Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Crisis+Quotation: Tyranny, Sgt. Pepper, "Counterterrorism", Trump Narcissist

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1. Summary
2. Quotation
3. Crisis Files
It's 50 years ago today

This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will continue with it, but on the moment I have several problems with my computer, my modem, the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible, and my health.

It may be that I'll be off for a few weeks, that is, I will publish nothing or little for a few weeks. I don't know yet, but I will keep you informed in Nederlog.

And what I will do for the moment - since I am still looking at 35 sites every morning - is to list the items I selected, but without any of my comments. Today I selected five items, and they are below and link to the originals, but on the moment I have no comments, basically because that takes too much work on the moment.

2. Quotation

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. But I do like to quote good bits by others that I (mostly) agree with. This is by Emmett Grogan, from p. 400 of "Ringolevio":
The people who need to be doing what the Diggers in San Francisco are doing and nowhere else. Let that be clear - nowhere else! The people need to see other people giving it all away, before they can dig the basic absurdity of this goddamn parasitical society! It heightens the human contradictions of existing within this inhuman capitalistic system where the best man wins if he kills his brother or sister or a couple of hundred thousand faceless, yellow people in Asia. It heightens the human contradictions of surviving within or under any system of govern-
ment that's now maintaining some form of social order in the world
today. It heightens the human contradictions to such a degree that a
person, if he's really a good man or a good woman, will have to
refuse to acquiesce to any society that doesn't fulfill its social respon-
sibility to every human being in it!
This quote is in fact also about 1967 (<-Wikipedia), which is "50 years ago today". What I agree with in this quote is that Westerners are living in an absurd and parasitical society that is structured around the greed and power of the few richest people.

You can fill that out in various different ways, but this seems to be a very basic fact about human greed, human egoism, and the enormous tolerance of inequalities that the rich have. Indeed, this also goes beyond capitalism: Basically, the few rich and the few powerful have served themselves for 2500 years now, as the constant factor in changing schemes of production.

Will this ever change? I think it must change if humanity is to survive. And one problem I see is that there are really good men and really good women, who are quite smart and quite informed, but they seem to be in a small minority, especially if you consider how many fundamentally acquiesce in societies where the few rich rule and the many non-rich
are poor, exploited, and working all their lives to get 1 or 2% of what the rich get effortlessly.

3. Crisis Files

I have been writing on the crisis since September 1, 2008 (Dutch) and with considerably more attention since June 10, 2013 (English).

If you check out the
crisis index you will find that I wrote in over eight years nearly 1600 files, that nearly all consisted of a reference to one or more articles that were partially quoted and mostly commented.

I will continue with that, simply because I think the crisis is a very important social, political and economical event, but meanwhile I have turned 67 and need a little rest,
so what I'll be doing the coming weeks (at least), is selecting 3 to 6 files from the 35
sites I consult every morning to see what's happening in the world of politics and econonomics, and present them, but now without comments.

Here is today's selection:
1. On Tyranny: Yale Historian Timothy Snyder on How the U.S.
     Can Avoid Sliding into Authoritarianism
2. The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ at 50: Full
     of Joy and Whimsy
3. Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at
     Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”
4. Trump Will Be a Nightmare Client for His Legal Dream Team
5. Trump: The Narcissist with Haters

These are all well worth reading.

4. It's 50 years ago today

As you can find out by clicking on
The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ at 50: Full of Joy and Whimsy it is 50 years ago "today" (May 26 in Great Britain, June 2 in the USA) that the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I had just turned 17 then. I liked the Beatles (although I liked the Rolling Stones more), and I certainly heard Sgt. Pepper within a week of its release. Also, I had left school in May 1967, and started working in a bank in September, after having been to Paris with a friend, each on our moped, and then to London by myself. This is also the year that I first fell really in love, and the year that I started to become the man that I still
am. [1]

There were quite a few firsts for me in 1967, that I will not mention here and now. Instead, I want to draw your attention to five good articles in today's [2] Wikipedia:
If you haven't lived through the Sixties (and in fact also if you have), my advice to you is to read through these items, and especially the first four, for they are well done, contain many links, and are quite interesting, and they will probably convince you that the Sixties were a quite special decade.

Also, since I got seriously interested in the San Francisco Diggers last month (see here for an introductory article) I will soon return to the Diggers and the year 1967 in that context.


[1] One of the things that I differ with in myself of 50 years ago is that I then thought I had no definite self, while I think since the 1970ies that I do have a self (<-Wikipedia), that has been construed from my capacities, my experiences, and my expectations from my values and desires, and that is maintained by my memories (and is changing a little bit every new day I live, depending on what is there already).

[2] I have nothing to do with Wikipedia, although I use and refer to it a lot. One of the things I do not like about it is how articles are changed and deleted after they have been published: I miss quite a few articles that were there one or several years ago, and I really see no reason for that. I know Wkipedia has to change, but I do not know their reasons for changing things. My own recipe to avoid loosing a Wikipedia-article that I liked - which happened several times - is to download it. (I do not know what else to do.)

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