in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 5, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 5, 2019:
1. Landmark UN Report
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. An Open Letter to Extinction
3. UK Conservatives Lose Over 1,200 Local Seats in Local
4. How the German Right Wing Dominates Social Media
5. Impeach now: It's time for Democrats to fight, or surrender.
This article is by
Jon Queally on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
I say, which I do because
I did not know this; because the United Nations report seems to
radical, which is justified; and because it is no less than 1800 pages.
landmark United Nations report on biodiversity set for release on
Monday will say that a perilous and miserable future awaits the natural
world and human civilization unless we rapidly bring an end to
humanity's destructive "business as usual" approach to the economy,
food production, and energy usage.
Signaling the need for
changes" in order to save humanity and the natural world, the
1,800-page report and a separate executive summary will represent the
first time the UN has published such an exhaustive report on the state
As Agence France-Presse,
which obtained a draft of the conclusions, reports
Saturday that "The bombshell
Summary for Policymakers... makes for very grim reading."
According to AFP's review
of the draft report and the summary, the documents "paint a picture of
widespread destruction wrought by man, some of it irreparable."
While the final report is
due out May 6, aspects of what the study will say have been disclosed
via drafts reported on by the press in recent weeks and public
statements by officials and researchers involved in its creation.
Also, in fact it will be published tomorrow. But this is a
Here is some more:
In fact, I do
since a very long time, in fact, namely over 50 years -
that "the "number of
people in the world" is too
large. Also, I do not know of a solution besides a major war,
which probably will extinguish most people and most of human
As Common Dreams
reported last month, at last one of the overarching findings of
the report is that human destruction of natural systems has put the
world on a path towards a mass extinction that could wipe out over a
Robert Watson, chair of the
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services (IPBES), which authored the report with input from more than
400 scientists worldwide, told AFP ahead of the weekend
meeting where the drafts will be adopted that while there are many
direct drivers undermining Nature's systems, the "number of people in
the world and their growing ability to consume" are the two biggest
indirect drivers of biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Well... I think Watson was
too optimistic, but I agree with the last paragraph.
Also, since this
is in fact a preview, there will be more tomorrow or the day after on
this UN Report. Meanwhile, this is a strongly recommended
separately to the Guardian ahead of the conference,
Watson said, "There is no question we are losing biodiversity at a
truly unsustainable rate that will affect human wellbeing both for
current and future generations. We are in trouble if we don't act, but
there are a range of actions that can be taken to protect nature and
meet human goals for health and development."
On the economic side, the
report will call out GDP (gross domestic product) as a failed metric
for calculating the health of economies, highlight the impact that
financial inequality is having on the health of the planet, and will
also examineso-called "market reforms" designed to curtail tax havens
and the corruption they facilitate across the world.
Open Letter to Extinction Rebellion
article is by Wretched of the Earth on Common Dreams. It starts as
I no idea who the Wretched of the Earth might be. There is a
of groups at the end of this letter, but I have heard
of very few of them, and no personal names are
mentioned at all.
This letter was collaboratively written with
dozens of aligned groups. As the weeks of action called by Extinction
Rebellion were coming to an end, our groups came together to reflect on
the narrative, strategies, tactics and demands of a reinvigorated
climate movement in the UK. In this letter we articulate a foundational
set of principles and demands that are rooted in justice and which we
feel are crucial for the whole movement to consider as we continue
constructing a response to the ‘climate emergency’.
The emergence of a mass movement like
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an encouraging sign that we have reached a
moment of opportunity in which there is both a collective consciousness
of the immense danger ahead of us and a collective will to fight it. A
critical mass agrees with the open letter launching XR when it states
“If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is
At the same time, in order to construct a
different future, or even to imagine it, we have to understand what
this “path” is, and how we arrived at the world as we know it now.
I do not know how serious this, and I disagree with a
part of the above, namely the part that says that "we" have "a collective
consciousness of the immense danger ahead of us and a collective will
to fight it", and that for two reasons: (1) I think "a
collective consciousness" and "a collective will" are both extremely
vague terms, while also, in so far as I do understand them,
have not seen much evidence in six years of systematic
reading in the mainstream and alternative press that it is true.
Anyway... here is some more:
communities have been on
fire for a long time and these flames are fanned by our exclusion and
silencing. Without incorporating our experiences, any response to this
disaster will fail to change the complex ways in which social, economic
and political systems shape our lives – offering some an easy pass in
life and making others pay the cost. In order to envision a future in
which we will all be liberated from the root causes of the climate
crisis – capitalism, extractivism, racism, sexism, classism, ableism
and other systems of oppression – the climate movement must
reflect the complex realities of everyone’s lives in their narrative.
Well... I am sorry, but to
me the above sounds mostly like propaganda.
Here is some more that is a bit more specific:
I say - and I have made a
selection of considerably more text, indicated by (..)s. Then
also must say that most of
the above sounds more like wishful
thinking than like rational planning. And I don't think I
can recommend this, mostly because it is too vague or too wishful.
As XR draws this period of actions to a
close, we hope our letter presents some useful reflections for what can
come next. The list of demands that we present below are not meant to
be exhaustive, but to offer a starting point that supports the
conversations that are urgently needed.
Wretched of the
Earth, together with many other groups, hold the following demands as
crucial for a climate justice rebellion:
a transition, with justice at its core, to reduce UK carbon emissions to zero by
- Pass a Global
Green New Deal to ensure
finance and technology for the Global South through international
- Hold transnational
corporations accountable by
creating a system that regulates them and stops them from practicing
global destruction. (..)
- Take the planet
off the stock market by
restructuring the financial sector to make it transparent,
democratised, and sustainable. (..)
- End the hostile
environment of walls and
fences, detention centers and prisons that are used against racialised,
migrant, and refugee communities. (..)
flourishing communities both in the global north and the global south in which everyone has the right to free education, an adequate income
whether in or out of work, universal healthcare including support for
mental wellbeing, affordable transportation, affordable healthy food,
dignified employment and housing, meaningful political participation, a
transformative justice system, gender and sexuality freedoms, and, for
disabled and older people, to live independently in the community. (..)
Conservatives Lose Over 1,200 Local Seats in Local Elections
This article is by
Eoin Higgins on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
In fact, I knew the above
already, but I did so far not report on it in Nederlog. So this
report, and I must say that I like the outcomes of these local
elections. And incidentally, I disagree with calling both
losses of the Tories (over 1200 seats) and of Labout (100 seats) as "decisive defeats": there certainly are better terms.
Small and independent
parties won big in local elections in the U.K. on Thursday as the
country's two largest parties suffered decisive defeats.
The Greens, a left-wing
party, posted their biggest gain in years.
"We've broken through on to
the councils to become the new voice," party co-leader Siân Berry told
The Liberal Democrats, a
centrist party that opposes Brexit, also saw large gains.
"The Lib Dems were written
off at one point but we're coming back very, very strongly," said party
leader Vince Cable.
By contrast, Prime Minister
Theresa May's Conservatives lost over 1,200 seats and opposition party
Labour lost 100. The results were largely interpreted as a rejection of
the continuing debate over Brexit as the country delayed its departure
from the E.U. for another six months.
Anyway. Here is some more:
I say, for I did not
May suffered "the biggest local
election defeat in more than 20 years". There is more to follow,
undoubtedly, and if not tomorrow than with the European Parliamentary
elections later this month. And this is a recommended article.
editorial board cautioned
the two main parties on the future, citing the European Parliamentary
elections coming later in the month.
"With European elections
impending, there is a lesson for both Labour and the Tories," said The
Guardian. "They cannot easily profit as the Brexit process drifts
on and on, but their insurgent rivals might."
Tom Newton Dunn, politics
editor for The Sun, said in a tweet that the results were
"another unwanted record" for May.
the German Right Wing Dominates Social Media
This article is by 4
journalists on Spiegel (now with sickening German
advertisements I hate and do
not want). It starts as
I say, for this is
an interesting result or else Davis's research is not good. Here is
When Trevor Davis looks
screen, he is unsettled. An American research professor at George
Washington University, Davis has been analyzing political campaigns on
social networks for years. But he has never seen a phenomenon like the
right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD). "This is huge
and really quite concerning," Davis says.
The analyst has conducted
extensive study focusing on how active German political parties are on
Facebook. And the AfD dominates in a way that Davis finds rather
surprising. While political surveys indicate that support for the party
is currently between 11 and 15 percent, fully 85 percent of all shared
posts originating from German political parties stem from the AfD. The
remaining 15 percent of these "shares" are split among the center-left
Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-environment Greens, the Left Party, the
pro-business FDP and the conservatives. The countries big-tent parties
-- the SPD and the conservative combination of the Christian Democratic
Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union
(CSU) -- were only responsible for 2 to 3 percent of shares each.
I must say that these data
are hard to consistently combine with the data that
were quoted in the previous selection.
Davis' data, which DER
has examined, provide a novel overview of thousands of Facebook
accounts run by political parties in Germany. The parties don't merely
run one page on the social networks, but hundreds -- including those of
the federal party, the state associations and local and regional
groups. Then there are also the personal accounts of individual
politicians. Davis has combined all of them and stored them in a
database. Here too, the AfD has a slight lead: The party has about
1,500 accounts on Facebook, compared to the SPD's 1,400 and 1,000 for
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Extremism expert Ebner
that the data collected by Davis shows that AfD content is being
artificially amplified by accounts that are either fake or even
half-automated. It is, she says, the only explanation for the
unrealistically strong pro-AfD engagement by supposed Facebook users in
countries like Turkey and Egypt. Such social-media strategies that are
"at the limit of what is allowable," she says, are "a phenomenon that
we also frequently see with right-wing populist parties in other
Ultimately, it could be a mixture of living followers and digital
automatons that are ensuring the AfD's online supremacy. Either way,
there is one thing they are not: The "voice of the people."
I think Ebner is
probably correct, and this is a recommended article.
now: It's time for Democrats to fight, or surrender.
article is by Chauncey DeVega on Salon (now also with sickening
advertisements I hate and do not want). I abbreviated the
title. It starts as follows:
I think all of the above
is correct, except - perhaps - that "Trump will likely defeat the Democratic nominee — whoever
that may be — and win the 2020 presidential election", for I do not know that (and
hope it is mistaken).
"If you don't
stand for something, you'll fall for anything," as an
old piece of political folk wisdom holds. The Democratic Party has
apparently not learned this lesson. This is why (among other reasons)
Donald Trump will likely defeat the Democratic nominee — whoever that
may be — and win the 2020 presidential election.
On Wednesday, Attorney
General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee
about his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's report about
obstruction of justice and Donald Trump and his inner circle's
collusion with Russia.
Barr again showed himself
to be Donald Trump's henchman and a man who does not serve the American
people or the rule of law. In that role, Barr basically argued that
Donald Trump is a king who is above the law; repeatedly lied and
misrepresented Mueller's findings; deflected what Mueller in (now) two
separate letters has communicated as serious concerns about how Barr
distorted the findings of the Trump-Russia investigation; and in total
sullied the office of the attorney general and the Department of
Barr and the Trump regime
have contempt for basic democratic norms such as checks and balances.
As such, Barr refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee
Here is some more:
Political consultant David Rothkopf described
the importance of Barr's testimony before the Senate this way:
I don’t think we fully realize the profundity of Barr’s
assertions yesterday. The ideas that a president can determine whether
or not he ought to be investigated or that a president is incapable of
committing obstruction are not just outrageous assaults on
Taken in the context of this administration’s systematic
rejection of the oversight role of Congress and of the law — whether it
is the emoluments clause of the Constitution or the obligation of the
IRS to hand over tax returns to the Chairman of the Ways and Means
Committee — what we are seeing is nothing less than a coup, to use a
word the president has grown fond of. Trump and Barr are seeking to
eliminate the checks and balances that are a hallmark of our system and
to effectively render the Congress subservient to the presidency.
I think Rothkopf is more
correct that not, although I would have avoided the word "coup". Then
again, I agree with the statement that "Trump and Barr are seeking to eliminate the
and balances that are a hallmark of our system and to effectively
render the Congress subservient to the presidency" (although to achieve that I think they have
to more or less take over the Centrist Democrats, led by Pelosi and
Here is some more:
Yet the Democratic
Party's leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, have now signaled that
they are open to working with Trump's regime on a $2 trillion
infrastructure package. If the Democrats actually believe their own
arguments against Trump, they should be doing everything within their
power to stop him. Moreover, they should refuse to cooperate with Trump
and the Republican Party on any legislation. To do so only gives Trump
legitimacy, which in turn empowers him even more. Unfortunately, it
would seem that Democratic leaders are only too willing to help
America's Mussolini keep the trains running on time.
I think it is a mistake to
insist that the Democrats "should
refuse to cooperate with Trump and the Republican Party on any
legislation" for the simple
reason that - so far, at least - most elected (!!) Democrats are
centrist Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer. And these just will not
as DeVega desires.
Here is DeVega's solution:
Perhaps. But DeVega
does not at all answer my question how much free TV Trump will get
("because it pays so well", according to CBS) in order to defend
himself against impeachment.
What should the
Party do in response to Donald Trump's reckless disregard for the
Constitution, democracy, and the rule of law? It's simple: Trump
should be impeached immediately.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The Democrats must impeach Donald Trump, and must offer no
quarter or compromise to Donald Trump and his party on any issue. To do
anything less is to guarantee defeat in the 2020 election and likely a
full-on surrender of America's democracy.
Are the Democrats strong enough and committed enough to do
such a bold thing? Or will they instead default to compromise and
surrender, as they have almost always done in the recent past? The next
few weeks will provide the answer.
Well... I think the
first statement in the first paragraph will not be realized now
(basically because there are more centrist than non-centrist elected
Democrats). And I strongly hope DeVega is mistaken with the
statement in the first paragraph.
As to the second
paragraph: I think it is pretty certain that most elected (!!)
Democrats will try "to
compromise", and 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 (!!).