in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 4, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
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 4, 2019:
1. Manufacturing War With Russia
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. About the
philosophy of totalitarianism
Demands Tinder Give User Data to Secret Services
4. Don’t Be Fooled: Media Still Selling Out Assange
War With Russia
article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Despite the Robert
report’s conclusion that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude
with Russia during the 2016 presidential race, the new Cold War with
Moscow shows little sign of abating. It is used to justify the
expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders, a move that has made billions in
profits for U.S. arms manufacturers. It is used to demonize domestic
critics and alternative media outlets as agents of a foreign power. It
is used to paper over the Democratic Party’s betrayal of the working
class and the party’s subservience to corporate power. It is used to
discredit détente between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. It is
used to justify both the curtailment of civil liberties in the United
States and U.S. interventions overseas—including in countries such as
Syria and Venezuela. This new Cold War predates the Trump presidential
campaign. It was manufactured over a decade ago by a war industry and
intelligence community that understood that, by fueling a conflict with
Russia, they could consolidate their power and increase their profits.
(Seventy percent of intelligence is carried out by private corporations
such as Booz
Allen Hamilton, which has been called the world’s most profitable
I think the above is mostly
correct. Here is some more:
“This began long before
and ‘Russiagate,’ ” Stephen F. Cohen said when I
interviewed him for my television show, “On Contact.” Cohen is
professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University, where he was
the director of the Russian studies program, and professor emeritus of
Russian studies and history at New York University. “You have to ask
yourself, why is it that Washington had no problem doing productive
diplomacy with Soviet communist leaders. Remember Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev?
It was a love fest. They went hunting together [in the Soviet Union].
Yet along comes a post-Soviet leader, Vladimir Putin, who is not only
not a communist but a professed anti-communist. Washington has been
hating on him ever since 2003, 2004. It requires some explanation. Why
do we like communist leaders in Russia better than we like Russia’s
anti-communist leader? It’s a riddle.”
To start with, most of this article is quoted from
Cohen. As to the above quoted bit:
I think part of the
explanation for what Cohen calls ¨a love fest¨ between Nixon and
Brezhnev can be found in the considerable differences between
Russia aka (until 1991) as the USSR and the USA in the early Seventies.
There are additional explanations, but I think this one is
As to Cohen´s unanswered
question ¨Why do we like
communist leaders in Russia better than we like Russia’s anti-communist
leader?¨ I think part of the
explanation for that are the influence of the Pentagon and
of its major American arms dealers on American politics since
20 or more years. Again I think there are additional explanations, but I think this one is
Then again, both of
my explanations are partial, and I had and have myself a similar
question as Cohen asks, namely why is the capitalist USA so
much against the equally capitalist - since 1991 - Russia?
My - partial - answers are
above. Here is some more:
“We have had three years of
this,” Cohen said of Russiagate. “We lost sight of the essence of what
this allegation is. The people who created Russiagate are literally
saying, and have been for almost three years, that the president of the
United States is a Russian agent, or he has been compromised by the
Kremlin. We grin because it’s so fantastic. But the Washington
establishment, mainly the Democrats but not only, have taken this
“I don’t know if there has
ever been anything like this in American history,” Cohen said. “That
accusation does such damage to our own institutions, to the presidency,
to our electoral system, to Congress, to the American mainstream media,
not to mention the damage it’s done to American-Russian relations, the
damage it has done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young
Russians, look at America today. This whole Russiagate has not only
been fraudulent, it’s been a catastrophe.”
Yes, I agree but I think also
that it has been created to justify Hillary Clinton´s loss to
Donald Trump, though again there are additional
Here is Hedges himself on
the death of democracy:
Our inability to oversee
control senior intelligence officials and their agencies, which
fabricate information to push through agendas embraced by the shadow
state, signals the death of democracy. Intelligence officials seemingly
empowered to lie—Brennan and Clapper have been among them—ominously
have in their hands instruments of surveillance, intimidation and
coercion that effectively silence their critics, blunt investigations
into their activities, even within the government, and make them and
their agencies unaccountable.
Quite so, I think. Here is
the ending of the article:
Yes I agree and this is a strongly
Russiagate is one of the
greatest threats to national security. I
have five listed in the book. Russia and China aren’t on there.
Russiagate is number one.”
the philosophy of totalitarianism
article is by Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. I changed the long title.
This is from near its beginning:
We know that Trump is the
gaslighter-in-chief. The Washington Post’s fact-checkers say
he has made more than 10,000 “false or misleading claims” since
entering the Oval Office. But he doesn’t just lie about big issues,
such as the nuclear
threat from North Korea, or the existence of climate
change, or the contents
of the Mueller report, or the laws
on abortion. He lies about small issues, too: the weather
on the day of his inauguration; the size
of the crowd at his inauguration; a phone
call from the Boy Scouts; the amount
of television that he watches; the birthplace
of his father … I could go on
Yes indeed - and his
insanely many lies, together with the fact that he lies about
almost everything and the fact that he keeps lying are for
me (a psychologist) evidence that Trump is insane.
I still think
that is a fine explanation, but I have meanwhile learned that what
psychologists think is mostly totally irrelevant for almost everyone,
just as the supposed sciences of psychology and psychiatry are
unknown to almost everyone.
Anyway. Here is some
Back in November 2016,
after the president-elect had ridiculously claimed in a tweet
that he had “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people
who voted illegally,” McGill University political theorist Jacob T.
Levy published an essay entitled “Authoritarianism
and Post-Truth Politics,” in which he offered an explanation for
why Trump tells such lies, and for why they are so dangerous, by
leaning on the works of “the great analysts of truth and speech under
totalitarianism — George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, Vaclav Havel.”
Well... I have been seriously
interested in totalitarianism
(incidentally: the link is to a good definition and not
the Wikipedia´s lying propagandistic bullshit on the same subject, that
is, I guess, at present mostly written by the CIA) for over 50+
years, indeed as a philosopher and a psychologist, and I have
read most or all that is relevant to this subject by Orwell, Arendt and
I must say that I admire
Orwell on the subject of totalitarianism, wasn´t impressed by
Arendt at all, indeed because by the time I read Arendt, I had read
everything of Orwell, and did not like Havel, mostly because it is
ill written, although I agree that Havel was a courageous
and honest person.
You may disagree, but it is extremely
unlikely that you have my background or my knowledge.
Anyway, here is some more:
“The ideal subject of
totalitarian rule,” wrote
Arendt in her 1951 classic “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” “is not
the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the
distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience)
and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of
thought) no longer exist.” In a later
interview, she went further: “If everybody always lies to you, the
consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody
believes anything any longer. And with such a people you can then do
what you please.”
Per Arendt then, Trump
isn’t just bullshitting or deflecting; he isn’t just demented or
defensive; he is actively and consciously borrowing from the
authoritarian’s playbook. He lies because he can — and because it
serves his purpose. To control, to bully, to degrade those under him
and around him. To both command and demonstrate unbending loyalty from
his cultish base. This is who he is — and who he has always been. “His
aim is never accuracy,” observes
Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Trump’s 1987 memoir “The Art of
the Deal.” As he notes, “it’s domination.”
As to the first of the above
As I said, I had read Orwell long
before I read Arendt, and in fact there is a
much better quotation of Orwell on totalitarianism from June
1941 (ten years before Arendt).
It is in his ¨Literature
and Totalitarianism¨ (this link is to a Russian site,
because Orwell also cannot be quoted until I am 100 years old, or more)
and the two most relevant quotations from it start with ¨It was never
fully realized¨ and ends with ¨controls their actions¨ and with ¨Now
with totalitarianism¨ that ends with ¨the very concept of objective
I strongly advise you
to read the above bits of Orwell, especially if you have been
impressed by Arendt. (I will quote them later in Nederlog, for I cannot
wait till I am 100.)
As to the second of the above
Firstly, a similar
consequence can be inferred from Orwell, and secondly, I should add
that I think Schwarz was not talking about Trump´s
authoritarianism, totalitarianism or Trump´s
neofascism, but about his
Anyway. Here is the last bit
I quote from this article, from near its end:
I agree with the
above, except for the ¨all¨, and this is a recommended article.
have suggested that fact-checking Trump is a distraction; rebutting his
avalanche of lies is a waste of time. Nothing could be further from the
truth. “Insisting on the difference between truth and lies is itself a
part of the defense of freedom,” observes
Levy. Indeed, it may be all that is standing between us and a descent
into full-blown fascism here in the United States.
Demands Tinder Give User Data to Secret Services
article is by Nataliya Vasilyeva on Truthdig and originally on The
Associated Press. It starts as follows:
Russia is requiring dating
app Tinder to hand over data on its users — including messages — to the
national intelligence agencies, part of the country’s widening
crackdown on internet
regulator said Monday that Tinder was included on a list of online
services operating in Russia that are required to provide user data on
demand to Russian authorities, including the FSB security agency.
Tinder, an app where
looking for dates swipe left or right on the profiles of other users to
reject or accept them, will have to cooperate with Russian authorities
or face being completely blocked in the country. The rule would apply
to any user’s data that goes through Russian servers, including
messages to other people on the app.
I say, for I did not
know this. Also, I think it is important to see that the ¨crackdown on
internet freedoms¨ is not only happening in in Russia and China
- were now more than 1 billion people are
tracked, traced and controlled by the local spies on the internet
(which is the strongest reason to
that I have ever seen or read) - but also in the USA,
England and Europe, though (it seems) a bit more slowly.
Here is more:
I think similar
legislation will be coming to the USA, England and Europe - and
indeed that will be the ends of both liberalism and democracy.
Russia adopted a flurry of
legislation in recent years tightening control over online activity.
Among other things, internet companies are required to store six
months’ worth of user data and be ready to hand them over to
Russian authorities last
year issued an order to ban messaging app Telegram after it refused to
hand over user data. Some top Russian officials, including the FSB
chief, attacked Telegram, claiming “extremists” used the platform to
plot terrorist attacks.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes. Then again, my guess
is that Facebook etc. will soon follow in Russia (and it will probably not
be blocked, but the Russian secret service will want everything
that´s on it), and something similar will happen a few years
later in the USA. And this is a strongly recommended article.
A total of 175 online
services are on the list requiring them to hand over user data to
Russian authorities. Most are small websites in Russian regions.
Popular messaging services
such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger are not on the list. Russian
authorities say that is because law enforcement agencies have not
approached them for data from those particular apps, but it is widely
understood that blocking Facebook and its popular apps like WhatsApp or
Instagram would be a big step for regulators.
Be Fooled: Media Still Selling Out Assange
article is by Jonathan Cook on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
A few corporate
media publications have finally come out in very half-hearted support
of Julian Assange — after years of stabbing him in the back at every
opportunity. These outlets, including the Guardian, The Washington Post
and The New York Times, have found their voice very belatedly, only
after the Trump administration revealed last week that it plans to lock
Assange away for the rest of his life on espionage charges. His crime
on the charge-sheet: more than a decade ago he published evidence of
U.S. war crimes committed in Iraq.
Yes, I agree with
the above. Here is some more:
The journalistic “resistance”
claims to be coming to Assange’s defense out of principle: if he is
jailed for espionage, journalism itself will be criminalized. And they
are most definitely right about that. But their sudden conversion to
Assange’s cause is not really about principle – legal or journalistic.
It is rooted solely in an urge for self-protection.
The papers that have rushed so
very late in the day to Assange’s side, after the Trump administration
announced moves to charge and extradite him, are also those who worked
most closely with WikiLeaks — in a distant past, long before they
turned on him.
For years the
corporate media ignored the overwhelming evidence that a secret U.S.
grand jury had been convened to drum up charges against Assange.
Yes. Here is the last bit
that I quote from this article:
They similarly ignored the
reason for the physical and mental torture and financial penalties
inflicted on Chelsea Manning, which were intended to extract false
testimony that might make the phony espionage charges look a little
plausible in court.
The media have ignored the
endless examples of legal abuse Assange has suffered at the hands of
the U.K. and Sweden, long before the U.S. threw its own soiled hat into
the ring, as I recently documented here.
The media are still ignoring
such abuses, including Assange’s year-long solitary confinement in
Belmarsh, a high-security U.K. prison, for a minor breach of police
The fight by the
Guardian, the Post and the Times is not for the principles of a more
truthful society Assange committed himself to. Their fight is for their
consciences, so they can sleep a little easier at night, so that they
can carry on believing they are what they never were: a watchdog on
I mostly agree,
but would be willing to say as well that the Guardian - before
2015 or 2014, to be sure - was ¨a watchdog on power¨, but indeed it isn´t anymore. And this is a
Their fight is to uphold a
lie, a lie about themselves.
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 (!!).