from July 8, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 8, 2018:
1. Do Poor People Have a Right to Health Care?
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:
The Trump Administration’s Family
Reunification Plan Is a Fiasco
3. A Year After Adoption of Historic UN Treaty, Support for
Disarmament Stronger Than Ever
4. Prosecutors Drop All Remaining Charges Against Trump
5. Two Email Messages
Poor People Have a Right to Health Care?
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as follows:
16 Kentuckians who recently won a lawsuit
challenging the legality of Medicaid work requirements include a law
student with a rare heart condition, a mortician with diabetes, a
mother of four with congenital hip dysplasia and a housekeeper with
rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a mixed bunch, united by two grim facts:
They live at or below the federal poverty level, and they’re caught in
the cross hairs of a debate over what society owes its neediest members.
lawsuit argued that insisting that people work a certain number of
hours a month in order to receive Medicaid benefits, like other
requirements the state was planning to demand, is illegal because it
runs counter to Medicaid’s purpose — to ensure that low-income people
have access to decent care. The lawsuit also contended that such
requirements would imperil the plaintiffs’ health by depriving them of
the only medical insurance they could afford. The new rules, which
would have stripped recipients of their benefits if they failed to meet
monthly hours-worked quotas and strict reporting standards, were simply
oblivious to the realities of low-wage living in Kentucky, and America
I am quite interested in the possibilities that
do and do not exist for ill people, for I am ill for nearly
forty years now and I have ME/CFS
since January 1, 1979, which until March of 2018 (!!!) was - in
- not the "serious chronic disease" it is since then (according
to the Dutch national health council), and indeed I was never
considered to be a person who was ill with a serious and chronic
disease (and I am pensioned now since 2015, but again have a lesser
pension than the minimal one, this time because I lived two years in
And I can be very brief about the above quotation: It
is - given the treatments that I did and did not get the last 40 years
- anyway a miracle that I am still alive, but I would have been
certainly long dead if the above sketched regulations had
introduced in Holland.
As is, I could - barely - survive on money from study
loans and the dole (never for an ill person, although I have a "serious
and chronic disease" since 40 years).
Here is more from the article:
statements are but the latest salvo in a protracted national reckoning
over Medicaid, a program that has been in place for more than half a
century and now insures one
in five Americans, or roughly 74 million people. In January, the
federal government announced that
it would reverse decades of precedent and allow states to tie Medicaid
coverage to work requirements. The move is part of a wider
conservative-led campaign to restrict the number of people who benefit
from social safety-net programs. It also reflects persistent national
ambivalence over the question of whether health care is a human right
or an earned privilege — and, if the latter, how “earned” should be
For me health care is a human right. It should not
"an earned privilege" simply because people may be born with an illness
of some kind, and because few can pay the huge medical costs that - at
least in Holland, so far - a few really need, or else they will
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
all this, it would seem that the Trump administration’s push to enact
work requirements is aimed not at improving health, or even at cutting
costs — there are more effective ways to do both — but rather at
stigmatizing Medicaid, a program that has become less maligned
in recent years, as more Americans have become insured under it. In one
2017 poll, 74
percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of Medicaid.
But while most Americans agree
that poor people should have health insurance, they also believe that
people of all income levels should earn their benefits — the same poll
from last year found that 70 percent of respondents supported Medicaid
In fact, I think the situation (for ill people,
especially chronically ill people) in the USA is worse
than a "push to enact
work requirements [that] is aimed not at improving health, or even at
costs (..) but rather at
What Trump's government is trying to do is to make
people who are chronically ill and not rich commit suicide - as I would
have been forced to, had his
rules been the Dutch rules. (I know,
for I am ill for
nearly forty years now, and I got almost no help, neither medically nor
If you are against Medicaid in the
USA, you are against
people. And this is a recommended article.
Trump Administration’s Family Reunification Plan Is a Fiasco
article is by Jacob Sugarman on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
When the Trump
administration instituted its “zero tolerance policy,” which prosecutes
immigrants for entering the country illegally and separates parents
from their children as a means of deterrence, critics argued it was not
and immoral but ill-conceived.
Less than two weeks after the president used an executive order to
formally end the practice of family separation, and days after a
federal judge imposed
multiple deadlines for reunification, their worst fears have come
to a New York Times report published Thursday, administration
officials are scrambling to meet the court’s demands, with as many as
3,000 children’s lives hanging in the balance. Overseeing the
gargantuan undertaking is the Department of Health and Human Services’
Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has relied on identification
bracelets, registration numbers and “careful logs” to track the
movements of those detained. But as the Times reveals, the office has
been routinely subverted by Customs and Border Protection.
“In hundreds of cases,
Customs agents deleted the initial records in which parents and
children were listed together as a family with a ‘family identification
number,’ according to two officials at the Department of Homeland
Security, who spoke on a condition of anonymity because they were not
authorized to discuss the process,” writes the Times’ Caitlin
Dickerson. “As a result, the parents and children appeared in federal
computers to have no connection to one another.”
Yes indeed - except
that it is worse. Here are two reasons:
First, the U.S.
government has abducted "as many as
3,000 children" from their
parents, which means that it is indulging in kidnapping,
is a very serious crime.
And second, because "Customs agents deleted the initial records in
which parents and
children were listed together as a family with a ‘family identification
number" with the "result, [that] the parents and children
appeared in federal
computers to have no connection to one another": This is obvious sadism on the
side of these "Custom agents".
And this is a
Year After Adoption of Historic UN Treaty, Support for Nuclear
Disarmament Stronger Than Ever
article is by Julia Conley on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
As nuclear disarmament
advocates marked the one-year anniversary of the United Nations Treaty
on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), polling found grave
concerns among Europeans regarding U.S. nuclear weapons and widespread
support for the historic agreement.
The International Campaign
to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) commissioned a YouGov
survey in time for the anniversary of the agreement, which the
group spent years advocating for, convincing the majority of the
world's nations to participate in negotiations and
59 countries to sign. Citizens of Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy,
and Germany—all of which host U.S. nuclear weapons—were surveyed.
"The survey results show a
clear rejection of nuclear weapons by those Europeans living closest to
U.S. nuclear weapons, and who are likely to be targets of any nuclear
attack or at risk from any nuclear weapons accident," reads ICAN's
report on the poll. "More than simply demonstrating a 'not in my back
yard' mentality, Europeans are even more strongly in favor of a
comprehensive ban of all nuclear weapons worldwide than simply removing
the weapons from their own soil."
Well... yes and no, although
my "no" is based on considerations that Julia Conley cannot
know, which are that I am Dutch; that my parents also were strong
opponents of nuclear arms; that I demonstrated for the first time
against them in the early 1960ies; and that I know the Dutch
and Holland since more than 65 years.
And these facts make me less
optimistic, in part because I think any civilized person is against
nuclear arms, and in part because nearly all information about
nuclear arms is still mostly kept secret from the population. Thus, I
demonstrated against the nuclear arms that were (probably) located near
the Dutch city of Volkel since 1964 (and most of the other
Sixties) but it was only admitted accidentally by the drunk
ex-prime minister Lubbers in 2013 (!!) that they were
really there all the time.
Here is some more from this
Nearly three-quarters of
Germans and two-thirds of Italians reported that they wanted U.S.
weapons removed from their country, while more than half of respondents
in the Netherlands and Belgium said the same.
The poll found that at
least four times as many people were in favor of their country signing
the TPNW, with more than two-thirds of respondents in each country
favoring the treaty. Strong majorities also expressed support of
financial institutions divesting from the nuclear weapons industry.
"All responsible states
should prohibit nuclear weapons by joining the UN Treaty on the
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons," said Beatrice Fihn, executive director
of ICAN. "By doing so, they would not only listen to their citizens,
they would also fulfill their key responsibility: protect its
populations from one of the worst atrocities on the basis of
international human rights precepts."
I agree, but see above why I
am not optimistic this will succeed.
Drop All Remaining Charges Against Trump Inauguration Protesters
article is also by Julia Conley, but I found it on Truthout, although
it appeared originally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
More than three
dozen defendants in the year-long #DisruptJ20 trial celebrated Friday
evening after prosecutors dismissed all remaining charges against them,
following a number of failures to prove the protesters were guilty of
“The state failed at
silencing dissent and today our movement is stronger than it was on
#J20,” tweeted Dylan Petrohilos, who was charged with conspiracy,
rioting, and destruction due to his participation in planning to
protest — even though he did not attend. “I’m proud of all my
co-defendants, and everyone in the streets who resisted fascism and
This is a bit of Good
News (that is rare in the crisis series). Here is some more:
The Department of Justice
(DOJ) dropped charges against 38 people who were among the 234 arrested
on January 20, 2017 at a protest against President Donald Trump’s
inauguration. Some of the charges had carried sentences of more than 60
years in prison.
The government initially
charged the protesters with felony rioting, but were able
to secure only one guilty plea to the
charge. Twenty pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
Note the utter
craziness of prosecuting people who protested "against President Donald Trump’s
inauguration" with charges
that "carried sentences of
more than 60
years in prison". (In Holland you have to commit several murders to
risk a similar sentence.) And this is a recommended article.
article is by Robert
Paul Wolff on his site. It is basically a display
of two e-mails Wolff (who is an 84 year old professor emeritus, who
himself on his site as an atheist (in religion), a Marxist (in
economics) and an
anarchist (in politics)) has lately received.
I only briefly mention the first mail, which is an invitation to Wolff
to call 30 numbers with a brief scripted message that ends with asking
those called "Will you be able
to attend the Town Hall? Thank you."
I suppose this is a quite normal and widely used approach to contact
volunteers (like Wolff) and ask them to do things, such as calling
politicians to ask them things to do.
The other email is considerably longer and is from Philip
Green, a well-known political theorist and a radical activist, who also
is a professor emeritus and who is the author of many fine books.
Green is 85 at present and is known to Wolff since more than 80 years.
This mail - from one political theorist in his 80ies to another
political theorist in his 80ies - is much more interesting than
the previous one.
I shall excerpt it here for my comments, but it is recommended that you
read the whole mail (which you get by clicking item 5 above).
It starts as follows, and the deletions are indicated by "(...)" and I
say immediately at the beginning that I like it but it is too
emotional and too vague - as I will explain in my comments:
Yes indeed - on the
(probably correct) assumptions that this is about the USA and in fact
addresses these points: the Republicans have the Senate, the House, the
government, and the Supreme Court, and they use that to favor the very
rich by giving them a lot more money and to disfavor the poor, by
taking as much as they can from them.
Engels proclaimed in the 19th
Century that the choice was "Socialism or Barbarism." The
suspense is over. The barbarians are not at the gates, they're inside.
I agree, for these are simple facts.
This is in fact - I think
- about the effective destruction of the Constitution. I think Green is
mostly correct in saying (after several Supreme Court judgements) that "The 14th and 15th Amendments and the Voting
Rights Act are dead. (..) The 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted
beyond recovery; due process (Amendments 4, 5, and 6) and the Rule of
Law have been effectively abolished (..)" - and here I concentrated on the
basic laws that should determine what the USA is, legally and
Stalin famously asked "How
many divisions does the Pope have?" The answer is not recorded,
though we know the Pope won in the end. Donald Trump has asked,
over and over again, "How many divisions does the Constitution
have?" And the answer, over and over, has been crystal clear to
him: None. Lots of handwringing by liberal lawyers on MSNBC,
exegeses of what this or that passage really means, outcries by
Democrats. Drops of fresh tears in the ocean of salt. The 14th and 15th
Amendments and the Voting Rights Act are dead. In the latter case
Vladimir Putin, the international gangster whose boots he lovingly
licks, will help cement the elimination of "free and fair" elections.
The 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted beyond recovery; due process
(Amendments 4, 5, and 6) and the Rule of Law have been effectively
abolished, the DOJ turned into a "Handmaid" of tyranny. (...)
And as far as I know the evidence, which is pretty far, I think Green
is right, although it is also - still - true that quite a few of the
lower courts are still trying to uphold the ideal of the law as-it-was,
Sixties till the Eighties.
I think this is exaggerated, and
not because this may not be the eventual outcome (it very well may be),
but because German Nazism was considerably worse than the
Concentration camps. A
legitimized Gestapo that rules at will, wherever it goes, with brute
force behind it. Geheimestaatspolizei. Violence cannot be
contained at a border. The knock on the door is the Law.
Militarized police enforce White Supremacy. As one German commentator
put it, we have "Anti-Semitism without Jews." (...)
Then again, I have said many times that in my opinion Trump is both a
madman and a neofascist,
which also means that the above sketch of an
eventual police state does appeal to Trump.
I think this is too vague
(and I am not a Marxist since
nearly 50 years). It is in fact in part
(which is correctly and classically defined by
me, and intentionally and falsely defined on the Wikipedia,
probably has been taken over by the rich).
Let us celebrate all those
clever accommodationists who predicted the "end of ideology," the
"triumph of liberal democracy," and best of all, the end of "totalizing
theories," i.e. Marxism, i.e., "totalitarianism." Just as
the final totalization of all, the unregulated "free" market, was
taking over everywhere.
Totalization: in a perfect
inversion of Michael Walzer's Spheres of Justice, there is no sphere of
social living that can justly resist that take-over, nothing that can't
be bought or sold, no scrap of welfare that can't be dispensed with,
except of course the military budget (...)
And - as far as I can see - what this tries to say can be summarized by
Republicans have the Senate,
the House, the government, and the Supreme Court, and they use that to
favor the very rich by giving them a lot more money, and to disfavor
poor, by taking as much as they can from them;
(2) the Republicans are moving in a totalitarian
way, and are trying to get absolutely everything they want,
which is effectively what the rich want, and are mostly but not always
(3) the Republicans are trying to reduce absolutely everything
to "the market", and deny there is anything that does not fit
their market model, which is simply that the rich are the best, and
always right, because they - some of them - can buy everything there is
on offer in a "market".
But I agree
is all a matter of my interpretation.
This is also exaggerated
and too simple. As I said above, I think Trump is a neofascist, but neofascism -
if well defined - is a political ideology that
goes beyond the factual rule in the streets of the stupid and ignorant
rightists (although these are indeed being used).
The climb may have been
difficult, but the descent is proving to be easy.The recipe is
simple. The Devil's Bargain: the plutocracy gets the votes of the white
supremacy tribe–by no means limited to the so-called "working class."
In return, the Authoritarian Populist mob, its appeal to violence
unrestrained, gets to rule over its opponents in the name of "The
People." When I hear that phrase I reach for my passport. (...)
I think this should have
been called "The Police", simply because resisting is far
wider than resisting the police, which is what this quoted bit is
about. I agree that much of the present American police force seems to
understand only force, but I do not think it is wise to
recommend using force against the police (simply because the police
will mostly win, and those who resisted will have to spend many years
The police are either
legitimate or they are not. If they are, nothing more to be
said. If not, nothing will come out of nothing. Not marches in
the park, not articles in The Nation, not even female veterans of
combat running for office everywhere. Good for morale. But they only
understand force. (...)
The quote is from George
Orwell. And I think - if Trump does not destroy the world by
arms - that it presently looks as if a kind of neofascism is
Nothing is fixed; it's not
only shit that happens. But,
"...imagine a boot, stamping
on a human face..."
My reason is mostly that the internet
has turned out to be the perfect tool for
finding out everything about anyone,
which is being done now for at least 17 years by the NSA and very
many other secret services (from anywhere), and besides also by the
very rich like Google and Facebook, and this gives far too many powers to the
very few in the secret services, who anyway only
work the government, while as Lord Acton said
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power
corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men,..."
And this is a recommended
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 (!!).