from December 17, 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 three 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 December 17, 2018:
1. Elizabeth Warren, Speaking to Black
Graduates, Warns ‘the Rules Are
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. This Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green
New Deal’ Just Might Work
3. The Most Challenging Ethical Obligation of Our Precarious
4. 'This Is a Child Prison': Democrats Demand Release of
Children to Family
5. Can an Unequal Earth Beat Climate Change?
Warren, Speaking to Black Graduates, Warns ‘the Rules Are Rigged’
This article is by
Astead W. Herndon on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
Warren, in a commencement speech Friday at historically black Morgan
State University, mixed her trademark language denouncing economic
inequality with more explicit indictments of racial discrimination,
giving what could be a preview of a possible appeal to black voters
should she run for president.
system is rigged, Ms. Warren said, but it’s particularly pitted against
minority communities — and politicians must recognize those unique
challenges and address them.
the rules of commencement speakers I am required to say, ‘Work hard.’
And you should,” Ms. Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, said. “But I’m
here with a bolder message: It’s time to change the rules. Let me say
that again for those in the back. Change. The. Rules.”
not a person of color. And I haven’t lived your life or experienced
anything like the subtle prejudice, or more overt harm, that you may
have experienced just because of the color of your skin. Rules matter,
and our government — not just individuals within the government, but
the government itself — has systematically discriminated against black
people in this country.”
Yes, I think most of the above quotation is quite
true. In fact, all might be true, but I am white and while
neither black nor white are colors, I think myself that I
am colored (pinkish) like all human beings (who are in fact
almost all pinkish or brownish). But then again, I suppose ¨a person of color¨ in fact probably is defined in American
English as ¨a non-white person¨ (which seems bullshit to me,
but I do belleve it is defined that way, in practice at least).
Anyway... here is some more:
I do not know
about Sanders´ ¨clumsy
mistakes on issues of race and identity¨, which does not mean that I exclude the possibility
that he made them, but then I also guess Herndon is
considerably more of a centrist than either Sanders is or than I am.
(But this is the New York Times, indeed.)
Warren’s brand of unabashed populism has sometimes come under fire from
liberals who say it fails to account for how things like racism and
discrimination interact with income equality. Bernie Sanders, the
populist who sought the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, was
trounced by his more centrist opponent, Hillary Clinton, among minority
voters and has frequently been criticized for clumsy mistakes on issues
of race and identity.
In this speech and during her
time in the Senate, Ms. Warren attempted to make clear that she
understands the intersections of race and injustice better than others
on the left. Ms. Warren has also made sure to cultivate relationships
with prominent black groups in Washington, including frequent check-ins
with the leaders at the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, I agree with
Warren and notably with (i) “The rules are rigged because the rich and powerful have
bought and paid for too many politicians” and with (ll) “Two sets of rules: one for white families. And one for
everybody else. That’s how a rigged system works.”. And this is a recommended article.
Morgan State on Friday, Ms. Warren revived her pitch surrounding
housing, telling a story about her mother’s struggles to keep her home
and contrasting that with the barriers Americans face today.
rules are rigged because the rich and powerful have bought and paid for
too many politicians,” Ms. Warren said. “And if we dare to ask
questions, they will try to divide us. Pit white working people against
black and brown working people so they won’t band together and demand
real change. The rich and powerful want us pointing fingers at each
other so we won’t notice they are getting richer and more powerful.”
sets of rules: one for the wealthy and the well-connected. And one for
everybody else,” she said. “Two sets of rules: one for white families.
And one for everybody else. That’s how a rigged system works. And
that’s what we need to change.”
Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green New Deal’ Just Might Work
This article is by Ellen Brown on
Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I like Ellen Brown, and that is the reason I selected
this article. Also, the above quotation seems correct to me,
but I skipped selecting more from her article, mostly because it is
part one of two parts, and because the rest is fairly technical. But
the quoted bit seems correct, and the article is recommended.
With what author and
Klein calls “galloping momentum,” the “Green New Deal” promoted by
Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., appears to be
forging a political pathway for solving all of the ills of society and
the planet in one fell swoop. Her plan would give a House select
committee “a mandate that connects the dots” between energy,
transportation, housing, health care, living wages, a jobs guarantee
and more. But even to critics
on the left, it is merely political theater, because “everyone
knows” a program of that scope cannot be funded without a massive
redistribution of wealth and slashing of other programs (notably the
military), which is not politically feasible.
That may be the case, but
Ocasio-Cortez and the 22 representatives joining her in calling for a
select committee also are proposing a novel way to fund the program,
one that could actually work. The resolution says funding
will come primarily from the federal government, “using a
combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of
regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds and such
other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems
appropriate, in order to ensure that interest and other investment
returns generated from public investments made in connection with the
Plan will be returned to the treasury, reduce taxpayer burden and allow
for more investment.”
Most Challenging Ethical Obligation of Our Precarious Time
is by Subhankar Banerjee on Truthdig and originally on TomDispatch. It
starts as follows:
If you’ve been paying
attention to what’s happening to the nonhuman life forms with which we
share this planet, you’ve likely heard the term “the Sixth Extinction.”
If not, look it up. After all, a superb environmental reporter,
Elizabeth Kolbert, has already gotten a Pulitzer Prize for writing a book with that title.
Whether the sixth mass
species extinction of Earth’s history is already (or not quite yet)
underway may still be debatable, but it’s clear enough
that something’s going on, something that may prove even more
devastating than a mass of species extinctions: the full-scale
winnowing of vast populations of the planet’s invertebrates,
vertebrates, and plants. Think of it, to introduce an even
broader term, as a wave of “biological annihilation” that includes
possible species extinctions on a mass scale, but also massive species
die-offs and various kinds of massacres.
Yes, I agree -
and the reference to “the Sixth
Extinction” is a good one, and the last link is to an
article on Wikipedia.
Here is more:
As it happens, though, of
the nearly two million known species on this planet about 70% of them
are insects. And many of them are as foundational to the food chain for
land animals as plankton are for marine life. Harvard entomologist (and
ant specialist) E.O. Wilson once observed that “if insects were
to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”
In fact, insects are
Almost exactly a year ago,
the first long-term study of the decline of insect populations was
reported, sparking concern (though only in professional circles) about
a possible “ecological Armageddon.” Based on
data collected by dozens of amateur entomologists in 63 nature reserves
across Germany, a team of scientists concluded that the flying insect
population had dropped by a staggering 76% over a
27-year period. At the same time, other studies began to highlight
dramatic plunges across Europe in the populations of individual species
of bugs, bees, and moths.
I say! And no, I did not
know this. Here is more:
When American entomologist
Bradford Lister first visited El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico
in 1976, little did he know that a long-term study he was about to
embark on would, 40 years later, reveal a “hyperalarming” new reality. In
those decades, populations of arthropods, including insects and creepy
crawlies like spiders and centipedes, had plunged by an almost
unimaginable 98% in El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest within the
U.S. National Forest System. Unsurprisingly, insectivores
(populations of animals that feed on insects), including birds,
lizards, and toads, had experienced similarly dramatic plunges, with
some species vanishing entirely from that rainforest. And all of that
happened before Hurricane Maria battered El Yunque in the fall
What had caused such
devastation? After eliminating habitat degradation or loss — after all,
it was a protected national forest — and pesticide use (which, in
Puerto Rico, had fallen by more than 80% since 1969), Lister and his
Mexican colleague Andres Garcia came to believe that climate change was the culprit,
in part because the average maximum temperature in that rainforest has
increased by four degrees Fahrenheit over those same four decades.
I say, again: 98%!!
Here is more:
If anything, the
148-page Living Planet Report published
this October by the World Wildlife Fund International and the
Zoological Society of London only intensified the sense of urgency in
their paper. As a comprehensive survey of the health of our planet and
the impact of human activity on other species, its key message was grim
indeed: between 1970 and 2014, it found, monitored populations of
vertebrates had declined in abundance by an average of 60% globally,
with particularly pronounced losses in the tropics and in freshwater
systems. South and Central America suffered a dramatic loss of 89%
of such vertebrates, while freshwater populations of vertebrates
declined by a lesser but still staggering 83% worldwide. The results
were based on 16,704 populations of 4,005 vertebrate species, which
meant that the study was not claiming a comprehensive census of all
vertebrate populations. It should instead be treated as a
barometer of trends in monitored populations of them.
And I say, once more.
Then there is this on trees:
Well... the clear
implication is that if ¨[h]undreds
of millions of trees have recently died and many more hundreds of
millions will soon be dying¨
then most of the forms of life that depend on these trees or these
forests will be dying as well, and I think that is correct.
In fact, trees are dying
all over the world. In 2010, scientists from a number of countries published a study in Forest
Ecology and Management that highlights global
climate-change-induced forest mortality with data recorded since 1970.
In countries ranging from Argentina and Australia to Switzerland and
Zimbabwe, Canada and China to South Korea and Sri Lanka, the damage to
trees has been significant.
In 2010, trying to absorb
the larger ecological loss, I wrote: “Hundreds of millions of
trees have recently died and many more hundreds of millions will soon
be dying. Now think of all the other lives, including birds and
animals, that depended on those trees. What happened to them and how do
we talk about that which we can’t see and will never know?”
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
To mitigate the
crisis, to save life itself, would require not merely the replacement
of carbon-dirty fossil fuels with renewable forms of energy, but a
genuine reevaluation of modern life and its institutions. In other
words, to save the starfish, the piņon, the birds, and the insects, and
us in the process, has become the most challenging and significant
ethical obligation of our increasingly precarious time.
Yes, I think that is a
fair inference. And this is a strongly recommended article, in
which there is considerably more than I quoted.
Is a Child Prison': Democrats Demand Release of Children to Family
is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Democratic lawmakers joined
protesters in a demonstration Saturday in the border town of
Tornillo, Texas, where about 2,700 young immigrants are currently being
held in a detention center—with some having languished there for months.
The facility is better
described as a "child prison," said the legislators, including Reps.
Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Rep.-elect Veronica
Escobar (D-Texas), and Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tina Smith
(D-Minn.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
The delegation wasn't able to talk extensively to any of the children,
Yes, indeed: If you
lock up children, what you have is a child prison. Then
again, I have been following the kidnapping of children from
their parents in Nederlog since I first knew of it, but
so far I am the only one who wrote about it who said this is kidnapping.
I still think so, and
in case you disagree, here is a definition of kidnapping
from the Wikipedia:
law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person
against his or her will.
And here is the definition of
kidnapping from the
The crime of unlawfully
seizing and carrying away a person by force or Fraud,
or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will
with an intent to carry that person away at a later time.
I am quoting these
because they strongly support my usage - and I am the only
one I know of who uses the term for the actions of Trump´s
government, even though I seem to be quite right.
Here is more:
Yes indeed. Here is the ending
of this article:
The center opened last
summer and was intended to be a facility where children who had arrived
in the U.S. without parents or guardians—or who had been separated from
their parents by the Trump administration—would stay for just 30 days
before being released to U.S.-based family members who could sponsor
But as O'Rourke told the
crowd outside the center, many of the children have been there for
months thanks to the Trump administration's new
rules requiring all sponsors to pass background checks before they
can retrieve children.
Yes - but it is kidnapping,
at least if these children were "separated
from their parents by the Trump administration". Besides, I think no one should lock up
children in prisons.
And this is a recommended article.
The Tornillo facility is
"in a remote location on purpose so that the American people do not
know what it happening here," said O'Rourke.
Escobar also called out the
corporate media for failing to cover the conditions in which thousands
of children are being held in U.S. custody for months on end.
"It's all about the 24-hour
news cycle, it's all about the next piece of information, it's all
about the next scandal coming from the White House," Escobar said.
"While we have to pay attention to all of that, we cannot forget the
children that are being held in U.S. government prisons for having the
audacity to seek refuge in the arms of America."
an Unequal Earth Beat Climate Change?
is by Sam Pizzigati on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
We either keep fossil fuels
in the ground, or all of us are going to fry. So essentially posits
still another new blockbuster
study on climate change, this one just published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences. Our fossil-fuel industrial
economy, the study details, has made for the fastest climate changes
our Earth has ever seen.
“If we think about the
future in terms of the past, where we are going is uncharted territory
for human society,” notes
the study lead author Kevin Burke from the University of Wisconsin.
“In the roughly 20 to 25
years I have been working in the field,” adds
another researcher on the effort, Wisconsin’s John Williams, “we have
gone from expecting climate change to happen, to detecting the effects,
and now, we are seeing that it’s causing harm,” as measured in property
damage and deaths, in intensified flooding and fires.
The last time climate on
Earth saw nearly as drastic and rapid a climate shift, scientists relate
in another new study published in the journal Science, came
some 252 million years ago, and that shift unfolded over the span of a
few thousand years. Those span of time saw the extinction of 96 percent
of the Earth’s ocean species and almost as devastating a loss to
Yes, I think most of
this is correct - and see item 3 for considerably
more. And here is more from the present article:
Other scientific studies
over this past year — most notably an October report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change that warned we have a dozen years to avert a climate catastrophe
— have made similarly alarming observations and together provided an
apt backdrop for this month’s United Nations climate change talks in
Researchers had hoped these
talks would stiffen the global resolve to seriously address the climate
change crisis. But several nations had other ideas. The United States,
Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait have all
refused to officially “welcome” the findings of the blue-ribbon
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, essentially throwing a huge
monkey-wrench into efforts to mobilize a fitting global response.
Quite so. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
[M]any more such steps will
be necessary, as Basav Sen, the climate justice director at the
Institute for Policy Studies, reminds
“Addressing climate change
effectively and justly,” sums up Sen, “requires us to transform the
unjust social and economic systems that gave us climate change in the
I agree, but I do not
believe that the "social
and economic systems that gave us climate change in the first place" will be changed (in any
major way, which is necessary - and see item 3
again) without a major economic crisis. (I am sorry, but this is
what I think.)
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 (!!).