from March 11, 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 March 11, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. In China, Critics Silenced on Move to End Term Limits
2. Donald Trump's Relentless Fixer: The Many Mysterious
Doings of Michael
Gang of Four: Senators Call for Tillerson to
Enter into Arms Control Talks
with the Kremlin
4. America’s Shkreli Problem
5. Trump Is a Dangerous Idiot. So Why Are We Pushing Him
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:
China, Critics Silenced on Move to End Term Limits
This article is by Gerry Shih and Yanan Wang on Truthdig and originally
on The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
The day China’s
ruling Communist Party unveiled a proposal to allow President Xi
Jinping to rule indefinitely as Mao Zedong did a generation ago, Ma Bo
was so shaken he couldn’t sleep.
So Ma, a renowned writer,
wrote a social media post urging the party to remember the history of
unchecked one-man rule that ended in catastrophe.
“History is regressing
badly,” Ma thundered in his post. “As a Chinese of conscience, I cannot
Censors silenced him
anyway, swiftly wiping his post from the internet.
As China’s rubber-stamp
legislature prepares to approve constitutional changes abolishing term
limits for the president on Sunday, signs of dissent and biting satire
have been all but snuffed out. The stifling censorship leaves
intellectuals, young white-collar workers and retired veterans of past
political campaigns using roundabout ways to voice their concerns. For
many, it’s a foreshadowing of greater political repression ahead.
I quite agree with Ma
Bo and I admire his courage, but I should add that Xi Jinping has very
much more power than Mao Zedong ever had, and that he owes
this to the invention of the internet, that
seems to have been
sponsored and planned by men like Zbigniew Brzezinski since 1967
and which is the purest gift to spies, sadists, neofascists and
each and every dictator anywhere: A few hundreds of thousands of
anonymous and secret spies now finally can fully control tens of
millions by implicitly knowing all they want, believe, desire, and do.
So yes, I believe Ma
Bo. Here is more on the consciences of very many Chinese:
“There’s a lot of fear,”
said Ma, who writes under the pen name Old Ghost. “People know that
Xi’s about to become the emperor, so they don’t dare cross his path.
Most people are just watching, observing.”
Once passed, the
constitutional amendment would upend a system enacted by former Chinese
leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent a return to the bloody excesses
of a lifelong dictatorship typified by Mao Zedong’s chaotic 1966-1976
As I said, I agree with
Ma. Then again, I have to supplement Shih and Wang, and do so on the
basis of a recent rereading of Simon Leys´s
Ryckmans) ¨The New Clothes of Chairman Mao¨, which was first
1971. According to Ryckmans - whom I trust, and who was one of the few
Westerners who wrote the truth about China, based on a solid
understanding of Chinese, and to the best of his abilities, since the
And my supplement is
simply this: Mao´s efforts to become or remain a dictator started
already in 1956-57, with the Hundred
Flowers Campaign, and lasted until 1976, when Mao died. I think
that is correct, and for more see the last link and the books by Simon
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
However, a 35-year old IT
industry worker surnamed Huang said her friends were concerned about
China returning to the Mao era.
“I saw on (state
broadcaster) CCTV’s evening news that they were saying everyone fully
supports the constitutional amendments, but no one asked us for our
opinion. Our opinion is quickly censored,” she said. “This is China.
What can we do about it?”
Neither would give their
full names as is common among Chinese when commenting on politics.
Even some of the
government’s most outspoken critics have been reluctant to loudly
criticize the constitutional amendment.
Well... since with the help of internet the
Chinese government can read all or the very large
majority of any critical writing that is done in China or
that reaches China from the outside, the Chinese government can
probably shut up virtually all Chinese who live in China.
And that is the main
and quite frightening difference between Mao´s China and Xi´s
Xi´s China any critic can be very quickly found; his or
can be very quickly be disappeared; and indeed the same
may happen to
the person who wrote or published the criticism. This is a recommended
Trump's Relentless Fixer: The Many Mysterious Doings of Michael Cohen
This article is by Heather Digby Parton on AlterNet and originally on
Salon. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. The reference
to ¨putting horse's heads
in people's beds¨ is in
fact to ¨The
Godfather¨ (which is from 1972). And I did not know who Mr.
Cohen is, but after having seen his words quoted, I have no hesitation
to say - as a psychologist - that he strikes me as a typical sadist.
And sadists are briefly defined as follows (in my Philosophical
If there is one person
lurking around the shadows of every Trump scandal, it would be his
personal lawyer Michael Cohen, known as the Tom Hagen of the Trump
family, only with much less class and dignity than the original consigliere
of "Godfather" fame. Back in 2011 ABC News described
him as "the man behind Donald Trump's possible 2012 presidential
campaign," and asked him about the Hagen reference. He replied:
Presumably that does not
include putting horse's heads in people's beds, but you never know. He
certainly likes to make people believe he would stop at nothing to
protect "Mr. Trump."
[I]f somebody does
something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to
resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit. If you do something wrong, I'm going
to come at you, grab you by the neck and I'm not going to let you go
until I'm finished.
Sadism: pleasure derived
from the misfortunes of others or from causing others pain or misery.
In case you doubt this,
here is some more:
The term 'sadism' is
derived from the Marquis
de Sade, who much exulted in sexual pleasure derived from the
infliction of pain and of cruelty to others, and who wrote many books
in praise of sadism, especially in the defined sexual sense.
When sadism is defined
without necessary involvement of sexual pleasure, but in effect as the
human-all-too-human joys derived from malice,
it may be seen that sadism, thus defined, accounts for many human acts,
especially against those whom the perpetrators dislike, consider as
enemies, or believe to be inferior.
Indeed, there is much
more sadism in human beings
than most are willing to admit: Very many people derive much
pleasure from being in positions of power and by hurting, denigrating,
demeaning or displeasing others. It probably does not arouse most of
them sexually, but they wouldn't do it if it did not please them. And
this kind of pleasure
seems to be one of the strongest motivators of those who desire to be
boss: To let others feel they are inferior.
"We never hurt each other
but by error or by malice."
Robert Chambers, possibly inspired by Dr. Johnson)
I say. There
is more in the article, that is recommended.
At the beginning of the
campaign CNN's Don Lemon questioned Trump about his declaration that
undocumented immigrants were criminals and rapists and Trump responded,
"Well, somebody's doing the raping." This prompted Brandy Zadrozny and
Tim Mak of the Daily Beast to inquire into claims by Trump's first wife,
Ivana, during their divorce that Trump had blamed her for his botched
scalp reduction surgery and violently raped her in retaliation. Cohen
responded to the reporters by saying that a spouse cannot legally be
held liable for rape (which is not true) and threatened them in true
I’m warning you, tread
very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to
be fucking disgusting. You understand me? You write a story that has
Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess
your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet … you’re
going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know
how to get out from underneath it.
of Four: Senators Call for Tillerson to Enter into Arms Control Talks
with the Kremlin
This article is by Gilbert Doctorow and Ray McGovern on
Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
In a sad commentary
on the parlous state of the U.S. media, a letter to Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson from four United States Senators dated March 8 calling
for opening arms control talks with the Kremlin ASAP is nowhere to be
found in mainstream newspapers a day after its release on the Senate
home page of one of the authors, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Nothing in the
New York Times. Nothing in the Washington Post. And so, it
is left to alternative media to bring to the attention of its
readership a major development in domestic politics, a significant
change in what its own senior politicians are saying should be done
about Russia that was brought to our attention by …..the Russian
mainstream media including the agency RIA Novosti, RBK, Tass within
hours of initial posting.
I say, which I do because
Doctorow and McGovern are certainly quite right in saying that this is
the first time that I hear of this ¨major development in domestic politics¨, which I agree with them is - let´s
say - somewhat extra-ordinary, though I also agree with them (I think)
that the American mainstream media tend to be filled wit various kinds
Here is some more on Feinstein and Sanders:
What we have is,
first, a genuine man bites dog story. Two of the senators who
penned the letter, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders
(I-Vermont), have in recent months been among the most vociferous
promoters of the unproven allegations of Trump collusion with the
Russians. Now they are putting aside for the moment their attacks on
Trump and members of his entourage who dared shake hands or share a
joke with a Russian ambassador. They are openly calling upon the
Secretary of State to send U.S. personnel to negotiate with Putin’s
minions over our survival on this planet.
Well... first of all, I admit
that I strongly dislike Dianne Feinstein, while I like Bernie Sanders.
And I add that since I am convinced that ¨Russia-gate¨ is very probably
a false story, I
do not understand Sanders´ position with regards to Russia. But
then I can like a man for his character and much of his
politics, without agreeing on all he says, and that it my
position about Sanders.
Also, I grant that I cannot possibly read all or most of the
¨Russia-gate¨ ¨news¨, but I think that the paragraph I just quoted may
be a little strong.
Anyway. Here is some more:
Not to be ruled out
is the possibility that the four senators may also be motivated by a
new appreciation of the dangers of blaming everything on Russia, with
the possible result of U.S.-Russia relations falling into a state of
complete disrepair. The key question is whether President Putin can be
de-demonized. That will depend on the mainstream media, which, alas, is
not accustomed to reassessing and silencing the bellicose drums — even
in the face of new realities like the petering out of Russiagate and
Putin’s entirely credible declaration of strategic parity.
Quite possibly so, although I
also think that ¨de-demonizing¨ Putin for the purpose of the relations
between the USA and Russia does less depend ¨on the mainstream media¨
than it does
on the ideas and values within the CIA, the NSA and the
4. America’s Shkreli
This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as
On Friday, Martin
sentenced to seven years in prison. What, if anything, does Shkreli’s
downfall tell us about modern America?
In 2015, Shkreli founded
and became CEO Turing Pharmaceuticals. Under his direction Turing spent
$55 million for the U.S.
rights to sell a drug called Daraprim. Developed in 1953, Daraprim
is the only
approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease that can
birth defects in unborn babies, and lead to seizures, blindness, and
cancer patients and people with AIDS. Daraprim is on the World Health
Organization’s list of Essential
Months after he bought the
drug, Schkreli raised its price by over 5,000 percent, from
$13.50 a pill to $750.00.
Shkreli was roundly
criticized, but he was defiant: “No one wants to say it, no one’s proud
of it, but this is
a capitalist society, a capitalist system and capitalist rules.” He
said he wished he had raised the price even
higher, and would buy another essential drug and
raise its price, too.
I should start by
admitting that I am not interested in Shkreli as a person, but
interested in him as a type. And in fact I guess the same is true of
Robert Reich, although I think I should add that Reich - who is
¨progressive¨ and a ¨liberal¨, as these terms are used in the USA - has
been and probably still is considerably more pro-capitalism than I am.
Then again, I think he
is mostly right about Martin Shkreli. Here is some more about Shkreli:
In anticipation of
his criminal trial,
Shkreli boasted to the New Yorker
magazine, “I think they’ll return a not-guilty verdict in two hours.
going to be jurors who will be fans of mine. I walk down the streets of
York and people shake my hand. They say, ‘I want to be just like you.’”
During his trial, Shkreli
strolled into a room filled with
reporters and made light of a particular witness, for which the trial
rebuked him. On his Facebook
page he mocked the prosecutors,
and told news outlets they were a “junior
He retaliated against journalists
him by purchasing internet domains associated with their names and
them on the sites. “I wouldn’t call these people ‘journalists,’” he
wrote in an
email to Business Insider. He said on
Facebook that if he were acquitted he’d be able to have sex with a
journalist he often posted about online.
Well... in brief,
Shkreli is another sadist (see the link for my
sense), but this time of a more neofascist
type than some others, and without - it seems - any
norm other than his personal greed and his personal
that, in his eyes, justify anything whatsoever:
is tragic and pathetic, but I ask you: How different is
Martin Shkreli from
other figures who dominate American life today, even at the highest
Shkreli will do whatever it
takes to win,
regardless of the consequences for anyone else. He believes that the
norms other people live by don’t apply to
him. His attitude toward the law is that anything he wants to do is
unless it is clearly illegal – and even if illegal, it’s okay if
he can get away with it.
He’s contemptuous of
anyone who gets in his way –
whether judges, prosecutors, members of Congress, or journalists. He
remains unapologetic for what he did. He is utterly shameless.
Sound familiar? The Shkreli
personality disorder can be found on Wall Street, in the executive
suites of some of America’s largest corporations, in Hollywood, in
Silicon Valley, in some of our most prestigious universities, and in
Washington. If you look hard enough, you might even find it in Trump’s
Face it: America has a
I disagree with Reich
that ¨Shkreli’s story
is tragic and pathetic¨:
I think the legal outcome was quite deserved, but I agree with Reich
that quite a few of the ¨figures
who dominate American life today, even at the highest rungs¨ are sadists, psychopaths (not
¨sociopaths¨), or moral degenerates, who also usually happen to be neofascists,
for the simple reason that for them there are precisely two rules
greed and personal profits.
It is possible
(and somewhat probable) that not all are explicit and self-conscious sadists, but then again it is quite
difficult to say objectively where personal greed ends and where
personal sadism starts, especially if the personal greed gave them
millions which were effectively stolen from the poorest Americans there
are. And this is a recommended article.
Is a Dangerous Idiot. So Why Are We Pushing Him Toward War?
This article is by Matt Taibbi on Common Dreams and originally on
Rolling Stone. This is from near its beginning:
I say, which I do this
time quite simply because none of the above ever reached me,
and I also
have no ideas about it, except that I disbelieve the ridiculous names
Hamilton 68 assigns to what it disqualifies as ¨Russian bots¨: These
names simply sound too stupid.
Madeline Albright, Senator Chris Murphy, New York Times correspondent
Steven Erlanger, U.S. NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and a host
of other CNN panelist types are getting together to discuss how to
solve that whole "The
people are revolting!" problem Beltway pols have been stumbling
over for years now.
The Alliance is part of the
German Marshall Fund, which in turn is the group that built Hamilton
68, whose "digital
dashboard" blacklist site exists to remind us daily that Russians
are lurking behind basically all unorthodox opinions here in the U.S.
Such opinions apparently include any desire to not get into a nuclear
For instance, according to Hamilton
68, five of the Russian bots' current six "top trending topics" are
"South Korea," "Kim Jong Un," "Kim," "Jong" and "Un."
Here is more by Matt Taibbi:
I stupidly thought
it was good news that Trump had been convinced to sit down with Kim
Jong Un to negotiate an end to the nuclear standoff, as opposed to
letting him continue to egg
Kim on to launch via Freudian name-calling sessions and late-night
Well... I think I
understand Matt Taibbi, but I don´t quite agree with him. And the
problem I see with Taibbi´s position - ¨it would be preferable to have him gagged,
perhaps with the straitjacket-and-mask setup¨ - is quite simply that Trump is president of
and these measures are completely irrealistic for any such man,
however bad and rotten he may be (and is, in Trump´s case, for
said: I think I
understand Matt Taibbi).
Obviously, whenever Donald
Trump is involved in any meeting of import, and particularly a peace
negotiation, it would be preferable to have him gagged, perhaps with
the straitjacket-and-mask setup they used to allow Hannibal Lecter to speak with Senator
Ruth Martin in Silence of the Lambs. Certainly you don't
want him making any sudden movements toward the nuclear football in a
meeting with Kim.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
We have the dumbest,
least competent White House in history. Whatever else anyone in America
has as a goal for Trump's remaining time in office, the single most
important priority must to be keeping this guy away from the nuclear
button. Almost anything else would be survivable.
My point is that while I
probably agree far more than not with Taibbi´s judgements about
I also cannot deny he is president of the USA and that he may
nuclear war whenever he pleases in any case, whether or not he
personally with Kim Jong-Un.
Anyway... while I disagree with Taibbi´s present judgement, I like him
enough to recommend his present 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 (!!).