in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 4, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 April 4, 2019:
1. Was Ending the Draft a Grave
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. Is a Global Recession Looming on the
3. Elizabeth Warren Unveils Sweeping Bill to Punish Criminal
4. US Campaign Aims to Make Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
5. Ecuador President Threatens to Decide Assange’s Fate Over
Ending the Draft a Grave Mistake?
This article is by
Maj. Danny Sjursen on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
I say, for I did not
Then again, I do have a definite opinion on ending the draft
and it is
I spent last week at
State University in remote central Texas as a panelist for the annual All-Volunteer Force (AVF)
Forum. It was a strange forum in many ways, but nonetheless
instructive. I was the youngest (and most progressive) member, as well
as the lowest-ranking veteran among a group of leaders and speakers
that included two retired generals, the chief
of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a few former
colonels and several academics. Despite having remarkably diverse life
experiences and political opinions, all concluded that America’s
all-volunteer military is not equitable, efficient or sustainable. The
inconvenient truth each of the panel participants had the courage to
identify is that the end of the draft in the U.S. had many
unintended—and ultimately tragic— consequences for the republic.
Wholly apart from the ideas that the present
All-Volunteer Force is neither efficient nor sustainable, which it may
well be but about which I know almost nothing, my position on the draft
is that I am strongly for the draft.
My reasons are mainly the following three:
In the first place, I think a democracy should be defended, if it needs
to be, by the whole population in so far as this is capable of
defending it militarily and gets drafted, and conversely, if the
country is not defended by the whole population, it must be
considerably less of a real
democracry than it pretends to be.
In the second place, in the real - political and economical - world
most things are decided by wealth and by power, which also strongly
overlap, simply because if you are wealthy, it is a lot easier to
power, and if you are powerful it is a lot easier to get rich, and
having a non-drafted all-volunteer military force will be in
cases forces of the rich or the wealthy, rather than forces of and for
In the third place, in a non-drafted
all-volunteer military force there will be almost certainly
extremely few children from rich parents, and disproportionally many
from poor parents, which supports both previous points.
There are quite a few other arguments, but I will not discuss
and now. I also have to admit that I personally disliked being
(which I was, in 1968), but that I got out of the draft for -
nonsensical - medical reasons.
Anyway... here is some more:
The oft-praised U.S.
military is, disturbingly, the most trusted
in the country. These days,
active service members and veterans are regularly paraded before an
otherwise apathetic citizenry at nearly every sporting event. Public
figures and private citizens alike fawn over and obsessively thank the
troops at every possible opportunity. It seems strange, however, that
Americans are so hyperproud of their military, seeing as it neither
reflects society nor achieves national objectives overseas. After all,
the military only accounts for about
0.5 % of
Americans and, as recent
statistics indicate, the Army is falling well short of its
recruiting goals. Not to mention that for all the vacuous pageantry and
celebrations of a military that is increasingly divergent from civil
society, few seem to ask an important question: When was the last time
the AVF won a war?
The AVF is ultimately an
unfair, ineffective and unsustainable organization charged with
impossible, ill-advised missions by policymakers and a populace that
actually care rather little for the nation’s soldiers. As the AVF nears
its 50th anniversary, there’s no better time than now to assess the
model’s flaws and its effect on American democracy.
I think this is
correct, but I do not know. And I comment on only one thing in
above quotation: I quite agree with Sjursen that it is quite
that the U.S. military is "the
public institution in the country", but I agree it probably is.
This is how the
military force came about:
Yes, I think that is mostly
correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Way back when the U.S.
military was bogged down in an unwinnable, immoral and ill-advised war
in Vietnam, newly elected President Nixon faced a serious problem.
Tricky Dick, as he is sometimes known, wanted to prolong and escalate
the war into Cambodia and Laos in order to achieve “peace with
honor”—in other words, seem tough and save some American face. Only the
growing domestic anti-war movement that was gaining influence in
Congress stood in his way. No doubt cynically, but also astutely, Nixon
surmised that fear of individual conscription largely motivated
youthful anti-war activists. Thus, in a Faustian devil’s bargain,
he helped end the draft and usher in a brand-new all-volunteer force.
Surprisingly, his gambit worked, and the steam blew out of the anti-war
movement over time. Today, it is with the same all-volunteer force
Nixon left us with that the U.S. wages war across the breadth of the
Yes, I basically agree
Holland, where I live, had a similar system in the 1960ies as proposed
by Laitch, although it now also has an all-volunteer force). There is
considerably more in the article, which is recommended.
At the recent forum, Laich
proposed an alternative to the current volunteer system. To ensure
fairness, efficiency and sustainability, the U.S. could create a
lottery system (with no college or other elite deferments) that gives
draftees three options: serve two years on active duty right after high
school, serve six years in the reserves or go straight to college and
enroll in the ROTC
program. Whether or not one agrees with this idea, it would create
a more egalitarian, representative, affordable and sustainable national
defense tool. Furthermore, with the children of bankers, doctors,
lawyers and members of Congress subject to service, the government
might think twice before embarking on the next foolish, unwinnable
a Global Recession Looming on the Horizon?
article is by Paul Jay on Truthdig and originally on The Real News
Network. It starts as follows:
I say, for while I do
believe there is another recession coming, I hardly read the
What follows is a
conversation between Economist Heiner Flassbeck and Paul Jay of the
Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or
watch the video at the bottom of the post.
PAUL JAY: If
you listen to the business press, it won’t be long before we’re in
recession, and perhaps globally something even more serious. That’s
coming up next on The Real News Network.
Here is some more:
I suppose this is true. Here is
PAUL JAY: Well,
as I said, if you listen to the gurus of finance that show up on
Bloomberg Radio and other financial press and information, they are
predicting a recession, perhaps before the end of 2019. And there is
also lots of concern about the state of the global financial
architecture, to use the kind of words they use in the financial and
business press. One can see it in the stock market zooming up, and it
doesn’t take a heck of a lot for it to zoom way down. There is
tremendous volatility, and nobody quite knows what is coming next, I
suppose, except if you’re in the know you can make a lot of money out
of the volatility.
In fact, I do not even
kind of economist Flassbeck is (and in the present
supposed science of
economics there are at least 3 quite different conceptions of what the
science of economics is, and is about), but I agree with
two points in
the above quotation:
PAUL JAY: OK.
So talk about, first of all, why are so many, it seems, in the business
consultancy, predictors, predicting a slowdown and recession, perhaps
by the end of 2019? And it will be very interesting timing, because if
there is a recession it within that time frame, then it could well
come, you know, leading up into the 2020 elections in the United States.
HEINER FLASSBECK: Well,
you see, we have a number of signals all around the world that show
that a recovery may be over.
In Europe it’s a bit
different. In Europe we had more or less no recovery, only a very, very
brief recovery of 1.5 years or so. And there are signs of a recession
even stronger in Europe. In Japan, also, there was quite a bit of a
recovery. In China we had 30 years of a boom, and at a certain point is
a boom is coming to an end. And all this may come together now and
create, indeed, a very dangerous situation for the global economy.
Firstly, if indeed there is a recession by the end of 2019, this
interfere, probably quite negatively, with Trump's chances of winning
the 2020 presidential elections.
And secondly, I agree with Flassbeck that it is especially
Europe that is the problem (and I live in Europe, and have seen no
sign of as much as "a very, very
brief recovery of 1.5 years or so",
which may be partially explained by the fact that I am among
the poorest of the poor, after over 40 years of "a serious chronic
disease", that was denied to exist by everybody official -
which was much
more profitable for the deniers - for 39 years).
Here is some more from the article:
I take this again mostly as
given, but do like to remark that what is here called "fiscal
sounds in my ears like Keynesianism.
is the biggest problem. You see, the United States were quite
pragmatic. They had fiscal policy, extremely expansionary fiscal policy
all the time. in Europe the situation is really really dangerous,
because we had, as I said, no recovery. Unemployment is still very high
in many countries. In France is 9 percent, in Italy it’s more than 10
percent. So we had no investment boom in Europe, not even in Germany,
which was the country that is best off of all of them. And so for now
it just remained zero, and we’re going into recession. So there is no
possibility to stimulate the economy from the monetary side. And on the
fiscal side, and this is the worst thing, on the fiscal side there is
this enormous dogma in Europe that you should not use fiscal policy.
Which is crazy, which is absolutely crazy.
PAUL JAY: Explain
for a second for viewers who don’t follow these things what you mean by
HEINER FLASSBECK: Fiscal
policy is stimulating demand by government debt.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, I think I agree
again, and this is a recommended article.
PAUL JAY: And
what–if there is a hard Brexit, meaning if the United Kingdom leaves
Europe with no deal whatsoever, what does that do to an already fragile
European economic situation?
HEINER FLASSBECK: Yeah,
it could end up in a disaster if no one reacts immediately in terms of
sort of, say, giving a safety net to these economies that the
uncertainty is dramatically increasing. Nobody knows what happens to
the trade relations with the United Kingdom. So that could really
trigger a deep, deep recession. And as I said, given the situation
Europe is in, it would be politically a plain disaster, a huge
disaster. And that would have definitely negative spillover to all of
Warren Unveils Sweeping Bill to Punish Criminal CEOs
This article is by
Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
I am a proponent of Warren's
proposed new law (which I think is unlikely top become a
law, but that
is an aside), but indeed mostly because the existing laws do simply
seem to work: You can get to jail in the USA for 10 years for
possessing some 30 grams of marijuana, but if you are a rich CEO
can defraud millions and not be punished at all.
Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation Wednesday that would make it
easier to imprison corporate executives whose companies commit crimes
or “harm large numbers of Americans through civil violations.”
“Corporations don’t make
decisions, people do, but for far too long, CEOs of giant corporations
that break the law have been able to walk away, while consumers who are
harmed are left picking up the pieces,” the 2020 Democratic
presidential contender said in a statement.
According to a summary
released by Warren’s office, the Corporate Executive Accountability Act
would expand criminal liability to executives of companies that:
- Are found guilty, plead
guilty, or enter into a deferred or non-prosecution agreement for any
- Are found liable or
enter a settlement with any state or federal regulator for the
violation of any civil law if that violation affects the health,
safety, finances, or personal data of 1% of the American population or
1% of the population of any state;
- Are found liable or
guilty of a second civil or criminal violation for a different activity
while operating under a civil or criminal judgment of any court, a
deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreement, or settlement with
any state or Federal agency;
Under Warren’s bill,
punishment for a first offense would be “up to one year” of jail-time.
A second offense would carry up to three years in prison.
The Corporate Executive
Accountability Act would apply to companies with more than $1 billion
in annual revenue.
“Our justice system
ensure that if you cheat working Americans, you’ll go to jail,” the
Massachusetts senator tweeted.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed. Here is the ending
of this article:
Warren also reintroduced
the Ending Too Big to Jail Act on Wednesday, with the goal of holding
executives of Wall Street banks accountable for financial crimes.
“These two bills would
force executives to responsibly manage their companies, knowing that if
they cheat their customers or crash the economy, they could go to
jail,” said Warren.
Quite so - but once again I like
to point out that in fact the existing laws simply do not work
in so far as the prosecutions and convictions of rich fraudulent CEOs
is concerned, but this is a recommended article.
“Four words are engraved
the front door of the Supreme Court: ‘equal justice under law,'” the
senator concluded. “It’s the fundamental principle that’s supposed to
drive our legal system. But it’s not equal justice when a kid with an
ounce of pot can get thrown in jail while a wealthy executive can walk
away with a bonus after his company cheats millions of people.”
Campaign Aims to Make Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
This article is by
Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
A coalition of over a
progressive advocacy groups launched a nationwide
"Tax the Rich" campaign Wednesday with the goal of building a
grassroots movement to unrig the tax code and make wealthy Americans
pay their fair share.
The new project, led by
progressive advocacy group Tax March, will consist of on-the-ground
organizing in crucial battleground states like Wisconsin and Iowa.
Tax March also plans to
spend seven figures on digital, print, television, and radio ads "to
educate the public about taxing the rich."
"Taxing the rich isn't just
good policy, it's good politics—and this campaign will prove that,"
Maura Quint, executive director of progressive advocacy group Tax
March, said in a statement. "Raising taxes on corporations and the
wealthy is wildly popular with a majority of both Democratic and
To underscore this point,
Tax March released new
polling data (pdf) Wednesday showing that 75 percent of likely 2020
voters—including 60 percent of Republicans—support raising taxes on the
Yes, I quite
may add in support that the Republican Eisenhower taxed the
than anybody else, and precisely during his presidency the middle class
Here is the other bit
that I quote from this article:
"If we are ever going to
address our important national priorities, including healthcare,
infrastructure, education, and climate change, we must raise trillions
of new tax dollars from the well off and implement a tax system that
works for everyone," Clemente added. "That starts by repealing the
Trump-GOP tax cuts for the rich and corporations."
Ezra Levin, co-executive
director of Indivisible, argued that combating inequality with higher
taxes on the rich would have both economic and political benefits.
"Concentration of wealth
equals concentration of power," said Levin. "That means taxing the rich
not only builds a more just economy, it builds a stronger democracy for
all of us."
Quite so, and this is a
strongly recommended article.
President Threatens to Decide Assange’s Fate Over Scandal
article is by Elizabeth Vos on Consortium News. It has a subtitle:
president is threatening to soon decide on Julian Assange’s refuge
after his government falsely accused WikiLeaks of publishing files
about a scandal that threatens to bring the president down, as
Elizabeth Vos reports.
And note the "falsely"! The article starts as follows (and I am sorry
that the html of Consortium News is absolutely horrible, which
means I have to convert it to pure ASCII before I can copy it):
President Lenin Moreno said Tuesday he would decide “in the short term”
the fate of Julian Assange after claiming that WikiLeaks had
“repeatedly violated” the terms of Assange’s asylum in Ecuador’s London
embassy by commenting on a scandal linking a Panamanian investment
company with Moreno and his family.
I say, once again.
Well... the above bit more or less sums it up, and I am not up
converting more of the truly horrible html of Consortium News to ASCII
before I can copy it in Nederlog.
conditions, or protocol, were imposed by Ecuador on Assange in March
2018 and bar him from commenting publicly on political matters in
exchange for being allowed to remain a refugee in the embassy. Assange
never agreed to the protocol, which contradicts international refugee
law guaranteeing freedom of expression. In addition there is protocol
on WikiLeaks, which still has a working Twitter account.
President Lenin Moreno stated today that Assange has ‘violated the
‘conditions’ of his asylum’ and that he will ‘take a decision’ ‘in the
short term” after @WikiLeaks reported on the existence of the
#INAPapers offshore corruption scandal wracking his government,”
WikiLeaks tweeted Tuesday.
reported about the scandal allegedly involving Moreno and his family
with INA Investments Corp, though WikiLeaks has not published any
documents related to the case. Moreno’s spokesman, however, has implied
that WikiLeaks has. A search of Wikileaks’ website shows no such files.
Telesur English the scandal came to light in February when Ecuadorian
legislator Ronny Aleaga told reporters he had “received a dossier
anonymously filled with documents that will implicate Lenin Moreno and
his family in alleged crimes of corruption, perjury and money
laundering.” The dossier has come to be known as the INA Papers.
Anyway... 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 (!!).