from January 13, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 13, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. The Democrats Just Voted to Give Trump Vast Warrantless
2. Trump's Nuclear Threat Warrants Removal From Office
3. The 17 Most Insane Moments from Trump's Unedited Wall
4. Describing Trump: 6 Euphemisms for Conduct Unbecoming a
5. Rethinking the ‘Goldwater Rule’ in the Trump Era
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:
Democrats Just Voted to Give Trump Vast Warrantless Spying Powers
This article is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept. It starts as
follows (and I abbreviated the very long title):
Yes indeed. As to the
meaning(s) of "resistance" and "#Resistance" I have this
Democrats have spent the last year relentlessly accusing Donald Trump
of being controlled by or treasonously loyal to a hostile foreign
power. Over the last several months, they have added to those
disloyalty charges a new set of alleged crimes: abusing the powers of
the executive branch — including the Justice Department and FBI — to
vindictively punish political opponents while corruptly protecting the
serious crimes of his allies, including his own family members and
The inescapable conclusion
from all of this, they have relentlessly insisted, is that Trump is a
lawless authoritarian of the type the U.S. has not seen in the Oval
Office for decades, if ever: a leader who has no regard for
constitutional values or legal limits and thus, poses a grave, unique,
and existential threat to the institutions of American democracy.
One would hope, and expect,
that those who genuinely view Trump as a menace of this magnitude and
view themselves as #Resistance fighters would do
everything within their ability to impose as many limits and
safeguards as possible on the powers he is able to wield. If
“resistance” means anything, at a minimum it should entail a
refusal to trust a dangerous authoritarian to wield vast power with
little checks or oversight.
The Germans attacked Holland on May 10, 1940 and defeated it within
four days, in which they were much helped by their bombardment of
Rotterdam. On May 14, the Dutch Communist Party, of which my father and
grandfather were members, since resp. 1935 and 1937, went into the
resistance, as a party. The party had around 10,000 members, on a
population of nearly 10 million. During five years of war, it lost over
2,000 members. Many of them were arrested, tortured and shot.
After the war, none of the communists was ever
knighted (before the 1990ies, for what they did and dared to do in WW
II), and since 1948-49 most of the communists were discriminated
as "traitors" because they were said - completely falsely - to prefer the Soviet Union over
There was no other political party that went into the
resistance. There were very few existing groups who went into
the resistance: in fact the only ones were a small number of radical
Protestant Christians of some tens of persons. And there was some
individual resistance of persons, notably by students, that also got a
But that was it, so far as The Dutch Resistance
Against The Nazis was concerned: Somewhere
between 1 in a 100
to 1 in a 1000 resisted; nearly everyone else did nothing or
extremely little, and effectively collaborated, some with negative
emotions about the Nazis, others with positive emotions. (And around
10-15% of the Dutch were active Nazis in WW II.)
I do not know how many collaborated, which is to say that they
did virtually nothing against the Nazis, but the above numbers indicate
that it must have been at least around 90% of the Dutch these 5 years
between 1940 and 1945. (And indeed being in the resistance was
At the same time, the Nazis persecuted the Jews, of which there were some
120,000 in Holland in 1940. In 1945 it became clear
116,000 of these had been arrested and murdered in various German
There was some help, again often by the communists, but that was the
result. My grandfather was arrested in August of 1941, convicted as a
"political terrorist" (in his sixties) and sent to a concentration
camp. He was murdered. My father was arrested in August of 1941,
tortured, convicted as a "political terrorist", and sent to a
concentration camp. He survived more than 3 years and 9 months of four
German concentration camp, mostly thanks to assistance by other
communists in the camps. My mother joined the Communist Party in the
war and joined the resistance and was never arrested.
That is my summary of The Dutch Resistance Against The Nazis: Between 1
in a 100 and 1 in a 1000 of all Dutchmen resisted, and most were
communists; of those who were communists - 2000 killed in WW II - after
the war none was knighted, very few praised, and most,
like my parents, discriminated as "traitors to Holland".
I do not think the Dutch are worse or different from other
people, and having a father, a mother and a grandfather in the
resistance, I know that - factually, really - few people resist the
most awful of horrors, and the numbers which do
really resist - 1% to
0.1% of the total population - are small and probably concern somewhat
persons. (Thus - for example - both of my parents were
proletarians, but both had IQs over 130.)
So when I knew that Keith
Olbermann headed "The Resistance with Keith Olbermann" (from the
end of 2016 till the end of 2017) I tuned out, and I have been
mostly tuned out from considering - quite a few - Americans who claimed
to be In The Resistance.
My family tradition during WW II makes it quite incredible, at
least as The Resistance. They oppose Trump, but few of them have been
resisting, and indeed none of those who opposed or resisted Trump have
been - so far, at least - been tortured when arrested or locked up in
concentration camps (where the average survival time was 3 months).
I go back to Glenn Greenwald:
Washington, congressional Democrats were presented with a critical
opportunity to do exactly that. A proposed
new amendment was scheduled to be voted on in the House of
Representatives that would have imposed meaningful limits and new
safeguards on Trump’s ability to exercise one of the most dangerous,
invasive, and historically abused presidential powers: spying on the
communications of American citizens without warrants. Yesterday’s
amendment was designed to limit the powers first enacted during the
Bush years to legalize the Bush/Cheney domestic warrantless
Precisely. Of course,
there were strong proponent of spying on everyone, notably the neofascist
rejection of the warrant requirement safeguard, Schiff channeled
Dick Cheney — and the Trump White House — in warning that any warrant
requirements would constitute “a crippling requirement in national
security and terrorism cases.”
Standing with Schiff in
opposing these safeguards was his fellow California Democrat Eric
Swalwell, who has devoted his entire congressional term almost
exclusively to accusing Trump of being a puppet of the Kremlin, in the
process becoming a media darling among the MSNBC set and online
#Resistance movement. Yet after spending a full year warning that
Trump’s real loyalty was to Moscow rather than America, Swalwell echoed
Schiff in demanding that no warrant safeguards were needed on the
spying power of Trump’s FBI.
I think this shows that
Democrats like Swalwell are liars and comedians, as is the sick and
degenerate Nancy Pelosi, who incidentally doubled her income
while being a politician. This is from Wikipedia:
In 2014, CRP
reported Pelosi's average net worth in 2014 was $101,273,023 having
ranked 8th out of 25 wealthiest members of Congress. In 2009, CRP.
reported Pelosi's average net worth was $58,436,537 having ranked 13th
among 25 wealthiest members of Congress
There are other
numbers, but Pelosi does belong to the 0.1% of the richest Americans
which I think is the basic distinction: It is the riches one
has that -
in the end, and usually, though indeed not always - determine one's
political and moral choices:
pro-surveillance coalition led by Trump, Paul Ryan, Devin Nunes,
Schiff, and Swalwell was the House’s liberal icon and senior Democrat,
Nancy Pelosi. The San Francisco Democrat also stood on the
House floor and offered a vigorous defense of the Trump-endorsed bill
that would extend to Trump’s FBI the power to spy on Americans without
warrants, in the process denouncing the minimal warrant
safeguards favored by many in her own party.
Precisely. Here is more:
For anyone who believes in
the basic value of individual privacy and the dangers of mass
surveillance, Pelosi deserved all the criticism she received back then
for singlehandedly saving the NSA’s mass surveillance powers from
reform. But at least then, her partisan defenders had a justification
they could invoke: At the time, the NSA was under the command of Barack
Obama, a president they believed could be trusted to administer these
powers responsibly and lawfully.
Now, four years later,
Pelosi has reprised her role as key protecter of domestic
warrantless eavesdropping — but this time with the benevolent,
magnanimous, noble Democratic president long gone, and with those
agencies instead under the leadership of a president who Pelosi and her
supporters have long been maligning as an enemy of democracy, a
criminal, a despot, and a racist cretin. For anyone (including
Pelosi, Schiff, and Swalwell) who genuinely believes anything
they’ve been saying about Trump over the last year, what conceivable
justification can be offered now for Pelosi and her key allies blocking
reasonable safeguards and limits on Trump’s warrantless domestic spying
As I said: Pelosi is not
in any #Resistance, although she pretends to be. She
belongs to the very top of the richest Americans, who predominantly
vote so as to keep their own riches. The same is true of most other
leading Democrats - and indeed the leading Democrats are nearly all
paid by the banks or by lobbyists, of which they each have at least 10.
And this is from Greenwald's
But the most important
point here is what this says about how Democrats really view Donald
Trump. How can anyone rational possibly take seriously all the
righteous denunciations from people like Pelosi, Schiff, and Swalwell
about how Trump is a lawless, authoritarian tyrant existentially
threatening American democracy when those very same people just
yesterday voted in favor of vesting him the virtually
limitless power to spy on Americans with no warrants or safeguards? If
someone really believed those accusations about Trump — as
opposed to just pretending to believe them for cynical political
manipulation of their followers — how could they possibly have done
what they did yesterday?
I totally agree: The
Democrats are, by their Own Leader's words, supporting "a lawless, authoritarian tyrant existentially
threatening American democracy", I take it because he supports and
maintains the enormous privileges of the rich, in which they also,
being extremely rich, share and hope to continue to share.
that both the leading Democrats (in large majority) and the leading Republicans (in large majority)
their own class of people, who are the corrupt and fraudulent very
rich, who want to maintain their aristocracy for ever, and do
at all that to do so they have to destroy all
the privacies of anyone who does
not belong to the 0.1%
Money has triumphed
over politics in the USA (as indeed it usually does). And this is a
strongly recommended article.
Nuclear Threat Warrants Removal From Office
This article is by Marjorie Cohn on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
veiled threat to use nuclear weapons against North Korea is not only
horrifying, but also illegal. It warrants his removal from office.
I think Marjorie Cohn is quite
right, although I do not believe it is probable that Trump
will be removed in 2018.
Here is more:
cavalier threat to start a nuclear holocaust cannot be dismissed as the
rant of an immature bully. Trump controls a powerful nuclear arsenal.
In fact, a few days after Trump’s nuclear button tweet, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention declared it would sponsor a public
meeting to cover “planning and preparation efforts” in the event of a
Well... it was a "rant of an immature bully", though indeed I do not
dismiss it for that reason: Immature bullies should not be
presidents of the USA.
Here is more:
Trump’s tweet violates several laws. Threatening
to use nuclear weapons runs afoul of the United Nations Charter, which
forbids the use of or threat to use military force except in
self-defense or when approved by the Security Council. North Korea has
not mounted an armed attack on the United States nor is such an attack
imminent. And the UN Security Council has not given the US its blessing
to attack North Korea. Trump’s tweet also constitutes a threat to
commit genocide and a crime against humanity.
I think that is correct,
but it also should be pointed out that Trump's threats indeed were
"veiled" by his very metaphorical language (in terms of Buttons
and their Sizes, and Trump of course has the Biggest, in his own
Here is more on the means by which an American president can be removed:
A president can be
constitutionally removed from office — either by using the 25th
Amendment or impeachment — even without actually committing a crime.
The 25th Amendment provides
for the vice president to assume the presidency when he and a majority
of the president’s cabinet declare in writing that the president “is
unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” If the
president challenges that determination, two-thirds of both houses of
Congress are required to affirm that the president is unable to
discharge the powers and duties of his office.
Yes, but there is a
major problem with trying to follow the 25th Amendment:
Precisely. So the net
effect is probably that Trump deserves to be removed from office as
soon as possible, but he will not be because he serves the
and political interests of the Republicans so well, and the Republicans
have the majorities in the House and the Senate.
But we cannot expect the
Republican-controlled Congress will either impeach Trump or affirm a
decision to remove him under the 25th Amendment. They are thrilled that
Trump spearheaded their tax cuts for the rich and is appointing radical
right-wing judges who will eliminate reproductive and LGBTQ rights.
17 Most Insane Moments from Trump's Unedited Wall Street Journal
This article is by Mark Summer on AlterNet and originally on Daily Kos.
It starts as follows:
And this was
just the introduction of a considerably longer piece, that does
and spell out
You’ve heard of a stream of
consciousness? This isn’t one of those. Donald Trump’s unabridged interview with the Wall
Street Journal is a piece of surrealistic,
wibbly, wobbly … word stuff. Like a conversation as imagined by
Hieronymus Bosch; every little nook and cranny is filled with another
disconnected phrase, an out of the blue flash of narcissism, a
jaw-dropping expression of paranoia. It’s a conversation from
which it’s almost impossible to draw reasonable excerpts, because it
only really comes alive when you can see it in the terrifying whole.
This is The Iliad of self-delusion. A primal scream
of egotism. The Bayeux Tapestry of What. The. Hell.
It’s the kind of speech a
Ritalin-soaked ferret might deliver … if he fell into a heap of
uncut cocaine. And though any effort to extract anything that seems
like a coherent bit of dialog is doomed to failure … Here. Just …. Look.
17 indeed fairly crazy to fairly stupid remarks of Donald Trump in just
a single interview.
I leave the rest to your interests.
4. Describing Trump: 6
Euphemisms for Conduct Unbecoming a President
This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Now that Trump has
been president for almost a year, it’s
time the media called his behavior for what it is rather than try to
are the six most misleading media euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a
In fact, I
do not know whether Reich is quite correct, but I shall follow
list, give the titles and some comments, but I will also leave most of
the text to your interests.
Here are the first three "media
Trump’s tweets “presidential “statements”
or “press releases.”
2. Referring to Mar-A-Lago
Winter White House.”
3. Calling his lies
claims” or “comments that have proved
to be inaccurate.” Baloney. They’re lies,
plain and simple.
Early last year the Wall
Street Journal’s editor-in-chief
insisted that the Journal wouldn’t
label Trump’s false statements as “lies.”
Lying, said the editor, requires a deliberate intention to mislead,
couldn’t be proven in Trump’s case.
presidents may exaggerate; some occasionally lie. But Trump has taken
an entirely new level. He lies like other people breath. Almost nothing
comes out of his mouth can assumed to be true.
For Trump, lying
is part of his overall strategy, his MO, and his pathology. Not to call
lies, or to deem him a liar, is itself misleading.
I do agree with the
third point, and indeed reject "false claims", "inaccurate
claims" and also "fake knowledge" as misleading euphemisms for
what were and are in fact straight lies.
Here is more:
Yes indeed. And I have two
additions: (i) welfare was in fact destroyed by Bill Clinton,
who also deregulated the
banks (and who was rewarded by the banks, together with his
something between 50 and 100 million dollars, or so it seems), and also
(ii) it does not seem to me to be farfetched to suggest that
Republicans in fact - a bit later - want to kill those they
also do notwant to
give welfare, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, simply
they plan to take all money from people that they haven't earned
(This can be seen as The Republican Contribution To The Population
Problem: Kill the poor by taking all their money.)
4. Referring to Trump’s
and his aide’s possible
with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.
5. Calling Trump’s and
Paul Ryan’s next move “welfare reform,” as in “Trump
more than once that welfare reform might be the next big legislative
Rubbish. They’re not going
after “welfare.” Welfare – federal public
assistance to the poor – was gutted in 1996. Trump and Ryan are aiming
at Medicaid, Medicare, and Social
Nor are they seeking to
“reform” these programs. They want to cut them in order to pay for the
huge tax cut they’ve given corporations and
Here is more:
Trump’s comments as “racially
I think that is correct, and
this is a recommended article.
“Racially charged” sounds like
Trump doesn’t intend them to be racist but some people hear them that
Trump’s recent harangue
against immigrants from “shitholes” in Latin America and Africa comes
weeks after The New York Times reported
that at another Oval Office meeting Trump said Haitian immigrants
“all have AIDS” and that Nigerians who visit the US would never
“go back to their huts.”
Words matter. It’s important
to describe Trump accurately. Every American must understand who we
have as president.
Stop using terms
like “racially charged” to describe his statements. Face it. Trump is a
and his comments are racist.
the ‘Goldwater Rule’ in the Trump Era
This article is by Jill Richardson on Common Dreams, and originally on
OtherWords. It starts as follows:
Maybe it’s time America’s
psychiatrists reconsider their Goldwater Rule.
Rule simply states that psychiatrists shouldn’t diagnose the mental
health of a public figure unless they’ve personally examined the
person. Naturally, if any public figures have sought mental health
treatment, their doctors would be bound by confidentiality agreements.
In short, at present, if a
public figure doesn’t wish to be diagnosed with a mental illness, or if
they don’t want the diagnosis made public, then it will remain a secret.
In most cases, this is a
good rule. After all, mental illness is still stigmatized.
Well... I am a
psychologist, and by now I have found it fairly odd to have to
read article after article by journalists without any
psychological or psychiatric qualification about the pretty crazy
decisions of what is in fact - also - the private American
Ms Richardson is no
exception, for she seems to specialize in food rather than in
psychology or psychiatry.
So here are three
comments at the start:
First, in fact something like this rule also holds for non-public
figures (the vast majority) and also for psychologists and
medical doctors, and the main reason in each case seems to be (i) the
protection of the privacies of patients and (ii) the protection
of - in
fact - the financial interests of those diagnosing or not, in
trying to insist all diagnosing should remain a private affair
someone (professionally) diagnosing, and someone (professionally)
Second, the main
problem is with persons who have very much more power than most:
if they are - fairly evidently also, and for non-specialists as well -
rather or quite crazy, the Goldwater Rule also prevents
these people, who as a rule will also refuse to be diagnosed.
Third, the rule as it
stands is as follows:
On occasion psychiatrists
are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of
public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself
through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share
with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in
general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a
professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and
has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.
But that is nonsense,
for the following reason:
psychiatrists and medical doctors do have duties to warn the
police in case their patients are dangerous to others, e.g. when they
declare they want to murder someone, and are not in control of
themselves. These duties are also not very well described, but
reasonable. And these matters also normally remain private, between the
patient, the diagnoser
and the representatives of the law.
It is different
with very powerful persons: Calling the police has no effect on
them, while they may kill in their madness not one or a few persons,
but hundreds of thousands or millions. But
psychologists and psychiatrists are now denied
the right of
saying what they professionally think about such persons.
I think myself that is unethical,
and indeed an opinion, also if it is a professional opinion, is
a personal opinion, that may be contradicted by other professional or
non-professional opinions, while it seems to me very difficult
to combine with the right on free speech: If I know or think I
know that such-and-such a person is very dangerous to very
many, I should have the right to say so. (And indeed I do, if I
psychologist and the person is my patient. And is not very
There is more to say,
but I move to the following quotation:
But there’s a circumstance
in which I believe the Goldwater Rule is harmful.
There are some mental
illnesses that are incurable and rarely treatable that would also make
a person unqualified to be president. Imagine a sociopath, or someone
with narcissistic personality disorder, for example.
People with narcissistic
personality disorder rarely seek treatment, according to University
of Kentucky psychologists Cristina Crego and Thomas Widiger.
Well... who is "I"? Not
a psychologist, psychiatrist or medically qualified person, it seems.
Also, she does not say that quite a few psychiatrists and
psychologists have diagnosed
Trump, correctly in my
psychologist's opinion, as suffering from a narcissistic
Here is more, that
sounds fairly stupid in my psychologist's ears:
disorder is seriously debilitating, but often the person suffering from
it believes that they’re fine and everyone else around them has the
Imagine someone in the Oval
Office whose biggest need every day is to feel important and loved by
everyone around them, and who responds with rage when they perceive any
sort of criticism.
This is a person who cannot
do the business of the country or put the needs of the country first
because his or her personal needs due to the disorder will rule their
It is fairly stupid,
because it are all personal opinions, from an unqualified
person, about merely hypothetical - "Imagine someone" - issues.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
If the Goldwater Rule were
rescinded, there’s certainly a danger that psychiatrists would publicly
misdiagnose a public figure, or public figures with treatable mental
illness would face unfair scrutiny.
Yet we must find a way to
close the current loophole, which may protect someone mentally unfit
for office from expert scrutiny.
As to the first
paragraph: If people may talk about a politicians health and
after he or she has been diagnosed with cancer, people should be
to talk about a politicians'
health and fitness after he or she has been diagnosed with some for of
And as to the second
paragraph: I agree with the conclusion, but who are "we"? In any case,
I think that the Wikipedia article on the Goldwater rule is clearer
than this 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 (!!).