in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 3, 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 April 3, 2019:
1. Widespread Censorship of Former
Government Employees Violates the
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 System Is Rigged”: Democrats
Drop Corporate and PAC Money
3. Nancy Pelosi Believes in Nothing
4. Not Even Wrong 2.0
5. Everything You Need to Know About the New Economy
Censorship of Former Government Employees Violates the First Amendment
This article is by
Alex Emmons on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
For officials in the Trump
administration, leaving the government and writing a book has become a
reliable and lucrative exit strategy — so much so that it has created a
army of literary agents who specialize in snapping up the next
tell-all memoir. For anyone with name recognition in D.C., it has
perhaps never been easier to scoop up a sizable advance and make the
But for rank-and-file
members of the intelligence community, the process is not so easy.
Employees who formerly had access to sensitive information must submit
manuscripts for a government “pre-publication review,” intended to
ensure that they don’t divulge official secrets.
The result has been a
massive system that processes thousands of submissions, in which
the rules are broad and vague, and vary from one agency to another. The
process can drag on for months or, in some cases, years, and can force
authors to choose between deleting text or publishing pages of type
blacked out by U.S. government censors.
I guess this is quite
correct - and I am an opponent of most censorship. Here is more:
I again guess this is
correct, but I do have two remarks:
But the American Civil
Liberties Union and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia
University are challenging this redaction regime. In a
lawsuit filed on Tuesday, the groups allege that pre-publication
review amounts to a “far-reaching system of prior restraint,” and that
the government’s arbitrary and sometimes confounding censorship
decisions are unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
system simply can’t be squared with the Constitution,” Jameel Jaffer,
executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, said in a
statement. “The government has a legitimate interest in protecting bona
fide national security secrets, but this system sweeps too broadly,
fails to limit the discretion of government censors, and suppresses
political speech that is vital to informing public debate.”
One. As I said, I am an opponent of most censorship (for one reason
because the more is censored from being known by "the public", the
less real democracy there is, and for another reason because censorship
rules may also be used to keep people from telling the truth about
crimes), and this means I am for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Two. Then again, this will probably be judicially quite complicated,
and I should add that if it ever comes to the Supreme Court as
this is now, it will probably loose, since the Supreme Court has an absolutely
sick "interpretation" of the First Amendment (in majority).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
And the above means that I am strongly
in favor of the ACLU's case, and this is a strongly recommended
article, in which there is considerably more.
“To survive First
scrutiny, a requirement of prepublication review would have to, at a
minimum, apply only to those entrusted with the most closely held
government secrets; apply only to material reasonably likely to contain
those secrets; provide clear notice of what must be submitted and what
standards will be applied; tightly cabin the discretion of government
censors; include strict and definite time limits for completion of
review; require censors to explain their decisions; and assure that
those decisions are subject to prompt review by the courts,” the
complaint reads. “The prepublication review system, in its current
form, has none of these features.”
System Is Rigged”: Democrats Drop Corporate and PAC Money
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! I
abbreviated the title. It starts with the following introduction:
We look at the growing
for lawmakers to refuse money from corporate political action
committees, as more than half of the Democrats newly elected to
Congress have vowed not to accept such donations. We speak with
Congressmember Nydia Velázquez of New York, a long-term legislator who
has stopped taking corporate PAC donations.
“In order to return trust [to] our democratic institutions, we need to
… allow for the voters to feel that their voices are heard and that
they don’t have to write a big check in order to gain access into our
congressional offices,” she says.
Well... I agree
with lawmakers who "refuse
money from corporate political action committees", that is, who refuse to be corrupted that way, but I
do not know whether I trust "long-term legislator" Nydia Velázquez,
for it seems more probable that she goes with the present fashion among
Democrats rather than that she really means it, after having accepted
PAC money for something like twentyfive years.
Here is some more:
Well... possibly so, but
since "many of the first
terms in Congress" where in
the early 1990s, she has to account for something like 25 years,
and in the above bit she evades the question rather than that
she answers it.
GONZÁLEZ: (..) Because, I mean, all the years you’ve
been in Congress, you have been accepting PAC
money. What changed your decision now to no longer accept those kinds
NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ: Well,
Juan, when I won the first time, I won against the establishment, and I
defeated an entrenched, 18-year politician who basically wasn’t
representing the interests of the community and the district that he
represented. But for many of the first terms in Congress, I barely got
any corporate money. They saw me as too liberal. And what I’m doing
right now is coming home.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ: So what
I’m doing now is, because of so much—because there is so much distrust
from my constituents and voters across the country, particularly since Citizens
United ruling in 2010, so much money is coming to play in politics
in our country that a lot of voters feel that the system is rigged,
that the deck is stacked against them, especially with young people. We
made a promise, a social contract with our young people, saying that if
you play by the rules, if you work hard, you can make it in America.
But the fact of the matter is that they graduate and they cannot find
jobs, or they graduate with a huge student debt and a diploma on the
other hand. So, what I’m doing is coming home.
I suppose I somewhat agree
with the above but I - still - think Velázquez is fashionable
rather than honest. And this is a recommended article.
Pelosi Believes in Nothing
This article is by
Jacob Bacharach on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I don't like
Pelosi, and the above bit gives a few (of many) reasons, for she
evidently is bullshitting.
Last month, Nancy Pelosi gave
an interview to the Washington Post that incensed an increasingly
socialist flank of the Democratic Party. “I don’t think we should go
down that path,” she said of President Trump’s possible impeachment,
before adding the president of the United States is “just not worth it.”
It was unclear, in this
context, what “worth it” meant to Pelosi. In the same interview, she
claimed that Trump was unfit for office “ethically,” “intellectually”
and “curiosity-wise.” So “worth it,” it seems, translated to
“politically advantageous.” From this, one might draw the conclusion
that the Speaker of the House thinks it better to keep this guy
around—a far cry from newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s pledge several
months before to “impeach the motherfucker.”
Pelosi regretted the
negativity of her tone in describing the president. “I don’t usually
talk about him this much,” she offered. “This is the most I’ve probably
talked about him. I hardly ever talk about him. You know, it’s not
about him.” Rather it’s about “lower health-care costs, bigger
paychecks, cleaner government.” What exactly that “it” is remains
Here is some more:
Yes, I think that is right
(and I am strongly "for
the release of the full Mueller report"). Here is some more:
Democratic House leaders
Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff have since pivoted to calling for the
release of the full Mueller report. They are right to do so, as Barr
has proved himself a notorious water-carrier for corrupt conservatives.
It is entirely possible he slanted his abstract of the investigation’s
conclusions so they’d land with the loosest, wettest possible plop.
Yes, I take it this is correct.
Moreover, these "replies" to the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-
But in the face of
from their own activist base that they try to actually do
something, they have sought—as Democratic centrists inevitably do—to
negotiate against their own best positions before they even begin. The
Green New Deal? Expensive, overly broad. Medicare-for-all? Likewise,
not to mention impractical and disastrous for the beloved private
health insurance industry.
all are condescending bullshit.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Actually, I think this is too
positive. As far as I can see Pelosi does have "an essential, motivating will", namely to keep herself and the other
corrupt Democrats in well-paid power as long as possible, and one
way to do that is to avoid most or all big political decisions. This is
a recommended article.
There is a curious void
heart of Democratic politics. It isn’t necessary to believe in some
absurd, magical notion of willpower to note that at its highest level,
the party seems to lack an essential, motivating will. Instead, it
views itself as something more akin to a professional membership
organization that has a convention in a nice hotel every few years.
Even Wrong 2.0
This article is by Peter Woit on his
site. Also this may need some explanation, since Woit is a mathematical
physicist, while Nederlog is since 2012 almost only directed towards
Well... I am a philosopher as well as a psychologist, and only did not
get an - excellent - M.A. in philosophy because I was removed
from the right to do so in 1988 because I had, very briefly before
taking my M.A., publicly attacked the mass of philosophical frauds that
were supposed to teach me philosophy, and in fact did not teach
me anything whatsoever.
In response (also being ill since January 1, 1979, like my ex: we both have ME
since over 40 years) I was simply removed from the faculty of
philosophy as a student, no doubt also because (i) I was neither a marxist nor a postmodernist,
and in effect 95% of the students and the majority of the staff pretended
to be marxists, or "very sympathetic to Marx", and/or were,
from 1985 onwards, effectively postmodernists; because (ii) I had
protested since arriving in Holland, where I had returned from
Norway to get an excellent
education, whereas what I got was a shit
education; because (iii) I had also created a student-party in
1981, because the "University" of Amsterdam was in effect ruled by
the students, and specifically by the first Marxist and then
postmodernistic ASVA; and because my party had participated in the
"University" -elections in 1982 and had gotten 5% of the vote -
the rest went to the ASVA, that strove to get as easy bachelor
degrees and M.A.s from 1971 till 1995 as was possible, and succeeded
nearly everywhere. (In 1995 the law that gave the studends most of
the power was withdrawn, and since then the "University" of Amsterdam
is more authoritarian and much more expensive than it
Besides, I was hated by the ASVA and was called - with a communist father, a communist
mother, and a communist grandfather, who had all become communists
because of the Nazis, and of whom one was murdered by the Nazis and the
other survived over 3 years and 9 months of four concentration camps
- a fascist or a dirty fascist from 1977 till 1989
(where I should add that I did not study some of these years,
because I was too ill).
In fact, this is why I did get an - also excellent - M.A. in
psychology, because I was denied the right to take an M.A. in
Next, as regards Peter Woit: I am and was since 1970 quite
interested in mathematics and physics (which is probably what I should
have studied), and I know a reasonable amount about them. Also, one of
the physicists I admire was Richard Feynman,
who had already in 1984 protested against string theory (or theories)
that from then on got more and more popular, on the ground that he
could not see how this theory (or theories) could be tested
- and I agreed.
I still do, and this led me to Peter Woit's site, which is
almost exclusively about mathematics and physics, because he has a
similar (but certainly more sophisticated) theory about string theory
as I had since 1984: It is not testable and is, therefore, "not
even wrong" (which is the title of Woit's site, and which was
originated by Wolfgang
And this is how Woit's site got selected as one of the 35 sites I look
at every day, in fact as the only non-political one.
Next, the reason Woit's site is mentioned today:
Around April 1, 2019, Woit published a small article that said, among
other things, the following:
I’ve decided to follow
more of the advice I have been getting, and have started up a Not Even Wrong Facebook site.
No longer will you have to navigate to my WordPress site to access the
blog content, instead it will be available the same way most people are
now getting their news, through your Facebook News Feed. This will make
it much more convenient for everyone to get notified about new posts
and share these with others. I’m looking forward to the expanded
readership and connections to the rest of the world that becoming part
of the Facebook information eco-system will provide.
In fact, I did not
believe this, simply because I had learned meanwhile that Peter Woit is
a very intelligent man, and very intelligent persons dislike
Facebook. It also turned out he got (at least) 110 reactions, and
nearly all of them were quite against Woit's joning Facebook
(including many who had given up Facebook).
And now he has this
Excellent! I completely
agree with Woit, and this is a strongly recommended
article, as is the article mentioned and linked in the last quoted
The uniformly hostile
response here to the Facebook idea has been extremely reassuring. No, I
don’t intend to move the blog to Facebook. The fact that a sizable
fraction of the US population in recent years has been getting its news
off their Facebook News Feed seems to be one of the main factors in the
2016 collapse of democracy here, and the same thing is happening all
over the world. This has also significantly moved along the ongoing
destruction of the economic viability of conventional journalism. Going
through the exercise of putting up a Facebook site made me aware of
some aspects of how Facebook works I’d never realized. For example, on
a Facebook post you can only hyperlink text to other Facebook material,
not to the outside world.
It has become all too clear
just how ugly the world created by Facebook is, that it is a
sociopathic organization, and a danger to a healthy democracy. If you
must stay in contact with friends and family this way, avoid any
engagement with anything else on the Facebook site. Best would be to
delete your Facebook account, now.
Update: For a
book-length explanation of why you should be concerned about Facebook,
see Roger McNamee’s Zucked, reviewed here.
5. Everything You Need to
Know About the New Economy
This article is
by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed, although I
think I should add that all economy is - among other things -
The biggest economic
story of our times isn’t about supply and demand. It’s about
and politics. It’s about power.
The median annual
earnings of full-time wage and salaried workers in 1979, in today’s
was $43,680. The median earnings in 2018 was $45,708. If between 1979
and 2018, the
almost tripled in size, so where did the
gains go? Most went to the top.
Now this is broadly
known, but there is less certainty about why.
attributes the widening economic divide to globalization and
change – the “inevitable” result of the invisible hand of the so-called
Well... I think that if
you believe in the "free
market", you probably are
rather stupid, for it is in fact bullshit - as
To understand what
really happened, it’s critical to understand that there is no “free
nature. The term “free market” suggests outcomes are objectively fair
any “intervention” in the free market is somehow “unnatural.” But in
markets cannot exist without people constructing them. Markets depend
and rules come out of legislatures, executive agencies, and courts.
biggest political change over the last four decades is the overwhelming
dominance of big money in politics – influencing what those rules are
Quite so. Here
is some more (and the first paragraph is about the past):
contained hidden pools of
Kenneth Galbraith] called “countervailing
power” that offset the power of large corporations, Wall Street,
the wealthy: labor unions, state and local banks, farm cooperatives,
retail chains, for example. All of these sources of countervailing
been fostered by the New Deal. They balanced the American economic
since the late 1970s,
these sources of countervailing power have been decimated, leading
to an unbalanced system and producing widening economic
inequality and stagnating wages.
Again quite so (and there is
considerably more in the article). Here is the last bit that I quote
from this article:
Offering a Compelling
Set of Ideas about What Should be Done with Countervailing Power.
guaranteed basic income so no one is impoverished,
guaranteed job so everyone can get ahead,
progressive wealth tax to pay for these and
unions so workers
have more bargaining power,
— New forms of
corporate organization so workers have more voice,
Green New Deal so workers can get better jobs while fighting
concentrations of economic power are broken up,
to get big money out of politics and end the revolving door,
reforms so votes
cannot be suppressed.
Yes, I agree to all of
the above, and this is a strongly 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 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 (!!).