from November 24, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 November 24, 2018:
1. Noam Chomsky Condemns Trump for Pulling Out of Landmark
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 Future of the Planet Looks Like 'WALL-E'
3. Denouncing the Republican Party
4. The Climate Report the Trump White House Didn't Want You to
5. About Facebook's Anti-Semitic and Racist Attacks on Critics
Noam Chomsky Condemns Trump for Pulling Out of Landmark Nuclear Arms
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I shortened the title. And in fact this
is one of the five interviews with Chomsky that are reported on
Democracy Now! that I mentioned yesterday.
It starts with the following introduction:
Quite so, and I think this
is very important, for reasons Chomsky will explain.
President Donald Trump
recently announced plans to pull the United States out of a landmark
nuclear arms pact with Russia, in a move that could spark a new arms
race. President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, in 1987. The INF
banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium
ranges. The treaty helped to eliminate thousands of land-based
missiles. We spoke with world-renowned political dissident, linguist
and author Noam Chomsky in October about the significance of the INF treaty and the impact of Trump’s plan to pull
(..) Democracy Now!'s Nermeen Shaikh and I recently
spoke to [Noam Chomsky] and asked him to talk about the twin threats of
climate change and nuclear war. We spoke in the wake of a new report by
Nature magazine that the world has massively
underestimated the amount of heat absorbed by our oceans, and President
Trump's decision to pull the United states out of the
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF.
That was by way of
introduction. Here is Chomsky (and from here on it is Chomsky whom I
quote in this article):
Well, the INF treaty was a very important
development. You may recall that in that period, in the early and
mid-'80s, the short—this has to do with short-range nuclear missiles.
They were being installed in Western Europe, Pershing II missiles in
Western Europe, which had a few minutes' flight time to Moscow. If you
think what that means, the Russian detection systems are, first of all,
far more primitive than ours, but even sophisticated—if they had had
sophisticated detection systems, it would have given them barely a few
minutes’ warning before a possible heavy nuclear strike, even a
decapitation strike, against Moscow. And the Russians were doing the
same. They were building short-term missiles aimed at Western Europe.
Notice the—not at the United States.
Yes indeed, and the
really important thing is that short-range nuclear missiles
be detected within minutes if anything is to be done against
them or in answer to them.
As an aside: One of the many reasons I despise Wim Kok (who
died and was a trade union man and a Labour prime minister who was a
is that I heard him promise in 1980 or 1981, to
something like a 100,000 Dutch demonstrators that he would
atomic weapons - and like virtually everything he said this was a lie.
Back to the article:
We should also
recall that Trump’s pulling out of the INF
treaty has a precursor, namely, the Nuclear Posture Review of the Trump
administration, which already called for developing new weapons,
tactical nuclear weapons, which themselves greatly increase the threat
of a possible war. A target of these missiles can’t know whether
they’re conventional or nuclear, or whether they’re short-range or much
more powerful missiles. You have a few minutes’ warning time to make
these decisions. You look over the history of the nuclear age, and it
is practically miraculous that we’ve survived this far.
Precisely - and
(bolding added) "it is
practically miraculous that we’ve survived this far", and those who saved us several times were
relatively lowly placed Russian soldiers, who did their
than give in to fear.
Here is more:
We should bear in
mind that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which has established,
since 1947, beginning of the nuclear age—it’s established the Doomsday
Clock, where the minute hand is a certain distance from midnight.
Midnight means goodbye, termination of all of us. At the beginning,
1947, it was seven minutes to midnight. It’s oscillated up and back
since. In last January, after a year of the Trump administration, it
moved to two minutes to midnight. That’s the closest it’s been to
terminal disaster ever, with one exception, 1953.
And now it’s worse.
The Nuclear Posture Review, the revelation, since that time, that the
U.S. actually has developed a first-strike potential, which could
prevent—could eliminate any deterrent to a first strike, then Trump’s
Nuclear Posture Review, which calls for extending the nuclear threat,
and now this latest step—this is a march to disaster, which is only
paralleled by the moves of the administration to race towards the cliff
of environmental destruction with eyes open.
I completely agree
in fact what Trump seems to be playing at (while insisting that I also
think, like many other psychologists, that Trump is insane) is to blow
up Russia before it has the time of blowing up the USA.
And in any case, his policies assure him with many more atomic
and with just a few minutes to attack and destroy Russia. This
is a strongly
Future of the Planet Looks Like 'WALL-E'
is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig. This is from near its beginning:
Yes indeed - and in fact I
also believe that the plastics crisis (which is
a good title) is more
serious than either Scheer or Cohen seem to believe, for the double
reason that by now plastics are everywhere and cannot be
are killing birds, fishes, and the larger animals that depend
Dianna Cohen of the Plastics Pollution
Coalition believes that a plastics crisis has arrived.
“We suddenly have to deal
with our own waste, basically, now,” she tells Robert Scheer. “And
then, also, the costs of recycling are increasing, and you have to
think about how many trucks are needed to create it, how widely it’s
dispersed, et cetera. And that’s a big expense. And then plastic
production—internationally, but [also] internally in the United
States—is really ramping up right now, and it’s going to continue to
explode. So we have a very big problem on our hands. It reminds me of
that movie ‘Wall-E,’ or ‘Idiocracy,’ where people live in
a world that’s just full of waste, it’s just a wasteland, like a
In the latest installment of
“Scheer Intelligence,” Cohen explains how plastics and the burning of
fossil fuels are interrelated, and why recycling alone can’t save us.
Here is more:
Cohen: Well, I mean, I think it’s important just to state
that plastic pollution is a global crisis. And it’s not a crisis
that–in a sense it’s in your face, in a sense it’s not.
Precisely. Here is
Plastic is oil. It’s made from
processing oil products–oil products, and then you add plasticizing
chemicals to it. And what we’ve been learning over the last 30, 40
years is that these chemicals, which are added to the plastic, create
polymer chains that don’t break down in the environment. And they also
leach bits of those chemicals into our food and beverages that have
been linked to human health issues for us, and impact the marine life,
are ingested by sea life and wildlife. It comes back to us in so many
It is one of the
major polluters of oceans; it is not the sole polluter of the ocean.
But because of particular qualities that plastic has, it either floats
or it sinks to the bottom, or it begins to get algae and things growing
on it, which attract sea life and wildlife to it–they smell it, and
they believe it’s edible, and so they eat it or they’re attracted to
the colors of it.
the last bit that I quote from this article:
ourselves full of plastic, and the chemicals that leach from plastic,
and we’re doing it to our children, and most people are still not yet
aware that this is even happening.
Yes indeed, and this is a
strongly recommended article.
the Republican Party
is by Alan Barra on Truthdig. In fact, this is a review of Max Boot's "The
Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right". This is from near its
Max Boot has Trump’s
measure: The Donald is “a bigoted bully” with few convictions “outside
of narcissism and nativism, racism, and sexism.” “His entire career has
been full of racist slurs and acts.” He’s a “functional illiterate,” “a
plutocrat who avoided the draft and has never shown any willingness to
sacrifice anything for anyone.” And Boot quotes an anonymous Republican
congressman: Trump is “an evil, really fucking stupid Forrest Gump.”
Well... I think Max Boot
is right about Trump. Apart from that, I disagree with
him on quite a
lot, but I also think he may be one of the few American
that I know of who seems to be (mostly) honest.
Here is more:
Boot has written the essential book of the Trump era, the one that
needs to be read immediately by those of all political stripes.
One of the things that
makes “The Corrosion of Conservatism”
powerful reading is that Boot, while refusing to identify himself as a
Democrat—he is still a fiscal conservative, pro-free market and the
welfare state, pro-free trade, pro-environment, and pro-gun control—has
shed all illusions of his own party. The recent history of the
Republican Party is “the story of moderates being driven out and
conservatives taking over—and then of those conservatives, in turn,
being ousted by those even farther to the right.”
I did not read
book, but the second paragraph seems more or less correct - Boot still
is a conservative, but he also does see quite a few facts that
Republicans basically refuse to see or to admit.
Here is more:
In a paragraph that
deserves to be reprinted on the internet and quoted on television, he
writes, “No, not all Trump supporters are racist. But virtually all
racists, it seems, are Trump supporters. And all Trump supporters
implicitly condone his blatant prejudice. At the very least they don’t
consider racism to be a reason to turn against the president. For a
disturbingly large number of Trump voters, it is the primary reason to
Yes, I think that is
correct (though Boot is obviously speaking about American
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I say, for I find this
fairly perceptive and honest. And this is a recommended article.
Trump’s inaugural address
was “the most dystopian, disquieting, and divisive” ever. His vision of
America, “paranoid, angry, xenophobic.”
“Under the pressure of
Trumpism, conservatism as I understand it has been corroding. … I no
longer like to call myself a conservative,” Boot writes. “Other
contemporary developments such as the failure of the Iraq invasion, the
Great Recession of 2008-2009, the #MeToo movement, and the
spread of police video tapes revealing violent racism,” played into his
decision to renounce the Republican party.
“My ideology has come into
contact with reality,” Boot acknowledges. “And reality is winning.”
Climate Report the Trump White House Didn't Want You to See
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts
In a move
environmentalists and journalists denounced as a blatant effort to bury
facts that conflict with the president's denialism and pro-fossil fuel
agenda, the Trump administration used the Friday after Thanksgiving to
quietly release Volume II
of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), which warned
"Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the
history of modern civilization" and concluded that "greenhouse gas
emissions from human activities are the only factors that can account"
for planet-threatening warming.
Yes, I think that is all
"Releasing this report when no
one is looking, tweeting his annual nonsense about global warming and
cold weather, and announcing that he'll use the upcoming U.N. climate
meetings as a fossil fuel tradeshow, Trump is doubling down on his
climate denial for the holidays—as many families are still reeling from
unnatural climate disasters across the country," Hauter continued. "The
science is way past in on climate change... We must prepare for our
climate future in spite of Trump."
Incidentally, I would say that "the natural solution" to the
population explosion (there are three times more people than in
1960), with graphs that go almost straight up since 1950 is the
population implosion: As steep a drop (at least) within several ten
years as the explosion since 1950 or so.
But that is speculative (as yet). Here is more:
Authored by officials from
over a dozen federal agencies, the report warns that in the absence of
aggressive action to quickly slash carbon emissions, the climate crisis
will continue to have increasingly devastating effects on the
environment, wildlife, and human health.
"It is very likely that
some impacts, such as the effects of ice sheet disintegration on sea
level rise and coastal development, will be irreversible for many
thousands of years, and others, such as species extinction, will be
permanent," the report warns.
Quite so. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
I agree, although
add that by now (and after looking nearly 50 years at "the
environment") I do not think that environmental harm can
be undone as
quickly as is necessary.
"Climate change is spawning
more extreme weather, causing irreparable harm to communities, costing
billions of dollars a year, and leading to countless deaths. We can
stop climate destruction, but only if we act quickly to end the use of
fossil fuels and transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy,"
concluded Hauter of Food & Water Watch. "This transition is not
only possible, but necessary for the health and prosperity of people
and the planet."
And this is a recommended article.
Facebook's Anti-Semitic and Racist Attacks on Critics
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts
On the heels of an explosive
report by the New York Times detailing Facebook's use of
a right-wing public relations firm to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy
theories about its critics, MoveOn.org—which describes itself as "one
of the largest political advertisers on Facebook this year"—sent
a letter on Wednesday to the social media giant's CEO Mark
Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, and congressional
leaders demanding accountability and urging the company to commit to
I knew most of this, but
did not know about MoveOn's letter, nor indeed that they belong
to "the largest political
advertisers on Facebook
this year" - which in fact
is not a recommendation in my eyes, but indeed I despise
although I concede that they may have done so to find readers.
Here is more:
"We were surprised to learn
last week that Facebook corporate leadership had hired a right-wing
firm specializing in what the New York Times calls the 'dark
arts' of politics to promulgate anti-Semitic, anti-black, and other
attacks on public interest organizations that have been critical of
Facebook," they wrote. "Of course, these particular concerns exist
within a broader context of concern about the threats that Facebook and
other social networks and their algorithms and data pose to society and
As Common Dreams
reported, Facebook's smear efforts targeted
billionaire philanthropist George Soros and his foundations as well
as the online
racial justice organization Color of Change, which has accused
Facebook of placing profits over privacy—particularly that of people of
color and religious minorities.
Yes, but I like to be a bit
more precise: First, I completely agree with Robert Reich
that (as he put it): Break Up Facebook
(and, While We’re At It, Google, Apple, and Amazon - and this
is a link to my review, where there is a link to Reich's article. And
second, of course Facebook placed its profits over the
privacies of its members: It is completely founded on that
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article, which is a paragraph of the letter
MoveOn wrote to Facebook (and the whole letter is in the original
Finally, as a result of our
experience as one of the largest political advertisers on Facebook in
2018 (MoveOn Political Action and our subsidiary MO Research together
spent $5.5 million on Facebook ads from May to present), we have
identified potential inconsistencies in the application of your
advertising standards, including potential differences along lines of
race and identity, that warrant investigation.
I am not amazed at
all - and
as I said, the sooner Facebook and Google and Apple and Amazon
disappear, the bettter it seems to me, but I grant I am just
individual, and these are very big and very rich firms. And in any
case, I would never advertise on Facebook, although I am aware that
MoveOn's motives to do so may have been honorable.
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 (!!).