from December 10, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, December 10,
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 two years (!!!!)
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
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from December 10, 2017
Resisting Trumpism Requires a Grand Unifying
2. The U.S. Military Is Bioengineering Plants to Be Spies
3. Trump-Led American Politics Is Swamped by Epidemic of
4. Slapp Lawsuits: The Biggest
Threat to the Resistance You Never
5. The Republican Long Game
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:
Trumpism Requires a Grand Unifying Theory
This article is by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig. It starts
The past few weeks have
been hellish for Americans. With one assault after another on our
Constitution and our rights, it has felt like an endless stream of
slaps to the face and punches to the gut.
From the decision by
Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai to end
net neutrality to the unconscionable late-night vote Friday by
Senate Republicans on a tax reform bill that had amendments scribbled
in by hand to Donald Trump’s unprecedented undoing
of national monument designations in Utah to the Supreme Court’s Muslim
ban-affirming order on Monday, it feels as though the entire nation
is under attack all at once.
No amount of controversy
around special prosecutor Robert
Mueller’s charges, Trump’s apparent obstruction
of justice or the subpoena
of his personal finances appears to derail the momentum of the
radical Republican agenda.
Well... I more or less
agree (although it should have been "some Americans" or "many
Americans" rather than "Americans"), and I add that there will probably
be three more years of the same or worse. That is, if Trump does not
decide to start a nuclear war. (Then all our problems will be
completely solved, because we all will be quite dead.)
Then there is this,
which seems utter nonsense
It has been overwhelming,
exhausting and traumatic. But that is because we are receiving each
report in gut-wrenching isolation rather than as a single brick in a
larger unified wall of injustice. Because there is little mainstream
discussion of the broad outlines of the pro-corporate/ conservative
agenda, we are responding piecemeal to the assaults by our elected
representatives. That is our greatest weakness. What we need is a Grand
Unified Theory of politics to fuel our resistance.
First (as often): Who
are "we"? Who does isolate "us"? Who believes in a "mainstream discussion" if the mainstream
media are mostly dedicated to propaganda and
repress or hardly treat
many issues that are deemed important by non-Republicans?
Second, I have no idea about
the answers to the above questions, as I also have no idea how any
person can react other than "responding piecemeal".
Does the writer perhaps mean we need somebody screaming "NOOOOO!!!" or
"NO TRUMP!!" from the Statue of Liberty for 24 hours a day?!
Again I really have no idea
whatsoever. And in fact the same applies to:
What we need is a Grand
Unified Theory of politics to fuel our resistance.
REALLY now? A "Grand
Unified Theory"? "[O]f politics"? Like Christianity? Or Marxism? Or
whatever? And what end would such a "Grand Unified Theory" have? Who would be able to share
it, in a country where 2 out 3 people do not even know the
forms of government they have?
Why would it be needed?
By whom would it be needed? (Besides "by us")? What form
of "resistance" would it "fuel"? And how? How totalitarian
would a "Grand Unified Theory"
be? Could it be total enough to include everybody and anybody
(who protests Trump)? What is the need for a "Grand Unified Theory" if almost everyone who
is not rich is being plundered to pay the rich?
I am merely asking,
but then there is - of course! - always particle physics:
physicists have been in search of a Grand Unified Theory for years.
But politics is easier than particle physics. If it isn’t immediately
apparent what the GOP’s end goal was in passing a $1.5 trillion,
deficit-causing, tax reform bill, it helps to step back and look at
what the party’s overarching goal has been for decades: to undermine
the power of government at every turn and make it subservient to
I'd say that politics
is definitely less mathematical than physics. I wouldn't say it
is "easier" than particle physics, if only because we are all made of
particles, but that is an aside, while I also grant that most persons have
intuitive understandings of other persons that makes some politics
somewhat easier to comprehend than particle physics (for some, of
And in fact I agree
Kolhatkar about the end of the Republicans:
to undermine the
power of government at every turn and make it subservient to
In fact, I do have an
analysis that agrees with this, which I call neofascism,
which I define
Neofascism is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which
has profit as
its main norm, and that has a
politics that is rightwing,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b.
A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
But it seems as if that
analysis - that I never proposed as A Grand Unified Theory - is
complicated for most, for I never received any
reply on that.
Then there is this:
The Movement for Black
Lives (MBL) recognized this when it released a broad platform last year
demanding an “end to the war on black people,” at the same time calling
for economic justice, community control and political power. In a
sense, the organization was expressing a Grand Unified Theory by
articulating demands that are seemingly disparate and unifying them
into a single platform.
Well... I like
the Movement for Black
Lives. But I believe - I am sorry, but I learned 40 years ago
"University" of Amsterdam that "everybody knows truth
does not exist", where also a
95% of all of the students, lecturers and professors agreed with that,
at least from 1971 till 1995  - that I am white
(as it is called), and I
also believe - I am sorry, once again - that I am a male, while
I am also
sorry to say that I am quite intelligent, even though I learned nearly
thirty years ago, when I was last accused of being "a fascist" in the
"University" of Amsterdam because I believe(d) that intelligence
is mostly innate: Not so, I was told, by a
budding M.A. of
psychology: Intelligence was only a choice, and she
could just as well have been an
Einstein - she also angrily
assured me - except that she preferred dancing to physics and
mathematics. (Historically true!! And this happened in 1989.)
And being white (I believe) I cannot also be black (I believe), just as
male (I believe) excludes me from being a female (unless of
course I want to be operated like Caitlin Jenner (or whatever he/she is
called), which I do no not).
But since the Movement for Black Lives is assumed to have been "expressing a Grand Unified Theory", it may be a little complicated
that I am neither black nor female (unless I am mistaken, of course).
Next, I agree that "[c]orporate elites are the problem", although I
am less certain about the rest of the paragraph:
Corporate elites are the
problem, no matter where they fall on the spectrum of social politics.
The folks who claim, “I’m a social liberal but a fiscal conservative,”
are a part of same problem as those who are social and fiscal
Finally, we have
arrived at the last bit that I'll quote, in which we do get a
flash of what Kolhatkar has in mind:
It seems as if she
The Grand Unified Theory of
politics is that there is a small group of wealthy, corporate elites
who have taken political power by means of the massive wealth they have
amassed, and their goal is to amass even more wealth. Through a
corporate profit-making lens, there is no profit value in addressing
racial and gender justice. There is no value in universal health care,
quality education, higher wages or pristine air, water and land,
because funding such goals leaves less money for the wealthy elites.
The Grand Unified
Theory of politics is that there is a small group of wealthy, corporate
elites who have taken political power by means of the massive wealth
they have amassed, and their goal is to amass even more wealth.
I don't say no (but elites
are always a small group, as indeed are the wealthy,
so "small group" is a double pleonasm), although I'd also say that my
theory of neofascism is a lot more
Then again, it is also very probably far too complicated to be
able to serve as a "Grand
And I still - as a liberal - see
no need for any "Grand Unified Theory". Is the problem perhaps that I am too intelligent? O no, everybody is equally
I learned in the "University" of Amsterdam....
....in brief (seriously, at long last): Why all this
U.S. Military Is Bioengineering Plants to Be Spies
article is by Kali Holloway on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
The U.S. military is always
looking for newer, better, stealthier spies. Its newest recruits in
covert missions? Bioengineered plants.
The U.S. Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency announced last month that it has launched the Advanced Plant
Technologies program, a “synthetic biology” project that uses
actual foliage as surveillance agents. The new program would
genetically alter plants’ genetic code to sense and react to
predetermined triggers and bioweapons. “DARPA’s vision for APT is to
harness plants’ natural mechanisms for sensing and responding to
environmental stimuli,” the agency notes in a press release, “and
extend them to detect the presence of certain chemicals, pathogens,
radiation, and even electromagnetic signals.”
I say. I do so because
this is the first time I read this - and once again I am very
have been born in 1950 instead of 2000.
As to DARPA: These are the same state terrorists of
the US (or Great Britain) that
fascist and terrorist instrument to spy
on absolutely everybody that has the internet: DARPA-developed;
in complete agreement
with national security's Zbigniew Brezinski's
statement of 1967 (!!!)  that (I quote):
society is leaving the phase of spontaneity and is entering a more
ceasing to be an industrial society, its is being shaped to an
ever-increasing extent by technology and electronics,
will soon be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date,
complete files, containing even personal information about
the health and personal behaviour of the citizen, in addition
to the more customary data.' Moreover it will be possible
to anticipate and plan to meet any uprisings in the future.
The police will even be able to forecast crises before the rioters
themselves are conscious of wanting them.
All from 1967. And this
is all precisely
as has emerged since Edward Snowden
published the evidence of extremely
great amounts of spying on everyone
with an internet connection.
And I add that I did
like computers until I knew they are THE instrument to get everything
that anyone thinks, values and desires
to "the police" that "will even be able"
(foreseen and planned in 1967!!) "to forecast crises before the
themselves are conscious of wanting them".
For they will know everything and anything
about anyone who is not a billionaire.
Back to the article:
“Plants are highly attuned
to their environments and naturally manifest physiological responses to
basic stimuli such as light and temperature, but also in some cases to
touch, chemicals, pests, and pathogens,” APT program manager Blake
Bextine said in a statement. “Emerging molecular and modeling
techniques may make it possible to reprogram these detection and
reporting capabilities for a wide range of stimuli, which would not
only open up new intelligence streams, but also reduce the personnel
risks and costs associated with traditional sensors.”
So your geraniums
may well make pornographic pictures of your sexual behavior (all for
the internet spies of the NSA and GCD etc. etc. - as now,
indeed), possibly with the help of nanotechnology:
This isn’t the first time
greenery has been tasked with security duties. Last year, researchers
at MIT announced they had “transformed
spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives and
wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a
smartphone.” Colorado State University biologist June Medford has
developed plants that change
colors to warn of airborne pollutants, toxins and explosives.
Another DARPA project Medford leads aims to someday replace airport
security checkpoints with gardens
full of genetically manipulated plants that can detect drugs and
They are not quite
as far, but they soon will be:
If you don't use your
internet computer, your refrigerator will spy on you; if you switch
that off, your geraniums will spy on your every movement, action,
desire, value, and thought, and they better be as your
government desires them to be or you will disappear; and if
you don't have geraniums some of the very small flies you hardly can
see will be microprocessors that can see and hear everything you do
is the future as it is planned by the NSA, Facebook, Google,
Amazon, and God knows how many secret services that already know
everything they want to know.
It is pure neofascistic
of almost everyone, and I am very glad I was born in 1950, and
was able to live not spied upon till I was 46 years old (and
connected my computer to the neofascistic terrorists'
dream that is the internet in
American Politics Is Swamped by Epidemic of Unprecedented Lying
This article is by
Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
Americans are drowning in a
sea of political lies. But depending on their politics, they don’t
notice or they don’t care, and if they do care there’s little anyone
can do about it.
Yes indeed. I am also
curious about percentages, which Rosenfeld does not give, and I don't
really know, but in view of what I do know my own
guess is that the Americans who "don’t
notice or (..) don’t care"
are - probably - at least 3 out of 4.
Here is how it works in
Of the 71 percent of
Alabama Republicans who don’t believe Moore’s accusers, that poll
from CBS News and YouGov found “92 percent of those who said they
do not believe the allegations say it is because Democrats are to blame
for them, while 88 percent said the media was,” Time said. So blaming
political opponents and messengers augments falling for expedient lies.
That is: If I
disagree with you, then you are a liar. Whoever
you are and however much you know about the subject you are
judging: Millions or billions of anonymous
folks may tell you that you are a liar (if they are polite) -
and most of them are on Facebook.
Then there is this:
Well... I think people should
be allowed to lie, and indeed everyone (who is not utterly
insane or totally silent) lies now and then, indeed also for good
(where "good" covers politeness and kindness) and for bad reasons
(where "bad" covers egoism and greed), at least as I use these
So not only is there a
tidal wave of lies swamping the nation’s political shores, there’s more
political froth dampening any truth-telling, especially if it stands in
the way of politically expedient goals. This slimy dynamic is
increasingly dominating the political world under Trump, and it stands
in stark contrast to other areas of public life where the law—yes,
rules passed by the same people who traffic in lies—has made lying a
Commercial advertising, for
example, is not allowed to lie or mislead the public. Those who
testify in court are not allowed to lie on the witness stand; that’s a
crime. People being questioned by law enforcement are also not
allowed to lie—they can assert the right to stay silent.
Then again, I agree "there a
tidal wave of lies" in the
USA, next to an even larger wave op propaganda and
both of which likewise seek to influence those they reach by
Then there is this:
mainstream media, including the most popular social media platforms—led
by Facebook and Google (which includes Instagram and YouTube)—have
launched an anti-fake news crusade. They are fine-tuning their
algorithms to grade media content, using brain-imitating artificial
intelligence to grade content and act as the censor that the government
isn’t allowed to be. Three weeks ago, Facebook added a “trust
indicator” feature to its newsfeed, “to give people additional
context on the articles they see.”
Yes indeed - and if you trust Facebook or Goohle or
Instagram of Youtube or quite a few more of the big corporations who are
spying on you, I personally think you must be at least a little
But, of course, Facebook is a
giant capitalist corporation in a capitalist society. So its
partnership with the biggest mainstream media organizations, leading
advertising groups and Silicon Valley platforms, is an emerging and
self-reinforcing bubble and all of the participants have more concealed
Besides, if the governments can spy on absolutely everyone, and
they can, they can also, and objectively, legally and
controllably check the internet for lies. But they don't, and they
don't because they do not want to.
“Most of us use the
internet acronym LOL to mean ‘laugh out loud,’” James
Cusick, the political correspondent for the UK-based Independent and
The Independent on Sunday wrote in 2015. “But in U.S. political
circles, where campaign strategists are supposed to have superpowers,
it stands for ‘lie or lose’—the public doesn’t like the truth, and
those who flirt with telling it don’t stand a chance.”
If indeed you must ‘lie or lose’, then you might as well shut
Then again, what Cusick apparently did not say is that (i)
there still are at least 25% of the people who are
interested in the truth (I guess, but with some evidence), and
(ii) those who really take important decisions always are a very small group, while also (not
relevant here and now, but true) (iii) all revolutions,
both the few successful and the many unsuccessful, are made by
relatively small groups of persons.
Here is more by Cusick:
“There is no such
thing as an outright political lie,” he wrote. “Instead there’s
distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation, deception, half-truth and
overstatement. The assumption is that the risk is worth it. Hubris and
narcissism mean the consequences of a politician getting caught are
outweighed—they think—by the benefits of telling voters what they want
to hear. They know we seek support for our preconceived notions, and
avoid information that challenges established views.”
The beginning does not
consider the gross liar Donald Trump, I take it because this
was written before Trump's rise to eminence. But the rest seems
quite true to me, while I also insist that "distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation,
deception, half-truth and
overstatement" are all very
well-known and very widely used propaganda.
But this is a
4. Slapp Lawsuits: The
Biggest Threat to the Resistance You Never Heard Of
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Have you heard of SLAPP
lawsuits? You soon will.
Actually, I have. I
think it was in 2010, and it was in the context of ME/CFS, but I admit
I don't recall much, although I did already know what Reich says:
SLAPP stands for “Strategic
Lawsuit Against Public
Participation.” It is a lawsuit brought by big corporations intended to
intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the overwhelming
of a legal defense until they’re forced to abandon their criticism or
opposition. And it may be the biggest threat to the resistance you’ve
Yes indeed, and
especially because most political activists (in some sense) are private
persons, who themselves often have little money.
Here is some more:
The suit wasn’t designed to
win in court. It was designed to distract and
silence critics. This is punishment for speaking out.
Yes indeed. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
Connect the dots, and
consider the chilling effect SLAPP suits
are having on any group seeking to protect public health, worker’s
even our democracy.
If the goal is to silence public-interest groups, the rest of us
must speak out. Wealthy corporations must know they can’t SLAPP
public into silence.
I agree, and I add
(again) that "[w]ealthy
corporations" have far
more money than almost any private individual, for which reasons they
probably can SLAPP almost everyone.
But this is a
recommended article, for it explains some of the risks you run opposing
the rich corporations.
Republican Long Game
This article is
by Neil Gabler on Common Dreams and originally on BillMoyers.com. It
starts as follows:
I agree with everything said
here, except that I also assume that Bernie Sanders spoke imprecisely:
Clearly, "in history" there have been even worse laws, though I agree
he was probably talking about the last sixty years or so of
It isn’t easy watching the
country you love fall down a black hole from which it is not likely to
emerge, but that is precisely what happened this past week with the
Senate passage of the so-called “tax reform” bill. Bernie Sanders spoke
for many when he said it will “go down in history as one of the worst,
most unfair pieces of legislation ever passed.”
To which I’d add, not only the
worst legislation, but also the most radically transformative passed in
our lifetimes. The bill seems to have something to hurt every American,
except for the wealthy.
Speaking of the health care
provisions alone, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers predicted
millions would die.
Here is more:
In fact, for all the
haphazardness, the tax reform measures passed by the House and Senate,
which must be reconciled in conference before final passage, achieve a
deliberate and much-cherished GOP goal that supersedes short-term
victory. Republicans have long dreamed of destroying the social safety
net once and for all. This is the bill that finally threatens to
accomplish their plan.
Yes indeed. And here is
more on the New Deal:
The New Deal, which created
that safety net, arose in the Great Depression precisely because the
free markets that Republicans insist to this day are the answer to
every problem failed Americans miserably. Government was needed to bail
them out then and to protect them in the future.
New Dealism was a set of
programs—Social Security, public works, fair labor laws, conservation
and dozens more—but it was also an attitude about government and the
role it could and should play, from actively helping citizens in
distress to equalizing an unfair tax structure.
The proof of its success is
that Republicans didn’t dare revoke it when they came back to power.
Frankly, they couldn’t, because New Dealism was too popular for them to
do so. Dwight Eisenhower didn’t even reduce the highest marginal tax
rate of the 1950s, which sat at 91 percent. And believe it or not, no
one outside of right-wing extremists called him a socialist.
Yes indeed: This is all quite
true. Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
That is the basic point.
The object of tax reform is to create a gigantic deficit to justify
ending the New Deal.
The time will come, and it
is not far off, when every New Deal and Great Society program will be
on the chopping block. And when they are, Republicans will start their
deficit hawk mating call again. And because the deficit will have
swelled so much, programs will be slashed. They won’t just nibble away
at the edges. They will try to kill the whole thing.
Democrats will protest.
They may even be in power. But if they are, they will be handed an
untenable situation, having to choose between deficits and programs. In
effect, Democrats are being set up. You can already hear Republicans
saying we can’t afford Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps or even Social
Security. It is government as cruelty.
Yes indeed, I agree. And I
add that I also do not believe in the Democrats as long as they
are paid by the big banks, as they are.
And this is a recommended
have now been
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 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
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 know, simply because between 1971 and 1996
all Dutch universities were formally in the hands
of the students, because from 1971
till 1996 a parliamentary system was at work, legally, that
required the votes of everyone who studied in or worked for any
university; that was based on a central parliament (as in
the Dutch state) which controlled everything, together with a Board of
Directors (3 persons), with many parliaments for each of the
existing faculties (like city councils in the Dutch state), and all
based on the principle that 1 (wo)man
(professor, lecturer, student, secretary, toilet cleaner) = 1 vote.
This gave the power formally to the students, for these were in great
majority in the universities.
Also, the fascist
(according to Hannah Arendt)
that truth does NOT exist"
was put forward in the public
opening of the "University" of Amsterdam as its public ideology in August
of 1978, and this was in fact kept up through the communist
years, from 1977-1984, and the post- modernist
years, from 1985-1995.
 For the source of Brzezinski's quote
see here. I think myself this is excellent
evidence that the internet was and is designed to spy on absolutely everyone,
and was meant to
do so from 1967 onwards, till today, that is for 50 years at
Brzezinski's quote can mean nothing else. (It is difficult to find
because it is from a book by Stephen Spender from 1969, but the book
ought to be available - so far, at least - from good university