A. Selections from
October 22, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, October 22,
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.
moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) 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 22, 2017
It Didn’t Just Start Now: John Kelly Has
Been a Hard-Right Bully
2. This Is How Legal Cannabis Is Improving Public
3. Trump and His ‘Beautiful’ Weapons
4. Half a Million March in Massive Uprising Against
Spanish Plan to Overtake
5. The Essential
Ingredient of Democracy
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:
Didn’t Just Start Now: John Kelly Has Always Been a Hard-Right Bully
This article is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept. It
starts as follows:
White House Chief of
Staff John Kelly’s gruesome
defense Thursday of President Donald Trump’s call to the
widow of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson was shocking.
But it should not have
been a surprise. Any examination of Kelly’s past public remarks makes
clear he is not a sober professional, calculating that he must degrade
himself in public so he can remain in place to rein in Trump’s worst
instincts behind the scenes. Rather, Kelly honestly shares those
instincts: He’s proudly ignorant, he’s a liar, and he’s a shameless
bully and demagogue.
check out Trump´s
and Kelly´s earlier statements to the widow of Sgt. Johnson. I am
mostly interested in Kelly´s character in this review, that is
explained by Jon Schwarz as follows:
This can be seen most
clearly in a celebrated speech Kelly delivered
on Veterans Day in 2010 while still a Marine Corps general. It
demonstrates conclusively that, long before Kelly and Trump ever met,
they were on the same page when it comes to hysteria and venom.
(Kelly’s son Robert had been killed in action in Afghanistan just days
before, but Kelly said identical things both before and long after his
So here’s Kelly’s
worldview, as expressed in 2010:
the article each
of the following five points is supported by quite a few paragraphs of
text. I leave these to your interests, and only quote the titles:
1. No one outside
of the military can legitimately
question any of America’s wars.
2. No one who is in the
military ever questions any
of America’s wars.
3. America and its wars are and have
4. America is under terrifying threat from
5. Our country is hamstrung by its
Of course, 1. is a total falsehood and 2. is
false as well, while 3. is again a total falsehood.
But I grant Kelly is a professional soldier, as
of his sons (one of whom got killed), and professional soldiers do not
have the same set of values as most civilians do - which would be a
reason not to nominate them in a civilian government, or so I
Here is Jon Schwarz´s ending:
So even before Kelly’s
ugly performance Thursday, there
was no reason to hope he would put any kind of brake on Trump. Kelly
may be personally far more palatable; he’s certainly no mewling coward
like Trump and has unquestionably put his life where his mouth is. That
goes for his children as well — his other son is also a Marine — even
as Trump’s kids are the living embodiment of every criticism Kelly
makes about U.S. society.
But there’s a reason
these two men found each other. They
see the world in fundamentally the same way, and Kelly is going to help
Trump do what he wants to it.
I mostly agree, except that I would say that one rather
big difference is that Kelly and his sons are professional soldiers,
while Trump escaped military service with bullshit, and
Trump´s sons do not have to service at all because the draft
by Nixon, and a
professional army was instituted, that consists of volunteers from the
poorest classes in the the lower ranks.
This is a recommended article.
Is How Legal Cannabis Is Improving Public Health
article is by Paul Armentano on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
Legal cannabis access is
associated with numerous favorable public health outcomes. Here are
just a few of them.
Dutch and I live in a country were marijuana was easy to get
and not at all legally dangerous to use in the last 50 years.
I have always been a supporter of the legalization - but the Dutch never legalized marijuana:
What they did, thirty years ago, was - I think - the following:
leading politicians made a deal with the criminal class and with the
secret services  and the judges
that ¨allowed¨, in practice
though not in law, to set up a system of semi-legally selling great
amounts of marijuana in Holland and also throughout Europe
through ¨coffee- shops¨ (in Holland) that were all ¨personally
the mayors in the cities they were to deal publicly in illegal marijuana, I think for a
of the amounts sold.
that way the combination of the criminal dealers, the politicians, the
secret services , and the Dutch judges were
capable of selling at
least 10 billion euroos each year in illegal marijuana and
hashish, and probably three times as much when cocaine,
heroin, amphetamine, ecstasy etc. are added, against profits for
each that I do not know, for this and most other true
information about all illegal drugs is mostly systematically not
published, neither in Holland (which is the Colombia of Europe, as
far as illegal drugs are concerned, for a mere thirty years now) nor
outside Holland. 
But this was the background about Holland.
more about marijuana in
the USA, where a few states have legalized it (which I am strongly
favor of because marijuana is not dangerous and not addictive).
is the first advantage to human health:
this is probably be true as is the following associated fact - and let
me add that each point in the original article comes with more text
than I quote in this review:
Changes in the legal status
of cannabis is associated with significant reductions in opioid-related
I am a
bit amazed that there is also less other prescription drug use.
published in 2014 in JAMA Internal
Medicine reports that medical cannabis regulation is associated with
year-over-year declines in overall opioid-related mortality, including
heroin overdose deaths.
Patients in states where
marijuana is legal use far fewer prescription drugs than do those in
jurisdictions where cannabis remains prohibited.
And I do not know of a similar result in
Holland, although it
also is a fact that the one and only decent survey into illegal
is the Parliamentary Van Traa
Report (<- mostly Dutch link) that was
written in 1996, and that is also rarely mentioned since Van
either was murdered or otherwise killed in 1997.
Then there is this, which I think is very probably true:
Market research indicates
that many adults are choosing legal pot over booze. (...)
I add here is that
alcohol is far more dangerous for both users and others than
(as does follow from the extensive facts that are known about Holland:
there are FAR more deaths and violence and accidents associated
consumption of alcohol than with the consumption of marijuana).
Then there is this result:
And there is also this
DRUG TREATMENT ADMISSIONS
The opening of medical
cannabis dispensaries is correlated with an immediate decrease in
narcotic-related admissions to drug treatment facilities. (...)
This seems to me fairly
small (¨a 2% to 6% decline
in the probability of obesity¨)
Changes in marijuana’s legal
status is associated with an annual reduction in obesity-related
also think that the situations in Holland and in the USA as regards
marijuana and hashish are difficult to compare. But this is a
recommended article, and as long as the Dutch politicians keep
illegally profiting from selling illegal marijuana and hashish, the
Dutch also will not legalize it -
which is less a problem for
than for the rest of Europe, where many of the illegal drugs
manufactured or imported into Holland are being sold.
and His ‘Beautiful’ Weapons
article is by William Blum on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
Capturing the wisdom and
the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his
charming mouth: “Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new
equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the
world – the best anywhere in the world, by far.” [Washington Post,
Sept. 8, 2017]
indeed, for this also is the kind of statement that one expects
made by a man diagnosed as a
malignant narcissist a.k.a. megalomaniac.
is a bit of the analysis of William Blum:
Here the man thinks that
everyone will be impressed that the American military has never been
stronger. And that those who, for some unimaginable reason, are not
impressed with that will at least be impressed that military equipment
is being added EACH DAY. Ah yes, it’s long been a sore point with most
Americans that new military equipment was being added only once a week.
And if that isn’t impressive
enough, then surely the fact that the equipment is NEW will win people
over. Indeed, the newness is important enough to mention twice. After
all, no one likes USED military equipment. And if newness doesn’t win
everyone’s heart, then BEAUTIFUL will definitely do it.
There is more in the
article, that is recommended.
a Million March in Massive Uprising Against Spanish Plan to Overtake
article is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Catalans did not
take the news that Spanish Prime Minister will move to impose direct
rule on their region quietly on Saturday. Nearly half a million people
marched in Barcelona soon after the prime minister's press conference.
president of Catalonia, joined the demonstration before a planned
speech responding to Mariano Rajoy's statement that pending the
approval of the senate, which his party controls, he would remove the
Catalan government from power and call for a special election in the
article is mostly here because I am for Catalonian
independence, although my reasons are mostly based on the facts that I
am and always have been an opponent of the Greater Europe that
was brought about in 2002 (with the euro) and I also am - I suppose
mostly for sentimental reasons - an admirer of the Catalonia
Orwell described in ¨Homage to
Catalonia¨ (<-Wikipedia, that dates back tot 1937, but that is
still eminently readable).
And this is from slightly
Thousands of Catalans
were expected to protest Saturday afternoon after Spanish Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoy announced he would take control of Catalonia by
invoking Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, weeks after the
region's independence referendum.
Defying the majority of
Catalan voters who approved of a split from Spain in Catalonia's
independence referendum this month, Rajoy spoke at a press conference
about his plans to transfer the power of the region's president, Carles
Puigdemont, to the central government, and hold early elections in the
next six months.
is a recommended article (although I would appreciate it a lot if
Common Dreams stopped quoting Tweets from totally unknown people: I do
not think that is proper journalism in most cases).
Essential Ingredient of Democracy
This article is by Adam Eichen and Frances Moore Lappé on Common Dreams
and originally on YES! Magazine. This has a subtitle, which I quote:
We need more than
good-heartedness to save our democracy. We need the courage to act on
I agree - but this also makes me a total disbeliever in
any real democracy. Here are some of my reasons:
am at least twice as old as the writers of this article, and I have had
far too many experiences with ¨democracy¨ and ¨law¨ in
Holland, where I have learned both of these are simply switched off
if the politicians like them to be switched off, while almost
nobody protests, e.g. as regards the great declines in education,
the illegal dealings in illegal soft drugs, the acts and
structures of the universities, and being threatened with
murder by the illegal drugsdealers that were protected by the mayor,
the lawyers, the police and all bureaucrats of the City of Amsterdam,
that also were allowed by them to gas me.
Here is more by the writers of the article:
I agree, but none of
the rules of democracy that were nominally in place in
1977, when I returned from Norway to my native country Holland were
respected in my case. Not at all.
On what human strengths
does democracy depend? It’s a huge question and an urgent one, as many
Americans fear their democracy is in free fall.
Fortunately, in digging
for answers, our constitution itself offers a useful starting point.
The Preamble establishes the republic’s commitment to “promote the
general Welfare,” which is possible only so long as citizens grasp that
their well-being is tied to the well-being of others and also act on
this awareness. Arguably, the effectiveness of their action would
depend on key civic virtues, especially cooperation and fairness.
So far, so good.
Trouble is, in today’s
nasty, polarized political culture, these strengths can seem like a
Here is more by the writers of the article:
democracy may be not that we are insufficiently attuned to our fellow
citizens, but that we’re almost too social. Our need for others’
approval can be overpowering. In fact, belonging is so important for
most of us that it’s frightening to break with our tribe. Our need to
fit in is so strong that in the infamous 1950s conformity experiments
Solomon Asch, most subjects went along with the group’s opinion,
denying what their own eyes were telling them. Even on a trivial
matter, presumably fear of being different and risking rejection
I quite agree and indeed here
is more about the totalitarianism
that guides most groupthinking.
Herein lies the
for democracy. While capacity for cooperation and sensibility to
fairness come fairly easily for most of us, another essential civic
virtue requires more. In our current moment of extreme breakdown in
common decency—brought on by a money-dominated political system and a
brutal form of capitalism generating widespread distrust and
fear—another essential virtue is calling out for attention: courage.
indeed - and in terms of courage my parents were extremely
courageous, but also for some twenty years after the war discriminated
as if they were traitors, whereas I, who created a student party
that was for science and rationality in the universities was
discriminated for twelve years as ¨a dirty fascist¨ (by many communists
and/or post- modernists, now all ¨neoliberals¨) and - when I
was illegally excluded from taking the M.A. in philosophy - as
¨a terrorist, a terrorist, a terrorist¨ (according to the same) because
I honestly criticized
the incompetent frauds and parasites that
were my extra-ordinary lousy ¨teachers¨ of philosophy.
It is possible
that the Dutch are less courageous than other nations, as would indeed
seem to follow from the fact that over 1% of the total Dutch
population was murdered in WW II for being of the wrong race, while few
Dutchmen helped them.
I don´t know. Here is the conclusion of the writers of the article:
citizen defenders. Thus, in this time of extreme peril for democracy,
the opposite of evil is no longer goodness. The opposite of evil is
courage. Goodness without courageous action is not good enough.
so, I have lost my faith in democracy in Holland: At least 99 out of 100 Dutchmen is too afraid to speak
up, even if merely well over half of them might disagree
For more, see the items on totalitarianism,
in my Philosophical
 I have now been saying
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 (!!).
 I include the secret services
especially because Noam Chomsky insisted that the secret services
and illegal drugs are always narrowly connected (for that illegal
trade also is part of their finances).
 I refer you to the Dutch ¨ME in Amsterdam¨ where
e.g. my horrible experiences with murderous Dutch dealers in
illegal drugs and the City of Amsterdam are described:
I was left for 3 1/2 years completely alone when I protested
the murderous illegal drugsdealers that the mayor of Amsterdam gave his
¨personal permission¨ to deal illegal drugs from bottom floor of the
house where I lived, that included his ¨personal permissions¨
to gas me (literally) and to threaten me with murder, for these things
happened as well to me.
Also, neither the City of Amsterdam nor any of its mayors, lawyers or
bureaucrats reacted in any way to my complaints ever since
1991. I suppose they all made too much illegal money from the
illegal drugstrade in illegal drugs in Holland, which is at
least 10 billion euroos each year.
I do not know how much of this money ended up in the pockets of
lawyers or bureaucrats who all protected the illegal dealers, and it
also is not my duty to know.