from September 3, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
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 3, 2018:
1. California Passes Nation's Strongest Net Neutrality Bill
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 Real Intellectual Dark Web -- and They’re Calling Out
3. Why We Have to Go Back to a 40-Hour Work Week to Keep Our
4. Why is Trump ramping up his unwieldy war on weed?
5. Trump Deathwatch
Passes Nation's Strongest Net Neutrality Bill
This article is by
Jake Johnson on Truthout and originally on Common Dreams. It starts as
In a major victory for the
open internet that could have ripple effects throughout the United
States, the California Senate on Friday thwarted aggressive lobbying by
the telecom industry and passed the
strongest, most comprehensive net neutrality bill in the nation.
“The passage of SB 822 in
California has huge implications for our fight to restore neutrality
nationwide,” declared the advocacy group Fight for the Future (FFTF)
following Friday’s vote. “We also need to harness the momentum from
this huge victory to put pressure on our elected officials in Congress.”
Yes. Then again, SB 822
may still not be signed into law:
If SB 822 is ultimately
signed into law, it would restore the net neutrality protections
repealed by the Republican-controlled FCC last December and implement
even stronger rules by establishing “an
outright ban on zero-rating—the practice of offering free data,
potentially to the advantage of some companies over others—of specific
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I think that this sounds a
bit too much like propaganda to me, but OK, if only because I rarely
have positive news in the Crisis-series.
This is a recommended article.
“We did it,” Democratic
state Senator Scott Wiener, the primary author of SB 822, said in
“We passed the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation. The
internet is at the heart of 21st century life—our economy, our public
safety and health systems, and our democracy. So when Donald Trump’s
FCC decided to take a wrecking ball to net neutrality protections, we
knew that California had to step in to ensure our residents have access
to a free and open internet.”
As the fight for strong net
neutrality protections gains steam at the state level, open internet
advocates are hoping the resulting energy and momentum will translate
into action in Congress, where the House is working
to assemble enough votes to pass a Congressional Review Act
resolution to undo the FCC’s deeply unpopular repeal.
Real Intellectual Dark Web -- and They’re Calling Out Right-Wing Media
is by Taylor Link on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as
There's an ideological war
raging in the U.S. That's what Commentary magazine's John Podhoretz
said in a recent podcast, anyways. And he's not wrong.
It might not be a conflict as epic as the Second World War. It's
not being fought on a battlefield or in research labs. But it is
consuming much of the discourse in 2018, especially on Twitter.
Much of the battles
involving the left appear to be partisan infighting: liberals pushing
back against the dramatic shift to the left; Democratic Socialists
assailing the liberal establishment. Conservatives, meanwhile, have
seemingly abandoned any constructive introspection. "Owning the libs"
has become their only battlecry.
Possibly so, but
I don't have Twittter, I don't want Twitter, and I also
think that if you "discuss" things on Twitter, your intellect can't be
much better than Trump's.
Then there is the IDW,
which is short for the Intellectual Dark Web (?!), where my bracketed
"?!" indicates that I do not (even) know whether this is or isn't (or
perhaps both) part of the WWW:
The IDW criticizes
most, if not all, policies and social movements that have arisen from
America's liberal trajectory. Feminism, affirmative action, subsidized
health care, Black Lives Matter, wealth distribution, immigration, all
have come under fire by the IDW. Their main antagonist may be
the "mainstream liberal media," which they vilify for propping
up progressive causes. Because of this, conservative media has welcomed these new voices into the tent, even
though some whitewash racism
and anti-LGBTQ bigotry.
Perhaps so, but while I
do not like the opinions of this group, I also think that both
they and their critics should have access on the internet.
Then there is this:
Nevertheless, the most
formidable group that has consistently held conservative media's
feet to the fire this past year or two has been a handful of anonymous
Twitter accounts. These anonymous Twitter accounts — or anons
— have fact-checked and criticized conservative journalism to the
point that the right can no longer ignore them. Their media criticism
has now become mainstream, frustrating conservatives who see this as a
blatant attempt to delegitimize and silence right-wing voices.
Well... I strongly
despise and much dislike Twitter, which essentially are e-mails that
must be so short you can't
rationally argue in them (but hey!: they do print your anonymous
"name" and address two times in each of your Tweets!)
and I also strongly dislike anonymous communications (apart
from death threats) simply because it exposes you to anybody's often
utterly insane opinions, without ever
being able to hit back at their real persons.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Using unnamed sources in
"man on the street" reporting is often frowned upon, if not
improper. Washington Post journalist Dave Weigel revealed this week that he would not use a quote
unless he gets the speaker's full name, age and occupation. This is
standard policy for many media outlets.
agree with Weigel, and no, this doesn't necessarily mean that Weigel only
should write real names in his articles, but it does mean that he can
hold liars responsible, which is completely impossible with
We Have to Go Back to a 40-Hour Work Week to Keep Our Sanity
is by Sarah Anderson on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
If you’re lucky enough to
have a job right now, you’re probably doing everything possible to hold
onto it. If the boss asks you to work 50 hours, you work 55. If she
asks for 60, you give up weeknights and Saturdays, and work 65.
that you’ve been doing this for months, if not years, probably at the
expense of your family life, your exercise routine, your diet, your
stress levels, and your sanity. You’re burned out, tired, achy, and
utterly forgotten by your spouse, kids and dog. But you push on anyway,
because everybody knows that working crazy hours is what it takes to
prove that you’re “passionate” and “productive” and “a team player” —
the kind of person who might just have a chance to survive the next
round of layoffs.
I say, for
I did not know this. Then again, I am not living in the USA but
in Holland, where there still are fairly strong unions, and where the
40 hour week has been mostly fully accepted, also legally, since nearly
some more on the 40 hour week in the USA:
what work looks like now. It’s been this way for so long that most
American workers don’t realize that for most of the 20th century, the
broad consensus among American business leaders was that working people
more than 40 hours a week was stupid, wasteful, dangerous, and
expensive — and the most telling sign of dangerously incompetent
management to boot.
I agree - and these are the facts. Here are three questions:
we get to the 40-hour week in the first place? How did we lose it? And
are there compelling bottom-line business reasons that we should bring
shall give my own answers to these questions, briefly:
first question is answered (for the most part) by decades of work,
demonstrations and strikes by the unions.
second question is answered
(for the most part) by the collapse of the unions: They still
exist, but they have far fewer members and far less money.
third question I answer not by quoting (bolding added) "business reasons" but by considering hours and human rights:
workweek of 40 hours, you are working more than 70% of the time, and
you are doing that every 24 hours as working 8 hours (plus travel to
work), sleeping 8 hours, and having considerably less than 8
hours for yourself, in which you have to do everything you must
do apart from working.
think myself that is more than enough.
is more about the arisal of the 40-hour week in the USA:
emboldened by a dozen years of in-house research, Henry Ford famously
took the radical step of doubling his workers’ pay, and cut shifts in
Ford plants from nine hours to eight. The National Association of
Manufacturers criticized him bitterly for this — though many of his
competitors climbed on board in the next few years when they saw how
Ford’s business boomed as a result. In 1937, the 40-hour week was
enshrined nationwide as part of the New Deal.
And this is about the collapse of the 40-hour week in the USA:
were the early morning-in-America Reagan years. The unions -- for 150
years, the guardians of the 40-hour week -- were falling under a
conservative onslaught; and in their place, the new cult of the
entrepreneur was ascendant. All the old paternalistic contracts between
employers and employees were torn up.
I am willing to believe it, but how where the existing
employers and employees were torn up"? (In Holland, this would have
been rather difficult, and would have taken considerable trouble,
although the Dutch situation for workers also were made worse.)
Here is how
the rich exploit the young:
rapacious new corporate ethic was summarized by two phrases: "churn ‘em
and burn ‘em" (a term that described Microsoft’s habit of hiring young
programmers fresh out of school and working them 70 hours a week until
they dropped, and then firing them and hiring more), and “working 90
hours a week and loving it!” (...) And this mentality soon spread from
the technology sector to every industry in every corner of the country.
say. I also think the last sentence may be a bit too strong, but I do
is the ending of this article:
Yes, I agree - but this
doesn't mean that the 40-hour week will return, unfortunately. This is
a recommended article.
bottom line is: For the good of our bodies, our families, our
communities, the profitability of American companies, and the future of
the country, this insanity has to stop. Working long days and weeks has
been incontrovertibly proven to be the stupidest, most expensive way
there is to get work done. Our bosses are depleting resources from of
the human capital pool without replenishing them. They are taking time,
energy, and resources that rightfully belong to us, and are part of our
national common wealth.
is Trump ramping up his unwieldy war on weed?
is by Matthew Rozsa on Salon. It starts as follows:
Earlier this week, it was
revealed that President Donald Trump has created
a Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, one in which
various federal agencies that oversee marijuana policy work together to
find ways to prevent Americans from having access to the drug.
According to a summary of a meeting held between the White House and
nine government departments in July, "the prevailing marijuana
narrative in the U.S. is partial, one-sided, and inaccurate" and needs
to be countered with "the most significant data demonstrating negative
trends, with a statement describing the implications of such trends."
Set aside the irony of
government officials denouncing the pro-marijuana legalization
arguments as "partial, one-sided, and inaccurate" while making it clear
that they're only interested in data that will support their
anti-legalization position, there is a deeper issue here: Trump is
ramping up his unwieldy war on weed
Yes, it seems Rozsa is quite
correct - which is pretty strange for someone who has any roughly
adequate ideas about marijuana, for there are at least 50 years of
continuous experiences, and these experiences showed three things:
(1) marijuana is not addictive; (2) marijuana is not a port
to stronger drugs; and (3) marijuana is much
less dangerous than alcohol and other drugs.
And I know
this, because Amsterdam and indeed Holland has had mostly legally
totally unpunished usage of marijuana the last 50 years, in which millions
used it, and the above results are the outcome.
In fact, that was already
known in 1968: See the Wootton Report
(which is well worth reading) - and these conclusions stood up for 50
years. Indeed, here is a conclusion from the Wootton Report of 1968:
"The long term consumption
of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects (…)
Cannabis is less dangerous than the opiates, amphetamines and
barbiturates, and also less dangerous than alcohol. (…) An increasing
number of people, mainly young, in all classes of society are
experimenting with this drug, and substantial numbers use it regularly
for social pleasure. There is no evidence that this activity is causing
violent crime, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of
dependence or psychosis requiring medical treatment (…) there are
indications that (cannabis) may become a functional equivalent of
Also, if cannabis were
the functional equivalent of alcohol, much less violence and
traffic accidents would have resulted.
Back to the article:
"It's a big step towards
the prohibitionist status quo that we were in prior to the [President
Barack] Obama years," Justin Strekal, political director for
NORML, told Salon. "It's not a step back [in the sense that] we're not
behind where we were in the 1930s, but we're moving closer to where we
were in the 1930s."
I suppose this is
correct, but don't know. Here is some more:
"Clearly, under the
Department of Justice under the leadership of Jeff Sessions and the
Trump administration at large, have many leaders who are still
suffering from 'Reefer Madness' prohibitionist era rhetoric," Strekal
told Salon. "Even coming out and publicly spreading things that are
patently false is going to possibly curb the momentum that we have seen
play out through the states and the explosion of public support that we
have. Marijuana policy should not be characterized as a partisan issue,
and unfortunately under a Republican administration, if they choose to
make support for reform become a partisan issue, then it's going to
hurt them politically."
Well, I hope so. Here
is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I would have deleted
the last sentence, simply because the same holds for
individuals who believe they should be free to use heroin, amphetamine
etc. and these are dangerous, addictive drugs. But this is a
What the Trump
administration is doing is blatantly trying to impose the conservative
social values of administration members like Jeff Sessions, a longtime
opponent of legalization, on the rest of the country. This is not
merely a step back for people who support marijuana legalization. It is
also a giant step back for the concept that America is a nation of
individuals making individual choices, rather than one in which Big
Brother tells us which choices we should and should not make.
is by C.J. Hopkins on The Off-Guardian. It starts as follows:
The latest “Trump
Deathwatch” began on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. It began in a courtroom
in Alexandria, Virginia, when Paul Manafort, sleazebag beltway operator
and former chairman of Trump’s campaign, was pronounced guilty by a
jury of his peers on ten counts of various types of fraud — tax fraud,
bank fraud, and failure to disclose thirty-one foreign bank accounts
which he was using for the purposes of fraud. Or maybe it began in
another courtroom, this one miles away in New York City, when, almost
at the exact same moment, Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, pleaded
guilty to eight unrelated charges of fraud and campaign finance
violations, the latter charges stemming from “hush money” paid to two
of Trump’s former bimbos.
Yes, I agree, although I
think this will not be a "Deathwatch".
Here is more:
Mueller, who had
previously indicted thirteen Russian “cyber-influencers” who he was
certain would never appear in court to laugh derisively in his face,
needed to put a “win” on the board, and he needed to do it before the
midterm elections. The Resistance® and the corporate media have been
desperate for something juicy that they can relentlessly milk for the
next ten weeks. They need the Democrats to take the House so they can
pretend to try to impeach Trump, or at least subpoena a buttload of
folks to appear before a series of congressional hearings that they can
drag out all the way to 2020.
I agree, and incidentally
do not believe in "The
Resistance®", which seems
at present to be mostly led by Rachel Maddow.
Here is more from the article:
The Guardian immediately
went to live, moment-by-moment “Trump
Deathwatch” coverage. Their opinionists started pumping out pieces
proclaiming that “Trump’s reckoning has finally arrived,”
and demanding he be impeached before “the
cancer on his presidency” metastasizes. The New York Times Editorial
Board (which is obviously getting a bit fed up with the riff-raff
questioning its journalistic integrity) announced that, starting from
that very moment, anyone doubting that Donald Trump is a
dirty, rotten, Russian agent is a “fantasist” and a member of
his “cult.” CNN began babbling about impeachment, as
did the BBC, and more or less every
organ of the corporate media.
I take it this is mostly quite
correct. Here is the ending of this article:
corporatist ruling classes need to make an example of Trump to dissuade
any future billionaire ass clowns from running for high office without
their permission, but even more so, they need to put down the
“populist” opposition to the spread of global capitalism and the gradual phase-out of national
sovereignty that began with Brexit and continued with Trump,
so they can transform the smoldering remains of the Earth into one big
happy neoliberal market run by supranational corporations and the
“democratic governments” they have bought and paid for …
Yes, or more or less so.
And if you haven't noticed it, this is a rather cynical
article, which I think is quite justified in the situation. This is a