in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 9, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Sunday,
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 9, 2019:
1. America's Global Hegemony Could Be
Coming to an End
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. 5 popular
programs that prove Americans love socialism
Congress has no Mojo to Govern, let’s make it a Part Time Job
4. The Accelerating Ecological Genocide
Global Hegemony Could Be Coming to an End
This article is by Paul Jay on Truthdig
and originally on
The Real News Network. This from close to its start:
Big power rivalry is heading into very dangerous waters. The rise of
China as an economic and military superpower is threatening the global
hegemony of the United States. Russia has been pushed into an
increasingly tighter relationship with China to balance the attempts by
the West to isolate it. President Trump, representing the most
aggressive sections of American capital, is responding with a trade
war, and an unparalleled massive peacetime military budget that was
justified by his Secretary of Defense Shanahan with three words: China,
China, and China.
Yes, I think all of
that is correct. Here is some more:
Yes again, though I am not
sure of everything I quoted. Then again, I don´t think that is
necessary, and here are two quite general points that illustrate
In a recent meeting between
Russia’s President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, apparently
the 29th such meeting in the last few years, it was announced with the
two leaders looking on that the Chinese tech company Huawei has struck
a deal to build Russia’s first 5G wireless network. This is the same
company that Trump has banned from developing the 5G network in the
United States, and is pushing Europe to do the same.
This is clearly just the early
stages of what is already the defining big power contention of the 21st
Here is more, this time by
the person Jay interviews:
- In the first place,
Russia + China probably are weaker in terms of
military potentials than
the USA at the moment, but then they also have around five times as
many inhabitants as the USA, while also
- Both Russia and
China are authoritarian states (whatever you think about the -
USSR´s and China´s socialism), which incidentally also means that
something like nearly 1.5 billion people are living under
authoritarianism (merely in Russia and China).
Yes indeed - I totally
agree, and in fact what Johnson is talking about is the present
internet, that allows that everyone who is on it is getting
(i) very many secret services from very many countries (that each
hack almost everything of almost any private person anywhere) and
(ii) several very rich private firms, like Google, Facebook and Apple,
who may do the same as the secret services, though with another end,
namely not dossiers about personal political reliability but dossiers
about personal interests, money and tastes, so as to sell them as much
So it’s very daunting. But I think the relationship
between military concerns and commerce is almost unsolvable at present.
And it’s scaring lots of people, because you don’t know who’s hacking
you, you don’t know where they’re coming from. And it’s hard to create
what you might call rules of fair play between U.S. and China and then
have somebody hack into the system, and not know whether it’s your
counterpart that’s cheating, or a third party pretending, say, to be
from Wisconsin, or to be from Shanghai, intruding on system, when they
might be in Albania or Latin America. So it’s a very, very treacherous
In addition, it seems at present as if all governments have levels
security that protect the government and its secret service and allow
both the government and its secret service to do what they please in
There is a lot more to be said about the points I just made,
but not in
the present Nederlog. I move on to some more from this article:
Well... I am a
philosopher, but I would neither agree that ¨the West¨ is
(..) Cartesian enlightenment¨ nor that China represents
the Confucian or Daoist traditions¨. In fact, I do not know how
describe ¨the West¨ nor ¨the East¨, while I also think that if
are more or less fitting descriptions, they still have to be true of
billions of people and many different cultures, and I doubt these
descriptions, even if true, are of much help.
ROB JOHNSON: Well,
I think there is a big–you spoke of the awful geopolitics in the
introduction. And we’re in a very treacherous and difficult place,
which is you have two cultures, the United States and China, that
represent, essentially, Western Cartesian enlightenment and the
Confucian or Daoist traditions. The theories of how to deal with
change, how you deal with unknowns, theories of governance in these two
cultures are at odds with one another.
Here is more by Johnson:
The United States officials that you referred to thought
China would fall into the global trading system and evolve into a–what
you might call a Western-like commercial entity. They thought that the
financial systems would become integrated and open to the West. They
thought they would eventually privatize and stop using state credit
allocation to subsidize state-owned enterprises that compete with
private enterprise. Places like the World Trade Organization, so-called
WTO, would bridge the differences and bring things to a healing point.
And that doesn’t appear to be where we’re going.
I suppose this is more
or less correct and I think one of the things these ¨United States officials¨ probably forgot are that both Russia and China
authoritarian states, and that as regards authorities and power Lord
Acton saw very deep:
"Power tends to
corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost
always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not
authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty
of corruption by authority."
Anyway. Here is some
more by Johnson:
The other final thing where
I think the United States has some real concern is we have been talking
about how the government doesn’t play a role. We’ve been cutting
government support to things like basic science very drastically over
the last 20 years as a percentage of GDP. The Chinese ultimately will
have a population four to five times the size of America’s. They
continue to develop their science budgets. And what you might call the
locus of innovation may shift from the United States in places like
Silicon Valley to a place like Shenzhen in China.
So I think the Americans
are, you might call it, ostrich-like. They don’t think this challenge
is going to be for real.
Yes, I think Johnson sees
this correctly, though it may be too soon to base a lot on this
difference between the USA and China.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Very many parts of
particularly southern Europe are doing worse now since 2008 than they
did in the 1930s, the depression. And so these are very substantial,
powerful forces. America is not handling them well, the eurozone is not
handling them well. And the stagnation–this is kind of the irony–the
stagnation of demand in places like Europe and to some degree America
has been a source of why the Chinese have changed to go inward and move
to higher value-added products.
Well... I do not know
¨particularly southern Europe are
doing worse now since 2008 than they
did in the 1930s, the depression¨
but this is a fairly interesting article that is recommended.
popular programs that prove Americans love socialism
This article is by Alex Henderson on AlterNet. I abbreviated
the title. It starts as follows:
Well... I think the above
is mostly correct, but do insist that (i) the ¨socialism¨ that
and the right protest against is almost purely propaganda,
and that (ii) the ¨socialism¨ that is supposed to move Sanders and
Ocasio-Cortez also is not socialism but indeed is mostly ¨a revival of New Deal/Great Society liberalism¨.
President Donald Trump
knows what buttons to push when it comes firing up his far-right base,
and one of them is decrying “socialism” and insisting that the
Democratic Party has become fully “socialist” in its ideology.
Meanwhile, the term “democratic socialism” is a badge of honor for Sen.
Bernie Sanders and his ally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
City. But context is crucial. The “socialism” that Sanders and AOC
champion is really a revival of New Deal/Great Society liberalism, and
while both of them are left-of-center by U.S. standards, neither would
be embraced by actual Marxist-Leninists or Maoists — in fact, communist
websites have attacked them for not being true leftists.
But then, neither of them
have claimed to be disciples of Che Guevara or Mao Tse-Tung. What they
favor is regulated capitalism with a strong social safety net,
realizing that the public and private sectors both have their place.
Therefore I certainly would not have used the term
¨socialism¨, without any quotation marks, in the title (although I do
not know whether Henderson wrote the title).
Here is some more:
Well, in my European eyes
security is not socialism at all, and indeed not even ¨socialism¨.
Here are some forms of
“socialism” that are wildly popular in the United States.
1. Social Security
One of the many government
programs that came out of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New
Deal, Social Security has been around since 1935. President George W.
Bush proposed privatizing Social Security in the 2000s, and the idea
was met with a very negative response.
of Americans would rather reverse the GOP’s corporate tax cuts of
2017 than see the government cut spending for Social Security. And
among Democrats, that number jumps to 80%.
Here is more:
Again, in my European eyes
medicare is neither socialism nor ¨socialism¨.
In the early 1960s, Ronald
Reagan spoke out against the idea of a government-operated health care
plan for senior citizens. Socialized medicine, Reagan insisted, would
not serve seniors well. But Reagan was dead wrong: Medicare, launched
in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, has
been an incredibly popular form of “socialism.”
Then there is this:
The U.S. military
It completely escapes my
understanding why I privatized army that fights wars in at least seven
places that all serve the capitalists could even conceivably be called
¨socialist¨ or socialist.
And as to the remaining two points
I say just the same is
true. So all in all I think this is a confusing article that will
clarify anything to anyone.
Along with Medicare,
Medicaid was one of the top achievements of the Great Society. And the
government-operated program still enjoys widespread
support after more than half a century.
Congress has no Mojo to Govern, let’s make it a Part Time Job
This article is by Renee Parsons on The Off-Guardian. It
starts as follows:
If the American
public needs any further evidence that the US Congress is unable to
function as an operating legislative branch of the Federal government
in the ‘pursuit of happiness’ or to ‘promote the general welfare,’ look
no further than Congress’s most recent public disapproval rating of
This is of course nothing
new as Congress has been in ill repute with the American public for
decades – and no one seems to know what to do about it.
To be fair to the
lackluster, do-nothing group of flunkies who rake in the benjamins and
perks that most Americans can only dream about, Congress actually hit
its highest ever disapproval rating of 84% in September, 2011 and
earned an 85% disapproval in November, 2013, during Barack Obama’s Hope
and Change years which produced neither hope nor change.
Well... let me start
with saying that Renee Parsons ¨has been a member of the ACLU´s Florida
State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast
Chapter¨, which I repeat from the Off-Guardian (where there is more on
Also, I more or less
agree with the above, but not with the asserted supposed fact
that ¨no one seems to know
what to do about¨ Congress,
for I think that is simply
false. (Finance? Lobbyists? Just two parties?)
Here is some more
Congress (and the ACA = the Affordable Care Act):
As a direct reflection of
the lack of Congressional or Executive leadership, the Direction of the
Country poll hit its highest disapproval in October, 2011 at 75%
perhaps with the realization that the ACA was not what it was cracked
up to be while today 57% of the country disapproves of the country’s
President Donald Trump has
a 53% disapproval rating while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is at 48% –
both consistently hover around 50% – and clearly neither knows how to
produce for the American people. Stock market buy-backs which should be
illegal are not a guarantee of economic well being on Main Street.
Yes, I agree. Here is the
ending of this article:
I agree with the first quoted
above paragraph, but not with the second.
Since neither party has
shown the mojo to govern, the unpleasant fact is that the Congress
itself, inept, irresponsible and corrupt, is in the throes of a full
blown collapse of its own making for its failure to perform as
democratically elected representatives committed to the People.
As there is a fundamental
transformation underway with a political realignment occurring, the
role of Congress, which has neither the ability nor the integrity to
function, should be a 2020 campaign issue as they have earned the right
to become a part time body with fewer staff and less perks.
Accelerating Ecological Genocide
This article is by Thomas Klikauer on Counterpunch. It
starts as follows:
I think all of the above is
very probably - quite correct (and repeat this is from a United
In May 2019, the United
Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
released its latest assessment of the accelerating extinction rates of
our global biodiversity. The
report was compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries over
the past three years. It has inputs from another 310 contributing
authors and is based on the review of about 15,000 scientific
publications. The full report (exceeding 1,500 pages) will be published
later this year. A preliminary overview of the report makes a somber
reading. Here are the highlights:
Nature’s decline is
unprecedented; species extinction rates are accelerating; current
global responses are insufficient; 1,000,000 species threatened with
extinction; nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in
human history — and the rate of species extinction is accelerating,
with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.
The report finds that
around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with
extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human
history. The average abundance of native species in most major
land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. More
than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of corals and more than a
third of all marine mammals are threatened. The picture is less clear
for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative
estimate of 10% being threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species have
been driven to extinction since the 16th century and more than 9% of
all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture have
become extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more breeds still
Ecosystems, species, wild
populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and
animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. The essential,
interconnected web of life on Earth is getting smaller and increasingly
frayed. This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes
a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world.
Here is more:
Yes indeed, although I have no
idea what ¨transformative
changes¨ are supposed to be.
The Report notes that,
1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, raising average global
temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius with climate change
already impacting nature from the level of ecosystems to that of
genetics; impacts are expected to increase over the coming decades, in
some cases surpassing the impact of land and sea use change and other
drivers. Despite progress to conserve nature and implement policies,
the report also finds that global goals for conserving and sustainably
using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current
trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved
through transformative changes across economic, social, political and
Also, there is a lot more than I quoted in this article, and one
things I do not quote is a long and interesting list of twenty-five
notable findings - which are quite depressive to read, but all do seem
to me to be facts.
Here is the last bit of this article:
Yes indeed, and this is a very
strongly recommended article.
In conclusion, whether
calls what is coming Anthropocene,
a period during which human activity alters the climate and the
describing capitalism’s impact on the Anthropocene; Sixth
Mass Extinction – the massive
death of animals and plants; or Ecocide – the impending
ecological suicide, the report makes an horrific reading. Some will
say, this is alarmist. Well, yes, it is. It is highly alarming. And it
is not the first time that those who can see afar are being abused as
being alarmist. Rosa Luxemburg, at the eve of World War I, warning that
this war would lead to the senseless massacre of French and German
workers, was accused of being alarmist. For her views she was murdered.
Surely, people who warned us of the impending Holocaust during the
1930s were called alarmist. Those who warned us against dropping the
atomic bomb were accused of being alarmist, those who warned against
the Vietnam war where alarmist, those who warned against the Iraq war
were alarmist, etc. But in each case the alarmists were proven right.
What we are facing today is nothing short of The
Uninhabitable Earth – the annihilation of life on earth. It is
about time to ring the alarm bells.
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 (!!).