from August 8, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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 August 8, 2018:
1. The Trump Administration’s Crackdown on Legal Immigrants
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. Earth Could Be Less than 2 Degrees From Catastrophe
3. Here's How Trump Will Convince Supporters to Stick With Him
4. Pilger Excoriates Media on Assange Silence
5. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook— Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and
Trump Administration’s Crackdown on Legal Immigrants Exposes Its Racism
This article is by
Bill Boyarsky on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Lost amid the harrowing
stories of children separated from their families is another xenophobic
aspect of President Trump’s immigration policy. That’s his effort to
sharply limit the number of legal immigrants, who are increasingly from
Asia, from entering the United States.
Yes, I said “legal.” These
are not undocumented immigrants—the usual Trump target. On the
contrary, they are women, men and children who have followed all the
rules and laws of the complex immigration process. They deserve
recognition. But to Trump and his base of older right-wing white men,
they are the enemy, making America less white every year.
Yes, I think that is
true. In my terms - as I defined these, carefully also,
journalist I know of - Trump is a neofacist and
a racist, and my reason to add racism is - quite simply - that I did
not add racism as a characteristic to neofascism (which I still
was a correct decision, even if it turned out to be false of
Here is some more on legal
immigrants to the USA:
Research Center said lawful immigrants account for about three
quarters of the foreign-born population of the United States.
They have applied, been
vetted and then wait for permission to immigrate for six years or more.
Once in the United States, after a period of time, they can become
citizens, taking their oath to support the country in ceremonies often
covered by the media. These ceremonies are usually hailed with pride as
reminders that we are a nation of immigrants.
But President Trump and his
crew have a different view. They don’t want us to be that kind of
Yes. And incidentally,
in the USA everyone except the Indians (who have been mostly
exterminated) is an immigrant or hails from immigrants. Then
most immigrant until fairly recently where white.
Here is some more background:
The Migration Policy
Institute said, “The foreign-born share of the U.S. population is at
its highest level since 1910, with the approximately 44 million
immigrants living in the United States representing 13.5 percent of the
overall population. With U.S. fertility rates at a historic low, the
Census Bureau projects that net international migration will be the
main driver behind U.S. population growth between 2027 and 2038.”
The Brookings Institution projects
that the nation will become “minority white” in 2045. During that year,
whites will make up 49.9 percent of the population in contrast to 24.6
percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.8 percent for Asians,
and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations.
Well... it is a
prediction that will take 27 years to become true. I do not
bit whether it is true, basically because I see no human differences
whatsoever (besides color of the skin) between all races, but then I am
not called Trump.
Here is Boyarsky's
I’m betting on people like
them, rather than Trump’s minority older white base. And I’d say
so-called base. I imagine there are people who voted for Trump who are
now sick of the racist, dishonest Trump administration.
So take your 30 to 35
percent “base,” Trump, and refill its tanks with more hate. I’ll take
the better America I see every day.
I mostly agree and this
is a recommended article.
Could Be Less than 2 Degrees From Catastrophe
article is by
Jon Queally on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. This starts as
Warning of a possible
domino effect as multiple climate feedback loops are triggered within a
dynamic cascade of rising temperatures and warming oceans, scientists
behind a frightening new study say that for the sake of humanity’s
future they hope scenarios explored in their new models do not come to
“I do hope we are wrong,
but as scientists we have a responsibility to explore whether this is
real,” Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience
Centre, where the research was done, told the Guardian.
“We need to know now. It’s so urgent. This is one of the most
existential questions in science.”
Published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences, the new study, while not
conclusive in its findings, warns that humanity
may be just 1°C [1.8 F] away from creating a series of dynamic
feedback loops that could push the world into a climate scenario not
seen since the dawn of the Helocene Period, nearly 12,000 years ago.
The research, according to
its abstract, explores “the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could
push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed,
could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature
rises and cause continued warming on a ‘Hothouse Earth’ pathway even as
human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a
much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the
past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at
any time in the Holocene.”
I say, for while I know
a fair amount of ecology, indeed since almost 50 years now, I did not
know the above. Then again, I consider this study quite plausible,
indeed precisely because I have been worrying about the "domino
effect as multiple climate feedback loops are triggered" ever since 1972 - and in my
(then and now) these specific domino effects arise out of the
of other feedback loops, that kept the earth cool.
Besides, since I have
also witnessed 50 years of far too little actions in the
ecology, I also think it is more likely than not that 1 degree
on average will be reached quite soon.
Here is more by Queally:
With Arctic ice and
glaciers melting away; increasingly powerful and frequent storms in the
Atlantic and Pacific; coral reefs dying from warming oceans;
record-setting wildfires in the U.S.; unprecedented heatwaves in
Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere—climate researchers have been at
the forefront of sounding the alarms about the frightening path
humanity is now following.
“In the context of the
summer of 2018, this is definitely not a case of crying wolf, raising a
false alarm: the wolves are now in sight,” said Dr. Phil Williamson, a
climate researcher at the University of East Anglia, about the latest
study. “The authors argue that we need to be much more proactive in
that regard, not just ending greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as
possible, but also building resilience in the context of complex Earth
system processes that we might not fully understand until it is too
Yes, I fully
although I also think that being "much more proactive" goes against the profits of the big corporations,
which also happens to be their final argument: Everying else may
collapse, as long as their profits remain the same or are increasing.
Here is the last bit
from this article that I quote:
Well... (i) I agree
to all of this but (ii) I also regard it as quite unlikely to
happen. And while I hope I am quite mistaken, I fear I am not.
is a strongly recommended article.
In order to avoid the
worst-case scenarios, the researchers behind the study say that
“collective human action is required” to steer planet’s systems away
from dangerous tipping points. “Such action,” they write, “entails
stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and
societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy,
enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes,
technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed
How Trump Will Convince Supporters to Stick With Him
article is by
Chauncey DeVega on AlterNet and originally on Salon. This is from near
Trump and his spokespeople
and other allies have been shifting the narrative from whether Donald
Trump and his inner circle colluded with Russians during the 2016
election to "So what! Collusion is not illegal!" Trump's confession on
Sunday is but the next step in an overall strategy of normalizing the
heretofore unthinkable in American politics and society. In many ways,
this is the Trump's administration's guiding principle.
Donald Trump will also
continue his assault on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and their
voters' loyalty, patriotism and humanity. This too is but an extension
of a decades-long strategy by Republicans and the right-wing media, in
which violent and eliminationist rhetoric -- and stochastic terrorism -- directed at liberals,
progressives, and Democrats is the norm.
I think this is more or
less correct. Here is a question which this poses:
Will it work?
Trump's political movement meets the definition of a
cult. As explained by Steven Hassan, one of the world's foremost
experts on the subject, "Donald Trump fits the stereotypical profile of
a cult leader. His followers fit the model as well. Many of them,
especially the ones that say, 'He could do anything and we would still
believe him, we would still follow him,' sound like people who have
been indoctrinated into a totalistic mindset."
Republicans and other conservatives are increasingly
authoritarian and possess a deep disdain for democracy.
Research by political scientists and others has revealed that "winning at any costs" -- even if that means
subverting democracy -- is increasingly all that matters
for many on the American right.
Well... in fact I am not
much interested whether "Trump's
political movement meets the definition of a cult". What I am
interested in are the stupidity and ignorance of
most of the followers of Trump, but then these - quite important
- questions are hardly ever discussed
in the American media.
Here is some more:
Well... I quite agree that "Donald Trump should be impeached, convicted
and removed from office", but
then my motives are - predominantly though not only - that I am
a psychologist (and yes, six years of studying it does make for
some differences) and that I am quite convinced - since the beginning
of 2016 - that Trump has
a serious personality disorder, which totally
disqualifies him as president of the USA.
For Trump and his public,
journalists and are "enemies of the people," to be vilified and, if
need be, targeted for violence.
What can be done?
Of course the Republican
Party and their voters and news media will never stand up against
Donald Trump. This will be true even if Robert Mueller uncovers
incontrovertible evidence that Trump and his allies intentionally and
in violation of law colluded with Russia to undermine American
democracy and that Trump personally obstructed justice in an effort to
conceal the crimes.
Optimally, Donald Trump
should be impeached, convicted and removed from office. That should
also be the fate of any Republican elected officials who aided and
abetted Trump's betrayal of American democracy and his treasonous
behavior. Unfortunately, this is exceedingly unlikely.
Then again, I do agree with DeVega that it is unlikely that
And this is from the ending of the article:
The American people
are the country's remaining hope. They will need to engage in
nationwide strikes and protests that disrupt day-to-day life.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons that range ranging from
cowardice to learned helplessness and exhaustion, most Americans have
become used to the moral, ethical,and political abomination that is Age
of Donald Trump. Their outrage is spent.
Well... I do not know
this is correct, but I agree it well may be. And this is a recommended
History's epitaph for American
democracy -- that less-than-perfect time before the irreparable harm
inflicted on our country's democracy and culture by Trump's presidency
-- may well include the observation that Americans surrendered their
country with surprisingly little struggle.
Excoriates Media on Assange Silence
article is by
Dennis Bernstein and Randy Credico on Consortiumnews.
filmmaker and investigative reporter John Pilger takes the gloves off
on the continuing attempts to upend WikiLeaks and arrest its founding
publisher, Julian Assange, in this interview with Dennis Bernstein and
Yes, I mostly agree. Also,
because I consider Julian Assange's present position to be quite
serious, I will quote a bit more than usually. Here is the first bit:
Pilger talks about Assange’s
deteriorating health and the physical dangers he faces during this
period of virtual isolation. Pilger also excoriates the western media
for their silence and pro-government stand on the marginalizing and
potential prosecution of Assange, even after they collaborated with
WikiLeaks and major high-profile breaking stories.
DB: John, what is
the latest we know about how Julian Assange is being treated and his
Yes indeed: I agree. Here
John Pilger: His state of
health is just about the same, as I understand it. He needs medical
attention, the kind of treatment you get only in a hospital. But it has
been made clear to him that if he attempts to go to a hospital he will
not be given free passage and he will be arrested. Since he was
arrested in 2010, Assange has not been charged with a single crime. His
treatment amounts to the most unprecedented persecution. Julian could
leave the embassy if his own government, the government of his
homeland, Australia, applied legitimate diplomatic pressure on behalf
of its citizen. We must ask ourselves why this hasn’t happened.
My own feeling is that there
is a great deal of collusion between the Australian, the British and
the US governments–meant to close down WikiLeaks completely and/or
deliver Julian Assange to the Americans.
The new foreign
secretary of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt, said sarcastically that
the British police would offer Julian “a warm welcome” when he came
out, when he would face serious charges. There are no serious charges.
He hasn’t been charged with anything.
Yes, I agree
as a personal remark: I am not and never was a great admirer of
Assange, but I always thought that what he was doing on Wikileaks
quite important and is good journalism (regardless of my feelings
Was Hunt referring to a deal
which has already been done with the United States on extradition? I
don’t know. But this is the milieu of machination around someone who
has the right of natural justice concerning his freedom. Putting aside
freedom of speech, the persecution of this man has been something that
should horrify all free-thinking people. If it doesn’t horrify us, then
we have surrendered something very valuable.
Here is more:
JP: Nothing in my
time as a journalist has equaled the rise of WikiLeaks and its
extraordinary impact on journalism. It is probably the only
journalistic organization that has a 100% record of accuracy and
authenticity! All of WikiLeaks’ revelations have been authentic. And it
has been done “without fear or favor.”
I completely agree. Here
WikiLeaks has released
information that people have a right to know across the spectrum. It
has released something like 800,000 documents from Russia, and now
WikiLeaks is accused of being an agent of Russia!
People sometimes forget that, apart from being a journalist, Julian
Assange is a human being. You have known him a long time. Could you
give us a feel for the kind of person Julian Assange is?
I do not know
anything like the above, but I do accept it. And here is my
answer to a question that is not raised in this interview: If
Julian Assange does get arrested, will Wikileaks collapse? I think not,
and it is continuing right now (but Wikipedia - which
continuously grows more horrible - now does not even supply
its internet address).
JP: Julian is a very
principled individual. He feels very strongly about the moral basis of
WikiLeaks. When he first put up WikiLeaks, he wrote that the whole idea
of transparency, honoring people’s right to know, was the central aim
of the website. He feels that very strongly. Any attempt to do a deal
with Julian to shut down WikiLeaks will no doubt be resisted. As a
person, Julian is an extremely interesting man. He is very well read.
He studied physics. He has a very good sense of humor, and I have often
laughed out loud with him about situations that others might consider
too bleak to discuss. His black humor is a part of his survival kit.
Obviously, he is incredibly resilient. Personally, I could never endure
what he has, especially in recent years. But this comes with a cost and
his health is continuing to deteriorate. Those close to him are
Here is more:
DB: The corporate
press has a major responsibility if Julian Assange goes down, don’t you
Well... I don't know about
journalism”, but otherwise I mostly agree. Here is more:
JP: As you know, Dennis,
governments do respond to pressure from powerful media interests. It
rarely happens but when it does governments do change their tune. There
has been no pressure from media in the United States, Britain,
Australia or pretty much anywhere except in programs like yours outside
the mainstream. You are absolutely right in that the responsibility of
journalists for what has happened to Julian Assange and what might
happen to WikiLeaks is undeniable.
The Guardian, which used to
consider itself the most enlightened newspaper in the country, has
probably been the worst. The frontal attacks have been coming not from
governments but from journalists. I described this recently as “Vichy
journalism,” a term which now fits so much of the mainstream media. It
collaborates in the same way that the Vichy government in France
collaborated with the Nazis.
The attacks on
Julian Assange illustrate what has happened to the so-called free media
in the West. I have been a journalist for a very long time and I have
always worked within the mainstream, but the journalism I see now is
part of a rapacious establishment and one of its prime targets is
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. This is precisely because WikiLeaks is
producing the kind of journalism that they ought to be doing. WikiLeaks
has in fact shamed journalists, which might help to explain the deeply
personal abuse he has suffered. WikiLeaks has revealed what journalists
should have revealed a long time ago.
I think this may very well be
quite correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from this fine article:
JP: It’s very
simple. This is about justice. In a famous speech given in the 1930’s
by Parson Martin Niemoller, he said that first the Nazis came for
socialists, but he didn’t speak up because that didn’t concern him.
Then they came for trade unionists, but he didn’t speak up because that
didn’t concern him. He didn’t speak up when they came for the Jews
because he wasn’t a Jew. And, of course, finally they came for him.
That might not be a precise parallel, but if Julian Assange is allowed
to literally go under, it represents the conquest of all of us. It
means that we have kept quiet. Keeping quiet has allowed the great
atrocities of histories to take place. If Julian is allowed to be
spirited away to some super-max hellhole, it will be a great atrocity.
Yes, I quite agree and this is a
strongly recommended article.
CEO Tim Cook— Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and Wasted Burning Profits
is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams. It has a a subtitle which I quote
because it is a good summary:
model rests on low wage-labor in China and gouging iPhone consumers in
the U.S. The federal cops on the corporate antitrust beat have been
asleep for years— a somnolence well recognized by Apple, Facebook,
Amazon and Google.
Yes indeed. Here is more:
Yes indeed. And here are
some of Nader's suggestions what Apple could do:
The New York Times
screamed its Headline— “In 1997, Apple was 90 Days from Going Broke. On
Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], It Became the first publicly traded American
company to be valued at…$1,000,000,000,000.” The first trillion dollar
The boosters and
commentators cheered, adding, “How High Could it Go?” In CEO’s Tim
Cook’s announcement, we learned that there were $20 billion
more of the shareholders money spent on wasteful stock buybacks. Stock
buybacks enable fatter compensation metrics for Apple’s bosses (see
Steven Clifford’s The CEO Pay Machine). Corporate managers
love stock buybacks.
Earlier this year Apple
executives dictatorially announced that it was going to spend $100
billion to buying back its stock, without of course, receiving the
owners-shareholders’ approval. The owners might have preferred that
some of that amount be used to pay them greater cash dividends.
Two billion dollars (a mere 2 percent of that $100 billion) would
double the wages of its 1.3
million serf-workers driven to the wall by Apple’s Chinese-based
mega-factory contractor. Another two billion would have made major
improvements in the global recycling of the present deadly (to the
environment and workers) handling of toxic discarded iPhones and
computers. Some of that $100 billion could have gone to productive
investments, R&D, shoring up Apple’s pension plan, raising wages of
Apple’s employees, paying Apple’s fair share of taxes or, consumers
take note, lowering the prices of their over-priced phones and
Precisely (but none of
in Tim Cooke's personal interests, so he will not do it - and
specifically he will not rise the wages of the
Chinese he exploits).
This is from the ending of Nader's article:
Precisely. In fact, my own guess
is that there will be a major collapse soon, but I do not know when,
nor what its effects will be. And this is a strongly
Concentration of market
power in other fields feed the likelihood of future instability through
a domino effect. The top five megabanks in the U.S. control about half
of the deposits, compared to about one-fifth twenty years ago. Labor’s
annual share of the nation’s wealth gains have been declining since the
1990s. Speculation on Wall Street, slowed after the great crash of
2008, is roaring ahead toward the inevitable cliffs of unbridled greed.
More taxpayer bailouts?
Grave risk levels are
signaling caution; yet incredibly, a Republican Congress and Trump have
loosened regulation on Wall Street.
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 (!!).