in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 22, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
I realize that I did not commemorate the fact that I am writing
Crisis files for six years now,
started to do so after June 10, 2013,
which taught me about Snowden.
I am registering it now, and may write about it the coming days, but I
am also somewhat worse at present than I was for a long time.
There will be more about computers and Ubuntu in Nederlog soon, but I
am happy to announce that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, that I installed in 2017,
works again as it did before on May 24, and after 24 hours of misery.
And on May 23 I also got a working computer with 18.04 LTS
worse than 16.04 LTS because its Firefox also is a menuless
horror that I refuse to use, but
happily SeaMonkey is not, for it still has it menus and can be
installed on 18.04), so I
present - and after two weeks of struggling - in the possession of two
more or less, though not yet quite decently working computers.
So today there is a more or less common Nederlog, where "common" is the
style I developed in 2013.
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
four crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 22, 2019:
1. Focus on Growing the Progressive Base
and Defeating Biden
The items 1 - 4 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:
Authoritarian Money Grab
3. ‘Two years ago I compared Trump to Hitler’ — nobody listened
4. How Many Are Not
Blowing the Whistle?
on Growing the Progressive Base and Defeating Biden
This article is by Naomi Klein on Truthdig. I
abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:
I am not a fan of Naomi
but I suppose - I don´t do Twitter at all and never will - she is
in the above quoted bit.
days ago, I shared what I thought was a fairly innocuous
observation about a fundamental difference between Elizabeth Warren and
Bernie Sanders. Warren spends most of her campaign unpacking and
explaining detailed policy proposals, many of them excellent, while
Sanders splits his emphasis between his own strong plans and his calls
for the political revolution he has consistently said will be required
for any substantive progressive policy wins.
“Smart policies are very
important,” I tweeted.
“But we don’t lose because we lack smart policies, we lose because we
lack sufficient power to win those policies up against entrenched elite
forces that will do anything to defeat us.”
Within seconds, I was in
the grip of a full-on 2016 primary
flashback. I was accused of being a shill for Bernie and an enemy
of Warren (I’m neither). My feed filled up with partisans of both
candidates hurling insults at each other: She gets things done, he is
all talk; she’s a pretender, he’s the real deal; he has a gender
problem, hers is with race; she’s in the pocket of the arms industry,
he’s an easy mark for Donald Trump; he should back her because she’s a
woman, she should back him because he started this wave. And much more
too venal to mention.
In fact, this also points to a much wider problem,
namely that Facebook
and some other a-social media have made billions of billions their own
- usually anonymous - publishers, of which few have the real intelligence
and the real knowledge.
I will leave that problem where it is, beyond registering it here and
now, and turn to more of Klein:
Liberals in the U.S. often
say the Trump presidency is Not Normal. And
yeah, it’s a killer-clown horror show. But the truth is that from most
outsider perspectives, there is nothing about U.S. politics that is
normal — particularly the interminable length of campaigns. Normal
countries have federal elections that consume two, maybe three months
of people’s political lives once every four to five years;
Canada caps federal campaigns at 50 days, Japan at 12.
In the U.S., on the other hand, there’s a total of about nine months in
every four-year cycle when politics is not consumed by either a
presidential or midterm horserace.
Well... I agree with
above, but then again: What would you say democracy is about?
And besides, while I more or
less agree that Trump and his government are not normal, I think
reason is that Trump builds on what has become normal since Reagan
became president, that was not normal before, but has been made normal
by American presidents after Reagan, like Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama.
Anyway. Here is some more:
Yes, but my own most
general explanation for the fact that the right wins most elections
that most voters are neither intelligent
There are more
explanations, but I am rather sure that is a fact.
Ocasio-Cortez was absolutely right when
on ABC’s “This Week,” “We have a very real risk of losing the
presidency to Donald Trump if we don’t have a presidential candidate
that’s fighting for true transformational change in lives of working
people in the United States.”
That was clear on the
morning of November 9, 2016. In case
more proof is required, see the recent devastating elections in India
and Australia, where right-wing incumbents won despite predictions to
the contrary, as well as the results of the European parliament vote,
most notably in France and Italy, where the far right has surged.
Here is the moral Klein draws:
I agree, but I am skeptical
this will work, for the simple reason that
most who write
nowadays are neither intelligent nor informed. But this is a
For that to happen, the
very last thing we need is for the two
strongest left/progressive candidates and their supporters to tear each
other apart for the next eight or so months, in a desperate bid to
discredit a perceived rival. What should be happening instead is
exactly what Sanders and Warren have been doing (with only a couple
minor lapses): steadily building their bases by talking about ideas and
strategies, thereby sharpening the contrast — in policies, track
record, and electability — with Biden.
Authoritarian Money Grab
This article is by
Jacob Bacharach on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
“Don’t be surprised,” said Terence Ray,
one of the hosts of the Whitesburg, Ky.-based podcast “The
Trillbillies,” “if Mark Zuckerberg starts trying to pay his employees
in ‘Facebook Bucks.’ ”
Lo and behold, not one week later, the business
press began reporting that Facebook would, within the month,
announce its own new proprietary cryptocurrency. What’s more, the tech
giant would perhaps even “allow employees working on the project to
take their salary in the form of the new currency,” a proposal of, at
very least, dubious legality in the United States.
Yes indeed - and I am, as I
have explained before, an opponent of money or currencies being
that are not underpinned by a state and a government, indeed in
because states and governments may be controlled somewhat by
whereas money that is designed by Zuckerberg will be controlled by the
digital gangster Zuckerberg.
Here is some more:
The Libra is (..) not
really a currency, but something occupying the interstitial space
between a gift card, a share in a mutual fund, a negotiable
instrument and an IOU.
And here we enter the
territory laid out by the writer Max Read in a smartly speculative
article for New York Magazine’s Intelligencer: Facebook is less
interested in either the crypto or the currency, per se, than it is in becoming
the dominant platform for payment, emulating the already existing
and ubiquitous Chinese social-cum-payment network WeChat. “If you think
Facebook is powerful now, just wait until it’s, essentially, the global
federal reserve, overseeing a global currency over which it has not
just monetary control but a visible, minable record of every
transaction made,” he writes.
Yes indeed: I completely
agree. Here is some more on this:
Read’s warning about “a
visible, minable record of every transaction made” is precisely the
sort of panoptical scheme that Zuckerberg’s Facebook is infamous for.
As the CEO notoriously
IM’d a friend in the early days of his company, “they ‘trust me,’
dumb fucks.” Facebook’s value proposition as a publicly traded
corporation is precisely that it knows what its users do and like;
therefore it’s the world’s most valuable space for targeted
advertisement. To know about individuals’ actual finances—what they
purchase; how much they send home to mom; what they withdraw from the
ATM—is a step beyond, into a realm of omnipresent surveillance that no
authoritarian regime dared dream of. That is, at least not before the
modern People’s Republic of China, which, notably, Facebook is here
Yes indeed - and China is
dictatorship whose WeChat is very strongly helping the dictatorship
knowing everything about anyone, which is, I am pretty sure - see e.g. here - also the end of the
internet in the West.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
(..) [M]oney itself is,
sense, a public good. Though it has been hoarded and corrupted by
financial institutions and the billionaire class, misappropriated for
wars and stolen from pensions, and though the Federal Reserve or the
European Central Bank exist at a distance from direct electoral
control, national currencies are still subjects of and subordinate to
politics; they are at least theoretically susceptible to popular
Yes indeed, and I made
the same point above. This is a strongly recommended article.
years ago I compared Trump to Hitler’ — nobody listened
This article is by
Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon.
There is a difference between earlier reviews I wrote about psychiatry
and Trump, for I shall be following a line I lately made a bit clearer,
which is that I am a psychologist with an excellent M.A. and
a philosopher with an excellent B.A. who was illegally denied
the right to take an M.A. in philosophy, who has been deemed insane for
40 years because I and my ex have ME/CFS
since forty years, until very recently (she and I and some
Dutchmen now have ¨a serious chronic disease¨, which is correct
and was correct all the 40+ years we have been ill) because
effectively claimed that whatever medics do not
be insanity, and these psychiatric misfits were believed for 40
years by Dutch medics.
Well, I strongly dislike
psychiatry (which I did long
before coming ill: it simply is not a
real science in any sense)
and by now I am also thinking that
much of what I´ve heard the last
few years about psychiatry functions as an advertisement for this
and this is another example of it:
One cannot be a good
and continue to support Donald Trump. This is especially true of
Trump’s most devoted acolytes.
This was Chauncey
DeVega and it is bullshit
for at least two reasons:
First, because value
judgements are not factual judgements:
It is or is not a fact that the
temperatures are increasing on average, for one example, but whether
that is good, bad or indifferent is
not a fact, but a
matter of personal evaluation (which
if made is a fact).
This also has a lot to do with philosophy (where it is rather widely
admitted), for which reason I further leave it alone in this Nederlog.
Second, I think it
ought to be quite clear that one can support Donald
Trump and be a good
person, simply because there are quite a few
different reasons why one may support Trump, and one of them is that
one is not intelligent nor informed to start with.
Anyway. Here is some
more by DeVega:
Where is the mass
resistance to Trump’s movement and his assault on American democracy
and freedom? Why have some Americans chosen to surrender? How can
psychology help to explain Trump’s assault on reality? How has the
Mueller Report fueled Donald Trump’s apparent mental illness and other
abhorrent and dangerous behavior? Can Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic
majority in the House of Representatives be compelled to impeach Donald
Trump? Will there be violence from Trump’s supporters if he is forced
to leave office?
In an effort to answer
these questions, I recently spoke with Dr.
John Gartner, a former professor of psychiatry at the Johns
Hopkins University Medical School.
The questions DeVega
poses are reasonable, but I will only very briefly answer one
namely ¨How can psychology
help to explain Trump’s assault on reality?¨:
By pointing out that
there are quite considerable differences in intelligence and
information between people, and by pointing out that now
regardless of his or her stupidity and ignorance, can publish his or
her opinions on the internet, and that indeed billions do.
There is much
ought to be said about this, but these are facts. Here is some
and the texts that follow in this review are by psychiatrist Gardner:
These are two paragraphs,
and both are bullshit.
[There is a] concept known
as “malignant normality.” The noted psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton
introduced it to describe how in a country like Nazi Germany the
dangerous and crazy views of the leader can eventually become the
normal reality of a whole society.
In psychiatry there is a
condition known as folie à deux, which describes how two
people share a psychosis. This almost never happens. It is very rare.
But on a massive societal level this is when there is a delusion that
millions of people share. This delusion becomes its own reality. The
people imbibe it and then reinforce this alternate reality among each
The first paragraph is bullshit because a “malignant normality” is in fact a
value-judgement written as if it were a factual judgement, namely
saying that a normality (which is or is not a statistical fact) is
¨malignant¨ (evil) if you don´t like it. That is typical
and it is nonsense.
The second paragraph is bullshit for quite a few reasons.
First of all, Gardner is correct that folie à deux is quite rare (which did not prevent a GP to insist we
both had folie a deux in 1981 simply because we were both ill and he
could not find an explanation).
Second, therefore it is utter bullshit to
insist that this is
the case when ¨millions of
people share¨: No, it is not,
and that is a simple matter of logic.
Thirdly, I take it Gardner seems never to have considered the
very many religions
and the very many political ideologies
that are believed by
many millions, of which there is - at best! - only one true: If
were right, each and everyone except the true belief must be deluded
and insane - which again is utter bullshit.
Here is some more by Gardner:
I neither like
Trump, but I think Gardner was and is exaggerating.
Under Donald Trump America
is heading towards greater violence. I have no doubt about it.
Two years ago I was comparing
Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. People didn’t believe me. They thought I
was being hyperbolic, exaggerating.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
This is again a
value-judgement presented as if it were a factual judgement, for
this amounts to in fact is that Gardner likes impeachment. Well... this
article is far too confused to recommend.
We elected this
Congress to save us from this monster. Instead, they have allowed
themselves to be stymied, neutered and cowed. Each day they don’t open
an impeachment inquiry Trump becomes more normalized, more powerful and
emboldened to do even worse.
Many Are Not Blowing the Whistle?
This article is by
Caitlin Johnstone on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
Chelsea Manning is now being slammed with $500 fines for every single
day that she remains imprisoned in contempt of court for refusing to
testify in a secret grand jury against Julian Assange. Next month it
will increase to $1,000 a day.
Yes, I quite agree.
is some more:
Again, this is while Manning
is also locked up in jail. It’s not enough to re-imprison a
whistleblower who already served years of prison time, including nearly
a year in solitary confinement, for taking a principled stand against
an opaque and unjust grand jury system; they’re going to potentially
ruin her life with crippling debt as well. The only way to make it more
cruel and unusual would be to start waterboarding her or threatening
her family members.
All for refusing to
participate in a corrupt and unaccountable legal performance designed
to imprison a publisher to whom she leaked evidence of U.S. war crimes
Who is going to blow
the whistle on U.S. malfeasance after watching what’s being done to
Chelsea Manning? Seriously, who? Would you? Would anyone you know?
Well... I have some pretty
strong opinions on this bit, and they have everything to do with my
I think most people, the
overwhelming majority of people, would opt out of the chance to give
the empire a truth smack in exchange for years in prison, financial
ruin, and seeing their name slandered and smeared around the world.
Most people have too much to lose and too little to gain to take that
risk already, and the war on whistleblowers and investigative
journalists is only escalating.
In 1940 Holland was occupied by the Nazis. My father, my mother and my
father´s father all went into the resistance, in considerable part
because they were communists - and the Dutch communists were the only
group which went as a political group into the resistance - and in part
because they were - anyway - much horrified by the Nazis and
Between May 1940 and May 1945, there were at most 5% of the Dutch
went into the resistance, which also is one of the reasons over
Jews were arrested and murdered by the Nazis: Few
Dutchmen wanted to
risk their lives to help save them.
And my own judgement, indeed ever since my late teens, is and
was that the large majority of the Dutch did not go into the
(i) they were not courageous, and because (ii) most of them were
(Both of my parents had IQs above
130, as I do.)
I also think, also since my late teens, that 5% is about
support I and other intelligent and informed persons can find in large
unsorted groups for quite a few of our ideas and values that differ
from the average.
And you may disagree, but you do not have my family. Here is
It’s a really slick
double bind they’ve got us all in, if you think about it. Try to expose
government malfeasance from the inside and you’re a traitor; you’re
guilty of transgressing the rules of the position you’ve been entrusted
with. You go to jail. Try to expose government malfeasance from the
outside and that’s hacking, that’s espionage. You go to jail.
Yes, but as I said above: This
was the same - in fact: a lot worse - under the Nazis
between 1940 and 1945, and nevertheless a few had it in them to resist.
Either way, you go to jail.
Directly to jail.
Here is some more:
pause and really think about that for a minute. Let it sink all the way
in. We know about just a teeny, tiny fraction of the evils that our
governments have been up to behind the scenes, because the people who
are in a position to expose those evils and who are willing to do so
are exceedingly rare. And, because of the public flagellations of
whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning, we may be certain that they are
becoming much rarer. We appear to be moving rapidly toward a world with
no Chelsea Mannings at all.
Well... possibly so, but it is
also my personal opinion that in that case they need to kill
the 5% who resist nevertheless (and
indeed my grandfather was murdered
in a concentration camp and my father - barely - survived over 3 years
and 9 months of the same).
And this is from the ending of this article:
No matter how much
you think you know about the depravity of your government, it is
necessarily dwarfed by what you don’t know.
I probably am somewhat less
worried by the first above quoted paragraph than Johnstone is because,
while I agree in a sense with what she wrote, I also
insist that almost
all knowledge human beings may have is of a probabilistic
and few of the things that humans may know are certainties.
This is why the
U.S.-centralized empire fights so hard to maintain government secrecy
and shut down anything that is a threat to that secrecy.
Does grasping this
self-evident truth mean harboring an intense suspicion of everything
your government says and does? Most certainly. But the alternative is
to live in a fantasy world. And an uncomfortable truth is always
superior to a comfortable fantasy.
As to the rest: While I agree that ¨an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable
fantasy¨ I think it is also
rather probable that more than half of the presently living adults
disagree. And this is a recommended article.
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 3 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 (!!).