in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 26, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 26, 2019:
1. Joe Biden Is a Fraud, Plain and Simple
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. Even Millionaires Are Ashamed of
Their Absurdly Low Tax Bills
3. 'A Death Sentence for Tens of Thousands of People'
4. Bernie Sanders and the Song of America
Biden Is a Fraud, Plain and Simple
article is by Norman Solomon on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
be blunt: As a supposed friend of American workers, Joe Biden is
a phony. And now that he’s running for president, Biden’s huge task is
to hide his phoniness.
Yes, I agree. There are quite a few more articles on
Biden as the - I believe - now 20th Democratic candidate for the
American presidency, and I have read several of them, but this is a clear
article, even though, or perhaps because of, Solomon's support for
Here is some more:
the outset, with dim
prospects from small donors, the Biden campaign is depending on big
checks from the rich and corporate elites who greatly appreciate his
services rendered. “He must rely heavily, at least at first, upon
an old-fashioned network of money bundlers — political insiders, former
ambassadors and business executives,” the New York Times reported on
has a media image that
exudes down-to-earth caring and advocacy for regular folks. But his
actual record is a very different story.
the 1970s, in his first
Senate term, Biden spouted white
backlash rhetoric, used tropes pandering
to racism and teamed
up with arch segregationists against measures like busing for
school integration. He went on to be a fount of racially
charged appeals and “predators
on our streets” oratory on the Senate floor as he led
the successful effort to pass the now-notorious 1994 crime
Yes, I think all of this is correct. Here is
Yes again. There is quite
a lot more that I skip in this review. Here is the ending of this
2002, as chair of the Foreign
Relations Committee, Biden was the Senate’s most
crucial supporter of the Iraq invasion.
for well over four
decades — while corporate media preened his image as “Lunch Bucket Joe”
fighting for the middle class — Biden continued his assist for
strengthening oligarchy as a powerful
champion of legalizing corporate plunder on a mind-boggling
Joe Biden has arrived as a presidential candidate to rescue the
Democratic Party from Bernie Sanders.
I agree again and this is
a strongly recommended article.
a former Sanders delegate
to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and a current coordinator of
the relaunched independent Bernie Delegates Network for 2019, I remain
convinced that the media meme about choosing between strong progressive
commitments and capacity to defeat Trump is a false choice. On the
contrary, Biden exemplifies a disastrous approach of jettisoning
progressive principles and failing to provide a progressive populist
alternative to right-wing populism. That’s the history of 2016. It
should not be repeated.
Millionaires Are Ashamed of Their Absurdly Low Tax Bills
article is by Jon Hightower on Truthdig and originally on OtherWords.
This is from near its beginning, and "They" = "America’s richest corporate powers":
Yes, I completely agree
and whenever the really rich pay percentually less taxes than the
middle class, which is the case in the USA, you can be sure that (i)
this is strongly anti-democratic, and also (ii) is an illustration of
what most really rich capitalists would like to do.
They rushed there in 2017
with a passion hotter than high
school love, spewing the pheromones of campaign cash into the
Republican congressional caucus. Sure enough, the GOP Congress came
through for the corporations, satisfying their lust to have their tax
rate lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent — lower than a modest-income
working stiff pays.
Actually, the corporate
elites hadn’t been paying anywhere
near 35 percent, since they used dozens of loopholes to cut their
average rate to about 13 percent. Yet Republican lawmakers coddled
these privileged giants with a rate cut — plus, they kept intact most
of those gaping loopholes. Thus, many corporate behemoths paid $0 in
federal taxes this year. Or less!
How is it possible to pay
less than zero? By riddling the
tax code with so many special deductions and gimmicks that the
government owes you money.
And yes, I am aware of the title and think it is correct, but
proviso: The "millionaires" who "are ashamed of their absurdly low tax
bills" are in a small minority when all American millionaires are
Here is one more bit from this article:
Again I completely
(if you make $11 billion in profits, you should pay taxes, and if
don't something is very wrongly organized in the country where you need
pay no taxes whatsoever even if you make $11 billion in profits)
this is a strongly recommended article.
On tax day this year, the
watchdog Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy issued a report
documenting that 60
of America’s biggest corporations used the GOP’s tax cut and
special breaks to avoid paying a dime in taxes on the $79 billion in
profits they’d hauled in.
Indeed, they were given
millions of dollars in rebates from our public treasury. For example,
Amazon, which had $11 billion in profit last year, paid $0 in federal
income tax, instead plucking $126 million in rebates from us. Likewise,
Chevron, John Deere, GM, and Prudential grabbed more than $100 million.
This plutocratic ripoff is
so shameful and un-American that a group of embarrassed rich people are
calling for its
Death Sentence for Tens of Thousands of People'
article is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the
title. It starts as follows:
Yes, I agree with
and Sachs. Here is some more:
Two American economists
warn that U.S. sanctions targeting Venezuela "are a death sentence for
tens of thousands of people" and that the nation's humanitarian crisis
will worsen as long as the sanctions continue.
Since August of 2017,
President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions that "have inflicted, and
increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health,
including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018," write
Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs.
Their paper—entitled Economic
Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela
(pdf)—was published Thursday by the Center for Economic and Policy
Research (CEPR), and comes as Trump continues to back opposition leader
Juan Guaidó's effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Quite so. Here is the
moral lesson and also - possibly - the legal lesson from the above
The broad sanctions Trump
imposed in 2017 fueled a sharp decline in oil production that impeded
the Maduro government's ability to "import medicine, food, medical
equipment, spare parts and equipment needed for electricity generation,
water systems, or transportation," and the U.S. president has ramped up
economic pressure since offering his support to Guaidó earlier this
I believe this is all correct.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this
Overall, Trump's sanctions
have "exacerbated Venezuela's economic crisis and made it nearly
impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess
deaths," write Weisbrot and Sachs. "All of these impacts
disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans."
"These sanctions would fit
the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as
described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to
which the U.S. is a signatory," the economists say. "They are also
illegal under international law and treaties which the U.S. has signed,
and would appear to violate U.S. law as well."
Given the above, this is a
correct inference, although I do not believe Congress will do
about it. And this is a strongly recommended article.
Given the toll Trump's
economic policies are taking on Venezuela's civilian population,
Weisbrot, in a statement
Thursday, called on federal lawmakers to take action.
"The sanctions are
depriving Venezuelans of lifesaving medicines, medical equipment, food,
and other essential imports," he said. "This is illegal under U.S. and
international law, and treaties that the U.S. has signed. Congress
should move to stop it."
Sanders and the Song of America
article is by Thomas J. Adams on Common Dreams. This is from close to
On April 15 Bernie
became the first candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential
nomination not named Joe Biden to lead in a national poll. His
campaign later released internal polling showing him trouncing Donald
Trump in the integral states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The countless outlets from left to right inclined to deride his
candidacy and ideas were forced to admit that his performance at a Fox
News town hall—doing the unimaginable thing of actually talking to
voters who normally don’t vote for Democrats (or maybe that’s who don’t
vote for normal Democrats)—was impressive, effective, and a sign of
electability. For the icing on the cake, an array of wealthy
donors, financiers, defense industry contractors, a wannabe
reality star son of Bank of America’s former chairman, and leading
party figures were exposed for meeting in secret over canapes to
organize a stop Bernie campaign, “sooner, rather than later.” The
fund-raising email wrote itself. The explicit confirmation that his
campaign was threatening to people whose interests might not be exactly
the same as most Americans was priceless.
Yes, I agree to
the above. Also, I selected the present article for review because it
Sanders, with which I agree to the extent that - after 5
years of continuous close studying of the American press - the only two
members who contend for the Democratic presidency that I trust are
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
You may disagree, but
then again both you and I have no insight into the real
persons who have been elected to the House or the Senate do receive,
and from whom, and for which acts they get the money they get
and here it is rather important to remember that (i) the
House + the
Senate are the lawgivers in the USA, and (ii) every Senator and
House member has 10 or more personally attached lobbyists, who are
lobbying with money.
Here is more from this
Unlike any other candidate
in the Democratic Primary field and any other candidate in modern
American history, Sanders talks in terms of expanding the inalienable
rights of every citizen.
A large majority of
Americans agree that health insurance should be a right, regardless of
ability to pay. Up until recently, most Democratic candidates
talked about health savings accounts, increasing “access” and
“affordability.” Sanders on the other hand has always talked
about health care as a right for all Americans.
Most Americans think that
if you put in a full week’s work, regardless of what you do and where
you do it, you should earn enough to have at least a modicum of
economic security, decent housing, enough food to eat, some time to
enjoy life, and the ability to raise a family. Democrats talk
about job training programs and tax credits. Sanders has always intoned
about, borrowing from crazy Franklin Roosevelt, the right to a “freedom
Yes again: I quite agree
and note that I do know about Sanders from the early 70ies
onwards, and this knowledge strongly contributes to my
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
More than any single
alive, Sanders has revived a language of social and democratic rights.
The right to health care, living wages, a job, and higher education
were not on the table of conceivable choices in American politics until
four years ago. It’s fitting Bernie Sanders should add to that
smorgasbord the rights of the largest number of legally disenfranchised
Yes, I agree again,
the "more than any single person
alive" and this is a strongly
article is by Robert
Paul Wolff on his site. This a decent argument in
favor of impeaching Trump. I quote only one part (but that is most
of the article):
In the past
seventy–two hours I have read and listened to endless discussions of
question, many from people I respect. I am sure this is true of
all of you as well. I am going to offer my opinion, painfully
aware that it rests on predictions and factual estimates of which I am
not at all confident.
I am rather sure that this is
the best argument for impeachment that I've read. Also,
by a philosopher, and is based on factual considerations and on
assumptions, which I leave to your consideration. This is a strongly
In brief, here is what I think
the Democratic majority in the House should do:
Launch detailed hearings in several different committees, supported by
subpoenas and, if necessary, by legal proceedings to obtain as much
precise, detailed evidence and sworn testimony as possible. It
would be well if these proceedings extend well into the fall.
Meanwhile, continue drafting, holding hearings on, and passing
legislation dealing with health insurance, drug prices, infrastructure,
student loans, voter suppression, equal rights, minimum wage, and so
on, clearly acknowledging that the Senate will not even take these
bills up but presenting them as a promissory note to the American
people, to be redeemed when the Democrats take back the Senate and the
Some time in the fall, complete its investigations and vote to censure
the President, an action I believe never before taken by either chamber.
Then, in late fall, launch full scale impeachment proceedings, leading
early in 2020 to a vote to return a bill of impeachment against the
president. Speaker Pelosi should deliver a speech on the occasion
of the vote openly acknowledging that the Senate Republicans will not
vote to remove the President from office and indeed may not even take
the question up for deliberation.
Then, the Democrats should run
on a robust platform of specific legislative proposals based on the
bills already passed in the House, and call on their base to turn out
in record numbers in order to complete the removal of Trump that the
Republicans were too craven to carry out.
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 (!!).