A. Selections from August 10, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
This is a
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection (usually) from that item
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
August 10, 2017
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:
the Insanity': Demand Grows to Strip Trump of Nuclear Authority
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. This starts as follows
(and I agree, as a psychologist, with the title: Trump is insane and
should be removed a.s.a.p.):
following his "fire
and fury" remarks on Tuesday—which promised retaliation if the
North Korean regime continues to threaten the United States—President
Donald Trump took
to Twitter to praise
There is more in the article,
that is recommended.
nuclear arsenal, comments that intensified the groundswell of calls to
end the pro-war rhetoric and strip Trump of
his nuclear-strike authority.
Trump's threat against North Korea
came on the heels of a report
by the Washington Post indicating that Pyongyang had
"successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit
inside its missiles."
The Kim Jong-un regime
responded just hours after Trump's remarks, promising to hasten "the
tragic end of the American empire" and announcing it would review plans
to "strike areas around the U.S. territory of Guam," where the U.S.
maintains large military bases, "with medium-to-long-range strategic
Reacting to Trump's "crazy"
comments and to the growing fear that the U.S. is inching closer to
nuclear war, activists and lawmakers urged Congress to revive
legislation that would strip the executive branch of the power to
launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
Madman With Nuclear Weapons is Donald Trump, Not Kim Jong-un
This article is by
Mehdi Hassan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
For once, Donald Trump
has a point. “We can’t let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the
loose like that,” he told Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte,
according to the transcript from their bizarre phone conversation
that was leaked
to The Intercept in May.
The madman the U.S.
president was referring to, of course, was North Korean dictator Kim
Jong-un. The madman the rest of us should be worried about, however, is
Trump himself, who — lest we forget — has the sole,
exclusive and unrestricted power to launch almost 1,000 nuclear
warheads in a matter of minutes, should he so wish.
Well... I agree Donald Trump is insane
but - while Kim Jong-un is not insane in the same ways as Trump
is - my own estimate for the sanity of the third of the Kims is
not higher than it is for Trump. And indeed that is
also one of the very worrying sides of the present conflict.
Then there is this:
Kim is bad, not mad.
The same cannot be said
of The Donald. Think I’m being unfair? In February, a group of
psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers wrote to the New
York Times “that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr.
Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as
president.” In April, another group of mental health experts told
a conference at Yale University’s School of Medicine that Trump was
“paranoid” and “delusional” and referred to the president’s “dangerous
I agree - as a psychologist
- with these "mental health experts" about Trump (and my own
standard reference, so to speak, about Trump's insanity is from
December 2016). Then again, I'd say both Kim and Trump are bad
(but not in the same way), and both
Kim and Trump are mad (but again not in the same way),
and indeed one of the reasons why Trump's madness got more
press than Kim's madness is simply that North-Korea is far more
authoritarian than the USA (so far, at least).
Here is the ending pf
the article (apart from last sentence):
ghostwriter Tony Schwartz, who spent 18 months in his company while
working on The Art of the Deal, has called the president a “sociopath.”
In fact, one quote more than any other stood out from Schwartz’s
much-discussed interview with the New Yorker in July 2016 and,
perhaps, should keep us all awake at night. “I genuinely believe that
if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes,” said Schwartz, “there is an
excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
Yes, I agree with
Schwartz. And this is a recommended article.
Rightist Revolution: Allan Nairn on Trump Admin's Radical Agenda to
Roll Back Social Progress
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
following introduction - and remember that there are four very
recent articles with Allan Nairn on
the U.S. and North Korea escalated sharply Tuesday after President
Trump suggested he was prepared to start a nuclear war, threatening to
unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea. Hours later, North Korea
threatened to strike the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific.
Guam is home to 163,000 people as well as major U.S. military bases.
For more, we speak with longtime investigative journalist Allan Nairn.
Here is one quote from this
I say! There is a lot more in
the interview (of which there are in fact four) and this is a
NAIRN: Well, the U.S.
nuclear system was already dangerous, irresponsible, insane, because
it’s on, most—many of the U.S. weapons are on hair-trigger alert. The
missiles in the silos, the missiles on the submarines, they can be
fired within minutes, which could easily lead to a mistaken firing. And
now there’s a president who’s on hair trigger.
For years, there was a
consensus, a complete consensus, within the U.S. establishment and
military, that military action against North Korea was unthinkable,
because, just with conventional artillery, North Korea could
immediately devastate Seoul, killing more than 100,000, perhaps. But
recently, the political culture and discussion around military action
against North Korea has shifted. Colonel Guy Roberts, who’s a longtime
Pentagon and NATO official, last year wrote
an article calling for the U.S. to adopt a first-strike nuclear policy,
to be willing to use nuclear weapons against a country—and he
specifically mentioned North Korea as one—in the event they use
conventional weapons. He wrote that last year. This year, Trump
nominated him to be the assistant secretary of defense for nuclear
policy. John Bolton recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal
that the U.S. should consider a ground invasion of North Korea. Lindsey
Graham recently quoted Trump as saying that the U.S. should be ready to
destroy (...) North Korea itself.
Street Thieves Find New Ways to Steal From Us
This article is by Jim Hightower on Comon Dreams. This starts
In 2007, their stupid
schemes and frauds crashed our economy, destroying middle-class jobs,
wealth and opportunities. Far from getting punishment, however, these
financial scofflaws were bailed out by their Washington enablers — so
the moral lesson they learned was clear: Stupid pays!
Sure enough, only a
decade later, here they come again! Rather than investing America's
capital in real businesses to generate grassroots jobs and shared
prosperity, Wall Street is siphoning billions of investment dollars
into speculative nonsense — such as high-profit securities "secured"
only by rickety bundles of subprime auto loans.
Car dealers, eager to
goose up sales, have been hawking new vehicles to lower-income people,
offering quick credit approval. Banks — eager to hook more people on
monthly car payments — have been approving these subprime car loans
without verifying the buyer's ability to pay. Then, a Wall Street
bank's investment house buys up thousands of these iffy individual
loans, bundles them into multimillion-dollar "debt securities," and
sells them to wealthy global speculators. Last year alone, banks sold
$26 billion-worth of these explosive bundles of car loans.
This does more or less
describe what American banks are doing since 2007, and have
been trying to do for many decades, but which they could
not do until Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin deregulated them.
Then again, Hightower is mistaken
when he wrote "the moral lesson
[the leading American bankers] learned was clear: Stupid pays!". No, what they learned was something they
already knew and had been trying to get for decades, until this
was handed to them by Clinton and Rubin: Deregulation pays, for
effectively deregulation gives all powers to the banks and the
rich by robbing the non-rich from any legal protections.
The article ends like this:
Yes indeed, though I wish that
deregulation had been mentioned. This is a recommended
So, the banksters crash
the economy, you lose income and your home, they buy your house at
auction, then they rent it to you at an ever-increasing price. The "new
way" is the same old story of the rich robbing the rest of us.
Real Action - The Working Group
article, which is not a crisis file but is about ME/CFS that is a serious
disease I have now nearly 40 years, basically without
any help because most of the medical profession are interested
in money much rather than in patients' rights these same 40 years,
sketches a new development in the battle against ME/CFS.
I have paid attention to this before - see here
- but this article got written half a year later. It is by Cort Johnson
(whom I do not trust financially) and it is on his site Health Rising
(that he created after being ousted from Phoenix Rising for - extremely
obscure - financial reasons), but it is not a bad article.
It starts as follows:
The Open Medicine
Foundation's "Community Symposium on the
Molecular Basis of ME/CFS" is coming up next week. The Symposium
follows a two-day workshop - an ME/CFS research jam session that dozens
of researchers and MD's will participate in.
There is considerably
more in the article. And as I said in
February of this year, this new scientific development
inspired this - psychologically educated - scientist quite a
lot, but it seems that the almost totally anonymous "patients'
community" (which is not a real community but is in fact
basically a list of mostly ill-written and ignorant comments) disagrees
now, after the XMRV-collapse.
Davis has noticed that
waiting for data to be validated in journal publications isn't exactly
a pathway to quick results. Far better, he thinks, to give new data -
recognizing that it's not been completely validated - the chance to
inform and strengthen other researchers' work. (Suzanne Vernon did
something similar with her Cold Spring Harbor meetings). The working
session actually was planned before the Community Symposium; it's part
of Davis' vision of a collaborative team of researchers working
together to solve ME/CFS.
Drs. Bateman and Bell will
provide clinical expertise to PhD's from a variety of fields. Some
research names will be familiar (Naviaux, Younger, Hanson, Light,
McGregor) but many others (Tompkins, Olivera, Xiao, Berg,
Esfandyarpour, etc.) are experts from other fields whom Davis has
enrolled in his fight to beat ME/CFS. Two Nobel Laureates (Paul Berg,
Mario Capecchi) are attending, as well as several department
heads/directors (Ron Tompkins, Michael Synder) and one person from
industry (Integrative Bioinformatics). Stanford and Davis' Genome lab
is widely represented.
That's a lot of brain power
to assess the most recent findings in ME/CFS, suggest new directions,
and produce new insights into ME/CFS.
In any case, my own expctations are that if Ron Davis
lives (he is 76 at present) and if he can find good subsidies
for his group, he or they will probably unravel the causes of ME/CFS.
But it may be quite a while, and may be too late for me (since I am 67
and nearly 40 years ill). Even so, this is inspiring (and it
also is the only reason I visit - the sickeningly anonymous -
Phoenix Rising), at least if you have ME/CFS
and have been actively discriminated for nearly 40
years as I have been.