from December 18, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Monday, December 18,
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 (!!!!)
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 18, 2017
The Permanent Lie, Our Deadliest Threat
2. Alarm Raised Over Report of Censorship at
the Trump Era Won’t Pass Without Serious Damage to
Bill Moyers Announces Site Closure
America’s militaristic, capitalist culture led to Trump
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:
Permanent Lie, Our Deadliest Threat
This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as
The most ominous
danger we face does not come from the eradication of free speech
through the obliteration of net neutrality or through Google algorithms
that steer people away from dissident, left-wing, progressive or
anti-war sites. It does not come from a tax bill that abandons all
pretense of fiscal responsibility to enrich corporations and oligarchs
and prepares the way to dismantle programs such as Social Security. It
does not come from the opening of public land to the mining and fossil
fuel industry, the acceleration of ecocide by demolishing environmental
regulations, or the destruction of public education. It does not come
from the squandering of federal dollars on a bloated military as the
country collapses or the use of the systems of domestic security to
criminalize dissent. The most ominous danger we face comes from the
marginalization and destruction of institutions, including the courts,
academia, legislative bodies, cultural organizations and the press,
that once ensured that civil discourse was rooted in reality and fact,
helped us distinguish lies from truth and facilitated justice.
Brandt (who still seems alive) told his audience during the public
opening of the "University" of Amsterdam, in August 1978, that my
father and mother
were sick liars when they said there truly had been a Holocause,
that my father and mother were sick liars
when they told that both my
father and his father had truly
been locked up in Nazi concentration camps, for he told his
audience the following, that is literally translated:
knows that truth
does NOT exist"
the sick fascistic totalitarian lies that "Everybody knows" that it
cannot be possibly true that there
was a Holocause ; that it cannot be
possibly true that there were Nazi
concentration camps, or even that Holland had truly been occupied by the Germans between 1940
and 1945: All utter
baloney according to professor M.A. Brandt, historian.
knows that truth
does NOT exist", according to Brandt.
I leave this for now, except for adding that (i) this statement
that "Everybody knows that truth does not
exist" was the official ideology of
the "University" of Amsterdam at least during its communist
years (from 1971 till 1983) and its postmodern
1984 till 1995); that (ii) this was so precisely because
it served the interests of many students in the "University" of
Amsterdam, who had been given the formal majority in each and
Dutch university in 1971 (which was a unique situation in the whole
world); that (iii) I was one of the circa 5% (!!) of
the students who opposed this; and that (iv) to show me their thanks and
the absolute nature of their tremendous power in Amsterdam
(a) I was first terrorized - while
ill, living with an also ill wife
- for three years in the student flat in which we had to live,
while (b) I was next terrorized -
while ill - for three and
half years by the illegal soft
and hard drugsdealers who were mayor Van Thijn's very good
personal friends, while also (c) I was - still ill - also
denied the legal right
of taking my M.A. in philosophy from the
"University" of Amsterdam very briefly before taking it,
because I had criticized the incompetent parasites who "taught"
me philosophy: This was forbidden both by "the philosophers" of
the UvA (none whom ever published anything, while
receiving millions) and it was forbidden by the fascist
functioned as the Board of Directors of the "University" of Amsterdam.
Here is more by Chris Hedges:
Donald Trump and
today’s Republican Party represent the last stage in the emergence of
corporate totalitarianism. Pillage and oppression are justified by the
permanent lie. The permanent lie is different from the falsehoods and
half-truths uttered by politicians such as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush
and Barack Obama. The common political lie these politicians employed
was not designed to cancel out reality.
Yes and no, but the
reasons for my (also) saying no are somewhat technical: I do not
believe in a "permanent lie" of the kind Hedges may believe in,
and indeed I do not because of the ways in which humans learn language,
which very strongly presupposes some understanding of
the facts in
front of one's nose.
The permanent lie is not
circumscribed by reality. It is perpetuated even in the face of
overwhelming evidence that discredits it. It is irrational. Those who
speak in the language of truth and fact are attacked as liars, traitors
and purveyors of “fake news.” They are banished from the public sphere
once totalitarian elites accrue sufficient power, a power now granted
to them with the revoking
of net neutrality.
People do not tell their young children "See, this is a dinky
toy. You can smell it, taste it, touch it, and see it. But really it
does not exist. It simply isn't there: you are imagining
things." And the result of lying a lot by people who have you
in their power does not lead to a
quasi-reality of (supposed) lies opposed to a reality of (supposed) truths, but into confusion and uncertainty.
In fact, something like this happens (and this is also quted by
“The result of a
consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that
the lie will now be accepted as truth and truth be defamed as a lie,
but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world—and
the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to
this end—is being destroyed,” Hannah
Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”
I mostly agree.
Next, there is this, with which I mostly disagree, indeed in
because it is too negative, and in part because it seems to
underestimate (!!) both the greed and the utter dishonesty of those
trying to popularize some form of totalitarianism:
The permanent lie is
the apotheosis of totalitarianism. It no longer matters what is true.
It matters only what is “correct.” (...)
First, what is
"totalitarianism"? One can't believe the very rapidly
disintegrating Wikipedia anymore (but check it out if you want to) 
but the proper definition of totalitarianism is this (and it is
mine, and is based on very extensive reading):
They hold reality, including
science and the rule of law, in contempt. They seek to banish those who
live in a reality-based world defined by intellectual and moral
autonomy. Totalitarian rule always elevates the brutal and the stupid.
These reigning idiots have no genuine political philosophy or goals.
They use clichés and slogans, most of which are absurd and
contradictory, to justify their greed and lust for power.
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
persons who do not agree with the ideology or the religion.
Note that this does not
itself have anything to do with lying,
deceiving, or falsifying (although I agree they usually are
involved indirectly). What matters is simply an ideology or religion
with extremist pretensions about what it's followers are
allowed to do
with those who disagree with it: These may be killed or locked
simply because they disagree.
Second, not only does totalitarianism itself not have much to
do with lying etc. (that is: totalitarianism may simply be believed by
its followers) but it also does (usually) not have much to do
with an opposition between "a reality-based world" and one which is not thus based (for in fact
most totalitarians insist their ideology implies
it alone is true).
Third, I agree mostly with the rest: Totalitarians
"brutal and (..) stupid"; totalitarians usually strongly rely
on "clichés and slogans"; indeed many of these tend to be "absurd and contradictory"; and totalitarianism in fact tends to justify the "greed and lust for power" of the leaders of the totalitarians.
But I also think that totalitarians usually have some "genuine political philosophy or goals", and namely that their own
species of totalitarianism is both valid and the final
Then there is this, which happens to be by a Dutch psychiatrist. And I
am sorry, but I disagree with this as well (and I am - i.a. - a
psychologist who disbelieves in the
“The venal political
figures need not even comprehend the social and political consequences
of their behavior,” psychiatrist Joost A.M. Meerloo wrote in “The Rape
of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and
Brainwashing.” “They are compelled not by ideological belief, no matter
how much they may rationalize to convince themselves they are, but by
the distortions of their own personalities. They are not motivated by
their advertised urge to serve their country or mankind, but rather by
an overwhelming need and compulsion to satisfy the cravings of their
own pathological character structures. The ideologies they spout are
not real goals; they are the cynical devices by which these sick men
hope to achieve some personal sense of worth and power. Subtle inner
lies seduce them into going from bad to worse. Defensive
self-deception, arrested insight, evasion of emotional identification
with others, degradation of empathy—the mind has many defense
mechanisms with which to blind the conscience.”
How does Joost
Meerloo know that what moves totalitarians
or rich men is not their "ideological belief" (stupid,
inconsistent and made up mostly of wishful
thinking as this may be) but in fact is made up from "the distortions of their own personalities" (or "the cravings of their own pathological
I do not know. But being a psychologist I do know that
real mental illness is not common, while - also being a
philosopher - I know that all ideologies, and
indeed the greatest part of most philosophies, are not true.
In brief, I strongly prefer to maintain that those I disagree
with are usually not mad and may very well be
(privately, at least) quite convinced of "the truth" of the ideology they
happen to believe in, indeed also in part because the ideologies one does
believe in normally are both familiar, not difficult, and rather
amenable to one's own personal interests.
This does not mean that I may not think that they are
dishonest, ignorant, immoral or unethical, but then again none
of these - very ordinary(!) - shortcomings coincides with some state of
Finally, here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
“Those who can make
you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,” Voltaire
In fact, when I had a site
I very soon - I think already in 1997 - opened it with
believe in absurdities,
I take it this is
translated from precisely the same French source as the
translation I use (and indeed Hedges' translation may be more correct -
though indeed I don't know).
But I do like Chris Hedges, even if I do not quite
agree with them, because he writes well, he is interesting, he usually
makes a lot of sense, and he also is a really brave man.
And if I differ with him about truth, as I do in
the above, this is in part because I am a real philosopher, and in part
because my battle with the "university" of Amsterdam started now over
40 years ago.
Raised Over Report of Censorship at Health Agency
This article is by Mike Stobbe on Truthdig and originally on
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Health leaders say
they are alarmed about a report that officials at the nation’s top
public health agency are being told not to use certain words or phrases
in official budget documents, including “fetus,” ”transgender” and
The health community was
reacting to a story in The Washington Post published late Friday citing
an anonymous source who said the prohibition was made at a recent
meeting of senior budget officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. The seven words and phrases — “diversity,”
”entitlement,” ”fetus,” transgender,” ”vulnerable,” ”evidence-based”
and “science-based” — were not to be used in documents that are to be
circulated within the federal government and Congress in preparation of
the next presidential budget proposal, the paper reported.
Yes indeed. And I dealt
with this yesterday. Today I quote
the Associated Press, which in the above quotation does not come
yesterday, but also has some - quite minimalistic - "further
A spokesman at the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees CDC, said in a
statement that it’s a mischaracterization to say the CDC was banned
from using certain words. But HHS officials did not clarify or answer
any other questions.
Really now? I
take it only "a statement" by "a spokesman" was given, but it
came entirely without any evidence (since
they "did not clarify or
answer any other questions").
Well... given the many
lies that Trump's presidency glorifies in, I must take it - until real
evidence has been given - that the probability seems to be that (i)
someone high in Trump's government did decide to fragment and
deny the expressive linguistic capacities of anyone working for
Trump's government, but so far (ii) they more or less forgot that this
fragmentation of language and of the possibilities of linguistic
expression is typical for fascistic, authoritarian and
More may follow.
the Trump Era Won’t Pass Without Serious Damage to America
article is by Neal Gabler on Moyers and Company (and see the
next item). It starts as follows:
In recent months, in the
process of trying to understand for myself the cataclysm of Nov. 8,
2016, I have tried to examine a number of forces — demographic,
economic, cultural, media — that may help explain it. I am certain that
the question of “what happened” will plague us for decades and
that Nov. 8, 2016, will join April 12, 1861; Oct. 28, 1929; Dec. 7,
1941; Nov. 22, 1963 and Sept. 11, 2001 as one of the most calamitous
and tragic dates in our history.
I tend to agree
with that and I also agree with the title, but I basically do not
agree with the following:
But I think the real lesson
of 2016 lies not in politics, but in religion. We hear a great deal
about tribalism as an explanation for the Trump phenomenon. We hear
about how Americans have divided themselves into parochial groups that
reinforce shared values and interests as well as grievances and
hatreds. But if tribalism answers one question — why people seem to
hold so firmly to their beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence
and even moral opprobrium — it doesn’t answer another, more important
question: Why did they join these tribes in the first place?
True religion, I believe,
begins in doubt and continues in spiritual exploration. Debased
religion begins in fear and terminates in certainty.
My reason is that I am
an unregenerate total atheist, from a totally
atheistic family (that goes back to the 1850ies in
atheism in case of my mother's family), and besides
I am also a philosopher,
who knows a great amount of philosophy, that he agrees is
nearly all rather or completely mistaken, but that nevertheless is not
as mistaken, as prejudiced,
as much as product of blind wishful
thinking, and not as self-blinding as is religion in most
cases I do know.
The basic problem for
me consists of two parts:
The first part is that there is no true religion of any
kind whatsoever, while real religion is fundamentally against
theorizing, and against rationalism.
The second part is that
as a thoroughly atheistic scientist I am in a quite small minority
of the really intelligent
(at most 1 in 50) who do try to behave and think in a rational and empiricist
manner anywhere, and especially in the USA.
And my basic difference
with Neil Gabler is that I strongly disagree with him on the
merits of or the need for any religion, but indeed that I also
know that my position must be that of a - quite small, often
discriminated, quite intellligent - minority, and especially
in the USA.
So I only say so, and
continue with the article:
Modern conservatism, like
debased religion, has an explanation for everything, and there is
nothing mysterious or spiritual about it. Trump understood the desire
for some all-encompassing answer, as demagogues always do. Demagogues
assume the proportions of religious leaders, but without the moral
instruction. Through a process of simplification, they purport to tell
their followers what happened and who is responsible. In short, they
provide cosmology, not for the purpose of enlightenment, but for the
opposite — benightedness.
I agree Trump is a
demagogue and a liar but - as I use terms - it is less demagoguery than
that is my enemy, indeed because ideology almost always consists
of conciously simplified bits of some - probably false -
philosophical or religious system, that
got simplified to gain apppeal, and because many would not
understand it in its original forms, while demagoguery is, rather, what
some people do or say once they have either an ideology
or some other
strong personal interest that they want to popularize.
Then again, Neil Gabler
might agree with me, for he gets it mostly right if he
is talking about ideologists
rather than demagogues.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I mostly agree. And this
also is a recommended article, and not because I agree with it,
for fundamentally I do not, but because it very probably is, at
least, an honest article, which also is a position I have
reached with regards to Bill Moyers, who is subject of the next article:
Moreover, I am convinced
that the worst is yet to come. Heading into the special election in
Alabama, Moore seemed likely to win, confirming the utter depravity of
the Republican Party. Thankfully — mercifully — that was not the case.
Trump will issue blanket pardons in the Russia investigation and
eventually fire Robert Mueller. The attacks on environmental
protection, conservation, economic equality, the social safety net, a
free press, voting rights, higher education and reason, diplomacy,
women and morality itself will continue unabated with the full support
of the Republicans. We shouldn’t fool ourselves. America is under
siege, and this civil war has already taken a grave toll.
Journalist Bill Moyers
Announces Site Closure
article is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
In a quiet post published
to BillMoyers.com on Friday titled simply, "Farewell," the veteran
muckraker and site's namesake—whose work in public life goes back to
the Johnson administration in the early 1960s and whose journalistic
career spans from his teens as a local newspaper reporter in East Texas
to his most well-known role as the host of several PBS shows and
documentaries—announced that the online project would soon enter
"archive mode" and cease its daily output of progressive news and
I say, which I do
because I did not know this. Also, while I don't think I ever
(completely) agreed with Bill Moyers, I have quoted and
discussed quite a few things he published on his site, which also means
that I found it helpful and interesting, indeed also
when I did not agree.
For more on Bill Moyers, see
the last link. Incidentally, Bill Moyers, while I disagree with
him, was very much more useful
and interesting than the horrible
Krugman, whose column I read daily for 3 1/2 years without
finding anything of interest, and whose only interest for me
the last year or so is how young he lately looks (he is - again
- growing noticeably younger) and how he avoids looking one
into the eye. (The latest news on Krugman is that he looks in his
middle or early forties (later thirties?), while facing rightwards (for
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
While the content on the
site will, it seems, remain available in perpetuity, Moyers called on
its readers going forward to "remain vigilant and engaged as citizens
in the civic and political life of your community and our country."
And offering the kind of
parting wisdom that was common to his brand of informed, impassioned
journalism and political commentary, he offered a final pinch of wisdom
and guidance to those, like he, who have expressed so much concern
about the current moment in the nation's political life. "Democracy is
fragile," he wrote, " and no one can say with certainty that it can
withstand the manifold risks to which it is now exposed."
One of the industry's most
reluctant retirees and a journalist of unending commitment to democracy
and the public sphere, this outlet wishes him a very biased farewell in
return and thanks him for his years of service, that of his talented
and dedicated team, and wishes them all the best for what the future
I mostly agree,
although it is my guess that Queally means "blessed" when he
wrote "biased". But yes: I liked and respected Bill Moyers,
while mostly somewhat disagreeing with him or his site, while I dislike
and do not respect Paul Krugman, and both judgements are
based on 3 1/2 years of daily reading parts of their site or their
America’s militaristic, capitalist culture led to Trump
This article (or excerpt) is by Charles Derber and Yale R.
Magrass. It is from their book “Bully Nation: How the American Establishment Creates a
Bullying Society” . It starts as follows:
Bullying has been a
means of controlling people by putting them in "their place” perhaps
for as long as there have been humans. We live in militaristic
capitalism. Capitalism is bullying; it is a competition with winners
and losers. Militarism is also bullying: violence, aggression, and
submission to authority. Militaristic capitalism combines two bullying
principles, which multiplies their effect. The United States openly
views itself as the world police force, a benign hegemon morally
ordained to impose its interests and values on the rest of the world
and justified in the name of freedom, human rights, and antiterrorism
to do whatever it wants to weaker countries. The United States spends
more on weapons than its ten largest competitors combined.
I say - and I immediately
admit this was a faulty selection of mine, based on its title
and a bit that I read. Also, I have no good idea who Derber and Magrass
are, but I can tell you their thesis: The decline of the USA is
due to bullying. And it is not due to capitalism (is
bullying), to militarism (is bullying) to rich frauds (are bullying),
lying mainstream media (bullies) or to anything else but bullies: It
is all bullying,
at least from the bit I read.
Now what is "bullying"?
I consulted my Shorter Oxford Dictionary, and found many
laudable though indeed mostly older meanings of "bully", such as 'lover
(of either sex)', 'Sweetheart, darling; orig. of either sex' and more,
like 'Brother, companion, mate'. There also is a less laudable and
later meaning, which is 'to intimidate, overawe'.
And I take it the last mentioned sense is meant, which means -
or so it would seem to me - that everything
that went wrong in the
USA is due to intimidation.
Perhaps you will not blame me if I say that I find this rather stupid and
at best. I also add that I did find Charles Derber on
Wikipedia, and that he seems less stupid and less
ignorant from that bit, but then again I found the same
many supposedly "social democratic" professors in Holland who only
wanted to get rich as possible, and have as high a degree of status as
I do not know how true that is of Derber & Magrass, but
here is some more about their language:
The most vicious
bully of all is the militaristic capitalist system itself, which
requires bullying by people in power, regardless of their individual
personalities. Most people would not see Barack Obama as someone with a
particularly bullying personality, yet his role as president of the
United States required him to promise "so long as I'm commander in
chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever
known.” As president, he attacked Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya,
Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, often sending in US Navy SEALs and the US
Army Delta Force. During his last year in office, he dropped 26,171
bombs. He deported over 2.5 million people, more than all other
I quoted it, but please do not
ask me to interpret "The most
vicious bully of all is the militaristic capitalist system itself
[?!?!?! - MM ], which requires bullying by
people in power,
regardless of their individual personalities."
And while I agree that Obama is a bad man I much doubt anything
is added to explaining or understanding his many unpleasant
characteristics by insisting that he was "a bully". (I don't think he
was, at least not personally. But I strongly dislike him.)
Finally, this is from the ending of the excerpt:
the ideology that the strong are strong, the weak are weak, and each
deserves to be where they are. This attitude pervades America's
culture, government, military, corporations, media, schools,
entertainment industry, athletics, and everyday life.
Suppose so. Does it help
to explain capitalism, militarism, profiteering, lying, deceiving,
corporate degeneracy, or mainstream propaganda? I do not see
why or why it would be important. According to Derber and Magrass it -
I mean: bullying - explains "[h]ow
America’s militaristic, capitalist culture led to Trump".
I say. It seems quite stupid in my eyes.
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 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
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 (!!).
 Let me explain why M.A.
Brandt's "Everybody knows that truth does not exist" logically
implies that it cannot be true there ever was a Holocause:
One knows something p if and only if one believes that p and
one's belief is true. (This is a very common definition, even though it
is a bit simplified.) If there is no truth, as M.A. Brandt insisted
upon, then it cannot be true there ever was a Holocause.
 I am
sorry, but the "definition" of "totalitarian" on Wikipedia is a sick
fraudulent lie, that makes nearly everything I learned about
totalitarianism utterly false, for it is defined (on the Wikipedia) as
follows (and the quotemarks are added):
is a political system in which the state
No it is not, and this
definition is a sick and degenerate lie for this definition makes it completely
impossible that any person, any group, any
institution or any religion can possibly be
totalitarian, for according to this sick definition only
political systems with states can be totalitarian.
recognizes no limits to its
authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private
life wherever feasible.
In contrast, here is my proper definition (and there is more in
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.
For this definition does
cover states, political systems, ideologies, religions, political
ideologies, persons and groups, quite as intended by virtually
every of the very many writers I have read on totalitarianism.
 I am sorry, but I detest Amazone so
much that I will delete all references to them: If you want a book,
go to a proper bookshop.
 In explanation of my "(?!?!?!)": Many
terms are either concrete (like a particular bully in school) or
else abstract (like a political system). Something which is
supposed to be both is generally plain nonsense. (Military systems
do not bully, even if all military men do.)