from November 10, 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 November 10, 2018:
1. An Urgent Call for Humanity in the Age of Trump
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. White House Smears CNN Reporter With Doctored Video
3. Half Million Killed by America's Global War on Terror
4. The Issues That Won't Go Away
5. Jeremy Corbyn: 'We Can't Stop Brexit'
Urgent Call for Humanity in the Age of Trump
This article is by
Robert Scheer on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Since ISIL targeted the
Yazidi community in Iraq and Syria for genocide in 2014, Nadia Murad,
co-recipient of this
year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has seen as many as 18 members of her
family, including her mother, either killed or go missing. She has been
enslaved and repeatedly violated, narrowly escaping the Islamic State
with her life.
In recent years, she has
found a champion in lawyer and human rights activist Amal Clooney, who
helped her present her story to the U.N. as the first goodwill
ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Now
Murad’s speaking tour is the subject of “On
Her Shoulders,” a powerful new documentary from director Alexandria
What emerges is an intimate portrait of a survivor—one who has endured
a kind of trauma few can begin to fathom. The film also explores what
it means to be perceived as an “other,” not just in Murad’s native
Iraq, but across the West.
I did not know about
and this is a link to some information about her.
Incidentally, here also is a link to Amal Clooney
(and yes, she is the partner of George Clooney).
And as to "a kind of
trauma few can begin to fathom": I agree, and indeed I only
families in which 18 or more killed from WW II, for then similar things
happened to the Jews, and I know a Dutchman who lost at least 35 of his
family members then - but with the psychological difference that he was
born almost ten years after WW II.
Here is more:
Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence,
where the intelligence comes from my guests. In this case, it’s
Alexandria Bombach, who won the Best Director in U.S. documentary at
Sundance earlier this year. She has made an incredible movie on Nadia
Murad, this heroic woman from the Yazidis ethnic group and religion
based mostly in Northern Iraq, but also spread because of refugee
status and everything else, throughout much of the world. And Nadia won
the Nobel Prize along with another activist against sexual violence.
She was a rape victim in the brutal ISIS attack on the Yazidi people.
Alexandria Bombach: Yeah, Nadia, I met
her in July of 2016. The production company RYOT hired me to make a
short film about her. I had followed the genocide as it was starting in
August of 2014, and when Nadia gave her speech, I saw a video of her
giving her testimony at the U.N. Security Council in December of 2015,
but it wasn’t until July of 2016 that I actually met her. After that, I
followed her for three months during her campaign.
Quite so, and this is
the beginning of the interview that I found reasonable but not great.
Here is one bit of it:
I agree with this.
is a lot more in this article, that is recommended.
(..) What I saw is that every time she told her story, it was taking
little bits of her, and pieces of her. So many people wanted to take
photos, and wanted meetings, and wanted testimonies, and throughout the
film you kind of see her start to question what difference this is
As a storyteller, as a
documentary filmmaker, I was really confronted with what is our
responsibility to survivors? What is our responsibility to refugees,
and to these stories of people, and how are we packaging stories of
trauma? What questions are we asking? What are we not asking? That
became kind of the central idea around the film.
RS: Yeah, and I
think it’s a very powerful idea. It goes against another current in
documentary filmmaking, and in fact, in journalism, which some have
called disaster porn. We see these tragedies, and then you show people
this starving kid with flies around his head moments before he dies.
Yes, it’s awful, but you lose the sense of a human being, you have an
House Smears CNN Reporter With Doctored Video
This article is by
Jacob Sugarman on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
On Wednesday, mere hours
after President Donald Trump forced Jeff Sessions out as attorney
general, the White House revoked
the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta. The decision was confirmed by
press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who wrote in a tweet
that evening, “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and
welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will,
however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman
just trying to do her job as a White House intern. …”
distributed a video of Acosta allegedly chopping at the arm of an aide.
At first glance, the footage seems to capture the confrontation as it
unfolded on live television, with the reporter resisting the woman’s
efforts to seize his microphone. But upon closer examination, a segment
of the tape appears to have been doctored to make his action look more
violent than it actually was. It also lacks audio of Acosta imploring
the White House staffer, “Pardon me, ma’am.”
I've read about this before,
but this is a good journalistic report, that shows that not
Trump lie and lie and lie like a madman (which he is), but that his
staff lies as much as he does and also lie themselves with doctored
videos that totally misrepresent events.
And in fact Acosta is not
"a reporter placing his hands on
a young woman
just trying to do her job":
“Critics said that
video—which sped up the movement of Acosta’s arms in a way that
dramatically changed the journalist’s response—was deceptively edited
to score political points,” reports
The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell. “That edited video was first shared
by Paul Joseph Watson, known for his conspiracy-theory videos on the
far-right website Infowars.”
The incident began when
Acosta asked Trump if he thought that he had “demonized” an entire
community by referring to the Honduran migrant caravan now crossing
Mexico as an “invasion.” The president responded dismissively, telling
Acosta, “I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN, and if
you did it well, your ratings would be much better.” After repeatedly
declaring “that’s enough,” Trump pointed at Acosta, calling him a
“rude, terrible person” who “shouldn’t be working” for the network.
This was Trump
brutalizing Acosta. And the video was manipulated (and there is more
about that in this article, but that was skipped by me).
Here is a the president
of the White House News Photographers Association:
“We know that manipulating
images is manipulating truth. It’s deceptive, dangerous and unethical,”
Whitney Shefte, president of the White House News Photographers
Association, said in a statement. “Knowingly sharing manipulated images
is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a
representative of our country’s highest office with vast influence over
Yes, though manipulated
videos are always lies, and journalistic lies are always bad. This
strongly recommended article.
Million Killed by America's Global War on Terror
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
The United States'
so-called War on Terror has killed about half a million people in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according to a new estimate from the Costs
of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute.
Yes, I think the above is
correct - and it means that around 1,5 million people have been
various means just in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
"This new body count
signals that, far from diminishing, the war is only intensifying,"
Stephanie Savell, co-director of the project, pointed out in a piece
The overall death toll "is an increase of 113,000 over the last count,
issued just two years ago."
The new report
(pdf) estimates that since 2001, between 480,000 and 507,000 people
have been killed because of war violence in those three nations—a tally
that does not include "the more than 500,000 deaths from the war in
Syria, raging since 2011, which the U.S. joined in August 2014," and
"indirect deaths," or those killed by war's impact on public health,
such as limiting access to food, water, hospitals, and electricity.
Over 480,000 have
died due to direct war violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, but
the number of indirect deaths - because, for example, of war-related
disease -- is several times larger.
Here is more:
Regardless of how Democrats
in the House proceed, Neta C. Crawford, a Boston University political
science professor who co-directs the Costs of War Project, argued in
the report's conclusion that there is a need to keep the public more
informed about the consequences of the seemingly endless wars in the
Middle East in order to drive demands for improving U.S. foreign policy.
"This update just scratches
the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war," Crawford
wrote. "Too often, legislators, NGOs, and the news media that try to
track the consequences of the wars are inhibited by governments
determined to paint a rosy picture of perfect execution and progress."
I agree with
and also point out that the mainstream aka corporate media
not like to report on non-Americans who get killed, other than in a
very superficial way - and see item 1 above.
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Responding to the report's
findings, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif drew attention to the
human and financial consequences, tweeting: "Cost to U.S. taxpayers: 7K
dead Americans + $5.6 trillion. Cost to MidEast: Unfathomable."
US' so-called 'War
on Terror' has cost 500K+ lives. 110K+ dead just since 2016. Debacle
has caused destruction in Iraq, Syria, Libya & Yemen. It has
spawned ISIS & multiple Al Qaeda affiliates. Cost to US taxpayers:
7K dead Americans + $5.6 trillion. Cost to MidEast: Unfathomable
I think Zarif
underestimated those who were killed by the 'War
on Terror', but in any case, it seems to me the 'War
on Terror' was and is propaganda to
terrorize non-Americans in the
Middle East. This is a strongly recommended article.
Issues That Won't Go Away
is by Robert C. Koehler on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
How much real change
manifested itself in the 2018 midterms? How deeply does the outcome
reflect the American soul?
Apparently, about 113
million Americans, basically half the electorate, felt compelled to
vote in the midterms, revved up either by intense opposition to or
support for Donald Trump. This is a lot more than usual for a
non-presidential election, but still fairly pathetic for “the world’s
I say, for this is the
first time in a lot of reporting that I glanced
at or partially or
completely read about the American elections which says that about
of the Americans who were qualified to vote did vote, whereas half did
Also, while I think
this is a good article, I have no idea whatsoever about what "the American soul" is supposed to be. Then again, it is a fact that just
half of the American electorate voted, and I more or less agree
Koehler that this is "fairly
pathetic for “the world’s greatest democracy”", except that I think that one main reason for
Americans not to vote is precisely that they feel it makes no
difference anyway - which (if true, as I think it is) strongly suggests
that American democracy is no longer true, whereas American plutocracy
Here is more:
How much closer did we move
to becoming a nation able and willing to focus on the real issues that
threaten the planet?
To the extent that the
election was about Trump and Trumpism:
“. . . keep in mind,” Tom
Engelhardt reminds us, “that he entered an unsettled world
already well prepared for such a presidency by his predecessors in
Washington. If the fascist . . . tendency that lurks in him and in the
situation that surrounds him does come out more fully, he will
obviously be aided by the ever more imperial presidency that was
created in the decades before he left Trump Tower for the White House.
“When he entered the Oval
Office, he found there a presidency in which — particularly on the
subject of war (the president was, for instance, already America’s
global assassin-in-chief) — his powers increasingly stood outside both
Congress and the Constitution. The weapons he’s now bringing to bear,
including executive orders and the U.S. military, were already well
prepared for him.”
Well... I like none
the American presidents since Reagan, but I think Trump should bear
more responsibility for his personal decisions, whereas
it seems to me
to be simply unconstitutional to say that the president's "powers increasingly stood outside both
Congress and the Constitution":
I think that is plainly illegal.
Here is more:
I agree that the
USA "has been spiraling in
the wrong direction for
a long time" (and again the
presidency of Reagan that started in 1980 seems to have been the main
starting point), and I also agree with Koehler that the winning
House by the Democrats "is
something worth celebrating — but hardly reason to heave a sigh of
This country has been
spiraling in the wrong direction for a long time. Some progressives
determined to change the game were among those who gained office in
this election, which is something worth celebrating — but hardly reason
to heave a sigh of relief. Most of the issues that truly matter, that
require a fundamental shift in American politics, remain rawly
unaddressed and unacknowledged. They were essentially invisible in the
mainstream election coverage, which, as usual, presented it as a horse
race for the entertainment of Spectator America, not the creation of
Militarism, endless war, unconscionable military spending, nuclear
weapons. This was utterly off the table in the midterms. As Chris Hedges pointed
out, some 85 percent of Senate Dems voted for this year’s $716 billion
military spending bill, indicating a “unity” of surrender to
military-industrialism. We no longer glorify our wars, we ignore them.
And I also agree with Koehler's "issues that truly matter, that require a
in American politics" [but that] "remain rawly unaddressed and
unacknowledged", and for
this reason I list all of them, though far from completely.
I agree with A. and here is part of B. (and if you want
to read all, which is recommended, you should click on the title of
Climate change, environmental catastrophe. This is not unrelated to the
issue of war, since the world’s militaries are by far the biggest
polluters. While environmental sanity is at least something that can be
addressed politically, the urgency of global warming hardly has
And besides global
is denied by almost all Republicans including Trump. Here is C.:
I suppresed nearly all
text here, but Koehler is quite right it is important and mostly
ignored by the mainstream/corporate media. Here is a part of D.:
Guns, violence, mass murder, a culture of violence. This issue still
carves a deep gouge across the American electorate. Mass murders keep
occurring. Should we get serious about gun control or should teachers
and rabbis be armed? There is no real dialogue across the divide. We
still live in a culture that worships violence.
I agree (and the situation
in Europe with regards to guns is almost the opposite of the situation
in the U.S.). Here is a small part of E.:
Militarized police, police shootings and racism.
Quite so. Here is a part
The prison-industrial complex. The United States has the largest prison
system in the world (and it’s becoming increasingly privatized), with
2.3 million people — mostly impoverished people of color — behind bars.
Our prison system is a regrouping of Jim Crow America, which can’t
stand having a country without second-class and tenth-class citizens.
I think that is quite
correct. Here is a small part of G.:
Immigrant scapegoating, hatred and fear.
Quite so. And here is a
part of H.:
Voter suppression, gerrymandering, hacking. Ah, democracy, a nuisance
to the powerful, a system to be gamed! If the voting can’t be
controlled, my God, Republicans could lose.
Again I quite agree. Also,
in this review I did at least mention all the points Koehler mentions
in his strongly recommended article, simply because I think he
is right and all the points are important (and are mostly
considered in the mainstream/corporate media).
Corbyn: 'We Can't Stop Brexit'
is by Jörg Schindler on Spiegel International. It starts as follows:
I say, which I do because
I did not know all of this. Also, this is a fairly good
I think in English one should write "Spiegel" instead of "Der Spiegel",
though this is a quite minor point).
The man upon whom the hopes
of young men and women in Britain rest enjoys taking pictures of drain
covers and making jam. He wears baggy blazers and, when necessary,
smuggles English cheese into his Mexican vacation lodgings. In other
words, he leads the averagely eccentric lifestyle of your standard
Except that Jeremy Corbyn, 69,
has his sights set on becoming the next prime minister of the United
Kingdom. Ever since the man from the London borough of Islington became
the surprise Labour leader in 2015, the party has been experiencing an
unprecedented boom. Not unlike Bernie Sanders in the United States,
Corbyn's decidedly socialist and pacifist positions have been received
enthusiastically by mostly young voters. With its 540,000 members,
Labour is now the largest political party in the European Union. In the
2017 election, it received 40 percent of the vote, despite significant
attacks on the party from the British media and a bitter internal
Here is more:
DER SPIEGEL: Mr.
Corbyn, when you look across Europe at the moment, do you fear that
social democracy is doomed?
Corbyn: Not at all.
Look at Portugal where the Socialist Party has formed a successful
left-wing government. Also the Swedish Social Democratic Party did
comparatively well in the last election.
DER SPIEGEL: These
are the last bastions. In Germany, France, the Netherlands and
elsewhere, social democrats are on their
way to becoming splinter parties. Why are they doing so poorly?
Corbyn: I think the
main point is how you deal with the economic crisis of 2008. Do you
continue to allow austerity to dominate and manage an economy which, in
effect, is redistributing wealth in the wrong way or do you offer an
alternative? I think left parties that are putting forward a coherent
anti-austerity alternative will get huge support.
Well... I will not
discuss the social democrats outside Holland, but I think the
traditional Dutch social democratic party - the PvdA - stopped
social democrats (and never were socialists) with the reign of
who became prime minister in 1994, and changed it to a vague Blatcherist
of party. (Wim Kok is hugely admired by most leaders of
was a big liar and careerist who is much despised by me).
Here is more:
DER SPIEGEL: At the
moment, though, it is right-wing populist parties across Europe that
are getting significant support.
communities become disillusioned with politicians and politics, it can
be extremely dangerous. And hence, I find the rise of the far right in
Austria and Germany very troubling and very concerning. At least the
AfD (Germany's right-wing populist Alternative for Germany party)
didn't hasn't grown any further in the polls recently, but I do find
the rise of this party quite frightening.
DER SPIEGEL: The
decline of social democracy started after figures like Tony Blair and
Gerhard Schröder were in government. Is that just coincidence?
Corbyn: What Tony
Blair wanted to do was turn the traditional social democracy into what
he called a third way.
Well... yes, though
more precisely Blair was a Blatcherist who
seems to have worked only to
get as much money as he could for himself,
in which he succeeded (for
he seems to own more than 100 million pounds now).
In other words Blair
was an enormous fraud. Here is more:
DER SPIEGEL: Your
answer is a sharp turn to the left?
Corbyn: What we're
offering here are coherent policies. It's the values behind it that are
so important. The values that you work for the entirety of society and
don't blame minorities, that you invest in education, but above all,
that you give people hope. I really think many people across Europe
need the perspective that they will be able to achieve something in
their lives because the levels of depression in post-industrial areas
is huge. The levels of underemployment, short-term employment and
insecure employment are huge. And I think that is very dangerous to
society. What we're saying is that there has to be a realignment of
wealth within our society.
I quite agree
Corbyn (though I also think he needs another crisis to implement many
of his changes). Here is more:
Precisely - and I
lived in the East Midlands in the early 1970ies (before Great Britain
became a part of the European Union).
DER SPIEGEL: Yet the
current level of unemployment in Britain is the lowest it has been
since 1975. Despite
Brexit, the economy is growing.
Corbyn: That masks the
fact that there are 1 million people on zero-hour contracts (Eds.
Note: contracts that do not guarantee a minimum amount of work) and
that real wages have been frozen now for 10 years. Almost 4 million
people accessed food banks last year in the sixth richest country in
the world. The Conservatives tend to measure everything by the
prosperous parts of London and the southeast. It's simply not the case
with the rest of the country. We have the lowest levels of wages paid
in the East Midlands, which is less than two hours from London by train.
Here is more:
Corbyn: (..) We're
offering that radical alternative.
DER SPIEGEL: It is
one that includes the nationalization of the railways and the
electrical grid, more workers' rights and a massive redistribution of
wealth from the top to the bottom.
Corbyn: Our policies
are sensible, inclusive, and they are actually quite mainstream. A
majority of Britons support bringing the railway back into public
Well... I agree
with Corbyn. Here is the last bit that I quote from this fine interview:
Yes indeed. There is a lot
more in the interview, and this article is strongly recommended.
DER SPIEGEL: Why is
it that so many young people flock to you?
Corbyn: It's not a
personal thing. It's about us as parties and movements offering some
hope. Young people never turned off politics. Politics turned off young
people because it didn't offer anything to them. I grew up in the 1950s
and '60s and I always believed that I would probably have a better life
than my parents had. And my parents were not poor. The turning point
was the politics endorsed by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Their
message was that the young had to pay for education, pay for health,
pay for pensions, that society doesn't really care about them.