in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 12, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
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 12, 2019:
1. Israel’s Stranglehold on
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
everyorning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. The NYT Has Been Sandbagging Bernie
Sanders for Years
3. Trump Budget Would Slash Medicaid by $1.1 Trillion
4. Warren is Correct about Busting Up Big Tech
5. The Big Cheat of 2018
Stranglehold on American Politics
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I say, which I do because
I did not know most of the above facts, which indeed I also
take to be facts because
they are stated by Chris Hedges, whom
I trust, and who spent seven years in the Middle East as a foreign
lobby’s buying off of nearly every senior politician in the United
States, facilitated by our system of legalized bribery, is not an
anti-Semitic trope. It is a fact. The lobby’s campaign of vicious
character assassination, smearing and blacklisting against those who
defend Palestinian rights—including the Jewish historian Norman Finkelstein and
university students, many of them Jewish, in organizations such as
Students for Justice in Palestine—is not an anti-Semitic trope. It is a
fact. Twenty-four state governments’ passage of Israel lobby-backed
legislation requiring their workers and contractors, under threat
of dismissal, to sign a pro-Israel oath and promise not to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
movement is not an anti-Semitic trope. It is a fact. The shameless
decision in 2014 by all 100 U.S. senators, including Bernie
Sanders, to pass a Soviet-style plebiscite proposed by the Israel lobby
to affirm Israel’s “right to defend itself” during the 51 days it
bombed and shelled homes, water treatment plants, power stations,
hospitals and U.N. schools in Gaza, killing 2,251 Palestinians,
including 551 children, is not an anti-Semitic trope. It is a fact. The
U.S. refusal, including in the United Nations and other international
bodies, to criticize Israel’s apartheid state and routine violation of
international law is not an anti-Semitic trope. It is a fact. The
well-funded campaigns by the Israel lobby, which works closely with
Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, to discredit any American
politician or academic who even slightly deviates from Israeli policy
is not an anti-Semitic trope. It is a fact. (One infamous example of a
U.S. politician kowtowing was the unconstitutional
invitation by then-House Speaker John Boehner to Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in 2015 to denounce
President Barack Obama’s Iranian nuclear agreement.) The massive
interference in our internal affairs by Israel and the Israel lobby,
far exceeding that of any other country, including Russia or China, is
not an anti-Semitic trope. It is a fact.
He also knows a lot more about Israel and the Middle East than
I do. Then again, I could have known more about Israel than I
do, but I
don´t because while I liked Israel until ca. 1970, I have been liking
it less and less ever since, and part of the reasons are - there are
more than I give here - Israel´s going to the right, and being led by
rightists I dislike and do not have any sympathy for, like
Also, perhaps I should add that both
my father and his father were
communists who became communists in the middle 1930s because of the
crisis, the rise of Nazism, and the treatment the Jews got by the
Nazis, while both were arrested during WW II, in August 1941, and were
sent to concentration camps, where my grandfather was murdered.
Here is some more:
Israel’s lackeys in the
political class, along with bankrupt courtiers in the U.S. press,
including former American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employee Wolf Blitzer,
are making a serious mistake, however, in refusing to acknowledge
Israel’s outsized, transparent and often illegal meddling in the
American political system and Israel’s brutal oppression of
Palestinians. It is too obvious and too egregious to hide. The longer
the ruling elites ignore this reality and censor and attack
those such as Rep.
Ilhan Omar who have the temerity to name this interference and the
human rights abuses perpetrated by Israel, the more it gives credence
to the racists, bigots, conspiracy theorists and white hate groups,
many rooted in the Christian right, who are the real anti-Semites.
Israel and its lobby, rather than protecting Israel and Jews, are
steadily nullifying their moral and ultimately political force.
Perhaps. I just do not
know enough to affirm this. Here is the last bit that I quote from this
article, still from its beginning:
Criticism of Israel and
ideology of Zionism is not anti-Semitic. Criticism of Israel’s
influence and control over U.S. foreign policy, and of Israeli efforts
to silence those who champion Palestinian rights, is not anti-Semitic.
Criticism of Israel’s oppression
of the Palestinians or its dangerous campaign to orchestrate a war
with Iran is not anti-Semitic. The more Israel and the Israel lobby
abuse the charge of anti-Semitism, a charge the Israel lobby has
leveled against British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn,
among many others, the more they lose their effectiveness against the
dangerous anti-Semites whose ranks are growing within the far right and
across the Muslim world.
Yes, I think I agree
most of the above. There is considerably more in this article,
NYT Has Been Sandbagging Bernie Sanders for Years
This article is by
Joshua Cho on Truthdig and originally on FAIR. It starts as follows:
I say, which I do because
while I agree that The New York Times has been sandbagging Bernie
Sanders for years, I did not know the above.
While the New York Times
has been sandbagging Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for years (Rolling
a recent headline: “Bernie Sanders Is Making Changes for 2020, but His
Desire for Control Remains” (3/1/19)
is a particularly overt example.
Unless one reads past the
headline, which most
Americans don’t, one is left wondering about what exactly Sanders
desires to “control.” Is it the country? The media? When one actually
digs into the Times’ article, written by Sydney Ember and Jonathan
Martin, one quickly discovers that what Sanders desires to control is
his own campaign, and that his oppressed victims were his
highly paid media consultants, who quit because Sanders was “not
willing to empower them.”
Left unreported by
the Times were statements by the consultants themselves
claiming that they were leaving on a “very positive note” over
“differences in a creative vision,” and that they would be happy to
assist his campaign again in the future. In
the Times version, instead, we’re given anonymous sources
described as “Democrats directly familiar with the episode” who give
the impression the consultants were “enraged” over their “humiliation.”
Here is more about the NYTs sandbagging of Sanders:
Another theme throughout
the Times report is the implied notion that Sanders’
candidacy is redundant. When the corporate media aren’t busy
undermining Sanders’ popular political agenda by claiming that it’s too
“radical” and “expensive,” they also try to undermine his candidacy
from the opposite angle, claiming that Sanders is now hard to
distinguish from other candidates because numerous other Democratic
candidates “support the same policies that made him unique in 2016.”
The financial industry, though, doesn’t seem to have much difficulty
distinguishing Sanders from most other Democratic candidates (..)
Yes indeed: I agree. There is more in the article that ends as follows:
Quite so, and this
Perhaps we should worry
about Bernie Sanders’ “desire for control” over his own campaign, and
worry more about corporate media’s desire for control over our
Budget Would Slash Medicaid by $1.1 Trillion
This article is by
Jake Johnson on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. It starts as
Well... I am very glad
that the Democrats did get the majority in the House, which
stop the president´s budget.
While giving the bloated
more than it hoped for” by boosting U.S. military spending to $750
of $34 billion from last year—President Donald Trump’s 2020
budget would cut Medicaid by $1.1 trillion over the next decade.
Set to be unveiled on
Monday, the president’s budget will call for a total of $2.7 trillion
in cuts to safety net programs, environmental
protection, food and housing assistance, and foreign aid over ten
to a summary reviewed by the Washington Post.
Top House Democrats were
quick to declare the president’s request—which will also demand $8.6
billion in border wall funding—dead on arrival.
M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the
proposal is “not even worth the paper it’s written on.”
Here is one more bit from this article:
“Each of the past two
budgets has targeted benefits and services for individuals and families
of modest means for deep cuts, even as it has supported tax cuts
conferring large new benefits on those at the top of the income
scale,” noted the
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in a preview of the president’s
2020 request. “If enacted, these cuts would have increased poverty and
hardship, leaving more people struggling to afford basics like food and
Yes, I think all of
is correct and this is a recommended article.
4. Warren is Correct
about Busting Up Big Tech
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I completely
agree. Here is more:
Senator Elizabeth Warren announced Friday she wants to bust up giants
like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
America’s first Gilded Age
began in the late nineteenth century with a raft of innovations –
railroads, steel production, oil extraction – but culminated in mammoth
trusts run by “robber barons” like JP Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and
William H.(“the public be damned”) Vanderbilt.
The answer then was to bust
up the railroad, oil, and steel monopolies.
We’re now in a second
Gilded Age – ushered in by semiconductors, software and the internet –
which has spawned a handful of hi-tech behemoths and a new set of
barons like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and
Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
The answer now is the same:
Bust up the monopolies.
Nearly 90 percent of all
internet searches now go through Google. Facebook and Google together
account for 58 percent of all digital ads (where most ad money goes
They’re also the first
stops for many Americans seeking news (93 percent of Americans receive
news online). Amazon is now the first stop for a third of all American
consumers seeking to buy anything.
With such size comes the
power to stifle innovation. Amazon won’t let any business that sells
through it to sell any item at a lower price anywhere else. It’s even
using its control over book sales to give books published by Amazon
priority over rival publishers.
I say, which I do because I
did not know most of the facts stated above (possibly in part
avoid both Google and Facebook as if they are made in hell).
Here is more on one of the
implications of size:
Such size also confers
political power to get whatever these companies and their top
Amazon – the richest
corporation in America – paid nothing in federal taxes last year.
Meanwhile, it’s holding an auction to extort billions from states and
cities eager to have its second headquarters.
Yes, precisely - and this is
one of the quite strange things
about American taxes, that
meanwhile seems to have been mostly corrupted
by all manner of laws:
How can corporations that make billions of profits
every year pay nothing in taxes?!
Then there is Facebook:
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg,
who holds the world’s speed record for falling from one of the most
admired to the most reviled people on the planet, just unveiled a plan
to “encrypt” personal information from all his platforms.
The new plan is likely to
give Facebook even more comprehensive data about everyone. If you
believe it will better guard privacy, you don’t remember Zuckerberg’s
last seven promises to protect privacy.
I agree, and indeed I do not
trust anything the ¨digital gangster¨ Zuckerberg says.
Here is Reich´s ending:
Let’s be clear: Monopolies
aren’t good for anyone except for the monopolists.
In this new Gilded Age, we
need to respond to them as forcefully as we did the first time around.
Warren’s ideas are a good start.
I quite agree
is a recommended article.
Big Cheat of 2018
This article is
by Paul Buchheit on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Many of our country's
corporations make billions of dollars in income, use deferrals and
write-offs and credits to underpay their current tax bills by
staggering amounts, and in some cases claim foreign profits and
U.S. losses despite having much of their sales and assets in the
United States. These captains of American capitalism are brazenly
ignoring their responsibility to their own nation, a nation in
desperate need of funding for education and infrastructure and job
The corporate tax rate nosedived from 35% to 21% in 2017, but the thirty
companies listed here paid only 8.7% of their reported U.S.
income in current federal taxes (even worse, an estimated 7.4% if U.S.
income were based on a true percentage of sales). That's $30 to
$35 billion—from just 30 companies—that is owed to the American public.
Yes indeed - and this
article can be seen as a continuation or a factual backup of the previous article.
Here are some of the
richest corporations in the USA:
a REFUND on its $11 billion in U.S. profits. It did the same on nearly
$6 billion in profits in 2017.
a 35 percent tax on its foreign earnings, a NEGATIVE TAX on its largest-ever U.S.
37% of its 2018 revenue in the U.S., but claimed only 6% of its income
in the U.S., and despite making a total profit of over $11 billion, it
claimed a REFUND on its federal taxes.
whose CEO Ian Read once complained that
U.S. taxes had his company fighting "with one hand tied behind our
back," had nearly half of its sales in the U.S. in 2018, yet claimed a
$4.4 billion LOSS in the U.S. along with over $16 billion in foreign
35 percent of its revenues in the U.S., but a LOSS in the U.S. along
with a $3.3 billion foreign profit.
I think I quite agree
Buchheit that all of the above is based either on major
by these corporations and/or on absolutely ridiculous tax laws.
There also is considerably
more in the article that is not mentioned in this review. Here
of the consequences:
Education funding comes
from state and local taxes. The average corporate state
tax rate for 2018 is just over 6 percent. But the thirty major
corporations listed here paid
just 3 percent. That's seven billion dollars taken away from America's
I completely agree.
the ending of this article:
This seems correct, and
this is a strongly recommended article.
In a survey by the
Federation of Independent Business, nearly 90 percent of
respondents reported a
lack of qualified applicants for job openings. If that's true, part of
the reason is that America's largest corporations deny us the tax
revenue that could be paying for worker education. Corporate greed and
hypocrisy are shifting the blame for the skills gap to the millions of
Americans being cheated out of job opportunities.
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 (!!).