in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 23, 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 April 23, 2019:
1. Our Ever-Deadlier Police State
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. Elizabeth Warren Introduces Sweeping
Plan to Wipe Out Student Debt
3. The Mainstream Media's Disgraceful Cheering of Assange's
4. America Has Already Fired Trump!
5. How plastic waste could destroy the Earth within a few
Ever-Deadlier Police State
article is by Chris
Hedges on Truthdig. I selected it in spite of the fact that
it was published originally on October 22, 2017 and reviewed by me on October 23, 2017. Also, I will
review it again today, as if it were new. It opens as follows:
Yes, I think the above is
mostly quite correct - and 62 people 27 years = 2.3 persons
per year in England and Wales, which has to be compared with 782
persons in 2017 in the USA.
None of the reforms,
increased training, diversity programs, community outreach and gimmicks
such as body cameras have blunted America’s deadly police assault,
especially against poor people of color. Police forces in the United
States—which, according to The Washington Post, have fatally
shot 782 people this year —are unaccountable, militarized
monstrosities that spread fear and terror in poor communities. By
comparison, police in England and Wales killed 62
people in the 27 years between the start of 1990 and the end of
2016. Police officers have become
rogue predators in impoverished communities. Under U.S. forfeiture
laws, police indiscriminately seize money, real estate, automobiles
and other assets. In many cities, traffic, parking and other fines are
little more than legalized extortion that funds local government and
turns jails into debtor prisons.
Here is some more:
I think this is mostly
fair as well. Here is some more:
Because of a failed court
system, millions of young men and women are railroaded into prison,
many for nonviolent offenses. SWAT teams with military weapons burst
into homes often under warrants for nonviolent offenses, sometimes
shooting those inside. Trigger-happy cops pump multiple rounds into the
backs of unarmed men and women and are rarely charged with murder. And
for poor Americans, basic constitutional rights, including due process,
were effectively abolished decades ago.
Yes indeed, and this is one
basic argument for the thesis Hedges is defending:
Criminal policy, as
sociologist Alex S. Vitale writes in his new book, “The
End of Policing,” “is structured around the use of punishment to
manage the ‘dangerous classes,’ masquerading as a system of justice.”
The criminal justice
system, at the same time, refuses to hold Wall Street banks,
corporations and oligarchs accountable for crimes that have caused
incalculable damage to the global economy and the ecosystem. None of
the bankers who committed massive acts of fraud and were responsible
for the financial collapse in 2008 have gone to prison even though
their crimes resulted in widespread unemployment, millions of evictions
and foreclosures, homelessness, bankruptcies and the looting of the
U.S. Treasury to bail out financial speculators at taxpayer expense. We
live in a two-tiered legal system, one in which poor people are
harassed, arrested and jailed for absurd infractions, such as selling
loose cigarettes—which led to Eric
Garner being choked to death by a New York City policeman in
2014—while crimes of appalling magnitude that wiped out 40 percent of
the world’s wealth are dealt with through tepid administrative
controls, symbolic fines and civil enforcement.
If you lock up or kill blacks (often for decades) for quite
minor offenses, but do not do anything about rich white bankers
whose crimes "resulted in
widespread unemployment, millions of evictions and foreclosures,
homelessness, bankruptcies and the looting of the U.S. Treasury to bail
out financial speculators at taxpayer expense" then indeed you have
"a two-tiered legal
system, one in which poor people are harassed, arrested and jailed for
absurd infractions" "while crimes of appalling magnitude that
wiped out 40 percent of the world’s wealth are dealt with through tepid
administrative controls, symbolic fines and civil enforcement".
Here is some more:
Yes, I take it that is quite
correct - whereas the police should not have "military hardware", and if they do (as in the USA) the point can only
be that the police will be supposed to destroy all or almost all of
almost any protest movement.
There has been a rollback
President Barack Obama’s 2015 restrictions on the 1033 Program,
a 1989 congressional action that allows the transfer of military
weaponry, including grenade launchers, armored personnel carriers and
.50-caliber machine guns, from the federal government to local police
forces. Since 1997, the Department of Defense has turned over a
staggering $5.1 billion in military hardware to police departments.
Here is some more:
racist one about “superpredators”—used
to justify the expansion of police power have no credibility, as the
gun violence in south Chicago, abject failure of the war on drugs and
vast expansion of the prison system over the last 40 years illustrate.
The problem is not ultimately in policing techniques and procedures; it
is in the increasing reliance on the police as a form of social control
to buttress a system of corporate capitalism that has turned the
working poor into modern-day serfs and abandoned whole segments of the
society. Government no longer makes any attempt to ameliorate racial
and economic inequality. Instead, it criminalizes poverty. It has
turned the poor into one more cash crop for the rich.
Yes, I think I agree
wit the ending: "Government no longer makes any attempt to ameliorate
racial and economic inequality. Instead, it criminalizes poverty. It
has turned the poor into one more cash crop for the rich."
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
The accelerated assault
poor and the growing omnipotence of the police signal our
transformation into an authoritarian state in which the rich and the
powerful are not subject to the rule of law. The Trump administration
will promote none of the conditions that could ameliorate this
crisis—affordable housing; well-paying jobs; safe and nurturing schools
that do not charge tuition; better mental health facilities; efficient
public transportation; the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure;
demilitarized police forces in which most officers do not carry
weapons; universal, government-funded health care; an end to the
predatory loans and unethical practices of big banks; and reparations
to African-Americans and an end to racial segregation. Trump and most
of those he has appointed to positions of power disdain the poor as a
dead weight on society. They blame stricken populations for their own
misery. They seek to subjugate the poor, especially those of color,
through police violence, ever harsher forms of punishment and an
expansion of the prison system.
Yes, I agree and this
is a strongly recommended article.
Warren Introduces Sweeping Plan to Wipe Out Student Debt
article is by Eoin Higgins on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams.
It starts as follows:
I say! Well... I quite
agree. Here is some more (and I like to say that (i) I will not
copy tweets by anonymous people at all, and (ii) I dislike copying
tweets anyway, for these are too short to argue anything in a rational
Elizabeth Warren wants to
cancel part or all student loan debt for 95 percent of Americans and
make public college free for everyone—the latest, and perhaps most
ambitious, policy proposal for the 2020 Democratic contender.
Warren announced the
policy in a Medium post Monday morning.
Democrat told readers
that her own past as a waitress who was able to attend public college
due to the school’s low cost is now unattainable for most Americans.
But Warren aims to change
“The first step in
addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt
that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been
required in the first place,” wrote Warren. “That’s why I’m calling for
something truly transformational — the cancellation of up to $50,000 in
student loan debt for 42 million Americans.”
Yes, I quite agree.
Here is a bit about the finances required for this plan:
Warren, in a fundraising
email to supporters, said that the policy’s goals writ large aimed at
righting past wrongs.
“My plan for universal free
college would give every American the opportunity to attend a two-year
or four-year public college without paying a dime in tuition or fees,”
said Warren. “And we’ll make free college truly universal—not just in
theory, but in practice—by making higher education of all kinds more
inclusive and available to every single American, especially
lower-income, Black, and Latinx students, without the need to take on
debt to cover costs. Free tuition, and zero debt at graduation.”
Estimates put the cost of
the program at around $1.25 trillion.
The education overhaul
would be paid for, Warren told Herndon, by less than half of a decade’s
worth of her Ultra-Millionaire Tax — a 2 percent annual tax on the
75,000 families with $50 million or more in wealth.
Warren’s wealth tax would
generate $2.75 trillion over a decade, leaving $1.5 trillion available
for her other proposed transformative social policies, like protecting
public lands from exploitation and universal childcare (..)
Again I completely
agree, and this is a strongly recommended article.
Mainstream Media's Disgraceful Cheering of Assange's Demise
This article is by
Alan McLeod on Truthdig and originally on FAIR. It starts as follows:
Julian Assange was
inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11. The
Australian-born co-founder of Wikileaks had been
trapped in the building since 2012 after taking refuge there. He was
immediately found guilty of failing to surrender to a British court,
and was taken to Belmarsh prison. An extradition to the United States
is widely seen as imminent by corporate media, who have, by and large,
strongly approved of these events.
Yes, I agree. Here is
The View’s Meghan
declared she hoped Assange “rots in hell.” Saturday Night Live’s
Colin Jost (4/13/19)
said it was “so satisfying to see an Internet troll get dragged out
into the sunlight.” But it was perhaps the National Review (4/12/19)
that expressed the most enthusiastic approval of Assange’s arrest,
condemning him for his “anti-Americanism, his antisemitism and his raw
personal corruption” and for harming the US with his “vile spite.”
Well... I am sorry, but I
find these people mostly quite crazy, although I agree they are
Here is some more:
attacked Assange as a “delusional, childish narcissist” who undermined
the security of every nation. A host of other media outlets across the
spectrum (Washington Post, 4/12/19; New
York Times, 4/12/19;
London Times, 4/7/19)
similarly framed him as a “narcissist,” one with an “outsized view of
his own importance,” despite his poor “personal hygiene,” according to
the New York Times (4/11/19).
Again I think that the
editors of The Week, Washington
Post, New York Times, the London Times,
again must be quite crazy (as are the journalists who wrote
this shit), for the simple reason that I am a psychologist
who has seen no evidence that Assange is a narcissist, whereas I have seen excellent evidence
that Donald Trump is a narcissist.
In fact, I assume so
many lying editors agreed that Assange is a narcissist (without
any evidence) because they know Donald Trump has been
claimed to be a narcissist by what seems to be currently 70,000
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
I agree with John Pilger
and this is a recommended article.
Veteran journalist and
supporter of Assange John Pilger disagrees, contending that
his arrest is a historically important warning to “real journalists,”
who are few and far between at establishment media, who resent him
for highlighting their subservience to the elite.
Whatever your view of
Assange might be, it seems clear he shares virtually nothing in common
with those in positions of influence in big media outlets, who have
been only too happy to watch his demise.
4. America Has Already
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
No, I am sorry: I disagree.
I very much hope that Trump will not be re-elected in
2020, but I don't think that "America" (?!?!) "has already fired him".
The question on everyone’s
mind is whether Trump will be impeached. In other words, will America
Well, I have news for you.
America has already fired him.
When the public fires a
president before election day – as it did with Richard
Nixon and Herbert
Hoover– they don’t send him a letter telling him he’s fired. They
just make him irrelevant. Politics happens around him, despite him.
He’s not literally gone, but he might as well be.
Here is some more:
Well... this has three
paragraphs. I have brief comments on each:
Departments and agencies
are being run by lobbyists and insiders busily carving out loopholes,
cutting taxes, and slashing regulations on behalf of the wealthy and
Isolated in the White
of aides, at odds
with intelligence agencies, distant
from his Cabinet heads, Trump has no system to make or implement
His tweets don’t create
headlines as before. His rallies are ignored. His lies have become old
First: Yes, I think this is correct.
Second: I think Trump never had a "system to make or implement decisions".
Third: Well... I am not an American and do not live in
America, so in that sense Reich is more qualified to judge
American events than I am, but I have not seen any evidence of this.
And this is from the ending:
I agree with the first
paragraph and disagree with the second.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
Trump is still dangerous, like an old land mine buried in the mud. He
could start a nuclear war. And his court picks are a terrifying legacy.
But in an important sense,
he’s already gone.
plastic waste could destroy the Earth within a few centuries
article is by Nicole Karlis on Salon. It starts as follows:
The plastic grocery bag is
as ubiquitous as it is inexpensive; nearly all of us have a cache of
them in a junk drawer somewhere in our homes. And while some
municipalities seek to ban them, plastic bags have become a symbol of
capitalism and consumption, given out at stores and malls on every
continent. Given their ubiquity, it might be
surprising to learn that the plastic grocery bag has only been
ubiquitous in the West for a scant fifty years — having been widely
introduced in the United States in 1979.
Forty years later, plastic
bags are everywhere, especially places they shouldn't be. Such bags
consistently make the top-ten list of plastic waste items collected
during the annual Coastal Cleanup Day led by the non-profit
environmental group Ocean Conservancy — meaning the mass production of
the plastic bag may end up being one of humanity's biggest regrets. Along with plastic water bottles, plastic food wrappers,
plastic bottle caps, and plastic straws, plastic waste is creating an
ocean "wave" that, researchers believe, will result in the mass of
ocean plastics becoming greater than the mass of marine life in Earth’s
oceans by 2050.
I mostly quite agree,
but if "the
plastic grocery bag"
has only "been
widely introduced in the United States in 1979" then it took a scant forty years.
Anyway - the rest is
correct, and the idea that in a mere thirty years "the mass of ocean plastics" will become "greater than the mass of
marine life in Earth’s oceans" seems quite frightening to me.
There is also this:
Yes indeed - and besides, this
is quite independent of the possible fact that plastics
may well turn out to be toxic, which is even more frightening.
Compounded with the fact
plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills, it is
possible the Earth and all of its life, including humans, will be
drowning in plastic in the future.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Beyond our oceans,
waste is affecting life, ecosystems, and us. More than 180 species of
animals have been documented to ingest plastic debris, according to the
British Antarctic Survey, including birds, fish, turtles and marine
mammals such as whales. Researchers from the Medical University of
Vienna and Environment Agency Austria found
microplastics — particles of plastic smaller than 5 millimeters —
samples from all of their human test subjects. In other words,
plastic is likely inside all of us.
Quite so - and
remember: so far there is no evidence that the plastic we all
contain may also be toxic. In any case, this is a strongly
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 (!!).