in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 15, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 15, 2019:
1. A Trump-Made Emergency
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. McCabe Says Justice Dept. Officials
Had Discussions About Pushing
3. The Green New Deal Is Indeed a Big Deal
4. McConnell Confirms Trump Will Declare National Emergency to
5. Message From Some Very Rich People: ‘Please Raise Our Taxes’
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as follows:
I think I agree
everything the above paragraphs say. Here is more:
his intention to declare a national emergency at the southern
border, President Trump is planning to take executive overreach to
dizzying new heights. The damage to American democracy threatens to
linger long after his administration is no more than a dank memory.
into accepting a budget deal that lacked the $5.7 billion in
border-wall funding he demanded, the president could not handle being
labeled a loser by conservative commentators like Laura Ingraham
and Sean Hannity. His solution: Sign the bill while simultaneously
declaring a national emergency that, at least in his mind, would allow
him to shift funds and order the military to start building his wall.
Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, announced the move on
Thursday afternoon. “President Trump will sign the government
funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other
executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop
the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” she said.
repeat: The influx of migrant families at the southern border does
not constitute a national security crisis, much less a bona fide
emergency. There is, at this point, a worsening humanitarian crisis,
actively fueled by the draconian policies of the administration. But
the suffering on display requires thoughtful policy adjustments, not a
Yes, I agree. Here
last bit that I quote from this article:
fit of presidential pique is about more than a wall. It constitutes a
reordering of the power dynamic between the branches of government. Mr.
Trump aims to usurp one of Congress’s most basic responsibilities, the
power of the purse.
with this power grab, every lawmaker should be bellowing in alarm.
Well... I can't
say I am
much impressed by the fact "that
Mr. Trump is subverting American democracy for a cause opposed by a
majority of the public" for
the simple reasons that "American democracy" has been hollowed
much since 1980, and the "majority
of the public" has
neglected often. And this is a recommended article.
poison cherry atop this sundae is that Mr. Trump is subverting American
democracy for a cause opposed by a majority of the public. Polls show that
most Americans do not want a wall at the southern border. And most
definitely do not approve of Mr. Trump’s faking a national emergency to
make an end run around Congress. Two recent polls showed
that two-thirds of Americans opposed it.
that any of this seems of interest to the president. “I have the
absolute right to do national emergency if I want,” he insisted to reporters last month, sounding more like a
huffy kindergartner than a world leader.
Says Justice Dept. Officials Had Discussions About Pushing Trump Out
This article is by
Adam Goldman and Matthew Haag on The New York Times. It starts as
I say, for I did not
know any of this (like almost everybody else). First, here is some
information on Andrew G. McCabe.
And I agree these remarks are "explosive", because it shows the FBI
organize the removal of the president, which is the opposite of
G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, said in an interview
aired on Thursday that top Justice Department officials became so
alarmed by President Trump’s decision in May 2017 to fire James B.
Comey, the bureau’s director, that they discussed whether to recruit
cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office.
dire concerns about the president’s actions also prompted Mr. McCabe to
order the bureau’s team investigating Russia’s election interference to
look into whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey.
The F.B.I. also began examining whether Mr. Trump had been working on
behalf of Russia against American interests.
explosive remarks were made in an interview with “60 Minutes”
scheduled to air in full on Sunday.
Then again, I know already that the FBI is quite undemocratic. Also, I
agree that Trump should be removed as a president, mostly
because I am
a psychologist who agrees with many psychologists that Trump has
megalomania (also known by the psychiatrese "Narcissistic
Personality Disorder"), which is explained here (by psychiatrists, in
But there also are several problems with removing Trump, that boil down
to the fact that the next three of four candidates for the presidency
(if Trump has been removed) may not be insane, but otherwise are almost
as bad as Trump.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
“There were meetings at the
Justice Department in which it was discussed whether the vice president
and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove the
president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,” Mr. Pelley
said. “These were the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that
Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of
American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the
Note that it seems that the FBI was not
Congress or the Senate (who indeed would seem to me to be "the highest levels of American law enforcement", but I may be mistaken). And this is
a strongly recommended article.
Green New Deal Is Indeed a Big Deal
This article is by
Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The most visionary
to emerge from Congress in recent years, encompassing both the climate
crisis and economic inequality, has captured the imagination of many
Americans. In less than a year we went from having never heard the name
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to watching the impressive, young rookie
congresswoman achieve more in a month than most of our representatives
do in a year as she rolled out the Green
New Deal (GND) resolution along with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
While the resolution is not yet a full-fledged piece of legislation, it
does lay out a blueprint for future bills.
Yes, this seems all
correct to me. Here is more:
First, it is critical to
understand that Ocasio-Cortez did not create the GND—rather, the idea
out of the same movement that birthed the Democratic lawmaker’s
candidacy. An account of the proposal in Politico details how Justice Democrats, the
organization that recruited Ocasio-Cortez and ran her campaign, was
founded by young organizers who cut their teeth on Sen. Bernie Sanders’
2016 presidential campaign. Another organization, Sunrise Movement—also
created in 2016—crafted the GND proposal together with Justice
I think all of this is
correct as well (but I have to say I strongly dislike
introducing ad hoc abbreviations like "GND", both in principle and also
here, because "Green New Deal" clearly refers to Roosevelt's New Deal,
whereas "GND" does not and is merely an ad hoc measure. Bsds f
svng lttrs s s mprtnt wh nt sv n vwls?!?!).
Here is more:
On Tuesday, Senate
McConnell announced the Senate would vote on it, saying, “it will
give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel
about the Green New Deal.” In truth, McConnell likely is attempting to
use the vote to crush
Democratic chances in 2020. Markey countered on Twitter,
“this isn’t a new Republican trick,” and speculated that, “By rushing a
vote on the #GreenNewDeal resolution, Republicans want to avoid a true
national debate & kill our efforts to organize.”
I think Markey is right
McConnell. Then again, there is also this:
Just as in the case of
“Medicare for all,” the public actually loves the idea. A poll
conducted in December found that a whopping 92 percent of Democrats and
even 64 percent of Republicans supported the idea of a GND, which is
perhaps why so many Democratic presidential contenders say
they support it.
I think that is correct (and
"GND" = "Green New Deal", in case you forgot that). Here is the ending
of this article:
The beauty of the GND
resolution is that it is still an idea, but it is a bold and beautiful
one. Relative to the grim political climate, it may be just the
antidote to our collective despair.
Perhaps, though I think I
would have pointed out (instead) that McConnell cannot properly test the Green New Deal before
seeing it: All there is at present is - a good - resolution.
is a recommended article.
Confirms Trump Will Declare National Emergency to Build Wall
This article is by
Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. This starts
Just ahead of a series of
votes on a "compromise" border
deal in the U.S. Senate and House on Thursday, Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that President Donald Trump
plans to sign the legislation to avert another government shutdown but
will also declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along
the U.S.-Mexico border.
McConnell said that he
support the bill that was negotiated with Democratic leaders—which will
provide $1.375 billion for 55 miles of fences in Southern Texas and
boost the budget of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by over
$500 million—as well as the the emergency declaration.
I say. What I am
especially concerned about is the emergency declaration. Here is more:
When Trump first floated
the idea of a national emergency last year, legal scholars immediately
and forcefully denounced
the threat, arguing that such a move would be "constitutionally
While White House Press
Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed
McConnell's announcement with
a statement posted to Twitter, critics turned to social media to echo
the past warnings from legal experts that declaring a national
emergency to circumvent lawmakers and fund the border wall would be an
abuse of presidential power (..)
Well... I agree this "would be an
abuse of presidential power", but
I doubt it is "constitutionally
illegitimate", mostly because the Constitution is not long and
very clear on a number of points.
Here is some more:
Denouncing Trump's pursuit
of funding for "a racist and needless wall, against the backdrop of
Congress' express refusal to fund such a barrier," Public Citizen
president Robert Weissman, in a statement, warned that an emergency
declaration "will constitute an outrageous abuse of power—perhaps the
most dangerous yet by the unstable and increasingly autocratic
I agree with Weissman.
is from the ending of this article:
president continues to operate as if the rule of law, checks and
balances, and the will of the people do not matter," Abigail Dillen,
president of the environmental legal firm Earthjustice, said in a
statement. "President Trump's act is a shameful repudiation of the
values at the heart of our democracy."
"The federal government has
already waived dozens of laws to build destructive, polluting, and
unnecessary border barriers, and now, this administration is shoving
aside the constitution to try to build a symbol of hate," Dillen noted.
I suppose Dillen may be
mostly correct, and this is a recommended article.
From Some Very Rich People: ‘Please Raise Our Taxes’
This article is
by Julia Conley on Naked Capitalism and originally on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
I say, for I did not
and I also like this. Here is more:
Imploring New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo to allow them to contribute to the state’s future in a way
that benefits all New Yorkers, four dozen millionaires are demanding
that lawmakers pass a “Multi-Millionaires Tax” to raise billions of
dollars for education, infrastructure, and other programs for the
sent a letter to Cuomo and the New York
State Assembly as lawmakers weigh proposals for closing the state’s
$2.3 billion deficit—arguing that raising their taxes could provide the
state with an additional $2 to 3 billion per year.
“We millionaires and
multi-millionaires of New York can easily invest more in the Empire
State, and lawmakers like you have a moral and a fiduciary duty to make
sure we do so,” wrote the Patriotic Millionaires, including former
Blackrock executive Morris Pearl and filmmaker and entertainment heir
taxes we’re talking about will not affect people’s quality of life.
They will not have any fewer private airplanes or boats because of this
tax.” —Abigail Disney, Patriotic Millionaires“Raising taxes on
high-income New Yorkers like us in order to invest in our people and
our communities is not just the right moral choice, it also happens to
be in the long-term economic best interest of everyone, including
millionaires like us,” they added.
Well... I think Cuomo was lying,
and do so mostly (1) because the millionaires and billionaires just got
millions from Trump and (2) because they pay much less taxes -
percentually - than has
been the case since the 1940ies.
Cuomo has dismissed
proposals to tax the rich at a higher rate, saying it will send the
richest New Yorkers, who he says pay about half of the
state’s income taxes, fleeing the state—a claim Pearl debunked in his
“I will tell you as someone
who knows a lot of rich people in New York, the rich people who make
decisions on where to live based mainly on taxes do not live in New
York, and they have not lived in New York in decades,” Pearl said. “It
would be a colossal mistake for us to compromise the things that
actually make rich people want to live in this state in order to
appease these fictional New York millionaires who care enough about
taxes to leave if we expand the millionaires tax.”
The group added in its
letter that since 2009, when New York passed a Millionaires Tax
affecting households making $300,000 or more, the number of
millionaires in New York has risen 63 percent.
millionaires wrote, “Most of us will literally not notice the
difference” in their tax bills if their rate is raised.
Besides, as these 48 millionaires said, since 2009 "the number of
millionaires in New York has risen 63 percent".
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I say again, although I am not
much impressed by the moral decency of these 48 millionaires, although
that probably plays a role as well. I am somewhat impressed by
Pearl added that his wealth
provides such an enormous cushion that he—and, very likely, most other
extremely high earners—couldn’t pinpoint how much Trump’s tax cuts had
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure
exactly,” Pearl told the Times. “I pay so much lower taxes
than people who work for a living anyway, that I’m not overly worried
The Patriotic Millionaires
have condemned President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law, with member Eric
Schoenberg calling the tax code a “monstrosity” and Disney releasing a viral video before the 2018 midterm
elections warning of the GOP’s plan to pass even more tax cuts for the
higher taxes would not be unfair because millionaires and billionaires
anyway "pay so much lower taxes
than people who work for a living anyway", simply because they are realistic. And this is a
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 (!!).