in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 19, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
I bought a computer on May 9 with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS MATE and am for the
coming months (at least) "between two computers". I shall
continue - for the time being - to write and upload my files from
LTS (that is: from the old computer, that I bought in 2012)
that is easier right now and the old computer still works (and may
continue to work for another two years or more, although I do not know
Well, here is a change I made yesterday (May 17):
I did not like 18.04 LTS mostly because quite a few files I
have been editing for 20+ years can't be installed any more on that
(for incomprehensible reasons also) so I had 18.04 deinstalled and
got 16.04 LTS reinstalled on the new computer - but that too is different
from the 16.04 LTS on the old computer...
Also, and in any case, I decided to write less on the crisis (I did review over 10,000 files since 2013),
in part because it makes no difference and in part because I am 69.
But I'll continue Nederlog. At present this is in a midway position
between the old style (five reviews each day) and some new style, that
I do not know yet, and that for the time being I fix on three or four
each day (but that may change and probably will).
This is a
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of
surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than three years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
A. Selections from May 19, 2019:
The indented text
link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
1. The Truth-Teller: From the Pentagon
Papers to the
2. France Takes Unprecedented Action
3. Iran and the Coalition of the Weird
4. Trump: Importing Dangerous Medicines and Food and
Keeping Consumers in the Dark
Truth-Teller: From the Pentagon Papers to the Doomsday Machine
This article is by Daniel Ellsberg
on Common Dreams and originally on the Tellus Institute. It starts with
the following introductionl:
Yes indeed. As to "the military-industrial
complex" see the
link and similarly for "Daniel Ellsberg". I like and admire Ellsberg. What
follows are all quotes by him.
Editor's Note: This
interview was initially published by the Tellus Institute in April of
The growth of the
military-industrial complex poses an existential threat to humanity.
Daniel Ellsberg, peace activist and Vietnam War whistleblower discusses
with Tellus Senior Fellow Allen White the continuing existential threat
posed by the military-industrial complex—and what needs to be done
Here is the first bit:
Yes indeed. Incidentally,
here is some more on the Gulf of
Tonkin crisis on Wikipedia. Note that this happened in fact 55
years ago, and it is still being lied about by the U.S.
government. I trust Ellsberg.
After graduating from
Harvard with an economics degree and completing service in the U.S.
Marines, I worked as a military analyst at the RAND Corporation. In
1961, in that role, I went to Vietnam as part of a Department of
Defense task force and saw that our prospects there were extremely dim.
It was clear to me that military intervention was a losing proposition.
Three years later, I moved
from RAND to the Department of Defense. On my first day, I was assigned
to a team tasked with devising a response to the alleged attack on the
U.S. naval warship USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin by the North
Vietnamese. This completely fabricated incident became the excuse for
bombing North Vietnam, which the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had wanted to do for some months.
That night, I saw
Lyndon Johnson and my boss, Secretary McNamara, knowingly lie to the
public that North Vietnam had without provocation attacked the U.S.
ship. In fact, the U.S. had covertly attacked North Vietnam the night
before and on previous nights. Johnson and McNamara’s claim that the
U.S. did not seek to widen the war was the exact opposite of reality.
In short, the Gulf of Tonkin crisis was based on lies.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed, though I am not
not occasion equal shock because in the current administration in
Washington, lying is routine rather than exceptional. Whether we are
headed for a turning point toward bringing liars to justice will become
clear when the investigations of President Donald Trump’s
administration are concluded.
Here is more from Ellsberg, from the early 1960ies (during Kennedy's
presidency) on the estimates of the victims of a nuclear war around 1963:
I say: Yes indeed. Then
again, I realize Daniel Ellsberg is not an ordinary man.
Within a week, I held in my
hand a top secret, eyes-only-for- the-president document with an
estimate of 325 million fatalities in the first six months. A week
later, a second communication added an estimated 100 million deaths in
Eastern Europe and another 100 million in our allied nations of Western
Europe, depending upon the wind patterns in the aftermath of the
strike. Additional deaths in Japan, India, Afghanistan, and other
countries brought the total to 600 million.
That killings of this
magnitude—100 times the toll of Jewish victims of the Holocaust—were
willingly contemplated by our military transcended prevailing notions
of crimes against humanity. We had no words—indeed, there are no
words—for such devastation. These data confronted me with not only the
question of whom I was working with and for, but also the fundamental
question of how such human depravity was possible.
Also, if there is to be a nuclear war in 2019 or later, there will -
very probably - be many more victims than in the early 1960ies,
because there are very many more nuclear weapons, that also are a
Here is some more on what happened briefly after the Second World
I think Ellsberg is
probably correct. Here is some more:
In the eyes of the
government—and industry lobbyists—the only solution was a large
peacetime (Cold War) Air Force with wartime-level sales to keep the
Thus emerged the
military-industrial complex. Mobilization to confront a Hitler-like
external enemy—a role filled by the Soviet Union—was viewed as
indispensable to national security. Government military planning
followed, essentially socialism for the whole armaments industry,
including but not limited to aircraft production. With the benefit of
hindsight, I now see the Cold War as, in part, a marketing campaign for
the continual, massive subsidies to the aerospace industry.
I completely agree with
Ellsberg, but I fear that the opposite of what he and I want is by
far the most probable: Yet more money for "the military economy" coupled to a flat denial that there is
any climate catastrophy going on, which is in fact also Trump's response.
And here’s where the
climate-nuclear nexus comes into play again. We cannot afford the
wasteful and dangerous development of new nuclear weapons that
“modernize” the Doomsday Machine at the same time that we need to apply
vast sums to reduce the threat of climate disruption. In the face of
imminent climate catastrophe, the $700-plus-billion military budget is
both untenable and irresponsible. We must convert the military economy
to a climate economy. We cannot have both. To do so, we must recognize
that the risks posed by the military-industrial complex far exceed
those posed by Russia.
Here is the ending of this article:
Yes I agree. Then again, Ellsberg
was one of the very few - in over 50
years - who had the courage and the brains and the ethical values to
protest as he did. And this is a strongly recommended article.
My experience with the
Pentagon Papers showed that an act of truth-telling, of exposing the
realities about which the public had been misled, can indeed help end
an unnecessary, deadly conflict. This example is a lesson applicable to
both the nuclear and climate crises we face. When everything is at
stake, it is worth risking one’s life or sacrificing one’s freedom in
order to help bring about radical change.
Takes Unprecedented Action Against Reporters
article is by Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title.
It starts as follows:
I know this is a fairly
long introduction (in Nederlog), but I picked this article because both
the French presisent Macron and the French military are doing the same sort of things as president Trump and
the American military are doing.
Journalists in France are
facing potential jail sentences in an unprecedented case over their
handling of secret documents detailing the country’s involvement in the
Earlier this week, a
reporter from Radio France and the co-founders of Paris-based
investigative news organization Disclose were called in for questioning
at the offices of the General Directorate for Internal Security, known
as the DGSI. The agency is tasked with fighting terrorism, espionage,
and other domestic threats, similar in function to the FBI in the
The two news organizations
published stories in April — together with The
Intercept, Mediapart, ARTE Info, and Konbini News — that revealed
the vast amount of
French, British, and American military equipment sold to Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and subsequently used by those
nations to wage war in Yemen.
The stories — based on a
secret document authored by France’s Directorate of Military
Intelligence and obtained by the journalists at Disclose — highlighted
that officials at the top of the French government had seemingly lied
to the public about the role of French weapons in the war. They
demonstrated the extent of Western nations’ complicity in the
devastating conflict, which has killed or injured more than 17,900
civilians and triggered a famine that has taken the lives of an
estimated 85,000 children.
The French government did
not want the document to be made public, and officials were furious
when its release made headlines around the world.
Here is some more:
Well... I agree
with the journalists, but have to add that unless they were all extremely careful with what they wrote on the
internet, the French counterpart to the American NSA can probably find
everything or most things they did write on the internet.
In rooms located four
below ground level inside the heavily fortified, beige-colored DGSI
building on Rue de Villiers, for an hour the journalists were asked
about their work, their sources, and their posts on Facebook and
Twitter. They declined to answer questions, citing their right to
silence, and instead presented a statement about their journalism and
their belief that publishing the document had served the public
Besides, there is also this parallel to the USA:
To me this seems like terrorist
by the French government, but you should also notice that the
French government applies its own laws, that seem to be much like the
American laws, to French journalists, who run a considerable risk:
But matters of state
are not included in the Press Law as a “press offense,” and the DGSI
appears to have seized on that loophole to accuse the Disclose and
Radio France journalists of “compromising the secrecy of national
defense” from the moment the classified document came into their
possession. Under a
2009 French law that prohibits “attacks on national defense
secrets,” a person commits a crime if they handle a classified document
without authorization. There are no exceptions to this law for
journalists, and there is no public interest defense.
And Florence Parley sounds
like Pompeo. This is a strongly recommended article.
(..) [T]he government
to be pushing for a harsh punishment. Last week, Armed Forces Minister
Florence Parly suggested in a public statement that Disclose
had violated “all the rules and laws of our country,” adding: “When
you disclose classified documents, you are exposed to penalties.”
and the Coalition of the Weird
This article is by Mike Lofgren on
I fear this is correct.
Here is some more:
Apparently, the current war
scare with Iran is mainly
the work of Trump’s chickenhawk advisers like John Bolton (who
avoided Vietnam for the highly principled reason that he
had no desire to die), and the president, for once, is the
moderating force trying to rein them in (I never thought I would write
that last clause). How is this affair likely to develop?
Unfortunately, we have a
template for U.S. policy in the Middle East that goes back half a
century. Trump’s newfound moderation will likely last as long as it
takes for Benjamin Netanyahu, or Sheldon Adelson, or maybe Mohammed bin
Salman, to phone the White House.
It is almost superfluous
say that igniting
a war with Iran will be a colossal catastrophe, given that
catastrophe has been the invariable outcome of our past misadventures
in that region. Demographically, topographically, and militarily, Iraq
was a pushover compared to what Iran would be, yet our “victory” in
that country was the very definition of Pyrrhic. But any intelligent
person knows that.
Yes, I agree - but how
many intelligent persons are there? Surely that must be a minority.
Next, Lofgren discusses the
following groups of supporterts of Trump, of which I will only copy the
Zionist Christians. (..)
Nazis, Klansmen, alt-righters, neo-reactionaries, and
Joe Lunchbucket. Joe is your average
working-class to middle-class Republican male. (..)
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Yes, though I fear Trump
is trying to get a war with Iran,
if only to further his own re-election as president. And this is a
We can only hope that
feral sense of self-preservation causes him to realize that attacking
Iran would not only be a grade one disaster in the Middle East, it
could easily bust up his jerry-built electoral coalition in spectacular
(and even violent) fashion. While the dismantlement of the Republican
Party is something to be wished for, the accompanying fallout on our
society could be horrifying.
Importing Dangerous Medicines and Food and Keeping Consumers in the Dark
article is by Ralph
Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
choice. Consumer information is vital to make that choice meaningful.
Corporatists, masquerading as conservatives, do not care about informed
consumer choice. Donald Trump is a corporatist, as are the vast
majority of Republicans in his Cabinet and in Congress. Corporatists do
not even want you to know where products are made. Today, producers and
retail sellers do not have to tell you the “country of origin” for meat
and pork products.
Yes indeed. Next, there
Even worse, we cannot
where our drugs are being manufactured. Rosemary Gibson, author of
China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for
Medicine thinks American patients are endangered by imported medicines.
Gibson is about to testify before Congress on her very disturbing
findings regarding importation of medicines from China.
Well... I am taking pills (to
sleep and because of my eyes) since a long time, but something
similar happened in The Netherlands:
Drugs for the Dutch are
now made in China and - as the apothecary told me about half a year
ago, when I could not get my sleeping pills - the Dutch also are a
tiny market for the Chinese, which means (I think) that they will not
care a lot for the Dutch demands for medicines.
Next, there is this about a
(former) Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) inspector, Peter Baker:
Baker was a bold and honest
auditor. He refused to announce lab inspections in advance, as is FDA’s
lackadaisical practice. From 2012 to 2018, Baker discovered “fraud or
deceptive practices in almost four-fifths of the drug plants he
inspected” in India and China. Indian and Chinese manufacturers engaged
in data manipulation that could prove deadly.
I take it Baker was right and
I fear the same or worse (since the Dutch are such a tiny
market for the Chinese) for Holland.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
To say the least indeed.
And I fear that for the tiny market formed by the Dutch it is too late
already. This is a strongly recommended article.
Another chilling statistic
from Eban is that “Nearly forty percent of all our generic drugs are
made in India. Eighty percent of active ingredients for both our brand
and generic drugs come from abroad, the majority from India and China…
America makes almost none of its own antibiotics anymore” (My
emphasis). The outsourcing of the production of drugs to foreign
countries presents vast challenges for health and safety regulators.
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 3 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
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 (!!).