from February 6, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) 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 more than 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
I shall continue.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from February 6, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. The Bankruptcy of the American Left
2. Dow Jones and S.&P. Slide Again, Dropping by More Than
3. As Paul Ryan Touts a Secretary’s $1.50 Weekly Pay Hike,
Reap $1.4B from GOP Tax Plan
4. How to Reel in the U.S. War Machine
5. ‘Deep State’ Veterans find New Homes in Mainstream Media
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:
Bankruptcy of the American Left
This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
There will be no
economic or political justice for the poor, people of color, women or
workers within the framework of global, corporate capitalism. Corporate
capitalism, which uses identity
and racial justice to masquerade as politics, will never halt the
rising social inequality, unchecked militarism, evisceration of civil
liberties and omnipotence of the organs of security and surveillance.
Corporate capitalism cannot be reformed, despite its continually
rebranding itself. The longer the self-identified left and liberal
class seek to work within a system that the political philosopher
Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted
totalitarianism,” the more the noose will be tightened around our
necks. If we do not rise up to bring government and financial systems
under public control—which includes nationalizing banks, the fossil
fuel industry and the arms industry—we will continue to be victims.
I think I basically agree,
although I speak - rather more simply - of the totalitarianism
of the "left" that I got first exposed to over forty years ago,
in the context of
the "University" of Amsterdam, where I was styled "a fascist" and "a
dirty fascist" for eleven years (in which I did not all
study, since I was also ill
all the time) simply for having the courage
to face up to the student party the ASVA, that at that time simply was
one of the ways the Dutch Communist Party hid itself, and that was and
would be destroying the "University" of Amsterdam from 1971 to
And my point is that I in fact was and am a philosophical
, with a better communist,
socialist and anti-fascist
background than absolutely anyone else I know
of in Holland: My
father was a communist since 1935; his father was a
1937; both were arrested (and betrayed) in August 1941 and committed as
"political terrorists" in German concentration camps, which my
grandfather did not survive; my mother was a communist since
was in the - real, communist - resistance and was never arrested; and her
parents were both lifelong anarchists. (I simply do not
know anyone except my brother with that background.)
Also, I have now complained for forty years
about this and many
other things to the "University" of Amsterdam (actually now, after 40
years of continuous destruction, at best a college) and I have
not even got any reply of either the City of Amsterdam
(that housed me 3 1/2 years above the murderous illegal
drugsdealers that had
gotten "personal permission" of mayor Van Thijn to deal illegal drugs
from the bottom floor of my house, which - it seems - also implied his
"personal permission" to have me threatened with murder by his personal
illegal drugsdealers, and to have them gas me in 1988,
which they nearly
succeed in doing)  and also not any decent reply
from the fascistic
terrorists who ruled the "University" i.e. from the
sadofascistic subhuman Cammelbeeck, the sadofascistic
subhuman Poppe, and the sadofascistic subhuman Gevers ,
destroyed my life and my chances in a worse way then my
father's was by three years and nine months, for I also was and am ill
since nearly 40 years. 
And in fact the background to all that was especially the fact that the
Dutch "social democrats" had the nearly complete
power in Amsterdam and
in the "University" of Amsterdam from 1948 till 2013: For 65 years.
Here is another bit of background to this first quoted bit:
Chris Hedges did a number of fine interviews with Sheldon Wolin in
2014, and I reviewed all of them then. You can read them (again) from this link - and as I said, they
are quite good, though I also do not quite agree with Wolin
And here is the next bit from this article:
It owes no loyalty to any nation-state. It uses the projection of
military power by the United States to protect and advance its economic
interests but at the same time cannibalizes the U.S., dismantling its
democratic institutions, allowing its infrastructure to decay and
deindustrializing its factory centers to ship manufacturing abroad to
regions where workers are treated as serfs.
Yes indeed, and the point
of their becoming supranational is that they are both corporate
dedicated to one and only one thing: maximal profit for the
corporations, in fact also by any means that give a higher
profit, regardless of morals, ethics, norms, laws or rights
(For more, see neofascism.)
Then there is this:
Resistance to this
global cabal of corporate oligarchs must also be supranational.
Well... maybe that
follows (somehow, and I don't quite know how) from the
fact that the rich corporations now indeed do operate globally,
consider this rather unlikely, not because I may disagree (I
don't know, for Hedges give no good argument), but because those
who resist generally lack the money and the power to organize globally,
and in fact tend to resist mainly on local
problems (that plague them, there) and not
Here is more on the left - or as I often prefer to say the
"left" (for it is not really left):
The left, seduced by
the culture wars and identity politics, largely ignores the primacy of
capitalism and the class struggle. As long as unregulated capitalism
reigns supreme, all social, economic, cultural and political change
will be cosmetic. Capitalism, at its core, is about the commodification
of human beings
Yes and no, though mostly
and the natural world
for exploitation and profit. To increase profit, it constantly seeks to
reduce the cost of labor and demolish the regulations and laws that
protect the common good.
First - having been a Marxist, in a thoroughly
Marxist family my first 20 years - I do not believe in "the
class struggle". I believe there are the rich, who mostly are
exploitative, and the non-rich, who mostly are exploited, but I do not
believe there is something like a class, as an independent entity,
over and beyond the rich and the non-rich.
You may disagree, but I have read far too much utter baloney
propped up on "a class analysis".
And second, I would have liked to hear more by Hedges on Keynesianism,
which did attempt to regulate parts of capitalism, and indeed
seem to have succeeded for the most part between 1946 and 1979.
That is, I would have liked to hear more about "the regulations and laws that
protect the common good" that were built up in the years between 1946
and 1979. I refer to that period as capitalism-with-a-human-face,
and - whether that term is correct or not - it does (or did)
seem possible to partially change capitalism, namely by having laws
and more or less equal rights of the rich and the non-rich.
But Ieave this and
turn to some
by David North of the Socialist Equality Party:
Well... the first
paragraph can be also summarized as follows: The same
problems and more
or less the same opponents (the rich, (neo)fascists) exist in
Century as existed in the 20th Century, simply because
all the time.
“All the unanswered
questions of the 20th century—the basic problem of the nation-state
system, the reactionary character of private ownership with the means
of production, corporate power, all of these issues which led to the
first and Second world wars—are with us again, and add to that
fascism,” he said.
“We live in a global economy,
highly interconnected,” North went on. “A globalized process of
production, financial system. The ruling class has an international
policy. They organize themselves on an international scale. The labor
movement has remained organized on a national basis.
And I have more or less answered the second point - I do not
likely that "the labor movement" will get organized on an international
scale, except perhaps formally. (And my reasons are not that I
disagree, but that the labor movement has too little money and not
enough power, which also extends to virtually all its members.)
Here is the sociologist Derber:
I think that is quite correct
and indeed it may be put in considerably more radical terms:
The sociologist Charles Derber,
whom I also spoke with in New York, agrees.
“We don’t really have a left
because we don’t have conversations about capitalism,” Derber said.
Real leftists are real socialists, that is to
say, their ideal - which they may well hold to be impossible to
realize right now - is a socialist society, that differs
fundamentally in its principles and in its economy from capitalism.
You may well ask what is a socialist society, but then I have
given at least an outline of an answer, e.g. here Crisis: Robert Reich,
Socialism, 11 hypotheses about the causes of the crisis. (This last link is also strongly
Here is the last bit I quote from this article, which is more by Derber:
Even on the left,
you cannot find a deep conversation about capitalism and militarized
capitalism. It’s just been erased. That’s why Trump came in. He unified
a kind of very powerful right-wing identity politics built around
nationalism, militarism and the exceptionalism of the American empire.”
Yes, I agree, although I do not
believe that this is "why Trump
came in". And in fact - having
led a student party in the "University" of Amsterdam, where almost
everyone except myself pretended to be "Marxists",
"communists" or "socialists", I cannot even recall that I have heard
as much as the word "socialism" in the context of the debates
in the "U"vA between 1977 and 1995 even once.
“Identity politics is to a
large degree a right-wing discourse,” Derber said. “It focuses on
tribalism tied in modern times to nationalism, which is always
It may have happened, but if it did I did not hear it. And this
means that in Holland at least the pretended "left" was
not really left since the 1970ies. And in fact, all the "leftists" I met in the
university have - often publicly - converted to neoconservatism
in the 1990s (to keep their often very well-paying jobs, in
which they all succeeded ).
So in fact I may be more pessimistic than Chris Hedges, and one
major reason why is that I have met (apart from my own direct
family) only pseudo-leftists
in Holland since the late 1970ies.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
Jones and S.&P. Slide Again, Dropping by More Than 4%
This article is by Matt Phillips on The New York Times. It starts as
Since the global
financial crisis a decade ago, a few simple guidelines have helped
investors make sense of the markets.
and inflation will be perpetually weak. Central banks will help by
keeping interest rates low. And stocks will almost invariably rise.
The rule book is
now changing, a shift that is sending tremors through the financial
markets. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell by more than 4
percent on Monday, deepening its losses from the previous week and
erasing its gains for the year. The Dow Jones industrial average sank
by 4.6 percent. Bond yields, the basis for key borrowing costs such as
mortgage rates, have risen fast in recent weeks.
I say! And
in fact these considerable economic changes started yesterday,
therefore it is at the moment difficult to say whether they
of flatten out.
thing is meanwhile certain: This is the biggest fall since
2008, indeed in part because it is worldwide.
Here is a
On the moment it is - for
me - very early morning on Tuesday, but Phillips is right about
In trading in
Asia on Tuesday morning, markets signaled another tough day. Major
stock markets in the region plunged after the drop in the United States
on Monday, suggesting the pain could continue. In Japan, stocks were
down more than 5 percent in morning trading, while shares in Hong Kong
were down more than 4 percent.
There is considerably more in the original, which is recommended. And I
will follow this development and have more in later issues of Nederlog.
Paul Ryan Touts a Secretary’s $1.50 Weekly Pay Hike, Koch Bros. Reap
$1.4B from GOP Tax Plan
This article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It
starts with the following introduction:
This weekend, House
Speaker Paul Ryan touted a story of a woman whose paycheck increased by
$1.50 cents a week as a major benefit to middle-class workers. On
Saturday, Ryan tweeted a link to an Associated Press report, writing,
“A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said
she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said
[that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.” After
a deluge of ridicule and outrage, Ryan deleted the tweet hours later.
For more, we speak with Richard Wolff, emeritus professor of economics
at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and visiting professor at The
New School. He’s the author of several books, including, most recently,
“Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.”
I happen to be a
psychologist and will diagnose Paul Ryan: He is an evident sadist. And the
story summarized in this introduction is indeed precisely as I've read
it on other sites, so I take it that it is correct.
Also, I happen to be a philosophical
anarchist  who comes from a very Marxistic family,
but I gave up Marx
and Marxism - for quite good reasons, incidentally - in 1970.
It so happens that I am not angry with most Marxists (apart
from the quasi-Marxists that formed the great majority in the thoroughly
sick ASVA in Holland, between 1971 and 1995 - but my parents were real
and I never quarreled with them about Marx), and that I also do follow
some academic Marxists on line.
I also tried to follow Richard Wolff several times, but gave up
because his prose is too academic, and his opinions are mostly quite
familiar to me.
Anyway... here he is:
In contrast to the reported $1.50 pay increase, which comes to $78 a
year, House Speaker Ryan received a staggering half a million dollars
in campaign contributions from Charles Koch only days after Ryan pushed
through the tax overhaul. The legislation has been massively benefiting
corporations and the richest Americans, including President Trump and
his own family, and the Koch brothers, who may save as much as $1.4
billion on income taxes every year.
And I agree with that -
and I said above that my psychologist's diagnosis of Ryan is that he is
a sadist (which
- I think - certainly played a role in his mailing about how
much a benefit of $1.50 a week is appreciated by - what
I think he thinks - the subhuman and stupid poor).
Your response to this, Richard
WOLFF: I take great
comfort from the fact that there was this kind of response. The classic
move, both of the Republican Party in general and of Mr. Trump, is to
give tiny tax benefits to the mass of people in order to distract them
from the grotesque inequality of the benefits going to the corporations
and the richest people.
And for me, as an economic
historian, after 30 years, which is the truth of the last 30 years, of
a growing gap between rich and poor, that everybody recognizes, to pass
a tax cut that worsens it rather than softens it, is kind of
staggering. It’s really not about economics anymore. It’s about an
out-of-control economy in which the few are simply grabbing it all
before it disappears
Here is more by Wolff:
(...) They hope that if you get a little bit, you’ll be so grateful and
so happy that you won’t pay attention. But here’s where it’ll come back
and bite you, because with this kind of a tax cut, massive reduction in
the money that the federal government gets from all these corporations
and rich, we know already, because Mr. Ryan, among others, has told us,
they’re going to be cutting government programs, using the excuse that
they don’t have the money. So, the $1.50 that young lady will save, she
will then lose more than that in the cutback in government programs
upon which she and her family and her community will depend. This is a
bad scene for the mass of the American people.
I think this is also
correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article
(...) For years, large corporations have evaded their share of taxes by
using a loophole that their lobbyists got into the law years ago, which
says, if you keep your wealth outside the country, your profits, you
don’t have to pay the tax here in the United States, you only have to
pay when you come back. Year after year, billions were unavailable to
Washington to serve our needs as a people, because they did that. And
instead of saying, “You know, you’ve abused the American economy by
this not payment,” instead, that bill, that was passed in December,
gives them a preferential lower rate than they otherwise would have had
Yes indeed. And this is a
4. How to
Reel in the U.S. War Machine
This article is by Medea Benjamin on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
In recent budget
negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost
in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70
billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion.
Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to
private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets.
Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a
scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money
flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for
While the majority of the
weapons money goes to Republicans, Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and
Bill Nelson appear in the top
ten recipients of campaign contributions—in both chambers and
parties—from military contractors in 2017 and 2018. Northrop Grumman gave
$785,000 to Democratic candidates since 2017. Hillary Clinton took
over $1 million from the industry in 2016. Even progressive darlings
Warren and Bernie
Sanders take money from weapons manufacturers, and Sanders supported
Boeing’s disastrous F-35 because his home state had a financial stake in the
If neither major political
party will stand up to this status quo, what can be done?
I think all of the above is quite
correct. And in fact my own reply to the last question is: Very
little indeed. (In case you ask why: It is the Senate
who decided these things, and most of the Senate - Republicans and
Democrats - has been corrupted by the bankers and the arms industry,
indeed as sketched in the second paragraph of the above quote.)
There is more that I leave to
your interests. The article ends thus:
I am sorry, but I don't
believe this will be successful, and not because I disagree but
because the arms industry is very powerful and very rich. But this is a
A new coalition of about 70
groups across the country has formed to launch a Divest From the War Machine
campaign. The coalition is inviting all those who are disgusted by the
war profiteers to help galvanize university, city, pension and faith
institutions to divest from war.
In a 2015 speech to the
U.S. Congress, the very Congress that is so beholden to the war
machine, Pope Francis asked why deadly weapons were being sold to those
who inflict untold suffering on society. The answer, he said, was
money, “money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.” Looking
at a room full of congresspeople who benefit from what he called
“merchants of death,” the Pope called for the elimination of the arms
trade. One way to heed the Pope’s call is to eat away at the profits of
those who make a killing on killing.
State’ Veterans find New Homes in Mainstream Media
This article is by Caitlin Johnstone on Consortiumnews. It starts as
“Former CIA director
John Brennan has become the latest member of the NBC News and MSNBC
family, officially signing with the network as a contributor,” chirps a
article by The Wrap, as though that’s a perfectly normal thing to
have to write and not a ghastly symptom of an Orwellian dystopia. NBC reports
I say! Then again, I also
agree with Johnstone. Here is more on other Deep State's veterans now pretending
they are journalists:
that the former
head of the depraved,
Central Intelligence Agency “is now a senior national security and
Brennan, who played
a key role in the construction of the establishment’s Russia
narrative that has been used to manufacture public consent for world-threatening
new cold war escalations, is just the latest addition in an ongoing
trend of trusted mainstream media outlets being packed to the gills
with stalwarts from the U.S. intelligence community. Brennan joins CIA
and DoD Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash on
the NBC/MSNBC lineup, who is serving there as a national security
analyst, as well as NBC intelligence/national security reporter
CIA collaborator Ken Dilanian.
I think this is also
correct, and here is a more or less general analysis by
Former Director of National
architect, and known Russophobic racist James Clapper was welcomed to the
CNN “family” last year by Chris “It’s Illegal to
Read WikiLeaks” Cuomo and now routinely appears as an expert
analyst for the network. Last year CNN also hired
a new national security analyst in Michael Hayden, who has served
as CIA Director, NSA Director, Principal Deputy Director of
National Intelligence, and an Air Force general.
Former CIA analyst and now paid
CNN analyst Phil Mudd, who last year caused Cuomo’s show to have to
issue a retraction
and apology for a completely baseless claim he made on national
television asserting that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is “a
pedophile”, is once again making
headlines for suggesting that the FBI is entering into a
showdown with the current administration over Trump’s decision to
declassify the controversial Nunes memo.
More and more of the
outlets from which Americans get their information are being filled not
just with garden variety establishment loyalists, but with longstanding
members of the U.S. intelligence community. These men got to their
positions of power within these deeply sociopathic institutions based
on their willingness to facilitate any depravity in order to advance
the secret agendas of the U.S. power establishment, and now they’re
being paraded in front of mainstream Americans on cable news on a daily
basis. The words of these “experts” are consistently taken
on by smaller news outlets in print and online media in a way that
seeds their authoritative assertions throughout public consciousness.
Again I mostly agree,
except - I am a psychologist - for the term "sociopathic": A
sociopath is somebody who does not share the current norms of his
or her society (which is not a psychiatric sickness at
all). What is meant is probably a psychopath (who do
have something wrong in their personality or their motives).
Here is more:
The term “deep state” does
not refer to a conspiracy theory but to a simple concept in political
analysis which points to the undeniable reality that (A) plutocrats,
(B) intelligence agencies, (C) defense agencies, and (D) the mainstream
media hold large amounts of power in America despite their not being
part of its elected government. You don’t need to look far to see how
these separate groups overlap and collaborate to advance their own
agendas in various ways. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, for example, is deeply
involved in all
of the aforementioned groups: (A) as arguably the
wealthiest person ever he is clearly a plutocrat, with a
company that is trying
to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy; (B)
he is a CIA contractor; (C) he
of a Pentagon advisory board; and (D) his purchase
of the Washington Post in 2013 gave him total control over a
major mainstream media outlet.
Well... I don't think
the Deep State is quite what Johnstone says it is (here is a better analysis) but
she comes fairly close, and she is wholly right about Jeff Bezos.
Here is the last bit I
quote from this article:
Yes indeed - and note that
this "system" excludes more or less automatically anyone who does not
have political power and does not have heaps of money. And this means
it is thoroughly anti-democratic.
America is ruled by an
elite class which has slowly created a system where money increasingly translates
directly into political power, and which is therefore motivated to
maintain economic injustice in order to rule over the masses more
completely. The greater the economic inequality, the greater their
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 (!!).
 In fact because I agree more with the
philosophical anarchists than with other social philosophers, and -
especially - because I am quite aware that this is an ideal for
me, that I, at least, will never see realized.
 I am sorry, but all these things happened to me
between 1988 and 1992, and if somebody knows better terms for
that behavior you may write me. It was also all handed to Van Thijn's
personal doorman starting in 1990, and also send to the lawyers of the
City of Amsterdam, but evidently I was too much of a subhuman
to even acknowledge receipt of my texts.
 These three fascistic and terrorist beasts from the
"Social Democrats" are all dead: They cannot be
offended anymore. If you know better terms for them -
remembering that I have been called "a dirty fascist" many tens of
times by many tens of students during eleven years,
simply because I opposed the
ASVA, and have had my health
and my ex's health seen thoroughly destroyed
because they absolutely refused to do anything for 3 years
against an utter madman who threatened my life and attacked me (and I
won the courtcase) - you may write me.
 Simply because my father was capable of raising a
family and I was not.
 Incidentally, here is another fact about nearly all
the (prominent) "leftists" I have known since 1977: Nearly everyone
made a great amount of personal money from their "leftist"
lies, pretesions and fairytales, some indeed hundreds of thousands or -
rarely - millions, over several years. Again I am the only one
who never made a single cent with my opinions in
Holland: Everybody else who got prominent as a "leftist" did it