1. Donald Trump Lacks
Sense or Sensibility
2. Robert Scheer: U.S. Pledge of $90 Million
to Laos for
Cluster Munitions Legacy Is
3. Paul Krugman Reveals
the Disturbing Consequences of
the Media's Inability to Call
Out Trump's Lies
4. Facebook Under Fire for Censoring One of the Most
Iconic War Photos
5. The Tyranny of 9/11: The Building Blocks of the
American Police State from A-Z
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, September 10, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is "a leftist's" comments on Trump, which - to me - are disappointing; item 2 is about Robert Scheer's deserved
takedown of Obama's propaganda in Laos; item
3 is about Facebook's censoring historical fact (but hey: this is Facebook,
that steals everything from anyone); item
4 is about Krugman on Trump (weak); and item 5
is about an article of John Whitehead that I mostly agree with, but I
also think it is a bit too strong (and the situation in the USA can be
far more serious than it is, though I agree it is
like to draw your attention to a
previous Nederlog, called Rewriting my site,
that is indeed about that, or more precisely: About a resized graphical
background that is necessary since I have now a normal sized squarish
monitor.  This will take quite a lot of
work, which I will continue after having finished the present crisis
item. (It will probably be done before the end of September. I do not
yet know when, but I will say so in Nederlog if it is finished.) And
here is the link to Rewriting
my site, that shows how much I have corrected up till today
In fact, I finished the philosophy section yesterday (Sep 9). There
still are some things to be done, that I keep till later, but the site does
look a lot better now than it did before (on my monitors).
In case you wonder why I did not do much with it since 2012: My
eyes were quite painful. They are not healed yet, but they are
a lot better now, and that is the main explanation.
1. Donald Trump Lacks Sense or
The first item today is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The most revealing moment in the
presidential candidates’ first joint forum Wednesday night came when
Donald Trump told the world how much he admires Vladimir Putin.
Never mind that the Russian strongman
invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea. Never mind that he supports the
butcher Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Never mind that so many of his
political opponents end up murdered or imprisoned. Never mind that U.S.
officials suspect his government of trying to disrupt our election with
cyberattacks. In Trump’s star-struck eyes, all of this makes him “a
leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”
Putin, you see, once paid Trump a
compliment. “If he says great things about me,” Trump told moderator
Matt Lauer, “I’m going to say great things about him.”
There you have it, folks, the distilled
essence of Trump’s disgraceful campaign. It’s not about immigration or
foreign policy or making America “great again,” whatever that means.
It’s entirely about Trump and his raging egomania.
I suppose this is the typical "leftist"
stand about Donald Trump. And while it is less unsympathetic to
me than the rightist stand, there are in the above quotation at least
three things I disagree
with: (1) I think paragraph two is on a stupid level; (2) I think the
compliments-invite-compliments is stupid; and (3) Trump's campaign is
disgraceful, but it is not about his egomania (though I agree
it is important): it is about the presidency and about power.
Also, I just don't like the tone. Here is
Trump "denigrated the
U.S. military’s high command", while everybody on "the left" knows
these generals are the best and most peace loving persons that ever
were Americans (?!?!). I'm sorry...
On top of insisting that Putin is a
great guy, Trump denigrated the U.S. military’s high command. “I think
under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals
have been reduced to rubble,” he said. “They have been reduced to a
point where it’s embarrassing for our country.”
Lauer recalled that Trump has long
claimed to have a secret plan for defeating the Islamic State, but now
says he would ask “the generals” to submit a plan within 30 days for
victory over the terrorist group. Reminded that he has boasted that he
knows more about the Islamic State than our military leaders do, yet
now says he wants them to come up with a plan, Trump replied: “Well,
they’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you.”
And incidentally: It is again the tone of voice I dislike, as
if you can talk about politics on the level of a 10 or 12 year old.
Here is the ending of the article:
Face the truth: Trump has to be
the most dangerously ignorant major-party presidential candidate in
So that's what's wrong with Trump? He
is very ignorant? I agree he is, but I don't think
that is his main problem: He is a liar, a cheat, and he is - in
my psychologist's eyes - a quite crazy person, who never
should have been allowed to compete for getting to be the president.
Ah well. If this is the best "the left" can come up with
Trump - He likes Putin! He disgraces Our Great U.S. Military! He is
ignorant! - I will not be amazed if Trump wins.
2. Robert Scheer: U.S. Pledge of $90 Million to Laos for
Cluster Munitions Legacy Is ‘Chump Change’
item is by Dharna Noor on The Real News Network, who interviews Robert
Scheer (the editor of Truthdig):
This starts as follows - and incidentally,
the introduction correctly says that Laos was bombed with more
bombs than were Germany and Japan combined, during WW II - and that it
seems 1 in 3 of these bombs did not explode.
Here is part of the introduction by TRNN:
DHARNA NOOR, TRNN: Welcome to the
Real News Network. I’m Dharna Noor joining you in Baltimore.
On Wednesday President Barack Obama
became the first sitting president of the US to visit Laos. Obama
visited a prosthetic center that works with victims of bombs that
initially failed to detonate when dropped on the country during the
Vietnam war. He also toured an exhibition of prosthetic limbs and met
with those involved with clearing unexploded ordinance in the Laos
The US announced earlier this week that
it would provide an additional 90 million dollars over the next 3 years
to help Laos clear the remaining ordinance.
I note the incredible royalty of
Obama's gift: "Oh well, it seems we threw more bombs on you than we did
on Germany and Japan combined in WW II, about fifty years ago. We're not
sorry, but here: $90 million dollars for you!!"
Here is Scheer, incidentally also
speaking about Obama's refusal to admit to America's enormous
mistakes, merely with Laos alone:
Yes. And this is Scheer on what Obama really
did (and I agree with Scheer):
SCHEER: (...) Obama’s on a charm
offensive. I think CNN called him the goodwill ambassador now. He’s
going everywhere in the world. Which is fine. I’m all for recognizing
the humanity of the Laotian people, the Cambodian people, the
Vietnamese. That’s all great stuff. But if you don’t take ownership for
your own atrocities, you first of all have no authority to condemn
atrocities anywhere in the world and you don’t learn the lessons of
We are capable of enormous barbarism.
You just have to look to dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in daylight to maximize the casualties among kids, children
going to school. That was done by the University of California Berkley,
figured out the plans and everything. Look at the documentary Fog of
War about Robert McNamara. Look at the carpet bombing of Japan during
We aren’t this great city on the hill.
We’re capable of being horrible barbaric killers and the lesson of Laos
is we visited terrorism on a primitive peasantry that had no idea what
was being inflicted on them or why.
Yes indeed. This is a recommended article.
SCHEER: You know when any Jewish
person who cares or anybody who cared about the Holocaust against Jews,
gypsies, and others in Germany would be deeply offended if many years
after the fact the president of the richest and most powerful country
in the world and if Germany had won would then offer a pittance, chump
change. Yes, it’s better than nothing. But it’s propaganda. It’s a feel
good thing. It’s a way of disowning your responsibility.
We say adult behavior. We tell children,
adult behavior begins with taking ownership for your actions. We have
never taken ownership for our horrible actions in the name of foreign
policy. We never do. We think that whatever, we’re virtuous. Obama said
in his statement, we can argue about our motives. No. That’s what we
have to analyze.
Paul Krugman Reveals the Disturbing Consequences of the Media's
Inability to Call Out Trump's Lies
item is by Janet Allon on AlterNet:
From near the beginning, this is Krugman:
I say. First of all, I think many of Trump's
lies are not "medium-size". And second, Trump can do so
mostly because the mainstream media refuse to say that his
lies are lies - and this is not Trump's doing, but the
media's doing - which, doing that (relaying lie upon lie upon lie as
if there is nothing to criticize in lies), seem to
do their best to make Trump the next president of the USA.
Long ago, you-know-who suggested that propagandists should
apply the “big lie” technique: make their falsehoods so huge, so
egregious, that they would be widely accepted because nobody would
believe they were lying on that grand a scale. And the technique has
worked well for despots and would-be despots ever since.
But Donald Trump has come up with something new, which we
can call the “big liar” technique. Taken one at a time, his lies are
medium-size—not trivial, but mostly not rising to the level of blood
libel. But the lies are constant, coming in a steady torrent, and are
never acknowledged, simply repeated. He evidently believes that this
strategy will keep the news media flummoxed, unable to believe, or at
least say openly, that the candidate of a major party lies that much.
And there is this on Trump's massive lying:
With Trump, you have this whole other order of lying; he's
in a complete class
of his own. Trump lies about things that are provable and known.
Crime stats, who founded ISIS, his own business record, his suport of
the Iraq war.
Part of the answer for the media's
reluctance to call his lying out might be that Trump, like it or not,
is a major party nominee, so respect must be paid. Pointing out that
the GOP has nominated a sociopath might be a tad uncomfortable, though
No. If the main media argue that respect
should be paid to a massive liar, cheater and conman because he is a
presidential candidate, they completely reversed their roles and
their priorities: It is their duty to attack
presidential candidates who lie; it is false
cowardice or worse to defend not calling his many lies lies.
If Trump wins the presidency, he wins because he has
been massively supported by the main media, that did not even
discuss his many lies as lies.
4. Facebook Under Fire for
Censoring One of the Most Iconic War Photos
item is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Facebook is under fire for censoring an
iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of the horrors of the Vietnam war,
with the social media site's chief, Mark Zuckerberg, being accused of
"abusing his power," trying "to change history," and even waging an
attack on democracy itself.
The row involving the 1972 photo by Nick
Ut depicting children, including a naked nine-year-old girl, fleeing a
napalm attack reportedly broke
out last month when Norwegian author Tom Egeland posted it along
with six others he said "changed the history of warfare," according
to the Guardian.
the photo, saying it was in violation
of the site's nudity policy, and later banned
Facebook seems to exist for the - I think
- 4 billions or so who are too stupid to learn html, and who take pride
in being censored, flummoxed, abused, and in being stolen anything from
that they do on Facebook, all of which is sold to dataminers (and - who
knows? - the NSA).
I am sorry, and this is the most
sympathetic statement you will get from me on Facebook, that is now rewriting
history on totally false pretenses.
Indeed Facebook went so far as to
bowdlerize the Prime Minister of Norway, and to do so repeatedly:
Among them was Prime Minister Erna
Solberg, who posted
the photo to her page on Friday. writing
that it "shaped world history."
"Facebook is making a mistake when it censors these types of photos. It
contributes to limiting the freedom of expression," she wrote.
Facebook deleted that post, but Solberg later posted
the photo again, this time with a black box over most of the girl, and
also posted several other well-known historical photos with black
boxes. In her newer post, she writes, "What Facebook does by removing
images of this kind, good as the intentions may be, is to edit our
What Stoltenberg should have done
is leave Facebook and start her own html or - if that is far too
difficult for her: it may be - a Wordpress site. But no.
Finally, here is the person Suckerbug pretends
to protect while censoring historical fact:
Quite so, but Suckerbug wants to
censor history. If you are on Facebook you are his self-appointed slave
without any rights.
As for Kim Phuc, the now 53-year-old who
was depicted in the photo, a spokesperson
says she "is saddened by those who would focus on the nudity in the
historic picture rather than the powerful message it conveys."
5. The Tyranny of
9/11: The Building Blocks of the American Police State from A-Z
and last item today is by John Whitehead on Counterpunch:
This starts as follows:
I agree more with John Whitehead than
that I disagree, but I think this is a bit too strong.
“No one man can terrorize a whole
nation unless we are all his accomplices.”
― Edward R. Murrow
We’ve walked a strange and harrowing
road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our
We have gone from a nation that took
great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a
model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep with a
police state. In doing so, we have proven Osama Bin Laden right. He
warned that “freedom
and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will
lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an
unbearable hell and a choking life.”
First, while I admire Murrow
(<- Wikipedia) he should not have said "unless we are all
his". He should have said: "unless many are his". Second, I never
believed in the USA as "a model of representative democracy" (nor did
the U.S.'s founders!!) and to present it as such is ideology rather
than fact. (In
fact, if there are such models, they are - or were - countries in
Western Europe.) Third, I don't think Osama Bin Laden has
been proved right in maintaining that the USA and the West live in "an unbearable hell and a choking life".
Then there is this, which is better but also a bit too strong:
I mostly agree, and indeed like and
stress "[t]he citizenry’s unquestioning
acquiescence", for that is one of the main bases for the losses
of many rights. Then again, while I agree that "[t]his is not freedom", I don't think this is - as yet,
for by far the most American citizens - "a jail cell".
What began with the passage of the
USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the
eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach,
corruption and abuse.
The citizenry’s unquestioning
acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for
promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where
the nation is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized,
hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis
of every principle upon which this nation was founded.
This is not freedom. This is a jail cell.
Set against a backdrop of government
surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture,
eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole
body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and the
like—all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and
the courts—our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away
at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.
Again, the majority of America's "citizenry" still seems to
support their government, and most of them are not locked up.
Here is another bit that I'll quote from this article, and again it is
a bit of an overstatement (or so I think):
Free speech, the right to protest, the
right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of
innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency
in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity,
representative government: all of these and more have become casualties
in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown
more pronounced since 9/11.
Since the towers fell on 9/11, the
American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied
on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of
intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored,
silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.
For I think that the first paragraph is
more or less correct, but the second paragraph attributes to "the American people" what should
have been attributed to a relatively small number of protesters
- for it simply is not
true that many of "the
American people" protested, simply because the
majority still seems to agree with much of what their
government does, or at least does not protest the losses of
many of their rights. (And quite a few seem not to know!)
There is a lot more, including an
alphabet from A to Z that attempts to spell out what government tyranny
means. Here are two bits quoted from it:
I think both points are mostly correct,
though I add that - unfortunately, indeed - most of America's
"citizenry" either agrees to this enormous diminution
of their rights, or doesn't protest. (Indeed, many don't seem
E is for ELECTRONIC
CONCENTRATION CAMP. In the electronic concentration camp, as I
have dubbed the surveillance state, all aspects of a person’s life are
policed by government agents and all citizens are suspects, their
activities monitored and regulated, their movements tracked, their
communications spied upon, and their lives, liberties and pursuit of
happiness dependent on the government’s say-so.
I is for the INTERNET OF THINGS, in which
internet-connected “things” will monitor your home, your health and
your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities
regulated and your life under control and relatively worry-free. The
key word here, however, is control. This “connected”
industry propels us closer to a future where police agencies
apprehend virtually anyone if the government “thinks” they may commit a
crime, driverless cars populate the highways, and a person’s biometrics
are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them
for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.
to understand much about computers or cellphones.)
This is a recommended article, although I believe it is a little too
strong, which incidentally also means that I think the
situation in the USA may get a whole lot worse, and certainly
will if Trump becomes president.
P.S. Sep 12, 2016: I corrected the initial list of five reviews: For some reason, items 3 and 4 were interchanged.
 Incidentally: I do
want to keep my sites to look reasonable on the monitors (and computers
and OSs) that I use, and I am trying to do so for
the new monitor I have, but I gave up (by 2012) trying to
I do take care it works well on Firefox, on Ubuntu, on a normal
sized squarish monitor, but I will not check anymore how my
site is displayed on other monitors, other OSs and other
much work for my health. (I guess it works on most systems,
since it is html that ought to work the same everywhere, but
I lack the health to check and repair.)