from October 16, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
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 16, 2018:
1. Israel Is Captive to Its 'Destructive Process'
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. As the Internet Splinters, the World Suffers
3. Trump Admin Hints It May Resume Family Separation at Border
4. The Truth About the Trump Economy
5. Food, Justice, Violence and Capitalism
Is Captive to Its 'Destructive Process'
This article is by
Chris Hedges and is in fact a reposting of an article originally
published on July 14, 2014. I reviewed it then, but quite briefly. Today I´ll
pay some more attention. The article starts as follows:
Hilberg, in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European
Jews,” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively
mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal
discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was
a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,”
The Palestinians over the
past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They
have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets
including much of their land and often their homes, have suffered from
mounting restrictions on their physical movements, been blocked from
trading and business, especially the selling of produce, and found
themselves increasingly impoverished and finally trapped behind walls
and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank.
I like and admire Raul Hilberg (as
a child of two parents in the
Dutch resistance against the Nazis, with a father and a grandfather
convicted by collaborating Dutch judges to concentration camp
imprisonments as ¨political terrorists¨) but the above comparison
is only partially correct:
Over 6 million Jews
were exterminated within 8 years, many in concentration camps and
extermination camps, and while I dislike the present Israeli
goverment (and the previous one as well), they did not make themselves
guilty of ¨a similar
although I agree that the Israelis were and are wrong, immoral and
mistaken in their treatment of the Palestinians, indeed probably mostly
In fact, Chris Hedges
seems to agree with me:
There will never be
transports or extermination camps for the Palestinians, but amid
increasing violence against Palestinians larger and larger numbers of
them will die, in airstrikes, targeted assassinations and other armed
attacks. Hunger and misery will expand. Israeli demands for
“transfer”—the forced expulsion of Palestinians from occupied territory
to neighboring countries—will grow.
The Palestinians in Gaza
live in conditions that now replicate those first imposed on Jews by
the Nazis in the ghettos set up throughout Eastern Europe. Palestinians
cannot enter or leave Gaza. They are chronically short of food—the World
Health Organization estimates that more than 50 percent of children
in Gaza and the West Bank under 2 years old have iron deficiency anemia
and reports that malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 are “not
improving” and could actually be worsening. Palestinians often lack
clean water. They are crammed into unsanitary hovels. They do not have
access to basic medical care. They are stateless and lack passports or
travel documents. They live with massive unemployment. They are daily
dehumanized in racist diatribes by their occupiers as criminals,
terrorists and mortal enemies of the Jewish people.
I think the above also
is (or was in 2014 - and matters may now be worse and are quite
unlikely to be better) correct - and people who do not
know should realize that the state Israel was in fact
founded by taking the country in 1948 from the Palestinians who
had lived there for centuries.
Here is something on
the racism of the Israelis:
The belief that a race or
class is contaminated is used by ruling elites to justify quarantining
the people of that group. But quarantine is only the first step. The
despised group can never be redeemed or cured—Hannah Arendt
noted that all racists see such contamination as something that can
never be eradicated. The fear of the other is stoked by racist leaders
such as Netanyahu to create a permanent instability.
I think that is mostly
correct, though indeed I should add that neither all Israelis nor
all religious Israelis are racists. (But no, I dislike all religion and the
Jewish religion is no exception.)
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Leibowitz was a very intelligent man, and an
orthodox Jew, and indeed he wrote the above. This is a recommended
The late Yeshayahu
Leibowitz, one of Israel’s most brilliant scholars, warned that,
followed to its logical conclusion, the occupation of the Palestinians
would mean “concentration camps would be erected by the Israeli rulers”
and “Israel would not deserve to exist, and it will not be worthwhile
to preserve it.” He feared the ascendancy of right-wing, religious
Jewish nationalists and warned that “religious nationalism is to
religion what National Socialism was to socialism.”
the Internet Splinters, the World Suffers
This article is by
The Editorial Board of The New York Times. It starts as follows:
September, Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive and Alphabet
chairman, said that in the next 10 to 15 years, the internet would most
likely be split in two — one internet led by China and one internet led
by the United States.
Schmidt, speaking at a
private event hosted by a venture capital firm, did not seem to
seriously entertain the possibility that the internet would remain
global. He’s correct to rule out that possibility — if anything, the
flaw in Mr. Schmidt’s thinking is that he too quickly dismisses the
European internet that is coalescing around the European Union’s
ever-heightening regulation of technology platforms. All signs point to
a future with three internets.
received wisdom was once that a unified, unbounded web promoted
democracy through the free flow of information. Things don’t seem quite
so simple anymore. China’s tight control of the internet within its
borders continues to tamp down talk of
democracy, and an increasingly sophisticated system of digital
surveillance plays a major role in human rights abuses, such as the persecution of the Uighurs. We’ve also seen the dark side
to connecting people to one another — as illustrated by how
misinformation on social media played a significant role in the violence in Myanmar.
Well... this requires two remarks, that have to remain
First, I recommended an alternative internet around 10
or more years ago, except that I had different principles than
Eric Schmidt: What I wanted (i) had a different front from ¨www.¨ such
as ¨wwf.¨ or something simillar; (ii) that was explicitly ONLY
for people and groups who did not want to make any profit that
way; and (iii) removed all who tried to make a profit by way of
the new internet.
I do not know whether anyone picked that up. In fact, I
also wonder whether Schmidt ever contemplated an internet with a
different prefix than ¨www.¨ and indeed what he means in the quotation
by ¨different internets¨ is something quite different - except
that it seems to imply that, in Schmidt´s opinion, the internet as
was advertised from 1996 till 2001 (roughly: ¨a unified, unbounded web [that] promoted
democracy through the free flow of information¨) seems to be quite dead. (And in fact I think
that was a delusion
from the start.)
Second, I think that the basic
problems with the internet-as-is are far more serious than this
Editorial says or indicates:
I think the two basic problems are that the
internet-as-is (1) seems essentially an enormous extension for
the governmental spies that form ¨the security forces¨ in every state:
By now (and since 2001) the internet´s ¨security forces¨ of every
state can, in principle, follow everyone with an internet computer,
and get everything he or she does with an internet computer, which
also means that everyone can be checked (far
more thoroughly than the KGB ever could
do) in everything he does, or says or writes, while also (2) it
gives essentially the same opportunities to any corporation large
enough to pay for it, such as Google and Facebook: These too can
follow everything anyone does on the internet, and do so, to sell the
results to advertisers.
For me, this means that the internet essentially
functions as an arm of the governmental spies everywhere and as
an arm of the rich corporations, and is little else besides - and
certainly NOT ¨a unified, unbounded web [that] promote[s]
democracy through the free flow of information¨, but rather its opposite
(which it also was designed as): the internet promotes full control
of everyone with an internet computer by stealing all private
information from everyone with an internet computer.
Back to the article and to Google:
2010, Google shut down its operations in China after it was revealed
that the Chinese government had been hacking the Gmail accounts of
dissidents and surveilling them through the search engine. “At some
point you have to stand back and challenge this and say, this goes
beyond the line of what we’re comfortable with, and adopt that for
moral reasons,” said Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, in an interview with Der
Spiegel at the time.
eight years later, Google is working on a search engine for
China known as Dragonfly. Its launch will be conditional on the
approval of Chinese officials and will therefore comply with stringent
censorship requirements. An internal memo
written by one of the
engineers on the project described surveillance capabilities built into
the engine — namely by requiring users to log in and then tracking
their browsing histories. This data will be accessible by an unnamed
Chinese partner, presumably the government.
Well... it seems to me as if Sergey Brin´s moral
principles melted away as his billions (Brin is a billionaire)
increased, and by now he is willing to spy on over a billion of Chinese
(and help betray everyone with opinions the Chinese government
Here is the conclusion of this article:
things continue along this path, the next decade may see the internet
relegated to little more than just another front on the new cold war.
No, I don´t think so - see above
for what I think.
Admin Hints It May Resume Family Separation at Border
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
administration is reportedly considering plans to resume its policy of
forcibly separating migrant children from their families along the
U.S.-Mexico border, even as the full number of people torn apart the
last time it carried out the widely condemned practice remains unclear.
A new report by Amnesty International suggests immigration officials
separated some 6,000 families between April and August, a far higher
number of children and parents torn apart than previously thought.
Trump administration officials are now considering plans to detain
asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days and then force
parents to choose either to stay detained together for months or years
while their immigration case proceeds or to allow their children to be
taken to a government shelter where their relatives or others can seek
custody. We speak with Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. He is the lead
lawyer on the ACLU’s national challenge to the Trump administration’s
family separation practice.
I say, which I do because
what Trump´s goverbment seeks to do seems illegal (and immoral
and cruel) to me, and because I did not know this.
Here is more on Trump´s plans:
administration officials are now considering plans to detain
asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days, then force parents
to choose to either stay detained together for months or years while
their immigration case proceeds or allow their children to be taken to
a government shelter, where their relatives or others can seek custody.
This comes as an Associated
has revealed parents who were deported from the U.S. after being
separated from their children may lose their children to adoption
without their knowledge. The AP found holes in the system that allow
for state judges to put children of deported Central American
immigrants in the custody of U.S. families without notifying the
So asylum-seekers are to
locked up with their children for years or else have their
adopted by others, without their knowledge.
Here is more:
GOODMAN: And now the
president, once again, even with hundreds of children still separated
from their parents, saying that they’re going to separate them again.
GELERNT: Yeah, it’s
remarkable. I mean, anybody who was opposed to it, hopefully, spoke out
at the time. I mean, people need to speak out in real time and stop it,
not after the fact. I cannot believe that the administration is
thinking about going back to this. This is the only place the
administration has ever pulled back, and that’s because of the public
outcry. I’m urging the public to have that same outcry if they try it
again. That’s what’s critical. The ACLU will
be in court, but the public outcry is critical.
Well... I agree with
Gelernt, except - perhaps - that I can ¨believe that the administration is thinking
about going back to this¨.
Here are both speakers
Yes, I agree and this is a strongly recommended
GOODMAN: Who would force
the administration to engage in lawful activity? Who can do that?
GELERNT: Well, I think
it’s going to have to be the courts. But I think, like all big civil
rights cases, it has to have that public outcry around it. There has to
be this atmosphere. And I think what you saw in the summer is the
public pushing back, not just liberals and Democrats, but conservatives
and Republicans, saying, “Look, in the United States, we just don’t do
this to children.” If the administration is going to do it again, we
have to see that public outcry again. We have to.
4. The Truth About the
This article is by Robert Reich
on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed, and in fact I
guess it is a relatively fair estimate to say that about 10 percent
the Americans profited financially from the ¨economic boom¨ that Kudlow
was speaking about, and the remaining 90% did not.
I keep hearing that
although Trump is a scoundrel or worse, at least he’s presiding over a
As White House economic
adviser Larry Kudlow recently put it, “The
single biggest story this year is an economic boom that is durable and
Really? Look closely at the
living standards of most Americans, and you get a
very different picture.
Yes, the stock market has
boomed since Trump became president. But it’s
looking increasingly wobbly as Trump’s trade wars take a toll.
Over 80 percent of the stock
market is owned by the richest 10 percent
of Americans anyway, so most Americans never got much out of Trump’s
to begin with.
Here is more on the American economy:
What about economic growth?
Data from the Commerce Department shows
the economy at full speed, 4.2 percent growth for the second quarter.
But very little of that
growth is trickling down to average Americans.
Adjusted for inflation, hourly wages aren’t much higher now than they
forty years ago.
Trump slashed taxes on the
wealthy and promised everyone else a $4,000
wage boost. But the boost never happened. That’s a big reason why
aren’t campaigning on their tax cut, which is just about their only
Quite so - and I can extend
my previous remarks by adding that the 90% who did not profit from
Kudlow´s boom also did not make any
realistic economic advance in the last 40
years or so (a few excepted).
Here is more on the
wage and unemployment:
Trump and congressional
Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 an hour.
Trump’s Labor Department is also repealing a
rule that increased the number of workers entitled to time-and-a-half
Yes, unemployment is down
to 3.7 percent. But jobs are less secure than
ever. Contract workers – who aren’t eligible for family or medical
unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, or worker’s compensation –
are now doing one out of every five jobs in America.
Quite so. Here is more on
American health care:
Healthcare costs continues
to rise faster than inflation. Trump’s response?
Undermine the Affordable Care Act. Over the past two years, some 4
people have lost healthcare coverage, according to a survey by the
Pharmaceutical costs are
of control. Trump’s response? Allow the biggest pharmacist, CVS, to
the one of the biggest health insurers, Aetna – creating a behemoth
power to raise prices even further.
Here is Reich´s
Too often, discussions
about “the economy” focus on overall statistics
about growth, the stock market, and unemployment.
But most Americans don’t
live in that economy. They live in a personal
economy that has more to do with wages, job security, commutes to and
work, and the costs of housing, healthcare, drugs, education, and home
These are the things that
hit closest home. They comprise the typical
American’s standard of living.
Instead of an “economic
boom,” most Americans are experiencing declines
in all these dimensions of their lives.
I quite agree and add
that - to the best of my knowledge - ¨most Americans¨ approximates
90% that were not rich enough to profit
from Trump´s changes, and this
has been so (roughly) for the last 40 years. This is a strongly
Justice, Violence and Capitalism
is by Colin Todhunter on The Off-Guardian. This is from near its
similar practices and injustices is happening across the world. And for
their efforts, campaigners are being abused, incarcerated and murdered.
Whether people are campaigning for the land rights of tribal
communities in India or for the rights of peasant farmers in Latin
America or are campaigning against the fracking industry in the UK or
against pipelines in the US, there is a common thread: non-violent
protest to help bring about a more just and environmentally sustainable
What is ultimately fuelling
the push towards the relentless plunder of land, peoples and the
environment is a strident globalised capitalism, euphemistically termed
‘globalisation’, which is underpinned by increasing state surveillance,
paramilitary-type law enforcement and a US-backed push towards
I more or less agree,
but like to point out that ¨globalisation¨ seems to me to be a propaganda term
for what was in fact mostly reached by deregulation, i.e. the
withdrawal of laws that protected the non-rich.
Here is some more:
The deregulation of
international capital movement (financial liberalisation) effectively
turned the world into a free-for-all for global capital. The ramping up
of this militarism comes at the back end of a
deregulating/pro-privatising neoliberal agenda that has sacked public
budgets, depressed wages, expanded credit to consumers and to
governments (to sustain spending and consumption) and unbridled
I agree. The article ends as
Well... yes, but as stated
this is at best a hope and not a fact.
There is an emerging unity
of purpose within the food movement and the embracing of a vision for a
better, more just food system that can only deliver genuine solutions
by challenging and replacing capitalism and its international relations
of production and consumption.