from June 12, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 12, 2018:
1. The Nightmare of Neoliberal Fascism
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. Preventing Trump From Starting a Nuclear War
3. How Corporate Media Got the Trump-Kim Summit All Wrong
4. Here's What the Financial Elite Doesn’t Want You to Know
5. Republicans Lost Their Way Long Before Trump (But So Did
Nightmare of Neoliberal Fascism
is by Mark Karlin on Truthout.
In fact, it is about Henry Giroux,
who is 74 at the moment. It is also
the last time he will appear in Nederlog, because I think he is a fraud
in the same way as my professors of the "University" of Amsterdam were
nearly all both frauds and incompetents (and most of them also
of the Dutch "Social Democrats", who are not social democrats at all,
but rich elitarians with a "leftist" propaganda
I am sorry, but I wanted to give Giroux one more try. Here is why this
was the last try. The article starts as follows:
Is there a chance to
defeat the forces of neoliberal fascism? Henry A. Giroux explains why
we must understand the historical and contemporary context of fascism
to understand what we are up against.
Reduced to more or less
clear English: There is something like fascism in the USA and it
to understand its history.
Mark Karlin: Why is
it important to have an historical understanding of fascism to shed
light on the age of Trump?
Henry A. Giroux: The
conditions leading to fascism do not exist in some ethereal space
outside of history. Nor are they fixed in a static moment in the past.
As Hannah Arendt reminds us, the protean elements of fascism always run
the risk of crystallizing into new forms. Historical memory is a
prerequisite to the political and moral witnessing necessary to
successfully counter growing fascism in the United States today. As
Richard Evans, the renowned historian of modern Germany, observes, the
Trump administration may not replicate all the features of Germany and
Italy in the 1930s, but the legacy of fascism is important because it
echoes a “warning from history” that cannot be dismissed.
Here is more:
elements of history are suppressed and historical consciousness and
memory no longer provide insights into the workings of repression,
exploitation and resistance, people are easily trapped in forms of
historical and social amnesia that limit their sense of perspective,
their understanding of how power works and the ways in which the
elements of fascism sustain themselves in different practices. Fascism
is not unvarying and expresses its most fundamental attacks on
democracy in different arrangements, which is all the more reason for
people to develop what Timothy Snyder calls “an active relationship to
history” in order to prevent a normalizing relationship to
authoritarian regimes such as the United States under Trump’s rule.
Surely, a critical understanding of history would go a long way in
enabling the American people to recognize the elements of a fascist
discourse in much of Trump’s racist tweets, speeches and policies.
Reduced to more or less
clear English: There
is something like fascism in the USA and it helps to understand its
And here is the last bit that I quote from this article (in
is a lot more, all in the same manner of "English"):
provides us with a vital resource that helps inform the ethical ground
for resistance, an antidote to Trump’s politics of disinformation,
division, diversion and fragmentation. Moreover, history reminds us
that in the face of emerging forms of authoritarianism, solidarity is
essential. If there is one thing that the important lessons of history
in the work of writers such as George Orwell have taught us, it is that
we must refuse to be complicit in the mockery of truth.
Reduced to more or less
clear English: "History
unexpurgated" (?!) helps us
to understand society.
As I said, there is a whole lot more, but it is all written or
said in the same mode of "English".
I do not think Mr. Giroux is worth reading (and although he is
74 he also published a picture of himself in his early thirties in this
very article - I take it that is a clear indication of his honesty).
You may disagree, but this is the last time he occurred
Trump From Starting a Nuclear War
This article is by
Jon Schwarz on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
In fact - as you very probably
know - today Trump and Kim will meet in Singapore. I think both
are dangerous men, but I agree with the last paragraph of
I just quoted - and incidentally, if this develops into a
then both Koreas will very probably be totally destroyed, and
the Chinese will enter as well, with nuclear arms, and we all risk
being killed soon.
Last March at the Gridiron
Club dinner in Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump joked, “I won’t
rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un — I just won’t. As far as the
risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem, not
This may be the only
genuinely funny thing Trump has ever said. And it was funny ’cause it’s
true. Trump’s behavior toward North Korea in 2017 was berserk and
terrifying. Equally so was his recent hiring of ultrahawk John Bolton —
who believes it would be perfectly
legal and admirable for the U.S. to attack North Korea right
this second — as his national security adviser. Trump’s bombastic
exchange of threats with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was a key reason why
the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its “Doomsday Clock” to two
minutes to midnight, the closest
it’s ever been.
Yet the Washington, D.C.,
foreign policy “Blob” (as
dubbed by Ben Rhodes, one of Barack Obama’s top aides) cannot perceive
what’s right in front of its face – that the danger in this situation
comes almost wholly from the United States in general and Trump in
particular. Under these circumstances, Trump’s willingness to
spurn the Blob and meet Kim in Singapore on Tuesday is an
unmitigated good, and the only thing that matters about the outcome is
whether it will place roadblocks between Trump and a catastrophic,
potentially nuclear war.
Here is some more:
famed for leaking the Pentagon Papers, began his career studying U.S.
nuclear strategy at the RAND corporation. He recently published “The
Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” which
warns that the risk of humanity destroying itself with nuclear weapons
is far higher than Americans understand. Ellsberg agrees “entirely,
and wholeheartedly” that the Blob’s handwringing is ludicrous. “I
personally can’t imagine” says Ellsberg, “an agreement that would be
worse — which would not be incomparably better — than a war with North
I agree with Ellsberg, although
I can imagine at least two situations that are even worse than
atomic war with North Korea: An atomic war with Russia or with China,
and the last possibility is genuine as soon as there is an atomic war
in North Korea.
Here is the ending of Schwarz's article:
We should all pray
that Tuesday is the beginning of long, drawn-out negotiations — whether
extremely successful or empty and fruitless — since as long as
discussions continue in any form, it will be exceedingly difficult for
Trump to mobilize the necessary support for war. Should we open 37
McDonald’s locations in Pyongyang? Invite Kim Jong Un to the
Mar-a-Lago Christmas party? Ask him to host “Saturday Night
Live”? Sure, why not. All that truly matters is that the
world just holds on until the United States has another president.
Yes, I agree. And this is a
Corporate Media Got the Trump-Kim Summit All Wrong
This article is by Gareth Porter
on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Actually, I don't know.
I read parts of The Guardian and parts of The New York Times every day
and while I don't think either is a good or reliable paper, and
both do belong to "the corporate media", I did not - quite -
For weeks, the corporate
media have been saying that the Trump-Kim summit could have only two
possible results: Either Trump will walk away angrily or Kim Jong Un
will trick him into a deal in which he extracts concessions from Trump
but never commits to complete denuclearization.
The idea that North Korea
could not possibly agree to give up its nuclear weapons or its
intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) has become an article of
faith among the journalists covering the issue for big media. Two
themes that have appeared again and again in their coverage are that
the wily North Koreans are “playing” Trump and that previous
administrations had also been taken by North Korea after signing
agreements in good faith.
Next, here is Joel S. Wit, who is presented as "One of the few Americans who can speak with authority
on North Korea’s calculus regarding nuclear weapons":
in an article last month that the North Koreans had informed the
American participants in those 2013 meetings that Kim was already
anticipating negotiations with the United States in which North Korea
would agree to give up nuclear weapons in return for steps by the
United States that removed its threatening posture toward North Korea.
Wit said his North Korean interlocutors had pointed to a June
2013 statement by the National Defense Commission of North
Korea—the nation’s highest policymaking body—which they stated
emphatically had been ordered by Kim himself to indicate a readiness to
negotiate with the United States on denuclearization. The statement
declared, “The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the behest
of our leader” and “must be carried out . . . without fail.”
I am not much
this because Kim is a dictator (as
were his grandfather and his
father), although I agree that - very probably - Kim knows
that in any
nuclear war he and most of North Korea will be be decimated by the USA,
which indeed may make some difference in his policies.
Here is some more:
I think the main point in
the above quotation is the last sentence. Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Kim has made major
adjustments in the North Korean negotiating posture that prevailed when
the 2013 meetings were held with nonofficial Americans. The North
Koreans had insisted then that the United States would have to remove
their troops from South Korea as part of any agreement, according to
Wit. But that demand has now been dropped, as Moon told
Trump in mid-April.
Kim also has frozen his entire
nuclear weapons and ICBM programs by suspending testing and blowing
up facilities and tunnels at its nuclear test facility in front of
foreign journalists in advance of negotiations with the United States.
What gives the freeze far-reaching significance is the fact that North
Korea still has not shown that it has mastered the reentry technology
or the guidance system necessary to have a convincing deterrent
Trump and Kim will
be able to agree only on a broad statement of principles that reflect
Pompeo’s meetings with the North Koreans, leaving significant
differences remaining to be resolved in negotiations over the coming
weeks. But this summit between what is surely the oddest couple in
modern diplomatic history may well launch the most serious effort yet
to end the U.S.-North Korean conflict.
Well... let's hope so,
indeed for the same reasons as Schwarz gave above.
And this is a recommended article.
What the Financial Elite Doesn’t Want You to Know
article is by Andrew O'Hehir on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It is
Varoufakis, whom O'Hehir depicts as little different from A Star.
Here are some quotations that explain why O'Hehir thinks so:
Varoufakis argues that the
entire Western economy has become a massive con game, on a scale
thousands or millions of times larger than anything Bernie Madoff could
have imagined. Furthermore, in his telling, it’s a con game run by
intelligent and not necessarily malevolent people who understand
perfectly well that the whole enterprise is a fraud that’s bound to
come crashing down eventually. He says he knows that to be true because
those people told him so, in the kinds of
closed-door meetings where the uppermost level of the managerial caste
discuss such things. That’s where the “Greek tragedy” enters the Greek
tragedy: Those who supposedly control the system have instead become
Varoufakis is an economist,
who tells O'Hehir's readers here that "the entire Western economy has become a massive con game", which he - Varoufakis - knows
because some of his friends, who are also economists in
leading positions in the academic or the political world "told him so".
I say. And it seems these same
people in leading
positions in the academic or the political world told Varoufakis
that they are all guiltless: "the system" has made them
Varoufakis believes all of
that, and indeed also believes capitalism has ceased to be, or at least
he says so. You may
believe him, but I do not.
Here is more on the
insiders Varoufakis considers his friends and (it seems) equals:
He depicts powerful
insiders whom many progressives would be inclined to view as
duplicitous villains, like Summers or International Monetary Fund chief
Christine Lagarde, in almost sympathetic terms. His title refers to an
infamous remark by Lagarde during the final stages of the Greek crisis
in June 2015, when she appeared to dismiss the left-wing government
Varoufakis represented as children: “The key emergency is to restore
the dialogue with adults in the room.” Despite that obvious insult,
Varoufakis says he got along well with Lagarde personally.
You see, Larry Summers
Lagarde are also not responsible for anything that
happened (and he really likes them). In fact, what Varoufakis
thinks about his friends is this (or so he says to O'Hehir):
It’s neither fair nor
accurate, Varoufakis told me during our Salon Talks conversation last
fall, to depict such people as scheming masterminds of the neoliberal
economy, pulling the strings from atop capitalism’s equivalent of Mount
Olympus. “What I experienced was people who were neither good nor bad
trying to do their best under circumstances not of their own choosing,”
he said, “and then using neoliberal narratives in order to justify
themselves, ex post facto. The question is, if they were not in
control, if they were powerful and at the same time powerless, what on
Earth is going on? Who is running the shop?”
See? And no, Varoufakis
does not answer his own question, but he does know one
more thing, namely that capitalism ceased to be:
collapsed in 2008, just as communism had collapsed in 1991 — the system
we have now is something else
This is an argument Varoufakis
has made many times, including in his 2011 book “The Global Minotaur.”
As he expressed it to me, the financial crisis of 2008 led to “a
wholesale collapse of what used to be called capitalism,” which has not
recovered nearly as much as most people believe. What we have instead
is an almost galactic-scale system of moving debt around to conceal the
various flaws and shortfalls in the system. Varoufakis calls it
“bankrupt-ocracy,” in which enormous but endangered or bankrupt
financial institutions wield enormous power over the rest of society.
“That’s not capitalism.”
See? You just should
believe Varoufakis, and there is no more capitalism, also - or
especially - not when "financial
institutions wield enormous power over the rest of society": "That’s not capitalism." What capitalism is Varoufakis does not
I am sorry, but I think
Varoufakis has all the marks of a TV-star, and none of
a decent thinker. He will also not figure in Nederlog anymore.
Lost Their Way Long Before Trump (But So Did the Democrats)
is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
There's been a spate of
articles about how Trump has "taken over" the Republican Party.
For example, New York Times columnist Charles Blow opened a
recent column saying, "In one way, Donald Trump’s presidency has been a
raging success: He stole a political party.” And former House Speaker
John Bohner said, "There is no Republican Party. There's a Trump party.
The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere."
The thing is, the
Republican Party was taken over long ago, and Trump is merely the
logical endpoint of that takeover. Moreover, the Democratic Party has
also been taken over, and by the same cast of characters.
The fact that it took the
election of a narcissistic reality show buffoon to get the media to
acknowledge—albeit only reluctantly and tacitly—that the Republican
Party is off the rails is one of the greatest stories never told. The
fact that they think Trump is the one who did it is a sign of gross
I more or less agree
with this, indeed mostly because (i) I believe the present developments
in capitalism are the consequences of changes that started under Reagan
and Thatcher, and indeed in the USA in 1971, by Lewis
Powell Jr., and
because (ii) the mechanism for corrupting and destroying most of
the Republicans and the Democrats as politicians for those who
elected them was the same: Plain corruption of
most members of the House and the Senate (each of whom is
10 personal lobbyists, it seems, who all try to sell them
Here is more:
While rich plutocrats had
attempted an actual
coup back in the early stages of Roosevelt’s administration, the
blueprint for a far more subtle and sophisticated one appeared on
August 23, 1971. On that date, Lewis Powell, a corporate lawyer
who would soon become a Supreme Court Justice, gave a friend at the
Chamber of Commerce a memo entitled, Attack
On American Free Enterprise System. As with the previous coup,
this one was issued in response to the popularity of the New Deal and
the Great Society in general, and regulations limiting corporate power
in particular. Powell outlined a strategy to defend against the
"attack" and to counter attack against "disquieting voices."
The counter attack was a
multi-billion dollar campaign funded by a few rich families and
corporations who invested in
this coup. They focused on: 1) creating a conservative
infrastructure composed of foundations, think tanks, academic chairs,
and media outlets; 2) discrediting government in general and
regulations in particular, while glorifying free markets; and 3)
developing sophisticated messaging to equip candidates and influence
the public. In short, they set up to shape polls, change the national
political dialogue, and virtually take the country over.
I think this is quite
correct (and indeed for more you could read the entire Nederlog,
although I think that is too much - a mere 400 MB - for anyone), as is
the inference that
the few rich succeeded tremendously,
if indeed slowly and over the
course of nearly forty years of - especially - deregulations.
Here is more:
I think this is also quite
true, except indeed for speaking of a "coup", and that for a
simple linguistic reason: A coup
is a brief and sudden
(attempted) radical (political) change, while the takeover of most of
powers by the rich for the rich did take quite a long time, and
"a coup" simply for that reason: It did not happen suddenly; it
took tens of years.
A measure of their success
is that we are now in the midst of the second longest period of
economic growth in US history, but it features the least
equitable distribution of economic gains in our nation's history.
So, from the beginning, the
coup sought to divide, distract, deceive, and dissemble in the
interests of gaining an ever-larger share of wealth and power. A key
component of their coup was to appeal to prejudice, racism, jingoism,
sexism, and a host of other "isms" to keep folks from realizing that
wealth wasn't trickling down; supply side strategies were merely
enriching the rich; and that deregulating the financial community and
the media, while gutting regulations protecting the environment, worker
safety, food safety, and drug safety was hurting the vast majority of
Americans while benefiting corporations and rich stockholders.
But this divide-and-conquer
effort isn't new. It began in earnest with Reagan (..)
And I think it
started in 1971 with Powell's memo, mentioned above.
When it mostly finished is debatable.
Here is some more, that might suggest the few rich got most of the
powers they wanted under Bill Clinton:
The only way Republicans
could have gotten away with such an epic con, is if there were no one
calling them on it. And in fact, that's the case. As noted,
what little of the press hadn't been purchased outright by big
corporations, neutered itself by a commitment to being "balanced"—as if
fact and fiction could somehow be compromised into truth.
Not only did Democrats fail
to take on the very obvious failings of the trickle-down, supply-side
con, they embraced much of the right's agenda, beginning with the DLC
sellout under Clinton. As Thomas Frank has pointed out:
Clinton had five major
achievements as president: NAFTA, the Crime Bill of 1994, welfare
reform, the deregulation of banks and telecoms, and the balanced
budget. All of them—every single one—were longstanding Republican
Democrats did this because
they’d become dependent upon campaign contributions from the ultra-rich
and corporations. In short, the coup captured both of the major
I more or less agree
(but it was not "a coup", simply because it did not
happen suddenly). And this is a recommended article.
 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 (!!).