November 29, 2017
3. A great quotation (?)
This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, November 29,
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 29, 2017
Senate Considers Making a Terrible Tax Bill
2. 200+ Inauguration Protesters, Journalists & Observers
Riot Charges From Mass Arrest
3. Congress Is Trying to Blow Up Our Elections AND Our System
Charities in One Fell Swoop
4. A Slimy Man Thrusting His Genitals
5. The American Roots and 21st Century Global Rise of Fascism
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:
1. Senate Considers Making a Terrible
Tax Bill Even Worse
This article is by The Editorial Board of the New York Times. It starts
This is how
Senate Republicans compromise these days: They could make their
enormously unpopular tax bill, which lavishes benefits on corporations
and wealthy families, more
generous to real estate tycoons and hedge fund billionaires to win
over a couple of lawmakers who say the legislation doesn’t do enough
for small businesses.
Even by the
collapsing standards of Congress this is astounding. The change
demanded by the two unhappy senators — Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and
Steve Daines of Montana — would further lower the tax bills of people
like President Trump who earn most of their income through limited
liability companies, partnerships and other “pass through” businesses
that do not withhold taxes on the money passed along to their owners.
About 70 percent of all pass-through income goes to people in the top 1
percent of Americans who receive any income whatsoever.
indeed. I want to concentrate for a moment on ¨Even by the collapsing standards of Congress
this is astounding¨ and say
been closely following what has been happening in the USA for
4 1/2 years now, and wrote over 1550 files in that period
(see the crisis
index) in which I
reviewed on average about 5 articles. This means that I´ve read - with
an excellent M.A. degree in psychology, an excelllent B.A. in
philosophy, and very courageous anti-fascist parents and grandparents -
over 7500 articles relating to the crisis.
One of my
conclusions is that the best explanation for very many
decisions made by the American Senate and the American Congress is
that a considerable majority of these are corrupt .
present decision on the tax bill - that has not been made yet - is one
Because it would
cut corporate taxes so deeply — to 20 percent, from 35 percent — this
bill would blow a huge hole in the federal budget. Over the next 10
years, it would add
more than $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit. That hole would
have to be filled somehow, someday. That would probably mean even
higher taxes on the middle class in the future and cuts to Medicare,
Medicaid and other important government programs.
There is one way out of this, but this requires a major
economical crisis as in 1929. I believe that will come, but such a
crisis also comes with enormous problems, and it is not
certain it will arrive, nor when it will arrive if it does.
Here is some
more on the fraudulence
of the corrupt Senate:
leader, Mitch McConnell, is trying to rush the bill to a vote by the
end of the week. This self-imposed deadline is intended to give
lawmakers and the public as little time as possible to analyze and
understand the bill. The Senate has held no hearings on this
legislation, which has been cooked up behind closed doors by
Republicans without Democratic input.
In brief: The
tax bill is mostly unread, unanalyzed, and not
understood and it has been compiled exclusively by
Republicans and behind closed doors.
The article ends
As I said above, I think
most senators are corrupt, which means that they will ¨follow the will of their donors¨. Democracy
is dead in the USA (on the level of the Senate and Congress).
senators have a choice. They can follow the will of their donors and
vote to take money from the middle class and give it to the wealthiest
people in the world. Or they can vote no, to protect the public and the
financial health of the government. There’s no compromise on that.
2. 200+ Inauguration Protesters,
Journalists & Observers Face
Riot Charges From Mass Arrest
This article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It
starts with the following introduction:
The first trial of the
nearly 200 people arrested during President Trump’s inauguration is
underway and involves six people, including one journalist, Alexei
Wood, a freelance photojournalist and videographer based in San
Antonio. The defendants were charged under the Federal Riot Statute and
face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including inciting or
urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and multiple counts of destruction
of property. We get an update from Jude Ortiz, a member of the
organizing crew of Defend J20 and the Mass Defense Committee Chair for
the National Lawyers Guild, and speak with defendant Elizabeth Lagesse,
who is also a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit
which charges D.C. police mistreated detainees after their arrests at
I wrote about this
before and my concern then was mostly with the extra-ordinarily insane
¨legal punishments¨ these demonstrators risk: They may be put away for
60 years for protesting against Trump.
For me that is stark
insanity. But there also is more, namely this:
Yes indeed. This is on the
utterly insane punishments these demonstrators may get:
GOODMAN: Officials seized
Trump protesters’ cell phones, cracked their passwords, attempted to
use the contents to convict them of conspiracy to riot. Court filings
reveal that investigators have been able to crack into at least eight
defendants’ locked cell phones. Prosecutors want to use the internet
history, communications, pictures they extracted from the phones, as
evidence against the defendants in court.
The American Civil
Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit which charges D.C. police
mistreated detainees, including using sexual abuse as a form of
punishment. A complaint by four plaintiffs charges officers used
excessive force, denied detainees food, water, and access to toilets.
The D.C. Police Department has defended its officers’ actions, saying
all arrests on January 20th were proper.
(...) The judge has since ruled those are actually not even potential
felony charges and instead are only misdemeanors. So that dropped the
potential time that the defendants were facing from 75 years down to
about 60 years, which is currently what most of the defendants are
Incidentally: I do
understand that 60 years is the maximum punishment, but in
Holland you have to be a gross mass murderer to risk punishments like
this, while in Norway not even mass murderers can be legally convicted
to more than 20 years imprisonment.
And there is this on cell phones (which I absolutely refuse to own):
(...) And in the process of being arrested, they took everyone’s
phones. And to this day, as far as I know, none of the defendants have
gotten their phones back, which has been a financial hardship and, as
you can imagine, a privacy issue.
Yes indeed. I think this
is extremely unfair and should be quite illegal,
but then again everyone who has a cell phone should
know that they can be taken by the American police. For more see below.
Congress Is Trying to Blow Up Our
Elections AND Our System of
Charities in One Fell Swoop
This article is by Eliza Newlin Carney on AlterNet and originally on
The American Prospect. It starts as follows:
There’s a great deal wrong
with the House-passed tax overhaul bill, but its most heinous provision
may be one that effectively blows up both the campaign-finance laws and
the charitable sector at the same time.
By essentially repealing
the so-called Johnson Amendment, a tax provision that bars charities
from engaging in partisan politics, the House legislation frees up big
donors to funnel even more unlimited, undisclosed money into campaigns,
and, for the first time, to deduct that money from their taxes. The
bill also threatens the credibility and viability of charitable groups,
and would drastically reduce charitable giving—even as it robs
education, housing, and health-care assistance from working families
who invariably will turn to charities for help.
Yes indeed: This seems
quite correct to me (perhaps apart from ¨its most heinous provision¨, but I agree it is
Here is more, both on
the lies that accompany the tax bill, and on the probably consequence:
The repeal’s backers say
free speech and religious liberty, but these are red herrings.
Churches and charities are perfectly free to endorse candidates, they
just can’t do it with tax-free money. The government’s bargain with
such groups is: We will exempt you from taxes and let you raise
tax-deductible contributions, if you stay out of partisan politics.
This protects charities from government meddling, and ensures that
taxpayers aren’t forced to subsidize endorsements of candidates they
hate the repeal because it would create incentives for all political
money to flow into unrestricted, secret channels. Right now, super PACs
may raise unlimited money, but they at least must disclose its sources.
Social-welfare and trade groups may raise limitless contributions,
which they need not disclose, and they spend hundreds of millions on
campaigns under the guise of promoting issues—but at least that money
is not tax-deductible.
The House bill creates the
very real possibility that political players will create sham
“charities” and “churches” to rake in massive, undisclosed, and now
tax-deductible campaign donations that will become the new normal in
In brief: If the tax
bill passes, one of its consequences will be that there probably will
be very many sham projects that rake in completely undisclosed,
totally unlimited and tax-deductible campaign
That is to say: All
power to the billionaires; no power to the non-rich. As as matter of
Slimy Man Thrusting His Genitals
This article is by Abby Zimet on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Sexual-Predator-In-Chief has no sense of probity or even prudence about
revealing his bottomless jackassery, he has now ineptly blundered into
the national conversation about
the current deluge of news of sexual misconduct in what one scathing
"the Garden of Dicks." Thus has Trump swiftly and
ill-advisedly attacked Democrats accused of crimes that pale before his
own, blithely endorsed Alabama Senate hopeful
and serial child molester Roy Moore - "He denies it! Women are
special!" - and newly backtracked
on his infamous pussy-grabbing tape to suggest it's - his favorite
thing besides lying, golfing, making up facts, lying, and (ewww)
groping women - fake.
I agree (and there is one
¨lying¨ too many at the end of the quotation).
Here is more (and the article opens with pictures of these 16 women):
Leading up to the
election, at least 16 women charged
him with sexual assault or harassment going back over decades. Despite
he called them all liars, and got away with it. Now, they're back in
a short from Brave New Films' Robert Greenwald, who collected their tales
of abuse into a "powerful and damning" whole. (...)They describe Trump
grabbing their breasts and genitals, kissing and fondling them,
sticking his tongue down their throat, walking in on them naked.
5. The American
Roots and 21st Century Global Rise of Fascism
is by Mark Karlin on Truthout. This is from near its beginning:
I´d say this is mostly
correct, but could have been put more clearly:
Mark Karlin: Is the
term "alt-right" a rebranding of a fringe white supremacist movement
that has been in place for decades or should it be recognized as a
David Neiwert: It's
definitely a rebranding of white supremacist thought, but it is much
more than just that -- it's an entire rewiring of the movement and an
expansion of it as well, which is why simply calling them "Nazis" isn't
accurate. This isn't your grandfather's Klan. It's been rewired to not
only take advantage of technology and its rapid changes, but to
leverage them as weapons.
In the end, when you dig down
into their thinking and examine the ideology they are promoting, it
really isn't anything new, nothing that eugenicists and white
supremacists of bygone days hadn't said already. But it's presented in
social media in adroit and new ways that are very effective with young
people whose exposure to real history is shallow to begin with.
The ideas of the - extreme - right are old, but they now are put
forward on the computerized a-social media, which means they can be
addressed (just on Facebook alone) to two billion persons who all
have handed out their total privacy to Facebook in
return for getting advertisements about the things they are
interested in, and who are in great part quite anonymous, and who
all can ¨write¨.
Here is more:
In what respect is
the rise of "alt-right" forces to the level of the White House shared
by movements around the world?
The rise of the radical
right in the US is just one piece of a global dark tide, and it's a
frightening phenomenon, really. In Europe, the far right is rising, not
just in the UK, where the Brexit vote reflected a rising nationalism,
but in Germany, where the far-right party won an increasing share of
seats in Parliament recently, and in places like Poland, where
thousands of young xenophobic nationalists recently marched en masse,
as well as Hungary, where the new prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is also
an unabashed nationalist in the Trump mold.
I agree that the
radical right is rising in many places and that this is ¨a frightening phenomenon¨, but I also have a partial explanation:
The radical right is
rising because in many places, and certainly in Great
Britain and Holland, the left has thoroughly and clearly abused its
voters for the private careers of corrupt and fraudulent leaders like
This is not a
explanation, but it is a partial one. Here is the last bit that I quote
from this article:
Why is it important
to note, as you do in your book, that what Trump has unleashed is an
incremental descent into fascism?
Americans have always
fancied themselves immune to fascism. After World War II and the
horrors of the Holocaust were revealed, we patted ourselves on the
backs and said, "It can't happen here!" And in telling ourselves that,
we lied -- because fascism's own roots lie buried, in places, in [US]
soil: The Nuremberg Laws were modeled on Jim Crow, the Brownshirts were
inspired by the Ku Klux Klan, and both Hitler's Lebensraum program
and the Holocaust itself were built on the Nazis' admiration of the
genocide of Native Americans in the United States.
I think this is a bit
misleading: Neiwert is probably correct that the Nazis were - in part -
inspired by the already existing extreme right in the USA, but the
Nazis also were very bad without legal inspiration from the USA.
Besides, I once more
insist that (1) Trump is a neofascist
rather than a fascist
want to understand my meanings, click on the last two links: my
definitions are clear, informed and much better than I´ve read
on the internet), and (2) the most dangerous thing about neofascism
my opinion) is that it is spread - it seems - mostly by anonymous
people on Facebook.
But this is a
This is about a very brief article on Washington´s Blog that is
presented as ¨Great quote¨. Here is the quote:
What Orwell failed
to predict is that we'd buy the cameras ourselves, and that our biggest
fear would be that nobody was watching.
In fact, I
do not think this is a great quote, because I realized all
of this by myself in 2012, that got strongly confirmed by
Snowden in 2013, though it does make a good point that I
like to rephrase as follows:
What Orwell failed
to predict is that billions of persons embraced loosing
all their privacy and all their
personal information by buying cell phones that spy on everything
they do, want, say, photograph or film, by hundreds of
institutions, that vary from the secret services to the rich
corporarions, all for the privilege of being sent advertisements
by some of the spies that might save them a few pennies.
utterly insane in my view, but this is what happened.
 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 (!!).
 Because this is a link to ¨corrupt¨ in the Wikipedia, where it is
said - once again - that
The examples and
perspective in this article (...) do not represent a worldwide view
of the subject.
I like to say - once again -
that anybody who believes there are ¨worldwide view¨s
on almost anything whatsoever either must be an ignorant fool
or a conscious fraud.
There are only two norms that an encyclopedia must satisfy: What it
says must be true and it must be said in a clear style.