from December 2, 2017
3. Extra: Orwell Rolls in his Grave
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, December 2,
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 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
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from December 2, 2017
The GOP Plan Is the Biggest Tax Increase in
2. Flynn Flipped. Who’s Next?
3. As Trump Has a Mental Meltdown, the Sycophants Around Him
Doing Nothing Endanger Us All
4. The GOP Tax Scam Two-Step: Explode the Deficit With Cuts
Rich, Then Screw the Poor
5. Big Rocket Man
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:
GOP Plan Is the Biggest Tax Increase in American History, By Far
This article is by Ryan Grim on The Intercept. It starts as follow -
and incidentally, Trump's tax plan has passed the (corrupt)
Senate, 51 for, 49 against:
The tax bill moving its way through Congress
is routinely referred to as a $1.5 trillion tax cut. And, in some ways,
that’s true: on net, it would reduce the amount of taxes collected by
the federal treasury by about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
But that figure masks the eye-popping scale
and audacity of the GOP’s rushed restructuring of the economy. Most
immediately, the plan will take a large chunk out of state and local
revenue that isn’t factored into that total. But more broadly, the bill
cuts taxes by a full $6 trillion over a decade.
(...) But the key question is who gets a tax
hike and who gets a tax cut. Put simply, the bulk of the tax cut is
going toward the rich, while the tax increases go to everybody else.
And so the bill, properly described,
is two things: the largest tax cut — and also the biggest tax
increase — in American history.
Yes indeed. Before going on, let me quote (once again) Supreme
Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who also was far from a
leftist or a progressive:
are what we pay for civilized society".
What the Republicans and
Trump want is not a civilized society, but a society in
which the rich few have all the advantages, and the poor many have to
pay them, both directly, by being exploited, and indirectly,
through having the taxes they have to pay that in an uncivilized
society that the USA now has become are used to increase
the riches of the rich.
Here is some strong
evidence for what I just said:
The Tax Policy Center estimated that about 80 percent of the benefit of the
tax plan will go to the top 1 percent, who will enjoy the
following elements of the tax cut:
The ellipsis stands in
the place of a long list that I skip, but that you can read by
reading the original.
Here is the last bit
that I quote:
the New York Times noted, by 2027, people making between
$40,000 and $50,000 would see a combined increase of $5.3 billion in
taxes. Where would that money go? Folks earning more than $1 million would see their taxes
collectively cut by $5.8 billion a year.
The list above brings the total well close to
$5 trillion in tax cuts almost exclusively for the wealthy. The last
major element of the bill, the doubling of the standard deduction,
would benefit a broader range of people, but it comes at the expense of
states, cities, and towns.
That is: The vast majority
of the lower part of the middle class, who do earn between $40,000 and
$50,000 a year are taxed $5.3 billion more in taxes that all
go to the very few who earn more than $1 million a year.
And while the non-rich may get some small tax cuts, these tax cuts are
taken from the states, cities and towns, that thereby have less money
to pay for the services they provide for the non-rich.
I´d call this tax cut a corrupt fraud.
Flipped. Who’s Next?
This article is by The Editorial Board on The New York
Times. It starts as follows:
Well, well, well.
We now have a
better idea why President Trump went to such great lengths to shield
Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, from the prying
eyes of the F.B.I. and various congressional committees over the past
year. Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, it didn’t work out as he had planned.
Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the F.B.I. about his
communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during the
transition period in December 2016. He told the lies on Jan. 24 of this
year, after Mr. Trump had been inaugurated and Mr. Flynn was sitting in
his West Wing office.
ahem.) In fact, Flynn pleaded guilty, as he himself has said, to save
himself and his family. And I am not saying that Flynn is not
guilty of lying, but I am pointing out that such admissions of
guilt, without legal proof, is far more common in the USA than
Then there is
this, that is quite correct:
It’s hard to
find a precedent for how quickly Mr. Trump’s inner circle has become
consumed by scandal. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan made it into their
second terms before the indictments of their inner circle started
rolling in. In contrast, consider what’s happened in the last five
weeks alone: The president of the United States’ former campaign chief,
Paul Manafort, and an associate have
been arrested and charged with multiple federal crimes, including
money laundering and tax fraud; one of Mr. Trump’s former foreign
policy advisers, George Papadopoulos, has
pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with
Russians; and now his former national security adviser has pleaded
guilty to the same offense, admitting that he committed federal crimes
from inside the White House.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Who might now be
swept up in the investigation? The next obvious candidate is Jared
Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his closest advisers,
played a key role in Mr. Flynn’s communications with Mr. Kislyak
and who has
his own problems with being truthful when making statements under
this is a recommended article.
Trump Has a Mental Meltdown, the Sycophants Around Him Doing Nothing
Endanger Us All
This article is by Kati Holloway on AlterNet. It starts as
Delusion, and lots
of it, is pretty much a prerequisite for dictators. The New Yorker's
David Remnick notes that Finnish
autocrat Urho Kekkonen reportedly opened his public orations
with the line, “If I die…” Ugandan dictator Idi Amin
decreed his official title was "His
Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi
Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes
of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General
and Uganda in Particular.”
The list in the article of
deluded or quite mad dictators is considerably longer in the
article, but I leave that to your interests.
There is this about Trump:
Donald Trump, who
(for now) remains a mere lowly president, but whose autocratic
aspirations have been endlessly noted, has consistently shown a similar
propensity toward magical thinking at odds with objective reality. To
be sure, Trump has always had a contentious relationship with the
truth, preferring to dispense what he called “truthful
hyperbole,” a forerunner to “alternative facts.”
In fact, according to
many psychologists, including myself, and quite a few psychiatrists, Trump has malignant aka
grandiose narcissism (which is psychiatrese for megalomania)
and this does not include ¨magical
Then again, also since I have been repeating now as a
psychologist what is the diagnosis for Trump for 1 3/4 year now, I must
suppose that most journalists think of psychology as I think of
Chinese: It is quite interesting in principle, but beyond me. (I think
they are quite mistaken if indeed I am correct, but then I am a
psychologist who has read a lot of psychology, indeed nearly all in
And incidentally: As I and others use the English language the phrase “alternative facts” is a contradiction.
A fact is what is
given by a virtually undisputed true statement, as e.g. ¨The
Nazis murdered millions of Jews¨, which means that the “alternative fact” that ¨The Nazis did not
murder millions of Jews¨ is not a fact, and also not an
¨alternative¨ but simply is a plain and conscious lie.
Then there is this:
Since his election
to president, Trump has promoted “1,628
false and misleading claims,” a number that grows daily, according
to the Washington Post’s count. But Trump’s willingness to fib has
always seemed to be linked to a pathological inability to sort fact
from self-aggrandizing fiction, and recent reports suggest the
president may be more than just the world’s most recognized liar. In
private conversations with friends and staffers, Trump has begun
raising the same lies and obfuscations as he does in public, indicating
he may be so delusional he actually believes his own fabrications.
Ahem. Why don´t you read the
diagnosis many psychologist have made of Trump?! (It is not
written in Chinese, but in English, and it contains no
mathematics at all.)
There is more in this article that seems to be based on a
journalist´s guesses rather than on psychologists´ diagnosis,
but it ends as follows:
“The more stress
he’s under, the more delusional he’s going to become, the more out of
control and, from a danger standpoint, the more enraged he’s going to
become,” Harvard psychiatry professor Lance
Dodes told Newsweek. “He is a far more sick person than people
realize or want to realize. To say for example that he is even a con
man is way too benign. He loses track of reality when it comes to a
challenge to his sense of himself, which is extremely fragile. It’s out
of his control—he is not clever like a fox, he is just very, very sick."
I more or less agree with
that - but once again: The
24 Kb article that does define Trump´s madness (all in
fairly clear English, all based on the diagnoses of the DSM-IV and DSM
5) is far more comprehensive and correct than the guesses of
In fact, here is the diagnosis of many psychologists and
psychiatrist, quoted from the above file (and this is the DSM
In my psychologist´s
opinion, Trump scores 9 out of 9.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM - 5, Cluster B) for
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder" by The American Psychiatric
Here, according to The APA,
are the 9 criteria for "Narcissistic
Personality Disorder". If an individual has 5 out of the 9 they have a
confirmed diagnosis of this illness. Many individuals have "traits" of
narcissism but only about 1% of the population has clinical NPD.
1. Has a
grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and
talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate
"Summary : A
pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for
admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and
present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the
2. Is preoccupied with
fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal
3. Believe that he or
she is "special" and unique and can only be
understood by, or should associate with other special or high-status
people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive
5. Has a sense of
6. Is interpersonally
7. Lacks empathy: is
unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. Is often envious of
others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant,
haughty behaviors or attitudes."
GOP Tax Scam Two-Step: Explode the Deficit With Cuts for Rich, Then
Screw the Poor
This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows,
though I should first say that Trump's tax plan has
passed the (corrupt) Senate:
As Senate Republicans proclaimed
on Friday that they have the votes to pass a $1.5 trillion tax bill
whose contents have been kept secret from virtually
everyone except corporate lobbyists, progressive lawmakers and
activists are once more warning that the GOP is planning to use the
massive deficit hole its plan would
create to justify taking a sledgehammer to Medicare, Medicaid, and
Social Security—a ploy one group has termed the "tax two-step."
Indivisible released a
video explaining the tactic, which has been utilized by Republicans for
decades—but which might now be deployed on
a scale never seen.
And please note that the votes were on party lines and not
based on any real knowledge of the tax law that subsidizes
the few rich by stealing - ¨legally¨ - from the non-rich and the poor.
I know it is the law now, but laws that are passed by largely
corrupt senators without any real knowledge of the laws and
without any real discussion of the law are not
legal in my eyes.
Here is some
Trump, as [Jeff] Stein
notes, has given repeated nods toward "welfare
during the presidential campaign to shield Medicare, Medicaid, and
Social Security from cuts—while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has argued
that the government must "bring spending under control."
"The driver of our debt is
the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future
beneficiaries," Rubio claimed.
Rubio is an evident
liar: The driver of the national debt of the USA are primarily the
enormous amounts of money that go to the Pentagon/the military.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
It passed. As far as I can
see the Republicans rather kill the sick and the poor than giving away
a cent of their financial gains and their riches. And indeed this is
also what I expect: Far more trouble for the poor, who will get
even less money than they get now.
"What's coming next is all
too predictable: The deficit hawks will come flying back after this
bill becomes law," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told the Post.
"Republicans are already saying 'entitlement reform' and 'welfare
reform' are next up on the docket. But nobody should be fooled—that's
just code for attacks on Medicaid, on Medicare, on Social Security, on
"Mark my words: As soon as
the Republican tax bill passes, Republicans are going to insist on
cutting Medicare and Social Security to cut the deficit," Sen. Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.) added
in a tweet Friday. "We cannot let this disastrous bill pass."
This is a recommended article.
This article is by Gary Wills on The New York Review of Books:
Donald Trump has threatened
“Little Rocket Man” with “fire and fury like the world has never
seen”—not even seen, presumably, at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. We possess,
after all, many more and much better (that is, much worse) explosives
than were used by President Truman in 1945, when he incinerated those
cities without Congress or the American people knowing we even had them.
The fact that President
Trump (“old lunatic”) has a legally absolute power to destroy Kim
Jong-un (“short and fat”) over dueling insults is so scary that Senator
Edward Markey and Representative Ted Lieu are trying to restrict that
absolute power, so that only Congress would have the authority to
declare nuclear war. This seems not only reasonable but
constitutionally necessary. The Constitution in fact denies the
president the power to declare war and reserves it solely to Congress.
Well... yes indeed,
although I wonder what Lieu and Markey really want, since - as
Wills says - Congress has the power to declare war. I
believe Wills is unclear here, for I´ve seen Lieu a few times and he
seems a sensible man. Then again, it is also true that
since 9/11 the various American presidents have started wars as they
pleased, so I take it Lieu wants to end that, and if so, he would be
both correct and quite legal.
Here is Dick Cheney:
As Vice President Dick
Cheney said of President George W. Bush’s war power in 2008, “He could
launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen [that
phrase again]. He doesn’t have to check with anybody, he doesn’t
have to call the Congress, he doesn’t have to check with the courts.”
As I understand it, at
present a full atomic war, with the USA, Russia and China all
involved (which would be quite easy once Trump has blown up North
Korea) would destroy much of the earth, directly and indirectly
Here is the last bit
that I quote:
One could put the
beginning of this quote as follows:
Rather than consult the
officers trained and reporting to the president, he has mocked the most
experienced intelligence veterans (calling them political hacks),
dismantled the government’s scientific bodies (as promoting hoaxes),
drained the diplomatic agencies (as useless bureaucrats), and reduced
or eliminated national commitments to other countries. He says he does
not need expertise; he knows more than experts; he has a very good
brain, which is his greatest and often his only resource. This neglect
of necessary requirements for governing offers in itself grounds for
impeachment, but he is hasty enough that in the long impeachment
process he might be goaded to use the very nuclear power whose duties
he has not prepared himself for using responsibly.
Either Trump is both sane and is by far the
biggest genius there ever was (and he must be a far
bigger genius than John
von Neumann, who was the greatest mathematician of the previous
century ) or else Trump is quite mad, which
is what a psychologist like myself thinks.
And the ending is quite
correct and very scary: If Trump gets involved in an
impeachment he may well blow up the earth. And mad persons are quite
hard to predict as to their actions.
This is a recommended article.
Finally, here is an extra bit, namely a really good
documentary that dates back to 2004 and that I saw yesterday:
There are three things I
should say about this documentary:
One. If you switch to this video, it says after the title ¨(Full Length
3hr Documentary)¨ Not so. It takes 1 hr and 45 min
approximately, and is followed by another documentary I did not
Two. It is thirteen years old, and has a lot of
information about Bush´s first presidency (which was improper: he was not
elected, he was assigned the presidency by the Supreme Court:
see the movie) and about the Iraq war, but it still is remarkably
similar to today.
Three. I think it is a really good documentary, in part because
it provides a definitely liberal (or progressive or left) point of
view, which is honest and clear, and in part because it is mostly quite
I was pleased to see it - which is not normal for me when
judging documentary films that last over an hour: I usually think I
would have gotten more from reading the same time, but not in
this case - and I strongly recommend it.
 I have now been
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 (!!).
von Neumann was a really amazing man. If you want to know
what a real genius is, he is one of the best examples. Then
again, Von Neumann was not a madman at all, and therefore he
worked i.a. for the American government.