in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 25, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Saturday,
There will be more about computers and Ubuntu in Nederlog soon, but I
am happy to announce that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, that I installed in 2017,
works again as it did before on May 24, and after 24 hours of misery.
And on May 23 I also got a working computer with 18.04 LTS
worse than 16.04 LTS because its Firefox also is a menuless
horror that I refuse to use, but
happily SeaMonkey is not, for it still has it menus and can be
installed on 18.04), so I
present - and after two weeks of struggling - in the possession of two
more or less, but not yet quite decently working computers.
So today there is a more or less common Nederlog, where "common" is the
style I developed in 2013.
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
four crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from May 25, 2019:
1. Sanders, Warren, and Wyden Slam Assange
The items 1 - 4 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. Theresa May Had One Job — Brexit.
3. Theresa May Resigns as British Prime Minister
4. New Indictment of Assange Is Part of a Broader War on
Journalism & Whistleblowers
Warren, and Wyden Slam Assange Indictment
article is by Akela Lacy on The Intercept. I abbreviated the title. It
starts as follows:
Yes, this is mostly quite
correct, although I add that I do not
quite understand Warren, who seems to believe the U.S. national
security, although she knows or ought to know that these are mostly
anonymous people doing jobs nobody knows about, which indeed are
claimed to be "national security", while often they are not.
The Justice Department filed 17 charges
against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange on Thursday, deploying the
controversial Espionage Act as a cudgel against First Amendment
protections and press freedom. It’s the first time the U.S. government
has used the Espionage Act to prosecute a publisher, according to the
Committee to Protect Journalists.
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, along with Sen. Ron Wyden, who all have
been outspoken on civil liberties issues, slammed the indictment.
“Let me be clear: it is a
disturbing attack on the First Amendment for the Trump administration
to decide who is or is not a reporter for the purposes of a criminal
prosecution,” Sanders wrote in a tweet Friday afternoon after The
Intercept contacted his office for comment. “Donald Trump must obey the
Constitution, which protects the publication of news about our
Warren distanced herself
from Assange but condemned the Justice Department’s move
to curtail press freedom. “Assange is a bad actor who has harmed
U.S. national security — and he should be held accountable,” Warren
said in a statement. “But Trump should not be using this case as a
pretext to wage war on the First Amendment and go after the free press
who hold the powerful accountable everyday.”
“This is not about Julian Assange,” Wyden
said in a statement. “This is about the use of the Espionage Act to
charge a recipient and publisher of classified information. I am
extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential
dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment.”
Anyway. Here is some more:
Well... the Justice Department
seems to hold that (i) the
U.S. military are completely free to kill anybody they please anywhere,
and that (ii) anyone who publishes the imnformation that the U.S.
army murdered unarmed civilians and members of Reuters staff is a
The Justice Department has
Assange violated the Espionage Act by publishing classified documents
in 2010, and that he “encouraged sources to circumvent legal safeguards
on information.” Assange, along with WikiLeaks, the indictment says,
“repeatedly sought, obtained, and disseminated information that the
United States classified due to the serious risk that unauthorized
disclosure could harm [U.S.] national security.” Those documents
revealed the U.S. military killing
unarmed civilians and Reuters staff, and activity reports from
Afghanistan and Iraq,
along with briefings on detainees being held at Guantánamo Bay.
Information included in
those documents were
reported by outlets including the New York Times and The Guardian; the
Obama administration had always been reluctant to indict Assange due to
what it called “the New York Times problem.” There was no way to say
that Assange’s action was criminal without also saying that much of
what the Times and other mainstream outlets do is also against the law.
I say. Well... it seems to me that the present American Justice
Department is being neofascistic
about anyone who opposes Trump or Trump's government.
Here is some background:
the documents are still officially classified, meaning that anybody who
discusses them, even in the context of Assange’s indictment, could
themselves be committing a crime. Transparency advocates have said that
the executive branch has been classifying far too much basic
information — the soup of the day at the CIA’s cafeteria, for instance,
could be classified. If the government effectively criminalizes
reporting on classified information, that gives the government the
unilateral authority to determine what can and cannot be published,
simply by deploying its opaque and unreviewable classification scheme.
Precisely, and that is
the present American government is doing and claiming: "the
unilateral authority to determine what can and cannot be published".
is considerably more in this article, which is strongly
May Had One Job — Brexit. She Failed.
article is by The Editorial Board on The New York Times. It starts as
Yes, I think this is
mostly correct. Also, I report on this in part because I am a European,
and not because I ever was a fan of May or indeed of Brexit.
yet another rejection of her Brexit deal looming, along with an
imminent drubbing for her Conservatives in elections to the European Parliament, no one much
disagreed with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May when she stepped
outside the black door of 10 Downing Street on Friday and said that it
was “in the best interests” of the country for a new prime minister to
moved to that address in July 2016 with but one task, to clean up a
mess not of her making. Her predecessor, David Cameron, had quit after calling a referendum on
whether to exit the European Union, leaving it to Mrs. May to find a
way of getting a brutally divided nation out of an extraordinarily
tangled relationship. She failed, and on Friday she paid the price.
May, a vicar’s daughter and lifelong Conservative stalwart, is exiting with all the dignity and reserve she has maintained throughout the
tortuous process. But there was no denying the scope of her failure:
The deal she had painstakingly negotiated with the European Union was
overwhelmingly rejected by the British Parliament, again and again, and
in the end she left the country more divided over Brexit than ever.
Here is some more about Brexit:
I think this is also
mostly correct. This is a recommended article. There is some more on
May in the next article I review:
the outset, Brexit was based on an illusion — that Britain could
abandon those aspects of the European Union it didn’t like, like free
movement within the union and limitations on sovereignty, but keep the
economic benefits of a trade union.
European Union was never prepared to allow Britain an à la carte exit, if only to avoid giving ideas to
other wavering members. And as frustrations grew, so did the
vilification of Mrs. May. She was mocked as Theresa Maybe for her
wavering, or as Maybot for her stiffness.
3. Theresa May Resigns as British Prime Minister
article is by Jill Lawless on Truthdig and originally on The Associated
Press. It starts as follows:
Theresa May announced
Friday that she will step down as U.K. Conservative Party leader on
June 7, admitting defeat in her attempt to take Britain out of the
European Union and sparking a
contest to become the country’s next prime minister.
She will stay as caretaker
prime minister until the new leader is chosen, a process likely to take
several weeks. The new Conservative leader will become prime minister
without the need for a general election, and will take up the task of
trying to secure Britain’s exit from the EU.
Her voice breaking, May
said in a televised
statement outside 10 Downing St. that she would soon be
leaving a job that it has been “the honor of my life to hold.”
I say. Well, I
concentrate on one bit of the above quotation, namely this: "The new Conservative leader will become prime
minister without the need for a general election". I am quite willing to suppose that is legal in Great
Britain, but even so I consider this anti-democratic nonsense, indeed
also because Theresa May herself also became prime minister that way.
Here is some more on
Multiple contenders are
already jockeying to replace her and take up the challenge of securing
Britain’s EU exit. The early front-runner is Boris Johnson, a former
foreign secretary and strong champion of Brexit.
increasingly see May as an obstacle to Britain’s EU exit, although her
replacement will face the same issue: a Parliament deeply divided over
whether to leave the EU, and how close a relationship to seek with the
bloc after it does.
May spent more than a year
and a half negotiating an exit agreement with the EU, only to see it
rejected three times by Britain’s Parliament.
Yes indeed. Here is the last
bit that I quote from this article:
The next British leader is
likely to be a staunch Brexiteer, who will try to renegotiate the
divorce deal, and if that fails to leave the bloc without an agreement
on departure terms.
Most businesses and
economists think that would cause economic turmoil and plunge Britain
into recession. Parliament has voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit,
though it remains the legal default option.
I suppose this will turn out
to be correct, although I don't know, and this is a recommended article.
Indictment of Assange Is Part of a Broader War on Journalism &
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the
The Espionage Act charges
filed against Julian Assange mark just the latest attempt by the Trump
administration to criminalize journalism and whistleblowers. Army
whistleblower Chelsea Manning is back in jail for refusing to testify
before a grand jury. Two weeks ago, drone whistleblower Daniel Hale was
arrested in Tennessee. We air a new video by The Intercept titled “Why
You Should Care About Trump’s War on Whistleblowers,” featuring Jeremy
Scahill. We also speak to Scahill and Pentagon Papers whistleblower
Daniel Ellsberg about how the corporate media has failed to stand up
for Assange and others.
Yes indeed. Here is
GOODMAN: This is Democracy
Now! I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue to look at the Justice
Department’s unprecedented decision to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian
Assange for violating the Espionage Act. We turn now to a new video
produced by The Intercept titled “Why You Should Care About
Trump’s War on Whistleblowers.” It features Intercept
co-founder Jeremy Scahill, who will join us after this video.
Yes. Here are some bits
the video with two comments by me:
SCAHILL: On June 16th,
1918, the prominent socialist labor leader Eugene Debs delivered a
speech in Canton, Ohio. And in that speech, Debs argued against U.S.
involvement in World War I, and he praised activists who had been
organizing against the military draft or had been convicted of
sedition. At the time, Debs was one of the most prominent socialists in
the United States, and his speech came on the heels of the Russian
revolution and the rise of global socialist and communist movements.
[read by Mark Ruffalo] The working class who fight all the battles, the
working calls who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who
freely shed their blood and furnish their corpses, have never yet had a
voice in either declaring war or making peace.
SCAHILL: Soon after Debs
delivered that speech, he was arrested and charged under a new law in
the U.S. that had passed just a year earlier. It was called the
Espionage Act. Debs and his lawyers argued that his antiwar speech was
protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. They lost. And
Debs was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The case eventually went to
the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices voted unanimously to uphold
his conviction. “I believe in free speech, in war as well as in peace,”
Debs told the jury during his trial. “If the Espionage Law stands, then
the Constitution of the United States is dead.”
amended parts of that act, but the thrust of the law has remained in
effect to this day. Anarchist Emma Goldman was also prosecuted under
the act. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed after being convicted
under the law.
Throughout its history,
the Espionage Act has been used as a weapon to attack free speech and
dissent. And then came the Pentagon Papers case, where the government
charged the whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg under the Espionage Act. He
faced more than a hundred years in prison.
Yes, quite so - and I tend to
mostly agree with Eugene
Debs in 1918 (over 100 years ago now): “If the Espionage Law stands, then the
Constitution of the United States is dead.”
Well... it still
stands, albeit with
a few differences. Here are two bits of Scahill:
This government has been relentless in its pursuit of people of
conscience who blow the whistle, and has characterized them as traitors
and spies, and, in the process, has criminalized the ability to do
independent journalism that is meant to hold them accountable, the
SCAHILL: We are at an
extremely dangerous moment in the history of this country. Donald Trump
is using the same rhetoric used by Nazi officials in 1930s and '40s to
attack the press. He said he wants to jail journalists who publish
stories he doesn't like. And he’s wielding the Espionage Act like a
chainsaw against journalistic sources. What makes it all so much worse
is that it was the constitutional law scholar and Trump predecessor,
Barack Obama, who teed Trump up, who laid the groundwork, who blazed
the trail for this extremely deranged and dangerous man currently
occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I agree with most things
Scahill is argueing in the above quotation, although I fail to
this is made "all so much worse"
by the fact that "it was the constitutional law scholar and Trump
predecessor, Barack Obama, who teed Trump up": Because Obama is black?! Because Obama is a Democrat?!
As I said, I fail to see
that, but the rest is correct. Here is some more:
SCAHILL: Daniel Everett
Hale is facing a half a century in prison for his alleged crime of
blowing the whistle on a secret assassination program that regularly
resulted in the killing of civilians, including an American teenager.
None of this is about espionage. And it should be clear to every
journalist in this country, to every person of conscience, that what
this prosecution is about is threatening anyone who even thinks of
leaking, say, a Trump tax return. This is about criminalizing
journalism. It’s about increasing the secrecy and decreasing the
transparency. It’s an assault on the very idea of a democratic society.
At these moments, silence is complicity. Everyone should care about
what happened to Reality Winner and what’s happening again to Chelsea
Manning and what’s happened to Edward Snowden and, yes, what’s
happening to Julian Assange. And we should all care what happens to
Yes, I completely agree.
is some more:
SCAHILL: (..) Look what’s
happened, Amy. Trump is trying to run the deck on this. They are
digging up old cases. They are trying to throw the book at anyone who
does critical national security reporting. This isn’t about Julian
Assange 2016, the election, Sweden. This is about a war on the press.
And it was a huge, fatal mistake that major news organizations refused
to stand up when they started coming for WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning
in 2010. Huge mistake. They owe some of the responsibility for this.
Yes, I again completely
agree. Here is some more:
SCAHILL: (..) Trump now is
blasting through Obama’s horrid record of eight journalistic sources
charged under the Espionage Act. But this happens in the context, too,
of William Barr, who is an obsessive-compulsive addict of the unitary
executive, the notion that the executive branch should be a
dictatorship when it comes to national security policy. They are going
after people who blew the whistle on war crimes.
Again I quite agree. Here is
the last bit that I quote from this article:
SCAHILL: Julian Assange
released evidence, very clear evidence, of U.S. war crimes, including
the murder of Reuters journalists and civilians, duplicity, dirty
tricks around the world on the part of the U.S. government. I agree
with Dan [Ellsberg]. And I just want to say, it’s actually irrelevant
whether Julian Assange—whether you think Julian Assange is a
journalist. The First Amendment does not just cover freedom of the
press. It’s all of our rights. And this is not just about press
freedom. This is about a democratic society and a major frontal assault
on our basic liberties and free speech.
Yes indeed: I quite agree.
And this is a very strongly recommended article in which there
is a lot
more than I quoted.
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 (!!).