from June 11, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 11, 2018:
1. Scapegoating Iran
The 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:
2. Trump Tries to Destroy the West
3. Associated Press: Trump's Stats on Trade Are Wrong
4. 'We Live in a Golden Age of Surveillance'
5. The Constitutional Crisis is Now
is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Seventeen years of
war in the Middle East and what do we have to show for it? Iraq after
our 2003 invasion and occupation is no longer a unified country. Its
once modern infrastructure is largely destroyed, and the nation has
fractured into warring enclaves. We have lost the war in Afghanistan.
The Taliban is resurgent and has a presence in over 70 percent of the
country. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after three years of relentless
airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world’s worst
humanitarian disasters. The 500 “moderate” rebels we funded and armed
in Syria at a cost of $500 million are in retreat after instigating a
lawless reign of terror. The military adventurism has cost a
staggering $5.6 trillion as our infrastructure crumbles, austerity
guts basic services and half the population of the United States
lives at or near poverty levels. The endless wars in the Middle
East are the biggest strategic blunder in American history and herald
the death of the empire.
Yes indeed, although "the death of the empire" is still uncertain - by which I mean the
(1) I think I have - after 5 years of trying - given up (mostly)
on changing the awful
corruptions that rule in most
Western countries, but
especially the USA, and I have given
up (mostly) because only a
relatively small minority of
people are moved by news
about the corruptions, while
most pretend little or nothing is the
matter, as long as they
and their direct families survive
(indeed rather like as it was in WW II
(2) My own present expectations of any major changes in the West depend
on either a major
economical crisis (which will come,
are blown up first) or a nuclear war (which
we are very unlikely to survive.
Also, here is another related point:
(3) I agree with those who protest (especially in the
media, and the
Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU),
and I think
the protesting must continue
because human lives and human rights
depend on them, but I
don't think protesting-without
-a-major-economical-crisis will change the
corruptions under which we live now.
Back to Hedges and his article:
Someone has to be
blamed for debacles that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of
dead, including at least 200,000 civilians, and millions driven from
their homes. Someone has to be blamed for the proliferation of radical
jihadist groups throughout the Middle East, the continued worldwide
terrorist attacks, the wholesale destruction of cities and towns under
relentless airstrikes and the abject failure of U.S. and U.S.-backed
forces to stanch the insurgencies. You can be sure it won’t be the
generals, the politicians such as George W. Bush, Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton, the rabid neocons such as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz
Bolton who sold us the wars, the Central Intelligence Agency, the
arms contractors who profit from perpetual war or the celebrity pundits
on the airwaves and in newspapers who serve as cheerleaders for the
Well... yes and no, of
course: Clearly Hedges, my self, and quite a few of informed and
intelligent others do blame those Hedges mentions in the above
paragraph. But I agree the
majority does not, and indeed the majority is normally stupid
everyone has an IQ under 100; almost everyone of them has a Facebook
account) or ignorant,
doesn't know any science or logic, is a conformist,
and mostly thinks with the help of wishful
thinking - and
is proud to do so because many believe "everyone knows there
Here is more on Trump and his advisers:
decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, although Iran was in
compliance with the agreement, was the first salvo in this effort to
divert attention from these failures to Iran. Bolton, the new national
security adviser, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with Trump
lawyer Rudy Giuliani, advocate the overthrow of the Iranian government,
Giuliani saying last month that Trump is “as committed to regime
change as we [an inner circle of presidential advisers] are.”
Here is the last bit that
I quote from this article, and it is by the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations,
Gholamali Khoshroo, who has been quoted rather a lot in the present
“What are the
results of American policies in the Middle East?” he asked. “All of the
American allies in the region are in turmoil. Only Iran is secure and
stable. Why is this the case? Why, during the last 40 years, has Iran
been stable? Is it because Iran has no relationship with America? Why
is there hostility between Iran and America? Can’t the Americans see
that Iran’s stability is important for the region? We are surrounded by
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen. What good would come from
destabilizing Iran? What would America get out of that?”
Well... to answer
just the last two questions from the above list, in one remark:
"America" will not get anything out of destroying Iran, but
also not the point; what is the point is that most of the
Americans, and some of the richest American corporations that are
involved in making and selling weapons and planes etc. will get a whole
That is all that matters - which I think I know because
that is all
that has mattered ever since 2001. And this is a strongly
article, in which there is a lot more than I quoted.
Tries to Destroy the West
This article is by
David Leonhardt on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
alliance between the United States and Western Europe has accomplished
great things. It won two world wars in the first half of the 20th
century. Then it expanded to include its former enemies and went on to
win the Cold War, help spread democracy and build the highest living
standards the world has ever known.
Trump is trying to destroy that alliance.
that how he thinks about it? Who knows. It’s impossible to get inside
his head and divine his strategic goals, if he even has long-term
goals. But put it this way: If a president of the United States were to
sketch out a secret, detailed plan to break up the Atlantic alliance,
that plan would bear a striking resemblance to Trump’s behavior.
Well... no and yes. First the no:
I suppose Leonhardt (possibly) may (somehow) believe
himself when saying - in particular - that the USA helped to "spread democracy". But I don't, that is not since Reagan
president of the USA in 1980, which did not further democracy,
rule of the few rich, and I am referring with "the few rich" both
men and to corporations. (And the corporations in turn have poisoned
democracy by buying almost every member of the Senate and the House.)
And next the yes:
I mostly agree it is very difficult or
"impossible to get inside
[Trump's] head and divine his [Trump's]
strategic goals, if [Trump] even has long-term goals", although I also
believe my reasons are different from Leonhardt's. For I think that
Trump does have an ideology,
which I term neofascism
(look at my
definition and compare this with Trump's actions), and I also think Trump is solidly and
dangerously insane. (You may disagree, but I think
it is extremely likely that I know a lot more about
madness, e.g. as a psychologist.)
is some more:
chose not to attend the full G-7 meeting, in Quebec, this past weekend.
While he was there, he picked fights. By now, you’ve probably seen the photograph
released by the German
government — of Trump sitting down, with eyebrows raised and crossed
arms, while Germany’s Angela Merkel and other leaders stand around him,
imploring. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, wears a look of defeat.
wonder. The meeting’s central disagreements were over tariffs that
Trump has imposed for false reasons. He claims that he’s
merely responding to other countries. But the average current tariff of
the United States, Britain, Germany and France is identical, according to the World Bank: 1.6 percent.
Japan’s is 1.4 percent, and Canada’s is 0.8 percent. Yes, every country
has a few objectionable tariffs, but they’re small — and the United
States is not a victim here.
Yes indeed. Then again, what does Trump care? He lies
on and on and on and on, and most Americans either do not care or are
sympatheric to the grossest liar who ever became president:
Trump isn’t telling the truth about trade, much as he has lied about Barack Obama’s
birthplace, his own position on the Iraq War, his inauguration crowd,
voter fraud, the murder rate, Mexican immigrants, the Russia
investigation, the Stormy Daniels hush money and several hundred other subjects. The tariffs aren’t
a case of his identifying a real problem but describing it poorly. He
is threatening the Atlantic alliance over a lie.
Quite so. Here is the last bit that I quote from
American voters, it means understanding the real stakes of this year’s
midterm elections. They are not merely a referendum on a tax cut, a
health care plan or a president’s unorthodox style. They are a
referendum on American ideals that are older than any of us.
I more or less agree, but I do not expect much
(I'm sorry, but that is the fact), where it only because around 60%
all adult Americans vote in the presidential elections, and this is
case since decades (and also not easy to find on
Wikipedia!). And this
is a recommended article.
Press: Trump's Stats on Trade Are Wrong
This article is by Calvin
Woodward and Paul Wiseman on Truthdig and originally on The Associated
Press. It starts as follows:
Trump is using some goosey numbers to rationalize his aggressive
rhetoric on trade, disregarding strong points in U.S. competitiveness
to paint a dark portrait of a world taking advantage of his country.
Conversely, he’s glossing
over aspects of the economy that don’t support his faulty contention
that it’s the best it’s ever been. The complexities of health care for
veterans are also set aside as he hails a new era in the Department of
Veterans Affairs’ system.
Well... Trump has been
lying, lying, lying and lying, but it is true this article makes this
Here is some more:
TRUMP: “Last year, they
lost 800 — we as a nation, over the years — but the latest number is
$817 billion on trade. That’s ridiculous and it’s unacceptable. And
everybody was told that.” — news conference Saturday at the Group of
Seven summit in Canada.
THE FACTS: Trump’s
bottom-line number in his dispute with trading partners is wrong. The
U.S. ran a trade deficit last year of $568.4 billion, says his
administration’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis, not
He made a similar error in a tweet Thursday, saying “The EU trade
surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion.” It was $101 billion.
And here is some more:
TRUMP: “We have the
strongest economy that we’ve ever had in the United States — in the
history of the United States. We have the best unemployment numbers.” —
news conference Saturday.
TRUMP: “Best Economy &
Jobs EVER, and much more.” — tweet Monday referring to achievement in
his first 500 days in office.
THE FACTS: May’s
unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is not the best ever. And the economy
has seen many periods of stronger growth.
And there is a lot
more of the same
pattern in the article, which is recommended.
4. 'We Live in a Golden Age of Surveillance'
This article is by Robert
Scheer on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
In this week’s episode of
“Scheer Intelligence,” host and Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer
talks with Nate Cardozo, the attorney for the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, on the struggle to protect free expression, privacy and
innovation in a hyperconnected world.
Cardozo and Scheer discuss
the history of the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, which was founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 1990,
before the internet as we know it came to be. The attorney describes
the EFF’s main aim as defending internet users’ rights, and in a world
in which surveillance has become widespread — whether by private
entities or government agencies — its work has become more important
“We’re being tracked quite willingly by the
magic tablets in our pockets. And we’ve created a world where
everything is recorded,” Cardozo tells the “Scheer Intelligence” host.
“We’re living in a veritable panopticon.”
Yes indeed, although I seem to be one of
very, very few who is not "being tracked
willingly by the magic tablets in [my] pockets": I absolutely
refuse to have any of these neofascistic
that are run by some of the very worst men I know of.
Then again, I quite agree that my
make no difference whatsoever, and we now live in Western Europe and
the USA under neofascism.
Also - to make you feel even more optimistic
- I think that because the neofascists -
from all of the secret
services (it seems) and from Facebook, from Google, from Apple,
from Microsoft etc. - know in principle everything
wrote on a computer, they will keep the power forever, until they are
blown up by a very major economical collapse or else manage to blow up
everyone in a nuclear war.
Here is more, and this is also the one bit I
disagree with in this excellent article:
NC: (...) There was no conception of whether or
not the Fourth Amendment applied to computers, whether we had a
reasonable expectation of privacy in our digital documents. You know,
the Fourth Amendment talks about our papers and effects; it doesn’t
talk about our .txt files or anything like that.
Oh, come on! This is utter nonsense to me,
for the argument is just the same as saying that - for example -
invented a new method to murder people, that it cannot be
whether I murdered anyone, because my method is new.
It is utter baloney. I know it is
but it is accepted because it is a gross lie which made all
applications of any law to computers a major problem: Computers are
technology, and all technology is part and parcel of the social laws
that have been accepted. (Indeed until it became possible to spy on
everyone in everything, which has now been happening since 2001, and will
continue unless it is destroyed.)
Here is more, and this is what it is about:
the real issue, of course, in constitutional protection, is restraining
government, rather than restraining the private sector in these matters
of the First, Fourth Amendment, what have you. And there was a lot of
momentum for finding out, what do they do to us, and what do they know
about us? And then we ran into this election, and with the loss of
Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump, suddenly the whole energy shifted to
sort of celebrating the FBI and the CIA, and really asking them to be
more vigorous in their prosecutions. And a whole new Red Scare, without
reds, against Russia and Putin, developed.
Well... some remarks:
(1) I think it is as sick and should be as illegal
Zuckerberg of Jim Bezos know
everything (in principle) about anyone as that
the NSA etc. do;
(2) I think at present the secret services and the richest
on internet -
Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft -
know or can
find out absolutely everything
on absolutely everyone;
(3) I think the present "Red Scare, without reds, against Russia" is utterly insane - which also
is a sign that the American majority has been
and is being totally deceived by the
More below, e.g. here, on how the law is being respected in the USA:
NC: (..) So
in 2015, 100% of Americans’ call records were Hoovered up by the NSA,
pun intended. In 2016, that number was down to only–and I use scare
quotes around that–only something over 100 million telephone metadata,
pieces of telephone metadata. In 2017, that number jumped right back up
to well over 500 million pieces of metadata. So even though Congress
ordered the quote, bulk, unquote telephone metadata program to end, it
appears from a transparency report released last week by the office of
the director of national intelligence, that the NSA has essentially
picked up right where it left off.
is to say, the laws are completely
destroyed, treated as utter shit) as soon as this serves the
interests of the NSA, CIA etc. etc.
So basically, you’re
saying that these secret agencies, the NSA, CIA, are unaccountable. We
don’t know what they’re doing, it doesn’t matter what Congress says.
I think that is quite correct. Here is more:
RS: This is an Orwellian world. I’m sorry, it’s
an overused image. But we’ve lost sight of it. We don’t even care
anymore. That’s what I’m sort of getting at here.
NC: I think that’s unfortunately right. I think
we’ve become numb to the overcollection and oversharing of our personal
data. Cambridge Analytica was an interesting example, right, because
Cambridge Analytica did exactly what Facebook told us they were doing.
Facebook permitted–and to some extent still does; they’ve reined it in
a little–but Facebook permitted developers on their platform to view
not just the people who interact with those apps, but all of their
friends’ private information. You know, if any one of your 1,000
Facebook friends clicks on FarmVille, FarmVille got all of your data as
well, even if you never clicked on it. They advertised that fact. That
was designed in. That’s the whole point of Facebook, is to collect all
that kind of data.
Well... here are again some remarks:
(1) "We" do not live in an Orwellian
"We" live in a super-super-Orwellian world where
everyone is known by the secret
services to an
extent that goes far beyond anything
people know about themselves:
do with a computer (that is internet-
connected, though even that is no longer true)
is known to each and every secret
service that is rich enough (and
with many other secret services).
(2) I don't think it is quite true that "we’ve become
numb to the overcollection and oversharing of
our personal data", and for
two different reasons: First, the large majority of those using
computers neither knows nor really cares:
know less about computer than their
great-grandfathers knew about cars. And
"personal data" should NOT be
shared: They should be secret. (But
indeed they are
not - and see Brzezinski, who seems to
have arranged and planned a
lot of this in the late
(3) Cardozo is quite right about Facebook: If you are a member
of Facebook you are yourself
a spy for Facebook (and for anyone
rich enough to share its data): You betray each and
everyone of your "friends" on Facebook (and
they you), for this is how Zuckerberg as
arranged his schemes of theft.
Then there is this:
RS: This was the point made by another
conservative that is often criticized by liberals and civil
libertarians, Chief Justice Roberts. And in that decision, preventing
the police from breaking into your cell phone, his argument was that
the Fourth Amendment that you referenced before, the right of the
individual to be secure in their homes and not be invaded by
warrantless searches, or general searches, he argued there was more
information on a cell phone than was ever in anyone’s home. And that if
we didn’t extend the protections of the Fourth Amendment, it would have
no meaning in the modern world. And I thought that was an amazingly
important decision, coming from a conservative court. And yet we’ve
lost that message. No one now seems to care, again, about the
government’s ability to do what the King of England or the Czar of
Russia or Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hitler could never do, which was
invade the most intimate information–movement, reading habits, musical
habits, and personal life of all of the citizens on an incredibly
First, I repeat this bit, indeed because it
seems quite true: "No one now seems to care, again, about the
government’s ability to do what the King of England or the Czar of
Russia or Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hitler could never do, which was
invade the most intimate information– movement, reading habits, musical
habits, and personal life of all of the citizens on an incredibly
Second, I wholly agree, and my basic
explanation is that by far the greatest number of people are too stupid,
and too much thinking
as they wish to know or to care.
Third, there also is another factor,
formulate for the Dutch: At most 5% of the Dutch in WW II were
resistance, which is one reason why over 100,000 Dutch Jews
by the Nazis. I am one of the very few with a father and
a grandfather who
were convicted (by collaborating Dutch judges, none of whom was ever
punished) for resisting the Nazis to
concentration camp imprisonment.
But who cares in Holland? In fact,
resistance background seems stronger than anyone I know in Holland, but
apart from that: 19 out of 20 Dutch collaborated - to some extent,
various reasons - with the Nazis, and it seems the same or
(for nearly every Dutchman except myself has a cellphone, that betrays
all of anyone's friends as a matter of course).
Here is more:
RS: (..) We’ve lost sight of the fact that the
US government has pioneered this ability to monitor citizens, interfere
in politics, you know, take the conversation of Angela Merkel or anyone
else on their cell phone. And so give me some perspective on what our
ability, our technological ability as far as spying, collecting data,
analyzing it, compares to the rest of the world. And are we not
providing a very dangerous model for China, Russia, Saudi Arabia,
everyone else to follow?
NC: Well, the short answer is, if the National
Security Agency wants something, they’re going to get it. And it
essentially doesn’t matter where that something is, or what
technological measures its owner has taken to protect it.
I think Scheer is quite right, and
doesn't really answer him, although he does answer Scheer's
about the capacities of the NSA: "if the National Security
Agency wants something, they’re going to get it", from
Angela Merkel's conversations to your pornography.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this
NC: Yeah. We live in a golden age of
surveillance. It used to be that you and I could have a conversation,
Bob, over the phone or by postcard or whatever, and if the cops wanted
to go back in time and monitor that conversation that we had a month
ago, they were out of luck. The phone call had ended, the postcards had
been delivered. Now, all of that leaves a trace. You and I cannot have
a conversation with each other without leaving a record of that
conversation unless we do it in person in an open field and we leave
our cell phones behind at home. We’re being tracked quite willingly by
the magic tablets in our pockets. And we’ve created a world where
everything is recorded. Not just this podcast, but you know, I have my
iPhone with me; the fact that I’m sitting in a studio in San Francisco
is known to at least AT&T and Apple, probably also to Google,
probably also to my employer. The fact that you’re sitting in a studio
at USC is known to your equivalents of all of those as well. The ISDN
line connection that’s connecting these two studios is leaving a trace.
And all of that data will be there, if not forever, at least for
several months or years. And we live in an era where all of that is
recorded. My car knows who my doctor is, my car knows where I work and
where I spent the night, my car knows where I eat, my car knows who my
therapist is, who I’m having an affair with, if I’m having an affair;
my car knows where I worship. And that’s just my car, that’s not even
to say my cell phone or my laptop. My cell phone and my laptop know way
more about me than that. So yes, we’re living in a veritable
That is, the present
situation is that any two persons "cannot have a conversation
with each other without leaving a record of that conversation unless we
do it in person in an open field and we leave our cell phones behind at
I say we live in the
beginnings of a FAR more frigthful neofascism than the fascism, the
sadism, Iand the cruelty that moved Hitler,
Stalin or Mao, and my reason is that everyone
is known in
all his opinions, values and actions to the secret services and the
It is an extremely
frightful world (for everyone who doesn't have $ 100 million or
and I am very glad I am 68 and not 18, for I may be dead
before neofascism fully arrives,
but not those of 18 (unless everyone is blown up).
5. The Constitutional
Crisis is Now
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
I keep hearing that if
Trump fires Mueller we’ll face a constitutional crisis.
Or if Mueller subpoenas
Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a constitutional
Or if Mueller comes up with
substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or
of obstructing justice but the House doesn’t move to impeach him, we’ll
have a constitutional crisis.
I have news for you. We’re
already in a constitutional crisis. For a year and a half the president
of the United States has been carrying out a systemic attack on the
institutions of our democracy.
Yes indeed - and also
(but only for people who have been following the real news): of
Here is some more:
Yes indeed again, but
there is a whole lot more of which I am going to mention three things:
The current crisis has been
unfolding since the waning days of the 2016 campaign when Trump refused
to say whether he’d be bound by the election results if Hillary won.
It continued through March
4, 2017 when Trump claimed, without evidence, that Obama had wiretapped
his phones in the Trump Tower during the campaign.
It deepened in May 2017 when,
by his own admission, Trump was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he
to fire FBI Director James Comey (...)
(1) All politicians lie, but Trump is the biggest political liar I have
ever seen or heard. And part of
the reason he does lie so very often is this:
(2) Trump is an insane
madman with major megalomania, while also
(3) The whole political ideology of Trump is neofascism
(as I defined it, while I did not find any
other reasonably clear, reasonably
well-defined definition of that term).
I have - once again - linked you to my evidence, and I leave it at
that, here and now.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes indeed: I completely
agree. And since Reich is not a psychologist but I am, let me repeat
the evidence that Trump is
an insane madman with major megalomania.
He claimed he has the
absolute right to pardon himself and can thereby immunize himself from
any outcome; and asserted he has the power under the Constitution to
end the investigation whenever he wants.
The crux of America’s
current constitutional crisis is this: Our system of government
was designed to constrain power, but Trump doesn’t want to be
Our system was conceived as
a means of promoting the public interest, but Trump wants to promote
only his own interest.
Our system was organized to
bind presidents to the Constitution, but Trump doesn’t want to be bound
The crisis will therefore
worsen as long as Trump can get away with it. An unconstrained
megalomaniac becomes only more maniacal.
And this is a recommended article.
 I have
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 (!!).