in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from July 5, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
I realize that I did not commemorate the fact that I am writing
Crisis files for six years now,
started to do so after June 10, 2013,
which taught me about Snowden.
I am registering it now, and may write about it the coming days, but I
am also somewhat worse at present than I was for a long time. (This still
continues: I have ME/CFS
since 40+ years.)
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 July 5, 2019:
1. We Should Be Independent Of The
Terrible World Leaders
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:
3. Frederick Douglass: “What to the Slave Is 4th of July?”
4. Jingoistic Military
Fetishization Is as American as Bald Eagle
Should Be Independent Of The Terrible World Leaders
This article is by Jon
Schwarz and Michael Gerber on The Intercept. It starts as follows - and
while I do not know the purpose of this article, I regard it as
utterly ridiculous. I reproduce some parts of it because
it so turns out (accidentally) that this edition of Nederlog is
about the 4th of July in the USA:
Well... as to the leaders,
here is Lord Acton
When in the Course of human
events, it becomes necessary for the Sane People of this Planet to
dissolve the political bands that have connected them with their
Leaders, and to give getting along without Leaders a real Shot,
courtesy requires that we should declare the causes of this
long-overdue separation, just so we’re all on the same page.
We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that Leaders are a pretty dodgy proposition — that even
the best ones are Self-Absorbed Prima Donnas, and the rest are
seriously Craze-o Lunatics. That Sane People have the right to
tell their Leaders, “See Ya — wouldn’t want to be Ya.” That to secure
this right of being left alone, we should set up a special Island to
where all Leaders can be sent, so that they can bicker, and posture,
and pursue the Phantom of Eternal Fame among themselves without
Injuring all the rest of us.
I agree with
then there are - at least - two relevant questions, namely (1)
and/or allowed the leaders mankind has had since the beginning, and (2)
especially in an age - that may be as brief as 100 years, for women got
the vote around 1920 - that is supposed to be democratic?
"Power tends to corrupt,
absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad
My answer is for the present supposedly democratic age: Leaders are
made and/or tolerated by the people, or at least by their majorities.
And for me, while I agree most leaders are bad men, the
responsibility, certainly in a supposedly democratic age with
many personal freedoms, are the qualities of the majority of the
Anyway. Here is some more:
Prudence indeed will
dictate that the long-established Idea of having Leaders should not be
changed for light or transient Causes, but come on. We’ve given this
concept plenty of Time — at least 8,000 years — and it is for the
birds. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
The world’s Leaders have
somehow convinced us that we are all on different Teams, sort of, and
that they are the rightful captains of these Teams.
They have tried to weld us
together by constantly harping on our Team’s Great and Glorious
Destiny, assuming that we, like them, give a shit. In lower voices,
they assure us that we will be in Big Trouble if we don’t do exactly as
They have persuaded us to
try to kill members of the other Teams, instead of following our
natural instinct, which is to investigate whether people from other
places have discovered any new Sex Tricks, or have Better Food.
No, of course not. Leaders
may try to convince people of whatever they want, and many may be
convinced, for example out of ignorance or stupidity, but
a supposed democratic age with many personal freedoms, each and
everyone, leaders and non-leaders, have their personal
responsibilities to be rational and reasonable.
Here is some more:
I can repeat the argument
I gave under the previous quotation. Instead I refer you to it, and add
that if it is not possible for someone to be rational and
reasonable, he or she should clearly say so, and abstain from
contributing to decisions that effect the chances of many or all.
They have started
innumerable, catastrophic conflicts to, for example, impress somebody
that rejected them in High School, or to prove to their Mother that
they’re just as successful as their Older Brother. Read their
Biographies if you don’t believe Us.
They have made our laws so
complicated that, while we know we’re being Screwed, we can never
figure out Exactly How.
They’ve informed us that
they’ve talked to God, and that He agrees with them Completely.
Here is the last bit I quote from this article:
People of this Planet, who don’t think that anybody will (or should)
remember any of us in 500 years, do solemnly publish and declare that
all the world’s Leaders are hereby relieved of their positions; that
our feeling is, enough already with the Jihads and Crusades and
Glorious Struggles and Finest Hours; that we believe we will be much
better off without Leaders, relying for our safety instead on our
mutual inability to organize a three-person trip to 7-Eleven, much less
sustained armed conflict (...)
Well... if you somehow
succeed in banning, locking up or otherwise get rid of some leader(s),
there will arise others, as has been shown throughout
In conclusion, I think the
present article is contrived intentional nonsense, but I do not
understand its purpose.
This article is by The
Editorial Board on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
O Lord! This is the
typical New York Times (and others) style of remaining in the
come what may: "On the one hand ... but on the other hand ...",
is always, as it is here, stated without any precise
considerations of the alternatives mentioned, nor of their real
Here is more (and the context are refugees):
I suppose this is a
somewhat more specific instance of "On
the one hand ... but on the other hand ...".
are faring little better. “At one facility, some single adults were
held in standing-room-only conditions for a week and at another, some
single adults were held more than a month in overcrowded cells,” the
Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog wrote in a report released this week.
to administer this harsh system, an alarming number of the men and
women who patrol the nation’s international frontier, it was learned
this week, belonged to a closed Facebook group that guffawed over
anti-immigrant, misogynistic and racist filth. While the group discussed throwing
burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting the detainment
centers, the offline civilian hecklers of Representative Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the delegation instead hurled curses and racial slurs.
Here is more of the same:
The Supreme Court
last month made democracy of the people, for the people, harder for the
people to repair, ruling in a 5-to-4 decision that political
gerrymanders — fueled by big data and designed by partisan operatives —
are allowable under the Constitution.
it that the above quotation is supposed to mean or at least to
that while the present Supreme Court is destroying democracy,
nevertheless - somehow - "due concern for the rights of the least
Along with the court’s
decision, the country’s long-term political and demographic trends
forecast continued worsening of the problem of entrenched minority rule.
But even as its decision made
the country’s democracy less fair, the court did rise to the demands of
justice, and it showed due concern for the rights of the least powerful.
I don't think The Editorial Board consists of "the least powerful" and
I suppose in fact they do not understand what it really
is to belong to "the least powerful", but OK.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
It may seem odd that
a country so prosperous, so powerful and so free would at the same time
be so anxious and angry, so riven by factionalism. It’s even more
puzzling — and not unrelated — that this same country, with such
resources to draw upon, would nevertheless tolerate such high levels of
poverty and homelessness, of addiction to pharmaceutical drugs, of
inequality in wealth and application of justice and quality of
examples of "On the one hand ... but on the other
hand ...", which generally is a pattern of argument that supports
nothing, mostly by taking examples which are or sound extreme.
Versions of these American
contradictions have persisted for a very long time, but they seem
particularly acute on this national birthday. The question to
Americans, as ever, is whether they can summon the spirit to address
them. So far, eventually, they’ve found a way.
But let me consider the Editorial Board's conclusion (for that is what
it is) that "It’s even
more puzzling (..) that this same country, with such resources to draw
would nevertheless tolerate such high levels of poverty and
homelessness, of addiction to pharmaceutical drugs, of inequality in
wealth and application of justice and quality of education."
In fact, I do not think that is "puzzling", indeed because
the "inequality in
wealth" has been made
several hundreds of times more extreme in the last 40 years, with CEOs
that earned around 20 times as much as their inferiors in the 1970ies,
but earn several hundreds of times as much now.
But The Editorial Board of the New York Times, that also - supposedly -
knows that over 50% of the present American population does not have
$500 to weather extremities - still is very "puzzled".
Finally, I think all these examples of "On the one hand ... but on the other hand ..." do
serve one purpose: Do
not worry, o vast majority of poor and non-rich Americans! There will
be A Solution!
Well... I do not recommend this article, though it presumably
gives a fair insight into The Editorial Board of The New York Times.
Douglass: “What to the Slave Is 4th of July?”
This article is by Amy
Goodman on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the title. It starts with the
I like and admire Frederick
Douglass since a long time because he was very intelligent and very
brave, and I think it is an excellent idea to repeat a speech
he gave over 150 years ago. And incidentally, here is some information
on Howard Zinn.
In a Fourth of July holiday
special, we hear the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery
around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement.
On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous
speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” He was addressing
the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl
Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard
Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United
States.” He was introduced by Zinn.
Yes indeed - and in 1852
were - see Slavery
in the United States - over 4 million slaves in the USA,
which there were some 27 million white men and women.
ZINN: Frederick Douglass,
once a slave, became a brilliant and powerful leader of the
anti-slavery movement. In 1852, he was asked to speak in celebration of
the Fourth of July.
DOUGLASS: [read by James
Earl Jones] Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I
called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to
do with your national independence? Are the great principles of
political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration
of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to
bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the
benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from
your independence to us?
I am not included within
the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only
reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which
you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of
justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your
fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and
healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July
is yours, not mine.
Here is more by Frederick Douglass:
What, to the American
is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than
all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he
is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted
liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity;
your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of
tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality,
hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings,
with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere
bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover
up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages.
Quite so! And here is
last bit that I quote from this speech:
Again, quite so.
the blacks are nominally free since 1865 (and a war), the blacks still
earn (on average) around 40% less than the whites in the USA. See here.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
At a time like this,
irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and
could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour forth a stream, a
fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm,
and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is
not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind,
the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the
conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation
must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and the
crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
Military Fetishization Is as American as Bald Eagle McNuggets
This article is by
Caitlin Johnstone on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
“Putin’s America,” tweeted Anand
Giridharadas, a pundit who was genetically engineered in a Monsanto
laboratory to appeal to NPR listeners on every possible level.
and in fact I selected this article because it does make clear
Trump's parade of military might yesterday is far from
Giridharadas used these words to caption a
short video clip of two tanks being carted through the streets of D.C.
in preparation for their appearance in a parade for Independence Day, a
holiday in which Americans gather to eat hot dogs and drink Mountain
Dew in celebration of the anniversary of their lateral transfer from
monarchy to corporatist oligarchy.
Here is some more:
The military hardware parade is taking place
at the behest of President Bolton’s social media assistant Donald
Trump, and critics have been vocally decrying it as alien and
un-American. Pundits like Giridharadas and Steve Silberman have been
saying it’s something Russia would do. The Independent said it’s a
spectacle you’d see in “authoritarian regimes such as North Korea, Iran
and China.” Adam Best and Charles Pierce both likened it to something
that would be done in a “banana republic,” an interesting choice of
phrase for a gratuitous display of American military bravado given that
term’s blood-soaked origins in U.S. corporate colonialism.
mostly agree. Here is some more:
All of these people are of course being
ridiculous. There’s nothing alien or un-American about Trump’s parade
at all. Jingoistic fetishization of the military is as American as a
deep-fried trademark symbol.
This is the same country where every second
house and every single McDonald’s has its flag flying over it, a cult
of idolatry that’s become so ubiquitous that a football player choosing
to kneel instead of stand before that stupid piece of cloth generates
national outrage. The same country where simply bleating “Support the
troops!” or “Freedom isn’t free!” was in and of itself seen as a
be-all, end-all debate-winning argument for the rape of Iraq.
fact, I think these and similar other examples are a mark that totalitarianism
is rising in the USA, which - incidentally - is a
conclusion you cannot draw on the present sick and false
of "totalitarianism" on the Wikipedia (that may have been engineered or
written by Brzezinski), but which does follow from my definition of
the same term.
Anyway. Here is photographic evidence provided by Johnstone
that I do
not reproduce here, though I summarize it. You can see it by going to
the original article:
Check out this photo from JFK’s inaugural
indeed - and in case you did not look at these photos: They consist in
each and every case of tanks, tanks and more tanks.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Americans are the most aggressively
propagandized people in the world, and U.S. service personnel are the
most aggressively propagandized people in America. That’s the group
that all this special reverence and fetishization has been attached to:
a bunch of kids who’ve been manipulated into killing and dying for
plutocratic investments and the mommy-shaped hole in John Bolton’s
heart. That’s what this parade is meant to manufacture even more
support for in a culture that is saturated past the brim in a
relentless barrage of war propaganda.
I agree with the concluding paragraph and this is a recommended
Face it, America. Trump’s tank parade isn’t
in any way alien to anything you’ve ever stood for.
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 (!!).