from June 24, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 24, 2018:
1. A Prophet of Doom Was Right About the Climate
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. EU Sets Crisis Summit on Migration
3. The American March to Inequality: Why the UN Alston Report
the Trump Plutocrats
4. Trump’s Mean Boy Nation
5. 'As an American, I Feel Deeply Ashamed'
Prophet of Doom Was Right About the Climate
This article is by Justin Gillis on The New York Times. It starts as
night before the day that would make him famous, James E. Hansen
listened to a baseball game on the radio. But his mind kept wandering:
What would he say to Congress the next day to convey that humans were
endangering the planet?
had long been trying to raise the alarm without success, and so had other scientists. But then, on June 23,
1988 — 30 years ago Saturday — a Colorado senator named Tim Wirth
convened yet another hearing on the topic. Dr. Hansen was one of
several scientists on the witness list.
He had conducted rigorous studies of historical temperatures,
concluding that the planet was warming sharply. He had helped to
pioneer computer modeling of the climate, and the results predicted
further warming if people kept pouring greenhouse gases into the
In case you want to know some more about James E. Hansen,
this was a link.
In fact, I know considerably less about him
than I do about the two persons who awakened me to the dangers of
environmental changes (as it was then often called), and these
were first Paul Ehrlich's
Population Bomb", that was published in 1968, but that I read in
1970, and that I did not quite know whether to believe (in part because
this also was a real first for me, on the subject of the
environment and ecology), and then especially Dennis Meadows,
who published together with some others The Limits
to Growth in 1972, that I read in 1973.
I should add that two reasons why I found The Limits
to Growth convincing
(which was not a very common
reaction in 1973) were that I
liked its mathematics (although I did see it was much more
than the reality) and that I soon came to read some extremely negative
reviews by some Dutch academics, that were clearly both false
Then again, in 2018 it does not seem to matter much who
convinced one that there was a lot more to ecology
(environmentalism, global warming, the human population explosion ...)
than mere biology, and James Hansen clearly has an important role as
well (and one reason I did not read him in 1988 was that I was both
removed illegally from the right to take my M.A. in philosophy from the
"University" in Amsterdam then and was - literally - gassed
with my girlfriend by drugsdealers who had half a year before gotten "personal
permission" from mayor Van Thijn to break the law and sell soft
drugs from the bottom floor of the house where I lived).
Anyway... back to the article:
emissions have soared, the planet has warmed relentlessly, just as he
said it would; 1988 is not even in the top 20 warmest years now. Every
year of this century has been hotter.
ocean is rising, as Dr. Hansen predicted, and the pace seems to be
accelerating. The great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are dumping ever-rising volumes of water into
the sea. Coastal flooding is increasing rapidly in the United States. The Arctic Ocean ice
cap has shrunk drastically.
his warning in 1988 had been met with a national policy to reduce
emissions, other countries might have followed, and the world would be
in much better shape.
within a few years after he raised the alarm, fossil-fuel interests and
libertarian ideologues began financing a campaign of lies about climate
research. The issue bogged down in Congress, and to this day that body
has taken no action remotely commensurate with the threat.
Yes indeed. And this means that Congress has not
anything useful in the last 30 years, and in fact not since 1972,
is 46 years ago (in which the total human population more than
doubled).... This is a recommended article.
Sets Crisis Summit on Migration
This article is by
Lorne Cook and Nicole Winfield on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
With another migrant
rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean and both Italy and Malta
again refusing to let it dock, European Union leaders will try to find
common ground for tackling a growing political crisis that is
threatening to undermine the entire EU.
Well... I think the above is much
too optimistic. I think that the underlying problems are three:
The leaders of about 16
countries—more than half the 28-nation bloc—will take part in what is
being billed as “informal talks” in Brussels on Sunday ahead of a full
EU summit next Thursday and Friday, where migration will top the agenda.
German Chancellor Angela
Merkel said the meeting involves “talking with particularly affected
nations about all problems connected with migration.” She said the hope
is to see if “we can reach bi-, tri- or even multinational agreements
to better solve certain problems.”
The arrival of more than
one million people in 2015, most fleeing wars in Syria and Iraq,
exposed glaring deficiencies in EU migrant reception capacities and
asylum laws. It has fueled tensions among EU nations and anti-migrant
parties have won votes in Europe by fomenting public fears of
(1) there are many refugees from countries that do not
belong to the European Union;
(2) the European Union (and many Europeans) do not want
refugees from non-European countries
(3) and therefore refugees from non-European countries are
treated as criminals and not as
And to this you have to add another problem:
(4) There are too many persons who do not live in Europe who would want
to live in (Western)
Europe because (Western) Europe is much richer
than most other countries.
Also, I am willing to agree that if Europe would let anybody
to immigrate into it migrate into it, then both Europe and its riches
would be soon destroyed.
But that is not the problem which
the first three points
address, which is about genuine refugees from war and
violence in their own countries.
And as far as I can see, the problem sketched by the first three points
is systematically not addressed
by European governments.
In fact, here is more:
The problem was
crystallized last week in a row between Italy’s new populist
government, Malta and France over who should take responsibility for
630 people rescued from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya,
the main departure point for people trying to reach Europe.
Amid the mudslinging,
Spain’s new Socialist government agreed to take charge of the migrants
and the ship eventually made a weeklong voyage to Valencia.
That is to say: Italy's
new government decided to say (in effect, though to my knowledge not in
public): We Italians rather see you drown than that we are willing
to take care of you as refugees.
Here is the European
plan to deal with refugees:
With plans to reform
Europe’s asylum laws bogged down, EU leaders hope to stop migrants
leaving North Africa by paying countries like Algeria, Egypt, Libya,
Morocco and Tunisia to hold people until their eligibility for asylum
can be established.
French President Emmanuel
Macron said, after meeting Saturday with new Spanish Prime Minister
Pedro Sanchez in Paris, that both France and Spain want migrants
arriving in Europe to be placed in “closed centers” so authorities can
decide whether they’re eligible to apply for asylum.
Italy has proposed these
“hotspots” be located in the migrants’ countries of origin or transit.
Ironically, the tough talk
comes as the number of migrants entering Europe is dropping
significantly. The U.N.’s refugee agency says around 80,000 people are
expected to arrive by sea this year, about half the number from 2017.
“We do not have a crisis of
numbers. We continue to have a crisis of political will,” said UNHCR
Europe chief Sophie Magennis.
That is: Europe's countries
will treat refugees as criminals; will try to keep them out
own country and out of Europe; and generally want to lock up
as criminals in camps outside Europe in order (they say) to "decide whether they’re eligible to apply for
In fact, non-European
refugees are treated as human inferiors to European inhabitants.
And Sophie Magennis is quite right, and this is a recommended article
(though it is much too optimistic).
American March to Inequality: Why the UN Alston Report Alarms the Trump
This article is by
Juan Cole on Common Dreams and originally on Informed Comment. It
starts as follows:
It is no surprise
that flacks for the plutocrats in charge of the US like Nikki Haley are
squawking about the report on American poverty
just issued by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston. It throws loads
of light on how unequal a society America is, how it is marching
rapidly toward even greater, Third World levels of inequality, and how
peculiar the US is, as a land of rapacious robber barons and 40 million
completely marginalized poor.
Big social statistics are hard
to envision. That in a country like the US, with some 320 million
people and an $18 trillion annual gross domestic product, the social
statistics could be rapidly changing is also hard to fathom.
They are changing, the UN
says, decidedly for the worse for tens of millions of people.
The GOP tax massacre of
earlier this year will transfer over time trillions of new dollars to
the already obscenely wealthy, and result in diminished government
services and a much smaller safety net for the rest of us. It was a tax
cut, almost all of the benefits of which, went to one-tenth of one
percent of the population. It will make them even richer, adding
billions to their billions, and make the rest of us poorer. This is a structural
change in US society with massive implications.
Yes indeed: I think all
of this is quite correct. Here are some facts about
the changes in the
USA that have been instituted since Reagan became president in 1980
(and I have quoted the text, but did not reproduced images of
Again yes. And indeed I
think that - very probably - only "a social revolution" will be able to make the USA as normal as France or
Germany (!!), whlle I also think that the chances that
I wrote about all this just
a few years ago:
household net worth of whites: $110,000.
Average household net
worth of African-Americans: $5000
The wealth gap between
white and African-American families tripled between 1980 and 2009,
according to the Century Foundation:
in every 15 African American men are incarcerated in comparison
to 1 in every 106 white men.
current trends continue, one of every three black American males
born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of
every six Latino males—compared to one of every seventeen white males.”
So if the UN report were
taken seriously, the US would require a social revolution to even
approach the normality of a France or Germany, where a handful of
billionaires don’t take food out of the mouth of hungry babies.
And that is why the shock
troops of Trumpism are so eager to discredit it.
such "a social revolution" will happen are negligible without a major
4. Trump’s Mean Boy Nation
This article is by Michael Winship on Common Dreams. This is from near
Yes, I think this is all
correct. Here is more:
“Time and time again, the
president has sought to shift the blame for his own decisions and their
consequences to his political opponents,” James
Hohmann wrote. “He’s doing it again this week by falsely
blaming Democrats for his own policy of forcibly separating
migrant children from their parents at the border, which he could stop
with one phone call.”
Children in detention
camps without their mothers and fathers, the youngest in “tender age”
facilities—now there’s a tawdry, Orwellian use of a loving word like
“tender” if ever there was one. At first, Trump saw this inhumane
fiasco as a success while simultaneously claiming it wasn’t his fault,
pointing his stubby little fingers at everyone else; Democrats,
Congress, the courts, Obama, of course, and even George W. Bush.
But at bottom, and I do
mean bottom, Trump, such White House horrors as Stephen Miller, John
Kelly, Attorney General Sessions, Homeland Security
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and their compliant cronies are
responsible and have been willing to lie to us time and again as they
held babies hostage to Trump’s obsession with his stupid border wall.
Wednesday, a petulant Trump was made to bow to public outrage
and political pressure and sign an executive order ending the breakup
of families, although the zero tolerance policy continues, kids
will still be in jail, albeit with their parents, and multiple court
challenges are at hand. Anthony
executive director of
the American Civil Liberties Union, declared, “This executive order
would replace one crisis for another. Children don’t belong in jail at
all, even with their parents, under any set of circumstances. If the
president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people
have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken.”
I agree with the ACLU: "Children don’t belong in
jail at all", but they
are still in jail, it seems not with their parents, who also
be in jail.
Here is more on the Alston Report on global powerty in the USA:
All of this comes
just as Philip Alston, an NYU law professor and United Nations special
rapporteur on global poverty, has finished writing a report on extreme
poverty in the United States. The Republican tax cut bill, he
says, “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened
inequality,” and worse, “The policies pursued over the past year seem
deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest,
punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care
into a privilege to be earned, rather than a right of citizenship."
Precisely, except that the
"seem" should have been replaced by "are", simply because
got most of the riches, and the poorest are being made poorer still,
simply from the financial facts about Trump's changes.
Here is the ending of this article:
Yes, I agree, although by
now I have also concluded that to fix it (if that happens, which
certain at all) very probably a major economic recession is needed. And
see the next article:
Trump and his crowd are
dedicated to curdling the milk of human kindness. They fill their
pockets while destroying America in a misbegotten attempt to take it
back to a time of ethnic purity that never really was while
establishing a new Gilded Age where only a handful can prosper at the
expense of everyone else. We are becoming a mean boy nation, a nation
once of immigrants but now one of bullies and tyrants. Our president
breaks everything he sees, including our democracy and our
Only we can fix it.
an American, I Feel Deeply Ashamed'
is by Marc Pitzke in Spiegel International. It starts as follows (and
since I dislike capitalization, I have straightened out the capitals in
"SPIEGEL ONLINE", for that is too much printed screaming for me, but
otherwise everything is as copied):
Spiegel Online: Mr. Bochenek, you recently spent time
in two detention centers for immigrants and their children in Texas.
What did you see?
Bochenek: The first
one was a facility where people are placed right after apprehension at
the border. They call those facilities "hieleras" (freezers) because
they're kept unreasonably cold. The cells are very, very small and yet
they hold up to 30 people. They have concrete floors and concrete
benches lining the walls.
Spiegel Online: Why so cold?
Bochenek: We were
never given a good explanation for the cold. The border patrol said
they keep the cells at a comfortable temperatute. But some are only
around 55 degrees (13 degrees Celsius). You can imagine what that feels
like if you're sitting on a concrete bench in wet clothing.
In fact, Mr. Bochenek
is a "senior counsel to
the children's rights division of Human Rights Watch, focusing on
juvenile justice and refugee and migrant children" and he seems quite qualified to judge what he
Here is more (and this
is were the real and intentional sadism is very
Bochenek: The adults
are charged in federal court with unlawful entry into the country,
which is a misdemeanor. Upon transfer to the court, federal marshals
determine that the children are now unaccompanied and sends them on
another track. They treat them as if they never arrived with parents at
Spiegel Online: Because once you're charged, your
child is separated from you by law. (Trump's executive order
instructs the Department of Justice to change that, but it's a
cumbersome process that could take some time.)
Bochenek: Yes. The
kids immediately go to a different facility. That facility is a large,
warehouse-type arrangement with what looked like cages made from
chain-link fencing. The migrants who have been there refer to it as the
"dark kennel" because they feel like they're being held like animals.
"unlawful entry" "is a misdemeanor", the adults should also not
be locked up and certainly not without trial (and seeing a
Here is more:
facilities are incredibly basic. The kids get food and a roof over
their heads but they're not getting the kind of care and support you
expect for children. I saw a five-year-old boy on a green mat with an
emergency blanket made from foil. He looked entirely lost. Nobody had
ever spoken to him about what was happening. He hadn't seen his parents
in a day or more.
Spiegel Online: How are these kids dealing with the
Bochenek: They are
completely traumatized with no sense of what happens next. There were
no caregivers looking out for them, only uniformed guards checking off
lists of names. The children are sitting in a detention facility, with
the lights on 24 hours a day.
Spiegel Online: Why are the lights kept on? That borders on
Bochenek: They told
us it was for security reasons. It certainly doesn't comply with
national or international standards in any sense.
Well... if you lock children
up from age 3 to age 15, without them having done anything, and you
separate them form their parents, and you lock them into cages, and you
let the lights shine on them for 24 hours, the only rational
explanation I can
give is that the people who do this and the people who ordered this are
(and sadists should not be in government nor in the
Here is the last bit I quote
from this article:
Yes, and this is a strongly recommended article.
Spiegel Online: How will they be reunited with their
parents, if at all?
Bochenek: We do not
know. These agencies don't have a good record tracking people. Even
before now there were serious problems. Now they created even more
Spiegel Online: You have researched child abuse all over the
world. Have you ever seen anything like this?
Bochenek: No. I
don't know any other country that has used family separation on this
scale. Everything about this is unique.
Spiegel Online: How does that make you feel?
Bochenek: It's morally
reprehensible. As an American, I feel deeply ashamed.
 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 (!!).