A. Selections from September 24, 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 24, 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
Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
It was not the first time
Muhammad Rabbani had problems when returning to the United Kingdom from
travels overseas. But on this occasion something was different — he was
arrested, handcuffed, and hauled through London’s largest airport, then
put into the back of a waiting police van.
Rabbani is the
36-year-old international director of Cage, a British group that was
founded in 2003 to raise awareness about the plight of prisoners held
at the U.S. government’s Guantánamo Bay detention site. Today, the
organization has a broader focus and says it is working to highlight
“the erosion of the rule of law in the context of the war on terror.”
Due to its work campaigning for the legal rights of terrorism suspects,
Cage has attracted controversy, and Rabbani has faced the government’s
His trouble at Heathrow Airport in late November began with a familiar
routine. Often, on his return to the U.K. from foreign trips, he was
stopped by police and questioned under Schedule
7 of the Terrorism Act
allows the British government to terrorize
British subjects, like Muhammad Rabbani (and state terrorism
killed far more persons in the 20th Century than any other kind
In the interrogation room
there were two police officers who searched all of Rabbani’s luggage
and questioned him further about his travels — Whom did he meet? Where
did he go? Where did he stay and for how long? After a while the
conversation turned to the electronic devices Rabbani was carrying,
which included a silver MacBook Air, a SIM card, a flash drive, and an
iPhone. The officers asked Rabbani to turn over his passwords so that
they could access the devices — and said that if he did not provide
them, they would arrest him.
And that was a clear
act of state terrorism
against Mr. Rabbani, indeed even by their own norms, for
Rabbani was not suspected of anything like terrorism.
Here is more on some
of the terroristic activities of the GCHQ:
While the existence of
Schedule 7 is widely known in the U.K., the government has kept secret
some significant details about its function.
Those who are examined
under the law will usually be searched and questioned by officers. Like
Rabbani, they may also have cellphones or laptops they are carrying
inspected or confiscated.
Unknown to people who
have gone through this process, however, is that police may also have
covertly downloaded the contents of their phone and sent copies to the
British eavesdropping agency Government Communications Headquarters, or
Every month the agency
was receiving a copy of phone data that had been “downloaded from
people stopped at U.K. ports (i.e. sea, air and rail),” according to a
classified GCHQ document
obtained by The Intercept from Edward Snowden. The data was placed in a
central database that GCHQ employees could search, and it included
“anything stored on a target’s phone,” such as contact lists, text
messages, and call records.
There is considerably
more in this article, which is recommended.
Moyers: Trump Can't Stop the World From Waking up to the Climate
Disaster That We Face
This article is by Bill
Moyers (<-Wikipedia) on AlterNet and originally on
BillMoyers.com. It starts as
Robert Jay Lifton
was born 91 years ago. Living through the catastrophes of the
20th century — world war, tyrannical regimes, genocide, the
nuclear bomb, terrorism — he grappled with their terrible impact on
human beings. His work as a psychiatrist, historian and public
intellectual forged his reputation as one of the world’s foremost
thinkers. Among his 20 books are such seminal award winners as Death in Life: Survivors of
Hiroshima (1967); The Nazi Doctors: Medical
Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (1986); and Witness to an Extreme
Century: A Memoir (2014).
Until September 16, 2017
I did not know about the existence of Robert Jay
Lifton (<-Wikipedia), whom I think is a quite
interesting man. I owe Lifton´s discovery to Bill Moyers, who now has another
interview with Lifton, about another subject (than Donald
Trump), that again is quite interesting: The subject is climate
change, and here are some bits from a considerably larger
Now he has turned to climate
change (...) Lifton plunged into studying the phenomenon further and
has just published a new book, The Climate Swerve:
Reflections of Mind, Hope, and Survival.
I hope Lifton is
right, but actually I do not think so, and basically for two
Bill Moyers: In
that New York Times essay back in 2014, you wrote
that “experience, economics and ethics are coalescing in new and
important ways” to bring about this change in attitude toward climate
change. Yet you quoted Bob Dylan’s words that “something is happening
here, but you don’t know what it is.” Do you know now, three years
Robert Jay Lifton: Yes.
Resistance to climate truths is giving way to an embrace of them. Our
mindset has been changing from rejection to confronting climate danger.
I take that to be a profound change and a somewhat hopeful one, because
at the global climate conference in Paris in 2015, virtually every
nation in the world joined in the recognition that we’re part of a
single species in deep trouble, and that each country had to make some
contribution in cutting back on fossil fuels emissions, which are the
source of our danger.
First, generalizing from my own experiences the last 50 years
(I am 67), I have concluded that at most 1 in 20 persons is capable
of reasoning in a scientific and rational way. (It is possible
I might be more optimistic if (or when) I am 91, but I am not, and it
is quite unlikely that I will reach that age, given that I have been ill for nearly 40 years.)
And second, I also do not believe in the tenacity of the
convictions of the 19 in 20 that I do not think are capable of of reasoning in a scientific and
rational way, for most are merely following propaganda
and their own desires, and
both of these are quite changeable and anyway are factually,
scientifically and rationally unfounded.
Here is some more:
This is quite
right. And in fact merely during my life the human
population rose from somewhat over 2 billion in 1950, to over 7 billion
now. I think that this is some 5 to 6 billion too many, at least given
capitalist modes of production and distribution. 
Moyers: In his
magnum opus A Study of History,
Arnold Toynbee argued that civilizations would fall not because doom
was inevitable but because governing elites would not respond
adequately to changing circumstances or because they would focus only
on their own interests. Remember that?
Well, the governing elite and even the common people have not responded
adequately to either nuclear weapons or climate threat.
There is also this:
Again, I hope Lifton
is right, but I do not think so: I think most who are not
capable of following scientific and rational arguments are reading far
these days than real facts, and I
also think that democracy is mostly dead in the USA, where the vast
majorities in the Senate and the House seem bought by the rich.
Moyers: How do
you explain the studies showing that when some people — a lot of people
— are confronted with an indisputable fact that contradicts their
belief system, they will choose their belief and their values over that
fact every time?
think the people who reject the facts of global warming in order to
sustain a belief system that rejects it are a minority, and perhaps a
minority that’s growing smaller as the mindset I’m describing in The
Climate Swerve is growing.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I agree with
Lifton, but again I must add that in the over 50 years of my life that
I can rationally consider, I have seen only a few who are similarly
Moyers: Why does
all this matter to a 91-year-old man who, like me at 83, is, not likely
to experience the worst climate disasters that might await our species?
Why do you care?
this book is about a vast universal problem. It’s also very personal in
the way that I write it and the way I think about things. And it’s a
series of reflections that I feel are justified in terms of my
experience. I hold to the idea of what I call larger human
connectedness. It’s a secular version of the sense of human continuity,
or even sense of immortality, and we as a culture-creating species we
really, really require. We don’t just live in a single moment. We don’t
even live only in the lives of our parents and children and
grandchildren, but rather as part of the great chain of being. I feel
that very strongly.
And this is a recommended article, although I do not agree with
it, and my reasons to recommend it are that I do admire both
Lifton and Moyers, and I know I may be mistaken.
Threatens a Genocide
This article is by
David Marks on Consortiumnews. It starts with the following subtitle:
As President Trump taunts
North Korea’s leader with schoolyard insults, the terrifying
possibility is that his threat to “totally destroy” a country of 25
million people could involve the U.S. in another genocide, warns David
Well, yes... except
that it is very likely that the atomic annihilation of North
Korea also entails the atomic annihilation of South Korea, and
both of these annihiliations taken together will (probably) kill more
persons (namely 75 million) than were killed in World War II
(namely 73 million). That is, if no more countries get
involved, which does not seem likely to me.
Here is some more:
The level of insult and
hostile name-calling between world leaders was taken to a new extreme
by Donald Trump in his speech before the U.N. General Assembly. In his
preferred rhetoric replete with saber rattling, Trump’s comments
included, “The United States has great strength and patience, but
if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice
but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Are we becoming numb to
the tirades of the President? His apologists claim his words don’t
necessarily reflect U.S. policy, however the threat to destroy an
entire nation of 25 million people reveals a further willingness to
embrace nuclear war. There are many Americans who protest his vision,
but the United States seems relatively complacent considering his
In the same speech,
rather than envisioning an improvement in U.S.-Iranian relations, Trump
condemned their leadership without any room for diplomacy: “The Iranian
government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a
democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and
culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports
are violence, bloodshed, and chaos.”
First of all, Trump
was uttering bullshit
about Iran. And second, Iran has 81 million inhabitants. If
these are all to be killed by nuclear arms, this is again more
people than were killed in WW II.
There is this about
North Korea + South Korea, that together have more inhabitants than
were killed in WW II:
Trump seems to be willing
to obliterate “the” Koreans. It is not just the North, as in a war
scenario, South Korea, by all forecasts, will be pulverized by the
North Korean response or as “collateral damage.”
The article ends as follows:
Trump, as he escalates
the potential for a major war, is proving himself to be more like
Hitler than many people would like to believe. He claims to want peace
while setting a course toward war. He always thinks he is right and
easily finds others to blame. And most importantly, by threatening to
“totally destroy” an entire country, Trump is suggesting that the
United States commit genocide and possibly launch a new World War.
Quite so, and
this is a recommended article.
Must Raise Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy, Not Lower Them
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
When Barack Obama was
president, congressional Republicans were
deficit hawks. They opposed almost everything Obama wanted to do by
would increase the federal budget deficit.
But now that Republicans
are planning giant tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, they’ve
worrying about deficits.
Senate Republicans have
agreed to cut taxes by $1.5
trillion over the next decade, which means giant budget deficits.
Unless Republicans want
to cut Social Security, Medicare, and defense, that is. Even if
Republicans eliminated everything else in the federal budget –
from education to Meals on Wheels – they wouldn’t have nearly enough to
tax cuts of the magnitude Republicans are now touting.
Yes indeed. I also
read (in another article, not reviewed here) that Trump stands to gain
some 3 billions from his own giant tax cuts. I do not know
whether that is true, but clearly the Republicans favor the rich,
and favoring the rich means taking from the non-rich.
There is this bit on
So how do Republicans
propose to pay for any of this, and a big tax cut for
the wealthy – without exploding the federal deficit?
Easy. Just pretend the
tax cuts will cause the economy to grow so fast –
3 percent a year on average
– that they’ll pay for themselves, and the benefits will trickle down
If you believe
this, I have several past Republican budgets to sell you, extending all
back to Ronald Reagan’s magic asterisks.
Quite so. And
besides, there is this:
no reason to cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy. If
anything, their taxes should be raised.
Trump says we’re
“the highest taxed nation in the world.” Rubbish. The most meaningful
is taxes paid as a percentage of GDP. On this score, the United States
has the 4th
lowest taxes of any major economy. (Only South Korea, Chile, and
I agree with Reich
and disagree with Trump, who - once again - was lying:
The rich aren’t
overtaxed. The wealthiest 1 percent in the U.S. pay the lowest taxes as
percent of their income and total wealth of the top 1 percent
in any major country
– and far lower than they paid in the U.S. during the first three
World War II, when the American economy grew faster than it’s been
since the Reagan tax cuts.
But we do have a
deficit in public investment – especially in education and
we do have a national debt that topped $20 trillion this year and is
to grow by an additional $10 trillion over the next decade.
What’s the answer? Raise
taxes on big corporations and the wealthy. That’s what rational
politicians would do if they weren’t in the pockets of big corporations
and the wealthy.
I agree, indeed also
with the suggestion that there are, these days, only a
quite small minority of rational and (mostly) honest policians in
the Senate and the House.
And this is a
More Reasons to Question 9/11
This article is by
Kevin Ryan on the Off-Guardian.org. It starts as follows:
It has been 16 years
since the crimes of September 11th, 2001. In that time, facts have been
revealed that led more than a third of Americans to
believe that the U.S government was involved in the attacks. This blog
noted 14 such incredible facts on the
14th anniversary of the crimes. Here are 16 more.
I haven´t seen the ¨14 such incredible facts¨ but I have been convinced, also considerably
before 2015 that the story
that the U.S. government told about 9/11/2001 cannot be
believed (for considerable parts) and also cannot be the full
But I will not
into my reasons for doubting the story, and I just select three out of
the sixteen offered reasons. The boldness of the quotes is in the
FBI and CIA have made a mockery of the U.S. justice system as it relates
to 9/11. While these agencies are suspected of involvement, they have
charged others with the crimes using secret evidence in a secret
military trial. The accused have been held in seclusion for nearly 15
years while FBI and CIA agents attempt to insert themselves as defense
team members, ensuring total control of the narrative.
Of course, this is
primarily about Guantánamo (and other secret sites, where people are
Then there is this:
This might have been put
a bit differently (like the previous quoted point), but this also seems
mostly correct (and indeed ¨ignoring many of the most relevant facts, by
promoting false official accounts, and by belittling those who
questioned the 9/11 events¨ is propaganda.
The New York Times led the propaganda behind the U.S.
invasion of Iraq in 2003 and it also led the propaganda behind the cover-up of the 9/11
crimes. It did so by ignoring many of the most relevant facts, by
promoting false official accounts, and by belittling those who
questioned the 9/11 events.
Here is the last point (of sixteen) that I quote:
the day of the attacks, firefighters, journalists, survivors, and eyewitnesses testified to secondary
explosions in the World Trade Center buildings. Videos of these
testimonies were held secret for years by the government agency NIST
and released only via FOIA request after public interest died down. Scientists have explained that the towers came
down due to explosions and that the NIST investigation was fraudulent.
Yes indeed. And I´ve
seen a lot more evidence like Chandler explains in ¨Scientists have explained¨ some years ago and I think (taken
altogether) this is quite convincing evidence that the story
American government told was not what was really
Here is the last bit:
the crimes of 9/11
continue to go unsolved and largely unquestioned, Americans should be
aware that another 9/11 could happen at any time. If it does, the
ongoing failure to question obvious deception in terrorism could take
society to places where freedom to question is no longer an option.
Yes, that seems a fair
inference, in the circumstances. 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.
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 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).
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 (!!).
fact, I also
overpopulation (<-Wikipedia) is what lies behind and
climate change, but I merely mention this here, and will not argue this
here and now.