in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 11, 2019
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 February 11, 2019:
1. No Winner in a New Arms Race
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. Food & Water Watch: Carbon Tax
Is a Sham
3. How to Legalize Cannabis Throughout US
4. Real Net Neutrality Is More Than a Ban
5. Green New Deal 'Absolutely Realistic'
Winner in a New Arms Race
This article is by The Editorial
Board on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
Most of this is quite
correct, but I do not like the first paragraph, for the simple
reason that while it is possible that "the fear of being blown
up on a plane, or a train, or a sidewalk" may have given "millions of people
sleepless nights" these fears are in fact totally
fears about a nuclear war: There it is
not just those in the plane or
train who may get destroyed, but literally billions
of people, or
indeed the whole of humanity may be
Before the fear of being
up on a plane, or a train, or a sidewalk gave millions of people
sleepless nights, before the threat of global climate disaster stirred
dread, nuclear annihilation was the stuff of nightmares.
By the mid-1980s, the
States and the Soviet Union had amassed 63,000 nuclear weapons, with
the promise of mutually assured destruction if even one were ever used,
Then, after years of global
protests and skyrocketing budgets, American and Soviet leaders stepped
back from the brink and began a process of arms control diplomacy,
accelerated by the fall of the Soviet Union, that shrank those arsenals
by nearly 90 percent. For decades, that process and that diplomacy
continued … until now.
President Trump and his
counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who control 90 percent of the world’s
nuclear weapons, are preparing to abandon the 1987 treaty that
ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 310 miles to 3,100
miles. They have yet to begin serious talks on extending a 2010 treaty
that reduced the nuclear warheads deployed on intercontinental
ballistic missiles and other strategic systems, and the Americans, in
particular, don’t appear to have any interest in doing so. Washington
and Moscow are also modernizing old weapons systems and building new
ones, at a cost of $494 billion over
decade in the United States alone.
I put this is
bold, because The Editorial Board seems to have missed that elementary
Here is more:
This is true - and I trust
The Bulletin of
Experts with The Bulletin of
Atomic Scientists, who evaluate the nuclear threat, last month
judged the current state of affairs to be “as worrisome as the most
dangerous times of the Cold War.”
Forces Treaty of 1987, which eliminated 2,692 ground-based missiles,
is part of a web of arms control agreements that have managed the
threat. Mr. Trump is right to blame the Russians for beginning to
unravel the I.N.F. treaty during the Obama administration by testing
and then deploying a cruise missile banned by the treaty.
But he was wrong to assert
his State of the Union address that he had “no choice” other
than to withdraw from the treaty, a move that takes effect in August.
His threat to “outspend and
out-innovate all others by far” in the production of weapons of mass
destruction was chilling, particularly given Mr. Putin’s vow of a “symmetrical”
And this is one of the
major reasons why I think a
madman like Trump - he is a narcissist aka
megalomaniac - which is a form of madness, should not
president of the USA: He is destroying all limits on nuclear weapons.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
It’s unlikely the treaty
be revived, given the deterioration of Russian-American relations,
despite Mr. Trump’s promises of warmer ties and a coziness that has
drawn the scrutiny of the special counsel Robert Mueller.
The pact’s imminent
has intensified concerns that the United States and Russia will let the
2010 New Start
agreement, with its caps on deployed nuclear warheads,
intercontinental ballistic missiles and heavy bombers, as well as
requirements for verification and data exchanges, expire in 2021.
(Start stands for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.) Absent an extension
or a new treaty, the nuclear arsenals will become unregulated —
meaning there will be no legally binding, verifiable limits on the
American or Russian nuclear arsenals — for the first time since
Adding to the uncertainty,
Putin has warned that Russia is developing new “invincible” hypersonic
missiles that will travel at more than five times the speed of sound.
& Water Watch: Carbon Tax Is a Sham
This article is by Lee Camp on
Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I did not fall for "the “carbon
tax” sham" and I do
strongly disagree with the fact that "so many of our laws end up
written by corporate lawyers trying to enrich their companies".
I spoke to Scott Edwards, the legal chief at
Food & Water
Watch, in order to discuss the activism of an organization with a
name that defines why they’re so important in the modern world. Edwards
is a lawyer who has spent his career fighting against the corruption
that has festered in our system, in which corporations work to deceive
the public and decrease their costs by polluting our environment.
In this interview, he talks about why so
many on the left have fallen for the “carbon tax” sham, and why so many
of our laws end up written by corporate lawyers trying to enrich their
Here is more:
I think this is quite
correct - and I note that this very
widespread practice is
Lee Camp: A lot of the
future is definitely being written by lawyers. Do you feel the best
tactic to fight corporate destruction is in the courts? Or do you feel
that it is just one of the tools in the toolbox?
Scott Edwards: It’s a
tactic. The ultimate goal is to build the political power and to force
our elected officials to represent the needs of people instead of the
needs of corporations.
When you say that it’s lawyers that are
writing these laws and policies they mean, more specifically, that it’s
industry lawyers who’re writing these laws and policies today. Whether
you’re talking about legislation around climate, food systems or water
protection laws, the drafters are people from Monsanto, from
ExxonMobil, from all the big industry groups.
All the big corporate lawyers who are
actually writing our laws today are, obviously, doing it in a way that
benefits their clients and makes them lots of money.
Here is Edwards on what he thinks the carbon tax is:
SE: The notion
that paying a
little bit more for gas is a solution to our climate problem isn’t
based in any kind of reality. For example two years ago I was in New
York paying almost $2 more for a gallon of gas than I am today. And
people weren’t driving less, they weren’t pulling off from the gas
station leaving their cars unfilled. We’ve seen the British Columbia
carbon tax that has been in place for years now with no reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions. [Carbon tax] is an industry tool that’s used
to avoid regulation and that’s all it is. It’s business as usual for
I think this is mostly
correct, and it certainly is correct "paying a little bit more for gas is a
solution to our climate problem isn’t based in any kind of reality".
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I think this is quite
correct, and this is a recommended article.
LC: A lot of people don’t
realize but trade deals tend to be decided by corporate lawyers and
lobbyists, and they’re usually just corporate giveaways. Even what has
come out so far about Trump’s changes to NAFTA don’t appear to be any
different than the normal corporate giveaways.
SE: These trade deals
are all structured to increase profits for corporations and for
industries to take advantage of cheap labor, to undercut and undermine
any kinds of environmental protections. They’re all structured in a way
in which working-class, middle-class people will ultimately pay the
price while corporate America and and the wealthy continue to reap all
the benefits of these trade agreements. They’re not being structured in
a way that benefits us at all.
to Legalize Cannabis Throughout US
is by Senator Mike
Gravel on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
In the interest of
full disclosure, I have been on the board of Cannabis Sativa, Inc., for
five years, including four years as CEO. I presently serve as CEO
of THC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. My earlier professional life
included being speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives and two
terms representing Alaska in the U.S. Senate. These combined
experiences equip me to address some of the problems caused by the U.S.
Yes, I think all of this may
correct, and the part about cannabis certainly is.
was not only the American Shafer Commission that recommended
decriminalization of marijuana in 1972, but also the British Wootton Report
of 1968/1969 that argued similarly.)
One of the great domestic
political tragedies since the last century is the war on drugs
initiated by President Richard Nixon, part of which placed cannabis
(marijuana) on the list of Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled
Substances Act of 1970.
Nixon, seeking to shore up his
position opposing cannabis, appointed Raymond Shafer, the recently
retired governor of Pennsylvania, to head a commission to study the
negative effects of marijuana on the American populace. Nixon was
incensed when the Shafer Commission’s 1972 report showed no negative
effects from the use of marijuana on society and called for it to be
The report was promptly
shelved; and Nixon, supported by his religious backers, executed his
plan of drug prohibition, interdiction and punishment without the
slightest medical or legal rationale, to punish young Americans
protesting his continuation of the Vietnam War.
Nexrt, there is a graph in the article that shows the number of
incarcerated Americans from 1930 to 2008, that shows (i) relatively
little change from 1930-1970, with ca. 300,000 incarcerated Americans in 1971, followed by (ii) a steep increase till
2008, when almost 2,500,000 persons were
incarcerated in the USA - more
than 8 times as much as in 1970.
And most of these 2.5 million persons were arrested for marijuana.
Here is more:
government’s prohibitions of alcohol and of cannabis have both been
abject failures, severely damaging American society. The prohibition of
alcohol lasted 13 years, while the prohibition of cannabis has endured
a little more than six decades.
This seems an original
idea that I was not aware of till now. Here is more on it:
The process that ended alcohol
prohibition is the template for the way we can now end the prohibition
of cannabis — with a constitutional amendment. Since prohibition
of alcohol was put in place by the 18th Amendment, it required an
amendment to repeal it. This had never been done before —
repealing one amendment with another amendment.
With today’s 50
states, it would require 38 states –– three-fourths –– to ratify the
two-thirds resolution enacted by the Congress to repeal the designation
of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
Yes, that may well be
correct. Incidentally, I note two things:
Since 33 states have legalized
some form of cannabis and additional states are looking at
legalization, it is highly likely that five more states would join an
effort to remove cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances
Act of 1970.
I believe an amendment to
repeal the war on drugs could easily secure the two-thirds vote in the
First, "to remove cannabis
from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970" is not the same as
legalization, but indeed clearly marijuana is not
the senses heroin, cocaine and speed are, while second, being Dutch, I
want to insist that marijuana is not legalized in Holland: All
that happened since the middle 1980ies is that the former mayor of
Amsterdam Ed van Thijn brought about a change of the law that allowed
Dutch drugs traffickers to sell many more drugs (in all of Western
Europe, and soft and hard drugs) than they could before.
And this is a recommended article.
Net Neutrality Is More Than a Ban
is by Katharine Trendacosta on Common Dreams and originally on
Deeplinks Blog. I abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:
Net neutrality is the
principle that all Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all
traffic coming over their networks without discrimination. Violations
of that principle include, but are not limited to, blocking,
throttling, and paid prioritization. The value of the FCC’s 2015 Open
Internet Order was not just in the banning of those specific practices,
but also in giving the FCC ability to investigate actions that violate
net neutrality but don't fall neatly into one of those three buckets.
safety is tied to net neutrality, as Congressman Jerry
McNerney of California noted when he said that during disasters, people
go online to “check evacuation routes, see if their loved ones are
safe, and find out if it’s even safe to breathe outside.” And if ISPs
have made deals and decisions to make it faster to get to places with
wrong or unhelpful information, that is a problem.
Yes. Here are some of
the problems with network neutrality:
where two different networks exchange information with each other—are
another place where we know ISPs can get around simple bans on just
blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. That is to say that
while the bans prevent things occurring on a network, they do not stop
providers from charging extra when content enters their network at the
connection point, which is paying to get access to customers on the
other network. That’s why California’s S.B. 822, written to replicate
the whole protections of the 2015 Open Internet Order and not just
these three bans, includes prohibitions on doing that. Discriminatory
zero-rating—the practice of exempting certain types of traffic from
counting against a data cap (often under an agreement between the ISP
and web platform)—is another area that can fall outside these three
bans. Not only has zero rating been shown to be harmful
to low-income broadband users, but
it raises the cost of data for all users.
Yes. Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Net neutrality is a
It is not just a set of rules against specific discriminatory
practices. Treating all Internet traffic equally is why we have the
modern Internet. It’s not a new idea, but it’s in danger today.
I don't think this was
a clearly written article, and indeed it is not true that "Treating all Internet traffic equally is why
we have the modern Internet",
for considerably more is involved.
New Deal 'Absolutely Realistic'
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts
I agree with Murphy and
Sanders, but I also think that to realize something like the Green
Deal (which I think is quite important) it very probably is necessary
that the Democrats rule the House and the Senate and the presidency
from 2020 onwards.
Addressing head-on those
claiming that the Green New Deal plan unveiled
last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) and Sen. Ed
Markey (D-Mass.) is impractical, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) declared
on Sunday that the proposal is "absolutely realistic" and represents
the kind of ambitious thinking that will be necessary to avoid climate
After CNN's Jake
Tapper invoked objections raised by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine.) and
former Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz—both
of whom have suggested the goals outlined in the Green New Deal
resolution are unrealistic—Murphy strongly disagreed with their
"I frankly think we need to
set our sights high," said the Connecticut senator, who co-sponsored
the Green New Deal resolution along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
and dozens of congressional Democrats. "I think there were a lot of
people who said it wasn't realistic for the United States to get a man
on the moon by the end of the 1960s, when President Kennedy initially
outlined that goal. But we did it."
Here is more on the Green New Deal:
In addition to
calling for a "national mobilization" to meet "100 percent of the power
demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission
energy sources" by 2030, the Green New Deal resolution
(pdf) also proposes
a federal jobs guarantee, universal healthcare, and massive
Yes, I believe that is
correct. Incidentally, the
Green New Deal resolution
(pdf) is well worth downloading and reading and this is a strongly
groups that have mobilized in support of the sweeping Green New Deal
plan argue that it is the only proposal that meets the urgency demanded
by the scientific evidence, which says
that global carbon emissions must be cut in half by 2030 to avert
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 (!!).