in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from March 21, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
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 three 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 March 21, 2019:
1. The Torture Machine of the
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
everyorning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. The Future of Climate
Authoritarianism Is Now
3. Twitter Restricts Account of Julian Assange’s Mother
4. 'Military Keynesianism is Back!': Democrats and Trump Agree
5. Censorship and Arrests in Wake of Christchurch Attack
Torture Machine of the Chicago Police
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! I abbreviated the
title. It starts as follows:
We look at the Chicago
Department’s long history of violence against African Americans, from
the murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton to the reign of torture
overseen by commander Jon Burge. The brutality of the Chicago police
force is laid bare in a new book by leading civil rights lawyer Flint
Taylor. It’s called “The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in
Chicago.” The book exposes decades of corruption and cover-ups in the
Chicago Police Department. We speak with Flint Taylor, who has
represented survivors of police brutality in Chicago for nearly half a
I say, for I did not
know most of this - and yes: ¨torture machine¨ is quite
Here is some more on Flint Taylor,
while here is some more from the article:
GOODMAN: The decision is
the latest in the struggle by activists, lawyers, journalists to hold
the Chicago Police Department accountable for its long history of
violence against the city’s citizens, particularly African-American
men. Much of that history is chronicled in a new book by a leading
Chicago lawyer fighting police torture. The Torture Machine:
Racism and Police Violence in Chicago exposes decades of
corruption and cover-ups in the Chicago Police Department, from the
murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and Mark Clark to the reign
of torture overseen by Commander Jon Burge. Under Burge’s reign, from
1972 to ’91, more than 200 people, most of them African-American, were
tortured with tactics including electric shock and suffocation.
We’re joined now by the
book’s author, Flint Taylor, an attorney with People’s Law Office who
has represented survivors of police torture in Chicago for more than 25
Flint, welcome back to Democracy
Now! Why did you name your book The Torture Machine?
TAYLOR: Well, thank you,
Amy and Juan. It’s a pleasure to be back with you.
I named it The Torture
Machine for two different but related reasons. First of all is
rather obvious. On the cover, the torture machine, that was the
electric shock box that the notorious Commander Jon Burge and his men
used on many African-American suspects over that 20-year period that
you just mentioned. But also “the torture machine” refers to Chicago’s
machine, the notorious political machine, often known as the Daley
machine and the Democratic machine, here in the city, which not only
countenanced this torture, covered it up, but also was involved at the
highest levels of the police department and, yes, the State’s
Attorney’s Office, when Richard M. Daley was the state’s attorney of
Cook County—were involved in this conspiracy, this scandal, that has
gone on for so many decades in this city.
The torture machine is on the
cover, and it is as real as the torture machines the KGB and the
Gestapo used, and I also agree with its second metaphorical
use. Also, I think it bears repeating that these sick tools were used for
a 20-year period, in which they also were continuously covered
by ¨the highest levels of
the police department and, yes, the State’s Attorney’s Office¨.
Also, here is some more on Jon Burge, and the
article on him starts as follows (and is interesting):
Jon Graham Burge
(December 20, 1947 – September 19, 2018) was an American police detective and commander in the Chicago Police Department
who was accused
more than 200 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991 in order to force
Back to the article, which goes back to 1969, the Black Panther
Party and Fred
Hampton, who was killed by the FBI aged 21 in 1969:
TAYLOR: Yes. On December
4th, 1969, 14 Chicago police officers working under the control of the
state’s attorney of Cook County—at that time, Edward Hanrahan—raided a
West Side apartment where Black Panthers were sleeping. And one of
those Black Panthers was the chairman of the Black Panther Party, Fred
Hampton, a charismatic young leader, who was targeted not only by the
police, but by, it turns out, the FBI. And
that raid, which was covered up, was claimed to be at first a shootout,
was later shown to be a total shoot-in. And then, over the years, as we
and others were able to litigate a case in federal court, we were able
to show not only that this was a vicious, racist attack on the Panthers
and its leadership, where two men were killed and many others wounded,
but it was part and parcel of the FBI’s COINTELPRO
program, the counterintelligence program devised and implemented by J.
Edgar Hoover over the years, which in the late ’60s targeted the Black
Panther Party, and specifically Fred Hampton in Chicago, and, in fact,
that the raid on the apartment was part of this COINTELPRO
Yes, I think all of the above
is correct, and here is a Wikipedia-reference to COINTELPRO.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
I say, but I quite
believe Flint Taylor, who must be a brave man himself. There is
considerably more in this article, that is strongly recommended.
TAYLOR: (..) The Wilson
case arose in February of 1982. Two white police officers were shot and
killed. The two black perpetrators had escaped. And the city of
Chicago, under Jane Byrne and Police Superintendent Brzeczek, set out
on the most vicious and terroristic manhunt in the history of the city.
They terrorized the black community. They kicked in doors. They dragged
people out of their houses. If they thought that they had some
information about the killings, they tortured them. They tortured them
with suffocation. They tortured them with all kinds of medieval types
of torture. They finally found the two people who the eyewitness
identified as the persons who were involved in the crime. And the
person who was identified as the shooter was Andrew Wilson.
Andrew Wilson was taken
back to the police headquarters on the South Side of Chicago. And this
notorious commander, who at that time was a lieutenant in charge of the
manhunt, by the name of Jon Burge, led a torture of Andrew Wilson that
included electric shock with the torture machine, that is mentioned and
depicted in my book, and suffocation with a bag. They handcuffed him
across an old, ribbed steam radiator and electric-shocked him so that
he was burned across his chest. And they also burned him with
cigarettes, beat him and got a confession from him.
Future of Climate Authoritarianism Is Now
article is by Jacob Sugarman on Truthdig. This is from near its
[T]he age of climate chaos
we have entered is all too real. By 2050, the U.N. projects that there
will be as many as 200
million climate refugees across the globe. That number could climb
to as high as 1 billion if we fail to take radical action to reduce
carbon emissions. To put those numbers in perspective, the Syrian civil
war that has so roiled the West had produced 5 million refugees as of 2016.
As David Wallace-Wells observes in his haunting “The
Uninhabitable Earth,” we are not witnessing a “new normal” but
something far more terrifying: “That is, the end of normal; never
“We have already exited the
state of environmental conditions that allowed the human animal to
evolve in the first place, in an unsure and unplanned bet on just what
that animal can endure,” he writes. “The climate system that raised us,
and raised everything we now know as a human culture and civilization,
is now, like a parent, dead.”
I think the above is
correct. Here is some more:
Of course, climate change
already transforming our politics in ways we never imagined and might
not yet grasp. Consider far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s recent
meeting with Donald Trump at the White House. “Today, we don’t even
have to gaze into the future, or trust that it will be deformed by
climate change, to see what that would like,” Wallace-Wells writes. “In
the form of tribalism at home and nationalism abroad and terrorism
flaming out from the tinder of failed states, that future is here, at
least in preview, already. Now we just wait for the storms.”
Well... I more or less agree,
but I studied a lot of logic, and I
dislike somewhat paradoxical statements like ¨the future is now¨. Then
again, this may be mostly personal (and extremely few or none
of my readers read as much logic as I have).
Here is more by Wallace-Wells:
think it might actually be more helpful to look at 2 and 4-degree
temperature increases, which is the difference between a best-case
scenario and business as usual. At 2 degrees, the U.N. estimates we
will have 200 million refugees at least, possible as many as 1 billion,
which would be as many people as live in North and South America
combined. I think those numbers are a little high, but the fact that
they’re in the hundreds of millions at all should terrify us.
Yes indeed. Here is some more
(and the speaker is Wallace-Wells):
The track that we’re
on, which would raise temperatures by 4 degrees Celsius [7.2 F] or more
by the end of this century, would mean $600 trillion in global damages.
That would gobble up all the wealth that exists in the world today. It
would mean a global [gross domestic product] that was at least 20
percent smaller, possibly 30 percent smaller, than the global economy
would be without climate change. That’s 10 times the size of the Great
Recession, only it would be permanent. Countries in the equatorial band
would have the very possibility of economic growth completely wiped out
by climate change.
I suppose Wallace-Wells is
correct when he speaks about ¨the
track that we’re currently on¨,
but I do not believe myself that the human world can
survive on a setback that is ¨10
times the size of the Great Recession, only it would be permanent¨ without various revolutionary movements,
though I grant these may be repressed by the fact that the
national securities by now know almost everything about almost anyone
with some internet computer (for the
internet was designed by DARPA so that it could and can know everything
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article (and the speaker is still Wallace-Wells):
I think this is all speculation
that may or may not be correct. My own guess is that it probably is not
correct, for a reason expounded under the previous quotation, but this
is also speculative. And this is a strongly recommended
As to how we’ll ultimately
evolve, I would say that the likeliest outcome is a world that remains
recognizably capitalistic but is reshuffled in profound ways by the
forces of climate. Every country will move differently—some will move
in totally opposite directions—but I suspect [the majority] will be
oriented around the principle of profit and economic growth, even as
growth will become harder and harder to achieve.
On a more individual level,
it seems unlikely that we’ll have a total retreat from the values of
self-improvement and material comfort that have come to dominate both
the affluent West and much of the planet over the last few decades.
Restricts Account of Julian Assange’s Mother
This article is by Joe Lauria on Consortium News. It starts
Twitter account of Christine Assange, the mother of the arbitrarily
detained founder of WikiLeaks, has been restricted, she told Consortium
News on Tuesday.
I say, but Lauria
seems quite right and also reproduces a Tweet by Twitter, addressed to
Assange´s mother, which says this:
account has been ‘blocked due to ‘unusual activity,'” Ms. Assange wrote
in a text message. Twitter, however, has provided her no reason for its
Ms. Assange is a
prolific user of Twitter in her campaign to free her son who has been a
refugee in the Ecuador embassy in London since 2012.
While a user can
access her page by agreeing to view her profile, Ms. Assange told
Consortium News she is unable to post new Tweets to her account nor see
This account is temporarily restricted.
Well... I say. To
me it seems as if Twitter is indeed a neo-fascistic
organization, that does its very best (i) to make all rational
discussion either completely impossible or at the very least much more
difficult than ordinary e-mail (because they pass only a few
hundreds of characters, which in my - rational - opinion is utterly
crazy) and (ii) they stop accounts being used, as is Ms. Assange´s
account by giving ¨warnings¨ which are issued because of ¨some unusual activity¨ - which is plain terrorism
You are seeing
this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this
Here is more om Ms. Assange:
past ten days, Ms. Assange tweeted direct replies to Hillary Clinton
and John Bolton, the U.S. national security adviser. Bolton had tweeted
on March 9: “US military should use #Wikileaks for cyber warfare target
practice. Take down their capabilities & prevent further harm to
It seems as if Ms.
Assange is not allowed to say to Bolton that he uses “Fascist talk!”. I grant this
is not diplomatic, but what is wrong with it? Even
if you disagree with Ms. Assange?
reply to Bolton is no longer visible under his tweet. Nine
replies to Bolton are now “unavailable.” Ms. Assange said in a text
message that her reply began by calling Bolton’s tweet, “Fascist talk!”
I do not see anything wrong with it, for I am a proponent of free
And here is more on Twitter and Julian Assange:
uses algorithms unknown to the public to remove, block, suspend or
restrict accounts of its users. Like other social media companies,
Twitter has also come under intense U.S. congressional pressure to
censor accounts deemed hostile to U.S. interests.
Well... here are my comments, per paragraph:
has remained in the embassy to avoid arrest by British authorities for
skipping bail from an investigation by Sweden that has since been
dropped. He has not been charged with a crime by either Sweden or
granted political asylum by the previous government of Ecuador seven
years ago. The current government, however, has made it known it wants
him to leave and has made various moves to force him out. His
contact with the outside world has been restricted. Twitter
deleted his account on March 28, 2018. British authorities have not
permitted him to leave the embassy for urgent medical treatment without
First paragraph. Firstly, I do not see why Twitter
should be allowed ¨to remove, block, suspend or restrict
accounts of its users¨. I suppose with many users you need some
control, but my own opinion is that the control should be overseen
by some real judge, indeed quite as the paper mail was supposed to be
run: No one is allowed to see that except the addresser and the
addressee, except under control of a judge, and for legal reasons.
And secondly, if Twitter does ¨censor accounts deemed hostile to U.S.
(for unknown reasons, using secret algorithms) it is actively being totalitarian,
in my and Orwell´s sense, though indeed not in the thoroughly falsified sense on the Wikipedia.
Second paragraph. In any case, it seems to me an English
totalitarian practice (again in Orwell´s and my sense) to
effectively keep someone locked up while there are no charges against
Third paragraph. I only comment on the facts also noted in my previous
comments on these paragraphs: The British government is persecuting
Assange for totalitarian
reasons (and not - anymore - for legal reasons) and Twitter
was there as well as one of their willing totalitarian tools.
And this is a strongly recommended article.
Keynesianism is Back!': Democrats and Trump Agree on Pentagon Increase
article is by Eoin Higgins on Common Dreams. I abbreviated the title.
It starts as follows:
Yes, that seems all quite
true. Here is some more on the Democrats´ decision:
President Donald Trump's
requested military budget is another record breaker—and Democrats are
countering with their own increase.
the details of its proposal to the public on March 12. At $750 billion,
the military seeks to receive $36 billion more than last year's record
$714 billion budget—an increase that experts say is aimed at China and
Russia. Democrats have signaled that the increase is a nonstarter, but
their counter-offer of $733 billion isn't exactly a difference in more
than degrees, Matt Taibbi wrote
in Rolling Stone.
"The Democrats want to
lower Trump's number," said Taibbi, "but still give the Pentagon a
Well... I note two general
points. First, the Pentagon does get far too much from the American
taxes, namely more than 50%, which is all directed towards war. And
second, I think Trump and his government seem to be steering
towards more wars - and Trump (whom this psychologist thinks
is insane, as do many other psychologists) also may make such
The Democrats proposed $733
billion budget would give the military most of what it wants in 2020,
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said
in comments to the Federal News Network's Scott Maucione.
"The House Budget
Committee, the number that they've talked about for defense is $733
billion," said Smith. "It's a not insubstantial number."
While some commentators
argued in favor of the defense budget, or, at least, in favor of not
fighting it, progressive critics fought back.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I think Brand spoke as a
(of the rich) and not at all as a scientist, although that may
perhaps be expected from someone who is ¨Henry Kissinger Distinguished Professor¨. Also, I personally like Keynes,
but I agree Keynesianism refers to a type of economy much more than it
does to Keynes, while I think Norton is correct when he wrote
that Brand´s - propagandist - advice to progressives implied ¨that killing people in the Global South is
'Good for the Economy'™¨
(which is sick). And this is a recommended article.
At Bloomberg, Henry
Kissinger Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University's School
of Advanced International Studies Hal Brand went further, framing the
increase as somehow "progressive" and the right thing to do for
"Progressives should learn
to love, or at least tolerate, high levels of military spending," wrote
Brand, "precisely because it tends to advance a key progressive goal:
Improving the economic fortunes of the middle class."
The argument was roundly
rejected by critics.
Journalist Ben Norton
sarcastically noted the use of an economic argument to further the war
"Military Keynesianism is
back!" Norton tweeted. "And these 'progressives' want you to know that
killing people in the Global South is 'Good for the Economy'™"
and Arrests in Wake of Christchurch Attack
article is by Kit Knightly on the Off-Guardian. It starts as follows:
No matter the source of the
violence, no matter the politics or casualties or the location, it
seems the reaction of governments in the face of “terrorism” is
virtually always the same – clamp down, hard, on individual rights.
This grand tradition goes
back hundreds of years, from James I’s crackdown on Catholics after the
Gunpowder Plot, through to the despot’s charter that is the Patriot Act, passed
within six weeks of 9/11. Just last year, famously, gab.com was heavily
targeted in the wake of the “Magabomber” (fake) bombings. (Our article predicted
that further purges were on the horizon).
The pattern is established:
The state will always – ALWAYS – use a crisis, real or invented, to
enhance their power. Most of the time this is done at the cost of
Yes indeed, but I have
several remarks, that I will again give per paragraph:
paragraph: In fact, my own comments - that started in 2004
- were that in my opinion terrorism was
invented, as it was done in fact, to give as much power as possible
to the police and the national security, and that 9/11 was only the
occasion to start practising that idea in full.
For more see Goering,
whom I have quoted repeatedly:
Replace ¨attacked¨ by
¨terrorized¨ and Goering´s advice fully applies to most
governmental and national securities´ ¨anti-terrorism¨ activities since
9/11, which were not intended to save democracy or to help
ordinary civilians, but were and are intended to extend the power
of the national securities and the governments against anyone who might
Second paragraph. Yes
indeed - and see my previous comment.
Well... maybe not ¨ALWAYS¨ and that is also not necessary for
establishing a pattern. And in fact with ¨MOSTLY¨ for ¨ALWAYS¨ the
pattern is as valid, and indeed what increases the power of the
state, or its police, or its national security decreases the power of
the individuals and the many different kinds of opponents of the state,
the state´s power or the national security.
Back to the article:
mosque shootings are proving no exception to this rule. NZ police are
currently threatening people with 10 years in prison for sharing the
live-streamed footage, and other punishments just for owning a copy of
RT reports [our
Video footage of killer
Brenton Tarrant’s shooting spree at a Christchurch mosque on Friday –
which left 50 worshippers dead – was pulled from Facebook immediately
after the massacre. With the footage proliferating on several hosting
platforms afterwards, the Kiwi authorities have already charged an
18-year-old man for sharing the video, as well as for posting other “objectionable”
comments days before the shooting.
The teenager faces up to
ten years in prison, under New Zealand’s ‘objectionable and restricted
material’ laws. Police have meanwhile issued an overt threat to anyone
else looking for the video.
This crackdown is, simply
put, crazy. You can’t charge people for owning a copy of a video that
was live-streamed over the internet to millions of people, and you
certainly can’t make it illegal to even watch the video.
(Further, we as a people, must strongly resist the idea that being
“objectionable” could ever be considered a crime. That is insane.)
I completely agree
that these crackdowns of the NZ government are ¨crazy¨ and ¨insane¨.
Indeed, for comparison: In Holland you may go to jail for 8 years
for murdering someone.
In the current New Zealand you are threatened with 10 years of jail
for owning and sharing a video with news.
Besides, that is not
only ¨crazy¨ and ¨insane¨: It is quite sick (but see above).
Here is more on the
quite arbitrary nature of New Zealand government´s terrorism:
Of course many
posted some small sections of that document. None of the mainstream
outlets have been blocked. Facebook live-streamed the video – Facebook
isn’t blocked. These “crackdowns” on the internet never hurt the
internet giants, they are directed solely at the fringe.
Quite so, or so it seems.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
We don’t know all the facts
of the terrorist attack – whether it really was a lone lunatic, or
another example of state-backed terror – there’s no knowing exactly
what happened yet. But whatever proves to be the case, there is
absolutely no denying that the NZ government is already using it as
excuse to overreach and shut down dissent and free speech on the
This will spread.
Parliament and congress and all the others will come together to demand
“action” from internet giants, and google will further fix their
algorithm to push mainstream outlets to the front, and sideline the
alternative. Facebook and twitter will increasingly shadowban or
quarantine pages – putting up bulkheads to prevent information flowing
to the wrong places.
“Hate speech” will become a
“crime” punishable by being denied access to the internet, or fined
huge amounts of money…the exact legal definition of this “hate speech”
will be fuzzy and vague. Shifting to meet government needs.
I fear this is all quite
correct, and this is a strongly 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 3 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 (!!).