in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 13, 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:
A. Selections from March 13, 2019:
1. David Cay Johnston: We Will See
Trump’s Tax Returns
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
everyorning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. Brexit: Votes on No-Deal, Delay
3. The Yuge Republican Lie About The Deficit
4. Trump's Budget for a Nightmare America
5. Tim Berners-Lee Says 'You Should Have Complete Control of
Cay Johnston: We Will See Trump’s Tax Returns
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the
title. It starts with the following introduction:
Yes, and as I said before,
I like David
Cay Johnston, who studied Trump for decades, and who seems
a sensible man.
The New York Times is
reporting New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas late
Monday to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank for records related to the
Trump Organization. This comes just weeks after Trump’s former lawyer
Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump had inflated his
assets in financial statements. New York state regulators subpoenaed
the Trump Organization’s insurance broker, Aon, after Cohen’s
testimony. The House Judiciary Committee also recently requested
documents from 81 people and groups in Trump’s inner circle. We speak
with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter,
and founder and editor of DCReport.org. His most recent book is titled
“It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing
Here is some more:
GOODMAN: (..) David Cay
Johnston, welcome back to Democracy Now! In a moment, we’re
going to talk you about Trump’s new budget, but right now, this latest
news of further investigations into President Trump.
Well, Donald Trump has always been able to stop investigations into his
background. He beat four federal grand juries as a young man, for
example. And New Jersey casino regulators never did their job digging
into him. Now he’s got a New York state attorney general, Letitia
James, who ran for office saying, “I’m going to dig into Donald Trump,”
and she has the legal tools to do so. We’ve got the Southern District
of New York, which is very experienced in these, and we’ve got a host
of committees in the House.
We’re going to see Donald
Trump’s tax returns. We’re going to see how much money he got from
Russian oligarchs. And the Deutsche Bank matter is particularly
important, because Deutsche Bank, which has been fined altogether over
$22 billion for misconduct, is the second-leading bank in the world for
laundering Russian money. Arguably, it is not a bank; it is a criminal
I say, which I do this time
because I am less certain of the things Johnston says in the
the above paragraphs. Then again, I agree Johnston knows more
Trump than I do.
Here is some more:
First of all, since 1924, we have had a law that says Congress can look
at anyone’s tax returns. And they do it all the time. If you get a
refund of more than $2 million, it’s automatically sent to Congress for
review by staff experts who work on the tax committees. So we will see
his returns. And if the administration tries not to turn them over,
they might win at the first court, but they will lose that fight.
Now, the STAR
tax credit is something that if you’re a homeowner in New York state,
as I am, if you make less than $500,000, you get a credit on your
property tax bill, or, at one point, you got a check in the mail.
Donald collected this for, I think, four years. It’s public record who
gets it. You only get it if your income on your tax return shows less
than $500,000. Donald came up with this—
GONZÁLEZ: So that indicates that for four years his official
tax returns were saying that he made less than $500,000 a year.
Yes indeed. Then again, I
have no idea about what Donald Trump is really worth. And one
problems is that nobody (except Trump and a few more) has a
really good idea, while Trump still has
not submitted his taxes.
Here is the last bit I report
from this article:
GOODMAN: (..) What do you
think is most explosive?
Well, I think the single most important thing is how much money he got
from the Kremlin. The Russian oligarchs are essentially a criminal gang
led by Vladimir Putin. And we know they have been putting money into
his pocket, as have many other—remember, the collapse of the Soviet
Union led to the theft of the property of the people of the old Soviet
Union. And Donald has been a person who’s laundered money for these
people, held money for these people, done deals that make no sense for
these people and with them. And we need to understand that Donald Trump
is not a loyal American. The kindest thing, Amy, I could say about
Donald is he has divided loyalties. His own actions have indisputably
shown that. I think he is a Kremlin agent—unwittingly, perhaps, because
Donald is not very witting. But he is absolutely, in my view, a Kremlin
I say, which I do this time
because it seems to me that Johnston is far more certain of his
than I am. Also, while I grant that Johnston knows more about Trump,
and especially Trump´s financial affairs than I do, I doubt
knows as much about programming as I do, and I rely for my opinions on
Russia-gate on some of the best and the best informed programmers
USA had, namely Binney,
and the VIPS.
And they say that most
of the supposed evidence they saw that connects Trump and Russiagate
was baloney. Anyway, this is a recommended article.
Votes on No-Deal, Delay Still Planned
This article is by
The Associated Press on Truthdig. This starts as follows (and I should
say that this is not a real article but a series of notes):
Yes, that seems all quite
correct. Here is some more:
Britain’s Parliament has
dealt a major blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, resoundingly
rejecting her Brexit deal just 17 days before the U.K. is due to leave
Lawmakers voted by 391 to
242 against the deal, the second time they have defeated it.
The House of Commons threw
out the agreement by an overwhelming majority in January, sending May
back to the EU to seek changes.
On Monday, May said she had
secured “legally binding” changes to allay lawmakers’ fears — but it
Lawmakers will now vote on
whether to leave the EU without a deal on the scheduled date of March
29, or to ask the bloc to postpone Britain’s departure.
I say, which I mainly do
because from the very beginning Brexit seemed silly, and the
and politics associated with Brexit were and still are a major mess.
And this is a recommended article.
British Prime Minister
Theresa May has confirmed that Parliament will get to decide between
leaving the European Union with no deal and delaying Brexit.
May says she “profoundly
regrets” the House of Commons rejection of her deal Tuesday and said
delaying Britain’s departure won’t solve the underlying problem.
She says Parliament will be
given a chance to “decline” leaving the EU without a deal on March 29
in a Wednesday vote.
If that is the choice,
Parliament will decide Thursday whether to seek an extension that would
delay Britain’s departure date.
May cautions that the EU
will need a reason to approve a delay.
3. The Yuge Republican
Lie About The Deficit
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I completely
agree. Here is more:
When asked about
America’s soaring debt and deficits, Senate Majority Leader Mitch
lamented “It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,”
blames Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Rubbish. It’s not
social spending that’s causing the federal deficit to soar. It’s
cuts, especially on corporations and the wealthy.
Look at the evidence.
Of all 35 advanced economies, America’s spending on social programs
Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid is among the lowest, as you can
Also, Americans pay
into Social Security and Medicare throughout their entire working
The biggest reason
America has the highest deficit relative to our total economy among all
advanced economies is because of a shortage of tax revenue.
Again I completely agree.
is the last bit I quote from this article:
And why is that?
Mainly because of Republican tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy.
Trump Republican tax cut is already breaking the bank. It will cost us
trillion dollars over the next decade. Let me repeat that: 1.9 trillion
and Republicans in Congress claimed that their tax cuts for the wealthy
corporations would pay for themselves by boosting economic growth. It’s
same trickle-down fairy tale they’ve been telling for decades.
I agree and this is a
strongly recommended article.
If there’s one area
where America spends too much, it’s the military. Since taking office,
has increased military spending by more than $200 billion a year,
federal budget even further. The United States already spends more on
military than the next 10 nations combined.
Donald Trump, and other Republicans in Washington want to cut Social
Medicare, and Medicaid. That’s been the Republican goal for decades.
want to use the deficit to justify these cuts.
They also argue that
we can’t afford a comprehensive healthcare system that the rest of the
world has figured out how to afford.
Baloney. If the rich
and corporations pay their fair share and we rein in defense spending,
can afford what we need.
Budget for a Nightmare America
This article is by
Morris Pearl on Common Dreams. This starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Also, Morris Pearl
is not on Wikipedia, but he is one of the Patriotic
whom I also do not know much.
On Monday, President Trump
released his 2019 budget proposal, a plan that outlines a series of
massive cuts to vital public programs in the ludicrously titled “A
Budget for a Better America.”
While this is just a list
of funding ideas that mean nothing without Congressional approval, it
outlines Trump’s vision for our economic future – one that allows us
already wealthy people to get even richer, at the expense of everyone
else. The chief targets of the budget are a proposed $845 billion cut
from Medicare over the next decade, reductions to welfare programs and
Social Security, and sharp cuts to agencies that keep us safe like the
Environmental Protection Agency and State Department.
Here is some more:
I more or less agree - and $1.5 trillion (in tax cuts for the rich)
$655 billions more than he now wants to cut from Medicare, Social
Security etc. Then again, I probably am a bit too cynical (and have
been very poor all my life) to accept that there is hardly anyone ¨outside of the White House who
believes that the country is better off with more tax cuts for
millionaires and less funding for Medicare¨, for the simple reason that I believe quite a number of
Trump´s followers still do believe him (if indeed usually based
on solid ignorance).
It’s no secret that
Republicans have been trying to gut public services for years, so what
makes this new plan particularly heinous? It’s not just the immediate
spikes in healthcare costs or the loss of crucial welfare assistance.
It’s not even the fact that slashing those vital public services that
will leave the majority of our most vulnerable citizens in an even more
precarious position long-term.
It’s the shameless
hypocrisy that comes from the President claiming we don’t have the
money to fund all these services when he just gave his friends (and
himself) a massive $1.5 trillion tax cut barely over a year ago. You
would be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the White House who
believes that the country is better off with more tax cuts for
millionaires and less funding for Medicare.
Here is some more:
Actually, I do not think
think that the economic
vision that Republicans will propose to voters in 2020 probably will sound
considerably less extreme, although I also think these proposals will
be quite dishonest, and will serve only to get sufficiently many votes.
With no chance of this
becoming law anytime soon, it’s likely, then, that this serves as a
blueprint for Trump’s re-election promises. That future is the true
danger of Trump’s budget. Even if this is just a posturing plan right
now, one that’s completely unrooted in reality, it serves as the
economic vision that Republicans will propose to voters in 2020, and
one they will try to deliver if elected.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I more or less agree to the
above, although I also think that ¨an
equality of opportunity¨
impossible under capitalism. Then again, I agree that there are
kinds of capitalism, and Trump´s capitalism is the capitalism of the
very rich. This is a
Conservatives rely on the
constant refrain that spending is out of control and that cuts are
needed to rein it in and balance the budget. But as this budget shows,
the cuts come from everywhere except the people and corporations that
have the most to give back to the system that allowed us to rise in the
first place. It exacerbates our existing inequality by slashing these
services and giving us millionaires even more opportunity to avoid
paying our fair share. A better America is one that invests its dollars
in its own citizens and ensures an equality of opportunity that
benefits us all. A budget designed by robber barons to benefit the few,
at the expense of everyone else, will not deliver that dream.
Berners-Lee Says 'You Should Have Complete Control of Your Data'
This article is
Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title. It starts as
"You should have complete
control of your data. It's not oil. It's not
a commodity," Sir Tim Berners-Lee charged
ahead of an event celebrating the 30th birthday of the World Wide
Web—his invention that created the internet as we know it.
A major aspect of his vision for the future of the web requires
rethinking personal data. "You should not be able to sell it for
money," Berners-Lee told reporters at CERN, according
to Agence France-Presse, "because it's a right."
Personal data essentially
has become a form of currency that internet
users turn over—sometimes unintentionally—to major tech corporations
such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google in exchange for using their
services. Through a variety of initiatives, Berners-Lee is working to
Well... I do not
Berners-Lee, and my main reason is that I think that the internet has
turned out to be the best guarantee for a kind of fascist
authoritarianism there has ever been:
All the governments´
anonymous - spies from anywhere have access to everything
wrote or published on the internet, and to the same of their friends,
and the friends of their friends, and precisely
the same holds for any
corporation that is rich enough.
Together, this means
that a very few spies and a very few rich men can indirectly control
anyone, and will know virtually everything about virtually anyone.
This is - as was
repeatedly said by formed members of the Stasi and the KGB -
tenthousands of times more powerful than
anything the KGB possibly
Here is some more from
Well... 2. is based on the
mechanisms Berners-Lee created, and 3. may be a consequence of the
that seem to move most.
Berners-Lee, in the letter,
identifies "three sources of dysfunction affecting today's web" that
must be addressed:
malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks,
criminal behavior, and online harassment.
- System design
that creates perverse incentives where user value is
sacrificed, such as ad-based revenue models that commercially reward
clickbait and the viral spread of misinformation.
negative consequences of benevolent design, such as the
outraged and polarized tone and quality of online discourse.
While, as Berners-Lee
notes, no one person, corporation, or government is solely at fault for
the web's current problems, resistance to what he and many others see
as necessary systemic reforms has come from powerful companies and
I will here concentrate on 1.: State sponsored hacking, and corporation
sponsored hacking are all direct consequences of
design of the WWW. I got internet in 1996, which was fairly early, but
even then I had immediate and strong reservations about the
my e-mails would be (and still are) send without any encryption,
means that they could and can be read by anybody rich enough to
Berners-Lee certainly knew this when he designed the internet,
designed the internet not ¨for the people¨ but for DARPA, and DARPA
wanted since the late 1960ies (see my Crisis: propaganda
and Control: Brezezinski 1968) an
internet that would create a new society, that was called by
¨the technotronic society¨ in 1967, about which he said then:
leaving the phase of spontaneity and is entering a
And this is precisely
what Brzezinski and DARPA got from
Berners-Lee, that is, one
surveillance over every citizen¨ (by the anonymous spies who know everything anyone
thinks, values, desires, reads, earns etc. etc. etc.); one with ¨up-to-date,
containing even personal information about
personal behaviour of the citizen¨ , that is, about every citizen; one that made
and plan to meet any uprisings in the future¨ and one where the anonymous spies or corporations are
able to forecast crises before the rioters
conscious of wanting them¨.
more self-conscious state;
ceasing to be an industrial society, its is being shaped to an
ever-increasing extent by technology and electronics,
becoming the first technotronic society.
This is at least in part the cause for much of
the current tensions and violence, and largely the reason why events
in America today do not fit established categories
that the technotronic society fills some
(in this respect the reactionaries and the
Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new
'it will soon be possible to assert almost
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in
customary data.' Moreover it will be
and plan to meet any uprisings in the
will even be able to forecast crises before the
conscious of wanting them.
Mr. Brzezinski called this ¨the technotronic societty¨ in 1967; I call it a
totally realized dream of the basis for fascism, that also will be almost
impossible to defeat, simply because the spies do know everything in
principle about anyone (right now!).
And that dream of Brzezinsi of 1967 was realized
in 1989. I fear he agreed already in the 1980ies with Brzezinski of
1967, and indeed he seems to love extra-ordinarily empty propaganda
like this, which is again from the article I am reviewing:
Also, if I look at
Berners-Lee´s ¨Contract for
the Web¨ all I see is dead and tasteless propaganda without any indication how any
of the propaganda might or could be realized.
"The fight for the web is
of the most important causes of our time. Today, half of the world is
online," Berners-Lee concludes in his open letter. "The web is for
everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it. It won't be
easy. But if we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we
In any case, I do not trust Berners-Lee, and the present
provides some reasons why and is recommended.
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 3 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 (!!).