A. Selections from
November 7, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday November 7,
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 November 7, 2017
The Cost of Resistance
2. 'Paradise Papers' Show How
Riches, Dodge Taxes
3. How Fake News Works:
Tens of Millions of
Would Flunk Any Basic Civics Class
One: Our President Ubu
5. Donald Trump and the
Erosion of American
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:
Cost of Resistance
This article is by Chris
Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
suffering. It requires self-sacrifice. It accepts that we may be
destroyed. It is not rational. It is not about the pursuit of
happiness. It is about the pursuit of freedom. Resistance accepts that
even if we fail, there is an inner freedom that comes with defiance,
and perhaps this is the only freedom, and true happiness, we will ever
know. To resist evil is the highest achievement of human life. It is
the supreme act of love.
I like Chris
Hedges: He is brave, he is smart and he writes well, and he is
in each of these respects quite exceptional in the USA.
But I do not agree with the present article, and I will explain
my explanation has much to do with my own family,
that also consisted of brave and courageous men and women, for my
mother's parents were anarchists all their adult lives; my father's
father moved from Protestant Christianity to communism in 1937; both
of my parents were in the real resistance against the Nazis
from 1940-1945 ; both my father and his father
were betrayed by Dutchmen in June of 1941, arrested by the SS,
and convicted by collaborating Dutch judges 
camp imprisonments as "political terrorists". My
grandfather was murdered; my father survived more than 3 years and 9
months of four German concentration camps.
After the war both of my
parents continued to be members of the Dutch
communist party, that had lost some 2000 members resisting the
Nazis, and in thanks were called "(filthy) traitors to Our Country" by
the many Dutch collaborators who all survived WW II by collaborating.  (The Dutch seem to have been the most
anti-semitic in the 1950ies, according to various testimonials that
I read by people whom I believe - and this was in the time that the
Dutch knew about the murder of some 6 million Jews.)
And in fact absolutely
no Dutch communist was ever knighted
for the resistance of the Dutch communists to the Nazis until the end
of the Dutch communist party in 1991 - and indeed my father,
who did get knighted in 1980, very briefly before he died, was not
for what he had the courage to do in WW II, but because he had designed
and mostly built an exhibition about the Dutch resistance against the
Nazis  (mostly by the communists) and about the
dangers of fascism and concentration
Finally, my parents also
were not intellectuals, which is one
major reason why they seem to have gained absolutely nothing in money for resisting
fascism and capitalism for some 45 years of their lives - which
again makes them different from almost every intellectual who
"resisted" after WW II: It seems almost everyone of these
"resisters" was rewarded with very well-paying jobs in
journalism, in politics or in "science".
And that is one of my
points: I come from a genuinely
family, that also was extremely courageous in WW II (when
resisting was often punished with torture) but every
intellectual - indeed except myself - whom I have known who "resisted"
after WW II and who did so outside of the Dutch communist
party seems to have been somehow rewarded, and nearly always by
well-paying jobs. 
In contrast, my parents,
who were in the real resistance, were
discri- minated all their lives for their communist opinions
and did not get any money whatsoever for what they
dared to do, except that my father got an extremely small
"resistance pension" after WW II, when he was 54. 
So the first point I
want to make is that there is a large
difference between those who really resisted (such as the Dutch
communists in WW II) and those who pretended to resist (such as
nearly everyone from leftish parties after WW II).
In my experience - who
also resisted for 50 years, and whose only
rewards all these fifty years (!) were that I am "a filthy
fascist" and "a
terrorist" according to the vast majorities of the pretending
folklorist "leftists" from the "University" of Amsterdam (mostly from
rich parents, and all now "neoconservatives" since 22 years
at least) - those who "resisted" in Holland after WW II, and
intellectuals, in fact never
resisted anything: they
collaborated with the fashions,
and they did so in order to increase
their incomes and their personal status and power.
And in Holland this was the
norm for at least 95% of everyone
I have seen since 1965: They did not
resist; they were fashionable.
And the leftist fashion
has ended, and therefore
all those who pretended
to be "in the resistance" in the 1970ies and 1980ies (except for some
very, very few) now are proud neoconservatives.
That also is a measure of their honesty, their integrity,
courage: All were and are totally absent.
Here is more:
inducements to conformity—money, fame, prizes, generous grants, huge
book contracts, hefty lecture fees, important academic and political
positions and a public platform—are scorned by those who resist. The
rebel does not define success the way the elites define success. Those
who resist refuse to kneel before the idols of mass culture and the
power elites. They are not trying to get rich. They do not want to be
part of the inner circle of the powerful.
Well... but what is
"resisting"? And who are not conformists?
have seen very few people who really resisted the
declines of education, of civilization, of science, of politics and
of many other things: The great majority simply conformed to
most things, including the folklore of "leftism" that
lasted from the late 1960ies till the 1980ies, and that was (once
again) mostly made up of conformists.
Then there is this:
The power elites
attempt to discredit those who resist. They force them to struggle to
make an income. They push them to the margins of society. They write
them out of the official narrative. They deny them the symbols of
status. They use the compliant liberal class to paint them as
unreasonable and utopian.
happen to my parents (whose IQs were over 130) but it did not
most Dutchmen, for the simple reason that the vast majority of Dutchmen
are conformists, including most of those who "resisted" in the
Then there is this:
There is no
shortage of artists, intellectuals and writers, from Martin Buber and George
Orwell to James Baldwin, who warned us that this dystopian era was fast
approaching. But in our Disneyfied world of intoxicating and endless
images, cult of the self and willful illiteracy, we did not listen.
there is a shortage of
intelligent men and women, and especially a shortage of
and women who dare to resist. And the "Disneyfied world" of which
Hedges speaks was never mine, nor of my parents nor of my
grandparents - but I agree also that I do not know of any
other Dutchman (except my brother) with a family background like mine.
Here is the end of the article:
Resistance is not
only about battling the forces of darkness. It is about becoming a
whole and complete human being. It is about overcoming estrangement. It
is about the capacity to love. It is about honoring the sacred. It is
about dignity. It is about sacrifice. It is about courage. It is about
being free. Resistance is the pinnacle of human existence.
am sorry, but as long
as Hedges does not see the difference between those who really
and those who follow the fashion, I think this last paragraph
Papers' Show How Wealthy Stash Riches, Dodge Taxes
article is by Emily Wells on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
of recently leaked files pertaining to offshore finance, dubbed “the
Paradise Papers,” offers insight into how the wealthiest corporations
and individuals protect their riches.
The 13.4 million files were obtained by the German newspaper
Süddeutsche Zeitung and subsequently shared with the International Consortium of
Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which has been investigating
offshore finance for several years.
continues the first review of the Paradise Papers that I gave yesterday
and (like yesterday) it is again a choice out of very many articles.
is what the "Paradise Papers" are about - the grand thefts of the
richest of the rich, who steal from everyone, including the poor
and the government:
said Sunday in a post announcing the release of the papers that they
“reveal offshore interests and activities of more than 120 politicians
and world leaders.” The papers include data on U.S. Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, chief
economic adviser Gary Cohn, major donors to the Trump campaign and a
business associate of the president’s son-in law, Jared Kushner. The
papers also reveal financial activity and investments by Queen
Elizabeth II, Bono, Apple, Nike and Facebook.
fairly interesting, agree. Incidentally, here is the NYT on the
fraudulent and corrupt Apple:
come under scrutiny by Congress for shifting much of its earnings to
Irish subsidiaries, avoiding income taxes. Documents from the leak show
that after its chief executive, Tim Cook, said that the company didn’t
just “stash money on a Caribbean island,” it found a new tax haven—an
island in the English Channel. The use of complex offshore structures
have helped keep much of Apple’s more than $128 billion in profit
abroad free from taxation.
so (and that is theft, albeit of billions).
here is Bernie Sanders:
Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a statement
to The Guardian, said that the papers demonstrate that the world
has turned into an “international oligarchy” controlled by a minute
number of billionaires.
“The major issue of our time is the rapid movement toward international
oligarchy, in which a handful of billionaires own and control a
significant part of the global economy,” he said. “The Paradise Papers
shows how these billionaires and multinational corporations get richer
by hiding their wealth and profits and avoid paying their fair share of
The article ends as follows:
Paradise Papers release has been compared with the Panama
Papers, which, in 2016, exposed celebrities and business executives
who moved large amounts of money into offshore accounts. Setting up
offshore companies is generally legal, and to do so is often attractive
to corporations handling mergers and acquisitions.
I have considered the Panama Papers in 2016. In the index for
2016 they occur at least 10 times, the last time on October 12, 2016. I agree
they were important, but they took the journalists' or the readers'
attention for about half a year, and since then are hardly
mentioned - indeed except for the murder of the journalist who
must presume that these Paradise Papers likely will have a similar run
(and there are far fewer of them than there were in the Panama Papers).
How Fake News Works: Tens of Millions of
Americans Would Flunk Any Basic Civics Class
This article is by
David Masciotra on AlterNet and originally on Salon.
It turns out that tens
of millions of Americans belong in my freshmen writing course, and,
if their failures of citizenship are any indication, would struggle to
pass if enrolled.
I do not
think this is a good or well-written article, but it does pose
a problem that I am aware of since over 50 years: The fact - at
for me and for the minority of others whose IQ is over
130 - that the majorities of the "democratic voters" are neither
intelligent nor educated and indeed also generally do not want to be
(for this would make them stand out as if they were better than the
majority, and proper conformists do
not like that at all).
in fact - simply
judging from the average IQs - it are not so much "tens of millions" of
Americans who urgently need some education, but at least half of
American population, for half of any large unsorted population has
IQ that is maximally 100.
But here is some more:
Vidal once remarked, “Half of the U.S. population reads a newspaper.
Half of the U.S. population votes. Let’s hope it is the same half.”
fewer than half of Americans read the newspaper, and an increasingly
alarming amount report that they rely on social media for news, but
many of them are still participating in the Democratic process. I often
see bumper stickers that announce, “I’m Catholic and I vote” or “I’m
NRA and I vote.” It seems that a lucrative merchandising opportunity
exists for someone who invents the sticker, “I don’t read and I vote.”
documentation of Americans’ ignorance on fundamental issues of history
and governance is by now so thorough that it hardly bears repeating.
For example, only 26 percent of Americans can name all three
branches of government. These are people commonly referred to as “elitists.”
indeed - and that is only a very little from the mass
of information there is about the average American stupidity and
(Here is an interesting link: March
again: What can one do against giving all - sane, non-criminal
adults the rights to vote? They have it and about half of them even
problem is not just that Americans don’t know. It is that they don’t
know what they don’t know, and they don’t know how to figure it out.
Like my students who attempt to meet their research requirement on
Twitter, American voters are misinforming themselves with lies and
inaccuracies from unreliable sources.
indeed - ant it "is not
just that Americans don’t know", nor "that
they don’t know what they don’t know", nor that "they don’t know how to figure it out": The great problem is that the majority of
just do not want to read true
information, because this contradicts with
their own wishful
there is this, which is a kind of explanation
for the facts mentioned in the last above quotation:
most consequential offenders in the dissemination, and success, of fake
news are not the Russians or social media company executives, but the
American education system, and the parents who are content with raising
children who know little about their country, much less about the rest
of the world.
nine states require civics as part of the high school curriculum, and
many colleges have reduced or eliminated requirements in history and
political science. As unimaginable as it seems, the American Council of
Trustees and Alumni published a report last year that only seven
of the nation’s top 25 liberal arts colleges require their history
majors — this is not a joke — to take a course in U.S.
I do not
say "no" but the great problem is that this degeneration of all
education started in my experience
in Holland and also
elsewhere, when the quite good highschools that had
been giving entrance to the Dutch universities for the last 100 years were
and replaced by schools that instead of examing 14 to 16 subjects
(including 3 or 5 foreign languages) examined only 6 subjects
(requiring no more than 1 foreign language) and even these were only
partially examined in writing, again quite unlike
the practice of the
100 years between 1865 and 1965.
result the average IQ in the Dutch universities has sunk till it is
little different from 100, but it is also true that far more
"students" can get an enormously
deflated "degree" in
many totally unscientific subjects,
while everyone with a "degree" - say in mediastudies -
is these days considered "an intellectual".
the conclusion of the article:
the scandal of 2016’s hacks, Russian meddling and disinformation
proves, is that a significant portion of Americans are ungovernable and
unfit for the task of citizenship in a free country.
is that the majority of the Americans are "unfit for the task of citizenship in a free country" - but they are and have been so to the best
of my knowledge for the last 50 years at least, and indeed
years also form the introduction to the reign of Trump.
One: Our President Ubu
article is by Charles Simic on The New York Review of Books. It starts
The only character I can
think of in the world literature who resembles Donald Trump is Père Ubu
in the play Ubu Roi (“Ubu the King”) by Alfred Jarry that famously opened
and closed in Paris on December 10, 1896, after starting a riot. A
parody of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and now a classic of
the theater of the absurd and the forerunner of the Dada and Surrealism
movements, the play is a depiction of the lust for power, full of
insolent nonsense and violent horseplay. Père Ubu is a buffoonish
pretender to the throne of Poland, a brutal and greedy megalomaniac
who, after killing off the royal family, starts murdering his own
population in order to rob them of their money.
I selected Charles
Simic mostly because he can write. (Most journalists can't, really, and
I am quite sorry but it is a fact.)
Here are some links
to Ubu Roi and to Alfred Jarry,
and here is some about Donald Trump:
I hate everyone you hate,
was his message over and over again, and these numbskulls who can’t
even tell the differences between an honest man and a crook nudged each
other, knowing exactly whom he had in mind.
Since Trump became president, every time I told myself this man is
bonkers, I remembered Ubu, realizing how the story of his presidency
and the cast of characters he has assembled in the White House would
easily fit into Jarry’s play without a single word needing to be
think that is
mostly quite correct, and I agree that "this man is bonkers", and insist once more that currently no less than
62,000 psychologists and psychiatrists agree, while most
or pretend that psychologists
and psychiatrists need no attention (unless they say something
trivial), or so it seems.
Here is the general
position as sketched by Simic:
Electing as president an
ignoramus who lies every time he opens his mouth, we are loath to
admit, is the product of our broken and corrupt political system, our
fragmented and polarized population, whose hatreds and delusions have
been carefully fostered over the years by various vested interests and
their representatives on Fox News, hate radio, the Internet, and social
media. Alfred Jarry described his play as “an exaggerated mirror.” So
is the Age of Trump: an ugly reflection of what we have become as a
I agree. This is from the
end of this article:
If he is no longer a
mystery, what remains unknown is how crazy those around him will let
him become, before they do us a favor and let the Congress get rid of
him. The hitch is that the people who have flocked to his
administration are as rotten as he is. Every monster in history, as we
ought to remember, has needed a lot of help to implement his policies.
again, with three additions: Both the Congress and the Senate have
been bought for the most part, and those have been
bought tend to only consider their own riches, and those
who "flocked to [Trump's] administration" also tend to be much
And this is a
recommended article (that wil not make you happier).
Trump and the Erosion of American Greatness
This article is by Roger Cohen on Spiegel International. This starts as
Ten months into
the Trump presidency, the world has not gone over a cliff. Nuclear
brinkmanship with North Korea has not produced Armageddon. That this
must be considered an achievement is testimony to how alarming Donald
Trump's erratic belligerence has been. Chancellor Angela Merkel of
Germany has concluded that Europeans must now take "our destiny
into our own hands." Dismay is widespread. The post-war order,
stripped of its American point of reference, is frayed to the breaking
true that the world is
still not blown up, indeed in spite of Trump. In the Dutch NRC Handelsblad there was yesterday a
the same point: "Trump is president for a year ... and we are still
alive! Let's drink to that!"
I think that the point of that
caricature is serious, and I
agree more with it than I do with the above, if only because the first
two "not"s should have been followed by "yet", or by "yet, at
Then there is this:
The president, who
continues to act principally as the rabble-rousing leader of a mass
movement, is the ultimate provocateur. He jolts the facile assumptions
of a globalized liberal elite. Rising inequality and rampant impunity
for the powerful certainly demanded such a jolt. But the question
dangerous is Trump to the world and the American Republic?
Well... yes and no, but
before getting angry about the question that ends the above quotation,
we should consider this:
A disaster is
unfolding whose consequences for humanity and decency will be
substantial. (...) Trump is likely to become more capricious in the
coming months. (...) War was ever a great distraction from domestic
this, but had to remove intervening statements I don't
agree with. Also - since I am a psychologist who has been
repeating this refrain since March
14, 2016 - the main reason that "Trump is likely to become more capricious in the coming
months" is (to the best of
my knowledge) that Trump is - correctly, I think - been
described by 62,000 psychologists and psychiatrists as suffering from malignant
narcissism, which is a personal pathology, that will
probably grow and grow. (But it seems as if the very great majority of
journalists either do not read psychologists at all, or don't seem to
Here are a few of the changes Trump has instituted:
Under Trump, the
State Department has been eviscerated: a proposed 30 percent budget
cut, countless critical posts unfilled, a secretary of state, Rex
Tillerson, who has contrived to be ineffective and demoralize his
staff. At the same time, military budgets have soared.
And I think that the USA's "military budgets have soared" because Trump is preparing
for war, that may very well become WW III.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yet, he is
dangerous. Trump has already blurred the line between truth and
falsehood. He has attacked the judiciary and a free press. I had an
alarming experience recently. Trump had lied, as he routinely does,
about two phone calls, one from the president of Mexico and one from
the head of the Boy Scouts. The calls, supposedly to congratulate him,
did not exist. They were pure inventions. Asked if Trump had lied,
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "I wouldn't
say it was a lie."
I say. And this is a
I have now been saying since
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 to "resistance" and "resisting" here
is a bit from the History of the Jews in Germany, to show what my
parents and grandparents resisted in WW II:
By the end of the
war, an estimated 160,000 to 180,000 German Jews had been killed under
the Nazi regime, by the Germans and their
collaborators. A total of about 6 million European Jews were murdered
under the direction of the Nazis, in the genocide that later came to be
known as the Holocaust.
In Holland there were some 120,000 Jews, of whom a mere
106-116,000 were murdered in WW II, thanks to non-resistance of almost
all Dutch- men who were neither communists nor belonged to some
 By far the greatest part of the Dutch
judges collaborated. Most of the Dutch police collaborated. All but one
- Jewish - member of the Dutch Supreme Court collaborated.
 I do not know how many of the
went into the resistance. Since there were some 10 million Dutchmen in
WW II, and since over 100,000 Dutch Jews were murdered in WW II, I
assume the number of those who resisted (in some form) was maximally
100,000, that is 1% of the total Dutch population. (It may have been a
little higher, but not much.)
 Together with several members of the
Dutch "Sachsenhausen Vereniging", which was a group of Dutchmen who had
survived the German concentration
 And in fact the same held for
nearly all intellectuals who were "communists" after WW II
(between quotes because
nearly all of them were, when compared with my parents, not
real communists): They also were rewarded with soft jobs with high
 My father did get "a resistance
pension" when he was 54 - but because he was a - prominent -
communist it was awarded on the basis of his earning almost nothing
before the war, so he probably got the least resistance pension of
every Dutchman who did get one.