from March 30, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 March 30, 2018
1. Our Criminal Justice System Serves to Protect the Villains
2. The U.S. Government Is Finally Scrambling to Regulate
Is Trump The Worst President In American
4. Stopping War Pusher John Bolton, Trump’s Choice for
5. For Bolton, the Slaughter of 1 Million Iraqis Is a Job
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:
Criminal Justice System Serves to Protect the Villains
article is by Lee Camp on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I say, for I did not
know this. In case you are not impressed by this example, please read
on. And on the moment I merely observe that one major
difference between Michael Foster and the CEOs or the owners of
TransCanada is that Foster is not rich, while the leaders of
TransCanada almost certainly are very rich.
Recently, a hero got
sentenced to three years in jail. I’m not talking a traditional hero
who gets saluted during halftime shows because when he was 18, he went
to a country he’d never heard of, to shoot at people he’d never heard
of (who we’re not even technically at war with), and he did it all to
get enough money to attend college, because college is too fucking
expensive. We all know that’s a real hero. No, I’m talking
about a climate activism hero.
Michael Foster is one
of five climate activists who broke through a chain-link fence and,
in a grotesquely criminal act, shut off TransCanada’s oil flow for a
few hours. For stopping the oil, he got three years in jail. However,
for actually drilling that oil and destroying our environment,
polluting the land and water and risking our future—the heads of these
oil companies get “sentenced” to zero years in jail. They instead get
billions of dollars and private jets.
Here is some more of the same:
This proves our
society is backward. The actions that are illegal versus legal are
inverted from what they should be in an evolved culture. A few weeks
ago, nine activists with the organization No More Deaths were
arrested for leaving jugs of water in the desert to help migrants dying
of thirst. That’s illegal. They were charged, basically, with
littering. But it’s not illegal to buy
up all our clean water, even near Flint, Mich.
And in case you are not impressed by
this example, please read on - and yes: the "activists" who were
arrested for leaving some water in the desert again are not
mega rich, and probably not rich at all.
Then there is this:
What does illegal
even mean anymore? In our land of the free, it’s illegal to feed the
homeless in some states.
Well... "illegal" means
"against the law". And "the law" of a (more or less modern) society
basically consists of written regulations that say what (adult) members
of that society should or should not do in certain circumstances,
together with associated punishments (fines, imprison- ments) for those
who (provably) broke the law.
There is nothing in "the law" that guarantees it is honest,
fair, decent, moral, or ethical in any sense, but it is also
true that, certainly in Western Europe and the USA, there is or was a
sort of common sense agreement that considerable parts of
the law are meant to guarantee
that some measure of honesty, fairness, decency, morality or ethics is
being kept up by "the law" and indeed also by the officials who see to
the laws functioning (the police, mostly).
And fundamentally Lee Camp's argument is that (i) the common sense agreement that considerable
parts of the law are meant to
guarantee that some measure of honesty, fairness, decency
morality or ethics, in fact has been and is being broken down to a
considerable extent, while (ii) "the law" that remains are
basically especially those rules that help the rich and very rich to
get more riches.
I think that argument is basically correct, and indeed Camp
could have added: (iii) the main reason that "the law" now favor the
few rich at the costs of the many poor and non-rich is that the few
rich bought most of the members of the Senate and the House to do for
them what they want to see done for them.
I think the addition is correct as well, although I am willing to agree
that "the law" is quite complicated in any case, and also that there
still are quite a few legal rules that are actively maintained
or obeyed by the large majority, of people in the USA, since we are
really talking about the USA.
Now consider this list of legal facts in the current USA or in
considerable parts of it, and remember that I have shortened additional
clarications that are in Camp's text:
Also illegal is housing
As I said: There is much
more text in the original article.
Also illegal: having cocaine or heroin or selling marijuana in most
states. Not illegal: making billions of dollars from the opioid crisis
that’s killing hundreds of thousands of people.
It’s illegal to camp in this country, yet it’s legal for our military
to camp out in Iraq, Afghanistan, Niger, Syria, Germany, Cuba,
Djibouti, South Korea. We fucking love camping out all over the world.
We have military bases in 70 percent of the world’s countries.
Illegal: The crime of secretly filming a slaughterhouse. Yes, in some
were arrested for filming the abuse of farm animals. Not illegal:
abusing farm animals.
Also not illegal: filming every human being in this country at all
times. Cameras are on every lamppost, stop light and storefront. Soon,
those cameras will have facial recognition software. Our government
spies on us constantly at all hours on all our devices and says it’s
perfectly legal. But you bring home a tape of a piglet getting flat-out
tortured, and that’s not permissible because it might harm the profits
of the factory farm corporations.
Illegal: Laughing at Jeff Sessions during
a Senate hearing. Because that type of free speech is “dangerous.”
On the other hand, it’s completely legal to spout full-on propaganda
daily like CNN or Fox News or MSNBC does.
Illegal: To stage
a die-in protest to call attention to people murdered by police.
Legal: For police to murder people. And our police do it far more than
any other country.
Here is the the last bit that I quote from this article, that is from
the ending, and starts with Camp's basic explanation why many parts
of "the law" in the USA have fundamentally changed since Reagan and Lewis
F. Powell Jr. started coordinating the
interests and investments of the very rich in the interests of the very
The parasitic rich
are now above the law, and those trying to fix the system are sentenced
to years in jail. This is the moral collapse of our culture and our
criminal justice system. When sociopathic rulers are this powerful,
they use the courts —traditionally used to stop pillaging—to continue
their takeover of land and extraction of resources. They have captured
the fail-safe mechanisms meant to defend against exactly this type of
I think Camp's argument -
"[t]he parasitic rich are
now above the law" and "[t]his is the moral collapse of our culture and
our criminal justice system"
- is basically correct. In case you object
Chris Hedges explained
in February: “Oligarchs cynically view laws as mechanisms to
legalize their fraud and plunder.” They also use the captured courts to
arrest those who try to stop them.
that there also is much of "the law" that is still mostly
respected by most citizens of the USA, I both agree and disagree:
You are right talking about "the law" in the abstract, but wrong in the sense that
F. Powell Jr. called on the (very) rich to defend and extend their
very own interests, very much has happened in the USA to
extend the interests of the very rich by the very rich.
And I agree with the morals or ethics of Camp: To work for
the interests of the rich and the very rich, and against the interests
of the non-rich and the poor, which has been happening on a
governmental and legal level since Reagan became president of the USA is
immoral, unethical and fundamentally wrong.
This is a strongly recommended article.
U.S. Government Is Finally Scrambling to Regulate Facebook
This article is by David Dayan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Washington and Big Tech are scrambling to
keep up after revelations that the voter profiling firm Cambridge
Analytica harvested data from 50 million Facebook users. The scandal
has accelerated regulatory and oversight efforts and left top Democrats
reconsidering the party’s traditional closeness to Silicon Valley.
Yes indeed. Then again,
you should keep in mind the argument of the previous
item: The very rich have been redesigning the American laws in
their own - exclusive - interests ever since Powell and Reagan, and
have mostly succeeded in getting their exclusive rich
interests satisfied, namely by buying
Here is more:
FTC could impose sanctions on tech platforms like Facebook, enforce
data privacy controls, challenge acquisition deals, and even break up
companies if it finds anti-competitive conduct. A reinvigorated agency,
in sum, represents a legitimate threat to Big Tech. And congressional
attention to the issue creates new pressure on the FTC to act.
"could". Here is some more on whether Facebook will:
In addition to at least eight user lawsuits, 37 state attorneys general
from both parties also demanded answers about Facebook’s policies on user privacy,
in a letter to the company on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, three separate congressional committees have requested that Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg testify on data privacy, and Zuckerberg has reportedly agreed to go before Congress in some capacity,
though Facebook has made no announcement yet. So far, the company has only given private briefings to Congress through mid-level staff on the Cambridge
Analytica matter. Earlier this week, Zuckerberg stiffed a UK parliamentary committee seeking his testimony on the
I can well imagine Zuckerberg's saying (in
private): "The Brits? The Brits?! I got more than 2 billion members
about whom I secretly know everything: You won't say these
merely 60 millions will make any fucking difference to ME?!"
but I admit that while I think he really thinks so (while
pretending in public to be o so very afflicted) I do not know
he said so.
And wholly apart from Zuckerberg, there is
the very close affiliation between "the Democrats" and "the
mega rich who control the tech community":
Democrats have long-standing and numerous
ties to the tech community. Former President Barack Obama was famously close to Google, with hundreds of staffers moving back and
forth between executive branch jobs and the search engine giant. Last
year, former Obama counselor Valerie Jarrett joined the board of Lyft, and just this week former national
security adviser Susan Rice joined the board of Netflix.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s husband
Paul holds $1.5 million in stock in Apple and at least
half a million dollars in Facebook. Alison Schumer, Chuck Schumer’s
daughter, works at Facebook as a “Privacy and Politics Product
Marketing” manager, promoting projects related to getting people to
vote and contact elected officials. Democrats receive the lion’s share of campaign contributions from Silicon Valley.
Precisely (and see the
previous article for an obvious and probable moral). In any case,
this is from the ending of the present article:
As Facebook ramps up its PR campaign, it’s
doubtful that there will be immediate consequences for the company
outside of a grilling in hearings; it’s likely to take time for
anything close to a wholesale restructuring of the social media sector.
In fact, I do not believe in "a wholesale restructuring of the social media sector", simply
because (i) they are extremely rich (which allows them to buy
most who decide), and (ii) Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft
(all owned by extremely rich people) already collaborate very much with
the NSA and other spies.
But we will soon find out, and meanwhile this is a recommended article.
3. Is Trump The Worst
President In American History?
This article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as
America has had its
share of crooks (Warren G. Harding, Richard
Nixon), bigots (Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan), and incompetents
Johnson, George W. Bush). But never before Donald Trump have we had a
who combined all these nefarious qualities.
Probably so (and my small
skepticism is due to the fact that I do not know much about
American presidents before 1900).
Here is more:
A president’s most
fundamental legal and moral responsibility is
to uphold and protect our system of government. Donald Trump has
When he threatens to loosen
federal libel laws so he can sue
news organizations that are critical of him and revoke licenses of
critical of him, he isn’t just bullying the media. He’s threatening the
constitutionally guaranteed freedom and integrity of the press.
This is completely
correct. Here is more:
When he equated Neo-Nazis
and Ku Klux Klan members with
counter- demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, by blaming “both
the violence, he wasn’t being neutral. He was condoning white
thereby undermining the constitution’s guarantee of equal rights.
When he pardoned Joe
Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa
County, Arizona, for a criminal contempt conviction, he wasn’t just
it’s okay for the police to engage in violations of civil rights. He
subverting the rule of law by impairing the judiciary’s power to force
officials to abide by court decisions.
When he criticized NFL
players for kneeling during the national
anthem, he wasn’t just demanding they demonstrate their patriotism. He
disrespecting their – and, indirectly, everyone’s – freedom of speech.
I agree. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
When he boasts that he made
up information in a meeting with the
prime minister of Canada, he isn’t just undermining his own
undermining the credibility of the united states in the eyes of the
Donald Trump is degrading the
core institutions and values of
Yes, I fully agree
with this and this is a strongly recommended article - but I do still
think what I concluded in 2016:
Part of the explanation
for Trump is his ideology,
which simply is neofascistic,
(check the definition!!!), whatever his lack of reading, and
another part is that I believe - with (it seems) 70,000 other
psychologists and psychiatrists - that Trump is not sane: He
is a megalomaniac, and that is extremely
dangerous for everyone on earth.
4. Stopping War Pusher John Bolton, Trump’s
Choice for National
article is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams and originally on his site.
It starts as follows:
John Bolton’s career of
pushing for bombing countries like Iran and North Korea, and his having
played an active role in the Bush/Cheney regime’s criminal war of
aggression that destroyed Iraq, makes him a clear and present danger to
our country and world peace. He is about to become Donald Trump’s
personal national security advisor with a staff of 400 right next to
the White House. He must be stopped!
For Bolton, the
Constitution, federal law, the Geneva Conventions, and other
international laws are pieces of paper to be thrown away with unctuous
contempt. This outlaw – the shame of Yale Law School—should have
been cast away as a pariah if not prosecuted and imprisoned. A bully to
his subordinates in the government and known as “kiss-ass” to his
superiors, Bolton is aggressive, relentless, and consistently wrong,
when not prevaricatory.
Yes indeed - and you
also can find most of the facts about this probably sick
degenerate on the internet.
Here is more:
There is a remarkable
liberal/conservative dislike and fright about Bolton having Trump’s ear
daily. Especially since Trump is susceptible to adopting the positions
of the last person who reaches him. The added danger is that Secretary
of Defense Jim Mattis has privately told people that he, like many who
have experienced Bolton in government, cannot work with him.
I did not know that
fact about Mattis, but I do believe it. Here is more:
There are many vigorous
critics of Bolton’s career and subsequent belligerent stances ; Just
last month Bolton wrote
an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal demanding the bombing of
North Korea. His juvenile, lethal positions avoid considering the
consequences, responses, backlash and danger to our country’s own
safety. He likes to bet on the world—a Dr. Strangelove on steroids.
Yes, as I like
Nader's description of Bolton: "a Dr. Strangelove on steroids". Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I say: Bolton seems to be
a sadist as
well. I can't say I am amazed, and this is a strongly recommended
The other obstacles to
Bolton’s assuming his position is that it will take the FBI many weeks
to decide whether he can receive a top security clearance. At age 69,
Bolton has a long trail of entanglements and intrigues in and out of
government, not to mention his tantrums—some involving female public
Bolton, the Slaughter of 1 Million Iraqis Is a Job Qualification
This article is by Dahr Jamail on Truthout. It starts as
The illegal 2003 invasion
and occupation of Iraq has, thus far, left approximately 1
million Iraqis dead. That is roughly 5 percent of the total
population of that country.
If a foreign military
superpower invaded and occupied the US and annihilated 5 percent of the
total population here, that would be 16,300,000 dead US citizens.
President Donald Trump's
incoming national security adviser, John Bolton, still thinks the mass
destruction of Iraq was a good idea.
In fact, I have read
various estimates about the number of killed Iraqis, and perhaps
1 million is too low. But supppose it is basically (more or less)
Then, 12 years later, with
5 percent of the total population of Iraq dead, thousands of US troops
dead and trillions of dollars of taxpayer funds bled away, he told the Washington Examiner that he still
thought the Iraq War was worth it. He even commented that "the worst
decision made after that was the 2011 decision to withdraw US and
Well... that is
the kind of man John
Here is more, this time
about Dahr Jamail
- and I find it quite interesting (and admirable) that he "was one of the few unembedded journalists
to report extensively from Iraq during the 2003 Iraq invasion":
I witnessed the carnage
firsthand in Iraq. I saw the destruction of an entire country. I
watched women, children and the elderly slaughtered in Fallujah by the
US military. I walked through freezers full of decayed bodies that
were the detritus of Bolton's US empire project.
The fact that this
individual is about to become national security adviser feels like a
true nightmare about to revisit us.
I fully agree
(and do not have Jamail's horrific experiences in Iraq). Here
is the last bit that quote from this article:
Now, he has already
openly argued for attacking North Korea, and has spoken
out publicly against diplomatic efforts, including the upcoming talks
in May between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Similarly, Bolton has
repeatedly called for bombing Iran. He has a record of
favoring unilateral solutions to delicate issues such as these --
"solutions" that would almost guarantee the loss of another million
lives, for starters.
Again I fully
agree, although I fear Bolton will be nominated. And this is a strongly
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 (!!).