A. Selections from October 6, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Friday, October 6,
This is a crisis
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 will
continue with it.
On the moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) I have
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading :
Selections from October 6, 2017
Why Decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal Would
Be a Bad Idea
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:
2. Masha Gessen: Trump Doing “Incredible Damage” to
Democracy While Media is
Obsessed with Russia Probe
3. America's Plutocrats Are Running for Political Office
Country: Can Our Democracy
4. House GOP Passes Budget That 'Should Not Be Allowed in a
Freud’s Clay Feet
Decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal Would Be a Bad Idea
This is by The
Editorial Board on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
President Trump is
expected to announce next week whether he will withdraw
certification of the nuclear deal with Iran that was negotiated by
the Obama administration. The Washington
Post reported Thursday that he is planning to decertify the deal.
The Times editorial board has long argued that is wrong-headed, and
will ultimately prove to be a step that antagonizes Iran, a major
regional power, and leads to the proliferation of nuclear weapons
around the world.
I agree. The Editorial
Board also explains its reasoning, and does so under the following
headings, that I reproduce without their accompanying texts,
can read if you go to the original:
I agree again, and this
is a recommended article.
It ignores that the
deal is working.
would alienate our allies and make a bad situation with North Korea
sends the wrong message to Iran, and that’s dangerous.
doesn’t help in the fight against the Islamic State.
ignores the complexity of the region.
undermines trust in America and the country’s ability to negotiate in
Gessen: Trump Doing “Incredible Damage” to Democracy While Media is
Obsessed with Russia Probe
This article is by Amy
Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It starts with the
As the U.S. Senate
Intelligence Committee says it has reached the conclusion that Russia
interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and CNN reports a number of Russian-linked Facebook
ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to
Trump’s victory in November, we speak with Russian-American journalist
Masha Gessen. “We don’t know if there was a conspiracy,” Gessen says of
allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. “But even if there
was, we should do our best to try not to engage in conspiracy thinking.
… It lends itself to this idea that once we discover that Trump
colluded with the Russians, that we’ll magically get rid of Trump.” She
says it is unlikely the investigation will produce the kind of evidence
of collusion that could be used as a legal basis for impeachment, and
argues impeachment is unlikely while Republicans have control of both
houses of Congress.
Yes indeed: I quite
agree and indeed I have written quite a few Nederlogs about
¨Russia-gate¨and also some reviews of articles written by Gessen.
Here is more by Gessen:
Yes indeed. Here is
Gessen on what makes Trump attracted to Putin:
GESSEN: The way that
he’s mangling the English language is something that I think is so
dangerous. And Americans are a little bit innocent to that danger. And
this is where, oddly, you know, having grown up in the Soviet Union and
then having lived in Russia as a journalist for so many years, I’m
externally sensitive to what happens to language. And I’ve talked to
two Italian journalists about this. Italian journalists, I mention
because they lived through a much sort of milder form of what I
observed in Russia. But they say that Berlusconi, over 20 years of his
reign, did so much damage to the language that they’re still recovering
their ability to describe what they’re dealing with. Right?
And so, Trump does two
things. He uses words to mean their opposite. So when he does things
like, you know, he calls the Russia investigation a “witch hunt,” it’s
the opposite—he uses the phrase “witch hunt” to mean its opposite in
several ways. And the most important of them is to reverse the
relationship of power, right? I mean, a witch hunt, by definition, used
to be something that people with power could perpetrate upon people who
didn’t have power, right? Here’s the most powerful man in the world
saying that he is the victim of a witch hunt.
I think this may very
well be correct. Here is the last bit that I´ll quote from this fine
GOODMAN: I wanted to ask
you about Trump’s attraction for Putin, why you think that is, and if
Putin has the same feelings about Trump.
GESSEN: So, I think
Trump’s attraction for Putin—again, people have tried to figure out,
you know, what does Putin have on Trump that Trump keeps praising him?
But I think the Yale historian Timothy Snyder put it best in an early piece
for The New York Review of Books, that Putin is the dictator
that Trump plays on TV. Trump really wants to be Putin. He thinks that
that’s what power looks like. He thinks that politics is about
exercising raw power.
So, I think this is one of the most disturbing things about especially
the early coverage of the Russia theory—right?—which was that all of
the early coverage was driven by leaks from the intelligence community.
Now, the problem with leaks from the intelligence community—the
problems are obvious, right? One is that they can’t be corroborated.
Two is that your sources control the timing and sort of the dosage of
the leaks. So, basically, journalists become mouthpieces for people in
the intelligence community who may or may not be pursuing their own
goals that have nothing to do with informing the public.
Yes indeed. There is
considerably more in this interview, and there also is another
interview with Masha Gessen on Democracy Now! It is all recommended.
Plutocrats Are Running for Political Office Across the Country: Can Our
Democracy Survive It?
This article is by
Les Leopold on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
bestselling Capital in the 21st Century, economist Thomas
Piketty alerted the world to the new aristocracy of wealth being formed
by runaway inequality. We have only to look at the state of
Illinois to see what this means for democracy.
Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, is a near billionaire. On the
Democratic side, one candidate, J.B. Pritzker, is a multi-billionaire
and another candidate, Chris Kennedy, is estimated to be worth only
about $100 million.
They see themselves as experts in unlocking and creating hidden value.
actually make their money through financial strip-mining, the process
by which financial investment firms extract billions in wealth from
productive facilities. They are in business for one and only one
reason: to enrich themselves as quickly as possible—and it isn't always
Yes, I think this is
quite probably quite correct. And here is background on the methods
Before a Securities and
Exchange deregulatory rule change in 1982, massive stock buybacks were
considered stock manipulation and therefore largely prohibited. Only 2%
of all corporate profits went to stock buybacks in 1980. By the time of
the crash in 2008, nearly 75% of all corporate profits went to stock
buybacks. (Hundreds of companies even pour more than 100% of their
profits into these buybacks by using more borrowed money for the
repurchases.) It is not an exaggeration to say the driving force of
American business is stock buybacks. And this driving force is one of
the primary causes of wage stagnation and runaway inequality. (See "Profits
Without Prosperity," by William Lazonick.)
I agree and
there is considerably more in this article, that is recommended.
House GOP Passes Budget That
'Should Not Be Allowed in a Humane Society'
This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It
has the following subtitle:
By passing their budget
blueprint, Republicans have taken "the first step toward an immoral tax
scheme that will hand trillions of dollars to millionaires and
It starts as follows:
By a vote of 219 to 206, the
House on Friday approved a GOP-crafted budget resolution that proposes
more than five trillion dollars in cuts to key safety net programs like
Medicare and Medicaid to pave the way for massive tax cuts for the
wealthy and massive corporations.
No Democrats voted for
the budget, and 18 Republicans voted against it.
Crucially, the resolution
includes parliamentary language that eliminates the possibility of a
Democratic filibuster in the Senate and will allow the GOP to "fast-track"
their tax cuts with only 51 votes instead of the typical 60—the same
procedure Republicans utilized in their failed attempt repeal the
Affordable Care Act.
I think these methods
may be called illegal, and think so in part because this tax budgets
harm the very many poor in order to please the few rich.
Here is a fine
explanation of this point:
The ATF offered the
following breakdown of the cuts proposed under the Trump-GOP tax
framework compared with the spending cuts proposed in the House budget
Vanita Gupta, president
and CEO of The Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, argued
Thursday that the "federal budget is a representation of our country's
House Republicans' vote
in support of the proposed budget, Gupta concluded, "is an abdication
of that responsibility."
I agree and this is a
strongly recommended article.
This article is by
Lisa Appignanesi on The New York Books Exchange. It starts as follows:
Frederick Crews has a
loyalty of preoccupation rare in a literary academic. His attacks on
Sigmund Freud began way back in the mid-1970s with his publicly
proclaimed conversion away from the Freudian literary criticism he
practiced at the time. Since then his assault has drawn sustenance from
a variety of revisionist Freud sleuths and scholars. High among the
sleuths is the tireless Peter Swales, a onetime assistant to the
Rolling Stones and a follower of the cultish G.I. Gurdjieff, who grew
interested in Freud because of his cocaine use and sniffed out all
manner of facts about the originals of his cases and his supposed
affair with his sister-in-law. The scholars include more academic
thinkers whose conclusions about Freud don’t always agree with Crews’s,
whatever their arguments with Freud’s practice or writings. Like Karl
Popper or Adolf Grünbaum, they may also question Freud’s status as a
scientist—whether he was one at all, or whether his claims are
sufficiently supported by empirical evidence.
Lisa Appignanesi does not
have much sympathy for Frederick Crews. I do not really know who
Appignanesi is, but TNYBE informs me she is ¨Chair of the Royal Society
of Literature¨ and also a ¨former Chair of the Trustees of the Freud
Museum in London¨.
I´d say this implies she
does not really know much about philosophy of science or
do, about both, and have degrees to prove it. Then again, for someone
like me this was not necessary to convince me that Freud is and
I concluded that already in 1966, when I was 16 and had
bought and worked through Patrick Mullahy´s ¨Oidipus¨. This was a book
by a psychiatrist who did more or less correctly describe psychiatric
and psychonanalytic theories between 1900 and 1960, and who did so
I was 16 and I recalled my
childhood a lot bettter than I do now, and while I was no doubt
rather naive I was not less intelligent than I am now, and I
was already much interested in real science but not
psychiatry before reading Mullahy´s book.
After reading Mullahy´s
book, I realized I had hardly ever or never (then) read a book that was
as non-scientific, as fantastic, as arbitrary, and
as unfounded as Freud´s psychiatry, that I have from then on
regarded as fraudulent
and not because I had
then any objections to the figure heads of psychiatry (which I do have
since), but simply because I regarded (and regard) their theories as bullshit.
Ms Appignanesi doesn´t
think so (at all, it seems), but then she also seems strongly
disposed to judge Freud favorably, as a ¨scientist¨ of literature 
and a former Chair of the Freud Museum.
Here is a summary of
Appignanesi on Crews´s book:
biography, Freud: The Making of an Illusion, damning and
mesmerizing by turns, is about the young Freud and reaches The
Interpretation of Dreams only on page 543, allowing just a few
brief glimpses into the second part of his life. It marks the zenith of
what has become Crews’s crusade “to put an end to the myth of
psychoanalysis and its creator” by stripping Freud of both his
empiricist credentials and the image of a “lone explorer possessing
courageous perseverance, deductive brilliance, tragic insight, and
healing power,” a series of attributes Crews finds in Freud’s own
self-portrayal and in Ernest Jones’s landmark biography (1953–1957).
I suppose I am
considerably more in favor of Crews than Appignanesi. Here is another
summary by Appignanesi:
As far as I know (and I
am a philosopher and psychologist, with - excellent -
degrees) Crews is
mostly correct, but then again ever since 1966 I have considered Freud
a fraud, and nothing I have read about him or by him has
rational judgement, and indeed what I did read about Freud´s
person (not much, really) only made me more negative.
Crews brings a great
many, if highly selective, facts to his case. His early Freud is not
only a sloppy neurologist but a deluded cocaine addict, a betrayer of
friends, homoerotic in his desires (though he may have committed
adultery with his sister-in-law), and a doctor who had very few
patients on whom to base his ever-changing theories. Those he did have
he let down or harmed or falsely suggested ailments to. His only
patient was himself. When he didn’t steal his ideas from others, he
provided no verifiable evidence for any of his own. He was also
neurotic, depressive, and sex-obsessed. The rest is all a giant con.
The whole edifice of psychoanalysis, Freud’s insights over many
volumes, is a sham—as must, by deduction, be the worldwide institution
of psychoanalysis from Brazil to China and its offshoot therapies.
There is considerably more in this review.
 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.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
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).
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 (!!).
 Yes, you are right: I start Nederlogs
again with a list of the titles of the articles I review in that
Nederlog. In fact, I did start that way around 2011/2012,
and instituted it (so to speak) in 2013.
This was maintained until June of 2017, when I stopped doing it mostly
because my health got worse then. Since my condition now has again
somewhat improved I return - more or less - to the style I used in
 In case you doubt it: I like
literature, but I do not believe in a science of