from September 23, 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 September 23, 2018:
1. Kavanaugh Accuser Accepts Senate's Request to Tell Her Side
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. Lessons from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9: Establishment
Democrats Sold Out the Voters
3. The New York Times as Judge and Jury
4. How the Alternative for Germany Has Transformed the Country
5. Why I join the ILP
Accuser Accepts Senate's Request to Tell Her Side
This article is by
Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
The woman accusing
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault
has accepted a Senate committee’s request to tell her side next week
but Christine Blasey Ford wants to resume negotiations over the exact
terms of her appearance, her lawyers said Saturday.
It was not immediately
clear whether the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee would agree
to more talks with Ford’s team. Also unclear was when she might come to
Capitol Hill and whether she was offering to speak in a public session
or a private one. The committee wanted her to appear Wednesday, but she
prefers her earlier request for Thursday, according to a person
familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to discuss the
I say, for this is far
from clear, other than that Christine Blasey Ford has "accepted a Senate committee’s request to tell
her side next week".
Here is some more:
I take that as given, but
add the last bit of this article for clarity's sake:
The lawyers wrote that Ford
“accepts the Committee’s request to provide her first-hand knowledge of
Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week.”
Attorneys Debra Katz and
Lisa Banks said many aspects of Grassley’s latest offer were
“fundamentally inconsistent” with the committee’s promise of a “fair,
impartial investigation.” They said they remained disappointed by the
“bullying” that “tainted the process.” Yet they remained “hopeful that
we can reach agreement on details.”
Ford’s request for
security comes after her lawyers said she has relocated her family due
to death threats.
For Christine Blasey Ford has received
threats. And this is a recommended article.
from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9: Establishment Democrats Sold Out
This article is by
Sophie McClennen on AlterNet and originally on Salon. It starts as
Well... I like Michael
Moore (without agreeing with him) and that is one reason for
this, but I should say that I dislike expressions like "how the f*&k we got here and how the
f*&k we can get out": I
think either you should spell "fuck", which anyone reading this
understand you mean by "f*&k", or else you leave the whole
Michael Moore’s new film
“Fahrenheit 11/9” opened nationwide this week in 1,719
theaters — a record for a non-fiction film that isn’t
about a pop icon or wild animals. Billed as the film that
would tell us how the f*&k we got here and how the f*&k we can
get out, “Fahrenheit 11/9” debuted at the Toronto International Film
Festival on September 6 to
As with all Moore films,
“Fahrenheit 11/9” goes well beyond a moving, aesthetic experience.
In my Salon review of the film I called it a
call to action, one that asks viewers to be the ones to make history
rather than complain about it. This call to action, though,
comes wrapped in a hard-hitting exposé of the flaws in our
democracy. Refusing to simplify a complex crisis, Moore’s new film
is filled with surprises.
And there is a whole lot more in the article under six headings that I
will leave to your interests, for I shall merely copy the headings and
leave out the texts:
1. Trump is
just the tip of the iceberg; but it’s a tip that can sink us.
I think that is mostly
correct and this is a recommended article.
The mainstream media is a misogynistic, corporatist oligarchy that
Trump played to his benefit.
The crimes in Flint are worse than we thought.
The Democrats share a lot of blame for the rise of Trump.
The left is the majority — but doesn't act like it.
Michael Moore is the most important non-fiction filmmaker of our time.
New York Times as Judge and Jury
article is by Joe Lauria (the new editor of Consortium News) and starts
with a subtitle:
Seeking to maintain
its credibility, The New York Times dispenses with the criminal justice
system and basic principles of journalism to weigh in again on
Russia-gate, reports Joe Lauria.
Yes, I think that is wholly
correct - but then I also have been following "Russia-gate" since 2016 (then under the title "Russian
hacking") and I wrote rather a lot about it (and know how to
which many journalists seem not to know).
Here is more:
We’ve seen it
before: a newspaper and individual reporters get a story horribly wrong
but instead of correcting it they double down to protect their
reputations and credibility—which is all journalists have to go on—and
the public suffers.
I think all of this is
again correct, and indeed while I saw Shane and Mazzetti's
quickly gave up reading it for reasons Lauria makes clear:
Sometimes this maneuver can
contribute to a massive loss of life. The most egregious example was
the reporting in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Like nearly all
Establishment media, The New York Times got the story of Iraq’s weapons
of mass destruction—the major casus belli for the invasion—dead wrong.
But the Times, like the others, continued publishing stories without
challenging their sources in authority, mostly unnamed, who were
pushing for war.
The result was a disastrous
intervention that led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and
continued instability in Iraq, including the formation of the Islamic
In a massive Times‘ article
published on Thursday, entitled, “‘A Plot to Subvert an Election:
Unravelling the Russia Story So Far,” it seems that reporters Scott
Shane and Mark Mazzetti have succumbed to the same thinking that
doubled down on Iraq.
With the mid-terms
looming and Special Counsel Robert Mueller unable to so far come up
with any proof of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to
steal the 2016 election—the central Russia-gate charge—the Times does
it for him, regurgitating a Russia-gate Round-Up of every
unsubstantiated allegation that has been made—deceptively presented as
though it’s all been proven.
And this is again - to the
best of my knowledge and abilities - quite correct.
This is a reaffirmation of the
faith, a recitation of what the Russia-gate faithful want to believe is
true. But mere repetition will not make it so.
Then again, the following bit is not, and that is simply a matter of
The Times also adds:
“There is a plausible case that Mr. Putin succeeded in delivering the
presidency to his admirer, Mr. Trump, though it cannot be proved or
This is mistaken because
is a whole lot that one can - quite rationally -
consider as "plausible given the evidence" while it is not
either "proved or disproved".
This is an extraordinary
statement. If it cannot be “proved or disproved” what is the point of
this entire exercise: of the Mueller probe, the House and Senate
investigations and even of this very New York Times article?
Attempting to prove this
constructed story without proof is the very point of this piece.
Then again, Lauria is correct in saying that The New York Times
seem to attempt "to prove this
constructed story without proof"
- which indeed also is a contradiction.
There is a whole lot more in the article that I leave to your
interests, but this is its ending:
reporters insulate themselves from criticism by retreating into the
exclusive Establishment club they think they inhabit. It is from there
that they vicariously draw their strength from powerful people they
cover, which they should instead be scrutinizing. Validated by being
close to power, Establishment reporters don’t take seriously anyone
outside of the club, such as a website like Consortium News.
In fact, I don't think
an apology matters much, for the simple reason that all apologies in
the press seem to be made quite long after the false reporting
ceased to be relevant to politics.
But on rare occasions they are
forced to take note of what outsiders are saying. Because of the role
The New York Times played in the catastrophe of Iraq its editors took
the highly unusual move of apologizing to its readers. Will we one day
read a similar apology about the paper’s coverage of Russia-gate?
the Alternative for Germany Has Transformed the Country
This article is by Der Spiegel Staff on Spiegel
International. This is from near its beginning:
ever-present, talking -- and not to mention listening -- was also part
of the AfD strategy during federal elections last September. And it
worked. The party scored 22.1 percent of the vote here in the eastern
German state of Brandenburg, putting it only slightly behind Chancellor
Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). It's
possible that Alexander Gauland, the candidate for the Oder-Spree
electoral district, was responsible for some of that success. But what
has been decisive is the proximity to ordinary voters that the AfD has
cultivated. And it's not only here that the far-right populists are
firmly rooted, but in many other places around the country as well.
In fact, this is quoted
from two long articles - the second the sequel of the first -
on Spiegel International. I am trying to excerpt a few of the more
general parts, which I am doing because I am a European, but I
should immediately admit that there is a whole lot more in the
two articles than I quote or summarize (and quite a bit requires more
knowledge of Germany than most non-Germans will have).
With that understanding, here is some more:
Who would have
thought that a retired senior government official, a conservative
newspaper columnist and a numbers-loving economics professor would
changed the face of German politics?
Well... in general terms,
I wouldn't, but then again no one can foresee most of the
concrete events that make one's days, so I do not consider this very
And who would have thought
that the AfD of Alexander Gauland, Konrad Adam and Bernd Lucke would
become a big-tent party of its own -- at least in parts of eastern
Germany -- within just a few years? Or that it would win almost a
hundred seats in the federal parliament with its pledge to "hunt down"
Chancellor Angela Merkel? Or that its party leaders would one day march
through the streets of Chemnitz alongside far-right extremists, like
they did on Sept. 1, 2018?
What I do want to comment on is an aspect that is missing
from the article:
Brandenburg (mentioned in the previous quoted paragraph) and Chemnitz
both were part of the GDR,
that collapsed in 1990; that was ruled by
the communists since 1949; and that was - I have been there in 1964 for
five weeks, and was only not thrown out (at age 14, because of
my protests) because I had to go to the hospital - quite totalitarian.
And while I do not know how relevant this background is, I
think it should have been mentioned, if only because East Germany (the
former GDR) was totalitarian for forty more years than Western
Here is more (skipping a lot about Germany, that you can read
in the original):
I think Levitsky and
Ziblatt are right in their claim that "democracy has been undermined non-violently
through the election of anti-democratic politicians" and they would have been right if
they also claimed that in the USA, at least, that anti-democratic
process has been much strengthened by the corruption of most American
politicians (as shown very prominently by Hillary Clinton, though
is not by far the only one).
In January, Harvard
professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt published a book titled,
"How Democracies Die." In it, they write that in the decades since the
end of the Cold War, liberal systems haven't been overthrown through
force and military coups alone. More than anything else, democracy has
been undermined non-violently through the election of anti-democratic
The book was written in light
of Donald Trump's victory in the U.S., but Germany, too, seems to be on
the verge of a turning point.
Here is more on the AfD:
One could say the
AfD is a colorful party, but with a brown streak. It attracts classical
conservatives and neoliberals as well as ethnonationalist "völkisch"
ideologists, extremists and conspiracy theorists. A majority of party
members may still dream of a more moderate-conservative Alternative for
Germany, but at the fringe, especially in the east, the party is
increasingly melding with extremist elements, and this process is in
part being tolerated -- and at times promoted -- at the highest levels
of the party.
In fact - in case you did
not know - "the AfD" = the "Alternative for Germany", and I also have
pointed out above that "especially
in the east" the East-Germans
for forty more years than the West-Germans. (I take
it this makes some difference, but I do not have the
to be more specific.)
Here is the last bit that I quote from this long article:
It seems rather clear that
the AfD mirrored Trump's GOP in denying "the legitimacy of opponents" and in their "readiness to curtail civil liberties of
opponents, including the media",
both of which are quite anti-democratic. Then again, I do not
whether the AfD was inspired by Trump or the GOP.
Harvard professors Levitsky
and Ziblatt have developed a set of indicators they use to identify
parties that will run for election, but then seek to disband the
democratic order. One indicator is when a party "denies the legitimacy
of opponents," which is a clear feature of the AfD. No other party in
parliament demonizes its opponents as aggressively as the AfD. Members
of the party seem to have few inhibitions when it comes to their
outrageous statements: Angela Merkel is a "dictator" who belongs in a
"straitjacket" and wants to "swap out" the ethnic German population
Many examples can also be
found in the AfD for the second criterion set by the Harvard
researchers: A "readiness to curtail civil liberties of opponents,
including the media." AfD chair Gauland's interview with the Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung is only the most recent example here. AfD people
are also notorious for their admonitions that journalists must behave
"fairly" or risk being "dragged out into the streets" as has happened
in other "revolutions we have known."
But open incitement of
violence, the third criterion set by the Harvard researchers, is absent.
As to the so far absent "open
incitement of violence", this
will probably come when the AfD gets bigger (but buying weapons, or
wallking around with weapons, is far more difficult in Europe
than in the USA).
And these two articles are recommended, and there is a whole
in them than I have quoted.
5. Why I
join the ILP
article is by George
Orwell on The Off-Guardian, and originally in the
New Leader in 1938, and later - among other places - on the Marxists
Internet Archive. It starts as follows:
Perhaps it will be
frankest to approach it first of all from the personal angle.
I am a writer. The impulse
of every writer is to ‘keep out of politics’. What he wants is to be
left alone so that he can go on writing books in peace. But
unfortunately it is becoming obvious that this ideal is no more
practicable than that of the petty shop-keeper who hopes to preserve
his independence in the teeth of the chain-stores.
I am a fan of George
Orwell since 50 years, and I think it was a good idea of the
Off-Guardian to reproduce it, but it needs some backgrounds that I will
supply, and I start with the ILP or I.L.P. as Orwell wrote:
was a party to the left of the Labour Party, that existed from 1893
till 1975, when it rejoined the Labour Party. There is a lot
the last link.
Here is more from
Orwell on "the freedom of the Press":
To begin with, the era of
free speech is closing down. The freedom of the Press in Britain was
always something of a fake, because in the last resort, money controls
opinion; still, so long as the legal right to say what you like exists,
there are always loopholes for an unorthodox writer. For some years
past I have managed to make the Capitalist class pay me several pounds
a week for writing books against Capitalism. But I do not delude myself
that this state of affairs is going to last forever. We have seen what
happened to the freedom of the Press in Italy and Germany, and it will
happen here sooner or later. The time is coming – not next year,
perhaps not for ten or twenty years, but it is coming – when every
writer will have the choice of being silenced or of producing the dope
that a privileged minority demands.
I believe that Orwell
was quite justified to worry about "free speech" and
the "freedom of the Press", but it is also correct that
quite mistaken in his predictions that these freedoms would probably
end by 1948 or 1958.
Then again, the
Off-Guardian is correct to quote Orwell from 1938, for the simple
reason that at present at least the "freedom
of the Press" seems to be
ending, and indeed considerably more than it seems to have done in
(when no one had a personal computer, let alone a personal
that is tracked by the secret services and by big advertisers).
Here is more by Orwell:
If Fascism triumphs I am
finished as a writer – that is to say, finished in my only effective
capacity. That in itself would be a sufficient reason for joining a
I have put the personal
aspect first, but obviously it is not the only one.
I think this was quite
correct, but it should be pointed out that for Orwell this situation
got quite clear only when he had been to Spain in 1937, to fight on the
Here is more on the ILP
Yes, this certainly
Orwell's opinion, but as this point I should point out another article
that Orwell wrote, namely about what he meant by "Socialism": See Crisis:
On Socialism (in which there is more on socialism than Orwell,
Orwell's contribution is the largest).
Why the I.L.P. more than
Because the I.L.P. is the
only British party – at any rate the only one large enough to be worth
considering – which aims at anything I should regard as Socialism.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I believe the I.L.P. is the
only party which, as a party, is likely to take the right line either
against Imperialist war or against Fascism when this appears in its
British form. And meanwhile the I.L.P. is not backed by any monied
interest, and is systematically libelled from several quarters.
Obviously it needs all the help it can get, including any help I can
give it myself.
Finally, I was with the I.L.P.
contingent in Spain. I never pretended, then or since, to agree in
every detail with the policy the P.O.U.M. put forward and the I.L.P.
supported, but the general course of events has borne it out.
Yes, that was quite
in 1938, and indeed Orwell got wounded in Spain, also barely
with his wife in 1937 from Spain, while he also got finally and firmly
convinced that Socialism was possible in Spain in 1937 (as he wrote his
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 (!!).