in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 5, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
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 June 5, 2019:
1. A Chinese Artist Who Criticized Google
and Xi Jinping
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. Ryan Grim on
the New Progressives in the Democratic Party
Court Blocks Assange´s Extradition; US Says No Vault 7
4. The Gig is Up
Chinese Artist Who Criticized Google and Xi Jinping
article is by Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title.
It starts as follows:
Incidentally, ¨Badiucao¨ does not
live in China but in Australia, while Hong Kong
still has a somewhat special status in China (since Hong Kong
until 1999 a
colony of Great Britain).
The messages arrived
suddenly and then he went quiet. “My identity is leaked,” he said. “I
am worried about my safety.”
The Chinese dissident
artist Badiucao had been busy preparing an exhibition in Hong Kong to
celebrate Free Expression Week, a series of events organized by rights
groups. His show was partly inspired by Google’s plan to build a
censored search engine in China, and was set to include work that the
artist had created skewering the U.S. tech giant for cooperating with
the Communist Party regime’s suppression of internet freedom.
But just days before the
exhibition was set to launch last year, at a high-profile event
featuring members of Russian punk-activist group Pussy Riot, it was
canceled by organizers. Badiucao had received threats from the Chinese
government and soon went into hiding.
It was a nightmare scenario
for the artist, one of China’s most prolific political satirists, who
has never revealed his real name. Somehow, police in China had
discovered who he was — and they were trying to track him down.
Both points are treated below. Here is the first:
I suppose so (but don´t
know this). Here is more on Badiucao:
Badiucao — who goes by
name “Buddy” — was born in Shanghai and studied law in China before
moving to Australia, where he has lived in exile for the last 10 years.
Wearing masks and cross-dressing during public appearances, he has gone
to extreme lengths to conceal his identity, fearing reprisals from
China’s government over his work, which regularly mocks and criticizes
President Xi Jinping and his regime’s authoritarian policies.
I say, for this is quite
brave. Here is Badiucao on Google:
Once he discovered that
in China had uncovered his identity, Badiucao disappeared from the
internet. For six months, his highly active Twitter and Instagram pages fell silent.
But after taking a break to assess his future and his security, the
33-year-old artist has decided that he is ready to return. His latest
Artful Dissident,” is a documentary film aired in Australia on
Tuesday, in which he reveals his face to the public for the first time.
I agree with
Badiucao (and I
regard the internet as the best reason to
soon, while I regard Google, Facebook and the NSA as three of
neofascist forces on the present internet, for they all try
to steal all bits of information from everyone on the
internet, which to me is
the likely foundation of extreme terrorism later).
Prior to the planned
exhibition, Badiucao had created several pieces satirizing Google’s planned
censored search engine for China. He drew pictures of the company’s
CEO Sundar Pichai wearing a “Make Wall Great Again” baseball cap,
referencing China’s internet censorship system, known as the Great
Firewall. The artist also organized a protest at Google’s headquarters
in California, where he distributed
some of the red baseball caps to Google employees before being moved on
Google has claimed that it
is no longer developing the search engine, known as Dragonfly, but has refused
to rule out launching it in future. Badiucao said he was angered by
Google’s plan, describing it as “totally unacceptable” and symbolic of
a greater battle between free speech and censorship in China.
“Developing a new search engine that would help the Chinese government
hunt down dissidents and tighten control over free speech — this is
just disgraceful,” he said.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article, which shows that not
only Badiucao is in danger, but also his family:
Yes indeed, and to the
best of my knowledge this approach started with Stalin in the 1930ies,
for he sent whole families - wifes and children, usually - to
concentration camps because of accusations against a family member.
This is a strongly recommended article.
In refusing to keep
faces the risk that police will return to harass members of his family
who remain on the Chinese mainland. That is a common tactic, he said.
“They think maybe you are close to that person, so they can hurt that
person in order to get you.”
Grim on the New Progressives in the Democratic Party
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now. I
abbreviated the title. It starts with the following introduction:
As the 2020 election
and calls for President Trump’s impeachment continue, we look at the
deepening divide within the Democratic Party with Ryan Grim,
Washington, D.C., bureau chief for The Intercept. He is the author of
the new book “We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement.” In it,
he writes, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may seem like she came from
nowhere, but the movement that propelled her to office—and to global
political stardom—has been building for 30 years.”
I say, because I regard
Grim´s ¨the movement that
propelled her to office—and to global political stardom—has been
building for 30 years¨ as an
admission that the Democrats and the Lefts have been very
in the last 30 years (which also cover Bill Clinton´s presidency).
And I do not
whether I agree with Grim on this assertion, and if I do, it is
because the elected Democrats (in the House and the Senate) have nearly
all sold out to the rich.
Here is something on
Pelosi (the present - centrist - leader of the Democrats):
GRIM: (..) You know, in
2005 and 2006, the grassroots of the Democratic Party were furious at
President Bush for all of the kind of global criminality, the black
sites, the torture, the war in Iraq, and, on an antiwar wave, took back
the House and the Senate in 2006. The first thing that Nancy Pelosi
did—and you may remember this—she said, “We’re taking impeachment off
the table.” And this time around again, she’s been trying to do the
exact same thing.
Yes indeed. Here is
more on Pelosi:
GOODMAN: Yeah, you have a
coalition of progressive groups making a fresh call for House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi to open impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
from groups including the Women’s March, Just Foreign Policy, CREDO reads, “As Speaker of the House, you have
the power to ensure Congress exercises its constitutional obligation to
hold this president accountable, but instead of using your power, you
are giving us political excuses for why you shouldn’t.” So, this is
Nancy Pelosi speaking in San Francisco last week.
Nothing is off the table, but we do want to make such a compelling
case, such an ironclad case, that even the Republican Senate, which at
the time seems to be not an objective jury, will be convinced of the
path that we have to take as a country.
Well... Pelosi is right (I
think) that the present Senate, which has to agree in majority to an
impeachment for this to happen, is most unlikely to do so. (I strongly
dislike Pelosi, but facts are facts.)
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
There is more in the
article. And this is a recommended article.
GOODMAN: Can you talk
about the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and how she’s become such a
powerhouse in Washington?
GRIM: Right. I mean, she
launched her campaign not long after Trump’s election. She was
recruited, so to speak, by a group of organizers who flowed out of the
Bernie Sanders campaign. They first created an organization called
Brand New Congress, and then they split that into two, and one of them
became Justice Democrats. Her brother actually nominated her as a
candidate. And they went over all of—they got something like 10,000
applications. They told me something like 90% of them, roughly, were
young white men. But they were looking for people who could run in
districts that matched both the politics and the demographics of it,
and they found that in a number of districts, and particularly in New
York 14, which is the Bronx and Queens, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Court Blocks Assange´s Extradition; US Says No Vault 7 Indictment
article is by Joe Lauria on Consortium News. I abbreviated the title.
It starts as follows:
Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange
scored two legal victories on Monday when a Swedish court refused
prosecutors’ request to have Assange arrested and extradited from
Britain to Sweden, while the U.S. Justice Dept. said it would not
prosecute Assange for the publication of the CIA Vault 7 files,
according to a report in Politico.
Well... all I can say about this that I trust
but do not know enough of the British and Swedish laws.
The Uppsala District Court rejected a request for a European
Arrest Warrant for Assange based on a reopened 2010 investigation into
sexual assault allegations that has been twice dropped before. Without
the warrant Assange cannot be extradited to Sweden to be questioned.
“I think it is a big victory for Julian Assange, the first
one in a long time, and a well-deserved one,” said Assange’s Swedish
lawyer, Per Samuelson. “It is also a victory for Sweden, who upheld the
rule of law and it’s a defeat for the prosecutors, who were once again
punished for not having conducted the case in a correct way. It’s a
step in the right direction.”
Here is some more:
Meanwhile in the United States, the online
news site Politico reported that the Justice Department has decided not
to charge Assange in the release of Vault 7, which exposed some of the
CIA’s most closely held secret spying methods. Politico cited “a U.S.
official and two other people familiar with the case.”
but in so far as I understand the above, only Politico reported
as yet. Anyway, this is a recommended article.
Politico said the decision surprised former U.S. officials
and national security “experts” given the anger it aroused in the CIA,
whose director at the time of the release, Mike Pompeo, then labelled
WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”
4. The Gig is Up
article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
I say, for I did not
most of the above. Incidentally, I did work in gig jobs from
1978, but this was in Europe, and over 40 years ago, and also I in fact
mostly worked for another employer, namely Manpower and a few
just filed its first quarterly report as a publicly traded company.
lost $1bn, investors may still do well because the losses appear to be
Uber drivers, on the other
doing well. According to a recent study,
about half of New York’s Uber drivers are supporting families with
yet 40% depend on Medicaid and another 18% on food stamps.
It’s similar elsewhere in
American economy. Last week, the New York Times reported
that fewer than half of Google workers
are full-time employees. Most are temps and contractors receiving a
the wages and benefits of full-time Googlers, with no job security.
Across America, the
category of new jobs is gig work – contract, part-time, temp,
freelance. And a growing number of people work for staffing firms that
them gig jobs.
Anyway, here is more:
Estimates vary but it’s
almost a quarter of American workers are now gig workers.
The jobs problem today isn’t just
stagnant wages. It’s also uncertain incomes. A downturn in demand,
change in consumer
preferences, or a personal injury or sickness, can cause future
disappear. Yet nearly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
I say again, for I saw
in Wikipedia´s Gig
economy that in 2000 that there were far fewer
temporary workers (as I think is the more correct term), for in 2000
the temporary workers numbered around 4% (which is around 1/6th of what
at present, according to Reich).
Here is the reason
employers love employing temporary workers:
Gig work is also erasing 85
hard-won labor protections.
At the rate gig work is
future generations won’t have a minimum wage, unemployment insurance,
compensation for injuries, employer-provided social security, overtime,
and medical leave, disability insurance, or the right to form unions
Why is this happening?
so profitable for corporations to use gig workers instead of full-time
Yes indeed - and in fact, having
more and more temporary workers shifts the USA more
back to the 1890ies at least in terms of rights and incomes for
Here is the ending of Reich´s
Gig work is making
harsher. Unless government defines legitimate gig work more narrowly
provides stronger safety nets for gig workers, gig capitalism cannot
In fact, I do not
why ¨gig capitalism cannot
endure¨, at least as
as the rich are in power and have the present Republicans as
politicians. It will make the vast majority of the USA´s non-rich very
poor, but this has been so before, both in the 19th Century and in the
1930ies. This is a recommended article.
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 (!!).