from January 1, 2019
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 three 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 January 1, 2019:
1. Resistance Is the Supreme Act of Faith
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. Giuliani Says Assange Should Not Be
New Year’s Resolution: Remove Trump
Income vs Guaranteed Jobs: What If We Paid Stay-At-Home
5. The Year
Without the Open Internet Order
Is the Supreme Act of Faith
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts - apart from a few lines of poetry
- as follows:
The struggle against the
monstrous radical evil that dominates our lives—an evil that is swiftly
despoiling the earth and driving the human species toward extinction,
stripping us of our most basic civil liberties and freedoms, waging
endless war and solidifying the obscene wealth of an oligarchic elite
at our expense—will be fought only with the belief that resistance,
however futile, insignificant and even self-defeating it may appear,
can set in motion moral and spiritual forces that radiate outward to
inspire others, including those who come after us. It is, in essence,
an act of faith. Nothing less than this faith will sustain us. We
resist not because we will succeed, but because it is right. Resistance
is the supreme act of faith.
Only for some,
and not for my grandfather, my father and myself. And while I
have been ill today for 40 years now with ME/CFS, in which I also was not
allowed to be ill by the Dutch bureaucrats and 90% of the Dutch medical
doctors until March 2018 (!!!), which has prevented me
to do almost everything that I wanted to do in my life, this was not
true of my grandfather and my father.
In fact, my father's
father started out as a Protestant and as a middle class owner of a
house painting firm, but after he had gone broke five times in a row in
the early 1930ies, he radicalized politically and morally, also moved
by the arisal of fascism in the 1930ies and the discrimination of the
Jews, and in 1937 he became a member of the Dutch Communist Party, also
having lost his faith meanwhile.
In part, this was the
work my father, who had himself become a member of the Dutch
Communist Party in 1935 and before that had also lost his Protestant
The Dutch Communist
Party was the only sizeable Dutch group (of around 10,000
members in the late 1930ies) that went into the Resistance, already in
the first half of May 1940, and that remained so for the whole duration
of World War II.
They were also much
hated by the Nazis and thoroughly prosecuted, with the help of the
former Dutch police and the former Dutch secret service. In five years,
they lost over 2000 of their members, mostly through
arrests and subsequent killings (and often tortures).
One of these was my
grandfather, who was arrested in August of 1941, and who was convicted
as a "political terrorist" by collaborating Dutch judges (almost all
Dutch judges collaborated) to concentration
camp imprisonment, which he did not survive in 1943, when he was in
his early sixties.
My father was also
arrested in August
of 1941 an also was convicted as a "political terrorist" by collaborating Dutch
judges, but survived the war and four German concentration camps (as a
My father was quite
intelligent, with an IQ over 135, but remained a communist all his life
after 1945, I think mostly because he had survived four concentration
camps in part through the help he got from other arrested communists
(both Dutch and Germans).
He also was
called by quite a few Dutchmen "a traitor" after 1948
because he was and remained a communist, and because the Cold War had
started, but even so was knighted briefly before his death (to my
knowledge as the first Dutch communist who was knighted:
communists were not knighted in Holland until the middle 1990ies) in
1980 because he was the main person who was responsible for desigining
and building an exhibition about World War II, fascism and
concentration camps between 1960 and the late 1970ies.
I had given up Marxism in 1970,
when I was 20, although I had been educated in it, indeed not
because I disagreed with my parents (my mother also had spent time in
the communist resistance in WW II but was never arrested) or their
moral norms, but because I was seriously interested in philosophy, and
had read a lot of Marx,
and Lenin, and found I could not agree with their main
Even so, when I
returned from Norway where I lived in 1977 (the biggest mistake
in my life) I was within 10 days classified as "a fascist" by
the fascist terrorists from the ASVA, that was filled mostly with
"communists", who in fact were the radicalized sons and daughters
of the rich, who were following the political fashion of the day,
that was much strengthened by the fact that the Dutch students had
the power in the Dutch universities between 1971 and 1995.
I was honored with he same
title ("fascist", "dirty fascist") between 1977 and 1989 by many
quasi-communistic sadistic students of the ASVA, also because I
had started a political party of students in the "University" of
Amsterdam that opposed the ASVA, and in 1988, when I was
removed as a student from the faculty of philosophy very briefly before
getting my M.A. in philosophy, also as "a terrorist, a terrorist, a
terrorist" (according to some 20 to 30 student members of the
ASVA) because... I had dared to criticize the level of my
"teachers" of philosophy (all but one were utter incompetents).
These were some of the
backgrounds of my grandfather, my father and myself. Now about faith.
My grandfather, my father and my self did not have any religious faith
whatsoever since 1935 at the latest.
If you want to know
more about faith,
click the link, but I, for one, am not sustained by faith but by
and about the only thing I can agree with Hedges on faith is that "We resist not because we will succeed, but
because" we believe we are more right morally and intellectually
than those we oppose.
Back to Hedges. Here is more
from his article:
The nature, power
cost of civil disobedience, along with the understanding that
confronting evil is the highest form of spirituality, is the subject of
the play “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine,” written by Dan Berrigan. Transport Group will present a production of the play at the Abrons
Arts Center in New York City from Jan. 16 to Feb. 23. It will be
performed with three actors, one of whom is my wife, Eunice
Wong. Our daughter was
baptized by Dan
Well... I suppose this is
fine for Hedges, who is a Christian minister, but I tend to
deny any influence of spirituality (either it is mostly nonsense or
else is not understandable by me - and I consumed - literally
- thousands of books on philosophy and logic in the last 50+ years).
Here is more:
This is quite correct to
the best of my knowledge (but I deny any law that is higher
than human or natural law).
The defendants in the
Catonsville Nine trial declined to question or challenge any potential
jurors during the selection process. Later they would use their
testimony not to attempt to prove their innocence—they freely admitted
they were guilty of the prosecution’s narrow charges—but to put the
nation on trial. They argued that to abide by a higher law they must
confront the law. Breaking the law was a function of conscience.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The Catonsville Nine
were indifferent to their fate. “We were obliged in fact to attain some
kind of personal liberation before acting at all,” Berrigan wrote, “a
certain spiritual detachment from the fact of prison.” They did not
expect miracles. They were not deceived by the roller coaster of
emotional highs and lows that characterize a consumer culture.
Patience, as the Vietnamese in Hanoi told Dan Berrigan, “is a
revolutionary virtue.” It was the truth that was on trial.
I do not want to
criticize the Berrigans, who were quite heroic, in my judgement, but
their situation was rather different from that of my father and
grandfather in August 1941: I do not know what the Germans did
to my grandfather, but my father was so much abused in prison - where
he did not talk - that he attempted to suicide.
Anyway... I like Chris Hedges, but his story does not hold for
my grandfather, my father and my self, and also - while my father and
grandfather were quite heroic - none of us three believe(d)
that - as Hedges' title has it - "religion is the
supreme act of faith":
grandfather, my father and my self act without religion, and only
based on our own understandings and our own values. And we do not
need nor desire a promise of heaven or a threat of hell to do
Says Assange Should Not Be
This article is by
Joe Lauria on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
Rudy Giuliani, a
lawyer for President Donald Trump, said Monday that WikiLeaks publisher
Julian Assange had done “nothing wrong” and should not go to jail for
disseminating stolen information just as major media does.
It so happens that I agree
with Giuliani - and indeed disagree with Hillary Clinton. In fact, I
don't often agree with Giuliani, but I do on the above.
“Let’s take the Pentagon
Papers,” Giuliani told Fox News. “The Pentagon Papers were stolen
property, weren’t they? It was in The New York Times and The
Washington Post. Nobody went to jail at The New York Times and
The Washington Post.”
Giuliani said there were
“revelations during the Bush administration” such as Abu Ghraib.
“All of that is stolen property taken from the government, it’s against
the law. But once it gets to a media publication, they can publish it,”
Giuliani said, “for the purpose of informing people.”
“You can’t put Assange in a
different position,” he said. “He was a guy who communicated.”
Here is some more:
The U.S. government
has admitted that it has indicted Assange for publishing classified
information, but it is battling in court to keep the details of the
indictment secret. As a lawyer and close advisor to Trump, Giuliani
could have influence on the president’s and the Justice Department’s
thinking on Assange.
I again agree with
Giuliani on the above, in so far as my knowledge goes.
Giuliani said, “We may not
like what [Assange] communicates, but he was a media facility. He was
putting that information out,” he said. “Every newspaper and station
grabbed it, and published it.”
Giuliani also said there was
no coordination between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Giuliani said: “The
thing that really got Hillary is not so much that it was revealed, but
they were true. They actually had people as bad as that and she really
was cheating on the debates. She really was getting from Donna Brazile
the questions before hand. She really did completely screw Bernie
Again I mostly agree with
Giuliani. I say!! And this is a recommended article.
“Every bit of that was true,”
he went on. “Just like the Pentagon Papers put a different view
on Vietnam, this put a different view on Hillary Clinton.”
Giuliani said, “It was not
right to hack. People who did it should go to jail, but no press person
or person disseminating that for the purpose of informing did anything
Assange has been holed up as a
refugee in the Ecuador embassy in London for the past six years fearing
that if he were to leave British authorities would arrest him and
extradite him to the U.S. for prosecution.
New Year’s Resolution: Remove Trump
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed - and incidentally,
it is almost three years ago that I decided, as a
psychologist, that Trump
is insane, and I still think so (much strengthened
by the madness Trump unloosened the last two years), but meanwhile I also
decided that most people who did not study psychology are
probably not capable of thoroughly understanding many of the
professional opinions of psychologists.
After his first bizarre
year, his apologists told us he was growing into the job and that in
his second year he’d be more restrained and respectful of democratic
Wrong. He’s been worse.
Exhibit one: the “Wall.”
After torpedoing Mitch McConnell’s temporary spending deal to avert a
shutdown, he’s holding hostage over 800,000 government employees
(“mostly Democrats,” he calls them, disparagingly) while subjecting the
rest of America to untoward dangers.
On-site inspections at
power plants have been halted. Hazardous waste cleanup efforts at
Superfund sites are on hold. Reviews of toxic substances and pesticides
have been stopped. Justice Department cases are in limbo.
Meanwhile, now working
without pay are thousands of air traffic controllers and aviation and
railroad safety inspectors, nearly 54,000 Customs and Border Protection
agents, 42,000 Coast Guard employees, 53,000 TSA agents, 17,000
correctional officers, 14,000 FBI agents, 4,000 Drug Enforcement
Administration agents, and some 5,000 firefighters with the U.S. Forest
Here is more by Reich:
Yes, I agree. Here is more:
In his second year he’s
also done even more damage to the nation’s judicial-criminal system
than he did before.
At least twice in the past
month he’s reportedly
raged against his acting attorney general for allowing federal
prosecutors to reference him in the crimes his former bagman Michael
Cohen pleaded guilty to committing.
This is potentially the
most direct obstruction of justice yet. He’s now pressuring an official
whom he hand-picked and whose entire future depends on him, to take
actions that would impair the independence of federal prosecutors.
Quite so. Here is Reich's
In his second year he’s
displayed even less commitment to keeping the military nonpartisan than
he did initially.
During last month’s
teleconference with U.S. troops and coast guard members he continued
his rampage against the judiciary, calling the ninth circuit “a big
thorn in our side” and “a disgrace.”
Then he turned last week’s
surprise visit to American troops in Iraq and Germany into a political
rally – praising troops wearing red “Make America Great Again” caps,
signing a “Trump 2020” patch, and accusing Representative Nancy Pelosi
and other leading Democrats of being weak on border security.
I mostly agree, but I am
probably less confident than Reich is that the USA is still a
democracy, or that the American institutions "remain strong". But I
agree it is quite desirable that Trump gets - somehow - removed
from the presidency before 2021, indeed mostly because of psychological
reasons, in my case: I do not think that a person whom I
sincerely consider as mad should have the keys to nuclear arms.
Where would we be if a
president could simply shut down the government when he doesn’t get his
way? If he could stop federal prosecutions he doesn’t like and order
those he wants? If he could whip up public anger against court
decisions he disapproves of? If he could mobilize the military to
support him, against Congress and the judiciary?
We would no longer live in
a democracy. Like his increasing attacks on critics in the press, these
are all aspects of his growing authoritarianism. We normalize them at
Our institutions remain
strong, but I’m not sure they can endure two more years of this. He
must be removed from office through impeachment, or his own decision to
resign in the face of impeachment, as did Richard Nixon.
Republican members of
Congress must join with Democrats to get this task done as quickly as
possible. Nothing is more urgent. It must be, in effect, America’s New
Income vs Guaranteed Jobs: What
If We Paid Stay-At-Home Moms?
is by Stephanie Ervin on Naked Capitalism and originally on Evonomics.
It starts as follows:
Rising income inequality
coupled with the fear that robots will soon occupy more jobs than
average Americans has everyone calling for the creation of a modern
safety net program. Recent debate on the left and the right falls
between guaranteed basic jobs (UBJ) and universal basic income (UBI).
Our team at Civic Ventures did an episode
of the Other Washington
podcast to explore the nuances and virtues of each approach.
As a matter of fact,
this article is badly written, at least from my point of view, for I very
strongly dislike "simplifications" like "UBI" for "universal basic
income" or "UBJ" for "guaranteed
basic jobs": I think it is
both easier - and faster! - to read the whole name than the
abbreviation - "you bee jay" - plus memorizing what it is supposed to
mean in the article.
But I do not
want to write about abbreviations, but about this - and notably the
last paragraph of the following bit:
Our office had the UBI vs
UBJ debate internally, and I came up with my own idea about what could
be done to address the desire to get Americans the cash they need to
fully participate in our economy and exist outside of the scarcity and
harms of poverty.
Wouldn’t it be great if we
just paid women for the work they already do? We don’t necessarily need
to create work (UBJ) or create value (UBI). Instead, we can look for
opportunities to compensate Americans for the work they’re already
doing — the services they already provide, which benefit other
Americans. And, it has the potential to be a lot more practical.
We know that when women
earn more money, families do better, because women tend to make
economic choices that benefit the family: they invest in education, in
healthy food choices, and in other things that lift kids and parents
out of cycles of poverty.
What if we paid women (and
some men) for the jobs they already do — in the home, raising kids? We
have adopted some of these ideas within the in-home childcare space or
in-home care providers, but what if we took it a much larger step
I say!!! And I do so -
with three exclamation marks - because (1) I was a strong proponent
of this idea around 1970 (!!), but then soon learned that (2) I
must be "a fascist" or "a terrorist" for proposing something (as a man,
also) that the feminists of around 1970 strongly disagreed with:
Around 1970 (and in Holland
since 1970) feminists have all been strongly for women to get
work (which - in my words - usually amounts to becoming low paid
wage slaves), and not for them to raise their own children
In any case, I ceased being a
in 1970, precisely for this reason: I did not and do not
think it a good idea to make women wage slaves, and I also do not
think this will emancipate them in any way (except perhaps the
very richest women, who become professor or doctor).
Here is some more from this
Yes, this is more or less
correct, although I guess in practice it would have been or will be a
considerable problem to pay women to stay at home and raise their
own children as they think fit themselves.
Consider what would happen
if we decided to pay women and men who choose to stay home with
children from birth until they enter full-time school. The government
could train those interested in the program in skills like first aid,
CPR, basic childcare, on parenting techniques, early brain development.
We can use the program itself to create jobs in training and coaching
moms through the structured process. And then, most importantly, we can
pay women who make it through the program for the primary role they
already occupy — dedicated moms. I’ve long believed that modern
feminism has lacked respect for and has not given credit to the
inherent dignity women hold in the work they already do.
Nothing has to dramatically
change, except now the hard work women are doing today would be
compensated. We know if those kids were in daycare or with a nanny,
that those services have market value, so does staying home with your
Then again, I can say that "I've believed" for 49 years "that modern feminism has lacked respect for and
has not given credit to the inherent dignity women hold in the work
they" do at home raising their own kids in their own ways.
I also can add that I have been called "a dirty fascist" for 49 years for saying things like Ervin does in this
Here is the last bit from this article:
Well... I agree in principle,
but this idea should have been prominent around 1970, while by now at
least hundreds of millions of women have been forced
into low-paying and demeaning jobs outside their homes in
order to pay those who take over their parental duties.
If Americans care about
lifting children out of poverty, we should pay moms to be moms. It
works out financially for everyone and will likely have a positive
impact on families and rural America as well as early-childhood
development. Women have worked in the home forever, and the cost of
childcare has taken many women out of the workforce. It would be really
empowering to give all women (and interested men) the opportunity to
stay home and raise the kids by paying them to do just that.
So I think this proposal sounds rather ironical, but I do more
or less agree with it, although I also think that by now it is too late
for many women to give up working outside their homes, while it also
will be very difficult to have them paid reasonably for working
inside their homes.
Without the Open Internet Order
is by Katharine Trendacosta and Ernesto Falcon on Truthout and
originally on the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It starts as follows:
In the waning hours of
2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the 2015
Open Internet Order, ending net neutrality protections for the millions
of Americans who support them. The fallout of that decision continued
all throughout 2018, with attempts to reverse the FCC in Congress, new
state laws and governor executive orders written to secure state-level
protections, court cases, and ever-increasing evidence that a world
without the Open Internet Order is simply a worse one.
The story surrounding net
neutrality has always been one of the greed of the largest Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) versus the desires of the majority of people,
the actual way the Internet is structured, and the ideal of a free and
open Internet. Every win this year represented a win by actual people
speaking out over big ISP money.
is also the last bit that I quote from this article, mostly because it
is fairly long and too detailed. It is recommemded.
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 (!!).