in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 27, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
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 on May 24, and after 24 hours of misery.
And on May 23 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, though not yet quite 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 27, 2019:
1. The Right and the Greens Gain Ground in
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. Impeach Trump? Most 2020 Democrats
Tiptoe Past the
3. Why Corporatism Will Dominate US Policy for Decades to
4. Impeaching Trump and the Failure of Democracy
Right and the Greens Gain Ground in EU Elections
article is by Lorne Cooke, Lori Hinant and Mike Corder on Truthdig and
originally on The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
The hardest-fought European
Parliament elections in decades drew to a close Sunday with the
anti-immigrant far right and the pro-environment
Greens both projected to gain ground at the expense of the
continent’s longtime political center.
Turnout was estimated at a
two-decade high over the four days of balloting across the 28 European
Union countries. The elections were seen as a test of the influence of
the nationalist, populist and hard-right movements that have swept the
continent in recent years and impelled Britain to quit the EU
Well... I have to admit
that I never believed in the European Union, and indeed never
voted except once, in 1971, and that only because I then had
vote, which has since been retracted.
Also, I have to add
that these "hardest-fought
European Parliament elections in decades" were in fact voted for by 51% of the
possible voters, which
barely over half of the possible voters.
Here are a few outcomes:
Exit polls in France
indicated that Marine Le Pen’s far-right, anti-immigrant National Rally
party came out on top in an astonishing rebuke of French President
Emmanuel Macron, who has made EU integration the heart of his
Le Pen said the expected
result “confirms the new nationalist-globalist division” in France and
Exit polls in Germany, the
EU’s biggest country, likewise indicated the party of German Chancellor
Angela Merkel and its center-left coalition partner also suffered
losses, while the Greens were set for big gains and the far right was
expected to pick up slightly more support.
I don't like Macron
and also don't like Le Pen at all. As far as Germany is
seems that that the (far) right gained less than expected or
Here is one more bit on the
Early projections Sunday
suggested the Greens would secure 71 seats, up from 52 in the last
election, five years ago. The Greens appeared to have done well not
just in Germany but in France and Ireland.
“The Green wave has really
spread all over Europe, and for us that is a fantastic result,” said
Ska Keller, the group’s co-leader in the Parliament.
I suppose so, but as I said:
I have not voted at all for nearly 50 years and expect I shall
vote at all. One reason is that I do believe in politics, but not
those who manage to get elected and corrupted in parliaments.
Trump? Most 2020 Democrats Tiptoe Past the Question
article is by Elana Schor and Juana Summers on Truthdig and originally
on The Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Democratic leaders in
Congress have argued that impeaching President Donald Trump is a
political mistake as the 2020 election nears. Most of the candidates
running to succeed him seem to agree, for now.
Fewer than one-third of the
23 Democrats vying for the nomination are issuing calls to start the
impeachment process, citing evidence in
special counsel Robert
Mueller’s report they believe shows Trump obstructed
justice. Most others, including leading contenders Joe Biden and
Bernie Sanders, have found a way to hedge or search for middle ground,
supporting investigations that could lead to impeachment or saying
Trump’s conduct warrants impeachment but stopping short of any call for
such a proceeding.
indeed. Well... my own position on impeaching Trump is this:
(1) I think - as a
psychologist and a philosopher - that Trump is insane and also is a
neofascist, which means that I would want to impeach him as
dangerous, were it not for one fact, namely that (2) the
will almost certainly - being made up of a majority of Republocans -
refuse to impeach Trump, and also for one major uncertainty, namely
it is completely unknown how much free television time Trump
"to defend himself" (all of which he may use to advertise
Here is some more:
White House hopefuls may
win praise from liberal activists by pressing House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi, D-Calif., for an impeachment inquiry, but those who fall short
of insisting are unlikely to take heat from early-state primary voters
more focused on other issues.
“People talk about it and
people have opinions about it, but health care is much more salient to
them,” Sue Dvorsky, a former head of the Iowa Democratic Party, said in
an interview. “I just don’t see Democratic activists here all worked up
about impeachment. They trust Pelosi.”
I do not trust
Dvorsky and indeed also think that if you are a Democrat who does
trust Pelosi you must be extremely stupid and/or ignorant, but
Here is some more:
Vermont Sen. Bernie
who’s running second in most polls, told CNN this past week “it may be
time to at least begin the process” which could result in impeachment.
But he warned in the same interview that Trump could try to exact
political gains from any impeachment effort. Pete Buttigieg said last
week that Trump “deserves impeachment,” but the mayor of South Bend,
Indiana, stressed that he would defer to Pelosi on the timing for
taking any formal steps.
Well... I trust
Bernie Sanders and do not know Buttigieg. Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
I suppose this may well be
correct, and this is a recommended article.
Pelosi and other House
leaders have signaled clearly that they want to pursue investigations
into Trump, including two lawsuits where they scored victories this
past week, rather than start a consuming and politically uncertain
impeachment process. If the House did vote to impeach Trump, the
Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate to support
conviction in order to remove the president from office.
Given the slim likelihood
of that, it’s no surprise to Democrats outside the nation’s capital
that impeachment isn’t gaining steam among the candidates.
Corporatism Will Dominate US Policy for Decades to Come
article is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title.
It starts as follows:
Well... I think I like
Atcheson (based on what I read by him since 2013), but I think the
above is mistaken, for the Republicans like those laws
that they like, and in fact are trying their best to get both laws
and judges to their liking, in which they also have been succeeding
a long time.
Remember when Republicans
ran on a law
and order platform? Well, nowadays, we’ve got a President –
in fact an entire Party -- at war with the idea of the rule of law in
general, and any constraints on corporations in particular.
Democrats console themselves with the idea that this can all be righted
in the next election. Vote Trump out, retain the majority in the
House, and win the Senate. Problem solved.
Except it isn’t.
McConnell and Trump are doing everything they can to hand over the
Judiciary -- lock, stock and barrel -- to a collection of extreme
partisans who have no regard for the rule of law and regardless of who
wins the election, that could leave us with a country which is firmly
in the hands of the oligarchy. Since 1801, when Marbury v
Madison established the right of the Supreme Court to interpret
the Constitution, the Judiciary has had the power to strike down laws,
statutes, and some government actions such as executive orders.
As long as this power remains in the hands of extremist ideologues,
democracy and the rule of law are threatened, and corporations and
monied interests will continue to get a free pass.
Anyway... here is some more:
I think the above is
mostly correct. Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
Beginning with Bush v Gore,
conservatives in the modern Court began to toss precedent out the
window, and embrace partisanship. Now there is no core
jurisprudence governing their deliberations; it is all about power and
advancing a conservative, corporate-friendly agenda, with little or no
regard for what the Constitution says. Originalism is now a
pretext invoked – with no coherent or consistent philosophy – only when
it furthers the agenda of extreme right-wing ideologues, corporate
shills, or the ultra-rich.
The only constraint on the
Court’s extremist views is Justice Roberts’ concern about his legacy as
the Chief Justice. In a few cases, it has tempered his decisions,
as in his vote on Obamacare, but his corporatist
bias remains his legal polestar. Indeed, one could argue that
Obamacare – with its preemptive capitulation to the health insurance
industry – was a corporate-friendly law.
Trump and McConnell
are doing everything possible to pack the courts with folks who have a
higher regard for business than they do for the Constitution, and if
they succeed, long after Trump and his Congressional sycophants are
gone, the corporate hacks passing themselves off as originalists could
be dominating the judiciary, and keeping the nation well to the right
of where it would otherwise be.
Yes, I agree with this.
And this is a recommended article.
Trump and the Failure of Democracy
article is by Andrew O'Hehir on Salon. I have abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
Well... I have given my opinion on impeaching Trump above and I do
not like it that O'Hehir is accusing "many Americans" while saying nothing about the
American press and the American media, that are mostly responsible
the opinions "many Americans" have.
After a week when Donald
Trump’s push toward authoritarian rule appeared to accelerate
dramatically, talk of impeachment is everywhere. Trump’s apparent or
obvious “high crimes and misdemeanors” are without number, like the
stars in heaven or the sands upon the Red Sea shore. Those who despise
him can pick from an abundant café menu of possible reasons to impeach.
If I’ve finally and belatedly come around to favoring impeachment —
which I’ve long viewed as a futile and puritanical exercise — it’s not
exactly for the same reasons as MSNBC viewers steeped in the paranoid
(or at least paranoia-inducing) arcana of the Mueller report.
Trump’s sustained assault
on the First Amendment and freedom of the press reached a crescendo
last week with the indictment
of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on numerous charges drawn from
the notorious Espionage Act of 1917. That alone would be reason enough
to impeach any president, or at least it would be if so many Americans
weren’t so blinkered by partisan politics that they have effectively
stopped caring about such things.
Besides, O'Hehir also leaves unmentioned in the above bit that the
Senate will almost certainly refuse to impeach Trump.
Then there is this on the American press and media:
Well... yes and no, but
largely no because O'Hehir does not even distinguish between the
mainstream aka corporarist media and the non-mainstream media,
think is a major mistake.
sounds like a
self-serving, excessively high-minded or downright puzzling opinion, I
hasten to add that the narcissistic and sometimes catastrophic failures
of the American media have contributed to this problem, to a very large
extent. If Americans are no longer convinced that the press has a
critical role to play in democracy, and are likelier to perceive it as
a warped tool of politics, most useful for coddling one’s own side with
infantile propaganda or gouging out the eyes of one’s enemies, our
profession needs to take a long look in the mirror before deciding
whose fault that is — and even whether that perception is unfair.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Americans have largely lost touch with what the First Amendment is
supposed to mean as a legal and philosophical principle, and whom it is
meant to protect, that too is symbolic of much larger failures. It
stands as a shining example, perhaps the primary one, of the way all
the dire warnings issued about democracy’s innate tendency toward
self-corruption and self-stupefaction, from Plato
and beyond, have come true. Democracy has become a religion, in an age
when religion has become hypocrisy.
No, this is also mostly mistaken:
First, the vast majority of all adult Americans simply have no
about "what the
First Amendment is supposed to mean as a legal and philosophical
for the simple reason that the vast majority have no
reasoned out ideas about law or philosophy.
Second, they do not have to have them either, for all they have
is to read the First Amendment. Here it is:
I am willing to agree that
this is not very clear, but I am also insistent that the
interpretation of the First Amendment that the majority of the Supreme
Court adopted in the Citizens United case was based on a sick
"interpre- tation" of the First Amendment. (For more, see here.)
Congress shall make no
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.
Third, "[i]f Americans
have largely lost touch with what the First Amendment is supposed to
mean" this must be mainly the case because of the awful qualities
the mainstream aka corporatist media - but
fourth, O'Hehir blames this not on parts of the press or the media
(also forgetting about the First Amendment) but on "democracy’s innate tendency toward
self-corruption and self-stupefaction". I think that is bullshit.
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 (!!).