from June 25, 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 25, 2018:
1. The Soldier’s Tale
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. 'Both Illegal and Unconstitutional': Trump Brazenly
Immediate Deportations, Zero
3. Turkey's Erdogan Claims Presidential Election Victory
4. Is Donald Trump a Liar? Maybe Not — And That’s When It
5. "Slap in the Face" to Poor Americans: House GOP Passes
Attacking Nation's Hungriest
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows (after a brief song by
The soldier’s tale
is as old as war. It is told and then forgotten. There are always young
men and women ardent for glory, seduced by the power to inflict
violence and naive enough to die for the merchants of death. The
soldier’s tale is the same, war after war, generation after generation.
It is Spenser Rapone’s turn now. The second lieutenant was given an
“other than honorable” discharge June 18 after an Army investigation
determined that he “went online to promote a socialist revolution and
disparage high-ranking officers” and thereby had engaged in “conduct
unbecoming an officer.” Rapone laid bare the lie, although the lie
often seems unassailable. We must honor those like him who have the
moral courage to speak the truth about war, even if the tidal waves of
patriotic propaganda that flood the culture overwhelm the voices of the
As seems more and more
usual these days, although there was a lot of information about Spenser
Rapone in many papers, there is no lemma on him on the ever worsening
Wikipedia. Well... there is the modern Wikipedia for you.
I will leave it to you to find more information on him (easy), but want
to make a comment on Hedges´ position on ¨soldiers¨, for I think he is
a bit misleading on that: While it may be true, in some sense, that ¨[t]he soldier’s tale is as old as war¨, I think there have been - at least -
two types of soldiers, namely drafted soldiers and professional
The draft is quite old, but may be seen as having started as a
near-universal national conscription of young men with Napoleon, that
was soon adopted by many other nations. It also was common in the West,
and was used in WW I, WW II, and Vietnam, and also in many more places.
Since Nixon stopped the draft in the early 1970ies and changed the army
into a professional army, many countries have followed his example,
although it should be noted that quite a few countries, such as the
Netherlands, combine both: Every Dutch citizen - males
and females - aged 17 gets a letter which tells them they have been
registered as soldiers, but do not have to present themselves for
service (which presumably will happen when the Dutch go to war).
I do not think myself that the draft produces the same kind of
soldiers as a professional army does, in considerable part because the
draft tends to be a bit less military; takes fewer years than a
professional soldier; and is very probably of higher average
intelligence than the professional soldiers (who tend to be from the
lower classes, and from the lower levels of intelligence).
Then again, I am doubtful whether the draft (as opposed to
professional soldiers) would be capable of stopping a war (as some have
argued), and I am doubtful simply because so many dirty wars in the
previous century were faught with drafted and not with professional
Back to the article. Here is some more on Spenser Rapone, who in fact was eight years in the
Rapone enlisted in the Army
in 2010. He attended basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. He graduated
from airborne school in February 2011 and became an Army Ranger. He
watched as those around him swiftly fetishized their weapons.
“The rifle is the
reification of what it means to be infantrymen,” he said when I reached
him by phone in Watertown, N.Y. “You’re taught that the rifle is an
extension of you. It is your life. You have to carry it at all times.
The rifle made us warriors dedicated to destroying the enemy in close
personal combat. At first, it was almost gleeful. We were a bunch of
18-year-olds, 19-year-olds. We had this instrument of death in our
hands. We had power. We could do what 99 percent of our countrymen
could not. The weapon changes you. You want to prove yourself. You want
to be tested in combat. You want to deliver death. It draws you in, as
much as life in the Army sucks. You start executing tactical maneuvers
and battle drills. You get a certain high. It’s seductive. The military
beats empathy out of you. It makes you callous.”
I think all of the
above is probably a quite fair description. Here is more on Rapone and Pat Tillman (who
still is on the ever worsening Wikipedia):
“Pat Tillman showed me I
could resist the indoctrination,” he said. “I did not have to let the
military dehumanize me and turn me into something monstrous. When I
learned how his death was covered up to sell the war, it was shocking.
The military wasn’t interested in preserving freedom or democracy. It
was only interested in protecting the profits of those in power and
expanding the U.S. hegemony. I was not a Hollywood freedom fighter. I
was a cog in the imperialist machine. I preyed on the poorest, most
exploited people on the planet.”
I think Spenser
Rapone´s inferences are correct, but I also think very few
professional American soldiers will agree with him, indeed in part
because most professional American soldiers are less intelligent or
less informed than either Rapone or Tillman.
Here is some more on
West Point, where officers are educated:
“When I started West Point
in July 2012 I encountered a lot of similar themes I noticed in the
Ranger regiment,” he said. “Officers and NCOs relished the idea of
being able to kill people with impunity. It’s Rudyard
Kipling. It’s the young British soldier mentality we’ve seen for
hundreds of years. Its hyper-masculine. Even female cadets have to
assimilate themselves. Any display of femininity is considered
weakness. This is combined with the structural racism."
I fear this is also
correct, although I add (once more) that I also think very few professional
American soldiers will agree with him, indeed in part because most
professional American soldiers are less intelligent or less informed.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
“The public doesn’t
understand how regressive and toxic military culture is,” he went on.
“The military’s inherent function is the abuse and degradation of other
people. It is designed to be a vehicle of destruction. It’s fundamental
to the system. Without that, it would collapse. You can’t convert the
military into a humanitarian force even when you use the military in
humanitarian ways, such as in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The
military trains soldiers to see other human beings, particularly brown
and black human beings, as an imminent threat.”
I fear this is also
correct. There is considerably more in this article, that is strongly
Incidentally, my own
position on both the draft and professional soldiers is that I
would have refused military service in either case, except that I did
not have to, because I was declared to
be ¨medically unfit¨ for the draft in 1968 - which was very probably
false, but assigned to me
because I was very intelligent, and my father was a long time communist
who had survived 3 years and 9 moths of German concentration camps for
resisting the Nazis.
But in fact I do not know
this although I think it is correct (and I would like to add that -
rather strangely - only the Dutch military and the Dutch taxes
have treated me decently, since both my ex and myself have been ill
with ¨a serious chronic disease¨ since January 1979, that was only
admitted to be a disease in 2018, and that cost us endless troubles
with both Dutch bureaucrats and Dutch medics).
Illegal and Unconstitutional': Trump Brazenly Suggests Immediate
Deportations, Zero Due Process
This article is by
Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Trump on Sunday called for immediately deporting immigrants—a group he
referred to people who "invade our country"—without due process.
I have been saying since
the beginning of 2016 that I think that Trump is both a madman and a
neofascist, and the present illegal and unconstitutional bullshit from
Trump only underlines my judgements (and yes: academically I am a
psychologist and a philosopher).
The ACLU hit back at
president's proposal, calling
it "both illegal and unconstitutional," as the right to due process extends
to those who've entered the U.S. without documentation.
At roughly 11am, Trump sent
out a pair of tweets, saying in part, "When somebody comes in, we must
immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where
We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country.
When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court
Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to
good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without
— Donald J. Trump
And the above Trumpian proposal is illegal and unconstitutional:
Yes indeed. And here is
"ethics expert" Norm Eisen:
"That's not how any of this
works," the ACLU added
in a comment about Trump's tweet.
It was just a year and half
ago Trump swore
he would "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United
States"—a point noted by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.):
Remember the oath you took to the Constitution at your relatively small
inauguration? You should read the Constitution. The Due Process Clause
applies to all persons, not just US citizens.
— Ted Lieu
I admit I don't know what
an "ethics expert" is (perhaps it is the latest simplification in a
degree of philosophy?), but I think he is right, although my reasons
are not Eisen's: My reasons are - especially - that Trump is a madman. And this is a recommended article.
Ethics expert Norm Eisen,
the tweets were a sign the president's attack on the rule of law would
widen its scope:
He's trying to use
the most vulnerable as a battering ram in his ongoing attack on the
rule of law. But if he can deprive them of due process, American
citizens will be next. How long before new chant at his rallies is
"lock them all up"?
— Norm Eisen
Erdogan Claims Presidential Election Victory
This article is by
Suzan Fraser, Elena Becatoros and Zeynep Bilginsoy on Truthdig and
originally on The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared victory after unofficial election returns
Sunday showed him with enough votes to serve another term that carries
new executive powers.
Well... yes and no:
Erdogan did claim victory, but I think "a strong presidential system" is a euphemism for either
authoritarianism or a kind of fascism colored with some Islam.
“The nation has entrusted
to me the responsibility of the presidency and the executive duty,”
Erdogan said in televised remarks from Istanbul after a near-complete
count carried by the state-run news agency gave him the majority needed
to avoid a runoff.
The presidential election and
a parliamentary election also held Sunday, both more than a year early,
complete NATO-member Turkey’s transition from a parliamentary system of
government to a strong presidential system.
Here is some more on Turkey and Erdogan:
insisted before the election that the expanded powers — which include
the authority to impose states of emergency and to issue decrees —
would bring prosperity and stability to Turkey, especially after a
failed military coup attempt in 2016. A state of emergency has been in
place since the coup.
I think the president's
critics are quite right, and this is a recommended article.
The president’s critics,
however, warned that Erdogan’s re-election would cement the grip on
power of a leader who they accuse of showing increasingly autocratic
4. Is Donald Trump a
Liar? Maybe Not — And That’s When It Really Gets Scary
article is by Andrew O'Hehir on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It
starts as follows:
Well... Donald Trump is by
far the biggest liar
who is alive (there may be a few - Hitler, Stalin, Mao - who may have
been bigger, although I don't even know that. Also, I just linked in my
definition of lying, and want to repeat a part of that here, because it
is quite relevant:
There was and is no law
requiring the children of undocumented immigrants to be taken away from
their parents at the border. There is no crime wave caused by
immigrants in Germany. (That nation’s historically low crime rate has
fallen recently, and as in the United States immigrants are less likely
to commit crimes than native-born citizens.) There was no measurable
number of illegal votes cast in the 2016 election. Donald Trump’s
inauguration did not draw the largest crowds in history, and in his
first year he did not sign more legislation than any other president.
(Indeed, he ranked last among post-World War II presidents.)
Do you want me to go on? I
definitely don’t. But how are we to categorize Trump as an unquenchable
fount of untruth, who by the Washington Post’s count passed 3,000
“false or misleading statements” as president more than a month ago? Is
he a liar, a bullshitter, a gaslighter, a prevaricator, an ignoramus or
a delusional sociopath whose relationship to the world of observable
reality and established fact is at best “transactional”?
assertion of what the speaker knows he does not believe.
Note that it is not
required that a lie is a false statement: What is required is that its
speaker considers it one, but states it as if it is true.
The majority of human beings is not much interested nor finds much
profitable in true or probable ideas, but is much interested in
pleasant illusions and profitable lies.
And the majority knows
this very well, although they rarely admit it in public.
And the sad fact concerning
lying - see Features
of Moral Norms - is that the
majority of human beings let themselves be deceived by lies they could
rather easily have seen through, if only the lies they accept as if it
were truths are the lies of their own leaders, or are the lies which
support their own desires or delusions - which they then support with
great moral pride as the socially and morally decent and moral thing to
say and believe.
I think this is a good
definition, but it gets complicated by the fact - I am a psychologist,
and I think it is a fact - that Trump is mad.
means that he may believe certain things, such as his utterly false
claim (see the photographs) that his presidential inauguration drew "the largest crowds in history" (for an American president).
explanation is that Trump is a
wishful thinker: he believes that a proposition is true if and
when he desires it to be true, and he desires to have had "the largest crowds in history" and therefore he says (quite falsely) he had
And I think he knows he
is lying, but in fact he doesn't care, again because he is a wishful
thinker: His wishes are the standards for what he regards as true, and
not the facts.
Back to the article:
[Donald Trump] often
appears to believe that nothing has changed since that era, or that it
revealed truths about American society that today, out of “political
correctness,” we avoid or ignore. His obsession with gruesome, violent
crimes — with rape in particular — and his nightmarish fantasies about
hordes of animalistic invaders bent on destroying America all echo the
semi-mythical tabloid coverage surrounding the Central Park case.
Yes, I think that is true, and
indeed the wishful thinking of Trump is rather similar to the wishful
thinking of those who support him.
I suspect that was also the
moment when Trump clearly understood that he possessed a certain dark
gift: He could tap into a deep current of popular rage and discord — at
least in a certain proportion of the population — and channel it for
his own purposes.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article. It is from an
interview with ¨legal affairs correspondent Dan Abrams", who - in my
opinion - tries to be unduly legalistic:
have explained above what creates most of the - let's say, for a
moment - false statements Trump makes every day, namely wishful
Or when he says, as
he did the other day, that crime is way up in Germany and it's because
of immigrants. That's two things that are false.
Right, but do we know he
doesn't know that accurately? Do we know he was specifically —
You can use Google
and get the statistics.
That's true. He's wrong. But
does that mean he's intentionally lying about it? Or is he just winging
it and doesn't know what he was talking about? I don't mean to play
lawyer here, but your question suggests, and I think rightly, that
I do think that Trump does know that most the things he
says falsely are false - and my own conclusion would be that if
Dan Abrahams were correct that he does not know, he is even more mad
than I think he is, for then he is completely delusional.
And this is a recommended article.
in the Face" to Poor Americans: House GOP Passes Farm Bill Attacking
Nation's Hungriest Families
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
With the Poor
People's Campaign protesting
"policy violence against families and children" outside the Capitol
Building, House Republicans on Thursday forced through a "shameful"
Farm Bill that would deprive about 2 million Americans of the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often called food stamps.
I agree with this (and
would Morris Pearl be a "Patriotic
Millionaire"?), and in fact
I think it is a fair conclusion that if you want to rob food from the
poor, what you are really doing is trying to make them suicide - and
incidentally: it is widely agreed that if you are starving in the
middle of plenty, and you are denied bread, you are entitled to steal
"It's a deliberate slap in the
face to the millions of low-income Americans who rely on SNAP benefits
to survive," declared
Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires. "We don't want to live
in a country where the government allows its citizens to starve, and
neither should anyone else."
But Trump inverted this: According to Trump, if you are starving in the middle of
plenty then you have earned it and you deserve no food.
Here is some more:
"This is just
another attempt by Paul Ryan to pretend that the biggest problem with
the federal deficit is lazy poor people, not the $1.5
trillion tax cut he and his colleagues just gave to the richest
people in the country," Pearl added, singling out the House Speaker who
last year he's been "dreaming" of slashing social safety net programs
since he was "drinking at a keg" in college.
Precisely. Here is more on
what I just said, namely that according to Trump, if you are starving in the middle of plenty then you
have earned it and you deserve no food:
Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities president Robert Greenstein noted
in a blog post that the bill "includes a sweeping proposal to impose
harsh penalties on those who don't prove within a limited time frame
that they have worked or participated in work programs for enough hours
each month or that they qualify for an exemption from the bill's
aggressive work requirements."
You see? Perhaps
if you work you may get some "supplemental nutrition", but not
if you don't work: Then you can starve. In Trump's modern USA.
There is one possibility for relief from this:
I hope the Senate's Farm
Bill is a whole lot better, that is: a whole lot more humane, than
Congress's Farm Bill. And this is a recommended article.
"The GOP Farm Bill is a
disaster for people and the planet," Archer concluded. "Any member of
Congress that voted for this bill is prioritizing the interests of
corporations over the health of the American people."
The Senate is currently
working on a competing
Farm Bill that not only includes
funding for mental
health services and research into
organic agriculture, but also maintains and even strengthens the food
 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 (!!).