A. Selections from September 2, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
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 (usually) from that item
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
September 2, 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:
This article is by Glenn
Greenwald on The Intercept. This starts as follows:
I think this is more or
less correct, and in fact this is strong evidence, indeed
because these attitudes were very widely spread in 2015, that the
majority of presently living people are primarily totalitarian
rather than (really) for freedom and democracy.
The newfound free
speech crusaders borne of the January 2015 murders of 10
Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in Paris sought to promulgate a new and quite
dangerous standard. It was no longer enough to defend someone’s right
to express their ideas while being free to condemn those ideas
themselves — long the central tenet of the free speech movement (I
defend their right to free speech even while finding them and their
ideas repugnant). In the wake of the Hebdo killings, one had to go
much further than that: It was a moral imperative to embrace and
celebrate the ideas under attack and to glorify those who
were expressing them, even to declare ourselves to be them
As a result, criticizing the
content of Charlie Hebdo’s often-vile cartoons became virtually
And indeed I agree with that: See totalitarian
men in my
Dictionary (that date from long before Charlie Hebdo, and
indeed also from long before 2004, when they were published: in
think so since the 1970ies, and also with strong evidence).
Here is some more:
What was clear all
along, and what I argued repeatedly, was that it was not a belief in
free speech that was driving these demands that Charlie Hebdo
cartoonists be honored and revered and their cartoons be
celebrated. Free speech was just the pretense, the costume.
I think I am a bit more
than Greenwald seems to be, for I think it is quite possible
that most who praised Charley Hebdo in 2015 (and who criticize it now,
in actual fact both times driven more by their totalitarian attitudes
than by their knowledge of or respect for free speech and the rule of
democratic law) were quite sincere in believing they were for a
press¨, indeed also while being mostly ignorant about
what this means
Indeed, most of the
political leaders who led the “free speech parade” in Paris (pictured
above) had long
records of suppressing free speech, and few of these new free
speech crusaders uttered a word as the free speech rights of
Muslims have been assaulted
and eroded throughout the West in the name of the war on terror.
In fact, here is my own reaction from January 14, 2015
the two following horizontal lines):
agree with Greenwald that "terrorism" (the term) is almost only used
these days in the papers and on TV as a propaganda
term, and I also agree that one group's "freedom fighters" are another
group's "terrorists" and conversely (which makes the U.S. - state -
terrorists or, if you please, "state terrorists" in quite a few
regions ) but I do not
quite see that this makes
it necessary to -
completely - avoid the term.
Here is my own definition of "terrorism" (in part) which dates from
Terrorism: Attempt to get one's way in
politics or religion by violence and murder. 
Clearly, by the above
definition the Muslims who indulge in terrorism (violence and murder)
are terrorists, and so are the state terrorists who oppose(d) them:
Bush, Blair, Obama, and Cameron, for example. 
Very many religious and
have indulged in terrorism, if given the chance, though the
perpetrators of terrorism almost always call it by a different name,
such as "fight for freedom", "guerilla", "righteousness of the
faithful", or "Holy War".
One of the functions of
protect its population from
terrorism, which often happens by denying the population the right to
bear arms. The great danger of states is that state-terrorism has
been by far the most dangerous and succesful form of terrorism:
Hundreds of millions of individual human beings were murdered in the
20th C alone by state-terrorism. (Fascism, Communism).
The normal effect of
oppose some state - including those merely called so by organs of state
security - is to increase the powers and
practices of state-terrorism in order "to fight terrorism".
And clearly, you may like one kind of terrorism a lot better than the
other kind of terrorism, but it also remains an evident fact that both
groups do use terror (that is: violence and murder or also - by
the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary - coercive intimidation).
The main reason I am doubtful that it is wise not to discuss
terrorism at all is this quotation from George Orwell - who does not
praise this, but who sees it as totalitarian
and as deeply immoral or amoral:
"Actions are held
to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does
them, and there is almost no outrage - torture, the use of hostages,
forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonments without trial, forgery,
assassination, the bombing of civilians, which does not change its
moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side." (The Collected
Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol 3, p. 419,
written in May 1945.)
is the card most politicians and all terrorists try to play: Their
violence and murder is terrorism; our violence
and murder is a
fight for the good.
And I still
agree with what I wrote over 2 1/2 years ago. Here is more from Glenn
Yes, and here is Greenwald´s
The proof of this was
delivered yesterday. Charlie Hebdo published a
characteristically vile cartoon depicting drowning victims of
Hurricane Harvey in Houston as being neo-Nazis, with the banner that
declared “God Exists”: because, needless to say, white people in Texas
love Hitler, and it’s thus a form of divine justice if they drown.
That led to a virtually
unanimous tidal wave of condemnation of Charlie Hebdo, including from
many quarters that, just two years ago, were sanctifying the same
magazine for its identical mockery of Muslims.
Whatever else is
true, let this episode bring about the full and permanent death
to the new, warped principle that to defend free speech, one must
celebrate the ideas under attack and honor those expressing them. It
should have never been difficult to grasp the basic yet vital
distinction between defending the right of ideas to be expressed and
celebrating those ideas.
In fact, I think there
is no ¨new, warped
principle¨ involved: It was
all simple, plain, obvious and indeed quite sick and warped
But indeed these totalitarian attitudes are now both
very widespread and are being pushed by the
mainstream media, which is
to Regulate Artificial Intelligence
This article is by Oren Etzioni on The New York Times. It
starts as follows:
The technology entrepreneur Elon Musk recently urged
the nation’s governors to regulate artificial intelligence “before
it’s too late.” Mr. Musk insists that artificial intelligence
represents an “existential threat to humanity,” an alarmist view that
confuses A.I. science with science fiction. Nevertheless, even A.I.
researchers like me recognize that there are valid concerns about its
impact on weapons, jobs and privacy. It’s natural to ask whether we
should develop A.I. at all.
I believe the answer is yes. But shouldn’t we take steps to
at least slow down progress on A.I., in the interest of caution? The
problem is that if we do so, then nations like China will overtake us.
The A.I. horse has left the barn, and our best bet is to attempt to
steer it. A.I. should not be weaponized, and any A.I. must have an
impregnable “off switch.” Beyond that, we should regulate the tangible
impact of A.I. systems (for example, the safety of autonomous vehicles)
rather than trying to define and rein in the amorphous and rapidly
developing field of A.I.
I say. First,
here is the Wikipedia on Oren
Etzioni: He indeed is a computer scientist, but he also is - like
Musk - first listed as ¨entrepreneur¨, which seems correct.
Second, I don´t
believe Elon Musk is credible or sincere in his call ¨to regulate artificial intelligence “before
it’s too late”¨, and my point is not
that there is nothing to regulate, but that very much
about A.I. is mostly unknown, mostly private, mostly secret,
mostly completely closed and secret source, while it also is
quite often protected, directly or indirectly, by the military.
That is: You
simply cannot regulate most developments of A.I. for these
developments are mostly secret and proprietary.
Here is the
second and last bit that I´ll quote from this article:
I propose three
rules for artificial intelligence systems that are inspired by, yet
develop further, the “three laws of robotics” that the writer Isaac
Asimov introduced in 1942: A robot may not injure a human being or,
through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; a robot must
obey the orders given it by human beings, except when such orders would
conflict with the previous law; and a robot must protect its own
existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the
previous two laws.
Etzioni points out that these laws are not as clear as one would desire
them to be, but he has said nothing about the fact that most -
- A.I. research is secret. And I must say I find it personally odd that
he has to go back to 1942 - before there was any computer - to
I think that I cannot take this seriously.
Chief of Staff Grates on Trump, and the Feeling Is Mutual
This article is by
Glenn Trush and Maggie Haberman on The New York Times. It starts as
President Trump was in an
especially ornery mood after staff members gently suggested he refrain
from injecting politics into day-to-day issues of governing after last
month’s raucous rally in Arizona, and he responded by lashing out at
the most senior aide in his presence.
It happened to be his new chief of staff, John F. Kelly.
Mr. Kelly, the former Marine general brought in five weeks
ago as the successor to Reince Priebus, reacted calmly, but he later
told other White House staff members that he had never been spoken to
like that during 35 years of serving his country. In the future, he
said, he would not abide such treatment, according to three people
familiar with the exchange.
I say, although
I am not amazed, which I am not because I am a
psychologist (one of at least 53,000 psychologists, I learned recently)
who believes that Donald
Trump is not sane (which is also quite frightening, since
he has the command over the U.S.s nuclear arsenal - and see item 5 below).
Here is the
other bit that I´ll quote from this article:
The question now is how long Mr. Kelly will stay, with
estimates ranging from a month to a year at the most. White House
officials say that Mr. Kelly has given no indication he intends to
leave anytime soon.
Yes indeed. For
more see item 5.
& Indigenous Water Protectors Respond to Lawsuit Accusing DAPL
Activists of Eco-Terrorism
This article is by Amy
Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
We examine the
corporate crackdown on environmental activists challenging the fossil
fuel industry and human-driven climate change. The company that owns
the Dakota Access pipeline—Energy Transfer Partners—has sued Greenpeace
International and other environmental groups, accusing them of inciting
"eco-terrorism." We speak to Annie Leonard, executive director of
Greenpeace USA, and Tara Houska, national
campaigns director for Honor the Earth. She is Ojibwe from Couchiching
I say: Now those
to stop the eco-terrorists
who exploit and ruin the earth to get
themselves very much richer than most others are accused by these
eco-terrorists of being ... eco-terrorists!
Then again, I must also say that I have been expecting this for
while now: When the mainstream media keep lying and propagandizing
not saying what is important for everyone to
know, then you may expect
that propagandists and rich exploiters will be able to invert and
falsify anything. And indeed they do:
As the unprecedented flooding exacerbated by climate change continues
in Houston, Texas, we end today’s show by looking at the corporate
crackdown on environmental activists trying to stop the fossil fuel
industry and human-driven climate change—at least challenge the
industry. The company that owns the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy
Transfer Partners, has sued Greenpeace International, Earth First! and
other environmental groups, accusing them of inciting "eco-terrorism"
against the pipeline’s construction.
Annie Leonard, you are
named both personally and as executive director of Greenpeace USA in this lawsuit brought by Energy Transfer
Partners. Can you respond?
LEONARD: Yeah, actually,
I brought the lawsuit here. For those on the radio, you can see I’m
holding up a four-inch stack of papers. We were just served yesterday
with this lawsuit. This lawsuit is a SLAPP suit. "SLAPP" means
strategic lawsuit against public participation. And that’s what it is.
It is an attempt to criminalize and silence protest, at the exact time
that this country needs people rising up more than ever. suit. "
I quite agree
Leonard - and indeed the term "SLAPP"
implies it is anti- democratic (for democracy depends on and
Here are the supposed
crimes of Greenpeace according to the eco-terrorists that own Dakota
GOODMAN: So, explain
what it is that this suit alleges that you’ve been involved with, using
terms like "eco-terrorism."
LEONARD: Right. Well,
the term "eco-terrorism" was used, really, just to taint
constitutionally protected, science-based free speech advocacy. They’re
trying to criminalize healthy, righteous protest. The suit alleges two
specific charges. One is defamation, which is sort of lawyerspeak for
lying. They’re saying that we lied to exaggerate the environmental and
human rights impacts of the pipeline. The second one, that is really
ludicrous, on so many levels, is that they’re claiming that Greenpeace
was the head of a criminal enterprise that orchestrated all of this
protest. And that’s the RICO part of this
lawsuit. But again, it’s not really about the facts. It’s not really
about the law. If you read this massive document, the allegations are
absolutely ludicrous. What it’s about is trying to intimidate, silence
and chill protest.
Right now, our government
has stepped back from offering any kinds of protection for human rights
and public health. And the fossil fuel industry thinks that they have
just absolute free rein to go for it. The one thing in the way is
public opposition. It’s civil society. It’s activism. And so they’re
trying to squelch that (..)
Again I agree with
Leonard. Here is some more by her:
(...) The response is, is number one, nothing that was done was
criminal. It was nonviolent. It was science-based. It was by
values-led. It was peaceful. And the second thing, as my sister here
said, is that this movement was indigenous-led. Greenpeace was very
proud to stand up and support in solidarity, but this was an
indigenous-led movement. And it is false and really offensive to say
that Greenpeace orchestrated this. We were not the leaders here. We
were a strong ally, and we don’t regret a bit of showing up there.
And I agree this sounds
very much like a - totalitarian
- inversion of all real values, but I
have to admit that these totalitarian inversions get more and more
common the longer Trump is president.
This is a recommended article.
Defense Secretary William Perry on the Nuclear Threat
This article is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
William Perry has had a long
career in government, serving in the Pentagon under
Presidents Carter and Reagan before becoming President Clinton’s
secretary of defense in 1994.
“We stand today, I
believe, in greater danger of nuclear catastrophe than we faced during
the Cold War,” Perry tells host and Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer
in this week’s episode of KCRW’s “Scheer
And I agree with Perry,
though possibly not for Perry´s reasons. My main reason is that
I think that Donald Trump is not sane
(and I am a psychologist).
I mostly agree with Perry,
although I want to stress that it is - in actual fact, and from
a rational point of view - rather insane that the
Russians still are seen as the main enemy of the USA (in the
USA) even though Russia is since 1991 (26 years now) at least
capitalistic as the USA.
Perry and Scheer discuss
how the expansion of NATO in the 1990s factors in to the rising
tensions between the U.S. and Russia. Perry calls this expansion “the
first step” in escalating tensions. The “second step,” he says, was
“installing ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe.”
“Our response to Russia
on the objections to these various actions we were taking basically
was, ‘What can you do about it? You’re an insignificant power today,’ ”
Perry says. “The reason Putin is so popular today is that he has taken
actions that, in [Russians’] view, allow Russia to stand as a great
power and overcome this humiliating position they were in … so we stand
today in a position of hostility between the United States and Russia,
comparable to where we stood in the Cold War. In the meantime, we still
have many thousands of nuclear weapons.”
concludes with a discussion on the possibility of nuclear war with
“This regime is ruthless,
and reckless, but they are focused entirely on their own survival,”
Perry says of North Korea. “They’re not going to be conducting a
preemptive attack on the United States or Tokyo or Seoul. They’re going
to use [nuclear weapons] to threaten and bluster.”
Then again, this is - again - what totalitarian
thinking is like. And this is a recommended article, in which there is
 I have now been saying since the 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.
They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
The only 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 (!!).