from November 2, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 2, 2018:
1. Donald Trump, Fascism, and the Doctrine of American
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. Beware of the Real Gremlins This Season
3. The U.S. Is Facing Incipient Domestic Fascism, But Rightist
Can Be Stopped
4. Trump´s 30 Broken Promises
5. Tim Berners-Lee: Tech Giants Like Google and Facebook Must
Trump, Fascism, and the Doctrine of American Mythology
This article is by
Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept. This is from Intercepted, which is a
weekly podcast that´s normally, and also in the present case,
too long to excerpt
properly, so all you will get are some bits. Here is the first bit:
At rallies, this man revels in chants calling for his political
opponents to be locked up and jailed.
Lock her up!
JS: We see
thousands of children stripped from their parents’ arms and placed in
camps, while their mothers and fathers are characterized as rapists,
have gang members, we have predators, rapists, killers. A lot of bad
… That’s called an invasion
of our country.
JS: We see
the president leading the way in attempting to strip gay people,
transgender people of their humanity. We see modern-day Brownshirts
being openly encouraged to carry out violent acts.
guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy.
JS: And we
see the followers of this president and his ideology murder Jews
because they are Jews, murder African Americans because they are
African Americans, send bombs to politicians, and Jewish
philanthropists and news organizations.
I think the above bit is
essentially correct. Here is more, and ¨them¨ refers to democratically
elected fascists or neofascists like
Mussolini, Hitler and Trump:
Well... yes and no, but
mostly no, and my reasons are as follows:
of them came to power through a democratic process. Trump intentionally
revises history. He intentionally promotes a mythology of a country
that never existed. He taps into the anger and the rage of white people
in search of someone to blame, and he openly encourages them to act on
their perceived victimhood.
decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our
most vulnerable communities. They’ve allowed millions of low-wage
workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.
Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.
we see all of this in Trump. We see it every day. Trump must be
confronted. The dangers he poses are grave. At the same time, we must
not view Trump as some American anomaly, as just a modern-day iteration
of history’s infamous fascists. After all, Trump is not a product of
post-Versailles Germany. He’s a product of this empire. He’s a product
of the United States.
question — “Is Trump a fascist?” — is to me a less interesting and less
relevant question than why Trump’s message resonated so much that he
won in 2016, and why he may well win again.
First about the
democratically elected fascists or neofascists
Mussolini, Hitler and Trump.
In fact, this happened quite a few more times, and for me this means
that something does not work in democracies,
even though I am
in principle for everybody having a vote, and also for proportional
representation, that in fact is not the case in - at least
- the present USA and the present Great Britain, and indeed never was
the case, and that makes these countries much less democratic
than they would have been had the vote been proportionally
And my main difficulty is that in these supposed democracies there
are too many voters who essentially have no
proper ideas about democracy, representation, history, politics, or
indeed most other things, but who vote on the basis of their
own uninformed and unenlightened feelings that are mostly
produced by political demagogues.
Is that still ¨a genuine democracy¨? You may object that you believe in
democracties. I reply: So do I, but what if (i) the majority of all
voters are stupid and ignorant (ii) the majority of the stupid and
ignorant elect a fascist liar who was propelled by lies, and (iii) the
result is a world war in which over 50 million people get killed?
And this happened and caused WW II, whereas WW III will
probably be the end of humankind because this will be a nuclear war.
And second about fascism and Trump´s being a fascist.
I think Scahill is mistaken. I do not know why, but I think the
reason is either that he does not have any good idea about what
really is (and my link gives my answer) or else because he
knows that there are easily over 20
different definitions of fascism (the great majority of which
logically proper definitions)
and he thinks that is just too complicated.
In any case, I think Scahill is mistaken because it always is a
good question, and especially about politicians who lie much of the
time like Trump does, to ask what they really
stand for, in terms
of general political ideas and values, behind their lies to the
As I said, I have a reasonable definition of fascism that
implies a list of eighteen criterions, that also was set up by
considering 21 different definitions, and that shows that Trump is a neofascist
simply because his public sayings show strong support for all
criterions that he is a neofascist.
Back to the article. Here is some on two scholars of fascism:
I’m joined now by two
scholars of fascism. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a professor of history and
Italian studies at New York University. She’s the author of several
books, among them, “Fascist Modernities” and “Italian Fascism’s Empire
Cinema.” Her forthcoming book is called “Strongmen: How The Rise, Why
They Succeed, How They Fall.” She’s also a columnist for CNN.com.
And Jason Stanley is the
Jacob Urowsky professor of philosophy at Yale University. Stanley is
the author of “Know How,” “Language in Context,” “Knowledge and
Practical Interests,” as well as “How Propaganda Works.” His latest
book, which was released earlier this year, is “How Fascism Works: The
Politics of Us and Them.” Ruth, Jason, welcome both of you to
In fact, I do not
Ben-Ghiat at all while I do know a little about Stanley. I accept them
as scholars of fascism because of their booktitles, but I will be more
strict with them than I am with journalists.
Here is the last quote that I
have from this long article:
Jason, I want to begin with you. In your latest book, you talk about
how you’re going to talk about fascism in the book, and you say that
you’ve chosen the label “fascism” for ultranationalism of some variety
— ethnic, religious, cultural — with the nation represented in the
person of an authoritarian leader who speaks on its behalf. As Donald
Trump declared in his Republican National Convention speech in July
2016: “I’m your voice.” Jason, do you believe that what we are
witnessing with Donald Trump’s ascent and the way he’s governing—is
I make a distinction in my book between fascist politics and ideology
and fascist government. Fascist government is when the institutions
start to be corrupted and corroded by loyalty to the leader, and they
start to collapse. And different fascist government appears in
different forms. The resulting institutions after they’ve been taken
over can look different—differently in different countries. And I don’t
think there’s much of a doubt that what we’re seeing, including in the
run-up to these midterm elections, are fascist tactics, classic fascist
agree with Jason’s definition of fascism, and I agree that we’re seeing
the use of rhetoric and tactics that remind us of fascism. I simply
like to make a distinction. I like to use fascism only for situations
where there’s a one-party state, because I think it’s very useful for
us to see what is different and what stays the same over history. And
also to recognize that we have rights. We are still in a — very flawed,
but — we’re still in a democracy, and we need to exercise the rights we
Well... I am sorry, but I disagree
with both academic scholars in fascism. Here are my reasons:
About Stanley: I am sorry,
but ¨ultranationalism of some
variety¨ is not
definition of fascism,
indeed also if I disregard my own definition for
the moment. Here is a list of 21 other
definitions of fascism, and while I disagree with all of
them for various reasons, there are several which are a lot better
and a lot more specific than Stanley´s
About Ben-Ghiat: I am sorry,
but Stanley´s ¨definition of
fascism¨ just was not a
definition of fascism, because fascism is more complicated, and a real
definition also looks different from a mere slogan like ¨ultranationalism of some variety¨. (See the last link for examples.)
Besides, Ben-Ghiat is simply
quite mistaken in insisting that ¨I
like to use fascism only for situations
where there’s a one-party state¨
for this makes all fascist parties, groups, ideas, values and
ideals non-fascist as long as they do not have the absolute
power, which seems utter nonsense to me
(and in fact the same principle is used in the neofascist
¨totalitarianism¨ on Wikipedia).
Also, all of the above was
quoted from the beginning of this long article, and though I disagree
with these academic scholars of
fascism the article is recommended.
of the Real Gremlins This Season
This article is by
Jim Hightower on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed, especially the third
quoted paragraph. Here is an expansion of it:
As we enter another long
season of direful winter darkness, we are beset by back-to-back waves
of spooks. First come the little costumed goblins on Halloween, seeking
sweet treats from us to ward off any trickery they might pull. Cute.
But then, only six days
later — eeeeeeek! — here come the real spine-chilling horrors of the
season: Office-seeking politicians of the extreme right demanding votes
on Election Day. Not cute. With devilish signals to their base, they
promise to be more Trumpian than Trump, offering a Mephistophelian
agenda ranging from the harsher treatment of the poor to the more
plutocratic alchemy enthroning the rich over America's workaday people.
In the latter category is a
truly dreadful GOP scheme to decimate public benefits that sustain all
of us who are — or hope to be — middle-class. Of course, they can't
come right out and say they intend to gut the middle class, so their
candidates and officials have been speaking in tongues about it.
Just a year ago, McConnell,
Trump & Company rammed into law a trillion-dollar tax giveaway for
corporate elites, saying they didn't care that it would wildly inflate
the deficit. Now, though, they say all of that red ink is suddenly of
grave concern to them. So, to stem the flow caused by their boondoggle
for the rich, Republicans intend to cut off the Social Security and
health care payments that middle-class and poor families rely on.
This is not just
diabolical; it's deliberately evil. And all politicians who support it
should be condemned to the most hellish fate imaginable.
I think the first
paragraph is quite correct. As to the second paragraph: I take it
Hightower is angry, which also seems quite justified to me, but (i)
¨diabolical¨ does imply ¨deliberately evil¨ while there are more
¨hellish fates¨ than loosing medical care (such as being tortured
Here is the second bit
that I quote from this article:
Check out a 72-page report
issued right before Halloween by his Council of Economic Advisers.
While the Council's documents usually cast each of the president's
policies in the best light, they do so in sober, quasi-academic
language focused on the incumbent's policies. But the Council's
Halloween report reads like an endless Trump tweet, focused on his
perceived political enemies and riddled with fantasies, lies and
paranoia about their policies.
In antiquated Joe
McCarthy-style, the Trump advisers spew conspiracy theories about the
proposals of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and other Democrats,
frantically linking them with "Failed Socialist Policies" of Lenin,
Stalin, Mao and other communist dictators. Bernie's common-sense ideas
of "Medicare-for-All" and free college education, for example, are
hysterically decried as totalitarian designs from China and the USSR.
Likewise, the report compares Warren's true assertion that corporate
giants are dodging their tax obligations to Lenin's demonization and
killing of yeoman farmers.
In this ludicrous,
right-ring political screed — paid for by us taxpayers — the fraidy-cat
Trump scaremongers toss in the supposedly spooky word "socialism" 144
times — an average of twice per page. Among the horrors the Trumpistas
cite is that senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have stated
that large corporations "exploit human misery and insecurity, and turn
them into huge profits" and "giant corporations ... exploit workers
just to boost their own profits."
I have not seen
report by the Council of
Economic Advisers, but if Hightower is right - and I see no reason to
doubt this - it is a combination of utter bullshit and
And this is a recommended article.
U.S. Is Facing Incipient Domestic Fascism, But Rightist Revolution Can
Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It has the following
The 2018 U.S.
midterm elections mark a critical point in the era of President Donald
Trump, as the potential Democratic takeover of the House of
Representatives has unleashed a torrent of white supremacist vitriol in
the run-up to November 6. In the past week alone, a militant Trump
supporter was accused of mailing three pipe bombs to CNN
and 12 bombs to people Trump frequently criticizes; two
African-Americans were murdered by a white supremacist outside
Louisville, Kentucky; and 11 Jewish worshipers were massacred in a
Pittsburgh synagogue by a white supremacist who railed on social media
against Jews who help refugees. Both the gunman and Trump have called
immigrants “invaders.” Meanwhile, Trump has sharply escalated his
attacks on immigrants, threatening to send as many as 15,000 U.S.
troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and to rewrite the Constitution to
revoke birthright citizenship. We speak with investigative journalist
Allan Nairn, who says that fascism is on the rise in the U.S. Nairn has
been a fierce longtime critic of the Democratic Party and its support
for war and neoliberal policies, but he is calling for the public to
mobilize to elect Democrats in the midterm elections.
Yes indeed - and I
generally quote the introductions to such interviews on Democracy Now!
that I review, for the simple reason that they are good and
Here are Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn:
I agree with
although I think the situation is rather similar to the
elections of 2016. Here is more by Nairn:
GOODMAN: Talk about the
state of affairs in this country right now.
NAIRN: Well, this midterm
election, this is it. The U.S. is facing incipient domestic fascism.
The rightist revolution that Trump dragged to power has a chance to
consolidate itself. The way to stop it is to vote the Democrats into
control of at least one, and preferably both, houses of Congress.
GOODMAN: It’s interesting
you say that, because you’ve been a fierce critic of Democrats.
NAIRN: Yeah. I mean, for
years, I’ve been documenting how many of the senior Democrats are
complicit in war crimes, how they belong in prison. But we are now in
an emergency situation in which there is a huge, fundamental difference
between the Democrats and the Republicans at this moment. The
Republicans would abolish democracy. They’re looking—because that’s the
only way they can perpetuate their power. They have a minority of the
votes. They have to rig the system so they can stay in power, as their
minority of votes diminishes over time.
But we are facing
such a crisis in this country at this moment that you have to use your
head. You have to be tactical. You have to, at this moment, vote in the
warmongers who will preserve democracy to block the warmongers who
would abolish it—and then, the day after the election, go back to the
deeper work of creating real, better, more constructive political
alternatives and also helping the base of the Democratic Party take
back the party from the consultants, from the rich donors. But that’s
for the day after the election is completed, and maybe the runoffs in
Georgia and Mississippi, if they happen, after those are completed.
Right now, the task is to stop the incipient fascism that Trump and the
rightist revolution represents. And you can’t really say that you were
working toward an anti-fascist goal if you’re not mobilizing for the
Democrats right now. That’s the urgent reality that we’re living.
I think Nairn sketched it
well when he said ¨You
have to, at this moment, vote in the warmongers who will preserve
democracy to block the warmongers who would abolish it¨.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article, and it is again by
And by the way, just
on a mechanical level, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I mean, if the
Republicans win this time, if they maintain control of both houses of
Congress, and especially—and also if they maintain many of the major
governorships that are up across the country, which will enable them to
further rig House districts and do further, even more radical voter
suppression, things will get much, much worse. Trump’s ability to
incite, at the grassroots level, racist violence will go from just a
few isolated incidents, which is what we have now, into the possibility
of actual organized forces, paramilitaries. And up 'til now, the
Supreme Court has been, in an ambiguous way, something of a check,
because of the ambiguous position of Kennedy. Kennedy is gone now. He's
replaced by Kavanaugh, who is part of the group of rightist Republicans
on the court who are radical right and Bolshevik in their discipline.
Anything that the Republican revolution wants to do, this Supreme Court
will rubber-stamp it. And that’s new.
I fear Nairn´s expectation
is quite realistic, and this is a strongly recommended
4. Trump´s 30 Broken
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Trump voters: Two
years in, here’s an updated list of Trump’s 30 biggest broken promises.
In fact, that is an
excellent summary of this article. There are in fact 30 broken promises
with textual comments in it, and here are the first six:
This is all quite true
(and Reich is addressing ¨Trump voters¨), and the same holds for the other 25 broken
And this is a strongly recommended article.
1. He told you he’d cut
your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more. You
bought it. But his 2017 tax law has done the opposite. By 2027,
according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the richest 1 percent
will have received 83 percent of the tax cut and the richest 0.1
percent, 60 percent of it. But more than half of all Americans — 53
percent — will pay more in taxes. As Trump told his wealthy friends at
Mar-a-Lago just days after the tax bill became law, “You all just got a
2. He promised that the
average family would see a $4,000 pay raise because of the tax law. You
bought it. But real wages for most Americans are lower today than they
were before the tax law went into effect.
3. He promised to close
special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street
investors but unfair to American workers, especially the notorious
“carried interest” loophole for private-equity, hedge fund, and real
estate partners. You bought it. But the new tax law kept the “carried
4. He promised to
bring an end to Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear program. You bought it. Kim
Jong-Un hasn’t denuclearized.
5. He told you he’d
repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “beautiful,” including
“insurance for everybody.” You bought it. But he didn’t repeal and
he didn’t replace. (Just as well: His plan would have knocked at least
24 million Americans off health insurance, including many of you.)
Instead, he’s doing what he can to cut it back and replace it with
nothing. According to the Commonwealth Fund, about 4 million Americans
have lost health insurance in the last two years.
6. He told you he wouldn’t
“cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to
cut Medicare or Medicaid.” You bought it. But now he’s planning
such cuts in order to deal with the ballooning deficit created, in
part, by the new tax law for corporations and the rich.
Berners-Lee: Tech Giants Like Google and Facebook Must Be Broken Up
Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
that the World Wide Web he invented in 1989 has come to be overrun with
hatred and controlled by a few giant tech companies who abuse user
privacy to boost their bottom lines, Tim Berners-Lee argued
in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that
Silicon Valley titans like Facebook, Google, and Apple as well as
corporate behemoths like Amazon should be broken up to allow more
democratic alternatives to flourish.
"What naturally happens is you
end up with one company dominating the field so through history there
is no alternative to really coming in and breaking things up,"
Berners-Lee said. "There is a danger of concentration."
The man credited as being
the father of the worldwide web—which officially turned 29 in March of
this year—went on to argue that corporate control of the internet has
strangled innovation, allowing a small number of massive companies to
seize control of the web for their own profit-driven purposes.
Well, .... yes indeed -
but then again I distrust Tim Berners-Lee for reasons I last explained
on September 30 of this year (which I
recommend you read if you didn´t before) in part because he was (and
may be is, which I do not know) a member of DARPA and DARPA was already busy in 1969
trying to mold the future internet into the role it is now
But as I said,
Berners-Lee was right in his facts. Here is the last bit that I quote
from this article:
"I am disappointed with the
current state of the web," Berners-Lee concluded, noting that social
media platforms like Twitter have become vehicles for propagating hate
and lies rather than places of genuine human interaction. "We have lost
the feeling of individual empowerment and to a certain extent also I
think the optimism has cracked."
Berners-Lee's call for tech
giants to be cut down to size comes amid a growing congressional push
for an "Internet
Bill of Rights," which would expand access to the internet,
enshrine strong net neutrality rules, prevent mass data collection by
tech giants, and restore essential privacy protections that have been
systematically eroded by giant corporations.
Again, I say well...
yes indeed, firstly because Berners-Lee provides no means
tame the internet from a spying instrument for all governments and all
rich corporations and no one else, while the "Internet
Bill of Rights" sounds a bit interesting but seems most unlikely to
me to ever become law (at least before the USA is socialist).
Anyway, this is a 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 (!!).