This is a Nederlog of
2017. 1. Summary
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) 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.
On the moment I have 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
will continue. 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
September 25, 2017
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:
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
journalists, are in the business of manipulating facts. Some use facts
to tell truths, however unpleasant. But many more omit, highlight and
at times distort them in ways that sustain national myths and buttress
dominant narratives. The failure by most of the United States’ popular
historians and the press to tell stories of oppression and the
struggles against it, especially by women, people of color, the working
class and the poor, has contributed to the sickening triumphalism and
chauvinism that are poisoning our society.
Carl Becker wrote, “History is what the present chooses to
remember about the past.” And as a nation founded on the pillars of
genocide, slavery, patriarchy, violent repression of popular movements,
savage war crimes committed to expand the empire, and capitalist
exploitation, we choose to remember very little. This historical
amnesia, as James
Baldwin never tired of pointing out, is very dangerous. It feeds
self-delusion. It severs us from recognition of our propensity for
violence. It sees us project on others—almost always the vulnerable—the
unacknowledged evil that lies in our past and our hearts. It shuts down
the voices of the oppressed, those who can tell us who we are and
enable us through self-reflection and self-criticism to become a better
people. “History does not merely refer to the past … history is
literally present in all we do,” Baldwin wrote.
Actually, I don´t
know whether Hedges is quite correct about ¨Historians¨. Here are
some of my reasons:
Clearly, Hedges is correct about some of the
historians, that indeed mostly are the popular historians, and he is also
correct that almost all historians - somehow, decently or not - are
¨manipulating facts¨ if only because usually there are far more known
facts than can fit in their books (besides other more political,
ethical or personal reasons to acknowledge some facts and not others).
But there are very
many historians (and also ¨historians¨) and no one is capable of
reading all or most of them (in nearly any case). Besides, I have
read a fair amount of history, but I do not often read contemporary
historians, for I rather read those historians that have been sifted
from the mass of historians as - somehow, also by my own
political and ethical criterions - are (a bit) reasonable.
Also, the quote by
Carl Becker is false.
His statement “History is
what the present” X “chooses to
remember about the past” should
have been qualified by filling out which X one has in mind
(which Becker completely left out): the present historian?
the present politicians? the present politicians with a
certain conviction? people who read papers? academics who read
both history and papers? Etc. etc.
And finally, there is
a development - e.g. in Holland, already since the early 1970ies,
and not only there - that I consider to be at least as dangerous
as the danger of ¨historians¨ Hedges warns against:
Since the early
1970ies, history has become a subject that children between 12 and
18 are free to choose or avoid, and which they are not
obliged to take anymore - which means that quite a few do hardly
know any history at all (and these will also probably not
read any historian).
In fact, the same
happened in Holland to something like 60% of the subjects that were
prescribed in the schools that educated for entrance
into the Dutch universitiessince 1865: Until 1965, everybody
had to take mostly written examinations in 14 to 16 subjects;
but since 1970 everybody - in ¨the same¨ schools - only
had to take 6 subjects,most of which they could choose.
And this did not
just destroy history as a subject for most 12 to 18 year olds,
but most other subjects that in the previous 100 years had
been imposed on everyone who wanted to enter a university as
well. (Geography, biology, French, German, and much of mathematics,
physics and chemistry are evident examples. Then again, the vast
Dutch majority embraced this radical stupification of all
education: They needed to learn and to know a whole lot less than
before, but they still got diplomas and degrees.)
Here is more on
¨Historians¨ by Chris Hedges:
Historians are rewarded
for buttressing the ruling social structure, producing heavy tomes on
the ruling elites—usually powerful white men such as John D.
Rockefeller or Theodore Roosevelt—and ignoring the underlying social
movements and radicals that have been the true engines of cultural and
political change in the United States. Or they retreat into arcane and
irrelevant subjects of minor significance, becoming self-appointed
specialists of the banal or the trivial. They ignore or minimize
inconvenient facts and actions that tarnish the myth, including lethal
suppression of groups, classes and civilizations and the plethora of
lies told by the ruling elites, the mass media and powerful
institutions to justify their grip on power. They eschew transcendental
and moral issues, including class conflict, in the name of neutrality
Well, yes... mostly
and for the most part, but not allhistorians.
and indeed that
accords quite well with my readings - since more than 50 years
now - in fourteen different subjects, one of which is history:
Most that I read - even when selecting fairly carefully - is notgood, and rather a lot is rather bad. Then
again, in every subject I did read quite a lot in -
philosophy, logic, mathematics, psychology, sociology, economics,
history, religion, mysticism, linguistics, physics, literature,
medicine and computers - there also were at least some
authors who were first class, though indeed not many.
But Hedges is quite
correct when he maps the ordinary course that most academic
historians do take (for they are not academics, in the first place, but
nearly always people looking for good incomes and considerable
status amongs their peers):
Historians who apologize
for the power elites, who in essence shun complexity and minimize
inconvenient truths, are rewarded and promoted. They receive tenure,
large book contracts, generous research grants, lucrative speaking
engagements and prizes. Truth tellers, such as Zinn, are marginalized.
And this from near the end
of the article:
The political squabbles
that dominate public discourse almost never question the sanctity of
private property, individualism, capitalism or imperialism. They hold
as sacrosanct American “virtues.” They insist that Americans are a
“good” people steadily overcoming any prejudices and injustices that
may have occurred in the past.
Yes indeed, but then
again this is also as most people reason and think, nearly
always, and quite regardless from who they are or what they know: The
vast majority in almost any society will
support most of the values that keep that society going, indeed
whether or not these values are popular elsewhere or at later times.
But this is a
recommended article in which there is considerably more.
This article is by
Steven Erlanger and Melissa Eddy on The New York Times. It starts as
Angela Merkel won
a fourth term as chancellor in elections on Sunday, placing her in the
front ranks of Germany’s
postwar leaders, even as her victory was dimmed by the entry of a
far-right party into parliament for the first time in more than 60
years, according to preliminary results.
Ms. Merkel and her center-right Christian Democrats won, the
center held, but it was weakened. The results made clear that far-right
populism — and anxieties over security and national identity — were far
from dead in Europe.
They also showed that Germany’s mainstream parties were not
immune to the same troubles that have afflicted mainstream parties
across the Continent, from Italy to France to Britain.
“We expected a better result, that is clear,”
Ms. Merkel said Sunday night. “The good thing is that we will
definitely lead the next government.”
This is here mostly to
report on the outcome of the German elections: The three main parties
in the German parliament are now Merkel´s CDU with (rounded) 33%, the
social democratic SPD with (rounded) 21%, and the rightist AfD with 13%.
Here is a bit more:
Despite her victory, Ms. Merkel and her conservatives cannot
rule alone, making it probable that the chancellor’s political life in
her fourth term will be substantially more complicated.
The shape and policies of a new governing coalition will
involve weeks of painstaking negotiations. Smiling, Ms. Merkel said
Sunday night that she hoped to have a new government “by Christmas.”
The center-left Social Democrats, Ms. Merkel’s coalition
partners for the last four years, ran a poor second to her center-right
grouping, and the Social Democrats announced Sunday evening that the
party would go into opposition, hoping to rebuild their political
But the step would also make sure that the AfD, stays on the
political sidelines and does not become the country’s official
I think that will
probably be correct, and this is a recommended article (in which there
is a great lot more).
This article is by
Harvey Wasserman on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Election theft is now the
core reality of American politics.
It has poisoned every
corner of the United States government, put the world at the brink of
atomic and climate catastrophe and robbed every generation of its
inherent right to a sane and prosperous future.
We are under the thumb of
corporatocracy in a nation that desperately desires social
democracy. A fascist government—in a nation that, at heart, hates
We are being robbed of
universal health care, decent public education, renewable energy,
environmental protection, accountable policing, basic human rights,
nuclear disarmament and much, much more because unelected billionaire
corporatists control our government instead of dedicated, accountable
I mostly agree with the
last of the quoted paragraphs, but one problem with ¨election theft¨ -
which I agree exists in the USA and (for example) to a
considerably larger extent than in Holland, Germany or Western
Europe (possibly apart from Great Britain) - is that in the USA, where
there are just two parties that may win presidential elections
and where the support for either party is around 50/50 (in the part
that does vote), not very much is needed to switch an election
from the one to the other party.
And while I agree
that there is rather a lot of election theft in the USA, I do not
know whether it is ¨the
core reality of American politics¨ (consider alternatives like: the enormous
amount of propaganda
that makes up most of the mainstrea media; the stupidity
that mark many voters; the fact that the vast majorities of both the
Senate and the House are bought by the rich, and other
Also, as I said e.g.
yesterday (and many previous times): If you do not even
define ¨fascism¨, I cannot take your sayings about
Here are some of the facts
(it seems) that move Harvey Wasserman:
Donald Trump is in the
White House despite losing
the 2016 popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and losing
the exit polls in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan
and Wisconsin. George W. Bush buried us in the cancerous destruction of
Iraq and the rest of the Middle East despite losing the popular vote by
500,000, because, as reported by Greg Palast and Bev Harris, his
brother stripped and flipped the vote count in Florida 2000. As
reported at freepress.org, Bush2 got
a second term through the electronic theft of Ohio’s electoral
votes in 2004.
I tend to mostly
agree. And here are some of the results, though indeed - I hasten to
add - not only because of election fraud:
Today, our Supreme Court,
Congress, state and local governments are packed with reactionary
corporatists who owe their power to manipulated elections. Through the
Obama years, more than 1,000 federal, state and local offices changed
hands in elections rife with fraud. In 2014 and 2016, six U.S. Senate
seats went to Republicans who lost in the exit polls. Our entire
electoral system is riddled with deceit. What has been done to our
government is a mirror image of what our military and intelligence
operatives have done to developing nations too many times to count.
I agree with the last
statement, and would have liked to know more about the rest of the
Here are Wasserman´s ideas
for a cure for election fraud:
To get an electoral
system that actually works for the public good, here’s what we need:
● Universal automatic
voter registration, with registration rolls that can be easily
monitored, so individual citizens can confirm their status as they come
to the polls.
● A four-day weekend for
voting, with ample polling stations providing convenient access for all.
● Universal hand-counted
paper ballots that are kept in translucent, video-monitored containers
that do not move.
● An end to
● Abolition of the
● A ban on the corporate
purchase of our campaigns.
In the long run, the only
thing that can save this planet from utter destruction is the will of
the people, legitimately empowered. Donald Trump’s uniquely crazed
genocidal/suicidal corporatocracy is the most obvious indicator it is
being denied, and the consequences are lethal.
I agree with
all the points, though I stress again that the reasons for the very
many problems that the USA faces these days are not only
election fraud, but are far wider.
But I agree election fraud is a serious problem in the USA, and
this is a recommended article.
Real wages for
nonsupervisors, which take inflation into account, topped $22 an hour
this year, the best inflation-adjusted reading since January
1973, according to Labor Department data. The
nonsupervisory figure covers about 70% of the workforce and excludes
managers who are more likely to receive bonuses, stock options and
other forms of nonwage compensation.
Translation: wage growth
for ordinary workers has been so bad that it’s taken 44 years
to finally catch up to the levels of 1973.
I say. I also stress this
concerns ¨ordinary workers¨, which covers ¨70% of the workforce¨,
but this is a somewhat astounding figure.
Here is more, that includes
The article goes on to
talk about wage growth during this recovery compared to past
recoveries, but you really need to see the whole picture in one place
to understand what’s going on. Here it is:
the years from 1978 to 1995 were a horror show. During that 17-year
period, wages dropped by 15 percent, or 0.9 percent per year.
And note it took a full
30 years (between 1980 and 2010) in which the wages mostly fell
(until 1996) to rise again to were they were in 1980.
This article is by Nomi Prins (with an introduction by Tom Engelhardt).
It starts as follows:
During the 2016 election
campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly emphasized that our country was run
terribly and needed a businessman at its helm. Upon winning the White
House, he insisted that the problem had been solved, adding,
“In theory, I could run my business perfectly and then run the country
perfectly. There's never been a case like this.”
Sure enough, while
Hillary Clinton spent her time excoriating her opponent for not
releasing his tax returns, Americans ultimately embraced the candidate
who had proudly and openly dodged their exposure. And why not? It’s in
the American ethos to disdain “the man” -- especially the taxman. In an
election turned reality TV show, who could resist watching a
larger-than-life conman who had taken money from the government?
Now, give him credit. As
president, The Donald has done just what he promised the American
people he would do: run the country like he ran his businesses. At one
point, he even displayed
confusion about distinguishing between them when he said of the United
States: “We’re a very powerful company -- country.”
But I agree Trump is
also running the USA ¨like
he ran his businesses¨.
Here is some more on that subject:
To complete the analogy
Trump made during the election campaign, he’s running the country on
the very same instincts he used with those businesses and undoubtedly
with just the same sense of self-protectiveness. Take the corporate tax
policy he advocates that’s being promoted by his bank-raider
turned Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin. It’s focused on lowering the
tax rate for multinational corporations from 35% to 15%, further aiding
the profitability of companies that already routinely squirrel away
profits and hide losses in the crevices of tax havens far removed from
We, as citizens, already
bear the brunt of 89%
of U.S. tax revenues today. If adopted, the new tax structure would
simply throw yet more of the government’s bill in our laps.
Quite so. And here is how
Trump defrauded those who elected him as president:
Or put another
way, Trump’s West Wing is now advocating the very policy he railed
against in the election campaign when he was still championing the
everyday man. By promoting tax reform for mega-corporations and the
moguls who run them, he’s neglecting the “forgotten” white working
class that sent him to the Oval Office to “drain the swamp.”
Again quite so. And this is
from near the end of the article:
In 2011, the
Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision rendered
corporations people. It erased crucial campaign finance and
lobbying restrictions, and elevated billionaires to the top ranks of
the American political game. It was a stunning
moment -- until now. Donald Trump’s presidency is doing
something even more remarkable. The billionaire who became our
president has already left Citizens United in a ditch.
He’s created not just a political campaign but a White House in which
it’s no longer possible to imagine barriers between lobbying efforts,
government decisions, and personal interest, or for that matter profits
I agree and this is a
recommended article, in which there is a lot more.
I have now been saying since the
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 1 1/2 years as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will
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 (!!).