in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 14, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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:
. Selections from February 14, 2019:
1. The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the
Green New Deal
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. Criticizing Israeli Lobby &
AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic
3. California Governor Wants Users to Profit From Online Data
4. Trump’s Assault on Elizabeth Warren
5. Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live?
Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the Green New Deal
This article is by Naomi Klein on
The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Yes, I think this is more
or less correct. Here is more:
“I really don’t like their
policies of taking away your car, taking away your airplane flights, of
‘let’s hop a train to California,’ or ‘you’re not allowed to own cows
So bellowed President
Donald Trump in El Paso, Texas, his first campaign-style salvo against
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey’s Green New Deal
resolution. There will surely be many more.
It’s worth marking the
moment. Because those could be the famous last words of a one-term
president, having wildly underestimated the public appetite for
transformative action on the triple crises of our time: imminent
ecological unraveling, gaping economic inequality (including the racial
and gender wealth divide), and surging white supremacy.
Or they could be the
epitaph for a habitable climate, with Trump’s lies and scare tactics
succeeding in trampling this desperately needed framework. That could
either help win him re-election, or land us with a timid Democrat in
the White House with neither the courage nor the democratic mandate for
this kind of deep change. Either scenario means blowing the handful of
years left to roll out the transformations required to keep
temperatures below catastrophic levels.
Yes, but I don't
agree with the conclusion, at least not if this is read as it stands: If
Klein is right on the two alternatives, and I think she is, "[l]osing another four years to a Republican or a
corporate Democrat" is not
so much "a joke" as a tragedy.
Back in October, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a landmark report
informing us that global emissions need to be slashed in
half in less than 12 years, a target that simply cannot be met
without the world’s largest economy playing a game-changing leadership
role. If there is a new administration ready to leap into that role in
January 2021, meeting those targets would still be extraordinarily
difficult, but it would be technically possible — especially if large
cities and states like California and New York escalate their ambitions
right now. Losing another four years to a Republican or a corporate
Democrat, and starting in 2026 is, quite simply, a joke.
Here is some more:
Well... I don't
really know whether this really is, as Klein says, "the lesson of the original New Deal", and
besides, the original New Deal started some 85 years ago. But Klein
does appear to be correct that the Green New Deal does seem to be the sort of program
that the Democrats ought to adopt - which is not at all certain
they will, for Pelosi and other currently leading Democrats are
against. And this is a recommended article.
Those are the stark options
before us. And which outcome we end up with depends on the actions
taken by social movements in the next two years. Because these are not
questions that will be settled through elections alone. At their core,
they are about building political power — enough to change the calculus
of what is possible.
That was the lesson of
the original New Deal, one we would be wise to remember right now.
Israeli Lobby & AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. I abbreviated the title. It starts with
the following introduction:
Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is facing criticism today after commenting on a
tweet by Glenn Greenwald. On Sunday, Greenwald tweeted, ”GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for
@IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s
stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign
nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”
Rep. Omar retweeted his post and added the line: “It’s all about the
Benjamins baby.” She later named AIPAC as
the organization paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.
Yes, this seems mostly
correct to me, and I also agree with Greenwald that "It’s stunning how much time US political
leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking
free speech rights of Americans."
Then again, I may
be a bit more aware of how many "ordinary democrats", both
inside and outside the USA, seem to be moved by what are
arguments (which you cannot judge anymore correctly if
you use Wikipedia to get clarity on totalitarianism, for the present
item on totalitarianism almost only reflect the lies by
Here is some more:
GOODMAN: (..) On Sunday,
you tweeted, quote, ”GOP Leader Kevin
McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their
criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders
spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech
rights of Americans,” you wrote.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota retweeted your post and added the
line, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”
Then, an opinion editor
from The Forward newspaper tweeted, “Would love to know who
@IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though
I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second
anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.”
Ilhan Omar then responded
to that tweet by writing, ”AIPAC.”
Democratic Congressman Max
Rose responded to Omar by saying, “Congresswoman Omar’s statements are
deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”
Well... as far as I can
see Jews like Max Rose seem to be deeply hurt by criticisms of
Nethanyahu or his policies, rather than of Jews in general. (As for
me: I am not an anti-semite at all, but I do not
like Nethanyahu, and I also do not like mixing up criticisms of
the Jews with criticisms of Nethanyahu.)
And here is Greenwald
(who also has a Jewish background, incidentally):
GREENWALD: This is all so
ridiculous. It’s all based upon this demand that we indulge what
everybody knows is an utter and complete fiction, which is that we’re
allowed to talk about the power of the NRA
in Washington, we’re allowed to talk about the power of the Saudis in
Washington, we’re allowed to talk about the power of big pharmaceutical
companies and Wall Street and Silicon Valley and the fossil fuel
industry in Washington, but we’re not allowed to talk about an equally
potent, well-organized and well-financed lobby that ensures a
bipartisan consensus in support of U.S. defense of Israel, that the
minute that you mention that lobby, you get attacked as being
anti-Semitic, which is what happened to Congresswoman Omar.
And I think the context
is really important. For a long time, the bipartisan piety was not just
that the U.S. has to support Israel, but that, in particular, the
effort to boycott Israel in protest of its occupation of Palestine is
not just misguided, but anti-Semitic. That’s the official position of
the Democratic Party, of Hillary Clinton, of Chuck Schumer, of every
Yes, I completely
agree with Greenwald. Here is the last bit that I quote from this
GREENWALD: What the congresswoman said is very
uncontroversial. Everyone knows AIPAC is an
extremely intimidating lobby, just like the NRA
is. There’s nothing wrong with pointing that out. There’s certainly
nothing anti-Semitic about saying that, about criticizing the Israeli
government for its aggression and militarism. And anybody who cares
about Palestinians and about the ability of Muslims in the United
States to be able to speak freely ought to be defending her.
Yes, I agree and this
is a recommended article.
Governor Wants Users to Profit From Online Data
This article is by
Don Thompson on Truthdig and originally on The Associated Press. It
starts as follows:
California Gov. Gavin
Newsom has set off a flurry of speculation after he said the state’s
consumers should get a piece of the billions of dollars that technology
companies make by capitalizing on personal data they collect.
The new governor has asked
aides to develop a proposal for a “data dividend” for California
residents but provided no hints about whether he might be suggesting a
tax on tech companies, an individual refund to their customers or
“Companies that make
of dollars collecting, curating and monetizing our personal data have a
duty to protect it,” the Democrat said in his first State of the State
speech Tuesday. “California’s consumers should also be able to share in
the wealth that is created from their data.”
No, this is a thoroughly
sick proposal by Newsom. What he is proposing amounts to this:
Each and every secret
service of each and every country is allowed to store everything anyone
puts anywhere on line, including the full texts of all your emails and
all the emails of your friends and family, and including all
pornography you somehow included, and precisely the same things are
allowed to each and every corporation that is rich enough to do so -
but hey, they ought to return a few percent of their profits to the
billions they stole all the privacies from.
Then I have to admit that
although this is thoroughly sick, it is slightly less sick than
simply stealing everyone's privacies, make billions from them (if it
are the rich corporations stealing these), and pretend that it the
normal thing to do "because of terrorism".
There is also this in the
Starting next year,
California’s European-style privacy law will require companies to tell
customers upon request what personal data they have collected and why,
which categories of third parties have received it, and allow consumers
to delete their information and not sell it.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of
Virginia, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee,
predicted in November that California would consider legislation that
would “send a shiver down the spine” of tech companies.
He described the proposal
as returning 25 percent of the value of an individual’s data. It wasn’t
clear how the calculation would be made.
Well... the first paragraph
seems to say that the corporations can steal everything on your
computer, but that then they ought to delete the information if
"consumers" request this - which I think is ass backwards.
Besides, why should
Google and Facebook own up to what they did, especially since they can pretend
it is all their legal right to steal everything and not to own
up about anything they stole, as part of their corporate secrets?
Also, I think that "returning 25 percent of the value of an
individual’s data" probably comes
from Warner's thumb - or he knows far more of Google's and
Facebook's secrets than almost any other politician.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article, which shows not everyone is crazy or
Jeffrey Chester, executive
director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said Newsom “is off to
the wrong start” on protecting consumer privacy.
“They shouldn’t be tricked
into giving away their privacy for a small discount,” he said in an
email. “Selling it for a few bucks isn’t the answer and will make the
I agree with
Chester, and this is a strongly recommended article.
4. Trump’s Assault on
This article is by Robert Reich on
his site. It starts as follows:
Well... I more or less
agree with Reich, although I also have to admit that I do not
rightly understand what Americans are quarreling about, for this seems
- in this case, at least - to be about being 1/32 parts of Indian
Elizabeth Warren is one of
the most talented politicians and policy leaders in America. We must
not allow Trump or anyone else to “swift-boat” her because she
identified herself as an American Indian three decades ago.
At worst, Warren may have
stretched the bounds of the definition of whiteness. That’s
understandable. She grew up in Oklahoma, a state created from Indian
Territory. She probably witnessed the disrespect and occasional
brutality that Native Americans were, and still are, subject to. Her
own genetic test showed at least one Native American ancestor. She has
stressed that she is not a member of a tribal nation.
Then again, Warren may have been mistaken (thirty years ago) to
call herself "an American Indian", and indeed I think she was if she
did (which I do not know), but then if that is the worst, it
seems as nothing compared to what Trump did:
Yes, Reich is correct
about it. Here is the ending of his article:
Warren didn’t call
rapists. She didn’t call nations populated primarily by black or brown
people “shitholes.” She didn’t assume all Muslims are terrorists. She
didn’t characterize black neighborhoods as war zones. She didn’t assert
that an American president was born in Africa. She has not sexually
assaulted anyone. She has not paid hush money to prostitutes. She
hasn’t insulted Native Americans by calling a leading politician
“Pocahontas” and joking about the Trail of Tears in the 1830s.
Quite so, and this
is a recommended article.
It’s far better for a
presidential candidate to err on the side of racial or ethnic
inclusiveness than for a president to whip the nation into a dangerous
and delusional frenzy of racial or ethnic divisiveness.
the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live?
This article is
by David Swanson
on Washington's Blog. It starts as follows:
Yes, I think this is
mostly correct - and I definitely agree with Swanson that in
anything like a genuine democracy, it ought to be parliament
(in the USA: the House + the Senate) who declare war, and not
In 1973 the War Powers
Resolution weakened the U.S. Constitution’s placement of the power to
start and end wars with the first branch of the U.S. government, the
Congress. The new law carved out exceptions to allow presidents to
start wars. However, it also created procedures by which a single
member or group of members of Congress could force a vote in Congress
on whether to end a war. Despite weakening the written law, the War
Powers Resolution may finally be about to prove itself to have
strengthened the ability of proponents of peace to put an end to mass
Since 1973 we’ve seen
wars waged in blatant violation of both the Constitution and the War
Powers Resolution, not to mention the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand
Pact. But we’ve also seen Congress members like my friend Dennis
Kucinich force votes on whether to end wars. These votes have usually
failed. And the Congress that ended this past December illegally
refused (in the House) to even hold such votes. But debates have been
created, people have been informed, and the notion that a law still
exists that merits respect has been kept alive.
Here is some more:
Never yet have both
Congress jointly passed a War Powers Resolution bill to end a war. That
may soon change. On Wednesday, the House voted 248-to-177 to
end one of the many current U.S. wars, that on Yemen. (Well, sort of.
Keep reading.) Back in December, during the previous Congress, the
Senate passed the same resolution (or nearly identical).
Of course, either house of Congress alone could refuse to allow a dime
to be spent on U.S. war-making in Yemen. But there isn’t any mechanism,
as far as I know, for a member of Congress to force either chamber,
despite its “leadership,” to hold a vote on doing that. This is why
making the War Powers Resolution real by finally using it is so
valuable. Despite all the caveats, and despite all the steps that will
remain to be taken, for Congress — after 46 years and more wars than
anyone can count — to finally legislate the end of a particular war is
If Congress can end one
war, why not eight more? Why not the ones that are threatened and not
Yes, I fundamentally
agree with Swanson (although I may be a bit more skeptical). 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 (!!).