from July 3, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
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 July 3, 2018:
1. Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador Wins Mexican
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. Texas Lawyer Describes Chaos, Terror of Family Separation
3. It’s Time to Use the 'F' Word to Describe Trump
4. Tim Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits the
Poor for Profit
5. More Evidence That Half of Americans Are In or Near Poverty
Andrés Manuel López Obrador Wins Mexican Presidential Election
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
In Mexico, leftist
politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO,
has claimed victory after winning Sunday’s presidential election by a
landslide, vowing to transform Mexico by reducing corruption and
violence. Preliminary election results show López Obrador, the former
mayor of Mexico City, capturing 53 percent of the vote—more than twice
that of his closest rival. His three main rival candidates have already
conceded. His victory comes after the most violent electoral season in
modern Mexican history. At least 136 politicians have been assassinated
in Mexico since September. For more, we speak with Christy Thornton,
assistant professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Johns
Hopkins University. She was an election observer for the Scholar and
Citizen Network for Democracy. She is currently writing a book about
Mexican economic history.
I am reporting on this
mainly because these elections seem to reflect a
considerable change in
Mexico, that also will effect the USA. Then again, I admit I do not
know much about Mexico, which has to do with several things, one of
which is its many years of terrorism, that seems well expressed
fact that at least 136 Mexican politicians have been murdered in Mexico
since September last. (That means: 14 a month.)
Here is the new president-elect:
PRESIDENT-ELECT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR:
[translated] The new project of the nation will seek to establish an
authentic democracy. We don’t bet on building an open or closed
dictatorship. The changes will be profound but will happen with a
strict adherence to the legal established order. There will be
corporate freedom, freedom of expression, of association and of
beliefs. We will guarantee all the individual and social freedoms, as
well as the political rights of citizens, consecrated in our
Constitution. There will be no need to increase taxes in real terms,
not for the country to fall into debt. There will also be no hikes in
petrol. I will lower the general cost of living and the public
investment to propel productive activities and to create jobs. The
objective is to strengthen the internal market, to try to produce what
we consume in the country. We won’t act in an arbitrary way, and there
will be no confiscation or expropriation of property. The
transformation will consist in basically banishing corruption from our
country. We won’t have a problem in achieving this objective, because
the people of Mexico are the heir of great civilizations.
I have looked a little bit
Obrador (the last link is a part of this). Well... I do not
how real a (real) leftist he will be, but I believe he was the most
leftist candidate with a chance ti win, which he did.
And I think that what this means still mostly has to be shown, but I
also believe this was, at least from my point of view, a good
(Though I should add that fewer than half of all Mexicans who could
vote did vote.)
Here is one bit by Christy Thornton:
Yeah, good morning, Amy, from Mexico City. It’s really been an
incredible atmosphere here. The victory of AMLO,
and the margin with which he did it, really signals a new day here. I
think it’s beyond the expectations of even some of AMLO’s strongest
supporters to have seen him win the presidency with what the initial
result says is 53 percent of the vote. We have to think about this was
a field of four candidates. So for him to have won an absolute majority
is something that we haven’t seen in recent Mexican elections. And so,
this is really a very strong victory, a very strong message.
There's a lot more in the
interview, which is good and recommended.
Lawyer Describes Chaos, Terror of Family Separation at Border
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
At least 2,000
migrant children remain separated from their parents, after the
families were forcibly separated by immigration officials under
President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. A federal judge has ordered
all these children must be reunited with their parents within 30
days—but immigration advocates say the administration does not have a
clear plan for how to reunite the families. In McAllen, Texas,
immigration lawyers are scrambling to help their clients find and
reunite with their children. Attorney Efrén Olivares is director of the
Racial and Economic Justice Program for the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Yes, and from my own point
of view the above means that at least 2,000 migrant children have been kidnapped.
Here is more on the style of these governmental and presidential
EFRÉN OLIVARES: It’s a humanitarian crisis.
There is no other way to describe it. We have had now, you know,
hundreds or 2,000 families separated. And now we’re getting to confirm
that many of these parents are being deported without their children.
The government has started to plant this narrative that a lot of the
parents choose to leave without their children. And I’m concerned that
that is because in a couple of weeks we will be able to confirm that
hundreds of parents have been deported without their children. We
interviewed, here in McAllen, 381 parents. Only one of them, and it was
an aunt traveling with a nephew, and she told me, “If I get deported,
my nephew should stay behind, because his mom lives here.” Other than
her, every single one of the people we interviewed said, “If I get
deported, I want my child to come with me.”
I think the American
government is lying, as usual. As I said above, by my
legal and moral
norms they are cruel and sadistic kidnappers - and the above
the kidnapping of what seem to be sub-humans in the eyes of the
American government proceeds:
Your children are taken from you; they are locked up somewhere else,
and often you do not even know where, nor do your children; and then
your kidnappers decide that you, as parents, are going to be returned
to where you came from, without your children being returned to you.
It is sadistic
and very cruel. Here is more:
I agree with Olivares (i)
because the American government and the American president by now
be suspected to lie about everything without any convincing impartial
and because (ii) because it seems to have been a systematic
further legal abuse not to
tell the parents where their children were
GOODMAN: The government,
the Trump administration, says that they have reunited 500 children
with their parents. Do you know where this number is coming from? Do
you believe them?
EFRÉN OLIVARES: I don’t believe they have been
reunited. And here’s why. Because that fact sheet that they released
late on Saturday night is ambiguous as to whether that includes
children turned over, released to a relative in the United States, or
reunited with their parents. They have admitted—the secretary of health
and human services confirmed that it will be very difficult to reunite
children with parents if the parent is in detention.
Here is part of the problem:
I take it Olivares may be
correct when he says that "[t]he
government has not specified if they are keeping track of who the child
belongs to, who is the parent, who’s the child", but what I read was a bit stronger, namely
often they did not keep "track
of who the child belongs to, who is the parent, who’s the child".
GOODMAN: When the children
are taken from their parents, how does the government keep track of who
is connected to who?
EFRÉN OLIVARES: We don’t know. That’s the
problem. The government has not specified if they are keeping track of
who the child belongs to, who is the parent, who’s the child. I hope
they have a better system. The information we have gleaned here in
McAllen is the Border Patrol agents take a family picture, a picture of
the family unit, they call it, so a picture of the child and the
parent, to then keep track of who belongs with who. If that is the
system, it’s full of problems. It’s highly fallible. Forget the
problems with cross-racial identification. Just forget about that. Just
taking a picture of a 5-year-old and then trying to match him or her
with his mom, it’s going to be a disaster.
In either case, it was kidnapping and abduction by
the goverment of the
USA. And this is a recommended article in which there is more.
Time to Use the 'F' Word to Describe Trump
article is by Bill Blum on Truthdig. It starts as follows and explains
the - utterly nonsensical - phrase "'F' Word:
Is Donald Trump a fascist?
With each passing news cycle, more people here and abroad are asking
On a trip to Berlin in
early June, my wife and I were pressed for answers in spontaneous
encounters with cab drivers, waiters, hotel clerks and sundry others.
Regardless of occupation, everyone closely followed U.S. politics, and
most had come to the conclusion that the American president had long
ago crossed a dark ideological line.
I say, which I do
because I have been writing now for more
than three years about many
occurences of the word "f*ism", to follow Blum's usage (in the
although indeed these writings mostly said (correctly) "fascism", and
in fact I am getting sick with journalists especially because,
in nine years of fast internet I
have not read a single
journalist who seems to have any
decent idea of what a
definition of "fascism" looks like, even though very many
have used the
And Blum (who may have
a Jewish name, although I do not care) is hardly an exception. First,
here is Blum about Blum:
I told the tour guide that
as a columnist I had been comparing Trump with Benito Mussolini since
the early days of his presidential campaign. Still, we conceded that
for the most part, whether out of ignorance, timidity or a naive belief
in the myth of exceptionalism, Americans were reluctant to consider
whether their head of state actually is a fascist.
The issue of Trump’s
fascism has finally reached center stage in the U.S., sparked by the
administration’s shameful treatment of Central American refugees and
its Gestapo-like “zero
tolerance” policy on unauthorized border crossings.
Well... yes and no, but
My reason is that I
have first called Trump a neofascist
and a madman in the
2016, and that was after seeing Trump on video (I tend to
dislike videos and am not an American) and after reading (as a
definition of narcissism, and agreeing that, given
that definition, which has nine observational characteristics of a
narcissist, that Trump had 9 out of 9 of
these characteristics, it
followed that I should say, as a psychologist, that he is
Then again, this does
not settle anything about Trump's neofascism. I settle this by quoting
- once again - my definition of "neofascism":
Neofascism is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
I observe this offers
10 criterions to recognize neofascists by, and I insist that Trump
satisfies 10 out of 10 of my criterions (which are founded
where I considered no less than 21 definitions of "fascism":
On Fascism and
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Because of the gravity of
the issue, debates about Trump’s fascism invariably devolve into heated
emotional affairs, cleaved along racial and politically tribal lines.
You’re either a patriot and support Trump’s promise to “make America
great again” or you’re the opposite for failing to condemn him.
It may be impossible to set
emotions aside entirely, but it’s not impossible to arrive at the
truth, or at least to search for it through honest discourse.
Any rational discussion has to begin with a definition, and when it
comes to fascism, there are many to examine. Among the most instructive
is the one proffered by political scientist Robert Paxton in his
classic study “The
Anatomy of Fascism” (Harvard University Press, 2004):
“Fascism may be defined as
a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with
community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults
of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed
nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration
with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with
redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of
internal cleansing and external expansion.”
I say. I am sorry, but
I find this childish and I do so not at all because of the emotional
"gravity of the issue" (where one is classified as either a Trumpist or
not an American patriot), but because I know a fair amount
My grandfather was
murdered by the Nazis, for resisting them; my father spent over 3 years
and 9 months as a "political terrorist" in four German concentration
camps; my mother was in the resistance but never arrested; and I am
also a philosopher and a psychologist.
But none of
that knowledge is ever met by any
journalist I've read
about "fascism" since 2015, which are quite a lot.
I suppose I must be
deeply appreciative that Bill Blum did read one
definition of "fascism", which he quotes - but here is my comment on
Paxton's definition from my On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions:
Robert Paxton is a
political scientist and a
historian, and since I got my degree as a psychologist (after having
been removed from the right of taking a degree in philosophy, briefly
before taking my M.A. in that subject) I can assure him this
has too much psychology in it, and too little sociology, economics, and
politics. I don't think this is adequate.
Why do journalists
keep writing about "fascism" when they have not even clear ideas about the meaning of the term ?!?!??!
Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits the Poor for Profit
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
After a lengthy
government career defined by his central role in bailing
out predatory Wall Street banks as former President Barack Obama's
Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner appears to have found his true
calling in the private sector, where he now heads a large financial
institution that exploits the economic struggles of poor Americans for
I could not resist the
information this article offers about Timothy Geithner, because he is -
next to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama - one of the three economists who
are most responsible for the present "neoliberal" destruction of
the economy and the government, and its replacement by what are in
So I am not at all amazed that Geithner is still
bleeding the poor to make the very rich even richer than they are:
As president of
Warburg Pincus—a major New York private equity firm—Geithner helps
manage a lucrative predatory lending outfit called Mariner Finance,
which mass-mails loan checks to low-income Americans, hides exorbitant
interest rates in the fine print, and quickly sues those who fail to
repay the loan and interest in time, according to a detailed Washington
published late Sunday.
"It's basically a way of
monetizing poor people," John Lafferty, who worked as a manager trainee
at a Mariner Finance branch in Nashville, told the Post.
"Maybe at the beginning, people thought these loans could help people
pay their electric bill. But it has become a cash cow."
As I said: I am not
amazed at all. Here is some more on how Geithner ever gets
preying on the poorest of the poor:
Part of the burgeoning
"consumer installment" industry—which consists of firms that offer
slightly larger loans than payday lenders—Mariner Finance has hundreds
of thousands of customers who, often in desparation, use the loans to
cover soaring medical costs, home repairs, and other urgent expenses.
Given that in our "new
gilded age" 40 percent of Americans can't
afford a $400 emergency payment, the market for predatory lenders
like Mariner Finance is vast and growing.
"This industry is a
pipeline to transfer money from the poor to the ultra-rich," Ben
Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, wrote in response to the Post's
report on Sunday. "Obama's treasury secretary Tim Geithner is president
of one of the private equity firms making a killing from it. Your
economy, rigged to redistribute wealth to the top."
I could not resist
this: Geithner is still preying on the poorest of the poor.
Evidence That Half of Americans Are In or Near Poverty
article is by Paul Buchheit on Common Dreams. This is from near the
The U.S. poverty
rate in 2016 was between 12.7 and 14.0 percent.
But the poverty threshold is
based on an outmoded formula
from the 1960s. According to the Congressional
Research Service (CRS), the threshold should be THREE TIMES
HIGHER today. And it could be even higher if the true nature of poverty
I think that is correct,
and especially the last statement. Here is more:
Poverty is Not Just a
There is poverty in the
of life for Americans who are unable to pay for
medical treatment during years of declining health, and instead turn to
life-threatening opioid painkillers, readily available in a nation with
less than 5 percent of the world's population and 30
percent of the world's opioid consumption. Poverty is the lack
of community support in a winner-take-all society; the stress of
the steady decline of
jobs that pay enough to support a family; the inability to afford a
move to a desired neighborhood; the deadening impact of inequality on
physical and mental well-being. The United Nations describes America
as a nation near the bottom of the developed world in safety net
support and economic mobility, with the highest infant mortality rate
in the developed world, the world’s highest incarceration rate, and the
highest obesity levels.
Almost Nonexistent for the Bottom 50%
I say and I want to point
something out that is pro Dutch, although I am not pro Dutch at
all, although I am a Dutchman:
Census data in 2011 showed
half of Americans were in poverty or considered low-income.
Since then average wealth for the poorest
50% has plummeted 27.5 percent, and average wealth for
40% is virtually ZERO. The median American household has less
wealth in current dollars than it did 35 years ago (Table
The Poorest 50% Are
Barely Sustained by Their Incomes
According to CareerBuilder,
3 out of 4 American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, unable to
meet any major expense in health care or home and auto repairs. Charles
Schwab says 3 out of 5 Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
That's 60 to 75 percent of us.
I am 68 at present, and have at no time in
my life received as much
as the social minimum in Holland. For 68 years, or at least
years, I have been poorer than the poorest
Dutchmen (also with
my pension: it is less than the least allowable one, because I
years in Norway).
This is not wholly due to the Dutch iniquities, for until 1979
I indeed worked as little as possible in order to study as much as
possible, but in the beginning of 1979 both my ex and I fell ill as
students (on loans) and since then I have received systematically
less than the lowest income for those who were without work (as I
was classified for 31 years, for my - "serious, chronic" - disease was
absolutely never allowed, at least until 2018).
Even so, I seem to be a lot better of than "60 to 75 percent" of the Americans, and the reason is simply that even
though I get less than almost anyone (and less than anyone as old as I
am, unless they have been in prison for quite a few years), I get
than most of the working poor in the USA.
Back to the article:
So Who Gets
the Government Benefits?
I say and I also believe
Buchheit. There is considerably more in this article, that is strongly
Deniers argue that few
American families are really poor, because they benefit from low-income
government programs. But Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel
Zucman have calculated that,
on average in 2014, the 40% of American adults with incomes just below
the top 10% -- the middle class -- received more in
safety net government transfers (Medicare, Medicaid, tax credits, food
stamps/SNAP, Veterans’ benefits, etc.) than the bottom 50% of Americans
When Social Security is
included, the richest 10% on average received approximately as much in
government transfers as the poorest 50%
 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 (!!).