in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 24, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
There will be more about computers and Ubuntu in Nederlog soon, but I
am happy to announce that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, that I installed in 2017,
works again as it did before, after 24 hours of misery.
And yesterday I also got a working computer with 18.04 LTS
worse than 16.04 LTS because its Firefox also is a menuless
horror that I refuse to use, but
happily SeaMonkey is not, for it still has it menus and can be
installed on 18.04), so I
present - and after two weeks of struggling - in the possession of two
(more or less) decently working computers.
So today there is a more or less common Nederlog, where "common" is the
style I developed in 2013.
This is a crisis
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
four crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from May 24, 2019:
1. 18 Ways Julian Assange Changed the World
The items 1 - 4 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:
2. Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act
on 17 New Counts
3. The Pathology of John Bolton
4. What and Who Gave Us Trump?
Ways Julian Assange Changed the World
article is by Lee Camp
on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed - and no, of
course Lee Camp does not think so but writes ironically. Here
is some more:
Julian Assange is a dick.
It’s important you understand that.
Assange and WikiLeaks
revealed the American military’s war crimes, the American government’s
corruption and the American corporate media’s pathetic servile flattery
to the power elite. So, if you’re a member of our ruling class, you
would view those as textbook examples of dickery.
I agree - but this poses a serious problem I have not
seen discussed since 2013 by anybody: If the "average Americans don’t root for the truth" (which I think is true) and if they
believe that “ignorance
is bliss” (which I think is also true - and I am talking about average
Americans and not about all Americans), then what is
the use of democracy?
But we are not evolved and
this is not Gotham City and average Americans don’t root for the truth.
Many Americans cheer for Assange’s imprisonment. They believe the
corporate plutocratic talking points and yearn for the days when we no
longer have to hear about our country’s crimes against humanity or our
bankers’ crimes against the economy. Subconsciously they must believe
that a life in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains and
know all about it thanks to the exhaustive efforts of an eccentric
Australian is worse than one in which we’re tirelessly exploited by
rich villains yet know nothing about it.
“Ignorance is bliss” is the
meditative mantra of the United States of America.
And what is wrong about Martin Luther King's statement extended
to average Americans:
in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
But I have never seen
either the ignorance
or the stupdity
being seriously and competently discussed, even though it ought
to be obvious these are very important.
Anyway... here is some more:
Yes indeed. There follows a list of eightteen - mostly - crimes
most of which end by stating that no criminals have been
punished in any way but that
It is politically
inconvenient at this time for the screaming corporate news to remind
our entire citizenry what exactly WikiLeaks has done for us. So you
won’t see the following list of WikiLeaks’ accomplishments anywhere on
your corporate airwaves—in the same way the mainstream media did not
begin every report about Chelsea Manning’s trial with a rundown of the
war crimes she helped reveal.
Assange has been arrested for revealing them.
And this is a strongly
Indicted Under Espionage Act on 17 New Counts
article is by Joe Lauria on Consortium News. The html on Consortium
News is truly horrible, so I cannot show links (which you can
see by clicking the last link). It starts as follows:
A journalist was
indicted under the Espionage Act for the first time in U.S. history on
Thursday when the Department of Justice charged WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Act in a move that opens
the way for prosecution of anyone who publishes classified information.
Yes, I think that is a
decent summary. Here is some more:
The 37-page indictment charges
Assange under four sections of the Act, including Section E for
possessing and disseminating classified matter. It charged him with
acts common to any investigative journalist:
circumvent(ing) legal safeguards on information; (ii) provid(ing) that
protected information to WikiLeaks for public dissemination; and (iii)
continu(ing) the pattern of illegally procuring and providing protected
information to WikiLeaks for distribution to the
Assange is serving a 50-week
sentence in London’s Belmarsh prison for skipping bail and seeking
asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in 2012 because he feared onward
extradition from Sweden to the United States and prosecution under the
Espionage Act. He was arrested on April 11 when Ecuador illegally
lifted his asylum and let British police onto Ecuadorian territory to
carry Assange from the embassy.
The U.S. had until June 12 to
add additional charges in its extradition request to Britain. The
decision on extradition rests with British Home Secretary Sajid Javid,
who WikiLeaks said “is now under enormous pressure to protect the
rights of the free press in the UK and elsewhere.”
The indictment under
the Espionage Act demolishes a democratic pretense of freedom of the
press in the U.S. and makes all news organizations —indeed any citizen
— liable for prosecution for disseminating classified information.
Yes, I mostly agree,
though I do not know what the Times means by writing that
Assange "is not a
“Notably, The New York Times,
among many other news organizations, obtained precisely the same
archives of documents from WikiLeaks, without authorization from the
government — the act that most of the charges addressed,” the Times
“Though he is not a
conventional journalist, much of what Mr. Assange does at WikiLeaks is
difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what
traditional news organizations like The New York Times do: seek and
publish information that officials want to be secret, including
classified national security matters, and take steps to protect the
confidentiality of sources,” the Times report on the indictment said.
Here is some more:
In a statement,
WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristin Hrafnsson said:
Yes again, and this is a strongly
“This is the evil
of lawlessness in its purest form. With the indictment, the ‘leader of
the free world’ dismisses the First Amendment — hailed as a model of
press freedom around the world — and launches a blatant
extraterritorial assault outside its borders, attacking basic
principles of democracy in Europe and the rest of the world.”
In a tweet, Hrafnsson added
that [s]he took “no satisfaction” in having correctly warned of the
Espionage Act prosecution of Assange.
I find no
satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so’ to those who for 9 years have
scorned us for warning this moment would come. I care for journalism.
If you share my feeling you take a stand NOW. Either you are a
worthless coward or you defend Assange, WikiLeaks and Journalism.
Former British ambassador
Craig Murray tweeted that “the poison is out.”
Kristinn Hrafnsson (@khrafnsson) May 23, 2019
The US espionage
act charges against Julian Assange for publishing leaked classified
information showing US war crimes is a massive attack on media freedoms
and free speech.
The poison is out – we always knew this was what we were really
Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) May 23, 2019
Pathology of John Bolton
article is also by Joe Lauria on Consortium News. The same remarks
applies as under item 2. It starts as follows:
I knew John Bolton
and interacted with him on a nearly daily basis with my colleagues in
the press corps at United Nations headquarters in New York when Bolton
was the United States ambassador there from August 2005 to December
Yes indeed, although I do not
know John Bolton myself at all, which has the
setback that while I am a psychologist I cannot judge
his degree of
"pathology", as I can
and did with Donald Trump.
Most diplomats, officials, and journalists were shocked that Bolton
(evading confirmation with a recess appointment) had actually become
the U.S. representative, given his long, public disdain for the UN. But
that turned out to be the point. It’s been the strategy of Republican
administrations to appoint the fiercest critic to head an agency or
institution in order to weaken it, perhaps even fatally.
Here is some more:
Bolton possesses an
abiding self-righteousness rooted in what seems a sincere belief in the
myth of American greatness, mixed with deep personal failings hidden
from public view.
Yes indeed: I agree with
He seemed perpetually angry and it wasn’t clear whether it was over
some personal or diplomatic feud. He seems to take personally nations
standing up to America, binding his sense of personal power with that
of the United States.
It is more than an ideology. It’s fanaticism. Bolton believes America
is exceptional and indispensible and superior to all other nations and
isn’t afraid to say so. He’d have been better off perhaps in the
McKinley administration, before the days of PR-sugarcoating of imperial
aggression. He’s not your typical passive-aggressive government
official. He’s aggressive-aggressive.
And now Bolton is ordering 120,000 troops to get ready and an aircraft
carrier to steam towards Iran.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Bolton is no fan of
democracy if things don’t go his way. He is a vociferous instigator of
the so-far failed U.S. coup in Venezuela and of course Bolton organized
the “Brooks Brothers riot” that disrupted the recounting of votes in
Florida in the disputed 2000 presidential election.
I say, for I did not
that "Bolton organized the
riot” that disrupted the recounting of votes in Florida in the disputed
2000 presidential election."
And this is
a strongly recommended article.
and Who Gave Us Trump?
article is by Ralph
Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed. This is a good
introduction, although I think Reagan's presidency is also
Trump's arisal (and I don't think Nader disagrees).
Donald J. Trump’s
presidential ambition has simmered for decades. He was and is a regular
TV watcher and saw the changing political landscape. One by one,
previous presidents diminished the integrity of the presidency and
violated the rule of law, paving the way for Trump’s candidacy.
Bill Clinton was exposed
for serial adulteries and abuses of women and lied under oath. This
perjury led to him being impeached in the House (though he was
acquitted in the Senate). “Hmm,” thought Donald, a serial abuser of
women, “Clinton got away with it and was elected twice.” One
potentially career-ending violation no longer had the weight it once
Then came George W. Bush –
selected by the Electoral College and a Republican Supreme Court.
“Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “Even though Gore won the popular
vote, Bush won because of Electors in swing states.” Despite
Gore’s crushing loss, the Democratic Party refused to support ongoing
Electoral College reform (see nationalpopularvote.com). Once in office,
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied repeatedly to start an
unconstitutional illegal war with Iraq, which caused huge Iraqi and
U.S. casualties and wreaked havoc on the U.S. budget. Bush and Cheney
not only got away with these atrocities, but were reelected. A majority
of voters believed their lies. Violating the laws did not matter.
“Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “The President is above the law.”
Positions of power and the trampling of laws appealed to Trump, a
lawless, failed gambling czar.
Then along came Obama. He
too got away with all kinds of slaughter abroad without authority of
the Constitution, statutes, or international treaties. He too was
reelected. Domestically, Obama did not prosecute any of the big Wall
Street crooks that brought down our economy in 2008-2009, even though a
vast majority of the population loathed these reckless financiers. With
all of these misdeeds and violations of law on full display, Trump a
big business crook himself, must have thought that he would not be held
accountable. Even better, he knew how to use television to manipulate
the media to his advantage.
Here is some more:
Yes, I agree. Here
These examples are just
some of the major ways that past presidents, Democrats especially,
handed Trump his opportunity. I describe these and other presidential
abuses of power in my recent book, To the Ramparts: How Bush and
Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late
to Reverse Course.
Given these inoculations
for breaking social norms and laws, Trump felt he could break
additional norms and laws and still secure the Presidency. It almost
didn’t work – Hillary Clinton’s campaign bungling lost three key
states, which provided Trump a path to the White House. The crazy,
antiquated Electoral College sealed the deal.
Yes, I agree again -
although this once again raises the serious problem
discussed above, that I may reformulate by saying asking what is
left for -
real - democracy if many Americans prefer "fiction to non-fiction" (which is true)?!
Emboldened, Trump, with
television knowhow, grasped that many people prefer fiction to
non-fiction. Fantasy is big business and it can serve to distract from
grim real-life injustices. Day after day, the mass media proved
this point by giving huge time to entertainment compared to news and
civic engagements locally and nationally.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I completely agree and
this is a strongly recommended article.
Today, Trump seems
to the many accurate accusations of corruptions and impeachable
offenses. He ruthlessly scuttles lifesaving health/safety protections
for the American people, undermines law enforcement, and breaks his
repeated promises to provide “great” health insurance, “pure” clean
air, and jobs for workers displaced by globalization. The norms that
restrain politicians and their constitutional duty to “faithfully
execute the laws” have been deeply eroded.
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 (!!).