A. Selections from September 7, 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
September 7, 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:
is by Micah Lee on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Chat logs obtained
from message boards used by neo-Nazis and other far-right groups show a
concerted effort to compile private information on leftist enemies and
circulate the data to encourage harassment or violence.
In fact, that is also precisely
what the NSA and 16 other secret services try to do,
and again also, if perhaps tilted to sales and profits rather
than politics and power, to what the large corporations try to
These all try to find out as much as they can about the private
lives, the private values, the private ideals, and the private
interests of absolutely everyone, because this has become extremely
cheap thanks to the internet and the computing technologies.
And they all try to find out everything about anyone
because both each and all corporations and secret
governmental institutions are trying to control the many by having
as much or more information about them than they can recall themselves.
This also has been going on on the government side for over
40 years and on the corporate side either for over
15 years if you look at computers, but for nearly a 100 years
if you look at attempts to systematically mislead, deceive, and
manipulate their public in order to make a maximum profit from
them, as was e.g. quite well brought out by Adam Curtis's
Century of the Self¨
(which is very well worth
seeing): This has been done systematically and with huge
huge profits since the 1920s.
Then again, the present empirical investigation that led to this
article is based on a small set of corporations and persons:
This article is
based solely on chat logs from a community called “Pony Power” (Unicorn
the logs yesterday). The Pony Power server has 50 users, and the
chat logs contain just over one thousand messages, posted over the
course of 10 days (...)
Then again, this
empirical investigation is rather thorough as any reader of
article will agree to, and there is this about the victims of these
Victims of the
outings, also known as “doxings,” described reactions ranging from
terror to anger to annoyance and have variously turned to friends and
family for support and locked down their accounts. They said the Pony
Power doxing campaign is just the latest in a series of online efforts
by neo-Nazis and their allies to marginalize their opponents.
And there is this in
During the 10-day span
that the Pony Power chat logs cover, from August 17 to August 27,
so-called “alt-right” members collected private information from over
50 anti-fascist activists from the states of California, Florida,
Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The information collected
often included photographs, social media profiles, home address, phone
numbers, email addresses, date of birth, driver license numbers,
vehicle information, place of employment, and in one instance, a social
security number. The justification for doxing these people normally put
forward in Pony Power was that they were part of a loosely-structured
left-wing movement against fascism known as “antifa,” which has put up
some of the most militant opposition to the far right, or because
they’re judged sympathetic to antifa, or because they’ve been seen at
protests deemed “communist” by the far-righters.
As I have pointed out
in previous Nederlogs I agree with Noam Chomsky and Chris
Hedges that I
don´t much believe in ¨antifas¨ or indeed about as much as I
about the Weathermen
45 years ago or so: They were leftist radical
romantics without a sane and rational plan of action and without any
good and rational analysis of what they were trying to undo (as I and
many others did see correctly, 45 years ago).
present article is quite instructive about how far some neonazis go,
and is a recommended article.
Gotham: Juan González on Cities Leading the Revolt Against Trumpism
& Neoliberal Policies
This article is by Amy
Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction,
and is an interview with one of Goodman´s long time collaborators:
The city of New
York announced Tuesday it is deploying funding for legal services for DACA recipients across the city, following the
Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA
program. In a message posted on Twitter, the office of Mayor Bill de
Blasio said, "You are not alone. … If you face legal problems, we’ll be
right there with you." The fight to save DACA
marks just the latest example of cities pushing back against the Trump
administration’s agenda. From climate change to sanctuary cities to
police accountability to affordable housing, cities are increasingly
pushing a far more progressive agenda than their counterparts in
Washington. This is a central theme in a new book by Democracy Now!
co-host Juan González titled "Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the
Movement to End America’s Tale of Two Cities." For more, we speak with
Juan González, longtime staff writer for the New York Daily News, now a
professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University.
And indeed Juan González
also is a longtime collaborator of Democracy Now!
Here is some more about González and his new book:
I agree more or less
with what is sketched here, but I must add immediately that I seem to
be considerably less optimistic about ¨de Blasio and other progressive city leaders¨ than Juan González.
GOODMAN: The fight to
save DACA marks just the latest example of
cities pushing back against the Trump administration’s agenda. From
climate change to sanctuary cities to police accountability to
affordable housing, cities are increasingly pushing a far more
progressive agenda than their counterparts in Washington.
This is a central theme of a
new book by my colleague Juan González, co-host of Democracy Now!
It’s titled Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the Movement to
End America’s Tale of Two Cities. The book examines how de Blasio
and other progressive city leaders are leading a nationwide revolt
against corporate-oriented, neoliberal policies that have dominated
urban America for decades.
Indeed, I may well be mistaken, but here are more of my reasons:
AMY GOODMAN: (...) Who
is speaking out now? Who are the progressive forces in America?
And my main reason is that I
am following politics more or less for 50 years at least, and
the major things that a progressive, real Leftist like I am has been
missing ¨for decades¨ precisely is a - real
- leftist mass
GONZÁLEZ: (..) I began to notice, actually about four years
ago, in 2013, that there was something happening in the cities across
the country that was actually a movement, a political movement that was
not getting much attention. And that is the rise, post-the Great
Recession, post-the Occupy Wall Street movement, that many young and
progressive people were running for political office and actually
winning seats in city councils and some even in mayoral races across
the country, and that they were, in essence, the political—the
political effect of a mass movement now that has been building across
the country for decades (...)
Here is the end of the article (and there is more on and with Juan
González in the following article on Democracy Now!):
Perhaps. But then again the strongest power -
the somewhat progressive government - won in the Sixties, while
the strongest power now is Trump´s rightist government.
GONZÁLEZ: Well, I believe the big cities of America and the
federal government are on a collision course, over sanctuary cities,
over sustainable development, over police accountability. They’re on a
collision course in the same way Southern local governments back in the
1950s and '60s were on a collision course with the federal government
over civil rights, only back then it was the federal government that
was maintaining the more progressive position. Now it's the local
governments that are maintaining the most progressive positions. And I
believe that it’s going to get even more—the battle is going to get
even stronger between the cities and the federal government.
Anyway... this is a recommended article.
Silence of the Good People
This article is by Paul
Street on Truthdig. For me this has a somewhat wider meaning,
have been argueing against the right and the - really rightist - ¨left¨
in Holland for 40 years now.
Indeed, I was first called ¨a fascist¨ over 40 years ago, by a
Stalinist who probably very recently had joined the Dutch
Party and who had no idea that my communist grandfather was
murdered by the
Nazis, that both of my parents had been communists for 40 years, that
my father had survived more than three years and nine months of German
concentration camps, and who also in 1980 was to be the first
was knighted for making an exhibition about fascism because he
survived over three years and nine months of German concentration
camps, nor any idea that what I wanted - but never got
¨University¨ of Amsterdam, even though I got an excellent B.A. and M.A.
there - was a good scientific education, instead of year upon
year upon year of politics,
degeneracies, for that was ¨the education¨ that the
¨University¨ of Amsterdam provided for most of its students between
1971 and 1995, when it was also guided by the 1 man = 1 vote
principle, in which professors and lecturers all had 1 vote, as did
the students and those the ¨University¨ employed to clean its toilets
(which was a wholly unique situation - that persisted for 25
years - in the whole world, that gave the full power to the
students for 25 years, but which also is something nobody
who got his or her money from the neofascist ¨University¨ of Amsterdam
ever mentioned since 1995).
This starts as follows:
I naturally disapprove
strongly of the virulent white racists who gathered to violently defend
Confederate “slave power” statues in Charlottesville, Va., two weekends
ago, but I’ll say one thing for them: At least they seem to care quite
a great deal in urgent, if vile, ways about politics and
The older I get, the more
I am struck by the bloodless social and political indifference and
lethargy of millions upon millions of my fellow Americans.
Tyranny feeds on mass
apathy and docility as much as it does on the marshaling of dark and
reactionary forces. As Martin
Luther King Jr. wrote: “History will have to record that the
greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the
strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the
good people. … In end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.”
“He who passively accepts
evil,” King added, “is as much involved in it as he who helps to
perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is
really cooperating with it.”
I mostly agree - and
I a little older than Paul Street, and I almost certainly also
inherited far more leftism in my family than he did (see above:
I do not even know a single other Dutchman, except my brother,
who doesn´t live in Holland, with such a background as I have).
What are the reasons
for the silence of the good people (as is Paul Street´s title)?
I can think of at
least four important reasons, all of which
seem to be missed by ¨the left¨ or what remains of it:
1. There simply may not be as
many good people as many people think:
Both of my parents were in the resistance against the
Nazis in Holland,
and both my father and his father (who was murdered) were
convicted as ¨political terrorists¨ by collaborating Dutch judges, but
even though the Nazis managed to round up and murder more than 1%
of the Dutch population because they were ¨Jewish¨ - I think less
than 1% of the Dutch population were in the (real) resistance -
though indeed I agree that also involved risking your life and risking
In any case, when I
take this as my measure for what real goodness consists in, in the face
of major threats against one´s life and one´s health and social
chances, I would incline to saying that fewer than 1 in a 100 is really
2. The people have
now been manipulated for nearly 100 years by the corporations:
This is reasonably well explained by The
Century of the Self, which is a four part series that was
originally aired by the BBC in 2002, and that was written and directed
by Adam Curtis.
This series explains how,
mostly through the influence of Sigmund Freud
and his nephew Edward
Bernays, the big corporations started to treat the ordinary
the USA no longer as citizens with needs, but as consumers
with desires, and indeed succeeded in that, mostly between
20ies and the 60ies, when also incredible amounts of advertisements
of all kinds were produced - which also means that by then
there were many selfish and greedy consumers who only cared for
themselves and their families and friends, and far fewer
unselfish ungreedy persons with social ideals.
3. The education
people get has been made much worse since the 1960ies:
because I was born in 1950 and lived through the transition: Until
the people in Holland got something like twice the education
that they have gotten since, on all levels: Until 1965 people
who entered the university had to pass written exams in 14 or more
subjects, including 3 to 5 foreign languages, history, geography,
Dutch, biolology and more, and also mathematics, physics and chemistry;
after 1970 people who entered university had to pass
written exams in 5
or 6 subjects, with just Dutch and one foreign language, and no
mathematics or physics (often), and no history nor geography, or only
as free subjects one could take or leave.
It is the same in the
¨universities¨ and indeed the IQ of the present-day universities seems
to be Blairite, that is, anybody willing to hand out or to
several hundreds of thousands can get some degree, e.g.
studies, provided his or her IQ is approximately 100 or better. (Thus all
normal people now can get some degree,
except that they have to pay very much more and get very much less real
4. It seems the
vast majorities in Congress and the Senate have been bought by
This means in effect
that democracy is dead in the USA: If most of the 700 or so
¨representatives of the people¨, who were elected by ¨the people¨,
in supposedly free and fair elections, in fact have been bought by
the rich before or after their election, then democracy has been
killed, and has been replaced mostly by corruption (i.e. who can pay
the most will get what he or she wants).
I leave these four
points to your considerations, and move to the next point of Paul
Look at the rolling
national atrocity that is the quasi- and perhaps pre-fascist Donald
Trump presidency. Every week, it seems, the orange-tinted beast comes
forward with new threats and offenses to basic civilizational decency.
Look at recent events: the crazy game of thermonuclear chicken Trump
continues to play with Kim Jong Un; the dog-whistling cover Trump gave
to the Nazis and other white supremacists in Charlottesville; the
president’s threat to “shut
down the federal government” if Congress doesn’t pay for his
criminally idiotic and racist border wall; his granting of an early, pre-sentencing
pardon to diabolical Joe Arpaio, the former longtime racist-fascist
sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County.
I would not
formulate it as Paul Street does, but - broadly speaking - I agree, and
indeed I also mostly agree with the following, which are in fact mostly
implications of the four points I made above,
and especially the fourth:
Behind the scenes of
“This Week in Trump” (TWIT), the “Insane
Clown President” has been effectively advancing a hard-right agenda
directly through the nation’s executive branch. The federal
bench is being remade in the image of the radically reactionary and
arch-regressive Federalist Society. Financial regulations are being
rolled back along with environmental, consumer and civil rights
protections. Trump is doing everything he can to slash health coverage
for poor people short of his failed efforts to repeal Obamacare—this
while he angles to pass a plutocratic tax cut for the rich in a nation
where the top tenth of the upper 1 percent already has as much wealth
as the bottom 90 percent.
Then there is this:
This is big,
existentially dire stuff. Talk about evil. And yet I
routinely confront abject indifference and aversion to anything and
everything political on the part of ordinary white middle-class
I agree - but what if
these ¨ordinary white
middle-class Americans¨ do not think of themselves as rational
citizens with rights and duties, but as small counterparts of
the rich; that most seek to become rich anyway; and without
interest or concern in facts that do not immediately touch him or her,
simply because he or she uses his or her own satisfaction
of his or
her own desires as the only relevant criterion for what
he or she
That is, they have been
transformed into blind consumers, without knowing it, and while
thinking they did something good and worthwile. (See The
Century of the Self and also see the above 4
Then there is this:
Millions of “good
Americans” go through life in a chilling state of morally idiotic
self-obsession and consumerism, chattering endlessly about their
vacations, purchases, home repairs, automobiles, ailments, jobs and
purely private dramas. The fact that the world’s most powerful state is
headed by a racist, sexist and eco-exterminist white-nationalist,
nuke-wielding malignant narcissist atop a team of right-wing,
arch-plutocratic, planet-killing, science-denying enemies of peace,
justice and democracy somehow doesn’t register as worthy of mass civil
unrest in most American minds—white minds especially.
Again I would
formulate it perhaps a bit differently but again I basically agree and
also point again to The
Century of the Self and the above 4
And there is this, to which
again applies the same:
Trump and his noxious
cadres of sociopathic ecology-wreckers and plutocratic racists
calculate that masses of good Americans are so pervasively indifferent,
self-absorbed (often to the point of pathological narcissism),
preoccupied, distracted, diverted, disinterested and demobilized that
they can get away with just about anything while pounding his ugly and
angry white base to make the world yet more precarious and vile.
And I point again to The
Century of the Self and the
above 4 points.
Those sage words ring
with even greater relevance today than they did half a century ago. The
U.S. didn’t get to its current horrific state simply through the
machinations of the Trump campaign and the Republican Party. The real
and deeper causes are systemic, institutional, cultural, moral and
The article ends as
Since Dr. King’s time,
the United States has made some shining progress around questions of
identity, civil liberties, bigotry and sexuality. It has made zero
progress and, in fact, moved backward on economic justice and, most
dangerously of all, on the intimately related environmental question,
which now hangs over us like a great global Grim Reaper daring us to
care about the fate of our own and countless other species.
report on Moyers & Company shows that left-leaning social,
political and environmental/climate progressives are the nation’s “new
silent majority.” Now would be the time for that silence to find a
voice. King’s line from the introduction to this essay bears repeating:
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period
of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but
the appalling silence of the good people.”
This is a recommended
article, but I am - perhaps, for I don´t know - more pessimistic
Paul Street, for I have been hearing ¨the appalling silence of the good people¨ since over 40 years now.
4. Google, Trump, and the
Arrogance of Power
This is from Robert
Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Google’s search engine
two-thirds of all searches in the United States and 90 percent in
like this can
squelch innovation. Google might favor its own services, such as Google
Maps and Google Product Search, for example. This is one reason
why the European
Commission hit Google with a record 2.42 billion-euro fine in June.
As I have pointed out
several times in Nederlog, I hardly use Google (other than Youtube) and
I completely avoid Google´s search engine since over five years. My
reasons are that I trust them less than political neofascists
they are about as reliable, but with vastly more money), and
think they have far too much power.
Incidentally, it also seems
that Google - that awarded over 120 points to my site in 2004 - now has
put my site among those it seeks to punish, or at least this is what
I did read in some report about my site (that was not
commanded by me and that I do not know whether to trust, although it
does seem to be that true I am or at least my sites are almost
completely unrecoverable by Google).
Here is some more about
Google is among the
corporate lobbyists in the United States, and a major campaign donor.
Google also has enough
power to stifle criticism coming from independent researchers.
Yes indeed. There
also is this:
Google doesn’t pay for
fake news, but it does
pay off academics to help sway public
opinion and policymakers in its favor.
The Wall Street
reported that Google has financed hundreds of professors at places like
Harvard and Berkeley to write research papers that help Google defend
regulatory challenges of its market dominance. Google’s payments range
$5,000 to $400,000.
This research has been
used by Google in courtrooms, regulatory hearings, and congressional
Actually, I think the
above establishes that Google does pay for the ¨fake news¨
that it itself
ordered from well-paid and eager academics, although it doesn´t seem to
pay for any ¨fake news¨ other than Google´s try to push its own
views of what it is onto the internet
and onto as many readers or viewers as possible.
Here is Reich on
Google (supposed to be leftish, but actually better classified in
as an important force of neofascism/neoliberalism)
and Trump (supposed
to be rightish and racist, but also basically a very rich neofascist
(who tend to call themselves neoliberals):
Google and Trump are
wildly different, of
course, but they’ve been playing much the same game. They’ve used their
stifle criticism, paid members of Congress to pull their punches, and
fake or at least questionable facts to support of their goals.
I agree and this is a
May Actually Be Worse Than You Think: Assessing the Integrated and
Funded Machine We Are Up Against
This article is by Cynthia
Kaufman on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
When Trump first
came to power, like most progressive, leftist, and liberal people I
know, I was terrified. It seemed possible that we were on the verge of
fascism. Could Trump unleash thugs onto the street to act with impunity
against people from vulnerable groups, as Hitler’s Brown shirts did?
Could the constitution be suspended? Could he maintain his power
indefinitely as a dictator?
I am a progressive (real)
leftist - and the ¨real¨ is added because I do not
regard most of the politically correct ¨leftists¨ I saw arise in the
last 40 years as real leftists - and both of my parents
leftists for 40 years, as were three out of four of the grandparents I
had - but I did not react like Cynthia Kaufman. Then again, I
shocked as well.
Here are Cynthia Kaufman´s reasons to think that the right has been altered
in the last 40 years or so:
We are not up
against the old, pro-capitalist business elite, which uses the
constitution to ground its actions in the rule of law, and which seeks
more than anything, a stable environment in which business can operate.
The goals of this new extreme right wing are an end to taxation, which
they see as an infringement of liberty; and end to the social welfare
state; and a shrinking of any aspect of government that has to do with
taking care of the environment and social needs.
I think that is
basically correct, but I would put it differently:
The capitalism I grew up with, which is post WW II and
much inspired by
John Maynard Keynes, presented itself as capitalism-with-a-human-face
(e.g. when compared to the much harsher capitalism of the 1930ies or
the 1870ies, say) and did spread the social riches, indeed not equally,
but more fairly than before.
The capitalism that started growing with Thatcher´s and
ascents to power around 1980 is (much rather) capitalism-without-a-human-face
and indeed seems best described as neofascism, at least if this is
defined as follows:
Neofascism is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
And the goals of the
new capitalists aka neofascists is simply maximal profit for the
few rich, which they attempt to reach by maximal liberties for
the few rich, which means no legal protections for the many
non-rich: No social welfare state, no legal protections, and the
complete control of society by the rich and their corporations, in the
interests of the rich and their corporations, which by now have more
money and more power than many
Here is a part of the reasons how they did it, which mostly may
traced back to the activities and writings of Lewis Powell Jr.,
who wrote the Powell
Memorandum in 1971, in which he outlined how the rich could
maintain and extend their powers:
They have invested
millions of dollars in paying for positons at universities for
professions would support their views. They have set up powerful and
well-funded think tanks to propagate their views, even founding the
discipline of “law and economics” and establishing it as many law
schools, to develop scholarship that looks at law through the lens of
libertarian economics. By 1995, two fifths of all federal judges had
been through a Koch sponsored curriculum that helped them understands
the law that way.
I do not know whether
this is all true, but some of it is, and the rest does seem
quite plausible. Here is the last bit that I´ll quote from this article:
They gave a start
to James Buchanan who got a Nobel Prize in economics for taking the
view of human beings as fundamentally self -interested that dominates
the discipline of economics, and applying it to an understanding of how
government bureaucracies operate.
Yes, James Buchanan
certainly played a role, but I think that there were two other
forces that were as important or more important:
and his nephew Edward
whose ideals and ideas were based on the presumption that underneath
the rational consciousness of human beings there is a hidden
unconscious part, that is driven by aggressive personal and
sexual drives, and that needs to be controlled if civilization is
to persist. 
There is considerably more about them in The
Century of the Self, which is strongly recommended, as the
present article is recommended.
 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 (!!).
 This was utter bullshit, that
was never rationally tested until it failed in major
ways in CIA-experiments in
the 50ies, 60ies and 70ies.
If every man is a seething
mass of unconscious aggressive and sexual impulses, in what ways
are Freud, Bernays, and the corporate rich different? Except
that they have vastly more money and vastly more power
than ordinary men? And how or why should the rich unconsciously aggressive and irrational
control and manipulate the non-rich unconsciously aggressive and irrational?
But these questions (and other rational ones) appear to have
rarely raised and rarely answered.