A. Selections from August 7, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Monday, August 7,
This is a
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection (usually) from that item
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
August 7, 2017
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:
Ramps Up Border Militarism as Trump Appoints DHS Head General John
Kelly to Chief of Staff
is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following
Trump on Wednesday embraced a proposal to slash the number of
immigrants allowed into the U.S. by half, in what would be the biggest
overhaul of immigration law in over half a century. The RAISE Act would create a so-called merit-based
immigration system that would favor applicants who speak English, have
advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills. The announcement comes
as Trump replaced his ousted chief of staff, Reince Priebus, with
retired General John Kelly, who was head of the Department of Homeland
Security. We speak with two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist John
Carlos Frey, whose new investigation in partnership with ABC’s "20/20"
is titled "Life and Death at the Border."
Two reasons why this article
is here are, first, that the USA has been the country of promise for millions
upon millions of the poor and non-rich for some 125 years at
least, and that Trump's grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf,
entered the USA as a poor and skillless immigrant a bit over
100 years ago, and would not have been accepted as an immigrant
under Trump's own rules.
Here is a bit by John Carlos Frey:
JOHN CARLOS FREY: Right. But it’s a culture that also
trickles down to Border Patrol agents, to ICE
agents, to customs agents, as we saw those two customs agents that got
away with poisoning a kid, a 16-year-old, who ended up dying, with no
repercussions, no reprimand, no trial, no indictment. There is a
culture of cruelty within law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border.
And it seems to be exacerbated by the Trump administration’s rhetoric.
They are applauding a militaristic approach. The way that we manage our
borders is by building a border wall, increasing the number of agents,
allowing them to be more freewheeling. And probably, you know, we’re
asking for it here. We’re going to—we’re going to probably see an
escalation in excessive use of force. That has been meted out in the
past, when we increased the force. As a matter of fact, the increase in
the force of law enforcement at the border is being handled by dumbing
down the admission requirements. They’re trying to force the—to make
sure that there are no lie detector tests. They’re trying to make sure
that they get as many agents in as quickly as possible. I mean, what
could possibly go wrong if you do that?
This is a good interview in
which there is considerably more, that is recommended.
These are not the enemy. So,
to point a gun at a person who’s leaving their home country because
they’re poor and because they’re looking for a job seems to be
excessive. And that seems to be the one and only approach that the
Trump administration is employing: Let’s use as much military force at
the U.S.-Mexico border as we possibly can to stop migrants, who harvest
our crops and work in our restaurants, from coming into the country.
They’ve portrayed these immigrants as criminals, as terrorists, as gang
members, when the U.S. Border Patrol statistics actually prove that
over 99 percent of all undocumented immigrants have no criminal record.
Contact With Chris Hedges’: Seeking Justice in, and for, a Broken System
This article is by
Kasia Anderson on Truthdig, and does duty for Chris Hedges, who usually
writes a column on Mondays, but who is on vacation. Then again, there
also is his series on RT, and this bit is taken from that.
It is about the - radical and fundamental - changes in
the US justice system and its maintenance and exercise:
As I said, this is on RT
and consists of an interview with legal scholar Edgar Cahn. This is
What happened to the
American justice system? While it has always served the needs of some
more than—and, it might be argued, at the expense of—others, there has
been a shift in recent decades that mirrors similar movements in
various realms of American society.
In this episode of “On
Contact With Chris Hedges,” the show’s host and Truthdig columnist cuts
right to the heart of the issue at hand in classic Hedges style. “Our
courts and law schools have become wholly-owned subsidiaries of the
corporate state,” he says. “They have abandoned the guiding principles
And Hedges doesn’t stop
there in his unsparing take (-down): “The judiciary and legal
profession serve the needs of the one percent – not the 99%,” he adds.
“The rule of law has been inverted; it does not guard against the abuse
of power but advances the interests of those with money, power and
Politics with the World’s Future
This article is by Alastair Crooke
(<- Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
Finally … the U.S.
Congress has produced a piece of legislation. And it passed with
quasi-unanimous, bi-partisan support. Only its substance is not so much
a deep reflection on the foreign policy interests of America, but
rather, the desire to
hurt, and incapacitate the U.S. President in any future dealings
with Russia. (And never mind the worrying impulse towards conflict with
Russia this entails, or its collateral damage on others).
I do not know
whether this last bit is correct (and I am not a former British
diplomat, as Crooke is) and also I think that the basic problem of
the US Senate (and the House) is simply that most of its
members have been bought by the rich, and therefore vote
and legalize as the rich want them to.
The aim has been to see
President Trump hog-tied, and “tarred and feathered” for his “risky
behavior” on Russia. This aim simply has overpowered any other
considerations – such as likelihood that the outside world will
conclude that America’s ability to pursue or even to have a foreign
policy is non-existent in the face of its internal civil war. It
is a key juncture. For an overwhelming majority of Democratic and
Republican Senators and Congressmen, bringing down “The Donald” is all
– and the devil take the consequences for America, in the world.
Here is a part of a quote by Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev:
“What does this
mean for the U.S.? The American establishment completely outplayed
Trump. The President is not happy with the new sanctions, but he could
not avoid signing the new law. The purpose of the new sanctions
was to put Trump in his place. Their ultimate goal is to remove Trump
from power.” (Emphasis added).
Again I don't
know whether this is correct. But this is an interesting and
recommended article, in which there is much more than I quoted.
White House Ramps Up Attacks on Free Press, NRA Issues Warning to New
is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The main reason this is here
is that Loesch is a spokeswoman for the guns & rifles
enthousiasts in the USA, who are now waging an attack on a part
of the media, because this part does not say what Loesch says
are "the views of most
Americans". That is,
she is out and out totalitarian
from the start.
The National Rifle
Association (NRA) drew attention this weekend after its newest ad went
The New York Times
was the focus of the video, which was released weeks after an ad that
showed images of protesters and left-leaning cities including New York
and Chicago, as the narrator warned
viewers against liberal indoctrination by public school system, the
news media, and other institutions.
Both videos have featured
conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch. In the most recent video,
Loesch wages an attack on the Times, implying that the
paper's reporting does not reflect the views of most Americans.
The ad features the
phrase "fake news," popularized by President Donald Trump, but offers
no information about why the NRA has singled out the Times. A
number of journalists and viewers posted on Twitter about the video
following its release, raising concerns about the NRA's threat that its
members are "coming for" the Times.
There is more in the article, that is recommended (but contains too
many quotes of Tweets).
Was There When Medicare Got Passed. Here’s How it Happened.
article is by Bill
Moyers (<- Wikipedia) on Mother Jones and originally on Moyers
and Company. It starts as follows:
There is considerably
more in the article, which I found interesting, where it only for the
twin facts that (i) Lyndon Johnson really tried quite a few
times to give a decent healthinsurance to the American people
(which already in the 1960ies was the norm in Europe)
and that (ii) this was made enormously more difficult by the
persistent refusals of Senators and members of the House who in fact
did as the rich told them: People in the USA deserve health insurance
only if they can pay it themselves.
Watching the craziness in
the Senate this week, as Mitch McConnell and the GOP’s zealots drove
their clown car into a brick wall and yet another effort to take away
health care coverage from millions crashed and burned, I thought back
to a different turn of events.
It was 52 years ago this
Sunday—July 30, 1965. Two American presidents celebrated the birth of
Medicare, the most significant advance toward national health insurance
in America’s history.
I was a White House
assistant at the time, working for President Lyndon B. Johnson as he
coaxed, cajoled, badgered, buttonholed and maneuvered Congress into
enacting Medicare for the aging and Medicaid to help low-income people.
For all the public displays over the years of his outsized personae and
powers of persuasion, this time he had kept a low profile, working
behind the scenes as his legislative team and career health care
experts practically lived on Capitol Hill, negotiating with members of
Congress and their staffs.
This is still the case now. And this is an interesting and recommended