in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 3, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
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 June 3, 2019:
1. Ryan Grim on the Democratic Party,
Nancy Pelosi, and 2020
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. Google and
Amazon Are at the Center of a Storm Brewing
Over Big Tech
Sanders: I Know Where I Came From. Does President
4. What the philosopher Aquinas teaches us about political
1. Ryan Grim on the Democratic Party, Nancy
Pelosi, and 2020 Campaign
This article is by Jeremy
Scahill on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
As Democrats continue to
debate whether to initiate an impeachment inquiry, Trump seems to be
going nuts from the Democrats’ continuing probe into his possible
obstruction of justice, corruption, abuse of power. The Intercept’s
Ryan Grim explains Nancy Pelosi’s rise to power within the Democratic
Party, her political origins, and what her possible end game strategy
is for Trump. Grim also weighs in on the large 2020 Democratic
candidate field and talks about his new book, “We’ve Got People: From
Jesse Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the
Rise of a Movement.”
Yes indeed. In fact,
there is a whole lot more in the article than I quote. Here is
the first bit, about Pelosi:
Nancy Pelosi is, of course,
the top Democrat in Congress. She is the House Speaker, third in line
to the presidency. Despite Trump controlling the White House and the
GOP with a firm grip on the Senate, Nancy Pelosi is incredibly
powerful, and it’s important to understand who she is, how she rose to
power, and what her endgame strategy with Trump might look like.
To discuss this, and the
current state of the Democratic Party, I’m joined by my colleague Ryan
Grim, The Intercept’s DC bureau chief. Ryan has a new book out this
week that provides an essential in-depth context for the political
landscape that we’re in now. It is called “We’ve Got People: From Jesse
Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise
of a Movement.”
Yes. There is a lot
more on Pelosi, which I all leave to my readers' interests. Here is
more on Barack Obama:
JS: I want to talk a bit before we get to the
current situation of the Democratic party about Barack Obama’s impact
becoming the not just the president, but the leader for those eight
years of the Democratic party. Obama launched his campaign and I think,
he wanted to give the impression that he was the anti-war candidate,
but in reality the speech that he gave in Chicago in October of 2002,
which really launched his national political aspirations and campaign
was a very carefully crafted speech with lots of ifs and thens in terms
of the position. He famously said I’m not against all wars, I’m against
dumb wars, stupid wars and essentially making a tactical argument
against the Iraq War.
And I often think of that as kind of a
metaphor for how Obama governed. He would telegraph one thing and sort
of, there would be this perception people would place onto the canvas
of Obama, what they wanted to think he was but in reality, he always if
you really took his words at their value, was saying I’m not a leftist
and I actually am, would be a sort of, moderate Republican of the 90s.
It was like the sophisticated
smart version of Trump saying we’ll see what happens. Obama would allow
people to think he was this thing but in reality, he was a pretty
Yes, I think that is correct.
Here is more on Clinton and Sanders:
JS: So, then in 2016, we had it boiling down to
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And I don’t want to spend too much
time on 2016 for all sorts of reasons but in part, because we’ve also
discussed it quite a bit on the show. But one part of 2016 I wanted to
ask you about and that is when we talk about the documents, John
Podesta’s emails, DNC emails. I don’t want to make this about WikiLeaks
right now. What did those documents show that Hillary Clinton’s
campaign was doing toward Bernie Sanders and his campaign?
RG: Not a lot, right? I mean they were, I mean,
the Clinton campaign was infuriated by the Sanders campaign and felt
that it was undignified that she was even having to deal with this
socialist from Vermont.
JS: Or anyone for that matter.
RG: Or anyone.
JS: This was a coronation. This was not a
primary. This was meant to be a very long coronation and Sanders got in
the way of that.
I do not know whether
I agree with the beginning of this quotation, but I agree with
the end. There´s a whole lot more in this interview, which I skipped
for two reasons: This is Nederlog, and there is not enough space, and
also I found this interview interesting, but in several ways too
particular, in the sense of presuming rather a lot of knowledge
that American journalists will tend to have. Anyway, this article is
2. Google and Amazon Are at the Center of a
Storm Brewing Over Big Tech
This article is by four
journalists (three is the maximum I name) on The New York Times. It
starts as follows:
Google and Amazon
have thrived as American regulators largely kept their distance. That
may be changing.
Yes, I think all
of the above is correct, although I also should warn you that much of the
present article is less about attacking or regulating Google and
Amazon, and more about possible preparations for it.
Politicians on the right and
left are decrying the tech companies’ enormous power. President Trump
and other Republicans have taken swipes at Amazon over taxes and at
Google over search results they say are biased. Democrats have focused
on whether the companies stifle competition.
And now, the two federal
agencies that handle antitrust matters have split up oversight of the
two companies, with the Justice Department taking Google and the
Federal Trade Commission taking Amazon, according to three people with
knowledge of the matter.
The decisions do not mean that
the agencies have opened official federal investigations, the people
said. But by staking claims over the two tech giants, the agencies are
signaling the potential for greater scrutiny.
Regulators have struggled to
keep pace with the growth of technology companies in recent years. With
huge profits and work forces, the companies have come to dominate large
swaths of the economy. Amazon is the de facto force in online
retailing. Google is the starting point for many people searching
Here is some more:
Indeed, and as I said
under the first quotation. Here is some more:
regulators’ moves are small and preliminary, and could easily come to
nothing. But if the agencies pursue cases, Google and Amazon will
almost certainly face reams of bad publicity, rising consumer distrust
and falling employee morale. An inquiry would remind everyone that
Google, with its early motto of “Don’t be evil,” held itself to
standards it sometimes could not match.
is more of a warning to the companies that they’re being carefully
scrutinized and they need to be careful not to play fast and loose
given their dominant positions in the digital marketplace,” said Gene
Kimmelman, a former senior antitrust official at the Justice Department
who is now president of the consumer group Public Knowledge.
Yes indeed, and I agree
with those mentioned. Here is the last bit that I quote from this
without formal government investigations, the political pressure for
action has been mounting.
time to fight back,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a
Democratic candidate for president, said after news of the Google
developments emerged. Senators Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, and
Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, each said the scrutiny of
Google was overdue.
And I agree again with the
speakers who are named. This is a recommended article.
queasiness over the big tech companies is more spiritual than
financial. Polls show a growing anxiety about the influence of
technology on American lives, and the issue has emerged as a litmus
test for the 2020 Democratic presidential field.
Warren said that she had been “talking for years about how Google is
locking out competition.” A billboard her campaign erected last month
near a train stop in San Francisco was meant to appeal to Silicon
Valley commuters, particularly those who have been squeezed to distant
housing by the area’s tech-fueled property boom.
asks passers-by to “join our fight” to “Break Up Big Tech” by sending a
Saturday, a spokesman for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, another
leading contender, said the senator “has been trying to sound the alarm
for years that the concentration of economic power in the hands of a
few threatens our democracy and leads to rigged political and economic
Sanders: I Know Where I Came From. Does President Trump?
article is by Bernie Sanders on The New York Times. It starts as
We are the
wealthiest nation in the history of the world and, according to
President Trump, the economy is “booming.” Yet most Americans have
little or no savings and live paycheck to paycheck.
Yes indeed: I think all
of the above is quite correct. Here is more:
Today our rate of childhood
poverty is among the highest of any developed country in the world,
millions of workers are forced to work two or three jobs just to
survive, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to
go to college, millions more owe outrageous levels of student debt, and
half a million people are homeless on any given night. Over 80 million
Americans have inadequate health insurance or spent part or all of last
year without any insurance, and one out of five cannot afford the
prescription drugs they need.
While wages in the United
States have been stagnant for over 40 years, we have more income and
wealth inequality than at any time since the 1920s.
Today, the wealthiest three
families in the country own more wealth than the bottom half of the
American people and the top 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom
90 percent. Millions of workers earn starvation wages even as nearly
half of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.
Quite so. Here is
am running for president because we must defeat Donald Trump, the most
dangerous president in the modern history of our country. But, if we
are to defeat Mr. Trump, we must do more than focus on his personality
and reactionary policies.
must understand that unfettered capitalism and the greed of corporate
America are destroying the moral and economic fabric of this country,
deepening the very anxieties that Mr. Trump appealed to in 2016. The
simple truth is that big money interests are out of control, and we
need a president who will stand up to them.
I again completely
agree. Hete is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Street, after driving the United States into the worst economic
downturn since the 1930s, now makes tens of billions in profits while
forcing working-class Americans to pay usurious interest rates on their
credit card debt. The top 10 American drug companies, repeatedly
investigated for price fixing and other potentially illegal actions,
made nearly $70 billion in profits last year, even as Americans paid
the most per capita among developed nations for their prescription
executives in the fossil fuel industry spend hundreds of millions
on campaign contributions to elect candidates who represent the rich
and the powerful, while denying the reality of climate change.
corporations like Amazon, Netflix, General Motors and dozens of others
make huge profits, but don’t pay federal income taxes because of a rigged
tax system they lobbied to create.
Back in 1944, in his
State of the Union speech, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reminded
the nation that economic security is a human right, and that people
cannot be truly free if they have to struggle every day for their basic
needs. I agree.
And I completely
agree again. This is a strongly recommended article.
We must change the current
culture of unfettered capitalism in which billionaires have control
over our economic and political life. We need to revitalize American
democracy and create a government and economy that works for all.
Yes, the government should
guarantee a decent paying job for all Americans and universal health
care through a single-payer system. Yes, we should raise the minimum
wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, make it easier for workers to
join unions, provide free tuition to public colleges and substantially
lower student debt. Yes, we should wean ourselves off of fossil fuels,
reform a racist criminal justice system and enact comprehensive
immigration reform with a path toward citizenship.
the philosopher Aquinas teaches us about political disagreements
article is by Anonymous on AlterNet and originally on Daily Kos. I do
not know whether the present article is about the crisis
according to other people, but I think it is, among other
things because I am a philosopher. Also, in case you are interested at
all in considering some of the ideas of a Catholic saint who lived in
the 13th century, I recommend you to read the items evil and sin in my Philosophical
Dictionary. Also, here is considerably more about Aquinas (for
This is from near the beginning of the article:
In fact, there are quite
a few philosophical problems touched upon in the above, but I skip
them, and only say that the above seems a fair summary.
One of Aquinas’s goals is
to understand why people do evil. This question is especially puzzling
for Aquinas. Like Aristotle, he thinks that the ultimate goal of all
our actions is to have a good life (and, for Christians like Aquinas,
bliss in the hereafter). Moreover, Aquinas and Aristotle think that we
can have a genuinely good life—good for us, not just
“morally” good—only if we live a life of virtue and excellence.
According to one interpretation, which I share, Aristotle and Aquinas
think that a fulfilling life just is a life of
intellectual and moral excellence. In that case, why do people do
evil? Don’t they know they’re just hurting themselves?
Aquinas identifies three
ways we can do evil despite wanting a good life for ourselves: we can
sin from ignorance, from passion, or from what Aquinas calls malitia.
In all three cases, we’re still seeking what’s best for us, but we are
temporarily confused about what is in fact best for
There is first sinning from ignorance:
I more or less agree,
although I probably believe sinning from ignorance may be more
serious than Aquinas may have thought, for I think avoidable ignorance
itself is - let´s say - an avoidable bad.
You can sin from ignorance
in two ways:
- You don’t know that
the kind of action you’re performing is bad for you
in the long run. For example, a young child might steal something
simply because they don’t know that stealing is a bad idea.
- You know that the kind of
action is bad but don’t realize that the particular action
that you’re performing is of that kind. For example, you might know
that stealing is bad in general but not know that what you’re taking
belongs to someone else.
As you can guess, Aquinas
views this kind of sin as the least serious.
Then there is sinning from passion:
Yes, although I think I
would add sinning from avoidable stupidity
as well here.
When you sin from passion,
you aren’t ignorant. You know that the general kind of
action that you’re performing is bad for you in the long run. Under
normal circumstances, you would also be able to recognize that the particular action
that you’re performing is of that kind.
But at the moment when you
act, intense emotions or sensations have biased your thinking so that
you momentarily fail to notice that your particular action is of that
Finally, there is sinning from badness:
I would - again - add the
possibilities that one sins from badness also if the reasons
for one´s sinning are due to one´s avoidable ignorance or avoidable stupidity.
means “badness.” It’s often translated as “malice,” but the English
word “malice” implies a cruelty that malitia doesn’t.
For Aquinas, sinning from malitia means sinning
because you have misjudged which of two evils is lesser. When you sin
from malitia, you aren’t ignorant that your action is
bad, nor are you experiencing violent emotions, but you still
incorrectly perceive the situation: you think that the evil you’re
committing is worth it when it really isn’t.
Also, there is a lot that could be said here that I all do not
say, except that, although I am neither a Catholic nor religious, I
agree that Aquinas had a great mind.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, although I do take avoidable ignorance and avoidable stupidity more
serious than Aquinas seems to do (whom I have read partially,
but some thirty years ago, at least) and besides I also do not
believe in the concept of sin that Aquinas had. But I think this is
an interesting article that is recommended.
Aquinas tells us that
do evil because, at the moment when they act, they are confused about
what’s good for them. Maybe you disagree with this theory. But
whether you agree with him or not, his analysis of sinning helps remind
us that most people aren’t trying to be evil. They may be ignorant,
misled by passion, or simply bad at judging which evil is lesser, but
ultimately they’re just doing what they perceive to be best for them.
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 (!!).