from November 8, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
In fact, the present Nederlog is mostly about the outcomes of the
American elections of November 6, that I could not report yesterday
because Nederlog is written very early in the morning.
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 November 8, 2018:
1. 2018 Midterms: Blue Wave, Red Undertow
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. America Rejects Trumpism
3. Oceans Are Heating Up Faster Than We Thought
4. Now Is the Time for a Bold Pro-Democracy Agenda for America
5. When You're Right, You're Right
Midterms: Blue Wave, Red Undertow
This article is by
Robert Borosage on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The 2018 election is blue
wave with a harsh red undertow. First, the wave: Democrats took the
House, moving towards flipping over 30 seats, took seven gubernatorial
races and counting, and made significant gains in down-ballot races
–winning over 330 state legislative seats, six state legislatures and
breaking 4 GOP supermajorities, with more victories to come.
But the red undertow gives
Republicans a larger majority in the Senate – with Republicans
consolidating their hold on conservative, largely white and rural
states. Transformative Democratic candidates – Gillum in Florida,
O-Rourke in Texas – made stunning runs, only to fall short by the
smallest of margins. Stacy Abrams’ historic race for governor in
Georgia remains too close to call as this is written.
Yes. And I should say
that the present article was the best that I've read on the outcome of
the elections that may be summarized as follows:
Dems gained 28
seats Dems lost 2
Dems gained 7 seats
Also, in actual fact I
think I would say this was a blue wavelet rather than a
blue wave, but
then I also suppose this is mostly a subjective judgement, at
with outcomes like the above.
Here is some more from
Yes, this is mostly
correct - but (once again) if Trump was "manic, unhinged, dishonest and scurrilous" (and I agree) but still got
about half of the votes, why not say that at least most voters
must have been struck with stupidity or ignorance or
Trump’s manic, unhinged,
dishonest and scurrilous campaigning insured that he would be, as he
put it, “on the ballot.” No doubt his blend of hate and fear helped
build Republican turnout.
His results were decidedly
mixed. He surely aided Democratic takeover of the House, while helping
Republican victories in the Senate. Hand-selected candidates like the
scabrous Kris Kobach in Kansas lost, as did Scott Walker in Wisconsin,
Teflon no longer.
The new Democratic House will
feature over 100 women. A new wave of progressive legislators –
younger, more female, more diverse, more progressive –will energize the
But no: American journalists do not write these things,
although they ought to be very obvious.
Here is some more:
Democrats flipped the
Colorado and Maine Senate, the New York Senate and House, the New
Hampshire Senate and House. Democrats, fueled by the energy of
grassroots organizing, now are in full control in New York, Illinois,
Colorado, Maine and New Mexico. These “laboratories of democracy” can
now begin to forward progressive alternatives on everything from money
in politics to climate change.
Similarly, across the
country, progressive ballot initiatives fared well. Voters in Arkansas
and Missouri – Arkansas and Missouri!! – passed increases in the
minimum wage. Michigan passed Automatic Voter Registration, Maryland
same-day registration.The most dramatic victory came in Florida, where
voters restored voting rights to ex-felons who had served their time,
restoring the right to vote to an estimated 1.4 million citizens.
I agree these are
gains, although I would add that especially since Trump's
extra-ordinarily many presidential lies, I would not say they
are big gains.
Here is some more:
I have the same remark as
I made under the previous quotation: I'd say these are definite
but not large ones.
Turnout was dramatic. Exit
polls, which surely will be revised, reported that 29 percent of the
electorate were people of color, a new midterm record. Women
constituted the majority of voters and voted overwhelmingly for
Democrats. Over 2/3 of voters considered the economy excellent or good
(up from little more than one-third 2 years ago), yet Republicans still
fared poorly. Independents went to Democrats dramatically (55-41 in the
ABC exit poll); Trump won them in 2016 and Republicans in the 2014
midterms. The Democratic margin among young voters – 18-29 –was almost
double what it was for Clinton in 2016 and three times the margin for
Democrats in 2014. Similarly college educated white women who favored
Republicans in 2014 voted dramatically for Democrats (61-38 in the ABC
Here is the ending of this article:
Trump dubbed himself
the “magic man,” the day after the election. Con man would be more
accurate –and Americans are increasingly not falling for the scam. The
2018 election exposed once more how divided the country is – but it
also showed how strongly the tide is running against Trump’s hateful
brand of politics and the party that he continues to deform.
I am less optimistic. And
I am so because I completely agree that Trump is a con man, and
insist that everyone with an IQ of 100 or higher and a minimal
knowledge of politics should see this. But no: Great numbers of
American voters still vote for an insane con man.
The only explanation that makes sense (to this philosopher and
psychologist) is that large numbers of American voters are stupid or ignorant. This is a recommended article.
2. America Rejects
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Make no mistake: America
has rejected Trumpism.
No one seriously expected
the Senate to flip, because Democrats had to defend 26 seats in that
chamber, compared with only nine held by Republicans.
The real battleground was
the House, where Democrats had to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to get
the 218 needed for a majority.
Trump wasn’t on the ballot
but he made the election into a referendum on himself.
So Americans turned against
House Republicans, who should have acted as a check on him but did
nothing – in many cases magnifying his vileness.
The nation has repudiated
Trump, but do not believe for a moment that our national nightmare is
I agree at best halfly with
Reich. That is, I agree with his statement of the factual
not with his interpretation of them, for I don't
think that (to quote
Reich's title) "America Rejects Trumpism", and I don't simply because
about half of the American voters still vote for Trump.
Here is more from Reich:
Trump still occupies the
White House and in all likelihood will be there for two more years.
The Republican Party
remains in control of the Senate.
Fox News is still Trump’s
propaganda ministry. (The line between Fox and Trump, already blurred,
vanished completely at his last pre-election rally when Fox hosts Sean
Hannity and Jeannine Pirro joined him on stage.)
The American people will be
subject to more of Trump’s lies and hate, as amplified by Senate
Republicans and Fox News.
Trump can be expected to
scapegoat House Democrats for anything that goes wrong. American
politics will almost certainly become even meaner, coarser, and uglier.
We will remain deeply and angrily divided.
Yes, I think this is
all correct or probably correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from
Most worrisome, America
still won’t respond to real threats that continue to grow, which Trump
and his enablers have worsened – climate change; the suppression of
votes, and foreign intrusions into our elections; the most expensive
and least efficient healthcare system in the world; and, not least,
widening inequalities of income, wealth, and political power.
I agree with
this is also one of my reasons to say that the Americans so far have
not rejected Trump. This is a recommended article (but I
3. Oceans Are Heating Up Faster Than We
This article is by Tim
Radford on Truthdig and originally on Climate News Network. It starts
The seas are getting hotter
– and researchers have thought again about just how much faster ocean
warming is happening. They believe that in the last 25 years the
oceans have absorbed at least 60% more heat than previous
global estimates by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) had considered.
And they calculate this
heat as the equivalent to 150 times the annual human electricity
generation in any one year.
The oceans cover 70% of the Blue Planet, but take up about 90% of all
the excess energy produced as the Earth warms. If scientists can put a
precise figure to this energy, then they can make more precise guesses
about the surface warming to come, as humans continue to burn fossil
fuels, release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere, and drive up the planetary thermometer.
“There will have
to be an even more drastic shutdown of fossil fuel investment and an
even faster switch to renewable sources of energy”
Yes. I also did not find this
a very clear article, so I just quote its ending:
I agree, but I must add
have been following the environment since 1972, and I have
seen too few and
too small changes the last nearly fifty years, which makes me
more of the same.
But the result also
suggests that internationally
agreed attempts to hold planetary warming to a maximum of just 2°C –
and the world has already warmed by around 1°C in the last century –
become more challenging.
It means that there will
have to be an even more drastic shutdown of fossil fuel investment and
an even faster switch to renewable sources of energy such as sun and
Is the Time for a Bold Pro-Democracy Agenda for America
is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
While supporters of
pro-democratic voting reforms on Wednesday celebrated a number of key
state-level wins on Election Day, the Democratic Party is being called
upon to go much further by making voting rights a central issue going
forward and embracing a slate of changes that would dramatically
improve civic participation and end GOP suppression tactics.
Among the successes from
- Florida voters
a measure which restores voting rights for 1.4 million state residents
with past felony convictions.
- Michigan voters approved
a measure enacting automatic voter registration and same-day voter
- Voters in Nevada also approved
automatic voter registration.
- In Maryland, voters supported
a state constitutional amendment allowing same-day voter registration.
The outcomes, says the
NYU School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice, add up to "a massive
win for democracy." But these changes still leave in place an electoral
system—one plagued by long lines, voter suppression efforts,
malfunctioning machines, Big Money, and partisan redistricting—badly in
need of reform.
Well... yes and no.
Yes, voting right should be a central issue, but no the
outcomes of the
election of November 6 was not "a massive win for democracy", especially
not since even the process of voting is "plagued by long lines, voter suppression
malfunctioning machines, Big Money, and partisan redistricting".
Here is more:
"Despite Tuesday's good
news, we have so much more to do to strengthen our democracy," they
conclude. "Let's get to work."
Peter Certo urged
Democrats to step up to that task by supporting "a host of radical
"In that they can take
inspiration from a stunning movement in Florida, where voters
1 million of their neighbors with felony convictions. And from
Michigan, Colorado, Utah, and Missouri, which all
passed initiatives to support citizen-led redistricting. And from
Maryland, Michigan, and Nevada, which all made
voter registration easier," he wrote.
Offering his post-midterm
advice to the Democratic leaders on Wednesday, Washington Post
contributor Ronald A. Klain said
they should make it a top priority to pass "a bill to restore the
Voting Rights Act and reverse Republican voter-suppression efforts. The
cause of democracy should not be carried by Democrats alone, but that
is what it has come to. The greatest democracy in the world should not
be the one where it is hardest to participate in the democratic
Yes, or at least more or
less. But once again: "The
greatest democracy in the world should not be the one where it is
hardest to participate in the democratic process" does not imply that the USA indeed is
"the greatest democracy in the world" but that democracy is (at
very seriously threatened in the USA.
5. When You're Right, You're
is by Robert
Paul Wolff on his site:
One week ago, I made the following prediction, based on the
assumption that the Democrats would take the House but not the Senate:
I provided a Wikipedia link to Robert Paul Wolff not because it
is informative, but to support my notion that Wikipedia is
towards the right, simply because you get loads and loads more
information on very minor film stars or on minor sports'
figures. (And no, this
is not my only argument: There are many more.)
day after the results are in, Trump will without the slightest evidence
of unease or hesitation pivot to being a non-partisan supporter of DACA
guarantees, comprehensive immigration reform, infrastructure spending,
guarantees for those with pre-existing conditions, and whatever else
Democrats want that does not negatively affect his own financial
interests. Overtly, covertly, or implicitly, but in all events
unmistakably, he will communicate it to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer
that he will work cooperatively with them for the next two years so
long as they squelch the Democratic lust for investigations of him or
his family and allow him to summarily shut down the Mueller probe.
will pose a terrible dilemma for the Democrats, and I fear there is a
grave danger that they will succumb, in which case they will pave the
way for Trump’s re-election and the death of what remains of
constitutional democracy in America."
turns out I was exactly correct.
And second, I do not think Wolff was "exactly correct", for the
reason that he was mostly speculating, and most of his
have - so far, at least - not shown themselves to be correct.
But I agree the Democrats won, though it was not a
large win. Here is
How should the Democrats respond to Trump's press
think these are all good ideas. Here is the last bit that I
They should make a great show of cooperating with Trump while passing a
series of bills, which they send to the Senate, calling for:
a. Guarantees of protection for those with pre-existing conditions
c. Protection for DACA recipients
d. Comprehensive immigration reform
e. Reuniting of children separated from their parents
f. Protection of the Mueller investigation.
3. They should leave impeachment strictly alone until
Mueller issues his report. If, in effect, he labels Trump an
unindicted co-conspirator in impeachable acts, they should allow that
report to simmer and bubble until they see whether Republicans decide
they want to get rid of Trump. Only when they have 2/3 of the
Senate should they initiate impeachment proceedings.
think this is a good idea as well, and indeed it seems as if the next
four (!!) replacements of Trump (on the extremely improbable
assumption that the first three will be impeached) are all very
Now I do not think that has any fair chance of happening, but I
do think Trump himself will be only with great
difficulty impeached, and will probably survive this in the present
And this is a recommended article.
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 (!!).