from November 9, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 9, 2018:
1. Chris Hedges on Elections, “Christian Fascists,” and the
Rot Within the
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. Why Democrats Must Impeach the President
3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: We Need to Confront Trump’s
4. 'Constitutional Crisis Already Here'
5. White House Economists Are Obsessed with Socialism
Hedges on Elections, “Christian Fascists,” and the Rot Within the
This article is by
Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Politicians love to
tell us every election is the “most important of our lifetime.” With
Donald Trump in power, it rings true for many voters. This week on
Intercepted: Journalist Chris Hedges has spent the past 15 years trying
to ring the alarm about the dangers of the U.S. political system and
the impact of a corporate and financial coup d’etat that happened long
ago. He talks about the growing power of “Christian fascists,” predicts
a major financial crash, and offers ideas on how to fight back. In
1923, a year after Mussolini took power in Italy, one radical and
visionary woman saw his rise for what it was and warned of the grave
dangers the world would face if fascism spread. Her name was Clara
Zetkin. Acclaimed writer and actor Deborah Eisenberg performs a
selection of Zetkin’s writing, which was recently published as a book,
“Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win.” Also, new music
from the incredible visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley, who is
out with a new album called “MITH.”
This is the complete
introductory paragraph to this article, but in fact I will only
the part with Chris Hedges, and that also in part - and that because
Nederlog is not meant to be endless, and I try to bring about
daily issue of the crisis series remains
within 50 Kb - in which I not
always but usually succeed.
Here is more:
love to tell us that whatever election happens to be the next one is
the most important election of our lifetimes. With Donald Trump as
president, that stump speech line actually carries weight. Particularly
when you have neo-Nazi and fascist attacks on Jews because they’re Jews
or on African Americans because they’re African Americans. When you
have pipe bombs being mailed to some of the leaders of the Democratic
Party and its perceived bankrollers. When you have Brett Kavanaugh
confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the U.S.
When the president openly encourages violence and spews racist
propaganda followed by attempts to legalize that violent hate.
Yes indeed. I mostly agree
and especially with the distinction that Scahill draws between fascism
that he refers to as neo-Nazism. I do not think that
Scahill has read my site, and I also strongly doubt his
are my distinctions (and see the last two links for my
but it is something.
Here is more:
Yes, that is all quite
correct. It is also true that Hedges is a Christian minister, but this
is also mentioned by Scahill.
The journalist Chris Hedges
has spent the last decade and a half trying to ring the alarm about the
dangers of the U.S. political system and he writes about a corporate
and financial coup d’etat that happened long ago in this country.
Now before Hedges embarked
on this mission, he was a longtime war correspondent for The New York
Times. In fact, he was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that
covered the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath. Hedges’ book “War is a
Force that Gives Us Meaning” remains a classic work for studying war
journalism. Chris Hedges quit the New York Times after being
reprimanded for his public denouncement of the Bush administration’s
invasion of Iraq. And that largely ended Chris Hedges’ relationship
with large, powerful media organizations.
He’s currently a columnist at
Truthdig, he hosts a show on Russian television on RT America, and he
teaches a college class at a state prison in New Jersey.
Here is more, on the difference between the Democrats and the
I disagree with Hedges
that "Trump has no ideology". I
think he is a neofascist, and to
show why here is my definition of neofascism (in full):
of course, there’s a difference. It’s how you want corporate fascism
delivered to you. Do you want it delivered by a Princeton educated,
Goldman Sachs criminal or do you want it delivered by racist, nativist,
Christian fascist? When this is essentially what the Trump
Administration, this is the ideology that the Trump Administration has
embraced because Trump has no ideology. So, they’re filling his
But you know, and you’ve
reported on this, the fundamental engines of oligarchic global
corporate power are advanced by both parties and one attempts to
present that in a kind of multicultural, inclusive way.
Neofascism is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
Again, I do not
Trump has ever read my site (or ever will), and he also will deny
a fascist or a neofascist, but I say he clearly is a neofascist
sense, because it ought to be evident that he satisfies all ten
characteristics that make up my definition (as I first clearly saw
the beginning of 2016).
Then again, I agree with Hedges that the Democrats and the
are two versions of the same kind of politics, which essentially favors
the rich and their political plans, which in turn was brought about in
Bill Clinton's presidential days, because from then on nearly all
politicians, both the Republican and the Democratic ones, were funded
by the rich - and whose bread one eats, whose words one speaks.
Here is more:
Chomsky who consistently now, for election after election, has openly
said that the only choice is to support the Democrats. And more
recently, he’s been saying that the GOP — the Republican party — is
the single greatest threat to global stability or peace in the world.
Noam Chomsky: Overwhelmingly,
the Republican Party is simply a major threat to, not only to the
country, but to human survival. I’ve said in the past that I think
they’re the most dangerous organization in human history.
don’t agree with Noam on that issue. I think the problem is that, and I
was very involved in the Nader campaign when he was running for
president. I was a speechwriter and nobody’s fought corporate
power with more integrity and courage and foresight than Nader. And
essentially, he was locked out of the legislative process when this
corporate coup d’etat, which we have undergone, essentially pushed out
the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
Well... in fact I do not
quite agree with either Hedges or Chomsky.
I will not discuss this fully
here, but I think Chomsky is more right given the two premisses
(i) the choice between the Democrats and the Republicans is a choice
from two - corporate - evils, but (ii) one should vote if one has a
chance (for this is about the least one can do). Given these premisses,
I think leftists and liberals should vote for the Democrats, even if
they despise most of them.
I do not know whether Hedges
agrees (it seems he does in Scum vs Scum,
that I reviewed on November
6). But I do not think he is actually meeting Chomsky's
argument in the
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
CH: (..) And this is
now where we’ve ended up, in the greatest income inequality in American
history, the seizure of power by, and they’re not even traditional
capitalist, they don’t make anything. They’re all speculators, global
speculators. That’s what Goldman Sachs does. They’ve seized control of
our economy and most economies. The breakdown that we experience has
been bipartisan. Clinton was, of course, the poster child for this.
Clinton understood that if he did corporate bidding, he would get
corporate money. And of course, by the 1990s, fundraising parity
with the Republicans was equal. And when Barack Obama first ran 2008,
he got more.
I think Hedges is quite
correct here. There is a lot more in the article, that is strongly
Democrats Must Impeach the President
This article is by Tom Steyer on The
New York Times. It starts as follows:
In fact, Tom Steyer is an
American billionaire, and is one of the few American billionaires who
strongly supports the Democrats since quite a while, also with money. I
agree with the facts he mentions, but I do not
quite agree with two
points in the above quotation:
Tuesday, voters across the country demanded accountability in
government, insisting their elected representatives not just talk a
good game but act in the interests of the American people.
Democrats received 7 percent more votes than Republicans — about three
million — in an election that saw a higher percentage of voters than
any midterm since 1966. Those voters flipped seven governorships and
367 state legislative seats to Democrats, giving them majorities in
seven more state chambers. Most important, voters ended Donald Trump
and his Republican enablers’ free rein in Washington by flipping the
But this blue wave should have
been even bigger. Democrats’ inability to run the table on a Republican
Party that depended on lying, race-baiting and suppressing the vote is
a sign that the American people do not know what the Democratic Party
First, I agree that "voters
across the country demanded accountability in government" - but since almost half of those who voted
voted for Trump, this seems only partially true (with the
receiving 7 percent more votes than the Republicans).
Second, if "the American people
do not know what the Democratic Party stands for" then what did all the voters who
voted form them vote for? I am willing to agree that the
majority of those who voted for the Democrats do not know much
about the Democrats, but they do know something and that
something seems to have moved many to vote for the Democrats.
Here is more:
President Trump continues to accelerate his lawlessness, the new
Democratic House majority must initiate impeachment proceedings against
him as soon as it takes office in January.
nearly two years, Mr. Trump has publicly flouted his oath of office. He
has turned the presidency into a moneymaking enterprise for a family
business he refuses to divest from, in direct violation of any plain
reading of the Constitution. He is all but an unindicted co-conspirator
in two federal felony cases. He has created an atmosphere of
criminality through his hateful, violent rhetoric against political
opponents, journalists and private citizens alike.
egregiously, he has a longstanding pattern of obstructing justice. On
Wednesday, he continued this by firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions
and installing Matthew Whitaker — who has publicly called for
curtailing the special counsel’s investigation — as acting attorney
general, sparking a constitutional crisis that threatens the rule of
I agree with all of the above, although I do not
whether this implies that "the
new Democratic House majority must initiate impeachment proceedings
against him as soon as it takes office in January".
To be sure, I think
that Trump is both a neofascist and
a madman, so in abstract principle I would welcome his
especially because I think a madman should not
be in a position to blow
up the whole world in a nuclear war.
Then again, it is not only abstract principle
applies here, but also whether the USA is much better off with any
successor after a probably long process of impeachment of a madman,
that the madman will probably fight like mad. And here one main
is that the next four (!!) people who would take over as president
after Trump does get impeached are nearly as bad as he is, though
probably not as mad as he is.
Here is the last bit of that I quote from this article:
Well... the Democrats had
7% more votes than the Republicans, and I do not
think that is "an
overwhelming majority of people in this country elected them to hold
this president accountable. There is no majority without them. That
means no one has the votes for a leadership title without their support.
a moment when just one-third of all
Americans trust their government to do what is right, winning a
majority has to mean much more than just frustrating Republican
legislative goals and scoring debating points. Democrats must stand up
for the safety of the American people and our entire democratic system.
cannot allow this to be an argument about what Republicans will permit
— it’s about demanding the truth and protecting the foundations of our
free society. Anything less would mean abandoning the Constitution.
In brief, while I probably agree with Steyer on the abstract
that apply, I do not know whether impeachment is at present the
procedure, and this is a strongly recommended article.
Ocasio-Cortez: We Need to Confront Trump’s Creeping Authoritarianism
is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following
Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the youngest
woman ever elected to Congress. Ocasio-Cortez rose to national
prominence in June, when she unseated 10-term incumbent Representative
Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. She was elected
to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District by a landslide last
night, defeating Republican candidate Anthony Pappas with 78 percent of
the vote. Ocasio-Cortez celebrated her victory in Queens last night.
Democracy Now! was there with The Intercept for our special election
broadcast. We spoke with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about her plans for
Yes (and I normally copy
the introductions of the articles on Democracy Now! that I review).
Here is Ocasio-Cortez:
REP.-ELECT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: When I started this campaign a
year ago, I was working in a restaurant in downtown Manhattan. And it
wasn’t because—and we didn’t launch this campaign because I thought I
was special or unique or better than anyone else. We launched this
campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the
moral issues of our time, then it is up to us to voice them. We
launched this campaign because no one was clearly and authentically
talking about issues like the corrupting role of money in politics,
like the disturbing human rights violations being committed by ICE, by the fact that no one was giving voice to
the idea and the notion that an entire generation is graduating with
crippling loads of student loan debt, a ticking time bomb for our
economy. No one was talking about these issues. And when no one talks
about them, we have the duty to stand up for what is right.
Well... I don't
agree, and I select two points of disagreement:
First, about about her not thinking that she "was special or unique or better than anyone
In fact, I do not believe this, and specifically not that she
believe that she is "better
than anyone else". And I
think in fact she is saying this because she is mistaken about legal
equality (which I also am a proponent of) and personal equality
I do not believe for a moment, and never have
believed): On a personal
level, clearly many kinds of persons are - for many kinds of reasons,
in many kinds of contexts - better choices than other kinds of
and the same applies to Ocasio-Cortez (whom I probably like,
and whom I
think is certainly a better choice than a real moron).
Second, it is definitely false that "no one was talking about these issues" (in each and everu case Ocasio-Cortez
There clearly were people talking about them and also writing about
them: See the crisis index for quite a
few of them.
Then again, I would probably have mostly agree with Ocasio-Cortez if
she had said that on the issues she mentions there was little
informed and rational writing on the mainstream media.
Here is more:
GOODMAN: Can you talk
about what your stance is on Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, what you
feel needs to happen right now, you, coming out of the Bernie Sanders
faction of the Democratic Party? You’re an organizer for Bernie
Sanders. Who do you think needs to lead the House? And would you
consider the possibility of being the speaker yourself?
REP.-ELECT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I mean, I don’t want to bite off
more than I can chew. I just won my seat. But, you know, what I do
think is that in terms of her leadership in context, we need to see
what our options are. You know, my fear is, I just wouldn’t want to see
candidates running to her right and that being our only option. So, I
think that what—no matter who it is, we need to make sure that we are
electing party leadership with strong commitments to putting Medicare
for all, tuition-free college and more at the top of the agenda, things
like a living wage.
avoided answering Goodman's questions. I think she
probably does have
ideas about them, but it is true that she just won her seat.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
GOODMAN: President Trump
called tonight a success. What is your message for him?
completely agree with the last quotation, and this is a
REP.-ELECT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ:
Well, he’s bound to call anything a success and just kind of speak it
into existence. But the fact of the matter is, we won back the House.
We secured a full chamber in our government back, which is a very, very
powerful check on the authoritarian creep that this administration has
been pursuing. And we need to be powerful about it. We need to take
this opportunity. This is not the time to negotiate with an
administration that systematically and repeatedly violates human
rights. This is a time for us to have a strong response and to really
command the power that we secured tonight.
Crisis Already Here'
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams (with a title abbreviated by me). It starts as follows:
After President Donald
Trump tore through a "red
line" on Wednesday by immediately replacing fired Attorney General
Jeff Sessions with Matthew Whitaker—a fervent
loyalist who has openly called for the defunding of Special Counsel
Robert Mueller's Russia probe—lawmakers, legal experts, and progressive
analysts argued that Trump's presidency has now entered "a dangerous
new phase" that many described as a full-blown
Just hours after this move,
the Trump administration stripped the press credentials of well-known
White House journalist in a move that was denounced
as a "clear attack on
the First Amendment."
Well... what is
"a Constitutional crisis"?
In fact, either
I do not know or else I think there was a Constitutional crisis
(in principle, at least) for a considerably longer time, say since
2001, when Gore was beaten by Bush Jr. on the basis of - what I think
was an invalid - ruling of the Supreme Court, or in 2010, when the
Supreme Court adopted in majority a perfectly insane reading of
Amendment in the case of Citizens
United v. FEC (when it decided in fact that money = votes).
Then again, I think
that what is a Constitutional crisis is in fact ill defined.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
It is my guess that even
if Whitaker decides Mueller's final report will be kept secret, it is
highly likely it will become public anyway. And the term "Constitutional crisis" seems to be ill defined.
As the New York Times
it will now be up to Whitaker to decide whether to hand over Mueller's
final report on his findings to Congress—or keep it secret and hidden
from the public.
"There is really no other
way to spin it: This is a cover-up and a Constitutional crisis," argued
Judd Legum, author of the Popular Information newsletter.
This is a recommended article.
House Economists Are Obsessed with Socialism
is by Jim Hightower on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Trump’s White House seems
to be both spooked… and spooky.
Check out a 72-page
“spookonomics” report issued right before Halloween by his Council of
Economic Advisors. It reads like an endless Trump tweet, focused on his
perceived political enemies and riddled with fantasies, lies, and
paranoia about the policies of progressives.
À la Joe McCarthy, Trump’s
economic advisors spew conspiracy theories about the proposals of
Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other democratic populists,
frantically linking them with “Failed Socialist Policies” of Lenin,
Stalin, Mao, and other communist dictators.
Bernie’s commonsense ideas
of Medicare-for-All and free college education, for example, are
hysterically decried as totalitarian designs from China and the USSR.
Likewise, the report compares Warren’s assertion that corporate giants
are dodging their tax obligations to Lenin’s demonization and killing
of yeoman farmers.
Well... I am not
to read 72 pages of "an
endless Trump tweet", and
believe Jim Hightower anyway.
Then again, I think I
can possibly explain
Trumpian "conspiracy theories"; their linking
Sanders and Warren to "“Failed
Socialist Policies” of Lenin, Stalin, Mao" and - especially - the fact that Sanders' ideas about
"Medicare-for-All and free
college education" are presented as "totalitarian
designs from China and the USSR".
I think the main
well be the intentional redefinition of "totalitarianism" on
so that it means what Brzezinski meant by it.
Here is what Brzezinski and
the Wikipedia understand by totalitarianism:
This means that - according to
Brzezinski and the Wikipedia - it totalitarianism depends on the
government, and is about governments.
is a political concept that defines a mode of government, which
prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the
state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control
over public and private life. It is regarded as the most extreme and
complete form of authoritarianism.
This was not at all what George Orwell meant by it, nor
any of the many tens (possibly hundreds) of writers, intellectuals and
academics that I have read on the subject meant by it, in the last 50+
years, which I rendered
Totalitarian: Ideology or religion that is
pretended to have final answers to many important human questions and
problems and that is pretended to be thereby justified to persecute
persons who do not agree with the ideology or the religion.
Note that according to the
Wikipedia's definition there cannot be any
outside a totalitarian state, while according to my definition
totalitarianism is not a matter of government but a matter
of styles of
reasoning, of psychology and of ethical values, and is essentially
characterized by the fact that people with totalitarian ideas
believe their ideas justify persecuting people who disagree with them.
Totalitairian ideas and values
are very widespread, and usually take the following general
form in practice, if not as clearly outspoken:
Our Belief is the Only True
Belief and Our Believers are the Only Good People, and everyone who
does not believe, or do, or feel, or look like Us is inferior
damned, bound for hell, fit for a concentration camp, and in any case
not a proper well-thinking, decently feeling, morally behaving follower
of Our True Belief, and hence certainly not comme il faut).
Anyway... Wikipedia lies, and not only about totalitarianism but about
quite a few other political concepts, and it will very probably remain
lying as long as it is anonymous and made by anonymous persons.
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 (!!).