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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Crisis+Quotation: Kushner, Torture*2, Corbyn, Orwell, Stupidity + On Prejudice



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Introduction

1. Summary
2. Quotation (about prejudice)
3. Crisis Files
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Saturday, June 3, 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 six 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 (about prejudice)

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. But I do like to quote good bits. This is the beginning of William Hazlitt's "On Prejudice":
Prejudice, in its ordinary and literal sense, is prejudging any question without having sufficiently examined it, and adhering to our opinion upon it through ignorance, malice, or perversity, in spite of every evidence to the contrary. The little that we know has a strong alloy of misgivings and uncertainty in it; the mass of things of which we have no means of judging, but of which we form a blind and confident opinion, as if we were thoroughly acquainted with them, is monstrous. Prejudice is the child of ignorance: for as our actual knowledge falls short of our desire to know, or curiosity and interest in the world about us, so must we be tempted to decide upon a greater number of things at a venture; and having no check from reason or inquiry, we shall grow more obstinate and bigoted in our conclusions, according as we have been rash and presumptuous. The absence of proof, instead of suspending our judgment, only gives us an opportunity of making things out according to our wishes and fancies; mere ignorance is a blank canvas, on which we lay what colours we please, and paint objects black or white, as angels or devils, magnify or diminish them at our option; and in the vacuum either of facts or arguments, the weight of prejudice and passion falls with double force, and bears down everything before it. If we enlarge the circle of our previous knowledge ever so little, we may meet with something to create doubt and difficulty; but as long as we remain confined to the cell of our native ignorance, while we know nothing beyond the routine of sense and custom, we shall refer everything to that standard, or make it out as we would have it to be, like spoiled children who have never been from home, and expect to find nothing in the world that does not accord with their wishes and notions. It is evident that the fewer things we know, the more ready we shall be to pronounce upon and condemn, what is new and strange to us; that is, the less capable we shall be of varying our conceptions, and the more prone to mistake a part for the whole. What we do not understand the meaning of, must necessarily appear to us ridiculous and contemptible; and we do not stop to inquire, till we have been taught by repeated experiments and warnings of our own fallibility, whether the absurdity is in ourselves, or in the object of our dislike and scorn. The most ignorant people are rude and insolent, as the most barbarous are cruel and ferocious.

William Hazlitt (<-Wikipedia) is one of my most favorite writers since I discovered him in 1983.

He was English (from Irish descent) and lived from 1778-1830. He is best known as an essayist. He was a highly original and individual man, with original ideas on philosophy and a beautiful style.

He is not by far as well-known as he deserves to be, probably because he failed to please and felt pleased to hate too many and too much (according to those with lesser talents and less courage). This was mostly due to his honesty, his courage, and the  brightness of his intellect, and the obvious all-too-human failings of his fellows.

There is considerably more by him on my site, here.


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 my comments.

Here is today's selection:
1. Jared Kushner Still Has a Job Because Washington Only Fears
     Republicans
2. Trump Administration Returns Copies of Report on C.I.A.
     Torture to Congress
3. Hiding the Ugly Business of Torture
4. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party Is a Beacon in These Blighted
    Times
5. Sean Spicer Reaches Orwellian Levels of ‘Duckspeak’ With His
     News Briefings
6. Donald Trump's Triumph of Stupidity

These are all well worth reading.

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