from January 2, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five 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 more than 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
I shall continue.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from January 2, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. The Visionless Society
2. Duty to Warn: Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts
“Dangerous Case” of President
3. The CIA's 60-Year History of Fake News
4. 'Out of Control' Trump's Lawyers Are Lying to Him about
5. The Still-Missing Evidence of Russia-gate
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 Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I quite agree
with Hedges that this may happen and I also share his interest in and
admiration for Ralph Nader, who gets quoted quite a lot in this article.
yourself in early
2019. The Democrats, despite never articulating a political vision
other than not being Donald Trump and refusing to roll back Republican
legislation such as the 2017 tax bill, have regained the House of
Representatives by a slim majority. They vote articles of impeachment.
The Senate Republicans, pressured by many within their own party to
abandon Trump because of his ineptitude, increasingly erratic behavior
and corruption, call on the president to resign. Trump refuses. He uses
the megaphone of his office to incite violence by his small, fanatic
base. The military, whose deployment as a domestic police force is
authorized by Section
1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, is called into the
streets to quell unrest. The United States, by the time the violence is
snuffed out, is a de facto military dictatorship.
That such a
plausible to public figures such as Ralph Nader is
a sign of the deep decay of democratic institutions.
Before coming to that, here is Hedges' sketch of the Democrats and
political parties lack a coherent vision. They are subservient to
corporate power. They have abandoned the common good. They have turned
politics into burlesque. They have rendered the citizenry impotent. The
press, especially the electronic press, has transformed news into a
grotesque reality show filled with trivia, gossip and conjecture. The
elites in both parties, along with the rich and corporations, profit
from a naked kleptocracy. Everything is for sale, from public lands to
public education. And the juggernaut of corporate power impoverishes
the people as it willfully destroys the facade of the hollowed-out
I basically agree,
probably disagree with the very first statement:
The Republicans seem to be mostly for stealing from the taxes and
destroying much of the government, while the Democrats are clearly
massively corrupted by payments from - especially - the banks.
And in fact I see no problem in assuming that with
sufficient money, which the rich
backers of the Republicans do have, you can corrupt the
sevenhundred "elected representatives of the people" (or however they
style themselves). And I believe this is what has happened,
am quite willing to agree that the real story is more
it is in this Nederlog.
Here is the first of several quotes from Ralph Nader:
there be a
democracy when you don’t have a competitive electoral system?” he
asked. “No. Can there be a democracy when people who come in second win
the election? No. Can there be a democracy when it’s tougher to get on
the ballot than in any other Western country in the world by an order
of magnitude? No. Can there be a democracy when money rules? And not
just the money that politicians raise, but the third-party money. No.
Can there be a democracy when people have no influence on the military
budget? No. It’s not subjected to hearings. It’s ratified on the floor
of the House and Senate, but it doesn’t go through the appropriations
process. It’s subject to the most anemic, pathetic, servile questioning
you can imagine."
I agree, and
with each particular point as with the sum of all: Perhaps
like democracy might - still - be possible when one or two of
points are broken, but indeed not if all are broken. As is the
Here is more by Nader, this time on the Democrats:
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Nader noted, has adopted the mantra
“money, message, and mobilization” for the party. “If you start with
money, what kind of a message are you going to have?” he asked. “If you
don’t have a message, what are you going to mobilize around? So here it
is. They still haven’t learned because they will never learn. The party
will always be weak, flabby, indentured and dialing for the same
commercial dollars as long as the four-time losers continue to run the
party. … The country is spinning into the abyss.”
Yes, I agree
although I may be a bit more cynical than Nader is: I would not
amazed if the present leaders of the Democrats - Pelosi and Clinton,
more specifically - had decided that money is the
simply because they have been enriching themselves personally,
few protested. (But this is no proof, which will be
is more Nader
corporate, greedy bosses controlling your government on this national
stage and local level, gouging out whole communities, sending
industries to fascist communist regimes abroad. They have no loyalties
to this country. They have no allegiance to communities other than to
exploit them, abandon them. They rose to power on the backs of you, the
workers. They were subsidized by Washington and state capitals, by you
I think this is
and indeed this has been developing since Reagan became president.
And in fact here is a statement of a rather similar proposition as
Nader gave, only this time it is from the (rather extreme) right,
namely from Milton Friedman (in 1962, but this seem to have
norm for Friedman: Profit and only profit, of private individuals
running private corporation without any responsibility whatsoever
could so thoroughly undermine the very foundation of our free society
as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility
other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.
This is a fundamentally subversive doctrine. If businessmen do have a
social responsibility other than making maximum profits for
stockholders, how are they to know what it is? Can self-selected
private individuals decide what the social interest is?"
- we got
responsibility whatsoever except enlarging our own profits - is one
the reasons I think Friedman was a neofascist,
in my sense. And indeed
private individuals" cannot "decide what the social interest is?" then no one
can. Besides, the
also are "self-selected
and they do understand what their "social interests"
are: Their own
interests and no one else's, precisely as Friedman put it.
Here is an important part of the reason why democracy has mostly
disappeared in the
elites have “lost the fear of the people.” This has given rise to “a
multifaceted dictatorial government indentured to the plutocratic class
symbolized by Wall Street.”
new tax code that reduces corporate income taxes to 21 percent while
individuals pay up to 37 percent, have been awarded the constitutional
rights of individuals while individuals have been stripped of their
Nader said he
the population was so effectively anesthetized by mass culture that it
might not rise up against the elites. “The U.S. has developed a society
with an almost indeterminate absorptive capacity for injustice, abuse
and degradation,” Nader said. “There is no civic education in the
schools. They don’t know what the Constitution is. They don’t know what
of torts is. They don’t know where the town hall is. They’re living
in virtual reality, swinging between big screen TV and their
cellphones. They’re wallowing in text messages.
I think that the phrase "the
population was so effectively anesthetized by mass culture" is in fact something of
for the extremely widespread stupidity and ignorance that
majority of all adults in the USA, and that I saw started in
1978 (!!!!), when the "University" of Amsterdam was
opened with the
following utterly degenerate and quite fascistic lie
that - in a
university, formally committed to science! -
truth does NOT exist"
that was an
utterly sick and degenerate lie then, and I still think so,
forty years later, but in these forty years at least 90% of the
"universities" have been - quite intentionally I am sure - thoroughly
destroyed as the real universities they were between
and 1965 (when the Dutch schools were very much simplified from
again, I tried
much as I could do to stop this postmodernification
of the Dutch
"universities" but I utterly failed: 95% of the students and
in the 1980ies wanted it, and everybody got it, with the result
the Dutch "universities" are currently "educating" people with an IQ
that is slightly above average in what
are mostly nonsense degrees in pseudosciences.
there is this on
one of the main sources of social change:
people in their 20s. But look what you’ve got now. You’ve got 10 years
of internet connection, cellphones available to any child. That’s one.
The second is 24/7 entertainment. The third is the abandonment by the
elderly generation. They’ve sort of given up. They don’t know the
gadgetry. They don’t know the language. They have their own economic
In fact, I
think it is worse
than described, because the "people
in their 20s" in vast
majority understand as much about computing and computers as they
understand about their TVs: Hardly anything. And they do not, not
because they are less intelligent, but because they are far less
well educated than their grandparents were, fifty and more
there is this on
the disappearance of cash, that may happen quite soon:
Why do they
want to get
rid of cash? They want to drive everybody into an incarcerated
penitentiary that is surrounded by mobile payments, credit cards,
credit scores, credit ratings, debit cards, constant debt, invasion of
privacy, and the ability to assess penalties, charges and unwanted
purchases because they control people’s money.
people's information and people's "privacies". Here is the last bit
that I quote from this fine article (that I agree is pessimistic,
then so are the present dominant political facts for anyone
in fairness, justice, equality or equal sharing):
And these tiny
cliques did not have the support of secret services everywhere
whose machines know everything about anyone. The tiny cliques that
nowadays control most of the world DO
have that support.
that as long
as “10 to 15 percent of the American people are well-off” the elites
will have enough support to continue the assault.
by far smaller members of well-instituted upper classes,” he said.
“That’s what we forget. Eighteenth-, 19th-, 20th-century Europe. A tiny
clique controlled them.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
to Warn: Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess the “Dangerous
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts
with the following introduction:
interview with someone who’s led a discussion of mental health
professionals who are deeply concerned about President Trump’s
psychological instability. Dr. Bandy Lee is a forensic psychiatrist on
the faculty of Yale School of Medicine who organized the “Duty to Warn”
conference at Yale and edited the best-selling book, “The Dangerous
Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess
In fact, I
this interview already - see here
- but since I agree (as a
psychologist, also) that Trump
is mad (alternatively: is insane, is
crazy, has "a personality disorder", is totally unfit for president),
simply on the basis of the definition (in observational terms) that I
agree fully applies to Donald Trump.
But I'll quote only two bits today. Here is the first bit:
month, I sat
down with Yale psychiatrist Dr.
Bandy Lee to talk with her about President Trump’s mental health
and the growing movement of mental health experts called “duty to
warn.” Dr. Bandy Lee is a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of Yale
School of Medicine, an internationally recognized expert on violence.
She edited the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27
Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. The
book became a best-seller when it was published in October. I began by
asking her about her concerns about President Trump’s mental health.
agree (in fact
since March 14, 2016, when I
looked up the evidence and Trump's
behavior, who was then not yet elected, but already quite crazy and
It’s actually historically unprecedented that so many mental health
professionals have come forth with their concerns, under any president,
of any party. So it really is the first time that this many mental
health professionals are coming together in a coalition. We even have a
website now, DangerousCase.org,
where the public and lawmakers can discourse with us. There are
thousands of us at this point.
Here is the last bit, that also worries me a great lot,
since this madman was elected president of the USA:
our concerns are that someone with this level of mental instability and
impairment has this much power, in the office of the
presidency—basically, the power to start a devastating war, to launch
nuclear missiles, without any inhibition. You saw from the hearings
that there is very little inhibition in place right now. Within five
minutes of the commander-in-chief’s orders, nuclear missiles could be
launched without question. (...) And, of course, his decision-making
capacity, having such levels of impulsivity, having a loose grip on
reality and being so fragile in his ability to cope with ordinary
stresses, such as basic criticisms or unflattering news, will tend to
unravel, especially in times of heightened stress, such as under the
special counsel’s investigations.
Bandy Lee, and this is a strongly recommended article.
CIA's 60-Year History of Fake News
This article is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig. It seems a repeat of
March 17, 2017 but I did not review it then and will do so now, albeit
It starts as follows:
In this week’s episode of “Scheer
Intelligence,” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer
interviews Joel Whitney, author and co-founder of Guernica
How the C.I.A. Tricked the World’s Best Writers,” explores how the
CIA influenced acclaimed writers and publications during the Cold War
to produce subtly anti-communist material. During the interview, Scheer
and Whitney discuss these manipulations and how the CIA controlled
major news agencies and respected literary publications (such as the
I did not
Paris Review was "controlled" by the CIA. (I did read several
of the books of interviews published by them in the 1970ies, but I
neither liked most of the literature they reviewed, nor most of the
interviews I read, but indeed I also
did not have any idea they were controlled by the CIA.)
the other bit I
quote from the introduction to the long interview:
the need for analysis of Cold War-era media as a way to avoid
propagandized journalism today. Scheer says, “I look at the current
situation, where we don’t even have a good communist enemy, so we’re
inventing Russia as a reborn communist power enemy.”
while I think
does deserve serious
investigation, I do not think this is necessary ("the
propagandized journalism today".
the paragraph is both quite true and - in my eyes, at least - quite odd
and my reason is that Russia is in fact as
capitalistic as is the
USA at present: Socialism really has been destroyed in Russia
since the early 1990ies.
also shows how
incredibly much totalitarian
now is accepted by many tens of
millions of Americans (though not on the basis of the
false and misleading definition of "totalitarian" that the
recently adopted, I do not know by which insane
not review the
long interview that follows the above introduction, but I do recommend
of Control' Trump's Lawyers Are Lying to Him about the Russia
article is by Tom Boggioni on AlterNet and originally on Raw Story. It
starts as follows:
CNN’s State of the Union, legendary reporter Carl
Bernstein claimed that sources within the White House have told him
that President Donald Trump’s lawyers are lying to him about how bad
the investigation into Russian collusion is going because they fear he
will fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
Well... note Bernstein's claims are rather intricate: He has "sources within the White House", who "have told him"
lawyers are lying to" Trump himself, "because they fear he will fire special
counsel Robert Mueller".
I do not know what Bernstein knows, but I tend to
in fact mostly because I think (as a psychologist) that Trump is quite
mad - and see item 2 above.
Here is more:
painfully aware that their client is “out of control.”
that he will be exonerated, Bernstein said Trump is lying but also may
be in the dark because his legal team is afraid of what he might say or
do if he knew what was really going on.
“There is no
believe almost anything Donald Trump says because what we know is that
the president of the United States and his presidency is characterized,
above all else, by the lying of the president of the United States,”
Bernstein explained.”That doesn’t mean that lying by the president is a
crime, but it does mean that we see him covering up events, but not
necessarily criminally covering up events. And where this is going
definitively we don’t know.”
about the lying
although I also think that (i) some of the lying very probably is
(ii) Trump has
indulged so many lies - nearly 2000 in 2017 alone - that he
changed the role of the president: Now you must assume that what
president says is a lie,
unless you are a probably quite dumb or a
quite rich loyalist to Trump.
the last bit I
quote from this article (and again see item 2
telling him what
he wants to hear to keep him from going off and firing Mueller in a
rage because they have an out of control client” he stated. “The
president of the United States is out of control a good deal of the
time, especially when it comes to this investigation.”
spell out that
if the lawyers of the president believe that "[t]he president of the United
States is out
of control a good deal of the time" he very probably (bolding added) "is out of control a good
deal of the
this is a
5. The Still-Missing Evidence of Russia-gate
article is by
Dennis J. Bernstein on Consortiumnews. It has a subtitle:
groupthink around Russia-gate is the still unproven claim that Russia
hacked Democratic emails in 2016 and publicized them via WikiLeaks, a
crucial issue that NSA experts say should be easy to prove if true (..)
and most of
the rest of this fine article is an interview with William
was one of the main men of the NSA for 30 years.
But first something else.
I like Consortiumnews, and especially the last 4 1/2
years in which I have tried to follow the news closely, mostly because
I am very much worried by the
takeover by the secret
services - from anywhere, not just the USA - of the internet,
supply them with all the personal and private
information they need
to Deny, Disrupt, Degrade and Deceive absolutely everyone
does not belong to some secret service.
Consortiumnews now exists 22 years (since 1995) and it seems to be
mostly the work of one contemporary of me, Robert
Well, Robert Parry got a stroke on Christmas Eve and writes himself:
stroke now makes it a struggle for me to read and to write. Everything
takes much longer than it once did – and I don’t think that I can
continue with the hectic pace that I have pursued for many years. But –
as the New Year dawns – if I could change one thing about America and
Western journalism, it would be that we all repudiate “information
warfare” in favor of an old-fashioned repect for facts and fairness —
and do whatever we can to achieve a truly informed electorate.
This is a
hope he gets better soon and I also hope Consortiumnews will continue to exist.
Back to the article of Dennis Bernstein:
Here is some
more on William
Binney, who was
one of the leading men in the NSA for a
long time, and this is from he beginning of the interview Bernstein had
brought about by Russia-gate is that liberals who are usually more
skeptical of U.S. intelligence agencies, especially their evidence-free
claims, now question the patriotism of Americans who insist that the
intelligence community supply proof to support the dangerous claims
about Russian ‘hacking” of Democratic emails especially when some
veteran U.S. government experts say the data would be easily
available if the Russians indeed were guilty.
One of those
William Binney, a former high-level National Security Agency
intelligence official who, after his 2001 retirement, blew the whistle
on NSA extraordinary breadth of NSA surveillance programs.
(bolding added) "the NSA
has over a hundred tap points on the fiber lines" is one of the
reasons the NSA totally broke the privacy of
and implicitly knows all about them, for they are "taking
in everything" they can
was in the Soviet Union and so you must know a lot about bugging.
Do you believe that Russia hacked and undermined our last
election? Can Trump thank Russia for the result?
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) published an article on
this in July. First of all, if any of the data went anywhere
across the fiber optic world, the NSA would know. Just inside the
United States, the NSA has over a hundred tap points on the fiber
lines, taking in everything.
Also, while the NSA is located in the USA where there are very many
internet cables, in fact the same holds true of all
secret services in the world: Each of these can now get
at least some of the internet cables, and will know almost
these cables are used to transport. Besides, in each and every case,
this happened, is happening and will happen in the deepest secrecy.
Everywhere. By any secret service.
Here is more on what the NSA should know, according to Binney,
knows more about the NSA than nearly everybody else:
Indeed - and
in fact the
NSA does not know that "the Russians were tapping into
implies they probably were not (because then the NSA would have known).
if, in fact,
the Russians were tapping into DNC headquarters, the NSA would
absolutely know about it.
Binney: Yes, and
also have trace routes on where they went specifically, in Russia or
Next, there is this on spying by the Russians:
in the interview, but I hold fast to two points:
Let me come at
this from the other side. Has the United States ever tried to
hack into and undermine Russian operations in this way?
We do it as much as anybody else. In the Ukraine, for
example, we sponsored regime change. When someone who was
pro-Soviet was elected president, we orchestrated a coup to put our man
Then we invited
(1) the Russians are spying as much as they can (like any
service indeed: these are golden times
for any secret service, for each
and any secret service now has almost total access to the total privacy
of anyone anywhere), but (2) given the powers of the NSA, it
is extremely unlikely the Russians were tapping into the
I completely agree with this, if only because the NSA itself
has admitted it has no real evidence of Russian spying on the DNC.
This is on Binney's goals (as they are now):
it your goal
to defend people’s privacy and their right to communicate privately?
privacy but also to defend the Constitution. Right now, our
government is violating the first, fourth and fifth amendments in
various ways. Mueller did it, Comey did it, they were all involved in
violating the Constitution.
Mueller is the one who is at the moment investigating Trump. And this
is on how much the NSA can get, of absolutely everyone:
They now have
access to every single one of our electronic conversations, is that
right? The human mind has a hard time imagining how you could
contain, move and study all that information.
Basically, it is
achievable because most of the processing is done by machine so it
doesn’t cost human energy.
I note Binney
does not quite
say that the NSA knows everything about anyone, but he does
say it is
"achievable", and I think it has been achieved in the nearly 17
that have passed since 9/11, because 17 years is a long time, and there
were no real barriers whatsoever on the NSA's collecting everything it
In fact, I
think this was
whole point that the internet was developed as it was: To spy
everything anyone may be doing on a computer that is connected to the
internet. For more, see the
opinions of Zbigniew Brzezinski of the late
1960ies and early 1970ies, when these plans were in place
the ending of
What concerns do
you have regarding the Russia-gate investigation and the McCarthyite
tactics that are being employed?
Ultimately, my main
concern is that it could lead to actual war with Russia. We
should definitely not be going down that path. We need to get out
of all these wars. I am also concerned about what we are doing to
our own democracy. We are trampling the fundamental principles
contained in the Constitution. The only way to reverse all this
is to start indicting people who are participating in and managing
these activities that are clearly unconstitutional.
agree - but I
fear this will only happen, if at all indeed, after the
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 (!!).