from December 26, 2017.
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, December 26,
And in Holland this also happens to be "the Second Christmas Day". I do
not know where else this is the case, but I use the
opportunity today to repeat two previous Nederlogs, both of
which - I think - are quite important for people who are interested
in understanding the crisis (which still continues for
everyone who is not rich): Crisis: It's the
deregulation, stupid! which is indeed about the very
many deregulations in the USA, in fact since Reagan, and Crisis: On Ideologies which is about ideologies,
are the normal background of what most people believe.
I strongly recommend you read both, in case you did not yet, and here
is today's Nederlog:
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 26, 2017
Noam Chomsky in Conversation with Amy Goodman
Nukes, North Korea, Climate
Change & Syria
2. We Really Shouldn't Let Silicon Valley into Our Schools
3. Trump’s Continuation of US Interventionism
Year With Trump
5. Who Cares?
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:
Chomsky in Conversation with Amy Goodman on Trump, Nukes, North Korea,
Climate Change & Syria
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
In this Democracy
Now! special, we spend the hour with the world-renowned linguist and
political dissident Noam Chomsky. In a public conversation we had in
April, we talked about President Trump, climate change, nuclear
weapons, North Korea, Iran, the war in Syria and his new book, “Requiem
for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth
This is from the beginning of
GOODMAN: I wanted to ask
you about this comment that you made that the Republican Party, you
said, is the most dangerous organization in world history. Can you
CHOMSKY: I also said that
it’s an extremely outrageous statement. But the question is whether
it’s true. I mean, has there ever been an organization in human history
that is dedicated, with such commitment, to the destruction of
organized human life on Earth? Not that I’m aware of. Is the Republican
organization—I hesitate to call it a party—committed to that?
Overwhelmingly. There isn’t even any question about it.
Yes, I agree. And I do so not
because there were no other extremely dangerous groups in human
history, but because the Republicans are more powerful and
possibly also richer than any other group.
Take a look at the last
primary campaign—plenty of publicity, very little comment on the most
significant fact. Every single candidate either denied that what is
happening is happening—namely, serious move towards environmental
catastrophe—or there were a couple of moderates, so-called—Jeb Bush,
who said, “Maybe it’s happening. We really don’t know. But it doesn’t
matter, because fracking is working fine, so we can get more fossil
fuels.” Then there was the guy who was called the adult in the room,
John Kasich, the one person who said, “Yes, it’s true. Global warming’s
going on. But it doesn’t matter.” He’s the governor of Ohio. “In Ohio,
we’re going to go on using coal for energy, and we’re not going to
apologize for it.” So that’s 100 percent commitment to racing towards
And there is this by Chomsky on what Trump's government is doing:
And I don’t have to
go through what’s happened since, but the—in general, the Cabinet
appointments are designed to—assigned to people whose commitment and
beliefs are that it’s necessary to destroy everything in their
department that could be of any use to human beings and wouldn’t just
increase profits and power. And they’re doing it very systematically,
one after another.
Precisely - and I have a
decent explanation for this, in principle: neofascism
(and if you disagree you should look at my definition).
Next, there is this on the acute danger of a nuclear war.
Chomsky's reference, that is completely justified, is to the Doomsday Clock:
A couple of—about a
week into Trump’s term, the clock was moved again, to two-and-a-half
minutes to midnight. That’s the closest it’s been since 1953. And that
means extermination of the species is very much an—very much an open
question. I don’t want to say it’s solely the impact of the Republican
Party—obviously, that’s false—but they certainly are in the lead in
openly advocating and working for destruction of the human species. I
agree that’s a very outrageous statement. So I therefore simply suggest
that you take a look at the facts and see if it has any merit or if it
just should be bitterly condemned. That’s up to you. My view, the facts
are pretty clear.
Yes indeed - and as I said
With an evident neofascist
(I am sorry, but if you disagree you probably disagree because you know
much less of fascism and neofascism
than I do) and an evident madman like
Trump as the most powerful man on earth (and again I am
sorry if you disagree, but if you do it is probably because you are not
a psychologist, while I am), my own personal probability
that the West may be blown up by a nuclear war before 2021 is 50-50.
Then again, I agree your probability may be considerably less,
e.g. because you are neither a psychologist nor know much about fascism
There is this on
manipulation of and by the mainstream media:
GOODMAN: Speaking of
entities that President Trump doesn’t like, he calls the press the
enemy of the American people, the enemy of the people. Can you assess,
as the media assesses President Trump in his first a hundred days, the
CHOMSKY: Well, I think the
media has fallen over backwards to try to give him some protection and
leeway. I mean, you know, there are things that are so ludicrous and
outrageous that a reporter simply can’t keep from saying something
about them, like there’s one ridiculous claim after another that comes
out of the tweets—you know, 3 million illegal undocumented refugees
voted for Clinton, Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower, you know, one
My sense is—this is
just a guess—that this is a media strategy, that it’s the
Bannon-Trump-Spicer strategy to try to keep attention focused on one or
another form of lunacy, but not look at what’s actually happening. And
what’s actually happening is that Paul Ryan and his associates behind
the scenes are systematically and carefully dismantling every element
of government that is of any benefit to people and that doesn’t
maximize corporate power and profit.
I think that is more or less
correct, although I think Chomsky should have made a distinction
between the mainstream media and the non-mainstream media,
which are considerably better, but also considerably less well read.
Here is the last bit that I give from this interesting article, and
namely because it sums up most of "The
10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth
& Power" that were mentioned in the introduction above:
So, to go back to the
pincers movement, what’s happened is we’ve created two huge threats to
survival. We have systematically—not you and me, but the leadership has
systematically created socioeconomic policies, which have as a
consequence, almost immediate consequence, the undermining of
functioning democracy—the one thing that might deal with the disasters.
Like I said, it’s a kind of perfect storm. Real credit to the human
species to have contrived something like this.
GOODMAN: Principle four is
shift the burden onto the poor and the middle classes. Principle five,
attack the solidarity of the people. Six, let special interests run the
regulators. Seven, engineer election results. Eight, use fear and power
of the state to keep the rabble in line.
CHOMSKY: Is it necessary
to comment? I think you’re all familiar with it.
GOODMAN: Nine is
manufacture consent, and principle 10 is marginalize the population.
Well, in fact, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Yes indeed, and there is quite a
lot more in this fine interview, that is recommended.
Really Shouldn't Let Silicon Valley into Our Schools
article is by Sophie Linden on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
For my money, Mark
Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are two of the greediest and most neofascist
humans there are on the moment, and to hand over education to them is sick,
dsegenerate and extremely dangerous. But it is
happening for these neofascists and their very rich mates currently
rule most of the USA.
technology in the classroom is predicted to be a $21
billion industry. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged
to donate $45 billion in Facebook shares to bring their
personalized learning to other educational spaces. Meanwhile, Bill
Gates is committing $300 million to similar causes, and Netflix’s Reed
Hastings wants to give $11 million to personalized math software.
But there is reason to
second-guess this opportunistic philanthropy, especially with Betsy
DeVos as an outspoken proponent of this so-called personalized
learning, i.e. tech-enriched education. It’s becoming clear that
company interests are intended to groom loyal customers, sometimes at
the sake of effective tutelage.
And Sophie Linden is quite right: What neofascists want are willing
wage-slaves and willing consumers, who otherwise do not
think about anything but advertisements,
and this they may get, multiplied by several billions, by stealing
public education and replacing it by a neofascist "education"
designed to help the very rich, and these alone.
Here is some more:
Take Google as an
example. Right now, the majority of public schools rely on Google’s
Chromebooks. The laptops now host half the nation’s primary and
secondary students, with over
30 million students using Google’s educational applications. At a
cheap $30 per student and with a suite of free online applications, it
may seem like an altruistic move on Google’s part. However, all of
Google’s services remain free because of advertisements and the data
the company tracks from users’ online meanderings.
Precisely - and the neofascists
from Google, Facebook and Microsoft operate precisely like the
dealers of hard drugs do: You give them free hard drugs until they
are mostly hooked.
Here is a close parallel: The neofascist
pharmaceutical companies and their utterly degenerate doctors
who are now killing Americans by the tenthousands, simply
because the doctors systematically lied that heroin supplied by
pharmaceutical companies is not addictive - which was a
Recently, the New
York Times explored the ways in which tech companies court these
partnerships with school districts using tactics the outlet likens to
the pharmaceutical industry’s courting of doctors, who sign
million-dollar contracts after a series of high-profile dinners and
business trips. Steak dinners, expensive conferences and all-out wooing
is characteristic behavior of tech companies that vie for the
opportunity to become a school district’s digital ambassador.
Yes indeed. And there is
more in this recommended article.
Continuation of US Interventionism
article is by Dennis J. Bernstein on Consortiumnews. It starts as
President Trump’s recent report
on National Security Strategy
his America First “realism” but his approach seems more like old wine
in a new bottle, particularly his continued strong support for Saudi
Arabia and Israel in the Middle East combined with an even more
aggressive U.S. policy in Asia aimed at containing China as well as
confronting North Korea.
For more background on
Trump’s foreign policy, I spoke to Matthew Hoh. In 2009, Hoh resigned
his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the
escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama administration.
Yes, I agree - and in
fact it seems as if most of the policies of Trump derive from Reagan.
Here is some more:
Matthew Hoh: For the
of Afghanistan, this war has been going on since the 1970’s, much of it
propelled by and supported by outside involvement. It has been
eight years now since I resigned. If you had told me back then
that this level of tragedy would still be continuing eight years on,
there is no way I would have believed you.
It was just revealed by the
Pentagon that in the last six months, American and Afghan commandos
have conducted more than 2,000 raids in Afghanistan. Americans
are still there kicking in doors, raiding people’s homes in the middle
of the night, killing them, taking prisoners. This has happened
over 2,000 times in Afghanistan in the last six months! In
addition to that, we have seen an escalation in air strikes, both from
drones and from manned aircraft, in Afghanistan and throughout the
I do not know
whether what is said in the second parahraph is correct, although I
think it is, while the first paragraph is correct about
Here is more on the
kinds of policies the Americans follow in their wars:
I think that is all quite
Hoh: This policy of terror and
punishment is in common with other wars which America is leading in the
region. In Iraq, the US-led forces have demolished Sunni cities
in the Euphrates and Tigris River Valleys. Look at what the
Saudis and the United Arab Emirates have been doing in Yemen, what the
Kurdish forces along with the American Air Force have done to Raqqa as
well as other cities in eastern Syria. And in Afghanistan we are
seeing an increase in air strikes, in artillery operations and in these
night raids into people’s homes.
Our policy has become to
terrorize people into subjugation.
Here is the last bit, on Obama + Trump on torture:
those of us
on the left, we should not lose sight of what took place during Obama’s
eight years which allowed this to happen. The previous
administration did nothing to hold the torturers accountable.
This makes it easier for a Donald Trump to proclaim that torture
I agree. And this is a
Year With Trump
article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Last week, Utah
Senator Orrin Hatch stood on the White House lawn, opining that Donald
presidency could be “the greatest presidency that we’ve seen, not
only in generations, but maybe ever.”
I beg to differ.
America has had its share
of crooks (Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon), bigots (Andrew Jackson,
Buchanan), and incompetents (Andrew Johnson, George W. Bush). But never
Trump have we had a president who combined all these nefarious
I think that is an
accurate description of Donald Trump, for indeed he is - among other
things - a crook, a bigot and an incompetent.
Here is more:
As the New
York Times editorial board put it in June 2017, “for Mr. Trump and
circle, what matters is not what’s right but what you can get away
with. In his
White House, if you’re avoiding the appearance of impropriety, you’re
pushing the boundaries hard enough.”
A president’s most
and moral responsibility is to uphold and protect our system of
has degraded that system.
In fact - and see e.g. item 2 above - Trump is not merely degrading
much of the system of government the USA has known: he is
intentionally destroying much of it. Besides, I think he also has
a recipe, and the recipe is neofascism.
Here is the last bit of
this article that I quote:
America has had its share
of good and bad presidents, but Donald Trump falls far below anything
this nation has ever before experienced. In less than a year, he has
core institutions and values of our democracy.
We have never before had a
president whose character was so contrary to the ideals of the
republic. That Senator Orrin Hatch and other
Republicans don’t seem to recognize this is itself frightening.
Yes I agree, and indeed
Reich is himself well known in the USA, and has been a part of Bill
Clinton's first government. This is a recommended article.
This article is by Tom Engelhardt on his site. It starts as
follows (and "them" refers to "the aliens from outer space"):
Let’s start with the
universe and work our way in. Who cares? Not them because as far as we
know they aren’t there. As far as we know, no one exists in
our galaxy or perhaps anywhere else but us (and the other creatures on
this all-too-modest planet of ours). So don’t count on any aliens out
there caring what happens to humanity. They won’t.
As for it --
Earth -- the planet itself can’t, of course, care, no matter what we do
to it. And I’m sure it won’t be news to you that, when it comes
to him -- and I mean, of course, President Donald J. Trump,
who reputedly has a void where the normal quotient of human empathy
might be -- don’t give it a second’s thought. Beyond himself, his
businesses, and possibly (just possibly) his family, he clearly
couldn’t give less of a damn about us or, for that matter, what happens
to anyone after he departs this planet.
I agree with this. Here
We're all now immersed in
an evolving Trumpocalypse. In a sense, we were there even before
The Donald entered the Oval Office. Just consider what it meant
to elect a visibly disturbed human being to the highest office of the
most powerful, potentially destructive nation on Earth. What does
that tell you? One possibility: given the near
of American voters who
sent him to the White House, by campaign 2016 we were already living in
a deeply disturbed
country. And considering the coming of 1%
elections, the growth of plutocracy, the blooming of a new Gilded
Age whose wealth disparities must already be competitive with its nineteenth-century predecessor, the
of the national security state, our endless wars (now turning “generational”),
the increasing militarization
of this country, and the demobilization
of its people, to mention only a few twenty-first-century American
developments, that should hardly be surprising.
And I agree with this
as well, while I also note that in my psychologist's opinions I quite agree
that Trump is clearly "a
visibly disturbed human being" and a neofascist (on my
definition, which is a lot better than any other I read).
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Yes, I agree again, and
this is a recommended article.
Which brings us to a
straightforward enough question: Could Donald Trump prove to be the end
of evolutionary history? The answer, however provisionally, is that he
could. At a minimum, right now he qualifies as the most dangerous man
on the planet. He might indeed be the final stopping spot (or at least
the person who pointed the way toward it) for human history, for
everything that led to this moment, to us.
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 (!!).