from January 13, 2019
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 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 January 13, 2019:
1. F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether
Trump Was Secretly Working on
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:
Behalf of Russia
2. Trump Tweets Lengthy Attack on F.B.I.
3. Report Finds Little Media Interest in 'Green New Deal'
4. Why 'Fact-Checking' Gives Liars a Free Pass
5. British think-tanks call for “US leadership” in Europe
Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of
This article is by
Adam Goldman, Michael Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos on The New York
Times. It starts as follows:
In the days after
President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law
enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior
that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of
Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement
officials and others familiar with the investigation.
Well... this seems to be
more or less correct, though Comey´s dismissal is meanwhile over one
and a half year ago.
The inquiry carried explosive
implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether
the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national
security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was
knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s
The investigation the F.B.I.
opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been
publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction
Here is some more:
The special counsel,
Robert S. Mueller III, took over the inquiry into Mr. Trump when he was
appointed, days after F.B.I. officials opened it. That inquiry is part
of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russian operatives
interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates
conspired with them. It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller is still
pursuing the counterintelligence matter, and some former law
enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether
agents overstepped in opening it.
I take it this is correct
as well. Here is some more:
The criminal and
counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one
investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in
recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to
impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible
crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence
division handles national security matters.
No evidence has
emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took
direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and
a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.
This means - if I
understood the foregoing correctly - that in 1 1/2 year there has not
been given any public (!!) evidence ¨that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with
or took direction from Russian government officials¨.
The cloud of the Russia
investigation has hung over Mr. Trump since even before he took office,
though he has long vigorously denied any illicit connection to Moscow.
The obstruction inquiry, revealed by The Washington Post a few weeks
after Mr. Mueller was appointed, represented a direct threat that he
was unable to simply brush off as an overzealous examination of a
handful of advisers. But few details have been made public about the
counterintelligence aspect of the investigation.
The main problem I see is in the (bolding added) ¨public
evidence¨: Either there is no evidence, or
evidence there is, is being kept a secret, and either
not seem very democratic (to choose for that term), for if after 1 1/2
year of investigations there is no evidence, Trump (whom I
strongly dislike) should have been cleared in some fashion, and if
there is evidence, the public should have heard at least some
of it. Neither was the case.
Then there is this:
“In the Russian
Federation and in President Putin himself, you have an individual whose
aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western
democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability, America’s
ability and the West’s ability to spread our democratic ideals,” Lisa
Page, a former bureau lawyer, told House investigators in private
testimony reviewed by The Times.
I do not know of
what bureau Ms Page was a lawyer, but Wikipedia told me that some
Lisa Page worked for Mueller at some point, and was investigated
because she had a personal relation with former FBI agent Peter Strzok.
And in any case, I think she is bullshitting in
the above quote, and seems to have little or no idea that Russia ceased
being communistic or socialistic in 1991, while I also must say that
¨the West´s¨ ¨democratic
ideals¨ seem to me pure propaganda
(and also quite false).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Many [FBI officials
- MM] involved in the case viewed Russia as the chief threat to
American democratic values.
As I said, I think Ms. Page
(whoever she is) is again bullshitting.
As to the rest: I dislike both the FBI and Trump, and decided not
to believe anything said by them unless I know myself that it
is true or else I get some decent evidence. Both are
“With respect to Western
ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia
poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life,” Ms. Page told
investigators for a joint House Judiciary and Oversight Committee
investigation into Moscow’s election interference.
F.B.I. officials viewed their
decision to move quickly as validated when a comment the president made
to visiting Russian officials in the Oval Office shortly after he fired
Mr. Comey was revealed days later.
“I just fired the head of the
F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to a
document summarizing the meeting. “I faced great pressure because of
Russia. That’s taken off.”
Tweets Lengthy Attack on F.B.I.
This article is by
Michael Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos on The New York Times. It starts as
President Trump on
Saturday unleashed an extended assault on the F.B.I. and the special
counsel’s investigation, knitting together a comprehensive alternative
story in which he had been framed by disgraced “losers” at the bureau’s
To start with, I take it
my readers noticed these are two of the three journalists that wrote
the previous article I reviewed.
In a two-hour span starting at
7 a.m., the president made a series of false claims on Twitter about
his adversaries and the events surrounding the inquiry. He was
responding to a report in The New York Times that, after he fired James
B. Comey as F.B.I. director in 2017, the bureau began investigating
whether the president had acted on behalf of Russia.
In his tweets, the president
accused Hillary Clinton, without evidence, of breaking the law by lying
to the F.B.I. He claimed that Mr. Comey was corrupt and best friends
with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. He said Mr. Mueller
was employing a team of Democrats — another misleading assertion — bent
on taking him down.
And as to these first quoted paragraphs, this is totally new to
me. Here is some more:
Hours later, Mr.
Trump continued his broadside on a friendly television venue, Jeanine
Pirro’s show on Fox News. Asked “are you now or have you ever worked
for Russia, Mr. President?” Mr. Trump did not directly answer the
I take it these assertions
are true (mostly because they were on TV, although I did not see them).
“I think it’s the most
insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he said by telephone. “I think
it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.”
He also denied a report in The
Washington Post that he had taken extensive steps to conceal from other
high-ranking officials his conversations with President Vladimir V.
Putin of Russia over the past two years.
Here is some more:
The Times article,
published Friday evening, reported that law enforcement officials
became so alarmed by Mr. Trump’s behavior surrounding his firing of Mr.
Comey that they took the explosive step of opening a
counterintelligence investigation against him.
I say. In fact, I also
could have said so when reviewing the first bit of this article, but I
will now say that I do think these are important accusations
Naming several of the bureau’s
now-departed top officials, including Mr. Comey and his deputy, Andrew
G. McCabe, Mr. Trump said the F.B.I. had “tried to do a number on your
President,” accusing the “losers” of essentially fabricating a case.
“Part of the Witch Hunt,” he wrote — referring dismissively to the
investigation now being overseen by Mr. Mueller.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Mr. Trump indicated
on Saturday that he had not known of the existence of the
counterintelligence investigation before the Times article, and he did
not dispute the newspaper’s reporting.
I say, again. And as I´ve
said many times before, I believe, as a psychologist and
together with many other
psychologists and psychiatrists, that Trump is insane, and the
facts reported in this article seem to support that diagnosis. There
will be more on this, undoubtedly, and this is a recommended article.
But he made clear that he
viewed any such inquiry as illegitimate from the start. He presented
it, without evidence, as part of a vast, yearslong conspiracy to undo
In the tweets, Mr. Trump
defended his decision to fire Mr. Comey — “a total sleaze!” — at
length, accusing the former director of overseeing a “rigged &
botched” investigation of Mrs. Clinton, and leading the agency into
“complete turmoil.” Democrats and Republicans alike wanted Mr. Comey
removed, he said.
“My firing of James Comey was
a great day for America,” Mr. Trump wrote. “He was a Crooked Cop.”
Finds Little Media Interest in 'Green New Deal'
is by Julia Conley on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
I say, and I do so because
meanwhile I have both read and reviewed quite a few articles on
Green New Deal, but I also do grand that about the only two sites that
I daily consult (from thirtyfive in all) that belong to the mainstream
press are The Guardian and The New York Times.
A new analysis by one of the nation’s
top public interest advocacy groups shows that even as the planet and
humanity face an existential threat due to the climate crisis, most
corporate media outlets in the U.S. have largely ignored the urgent
need for a Green New Deal and the growing political movement
Following the midterm
elections in November, the youth-led Sunrise
congressional offices and demanded that representatives back a Green
New Deal and the creation of a House select committee that would be
tasked with drafting legislation to create one, successfully convincing
45 members of
Congress to support the proposal.
But despite the energy
behind the plan, 82
percent of Americans in a Yale/George Mason poll said they had never
heard of the Green New Deal, and researchers behind the new Public
Citizen study are blaming corporate news networks for failing to
educate the public about the proposal.
Then again, if this is the case (and I see little reason to doubt it),
I think it is good evidence for the two theses that (i) the mainstream
press is no longer informing its readers (in many cases) but propagandizing
them, and (ii) this means that American democracy is thereby slowly
certainly killed (for there is no real democracy if the
majority of the
voters is simply not told what they ought to know to
decisions on their own).
Here are some more facts:
I say again, for this
supports what I said above. Then again, while over 80% of the voters
who have heard of the Green New Deal support it, this does not
mean very much if in fact over 80% of the American voters has not
heard of it. Anyway, this is a strongly recommended article.
ABC News ran
just one segment on the plan, while MSNBC ran
three. CNN never mentioned the Green New Deal in its
November and December coverage, according to Public Citizen.
“The surge of interest in a
Green New Deal was one of the most significant climate change stories
of 2018, and many media outlets gave it little or no attention,” said David
Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program.
In the digital news
world, Politico published 33 stories about the Green
New Deal, but the conservative Daily Caller was
right behind them with 32, with headlines calling the plan “indirect
taxation” and warning that the name is “another way
of saying new taxes.”
Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), one of the plan’s biggest supporters, has
suggested that the Green New Deal should be funded with far
higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans—not for middle-class
Americans who have
get information about the proposal have overwhelmingly expressed
approval, with 81
percent of registered voters reporting in the Yale/George
Mason poll that they support the plan.
'Fact-Checking' Gives Liars a Free Pass
is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Look, let’s face it, the
has been enabling Trump in particular and the conservatives in general
by the way it has been addressing the blatant lying, deception,
misdirection, and other forms of lying.
For the most part, the
reports the disagreement between parties as legitimate differences in
opinion, long after it’s become obvious that one side is lying. For
example, for decades, now, Republicans have been justifying giant tax
giveaways to the rich and corporations under the guise of trickle-down,
supply-side, job-creators or some other claim that what’s good for the
rich is good for all of us. But it’s literally never been demonstrated.
In fact, the
data shows that there is no correlation whatsoever between the top
marginal tax rate and economic growth. None. Zero. Nada,
Zilch. The same is true for job creation.
Yes indeed, I agree
all of this. Here is more:
To the extent mainstream
media does attempt to divine the truth, they’ll do it in the context of
“fact-checking.” Now, the implication of fact-checking is that one side
or the other simply got their facts wrong. And maybe the first time out
of the gate, that’s the approach we should take. Maybe it was OK, to
give Reagan a pass in his first two years when he pushed “supply-side,”
even though we knew then that, historically, lower taxes on the rich
and less regulation of the financial sector had led to the two biggest
economic dislocations in U.S. history. But, hey, maybe Ronnie didn’t
know that. But when it happened again after Bush’s tax cuts and
deregulation led to the second worst recession in U.S. history in 2008
and 2009, the MSM should have caught on.
When the “mistakes and
misstatements” happen over and over again even after they’ve been show
to be false, folks aren’t getting their facts wrong, they’re lying.
Intentionally. Blatantly. And because the press largely refuses to call
them what they are—liars—they can do it again and again with impunity.
Yes, I agree with all
Trump, the press, and the
Republicans have known these assertions are lies. They’ve been called
on it numerous times, although the mainstream corporate media does so
in the context of “fact-checks” or in opinion pieces, leaving the hard
news stories to report merely what both “sides” say, as if reality
didn’t exist. This balance, or both-sidism, approach to reporting
enables liars and the lying liars who tell them to escape the
consequences of their lies.
I take it this is true as
well, and I guess it is true, as Acheson says, that the mainstream
media are ¨leaving the hard news
stories to report merely what both “sides” say, as if reality didn’t
exist¨. (Then again, I admit I do
not read much of the mainstream media, indeed precisely because I think
their main articles are often composed of a mixture of propaganda, lies, and
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Isn’t the fact that one
entire party—the one that controls most of government —has been
systematically lying to the American people for decades now more
important than a temporary government shutdown? Probably the only
Democrat to take on the lies and the moral bankruptcy of Trump and his
Republican enablers with passion, and with facts was Rep. Alexandria
But if you were to read the
corporatized mainstream media, you could come away with the idea that
Trump and his cronies got a few of their facts wrong, and that the
Democrats were equally at fault for the shutdown.
The fact that the
controlling party in our country consistently lies to the American
people, and that it rejects science, facts, and reality? Oh,
can’t say that. Wouldn’t be balanced, you know.
And so they consign the
most important issue facing the country to side columns on
fact-checking, full of false equivalence.
Liberal media? What a
joke. It, like both political parties, is neither liberal nor
conservative; it’s corporatized, plain and simple—answerable to the
amoral forces of the market, not the normative forces of institutions
operating for the common good.
I more or less agree,
but not quite.
First, I mostly
that ¨one entire party—the
one that controls most of government —has been systematically lying to
the American people for decades¨, for that seems to me simply the case, with a few
twists that are not very relevant.
Second, I think
Atcheson is correct when he says that ¨if you were to read the corporatized
mainstream media, you could come away with the idea that Trump and his
cronies got a few of their facts wrong, and that the Democrats were
equally at fault for the shutdown.¨
Third, I totally
with Atcheson that it is a fact ¨that the controlling party in our country
consistently lies to the American people, and that it rejects science,
facts, and reality¨ for the
simple reason that this is correct.
Fourth, I think I mostly
disagree with Atcheson on the title, which is ¨Why
'Fact-Checking' Gives Liars a Free Pass¨ (but I do not know whether the title is his), because
it is not so much the fact-checking that is mistaken,
as the lack of reporting on the falsities Trump´s government states
in main articles.
Then again, fifth and
last, I agree the mainstream press these days is ¨corporatized, plain and simple—answerable to
the amoral forces of the market, not the normative forces of
institutions operating for the common good¨. (Besides, I agree this probably will remain
as long as the papers do not - somehow - get an independent income to
make up for loosing most of their advertisements to the internet.) And
this is a strongly recommended article.
think-tanks call for “US leadership” in Europe
is by Jeremy McCoy on The Off-Guardian. It starts as follows:
January 4, Anonymous
released the new batch of documents from the Integrity Initiative
– a government-funded program run by the London based Institute for
Statecraft. The Institute for Statecraft describes itself as “an
independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, to
improving governance and to enhancing national security”. The
Integrity Initiative: Defending Democracy against Disinformation is one
of the Institute’s projects aimed at countering Russian propaganda as
well as all kinds of “attempts to influence the policies and
undermine the societies of the West”.
I say, for I do not
recall these kinds of documents 25 and more years ago, for this is (i)
the Integrity Iniative (itself probably a lie) that (ii) is ¨a government-funded program¨, which nevertheless insists that it
is ¨independent¨, while it also insists that (iii) it is ¨enhancing national security¨.
Well... I conclude it
probably is a part of English national security. Here is some more:
The experts believe a
reassertion of the US political and military domination in Europe is
the only way for the West to counter Russia, China and Daesh/IS.
“The West is badly in
need of a reassertion of US leadership. The EU has been unable to
generate any strategic thinking or to exercise convincing leadership.
Russia (& China) are successfully driving wedges between EU Member
States and between Allies within NATO. Brexit has added to the
The US also needs to
rebuild its understanding of Russia and how to deal with it, so as to
(a) improve its own governance at a time of transition, and (b) rebuild
its leading role in Europe via NATO and via encouragement to the EU, to
enable them to deal more effectively with the new challenge to our
democratic structures and processes posed by Russia (and China, and
Daesh/IS) today,” the documents recently leaked by the
I take it this part of English national security in fact
insists England is no longer a country nor important (which is,
least, what I heard several prominent Dutch politicians say about
Holland in 2002,
when Holland became part of the EU), and they have also found out that the
unable to generate any strategic thinking or to exercise convincing
ordinary people living in the EU), while they insist that they
dealing ¨with the new
challenge to our democratic structures and processes posed by Russia
(and China, and Daesh/IS) today¨.
To me it seems all complete
and pure propaganda
from some British anonymous
In fact, here is
McCoy´s inference from the above:
In other words British
security experts welcome American military bases on European soil and
supremacy of American national interests over the interests of European
nations. They believe that American military power will save the
Europeans from “Russian hybrid warfare”, Chinese expansion and
jihadists. This approach looks more than flimsy.
Yes indeed - and as I said, I
agree that ¨[t]his approach looks
more than flimsy¨, for the simple reason that it looks quite crazy
in my eyes.
Here is the ending of this
The new political
show imprudence of the approach to European security developed by the
think-tankers from the Institute for Statecraft. American military
facilities are the last things necessary for the Europeans to feel
safe. What the Europeans really need to do is to stay away from the
up-coming missile duel between Trump and Putin.
I completely agree
this is a recommended article.
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 (!!).