from August 31, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 31, 2018:
1. German Neo-Nazis Rally Again in Chemnitz, This Time
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:
Salutes or Mob Violence
2. The Continuing Tragedy of the Separated Children
3. Fraud at the Heart of Republican Tax Cuts
4. VIPS Tells Media Support for Brennan is Not Unanimous
5. Reviving the Spirit of ’68
Neo-Nazis Rally Again in Chemnitz, This Time Without Hitler Salutes or
This article is by Robert Mackey on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
For a third night
this week, far-right protesters vented their rage at the killing of a
German man during a fight with immigrants from Iraq and Syria in the
eastern German city of Chemnitz. On Thursday evening however, the crowd
nationalists chanted slogans but refrained from the violent attacks on
foreigners and Hitler salutes witnessed during rioting on Sunday and
As German journalist Felix
Huesmann reported, organizers from the far-right group Pro-Chemnitz urged
the protesters not to make what they described as “nice greetings with
the right arm extended towards Heaven,” so that there would be “no bad
pictures” for journalists derided as “the Lying Press” to publish.
Besides... I live in The Netherlands, that was occupied from 1940 till
1945 by the German Nazis, and my family belonged to the very
few who resisted the Nazis: my mother was in the resistance; my father
was in the resistance; my grandfather was in the resistance; and in
August 1941 both my father and grandfather were betrayed by someone
from the large group of collaborating Dutchmen (very
much larger than the resistance) and then condemned to concentration
camp imprisonment by collaborating Dutch judges, as "political
So yes: I am definitely concerned about the growth of a new
German Nazism, for that is what it is.
Here is more:
Many of the Chemnitz
residents who attended a nearby meeting with the leader of the regional
government, Michael Kretschmer, also blamed the media for the viral
images of mayhem and neo-Nazi violence in the city earlier in the week,
to Benjamin Konietzny of the German broadcaster NTV.
The most alarming of those
images showed marauding white supremacists chasing people with dark
skin, interrupting national news broadcasts with the banned Nazi
salute, and chanting neo-Nazi
slogans like “Free, social, and national: National Socialism now,”
and “Adolf Hitler hooligans.”
By the way (and this has little
to do with the article, but I found it strange): I read German
fluently, but the vast majority of Americans simply doesn't know
German. I also despise Tweets and am only prepared to quote
them if I know the person's name (in the Tweet, which is always
repeated) is real, which I only very rarely know.
are there no less than nine German
Tweets, that are also wholly untranslated
in this article?!
Back to the article,
and this is the last bit that I quote from it:
So this is the message of
the German neo-Nazis: Everybody has to get guns to stop (evict or kill)
the immigrants, and especially colored ones. And this is a strongly
recommended article, though it may help if you read German.
After the fatal stabbing of
the German-Cuban man in Chemnitz this week, an AfD member of
parliament, Markus Frohnmaier, took a page from Trump’s playbook by
incendiary tweet, which read: “If the state cannot protect its
citizens, people will take to the streets and do it themselves. Simple!
It is now a civic duty to stop deadly ‘knife migration.’ It could have
been your father, son or brother!”
Continuing Tragedy of the Separated Children
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as follows:
didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,”
President Trump said on June 20, when he signed an executive order halting his administration’s
depraved practice of separating migrant children from parents seeking
asylum at the nation’s southern border. “This will solve that problem.”
may be that signing such an order was a matter of conscience for Mr.
Trump — that he felt morally compelled to address the humanitarian
crisis caused by his own “zero tolerance” border policy.
if so, the matter should still upset him. While family separations have
slipped from the spotlight — allowing Mr. Trump to enjoy his
morning executive time without enduring televised images of sobbing
migrant children — the crisis itself is far from over. Hundreds of children
remain separated from their parents. Many of those who have been
reunited bear the scars of trauma. Migrant families continue to be rounded
up into government detention centers, though now at least they are
being held together.
have two remarks on the above quotation:
to speak of a conscience in the case of Donald Trump is a ridiculous contradiction in this psychologist's
ears: Trump is a serious case of megalomania aka narcissistic
personality disorder (which also is increasing) and megalomaniacs
have no empathy with others, which is an alternative for saying
that they have no conscience.
second - and I am getting rather angry about this - what Trump and his
government did was not so much "separating families" as KIDNAPPING children. In case you doubt
this, here is the beginning of the Wikipedia on kidnapping:
It is evidently this that Trump
and his government did.
law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person
against their will.
Here is more (and in fact these are - legal - arguments that what Trump
and his government did indeed was and is kidnapping):
Yes indeed - but this
means that Trump and his government still hold over 500 children
kidnapped, quite possibly in cages.
its zero-tolerance barbarism, the Trump administration managed to do an
impressive amount of damage in a very short time. In the six weeks the
policy was in effect, more than 2,600 children were taken from their
parents, with zero thought or planning for how the families might
eventually be reunited.
than a week after the executive order, a federal judge, Dana Sabraw,
ruling in a class-action suit brought by the American Civil Liberties
Union, placed a temporary injunction on family separations and
ordered the administration to reunite all those it had already torn
apart. A deadline of July 26 was set, with children under the age of 5
put on a fast track.
More than a month past that
deadline, progress is mixed. After a bumpy start, and with occasional
foot dragging on the government’s part, more than 2,000 children have
been reunited with their parents.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Medical professionals warn of long-term emotional and
psychological damage, including anxiety disorders, depression, trust
issues, memory problems and developmental delays. And these are the “lucky" ones. As of late
August, more than 500 children still languished in government custody —
scared, confused and unsure of ever seeing their parents again. A few
dozen have parents who have been deemed ineligible for reunification
because of criminal records or other circumstances. (Disqualifying
offenses include drug-possession charges, ID violations and
Yes. The medical
professionals are right about the long-term damages (but Trump
has no conscience: the only one who counts in Trump's
world is Trump, plus possibly his daughter Ivanka,
because I saw two videos in which he said he would like to fuck her,
were it not that he is her father).
As to the "disqualifying
offenses": These are utter sado-fascistic bullshit.
What the sadist Trump says is in effect: "Well, I kidnapped your
children, but if you have a drunk-driving conviction or had problems
with your ID, I insist that your child is better of in a U.S. prison
than in your hands".
This is explicit, clear, arbitrary and very cruel sadism. And
this is a recommended article.
at the Heart of Republican Tax Cuts
This article is by
Tom Cantlon on AlterNet and originally on DC Report. It starts as
The U.S. Chamber of
Commerce wants us to be excited about how much the Trump tax cut will
save the typical American on a utility bill. Get out your coffee cup
because that’s about how much it’s going to save you, the price of a
cup of coffee.
Perhaps I should add that
it is the commercial
price of a cup of coffee (in a restaurant) - but apart from this
"enormous" correction, Cantlon is quite right.
Here is more:
How do taxes affect
utilities? Because any utility that is regulated and has seen expenses
go down, because they’re paying less in taxes. That savings should be
passed on to the consumer.
How does that come out to a
cup of coffee? My state of Arizona serves as an average example. Take
the total projected tax savings for regulated utilities in the state,
which the chamber puts at $765 million over five years, divide by
years, and by population, times typical members per household, comes to
a little over $4 per household per month. That number is confirmed in
Analysis which they released listing the details. It finds a
household might save as much as just over $7 per month, or, depending
on the state, down to less than a buck and a half. For a typical
two-earner household, $4 might buy each bread-winner one cup of coffee.
Yes, I agree: This is -
so to speak - rough and ready, but it is adequate for the
poor and the so-called middle classes (who soon may be poor as well).
In contrast, there is
this on the rich:
I agree, with a similar
qualification as above.
For instance, did America
need help coming up with capital for expansion? When corporate profits
were continuing to reach new highs? When
corporate cash-on-hand was also setting
records? When stock buybacks (basically when a company has so much
cash it doesn’t know what to do with it other than to give a bunch of
it to investors) had grown to unusually high
And all of that corporate cash
“parked” overseas? Can you imagine that these big corporations would
actually let huge amounts of wealth just sit idle? It is not sitting
idle. It can be used for corporate expansion overseas and it can be
invested in anything other than the company here without being
repatriated and taxed.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
Well, now you ask, I am sick
of it, and this is a recommended article.
The U.S. Chamber of
Commerce wants us to be excited about our cups of coffee, and that’s
not spin or exaggeration, that’s confirmed by them. It’s in their
paper. They want us to be excited about that, and they’re sticking to
So? Are you excited? Or
would a more accurate word be, agitated?
Tells Media Support for Brennan is Not Unanimous
This article is the
reproduction of a mail to The Media by the VIPS.
It has a summary:
In this memo, VIPS
tells the news media that the revocation of John Brennan’s security
clearance is falsely being portrayed as an assault on the freedom of
speech of the deeply flawed, former CIA director.
First, I like the VIPS.
And second, I agree with them on this question, and they also
provide some facts and arguments I did not know.
Here is more:
As former members of
the intelligence community, we feel compelled to add our voice to the
public debate surrounding President Trump’s revocation of former CIA
Director John Brennan’s security clearance. This action is being
falsely portrayed as an assault on Mr. Brennan’s right to free speech.
In brief, the right to
free speech is (not at all) the same as having a security
clearance, and the VIPS agree with Trump's decision to revoke the
We note that some of our
former colleagues, a number of whom have held prominent intelligence
posts, joined the protest against the President’s actions — a
phenomenon that provides stark reminder that the United States
intelligence community is not a monolith but rather a collection of
diverse individuals with a range of opinions on many issues, including
what is right and wrong, We the undersigned veteran intelligence
professionals agree with President Trump’s decision to strip Mr.
Brennan of his clearance.
Also, here are some facts I did not know about security
Anyone who has read
VIPS memos knows we have often expressed opposition to this President’s
actions — as we have to those of previous Presidents — on important
substantive issues when the intelligence was faulty.
I say: Not only is the right to free speech is (not at
all) the same as having a security clearance, but having a security
clearance quite severely restricts your constitutional rights
to free speech, indeed even with your own family and friends.
The issue for us is broader
than the clearances of Mr. Brennan. We are appalled by the willful
misreading by pundits and much of the media of the nature of security
clearances. They are certainly not a constitutionally protected right,
but a highly conditional privilege. Its granting comes with personal
acceptance of restrictions on speech and association: among other
things obligating one-time holders to a lifetime pre-publication review
of writings that rely on information acquired in performing their
All of us signed secrecy
agreements and accepted the burden of holding a clearance. We
surrendered a part of our assumed right to free speech in service of
our country’s welfare and safety. Those of us under cover kept secrets
from family and friends. We no longer associated freely with foreign
nationals; an active clearance carries the requirement to report
contacts with them.
There follow several paragraphs that list failings of Brennan that I
skip except the last, that is about Brennan and torture:
Mr. Brennan has
assumed the role of passive spectator in building the fraudulent case
to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has claimed only vague
awareness of the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” program.
Physical records tell a different story. Brennan was “cc-ed” on “a
minimum of 50 memos” dealing with waterboarding and other torture
techniques. Senator Saxbe Chambliss noted that Brennan’s boss, A. B.
“Buzzy” Krongard, told the Wall Street Journal that Mr. Brennan had a
role in setting the parameters of the program and “helping to seek
Justice Department approval for the techniques.”
Yes indeed. And this is a
Mr. Brennan also attempted to
cover up the truth about the CIA torture. Senator Mark Udall denounced
his actions in a floor speech on December 10, 2014, the day after the
Senate Intelligence Committee published the Executive Summary of the
conclusions of its four-year investigation of CIA torture based on
original CIA documents. The investigation not only revealed
almost unbelievably heinous practices, but also demonstrated that
senior CIA officials were untruthful in claiming that “enhanced”
techniques produced actionable intelligence that could not have been
obtained by traditional interrogation practices.
Here’s Senator Udall:
“The CIA has lied to its overseers and the public, destroyed and tried
to hold back evidence, spied on the Senate, made false charges against
our staff, and lied about torture and the results of torture. And no
one has been held to account. … There are right now people serving at
high-level positions at the agency who approved, directed, or committed
acts related to the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.”
the Spirit of ’68
This article is
Robert C. Koehler on Common Dreams. It has a summary:
I fear the forces
the antiwar protesters were confronting fifty years ago have made a
shift in keeping with their deepest interests: not to “win” the wars
but simply to make sure they continue
I agree with the summary and go
to the start of the article:
I was a hippie/bicycle
delivery boy living in San Francisco when the Democratic National
Convention was held in Chicago fifty years ago, so I absorbed the
chaos, the police riot, from half a continent away, but I knew with
absolute certainty that the nation was changing and I was part of it.
We were in the violent
spasm of transition. How long would it last? MLK and RFK, as they
called for peace and sanity and civil rights for all, had just been
assassinated. This was the God of War, turning its vengeance inward.
Yes. I am probably a
few years older than Koehler and was 18 in 1968. Then again, I was and
am Dutch, and my background was probably quite different: I was
strongly politically committed then, in considerable
part because of my education by communist parents, who had been very
heroic in the resistance against the Nazis, and that was the main
reason I recall quite a lot of 1968, including going to Paris in May
and June to see what was happening in the - failed - revolution that
was taking place there, and I also followed the American news,
including news about the 1968 Democratic Convention and the resulting
Here is more:
As I read about the chaos
in Chicago at the convention — the thousands of cops and National
Guardsmen and U.S. troops storming the protesters, whacking them with
their batons, throwing them into paddy wagons, as the pro-war consensus
(epitomized by the grimace on the face of Chicago’s mayor, Richard J.
Daley) held tight to the reins of power — I felt myself quietly retreat
back into my own life. The “movement” wasn’t going to remake America.
Or rather, idealism all by itself wasn’t going to bring about the world
I had envisioned with such certainty as I sat on the steps of the
I didn’t surrender my
idealism; I didn’t turn into a cynic. But I shifted my focus to my own
life and returned to school. Half a century later . . .
I gape in awe at how little
Yes indeed, I quite
agree - and it is not just that (so to speak) The God of War is still
at the helm in the USA, mostly simply because war is very profitable for the makers of weapons
(and as Milton Friedman said, corporations have and should have just one
norm: Making profits, the larger, the better): The same is true
of ecology, of politics and politicians, and of more things.
Back to the article:
“The reality is that the
war has created the world’s worst humanitarian
catastrophe today,” Moustafa
Bayoumi wrote recently in The Guardian. “Three-quarters of the
population, some 22 million Yemenis, require humanitarian assistance
and protection. About 8.4 million people hang on the brink of
starvation and another 7 million lie malnourished. Since 2015, more
than 28,000 thousand people have been killed or injured, and many
thousands more have died from causes exacerbated by war, such as a
cholera epidemic that has afflicted more than a million people and
claimed over 2,300 lives. At least one child dies every 10 minutes from
causes linked to the war, according to the United Nations.”
I say - and
incidentally "8.4 million
people hang[ing] on the brink of starvation" are more than the 6 million Jews that were
murdered by the Nazis (though the 8,4 million are - so far - only
Here is more:
something has changed — the opposite of what I had
anticipated in 1967, as I sat on the steps of the Pentagon, or in 1968,
as I silently cheered the protesters demanding that the Democratic
Party become a party of peace.
The war in Yemen, which the
U.S. is making possible with billions of dollars in weapons sales to
the Saudi coalition, is barely even news. Neither are the wars — at
least seven of
them — in which the U.S. is directly participating, including Iraq (15
years and counting) and Afghanistan (17 years and counting). I fear the
forces the antiwar protesters were confronting fifty years ago have
made a shift in keeping with their deepest interests: not to “win” the
wars but simply to make sure they continue.
Yes, I entirely
agree, except that I think I know what is the deepest interest of
those who continue, and continue, and continue the many wars the USA is fighting since
2001: profits, either because they
receive them directly, or because they are paid by those who receive
them directly e.g. because they are important politicians.
Here is more:
In America, clichés rule.
We may bomb children, and (even more to the point) manufacture and sell
the bombs that take out school buses, etc., etc., etc., but we still
pull out our clichés about freedom and honor and such, stale as they
may be, on a moment’s notice.
Yes indeed - and the
point is that the "clichés
about freedom and honor"
are meant to defend making war on people in the Middle East and
Afghanistan, and to destroy whole countries.
Here is more:
It took several decades,
but Militarized America did achieve its one and only post-World War II
victory. It defeated Vietnam Syndrome. Step one was eliminating the
draft, which freed the public from any personal risk — and thus, any
real stake — in future wars, leaving only a poverty draft to fill the
ranks, and who cares about them?
Victory no longer matters. A seemingly rational mission no longer
matters. Clichés and a bloated military budget are enough.
Yes indeed. Eliminating
the draft was done by Nixon, and thus a drafted army from average guys,
that also comprised some of the sons of the rich, because the draft
covered every male of 18, was replaced by an army made up of poor and
badly educated males.
As to the last bit
quoted: It was less the "bloated military budget" that mattered as the truly enormous profits
generated by it for very big corporations (and as an aside, as
extra income for politicians who supported them).
Here is the last
sentence of the article:
The War God is ruthless and
clever and will not give up. Neither should we.
I agree, though I think
I should add that it seems to be a fact that most Americans do not
feel like protesting the fact that Americans are murdering foreigners
at a large rate as long as Americans have no risk of
being drafted. And this is a strongly
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 (!!).