from September 9, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 September 9, 2018:
1. The United States' Pyrrhic Victory in the War on Terror
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 is Being Murdered Right in Front of Our Eyes
3. The Establishment’s Bi-Partisan Fear of Popular Revolt
4. The Dangerous Myth of Deregulation
5. No, Capitalism Will Not Save the Climate
United States' Pyrrhic Victory in the War on Terror
This article is by
Nick Turse on Truthdig. This is from not far from the beginning:
Legion focused on the fiscal
irresponsibility of Trump’s proposed march, but its postponement should
have raised an even more significant question: What would “victory” in
the war on terror even look like? What, in fact, constitutes an
American military victory in the world today? Would it in any way
resemble the end of the Civil War, or of the war to end all wars, or of
the war that made that moniker obsolete? And here’s another question:
Is victory a necessary prerequisite for a military parade?
Well... I am not
interested in these questions, and I also disagree with the
While it may be true that the USA has scored few victories since 1945,
this does not mean that it has not killed many, and in fact
Anyway. Here is some more:
Today, almost 17
years after the war began, two years after Nicholson took the reins,
one year after Trump articulated his new plan, victory in any
traditional sense is nowhere in sight. Despite spending around $900
billion in Afghanistan, as the Special Inspector General for
Afghanistan Reconstruction determined earlier this year,
“between 2001 and 2017, U.S. government efforts to stabilize insecure
and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed.” According to a July
30, 2018, report by that same inspector general, the Taliban was by
then contesting control of or controlled about 44% of that country, while
Afghan government control and influence over districts had declined by about 16% since
Nicholson’s predecessor, General John Campbell, was in command.
I agree that was and is
not a victory at all (and remind the reader that
before the invasion by the Soviet Union, a pleasant,
nice a peaceful
nation (in the 1960ies)).
Here is a sort of sum-up:
differently, the United States has not won a major conflict since 1945;
has a trillion-dollar national
security budget; has had 17 military commanders in the last 17 years in
Afghanistan, a country plagued by 23,744 “security incidents” (the most ever
recorded) in 2017 alone; has spent around $3 trillion, primarily on that war
and the rest of the war on terror, including the ongoing conflict in
Iraq, which then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld swore, in 2002, would be over in
only “five days or five weeks or five months,” but where
approximately 5,000 U.S. troops remain
today; and yet 74% of the American people still express high confidence in the U.S.
I think that is mostly
correct, but not quite, though indeed this depends also on what
understands by "a major conflict". But - for example - they
Salvador Allende and destroyed his developing democracy, and they
instituted the arrival of the Shah of Persia over his rivals,
indeed both seem to have been engineered, in part at least, by the CIA.
It turns out that the U.S.
military, whose budget and influence in Washington have only grown in
these years, now wins simply by not losing — a multi-trillion-dollar
conventional army held to the standards of success once applied only to
under-armed, under-funded guerilla groups.
Then again there also is another way of looking at the American
military, namely as the generators of great profits for some great
American corporations, and that without any of the children
heads of corporations running the risk to ever be drafted.
War simply is very profitable for some, and for the USA, which
cannot loose any non- nuclear war, or at least for the
military-industrial complex that is behind the making of enormous
profits, the profits may very well
be the real concern.
is Being Murdered Right in Front of Our Eyes
article is by Lucian K. Truscott IV on AlterNet and originally on
Salon. This starts as follows:
You want to know
what being anonymous does? It protects you, and nobody else. You
want proof? Have a look at the cowardly, lame-ass, anonymous op-ed by a
“senior official in the Trump administration” in The New York Times.
A pathetic cri de coeur penned by a con artist working for a con
man inside the bunker of the White House didn’t protect immigrant
children from being taken from their mothers and thrown into cages
during the so-called “zero tolerance” policy on the border. Anonymous
hasn’t protected the nearly 500 immigrant children who are still being held
apart from their families by the Department of Health and Human
I agree and indeed am
against anonymity on the internet, indeed except if you
have a very
good reason, which few have: Most anonymous folks simply want to scold
or enjoy their sadism
without ever being found out by those whom they
Also, I grant I was too optimistic about average men: I never
they were intelligent or learned, but what with over 2 billion members
of Facebook there are considerably more very stupid people than
Then again, there is considerably more in this article, but the start
set the pattern, and I think Truscott simply got too angry.
I will skip the rest except for one more bit:
You want to see some of the
“quiet resistance” by Anonymous The New York Times tells us he or she
is responsible for in its headline for the op-ed? Donald Trump has told
4,229 lies in the first 558 days he’s been in office, according to the Washington Post. That’s
almost eight lies a day. An what do we get from Anonymous?
Pathetic whining about
Trump’s “amorality.” “Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored
to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.”
Gee, you think so?
Heard anything from
Anonymous or any of the other “quiet” resisters in the Trump White
House about the firehose of Trump lies? Me neither.
I agree with Truscott
on the morality of the anonymous writer in The New York Times,
disagree (as a psychologist) with the anonymous writer:
clearly, there is
a definite "first principle" that guides Trump's decision making,
namely the prime status of Trump's interests and values over everything
Establishment’s Bi-Partisan Fear of Popular Revolt
article is by Gareth Porter on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
The two most
powerful think tanks in Washington, representing center-left and
center-right political elites, have responded to the populist shocks of
the 2016 presidential election by trying to reposition themselves and
the Democratic and Republican Parties as more sympathetic to populist
concerns even while maintaining their attachments to the interests of
big business and the complex of war-making.
Yes, this all seems correct. And
as to "the powerful elite" "that
still control the" Democrats:
These are Hillary Clinton (whom
I suspect again expects to battle with Trump in 2010), Nancy
Tom Perez etc. I think they started selling out under Bill
Clinton, and they still are, and indeed the two Clintons by
themselves assembled more than $100 million dollars, after
The Center for American
Progress (CAP), linked to the Democratic Party establishment, and the
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which is close to the Republican
Party, have issued two long papers in recent months reflecting their
high anxiety over the rapid growth of populism on both sides of the
Atlantic — especially in light of the shocking success of both Bernie
Sanders and Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton and mainstream
Republicans during the 2016 presidential election cycle.
But the papers suggest that
neither organization is ready to depart from the economic and military
policies preferred by the powerful elites that still control the two
major parties. And the more recent paper attacks Jill Stein and Bernie
Sanders for being insufficiently hawkish in regard to Russia and the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
And that - a lot of money for themselves - seems the
of both the leading Democrats and the leading Republicans, and as
as that is the case, plutocracy rules and democracy is dead.
Here is more:
The authors of that
paper further identified a series of “striking commonalities” between
left-wing and right-wing populism in the United States regarding
attitudes toward key issues: “deep suspicion of America’s overseas
military actions; alarm about the rise of a surveillance state;
mistrust of major institutions; and suspicion of global elites.”
In fact, I have no idea
what most writers mean by
"populism", and in fact I think there is no core meaning (except
perhaps: what ordinary voters want, and demonstrate for or against, as
contrasted with what the rich leaderships of either American party
pretend they want).
And as a matter of fact, I do share the four concerns mentioned
last quoted paragraph.
Here is more:
The authors refer to
a “deepening frustration” over a globalization that had brought
“unprecedented worldwide growth” but also “led to economic stagnation
and structural unemployment, particularly in the West.” They further
acknowledge that the financial crisis of 2008 had an “impact on the
middle class in developed economies as well as confidence in the free
enterprise system’s ability to deliver shared prosperity.”
Maybe I should remember you that
what Porter is quoting
comes from the propagandists
for the - rich and arrived - Democrats and
those of the Republicans: This is not science, but propaganda,
above is pure propaganda.
The authors warn that the
“threat of authoritarian populism will not recede unless a new
generation of political leaders offers a credible agenda for improving
people’s lives that is more appealing to the public than the populist
Besides... the promise of "a credible agenda" by "a new
generation of political leaders"
reminds me very strongly of the Dutch Healthcouncil, that
years blocked most scientific research into ME/CFS; now, after forty
years, decided ME/CFS is "a real and serious disease"; and attempts
gladden the heart of the 40,000 Dutchmen with presumed ME/CFS for
there is just one (1) medical doctor in the whole country: First,
"ME/CFS" is going to disappear as a name, so all of the little
that has been done will be much harder to find, and (2) my
ex and I
(who both have the disease for forty years, in which we even never were
declared to be ill, except in the first three months since it started
with Pfeiffer, should be enormously grateful for the future arrival of
new and better trained medics...
I am sorry, but (1) I think my ex and myself have been frauded,
intentionally, by 9 out of 10 of the Dutch medics whom we asked for
help: There was none for us, and (2) being a psychologist I
30 randomly selected doctors are sufficiently many to
conclude that 9
out of 10 Dutch doctors are liars, frauds and incompetents about almost
all non-regular diseases, and (3) refuse
all help to those they
classified as "psychosomatizers": Dutch doctors as a rule are far
interested in money than in patients.
You may disagree with me as soon as you have survived 40 years
you and your ex were not declared ill although both had a "serious and
chronic disease" all the time and you got an average of 9,3 (out of 10)
M.A. or higher (that was made without going to lectures: Too ill).
Back to Porter:
and Pletka use the joint statement to push for toughening the US and
European stances toward Russia, and to accuse two main left-wing
opponents of the Democratic Party centrist establishment — Green Party
presidential candidate Jill Stein and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders —
of having been apologists for Russia or Russian President Vladimir
Putin, or very close to it. In both cases, however, the charges are
without foundation and amount to a reversion by CAP and AEI to
McCarthy-style political smears.
Again I should remind you that
Porter is reviewing
And while I never had much sympathy will Jill Stein what
Singh and Pletka write about her is just totalitarian
They write that Stein
“justified Russian aggression” by declaring that “NATO has been
surrounding Russia with missiles, nuclear weapons, and troops.” And in
an interview with me last week, Singh said, “Stein is an apologist for
Russia and for Putin. She is inclined to say the U.S. is to blame.”
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The attacks on Stein
and Sanders provide further evidence that these centrist power centers
have been unable to resist clinging to familiar policies and political
strategies long after they have proven to be a path to political
Perhaps, though I would rather
say that "the attacks on Stein
and Sanders provide further evidence that these centrist power centers" are much more interested in the profits
their leading members make than in anything else, including all
ordinary politics. This is a recommended article.
4. The Dangerous Myth of
This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as
Trump and his appointees
are on a binge of deregulation that masks another kind of trickle-down
economics, where the gains go to the top and the rest of us bear the
risks and losses.
They say getting rid of
regulations frees up businesses to be more profitable. Maybe. But
regulations also protect you and me — from being harmed, fleeced,
shafted, injured, or sickened by corporate products and services.
So when the Trump
administration gets rid of regulations, top executives and big
investors may make more money, but the rest of us bear more risks and
so - and in fact I treated deregulation in 2015: Crisis:
It's the deregulation, stupid! - which is in fact a copy from January 16, 2013.
Here is some more:
Trump’s Labor Department is
reducing the number of workers who are eligible for overtime pay. And
it’s proposing to allow teenagers to work long hours in dangerous jobs
that child labor laws used to protect them from. Again, more profits
for business, more cost and risk for the rest of us.
Trump is weakening banking
regulations put in place after the financial crisis of 2008, even
rolling back the so-called Volcker Rule that prevented banks from
gambling with commercial deposits. The result: More profits for the
banks, and more risk on you and me.
Yes, quite so - although my "Crisis:
It's the deregulation, stupid!" gives a considerably more systematic
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Trump’s gang of industry
lobbyists and executives who are busy deregulating the same industries
they once represented will no doubt do very well when they head back
into the private sector.
But the rest of us won’t do
well. We may not know for years the extent we’re unprotected – until
the next financial collapse, next public health crisis, next upsurge in
fraud, or next floods or droughts because the EPA failed to do what it
could to slow and reverse climate change.
Don’t fall for it. Trump’s
binge of deregulation is just another form of trickle-down economics –
where the gains go the top, and nothing trickles down except risks and
I agree, although I consider
deregulation, both as a concept and as a legal fact, considerably more
important than the mere propaganda lie of "the trickle down
This is a recommended article.
Capitalism Will Not Save the Climate
This article is by Karin Nansen on Common
Dreams and originally on The Ecologist. Nansen - not to be
found on the ever worsening
Wikipedia, where almost every Americam filmstar is found - is
Friends of the Earth, which is the world's
largest grassroots environmental federation - and she starts as follows:
facing deep-rooted climate, social, and environmental crises. The
current dominant economic system cannot provide solutions. It is time
for system change.
For Friends of the Earth
International this means creating societies based on peoples’
sovereignty and environmental, social, economic, and gender justice. We
must question and deconstruct the capitalist logic of accumulation.
catastrophe is interwoven with many social and environmental
crises, including oppression, corporate power, hunger, water depletion,
biodiversity loss and deforestation.
I agree - Yes! "It is time
for system change" - but I
recognize this article also contains a good bit of propaganda.
Here is more on
Equality and reciprocity
At its heart sits an
unsustainable economic system, the sole aim of which is endless growth
and profit. This system concentrates wealth, power, and obscene
privilege with the few.
Corporations and national
elites are empowered by that very system to exploit people and their
livelihoods with impunity.
We must tackle climate
change and the associated social and environmental crises by taking
rapid and bold action to address the common root causes; privatization,
financialization and commodification of nature and societies, and
unsustainable production and consumption systems.
The magnitude of the crises
we face demands system change.
That system change will
result in the creation of sustainable societies and new relations
between human beings, and between human beings and nature, based on
equality and reciprocity.
Well... I agree, but
then again, apart from "capitalism must go", this is hardly
Also, I think that the announced "system change will
result in the creation of sustainable societies and new relations
between human beings" is a
bit too optimistic (especially if capitalism must go), for (i)
this may not work, for many possible reasons, and besides (ii) I am
68 and have seen announcements of The New Man (or Human Being) for the
last 60 years at least: I do get a little uneasy (and never
saw A New Man).
Here is some more:
Well... but how do
"we" "reclaim politics"? Besides, I do not myself think international
law can be changed in any major way prior to the destruction of
capitalism. But how that is to happen is not said in this
Expansion of capital
But we cannot create these
societies and assert people’s rights without increasing people’s power.
We need to reclaim politics.
This means creating
genuine, radical, and just democracies centered around people’s
sovereignty and participation.
International law must put
people above corporate profit, ensuring binding rules for business and
mechanisms that guarantee access to justice for victims of
System change calls for an
articulation of the struggles against oppression; that is, patriarchy,
racism, colonialism, and class and capitalist exploitation.
It demands commitment to the
struggle against the exploitation of women’s bodies and work.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
System change must address
people’s individual and collective needs and promote reciprocity,
redistribution, and sharing.
include public services achieved through tax justice, social
ownership and co-operativism, local markets and fair trade, community
forest management, and valuing the wellbeing of people and the planet.
And that requires commensurate international and national public
policies that empower people to fight for a democratic state that
ensures rights and provides environmentally and socially just public
services, and active popular participation; a state that guarantees
peoples’ rights to water, land and the territories, food, health,
education, housing, and decent jobs.
No, I am sorry: The
last bit consists of a list of ideals that - in my considered opinion -
will become practically possible only if capitalism has been
(and maybe not then either).
And this is a recommended article, but it seems too optimistic for what
I know of politics.
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 (!!).