from March 29, 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 March 29, 2018
1. Big Brother Isn’t Watching You, You’re Watching Him!
2. Ecuador Cuts Off Julian Assange’s Internet Access. Again.
If Trump Is Allowed to Rig the Census, Then
All of U.S. Democracy Is
4. In John Bolton, Donald Trump Has an Adviser Who’s Radical
5. How the Military Controls America
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:
Brother Isn’t Watching You, You’re Watching Him!
This article is by Tom Engelhardt on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
A record? Come on!
Don’t minimize what’s happening. It’s far too unique, too unprecedented
even to be classified as “historic.” Call it mega-historic, if you
wish. Never from Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to Soviet despot Joseph
Stalin, from the Sun King Louis the XIV to President Ronald Reagan,
from George Washington to Barack Obama, has anyone — star, icon,
personality, president, autocrat, emperor — been covered in anything
like this fashion.
Mr. Engelhardt is talking
about Trump. Then again, he does not consider at least four
(1) Mr. Engelhardt himself has been
writing - I think, and I am looking at his site every day -
about Donald Trump for the most part; (2) in the last 10 years or so publishing
something has been completely
revolutionized: there are now more than 2 billion publishers (and most are morons,
am very sorry to say) and this absolutely never was the case;
(3) as I have been argueing now since 2016, as a psychologist also, I
think the tenthousands of psychologists and psychiatrists who have
insisted that Trump is
not sane are correct; and
(4) besides: Trump does
have an ideology,
(but as hardly any journalist can define fascism in any
reasonable way, even fewer journalists seem to know or to
But Engelhardt doesn't even mention any of these points, and
besides I am far less certain that, at least when the extremely
radical changes I mentioned under (2) are compensated for, that
e.g. the decades of propaganda for
(in the former Soviet Union),
was considerably less radical than the propaganda for (and against)
Here is more by Engelhardt:
Here, in my opinion,
may be the strangest thing of all. Who doesn’t sense just how
unprecedented the media spectacle of our moment is? Every single day is
a new Trump dawn, a new firing or appointment at the White House, a new
tweet storm, a new outrageous statement or policy, a new insult, a new lie or misstatement, a new
bit of news about Stormy Daniels or other women who — your choice —
had affairs with, were groped by, defamed by, or silenced by him, and so on
down an endlessly repetitive list of what has become “the news” more or
less 24/7 or perhaps more accurately 24/365 (with not a holiday in
Well... since 2013
I have been writing systematically about the crisis, and since
2013 I have also systematically consulted 35 sites every day.
I admit I have published more about Trump than about Obama, but
there are extremely many more persons who can and do publish; Obama -
much as I dislike him - was neither mad nor a
neofascist, and Trump is both; Trump's new policies are very radical
and strongly anti-democratic; and besides, if you are really
displeased with the effects of Trump on your mind, you also are free to
pay less attention to him.
Then there is this on the NYT:
Take my hometown
newspaper, the New York Times. Never — of this I have no
doubt — has it covered a president, his doings, and those of his
administration this way. As it cuts its copyediting staff
(and grammatical errors become a more regular part of its news
reports), it has assigned a staggering number of reporters to Donald J.
Trump and his doings.
Well... I don't
like the NYT much, but I consult it daily. But this doesn't convince me
at all: "a
number of reporters" is extremely
vague and also, once again, Engelhardt does not mention the
fact that there are now many more than 2 billion publishers,
nor indeed the fact that 10 years earlier there were far fewer.
Then there is this:
Believe me, if this
were happening in Russia or China (The cult of Putin! The cult of Xi!),
it would be a major news story and treated as such. After all,
thought of a certain way, what we’ve been watching is indeed the
creation of an all-American cult of personality (quite literally so
when it comes to Trump’s “base,” as any of his rallies suggest).
And yet that and the media’s role in it isn’t news.
No, I am sorry: This seems
to me, and certainly when none of the four reasons I
mentioned above for the stronger interests in Trump and the
spectacularly increased number of publications is considered at all.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
No, I am sorry again: I
have explained why there is much more
attention on Trump than on any other American president (and an
important one that Engelhardt missed is that there now are more than
two billion publishers on the internet) - and besides: I am far
less interested or concerned with people who are watching Trump
than with the fact that it seems as if Google
and Facebook (just these:
there are several more of these gatherers) all have at least 6
Gigabytes of data on absolutely everyone
(which is FAR more than will be gathered about you by the
police in case you commit ten murders).
Seven decades after
Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 was published, we in
the United States do indeed find ourselves in a full-scale surveillance society — and
that world, as Edward Snowden let us know in such a
memorable fashion back in 2013, preceded Donald Trump. But when
it comes to Trump, here’s the curious thing that Orwell himself
couldn’t have imagined: Big Brother isn’t watching us, we’re forever
Here is a link to a recent bit on The Guardian, that I nowadays can't
copy at all, not even their titles, but the following bit is
interesting (and I list it as an exception):
Google know absolutely everything
about you: A fairly
unknown user downloaded the data Google know about him
and it turns out they have 5,6 Gigabyte of data on him,
list absolutely everything he ever did with his computer, while
on the same unknown user, has 600 MB ("which is roughly 400,000
I take it this is typical for everyone
(and somewhat better
known users may have many more data secretly extracted by these two
sick, fraudulent psychopathic spies).
Cuts Off Julian Assange’s Internet Access. Again.
This article is by Sewell Chan on The New York Times. It
starts as follows:
said Wednesday that it had suspended internet access for Julian
Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who since 2012 has lived in Ecuador’s
Embassy in London, out of concern that he was harming its relationships
with Britain and other European nations.
I say, for I did not
know this - and yes, it has
happened before (in 2016). And it
was also mentioned on several other sites, but I copied The New York Times to ask
whether this is their normal style of neofascistic totalitarian
In fact, I reread this whole
according to the anonymous neofascist propagandist
who rewrote and falsified the item "totalitarianism" on
Wikipedia) once more to detect a single
word of praise or thanks in
it, or the elementary consideration that Ecuador now wants Julian
Assange - it seems - to say what they wish him to say or else to shut
There is no praise, no thanks, and not the least
bit of elementary morality in this shitty piece of "journalism".
Here is the other bit I quote from it, which supports my claim that Ecuador now wants Julian
Assange - it seems - to say what they wish
him to say or else to
Mr. Assange citizenship in January, the latest step in a
longstanding diplomatic standoff. But it said it had suspended Mr.
Assange’s online communications on Tuesday because he had imperiled
“the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom,
with the rest of the states of the European Union, and other nations”
through his social-media messages.
This is just as I said.
Trump Is Allowed to Rig the Census, Then All of U.S. Democracy Is Rigged
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts
with the following introduction:
A new battle is
brewing over the 2020 U.S. census. At least 12 states are moving to sue
the Trump administration over plans to add a question about citizenship
to the upcoming census. Voting rights activists fear the question will
deter immigrants from participating in the census, leading to a vast
undercount in states with large immigrant communities. This could
impact everything from the redrawing of congressional maps to the
allocation of federal funding. On Tuesday, White House spokesperson
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the decision to add a citizenship question
was “necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters.” At
least five former directors of the Census Bureau, who served under
Republican and Democratic presidents, have written a letter opposing
the citizenship question.
I take it this is correct,
and I am interested, as a
Dutchman, in American voting, simply
because the outcomes (some of them) have effects far beyond the
Here is more:
GOODMAN: On Tuesday, White
House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said the decision to add a citizenship
question was, quote, “necessary for the Department of Justice to
The purpose is to determine individuals that are here. It also helps to
comply with the Voting Rights Act.
GOODMAN: At least five
former directors of the Census Bureau, who served under Republican and
Democratic presidents, have written a letter opposing the citizenship
For more, we’re joined now
by Ari Berman, a senior writer at Mother Jones, author of Give
Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.
His new piece,
just out today, headlined “Hidden Figures: The 2020 Census Will Shape
the Future of Our Democracy.”
And here is Ari Berman:
BERMAN: It’s one question,
but it’s a huge question on a huge issue, because the census affects
everything in American life, Amy. It affects how $675 billion in
federal funding is allocated to states and localities. It affects how
many congressional seats and electoral votes states get. It affects how
local and federal districts are drawn. It affects the data that every
institution in America, from corporations to universities to the
military, uses to understand their populations. And so, if the census
is rigged, if the census is manipulated, then all of American democracy
is rigged and manipulated as a result.
And there has always been a
tremendous undercount of people of color by the census. In the 2010
census, 1.5 million people of color were undercounted, were not counted
by the Census Bureau. That undercount could be dramatically larger now
under Trump, because immigrants are going to be afraid to respond to
the census now. And so, what Donald Trump is doing is he’s turning the
census, which is a constitutionally mandated act every 10 years, he’s
turning the census into a tool of voter suppression and to a tool of
nativist resentment. And that’s so shocking for our democracy.
Yes, I think all of
that is correct, though I think it should have been added that there
are two important reasons why the American census is
important (and neither
reason holds for - e.g. - Holland or Germany):
First, there are only
two parties that get many votes in the USA (the Democrats and the
Republicans), and secondly, in presidential elections, at least, the
outcomes are fairly close between the Democrats and the
Here is more:
Once again, I would argue that this has been practice of the United
States government. The purpose is to determine individuals that are
here. It also helps to comply with the Voting Rights Act. Without that
information, it’s hard to make those determinations. And that
information needs to be gathered, and it has been part of the United
States census every time we’ve had a census since 1965, with the one
exception of the 2010 census.
GOODMAN: What about what
Sarah Sanders said?
BERMAN: Well, there’s two
unbelievable lies that she told. The first lie that she told is that
the citizenship question has been asked every census since 1965. In
fact, it hasn’t been asked since 1950, when America was a segregated
Jim Crow society. So it hasn’t been asked for nearly 70 years.
Secondly, she said it was removed in 2010, which is completely untrue.
GOODMAN: So, you’re
talking about, it was—it wasn’t asked during Reagan years, during Bush
BERMAN: No, it hasn’t been
asked since 1950. The question was removed in 1950.
I say! Well... either
Berman is a liar or Sarah Sanders is, and given the extremely
widespread dishonesty of the White House I think Sanders is (but I do
And here is the last
question I consider in this review, which is rather important:
GOODMAN: Ari, what do you
say to those who say, “Well, undocumented people shouldn’t be
represented in Congress. Undocumented people shouldn’t be getting
BERMAN: Well, it’s always
been the case that districts have been drawn based on total population,
not citizenship. This actually just went to the Supreme Court a few
years ago. And the Supreme Court, two years ago, ruled unanimously, 8
to zero, that districts should be drawn based on total population and
not citizenship, because, they said, everyone who’s here deserves
citizenship, deserves—”citizenship” meaning the ability to be
represented, whether or not they are or are not a citizen. So, when
there’s a fire, the fire department goes to your house, whether or not
you are documented or undocumented. When you go to the hospital, they
treat you, whether you are documented or undocumented. The census is
the same way.
I think this is correct
again, but I do not know. And this is a recommended article.
John Bolton, Donald Trump Has an Adviser Who’s Radical Even by Neocon
This article is by Natasha Ezrow on AlterNet and originally
on The Conversation. It starts as follows:
The appointment of
John Bolton to be the Trump administration’s third national security
adviser in the past 14 months, signals a more confrontational approach
to the world from an already belligerent regime. Bolton is one
of the key figures of neoconservatism, a political tendency that
believes that the US should pursue and defend primacy or unlimited
power – especially by military means.
I think that is correct.
Here is more:
I think this is also mosty
correct, though I do not quite know. Then again, Ezrow is
in suggesting that the 1990ies - the first time in 70+ years that
Russian socialism was dead -
When the Cold War ended,
the US no longer faced a credible challenger to its military supremacy,
and talks of pre-emptive military action were mostly shut down. But the
neocons, concerned that US military spending was dropping again, never
gave up their cause. Unlike conservatives who were reluctant to
intervene militarily, they still advocated a much more hostile foreign
policy, insisting that all options be kept on the table to tackle new
“threats” facing the US.
They spent the 1990s crafting
a blueprint for American power, which included military intervention
and nation-building in the Middle East. With the terrorist attacks on
September 11, 2001, this vision became
Bush administration policy.
would have been a quite natural and good reason to spend considerably
less on the military.
And this is on John Bolton, who does seem a dangerous idiot
Yes indeed. Here is the
last bit I quote from this article:
He continues to advocate
attacking North Korea pre-emptively and scrapping the hard-won Iranian
nuclear deal altogether. While Trump has become
a critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bolton was one of the
biggest proponents of this strategy, boasting at
the time that Iraqis would “welcome US troops”.
The new national security
adviser has also been outspoken on his attacks of treaties and
international institutions, among them the Kyoto climate convention and
the International Court of Criminal Justice, and the United
Nations, the very organisation to which he was ambassador. He
famously said that
“there is no United Nations”.
Whereas McMaster was
a three-star general who was relatively cautious about taking military
action, Bolton takes no
options off the table. And whereas McMaster had a disciplined style
and a better understanding of complex national security issues, Trump
prefers to make his often rash decisions unimpeded. Bolton sees his job
as to ensure that decisions of the president are not obstructed by
bureaucracy or other branches of government. And like Trump, he has
little respect for international law either.
Quite possibly so, and
this is a recommended article
the Military Controls America
This article is by Eric Zuesse on the Off-Guardian and
originally on strategic-culture.org. It starts as follows:
that sell to consumers, Lockheed Martin and the other top contractors
to the U.S. Government are highly if not totally dependent upon sales
to governments, for their profits, especially sales to their own
government, which they control — they control their home market, which
is the U.S. Government, and they use it to sell to its allied
governments, all of which foreign governments constitute the export
markets for their products and services.
Actually, Lockheed Martin
does some more than sell to governments, but it seems correct that almost
80% of its sales and incomes come from governments, of which the
American government is by far the biggest customer.
These corporations control the
U.S. Government, and they control NATO.
And I do not know whether the "top contractors to the U.S. Government" do "control" the U.S. government or
indeed the NATO,
but I agree their financial interests in the U.S. government
Here is more:
(unlike Russia) privatized the weapons-industry (and even privatizes to
mercenaries some of its battlefield killing and dying), there are, in
America, profits for investors to make in invasions and in military
occupations of foreign countries; and the billionaires who control
these corporations can and do — and, for their financial purposes, they
must — buy Congress and the President, so as to keep those profits
flowing to themselves.
Actually, I do not
know that "the
billionaires who control these corporations can and do — and, for their
financial purposes, they must — buy Congress and the President". I am willing to agree that they may,
but I do not know.
There is some more about a huge military deal with Saudi Arabia ($350
billion worth), but I leave that to your interests.
Then there is this
Lippmann, who wrote this at the very beginnings of
the enormous expansions of advertisement
in the USA, namely in 1921:
That the manufacture
of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The
process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate
than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for
manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain
enough. The creation of consent is not a new art. It is a very old one
which was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy.
But it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in
technic, because it is now based on analysis rather than on rule of
thumb. And so, as a result of psychological research, coupled with the
modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a
corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than
any shifting of economic power.
This needs at least two
First, "the manufacture of
anti-democratic, but Lippmann was right that it was "capable of great refinements", quite a few of which were realized
by Edward Bernays
(who was another proponent of propaganda).
And second, while Lippmann was correct in saying that a "revolution [was] taking place", I think he was mistaken
democracy: "the practice
of" - real, actual, direct - "democracy" did not so much "turn(..) a corner": Real, actual
and direct democracy mostly wholly disappeared, though
only because of "the manufacture of consent" that the professional advertisers and
propagandists engaged in.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Macleod said that, “The Deep State is on course to take control of
Congress. If this happens, it will be the next step in a global trend
of side-lining democracy in the West, driven in large part by American
foreign policy. It has led to governments everywhere increasing control
over their people, in an inversion of democratic principles.”
Perhaps, though I believe
things are more complicated than MacLeod seems to think.
His conclusion is: “If the US
military-intelligence complex manages to pack out Congress, it will be
the killer blow for any democracy remaining in America. It will clear
the field for a secret state organisation, which has shown little or no
regard for human life and the rule of law, to accelerate its warlike
agenda. It will have unfettered access to the national finances to
accelerate its programme of global aggression, and damn the
consequences for anyone else.”
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 (!!).