Assault on Press Freedom
article is by Daniel Lazare on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
a time the danger to a free press came from the right. But since
Russia-gate, liberals have been busy playing catch-up.
The latest example is a
front-page article in Tuesday’s New York Times. Entitled
“YouTube Gave Russian Outlet Portal Into U.S.,” it offers the usual
blah-blah-blah about Kremlin agents engaging in the political black
arts. But it goes a step farther by attempting to discredit a
perfectly legitimate news organization.
Wakabayashi and Nicholas Confessore begin by noting that RT, the
Moscow-funded TV channel formerly known as “Russia Today,” is now an
Internet powerhouse and then observes that when it became the first
YouTube news channel to surpass one million views, YouTube Vice
President Robert Kyncl “joined an RT anchor in a studio, where he
praised RT for … providing ‘authentic’ content instead of ‘agendas or
In fact, I have
written quite a few reviews of articles that criticized ¨Russia-gate¨,
and indeed always based on the same facts: These articles, that also
tend to be full of suspicions and claims about Russia, never
show any real evidence, for
¨the evidence¨ they do give (i) is always by anonymous sources
that may be anyone, and (ii) never is real
The article in last
Tuesday´s NYT is one more in a long series. Here is more by Daniel
What’s going on
here? Is the Times suggesting that truth is irrelevant and that
the only thing that counts is where it originates? Is it arguing
that what’s said matters less than who’s saying it – and that if it’s
RT, WikiLeaks, or whomever, we must all stop up our ears so that the
message will be blocked?
fact, I think that is a kind reading, but it is minimally
adequate. Here is one sum-up of the real situation with regards to real
evidence about ¨Russia-gate¨:
result of all this has been nonsense piled on top of
nonsense. More than a year after the Democratic National
Committee’s massive email dump, there is still no evidence that the
Kremlin was responsible or even that it was a hack at all.
does not exist. And indeed that does seem to me to be the case, which
also implies that - certainly by now - the NYT is intentionally
deceiving its readers (possibly because it strongly supports
again, it will probably continue to do so, and this is a recommended
Kids' Screen Time Surging, New Project Aims to
Challenge Corporate Profiteering
article is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
As a new study
shows surging use of hand-held devices by young children, a fresh
initiative aims to tackle the growing trend while directly challenging
corporations who exploit children's screen time in the name of profit.
fact, here is some relevant evidence from
lower down in the article that shows how much (American) people care
for their children (and ¨It¨ is research):
fund that 42 percent of children 8 and younger now have their own
tablet devices—a jump from less than 1 percent in 2011. Forty-two
percent of parents also said say the TV is on "always" or "most of the
time" at home.
means that I give up. Here is more on what are - in effect - my reasons
when we talk about screen time," he said, "we're talking about things
like education, how it's affecting their learning, how it's affecting
their attention, their sleep, affecting their relationships. Often
missing from the story about screen time is that the entities who
benefit most from children being on screens are corporations and
While on traditional
television "a few rules still exist to limit the ways you can advertise
to children," he explained, but with "mobile and online, essentially
anything goes when it comes to marketing to children."
"One of the reasons that
these new screens are so compelling and addicting," Golin warns, "is
that they are deliberately designed to be that way for the benefit of
corporations and the benefit of advertisers."
"That has to be part of
the conversation," he said. "Screens are marketing devices. It's easy
to forget that because we're all so addicted to them but they are."
is, my reasons to give up are that it is obvious that ¨mobile and online, essentially anything goes
when it comes to marketing to children¨ while it is also obvious that ¨[s]creens are marketing devices. It's easy to
forget that because we're all so addicted to them but they are¨.
I am not, but
I suppose most of the rest of the world is.
To Prevent Nuclear War
This article is by Lisa Fuller on Common Dreams. This
starts as follows:
Everyone from Former
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President
Vladimir Putin to Steve
Bannon and China
agree: war with North Korea would be so horrific that it simply can’t
happen. Up to one
million people could die on the first day of such a war. At that
rate, it would take two months to match the death toll of the whole of World
According to Paul Edwards,
an international security expert at Stanford University, the effect of
a major nuclear war would be comparable to the “giant meteor believed
to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.” Leading
researchers Alan Robock and Owen Toon warn that even “a regional
conflict has the potential to cause mass starvation worldwide.”
problem is that president Trump does not agree; another problem
is that I get no evidence
whatsoever for the claim that it would ¨take two months to match the death toll of
the whole of World
War II¨ (I think myself
that the parties in WW III will be there much sooner); and a
third problem is that I deleted the e-mail address of Paul Edwards,
that does not belong in a journalistic article.
As to the question
the title poses - How To Prevent Nuclear War - ¨we¨ are offered the following
It’s here that historical
precedent may be useful. When we reflect on the Holocaust, for example,
we tend to vilify prominent Nazi leaders like Adolf Eichmann who were “just
following orders,” while extolling ordinary citizens like Oskar
Schindler who used creative strategies to prevent atrocities.
Few of us believe we would
have behaved like Eichmann. Many of us would like to think we would
have acted like Schindler, and hundreds of others who have developed
non-violent resistance when faced by the prospect of war and
large-scale killing. The choice we face is the same today—and we have
the strategies and tactics to make nonviolence work. But first we have
to recognize the seriousness and urgency of the situation.
I am sorry but this
is utter bullshit
about ¨us¨ (and also not at all a
¨Few of us believe we
would have behaved like Eichmann. Many of us would like to think we
would have acted like Schindler (...)¨
Here is the
Dutch evidence: In Holland there lived considerably more than
120.000 Jews. Around 116.000 of these were murdered in WW II with
the help of David Cohen and Abraham Asscher, who were the heads of
the ¨Jewish Council¨ in WW II, and who made a deal with Willy Lages of
and Asscher would help to provide the addresses of the Jews in
Amsterdam, the SS would save the lives of them and their families, and
would also leave their - large - riches in tact.
The SS did
keep word. After the war, messrs Cohen and Asscher were covered by a
member of the completely collaborating Dutch Supreme Court , who could prevent that these noble Dutchmen would
(even) have to face a court.
contrast, my non-Jewish father and non-Jewish grandfather were members
of the Resistance in Holland, which was mostly by the 10,000 or so
members of the Dutch Communist Party. They were betrayed (by
Dutchmen) and they were convicted (by collaborating Dutch
judges) to concentration camp
imprisonments that my grandfather did not survive.
war, my communist parents were quite a few times described as "traitors" by
many Dutchmen because they were communists. In the 1950ies, according
to testimonies of both Jews and non-Jews, the Dutch - who by then had
been informed that the Nazis had murdered approximately 6 million Jews
- were more anti-Jewish than they had been before WW II.
Schindler: There were tens of millions of Germans who might
have done as Schindler did, or who might have somehow resisted
or protested. Extremely few did, especially after most of the
leading communists and socialists had been arrested (in the early
Thirties), and indeed of those who did resist or protest most were
arrested and killed by the Gestapo.
lesson from what happened in WW II is that most of the Dutch and
most of the non-Dutch under Nazi occupation would have behaved
as did the great majorities of the Dutch and the
non-Dutch in WW II: They would have collaborated - for in fact
nearly all did.
And I don´t
think that I can accept the testimonies about themselves that
¨most of us¨ believe about themselves: Their parents and
their grandparents, given the real choice to resist the Nazis
or to col- laborate with the Nazis collaborated,
either because they were forced, or did not dare to resist, or were
(partial) supporters of the Nazis. 
That is the evidence
that I learned (but I am in a very small minority in
Holland: my parents and grandparents did not
collaborate in WW II).
I have now been saying since
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 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).
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 (!!).
 More precisely, there was one
Jewish member of the Dutch Supreme Court, who was very rapidly
dismissed by the Nazis. All the other Dutch Supreme Court members, like
most Dutch judges and most Dutch policemen, collaborated with the
Nazis, as if this was the normal Dutch reaction to being occupied by
the Nazis. (It was.)
 In fact - I take it - the vast majority of the
Dutch adults who lived under Nazi occupation did not dare to resist,
and in fact almost all Dutch groups collaborated with the Nazis. The
only exceptions I know of are the Dutch Communists and several much
smaller radical Dutch Protestant groups that did go into the Resistance
as groups. The Dutch Communists numbered around 10,000 in WW II, of
whom 2,000 were murdered in WW II, while no communist was
knighted after WW II - except for my father, who was knighted less than
3 months before he died in 1980 (but not for what he dared to do in WW
II). And possibly this was a mistake.