A. Selections from August 21, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Monday, August 21,
This is a
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 probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection (usually) from that item
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
August 21, 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 is by Philip
Roddis on the Off-Guardian (which is not The Guardian, but
better) and originally on Steel City Scribblings. This starts as
The most important book
I’ve read in years is John Smith’s Imperialism in the
Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation and Capitalism’s Final Crisis.
This is followed by a
long quotation from the book, that I skip, and under that quotation thr
continues as follows:
That first chapter goes
on to consider two other products, iPhones and coffee. These too are
produced in the global south for consumption in the north. Although
very different products, Smith’s teasing out of the socioeconomic
relations they embed shows their commonality. All are created under
conditions of a super-exploitation which mainstream economics is at
pains to conceal or obscure by a ‘value chain’ orthodoxy that would
have us believe an iPhone made in China for $80 retails in the west for
$800 not through exploitation but because the activities of shipping,
advertising and packaging add $720 of value.
I did not
read Smith's book that is liked a lot by Philip Roddis, but I agree
that the above bit is fairly characteristic for what imperialism
days often is, in daily practic e: super-exploitation
of the very many poor in "the third world".
There is considerably
more in the article, that is recommended.
Noxious Combination of Racism, the Alt Right and the Upper Class
This is by Sarah Anderson on
AlterNet and originally on Inequality.org. This starts as follows:
And indeed the rest of the
article briefly sketches the power these extremely rich men have at
present simply because they have billions, and thanks
to the fact that their kind of very rich have been breaking down
the laws that protected the many non-rich from the few rich (deregulation) for some forty
When President Donald
Trump let loose at his Tuesday press conference, equating anti-racism
protesters with neo-Nazis, it was a big hit with the men who’d taken
part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
But Trump wasn’t just
playing to the kind of racist crowd that marches around carrying Tiki
torches and waving swastika flags in the streets. He was also sending a
signal to those in the executive suites.
Racism has always
permeated this country up and down the income scale. And in our era of
extreme concentration of economic and political power, emboldening just
a few men at the top can be tremendously dangerous.
Take, for example, three
of the country’s highest-flying financiers: Robert Mercer, Peter Thiel,
and Daniel Loeb.
This is a recommended article.
and Lives vs. Career and Fame
This article is by Ray McGovern
(<-Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
And that is what it is -
and I note that Ray McGovern "was
a CIA analyst for 27 years (1963 to 1990), routinely presenting the
morning intelligence briefings at the White House" and that he also "is a founding member of the Veteran
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity." (Both quotes are from the Wikipedia article on
Fifty years ago, I could
have tried to stop the Vietnam War, but lacked the courage. On
Aug. 20, 1967, we at CIA received a cable from Saigon containing
documentary proof that the U.S. commander, Gen. William Westmoreland,
and his deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams, were lying about their “success”
in fighting the Vietnamese Communists. I live with regret that I did
not blow the whistle on that when I could have.
(I wrote about this two
years ago: “The
Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence,” republished below.)
Why raise this
now? Because President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with
starry-eyed generals (or generals with their eyes focused on their
careers). And he seems to have little inkling that they got their
multiple stars under a system where the Army motto “Duty, Honor,
Country” can now be considered as “quaint” and “obsolete” as the
Bush-Cheney administration deemed the Geneva Conventions.
All too often, the number
of ribbons and merit badges festooned on the breasts of U.S. generals
these days (think of the be-medaled Gen. David Petraeus, for example)
is in direct proportion to the lies they have told in saluting smartly
and abetting the unrealistic expectations of their political masters
(and thus winning yet another star).
In my apologia that
follows, the concentration is on the crimes of Westmoreland and the
generations of careerist generals who aped him. There is not
enough space to describe (or even list) those sycophantic officers here.
This is an interesting article that is not very friendly to the
who collaborated with power to further their own interests and
for the above quotation is followed by the following:
There are, sadly,
far fewer senior officers who were exceptions, who put the true
interests of the country ahead of their own careers. The list of
general officers with integrity – the extreme exceptions to the rule –
is even shorter.
I am afraid that
McGovern, who knows this much better than I do or than most do,
quite correct in his estimates.
The article ends as follows (after which there is a reprint of an
article by McGovern from 2015):
(...) let me
appeal to the consciences of those within the system who are privy to
the kind of consequential deceit that has become endemic to the U.S.
government. It is time to blow the whistle – now.
This is a
Take it from one who
lives with regret from choosing not to step forward when it might have
made a difference. Take it from Pentagon Papers truth-teller Daniel
Ellsberg who often expresses regret that he did not speak out sooner.
Take it from Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. in a passage ironically cited often by President Obama:
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are
confronted with the fierce urgency of now … there is
such a thing as being too late.”
How (Not) to Challenge Racist Violence
article is by Aviva
Chomsky (<-Wikipedia) on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
As white nationalism and
the so-called “alt-Right” have gained prominence in the Trump era, a
bipartisan reaction has coalesced to challenge these ideologies.
But much of this bipartisan coalition focuses on individual, extreme,
and hate-filled mobilizations and rhetoric, rather than the deeper,
politer, and apparently more politically acceptable violence that
imbues United States foreign and domestic policy in the 21st century.
And this is explained
a bit further on in the article:
Over the years I have
come to see more and more of what Adolph Reed calls “posing as
politics.” Rather than organizing for change, individuals seek to
enact a statement about their own righteousness. They may boycott
certain products, refuse to eat certain foods, or they may show up to
marches or rallies whose only purpose is to demonstrate the moral
superiority of the participants. White people may loudly claim
that they recognize their privilege or declare themselves allies of
people of color or other marginalized groups. People may declare
their communities “no place for hate.” Or they may show up at
counter-marches to “stand up” to white nationalists or neo-Nazis.
All of these types of “activism” emphasize self-improvement or
self-expression rather than seeking concrete change in society or
policy. They are deeply, and deliberately, apolitical in the
sense that they do not seek to address issues of power, resources,
decisionmaking, or how to bring about change.
While adept in the terminology of power, diversity, inclusion,
marginalization, injustice, and equity, they studiously avoid topics
like colonialism, capitalism, exploitation, liberation, revolution,
invasion, or other actual analyses of domestic or global affairs.
There are several
possible explanations for the fact that those who pose as "the left"
these days are not at all like the vastly more
real) leftists among whom I was born .
Computers and the
styles of quasi-communication these engender are part of that
explanation, but - it seems to me, also using my own memory - I
think the main reason is the rise of postmodernism,
that I saw blossom in the 1980ies and 1990ies in the
The thrust for
postmodernism abated some, compared with the 1980ies and 1990ies, but
one reason for this seems to be that it - "Everybody knows there is no
truth", in other words - has won great popularity among
and stupid billions
that now "communicate" (mostly anonymously, often offensively) on the
And while this
probably was not the end of Aviva Chosmky's article, which is
recommended, my own conclusion from the forces of
postmodernism, "fake news", bullshit, and
the enormous amounts of
and lies in the
is that " “activism”
[that] emphasize self-improvement or self-expression rather than
seeking concrete change in society or policy" is much more like self-adornment, self-
aggrandizement and self-promotion than it is like - real
- leftist politics.
I simply do not
believe in the honesty of postmodernists, and besides I think the vast
majority of those I have spoken to (quite a lot since the 1980ies) are
obscurantistic and ignorant
fools. And indeed, if you are pretending that you oppose racism
you "studiously avoid
topics like colonialism, capitalism, exploitation, liberation,
revolution, invasion, or other actual analyses of domestic or global
affairs", either you must
be quite stupid
or you must be trying to deceive others.
5. The Sixties - The
Years That Shaped a Generation (TV) 
This is not
article but a movie; it is not quite recent, but was
published in 2005;
and it is about The Sixties, that meanwhile happened some 50 years ago,
but this is a film I found quite interesting.
Part of the reason is
that I have myself been interested in The Sixties (as they are
called: 1960-1969) for two or three main reasons:
I was born in 1950,
and I can recall The Sixties very well, and indeed was involved
in several events of those days (in Paris, France, in May and June of
1968; in Amsterdam, Holland, during a 1969 student occupation, and
lot more, such as very many demonstrations that I took part in
The Sixties); The Sixties were a quite peculiar and interesting
that differed considerably from foregoing and following
decades; and also because 1967 is this year 50 years ago, and
it was - like 1968 and 1969 - a politically and morally quite
Therefore I have
returned to The Sixties several times now in Nederlog, and I probably
will do so again.
The present dotted
item is a quite interesting film that dates back to 2005 and that tells
the story of the decade in some detail and with many excerpts
videos/films that date back to The Sixties (several of which were new
to me) and also with quite a few interviewed persons who lived through
it in the USA.
I have seen several
other movies about The Sixties that also more or less told the story of
the decade as does the present one, but this one accords rather well
with my own - extensive - memories of the decade, and also with
attempts to make sense of the decade.
In brief, if
interested in The Sixties, the above linked film is a quite
good introduction to that rather unique decade, that also fairly well
explains how the decade differed from previous and later decades.
Viewing it will take
nearly two hours, but I think these are well spent, and this is a recommended movie.
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.
They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
And they 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).
The only 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 (!!).
 For both of my parents were communists
for 45 years; both of my parents were in the resistance against the
Nazis in WW II; my grandfather was a communist who was murdered in a
German concentration camp; and my
father survived more than three years and nine months as a "political
terrorist" in such camps.
Also, I have been now called for forty years "a dirty fascist" and for 29 years "a
terrorist, a terrorist, a terrorist", both because I was - publicly,
also - not a Marxist, not
not a liar;
not a conformist;
and because I was for real science, and had
created a student party with the same ideals (that were supported by
around 1 in 20 students in the 1980ies) in the "University" of
Amsterdam in the 1980ies and 1990ies.
And I never received - even - any excuses, from neither
the City of Amsterdam for keeping me out of sleep for 3 years, nor from
the University of Amsterdam for doing the same eight years earlier (and
I was and am ill since 1.1.1979,
which made this much worse).
I take it that - really, although few have the honesty of saying so -
that I must be a subhuman according to the mayors of Amsterdam
and the leaders of the "University" of Amsterdam, all of whom
were from the - narko-nazist -
Dutch "Social Democrats" (whom I call "narko-nazis" because since
I was gassed by their illegal drugsdealers in 1988, some 300 billion dollars worth of illegal drugs have
been spread through Europe from Holland, mostly thanks to these
narko-nazis, whom I trust to have pocketed a part of it themselves).
 I have been more or less following the
talents and the effusions from the billions of the utterly
untalented that now nearly all have access to the internet, who all can
"write" their deepest thoughts there, since 2010 or so, and I want here
and now to make three points about these (literally)
One. The great majority is utterly untalented and
- but since they are nearly all anonymous none of them can be
personally shamed. In fact, I hardly ever know: the age, the
gender, the education, the real name, the intelligence, or the -
relevant and irrelevant - knowledge that the vast majority of
the people who write these days on the internet have, while in fact I
do not see any reason why I should read
anything by somebody as totally anonymous as that. Besides,
these billions of utterly anonymous folks (who are the vast
majority on the internet) mostly
seem to communicate either by Tweets
(max 140 characters) or by one or two - usually either very vague or
very offensive - statements on comments sections, or else by pressing
their "like" button on Facebook
Two. Since half of the men who are alive now have an IQ that is
maximally 100, and since the great
majority of these bright minds now have access to the internet, the
actual standards of communication on the internet are far
worse than ever:
Each and every indvidual with some sort of worthwile idea and some
capacity to write (and these are fairly rare individuals)
can be (and regularly is nowadays) opposed by hundreds
of anonymous trolls.
Three. I am very pessimistic about civilization and culture if
these are to be furthered by - literally - billions of the
anonymous least civilized and the least cultured. Also,
this is a completely unknown development: Billions of
anonymous ignorants who can and do utter about anyone or anything,
without any restraints whatsoever, and nearly all without any relevant
knowledge, but nearly all completely anonymously (except for the secret
services, that seem to know nearly everything about anyone).
There is considerably more that I could say, but I leave it at this.