in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 27, 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 27, 2019:
1. Palestinians Call to Oppose Golan
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. The Real Trump Scandal Was Never
3. Democrats' Russiagate Fixation Has Obscured Trump's True
4. The Trump Contagion
5. Don’t Believe Trump or Barr. The Investigations Are Just
Call to Oppose Golan Heights Annexation
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts with the
Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington on Monday to meet with President
Trump, who signed an order officially recognizing Israel’s control of
the Golan Heights in defiance of international law. We speak with
Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the
Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, and Jehad Abusalim,
scholar and policy analyst from Gaza. He runs the Gaza Unlocked
campaign for the United States for the American Friends Service
Yes indeed, and in case
you want some background information on the Golan Heights,
this is a
link. The introduction to this - fairly long - article ends thus:
25 March 2019,
the United States is the only country to
recognize Israeli sovereignty over the effectively annexed regions.
And you should
keep this in mind reading the rest of this article. Here is some more:
GOODMAN: Budour Hassan,
if you can start off by talking about what happened in Washington
yesterday, President Trump signing, just before the Israeli elections,
in which the embattled prime minister is running, though the attorney
general of Israel says he’ll be indicting him—the significance of the
annexation of the Golan—of the U.S. recognizing the annexation?
HASSAN: Yeah, by
recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, the
United States has turned itself into a pariah state, blessing and
glorifying the violation of human rights. It’s obviously significant
that after decades of refusing to recognize sovereignty, Donald Trump
has given this massive election boost to Netanyahu by recognizing the
sovereignty of the Golan Heights.
And what’s missing, though,
Amy, from the coverage of the whole saga of recognizing the Golan
Heights is no one actually is talking about the people of the Golan
Heights, what they want and what they seek. And the people of the—the
Syrian people in the Golan Heights have reiterated, time and time
again, that this, their land, is Syrian. It’s not a disputed land. It’s
not a contested land. It’s a Syrian land.
Well... I am sorry, but
Hassan speaks rhetorics rather than plain prose, for it surely is not
the case that by this act - agreeing that the Golan Heights are
part of Israel - the USA ¨has turned itself into a pariah state¨,
except in the eyes of a few.
Also, it is not a
that ¨the Syrian people in the
Golan Heights have reiterated, time and time again, that this, their
land, is Syrian¨.
What is true is that
- as far
as I know - there is little interest in the Golan Heights from the
point of view of the people who live there, and there are also few
journalists active in the Golan Heights.
Here is one more bit by
HASSAN: And Trump’s move
recognizing, and signing this executive order, gives blessing to these
continued violations and erases an entire people off the map. One
friend in the Golan Heights had told me that it’s bizarre that a person
who probably has never heard of the Golan Heights before that, he gives
himself the right, entitles himself, to acknowledge Israel’s
sovereignty over the Golan. It’s neither Trump’s to recognize this
sovereignty, and it’s neither Israel’s to take.
Obviously, people in the Golan will continue to resist and will
continue to protest, as they’ve always done, but this is an extremely
dangerous step. And this signals that the United States, again, doesn’t
give any regard to human rights or to international law or to
international humanitarian law.
Unfortunately, most of this
is again rhetorics - which I think myself is a pity, for I am much
sympathetic to the people who live in the Golan Heights than to the
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
unfortunately, we’re living in a global moment where there is rise of
right-wing populism. There has been a decline in the ability of the
international community, through the traditional institutions that have
emerged after World War II, to at least exercise the minimum. And the
minimum here, you know, we’re talking about condemnation. We’re talking
about denouncing such steps. Unfortunately, the international community
has been watching for a long time. And the inability of the
international community to hold Israel accountable and to challenge the
United States’ negative role, not only when it comes to the Palestinian
issue—the Palestinian issue and the occupation of the Golan Heights is
part of a larger package of how the United States behaves in the Middle
East and how it exercises its foreign policy and what considerations
inform that policy.
I think this is mostly
correct, and this is a recommended article.
Real Trump Scandal Was Never Collusion
article is by Robert Reich on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Well... for me the
main point is that the questions with which the above quotation ends
are only rationally answerable (in context) if the Mueller
given to the public, and this has not happened so far, and may never
We may never know for sure
whether Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to obtain Russia’s
help in the 2016 election, in return for, say, Trump’s help in
weakening NATO and not interfering against Russian aggression in
Trump and his propaganda
machine at Fox News have repeatedly conjured up a “witch hunt” and
maintained a drumbeat of “no collusion,” which already has mired Robert
Mueller’s report in a fog of alt-interpretation and epistemological
What’s “collusion?” What’s
illegal? Has Trump obstructed justice? Has he been vindicated? What did
Mueller conclude, exactly? What did he mean?
Here is more by Reich:
Well... in the first place, I´d
like to know where it is written that (speaking about the USA)
An American president is
not just the chief executive of the United States, and the office he
(eventually she) holds is not just a bully pulpit to advance policy
ideas. He is also a moral leader, and the office is a moral pulpit
invested with meaning about the common good.
A president’s most
fundamental responsibility is to protect our system of government.
Trump has weakened that system.
As George Washington’s
Southall Freeman, explained, the first president believed he had
been entrusted with something of immense intrinsic worth, and that his
duty was to uphold it for its own sake and over the long term. He led
by moral example.
Few of our subsequent
presidents have come close to the example Washington set, but none to
date has been as far from that standard as Trump.
¨A president’s most fundamental
responsibility is to protect our system of government¨.
And in the second place, while I certainly do not know much of
most presidents of the USA, I think it is fairly certain that only
few were ¨a moral leader¨ who exercised an office that was ¨a moral pulpit invested with meaning about
the common good¨.
Also, I think such a task would be a large task for people who
been politicians most of their lives, as have been many American
Here is some more:
I agree with Reich
what´s said in the first of the above quoted paragraphs were (at least)
ethical lapses, although I think it is more correct if Reich
that these ethical lapses (which may also have been legal lapses)
reduced a part of the public´s trust in the office of this
Trump sent another message
by refusing to reveal his tax returns during the campaign or even when
he took office, or to put his businesses into a blind trust to avoid
conflicts of interest, and by his overt willingness to make money off
his presidency by having foreign diplomats stay at his Washington
hotel, and promoting his various golf clubs.
These were not just ethical
lapses. They directly undermined the common good by reducing the
public’s trust in the office of the president.
A president’s most
fundamental responsibility is to uphold and protect our system of
government. Trump has weakened that system.
Anyway. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
No, I am sorry: Even
though I am a philosopher, I think the above is too philosophical i.e.
too vaguely grandiose.
This is the essence of
Trump’s failure—not that he has chosen one set of policies over
another, or has divided rather than united Americans, or even that he
has behaved in childish and vindictive ways unbecoming a president.
It is that he has
sacrificed the processes and institutions of American democracy to
achieve his goals.
By saying and doing
whatever it takes to win, he has abused the trust we place in a
president to preserve and protect the nation’s capacity for
Controversy over the
Mueller report must not obscure this basic reality.
Russiagate Fixation Has Obscured Trump's True Crimes
This article is by
Paul Jay on Truthdig and originally on The Real News Network. It starts
Yes. Here is some more:
PAUL JAY: Welcome
to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.
So the Mueller report has
been handed over to the attorney general, who handed over his memo to
Congress. And we’re expecting, sooner or later, some real parts of the
Mueller report will be handed over to the Congress. Of course, they’re
asking for everything. But as everyone knows by now, the report found
no collusion with the Russians and the interference in the elections.
I think that is basically
correct. Here is some more:
And now, of course, some, in particular in the media, are
left with egg on their face. I’d like to recommend the words of Glenn
Greenwald of The Intercept, who points the finger of accusation
particularly at MSNBC and their multimillion dollar journalists,
including Rachel Maddow, who made quite a living by beating the drums
about Russia’s alleged interference in the internal affairs of the
United States while downplaying not only Mr. Trump’s corruption, but
also the fact that the United States has interfered in the internal
affairs of virtually every nation on planet Earth.
I have a remark on each of
the quoted three paragraphs:
JEFF COHEN: Yeah,
I think Gerald has hit on something in that there’s been this emphasis
in the mainstream media, especially MSNBC and CNN that are allied with
the corporate Democratic Party leadership. And it’s been this obsessive
focus on Russiagate to the exclusion of issues that might actually
resonate with the U.S. voting public, like Trump’s corruption.
And what’s concerned me all
along as a political analyst is the Democratic leadership, whenever
anyone over the last two years would bring up impeachment–and there are
so many provable, in light of day, done in public actions by Trump
against sectors of the U.S. public, against the Constitution, against
democratic process, whether it’s his refusal to divest his business
interests which leads to financial conflicts of interest, that’s
unconstitutional, the Muslim ban, you can’t discriminate against people
based on religion, abuse of the pardon power with Joe Arpaio,
politicizing federal prosecutions, attacks on the media coupled with
threatening to use federal agencies to go after journalists that you
don’t like. This kind of thing is unprecedented in modern presidential
history and goes beyond Nixon.
And yet, all you got from
Pelosi and other leaders when they were asked about these abuses and
“what about impeachment,” they’d say, “We’re waiting for the Mueller
First paragraph. What Cohen does not mention is that Mueller´s
to investigate ¨Russiagate¨ rather than Trump´s corruption, which is
Second paragraph. I agree with this.
Third paragraph: Yes, but Pelosi and most of the Democrats probably
feared an impeachment procedure, especially with both the Senate and
the House in Republican hands. Also, I think impeachment is probably
now off the political table, although I think Trump may be still
impeached, namely for being
insane (which I think he is, and I am a
psychologist, who also thinks that no insane person has the
right to be
president of the USA).
Anyway. Here is some more:
This seems mostly correcty
to me, although it seems nonsense to me to speak of ¨the Republican Party base, 63 million strong¨: That´s confusing Trump´s voters with
Republicans, and these in turn with ¨the
Republican Party base¨.
(..) What they didn’t count on is that the Republican Party base, 63
million strong, is not necessarily concerned with ideological
consistency. They’re concerned with maintaining power, domination, and
hegemony by any means necessary. And if that means consorting with a
candidate such as Donald J. Trump who conflicts, allegedly, with their
moral compass in terms of being a profane, obscene, thrice married
billionaire, well they’ll change their policies, they’ll change their
principles. As the comedian Groucho Marx says, “If you don’t like these
principles, don’t worry, I have others.”
Here is some more:
JEFF COHEN: Yeah,
it’s bad strategy. I mean, in November, there were exit polls November
2018, and they found that virtually no voters cast their vote based on
the Russia investigation. However, if the Democrats and MSNBC, which
was all the while Russiagate, imagine if they had focused on Trump’s
greed and self-interest and self-dealing and violations of the
Constitution’s clauses that you can’t accept a financial benefit if
you’re in office, if you’re the president. So it turns out to be a bad
then again none of the things Cohen mentions were part of
Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
Yes, I think that is
basically true and this is a recommended article.
(..) The collusion was
secondary. The real issue was the Russophobia. Because even if the
Russians did any of what they’re accused of doing–and I think what’s in
the public domain, one can still remain skeptical of that. But even if
they did, this is just normal stuff that big competitive countries do
with each other. And I mean, the United States, we know, interferes in
every election on Earth, as Gerald said.
This article is by
Jeffrey Sachs, Bandy X. Lee and Ruth Ben-Giat on Common Dreams and
originally on Project Syndicate. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. As to the
writers of this article: Ruth Ben-Giat is a historian; Jeffrey Sachs
is a prominent American economist; and Bandy Lee is a
psychiatrist, about whom I have reviewed several articles, all on
Trump´s lack of sanity, on which I agree (as a psychologist) with Lee,
although I am not at all an admirer of current
Mental health professionals
and others have been trying to warn the public about the dangers of US
President Donald Trump since his election.
Trump’s extreme narcissism, sadism, lack of empathy, and admiration for
despots are on
daily display. Some may wish to see him as a self-absorbed clown,
but he is a clear and present danger to the world who must be prevented
from leading (or misleading) it to disaster.
With the release of special
counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the dangers have greatly multiplied.
While we have not seen the actual text – only a version of it rendered
by the president’s political ally, US Attorney General William
Barr – Mueller’s purported conclusion that Trump did not collude with
Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely embolden Trump to attack.
What makes the Mueller claim especially disastrous is the reality of
tacit collusion staring us in the face. Trump ran his 2016 campaign
while secretly trying to score a real-estate mega-deal in Moscow (and,
as usual, lying about it to the public). He publicly
opined on canceling sanctions against Russia while pursuing this
Trump will feel enabled in
his vindictiveness and delusions of grandeur.
Here is some more:
Yes, I think that is
mostly correct, especially the second paragraph. Here is the
that I quote from this article:
Trump’s growing rages may
partly be the result of cognitive
decline. Over time, for example, his ability to form complete
sentences, use complex words, and maintain a coherent train of thought
appears to have
eroded. There is documented history of his father’s dementia.
What is certain is that
Trump is putting the world at risk. He has now withdrawn from two
nuclear treaties, one
with Iran that was agreed to by the entire UN Security Council, and
the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, in place
since 1988. His absurdly incompetent diplomacy with North Korea lies in
tatters, with that country now
warning of a new round of nuclear tests.
This assessment – and
Trump’s own behavior – implies five steps that should be taken without
First, the House of
Representatives should start impeachment hearings. Trump is responsible
for the same campaign
finance illegalities that are sending his erstwhile lawyer, Michael
Cohen, to prison.
Second, Congress should urgently reclaim the clear and unambiguous
constitutional right to declare war. Sadly, Congress has effectively ceded
this authority to the executive branch. Yet the authority to launch
a war, especially in the case of a nuclear-armed power, must never be
entrusted to only one person. That would be true even if the US had a
Third, mental health experts must fulfill their responsibility
to protect society’s health and safety by explain publicly, where
necessary, that Trump is not just a conniving politician, or a forceful
leader, but a mentally
unstable individual capable of creating widespread harm.
Fourth, the media needs to go beyond covering Trump’s mood of the day
to covering his mental instability. The real story is not just that
Trump lies relentlessly, or that he is cruel and bigoted, but that he
is a threat
Lastly, Americans need to organize politically to prevent another
election debacle in 2020 (..)
There is considerably more in
the original, that is here indicated by ¨(..)¨s, but I wanted to cover
all five points, about which I also have five brief remarks.
First, I agree Trump should
be impeached, but not because he did similar things as
Cohen did but because Trump
is not sane.
Second, Congress still
has ¨the clear and unambiguous
constitutional right to declare war¨
but I agree it should insist a lot more that this is the case. (And I
like it that the writers do all say that they think that Trump is not
Third, I think that is fairly
useless: I am a psychologist, and one of the things I certainly
know is that few journalists understand much about psychology
psychiatry. Also ¨mental health experts¨ are listened to by few.
Fourth, ¨the media¨ will not
do so, I am pretty certain.
Fifth, maybe if the
liberals and the progressives in the USA succeed in better working
together than they have done, Trump might be voted away in 2020, which
I certainly hope.
Anyway... this is a
Believe Trump or Barr. The Investigations Are Just Beginning.
This article is by William
Rivers Pitt on Truthout. It starts as follows:
Well, that didn’t take long.
The ink wasn’t dry on
Attorney General William Barr’s laughably
porous “summary” of the Mueller report before Donald Trump
and his allies
war on all who have displeased them. This included a demand from
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) that Bill Clinton be
investigated for his 2016 airport tarmac meeting with then-Attorney
General Loretta Lynch, demands for an investigation into the
investigators, demands for an investigation into how the whole thing is
Barack Obama’s fault, demands for a whole separate investigation into
how the whole thing is actually Hillary Clinton’s fault, an enemies
list sent to media outlets naming people who should be banned from
the airways and, of course, a wholesale assault on the news media
Well... yes, but who would
have expected something else, given the outcome that - according to
Mueller - Trump did not collude with the Russians, and given
the lack of rationality and reasonability of virtually all Republican
Here is some more from
questions about the Mueller report itself – specifically regarding
portion dealing with various contacts between Trump’s people and
Russian agents – will only be answered if and when the full report is
made public. House Democrats have set a deadline
of April 2 for its release, which Barr is unlikely (and probably
unwilling) to meet.
“[William Barr] put a
little lipstick on something that might’ve been fairly ugly,” John
Dean, former White House counsel to Nixon and expert on rogue
presidents, told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We haven’t really seen the
underlying report, but I have some suspicions that the reason he boiled
this down the way he did is because it’s not very attractive, Don.
[Mueller’s] words are very different than Barr’s, I suspect.”
I agree that Mueller´s
whole report should be made public. And this is a 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 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 (!!).