from August 1, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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 August 1, 2018:
1. Israel Doesn’t Want to Be My State
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. Boston Globe Exposé Reveals TSA Is Secretly Surveilling
3. Here's Why America's Constitution Won't Save Us from Trump
4. Virginia State Senator in Rare Support by Politician for
5. Trump Is in Major Legal and Political Trouble
Doesn’t Want to Be My State
This article is by
Sayed Kashua on The New York Times, where someone added, correctly I
think, that Mr. Kashua ¨is a writer and a Palestinian citizen of
Israel¨. It starts as follows:
were driving our rental car out of Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.
“Dad,” my oldest daughter said as we listened to the radio, “what’s the
a law that says Israel is a Jewish state,” I replied.
wasn’t it always that way?” she wondered, and rightly so.
Bottom line, it’s always been that way.”
don’t get it,” my middle son said. “I thought you said we were
are,” I answered.
we’re not Jewish, right?”
I don’t get it,” my youngest son complained.
a little complicated,” I tried to explain. And it really was
complicated to explain the law that Israel’s Parliament passed earlier this month
without using terms like “racial segregation,” “discrimination” and
“supremacy.” How was I going to explain to a 12-year-old that he is a
citizen of a state that holds that he is inferior because of his
non-Jewish origins? “Not everyone in the country is Jewish,” I said.
“At least 20 percent of the citizens are not. But it’s a country where
Jews enjoy rights that others don’t have. Meaning, non-Jews are less
equal than Jews.”
Yes, I think that is basically correct (and indeed this
is not a verbally tough article). Here is some more:
Israel was founded on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948, it
was defined as a Jewish state. The Israeli flag was always a Jewish
one, bearing a Star of David; the national anthem invokes the “Jewish
soul,” excluding anyone who is not Jewish from these national symbols.
The Palestinians who became Israeli citizens when the state was founded
— like my family — have always been viewed as an undesirable
demographic burden and subjected to discrimination.
what does the issuance of the Nationality Law change? In essence,
perhaps not that much. It has turned de facto racism into de jure
Well... up to a point I think this was quite
understandable though also sorely mistaken: 1948 was just
three years after WW II in which more than 6 million Jews were
murdered, normally for ¨the crime¨ of being of ¨the Jewish race¨ (which
itself was false nonsense).
And here is my view on why this was sorely mistaken:
It was all based on religion, and all
religions are false.
It would have been - for one example, and I do not know how
realistic this might have been, in 1948 - much safer for everyone
if the Jews had all migrated to the USA, and started something like a
state there, for the simple reason that the alternative, which is the
road the Israelis followed, namely a Jewish state in the place their
given to them, thousands of years BC, created a Jewist state
amidst its fiercest enemies.
Then again, I am totally irreligious, and have
been raised that way, and also studied philosophy, which again never
turned me on to any religion whatsoever.
The Jews did the opposite, and now, seventy years
later, they have made Israel legally something much like an Apartheid
state, with privileged Jews and non-privileged non-Jews - and
incidentally, ¨being a Jew¨ is not defined by religion but by
one´s mother (and one can be an atheist as much
as one wants):
message to its Arab citizens is that it does not wish to be our state.
Moreover, it prefers to be the state of people who were born elsewhere,
who do not speak its language, have never visited it or paid it taxes
or served it in any way. The State of Israel will welcome these
foreigners, wherever they are from, as long as they are considered
Jewish by Orthodox Jewish law. Individuals who are lucky enough to have
been born to Jewish mothers can — practically overnight — receive
Israeli citizenship, join the ruling race and become masters of the
Yes. It was a sad and stupid decision, and this is a
Globe Exposé Reveals TSA Is Secretly Surveilling Thousands of U.S.
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts
with the following introduction:
A Boston Globe
investigation has revealed the existence of a domestic surveillance
program run by the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, which has been shadowing U.S. citizens on
planes and in airports since 2012. Under the program, called “Quiet
Skies,” federal air marshals collect information about U.S. travelers,
including common behavior like using the bathroom repeatedly, sleeping
on flights or sweating heavily. In the wake of the Globe investigation,
TSA officials have bowed to
pressure from Congress and plan to meet with the House and Senate
Homeland Security Committees. We speak with Jana Winter, the Boston
Globe Spotlight Fellow who broke the story. Her investigation is
headlined, “Welcome to the Quiet Skies.”
I say - and in fact I do
so because I have been expecting developments like this (which
totally new to me) for a very long time, and from before 2012. Indeed,
the last link is to an article I wrote in 2012 (that I repeated several
times since), in which I stated, among very many more things, that the
surveillance state, in which every citizen is better known (in
principle) to the secret spies from the government than to himself or
herself, is by far the best road to the most authoritarian forms of
that has ever been invented:
The internet computer is the surest and quickest road to
there ever has been, and I see myself no way to escape it
other than to
destroy the internet - which at the present day is totally
(But I am thankful I was born in 1950 and not in 2000.)
And here is more, about how some American bureaucrats are spying on
people who never did anything illegal whatsoever, but simply
they can spy on everyone, in secret:
(..) This is a video clip from The Boston Globe about the
Incidentally, note this is
just one case that became known. There may be many others. Here
GOODMAN: In the wake of The
Boston Globe investigation, TSA
officials have bowed to pressure from Congress and plan to meet with
the House and Senate homeland security committees. For more, we go to
Boston to be joined by Jana Winter, the Boston Globe
Spotlight fellow who broke the story.
While air marshals typically have assisted the FBI
and surveilled people on a terrorist watch list, “Quiet Skies” casts a
wider net. Sources told The Globe that surveillance targets
have included flight attendants on duty, a young business executive and
in at least one case, another federal law-enforcement officer. Anyone
who flies into the U.S. is prescreened for the program. Documents show
about 30 people on domestic flights are monitored each day. Thousands
have been surveilled.
Thanks for having me, and here’s what we know. We know that since
March, thousands of ordinary Americans who are not under any
investigation or on any watchlist have been followed by teams of armed
air marshals from the moment they get to the airport, through the
flight and up until they record the license plate number of the vehicle
that picks them up in their arrival city. And they write down minute by
minute details of everything they do. If they go to the bathroom, if
they change clothes, if they, as you said, touch their face, and anyone
they interact with. And details about what kind of phone they have.
Were they on the phone? Were they having a conversation? Were they
texting? What were they reading? Are you on a computer? What type of
computer? And also, is that an iPhone? What color is the case? It’s a
huge amount of information, and there are still a lot of questions.
I have two general
comments on this, besides the remark that I trust Winter:
One. I am very glad I do not live in the present USA.
Two. I think this indicates the future for everyone (as
indeed China does): Very many secret anonymous armed officials of some
sort may follow you and record absolutely everything you do or say,
while you are not accused of anything whatsoever, and without
any judge allowing this, and indeed simply (in the
because you wanted to fly.
And here is how much (completely unchecked) power these secret anonymous armed officials of
some sort, who spy on arbitrary people who did not do anything, have
(..) Once I found out the details of this, I of course thought, “Oh
wow, is this why we get bumped from planes all the time, even if we’ve
booked well in advance?” And the answer to that is not a hundred
percent, I certainly wouldn’t say, but yes, they bump people from
flights every single day to sit near the person who they are targeting,
who in this case is someone who has no reason to be followed.
I think that as long as
there is an internet which can be tapped by the rich
and the powerful,
this only will get worse and worse. And this is a recommended
Why America's Constitution Won't Save Us from Trump
article is by J.M. Opal on AlterNet and originally on The Conversation.
It starts as follows:
[W]hen it comes to
our democracy’s problems at home, the closer parallel is with 18th
century Britain, the “mother country” from which the United
States broke away in 1776.
Britons of that time
enjoyed many liberties unknown to their favourite bogeymen, the French.
These freedoms had many roots, including the Magna
Carta of 1215, the
Bill of Rights from 1689 and various parts of English common law.
Most Britons saw their country as God’s favourite and thanked their
“Constitution” — a general term for established forms of law and
government — for
their rising glory.
Yet for all the liberties
it tolerated, that Constitution’s real goal was to shield wealth and
privilege from popular demands.
I take it this is more
or less true, but I do object to the usage of “Constitution” for ¨a general term for established forms of law
and government¨: The British simply have no constitution, in
the sense in which I understand the term, which is a legal document
that gives rights and duties to the inhabitants of a country. (And
Opal seems to be a historian, not a lawyer.)
There is no English
Constitution in that sense, and there never was, and this is in
various ways and for various reasons a problem for the English.
Here is more on British
law in the 18th and 19th centuries:
In the House of Lords, the
privileged group was the aristocracy that still owned about 80 per cent
of all the arable land in England. In the House of Commons, the
favoured ones were rising merchants, bankers and industrialists.
Together these old and new elites ran the show.
For example, British law
treated labour organizations as “conspiracies” while respecting the
fortunes that stockholders made as untouchable. A brutal criminal code
complemented a draconian view of poverty.
Quite so. Here is more
on American law in
the 18th and 19th centuries:
By , the American
revolutionaries had given up on the British model. They dreamed of a
republic —literally, “the public thing” — where the common good
overruled selfish demands and private interests. After the American
Revolution, the U.S.
Constitution of 1787 seemed to fulfil these hopes by rejecting
aristocratic titles and naming “the People” as the basis of authority.
Yet this same Constitution
protected both slave-holders and bond-owners. It prohibited all kinds
of popular interventions into the economy. And it arranged the federal
government so that the general will of the population was divided,
filtered and ultimately restrained.
In this sense, it simply
updated British constitutional forms for American conditions, in which
land was plentiful, labour was scarce and white skin rather than high
birth conferred status.
I think this is also probably
correct, with two remarks:
First, the American
Constitution was in fact in part a bit of propaganda -
¨All men are
equal¨, but in fact rich white Protestants got most of the advantages,
and also were allowed to keep - black - slaves until 1865 - and in fact
also legal (and Benjamin
Franklin criticized it, but was in a small
Second, I think it was less
updating ¨British constitutional
forms for American conditions¨
(and the English also never had a Constitution, as I explained) than it
was in fact a set of new laws made for and by the American rich.
And here is one of the
consequences of this last fact:
But over the last 50 years,
another alliance of old and new has taken up arms (sometimes literally)
behind constitutional bulwarks, rolling back much of that progress.
This alliance includes
white voters who keep their traditional supremacy through gerrymandered
districts, restrictive voting laws and mass incarceration of
It also includes corporate
interests that halt efforts to protect workers and the environment, to
say nothing of sick, poor and elderly Americans. These plutocrats not
only decide elections with their campaign contributions but also write
legislation through their lobbyists.
As a now-famous
study from 2014 empirically shows, majority needs and wishes in the
United States have virtually no impact on public policy, regardless of
which celebrity-candidate wins office.
Yes, I agree with this
(with my remarks). Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Well... the first two
paragraphs are Mr. Opal´s opinions. I don´t quite agree to them
because - for one example - I think ¨dozens of Bernie Sanders acolytes¨ in the Senate might make a difference.
Even if non-white
majorities pile up in some congressional districts, the Senate and
Electoral College will neutralize them.
Even if dozens of Bernie
Sanders acolytes get into office, their ideas will run aground in
congressional committees awash in corporate influence.
And if progressive hopes
ever make it onto the books, federal courts stocked with hard-right
judges will strike them down —no matter what kind of “blue wave”
arrives in 2020, 2024 or indeed 2040.
In short, there is no
reason to assume that under the current Constitution, the demographic
and cultural changes of the past generation will fundamentally
challenge Donald Trump’s America.
After all, the British
Constitution of the 1700s held firm through much of the 1800s, despite
the upheavals of the
Industrial Revolution. It gave ground in periodic “Reform Acts” but
otherwise kept democracy at bay.
Also - and once again - the English never had a Constitution in the
sense in which I (and most others) use that term.
Finally, I think Mr. Opal holds on too strongly (in my opinion) to the
letter of the law: In actual fact, there usually is considerable scope
for changes, but I do grant this takes time, of which there may not be
State Senator in Rare Support by Politician for Assange
is by Virginia State Senator Richard Black, who is a Republican. It
starts as follows:
As a military officer, I was trained to
strictly observe security protocols. So when I first heard of
WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, I was instinctively critical. But
upon reading his released documents, I saw how Julian gave people
accurate insights into the inner workings of their own government.
Government “of the People” cannot
flourish beneath a suffocating cloak of secrecy. And secrecy is
often aimed, not at protecting us from enemies abroad, but at deceiving
us about the dark machinations of our own government. The most
consequential secrets are those used to conceal steps taken to
establish predicates for future wars—unwarranted conflicts that seem to
roll off an endless assembly line. No-fly zones, bombings,
sanctions, false flags, blockades, mercenaries, bloodthirsty terrorists
have all become stock in trade. Sanctions destabilize our targets
through hunger and suffering. We terrorize and blow body parts
into the streets like calling cards. Regime change is the end
game; coups and assassinations are fair play.
Before Assange, those who “broke the
code” and detected the Deep State’s patterns of misbehavior were
labeled “conspiracy theorists” or worse. But with the advent of
WikiLeaks, original, unchallenged source documents have proven our
arguments, and revealed the truth to citizens.
I say, which I do because I did not know
this. Also, while I do not agree with everything Black says -
for one thing: I do not think Assange should be defended
because he ¨gave people accurate insights¨ or ¨revealed the truth to
citizens¨ according to Mr. Black, but much more simply because he is
doing a journalist´s work (and was doing that well) - I think
this is rather remarkable for a Republican, and indeed I also agree
with much of the second paragraph.
Here is one more bit:
I agree. Also, I have a remark on the
Today, we see intense, coordinated
efforts to reimpose effective information control in America and
globally. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, PayPal and other
high-tech titans rush to hire censors and adopt restrictive policies
that block controversial voices from reaching global audiences.
Big Brother is back in town.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are among
the censors’ prized targets. They have disrupted Big Media
censorship. Assassinating Assange is not out of the question. He
is that important.
The main reason why ¨Facebook, Twitter,
Google, YouTube [and] PayPal¨ can rush in because at least 2
billion persons are either too lazy or too stupid to write
html site, and besides because a sizeable proportion of these
folks also prefer to anonymously scold and offend each and everyone who
is obviously more intelligent or more knowledgeabe than they are.
(I am sorry, but I am 22 years on line, and these are my
Anyway.... this is a recommended
Is in Major Legal and Political Trouble
This article is by
Thom Hartmann on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Is it now time to imagine
how far Trump and his Republican cronies in Congress might be able to
push things? And how we, as Americans, might respond?
This isn’t the first time
such a question has been raised.
Schwartz, who wrote Trump’s book The
Art of the Deal and spent months with Trump to gather
information for the book, predicted that Trump would declare martial
law. Not as a possibility, but as a near-certainty.
Schwartz predicted that
Trump would do three specific things, although not necessarily all at
once or in any particular order: He’d attack the free press; he’d
compile an enemies list and begin getting revenge on those he thinks
slighted him; and he’d declare martial law to solidify his power.
How would this happen? Andrew Buncombe, who interviewed Schwartz for
the Independent, wrote:
“Asked how Mr. Trump would go about undertaking such a drastic measure,
[Schwartz] said many of Mr. Trump’s supporters were police, members of
the border guards force and the ‘far right wing’ of the military.”
Well... I think
Schwartz turned out to be mostly correct, and he may be correct in the
guesses he made that Trump did not realize (so far).
Here is more:
For example, imagine that
Trump, his family members, and numerous Republicans are indicted for
actual crimes, and, particularly with the Nunes faction of Congress,
for conspiring to conceal or obstruct investigations of those crimes.
And the indictment comes right after the election in November when
Democrats have won control of one or both houses of Congress, but
Republicans are still in charge until January.
This combination would
present Trump and his GOP with both a problem and an opportunity.
The problem, of
course, is that Trump, Jared, Don Jr., and the Republicans who’ve
conspired with Trump like Devin Nunes (for example) might all be
heading toward jail, and possibly even impeachment after the first week
of the New Year.
The opportunity is
to create a constitutional crisis and grab even more power and immunity
for themselves, possibly even “temporarily suspending” the 2020
Well... I don´t much like
guesses of this kind. Hartmann may be correct (I don´t know) but even
if he is, I don´t think much will come out of it in terms of opposition.
Hartmann has rather a
lot more that I skip. He ends as follows:
While the time for
freak-out is hopefully far in the future, imagining and gaming out our
response to some of the worst-case and most extreme possibilities is
not at all a hysterical reaction. If anything, it’s the essence of
What do you think he could
do? And how should we best react?
An entire generation of
Germans, Italians, and Spaniards are aging into their twilight years
right now wishing they’d had such imagination in the early 1930s.
It’s time for a
Not for me. I do
believe in conversations with people who are a lot more stupid and
than I am (and yes: I have tried, and this was
and is my conclusion), and besides... these ¨Germans, Italians, and Spaniards¨ from ¨the early 1930s¨ who are presently (according to Hartmann) ¨aging into their twilight years¨ must have had remarkably strong
genes, for they must be as old as my father was, who would have become
106 this year, if he had not died in 1980.
B. One Extra Bit
This is an
extra bit that belongs more to health or health matters than to the
crisis. It is by David Healy M.D. and appeared on his site:
It starts as follows:
Well... I am
(academically) a psychologist and a philosopher, which are degrees I
made in the 40 years in which both my ex and myself have been ill with
ME/CFS, which was only this
year admitted by Dutch medics (in
an important report) to
be ¨a serious and chronic disease¨ (as my ex and I had been
almost from the beginning, that is, for nearly forty years).
A recent BBC File on Four program on Antidepressants in
Children, presented by Paul Connolly, has drawn disparaging comments on
Here is some background detail. I was interviewed
for the program. My messages were as follows:
- That the trials of Prozac in children were identical to
the trials of other SSRIs and other antidepressant drugs in this age
group – negative. There are more negative Prozac trials for
depression in this age group than for any other antidepressant.
- Part of our problem is that MHRA and NICE don’t want to
be seen to go back on judgements they made 14 years ago when they
licensed Prozac. Better children die than regulators lose face.
- That all of the literature in this area is ghost or
- That there is no access to data from clinical trials –
MHRA don’t have access, NICE don’t have access – no-one does.
A week before the programme ran, there was an email from File on Four
saying that owing to space constraints I was one of several people
In fact, this is also the reason I follow Healy´s site, together with
the fact that he is one of the very few medical doctors who
be competent and honest to me (and yes: my ex and I have met a
whole lot of incompetent and dishonest Dutch
doctors, although we ceased with this in the middle 80ies: we only
got offended and discriminated, and received no help
So... I completely agree with Healy on his points 1,2 and 4
(and incidentally: yes, I have used Prozac but terminated it long ago,
and I also was around 50 when I used it and not around 15). I do not
know about his point 2, but he may well be correct there
Also, I completely agree with Healy that children should not be
Prozac for at least three reasons: (1) there is a considerable -
established - risk that they may suicide; (2) if they
it is not very likely they will be helped by Prozac; and (3) there
no good evidence whatsoever on very many of the current
(including Prozac), for the simple reason that, as Healy said: ¨there is no
access to data from clinical trials – MHRA don’t have access, NICE
don’t have access¨,
for the only ones who have access are the pharmaceutical
who claim these data are their property, and not to be revealed.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
When it became clear that 4 innocent Irish
people, the Guildford Four, jailed in the mid 1970s in English jails
for a bombing, were innocent, Tom Denning, then the leading English
legal authority, said that even so they should remain in jail because
otherwise the public would lose confidence in the law and the police,
which would be an appalling outcome. It could not be let happen.
I agree with Healy, though
my reasons are that my - very intelligent - ex and myself have been
told for 40 years by utterly incompetent Dutch medical doctors that
nothing was the matter with us, and that if we thought something was,
it was because we were imagining things, hallucinating things, or
making up things.
Denning was right we have lost confidence in the
legal and criminal justice system. We need a similar loss of confidence
medical academia and the pharmaceutical licensing system.
And indeed I have lost all and any trust, belief or confidence in any
Dutch medical doctor, and believe that the vast majority is interested
in one thing only: Money for
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 (!!).