A. Selections from
October 17, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, October 17,
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 17, 2017
Understanding the ‘Fake News’ Hysteria
2. Martin Amis on Lenin’s Deadly Revolution
3. How Nazis Used Jim Crow Laws as the Model for
Their Own Race Laws
4. Existing Law May Not
Solve Our Presidential Crisis
5. The Unending State of
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:
the ‘Fake News’ Hysteria
article is by David P. Hamilton on Consortiumnews. It
starts as follows (and "MSM" = "mainstream media"):
For the most part, “fake
news” is a fake concept designed by the corporate news media to
discredit those who challenge the official U.S. hegemonic
narrative. The typical MSM fake news accusation starts with some
egregious fictionalization and then morphs over to the real targets:
the subversives, those who would dispute foundational elements of the
official history or its recent approved updates.
These subversive elements
are likely to question important myths, such as the necessity of the
nuclear incineration of Hiroshima or – before the Iraq War – Saddam
Hussein possessing WMD, and hence must be silenced.
mostly agree and I also have two additions:
"fake news" is a propaganda
term because of the term "fake". It should
read "false" or "lying" news, while "fake" leaves open in what sense
"the news" is "fake": It is false and lying because it has
been made by
falsifiers and liars, who are out to deceive their
readers or viewers.
"the mainstream media", that all engage in producing false and
do so in different proportions, but in any case the whole
editors and journalists who do intentionally lie to and deceive
readers and viewers have a totalitarian
mindset (in my sense of
"totalitarian": click the last link for my definition).
is more by David Hamilton on how the mainstream media lie and
The approved rendition of
U.S. history is a composite of lies, euphemisms and dubious rationales
taught in schools, public and private, since the nation’s
founding. It is continuously updated by the corporate news
media. There is an army of PR types and psy-op warriors working
constantly on this project; some private sector, some public, who often
switch roles and sectors, but work hand-in-glove regardless.
The real fake news is the
fake narrative that flows perpetually forth from these functionaries of
the MSM to dominate the discourse which the billionaire owners allow
voiced via their facilities. In this manner, we are all being
played, all the time, and have been since birth.
this is a bit
confused, especially because it says the approved but false rendition
of U.S. history was "taught in schools, public and private, since the
confused (more than
false: indeed US history as commonly taught always was more ideology than fact) especially
because it confuses the media before 1980 and after
1980 an enormous
centralization has undone most differences in points of view that
characterized the US media until 1980; since 1980 there is the
influence of the "neoliberals" (most of whom are and have been neofascists
in my sense) in journalism, while "PR types and psy-op
warriors" got really active and powerful from the Fifties onwards.
last, here are
twelve principles that Hamilton says are responsible for much of the
falsified lying "news" most Americans consume daily, it seems for the
most part without much insight into the fact that much they read and
view is not news but propaganda:
For the record, the
official narrative follows certain principles. Among them are:
- The U.S. is never
wrong in any conflict with other nations.
- If the U.S. ever
happens to be wrong, it was a reasonable mistake.
- U.S. intentions are
always benign and honorable.
- U.S. judgment is
always objective and fair.
- The U.S. is a
democracy and always supports democracy.
- Americans are a
- Americans are a
superior people, so American lives matter more.
- Americans are always
on the high moral ground because God is on our side.
- The word of our
leaders is sufficient proof of any assertion.
- The U.S. is the
greatest nation in history.
- Private is always
better than public.
- Individualism is
always better than collectivism.
fact, the first six principles also hold for the Dutch (I am
Dutch), and - it seems to me - for much of the mainstream
media in the other
European countries, although this is less easy for me to affirm
does hold for England and Norway, which I can affirm because I have
lived in both countries).
again all of the above is quoted from the beginning of a quite good
article that I will not review further but recommend to your
Amis on Lenin’s Deadly Revolution
This article is by Martin Ames
on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
It was not a good
idea that somehow went wrong or withered away. It was a very bad idea
from the outset, and one forced into life — or the life of the undead —
with barely imaginable self-righteousness, pedantry, dynamism, and
horror. The chief demerit of the Marxist program was its point-by-point
defiance of human nature. Bolshevik leaders subliminally grasped the
contradiction almost at once; and their rankly Procrustean answer was
to leave the program untouched and change human nature. In practical
terms this is what “totalitarianism” really means: On their citizens
such regimes make “a total claim.”
yes and no (and one reason for me to review this article is
of my parents
were - intelligent but not well-educated - communists ).
Here are some critical points:
"human nature" is too vague a concept to carry the weight Ames
gives to it. Second, while Lenin said he was a Marxist, there
other Marxists, such as Rosa Luxemburg
(<-Wikipedia), who disagreed with Lenin and his Bolshevists, whereas
Lenin and later Stalin also introduced quite a
lot of their own ideas and values, which had far less to do
than with maintaining and extending power in their society. And third,
for me totalitarianism
means this :
Totalitarian: Ideology or religion that is
pretended to have final answers to many important human questions and
problems and that is pretended to be thereby justified to persecute
persons who do not agree with the ideology or the religion.
This is the usual
form that every human ideology assumes
- religious, political and otherwise, with science as the
almost only partial exception.
The reason for the first property that
defines a totalitarian attitude is apparently in part political
and in part zoological:
One very important end
ideologies and religions serve is to provide a human social group with
a set of shared agreed upon supposed truths for the
group and supposed ends
of the group, and it is simply convenient and also seems to feel
pleasant to most humans if these supposed truths and supposed ends
simply are taken to hold for everyone, or at least for everyone who has
the fundamental decency and human excellence of belonging to Us.
this kind of
attitude is not just basic to Marxism and communism, but is
inherent in very many groups,
and also is the essence of groupthinking.
Then there is this:
Lenin: From the Secret Archive” was edited by Richard Pipes, and Pipes
was responsible for what is probably the most comprehensive account of
the period, namely the trilogy “Russia Under the Old Regime,” “The
Russian Revolution” and “Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, 1919-1924.”
I relay this because
this seems to be the main source of Martin Ames. I have not read any of
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
Lenin bequeathed a
fully functioning police state to Joseph Stalin ; thus the experiment,
in its fulminant form, lasted from 1917 to 1953, by which time there
were many millions of supernumerary deaths (and if Stalin hadn’t died
in March of the latter year there would have been a second Jewish
Holocaust by Christmastime). The verdict of history has at last been
returned. But the jury — i.e., informed opinion in the First World —
stayed out until the late 1970s. What took it so long?
deserve their usual share of the obloquy. As one historian of Russia
put it, it is to the intellectuals that we turn for “real prowess of
wrong-headedness.” But it wasn’t just the pundits, the writers (H. G.
Wells, G. B. Shaw) and the philosophers (J.P. Sartre, A. J. Ayer) who
swallowed the Moscow line; so did historians, sociologists,
politicians, and even businessmen.
I should say: Yes
and no. First, while it is true that Lenin effectively did design a
state and bequeathed it to Stalin, Stalin also added rather a
second, there certainly were some intellectuals - George Orwell
of them - who were against the Soviet Union, because they saw -
correctly - it was a much more of a totalitarian dictatorship
that is was socialism in any hitherto accepted sense.
it is true they did not command major points of view, but then
again most of the media between 1917 and 1970 were not like
Wells, Shaw etc. but were mostly against Leninism, Stalinism and the
Soviet Union from the beginning.
And all in all I found this a disappointing article.
Nazis Used Jim Crow Laws as the Model for Their Own Race Laws
This article is by Bill Moyers
(<-Wikipedia) on Moyers and
Company. It starts as follows:
To get to the core of
race in America today, read this new book by James Whitman. Whitman
is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale
Law School. Prepare to be as startled as this respected legal scholar
was when he came upon a meticulous record of a meeting of top lawyers
in Nazi Germany after Hitler’s rise to power. Not only did those
lawyers reveal a deep interest in American race policies, the most
radical of them were eager advocates of using American law as a model.
Scholars and historians have argued for years about whether American’s
own regime of racial oppression in any way inspired the Nazis.
Not only does Whitman
throw a bright light on the debate, to this reader he settles it once
and for all. Carefully written and tightly reasoned, backed up every
step of the way with considered evidence and logic, Whitman reminds us
that today is yesterday’s child, and that certain strains of DNA
persist from one generation to another.
This is the beginning
of a long article of which I will only review the
because there is too much to excerpt.
But here is one bit,
that is quite correct:
Whitman: There were
three Nuremberg Laws eventually promulgated in 1935. The two that most
concern us are usually called the citizenship law and the blood
law. The citizenship law reduced Jews to second-class citizenship
status in Germany. The blood law banned, and in fact criminalized,
interracial marriage and sex. But there was a third as well, which
was called the flag law for the Reich, the purpose of which was to
install the swastika as the exclusive flag of Germany.
And here is another
bit, that also seems mostly correct:
Moyers: And these
lawyers saw America’s “Negro problem” as similar to their “Jewish
Whitman: You bet
Moyers: American law
did not specifically target Jews, but—
Whitman: But it
certainly had a highly developed body of law targeting other
groups. And the Nazis, although it is true they were unhappy with
the lack of American interest in targeting Jews and deplored some
aspects of American society, were quite interested in learning from
what Americans did in targeting these other populations.
have one remark:
In the Twenties and Thirties there were rules in the
precluded more than a certain percentage of Jewish students in American
universities, although I take it Moyers knows this at least as well as
And this is a
Law May Not Solve Our Presidential Crisis
This article is by Bill Blum (<-
Wikipedia) on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
For those of you looking
for a legal avenue to cut short the tenure of the 45th president of the
United States—our very own real-life madman in the high tower—I have
some good news, and some bad.
Starting with the upside,
your ranks are growing. According to a Public
Policy Polling survey conducted in late September, 48 percent of
American voters want Trump impeached. A Harvard-Harris Poll conducted a
month earlier pegged support
for impeachment at 43 percent.
You can also take comfort
in the fact that you’re right to regard Trump as a unique threat to
democratic values and institutions, not to mention world peace. From
his almost-daily diatribes against the “fake news” media to his Twitter
taunting of Kim Jong Un, he’s proved as much over the past nine months.
I completely agree,
fact I think (as a psychologist) that Trump is insane and a neofascist (in my sense).
There is also this:
Throughout the long and
bizarre campaign that followed, I warned in multiple Truthdig pieces of
the grave dangers a Trump presidency would pose in such areas of law
and policy as freedom
of the press, birthright
citizenship, immigration enforcement and travel bans, climate
change, abortion rights and future
appointments to the Supreme Court.
I also was among the
first to sound the alarm about Trump’s emotional stability, in a column
Psychopathology of Donald Trump,” published in July 2016. The
subject is now the focus of a best-selling book, “The
Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” featuring essays written by 27
distinguished mental health experts.
is also all
correct, although I add that I was a bit sooner than Bill Blum, for I
first wrote that Trump is
not sane on March 14, 2016.
But this is not
a criticism of Blum, and the reasons I could agree with the thesis that
Trump is insane is that I am a psychologist, who then read an
article that made the point that he is not sane, with which I simply
had to agree when I read the evidence.
Then there is this:
But now for the downside:
There is no quick legal fix for removing Trump. As long as the GOP
controls Congress, impeachment remains a long shot, as it requires a
majority vote in the House in favor of articles of impeachment and a
two-thirds vote in the Senate to obtain a conviction and removal from
office. Two House Democrats—Al
Green of Texas and Brad
Sherman of California—have introduced impeachment resolutions, but
at present they’re going nowhere.
The same, unfortunately, holds true for invoking the 25th Amendment—the
latest deus ex machina championed by leading Democrats as a means
for sacking Trump. If anything, the amendment is a more implausible
vehicle than impeachment.
I agree again. There is considerably
more that I leave to your interests. This
is from near the
In the final analysis,
and most importantly, dumping Trump and ensuring that no one like him
ever accedes to the presidency again will require the promotion of an
alternative to oligarchic corporate capitalism.
don't know, and
this is basically due to Blum's combination of "dumping Trump", which I
think is legally possible in the USA, although at the moment
quite unlikely, and (bolding added) "and ensuring that no one like him ever accedes to the
For I think
that last point requires considerably
more changes in the USA, that indeed may include "an alternative to oligarchic corporate
In fact, I
am all for
that, and I also think - especially because of the universal
surveillance of very many secret services of absolutely everyone, that
will end in a dictatorship if it is not radically and totally stopped -
that, so far at least, the majority of the Americans
is not for an alternative to capitalism.
But this is a
strongly recommended article.
Unending State of Emergency
This article is by Todd
Gitlin (<-Wikipedia) on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
It’s old news that
Donald Trump abuses reason, knowledge, decency and dark-skinned people.
If you are paying attention,
each one of his assaults on decency, intelligence and knowledge will
feel urgent, ridiculous or both. Each day he threatens grave damage to
actual human beings and the rest of Planet Earth, and each day he
demonstrates his incapacity to do anything but inflict more damage.
agree with this, and I
also like Todd Gitlin (mostly because of his positions about the second
half of the Sixties, that I know from several films or videos), which
also is my main reason to review this article.
Here is some more:
If you are a
journalist, it is your duty to disturb — not by exaggerating, not by
refusing “balance,” but by refusing to cut corners. You must consider a
maniac a maniac. You must agree to be unnerved. Failure to be unnerved
is a sign of impairment. Failure to disturb is a failure at your job,
which is to excavate and sort through the facts in such a way as to
help citizens act as they are bound to act — to restore, as best we
can, the health of the republic.
yes and no, and the
main problem for any present American journalist is that
(for the most part) to the mainstream media, that simply do
not want to
write the truth
about quite a few things, and instead publish only
articles that conform to the values of the editors or the owners of the
At least, that is what I
think, which also implies that Todd Gitlin,
although he is right in principle, wants too much of the present day
"journalists" (unqualified) - or so it seems to me.
And here is the end of the article:
One rupture of
order follows another. Don’t expect order to be restored. All systems
failed. That is the story. It must be told, and refreshed, and
followed, and followed anew.
the situation is very
serious, and indeed I agree with "Don’t
expect order to be restored", but
I do not think that "All
systems failed", at least not
till Trump has been crowned to be the lifelong dictator of the
USA and concentration camps have been introduced for many US
So all in all I think Gitlin is a bit too depressive, but I do agree
with him that the situation in the USA is very worrisome.
 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 (!!).
 As to my parents: Their political
attitudes were mostly formed by their experiences in WW II when they,
together with the Dutch Communist Party, formed the main resistance in
Holland against the Nazis. And my father and his father (also a
communist) were arrested in June 1941, and convicted to concentration
camp imprisonment as "political terrorists", that my grandfather did
I think myself that my parents, who were both quite intelligent (IQs
over 130) although not well educated, probably would have seen through
the communist ideology were it not for (i) their experiences in WW II,
and (ii) the fierce anti-communist ideology that started around 1948.
They did not (for the most part), and I am firmly convinced this was
mainly due to (i), and indeed while I did get "a communist
I had not to survive five years of resisting the Nazis during
which enabled me to give up the whole communist ideology and also all
of Marxism by the time I was 20, in 1970.
 I found - rather to my consternation -
(a concept that I know quite well since 1967) has been redefined
to mean this (on Wikipedia):
is a political system in which the state
No, I am
sorry: That definition is - intentionally? - partial. For one
thing, it totally misses all psychology and all groupthinking,
for most (though not all) of groupthinking is also
totalitarian, albeit not in the sense in which the Wikipedia defines it.
recognizes no limits to its
authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private
life wherever feasible. A distinctive feature of totalitarian
governments is an "elaborate ideology, a set of ideas that gives
meaning and direction to the whole society".
I will soon write a Nederlog on the diverse meanings of