from September 2, 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 September 2, 2018:
1. German Police End March Envisioned as Far-Right Springboard
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. The Riots in Chemnitz and Their Aftermath
3. A Guide to America's Exploding Defense Budget and Military
4. The Next Crash
5. Trump Suppressing 100,000 Pages of Kavanaugh's Record
Police End March Envisioned as Far-Right Springboard
This article is by
Adam Pemble and Kirsten Grieshaber on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Police in eastern
Germany halted an anti-migration protest march that emboldened
far-right activists started Saturday hoping would launch a nationwide
movement capable of challenging the political establishment.
A trio of nationalist
groups held separate daytime rallies in the city of Chemnitz over the
Aug. 26 killing of a German citizen, allegedly by migrants from Syria
and Iraq. The two largest groups also organized a joint nighttime
march, thinking a broader force might emerge from the display of unity
and take hold.
If the number of people who
attended is any gauge, the envisioned far-right movement was in the
earliest of embryonic stages. It drew about 4,500 participants, Saxony
state police reported before citing security concerns as the reason for
ending the event early.
Yes, I think that is
correct, including the "the
earliest of embryonic stages"
- at least, if I judge from the much stronger German students'
of the later 1960ies and early 1970ies, that I still recall.
Here is more:
The opposing camps clashed
in Chemnitz on Monday, the day after the fatal stabbing of the
35-year-old German citizen and the arrests of the migrants on suspicion
of manslaughter. Scenes of vigilantes chasing foreigners in the city’s
streets have shocked people in others parts of Germany since then.
Police, at times, were
unable to control the earlier protests and clashes.
This is also true, to
the best of my knowledge. Here is more:
German Justice Minister
Katarina Barley said Saturday that authorities should investigate the
role of networks from the radical far right in spearheading the week’s
“We do not tolerate that
right-wing extremists infiltrate our society,” Barley told weekly
newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “It’s about finding out who’s behind the
mobilization of far-right criminals.”
Local police appeared to
have been caught unprepared when the slaying triggered the protests,
which attracted crowds openly engaging in Nazi veneration and devolved
This requires a comment
on two partial sentences in what I just quoted, namely "Local police appeared to have been caught
unprepared" and "German Justice Minister Katarina Barley" insisting on "It’s about finding out who’s behind the
mobilization of far-right criminals":
I see something
close to a contradiction:
On the one hand, I
think it is a virtual certainty that, after 17 years of almost
freedom of every secret service organization to collect, read, store
and sort absolutely everything on every kind of internet computer, and
with the same privileges for Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple, I
think it is rather certain that almost all the information the
govern- ment's secret services seek, in fact is somewhere on the German
service organization's disk,
although I admit it may only have been read by machines and not by
On the other hand, this
is the way out for ignoring the ignorance of the German police: For
various reasons, they may not have known what the German secret
has on their disks about neo-Nazi sympathisers and organizers.
This is a guess of
mine, but it is a well-founded guess. Here is the last bit that I quote
from this article:
Chemnitz, a city known for
its hardened neo-Nazi scene, at first attracted a comparatively weak
response to the recent anti-migrant activity.
My reason to be a
little more interested in Chemnitz is that I have been there, indeed 54
years ago, when it was still part of the GDR and was called
Karl-Marx-Stadt. There is a bit more in the next
article, and the
present article is recommended.
Riots in Chemnitz and Their Aftermath
is by the Spiegel Staff on Spiegel International. This is from not far
from its beginning and contrasts what happened in Chemnitz (former
Karl-Marx-Stadt) with what happened in two other German cities (which
are reviewed in the article, but skipped here):
Then, at 3 a.m. on
Aug. 26, 2018, in Chemnitz, Yousif A. from Iraq and Alaa S. from Syria
are suspected of having stabbed a 35-year-old Cuban-German man to
death. Just hours after the crime, some 800 demonstrators marched
through the city, some of them shoving police to the ground while
others threatened people who looked like they might be refugees. The
next evening, some 6,000 right-wingers and right-wing sympathizers
gathered. "We'll get you all," they chanted as some of them stretched
out their right arms in the Hitler salute. The message: In Chemnitz,
neo-Nazis and hooligans are leading the city's response to the crime.
Yes, and as also explained
in the previous article. Here is more:
Well, I am not
Dutch, and in fact I do not recall "the racist 1992 attacks in the Lichtenhagen
neighborhood of Rostock"
but the neo-Nazis in Chemnitz remind me rather strongly of what
happened in Germany in the early 1930ies, that also strongly
my father and grandfather, who
were part of the anti-Nazi resistance in
WW II, arrested in 1941, and convicted as "political terrorists" to
German concentration camps, where my grandfather was murdered.
In Chemnitz, by contrast, a
strike force was quickly assembled, made up of neo-Nazis, hooligans,
AfD supporters and so-called "concerned
citizens." They cast blame on migrants as a group and declared open
season on them. The images they created are evocative of an era that
Germany had thought it had left behind; they are reminiscent of the
racist 1992 attacks in the Lichtenhagen neighborhood of Rostock, which
saw a mob set fire to an occupied hostel for Vietnamese workers as
neighbors stood by applauding. The mob is back, is the message sent by
the images from Chemnitz, just like 26 years ago. We have regressed.
The revulsion over this fact
can be heard in many voices, from the chancellor to the German
president, from German business leaders to foreign commentators. The
ugly German -- racist, xenophobic and full of rage -- is back.
Here is some more:
Heidenau, Clausnitz and now Chemnitz. These places have become
shorthand for scenes of enraged crowds, their faces contorted in anger
as they chant vulgarities against refugees or the chancellor. They
chase down and attack migrants, they set fire to asylum-seeker hostels,
they have apparently abandoned human decency itself, along with
civilized debate and the political system of representational
democracy. They apparently dream of a different model: nationalist,
monoethnic, authoritarian and anti-liberal. A bit like
Trump, a bit like Orbán.
And a bit like Hitler,
their behavior, their name (neo-Nazis) and their nationality are all
like Hitler's supporters of the early 1930ies.
Here is some background information:
It is a disaster for
Saxony, a state that, on the one hand, has been remarkably successful.
Its economy is doing well, its schoolchildren score well on the
international PISA test comparing educational attainment, its tourism
industry is flourishing and it has the second-lowest unemployment rate
among the five
eastern German states. On the other hand, though, it is widely seen
as having a neo-Nazi problem. Saxony is the fertile soil out of
which Pegida (which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the
Islamization of the West) sprouted, the xenophobic group that has been
staging weekly marches against Muslims since autumn 2014. And the group
is still going strong in Saxony, with hundreds of sympathizers still
taking to the streets each week.
I think this is all
factually correct. Here is some more:
is a nationwide phenomenon, not a specifically Saxon one. That has been
the mantra of Saxony's political leadership for years, whenever the
criticism has mounted. It is half true, and half false. Saxony has
become a breeding ground of right-wing activists, with right-wing
structures having become solidified shortly after German reunification.
In no other German state is the AfD so successful: According to the
most recent surveys, the party stands to win 26 of the 60 direct
mandates in the state in next year's election. Every fourth voter plans
to cast their ballot for the right-wing populists, putting the party in
second place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian
Democratic Union (CDU).
Note that in Saxony "Every fourth voter plans to cast their ballot
for the right-wing populists".
Here is a little background:
Both of my parents were - intelligent, sincere, but not
communists 45 years of their lives, and started to be so in the middle
thirties because of Nazism. I got - I suppose - a communist education,
and until 1964 (when I was 14) I trusted my parents in their
conceptions, including that the Soviet Union and its associated
countries were socialist, and
that this was more or less as Marx and
Engels had (roughly) described it.
In 1964 I went with a group of 11 other communist children and a leader
of 19 for 5 weeks of holiday to the Wilhelm Pieck Pionier Lager close
to the Polish border in the GDR, and there I found very quickly
fact it was a totalitarian
and militaristic camp, where one had to
assemble every morning in military fashion around the flag, and
listen to speeches by 7-year old German pioneers that they loved
Brehznev, loved his policies, loved his values etc. etc.
I was appalled and refused. After some weeks we were sent, as a
somehow representing Holland (?!) to Karl-Marx-Stadt, where we also
visited the house of some prominent German communist who lived there,
who looked me - a boy of 14 - silently and privately in the eye with
the fiercest hatred I have ever seen in anyone.
In brief, when I came back I totally rejected any notion that
Soviet Union, the GDR etc. were in any sense that I recognized socialist or humanitarian or free.
I regarded them ever since as dictatorships,
and indeed also lost my communism totally in 1970, when I was 20.
And while I do not know any direct connection between
the hating German
of 1964 and the neo- Nazis in 2018, it is a fact that East Germans, if
they are over 30, have been raised in a very authoritarian and very
totalitarian way, were everyone was constantly controlled by the secret
services, and mere difference of values or ideas were sufficient
reasons for one's arrest - and these facts do have some
relvance to the
present happenings in Saxony.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
It is, of course,
inaccurate to say that AfD supporters are synonymous with right-wing
hooligans. But they do have quite a bit in common: They all believe
that they are part of a rebellion against the West, against its
established political parties and against the "lying press." Indeed,
against the liberal, universal values of an enlightened, cosmopolitan
society. The scenes from Chemnitz are merely the ugly symptoms of a
gradual process of separation.
The violence in Chemnitz
"is the intentionally provoked apex of a development that has been
coming for almost 30 years," Christian Wolff, the former pastor of St.
Thomas Church in Leipzig, writes on his website. "The systematic
implementation of ethnonationalist, right-wing nationalist ideas in too
many heads and hearts, rejection of liberal democracy, militant
xenophobia, suspension of fundamental rights -- and all of it with the
acquiescence or even support of the Saxony CDU, consummated by
Pegida/AfD and violence-prone neo-Nazis."
Yes indeed. There is a lot
more in this article and there also is a follow-up article.
This is a recommended article.
Guide to America's Exploding Defense Budget and Military Failure
is by Lucian K. Truscott IV on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It
starts as follows (and the following is based on original reporting
Truscott IV did from that border):
Every night, weapons
destined for the insurgency in Iraq were smuggled from Syria across the
berm of earth that stood as the only barrier between the two countries.
Money was smuggled in the other direction. The upper-class Sunni gentry
of Saddam’s Baath Party was eager to get its cash out of the country
before the Shiite majority took charge in Iraq, so garbage bags filled
with cash were smuggled every night, strapped to backs of donkeys in
I think this is correct. Here is
The American soldiers
stationed at the outpost in Rabihya didn’t know it, but what was
happening all around them was the beginning of the Iraqi insurgency
that the American military would fight for the better part of the next
decade, before the United States pulled its combat troops out of the
country in 2011.
I think either that
sergeant was right or else Feith did know what he was doing: spreading
the propaganda for the U.S. Army. I suppose the second possibility is
more likely but have no evidence.
The U.S. invaded Iraq in
March and took Baghdad in three weeks. Eight months later, the
“architects” of the war were riding high. At the same moment we were
sitting there in Tal Afar having breakfast, Feith was standing in front
of this roomful of lobbyists, congressional staffers and defense
industry hacks holding forth on the subject of “Transforming the U.S.
Global Defense Posture.” Feith was rambling on, spewing macho military
strategy-speak about “updating the types, locations, numbers and
capabilities of our military forces and the nature of our alliances.”
We had to get away from our “Cold War posture,” Feith was saying, when
“U.S. forces deployed forward were defensive, tripwire units that were
expected to fight near where they were based. The kind of forces used
for that mission are not the agile, fast, lean forces we need for the
The sergeant sitting next
to me was covered in dried mud and dust. He had gone six weeks in
Sinjar without a bath or hot food. Breakfast that morning was his first
taste of civilization, and there was Feith on the TV telling him: “We
no longer expect our forces to fight in place; rather, their purpose is
to project power into theaters that may be distant from where they are
“What the fuck are you
talking about?” the sergeant yelled at the man on the screen. Shaking
his head in amazement, he asked me, “Sir, you got any idea who that
I told him he was Douglas
Feith, one of the “architects” of the war who had sent him and the
other soldiers over there to Iraq.
“Stupid motherfucker doesn’t
know what the fuck he doesn’t know,” the sergeant said between bites.
Here is more, still on the contrasting opinions of Feith and his
In fact, here is the
mover of the U.S. wars that now are continuing for 17 years:
Feith was still talking:
“We intend to increase combined training for expeditionary operations,
for example, to encourage Allied participation in so-called ‘high-end’
U.S. exercises. For this deployability concept to work, U.S. forces
must be able to move smoothly into, through, and out of host nations.”
“We been here for 10
fuckin’ months, you idiot,” one of the soldiers yelled. “Tell me
about into and out of this fuckin’ host nation! They’ll be sending our
sorry asses back! You can count on it.”
By now, the television screen
was covered in bits of egg and buttered toast and jelly. Feith finally
reached his grand finish: “Whatever improvements in military
effectiveness the actual posture decisions produce, they will serve our
interests fully only if they also help sustain and strengthen our ties
with our friends, allies and partners around the world. We are
confident that they will."
But that didn’t stop think
tanks in Washington like the Center for Strategic and International
Studies, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute and the American
Enterprise Institute from lobbying for higher and higher defense
budgets. (Douglas Feith is now “director for national security
strategies” for the Hudson Institute.) This year, President Trump
signed the largest defense budget in our history: $700 billion. The
budget includes $13.7 billion for 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which
according to CNN are “in service and mission capable only 26 percent of
the time.” Not a single F-35 jet has yet to see combat duty.
That real motive are the
profits for big corporations
involved in the war. (And since Nixon
ended the draft, the rich do not risk to loose any of their
wars the rich make and lead.)
Here is the ending of
And there is no end of
sight because of - Follow The Money! - the enormous profits made on the
This is a recommended article.
We’ve still got exhausted,
dusty, hungry sergeants and corporals and privates over there in Iraq.
If they’ve got C-Span on the TVs in the mess halls, they’re still
listening to defense intellectuals like Douglas Feith giving speeches
at those think tanks in Washington, which are still holding symposiums.
They’re still talking about our “strategic footprint,” and “pursuing
peace through strength” and “offshore balancing” and how “the strength
of the unilateral pre-eminence vision is that it appears to provide an
opportunity to reassert U.S. leadership and stave off risks for U.S.
security in a rebalancing world.” This from Gordon Adams, a
“distinguished fellow” at the Stimson Center in Washington, who wrote
something called “U.S. Global Engagement and the Military” for the
Foreign Policy Association.
Not billions, not tens of
billions, not hundreds of billions. Trillions of dollars spent.
Fifteen years in Iraq.
Seventeen years in Afghanistan. There is no end in sight.
4. The Next Crash
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
September 15 will mark the
of the collapse of Lehman
Brothers and near
meltdown of Wall Street, followed by the Great Recession.
Since hitting bottom in
2009, the economy has grown steadily, the stock market has soared, and
corporate profits have ballooned.
But most Americans are
still living in the shadow
of the Great Recession. More have jobs, to be sure. But they haven’t
seen any rise
in their wages, adjusted for inflation.
Many are worse off due to
the escalating costs of
housing, healthcare, and education. And the value of whatever assets
they own is less
than in 2007.
Last year, about 40 percent
of American families
struggled to meet at least one basic need – food, health care, housing
to an Urban Institute survey.
All of which suggests we’re
careening toward the same sort of crash we had in 2008, and possibly as
bad as 1929.
Yes indeed: I totally
agree. Here is more:
Clear away the financial
those two former crashes and you’d see they both followed upon widening
imbalances between the capacity of most people to buy, and what they as
produce. Each of these imbalances finally tipped the economy over.
The same imbalance has
been growing again. The richest 1 percent of Americans now takes home
percent of total income, and owns over 40 percent of the nation’s
These are close to the
peaks of 1928 and 2007.
I again totally
Here is more:
And I again totally agree,
and have a personal comparison: I live in Holland and very
have earned the lowest income any Dutchman has earned over the last
years (provided they did not go to prison), for everything was
minimized for me, while also my "serious chronic disease ME/CFS" was
denied to exist from 1979 till 2018.
percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. In a
Reserve survey, 40 percent of Americans said they wouldn’t be able to
bills if faced with a $400 emergency.
managed their debts because interest rates have remained low. But the
days of low rates are coming to an end.
The underlying problem
isn’t that Americans have been living beyond their means. It’s that
means haven’t been keeping up with the growing economy. Most gains have
It was similar
in the years leading up to the crash of 2008. Between 1983 and 2007,
debt soared while most economic gains went to the top.
But even so, I am much better of than 40 percent of Americans
(though perhaps I should add that I do not drink, do not go out, and do
live very carefully).
Here is the ending of this article:
I think Reich may well be
correct, although I like to add that "the growing imbalance between consumer spending and
total output" seems to
require some sort of banking crisis to become widely know. And
a strongly recommended article.
Ten years after Lehman
it’s important to understand that the real root of the Great Recession
banking crisis. It was the growing imbalance between consumer spending
total output – brought on by stagnant wages and widening inequality.
That imbalance is back.
Suppressing 100,000 Pages of Kavanaugh's Record
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
With the Senate Judiciary
Committee set to hold its first confirmation hearing for President
Donald Trump's right-wing Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh on
Tuesday, the Trump White House reportedly directed on Friday that over
100,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh's tenure as an associate
White House counsel under former President George W. Bush be withheld
According to a letter
notifying Senate leaders of Trump's directive, which was obtained
by Buzzfeed, the White House has decided to withhold
documents "including advice on judicial nominations and "advice
submitted directly to President Bush; substantive communications
between White House staff about communications with President Bush; and
substantive, deliberative discussions relating to or about executive
orders or legislation considered by the Executive Office of the
"In total," Buzzfeed continued,
"27,110 of Brett Kavanaugh's documents from his time in the White House
counsel's office under Bush—101,921 pages—are not being turned over to
senators considering his Supreme Court nomination at the direction of
the Trump administration."
I say! And I add: How
Kavanaugh's nomination ever be legal, if it is based on the
of no less than 101,921
(i.e. quite a few books) of relevant information Senators should see so
as to be able to make a reasonable and rational decision on Kavanaugh?!
What Trump is doing is
insisting on a nomination of his candidate while his candidate's
relevant information is intentionally kept secret. (And no, I don't
think this is legal in Holland.)
Here is more:
Activists and legal experts
reacted to Friday's news with outrage, arguing the move is further
evidence that the White House is working to suppress elements of
Kavanaugh's record, which has already been panned as anti-environment,
anti-reproductive rights, anti-worker, and thoroughly
Additionally, according to documents
that were released on Friday, Kavanaugh has suggested that
limits on individual contributions to political campaigns have "some
As I indicated, I agree
with the "outrage": You cannot nominate a judge for life if
books and books of relevant information are suppressed as unfit to be
seen by the Senators who decide on his nomination.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Despite the secrecy
surrounding Kavanaugh's record as well as his quite public right-wing
positions, the Democratic caucus has still failed to fully unite
against the judge.
According to the Whip the
Vote, a coalition of advocacy groups mobilizing against Kavanaugh, 22
Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) still have not vowed to oppose
Trump's Supreme Court pick.
Since I believe most
Democrats (and most Republicans) are corrupt, I believe what they are
really waiting for is
how to get as much as possible for themselves out of this nomination.
That is not a good foreboding. And this is a recommended
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 (!!).