from November 7, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
And incidentally: I write Nederlogs very early in the morning,
and it is too early to say what are the final results of the
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 November 7, 2018:
1. Has America Gone Insane?
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. The West is Failing Julian Assange
3. Can Liberal Democracy Survive Social Media?
4. Concentration Camps for Kids: An Open Letter
5. UN Biodiversity Chief Warns Humanity at Risk of
America Gone Insane?
This article is by
Jeffrey Bowers on Truthdig and originally on The Vimeo Blog. It starts
as follows and is in fact a review of a film called "American
that was inspired by Chris Hedges:
What does United
States of America stand for nowadays if political division is at an all
time high? Is it still the land of the free if America has the highest
rate of incarceration in the world? Are we still the home of the brave
if we refuse to stand up to injustice, because it would compromise our
pocketbook? This disconnection from reality is the definition of
psychosis. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, best-selling author, and
activist Chris Hedges, has made it his life’s work to highlight this
inequity and combat the complacency of the consumerist culture. In a
2010 essay published on Adbusters, Hedges caught the eye of
filmmaker Amanda Zackem,
when he succinctly spelled out the problems with totalitarian
capitalism and corporate power. Those ideas deeply resonated with
Zackem and caused her to reach out to Hedges about bringing his essay
into the cinematic realm in order to expose them to a larger audience.
This week’s Staff Pick Premiere, “American Psychosis,” is the result of
that process and their attempt to make people think more deeply about
the world we’re living in.
I say, for I knew nothing
about Amanda Zackem and "American
Psychosis" until reading this article. On the other hand, I know a fair
amount about Chris
Hedges, and this also is the reason for reviewing
Here is more:
“We live in an
unbalanced, exploitation-based system and that’s not morally right or
just. The issues of totalitarian capitalism and totalitarian corporate
power need to be discussed more openly and honestly in our national
dialogue,” says Zackem. “To be clear, totalitarian capitalism is not
sustainable and should not be intertwined with our government. Most
people don’t realize how their consumer choices negatively impact the
world – environmentally, socially, culturally, politically, globally.”
Without going deep into the trenches, the short documentary illuminates
many of these issues. However, with its hard-lined perspective,
“American Psychosis” serves as a vital entry point to critically
observing, thinking, and acting on the imbalances one sees in society.
I agree with Zackem, but
want to add again that the present definition of totalitarianism on the
Wikipedia is a falsification inspired by Brzezinski: According
to the present definition of "totalitarianism" on Wikipedia, this is
an attribute of governments much rather
than of the ways of reasonings
of people, parties or religious movements, which is
essential to both my definition
and what Orwell and many other
writers on totalitarianism
had in mind.
And the Wikipedia can no longer be trusted (if you ever did) and it
will not be (in my opinion) as long as it is anonymous and
God knows who: I am sorry, for this is just straight lying.
Back to the article:
totalitarian mechanisms are being used to silence dissenters, imprison
people without due process, challenge the freedom of the press, promote
hatred between different ethnic groups, and destroy the humanities and
Quite so, but - again - not
according to Wikipedia: For Wikipedia only governments and
states may be totalitarian, which means in effect that only
China and possibly Russia may be totalitarian (which is complete
and a falsification of the meanings of hundreds of
prominent authors: I know for I have been reading about totalitarianism
for over 50 years now).
Here is one more bit from this article:
I completely agree (and
is not a technical term of psychology or psychiatry) and this
Has the US collectively
gone insane? Do we have a misunderstanding of the wider world, of who
we are, and where we’re going?
The United States is a very
strange place when you really think about it. We celebrate freedom and
yet we live in a nation with the highest incarceration rate in the
world. We have tons of money, but people go bankrupt and/or die because
they can’t afford healthcare. We have an abundance of food, much
of which ends up in the trash, yet so many children and families are
going hungry. Our education system is a mess. Teachers aren’t paid
properly, nor do they have enough funding or resources to do their job.
Our universities are putting our youth into massive debt. Women
are still not paid as much as men; the list goes on and on. And yet in
the United States productivity has never been higher but average wages
have been virtually stagnant since the 1970’s. Corporations pay hardly
any taxes and hide their money abroad and our governmental system
somehow allows this to continue? All of this, as Chris
highlights, is totally insane.
West is Failing Julian Assange
This article is by
Stefania Maurizi on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
start with the cat. You never would have thought one of these beloved
felines would play a crucial role in the Julian Assange case, would
you? And yet look at the latest press coverage. The mainstream media’s
headlines weren’t about a man who has been confined to a tiny building
in the heart of Europe for the last six years with no end in sight,
were about orders from Quito to feed his cat. There you have a man who
is at serious risk of being arrested by the UK authorities, extradited
to the U.S. and prosecuted for his publications. A man who has been cut
off from any human contact, with the exception of his lawyers, and
whose health is seriously declining due to prolonged confinement
without even an hour outdoors. Considering this framework, wasn’t there
anything more serious to cover than the cat?
Of course there was, but
Stefania Maurizi is quite right that this was the main
mainstream papers recently did do on Julian Assange.
Here is more about Stefania Maurizi and Assange:
worked as a WikiLeaks media partner for the last nine years, and over
these nine years I have met Assange many, many times, but only once did
I meet him as a free man: that was back in September 2010, the very
same day the Swedish prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for
allegations of rape. Initially he was under house arrest with an
electronic bracelet around his ankle, then he entered the Ecuadorian
embassy in London on June 19, 2012. Since then he has remained buried
in that tiny embassy: a depressing building, very small, with no
sunlight, no fresh air, no hour outdoors. In my country, Italy, even
mafia bosses who strangled a child and dissolved his corpse in a barrel
of acid enjoy an hour outdoors. Assange doesn’t.
I think all of the above
paragraph is correct, and here is more:
the Swedish probe was ultimately terminated, Assange remains confined.
No matter that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention established
that the WikiLeaks founder has been arbitrarily detained since 2010,
and that he should be freed and compensated. The UK, which encourages
other states to respect international law, doesn’t care about the
decision by this UN body whose opinions are respected by the European
Court of Human Rights. After trying to appeal the UN decision and
losing the appeal, Britain is simply ignoring it. There is no end in
sight to Assange’s arbitrary detention.
is also quite correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from
Assange’s situation is very precarious. His living conditions within
the embassy have become unsustainable, and his friends speak as if
there is no hope: “When the U.S. gets Julian”, they say, as if it is a
foregone conclusion that the U.S. will get him and no journalist, no
media, no NGO, no press association will do anything to prevent it.
almost completely agree with the above, except for "but
counterproductive", which I simply fail to understand. This is
strongly recommended article.
In the last six
years that Assange has been languishing in the embassy, not a single
major Western media has dared to say: we shouldn’t keep an individual
confined with no end in sight. This treatment of Julian Assange by the
UK – and, more in general, by the West – is not only inhumane, but
Liberal Democracy Survive Social Media?
is by Yascha Mounk on The New York Review of Books. This is from near
In most places,
democracy’s pretense to let the people rule was a little more serious
and the elite’s grip on the electoral process a little more tenuous.
Even so, this story from the dawn of democracy encapsulates the basic
deal that traditional elites offered to the people at the inception of
our political system: “As long as you let us call the shots, we will
pretend to let you rule.” It’s a deal that has proven phenomenally
successful for two hundred and fifty years. Today, that deal is
becoming increasingly difficult to sustain, and the reason is both
unlikely and counterintuitive: the rise of the Internet and social
media is making the ideological foundation of liberal democracy—which
has had a tight hold over our imagination for the better part of two
centuries—look increasingly brittle.
I did not copy the beginning,
which is about the very early days of democracy, when some of the
voters were ordered by their bosses to vote as the bossed wanted.
Then again, while I agree with the title, which does ask an
question, I do not agree with the representation of "democracy"
as something that is little different from a two hundred and fifty
years during fraud - "As long as
you let us call the shots, we will
pretend to let you rule" - and I
also do not think that "the
rise of the Internet and social
media is making the ideological foundation of liberal democracy (..)
look increasingly brittle".
So what do I think? I only answer this question here and now
a-social media (for that is what they are) and liberal democracy, and I
also keep my answer brief:
In fact, the a-social media, by which I shall understand
especially Facebook and Twitter, have given over two billion people the
chance to write about their own opinions, values and feelings as if
they each and all are publishers as good as the papers, while in
fact few of these writers have the talents and the knowledge to do
in a rational and informed fashion, while also each and
them also is being tracked (in absolutely everything they put on line
or have on their computers) by Facebook and Twitter to find out their
opinions, their values, their feelings and their private secrets, so
that they may be targeted with personal advertisements of all possible
kinds, including political advertisements, and may be misled in
possible way by the rich and the strong.
And I do not think that is a healthy state of affairs
Here is some more from the article:
paragraph - and what is "the
conventional wisdom"? And does it
matter if this is composed of 2 billion writers and publishers on
Facebook, whose average IQ cannot be higher than 100, and whose average
education is probably at best high school? While each and everyone is
being tracked so as to influence them with advertisements and find out
all their secrets?
As late as 2014 or 2015,
the conventional wisdom on social media was overwhelmingly positive.
Then came the rise of Donald Trump.
Throughout Trump’s unlikely
campaign, it was obvious how important social media was to his ability
to bypass the traditional gatekeepers of American politics. In an
earlier age, most television networks would likely have refused to air
his blatant lies or his tirades against immigrants, religious
minorities, and political opponents. But thanks to Twitter, Donald
Trump did not need the infrastructure of traditional media outlets.
Instead, he could tweet messages directly to his millions of followers.
And I somewhat agree with the second paragraph (but Trump got a whole
lot of totally free advertisement on television networks simply because
that was profitable to the networks).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article (still from the
The truth about
social media is not that it is necessarily good or bad for liberal
democracy. Nor is it that social media inherently strengthens or
undermines tolerance. On the contrary, it is that social media closes
the technological gap between insiders and outsiders.
No. This is bullshit. Liberal
democracy involves a real and free press, with real journalists writing
about real facts; the a-social media produced two billion
non-journalist publishers who are mostly not informed about the
supposed facts they write about, and this must be important to
real journalism and real democracy, also as most people on
Twitter are anonymous, which means that no one can attack
them with any
hope of success.
As to the supposed fact "that
social media closes
the technological gap between insiders and outsiders": Possibly so, but this also means that the
gap of knowledge and intelligence vs lack of knowledge and lack of
intelligence has been completely denied.
Anyway... there is a lot more
but it gets worse and worse, and I do not recommend this
Camps for Kids: An Open Letter
This article is written by a whole lot of persons and is
indeed an open letter. It starts as follows:
In Tornillo, Texas, in rows
of pale yellow tents, some 1,600 children who were
forcefully taken from their families sleep in lined-up bunks, boys
separated from the girls. The children, who are between the ages of
thirteen and seventeen, have limited access to legal services. They are
not schooled. They are given workbooks but they are not obliged to
complete them. The tent city in Tornillo is unregulated, except for
guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. Physical
conditions seem humane. The children at Tornillo spend most of the day
in air-conditioned tents, where they receive their meals and are
offered recreational activities. Three workers look after groups of
twenty children each. The children are permitted to make two phone
calls per week to their family members or sponsors, and are made to
wear belts with phone numbers written out for their emergency contacts.
I say - and the fact
that these children are (or seem to be) "permitted to make two phone calls per week to
their family members or sponsors" seems a considerable improvement over earlier
But in any case: I
agree with the title, for these are
concentration camps (but not
according to Wikipedia, that only admits concentration camps
existed in Hitler's Germany and during the Boer War (!!): it calls
else "Internment" these days, I suppose - in their terms - to
save your feelings).
Here is more:
The workers at the Tornillo
camp, which was expanded in September to a
capacity of 3,800, say that the longer a child remains in custody, the
more likely he or she is to become traumatized or enter a state of
depression. There are strict rules at such facilities:
“Do not misbehave. Do not sit on the floor. Do not share your food. Do
not use nicknames. Do not touch another child, even if that child is
your hermanito or hermanita [younger
sibling]. Also, it is best not to cry. Doing so might hurt your case.”
Can we imagine our own children being forced to go without hugging or
being hugged, or even touching or sharing with their little brothers or
Well... for me
cruel fact is that these are children who have not done anything,
are locked up because their parents tried to flee from extremely bad
circumstances, and who have been intentionally separated from their
parents, in what seems to be an effort to punish both the parents and
the children for fleeing from extremely bad circumstances.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
The US government is
detaining more than 13,000 migrant children, the highest number ever;
as of last month, some 250 “tender age” children aged twelve or under
had not yet been reunited with their parents. Recently, the president
has vowed to “put tents up all over the place” for migrants.
This generation will be
remembered for having allowed for concentration camps for children to
be built on “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” This is
happening here and now, but not in our names.
Quite so, and the
letter is signed by a long list of persons. This is a strongly
Biodiversity Chief Warns Humanity at Risk of Self-Annihilation
This article is written by Jon Queally on
Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
With the midterm
elections once more being described domestically as "the most important
elections in history," it might seem trite until you receive on the
same day a warning from one of the world's foremost experts at the
United Nations that humanity's willful destruction of the planet's
natural systems is fast pushing the species towards the brink of its
Quite so - and I
these are the facts, and that I agree with Palmer that
for the prolonged existence of the human species appear quite dire.
But that's what Tuesday
brought. As tens of millions of Americans headed to the polls to
determine whether or not Democrats could wrest some political power
from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the executive
secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Cristiana Pașca
Palmer, became the latest person to declare that the human species—if
it doesn't rapidly change its hostility to the natural world and
drastically curb its destructive habits—will soon be faced with its own
Here is more:
Noting the frightening loss
of birds, fish, invertebrates, and other mammals, Palmer said the
"staggering" levels make her hope humans are not "the first species to
document our own extinction."
"The loss of biodiversity
is a silent killer," she explained in an
interview with the Guardian, published Tuesday. "It's
different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday
life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel
what is happening, it may be too late."
Yes, I completely
agree. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
While noted academic and
activist Noam Chomsky renewed this week his description of the modern
Republican Party in the U.S. as the "most dangerous
organization in human history," his evidence for that argument is
partly based on their wholesale refusal to recognize—let alone taken
action on—the planetary threat of global warming caused by carbon and
other greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Republican Party is
simply a major threat to—not only to the country, but to human
survival," Chomsky said on Democracy Now! on Monday. "I've said in the
past that I think they’re the most dangerous organization in human
history, on the issue of climate change alone, and I think that’s worth
I mostly agree with
Chomsky and this is a strongly recommended article.
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 (!!).