in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 28, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
I realize that I did not commemorate the fact that I am writing
Crisis files for six years now,
started to do so after June 10, 2013,
which taught me about Snowden.
I am registering it now, and may write about it the coming days, but I
am also somewhat worse at present than I was for a long time. (This still
continues: I have ME/CFS
since 40+ years.)
There will be more about computers and Ubuntu in Nederlog soon, but I
am happy to announce that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, that I installed in 2017,
works again as it did before on May 24, and after 24 hours of misery.
And on May 23 I also got a working computer with 18.04 LTS
worse than 16.04 LTS because its Firefox also is a menuless
horror that I refuse to use, but
happily SeaMonkey is not, for it still has it menus and can be
installed on 18.04), so I
present - and after two weeks of struggling - in the possession of two
more or less, though not yet quite decently working computers.
So today there is a more or less common Nederlog, where "common" is the
style I developed in 2013.
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
four crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from June 28, 2019:
1. The Warren Wing
The items 1 - 4 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:
Russia Rightfully Remembers, America Forgets
3. Ralph Nader: Who Will Go After Trump's Corporate Socialism?
4. Trump’s Secret Tax
on Ordinary Americans
is by Ryan Grim on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Well... I like Elizabeth Warren,
and I also like Bernie Sanders, and so far, of all the
Democratic candidates for the presidency, that is it. I have three
simple reasons for that position:
Warren’s political obituary was written in a thousand hot takes, each
one burning hotter than the last. She seemed to be the latest
challenger who President Donald Trump had trolled into oblivion, deftly
exploiting identity fractures on the left. But standing center stage at
the first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday
night, Warren was back.
campaign rolled out of the gate with anemic small-dollar fundraising,
raising less than $300,000. Mired in the single digits, she was
eclipsed in media attention by an embarrassing pair of contenders: Beto
O’Rourke, the former congressman, and Peter Buttigieg, the mayor of
South Bend, Indiana, who was paraded around magazine offices as the
candidate with brains — never mind the Harvard law professor.
But on the ground, Warren
began connecting with audiences starting the first day she hit the
trail — and launching her campaign early allowed her to more or less
put “Pocahontas” behind her and reset with an endless stream of new
policy ideas. So far, she has risen in the polls along with Bernie
Sanders, suggesting that the left is growing its share of the vote. The
second choice of most Joe Biden voters, meanwhile, is Sanders,
suggesting that he and Warren could continue rising together for some
time. But at some point, the two will naturally begin to cannibalize
each other, which will test the good will that has long existed between
their respective camps.
(i) I like both of them because of their political histories (I
that of Sanders fairly well, and also know some of Warren's political
history, both mostly from reading in the past 10 years, that again got
reported in Nederlog); (ii) I do not know much or anything from
other Democratic candidates, which may be in part caused by my not
being an American, but I also found little or nothing about them
my 10+ years of reading (which was and is pretty substantial);
also (iii) becoming president (more or less like becoming a
the Senate or of Congress, but more so) these days is a virtual
guarantee of getting rich (which appeals to all sorts of frauds).
Also, one of my hopes - I don't know how realistic this is,
indeed especially because of the ignorance of
most Americans about
their own politics, which is illustrated by the fact that the loudmouth
Biden now is the most popular Democratic candidate - is that Sanders
+ Warren will become the team that opposes Trump in the coming
Anyway. Here is some more:
Warren has returned to
top-tier status the same way she rose a decade ago, through her use of
plain storytelling, connecting her own upbringing “on the ragged edge
of the middle class” to the country’s broader problem of economic
inequality and immobility.
The Depression loomed especially large in her family lore. “I wasn’t
born until long after the Depression, until after World War II, but I
grew up as a child of the Depression, because my grandmother and
grandfather, my aunts, my uncles, my mom and my dad, all my older
cousins had lived through the Depression,” she said. “And it was such a
searing experience in Oklahoma, that the Depression hung around our
family like a shroud. It was always there.”
I think that is a
decent and somewhat interesting background. On a personal
note: I am
less than a year younger than Warren, but while both my mother and
father's personal histories and chances also were considerably hurt by
depression, this did not play a large role in the histories I
probably because my father, mother and father's father all were in the
communist resistance against the Nazis, and both my father and his
father were arrested in 1941 and sent to concentration camps, that my
grandfather did not survive.
Here is some more
I like the above story as well
and there is considerably more in this article, that is recommended.
Warren’s path to becoming a
prominent left-wing, anti-corporate politician was anything but direct.
She was for decades what a political consultant might refer to as an
infrequent voter, often missing midterms and primaries. And, despite
her formidable education and intellect, she was a low-information one
“This happens over the space of a decade, I began to open up the
questions I asked. I started with the question of the families who use
bankruptcy. But over time it becomes, So why are bankruptcies
going up in America?” she said. “What was changing in the 1980s
and 1990s? What difference was there in America?”
The answer to that
question, she said, led her to become a Democrat. “I start to do the
work on how incomes stay flat and core expenses go up, and families do
everything they can to cope with the squeeze. They quit saving. They go
deeper and deeper into debt, but the credit card companies and payday
lenders and subprime mortgage outfits figure out there’s money to be
made here, and they come after these families and pick their bones
clean. And that’s who ends up in bankruptcy. So that’s how it expands
out,” she said. “And by then, I’m a Democrat.”
Russia Rightfully Remembers, America Forgets
is by Scott Ritter on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed: That is quite
true. Also, as a European - with a good grasp of the second
unlike many now living Europeans - I can assure you that a similar
false picture of WW II exists in Holland and - so far as I know -
other Western European countries.
On June 6, President Trump
commemorated the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord, popularly
known as D-Day, when approximately 160,000 U.S., British, Canadian and
Free French soldiers landed in and around the beaches of Normandy,
France. Speaking at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in
Colleville-sur-Mer, where the remains of 9,388 American fighting men,
most of whom perished on D-Day, are interned, Trump promoted the
mythology of American omniscience that was born on the beaches of
Normandy. “These men ran through the fires of hell, moved by a force no
weapon could destroy,” Trump
declared. “The fierce patriotism of a free, proud and sovereign
people. They battled not for control and domination, but for liberty,
democracy and self-rule. Those who fought here won a future for our
nation. They won the survival of our civilization.”
What Trump overlooked in his presentation was the reality that the
liberation of Europe began long before the D-Day landings. And the
burden had almost exclusively been born by the Soviets.
In his defense, Trump is not alone in promoting an America-centric
version of history; his speech was simply the latest in a series of
historically flawed remarks delivered by a succession of American
presidents ever since they began giving speeches at Normandy in
commemoration of D-Day.
Here is more Western mythology:
I just said "Western
mythology" and here is part of the reason:
It was as if the road to
Berlin had ended with Americans capturing the Nazi capital, compelling
Adolf Hitler to commit suicide and thereby ending the 1,000-year Reich.
But that honor fell to the Soviets, who, in a two-week campaign, lost
more than 81,000 killed and a quarter of a million men wounded seizing
Berlin from fanatical Nazi defenders.
President Obama continued
the tradition of minimizing the Soviet role in the Second World War.
said, speaking on the beaches of Normandy in 2014, the
70th anniversary of D-Day, “we don’t just commemorate victory, as
proud of that victory as we are. We don’t just honor sacrifice, as
grateful as the world is. We come to remember why America and our
allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at its moment of
maximum peril. We come to tell the story of the men and women who did
it so that it remains seared into the memory of a future world.”
The reason is simply that the
Soviet Union fought a major war against the Germans for
years, and lost at least 26 million persons in it, including 8.6
million soldiers (and quite probably more, namely 40 million persons
and more than 19 million soldiers).
On June 22, 1941, the
Union was attacked by Nazi Germany. Some 3.8 million Axis soldiers,
backed by more than 6,000 armored vehicles and 4,000 aircraft, launched
a surprise attack along a continuous front that ran from the Baltic Sea
in the north to the Black Sea in the south. Known as Operation
Barbarossa, the German offensive decimated the defending Soviet forces,
breaking through the front lines and driving deep into Soviet
territory, initiating a conflict that would last nearly four years.
During that time, more than 26 million Soviet citizens would die,
including 8.6 million soldiers of the Red Army (these are conservative
numbers—some estimates, drawing upon classified information, hint that
the actual number of total deaths might exceed 40 million, including
more than 19 million military deaths).
Here is some more of the same facts:
Given the sad state of
between the United States and Russia today, it is hard to imagine that
during the Second World War the two nations were part of a “Grand
Alliance” that included Great Britain (France and China were brought in
at the conclusion of the war). But the reality is that the United
States and the Soviet Union, while confronting the same enemy in the
form of Nazi Germany, fought two different wars. In its fight against
Nazi Germany and Italy, the United States lost 183,588 killed in action
or missing, 560,240 wounded and 108,621 prisoners of war. In the first
six months of the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Union lost 802,191
killed, 1,336,147 wounded and 2,835,482 prisoners of war.
In brief, the Soviet
lost more than 26 times as many men as the Americans did, besides
having to fight on their own soil, of which a considerable part was
destroyed by the Germans.
So while I do admire
and especially the soldiers who died or got wounded in WW II, I do
insist, as does Scott Ritter, that the Russians did a lot more
WW II than the Americans.
This is from the ending of
Why does this matter?
facts matter. History matters. The hubris and arrogance derived from
our one-sided, exaggerated and highly inaccurate version of the Second
World War, where American forces liberated Europe with the assistance
of their North Atlantic allies, carries over to this day. It feeds a
narrative that gives credence to the fictitious omnipotence of NATO and
the total disregard for any Russian perspective regarding the future of
a continent the Soviets liberated through the blood and sacrifice of
tens of millions of their citizens.
Quite so. There is a lot more
in this article, which is strongly recommended.
Nader: Who Will Go After Trump's Corporate Socialism?
is by Ralph Nader
on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. It
starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I agree
Nader that - according to my own well-founded understanding of
socialism - (i) neither Sanders nor Warren is a socialist (as I use that term,
and see the last link), while (ii) both are most like social
Donald J. Trump’s 2020
election strategy is to connect his potential Democratic opponents with
“socialism.” Trump plans to use this attack on the Democrats even if
Senator Bernie Sanders, who proudly calls himself a “democratic
socialist,” doesn’t become the presidential nominee (Sanders has been
decisively re-elected in Vermont).
Senator Elizabeth Warren is
distancing herself from the socialist “label.” She went so far as
the New England Council “I am a capitalist to my bones.”
Sanders and Warren are not
what they claim to be. They are both updating Roosevelt’s New Deal and
more closely resemble the Social Democrats that have governed western
European democracies for years, delivering higher standards of living
than that experienced by Americans.
Here is some more - but here it also gets complicated and confusing:
I disagree with both
paragraphs (though I like and admire Nader).
The original doctrine of
socialism meant government ownership of the means of production—heavy
industries, railroads, banks, and the like. Nobody in national politics
today is suggesting such a takeover. As one quipster put it, “How can
Washington take ownership of the banks when the banks own Washington?”
Confronting Trump on the
“socialism” taboo can open up a great debate about the value of
government intervention for the good of the public. Sanders can
effectively argue that people must choose either democratic socialism
or the current failing system of corporate socialism. That choice is
not difficult. Such an American democratic socialism could provide
almost all of the long overdue solutions this country needs: full more
efficient Medicare for all; tuition-free education; living wages;
stronger unions; a tax system that works for the people; investments in
infrastructure and public works; reforms for a massive, runaway
military budget; the end of most corporate welfare; government
promotion of renewable energies; and the end of subsidies for fossil
fuels and nuclear power.
As to the first paragraph: I am hardly interested in what
American politicians "in national politics today" think about
socialism. Firstly, I do not know most of them, and secondly I am quite
sure the vast majority has far less knowledge of socialism than
Indeed, as to not wanting "government
ownership of the means of production":
My point is that there were many socialist states, governments and
countries between 1917 and 1991. And while I agree few were socialist
in a sense I approve of, their politics, laws, systems of distribution
of property, dominant values and ideas were all different from the same
in capitalist or fascist states, which likewise existed between
1917 and 1991.
As to the second paragraph: This is based on two fallacies. First,
Bernie Sanders is not a democratic socialist (like George
Orwell was) but a social democrat. And second, the American capitalists
do not indulge in corporate socialism, but - far more correctly
- in capitalist solidarity of the few rich.
And indeed, if these two "translations" are inserted into the
second paragraph, it all becomes reasonable in my (informed) terms.
Here is a bit more:
I think this is all correct, but
it has little or nothing to do with who is or is not called "socialist"
in the USA.
Now, it is even easier to
make the case that our political economy is largely controlled by giant
corporations and their political toadies. Today the concentration of
power and wealth is staggering. Just six capitalist men have wealth to
equal the wealth of half of the world’s population.
The Wall Street collapse of
2008-2009 destroyed eight million jobs, lost trillions of dollars in
pension and mutual funds, and pushed millions of families to lose their
homes. Against this backdrop, the U.S. government used trillions of
taxpayer dollars to bail out, in various ways, the greedy, financial
giants, whose reckless speculating caused the collapse.
Here is the ending of this article:
Yes, I mostly agree
and this is a recommended article, though I disagree with Nader's usage
of the term "socialist" and related terms.
The gigantic corporations
have been built with the thralldom of deep debt—corporate debt to fund
stock buybacks (while reporting record profits), consumer debt, student
loan debt, and, of course, government debt caused by drastic corporate
and super-rich tax cuts. Many trillions of dollars have been stolen
from future generations.
No wonder a small group of
billionaires, including George Soros, Eli
Broad, and Nick Hanauer, have just publicly urged a modest tax on
the super wealthy. As Hanauer, a history buff and advocate of higher
minimum wages, says – “the pitchforks are coming.”
4. Trump’s Secret Tax on
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Here is more:
When the U.S. imposes
tariffs on a country, like China, that raises costs for companies doing
business there. And then those companies pass on their increased costs
to you in the form of higher prices, as even Trump’s
own economic advisor Larry Kudlow acknowledged .
I agree - and it is "total
rubbish" because the main costs in most products are wages, and the
wages in the USA - still - are a lot higher than those in China or India.
Here is the ending of this article:
Yes, I agree and
this is a recommended article.
Once again, Trump’s
economic nationalism is hurting ordinary Americans without creating a
single new job.
Know the truth about tariffs –
and spread it.
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 (!!).