A. Selections from August 19, 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 19, 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:
This article is by Mehdi
Hasan on The Intercept, and indeed one of many articles about
Bannon's dismissal, that I like (and see the item
2 and item 4 below). This is from near the
Bannon, as of Friday
out, six months after his controversial switchover from Trump
campaign chief executive to White House chief strategist. He joins
Gen. Michael Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Katie Walsh, and
Anthony Scaramucci on the outside. As Oscar Wilde nearly remarked: to
lose one member of your inner circle may be regarded as a misfortune;
to lose six in six months looks like sheer chaos.
Let’s be clear: Trump’s
sacking of “Mr. Bannon” is not a repudiation of Bannon-esque, or
Breitbartian, white nationalism. Rather, it is a clear consequence of
Bannon, like Icarus flying too close to the sun. As Trump’s remarks on
Tuesday indicated, he wanted to make clear to the world that he is
his own man — or, as he once declaimed in an early-morning tweet:
“I call my own shots.” For the thin-skinned, egomaniacal, and
attention-hungry president, White House staffers have only one mission:
boost him, not themselves.
The first paragraph mostly
gives the plain facts. And I agree with the second paragraph since I
myself think for a long time now that Trump is a megalomaniac,
and for that reason should be removed as president
as fast as possible.
There is considerably more
in the article, that ends as follows:
The Leader of the Free
World has form on nativism, xenophobia, and racism, as
I have pointed out before. Consider the past few days: Bannon may
have influenced Trump’s response to the domestic terror attack in
Charlottesville, but he did not force Trump to provoke howls of outrage
Hill, the business
community, and the wider
West on Tuesday by referring to the “very
fine people” on the neo-Nazi, KKK-aligned side; nor did Bannon
dictate Trump’s dog-whistling tweet on Thursday praising the “beauty”
of Confederate monuments.
Yes, Bannon has finally
gone and we can all rejoice. Sebastian
Gorka and maybe even Stephen
Miller might eventually follow him out of the White House doors.
But Trump remains. That’s the inescapable, unavoidable, undeniable
problem; that’s the orange-skinned gorilla in the room. I hate to agree
with Trump but Bannon or no Bannon, John Kelly or no John Kelly, the
president does indeed call his own shots. Especially the racist ones.
I agree, and this is
a recommended article.
article is by Robert Reich on his site. This is from the middle of this
Let’s be clear.
already enough evidence to impeach Trump on grounds of abuse of power,
obstruction of justice, and violation of the emoluments clause of the
There is already enough
evidence of mental impairment to invoke the 25th amendment.
I know, Republicans are
in control of Congress. But this is no license for Trump to destroy the
nation we love.
I know, removing Trump
would mean having Mike Pence as president. But a principled
right-winger is far better for America and the world than an unhinged
I agree, indeed also
with the last paragraph (as I have also
argued before). And this is a recommended article.
Movies Like 'Toy Story 3' and 'The Incredibles' Are Turning Our
Children into Violent, Militarized Monsters
article is by Heidi Tilney Kramer on AlterNet and originally on
starts as follows - and my readers should remember that (i) I do and
did not owe a TV since 1970, although I have, very
occasionally, seen some of it, that only fortified my 1970 decision
that I did not want this instrument of propaganda, advertisements
and lies, lies, plentiful, false and degenerate lies in my house, and that (2) I
have no children because I fell ill at 28, and am still ill:
Who would ever have thought
that there would be torture scenes in G
and PG-rated children's films, or that video games would allow
someone to feel the rush of killing
“Ten percent of any
population is cruel, no matter what, and ten percent is merciful, no
matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either
Seeing “little Boo,” the
toddler who can barely speak in Monsters, Inc.,
strapped into a seat with holes in the bottom for draining bodily
fluids just like the electric chair on death row convinced me to take a
closer look at what children all over the world are watching as
their purported ‘entertainment;’ what this might be doing to their
minds and their emotions; and how all this is related to public policy
and the institutions of society.
In the film The
Incredibles, children are shown the 9/11 trope of a plane
bent on destruction that’s heading toward a U.S. city while an entire
family ends up on a torture table; the film also shows “Mr Incredible”
being blasted by viscous bubbles similar to the supposedly non-lethal
incapacitant sticky-foam weapons that are currently being
proposed for crowd control in the U.S. and elsewhere. And what are
children to think when their beloved Buzz Lightyear—shown
as a friend to all for two of the three films in the series—is
tortured, has his personality changed, and becomes a prison guard for
the cruel overlord in the surveillance-laden dystopia of Toy Story 3?
In fact, I completely
agree with the above quotation, except for one thing: I
made the same diagnosis, albeit not in the relative detail of the
present article, in 1984, after having studied some "children's
programs" on my mother's TV.
That is, it
was then at least mostly like it is now on the
USA's "children's TV" a full
33 years ago, although I am willing to believe - three year olds
can see "an entire family" ending
up "on a torture table" etc. -
that it is worse now than the utterly atrocious sadism I watched,
indeed quite astonished, half of my life ago.
Then again, I
happily do not have a TV and do not want one. The article seems quite
OK to me and this is from the ending:
I completely agree, except
for the quite pessimistic addition that I did complain
(in my journal) about precisely the same 33 years ago, and that
I presume this sick and sadistic implantations of sick sadism in three
to eight year old American children has been systematic for at
least 33 years.
Where is all this
leading? As Hitler’s deputy Hermann
Goering said at the Nuremberg trials:
“Of course the people
don't want war...That is understood...But, after all, it is the leaders
of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple
matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a
fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they
are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism
and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Propaganda and other more
subtle forms of media communication have always been used to build
support for war, militaristic policing and government surveillance on
the grounds of ‘national security.’ The images and messages contained
in film, TV, popular music and video games form an important part of
this process, especially because there are now only five
big media conglomerates that control over 90 per cent of
everything that is seen and heard across America.
Against this background we
are growing accustomed to torture and militarism in children’s films.
It also explains - implicitly and indirectly - various things about
Trump's supporters if, as I believe is correct, the vast
majority has been propagandized
like this ever since they were three. And this is a recommended article.
National Publications Call for Trump's Removal from Office
This article is by Chris
Sosa, and in a way continues item 2, where Robert
Reich made the same
call. I merely copy the headlines:
Donald Trump Must Go" —David Rothkopf
Rolling Stone: "Republicans
Must Tell Trump to Go - Now" —Jesse Berney
Time to Impeach Donald Trump" —Hillary Kelly
Huffington Post: "Trump
Must Go, Now!" —Lance Simmons
There is more in the
article, including quotations from each of the above four sources, and
this article is recommended.
Curious Conundrum of Freud’s Persistent Influence
This article is by
George Prochnik on The New York Times. It is not a crisis file.
It is here because I think Freud was a fraud ever since first reading
about him and the psychoanalysts he influenced in 1966 (when I
and also because I am a psychologist, who dislikes Freud, Freudianism,
psychoanalysis and modern - DSM-5
based - American psychiatry (and for one long and good article see
my DSM-5: Question 1 of "The
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis").
Also, I have previously reviewed this book of
Frederick Crew, but do so again here, for one thing because
I did not know that Freud also was a rather sick personal
bastard. This is from the beginning of the review:
Instead “Freud: The
Making of an Illusion” focuses on the man — specifically how a
reflective young scientist with high ambitions and gifted mentors lost
perspective on his “wild hunches,” covered up his errors and created
“an international cult of personality.” In practice, this translates
into 700-plus pages of Freud mangling experiments, shafting loved ones,
friends, teachers, colleagues, patients and ultimately, God help us,
swindling humanity at large. Here we have Freud the liar, cheat,
incestuous child molester, woman hater, money-worshiper, chronic
plagiarizer and all-around nasty nut job. This Freud doesn’t really
develop, he just builds a rap sheet.
I knew Freud was a liar and
a cheat since 1966, and I know he did not seem to like
women, but that he was an "incestuous child molester", a
a "chronic plagiarizer", and also an "all-around nasty nut job" I had -
so far - mostly missed.
Then again, since the man was
a liar and a cheat (and used cocaine for 15 years)
it does not amaze me very much.
Prochnik also has some criticism:
The usefulness of the
aggregation would have been greater had Crews presented his story with
more of that objectivity he finds so damningly absent in Freud. Here,
“Freud outdid himself in thickheadedness.” There we encounter the
“apogee of Freud’s willful blindness.” Elsewhere we read of Freud
indulging his “yen for borrowed power,” and exhibiting “madcap
I do not know
criticism is correct. In any case, it does not seem to be serious. The
article ends as follows:
Crews has been debunking
Freud’s scientific pretensions for decades now; and it seems fair to
ask what keeps driving him back to stab the corpse again. He may give a
hint at the opening of this book, when he confesses that he too
participated in the “episode of mass infatuation” with psychoanalysis
that swept the country 50 years ago. The wholesale denigration of its
founder is what we might expect in response to a personal betrayal of
the highest order, such as only an idol can deliver. Paraphrasing
Voltaire, if Freud didn’t exist, Frederick Crews would have had to
invent him. In showing us a relentlessly self-interested and
interminably mistaken Freud, it might be said he’s done just that.
This is a recommended
I have now been saying since the 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.
They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
The only 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.