am not a believer in ¨Russiagate¨ etc. and in fact mostly
agree with the people from the VIPS
(<- Wikipedia), like William
Binney, who do know very much more about the US
secret services than most journalists, and who say that ¨Russiagate¨ is mostly baloney.
So I agree with Jonathan
Marshall´s point of view, and merely give one more bit from his article:
The average reader would
never know that U.S. and NATO forces themselves engaged this summer in
“their largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War,” to
quote NPR. Nor would they know that NATO collectively spends 12
times more than Russia on its military, or that its European
members alone field nearly 75 percent more military personnel than
And only the most
attentive reader, reaching the bottom of the long New York Times
story, would have learned that “Russian officials have told NATO that
the maneuvers will be far smaller than Western officials are
anticipating and will involve fewer than 13,000 troops.”
Yes, that seems correct to
me - and this also is one of my many reasons to say that most people
are successfully deceived by the
from the mainstream media.
This is a recommended
Democrats Stand For?
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. This is a brief article that comes with a
video. This is from the ending:
If Democrats stand for
one thing, it must be overcoming this unprecedented economic imbalance
and creating a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition of the bottom 90
percent, to take back our economy and politics.
This requires, at the
1. Public investments in
world-class schools and infrastructure for all.
2. Free public
universities and first-class technical training for all;
4. Higher taxes on the
wealthy to pay for this;
5. Using antitrust to
break up powerful monopolies on Wall Street, Big Tech, Big Pharma, and
6. Getting big money out
of our politics.
Together, these steps form
an agenda to reclaim our economy and democracy for all. Will
Democrats lead the way?
Well... I have two
remarks on this: (1) I completely agree with Reich that the things he
considers necessary are necessary, but (2) these things
were already fairly to very obvious in 1990, when Clinton had
won the presidential elections, and Reich got to be part of
Clinton´s government - that did hardly any of these six things.
And I think that
these days, under Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, it is quite
clear what the Democrats stand for: Wall Street, that paid them
So indeed I don´t
believe in the Democratic Party, and certainly not in one with the
present leadership (Clinton, Pelosi, Perez), that simply got sold to
and bought by Wall Street since many years.
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 (!!).