Monday, Feb 20, 2017

Crisis: On (American) Racism *2, Democrats & Leaking, McCain, Trump

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. James Baldwin and the Meaning of Whiteness
2. Why the Great Writer James Baldwin's Insights About America
     Are More Relevant Than Ever

Greenwald: Democrats Seem to Consider Snowden's &
     Manning's Leaks Evil & Leaks Under Trump Heroic

4. John McCain on Trump: Suppressing Free Press Is 'How
     Dictators Get Started'

5. Trump’s Most Shameful Act So Far

This is a Nederlog of Monday
, February 20, 2017.

Summary: This file is a crisis log with 5 files and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about a quite interesting article by Chris Hedges, in part about James Baldwin and about (American) racism; item 2 is also about James Baldwin; item 3 is about an interview with Glenn Greenwald about the Democratic Party and leaks; item 4 is about John McCain and Trump; and item 5 is about an article by Robert Reich about Trump.

Incidentally, this Nederlog was - again - written while I am quite tired because I didn't sleep enough because I have pain. Ah well - see ME/CFS and also Note [3] below.
As for today (February 20, 2017): I have changed my site on February 1, 2017 to make it easier that it might be read, because it now happened for most of last year that both of my sites are not uploaded properly:

On it may be days, weeks or months behind to show the proper last date and the proper last files (in the last 4 years always on the date it was that day), and it was this morning correct again (but yesterday it was not); on it may be shown as December 31, 2015 (and often was!!!) and was also correct this morning but also not yesterday; and indeed I am sick of being systematically made unreadable and therefore changed the site to allow most readers to find it more easily.

For more explanations, see
here - and no: with two different sites in two different countries with two different providers, where this has been happening for a year (and not for over 20 and over 12 years before) now I'm absolutely certain that this happens and that it's not due to me.

Incidentally, if you reached February 1, 2017 on one of my sites you are in the new set-up and from there you can find the latest Nederlog, and all others from there.
1. James Baldwin and the Meaning of Whiteness

The first item today is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” is one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen—I would have stayed in the theater in New York to see the film again if the next showing had not been sold out. The newly released film powerfully illustrates, through James Baldwin’s prophetic work, that the insanity now gripping the United States is an inevitable consequence of white Americans’ steadfast failure to confront where they came from, who they are and the lies and myths they use to mask past and present crimes. Baldwin’s only equal as a 20th century essayist is George Orwell. If you have not read Baldwin you probably do not fully understand America. Especially now.

It seems indeed - see also item 2 - that this is a very good film, that was finished before Trump became president, and has just been released. I haven't seen it, but
I do trust Chris Hedges.

Next, a little bit about James Baldwin and myself. I am Dutch and not American,
but my Dutch background is rather abnormal: Both my father and my mother were
Marxists foir 45 years, starting in 1935 and in WW II respectively, and they were intelligent, sincere and very honest persons.

They were also much more heavily influenced by their experiences in WW II - my mother was not arrested, but both my father and his father were arrested in June of 1941 and convicted by Dutch Nazi-collaborating judges as "political terrorists" to concentration camp imprisonment, which my father managed to survive, for 3 years, 9 months and 15 days, but my grandfather did not - than they thought they did, and certainly until around 1970, when I also completely gave up Marxism and communism, while I was 20, in 1970. [1]

But I never quarreled with them about it, for I liked them a lot, and indeed also always remained a real leftist [2], but not a Marxist.

As to James Baldwin (<- Wkipedia): I read at least one book by him and quite possibly two, but I am not certain, for this was in the 1960ies, and I read them in Dutch translation. I grant I was not much impressed by him, but this probably had to do with the translation and also with the fact that at that time I was a bit more radical than Baldwin was.

And I do not know whether "Baldwin’s only equal as a 20th century essayist is George Orwell", and of Orwell (<-Wikipedia) I read absolutely everything except two of his early novels. I agree Orwell was a great journalistic writer - read his Collected Essays and Journalism, especially! - and I must say I doubt somewhat whether Baldwin was his equal (for Orwell was very good), but indeed I simply do not know enough to say he wasn't Orwell's equal. (And my doubt is simply based on my admiration for Orwell, who was a great writer with a very fine mind, and there simply are very few like him.)

Finally, as to my understanding of America. I think I do understand America better than most non-Americans, but I admit I have never been there (I am ill since 38 years and always was very poor, at least for a Dutchman, for I absolutely never, not in all the 66 years I am living now, got even the minimal amount of money every fine Dutchman receives. [3]).

Then again I have been reading a great amount about the USA for 50 years now and I am a real intellectual with excellent academic degrees in philosophy and psychology, and a quite considerable knowledge of politics.

Now back to Hedges and Baldwin:

History “is not the past,” the film quotes Baldwin as saying. “History is the present. We carry our history with us. To think otherwise is criminal.”

The script is taken from Baldwin’s notes, essays, interviews and letters, with some of the words delivered in Baldwin’s voice from audio recordings and televised footage, some of them in readings by actor Samuel L. Jackson. But it is not, finally, the poetry and lyricism of Baldwin that make the film so moving. It is Peck’s understanding of the core of Baldwin’s message to the white race, a message that is vital to grasp as we struggle with an overt racist as president, mass incarceration, poverty gripping half the country and militarized police murdering unarmed black men and women in the streets of our cities.

I am quite willing to believe it, but I had no American education. I am white, but I am definitely not a racist and never was, indeed not so much because I am Dutch, though
racism against blacks was not a problem in Holland while I grew up, but because of my personal background: My parents were not racists either, and strongly despised it, and I always agreed with them about this (and rather a lot more, though indeed not
about Marxism).

But Chris Hedges is an American, and he writes:

Whiteness is a dangerous concept. It is not about skin color. It is not even about race. It is about the willful blindness used to justify white supremacy. It is about using moral rhetoric to defend exploitation, racism, mass murder, reigns of terror and the crimes of empire.

“The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure,” Baldwin wrote.
I think I quite agree, but indeed somewhat from a distance, being Dutch and living in Holland since 1977. [4] And the distance is important, for I simply saw much less racism than all native Americans do and did see.

Then there is this:
America was founded on the genocidal slaughter of indigenous people and the holocaust of slavery. It was also founded on an imagined moral superiority and purity.
I agree, although the Holocaust was the real and intentional murder of around 6 million Jews in a few years of Nazism, and I also think the Jews in concentration camps and destruction camps were treated worse than most negroes who lived in slavery (which also was very cruel and most unjust, but the black slaves were not intentionally exterminated as a race, and had some economical value for their owners).

Then there is this:
Nearly all African-Americans carry within them white blood, usually the result of white rape. White slaveholders routinely sold mixed-race children—their own children—into slavery.
Yes, I guess that is correct, and indeed you can read about this by reading the biographies of Frederick Douglass (<-Wikipedia), who was a very impressive and very intelligent man, and was the child of his white slave-owning father and a black woman (and was probably born 199 years ago this year, in slavery).

This is quoted from the Wikipedia on Douglass:
Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all peoples, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was also a believer in dialogue and in making alliances across racial and ideological divides, and in the liberal values of the American Constitution. When radical abolitionists, under the motto "No Union With Slaveholders", criticized Douglass' willingness to dialogue with slave owners, he famously replied: "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
Back to Hedges and Baldwin. Here is the end of Hedges article:

The true credo of the white race is we have everything, and if you try to take any of it from us we will kill you. This is the essential meaning of whiteness. As the white race turns on itself in an age of diminishing resources it is in the vital interest of the white underclass to understand what its elites and its empire are actually about. These lies, Baldwin warned, will ultimately have fatal consequences for America.

“There are days, this is one of them, when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it,” Baldwin said. “How precisely you’re going to reconcile yourself to your situation here and how you are going to communicate to the vast, heedless, unthinking, cruel white majority that you are here. I’m terrified at the moral apathy—the death of the heart—which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long that they really don’t think I’m human.”

I agree, and the quotation of Baldwin is indeed very good. This is a recomended article. Also, here is more on Baldwin:

2. Why the Great Writer James Baldwin's Insights About America Are More Relevant Than Ever

The second item is by Sophia A. McClennen on AlterNet:

First why I selected this: Because of Chris Hedges article in item 1, and because, while I certainly read one book by James Baldwin, and probably two, I simply do not know much about him.

This starts as follows (and I know I don't quite agree with
Sophia A. McClennen - see here - but this does not matter much here and now):

As Time reported shortly after the elections, Trump has been “choosing people who have shown hate toward immigrants, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people and women. And he’s giving them a huge amount of power to act on that hate.”

Today racism is running rampant in the White House, as evidenced in the ideologies of several Trump senior advisers, but also, as Matthew Rozsa has reported for Salon, the behavior of his staffers.

Yes, I think that is correct, though I also think - see here - that Trump will probably say that He Is The Most Anti-Racist Person Ever (for he said so about Semitism: "He Is The Most Anti-Semitic Person" (capitals added by me) that a Jew he discriminated had "Ever Met" (according to Trump).

Here is Sophia McClennen's judgement of Raoul Peck's film:

But if there is one film on the list of nominees that should be required viewing in the Trump era, it is Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro.”

A. O. Scott’s review of the film explained that there’s no better movie for pondering the question “is everything about race?” The film combines lyric beauty and brute reality as it forces viewers to confront the uncomfortable history of U.S. race relations and the structural inequalities that still persist in America.

I am quite willing to believe it, though mostly because of Chris Hedges' item 1.
Then there is this on Baldwin:

As Andrew O’Hehir wrote in Salon, Baldwin was a unique voice: He was a “brilliant, exasperating and endlessly erudite black writer who belongs on any short list of the most important American intellectuals of the 20th century.”

Baldwin refused to fit into preconceived molds. He didn’t hate white people and he rejected the racial politics of the Black Panthers and the Black Muslim movements. He wasn’t a member of the NAACP because he associated it with the black upper class. He also focused close attention on the role of capitalism in racial inequality. As he put it, “White is a metaphor for power and it is simply a way for describing Chase Manhattan Bank.”

I say - and I agree with Baldwin. Here is more by him:

“What white people have to do, is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place because I’m not a nigger. I’m a man, but if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need it,” Baldwin says. “If I’m not a nigger here and you invented him — you, the white people, invented him — then you’ve got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that, whether or not it’s able to ask that question.”

That was in 1963. When Peck started researching his film nearly 10 years ago, he realized that America still had not been able to answer that question.
Yes, I think that is all quite correct. Here is the end of this article:
What perhaps makes “I Am Not Your Negro” so powerful is the way that it combines a sense of urgency with a sense of wonder. There is so much beauty in this film about a reality that is so terribly ugly. The film is raw and sensitive, brutally honest and visually stunning. It doesn’t let you look away, but it doesn’t leave you desperate, either.
“I Am Not Your Negro” is currently showing in theaters across the nation.

I recommend you see that film and I will certainly read more by James Baldwin.

3. Greenwald: Democrats Seem to Consider Snowden's & Manning's Leaks Evil & Leaks Under Trump Heroic

The third 
item is by Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

Over four years ago, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that he or other NSA analysts could spy on anyone, even the U.S. president. "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email," Snowden said in an interview with Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong. We talk to Greenwald about the difference between how Washington reacted to Snowden’s leaks and today’s leaks about Gen. Michael Flynn.

Yes indeed - and precisely these words by Snowden also made a deep impression on me, and indeed caused me to write as much in the crisis series since 2013 as I did.

Here is more, that likewise influenced me a lot since 2013 (for I wrote since then almost only about the crisis):

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Glenn, I want to turn to something NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said to you nearly three years ago, when he first spoke out against NSA abuses.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: Any analyst at any time can target anyone, any selector anywhere. Where those communications will be picked up depends on the range of the sensor networks and the authorities that that analyst is empowered with. Not all analysts have the ability to target everything. But I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Glenn, can you talk about that and the response that was received to the leaks of Edward Snowden compared to now, the leaks of intelligence officials now?

And here is Glenn Greenwald:

GLENN GREENWALD:  (..) What this reveals is something very important, which is, when the Edward Snowden story first broke and the debate around the world was triggered, the U.S. government kept saying over and over, "If you’re an American citizen, we can’t listen in on your calls unless we first get a warrant from the court, and therefore there’s nothing you have to worry about." Now, that was a very warped sort of thing to say, because that meant that for 95 percent of the world who are called non-Americans, what the government was saying: "Oh, for you, you have no protections. We can listen in on your calls at any time without getting a judge to approve," which is actually true.

Precisely! And here is more:

But the broader and more important point is that what the U.S. government was saying was actually completely false. The U.S. government constantly eavesdrops on the telephone calls of American citizens without getting a warrant of any kind (...)

Yes indeed, and I should add that Greenwald continues the above quote as follows:

(...) as long as they’re talking to someone outside of the United States who the government says they’re targeting.

This is in the context of Obama's 2008 support for the NSA. I must say that I now believe, and indeed since 2013, that the NSA simply picks up everything from all Americans, just as they pick up everything from all non-Americans like myself [5],
but I grant this is an assumption of mine (and very few people outside the NSA know what the NSA really does, because they are very well shielded and quite secret).

Here is the last bit that I quote from this interview, about Chelsea Manning (<-Wkipedia) and the Democratic Party:

GLENN GREENWALD:  Chelsea Manning just spent seven years in prison under harsh conditions for leaking information way less sensitive than what these leakers about General Flynn just leaked. And, yes, President Obama commuted her sentence, but only after his administration imprisoned her, under conditions that the U.N. said was basically torture, and kept her in prison for seven years, even though there was no harm demonstrated from anything she leaked. So what Democrats seem to think is, leaks under President Obama, even if they show that high-level officials are lying, as Edward Snowden showed James Clapper was, are evil, are criminal, and the whistleblowers should be thrown in jail; leaks under President Trump, by contrast, are heroic and noble, and we should celebrate the people who are doing it and oppose any effort to hunt them down and investigate them and find them and punish them, as President Trump is vowing to do. The reality is that whistleblowers are a very valuable part of our democracy. They should be cherished and heralded and protected, regardless of which party controls the White House.

Quite so. And this is a recommended article, in which there is considerably more than I quoted.

4. John McCain on Trump: Suppressing Free Press Is 'How Dictators Get Started'

The fourth
item is by Alan Yuhas on AlterNet and originally on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

Senator John McCain has warned that suppression of a free press is “how dictators get started," criticizing Donald Trump’s "continued declaration." 

“I hate the press,” McCain told NBC’s Meet the Press in an interview, taped at a security conference with European leaders in Munich.. “But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it.”

“I’m very serious now, if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” he continued. “Without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”

I say - and I entirely agree with John McCain. Here is more about McCain and Trump:

The Republican party’s presidential nominee in 2008, McCain has repeatedly criticized Trump’s ideas as a candidate and now as president. The interview, broadcast Sunday, was taped not long after the president tweeted on Friday night that he considered the media “the enemy of the American people”.

On Saturday, Trump went further at a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida. “When the media lies to people, I will never, ever let them get away with it,” he told fans.

Here is my translation of Trump's lies: "When the media tells the truth to people, I and my government will try to destroy them."

Finally, here is Bernie Sanders, with a link added by me:

Also on Saturday, the progressive senator Bernie Sanders warned: “According to Trump, if you want the truth, ignore everything except what he is saying. That’s what totalitarianism is all about.”

Quite so. And this is a recommended article.

5. Trump’s Most Shameful Act So Far

The fifth and last
item today is by Robert Reich on Truthdig and originally on

This starts as follows:

Last week, White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller claimed 14 percent of non-citizens are registered to vote. “We know for a fact, you have massive numbers of non-citizens registered to vote in this country,” he said, appearing on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos. “The White House has provided enormous evidence with respect to voter fraud.”

Miller is repeating an assertion Trump continues to make. 

It is absolutely false. 

What do we do when we have a president and White House surrogates, along with enablers in the right-wing media, who continuously lie about something as fundamental to our democracy as whether we’ve got massive voter fraud?

The answer is we find the truth. We spread the truth. We continue to speak the truth. And we use every chance we have – in opeds, in letters to editors, in local media, on national media – to state the truth.

And we demand that big lies like this be corrected.

I quite agree. Here is more (and see this on Trump, by three professors of psychiatry):

Trump’s false assertion of massive voting fraud is intended for one purpose: to legitimate more voter identification laws around the country.

Voter identification laws are already spreading rapidly. Before 2006, no state required photo identification to vote on Election Day. Now, 10 states have this requirement. All told, a total of 33 states — representing more than half the nation’s population — have some version of voter identification rules on the books.

The purpose of these laws is to further entrench Republican officials.

Yes, precisely. Here is the last bit I quote of this article:

The research also shows that because minority voters tend to be Democrats, strict voter ID laws tilt the primary electorate dramatically. The turnout gap between Republicans and Democrats in primary contests more than doubles from 4.3 points to 9.8 points.

The truth: There’s no voter fraud. State ID laws intended to stop voter fraud are really intended to stop Democrats from voting – and that’s been their effect.

One of the most important common goods in our society is the truth about our democracy. Trump is pulverizing that truth – laying the groundwork for more state restrictions on access to the ballot by American citizens. 

This is beyond shameful.

Indeed, and I think it is intentional neofascism as I defined this: Check it out if you disbelieve this (and it would have been worth quite a lot to me if I could have regarded Trump otherwise, but I know a great amount about politics; I defined "neofascism" before knowing more than very little about Trump; and my definition of it seems quite good).

Ah well. And this is a recommended article.


[1] It so happens that I am very proud of my parents, and indeed do not and never did mind that they were - intelligent and honest - Marxists/communists. I also inisist that they were quite mistaken, but I know they were very honest, suffered a very great amount in WW II, and were in no position to study, as I was, simply because they both had to start working aged 15. (Besides, it simply is a fact that the vast majority of mankind is mistaken about both politics and religion.)

And my father did have "post-traumatic stress disorder" (see George Carlin!), which I believe he managed quite well (and certainly a lot better than some others I have known), which is one reason why I never told my parents about being called "a fascist" and "a terrorist" by the 20-year olds quasi-communists from the mostly communist student-party the ASVA, which shared the absolute power over the University of Amsterdam (UvA) between 1971 and 1995.

For - completely unique in the world - the UvA was ruled from 1972 till 1995  by a "parliament" both on university-level and faculty-level, that was elected every year by "1 man = 1 vote" (professors, lecturers, students, secretaries and toilet-cleaners: all had 1 vote) because the university was given "to the students" in 1971 (after an occupation of the main building of the university in 1969, which came again a year after the student revolution in France (<-Wikipedia(, which almost succeeded).

This enormously politicized all the "education" provided by the UvA these years. And no: Virtually all professors (though not all) kept silent: They earned too much to speak out (and most also lacked the courage, the morals and the principles to protest).

[2] My parents were real leftists and Marxists. I am a real leftist and not a Marxist (since 1970). Nearly all students I met in the UvA pretended to be "leftists" or "Marxists", and many - especially in the faculty of philosophy, where I studied - were members of the Dutch Communist Party - but disclosed that only in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union (for these Stalinist terrorists were o so very honest, o so very noble, and o so very courageous, all according to themselves).

They were "leftists" because very few knew much about politics (most had read the Communist Manifesto, I guess, but little else by Marx) and their "leftism" consisted mostly of (1) political correctness: They very much insisted on discriminating everyone who did not talk in the words they considered correct (and again see George Carlin!), (2) identity-politics: They much disagreed with considering people as individuals, and judged everyone according to the groups they were (or were claimed to be) a member of, and (3) - after 1983 - they very much insisted on postmodernism and the - utterly false - thesis that "everyone knows that truth does not exist".

In my eyes all three points are totalitarian and rightist, but it is true that much of the "left" in Holland still insists on
political correctness and identity-politics (in 2017!), while most also do not really believe in truth, though postmodernism was criticized too much to be waved like a banner nowadays.

O, a last remark about my communist father: He was knighted in 1980, three months before he died, because of his designing and mostly also making the National Exhibition On World War II, Resistance And Concentration Camps.

I believe he was the only communist who was knighted - Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau - before 1991, when the Dutch Communist Party ceased to be, because I do not know of any other communist who was knighted in or before 1980. (A very few did get medals because of courage before 1980, but no knighthoods I know of.)

(Since there were many brave communists in the Dutch resistance in WW II who all were not knighted because they were communists - "traitors", as many Dutch said - I think this might have been a mistake by the queen, who had met my father at least twice, and in the context of the National Exhibition).

[3] I have ME/CFS since January 1, 1979, and my ex since January 10, 1979, which started in our cases as Epstein-Barr "that never went away", now for the thirty-eight (38th) year.

For those who are interested, very recently - and at looooooong last, for all medical research into ME/CFS has been systematically opposed by psychiatrists since 1980 - there have been around five medical and biochemical studies about ME/CFS that found many differences between people with ME/CFS and healthy persons, and that also, again at looooong last, provide at least the beginning of a genuine medical and biochemical understanding of my disease. 

In case you are interested, here are two easily understood brief articles in the New Scientist: (1) Metabolic switch may bring on chronic fatigue syndrome and (2) Antibody wipeout found to relieve chronic fatigue syndrome.

As to my income: I never worked full days (except for 1 year while I was 17, and then I earned less than the minimal income because I wasn't 21) until I was 24 (because I preferred to study: I made enough to live, but actually less than the dole); from 25 till 27 I did not earn anything (but lived in Norway and helped my ex who was a journalist); from 1977 till 1984 I got a study-loan which again was less than the dole; from 1984 till 2015 I got dole, which was considerably less than the minimum income even the most stupid and uneducated get in Holland; and from 2015 till now I have a minimal pension of some 80 euroos a month less than the minimal pension "because you lived nearly three years in Norway".

Therefore all in all I got less money in the last 51+ years than any other Dutchman (I suppose, but this is a very reasonable supposition).

[4] Which this day is 40 years - which were by far the most horrible years in my life (for until 1979 I did have ten quite good and quite happy and quite healthy if financially very poor years, in which I also lived - successively - with four women, one English, one American, one Norwegian and one Dutch, and in part in England and in part in Norway).

My Dutch years were not only horrible because of ME/CFS but also because of extremely much discrimination, including being gassed (literally: I almost died) in 1988 by the illegal drugsdealers that the mayor of Amsterdam, Ed van Thijn, had given his "personal permission" to deal in illegal drugs (marijuana and hashish) from the bottom floor of the house where I lived) and being kept awake for four years by incredible amounts of noise from these dealers and three cafés with terraces open till 1 o'clock in the night on a distance of within 15 to 25 meters from the house where I lived.

This is all described - in detail - in excellent Dutch in ME in Amsterdam.

[5] For I am - like every non-American - totally serveyable in everything I write on my computer and everything I say on my telephone. For me that is the beginning of possibly centuries of neofascism, that is, if we are not all blown up by a nuclear war thanks to Donald Trump. (Yes, I am not optimistic - which assures that I might get some pleasant surprises. I am not, because my father survived over 3 years and 9 months as a prisoner in German concentration camps in WW II, and because my grandfather was murdered in a German concentration camp, both for resisting the Nazis. Also, I got 5 - quite credible - murder threats by the drugsdealers between 1988 and 1991, but no one did anything about it, for they were protected by the mayor of Amsterdam.)

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