from October 7, 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 October 7, 2018:
1. Kavanaugh Confirmation Followed Immediately by This Call:
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. ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ Aims Straight for Trumpism’s Dark,
3. Amazon’s Minimum Wage Hike Is Not What It Seems
5. Breaking with Wall Street: Los Angeles Puts It to the Voters
Confirmation Followed Immediately by This Call: 'Impeach Kavanaugh'
This article is by
John Queally on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
While throngs of protesters
on the steps of the Capitol Building continued to demonstrate to the
bitter end and shouts of "Shame
on You!" from the gallery inside the Senate chamber as the vote
proceeded, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as the
next associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon.
But in the immediate wake
of his 50-48 approval—among the closest in U.S. history and along
nearly strict partisan lines—his opponents immediately responded not
with grumblings of defeat, but with promises to oust from office those
who voted "yes" while also vowing to pursue the very serious
allegations levied against Kavanaugh and raising the real possibility
of impeachment proceedings for his lying to lawmakers during his
Yes indeed. And I had
the choice of quite a few articles that brought the news that rapist
Kavanaugh has reached the Supreme Court, but chose this one especially
because I agree with its second paragraph, even though I think
rather unlikely in the present circumstances.
But I have seen and
read the rapist Kavanaugh; I have seen that ¨the investigation¨ against
him was an utter fraud; and I do not want him on the
Here is some more on
the second paragraph I just quoted:
"Brett Kavanaugh may have
just been confirmed to the Supreme Court, but the grassroots movement
that came together to oppose him will only continue to grow," declared
Heidi Hess, co-director of the progressive group CREDO Action,
immediately after the vote. "Eventually, when the dust settles and the
right-wing fever that has overtaken Congress breaks, Kavanaugh will be
impeached for lying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee, or
for other criminal acts."
speaking, yes and no, and first my no:
I do not think
that ¨the grassroots
movement that came together to oppose him will only continue to grow¨ for the simple reason that there
recently was a large amount of journalistic writing on
everywhere, but that amount of journalistic writing from now on will be
a whole lot less - and besides, the ends of the
require that Congress is taken by a majority of Democrats in November,
which is not certain at all.
And then my yes, and
for that I can simply repeat what I said above, with an addition:
I have seen and read
Kavanaugh; I have seen that ¨the investigation¨ against him was an
utter fraud; and I do not want him on the Supreme Court.
Period. He is
My addition is that I
strongly agree with the 2400+ law professors who signed
a letter that
states that they oppose Kavanaugh´s nomination, especially because of
his extremely impolite and gross treatment of his Democratic
questioners: A man like that should not
be a judge, let alone be
admitted to the Supreme Court.
Here is more from the
The progressive advocacy
group Roots Action agreed, calling impeachment the only constitutional
remedy for the devastating confirmation that has outraged millions
nationwide. "The House of Representatives has impeached 15 judges,
including one on the Supreme Court," the group declared in a email to
supporters. "Now, we must demand that the House provide what hasn't yet
happened — a full investigation of Kavanaugh's record, which includes
perjury on numerous topics."
Well, yes - but this
really depends on the House being retaken by the Democrats in November,
and is senseless without that.
Here is some more on an
impeachment of Kavanaugh (that I am for, in principle, in the
end because I think he is much too light as a member of the Supreme
Court, and because he has not
been cleared of trying to rape
Ford at all):
Yes and no, again: Yes,
this is possible if and only if the Democrats take the House in
November and no, I do not believe in any ¨experts¨ on the coming
election. And this is a recommended article.
How could the impeachment
proceed? According to Roots Action:
Many experts are saying
that Republicans will likely lose control of the House in early January
— setting the stage for House hearings to properly expose the facts,
propel impeachment and force the Senate to convene a trial that could
remove Kavanaugh from office.
An uphill climb? Sure.
But imperative. And that’s all the more reason to launch a strong
campaign for impeaching Kavanaugh.
As Common Dreams reported
earlier on Saturday, some political strategists are saying now is the
opportunity for Democrats to conduct for themselves the investigation
that the White House and the GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary refused to
conduct. Such an investigation could include public hearing in which
witnesses could testify publicly and the pertinent facts excluded from
the FBI's probe last week could also be presented to the public in a
methodical and transparent fashion.
11/9’ Aims Straight for Trumpism’s Dark, Neoliberal Heart
This article is
by Ben Norton on Truthdig. This is from near its beginning:
In fact, this is another
review of “Fahrenheit 11/9” (which I did
review before here) but I like
Michael Moore and I also think this is a better review than the
“Fahrenheit 11/9” is
anything but a superficial tale of a brainless and ineffectual orange
marionette catering to the whims of a dastardly Russian bogeyman—that
is to say, how MSNBC would have us see Donald Trump. On the contrary,
this film is precisely what is needed: an enlightening and entertaining
cinematic diagnosis of the rapid decay of the United States of America
in the age of Trumpism, delivered from an uncompromising left-wing
perspective, one that is willing to tear down liberal idols when
I would highly recommend the
documentary, especially for those who live outside the U.S. and want to
get a crash course on the trials and tribulations that have rocked this
country in recent years.
Here is some more:
The movie also highlights
the actual, real resistance to this systemic crisis—from wildcat
teacher strikes spreading across the South, to a new wave of openly
socialist people organizing the grassroots and running for office, to
the resistance of indigenous peoples at Standing Rock.
11/9” correctly—and terrifyingly—details the very serious threat
that Trump and Trumpism pose to all of us. Crucially, it goes much
The documentary explores
precisely who and what is responsible for giving birth to the monstrous
far-right Donald Trump regime—and over a period of decades, not just a
year or two.
While it is clear that
Moore is a Democratic partisan, he is far from a party hack. His film
rightly characterizes the Democrats as neoliberal centrists who lose
because they are always willing to compromise and never willing to
Yes, although I have
two pieces of criticism:
First - and this is not
a criticism of Moore - I think it is impossible to explore ¨precisely¨
the backgrounds of Trump in an ordinary film, simply because
to written criticism this is not possible.
And second, I have been
following especially American politics closely for over 5 years
in more than 2000 articles in Nederlog,
and I think that the main reason that so many Democrats turn out to be
¨neoliberal centrists¨ is that they are bought.
(And no, I have
no perfect proof, but this seems a good reason, that also will strongly
tend to remain secret.)
Here is more:
Yes, I completely
with the above assessments. Here is more:
The documentary is
extremely critical of Barack Obama for his objectively right-wing
policies (Obama’s shameful betrayal
of Flint looms large), and Moore correctly identifies the Wall
Street-funded ex-president as a facilitator of the
Trumpification of America.
Likewise, Moore even more
explicitly condemns the Clintons as the figures who paved the gilded
path to Trumpism. The movie chronicles Bill Clinton’s wholehearted
embrace of neoliberalism, from his cultivation of mass
incarceration and the prison-industrial complex to his
“Fahrenheit 11/9” also
astutely identifies how the corporate media pilloried Sanders, and
really anyone to the left of Ronald Reagan, while preaching centrist
piffle and extolling the virtues of the all-knowing Free Market. The
film singles out the U.S. newspaper of record, The New York Times, as
the Voice of Conventional Wisdom that just so happens to support every
corporate bailout and “sell” every war while relentlessly demonizing
Sanders and the broader left.
And then there is the
corporate media’s profligate promotion of Trump. Disgraced CBS CEO
Les Moonves really summed it all up when he proclaimed that Trump’s
far-right campaign “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for
CBS. … The money’s rolling in, and this is fun!”
I think this is also mostly
correct. There is also some - mostly justified - criticism of Moore in
the article, but I leave that to your own interests:
Here is the ending:
I think this is a bit strong,
but OK. Also, while I agree with ¨the
cancerous growth of neofascism¨ I
should add that in 5 years of reading of 35 files a day, I still
to find the first definition of neofascism
that makes any sense, other
than my own, that is here, and
that is justified in my On Fascism and
Neofascism: Definitions that I can
The film is an even-handed
and entertaining dive into the sinister bowels of American politics at
a time of unprecedented crisis, confusion and imperial decline. It will
make you angry; it will horrify you; it might even bring you to tears.
And most importantly, it will inspire you to act, to try to stop the
cancerous growth of neofascism before it is too late.
Minimum Wage Hike Is Not What It Seems
This article is by
Nicole Karlis on AlterNet and originally on Salon. This is from near
When Amazon announced on
Tuesday it was raising the minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $15
an hour, effective next month, many saw it as a huge victory for
progressives and labor advocates — and Amazon's response to the
"Today I want to give
credit where credit is due," Sanders said in a statement. "What Mr. Bezos has done today is not
only enormously important for Amazon's hundreds of thousands of
employees, it could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard
around the world. Further, Mr. Bezos has indicated his support to raise
the federal minimum wage. As the author of the $15 per hour minimum
wage bill in the Senate, I look forward to working with him in this
area,” he added.”
Yes, indeed - but it
seems as if Jeff Bezos (who ¨earned¨ more than $155 billion dollars
exploiting Amazon and its workers) has given with the left hand,
he was taking with his right hand:
Precisely. And many
complained that there payments will get less rather than more.
more in the article, and there probably will be more in Nederlog later.
Yet not too longer after
Bezos's announcement, some Amazon warehouse workers began to allege
that Amazon's minimum wage hike was little more than a publicity
stunt. Multiple workers note that simultaneous to the minimum wage
increase, the company dropped its bonus and stock incentives
programs that were meant to award senior workers.
“It's a joke,” Amazon
warehouse employee Vickie Shannon Allen told NBC News. “We get no more bonuses for not
missing any work.”
4. Containing the
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Anyone still unsure of how
(or even whether) they’ll vote in the midterms should consider this:
All three branches of government are now under the control of one
party, and that party is under the control of Donald J. Trump.
With the addition of
Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is as firmly Republican as are the House
Kavanaugh was revealed as a
fierce partisan – not only the legal advisor who helped Kenneth Starr
prosecute Bill Clinton and almost certainly guided George W. Bush’s use
of torture, but also a nominee who believes “leftists” and Clinton
sympathizers were out to get him.
In fact, I thought the
videos of Kavanaugh´s hearing gross, because of Kavanaugh´s
immoral behavior. The videos are - i.a. - here and are strongly
recommended if you have not seen them yet: Brett Kavanaugh:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Here is more:
Even under normal
circumstances, when all three branches are under the control of the
same party we get a lopsided government that doesn’t respond to the
values of a large portion of the electorate.
But these are not normal
circumstances. Donald Trump is President.
Need I remind you? Trump is
a demagogue who doesn’t give a fig for democracy – who continuously and
viciously attacks the free press, Democrats, immigrants, Muslims, black
athletes exercising First Amendment rights, women claiming sexual
harassment, anyone who criticizes or counters him; who treats the
executive branch, including the Justice Department, like his own
fiefdom, and brazenly profits off his office; who tells lies like other
people breathe; and who might well have conspired with Vladimir Putin
to swing the election his way.
I mostly (but not
completely) agree. Here is more:
All this would be bad
enough even if the two other branches of government behaved as the
framers of the Constitution expected, as checks and balances on a
president. But under Republican leadership, they refuse to play this
role when it comes to Trump.
House and Senate
Republicans have morphed into Trump sycophants and toadies –
intimidated, spineless, opportunistic. The few who have dared call him
on his outrages aren’t running for reelection.
I agree. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
Now that Kavanaugh is on
the Supreme Court, you can forget about the Court constraining Trump,
Kavanaugh’s views of
presidential power and executive privilege are so expansive he’d likely
allow Trump to fire Mueller, shield himself from criminal prosecution,
and even pardon himself. Kavanaugh’s Republican brethren on the Court
would probably go along.
So how are the
constitutional imperative of checks and balances to be salvaged,
especially when they’re so urgently needed?
The only remedy is for
voters to flip the House or Senate, or ideally both, on November 6th.
Yes, I suppose that is all
correct. And if neither the House nor the Senate gets flipped
November, the USA is in very deep trouble.