from December 15, 2017
This is a Nederlog of Friday, December 15,
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 two years (!!!!)
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
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from December 15, 2017
FCC Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality (Video)
2. Republicans Agree on Tax Bill “Of, By and For the
Class” with Tax Cuts for the
3. Is Revolution in the U.S. Brewing?
4. The Right Is
Attempting to Roll Back the 20th Century
5. Lavishing Money on the Pentagon
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:
Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality (Video)
This article is by Anonymous (no writer given) on Truthout
(that also misdates it to December 11). It starts as follows:
The FCC voted along
party lines Thursday to repeal
the "net neutrality" rule adopted in 2015. Tech Crunch writes:
I think this is the main
news of today, worldwide indeed, although I have little idea at present
how this will work out for Europe (but the main internet corporations
The order passed today,
“Restoring Internet Freedom,” essentially removes the FCC as a
regulator of the broadband industry and relegates rules that prevented
blocking and throttling content to the honor system. The FTC is now
ostensibly has that role, but it is far from an expert agency on this
topic and cannot make preemptive rules like those that have been in
place for the last few years.
As expected, the vote was 3 to
2 along party lines (...)
And it went as I - and Gore Vidal,
nine years ago - expected and did not like. Here are two reactions,
from more cited in the article:
Yes, but it doesn´t follow
people will get what they deserve, that is, if they are not rich or
paid by the rich.
New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman, who has expressed
concern over the public comment process prior to the FCC's vote,
immediately declared his intent to sue the FCC over its vote:
I will sue to stop
the FCC’s illegal rollback of #netneutrality.
New Yorkers and all Americans deserve a free and open internet.
Here is more:
This vote to destroy
is an outrageous attack on our free and open internet, one that puts
“We the Powerful” over “We the People.” It’s totally unacceptable, and
I’m going to do everything I can in Congress to overturn it.
He is being paid for that,
but he has just been defeated.
— Senator Jeff Merkley
Anyway... as far as I am concerned, that was Net Neutrality.
Now we have an internet schema were spying by very many
secret services and by many rich corporations is the
norm, since 09/11 at least, and that was designed
to be the
main controller of everyone
already nearly fifty years ago by
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who also ¨foresaw¨ (that is: wanted
and created) the change to authoritarian neofascism
then, that he warmly welcomed...
More on this topic later.
Agree on Tax Bill “Of, By and For the Political Donor Class” with Tax
Cuts for the Rich
article is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It
starts with the following introduction:
Congress say they have reached a deal on final tax legislation that
will overhaul the U.S. tax code, dramatically impacting not only
household income, but also healthcare and domestic spending. The plan
would slash taxes by nearly $1.5 trillion, with the vast majority of
the cuts benefiting major corporations and the richest Americans,
including President Trump’s own family. A final vote could take place
next week. We speak with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning
investigative reporter and founder and editor of DCReport.org.
And this is the other
major attack on the poor and the non-rich by American´s richest, who
have been investing in the interests of the richtest since 1972 - see Lewis
F. Powell Jr. - and who have won nearly all the fights since
Here is Trump´s defense of his taxplan that enriches the rich by
stealing from the poor and the non-rich:
(..) In the tax plan agreed on by the House and the Senate, the
corporate tax rate would be reduced to 21 percent from the current 35
percent. Middle- and low-income families would receive smaller,
temporary tax cuts. President Trump touted the bill at the White House
I think Trump was - very
consciously, also - lying
through his teeth. Here is the approximate real truth:
Our tax cuts will break down—and they’ll break it down fast—all forms
of government and all forms of government barriers, and breathe new
life into the American economy. They will unleash the American worker.
They will tear down the restraints on discovery, innovation and
creation. And they will restore the hopes and dreams of the American
family. Millions of middle-class families will win under our plan.
David Cay Johnston, is this
tax bill worse than most people think? Explain what it is you
understand that the House and the Senate have agreed on.
Well, this is a fantastically wonderful tax bill if you’re a
billionaire, a hedge fund manager or one of the 143 Americans whose job
last year paid over $100 million. You’re going to just enjoy this bill
to the hilt. On the other hand, the Republicans have managed, with this
bill, to do what I would have thought was impossible. They are about to
enact a tax cut that is wildly unpopular, that surveys show a majority
of Americans oppose, because they understand that this is a tax bill
of, by and for the political donor class. And it clearly reveals
something you’ve heard me say before about the real Republican agenda,
that the Republicans believe that America’s pressing, overwhelming
economic problem is the rich don’t have nearly enough, and they’ve got
to get more to the rich.
Yes indeed. And here is
how Tump will get richer personally, in terms of his own tax plan:
And the same for the very
few very rich. There is considerably more in the article, that is
Well, Donald Trump, personally, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of
this bill. He owns over 500 enterprises. And his tax rate, assuming
he’s really paying taxes—and we don’t know, because he’s the only
presidential candidate or president since the late '70s who hasn't
shown us his tax returns—he’s likely to see his tax rate fall by
somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. So he’s a huge beneficiary,
despite all his claims that, you know, “I’ll pay more. I’ll pay more.”
It’s just not true. Other members of his Cabinet, like
multibillionaires Wilbur Ross and Betsy DeVos, are going to save
enormously on their investments.
Revolution in the U.S. Brewing?
This article is by Eric
Ortiz on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Get ready, America.
According to a new study on inequality and revolutions throughout
history, the United States soon may experience a profound
paradigm shift, Inverse reports (with a hat tip to Lee Camp). A
team of scientists at Washington State and 13 other institutions conducted
the study, and their findings, published in the
journal Nature, could have major implications on today’s world.
From the news release on
The study gathered data
from 63 archaeological sites or groups of sites. Comparing house sizes
within each site, researchers assigned Gini coefficients, common
measures of inequality developed more than a century ago by the Italian
statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini. In theory, a country with
complete wealth equality would have a Gini coefficient of 0, while a
country with all the wealth concentrated in one household would get a 1.
… The researchers’ models put the highest Ginis in the ancient Old
World at .59, close to that of contemporary Greece’s .56 and Spain’s
.58. It is well short of China’s .73 and the United States .80, a 2000
figure cited in the Nature paper. The 2016
Allianz Global Wealth Report puts the U.S. Gini at .81 and [Tim]
Kohler [the study’s lead author] has seen the U.S. Gini pegged at .85,
“which is probably the highest wealth inequality for any developed
country right now.”
That means the United
States “has one of the highest levels of inequality in the history of
the world. This fact worries Kohler, a professor
of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology at Washington State.
If you think this makes it
even slightly more probable that there is a revolution brewing
in the USA, I think you must be quite stupid and ignorant: This measure
is far too uncertain, and there are many other relevant
factors that it leaves totally undiscussed.
Here is some more:
Unrest in America is
nothing new. In 1969, the country was raging with discontent. At the
Scott-Heron, the soul and jazz poet and author, was a student at
Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, the alma mater of famous poet and
social activist Langston
Hughes. There, Scott-Heron witnessed the struggle for equality and
social change firsthand. His experience inspired
him to write a poem called “The
Revolution Will Not Be Televised” in 1970.
You will not be able to
stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.
Well... I like Gill
Scott-Heron (and I think his complete poem - much longer than
what I quoted - is quoted in the article) but I was born in
1950 and I recall the Sixties quite well, and the possibly
revolutionary years then, that did not come about, were 1967
and 1968, I am rather certain (also with
the near revolution in France of 1968, that I went to witness twice
But OK. The article ends as
Now it’s déjà vu all over
again in America. The country has become a corporatocracy (see the FCC’s
repeal of net neutrality) run by greedy oligarchs who love war (see
scam). If Americans want a more just and fair society, the people
must take action. The revolution will not come to us. We must create
the change we want to see.
Yes indeed. And I do not
think a revolution is brewing in the USA. See the next item:
Right Is Attempting to Roll Back the 20th Century
This article is by
Chauncy DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as
The Republican Party's "tax
reform" bill has passed both chambers of Congress. After differences
between the House and Senate version are worked out, it will likely
soon be signed by President Donald Trump. This legislation is more than
a grotesque effort to take money from the poor and working class and
give it to the very richest Americans and corporations. In reality, it
is an effort to wholly remake American society by undoing the social
progress of the New Deal, the Great Society and the civil rights
This effort has been met
with surprisingly little resistance from the American people.
This is a good
question, and I think the answer must include three main factors:
First, the greatest part of the American population is not intelligent
and does not know
much to start with; second, the interests of the greatest part of
the American population have been consistently attacked from Ronald
Reagan onwards, both by Republican and Democratic lawgivers (nearly
all paid by the rich, with something like 10 lobbyists each); and the
mainstream media have been ever more consistently lying, propagandizing
and simply not or hardly mentioning many of the things that do or
should interest the majority of Americans.
For more, see here and here. Then there is this:
Unlike the Republicans and
movement conservatives, the Democratic Party is terrible at translating
complex questions of public policy into simple narratives that evoke
emotion and, in turn, action from the American people. Moreover, while
the Republican Party systematically works to roll back the 20th century
by eliminating programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and
the Affordable Care Act -- with the apparent goal of creating a Malthusian dystopia -- many
prominent Democrats and other liberals are instead obsessed with
enforcing purity tests for sexual harassment within their own party.
In fact, I seem to be
considerably less positive on the Democrats, for I think
they are playing sexual harassment and Russia-gate in order to escape
criticisms of their own consistent pro-rich and pro-bankers support
ever since Bill Clinton. I think the Democrats simply have been bought
by the rich, indeed starting with the two Clintons.
Then there is this:
To a significant degree,
the American people have been exhausted by Trump and the Republican
Party's authoritarian and petit-fascist assaults on reality, truth and,
yes, even the country's citizens. Many Americans have been driven into
a sense of learned helplessness by Trump's presidential victory and the
years of civic and cultural rot that enabled that outcome.
Consequently, it has become difficult to imagine what a real and
sustained resistance against the Republican Party, Donald Trump and the
ascendant right would even look like.
Possibly so, but I
think my three fundamental factors
explain more and explain it better.
But here is some more, and so far I have quoted from the beginning:
Ultimately, this assault on
American democracy and society should not be a surprise. It has been
operating both in the shadows and plain sight for decades. In an effort
to understand the true goals and larger context for the Republican
Party's tax reform legislation, I recently spoke with Nancy
MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public
Policy at Duke University. MacLean is also the author of the
controversial new book "Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical
Right’s Stealth Plan for America," which was nominated for the
2017 National Book Award.
I wil quote just two
bits from this interview, and here is the first bit:
(Nancy McLean: ) This is
the ethical system that allows people like Paul Ryan to feel heroic and
self-righteous as they inflict harm on other people. At its most basic,
this libertarian moral system says that it would be better for people
to die than to get health care financed by government from taxes paid
for by others. You can die. Period.
Yes indeed - I quite
agree. And the interview ends, after a lot more, as follows:
(Nancy McLean: ) So these
people don't just want to get rid of Obama’s legacy. They want to
reverse the whole 20th-century model of citizen-driven government and
make it so that property reigns supreme. That’s the beginning and the
end of it. The American people need to realize that we’re going to be
in ever-deepening trouble.
I think she is right
and this is a recommended article.
Money on the Pentagon
article is by Jonathan Marshall on Consortiumnews. This is from near
President Trump this week
signed into law a $700 billion blueprint for military spending in the
current fiscal year. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act
includes funding for more troops, more weapons, more interventions
abroad, and more active wars, with Trump’s enthusiastic blessing. “We
need our military,” he declared
at a White House signing ceremony.
In addition to lavish
spending on new weapons — like $10 billion for purchases of the disastrous
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — this Christmas legislation for the
military includes all sorts of smaller presents, including billions of
dollars to fund NATO’s European Deterrence Initiative (whatever
happened to Trump’s demand that our allies pay for their own defense?),
missile defense systems of doubtful
efficacy, and development of a new cruise missile that would
violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia.
There is considerably more in
the article, but this is indeed were most of the taxes the
Americans pay go to: To the department of war, called ¨defense¨.
And this is from near the ending of the article, which is about the
auditing the Pentagon does, namely none whatsoever:
But war is good for you,
or so Trump seems to think.
Taxpayers should also
reflect on the fact that the Pentagon has never passed a full audit and
has only a foggy idea of where all its money goes.
“The United States Army’s
finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper
accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are
reported last year.
“The Defense Department’s
Inspector General . . . said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful
adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and
$6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices
to support those numbers or simply made them up. . .
“For years, the Inspector
General – the Defense Department’s official auditor – has inserted a
disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so
unreliable that ‘the basic financial statements may have undetected
misstatements that are both material and pervasive.’”
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 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
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 (!!).