in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from February 20, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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:
. Selections from February 20, 2019:
1. Bernie Sanders Is Running for President
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. Movement to End Billion-Dollar
3. There Is Only One True Choice for Progressives in 2020
4. Bernie is Back
5. The Progressive Hope for a Sanders’ Presidency
Sanders Is Running for President
This article is by
Robert Mackey on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
follows - after saying that The New York Times so far does not
mention Sanders at all (while Common Dreams had the news that
Sanders is running yesterday):
I like Bernie
mostly because he is honest while his program and opinions are
credible. And while I should and do add that I rather often do not
agree with him, I should also add that he is one of the very few
American politicians who is honest, and one of the few
and opinions are credible.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the
Vermont Independent whose 2016 campaign for the presidency helped shift
the Democratic Party to the left on issues like “Medicare for All”
and free college tuition, announced on Tuesday that he is running for
president again. The self-described
democratic socialist immediately set an ambitious target for his
supporters, calling on them “to be part of an unprecedented grassroots
campaign of 1 million active volunteers, in every state in our
It is mostly for these reasons - including the total
as much as his name on The New York Times - that the present Nederlog
is mostly given to his presidential candidacy for 2020.
Here is some more:
I can immediately say that
I neither trust nor like Kamala Harris. Here is one
And my reason is not
she is not a democratic socialist, but because I have heard very
or nothing from her that is credible, while anyone can talk
infinitely long saying what he or she is not - which in politicians is
almost always propaganda
Hours before Sanders
the race, Harris was asked by Fox News if his popularity in New
Hampshire meant that she needed to move further to the left to compete
in that state’s primary. “I will tell you that I am not a democratic
socialist,” she replied.
Here is some more, this time on Elizabeth Warren:
I like Warren a lot
better than Harris, and add that I also think she is mostly
honest, which I do not think about the vast majority of
other elected American representatives, but I don't much like
capitalism, and especially not the American capitalism of and for
the extremely rich that arose in the 1980s and 1990s.
Another rival who is far
closer to Sanders on the issues, and who has laid out specific,
radical policies, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has attempted to
distinguish herself from him by telling reporters, like
Ruby Cramer of Buzzfeed News, that the core difference between the
two is that “he’s a socialist, and I believe in markets.”
“I am a capitalist,” Warren
John Harwood of CNBC last year. “I believe in markets. What I don’t
believe in is theft; what I don’t believe in is cheating,” she added.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Well... I have not
been blessed with good health, for my ex and myself are now ill for
more than forty years, and that illness has been denied by virtually
all Dutch medical doctors until March 2018, since when I can say
(without being slighted or offended by Dutch medics) that we do
have "a chronic and serious disease" (but should wait another ten years
or so, if the Dutch medical doctors are to be trusted, to be helped in
Holland, which means that then I will be 50 years ill).
Sanders, who would be the
oldest nominee ever, at 79 on election day in 2020, told
Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday morning that his age should not be
a factor in the race. “We have got to look at candidates, not by the
color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender
and not by their age,” Sanders said, adding that he has been blessed
with good health and still has “a great deal of energy.”
“I think we have got to try
to move us toward a nondiscriminatory society which looks at people
based on their abilities, based on what they stand for,” he added.
The Sanders campaign
reported that it had received more
than $1 million in donations, from supporters in all 50 states,
less than four hours after he announced his run.
Anyway, back to Sanders: I do not mind his age very much, but
this is especially so because he is one of the very few
American politicians who is honest and whose ideas and values I like.
And I do think he should choose a good vice-president. But
apart from his age, I think he is the best candidate for presidency.
And this is a recommended article.
to End Billion-Dollar Corporate Welfare
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the
title. It starts with the following introduction:
New York City is still
since Amazon announced last week that it was scrapping plans to build a
major office facility in Queens. The decision came under mounting
pressure from grassroots activists and local politicians who opposed
the deal. Amazon had announced the project in November after New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered
Amazon nearly $3 billion in tax subsidies to come to the city. But
local politicians and community organizers rallied against the tech
giant and won. The lawmakers who took down Amazon say their victory is
just the beginning of a major fight against tax subsidies for huge
companies—which they call “corporate welfare.” We speak with New York
State Assemblymember Ron Kim, who helped fight Amazon and introduced
the End of Corporate Welfare Act to the state Legislature earlier this
I do like it
that Amazon will not be trading from some headquarters in New York, for
the simple reason that I agree with a British parliamentary report
on Facebook that took 1 1/2 year in preparing, that describes Mark
Zuckerberg as a "digital gangster". I
think that is quite right,
and the same applies to Jeff Bezos (who heads Amazon and is the
richest person in the world).
Here is some background:
One of the leading
opponents of the deal was Democratic Congressmember Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens, the borough where Amazon
was planning to build its new headquarters.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I think it’s incredible. I mean,
it shows that everyday Americans still have the power to organize and
fight for their communities, and they can have more say in this country
than the richest man in the world.
GOODMAN: Mayor Bill de
Blasio has blamed Amazon for walking out on its plan to come to New
York City, saying the tech giant, quote, “took their ball and went
home.” Governor Andrew Cuomo is going after the local lawmakers who
took down Amazon.
I more or less agree
with Ocasio-Cortez, and I hope Cuomo disappears as fast as possible.
Here is Ron Kim:
I was a bit taken back. I thought they were going to stick around to
talk to our groups, to labor unions, to politicians, to figure out some
sort of a reasonable compromise to coexist and be good neighbors, and
for them to actually have meetings the day before, with the Mayor’s
Office, to labor groups. And then, all of a sudden, without any notice,
they’re pulling out.
This is very indicative of
what Amazon has done before as a corporation. They say one thing; they
do another. They’re only driven by profit. And it’s about time that we
This is a time not to play defense. We’ve got to play offense. You
know, we’ve got moderate Democrats and corporate-driven politicians
trying to court them back, saying, “Well, you know, maybe if we offer
something else, but can you guys come back to the table to
renegotiate?” This is not the time to renegotiate. These monopolies, we
can’t rely on them to create quality jobs for our communities. You
know, we spend too many years, we spend too many decades, subsidizing
the growth of these mega-monopolies that are fundamentally designed to
extract and exploit us. And instead of them extorting another dollar
from us, we need to hold them accountable, moving forward.
Yes, I completely
agree with Kim. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Something is desperately wrong in this country when 80 percent of
Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, when we, as a nation, rank
last, in all developed countries, in upward mobility, and the biggest
corporations are paying 0 percent tax to the federal government. And
they’re going from state to state trying to extort as much taxpayers’
money out of us. That is—we have shed the light on something that’s
broken. And this is the time to seize that opportunity to set a new
course for an economy that works for all of us. This is the time to do
And politically driven
politicians that are stuck on this neoliberal ideology will continue to
call people, activists as “socialists” and “communists,” “anarchists,”
to protect the status quo, because the status quo
enriches them. You know, the whole ecosystem around giving away
corporate welfare, who benefits? Corporate-driven politicians,
lobbyists, intermediaries that are just waiting on the sideline to get
as much money out of that pie.
Again I completely
agree with Kim, and this is a strongly recommended article.
Is Only One True Choice for Progressives in 2020
This article is by
Norman Solomon on Truthdig. This is from near its beginning
Now that Bernie has
he’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination,
progressives will need to decide on how to approach the contest. Anyone
with feet on the ground understands that the Democratic nominee will be
the necessary means to achieve the imperative of preventing a
Republican from winning another four years in the White House. So, who
is our first choice — whose campaign deserves strong support — to be
the nominee of a Democratic Party that has remained chronically dominated
by corporate power?
Yes, I agree that the "Democratic Party that has remained
by corporate power". This
also is its main problem, and in my opinion this domination started
under Reagan and Bill Clinton, and has been growing stronger and
stronger since, so that at present I can hardly name a few elected
Democratic politicians of whom I am fairly to very sure they are not
paid, directly or indirectly, by the extremely rich Wall Street
There is considerably more in
this article, but I quote just one more bit from it, that is near its end:
The concentration of wealth
in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to more and more
disastrous momentum, from vast income
inequality to out-of- control climate
change to rampant militarism.
For those who want the next president to fight for solutions that match
the scale of such problems, the choice should be clear.
One of the most exciting
aspects of the upcoming Bernie campaign is the enormous potential for
synergies with social movements. There are bound to be tensions —
that’s inherent in the somewhat divergent terrains of seriously running
for office and building movements — but the opportunities for historic
breakthroughs are right in front of us.
Meanwhile, corporate media
outlets are poised to be even more negative toward the Bernie campaign
than they were last
Yes, I agree with
and this is a recommended article.
4. Bernie is Back
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
I agree with all of the
above. Then again, I am a little amazed (though not much) that
as sympathetic to Sanders as he is (but all his facts are correct),
mostly because - I take it - that Reich is not a democratic
which again is based on his recent book (that I did not read) called
easy to forget the condescension and amusement that greeted him when he
his first campaign for president, on May 26, 2015.
was asked, could a rumpled, 73-year-old, self-described Democratic
a junior senator from tiny Vermont, who was born in Brooklyn, Jewish,
even been a Democrat for most of his political career, and eschewed
super PACs – possibly triumph against Hillary Clinton?
end, he didn’t. But he triumphed in other ways.
a surprising 46 percent of the pledged
delegates to the Democratic National Convention. His primary campaign
up a storm of enthusiasm among young people and grass-roots activists.
garnered over a million individual donations, including $20 million in
2016 alone ($5 million more than Clinton), with an average individual
Most importantly, he showed
Democrats they could run successfully on policies like Medicare for
public higher education, and higher taxes on the wealthy – instead of
cautious “New Democrat” centrism of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry,
Bernie Sanders put
back into the Democratic Party of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And for these two reasons, I would have expected that Reich (who is an
intelligent man, whose ideas and values I usually like) would
supported Elizabeth Warren rather than Bernie Sanders.
Then again, he might but is praising Sanders anyway because he likes
I don't know and here is some more:
Yes, I quite
here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
The American oligarchy is
study published in 2014 by Princeton
Professor Martin Gilens and Northwestern Professor Benjamin Page,
Americans enjoy many features of democratic governance, American
has become dominated by powerful business organizations and a small
affluent Americans. The typical American has no influence at all.
This is largely due to the
concentration of wealth and economic power. In a recent research paper,
my colleagues at Berkeley, Gabriel Zucman, found that the richest 1
Americans now owns 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. That’s up from 25
percent in the 1980s.
The only advanced country
found with similarly high levels of wealth concentration is Russia,
oligarchy is notorious.
I agree and this is a
[I]n recent years, the
American oligarchy has
Bernie Sanders has done
more than any other
politician in modern America to sound the alarm, and mobilize the
reclaim our democracy and economy. For that alone, we owe him our
Progressive Hope for a Sanders’ Presidency
This article is
by Peter Bloom on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Yes, I completely
with Bloom. Here is some more:
Bernie Sanders has announced
he is running again for President – though this time with
considerably more fanfare. Unlike the last time he is no longer an
afterthought or a spoiler. He is now a frontrunner who must be taken
seriously as a legitimate threat to win both the nomination and the
general election. For this reason, he has raised new hopes for
fundamental progressive change to US politics both at home and abroad.
Regardless of what
ultimately happens, Sanders to a certain extent has already won. His
last run for the nation’s highest office dramatically changed the
country’s political landscape. It revealed a thirst for a leftwing
alternative that could effectively take on the power of oligarchs and
return it to the people. At the very least, he helped break through the
once thought impenetrable walls of the free market "Washington
consensus" that have infested both parties.
Sanders does have though
reason to enter the race. It is the hope for real progressive
change—one that does not simply accommodate the Left or seek
to mitigate the worst excesses of capitalism—but legitimately and
fundamentally transforms the country and the world into a freer, more
equitable, and just place. More than any other of the nominees he comes
to these positions out of a deep principle and not from following the
prevailing political winds.
Again I completely
agree. Here is some more:
The immediate critique,
course, is that he may only appeal to progressive voters—essentially
handing Trump his re-election. These criticisms ignore just how
overwhelmingly popular Sanders remains among voters across
demographics, particularly younger voters and independents. It also
represents his ability to articulate a progressive message that
inspires people beyond traditional Democratic coastal strongholds.
Yes, I agree. Here is
the last bit that I quote from this article:
Sanders represents the
hope for progressives and progress. To fulfill this mission, he must do
more than rail against oligarchs. He must positively reveal what a
different and more liberated society would and could look like. He must
directly link current struggles ranging from the teachers strikes to
Black Lives Matters to feminist resistance movements to those rejecting
the corporate takeover of economic development by companies like Amazon
into a popular front that simultaneously takes on elite power while
point the way to a more democratic, secure, and emancipated future for
I mostly agree again,
and this is a strongly 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 (!!).