in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 24, 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 April 24, 2019:
1. Right-Wing Vigilantes Hold Migrants
Hostage on U.S. Border
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. Noam Chomsky: Democrats May Have
Handed Trump the 2020 Election
3. Ukraine's Powerful Rebuke to American Hegemony
4. Packing the Supreme Court
5. Democrats and Progressives Grapple With How Best to
Vigilantes Hold Migrants Hostage on U.S. Border
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! I
abbreviated the title. It begins with the following introduction:
has arrested the head of an armed vigilante group that has repeatedly
filmed itself detaining migrant border crossers at gunpoint.
Sixty-nine-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins is the leader of the
far-right, pro-Trump group calling itself United Constitutional
Patriots, which the American Civil Liberties Union described as an
“armed fascist militia organization.” His arrest came just days after
the ACLU accused the vigilantes of illegally
detaining 300 migrants, including young children, near Sunland Park,
New Mexico, last week. We speak to Peter Simonson, executive director
of the ACLU of New Mexico.
Yes indeed, and I
selected this article mainly because these - let's say - armed
vigilantes (who are totally illegal) seem to be collaborating in
various fashions with the real American police, which in this case is
the Border Patrol, and this in turn means that legal and
illegal forces are collaborating in the USA.
Here is some more:
GOODMAN: (..) Welcome to Democracy
Now!, Peter. Can you lay out who this man is, who the FBI have just detained, and what his group was
doing along the border?
SIMONSON: Sure. Well,
you’ve pretty much explained what we know about Mr. Hopkins to this
point. You know, the group has been operating for a while now. I think
since we found out about them late last fall, they had been convening
down in the Sunland Park area. And we really did not expect to see any
sort of activity of the kind that they have manifested over the last
several weeks, where they are actually detaining people, dozens of
families, at gunpoint, and, you know, threatening them. These are
families that consist of young mothers, younger children, even infants.
And, you know, if you watch the videos, they’re just chilling. They’re
just heartrending, to see innocent people exposed to this kind of a
Yes, I take it this is
correct. Here is more on the "United
Constitutional Patriots" i.e. the
Quite possibly so, but there
also is an alternative: They do understand at least some of the
consequences of their actions, and may hope to get - somehow - legalized.
I do not know which alternative is correct.
SIMONSON: (..) This is a
more—appears to be a more determined group, and certainly a group that
feels more empowered to take law into their own hands, and doesn’t seem
to understand any of the consequences of their actions.
Here is some more on these vigilantes:
SIMONSON: (..) You know,
we think that these folks should be labeled “vigilantes” because they
are taking the law into their own hands. They meet every definition of
“vigilante.” They believe that they understand what the terms of
justice should be better than what the law actually outlines for us,
and are willing to actually go to the lengths of using heavy weaponry
to enforce the law as they see it should be done. I think they only
adopt the name “militia” for the purpose of trying to associate
themselves with some sort of constitutional narrative that they think
justifies their actions, when in fact they are just a lawless band of
individuals who are misguided in their intentions.
Yes, I think that is
correct. And here is Simonson on collaboration between the Border
Patrol (which is legal) and these vigilantes (which are illegal):
Yes indeed, and this is a
SIMONSON: (..) There’s
plenty of video evidence—I think you just showed some—that suggests
that the Border Patrol is actively collaborating with these folks,
despite the fact that they’ve made a public statement saying that they
neither condone nor endorse their activity. We have plenty of video
documentation showing Border Patrol showing up to take the folks that
they have illegally detained into custody. There are pictures of the
Constitutional Patriot folks posing in photos with Border Patrol on
horseback. There seems to have been a fairly easy and cooperative
relationship between the vigilante group and the Border Patrol.
And, you know, the question I
am left with is: Why did no one tell these folks to cease and desist?
And if the Border Patrol is in fact a law enforcement agency, even if
they themselves were not going to initiate an investigation into these
folks, why couldn’t they have called upon FBI
to look into the matter?
Chomsky: Democrats May Have Handed Trump the 2020 Election
article is by Amy Goodman on Truthdig. This is from near its beginning:
I think this is mostly
quite correct, although I also think more is involved. And here is
AMY GOODMAN: Can you share your analysis
of President Trump? You have lived through so many presidents. Explain
President Trump to us and assess the massive response to him.
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Trump is—you know, I
think there are a number of illusions about Trump. If you take a look
at the Trump phenomenon, it’s not very surprising. Think back for the
last 10 or 15 years over Republican Party primaries, and remember what
happened during the primaries. Each primary, when some candidate rose
from the base, they were so outlandish that the Republican
establishment tried to crush them and succeeded in doing it—Michele
Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum. Anyone who was coming out of the
base was totally unacceptable to the establishment. The change in 2016
is they couldn’t crush him.
But the interesting
question is: Why was this happening? Why, in election after election,
was the voting base producing a candidate utterly intolerable to the
establishment? And the answer to that is—if you think about that, the
answer is not very hard to discover. During the—since the 1970s, during
this neoliberal period, both of the political parties have shifted to
the right. The Democrats, by the 1970s, had pretty much abandoned the
Yes again, although
for me the Republicans are still on the spectrum, though I agree they
are quite to very rightist. Also, Chomsky makes sense in that
he is correct that the Republicans did move to the right, and that this
makes it more difficult to get votes from ordinary people.
Meanwhile, the Republicans
shifted so far to the right that they went completely off the spectrum.
Two of the leading political analysts of the American Enterprise
Institute, Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein, about five or 10 years ago,
described the Republican Party as what they called a “radical
insurgency” that has abandoned parliamentary politics.
Well, why did that happen? It
happened because the Republicans face a difficult problem. They have a
primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate
power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You
can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get
votes. What do you do to get votes?
The mid-1970s, Paul Weyrich, one of the Republican strategists, hit on
a brilliant idea. Northern Catholics voted Democratic, tended to vote
Democratic, a lot of them working-class. The Republicans could pick up
that vote by pretending— crucially, “pretending”— to be opposed to
abortion. By the same pretense, they could pick up the evangelical
vote. Those are big votes—evangelicals, northern Catholics.
Here is some more on Trump's policies:
So, if you look at the
legislation under Trump, it’s just lavish gifts to the wealth and the
corporate sector—the tax bill, the deregulation, you know, every case
in point. That’s kind of the job of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan,
those guys. They serve the real constituency. Meanwhile, Trump has to
maintain the voting constituency, with one outrageous position after
another that appeals to some sector of the voting base. And he’s doing
it very skillfully. As just as a political manipulation, it’s skillful.
Work for the rich and the powerful, shaft everybody else, but get their
votes—that’s not an easy trick. And he’s carrying it off.
Yes, I think that is
correct as well. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article -
and "this issue" is basically Hillary Clinton's claim that here
presidency was stolen by the Russians:
Yes, I agree
again. Also, I think myself that many of the Democratic
establishment are corrupt (as is Hillary Clinton), but I know
that thinking is not proving. This is a strongly
The Democrats invested
everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much
there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him
the next election. That’s just a—that’s a matter of being so unwilling
to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on
the side that will somehow give political success. The real issues are
different things. They’re things like climate change, like global
warming, like the Nuclear Posture Review, deregulation. These are real
issues. But the Democrats aren’t going after those. They’re looking for
something else—the Democratic establishment. I’m not talking about the
young cohort that’s coming in, which is quite different.
Powerful Rebuke to American Hegemony
This article is by
Kevin Zeese on Truthdig and originally on Popular Restistance. It
starts as follows:
With the landslide
of Volodymyr Zelensky, who won 73 percent of the vote, the
comedian will become the president of Ukraine. Understanding how this
occurred becomes easy when people review US government documents
published by Wikileaks about the outgoing president.
Yes, that is correct,
although I think I should add that while I certainly like
Zelensky better than Poroshenko, I do not know how competent he
Here is some more
Who is “OU”? Our
Ukraine. In a classified diplomatic
cable from 2006 released by Wikileaks.org, U.S. officials refer to
Poroshenko as “Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko.” “Our
Ukraine” has been in the pocket of the US government for 13 years.
The US government knew he
was corrupt. A separate cable also released by
Wikileaks makes that clear. The May 2006 cable states
“Poroshenko was tainted by credible corruption allegations, but wielded
significant influence within OU; Poroshenko’s price had to be paid.”
The US government knew he was corrupt, but allowing his corruption was
a price the US was willing to pay to have Our Ukraine serving as
Yes, I think that is correct.
Here is some more:
Now the two pro-US
politicians, Tymoshenko and Poroshenko, have been replaced by
a political unknown in Zelensky, or “Ze,”
as he’s more popularly known. The incoming president has been vague on
what policies he will pursue but says he wants to negotiate peace with
Russia over eastern Ukraine, saying he was prepared to negotiate
directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Yes. This article ends as
Yes, I guess this is correct as
well, and this is a recommended article.
While the country has
gotten poorer, Poroshenko remains one of the wealthiest men in
Ukraine. He has been surrounded by corruption scandals as various
businessmen close to him have been caught up in
scandals involving corruption. The common view is Ukraine
has gotten poorer as Poroshenko has gotten richer.
All this was predictable
with what the US knew about OU, and thanks to Wikileaks should not be a
surprise to anyone.
4. Packing the Supreme Court
This article is by Robert
Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes, this is correct.
Here is some more:
Supreme Court heard arguments today on the Trump
administration’s decision to alter the 2020 Census to ask people if
In a former life, I argued
before the Supreme Court. From what I gathered today, it looks as if
Republican appointees to the Court have already decided this move by
But it’s not. The U.S.
calls for “actual enumeration” of the total population for an
purpose: To count the residents – not just citizens,
of every state to properly allocate congressional representatives to
based on population.
Yes indeed - and 5.1
percent is a lot. Also, Trump and his administration are out to
dismiss as many residents as voters, precisely because most residents
would vote Democratic.
The result would be a
undercounting of immigrant communities. The Census
Bureau has already calculated that it’s likely to result in a 5.1
of noncitizen households.
This would have two
grossly unfair results.
In the first place, these
communities and the states they’re in would get less federal aid.
these communities and the states they’re in would have fewer
Congress. The Census count determines
the distribution of congressional seats among states. Under the
these seats depend on the total number of people residing in the state,
Which is the real reason
move by the Trump administration.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Quite so, and this is a strongly
This is nothing but a
power grab orchestrated by the White House.
If Chief Justice John
Roberts sides with his
four Republican colleagues on this, the ruling will be the third in a
landmark 5-to-4 Roberts Court decisions whose main purpose is to cement
Republican control of federal and state governments.
and Progressives Grapple With How Best to Vanquish Trump
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title.
It starts as follows:
Yes, this is more or less
correct. Here is some more:
What's the best way to
remove a corrupt
criminal president from office?
Democrats and progressive
activists have been forced to grapple with this crucial question in the
days after the Mueller report provided a 400-page
look into President Donald Trump's rampant misconduct
and potential obstruction of justice.
Some progressives urged
House Democrats to immediately launch impeachment proceedings, arguing
that anything less would be an abdication of constitutional
But others said Democrats
must instead place their emphasis on soundly defeating Trump at the
ballot box by focusing on healthcare, income inequality, and the
Well... I like Warren,
but I do not know whether she is correct on this issue.
range of Democratic positions on the impeachment question was on
full display during CNN's town halls with five 2020
presidential candidates Monday night.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
(D-Mass.) unequivocally doubled down on her earlier
for the House to initiate impeachment proceedings and dismissed
concerns about possible political backlash.
"There is no political
inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution," Warren
added. "If any other human being in this country had done what's
documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in
Here is the view of Bernie Sanders:
Perhaps, again. Here is
the last bit that I quote from this article, and this is about
other leading Democrats:
Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-Vt.), for his part, advocated a more cautious approach and argued
that rushing head-long into an impeachment battle would benefit Trump.
While expressing his
support for a "thorough" congressional investigation into possible
obstruction, the Vermont senator also cautioned that a prolonged and
intense impeachment fight would suck oxygen from key issues that impact
the day-to-day lives of ordinary Americans.
"If for the next year,
year-and-a-half going right into the heart of the election, all that
the Congress is talking about is impeaching Trump... and we're not
talking about healthcare, we're not talking about raising the minimum
wage to a living wage, we're not talking about combating climate
change, we're not talking about sexism and racism and homophobia and
all of the issues that concern ordinary Americans—what I worry about is
that works to Trump's advantage," Sanders said.
Well... what amazes me at
least a little is that few of these contending Democrats seem to
have addressed the two facts that (i) the Senate is still in Republican
hands, and (ii) it is quite improbable that a majority of the Senate
will vote to impreach Trump. Anyway... this is a recommended article.
As Common Dreams reported
last Friday, progressive advocacy groups immediately began to pressure
Democratic leaders to move toward impeachment following the release of
the Mueller report, which documented at least ten instances in which
Trump may have obstructed justice.
"We will not treat this as
the progressive group MoveOn, which has over a million members
nationwide. "And politicians in Washington must not continue to conduct
business as usual. Everyone in Congress must look in the mirror and
decide how they will fulfill their oath to defend our Constitution—and
which side of history they want to be on."
commentators and lawmakers wholeheartedly agreed.
After the Mueller report
dropped, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.),
Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) signaled support
for moving ahead with impeachment proceedings.
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 (!!).