from November 1, 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 November 1, 2018:
1. 60% of Earth's Wildlife Wiped Out Since 1970
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. Trump’s Endless Mendacity and the Dawn of American Fascism
3. New Research Exposes "Stealth Politics" of America's 100
4. Brazil: the Day After
5. 'We Will Win Because History Is On Our Side'
of Earth's Wildlife Wiped Out Since 1970
This article is by
Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows (and I shortened
around the world issued a stark warning to humanity Tuesday in a
semi-annual report on the Earth's declining biodiversity, which shows
that about 60 percent of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have been
wiped out by human activity since 1970.
I say, for I did not
know this, while this is quite horrible. Here is more:
The World Wildlife Fund's
Living Planet Index details how human's uncontrolled
overconsumption of land, food, and natural resources has eliminated a
majority of the wildlife on the planet—threatening human civilization
as well as the world's animals.
"We are sleepwalking
towards the edge of a cliff," Mike Barrett, executive director of
science and conservation at WWF, told the Guardian. "If
there was a 60 percent decline in the human population, that would be
equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe,
China, and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done."
population declines are especially pronounced in the tropics, with
South and Central America suffering the most dramatic decline, an 89
percent loss compared to 1970," reads the report. "Freshwater species
numbers have also declined dramatically, with the Freshwater Index
showing an 83% decline sinceRepublican
allies and outlets who repeat his outlandish and bogus assertions 1970."
of wildlife habitats is the leading human-related cause of extinction,
as people around the world are now using about three-quarters of all
land on the planet for agriculture, industry, and other purposes,
according to the report.
killing of animals for food is the second-largest cause of extinction,
according to the report, with 300 mammal species being "eaten
I think all of this is true. Here is more:
the survival of the planet's ecosystems is now a matter of life and
death for the human population, according to the WWF.
contributes to human wellbeing culturally and spiritually, as well as
through the critical production of food, clean water, and energy, and
through regulating the Earth's climate, pollution, pollination and
floods," Professor Robert Watson, who contributed to the report, told
the Guardian. "The Living PlanetRepublican allies and outlets who repeat his outlandish and
bogus assertions report clearly
demonstrates that human activities are destroying nature at an
unacceptable rate, threatening the wellbeing of current and future
is not a 'nice to have'—it is our life-support system," added Barrett.
Quite so. Here is the last bit that I quote from
scientists believe that studies like that of the WWF demonstrate that a
sixth mass extinction is now underway—a theory that would mean the
Earth could experience its first mass extinction event caused by a
single species inhabiting the planet. The loss of all life on Earth
could come about due to a combination of human-caused effects,
including a rapidly warming planet as well as the loss of biodiversity.
I don´t think that the fact that humans wiped out ¨about 60 percent of mammals, birds, fish, and
implies that (bolding added)¨all life on Earth could come about¨, for I believe that while a near 100%
of all ¨mammals, birds,
fish, and reptiles¨ may be
killed by humans (who then will very probably grow extinct themselves),
I suppose most smaller animals (lice, mites etc.) may well
Then again, I think that the fact that 60%
of all ¨mammals,
birds, fish, and reptiles¨
have been killed in the last 50
years by humans is a rather probable sign that
human life may be around
for another 50 years or so. And this is a very strongly
Endless Mendacity and the Dawn of American Fascism
This article is by
Paul Street on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
American presidents lie.
They always have. Just Google “Lyndon Johnson and the Gulf of Tonkin,”
“Bill Clinton and NAFTA” or “George Bush and weapons of mass
destruction.” Even Honest Abe likely told a fib or two.
But no U.S. president has
ever lied as prolifically, constantly, insidiously and dangerously as
Donald Trump. He never stops. He’s the Energizer Bunny of endless
It’s enough to make even
Orwell’s head explode.
Trump, who received votes
from just one in four U.S. adults in 2016, claimed that he would have won the popular
vote over Hillary Clinton were it not for the voter fraud of
undocumented immigrants. The alleged criminal votes were never cast.
his 2016 Electoral College victory “The biggest electoral victory since
Ronald Reagan.” It was no such thing.
Trump lied about the size
of his inauguration
crowd even as aerial photographs of the event contradicted his
Yes indeed, and the above
quotation also is the start of a whole lot more of Trump´s
that I leave to my readers´ interests, although I do want to repeat
remark about Trump that I have made for nearly three years now:
I am a psychologist
does make a difference when speaking about psychology)
and I think
since the beginning of 2016 that Trump is insane precisely
uttered stark raving lies like the ones quoted above and following it.
both of my parents were in the real Dutch
resistance in WW II, and my
father and his father were arrested in August of 1941, and then
convicted by collaborating Dutch judges (who never were punished) as
¨political terrorists¨ to concentration camp imprisonment which my
grandfather did not survive, while my father survived over three years
and nine months of them.
I know a lot about
because of my background, and I have meanwhile learned that no
journalist I have read in the last ten years has as much as a
definition of either fascism or neofascism
ready. I do - see the last
two links - and given my definition of neofascism I insist
is a neofascist.
Here is more about Trump:
Trump’s evasion of
responsibility follows a hate-filled campaign and 21 months of
axe-grinding in the Oval Office that has seen him call immigrants
criminal gang-members, murderers and rapists, while maliciously
describing his political enemies and media critics and journalists as
“evil,” “low lifes,” “low IQ” and “the most dishonest people on Earth.”
Along the way, the openly sexist Trump has referred to women as
“animals,” “dogs,” “horse-face,” “fat” and worse.
Quite so. And
an explanation for Trump´s extra-ordinarily many lies:
What accounts for this
endless mendacity and rhetorical manipulation? Speaking to “Public”
Broadcasting System NewsHour anchor and Council on Foreign Relations
(CFR) member Judy Woodruff last week, Dale
theorized that Trump and the Republican allies and outlets who
repeat his outlandish and bogus assertions want to drive media coverage
and political discourse away from topics they wish to avoid—health
care, the Mueller investigation and “anything else the president
doesn’t want us to talk about,” such as Trump’s still unreleased tax
returns, climate change and the party’s regressive tax cuts.
I think this may well
be correct for a considerable number of ¨Republican allies and outlets who repeat his
outlandish and bogus assertions¨ but I guess myself that for Trump himself it
as reasoned, but is mostly an indication and an outgrowth of his
Then there is this:
Perhaps so, and I
writing this because I note two things about totalitarianism:
As Chris Hedges suggests in
his latest book, “America:
The Farewell Tour,”
Trump and his
party’s continuing defiance of reality suggests that the United States
is sliding into “corporate totalitarianism”:
Trump and the Republican
Party represent the last stage in the emergence of corporate
totalitarianism. Pillage and oppression are intensified by the
permanent lie. The permanent lie is different from the falsehoods and
half-truths uttered by politicians like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush,
and Barack Obama. The common political lie these politicians employed
was not designed to cancel out reality. It was a form of
The permanent lie is not circumscribed by reality. It is perpetuated
even in the face of overwhelming evidence that discredits it. It is
irrational. Those who speak in the language of truth and fact are
attacked as liars, traitors and purveyors of ‘fake news.’ They are
banished from the public sphere once totalitarian elites accrue
sufficient power, a power now granted them with the revoking of net
neutrality. … “The result of a consistent and total substitution of
lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as
truth and truth be defamed as a lie, but that the sense by which we
take our bearings in the real world – and the category of truth versus
falsehood is among the mental means to this end – is being destroyed,”
Hanna Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism.
The permanent lie is the apotheosis of
totalitarianism. It no longer matters what is true. … When reality is
replaced by the whims of opinion and expediency, what is true one day
becomes false the next. Consistency is discarded. Complexity, nuance,
and depth and profundity are replaced with the simpleton’s faith in
threats and force.
First, it seems from the above that Chris Hedges may have changed
allegiance from Sheldon
Wolin´s ¨inverted totalitarianism¨ (which he
seemed to be in favor of in 2014: see here) to a new kind of
totalitarianism that he calls ¨corporate totalitarianism¨.
I am not quite certain of this, and my reason is that totalitarianism,
which I have been reading about for over 50 years, is - like fascism,
like socialism - hardly ever or never properly defined by
journalist I have been reading the last ten years, and has been
completely falsified on Wikipedia, which now sports a neofascist
re-definition of totalitarianism in which it is no longer the
consequence of ideas of individuals but corresponds precisely to
government like Hitler´s or Stalin´s - which makes it impossible to
blame anyone who lives outside a totalitarian government to have
totalitarian ideas, values, desires, plans etc. for the simple reason
that these are no longer totalitarian: only governments are.
This is a sick and sickening lie, but it is what
Wikipedia (written by
anonymous persons, funded by anonymous groups)
now spreads as the
Here is my own definition of totalitarianism,
which is completely in
line with Orwell´s use, and that of many writers and thinkers:
Totalitarian: Ideology or religion that is
pretended to have final answers to many important human questions and
problems and that is pretended to be thereby justified to persecute
persons who do not agree with the ideology or the religion.
There is a lot more there. But
as I said: This
clashes with the Wikipedia´s utterly false and
misleading definition of
the same term.
And second, I have read most of Hanna Arendt´s books, but I do not
admire them. I also do not think they are bad, but they are not as good
as many believe they are. And in any case there are more recent and
better treatments of totalitarianism than Arendt´s.
Also, I wish to remark that my parents and grandparents lived
12 years of fascism and five years of WW II in which Holland was a
Nazist country run by Germans and Dutch collaborators, but they never
lost ¨the sense by which
we take our bearings in the real world – and the category of truth
versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end¨.
Back to the article:
It is important to
understand, as Hedges does, that the Trump-led assault on veracity,
evidence and our very ability to separate truth from falsehood has been
able to gain traction only because a decades-long
corporate coup has devastated and discredited public education,
academia, organized labor and the legal and criminal justice systems.
It has done all this and more while turning the Democratic Party into
what the late Princeton political scientist Sheldon Wolin
called the nation’s Inauthentic Opposition.
Well... I agree that ¨public education, academia, organized labor
and the legal and criminal justice systems¨ have been partially destroyed, also in Holland,
and I date
my own recognition of this fact to 1977/1978, when I had
Norway (the worst mistake in my life: I lived there and could have
studied there then) to study in Holland, and found a university
was vastly corrupted and vastly more simple minded and less scientific
than I thought they should be (and had been learning from reading
philosophy and logic for ten years).
And while it is a fact
that education in Holland has approximately
halved since 1965, it also is a fact that almost no one seems to care,
because the vast majority is much more
interested in making money than
in acquiring knowledge, while it is a corresponding fact that the press
in Holland, except for a brief period in 2008, simply does not seem
Here is the last bit I quote from this article, and it is from its
celebrating a rare legal victory over a white supremacist U.S. police
state in Democratically-controlled Chicago chanted last month, “The
whole damn system is guilty as Hell.” It’s the whole damn
system that must be democratized from the bottom up.
I take it (but do not
know) that Street favors a socialist revolution. And this is a strongly
Research Exposes "Stealth Politics" of America's 100 Richest
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
While some of the
most famous ultra-rich Americans—such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren
Buffett, and the Koch Brothers—have very public profiles and readily
disclose where they stand ideologically or on key issues, new
research reveals that a cabal of the U.S. billionaires largely
operates in the shadows as they use their vast wealth and influence to
maintain their status and undermine democracy.
In a piece published
by the Guardian on Wednesday, Northwestern
University professors Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright, and Matthew J.
Lacombe lay out the findings of their "exhaustive, web-based study of
everything that the 100 wealthiest U.S. billionaires have said or done,
over a 10-year period, concerning several major issues of public
The trio of researchers
found that "both as individuals and as contributors to Koch-type
consortia, most U.S. billionaires have given large amounts money—and
many have engaged in intense activity—to advance unpopular, inequality-
exacerbating, highly conservative economic policies."
I did not know
but I think this is both quite true and also quite understandable,
the simple reason that all billionaires have strong financial
in the continuance of ¨inequality-exacerbating¨ policies.
Here is more:
Their research, also
detailed in their forthcoming book Billionaires and Stealth
Politics, shows that despite spending tons of money over the past
decade to advance policies that safeguard and even expand their wealth,
"billionaires who favor unpopular, ultraconservative economic policies,
and work actively to advance them (that is, most politically active
billionaires) stay almost entirely silent about those issues
"Billionaires have plenty
of media access, but most of them choose not to say anything at all
about the policy issues of the day. They deliberately pursue a strategy
of what we call 'stealth politics,'" the researchers explain. "This
sort of stealth politics," which enables wealthy individuals to stay
off the radar of the general public and avoid political accountability
while wielding significant influence over politicians and government
institutions, "is harmful to democracy."
I think this is also
quite understandable, and indeed it has been made very much
easier by several pronouncements of the Supreme Court, notably the
United decision of 2010.
Here is the last bit I
quote from this article:
I more or less agree but I
also hold that the wealthy should pay far
higher taxes than they do now
e.g. as they did under the Republican Eisenhower. Then again, this
be quite impossible in the present circumstances. And this is a
To combat the issue of
American billionaires using their outsize wealth and power "to rig the
political rules and preserve and expand their private wealth
dynasties," the IPS report argues that imposing "a direct tax on wealth
paid by the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent could generate
significant revenue to be reinvested in creating and restoring
opportunities for low wealth households to prosper," and that "taxing
inherited wealth as income would help break up current and future
the Day After
is by Francesc Badia i Dalmases on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The world has to prepare
for the day after.
Brazil is already suffering
from a tide of unbearable verbal and symbolic violence, and the
incendiary hate speeches are already claiming their share of victims.
Bolsonaro's victory seems indisputable and is forcing us to get ready
for a double action.
The first thing will be to
protect ourselves and prevent verbal attacks from turning violent under
the cloak of euphoria for the victory of a candidate who considers the
losers not ideological or political rivals but enemies who must be
eliminated. Communist worms, they call them.
narratives and the strategies of the progressive forces will have
to be rethought through and through. We will have to come up with a
contingency plan to minimize the damage, and then rebuild the political
space and prepare for standing up and going into battle and winning in
an urgent near future.
I say, which I do this
time because I think both plans sound pretty irrealistic in my
Here is more:
But protection will now be
the top priority. We must protect ourselves against the danger that the
ultra-aggressive statements which one could perhaps be tempted to
excuse in the light of the heat of the electoral battle, can serve as
coverage for hot-headed individuals to attack all that has been
demonized by the Bolsonarista discourse:
"We shall put an end
to all kinds of activism", he shouted recently. This is a direct
threat to LGBT communities, afro-descendants, indigenous people,
feminists, environmentalists... Anyone whom they consider hateful and
smells of leftism, of "petism", of tolerance and diversity today is
being attacked unscrupulously. Social leaders are now most vulnerable.
Well... how does
one protect oneself from Bolsonaro? In fact, I have no idea, other
shutting up or moving to another country.
Here is more, this time
on the fact that everybody is known to the secret services and the
rich (in principle, for no one can read all that is automatically
downloaded by artificial intelligence):
Warnings have been raised
for quite some time now that overexposure of personal data -
identitarian, social and also political - of free citizens in their
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts is a double-edged sword. The
data can be sold for spurious political purposes (the Cambridge
Analytica scandal is the tip of an iceberg), but also perhaps can be
used to identify, detect and persecute unwanted persons by an
In the era of social media,
Anne Frank would not have survived for more than a couple of days.
Yes, I think that is quite
correct. (But why call these spying systems of the rich and the
security forces ¨social media¨?!)
This is from the ending of
In a country as violent and
emotional as Brazil, it is only too easy to think that the situation
will get out of hand. And if, in addition, as Bolsonaro advocates, the
legal requirements for firearms possession are relaxed, slaughter could
be around the corner.
Yes, that is what I
expect: ¨slaughter¨. I strongly hope I am mistaken. This is a
Will Win Because History Is On Our Side'
(an interview) is by Annette Groszbongardt on Spiegel International. It
starts as follows:
Professor Lipstadt, the trial of the Holocaust denier David Irving
trial took place in London. How do you feel when you come back to the
Lipstadt: Every time
I come to London, I take the same hotel where I stayed then for 12
weeks during the trial. When we won in court, even taxi drivers and
people in the street congratulated me. But the trial was not a
pleasure, it was an ordeal, years of hard work. Luckily, I had
wonderful lawyers and supporters. The court found Irving was a
Holocaust denier, a racist and an anti-Semite.
DER SPIEGEL: He
denied the mass murder of the Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. He
was also well connected with German neo-Nazis. He said that the Jews
would keep coming back to the Holocaust because it was the only
interesting thing they had ever experienced.
Lipstadt: It was
unbearable how he made fun of Holocaust survivors. Before the trial, he
once pointed to the tattooed camp number of a survivor and asked her
how much money she had made from it. He claimed that more women had
died in the backseat of Ted Kennedy's car in Chappaquiddick than in the
Auschwitz gas chambers.
I like Deborah
Lipstadt, and did follow the trial David Irving started against her. I
have stated my reasons to be more interested in fascism than
Here is more:
Well... I do not
think that ¨history is on
our side¨ (in which
Lipstadt is correct in the sense that she clearly was factually
correct) is a strong defense, and especially not if one
has to defend oneself in a court in a non-democratic country.
DER SPIEGEL: At that
time, you were under enormous pressure. Holocaust survivors were
imploring you to save their history. What was your answer to them?
Lipstadt: I told
them: We will win because history is on our side. So were the facts. We
had very good evidence.
DER SPIEGEL: During
the trial, Irving posed as an allegedly unjustly accused historian.
Lipstadt: Oh yes, that
was his big show. He defended himself all by himself and there I was
with all my lawyers. He loved to play the victim. But he had sued me,
not the other way around.
Here is more:
What we fight today is not fascism -- or maybe, not yet fascism.
It is populism, from the right and from the left. I am wary of Nazi
comparisons, but what I see is a kind of ugly populism whose hateful
rhetoric reminds me of how the National Socialists in Germany came to
power. It's an ethnocentric populism, it feeds a dangerous mood, a sort
of tyranny of the mob. Many Americans think Hitler came to power by a
revolution, but he won elections. We should not forget that.
One problem here is that
Lipstadt does not define what she understands by ¨fascism¨ (the
to my definition, which seems far too complex for most journalists);
another is that ¨populism¨ also is badly defined (see populism on
And - once again - I think that the stupidity and ignorance of large
the population gives a much clearer idea of what is going on,
seems also if hardly anyone wants to make these judgements,
I think - they are clearly factually correct of many, though not of all.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
DER SPIEGEL: German
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently said that the growing
contempt for democracy reminded him of the Weimar Republic, Germany's
pre-Nazi era democracy. Your publisher has even posed the question:
"Are we going to return to the poisonous systematic brutality of the
1930s?" Are we?
Lipstadt: There is a lot of
poison and brutality. But is it like in the 1930s? No, thank god.
Or maybe not yet? There are disturbing signs on the horizon,
Steinmeier is right. My colleagues Timothy Snyder and Chris Bowning
have also been pointing out some parallels. When Hitler became
chancellor, the conservatives who supported him believed that they
could control him. They couldn't. So it is with Trump and the
This is more or less
correct though also vague. And there is a lot more in this article,
which is strongly recommended.
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 (!!).