from June 21, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 21, 2018:
1. 'Morally Bankrupt': After Tax Cuts for Richest, House GOP
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:
Trillion Attack on Nation's
2. Trump Backs Down, Ends Family Separation Policy
3. Seymour Hersh on Torture at Abu Ghraib & Secret U.S.
4. Noam Chomsky on Fascism, Showmanship and Democrats'
the Trump Era
5. Internet Pioneers Warn New EU Rules Would Turn Web Into
Automated Surveillance and Control"
Bankrupt': After Tax Cuts for Richest, House GOP Unveils $5.4 Trillion
Attack on Nation's Safety Net
This article is by
Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
With the nation's attention
rightly fixated on President Donald Trump's horrific
treatment of immigrant children, House Republicans on Tuesday
quietly unveiled their 2019 budget
proposal that calls for $537 billion in cuts to Medicare, $1.5
trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and four billion in cuts to Social
Security over the next decade in an effort to pay for their
deficit-exploding tax cuts for the wealthy.
"It's morally bankrupt,
patently absurd, and grossly un-American," the advocacy group Patriotic
of the GOP's budget proposal, which calls for $5.4
trillion in spending cuts from major domestic programs.
I say, though indeed I
saw this coming, as did many more. Then again, I may be a little more
radical than others, for my suggestion is that Trump´s end with his
many cuts is to drive the poor to suicide. There are too many
is on earth (almost 4 times as much as 50 years ago), and this is the
Republican/Trumpian way of solving the problem: You
take away the money of the poorest, which means that many are going to
There is also this in
president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), argued
in a statement
that the Republican proposal demonstrates clearly shows the "House
majority's fiscal priorities haven't changed."
"It’s easy to become numb
to the harshness of these budgets and to brush aside their policy
implications based on the assumption (likely correct) that few, if any,
of these policies will be enacted this year," Greenstein said. "But
this budget reflects where many congressional leaders—and the
president—would like to take the country if they get the opportunity to
enact these measures in the years ahead. Rather than help more families
have a shot at the American dream, it asks the most from those who have
the least, and it would leave our nation less prepared for the economic
and other challenges that lie ahead."
I am not much
with this, for it uses vagueries like ¨[Trump´s plan] asks the most from those who have the least¨ (after giving away riches to the
richest). I dislike vagueries and ask what happens if you cut
Medicaid and Social Security, and I answer that the only
that I can see for the many who depend on these us that they commit
suicide. And I think that is the real point of Trump and
Republicans: Who doesn´t earn enough to live, deserves to die (but we
Republicans shall leave it to their own hands: we are guiltless).
Here is more:
Without health insurance,
millions will be forced to suicide. And this is what the Republicans
and Trump want, for otherwise they would not have cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security. And this is a strongly recommended article.
Progressives have been warning
for months about the GOP's plan to axe crucial safety net programs
following the passage of its deeply unpopular $1.5 trillion tax bill,
which has sparked a boom
of corporate stock buybacks while doing little to nothing for most
"Each GOP budget is more
fraudulent than the last," Seth Hanlon, senior fellow at the Center for
American Progress, wrote
on Tuesday. "We know what they stand for: tax cuts paid for with
In addition to proposing
devastating safety net cuts, the House GOP budget also calls for
partial privatization of Medicare and the repeal of the Affordable Care
Act, a move that would throw tens of millions off their health
Backs Down, Ends Family Separation Policy
This article is by
Jill Colvin and Colleen Long on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Bowing to pressure
from anxious allies, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed himself
Wednesday and signed an executive order halting his administration’s
policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained
illegally crossing the U.S. border.
It was a dramatic
turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his
administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at
the border because of federal law and a court decision.
The news in recent days has
been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border
facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for
their parents — images that have sparked fury, question of morality and
concern from Republicans about a negative impact on their races in
November’s midterm elections.
Until Wednesday, the
president, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other
officials had repeatedly argued the only way to end the practice was
for Congress to pass new legislation, while Democrats said Trump could
do it with his signature alone. That’s just what he did.
Well... in fact it
seems as if Trump´s ¨anxious allies¨ may have been his wife and
daughter, but I have only read some reports on that supposed fact
without much or any evidence.
Also, Trump may have
been ¨insisting¨ in the terms of Colvin and Long, but actually he was,
as very often, plainly and impertinently lying.
But the rest seems more
or less as it happened. Here is some more on what Trump´s recent order
Yes, I take it that is
true. There is more to follow, and this is a recommended article.
The order does not end the
“zero-tolerance” policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught
crossing the border illegally. It would keep families together while
they are in custody, expedite their cases and ask the Department of
Defense to help house them.
But under a previous
class-action settlement that set policies for the treatment and release
of minors caught at the border, families can only be detained for 20
days. A senior Justice Department official said that hasn’t changed.
“This is a stopgap measure,”
said Gene Hamilton, counsel to the attorney general.
Hersh on Torture at Abu Ghraib & Secret U.S. Assassination Programs
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts as follows:
investigative reporter Sy Hersh exposed the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse
scandal in Iraq that shocked the world. Shocking photos of U.S.
military personnel humiliating and torturing Iraqi prisoners at Abu
Ghraib sparked global outcry, as well as national hearings,
investigations and finger pointing. We speak with Sy Hersh about his
investigation, nearly 15 years later.
In fact there are no less than six
articles on Democracy Now! - see here (and the date is June
20, 2018) - about Sy
Hersh, who indeed is one of the most prominent investigative
journalists in the USA. (I am sorry this is to Wikipedia, which I like
less and less, as it lies more and more.)
And I advise you to at least look at all of them, while I can in this
Nederlog only quote a few bits. Here is the first:
GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to ask you about, of course, another of
your many exposés that received international attention: Abu Ghraib.
Could you talk about how you got onto Abu Ghraib and the impact that
that story had, not only in the United States, but across the Muslim
HERSH: There was nothing
that I wrote that wasn’t known and been reported by Human Rights
Watch—a wonderful guy named John Sifton was just brilliant—Amnesty
International, were writing—doing reports, talking about torture. It’s
the same thing that I was reading in the '60s about Vietnam, that—by
church groups who were writing books about it, that didn't make the
media. And they were doing torture.
And I couldn’t find a—and
in the fall of 2003, in December—what happened is, we won the war, we
thought, quickly, and it turned out we didn’t win. What Don Rumsfeld,
that man, called dead-enders—once we thought the war, in two
months—what he called the dead-enders turned out to be the guys
ready—the Baath Party people we thought we got rid of. And we were in a
civil war, and we were being chopped to death.
I don’t put anything in the computer.
First, here is a
reference to Abu
Ghraib. Incidentally, that reference also - quite correctly
refers to the Milgram
experiment, that suggested that large numbers of ordinary
(65% in fact, on average, in quite a few experiments, while
psychological and psychiatric ¨experts¨ predicted a bit over 1%) are
quite capable of torturing people they don´t know.
I think that the Milgram
experiment gave approximately
correct proportions (and - having been ill for nearly 40 years,
like my ex, and without any diagnosis other than hallucinations or
attempts to deceive the medics - I had many
similar experiences in
Second, I also
completely agree with Hersh that he doesn´t ¨put anything in the computer¨, for the simple reason that I
that everything anyone
puts in any computer (cellphone, tablet)
connected with internet will end up with anonymous freaks in many
secret services, and will also soon be known to corporate collectors of
personal data (like Google, Amazon and Facebook).
And I also think that
the internet has been designed by the people from DARPA for
from DARPA: It was intended from the very start, in the late 1960ies,
as an instrument to control everyone, and
not to help anyone but the
secret services and the rich - as you can see e.g. here.
Back to Sy Hersh:
GOODMAN: You also wrote in
your book, “There was a widespread understanding that those who died in
interrogation were not to be buried, lest the bodies be disinterred
later, but had to be destroyed by acid and other means.”
HERSH: That’s what I
wrote. I mean, what am I supposed to say? Yes, it was understood. This
is early in the war. There was—excuse me. Do you think it stopped? Do
you know how many warfare places we’re in right now? Seventy-six. The
United States is conducting war in 76 countries now. If you don’t think
assassinations are going on just as much, they are.
Yes, I think Hersh is
speaking truly. Here is more:
GOODMAN: Sy Hersh went on
to expose many of the government’s deepest secrets, from Nixon’s
bombing of Cambodia to the CIA spying on
antiwar activists, to the CIA’s role undermining the Chilean government
of Salvador Allende. Former CIA Director
William Colby once privately complained about Hersh, saying, quote, “He
knows more about this place than I do.”
Well, Sy Hersh has also
helped uncover how the U.S. has secretly carried out assassinations
across the globe. Hersh continued to break major stories after the
September 11th attacks, most notably, in 2004, he exposed the Abu
Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq that shocked the world.
Well, Seymour Hersh is out
with a new book, looking back on his more than half a century of scoops
and digging up secrets. It’s called Reporter: A Memoir.
I included this mainly
because of the reference to Hersh´s latest book. Here is the last bit
that I quote from this series of articles on Hersh:
In fact, I do not blame ¨the craziness of cable news¨ very much: What I blame is the
involved in the above, and indeed in most ordinary
who prefer their own stupidity, ignorance, egoism and wishful
thinking with better answers by more intelligent or
at least better informed persons.
GONZÁLEZ: Well, you describe yourself in your book as a
survivor of the golden age of journalism. Could you talk about what was
the golden age of journalism? (...)
HERSH: Right now what you
have is such a division in the media that there’s no middle ground.
There’s no—when I worked, I was a freelance reporter, and I understood,
even then, a story was a story. And it wasn’t looked at as are you
either pro- or anti-Trump or, you know, whatever. Right now you have a
situation, because of the craziness of cable news, which takes any
information they get and blasts it out there with no thought—we’re all
driven. And the public has—they used to turn to The New York Times,
my old newspaper, for which I worked for years, happily, in the '70s,
as an arbiter of integrity and truth. Right now, everybody is seen as
either pro- or anti-. You don't have a middle ground.
And what I meant by the golden
age is you could write a story and get it published, and people would
believe it. Now you can write a story and get it published, and people
will say, “Well…” As many people, even in this—you saw, in your own
broadcast, many—he still gets support from many people in America, when
he starts talking this crazy, insane stuff about immigrants. And so,
there’s no—there’s no national standard.
And it is especially this rise of totalitarianism that is responsible -
which does come down to stupidity, ignorance, conformism, egoism and wishful
thinking mostly - for the
collapse of standards of objectivity and
Most people find it
far easier and far more pleasant to believe
ignorant and stupid they may be, than to believe informed persons.
Finally, as I started saying there
are no less than six articles on Democracy Now! - see here (on June 20, 2018), and
they are all strongly recommended.
Chomsky on Fascism, Showmanship and Democrats' Hypocrisy in the Trump
article is by C.J. Polychroniou on AlterNet and originally on Truthout.
This starts as follows:
After 18 months of
Trump in the White House, American politics finds itself at a
crossroads. The United States has moved unmistakably toward a novel
form of fascism that serves exclusively corporate interests and the
military, while promoting at the same time a highly reactionary social
agenda infused with religious and crude nationalistic overtones, all
with an uncanny touch of political showmanship. In this exclusive
Truthout interview, world-renowned linguist and public intellectual
Noam Chomsky analyzes some of the latest developments in Trumpistan and
their consequences for democracy and world order.
Well... as I have been
saying for more than two years now, the ¨novel form of fascism that serves exclusively
corporate interests and the military¨ in fact is neofascism
as it has been defined by me
three years ago. (But hey: Very few people have a father and a
grandfather who were in the resistance against the Nazis, and who were
arrested by them, which cost the life of my grandfather - which means
to many that I must be mistaken rather than better informed about
fascism than most... yes, I know.)
Here is more by Chomsky (who is talking):
Beyond that, the
coverage across the spectrum illustrates quite well two distinct kinds
of deceit: lying and not telling relevant truths. Each merits comment.
Yes indeed, although I
observe that virtually all propaganda I
know, which covers absolutely
consists both of lies
and of not telling relevant
truths (and besides of tautologies presented as news, like ¨100%
Trump is famous for the
former, and his echo chamber is as well. Liberal commentators exult in
totting up and refuting Trump’s innumerable lies and distortions, much
to his satisfaction since it provides the opportunity for him to fire
up his loyal — by now almost worshipful — base with more evidence of
how the hated “Establishment” is using every possible underhanded means
to prevent their heroic leader from working tirelessly to defend them
from a host of enemies.
A canny politician, Trump
surely understands well that the base on which he relies, by now almost
the entire Republican Party, has drifted to a surreal world, in part
under his influence. Take the major Trump-Ryan legislative achievement,
the tax scam — “The US Donor Relief Act of 2017,” as Joseph Stiglitz
termed it. It had two transparent aims: to enrich the very wealthy and
the corporate sector while slamming everyone else, and to create a huge
deficit. The latter achievement — as the main architect of the scam
Paul Ryan helpfully explained — provides the opportunity to realize the
cherished goal of reducing benefits that serve the general population,
already very weak by comparative standards, but still an unacceptable
infringement on the prerogatives of the 1%.
Here is the last bit from Chomsky (in this interview) that I quote:
Half of Republicans believe
that what is plainly happening is not happening, bolstered by virtually
the entire leadership of the Party, as the Republican Primary debates
graphically revealed. Of the half who concede that the real world
exists, barely half think that humans play a role in the process.
Such destructive responses
tend to break through the surface during periods of distress and fear,
very widespread feelings today, for good reason: A generation of
neoliberal policies has sharply concentrated wealth and power while
leaving the rest to stagnate or decline, often joining the growing
precariat. In the US, the richest country in history with unparalleled
40 percent of the population don’t earn enough to afford a monthly
budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care,
transportation and a cell phone. And this is happening in what’s called
a “booming economy.”
Yes, and I expand a
little: ¨Half of
Republicans¨ must mean
something like 20% of the American adult population - and they are
stupid, ignorant, prejudiced
Next, the precariat
happens to be a term I rarely have read or heard, but it does
myself and my ex, who fell ill in the first year of our studies, and
then were said NOT to be ill (but
hallucinators or deceivers, which is
what ¨psychosomatizers¨ means) for nearly 40
years: if you
check ¨precariat¨ you get an indication of what
through, which we did have to go through, for nearly 40
years, because no other Dutchman except our direct families
cared one bit. (And it is the same for other diseases, also outside
Finally, when more
than 4 out of 10 of the population ¨don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget
that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation
and a cell phone¨ this is because
the few rich decided that is what is fit for them (and if they
don´t like it they can suicide).
There is a lot more in
this article, that is strongly recommended.
Pioneers Warn New EU Rules Would Turn Web Into "Tool for Automated
Surveillance and Control"
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Well... in fact I think
the internet was designed to spy on everyone; was
designed to steal
their personal mail (and everything else); and was designed to
secret services and the police to find anyone and everyone with
opinions that do not please the secret services and the police.
The European Union (EU) on
Wednesday took a step toward enacting new internet copyright rules that
warn pose "an imminent threat to the future of this global network"
and threaten to create a "censorship machine."
The Legal Affairs Committee
(JURI) passed the Copyright Directive, which could now move to
negotiations with EU member states ahead of a full vote by the European
Parliament. Internet pioneers and digital rights activists are raising
alarms about two aspects of the legislation, as The Verge explains:
Although most of the
directive simply updates technical language for copyright law in the
age of the internet, it includes two highly controversial provisions.
These are Article 11, a "link tax," which would force online platforms
like Facebook and Google to buy licenses from media companies before
linking to their stories; and Article 13, an "upload filter," which
would require that everything uploaded online in the EU is checked for
Article 11, also called the
snippet tax, isn't expected to significantly affect major corporations
such as Google, which can afford such licenses, but the impacts of the
provision will likely be felt by smallers organizations. Additionally,
critics say its language is too vague—as Gizmodo notes,
"Article 11 doesn't bother to even define what constitutes a
link"—which could enable governments to censor content for
And the internet, that was designed by the secret services
onwards) has given all powers and all information to repress
anyone to the secret services. If this is not clear now, it
clearer in the near future, with measures like the present one:
has won, for the secret services know everything about
anyone, and can force themselves into any computer connected to the
Here is some more:
Well... I am sorry, but
the internet was designed to be ¨a tool for the automated surveillance and
control of its users¨, and
it completely and utterly succeeded. The internet = neofascism
designed for computers by the secret services. For more see May 3, 2018 - and yes, this started
already in 1967-1970, as shown in the last link.
Article 13 would replace
Directive, which generally protects online platforms from copyright
penalties so long as the content was upoaded by a user. Web exerpts say
running all content through a copyright filter before it is uploaded
would be immensely burdonsome and expensive, especially for smaller
In terms of the directive's
sweeping consequences, as Gizmodo put it, "Memes, news,
Wikipedia, art, privacy, and the creative side of fandom are all at
risk of being destroyed or kneecapped."
In response to the mounting
threat to the internet as we know it, more than 70 "of the internet's
original architects and pioneers and their successors"—including world
wide web founder Tim Berners-Lee and "father of the internet" Vint
Cerf—wrote a letter
(pdf) to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani about Article 13,
which they warn could transform "the internet from an open platform for
sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and
control of its users."
 I have
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 (!!).