A. Selections from
October 12, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, October
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.
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 12, 2017
Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike.
Congress Can Change That.
2. Citing Dictatorial Tendencies, Critics Slam Trump
for 'Madcap Threat' Aimed at
3. As Catalonia Plans Independence from Spain,
Julian Assange Advises
Organizers on Secure
4. As Trump Pushes Massive Deregulatory Agenda,
One Key Beneficiary: Donald
5. Power Corrupts: A Culture of Compliance Breeds
Despots and Predators
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:
Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.
article is by The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as
The broad debate over President Trump’s fitness for the
difficult and demanding office he holds has recently been reframed in a
more pointed and urgent way: Does he understand, and can he responsibly
manage, the most destructive nuclear arsenal on earth?
The question arises for several reasons. He has threatened
to “totally destroy” North Korea. He has reportedly pressed for a
massive buildup in the American nuclear arsenal, which already contains
too many — 4,000 — warheads. And soon he will decide whether to sustain
or set a course to possibly unravel the immensely important Iran
I can give at least a partial answer, by a psychologist, to the
question posed in the first paragraph: Trump is not sane. And I
must add that I think by now - and I formulated this the first time on March 14, 2016, and indeed
simply applied the DSM-5, on which Trump evidently scores 8 out
of 8 criterions for
being a narcissist - after 53,000 psychologists agree, that it is a
shortcoming in the NYT that it doesn't mention this possibility
(one year and ten months after I formulated it, and I was - by far
- not the first to do so).
But I agree with
the rest, and here is more:
Mr. Trump’s policy pronouncements during the campaign
betrayed either profound ignorance or dangerous nonchalance: At one
point he wondered why America had nuclear weapons if it didn’t use
them; at another he suggested that Japan and South Korea, which have
long lived under the American security umbrella, should develop their
own nuclear weapons. But nothing he said has been quite as unsettling
as his recent tweetstorms about North Korea, his
warnings of “fire and fury” and his quip about “the calm before the
I agree, but
being a psychologist who agrees with tens of thousands of
other psychologists that Trump
is evidently not sane make this even more serious.
is one bit
from quite a few more that the NYT quotes to show that the amounts of
nuclear arms that the USA presently has is already far too many:
A New York Times analysis found the U.S. could use 1,103
nuclear warheads and decimate China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Libya,
Iraq, and Syria...
... and still have 2,897 left.
that if Trump does "decimate
China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Libya, Iraq, and Syria" or indeed "just" the first two, it is
highly probable most of mankind will die, if not from being blown up
then from radiation.
ends as follows:
Many have hoped, and still hope, that Mr. Trump’s aggressive
posture is mostly theater, designed to slake his thirst for attention,
keep adversaries off guard and force changes in their behavior by words
alone. But there is no underlying strategy to his loose talk, and
whatever he means by it, Congress has been sufficiently alarmed to
consider legislation that would bar the president from launching a
first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress. It
wouldn’t take away the president’s ability to defend the country.
As things stand now, the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, passed when there
was more concern about trigger-happy generals than elected civilian
leaders, gives the president sole control. He could unleash the
apocalyptic force of the American nuclear arsenal by his word alone,
and within minutes.
I insist that in my eyes, and in the eyes of tens of thousands of other
psychologists, Trump is not
sane, which also means that quite a few of his motives are
irrational, personal, mad and unpredictable.
again, I agree with the last statement:
[Trump can] unleash the apocalyptic force of the American nuclear
arsenal by his word alone, and within minutes.
is a recommended article, in which there is considerably more.
Dictatorial Tendencies, Critics Slam Trump for 'Madcap Threat' Aimed at
This article is by Julia
Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
completely agrees with Donald Trump that
Free speech advocates and
journalists spoke out against President Donald Trump's latest attack on
the news media on Wednesday after he suggested a "challenge" of NBC's
Michael Copps, the former
FCC commissioner who now serves as special advisor to the grassroots
organization Common Cause,
noted that while Trump isn't legally able to carry out his threats,
his attempts to intimidate the press are deeply disconcerting:
This madcap threat, if
pursued, would be blatant and unacceptable intervention in the
decisions of an independent agency. The law does not countenance such
interference. President Trump might be happier as emperor, but I think
the American people would strip him of his clothes on this issue.
Additionally, it's not just NBC stations that will find this threat
chilling, but also smaller independent stations around the country who
might lack the resources to fight back.
Trump made the comment
about NBC's license after the network published a report saying the
president shocked his national security team earlier this year by
requesting a "tenfold" increase in the nation's nuclear weapons
arsenal. Trump denied the report on Twitter, and in a televised
Oval Office appearance he attacked NBC for its reliance on anonymous
sources. "It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever
it wants to write," Trump told
"It is frankly
disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write (..)"
is called "freedom of
the press" but clearly the president of the USA wants to forbid
anyone writing anything that displeases him, while the present Supreme
Court already has totally re-interpreted the First Amendment
license for the rich to spend what they please on propaganda to
manipulate the non-rich: See Citizens
United v. FEC on Wikipedia.
And this is a recommended article.
Catalonia Plans Independence from Spain, Julian Assange Advises
Organizers on Secure Messaging
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
Barcelona’s Mayor Ada
Colau is calling for Spain to remove thousands of state police who have
been deployed to Catalonia ahead of tonight’s expected declaration of
independence by regional President Carles Puigdemont, possibly
triggering intervention by Spanish forces. We speak with WikiLeaks
founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who has been advising those
pushing to secede on how to communicate securely even as the state
in case you
have not read George
Orwell's (<-Wikipedia) "Homage to
(<-Wikipedia) - which is about Catalonia and Spain in 1937, and quite
interesting and well-written - you should
do so these days.
Here is some more from the
beginning of this article:
GOODMAN: We begin
today’s show in Spain, where thousands are expected to gather outside
Catalonia’s Parliament in Barcelona this evening, when regional
President Carles Puigdemont is expected to declare independence from
Spain. This is Puigdemont’s first address to Parliament following an
October 1st referendum that produced an overwhelming vote for secession
and provoked a standoff with the Spanish government, which ruled the
vote illegal. Tonight’s announcement could trigger intervention by
Spanish forces. Puigdemont originally promised to declare independence
within 48 hours of a victory for the secessionist campaign, but has
instead called for negotiations.
Barcelona’s Mayor Ada
Colau said Monday the results of the referendum are not enough to
declare independence, but also urged Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy to help decrease tension by removing thousands of state police
who have been deployed to the region.
That is the present
situation (or more precisely, yesterday's situation). Here is the last
bit that I quote from this article, still from its beginning:
GOODMAN: Well, Catalans
who support the independence referendum have had help from WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange, who tweeted hundreds of times in the days
leading up to the referendum, including a video that advised Catalans
how to communicate and organize through secure channels. This is a clip.
ASSANGE: The Spanish
state security is repressive toward the Catalonian population, make it
easy for them to understand the structure of Catalonian society—who
speaks to who, what do they speak about, who’s important, who’s not
important, etc. So, you protect yourself, you protect your friends. If
you protect your friends, you protect your community. If you protect
the community, you protect the whole society. …
In a situation like this,
where there is serious repression developing against people who are
trying to communicate their political desires, then, actually, we have
a responsibility. A burden falls upon us, those people who understand,
to try and teach everyone else.
indeed. I agree
with Assange - although I much doubt that the great majority
of computer users will be able to protect themselves,
simply because the secret services have now had 16 years of continuous
freedom to spy on everyone, with means that very few completely
There is considerably
more in this article, that is recommended.
Trump Pushes Massive Deregulatory Agenda, One Key Beneficiary: Donald
This article is by Jake
Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Donald Trump and his cabinet move aggressively to implement their
far-reaching and "potentially
devastating" deregulatory agenda—slashing everything from environmental
rules protecting the public water supply to labor standards shielding
workers from harmful chemicals—many have begun to loudly raise the
all-important question: who benefits? According to a Public
Citizen report unveiled Wednesday, the answer in many cases is
Authored by Public
Citizen research director Rick Claypool and Rep. David Cicilline
(D-R.I.), the new analysis finds that "Trump's flurry of deregulatory
policies and executive orders—especially his unconstitutional 'one in, two out'
order—all point to one goal: allowing reckless corporations to regulate
themselves, a model that has been spectacularly unsuccessful in the
"Meanwhile," Claypool and
Cicilline add, "Trump's refusal to cede ownership of his businesses
means the president can personally profit from gutting environmental,
worker, health, and financial protections."
indeed, I nearly
completely agree but like to precisify that "allowing reckless corporations to regulate
themselves" has been spectacularly
the rich corporations and their rich owners, though indeed also spectacularly
unsuccessful for nearly everybody else. And indeed Trump is
one who will profit a lot from his own measures.
This is a recommended article in which there is more.
Corrupts: A Culture of Compliance Breeds Despots and Predators
article is by John Whitehead on Washington's Blog and originally on the
Rutherford Institute. This starts as follows:
“All governments suffer
a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is
not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the
corruptible.” – Frank Herbert
Worse, as 19th-century
historian Lord Acton concluded, absolute
power corrupts absolutely.
It doesn’t matter whether
you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate
CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency)
too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are
entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their
actions, and those powers will eventually be abused.
We’re seeing this dynamic
play out every day in communities across America.
Yes indeed. And let
me add my - original - definition of power:
Power: In society: The
ability to make someone do or believe something if one desires
it. The ability to
make someone believe something is also called influence.
There is considerably
more in my Philosophical Dictionary, but most of the rest is logic (and
I do not insist on it either: the above is crucial).
powerful (who always are in a small minority, because
powerful if one's own
desires commands the doings of - often very many - others in crucial
ways) can be tamed (to a considerable extent) by appropriate
laws in a
democratic society, but then Bill Clinton started to vastly deregulate
the laws that displeased the rich (and Clinton earned around $120
speeches after he ceased being president: he was suitably rewarded for
his betrayals of the rights and the laws that protected the many).
And this gave vastly
more power to the few rich and the rich corporations, as Clinton very
well knew, for that is why he did it.
Here are some of the
consequences of deregulating
the powerful to do what they please in the
Unless something changes
in the way we deal with these ongoing, egregious abuses of power, the
predators of the police state will continue to wreak havoc on our
freedoms, our communities, and our lives.
Police officers will
continue to shoot and kill unarmed citizens. Government
agents—including local police—will continue to dress and act like
soldiers on a battlefield.
agencies will continue to fleece taxpayers while eroding our liberties.
Government technicians will continue to spy on our emails and phone
calls. Government contractors will continue to make a killing by waging
endless wars abroad.
And powerful men (and
women) will continue to abuse the powers of their office by treating
those around them as underlings and second-class citizens who are
unworthy of dignity and respect and undeserving of the legal rights and
protections that should be afforded to all Americans.
There is considerably
in this article, that ends as follows:
As I point out in my book
Battlefield America: The War on the
American People, I’m not just talking about the
political predators in office, but the ones who are running the show
behind the scenes—the shadow government —comprised of unelected
government bureaucrats whose powers are unaffected by elections,
unaltered by populist movements, and beyond the reach of the law.
There is no way to erase
the scars left by the government’s greed for money and power, its
disregard for human life, its corruption and graft, its pollution of
the environment, its reliance on excessive force in order to ensure
compliance, its covert activities, its illegal surveillance, and its
blatant disdain for the rule of law.
“We the people”—men and
women alike— have been victims of the police state for so long that not
many Americans even remember what it is to be truly free anymore.
Worse, few want to shoulder the responsibility that goes along with
Still, we must try.
add: For if you don't try, you can be pretty certain that - if
Trump doesn't blow up
the world: see item 1 - the vast majority will end
up as fully known completely surveilled slaves in a neofascist
the secret services know everything about anyome.
And this is a
 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 (!!).