from February 26, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) 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 more than 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
I shall continue.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from February 26, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. Guns and Liberty
2. China Paves Way for Xi Jinping to Remain Leader for Years
3. California Democrats Shock Dianne Feinstein; Favor
Challenger 54% to
4. A Case of Selective Justice
5. The Technology Being Used to Control Workers by Tech
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. Guns and
This article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The proliferation of
guns in American society is not only profitable for gun manufacturers,
it fools the disempowered into fetishizing weapons as a guarantor of
political agency. Guns buttress the myth of a rugged individualism that
atomizes Americans, disdains organization and obliterates community,
compounding powerlessness. Gun ownership in the United States, largely
criminalized for poor people of color, is a potent tool of oppression.
It does not protect us from tyranny. It is an instrument of tyranny.
I mostly agree with this,
although my own position is a bit different from that of Chris
Hedges and indeed all other Americans: I am not an American,
and I live in Holland, that is about the opposite of the USA as
regards guns and gun ownership: While the Dutch criminals - of
which there are many, since Amsterdam's mayor Ed van Thijn decided to support
the drugs criminals by giving them complete freedom to deal (if
they had his "personal permission"), and by not
answering anyone (like myself) who was threatened with murder and who
was - literally - gassed by his
drugscriminals. (I have not
been answered for 30 years now!)
I know, for Mr. van Thijn took the
liberty of giving his personal friends his personal
permission to deal in - totally illegal,
then and now - soft drugs from the bottom floor in the house
where I lived, instead of in the house where he lived,
or one of his aldermen lived, or one of the members of Amsterdam's
No, it had to be my house, in 1988, and it had to be my
health that was destroyed, and has been destroyed ever since.
Since then over 300 billions of Euros
have been turned over in Holland merely in soft
drugs alone (and I said: billions),
for most mayors took the way Van Thijn took in 1988. This means effectively
there are no drugs laws in Holland:
Anyone who can get a "personal permission" from his mayor to deal in
illegal drugs can deal in illegal drugs.
And I am sorry, but since I seem to be the only Dutchmen who
cares, I shut up over this (until Van Thijn has died, and I can at
long last speak the truth about this extremely bad man),
for if I continue to speak the truth my life may be - once again -
endangered by drugscriminals protected by mayors and by the police, and
I know I will be dead before these authorities lift a single finger to
protect me. 
Back to Chris Hedges and the USA:
cultists truly believe that guns are political power,” writes
Mark Ames, the author of “Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and
Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond.”
“[They believe that] guns in fact are the only source of
political power. That’s why, despite loving guns, and despite being so
right-wing, they betray such a paranoid fear and hatred of armed agents
of the government (minus Border Guards, they all tend to love our
Border Guards). If you think guns, rather than concentrated wealth,
equals political power, then you’d resent government power far more
than you’d resent billionaires’ power or corporations’
hyper-concentrated wealth/power, because government will always have
more and bigger guns. In fact you’d see pro-gun, anti-government
billionaires like the Kochs as your natural political allies in your
gun-centric notion of political struggle against the concentrated gun
power of government.”
Quite possibly so - and I agree
with Hedges on this kind of nuts, but (not being an American) I know
much less about them than Hedges.
Here is some more:
The metaphors we use
to describe ourselves to ourselves are rooted in this national myth. We
explain our history and our experience and seek our identity in this
myth. This myth connects us to the forces that shape and give meaning
to our lives. It bridges, as Slotkin writes, “the gap between the world
of the mind and the world of affairs, between dream and reality,
between impulse or desire and action. It draws on the content of
individual and collective memory, structures it, and develops it from
imperatives for belief and action.”
Again I say: quite
possibly so, for the same reasons as under the previous quoted
paragraph. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I say - and I think all of
this is factually correct. And this is a recommended article.
There are some 310 million
firearms in the United States, including 114 million handguns, 110
million rifles and 86 million shotguns. The number of military-style
assault weapons in private hands—including the AR-15 semi-automatic
rifles used in the massacres at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Fla., and at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,
Conn.—is estimated at 1.5 million. The United States has the highest
rate of gun ownership in the world, an average of 90 firearms per 100
“Total gun deaths in the
United States average around 37,000 a year, with two-thirds of those
deaths being suicides, leaving approximately 12,000 homicides, a
thousand of those at the hands of the police,” writes Dunbar-Ortiz.
“Mass shootings—ones that leave four or more people wounded or dead—now
occur in the United States, on average, at the pace of one or more per
day. Disturbing as that fact is, mass shootings currently account
for only 2 percent of gun killings annually. The number of gun
deaths—37,000—is roughly equal to death-by-vehicle incidents in the
United States per year.”
Paves Way for Xi Jinping to Remain Leader for Years
article is by Gillian Wong on Truthdig and originally on The Associated
Press. It starts as follows:
Communist Party has proposed scrapping term limits for the country’s
president, the official news agency said, appearing to lay the
groundwork for party leader Xi Jinping to rule as president beyond 2023.
I say - which I do even though I
am not very amazed. I explain:
The party’s Central
Committee proposed to remove from the constitution the expression that
China’s president and vice president “shall serve no more than two
consecutive terms,” the Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.
“Xi Jinping has finally
achieved his ultimate goal when he first embarked on Chinese politics —
that is to be the Mao Zedong of the 21st century,” said Willy Lam, a
political analyst at the Chinese University in Hong Kong, referring to
the founder of communist China.
First, while I do not know whether Willy Lam is quite right, I
agree this is a bad move, for the simple reason that it
gives Xi Jinping far too much personal power (which he has acquired
already), for what now seems to be an unlimited time.
And second, I am not amazed because Xi is (also) the head of
the Chinese Communist Party, which has almost all the power there is in
China, and that now has decided to give him unlimited time as their
Number One autocrat
Here is some more:
Xi, 64, cemented his
status as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao in the 1970s at
last year’s twice-a-decade Communist Party congress, where his name and
a political theory attributed to him were added to the party
constitution as he was given a second five-year term as general
Yes indeed. And "the past two decades of collective leadership" - to be sure: always by the
members of the Chinese Communist Party - were instituted to prevent
rising of a second Mao Zedong.
It was the latest move by the
party signaling Xi’s willingness to break with tradition and centralize
power under him. Xi has taken control of an unusually wide range of
political, economic and other functions, a break with the past two
decades of collective leadership.
Now the Chinese Communist Party is going to give its present leader all
the powers Mao Zedong had, while also giving him unlimited time
(which may be twenty years or more).
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
“What is happening
is potentially very dangerous because the reason why Mao Zedong made
one mistake after another was because China at the time was a one-man
show,” Lam said. “For Xi Jinping, whatever he says is the law. There
are no longer any checks and balances.”
Yes, I think Lam is right
in what he said here. And this is a recommended article.
Xi is coming to the end of his
first five-year term as president and is set to be appointed to his
second term at an annual meeting of the rubber-stamp parliament that
starts March 5. The proposal to end term limits will likely be approved
at that meeting.
Democrats Shock Dianne Feinstein; Favor Challenger 54% to 37%
This article is by The Common Dreams Staff. It starts as
Feinstein won just 37 percent of the 2,775 delegates’ votes, versus 54
percent for her challenger, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de
León, D-Los Angeles. Support from 60 percent of the delegates was
needed to secure the party’s official endorsement.
“The outcome of today’s
endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and
it boosts our campaign’s momentum as we all stand shoulder to shoulder
against a complacent status quo,” de León said Sunday. “California
Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California
values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”
“The days of Democrats
biding our time, biting our tongue, and triangulating at the margins
are over,” he said.
I say - and I admit this is a
bit better than I expected. Besides, while I do not
know more about De León than
Wikipedia, he certainly seems a lot better (more progressive, more
liberal) than Feinstein.
And here is Glenn Greenwald
Dianne Feinstein, 84, has
spent her 4 full terms in the US Senate with great loyalty &
servitude to the CIA & NSA & various wars. She now wants her
5th full term. But the California Dem Party just refused to endorse
her; they prefer her opponent by 54-37%
Yes indeed, for most I
know about Feinstein is how she betrayed genuine democrats
made her considerably richer than she was already).
Here are some of the
things that made her impopular:
And rightly so:
These were Republican rather than Democrat positions, although
also agree to the
thesis that most Members of Congress these days have been bought:
the interests they express are usually not those of their
voters but of their financial backers.
Feinstein's oppostion to
single-payer health care, her anti-marijuana stance, and her repeated
votes for President Donald Trump’s nominations angered many California
Anyway... I hope De León
beats Feinstein. And this is a recommended article.
Case of Selective Justice
This article is by Eric Ortiz on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The FBI is busy.
Over the last year, the
feds have been conducting two big investigations. One involves NCAA
basketball violations and dozens of high-profile characters
(players, schools, agents and businesses) exchanging money, which
breaks college sports’ amateurism rules. The other involves allegations
interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Both stories are treated as
A-1 scandals of biblical proportions. They make mere mortals wonder
where these superhero crime fighters find the time. Perhaps not
investigating potential mass shooters frees up some hours?
In the NCAA case, the news
that college basketball players are getting under-the-table benefits is
not a groundbreaking revelation. Everybody knows everybody is getting
paid in college basketball.
In the Russia meddling
case, the idea of foreign
electoral intervention is not the scoop of the century. The United
States itself has been interfering
in other countries for at least 70 years, and to date,
the charge of Russian hacking is short
on evidence and long
Yes I agree. Or more
precisely, I agree with Ortiz on "Russia-gate" and do not know
the NCAA, simply because basketball does not interest me, and I did not
read up on this issue.
Here is some more
Look, Donald Trump is no
Abraham Lincoln, but the Russians didn’t elect him. Liberals
did, along with some Republican
gerrymandering. At a time when millions of Americans are suffering
because of the status quo, the Democratic Party chose to run an uninspiring
establishment candidate (who won the popular vote but still remains
unpopular), and the U.S.
political duopoly prevented any alternative voices from being part
of the two-party
I mostly agree, though
my own reasons may be somewhat different from Ortiz's: As far
as I know all that could be proved about Russia's meddling with
elections is that they spent some $15 million on it (and parts
were quite ludicrous) whereas each of the dominant American parties
spent around a billion dollars on getting elected.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed. I reviewed
Glen Ford's article here and mostly
agreed with it.
The real goal of
“Russiagate” has nothing to do with protecting “democracy.” As Black
Agenda Report Editor Glen Ford explains, Big Capital is preparing the
landscape for a regime
of permanent austerity and war, with the broad purpose of
Support the official Russia
narrative, get rich and famous. Oppose the groupthink and you’re a
pro-Putin, pinko commie.
And incidentally, I think this shows something else (in my
least), namely that there is no moral
arch in history, as Martin Luther
King Jr. said a long time ago (that is, he said there is). There may
be some sort of arch in
technology, but - indeed after more than 50 years of watching history
unfold - I don't think there is a moral force (outside
the opinions of
individual men) that rules history, that would somehow force it to get
better (in any sense).
As to the second quoted paragraph: This is an expression of what George
Orwell, and very many of the most interesting men I
that wrote on politics
since the late 1930ies, called totalitarianism
- but that term has been recently totally redefined by
sado-fascist who is permitted to write his or her lies on Wikipedia. He
or she compiled an utter bullshit
definition that implies only countries like
China and the Soviet Union can be
person, no party, no ideology, no religion, no
plan, no policies, no
language can ever be totalitarian
(according to this madman) - only
countries can be. And Orwell just was
an utter idiot, who lied and was
mistaken about nearly everything, by logical implication, as I
as most writers on totalitarianism I read in the last 50 years were.
I am sorry, but I was - after all - right about
Wikipedia: An anonymous
encyclopedia (that pretends to be free, and is getting lots of
money to remain free) is bound to collapse under the beliefs, the
pretenses and the dishonesties of its anonymous members or under the
nonsensical pressures ("an encyclopaedic view", "worldwide
interests") of those who supply it with money.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Trust us, say the FBI and
other U.S. intelligence agencies, it was the Russians.
When did the FBI, or any
U.S. intelligence agency, become Veritas, the virtue
of truthfulness and model of integrity?
We already have questions
bias inside the FBI during the 2016 election, and Robert Mueller,
the special Russiagate prosecutor, and James Comey, the fired FBI
director, have long histories as pliable
Indeed, and there are many
more reasons not to trust the FBI, CIA or NSA.
Besides, apart from
the - very many positive - reasons not to trust them, why would one
trust anything anyone says without reasonable factual evidence?!
And this is a
Technology Being Used to Control Workers by Tech Companies Is
This article is by Thor Benson on AlterNet and originally on
In These Times. It starts as follows:
You’ve been fired.
According to your employer’s data, your facial expressions showed you
were insubordinate and not trustworthy. You also move your hands at a
rate that is considered substandard. Other companies you may want to
work for could receive
this data, making it difficult for you to find other work in this field.
That may sound like a
scenario straight out of a George Orwell novel, but it’s the future
many American workers could soon be facing.
In early February, media
outlets reported that Amazon had received
a patent for ultrasonic wristbands that could track the
movement of warehouse workers’ hands during their shifts. If workers’
hands began moving in the wrong direction, the wristband would buzz,
issuing an electronic corrective. If employed, this technology could
easily be used to further surveil employees who already work
under intense supervision.
Yes. And while most
this is - it seems - at present imagination, all of the
happening, and also is getting applied - which, incidentally, is
another of my arguments that the belief in a
moral arch commanding
human history is simply false.
And it is false because the rich are quite capable of making
working for them considerably less free
than slaves were in the 19th
Century, while also their employers need not pay for their
living when they are not working, and knows everything about
them - every hundredth of a second - that can be known.
Here is some more:
Whole Foods, which is now
owned by Amazon, recently instituted a complex and punitive inventory
system where employees are graded based on everything from how quickly
and effectively they stock shelves to how they report theft. The system
is so harsh it reportedly causes employees enough stress to bring them
to tears on a regular basis.
UPS drivers, who often
operate individually on the road, are now becoming increasingly surveilled.
Sensors in every UPS truck track when drivers’ seatbelts are put on,
when doors open and close and when the engines start in order to
monitor employee productivity at all times.
And these are just the
Here is more on these
developments - and for me, employers who "monitor the
emails and phone calls their employees make" are neofascists
indulging in the latest neofascist
technologies to control people:
These developments are part
of a larger trend of workers being watched and judged—often at jobs
that offer low pay and demand long hours. Beyond simply tracking worker
performance, it is becoming more common for companies to monitor the
emails and phone calls their employees make, analyzing personal traits
along with output.
Some companies are now
using monitoring techniques—referred to as “people analytics”—to learn
as much as they can about you, from your communication patterns to what
types of websites you visit to how often you use the bathroom. This
type of privacy invasion can cause employees immense stress, as they
work with the constant knowledge that their boss is aware of their
every behavior—and able to use that against them as they see fit.
For me, all
are sadists and
who indulge in utterly anti-democratic
means and technologies to extend their own riches by destroying
each and every human right their employees have.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I think "this level of worker surveillance" is not just "alarming": it is utterly inhuman
and ought to be completely
forbidden. But it will not be, and Congress will not
do anything about
it, because the internet and the personal computer have been
by DARPA - in order to control people.
While this level of worker
surveillance may be alarming, it has so far gone largely unchecked.
Congress has never passed a law to regulate employee surveillance,
Maltby says, and he doesn’t think it will any time soon. However, he
says that either Congress or the Supreme Court could finally decide
that employers have gone too far when they start tracking employee
movement during a worker’s time off.
You may not believe that, but for some more see this: Propaganda
and Control: Brezezinski 1968 - which shows either Mr.
Brezezinski was a most extra-ordinary genius who could foresee
technology 25 years in the future (which no one ever could) or else
he was a leader of
the American military spies who designed
and planned the personal computer so that
it could be abused by spies to track everyone and anyone in anything
they did with a computer connected to the internet.
And I do not think Mr. Brezezinski was an extra-ordinary
genius. This is a recommended article.
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 (!!).
 Another reason for me to shut up
(which I dislike) is that Noam Chomsky wrote something I did not
realize before 2000: Wherever illegal drugs are involved, the
secret services are involved as well. And I do not feel like
playing with my life to test out whether that is true in Holland as