from January 4, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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 4, 2019:
1. Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts the
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. The Collapse of the ‘War on Terror’
3. What to Expect of House Democrats
4. 'Trump Is Guilty': Renewed Push to Impeach President
5. It’s Your Congress, People! Make It Work for You!
NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts the Network
This article is by
Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
I say, because I did not
know any of the above, that I also consider somewhat hopeful,
even if Arkin is one of the few (ex-NBC/MSNBC) who really has
criticized "the national security state".
A veteran national security
journalist with NBC News and MSNBC blasted the networks in a
Monday email for becoming captive and subservient to the national
security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President
Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War
Machine’s promotion of militarism and imperialism. As a result of
NBC/MSNBC’s all-consuming militarism, he said, “the national security
establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed
has gained dangerous strength” and “is ever
more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism.”
The NBC/MSNBC reporter,
William Arkin, is a longtime prominent war and military reporter,
perhaps best known for his groundbreaking,
three-part Washington Post series in 2010, co-reported with
two-time Pulitzer winner Dana Priest, on how sprawling, unaccountable,
and omnipotent the national security state has become in the post-9/11
era. When that three-part investigative series, titled “Top Secret
America,” was published, I hailed it as one of
the most important pieces of reporting of the war on terror,
because while “we chirp endlessly about the Congress,
the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and
Republicans, this is the Real U.S. Government: functioning in
total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and
powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or
even any organization.”
And I also missed the article of 2010 that Greenwald praises above
(because I was at that time in 2010 mostly concerned with ME/CFS).
But I do agree with Greenwald on its importance and also on the
fact that "the Real U.S. Government" is "so secret, vast and powerful that it evades
the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization" (though it still does have
many of the features that Eisenhower seems to have meant with his "military-industrial
Here is some more from the article:
I also did not
know any of the above. I do agree mostly with it, and indeed do
not believe in the so-called "#Resistance" since the beginning of 2017, and also agree with
Greenwald that NBC/ MSNBC and the "#Resistance" seem more like "the central propaganda arm of the CIA, the
Pentagon, and the FBI" than
real and objective news.
Arkin has worked with NBC
MSNBC over the years and continuously since 2016. But yesterday, he
announced that he was leaving the network in a long, emphatic email
denouncing the networks for their superficial and reactionary
coverage of national security, for becoming fixated on trivial Trump
outbursts of the day to chase profit and ratings, and — most
incriminating of all — for becoming the central propaganda arm of the
CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI in the name of #Resistance, thus
inculcating an entire new generation of liberals, paying attention to
politics for the first time in the Trump era, to “lionize” those
agencies and their policies of imperialism and militarism.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed. In fact, I almost
never watch MSNBC, but I did briefly watch Rachel Maddow,
who indeed hunted me away (around 2010) by her positions (and her
pretty awful website).
MSNBC’s star national
reporter Ken Dilanian was widely
mocked by media outlets for years for being an uncritical CIA
stenographer before he became a beloved NBC/MSNBC reporter (where his
mindless servitude to his CIA masters has produced some of the network’s
most humiliating debacles). The cable network’s key anchor, Rachel
Maddow, once wrote
a book on the evils of endless wars without congressional
authorization, but now routinely
depicts anyone who wants to end those illegal wars as
reckless weaklings and traitors.
Here is some more:
Yes, although it is a bit ambiguous
what "state TV" is supposed to mean in the USA, mostly because
Greenwald has insisted that "the Real U.S. Government" is "so secret, vast and powerful that it evades
the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization".
As Shafer noted, filling
your news and analyst slots with former security state officials as
MSNBC and NBC have done is tantamount to becoming state TV, since
“their first loyalty — and this is no slam — is to the agency from
which they hail.” As he put it: “Imagine a TV network covering the auto
industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and
you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities.”
All of this led Arkin to
publish a remarkable denunciation of NBC and MSNBC in the form of an
email he sent to various outlets, including The Intercept.
Anyway. Here is the last bit that I quote from the article:
I mostly agree and there
is a lot more in this recommended article.
That an entire generation
Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being
instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism,
über-patriotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors,
use of the “traitor” accusation to smear one’s enemies, and a
belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy
expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing. These toxins
will endure far beyond Trump, particularly given the now
full-scale unity between the Democratic establishment and neocons.
Collapse of the ‘War on Terror’ Paradigm
This article is by
Juan Cole on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The primary post-9/11
of U.S. foreign policy has been the war on terrorism, which is to say a
profound and kinetic military and counterinsurgency engagement of the
U.S. Pentagon, CIA and State Department in the Greater Middle East.
This paradigm succeeded the Cold War paradigm of 1946-1991, which
collapsed when the Soviet Union did.
Yes indeed, though I
immediately like to remark that I believed in the "War on Terror" about
as much as I believed in the "War on Drugs", which also
means that I see and saw both "Wars" as something else than they
were said to be: The "War on Drugs" seemed - to me - more like a
war on the blacks, and the "War on Terror" seemed to me more like the
effort of either the military-industrial
complex or the rich American firms that produce most of the weapons
that the American government buys.
Here is some more:
Not only are there
neo-isolationist currents in the American heartland and among the
Libertarian fraction of the business classes, but the anti-imperialism
of the 2018 New Left may also push in that direction. Bernie Sanders
sponsored a successful Senate resolution urging a US withdrawal from
the Saudi-led Yemen War.
Well... in fact I do not
much like prose in which there are "neo-isolationist currents" and "the
Libertarian fraction of the business classes" and "the
anti-imperialism of the 2018 New Left", but this may be my own distaste for
propagandistic prose from the Left (or "the Left").
Anyway. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
While the emergence of
on Terror during the past 18 years might seem understandable in the
light of the terrorism threat posed by al-Qaeda, in fact the policy is
suspiciously self-serving for Washington hawks who had been in the
wilderness in the Clinton era (when, aside from a police action in
Kosovo, the US was not at war anywhere in the world, posing a profound
challenge to the US arms industry that it met by a) selling dangerous
weapons abroad and b) secretly lobbying for more US wars).
As I have indicated already,
I never believed in the
"War on Terror" as propagandized by the U.S. government, and indeed I
also never believed in "the terrorism threat posed by al-Qaeda" (simply because of the size and financing of the
American army, that spends 10 times as much money on arms and war - at
least - than any other country). This is a recommended article.
3. What to Expect of
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Well... I know Reich is a
Democrat who worked for the first of Bill Clinton's governments, but I
have less trust in the "integrity" (and the honesty) of many of
his Democratic friends, especially if they have become rich as
Senators or Congress men.
Democrats are now in
control of the House of Representatives, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I
know and have worked with many of them. They are people of integrity
who will strive to do what’ right for America. Pelosi is tough and
courageous. Were it not for her insistence, Obama would not have pushed
for the Affordable Care Act.
But they are not miracle
workers. Republicans still control the Senate.
But Reich is right, of course, that the Democrats now have the
majority in the House, and he is also right that this will make
a considerable difference.
Here is more:
Yes, although I am a bit
skeptical about Reich's combination of praise for the Democrats in the
start of this article, and his lack of praise (or so it seems) when
saying "[d]o not ever
under- estimate the influence of Wall Street Democrats, corporate
Democrats, and the Democrat’s biggest funders": I agree with the last point, but less
with the praise.
They will make life harder
for Trump, to be sure. They will investigate. They have the power of
subpoena. The House Ways and Means Committee is specifically authorized
to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. They might even move to impeach Trump,
if Mueller reports what I expect him to.
But they will do little to
change the growing imbalance of wealth and power in this country unless
they are pushed to do so. Do not ever underestimate the influence of
Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrat’s biggest
funders. I know. I’ve been there.
But here is Reich's real point, in the last bit that I quote
from this article:
I agree with this
- though I am considerably more critical of the Democrats (except for a
few) than Reich appears to be. But this is a recommended article.
This is where you come in.
Millions of us worked hard to create a “blue wave” and put Democrats in
control of the House. But our work is not over by any stretch. Nothing
good happens in Washington unless good people outside Washington are
organized and mobilized to make it happen.
We must support Nancy
Pelosi and the Democrats when they need our support to do the right
things. We also need to push them when they need pushing. And we must
fight them when they begin to cave.
Is Guilty': Renewed Push to Impeach President
is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
As the Democratic Party
control of the U.S. House on Thursday, the first day of the 116th
Congress, along with the lower chamber's leadership shift came a
renewed push from some Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump.
Democratic Reps. Brad
(Calif.) and Al Green (Texas) on Thursday re-introduced Articles of
Impeachment against Trump for allegedly obstructing justice by firing
former FBI director James Comey, among other actions. Sherman, with
Green's support, had
previously filed an impeachment resolution in July of 2017, when
the House was under GOP control.
I say, which I do because I
did not know about Sherman and Green. Here is more on the
history of this attempt to impeach Trump:
Since Republicans refused
to hold hearings on that measure, H.Res. 438, and all legislation
introduced last session but not enacted into law was terminated on
Wednesday, Sherman said in a statement:
"Accordingly, it's necessary and appropriate to reintroduce the
Articles of Impeachment. I have not changed the text. I continue to
believe that obstruction of justice is the clearest, simplest, and most
provable high crime and misdemeanor committed by Donald J. Trump."
"Every day, Donald Trump
shows that leaving the White House would be good for our country," the
12-term congressman told
the Los Angeles Times early Thursday, before the
congressional session convened. In terms of his impeachment resolution,
Sherman said, "There is no reason it shouldn't be before the Congress."
I agree with Sherman.
Here is some more on his present position:
Sherman and newly re-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seem inclined
to wait until they know more about the ongoing probe into alleged
Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the
possibility of collusion with the Trump campaign. As Sherman put
it, "I understand that a majority of our Democratic Caucus will
want to wait until Special Counsel Robert Mueller completes his report,
which I would hope will be issued in the next two to three months."
Well... I think that my
two fundamental reasons to be for impeaching Trump are that (1) I am a
psychologist who thinks that Trump
is insane (and being a psychologist does make a difference)
and that (2) I fear for a nuclear war with a madman like Trump as the
head of the American government.
Then again, I do not
know about Mueller or his report. Anyway... here is the last bit of
this article that I quote:
However, while efforts to
impeach Trump have drawn comparisons to Nixon, there may be some
differences in how it all shakes out. As Bill Blum posited
for Truthdig on Wednesday, "unlike Nixon, Trump
will not resign. Some of his children and his son-in-law may be
indicted, the stock market may continue its tumble, the country may
slide into a recession, and the Republican establishment may desert
him, but he won't follow Nixon's lead and quit."
"Trump will remain until
the bitter end and seek reelection," Blum concludes, "not because he is
a man of courage and principle, but because he has no other safe
personal option... Trump has little to gain by departing the Oval
Office early and much to lose if he does. Guided by narcissism and
self-interest, and backed by his dogged white nationalist base, he'll
stay put until he is either removed or defeated at the polls."
I think this is more probably
correct than incorrect, and this is a recommended article.
Your Congress, People! Make It Work for You!
is by Ralph Nader
on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
I like and admire Ralph
Nader, and I agree to the above, except for its last
paragraph, at least in the sense that I believe that most of the 535
humans who represent "The American People" in fact are corrupt.
Congress is the
Constitutionally delegated repository of the sovereign authority of the
people (the Constitution which starts with “We the People,” not “We the
Congress!”). Most of the changes, reforms, and improvements desired by
a majority of people have to go through Congress. Incentives for change
often start with Congressional elections or grass-roots organizing. But
sooner or later, change has to go through the gates of our national
legislature on Capitol Hill.
This point is so obvious
that it is astonishing so many reformers fail to regularly hammer home
that we must intensely focus on Congress.
Just 535 humans (Senators
and Representatives) need your votes far more than they need fat cat
Then again the Senate plus the House is the American
parliament, and Nader is right that these must be somehow involved
in many things Americans want or oppose.
Here is more from the article:
I completely agree with each
of these 12 points, and I did quote all of them.
Guess what the following
twelve redirections or changes have in common with one another?
- A living wage, much
higher than the long-frozen federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
- Full Medicare for all or
what is called a “single payer” system covering everybody, with free
choice of doctor and hospital, is much cheaper and has better outcomes
than the present complex, bureaucratic, price-gouging, claim denying,
profits-first chaos in the U.S.
- Moving swiftly to a
renewable, solar-based, wind-powered, more efficient energy system,
that diminishes climate disruption and toxic pollution.
- Cleaner air, water, soil
and food for a healthful environmental for today and for coming
- Clean elections reform
and strong, enforceable laws against public corruption.
- Criminal justice reform,
especially regarding non-violent offenses and additional reforms of
sentencing and prisons.
- Stopping taxpayers from
being required to pay for very costly corporate welfare, or what
conservatives call “crony capitalism” in all its many forms.
- Enforcing the criminal
and civil laws against corporate rip-offs, thefts, hazardous products,
and hearing the voices of workers, consumers and those from beleaguered
communities (especially on the public’s airwaves unfairly controlled by
the monetized gatekeepers called radio and television stations).
- Protecting access to
justice for wrongfully injured people to have their full day in court
with trial by jury as demanded by the country’s founders and our
- Protection of the public
lands – the national and state forests and the national parks and
wilderness regions from corporate profit-driven encroachment and
- Re-evaluating the loss
of lives from unconstitutional, boomeranging wars abroad that spread
death and destruction abroad making more people our enemies. These wars
have also taken trillions of taxpayer dollars from rebuilding our
community infrastructure – schools, highways, bridges, public transit,
libraries, health clinics, drinking water/sewage works, and
- Make it easier for
consumers, workers, and small taxpayers to band together for civic
action and a powerful seat at the table with big businesses and their
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article, which is Nader's
reply to his own question:
Yes, I mostly agree (but fail to
understand (5)). This is a strongly recommended article.
These twelve advances have
the following in common:
(1) They have majority
public opinion support – in some cases huge support– which means many
liberal and conservative voters agree, which can produce an unstoppable
(2) Most of them cost
nothing or little to implement, bringing more efficiencies and less
damage to our society. Wisdom is less expensive than constant folly or
(3) They are
understandable. People relate to the experiences, agonies, and dreams
for a better life and livelihood for themselves and for their families.
(4) They provide people
with a sense of empowerment and accomplishment – traits necessary for a
worthy democracy to work. Cynicism and withdrawal begin to be reversed
in favor of engagement and new civic institutions needed by our
(5) They all have to go
through our Congress – a good majority of only 535 people whose names
we know become much more responsive to citizen action, people-driven
town meetings, civic agendas, and democratizing procedures inside
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 (!!).