from June 30, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 30, 2018:
1. The Anatomy of Trumpocracy: An Interview With Noam Chomsky
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. America's Regime Change Toolbox
3. Democratic Elite Scrambles to Respond to Ocasio-Cortez
4. Federal Judge Blocks Kentucky's Trump-Backed Medicaid Work
5. How America's Wars Fund Inequality at Home
Anatomy of Trumpocracy: An Interview With Noam Chomsky
This article is by
C.J. Polychroniou on Truthout. It starts as follows:
With its spate of
right-wing rulings this week, the Supreme Court has paved the way for
Donald Trump and the Republican-dominated Congress to intensify their
attacks on human rights, workers and the country’s democratic
institutions, dragging the US deeper into the abyss.
US political culture has
long been dominated by oligarchical corporate and financial interests,
militarism and jingoism, but the current Trumpocracy represents a new
level of neoliberal cruelty. Indeed, the United States is turning into
a pariah nation, a unique position among Western states in the second
decade of the 21st century.
What factors and the forces
produced this radical and dangerous shift? How did Trump manage to
bring the Republican Party under his total control? Is Trumpocracy a
temporary phenomenon, or the future of American politics? Is the Bernie
Sanders phenomenon over? In the exclusive Truthout interview below,
world-renowned scholar and public intellectual Noam Chomsky, Emeritus
Professor of Linguistics at MIT and currently Laureate Professor of
Linguistics at the University of Arizona, tackles these questions and
offers his unique insights.
Yes indeed - and
incidentally, also see item 5, which is about financing
the American wars: This happens mostly on credit. I will select
only three bits from this interview. Here is the first:
For years, both parties
have drifted to the right — the Republicans off the spectrum of normal
parliamentary politics. Their dedication to wealth and corporate power
is so extreme that they cannot get votes on their actual policies —
which are now being revealed to us daily — and so have had to mobilize
a voting base on issues unrelated to their service to their actual
constituency. These include religious fundamentalism — a major
phenomenon in the US unlike other developed societies — white
supremacy, xenophobia and other latent anti-social attitudes that tend
to break through to the surface during periods of disillusionment and
Yes indeed. Also, my
own theory about how the American "representatives of
ceased to be "representatives of the people" in the almost 40 years
that started with Reagan, is that most "representatives of the
have been bought (through lobbyists, mostly) by the very rich: They
a whole lot richer, themselves, simply because they are corrupt.
Also, this is not
a theory: There is a lot of evidence for it. And in any case, this is
the background I provide: American democracy ceased to be, and was
replaced by corruption.
Here is some on Trump:
No, I don't think I agree
with this. More precisely, I agree with the first paragraph, but not
with the second. And about the second paragraph I have two remarks.
Trump himself seems to be
having the time of his life. He’s constantly in the limelight, his
loyal base worships his every move, he’s free to defy convention, to
insult anyone he chooses, to disrupt the international economic and
political order at will — whatever comes to mind next, knowing that
he’s the biggest thug on the block and can probably get away with it —
again, for a while, at least.
I don’t think it’s quite fair,
however, to call him a liar. Lying presupposes having a concept of
truth, and being in a situation where telling the truth matters. We
don’t say that three-year-olds are lying if they say they saw a dragon
outside, or an actor in a play. It’s also not clear that it’s
tactically useful to tot up the random falsehoods that pepper his
tweets and orations.
First, I have been insisting, since well over two years, that in my
psychologist's opinion, Trump
is a madman (and as such completely unfit
as president). You can find some evidence in the last link, and there
is a lot more on the internet and in several books by
Also, I agree with most psychologists and psychiatrists who
Trump, that the most probable explanation of his madness is narcissism
- and I do so because that diagnosis is based on observational facts,
although I am quite willing to agree that beyond that diagnosis
is little certainty on Trump, because he evidently denies it, and the
psychiatrists do their supposed "science" without any explicit
In any case... supposing Trump is a narcissist makes his position on
lying a bit tenuous, for indeed he may be not telling the truth
he believes otherwise (which means in fact he is deluded) or else
may not be telling the truth because he believes that what he
serves his personal interests better than telling the truth.
I think Trump is mad, but he is mostly not deluded (as yet),
he serves his personal interests quite well.
Second, Trump does serve his personal interests by not telling the
think it is a mistake to stop telling that the president does
the truth if he does not tell the truth.
Anyway... Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
In general, things are
proceeding quite well for “those who matter,” though they have some
concerns that Trump’s erratic trade policies might infringe on the
interests of the investor class.
I’ve skipped foreign
policy, and have omitted so far, the most important accomplishments —
astonishingly, commonly ignored by the opposition party and media
commentary. Pride of place goes to the quite successful efforts to
escalate the very severe and not remote threat of global warming.
Expansion and modernization of the huge military system and provocative
actions at the Russian border are not far behind.
Yes, I agree - and as
an aside, I do not know what to do against global warming with
present economical system, if only for the simple reason that I
about global warming c.q. the environment for around 50 years,
that has happened in those 50 years was far too little to stop it,
while the global human population tripled in 50 years.
And Chomsky is also right about "the huge military system" and Russia, I think. And this is a strongly
recommended article in which there is considerably more than I quoted.
Regime Change Toolbox
article is by Barbara Koeppel on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Regime change here, regime
change there. Officials argue for or against it and the press and media
routinely report on it. There are good guys (the U.S. and its current
allies) and bad ones. Although the list shifts—today North Korea is
trustworthy, Canada is not—one thing is unchanged: Regime change is a
basic part of the American toolbox.
mainstream voices don’t mention that regime change pushed by one
country against another is illegal—although the U.S. ratified the United Nations
Charter, which says that a country can intervene militarily only
after it has been attacked.
Also, the U.S. signed the Organization of American States
charter in 1948, which says, “Every state has the right to choose,
without external interference, its political, economic and social
system and must abstain from intervening in the affairs of another
These laws are, of course,
ignored. Since the end of the 19th century, when the U.S. embarked on
empire, it has, one way or another, overthrown almost all the
governments it didn’t like.
Quite so: Since
than 100 years, the USA has "overthrown almost all the governments it didn’t like", indeed with a mostly systematic
total disregard of all international laws that forbid this.
Here is how the USA
does it, in outline:
And here are some
It does it covertly, by
inciting or supporting coups, or bankrolling/training forces opposed to
a regime (as with the Nicaraguan
Contras in the 1980s) that create enough chaos to push the regime
out in elections.
It also does it overtly,
sending in troops, as in the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Iraq, or
with war games near the offending country: These are “joint exercises”
such as the ones the U.S. stages with South Korea. Or it uses economic
sanctions: In Iraq, U.N.
sanctions adopted from 1990 to 2003 and enforced by the U.S. were
said to have caused the death of 500,000 children (though the number is
debated). In response, three U.N. humanitarian coordinators in Baghdad
Dov Levin, a
political scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, says the U.S.
intervened in 81 elections from 1946 to 2000, including in Italy
(1948), Japan (1950s and 1960s), the Philippines (1953), and Lebanon
(1957). Levin says Russia came in second, but the difference isn’t even
close: He says it intervened only in 1936 in the Spanish Civil War.
The list of interventions is long. Since the end of World War II, the
U.S. toppled elected leaders in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), the
Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965-1967), the Dominican
Republic (1965), Bolivia (1971), Chile (1973), Grenada (1983), Haiti
(1991) and Ukraine (2014). If the list were backdated to the end of the
19th century, it would be twice as long.
It also ousted non-elected
governments—in Panama (1941 and 1989), Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011).
I note that all
changes were forbidden by international laws - which
should give you an
insight in how important international laws are, especially for the
strongest country in the world: Not at all, if it likes to disregard
Also, while I think the
above list is quite convincing, what I miss are the Soviet
interventions in Hungary (1956) and in Chechoslovakia (1968). Anyway.
This is a recommended article.
Elite Scrambles to Respond to Ocasio-Cortez
article is by Norman Solomon on Consortiumnews. This is its beginning:
Conventional wisdom said that powerful
Congressman Joseph Crowley couldn’t be beat. But his 20-year career in
the House of Representatives will end in January, with the socialist
organizer who beat him in the Democratic primary in the deep-blue
district of the Bronx and Queens poised to become Congresswoman
Well... I agree it was a huge win for
Ocasio-Cortez, but then again, she is just one person, which
makes me -
quite possibly - considerably less optimistic than Solomon.
defeat shows how grass-roots movements can prevail against corporate
power and its pile of cash. The Crowley campaign spent upward of $3
million in the Democratic Party primary. The Ocasio-Cortez campaign
spent one-tenth of that. He wielded the money. She inspired the people.
And here is the end of the article:
Yes - but once again: She is just one
person. And besides, the Democratic Party does have enormous funds
it will try "to protect their privileges".
Now, the huge defeat of Crowley, a
Democratic machine politician, by the unknown Ocasio-Cortez underscores
the possibilities that Bernie Sanders talked about in a recent video
interview, in which he called for the inclusion of
workers, youth and idealism into the party.
“It may take liberals by surprise to hear
that a recent Reuters/Ipsos
mega poll of 16,000 respondents, found that the Democrats are
losing ground with millennials” even while “their support for
Republicans has remained roughly stable,” Guardian columnist
Cas Mudde wrote days ago. “While millennials still prefer the
Democratic Party over the Republicans, that support is tanking. In just
two years, it dropped sharply from 55 percent to 46 percent.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory has alarmed a
Democratic Party elite trying to figure out how to contain the revolt
to protect their privileges.
Judge Blocks Kentucky's Trump-Backed Medicaid Work Requirements
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
work requirements—which were enabled
approved by the Trump administration—would have stripped healthcare
from around 100,000 people, but a federal judge on Friday decided to
block the new restrictions from taking effect, arguing that the White
House's approval of the rules did not adequately account for the "deprivation"
they would cause.
I say, for I did not know
this. But while I quite agree with the federal judge, I wonder how
a judge on that level can stop the deprivation he seeks - quite
correctly - to stop.
Here is more on the judge's decision:
"These work mandates and
lockout provisions are not about helping people get jobs—they're about
kicking people off the Medicaid program," Isasi concluded. "Today's win
means that nearly 100,000 Kentucky residents will continue to be able
to see their doctors, stay healthy, and take care of their families.
And it should give pause to the Trump administration, Kentucky, and
other states seeking illegal and harmful Medicaid changes that take
healthcare away from families."
The judge's ruling on
Friday stems from a class action lawsuit filed by 15 Kentucky Medicaid
recipients, who argued that the work requirements pushed by the state
government and the Trump administration—which were set to go into
effect on Sunday—would
cause "irreparable harm to the health and welfare of the poorest
and most vulnerable."
Yes. but this doesn't
say how long a
federal judge on that level can stop the deprivation he seeks
to stop. Here is a bit more:
I fear it will be no more
than three to six months (but I do not know), and this is a recommended
In his ruling on Friday,
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg determined that the Trump
administration's approval of Kentucky's rules was "arbitrary and
capricious," and ordered them sent back to the Department of Health and
Human Services for further review.
America's Wars Fund Inequality at Home
article is by Stephanie Savell on TomDispatch. This starts as follows:
In the name of the fight
against terrorism, the United States is currently waging “credit-card
wars” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Never before has
this country relied so heavily on deficit spending to pay for its
conflicts. The consequences are expected to be ruinous for the
long-term fiscal health of the U.S., but they go far beyond the
economic. Massive levels of war-related debt will have lasting
repercussions of all sorts. One potentially devastating effect, a new
study finds, will be more societal inequality.
In other words, the
staggering costs of the longest war in American history -- almost 17
years running, since the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 -- are
being deferred to the future. In the process, the government is
contributing to this country’s skyrocketing income inequality.
Yes indeed: I think all
of this is quite correct. Here is more:
Since 9/11, the U.S. has
trillion on its war on terror, according to the Costs of War Project,
which I co-direct, at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International
and Public Affairs. This is a far higher number than the Pentagon’s
trillion estimate, which only counts expenses for what are known as
“overseas contingency operations,” or OCO -- that is, a pot of
supplemental money, outside the regular annual budget, dedicated to
funding wartime operations. The $5.6 trillion figure, on the other
hand, includes not just what the U.S. has spent on overseas military
operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria, but also portions
of Homeland Security spending related to counterterrorism on American
soil, and future obligations to care for wounded or traumatized
post-9/11 military veterans.
I think this is correct
(and the Pentagon has been extremely badly audited for over 20
years). Here is some more:
Well... yes and no. Yes, this is
true, but no, there is another way of making the enormous
gap a bit more fair: Taxing the rich more. I agree this is quite
unlikely to happen under Trump, but I think it has to be done,
be done eventually, that is, if Trump does not meanwhile blow up the
The implications for today
are almost painfully straightforward: the current combination of
deficit spending and tax cuts spells disaster for any hopes of
shrinking America's striking inequality
gap. Instead, credit-card war spending is already fueling the
dramatic levels of wealth inequality that have led some observers to
suggest that we are living in a new Gilded
Age, reminiscent of the enormous divide between the opulent
lifestyles of the elite and the grinding poverty of the majority of
Americans in the late nineteenth century.
Here is the ending of this article:
The more money this
country spends on military activities, the more public coffers will be
depleted by war-related interest payments and the less public funding
there will be for anything else. In short, it’s time
for Americans worried about living in a country whose inequality gap
could soon surpass that of the Gilded Age to begin paying real
attention to our “credit-card
I agree and this is a
 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 (!!).