from April 7, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 April 7, 2018
Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?
The 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:
2. Defying Arrest Deadline, Brazil’s Ex-President Dares
Police to Come Get
3. I Gave Up Twitter for Lent: You Won't Believe What
4. Why Mueller’s Move on Trump Is the Beginning of the
5. Lunatic Loose in West Wing
We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?
article is by Madeleine
Albright on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
On April 28,
1945 — 73 years ago — Italians hung the corpse of their former dictator
Benito Mussolini upside down next to a gas station in Milan. Two days
later, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker beneath the streets
of war-ravaged Berlin. Fascism, it appeared, was dead.
To guard against
a recurrence, the survivors of war and the Holocaust joined forces to
create the United Nations, forge global financial institutions and —
through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — strengthen the rule
of law. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the honor roll of
elected governments swelled not only in Central Europe, but also Latin
America, Africa and Asia. Almost everywhere, it seemed, dictators were
out and democrats were in. Freedom was ascendant.
Today, we are
in a new era, testing whether the democratic banner can remain aloft
amid terrorism, sectarian conflicts, vulnerable borders, rogue social
media and the cynical schemes of ambitious men. The answer is not
self-evident. We may be encouraged that most people in most countries
still want to live freely and in peace, but there is no ignoring the
storm clouds that have gathered. In fact, fascism — and the tendencies
that lead toward fascism — pose a more serious threat now than at any
time since the end of World War II.
This - in case
you don't know because you are too young - is THE Madeleine
who served as Secretary of State in Bill Clinton's second term as
president of the USA. I do not like her nor do I like
Bill Clinton, and
the above is a bit of propaganda,
but the facts she mentions are
Also, I think
she is correct (more than not) about fascism (and
this last link is a
while there are - at least - some 20 more
definitions, most of which are not good or are quite bad) -
except that I think
it is neofascism
(and this last link is the only reasonable definition
I could find of that concept on the internet) rather
than fascism which
threatens mankind in the 21st Century.
considerably more propaganda, she says this:
If freedom is
to prevail over the many challenges to it, American leadership is
urgently required. This was among the indelible lessons of the 20th
century. But by what he has said, done and failed to do, Mr. Trump has
steadily diminished America’s positive clout in global councils.
I am not
an American and I think "American leadership" since Reagan became
president - which includes both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama - was
mostly bad, and also quite fraudulent in the sense
that very many
things that should have been said clearly by the various
governments - such as about the surveillance absolutely everyone
under - were either not said at all, or were said in very
often quite propagandistic
and geneally misleading ways.
more by Albright - and with this criticism I mostly agree
being more positive about her or Bill Clinton):
mobilizing international coalitions to take on world problems, he touts
the doctrine of “every nation for itself” and has led America into
isolated positions on trade, climate change and Middle East peace.
Instead of engaging in creative diplomacy, he has insulted United
States neighbors and allies, walked away from key international
agreements, mocked multilateral organizations and stripped the State
Department of its resources and role. Instead of standing up for the
values of a free society, Mr. Trump, with his oft-vented scorn for
democracy’s building blocks, has strengthened the hands of dictators.
No longer need they fear United States criticism regarding human rights
or civil liberties. On the contrary, they can and do point to Mr.
Trump’s own words to justify their repressive actions.
At one time or
another, Mr. Trump has attacked the judiciary, ridiculed the media,
defended torture, condoned police brutality, urged supporters to rough
up hecklers and — jokingly or not — equated mere policy disagreements
with treason. He tried to undermine faith in America’s electoral
process through a bogus advisory commission on voter integrity. He
routinely vilifies federal law enforcement institutions. He libels
immigrants and the countries from which they come. His words are so
often at odds with the truth that they can appear ignorant, yet are in
fact calculated to exacerbate religious, social and racial divisions.
Overseas, rather than stand up to bullies, Mr. Trump appears to like
bullies, and they are delighted to have him represent the American
brand. If one were to draft a script chronicling fascism’s
resurrection, the abdication of America’s moral leadership would make a
credible first scene.
I think this is
mostly correct, though I insist again that (i) all definitions
I have seen - 24 so far - are less clear and usually far
correct as definitions than my definition, and apart from
that (ii) I
think it is neofascism
that is the serious threat - and as I defined
that, it differs little from fascism except that fascism is for and
about an all-powerful state, whereas neofascism is for and
all-powerful corporations, and also is explicitly for profit.
Here is the
last bit from Albright that I quote:
I agree with this, though again
I still don't like nor admire her. And this is a recommended article
though this time mostly because of the person who wrote it rather than
What is to be
done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the
enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American
people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even
the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to
energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening
respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for
favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: “There’s nothing
to be done.”
Arrest Deadline, Brazil’s Ex-President Dares Police to Come Get Him
article is by Shasta Darlington, Ernesto Londono and Manuela Andreoni
on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil defied a Friday deadline to report
to prison to begin serving a 12-year corruption sentence, daring
authorities to haul him away from a union headquarters thronged by his
As the 5 p.m.
deadline neared, Mr. da Silva’s supporters counted down the last five
seconds. Then they began chanting: “There is no surrender!”
Mr. da Silva’s
decision set the stage for a heated confrontation between the most
loyal defenders of a polarizing, yet enormously popular politician, and
law enforcement officials who regard his imprisonment as a defining
moment in their yearslong effort to stamp out corruption in Brazil.
this article mostly because it is very early Saturday morning for me,
and there was - as yet - little to choose from.
again, this seems to be a more or less typical NYT article: It is
correct on the direct facts about da Silva, but it is thoroughly
intentionally) misleading about the
"law enforcement officials who regard his
imprisonment as a defining moment in their yearslong effort to stamp
out corruption in Brazil"
utter rot, for the current government (led by the
Temer) is corrupt (for which reason Temer cannot participate in
Some Brazilians relished the imminent arrest of Mr. da
Silva, seeing it as a measure of justice in a country where powerful
politicians have stolen with impunity for years. But others seethed,
saying that the 72-year-old former president, who is the front-runner
in the presidential election set to take place in October, was about to
become a political prisoner.
Mr. da Silva spent the day holed up at the metalworkers
union headquarters in São Bernardo do Campo, a municipality just
outside of São Paulo, surrounded by supporters. Though Mr. da Silva did
not speak publicly on Friday, a series of posts on his Twitter account
conveyed a message of defiance.
“They want to
arrest me to silence my voice, but I will speak through you,” one said.
Another read: “They want to leave me jailed in a cell so I can’t carry
on, but I will move forward through your legs.”
I have no
idea how this will end. More later, and hopefully more correct
Gave Up Twitter for Lent: You Won't Believe What Happened Next
article is by Valerie Vande Panne on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
I gave up Twitter
for Lent. For the last two Lents, actually: 2017 and 2018.
I spoke with some
journalist friends before Ash Wednesday, and their response was
overwhelmingly: “You can’t give up Twitter.”
Well, it turns
out I can give up Twitter, because I did. Just like
I dumped Facebook years ago.
People often ask
how I hear about things, since I’m not on Facebook. My sense is they
think Facebook is the only way to learn about parties or events, or
organize protests, or stay connected to friends and family.
me put it this way:
can people be? I mean: I am on the internet since 1996;
I have used personal computers since 1979; I can program in six
programming languages; and I have never had Facebook or
Twitter or Instagram and I certainly also never want them, for
they are stealing - to the best of my knowledge - all
they can get from their users, to sell it again to rich corporations
who want data for their advertisements.
And while I
was not speaking about Valerie Vande Panne in the previous paragraph, I think it is
both very misleading and also a kind of propaganda not
to mention the fact that it seems as if Facebook has stored something
like 600 MB of data on each of the more than 2
billion morons - I am sorry, but if you let your private
data being stolen by Facebook it is because you are a moron,
indeed quite irrespective of your IQ - it plunders. (Besides:
Even Zuckerberg agrees you are morons, for he
spoke of his members as
"dumb fucks who trust me", and that is - so far - the only
he said the last 10 years that I read.)
what also worries me are the "journalist
friends" who seem
to be so extremely stupid that they cannot see life without -
the extremely horrible - Twitter (which may owe much of its popularity
by (i) printing everyone's name/alias TWICE under their
extremely brief slogans and/or (ii) by not allowing its
"writers" to write more than extremely small bits that make rational
argumentation almost wholly impossible).
back to the article:
Well, yes.... OF COURSE!
Facebook is not your computer! And the whole world runs on
Facebook, just as everybody did have all these possibilities from
onwards: Of course you can email, send pictures, write your
you are clever enough for html, to be sure) and do and write and
send everything you want to without any Facebook,
Twitter or Instagram.
But here’s what I
know to be true: If it’s important, I learn about it in the real world.
I get personal phone calls and text messages from people I know, to let
me know about parties, protests, concerts, family events, etc. People
text me pictures. They share with me—directly—what is happening in
Being off Facebook creates the
ultimate filter, and if you think you can’t organize without it, you’re
Then there is this:
At first, giving
up Facebook and Twitter was hard. The first week was almost
excruciating. When it came to Twitter, I hadn’t realized how much I’d
come to enjoy the constant stream of news, the random interactions, the
little hits of dopamine with every retweet. All of a sudden, I had a
lot more time on my hands. What to do on public transit? Waiting in a
long line? When I needed a break from my own work?
In what began as
a quest to stay current, last year I read a lot more
news—just not what was coming through my Twitter feed. I spent more
time on big mainstream news outlet websites. I listened to NPR and PRI.
I read local newspapers from rural Michigan, Florida and Nevada.
I will never
start Facebook or Twitter, but I agree I have a very high IQ (and I
would definitely hate 99,9% of the bullshit people
these horribly stupid channels). Indeed maybe that is what
makes Facebook and Twitter so attractive for so very many? (Having
It seems as
if Valerie Vande Panne might have saved herself (and here many Facebook
friends) from Facebook and Twitter (and on Facebook your "friends" are
plundered again simply because they are your "friends"):
What I realized
from these last two Lents has changed how I view media, and my
hard-working colleagues in it. And it’s changed how I want to live my
life: blissfully social media limited.
And I say
again: OF COURSE!
Facebook is not your computer! Twitter is not your
is not your computer! (But whether people with an IQ under 125
large majority - will ever pick up these elementary messages is
recommended mostly because the advice it gives - get rid of
and Twitter!! - is correct, though I really think Vande Panne
also have said that one very important reason to
get rid of them is
because they spy on everyone, in ways that cannot be
anyone other than Zuckerberg and a few of his minions.
Mueller’s Move on Trump Is the Beginning of the Endgame
article is by Jefferson Morley on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
With the Washington Post’s revelation
that President Trump is not the “target” of criminal investigation,
special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s strategy for completing his probe
is coming into view.
Mueller has pinned
down Trump with two grand juries, issuing a wide net of indictments
on diverse charges that have kept the president off-balance. The sentencing
of Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer working for indicted
Trump aide Rick Gates, underscored a message for the president: those
who lie to investigators face swift consequences.
What has seemed like an
interminable inquiry now looks like it will terminate in a one-two
punch: an interview with Trump followed by a report on the question of
obstruction of justice.
All of this may well happen
before the 2018 midterm elections.
I say, which I mostly
do because it may be that Morley is correct, but I do not know. Also, I
think I should add that if Mueller does not treat the findings
about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and Stephen Bannon
(Cambridge Analytica stole at least 50 million sets of data of mostly
Americans and may have handed them to Stephen Bannon who was
Trump's chief strategist during the presidential elections) than
Mueller's investigation seems rotten to me.
But this is not
mentioned by Morley. What he does mention is this:
With the president’s legal
team in turmoil, Trump is already in peril. His attorney John Dowd, a
heavy-hitter from Wall Street, resigned last
month after Trump rejected his advice to refuse Mueller’s request for
As Mueller closes in, Trump
is poorly equipped to fight back.
Possibly so, but I think much
depends on the content of Mueller's findings (and whether he has
investigated Cambridge Analytica + Stephen Bannon), and I have as yet
no idea about these.
Loose in West Wing
article is by Ray
McGovern on Common Dreams and originally on Consortiumnews. It
starts as follows:
I did not read the interview
yet (but it seems good) and indeed I also did now know that Bush Sr.
did use the term “the
for Bolton and others, but I do know about John Bolton and Ray McGovern and
indeed McGovern was for many years among the top of the CIA.
John Bolton’s March 22
appointment-by-tweet as President Donald Trump’s national security
adviser has given “March Madness” a new and ominous meaning.
There is less than a week left to batten down the hatches before Bolton
makes U.S. foreign policy worse that it already is.
During a recent interview
with The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill (minutes 35 to 51) I
mentioned that Bolton fits seamlessly into a group of take-no-prisoners
zealots once widely known in Washington circles as “the crazies,” and
now more commonly referred to as “neocons.”
Beginning in the 1970s, “the
crazies” sobriquet was applied to Cold Warriors hell bent on bashing
Russians, Chinese, Arabs — anyone who challenged U.S. “exceptionalism”
(read hegemony). More to the point, I told Scahill that President
(and former CIA Director) George H. W. Bush was among those using the
term freely, since it seemed so apt.
McGovern also knows Bush Sr. well:
George H. W. Bush and I had
a longstanding professional and, later, cordial relationship. For
many years after he stopped being president, we stayed in touch —
mostly by letter. This is the first time I have chosen to share
any of our personal correspondence. I do so not only because of
the ominous importance of Bolton’s appointment, but also because I am
virtually certain the elder Bush would want me to.
Scanned below is a note
George H. W. Bush sent me eight weeks before his son, egged on by the
same “crazies” his father knew well from earlier incarnations, launched
an illegal and unnecessary war for regime change in Iraq — unleashing
chaos in the Middle East.
Yes indeed, and you can
find it yourself by clicking the above fifth title. Here is more about
Bush Sr. and Ray McGovern:
The challenge we faced [in
2001-2 - MM] was how to get through to President George W. Bush.
It had become crystal clear that the only way to do that would be to do
an end run around “the crazies” — the criminally insane advisers that
his father knew so well — Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and
Undersecretary of State John Bolton.
Here is more:
On January 11, 2003 I wrote
a letter to the elder Bush asking him to speak “privately to your son
George about the crazies advising him on Iraq,” adding “I am aghast at
the cavalier way in which the [Richard] Perles of the Pentagon are
promoting the use of nuclear weapons as an acceptable option against
My letter continued: “That
such people have the President’s ear is downright scary. I think
he needs to know why you exercised such care to keep such folks at arms
length. (And, as you may know, they are exerting unrelenting
pressure on CIA analysts to come up with the “right” answers. You
know how that goes!)”
There is considerably
the article that I leave to your interests. It ends as follows, and
shows that Jimmy Carter seems to feel about Bolton like Bush Sr. and
like Ray McGovern do:
Yes indeed, and this is a
strongly recommended article.
Just three days after
Bolton’s appointment, the normally soft-spoken Jimmy Carter became
plain-spoken/outspoken Jimmy Carter, telling USA Today that the
selection of Bolton “is a disaster for our country.” When asked
what advice he would give Trump on North Korea, for example, Carter
said his “first advice” would be to fire Bolton.
Sadly, “crazy” seems to have become the new normal in Washington, with
warmongers and regime-changers like Bolton in charge, people who have
not served a day in uniform and have no direct experience of war other
than starting them.
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 (!!).