A. Selections from July 9, 2017
B. On the
problems with 14.04
This is a Nederlog of
Sunday, July 9,
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 with 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 9, 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:
Went Totally Mad’: 2nd Night of Violence in Hamburg
This is by Melissa Eddy and David Shimer on The New York
Times. It starts thus:
Tens of thousands
of people swarmed into the streets of Hamburg on Saturday for
demonstrations against the Group of 20
summit meeting after two consecutive nights of clashes
between the police and protesters.
There is considerably more in the article.
Organizers of the main march said that about
76,000 people were taking part, and tens of thousands of police
officers were mobilized to keep watch over the demonstrations. Holding
signs that said “No G20,” the marchers hoped to show that a peaceful
protest was possible after violence
on Thursday and Friday, when some protesters burned cars and
smashed shop windows.
Hours later, 1,500 black-clad anarchists rampaged through the streets
of the city’s Schanzen district, plundering shops and setting fire to
cars and trash cans for several hours, the police said. An elite unit
of special forces was called in to quell the violence, but only after
extensive damage had been done.
The police said on Saturday that they had arrested 43 people
in connection with the violence on Friday night. Ninety-six others
remained in detention, pending an investigation. The police also said
that 213 officers had been injured. Activists reported multiple
injuries among the protesters, at least two of whom were hospitalized.
of Unleashing ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis
This is by David Marks on
Consortiumnews, and it starts as follows:
During the 2016 campaign,
Donald Trump boasted that he would “bomb the hell out of ISIS,” but he
also suggested a reversal of the “regime change” strategies of his
recent predecessors. So, some peace voters thought Trump might actually
be preferable to Hillary Clinton, who often came across as the more
However, in Trump’s
near-half-year in office, he has slid more into line with the war hawks
both by continuing to beat his chest over his own application of
military force and by shifting control over many attack decisions to
military field commanders and the Pentagon high command.
In mid-April, after a
U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan, President Trump explained his thinking
as he reveled in the first use of the massive “mother of all bombs”
that was dropped on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan.
Trump said, “What I do is
I authorize my military, we have the greatest military in the world,
and they’ve done the job, as usual. We have given them total
authorization, and that’s what they’re doing. Frankly, that’s why
they’ve been so successful lately. If you look at what’s happened over
the last eight weeks and compare that really to what has happened over
the last eight years, you’ll see there is a tremendous difference.”
What Trump said was
probably mostly motivated by
his megalomania. There is also this about "Mad Dog" Mattis:
intentionally limits his contact with the public and the press, some of
his past statements reveal his mindset. In Iraq in 2003, Mattis coached
arriving Marines, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill
everybody you meet.” And in 2005, the man who has been unleashed by the
President said, “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women
around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys
like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of
fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know.
It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up
there with you. I like brawling.”
There is considerably
more in the article.
a No-Show as Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Adopted
This is by Andrea Germanos
on Common Dreams:
The United States has
joined a small group of global outliers on Friday after a historic
United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons was adopted by a majority
of the world's nations.
"The adoption of the
nuclear weapons ban treaty marks an historic turning point in the
centuries-old battle to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction,"
said Jeff Carter, executive director of Physicians for Social
Ahead of its adoption,
Elayne Whyte Gómez, Coasta Rica's ambassador to the U.N. and president
of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding
Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, championed
the "historic"agreement, calling it "the first multilateral nuclear
disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years."
Noting that the landmark
moment comes 72 years after the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, an editorial in Japan's Mainichi said:
"The international community's firm determination not to repeat these
tragedies is the linchpin of the convention."
I say, but I am sorry
that I cannot take this very seriously without the USA (and indeed also
not with the USA with the current president).
Chart of the Day: Everyone Now Agrees
That Trump Is an Idiot
This is by Kevin Drum on Mother Jones. It starts as
fascinating chart from
Everyone seems to
have figured out that Trump is a moron, and they’re not too thrilled by
his nonexistent leadership skills either. But how is it that he’s lost
only a few points on honesty? He lied about his inauguration turnout.
He lied about Obama wiretapping him. He lied about 3 (or 5) million
votes from illegal immigrants causing him to lose the popular vote. He
lied about London’s mayor because of a petty grudge. He lied
(repeatedly) about saving money on an order for F-35 jets. Hell, the New
York Times has a comprehensive list of hundreds of lies here.
Yes indeed, and the file
very many very gross lies is interesting.
NSA Is Still Collecting the Full Content Of U.S. Domestic E-Mail,
Without a Warrant …"
This starts as follows:
The man who designed
the NSA’s electronic intelligence gathering system (Bill Binney) sent
affidavit which he signed on the Fourth of July explaining that the
NSA is still spying on normal, every day Americans … and not focused on
stopping terror attacks (I’ve added links to provide some background):
Binney see the last Wikipedia link. Here is some of what he wrote:
The attacks on September
11, 2001 completely changed how the NSA conducted surveillance …. the
individual liberties preserved in the U.S. Constitution were no longer
a consideration. In October 2001, the NSA began to implement a group of
intelligence activities now known as the “President’s Surveillance
Surveillance Program involved the collection of the full
content of domestic e-mail traffic without any of the
privacy protections built into [the program
that Binney had designed]. This was done under the authorization of
Order 12333. This meant that the nation’s e-mail could be read by
NSA staff members without the approval of any court or judge.
The NSA is still
collecting the full content of U.S. domestic
e-mail, without a warrant. We know this
because of the highly-detailed information contained in the documents
leaked by former NSA-contractor, Edward Snowden. I have personally
reviewed many of these documents.
I can authenticate these
documents because they relate to programs that I created and supervised
during my years at the NSA.
officials] have also admitted the authenticity of these documents.
The NSA is creating a
program that shows the real-time location of all cell phones, tablets
and computers in the world, at any time. To have a state-actor engaging
in this sort of behavior, without any court supervision, is troubling.
In their public
statements, [government officials] claim that collection of information
is limited, and is being done pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”). FBI Director James Comey
recently described Section 702 of FISA as the “crown jewel” of the
There is more under the last
it is my understanding
that the European Union intends to adopt legislation requiring its
intelligence community to get out of the business of bulk collection,
and implement smart selection.
Smart selection is not
enough. Governments, courts and the public need to have an absolute
means of verifying what intelligence agencies are doing. This should be
done within government by having a cleared technical team responsible
to the whole of government and the courts with the authority and
clearances to go into any intelligence agency and look directly into
databases and tools in use. This would insure that government as a
whole could get to the bottom line truth of what the intelligence
agencies were really doing
I would also suggest that
agencies be required to implement software that audits their analytic
processes to insure compliance with law and to automatically detect and
report any violations to the courts and others.
B. On the problems with
The day before yesterday - Friday, July 7 - I told my
readers that I have
successfully updated my system from Ubuntu 12.04 tot Ubuntu 14.04.
Everything worked unproblematically, but yesterday I
that every site I download from somewhere else in my Firefox blacks
out (it also turns black-and-white, from colors), blocks all
input from my mouse and my keyboard, and then, after a little wait,
restores itself again.
Well... today the problem stopped after another download
of more files from Ubuntu 14.04. So 14.04 works again as it should,
although I still have to sort out several things.
I will probably keep you updated on 14.04 for a while,
simply because changing OS is a fairly major operation.
But this is Linux, which is very much better
than Windows or indeed any other non-open OS, and I do
like to say that my site was maintained since June of 2012 only
because I then had switched to Ubuntu, that in 12.04 had the
possibility of changing white to black and black to white in system
settings, which was extremely helpful with my bad and painful eyes.
I am missing this option on 14.04, alas. But my eyes
have improved some over the last 1 1/2 years. On the moment I have some
problems with my eyes, but so far they are manageable.