in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from May 31, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
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, though 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 31, 2019:
1. Brexit and the Rise of the British
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. This ‘Fake News’ Law Threatens Free
3. Society Is In Decay–When the Worst Is First and the Best Is
4. If Democrats Want to Beat Trump, They Better Not
Nominate a ‘Free Trade’
and the Rise of the British Trumps
article is by Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed, though I
observe that the votes for the far-right could have been worse in
Europe, while I wish to explain the large vote for the
right and the far-right by the fact that large parts of the voters
or ignorant. (I agree I
know no one else who dares saying so. But I am thinking so for over
50 years, and indeed that is also one of the main reasons I
never voted for nearly 50 years, for I did vote once, but that only
because I had to.)
week’s EU Parliament
elections sent political shockwaves across Europe, with far-right
nationalist parties racking up major victories in France, Italy, and
even the U.K. Established parties in Britain took a pounding as voters
flocked to Nigel Farage’s newly-founded Brexit Party. Only days
earlier, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May resigned in the wake
of repeated failures to secure a deal on Brexit. So where does all this
leave the U.K.’s effort to withdraw from the European Union? And what
can the U.S. — which in the midst of its own anti-immigrant populist
moment — learn from the turmoil across the Atlantic? Guardian columnist
Owen Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about the rise of British Trumpism.
Then again, the left and the greens also won, though a bit
less, while the center partially collapsed.
Finally, I do know something about Owen Jones,
though most is from 2015 at the latest, which was when The Guardian
became uncopiable, and I mostly ceased reading it, including Jones,
whom I have read regularly for a few years until 2015.
Here are Jones and Hasan:
Well, Jones is right in what he
says - but then again I explain that by the growing stupidity and ignorance of
the majority of the voters, whereas I doubt very much whether
Jones would write so even if he would think so.
OJ: What we’re
talking about with Trumpism is happening in this country. The
scapegoating of migrants, rich charlatan snake-oil salesmen blaming
anyone but those at the top of the society for the problems they’ve
caused. The echoes are pretty powerful.
MH: That’s my guest
today, the British newspaper columnist and acclaimed author Owen Jones.
He went viral here in the U.S. after he refused to join the rest of the
British media in showing sympathy for British Conservative prime
minister Theresa May who cried as she finally resigned last Friday.
In fact, Jones - who poses as "an anarchist" in The Guardian, which may
be more or less true - now got "viral" for not showing "sympathy for British Conservative prime
minister Theresa May who cried as she finally resigned last Friday": I mean there you have a real
Anyway, here is some more:
Yes, I agree with
the above summary. Here is some more on the European elections (for the
MH: And just as the
Trump presidency has been the disaster that Trump’s opponents warned it
would be, in fact more of a disaster than any of us could have possibly
imagined, the same with Brexit in the UK. To cut a long story short:
the Leave side, the Brexit side, spent the entire referendum campaign
in 2016 telling us that exiting the EU would be easy, a walk in the
park, a simple negotiation. But guess what? It wasn’t! Turns out
leaving is much harder than they thought. And the UK has now been in a
state of permanent political crisis, and a bit of a global joke, for
the past three years.
The prime minister Theresa
May three times tried to get a Brexit deal through parliament, three
times she failed; multiple ministers of hers quit in protest; multiple
multinational corporations and big banks have upped and left the UK
because they want to keep their access to the EU single market. Britain
is now close to a no deal Brexit, a no deal Brexit where it just
crashes out of the EU on October 31st with no deal, no negotiations, no
safety net in place, and which every serious economist and analyst
thinks would be an economic disaster for the UK.
Yes indeed: I agree
again with this summary. Here is some more on Theresa May:
parties topped the polls in both France and in Italy.
Farage’s Brexit Party claims an overwhelming victory.
MH: On Sunday
night, we got the results of the European Parliament elections. In
France, the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen came first,
ahead of President Macron’s party; in Italy, the far-right Lega Party,
led by the Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, also came first. And
guess who advises them both? A familiar name from Trumpworld: yeah,
In the UK, a brand new
right wing party called the Brexit Party, which was set up just a few
months ago with the explicit intent of making Brexit happen, a “no
deal” Brexit even, came first in the European elections, winning as
many votes as the mainstream Labour and Liberal Democrat parties
OJ: (..) But
we’re talking quite literally about somebody losing their job, the most
powerful position in the country because they were very, very, very,
very, very bad at it.
I more or less agree, and
do so on Theresa May. As to Jones's lack of qualifications for Boris
Johnson: He could have said that he is a fraud and a liar,
MH: Very bad at it.
She’s probably the worst prime minister in living memory. So good
riddance now, I think it’s fair to say to Theresa May. Who will replace
May as prime minister? Will it be the British Trump, as he’s been
described by some, the former foreign secretary, former London mayor,
Old Etonian, Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson?
OJ: Tragically, I do
believe that our own pound-shop Trump is about to take over. I mean, I
don’t know how to describe him for an American audience. I really don’t.
Indeed, here he is, with a descriptiom of a few of Johnson's qualities:
Yes indeed. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
OJ: You know, he is
a joke without a punch line. He once described black people as
pickaninnies with watermelon smiles. He once said that if we’re going
to have equal marriage, why not have two men marrying a goat? He talked
about Muslim women as letterboxes and bank robbers which led to a surge
in hate crimes against Muslim women, including people shoving envelopes
through their veils. I mean, he is somebody who is a charlatan. He was
sacked by a newspaper, The Times, for lying.
MH: For making up
quotes, didn’t he? That sounds familiar.
about another British Trump? What about Nigel Farage? Were you
surprised to see him lead the Brexit Party to victory on Sunday when
the European election results came out?
Yes, I agree. This
is a recommended article.
OJ: No, I wasn’t at
all. I mean, Farage is just pure unadulterated poison. And in terms of
obviously, you know, there are many architects. I mean, it really has
been a team effort plunging Britain into its current calamity and it is
a time of unprecedented turmoil since World War II, Britain at the
moment. And what Farage did you know, he’s somebody who has injected
into the political mainstream a very, very vicious nasty anti-migrant
‘Fake News’ Law Threatens Free Speech.
article is by Jennifer Daskal on The New York Times. It starts as
Yes indeed. Incidentally,
Ms. Daskal is described as "a law professor", while I myself think
that it is most probable that the internet will end up as it is being
used now in China and Singapore, which in turn means that I expect
that quite soon, though not yet quite now, individuals
whose ideas or values differ from conformistic
majority will end up being arrested and possibly disappearing.
this month joined the rapidly growing list of countries seeking to
shield their citizens from harmful content online by passing anti-fake news
legislation. While critics have focused on the legislation’s risks
to free speech, there’s another, equally grave, concern about this law,
which is likely to become a model for the region and possibly
elsewhere. Under the law, the government could mandate that service
providers track the viewing habits of their users in ways that
dangerously threaten their privacy.
legislation was promoted as a gentler version of laws like those in Australia, Germany and France that require certain kinds of hate
speech to be removed from the internet. The Singapore law instead
requires websites to post “correction notices” alongside speech that
the government deems false or misleading.
Here is more on the Singapore laws:
I fear this is all quite
true. Here is more - and it shows who get enormous powers from the
new Singaporean laws:
But when it comes to privacy,
the legislation is a much bigger threat than any of the fake news or
hate speech laws that have come before it. The law could be used to
require any company that operates as an “internet intermediary” —
including search engines, social media companies, and messaging
services — to keep records of what users view. But it doesn’t stop
there. While it’s unclear how the new law will be enforced, it even
appears to leave room for the government to require encrypted messaging
services like WhatsApp or iMessage to identify who said what to whom.
I think myself that this
is short for: dictatorship.
Here is some more on tracking:
Under the legislation, any
government minister can mandate a correction notice in response to any
statement online that the minister decides is false and that undercuts
confidence in the government’s policies or is contrary to Singapore’s
policies. These ministers can also order that such statements be taken
off the internet outright.
Yes, and again I say that the
new Singapore laws are the royal road to dictatorship thanks to the internet.
Of course, for many service
providers, user tracking is hardly a new thing. That is, after all, how
companies like Google know to show you ads about shoes, say, and not
diapers. But there is something particularly insidious, and damaging,
about private parties being told by the government whom to monitor and why.
It is, after all, the government, not Google, that can put you behind
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Precisely. As I said, this
has - as yet - not quite arrived in Europe or the USA, but I
expect it will be soon introduced there as well, probably at first in
part. And this is a strongly recommended article.
And imagine what the
government could do with that information if it did in fact demand it.
It is not far-fetched to think that governments could, or would, define
individuals as threats or potential threats based on what they wrote
and viewed. This kind of information in the hands of the government
could have widespread effects on the ability to get jobs, financing or
travel documents — a China-like social credit
scoring system based on online activities.
Is In Decay–When the Worst Is First and the Best Is Last
article is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Plutocrats like to
range of permissible public dialogue. Plutocrats also like to shape
what society values. If you want to see where a country’s priorities
lie, look at how it allocates its money. While teachers and nurses earn
comparatively little for performing critical jobs, corporate bosses
including those who pollute our planet and bankrupt defenseless
families, make millions more.
This disparity is on full display in my profession. Public interest
lawyers and public defenders, who fight daily for a more just and
lawful society, are paid modest salaries. On the other hand, the most
well compensated lawyers are corporate lawyers who regularly aid and
abet corporate crime, fraud, and abuse. Many corporate lawyers line
their pockets by shielding the powerful violators from accountability
under the rule of law.
Yes indeed: I think all
of this is quite true. Here is some more:
On my weekly radio show,
interview some of the most dedicated authors who accurately document
perils to health and safety. The authors on my program expose
pernicious actions and inactions that jeopardize people’s daily lives.
These guests offer brilliant, practical solutions for our widespread
woes (see ralphnaderradiohour.com). Their important books, usually go
unnoticed by the mass media, barely sell a few thousand copies, while
the best-seller lists are dominated by celebrity biographies.
Yes indeed - and once again, I
explain these facts mostly by observing that the majority of voters -
everywhere, in fact - are neither intelligent
Here is some more:
Hospital executives, who
make millions of dollars a year, preside over an industry where about
5,000 patients die every week from preventable problems in U.S.
hospitals, according to physicians at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The watchdogs who call out this deadly hazard live on a fraction of
that amount as they try to save lives.
Quite so. Here is more:
A major reason why our
society’s best are so often last while our worst are first is the
media’s infatuation with publicizing the worst and ignoring the best.
Warmongers get press. The worst politicians are most frequently on the
Sunday morning TV shows – not the good politicians or civic leaders
with proven records bettering our society.
No, I am sorry but I disagree
with this "major reason". Instead, I think the major reason
is the fact that the majority of the voters are stupid or ignorant, indeed even to the extent that few of
the majority of voters as much as look at
news or ideas that are not supported or addressed by their mainstream
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
All societies need play,
entertainment, and frivolity. But a media obsessed with giving 100
times the TV and radio time, using our public airwaves for free, to
those activities than to serious matters crucial to the most basic
functioning of our society is assuring that the worst is first and the
best is last.
Well... yes and no again, for
I have been seeing and reading "media
obsessed with giving 100 times the TV and radio time, using our public
airwaves for free, to those activities than to serious matters crucial
to the most basic functioning of our society" for the last 50+ years, and my basic
explanation is that this is possible for the most part because
most consumers of the media are stupid or ignorant (and a full
50% have IQs of maximally 100), indeed even to the extent that few of the
majority of voters as much as look at news or ideas that are not
supported or addressed by their mainstream media. But this is a strongly
Democrats Want to Beat Trump, They Better Not Nominate a ‘Free Trade’
article is by Thom Hartmann on Common Dreams. This is from near its
Well... I agree more or
less with the first paragraph, but I have serious doubts about the
second paragraph, not so much because I disagree with the desire to "bring back home our jobs" but because I think it is much too late:
This election cycle, it’s
starting to look like Democrats are about to make the same mistake of
not defending the paychecks of working people. Only this time, the
Democratic quote will be, “Trump won’t succeed in bringing home your
jobs, but neither will I because I support all of the trade agreements
that took your jobs in the first place.”
Instead, the Democratic
Party must return to its pre-1992 progressive/protectionist/union roots
and steal this issue right out of Trump’s mouth, saying that he’s not
protecting American workers’ jobs well enough or fast enough. They
should run hard in 2020 on the Progressive
Caucus’s long-held position that we use protectionist policies,
including tariffs, to end our trade deficits and bring back home our
It all has happened, and the rich could transport their
industries to India or China, where the wages are very much lower,
and they could do so because the laws have changed,
indeed to a large extent already in the 1980ies and 1990ies. I see no
way this could be undone, except for some major revolution.
Anyway, here is some more, that supports the diagnosis I just
Yes indeed. And here
is the result:
In 1981, in a bow to
Wall Street and transnational corporate patrons, Republicans embraced
“free trade,” rejecting traditional American protectionist trade
policies. Through the 1980s, Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated
NAFTA and helped kick-start
while Democrats warned us of
what was coming.
Tragically, in 1992, a new
but growing part of the Democratic Party (the “Democratic
Leadership Council,” or DLC) joined Reagan/Bush when Bill Clinton
said he was going to push and sign Reagan’s trade deals.
In that act, the Democratic
Party turned their backs on the two centuries of American trade policy
that had turned us into the industrial powerhouse of the world,
beginning the “great decline” of working people here.
Yes indeed. Here is the
last bit that I quote from this article:
The simple fact is that we
no longer, in any meaningful way, make computers or TVs or clothes or
power tools or toys or pretty much anything in the USA, except military
hardware, guns, processed food and fracked gas.
Thus, when we “stimulate”
our economy by putting money into the pockets of working people, they
go to Walmart and buy things made in Asia—creating jobs in that part of
the world and leaving our wealth in China.
[W]hen Ronald Reagan came
into office (..) the United States was the world’s largest importer of
raw materials; the world’s largest exporter of finished, manufactured
goods; and the world’s largest creditor.
We bought iron ore from
other countries, and manufactured it into TVs and washing machines here
that we then exported to the rest of the world. And when countries
couldn’t afford to buy our manufactured goods, we loaned them the money.
Because of Reagan/Clinton’s
neoliberal “free trade,” we’ve completely flipped that upside down.
We’re now the world’s
largest exporter of raw materials, the world’s largest importer of
finished goods, and the world’s largest debtor.
We now export raw materials
to China, and buy from them manufactured goods. And we borrow from them
trillion as of this moment) to do it.
This, by the way, is the
virtual definition of a third-world country.
Yes, I agree - and
indeed I foresaw this back in the 1990ies when Europe was
moulded into the European Union as well. And this is a recommended
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 (!!).