from July 14, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 14, 2018:
1. Trump Insults Theresa May, Praises Far-Right Boris
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:
London’s Muslim Mayor
Martin Luther King a Socialist?
3. Ray McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard
4. How Academic and Media Excuse-Making Normalizes the
5. The Most Irreverent and Radical Signs From UK's Historic
Insults Theresa May, Praises Far-Right Boris Johnson, Attacks London’s
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
President Trump is
meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May today, just hours after warning
that a “soft Brexit” will kill Britain’s chances of a future trade deal
with the United States. In an explosive interview with the Rupert
Murdoch-owned British tabloid The Sun in which Trump claimed that
Britain is losing its culture due to immigration, Trump said Theresa
May had ignored his advice on Brexit negotiations. We speak with Gary
Younge, editor-at-large for The Guardian and a columnist at The Nation.
In case you are interested
in Gary Younge
(I did not know who he is), this was a link. Here is one of his
YOUNGE: Well, yeah, I
think there are two things that really explain these protests. And the
first is domestic, really, which is our utter embarrassment and horror
that our government and our prime minister would be the first out of
the blocks to run and have invited Trump. She rushed to be the first
prime minister, first world leader, to have met him. And his visit is
an insult to every right-minded, right-thinking person, but then,
particularly, given his Islamophobic comments, his misogynist comments,
his racism and so on, to the kind of—the kind of Britain that many of
us are engaged in building, to every migrant, to every black person, to
every Muslim and so on. And so, domestically, for our own sake, we have
to say that this man is not welcome.
You know, Britain has a law
that people—for example, Louis Farrakhan, Minister Farrakhan, is not
allowed to come to Britain, because it has decided that his presence
would not be conducive to the public good. Now, I’m not making a
comment on that necessarily, but if you can ban Farrakhan, you can ban
Trump. His presence is not conducive to the public good.
Well... no, I disagree.
Younge´s first point seems to me to be a matter of taste, and entirely
forgets that Great Britain is an important partner to the USA, indeed
in part because they speak English, while the second point doesn´t
mention that Farrakhan is an American black radical muslim whose
political status is incomparably small compared with Trump´s status.
And while I certainly
strongly dislike Trump myself, I think better
arguments are needed to
deny the president of the USA entrance to Great Britain.
Here is one other bit
I more or less agree with
this, although my explanation is probably not Younge´s:
I say that
white ¨xeno-racists¨ - the term is new for me as well - are mostly
thinkers, simply because I know
no better explanation, even if almost all journalists
simply refuse to
discuss this possibility.
YOUNGE: When it comes to
the spinoff from Brexit, there is this thing that is now called—the
people are calling “xeno-racism,” which is the racism that is tied with
xenophobia. So, much of the Brexit—anti-immigration Brexit conversation
was about the number of Polish people, Romanians, Eastern Europeans who
have come in with open EU borders and who, some people argue—wrongly, I
think—are pushing wages down. Now, that xenophobia has bled, quite
easily, quite effortlessly, into attacks on black and brown people, who
nobody assumes are coming from Romania or Poland. So, the number of
attacks on women wearing hijabs, on black people, spiked and has
continued to be high after Brexit.
Now, in terms of who is going
to be worst affected, honestly, I think the people who are going to be
worst affected are many of the people who actually voted for
Brexit—many white people in rundown, working-class northern towns.
Martin Luther King a Socialist?
article is by Lynn Parramore on AlterNet and originally on the
Institute for New Economic Thinking. It starts as follows:
“The Millennial socialists
are coming,” declared a June 30 New York Times headline,
describing a surprise surge of young female candidates endorsed by the
Democratic Socialists of America who beat their establishment opponents
in primary races in New York and Pennsylvania. No longer is being a
socialist considered scary — at least if you came of age after the Fall
of the Wall. For many, it’s a breath of fresh air.
Martin Luther King, Jr., if
he were around today, would likely be smiling.
I don´t know
that ¨being a
socialist [is no longer] considered scary¨ in large parts of the USA, and indeed do not
it. I also do not believe Martin Luther King was a socialist,
or a ¨Democratic Socialist¨, although I certainly don´t know most
most letters of King,
but then I was a radical leftist when I was 18 and King was
and it seems to me that those who can remember back 50 years may be
bit better at judging the times of 50 years ago.
Also, the reasons why I
don´t consider King a socialist of a Democratic Socialist are mainly
First, King was a
pragmatist, who knew that coming out as an
explicit socialist of some kind in the times in which he lived, was
strongly frowned upon by very many. And second, he
was a Christian and
a minister, and - I think - he always was first a Christian
and only after that other things.
Then again, I agree
that King certainly was a radical and here is an important
part of the
reason that most of King´s radicalism was denied in the USA:
The image of the handsome,
be-suited King, looking like a middle-class messenger of the American
Dream as he mesmerized the masses on the steps of the Lincoln memorial
with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, has been embraced by everyone
from Coca-Cola executives to Donald Trump. It’s part of America’s
cultural memory, our political DNA.
Some may know that there
was more to his legacy than the epic fight to end racism, recalling
that in the period leading up to his assassination in 1968, King
focused on building a multi-racial movement for economic justice with
his labor activism and Poor People’s Campaign.
Yes, this is true, and
here is more:
But even that view,
Honey in his new book, To
the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice,
does not capture the whole story.
Consider King’s words in a
letter to Coretta Scott in 1952: “I am much more socialistic in my
economic theory than capitalistic,” he wrote, adding that capitalism
had “out-lived its usefulness” because it had “brought about a system
that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.”
King was 23 years old when
he wrote that.
The same year, his future
spouse sent him a copy of Edward Bellamy’s utopian socialist novel of
1888, Looking Backward. King wrote to her with
revolutionary fervor: “Let us continue to hope, work, and pray that in
the future we will live to see a warless world, a better distribution
of wealth, and a brotherhood that transcends race or color…This is the
gospel that I will preach to the world.”
Well... the terms
¨capitalism¨ and ¨socialism¨ have very many different meanings,
seems mostly nonsense
to me to infer King´s political attitudes from
his using both terms, and indeed - I grant - in a leftish way.
And also, King spoke
explicitly of his (bolding added) ¨economic
theory¨, while he
ended the above quotation insisting that he was preaching the
the world (which is sympathetic to the poor, at least in Jesus´
but not socialistic).
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I mostly agree,
do want to repeat that Bernie Sanders is - in the European ways of
using words - less of a democratic socialist than of a
(which is different) and something similar may have been true of Martin
So was King an actual
socialist? When I ask this question, Honey points me to the 1952
letters to Coretta. “Well, it’s pretty clear there, isn’t it? He’s
probably a “small ‘d,’ small ‘s’ democratic socialist, but he’s also a
pragmatist who wanted to change things for poor people and bring them
things like free college education and free health care.”
These are, of course, the
very same ideas that many Americans cheered when they came from the
lips of Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders in his surprisingly
successful 2016 run for president.
Honey emphasizes that King was
first and foremost a Christian (...)
McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard
article is by Ray
McGovern on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows (and ¨Strzok¨
is pronounced ¨Struck¨):
If FBI agent Peter
Strzok were not so glib, it would have been easier to feel some
sympathy for him during his tough grilling at the House oversight
hearing on Thursday, even though his wounds are self-inflicted. The
wounds, of course, ooze from the content of his own text message
exchange with his lover and alleged co-conspirator, Lisa Page.
This article is here
mostly because it is about Strzok and by Ray McGovern and
I will take it that you know something about each of them.
Strzok was a top FBI
counterintelligence official and Page an attorney working for then-FBI
Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The Attorney General fired McCabe
in March and DOJ has criminally referred McCabe to federal prosecutors
for lying to Justice Department investigators.
On Thursday members of the
House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees questioned
Strzok for eight hours on how he led the investigations of Hillary
Clinton’s unauthorized emails and Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties with
Russia, if any.
And here is one quite important point about making sense not
Strzok but of many of the top members of the FBI, CIA, NSA and
the Department of Justice:
It is always
necessary at this point to note that the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and
even the Department of Justice were operating, as former FBI Director
James Comey later put it, in an environment “where Hillary Clinton was
going to beat Donald Trump.” Most of them expected to be able to
stay in their key positions and were confident they would receive
plaudits — not indictments — for the liberties that they, the most
senior U.S. law enforcement officials, took with the law. In
other words, once the reality that Mrs. Clinton was seen by virtually
everyone to be a shoo-in is taken into account, the mind boggles a lot
Yes, precisely. And in
this also explains Strzok´s apparent utter blindness or total
about the fact that the NSA (and most other secret services) collect
and store ¨everything that
goes over the Internet¨,
including his messages and conversations with his lover:
If Strzok was
distracted by texting during the standard briefing on “NSA
Capabilities:101,” he may have missed the part about NSA collecting and
storing everything that goes over the Internet. That would
include, of course, his private text messages with Page on private
Yes. And while I do not
know what motivated Strzok, I think it is fairly likely he
underestimated how much ¨everything¨ really was (he may have
the NSA was overstating their case) and indeed he probably also
expected to be completely exonerated by president Hilary Clinton.
There is, admittedly, a very
slim chance Strzok is unaware of this. But, given his naiveté
about how well protected the texts on his FBI cellphone were, that
possibility cannot be ruled out. In any case, given the high
stakes involved, there seems a chance he might be tempted to follow
Mrs. Clinton’s example with her emails and try to delete or destroy
texts that provide additional incriminating evidence — or get someone
else to do so.
Academic and Media Excuse-Making Normalizes the Abnormal
is by Mike Lofgren
on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Ever since the 2016
election we all know that economic distress and anxiety out in the
Great American Heartland caused white working people to vote for Donald
Trump. How do we know that? The media have told us so repeatedly, from
to the wonkish FiveThirtyEight.
There has been some
pushback since then, but now comes a research paper in the Oxford
Review of Economic Policy (the full paper here;
a summary here).
In it, three British economists claim that that the automation of jobs
through robotics swung the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of
Trump. They assert a very precise correlation, such as in their
statement that a with 10 percent lower level of automation in the
state, Hillary Clinton would have carried Michigan, and they further
calculate the exact national electoral college count by which she would
have won the election.
All very impressive, with
lots of academic rigor and quantification.
But we should know that
correlation is not causation, no matter how many times the rooster’s
crowing precedes the sunrise. Economics is justly called the dismal
science, but it is not even a science: pretended rigor and bogus
quantification are the means by which we are meant to be convinced by
an academic guild that is, at best, making hunches about complex human
behavior based on selective evidence.
If you do not
know who Mike Lofgren is, I provided a link. And I
completely agree with Lofgren
(indeed as a philosopher of science) that ¨correlation is not causation¨ and indeed also that ¨Economics¨ (..) ¨it
is not even a science¨:
Well... yes, but it seems
¨status anxiety¨ was invented after it was shown (or seems to
shown) that there were quite a large number of non-poor whites who
voted for Trump, and I agree with Lofgren that the largerst part of
economics - that anyway falls apart into two or three strongly
schools - simply is not real science.
There are now contrary
views to the economic distress thesis: a paper
in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues that status
anxiety, not economic anxiety, was the prime motivator for white
working class Trump voters. (Evidently, “status anxiety” is approved
academic jargon for resentment of other races.) The author’s
conclusions may be more soundly based than inference from levels of
automation or other such evidence: the voters told the interviewer what
their motivation was.
How would the
rational actor thesis explain why
more than three-quarters of American farmers voted for a candidate
who repeatedly told them he would start a trade war with the country
that is their fastest growing market in virtually all US agricultural
products, and already their largest market in several of them? Or a
candidate who promised to mess with NAFTA, a trade agreement that,
whatever its possible disadvantages for domestic manufacturers, has
been a boon to farmers?
Well ¨the rational actor thesis¨
that in fact was introduced into economics (and related
partial or pseudosciences) in the 1950ies, and it never
was true. In
fact, if I were asked to provide a general theory about what
ordinary men to have their ordinary opinions, my own theory is that
they are stupid, ignorant, conformistic, wishful
you cannot believe what they say in public, because the vast
are also hypocrites).
And I insist that there is much more factual evidence for my
than for the baloney of ¨the economists¨.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
M. Buchanan, one of the founders of public choice theory, got it
all wrong. Or maybe the presumed rationality of ordinary citizens in
his theory was just window dressing for his real message to his true
constituency: his patrons, the rich. They were the only group worth
bothering about (as Buchanan’s own ideology made clear), and his
message to them was to forget all the sob stuff about noblesse oblige
or good corporate citizenship, and to ruthlessly press their advantage.
In view of the contrasting behavior of the rich during the last several
decades, and that of the mass of the American people, Buchanan was
certainly onto something.
Again, if you don´t know who
Buchanan was, this was a link.
And I agree again with Mike Lofgren that Buchanan´s real
messages weere not Public Choice by Rational Persons, but were
to ¨his true
constituency: his patrons, the rich¨
while his actual real message was ¨to forget all the sob stuff about noblesse oblige
or good corporate citizenship, and to ruthlessly press their advantage¨.
I think Lofgren is
correct and this is a recommended article.
Most Irreverent and Radical Signs From UK's Historic Anti-Trump Protest
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts with a subtitle:
From "Nazi Trump
F**k Off" to "Pussy Grabbing Pervert," the U.K. didn't hold back in its
massive demonstrations against the American president
Yes indeed, and here is
Despite the American
corporate media's efforts
the radical, irreverent, and often obscene signs on display across the
United Kingdom on Friday, the disgust hundreds
of thousands of Britons feel toward Donald Trump and Trumpism
could not be suppressed as they took to the streets en masse to show
their opposition to the U.S. president's hate-filled policies.
Below, we present some of
the greatest signs from Friday's demonstrations, which "drastically
exceeded" the expectations of organizers in both size and spirit.
I say, which I do because I
didn´t know this. Then again, here are some of the messages of the
demonstrators - which I think are quite fair in the
Tyrant Racist Umpa-Lumpa
Piss Off You Orange Bastard
Trump Camp Shame Babies Do Not Belong in Cages - Trump Does
Nazi Trump Fuck Off
Pussy Grabbing Pervert
Lock Him Up
Ban Guns Not Immigrants
Rapist Racist Child-Snatcher
In case you missed it,
here are two references that establish (I think) that Trump is a madman
(and I am a psychologist) who also has a neofascist ideology (and if
you never read my definition of ¨neofascism¨, you should).
There also is another
point to repeating the opinions of hundreds of thousands of Britons,
and that goes back 50 years:
In Holland it
years ago legally forbidden for any Dutchmen to publicly say or
announce of the American president Johnson that he was a killer: If you
said, in Dutch, in public, ¨Johnson moordenaar!¨ you risked arrest and
conviction, and for this reason most Dutchmen in demonstations instead
screamed ¨Johnson molenaar¨, which abbreviates ¨Johnson miller¨ in
Dutch, because of the similarity between the two words. And while
Johnson clearly was not a miller, this was then permitted.
For me it was utter
and happily these days the norms for what ordinary people are
allowed to say in public are different, indeed also in Great
Here is the last bit
from this article that I copy:
Yes indeed, and this is a
The vast diversity of
visuals on display at Friday's demonstrations was also evident on
social media, where users posted photos and videos of signs denouncing
Trump's climate denial and demanding justice for the migrants the U.S.
president has brutalized with his inhumane immigration policies.
 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 (!!).