A. Selections from August 5, 2017
This is a Nederlog of
Saturday, August 5,
This is a
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 the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible and with my health.
explained, the crisis files will have a different
format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items
I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one
selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit
of a taste of the item linked.
So the new format is as follows:
Link to an item with its orginal title,
One selection (usually) from that item
Possibly followed by a brief comment by
me (not indented).
This is illustrated below, in selections A.
2. Crisis Files
are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from
August 5, 2017
items 1 - 5 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:
Me Your Tired, Your Poor": Trump Admin Attacks Emma Lazarus's Iconic
Poem on Statue of Liberty
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! This starts with the following
Opposition is growing to
the Trump administration’s new proposal to implement radical changes to
U.S. immigration law and slash the number of immigrants allowed into
the United States by half. The RAISE
Act would create a
so-called merit-based immigration system that would favor applicants
who speak English, have advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills.
On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed senior policy adviser Stephen
Miller over President Trump’s push to admit only English-speaking
immigrants in a back-and-forth that lasted for several minutes. Acosta
asked Miller about the iconic poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus
that is inscribed at the base of the State of Liberty, which reads:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe
free." We speak about the woman who wrote those words, Emma Lazarus,
with her biographer, Esther Schor, about why Lazarus wrote the poem,
how it became one of the most iconic verses about the United States and
why she has long been a target of white nationalists.
This is quoted because I
like the introductions on Democracy Now! This is one bit from the
There is considerably more in
the interview, which is recommended.
GOODMAN: Since President
Trump and Republican senators introduced the proposal on Wednesday,
many commentators have noted the proposed policy would have likely
blocked Trump’s own grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf, from immigrating to
the United States, had it been in place in 1885. At the time of his
arrival, Drumpf did not speak English, and his immigration record says
he had no identifiable skill—or "calling," as they called it. The
great-grandparents of senior policy adviser Stephen Miller would have
also likely been refused entry under the proposed plan, since they
spoke only Yiddish. Kellyanne Conway’s great-grandfather, too, would
have likely been barred for speaking only Italian.
Well, on Wednesday, CNN’s
Jim Acosta, who is the son of immigrants, pressed senior policy adviser
Stephen Miller over President Trump’s push to admit English-speaking,
only, immigrants in a back-and-forth that lasted for several minutes.
Dangerous Delusions of Richard Dawkins
This is by
Jeremy Lent on AlterNet. It is here basically because I disagreed from
the beginning - in the 1970ies - with Dawkin's "selfish genes". This is from near the beginning:
In my book, The
Patterning Instinct, I explored the underlying misconceptions that
have led to our current crisis of civilization, and realized that
Dawkins has been popularizing two of the most pernicious. One is the
idea that all living organisms are controlled by selfish genes, and
that humans, by implication, are innately selfish. Another is the
notion that nature is nothing more than a very complicated machine.
Both of these core ideas have been shown by countless scientists to be
fundamentally wrong. Yet, partly because of the popularity of Dawkins’s
own writing, they are widely taken on faith by the same intelligentsia
that reject the fallacies of monotheism—and are used to justify some of
our civilization’s most destructive behaviors.
It’s a harsh story, and one that has become a bedrock of modern
economics, which argues that human beings are motivated by their own
self-interest, and their collective self-serving actions result in the
best outcome for society. This has led to a commonly accepted
pseudo-scientific rationalization for laissez-faire capitalism, using
the misappropriated term “survival of the fittest” to justify ruthless
exploitation of the poor by wealthy corporations.
Rather than a battleground of “selfish genes” competing to outperform
one another, modern biologists offer a new view of nature as a web of
networked systems, dynamically optimizing at different levels of
evolutionary selection. Ecosystems rely for their health on the tightly
synchronized interaction of many different species. Trees in a forest
have been discovered to communicate with each other in a complex
network that maintains their collective health—sometimes referred to as
the “wood wide web.” And regarding our intrinsic human nature, a new
generation of scientists has
pointed to our ability to cooperate, rather than compete,
as our defining characteristic.
Yes, I agree, and
indeed this is what I was thinking myself in the 1970ies. And ever
since then I have agreed with Dawkins on atheism and God, but have
disagreed with him on science. And this is a recommended article.
the World May End
This is by John Pilger
(<-Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews. This is from near the beginning,
and "Their" refers to the American senators:
There is considerably
more in the article, which is recommended. Also, in case you are
curious: My own estimate on the chances of arriving at the end
of 2021 without an atomic war is still 50/50, because I
think, as a psychologist, that Trump is a megalo- maniac
who is trying to found neofascism
in the USA, and who may well succeed (that is, if he doesn't blow up
Their main aim seems to
be war – real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else.
They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war
is. The Civil War of 1861-65 was the last on their mainland. War is
what the United States does to others.
The only nation to have
used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed
scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste
whole societies – the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the
carnage in Indochina, which President Reagan called “a noble cause” and
President Obama revised as the tragedy of an “exceptional people.” He
was not referring to the Vietnamese.
Filming last year at the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service
guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. “Listen up,” he
said. “We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died
defending your freedom.”
At a stroke, the truth
was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant
country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed,
dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives.
Listen up, indeed.
A lobotomy is performed
on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced
by what Time magazine calls “an eternal present.” Harold
Pinter described this as “manipulation of power worldwide, while
masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty,
highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened.
Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening.
It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”
Those who call themselves
liberals or tendentiously “the left” are eager participants in this
manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name:
Trump is mad, a fascist, a
dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for “liberal brains pickled in the
formaldehyde of identity politics,” wrote Luciana Bohne memorably.
Blocks OffGuardian as a Malware Site
article is by Vaska on the Off-Guardian.
This is from near the beginning:
A reader in the UK has
just advised us that SKY has been blocking the OffGuardian as a
malware site, using its Sky Broadband Shield to deny the public
access to us.
People using Wifi through
their Sky package may not find this out and will probably not know how
to terminate this intrusion. The Sky number to call to have them
remove their shield is 03442414141.
April and June, Google completed a major revision of its search engine
that sharply curtails public access to Internet web sites that operate
independently of the corporate and state-controlled media. Since the
implementation of the changes, many left wing, anti-war and progressive
web sites have experienced a sharp fall in traffic generated by Google
searches. The World Socialist Web Site has seen, within
just one month, a 70 percent drop in traffic from Google.
a blog post published on April
25, Ben Gomes, Google’s chief search engineer, rolled out the new
censorship program in a statement bearing the Orwellian title, “Our
latest quality improvements for search.” This statement has been
virtually buried by the corporate media. Neither the New York
Times nor the Wall Street Journal has
reported the statement. The Washington Post limited
its coverage of the statement to a single blog post.
as a mere change to technical procedures, Gomes’s statement legitimizes
Internet censorship as a necessary response to “the phenomenon of ‘fake
news,’ where content on the web has contributed to the spread of
blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false
“phenomenon of ‘fake news’” is, itself, the principal “fake news” story
of 2017. In its origins and propagation, it has all the well-known
characteristics of what used to be called CIA “misinformation”
campaigns, aimed at discrediting left-wing opponents of state and
And here is a list of some
of the affected sites (and wsws = the World Socialist Web Site):
Note most of these are
used to compose my crisis logs. If Google - which I dislike so much
that I almost wholly avoid it - gets its way, soon there will be only
sites available that conform to the
rich men's ideals of Google's bosses...
* wsws.org fell by 67
* alternet.org fell by 63 percent
* globalresearch.ca fell by 62 percent
* consortiumnews.com fell by 47 percent
* socialistworker.org fell by 47 percent
* mediamatters.org fell by 42 percent
* commondreams.org fell by 37 percent
* internationalviewpoint.org fell by 36 percent
* democracynow.org fell by 36 percent
* wikileaks.org fell by 30 percent
* truth-out.org fell by 25 percent
* counterpunch.org fell by 21 percent
* theintercept.com fell by 19 percent
5. 30 Years in an
American Alternative Movement: Peter Coyote & The Statutes of
been writing about the San
Francisco Diggers lately (see here
and here) and this is an update that I
found on Peter Coyote's site.
In fact, it is from 2000 and was originally in French, but it
is a good article about the San Francisco Diggers. It starts as follows:
In 1966-1967, in
contrast to the San Francisco hippies, the Diggers were
revolutionaries. They vanished from the city when they believed
there was nothing more to be accomplished, established communes in the
country, and took a new road toward radical environmentalism.
There is considerably
more in the article, that is recommended in case you are
interested in the San Francisco Diggers. (And no, this is not a crisis
years later, the Diggers still haven’t abandoned their American Dream.
Valley – one day in late October:
Peter Coyote sits down to lunch in a small Mill Valley Mexican
restaurant minutes from his house north of San Francisco Bay. Thin,
handsome, animated, not looking his fast-approaching 60 years of age,
the film actor, (Pedro Almovadar’s Kika, Roman Polanski’s Bitter Moon,)
remembers the ‘60s in San Francisco’s hippie neighborhood, the
Haight-Ashbury. He also reminisces about the Mime Troupe, the
revolutionary theatre company where his acting career began 35 years
our performances was a frontal attack on the mainstream culture and its
fashionable and nonpolitical theatrical shows. When they accepted me
into the troupe, I was ecstatic. I believed I was beginning my career
with the best, the most audacious.”
also remembers the Diggers, the most radical group on the West Coast,
born of the Mime Troupe and with whom he was very close: a group of
militant actor-anarchists, very active during the psychedelic era, who
then vanished at the end of 1967 like so much smoke. Coyote knows what
became of them; in fact, he was still friends with them in the ‘80s,
when they reappeared with a new political point of view, still firmly
convinced that social change was possible.