from January 5, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 5, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. An Officer’s Path to Dissent
2. We Must Fight to Protect Dissident Voices in the U.S.
3. Trump Is Still Involved in His Business Ventures All Over
4. Mapping a World From Hell
5. 2017 Was The Year of Technocracy
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:
Officer’s Path to Dissent
This article is by Maj. Danny Sjursen on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
For a while
there, I was a
real star. High up in my class at West Point, tough combat deployments
in two wars, a slew of glowing evaluations, even a teaching assignment
back at the military academy. I inhabited a universe most only dream
of: praised, patted and highly respected by everyone in my life system
and viewed as a brave American soldier. It’s a safe, sensible spot. For
most, that’s enough. Too bad it was all bunk. Absurdity incarnate.
The truth is,
for next to nothing, for a country that, in recent conflicts, has
made the world a deadlier, more chaotic place. Even back in 2011—or
even 2006, for that matter—I was just smart and just sensitive enough
to know that, to feel it viscerally.
publicly dissent is a tough one. It’s by no means easy. Easy would be
to go on playing hero and accepting adulation while staying between the
lines. Play it safe, stick to your own, make everyone proud. That’s
easy, intellectually immature—the new American way.
indeed: I think
that is correct. And Maj. Danny Sjursen is one of the few professional
military men in the American army (it seems) who did think and
who came to the conclusion that he could not support the
warmaking the Americans have engaged in ever since 9/11 (and also see
in this connection item 4 below).
because he also
spoke up, Maj. Danny Sjursen now is counted as a dissenter:
When you take
of dissent, you lose friends, alienate family, confuse confidants and
become a lonely voice in your professional world. I’ve spent years
sitting in military classrooms from West Point to Fort Knox to Fort
Leavenworth as the odd man, the outlier, the confusing character in the
corner. It’s like leaving the church, becoming an atheist, all while
still living in the monastery.
considerably more there, that I leave to your interests. His article
ends as follows:
die a sad man.
This much I know.
But for now,
I can give
voice to a different path, a nobler cause, a chance, at least a chance,
of common sense, sober strategy and, just maybe, a semblance of
peace—something a whole generation has never known. In my own minuscule
way, I’ll try.
We, the few
of us who care
to question, owe at least that much.
I agree -
and one of
the sad things is that few American military men (all of
are professionals since Nixon privatized the American army) have
followed the path taken by Maj. Danny Sjursen.
Must Fight to Protect Dissident Voices in the U.S.
article is by Glen Ford on Truthdig and originally on Black Agenda
Report (BAR). It starts as follows:
The Washington Post issued the equivalent of “wanted” posters targeting
more than a dozen of the most effective left-wing sites on the
internet—including Black Agenda Report, the only Black-managed
operation singled out for suppression. Since then, the radical sites
slimed as “Russian propaganda outlets and sympathizers” by Prop-or-Not,
the Post’s shadowy “source,” report having lost on average nearly half
their Google search-generated audiences. BAR editors have also noted a
drastic drop in the number of our own articles that come up in routine
Google searches, compared to pre-November 2016. BAR’s internet profile
has been methodically shrunken.
I know about
the "Prop-or-Not" bullshit
and wrote about it in Nederlog, and I am quite
willing to believe Glen Ford on the consequences this utter bullshit had on
BAR's internet profile. (Also, I refuse to use Google - a neofascist
corporation in my estimate, and if you disagree do check
the last link - but then I am also one of the very few to
take that consequence.)
Here is a diagnosis of what was happening 16 months ago, which is to a
considerable extent still happening:
really is a
vast conspiracy to strangle radical dissent in the United States, under
the broad heading of suppressing “Fake News”—meaning reporting,
analysis and advocacy that challenges the corporate narrative. The most
active early conspirators emerged from Hillary Clinton’s campaign tent,
packed with Wall Street and Silicon Valley operatives, lobbyists for
all the profiteers of imperialist war, most of the corporate media, and
the spies, assassins and information manipulators of the national
security state. All were now Democrats (...)
Yes, I think
that is quite
I also agree with the underlying point that in fact - when these facts
are restricted to planned policies - there was not much to
choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, at least not with
regard to many dominant themes like the prominence of the bankers
and the desirability of more war. Then again, I also
insist - and I am a psychologist - that there was (and is) one
key difference between Clinton and Trump: Clinton is not
mad while Trump is, and
make an important distinction, at least from my point of view.
Here is some more on the messaging of the present leaders of the
Democrats attacked Trump from the right, reprising the McCarthy era of
three generations ago. Trump was soft on the Kremlin, which is depicted
as the home of Euro-Asiatic totalitarianism, no matter who is actually
Yes, this is
happen, although possibly I was considerably less amazed than Glen Ford
(although I don't know this):
After all, the major difference between the present Democrats
and the Democrats of the Sixties and the Seventies is that the
present Democrats have been in large majority been bought by the banks
whose interests they so willingly serve, for payment.
Anyway... there is some more in the article, that is recommended.
Is Still Involved in His Business Ventures All Over the World—Is That
article is by Heather Digby Parton on AlterNet and originally on Salon.
It starts as follows:
the holidays, a
little Daily Beast story by Betsy Woodruff passed
under the radar. She reported that Donald Trump is still personally
involved in running his businesses. The media didn't pay much
attention, but perhaps that's not surprising, considering that nobody
in a million years actually believed Trump was going to leave his
company solely in the hands of his two scions, Donald Jr. and Eric.
After all, he's spent a third of his first term making personal
promotional appearances at Trump properties. He's not exactly keeping
it on the down-low that he's still got his hand in the business.
Yes indeed -
and I also
agree with Parton that this does seem to contradict the
duties that an American president does have (that also includes
declaring his taxes, that Trump also refuses to do).
Here is some more:
committed to being a full-time president. At a press conference in
January, Trump announced he had turned down a $2 billion
deal just the week before. He said, "I didn't have to turn it down
because, as you know, I have a no-conflict situation because I'm
president, which is — I didn't know about that until about three months
ago, but it's a nice thing to have." He added:
actually run my
business and run government at the same time. I don't like the way that
looks but I would be able to do that, if I wanted to. I'd be the only
one that would be able to do that. you can't do that in any other
capacity. But as a president I could run the Trump Organization --
great great company -- and I could run the country. I'd do a very good
job but I don't want to do that.
He later told the New York Times, "In theory I could
run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly."
(Trump's own theory) Trump is the greatest genius ever to
become American president, but then there are not many who
Trump's theories, and these cover most of the 30 procent or so of
support he presently has, as president (which is very low).
is a finding
of McClatchy, that is reported in more detail in the article:
emoluments clause" specifies Trump's duties as president, which
seems fair to say that Trump, so
far at least, has wiped his ass with.
gathered information from countries all over the world where existing
Trump properties and "deals" exist and found that:
dismissed all this, but the money involved is huge and it puts Trump
right in the crosshairs of the emoluments clause.
donated public land, approved permits and eased environmental
regulations for Trump-branded developments, creating a slew of
potential conflicts as foreign leaders make investments that can be
seen as gifts or attempts to gain access to the American president
through his sprawling business empire.
And this is a recommended article.
a World From Hell
This article is by Tom Engelhardt on Common Dreams and originally on
TomDispatch. This is from near the beginning:
upon a time --
in October 2001, to be exact -- Washington launched its war on
terror. There was then just one country targeted, the very one
where, a little more than a decade earlier, the U.S. had ended a long
proxy war against the Soviet Union during which it had
financed, armed, or backed an extreme set of Islamic fundamentalist
groups, including a rich young Saudi by the name of Osama bin
By 2001, in the wake of that war, which helped send the Soviet Union
down the path to implosion, Afghanistan was largely (but not
completely) ruled by the Taliban. Osama bin Laden was there, too,
with a relatively modest crew of cohorts. By early 2002, he had
fled to Pakistan, leaving many of his companions dead and his
organization, al-Qaeda, in a state of disarray.
this article is -
to a considerable extent, at least - a history of the development
"The War on Terror", that in my view was a war that may
have been designed to subject most of the world to the
of the American war
machine, that is far more powerful than the war machine of
Here is some more, still from 2001:
top officials in
the administration of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick
Cheney were geopolitical dreamers of the first order who couldn’t
have had more expansive ideas about how to extend such success to -- as
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld indicated only days after
the 9/11 attacks -- terror or insurgent groups in more than 60
countries. It was a point President Bush would reemphasize nine
months later in a triumphalist graduation speech at West Point.
At that moment, the struggle they had quickly, if immodestly, dubbed
the Global War on Terror was still a one-country affair.
Afghanistan, though that was rapidly changed. Here is more:
One may also
put the above in more literal terms:
And it's a
tale that's not
over yet. Not by a long shot. As a start, in the Trump era,
war in American history, the one in Afghanistan, is only
getting longer. There are those U.S. troop levels on
the rise; those air strikes ramping
up; the Taliban in
control of significant sections of the country; an Islamic
State-branded terror group spreading ever
more successfully in its eastern regions; and, according to the latest
report from the Pentagon, “more than 20 terrorist or insurgent
groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
groups. In other words, so many years later, the war on terror
should be seen as an endless exercise in the use of multiplication
tables -- and not just in Afghanistan either.
If 17 years of "fighting terrorism" by larger military terrorism from
the USA, has produced "“more
than 20 terrorist or insurgent
groups", the 17 years of "fighting terrorism" by more military
terrorism from the USA, has only resulted in bringing vastly
terrorism to the world then there was in 2001.
And that seems correct to me. Here is more on the development of
terrorism since 2001:
Costs of War
Project has produced not just a map of the war on terror, 2015-2017
(released at TomDispatch with this article), but the first
map of its kind ever. It offers an astounding vision of
Washington’s counterterror wars across the globe: their spread, the
deployment of U.S. forces, the expanding missions to train foreign
counterterror forces, the American bases that make them possible, the
drone and other air strikes that are essential to them, and the U.S.
combat troops helping to fight them.
Yes indeed -
have not copied that map but you are strongly
view it (by going to the
Next, there is this, on the truly enormous extension of extremely
that "The War on Terror" by the USA gave to the
less stunning are
the number of countries Washington’s war on terror has touched in some
fashion. Once, of course, there was only one (or, if you want to
include the United States, two). Now, the Costs of War Project
identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as
involved in that global conflict.
And I think this
very probably quite correct. Here is more on how much that "War
Terror" has cost:
study, released in November, the Costs of War Project estimated
that the price tag on the war on terror (with some future expenses
included) had already reached an astronomical $5.6 trillion. Only
recently, however, President Trump, now escalating those
conflicts, tweeted an
even more staggering figure: “After having foolishly spent $7 trillion
in the Middle East, it is time to start rebuilding our country!”
very well be correct, although I don't know. Here is the last
bit that I quote from this fine article:
on terror has, in
fact, spread in the fashion today’s map lays out with almost no serious
debate in this country about its costs or results. If the
document produced by the Costs of War project is, in fact, a map from
hell, it is also, I believe, the first full-scale map of this war ever
and this is a strongly recommended article.
Let me repeat
once, almost seventeen years ago, there was one; now, the count is 76
and rising. Meanwhile, great cities have been turned into rubble;
tens of millions of human beings have been displaced from
their homes; refugees by the millions continue to cross borders,
unsettling ever more lands; terror groups have become brand names
across significant parts of the planet; and our American world
continues to be militarized.
This should be
thought of as
an entirely new kind of perpetual global war.
Was The Year of Technocracy
article is by James Corbett on Rigged Game and originally on Steemit.
This is from near its beginning:
indicated at the start
of the year, my point isn’t that there’s something new in the concept
of rule by a technological/scientific/engineering “expert” class. As attentive viewers
of Why Big Oil Conquered the World will
recall, that idea has been kicking around under the name “technocracy”
since Howard “Total Fraud” Scott and King “Peak Oil” Hubbert
incorporated Technocracy Inc. in 1933, and
it was kicking around under other names before then.
And it’s not
some new trend in technology itself. Granted, the one thing that Kurzweil and the singularists are
right about is that the rate of technological innovation is
exponential, but I’m not saying 2017 marked some magic inflection point
in that exponential trend.
My point is
that the PR
campaign for technocracy has now kicked into full swing, and we’re
starting to see what a world of tech gadgets engineered and programmed
by an elite technocratic class (at the behest of their billionaire
backers) would really look like. And as scary as that prospect is,
that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that the vast majority of
the general public is going to clamor for such a world.
so: " The
worst part is
that the vast majority of
the general public is going to clamor for" a world in which they can sell all
enormous corporations, and are paid by a membership in Suckerbug's
Fuckbook plus personally targeted advertisements
that may save them a
few dollar cents.
Corbett that this is both extremely
sick and based on
the virtual total misunderstanding of
computing and its powers in more
than 1 to 5% of the internet users.
We live in a
world where a
little device is sitting their in our homes (well, not my home,
but you get my meaning) listening to absolutely everything we say and
do, recording that data and (presumably) beaming that info back to its
corporate mother ship. And this is not some nightmarish sci-fi dystopia
where Big Brother has forced everyone to install this dastardly device.
People buy it.
And they want
it, and are proud of it - although as most 1 in 20 knows about
computers and their powers.
more, this time
by the neofascists
perhaps it is appropriate to cap this Year of Technocracy with this
little nugget of news: Amazon has just revealed that its best-selling item this
holiday shopping season was (..) the
cute little "smart speaker" that allows you to (as the tagline puts it)
"add Alexa to any room" is now available for the low low price of $30!
How could you afford not to put this totalitarian tyrant's
wet dream in every nook and cranny of your always-on 24/7 smart house?!
Again precisely so - but James Corbett is one
relatively few who understand
computing and its enormous
dangers, indeed especially in feeding all
the private thinking,
talking, deciding and sleeping to some enormously big and quite
That is totalitarianism
on a scale that has never ever
been practised (except in the Wikipedia's views, according
to which no person, no public, no ideology, and no propagada can
ever be totalitarian,
for the only
ones that can be totalitarian - according to the lying Wikipedia - are
... states. Not persons, not publics, not
ideologies and not
propaganda: all are excluded by the lying
is more on the sick and sickened desires of the public to share
everything they feel, want, do, believe, and owe with some utterly
anonymous exploitative corporation:
Echo Dot sales figures show that the public is literally buying into
the dream of the technocrats (and, more to the point, their billionaire
backers). Which means that the technocrats are actively engaged in
selling this dream to the public. Which means that the public's
acceptance and adoption of this vision is important to the would-be
rulers of society. Which means that, as with every other agenda that I
identify and rail against, it is still up to the public whether they
will passively allow (or even participate in) their own enslavement, or
whether they will steer these trends in a different direction.
But then most though
not all of the public is both stupid and ignorant and extremely
by their papers, by their TVs, and by the internet. In
fact, here is a quotation
from Étienne de La
Boétie, whose Discourse on Voluntary Servitude has
been (in full) on my site, indeed both in English and in Dutch, for six
years or more now:
It's a simple
point, and it
was made with eloquence by Étienne de La Boétie in The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude almost 500
years ago, but it bears repeating:
over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than
is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in
your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer
upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon
you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many
arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet
that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not
your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How
would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could
he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who
plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills
you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow your crops in
order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to
give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify
his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon
them the greatest privilege he knows — to be led into his battles, to
be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the
instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in
order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy
pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and
the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as
the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver
yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to
be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not
ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply
that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great
Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight
and break in pieces."
We have a
choice in all of
"we have a choice" - but my own family background, with a grandfather murdered by the Nazis, a
father locked up more than three years and nine months as a "political
terrorist" by the Nazis, and a mother in the real resistance against
the Nazis (who murdered more than 110,000 Dutch "Jews" in WW II, also
with considerable help by many Duchmen) strongly suggests
to me that at most 1 in 20, or indeed 1 in a 1000, are capable
of both seeing the
threaten many and having the courage
to resist it.
brief, while I agree with everything Corbett says, I am quite pessimistic,
though I grant that in Holland my own family was one of a
very small minority who did resist the Nazis (and was
almost destroyed for having that intelligence and that courage).
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 (!!).
am sorry if you disagree, but I have studied totalitarianism
since over 50 years, and I never saw a - false, lying,
degenerate - "definition" of it as the Wkipedia now provides. I am
sorry, but my belief in the Wikipedia has been transformed from
well over 50% to 0%: Their definition of "totalitarianism" is intentional
utterly false propagandistic bullshit that makes everyone
from George Orwell onwards, including myself, big liars. Thank you, lying propagandists