from February 3, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 February 3, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. Nunes Memo Reports Crimes at Top of FBI & DOJ
2. Lawyer for Senior White House Official Predicts Robert
Indict Trump Within Months
3. Trump Angles to 'Cleanse' Washington and Provoke a
4. With FCC's Order Sent to Senate, Internet Defenders Inch
to Restore Net Neutrality
5. The Paradox of Equal Justice
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:
Memo Reports Crimes at Top of FBI & DOJ
This article is by Ray
McGovern on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
House Intelligence Committee report
made public today identifies current and former top officials of the
FBI and the Department of Justice as guilty of the felony of
misrepresenting evidence required to obtain a court warrant before
surveilling American citizens. The target was candidate Donald Trump’s
adviser Carter Page.
I have to admit that I still
don't quite know about the Nunes Memo, about which
there also is
a great amount of - rather contradictory and rather vague -
news. That is one reason for my selection of the
present item by Ray
reason is that McGovern does
know a great amount about the FBI, the CIA and the NSA.
The main points of what is
widely known as the “Nunes Memo,” after the House Intelligence
Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), have been nicely summarized by
Tacitus, who noted that the following very senior officials are now
liable for contempt-of-court charges; namely, the current and former
members of the FBI and the Department of Justice who signed off on
fraudulent applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court:
James Comey, Andy McCabe, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rob Rosenstein.
What it seems like - to me, at least - is an attempt by
government to silence or at least weaken the position of what is also
called the Deep State, that essentially consists of persons who
for the government, indeed especially in the FBI, the CIA and the NSA,
together with persons who work for the corporations, among which the
American war industrialists are important, and that together make
important decisions that should be reserved to the real
It so happens that I am an opponent of both Trump and his
government, and an opponent of the Deep State, at least as
defined above, which also seems to be linked, perhaps indirectly, to
Hillary Clinton and the top of the Democratic Party.
I am not quite certain of the last bit. Here is the ending of
I suppose so, and some
things will undoubtedly get clarified then.
With the media, including
what used to be the progressive media, fully supporting the likes of
Adam Schiff, and the FBI/CIA/NSA deep state likely to pull out all the
stops, the die is now cast. We are in for a highly interesting time
over the next months.
Meanwhile, I only comment on McGovern's "what used to be the
progressive media": I think I agree, although I am not quite sure,
while what motivates McGovern's "what used to be" is the fact that
these media do not support progressives but representatives
the Deep State.
And while I think I agree, I also think McGovern might have mentioned
the distinction between the mainstream media, about which he is
quite correct, and the non-mainstream media, but he did not.
In any case, this is a recommended article.
for Senior White House Official Predicts Robert Mueller Will Indict
Trump Within Months
This article is by Tom Boggioni on AlterNet and originally on Raw
Story. It starts as follows:
According to two lawyers
who have clients who have been swept up in special counsel Robert
Mueller’s investigation into the Donald Trump administration, they
believe that the president may be indicted for obstruction of justice
within the next few months.
In an interview with Politico, the lawyers — who asked
to remain anonymous to protect their clients — said they don’t know
exactly what Mueller’s plans are, but the line of questioning indicates
that he is going hard at Trump for blocking the inquiry.
According to one attorney,
his interactions with the special counsel’s team while representing his
client in interviews have focused on “whether Trump tried to derail the
probe into his campaign’s Russia ties.”
“If I were a betting man,
I’d bet against the president,” one attorney said, while the other —
who represents a high-ranking Trump official — added that he fully
expects the indictment to be forthcoming for no other reason than to
get Congress to take the matter seriously.
In fact, this is another
item that I selected to arrive at some
clarity, this time about
Mueller's investigation, and this also fails mostly, as did item 1. In fact, both failed for the same reason:
There simply is not
enough factual evidence, while there is a whole lot of propaganda.
And so here we have two
anonymous lawyers who are somehow connected to some
persons Mueller investigates - but that is all we get to know
Here is one other bit I
quote from this article:
The attorneys acknowledged
that there is a question whether a sitting president can be indicted,
but that Mueller’s team is willing to let the courts settle that issue
while Congress wrestles with what to do with the embattled president.
Trump’s personal attorney,
John Dowd, is betting the president can’t be indicted, saying,
“president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law
enforcement officer” under the Constitution.
I think myself that
John Dowd must be lying, for the simple
reason that if he were correct the president of the USA would
the U.S. law, and I do not think any American can
be above the U.S. law, also not the president. (And if he were, he
would have the position of a dictator.)
In fact, I'd say this
is also one of the main reasons for distinguishing between the
legal side of government, which does give and revise laws,
Senate and the Congress, and the executive side of the law,
which is the government, that implements the laws, but does not
And this is another
Angles to 'Cleanse' Washington and Provoke a Constitutional Crisis
This article is by Jefferson Morley on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
An American constitutional
crisis, gestating since November 2016, has finally arrived. The
president and his allies are seeking to “cleanse” the U.S. government
while his opponents in Congress and the Washington bureaucracy seek to
defend the rule of law and national security.
The precipitating dispute
is almost trivial: release of a Republican memo alleging prosecutorial
misconduct toward one low-level Trump aide. But everyone in Washington
understands the malice of #ReleaseTheMemo.
In fact, this is another
interpretation of the uncertainties I registered in item
1 and item 2.
And the present
interpretation supports my interpretation - and that last
intepretation distinguishes at least three parties: The Trumpian
government; the Deep State aka the FBI+the CIA+the NSA; and
those who are interested in learning the truth (and know
the previous two parties mostly rely on propaganda).
Here is more about the
Despite claims often heard
in Washington, the disclosure of certain NSA procedures and
capabilities is unlikely to hurt U.S. national security in any material
way. The memo is dangerous for another reason. Soon to be released with
House redactions, the memo signals the president’s determination to
reach down into the civil service and demonize and punish those who
dare to investigate his actions.
According to the Washington
Post, Trump says the memo confirms his
charges of bias and will help him clean up the Justice
Department and fire Rosenstein. That would enable him to appoint a more
pliant assistant attorney general who could fire or otherwise constrain
special prosecutor Robert Mueller, which is the goal of the whole
I think this is likely to be
true. Here is the ending of Morley's article:
And so Trump’s “cleansing”
proceeds, a "slow-motion
Saturday Night massacre," for those who remember President Nixon’s
purge of the Justice Department in October 1973. But the parallel
should not be sentimentalized.
Nixon's moves cost him
support among Republicans in Congress and the press, and he had to
resign 10 months later. Trump, by contrast, has solidified his support
in Congress and controls the powerful conservative media.
As the constitutional
crisis approaches, Trump is stronger than Nixon was during Watergate.
Yes, I think that is
true, and this is a recommended article.
FCC's Order Sent to Senate, Internet Defenders Inch Toward Vote to
Restore Net Neutrality
This article is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Open Internet advocates and
lawmakers were urging supporters on Friday to help secure one last vote
in the Senate in favor of reversing the Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) unpopular net neutrality decision.
The FCC sent its official
order to roll back net neutrality protections on Friday, following its
vote in December.
I say, for I did not
know this. And this surely is important. Here is some more:
With the Republican-led
panel's 3-2 decision along party lines, internet service providers
(ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast will be free to give preferential
treatment to wealthy internet companies that can afford to pay for
faster service—essentially creating "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" for
Immediately after the
vote—which was opposed by 83 percent of Americans, according
to a University of Maryland poll—Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced
his plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution under
which the Senate could vote to reverse the FCC's decision.
With the order now
officially on Capitol Hill, it only needs
to be sent to the House and published in the Federal Register, after
which Marke[y] will have 60
days to gather enough support for a vote to nullify the decision.
I do hope this
succeeds. And this is a recommended article.
Paradox of Equal Justice
This article is by Ralph Nader on Common
Dreams and originally on Nader's site. It starts with an introduction:
away with very serious crimes—deaths, lifetime injuries, massive
assaults on the economic necessities of millions of innocent people,
the sickening of children and loss of their lives, the poisoning of
water, air, land, food, perilous workplaces— without consequence.
Precisely, and that is a very
serious problem, that did exist before 1980 (in the USA and
but since has been made much more serious by deregulation, after deregulation after deregulation - and almost each deregulation diminished the legal
protections given to the many non-rich, and increased the
powers of the corporations and the rich. Since 1980. And quite
Besides, there is another reason, and this relates to what
are, for which I refer you to Hazlitt - On Corporate Bodies:
strongly recommended - and to this quite truthful
definition in Ambrose
Enlarged Devil's Dictionary":
n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual
profit without individual responsibility."
And this was always
the case: What has enormously grown
since 1980 are the powers of the corporations to enrich their
leaders, and what has likewise diminished
is any personal responsibility that the leaders of corporations
have for their actions.
Here is the start of Nader's article:
Yes indeed. There is more
at the end, and I continue with the next bit:
Almost every day,
entertainment, sports, media, political and even some business
organizations are jettisoning their top officials and incumbents after
reported accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assaults of their
subordinates. They’re not waiting for prosecutors, courts or regulators
to take action. “Get out now” is the first punishing order. Then the
work product of these asserted offenders—whether music, comedy shows,
etc.—are often scrubbed, and recipients of political contributions are
under pressure to give these sums to charity. In addition a wider arc
of resignations by the heads and Boards of Directors, accused of lax
monitoring is emerging.
The speed of punishment is
unprecedented. One day millions of people watched Bill O’Reilly,
Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and others. The next day they were vanished.
Although this is only the tip of the iceberg—and there is more to
come—the velocity of expulsions coming from these accusations—even when
they are denied—is unprecedented.
So why is it that when
corporations and financial institutions commit broad-scale crimes that
endanger or take the lives of millions of people, they receive absolute
impunity? Indeed, their executives are rewarded for their own chronic,
dangerous lawlessness. When their numerous crimes or criminogenic
actions come to light, why are these bosses not immediately removed
from their positions, in the manner of the many powerful men who have
fallen as the #MeToo movement gains momentum?
Who knows? Time will tell
perhaps. What is known is that corporations get away with very serious
crimes—deaths, lifetime injuries, massive assaults on the economic
necessities of millions of innocent people, the sickening of children
and loss of their lives, the poisoning of water, air, land, food,
perilous workplaces—all while paying off the political system that
would have exacted punishment—and without appropriate sanctions.
no doubt that "the masses" (that these days gather at Facebook and
Twitter, and have something like a billion more voices than they had
ten years ago and more) are strongly against certain sins of certain
persons - that may but
need not cover rape and sadism - while the same "masses" act and
very much less strongly against the crimes of the corporations,
although these crimes hurt very many of them a great lot more, both
financially and legally, than the crimes of - say - Al Franken.
Here is more on the
Wall Street bosses:
None of the bailed-out Wall
Street bosses who crashed the economy in 2008-2009 were prosecuted.
These repeat-offenders took 8 million jobs away from the American
people with their crimes, deceptions, cover-ups and rampant speculation
with the very pensions and mutual funds that had been entrusted to them
by their clients. Some Wall Street predators retired with huge
severance packages—worth many millions of dollars—while others stayed
put and resumed their roles as people of influential status and
Precisely so. Here is
Over and over again, as
reported in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington
Post, and CBS’s Sixty Minutes, corporate crime, violence and fraud do
not result in punishment. All too often the rewards and luxuries
accorded to these powerful executives continue unabated.
Even when the Justice
Department occasionally nails a big drug company for crimes costing
thousands of lives and billions of dollars, “deferred prosecution
agreements” let the bosses off and allow the companies themselves to
get away with fines that appear large but are far less than the
ill-gotten gains that finally caught the attention of the underfunded
Again, precisely so.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
So why the difference?
One difference may be that the evicted sexual assaulters did their
deeds personally and directly, unlike the more remote corporate bosses
or even middle management, their crimes more abstract within the
enormity of the bureaucratic machines that they’ve rigged to avoid
accountability. The other difference is that the public outrage was
more personal and intense over the high-profile victims in the
Hollywood episodes, which set the level of high media visibility. But
what are the other factors at work?
Nader is undoubtedly quite
right there are several factors at work that
cause that - say -
Charlie Rose is persecuted for sexual offenses, while many tens
Street directors are not at all persecuted, nor indeed prosecuted in
any way, although they stole extemely much money and destroyed millions
of American jobs.
I will not try
them here and now, beyond repeating what I think are the two most
- "The masses"
gather at Facebook and Twitter, and have something like a billion more
voices than they had ten years ago and more) are strongly
against certain sins of certain (well known) persons - that may but
need not cover rape and sadism - while the same "masses" act and
write very much less strongly against the crimes of the
although these crimes hurt very many of them a great lot more,
think they do mostly because they do know the well known persons,
the vast majority has little knowledge of bank managers, and
- The bankmanagers
all very well protected by corrupt members of the government, like
Holder under Obama, who simply refused to do almost anything
them, because it was his opinion that this might hurt the economy of
And in any case, this
is a strongly recommended article.