in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 29, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
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 29, 2019:
1. How to Challenge Health Care Corruption
Under a Corrupt Regime?
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. Socialists Win Spain Election,
Far-Right Emerges as Player
3. Humanity Is Committing Collective Suicide
4. Operation Take Down Bernie
5. Democracy has a problem with science
to Challenge Health Care Corruption Under a Corrupt Regime?
article is by Roy M. Poses MD on Health Care Renewal. It starts as
Yes indeed, although I
dislike Mother Jones because it has recently made itself uncopiable,
which makes it - in my eyes - as bad as The Guardian (or worse,
because Mother Jones has paraded its "progressiveness" more than The
Guardian). Also, while I read it for years, I totally avoid it since it
is uncopiable. (I don't read uncopiable texts.)
In these last few weeks, the
US news has been dominated by the release of a redacted verion of the
Mueller report which included extensive evidence of questionable
behavior by President Trump, his campaign, and various Trump
associates. This week, an editorial
in Mother Jones suggested:
Russia scandal was never, in the main, about whether the president
would be prosecuted for a crime. It was, and is, about a bigger issue:
A wealthy politician who hoped to profit from pandering to a foreign
autocrat put his own financial interests above those of his country,
who abetted a foreign attack, and who lied about it to those he swore
The editorial suggested that
journalists have not done an adequate job
pursuing the underlying "rot" in the US government and the Trump
There is a word for this, but it’s not collusion. It’s corruption.
rather than laying off investigating it, as too many are suggesting
now, journalism needs to back up and look at the whole thing.
It seems to be a great idea,
but in fact, some journalists, scholars,
bloggers, etc have been looking at corruption for a long time,
care corruption, and corruption in the US government. The
problem, however, is that much of the discussion of corruption has been
Also, I agree with Health Care Renewal's report on themselves, which
indeed also is part of my reasons for reading it, although these
reasons also comprise the fact that both my ex and myself have been ill
for over 40 years now with what was - at very long last -
identified as "a serious chronic disease", but which was for 39
years treated not as a disease by almost 100% of all Dutch
medical doctors, but as "neurasthenia" aka "it is psychosomatic" (and both
terms are not medical science but plain bullshit).
Since my ex and I also fell ill in the first year of our university
studies and have been, both financially, healthwise,
and in terms of
available help (none whatsoever) been gravely damaged,
since we saw 30 Dutch medical doctors of whom 27 said it was
"psychosomatic" (which is not a part of medical science but of metaphysics),
I insist that I have good evidence
to say that at least 90% of all Dutch medical
doctors is medically
incompetent as soon as rare diseases or diseases with problematic
evidence are concerned, which indeed I do.
I am also scientifically justified in saying that, which I know
because my ex and I - crazy as we were, not getting any
- both succeeded in getting excellent M.A.s in psychology, even
though we never or almost never had the energy to follow any
lectures (and largely because we both are considerably more
than average students).
Anyway... the existence of this review is based on the last few
paragraphs. I take it my readers probably will want to skip it, simply
because they are not ill and do not expect ever to get
a rare disease that is difficult to pin down with current medical
knowledge. In any case, I like Health Care Renewal, and am
reading it for years.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed. I agree with
Poses' point that the discussion of health care corruption "would offend the people it makes rich and
powerful", which is a
strong reason that it is rarely discussed, but I also have another
wrote in August, 2017, Transparency International (TI) defines
of entrusted power for private gain
In 2006, TI
published a report on health care corruption, which asserted that
corruption is widespread throughout the world, serious, and causes
severe harm to patients and society.
scale of corruption is vast in both rich and poor countries.
might mean the difference between life and death for those in need
of urgent care. It is invariably the poor in society who are affected
most by corruption because they often cannot afford bribes or private
health care. But corruption in the richest parts of the world also has
The report got little
care corruption has been nearly a taboo topic in the US, anechoic,
presumably because its discussion would offend the people it makes rich
Most people who go to a medical doctor with a medical complaint tend to
view the medical doctors they see not as rational scientists
but as little short of wonderworkers - and indeed most people who go to
a medical doctor are neither scientists themselves nor
acquainted with medicine. And the medical doctors - most that my ex and
I saw, certainly - much like to be regarded as wonderworkers.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Precisely, and both Poses MD and
Health Care Renewal are quite right, and are to be admired for
so. And there is a lot more in this article, but the above will do for
a review. And in any case, if you are ill or know somebody is ill,
especially if this illness is declared uncertain or false by medical
doctors, Health Care Renewal is a good source, and this article
However, Health Care Renewal has
stressed "grand corruption," or the corruption of health care
leaders. We have noted the continuing impunity
of top health care corporate managers. Health care corporations
have allegedly used kickbacks
to enhance their revenue, but at best such corporations have been able
to make legal
settlements that result in fines that small relative to their
multi-billion revenues without admitting guilt. Almost never are
top corporate managers subject to any negative consequences.
We have been posting about this for years at Health Care Renewal, while
seeing little progress on this issue.
Win Spain Election, Far-Right Emerges as Player
article is by Aritz Parra and Joseph Wilson on Truthdug and originally
on The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
center-left Socialists won the country’s election Sunday but must seek
backing from smaller parties to maintain power, while a far-right party
rode an unprecedented surge of support to enter the lower house of
parliament for the first time in four decades.
Voters in Spain had become
disillusioned as the country struggled with a recession, austerity
cuts, corruption scandals, divisive demands for independence from the
restive Catalonia region and a rise in far-right nationalism not seen
since Spain’s dictatorship ended in the 1970s.
With 99% of ballots
counted, the Socialists led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez won 29% of
the vote, capturing 123 seats in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies. The
new far-right Vox party made its national breakthrough by capturing 10%
of the vote, which would give it 24 seats.
Yes indeed. And I
review this in part as a European, and in part because the socialists
(or the left) did win the elections in Spain, which is not
line with the European tendency, which is right-wing.
Anyway, here is one
more bit from this article:
Vox, which was formed five
years ago, has promised to defend Spain from its “enemies,” citing
feminists, liberal elites and Muslims among others. Its emergence on
the national stage gives Spain five political parties, furthering
political fragmentation in a country that was alternately ruled for
decades by the Socialists and the Popular Party.
To stay in office, the
Socialists and Sánchez must form a governing alliance with smaller
parties, including the far-left United We Can led by Pablo Iglesias.
Iglesias said after the
vote the he “would have liked a better result, but it’s been enough to
stop the right-wing and build a left-wing coalition government,” adding
that he’s already offered support to Sánchez.
Yes again, and this is a
Is Committing Collective Suicide
This article is by
Tom Engelhardt on Truthdig and originally on TomDispatch. This is from
not far from its beginning:
Well... I skipped the
initials about Notre Dame, but you will understand the point that is
being made in the quoted paragraphs, and Engelhardt is right that the
news about climate change or pollution or the environment (pick a term)
is in fact not news, but is decades old.
When the cathedral in which
Napoleon briefly crowned himself emperor
seemed likely to collapse, it was certifiably an event of headline
importance. When, however, the cathedral (if you care to think of it
that way) in which humanity has been nurtured all these tens of
thousands of years, on which we spread, developed, and became what we
are today — I mean, of course, the planet itself — is in danger of an
unprecedented sort from fires we continue to set, that’s hardly news at
all. It’s largely relegated to the back pages of our attention, lost
any day of the week to headlines about a disturbed, suicidal young
woman obsessed with the
Columbine school massacre or an attorney general obsessed with
protecting the president.
And let’s not kid
ourselves, this planet of ours is beginning to burn — and not just last
week or month either. It’s been smoldering for decades now.
In fact, I think it may be even older than Engelhardt believes,
date serious concerns about climate change or pollution or the environment
(pick a term) as starting in 1959, when Aldous Huxley several
held lectures that address the problems following this. I should add
these lectures were not immediately published, but they were in
1970ies, and are still available as "The Human Situation"
is strongly recommended).
Here is some more:
Yes indeed - and since I
lived for 65 years in Amsterdam, where I also was born, I add Amsterdam
as a "coastal city" that may drown, not because it is exactly on the
coast, but because it is more than 2 meters below the current
Meanwhile, in the
ice is melting at a rate
startling to scientists. If the process accelerates, global sea levels
could rise far faster than expected, beginning to drown coastal cities
like Miami, New York, and Shanghai more quickly than previously
imagined. Meanwhile, globally, the wildfire season is lengthening. Fearsome fires are on the rise, as are droughts, and that’s
just to begin to paint a picture of a heating planet and its ever more
extreme weather systems and storms, of (if you care
to think of it that way) a Whole Earth version of Notre Dame.
Anyway. Here is some more:
Take, for example, the
advisory panel of scientists reporting to President Lyndon Johnson on
the phenomenon of global warming back in 1965. They would, in fact,
predict with remarkable accuracy how
our world was going to change for the worse by this
As that panel wrote at the time, “Through his worldwide industrial
civilization, Man is unwittingly conducting a vast geophysical
experiment. Within a few generations he is burning the fossil fuels
that slowly accumulated in the earth over the past 500 million years…”
In other words, the alarm was first sounded more than half a century
Yes indeed, and it is good
that this is pointed out. Here is some more:
On taking office, Donald
Trump appointed more
climate-change deniers to his cabinet than might have previously seemed
possible and swore fealty to “American energy dominance,”
while working to kneecap the
development of alternative energy systems. He and his men tried
to open new areas to oil and
gas drilling, while in every way imaginable striving to remove what
limits there had been on Big Energy, so that it could release its
carbon emissions into the atmosphere unimpeded.
Precisely. Here is some more:
Among those who will
be considered the greatest criminals in history,
don’t forget the Big Energy CEOs who, knowing the truth about
climate change from their own hired scientists, did everything they
could to increase global
doubts by funding climate-denying
groups, while continuing to be among the most profitable companies
around. They even hedged their bets by,
among other things, investing in alternative energy and using it to
more effectively drill for oil and natural gas.
Well... I agree that "the Big Energy CEOs" are major criminals, but I much doubt that they
known as such, for the fairly simple reason that nearly all men and
women disappear from "current knowledge" after 25, 50 or 75 years
Anyway, this is from the
I more or less agree (and am
almost as old as Engelhardt). This is a recommended article.
We are, of course,
about nothing short of the ultimate crime, but on any given day of our
lives, you’d hardly notice that it was underway. Even for an old man
like me, it’s a terrifying thing to watch humanity make a decision,
however inchoate, to essentially commit suicide.
Take Down Bernie
This article is by
Ruth Connif on Common Dreams and originally on The Progressive. It
starts as follows:
Yes, I think this is
nearly all quite correct, except that I disagree with the
thesis that Bernie Sanders (whom I admire) is "a socialist" or - as he
indeed says himself - "a democratic socialist", for the simple reason
that his political program is not that of a democratic socialist
that of a social democrat (and the two differ considerably).
Joe Biden’s long-awaited
announcement that he is running for President—in a highly produced video with
a distracting piano soundtrack—officially knocked Bernie Sanders out of first place in the
Democratic field. That’s a relief for a lot of establishment Dems, who
have spent the last several weeks ramping up the hits on Bernie, as it
has become increasingly clear that the plainspoken Democratic Socialist
from Vermont has a credible shot at becoming the Democrats’ nominee in
Sanders’s socialism is
scary for an establishment that worries a lot about electability.
More than that, his populist attacks on Wall Street, corporations, and
the military-industrial complex, are a genuine threat to the most
powerful interests in the country.
Much of the opposition
research on Sanders is familiar from the Hillary/Bernie primary in
2016: Bernie the Sandinista supporter, the serial monogamist, the
author of some embarrassing but not really reprehensible statements
supporting sexual liberation. But in recent weeks these tidbits have
been appearing again in news stories across the country, as writers
New York Times, The
Washington Post, and ThinkProgress work
on taking Bernie down a peg.
Also, this mistake is often made in American sources - i.e. not
knowing the differences between "socialism", "democratic socialism" and
"social democracy" - though lately
there also has been some correct reporting.
Here is some more:
Well, the initial
questions in the above quoted paragraphs are baloney, but it is
that they are being posed in the mainstream media.
So which is it? Is Sanders
a dangerous socialist who is too scruffy to be President, or is he a
millionaire and therefore an inauthentic representative of the working
The barrage of attacks on
Sanders do not point to any one conclusion. Instead, they center on
that vague, eye-of-the-beholder issue of “electability.” The point is
that someone somewhere might be turned off by Sanders, and therefore
the Democrats should make a safer choice.
But what’s a safe bet in
the era of Donald Trump?
And my own position on Sanders is that he is the best Democratic
candidate for the presidency that I know of, in considerable part
because I also know - since I know about Sanders since the
that he is honest, which I know of few other Democratic
for the presidency.
Here is some more:
I agree with the above.
Here is some more:
Trump’s biggest lie of all
was that “he was going to defend the working class of this country and
take on the powerful special interests,” Sanders declared in
a stump speech in Wisconsin. He is setting up his pitch for the general
election: Don’t be fooled again; vote for Bernie, the real populist.
It’s not a bad argument.
Republican strategist Karl
Rove is impressed by it. After watching Sanders win over a studio
audience on Fox News, Rove observed that
attacking Sanders for his socialist views “won’t be as easy as
Republicans may think.”
In fact, it seems now that Joe
Biden - who is strongly supported by the
rich, and is a fraud in my
opinion - raised some more money than Sanders. Also, I do not
New York Times nor The Washington Post seriously when they
Sanders, and I doubt that their editors "remain unconvinced" about
Sanders, for the fairly simple reason that they are less moved by
convictions than by money, or so I think.
So far, no Democratic
rising star has come close to overcoming Bernie Sanders’s big base of
support. As of the most recent FEC
report, Sanders had raised the most money, and had by far the largest
number of small-dollar donors.
Even former Bernie critics
like Hillary Clinton advisor Peter
Daou now recognize the power of Bernie’s authentic populism
against Donald Trump.
But the establishment
remains unconvinced. Writers in both The
New York Times and The
Washington Post take issue with Sanders’s use of the
terms “socialism” and “his angry, unrealistic call for ‘revolution’".
This is from the ending of this article:
Yes indeed - I mostly agree and
this is a recommended article.
Sanders is such a threat to
the regular way of doing business in American politics that he will
face massive, well-funded resistance, both during the presidential
election season and afterwards. He is testing the idea that people can
actually out-organize money—a very dangerous idea, indeed. And if he
becomes President, the resistance he faces will be even greater.
Not since Franklin Delano
the hatred of “organized money” have we had a serious
presidential candidate who openly exposed class conflict in America,
and stuck up for ordinary citizens against the overwhelming power of
It’s thrilling. It’s
dangerous. And scariest of all to some mainstream Democrats, it could
has a problem with science
article is by Michael J. Thompson and Gregory Smulewicz-Zucker on
Salon. It has a subtitle, which I quoted because it makes a wrong
impression, as I'll explain:
As populist leaders stoke rage and rejection of elitism,
they also throw out objectivity and the value of expertise
The reason I mostly disagree
with the above, is that I know it is not just "popular leaders"
so, but also the vast majorities of academics in most universities,
which I learned over 40 years ago when I attended the public
opening of the
"University" of Amsterdam, which was - in 1978 - officially opened
the thesis that (literally, except for my translation)
I protested and indeed set
up a student party to do so, but it soon emerged that 95% of the
students of the "University" of Amsterdam agreed, indeed probably
not because they sincerely believed the self-contradictory statement
quoted above, but because they thought that following this would
make their exams a lot easier - and they were quite correct.
- "Everybody knows that truth does not
Also, there is another reason why the above is misleading,
namely because it lacks all references to postmodernism,
which has precisely the same attitude to truth (it does not
exist), and that was very popular among many academics
from the late 1980ies onwards.
Anyway... this article
starts as follows:
I quite agree, though as I
explained in the beginning, in fact I know that the situation
is more serious than sketched in the above paragraph.
In August 2018, the
elected populist government in Italy passed an amendment that startled
scientifically-minded citizens in the country. The amendment suspended
the law that requires parents to show proof of vaccinations for their
children entering school, claiming that, in the words of Matteo
Salvini, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, they “are useless and in many
cases dangerous, if not harmful.” More recently, the anti-vaccine
movement has penetrated even deeper into the United States, with an
outbreak of measles spreading in several highly populated centers in
the country. Add to this the stubborn persistence of climate-change
denial, and even new beliefs about the earth being flat, and it does
not take us long to see that modern democracies are having a problem
with science. What it is important to see in these trends is that this
rise in anti-science attitudes is also corrosive to modern democracy as
Here is some more:
What is so troubling
these events, beyond their obvious public health implications, is what
it indicates about the growth of anti-science world-views in modern
democracies. A crescendo of anti-science attitudes has been gaining
steam in recent decades leading to a cultural and political environment
where adherence to basic standards of truth, evidence, reasoned
argument and agreement have all but collapsed. From the stubborn denial
of climate change, to the rejection of findings by natural and social
scientists, we seem to be entering not only a “post-truth” environment,
but more dangerously, an “anti-science” climate where modern, liberal
democracy itself is under threat. It gives aid to the enemies of modern
democracy and to the impulses of a reactionary populism bent on
nationalist and ethic superiority.
Yes indeed - and as I
explained above, in Holland this anti-democratic, anti-science, pro
populist and often pro-fascist movement started in the "University" of
Amsterdam in 1978.
Here is some more from this
foundations of this modern conception of democracy where human beings
were first becoming viewed as universal bearers of rights and reason
could be employed for the public good. Science and modern democracy, it
was understood, share certain basic ways of thinking: the idea that
reasons are universal, in the sense that they apply to everyone; the
idea that we should be skeptical of received ideas about the world that
makes claims to truth; the idea that our ideas about the world should
evolve as new evidence emerges; and the idea that we find these truths
through participating in a community of others who searching for what
is correct and true. All of these are features that science and modern
democracy share with one another. Together they constitute a culture of
political reason that should be seen as a standard for our political
institutions and the culture of our citizenship.
Yes, I agree - but what is
said above holds, in my experience, which is about Holland, only
for a small proportion of the Dutch academics, a smaller proportion of
the Dutch students, and with little support in the vast majority of
those who never studied at a university.
There is a lot more in the
article, which I leave to my readers' interests. I only quote its
Perhaps, but in Holland I
learned that the real voices speaking for reason and for
science reach at most 5% of the Dutch population. Then again, I
agree the problems these pose for both science and democracy are very
fundamental, and this is a strongly recommended article.
The challenge we face is
daunting. It will require activism and policy reform. We cannot
eradicate irrationalism and the threat it poses to society and nature.
We can, however, resist the extent to which it has become embedded in
our society. Yet, Galileo faced greater odds when he challenged the
authority of the Church. But we have greater resources at our disposal
than Galileo, and we must make use of them.
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 (!!).