in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 24, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 three 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:
. Selections from February 24, 2019:
1. What’s Green? What’s New? What’s
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. America Is a Socialist Country for
3. The 5 biggest right-wing outrages of the week
4. If Trump weren’t president he would be ‘contained and
5. Green New Deal Is Feasible and Affordable
Green? What’s New? What’s the Deal?
This article is by
The Editorial Board on The New York Times. This is from near its
Yes, I more or less agree.
Here is some more:
It was also long before anyone
had seen a nonbinding congressional resolution calling for something
called the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to tackle climate
change (and a lot else, too) that earlier this month burst like a
shooting star upon the Washington political and legislative scene. The resolution — introduced by Ed Markey, a Democratic
senator from Massachusetts, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly
elected Democratic representative whose district covers parts of the
Bronx and Queens — calls for a “10-year national
mobilization” through giant investments in infrastructure and
carbon-free energy. It has since won the full or partial allegiance of
a half-dozen Democratic
presidential hopefuls who pray that town hall participants or
debate moderators will ask them what they think about global warming.
Which in turn means that, whatever becomes of the plan, it will have
moved climate change — a serious issue that has had serious trouble
gaining traction — to a commanding position in the national
conversation. That alone is reason to applaud it.
Well... yes and no.
name and concept, the plan is not new. The term Green New Deal appeared
in a column in The Times by Thomas Friedman in January 2007,
in which he called for a vast public and private investment program
that would throw everything under the sun (including, actually, the sun
itself) — wind, solar, nuclear power, energy efficiency, advanced
research, tax incentives and a price on carbon — into a massive effort
to build a more climate-friendly energy system while also revitalizing
the American economy.
is essentially what the Mr. Markey and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had in mind
when they rolled out their resolution on Feb. 7.
Yes, I agree that Friedman did use the term "Green New Deal" in January 2007, and I also agree that "he
a vast public and private investment program" that somewhat
the resolution of Markey and Ocasio-Cortez.
But no, I don't think Friedman "had in mind" what Markey and
Ocasio-Cortez had in mind in 2019. There certainly are similarities,
but you only have to read the
full text of the Green New Deal to realize that it is much more
specific and detailed than Friedman's two paragraphs of 12 years
Here is some more:
Yes, that is correct.
The actual resolution seems more measured. It speaks only
of a 10-year mobilization effort to reduce carbon emissions, without
giving an explicit deadline, and it is silent as to particular
strategies, leaving nuclear, carbon capture and price signals very much
on the table. It does not mention costs.
some more - and you should keep in mind that at the moment there are 70
Democrats in the House who are for the Green New Deal, which is
substantial but also is (so far, at least) a minority of the
Well, I agree with the
points that are mentioned in the Green New Deal, and indeed would add
that these points explain why it is called a Green New Deal.
such measures will satisfy the activists who have gathered around Ms.
Ocasio-Cortez is another matter. After all, her talking points, as well
as the resolution itself, speak also of providing higher education for
all Americans; universal health care; affordable housing; remedies for
“systemic injustices” among the poor, the elderly and people of color;
and a federal job guarantee insuring “a family-sustaining wage,
adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement
raises this question: Is the Green New Deal aimed at addressing the
climate crisis? Or is addressing the climate crisis merely a cover for
a wish-list of progressive policies and a not-so-subtle effort to move
the Democratic Party to the left?
And I think the last quoted paragraph is unfair: Clearly the
Deal is aimed at addressing the climate crisis, and clearly it is also
more leftist than Nancy Pelosi and many other Democrats who are
centrists and subsidized by Wall Street. But this is a recommended
Is a Socialist Country for the Rich
This article is by
Robert Reich on Truthdig. It starts as follows (and in fact I do not
know whether I reviewed this article before):
Well... I agree with the
facts Reich gives, but I disagree with his - quite intentional
confusing of socialism with what "the conservative mind" understands by
socialism, and I also think this is very confusing.
“America will never be a
socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the
Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a
hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone
else is treated to harsh capitalism.
In the conservative mind,
socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty
much describes the $21 billion saved by the nation’s largest banks
last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into
massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than
4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh
capitalism. They lost their jobs.
Banks that are too big to
fail—courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout—enjoy a hidden subsidy of some
$83 billion a year, because creditors facing less risk accept
lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s
bonus pool was $31.4 billion. Take away the hidden subsidy and the
bonus pool disappears.
But I do have an explanation for Reich's intentional
confusion of "socialism for the rich" with any version of real
socialism (see here, for example: Crisis:
On Socialism), which is also about a disagreement I have
with Reich, although I also think that he is a smart man who
has sensible ideas: Reich is against socialism as this is
understood by socialists, as is also indicated by his recent book
Here is more by Reich:
Again I agree with
facts but not with "socialism
for the rich", for this is
intentionally quite confusing. What is true is that Trump, like the
vast majority of rich men would do in his position, is helping the rich
to get a lot richer - but that is not socialism but capitalism,
indeed a quite unpleasant form of extreme capitalism (except for the
Trump and his appointees at
the Federal Reserve are easing bank requirements put in place
after the bailout. They’ll make sure the biggest banks remain too
big to fail.
Trump is promoting
socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in
other ways. Since he was elected, GM has got more than $600
million in federal contracts plus $500 million in tax breaks. Some
of this has gone into the pockets of GM executives. Chairman and
CEO Mary Barra raked in almost $22 million in total
compensation in 2017 alone.
But GM employees are
subject to harsh capitalism. GM is planning to lay off more than
14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component
factories in North America by the end of 2019.
Here is some more:
No, once again this is not
"socialism for the rich": It is extreme capitalism for the rich.
Under socialism for the
rich, you can screw up big time and still reap big rewards.
Equifax’s Richard Smith retired in 2017 with an $18 million
pension in the wake of a security breach that exposed the personal
information of 145 million consumers to hackers.
Wells Fargo’s Carrie
Tolstedt departed with a $125 million exit package after being in
charge of the unit that opened more than 2 million unauthorized
Here is the ending of this article:
No, I am sorry for this is yet
another intentional confusion of the (anyway difficult and
ambiguous) term "socialism": "thicker safety nets" and "a bigger piece of the economic pie"
To the conservative mind,
the specter of socialism conjures up a society in which no one is
held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive.
Yet that’s exactly the society Trump and the Republicans are
promoting for the rich.
Meanwhile, most Americans
are subject to an increasingly harsh and arbitrary capitalism in
which they’re working harder but getting nowhere, and have less
security than ever.
They need thicker safety
nets and deserve a bigger piece of the economic pie. If you want
to call this socialism, fine. I call it fair.
are not called "socialism" for they are also quite
compatible with social democracy and even with many forms of
So basically I am both against the title and against the arguments that
extreme capitalism for the rich is socialism, and also against the
(false) idea that "thicker
safety nets" and "a bigger piece
of the economic pie" may be
fairly called "socialism".
Both theses are false, and I think Reich is easily intelligent
to know they are false.
5 biggest right-wing outrages of the week
This article is by
Matthew Chapman on AlterNet. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
I agree with the first
quoted paragraph, and - probably - also with the thesis that the
following five facts may well be "the craziest right-wing moments this week".
This week saw a barrage of
scandals develop for members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. House
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of obstructing a probe into her reinstatement
of a shady private-sector college accrediting body. An investigation revealed
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao improperly coordinated meetings
and funding for Kentucky on behalf of her husband, Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ financial
disclosure was rejected
by the Office of Government Ethics for misstating his financial
transactions. And a federal judge ruled
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta broke the law as a U.S. attorney by cutting
a secret non-prosecution deal with billionaire and alleged child
molester Jeffrey Epstein.
In another presidency, any
one of these scandals might dominate the news cycle for a week. But in
the Trump era, they barely register — and part of that may be because
right-wing media personalities were too busy getting into trouble
Here are five of the
craziest right-wing moments this week:
In fact, I will quote all five crazy right-wing moments, but will leave
most of the texts to your interests:
Well, Epshteyn seems
mostly a right-wing fanatic, while Wiles seems like a dangerous idiot
- Boris Epshteyn says
the presidents on Mount Rushmore “may have to make room” for Trump.
- Rick Wiles calls
for waterboarding former Justice Department officials.
A lot of Trump’s supporters
are angry about former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe acknowledging
that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein debated exercising the 25th
Amendment to remove Trump from office in early 2017. But few have taken
their outrage as far as Rick
Wiles, the host of “endtimes” conspiracy theory talk show TruNews,
did on Monday.
“Former FBI Director Andrew
McCabe and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — should they
be taken to Guantanamo Bay and waterboarded?” said Wiles. “This was an
ongoing coup, and so there’s another two names that need to go to
Guantanamo Bay (...)
who seems also a fanatic and a very anti-democrat.
Here is more:
Evidently, Wayne was a racist,
while Ingraham is an extremist rightist liar. Here is the last bit that
I quote from this article:
- Laura Ingraham
says people who criticize John Wayne for racism are like the Taliban.
This week, social media circulated
snippets of a 1971 Playboy interview of legendary movie star
John Wayne, which showcased his appallingly retrograde views on race.
“I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to the point of
responsibility,” said Wayne. “We can’t all of a sudden get down on our
knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks … I
don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and
judgment to irresponsible people.”
Clearly, Carlson is a liar while
Roseanne Barr may well be insane (and I am a psychologist).
4. Tucker Carlson says universal
childcare is a plot to increase immigration.
- Roseanne Barr
calls Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “bug-eyed bitch.”
“That Green New Deal …
Farrakhan-loving bitch. I don’t remember her name. The bug-eyed bitch
who looks like a realtor,” she said in a two-minute video uploaded to
YouTube on Wednesday. “She got them realtor eyes. She got ’em. Bug-eyed
lyin’ bitch. Farrakhan fan. Israel hater. Lefty. Dumbass, dumb as they
get … I’m gonna try to correct some of the mistakes she’s made like
costing hundreds of people decent-paying jobs ’cause, I don’s know,
they breathe carbon in the air or some horseshit.”
Anyway... while Chapman is probably right these were "the craziest right-wing moments this week" these - extremist - rightist ideas
and values may make it clear why I do not follow the rightists:
and too prejudiced.
And this is a recommended
Trump weren’t president he would be ‘contained and evaluated’
This article is by
Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. I abbreviated the
title. It starts as follows:
At the center of the
chaotic maelstrom that is the Trump presidency is the question of
Donald Trump’s mental health. His public behavior (and, by most
accounts, his private behavior as well) is that of a man who is a
compulsive liar and malignant narcissist, is paranoid, lacks in impulse
control and lives in an alternate reality of his own creation.
Donald Trump has recently
declared a “national emergency” in order to further expand his power
and gut American democracy and the Constitution in the service of his
radically destructive right-wing agenda. But in reality it is Donald
Trump who is the actual national emergency, an obvious threat to this
country and the entire world.
Yes, I mostly
agree to the above. Here is more:
I will not attempt
answer the questions in the first quoted paragraph, and I also do not
think Bandy Lee answers them.
How are mentally unwell
leaders more dangerous than leaders who are “merely” criminals? How
have the American people become so numb to Trump and the Republican
Party’s assault on American democracy and the common good? How is
dangerous behavior normalized in an unhealthy society — such as ours?
How are Trump and his movement affecting negatively the mental and
physical health of the American people?
In an effort to answer
these questions I recently spoke with Dr. Bandy Lee. She is a
psychiatrist at Yale University and a leading voices among the growing
number of mental health and other medical professionals who have been
trying to raise public awareness about Donald Trump’s mental health.
Then again, academically I am both a philosopher and a
(with excellent marks in both subjects) and I have quite definite ideas
about psychiatry: I do not think it is a real science, and I
also do not think it ever was a real science.
You may disagree, but if you have not studied both psychology and
philosophy and got fine degrees I will not take your opinions serious.
Also, I have several times explained my opinions on psychiatry.
Very briefly, I am for psychiatry because I do think some
people do get
mad (insane, crazy, disturbed) and psychiatrist aim (if decent and
rational) to help them, which I also agree with, because I think
people do need help.
But I am against many of the theories of psychiatry, for
reasons most fully explained here: DSM-5:
Question 1 of "The six
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis"
wrote in 2012, and which is very strongly recommended.
(Warnings: It is well-written but it also is long and not easy.)
This also implies that while I may agree with psychiatrists on specific
points and diagnoses (normally as a psychologist), I disagree
psychiatrists on psychiatry in general.
And this makes my answers to psychiatrists, including dr. Bandy Lee, a
But here we go:
No, it simply is not
true that "when a person’s mind
is pathological we know that it is going to create a lot of chaos and
danger": This is only true for some
How is Donald
Trump’s mental health central to the destruction, cruelty and chaos he
When a person’s mind is
pathological we know that it is going to create a lot of chaos and
danger. That’s precisely what Trump’s pathology has done. When I or
other mental health professionals say that we need to stop him, it is
not stopping the person Donald Trump per se, it is actually freeing
Donald Trump from the pathology that gets him, and the country, in
Besides, I don't think there is much sense in distinguishing "the person Donald Trump per se" and the
pathological person Trump: I
agree he is a pathological narcissist (who probably will never
admit he is a narcissist), and that is for me sufficient to want him
removed as president of the USA.
Here is some more:
What is this stress
doing to the American people?
Research shows that stress
levels are the highest in our memory — actually higher than any time
since World War I. If you think of all the crises that have happened in
that time period, we are actually in a worse state. We know that
anxiety levels are 70 percent higher than two years ago. This is
according to research from the American Psychological Association and
American Psychiatric Association. We know that public mental health is
No, I am sorry:
This reminds me far too much of the thesis of many
psychiatrists that e.g. nearly 4 out of 5 British are insane.
Jn. Psychiatry: 78% of the British are not sane - that is and was utter nonsense.
Besides, I am both a philosopher and a psychologist in academic terms,
and it is since quite long before 1980 my position that psychiatry is not
a real science (which explains why they insist that almost 4 out of 5
Britishers - for example - are insane), and in fact something similar
holds for psychology, although there are parts in it that are - more or
less - scientific. (My degrees in both philosophy and psychology were
straight A's: I do not have my opinions because I am stupid or
Finally about the above bit: As far as I am aware, both the American Psychological Association and
American Psychiatric Association sanction a great amount of bullshit
as science at least in part because they get paid for it by rich
corporations that sell psychiatric medicines. I am sorry, but I
cannot take them serious.
Here is more (and Bandy Lee is the speaker):
I think at this point his
pathology is so obvious to those who can see what is actually occurring
in America that one does not need to have a degree in psychology to be
able to tell what Donald Trump will do next.
This is why someone with Donald Trump’s mental impairments possessing
so much power is such a dangerous state of affairs for the United
States and the world. Trump is going to abuse his powers even more than
he has already. There will be no limit on what Trump is willing to do
in terms of abusing his power as president.
I disagree with the
quoted paragraph, for the simple reason that I have an
in psychology, and I do agree that Trump is insane, but I am
absolutely not "able to
what Donald Trump will do next".
Indeed, that is part of the
reason why I agree with the thesis that Trump is insane: He is utterly
unpredictable and quite irrational.
But I agree with the
quoted paragraph. Here is some more:
All of the violence,
the geopolitical instability that exists right now, was very much
inevitable. Those mental health professionals who have been sounding
the alarm about what Trump would mean for the country and the world
could have told you on day one — or before — of Trump’s presidency that
this was all going to happen.
No, I am sorry, but this is
If the "mental
health professionals who have been sounding the alarm about what Trump
would mean for the country and the world" indeed "could have
told you on day one — or before — of Trump’s presidency" what he was going to do (as regards "the violence, including the geopolitical
instability that exists right now",
then why did they tell nobody?
Here is the last bit of this
article that I quote:
As the Mueller
is drawing to a close and the Democratic Party is exercising its
oversight, and he’s losing his supporters, the dangers of a nuclear war
or some other kind of devastating war are going to accelerate. Trump is
declaring a fake national emergency in order to create more emergencies
and crises. A rational person can be defeated through logic. Trump is
The end of the world, the end of humankind, none of that will matter
with a person like Donald Trump when his sense of self is imperiled.
I agree to this.
New Deal Is Feasible and Affordable
This article is
by Jeffrey D.
Sachs on Common Dreams and originally on CNN. It starts as follows:
There are three main
by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey.
The first is to decarbonize the US energy system -- that is, to end the
emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning coal, oil and natural
gas, in order to stop global warming.
The second is to guarantee lower-cost, high-quality health coverage for
The third is to ensure decent jobs and living standards for all
Americans, in part by making colleges and vocational schools affordable
The right wing and corporate lobbies are already hyperventilating: It
is unachievable; it will bankrupt us; it will make us into Venezuela.
These claims are dead wrong. The Green New Deal agenda is both feasible
I completely agree
with Sachs, and one important reason to review this text is that Sachs
is one of the most important economists.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article (which may be compared with Reich's
I completely agree again.
Also, there is considerably more text in this article, which is strongly
In the US, the economy is
feeding the wealth of billionaires while leaving tens of millions of
households with no financial cushion at all. Meanwhile, the fossil-fuel
lobby continues to endanger the planet by promoting the use of fuels
that contribute to climate change, raising the risk of mega-floods,
droughts, hurricanes, and heat waves, claiming many lives and costing
the US more
than $450 billion during 2016-18, or more than $150 billion per
year on average.
The key ideas of the Green New Deal -- decarbonization, lower-cost
health care, and decent living standards for the working class -- have
been studied for years. The Green New Deal Resolution is the
opportunity, finally, to put that vast knowledge into effect.
What is absolutely clear
that the Green New Deal is affordable. The claims about the
unaffordability of these goals are pure hype. The detailed plans that
will emerge in the coming months will expose the bluster.
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 (!!).