A. Selections from July 7, 2017
B. Two Major
This is a Nederlog of
Friday, July 7,
This is a
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection from that item (indented)
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
July 5, 2017
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:
in Poland, Asks if West Has the ‘Will to Survive’
This is by Glenn Thrush and
Julie Hirschfeld Davis on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
said on Thursday that Western civilization was at risk of decline,
bringing a message about “radical Islamic terrorism” and “the creep of
government bureaucracy” to a European capital he views as hospitable to
his nationalist message.
My own answers: Not
with a megalomaniac neofascist like Trump.
Mr. Trump, who broke with tradition by attacking American
leaders and his country’s intelligence services while abroad, delivered
his message in a speech to a friendly Polish crowd before a two-day
summit meeting of Group
of 20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany.
“The fundamental question of
our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” he said. “Do we
have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we
have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have
the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of
those who would subvert and destroy it?”
Mr. Trump roused his Polish hosts by recounting the country’s history
of resistance to invaders, including Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
But he said nothing about the right-wing government’s crackdown on
judges and journalists and its refusal to accept more migrants,
policies that have upset European Union leaders. He instead praised Poland
as a defender of liberty in the face of existential threats.
by Far-Right Gov't in Poland, Trump Claims Future of Western
Civilization is at Stake
This is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy
In a major speech
in Poland, President Donald Trump said Western civilization is at
stake, as he warned about the threats of "terrorism and extremism." He
was cheered on by supporters of Poland’s right-wing government, who
were bused in to the speech. Meanwhile, Trump is facing criticism after
becoming the first U.S. president in decades to skip visiting the
Warsaw ghetto uprising monument. We speak with Polish-Nigerian
journalist Remi Adekoya, a regular contributor to The Guardian and the
former political editor of the Warsaw Business Journal.
SHAIKH: And, Remi, can
you talk specifically about what the similarities are in the positions
that the Trump administration has taken and those of right-wing
governments in Eastern Europe, including Poland?
ADEKOYA: Number one,
essentially, the Polish government has said they’re not interested in
accepting any migrants. So, generally, there’s a sort of anti-migrant,
xenophobic stance in their policies. Number two, they question the
existence of climate change, just like Trump does. And number three, in
the case of the Polish government, they’re very skeptical of what they
see as German domination of the EU, which is a theme which Trump also
tossed in one of the interviews, saying the EU is essentially a union
which is dominated by Germany.
So, on these three
issues, the Polish government is very close to what Donald Trump is
saying. Essentially, it’s a very right-wing view of the world,
exclusivist, which believes that, as they say, Western civilization is
under threat—read from brown people, from Muslims especially—and has to
close ranks and defend itself, or else it essentially faces extinction.
Chomsky: Here's How We Defeat Trumpism and Save the Planet
This is by Alexandra Rosenmann on AlterNet:
The political scientist
and world-renowned linguist went on to praise "Late Show" host Stephen
Colbert's recent smackdown of Republican efforts to gut the
laws. Chomsky has dubbed the current GOP "the most dangerous
organization in world
history." For him, the question is how Democrats can recapture the
White House before the planet's fate is sealed.
“It’s necessary to
address the concerns and beliefs of those who are taken in by the
fraud, or who don’t recognize the nature and significance of the issues
for other reasons," he noted.
While the opposition
remains fractured, talk radio "and other practitioners of alternative
facts" are uniting Trump voters against a common enemy—the left.
"For the majority of the
base, Trump and the more savage wing of the Republican establishment
are not far from their standard attitudes," Chomsky asserted, noting
that most Trump supporters "are relatively affluent."
incomes above the median," he explained. "About one-third had incomes
of over $100,000 a year, and thus were in the top 15 percent of
personal income, in the top 6 percent of those with only a high school
Still Living in Propaganda-ville
This is by Robert Parry and starts as follows:
As much as the
U.S. mainstream media wants people to believe that it is the Guardian
of Truth, it is actually lost in a wilderness of propaganda and
falsehoods, a dangerous land of delusion that is putting the future of
humankind at risk as tension escalate with nuclear-armed Russia.
This media problem has
grown over recent decades as lucrative careerism has replaced
responsible professionalism. Pack journalism has always been a threat
to quality reporting but now it has evolved into a self-sustaining
media lifestyle in which the old motto, “there’s safety in numbers,” is
borne out by the fact that being horrendously wrong, such as on Iraq’s
WMD, leads to almost no accountability because so many important
colleagues were wrong as well.
Similarly, there has been
no accountability after many mainstream journalists and commentators
falsely stated as flat-fact that “all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies”
concurred that Russia did “meddle” in last November’s U.S. election.
For months, this claim
has been the go-to put-down whenever anyone questions the groupthink of
Russian venality perverting American democracy. Even the esteemed
“Politifact” deemed the assertion “true.” But it was never true.
Destructive Power Trips of Amazon’s Boss
This is by Ralph Nader and ends thus:
Is Bezos laughing at many
millions of Amazon customers who think temporary discounts and minor
shipping convenience can make up for the billions of tax dollars Amazon
has learned to avoid and the thousands of small business competitors
whose closures shrink the local property tax base that supports schools
and other essential public services?
As Amazon spreads around
the world selling everything and squeezing other businesses that
use its platform, is Bezos laughing at humanity? His ultimate objective
seems to preside over a mega-trillion dollar global juggernaut that is
largely automated, except for that man at the top with the booming
laugh who rules over the means by which we consume everything from
goods, to media, to groceries. Crushing competitors, history shows, is
leads to raising prices by monopolizers.
Consumers, workers and
retailers alike must be on higher alert and address this growing
threat. You have nothing to lose except Bezos’s tightening algorithmic
chains. To start the conversation, you can wait for Franklin Foer’s new
book out this September, titled World Without a Mind: The
Existential Threat of Big Tech. Until then, a good substitute is
his 2014 article in The New Republic, Amazon
Must be Stopped.
Wall Street Should Be Viewed as a Major National Threat
This is by Pam and Russ
Martens and starts as follows:
The day before the 4th
of July, when most Americans were hustling about preparing for family
barbecues, the New York Times finally decided to publish an editorial
warning about Wall Street’s potential threat to the nation.
Unfortunately, it did so with the kind of timidity we see regularly
from cowed or compromised Wall Street banking regulators. The editorial
writers noted that: “It’s entirely possible that the system is more
fragile than the Fed’s stress tests indicate,” and they called for
“heightened vigilance of derivatives in particular” without providing
any detailed data.
A more accurate
assessment of the situation would have been this: There is only one
industry in the United States that has twice in a period of
less than 100 years brought about a devastating economic crisis in the
country. Wild speculation coupled with poor regulation of mega Wall
Street banks brought about the Great Depression in the 1930s, leading
to massive job losses, bank failures, poverty and economic misery for
tens of millions of innocent Americans. The precise same combination of
wild speculation and crony regulators created the Wall Street crash of
2008, throwing millions of Americans into unemployment and foreclosure
while creating obscene bailouts and bonuses for bankers, and leaving
the U.S. with such a low economic growth rate to this day that many
Americans feel they are still living in the Great Recession.
If a foreign country did
this kind of damage to the U.S. economy with a military weapon, that
country would have been reduced to bombed-out, smoldering ruins by now.
But despite research
coming directly from our own Federal government illustrating
that Wall Street’s threat to the nation is more dangerous than ever,
both the Obama and Trump administrations appointed Wall Street’s own
former lawyers as regulators and allowed the derivatives bomb to re-arm
itself and point directly at the heart of the nation’s economy.
B. Two Major Changes
There are a number of quite important changes on
my computer. I do not quite know how much my readers will see of
this (probably little, if I can remain writing and publishing)
me it the changes are quite important.
I changed the OS I am using from Ubuntu 12.04 to
To effect this change took a week of work. The last 5
years - since June 2012 - I was on Ubuntu 12.04. This was (and is) a
system that was to be maintained by Ubuntu for 5 years, and indeed it
I had nearly two years ago (November of 2015) changed to
this, but the major problem for me is that I installed Ubuntu 12.04 at
the same time as my eyes - quite spectactularly and quite
painfully - collapsed: I could not see white screens for a
they started to hurt rather badly.
The reason I could go on writing and publishing and
indeed working with a computer since June 2012 is that Ubuntu 12.04
had a system that could be set so as to invert the colors. This
made all system colors that were white black, and it is precisely this
that allowed me keep writing.
My eyes got - very slowly - better, and improved -
comparatively - quite a lot, but they are still not OK.
And 14.04 lacks the system to invert system
colors, as I found out in November of 2015, when I also had to
change back tot 12.04 to be able to keep using my computer.
One and half year have passed, and my eyes slowly
improved, and now I can - just - use 14.04, with quite a few changes to
the colors where these are possible, but (1) the file menus have a
white background, that can - contrary to what the help says - not
be made less bright, and (2) in any case I will see considerably more
white than before, especially in the file lists.
It is all working now, but my eyes again are more
hurting. This may be because the last days I have had to see many
pages, that I probably will be able to avoid now that the system
working, but it is more difficult than 12.04 was for me.
I will continue writing my site and will let you know
how it effects my eyes. In any case, I am grateful to Ubuntu that I
could continue the last five years, for this would have been totally
impossible on - the awful - Windows and indeed also on Ubuntu with only