from January 28, 2018.
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
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 two 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.
Section 2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
Selections from January 28, 2018
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
1. More Bombs, Deaths in Trump's First Year in Office
2. 8 Things We Now Know That Happen (and That Don't Happen)
3. Leaked Trump Infrastructure Plan Ripped as Thinly-Veiled
4. These 11 Senate Democrats Are Joining GOP in Effort to
5. A Look at Germany's Extremely Unequal Wealth Distribution
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:
Bombs, Deaths in Trump's First Year in Office
This article is by Sonali Kolhatkar on Common Dreams and originally on
Truthdig. It starts as follows:
The greatest impact
of Donald Trump’s first year as president has been kept out of sight
from most Americans. The wars the U.S. waged during Barack Obama’s
tenure have sharply escalated under Trump. The result has been a
predictable and massive spike in civilian deaths.
I admit that I am not
amazed at all, although I did not know this. Here is some more:
Boasting in an
interview last year about an apparent retreat by Islamic State,
Trump declared, “I totally changed rules of engagement. I totally
changed our military.” He also touted the “big, big difference if you
look at the military now” compared with it under the Obama
administration. While Obama shares blame for escalating the use of
drones, especially in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia, Trump’s
military leadership appears to be a return to a more traditional form
of war and a complete unfettering of attempts to minimize civilian
This unfettering is
evident in an almost 50 percent increase of airstrikes in Iraq and
Syria during Trump’s first year in office, leading to a rise in
civilian deaths by
more than 200 percent compared with the year before. The watchdog
group Airwars, which has tracked
the U.S. war against Islamic State since 2014, remarked, “This
unprecedented death toll coincided with the start of the Trump
presidency, and suggested in part that policies aimed at protecting
civilians had been scaled back under the new administration.”
In fact, I don´t think
this was a ¨coincidence¨: that there are more than twice as
civilian deaths and a 50 percent increase in air strikes since
due to Trump and his military.
Here is some more on Afghanistan:
In addition to Syria
and Iraq, U.S. military action in Afghanistan also has dramatically
increased. As the Los
Angeles Times reported in December: “Operating under looser
restrictions on air power that commanders hope will break a stalemate
in the war, U.S. fighter planes this year dropped 3,554 explosives in
Afghanistan through Oct. 31, the most since 2012.”
And this is Sonali Kolhatkar summary:
The pattern is
clear: Trump seems to have given U.S. military generals carte blanche
to unleash their maximum military power in a move reminiscent of the “shock and
awe” campaign during the early days of George W. Bush’s war in
Iraq. The justification for unleashing this deadly military power has
been the spread of Islamic State militants in a number of Arab and
I think that
summary is correct and this is a recommended article.
Things We Now Know That Happen (and That Don't Happen) When We Legalize
article is by Philip Smith on AlterNet. It starts as follows:
The great social
experiment that is marijuana legalization is now five years old, with
six states already allowing legal marijuana sales, two more where legal
sales will begin within months, and yet another that, along with the
District of Columbia, has legalized personal possession and cultivation
of the herb.
In fact, I selected this
article for review to contrast the present situation as regards
marijuana in the USA with the situation that exists in Holland for the
last 30 years, namely since 1988.
The prophets of doom warned of
all manner of social ills that would arise if marijuana were legalized.
From hordes of dope-addled youths aimlessly wandering the streets to
red-eyed carnage on the highway, the divinations were dire. And they
First of all, in Holland marijuana was legally forbidden in
1965, and it still is. Everything that appeared in the
American media about ¨the liberalization of marijuana¨ (and other
recreational drugs) in Holland was a combination of a prejudice, that
came about through the fact that marijuana, while it is
illegal, also is sold in Holland as if it is free, ignorance
and laziness (for it is not at all difficult to find out the
legal status of recreational drugs in Holland: recreational drugs
all legally forbidden in Holland and have been since 1965).
But second, the Dutch have been mostly tolerant about marijuana from
1965 till 1985, for which there were two distinct reasons: It
popular from the start, which did happen around 1965 in Holland, and it
also was quite soon - within a couple of years - quite clear that
marijuana was far less dangerous than amphetamines, heroine, or
cocaine, while also, especially in Amsterdam were there were
of recreational drugs, there simply was not enough police, already in
the late 1960ies, to maintain the Dutch laws about marijuana.
Third, the whole financial scene and the whole system of
changed in the second half of the 1980ies, again for the first time in
Amsterdam, when Amsterdam´s mayor Ed van Thijn started to hand out personally
signed ¨personal permissions¨ (as they were
called) to illegal drugs dealers to deal illegal drugs with
permission - which he somehow also got accepted by the Dutch judges.
Fourth, the overall result in Holland was (and still is) that marijuana
is effectively dealt freely, although it is illegal, and that in
Holland (since 1996, when the last official report (!!!) Parliamentary
Report was published, the Van
Traa Report (on line on my site, with the
parts about Amsterdam, unfortunately in Dutch), where it also was
pointed out that - around 1996 - the annual turnover of just
marijuana and hashish in Holland (that also sells throughout Europe)
was at least 10 billion
dollars (and very probably considerably
more since then), while if heroine, amphetamine, cocaine and other
recreational drugs are counted, it is around 50 billion dollars. Each
year. Since 1988.
Fifth, this means that since 1988 the Dutch drugscriminals have
over at least 300 billion dollars, that may be 1.5
trillion dollars if all
recreational drugs are counted that have been sold in and from Holland.
I do not know what percentage Van Thijn got for his effective
the Dutch illegal drugsdealers, but if it is 1% he may have
100 million a year, or indeed 5 times as much, or perhaps also less.
I do not know, but I totally refuse to believe that the
Dutch mayors did not make money from effectively giving the
Dutch drugsdealers virtually complete freedom to deal as they pleased.
I also do not know what percentage
of this was cashed in by
(former) mayor Van Thijn, but since he and the other mayors shared from
a yearly fund that is and was between 10 billion dollars
and 50 billion dollars, Van Thijn must be a very much
better man than I know he is, for me
to believe that he has not
profited from these billions of illegal he helped the Dutch dealers
deal all through Europe.
But I also am one of the few who says so, because the Dutch
carefully avoided to discuss illegal recreational drugs since the
parliamentary writer of the 1997 Parliamentary Drugs Report was killed
¨in a car accident¨ (for those who believe it) in 1997: Since then
dealings in illegal drugs have continued, but the writings about drugs
have mostly ceased (and what I did see was generally false).
Anyway... that was the situation in Holland, where the
are protected by the mayors and the judges, are allowed to deal
in marijuana with ¨personal permission¨ from the mayor (which he or
hands out for unknown amounts of money).
The situation in the USA is rather different and is summarized
present article under eight headings. I reproduce the headings, but
leave the associated texts to your interests:
And this is a summary by an American:
But the racial disparities in marijuana arrests have not ended.
tide of teenage weed heads is not unleashed upon the nation.
The highways remain safe.
States with legal marijuana have lower rates of opioid-related harm.
Marijuana tax revenues are big—and bigger than predicted.
Marijuana tax dollars are going for good things.
Legal marijuana is a job creation engine.
criminalization has been a massive waste of money and has unequally
harmed black and Latino communities," said Jolene Forman, staff
attorney at the Drug Policy Alliance and author of the report. "This
report shows that marijuana legalization is working. States are
effectively protecting public health and safety through comprehensive
regulations. Now more states should build on the successes of
marijuana legalization and advance policies to repair the racially
disparate harms of the war on drugs."
She doesn´t say that marijuana has
made illegal in the USA since around 1900 (!!), nor that most
about it from the government and the police were complete bullshit,
that is also a fact: Marijuana is far less dangerous than
Anyway, this is a recommended article.
3. Leaked Trump Infrastructure Plan Ripped as
Thinly-Veiled 'Assault on the Environment'
article is by Jake Johnson on Commom Dreams. It starts as follows:
Green groups reacted
with alarm on Friday to a leaked Trump administration infrastructure draft
that proposes a drastic rollback of environmental regulations in an
attempt to expedite the construction of water-threatening
oil pipelines, roads, bridges—and, of course, "the wall."
The draft also includes a
provision that would "expand the government's ability to have private
firms pay for the federal environmental reviews of their own projects"
while also restricting the ability of federal agencies to "weigh in or
block a project from going forward," the Washington Post,
which first obtained the leaked proposal, reports.
Wenonah Hauter, executive
director of Food and Water Watch, said in a statement late Friday that
the leaked memo shows President Donald Trump is using his
infrastructure push—which he has touted
as a possible bipartisan effort—to further his administration's already
far-reaching attack on the environment.
The proposal is little more
than "deregulatory assault on our environment packaged as an
infrastructure plan," Hauter argued.
I say, for I did not
know this. And - for what I do know - I think Hauter is quite
right: Trump would sell his grandmother if he profits, so he
will certainly try to get a profit from turning the
regulations into profits (and destroying the environment).
Then again, for the
moment it is a plan that ¨is
not yet fully formed¨:
Pierno is right, and we shall learn later. This is a recommended
While the proposal obtained
by the Post is not yet fully formed, it provides a glimpse
into how the Trump administration plans to proceed with what has been
described as one of the president's top legislative priorities.
Theresa Pierno, president
of the National Parks Conservation Association, said in an interview
with the Post that the leaked draft makes abundantly clear
"that this administration is not serious about restoring America's
legislative outline for infrastructure sacrifices clean air, water, the
expertise of career agency staff, and bedrock environmental laws,"
11 Senate Democrats Are Joining GOP in Effort to Dismantle Wall Street
This article is by Jake Johnson on Commom Dreams. It starts as follows:
A group of nearly a
dozen Senate Democrats is teaming up with President Donald Trump and
the GOP in an aggressive push to gut Wall Street regulations, and
thanks to a new campaign launched on Friday by the anti-corruption
organization Rootstrikers, this group has a name: "The Bailout Caucus."
I say! Well... all
to know is how many hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly
millions of dollars (but selling principles for money goes pretty cheap
these days), will be givebn to the following traitors
In total, 11 Democratic
senators and Angus King (I-Maine) are joining hands with Republicans to
push through GOP-crafted
legislation (S.2155) that progressive Democrats and Wall Street
critics say will undermine
crucial post-financial crisis regulations, roll back consumer
protections, and open the door to another crash.
In addition to King,
the Democratic senators who are co-sponsoring and providing significant
for the deregulatory legislation first introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo
(R-Idaho) are: Tom Carper (Del.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Donnelly
(Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), John Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.),
Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Gary
Peters (Mich.), and Michael Bennet (Colo.).
Here is Elizabeth Warren
on the above traitors:
Well... I´d say it is very
clear ¨why¨ [Senators]
¨stand on the side of big banks instead of working families": the big banks pay a lot of money
Echoing the concerns of
activist groups, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been a vocal
critic of Crapo's legislation and her Democratic colleagues who have
decided to co-sponsor it.
"This bill increases the
risk of another taxpayer bailout, and I will continue to challenge
supporters of this bill—from both parties—to explain why they stand on
the side of big banks instead of working families," Warren said in an interview
earlier this month.
This is a recommended article.
Look at Germany's Extremely Unequal Wealth Distribution
This article is by Florian Diekmann on Spiegel
International. It starts as follows:
The gathering of global
political and industrial leaders in Davos each year leads many
observers to wonder: Who benefits in the long term from economic growth
and corporate profits? Society as a whole or just a select few at the
very top? One way to approach that question is by looking at how the
entire wealth of a given society is distributed among individual
members of that society.
am sorry, but if you have to ask in 2018 ¨Who benefits in the long term from economic
growth and corporate profits?¨ either you are stupid, or prejudiced or lying, for
those who benefitted from economic growth have always
been, since 2500
years at least, the rich.
again, there is a problem:
The problem, though, is
that it isn't so easy to calculate that distribution. Official data
does, of course, exist. In Germany it is compiled by the Federal
Statistical Office, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has been doing
the same for the eurozone over the last few years. That data shows an
extremely unequal wealth distribution.
But in reality, wealth is
even more concentrated than the data shows, because the statistics have
a blind spot: The superrich and their assets are consistently
underestimated. This is because, on the one hand, there are so few of
them that they aren't adequately accounted for in randomized surveys.
On the other hand, the statistics are based on voluntary responses -
and willingness to participate demonstrably sinks as wealth among
I do know that
Dutch numbers are not quite honest, but I did not know
the same holds
In any case, here is the
outcome for Germany:
In fact, this is -
surprisingly! - similar to the distribution of wealth in the USA
I believe but do not know to be the long term outcome of the
changes in the economy that were started by Thatcher and Reagan around
A team of tax experts led
by Stefan Bach of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has
examined the wealth statistics compiled by the ECB and augmented them
with lists identifying the ultrarich. And the team did so for three
countries: Germany, France and Spain.
The result: The 45 richest
households in Germany own as much wealth as the bottom half of the
population. Each group possessed a total of 214 billion euros in assets
Here is more:
By incorporating lists of
the wealthiest people in Germany, it becomes clear that wealth
inequality is much greater than reflected in the official ECB numbers.
According to the DIW study, the wealthiest 5 percent in Germany owned
51.1 percent of the country's entire wealth in 2014. ECB numbers,
meanwhile, held that the richest 5 percent only owned 31.5 percent of
the nation's wealth that year.
Furthermore, the top 1 percent
of German households owns a third of the country's wealth (instead of
the 23.6 percent shown by ECB statistics), and the top 0.1 percent owns
17.4 percent (instead of 6.3 percent). The richest 0.001 percent - just
400 households - own 4.7 percent of the country's wealth, according to
the DIW, which is twice as much as the roughly 20 million households
that make up the poorer half of German society.
I say - and note that
in Germany 400 households have twice as much as the 20
million households that make up the poorer half of society.
For more, see my Crisis: Robert Reich,
Socialism, 11 hypotheses about the causes of the crisis and also Crisis: It's the
deregulation, stupid! both of which were republished late last year,
and were published originally in 2012 and 2015.
And this is a
have now been
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 2 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 (!!).