A. Selections from September 14, 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 will
continue with it.
On the moment I have 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
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
September 14, 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 Glenn
Greenwald on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
To pitch her book,
Hillary Clinton is sitting down this week for a series of media
interviews, mostly with supportive TV personalities, such as Rachel
Maddow, to discuss her views of “What Happened,” the
book’s title. Calls for Clinton to
be quiet and disappear
are misguided for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that she is
a very smart, informed, and articulate politician, which means her
interviews — especially when she’s liberated from
programmed campaign mode — are illuminating about how she, and her
fellow establishment Democrats who have driven
the party into a ditch, really think.
I suppose this is
also the only review of "What Happened" that I will review in
Nederlog, in part because I think Hillary Clinton is a fraud (who sells
political credit for very large amounts of bankers' money, like her
husband) and in part because I think the sooner she disappears the
better it is for everyone (even the Clintons).
And I don't
agree with Greenwald that being "a very smart, informed, and articulate politician" is a reason to interview her, for I
think she is also quite dishonest. Why one should listen to a "very smart, informed, and articulate" liar escapes
me, indeed except if one is
interested in propaganda
example, here is one further bit by Greenwald:
(...) a huge factor
in Clinton’s political career and how she is perceived — as a
senator and especially as secretary of state — is her advocacy of
multiple wars and other military actions, many, if not all, of which
were rather disastrous, rendering it quite strange to spend an
hour discussing why she lost without so much as mentioning any of that.
This is (..) reflective
of the broader Democratic Party desire to pretend that the foreign wars
it has repeatedly prosecuted, and the endless killing of innocent
people for which it is responsible, do not exist. Part of that is the
discomfort of cognitive dissonance: the Democratic branding and
self-glorification as enemies of privilege, racism, and violence are
directly in conflict with the party’s long-standing eagerness to
ignore, or even actively support, policies
which kill large numbers of innocent people from Pakistan,
Libya, and Somalia to Yemen, Iraq, and Gaza, but which receive scant
attention because of the nationality, ethnicity, poverty, distance, and
general invisibility of their victims.
I agree, but this again
means that she is lying on several levels, namely here directly
about the multiple wars, and indirectly about the 180 degree
clash between the public pretensions of the Democrats, and their
actual policies. And then even these lies are not
documented directly, but simply are not shown by "supportive TV personalities" (which is an additional lie, though perhaps
not by Clinton herself, but by the "supportive TV
personalities" who don't say what
Clinton doesn't want to be said).
And the above last
quotation occurs directly above a photograph from the NBC News
of Jan 17, 2017 that says, quite correctly:
"U.S. Bombed Iraq,
Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libia, Yemen, Somalia in 2016"
I think all of
these wars are illegal by U.S. law that requires the consent of
the House for acts of war, and this was never given, but then
wars have been conducted now for 16 years without almost any
legal justification in terms of U.S. laws. (And see item
There is considerably more
by Glenn Greenwald that I leave to your interests, and he ends as
From a policy
perspective, endless war and militarism shape virtually every key
issue, from budgetary priorities and tax policy to corporatism and
lobbyist power, making it inexcusable on the merits to ignore or
downplay them. But also as a political matter, any discussion of why
Clinton lost, or what the Democrats must reform, is woefully incomplete
if it excludes these questions.
Yes indeed, but once again:
If much of what you get when you interview Hillary Clinton are "very smart, informed, and articulate" lies,
I really see no rational reason to interview her (other than as
studies of lies). And also see item 4 below.
U.S. Spies Misused a Covert Network for Personal Shopping — and Other
Stories from Internal NSA Documents
article is by Micah Lee, Margot Williams and Talya Cooper on The
Intercept. It starts as follows:
NSA agents successfully
targeted “the entire business chain” connecting foreign cafes to the
internet, bragged about an “all-out effort” to spy on liberated Iraq,
and began systematically trying to break into virtual private networks,
according to a set of internal agency news reports dating to the first
half of 2005.
British spies, meanwhile,
were made to begin providing new details about their informants via a
system of “Intelligence Source Descriptors” created in response to
intelligence failures in Iraq. Hungary and the Czech Republic pulled
closer to the National Security Agency.
And future Intercept
backer Pierre Omidyar visited NSA headquarters for an internal
conference panel on “human networking” and open-source intelligence.
These stories and more
are contained in a batch
of 294 articles from SIDtoday, the internal news website of the
NSA’s core Signals Intelligence Directorate. The Intercept is
publishing the articles in redacted form as part of an ongoing project
to release material from the files provided by NSA whistleblower Edward
There is a lot
more text in the article that is recommended.
3. It’s Now Time for
Medicare for All
article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Senator Bernie Sanders,
Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Jeff Merkley, are introducing a
Medicare For All bill in the Senate. It’s a model for where this nation
needs to be headed.
Some background: American
spending on health care per person is more than twice the average in
the world’s 35 advanced economies. Yet Americans are sicker, our lives
are shorter, and we have more chronic illnesses than in any other
That’s because medical
care is so expensive for the typical American that many put off seeing
a doctor until their health has seriously deteriorated.
Why is health care so
much cheaper in other nations? Partly because their governments
negotiate lower rates with health care providers. In France, the
average cost of a magnetic resonance imaging exam is $363. In the
United States, it’s $1,121. There, an appendectomy costs $4,463. Here,
The French can get lower
rates because they cover everyone — which gives them lots of bargaining
All of these are good
reasons to introduce medicare for all. Here is some more:
I completely agree,
think the proposal by Sanders, Warren and others deserves strong
support, although it is my pessimistic guess that it will fail in the
present circumstances (with most political power in the hands of the
Medicare for all would
avoid all these problems and get lower prices and better care.
Ideally, it would be
financed the same way Medicare and Social Security are financed,
through the payroll tax. Wealthy Americans should pay a higher payroll
tax rate and contribute more than lower-income people. But everyone
would come out ahead because total health care costs would be far
lower, and outcomes far better.
War Continues as Senate Kills Effort to Repeal 2001 Authorization
This article is by
Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
I agree with the last
quote of Miles. Here is some more:
The U.S. Senate on
Wednesday killed an effort
by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to sunset the war authorizations that have
been used for 16 years to justify ongoing military actions in regions
around the globe.
Despite the failure, Win
Without War director Stephen Miles argues
that the vote "shows that momentum is building to cancel the
president's blank check for endless war," adding that "it's clear that
our representatives in Congress are beginning to recognize that after
nearly two decades, the conflicts we are currently fighting have a
tenuous connection to the laws that are used to authorize them."
"If Congress can't even
be bothered to vote on whether we should be in war, then we have no
business sending young men and women to die fighting in it," Miles
In essence, as observers
noted, the chamber gave the OK to continuing "endless war" (..)
Yes indeed: What we
today and since 16 years
Sen. Paul's attempt was
an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that
would have repealed the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of
Military Force after six months and allow for Congress debate another
potential war authorization.
The procedural vote
was 61-36, with the "yea" votes in support of tabling (rejecting) the
Speaking on the Senate
floor Tuesday, Paul said,
"I rise today to oppose unauthorized, undeclared, and unconstitutional
war. What we have today is basically unlimited war—war anywhere,
anytime, any place on the globe."
"No one with an ounce of
intellectual honesty believes these authorizations allow current wars
we fight in seven countries," he said.
unlimited war—war anywhere, anytime, any place on the globe"
and these wars are
permitted by 2 out of 3 of "the people's representatives". I say.
And this is a recommended article.
the Complicated, Controversial Legacy of Sigmund Freud
This article is by
Cody Delistraty on The Cut. It starts as follows:
About the only
true medical or psychological statement in the above quotation is
Freud's admission that he had a (very large) "lack of medical knowledge".
On January 24,
1895, in a letter
that was kept unpublished for nearly 90 years, Sigmund Freud wrote
nervously about a dangerous experiment he was planning to embark upon.
“Now only one more week separates us from the operation,” he wrote to
his friend Wilhelm Fliess, who would be performing the surgery. “My
lack of medical knowledge once again weighs heavily on me.”
The patient who
would be undergoing the procedure, Emma Eckstein, came from a
well-regarded family in Vienna and began analysis with Freud when she
was about 27. She complained of stomach and menstrual issues that made
even walking a pain. Freud and Fliess believed that Eckstein’s
suffering was related to her masturbation, which she discussed with
Freud during their psychoanalytic sessions. It was a dubious logical
path, but Freud and Fliess’s solution was almost comically unfounded.
“Girls who masturbate normally suffer from dysmenorrhea,” Fliess later
wrote in reference to Eckstein’s menstrual pains. “In such cases, nasal
treatment is only successful when they truly give up this aberration.”
Freud believed that the
sexual organs were connected to the nose, and sexual “issues,”
particularly masturbation, were principle causes of neurotic maladies,
and that they could sometimes be solved by nasal surgery.
Freud's friend Wilhelm
Fliess (<- Wikipedia) was another major medical fraud, but indeed he never
got popular (and quarreled with Freud in 1904).
And - see e.g. Sigmund
Freud’s Cocaine Years, in the NYT of 2011 - Freud's twelve years
(!!) addiction to cocaine
(<- Wikipedia) are hardly ever mentioned by
The above quotation continues as follows:
As was Freud's addiction
to cocaine, which he still had in 1895. (He seems to have
stopped using it in 1896. He started it in 1884, indeed also with his
first publication, which was in praise of cocaine.)
failed. On March 4, 1895, a little more than a month after Eckstein’s
surgery, Freud wrote to Fliess of the surgery’s complications:
“Eckstein’s condition is still unsatisfactory … she had a massive
hemorrhage, probably as a result of expelling a bone chip the size of a
Heller [a small coin]; there were two bowls full of pus.” Eckstein
survived, but in sticking to his scientifically unfounded theory, Freud
nearly killed her.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, for
nearly a century, nearly every mention of this surgery — and of Emma
Eckstein in general — had been purged from the official collections of
There is also this:
In the early
1970s, the so-called “Freud wars” — a virulent academic debate over
Freud’s legitimacy — began with psychiatrist Henri Ellenberger,
philosopher Frank Cioffi, and historian Paul Roazen. “There were plenty
of doubters before then,” says outspoken Freud critic Frederick Crews,
an emeritus professor of literary theory at the University of
California, Berkeley, and author of the recent Freud: The Making
of an Illusion. “Some of the keenest ones were
Freud’s contemporaries. But only in the ’70s did the whole Freudian
edifice begin to crumble.” Crews’s own 1980 essay,
“Analysis Terminable,” in Commentary and his 1993 follow-up essay
in The New York Review of Books, called “The
Unknown Freud,” further made the case that Freud was a fraudulent and
unethical scientist, and together acted as the final bullet in the
heart of his legacy.
I agree with Crewes "that Freud was a fraudulent and unethical
scientist" (and would put
"pseudo" in front of scientist), and indeed did so ever since 1967,
when I was 17, and had bought Patrick Mullahy's "Oedipus - Myth and
Conflict" to find out about psychiatry (of which Mullahy was a strong
defender and a decent summarizer) and about myself.
My immediate reactions to that book (in 1967) were that almost
everything it said (with a few exceptions in Sullivan's case and a few
others) was false or nonsense, had little or no proper
for it, and was definitely mistaken, and it also was fraudulent
when it was presented (as it was) as "medical science". 
Since 1967 50 years passed in which I studied philosophy and psychology
in which I found no ground whatsoever to believe in Freudian
Jungian or Rankian or Reichian or etc.) psychoanalysis and psychiatry.
And indeed by now - in 2017 - my guess is that most
psychologists, at least, either have given up on Freud or never
believed in him , but this was quite
different from 1900 until the “Freud wars” of the 1970s.
He also had a
crackerjack public relations team defending his name long after his
death. How else could his name continue to survive after a statement
like this from Crews in Psychological Science in 1996:
“There is literally nothing to be said, scientifically or
therapeutically, to the advantage of the entire Freudian system or any
of its component dogmas”? Or after the 1975 statement from Peter
Medawar, a medical biologist with a Nobel Prize, calling Freudian
psychoanalysis “the most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of
the 20th century”? Or the fact that, by 1980, nearly every mention of
Freudianism had been deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders?
I agree with Crews and
Medawar. And I also agree with the following:
“My belief is that
if high schools did their job, most high-school graduates would be
capable of seeing through Freud,” says Crews. “It’s a question of
asking for the evidential goods to be produced.” He adds: “I don’t
consider myself a radical. My point of view is garden-variety
Precisely. And the sad
consequence (which I think is true) is that neither high schools nor
medical educations in most universities do the job they should
There is considerably more in this article, which is 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 (!!).
 Namely because real medical
science - as especially Thomas
Szasz has insisted on for a long time - is based on medical
facts and medical pathologies, and not on -
extremely vague, almost principially unevidenced - quite wild
assumptions about human experiences (that are, as such, not
of medical science).
 I studied
psychology in the late 1970ies and early 1980ies, and found that Freud
was almost completely neglected (in the program I
followed, which did not include what was called "clinical
psychology", that very probably contained more Freud), except
for the reading of his "Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis", which
I found to be a quite dishonest and quite vague and incomplete summary
of his ideas (that were almost completely rejected by most Dutch
psychologists by the 1970ies).
In case you want to know more about my (also
philosophical/methodological) reasons to reject Freud, see my DSM-5:
Question 1 of "The six
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis" and my DSM-5:
100 Nederlogs about and around the APA and the DSM-5 and also my long
review of the ideas of Thomas Szasz, that you'll find here: Thomas Szasz's ideas about psychiatry