in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from June 18, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
I realize that I did not commemorate the fact that I am writing
Crisis files for six years now,
started to do so after June 10, 2013,
which taught me about Snowden.
I am registering it now, and may write about it the coming days, but I
am also somewhat worse at present than I was for a long time.
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 18, 2019:
1. The Coming Show Trial of Julian 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:
Whistleblower: Government Collecting Everything You Do
3. Why Bernie Sanders Isn’t Afraid of ‘Socialism’
4. Massive Hong Kong
Protests Demand Withdrawal of Extradition Bill
5. George Carlin Interview
1. The Coming Show Trial of Julian Assange
This article is by Chris Hedges
on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
On Friday morning I was in
a small courtroom at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Julian
Assange, held in Belmarsh Prison and dressed in a pale-blue prison
shirt, appeared on a video screen directly in front of me. Assange, his
gray hair and beard neatly trimmed, slipped on heavy, dark-frame
glasses at the start of the proceedings. He listened intently as Ben
Brandon, the prosecutor, seated at a narrow wooden table, listed the
crimes he allegedly had committed and called for his extradition to the
United States to face charges that could result in a sentence of 175
years. The charges include the release of unredacted classified
material that posed a “grave” threat to “human intelligence sources”
and “the largest compromises of confidential information in the history
of the United States.” After the prosecutor’s presentation, Assange’s
attorney, Mark Summers, seated at the same table, called the charges
“an outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights.”
Most of us who have
followed the long persecution of Assange expected this moment, but it
was nevertheless deeply unsettling, the opening of the final act in a
Greek tragedy where the hero, cursed by fortuna, or fate,
confronts the dark forces from which there is no escape.
Yes indeed - I either
know the above is correct or else fear it is. Here is some more:
The publication of
documents is not a crime in the United States, but if Assange is
extradited and convicted it will become one. Assange is not an American
citizen. WikiLeaks, which he founded and publishes, is not a U.S.-based
publication. The message the U.S. government is sending is clear: No
matter who or where you are, if you expose the inner workings of empire
you will be hunted down, kidnapped and brought to the United States to
be tried as a spy. The extradition and trial of Assange will mean the
end of public investigations by the press into the crimes of the ruling
elites. It will cement into place a frightening corporate tyranny.
Yes again: I agree.
Yes again - and in fact Assange
needs not to be
tortured in order to turn him into a zombie
(although I certainly do not say thay he
will not be), because this can
happen with psychiatric pills he cannot avoid to take, knowingly or
unknowingly, in prison.
On Thursday, the day before
Assange appeared in court, British Home Secretary Sajid Javid advanced
the process for his removal to the United States by signing
an extradition request. It is a clear signal to the courts where
the British government stands.
We know what will be done
to Assange. It has been done to thousands of those we kidnapped and
then detained in black
sites around the world. Sadistic and scientific techniques of
torture will be used in an attempt to make him a zombie.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed, and I reported
this (and quite a few other things about Assange) in Nederlog.
physical state, which includes a dramatic loss of weight that was
apparent Friday, came as Nils Melzer, the
United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, spoke out after he, with
two physicians, went to Belmarsh Prison to assess Assange. Melzer said
Assange had undergone prolonged psychological torture. He went on to
criticize what he called the “judicial persecution” of Assange by
Britain, the United States, Ecuador and Sweden. He warned that Assange
would face a politicized show trial in the United States if he were
extradited to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act, each carrying a
potential sentence of 10 years, for his role in publishing
classified military and diplomatic cables, documents and videos that
exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. An additional charge
that he conspired to hack into a government computer carries a maximum
sentence of five years.
Here is some more:
Yes indeed. There is some
more about Arbuthnot in the article and I agree with Assange´s
that she is not an objective judge.
“The prosecution attorney
told the BBC yesterday I was wanted in the U.S. for computer hacking,”
he said. “This is unquestionably false. Even the U.S. admits there was
no hack. No passwords were broken. There is no evidence that I,
WikiLeaks or Chelsea Manning engaged in hacking. I have 175 years of my
life at stake. This is a signal that the prosecution will misrepresent
the charges to mislead the press.”
The judge, Emma Arbuthnot,
cut him off, saying “this is not the time to go into this.”
Commenting in 2018 when
Assange’s lawyers requested that the warrant for his arrest be dropped,
said, “I accept that Mr. Assange had expressed fears of being
returned to the United States from a very early stage in the Swedish
extradition proceedings but, absent any evidence from Mr. Assange on
oath, I do not find that Mr. Assange’s fears were reasonable.”
This statement by the judge
captures the Alice-in-Wonderland quality of the judicial persecution of
Assange. She dismisses as unreasonable Assange’s fears that if he
voluntarily left the Ecuadorian Embassy he would be arrested by British
police and extradited to the United States because he did not appear in
court to express them. And yet, she is now presiding over his
Here is some more:
Yes, I think this is also
correct. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
“A fair trial requires
legality—that he’s actually being charged for something that is
punishable,” Melzer said. “Seventeen out of the 18 charges are under
the Espionage Act. All of them relate to activities that any
investigative journalist would conduct and would be protected under the
First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The 18th charge, the
so-called hacking charge, doesn’t relate to him. The U.S. doesn’t claim
he actually hacked a computer to receive information. He obtained all
of the information he published [from] someone who had full clearance.
He received this information. He may have perhaps encouraged the
source, as any journalist would do, to give him the information and
then published it. The hacking charge relates to him unsuccessfully
attempting to help the source break a password that would have allowed
her to cover her tracks. But he didn’t succeed.”
And neither do I, but then
the USA at present is better described as a totalitarian
country than a
democracy - and there is more on this in the next item. There is
considerably more in this article, which is strongly
“There is no longer the
of law,” Melzer said. “There is no longer equality before the law.
There are no longer transparent court proceedings when you have a
secret grand jury and a secret session debating classified evidence.
These are proceedings skewed against the defendant. I don’t think
Julian Assange would get a fair trial.”
2. NSA Whistleblower:
Government Collecting Everything You Do
This is not a article but a video, made by Abby Martin on
her series Empire Files. It is
an interview with Bill
Binney, the former technical director of the NSA (who took leave from
the NSA in 2001), that was published on April 1, 2019. It lasts 27 min,
I think it is quite interesting, because Binney says (and I
him) - in effect: to hear his exact words you should watch the video -
I think that is correct,
alternative version of Binney's statements is that we do live at
present in a totalitarian society, wherever we live, because
the secret services (from anywhere, and certainly from the USA, Great
Britain, Australia, Canada and Ireland) now has personal dossiers on
absolutely everyone (which it also shares with other secret services).
- the NSA has been
collecting everything it could get from everyone for nearly 20 years now
- the same holds for all or
most other "national security" (spying) organizations in most other
- this is a totalitarian
of measures, and he advices you
- that you should only
write, say or publish on the internet what will not offend any
- that you should also not
say anything privately (because what you say privately in your
own home also can be picked up by the NSA) that may offend any
Indeed, even Wikipedia says so, about
the NSA: See the article on the NSA which says
The NSA currently
conducts worldwide mass data collection and has
been known to physically bug electronic systems as one method to this end.
The NSA, alongside the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), maintains a physical presence in many countries across the
globe; the CIA/NSA joint Special Collection Service (a
highly classified intelligence team) inserts eavesdropping devices in
high value targets (such as Presidential palaces or embassies). SCS
collection tactics allegedly encompass "close surveillance, burglary,
wiretapping, [and] breaking and entering".
In 2013, the NSA had many of its secret surveillance programs revealed to the
public by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor.
According to the leaked documents, the NSA intercepts and stores the
communications of over a billion people worldwide, including United
States citizens. The documents also revealed the NSA tracks hundreds of
millions of people's movements using cellphones metadata.
Internationally, research has pointed to the NSA's ability to surveil
the domestic Internet traffic of foreign countries through "boomerang routing".
In fact: And so on, and so
I think the present video is strong and fair, and it is strongly
Bernie Sanders Isn’t Afraid of ‘Socialism’
This article is by Jamelle Bouie on The New York Times. It
starts as follows:
Yes indeed: I quite
with Bouie and indeed remarked something very similar. See (for
example) here (and there are more
items on ¨Socialism¨ - including the quotation-marks - in Nederlog) and also see this, which articulates my
own position (and George Orwell´s and a few others) on socialism: Crisis: On Socialism
watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend
himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism”
as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to
understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is
he trying to do?
how Sanders talked about
his ideology in a speech last week at George Washington University:
The right to quality health care, the right to as much
education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good
job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right
to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.
he continued, “is what I mean by democratic socialism.”
this with the vision of his political hero, Eugene Debs, whom Sanders
profiled in a 1979 documentary, “Eugene Debs: Trade Unionist,
Debs wrote in 1904,
is first of all a political movement of the working class,
clearly defined and uncompromising, which aims at the overthrow of the
prevailing capitalist system by securing control of the national
government and by the exercise of the public powers, supplanting the
existing capitalist class government with socialist administration.
It is, Debs said, “the collective ownership and control of industry and
its democratic management in the interest of all the people.”
In fact, the
summary for the term ¨socialism¨ is the same as for the term
¨fascism¨: After ten years of dedicated reading, I am quite certain
Americans are capable of giving even halfway correct definitions or
explanations of either term.
There is also some reason to assume that the definitions of
either term in
the USA, both by the public and by prominent journalists, are driven by
specifically American reasons, but while I think there
is some truth in
that, I also think it is mostly as I said in the previous paragraph.
O, and besides: I do have a good understanding what ¨socialism¨
simply because I have been born in a communist and socialist family,
with anarchist and socialist grandparents on one side, and a communist
grandfather on the other side, and I also am a philosopher (who did not
get an M.A. in that subject because I was - illegally but factually -
removed from the faculty as a student because I had criticized the
utter incompetents who taught me in a public speech).
more by Bouie:
Yes indeed, and I suspect
(but do not know) that Harrington´s
conception of socialism was a lot better than of almost all
Americans (but he died in 1989).
modern programs for American socialism started from the same place. In
his 1978 essay “What Socialists
Would Do in America — If They Could,” Michael Harrington — who
would co-found the Democratic Socialists of America a few years later —
assumed a “national planning process in which all the people would have
an effective right to
participate.” This would include democratically owned and managed
property as well as a private sector where “many of the existing
functions of corporate power” had been socialized.
Here is some more on Sanders:
Yes indeed: I think Bouie
is correct, and I agree that this would not make
Sanders a socialist in
my sense, or Debs´ sense, or Orwell´s sense.
has proposed a
capital fund controlled by workers at major corporations, but that
arrangement lies quite a distance from the direct ownership envisioned
by Debs or Harrington. That, Sanders rejects. “The next time you hear
me attacked as a socialist, remember this,” he said in a
2015 speech at Georgetown, “I don’t believe the government should own
the means of production.”
of a Marxist, Sanders likes to frame himself as a New Dealer — an heir
to the party of Franklin Roosevelt.
And here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes, that is quite possible. And
from my own - indeed European point of view, that is quite informed - I
would say that Sanders' position is mostly what I would call (honest)
social democracy. And this is a strongly recommended
then, should we make of Sanders’s decision to embrace a nearly
revolutionary label, “democratic socialism,” but define it in terms of
American left-liberal politics?
answer is that as someone who did live and work in left-wing and
Marxist circles for much of his adult life, he wants to bring the term
itself into the mainstream of American politics. To not just embrace
the “socialist” attacks as a badge of honor but to make “democratic
socialism” an extension of the New Deal is to make it sound normal,
Hong Kong Protests Demand Withdrawal of Extradition Bill
This article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. I
abbreviated the title. It starts with the following introduction:
As many as 2 million
protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong Sunday demanding the
withdrawal of a bill that would allow the extradition of Hong Kong
residents to mainland China. Protesters also called for the resignation
of Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, and other top officials who
pushed for the extradition bill. Lam has apologized for her handling of
the legislation and indefinitely delayed a vote on the bill; however,
the bill has not been fully withdrawn. Critics of the extradition bill
say it would infringe on Hong Kong’s independence and the legal and
human rights of Hong Kong residents and visitors. Just a few days ago,
police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray at tens of
thousands of demonstrators. We speak with Nathan Law, a pro-democracy
activist who helped lead the Umbrella Movement, and Minky Worden,
director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch.
I say, for I did not
know about the latest protests in Hong Kong, while I agree with
the ¨[c]ritics of the
Here is some more:
GOODMAN: (..) The recent
protests are the largest Hong Kong has seen since before Britain’s
handover of Hong Kong in China in 1997. Since then, Hong Kong has
operated under a different legal and political system as mainland
China, a setup known as “one country, two systems.” Critics of the
extradition bill say it would infringe on Hong Kong’s independence and
the legal and human rights of Hong Kong residents, as well as the
people visiting Hong Kong.
Yes, I agree
Goodman and with the ¨[c]ritics¨. Here is some more:
LAW: Well, I think after
the 2 million people marching down last Sunday, Carrie Lam indeed
issued an apology, but it is definitely not enough. Our demand is very
clear and sound. She has to retreat the proposal. She has to
investigate the police brutality. And she has to step down. So, I think
if these demands are not met in the future, then there will be more and
more protests and rallies.
GOODMAN: Nathan, can you
explain what the law is and why protesters will not accept it?
LAW: Well, Hong Kong’s
“one country, two system” with China, one of the most important
features, is that we have a separated legal system. In Hong Kong, we
have independent judges, fair trial and also rule of law. These are not
found in China. And if this law is passed, then it allows China to
extradite people in Hong Kong with fabricated cases, and they have to
be extradited back to China to face unfair trial. So it imposes dangers
to all of us.
Quite so. Here is the last
bit that I quote from this article:
WORDEN: (..) [T]he
extradition law is the latest in a series of moves from China to
undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights. And I think if you
were to look at all of the things that distinguish Hong Kong from
China—religious freedom, a functioning rule of law, a judicial system
that is largely independent, a free press is absolutely essential, and
the ability to protest—all of these rights and freedoms have been under
steady assault from China, but in a way that the international
community really wasn’t paying a lot of attention. Certainly, it caused
enormous fear and concern in Hong Kong. But in the 22 years since the
handover from Britain to China, the defense of human rights and the
rule of law in Hong Kong has largely been left to Hong Kong people. And
every time there has been a crisis like this, they have stood up. What
the extradition law does that is so pernicious is that it would
actually legalize kidnapping.
Yes, I agree and this is a strongly
recommended article in which there is considerably more.
This is also not
an article but a video. It is with George Carlin (1937-2008) of whom I
am a big fan because I think he was quite intelligent, quite
knowledgeable, and very funny. I like him a lot, and discovered him
in 2009, because then I got fast internet (which I did not have from
1996-2008: I had a 28 Kb telephone modem, that made the viewing of
videos quite impossible).
Also, I first saw this interview in 2012 and yesterday found some notes
on that from 2012, including the url, which still works.
Here is the introduction of this interview that takes about 45 minutes:
A comprehensive interview with
the iconic comedian George Carlin. He recounts his early career from
childhood dreams of becoming an actor like Danny Kaye all the way up to
his 1960's transformation into a leading voice of the counterculture
and then he details the evolution of his writing and finding his true
voice on stage in the 1990's. For Carlin fans (if you're not what's
wrong with you and why are you watching this?) the final ten minutes is
remarkably touching as he chokes up discussing plans he was forming to
star in a one man Broadway show which never came to be and then
reflects over his successful career and how wonderfully fulfilling his
life has been.
Yes indeed, and this is a strongly
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 (!!).