from February 25, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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, but
since 2010 in English) 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 February 25, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. Did a Russian Troll Farm’s Inflammatory Posts Really Sway
Election for Trump?
2. Could Donald Trump Cancel the Midterm Elections?
3. The Mueller Indictments: The Day the Music Died
4. The GOP’s mental health hypocrisy
5. The Coming Wars to End All Wars
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:
a Russian Troll Farm’s Inflammatory Posts Really Sway the 2016 Election
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
Department recently indicted 13 Russians and three companies in
connection with efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The indicted are accused of orchestrating an online propaganda effort
to undermine the U.S. election system. The indictment claims the
Russians spread negative information online about Hillary Clinton and
supportive information about Donald Trump, as well as Bernie
Sanders—but some are warning against overstating what Russia
accomplished. For more, we speak with award-winning Russian-American
journalist Masha Gessen, a longtime critic of Russian President
Vladimir Putin. Her recent piece for The New Yorker is titled “The
Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller’s Russia Indictments.”
Yes, and I say that I have
not believed what I read about Russia-gate (in the
mainstream media, to be sure) since the end of 2016. More
precisely, I have never doubted that the Russians did some
never that they did all or most of the things -
especially - the
Democrats have said about them (in the mainstream media).
Also, I have written extensively about "Russia-gate" (check the indexes
with that title if you care) and repeatedly about Masha Gessen. And
here she is:
this is more or less what I think as well. She gives her own reasons below as to the amount of money that was
here about the content of the messages:
GESSEN: So, you know, for
somebody who actually has read the indictment in its entirety, and,
actually, the Russian reporting that is almost entirely repeated in the
indictment, it’s really hard to square that with the way that it’s been
portrayed as, you know, a sophisticated, bold effort. I think H.R.
McMaster is correct in saying, yes, there’s “incontrovertible” evidence
of Russian meddling, but to call it bold, to call it sophisticated and
to imply that we now know that it actually had an influence on the
outcome of the election is absurd. It was not bold. It was not
sophisticated. And it—we don’t know, and probably never will know,
whether it had any impact.
Yes, indeed - and there also
seems to be extremely little American awareness that Russia is
socialistic anymore, the last 27 years: It is thoroughly capitalistic.
GOODMAN: So, Masha Gessen,
talk about what you found in reading the indictment, looking at how
people are responding in Russia and here.
GESSEN: So, I am really
fascinated with what it tells us about our imagination about the
Russian imagination. So, Russia imagines America and the American
political system as like this unassailable monolith that they are
throwing stuff at just to try to make a dent, whereas the United States
is starting increasingly to imagine Russia as all-powerful, as
incredibly sophisticated, as capable of, you know, sending out some
really absurd tweets, in sub-literate English, and somehow changing the
outcome of the election. And that projects such a belief in the
fragility of the system and the basic instability of it and in the
gullibility of voters who read something that’s not even comprehensible
English and suddenly change their vote.
Here is the ending of Masha Gessen's interview:
So, I mean, the answer is we don’t know. We don’t know how significant
it was. From the information that is publicly available right now, if
you look at what they were doing, if you look at how effective what
they were doing was—and what I mean is, you know, how effective in sort
of social network metrics terms, right?—most of their posts and ads got
fewer than average views, because they weren’t very good. They had a
couple of runaway successes, but, basically, most of their money was
wasted, by social network standards, right? We’re talking, according to
the indictment, about a budget of a little over a million dollars a
month, right? So, let’s say they did this for a year.
They spent—let’s say, you know, they spent $15 million—in a campaign in
which one side spent a billion dollars, right? What do we have to
imagine to say, with the kind of certainty with which we’ve been saying
it, that Russians swayed the election? I mean, granted, the election
was won by 77,000 votes in three counties, and so anything, you know,
the weather, could have swayed the election. But to point the blame at
Russia specifically, I think, is misleading. And again, it just
detracts from the conversation we should be having, which is about how
Americans elected Trump.
Yes indeed: I completely agree,
and this is a recommended article in which there is considerably more.
Donald Trump Cancel the Midterm Elections?
This article is by Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon.
It starts as follows:
In his 2017 New York
Times bestselling book "On Tyranny," Yale historian Timothy Snyder
warned that the American people only
had one year to stop Donald Trump from causing serious and
perhaps irreversible harm to our democracy, as well as other social and
Yes, I agree partially, for the
simple reason that Snyder also was - perhaps understandably - somewhat
exaggerating the speed with which Trump and the Republicans work.
Snyder's concerns were
centered on how the rule of law, reality and truth, civil and human
rights, and the ways Americans interact with each other as members of a
shared community would come under assault by Trump and his allies'
agenda. He also sounded the alarm about the possibility that the
Trump administration could stage its own version of Nazi Germany's
"Reichstag fire" as a way of declaring a national emergency in
order to consolidate power.
In many ways, Snyder's "On
Tyranny" has proven eerily prescient.
In the quotations that follow, it is always Snyder who is speaking.
Here is his judgement on the past year:
I think what people
have done in the last year has made a tremendous difference. Things are
bad and they're going to get worse before they get better, but if it
weren't for the marches, local activists, lawyers defending people's
civil rights, citizens calling their representatives and investigative
journalists doing their jobs. things could be a lot worse than they
are. As a whole, America has not done a great job of reacting to Trump,
but some Americans have done a great job. If we all get tired and say
we can't do it anymore, then things will go south very quickly. So yes,
things are bad, but we have stopped them from being much worse.
I think this is probably
correct. Here is more, and this is about Trump's political plans,
and about his domestic policy:
If you're a
Trump-style authoritarian you are not trying to make a big powerful
state. What you're trying to do is make the state dysfunctional and
then at the end of the crumbling, you and your friends are at the
top. (..) Insofar as Mr. Trump has a domestic policy it involves
shaking people's belief in reality and the facts, because if you do
that then everybody just has their own opinion. Money will be the only
thing that matters in terms of "the truth." In the end the Trump-style
authoritarian who creates the greatest spectacle is going to win.
I fear that is also mostly
correct. And this is about The Leader Trump, economic inequality
"the information environment":
What's changing is
that the United States has not had a leader like Trump before. Another
thing that has changed is how economic inequality hasn't been this bad
for 90 years, since 1929. Those things make the whole system shudder.
Then there's the information environment which has radically changed so
that it's very hard to have a sensible conversation, which makes it
harder to hold up the system as a whole.
I take it Snyder refers to the
more than two billion mostly anonymous morons on Facebook and Twitter,
who now all can say and publish what they like, but I am not quite sure.
There is this about Mueller's investigation:
is also about whether the president is above the law or below the law.
We know where this president's instincts are. He believes that he is
above the law. The law is going to need some defenders. If Mueller is
fired, those people are going to have to protest because such an
outcome will just hasten a larger breakdown in the rule of law.
In fact, I hope he is correct
(and I have mostly seen Mueller's investigation presented as if it is
about the huge crimes and dangers of the Russians, which mostly is
baloney in my eyes).
Here is the end of this
We are still in the
early stages of an authoritarian regime change. We still have an
aspiring authoritarian leader. Many people have gotten to the point
where I was a year ago, which is recognizing that this situation is
uncertain and the outcome depends upon us. Matters are not hopeless but
they are dire. The stakes are very high.
Yes, I think that is
mostly correct, and this is a recommended article.
Mueller Indictments: The Day the Music Died
This article is by Daniel Lazare on Consortiumnews. It starts as
After dominating the
news for more than a year, the scandal may have at last reached a
tipping point with last week’s indictment
of thirteen Russian individuals and three Russian corporations on
charges of illegal interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
But the indictment landed with a decided thud for three reasons:
— It failed to
connect the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the alleged St. Petersburg
troll factory accused of political meddling, with Vladimir Putin, the
all-purpose evil-doer who the corporate media say is out to destroy
— It similarly failed
to establish a connection with the Trump campaign and indeed went out
of its way to describe contacts with the Russians as “unwitting.”
— It described the
meddling itself as even more inept and amateurish than many had
After nine months of labor,
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller thus brought forth a mouse.
Even if all the charges are true – something we’ll probably never
know since it’s unlikely that any of the accused will be brought to
trial – the indictment tells us virtually nothing that’s new.
Yes indeed. And as
pointed out in item 1, what the Democrats ask you
to believe (since the
end of 2016) is that while the Russians may have spend $15 million
dollars (and in considerable part on extremely stupid propaganda)
also managed to upset the American elections - in which either side
spent about $1 billion dollars.
Here is the other bit
that I quote from this article:
Not that this has stopped
the media from whipping itself into a frenzy. “Russia is at war
with our democracy,”
screamed a headline in the Washington Post. “Trump is
ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11,”
blared another. “…Russia is engaged in a virtual war against
the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and
declared the New York Times, while Daily Beast columnist Jonathan
tweeted that the IRA’s activities amounted to nothing less than a
“tech Pearl Harbor.”
All of which merely
demonstrates, in proper backhanded fashion, how grievously Mueller has
Yes, I think the
conclusion is quite justified, though I fear it won't stop the blaring
and the propaganda. This is a recommended article.
GOP’s mental health hypocrisy
This article is by David Masciotara on Salon. This is from
near the beginning:
correct that there is a mental health care crisis in America, but it is
one that they helped to create, continue to aggravate and insist,
through their actual policies — not their rhetoric — on doing
absolutely nothing to address.
Yes, I think
that is mainly correct, although - being a psychologist - I have some
doubts about the supposed "mental health care crisis in America", that comes to this: I agree
there is something like a crisis of that kind, but I probably
disagree with Masciotara on what it is.
But that is a side issue, and here is what the Republicans
for people with mental health problems:
I think that is correct -
and this happened over 50 and around 40 years ago, since when mental
health care has been steadily collapsing in the USA.
Conservative folk hero
Ronald Reagan completed the deinstitutionalization
of California's state mental health residents in 1967, causing an
explosion of homelessness in his state and opening a fatal gap in
mental health services for those too poor or isolated to obtain
treatment, medicine, therapy and supervision through private means.
Because of California’s size and Reagan’s popularity, the destructive
move exerted an influence on many smaller states. It was not too long
until the catastrophe of untreated mental illness spread around the
Nothing if not consistent
in his cruelty, once elected President, Reagan quickly repealed
President Jimmy Carter’s Mental Health Systems Act. (...) Many federal
mental health hospitals, as a result, shut their doors.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article, which is about the
Far from altruistic
and responsible, Republicans are dousing the forest with gasoline while
giving a lecture on fire safety. Their budget reduces funding for
Medicaid, which will make mental health services even harder to acquire
for countless people, and Trump’s latest health care proposals allows
for insurance companies to offer plans that do not cover mental health.
Yes indeed. And - I have
asked the question before - what is Trump's advice to the poor, the
and the elderly? I haven't seen it yet, but it seems to be little
different from: You all can buy a gun and commit suicide, for there
no place for people lilke you in Our Great USA.
Coming Wars to End All Wars
This article is by Edward Curtin on the Off-Guardian and
originally on the Greanville Post. It starts as follows:
The Trump and
Netanyahu governments have a problem: How to start a greatly expanded
Middle-Eastern war without having a justifiable reason for one. No
doubt they are working hard to solve this urgent problem. If they can’t
find a “justification” (which they can’t), they will have to create one
(which they will).
I suppose so, but the
following is considerably more interesting:
This has happened as
the Russia-gate claims have fallen to pieces, as former CIA analyst
Raymond McGovern, the late Robert Parry, Paul Craig Roberts, and others
have documented so assiduously. All across the media spectrum, from the
big name corporate stenographers like The New York Times, CNN, National
Public Radio, The Washington Post to The Atlantic and Nation magazines
and other “leftist” publications such as Mother Jones and Who What Why,
the Russia and Putin bashing has become hysterical in tone, joined as
it is with an anti-Trump obsession, as if Trump were a dear friend of
Putin and Russia and wasn’t closely allied with the Netanyahu
government in its plans for the Middle-East.
Quite so, and I
reviewed texts by all of the personal names in the first sentence, and
I also share Curtin's astonishment abput "“leftist” publications such as Mother Jones" that indeed also follows the
The New York Times and The Washington Post, and does so since a long
time, but indeed without good evidence.
Here is more:
And of course Trump
has said, “The U.S. has great strength and patience but if it is
forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to
totally destroy North Korea.”
Yes, indeed - and "26 million human beings" is probably too low (if the point is total
destruction) for South Korea immediately borders North Korea. Supposing
the "26 million human beings", here are the number of allied deaths
in World War
II: Around 61 million, mostly civilians, to which one may add the circa
12 million the Axis powers (Germany and Italy, mainly) had: 73
in all, in 6 years, to be sure.
Totally destroy 26 million
human beings. While his bully buddy in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu,
recently said at the Munich Security Conference that Iran is “the
greatest threat to the world,” compared it to Nazi Germany, and claimed
it was developing ballistic missiles to strike deep into the United
States. “Iran seeks to dominate our region, the Middle East, and
seeks to dominate the world through aggression and terror,” he
Here is some on - very plain - military facts:
[T]he U.S. has
surrounded Russia with US/NATO troops and bases armed with
anti-ballistic missiles that can, as Putin rightly says to Stone, be
converted in hours to regular offensive nuclear missile aimed at
Russia. This is a factual and true statement that should make any
fair-minded person stand up in horror. If Russia had such missiles
encircling the United States from Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, what
American would find it tolerable? What would CNN and The New York Times
have to say? Yet these same people readily find it impossible to see
the legitimacy in Russia’s position, resorting to name calling and
Quite so. Here is the last bit
that I quote from this fine article:
We are moving toward
a global war that will become nuclear if an international ant[i]-war
movement doesn’t quickly arise to stop it. Most people bemoan the
thought of such a war to end all wars, but refuse to analyze the
factors leading to it. It happens step-by-step, and many steps have
already been taken with more coming soon. It’s so obvious that most
can’t see it, or don’t want to. The corporate main stream media are
enemies of the truth (..)
I mostly agree, especially with a madman like Trump. And
this is a 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 (!!).