from September 6, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 September 6, 2018:
1. Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration
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. Fake Reform Foisted on Us by Those who Benefit Most from
3. Democrats and the 2018 Midterms
4. Creeping Fascism No Problem for Trump’s Durable Base
5. 'We Are Experiencing an Epochal Shift'
of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration
This article is by
Anonymous on The New York Times, who is styled "Anonymous" because the
done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump
administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be
jeopardized by its disclosure."
It has a subtitle:
I work for the
president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts
of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
I say, for this is a rather
odd beginning, or so I would say. Also, the anonymous senior
official (?) does not say why he is trying "to
thwart parts of his agenda and
his [Trump's] worst inclinations."
And while I can, as a psychologist, name at least one good reason for the anonymous senior official (?) to do so,
namely the fact - which I think, as a psychologist, very probably is
a fact - that Trump is
mentally ill, but that possibility is not even mentioned in
Here is the start
of the article:
Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern
not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is
bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party
might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.
dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior
officials in his own administration are working diligently from within
to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
would know. I am one of them.
be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the
administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have
already made America safer and more prosperous.
we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president
continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our
Well... I am sorry, but I do need more
independent evidence to infer from one or possibly a few anonymous senior officials (?) that therefore
"many of the senior officials in
his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate
parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".
is, it may be true, but the evidence of just one supposed anonymous senior official (?) is definitely not
enough (for me).
is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic
institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until
he is out of office.
Possibly so, but I need more evidence.
Here are some of the things that convinced this anonymous senior official (?):
root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with
him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that
guide his decision making.
he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for
ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and
free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings.
At worst, he has attacked them outright.
addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the
“enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally
anti-trade and anti-democratic.
I am sorry, but the first two paragraphs of this
quotation are false or nonsensical propaganda:
First, if you look at the evidence that Trump
is mentally ill, you will find that he very probably is a
narcissist, who does have a clearly discernible first
principle, namely that Donald Trump Is The Greatest.
second if you believe in "free
minds, free markets and free people"
what you are believing in is plain propaganda, not
again, the supposed anonymous senior official (?) does
agree with Trump on some "bright spots":
get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative
coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective
deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
I am sorry, but I find all three evidence that ever
more profits for the rich are what this supposed anonymous senior official (?) does wish for. I
neither like nor admire that.
is the last bit that I quote from this article:
the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the
cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex
process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a
constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the
administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s
bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but
rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk
low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
I am sorry: I think Trump himself is the first responsible one
for what he "has done to the
presidency"(who else?!). Also,
while I think a very important problem with American politics is that
most Americans are both stupid and ignorant, Trump
has been abusing that in a new way.
2. Fake Reform Foisted on Us by
Those who Benefit Most from the Current Dysfunction
article is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. It starts as
To better understand
health care dysfunction, I interviewed doctors and health
professionals, and published the results in Poses RM. A
cautionary tale: the dysfunction of American health care. Eur J
Int Med 2003; 14(2): 123-130. (link here).
In that article, I postulated that US physicians were demoralized
because their core values were under threat, and identified five
As readers who read me
before know, I am ill almost 40 years with ME/CFS, as is my ex, and we have
been told for 40 years that we are not ill (though both of
us became - very good - M.A.s in psychology, in spite of not being able
to follow any lectures).
1. domination of large
organizations which do not honor these core values
2. conflicts between competing
interests and demands
incompetent, self-interested, conflicted
or even corrupt
5. attacks on the
scientific basis of medicine, including manipulation
of clinical research stuides
After that my colleagues and I
have tried to raise awareness of these and related issues, now mainly
through the Health Care
Renewal blog. We also set up FIRM - the Foundation for
Integrity and Responsibility in Medicine, a US non-profit
organization, to try to provide some financial support for the blog.
It is only since March of 2018 that I am allowed by the Dutch
medics to say I have "a serious chronic disease" since 40 years, and
also that, presumably, I should feel most happy at the thought that
future Dutch medics will be better educated in ME/CFS.
In fact, that was - as nearly always - a stinking Dutch medical lie,
because no one knows as much as the cause of ME/CFS, indeed in
good part because most research that could and should
have happened in the last 40 years was not done at all.
(Besides, Dutch medics get at most half of what Dutch medics had to
learn 40 and more years ago, and very probably have an average
intelligence of less than 115, which was the average IQ in 1984 in the
University of Amsterdam.)
Well... my ex and I have seen some 30 medics, and 27 of them were
frauds, liars, and deceivers, whose first and only responsibility
was to their own financial well-being, and not helping
And I think 30 medics is a sufficient sample to conclude that 90% of
all Dutch medics simply is incompetent. (And at any rate, given that 27
out 30 medics were liars in our experiences, is not precisely an
inspiration to try yet another one.)
Next, as to Roy M. Poses MD: I have been following his site for quite a
few years, probably at least seven, and I like him.
Here is some more by him:
However, we failed
to find any prominent foundations willing to help. We have
occasionally gotten small amounts of money from a few small
foundations, but not recently. Meanwhile we have not seen any
major health care foundations supporting any iniatives by anybody meant
to address any of the issues we discuss on Health Care Renewal.
In particular, while outright health care corruption seems one of the
most outrageous issues we discuss, we have never found a foundation
willing to take that on - at all.
Yes, precisely - and one
of the things that seem very much as they should not be is the testing of new medicines
which seems to be mostly corrupted (literally) and falsified.
We should not have been
surprised. We later discovered that the leaders of many health
care foundations had conflicts of interests which likely decreased
their enthusiasm for even considering issues such as ... conflicts of
interest and their risk of generating health care corruption.
Here is one more bit:
As a society, at
least in the US, we have abandoned true reform, including reform of
health care, for faux reform controlled by those who would lose the
most were true reform to take place instead. We have handed the
problem of excessive
drug prices over to the executives of pharmaceutical
companies who benefit most from currently outrageous pricing. We
have handed the problem of a dysfunctional health
care insurance system over to executives of insurance companies who
benefit most from high cost commercial insurance plans that cover as
little as possible. We have allowed corporations accused of
unethical and criminal practices to make lax legal
settlements that pretend they will be able to improve themselves without
penalties accruing to the managers on whose watch the bad behavior
occurred. And we have let health
care foundations led by top health care corporate managers and
their cronies to sell change that matters.
- There is a lot
more more in the article that is interesting. If you are not interested
and are an American, I think you must have been remarkably healthy all
your life. This is a recommended article.
and the 2018 Midterms
article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Actually, I found Tuchman's "The March of
Folly" (for it is a book, published in 1984) quite
interesting reading, without agreeing to everything.
The collapse of the
Democratic Party over the last four decades is nothing less than
historic. It’s the kind of thing folks will study in the future,
as what Barbara Tuchman called a “march
Ms. Tuchman defined a march
of folly as “the pursuit of policy contrary to self-interest,” and
nothing has been as obviously contrary to the Democrat’s fortunes as
their pursuit of a neoliberal, centrist strategy.
Oh, yes, Democrats will do
well in the 2018 midterms, but in too many cases it will have nothing
to do with their policies, and everything to do with how Republicans
have screwed the vast majority of the American people so that they
could – once again – give trillions to the uber-rich and corporations.
And of course, when it comes
to creating fear and loathing, nothing tops Trump’s record of
incompetence and criminality, and the Republican Congress’s
Then again, I think I should add that it doesn't quite seem to fit
here, for Tuchman's definition of the march of folly as "the pursuit of policy contrary to
self-interest", which is quite
adequate, does not apply if you consider the
self-interest of Democratic (and Republican) elected politicians: They
seem to vote (on many issues) according to who pays
them the most.
And that is quite self-interested. Of course, I have no strict
proof of such payments, but then these are kept secret. Then again,
they do explain quite a few of the Democrats' choices.
Here is more by Atcheson:
But winning because
people are fed up with the other guys is a far different thing than
winning because people support your policies. And the Democrats
have no real policies. Their centrist, neoliberal, be-all-things-to-all
people approach to politics – which allows them to collect campaign
money from corporations, Wall Street and the uber-rich – has create a
toxic brew of anger and alienation in middle America. And while
there is an insurgent force within the party fighting for a progressive
party leaders and pundits are fighting it every step of the way.
In fact, I think is is far
less "[t]heir centrist,
neoliberal, be-all-things-to-all people approach to politics" than it is, quite simply, that the
Democrats now have been admitting and protecting their collections of
their campaign money from those they ought
to be most opposed to: "corporations,
Wall Street and the uber-rich".
The angry and justifiably
cynical end up voting for demagogues and tin-horn tyrants who bad-mouth
government, while the alienated stay home.
This is the root of the
Democratic leadership’s march of folly.
At least, that is what I think. Also, I would not at all be amazed if
Hillary Clinton will insist that she
should have yet another chance of defeating Trump.
Here is more by Atcheson:
The root cause is
that working class Americans are standing still. There’s been
little in the way of economic gains for the vast majority of Americans
since 1980. And this is the result of policies that favor the rich and
corporations, policies supported by both political parties. But
whereas the Republicans offer the voters an explanation and someone to
blame (both false, as usual), Democrats seek to straddle the middle,
and manage to feed the anger that supports the Republican’s narrative,
and the victories that accompany it.
The rationale neoliberal
Democrats offer for embracing this march of folly is that Americans are
They aren’t. Even in
so-called red states, progressivism
Yes, I think that may
well be true. Then again, for the rich Democrats holding seats, of
course the problem is that "progressives" usually have little or no money
to pay them.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Yes, that may well be
correct (and note "Unless,
of course, you factor in the central role that corporate and uber-rich
campaign contributions play for the party elite"). This is a strongly recommended
As a result, when they do
manage to win because “we’re not as bad as they are,” they hold no
mandate for change, which means in the long run, they will be unable to
deliver the change that the American people want, deserve and need,
which in turn means they will ultimately lose again.
Which makes the Democratic
leadership’s devotion to the failed strategy of centrism all the more
perplexing. Unless, of course, you factor in the central role
that corporate and uber-rich campaign contributions play for the party
elite. As Sanders said, too many Democrats would rather retain
their power than see the party as a whole win elections.
And so, despite the 2018
gains, the Democratic Party will still be marching towards folly,
unless the progressives manage to take it over completely.
Fascism No Problem for Trump’s Durable Base
is by Paul Street on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
How, liberals and
progressives ask with shocked amazement, can Trump’s supporters
continue to back him? They persist even as one piece of evidence after
another emerges of his epic
and pathological gaslighting, his shameless immorality,
his abject criminality,
his wild stupidity
and his corruption.
Then there’s his chilling authoritarianism,
toward fascism, his ugly
sexism, his textbook
malignant narcissism and his nasty racism.
These flummoxed observers
aren’t wrong about Donald “Don’t
Believe What You See and Hear” Trump’s terrible, duplicitous and
Orwellian nature, but their incredulity is na´ve.
Yes, the evidence is clear
as day—to people who pay serious attention to evidence. Nine
of every 10 Americans—and certainly a larger share of
Republicans and Trump-backers—believe in the existence of God. Ask most
Americans what exactly one is supposed to believe in when it comes to
“God,” and they will say little or nothing in the way of empirical
proof. It’s never quite clear what the concept and word means. It’s
Evidence is easily devalued
in a faith-based nation in which magical
thinking (a critical component of authoritarianism and hardly
limited to religious and metaphysical matters) is rife.
Well... I certainly am
someone who is interested in evidence. Then again, I studied philosophy
and psychology, and I think that the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans
(is that still the case, by the way?) is religious is considerably
less important for Trump's success than is the fact that truly
large numbers of Americans are simply stupid and ignorant.
Here is some of the
the Republicans utter:
Watch Fox News and listen
to noxiously racist, nationalist and neo-McCarthyite talk-radio
hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin. Nothing is clear as day
across the soulless landscape of radically conservative media, where
2+2=5; war is peace; love is hate; corporate Democrats are Marxists;
antifa is a giant mass movement created by the Democratic Party; black
football players who take knees during the national anthem are
traitors; the billionaire rentier Donald Trump is a friend of the
working man; anthropogenic global warming is a “hoax”; and “God” wants
us to burn every last fossil fuel on Earth. As Trump’s wacky
post-modernist lawyer Rudolph Giuliani put
it recently, “truth isn’t truth.”
Clearly, none of this
bullshit has anything to do with religion. Here is something on
Trump's - let's say - lack of brilliance:
Speaking of stupidity, what
about Trump’s real or alleged idiocy? The “mentally deranged dotard”
(North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s colorful
description of Trump last summer) would probably outscore George W.
Bush (more on that dolt below) but come in below the Clintons
and Obama on standard intelligence measures. Whatever his brainpower,
however, Trump is an inexhaustible font of fatuous and inane political
assertion. Take, as one example, his frequent go-to: climate-change
denial. Then there’s his claim that thousands of Muslims danced on the
roofs of apartment complexes watching the World Trade Center towers
collapse on 9/11, as well as the ridiculous assertion the U.S. is being
flooded by immigrant rapists and murderers.
I agree to Trump's
relative position, but then again I am less interested in how
intelligent Trump is as I am in why so many Americans believe in him.
And here I say again: Because of their stupidity;
because of their ignorance.
Here is more on
Sadly enough, however,
stupidity is not necessarily a big problem for much of the population.
Ten years ago, historian Rick Shenkman wrote a book titled ”Just
How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter”. The
book was filled with depressing statistics like the following:
● A majority of Americans didn’t know which party was in control of
● A majority couldn’t name the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
● A majority didn’t know the U.S. had three branches of government.
● A majority of Americans told pollsters in 2003 they believed George
W. Bush’s argument the United States should invade Iraq because Saddam
Hussein had attacked America on 9/11.
I mean: How could you
not know these elementary things and be not stupid? Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article, after skipping a lot, and this
is from the ending of the article:
Precisely - or even worse, for I
have not been able to find as many
as 1 journalist in over 5 years of
reading and reviewing over 2000 articles who could do so.
Is Trump’s “creeping
fascism” a problem for his backers? Leaving aside the interesting
debate among liberal and left commentators about whether Trump is a
real or creeping fascist, it is unlikely that more than a small number
of Americans could provide even the remotest outlines of a working
definition of what classic
fascism was or what fascism
more broadly defined is in the world today. It’s hard for people to
reject something they know little or nothing about regarding its
existence and nature (even as they are thinking and acting in accord
with some of the phenomenon’s key characteristics).
Are Experiencing an Epochal Shift'
is by Britta Sandberg and Mattieu von Rohr on Spiegel International.
Well... I admit that I thought it would be more interesting,
but then the interviewee, Ischinger, spent no less than the last 40
years as a politician of some kind, and he speaks like that
as well. So just two bits:
DER SPIEGEL: "The
World in Danger" ("Welt in Gefahr") is the title of your new book. How
bad is the situation?
Ischinger: We are
experiencing an epochal
shift. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation has
never been as dangerous as it is today. Primarily because mutual trust
has vanished. We can only see the rough outlines of what the new
political age will look like. There is Russia's new role, China's
expansion, violent conflicts around the world such as the war in Syria,
the consequences of which we in Europe have particularly felt. A once
reliable partner like Turkey is faltering, and we have experienced
significant instability even within the European Union. But no
politician has unsettled the world to the
degree Donald Trump has. Since he entered office in January 2017,
the entire liberal world order seems to be in danger.
I say, but not really:
What is "an epochal shift"? And what is "the entire liberal world order"?
I have no idea, and the prose of Ischinger is most
Here is the last bit of
this politician's prose I quote:
DER SPIEGEL: Is
Trump destroying the West with his rhetoric?
Ischinger: If it
were only actions that mattered in foreign policy, I would be more
sanguine. Because the U.S. is still doing more for NATO than all the rest of
us put together. Unfortunately, the current situation isn't the
only thing that matters. Words do too. And Trump's words act like
poison to the cohesion of the West. The West needs a symbol, and that
is what we have lost under Trump. And because we Germans finally became
embedded in the West after a long journey over the last 70 years, it is
a particularly painful loss, almost a
loss of identity - much worse than for the French or the British.
Note Ischinger could
simply have said "Yes" or "No" or perhaps "Don't know". Instead, he
utters forth a sort of bullshit that I can't translate and also am not
interested in. O well....
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 (!!).