in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 13, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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 13, 2019:
1. The End of Ice: Dahr Jamail on Climate
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. One Minute to Midnight
3. America’s Widening Inequality of Place
4. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Under Fire Because She’s Right
5. A US Tax on Wealth Is Long Overdue
End of Ice: Dahr Jamail on Climate Disruption
is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the
title. It starts with the following introduction:
I think the above is very
probably correct, both on the climate and on the disappearance of
Himalayan ice cap: "It
warns rising temperatures in the Himalayas could lead to mass
population displacement, as well as catastrophic food and water
insecurity. The glaciers are a vital water source for the 250 million
people who live in the Hindu Kush Himalaya range".
A new report finds at
third of the Himalayan ice cap will melt by the end of the century due
to climate change, even if the world’s most ambitious environmental
reforms are implemented. The report, released by the Hindu Kush
Himalaya Assessment earlier this month, is the culmination of half a
decade’s work by over 200 scientists, with an additional 125 experts
peer reviewing their work. It warns rising temperatures in the
Himalayas could lead to mass population displacement, as well as
catastrophic food and water insecurity. The glaciers are a vital water
source for the 250 million people who live in the Hindu Kush Himalaya
range, which spans from Afghanistan to Burma. More than 1.5 billion
people depend on the rivers that flow from the Himalayan peaks. We
speak with Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and Truthout staff
reporter. He is the author of the new book “The End of Ice: Bearing
Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption.”
And incidentally: I have been following - let's say - the
since 1972, when I first read "The Limits
to Growth", and I think I have to say that I did not see
changes in the last 45 years, although there were some. But none
attacked the dangers that have been pointed since the 1950ies,
Huxley in "The Human Situation" (still in print) or by Rachel
And while I think the above quotation is probably correct, I must add
that I am pessimistic, mostly because I've seen nearly 50
years of lies
and politics. I hope I am mistaken, but I fear I am not.
Here is some more:
GONZÁLEZ: (..) The region is home to the most ice in the
world, after Antarctica and the Arctic. More than 1.5 billion people
depend on the rivers that flow from the Himalayan peaks.
GOODMAN: Meanwhile, an
alarming new report
has found more than 40 percent of insect species around the world may
become extinct in the next few decades. Although the study’s authors
point to industrial agriculture as the main culprit, they also lay
blame on climate change, citing warming temperatures that have led to
sudden decreases in insect population in places like Puerto Rico, where
nearly 100 percent of ground rainforest bugs have disappeared in just
This devastating news comes
as 2018 was found to be the fourth-warmest year on record. The past
five years have been the five warmest since reliable measurements began
more than a century and a half ago.
Yes, thus is all
correct to the best of my knowledge. Here is some more:
JAMAIL: They’re more
indications of how far along we already are, regarding human-caused
climate disruption. Excuse me. They essentially underscore that we are
on a warming trend now that’s unprecedented, unlike anything that we’ve
ever seen since humans have been on the planet. And it’s very
disconcerting. And we can really look across the globe and see these
giant alarm bells, like the melting of the glaciers in the Himalaya,
the collapse of insect populations, which that same report said, at the
current trajectory, assuming we don’t speed up or these trends don’t
speed up, which they may well do that, we could lose all insects by
Quite so - and if we "lose all insects by 2100", then the majority or all of humanity
also disappear, for lack of food.
Here is some more:
GONZÁLEZ: Well, Dahr, in your new book, you talk about—at one
point, you say, “As a species, we now hang over the abyss of a
geoengineered future we have created for ourselves. At our insistence,
our voracious appetite is consuming nature itself. We have refused to
heed the warnings Earth has been sending, and there is no rescue team
on its way.” That’s a pretty dim sense of what lies ahead. Could you
talk about the response of governments and the human race to what’s
JAMAIL: Well, it is why I
think we’re in such a grim situation. Because I went to many of the
hotspots, the front lines of climate disruption around the world, from
Denali up in Alaska to the Amazon rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef
to South Florida for sea level rise and many other places. And in each
place, really, what we’ve seen is catastrophic declines of—whether it’s
biodiversity in the Amazon to the loss of ice up in the Alaskan Range
to how fast now sea level rise is starting to accelerate (..) And yet,
like other countries, as well, we have a government that is not only
not doing anything about it, but is instead stomping on the gas. And
so, another reason things are so grim.
Yes, I agree with
Here is the last but that I'll quote from this article, and it is by
And, you know, the best
science now shows that even if we stopped all fossil fuel emissions
today, and everything—you know, all governments started to react
accordingly, most likely we have a minimum of 3 degrees C warming
that’s already baked into the system. And so, hold that up against how
governments are reacting. I mean, we should be having global,
coordinated response on a dramatically emergency level. And instead,
it’s business as usual in at least the leading countries—you know, the
U.S., China, India and Russia, the leading greenhouse gas-emitting
countries on the planet. And instead of going into an emergency
response and mandated CO2 emission cuts and getting off fossil fuels as
rapidly as possible, they’re just stomping on the gas and pretending
like we can keep kicking this can down the road.
I think Jamail is correct.
There also is considerably more in the article, that is strongly
Minute to Midnight
is by Scott Ritter
on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I more or less agree with
Bronson, but there is also this by Ritter:
Late last month, the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists unveiled its “Doomsday Clock” for the
26th time since its creation in 1947, declaring that the
hands on the clock would remain where they had been at the last
setting, in 2018. Rachel Bronson, the bulletin’s president, described
the environment in which the bulletin assesses the threats faced by the
world today (which have expanded beyond nuclear to include climate
change and cyber) as the “new
abnormal,” and noted
that no one should take comfort from the fact that the hands of the
clock have not moved.
“This new abnormal,”
Bronson wrote in her statement explaining the decision, “is a
pernicious and dangerous departure from the time when the United States
sought a leadership role in designing and supporting global agreements
that advanced a safer and healthier planet. The new abnormal describes
a moment in which fact is becoming indistinguishable from fiction,
undermining our very abilities to develop and apply solutions to the
big problems of our time.”
I dissent from the
decision to stay the hands of the Doomsday Clock. Humanity is
sleepwalking toward global annihilation, furthered by a collective
amnesia about the threat posed by nuclear weapons, especially in an
environment void of meaningful arms control. On Feb. 2, the United
its obligations under the INF Treaty, beginning a 180-day
process that, once concluded, will lead to the abandonment of that
soon followed suit. The death of the INF Treaty represents far more
than simply the end of an era. It is the end of a process—a
mindset—that recognized nuclear weapons for their globe-killing reality
and sought their reduction and eventual elimination.
And I think Ritter
seems correct, although with the Doomsday Clock as close to a
war as it is now, one possible reason not to move it even
doomsday is to have some space to do so, although I do not know
Here is more by Ritter:
The demise of the INF
is symptomatic of a larger problem—the collapse of arms control as an
institution. Viktor Mizin, one of the Soviet negotiators involved in
the INF Treaty, made note
of this reality, and its consequences. “[Soviet arms control
negotiators] got their start with the first negotiations for the
partial test-ban treaties [in the 1950s]. These were the people with
whom the partial [U.S.-Soviet] detente and the idea of peaceful
coexistence began … [t]his was an entire generation of brilliant
diplomats, soldiers, and defense industry specialists. It’s no
coincidence that most competent people around then were the ones who
participated in all these negotiations … [w]e don’t have anyone like
them now. Both here and in America, there’s been a collapse of
institutional memory, and no one remembers what happened at these
negotiations, and there’s nobody who has the same negotiating skills.”
Worse, Mizin noted, “We’re absolutely failing to raise the next
I am afraid that Mizin is
This article ends as follows,
after a lot more I leave to your interests:
I fear Ritter is correct,
indeed in part because of his knowledge and background, which are here.
The Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists is wrong to keep the hands of the Doomsday Clock stuck at
two minutes to midnight. The situation is far more grave than its
assessed “new abnormal” would suggest. The United States is in the
process of creating the conditions for a nuclear war with Russia, and
the Russian president is calmly talking about global annihilation if
such an event transpires.
The world is on the edge of
the nuclear abyss. It’s one minute before midnight, and we are acting
as if we still have time. We don’t.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
3. America’s Widening
Inequality of Place
is by Robert Reich
on his site. It starts as follows:
Well... I agree
that there are "inequalities
of place" in the USA, but I
am sorry that I do not agree with his assessment of "a process of group learning – of talented
people interacting with each other continuously and directly, keying
off each other’s creativity", mostly because it sounds too much like the
advertisements I read in Holland over 40 years ago for the University
of Amsterdam - that in fact was mostly governed by students who
members of the Communist Party and later postmodernusts, and by
professional politicians from the Dutch social democrats.
You’ve heard me talk about
inequalities of income and wealth and political power. But another kind
of inequality needs to be addressed as well: widening inequalities of
On the one hand, booming
mega-cities. On the other hand, an American heartland that’s becoming
emptier, older, whiter, less educated, and poorer. Trump country.
To understand what’s
happening you first need to see technology not as a thing but as a
process of group learning – of talented people interacting with each
other continuously and directly, keying off each other’s
creativity, testing new concepts, quickly discarding those that don’t
work, and building cumulative knowledge.
This learning goes way
beyond the confines of any individual company. It now happens in
geographic clusters – mostly along the east and west coasts in places
like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boston and suburban
My point is here not that it is (or was) like that in the USA,
clearly is not: my point is that in fact it is very
difficult to get
true information about the functioning of nearly all universities for
those who do not belong to a university.
Anyway. Here is some more:
This is quite correct,
right term for it is quite anti-democratic - I mean that "California, now inhabited by almost 40
million people, gets two senators – as does Wyoming, with just 579,000".
Between 2010 and 2016,
according to Brookings, nearly half of America’s employment growth
centered in just 20 large metro areas that are now home to about a
third of the US population.
One consequence is a more
distorted democracy. California, now inhabited by almost 40 million
people, gets two senators – as does Wyoming, with just 579,000.
Even though Democratic
Senate candidates in the 2018 midterm elections received 18 million
more votes than Republican Senate candidates, Republicans still gained
2 more Senate seats.
Here is the ending of Reich's article:
I fear Reich is correct
and this is a recommended article.
So as the American middle
class disappears, the two groups falling most perilously behind are
white, rural, non-college Trump supporters, and the very poor
inside America’s trendiest mega-urban centers, who are
disproportionately black and Latino.
This inequality is
unsustainable. It’s literally tearing America apart.
Ocasio-Cortez Is Under Fire Because She’s Right
is by Jesse
Jackson on Common Dreams and originally on the Chicago Sun-Times.
It starts as follows:
I think Jackson is
correct, and indeed he quotes excellent evidence:
The big guns are out for
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the charismatic first-term legislator from
In an apparent swipe at
Ocasio-Cortez, Donald Trump used part of his rambling State
of the Union address to say he was “alarmed by new calls to adopt
socialism in our country.”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz cited Ocasio-Cortez’s support for a 70
percent tax rate on income above $10 million a year as one reason he
may decide to run as an independent for president, and not as a
The young congresswoman
isn’t easily cowed. She called out Trump, saying “I think he’s scared.”
The main reason is that
the so-called "political
already rich people making more money by being elected representatives.
That is, I think that the majority of both the Republicans and the
Democrats are in fact corrupt, though I agree that the Republicans
more corrupt than the Democrats.
Ocasio-Cortez is exactly
right. Schultz may think calls for Medicare for all are “un-American,”
but the vast majority of Americans support it. Consider the following:
poll: 70 percent support Medicare for all, including 52 percent of
News poll: 70 percent support raising taxes on those making over
$10 million a year.
poll: 62 percent support tuition-free college.
Foundation poll: 92 percent support having Medicare negotiate with
drug companies to lower drug prices.
Hart poll: 63 percent
support $15 minimum wage.
Mason poll: 81 percent support the Green New Deal plan.
There is a wide gulf
between the political center and the moral center.
Here is one more bit by Jackson on the differences between the
center and the political center:
I more or less agree, but
I also insist that, in the experience of myself of the last 50 years,
and of my father and grandfather, both of whom got convicted
the morally right thing in WW II by the Nazis, whom they resisted,
which also killed my grandfather, I do not think that in
and dangerous circumstances more than 5% of the people will choose do
or try to do the morally right thing. And this is a recommended
Dr. Martin Luther King used
to teach that “cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then
expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity
asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it
right? There comes a time when one must take the position that is
neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because
conscience tells him it is right.”
Politicians worry about
donors. They hear from lobbyists, from special interests, from
corporations that can spend unlimited money in political campaigns
without revealing it.
The moral center is
concerned with what is right — and what can work.
What is different now is
that the moral center — what is right — is also increasingly popular.
US Tax on Wealth Is Long Overdue
is by Thomas
Piketty on Common Dreams and originally on the Boston Globe. It
starts as follows:
I agree with
the USA, but do not know whether he is correct about France
is true Pikettty is French).
What if the final blow for
French President Emmanuel Macron came not from the yellow vests but
from US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts? Warren, who
announced her candidacy for president on Saturday, has proposed
what will doubtless be one of the key points of her campaign — the
creation of a genuine federal progressive wealth tax.
by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the Warren proposal sets a rate of
2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3
percent above $1 billion. The proposal also provides for an exit tax
equal to 40 percent of total wealth for those who relinquish their
American citizenship. The tax would apply to all assets, with no
exemptions, with dissuasive sanctions for people and governments that
do not transmit appropriate information on assets held abroad.
The debate has only just
begun and the proposed schedule could still be extended and made more
progressive — with rates rising, for example, to 5 to 10 percent per
annum for multibillionaires. What is certain is that the issue of
fiscal justice will be central to the presidential campaign. US
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has suggested a
rate of 70 percent on the highest incomes, while Senator Bernie Sanders
of Vermont defends a tax rate of 77 percent on the highest inherited
estates. While the Warren proposal is the most innovative, the three
approaches are complementary and should be mutually beneficial.
Here is Piketty's main argument about the USA:
Yes, quite so. And
a strongly recommended article.
Between 1930 and 1980, the
rate applied on the highest incomes was on average 81 percent, and the
rate applied to the highest inherited estates was 74 percent. Clearly
this did not destroy American capitalism. Far from it. It made it more
egalitarian and more productive, at a time when the United States had
not forgotten that educational advancement and investment in training
and skills — not the religion of property and inequality — were the
backbone of prosperity.
Presidents Ronald Reagan,
George W. Bush, and Donald Trump subsequently endeavored to destroy
this heritage. They turned their backs on the egalitarian origins of
the country by counting on historical amnesia and by fueling
identity-based divisions. With the hindsight we have today, it is
obvious that the outcome of this policy was disastrous. Between 1980
and 2020, the rise in per capita national income was halved in
comparison with the period 1930-1980. What little growth there was
ended up being swept up by the richest, the consequence being a
complete stagnation in income for the poorest 50 percent.
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 (!!).