from October 27, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
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 27, 2018:
1. From Caravans to Cages: Why Trump Bashes Migrants
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. Most Americans See Sharply Divided Nation, Poll Finds
3. Texas Voters Complaining That Machines Keep Changing Their
4. 'Un-American': 200 Veteran Journalists Accuse Trump of
5. Civilized Societies Don’t Call It Censorship, but Copyright
Caravans to Cages: Why Trump Bashes Migrants
This article is by
Mehdi Hassan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
media’s to be believed, the United States is about to be overrun
by a horde of terrorists and criminals from Central America.
And it’s not just Fox News or Breitbart that are partaking in
this narrative; ABC News calls it the “caravan crisis” and the
Associated Press ran a piece headlined, “A ragged, growing army of
migrants resumes march toward US.” Contrary to Donald Trump’s claims
and mainstream reporting, the migrants on this “caravan” are innocent
men, women, and children; unarmed people; the most vulnerable of the
vulnerable; people fleeing violence, persecution, and extreme poverty.
To follow Trump’s lead and present these people as an “assault” on
America, is irresponsible, dishonest, alarmist, and racist — and it’s a
distraction from what has really been an immigration crisis at the
border: the so-called “separation” of migrant children from their
parents by the Trump administration.
Yes, quite so, except
for ¨the so-called
“separation” of migrant children from their parents by the Trump
administration¨: I am
sorry, but this was (and is) kidnapping,
as also shown by the Wikipedia´s definition:
law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person
against their will. Thus, it is a composite crime. It can also be
defined as false imprisonment by means of abduction, both of which are
separate crimes that when committed simultaneously upon the same person
merge as the single crime of kidnapping.
I also wrote so
immediately after I had first heard about it; I am legally
correct - but I
have still to see the first
journalist who agrees with
Also, while this is a good article on the kidnapping, the racism and
the lying Trump and his government indulge in, it is far too long
to excerpt somewhat decently, so what you will get in this review are
some selections from its beginning.
Here is the first:
Hasan: I’m Mehdi Hasan. Welcome to Deconstructed. Another
week, another so-called immigration crisis. The midterms are around the
corner and the racists and nativists are out in force. I’ll speak to
the legendary Mexican-American journalist and Trump’s bęte noire, Jorge
Ramos: I’ve been in this country for 35 years and I’ve never
seen anything like this. We are normalizing racism. We are normalizing
right, I think. Here is more:
the media’s to be believed, the United States is about to be overrun by
hordes of terrorists and criminals from Central America. And we’re not
just talking about Fox News or Breitbart. We’re talking mainstream
media organizations. ABC News calls it the ‘caravan crisis’. The
Associated Press, yeah AP, ran a piece headlined: “A ragged, growing
army of migrants resumes march toward US”.
seriously? An army marching towards the US? What, to invade and occupy
this poor, weak, defenseless, borderless country? Come on! This is a
quote ‘caravan’ of innocent men, women and children, unarmed people,
the most vulnerable of the vulnerable: refugees, asylum-seekers, people
fleeing violence and persecution, and yes, extreme poverty too.
They come from
countries, by the way, like Honduras, which the US helped destabilize
in the first place by backing violent coups and turning a blind eye to
state-sponsored violence and persecution. To follow Donald Trump’s lead
and present these people as an “assault” on America, is irresponsible,
dishonest, alarmist and racist. Even if all 7,000 people make it across
the border, into the US and claim asylum, which is highly unlikely,
that would only represent around 1% of all US asylum claims. 1%.
so. Besides, the USA had slightly over 325 million inhabitants in
and 325 million divided by 7000 equals 0.000021538 i.e. 1 refugee per
Here is more:
And yet two
weeks away from the midterms, Trump and his racist cronies have
succeeded in getting the “liberal media” to focus on this mythical
threat from central America rather than, I don’t know, their ongoing
attacks on healthcare and Medicaid, their regressive tax cuts, Trump’s
own history of tax fraud, the murder cover-up in Saudi Arabia, the
Russia investigation and of course the guy accused of sexual assault
that they forced through onto the Supreme Court.
But this is why
Trump won. Seriously. This is why Trump won. At every turn, at every
juncture, in his journey to the Oval Office, and since he arrived in
that office, a mainstream media that supposedly hates him, and that he
supposedly hates, wittingly or unwittingly has helped him, boosted his
message, echoed his lies, reinforced his racism, danced to his white
and no. I more or less agree with the first quoted paragraph, but the
second paragraph seems mostly mistaken to me:
not win the elections because the ¨mainstream media¨ ¨wittingly
or unwittingly has helped him¨,
although this plays a role as well, but because most of the
readers of the mainstream media (aka corporatist media) and also of
Facebook simply are not intelligent
enough or do
not know enough to
read these media critically.
Here is the
last bit that I´ll quote from this article:
Yes, and as I said in the
beginning of this review, this article is too long to properly excerpt,
and all I have quoted is from its beginning. Then again, the article is
Then there are
the unaccompanied kids, who came to the US alone – there are more than
12,000 of them now being held in detention – 12,000! – that’s more than
five times the number that were in custody 18 months ago and a record
high. It’s barbaric. It’s a moral disgrace. It’s a crime. And it should
be — in a normal world, it would be — a political catastrophe for the
president that caused it.
Americans See Sharply Divided Nation, Poll Finds
This article is by
Juana Summers on Truthdig and originally on The Associated Press. It
starts as follows:
With just two weeks
to go until the critical midterm elections, an overwhelming majority of
Americans say the United States is greatly divided, according to an
Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Few
Americans believe those stark divisions will get better anytime soon.
The newly released survey
found that more than 8 in 10 Americans think the country is greatly
divided about important values. Just 20 percent of Americans say they
think the country will become less divided over the next few years, and
39 percent think things will get worse. A strong majority of Americans,
77 percent, say they are dissatisfied with the state of politics in the
The poll was conducted Oct.
11-14 in the final sprint to the midterm elections, in which President
Donald Trump has been rallying his supporters to turn out to vote in
November. Overall, 59 percent of Americans disapprove of how Trump, a
Republican, is handling his job as president, while 40 percent of
I did not know
and while I do not strongly believe in either polls or
mostly because these tend to simplify matters unduly (as George Orwell
also thought), the quoted statistics are fairly clear.
Here is more:
How Americans view Trump
divides along partisan lines, according to the poll. While 83 percent
of Republicans approve of how Trump is handling his job, 92 percent of
Democrats and 61 percent of independents say they do not approve.
According to the poll,
nearly half of Americans say they aren’t hearing enough from campaigns
about the issues that matter most to them. Fifty-four percent of
Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans say they are hearing too little
about key issues.
Overall, top issues for
Americans include health care, education, economic growth, Social
Security and crime, each of which was called very important by at least
three-quarters of Americans.
I did not know
either, and I want to make a comment on ¨nearly half of Americans say they aren’t
hearing enough from campaigns about the issues that matter most to them¨: Quite possibly so, but why are
so blind if you have internet (which so far is more or less
but may stop working except for the rich,
at least in Europe, starting
in 2019: see item 5)?!
It may take a little
trouble, but so far I have been somewhat decently informed the last
years of having fast internet, and I did so mostly by selecting 35
sites from several hundreds that were available to me, and I
fail to see why intelligent and informed Americans could not do the
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Well, OK... the split in
American opinions does seem to follow mostly the differences
the Democrats and the Republicans. Then again, that split seems to me
to be mostly forced by the fact that there are just two parties
USA from which a president may be elected. Anyway... this is a
Majorities of Americans
also say that they are dissatisfied with the gap between the rich and
the poor, race relations and environmental conditions. But there are
partisan splits. Eighty-three percent of Democrats are dissatisfied
with the gap between the wealthy and the poor, compared with 43 percent
of Republicans. Of environmental conditions, 75 percent of Democrats
and 32 percent of Republicans say they are dissatisfied. And while 77
percent of Democrats say they’re dissatisfied with race relations,
about 50 percent of Republicans say the same.
Voters Complaining That Machines Keep Changing Their Senate Vote
is by Matthew Chapman on AlterNet. This starts as follows:
On Friday, the Houston
that several voters in Texas were having technical difficulties with
ballots on their electronic voting machines.
Specificially, when some
voters tried to use the "straight-ticket" party option, which allows
them to automatically fill in every partisan office with the Democratic
or Republican candidate, they reported that not all of their votes were
tallied correctly. In particular, some Democrats complained that when
they looked over their ballot, they noticed that the spot for U.S.
Senate was either blank, or had selected Sen. Ted Cruz instead of El
Paso Rep. Beto O'Rourke (..)
I say. And - if you were
willing to argue with me - I agree that ¨several voters¨ is not
but then again (i) I have several times since 2016 reviewed
that insisted, for various reasons, that voting is made much more
difficult in the USA, and articles that (ii) assert that many
machines that are used in the USA are easily hackable.
For more on this see Greg Palast. Here
I continue with this article:
offending machines, which have generated complaints in Fort Bend,
Harris, Montgomery, and Tarrant Counties, are nearly a decade old,
having first been certified in 2009, and are in use in 82 of Texas' 254
counties. State and county officials assert that the switched or blank
votes are a known software glitch caused by human error, and say that
upgrading the machines — which would cost $50 million in Houston,
Dallas, and Fort Worth alone — is not feasible.
spot the error can correct it — the machines will display a list of all
final selections before the voter casts the ballot. But voters should
be careful to double-check, as it would be easy to miss the swapped
vote before hitting the button.
I am inclined to strongly doubt a real interest in a real
the part of ¨[s]tate and
county officials¨ who agree
this is due to ¨a known
software glitch¨ but who
claim this cannot be repaired, but that may be just me.
again, this also is a much wider problem:
not alone in this problem. On Tuesday, the NAACP filed a complaint
in Georgia alleging that voters trying to cast a ballot for Democratic
gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams were instead getting recorded for
Republican Brian Kemp, who also happens to be the Georgia secretary of
state overseeing the election.
Electronic voting machines are
coming under increased scrutiny as the aging technology exhibits not
just software glitches but vulnerabilities
so. Anyway... this is a recommended article, that may become
prominent if Trump wins the 2018 elections as well.
200 Veteran Journalists Accuse Trump of Violating the Constitution
is by Julia Conley on AlterNet and originally on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
More than 200 veteran
journalists have signed a letter demanding that President Donald Trump
end his repeated attacks on the news media in light of the attempted
bombing at CNN's New York offices, calling his open
support for violence against reporters and media outlets
"unconstitutional, un-American, and utterly unlawful."
"Trump's condoning of
political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free
press—which includes labeling any reportage he doesn't like as 'fake
news' and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to
punish from press briefings and events," wrote the journalists, many of
whom are retired after working for media outlets including ABC
News, CNN, and CBC.
I say, because I did
not know this and because I think this is rather
important, in part
also because the more than 200 veteran journalists also support the
PEN´s lawsuit against Donald Trump, that I reviewed here.
Here is the letter
that more than
200 veteran journalists signed (in italics, although my eyes don´t like
that, because it is put in italics in the original):
On the heels of the
recent brutal murder of a The Washington Post journalist Jamal
Khashoggi, President Donald Trump chose to celebrate the assault of The
Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by an American congressman—an attack that
occurred while the journalist was simply doing his job, posing
questions to a politician.
Greg Gianforte (R) bodyslammed Jacobs, knocking him to the ground and
beating him severely enough to send him to the hospital. Although
Gianforte pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault and was fined, the
President of the United States praised this violent behavior at a Trump
rally in Missoula, Montana, on October 18.
Trump’s condoning of
political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free
press—which includes labeling any reportage he doesn’t like as “fake
news” and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to
punish from press briefings and events.
One of the pillars of a
free and open democracy is a vibrant free press.
At his inauguration the
President of the United States swears to protect the U.S. Constitution,
including the First Amendment.
This President is
utterly failing to do so and actively working not simply to undermine
the press, but to incite violence against it as well.
In a lawsuit filed by
PEN, the writer’s organization, against Donald Trump, they charge him
with violating the First Amendment. We, the undersigned, past and
present members of the Fourth Estate, support this action.
We denounce Donald
Trump's behavior as unconstitutional, un-American and utterly unlawful
and unseemly for the President of the United States and leader of the
I completely agree
above quotation, and refer you once again to PEN´s lawsuit. And this is a strongly
Societies Don’t Call It Censorship, but Copyright
is by Xnet on Naked Capitalism and originally on openDemocracy. It has
a brief introduction by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism, with which I
start this review:
The US press has
only given at best cursory coverage of the proposed European Copyright
Directive, which would make it impossible for any posts with links in
them, particularly ones like Links and Water Cooler, to be served to
readers in Europe without the publisher being obligated to pay the
content owner. In practice, a judgment against a business that did not
have any business presence of assets in the EU would not be
enforceable, but a likely outcome of this Copyright Directive becoming
effective would be that sites like ours would be barred on European
This article provides a
fine layperson-friendly explanation of how the European Copyright
Directive would work and why it is such a threat to freedom of
Yes, I think that is
correct, and it also tells me a bit more than I thought I knew, namely
that ¨a judgment against a
business that did not have any business presence of assets in the EU
would not be enforceable¨.
I have no
assets¨ whatever, but it seems, nevertheless, as if my
Nederlog as I
have been writing it for ten years may be forbidden next year,
I cannot and will not pay those whom I quote.
Here is more by Xnet:
approval in the European Parliament of the final text of the Copyright
Directive, which will be definitely put to the vote in a very few
months’, the European Union has lost a historic opportunity to produce
copyright legislation adapted for the Internet in the twenty-first
century. What the European Parliament will finally vote on is a
technophobic text, tailor-made for the interests of the copyright
monopolies which, moreover, doesn’t guarantee the right of authors to
have a reasonable standard of living as a result of their work.
If the law
is eventually passed, it will be used for wholesale curtailment of
freedoms and more censorship, in keeping with the bizarre idea that
anything that doesn’t produce hard cash for the major players–
which doesn’t mean authors! – has to be prohibited and
three comments on the above bit:
I´d say myself that this new European law is not ¨a technophobic text¨ precisely because
it is ¨tailor-made for the
interests of the copyright monopolies¨, but this may be a matter of style.
I like to quote what I remember of something the late Dutch author Hugo Brandt
Corstius wrote in the 1960ies, which he then put as a question (and
I don´t know whether this is quite exact):
you know what would cost you a million dollars yesterday, 25 cents
today and nothing tomorrow? The daily paper.
was quite true in the 1960ies, and remained true until the
2000s. It is
also what I base my Nederlog on, for the simple reasons that
(i) I know
that very few articles that are published on any day will be read
later, while (ii) I also think that the changes the internet
will be very important later on (unless we will have a tyrannical
where the truth will be what The Leader says, and anybody
who doubts that is fit to be killed).
I want to remind you of a prediction that the late Gore Vidal made in
He estimated it would take 10 years until the internet would
in the hands of the rich, and its freedom would be only a thing of the
seems he was off by one year.
is more on what ¨the Europeans¨ - correctly: the European
but not the European people - want to
introduce in 2019:
threat to such basic rights as freedom of expression and access to
culture and information lurks in ruses which are mainly hidden in two
articles of the Directive:
11: no link without a license. Article 11, otherwise
known as the “Linktax” article, has created a new economic “right” for
magnates of the written press. This ‘right’, moreover, implies
indefinitely restricting the possibility of citing the press online.
seems absurd, arbitrary and counterproductive, we invite you to read
the proposal itself. This is an ambiguous text, described by the jurist
Andrej Savin as “One of the worst texts I have ever seen in my
23-year-long career as a law scholar.” Given its muzzy
formulation, the safest response for any platform will be not to link
to any media publication without explicit permission.
for my own sites: I will never do so, because I think it is utterly
insane, totally anti-democratic, very authoritarian, and besides, I
both the time and the money.
there is this in the article:
they trying to go with this? What sense is there in this move by the
press barons to push laws which prevent you from linking up to their
content, disseminating it, and commenting on them? Is this just a mix
of ignorance and greed, or something like shooting yourself in the foot?
they are doing is to make it impossible to talk rationally - with
reference to evidence - about politics on line,
except if you are rich enough to pay the rich, and this happening on
purpose, and is the next step towards neofascism,
which is the
direction both Europe and the USA have at present, and which if it
successful may last for hundreds of years, all thanks to the internet.
is the last bit that I quote from this article:
initial idea of the fathers and mothers of the World Wide Web and the
Internet, as we know it, this idea of an open architecture for sharing
links without restriction, was crucial to its success. And it would be
radically undermined if the directive is approved.
Now the EU
wants to create an Internet with a licence. And since we are a
civilised society, they can’t call it censorship so they say
final vote, all the power and wealth will be on one side. We, the
people, who are on the other side – in favour of freedom of expression,
an open Internet, and copyright laws adapted to the twenty-first
century, which will enable authors to make a decent living and not have
to scrabble for crumbs dropped from the table of the Internet moguls –
will be vilified, slandered as thieves, hackers and pirates, and absurd
allegations will be made against us.
so, and this is a very strongly recommended article.