from March 1, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 March 1, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. China’s Censors Ban Winnie the Pooh and the Letter ‘N’
After Xi’s Power
2. ACLU Denounces SCOTUS Ruling Approving Indefinite Immigrant
The New York Times Newsroom Is Openly
Revolting Against Its Editorial
4. Why We Need Rise-Up Economics, Not Trickle-Down
5. Boosting Hopes for Total Ban, EU Regulator's New
Neonics' Harm to Bees
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:
Censors Ban Winnie the Pooh and the Letter ‘N’ After Xi’s Power Grab
This article is by Javier C. Hernández on The New York Times. It starts
Liu Jin, a
27-year-old teacher in central China, is the kind of young nationalist
that President Xi Jinping can typically count on. Mr. Liu shares
propaganda photos of the president in battle fatigues online and
reverently calls him “Uncle Xi.”
But Mr. Liu was
dismayed this week when he heard that the ruling Communist Party was
changing the Chinese Constitution, allowing Mr. Xi to stay
in power indefinitely.
Mr. Liu wrote on Weibo, a microblogging site, listing examples of
power-hungry emperors and autocrats. Censors immediately deleted the
During his more
than five years in power, Mr. Xi has cultivated an image as a man of the people —
a centered, sympathetic leader who lines up with workers to buy pork
buns while also guiding the world’s most populous nation to growth and
But the move to
abolish term limits, announced on Sunday, has resurrected deeper
fears in Chinese society, where memories remain of the personality cult
of China’s founding father, Mao Zedong, and the fevered emotions and
chaos that it conjured.
Yes, this seems all correct and I can add three general
remarks which may add some background knowledge.
The first remark is that Mao Zedong died in 1976, that
is 42 years ago today. Since the Chinese Cultural Revolution he
instituted lasted approximately from 1966 till 1976, it means that the
people who can recall the Cultural Revolution are at least 50
years old, and probably older, which means that they are in a minority.
This may have helped Xi Pinjin's plans, but it also is a guess.
And the second remark accounts for the - truly
frightening - totalitarian
character of the Chinese Cultural
Revolution, namely by pointing out that it seems as if between 1966 and
1976 only a minority of the Chinese could read Chinese: The
could not read, or could read only a little.
Both are remarks by myself, and I admit that while I am
interested in China and in the Chinese, and read a fair amount about
both, I do not
read Chinese at all.
And my third remark is that while currently "the
literacy rate" among the Chinese is above 95% I do not know
what this means in more or less precise terms, seeing also that
learn to read and write proper Chinese seems to take some 10 years and
the knowledge of up to 10,000 characters.
The brief of it is that literacy has been much
over the last 40 years, but it also is still probably true that real
literacy in China is considerably behind real literacy in Europe,
also is very much easier to achieve.
Here is the censorship that arose after Xi Jinping
succeeded in removing the ten years' limit on his exercising the
supreme power in China:
Anxious to suppress criticism, and maintain an appearance of
mass support, the Communist Party’s censors have scoured the internet
and social media for content deemed subversive.
The sanitizing has included many images of Winnie the Pooh — Mr. Xi is
to the cartoon bear — and search terms like “my emperor,”
“lifelong” and “shameless.”
For a short
time, even the English letter “N” was censored, according to Victor Mair,
a University of Pennsylvania professor, apparently to pre-empt social
scientists from expressing dissent mathematically: N > 2, with “N”
being the number of Mr. Xi’s terms in office.
this sounds ridiculous in Western ears, but it also is
exercise of totalitarian
powers. Here is the last bit that I quote from
endured the trauma of Mao’s Cultural Revolution
are warning of a return to dictatorship. University students are
posting quotes from George Washington’s farewell address
online. Business executives, concerned about the Communist Party’s
growing grip on private enterprises, are hastening plans to relocate
Li Datong, a
former journalist and critic of the government, has circulated an open letter
calling on the Communist Party to block Mr. Xi’s plan or risk “once
again planting seeds of chaos in China and causing untold damage.” He
said that Mr. Xi’s power grab would overturn the very stable and
predictable system for peaceful transitions of power set up decades ago
after the chaos of Mao and succession struggles under Deng Xiaoping.
“It’s going to
break the chains placed on the system,” Mr. Li said in an interview.
“It’s going to be very dangerous.”
I think I
agree with Li Datong. And this is a recommended article.
Denounces SCOTUS Ruling Approving Indefinite Immigrant Detention
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
The Supreme Court
ruled Tuesday that federal authorities can continue to indefinitely
detain some immigrants and asylum seekers without a bond hearing. The
5-3 ruling overturned the rulings of two lower courts that found
immigrants facing prolonged detention must be given a custody hearing.
But Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision does not end the battle over
indefinite detention. The justices sent the case back to the federal
appeals court to evaluate the constitutionality of the practice.
Tuesday’s decision came a day after the Supreme Court dealt a blow to
President Trump’s efforts to rescind DACA,
the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which
gives at least 700,000 young immigrants permission to live and work in
the United States. The court refused to hear a White House appeal of
lower court rulings saying Trump’s move to cancel the program was
unconstitutional. We speak to Michael Tan, staff attorney at the
American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
I say, and have been
reporting on this before, for the simple reason that this seems more
like an - early - medieval law than a modern law: This
USA to lock up people forever, without any right on even being
heard on whether they are willing to pay bail.
Here are the two opinions that were in the Supreme Court:
Writing in the majority
opinion, Justice Samuel Alito Jr. said, quote, “Detention during those
proceedings gives immigration officials time to determine an alien’s
status without running the risk of the alien’s either absconding or
engaging in criminal activity.”
Justice Stephen Breyer read
his dissent from the bench. He said, quote, “I would find it alarming,
to believe that Congress wrote these statutory words in order to put
thousands of individuals at risk of lengthy confinement all within the
United States but all without hope of bail.” Justice Breyer was joined
in his dissent by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Elena Kagan
Clearly, I agree
100% with Breyer. Here is the explanation by attorney Michael Tan,
belongs to the ACLU:
TAN: (..) So, Rodriguez
is a case challenging one of the cruelest practices in our detention
and deportation system: the government’s practice of indefinitely
detaining thousands of immigrants in jails across the country, for
months or even years, while they fight their deportation cases, without
ever letting them have a bond hearing, that basic process where you get
to see a judge who determines whether you need to be locked up in the
first place. On any given day, there are thousands of immigrants in
situations like Alejandro Rodriguez, as you said, someone who’s lived
here since he was an infant, a green card holder, a dental assistant,
who ended up being put in the detention and deportation system and
spent three years locked up.
And so, what our case seeks to establish is that basic right to a
hearing before a judge, where they can look at your facts, see if
you’re a flight risk and danger, and determine whether you need to be
locked up or not. The 9th Circuit sought to put an end to the
government’s detention practices in its ruling in 2015, holding that
the immigration laws actually require a bond hearing for immigrants in
long-term detention at six months. And the Supreme Court reversed that
decision yesterday, holding, in an opinion written by Justice Alito,
that Congress in fact authorized detention during the length of
people’s deportation proceedings. But the fight’s not over. We’re now
back in the 9th Circuit to litigate the constitutional issue,
specifically whether due process entitles people to that basic right to
a bond hearing.
Yes, that is all
correct to the best of my knowledge. And clearly I think that "due process entitles people to that basic
right to a bond hearing":
Without it a government can simply lock up whomever it
refusing to hear either them or their lawyers at all.
Next, here is the
background - which in fact dates back to Bill Clinton:
Yes indeed, and this is a fine article that is
recommended, and in which there is more.
TAN: (..) So, to be clear,
this practice of indefinite detention dates from the late Clinton
administration, was carried forward by the Bush administration, was
carried forward by the Obama industry, defended by the Solicitor
General’s Office, and certainly carried over as a legacy to the Trump
administration. I will say, in this moment, when we have an
administration in the office that’s committed to locking up more
immigrants than ever before, it’s all the more important that people
have access to court process to ensure that they’re not locked up
arbitrarily. But this is a legacy or sort of—you know, this has been
bequeathed to the Trump administration by prior administrations.
New York Times Newsroom Is Openly Revolting Against Its Editorial Page
This article is by Jacob Sugarman on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
Well... yes and no. Yes,
because this seems more or less correct, and no because it would have
been also correct to say at least rather similar things
The NYT since 9/11.
Since Donald Trump was
elected president, the New York Times editorial page has waged a
frontal assault on its readers' intelligence. Just this month, it has
published pieces defending Woody
Allen and Aziz
Ansari against allegations of sexual abuse, and another scolding
liberals for not being sufficiently respectful of gun owners
in the wake of the latest mass shooting. In between, the paper hired
and fired its leading commentator on technology after learning
she counts a prominent neo-Nazi among her close friends.
Subscribers are taking notice,
and they're not alone. According
to a Vanity Fair report, Times reporters have grown increasingly
frustrated with the paper's op-ed section and fear it may be
undermining their work.
Here is some more:
What emerges from
this latest report is an editorial page rife with internal
contradictions, "a case study in how essentially liberal institutions
are undermined by the tools of their own liberalism." Bennet professes
that the section is humanist and universal, yet recognizes select forms
of ethnic cleansing as worthy of consideration; he "proudly forswears
the idea of right answers," but insists capitalism is the "greatest
anti-poverty program and engine of progress the world has ever seen";
he claims climate science is "settled," but is nonetheless willing to
indulge Bret Stephens' skepticism. Meanwhile, Bennet deems Richard
Spencer unworthy of publication not because he's a white nationalist
but because he represents a fringe movement.
None of that seems very
sound, but I can't take this very seriously were it only because it is
not clear to me what "this
latest report" is supposed
Then again, here is the opinion from someone I know and take
“If your goal were
to wage war on media diversity in all of its forms, and to offer the
narrowest range of views possible, it would be hard to top the roster
of columnists the paper has assembled," the
Intercept's Glenn Greenwald wrote in August. "Beyond the obvious
demographic homogeneity, literally every one of them fits squarely
within the narrow, establishment, center-right to center-left range of
opinion that prevails in elite opinion-making circles...None is
associated with or supportive of the growing populist left or the
populist right; they all wallow in the vague, safe, Washington-approved
middle ground, members in good standing of the newly overt
This seems OK, but it
still is not enough to take this article very serious.
4. Why We Need Rise-Up
Economics, Not Trickle-Down
This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as
follows (and I rephrased the All Capital Title: I don't like
only capitals, just as I don't like italics):
I agree, but I also like to
point out that (i) "trickle-down economics" has been a species of -
that has been quite popular since Reagan
became president of the USA in 1980; that (ii) this completely false - propaganda has been
embraced by many of the none too intelligent
or none too knowledgeable
billions who were given permissions to publish on Facebook (and
elsewhere); and that (iii) meanwhile very many of the real jobs
were available in American industries of many kinds have in fact been
sold to India or China, for the twin reasons that (a) those selling
these jobs to countries were the wages were very much lower than in the
USA were officially permitted to do so, though indeed not
became president, and (b) these real American jobs will never
How to build the economy?
Not through trickle-down economics. Tax cuts to the rich and big
corporations don’t lead to more investment and jobs.
The only real way to build
the economy is through “rise-up” economics: Investments in our people –
their education and skills, their health, and the roads and bridges and
public transportation that connects them.
Trickle-down doesn’t work
because money is global. Corporations and the rich whose taxes are cut
invest the extra money wherever around the world they can get the
Rise-up economics works
because American workers are the only resources uniquely American.
Their productivity is the key to our future standard of living. And
that productivity depends on their education, health, and
At least that is what I think. Here is the end of this brief
I am sorry, but not in
terms, for the simple reason that the false propaganda that was and is
trickle-down economics has worked for nearly forty years, and
many jobs that were sold to much cheaper countries than the USA has
finished most of these jobs in the USA.
In the three decades
following World War II, we made huge investments in education, health,
and infrastructure. The result was rising median incomes.
Since then, public
investments have lagged, and median incomes have stagnated.
Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan
and George W. Bush’s tax cuts on the top didn’t raise incomes, and
neither will Donald Trump’s.
Trickle-down economics is a
hoax. But it’s a convenient hoax designed to enrich the moneyed
interests. Rise-up economics is the real deal. But we must fight for
And while I agree with Reich that was a bitter shame, it also is a
and while "being against trickle-down economics" may look nice,
it should have been done forty years ago, when it still could have made
a major difference.
Hopes for Total Ban, EU Regulator's New Assessment Confirms Neonics'
Harm to Bees
This article is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as
follows, and it is here (like some previous articles on the same topic)
because without bees nearly all of humankind
will soon be dead:
Boosting hopes for a strict
EU-wide ban on the pesticides, a new report by the European Union's
food safety watchdog confirms that neonicotinoids, also known as
neonics, pose a threat to bees.
The report from
the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which upates its assessment
from 2013, and draws from over 1,500 studies, looks at the impacts of
three specific neonicotinoids—clothianidin, imidacloprid and
thiamethoxam—on honeybees and wild bees.
"The availability of such a
substantial amount of data as well as the guidance has enabled us to
produce very detailed conclusions," said Jose Tarazona, head of EFSA's
"There is variability in
the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended
use of the pesticide, and the route of exposure. Some low risks have
been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we
have assessed is confirmed," he said.
I say, which I do because I
did not know this, and for once it seems this news is good,
Here is some more:
The British Beekeepers
Association (BBKA) weighed in as well, saying,
"until there is convincing independent scientific evidence that
neonicotinoid pesticides are not harmful to honey bees, we will support
the continuation of the EU moratorium on their use."
"While it is good news that
the regulators have definitively concluded that neonicotinoids pose a
high risk," added
Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife, "it is a tragedy that our bees, moths,
butterflies, and flies have been hammered by these toxins for over 15
years, causing severe declines in wild pollinators and the pollination
services they undertake. Not only should EU countries now ban their use
entirely, they should also urgently approve and implement EFSA's bee
risk assessment process so that the blunder is not repeated."
I agree completely,
there is more in the article, that is recommended.
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 (!!).