A. Selections from
November 3, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Friday, November 3,
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 November 3, 2017
The Serious Price of the Hyperconvenient
2. Puerto Rico Suffers
While Defending Against
3. Donna Brazile Reveals
How Hillary Clinton Bought
the DNC During the 2016
4. Psychology Study Finds Trump Stands out as a
'Low Analytic' Thinker
5. Is Trump trapped?
He’s hemmed in by bad advice,
with no way out
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:
Serious Price of the Hyperconvenient Economy
This article is by Ralph
Nader on his site. It starts as follows:
Apart from sensual
appeals, the chief marketing wave in our country is selling
convenience. It has reached a level of frenzy with companies like
Amazon and Walmart racing your order to your doorstep (with Amazon now
wanting the electronic key to your house).
Ever since the industrial
revolution, when the division of labor between consumers and producers
widened and deepened, the convenience of not having to grow your own
food, weave your own clothes and build your own shelter have become a
given of economic progress. Expert specialization has tended to make
products better and more standardized as well.
But, in recent decades,
adding tiers of conveniences touted by the vendors’
television/radio/print advertisements has rarely mentioned the
Well... yes and no,
but I take it Ralph Nader is aware of this. In any case, the presumed
"convenience" does seem to presuppose two other changes:
A. The creation of consumers
(rather than citizens), that has been going
on for forty or fifty years, and that is
quite well explained by The
of the Self,  and
B. the great amount of small shops there were in the Sixties and
Seventies, whereas nowadays there are almost only
laundromats and insurance companies: all
other small shops have
fallen under the monopolist (in Amsterdam) "Albert
So in fact (I take
it) the "conveniences" Ralph Nader speaks of (mostly ironically, I'm
sure) also involve these two changes, both of which were in fact large
inconveniences for most people (who seem to be largely unaware
of this, preoccupied as they are by saving a few pence by closely
watching the "personalized adverts" that Facebook provides for them and
by anonymously trolling their enemies).
Here is another
Yes, indeed - and soon
physical money will also disappear: All you will have is a
credit card - that extremely few really understand, simply
because no one can read all the laws that come with buying stuff on
There is the convenience
of credit and debit cards. It started in the nineteen fifties when a
businessman found it inconvenient in restaurants to have to make sure
he had enough cash. Why not sign up restaurants to take the Diner’s
Card? Before long the question became, why not take it all the way to
enable massive impulse buying, massive invasion of privacy, revolving
debt traps, bankruptcies, and the iron collar of unilaterally
determined credit scores ratings? Why not deliberately
overextend credit and turn consumers into hooked
supplicants who won’t complain to their car dealers, insurance
agencies or landlords for fear of a complaint lowering scores and
What could be more
convenient than signing on the dotted line of fine print contracts or
click-on agreements? You don’t have to read, understand, bargain or
And there are these "convenient" inconveniences:
How about the
convenience of online gambling, pay-day loan rackets and cosmetic
surgery—all loaded with their unpublicized and underreported costs or
the “convenience” of outsourcing your judgement and self-control by
Yes, indeed. But it is
true the billions on Facebook and Twitter love this,
indeed mostly because there is no hope they will understand how they
And then there are the major neofascistic thieves and deceivers who
found internet is really made for them (and not
for the poor or the non- rich):
But surely the
“free” Facebook and Google do not come with such costs, do they? In
return for this “free” service, you surrender your most personal
information, which they turn into massive profits without giving you a
share. Then they data-mine your buying profile for in-house use or
outside sale; they select the news you get and expose you to anonymous,
and often fraudulent, solicitations and propaganda. If these violations
are invasive and omnipresent for you, just consider how it will affect
your children and grandchildren?
I am very much afraid
most consumers are simply too stupid and too ignorant to see
most or any of the dangers that threaten them.
But this is a
Rico Suffers While Defending Against 'Disaster Capitalism'
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan on Democracy Now! This article starts as
Yes, quite so. Here is
some more on the situation in Puerto Rico:
President Donald Trump
lavished praise on himself when commenting on the federal response to
the disaster that has overwhelmed Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane
Maria. “I would give myself a 10,” he said on Oct. 19. “I think we’ve
done a really great job,” he added, as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo
Rossello sat silently by his side in the Oval Office. This was just two
weeks after Trump’s visit to the island, where he lobbed rolls of paper
towels at hurricane survivors. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz,
appearing on the “Democracy Now!” news hour, responded, “If it’s a 10
out of 100, I agree, because it’s still a failing grade.”
Like the mayor, few think
Trump has responded effectively.
traveled to Puerto Rico last weekend to see the devastation firsthand.
Well into the second month after Hurricane Maria hit, the island
remains dark. By official estimates, almost two-thirds of the island is
I say. And there is this:
There are people
coming to the island, though: the disaster capitalists. As eloquently
articulated by journalist Naomi Klein in her book “The Shock Doctrine:
The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” disasters both natural and human-made
are increasingly being exploited by for-profit corporations and
so-called free-market ideologues to reshape vast swaths of impacted
societies, undermining social-welfare systems, privatizing public
utilities, busting unions and making obscene profits rebuilding.
Post-hurricane Puerto Rico is shaping up to be a textbook case of the
Yes indeed, and this
is a recommended article.
Brazile Reveals How Hillary Clinton Bought the DNC During the 2016
This article is by
Natasha Hakimi Zapata on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
In a bombshell piece for Politico,
excerpted from an upcoming book, Donna Brazile, the former Democratic
National Committee chair, outlines her search for evidence that the
2016 Democratic Party nomination process had been rigged in favor of
Hillary Clinton—and her shock at finding it.
Brazile, who took over as
interim chair after a leak of DNC emails published by WikiLeaks had
taken down then-chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, begins the piece by
relaying the promise she had made to presidential candidate Bernie
Sanders to sniff out any proof of collusion between the Democratic
Party and the Clinton campaign during the party’s primaries.
The leak already provided
hints that the DNC had favored Clinton throughout the nomination
process, but Brazile says she decided to “follow the money.” What she
found was shocking evidence that, as many had suspected all along,
Sanders never stood a real chance of becoming the Democratic Party’s
presidential nominee, not because he wasn’t the better candidate, but
because the DNC was quite literally in the Clinton campaign’s pocket.
I say. Well... I agree
that "the DNC was quite
literally in the Clinton campaign’s pocket", and I also agree Sanders was the (much)
better candidate than Clinton.
But I have to admit
that I am a bit wary of Donna Brazile - and not because I know
much about her, specifically, but because leading political players are
anyway suspect in my eyes, and especially in the USA,
where most profit on the side (by what seems to me intentional corruption).
And there is this:
The revelation comes
shortly after news spread of an upcoming New York Times Magazine piece
by Norman Solomon and several others that censures the DNC precisely
moving forward from the 2016 election having learned any of the
crucial lessons the Sanders’ campaign offered.
Brazile’s book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the
Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,”
is set to come out Nov. 7, one day shy of the anniversary of last
I will not
read it and in fact have given up on the Democrats, at least as
long as the present leaders - Clinton, Perez, Pelosi, Feinstein etc. -
are in power there.
Study Finds Trump Stands out as a 'Low Analytic' Thinker
This article is by Bob Azarian
on AlterNet and originally on Raw Story. It starts as follows:
experts remain baffled by Donald Trump’s popularity, scientific studies
from the field of psychology continue to shed light on the phenomenon.
A new study published
in the journal Translational Issues in Psychological
Science has shown that Donald Trump stands out amongst other
politicians, including fellow presidential candidates and past
presidents, as being exceptionally low in analytic thinking.
I am not one of
those who "remain baffled
by Donald Trump’s popularity"
for I have been criticizing the ever increasing stupidity and ignorance that
characterizes the majority for 50 years now (for the intentional
growth and cultivation of the stupid and the ignorant started in
Holland in 1965 ).
Also, I am a psychologist, but I must immediately add that I
do not think psychology is much of a - real - science. But
this is an aside, and I more or less agree with the following bit:
analytically-minded see Donald Trump’s opinions and answers as
superficial and uninformed, his supporters view them as straightforward
and relatable. As absurd as it sounds, now ignorance can apparently be
considered a strength for a presidential candidate, as long as they can
present it as being folksy.
Indeed ignorance is
now much liked, as is the accompanying stupidity: I
agree. Then again, I object to the artificial opposition between the
supposedly analytically-minded and and the "non-analytically-minded",
for this is just a euphemistic way of speaking about the
minority that is neither stupid nor ignorant, and the majority that is.
And there are two other dominant reasons for the enormous
growth of the influence of the stupid and the ignorant: There
have been added - just by Facebook alone - over 2 billion
mostly anonymous "writers" and "commenters" to those who
can publish their "ideas" and "values" in their own (for normal
computer users) completely anonymous ways, without the
least personal responsibility for anything they say or write.
These form what I call the a-social deluded media (but they are
in the vast majority).
Here is how much Trump's intelligence scored:
analytic score was more than 3 standard deviations below that of the
average Democrat or Republican from the last five election cycles,
making him a clear outlier. While most presidential candidates tend to
be analytic thinkers, or show a balance between analytic and intuitive
thinking, Trump falls squarely on the intuitive side of the continuum.
I do not know (of
course) the kind of statistics that were used, but I can say that "3 standard deviations" is a very great difference. (But
there are about 2 billion users - just on Faceboook alone - who are not
more intelligent of knowledgeable than Trump.)
And this is from the ending of this article (by "a cognitive
Trump supporters, it’s just not cool to be smart. The consequences of
this mentality becoming widespread could be disastrous. The dumbing
down of America, both in politics and society, must be opposed by all
those who value rational and logical thought.
Well... "this mentality" - the strong preference of the stupid and the ignorant in almost
everything, and especially in politics,
the media, and
"the news" - has been growing and have been widely practised since
over 50 years, so to complain now about this seems extremely
late to me.
Trump trapped? He’s hemmed in by bad advice, with no way out
This article is by Heather
Digby Parton on Salon. It starts as follows:
According to The New York Times, the president
is cool, calm and collected in the wake of special counsel Robert
Mueller's indictments of three of his close associates this week. He
called up a reporter to say “I’m actually not angry at anybody. I’m not
under investigation, as you know. . . . Even if you look at that,
there’s not even a mention of Trump in there. . . . It has nothing to
do with us.” He also said, “I just got fantastic poll numbers" and that
he's "really enjoying" the job. Sure he is.
I say, except that -
of course - Trump was lying.
Here is some more,
this time related to (previous?) friends of Trump:
According to Sherman,
Bannon and Roger Stone are both pushing Trump to take the fight to
Mueller, which obviously appeals to Trump's own instincts. Even Bannon
understands that firing Mueller at this point would be a political
disaster, however. He has apparently suggested that Trump should hire
some tougher lawyers to work above Ty Cobb in the White House and
should persuade Congress to defund Mueller's investigation (which isn't going to happen.)
I did check out the
last link, but it seems to me as if Parton is too certain Mueller will
not defunded or taken down.
I have now been saying since
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 (!!).
 I add that The Century of Self has been
appearing and disappearing on Youtubes. I have several links to the
four parts of that series in earlier Nederlogs, but I now only say that
you may be allowed to find it on Youtube, and that seeing it will help
most people (and especially Part 1).
 I speak from personal experience: In
late 1959 my parents moved to a fairly crowded and popular shopping
area, that kept existing until well in the Eigties or Nineties. Since
then nearly all the shops have totally disappeared.
The single replacement in Amsterdam ("Albert Heijn") is currently busy destroying
everything that I have been eating for decades: baked
beans, sour herrings, payable chili-sauce and much more has
disappeared from Albert Heijn, all without saying, all to increase
 Yes indeed, though few of the non-Dutch
will realize this: From 1865 till 1965 - one hundred years - there were
quite good high schools in Holland, that (for entrance into the
university) gave 14 or 16 subjects in written examinations, and taught
everyone who could manage them at least three foreign languages,
mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, geography etc.
From 1965 on this whole system was thrown away and replaced by a system
where one could get entry into the Dutch universities by one
examinations in one foreign language, and of 6 subjects in all....