in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 17, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
I bought a computer on May 9 with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS MATE and am for the
coming months (at least) "between two computers". I shall
continue - for the time being - to write and upload my files from
LTS (that is: from the old computer, that I bought in 2012)
that is easier right now and the old computer still works (and may
continue to work for another two years or more, although I do not know
Also, and in any case, I decided to write less on the crisis (I did review over 10,000 files since 2013),
in part because it makes no difference and in part because I am 69.
But I'll continue Nederlog. At present this is in a midway position
between the old style (five reviews each day) and some new style, that
I do not know yet, and that for the time being I fix on three or four
each day (but that may change and probably will).
This is a
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
A. Selections from May 17, 2019:
The indented text
link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
1. Trump Tells Pentagon Chief He Does Not
Want War With
Other Files from
May 17, 2019:
2. “Inside Syria’s Secret Prisons”
3. John Bolton Is the World's Worst
4. Elizabeth Warren Unveils Plan to Radically Reform
17: Norway's National Day
Tells Pentagon Chief He Does Not Want War With Iran
This article is by
Mark Landler, Maggie Haberman and Eric Schmitt on The New York Times.
It starts as follows:
I say, which I do because
I don't know whether to believe this (for this is from Trump,
at least 10,000 times, and in The New York Times, which also does not
have a high reputation for honesty and rationality, at least in my
Trump has sought to put the brakes on a brewing confrontation with Iran
in recent days, telling the acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan,
that he does not want to go to war with Iran, administration officials
said, while his senior diplomats began searching for ways to defuse the
Trump’s statement, during a Wednesday morning meeting in the Situation
Room, sent a message to his hawkish aides that he does not want the
intensifying American pressure campaign against the Iranians to explode
into open conflict.
now, an administration that had appeared to be girding for conflict
seems more determined to find a diplomatic off-ramp.
Anyway, here is some more:
Well... I have the same
reaction to this as I had to the previous quoted bit.
on Thursday whether the United States was going to war with Iran, Mr.
Trump replied, “I hope not.”
developments cast into sharp relief a president who is instinctively
wary of military adventures and a cadre of advisers — led by the
national security adviser, John R. Bolton — who have taken an
uncompromising line toward Iran. The internal tensions have prompted
fears that the Trump administration is spoiling for a fight, even if
the commander in chief may not be.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
And again I have the same
reaction. And here is more on John Bolton.
Bolton’s independence has rankled the acting chief of staff, Mick
Mulvaney, and has even prompted rumors that his job might be in
jeopardy — something the White House denies.
Mr. Trump has poked fun at Mr. Bolton’s reputation for hawkishness,
joking in meetings with him. “If it was up to John, we’d be in four
wars now,” one of the senior officials recalled Mr. Trump as saying.
Trump is also impatient with another of Mr. Bolton’s campaigns: the
effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. After the
opposition’s failed attempt to peel away key Maduro allies and turn the
Venezuelan military against him, Mr. Maduro appears harder to dislodge
Syria’s Secret Prisons”
article is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It
starts with the following introduction:
I say, for this sounds pretty
horrible to me. Here is some more:
A shocking exposé by the
York Times looks at how Bashar al-Assad’s government has jailed and
tortured tens of thousands of Syrians since the uprising began in 2011.
According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, nearly 128,000 people
have disappeared. They are presumed to be either dead or still in
custody. The group estimates almost 14,000 individuals have died under
torture. The detentions are continuing even as the fighting winds down.
More than 5,600 Syrians were reportedly arbitrarily detained last year
in a 25 percent jump from the previous year. While the Syrian
government has denied running a secret torture and detention program,
more evidence — including internal Syrian government documents — has
emerged showing the extent of the torture program. A United Nations
panel has said the conditions in the prison —including the paucity of
toilet facilities, rampant illness, minimal and rotten food, and the
absence of medical treatment — are tantamount to “extermination.” We
speak with the report’s author Anne Barnard. She’s a reporter at The
New York Times and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
I say again, for the same
reasons as above.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: While the Syrian government has denied
running a secret torture and detention program, more evidence,
including internal Syrian government documents, has emerged showing the
extent of the torture program. Over the past seven years, The New
York Times has been documenting what takes place inside the secret
prisons. The accounts are harrowing. The Times report
includes graphic descriptions of torture, sexual violence and murder.
One former woman inmate, Mariam Khlief, told The New York Times
she and six other women were tortured and repeatedly raped in a
basement cell, where “blood from violent rapes stained the floor.”
Survivors also reported guards forced detainees to eat excrement.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this artivle:
Yes and this is a strongly
recommended article in which there is considerably more than I quoted.
nobody knows the exact number because the government keeps all of this
behind closed doors and doesn’t release any information to the families
of most of the people who are taken. But according to the Syrian
Network of Human Rights, they have counted–not estimated, but
counted—128,000 people who have been reported by their families or by
witnesses to be taken by the security forces and not emerged from the
prisons. Eighty-one thousand of those people, their families have not
had any word from them whatsoever. So this is a sprawling system. Human
rights groups estimate that the total number of Syrians who have passed
through it could be in the hundreds of thousands.
Bolton Is the World's Worst Nightmare
article is by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan on Truthdig. It starts as
Yes, indeed - but I do not
trust a 10,000-fold liar like Donald Trump while I think both Bolton and Pompeo are pretty
crazy. I put it that way because I do not know
sufficiently much about
either to judge their psychology (as a psychologist), but that is what
I think. For more, see the last two links.
President Donald Trump
campaigned as an isolationist, criticizing foreign military
entanglements. As far back as 2013, he tweeted, “Can you believe that
the Afghan war is our ‘longest war’ ever -bring our troops home,
rebuild the U.S., make America great again.” He has made the point
repeatedly as president. In an April 2018 press conference, discussing
Syria, Trump said: “I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back
home. I want to start rebuilding our nation. We will have, as of three
months ago, $7 trillion in the Middle East over the last 17 years. We
get nothing — nothing out of it, nothing.”
Despite his rhetoric,
Trump’s every move in the Middle East now seems committed to conflict
and potentially to war with Iran. John Bolton is clearly at the
vanguard, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backing him up.
Here is some more:
Well... this is, at least
for me, also totally unclear. Here is the last bit that I quote
Citing at least half a
unnamed Trump administration officials, The New York Times reported
this week that the Pentagon has submitted plans to ship 120,000 U.S.
troops to the region in response to Iranian threats. While he denied
the report, Trump declared nevertheless: “Now would I do that?
Absolutely. But I have not planned for that. If we did that, we’d send
a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
Yes indeed. And this is a
Bolton has not hidden his
desire to effect regime change in Iran, in Venezuela, in Cuba and
beyond. He beats the drums of war, but as a young Yale University
graduate in 1970 with a draft number that likely would have landed him
in Vietnam, he quickly joined the Maryland National Guard to avoid
deployment. He wrote in his Yale 25th anniversary yearbook, “I confess
I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy.”
Now, whispering into the
ear of Trump, who received five draft deferments during Vietnam,
including one in the spring of 1968 for “bone spurs,” John Bolton,
along with Trump, is willing to send 120,000 or more U.S. troops into
Warren Unveils Plan to Radically Reform Pentagon
This article is by
Jacob Sugarman on Truthdig. This is from near its start:
I say, which I do because
I did not know this, and this sounds very good. Then
is unlikely to be accepted in the present Senate. But here are
In a new essay posted to
Medium titled “It’s
Time to Reduce Corporate Influence at the Pentagon,” Warren
presents a four-point plan that includes: prohibiting “giant”
contractors from hiring senior officials at the Department of Defense,
thereby “[slamming] shut the revolving door” between the two; banning
Defense officials from owning or trading related stocks; limiting if
not outright precluding national security officials from accepting jobs
with foreign governments; and exposing the lobbying done on behalf of
companies like Lockheed Martin, which received more than $35 billion in
defense contracts in 2017.
Yes indeed - and note the
"put together". This suggests strongly that the USA is a warring state,
first and foremost, as in deed it is.
“It’s past time to cut
bloated defense budget,” she writes. “Defense contractor influence is a
big part of how we ended up with a Pentagon budget that will cost
more this year than Ronald Reagan spent at the height of the Cold
War. That’s more than the federal government spends on education,
medical research, border security, housing, the FBI, disaster relief,
the State Department, foreign aid — everything else in the
discretionary budget put together.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
I quoted this because the
article in Medium is quite good. And this is a
Read Warren’s essay in
entirety at Medium.
5. May 17:
Norway's National Day
This bit is
mostly here to please myself and to remind me that I made
one of the major mistakes in my life when I left Norway in August of
1977, meanwhile over 40 years ago (and on January 1, 1979 I fell
ill with M.E., which I am at long last allowed to say, after my
ex and I have had it for over 40 years, that it is a serious
Anyway - here is the Norwegian flag:
And here is
some information about Norway
for those interested.
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 (!!).