from October 21, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 two 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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from October 21, 2018:
1. Upheaval: Brazil on the Brink. The Saudi Regime Under Fire.
The 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:
2. Let’s Agree Not to Kill One Another
3. Trump: U.S. Will Pull Out of Intermediate Range Nuke Pact
4. Message To Millennials
5. PEN Sues: It Is Up to Those of Us Who Depend Upon A Free
Press To Rise
In Defense Of It
Brazil on the Brink. The Saudi Regime Under Fire.
This article is by
Glenn Greenwald (sitting in for Jeremy Scahill) on The Intercept. This
is from near its beginning:
I’m speaking to you from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where political
events have left much of the world shocked, baffled, and even somewhat
horrified by recent political events here in the country. And here in
Brazil, a large segment of the population is all of those things in
addition to being somewhat terrorized. And the reason for that is the
remarkable political ascension of someone who has been on the fringes
of Brazilian politics for three decades but now is about to take over
the country with virtually unlimited power and his name is Jair
Bolsonaro — who has been a far-right extremist serving in the Brazilian
Congress, essentially without very many allies and without very many
partners. In the 30 years of his being in Congress, he was able to pass
virtually no bills. He was able to form almost no political alliances.
He was essentially a cult-like figure who had a fanatical following in
Rio de Janeiro that constantly sent him back every four years to
Congress, but never had any impact on the national scene.
Yes, quite so - and there
is more about Bolsonaro who does seem to me more like a very frightening madman in the above bit
(on the bits ¨(..)¨) than a politician - but yes: Greenwald is
right it is quite likely that that man is going to get
the supreme power in Brazil, which happens to be a country with 210
And what he was probably most
known for — the views of his that have been most consistent — are his
continuous comments praising, and heralding, and heaping all kinds of
compliments on the military generals who in 1964 overthrew the
democratically elected left-wing government of Brazil. And then
proceeded to rule the country for twenty-one years, from 1964 until
1985, under a brutal, highly repressive military dictatorship that did
things like round up dissidents and critics, torture its opponents, and
even engage in summary execution of people who opposed them.
And what’s most remarkable is
that the same Jair Bolsonaro is on the verge of taking over the entire
political structure of Brazil.
Here is more on Bolsonaro´s ideas and values:
(..) Bolsonaro has
spent 30 years developing a highly definable ideology that is far more
extreme than anything Donald Trump has ever advocated, including a
literal return of the military dictatorship. The only time he
criticized the military dictatorship was to say that the mistake they
made was to only torture people and not torture and then kill them all.
He says they should have killed at least 30,000 more people including
the right-wing president who was elected, Fernando Cardoso. So he’s far
more extreme than Trump in his ideology and much more important is the
difference between the U.S. or countries in Europe that have far-right
leaders on the one-hand and Brazil on the other.
Yes, this seems all quite
And here is a part of Greenwald´s explanation for the fact that a man
as frightful as Bolsonaro probably will get elected in Brazil:
We saw the same
thing with Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S., with the success of
Brexit in the U.K., with the rise of right-wing parties in Eastern
Europe, and now even in Western European countries where far-right
movements were previously unthinkable — places like France and Germany
and Sweden. And the lesson is: That when the establishment fails to
serve the needs of a huge portion of the population eventually they
will come to realize that — will direct all of their hatred toward that
establishment, will decide they have nothing to lose, and will run into
the arms of whoever is the most extreme demagogue, even if it’s
somebody with ideas as hateful, and ideologies as obviously dangerous
and tyrannical as Jair Bolsonaro.
I think Greenwald´s explanation
is very probably correct. But then I have a rather important remark:
In fact, the above explanation implies that in many
elections (democratically organized or not), the chances are -
not only in Brazil, but in the U.S., France, Germany and Sweden - that a
large part of the voters - ¨a
huge portion of the population¨ -
are so stupid
that they will elect a demagogue
who is, for the minority of the more intelligent and more informed,
obviously against the real
interests of those who vote
And this can be easily and well illustrated by Trump´s election in the
USA. In fact, this is also an important objection against democracy since
Aristotle or earlier.
In fact, this is from the lemma on democracy in my Philosophical
In brief, I have no
solution for this problem (but I do not deny it, like many).
As it happened, giving the
vote to all of the adult population in the 20th Century "in the name of
democracy" has been very good for rabble-rousers and has produced few
good governors: Hitler was democratically elected, and in every
parliamentary democracy one can be sure that most of the voters have no
adequate ideas of what they vote on or whom they vote for.
Yet the great majority in
democratically governed societies believes itself to be free and to
vote in 'free and fair elections', also and indeed because these
elections have been much engineered by propaganda.
It should also be noted
that because 'government
by the people' and 'power to the people' are such popular slogans, all
governments of any kind whatsoever tend to style themselves
'democracies', and tend to manufacture periodic public elections. The
main reason to do so is that this enables the leaders of
government to claim that they govern by popular support and through
free and fair elections.
The truth is that even
where there are free and fair elections, and where there are several
political parties who compete to get their leaders elected, the
majority of the electorate is not qualified to judge rationally about
those they elect or about the plans these propose to get elected for.
There is very much more in this article,
also about Saudi Arabia, and it is strongly recommended, but
since I myself survived two periods of over 3 years each
in which I was very credibly
threatened with murder, first by an
who lived next to me, and next by illegal drugsdealers who were
to the hilt, that included murder threats and nearly succesful
to gas me, by the mayor of Amsterdam, who did not even answer my
letters, and by the city police of Amsterdam, who told me
¨we will do
nothing for you because all Amsterdammers are bastards¨
I think I have a lot of direct
personal experiences with murder threats (I also
was literally gassed by the illegal drugsdealers or their collaborating
house owner); I know that no one will really help you (also not
in Amsterdam) while the authorities rather seem to see you dead than
alive (for I criticized Holland´s utterly corrupt drugs policies); and
for these and other reasons I strongly
recommend Greenwald and
his husband to move from Brazil.
Also, as I said, this is a strongly recommended article in
is very much more than I quoted.
Agree Not to Kill One Another
This article is by Bill McKibben
on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
In a world where the
president goes on Twitter to call a woman “horseface” it seems
pointless to call for “civility.” So let me suggest that we start with
a lower bar, maybe one we could still hope to achieve: Let’s stop
threatening to kill one another.
I say. Well... here is some
background: McKibben has received dead threats since the 1990s.
uses the following ¨remedy¨:
My practice has been
just to delete threats from my email — I find that if I don’t, I keep
looking at them, and I imagine (I hope) the main goal of their authors
is to distract me. If you’re going to be a lightning rod, some sparks
are probably the price.
Of course, that is no real
remedy. But then this happened (and there is more in the article):
then the commenters went at it. One said: “Anybody got Bill McKibben’s
home address? Let’s see how he really feels
about ‘civil disobedience’ if it shows up at his front door.” Another added, “Give
him a smack for me.” One or two tried to calm people down. But there
was also this comment, from someone named “gnomish:” “There is a
protocol worth observing: S.S.S. It stands for shoot, shovel and
S.T.F.U. Hope that saves you some trouble.”
“protocol” was left over from the right-wing fight against endangered
species laws. If, say, a protected woodpecker was on your land, the
“Three S’s” doctrine held that you should kill it, bury it and keep
your mouth shut about it. It was, in this case, a public call for
someone to murder me, and not long afterward another commenter, “Carbon
Bigfoot,” supplied my home address.
of which stopped me cold.
thought I was inured to social media abuse. But this was something new:
a calm public discussion about how to find me and what to do to me. No
one deleted the comment by “gnomish.” The conversation just kept
Bill McKibben is
quite right that this was ¨a
public call for someone to murder me¨. Before I turn to my own ¨solution¨, there is this by
aside from my own fear — and I’m now installing surveillance cameras,
because it turns out that public death threats slash through some of
the psychic insulation privilege provides — what really bothered me was
the matter-of- factness of it all. What does it say about a society
when people just routinely call for the killing of those they disagree
with? You’ll note that “gnomish” abbreviated his profane phrase,
because curse words are banned on this website. But its moderators
apparently just read right past the death threat.
Then again, my own ¨solution¨ to the problem of - let´s say - offensive
mails by anonymous persons is different, though indeed it
is as little
a real solution as McKibben´s approach:
refuse to read any comments anyone has
on anything that is on the
internet, for I found that I have to read pages and pages and pages of
comments in order to find a single one that was minimally reasonable,
and I hate wasting time or energy; I refuse to read any
tweets or any
tweetlike comments or reactions: I am just not interested in
¨contributions¨ of one or two statements; and I also refuse to
anything with anonymous people without a site.
fact, I am a strong opponent of all anonymity on the
internet and that for three reasons:
99,999 % of all anomymity serves help take away all personal
responsibility for a writer of something anonymous, and I think
extremely childish: Every adult should be personally
such opinions as he or she publicly utters (and the internet is a
anonymous people without a personal site can say whatever
and be as offensive as they want to be, for no normal user of
internet can find out who they are, which means they cannot
the only people who can find out who is - really, with his
or her real
name and real address - personally responsible for threats
are the secret services, and Google and Facebook.
brief, I wish to communicate only with a very small -
informed - portion of the internet; I want to know who I really
talking to (real name, real address) if we are going to dispute
and if I can´t, then I just say nothing.
again, this removes a part of the problem for me, but does not
at all, and it can be solved only if personally responsible
succeed in making all people on the internet personally responsible for
their opinions, values, expressions, insults and threats, and this can
happen only if all - real - communications on the internet
between real persons with real names and real
is the ending of Bill McKibben´s article:
Well... I sympathize with
McKibben, but it will not happen as long as anyone can assume
identity that no normal person can unravel. But this is a recommended
article, for the problem McKibben poses is quite real and quite
don’t want this website shut down; I don’t want the people who write on
it prosecuted. I definitely don’t want them murdered. I just want — as
the very beginning of some kind of return to the gentler old normalcy —
for people to stop making death threats. That seems to me the least we
can ask of one another.
U.S. Will Pull Out of Intermediate Range Nuke Pact
is by Eke Miller and Michael Balsamo on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Trump said Saturday he will exit a landmark arms control agreement the
United States signed with the former Soviet Union, saying that Russia
is violating the pact and it’s preventing the U.S. from developing new
The 1987 pact, which helps
protect the security of the U.S. and its allies in Europe and the Far
East, prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing
or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to
Yes. Incidentally, I
think this also - and perhaps better - can be seen as a
preparation for war with Russia, for Russia is to a large
extent surrounded by countries associated with the USA, and these
countries, and the USA, have a special interest in ¨producing or test-flying a ground-launched
cruise missile¨ of a
relatively small range. (And the USA is not surrounded at all
by friends of Russia.)
Here is some more by
The agreement has
constrained the U.S. from developing new weapons, but America will
begin developing them unless Russia and China agree not to possess or
develop the weapons, Trump said. China is not currently party to the
“We’ll have to develop
those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they
all come to us and say let’s really get smart and let’s none of us
develop those weapons, but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing
it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable,” he said.
Here is the
outcome-so-far as expressed by a Russian:
Well... of course the
holds for the Americans. And this is a recommended article.
“We are slowly slipping
back to the situation of cold war as it was at the end of the Soviet
Union, with quite similar consequences, but now it could be worse
because (Russian President Vladimir) Putin belongs to a generation that
had no war under its belt,” said Dmitry Oreshkin, an independent
Russian political analyst. “These people aren’t as much fearful of a
war as people of Brezhnev’s epoch. They think if they threaten the West
properly, it gets scared.”
4. Message To Millennials
is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
You are the largest, most
diverse, and progressive group of
potential voters in American history, comprising fully 30 percent of
On November 6th, you have
the power to alter the course of
American politics – flipping Congress, changing the leadership of
cities, making lawmakers act and look more like the people who are
the nation’s future.
But you need to vote.
In the last midterm election, in 2014,
only 16 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 even
In fact, there are over
100 million American voters (of all ages) who did not vote
in the presidental elections of 2016.
Then again, Reich is
addressing those between 18 and 29:
Now, I understand. I was
young once. You have a lot on your
minds – starting jobs, and careers, and families. Also, unlike your
grandparents–some of whom were involved in civil rights, voting rights,
rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement–you may not remember a time when
political action changed America for the better.
You don’t even recall when
American democracy worked well.
Instead, during your lifetime you’ve watched big money take over
state capitals. Which may explain why only about 30 percent of you born
1980s think it “essential” to live in a democracy.
Personally, I have no
idea what these people mean by “essential” (what is? and for whom is it?) and I doubt many
have any clear ideas about democracy, but OK.
Here is Reich´s ending:
You’ve also seen that your
votes count. You saw Hillary lose by
a relative handful of votes in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and
Pennsylvania. You’re aware of the slim but increasingly real
taking back the Senate.
As doubtful as you are are
about politics, or the differences
between the two parties, you also know that Donald Trump and his
enablers want to take the nation backwards to an old, white,
isolated America. You don’t.
In my thirty-five years of
teaching college students, I’ve not
encountered a generation as dedicated to making the nation better as
my betting is on you, this November 6th. Please register and vote.
Actually, it is a bit
strange to say to a class of voters of whom only 16%
voted to say that
(bolding added) ¨your
votes count¨, while it is
also a bit strange to say to the same class of voters that one
encountered a generation as dedicated to making the nation better as
yours¨ - but OK again.
But I am pleased that
there is a ¨slim
increasingly real possibility of
taking back the Senate¨ and
I hope Reich is right in his belief that this time
there will be far more voters between 18 and 29. And this is a
Sues: It Is Up to Those of Us Who Depend Upon A Free Press To Rise In
Defense Of It
is by Abby Zimet on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
right to abuse, demean or even noxiously slam journalists as "enemies
of the people" but fiercely rejecting his right to use the power or
machinery of the government to shut them up, or try to, PEN America,
representing thousands of writers and journalists, has filed
a federal lawsuit
Yes indeed, and this is
also well-phrased. Here is some more:
against him. The suit,
authored by Protect Democracy and Yale
Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, was filed
Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. Charging that punitive acts by
Trump have "violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the
Constitution," it seeks to stop him from from
ordering any employee, agency, or government entity to "retaliate or
threaten reprisals" against any negative coverage or gutsy journalists
he happens to dislike - ie: the sort of thing he has repeatedly,
increasingly engaged in, and that the courts have found illegal. Trump
"has First Amendment rights and is free to criticize the press
vehemently," the suit reads, "but he is not free to use the power and
authority of the United States government to punish and stifle it."
In this era of
incessant, specious tirades against “fake news,” PEN charges, Trump
uses “retaliatory directives (and ) credible public threats" against
news organizations who challenge him - browbeating book authors who
call out his lying buffoonery, urging the firing of journalists who do
the same, threatening
Post (with anti-trust action) and Amazon (with higher shipping
costs), and bad-mouthing CNN,
NBC and any
other media presence that affronts his pathologically fragile sense of
I have a remark on the above,
namely that I think either ¨narcissistic¨ or ¨megalomanian¨ may be
better terms than ¨pathologically
fragile¨, but OK.
Here is the ending of this article:
"It is up to those
of us who depend upon a free press," they write, "to rise in defense of
Well... I think the PEN, which
presumably covers ¨those of us
who depend upon a free press¨ is
quite right in prosecuting Trump, but I also think that far
than ¨those who depend upon a free press¨ should rise up to a defense of the free
press. But this is
a recommended article.
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 2 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 (!!).