A. Selections from October 2, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Monday, October 2,
This is a crisis
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:
Selections from October 2, 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:
1. The End of
This article is by Chris
Hedges on Truthdig . It starts as follows:
empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars
in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is
burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization
and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and
destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more
deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of
financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury
in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect
needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do
its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate
change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this
descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a
motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and
warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats,
I agree with nearly all
of this, but I hesitate to draw the inference that Chris Hedges draws,
viz. (as the title says) ¨The End of Empire¨. And this is not because I would not like to see the
I think a major economical collapse of the USA is about the only
chance mankind has to escape the neofascism
that has been prepared the
last 40 years since Thatcher and Reagan took power.
And this is not something I like, for such a collapse, that
very probably would extend to Western Europe, may well cost the lives
of tens of millions. But given the enormous amounts that are at
stake for the rich few who possess most, and also for the poor many
they were stolen from, and the enormous military defenses that
the rich few have drawn up for themselves from the taxes from the many,
I think such a collapse is the only possibility for the
to get around the military and the police.
I do not know whether this will happen, but it is something
that I do hope will happen, for the alternative is a neofascism that may last centuries, based
as that it on the fact that
the very few who command the big money now know
almost everything about
almost everybody, and also have - as long as they command riches -
power to implement their desires on anyone who does not command
and will repress almost everybody who is not very rich and is not
to assist the very rich to repress everybody else.
Here is more by Chris Hedges:
Short of a sudden
and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death
spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it
will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two. The global
vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing
itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be
a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil,
Turkey, South Africa and a few other states. Or maybe the void will be
filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy
writes in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise
and Decline of US Global Power,” by “a coalition of transnational
corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an
international financial leadership self-selected at Davos
and Bilderberg” that will “forge a supranational nexus to supersede
any nation or empire.”
I don´t know what
happen, but since I believe Trump and his government are by far
best described as neofascists -
and see my
definition if you disagree - I think that McCoy´s
expectations are the most realistic: The future seems to be
either a neofascist empire
corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and a¨
financial leadership of the very rich¨
or else either
something like socialism (that may have
many different forms, some also
not at all sympathetic to me) or else utter collapse, quite
possibly mediated by nuclear arms.
Here is more by Chris Hedges:
abroad is matched by a growing brutality at home. Militarized police
gun down mostly unarmed, poor people of color and fill a system of
penitentiaries and jails that hold a staggering 25 percent of the
world’s prisoners although Americans represent only 5 percent of global
population. Many of our cities are in ruins. Our public transportation
system is a shambles. Our educational system is in steep decline and
being privatized. Opioid addiction, suicide, mass shootings, depression
and morbid obesity plague a population that has fallen into profound
despair. The deep disillusionment and anger that led to Donald Trump’s
election—a reaction to the corporate coup d’état and the poverty
afflicting at least half of the country—have destroyed the myth of a
functioning democracy. Presidential tweets and rhetoric celebrate hate,
racism and bigotry and taunt the weak and the vulnerable. The president
in an address before the United Nations threatened
to obliterate another nation in an act of genocide.
I mostly agree. Here is the
end of the article:
elite, suspicious and even paranoid in an age of decline, will see
enemies everywhere. The array of instruments created for global
dominance—wholesale surveillance, the evisceration of civil liberties,
sophisticated torture techniques, militarized police, the massive
prison system, the thousands of militarized drones and satellites—will
be employed in the homeland. The empire will collapse and the nation
will consume itself within our lifetimes if we do not wrest power from
those who rule the corporate state.
Again I mostly agree - and my
own version of the conditions in which the West is living in since
9/11 (which was fake i.e. the most probable explanation
for 9/11 is that this was somehow engineered by the American
secret services and the American secret military forces) you can find
in yesterdays´ 11
the causes of the crisis although these hypotheses were first
formulated by me in 2012.
And this is a recommended article.
2. We Are
Being Held Hostage to Unpopular Conservative Thinking: 7 Reasons Our
This article is by Neal
Gabler on AlterNet and originally on BillMoyers.com. It starts as
Of all the myths the
Republicans have perpetrated, and there are a lot of them, perhaps none
is more powerful or insidious than the foundational one that this is an
overwhelmingly conservative country and that progressives are outliers
in it, along with its pernicious corollary that conservatives are
“real” Americans while liberals (and the minorities who support liberal
policies) are somehow counterfeits.
It is a brilliant bit of
propaganda. The only problem is that it isn’t factually true, at least
for those who still believe in facts. While there are more self-described
conservatives than liberals, in large part, I think, because of the
conservatives’ success at conflating their brand with Americanism
itself, the gap has been narrowing. And in any case, party
identification is just about evenly divided between Democrats and
Republicans. What is more important: Most Americans reject conservative
policy positions. Again and again, on issue after issue, the majority
of Americans seem to tilt to the left: on immigration,
including Trump’s border wall;
on Obamacare repeal;
on leaving the Paris climate
accord; and on gay marriage.
Hm. I don´t
think this is quite correct, simply because I agree that there
are more self-described
conservatives than liberals and also because of Gabler´s own
qualification that the propagandistic thesis he rejects (in which he is
quite right) ¨isn’t
factually true, at least for those who still believe in facts¨.
But then the people who
believe in - real - facts
seem to be in a minority in the
USA, for it seems as if the majority reads the mainstream media, and
the mainstream media just do not report ¨the facts¨ anymore, at
least not if the facts are of a political
kind: Then the
real facts tend to be replaced by bits of propaganda and
else by simply not mentioning the facts at all.
And the other major
difficulty that I see - although I agree that ¨the majority of Americans seem to tilt to the
left¨- is that the great majority
of the Americans either are too stupid or too ignorant or too
to think rationally
and in a fact-based
way, and believe
all manner of non-facts for reasons that are based on a combination of
their ignorance and their prejudiced wishful
And this happens on the
left as well as on the right, although I probably agree that the left
tends to be less stupid and less
than the right .
Here are six of the seven
reasons that induced Neil Gabler to think that these are the ¨reasons
our democracy fails¨, as the title has it:
1. Rural votes
are worth more than urban votes.
2. White votes are worth more than
3. Rich and middle-class votes are worth
more than poor votes.
4. Old voters are worth more than young
5. Single-issue voters are worth more than
more general interest voters.
6. Republican primary voters are worth
more than other voters.
My problem with this is
that I think that while this is probably in various ways quite true
(and there is text for each point that you can find by going to
original article), it also pertains to a quite complicated
I agree that the GOP
engages in this manipulation of voters, which has consequences as are
sketched in the above six points, but there is more than voter
manipulation - such as the interminable amounts of propaganda
spread by the mainstream media - that explains the GOP´s many votes.
Here is the last of the
seven reasons that are discussed by Gabler, with a bit of accompanying
Instead, I´d say that the rich
oligarchs have a near-monopoly on both the GOP and the Democratic
Party: By far the most Senators and members of the House seem
been bought by the rich.
7. Finally, big
surprise!, an oligarch’s vote is worth that of tens of millions of
Several reporters have
weighed in that one of the major reasons the GOP persists with its
inane health care repeal plan — again, the public be damned — is
that big donors have threatened
to withhold their money if the Senate doesn’t proceed. The
GOP, needless to say, has a near-monopoly on oligarchs.
Is Truly Hard to Imagine That Our President Is Such a Disgusting
Person, and 63 Million People Voted for Him
is by Kali Halloway on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
bigotry and cruelty were on display again this week in his response to
the devastation in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, where he
alternately chose to ignore and insult the survivors of hurricane
Maria. As the crisis mounted, Trump took a brief respite from berating
NFL players to tweet about Puerto Rico—not in support of the island’s
suffering residents, but to callously focus on the commonwealth’s "broken
infrastructure & massive debt."
I agree with this bit,
but I should add immediately that it does not and did not
amaze me (not at all) that 63 million Americans voted for Trump:
most of them are systematically lied to and propagandized
mainstream media (both the paper press and their sites), as I think they
have been for 30 years at least, then that is what
I would expect.
And there is this:
indifference to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is par for the
course. Racism and malice form the core of who he is; these traits are
the essence of his presidency, and while his response is stunning, it’s
also perfectly in line with every other action he’s taken in office. To
change horses midstream—to govern with a semblance of the empathy,
competency or integrity he has lacked throughout his
life—would be out of character. In other words, Trump’s gonna
Trump. The more disturbing fact is that 63 million people
recognized Trump’s hatefulness and racism, liked what they saw enough
to vote for him, and even now, continue to fervently
In fact, I do not
know ¨that 63 million
people recognized Trump’s hatefulness and racism¨, and in fact I think there are considerably
less fanatic alt-right racists in the USA than the ¨63 million¨ who voted for Trump - and once again I appeal to the
fact that those who voted for Trump were (in good part, and not all of them) deceived by
own lack of intelligence and lack of true information.
Than 700 Injured as Spanish Police Try to Prevent Catalan Independence
This article is by
Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. This starts as follows:
Yes indeed (and I chose
this report from various reports on the same facts):
The police I saw
were dressed like modern SS´ers rather than ordinary police, and they
seem to have seriously wounded quite a few.
As of Sunday afternoon,
more than 760 people were injured in Catalonia after Spanish police
clashed with voters who attempted to cast votes for the region's
independence referendum, which Madrid has deemed unconstitutional, Reuters
Despite the reports of
violence, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy praised the police force
for its actions in Catalonia Sunday.
Alarming photos and videos
continued to circulate on social media into the evening (...)
There is also this:
Even so, many Catalans
did vote, and it seems of those who did vote, over
90% voted for
independence of Catalonia. And I do not know how this will
it certainly is not the last that I will read about it.
Madrid has declared the
vote unconstitutional, but Catalan citizens and members of the regional
government have vowed to move forward with it. In recent days they have
by the thousands, and even occupied
more than 160 local schools that were set to serve as polling stations,
in attempts to avoid the national police's promise to prevent voting.
The BBC reports:
Police officers are
preventing people from voting, and seizing ballot papers and boxes at
polling stations. In the regional capital Barcelona, police used batons
and fired rubber bullets during pro-referendum protests.
Catalan firefighters even
battled with police officers on Sunday, trying to protect voters from
the national police.
More later, and this is a recommended article.
Leadership, Humanity and Golf Trophies
This article is by Abby Zimet on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
We Can't Even.
Improbably, Drumpf's response to the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing
Puerto Rico keeps....getting....worse. To review: He ignored
the disaster for days while he played golf - they were
just brown people, after all - leading to a recovery effort so belated
and half-assed it's been deemed "malpractice." Called out on his
incompetence, he responded as any sociopath would with lies, deflection
Yes indeed (except that
I dislike reading psychiatrese like ¨sociopath¨ :
the correct term - when doing psychology or rational
psychiatry - is psychopath
and not ¨sociopath¨ for everybody is
a ¨sociopath¨ if
his or her norms differ from the most popular values and norms:
That is not psychiatry but prejudice.).
and grotesque finger-pointing.
He has rolled
out the PR moves and boasted of his "great reviews," though the
Department of Defense warns
95% of people still have no power and 55% have no
water. He's offered moronic defenses: Puerto Rico is “an island
surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water." And he's attacked the
victims: He complained about their debt
(smaller than many states'), slammed
San Juan's tireless
mayor as "nasty," and called those begging for food and
water "ingrates" who "want everything to be done for them" - this, days
after proposing a two trillion dollar tax cut for the rich.
There is also this:
fave, has him, "THE
WORST PRESIDENT in the history of USA" - a claim followed by, "He's the
WORST AMERICAN in HISTORY...fixed that typo for you," followed by,
"He's the WORST PERSON IN HISTORY...fixed that typo for you." For some
people, a highlight of Sunday's NFL games, where players continued
to protest, was the appearance
of the Oakland Raiders' Marshawn Lynch in a t-shirt that read,
"Everybody vs. Trump." Keith ,
meanwhile, pulled no punches. "Republicans! This is the creature you
have unleashed on us," he wrote.
"GET THIS SON OF A BITCH THE FUCK OUT OF HERE."
I suppose there are at
least possibly four more ¨fixed typos¨ on Twitter (that I despise
and don´t use, and like to see as little of as possible): IN THE SOLAR
SYSTEM, IN THE UNIVERSE, IN ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS, and IN ALL POSSIBLE
UNIVERSES. Then again all of this is merely emotional language.
It´s here because I mostly agree with the first paragraph.
 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.
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 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).
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 (!!).
 As far as Truthdig is
I like it, but since I am prodded to say whether I
¨Enjoy Reading¨ it, since the latest change: I have now since over 5
years problems with my eyes, that make it necessary for
me to remove the white background color that is - quite unaccountably -
still the standard on websites. It is replaced by blue in my case, and
that is the only change I make to Firefox (the latest, also).
Also, I am over 65 and read that something like 20/25% of
the over 60-year olds do have problems with their eyes.
Well... with the latest change on Truthdig all pictures and nearly
all names of the writers of the articles, and all photographs
(except for the ¨Truthdig¨ motto) totally disappeared for me,
and I am faced with a blue mess, from which I can try, if I am patient
enough, and load some files (from whence the pictures and the names are
not removed), to find what I remember of those writers
that are good...
In brief, for me and for something like 1 in 5 of the over
60 year olds
the latest incarnation of Truthdig is a mess.
I suppose one explanation is that they don´t like readers over 60... (I
reject that explanation, but I do think their latest change in
formatting was a very bad one.)
 I am very sorry, but I do
believe in truth,
and in knowledge.
Then again, I have been called (completely falsely) ¨a dirty
for 40 years now, and (sickeningly falsely) ¨a terrorist, a
terrorist, a terrorist¨ for 29 years now, in both cases
in the - for me - fascistic and terroristic ¨University¨ of Amsterdam,
and because I said I believed in truth, in which hardly
anybody in the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam believed since this was
denied in 1978 in these words: ¨Everybody knows that truth
does NOT exist¨, which was said in
opening of the academic year 1978/1979 on authority of the Board of
Directors (all fascists and all terrorists, in my opinion, which I
say now because these fascist terrorists now are dead) and which has
been the official ideology of the ¨University¨ of
Amsterdam ever since.
So I know that in Holland I am one of the (very?) few who does
believe in truth, and who even has excellent philosophical,
logical, factual and personal reasons to do so. I know
are far too difficult for the many to read, but please... am I
allowed to say these are my beliefs?! With two
parents who had the rare courage to be in the Dutch resistance
the Nazis? With a murdered grandfather because he had the rare
to be in the Dutch resistance against the Nazis? As a liberal
and a socialist, though indeed not
as a communist
(who had the majority in the ¨University¨ of
Amsterdam from 1971 to 1995)?!
Which caused all sickening discriminations of me as ¨a dirty
and ¨a terrorist¨ by the ¨communist¨ postmodernists of the ¨University¨
 I have been saying this quite a few
times now (and this also applies to ¨narcissism¨ and quite a few other
lemmas on the present Wikipedia): A sociopath is somebody who does
not agree with the currently popular norms in a society. To
classify that as a ground for declaring a person insane, which is
what the DSM of the APA does, is to make psychiatry the
instrument of the KGB in the former Soviet Union: Disagreement with
the prevailing social standards is not a ground for
declaring one insane - except in the former Soviet Union and
allies, and except in the DSM of the APA.
I dislike the DSM. I dislike the APA. I am a psychologist and a
philosopher. Why does Wikipedia speak psychiatrese instead of proper
English?! It is utter unscientific, improper trash, that is not even
proper English. (There are good English terms for ¨malignant
narcissist¨, namely megalomaniac, and for conscience-less greed, namely
a psychopath. I much prefer these over the sick and ugly
psychiatrese sanctioned by the APA. O, and by Wikipedia.)