in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 4, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 May 4, 2019:
1. Roger Waters on Palestine and People's
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. Can We Trust Billionaires to Save
3. The Untold Story of Trump's 'Booming' Economy
4. Ralph Nader: Trump Is the Most Impeachable President
5. Orwellian Cloud Hovers Over Russia-gate
Waters on Palestine and People's Human Rights
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts as
After a judge ruled a
can move forward Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on
“Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights,” we
speak with one of the event’s scheduled participants: Roger Waters,
co-founder of Pink Floyd, one of the most popular rock bands of all
time. He says he welcomes the lawsuit that challenged the event,
because “what it does is it serves to shine a light on the predicament
of the Palestinian people.”
Yes indeed. Here is
GOODMAN: This is Democracy
Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m
Amy Goodman. “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for
Palestinian Human Rights.” That’s the title of the panel set to take
place Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Three
anonymous UMass students filed a lawsuit to stop the event, claiming
they’ll, quote, “suffer irreparable harm” if it takes place. But Judge
Robert Ullmann ruled on Thursday the event can proceed, saying, quote,
“There’s nothing that comes even close to a threat of harm or
incitement to violence or lawlessness.” Meanwhile, the university has
backed the event despite the protests, saying it’s committed to the
principles of free speech and academic freedom.
I say, for I think both
decisions are good. Here is some more:
WATERS: Well, Sut asked me
to come to his university to be on this panel, and I’m delighted to be
able to do it.
Thank you, Judge. He was
very explicit and brief and to the point in his ruling. He’s obviously
My view is that it’s a good
thing that the organizations are attacking the event, because what it
does is it serves to shine light on the predicament of the Palestinian
people, who we support. And the more light that is shone on any
question of human rights, the better, in my view.
You know, something that
at every show I do now, because I fine my speeches down so they’re very
short, is, at some point in everybody’s life, they have to decide
whether or not they believe in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
Rights in Paris. If you do—either you believe in it or you don’t; you
can’t have it both ways. And so, if you do believe it, then you have to
stand up for people’s human rights all over the world, irrespective of
their ethnicity or their religion or their nationality, which is what
we are doing in this panel at the University of Massachusetts on
Yes indeed: I quite
agree. Incidentally, here is the 1948
Universal Declaration of Human
Rights but I must add that
this has been "replaced", for example in Europe, by what I can only
call fascist frauds, for the simple reason that while the 1948
Declaration excluded state terrorism by "national security
organizations" (the nation's spies), its European "replacement" included
all the "national security
organizations" to do as they please.
I have explained this several
times before in Nederlog, and do not have the time to do it now
Here is more from the
WATERS: Well, this
particular issue is far more divisive than any other. So, I’ve just
been on tour for a couple of years all over the world. And in many
countries, certainly in Europe, in France and in Germany, I came up
against an absolute wall of silence, really, particularly in Germany,
where nobody in the press, until I spoke to one journalist with a
newspaper from Munich—nobody would speak to me, on the grounds that
they had been told that I was anti-Semitic and that I could not be
spoken to. And the Germans are very sensitive about Jewish affairs,
and, in consequence, they are not open to even speaking—even speaking
about human rights within the context of Palestine.
Yes, I think this is correct.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
WATERS: (..) I mean, I’ve
been involved in this struggle only for the last 12 years. But over
those 12 years it has changed dramatically. And Noam Chomsky is exactly
right. And so is Sut. They are desperate now. That’s why they pulled
this silly legal stunt about this meeting in UMass. And I’m so happy to
see it. And working with people from Jewish Voice for Peace and other
Jewish organizations, as well, has developed dramatically over the
years, as the demographic within the Jewish community in United States
has changed, and they’re coming more and more 'round to saying, “Not in
my name,” and which is hugely encouraging, yeah. I feel overcome,
almost, with joy even to be able to speak about it in these terms now.
Well... I hope
Waters is correct and this is a recommended article.
We Trust Billionaires to Save Democracy?
article is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig. This starts as follows:
I think the above sounds
reasonable, but I immediately should add that I found Berggruen's texts
in the interview that followes the above both much too long and
much too vague to quote.
There’s no denying that
Nicolas Berggruen, the German American billionaire founder and
president of the private investment company Berggruen Holdings as well
as the think tank Berggruen Institute, has benefited from a global
capitalist system that has fueled historic inequality. But even he can
see how broken the current economic and political systems in place in
the West are, so he’s come up with a plan to try to revamp democracy as
we know it.
Think of it as “universal
basic capital instead of universal basic income,” Berggruen tells
Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer in a discussion about the
billionaire’s book, “Renovating
Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism.”
What Berggruen advocates for is a fresh restructuring of democratic
governance frameworks that would guarantee adequate living conditions
for workers regardless of employment status. At a time in which jobs
are quickly being eaten up by rapidly advancing technology, employment
should not determine a person’s right to having their basic needs
accounted for, the Berggruen Holdings founder and his coauthor, Nathan
Gardels, argue in their book.
Here is some more:
Well... in a way this is a
good question, although it is at least a little vague,
and I will answer it as follows:
the billionaire with a potential blind spot in Berggruen’s plans: Can
we trust elites, well-intentioned and otherwise, to save democracy when
they played a huge role in pushing the world to the dire straits it
finds itself in currently?
First, if real democracy is to be saved, anyone who
(supposedly) saves it does need plenty of
non-billionaires and non-millionaires to support real democracy.
Second, I do not deny that a few billionaires may have
But as I said, I found Berggruen's texts too long and too vague. Here
is some more (and I will limit myself to Scheer in what follows in this
In fact, if "the
worker is" not "entitled to the basic necessities of life" workers and their children must starve
and real democracy is completely dead.
also in the book, Reinventing Democracy, you actually hold
out–it’s interesting, the first time I thought of this idea was with
John Kenneth Galbraith, a famous economist who was also our ambassador
to India when he wrote a book called The Affluent Society.
We’ve had it with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who talked about a
guaranteed annual income for everyone. And your idea in the book is
really, separate the job–you know, the job may go; it may go because of
artificial intelligence, it may go because of patterns of international
trade. But the worker is entitled to the basic necessities of life.
Here is some more by Scheer:
I find absent in the book is any discussion of the popular movements
that will propel this change. And let me give you my other issue of
concern: you lumped populism as sort of the enemy in this book, and
direct democracy and so forth. And you associated that primarily with
Donald Trump. But we also have the populism of somebody like Elizabeth
Warren, or Bernie Sanders. And isn’t that sort of discontent from below
required for public, for change?
I agree with Scheer: Without
considerable public assistance from non-millionaires no
supposed restitution of "democracy" will be a restitution of real
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Well... since Scheer asks this question (or very
similar ones) several times, I do not think that Berggruen has
an answer. And this is a recommended article.
have a problem with it is, it attributes no effective role to popular
opposition and concern. And yet it seems to me most of the progress
we’ve made in society has come from below. You know, people demanding
civil rights, demanding women’s rights, demanding a living wage as now
happens. Here in Los Angeles County and city we have actually a living
wage coming into being. And so this idea that we can count on the elite
to do the right thing–and that was, you know, Roosevelt hoped they
would, but they didn’t. And so he went with what people from below were
demanding, you know? That, to my mind, is the key issue: Does progress
come from enlightenment on above, when they feel their situation is at
risk? Or does it come from, yes, a notion of democracy, of complaint
from below, and a demand that something happen?
Untold Story of Trump's 'Booming' Economy
This article is by
Leo Gerard on Truthdig and originally on the Independent Media
Institute. It starts as follows:
Yes, I think the above is
correct. Here is more:
Americans are not happy,
and for good reason: They continue to suffer financial stress caused by
decades of flat income. And every time they make the slightest peep of
complaint about a system rigged against them, the rich and powerful
tell them to shut up because it is all their fault.
One percenters instruct
them to work harder, pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop
bellyaching. Just get a second college degree, a second skill, a second
job. Just send the spouse to work, downsize, take a staycation instead
of a real vacation. Or don’t take one at all, just work harder and
longer and better.
Precisely - which means
that the last 40 years most money went to the rich (maximally 10%
of the population) and the very rich (maximally 1% of the population).
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
is low and the stock market is high. But skyrocketing stocks benefit
only the top
10 percent of wealthy Americans who own 84 percent of stocks.
And while more people are employed now than during the Great Recession,
the vast majority of Americans haven’t had a
real raise since 1979.
And that seems quite true to me, but here is more on Americans:
But if Americans would
work harder, everything would be dandy, right?
labor 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more
than Brits, and 499 more than the French, according to the
International Labor Organization.
And the longer hours aren’t
because American workers are laggards on the job. They’re very
productive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that the
average American worker’s productivity has
increased 400 percent since 1950.
I think this is again all
true, and it is well to remind one self that the normal workweek is 40
hours. Here is more:
wages have flatlined for four decades, adjusting for inflation.
That means stress. Forty
percent of workers say they don’t have $400 for an unexpected
percent can’t pay all of their monthly bills. More
than a quarter of adults skipped needed medical care last year
because they couldn’t afford it. A
quarter of adults have no retirement savings.
Yes indeed, I think this is
also all true. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Just like the
and the Supreme Court, right-wingers in Congress grovel before
corporations and the rich. Look at the tax break they gave one
percenters in 2017. Corporations got the biggest
cut in history, their rate sledgehammered down from 35 percent
to 21 percent. The rich
reap by far the largest benefit from those tax cuts through
2027, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. And by then,
53 percent of Americans—that is, workers, not rich people—will
pay more than they did in 2017 because tax breaks for workers
Quite so. There is
considerably more in this article, which is strongly
Nader: Trump Is the Most Impeachable President
This article is by
Ralph Nader on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
Donald Trump is the most
impeachable president in American history. Many Democrats, however, are
running away from the word “impeachment” for tactical political reasons.
Yes, I think this is
true. Then again, I am not a Democrat (I am Dutch) and do not
run away "from the word
“impeachment”": My own
two problems with impeachment - and I would like to see Trump disappear
as soon as possible - are that (1) the Senate will not impeach Trump
almost certainly, and (2) I do not know how much free
TV-time Trump will get (as in 2016, when he got it "because it
pays well" according to someone at CBS) because of an impeachment
procedure - and I have so far not read anyone who
either raised or answered my second question.
Amyway. Here is some
The six major House
are investigating issues ranging from his tax returns and business
dealings to the documented serial obstructions of justice documented in
the Mueller Report. As these investigations move well beyond what is
already on the public record and more Americans learn their contents,
there will be more than enough to substantiate numerous articles of
impeachment. Plus a new one of Trump’s own creation—the wholesale,
broadside obstruction of all these Congressional investigations,
defying subpoenas for sworn testimony and documents, amounting to a
gigantic contempt of Congress—itself an impeachable offense.
I think this is true.
Here is some more:
I’ll bet he’s never even
our Constitution – he says out loud that whatever Congress does on
impeachment, the Supreme Court will rescue him. Donald, when it comes
to Congressional impeachment and conviction, the decision by Congress
OK. Here is some more:
Trump’s impeachable brew
deep, hot, and deadly. He violates the constitution, federal statutes,
and international treaties with his war crimes anywhere he wants to
conduct them around the world. John Bolton, the unconfirmed national
security advisor and Mike Pompeo, his secretary of state, are looking
for new wars – whether in Iran or Venezuela. Bolton and Pompeo are
prime examples of unindicted war criminals.
Yes, I agree. Here is
include violating Article I, section 8 by conducting wars of choice
without a Congressional declaration and other provision of the
Constitution (Article 1 section 9 clause 7) and statutes banning
spending tax monies without Congressional appropriation. Consider the
support of the war on Yemen and bombing of Syria with immense civilian
destruction as illustrations.
This is the road to tyranny
and the de facto overthrow of our “constitutional order.”
I agree again. Here
is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
Another standard for
impeachment is the widely quoted criterion by Alexander Hamilton –
behavior that constitutes “abuse or violation of some public trust.”
How about Trump’s over ten thousand recorded lies or misleading
fabrications? How about his bigotry, misogyny and lying about his
sexual misconducts and payoffs? How about Trump allowing the enrichment
of his businesses (which he refused to sell or put into a blind trust)
by foreign governments spending lavishly at his hotels and other
properties, in violation of our Constitution’s emoluments clause?
I agree again - but I
did not read any answer to my second question - I do not know how much free
TV-time Trump will get (as in 2016, when he got it "because it pays
well" according to someone at CBS) because of an impeachment procedure
- and that is rather important to me. Then again, Nader is for
impeachment, and this article gives quite a few of his reasons, and is strongly
Cloud Hovers Over Russia-gate
article is by Ray
McGovern on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
George Orwell would have been in stitches Wednesday watching
Attorney General William Barr and members of the Senate Judiciary
Committee spar on Russia-gate. The hearing had the hallmarks of
the intentionally or naively blind leading the blind with political
I agree. Here is
[W]hat remains unacknowledged is the absence of an
evidence-based major premise that should have been in place to anchor
the rhetoric and accusations about Russia-gate over the past three
years. With a lack of evidence sufficient to support a major
premise, any syllogism falls of its own weight.
Quite so. And no, I
do not deny that Russia did some hacking, but - very
probably - not "into the Democratic National
Committee", and also
not much, in so far as this could be ascertained.
major premise that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee
and gave WikiLeaks highly embarrassing emails cannot bear close
So I agree with McGovern
and with the VIPS,
but in fact the VIPS and my self are in a small minority:
All “serious” members of the establishment, including Barr,
his Senate interrogators, and the “mainstream media” feel required to
accept as dogma the evidence-free conventional wisdom that Russia
hacked into the DNC. If you question it, you are, ipso facto, a
heretic — and a “conspiracy theorist,” to boot.
think this is true, and in fact this is a strong argument
that much of the USA, such as the "Senate interrogators, and the
“mainstream media"" in fact are reasoning in a strongly totalitarian
way (in my sense, which is not the scandalously
lousy definition on Wikipedia), for they both use false
assumptions and defend them by utter bullshit.
Here is some more:
During the entire Barr testimony Wednesday, no one departed
from the safe, conventional wisdom about Russian hacking. We in
VIPS, at least, resist the notion that this makes it true. We
shall continue to insist that two and two is four, and point out the
flaws in any squishy “Intelligence Community Assessment” that
concludes, even “with high confidence,” that the required answer is
I agree with McGovern and the VIPS. Here some more:
Many of the same people who promoted the spurious claims
about WMD are responsible for developing and proclaiming the dogma
about Russian hacking into the DNC. The Oscar for his performance
in the role of misleader goes, once again, to former Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper, whose “credits” go back to the WMD
fiasco in which he played a central role.
say, for I did not know this. Then again, I am not
amazed at all. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
For the moment, however, we shall have to live with “The
Russians Still Did It, Whether Trump Colluded or Not.” There
remains an outside chance, however, that the truth will emerge, perhaps
even before November 2020, and that, this time, the Democrats will be
shown to have shot themselves in both feet.
In any case, this is a 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 (!!).