from April 8, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
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.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from April 8, 2018
Intercepted Podcast: Donald Trump’s ’Stache
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. We Are the Corporate Sugar Daddies
3. If You Want to Kill Drug Dealers, Start With Big
4. Trump is Still the Most Unpopular President Since
Polls Have Been Kept;
But It May Not Matter in 2018
5. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: If You Want Privacy,
You're Going to Have
to Pay for It
1. Intercepted Podcast: Donald Trump’s
This article is by
Scahill on The Intercept and needs a bit of explanation before I
make some excerpts:
First, it is from March 28 last, and one reason I did not see
it before is that it started as a podcast, while I - strongly - prefer
to read rather than listen, because reading goes much faster.
Second, it consists of five interviews all of which I have read (and
can recommend), but I will quote only from two interviews. (And all
five are summarized at the beginning of the original.)
And third, I liked what I read a lot but will restrict myself to a few
excerpts from the first interview and idem from the third interview in
the list of five.
A. From ¨Donald Trump’s ’Stache Infection¨
This is from the first interview:
All I can say about Bolton
is that I agree with Ray McGovern
(see yesterday): A man who has these extraordinarily
aggressive opinions is best described as a lunatic - but
with this difference that this lunatic now has the ear of the president
and extremely much power himself.
Trump is once again shaking up his administration and the recent
shuffles and new blood is an ominous sign that things actually can get
worse — much worse. A veteran torturer and destroyer of evidence,
Gina Haspel, has been nominated as CIA director. Mike Pompeo, who is a
right-wing Christian supremacist is now slated to become the U.S.’s top
diplomat at the State Department. And last, and perhaps most dangerous,
is John Bolton as national security adviser. That post, national
security adviser does not require Senate confirmation and that means
that barring some unusual intervention from Congress, John Bolton is
going to be the chief voice in Trump’s ear on foreign policy, national
security, and war.
I think the retaliation should not be proportionate. I think it should
be decidedly disproportionate.
continue to favor any steps that lead to the overthrow of the regime,
and I think that should be official American policy.
That would be mean military action against Iran.
You’ve written an op-ed today in the New York Times, and here’s the
headline: “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”
afraid, given the circumstances, that’s the only real option open to us
Here is Scahill on Bolton:
Bolton’s official job is to sift through all of the intelligence and
recommendations made by the CIA, the NSA, military, other intelligence
agencies and tell the president what he should do.
And we don’t have to play
guessing games about what John Bolton wants the president to do. John
Bolton wants war. He wants destruction, chaos, imperialism. John Bolton
wants to conduct first-strike attacks against North Korea and Iran. He
wants more, not fewer, nuclear weapons. He wants Israel’s agenda to
supersede that of a majority of Americans’ agenda. He’s a supporter of
the Iranian exile terrorist group, the MEK, and he speaks at their
fundraisers and rallies.
Bolton: There is only one answer here, to support legitimate
opposition groups that favor overthrowing the military theocratic
dictatorship in Tehran. It should be the declared policy of the United
States of America and all of its friends to do just that at the
earliest opportunity. Thank you very much.
And here is more Scahill:
Bolton is, in my analysis, the absolute most dangerous citizen of the
United States to have as national security adviser at this moment in
time. And I say that knowing that both Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger
are still technically alive.
I say this because Bolton
is an extremist with a lust for blood and war. Now that’s also true of
Cheney and Kissinger, but unlike those two, this is John Bolton’s one
big chance — maybe ever and Bolton will be serving a president
that makes decisions on a whim, sometimes based on what the weatherman
and sportscaster say on Fox & Friends.
John Bolton’s presence in
the White House as national security adviser should thrust the nuclear
countdown clock to just before midnight.
I completely agree.
B. From ¨ Former CIA Officer Gives Analysis on John
Bolton, Gina Haspel, the DNC Hack and Russia, and Talks About Neocons
Under George H.W. Bush and Now Under Trump¨
there is this on Ray
McGovern] spent 27 years in the CIA where he specialized in the Soviet
Union. McGovern was also the national security adviser for George H.W.
Bush and often prepared or presented the president’s daily briefing.
Ray McGovern also chaired the national intelligence estimates and,
since leaving the CIA, Ray McGovern helped start Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity. In 2006, in protest of the CIA’s torture
program, Ray McGovern returned his intelligence commendation medal.
McGovern has been a fierce
critic of both the Trump administration and the U.S. intelligence
community’s assertion that Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of the
DNC and other targets.
Quite so, and there is
more on McGovern under the last link. Here is McGovern
on Bolton (and ¨that invasion¨ is the invasion of Iraq):
RM: I say all that
because John Bolton was one of the prime movers behind that invasion,
[a] prime mover in destroying or so distorting the intelligence as to
quote to “justify” such an invasion. And there he was, he was the
undersecretary of state for arms control.
Now, the next thing we
knew, under his influence, George W. Bush took the extreme step of
saying, “This Antiballistic Missile Treaty” — which by the way everyone
acknowledges was the bedrock for strategic stability since 1972 when it
was signed — “we think we’re going to ditch that.”
W. Bush: Today, I have given formal notice to Russia, in
accordance with the treaty, that the United States of America is
withdrawing from this almost 30-year-old treaty. I have concluded the
ABM Treaty hinders our government’s ability to develop ways to protect
our people from future terrorists or rogue-state missile attacks.
that was a big, big deal that nobody really realized at the time, but
now we realize it because Putin’s speech on the first of March
indicates that all these new weapons systems, some of them pretty
menacing, were developed as a direct result of the fact that the
strategic stability that was introduced in ’72 — and I was in Moscow
for the signing of that and felt very strongly about it — was simply
eliminated by the fact that Bolton and George W. Bush and Cheney
decided they didn’t need it anymore.
Note how utterly crazy
Bush Jr.´s desire to ditch the Antiballistic Missile Treaty was - unless
Bush Jr. was really heading for a major war with capitalist Russia,
which again is an utterly crazy idea given that the socialist
Soviet Union is totally dead since no less than 27 years.
Then again, there are some
more players in the field of arms, arms control, and buying arms and
there is John Bolton:
RM: Well, I see a lot of this stuff as a direct
result of the danger that people who profiteer on arms control, both in
the industrial sector and in government, are really wanting to make
sure that Trump does not have this kind of flexibility. How better to
do it, then putting the tried and true John Bolton to put a stop to any
of this negotiating with Russia?
and Ray, of course, the national security adviser is a very powerful
position, influential position, but it also is not subject to Senate
confirmation. Explain what the role of the national security adviser is
and the kinds of authority and power that Bolton will have.
it’s really hard to draw direct comparisons between what went before
and the Trump Administration. But what can be said is that it really
all depends on the personal relationship between the national security
assistant and the president.
Bolton will come in and his
job really is to sort through what the departments, you know, what
Defense, and State, and CIA are saying, and what they’re suggesting,
and boil it down so the president can either read it or be briefed on
it, and make a decision.
McGovern´s ¨it’s really
hard to draw direct comparisons between what went before and the Trump
Administration¨, which I
think is quite relevant because McGovern had for a long time a
quite high position in the CIA.
And here is McGovern on
hacking, including the Russians:
just so no one misunderstands: Do the Russians hack? Sure they act.
Everybody hacks. The big point here is: Did the Russians hack into the
Democratic National Committee computers and give that information to
WikiLeaks? And the answer to that is: There is no proof of that.
As a matter of fact,
there’s forensic evidence that some of our Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity, to wit, [William] Bill Binney and Ed Loomis,
both of whom were technical directors at NSA, they’ve poured over
forensic evidence which indicates that the big event that people
advertised with Guccifer and everyone else, was not a hack of any kind.
The download speed indicates that it was an inside job, a download onto
a thumb drive because the speed of the Internet could not handle the
speed with which that data was downloaded. So, it was spurious, to
Did someone hack into that?
No. The Russians? No. Nobody hacked into that. And we can prove it. The
only problem is we can’t get into the public media.
I think all of that is
correct, and there also is considerably more in the interview. And this
is a strongly recommended article (in which there is very much
more than I quoted).
Are the Corporate Sugar Daddies
article is by Eleanor Goldfield on Truthdig and originally on Art
Killing Apathy. This starts as follows:
As tax day looms,
most of us are grumbling and griping about the joyless task of shelling
out hard-earned wages to the Empire. Regardless of political
perspective, the people are overwhelmingly aware of the fact that
whatever taxes they’re paying out, they’re not getting a lot back. In
theory, I support taxation. The basic idea being that when people live
in a community that requires upkeep and services, the people of that
community should all pitch in to make sure those services are of good
quality, readily available and reliable. We want good schools, public
libraries, healthcare, road maintenance, etc. In other words, we want
our family and our neighbor’s families to have what they need to not
only survive but to thrive. The problem with our system is that unless
your neighbor is one of the Forbes 400 or an F-35, your tax dollars
aren’t going to support your neighbors. They’re going to support the
people who need it the least: corporate CEOs and the richest in the
country. It really is no wonder our public services are so anemic –
hardly any of our money goes into them!
I think I quite agree,
although it would have been pleasant to have some statistics. But here
is some more:
According to a Good
Jobs First report, from 2000 to 2017, the federal government alone
awarded big business $72.3 billion in grants and allocated tax credits.
When asked about these obscene tax breaks for big business, politicians
and pundits argue that these companies need incentives in order to grow
and hire more people – that the extra capital we throw at the
capitalist elites will trickle down not only to the workers but to the
communities that those workers live in.
And this is about Bezos
On a more national
scale, since 2000 Amazon
has received $1.115 billion in tax credits in 129 communities
in the U.S. And get this: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is worth roughly $100
billion. If you were to shave that down to $99.5 billion, nobody
working at any Amazon facility in America would need assistance to eat.
But why would Bezos offer that up?!
As stated, my conclusion -
and I know a bit about the horrible conditions Bezos maintains
for most of the people he employs - is that Bezos may very well be a sadistic neofascist,
precisely because what Goldfield claims seems to be quite right: If
Bezos limited his - extraordinary, quite sick - riches to $99.5
billion, the people he employs would NOT
¨need assistance to eat¨.
And my psychologist´s explanations why a man like Bezos does not
want it that the people he employs do get enough to eat are
that (i) he is a sadist
or (ii) he thinks he is an Übermensch, that is, a Superman whose
deserts and needs are much larger than that of ordinary persons.
Here is more on how things are done these days in Kentucky and Maryland:
Here is the ending of this
from late 2017 shows that Kentucky now spends more on
corporate giveaways than on public pensions. In Baltimore, Maryland
billions are shoved into the hands of corporate developers while
schools and communities literally fall apart. In early January of this
year, a GoFundMe was
launched just so schools could turn the heat on. Some 60 schools across
the city had heating issues. Meanwhile, corporations can warm
themselves with the more
than $3 billion in public money they’ve pulled from the city
since the 1970s in the form of direct subsidies, tax write-offs, PILOTS
or payments in lieu of taxes, and TIFs or tax increment financing.
The idea that turning kids
into icicles is worth corporate development and jobs is as insufferable
as Maryland winters.
Between federal and
state subsidies, government welfare and ecological fallout, we pay
corporations two, sometimes three times over under the guise of
boosting the economy. Predictably, however, the only things boosted are
corporate profits, income inequality and ecological disaster. Companies
like Amazon pit communities against each other and then watch the
scuffle like a sadist watches malnourished dogs fight over poisoned
scraps. We rip ourselves, our communities and our entire economy apart
for the sake of sustaining an unsustainable system. We are the
corporate sugar daddies – and until we stop subsidizing the biggest,
dirtiest, shadiest and most evil corporations, we will continue to be
screwed by them.
I think that is correct,
although I also think that (the American) ¨we¨ cannot do so unless
they can create much more influence/power over the people in the Senate
and Congress, and over the kinds of laws that are proposed.
Unfortunately, I see little chance of that, at least now. And this is a
You Want to Kill Drug Dealers, Start With Big Pharma
article is by Domenica Ghanem on AlterNet and originally on OtherWords.
It starts as follows:
At a recent rally in New
Hampshire, Donald Trump called for the death penalty for drug
traffickers as part of a plan to combat the opioid epidemic in the
United States. At a Pennsylvania rally a few weeks earlier, he called
for the same.
Now his administration is
taking steps toward making this proposal a reality. Attorney General
Jeff Sessions issued a memo on March 21 asking prosecutors to pursue
capital punishment for drug traffickers — a power he has thanks to
legislation passed under President Bill
Yes indeed - but
neither Trump nor Sessions were speaking about the filthiest
dealers in hard drugs there now are in the USA, which are the
pharmaceutical corporations plus many medical doctors these
Here is some about
the set-up of selling hard drugs through corrupted medical doctors
(and please note the number of lobbyists for every member of
Congress and the enormous powers these pharmaceutical
dealers of hard drugs now have):
The pharmaceutical industry
spends more than any other industry on influencing politicians, with
two lobbyists for every member of Congress. Nine out of ten House
members and all but three senators have taken campaign
contributions from Big Pharma.
It’s not just politicians
they shell out for.
Opioid pioneer Purdue
Pharma, the creator of OxyContin, bankrolled a campaign to change
the prescription habits of doctors who were wary of the
substance’s addictive properties, going so far as to send doctors on
all-expense-paid trips to pain-management seminars. The family
that started it all is worth some $13 billion today.
From 2008 to 2012,
AmerisourceBergen distributed 118
million opioid pills to West Virginia alone. That’s about 65 pills
per resident. In that same time frame, 1,728 people in the state
suffered opioid overdoses.
McKesson — the
fifth largest company in the U.S., with profits over $192 billion —
contributed 5.8 million pills to just one West Virginia
Meanwhile, five companies
contributed more than $9
million to interest groups for things like promoting their
painkillers for chronic pain and lobbying to defeat state limits on
These companies don’t stop
at promoting opioids. They also spend big on stopping legislation that
would actually help curb opioid use.
Quite so, in my medically
rather sophisticated opinion. Here is Ghanem´s conclusion:
Yes indeed. I completely
agree and this is a recommended article.
But it’s clear who the real
profiteers of the opioid epidemic are. If Trump wanted to get real
about curbing incentives for selling opioids, he’d turn away from
street dealers and target the real opioid-producing industry.
is Still the Most Unpopular President Since Polls Have Been Kept; But
It May Not Matter in 2018 or 2020
article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Trump recently bragged that
his approval ratings were higher than “Cheatin Obama” at this point in
his Presidency. As it turns out, only Rasmussen – a right
wing polling organization that has consistently put Trump’s approval
ratings above those of other polling organizations – had Trump
approaching a 50 percent approval. The rest put him
somewhere well below that, with two placing his rating below 40
But to anyone who navigates
through the world using facts, reason, and critical thinking skills,
the real questions have to be, 1) just who the hell are the 40 percent
or so who do approve of this idiot? 2) how does a guy with just 40
percent approval win the Presidency?
And these questions are well
worth asking, among other things because most of those who voted for
Trump are not helped but hurt by many of Trump´s decisions (or
those of Trump´s government):
Well... I must say that my
mind is not (almost) boggled, but then I am a psychologist who
has at least fifty years experience with the incredible brightness
and the enormous leaps of understanding quite complicated things
that the majority with an IQ of at most
100 is capable of ... that is: if you believe them, which I
Many of these acts of
insanity directly harm the very folks who voted for
Trump. Throw in the Congressional Republicans’ intent to use
the tax cut as a pretext for cutting Social Security, Medicare,
Medicaid and other programs benefitting the poor and middle class, and
what you find is that the folks who support Trump and the Republicans
are the very folks their policies are screwing the most. It almost
boggles the mind.
So why do the victims of
his policies support him? Well, the answer to that is
embedded in the second question, so let’s examine it.
But here is Atcheson:
How does a guy with
a record of malice and incompetence win the Presidency and hold onto a
40 percent approval record?
The simple answer is, you
can’t beat something with nothing. Republicans have The Myth
of the Magic Markets, and the Myth of the Bumbling Bureaucrat – two
ideas they’ve spent the last four decades creating, nurturing and
selling. The Democrats have … well, not much. Just 37
percent of Americans believe that Democrats stand for anything at
The Republican’s myths are:
1) that markets will provide all we want and need by pure serendipity
if we just get government out of the way; and 2) government is the
problem, not the solution. Because these ideas are patently
false, they’ve used fear, scapegoating, hatred and bigotry to distract,
divide and deceive. The reality is, most people have gotten wise to the
fact that their policies are basically designed to make the uber-rich,
richer and corporations stronger at the expense of everyone else.
Well... I agree
mostly with what Atcheson says about The Myth of the Magic Markets and also about what I
would rather have called The Myth of the Failing Government, but I do not
believe these are the main factors in electing or maintaining
Here is the end of the
This is mostly quite
correct, but my own interpretation is that at least 50% of the
American electorate (whether they vote or not) has an IQ of maximally
100, which means that at least 50% of the electorate does fall
for The Myth of the Magic
Markets and The Myth of the
But the Democratic Party’s
leaders are loath to do that on a national basis, and the pundits and
prognosticators from the elite media still reinforce the notion that
appealing to the center is the right strategy. Here’s a news
flash – there’s almost no one left in the center. What we
have are some 40 percent who are either ignorant, or so consumed with
hate and blame – a by-product of the Republicans’ distraction tactics
-- that Trump looks like a solution, and 60 percent who have no one
speaking for them. So many of voters stayed home, allowing
the rabid 40 percenters to dominate elections. Remember,
Trump won with just 27 percent of the eligible voters backing him, and
Clinton lost with just 28 percent backing her. Forty five
percent stayed home.
For me, two of the main factors in all democratic
elections are the stupidity
and/or the ignorance
of large classes of the voters, but I am also willing to grant that
this idea does not make one an optimist about
And this is a recommended article.
Sheryl Sandberg: If You Want Privacy, You're Going to Have to Pay for It
article is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Statements from Facebook's
chief operating officer regarding concerns over the company's
collection of users' data this week left some critics wondering why
Facebook—already one of the richest
tech companies in Silicon Valley—still appears intensely focused on
accumulating vast profits even as its monetization methods have proven
with NBC News on Thursday, Chief Operating
Officer Sheryl Sandberg said that if people want to use Facebook
without seeing advertisements—targeted at the company's two billion
users based on their personal data—they will have to pay.
Since I have been
identified as ¨a filthy fascist¨ and ¨a terrorist, a terrorist, a
terrorist¨ by the fascists, the sadists, and the terrorists of the ASVA
(in the context of the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam) over forty years
ago, and these terms were used for 12 years against me,
and also were used to illegally deny
me the M.A. in philosophy, while absolutely no one of the fascists, the sadists, and the
terrorists of the ASVA made any excuses
whatsoever to this son
of a knighted communist who survived more than 3 years and 9 months as
a ¨political terrorist¨ in German concentration camps; this grandson
of a communist who was murdered by the Nazis after having been locked
up as a ¨political terrorist¨; and also the son of a communist
mother who was in the real resistance against the Nazis but who was
never arrested by them, mu question must be:
How sadofascistic is
Sheryl Sandberg - who is into stealing all privacies from over
2 billion users of Facebook and who is now insisting all the more than 2 billion users must accept being fed advertisements
or else pay her in order not to see them?!
What a sick, degenerate
totally immoral psychopath!
Here is more on the sick and degenerate owners of Facebook:
The company's constant
collection of data made it vulnerable to a data
breach that affected at least
87 million of its two billion users—and likely more.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg will
appear before a congressional committee next week to testify about the
breach that made it possible for Cambridge Analytica, a firm that
worked with President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, to collect users'
data through a third-party app without the users' knowledge.
Facebook knew about the
data breach two years ago, Sandberg admitted, but has only begun to
address security concerns recently, after a former Cambridge Analytica
the firm's actions.
For me, all of these
are major crimes (involving at least 87 million of Facebook´s users). And
here is the guy who classified his users as ¨dumb fucks who trust me¨:
My goodness! And this is a recommended
Zuckerberg suggested in his
reply that an ad-free Facebook is not possible, telling Kantrowitz,
"People tell us that if they're going to see ads, they want the ads to
be good. And the way to make the ads good, is by making it so that when
someone tells us they have an interest...that the ads are actually
tailored to what they care about."
have now been
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 (!!).