from February 15, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 15, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. S. African President Jacob Zuma Quits to Prevent Ouster
2. Prognosis: America 2018
3. The Trump Administration Wants to Make a Decades-Old
Fantasy a Reality
4. Intel-for-Hire Undermines U.S. Intelligence (Part 2)
5. Trump Budget Offers Stark Vision We Cannot Afford to Ignore
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:
African President Jacob Zuma Quits to Prevent Ouster
This article is by Christopher Torchia on Truthdig and originally on
The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
President Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday in a televised address to
the nation, avoiding his almost certain ouster in a parliamentary vote
scheduled for Thursday after years of corruption scandals.
Zuma’s resignation came
after the ruling African National Congress party instructed him to
leave office by the end of Wednesday or face the motion of no
confidence in parliament. His departure ended a leadership crisis in
one of Africa’s biggest economies and set the stage for ruling party
lawmakers to elect acting president Cyril Ramaphosa, previously deputy
president, as Zuma’s successor.
Well... that is something.
And in case you ask: This continues my
review of an article yesterday, also about Zuma. Yesterday it
clear Zuma would go, but then he did.
Here is the other bit
that I quote from this article:
The ANC, which has led
South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994, had wanted
Zuma to end his second five-year term early so that it could build up
support ahead of 2019 elections.
“We can no longer keep
South Africa waiting,” said Paul Mashatile, the ANC’s treasurer general.
Ramaphosa, elected as the
ANC’s new leader in December, has said the government will do more to
fight the corruption that has damaged the ANC.
I can't say -
after nine years of corruption by their leading man - that the
ANC's new leader's statement that his "government will do more to
fight the corruption that has damaged the ANC" sounds strong or convincing.
But we shall see, and I
agree Zuma's removal is one step forward. This is a recommended
This article is by Michael Fangman MD on Truthdig. It starts as
I agree to all of
this - and Fangman (who is an M.D. since nearly forty years) is quite
correct that there - also - is an enormous corruption among
physicians, and not merely in the USA either. 
Doctors seek a unifying
diagnosis to explain symptoms and inform a prognosis. My diagnosis for
a Trumped-up White House with pseudo-populism as a diversion is naked
greed. “Trust me” winks from the far-right wing predict a dire
prognosis for the 99 percent.
In one career, my 38
working years as an oncologist, U.S. society has done a “180”—from a
Peace Corps legacy to TV’s “Apprentice” and a mentality of social
Darwinism. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, echoing the Koch brother’s ALEC, the Cato Institute,
and James Buchanan/Milton Friedman libertarianism have made “you eat
what you kill” the sacred creed of their right-wing propaganda machine.
And much of America has joined in the chant of “money over all.”
Soul searching over civil
rights, the Pentagon Papers and Watergate once prompted a national
catharsis and predicted an era of enlightened, transparent governance
of America. But since those innocent days, the decades of my medical
career have witnessed health care turned from a noble profession into
“profit center” exploitation among Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big
Many physicians joined in the
gold rush, emboldened by Wall Street’s “greed is great” mantra.
Here is some on the personal motivation of Michael Fangman:
Understand that I am
no socialist or partisan advocate. I’ve always been an independent. I
earned money by hard work and respect a foundational tenet of
capitalism: If you snooze, you lose. There was bad governance by Wendy Lee Gramm,
Bill Clinton, Lawrence Summers, George W. Bush, Barack Obama. They
coddled and then bailed out the pervasive greed of Wall Street and that
of greedy mortgage bankers like Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide, as it
flushed away much of my career’s work and the security of millions of
others in the Great Recession. This casino mentality is still taking
the 99 percent for suckers. Trump’s “tax reform” is yet another smoke
screen for unvarnished greed.
In fact, I don't much care
whether Fangman is a socialist or a partisan advocate, though
my reasons are probably not quite normal:
First, I really dislike partisans (of any kind), mostly
because I think all of them are inspired by ideologies, and
ideologies are the stupid and ignorant parts
And yes, the philosophies also may very well be
mistaken (all or all but one are not
correct, it would seem ), but - at least as I
use the terms "philosophy"
- people genuinely interested in philosophy are genuinely
interested in true
information, whereas ideologists, who
generally "know" that they are right, tend to seek only convincing
information (which very often consists of lies or propaganda).
And second, while I am a socialist,
I am not a socialist because I think that is currently possible
or feasible, but because I think democratic socialism is a better system
than capitalism. Also, while I think I am quite right in that estimate,
I know the large majority thinks otherwise (and indeed also
knows little of socialism). In fact, I do not even know whether there
are sufficiently many truly intelligent and truly honest men and women
to realize socialism: I hope there are, but I do not
Here is more by Fangman:
I don’t write to grind my
ax. I write because con men running this nation are confusing American
voters. Since the 1980s, hucksters too numerous to recount—see
Bush/Dick Cheney, Henry Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and now Donald
Trump—have seduced solid, hard-working Americans to believe in bogus
scams like invading Iraq. The Koch brothers’ anti-democracy
libertarianism has taken Friedman’s dog-eat-dog “trickle down” to new
“Republi-cons” have no kinship with Dwight Eisenhower’s Republican
Party or with principled Republican moderates of the Watergate era.
Their stealth service to billionaires is simply not divulged, and the
corporate media obliges their secretive agenda with distractions about
conventional boogeymen and hype.
I again agree with all
of what I quoted. Here is some more by Fangman:
A sobering array of
deregulatory-, regulatory- and privatization-induced wounds plague our
society, yet they never get airtime or congressional action,
overshadowed continually by the raging scandals that hyper-partisanship
In health care, poor
leadership has cursed us with the labors of Sisyphus, in the form of
counterproductive electronic medical records, billing, data collection
and prescribing systems. The Joint Commission
watchdogs once did good work but now seem like a bloated bureaucracy
nitpicking health care to death. We have irrational drug-pricing
burdens, artificial intelligence threatening to sweep away human
interactions from even medical care, and much more that complicates
(rather than streamlines) the whole system.
And this is also all correct
according to what I know and value. Incidentally, Fangman is
quite right when he says that "electronic
medical records, billing, data collection
and prescribing systems" are all
counterproductive, but he may not agree with me that all of
this was intentional - and I do not mean the very many
mistakes that were made, but the fact that the
whole medical system arrived on line, which means that it is effectively open for the NSA and many others
to get the full details on anyone's health.
I think that was the real
underlying point, but I agree it was hidden.
Here is the last bit I am
quoting from this fine article. It is from its end:
unparalleled in American history—what I regard as Deception Inc.—is in
control of our society. Partisan propaganda pits Main Street Americans
against one another to distrust the “other” and vote for con artists
and thieves doing the bidding of billionaires.
We, the people, must learn
the details of all this corruption in the service of greed. Scholars
and investigative journalists exposing our corrupt system of
dysfunctional leadership must become household names among the 99
percent. We must unite to demand moderation and fairness from authentic
leaders who respect democracy.
Well... I agree with
the first paragraph. As to the second: I hope so, but I also
think that "the 99 percent" will not agree for a good part,
either because their values
are different or because they are in fact too stupid, too ignorant or too
And this is a
Trump Administration Wants to Make a Decades-Old Right-Wing Fantasy a
This article is by Simon Maloy on AlterNet and originally on Media
Matters. It starts as follows:
The Trump White House’s newly
proposed budget is (like all White House budget proposals) more of
a political document than anything else. It has no actual bearing on
how the government will spend its money, and Congress will almost
certainly ignore it. But that’s not to say it is entirely devoid of
value -- the White House uses the annual budget proposal to act out its
fantasies and give us a little glimpse at the ideologies motivating the
administration’s policy preferences.
One of those ideologies, as
conveyed by the White House’s vision for the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program, or SNAP, expresses insane and horrifying contempt
for low-income Americans. And while the policy the administration has
proposed is extreme, it fits in squarely with longstanding conservative
efforts to stigmatize and shame recipients of government assistance.
Also, I have been
saying for almost two years now
that Donald Trump is a madman
and a neofascist,
and I see this decision as very strong reasons to
assume that what Trump and his team really think of the poor
differs extremely little from what the fascists thought
of the poor and the left: They are the subhumans. And Very
Great Geniuses like Trump and his mates are White Supermen.
In case you doubt this,
here is more:
Yes and no: I agree with the
criticism, but I take it further (also seeing millionaires get at least
$70,000 dollars a year for free): This is designed so as to
poor as much as currently possible - and if it were possible to
them to creep to the providers of the prescribed food, and politely say
"Thank you very much" three times, they would have prescribed that as
One of the administration’s
measures is “a bold new approach to administering SNAP.” The way
the program currently works, SNAP-eligible households are provided a
monthly benefit based on income level in the form of a debit card,
which can be used to purchase grocery items. Some restrictions
apply (no alcohol, tobacco, or pet food, for example), but SNAP
recipients have wide latitude in what foods they can purchase and where
they can shop.
The Trump administration wants
to change all of this by forcing most SNAP recipients to receive half
their monthly benefit in the form of “a USDA Foods package, which would
include items such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta,
peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or
fish.” The Republican White House wants to choose which foods SNAP
recipients eat, and it wants to control how they receive their food
each month -- so much for “small government” conservatism abolishing
the “nanny state.”
For me, this is self-evident and very conscious sadism of the very
rich, like Trump. You may want to explain it otherwise, but - also
given Trump's obvious racism - this seems the best explanation I know.
The article ends as follows:
administration’s proposal derives from the same idea that SNAP
recipients can’t be trusted and will necessarily misuse their benefit.
Rather than banning certain foods, the White House is proposing to
force SNAP beneficiaries to eat an approved list of low-cost foods
while simultaneously limiting the amount of benefit they have to spend.
It’s gross paternalism lightly disguised with absurd promises about
efficiency and cost-savings. And it fits right in with the broader
right-wing argument that receipt of government assistance is morally
suspect and recipients should be penalized through stigma and
controlled through loss of choice.
Again I more
or less agree, but I also extend my criticism: This is not just
primarily distrust: it is disgust with the poor, for
which reason it
also treats them sadistically.
And this is a recommended article.
Undermines U.S. Intelligence (Part 2)
This article is by George Eliason on Consortiumnews. This is Part 2: I
reviewed Part 1 here. This article
starts as follows:
one of this series, we looked at the top level of the privatized
intelligence community showing that large for-profit companies and
individual actors have other interests in mind than the public good.
Work that was previously considered inherently governmental is
routinely contracted out to people who only serve their own
self-interest, which may be at odds with what most people might expect
from intelligence – for example, unbiased information to guide sensible
I copied this mostly to
make clear it is Part 2 of a three-part series, of which I also
reviewed Part 1. Here is more:
Now we’ll look at the next
level down – the smaller companies, specialty companies, and
practitioners that service the top level. We’ll see how they fit in the
picture and work in real life.
In 2016, Tim Shorrock wrote
an article describing the five intelligence giants that control
domestic policy, foreign policy, military, and civilian leaders with
the products they sell. They create the information, analyze the
information, and decide who the President of the United States will see
as an enemy and who as a friend.
The smaller companies
provide the resources for them to work with and base their reports on.
In the digital age intelligence has become a buyer’s market. If the
larger company profits more by finding Russian influence at work at a
grammar school Christmas play, then that’s the conclusion that will be
drawn. If you aren’t up to the task, someone else will provide the
“proof.” After all, that’s where the money is.
I have not read
Shorrock's article and I shall do so later. Here I say that Shorrock's
analysis sounds plausible, in fact especially (to me) because the
analysis seems very close to my analysis of neofascism,
that is based on the profits the large corporations - some with
billions of customers - make: It is profit that dominates
everything, and far more than truth - as
indeed is said in the quotation.
Here is more by Eliason:
Private sector services
mirror what they do for government including Intel-for-Hire, espionage,
information operations, direct action, and state-sized propaganda
operations. This is work that the government has stated on many
occasions needs to remain with the agencies that can be held
responsible to the public – and not to private companies that aren’t.
The contractors and
companies work both inside and outside U.S. government circles. They
sometimes work for foreign governments. When they are in the private
sector, they have no problem attacking and harassing U.S. citizens as
well as the rest of the global community. Wherever their clients point,
This is the part some of
the worst offenders take very seriously. In their world, they are James
Bond and destroying the reputations of innocent people is a service to
their country, and keeps their bank accounts flush with money. In their
minds, they are this generation’s super-patriots, when in fact, as soon
as what they do is opened to inspection, they are common criminals.
The main point here is
that the corporations that do do the work - which is: spying
- are not governmental (though the government says
they should be - which by this time is surely a major lie),
but are both quite private and also quite pliable.
I think both
assessments are correct, but I do not know.
Here is Eliason's
judgement on the present stage of "intelligence research":
People with no security
clearances and radical political agendas have state-sized cyber tools
at their disposal and can use them for their own political agendas,
private business, and personal vendettas the same way they use CIA’s Vault 7 hacking tools
for state projects. And this has been going on for years.
That is - Eliason says
- the real intelligence research is given to private corporations, who
do essentially what they please - and have done so for many years.
Here is the last bit I
quote from this article:
Anything marked as
“intelligence” is also designated top secret by the all of the DNI
agencies, so even something that is originally open-source information
becomes “top secret” once it is earmarked for an agency. This is being
done on a regular basis at different levels.
If something can
be physically stolen from someone (which is a matter of technique,
and the techniques are very far advanced), then it will
probably be stolen, and it will be styled "intelligence",
which in turn is sufficient to make it "top secret", which
again allows that the game can continue, for this also
makes the corporations which do this virtually completely
uncontrollable by anyone who does not head such a
corporation or is not a high member of some intelligence
And this seems to be a
fair summary of what "the intelligence services of the USA" have been
doing since 9/11. I cannot control everything or indeed most things
Eliason said in this article,
but it is again quite interesting and recommended.
Budget Offers Stark Vision We Cannot Afford to Ignore
is by Robert Greenstein on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
A President’s budget
reflects his vision for America. From that perspective, President
Trump’s vision is stark, with the most affluent individuals and
powerful corporations accumulating more wealth — and wielding more
power, and facing fewer limits, to treat workers and consumers as they
choose — while tens of millions of struggling Americans must reduce
their already modest standards of living.
Yes indeed. And I think
that the vision president Trump offers is a neofascistic
also seems to include his own Great Genius as a - real, in his
if I am right - Supermen And Genius (Of All Geniuses, like Stalin).
You may doubt my additions (but see item 3),
although I am quite definite myself that Trump is a neofascist
(in my definition of that term: see the last link).
Here is some more:
While some media
coverage has portrayed this budget as largely irrelevant, such a
judgment is premature and likely mistaken. The President is his
party’s leader, his party controls the House and Senate, and his budget
reflects his priorities and vision for the country. Congress
likely won’t enact many of the budget’s specific proposals in
2018. But the budget shows what the President intends to seek if
his party retains control of the House in November (..)
Yes, I think that is a
correct estimate - which also shows that the elections in November are
Here is some more by Greenstein:
The budget comes
just weeks after the President and Congress enacted a top-heavy tax
cut, one that the Tax Policy Center estimated will give those who make
more than $1 million a year an average annual tax cut of $70,000 — more
than the entire annual income of the median-income household.
Nevertheless, the budget calls for slashing one program after another
that provides basic assistance for large numbers of Americans of modest
means and promotes upward mobility.
Yes indeed - and I call
the budget sadistic
and fascistic, and I also think I am correct if I
say that at least the sadism is quite conscious and quite
- It proposes once again
to repeal the ACA’s coverage expansions and gouge Medicaid deeply on
top of that — cutting Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities,
and families with children, as well as other adults (...)
- It proposes deep cuts in
basic nutrition, housing, and income assistance for millions of
Americans below or close to the poverty line, most of whom work for low
wages, are elderly or disabled, or care for young children. (...)
- It makes a mockery of
Administration rhetoric that urges the poor to work harder. For
instance, its proposals would lead to the eviction of many people
receiving rental assistance if they don’t have jobs or aren’t enrolled
in work programs, even as it also proposes to raise rents sharply on
many of them if they do work. (..)
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes indeed - and the Gilded Age was
between 1877 and 1897. And this is a recommended article.
This budget would widen
inequality, worsen poverty and hardship, and further divide the
country. With it, the President essentially calls on us to ignore
what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” — and instead to
enter a new Gilded Age.
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 (!!).
Namely - for example - in Holland (and also in England): I have been
ill now for nearly forty years, and got one of the best M.A.'s
psychology that ever was awarded here, but 9 out 10 Dutch
follow and have followed the sadistic fraud Wessely (and others) since
1980, as if no one can be a medical doctor in Holland (or
he or she doesn't agree - for nearly 40 years, moreover - to all the
ideological bullshit that the majority agrees on.
While knowing shit
of psychology, moreover.
fact, I am a philosopher. I only became a psychologist after I
illegally removed from taking the M.A. in philosophy
by the sadists and
fascist terrorists who ruled the "University" of Amsterdam in the
1980ies: The sadist Gevers, the sadist Poppe, and the sadist Verhoeven.
I also add that these
subhumans are all dead, and cannot be offended anymore, which gives me
reason to say that they were subhumans compared to my very heroic father and grandfather.
As to philosophy:
I think there - probably - is one correct philosophy (for human
beings), but I do not know it, and I think no one does,
although I also think that some philosophers - notably, those with a
talent for mathematics and science - are likely to be more correct (or
to err less) than other philosophers.
am quite realistic here (and I insist that one's choice for or against
socialism is not a factual but an ethical choice).