from January 4, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 4, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. Trump Breaks With Bannon, Saying He Has ‘Lost
the Canard About Kremlin-Generated Social Media Madness
Threatens North Korea
with Nuclear Annihilation in Horrifying
4. The CIA's
60-Year History of
Fake News: How the Deep State Corrupted
Many American Writers
Coercion and the Drive to Eliminate Buying with Cash
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:
Breaks With Bannon, Saying He Has ‘Lost His Mind’
This article is by Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman on the NYT. It
starts as follows:
excommunicated his onetime chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, from
his circle on Wednesday, ending for now a partnership of convenience
that transformed American politics while raising questions about the
future of the nationalist-populist movement they cultivated together.
came after Mr. Bannon was quoted in a new book disparaging the
president’s children, asserting that Donald Trump Jr. had been
“treasonous” in meeting with Russians and calling Ivanka Trump “dumb as
a brick.” Mr. Trump, described by his spokeswoman as “furious,
disgusted,” fired back by saying that Mr. Bannon had “lost his mind.”
I say. In
fact, there is quite a lot similar news elsewhere about Trump's break
with Bannon, but I take the NYT's report, mostly because I check the
every day, and there is no doubt more to come.
also keep it short. Here is more on the falling out of the two:
statement, the president excoriated Mr. Bannon as a self-promoting
exaggerator who had “very little to do with our historic victory” in
the 2016 presidential election and was “only in it for himself.” Rather
than representing Mr. Trump’s hard-core political base or supporting
his agenda to “make America great again,” Mr. Bannon was “simply
seeking to burn it all down,” the president said.
had remained in touch with Mr. Bannon after pushing him out of the
White House over the summer, the two now appear to have reached a
breaking point. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my
presidency,” Mr. Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his
job, he lost his mind.”
consists mostly of Trumpian lies and half-truths that I will not
clarify here, except by saying that (i) Trump is either quite
mistaken or quite lying when he said that “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my
while (ii) Trump does not seem very sane himsef when he said
[Bannon] was fired,
he not only lost his job, he lost his mind”: Bannon may be
rather mad himself, but I do not know much about that, and have
read very little to that effect, while I have read a great
amount of texts - by both psychologists and psychiatrists, and also
quite a few journalists - that Trump is not sane (and I agree
this, as a psychologist).
(iii) Trump did say something that may be more
true than false when he said that "Mr.
Bannon was “simply seeking to burn it all down”", namely because it seems to
be one of Bannon's general plans to destroy most of the
American government (and
give their powers to private corporations).
I leave it
at these minimal elucidations and quote the next bit:
lasts — and with Mr. Trump, nothing is ever certain — the schism could
test whether he or Mr. Bannon has more resonance with the conservative
base that has sustained the president through a tumultuous tenure
marked by low poll numbers. Mr. Bannon’s Breitbart News has been a key
weapon in Mr. Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party.
well be true, although I think myself that the greatest part of those
who do - still - support Trump as president are so stupid
that they will follow the president rather than
Bannon, and not because they can intellectually reason out who
right, but because
they will side with the best known guy, and that is the president.
the last bit that I quote from this article:
lawyer representing Mr. Trump sent Mr. Bannon a letter on Wednesday
directing him to cease and desist making derogatory comments about the
president and his family and threatening a defamation lawsuit. “Legal
action is imminent,” said the letter, first
reported by ABC News and confirmed by a person close to the
there will be more on this story, and meanwhile the present
the Canard About
Kremlin-Generated Social Media Madness
article is by Norman Solomon on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
been hearing a crescendo of outcries that Russia used social media to
sway the 2016 presidential election. The claim has now been debunked by
an unlikely source—one of the most Russiagate-frenzied big media
outlets in the United States, The Washington Post.
Far away from
echo chamber, the Post news story is headlined: “There’s
Still Little Evidence That Russia’s 2016 Social Media Efforts Did Much
“what we actually know about the Russian activity on Facebook and
Twitter: It was often modest, heavily dissociated from the campaign
itself and minute in the context of election social media efforts.”
In fact, the
Facebook ads were notably not targeted to be seen in swing
states, the piece by Post journalist Philip Bump reports. As for the
much-hyped tweets, they were smaller than minuscule in quantity
compared to overall election-related tweets.
indeed - although
"several months" is very much an understatement:
the first news
that Trump is not sane
by the end of 2015 (which is this year three years ago,
rather than "several months ago") and - being both Dutch and a
psychologist - I decided that news was correct by March 14, 2016, while the story
that Russia has been using "social
media to sway the 2016 presidential election" dates back to the end of 2016,
which is more
than a year ago.
know about Solomon's earlier ideas about "Russia-gate" himself,
but this is probably mostly due to the fact that I follow very few
people personally. In any case, Solomon seems to be somewhat
deferential to the Washington Post, while the real news about
gate" is much older.
don't care much,
also because Solomon writes:
fervent canard about Russian manipulation of social media to fade away
anytime soon. At this point, the Russiagate atmosphere has become so
toxic—with incessant propaganda, credulity, fear-laced conformity and
partisan opportunism—that basic logic often disintegrates.
with that. Here
is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Russia now have an extremely
powerful grip on the USA. The consequences include heightened
U.S.-Russia tensions that absolutely mean heightened risks of nuclear
war—and worsening threats to democratic discourse at home.
label as somehow “pro-Putin” any opinion that overlaps with a Kremlin
outlook is becoming part of the muscle memory of much of the American
body politic. Countless journalists, pundits, activists and politicians
have fallen under the Russiagate spell.
agree with the
first paragraph, while it seems to me that the second paragraph briefly
charts a lot of evidence that very many "journalists, pundits, activists
not only "have
fallen under the Russiagate spell" but have in fact been spinning many
quite crazy and quite totalitarian
stories - except that one cannot say
this anymore if the the neofascist total
on Wikipedia is followed (and here it is):
is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority
and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life
falsely - that no person, no political organization, no
human group, no human ideology can
possibly be totalitarian except
it these persons etc. are part of a totalitarian state.
That is total
and it contradicts 50 years
of my readings about
totalitarianism, but that is also the sick and false propaganda
that Wikipedia now engages in, and it has changed my ideas and
values about Wikipedia: I abhor all conscious lying and this
plain conscious lying
or else is based on total ignorance.
this is a
Threatens North Korea with
Nuclear Annihilation in Horrifying New Tweet
This article is by Chris Sosa on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
In a late
President Donald Trump responded to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's
assertion that he has a "nuclear button" on his desk and that his
country's nuclear weaponry can reach the entire United States.
mainland of the
US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is
always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that
this is not a threat but a reality," Kim said.
I say. If you
Jong-un, you must be very stupid, for the simple reason that
his rockets - so far - reached far beyond Japan.
Then again, the
the USA is either very stupid or quite sadistic or else very
much occupied by
thoughts about his own - enormous - potency and - tremendous - virility:
escalated the tension
by responding to Kim's statement by mocking his country and seeming to
threaten the nation with the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all
times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please
inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger
& more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Trump tweeted.
For I am not
the only one who has remarked that this seems to be coded
"I too have a penis, but mine is much bigger & stronger
and besides I am quite potent".
any case, if
that was not Trump's own underlying meaning, it still
is the case that
the conflict between North Korea and the USA may turn nuclear, which -
at least in my opinion - will be the end of human civilization. (But
who cares if Trump's Gigantic Greatness is at issue?!)
CIA's 60-Year History of Fake
News: How the Deep State Corrupted Many
article is by Robert Scheer on AlterNet and originally on Truthdig. It
starts as follows:
Whitney’s new book, “Finks:
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
comes at a
particularly tense time in American politics, as accusations of fake
news and Russian propaganda fly from both sides of the aisle. But the
history detailed in Whitney’s book presents a valuable lesson for
writers hoping to avoid similar manipulations today.
with the question: “Were they really tricked?”
have been ‘paid,’
it could have been ‘subsidized,’ it could have been ‘used,’ it could
have been ‘collaborated with,’ ” Whitney responds. “So yeah, it might
have been any other verb there besides ‘tricked.’”
In fact, this
is from the
beginning of a fairly long and interesting interview of Whitney by
Scheer, that I will leave to your interests. It is about the
the final question + answer in the above paragraph also apply to today
(and one reason is that so very much of what the CIA does is kept
the second and
last bit that I quote from this article:
I have two
The two then
delve into the
tactics used by the CIA to influence writers. Whitney notes that the
fearful political atmosphere at the time led to “secrecy being used to
preside over and rule over the free press — which we’re supposed to be
the champions of.”
and thought they were saving freedom,” Scheer agrees.
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.”
First, that in the USA "“secrecy
[is] being used to
preside over and rule over the free press" is evidence for totalitarianism
in my sense, but definitely not
on the Wikipedia's bullshit
definition of "totalitarianism".
And second, a bit that has struck me as quite insane for some
fifteen years now: The Americans have been "inventing Russia as a reborn
indeed on a
scale and without any
(other than journalists pretending it is true) for Russia is since
the 1990ies as capitalistic as is the USA, and indeed has
transformed into a capitalist system with much assistance and financial
help from the USA.
But that major level of lying
is what counts as "the news" in major parts of the US
There is considerably more in the interview, that is interesting, and
that I leave to your interests.
Coercion and the Drive to
Eliminate Buying with Cash
article is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams and originally on his site.
It starts as follows:
cash or checks,” said the clerk at the Fed Ex counter over a decade ago
to an intern. “Only credit cards.”
intensification of coercive commercialism has been moving toward a
cashless economy, when all consumers are incarcerated within a prison
of corporate payment systems from your credit/debit cards to your
mobile phone and very soon facial recognition.
consumers for whom convenience and velocity of transactions are
nuts!” say a
shrinking number of free-thinking consumers who are unwilling to be
dragooned down the road to corporate captivity and coercion.
These people treasure their privacy. They understand that it’s none of
any conglomerate’s business – whether VISA, Facebook, Amazon or Google
– what, where, when and how consumers purchase goods and services. Or
where and when they travel, receive healthcare, or the most intimate
relationships they maintain. Not to mention consumers’ personal
information can be sent to or hacked around the globe.
Here is more:
in the credit
card system, lack of privacy and access to your credit are just the tip
of the iceberg. That is why companies can impose penalties, surcharges,
overcharges and a myriad of other corporate raids on your private
treasury. They get immediate payment. If you object, you could see a
lowering of your credit score or your credit rating. Besides, you don’t
even know you agreed to all of these dictates – banks have over 300
different special charges for their revered customers – in fine print
agreements that you never saw, read or even possessed to sign or click
I can add that I will never have a cellphone, and that I have limited
my computer use on the internet to Firefox and e-mail.)
more (and this incidentally also seems Facebook's way - "you
agreed in advance to all kinds of unconscionable abuses, so long as you
are in a “customer” status with them", and indeed also when you try to stop using
Facebook or you die: You are a slave of Facebook nevertheless
and they keep most of your private data):
contracts rob you of your consumer rights by preventing you from going
to court, imposing fines as high as $35 fines for bounced checks
(which typically cost the banks less than $2), and decreeing that you
agreed in advance to all kinds of unconscionable abuses, so long as you
are in a “customer” status with them. Some companies are even charging
customers for quitting them.
the last bit
that I quote from this fine article:
What it comes
down to is
whether consumer freedom is worth more than consumer convenience or
whether the points earned for future purchases (assuming the costs are
not passed on in hidden ways) are worth minimizing impulse buying,
avoiding big data profile manipulations, keeping personal matters
personal and requiring your affirmative consent to transactions where
you decide what you want to buy and how you can pay.
Cash consumers of America arise, band together and organize a National
Association for the Preservation of Cash Purchases. You have nothing to
save but your freedom, your desire to push back and your precious,
affirmative and personal right to consent or not to consent, before you
are forced into contract peonage.
and I also am, once again, glad that I was born in 1950 and not
2000, for while all of this is plain common sense, plain common
is out of control of the internet, and indeed there are some two
billion slaves on Suckerbug's Fuckbook who may love to trade
their privacy for free advertisements.
this is a strongly recommended article.
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 (!!).