in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 22, 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 April 22, 2019:
1. William Barr Misled Everyone About the
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. Comedian Headed for Landslide
Victory in Ukraine Election
3. The 12 Biggest Myths About Raising Taxes on the Rich
4. Most Devastating of All: Mueller’s Indictment of Trump’s
5. I’ve Seen Goldman Sachs From the Inside. We Need Public
Barr Misled Everyone About the Mueller Report
article is by James Risen on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
I probably agree with the
criticisms of Barr and I certainly agree that the full Mueller
should be turned over, at least to members of the House, and I also
agree Mueller ought to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Attorney General William
Barr is coming under increasing fire from congressional Democrats for
statements he made before the release
of the Mueller report.
Critics say the remarks purposefully downplayed how damaging special
counsel Robert Mueller’s report was for President Donald Trump.
House Judiciary Committee
Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Friday morning that his committee
has issued a subpoena to the Justice Department to obtain the full,
unredacted report. The subpoena demands that the Justice Department
turn over the report by May 1. Nadler also asked Mueller to testify
before his committee. “It is clear Congress and the American people
must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better
understand his findings,” Nadler said.
Critics said both his press conference and the four-page letter were
part of Barr’s attempt to whitewash the Mueller report’s findings and
spin the public narrative about the report before it was actually
Here is some more:
Well... if Pelosi and Schumer
(who are two presently leading Democrats I dislike) agree that "Barr “deliberately distorted significant
portions of Special Counsel Mueller’s report”" then I take it he very probably did.
In a joint statement
after the report’s release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., charged that Barr
“deliberately distorted significant portions of Special Counsel
Mueller’s report.” They added that Mueller’s report “paints a
disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit,
lies and improper behavior and acting as if the law doesn’t apply to
him. But if you hadn’t read the report and listened only to Mr. Barr,
you wouldn’t have known any of that because Mr. Barr has been so
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
You can read the story in
the New York Times, but I here want to concentrate on "a longstanding Justice Department legal
opinion saying that the Justice Department can’t indict a sitting
The differences between
Barr’s statements before the report’s release and the contents of the
actual report were so striking that the New York Times did a whole
story comparing, side-by-side, Barr’s statements and the report.
In particular, most
observers pointed to stark differences between Barr’s statements and
the section in the Mueller report concerning the possibility that Trump
sought to impede the Trump-Russia inquiry and thus, might be guilty of
obstruction of justice. In fact, the Mueller report makes it clear that
a key reason Mueller did not seek to prosecute Trump for obstruction
was a longstanding Justice Department legal opinion saying that the
Justice Department can’t indict a sitting president.
I'm sorry, but that is a major mistake,
for a state of -
democratic - law is described (among other things) by the fact
that all individuals (of that country)
can be indicted, which is also
quite fair, because no individual is
beyond lying, dishonesty,
And this is a recommended article.
Headed for Landslide Victory in Ukraine Election
article is by Yuras Karmanau on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
A comedian whose only
political experience consists of playing a president on TV cruised
toward a huge landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election
Sunday in what was seen as a reaction against the country’s entrenched
corruption and low standard of living.
Results from 25% of polling
stations showed sitcom star Volodymyr Zelenskiy receiving three times
as many votes as President Petro Poroshenko — 73% to 24% — a crushing
rebuke to Poroshenko’s five years in office.
Even before results started
trickling in, Poroshenko accepted defeat based on exit polls, saying:
“I am leaving office, but I want to firmly underline that I am not
I say, for I did not
know this. The reasons are in part that I neither read Russian nor
Ukrainian, and in part that I anyway pay less attention to these
countries, which interdepends with the first reason.
But I find this at
least refreshing. Here is some more on the Ukraine:
Ukraine has been plagued by
rampant graft, a sickly economy and a grinding, five-year war with
Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country that has
killed over 13,000 people.
After his apparent
election, Zelenskiy said he would engage Russia to try to end the
conflict. He also said, without giving details, that “we will make a
very powerful information war” in order to stop the fighting.
This is true, to the best of
my knowledge, and here is some more on Zelenskiy:
Zelenskiy, 41, became
famous nationwide for his comic portrayal in a Ukrainian TV series of a
high school teacher who becomes president after a video rant against
corruption goes viral. In a case of life imitating television,
Zelenskiy denounced graft as a real candidate.
Although Zelenskiy was
criticized for a vague campaign platform and never holding public
office, voters appeared to cast aside those concerns in favor of a
thorough sweep of Ukraine’s political leadership.
“I have grown up under the
old politicians and only have seen empty promises, lies and
corruption,” said Lyudmila Potrebko, a 22-year-old computer programmer
who voted for Zelenskiy. “It’s time to change that.”
I think I agree with
Potrebko, but I also have no ideas about Zelenskiy, except that
him better than Poroshenko. O, and I think he should be careful not to
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
But Poroshenko’s message
fell flat with many voters struggling to survive on meager wages and
pay soaring utility bills.
“We have grown poor under
Poroshenko and have to save to buy food and clothing,” said 55-year-old
sales clerk Irina Fakhova. “We have had enough of them getting mired in
corruption and filling their pockets and treating us as fools.”
Well... I agree with
Fakhova, but while I hope Zelenskiy will solve the problems of
corruption, I do not know he will. Anyway, this is a recommended
12 Biggest Myths About Raising Taxes on the Rich
This article is by
Robert Reich on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Also, because
the next article is also by Reich, I only provide the list of Reich's
dominant myths of the rich frauds, and repress all text:
Some politicians are
for higher taxes on the rich. Naturally, these proposals have unleashed
a torrent of opposition – mostly from…the rich. Here are the 12 biggest
myths they’re propounding:
Myth 1: A
top marginal tax rate applies to all of a rich
I agree with Reich that
all of the above myths are (in Reich's terms, also) "baloney",
"hogwash" and "rubbish".
income or wealth.
Myth 2 : Raising taxes
on the rich is a far-left idea.
Myth 3: A wealth tax
Myth 4: When taxes on
the rich are cut, they invest more
benefits, when taxes on the rich are increased, economic growth
Myth 5: When you cut
taxes on corporations, they invest
more, and create
Myth 6: The rich
already pay more than their fair share in
Myth 7: The rich
shouldn’t be taxed more because they
already pay capital
Myth 8: The estate tax
is a death tax that hits millions
Myth 9: If taxes are
raised on the wealthy, they’ll find
ways to evade
them. So very little money is going to be raised.
Myth 10: The only
reason to raise taxes on the wealthy is
Myth 11: It’s unfair
to raise taxes on the wealthy.
Myth 12: They earned
it. It’s their money.
Anyway... here is the text under Myth 12:
Precisely, and this
is a strongly recommended article.
Hogwash. It’s their
too. They couldn’t maintain their fortunes without what America
provides – national defense, police, laws, courts, political stability,
and the Constitution. They couldn’t have got where they are without
other things America provides – education, infrastructure, and a nation
that respects private property. And to argue it’s “their money” also
ignores a lot of other ways America has bestowed advantages on the rich
– everything from bailing out Wall Street bankers when they get into
trouble, to subsidizing the research of Big Pharma.
4. Most Devastating of
All: Mueller’s Indictment of Trump’s Character
This article is
(also) by Robert Reich, on his ste. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I completely
agree. (Also - parenthetically - it is not so much whether
"merits" impeachment, but whether an impeachment can be reached, and I
agree with Reich that this is very improbable. O, and I like it
Reich writes "fuck" rather than "f**k", for I consider that utter
Democrats in Congress and
talking heads on television will be consumed in the coming weeks by
whether the evidence in the Mueller report, especially of obstruction
of justice, merits impeachment.
In addition, the question
of “wink-wink” cooperation with Russia still looms. Mueller’s quote of
Trump, when first learning a special counsel had been appointed – “Oh
my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked”
– has already become a national tagline. Why, Americans wonder, would
Trump be “fucked” if he hadn’t done something so awful as to cause its
revelation to “fuck” him?
have Mueller’s own testimony before Congress, and Congress’s own
investigations of Trump.
But let’s be real. Trump
will not be removed by impeachment. No president has been. With a
Republican Senate controlled by the most irresponsible political hack
ever to be majority leader, the chances are nil.
Which means Trump will
be removed the old-fashioned way – by voters in an election 19 months
Here is some more:
I more or less agree,
except for the last paragraph, for the simple reason that whether
are for or against abortion, contraceptives and equal marriage rights,
in the end your reasons (to be for or against) will be mostly
derived from morals
Yet Mueller’s report
probably won’t move any of the 40 percent who have held tight to Trump
So how to reach the 11
percent or 12 percent who may decide the outcome?
Reveal his moral
Democrats and progressives
tend to shy away from morality, given how rightwing evangelicals have
used it against abortion, contraceptives and equal marriage rights.
But I agree with Reich that Trump is "morally loathsome", and
some text outlining that:
I think that is mostly quite
correct. (And incidentally, I think "morally bankrupt" men (or women)
should not be president of the USA.)
Trump is revealed as a
chronic liar. He claimed he never asked for loyalty from FBI director
James Comey. Mueller finds he did. Trump claimed he never asked Comey
to let the “Michael Flynn matter go”. Mueller finds he did. Trump
claimed he never pushed the White House counsel Don McGahn to fire
Mueller. Mueller finds he did. Trump even lied about inviting
Comey to dinner, claiming falsely, in public, that Comey requested
Trump treats his
subordinates horribly. He hides things from them. He lies to them. He
yells at them. He instructs them to lie. He orders them to carry out
He’s a thug. He
regrets his lawyers are not as good at protecting him as was his early
mentor Roy Cohn – a mob lawyer. When reports surface about the now
infamous Trump Tower meeting of June 2016, Trump directs the cover-up.
Trump is unprincipled. The
few people in the White House and the cabinet who stand up to him,
according to Mueller – threatening to resign rather than carry out his
illegal orders – are now gone. They resigned or were fired.
In other words, Mueller
makes it official: Trump is morally bankrupt.
Here is the ending of this article:
I more or less agree with Reich,
although I am not a Christian (at all), and do not
believe in most
There is considerably more on this in my Philosophical
How many of Trump’s
followers or those who might otherwise be tempted to vote for him in
2020 will recoil from this moral squalor?
Donald Trump is the living
embodiment of the seven deadly sins – pride, greed, lust, gluttony,
wrath, envy and sloth – and he is the precise obverse of the seven
virtues as enunciated by Pope Gregory in 590 AD: chastity, temperance,
charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.
Legal debates about
obstruction of justice are fine. But no voter in 2020 should be allowed
to overlook this basic reality: Donald Trump is a morally despicable
Seen Goldman Sachs From the Inside. We Need Public Banks.
article is Nomi
Prins on Truthout. It starts as follows:
For far too long, Wall
Street has wreaked havoc on people’s personal financial stability and
our economy as a whole. I should know. As a managing director at
Goldman Sachs in the early 2000s, I witnessed firsthand how the banking
industry lined their pockets at the expense of customers.
Not much has changed since
then. After the mortgage fraud crisis of 2007-08, the biggest banks
with $216 billion in fines – a drop in the bucket for firms that raked
in a cool $237 billion last year alone. Infamously, not a single banker
went to jail. Today, Wall Street banks continue to commit
fraud, enjoy front-row lobbying seats in Washington, write legislation
on their own behalf, and maintain easy access to credit courtesy of the
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010
placed some regulations on banks’ riskier bets. But, crucially, that
reform failed to divide banks into two entities: one dealing with
people’s FDIC insured deposits, and the other able to create complex
securities and engage in derivatives trading using our deposits as
collateral. Ten years after the financial crisis, our money is still
very much at risk of being gambled away.
I like Nomi Prins and I completely
agree with the above. Here is some more:
This is why it is more
important than ever to create public banks tasked with using state and
local funds for public good, not private profit. And my home state of
California is leading the way. A new bill,
AB 857, backed by the California Public Banking Alliance would give
cities the freedom to start public banks accountable to the communities
they serve. Based on North Dakota’s successful model – now celebrating
its 100th year – these banks would reinvest public funds in their
communities by offering low-interest business and student loans,
investing in clean energy, and supporting local infrastructure projects.
These socially responsible
investments draw a sharp contrast with Wall Street’s anything-goes
ethos. These mega-firms are not legally required to invest in local
infrastructure, provide reasonable loans, or look out for the
environment – so they don’t.
Again I completely
agree. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, I agree, and this is
a strongly recommended article.
At its best, California
been defined by its creativity, progressive thought and entrepreneurial
ingenuity. Joining North Dakota in the public banking arena would be a
testament to the historical strength and spirit of California – and a
vital economic blueprint for the rest of the nation.
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 (!!).