November 27, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Monday, November 27,
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 27, 2017
2. Have Americans Finally Wised Up About 'Tax Reform'?
3. The Problem With Fake News
4. Protect Net Neutrality and Internet Freedom: World Wide Web
5. Big Money Rules
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 Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows and
is mostly about Yugoslavia in 1995, when the Dutch (professional
soldiers, all) played such extremely heroic roles:
On July 11, 1995, I was in
the office of Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdžić in the besieged
city of Sarajevo. As Serb artillery shells exploded in the streets
around us, we listened to the last radio communication from the U.N.
“safe area” of Srebrenica, being overrun by Serb troops led by Gen.
Ratko Mladić. There was no doubt among any in the room that widespread
killing of Muslims was about to begin.
“This is the result of a
twisted policy of containment,” Silajdžić said to me bitterly. “The
U.N. contained thousands of our tanks and artillery pieces and disarmed
our population. And when we asked why the
against us could not be
lifted, we were told because it would endanger those Muslims living in
the protected enclaves. This argument, after these Serb attacks, is now
gone. But it means that the U.N. has become an accomplice to murder.”
Yes indeed. It is
meanwhile over 22 years ago, but I recall this quite well,
indeed also because 22 years ago there still was a BBC WS that
I could get on my radio (disappeared in the 2000s), while also the
Dutch NRC-Handelsblad was about a 100 to a 1000 times better than the
present trash that´s sold under the same name .
Here are some of
Hedges' reasons to say that ¨the U.N. has become an accomplice to murder¨:
Thousands of the 42,000
Muslims in the Srebrenica enclave, ostensibly protected by some 400
Dutch troops acting as U.N. peacekeepers, fled the Serbs advancing on
the city and congregated in terror at the Dutch base at Potočari, three
miles north of Srebrenica. Desperate pleas by the Muslim leadership in
Srebrenica to the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization for air support were ignored. The Bosnian Serb army, led
by Mladić, who last week was sentenced to
life in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on charges of genocide, crimes against
humanity and other war crimes, ordered his soldiers to round up
thousands of boys and men for execution or hunted them down as they
tried to escape to territory under the control of Bosnian Muslims.
When the slaughter was complete, more than 7,000 had been slain,
the worst war crime in Europe since World War II.
Yes indeed. Here is
more on the reasons that ¨more
than 7,000¨ were slain:
Mladić, who in three years
of war had overseen numerous massacres in the Serb campaign of ethnic
cleansing in Bosnia, had announced before the Srebrenica attack that he
would make the Bosniak Muslim population of the region “vanish
completely.” There was little doubt, given what he had done in the
past, about his intentions or his willingness to murder on a large
But Mladić was only one actor in the cast. The genocide was enabled by
France, Britain, the United States, the United Nations and Muslim
leaders in Sarajevo. The Western alliance and the United Nations—as in
Rwanda a year earlier when it failed to halt the slaughter of 1 million
Tutsis by the Hutu majority—never intended to fulfill the promise to
protect the surrounded Muslims in Srebrenica.
Yes, I agree. As to the
Dutch: Here is what professional Dutch soldiers are like:
The Dutch soldiers, who had
no stomach to fight Mladić’s soldiers without air support, withdrew to
their base. They permitted Serb soldiers to enter the base, where
thousands of terrified Muslims had sought shelter, and round up men and
boys, most of whom were executed, as well as women and girls who were
The Dutch commander in Srebrenica, Col. Ton Karremans, met Mladić on
July 12 and provided 8,000 gallons of gasoline for the Serb trucks and
buses that transported boys and men to the killing fields and powered
the bulldozers that carved out the mass graves.
Note that ¨the Dutch soldiers¨ (..) (bolding added) ¨permitted Serb soldiers to enter the
base¨ (..) ¨and round up men and
boys, most of whom were executed, as well as women and girls who were
later raped¨. Clearly, the Dutch
professional soldiers acted heroically, that is, according to
the Dutch. Indeed, I think the same applies to the heroic ¨Col.
Ton Karremans¨ who ¨provided
8,000 gallons of gasoline for the Serb trucks and buses that
transported boys and men to the killing fields and powered the
bulldozers that carved out the mass graves¨.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
I think these are all excellent
questions, but I will answer only this one (which is about professional
Dutch soldiers, with decent pay):
How is it that nearly all
the diplomats, politicians, generals and U.N. representatives who are
complicit in this genocide have never been held to account? Why were
none forced to resign in disgrace? How could the U.N. and the
international community promise to protect a population facing genocide
and then refuse to defend it? How could they insist on imposing an arms
embargo on the Muslims in Bosnia as the Serbs deployed heavy weapons
against them? How could the Dutch soldiers hand over civilians, who
they had every reason to suspect would be murdered, and then provide
the gasoline used in the trucks and buses that transported the men and
boys to execution sites? How could the Muslim leadership sacrifice
thousands of its own people to achieve the goal of NATO intervention?
¨How could the Dutch soldiers hand over
civilians, who they had every reason to suspect would be murdered, and
then provide the gasoline used in the trucks and buses that transported
the men and boys to execution sites?¨
There are several possible
explanations, but my own opinion is that this was extremely
much like the Dutch acted in great
majority between 1940 and 1945, when thanks to their enormous heroism ¨a mere¨ 116,000
Jews were arrested and subsequently murdered by the Nazis.
(There also were a few exceptions, among whom were my parents and grandparents, in thanks
for which my father and grandfather were convicted in 1941 by
collaborating Dutch judges to concentration camp imprisonments
because they were, according to the collaborating Dutch
judges  ¨political terrorists¨.)
Anyway... this is a recommended article.
Americans Finally Wised Up About 'Tax Reform'?
article is by Neil Gabler on Truthdig and originally on Moyers and
Company. It starts as follows:
OK, you know the scenario
by now. Congressional Republicans propose — surprise! — tax cuts. The
vast bulk of these cuts go to the very wealthiest Americans and to
corporations, which are headed by these wealthy Americans and which
give them dividends that are taxed at lower rates. Meanwhile, ordinary
working Americans, and by “working” I include professionals who earn a
wage or salary, get modest cuts or no cuts at all.
And then Republicans pass the tax cuts, and a good many Americans —
even those blue-collar Joes — cheer, because after all, they may get a
few pennies on the dollar.
There is a name for this:
“playing us for suckers.” And Americans seem to fall for it every
single time. Who doesn’t want tax cuts? They are the opiate of politics.
Yes indeed. And who am I
to deny that the very many Americans who ¨fall for it every single time¨ - since 1980, at the latest - because
they seem to love being played ¨for suckers¨ fall for it because
they are suckers a.k.a. stupid and ignorant?
As I said, this worked
for nearly forty years (!!). According to Neal Gabler there now may be
I don´t think so,
for two general reasons.
But a funny thing happened
on the way to the new GOP cuts, billed fallaciously as “tax reform.”
This time, the public hasn’t seemed to swallow the bait — at least not
hook, line and sinker. Polls are all over the place, from those
showing outright opposition to
those showing decreasing support the
more the public learns about the bill.
No, this isn’t exactly a
political earthquake, but it isn’t nothing. Having been played for
suckers for decades, Americans may be wising up. That doesn’t mean, of
course, that the tax-cut package won’t pass.
My first reason is that it is quite unlikely that ¨[h]aving been played for suckers for decades,
Americans may be wising up¨.
Note that I am not saying this cannot happen, but
merely that this is quite unlikely (indeed also because I have seen no
reason whatsoever to believe that Americans are on average less
and less ignorant than they were before).
And my second reason is that if there are (or seem to be) a few
changes, these are mostly due to the extremely radical thefts by the
rich from the non-rich that is the essence of Trump´s tax plan.
Here is some more by Neil Gabler:
No, I am sorry: It is not
just the ¨[f]orty years of brainwashing¨ that did this. It is the
Finally, there is the
larger issue. Republicans have managed to convince Americans — not that
it took much convincing — that taxes are a form of government theft
rather than a way to pay for services and what economists call
“diseconomies,” or things that would not be paid for by the market,
like defense or assistance to the needy. In effect, Republicans have
delegitimized taxes in order to delegitimize government.
What’s more, they have
convinced a good many Americans that our tax structure, rather than
aiding the rich and hurting the poor and middle class, actually takes
from that hard-working middle class and gives to the allegedly
undeserving poor — another blatant fallacy.
years of brainwashing can do that.
¨[f]orty years of brainwashing¨ of a
majority of the stupid
and the ignorant
that convinced the majority
of the Americans of stark falsities. If the
majority had not been
stupid nor ignorant most ¨brainwashing¨ would have failed.
Here is Gabler´s
I am not optimistic,
but the fact that Americans seem so ambivalent about tax cuts may
nevertheless be, as I said, a harbinger of a better, smarter politics
from a more enlightened citizenry. I like to think that you can rob the
middle class to give to the rich just so long before they figure out
what’s happening. Perhaps now they do.
I am sorry, for I am not just ¨not optimistic¨, I
also strongly fear that stupidity and ignorance are far
stronger than rationality
at least in the majority of American voters.
Problem With Fake News
article is by Amanda Marcotte on AlterNet and originally on Salon. I
abbreviated the four-line, twentyone words title, and the
article starts as follows:
I am sorry, but someone
who speaks of ¨the
absolute sea of disinformation — much of which was Russia-funded¨ is speaking propaganda -
see ¨Russia-gate¨ in the index.
A year out from Donald
Trump's astonishing and disturbing presidential win, it's become clear
that the absolute sea of disinformation — much of which was
Russia-funded and most of which was disseminated through the internet —
was critical in helping push a know-nothing reality TV
star–turned-wannabe-dictator into power. With the 2018 elections
less than a year away, the pressing question now is: How we stop this
from happening again?
Unfortunately, on a Tuesday
press call organized by the Factual Democracy Project, an anti-propaganda
political action group, the experts did not have the magic bullet.
Then there is this:
[U]ltimately, it was
hard to avoid concluding that the reason that disinformation works
is because there's an audience for it.
I am sorry, but it is
simply not true (bolding added) ¨that people’s relationship to information is entirely
relationships are - except perhaps in extreme psychological states of
sickness - always based on a combination of emotion,
rationality, reason, personal values and personal knowledge and
information. Neither of these may be well-developed or well-informed,
but that is the rule: To say it is ¨entirely emotional¨ is
simply total bullshit.
“We see communication in
this transmission model," Claire Wardle, a research fellow at
the Harvard Shorenstein Center, argued. We want to believe, she
said that "more quality information" is the solution.
"What we’re missing is that
people’s relationship to information is entirely
emotional," Wardle added. "People want to consume information that
makes them feel good, because it reaffirms their worldview"; moreover,
"disinformation agencies" understand that psychology.
Then there is this:
disseminator of disinformation in the country now is Trump himself, a
man who is completely unencumbered by moral discomfort with blatant
lying in order to get his way. For instance, Trump has been running
around shamelessly claiming that the Republican tax bill will
raise taxes on rich people like himself, when in fact it's the
opposite — the plan is to cut
taxes for the rich and pay for it by hiking taxes on lower-
and middle-income people.
More bullshit: Trump may be - and probably is (in my
opinion) - a very bad man who is lying extremely much,
but there are extremely many purveyors of ¨information¨ on the
internet, and clearly quite a few mix propaganda or lies with their information.
To say that the person of Trump is the ¨biggest disseminator of disinformation¨ is both evidently false and in
contradiction with the beginning, where the blame was mainly laid on
¨Russia¨ and ¨the internet¨.
Finally, the whole term ¨fake news¨ only occurs in the title.
Net Neutrality and Internet Freedom: World Wide Web Inventor
article is by Tim Berners-Lee. It starts as follows:
When I invented
the World Wide Web as an information sharing system in 1989, I
aimed to create a neutral space where everyone could create, share,
debate, innovate, learn and dream. That’s why I gave my invention away
for free, so that anyone, anywhere could access and build on it without
permission. My vision was an online space that would give people
freedom — and America’s entrepreneurial, optimistic spirit embraced it
I don´t like Tim
Berners-Lee. The above is one version of his ends and the means
he created to realize it; another version says that the internet is the most perfect system of spying on everyone
that was ever designed.
And I strongly
believe in the second version. I cannot prove anything about
Tim Berners-Lee about whom I also do not know much, but I notice that as early as 1967
Zbigniew Brzezinski articulated the ends of spying on everyone that became of central importance to
all spies anywhere.
Here is Brzezinski (for
many years had of the U.S.´s national security) in 1967:
idea of the
technotronic society seems to be under the
Brezezinski, until recently a member of
Staff of the State Department, and now
Research Institute of Communist Affairs at
The 'technotronic society' seems to be the
society of 'spontaneity' demanded by
students, who Mr Brezezinskin evidently regards
throw-backs, survivors of Romantic days, forlornly
anachronistic roles (..)
And here he is in
that the technotronic society fills some
And here he is once
again in 1970:
(in this respect the reactionaries and the
Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new
'it will soon be possible to assert almost
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in
customary data.' Moreover it will be
and plan to meet any uprisings in the
will even be able to forecast crises before the
conscious of wanting them.
involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a
society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional
values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files
containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These
files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities." –
Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970
I think that the
internet we presently have, that spies on everyone anywhere,
both in the form of ¨national security personnel¨ in nearly
countries, as in the form of most or all of the greatest
computing firms - Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft - that
also know everyone they desire in all the detail they need (to
further their own profits).
of that would have been possible if Berners-Lee had included privacy
in his design of internet: Emails should have been encrypted
from the start, but were not, and still are not. He did not
do that. DARPA was
undoubtedly extremely enthusiastic.
Here is the other bit I
quote from the article:
week, I was in Washington telling America’s regulators and
lawmakers the story of the Web’s invention, and explaining how
dismantling net neutrality will result in fewer choices for consumers.
But I need to ask you — the American public — to join me in making sure
the United States retains its position as a leader of the free and
If you believe a small group of companies should not control what you
can access online, if you want your small business to be given a level
online playing field, if you want the freedom to surf the Web freely
with the same rights and privileges as others — call your congressional
representatives today to urge them to stop the FCC from
overturning net neutrality.
I am sorry, but ¨making sure the United States retains
its position as a leader of the free and open Internet¨ is pure propaganda:
The internet is not
free, for everyone who is on it is spied upon
by hundreds or thousands of security organs and rich corporations
everywhere. And if the internet is ¨open¨ it is open in the
sense that no encryption assures that everyone
is and can be spied upon by everyone who has the money or the power.
And I do not
think I (or anyone else who is not a spy) have to be thankful for that.
This article is by Diane Ravich on The New York Review of
Books. It starts as follows:
I grew up in the
1950s, an era when many believed that our society would inevitably
progress toward ever greater economic equality. Desperate poverty would
recede, it was assumed, as new federal programs addressed the needs of
those at the very bottom of the ladder and as economic growth created
new jobs. The average CEO at the time earned only twenty
times as much as the average worker, and during the Eisenhower
administration the marginal tax rate for the highest earners was 91
percent. Today, the goal of equality appears to be receding. The top
marginal tax rate is only 39 percent, far below what it was during the
Eisenhower years, and most Republicans would like to lower it even
more. Employers now make 271 times as much as the average worker, and
half the children in American schools are officially classified by the
federal government as low-income and eligible for free or reduced-price
lunch. Union membership peaked in the mid-1950s and has declined ever
since; the largest unions today are in the public sector and only about
7 percent of private sector workers belong to a union.
Yes indeed: quite
so. And in fact this article is mostly a review of two books that may
be quite interesting, but all of which I skip. Then again, the
above summary of what happened is quite good, and it gets
follows, which is also quite true:
alarming developments, however, politicians who support the
deregulation of business and champion pro-employer legislation—from
state legislators to members of Congress—have a firm electoral foothold
in most states.
Yes indeed. And my own
explanation for that fact is - it seems - quite unpopular but (I think)
quite true: The only good explanation for the fact that at
million Americans voted for a liar and a fraud is that most of them
those without any riches - happen to be rather stupid and
Why do people of
modest means who depend on government-funded health care and Social
Security or other supplements to their income continue to vote for
candidates who promise to privatize or get rid of those very programs?
Why do people who are poor vote for politicians who promise to cut
Because they are stupid. Because they are ignorant. Because they all engage in wishful
thinking. Because hardly any of them learned what are rational
science and real
logic and mathematics.
There is a lot more in this article, that is recommended.
 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 (!!).
 These are just two of very many
for the worse that happened to me in the past 22 years - and yes, I
read the NRC-Handels- blad from 1970-2010, so I do know what I
talking about, while I also know that - somehow, after surrendering
most of your privacy - you are supposed to get the WS on the internet.
Well, it never worked for me.
 Almost all Dutch judges collaborated.
The complete Dutch Supreme Court collaborated, except for its Jewish
head, who was dismissed and soon died. His wife was duly gassed. None
of the Dutch collaborating judges were ever punished for anything.
that perhaps also an explanation for the fact that all Dutch
judges tolerated the selling of soft drugs - presently: for 300
billion dollars over the last 30 years (!!) - while soft drugs were
are illegal in Holland?!
 I have said so before, but do it again:
I am and always have been a complete atheist, who also
thought up his own ethical
code. This is as follows:
Do not be mean, angry or dishonest; do not be
stupid, ignorant or negligent.
may be remembered by ¨Do not be mad, do not sin¨ (and the
letters - "m¨, ¨a¨, ¨d¨ etc. - abbreviate the above rules).