from July 16, 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 July 16, 2018:
1. The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom
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. Kevin de
León Stuns Dianne Feinstein
3. Indictment of 12 Russians: Under the Shiny Wrapping, a
4. Yes, Trump Is a Narcissist — But It's Literally A Million
5. Jimmy Carter: 'Under Trump, the Government is Worse Than
War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The failure on the
part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who
has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012,
has been denied communication with the outside world since March and
appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The
extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S.
government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any
journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It
would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in
total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is
extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The
Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid
their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same
draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump’s Supreme
Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any
publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.
Well...yes with an
additional possibly no. That is, I agree with Hedges that
Assange is in very bad problems (also healthwise) and that he seriously
needs help, but my ¨possibly no¨ is given by the extension Hedges gives
to his conviction that Assange´s expulsion ¨would set a legal precedent that would
criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the
corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason.
It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global
Also, I do not deny that Hedges may be correct in his
assumption, but I think (and hope) that the road towards that goal - ¨Donald Trump’s Supreme Court would
enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher,
editor or reporter in the name of national security¨ - is more complicated and more
difficult than Hedges asserts here.
Here is more:
There are growing
signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing
to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and
his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in
negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of
Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange
an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to
him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government
Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe
passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him
This is probably quite
correct - but Assange will very probably be arrested if he
were thrown) outside the Ecuadorian embassy by the British police.
Here is some background:
I completely agree
the above. Here is more:
Assange, who reportedly is
in ill health, took asylum in the embassy to avoid extradition to
Sweden to answer questions about sexual offense
charges. He feared that once in Swedish custody for these charges,
which he said were false, he would be extradited to the United States.
The Swedish prosecutors’ office ended its “investigation” and
extradition request to Britain in May 2017 and did not file sexual
offense charges against Assange. But the British government said
Assange would nevertheless be arrested and jailed for breaching his
The persecution of Assange is
part of a broad assault against anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist
news organizations. The ruling elites, who refuse to accept
responsibility for profound social inequality or the crimes of empire,
have no ideological veneer left to justify their greed, ineptitude and
pillage. Global capitalism and its ideological justification,
neoliberalism, are discredited as forces for democracy and the
equitable distribution of wealth.
The ruling elites no
longer have a counterargument to their critics. They have resorted to
cruder forms of control. These include censorship, slander and
character assassination (which in the case of Assange has sadly been
successful), blacklisting, financial strangulation, intimidation,
imprisonment under the Espionage Act and branding critics and
dissidents as agents of a foreign power and purveyors of fake news. The
corporate media amplifies these charges, which have no credibility but
which become part of the common vernacular through constant repetition.
Yes - but this suggests
(at least) that ¨[t]he
corporate media¨ have
changed rather a lot, compared with e.g. twenty or forty years ago: It
seems they have become totalitarian
(except that you cannot say so
anymore according to the sick Wikipedia). And I do believe this
correct, in part at least, and basically for two reasons: First, many
editors have been changed, while quite a few journalists have been
fired or disappeared, and second, because a good part of the mainstream
media are ¨branding
critics and dissidents as agents of a foreign power and purveyors of
fake news¨, and indeed for
reason that they are critics or dissidents (except in
the sick and degenerate Wikipedia, that follows Brzezinski on its
current - utterly false - meaning of ¨totalitarianism¨).
Here is more on the Democratic Party:
The Democratic Party
establishment, like the liberal elites in most of the rest of the
industrialized world, would be swept from power in an open political
process devoid of corporate money. The party elite, including Chuck
Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, is a creation of the corporate state.
Campaign finance and electoral reform are the last things the party
hierarchy intends to champion. It will not call for social and
political programs that will alienate its corporate masters. This
myopia and naked self-interest may ensure a second term for Donald
Trump; it may further empower the lunatic fringe that is loyal to
Trump; it may continue to erode the credibility of the political
Yes, I agree: As
far as I
can see most Democratic senators (leaving out Congress) have
bought, it seems mostly by Wall Street, that offered e.g. both
many times $250,000 or $350,000 for (undisclosed) speeches to rich
bankers (and the Clintons at present seem to be worth $120
though not only from bankers, while Obama seems to have
gathered a $100
Then there is also this, which was another bit of completely totalitarian propaganda,
except that Brzezinski´s mates on the sick
Wikipedia deny it:
But it is not only
Assange and WikiLeaks that are being attacked as Russian pawns. For
example, The Washington Post, which has sided with the Democratic Party
in the war against Trump, without critical analysis published a report
on a blacklist posted by the anonymous website PropOrNot. The blacklist
was composed of 199 sites that PropOrNot alleged, with no evidence,
“reliably echo Russian propaganda.” More than half of those sites were
far-right, conspiracy-driven ones. But about 20 of the sites were major
progressive outlets including AlterNet, Black Agenda Report, Democracy
Now!, Naked Capitalism, Truthdig, Truthout, CounterPunch and the World
Socialist Web Site. PropOrNot, short for Propaganda or Not, accused
these sites of disseminating “fake news” on behalf of Russia.
Precisely - and
was a bunch of totalitarian schemers and frauds (but not
sickened Wikipedia) simply because it gave no evidence whatsoever,
is completely anonymous.
In addition to offering no
evidence, PropOrNot never even disclosed who ran the website. Even so,
its charge was used to justify the imposition of algorithms by Google,
Facebook, Twitter and Amazon to direct traffic away from the targeted
Here is one of Hedges´ conclusions:
If the United States
had a public broadcasting system free from corporate money or a
commercial press that was not under corporate control, these dissident
voices would be included in the mainstream discourse. But we don’t.
Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Malcolm X, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, James
Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Angela Davis and Edward Said once appeared
regularly on public broadcasting. Now critics like these are banned,
replaced with vapid courtiers such as columnist David Brooks.
Precisely - and David
the person who got the freedom of the New York Times to slander Edward
Snowden in 2013 (and writes still for the Times, and still seems a
liar, but he is one of the - relatively few - journalists I do not
anymore because they´ve shown themselves to be both
not according to Wikipedia) and liars.
And this from Hedges´ ending:
It is up to us to
mobilize to protect Assange. His life is in jeopardy. The Ecuadorean
government, violating his fundamental rights, has transformed his
asylum into a form of incarceration. By cutting off his access to the
internet, it has deprived him of the ability to communicate and follow
world events. The aim of this isolation is to pressure Assange out of
the embassy so he can be seized by London police, thrown into a British
jail and then delivered into the hands of Pompeo, John Bolton and the
CIA’s torturer in chief, Gina Haspel.
Yes, I completely agree, and
this is a strongly recommended article.
de León Stuns Dianne Feinstein
article is by David Dayen on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
I say, for I am quite pleased
with this news, that I also did not reckon with. And
Feinstein started around 1970 as ¨a leftist¨, and has
the Democrats or her own fnancial interests for nearly 50 years.
Longtime California Senator Dianne Feinstein
lost the California Democratic Party’s endorsement in a stunning vote
Saturday night at the party’s executive board meeting in Oakland.
Though the vote was expected to be close, state Senator Kevin de León
rather easily crossed the 60 percent threshold necessary for
De León secured 65 percent of the vote among the 333 executive board members
present. Feinstein garnered 7 percent, and “no endorsement” took 28
percent. De León only took 54 percent of the vote at the state party
convention in February. Virtually every undecided vote going into the
executive board needed to flip to get this big a number.
Here´s more by de León:
Yes I agree,
although I also think this is a relatively small gain in a far
battle - which seems to be between Democratic ¨representatives¨
represent their own financial interests much rather than the
and concerns of the voters that voted them in, and new Democratic
representatice who are - as yet, at least - more interested in serving
the interests and concerns of their voters. And this is a
“The nation’s most accomplished Democratic
Party is leading the call for a new generation of leadership who will
fight to advance a bold agenda,” de León said in a statement. “We have
presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out
Washington playbook in a quarter-century.”
The executive board has grown more and more
progressive for a decade, since a new generation of activists secured
spots in the party hierarchy. De León proved to have better
relationships with party delegates than a senator who spends most of
her time in Washington, and little connecting with Democratic activists
back home. But the endorsement is also a resounding rejection of
Feinstein’s brand of centrist politics, which simply doesn’t mesh well
with the party’s most dedicated and plugged-in supporters.
of 12 Russians: Under the Shiny Wrapping, a Political Act
article is by Scott Ritter on Truthout. It starts as follows:
With great fanfare, Deputy Attorney General
Rod Rosenstein on Friday released a 29-page indictment, a byproduct of the ongoing investigation
by special counsel
Robert Mueller into Russian
meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Ostensibly, this indictment
cemented the government’s case against the Russians and punched a hole
in the arguments of those, like President Trump, who have been labeling
Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.” This, of course, is precisely
what Rosenstein and Mueller hoped to achieve through their carefully
timed, and even more carefully scripted, indictment.
It also comes on the
heels of a concerted effort on the part of the president and his
political supporters to denigrate the investigation of Mueller and, by
extension, the judgment and character of Rosenstein, who, since the
recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from the Russian
investigation, has been giving Mueller his marching orders.
Yes, this seems all de León true to me.
again, here is more, for in fact the indictment was hardly an
in fact the American government will not give that specific
Or at least, that is Ritter´s convictiom and I agree with him, as I
agree with the following:
There is one major problem with the
indictment, however: It doesn’t prove that which it asserts. True, it
provides a compelling narrative that reads like a spy novel, and there
is no doubt in my mind that many of the technical details related to
the timing and functioning of the malware described within are
accurate. But the leap of logic that takes the reader from the inner
workings of the servers of the Democratic Party to the offices of
Russian intelligence officers in Moscow is not backed up by anything
that demonstrates how these connections were made.
the point of an indictment, however—it doesn’t exist to provide
evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, but rather to provide only enough
information to demonstrate probable cause. No one would, or could, be
convicted at trial from the information contained in the indictment
alone. For that to happen, the government would have to produce the
specific evidence linking the hacks to the named Russians, and provide
details on how this evidence was collected, and by whom.
assertions set forth in the indictment, while cloaked in the trappings
of American justice, have nothing to do with actual justice or the rule
of law; they cannot, and will never, be proved in a court of law.
However, by releasing them in a manner that suggests that the
government is willing to proceed to trial, a perception is created that
implies that they can withstand the scrutiny necessary to prevail at
is the ending of this article:
indictment, by any other name, is a political act, and should be
treated as such by the American people and the media.
I agree. And this is a recommended article.
Trump Is a Narcissist — But It's Literally A Million Times Worse Than
is by Faith Gardner on AlterNet and originally on Daily Kos:
Yes, the hallmarks of
narcissism are painfully obvious in the president of the United States.
The endless projection. The delusion of grandeur masking a paper-thin
skin that punctures under the most benign criticisms. The nonstop
gaslighting. But you know who else every single one of these attributes
I say! This means that
if The Leader has something, then so have ALL his followers
course for The Leader´s special genius).
And it was a bit
difficult to check out Faith Gardner, but indeed she is not a
psychologist (as I am) but has degrees in education.
Here is more by her:
unmovable base are cult-like followers who could watch him shoot
someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and still follow him, who give no
shits that he is a serial sexual assaulter and defender of molesters,
who get fleeced by his tariffs, by his family’s blatant disregard for
the emoluments clause, and yet continue to vote for him even when
it seemingly serves no interest of their own. Kool-Aid drinkers in the
most macabre sense of the metaphor, they will follow him right to hell
and never look back. None of it makes any logical sense, until you
realize they are serving their own interests.
Because none of the details matter if you see yourself in the
narcissist delivering the rhetoric that feeds your own sense of
But she does not
consider one moment the possibility that these followers may be
or quite ignorant
or quite conformistic
or be wishful
no: Faith Gardner knows each and everyone of the
followers of the narcissist Trump must be a narcissist, I suppose on
the same ¨evidence¨ as each follower of the madman Hitler was a madman.
You doubt it?
And indeed she does,
show that the has read at least one bit of
namely the - psychiatric - definition of narcissism. But
extends Trump´s characteristics to everyone of the tens of millions who
supported Trump, as if this has any
plausibility at all.
is nothing more than a collection of narcissists, and I find this
a lot more interesting than the fact that Trump himself is a
narcissist. Trump simply represents the abhorrent qualities of his
All these qualities listed
under the narcissistic personality could not only describe Trump, but
the party that props him up, and let us count the ways.
Here is more on the almost 63 million voters
for Trump (ALL of whom are
narcissists according to Faith´s logic that extends
to the followers
what holds for the leader):
I’ve been pondering this,
though, from an individual point of view. How are
people encouraged to deal with narcissists? You can’t
treat them. You can’t teach empathy. You can’t cure them. While many
suggestions from many psychologists and self-help experts exist, one of
them I come across time and time again in both anecdotes and the
interwebs is to sever ties with them. Do not play into their
delusions. Do not attempt to argue with them. Call them out, sure—and
sever all ties. That, to me, seems like really the only way forward
with an entire group of narcissists.
There are almost 63
Trumpian narcissists according to Gardner. Here is her own utterly
conclusion (except according to the sick Wikipedia):
I am sorry, but I rather have no
articles than utter bullshit
like this one.
There’s no use for logic or
empathy when you’re dealing with a delusional sect of a country
that is sprinting toward a fascist ‘Merica. It’s not just Trump who is
a narcissist beyond help, it’s everyone who still follows him. Do
yourself a favor and give them all a view of your gorgeous middle
Carter: 'Under Trump, the Government is Worse Than It Has Been Before'
This article is by
Matthew Rozsa on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as follows:
When speaking with
Salon about his famous "Crisis of Confidence" speech, former
President Jimmy Carter had this observation about America's
current commander-in-chief, Donald Trump.
"I think that under Trump
the government is worse than it has been before," Carter explained by
email. "This is the first time I remember when the truth is ignored,
allies are deliberately aggravated, China, Europe, Mexico and Canada
are hurt economically and have to hurt us in response, Americans see
the future worse than the present, and immigrants are treated cruelly."
I think Carter is correct,
although I am also sure he is far sunnier about the presidents
preceded Trump than I am. And he also said a few things in the second
half of the 1970ies (during his presidency) that were interesting.
Here is one of them, from the
In a nation that was proud
of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in
God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and
consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but
by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming
things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that
piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have
no confidence or purpose.
The symptoms of this crisis
of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the
history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next
five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our
people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is
actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the
future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.
I think this is more or
less rigth (although I feel quite sure that the majority of Americans
has not ¨discovered
that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing
There is some more in
 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 (!!).