from July 1, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
2018. (The quotes in the above are caused by the fact that words are
being used in the American sites I mostly read that are extremely
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from July 1, 2018:
1. Make Way for Young Democratic Leaders
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. 'Fascism Is at the Door Step'
3. Interest in Democratic Socialism Surges
4. The Supreme Court Is a Slurring, Undemocratic Mess
5. WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump
Way for Young Democratic Leaders
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as follows:
its larger meaning or impact, Representative Joseph Crowley’s stunning loss to
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in last Tuesday’s primary election already
has set off one tremor within the Democratic Party: It has thrown House
leadership into chaos.
Crowley is chairman of the Democratic caucus, making him the
fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. He also was the heir apparent to
the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. Ms. Pelosi, now 78, has herded
Democratic cats for nearly 16 years and has made clear her desire to
stay put if the party wins back the majority in November. But she’s
expected to face a serious challenge to her rule after the election,
whether or not the party reclaims the majority. A swelling segment of
Ms. Pelosi’s caucus — especially younger lawmakers — feel it is time for a change,
and at least 20 Democratic candidates have pledged
not to support her for leader if they win their races.
Actually, while I agree that Ocasio-Cortez's win was a
surprise, I feel not compelled to predict or to infer a "House leadership [thrown] into chaos". My reason is simply that she is just
one politician, and also I don't like sensationalism.
Then again, I think the sooner Pelosi is pensioned off,
the better it is for everyone except Pelosi.
Here is a bit about how her generation - the
politicians of around 80 - have manoeuvred to get and keep as much of
their personal power over the rest of the Democrats as was possible:
too long, this regime has clung to power at the expense of future
leaders. Neither of Ms. Pelosi’s two chief deputies, Steny Hoyer, the
party whip, and Jim Clyburn, the assistant leader, is a remotely viable
successor. Like Ms. Pelosi, both men are just shy of 80 and have
occupied top-tier posts for over a decade. At this point, the caucus
leadership has gone from stale to downright ossified.
fact, I am less concerned about their ages as I am about
the power in the Democratic Party for 10 to 15 years, and indeed
because I think Pelosi and many other Democrats are corrupt: They
to be into politics not to help those who elected them, but to
help themselves getting richer.
in fact, I think that is what most Democrats (and also most
Republicans) are these days: Corrupt, and doing what
corrupters want them to do.
Here is the ending of this article:
of this regime’s failure to foster new talent, the caucus lacks a deep
bench — or any bench, really — of members ready to assume Ms. Pelosi’s
mantle. At this point, some in the caucus are toying with the idea of
using Mr. Hoyer as a temporary placeholder for a couple of years until
a younger replacement can be properly groomed for the job.
a stopgap measure, obviously, is not the kind of fresh approach and
generational change that many of the House Democrats have been hoping
for. But this is what happens when leaders focus more on maintaining
their own power than on preparing their party for the future.
Yes, and my guess is also that it won't work, although
I don't know. But I think the sooner Pelosi stops as a leader of the
Democrats, and indeed also Hilary Clinton, the better it is for the
Democrats. And this is a recommended article.
Is at the Door Step'
article is by Michael Moore on AlterNet and originally on Raw Story. It
starts as follows:
Bill Maher has long been
warning that Donald Trump is instituting a slow-moving coup to
undermine American democracy.
He found a likeminded guest
in Michael Moore, who appeared on HBO's Real Time on Friday
Moore laid out what he sees
as the best way to fight Donald Trump—all out war and mass resistance
to counter Republicans who will stop at nothing to control the majority
"They are relentless, they
are motherf*ckers to the core," he said. "This is the beauty and the
genius of Trump and why you have to step back for a second and admire
him the way Patton admired Rommel. When Trump says he's going to do
something he's going to do it. He is relentless... and we never act
like that on any of the things we say we believe in."
Moore said that he thinks
Americans can stop Trump, but only if they're all-in.
Well... first of all, I am
seeing a whole lot less of Bill Maher than I did some years ago, and
the reason is simple: anonymous neofascists
have made it more or less chance whether anything that pops up
with "bill maher" is what it says is it is. It rarely
is, and I gave mostly up. (And I think this is the future of the
Next, while I agree
with Maher that there is something like "a slow-moving coup" I also
think this has been going on since 1980, indeed also under "Democratic"
presidents like Clinton and Obama.
Finally, while I agree with
Michael Moore that it is possible that "Americans can stop Trump"
(?!), I do hope there is at least one reader who does
not understand the meaning of "motherf*ckers". (I am sorry, but I find this starring such
utterly ridiculous nonsense.)
That is, without irony, I am not impressed. Here is a bit more
"Fascism is at the door
step," he said. "People are afraid to use the word, but I think we have
got to be very serious about this. FDR and Churchill defeated fascism.
And one of those people was in a wheelchair and the other was a
drunkard, to be kind... if they defeated fascism, look at what we've
Moore compared the fight to
what Martin Luther King faced, and said we have much better odds now.
King started getting serious death threats at age 26 and lived with
them for the rest of his life while raising four young children. Is the
resistance willing to do the same?
"What are people willing to
commit to? What would you give your life for?" he asked. "What would
you be willing to actually put yourself on the line for? That moment is
now. We are going to lose our democracy if we haven't already. We have
no choice, my friends. We have to rise up."
Here we have more extremely
this time about the term "fascism": "People are afraid to use the
word", I suppose because they are not really sure that God will not
blow them op the minute they do, indeed quite like "motherf*cker".
Then again, Moore is more or
less right, but one of the things that sickens me is quite
I have almost two years ago
considered over twenty different definitions of the term "fascism"
- see here: On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions, and some were good, some bad, and some
utterly ridiculous - and indeed I used a
Wikipedia item to get the definitions (so that is not hard
to find) - but even so, in the one and a half year that passed I have
read very many articles that
included the term "fascism", but I have not
read a single article by
a single author that gave anything like a
reasonable definition of that term "fascism".
Finally, as to Moore's "What are people willing to
commit to? What would you give your life for?" "What would
you be willing to actually put yourself on the line for?":
I do have a
rather good idea about fascism and the
In May 1940, the Dutch were
occupied by the German Nazis. Both of my parents, who were communists
mostly because of the Nazis, went into the resistance almost
immediately, as did the Dutch Communist Party, that had then about
Of these members, around 2000
were killed by the Nazis, and my father and his father were arrested by
the Nazis, and condemned to concentration camp punishments, which my
grandfather - also a communist, and for the same reasons as his son -
did not survive.
In May 1945, when the later
prime minister Piet de Jong landed in Holland, very briefly after the
war, he was told that "70% of the Dutch were
leaders of the Resistance".
Well... these were 100%
liars. Judging by what I know of (Dutch) persons, and judging by
the fact that over 100,000 Dutch Jews were murdered by the Nazis,
my own conclusion is that there can have been hardly more than
50,000 to 100,000 real opponents of the Nazis in Holland, and
possibly a little more, but not much.
This means at most 5% of
the Dutch resisted the Nazis. The rest collaborated (for various
reasons, some good, some bad).
So... back to Moore's
questions: I do not think there are more than 1 in 20 Americans
willing "to actually put yourself
on the line for", for I do not
think Americans are that different from the majority of the Dutch. And
see the next bit:
in Democratic Socialism Surges
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
primary win over Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday, interest in
democratic socialism—the label Ocasio-Cortez unabashedly uses to
describe her platform and political outlook—has surged exponentially,
TV networks to feature segments on the term and driving a record-breaking
membership boost for the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
win was a single win by a single person. I agree I did not
expect it, but otherwise I am not much impressed.
Also, in view of the previous item: I could write a very similar
report as I just did on the meaning of "socialism", with the
general point that many use it but few or none that I have read (other
than Orwell, to be sure, but he was very intelligent and died
68 years ago) have given anything like a decent definition of this -
indeed rather difficult - term.
And Ocasio-Cortez is not an exception:
In an interview on "The
Late Show With Stephen Colbert" Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez—who is
one of DSA's 42,000
members—was given a chance to explain the core principles of
democratic socialism to an audience
"I believe that in a
modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too
poor to live," Ocasio-Cortez told Colbert, who claimed that democratic
socialism is "not an easy term for a lot of Americans."
I am sorry, but whatever
"socialism" means it does not mean that.
In fact, as you may know, there are far more political parties
in Holland and in the Dutch parliament than there are in the USA: There
are Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, GreenLefts, Socialists,
Christians, Liberals, a Pro Animal Party (all in the present Dutch
parliament) and some more.
And I would not
know of any Dutch party that would deny
that they "believe that in
modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in [Holland] should be
poor to live".
Which is to say that
Ocasio-Cortez's statement is not a
statement of what "socialism" means in any sense. (If you want my
meaning of the term, there is this: On Socialism from 2015).
Here is some more on this
almost complete lack of any
In an attempted takedown of
Ocasio-Cortez's ambitious progressive agenda, Fox News host
Sean Hannity inadvertantly demonstrated why many Americans view
democratic socialism favorably, particularly during a time of
staggering inequality, soaring
healthcare costs, environmental degradation, and falling
"Many are hailing Cortez as
a rising star on the political landscape, but in reality, her views,
her policy positions are actually downright scary... Look very
carefully," Hannity ominously warned in a Wednesday night segment.
"This is the future, this is the modern Democratic Party."
The camera then proceeded
to show a list of widely
popular proposals like Medicare for All as well as basic, humane
principles like "Women's Rights" and "Support Seniors."
As Vice summarized,
"Sean Hannity accidentally made a great argument for socialism."
I am sorry, but that was
Supreme Court Is a Slurring, Undemocratic Mess
This article is by Pete Certo on
Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The Supreme Court is
a real piece of work. Over the last few days it’s been popping off
far-right proclamations like a drunk uncle at Thanksgiving. Except this
uncle gets to make the rules in your house, and he can stay there until
Well... I am not
American. I have read the Constitution and I have read some
law and also some about the American system of law, but that it
about the extent of my knowledge - which I admit is not very much, but
is certainly better than the knowledge of the majority of the Americans.
Anyway... one of the main things I do not understand is why
have been nominated to the Supreme Court are nominated for life. My
feeling is that they should be nominated for ten years, and then be
reconsidered or else simply dropped.
The main reason for my feeling is that politics in the USA is set
a four year of eight year rhythm, while Supreme Court judges are
nominated for what may be thirty or forty years. And my other reason is
that - surely - one should be able to reconsider one's choices
Anyway... this is what I think, indeed more or less regardless of
politics. Here is more about Supreme Court judges:
When the last court seat
opened up in early 2016, President Obama appointed the boringly
centrist judge Merrick Garland. But the GOP-controlled Senate refused
to seat him, or even to hold a single hearing. This was an almost
Instead, they held the seat
open till they had a Republican president, who appointed the hardline
conservative Neil Gorsuch.
Senate Republicans then
changed the chamber’s rules so Gorsuch could be seated without the
votes needed to clear a filibuster. That gave them the fifth vote they
needed to disenfranchise voters, gut unions, religiously discriminate,
and god knows what else.
Yes, that was evidently
quite unfair. But then again, with my rule in place, Gorsuch and any
other nominated judge could be removed after ten years.
Here is some more from
The malapportionment will
only get worse as progressive voters — and an ever larger share of the
U.S. population — cluster in the bigger states underrepresented by our
system. Meanwhile, lawmakers will continue drawing maps amplifying
their own advantage and passing laws suppressing the votes of everyone
else, with the likely backing of a Supreme Court even more conservative
than it is now.
Under these conditions,
electoral politics can seem hopeless.
Yes indeed. I have
given my own solution above, but I don't think that will be
There is also something
else which seems to me quite wrong with the Supreme Court, at least as
it was the last ten years or so: Their interpretations of the
Constitution, as e.g. in the Citizens United's case, are
absolutely appalling (as indeed at least one former Supreme Court
judge, in his nineties, has argued, quite clearly also).
And again, while I do not
think that misinterpretations (of various kinds, for various motives)
of the Constitution can be avoided, at least the length of their
influence on the politics of the USA can be lessened by having each
every Supreme Court judge having to be reconsidered in their
appointments every ten years. And this is a recommended article.
Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump
article is by Martin Hesse on Spiegel International. This is from near
The director general then
speaks about how free trade can help countries recover from earthquakes
or hurricanes, listing off a few examples and making a plea for
stronger WTO involvement. He ends his talk with a sort of disclaimer:
"As ever, precisely how we do this is up to our members."
It is a single sentence
that perfectly describes the fundamental dilemma facing the WTO. It is
essentially a system of trade treaties between its members, the
adherence to which is monitored and moderated by the Geneva-based
organization. In times of crisis, everyone looks to the 630 men and
women who work in the Centre William Rappard, but the WTO takes no
initiative. Everything it does, the organization never tires of
repeating, must be at the initiative of its members.
The members, though, in
particular U.S. President
Donald Trump, have ensured that the WTO is itself being rocked by
an earthquake at the moment. And when it is over, the global trade
order could lie in ruins.
Well... you get just
two bits from this rather long article, simply because it turned out to
be badly written and not very clear at all.
The above is more or
less clear. The following might be clear:
But all in all I didn't learn
anything from this article, so I don't think you need to read it.
Ever since Trump introduced
tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, it has become clear just
how serious the threat facing global economic regulations has become.
And that the U.S. president isn't shying away from openly attacking the
system of global trade that has been in place since the end of World
War II. "The WTO has been a disaster for this country," he ranted in
March before imposing the punitive tariffs.
A Symbol of the Madness
Trump has also threatened
the EU, and Germany
especially, with automobile tariffs and has slapped $50 billion
worth of duties on Chinese goods while threatening additional tariffs
worth $200 to 400 billion more. Those now under attack from the White
House have sought to defend themselves by imposing tariffs of their own
-- with the motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson having recently become the
symbol of the madness of this trade war.
It is the kind of
escalation hardly anyone thought possible only a few months ago.
 I have
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 (!!).