A. Selections from September 23, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
This is a crisis
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 will
continue with it.
On the moment I have 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
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
September 23, 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:
This article is
by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following
Amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests,
51 countries have signed the world’s first legally binding treaty
banning nuclear weapons. It prohibits the development, testing and
possession of nuclear weapons, as well as using or threatening to use
these weapons. It was first adopted in July by 122 U.N. member states,
despite heavy U.S. opposition. None of the nine countries that possess
nuclear weapons signed the measure, including Russia, Britain, China,
France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. We speak with Susi
Snyder, nuclear disarmament program manager for the Netherlands-based
group PAX and author of the report "Don’t
Bank on the Bomb."
to be Dutch, and think I should say that I never heard of Susy
and that if I heard of Pax (or PAX) it must have been before
2000. (I think I did.) Then again, this being said, I should
add that I
have mostly skimmed Dutch newspapers since 2010, when the until then
decent NRC-Handelsblad, that I had been reading daily since 1970,
collapsed, collapsed again, and then was changed into something
led by a horrible Belgian editor, from which point I have mostly given
Dutch media, also because I have never had a TV, and I can only
hear the hourly news on the radio on one sender, that seems to
be dedicated to serving the needs of those with IQs of maximally
85. (And this seems to be the case with most media in Holland.)
I was not criticizing Susy Snyder, only explaining that she and
organization are hardly known to me (which also does mean that I never
saw either mentioned on the daily summaries of Dutch news that I do
GOODMAN: Talk about what
happened this week at the U.N.
So, this week, 50 countries said, "We ultimately reject nuclear
weapons. We find them completely illegitimate, and we are willing to
sign the first treaty that makes them totally illegal." And this is the
first 50. There were 42 in an hour. And it’s the first time that
nuclear weapons are categorically prohibited. This is new, and it is an
effective measure that responsible countries are taking to make sure to
reduce nuclear dangers.
I do not know
whether I should be impressed by that, especially since (1) the earth
can be completely destroyed (for most life) by the existing atomic
bombs anyway, and (2) designing atomic weapons + rockets to launch them
still is fairly costly, and (3) this also is frowned upon by the
nations which do have nuclear arms.
But I am willing to
this is some progress. Here is the last bit from this article
I say, but not really.
GOODMAN: So what does it
mean that the nuclear countries, none of them participated?
SNYDER: Yeah, well, it’s
really unfortunate, especially since five them are required by the
Non-Proliferation Treaty to negotiate nuclear disarmament. They did not
do that. And they are missing an opportunity. The countries that led
this process recognize that it’s the impact of nuclear weapons, that we
need to talk about them as weapons, not as tools. And that is what
reframed the debate. It reframed the discussion. And the impact it will
have on the nuclear-armed states is that we’re strengthening a norm,
and we’re making their weapons illegitimate. And that has led
historically to disarmament.
And again, I do suppose this is in some sense an improvement,
but I also should say that if the improvement consists in the
fact that now, by 2017, ¨we¨ can talk about nuclear
that were designed
be more powerful weapons than any developed until 1945 ¨we¨ can
¨talk about them as weapons, not
as tools¨ I
should add that all of the many anti-nuclear arms
demonstrations that I did attend in the Sixties, and all of the
Greenham Commons actions of the 1980ies, seem to have delivered extremely
little or nothing to those who held and hold political powers then
So all in all I am not much impressed, even though I welcome the fact
that, after a mere 72 years, nuclear weapons are
weapons and not as ¨tools¨.
But for me (and for the physicists who designed them) that was always
Heroines Then and Now
This article is by Amy
Goodman and Denis Moynihan on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The torchlit procession
and violent rally of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan members in
Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, and President Donald Trump’s
repeated defense of the racist gathering, mark a turning point in
modern America. Trump doubled down last week when he blamed both sides
again, denouncing some anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters as “bad
dudes,” a day after meeting with the Senate’s lone black Republican,
Sen. Tim Scott, whom the White House called “Tom” Scott.
To recap: Heather Heyer,
a 32-year-old activist, was killed, and at least 19 more were injured,
when a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters on
Aug. 12. Hate groups and white supremacists, on the rise since Barack
Obama became the first African-American president, are emboldened by
The history of resistance
to fascism is worth recalling at this critical moment in U.S. politics,
and also at this time of the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashana and
Yom Kippur. The stories of Anne Frank and Sophie Scholl — two young
German women, one a Jew, another a Christian — should guide and inspire
us in this darkening time.
Hm. Both of
parents were antifascists for 45 years, and my father and grandfather
were commited to Nazi concentration camps in 1941 for resisting the
Nazis, which my grandfather
did not survive.
Also, I know
about Sophie Scholl and Anne Frank since
the early Sixties at the latest, indeed in part because my father then
was designing and bullding what in the end became the National
Exhibition about Fascism and the Resistance (back in the 1970ies,
for it has now been terminated) for which he also, in
the end, in 1980, briefly before his death, was knighted (as a
communist also, which seems to be the first time a communist
knighted in Holland).
But I more or less
agree with what Goodman and Moynihan said. Here is some more
In 1942, Sophie Scholl, a
21-year-old college student in Munich, and her older brother Hans, a
medical student, formed the White Rose collective with a small circle
of friends. They decided to produce a series of pamphlets exposing Nazi
atrocities and urging resistance to Hitler. The first pamphlet appeared
in June 1942, mailed anonymously to Munich citizens who the White Rose
members thought would be sympathetic. Leaflets were dropped at bus
stops and doorways, anywhere they could be delivered clandestinely. To
be caught would mean imprisonment and possibly death.
“Since Poland was
conquered, 300,000 Jews have been murdered in that country in the most
bestial manner imaginable,” read their second pamphlet. “Jews are human
beings too.” They encouraged passive resistance and sabotage, writing
in their fourth communique, “Every person is in a position to
contribute something to the overthrow of this system.”
I agree and Sophie
Scholl and the others she was associated with were very
- and were guillotined to death in 1943 for writing what they
for daring to do as they did (namely speaking up in protest).
The last but one
sentence Sophie Scholl spoke before being guillotined seems to have
How can we expect
righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give
himself up individually to a righteous cause?
I think that was a
good and a brave question, but by 1943, after ten years of Nazi-
totalitarianism, in the midst of WW II, there was not much
chance of awakening many others in Germany, I am afraid.
Also, knowing more
than most about the resistance of WW II, I feel somewhat sickened by
reading this (on Wikipedia):
Playwright Lillian Garrett-Groag stated in Newsday
on 22 February 1993, that "It is possibly the most spectacular moment
of resistance that I can think of in the twentieth century... The fact
that five little kids, in the mouth of the wolf, where it really
counted, had the tremendous courage to do what they did, is spectacular
to me. I know that the world is better for them having been there, but
I do not know why."
I understand that she
had her play about Sophie Scholl to consider, and I agree
Sophie Scholl was quite brave, but what they did was definitely
¨the most spectacular
moment of resistance (...) in the twentieth century¨ and to say so (it seems to me) is to
trivialize the heroism of many others, inside and outside Germany.
There is this about
Anne Frank and her family were suffering increasing anti-Jewish
persecution in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. They had already fled
anti-Semitism in their native Germany. The U.S. repeatedly denied visas
for the Frank family to seek refuge in the United States. In
desperation, in 1942, they moved into a hidden section of the building
where Anne’s father Otto’s office was located — what Anne called “the
Secret Annex” in her famous diary. They remained in hiding there for
And they were
betrayed, probably for money, in 1944, and were all arrested,
and were all murdered except Otto Frank, who survived WW II.
Then there is this:
Now, more than 70 years
later, armed neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan groups march with torches in
the United States, chanting “Blood and Soil!,” a Nazi slogan from the
1930s, and “Jews will not replace us!”
“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” was the quote
featured on Heather Heyer’s Facebook page when she died. Like Anne
Frank and Sophie Scholl before her, Heather was killed resisting
fascism. Let all their stories inspire a new wave of bold resistance.
But what is
¨fascism¨? I have been reading this term (and related ones,
fascism¨, though this last one considerably less) quite a few times
since the end of 2015, and knowing a fair amount about fascism and
neofascism I have also
written repeatedly about it, but by now I really want some
definition of either term that makes sense, but I
have never seen ¨fascism¨ defined by any journalist I
although rather a lot have used it.
So once again: I did
investigate the many meanings of the term ¨fascism¨; I wrote a long
Nederlog about this investigation: On Fascism and
Neofascism: Definitions ; and I still have not
read any definition of either ¨fascism¨ or
at all, while the terms are used as if they are as clear in
meaning as ¨white¨ or ¨strawberry¨ or ¨square¨.
They are not,
¨fascism¨ has at least 21 different ¨definitions¨. Here are - once
again - my definitions of both terms:
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with centralized authority and a dictator, that
suppresses the opposition through propaganda, censorship and terror,
that propounds an ethics founded
on discipline, virility, and collectivism, that has a politics that is
totalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-individualist,
anti-equality, and anti-Marxist, that is also authoritarian,
rightwing and nationalistic, and often racist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy, b. A political philosophy or movement based on or
advocating such a social system.
Neofascism is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit
its main norm, and that has a
politics that is rightwing,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
You may disagree
(and in the last definition I avoided all references to the fact that
the secret services now can follow, trace and store almost anything
almost anyone writes on the internet these days, which does belong
there, at least since 9/11/2001) but please... define the terms you
use, if there are many different known definitions for them, as is
the case for ¨fascism¨.
Top Republicans to Call for Full JFK Disclosure
This article is by
Jefferson Morley on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
Two senior Capitol Hill
Republicans plan to introduce a congressional resolution calling for
full disclosure of U.S. government records related to the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Jones (R-N.C) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) will introduce
their JFK resolution before the end of the month, according to Jones.
“I want to make sure that
the information that is owed the American people is made available,”
the veteran North Carolina conservative said in an exclusive interview
with AlterNet. “The American people are sick and tired of not being
given the truth. “
Records Act of 1992 mandated full disclosure of all government
records related to the assassination within 25 years. Some four million
pages of records were released in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
pages of assassination-related material from a dozen
government agencies must be made public by the statutory deadline of
Oct. 26, 2017.
Under the law, the CIA,
FBI and other government agencies can postpone release of still-secret
JFK records after October 26—but only with the written permission of
I knew all of this except
the last bits, that ¨all
government records related to the assassination¨ should be released by this year,
and that this can be postponed ¨only with the written permission of the president¨.
And I also think that the
official reports on Kennedy´s murder were basically flukes, falsifications
and government propaganda,
in fact rather like the
official reports about 9/11/2001 (I did read some of both
reports, and also several books criticizing these reports), but I have no
well-founded ideas about what really happened, neither in 1963
2001 - except that the official reports were not fully
true, nor did
they report all the relevant facts and considerations.
I am (somewhat) curious
about both cases, so I welcome the possibility that everything that the
American government did know about the murder of J.F. Kennedy will be
released this year - if it is not postponed by the president.
And there is this:
The unreleased records
include CIA files on two
senior officers involved in assassinations and four
Watergate burglars, as well as the secret congressional
testimony of numerous JFK witnesses.
“I hope they will not
request any postponement,” Jones said. “We’re talking about something
that happened 54 years ago.”
While JFK scholars and
journalists have called on Trump to "give
us the full story of the JFK assassination," Jones and
Grassley are the first elected officials to lend their clout to the
Crazy Imbalance of Russia-gate
This article is by Robert
Parry on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
The core absurdity of the
Russia-gate frenzy is its complete lack of proportionality. Indeed, the
hysteria is reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy warning that “one
communist in the faculty of one university is one communist too many”
or Donald Trump’s highlighting a few “bad hombres” raping white
It’s not that there were
no Americans who espoused communist views at universities and elsewhere
or that there are no “bad hombre” rapists; it’s that these rare
exceptions were used to generate a dangerous overreaction in service of
a propagandistic agenda. Historically, we have seen this technique used
often when demagogues seize on an isolated event and exploit it
emotionally to mislead populations to war.
Yes indeed - and I am
as regards ¨Russia-gate¨ much like Robert
Binney and the VIPS,
and this is a valid point (for indeed, like them, I do not
the Russians did nothing, but I do like convincing evidence,
has been absent now for more than a year).
Here is some more:
But why stop there? If
the concern is that American political campaigns are being influenced
by foreign governments whose interests may diverge from what’s best for
America, why not look at countries that have caused the United States
far more harm recently than Russia?
After all, Saudi Arabia
and its Sunni Wahabbi leaders have been pulling
the U.S. government into their sectarian wars with the Shiites,
including conflicts in Yemen and Syria that have contributed to
anti-Americanism in the region, to the growth of Al Qaeda, and to a
disruptive flow of refugees into Europe.
And, let’s not forget the
8,000-pound gorilla in the room: Israel. Does anyone think that
whatever Russia may or may not have done in trying to influence U.S.
politics compares even in the slightest to what Israel does all the
These are at least
fair questions. And there is this on Hillary Clinton and Russia:
So, instead of a balanced
and comprehensive assessment of this problem, the powers-that-be
concentrate on the infinitesimal case of Russian “meddling” as the
excuse for Hillary Clinton’s shocking defeat. But the key reasons for
Clinton’s dismal campaign had virtually nothing to do with Russia, even
if you believe all the
evidence-lite accusations about Russian
The Russians did not tell
Clinton to vote for the disastrous Iraq War and play
endless footsy with the neocons; the Russians didn’t advise her to
set up a private server to handle her State Department emails and
potentially expose classified information; the Russians didn’t lure
Clinton and the U.S. into the
Libyan fiasco nor suggest her ghastly joke in response to Muammar
Gaddafi’s lynching (“We came, we saw, he died”); the Russians had
nothing to do with her greedy decision to accept millions of dollars in
Wall Street speaking fees and then try to keep the speech contents
secret from the voters; the Russians didn’t encourage her husband to
become a serial philanderer and make a mockery of their marriage; nor
did the Russians suggest to Anthony Weiner, the husband of top Clinton
aide Huma Abedin, that he send lewd photos to a teen-ager on a laptop
also used by his wife, a development that led FBI Director James Comey
to reopen the Clinton-email investigation just 11 days before the
election; the Russians weren’t responsible for Clinton’s decision not
to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan; the Russians didn’t stop her
from offering a coherent message about how she would help the
struggling white working class; and on and on.
I agree. And this is
a recommended article.
Plants Plus Hurricanes: Disasters Waiting to Happen
This article is by
Harvey Wasserman on Common Dreams and originally on The Progressive.
starts as follows:
Although the mainstream
media said next to nothing about it, independent experts
have made it clear that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma threatened six U.S.
nuclear plants with major destruction, and therefore all of us with
apocalyptic disaster. It is a
danger that remains for the inevitable
hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters yet to
During Harvey and Irma,
six holdovers from a
dying reactor industry—two on the Gulf Coast at South Texas, two at
Key Largo and two more north of Miami at Port St. Lucie—were under severe
threat of catastrophic
failure. All of them rely on off-site power systems that were
extremely vulnerable throughout the storms. At St. Lucie Unit One, an
NRC official reported a salt buildup on electrical equipment requiring
downgrade in the midst of the storm.
Loss of backup
electricity was at the core of the 2011 catastrophe
at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan when the tsunami there
and ensuing flood shorted out critical systems. The reactor cores could
not be cooled. Three melted. Their cores have yet to be found. Water
pouring over them flooded into the Pacific, carrying away unprecedented
quantities of cesium and other radioactive isotopes. In 2015,
scientists detected radioactive contamination from Fukushima along the
coast near British Columbia and California.
of six Fukushima Daichi reactors suffered hydrogen
explosions, releasing radioactive fallout far
in excess of what came down after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Extreme
surrounds Fukushima’s highly radioactive fuel
pools, which are in varied stages of ruin.
Yes indeed. And it
Throughout the world,
some 430 reactors are in various stages of vulnerability to natural
disaster, including ninety-nine in the United States. Numerous nuclear
plants have already been damaged by earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, and
floods. The complete blackout of any serious discussion of what Harvey
and Irma threatened to do to these six Texas and Florida reactors is
cause for deep concern.
I completely agree. And
this is a recommended article.
 I have now been saying since the 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.
They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
The only 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 (!!).