November 23, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, November 23,
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.
moment and since nearly two years (!!!!) 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:
Selections from November 23, 2017
Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality
2. Expert: President Trump
Calling His Accusers “Liars” Confirms
Women’s Fears of Not Being
3. Is Puerto Rico Being 'Ethnically Cleansed' for the
4. The Trump Tax Plan Wants to Create a Nation of Idiots
5. Watch Enraged Jeremy Corbyn Denounce 'Uncaring' Budget,
Tories Unfit to Govern
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:
the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality
is by Tim Wu on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
On Tuesday, the
F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, announced plans to
eliminate even the most basic net neutrality protections —
including the ban on blocking — replacing them with a “transparency”
regime enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. “Transparency,” of
course, is a euphemism for “doing nothing.” (...) Indeed, a broadband
carrier like AT&T, if it wanted, might even practice internet
censorship akin to that of the Chinese state, blocking its critics and
promoting its own agenda.
Yes indeed: I think this
is quite correct. Here are some of Wu´s reasons to believe that
will require legal interference:
censorship is anathema to the internet’s (and America’s) founding
spirit. And by going this far, the F.C.C. may also have overplayed its
legal hand. So drastic is the reversal of policy (if, as expected, the
commission approves Mr. Pai’s proposal next month), and so weak is the
evidence to support the change, that it seems destined to be struck
down in court.
The problem for Mr. Pai is that government agencies are not
free to abruptly reverse longstanding rules on which many have relied
without a good reason, such as a change in factual circumstances. A
mere change in F.C.C. ideology isn’t enough. As the Supreme Court has
said, a federal agency must “examine the relevant data and articulate a
satisfactory explanation for its action.” Given that net neutrality
rules have been a huge success by most measures, the justification for
killing them would have to be very strong.
I agree, but I have three - somewhat speculative -
My first remark is that Pai and the Republicans may be
calculating that yes, the changes they propose may well need the
courts, but then again the courts are now more and more filled by
judges nominated by Trump, and such judges may (also) be quite
to pass Pai´s rules. (Incidentally, I have no direct evidence
but this seems to me quite possible.)
The second remark is that it may well be the case that
Pai (from his point of view) does believe there are changes ¨in factual circumstances¨. I do not know which ones he could or might quote,
but it seems quite possible that he will insist that the rich
corporations may loose some of their riches due to the slow connections
And my third remark is that I think by now it is less
likely to be about the speed of the internet (computers are
still getting faster) as is is about the
rights of the
internet: It seems that Pai simply wants the rich corporations to have
almost all the powers they want.
I grant all of these remarks are speculative,
also think they are realistic. And in fact it seems Tim Wu agrees:
Yes indeed. And this is a
It isn’t. In fact, it’s very weak. From what we know so far,
Mr. Pai’s rationale for eliminating the rules is that cable and phone
companies, despite years of healthy profit, need to earn even more
money than they already do (...)
President Trump Calling His Accusers “Liars” Confirms Women’s
Fears of Not Being Believed
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! This
the following introduction:
Amid the torrent of sexual
abuse allegations lodged by women against powerful men, President Trump
rushed to the defense of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore,
who stands accused of multiple instances of sexual assault against
minors. Meanwhile, CBS News, PBS
and Bloomberg all said
Tuesday that they’re firing veteran journalist Charlie Rose over
multiple accusations of sexual harassment. On Capitol Hill,
Congressmember Jackie Speier says she knows of at least two lawmakers
who’ve engaged in sexual harassment and has introduced a bill to end a
mandatory “cooling off period” before accusers can file claims. We
speak with Jennifer Drobac, a professor and expert in sexual harassment
law at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Yes indeed. (And
incidentally: I generally copy the introductions to the interviews of
Democracy Now! that I report, simply because they are good and fair
Incidentally (and this is
one of my - not very good - reasons to think events of the
present nature are considerably less likely in Holland): I
you are talking about sex and its scandals, you should
write what Trump said: ¨the
—¨ = ¨the pussy¨. 
GONZÁLEZ: At least nine women have stepped forward to say they
were sexually harassed or assaulted by Roy Moore as children, and The
New Yorker reports Moore was banned from a local mall and a YMCA in Alabama because he repeatedly badgered
teenage girls. Moore’s lawyer denies the ban existed. Trump himself has
been accused of sexual harassment and assault by at least 16 women. A
leaked Access Hollywood video from
2005 recorded Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women, saying,
“When you’re a star, they let you do it, grab ’em by the —.”
GOODMAN: Meanwhile, CBS News, PBS
and Bloomberg all said, Tuesday, they are firing TV icon
Charlie Rose and canceling distribution of his programs. Three more
women who worked at CBS have also stepped forward to accuse Rose of
sexual harassment, bringing the total number of his accusers to at
least nine. Rose is accused of groping women, making lewd phone calls,
walking around naked or in untethered bathrobe.
But the rest seems quite correct. And here is Jennifer Drobac:
OK, so let’s start with Roy Moore. The problem with Roy Moore is these
allegations don’t fall under typical anti-discrimination law. These
women, young girls, really, were not his employees. He was not their
teacher. And so sexual harassment law doesn’t technically cover it.
It’s really more personal injury law. But that law doesn’t capture the
systemic nature of discrimination against women. So, what he did at the
time was illegal, possibly criminal, but it really did not fit under
what we understand today as sexual harassment law. The president’s
comments yesterday are appalling, shocking, and yet, sadly, not very
surprising given his history.
I say, for I did not
that. Besides, I think it strange that sexual harassment
(in U.S. law)
seems to require that those who are harassed also are either employees
or being taught by the persons harassing them: That seems rather
strange to me, but indeed I am neither a lawyer nor an American.
Here is Drobac on Trump:
(...) Then you also have the president during the
I think all of that is quite
campaign. He admits in a
recorded conversation that he’s a grabber. And that is at least illegal
behavior, possibly criminal. And then what happens? He then proceeds to
confirm the two fears that women have. First, women came forward and
said, yes, he did this to me. So, what does he do then? He calls them
all liars, thereby confirming the first fear, that women won’t be
believed. Second, he then threatened to sue them all. That confirms the
second fear women have, is that they will be retaliated against.
Finally, Drobac distinguishes three types of sexual predators, of which
I mention here only the third type (for the others see the original):
Finally, there are the, what I call corrupt predators. And those are
most of the people we’re talking about now. They either know that they
are engaging in seriously, often violent or illegal and criminal
behavior, and they simply don’t care or they can’t help themselves.
Their egos have now gotten so big that they think they can do anything.
And again, this is describing some of the people we’re talking about
I think that is quite
correct, and this also seems to refer more or less adequately to such
men as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Roy Moore and also to Donald
And this is a
Puerto Rico Being 'Ethnically Cleansed' for the Superrich?
This article is by Harvey Wasserman on Truthdig. This starts
Two months after the Sept.
20 landfall of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico—like the nearby Virgin
Islands—is still in a state of horrifying devastation. The help being
offered by the Trump administration is thin to the point of being cruel
At this point one must ask:
astonishing lack of aid part of a larger plan to cleanse the
islands of their native populations, drive down real estate values and
create a billionaire’s luxury
hotel-casino- prostitution playground à la Cuba before the
In other words: ethnic
cleansing for the superrich.
I think that this - in
view of the sexually predatory and (in my psychologist´s
opinion: quite insane)
president Trump - may well be true. And indeed one
legal advantage Trump may see is that Puerto Rico is both a part of the
USA and surrounded by water: A potentially ideal playground
for the - American - super rich.
Here is some more - and
the list of points I quote is considerably smaller than the
list of points you will find in the original of this text:
All of this sounds
to me as very easily preventable, which means that since they
are not prevented, this indeed may well be intentional
But overall, Puerto Rico
and the Virgin Islands are in such horrific shape that it’s hard to
dismiss the idea that the weak recovery effort might be by design.
● Throughout the islands,
U.S. citizens are dying due to lack of clean water. Tens of thousands
are still without food, clothing, medical care or even basic shelter.
● Despite enormous
resources available, the Trump administration has failed to deliver
even sufficient tarps to cover rooftops that have been shattered or
blown away altogether. (...)
● FEMA has been responding
to requests for help by handing people without phone service or
electricity a flier with a phone number to call and a website on which
to fill out an application.
● Many in Puerto Rico have
died because most of the island’s hospitals have no power and cannot
provide surgery, dialysis and other basic life-saving services. Insulin
and other medicines have spoiled due to lack of refrigeration. (..)
● Those who do have work
restoring power and providing other emergency services return home at
night to homes or apartments with no electric power, no air
conditioning, no refrigerated food, no means to cook what they have and
partial roofs that leak during the frequent rains.
Here is some more, and Segal is ¨an activist¨:
Yes indeed: At least this
seems likely to me. And this is a recommended article.
“There is ethnic cleansing
in PR, not enough food, water, medicine, and medical care. People dying
in hospitals,” Segal said. “Why? Because they are black and brown
people who speak another language. They are not white, therefore, why
care about their well-being?”
Segal speculates that while
the proposed GOP tax plan would give the rich a $1.5 trillion tax cut,
Republicans in Congress do not want to spend $90 billion rebuilding the
In an email to me, Segal
added that the hurricane response also might be about stripping the
islands of their inconvenient natives and converting them into yet
another billionaire’s paradise filled with Trump-type hotels, casinos
and sex trade centers.
Trump Tax Plan Wants to Create a Nation of Idiots
article is by David Cay
Johnston (<- Wikipedia)  on AlterNet. It
starts as follows:
The House tax bill is an
all-out attack on the future prosperity of America, not that any of the
major news organizations are telling you that in plain English. Lost in
the dense bureaucratic language of modern news reports is the simple
fact that the House bill takes from striving students so that the
already rich and major corporations can have more.
This bill is a long-term
disaster in terms of what economists call opportunity
costs. That term refers to a benefit that a person could have
received, but gave up, to take another course of action. This tax bill
gives up the future wealth from investing in brainpower in favor of
permanent tax cuts for the already rich and corporations.
This tax bill should be
called the Intellectual Destruction Initiative Outrageous Tax Savings
Act, a.k.a. the IDIOTS Tax Act of 2017.
I agree with the first
and the third paragraph, but I think that the concept of opportunity cost
(<- Wikipedia) is a needless complication here. And for me it seems quite
clear - in any case, indeed - that one should invest ¨in brainpower in favor of
permanent tax cuts for the already rich and corporations¨ (completely apart from
Then again, I should
add that I have witnessed now 50 years
of ongoing destructions in the Dutch educational system, that now
delivers students for electric engineering etc. who at age 18
do not know the algebra that I learned at age 12 (55
years ago) and that, altogether, seems to have halved the
educational loads of schools, colleges and universities in Holland.
Also, since these extremely radical changes were generally
welcomed because they made it a lot easier to get degrees
of all kinds, they have hardly
been discussed in Holland, and also not elsewhere in Europe, where
similar changes were made (except - the single exception - in Finland ).
Here is David Cay
Johnston´s alternative to the Trumpian destruction of most education:
What we need is more
investment in education and, especially, education of the most serious
and scholarly students. I have a name for what we need—the Intellectual
Quality General Education National Investment University Scholarship
Act or IQ GENIUS Act.
Well... yes, but I am completely
convinced this will not work, for a quite similar reason this
has not worked in Holland the last 50 years: There are only a few
persons - less than 2%, in fact - who have an IQ over 130, while the
other 98% are generally much in favour of simplifying their
educational difficulties by diminishing the demands.
I am in favor of
Johnston´s alternative, but I have learned that those in favor of these
measures risk being thrown from the Dutch universities, precisely as I
was, very briefly before taking my M.A. in philosophy: The faculty removed
me - illegally - because I had publicly criticized
the parasites and incompetents who ¨taught¨ philosophy in the
¨University¨ of Amsterdam between 1971 and 1995.
Apparently it was a
rule in the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam that those who criticize their
teachers, also if they are extremely good students, as I was, may
be denied all the rights they are legally
entitled to under Dutch laws. And I was.
Here is more on the
Trumpian destruction of education, that are paralleled by the
Dutch destructions of education, for whereas I had to pay 40
euros to become a student in 1976, which means that it
would cost some 200 euros to get an M.A. degree, from 2008 onwards the
Dutch had to pay (for example) euros 20,000 to get a medical
degree (that had at most half of the quality of the medical
degrees taken between 1865 and 1965):
In simple terms, here is
the bill’s message to the poorly educated person who works in the
college cafeteria so that their child may attend college: “Tell your
kids plan on a career in the cafeteria.”
It´s the same in
Holland: I could not have studied
in the 2000s. Here is more on David Cay Johnston´s quite sensible
We should be investing more
in young minds, from birth through the highest level of education that
serious students desire, not less. That is what China and other
countries with an eye to tomorrow are doing, while our Congress looks
at today and yesterday.
And this is from the end of
Only by rigorously
developing critical thinking skills, a deep understanding
of mathematics and statistics and recognizing the nature of
science can America continue to prosper. Intense education is the
fundamental building block of America’s economic future.
I quite agree, but it
will not happen under Trump. Instead, he will break down all
the opportunities for the poor to go to college or to university or
else he will load those who nevertheless study with little
money with enormous debts for the rest of their lives.
And this is a strongly
Enraged Jeremy Corbyn Denounce 'Uncaring' Budget, Call Tories Unfit to
This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. This
starts as follows:
leader Jeremy Corbyn tore into a Conservative member of parliament
during a debate over the Tories' 2017
Autumn budget on Wednesday, denouncing the "uncaring, uncouth
attitude" of right-wing lawmakers in the face of austerity that has
crippled social services that provide for the elderly, the sick, and
the poor and—according to a recent study—caused
government that causes 120,000 deaths outside a situation
of war must be a deeply criminal government.
Here is some more:
"Over £6 billion
[$7.9 billion USD] will have been cut from social care budgets by next
March," Corbyn said, as Labour MPs shouted "shame on you" at the Tory
I´d say this - ¨$7.9 billion USD¨ - is plain theft
from the poor.
Here is more by Corbyn:
I agree and this is a
Corbyn went on to
characterize the Tory budget—introduced on Wednesday by Finance
Minister Philip Hammond—as nothing more than "accounting tricks and
empty promises" that will perpetuate "the misery many are in."
"Our country is marked by
growing inequality and injustice," Corbyn concluded.
"We were promised a revolutionary budget. The reality is nothing has
changed. People were looking for help from this budget, they have been
let down. Let down by a government that, like the economy they've
presided over, is weak and unstable and in need of urgent change.
 I have now been
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 (!!).
 I´ve lived in England in the 1970ies
and it turned out then to be quite backward compared to Holland about
Whereas in Holland especially educated women often said ¨Cunt!"
(Dutch: ¨Kut!¨) if they referred to something they disliked, indeed
from the late 1960ies onwards, in England it turned out to be fairly
scandalous if one did the same: If writing about it, it should have
been put as ¨_!¨.
These differences still exist (about 45 years later), and they also
exist in the USA. I think these differences go back to fairly
ridiculous supersti- tions, but indeed I am
 In fact, Johnston is called ¨Johnson¨
in the article.
 I should add here that my
information about Finland dates from 2008-2010. It may have
changed since. (I do not know.)