from December 19, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, December 19,
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 19, 2017
Thought Control, Trump-Style
2. “CorkerKickback?”: Sen. Supports Tax Bill After Last-Minute
Provision Would Personally
3. The Triumph of the Oligarchs
4. Confederacy of Dunces: Neoliberals Jump the Shark in The
5. The Even More Dangerous Case of Donald 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:
This article is by The Editorial Board on the NYT. It starts as follows:
at the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told
not to use the terms “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,”
“transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based” in budget
documents they are producing, The Washington Post reported last week.
Protection Agency contractors had done opposition research for the
Republican Party and submitted
Freedom of Information Act requests for emails of agency employees
suspected of being critical of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt.
They are just
two recent examples of this administration’s continuing effort to mute,
censor and spy on employees in federal agencies whose words or views
don’t sync with President Trump’s agenda.
this is quite correct, and I also regard these events as the harbingers
of the neofascist
future Trump is plotting: Of course the neofascists are
entitled to read all private e-mails of anyone so as to
find out who might have criticized the degenerate sadofascistic
creep Scott Pruit.
rights? Bullshit. Privacy (for the non-rich)? Treason. The
USA is Trump's country, and Trump's country is neofascistic and insane.
The same month,
word went out to federal agencies that department social media content
and “outward facing” communications should halt, pending reviews from
on high. Content for L.G.B.T.Q. communities was removed
from White House and State Department websites. References to the
threats posed by climate change were deleted from the White House
website, along with Interior’s.
In March, the administration stripped
questions about sexual orientation and gender identity from the
Department of Health and Human Services’ national survey of older
Americans, an annual study that helps determine how to allocate federal
funding to groups that aid elderly people. In April, the E.P.A. deleted
its website’s climate section, saying that after a review the site
would be “updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership.”
Except (possibly) if you are extremely rich, your
rights on privacy have been totally voided
if you live in the USA, and you also have losts
all rights to think for yourself and state your ideas in public
if you work for the neofascist Trump's government.
Here is the last bit of neofascist
degeneracy and manipulation:
In August, it was reported that staff members at the
Department of Agriculture had been given
a list of replacements for the phrases “climate change,” “reduce
greenhouse gases” and “sequester carbon.” In September, news emerged
that a political appointee at the E.P.A. was striking
the words “climate change,” which he referred to as the “double
C-word,” from grant solicitations.
For these facts turn
into non-facts by refusing to use the words appropriate
for these facts.
article is recommended.
2. “CorkerKickback?”: Sen. Supports Tax
Bill After Last-Minute Provision Would Personally Enrich Him
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
The Republican plan
to overhaul the U.S. tax code is now one step closer to passing, after
Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker abruptly switched his position
and announced his support for the controversial bill. The surprise move
came after a controversial last-minute addition to the bill that would
personally enrich Corker. The provision would slash taxes on income
from real estate LLCs; Corker is a real estate mogul. The New York
Times reports those who will most benefit from the Republicans’ tax
bill are big corporations, multimillionaires, private equity managers,
private schools, liquor stores, lawyers, tax accountants and President
Trump and his family. Meanwhile, Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced
his support for the tax plan on Friday after an expansion to the child
tax credit—even though the expansion won’t benefit the children of
undocumented parents. Republican lawmakers are now pressing forward for
a final vote on Trump’s tax plan this week. We speak with David Sirota,
senior editor for investigations at the International Business Times.
Yes indeed. We arrive at
Corker after the next and last bit that I quote from this article:
AMY GOODMAN: The
New York Times reports those who will most benefit from the
Republicans’ tax bill are big corporations, multimillionaires, private
equity managers, private schools, liquor stores, lawyers, tax
accountants and President Trump and his family. The tax bill will slash
the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 21 percent. It will
raise an exception on the estate tax to $22 million, meaning people
with tens of millions of dollars will receive a major tax cut. It would
also keep intact the so-called carried interest loophole, which
massively benefits private equity managers. And it will slash the tax
rate for so-called pass-through income, benefiting Senator Corker,
President Trump’s family and other real estate moguls. As The New
Again I say: Yes indeed.
As to Bob
Corker: It seems he gains $ 1.1 million dollars each year
by being corrupted.
Then again, if you read some about his earlier actions, he
seems to be made out of the corrupt and greedy cloth that all
Republicans seem to be made of. He merely pretended to say "No"
in order to get his $1.1 million each year.
reports, “Numerous industries
will benefit from the Republican tax overhaul, but perhaps none as
dramatically as the industry where Mr. Trump earned his riches:
commercial real estate.”
In other words: He is a degenerate greedy corrupt and fraudulent profiteer
from those who are even richer than he is, but then again this is all very
typical for the Republicans.
And this is a recommended article.
3. The Triumph of the
article is by Robert Reich on his site. This is from near the beginning:
Polls shows only
third of Americans favor the tax
plan. The vast majority feel it’s heavily skewed to the rich and big
– which it is.
counties that Trump won but Obama carried in 2012, only 17 percent say
expect to pay less in taxes, according to a recent NBC
News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 25 percent say they expected
family would actually pay higher taxes.
Most Americans know that
the tax plan is payback for major Republican donors. Gary Cohn,
Trump’s lead economic advisor, even conceded
in an interview that “the
most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.”
Republican Rep. Chris
Collins admitted “my
are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me
again.’” Senator Lindsey Graham warned that if
to pass the tax plan, “the financial contributions will stop.”
Yes indeed - and I think
Lindsey Graham and Chris Collins are both quite right: If
they do not do what their very rich
donors want, they cannot continue to
profit from the very rich. And profiting from the very rich
is what nearly all "representatives of the voters" do in fact,
to the best of my - meanwhile quite extensive - knowledge. What Graham
and Collins were saying is basically: If you are not corrupt, as a
"representative of the voters", you will have no further chances
to be corrupt. Be corrupt: The rich will pay you!
Here is some more on Trump's
Yes indeed. And how did
this happen? As follows:
By passing it, Republican
donors will save
billions – paying a lower top tax rate, doubling the amount their heirs
can receive tax-free, and treating themselves as “pass-through”
businesses able to deduct 20 percent of their income (effectively
allowing Trump to cut his tax rate in half, if and when he pays taxes).
They’ll make billions more as
stock portfolios soar because corporate taxes are slashed.
The oligarchs are the
richest of the richest 1 percent. They’ve poured
of millions into the GOP and Trump. About 40 percent of all
contributions for the entire federal election came from the richest 0.01
percent of the American population.
The giant tax cut has been
core demand from the start. They also want to slash regulations, repeal
Affordable Care Act, and cut everything else government does except for
defense – including Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
return, they have agreed to finance Trump and the GOP, and mount
expensive public relations campaigns that magnify their lies.
That is, it
happened by gigantic corruption. Here is the last bit I quote from
They are living
in their own separate society, and they want Congress and the President
to represent them, not the rest of us.
Party is their vehicle. Fox News is their voice. Trump is their
champion. The new tax plan is their triumph.
Yes indeed. I add that
Reich ends his article by saying that the rich went too far and soon
will loose their majorities in the Senate and the House, but (i) that
is a mere possibility, so far, and (ii) I am very much less pro
Democrats than Reich is, for the simple reason that the majority of the
Democrats also seem much more interested in enriching
themselves by corruption
than in doing a proper job for their voters.
This is a recommended
Confederacy of Dunces: Neoliberals
Jump the Shark in The New York Times
article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
the New York Times carried what has to be one of the most ludicrous,
Orwellian pieces of propaganda in recent memory. The title
sums it up: “Is the Democratic Party Becoming too Democratic?”
I say. I do so because
I did not read it. Here is a first bit on its contents:
Welcome to the
Orwellian World of the Liberal Elite
The article is so poorly
argued that it wouldn’t be worth acknowledging if it weren’t for the
fact that it stems from the war for control of the Democratic Party,
and the stakes for the people, the party and the country couldn’t be
higher. If the neoliberals win this war, many voters—denied
a real choice once again—will continue to stay home on election
day, allowing extreme right wing candidates to continue winning
elections with a relatively small percentage of eligible voters.
And this is what the
writers of “Is the
Democratic Party Becoming too Democratic?” really had in mind:
It is John Atcheson who
asks "Really?", but I do not:
To use their own
[professors Askari and Masket] words:
Part of the problem for
parties is our insistence that they be run democratically. That
turns out not to be a very realistic concept. Yes,
we can hold elections within parties, but party leaders will always
have vastly more information about candidates — their strengths and
flaws, their ability to govern and work with Congress, their backing
among various interest groups and coalitions — than voters and
I quite agree with what Askari and Masket argue, and would
continue the argument by inferring, quite logically also, that
what Askari and Masket are for is a system in which the elected are chosen by the elected and by the top leaders of the top parties. The
rest is evidently unqualified, for they do not personally know
the leaders nor the elected, and therefore should is totally denied any
and all rights to vote as utter ignorants. Knowledge is power, and only
the knowledgeable should have power.
But I quite agree with Atcheson that the whole argument is utter bullshit,
though indeed it seems to appeal to the very many quite rich that
currently are the thoroughly corrupted top of
the Democratic Party.
Here is Atcheson's argument about the collapse of the Democrats during
the past 40 years:
But the fact is, the
real reason Democrats lost and have been losing for decades, is that
their dependence upon corporations and the ultra-rich to fund campaigns
has made it all but impossible for them to back policies that reverse
the exploding crisis of income and wealth disparity, or to take stands
on climate change that go
beyond cynical cosmetics, or to take actions to rein in big banks
and Wall Street. As a result, the biggest block of voters has
been the no-shows for several decades now. This is what left the
way open for the passionately ignorant minority to elect an idiot like
I quite agree, although there
are some more causes, but this is a very important one: Members
of the Senate and the House are in an excellent
position to be extremely corrupted,
and it seems most of them - 95% ? - are. (You may reject my "95%" and
indeed I do not have any independent evidence - that is, other
than 40 years of major bullshit on extremely important points, that led to the
self-control of the "big
banks and Wall Street" through six
years of thorough corruption by Eric Holder.)
And this is from near the end of this article:
This article is
exhibit A of the war the neoliberals are waging against a more
democratic means of selecting candidates. The corporatist wing of the
Democratic Party wants control, more than they want to win. The Rules
and Bylaws Committee has six months to consider the changes proposed by
the Unity Commission.
Yes indeed: I completely
agree that "[t]he corporatist
wing of the Democratic Party wants control, more than they want to win". And the reason is very simple: This gives
these "representatives of the people" far better chances to
enormously enrich themselves.
And they do not represent the people who voted for them: They
represent those who pay them, which are the banks and the bank managers.
This is a recommended article.
5. The Even More Dangerous Case of
article is by David Swanson on Washington's Blog. It starts as follows:
In fact, I do not know whether David Swanson is a psychologist (though
I don't think so), but I am and I mostly agree with what he said. Also,
the basic reason that I do so is not "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" but the psychiatric
diagnosis of Trump that I read on March
and mental health experts have produced a book called The
Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, which I think, despite stating
that the fate of the world is in the hands of an evil madman,
understates the danger.
The case that these authors
make is one that I believe would strike most readers not loyal to Trump
as common sense. The evidence that they compile, and with which we’re
mostly already familiar, strongly supports their diagnosis of Trump as
hedonistic, narcissistic, bullying, dehumanizing, lying, misogynistic,
paranoid, racist, self-aggrandizing, entitled, exploiting,
empathy-impaired, unable to trust, free of guilt, manipulative,
delusional, likely senile, and overtly sadistic. They also describe the
tendency of some of these traits to grow ever worse through reinforcing
cycles that seem to be underway.
The reasons I agreed with that diagnosis are that (i) it is framed in observational
terms, while (ii) I could very easily verify that Trump
satisfies 9 our of 9 criterions (while 5 out of 9 is sufficient to say
he has a grandiose or malignant narcissistic
personality disorder), and also (iii) I do have a large amount of
experience with a psychiatric patient (not myself, in case you ask),
which has taught me a lot about the differences between the
insane and those who are not insane.
To end the remarks on Trump's diagnosis:
What I agree to is this
diagnosis of Trump. There may be better ones, but I did not
read them. The diagnoses in The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump probably are more
extensive than the diagnosis I agree to, which also explains quite
a few terms in the above quoted list (18 instead of the 9 I agreed to),
but again I did not read the book, indeed in considerable part
because I am a psychologist.
But basically I agree with the diagnosis, which also has led me
to say that Trump is a dangerous madman who should not be
president of the USA (or any country).
Here is some on Obama vs. Trump:
positions, lied, schemed, falsely marketed wars, reveled in the
commission of murder, joked about using drone missiles on his
daughter’s boyfriends, etc. But he spoke well, used a better
vocabulary, avoided blatant racism, sexism, and personal bullying,
didn’t seem to worship himself, didn’t brag about sexual assault, and
I agree again. I much
dislike Obama, indeed in part for the stated reasons, but I never
thought he was (or is) insane, and I also never thought he was
uninformed. I do think he is a clever schemer who worked himself up to
the position of a multi-millionaire through his presidency, and I think
he is a fraud, but
he very probably also is quite sane. Unlike Trump.
Then there is this:
Trump was given the
presidential nomination by media outlets that asked primary candidates
questions that included “Would you be willing to kill hundreds and
thousands of innocent children?” Had a candidate said no, he or she
would have been disqualified. The authors fault Trump for his joining
the long list of presidents who have threatened to use nukes, but when
Jeremy Corbyn said he wouldn’t use nukes, all hell broke loose in the
UK, and his mental state was called into question there.
As I said several times in
Nederlog, I am not an American but a Dutchman, which is one
reason why I did not see that all presidential
candidates (not just Trump: all of them) agreed to being quite
proud mass-murders of hundreds of thousands of innocent children, if
given the chance. (And in fact I quite agree with Corbyn.)
Finally, here is the last part that I quote from this article:
That all these
sexual harassers in the news, some of whom I am guessing are innocent
but most of whom appear guilty, have convinced themselves that women
don’t really mind the abuse can, I think, be only a small part of the
explanation. The large part seems quite clearly to be that we live in a
country of sadists.
Yes indeed. I drew a
somewhat similar conclusion, for while I have no reasonable idea
about how many American men are sadists (though surely
considerably less than 50%, if only because most American men do not
abuse their girlfriends or wifes), my own explanation
for the sexual abuse that quite a few of the quite rich and quite
powerful men indulged in is not so much that they were interested
in sex (they can all buy as expensive a prostitute as are
available) but rather that they are sadists: They wanted
to abuse and hurt those whom they did abuse and
hurt, and they got a lot of pleasure out of that. And they wanted
to assure it really hurt by doing
it to people who were not paid and in
This is a recommended article.
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 (!!).
 This may not be true of all, but
it certainly is true of the worst, like Weinstein.