from July 12, 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 July 12, 2018:
1. “What Good Is NATO?” Trump Asks, Putting U.S. Commitment to
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:
Anti-Russia Alliance In Doubt
As Trump Admin Misses Deadline to Unite
Families, HHS Head Calls
Jailing Kids an Act of
3. When Resistance Becomes Capitulation: A Response to an
in The Nation
4. Global Survey Reveals Six in Ten People Think World More
Place Since Trump Took Power
5. Guess Who Benefits From Republican Tax Cuts?
Good Is NATO?” Trump Asks, Putting U.S. Commitment to Anti-Russia
Alliance In Doubt
This article is by
Robert Mackey on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Well... what good
is a sadist, a madman, a racist and a neofascist as president of the USA?
I sincerely and deeply hope this horrible man dies as soon as
possible. And in case you disagree: I am a psychologist, and
Trump is much more probably than not a madman.
Donald Trump threw the NATO
summit in Brussels into chaos on Wednesday by pressing send on an
inflammatory tweet in which he demanded that Germany and other European
nations should all-caps “IMMEDIATELY” increase their spending on
good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas
and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met
their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then
loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.
— Donald J. Trump
Here is some more on Trump´s insanities:
By claiming that the
U.S. “is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on trade,”
Trump returned to the complaint he first aired in 1987, in an
open letter attacking the Reagan administration for not requiring
American allies to pay more for their defense.
And in case you missed it:
Trump posted the tweet after
informing other NATO leaders that he wanted them to spend twice
the previously agreed target of 2 percent of their gross domestic
products on defense.
At the start of the day, Trump
had dispensed with polite formalities and stunned the alliance’s leader
by claiming that “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to
Russia” as a result of a new pipeline to import Russian natural gas.
As I said: The sooner this
madman is dead - provided this does not happen in a nuclear conflict -
the better it is. O, and as to Trump´s racism and sadism, see the
In one part of his monologue,
Trump claimed, inaccurately, that Germany would be buying “70 percent
of their energy from Russia.” According to the German government, just
9 percent of the country’s energy needs come from Russian natural gas.
Trump Admin Misses Deadline to Unite Families, HHS Head Calls Jailing
Kids an Act of “Generosity”
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts
with the following introduction:
administration failed to meet a court-imposed deadline Tuesday to
reunite all of the children under the age of 5 whom immigration
officials took from their parents at the border and then sent to jails
and detention centers across the country. Only 38 of the 102 children
under 5 have been reunited with their parents, some of whom say their
young children did not even recognize them at first after the
traumatic, protracted separation. On
Tuesday, Judge Dana Sabraw
Yes indeed. And here is
Juan González on the racist sadist Trump:
reiterated that all separated children—3,000 in total—must be reunited
with their parents by July 26, saying, “These are firm deadlines; they
are not aspirational goals.” On Tuesday night, Secretary of Health and
Human Services Alex Azar told CNN that the
United States was acting “generously” toward the migrant children. For
more, we speak with Lomi Kriel, immigration reporter for the Houston
Chronicle, and Barbara Hines, an immigration lawyer and founder of the
University of Texas Immigration Law Clinic.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The Trump administration
failed to meet a court-imposed deadline Tuesday to reunite all children
under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents at the border.
According to the government, just 38 children out of the 102 children
under the age of 5 have been reunited with their parents. Attorney Lee
Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the Trump
administration for missing the deadline.
I want to insist again
that Trump´s government has kidnapped
these 3000 children, and it seems even as if it has kidnapped
quite a large number forever.
Here is more:
GOODMAN: Over 60 children
under the age of 5 remain separated from their parents, as well as
nearly 3,000 children over the age of 5. On Tuesday, Judge Dana Sabraw
reiterated that all separated children must be reunited with their
parents by July 26. He said, quote, “These are firm deadlines; they are
not aspirational goals.” On Tuesday night, Secretary of Health and
Human Services Alex Azar told CNN the United
States was acting generously toward the migrant children.
It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we
are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our
country or come across illegally.
but a man like the stinking liar Alex Azar is a sub-human sado-fascist
compared to my father and my grandfather. (Both anti-Nazis who were convicted to
concentration camp imprisonment because of their resistance. My
grandfather was murdered; my father was - eventually - knighted.)
more on the sub-human sado-fascist Azar:
Secretary Azar went on to explain the delays in reuniting the other
children with their parents.
Yes: Their parents
kidnappers, rapists or are not their parents¨, in your words. I simply say you are
a sub-human sadist, and a governmental torturer and a gross liar.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY ALEX AZAR: We could put children back with
individuals who are murderers, kidnappers, rapists or are not their
parents, but we’ve worked with the court to ensure that we do our duty,
which is to protect child welfare and ensure that they are in fact
Here is one example of how Azar´s and Trump´s men sadistically abuse
the parents, from whom they kidnapped
their very small children:
Quite so, and this is a strongly
recommended article in which there is a lot more.
[translated] They told us, “You are criminals. You will be imprisoned,
and your kids will be given up for adoption.” They yelled at us so
badly that our kids got scared. They told us to lay our kids on the
floor. At midnight, they came to pick up the kids. There was a mom
breast-feeding her baby, and one of the officers told her she wasn’t an
animal to be taking her breast out like that, and they took her baby.
They cuffed her and chained her in front of the kids. What they’ve done
I have no information on
my son. It’s been more than 50 days since I last heard of him. I call,
and no one gives me any information. I can’t even sleep. I wake up, and
my heart is beating so fast. I can’t even breathe. They told me my son
is somewhere in New York. But no one answers the phone when I call.
There are so many mothers like me, that have no idea where their kids
are and that are still in the detention center. Never did I imagine it
was going to be like this, that they would take our kids. Our kids have
no fault for the mistakes the adults make.
Resistance Becomes Capitulation: A Response to an Open Letter in The
article is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Editor’s note: The
Nation contributor Norman Solomon, who has written for Truthdig, drew
our attention to the magazine’s publication Wednesday of an open letter
signed by multiple scholars, diplomats, politicians, writers and
activists calling for “secure elections and true national security.”
Here is Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer’s response to the
letter, followed by its full text.
While The Nation deserves
credit for this important effort, and I am a huge fan of the magazine’s
editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, I find this statement to be an
inadequate response to the jingoistic blather of the Democratic Party,
and of course the GOP leadership.
I say, and indeed I had
Well... I generally
like Robert Scheer, without always agreeing with him, but then again
the letter Scheer criticizes has been signed by a quite a few famous or
well-known persons whom I also like (again without always
agreeing with them), such as Noam Chomsky, Thomas Drake, Daniel
Ellsberg, Norman Solomon, Gloria Steinem and Katrina vanden Heuvel, and
quite a few more.
A difference of
opinions, and possibly a conflict between leftists!
I have read the
letter (repeatedly, and you can find it on Truthdig, directly below´s
Scheer´s response) and I think I agree more with Scheer than
with the signers, and my reason is mostly that the letter seems
mostly written from an American perspective while trying to
be objective and neutral.
You may argue that
these those who signed are all Americans and that if you try to
convince someone it usually does not help to insist on all your own
values, both of which are also true.
Here are parts of
I think this criticism is
correct. It also seems to assume that the USA´s NSA can tap
(almost) everybody´s cellphone, including that of Angela Merkel
(which has happened, in case you forgot that), and possibly
also Putin´s, although - of course! - no one knows except the
head of the NSA and a few others.
What the statement’s
opening paragraph woefully ignores is the harsh reality that the U.S.
political system is far less vulnerable to hacking attacks from any
foreign source than the rest of the world’s nations are from such
attacks by the United States—including surveillance of world leaders,
such as the Obama administration’s tapping of Angela
Merkel’s personal cellphone. The NSA probably gets an alert every
time Putin snores.
Scheer extends his criticism as follows:
Here I agree with the facts
Scheer refers to, but I doubt the past of around 30 years ago
is very relevant today, and especially in a brief letter.
When it comes to meddling
in other nations’ histories, we wrote the book. Surely, the Democrats
on the Senate Intelligence Committee know that. Ask some of the experts
who signed this letter about the U.S. attempts to undermine Mikhail
Gorbachev’s reform efforts that led to the coming to power of the ever-drunk
Boris Yeltsin, who in desperation later picked Vladimir Putin to be his
vice president and then to succeed him.
Then there is this:
Here I should first
mention that the open letter Scheer criticizes does not mention
either the Democrats or the Republicans, but will - probably - be read
as having been written mostly by supporters of the Democrats.
Instead of acknowledging
their own responsibility for the angst in America, the Democrats have
countered the demagogue in chief’s long list of scapegoats to blame for
our problems, beginning with immigrants, with an even more absurd and
much shorter “list” of their own: Putin did it!
Thus was born the red-baiting
revival of the Cold War—but without a Red to attack, desperately
offering up Putin, a born-again Russian Orthodox and Peter the Great
clone, to explain away the Democratic leadership’s own well-deserved
repudiation in the last election. Trump ruthlessly exploited the pain
in America; the Clintonistas blindly ignored it.
And I agree with Scheer that the Democrats´ response to Hilary´s loss
of the presidency to Trump still seems mostly ridiculous to me
(and probably to Scheer as well), even while I do not deny that the
Russians did some things - but the things for which there is evidence
that they did them amount to very little indeed. (And the rest must be
so long as it is without evidence.)
Besides, I also agree with Scheer that Putin - whatever you
think about him - is not a leader of a socialist or
quasi-socialist country, but of a capitalist country, which in itself
should relieve a considerable amount of the tensions - but instead, he
has been accused of doing all manner of bad things, indeed especially
by the Democrats, and of behaving as-if he were a ¨socialist¨.
Here is the last bit that I quote from Scheer´s response:
The Democrats are
now the party of warmongers, and no clearer evidence is needed than the
tweet from their Senate leader, Charles Schumer, issued as Donald Trump
was en route for his eventual meeting with Putin, saying Trump “is more
loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies … his duty is to
protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our
democracy to Putin.” This is bizarre behavior on the part of the top
Democrat in the Senate and reason enough never to trust the Democrats
to be a “lesser evil” restraining force. Not back when Truman dropped
those bombs, or when Johnson killed millions in Vietnam, or when both
senators from New York endorsed George Bush’s regime change orgy. The
same two senators—Schumer and Hillary Clinton—confused Wall Street with
Main Street, ending the progressive tradition of their party and
leaving aspiring neofascist Trump to harvest the populist discontent
I mostly agree with
Scheer, although for me both the Republicans and the vast
majority of the Democrats, who are probably moved and paid by their
lobbyists, are both guilty of all the wars the USA started
Finally, here is one more reason why I agree more with Scheer:
I do not think that the letter that Chomsky, Drake, Ellsberg, Solomon, Steinem and others
signed and sent has more than a very small chance of ever being
answered, and a near zero chance of being followed.
In these circumstances, I think it would have been reasonable to be a bit more
critical of the USA and of both major American political parties.
4. Global Survey Reveals Six in Ten People
Think World More Dangerous Place Since Trump Took Power
This article is by Jon
Queally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
I say, for I did not know this.
Also, I agree with the majority, although indeed I am not
a big fan of most statistics. (I know a fair amount of statistics, and
my criticism is too complicated to even attempt to summarize here, but
one important part of it was already listed by George Orwell:
You generally have no idea whatsoever of any of the variables that could
have been listed as also relevant but are
not, whereas the variables that are listed often are two or
three, moving in one or two dimensions.)
Ahead of mass
protests planned in the UK to confront "the
nuclear warmonger of our age," a worldwide survey focused on global
stability and the trends of governance has found a majority of people
believe the planet has become a riskier and more dangerous place since
U.S. President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
The results of the survey
(pdf), conducted by the Global Challenges Foundation, show that people
throughout the world perceive the president as a destabilizing force
and "six in ten consider the world more dangerous in 2018 than 2 years
ago. Politically-motivated violence was listed as the number one global
risk by 88 percent of all respondents, while weapons of mass
destruction were listed by 85 percent."
Anyway. Here are a few of the key findings:
I agree mostly, and while I don´t think
this research will help much, it is of some help to know that most
agree with me about the risks of (nuclear) war.
Among the key findings:
- Respondents are
most likely to say that issues related to violent conflict
require urgent response, namely usage of weapons of mass destruction
(64%) and politically motivated violence and conflict leading to war
- Seven adults in
ten (69%) think that a new supranational organisation needs to
be created to respond to global risks, similar to 2017 (71%).
Issues relating to conflict and war are seen as most warranting the
creation of a new organisation - 30% for weapons of mass destruction
and 20% for politically motivated violence - both issues traditionally
considered to be the remit of the UN. 16% of respondents think that a
new supranational organisation is needed to fight climate change,
with 23% in Sweden agreeing; and
- 74% of
respondents agree that politicians are not doing enough
to combat climate change, with two in five (42%) strongly
agreeing. Respondents in India (84%) and South Africa (82%) are
most likely to say that they are not doing enough, and
respondents in Australia and the US are the least likely (both 68%
Who Benefits From Republican Tax Cuts?
article is by Kevin Drum on Mother Jones. It starts as follows (and
this time I copied the accompanying graphic, simply because it is quite
In news that will
shock no one, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has
tallied up the results of all the Republican tax cuts since 2000 and
concluded that … most
of it went to the rich. The average rich household today pays
nearly $100,000 less in taxes than they would under the Clinton-era tax
code, while the working and middle classes pay about $1,000 less:
This shows The Goodness of
Trump´s Heart, so to speak (and the graphics seem to be in scale),
namely for the few rich like himself. And this is a recommended article.
[Clicking on the image moves you to its source]
ITEP figures that total taxes paid in 2018 are about $600 billion less
than they would be if we had just left the tax code alone. That’s
nearly the entire federal deficit projected for this year.
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 (!!).