from June 7, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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.
2. Crisis Files
These are five crisis files
that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 7, 2018:
1. Kim Jong-un’s Image Shift: From Nuclear Madman to Skillful
The 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:
2. Family Separation at Border May Be Subject to
Challenge, Judge Rules
3. The Unconstitutional Census Power Grab
4. Noam Chomsky Explains Exactly What's Wrong with
Slogan Voters – The Road to Political Masochism
Jong-un’s Image Shift: From Nuclear Madman to Skillful Leader
article is by Choe Sang-Hun on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
He ordered his uncle
executed and half brother assassinated. He spent millions developing
and testing a hydrogen bomb and intercontinental ballistic missiles as
his people suffered severe food shortages. He exchanged threats of
nuclear annihilation with President Trump, calling the American leader
a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”
was last year’s image.
more recent months, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has achieved one
of the most striking transformations in modern diplomacy.
man described by critics as a murderous dictator and nuclear lunatic
has held hands and had heart-to-heart talks with South Korea’s
president, Moon Jae-in, who has encouraged and abetted Mr. Kim’s
Yes, this is more or less true, and is so because
the way it is described, namely in terms of two different (public)
Then again, some underlying relevant facts are
these (it seems to me):
(1) Kim Jong-un is the dictator of North-Korea, which is a totalitarian
run by the
Kim family since the early 1950-ies (and
Jong-un is the third Kim in line), and
(2) the present approach, with Moon Jae-in, is in the end due to the
fact that both North and
South Korea will be blown up in a
(apart from whatever else will be blown up),
(3) which has been threatened by both Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.
I think all of these are facts, but as I said: I agree
with Choe Sang-Hun on the radical shift in the public image of
- especially - Kim Jong-un.
Here is some more:
Well... I grant the public
image of Kim Jong-un has changed somewhat (for the moment, at least),
but he remains a totalitarian
dictator. I think it has changed mainly
because Kim Jong-un thinks it quite possible that the USA will use
atomic weapons against him, in which case he is lost, as will be both
Koreas, while the
South-Korean leader, Moon Jae-in agrees with this analysis.
a dazzle of diplomatic initiatives in the run-up to his historic June
12 summit meeting with Mr. Trump in Singapore, Mr. Kim has effectively
redefined himself. Some South Koreans now see him as more reliable than
Mr. Trump despite the decades-long alliance between their country and
the United States.
Kim’s enhanced standing among South Koreans was crystallized by recent
images of him walking in the woods with Mr. Moon, and on a beach with
President Xi Jinping of China discussing North Korea’s nuclear program.
The optics contrasted with
what many South Koreans view as Mr. Trump’s scattershot diplomacy, in
which he abruptly canceled the Singapore summit meeting,
then reversed himself after Mr. Kim authorized a calm statement
offering Mr. Trump
“time and opportunity” to change his mind.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
Yes, this is more or less
correct, and there is more in this article, that is recommended.
the West, Mr. Kim, 34, has often been caricatured as a chubby child toying with nuclear missiles.
Mr. Trump, more than twice his age, has called Mr. Kim “short and fat,”
a “sick puppy” and a “little rocket man.”
when Mr. Trump meets Mr. Kim, the American leader will be dealing with
the ruler of a totalitarian regime adept at political theatrics to
bolster Mr. Kim’s charisma at home and advance his agenda abroad.
Separation at Border May Be Subject to Constitutional Challenge, Judge
article is by Miriam Jordan on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
A federal judge in
San Diego on Wednesday refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the
Trump administration’s practice of taking children from immigrants when
they arrive at the border to seek asylum, ruling that the “wrenching
separation” of families may violate the Constitution’s guarantees of
conduct, if true, as it is assumed to be on the present motion, is
brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of
fair play and decency,” Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the Southern District
of California wrote in his 25-page opinion.
judge rejected the government’s claim that the practice of family
separations — one of the most controversial features of the
government’s crackdown on illegal immigration — cannot be challenged on
constitutional grounds, though he did dismiss a separate challenge
claiming that the practice violates asylum laws.
ruling in the case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union,
suggests the court would be open to considering a claim that taking
children away from parents who are legally trying to seek asylum in the
United States constitutes a violation of the family’s rights to due
Well... I completely agree with Judge Dana M. Sabraw (though perhaps not on
the asylum laws, but this is merely an aside, here and now).
is what presently is happening in the USA:
General Jeff Sessions announced last month that the administration
would criminally prosecute everyone who illegally crosses the Southwest
border, in what he called a “zero tolerance” policy intended to deter
new migrants, mainly from Central America.
most of those cases, children traveling with those immigrants are now
taken to separate detention facilities, often hundreds or thousands of
of the plaintiffs in the case was a Congolese woman who had been
separated from her 7-year-old daughter after applying for asylum at the
border in San Ysidro, Calif. According to the lawsuit, the pair had
turned themselves in to agents at the port of entry, but after about
five days, the child was taken away “screaming and crying, pleading
with guards not to take her from her mother,” according to the suit.
The child was sent to a shelter in Chicago.
I'd say myself this is plain terrorism, by
police, directed against families who committed no crimes
(other than -
perhaps - illegally crossing some border).
Here is more on the case served before Judge Sabraw:
parents who are abusive or unfit to care for their children can legally
have them taken away, the suit argued.
the strongest possible language, the court rejected the Trump
administration’s claim that these families have no constitutional right
to remain together,” said Mr. Gelernt, who argued the case.
I agree with Gelernt, and this is a recommended article.
3. The Unconstitutional
Census Power Grab
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
The Trump administration’s
decision to alter the 2020 Census to ask people if they are American
citizens is an unconstitutional power grab that would hurt
many disadvantaged Americans. It must be stopped.
The U.S. Constitution calls
for “actual enumeration” of the total population for an explicit
purpose: To count the residents – not just citizens,
residents – of every state to properly allocate congressional
representatives to the states based on population.
Asking whether someone is a
citizen could cause some immigrants — not just non-citizens, but also
those with family members or close friends who aren’t citizens — not to
respond for fear that they or their loved ones would be deported. In
the current climate of fear, this isn’t an irrational response.
Reich. Here is more:
The result would be a systemic
undercounting of immigrant communities – with two grossly unfair
First, these communities
and the states they’re in would get less federal aide. Census data
is used in over 132 programs nationwide to allocate over $675 billion
An undercount would deprive
many immigrant communities and their states of the health care,
education and assistance they need and are entitled to.
communities and the states they’re in would have fewer representatives
in Congress. The Census count determines the distribution of
congressional seats among states. Under the Constitution, these seats
depend on the total number of people residing in the state, not just
Again I completely
Here is the ending of the article:
This is nothing but a
Republican power grab orchestrated by the White House. Tell your
members of Congress, it must be stopped.
Quite so, and this is a
Chomsky Explains Exactly What's Wrong with Libertarianism
This article is by Michael Wilson and Noam Chomsky on
AlterNet and originally on Modern Success. This is from near the
As an out-spoken,
actual, live-and-breathing anarchist, I wanted to know how he could
align himself with such a controversial and marginal position.
Yes, this is a decent
articulation of a fundamental intuition on which anarchism (of
which there are many different kinds) is based. It may be
shortened by saying that anarchists question power, and
dislike situations and societies where some have much
more power (which
usually coincides with: much more wealth) than others.
Michael S. Wilson: You are,
among many other things, a self-described anarchist — an
anarcho-syndicalist, specifically. Most people think of
anarchists as disenfranchised punks throwing rocks at store windows, or
masked men tossing ball-shaped bombs at fat industrialists. Is
this an accurate view? What is anarchy to you?
Noam Chomsky: Well, anarchism
is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which
shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some
leading characteristics. Primarily it is a tendency that is
suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy.
It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the
whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say,
imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are
justified. It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a
position of power and authority lies on them. Their authority is
not self-justifying. They have to give a reason for it, a
justification. And if they can’t justify that authority and power
and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be
dismantled and replaced by something more free and just. And, as
I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency. It takes
different forms at different times.
I am also an anarchist in this sense (in fact: since 1971) and I may
refer you to my Nederlog article "On
Socialism", in which I discuss various kinds of socialism,
including Chris Hedges's, George Orwell's and my own.
Here is some more on Noam Chomsky's own kind of anarchism:
is a particular variety of anarchism which was concerned primarily,
though not solely, but primarily with control over work, over the work
place, over production. It took for granted that working people
ought to control their own work, its conditions, [that] they ought to
control the enterprises in which they work, along with communities, so
they should be associated with one another in free associations, and …
democracy of that kind should be the foundational elements of a more
general free society. And then, you know, ideas are worked out
about how exactly that should manifest itself, but I think that is the
core of anarcho-syndicalist thinking. I mean it’s not at all the
general image that you described — people running around the streets,
you know, breaking store windows — but [anarcho-syndicalism] is a
conception of a very organized society, but organized from below by
direct participation at every level, with as little control and
domination as is feasible, maybe none.
I more or less agree with
anarcho-syndicalism (see my "On Socialism"),
but I do not think I am an anarcho-syndicalist, and that is
mainly because if I have to opt for a specific kind of anarchism I opt
for a kind of philosophical
anarchism, that - quite probably,
but I don't know - is less optimistic than Chomsky's anarchism.
It is so because I believe that while intelligent, well-educated,
people of good will towards others, will be sympathetic of a
society that will be anarchistic in some senses (such
has being against
large differences in wealth, large differences of power,
and for social
and personal freedom), I have also concluded, again already
that so far there have not been enough intelligent, well-educated, people of
good will with anarchic inclinations to create anything like an
anarchistic society (on any large scale).
Also - and this very probably is based on my personal
experiences - I have been educated in a communist family
(by sincere, intelligent, very courageous parents, but with
little formal education), and one of the lessons I learned from that is
that I deeply detest what seems to
me the basic activity
of many leftist groups, which is to attack other
leftist group as traitors of some social ideal.
And I did not want to be part of any such a leftist
since I was 21, also not if I nominally agreed with its presumptions.
Back to Wilson and Chomsky. Here is Chomsky on (neo-)libertarianism:
or less agree, although I think this is mainly about neoliberalism,
which in fact is a kind of neo-conservatism, that in practice
often - not: always - comes down to neofascism
(in my sense, and check the link if you haven't done so: it is
a good definition, unlike many others, and indeed virtually all
"definitions" - of anything whatsoever - that I have seen from any
Wilson: (...) Why should we
choose anarchy, as opposed to, say, libertarianism?
Chomsky: Well what’s called
libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon,
it doesn’t really exist anywhere else — a little bit in England —
permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands
of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do
whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic,
concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society.
Here is more by Chomsky, who starts in fact speaking about what I
prefer to call neofascism:
and so well
that kind of libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just
a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable
private tyranny. Anarchism is quite different from that. It
calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny.
Including the kind of tyranny that’s internal to private power
concentrations. So why should we prefer it? Well I think
because freedom is better than subordination. It’s better to be
free than to be a slave. It's better to be able to make your own
decisions than to have someone else make decisions and force you to
I basically agree,
although I think my sum-up of most kinds of anarchism - against large differences in wealth,
against large differences of power, and for social
and personal freedom
- seems to me to be a bit clearer.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this fine article:
(Chomsky:) And the
other means of control are control of beliefs and attitudes. And
out of that grew the public relations industry, which in those days
described itself honestly as an industry of propaganda.
Yes indeed. In fact, Edward Bernays's "Propaganda" is on
under the last link. But his basic view was as Chomsky indicated: There
is only a small number of really intelligent people; these are always
the rich; and the few and intelligent rich should have virtually
complete control over the
“unwashed masses”, because these cannot be trusted to think for
The guru of the PR industry,
Edward Bernays — incidentally, not a reactionary, but a
Wilson-Roosevelt-Kennedy liberal — the maiden handbook of the PR
industry which he wrote back in the 1920s was called Propaganda.
And in it he described, correctly, the goal of the industry. He
said our goal is to insure that the “intelligent minority” — and of
course anyone who writes about these things is part of that intelligent
minority by definition, by stipulation, so we, the intelligent
minority, are the only people capable of running things, and there’s
that great population out there, the “unwashed masses,” who, if they’re
left alone will just get into trouble: so we have to, as he put
it, “engineer their consent,” figure out ways to insure they consent to
our rule and domination. And that’s the goal of the PR
industry. And it works in many ways. Its primary commitment
is commercial advertising.
There is considerably more in this article, and it is strongly
Voters – The Road to Political Masochism
article is by Ralph
Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Nearly a year and a
half into his presidency, Donald Trump continues to hold his base and
maintain an approval rating of around 40% – close to the same
percentage he polled at just after his inauguration. Let’s try to
figure out why.
Yes indeed, this is - alas
- quite true. Then again, I think I have figured out why, and I put it
under five headings: stupidity, ignorance, conformism,
thinking. Each of these five has been defined in my Philosophical
Dictionary, and I strongly advise you to read all five if you have
Here is a part of Nader's explanation of why 40% of the U.S.
voted for Trump, and in large majority still do (and I
say: because of
satisfying one or more of the above five grounds):
It can’t be because
he lies as a matter of daily routine. It can’t be because he’s
giving away our store to big business – engaging in crony capitalism,
creating more tax loopholes for corporations, shredding corporate crime
enforcement, knowingly exposing Americans to more toxic pollution,
committing more business fraud, adding more hazards to the workplace,
cutting access to health insurance, and thereby making America dread
I agree with Nader on what
" It can’t be", and in fact there are more such
arguments in Nader's article.
It can’t be because he’s
taking your tax dollars away from repairing your infrastructure back
home – schools, public transit, bridges, highways, airports, power
grids, drinking water systems, etc., and pouring money into the bloated
Pentagon budget beyond what even the Generals requested. (The
huge “infrastructure project” he promised has yet to be proposed
It can’t be because he is
soiling our society’s moral and ethical fabric and breaking the Golden
Rule. (Trump is a peerless Oval Office bully, lashing out against
the weak, powerless and defenseless.)
Here is Nader on what he thinks is one important reason why so many
Trumpian voters in 2016 still support Trump:
words and deeds have not changed the minds of 40 percent of people
polled. What else is going on here?
Well... I agree with
there is a large group of Slogan Voters. But then again, I
think I explain
there existence by insisting on the presence of large groups of
Americans (voters and non-voters) who are in fact suffering from stupidity, ignorance, conformism, egoism and/or wishful
One answer is Slogan
Voters. I’ve spoken to many people who are still for Trump
despite all of his lies and misdeeds. They don’t pay much
attention to politics. When they do, they reveal themselves as
Slogan Voters. They are content with Trump’s rhetoric and rarely
look beneath the surface at the details. That is, they are not
bothered by being fact-deprived in political matters.
Here is what they tell
me: They hate Hillary. They like Trump. They repeat
the three slogans: Make America Great Again, Drain the Swamp, and
Lock Her Up! Over and over again.
The article ends as follows:
One thing you have
to credit these Slogan Voters for: THEY VOTE!!
Yes indeed - but then I think my
explanation makes sense, and indeed besides that there is the fact that
half of all Americans have an IQ of maximally 100. And this is a
Yeah, “Making America Great
Again, Drain the Swamp, and Lock Her Up!”
 I have
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 (!!).