from December 4, 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 three 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 December 4, 2018:
1. The Film the Israel Lobby Does Not Want
You to See
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. No News Is Bad News for Hungary
3. Interview: Bernie Sanders
4. 5 Reasons Trump Won’t Fire Mueller
5. A Yale psychiatrist explains Trump
Film the Israel Lobby Does Not Want You to See
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I did not know anything
"The Lobby". It seems interesting, although I very probably will not
Lobby,” the four-part Al-Jazeera documentary that was blocked
under heavy Israeli pressure shortly before its release, has been
leaked online by the Chicago-based website Electronic Intifada, the
French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.
The series is an inside look
over five months by an undercover reporter, armed with a hidden camera,
at how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with
U.S. domestic Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC), The Israel Project and StandWithUs to spy on, smear
and attack critics, especially American university students who support
the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
There are several reasons for this, but one is that I cannot get
BDS site (with a very recent Firefox on a very recent Linux) other
as a title (so Firefox appears to be able to go there) but otherwise
with an entirely blank page (which makes it seem as if the text has
been somehow deleted).
In fact, this is quite similar to two very recent articles about
on Spiegel International (that since many years has been displaying
well on my Firefox), that has precisely the same behavior
(title: yes; text: no) for me. (The rest of Spiegel International
Anyway - I suspect someone is fucking up both displays, but I
know and do not intend to try to find out, for that is almost
utterly wasted time and energy.
In any case, here is Hedges' summary of "The Lobby":
uncovers Israel’s sleazy character assassination of academics,
activists and journalists, its well-funded fake grassroots activism,
its manipulation of press coverage, and its ham-fisted attempts to
destroy marriages, personal relationships and careers. The film
highlights the efforts to discredit liberal Jews and Jewish
organizations as tools of radical jihadists, referring, for example, to
Jewish Voice for Peace as “Jewish Voice for Hamas” and claiming that
many members of the organization are not actually Jewish. Israel
recruits black South Africans into an Israeli front group called Stop
Stealing My Apartheid, in a desperate effort to counter the reality of
the apartheid state that Israel has constructed. The series documents
Israel’s repeated and multifaceted interference in the internal affairs
of the United States, including elections; efforts to discredit
progressive groups such as Black Lives Matter that express sympathy for
the Palestinians; and routine employment of Americans to spy on other
Americans. Israel’s behavior is unethical and perhaps illegal. But
don’t expect anyone in the establishment or either of the two ruling
political parties to do anything about it. It is abundantly clear by
the end of the series that they have been intimidated, discredited or
I think that is all - at
least - mostly correct. Then again, I admit that (i) I don't
about Israeli policies, since I do not regularly follow them, which has
a considerable amount to do with (ii) the fact that I strongly dislike
Netanyahu. There also are other reasons, such as the fact that my grandfather was murdered in a German
concentration camp for
resisting the Nazis, and my father spent over 3 year and 9 months in
four German concentration camps for the same reason.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Those of us who
denounce and expose the Israeli crimes committed against Palestinians
are intimately familiar with the sordid and nefarious tactics of the
Israel lobby. The power of the film series is that in dealing with the
reporter—a young Oxford postgraduate, James Anthony Kleinfeld, who goes
by the name Tony in the film and poses as a pro-Israel student—major
figures within the Israel lobby candidly explain and expose their
massive covert campaign in the United States. There is no plausible
deniability. And this is why Israel worked so hard to stop the film
from being broadcast.
I suppose this is correct
as well. There is considerably more in the article, that is recommended.
News Is Bad News for Hungary
This article is by
The Editorial Board on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
The world’s growing
ranks of would-be autocrats should study Viktor Orban. Steadily,
systematically, relentlessly, he has disabled any criticism or honest
accounting of his imposition of right-wing, nativist, nationalist
politics on all spheres of Hungarian life. His latest feat is
breathtaking in its audacity.
What Mr. Orban has managed to
create is a media juggernaut that closely resembles Communist
propaganda machines of old. The consolidation, if that’s the word,
still needs to be approved by regulatory authorities, but they’re led
by officials appointed by Mr. Orban. So is the Constitutional Court,
should anybody consider challenging the transfers in the courts.
nonprofit foundation that has suddenly become an enormously powerful
government mouthpiece, the Central European Press and Media Foundation,
was formed in August by staunch allies of Mr. Orban. In an email to The
Times, a board member, Miklos Szantho, echoed a line from Fox News,
claiming that the foundation would work to create a “balanced” media
environment in Hungary by serving as a counterweight to “progressive”
a curious notion of balance, since more than 500 news outlets in
Hungary today are pro-government, compared with 31 in 2015. Independent
media organizations have been denied state advertising for years, often
rendering them targets for acquisition by Mr. Orban’s friends. The most
widely read opposition newspaper, Nepszabadsag, was shut down in 2016. Many of its staff
members charged that the shutdown was the work of Mr. Orban.
Yes, I think most of the above is quite correct. Here
Yes. And this is a
is not alone in its assault on media freedoms — Poland’s nationalist
Law and Justice Party is also trying to bring the media under its
control. But Mr. Orban has been the trendsetter in his effort to build
what he proudly describes as an “illiberal state.” His efforts have
included active measures to spread his far-right ideology to the
theater and other arts, to universities and other schools, and even to
have also included a crackdown on pro-democracy organizations and
institutions like the Central European University, created to foster
democracy by the Hungarian-American investor George Soros — a bête
noire of Hungarian government propaganda — that is now being forced out to Austria, with a shrug from the
is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts
with the following introduction:
international progressive leaders gathered in Burlington, Vermont, last
weekend for an event hosted by The Sanders Institute. While there, Amy
Goodman sat down with independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to
discuss his efforts to pass a Green New Deal, raise the minimum wage
and protect Social Security. He also spoke about last week’s historic
Senate vote to advance a resolution he co-sponsored to end military
support for the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen.
This was a good idea. Here is
GOODMAN: This is Democracy
Now! I’m Amy Goodman. We’ve just returned from Burlington,
Vermont, where hundreds of international progressive leaders
participated in a gathering hosted by The Sanders Institute. On
Saturday, I had the chance to sit down with independent Vermont Senator
Bernie Sanders and ask him about his efforts to pass a Green New Deal,
raise the minimum wage and protect Social Security. I began by asking
him about last week’s historic Senate vote to advance a resolution he
co-sponsored to end military support for the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war
Yes, Sanders may be right. Here
is some more on it:
It is a big deal. It’s a big deal because for the first time since 1973
we have used the War Powers Act to in fact stop a horrific war. What we
won last week was the beginning of the process. We got the language
discharged from committee, so it’s now on the floor. We’re going to
need a motion to proceed, and then we need final passage. I think we
have the votes to pass it.
GOODMAN: So, what exactly
does this bill say?
It says the United States will not be involved in the war on Yemen
GOODMAN: And what has to
happen for the motion to go forward, to have the debate on the floor?
It has to pass the Senate. And unless I’m mistaken, it will get the 51
votes that we need. Mike Lee, who’s a conservative Republican from
Utah, Chris Murphy and I brought this up in March. We got all of 44
votes. But I think the Khashoggi murder really turned a lot of
attention to the brutality and the despotic nature of the Saudi regime,
and so we got a lot more Republicans on board. I think we’ll probably
lose some of them next week, but I think we’ve got 53, 54 votes.
Yes indeed. Here is more:
GOODMAN: You have a
massive change now that’s coming up, and that is the House will become
Democratic. But that’s just the House. It’s not your House. It’s not
the Senate. What does that mean? And what does a path forward look like
for an issue you have pushed for years?
Well, Amy, thanks for asking that question. And what I want to say, and
I think all of us should be proud of this, who are supporting Medicare
for all, we have come a long way in the last few years. If you and I
were sitting here three years ago talking about Medicare for all, you
would have said, “Well, it’s a good idea, but nobody supports it.”
Well, last two polls that I’ve seen, 70—seven zero—percent of the
American people support it. All over this country, more and more
doctors’ organizations are coming on board, because they’re tired of
practicing in a dysfunctional healthcare system which doesn’t allow
them to provide the treatment they want for their patients. We’re
making real progress.
Now, I hope, in
terms of Medicare for all, in terms of raising the minimum wage to a
living wage, in terms of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure,
criminal justice reform, immigration reform—I hope—climate change—I
hope that the Congress, the new Congress, will come out and come out
Well... I hope so as
but I am not very confident. Then there is this:
GOODMAN: What you think
about impeaching President Trump?
Not right now. Right now, obviously, we’re waiting for the report of
the Mueller investigation. I think we would look stupid if you jump the
gun on that. So, and it would look highly, highly political. Let
Mueller do—continue to do his investigation, and let’s see where we go
I agree, basically because
(i) it will be very difficult until 2020 to impeach Trump, while also
(ii) his replacements (while probably not mad) are about as bad as
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
GOODMAN: Talk about what’s
going to happen with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—what they
call, or Republicans call, the entitlements. What do you call them?
Well, they’re not entitlements. They’re paid-for programs that people
have invested in.
Yes indeed. And this is a
What Trump promised his
supporters during the campaign is that he was a different type of
Republican. You recall that. He was not going to cut Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid. I know I will shock your viewers when I tell
them that he lied. And his last budget provided a trillion dollars in
cuts in Medicaid, which would be a disaster not only for low-income
people, but for middle-income people who have family members in nursing
homes. It was a $500 billion cut to Medicare, $72 billion cut the
Social Security Disability Fund.
Reasons Trump Won’t Fire Mueller
is by Bill Blum on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
For those who fear that
Donald Trump is about to lower the boom on special counsel Robert
Mueller, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Despite all you’ve heard
himself, press secretary Sarah
Huckabee Sanders and law professor Alan
Dershowitz about the commander-in-chief’s unfettered authority to
discharge any member of the executive branch with impunity, Mueller
isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
There are at least five
reasons why Mueller and his probe are safe:
lacks unilateral authority to remove Mueller.
The Department of Justice
regulations under which Mueller was appointed preclude the president
from dismissing a special counsel on his own initiative.
Well... we shall see,
but this article does announce five reasons why Trump won't
Mueller, and this is the first, and is correct.
Then again, Trump seems
to have appointed a new attorney general whose main task is (according
to quite a few commentators) to dismiss Mueller.
Here is more on that
2. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may
lack the legal authority to remove Mueller
But Trump’s plans to deploy Whitaker to ax Mueller may be dead on
arrival, because Whitaker’s appointment may be unconstitutional. To
date, at least half
a dozen lawsuits have been filed challenging Whitaker’s
installation for running afoul of the Constitution’s appointment
clause (Article II, Section 2).
The lawsuits against Whitaker contend that he cannot lawfully discharge
the duties of the attorney general because he hasn’t been confirmed by
I say, for I did not
know that. Here is the third reason:
3. Whitaker may defy expectations and
refuse to fire Mueller.
As with each of the
five reasons, there is more text in the original. I completely deleted
the text for this reason, because I think this one is rather unlikely.
The next reason seems
considerably more relevant:
4. Mueller can contest his firing.
Even if Whitaker follows
presidential orders to fire Mueller, the special counsel can contest
the firing by filing a wrongful termination case in federal court.
I think this may well
happen, but so far it hasn't (and Whitaker's appointment may be
Here is the last reason:
5. Trump is deathly afraid of impeachment
The image of Trump as a
strongman who hits back twice as hard as his opponents is a mirage.
Beneath his bravado lurks what many prominent
mental-health professionals perceive is a brittle, insecure
narcissist who lives in fear of being exposed as a weak and craven con
For the first two years of
his presidency, Trump’s narcissism went essentially unchecked. He could
fire Comey, threaten to discharge Mueller, hint at pardoning supporters
and himself and lie about everything from his business dealings with
Russia to his efforts to obstruct the Russia probe, and get away with
The difference is, of
course, that the Democrats won the House in November. And in any case,
I do not know what Trump or Whitaker may do, and this is a recommended
Yale psychiatrist explains Trump
is by Tana Ganeva on AlterNet and originally on Raw Story.
President Donald Trump took
to Twitter on Monday to heap praise upon his ally Roger Stone, who
continues to maintain his refusal to flip—even as Trump’s former fixer,
Michael Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for the president,
begged federal prosecutors to not serve jail time.
Stone might be Trump’s most
famous supporter—but there are millions of Americans who refuse to
abandon the president regardless of the chaotic news cycle. A poll
conducted over the summer found that many Trump supporters trust the
President more than their own friends
Raw Story spoke with Yale
psychiatry professor Bandy X. Lee on why the president’s supporters
show such undying devotion to a man who’s repeatedly reneged on
promises and whose tumultuous first term has been filled with shake-ups.
Yes. And while I
basically agree with Lee that Trump
is insane, I am also a philosopher and a psychologist who does not
like most psychiatry, for various reasons. In case you are interested,
this is a link to my ideas on psychiatry: DSM-5:
Question 1 of "The six
most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis"
Also, my own strong
inclination is to explain facts such as these: "there are millions of Americans who refuse to
abandon the president regardless of the chaotic news cycle. A poll
conducted over the summer found that many Trump supporters trust the
President more than their own friends
and family" not
by psychiatric reasons but by psychological ones, such
as that these supporters of Trump are mostly stupid or ignorant (and
often both) - which in fact seems to be even less agreed to
than psychiatric ones (because it is supposed to be discriminatory,
since we all know everyone is equal, from Einstein to morons).
As the rest is an
interview, I will quote some of that. Here is the first bit:
Well... no, I mostly
disagree. That is, I agree Trump is a "strongman-type
personality", but I think his effects are better explained by
assuming most of his supporters are stupid
or ignorant, rather than by mostly psychiatric
But, in this case,
Trump appeals to that childlike degree of emotional development? Why?
are very appealing in times of socioeconomic or political crisis, as
the population is less able to think rationally but is rather overcome
with fear, or desire to draw strength from fantastical ideas. This
happens to normal people in times of stress, or to people whose
development has been stunted because of emotional injury. The problem
is, the person who promises the impossible and states, “I alone can fix
it,” and gives himself an A+ on his performance, is not a strong person
who can deliver but the opposite. So Mr. Trump’s “base“ looks for
someone to rescue them and their intense yearning does not allow them
to see through his deception, while Mr. Trump senses better than anyone
their needs (they are his) and makes use of them for his own
benefit—even as he disdains his supporters for being so gullible.
Here is more:
Possibly so, but (i) I do not
have "20 years of studying
this personality structure while treating violent offenders" and (ii) I also do not think
that the political and corporate leaders I have seen since 1980 (or
earlier) are very different from those I saw before, while also
(iii) a major difference between the present political and
corporate leaders in the USA and the previous ones is that the present
leaders have far more possibilities to do what they like and
profit from it through nearly 40 years of successive deregulations.
What’s your biggest
One concern I have, in my 20
years of studying this personality structure while treating violent
offenders, is the disturbing societal trend. More and more of this
personality type are taking on leadership positions, including of
corporations, whereas 20 years ago one would mostly find them in jails
Besides, there also is the fact that the present corporate and
political leaders in the USA tend to come from the same group
as the previous corporate
and political leaders, namely the 1% of the richest.
Here is more:
We find in him a
pattern of following exactly what his base is looking for—he has no
intrinsic philosophy or ideology but is responding to an emotional need
for adulation and approval, and so he will try anything that gets as
many people on board as possible. He will also sense keenly those who
will never go along with his pathological methods—that is, healthy
people—and drop them instantly. That is why we see him desperately
clinging to an ever narrower base with increasingly fringe ideas.
No. While I agree Trump is insane I also
think he is a neofascist, and
indeed published both opinions on the same day in 2016. If you
disagree, you should read what I think neofascism is
(it is at least a decent definition) and why I think Trump satisfies
each and every criterion I gave.
There will likely be no limit
to the violence he is capable of, since destroying the world would be
nothing compared to the shame and humiliation he might suffer.
But I do agree with the last statement. Then there is this:
By the way, I think
we need to include a very different demographic group among his
supporters, which is the richest one percent. This will be the more
calculating, pragmatic group. How is such a minority able to control
politics and to keep convincing 99 percent of the population to give up
what it has so that it can grow richer still? It is by distracting and
manipulating the 99 percent through advertising, hot-button issues such
as abortion, Fox News, and reality TV, which explicitly employ
psychological techniques to make the population more impulsive,
irrational, and ill-informed.
I think that is basically
correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
There is a
phenomenon called “shared psychosis” (also called “folie à deux”) that
happens when an untreated sick person is in close proximity to, say,
other family members within a household. In such a situation, normal
people grow increasingly out of touch with reality and take on symptoms
of the person who is unwell. It can also happen with an impaired
president—once in power, he becomes not only the most urgent problem
that needs to be addressed but a cause of widespread deterioration of
health in a way that can become a “folie à millions.”
No - and one personal
reason is that my ex and I have been repeatedly said to be suffering
from a "folie à deux" in the last 40 years - where we could
not get any help or any support except
from our families and a few rare doctors precisely because of
this discrimination (which always was by ordinary GPs who had not
studied psychiatry nor psychology).
My ex and I both made
excellent M.A.s in psychology why we were ill (or mad -
during the last
40 years - according to the vast majority of GPs we saw) without
ever going to lectures, simply because we both had an IQ above 140.
Also, while I am a
psychologist, I never saw anyone with folie à deux, that is, other than myself and
my ex, who have been declared - after almost 40 years of medical
discrimination - to suffer from a "serious and chronic disease" in
March 2018, which is what we have tried to convince medics of since we
fell ill, as first-year students on study loans, in January 1979.
Finally, while I do not
deny there are some cases of “folie à
deux”, I think the extension of that psychiatric conception to a “folie à millions” is pseudoscientific
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 (!!).