A. Selections from August 11, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
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 11, 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:
Plans to Declare Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency
article is by Michael D. Shear and Abby Goodnough on The New York
Times. It starts as follows:
said on Thursday that he was preparing to officially declare the United
States’ worsening epidemic
of opioid overdoses as a national emergency, accepting an urgent
recommendation from a national commission that he appointed.
I agree that there is -
something like - an "opioid crisis" in the USA that badly needs
some solution, but I doubt whether Trump means the same thing as I do
by "an emergency".
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying
officially right now it is an emergency,” Mr. Trump told reporters
before a security briefing at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “It’s a
The president’s commission concluded last month that such a
declaration was its “first and most urgent recommendation.” Led by Gov.
Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mr. Trump’s
one-time presidential rival, the commission said that such a
declaration would help direct more resources and attention on the
crisis plaguing communities across the country.
What I think Trump means is that calling something "an emergency"
allows him to spend governmental money more as he sees fit; what I see
is a crisis that has been made by the combination of big pharma,
American psychiatry, American medicine, and the lack of a proper system
of national health care.
All of the last four mentioned were out for - or
motivated by, as is the case for the lacking American national health
care system - much more money for themselves much rather
than patients' rights, and indeed this created the problem.
Anyway... we shall see what happens and this is a recommended article. 
Bacevich: Trump's Handling of N. Korea, His First National Security
Crisis, is Very Troubling
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It starts with the
On Tuesday, President
Trump shocked the world by hinting the U.S. could carry out a nuclear
strike on North Korea. Hours after he spoke, North Korea threatened to
strike the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific. China has
warned that a "war of words" between the U.S. and North Korea could
spiral out of hand. We speak with Andrew Bacevich, professor emeritus
of international relations and history at Boston University. He is a
retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran.
And here is Andrew Bacevich:
BACEVICH: Well, I’m
struck by the fact that six months into his administration, this really
is the first genuine national security crisis that he’s had to face,
and his initial performance is very troubling. You know, when I think
about that "fire and fury" statement, one of the things that strikes me
is that I think it’s a sort of a fundamental of diplomacy 101 or
politics 101 that when a public figure makes a public statement, it has
to be done in a way that it will play to multiple audiences. So, it’s
not inappropriate, I think, for the administration to issue warnings
directed at the North Korean regime, but it’s absolutely imperative
that the warnings be voiced in such a way that they reassure American
allies in the region—South Korea, Japan—should be voiced in a way that
doesn’t create panic here at home. And on that score, it seems to me
that the president has failed radically.
Furthermore, there’s been
a lot of hopeful commentary, especially, I think, in the last 10 days
or so, since General Kelly became the White House chief of staff, that
the generals that President Trump has surrounded himself with—not only
Kelly, but also McMaster and Mattis in the Pentagon—that they will be
the voices of reason, that they will—they will rein in this impulsive
president. And if we are to look at the "fire and fury" statement,
that’s pretty clear indication that our president is not about to be
reined in. And that also has to be very, very troubling.
I agree with both
points Bacevich makes. There is more in the article that is recommended.
Trump's Newest Threats Put Us on a Collision Course with Nuclear War?
This article is by Steven
Rosenfeld on AlterNet. It starts as follws:
That is known (see above) but
here is some more:
The first international
crisis of Trump’s tenure deepened Thursday, as the president renewed
his verbal attacks on North Korea and criticized China for not doing
more to force its neighbor to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
When asked by press pool
reporters if his threat to unleash unprecedented “fire and fury” was
too harsh, Trump replied, “Frankly, the people who were questioning
that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough.”
North Korea replied to
Trump’s threat by saying it would attack Guam, a U.S. territory in the
Pacific Ocean roughly 1,500 miles away that is home to major military
I hope everyone now feels a lot
safer - and if you don't you may check out why I and quite a few other
psychologists believe Trump
“What's tougher than
fire and fury?” the press asked.
“You’ll see. You’ll see,”
Was he considering a
preemptive strike, the press asked.
“We don’t talk about
that. I never do,” Trump said. “What they’ve been doing, what they’ve
been getting away with, is a tragedy and it can’t be allowed.”
Toward ‘Fire and Fury’
is by Jonathan Marshall on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
I agree with the last
paragraph. There is considerably more in the article, that is
“Be prepared, there is a
small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us
into World War III.” – Donald
Trump, August 31, 2013
Like some demonic
Hollywood director, President Trump keeps finding new ways to make us
jump out of our seats, just when we think we’ve seen everything. On
Tuesday, he outdid himself by twice pledging to meet any further North
Korean threats to the United States “with fire and fury like the world
has never seen.”
comments were sufficiently incendiary that White House staffers rushed
to reassure reporters (and the public) that the President was just
improvising, not speaking from an approved script. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson insisted
that the President simply meant to say that “the United States has the
capability to fully defend itself from any attack . . . So the American
people should sleep well at night.”
People at home and around
the world were rattled but not too alarmed, judging by the modest
drop in stock prices on U.S. and foreign exchanges. North Korea responded
to Trump’s threat with a threat of its own to vaporize Guam, yet no war
broke out. So far, leaders of both countries, like taunting schoolboys,
seem content to lob only harsh rhetoric across the ocean, not fully
What increasingly keep me up at night are the uncontradicted
claims of one of the GOP’s leading foreign policy spokesmen, Sen.
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, that Trump is ready and willing to
launch a preemptive war “if [North Korea tries] to keep developing an
ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top to hit the [U.S.] homeland.”
the Federal Civil Service Defend Us?
by Ralph Nader on his site. It starts as follows:
There is considerably
more, and this is a recommended article.
As the Trump wrecking
crew ramps up its destructive campaign against federal health and
safety protections and social services for impoverished, disabled and
vulnerable people (young and old) the latest targets of their ire are
the federal civil servants who faithfully keep our government
functioning here and abroad.
Mind you, the Trump
wrecking crew is not going after gigantic corporate welfare programs,
giveaways, bailouts and subsidies to big business. Nor are the
Trumpsters going after wasteful, inflated government corporate
contracts or massive billing frauds on Medicare, Medicaid or other
government programs. These egregious examples of crony capitalism, so
disliked by conservatives and progressives alike, seem untouchable.
While disgraceful, this is not surprising; many of Trump’s nominees
benefitted mightily from this cronyism before coming to Washington and
Trump still benefits due to his refusal to divest.
Given this state of
corporatist mayhem, the important question is: Will the federal
civil service hold against lawless, dangerous non-enforcement of
the laws and arbitrary suspensions of ongoing programs to protect the
people from corporate assaults on their safety and economic wellbeing?
servants’ anguish. If they keep doing their job, they’re going to be
pushed to retire or be marginalized. If they do as they are illegally
or wrongfully ordered to do, they are going against their conscience
and undermining their oath of office.
O, and here is my personal appreciation of the
redesign of Truthdig that
I found yesterday to have changed the style of its site (that was
I think it is horrendously awful; I think it is
motivated - in part, at least - by the same principles as motivated The
Guardian to change its site and to remove pictures from its menus
(which rapidly failed): To please the billions with cellphones;
I think this belongs to the same tendency as Twitter: Utter
simplification of all news; and I am much against it.
But I have learned that half of the people don't even have an
IQ above 100 and that most of these excellent persons now can
be reached by means of their cellphones, that also gives excellent
opportunities to drown them with advertisements, so I can
understand this "progress":
People with real desktop computers must accept a simplification in
the style and in the contents of the news they get to read, for the
news is too complicated for - at least - half of the
... o Lord (in
whom I don't believe)!
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, 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.
 I remind you (again) that when I say
"an article is recommended" I mean that I recommend you to read it all
(which you can do by clicking its title).