in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 1, 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 May 1, 2019:
1. Violence Rocks Venezuela as Guaido
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. Trump Is Initiating His Most
Dictatorial Move Yet
3. Wall Street Democrats are freaking out about the 2020
4. VIPS: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All
5. Impeach His Sorry Ass Now
Rocks Venezuela as Guaido Urges Uprising
article is by Scott Smith and Christopher Torcia on Truthdig and
originally on The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Opposition leader Juan
Guaidó took a bold step to revive his movement to seize power in
Venezuela, taking to the streets Tuesday to call for a military
uprising that drew quick support from the Trump administration and
fierce resistance from forces loyal to embattled socialist Nicolas
The violent street battles
that erupted in parts of Caracas were the most serious challenge yet to
Maduro’s rule. Still, the rebellion, dubbed “Operation Freedom,” seemed
to have garnered only limited military support.
I say, for I did not
know this. Also, I would not describe Juan Guaidó as "opposition leader" but that
is a relatively minor point.
Here is some more:
A crowd that quickly
swelled to a few thousand scurried for cover, reappearing later with
Guaidó at a plaza a few blocks from the disturbances. A smaller group
of masked youths stayed behind on the highway, lobbing rocks and
Molotov cocktails toward the air base and setting a government bus on
Amid the mayhem, several
armored utility vehicles careened over a berm and drove at full speed
into the crowd. Two demonstrators, lying on the ground with their heads
and legs bloodied, were rushed away on a motorcycle as the vehicles
sped away dodging fireballs thrown by the demonstrators.
“It’s now or never,” said
one of the young rebellious soldiers, his face covered in the blue
bandanna worn by the few dozen insurgent soldiers.
Here is some more:
Flanked by top military
commanders, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López condemned Guaido’s
move as a “terrorist” act and “coup attempt” that was bound to fail
like past uprisings.
“Those who try to take
Miraflores with violence will be met with violence,” he said on
national television, referring to the presidential palace where
hundreds of government supporters, some of them brandishing firearms,
had gathered in response to a call to defend Maduro.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister
Jorge Arreaza said the “right-wing extremists” would not succeed in
fracturing the armed forces, which have largely stood with the
socialist leader throughout the months of turmoil.
Well... I also do not
whether to believe Arreaze, indeed mostly because he is a minister of
the government, who would say what he did say regardless of what he
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
As events unfolded,
governments from around the world expressed support for Guaidó while
reiterating calls to avoid violent confrontation.
Bolton declined to discuss
possible actions — military or otherwise — but reiterated that “all
options” are on the table as President Donald J. Trump monitors
developments “minute by minute.”
I note that the first quoted
paragraph is very close to a contradiction, for it is extremely
difficult or indeed logically quite impossible to support an armed
resurrection while insisting that armed resurrection should "avoid
Anyway... more to follow,
undoubtedly, and this is a recommended article.
Is Initiating His Most Dictatorial Move Yet
article is by Robert Reich on Truthdig and originally on Reich's site.
I abbreviated the title. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I completely
agree, which is also why I wrote (in earlier reviews in earlier
Nederlogs) that I think the House should get the full report, without
all inkings away that Barr or his menials seem to have indulged in.
On Sunday, the chairman of
the House Judiciary Committee threatened to subpoena Attorney General
William P. Barr if he refuses to testify this week about the Mueller
But a subpoena is unlikely
to elicit Barr’s cooperation. “We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says
the president of the United States.
In other words, according
to Donald Trump, there is to be no congressional oversight of this
administration: No questioning the attorney general about the Mueller
report. No questioning a Trump adviser about immigration policy.
No questioning a former
White House security director about issuances of security clearances.
No questioning anyone about presidential tax returns.
Such a blanket edict fits a
dictator of a banana republic, not the president of a constitutional
republic founded on separation of powers.
Here is Reich's argument:
Yes indeed: Quite so.
the ending of this article:
If Congress cannot question
the people who are making policy, or obtain critical documents,
Congress cannot function as a coequal branch of government.
If Congress cannot get
information about the executive branch, there is no longer any
separation of powers, as sanctified in the U.S. Constitution.
There is only one power—the
power of the president to rule as he wishes. Which is what Trump has
sought all along.
The only relevant question
is how to stop this dictatorial move.
I agree and this is a
But in a case that grew out
of the Teapot Dome scandal in 1927, the court held that the
investigative power of Congress is at its peak when lawmakers look into
fraud or maladministration in another government department.
Decades later, when Richard
Nixon tried to block the release of incriminating recordings of his
discussions with aides, the Supreme Court decided that a claim of
executive privilege did not protect information relevant to the
investigation of potential crimes.
Trump’s contempt for the
inherent power of Congress cannot stand. It is the most dictatorial
move he has initiated since becoming president.
Street Democrats are freaking out about the 2020 candidates
This article is by
Anonymous (unstated) on AlterNet and originally on Daily Kos. This is
from near to its beginning:
I say and I like this.
Besides, while I am convinced that many (most? all?) of the "Wall
Street Dems" are corrupt,
I would like considerably more evidence of
this, but this is indeed a side affair in this review.
Debenedetti writes that in
early April these Wall Street Dems (..) met to discuss the 2020
Democratic aspirants. According to Debenedetti, “there’s tremendous
fear” among this set.
Here’s what was really
freaking them out:
else in the field, the financiers felt, was being pulled leftward
Sanders (the preposterously well-funded contender
they considered too crazy to even imagine in the White House) and Elizabeth
Warren (less crazy, Democrats on
Wall Street think, and way more competent). “She would torture
them,” one banker told me. “Warren strikes fear in their hearts,”
explained a New York executive close to banking leaders from both
parties — so much fear that such investors often speak of the U.S.
senator from Massachusetts, a former law professor and consumer
advocate, as a co-front-runner with Sanders. “How do we come up with an
alternative?” asked one person at the dinner.
Here is more:
Well... in the first
place, I definitely distrust Wylde, and in the second place I
would be good if quite a few of the "Wall Street Dems" would move "into the Trumo
camp", because that is where they belong, and it also would bring some
clarity on what and who the "Wall Street Dems" really are.
Now, before you all go
ripping on me for sowing disunity, perhaps you should redirect your
complaints towards some of the donors in this piece.
“They’re too far left!
They’re too far left!” said Alex Sanchez, CEO of the Florida Bankers
Association. “I mean, honestly, if it’s Bernie versus Trump, I have no
fucking idea what I’m going to do,” one Democratic hedge funder told
me. “Maybe I won’t vote.”
anti–Wall Street direction of the Democratic Party is driving Democrats
into the Trump camp, which is, in most cases, the last place they want
to be,” said Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City,
the business group that counts among its members all of the city’s
major financial institutions.
Here is some more from this article:
Yes, I completely agree
indeed where the article says "because
of the power of their donations such politicians wouldn’t do anything
to seriously challenge their privilege" I would more simply speak of corruption (as
in "because of the corruption of
such politicians [they]
wouldn’t do anything to seriously challenge their privilege").
This is the last gasp of
old order that people in the US and all over the world are rebelling
against. Americans across the political
spectrum believe big money donors have too much influence over
the system and want to curtail the donations they use to influence the
process. In the past they knew that Democratic politicians might
pay lip service to challenging their power and wealth, but ultimately
because of the power of their donations such politicians wouldn’t do
anything to seriously challenge their privilege.
This is the ending of this article:
It's not very well
expressed, but I agree and this is a recommended article.
It’s not those like me who
are pointing out the entitlement and privilege of the big donors who’ve
gamed the system for so long to their advantage and our disadvantage.
No, it’s the big money
donors themselves, the ones people like me have been saying Democrats
should abandon because those donors don’t have the best intentions for
average Americans at heart. You know, the average Americans who
Democrats are supposed to stand for.
Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All
This article is by
on Consortium News. It has a subtitle that follows:
against Julian Assange over the past decade plus replicates a pattern
of ruthless political retaliation against whistleblowers, in particular
those who reveal truths hidden by illegal
secrecy, VIPS says.
indeed, and the link to "illegal
secrecy" is a good one (and long and
not easy). Also, thois is
the only link you are going to get in this review, basically
the html of Consortium News is quite crazy.
Anyway. Here is more from the article:
April 11, London police forcibly removed WikiLeaks co-founder Julian
Assange from the embassy of Ecuador after that country’s president,
Lenin Moreno, abruptly revoked his predecessor’s grant of asylum. The
United States government immediately requested Assange’s extradition
for prosecution under a charge of “conspiracy to commit computer
intrusion” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
Yes indeed, and
besides there may be made many more allegations by the U.S.
about Assange later or after he has been flown to the USA.
Government officials promptly appeared in popular media offering
soothing assurances that Assange’s arrest threatens neither
constitutional rights nor the practice of journalism, and major
newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post fell into
Not So Fast
reason for concern in the details of the indictment. Carie DeCel, a
staff attorney for the Knight First Amendment Institute, noted that the
indictment goes beyond simply stating the computer intrusion charge and
“includes many more allegations that reach more broadly into typical
journalistic practices, including communication with a source,
encouraging a source to share information, and protecting a source.”
Here is more:
indictment’s implied threat thus reaches beyond Assange and even beyond
journalists. The threat to journalists and others does not vanish if
they subsequently avoid practices identified in the government’s
indictment. The NSA’s big bag of past communications offers abundant
material from which to spin an indictment years later, and even
circumstantial evidence can produce a conviction. Moreover, the secret
landscape—a recent and arbitrary development—continually expands,
making ever more of government off limits to public view.
indeed. Here is more:
of Julian Assange’s character and methods vary wildly but what is
relevant to First Amendment freedoms is how the U.S. government
perceives him. The big picture reveals that Assange, a publisher of
whistleblower disclosures, is viewed the same way as whistleblowers:
unwelcome lights shining on official wrongdoing who must be dimmed,
deflected and shut off. What government bodies are doing to Assange
they routinely have done to whistleblowers— Thomas Drake, Jeffrey
Sterling, John Kiriakou, Thomas Tamm, William Binney, Daniel Ellsberg,
Chelsea Manning and others—who disclosed for public benefit information
the government finds politically troublesome.
agree. Also, perhaps I ought to precisify that the
Thomas Drake etc. and Julian Assange is that Assange did not steal any
documents, while the others did. Assange only published
them (as very many editors of papers do).
government develops animus toward a truth teller, it fishes
indefinitely until it finds some means to retaliate—some pretext to
punish that individual.
Here is some on what the NSA may do to persons:
pattern of retaliation against high-profile national security
whistleblowers includes the following tactics:
so, and several of the VIPS speak of their own experiences. Besides, to
the best of my knowledge the NSA has tons of materials on virtually
everyone with an internet- computer, which again is why I think the
internet was and is the best move towards neofascism
that there ever
British and U.S. intelligence are interrogating Assange, possibly
employing torture tactics, without access to legal counsel at a prison
reserved for terrorists. U.S. officials apparently charged Assange as
“a terrorist” in order to dodge the problem of the statute of
limitations for conspiracy or computer intrusion by extending (via the
Patriot Act and/or other terrorism laws) the normal statute of
limitations from 5 to 8 years.
relentless campaigns of character assassination and misinformation
about facts of the case;
hostile, lengthy government investigations, often for minor, never
proven or circumstantial offenses;
terrorization of the whistleblower and associates with threats (see
here and here), solitary confinement and armed home invasions for
non-violent, alleged offenses;
pre-trial declarations of guilt from influential officials, such as
Barack Obama’s declaration (as the military’s Commander-in-Chief) that
Army Private Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning “broke the law” —
potentially influencing the Army court that heard her case.
a Balkanized judicial process that restricts most such cases to one
judicial venue cherry-picked by prosecutors for speedy deference to
government, a venue sealed off from public scrutiny and, some say,
prosecution under the Espionage Act, a “vague” and “draconian” law,
similar in those respects to the CFAA;
continuing persecution—isolation, marginalization, blacklisting, and
more—after time has been served (see here and here) or after charges
Here is some more:
if charges against a whistleblower are later dropped, governments still
win because the tactics used damage the truth teller professionally,
financially, socially and psychologically, and foreseeably chill other
Yes, the above
seems also true. Here is the ending of this article:
virtually all of the retaliatory actions described above are carried
out or instigated by the elite political establishment—current and
former political appointees and elected officials. Equally important is
the fact that tactics used against whistleblowers are rarely if ever
applied to political insiders who fail to protect classified
information. Even actual spies who give or sell secrets directly to
foreign governments have fared better than some well-meaning
whistleblowers. In contrast to whistleblowers, political insiders who
mistreat government secrets are publicly praised by the establishment,
face lesser charges (if any), are treated with dignity by
investigators, receive presidential pardons and move on to prestigious
and lucrative positions
extension of a whistleblower reprisal regime onto a publisher of
disclosures poses an existential threat to all journalists and to the
right of all people to speak and hear important truths. The U.S.
indictment of Julian Assange tests our ability to perceive a direct
threat to free speech, and tests our will to oppose that threat.Without
freedom of press and the right and willingness to publish,
whistleblowers even disclosing issues of grave, life and death public
safety, will be like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear.
Yes, and this is a
strongly recommended article.
American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It takes two to speak the
truth–one to speak and one to hear.” Today, it takes three to speak the
truth–one to speak, one to hear, and one to defend the first two in
court. If the U.S. Government has its way, there will be no defense, no
His Sorry Ass Now
This article is by Michael
Winship on Common Dreams. This is from near its beginning:
I usually like the ideas
of Michael Winship, but I do have a somewhat higher opinion of Trump's
intelligence, because I think he is a neofascist. What is a neofascist?
Here is my definition of neofascism
(which is a good definition):
So Congress, have you met
Donald Trump? By now, you of all legislative bodies should know that
nothing you do or say makes much difference to him, that whatever he
will or won’t do is based not on policy or philosophy or your stated
preferences but on whim, ego and a feral sense of self-preservation.
Thus we have our own
celebrity brat-in-chief, a thuggish tot whose response to every attempt
to uphold the Constitution and to maintain the balance of power among
the three equal branches of government is a childish but deeply
dangerous, “I don’t wanna.”
Neofascism is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
has 10 marks of neofascists, and I would say - and did so in 2016 -
that Trump, rather obviously also,
satisfies all ten of them.
Anyway. Here is some more:
Yes indeed. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
That there should be checks
and balances in government chafes Trump. He’s a control freak who
brooks no criticism and wants total dictatorial power. "Trump is
not inventing executive intransigence out of whole cloth," Heidi
Kitrosser, author of "Reclaiming Accountability: Transparency,
Executive Power, and the U.S. Constitution” told Jonathan
Allen at NBC News. "At the same time, this is not
same-old, same-old. He is taking longstanding pathologies in terms of
an increasingly imperial executive branch and ratcheting it up many
What’s more, his party is
letting him move ever closer to such authoritarianism with barely a
whisper of opposition. “Trump’s brazenness is the natural result of his
party’s refusal to defend the rule of law,” conservative columnist Jennifer
Rubin writes at the Washington Post. “They indulge him,
his conduct gets worse and the cycle repeats.”
Well... so have I and I
less certain than Winship. But here are my two main reasons to
impeachment: Trump is
and Trump is a neofascist, and
neither insane persons (and I am a psychologist) nor neofascist persons
should be presidents of the USA. And here is my main reason not to
desire impeachment: I am afraid that it would give Trump much more
on TV to plead his own cause.
Impeachment by the House
won’t actually do it—unless convicted by the Senate, the president
stays in place—but the impeachment process itself has much to recommend
it, even more so than various, extended congressional investigations of
his assorted frauds and betrayals of country.
I have thought about this a
lot and weighed the pros and cons.
But I am not certain either way and this is a 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 (!!).