in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 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 March 11, 2019:
1. The Time for Medicare-for-All
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. Trump To Slash Renewables Funding in
3. Not Even One Republican Voted for Sweeping House Bill to
4. Fall from Grace
5. Neoliberals Should Pass the Baton and Let the Left Lead
Time for Medicare-for-All Has Arrived
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I say, which I do because
I did not know anything about the Dingells, and I also
know that single-payer health care was first proposed in 1943
Last week, as the media
focused on President Donald Trump’s North Korea summit in Vietnam and
the congressional testimony of his former personal lawyer Michael
Cohen, a largely overlooked news conference took place, announcing
legislation that could save millions of lives. Seattle Democratic
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal introduced the Medicare For All Act of
2019, the latest attempt to pass single-payer health care. Jayapal’s
bill has 106 co-sponsors, close to half of the Democrats in the House.
Jayapal is the co-chair of
the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in the House.
Among the bill’s co-sponsors was Michigan Democrat Debbie Dingell. She
replaced her late husband, John Dingell Jr., who was the longest
serving member of Congress in history, holding the seat since 1955.
John Dingell, who died in February at the age of 92, was a stalwart
backer of single-payer health care, introducing legislation yearly
during his 60-year tenure. He was inspired by his father, John Dingell
Sr., who held that same congressional seat for the 18 years before his
son. Dingell Sr. first proposed single-payer health care in 1943.
Also, while I do not think that Jayapal´s bill will succeed
2020, I agree with it. Here is some more:
Yes, in principle I agree
with everything. Here is some more, this time on Medicare:
With the new Congress this
year, the most diverse in history, the 75-plus-year- long effort to
secure universal health care may be at a tipping point. Whether or not
it passes—considered unlikely with the Senate and White House under
Republican control—single-payer health care will undoubtedly be a
central issue in the 2020 presidential race.
“Is this a bold and
ambitious plan? Damn straight it is, because it has to be,” Jayapal
said as she announced the single-payer bill at a news conference
outside the U.S. Capitol, standing in the cold, surrounded by
colleagues and supporters. “The scale of our health care crisis is
enormous, and our plan has to tackle the deep sickness within our
for-profit system. … If we can end slavery, if we can give women the
right to vote, if we can send a man to the moon, then, God, we can do
universal health care for every American.”
Medicare, passed in 1965,
single-payer national insurance program that pays medical costs for
people age 65 and older. Poll after poll confirms its popularity.
Simply expanding eligibility from age 65 and over to the day we are
born would create a single-payer system comparable to those in most
other industrialized countries in the world.
Yes indeed. Here is how this
After 75 years of debate,
health care costs spiraling out of control and the quality of medical
care falling short of that in single-payer countries, the time is right
for Medicare-for-all. It’s a matter of life and death.
Yes, I agree and this
is a strongly recommended article.
To Slash Renewables Funding in New Budget
This article is by
the Common Dreams staff on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
Yes, I agree with
and that also implies that Trump is actively anti-science.
A senior Trump
administration official has told Bloomberg News that the Office of
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would see its $2.3 billion
budget slashed by about 70 percent, to $700 million, under President
Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request, which will be released on
Trump, who rejects the
overwhelming scientific consensus regarding the climate crisis,
has repeatedly vowed to zero out federal spending on clean
energy research and development (R&D). Trump proposed similarly
dramatic cuts to EERE’s budget in both his fiscal year
2018 and fiscal year 2019 proposals.
“It’s a shutdown budget,”
said Mike Carr, who served as the No. 2 official within the division
under President Barack Obama. “That’s apparently what they want to
signal to their base -- they still want to shut these programs down,”
Carr told Bloomberg.
Here is some more:
I say, and this is a
The Office of Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which provides hundreds of millions of
dollars a year in grants and other financial assistance for clean
energy, has financed research into technologies ranging from electric
vehicles to energy projects powered by ocean waves. It has been
credited with financing research to help make the cost of wind power
competitive with coal and cutting the costs of LED lighting.
Conservative groups like
the Heritage Foundation have called for the Office of Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to be eliminated entirely, saying
energy innovation is best left up to the private sector.
Even One Republican Voted for Sweeping House Bill to Improve Democracy
is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts
Yes, and I more or less
agree with Pearl. Here is the position of the Republicans:
Not a single House
Republican voted for sweeping
Democratic legislation that would strengthen voting rights and
reduce the influence of corporate money on the political process.
The "For the People Act"
(H.R. 1) passed on Friday by 234-193
party-line vote. All 193 no votes were by Republicans. Four Republicans
did not vote.
"Protecting our democracy
shouldn't be a partisan issue, but the Republican Party has decided it
is unwilling to even consider reform despite virtually all Americans
agreeing that our system is broken," Morris Pearl, chair of the
Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement.
"Today's vote on H.R. 1 is
a monumental step forward for our country that will hopefully lead to
the people retaking control of our government from special interests,
lobbyists, and billionaire donors," Pearl added. "It's also a shameful
reminder that Republicans are pursuing political power for the few over
the fundamental values that this country was founded on."
And this is about the "For the People Act":
Even before the legislation
passed the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed
that he would not take up the bill in the Senate.
"What it really is is a
bill designed to make it more likely Democrats win more often,"
McConnell claimed during a press conference on Wednesday.
Asked why he will not bring
the bill to the floor for a vote, McConnell replied,
"Because I get to decide what we vote on."
I agree - and the
Republican McConnell ¨will
not bring the bill to the floor¨ of the Senate, which means that it will certainly not
become law before 2020.
"Its enactment would
the political barriers to the policy agenda favored by the
public—slashing medicine prices, providing Medicare for All, preventing
climate catastrophe, providing a living wage, holding Wall Street
accountable, and more—an agenda currently thwarted by the political
power of corporations and the superrich," Robert Weissman, president of
Public Citizen, said in a statement.
Here is some more on the "For
I agree to all of
above and this is a recommended article.
A centerpiece of the
Democratic majority's agenda in the new Congress, H.R. 1 would—among
other ambitious reforms—establish a small-donor matching system,
strengthen financial disclosure requirements, institute automatic voter
registration and early voting nationwide, make Election Day a federal
holiday, and curb partisan gerrymandering.
This article is by Paul Starr on The
New York Review of Books. It starts as follows:
Yes, I take it this is mostly correct, and this is also a quite
interesting and quite long article that is nominally a
review of two book by journalists about their profession.
Since the early 2000s, journalism has been a precarious
and embattled profession. The news industry has suffered staggering
losses of revenue and employment, and journalists have become the
targets of scorn and even hatred. The entire field has been politically
reconfigured, as media outlets identified with different ideological
positions provide their audiences with alternative versions of reality.
The profession’s fall from grace and the industry’s
transformation have been all the more dramatic because of the
advantages the news media enjoyed in the late twentieth century.
Newspapers in most cities had consolidated down to one or two dailies,
leaving the survivors with a near monopoly on print advertising in
metropolitan markets. Although cable was making inroads, the three big
broadcast networks still dominated television news. High-quality
journalism itself was never very profitable in print or on TV,
but it gave media organizations prestige and influence, and with their
profits from advertising, they could afford it.
It is certainly too long to be excerpted properly on
I will not even try, but instead quote two more bits from the
beginning, and the very ending, and will leave all of the rest to
interested readers (who can find all here).
Here is the first bit:
Yes, I think that is more or
less correct, and while I am not an ¨older journalist¨ for the
simple reason that I am not and never was a journalist (I am
academically a philosopher and a psychologist, and personally ill over
40 years with ME/CFS), I am
certainly ¨older¨ at almost 69, and I can recall the days of
Watergate etc. quite well.
The monopoly held by the major news media also had the
effect of marginalizing radical views on both ends of the ideological
spectrum, creating the appearance and to some extent the reality of a
broad bipartisan consensus in public life. Bolstered by healthy profit
margins, the press was also able to cast itself as uncompromised by any
commercial or partisan interest. Journalists and publishers who lived
up to that standard of independence in the publication of the Pentagon
Papers, the revelation of the Watergate scandal, and other great
exposÚs became heroes.
This was the world that today’s older journalists knew
when they were young. It was a world that concentrated power and
profits but also enabled the press, insofar as its leaders were
willing, to keep watch on government and business.
Here is the second bit that I quote from the beginning of the article:
In the last few years, journalists who adhere to the
profession’s norms have also had a revived sense of mission. Amid the
torrent of lies from the highest reaches of government and
disinformation on social media, journalism’s leaders are making
unabashed claims that their business is “truth,” using that word
without apology or qualification.
But because journalism has not been a lucrative business for some time,
its ideals of truth-telling have become harder to uphold. The majority
of digital ad revenue goes to Google, Facebook, and other companies
that do not put it back into producing content; most newspapers no
longer have the resources even for many of the routine stories they
used to cover, much less for costly investigations. News organizations
of all kinds are preoccupied with the new metrics of the digital
economy and the old imperatives of revenue and profits.
Yes indeed, and I should add that I think that the days
of the paper press are very probably past. And my reasons are that
while I acknowledge that The New York Times still exists, and probably
will continue to exist from another ten or twenty years, my reasons to
think that the days of the paper
press are very probably past are mainly the
disappearance of the
vast majority of the smaller papers, which disappeared for a sound
economical motive: Lack of advertisements.
I think this will
continue, which also is a basic reason that democracy
grow less and less (in so far as it still exists).
There is a whole lot more in the article that I skip
leave to my readers´ interests, but it ends as follows:
Well... yes but mostly no:
I agree that The New York Times and Buzzfeed score some
democracy¨, as Starr says), I think these are small compared with the
major disappearance of most of the paper press, which also means
that I strongly agree with the very end of this article: ¨we ought to recognize that our country is in
a crisis that strikes at its foundations¨. And this is a strongly recommended article.
Yet the truth about our truth-seeking media, as
Abramson’s book rightly
emphasizes, is that they are also profit-seeking; our merchants of
truth operate not only under journalistic norms but also under
commercial constraints. When a publisher succeeds financially, as
Sulzberger did, by protecting the quality of the news, we ought to
celebrate that achievement as a victory for democracy itself. When an
organization like BuzzFeed hunts down and exposes fabrications,
that is a victory too. But when so much of journalism is at risk of
disappearing and so many Americans inhabit a right-wing echo chamber,
we ought to recognize that our country is in a crisis that strikes at
Should Pass the Baton and Let the Left Lead
This article is
by Mark Steiner on Naked Capitalism and originally on The Real News
Network. I abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:
I take it the above is
correct, but did not know about DeLong. Also, to provide some
background here are Wikipedia links to Brad DeLong and Bill Black.
Also, I like Bill Black since quite a few years and did not
(..) You know, when a leading neoliberal says it’s time
for them to step back and build the lines of the left, because the left
among Democrats are in the ascendancy, that past neoliberal,
center-right coalitions with Republicans have not worked, and they have
to try something different, it stops you in your tracks. Well, that’s
exactly what Brad DeLong said, who is a UCal Berkeley economics
professor, and was once the deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury
for economic policy under Clinton, and calls himself a Rubin Democrat;
a dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street Democrat. During that interview with
Vox, he also said: “The baton rightly passes to our colleagues on our
left … We are still here, but it’s not our time to lead.”.
Our guest today, Real News
contributor Bill Black, who is Associate Professor of Economics and Law
at the University of Missouri Kansas City; former financial regulator;
and author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One brought this to
our attention. So welcome back, Bill, always good to talk with you.
Here is some more:
Well... I think I can
understand why both Steiner and Black are somewhat amazed, but I should
add that the Wikipedia article on DeLong says he is ¨the 746th
influentual economist¨, which does not much impress me, indeed
because I think economics, which has at least three different basic
ideas about what economics is and what it is about, all of which come
with a considerable amount of economists, is not much of a real
science, although it is partially mathematical.
So this is–I tell you, I was really–when you sent this
yesterday, and I read it yesterday evening, I was–I did have to stop in
my tracks. I mean, the thesis of this idea, that the neoliberal way of
kind of resolving the crisis inside of our economy, of trying to
control capitalism and its worst tendencies is not working because it
was a coalition of Republicans–to have him say that, say you have to
move to your left, was pretty stunning.
Oh, yeah. And if you know him better, it’s even more
stunning. Brad DeLong is a friend. He is one of the most prominent
economists in the world, and he is one of the most read economists the
world because of his famous blog, and his willingness to have a lively
mind. And a lively tongue, as well, which is quite evident in this.
And he actually doesn’t say
it’s time for us to form a coalition with the left. He says it’s time
for us to step back and let the left lead. That’s what the baton
Then again, this is my personal conviction based on reading a
amount of economy and economists, and you need not agree.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I like it that
seems fairly enthusiastic, but I do not understand his ¨we¨s,
besides, my own guess is that DeLong is probably not important enough
in economics to have a strong influence, but I may be mistaken. And this is a recommended article.
But what does that mean? What do you think that means,
Well, he actually says what it means. He says we are
discredited. Our policies have failed. And they’ve failed because we’ve
been conned by the Republicans. Our whole strategy was to form a
consensus with some reasonable, moderately conservative Republicans.
And there is no such thing. And as a result we kept on pushing farther
and farther and farther to the right with our policies, so that we’re
actually to the right of the Republican Party’s own representatives in
Congress. And again, we’ve just basically been played by these folks.
We have to stop doing that. The only legitimate entity in town is the
left, the progressives. The progressives, he says, are wonderful
people, whereas basically, he says, there isn’t a single elected
Republican that has any integrity at the federal level. And we have to
He also says that the
progressive view of the world p[r]oved to be much more true than the
neoliberal. He calls himself the neoliberal shill. And in his column,
he says the left’s view of the world is much more accurate than our
view of the world proved to be.
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 3 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 (!!).