in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 5, 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:
. Selections from March 5, 2019:
1. Giving the Bomb to Saudi Arabia’s Dr.
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. U.S. Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End
America’s “Forever Wars”
3. It Is Time to Indict Israel
4. The Biggest Obstacle for Bernie Isn't the DNC
5. Trump is not stable — and that should be a huge news story
the Bomb to Saudi Arabia’s Dr. Strangelove
This article is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The most dangerous
policy decision of the Trump administration—and I know this is saying a
lot—is its decision to share sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi
Arabia and authorize U.S. companies to build nuclear reactors in that
country. I spent seven years in the Middle East. I covered the
despotic, repressive kingdom as the Middle East bureau chief for The
New York Times. And I, along with most Arabists in the United States,
have little doubt that giving a nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia
under the leadership of the ruthless and amoral Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman would see it embark on a nuclear weapons program and
eventually share weaponized technology with Saudi allies and proxies
that include an array of radical jihadists and mortal enemies of
America. A nuclearized Saudi Arabia is a grave existential threat to
the Middle East and ultimately the United States.
Yes, I agree. Here is more:
The Saudi government,
soliciting bids for the nuclear reactors, reportedly spent more than
$450,000 over a one-month period to lobby the Trump administration to
approve its purchase of the equipment and services from U.S. sources.
Westinghouse Electric Co. and other American companies are preparing to
construct the facilities, which would allow Saudi Arabia to enrich and
reprocess uranium. The secretive effort to give Saudi Arabia a nuclear
capability is not only colossally stupid, but has been done without
being reviewed by Congress, as required by law, and violates the Atomic
I agree again, and
remark parenthetically that - to the best of my fairly extensive
knowledge - the USA is since 2001 has been involved in more than
seven wars, none of which was approved by Congress (except in 2001, in
a very broad statement).
There is this on Salman:
traits remind me of Saddam Hussein, is widely believed to have ordered
the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate
in Istanbul in October 2018. He has imprisoned dissidents, brutally
ousted rivals, seized over
$100 billion in extortion money from kidnapped and tortured
members of the royal family and instilled a level of fear and
terror inside the kingdom, always a repressive society, unrivaled in
its modern history.
Well, in fact I do not
know, but I trust Chris
Hedges. There is rather a lot more that I skip.
Here is the ending of this article:
There is little time left
halt the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. Iran, a mortal
enemy of Saudi Arabia, will have no choice but to begin a nuclear
weapons program if the Saudis build nuclear reactors. The thought of
nuclear weapons being in the hands of Salman, an updated version of
Saddam Hussein, and ultimately in the hands of nonstate radical
jihadists who are supported and funded by powerful elements within
Saudi Arabia, is terrifying.
Yes, I agree and this
is a recommended article. Incidentally, here is more on the wars that
the USA has been conducting since 2001:
Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End America’s “Forever Wars”
This article is by
Alex Emmons and Ryan Grim on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
I say, which I do because I did not
know anything about Common Defense.
The last link is to its website, but I could not rapidly find more
Eight members of Congress
have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military
conflicts to a “responsible and expedient” end, the result of a
first-of-its kind lobbying effort by military veterans on Capitol Hill.
The pledge was written and
organized by a group called Common Defense, made up of veterans and
military families, which advocates for scaling back U.S. military
commitments overseas. Common Defense boasts of more than 20,000 veteran
members in all 50 states, and it threw its endorsement behind almost 30
candidates in the last midterm election cycle.
Here is more from the article:
I like the
signatories, and agree with Common Defense. Here is some more:
All of the signatories so
are members of the Democratic caucus, and most of them are associated
with the left wing of the party: Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth
Warren; Omar and other freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ro
Khanna, and Rashida Tlaib; and Congressional Progressive Caucus
co-chair Mark Pocan. Common Defense is also courting more moderate
lawmakers, particularly those in swing districts and Democrats.
Congress have built name recognition around domestic policy ideas like
Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. By lobbying members to sign the
pledge, organizers for Common Defense are hoping to make U.S. military
commitments a part of that conversation. The pledge by Sanders and
Warren, who’ve previously been outspoken against endless U.S.
military interventions, could have an impact on the 2020 Democratic
Yes indeed. Here
is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I completely agree, and I add that in my opinion fighting
against Islamic State "that did
not exist on 9/11" by American
troops should be illegal according to the USA's own
laws. And this is a strongly recommended article.
The pledge leaves room for
that conversation, with the use of the word “responsible” to describe
the global pullback from combat operations that began after the
September 11, 2001, attacks. In 2001, Congress authorized military
operations against the groups responsible for those attacks. In the
years since, that congressional authorization has been interpreted
broadly and has led to combat against groups, like the Islamic State,
that did not exist on 9/11.
“The United States has been
in a state of continuous, global, open-ended military conflict since
2001. Over 2.5 million troops have fought in this ‘Forever War’ in over
a dozen countries – including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan,
Niger, Somalia, and Thailand,” the pledge reads.
It continues: “I pledge to
the people of the United States of America, and to our military
community in particular, that I will (1) fight to reclaim Congress’s
constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy
and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military
force, and (2) act to bring the Forever War to a responsible and
Is Time to Indict Israel
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts with
the following introduction:
Yes indeed, and I like Norman
Finkelstein, and this was a link to more information about him.
Israeli forces have
Palestinians since weekly Great March of Return demonstrations began in
Gaza nearly a year ago targeting Israel’s heavily militarized
separation barrier. That’s according to a new United Nations inquiry
that found Israeli forces may have committed war crimes and crimes
against humanity by targeting unarmed children, journalists and the
disabled in Gaza. The report was released by the U.N. Human Rights
Council on Thursday. We speak with Norman Finkelstein, scholar and
author of “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom,” and Sara Hossain, a
member of the U.N. independent commission that led the Gaza
Here is more:
I think all of this is
correct. Here is more:
GOODMAN: I want to go to
the acting Israeli foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, responding to the
U.N. Human Rights Council’s report.
KATZ: [translated] This
report is another chapter in the theater of the absurd produced
occasionally by the United Nations Human Rights Council, another
hostile, mendacious and slanted report against the state of Israel.
It’s a report based on distorted information, in which the facts were
not at all checked, whose only purpose is to slander the only democracy
in the Middle East and harm our right to self-defense in the face of
the terrorism of a murderous organization. The state of Israel outright
rejects this report.
GOODMAN: Norm Finkelstein,
the significance of Israel saying it rejects the report?
FINKELSTEIN: Well, Israel
has always rejected the reports, whether they come from the United
Nations or, more often than not, they come from reputable human rights
organizations, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch or the
Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. So it’s not as if—to use
the words of the person you just had on, it’s not as if it’s a
typically mendacious U.N. report. It’s a report that falls in line with
the findings of every reputable human rights organization.
I take it this is also
true. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
GOODMAN: What most struck
you about this report?
FINKELSTEIN: What most
struck me about the report was it was remarkably honest. It was very
forthright in its conclusions. And it didn’t fake this kind of balance,
which most human rights organizations, even reputable ones, attempt
between Israel and the United States. So, just to take a couple of
examples, it forthrightly stated that Israel targets intentionally
children during these demonstrations. It targets reporters. It targets
medical personnel. And that’s unusual.
GOODMAN: This report comes
out as the attorney general of Israel says he’s going to indict the
prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The significance of this?
FINKELSTEIN: Well, the
Israelis ignore the reports. So, in that context, it’s not significant.
However, there is a critical significance. Namely, the International
Criminal Court has had now two cases referred to it on the situation
among the Palestinians.
And the fact of the matter is, if Netanyahu is out, Gantz will probably
be the prime minister, and he will be up for indictment by the
International Criminal Court. The chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is
desperately trying not to investigate Israeli war crimes. But within
the International Criminal Court, there has been an unprecedented
pushback. There are large numbers of members—large numbers of members
of the ICC who say it’s time to indict
Israel. And the pressure—because of this report, the pressure on
Bensouda, chief prosecutor Bensouda, is going to be enormous. It’s time
to indict Israel (..)
I think I agree
and this is a recommended article.
Biggest Obstacle for Bernie Isn't the DNC
This article is by
Norman Solomon on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Some people are attached to
the idea that the Democratic National Committee will “rig” the
presidential nomination against Bernie Sanders. The meme encourages the
belief that the Bernie 2020 campaign is futile because of powerful
corporate Democrats. But such fatalism should be discarded.
As Frederick Douglass said,
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never
will.” Of course top Democratic Party officials don’t intend to give up
control. It has to be taken from them. And the conditions for doing
that are now more favorable than ever.
I say, which I
do this time because the above seems slanted in at least two
The first is the quotation of "rig", which suggests that some people
who believe that the Democratic National Committee will try to rig the
presidential nomination of Bernie Sanders (and I am one of them) do not
even know what they are saying themselves.
The second point is that I am strongly in favor of Bernie's
2020 campaign, indeed whether or not there are "powerful corporate Democrats" (and there are).
I more or less agree with the rest, but I don't like slanted
arguments. Here is some more:
This is all correct, to
the best of my knowledge, and yes: This is better than 2016.
“I think I will not shock
anybody to suggest that the DNC was not quite evenhanded” during the
2016 race, Bernie said last
week on CNN. “I think we have come a long way since then,
and I fully expect to be treated quite as well as anybody else.”
One big factor: This time,
no candidate can gain frontrunner leverage with superdelegates the way
Hillary Clinton did early in the race. Last August, under grassroots
pressure, the DNC voted
to abolish superdelegates’ votes at the Democratic National
Convention for the first ballot of the nominating process. There hasn’t
been a second ballot since 1952.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
No, I am sorry:
While ill-founded, the line
that “the DNC will rig 2020” is apt to have perverse impacts. No doubt
sincerely believed by some, the outdated notion serves to demoralize
Is the Bernie 2020 campaign
facing a steep uphill climb? Of course it is. Are powerful forces
arrayed to crush it? Absolutely.
But let’s be clear. The
huge obstacle ahead is not the DNC—it’s the mass media. The
corporate-owned and corporate-advertiser-funded media of this country
are the biggest barriers between Bernie Sanders and the Oval Office.
The first paragraph is again slanted and indeed in a totalitarian
way: While the thesis that “the
DNC will rig 2020” (which is formulated too vaguely, but let that rest)
is definitely factually true or false, and was true in 2016, it
is asserted that believing it may or will have "perverse impacts" and "serves to
demoralize and de-energize": That
is plain totalitarian crap that suggests you may not
believe something is factually true because if it were this
would have "perverse impacts" and "serves to
demoralize and de-energize".
And that is - to my mind, at least - bullshit: I
believe that it (still) is more probable than not that a
considerable part of the DNC will try to "rig 2020", precisely because
they did so successfully in 2016; I do not know I am correct, nor
does Solomon know he is correct; and it is baloney to try to influence
my personal factual judgements by asserted "perverse impacts" etc.
Also, I disagree with the third paragraph: I think there are at
least two obstacles ahead that will try not to nominate Sanders as the
presidential candidate for the Democrats, and these are considerable
numbers of leading Democrats and the mass media.
I do not think this article was honestly argued, and will not
is not stable — and that should be a huge news story
This article is
by Eric Boehlert on AlterNet and originally on Daily Kos. It starts as
As usual, I have not
watched the speech by Trump, as I almost never watch speeches by
politicians, especially not if they are two hours long or longer. But
while I might disagree a bit with Boehlert if I were to see it, I am
a psychologist who now thinks since three years that Trump is mad (see the link
if you didn't: it is OK and clear), and I certainly agree more
with Boehlert than with the mainstream media he also quotes.
If over the weekend you saw
a rambling madman give
a frighteningly incoherent, sweaty,
two-hour shoutfest of a speech at a right-wing summit, then you viewed
a president coming unglued on national television in a way that has
probably never been seen before in United States history. And that is
extraordinary cause for alarm.
But if, instead, you saw
nothing more than a “fiery”
Donald Trump give a “zigzagging,”
address where the Republican really “let loose,”
then you likely work for the D.C. press, which once again
swung and missed when it came to detailing the escalating
threat that Trump represents to the country.
today nearly uniformly refuse
to address the mounting, obvious signs that Trump is a deeply
unstable man (...)
Here is more on Trump's recent speech:
That wasn’t just some
“long-winded” or “rambling” speech. That was pure
insanity, and the fact that a sitting president unleashed such a
bizarre performance, punctuated by so many
incomprehensible nonsequiturs, means his stability
and capacity ought to be questioned—and it ought to be a pressing news
Don’t just take my word for
it. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star, who has spent more
time than most listening to Trump speeches and meticulously detailing
his relentless lies, confidently declared that the CPAC address was
bizarre of Trump’s presidency (..)
I haven't seen
it (and very probably never will), but I think Boehlert and Dale are
very probably more correct than the mainstream media.
Here is some more:
I mostly agree,
although there is at least one additional reason - apart from
"politics" - why the mainstream media do not wish to discuss
Trump's (in)sanity: In fact, there are very few journalists who studied
psychology (or psychiatry), and there also are not many people who know
a lot about psychology, while the thesis that Trump is mad or at least
that he may be mad is both frightening to many and - because they lack
psychological knowledge - also difficult to judge.
Luckily, some journalists
are addressing the key issues. Al Jazeera English’s Mehdi
hosted a podcast titled “Why Won’t the Media Discuss
Trump’s Mental Instability?” And following one of Trump’s signature
Rose Garden performance art routines, Esquire’s Charles
“If your uncle behaved like the president behaved on Friday, you’d hide
his car-keys, lock up the booze, and drive him to the neurologist.”
But why the larger
hesitation among the press? Why the lack of necessary
truth-telling? It’s the same reason lots of large news
organization, to this day, won’t call Trump a liar, even though he’s on
pace to tell more than 16,000
lies while in office. Logically, the “liar” ban makes no
sense. It’s only until you realize it’s in place for political reasons
that you see why it’s done.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes indeed: I quite
agree. Also, while I knew tenthousands of psychologist signed the
petition quoted above, I did not know they number 70,000 now. And this is a strongly recommended
“We, the undersigned
mental health professionals, believe in our professional judgment that
Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him
psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of
President of the United States,” reads a petition signed by 70,000 mental
When it comes to
absent coverage of Trump’s mental stability, I’m not suggesting it
needs to be clinically based. But when the president of the United
States gives a nearly incomprehensible, two-hour, flag-hugging
performance, the press cannot and should not look away and pretend that
Trump’s behavior even remotely approaches what passes for normal in
American politics, let alone for an occupant of the Oval Office.
The president is not well.
And that’s a helluva news story.
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 (!!).